Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Common Room Forums are a Week Old Today - How Have We Done?

33 Publishers, 36 Blogs, 18 Reviews, 3 Artists Highlighted and much more.

Not bad, but The Common Room needs more.

It needs you.

If you are a publisher, start a thread for your company and your releases. If you're a blogger, start one so members of the Old School Gaming Community can find your blog along with other Old School Blogs.

Are you an artist that works in the RPG field? Put up some sample of your work. Publishers, look at these samples and see if you might find an artist that fits your style and needs.

Old School Gaming Podcast? Add yourself to the Podcast forum. Old School Convention (or a convention with an Old School Track? There's a section for you.

Do you want your own sub-forum? Ask and you'll probably get it.

Most importantly, if you are a regular reader of The Tavern, use The Common Room to expand upon your Old School Gaming horizons. Find new publishers, blogs, podcasts and more that you might not have known about prior.

The Old School Gaming Community is much more than the sum of it's individual parts. It's that sense of community that makes the OSR and Old School Gaming the joy that it is.

The Common Room has gotten off to an amazing start and will only get better with time. Be a part of it. Oh, and thank you :)

Another WTF Kickstarter - Mithlonde (Compares itself to Diablo, Pillars of Eternity, Skyrim and World of Warcraft)

Look at the above screenshot.

Now, look at the sales pitch:

Maybe it's just me, but I'm not feeling it.

Goal? $10k

Amount raised? Why even ask.

Alright, I think the first challenge will be to get this product funded. Assuming it funds (not gonna happen) at $10k, I'd love to see the following challenge met:

His bio says he's a student. I'm guessing freshman - in high school.

Mini Review - RuneQuest 2nd Edition (PDF)

Classic RuneQuest is back and I'm loving it. I was a backer of the RuneQuest: Classic Edition Kickstarter and I've just gotten around to looking at the PDF. My God, if I had this in PDF when I came across Chaosium's RuneQuest back in 86 or 87 I might never have stayed with AD&D.

RuneQuest has flavor that D&D in it's various incarnations lacked at the time. It's default world, Glorantha, had depth. Ah shit, I'm sounding like a fanboy. The thing is, RuneQuest lacked something that D&D was built upon - levels. Hit points didn't progress, combat ability went up slowly. Armor prevented damage by hit location. If you wanted your party to stay in the same general area, they didn't suddenly out power all of their adversaries. It was, and is, a damn good system. You've seen it elsewhere, most likely in Call of Cthulhu.

RQ uses a percentile system and using skills is what increases them. Want to be an excellent pick pocket? You need to use the skill every session (and probably get thrown in the stocks in return, but that's another story)

As for races, you had some of your standard fantasy races but you also had Ducks (i'm sure someone on staff had Howard the Duck on their mind when writing this up)

For the time, RuneQuest had a rather complete presentation of the game rules. You could learn how to run RQ from just reading the core book. Certainly better organized and much more complete than Tunnels & Trolls, another game I enjoy from the early era of RPGs.

I ran Pavis and Big Rubble with my group for over a year using these rules and we had a blast. Of course, the group always went back to AD&D but that's another story ;)

The PDF is a beauty with hyperlinks in it's table of contents. This is going right on my tablet.

It's a well presented piece of gaming history that is just as relevant today as it was in the late 70's.

Friday, April 1, 2016

The Most Complete Listing of Gareth's Broken Delivery Promises of Far West EVER Compiled (and it's not by me)

Let me start this by saying "Holy Shit! I knew it was bad, I didn't know it was THIS bad!"

Gareth has broken more promises in regards to Far West than... fuck if I know. Really, I can't think of anything that comes close. And he's been doing it for over FOUR FUCKING YEARS!

Milestones are a thing, so in the time between the funding of Far West and, oh, I don't know - today maybe, I've - gotten married, worked in 3 different units and RETIRED from my job, watched my son go from high school student to gainfully employed to engaged, backed 188 further Kickstarter projects (don't tell my wife :) (Far West was #3 that I backed) and I can count the totally fucked up project creators that I supported on one hand. (I did not back any of Ken's)

With the exception of Tom and the Myth & Magic fiasco and mistruths, nothing comes close to the blatant lying that Gareth has put forth over four plus years. For simple volume alone, Gareth wins the crown handily.

How well?

Over the course of those four plus years, Gareth has made at least 46 promises as to the release date of Far West, some claiming completion was a mere few weeks out YEAR AGO.

Here's a sample from late 2014:

Where can you find the rest of this amazing list?

Do not pass go, do not collect on the empty promises of the Far West Kickstarter creator. Instead, go to http://www.mutedhorn.net/far-west-delivery-estimates/

You'll laugh. You'll cry (if, like me, you backed for $150 and have this as the professional piece of art work to remember Far West)

I didn't say "Beet Juice" you idiot!
I said I'd "Beat YOU!"

Best of all, you'll have some window into the mindset of Gareth.

It's Not Often That I Give Interviews, But When I do, It's to the Quasar Knight's Fantasy Blog

+Ray Chapel of the Quasar Knight's Fantasy Blog asked me if I was up for an interview. Now, I don't give many interviews, but for Ray, a frequenter of the weekly Tavern Chat sessions here at The Tavern, it was hard to say no.

The interview is up at the Quasar Knight's Fantasy Blog.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Sadly, at the time the interview was conducted I was at liberty to discuss any podcasts. Maybe next time.

The Common Room has 15 Reviews Linked so Far - Needs More ;)

The Common Room Forums, which launched last Saturday as a resource for Old School Gaming, has a section for bloggers and publishers to link reviews of recent releases (generally released within the last 12 to 18 months but it's just a guideline)

At the moment, in addition to the 31 publishers and 34 blogs currently listed (and more adding themselves daily) we have 15 reviews listed and linked. We need more. Many of you have already written reviews of old school gaming products, so why not get eyes on them?

Signing in as as simple as using the social media application if your choice (the plan really was to keep this simple, and if you are like me, you detest having to constantly register for new websites and forums)

Hopefully over the next couple of months we can turn The Common Room into a fairly complete directory for all aspects of Old School Gaming. For now though, posts those review links :)

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sword Coast Legends Developer n-Space Shuts Down - Did The D&D Digital Curse Do Them In?

It's all over the internet. Well, not ALL over. But in the right corner you will find a few articles discussing Swords Coasts Legends developer n-Space closing it's doors. SCL never really lived up to it's expectations. It was a Dungeons and Dragons game without much Dungeons & Dragons mechanics, and a DM with group feature that felt very incomplete and clunky the very little time I experimented with it.

So, lets see, how many failed digital adventures can we link to D&D in the recent years? 4e's VTT and failure to digitally monetize, the death of Project Morningstar for 5e, Pathfinder's MMO fiasco and now Sword Coast Legends.

Ah well, I guess I should finish the single player storyline for SCL when i get the chance.

Should still be coming to Xbox One and PS4 though. Go figure.

Read more here, here and here.

Whitman Will Work for $250 a Day - Does Blue (Ray)

Alright, he does "blue-ray". Who exactly is picking nits?

Still, for a man dodging creditors and Kickstarter backers, Kenny likes to be found. Heck, Kenny was kind enough to leave contact info and a list of valuables that creditors could use to secure his debt. As for the green screen experience, he does have one behind his bed (saw it in a pic and pics don't lie)
BTW, we need a name for the Tavern's well motivated army of investigators. Give me some ideas :)

Tenkar's Tavern Mid-Week Roundup for Thursday, March 31, 2016

Mid-week roundup is something I'm going to experiment with. I'm guessing it will move to Wednesday's in the future but who knows. Still trying to adjust to "free time" and the day of the week doesn't have as much importance as it used to ;)

What is the mid-week roundup?

Events and interesting posts from our corner of the OSR. Could be links to previous posts here at The Tavern or from other blogs in my "I read their blogs" circle or other stuff that strikes my fancy. Just call me "Mr. Fancypants"

Releasing the Kraken!

+Dyson Logos of Dyson's Dodecahedron just went to eleven. His Patreon has hit the support level need that he is now going back to some of his previous work and releasing it under a free commercial use license. First one up? Just look to the right...

They're Coming Over the Wall!

+James Spahn , he of White Star, The Hero's Journey and many other best selling releases on RPGNow, gives a highly rated review on his Halfling's Luck blog to none other than Beyond the Wall and Other Adventures. To be honest, it's a game that ever really hit my radar, but after reading James' review I know I need to grab a copy. It seems like the system is perfect for creating a cohesive adventuring party right out of the box.

It's a Hero's Journey

Olde House Rules over at the Pits Perilous blog reviews The Hero's Journey by +James Spahn . Hero's Journey is a product I've been following since fairly early in it's development and I'm suspecting a mashup of Beyond the Wall and Hero's Journey could come close to matching my love for all things Swords & Wizardry.

Good Rules for Selling Goodies

+Tim Shorts of the Gothridge Manor blog has a series of posts dealing with Selling Your Loot. It's two posts into the series with more to come. There's some good GMing advice thus far, but that's nothing new for Tim.

What a Witch

+Timothy Brannan of The Other Side blog has written up Koliada, The Winter Witch for both BECMI and D&D 5e. She is a bad ass in both rule sets... heh. If you didn't already know, Tim really digs witches and has even released a Witch Sourcebook for OSR / Classic D&D games.

K, that's it for this week. Unless it isn't...

It isn't!


Last weekend Tenkar's Tavern opened up a new forum called The Common Room. The idea is to have a place where old school publishers, bloggers, conventions, podcasts, artists, writers and the rest of the OSR can find each other. Check it out. Sign in (using the social media app of your choice) and sign up. It's your community. It's your Common Room.

BTW, The Common Room needs more reviews linked. I'm sure many of you have already posted reviews on your own blogs, so why night make sure they get more eyes on them?

The Far West Missed Deadlines Tracking Page - More Fun than TWO Far Wests

Last night in Tavern Chat, the topic of the Far West Kickstarter came up. I had remembered there was a page that tracked the number of promised completion dates for Far West that Gareth had given his adoring fans - but I had no idea where to find it.

Well someone dropped a link to Is Far West Out Yet? I think it was Tim Snider but not 100% sure. Anyhow, the amount of promised completion dates is mind boggling.

I'm only going to screenshot through the end of 2013:

And some folks wonder why backers are pissed. There's a dozen more missed dates after those.

Now, for you your musical entertainment:

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

This is Not the Far West You Are Looking For ("Far West", Meet "Far West")

So, silent Gareth, he of the Twitter account that by words sent since Far West funded over 4 years ago could probably add a couple of completed chapters to the book, hasn't updated the status of the Far West project on Kickstarter since January 29th, 2016. That's a hair over 2 months for those playing along at home.

As I indicate above, Gareth may be silent with the Kickstarter updates, but Twitter tells us he's had a bout of food poisoning and his commenting on the Kickstarter comments section gives us this little tidbit:

Now, the month ends tomorrow and I suspect I will be neither pleased nor surprised when April 1st comes around. Oh yeah, that's right, it will soon be April Fools Day. Well, here's a joke on Gareth that is real:

Yep, there's a Spanish Far West that's finishing up (more like a 2nd edition, as this game first came out in the 90s). Any bets on which Far West gets to the finish line first?

The art's decent too.

Ah well. If they do an English translation I'll have a Far West RPG in hand. Maybe not the one I paid for nearly 4 1/2 years ago...

Escapist HQ Shuttered - Majority of Staff Let Go

Forbes has an article on the current downsizing of The Escapist website staffing.

As for the move to Seattle, that will be under editor-in-chief Joshua Vanderwall, who appears to be the last man standing.

Quoting the Forbes article:
While Defy is calling the number of employees affected “small” my own source tells me that “Every full-time staff member has been laid off there, from editors to artists to the IT team.”
Damn shame.

For those wondering, yes, it's the same +Alexander Macris from Autarch. Hopefully they can keep paying the bills and rebound in the future.

Reminder - Tavern Chat is TONIGHT - 9 PM to 11PM Eastern

Tavern Chat is back to it's original night, a Wednesday, starting tonight. We may wind up moving the night of the week on a monthly basis and we'll experiment with a weekend chat during the afternoon one day in April.

What is Tavern Chat?

It's where a bunch of folks that enjoy old school gaming get together in a virtual chat room and shoot the shit. It's fun and time flies.

Where is Tavern Chat?

Look on the right side of this page for a chat box labeled Tavern Chat. To log in you use the social media service of your choice.

If your looking to meet folks from around Old School Gaming 24 hours a day, 7 days a week check outThe Common Room. 31 publishers and 32 blogs are represented as well as gaming conventions, podcasts, an artist showcase and more. As with Tavern Chat, participation in The Common Room requires nothing more than the social media login that you already have.

Bundle of Holding - Hackmaster 5e

Hackmaster 5e is the latest RPG collection to hit Bundle of Holding. Unlike the concurrent OpenQuest 2 and Classic Paranoia Bundles, where I already own virtually everything, this is a collection that I own very little of.

Actually, all I own is the Hackmaster 5e Basic Rules in print.

So very tempting. $12.95 for the Player's Collection and currently about $28.50 for the Player's plus GM's Collection.

Can anyone sell me on the system? Should I jump in?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Look What I Got to Peek at Today - Mazes & Perils Deluxe Edition

The Ennie award winning Mazes & Perils is getting a facelift and I got a copy of the not quite ready for public consumption but yes it's damn good earlier today.

I'm really enjoying the optional rules, allowing one to tweak between a "basic" feel or an "advanced" feel (or somewhere in between).

Ah heck, I'm just enjoying the rules and the additional classes (Enchanters and Shamans).

Maybe I can twist +Vincent Florio to allow me to sneak some peeks into some blog posts over the next few days ;)

Alright, back to reading. Might need to charge up my tablet and see how it looks on it. Did I mention hyperlinks from the table of contents?

Monte Cook Games and DriveThruRPG Announce the Cypher System Creator Program (Look Like Another DMs Guild to Anyone Else?)

Looks like the framework developed by WotC and OBS is going to be used by other publishers. DMs Guilds for everybody!

Below is the press release from March 25, 2016 by Monte Cook Games:
Monte Cook Games, LLC, and DriveThruRPG today announced an exciting new program for the licensing and publication of Cypher System-related products. The Cypher System Creator program will allow third-party publishers, including members of the gaming community, to create, publish, and distribute their own Cypher System content at DriveThruRPG and its family of sites. 
Through the Cypher System Creator program, publishers large and small—and even individual gamers—will be able to publish Cypher System related works of any size in PDF format and sell them (or offer them for free) on DriveThruRPG. Anyone who can generate a PDF can become a Cypher System publisher! 
Monte Cook Games will provide a variety of resources for publishers, including logos, templates, and artwork. Publishers will be free to use these resources, although their use isn’t required. 
Publishers may set any price they wish for their products (or make them free). Cypher System Creator products are subject to the standard DriveThruRPG commission, and a portion of the selling price will be paid as a royalty to Monte Cook Games. Terms and conditions, as well as the exact breakdown of commissions and royalties, will be released closer to the launch of the program. 
“This is a really exciting addition to the Cypher System universe,” commented Charles Ryan, COO of Monte Cook Games. “The Cypher System is modular, elegant, and designed for players to build out in any direction their gaming inspiration leads them. The Cypher System Creator will at once let gamers and publishers share the ideas and content they create for the game, while also providing a vast resource for players of rules, settings, adventures, creatures, character options—things we haven’t even thought of yet! When you unleash the creativity of gamers, you get a whole lot of awesome.” 
Matt McElroy of DriveThruRPG added, “Roleplaying games have always been about each participant being a creator of the story and the game experience. We’re excited to work with MCG to make it easier for anyone creating for the Cypher System to share their creations with other Cypher System fans.” 
The Cypher System Creator will go live in spring 2016.
I have a post brewing in my head about the DMs Guild and this Creator Program, but it will wait for now...

Ken Whitman Eats Shit - No, Literally! Er, maybe...

Are you Ken Whitman?

Do you want to try and get a spot on the Survivor reality TV show?

Do you like eating shit in the real literal sense of the word?

Are you someone that would like Ken to eat his own shit?

Well, wait no longer. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, one can literally watch Ken eat his own shit. Maybe. More likely his "wife" is just a horrible cook.

Yeah, I know this has been around for a bit but it's the first time I've seen it. And last.

Tip of the hat to Jay :)

Monday, March 28, 2016

Tavern Chat is Moving to Wednesdays from 9PM to 11PM Eastern

Mark those calendars. Tavern Chat, where we get together once a week and hangout out with random folks from the OSR and beyond is moving to Wednesday Nights starting this Wednesday, March 30th, from 9PM Eastern until 11PM Eastern.


Originally, when Tavern Chat started, it was held on Wednesday nights. I moved it to Thursdays when my work hours changed and now that I'm retired, we're moving it back. If you've been attending the Thursday night chat sessions, you've probably noticed I arrive late to the chat that I host most nights. Thursday is "let's go out to dinner night" for Rach and I and it often runs a bit late.

As an aside, I'm looking to do a once a month Tavern Chat earlier in the day, possible on a weekend. Give me a little time to set this up.

What is Tavern Chat?

It's where a bunch of folks that enjoy old school gaming get together in a virtual chat room and shoot the shit. It's fun and time flies.

Where is Tavern Chat?

Look on the right side of this page for a chat box labeled Tavern Chat. To log in you use the social media service of your choice.

If your looking to meet folks from around Old School Gaming 24 hours a day, 7 days a week check out The Common Room. 29 publishers and 31 blogs are represented as well as gaming conventions, podcasts, an artist showcase and more. As with Tavern Chat, participation in The Common Room requires nothing more than the social media login that you already have.

Path of Legends Podcast - Episode 2 is Live - 5e from 1e Eyes

Yep, the Second Episode of the Path of Legends Podcast is here. 

What's in it?
In this very episode the guys tackle the subject of "would building characters the OSR style work with 5e?" in the Adventure Path. 
In Monster Hunters, the Ghoul is talked about, comparing it to the original old school one, how did it differ? 
In What is old, now is new the guys talk about Madness and how you can apply the AD&D 1e Insanity rules to this section of the rules to make your game more deadly! 
Finally, we round off the show talking "The Trap Collection" in Presto's hat!
Grab it on iTunes, your favorite podcatcher or from the Path of Legends website itself. Where else are you going to find Vince, Sal and myself entertaining you?  ;)

Monday Morning Kickstarter Update - The Quest for Baby's Classic Edition Pencil Dice

One thing I'm guilty of is highlighting Kickstarters, good or bad, and then never returning them to the spotlight, which I think is a shame. Most of the good ones deserve a second look and some of the bad ones certainly have more sacrifices to make to the community on our behalf. The Monday Morning Kickstarter Update should be a weekly feature (although the title itself is subject to change).

Without further ado...

Classic Edition GM Screen - it is now funded with 7 days left in the funding window. If you were on the fence about getting it, now is the time to do so. Remember, the PDF is only 7 bucks...

WHAT!? Pencil Dice - we all know about the Pencil Dice Kickstarters that Ken Whitman ran to further fund his Hollywood ambitions - the ones that never shipped a single pencil. Well, this is a Kickstarter that is thumbing it's nose right back at Ken: six-sided dice with images of pencils instead of pips. Sure, it's mostly a joke, but the dice are real. 18 days left in the funding window.

Baby Bestiary Volume 2 & Vol. 1 Reprint - the amazingly beautiful and cute Baby Bestiary funded earlier this month and is now taking pre-order on Backer Kit. If you missed out on the KS this is your chance.

Quests of Doom 3 - the Frogs are putting out a third volume in their series of adventures converted from 3x or Pathfinder to Swords & Wizardry and D&D 5e. Excellent value for your money.

Definitely not crowdfunding but certainly crowdsourced, over the weekend The Tavern opened up a new forum called The Common Room. With the simple idea of being a place where old school publishers, bloggers and podcasters could get together to arrange for product reviews or giveaways of product, it has grown to include contact information for conventions, a listing area for reviews, forums for artists, writers, editors and layout specialists to offer samples of their work and much more.

As I post this, 26 publishers have signed up (including some of the larger names in Old School Gaming - Frog God Games, Lesser Gnome, Goblinoid Games and so many more), 27 blogs, 1 convention (NTRPG) with another pending and one podcast. We need more podcasts!

All in all, not bad for less than 48 hours after going live.

I'm considering a forum for Old School Kickstarter listings, but I may lock that down so that only I can do the posts. Not sure yet and very much open to discussion.

Are you a publisher of Old School Gaming material? Are you a blog that posts about Old School Gaming. Are you a fan of Old School Gaming and looking for a way to contact others in the hobby? The Common Room is there for you. Signing up is as simple as using the social media platform of your choice.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Kickstarter - Quests of Doom 3 (S&W & 5e)

What can I say about Frog God's latest Kickstarter, Quests of Doom 3?

Its from the Frogs.

It's for Swords & Wizardry and D&D 5e (no Pathfinder, as these adventure are being converted FROM Pathfinder).

It's a 200+ page hardcover book for 32 bucks (15 in PDF).

It's six adventures, with up to two more if stretch goals are reached.

At 5 bucks an adventure (four bucks if stretch goals are hit) in print, 2.50 an adventure in PDF (less than 2 bucks an adventure, again if stretch goals are hit) it's one hell of a bargain.

Its by the Frogs ;)

I can always use more Swords & Wizardry adventures...

Common Room Forums update - 12 Publishers and 16 Blogs Listed so Far

This community never ceases to amaze me. In less than 24 hours 12 publishers, 16 blogs and 1 podcast have signed up at The Common Room, a new forum for publishers, bloggers, podcasters and content creators to meet and greet and the rest of the OSR to find and converse with the creators in the OSR. It's a place where review copies of products will exchange hands, links to reviews will be posted and artists and writers will get to showcase their wares.

It also hoped that in the future it will serve as a fairly complete listing of the publishers, blogs and podcasts in our hobby. Of course, the more that participate in it, the greater use it will be for all.

If you're a publisher whose release schedule justifies the need your own forum or if you just need a place to converse with your customer base, reach out to me at tenkarsDOTtavern at that gmail thing, and will set you up with your own section in the forum. You'll still need to put up a post in the Publishers Forum introducing yourself and your company and you'll be able to include a shortcut to your forum section in that post.

Tell me what other types of sections you think we need in The Common Room Forums. What's missing? What's needed to serve the community better?

As a side note, we probably really do need a small rectangular banner that can be used to showcase The Common Room in blog sidebars.

Tenkar's Tavern is supported by various affiliate programs, including Amazon, RPGNow,
and Humble Bundle as well as Patreon. Your patronage is appreciated and helps keep the
lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

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