Saturday, June 4, 2016

Live From NTRPG Con - Roll For Initiative Episode #179

Last night +Vincent Florio and myself did a short, special episode of Roll For Initiative from The Tavern's Community Room (Trinity I) at NTRPG Con.

We discussed some of the game sessions we had participated in and some of the cool gaming stuff available at the con.

Shout outs to +Bill Webb , Chuck Wright, +Joe Wetzel and +Christopher Stogdill

Friday, June 3, 2016

Deal of the Day - Feast of the Preserver (DCC RPG)

Feast of the Preserver is the Deal of the Day at RPGNow until 11am Eastern Tomorrow. For a limited time, you can snag a PDF copy for 3 bucks. It's a 44 page DCC RPG Adventure for 3rd to 4th level characters by +David Fisher .

Here's the blurb:
Feast of the Preserver is a survival horror adventure designed for a group of 5 to 8 characters of levels 3 to 4. 
“Welcome traveller to the quaint village of Barrowton. You’ve arrived just in time for the annual Endfast Feast!” 
Something is amiss in the isolated village of Barrowton. Only courage, skill and a lot of luck can aid the adventurers in facing the horror that has taken hold of this once idyllic place. Can the adventurers save the village from a terrible fate or will they become the Feast of the Preserver? 
Mystery and excitement compatible with Goodman Games Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG but easily converted to other systems
Over 40 pages of blood chilling suspence and horror
Beautifully rendered isometric maps by Brian Van Hunsel
New evil magic to destroy or be destroyed by

Chuck's Dragons - Benefit Adventure for Chuck Wright is Now Available

Chuck's Dragons, a benefit adventure for Chuck Wright, art director for Frog God Games, released earlier today at NTRPG Con.

If you are at the con, you can pick up a copy at the Frog God Games table in the main ballroom. It comes in Swords & Wizardry, D&D 5e and Pathfinder flavors. Unsigned is $30, signed is $100. All profits go towards Chuck's expenses for medical and physical rehabilitation.

If you aren't at the Con, you can grab a copy at the Frog God's webstore, which also offers a PDF version for $15.

It's for a good cause and you get to own an adventure written by +Bill Webb and +Matt Finch .

For those that donated to the GoFundMe and are waiting on gifts, Monday and Tuesday of this week a bunch of emails went out. Many more  will go out when I return from NTRPG. No one to blame for the delay but me.

New Release - Mazes & Perils Deluxe Edition - Only a Buck in PDF for a Limited Time Only

I've written about Mazes & Perils Deluxe Edition already (click here for previous post) and as I said before, I was impressed.

Well, M&P Deluxe released earlier today and it's on sale for a buck for a limited time only. Really, at a buck can you go wrong?

Even if you use it just for source material for other OSR games (especially for the new classes) you owe it to yourself to grab a copy of Mazes & Perils Deluxe.

NTRPG Con 2016 - Ghostbusters - Baby's First Mjölnir

I've said this before (2 years ago) and I will say it again - +Tim Snider runs amazing con games. This time is was Ghostbusters.

We had a really strong group of roleplayers and it showed. We kept Tim (and ourselves) laughing constantly. I had a blast playing Phil Philbin, Newscaster and Reporter for the Public Access TV Ghostbusters News Channel.

I don't think any of it played out like Tim had planned it to, but isn't that the whole point?

Tomorrow it's +Doug Kovacs and some DCC RPG action.

Oh, and a Tavern Irregular bought me a selfie stick. Beware, as I'll be a man on a mission tomorrow :)

Thursday, June 2, 2016

First Art Acquisition of NTRPG Con 2016 - Lloyd Metcalf

Forgive the poor hotel room lighting

If I have a weakness at NTRPG Con, it's for art. I just can't stop myself. I simply love really strong fantasy art, and +Lloyd Metcalf  is one of the best in the OSR.

This is a rather small piece, so I acquired it for a steal. His daughter, Raven has some really nice original pieces for sale too.

Crap. It's already inspiring some ideas for a Polyhedral Dungeon adventure. It sure looks like it could use some building inspectors...

NTRPG Con - Tavern Community Room - StarSlinger Session 7PM to 10PM Tonight - Players Wanted

I'll be running a White Star / StarSlinger session tonight at 7PM at the open table in the Tavern's Community Room - Trinity I.

Kyn Vittman has something he needs recovered to give a kick to his gambling establishment and it's up to the party to bring it back. Of course, Careth the Hut and Pystule have different ideas. As the saying goes, there is no honor among thieves, and these are the most notorious thieves in the town of Eastwood.

Can the party of Snake Oil Salesmen, Star Crusaders, Men With No Name, Scoundrels and Star Marshals come out of this without their heads in a noose?

Looking for 3 to 5 players (Rach is the sixth)

Its going to be a very free flowing session. Characters will be provided, but you must provide the names.

Drop a comment if you're here at NTRPG Con if you're interested.

After the game we will be moving on to the hotel bar and possibly some Drinking Quest ;)

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

So Many Peoples at NTRPG Con, and Me Without My Selfie Stick

Its the day before the con, and so far Rach and I have met, conversed, eaten with or shared drinks with (or some combination of the above): +Tim Snider , +Zach Glazar , +Joe Wetzel , +David Przybyla , +Matt Finch , Paul & Brenda Wolf, +Jason Hobbs , +Michael Badolato , +Doug Kovacs , +Michael Curtis , +Dennis Higgins , +Richard LeBlanc , +Frank Mentzer ,  david welborn, doug reah and others whose names escape me. All were saved from the selfie stick because I forgot the damn thing when I was packing.

Imagine what tomorrow may bring...

Have Arrived At NTRPG Con - We Can Use Tavern Chat / Chat Wing to Arrange Pick up Games for Tavern Regulars

I bumped into +Jason Hobbs a few minutes ago, and he wanted to know if there was a Hangout or some such to schedule pick up games at NTRPG Con

As far as I know, it's hard to get people to drop into a Hangout uninvited, but it's damn simple to use Tavern Chat.

Just log in with the social media service of your choice and chat away.

You can even download the ChatWing app to your phone for access everywhere.

So, I'm suggesting the use of Tavern Chat (it's to the right of this post) to recruit among The Taverners ;)

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

What Wonders a Three Day Weekend Getaway Can Do for Your Mental Health

For those of you following at home, May was not a good month for your tavern keeper. Issues with my mother's cousin (and my "retirement burden" as had been mapped out prior) went south early in the month, which resulted in her being placed by the state in a nursing home and the state declaring her incompetent. We've had tons of trickle down stress, cleaning of the house, searching for documents and financial info, other assorted bs and associated family guilt for those first few weeks. Just prior to that I turned in my shield as I finish my last steps to full retirement. It was emotional and occupied it's share of my thoughts. Then we had the small health issue that left me bed ridden for nearly a week and for which I finally finished the antibiotics this past weekend.

Posting for May was down by about 35 percent compared to April. Shit, I may as well have still been working midnights ;)

I literally needed a reboot, and that is what this past weekend was. I feel refreshed. I no longer feel like my mind is going in multiple directions. Oh, and the ability to painlessly sit is seriously under-appreciated by the world at large.

I got to very few of the Chuck Fundraiser gift emails during May (passing info on to those offering gifts for those donating) It finally got rebooted today and will continue throughout the rest of the week. Yes, I'll be at NTRPG Con, but that's never stopped me from posting and it wont stop me from emailing. I'll just bring my printed lists with me.

StarSlinger material will be returning to The Tavern. I've also found it a home (or rather, a home found it) for when it comes time to publish it. I'm very comfortable with the situation. It couldn't have worked out better.

Alright, time to pack for the morning flight to Dallas.

Kickstarter - The Driftwood Verses - (OSR / LotFP)

This is going to be a first. I'm going to suggest you watch a Kickstarter video because it's damn good. How much does it have to do with The Driftwood Verses itself? Damned if I know. Looks great and it's nice and short. Go and watch it. I'll wait.


It was good, right?

If The Driftwood Verses setting comes close to half the atmosphere in that short video it will be amazing.

So, what are / is The Driftwood Verses?
The Driftwood Verses is a gloomy, nautical fantasy campaign setting for old-school tabletop role-playing games. It's directly compatible with Lamentations of the Flame Princess and more broadly compatible with a large selection of traditional systems. The contents can be used as a stand alone setting or slotted into your existing kitchen sink fantasy campaign as a distinct region in a larger world. 
The setting was conceived as a Dark Sun-esque re-skinning of standard D&D tropes, starting with the conceit that "whales are dragons." It has since developed into something well beyond that original idea. The major inspirations include stuff like Moby Dick, Dishonored, Sunless Sea, Dune, The Scar, and the Monster Blood Tattoo series. 
The book focuses on a blighted maritime region called Walfismeer. It's an impressionistic fantasy setting, a collection of symbols and metaphors come to life. Anachronisms abound. Grizzled mariners pilot haunted, tentacle-powered iron ships across a sludge-poisoned sea. Sinister roachmen quad-wield black powder pistols in hungry cities ruled by vice and bloodsport. Secretly trained navigators employ esoteric disciplines to guide vessels across a mysterious psychic barrier called The Reef. Desperate meerfolk raise sonorous hymns to Leviathan in deep-sea, whale-corpse cathedrals. 
This is NOT another rehash of the typical age of sail/talk-like-a-pirate setting. It's something slightly weirder. It's like Melville's Nantucket meets Leiber's Lankhmar with an oil-spill-chic soundtrack by Tom Waits and Bathory rattling in the background.
12 bucks for the PDF. 25 bucks (+5 for shipping) for the Print plus PDF.

I'm in for the Print plus...

Monday, May 30, 2016

Happy Birthday to Tenkar's Tavern - 7 Years Old Today

Yep. 7 years old today.

I wish I could explain the longevity and success of The Tavern, but it's beyond my ability.

I do know that it wouldn't have happened without you, the readers, the regulars at The Tavern. Quite simply, without the community, there would be no Tavern.

Okay, time for bed. Lots of emails to catch up on before NTRPG Con. Tomorrow will be busy.

Thank you all. Here's to seven more :)

No One Expects... The Building Inspectors (a Session Write Up & Play Review of Polyhedral Dungeon

Last night, while enjoying the calming sounds of rain falling on a tin roof, I hopped into a Roll 20 session of Polyhedral Dungeon run by none other than my good friend and writer of said game, +Jason Paul McCartan . Joining me in acts of virtual depravity were +James Spahn , +Keith J Davies and +David B .

Not so long set up shortened, we were recruited to recover three identical statues from a bunch of evil cultists. Of course, evil cultists means carte blanc for acts that aren't normally approved by the average adventurer's guild.

I'm going to borrow the following from a comment Keith posted on G+ earlier today with additional info provided by me:
We walked up to the big oak doors of this place, they weren't locked. So we pulled them open and, since they were on pin hinges, popped the pins and the door fell down.
Explanation: The halfling (James) wanted to remove a door so we couldn't get locked in. He wanted to borrow the dwarf's hammer (me) to do so. Instead, I took down the door
Cultist/priest came running out.
"Building inspector. You know what the penalty is for having doors that can fall on and injure someone?"
Yep, my line. Because of 20 years of civil service, I know the hoops you can make people jum through.
"They didn't do that until you go here!"
"Yeah, clearly they weren't to code. Have you got a signed inspection report?"
"GAH!" walks off
*twang* (crossbow)
That was all James. Halflings are violent, yo!
"What, he was coming right at us." removes crossbow bolt, rolls body over, jams it into the front
after following cultists who fled down some stairs 
"Inadequately lit stairway, no hand rail. Total health and safety hazard here. See? We've got a couple people injured at the bottom of the stairs right now." thoroughly apply hammer to the one still twitching "Head injuries are a serious problem in unsafe conditions like this. I want to see a handrail and proper lighting when I come back."
This was a bit of everyone throwing out lines ate this point. Polyhedral Dungeon expects you to come up with a Schtick or gimmick for your character to make them moire memorable, as well as a quote. For me, these came up in play during the first session.  "No one expects... the Building Inspectors!"

Beyond some excellent roleplay we got to give the PD rules a shake too. Keith remarked that they reminded him a bit of Far Away Land, and he's right, they did in a way. Just like in FAL, once your grok the rules they kinda fade to the back of your mind. Advantage, attacks (and defense), damage (and armor) and the painful disadvantage that taking damage does to both PCs and the adversaries.

Unlike D&D type games, a damaged opponent is less of a threat than an undamaged opponent. Whittling down multiple adversaries instead of concentrating on taking out a single one appears to be more effective.

I used brownie points to negate the small amounts damage I was taking in combat with a half dozen skeletons, because I immediately saw how a little damage can easily be a rolling stone towards death.

One thing that needs to be spelled out a bit more, at least for those of use coming from the OSR end of the spectrum, is how to effectively put oneself in position to gain advantage. Sometimes we just need some examples spelled out for us.

In the end, it felt like D&D without being D&D. I'm still partly amazed at how easily the rules faded into the background, just like they do for me when I play most OSR games that are built on the rules I've played since I was a teenager. That says a lot.

I'm looking forward to the next game session of "Calishun BrightAxe, Independent Building Inspector."

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Polyhedral Dungeon Hits Silver on DriveThruRPG - I Get to Play it Tonight!

Polyhedral Dungeon hit Silver over at DriveThruRPG last night (still Copper over at RPGNow) Pretty exciting for a game that I was getting sneak peeks during the creation.

Even better, +Jason Paul McCartan is running a session of PD tonight so I'll be able to post a "play review", hopefully before I head to NTRPG Con.

Gonna be another hot one in the Poconos today. Time to head out for a heart attack breakfast ;)
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

Blogs of Inspiration & Erudition