Saturday, August 27, 2016

Just Submitted the First Version of Swords & Wizardry: Light

I just submitted the first version of Swords & Wizardry: Light to +Zach Glazar so we could get a look at how it fills the pages in InDesign. Just under three pages at 8.5 x 11" (I believe the plan is to print copies at 17 x 11" to make the booklet - print at home may needs 2 sheets to be readable - time will tell). Graphics, art and OGL to be added, I think we're looking good.

I must say, my 45 minute "This is InDesign" course with Zach was an eye opener and a half. Now I know the tweaks I need to do in Word to make Zach's job so much easier, and as it's his job to make my work look good, I'm all for that.

FYI, I added in weapon and armor tables which I didn't think we were going to have room for. I added them to see if they would fit, and they do, so "Woot!". For space considerations, we went with two adventurer packs for the PCs to choose from instead of a shopping list. Hopefully tomorrow I'll launch the poll to help pick the name of the thiefly class in S&W: Light.

I'm damn excited!

Next step is making adjustments to the format of the word document, then I dig into completing the first adventure in the line, which will include some basic GMing advice. It will NOT be the first adventure written with Swords & Wizardry: Light in mind. The first third party adventure honor will be going to +Thom Wilson / Throwi Games. I've read it and it is awesome! It's got some rats. Love me some rats ;)

Kickstarter - The Dark Hold Goblin Adventures RPG for Savage Worlds

Savage Worlds is a bit of a paradox for me. I don't fully grok the system (powers / magic make me scratch my head) but I love the releases FOR the system. There is just so much good stuff for the Savage Worlds system out there.

The Dark Hold Goblin Adventures RPG for Savage Worlds is another excellent release for Savage Worlds. How can I say that when the Kickstarter still has 22 Days left it its funding period? Because Rebel Minis put the beta of The Dark Hold Goblin Adventures in my hands so I could see for myself.

First, that means you know the product is ACTUALLY written and laid out. None of this "4 1/2 years later" shit. It exists.

Second, it reads well. Part setting, part campaign, it all comes together nicely. In truth, it would be easy enough to convert to an OSR system of choice and would play well with old school tropes. Just need to remember you are playing goblins ;)

Third, I love the cover. Yet another reason to suggest (hint hint) an OSR treatment sometime in the future.

Stretch goals add short (1 to 2 page adventures) to the project. Three such have already been added. There are even minis you can get at higher support levels.

If you are a Savage Worlds fan, at $10 for the PDF or $15 for Print plus PDF, I think this is an excellent project to back. If you are an OSR fan with some Savage Worlds background, you could probable convert this fairly easily, as the crunch is much less important than the setting elements. That being said, if there were an OSR version, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

From the description:
Dark Hold Goblin Adventures is dedicated to the small groveling races which scratch out an existence in the dark catacombs through which other heroes stride like unto gods. Can you survive as one of a lost culture of Goblins living in the abandoned tombs of a long forgotten empire? 
Dark Hold Goblin Adventures is a Savage Worlds compatible sourcebook (You will need a copy of the Savage Worlds core Rulebook) allowing players and game masters to run a campaign revolving around low level goblin characters.

Inside you will find a detailed history of the Dark Hold campaign setting as well as new character classes and templates to use Goblins as player characters. There is also a short adventure to whet your whistle for the challenge of playing low level goblins in a world of high level dangers. 
Are you up for it? 
What’s Inside
- A detailed history of the Dark Hold Campaign setting
-       New character classes and templates to use Goblins as player characters
- New Edges
- New Creatures
- An exciting starting adventure... Goblin Faire!
- Crystal Smything
- 5 Short adventures and much more! 

Sale - Stoneheart Valley - HC - Only 20 Bucks (Frog God Games - S&W / PF)

Frog God Games is running a weekend sale. They are offering Stoneheart Valley for $20 if you use the coupon code below.
Finally, welcome to the World of Necromancer Games! From Bill Webb and Clark Peterson's home campaign comes the old-school setting of The Lost Lands: Stoneheart Valley. For over a decade, fans of Necromancer Games and Frog God Games have been asking to see the world behind the adventures. And at long last, here is where it all began, in the Stoneheart Valley near the town of Fairhill. This mini-campaign was originally presented to the fans of Necromancer Games in three separate modules: "The Wizard's Amulet", "The Crucible of Freya", and "The Tomb of Abysthor". Frog God Games has taken the full series from the 3E version plus supplemental material previously available only online, and converted it all to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game system and the Swords & Wizardry Complete ruleset. 
Weighing in at 192 pages for Pathfinder (retail $32.99), and 144 pages for the Swords & Wizardry Complete rules (retail $29.99), this new product is the first offering in The Lost Lands setting, coming from Frog God Games. Expanded, enhanced, and providing hours and hours of adventure, this hardbound book is intended for characters of levels 1-8 (and beyond), including dungeon, wilderness and city encounters.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Episode "Zero" is in The Bag - CoHosts Vince Florio & James Spahn

We recorded the first episode of the yet to be officially announced Old School Gaming Podcast (that is not the name of the podcast - that will be announced soon.) My CoHosts were +Vincent Florio and +James Spahn .

Needless to say, it was many levels of awesome. Now, I may be biased but I had a blast recording and I expect that will show. I even broke out into song...

We touched on Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Mazes & Perils, Swords & Wizardry, White Star, Labyrinth Lord, Top Secret, Star Wars D6, 4e, 5e, DCC, Time Master, CoC and others while talking about kenders, Dragonlance and a whole bunch of other stuff.

The main topic was Time Travel and travel we did.

It should go up some time next week. I'll let you know when it's available for download.

There's a New Old School Gaming Podcast in Town and it Records Tonight

Did you hear that? It's the sound of something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.

No, I'm not getting married. I did that nearly 5 years ago :)

Instead we're recording the first episode of a new Old School Gaming podcast tonight.

Who's the "we"? Can't say yet, but in my estimation I have the least amount of "Old School Gaming Cred" out of the three of us. Yes, there are three hosts and I'm probably the least qualified to be on the show. Hey, at least I'm honest. Another way to look at it is if I set the low end of the bar then you know we will be bringing an amazing podcast to the table.

What's it about about? Old School Gaming silly!

What's it called? The answer is out there. It's here actually, but you don't know it. Maybe I'll be able to name it after we finish recording. Did I mention I commissioned a banner for the site?

God, it's been a busy week. I should have yet another announcement come Monday. Retired, you say? Bullshit! I eat retirement for lunch! Actually, I had a grilled chicken wrap with a salad. Anyhow, onward!

Amazing Tavern Art by Craig Brasco

+Craig Brasco did the scene you see above as an inside snapshot of The Tavern. I think he caught The Tavern Community's personality perfectly (including the annoyed person looking in from behind - sorry if we can't please all the people all the time ;)

Current plan is to use this excellent piece of work in regards to an announcement coming up this weekend. What announcement? Patience...

I'm so glad to consider Craig a good friend and a longtime member of my gaming group. I am blessed being surrounded by creatives much more talented than myself.

As an aside, I've identified each of the characters sitting at the table with my close circle of friends and it fits perfectly. Needless to say, I'm the dwarf :)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

In Three Hours we Have a Plethora of Thiefly Synonyms to Choose From

Talk about "overwhelming response." At least 60 comments on the blog and a huge amount of comments on G + and Facebook in just over 3 hours time offering alternative suggestions for the word "thief."

I literally didn't know how popular "Thieves" actually were ;)

Later on tonight we're going to sort through all of the suggestions and come up with a list of finalists.

Tomorrow we'll probably get a poll up, and you'll have a week or so to vote on your favorite which will be the name we use in Swords & Wizardry: Light for the thiefly class.

I Need Another Name for "Thief"

The Swords & Wizardry: Light Thief class does not line up exactly with the Swords & Wizardry Thief. Therefore, we need a new name and anyone that suggests "Rogue" will get beat with a wet noodle.

Progression for thief like skills is plotted through 12th level, so a S&W: Light "Thief" could work side by side with a standard S&W Thief.

Just need a name...

If we pick your suggestion I'll send a couple of copies of S&W: Light your way when it goes to print ;)

Follow Up to the Swords & Wizardry: Light Official Announcement - Some Background, Some Further Info and Some Thank Yous

The response to the announcement that Frog God Games will be publishing Swords & Wizardry: Light has been Amazing, Gratifying, Rewarding. Encouraging and so much more.

If it weren't for the community that has formed here at The Tavern, none of this would ever have happened. Creativity doesn't happen in a vacuum. It is fed by good thoughts, quenched by well wishes and encouraged by an audience that desires the end result. In this case, that is all of you. I am, as always, in your debt.

I am also in this community's debt because it was your voice that got this project noticed on a larger scale. The influence that this Community wields is quite powerful. Never doubt yourselves on that account.

I want to thank everyone at Frog God Games, but in particular +Zach Glazar . He's been my co-conspirator in this. His words of encouragement are second to none and he is a sounding board like few others. I'll probably need a few more words in the coming weeks ;)

When I got word that Frog God was interested in S&W: Light I stepped away from working on the rules and moved more to brainstorming the adventure and setting side of things. Why? Because a stand alone ruleset built of of S&W and aimed at bringing in lapsed gamers is different than an authorized ruleset aimed at lapsed gamers and as a bridge to the fuller S&W rulesets. The basic goals are the same but with the second, compatibility to the source material becomes key. In some ways it's more restricting but it's also more rewarding.

Then it was simply time to let things line up and fall into place. Fall into place they did :)

As I see it now, Swords & Wizardry: Light will cover levels 1 through 3, the core 4 classes (thief will be included, but may be renamed as it doesn't follow the mechanics of the current S&W thief class), magic items (except for + 1 weapons and armor) will be introduced in adventures, level gain will be from completing adventures / not experience points and some other stuff minor adjustments. When space is at a premium, and 4 pages is a premium, sometimes you need to improvise.

I've been asked about compatibility licenses, proper format and all that wonderful stuff concerning adventures. Much of that is down the line and not in my wheelhouse. That being said, as the rules are meant to be compatible with the larger Swords & Wizardry rules, if you stick to those and the core 4 classes you will be, by default, compatible. Remember, magic items are not included in the initial 4 page Swords & Wizardry: Light ruleset, so if you include some magical loot (and who doesn't) you'll need to explain what it does. Also, I strongly suggest that you maintain the 4 page format for adventures made specifically for Swords & Wizardry: Light. It just fits the format better.

There will be online support for S&W: Light, both here at The Tavern and via Frog God Games. There will probably be some optional 4 page supplements released, written by me and published by... don't know yet. We need to get the initial release out first ;)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

It's Official - Frog God Games to Publish Swords & Wizardry: Light - Dances Me a Happy Dance!

See that graphic? Yep, it's official. Swords & Wizardry: Light is a thing. Not just anything, either. It will be published and distributed by Frog God Games. Signed off by +Bill Webb . Approved by +Matt Finch . Layout to be done by +Zach Glazar . Editing by +Edwin Nagy  Full color. Free. Print and PDF.

I am so f'n stoked!

When this is all ready and printed, a copy will be included with all Frog God Games orders from their online store. It will be in convention swag bags (this will be huge.) It will be given away at The Tavern. I'm hoping to see copies find their way into game and comic book stores. Maybe even libraries.

Did I mention there is a Swords & Wizardry Affiliate Program in the works? Copies will be going out there too. More details soon.

There are plans for 4-page adventures to compliment the line, both in house and third party. Actually, I've already had the first third party adventure sent to me to look over and it is damn fine. It should be, it includes rats. Love me some rats ;)

So, this means a busy schedule in the coming weeks, as I tweak everything on my end (and editing and layout will need time to make my words look nice.) I'm also hoping to get the first adventure ready it can be released with the rules.

It will be my first published work as Erik "Tenkar" Stiene. Damn. Retirement is good.

Oh, another related announcement is coming soon to a Tavern near you ;)

Frog God Games Goes EU and Australia - Local Shipping is Coming Your Way

I've heard whispers and rumors prior to today's announcement, but it's true. Frog God Games is experimenting with printing locally for the European Union and Australia. What does that mean for you? If you were getting pillaged by the US Postal Service and it's dual wielding attack on shipping outside of the states, you can now fight a foe more your size. Yep, much more reasonable shipping costs.

Rappan Athuk, Pathfinder Edition is first on the "local printing" list. Consider it a flare to judge interest. Yes, I'm already pushing for Swords & Wizardry flavored releases.

Anyhow, if you are interested in being a test subject (the Frogs are looking for one volunteer from each market) for one of these locally printed (and currently reside in the EU or Aussiland) Rappan Athuks, email +Zach Glazar at ZachATfroggodgamesDOTcom. Tell him the dwarf sent you :)

Volunteers have been volunteered;)

P.S. This is NOT the Frog God related post I've talked about. Soon...

Tavern Chat - 9 PM Eastern - I'm Hoping for an Announcement But I Doubt It...

It's Wednesday, so tonight is another weekly Tavern Chat. Be there or be not.

I was hoping for an announcement to share, but it's doubtful. More likely for the morning.

Still, I will be in Tavern Chat and so should you!
How do you participate in Tavern Chat? Look at the right side of this page (you may need to scroll down just a bit) - There is a chat box by Chatwing. That is our Tavern Chat. You can log in using just about any social media platform. See you tonight!

Kickstarter - 13 & 15 sided dice ( D13 & D15 ) w/ DCC & other sets

If I have a Kryptonite, it's dice. Well, good art is certainly a weakness, but I can'y get enough nice. My 5 y/o niece can't get enough either, as she constantly raids my dice jar ;)

The D13 & D15 Kickstarter looks to be more Kryptonite.

There is just something about "weird" dice. Not "weird" as in "that's not a die!" but weird as in "how many sides?"

Look at the above. From 4-sided to 16-sided without skipping a die size.

I'm not sure if I want Blue or Green. Rach probably wants Purple.

Crap. I'm going to need a larger dice jar.

26 projects under the best of Impact Miniatures. That's a pretty safe track record.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I'm Leaking... I Have an Upcoming Project with...

Damn it!

I'm not allowed to give details just yet, but I am allowed to say that I'm working on an "official project with Frog God Games."

We just need to nail down the legalese.

I'm so stoked!

Soon I'll be able to explain more. Oh, and probably ask for input and feedback from The Tavern's Community.

Does this make me an Auxiliary Frog?

Right. Back to work. Fuck. Glowing...

Mini Review - The Gamemaster's Worldbuilding Journal

When Fat Goblin Games offered me an opportunity to peruse The Gamemaster's Worldbuilding Journal I figured "why not?" It interested me when I saw it's release pop up in my email and having a chance to browse though it could only be a good thing.

It IS a good thing.

I was forwarded The Gamemaster's Worldbuilding Journal in form fillable PDF format. Which means I can make entries, print them out and not have to attempt to read my horrible chicken scratch.

Here's me playing with the Random Encounter page:

This page in and of itself may be worth the price of admission.

There are pages for:

-World Construction
-World Regions
-Deity and Religion
-Legendary Items
-Regional Hex Map
-Regional Breakdown
-Major City Breakdown
-Small Town - Village Breakdown
-Trade and Trade Routes
-Major NPCs
-Guilds & Organizations
-Minor NPCs
-Adventures and Plots
-Design References
-Campaign Outline
-Site Based Encounters
-Random Encounter Tables
-Taverns & Inns (woot!)
-Shops & Markets
-Cave or Dungeon Encounter
-Geographic Feature
-Strongholds & Castles
-Tribes & Clans
-Random Notes
and of course grid and hex map pages.

Its inspiring me to flesh out some of my worldly creations.

The PDF is only $4.95. Even if you only use a few of these pages it's well worth your money. Print them out, put them in a binder and you'll be organized. Sadly, I rarely am organized. Sure, some folks can use their laptop for tracking things such as this, but I like paper for such.

Did I mention that it is system neutral or is that obvious?

From the blurb:
The Gamemaster's Worldbuilding Journal is perfect for game designers, novelists, and especially gamemasters. Build nations, design kingdoms, explore the geography of your realms with this collection of forms, documents, and sheets created to cover all aspects of world design. 
Use this tome to nicely print your notes and ideas in a clean compilation, or treat the journal as a scrapbook and write in the margins, glue in pictures, etc. It's perfect for any type of world building. 
PDF Version: This version is 57 pages long  and includes a single copy of each form with no background and minimalistic design. Perfect for printing out as many copies as you want and including them in your own compilation. 
PDF Version 2: This version includes the 840 page version of the print book.
PDF (form-fillable) Version: A single pdf with one of each sheet, form-fillable. Also provided is a zip folder containing each sheet as a single pdf that is form-fillable for ease of use and printing. 
Print Version (standard): This massive tome is 1050 pages with decorative backgrounds and design. Divided into 12 chapters with extensive copies of the various forms, this is perfect for those wanting a high-quality print journal to transfer notes into or use to collect ideas as the form. 
Print Version (premium): This massive tome is 840 pages with decorative backgrounds and design. Divided into 10 chapters with extensive copies of the various forms, this is perfect for those wanting a high-quality print journal to transfer notes into or use to collect ideas as the form. 
Premium vs. Standard: The Premium Hardback is 840 pages vs. the Standard Hardback at 1050 pages. Both these books are the same size in print, although the premium is shorter by two chapters. The reason for this is that the premium uses a better quality paper that tends to be thicker. Both paper qualities are great, the standard edition just has two more chapters covering the regions (so 8 regional chapters instead of 10).

Kickstarter - Dice Coins (these are NOT Pencil Dice nor Dice Pencils)

Dice Coins. I'm really not sure what to make of this Kickstarter.

I mean, I have to admit it, the coins look nice. The art is evocative. Everyone likes dice. Lot's of folks like coins. Dice Coins? What's not to like?

I'd say they are cool as a conversation piece and a novelty. As a substitute for dice? Not so sure about that.

How can a spinning coin (that's how it works, it spins on the table like a top) be as random as gaming dice?


So, no statistical testing to prove this statement. Just an assumption. Yeah, not going to be used at my gaming table.

That being said, I like Challenge Coins and these are basically RPG Geekdom Challenge Coins. If you consider Dice Coins to be Challenge Coins, $35 for a set of 6 isn't a bad price at all.

Monday, August 22, 2016

State of The Tavern - Your Humble Barkeep is in Your Debt

I never imagined the response I would get from opening The Tavern's financials to public disclosure. As I've said before, I'm open and honest with both myself and The Tavern. Meet me at a con or at a pub, it's the same person. Opening the books was a natural evolution.

Yesterday was busy and today was stressful. Another health scare that was hanging over our heads, this time for Rach, was cleared today. Her cardiologist cleared her heart (her internist saw something she didnt like on a sonogram). He scheduled her for a stress test next month and told her to expect a follow up in 15 years. My kinda doc ;)

Anyway, I really hadn't checked emails with the friday / saturday drama distraction and the above distraction until this evening. A weekend without emails is nearly an eternity.

So I opened up my email and...

I nearly fell out of my seat.

I had to call Rach over to my desk to confirm what I saw on my screen:
$3 pledge from Steve 
Philip  just edited their pledge from $1 to $1.50 
William just edited their pledge from $1.50 to $50 
James just edited their pledge from $1.50 to $10 
$1.50 pledge from Philipp 
$3 pledge from Rocket Pig Games
I am so overwhelmed with emotion it ain't even funny. There is simply no other community like the one here at The Tavern and I am gratified that you allow me to share it with you.

Did I mention that adsense is surging 47% for the rolling week compared to the prior 7 days?

God, how I wish I could tell you what will be announced later this week. I'm very excited and I wouldn't have the opportunities that are presenting themselves if it wasn't for each and every one of you. You are the reason The Tavern exists. You are The Community.

I am but your humble servant. I may add a title or two later, but for now, that works ;)

Kickstarter - Villains and Vigilantes™ 3.0: The Mighty Protectors™ RPG

I had an opportunity to talk with +Jeff Dee at NTRPG Con this past June. His excitement for the latest version of Villains and Vigilantes just oozed from him.

I never played V&V's earlier editions, although I do remember creating characters for it back in my High School days. I do remember it was referred to among my friends as "the playable" superhero game (as apposed to Champions, which was simply too crunchy for us)

I'll be backing Villains and Vigilantes™ 3.0: The Mighty Protectors™ RPG the moment my first pension check comes at the end of this month. I think that's going to be the hardest part of retirement - adjusting to once a month checks ;)

From the blurb:
The new 'third edition' has a name, and not just a number: it’s called MIGHTY PROTECTORS™ after the player group from the very first V&V campaign in our official setting – the Mighty Protectors Multiverse
Mighty Protectors features a new streamlined and expanded revision of the V&V rules, an intro to the Mighty Protectors Multiverse (about which we've only provided scattered details before), and all-new artwork.
Yep, I'm in.

I'm Considering Monthly Tavern Financial Updates

As The Tavern's regular readers know, your humble bartender is pretty open about his personal life and the behind the scenes happenings at The Tavern. It's just too much work to be someone other than myself ;)

This past Saturday I posted The Tavern's financials for June and July. It was just the monies coming in, not the expenses going out, because I really don't track the monies spent beyond "paid for more art" or whatever else. Besides, if I counted the monies going out, the balance sheet would probably have been negative.

Still, it was interesting to see what The Tavern makes on a daily or monthly basis.

So, I'm throwing this out to the readers - Is there an interest in a monthly recap of the monies raised by The Tavern? I've hounded the Gygax Memorial Fund to open their books. The least I can do it lead by example.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

RPGNow is Running a Cthulhu Mythos Sale - The Tavern Highlights Some OSR Picks

Yep, in celebration of H.P. Lovecraft's birthday (August 20th, 1890) RPGNow is running a Cthulhu Mythos Sale. Prices are 20% off of the regular price. I figured I'd share some picks that might appeal to The Tavern's readers.

Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea+Jeff Talanian 's awesome OSR release. 488 pages of self contained gaming goodness drawing upon sources such as Conan, Mythos and other pulp favorites. But wait, there's more! Jeff has some adventures for sale too!

Forgotten Fane of the Coiled Goddess, Beneath the Comet, The Mystery at Port GreelyGhost Ship of the Desert Dunes and Taken from Dunwich are adventures for AS&SH and all on sale.

Silent Legions+Kevin Crawford 's OSR game of "modern-day Lovecraftian horror." If you know Kevin and the games he writes, then you know there is a lot of tools that you can easily convert to the OSR game of your choice.

Realms of Crawling Chaos - From Goblinoid Games, this Labyrinth Lord classic "is a Lovecraftian Dark Fantasy campaign supplement." New classes, new monsters, new spells, new races. It's a great tool to add a little darkness to your OSR campaign.

Prices are good through the end of August.

The Non-Announcement Announcement

Today got derailed when Rach and I finally settled in to watch some Stranger Things on Netflix. Rach wasn't too sure going into the first episode. A full season later we finally were done.

In the middle of that I was informed of some exciting news... that I can't announce until later this week. I'm bursting at the seems! Trust me. It will be worth the wait. I'm psyched :)

Later on tonight I'll be putting together an OSR highlight page of Mythos related products on sale at RPGNow. There's some damn good stuff there, but putting together that post is a bit time consuming, and as Stranger Things consumed the whole afternoon I'm only getting to it now.

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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