Saturday, February 20, 2016

Hexmancer Procedural Hex Generation System by Martin Ralya

You know +Martin Ralya . He's the main man at Gnome Stew and Engine Publishing. Gnome Stew is a great system neutral blog and Engine Publishing has put out some amazing books to help any GM hone his skill and have an easier time behind the GM screen.

I bet you didn't know Martin is a sandboxer at heart loves the funkie dice. You know, the dice you might use in the DCC RPG or with the D30 releases from New Big Dragon Games. Actually, Martin's Hexmancer Procedural Hex Generation System should be in every OSR DM's book of tricks.

Want to peek at it?

That's the first of 2 pages. Yep, it fits on 2 sides of a single sheet of paper.

You can grab Hexmancer at Martin's website: MartinRayla.com

You can also see a nice walkthrough of Hexmancer in operation.

This would have been up sooner, but your Tavern Keeper has been under the weather this past week :(

A WTF Kickstarter - Rpg Maker For Terro

See that video snip above? You'll need to watch the video to have any hope of making sense of the pitch used for Rpg Maker For Terro:

There isn't much more to say as there isn't much more to be said. Hey, at least he's only asking for $85. Maybe if we all chip in we can include money for a haircut.

Oh, and thank God there are no risks and / or challenges associated with this project:

Lets all say it together: "Zero Backed! First Created!"

(isn't this more of a GoFundMe type of scenario?)

Friday, February 19, 2016

OD&D Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry (0e) Now Available in PDF for $4.99

Gone is the naked lady tied to a sacrificial altar. Is nothing sacred? ;)

5 bucks for Eldritch Wizardry is a damn good deal, even with the replacement cover.

Of course, I have my copy in print, with naked lady. heh

24 Hour Roll20CON to be Held in June

Sadly, June 3rd is the day NTRPG Con kicks off, so I doubt I'll have a chance to see any of Roll20's online con in action. I hope it is successful and there are ore of them in the future, possibly even themed (OSR, Horror, Scifi, 5e, etc)

Here's an excerpt from the Escapist article:
According to Roll20, the site, later this year, will be hosting its first "online-only tabletop gaming convention." Dubbed Roll20CON, the event will run for 24-hours beginning on June 3, 2016 and ending at 11:59 (PT) that night. During Roll20CON, gamers will be able to access "an organized schedule of tabletop games" along with a selection of "panels and demonstrations." These events will all be streamed via Twitch. Attendees will likewise be encouraged to play their own games and try out "subscription features" normally reserved for Plus-level members of the site. Assisting Roll20 in its efforts will be the anti-bullying group Cybersmile. During the event Roll20 will work with attendees and sponsors to raise money for Cybersmile.

Looking at 5e and the Wonders of Improvising An Action

Maybe it was just my experience. Well, more accurately that of my gaming group at the time we were playtesting D&D Next. Our DM assembled a group of players from throughout the editions of D&D and it was one hell of an experience for this Grognard.

See, the 4e'er got all twisted when the DM ruled that an amazing speech by a PC succeeded without a roll. I'm not a 4e player myself, so I'm not sure if 4e resolved everything with a roll and there was a rule for everything or if this was the player's perception as to how things should be resolved, but it left a sour taste of 4e in my mouth (and was pretty good at showing what the expectations were of the new iteration of D&D from players of different editions of the rules)

I like the quote pictured above. I specifically like this line: "the DM tells you whether that action is possible and what kind of roll you need to make, if any, to determine success or failure." This is how I run things. It's how I've always run things in my game. If I ran a 5e game, I'd do this even if it weren't mentioned in the Player's Handbook, but it is mentioned, and it is good ;)

As I delve into the D&D 5e rules, I'm beginning to like what I see. It may not replace Swords & Wizardry as my go to game, but I'm definitely seeing pleasant surprises. Now to look at "advantage and disadvantage"

(did I mention that the "grid" being optional is another win in my book?)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Goblinoid Games has Organized a Fundraiser for Ryan Denison (coauthor Mutant Future)

Ryan Denison lost his wife back in November, leaving him and his 2 year old son in a rough spot. Even though my son was 14 when his mother passed, I understand much of what Ryan and his family are going through. It's not easy. It never is.

+Dan Proctor has organized a GoFundMe fundraiser for Ryan and his family as well as some truly generous RPG PDF and POD bundles in return for donations that reach certain thresholds ($30 and $60). Give what you can if you can. It is the nature of this hobby to be generous as it is a hobby that embraces community. Helping folks out is where it's at.

Here's more from Dan and details on what you can get in return for your generous donation:

I write with profound grief that my good friend Ryan Denison (coauthor of Mutant Future) lost his wife (Suzanne) and mother of their two-year old son abruptly and unexpectedly on November 20, 2015.

I have put together a “donation bundle” to help support Ryan and his family through the next few months as he gets his financial matters arranged. The bundle includes links to many PDF and  a few print products provided by myself and other generous publishers. Supporters will have access to links to download PDFs for free and links to print products that can be purchased “at cost” of manufacture plus shipping.

Ryan is back to work, but Suzanne was the primary provider for the family. There are many, many expenses associated with this loss and getting a new start. In the long term Ryan’s financial situation will stabilize, but in the short term he needs some help to get there.

If you enjoy Mutant Future in particular, or any of my other products and those of my publishing partners, please consider helping my friend by donating to this bundle fundraiser.

There are many great products in this bundle, available at different funding levels. Links for products are valid until April 1st. It works best to already be logged into both RPGnow and Drivethrurpg before clicking to redeem coupons. You may have to copy/paste the links for them to work properly. You can order print products where applicable via RPGnow at cost to print, but you have to cover shipping.

Thank you for your time. I want to extend my profoundest gratitude to my colleagues for contributing products to this cause.

(Please note that I have to manually email links to backers, so please bear with me! Please make sure to provide an email address when backing.)

Products available:


Goblinoid Games
Labyrinth Lord (PDF, soft and hard covers)
Advanced Edition Companion (PDF, soft and hard covers)
Original Edition Characters (PDF)
Realms of Crawling Chaos (PDF, soft cover)
Idol of the Orcs (PDF, staple bound)
Mutant Future (PDF, soft and hard covers)
Starships & Spacemen 2e (PDF and soft cover)
Wizards’ World (PDF)

All of the above, plus:

Barrel Rider Games
Class Compendium (PDF)

Faster Monkey Games
The Gyre  (PDF)
Re-Energizers (PDF)
Realm of the Technomancer (PDF)

James Mishler Games
JMG First Three Years Bundle (all of their products) (PDF)

Lesser Gnome
Whisper & Venom (PDF)

The Savage AfterWorld
Deviant Database (PDF)
Deviant Database 2.0 (PDF)
One Year In The Savage AfterWorld (PDF)

The Knotty-Works
Going Postal - Tech Bites (Microbots) (PDF)
Going Postal - Tech Bites (Vehicles) (PDF)
Table Scraps Issue 1 (PDF)
Table Scraps Issue 2 (PDF)
Table Scraps Issue 3 (PDF)
Table Scraps Issue 4 (PDF)

Mithgarthr Entertainment
The Mines of Valdhum (for Labyrinth Lord) (PDF)
The Mines of Valdhum (for Fifth Edition) (PDF)
Campaigns in Cairnvarthi (campaign setting is system neutral, included adventure is for Fifth Edition) (PDF)

Taskboy Games
Manse on Murder Hill (PDF and soft cover)
Tranzar's Redoubt (PDF and soft cover)

I wish I was in position to match the donations of The Tavern's patrons at this time but I'm not. I did, however, make a $100 donation in the name of The Tavern, using funds raised previously by The Tavern. As always, it's your community. If you can do more to help Ryan and his 2 year old, please do so.

Donate HERE

And So it Was That I Could Not Find My D&D 5e POD Basic Rules...

So, back in the way back I ordered a Print on Demand (POD) version of the Dungeons & Dragons 5e Basic Rules via Lulu. Yes, someone had put together an at cost version of the D&D Basic Rules. Of course, I couldn't find it when I needed it.

Now, it only was the Player's side of the rules, not the Dungeon Master's part. Which means it wouldn't have done all the work I needed it to do anyway.

So, I did what any enterprising gamer who has a project in the works that requires knowledge of the 5e rules... I put together a personal version on Lulu.

I followed the steps here, but the cover didn't work for me, so I had to improvise. Being that it's not for sale and just personal use, I figured the cover didn't matter much. We'll see when it get's delivered in about a week.

Yes, I have the core 3 5e books, but I want something simpler to get my feet wet. Besides, if I'm going to work the angle of "5e from an OSR perspective", less certainly is more...

Tavern Chat Tonight - 9PM Eastern

Yep, an early reminder.

Tonight is another Tavern Chat.

Possible topics:

- How the F' is Tenkar going to get up to speed on D&D 5e in 2 short weeks?

- When the F' is Far West ever going to be published?

- Will The Badger drop in and discuss the success of the one day sale for "Lus"? (sale ended mere minutes before this post is going up)

- When will Tenkar be posting more StarSlinger posts?

You never know just who will drop in, but it's always a lively chat.

See you then :)

(for those that don't know what Tavern Chat is, see the chat box on the right side of this website? That's where the chat takes place. If you belong to basically ANY social media, logging in is a breeze. Here, I'll add a screenshot for easy reference)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

RPGNow Deal of the Day - Graveyard at Lus (White Star) - Just a Buck!

I have Graveyard at Lus in hardcover and it is an excellent OSR space supplement, especially for those that like to sandbox. +Jason Paul McCartan went off his rocker and has priced the PDF at a buck for the next 24 hours.

So, what do you get for your buck?
Space Graveyards - what's left behind when battles are fought among the points of light that map out the universe. Sometimes there's good salvage to be had there. There's always danger, though. Not everything is dead in a Graveyard, and you're not the only one that's come looking for the good stuff. And that's not even mentioning the radiation and debris left behind, or the dangerous creatures that end up finding their way there like graveworms and ... the undead. 
-A comprehensive toolkit for creating space Graveyards - the result of battles between forces at war in the stars
-Multiple tables for the creation of starship damage, system damage, and crew survivorship
-An event table to ensure that exploration is dynamic during sandbox play
-New rules for Cinematic and Realitic space combat
-New starship technology including sensors and rules for targeting/repairing specific systems
-Additional rules for space-based phenomena, space-based explosions, and boarding other starships
-Four new alien races for your White Star RPG campaigns
-Updated starship usage for four of the core alien races in the main game
-Five new creatures, including The Unquiet, a horriffic form of undead
-Use the pregenerated Graveyard At Lus for your own games, or as a guide to create your own Graveyards.
-Worksheets and sample hexmaps at the rear of the book to help with generation of Graveyards 
Designed for use with the White Star RPG, but easy to convert for other OSR sci-fi systems. 
The Graveyard at Lus will be continually supported by the release of FREE expansion material that includes additional rules and other content, including new races, creatures, and tables to help support additional sandbox usage of the product beyond the core book here. This material will not be included in the core book, but as separate products. The first of these will be the release of all of the silhouettes of the starships in the book (and many more) for use in creation of your own counters for table-based play or use with a VTT. 
Infinibadger - the fucker is simply INSANE! (any relations to Crazy Eddie are purely coincidental)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

And Now I Have to Learn Myself Some 5e...

Kinda surprised myself. I was asked to participate in an upcoming D&D 5e project and my 5e-fu is barely there. I need to shed myself of lingering D&D Next playtest baggage and become fluent enough in 5e that I can bring my OSR background into play.

I have played 5e as a player, briefly and it was certainly enjoyable, but my rules knowledge was minimal.

I guess it's good that I'm home from work this week. Something positive to say about getting the flu bug ;)

Now, where is that printed out version of the D&D 5e Basic rules that I squirreled away?

Monday, February 15, 2016

Destroy Your Original Copies of D&D Releases and You Too Can Get $50 in OBS Credit

So, it appears WotC and OBS are going whole hog into putting out digital copies of the WotC catalog, but they want YOU to do the dirty work.

Here's the pitch:
Help us preserve classic D&D — and earn a bounty for it! 
Our goal at DriveThruRPG has always been to support the RPG hobby by making every RPG title ever published available to RPG fans at a click. To that end, together with Wizards of the Coast, we have been digitally re-mastering hundreds of classic D&D titles and offering them through DriveThru and DMSGuild.com.  We still have about 600 more classic D&D titles to go, and we need the help of D&D fans to get them all. 
If you’ve got some classic D&D titles in your collection and you have access to a scanner, you can help us re-master and preserve these titles. In return, you’ll get a $50 bounty per title (once we verify your scan meets our specifications below). We are looking for  high-quality scans, but these days, most inexpensive home scanners can handle the specifications if set correctly.
You can read the rest here.

So, if you are willing to destroy your collection (see screen shot above) you MAY (if your scans meet standards) qualify for a $50 bounty.

No thank you. Can you imagine the actual time it would take to scan a 128+ page book on the usual home scanner? Add in the fact that you need to destroy the original and all this is is an attempt by OBS / WotC to have someone do their work for them.

As an aside, I thought the parent company was OneBookshelf. I wonder if this means the RPGNow branding is going to be put aside at some point in the near future.

Kickstarter - World Architect Cards (from the guy that brought us the Far Away Land RPG)

If it seems like I'm on a Kickstarter "kick", I very well might be. This isn't a planned post however, as I just stumbled across the announcement in my email when I woke up. I've enjoyed everything that +Far Away Land RPG (Dirk Stanley) has released, and I expect nothing less from the World Architect Cards Kickstarter.

Really, it looks like a great tool for a DM that likes to sandbox. What's in the next hex? Let me pull out a card. I've got graphics, descriptor words and even a random weather table on the bottom of the card.

How does this actually work?
Each card has an image of an overworld map location (like a forest, mountain, desert, etc.) on the front and back of the card. Cards are chosen at random to create map locations. Each location has a series of descriptors to describe the location. The location is then drawn on a piece of paper and described. The map maker continues to draw cards and create locations. Other cards in the deck can be used to describe specific locations within a map (like a mine, temple, bridge, etc.). These cards also feature a series of descriptors to inspire the map maker and easily describe the location. The goal of the World Architect Cards is to take the guesswork and time out of creating a map from scratch.
I really like Dirk's art and I think it's a prefect fit for a project like this. Heck, it was a prefect fit for the Dungeon Architect Cards, which you can also snag from this Kickstarter.

I'd really love to run a campaign using the 2 decks and something simple like White Box or Far Away Lands itself. Maybe this summer...

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Kickstarter - The Black Hack (OSR Ruleset)

I've had a busy week, as you can gather from the posting frequency (or lack there of) here at The Tavern.

I've been trying to put together a post that details - without going into too much detail, how The Black Hackack differs from other OSR style rulesets. From my personal impression, I think it would play out amazingly well in a convention or pick up game type of set up, as it looks to play fast and deadly. Still, putting the how and why into a coherent post hasn't been easy (possibly because putting together a coherent post at all hasn't been easy - heh).

So, what do I see in my email?

This nice little summary (and example of the layout of The Black Hack):

So, what can I expand upon?

Usage Die - awesome concept for consumables. Stop counting arrows. A quiver starts at a 1d10 and goes down from there. It may last 4 shots or 20 or more. I like it. It's used for rations, holy waster, oil, herbs, torches, wineskins - the consumables.

Out of Action - I'm yoking this flat out

Advantage & Disadvantage - borrowed from 5e but I'll allow it

Armor Points - feels like Tunnels & Trolls and I like it

I'm very happy to be in for multiple copies :)

Oh, yeah, the PDF is done. I have a copy. If I can get a playtest done before the Kickstarter funding runs it's course, I will but don't count on it. Work seems to be getting busier just as I'm running up to my retirement date. Go figure.

(The Black Hack, not The Black Hand. Warning, posting while your dog is incessantly barking for you to go to bed is dangerous ;)

Kickstarter - The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil (5e/OSR adventure)

We know I'm heavily into the OSR. I also enjoy sandbox and / or non-linear adventures. The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil offers to fill both desires for me, as well as delivering it's print version with a detachable cover. How cool is that?

So, what does Temple of Forgotten Evil offer?

- Saddle-Stitched 32+ page adventure
- Detached color cover with classic blue maps on the interior
- 4 half page maps (maybe more)
- 4 pages of art (maybe more)

The sample art from the video is atmospheric as all hell and I'm looking forward to seeing it on print.

I know the stretch goals offer custom dice, but I'd rather see some 8x10 art prints. Yeah, I know, I'm such an art snob ;)

What's the blurb, you may ask?
The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil is an adventure for three to seven characters between levels four and six. It is designed for use with Fifth Edition and OSR versions of Gary and Dave’s RPG. It can be adapted to any fantasy RPG. 
The Premise 
The small town of Boldon, and its surrounding villages, are afraid. Dozens of people are missing, some speculate lost to some nefarious purpose. Tales of an evil temple and the horrible things within circulate. The few who know the legends and history of the region are beginning to think the dark times have returned, not seen since the fall of the first age of man. People are beginning to feel the icy fingers of fear closing in. Upon arrival, the party encounters a broken man, a homeless drunkard prone to incessant rambling. This inspires an investigation into the stories of a lost temple. Has it been rediscovered by men seduced by its forgotten evil? The drunkard’s tale leads to others who might help the party discover more before they face The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil.
I wish the art was shown on the Kickstarter page itself, as it would make it easier to share...

Yeah, I captured those pics from the video and they do NOT do the art justice. Watch the video, for the art alone if you must, but watch it.

Print + PDF is $25, PDF is $10

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