Saturday, January 30, 2016

Session Recaps - The "B Team" Matches Wits with Vitmann (StarSlinger / White Star)

Last night was the first playtest session of the StarSlinger setting for White Star, and it was a hoot!

The group, consisting of +Tim Shorts , +Douglas Cole and +Peter V. Dell'Orto accomplished a lot in the little time we had.

Douglas has his session recap over at the Gaming Ballistic Blog.

Peter has his session recap over at the Dungeon Fantastic Blog.

Tim doesn't have a session recap up yet at Gotheridge Manor. I guess the 10% bonus expo I award for posting session recaps isn't enough of a deal for a Scoundrel like Tim ;)

We all had a good time last night and it was fun watching the players turn the tables on Vitmann :)

(note, StarSlinger includes certain house rules, so it wasn't BTB White Star... but what is? heh

Tweaking the Tavern a Bit - Added a Line of Tabs - Blog Highlights and Friends of The Tavern

Alright, I've tweaked The Tavern just a wee bit. I've added a "tab bar" just under the header. I had one there years ago, but when the blog was offline and had to be rebuilt, the tabs were lost. Now they are back.

Links to my Kickstarter, White Star, StarSlinger and Review posts are there as well as to some of the best friends of The Tavern. I'm thinking of adding a second row of tabs for other blogs and such, but I need to make sure it doesn't clutter up things.

Let me know if there are any problems with the links and feel free to suggest anything you feel is missing, on the tab bar or at The Tavern in general. Even if I don't follow every suggestion, I do listen.

Announcing Hero's Journey from Barrel Rider Games (coming 3rd quarter)

I've gotten on +James Spahn 's ass for not letting me know about his new releases, often finding out from The Tavern's readers or from my daily peek at RPGNow's releases. This time, James is giving me more than ample lead time ;)

I've seen some of the text to Hero's Journey and I'm excited to give this a run for it's money with my regular gaming groups. James has also promised me I'll have access to a copy of the rules prior to NTRPG Con, so add Hero's Journey to the list of games I'll be running (StarSlinger was pretty much a list of one prior).

Here's the official release info:
Hero's Journey is a fantasy roleplaying game written by James M. Spahn and published by Barrel Rider Games. Inspired by Swords & Wizardry White Box, this complete game features six races, fourteen classes and is the result of years of game design. Combining and updating material found in Swords & Wizardry White Box, the White Box Omnibus, and introducing new rules for character races, character classes, character professions, new magic spells, new magic items, new rules for magic item creation, new combat mechanics and new rules for character progression, Hero's Journey is a refinement of Swords & Wizardry White Box that includes influences from Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, AD&D 2nd Edition, and other classic fantasy roleplaying games. 
At over 200 pages, this single-volume book will include everything players and referees need to play. Hero's Journey will be available in PDF and 6" x 9" digest format through One Bookshelf. Print on Demand copies will be available in both black and white interior and full color premium interiors. 
Scheduled for release in the third quarter of 2016.
I'll try and squeeze James for some game-able advance pieces as Hero's Journey gets closer to release. James did tell me it's "more lethal than White Box" ;)

Kickstarter - Ultimate NPCs: Skulduggery for 5e, Pathfinder and S&W - Funding Wraps Up Tomorrow

Yep, the funding for the Ultimate NPCs: Skulduggery for 5e, Pathfinder and S&W Kickstarter wraps up tomorrow. What does that mean?

It's blown away it's $10k funding goal and actually just passed $46k - it is funded and then some with stretch goals adding even more content.

I like sandbox tools for my RPG campaigns. I prefer when my players can surprise me nearly as much (if not more) than I surprise them. Books like Ultimate NPCs: Skullduggery are perfect for keeping me one step ahead of the herd of cats I game with ;)

38 hours left in the Kickstarter as I type this...

Friday, January 29, 2016

OSR Gaming Forums Go Down - Upon Return, Database is Lost, All Posts Are gone

What can I say?

Not looking so good at the moment.

If you want to restart some threads, here's the website: OSRGaming Forums

StarSlinger - Tonight The "B Team" Investigates The Case of the Missing Avionic Bovine DNA (White Star)

Tonight will begin an organic playtest of the StarSlinger setting and rules addendum to White Star with the famous "B Team". Play with the classes, the slightly more powerful stats (bonuses start at 13 and a 17 or 18 are + 2) and of course allow the setting to grow with the player's actions.

Their mission, which will be given to them by the ever luvable lug Kyn Vitmann at The Bloody Leech. They'll need to recover some Avionic Bovine DNA that went missing when it's transport mysteriously crashed without it's transponder reporting in. Now the transponder is working and it's a race to recover the package from the downed transport. All, however, is not as it seems.

I can't map for shit so I'll sketch the map by hand in Roll20 as the sessions progresses.

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out :)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Tavern Chat Tonight - 9PM Eastern - Possible Topic - Tomb of Horrors as a White Box Funnel

+Mark Hassman was nice enough to put this bug in my ear - running a Tomb of Horrors, White Box / White Star "funnel" at NTRPG Con in the room The Tavern is sponsoring.

Damn, that is a fine idea. Start each player with 2 to 3 characters and send them to their death explore. White Box with lots of red ;)

Anyhow, tonight is the weekly Tavern Chat at 9PM.

See that chat box on the right side of the page? That's where the chat occurs. Yep, just like AOL chat rooms from back in the day. You can log in using G+, Facebook, Twitter and other social media methods that I've omitted.

So, join us (and in saying us, I mean various folks from the OSR and beyond) as we go off on tangents both wild and mundane ;)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

OD&D OCE "Boxed Set" Returns to RPGNow in PDF for 10 Bucks

Before the great purge, when WotC removed their PDFs from the OneBookShelf / RPGNow sales platform, one of my purchases was the Original Dungeons & Dragons OCE Boxed Set in PDF. It was handy, even if it wasn't the cleanest copy. After the purge I wan't even able to redownload a copy if I wanted to.

OD&D is back at RPGNow. I have access to the files again and it's very clean, but that makes senses, as they are using the reprint files for their source materials.

$9.99 get's you the contents of the Original Dungeons & Dragons boxed set, as presented in the reprint WotC did 2 years ago. The booklets have the new covers, not the originals (sadly) but the contents are there.

If you are looking for an inexpensive copy of the Original D&D rules, this is an excellent way to get your hands on them.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Piece of Art That Oozes StarSlinger Inspiration

I found the above piece of art on Deviant Art. Western and alien at the same time. Evocative. Damn but its a good piece. It oozes StarSlinger.

I may just need to reach out to the author and see how much he wants for the rights to use it.

In any case, I do need to stat out this riding beast ;)

Monday, January 25, 2016

From 18 to 48 - Still Looking to Create

I remember when I was 18, trying to design a game. It had tiles, dungeons, level advancement. I was so psyched I even told my parents about my dreams of being a "game designer". Obviously that didn't play out as planned.

Here i am, 30 years later, BA in History, nearly 9 year of retail and over 19 years of law enforcement behind me, and again I'm looking at being a "game designer". The thing is, with places like RPGNow and Print on Demand, it's achievable. You're not going to become rich and famous, but you can make some money and personal satisfaction from it.

Strangely enough, I spoke to my mother about my plans for StarSlinger and her response was "You're going to take a dozen or so copies to North Texas in the spring to give away I hope". Yes, she gets it. As does Rach, my wife. Of course, Rach would sooner quit her job than miss NTRPG Con. Yeah, she really does get it.

I'm sincerely blessed.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Kickstarter - 5e Creature Decks (Inkwell Ideas)

If you are playing D&D 5e, the 5e Creature Cards really should be a no brainer. Inkwell Ideas has run Kickstarters for stock art and creature decks before. I've backed them all. I doubt I'll be running a 5e game soon, but if I were I'd be all over this.


First off, most of the art is already done from the previous projects and the art is good.

Second, Inkwell Ideas has a proven record of delivering. They also offer some amazing mapping programs.

Third, I have the prior decks. They are POD via RPGNow and are high quality and should stand up to repeated use at the gaming table.

Ah, who am I kidding? I'm going to get the 5e decks for the new art and the off chance I run some 5e in the future.

Here's the creatures and the decks they'll be found in:

The Constructs, Giants, Humanoids & Undead deck will have:

Constructs (9): Anim Obj - Armor; Anim Obj - Flying Sword; Anim Obj - Rug of Smothering; Golem, Clay; Golem, Flesh; Golem, Iron; Golem, Stone; Homunculus; Shield Guardian
Giants (10): Ettin; Giant, Cloud; Giant, Fire; Giant, Frost; Giant, Hill; Giant, Stone; Giant, Storm; Ogre; Oni; Troll
Humanoids (18): Bugbear; Duergar; Elf, Drow; Gnoll; Gnome, Deep (Svirfneblin); Goblin; Grimlock; Hobgoblin; Kobold; Lizardfolk; Lycanthrope, Werebear; Lycanthrope, Wereboar; Lycanthrope, Wererat; Lycanthrope, Weretiger; Lycanthrope, Werewolf; Merfolk; Orc; Sahuagin
Undead (18): Ghost; Ghoul; Ghoul, Ghast; Lich; Mummy; Mummy Lord; Shadow; Skeleton; Skeleton, Minotaur; Skeleton, Warhorse; Specter; Vampire; Vampire Spawn; Wight; Will-o'-Wisp; Wraith; Zombie; Zombie, Ogre

The Dragons & Monstrosities deck will have:

Dragons (13): Dragon, Black Adult; Dragon, Blue Adult; Dragon, Brass Adult; Dragon, Bronze Adult; Dragon, Copper Adult; Dragon, Gold Adult; Dragon, Green Adult; Dragon, Red Adult; Dragon, Silver Adult; Dragon, White Adult; Dragon Turtle; Pseudodragon; Wyvern
Monstrosities (39): Ankheg; Basilisk; Behir; Bulette; Centaur; Chimera; Cockatrice; Darkmantle; Death Dog; Doppelganger; Drider; Ettercap; Gorgon; Grick; Griffon; Harpy; Hippogriff; Hydra; Kraken; Lamia; Manticore; Medusa; Merrow; Mimic; Minotaur; Naga, Guardian; Naga, Spirit; Owlbear; Phase Spider; Purple Worm; Remorhaz; Roc; Roper; Rust Monster; Sphinx, Androsphinx; Sphinx, Gynosphinx; Tarrasque; Wolf, Winter; Worg

The Aberrations, Celestials, Elementals, Fey & Fiends deck will have:

Aberrations (5): Aboleth; Chuul; Cloaker; Gibbering Mouther; Otyugh
Celestials (6): Angel, Deva; Angel, Planetar; Angel, Solar; Couatl; Pegasus; Unicorn
Elementals (16): Azer; Elemental, Air; Elemental, Earth; Elemental, Fire; Elemental, Water; Gargoyle; Genie, Djinni; Genie, Efreeti; Invisible Stalker; Magmin; Mephit, Dust; Mephit, Ice; Mephit, Magma; Mephit, Steam; Salamander; Xorn
Fey (6): Blink Dog; Dryad; Hag, Green; Hag, Sea; Satyr; Sprite
Fiends (23): Demon, Balor; Demon, Dretch; Demon, Glabrezu; Demon, Hezrou; Demon, Marilith; Demon, Nalfeshnee; Demon, Quasit; Demon, Vrock; Devil, Barbed; Devil, Bearded; Devil, Bone; Devil, Chain; Devil, Erinyes; Devil, Horned; Devil, Ice; Devil, Imp; Devil, Lemure; Devil, Pit Fiend; Hag, Night; Hell Hound; Nightmare; Rakshasa; Succubus/Incubus

The deck of Beasts, Dinosaurs, Plants, and Oozes will have:

Beasts (90): Ape; Ape, Giant; Axe Beak; Baboon; Badger; Badger, Giant; Bat; Bat, Giant; Bear, Black; Bear, Brown; Bear, Polar; Beetle, Fire, Giant; Blood Hawk; Boar; Boar, Giant; Camel; Cat; Centipede, Giant; Crab; Crab, Giant; Crocodile; Crocodile, Giant; Deer; Eagle; Giant Eagle; Elephant; Elk; Giant Elk; Frog; Giant Frog; Giant Goat; Goat; Hawk; Horse, Draft; Horse, Riding; Hyena; Hyena, Giant; Jackal; Killer Whale; Lion; Lizard; Lizard, Giant; Mammoth; Mastiff; Mule; Octopus; Octopus, Giant; Owl, Giant; Owl; Panther; Pony; Quipper; Rat; Rat, Giant; Rat, Giant (Diseased); Raven; Rhinoceros; Scorpion; Scorpion, Giant; Sea Horse; Sea Horse, Giant; Shark, Giant; Shark, Hunter; Shark, Reef; Snake, Constrictor; Snake, Constrictor, Giant; Snake, Poisonous; Snake, Poisonous, Giant; Spider; Spider, Giant; Stirge; Swarm of Bats; Swarm of Insects; Swarm of Poisonous Snakes; Swarm of Quippers; Swarm of Rats; Swarm of Ravens; Tiger; Tiger, Saber-Toothed; Thunderbird; Toad, Giant; Vulture; Vulture, Giant; Warhorse; Wasp, Giant; Weasel; Weasel, Giant; Wolf, Dire; Wolf; Wolf Spider, Giant
Dinosaurs (3): Dinosaur, Plesiosaurus; Dinosaur, Triceratops; Dinosaur, Tyrannosaurus Rex
Oozes (4): Ooze, Black Pudding; Ooze, Gelatinous Cube; Ooze, Gray Ooze; OOze, Ochre Jelly
Plants (6): Awakened Shrub; Awakened Tree; Fungi, Shrieker; Fungi, Violet Fungus; Shambling Mound; Treant

The 5th & 6th deck's exact contents are TBD because it will depend on stretch goals.  We have agathions, additional elementals, imperial dragons, more fey, new beasts, and many others ready to go!  It will have at least 50 creatures, in full color.

Note that the art for the basic animals and insects is mostly B&W and some creatures may be doubled up on one card. (The giant version may be added to the main card for that animal/insect.)

There will also be several extra "lair" cards for some creatures which have lair actions.  This especially applies to the deck that includes the dragons, but several other creatures also have lair actions such as the Aboleth, Kraken, Lich, both Sphinxes and the Vampire.

What is With the Bad Wrong Fun Recently?

I've been lucky enough to miss the majority of the most recent drama in the OSR Community. Maybe it's how I've pruned my online social circles, though I suspect it has more to do with how others have trimmed theirs. I appreciate being left out of the latest useless drama.

Why is is that folks would prefer to tell other folks "how they're doing it wrong"instead of shutting their mouths and trying to lead by example? What is right for you might not work for others. If others are truly wrong in their actions, those actions will take care of themselves. Can we leave the Bad Wrong Fun to other gaming communities?

Ah well, I've got more important things to think about, like how the Panthers are crushing the Cardinals, the 2' of snow I have to dig my car out of tomorrow, writing more StarSlinger material and beer. I need to start posting to the Beer Blog again :)

White Star - Snake Oil Salesman (Character Class - StarSlinger Setting)

Let me tell ya what we've got! This here little bottle can cure what ails you! Got cuts, it'll close them. Burns? Heals right before your eyes. Stomach pains? It's like a silk sheet for your belly. Got something that don't feel right in your privates? It'll flush them right out. Need an ointment? We got it. Restorative? You're talking to the right man. Libation? None better than what you see in front of you. How much? Well now, how much ya got to spend? Whatcha mean "Snake Oil Salesman?" I'm an honest Nostrum Agent. Says so right here on my license.

No matter how they refer to themselves, the common title of Snake Oil Salesman has stuck to them like mud on a pig. Still, the concoctions that they make have been known to have true effects, although not necessarily of the type told to the purchaser. Of course, when partaking of his own product, the Snake Oils Salesman always knows what to expect, more or less.

Nostrum Agent

LEVEL      XP      HD      BHB      ST
1                  0        1           +0        14
2              2,500     1+1       +1        13
3              5,000     2           +1        12
4            10,000     2+1       +2        11
5            20,000     3           +2        10
6            40,000     4           +3          9
7            80,000     4+1       +3          8
8          160000      5           +4          7
9          320,000     5+1       +4          6
10        640,000     6           +5          5

Libation Level - Known
     1   2   3  4  
1   1
2   2
3   3
4   3   1
5   3   2  
6   3   3
7   3   3   1
8   3   3   2
9   3   3   3
10 3   3   3  1

Libation Level - Actively Prepared
     1   2   3  4  
1   2
2   3
3   4
4   5   2
5   5   3  
6   5   4
7   6   5   2
8   6   5   3
9   6   5   4
10 6   6   4  1

Weapons / Armor Restrictions - One Handed Weapons, Light Armor

My Momma Made Worse Than That - Due to their constant experimentation with concoctions either contacting their skin or ingested, Nostrum Agents have a + 4 adjustment to their saving throws vs. Poison.

XP Bonus for Intelligence - A Nostrum Agent with a Intelligence of 13 or 14 receives a 5% Experience Bonus. Those with a 15 or higher get a 10% bonus.

Libations - Libations allow the Nostrum Agent to prepare concoctions for their benefit and the benefit of others. Libations, ointments, medicines - they are all things prepared by the Nostrum Agent. The NA knows a certain number of recipes and has a maximum number of Libations that can be prepared at one time as indicated by level.

Libations cost "Libation Level x Libation Level x 100 credits" to prepare and take 1 hour x Libation Level to prepare.

Level 1 Libations

Wound Cleaning Ointment - Applied within 10 minutes of receiving the wound, heals 1d6 HP (+1 HP if the Nostrum Agent uses it on himself)

Water Purification Dose - Added to a water source, will purify up to 10 gallons of water

Visual Clarity Ointment - Doubles the distance of missile weapon attack ranges for 1 hour

Water Proofing Ointment - Lasts for 2 hours. Makes 1 human sized subject and their basic equipment (including 1 handed weapons) shed water like a duck

Level 2 Libations

Fire Resistance Ointment - Lasts for 2 hours. Gives a + 4 save vs. heat / fire effects / attacks

Cold Resistance Ointment - Lasts for 2 hours. Gives a + 4 save vs. cold / frost effects / attacks

Bot Juice - Applied within 10 minutes of the bot receiving damage, heals 1d6 HP

Good for a Day - Provides nourishment and liquid requirements for 24 hours

Level 3 Libations

Joltola - Lasts 1d4 Rounds. Adds 2 points to the imbibers initiative score, enabling him to attack before the rest of his party and hopefully before the enemy. Adjusted initiative scores of 7+ result in an extra attack. When the effect wears off, the character suffers a minus 2 penalty to the initiative roll for 1d6 rounds. Adjusted initiative scores of 0 or less result in the loss of the character's attacks for that round.

Reflective Ointment - Last 2 hours. Laser / Energy weapons do 2 points less damage per successful attack (minimum damage 0 points)

Patzy's Putrid Poison Purger - Imbibed within 2 rounds of a failed Poison Save, this allows a second save at + 2 to the roll to avoid the effects (including death)

Level 4 Libations

Two Minds are More Fun - Lasts 10-60 minutes. Allows the imbiber to do two completely different tasks at the same time, such as fire at a target and drive a vehicle evasively without penalty, hold two independent conversations, use an innate power and attack, other as GM sees fit to allow.

Breath of Fire - Can breath a Cone of Fire 5' wide at base, 20' long and 20' wide. Targets inside the AOE take 3d6 fire damage  (save for half)

(Fits White Box without any real changes)

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