Saturday, September 17, 2016

OBS' Offensive Content Policy - 1 Year Later (Second in a series)

In the first part of our series dealing with the OBS offensive content policy, we looked at the OBS-side results of the policy. We continue our series here, discussing the policy with a publisher who ended up at the center of the policy’s creation.

The product which lead to the policy being put in place was the now famous/infamous Tournament of Rapists. It was released via Skortched Urf’ Studios run by Mark Cathro and was written by Chris Field. While Tournament of Rapists was voluntarily withdrawn after discussion between Mark and Chris, it is seen by some as the beginning of OBS censoring the industry and certainly was the impetus behind the implementation of the new policy. As the initial fervor died down, Mark issued a press release (Twitterstorm Aftermath) on his site that discussed the events and his feelings on the matter.

“I would point out that it was *Our* decision. Steve/OBS didn’t pull it and he reached out to us before doing so. (Chris and I were both away from computers, so I emailed Steve to have him deactivate it rather than leave it up until Chris or I could get to the publisher dashboard.)

I stress that point since OBS put out their new Offensive Content Policy. It is my sincere belief that Steve does *Not* want to censor titles. Do I (Mark) agree with the new policy? Yes, 100%.”

Mr. Cathro goes on to speak of his support for Chris Field to create and publish the material he chooses, and also raises the question of whether or not the new policy might be abused. Overall, his outlook on the policy was generally positive a year ago. Today Mr. Cathro feels fairly much the same (although his opinions are not reflective of Chris Fields, whom we will hear from later in our series).

TT: When the content review policy was put in place you stated that you agreed with the new policy 100%. Is that still the case?

MC: Yes, I've never had a problem with it and I have also not seen it prevent publishers from putting out the products they want to.  OBS has a good track record of letting the market work rather than wielding an arbitrary Ban-Hammer or caving to social media over-reaction. 

TT: Since that first controversy exploded on the internet, are you aware of any other Skortched Urf’ Studios products having been flagged for review?

MC: I'm not aware of any of our products, or anyone else's being flagged for review. The concern was always chorfed-off users abusing the system to punish anyone that put out something that didn't agree with their group-think; but that concern hasn't panned out, fortunately. Again, if a product *deserves* review; it should be reviewed; which is why the system as implemented.  The concern was abusing the system to effectively "ban" items that didn't meet some arbitrary standard or viewpoint. 

TT: How do you feel about the current review process?

MC: I feel OBS is doing a good job and I have no reason to suspect they will not continue to do so. I believe they *had* to implement a more formal process due to the Perpetual Outrage Brigade™ deciding that Tournament of Rapists was the next target of their ire. They did, and so far I have seen zero affect on what we or any other publisher has been putting out.  (I could be wrong; I'm not really engaged in actively publishing content at this point, but I do keep my finger on the pulse.)

TT: Do you feel that "Tournament of Rapists" has made your products a target for abuse of the content review policy?

MC: Not at all.  As I said, I've not seen any other products flagged for review.  I'd expect them to keep an eye on our Black Tokyo releases as a matter of fact. In all, the formal process of review is simply a mechanism to allow removal of an objectionable title for specific reasons.  OBS uses a very soft hand in this; erring on the side of market freedom vs. self-appointed sensor of the RPG market space while allowing themselves the ability to react to a controversial title if and when needed.  

By way of summary, Mr. Cathro added, “I feel there was a social media over-reaction to the title and OBS found themselves the target of the outrage for *daring* to let us publish an adult horror-Hentai RPG title.  (In a long line of them that we've been publishing for years, I might add.) OBS pretty much *had* to react, so they implemented a more formal review system which they kind of needed to do anyway, and it also had the desired effect of calming down some of the vocal Caps-Lock Warriors.  The mob moved on but the real questions remain.”

Mr. Cathro raises some points about the community and entertainment industry at large, asking if OBS should be forced into the role of arbitrary censor for the community and whether demands exist that some material and topics (although explored in all other genres of entertainment) should be collectively taboo.

“In the end,” Cathro concluded, “I think OBS has done the right thing; implementing a formal review mechanism while still allowing wide latitude to explore diverse subject matter in the RPG space.”

Certainly, having been at the heart of the social media firestorm that resulted from Tournament of Rapists, one could not blame Cathro if he were jaded or bitter over the experience and yet he is relatively upbeat about the matter.

In our next installment we will discuss this matter with the author of Tournament of Rapists, Chris Field, who has an entirely different take on the policy.

Bob Brinkman has been playing RPGs since the days of OD&D. Recently he has written for both the Goodman Games Fifth Edition Fantasy and DCC RPG lines and has completed a project for the Crossroads to Adventure books for GP Adventures. He co-hosts the monthly Sanctum Secorum podcast focusing on Appendix N in relation to DCC RPG.

Deal of the Day - Designers & Dragons: The 70s (A History of RPGs - The First Decade)

I can not speak highly enough of the Designers & Dragons series of books. As a gamer and a history major, they give such an enjoyably read on our hobby and it's history.

I have the whole series in print and PDF and I'm due to give it a second read through. That's the whole series, not just the first part.

For the next 18 hours or so, Designers & Dragons: The 70s, is on sale for $3.75 (normally $7.50) in PDF, Kindle and Nook formats and $28.75 (normally $35) if you want it in Hard Cover, Print, Kindle and Nook formats.

Let me warn you. You may not be able to stop with just the 70s. I suspect you will find yourself coming back for the rest of the series. It really is that good.

Remember, all purchases using The Tavern's RPGNow affiliate links puts 5% of your purchase price into The Tavern's coffers. Yes, these releases are FREE, but maybe you'll make a purchase while visiting. Don't leave that money on the table for the greedy corps! Tip your barman!  ;)
Designers & Dragons: The ’70s is a comprehensive picture of the beginnings of the RPG industry. This second edition expands the original single book into a series of four, and we’ve added over 50,000 new words to this volume alone. Learn about the colorful history of TSR and the wave of D&D inspired games (and gaming companies) to follow, and dip your toes into wargaming trivia. Regardless of your gaming background, Shannon Appelcline’s meticulously researched history won’t disappoint. 
In this volume, you’ll find: 
A foreword by Greg Stafford, creator of Glorantha and author of King Arthur Pendragon
Profiles for thirteen 1970s gaming companies including TSR, GDW, and Chaosium 
The inside scoop behind games like D&D, Traveller, and The Fantasy Trip
Ten things you might not know about roleplaying in the ’70s 
An extensive bibliography and index 
Meet the characters behind the characters and the gamers behind the games in Designers & Dragons: The ’70s!  
Contains PDF, Kindle, and Nook file formats.

FREE - Gongfarmer's Almanac Series (DCC RPG)

It's not often that you see a series of 16 FREE releases for a game, let alone the DCC RPG. Then, next thing you know you are ass deep in Gongfarmers ;)

Technically, it's 2 yearly consolidated volumes and 14 individual issues of The Gongfarmer's Almanac, compiled and published by Gongfarmer 's Local #282, otherwise known as the DCC RPG G+ Community.

And yes, the price is FREE. Not PWYW, but gratis.

Talk about a labor of love.

(and yes, that is Doug Kovak's art on the cover)

Remember, all purchases using The Tavern's RPGNow affiliate links puts 5% of your purchase price into The Tavern's coffers. Yes, these releases are FREE, but maybe you'll make a purchase while visiting. Don't leave that money on the table for the greedy corps! Tip your barman!  ;)

Friday, September 16, 2016

Tavern on Tap - What's Coming Up the Week of September 17 thru September 23, 2016

I figured it would be a wise thing to give The Tavern's readers an idea of what's coming up in the following week. This morning at 0605 AM marked 6 month since I walked out the door at work for the last time. Now is as a good time to start organizing things as any other time ;)

Some of you may have noticed there is now a left side column on The Tavern's page with links. There will be more changes in the weeks and months to come. This was one of the early ones and stuff is going to move around a bit. Hopefully the final result will be a more organized site. If not, I'm sure folks will be happy to point out the deficiencies.

Early in the week there will be a review of Event Horizon for the White Star RPG. I'm enjoying my read through very much. I'm looking forward to writing this review and I'm tempted to run it for a session or three around Halloween. Alternating Friday nights. First calls will go out to my 2 regular gaming groups and if there are any open slots I'll put a call out here. I'll also post session reports. More on that later.

We'll also be kicking off the Creator Spotlight Series of posts. Who's first? Ain't telling. I will say I am aiming for 2 posts a week in the series, at least initially. As always, you can always add further suggestions to the original post and as comments to the ongoing series of posts.

No, we didn't forget about the poll for the Swords & Wizardry Light Thief class naming. That post should go live fairly early in the week and the poll will probably be on the top of the page.

What else? More reviews. More "news". More thoughts. Simply "moar" ;)

Seriously, there are things I can plan out in advance, but The Tavern is almost a "stream of consciousness" sort of experience, so much of it won't be known till I post it, even to me :)

Remember, all purchases using The Tavern's RPGNow affiliate links as well as The Open Gaming Store affiliate links puts 5% of your purchase price into The Tavern's coffers. Don't leave that money on the table for the greedy corps! Tip your barman!  ;)

Rappan Athuk - $15 Shipping for EU, Australia and New Zealand (Swords & Wizardry and Pathfinder - Frog God Games)

I've known it was in the works for a bit but it's now official - the EU, Australia and New Zealand now have access to Rappan Athuk via local Print on Demand (POD).

If you've been waiting on picking up Rappan Athuk but didn't want to get man handled by the USPS' shipping rates, here's your chance for a more affordable option.

Just keep your players away from the magical slow machines. My group lost a session and a half (and a henchman) to that trap of addiction ;)

Disclosure: Although I worked on Swords & Wizardry Light for Frog God Games, it was a labor of love for the community. I do not receive a salary or any other sort of compensation from Frog God Games. I just happen to like their shit :)

Deal of the Day - Cryptworld (Goblinoid Games / Pacesetter)

Today's Deal of the Day is Cryptworld from Goblinoid Games' Pacesetter label.

Cryptword uses the same system that players of the classic Pacesetter games like Timemaster and Chill! should remember fondly.

Normally $7.95, for the next 22 hours it's on sale for $4.77

Remember, all purchases using The Tavern's RPGNow affiliate links puts 5% of your purchase price into The Tavern's coffers. Don't leave that money on the table for the greedy corps! Tip your barman!  ;)
CRYPTWORLD is a horror role-playing game in which you investigate and hunt the forces of the unexplained. The Crypt Master may design any world of horror he desires. Classic horror, slasher horror, alien menaces from the stars and inter-dimensional monsters. These horrors and more may greet you in CRYPTWORLD
CRYPTWORLD is a role-playing game complete in one volume. 
In this book you will find:
Rules for character generation
Optional paranormal talents
Creatures covering multiple horror genres
Advice for running horror games
An introductory adventure
...and more! 
CRYPTWORLD is the new official Pacesetter brand horror RPG, the Pacesetter horror brand successor, and is fully compatible with other Pacesetter SystemTM titles such as MAJUS, TIMEMASTER, and ROTWORLD.

Mini Review - Sinister Serpents (Labyrinth Lord / OSR book of Dragons)

If there is a singular problem that I have with dragons in my campaigns, its that my players have their abilities memorized, which takes some of the magic away from a most magical creature. Give the color of the dragon to your players and they'll tell you the type of breath weapon without batting an eye. AC and HD soon follow.  Generally speaking, I don't use dragons in a game that has "Dragon" in the name of the game that the OSR is firmly rooted in. There are, of course, a plethora of dungeons ;)

That is why I was initially apprehensive when Fat Goblin Games offered me a copy of Sinister Serpents, a monster manual of sorts for dragons using the Labyrinth Lord rules (but totally suitable for Swords & Wizardry and other OSR games.)

Imagine my pleasant surprise when I found NOT the expected retread of the chromatic dragons but over 3 dozen new takes on dragons. Some are meant to be foes, others potential allies, all are unique and well thought out. Not all will fit in your campaign, but that's not the point. The idea is to pick the ones that will.

For some damn reason, this one is my favorite. The potential for some interesting campaign events tied to a Mad Brewer Dragon are simply endless and I like the idea that not every dragon has to be seen as a combat foe.

There are 37 other dragon types in the book which clocks in at 29 pages. Its $5.95, so that comes to less than 20 cents a dragon. Don't ask me how to convert that into treasure hoards ;)

If you are looking to add some unique dragon types to your campaign Sinister Serpents might be just what you are looking for.

Disclosure: I was given Sinister Serpents to review (or not review, the choice was given to me to simply read and enjoy) by Fat Goblin Games.

Remember, all purchases using The Tavern's RPGNow affiliate links puts 5% of your purchase price into The Tavern's coffers. Don't leave that money on the table for the greedy corps! Tip your barman!  ;)
Dragons are the iconic creatures for most fantasy games. They come in all shapes and sizes, can fill almost every niche that a game master can imagine and are usually highly magical. They can be monstrous ends, wise oracles, sources of insanity or keys to reality. Here are 38 new species using Labyrinth Lord statistic blocks. They can be used in most other OSR games with little difficulty in conversion. 

Update - Disclosures ARE Good :)

I think we can safely say that the latest mini-tempest in this hobby of ours has been brought to it's positive conclusion.

Over the past weekend, there was pushback over on ENWorld (to the point where a long time poster was blocked) over Sean Fannon's outright refusal to declare his use of affiliate links in his Sean's Pick's posts.

Well, I guess Sean saw things differently after giving it further thought. I applaud him for his decision to disclose his affiliate links in a manner total appropriate.

From this morning's Sean's Picks post:

I tip my hat to Sean in respect.

Changes like this and the prominent labeling of Sponsored Content at ENWorld wouldn't have happened if the community weren't vocal, and you were. Well done.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Kickstarter - The Complete Roslof Keep Campaign (1e / 5e)

I've enjoyed reading the Roslof Keep Campaign, as I have the 6 installments from prior Kickstarters.

Now they are offering the the 6 installments as a single hardcover complete with Jeff Easley art. My God, so tempting.

Heck, it even has an orange spine (although my core 1e books were from an age prior to the orange spine, it's a nice touch.

If you haven't picked up the Roslof Keep Campaign yet, here's your chance to grab it in a single, 128 page hardcover book.

If you already have the six installments, the Jeff Easley art may just push you over that edge ;)
The Complete Roslof Keep Campaign is a mega-dungeon compiled from Folio’s 1-6 in both 1st Edition & 5th Edition fantasy gaming formats. It encapsulates the struggle of your characters joining the Company of the Ivory Scimitar as they take on the dangers of a ‘living’ dungeon in hopes of finding the key to immortality. Six detailed levels broken down in both 3D and 2D (classic blue) maps help spin a story of adventure, struggle, martial prowess, and ingenuity in doing something no other adventuring company has ever been able to do, defeat the Infernal Machine that drives the dungeon. 
This unabridged version will be include 6 gazetteers, 6 adventures, 6 mini-adventures to flesh out the campaign, Races of the Nameless Realms supplement, and 2 character sheets (one each for 1E & 5E). Our goal is to attempt to replicate the 128 page format of the old TSR ‘orange bound’ AD&D series of hardcovers from the early 1980s (Stranger Things anyone?), and like those hardcovers this will be covered with brand new commission artwork by artist Jeff Easley who did all those covers.

Resource - Basic & Expert Dungeon Master Tools (Website)

I literally don't know how I missed this site prior. I blame +Tony Bravo for not bringing it to my attention earlier ;)

In last night's Tavern Chat, I mentioned I needed to roll up a AD&D 1e character for use in a game session on Thursday (today) and Tony linked to his Basic & Expert Dungeon Master Tools website. Damn, there's lots of goodness going on here.

The cost of admission is free.

The potential time saved for DM prep? Priceless.

Stock Art - Publisher's Choice - Fantasy Character Subscription (Fat Goblin Games)

Fat Goblin Games has recently released +Rick Hershey 's latest stock are subscription, the Fantasy Character Subscription. It clocks in at $95.95 and will be releasing approximately 1 character image a week until Rick hits 100 images. For those doing the math at home, thats less than 96 cents an image once the subscription hits it end date.

I'm already a subscriber to Rick's Publisher's Choice - Creatures A to Z: Subscription (amazing work, just don't ask what my first self published release will be ;) Really, for the quality art and the final price per piece of that art, it simply can't be topped if you are in the market for stock art.

Remember, all purchases using The Tavern's RPGNow affiliate links puts 5% of your purchase price into The Tavern's coffers. Don't leave that money on the table for the greedy corps! Tip your barman!  ;)
This new line of stock art aims to bring you a huge variety of popular and diverse fantasy characters presented as single image download! This file includes  300dpi Tiff at 4x6 or larger with transparent background images featuring a full-color depiction of a fantasy character! One character added every week! 
The Publisher's Choice - Fantasy Character Subscription in the next 24 months, I will release 100 pieces of art, at roughly 4+ pieces per month until I hit 100 pieces. And you can buy it now, for about $100! Also, subscribers have access to being able to submit ideas for character art! 
Current characters Include:
Dwarf Mage
Thief #1
Plague Doctor
Halfling Cleric
Cleric #1 
Publisher's Choice Stockart is provided to aid new publishing companies in creating high-quality publications by providing the design essentials to compete with larger competitors. In addition, the line is perfect for adding fresh new content to the seasoned publisher's art library and aiding in keeping design budgets manageable.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Old School Blues - Episode 1 is Live - Where We Talk About a PWYW Adventure

+Vincent Florio and myself recorded an episode of Old School Blues earlier tonight. In it we discuss the adventure They Met in a Tavern for The Black Hack (but usable for any OSR ruleset.)

The podcast might actually clock in at longer than the adventure may take to play out, assuming my regular group (the podcast clocks in at about 30 minutes)

But the potential seed for a campaign is there, and we discuss such.

Join us at The Old School Blues Podcast.

Remember, all purchases using The Tavern's RPGNow affiliate links puts 5% of your purchase price into The Tavern's coffers. Don't leave that money on the table for the greedy corps! Tip your barman!  ;)

Tavern Chat Tonight - 9 PM Eastern - I Can Already Guess the Topics

Disclosure? Check!

Affiliate links? Double check!

Open and honest? Wait a sec! That might effect my affiliate link income!

Yes, I'm guessing at tonight's topics on Tavern Chat ;)

9 PM tonight. I'm I'm late, the podcast recording went long, and I apologize in advance.

What is Tavern Chat? See that chat box to the right? That's it.

Deal of the Day - Misty Isles of the Eld (OSR Mini-Sandbox)

When I saw what today's Deal of the Day was, my immediate reaction was "Shit! That's still sitting in my bag from NTRPG Con - along with many other items / purchases / gaming goodness."

I'm talking about Misty Isles of the Eld from the Hydra Cooperative (and yes, they are on my list of producers of amazing OSR works to highlight.)

Normally $12 for the 104 page PDF, it's on sale for the next 24 hours for $7.20.

But, if you are looking for a Print / PDF deal, you can get both for $11.20. The print copy alone is normally $16. Or, to look at it another way, you get the PDF today for instant gratification and for another $4 plus shipping you get your dead tree copy in the mail.

Remember, all purchases using The Tavern's RPGNow affiliate links puts 5% of your purchase price into The Tavern's coffers. Don't leave that money on the table for the greedy corps! Tip your barman!  ;)

Disclaimer - The Hydra Collective borrowed The Tavern's Sponsored Room at NTRPG Con to hold a "pizza party." Of course, they didn't tell me why they needed the room until the pizza arrived. Lose lips and all that I guess.
Come visit the acid fantasy mini-sandbox of the Misty Isles, a hellish pocket plane that's brutally displaced a bucolic paradise. Marvel at its massive grub-ridges, shake at the body horror of its protein vats—and watch as your players dynamically unleash the Anti-Chaos Index through their own in-game actions. Misty Isles of the Eld is a stand-alone sequel to Slumbering Ursine Dunes and Fever-Dreaming Marlinko. 
What's inside its 104 pages:
Four dungeons. The Vat Complex (with its menacing sealed off-west wing, body-horrific industrial process and pocket dimensions), the flying god-prison Monument Five, the meth-fruit Plantation House and Colonel Zogg's Pagoda Bunker. 
Full “extra-planar” pointcrawl. The wilderness crawl spreads over one main isle and two smaller islets subdivided by massive, movable grubs. 
An “Anti-Chaos Index.” Through their actions the players shape the very reality of the Isles. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worst, but always for the weird. 
A slew of new otherwordly monsters. 
A large collection of bizarre technological Eldish artifacts and treasure. Includes a random generator for miscellaneous artifacts picked up. 
A new psionicist player class, the Psychonaut, with a soft scifi twist. Including its own powers and mutations.

Ken Whitman Update at "Not Another Dime" - KotDT: LAS Shipping - August 2017? Never?

The write up for this at Not Another Dime is perfect. Really. Go read it. Ken does what Ken does best.

I'm just going to share this little screenshot:

How this reprobate was ever given an ounce or responsibility, less alone authority over the use of trademarks and the hard earned cash of members of our hobby never ceases to amaze me. Does Ken and his 8th grade education even allow for the use of proper grammar? At least it appears he's learned how to use the spell checking capabilities built into most web browsers.

I love how Kenny throws around the words "unfair" and "fairly". Like that would even come into the equation for Kenny. It's all about the money.

What, you haven't read the original at Not Another Dime yet? What do we have to do? Go already!

Frog God Games Jumps to Fantasy Grounds - Quests of Doom 1 (5E) (A Dozen Adventures)

Frog God Games has released Quests of Doom 1 (5e) for the Fantasy Grounds VTT. A dozen 5th edition adventures for your FG 5e ruleset for $19.99.

Whether or not you use the Fantasy Grounds VTT, the announcement that Frog God is dipping it toes into the digital market place is exciting news. Maybe in the future we'll see some releases for Roll 20.

12 Adventures for Fifth Edition Rules, First Edition Feel! 
Necromancer Games is back: are you ready to rock the new edition old-school style? 
We put together a team of some of the best adventure-writers in RPG history to ring in the new fifth edition rules with a host of adventures you’ve never seen before (and a couple that you have, but probably didn’t survive anyway). Volume 1 of Quests of Doom contains 12 adventures in almost 200 pages, by Ed Greenwood (Emeralds of Highfang), Bill Webb (Ra’s Evil Grin, Sorcerer’s Citadel, Hidden Oasis, Pyramid of Amra, Sewers of the Underguild), Matt Finch (Hidden Oasis-Temple of Thoth), Jim Ward (Deep in the Vale), J. Collura (Noble Rot), Michael Curtis (The Dead from Above), Casey Christofferson (Ra’s Evil Grin, Sorcerer’s Citadel, Irtep’s Dish), Skip Williams(Death in Dyrgalas), and Steve Winter (Bad Moon Rising). 
The module contains adventures by:
Ed Greenwood
Bill Webb
Matt Finch
Jim Ward
J. Collura
Michael Curtis
Casey Christofferson
Skip Williams
Steve Winter 
Requires: An active subscription or 1-time standard or Ultimate license of Fantasy Grounds and the built-in 5E ruleset.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Looking at the FTC Guidelines on Affiliate Links, Endorsing Products and Blogging

You can read the full set of FTC Guidelines here.

Let me start by saying if you are NOT a US resident or citizen, the guidelines don't apply to you. If you ARE a US resident or citizen, even if you are posting on a foreign website, they do apply to you.

Now, I am NOT a Lawyer (IANAL) You do not need to be a lawyer to make sense of the FTC Guidelines regarding affiliate links and product endorsements online. It's written in plain English with numerous examples.

Basically, what it comes down to is this - if there is a benefit for YOU, you must disclose such. If the affiliate links are in a post, a forum comment or an online article benefit you (such as the 5% you get back from OBS) you need to indicate such. Not the exact amount of the benefit, but that there IS a benefit for you. This applies to review copies too - if you are reviewing a product and you were comped, you must explicitly say so.

At The Tavern, every page has the same surrounding text, links, ads, lists. I prominently disclose exactly how much of a commission I get at OBS and OGS. These are at the top of the page, just under the header. This SHOULD cover me for disclosure of any affiliate links in my posts that announce products or are reviews, but IANAL. I could be wrong. It may be that I need more explicit disclosure. I am, however, acting in good faith upon my interpretation of the guidelines in question.

Now, if you do a review of a freely distributed product, or one you purchased for yourself, no disclosures are needed (but you would still need a disclosure for the affiliate links, if any.)

What about connections to products, publishers, authors and the like? I have started to fully (some have said TOO fully) disclose such relationships. I may add some humor to said disclosures, but that's simply how I am.

At this point, I know so many people and publishers that nearly every post mentioning a product will probably require a disclosure from me.

Do I think the FTC is going to come down on bloggers and the like in the OSR for lack of disclosure? Probably not. We are small fish in a small pool. Too much work for too little in return. Disclosure, however, keeps the hobby honest and that is a good thing.

Nothing in this post should be considered legal advice. The examples herein are how I am approaching these guidelines. Notice these are guidelines and not hard rules. As such, there may be gray areas.

Sean Digs a Hole and Buries Himself While Stealth Editing His Own Words

I thought this was over and done but apparently commenters over at ENWorld are concerned that Sean Fannon is not disclosing that his use of affiliate links in his ENWorld posts. As for Sean, he's not changing a thing.

BTW, Sean's comment that is being responded to? Deleted. But I guess Sean can't delete the comments of others.

Wanna make a guess? Yep, Sean deleted his comment here too, which is captured in the response. A little snarky, perhaps? Am I the blogger clamoring for attention? No, just pointing out failures in the system. ENworld fixed their poorly marked "sponsored articles." Why not fix this?

Sean is being stubborn for NO legitimate reason. Add a simple "FYI - I make some cash back on sales made through my affiliate links. Thank You in advance."

I'm making an effort to be very open and disclose probably more than is necessary. Sean doesn't need to go that far.

ENworld gets about 8x the page views The Tavern gets on a daily basis (using websiteoutlook.com to get those estimates.) If I average on a yearly basis $1k from OBS referral sales, Sean must be doing significantly more. Why risk getting in trouble? Simply disclose that the links make one referral monies.

Yep. Gotta love that quote above: "He also noted that he doesn't consider himself a journalist and some other stuff that I unfortunately did not write down. I didn't bother to do that because "professional" news services don't actually stealth-modify their own posts, but instead issue corrections...."

This is one of those "learning moments" over at ENWorld. Well, learning moment or head in the sand. Time will tell.

If you go through all 6k+ posts here at The Tavern, you will see me, warts and all. I don't retcon and I don't stealth edit. I went to war with people I now consider friends and the "wars" are still there to be read by all. Own up to your mistakes and move forward. Digging a hole for yourself and then trying to cover it up by filling the hole back up is silly.

As an aside, if anyone ever wondered why I use so many screenshot and not simply a "copy / paste", this is why. Screenshots show what was, before the attempts to rewrite what happened. I can't misquote someone when I go with an actual screenshot of their words.

Disclosure: Sean Fannon was the Community Manager (or some similar title) at OBS when The Tavern was starting to get it's feet. His support was appreciated as he supplied The Tavern with occasional prizes to give away and seemed pleasant to interact with. I am predisposed to like Sean, but not his recent statements regarding news & advertising nor his undisclosed use of affiliate links. The FTC Guidelines were published recently, and while they may appear to be over cautious and to some heavy handed, it is what it is.

Edit - Here is what I believe was removed from the ENWorld posting:

Monday, September 12, 2016

Open Call - Looking for OSR Publishers / Products / Authors / Artists to Highlight Here at The Tavern

I was talking with my usual coconspirator ( +Zach Glazar ) earlier today and we both were bemoaning the general lack of a program showcasing new and upcoming talent in the OSR, let alone current and overlooked talent. This post is my attempt to address that.

In the comments section of this post I'd like my readers to suggest products, publishers, authors and artists that they feel are overlooked in our corner of the hobby. Folks that don't get the respect they deserve. Somehow they fly under the radar.

I'd also like to know WHY you think a creator / product / publisher / artwork deserves to be highlighted. Because, you know - reasons :)

Please include links when you have them. It makes my job easier and we all know how important that is ;)

I'd like to start a series of posts, highlighting the creators in question and I can't do this without your help. The more responses we get, the sooner the series kicks off and the longer and hopefully more informative it will be.

So, get commenting!

Gygax Memorial Fund - Something I Missed - Project Completion is Expected in Less Than 2 Years

Somehow I totally missed this (second paragraph). It's notable for a few reasons:

1 - We actually have a timeframe that is relatively soon. Ground hasn't broken nor have bricks been offered for sale to fund the maintenance of the site (and the actual site is still being fought over - await the "call to arms!"), but we do have an end date - Spring 2018. Please mark your calendars for this auspicious event.

2 - This "scheduled to be completed within X years has been a rolling date of sorts. With the 2010 return (filed 2011) it was "within 3 years." The 2011 return posted does not have the statement in question. The 2012 return (filed 2013) also stated "within 3 years," thus moving the target. The 2013 return, filed in 2014 states "within 5 years" REALLY punting the ball down the line. The 2014 return, filed in 2015 also had it at "within 5 years."

So, in 2011, we were looking at 2014.
In 2013 we were looking at 2016.
In 2014 we were looking at 2019.
In 2015 we were looking at 2020.
Now, in 2016 we are looking at 2018.

Now, except for the monies, which really haven't seen a bump since 2013, what has changed?

They've had approval from Lake Geneva for the memorial since 2011 yet Gail isn't satisfied with the location assigned. After a 5 year battle without gaining ground, do you think they are going to change their position now?

Is the new, sooner "completion date" an honest assessment? Time will tell.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Bundle of Holding - Dragon Warriors

I have very vivid memories of the Dragon Warriors RPG. No I never owned the game I saw constantly in ads in Dragon Magazine back in the 80s but my God, how I wanted it. The fact that it came in 3 paperback sized books made it seem even more exciting (if less practical than a full sized, traditional RPG book - but I was a teenage damnit!)

Yeah, I never got those paperback books, but Dragon Warriors is still a thing, available on RPGNow and even Bundle of Holding.

Yes, there is a Dragon Warriors Bundle of Holding:

The Starter Collection includes Dragon Warriors, Dragon Warriors Players Guide and Knight's and Miller's Tales for $12.95 in PDF.

If you go for the Bonus Collection (currently $20.43), you get the above plus Dragon Warriors Bestiary, Friends or Foes, Cold Fury, Prince of Darkness, Sleeping Gods and The Elven Crystals.

I suspect I'll be a teenager again, even if its only to read what I missed the first time around.

Kickstarter - There's a Spinward Traveller Clip for All to See!

When you realize the time spent on this project can only hurt your career... or is it just gas?
Yep. Ken has released a clip from Spinward Traveller.

You know you want to, but first look at the following screen cap and tell me what's wrong.

Did someone say "why the fuck is that alien thing casting a shadow in a different direction than the cast and the surrounding environment?" Ding ding ding! We have a winner. Ken will probably say it science fiction and casting strange shadow is one of it's abilities...

Alright. You need to follow the link to KS in order to view the clip, but you don't need to be a backer.

Please, leave your comments here after the "bleep!"

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