Saturday, October 22, 2016

When Organizing your Collection Bring's Gems to the Surface - Ken St Andre's Personal Copy of Tunnels & Trolls 2e

When it comes to RPGs, I'm a bit of a collector. I like Tunnels & Trolls, not just for the system but because there is a finite number of classic items to collect with a nearly limitless variation in printings.

My top prize, T&T or otherwise, is Ken St. Andre's personal copy of Tunnels & Trolls 2e. As less than 100 copies of T&T 1e were printed (and only a small number have survived) Ken's copy of 2e was one heck of a get when I got it. It was a play copy, and the back cover is missing, but what do you expect when it's stapled ;)

Oh, and i found I have nearly as many editions and printings of the core Castles & Crusades books. I know what's going to be gifted for OSR Christmas :)

A Peek at Swords & Wizardry Light - Comparing White Box Fighter Class to Light

Folks have been asking what the changes are in Swords & Wizardry Light from the previous versions of Swords & Wizardry.

Its less changes and more "less" with some "more".

Light takes Swords & Wizardry and breaks out its core essence, and does so in four pages. With four core classes and four core races.

Let's look at the Fighter entry in Swords & Wizardry White Box.
The Fighter 
You are a warrior, trained in battle and in the use of armor and weapons. Perhaps you are a ferocious Viking raider, a roaming samurai, or a medieval knight. Whatever type of Fighter you choose to play, you will probably end up on the front lines of your adventuring party, going toe-to-toe with dragons, goblins, and evil cultists, hacking your way through them and taking the brunt of their attacks.  
The Fighter character is best equipped of all the character classes to dish out and absorb damage. Clerics heal, and Magic-users cast spells, but the down-and-dirty hack and slash work is up to you. 
You’re going to serve as the party’s sword and shield, protecting the weaker party members and taking down the enemies before you. Perhaps one day they will tell legends of your battle prowess, and followers will flock to your castle stronghold—where you revel in your fame, riches, and newly earned nobility. Fail, of course, and you will die—just another forgotten warrior in a dangerous world. 
Table 5: Fighter Advancement 
Level    XP HD BHB ST
1         0    1+1   +0  16
2   2,000     2     +1  15
3   4,000     3     +2  14  
(add in levels 3 through 10)
Fighter Class Abilities 
Weapon/Armor Restrictions: Fighters are trained in warfare and as such have no armor or weapon restrictions. 
Combat Machine: Against foes of one hit dice (HD) or fewer, Fighters get one attack per level each turn. 
Saving Throw: Fighters get +1 on saving throws vs. death and poisons. 
Establish Stronghold (9th): At ninth level, a Fighter character who chooses to build a castle is considered to have the rank of “Baron” bestowed upon him by the local ruler or monarch and may choose to attract a body of loyal men-at-arms who will swear fealty to him. 
XP Bonus for Strength: This class bonus is due to a high strength attribute.
Here's the Fighter entry from Swords & Wizardry Light (prior to final edits)
The Fighter 
You are a warrior, trained in battle and in the use of armor and weapons.
Hit Dice: 1+1 HD at 1st level, a 2nd HD at 2nd level and a 3rd HD at 3rd level.
Saving Throw: 16 at 1st level, 15 at 2nd level and 14 at 3rd level.
Basic Hit Bonus (BHB): +1 at 2nd level and +2 at 3rd level.
-    Fighters start with either Long Sword or Battle Axe (1d6 damage) and Bow / Chain          Armor and Shield AC 4[15] or Two Handed Sword (1d6+1) and Crossbow / Chain          Armor AC 5[14]
-    Fighters have no armor or weapon restrictions. Against foes of 1 Hit Dice (HD) or            fewer, Fighters get one attack per level each round. Fighters also get +1 on saving            throws vs. death and poisons.
Not only are you getting information on what your character can do, you are also getting weapon and armor choices as well as the damage they do and the protection they give. The idea is to expedite character creation and get the player right into the game. Four classes as well as the spells for Cleric and Wizard fit on one page.

Spells were tweaked for both space concerns and usability. For example, Knock and Wizard Lock became:
Knock – Lock
Range: Close  Duration: Permanent until dispelled - The targeted door, gate or portal can be opened or locked by this spell. A locked target is unlocked and opened (including those locked by this spell) Targets locked by this spell can be unlocked by this spell or broken by brute force (GM’s discretion)
There you go. A short peek of what's in store. Now I need to spend some time on the Light Support Page ;)

Flash Giveaway - The Ogress Hacks the Black Quests of Doom - 24 hours

Today we're giving awaQuests of Doom 3, in Print, for Swords & Wizardry. I backed the KS and found myself receiving two copies instead of one. Yes, it was given away prior, but the winner was outside the States, so here it is again. Additionally, we have a print copy of The Black Hack and a print copy of The Ogress of Anubis from New Big Dragon Games (free in PDF)

Here's the rules:

1 - I'm only shipping to the US, but anyone can enter. If the winner is randomly picked from outside the states, they will get a $10 RPGNow Gift Certificate.

2 - You need to leave a comment below to enter. Thats pretty much it.

   2a - You could go to the Swords & Wizardry Complete 3rd Printing KS and back for a buck, which gives you the rules in PDF and all the stretch goals in PDF (currently Strange Bedfellows, the new cover as an art poster and Deck of Treasure) This also allows you to choose in Print add ons. If you do back, add a comment to the KS page stating to the effect that The Tavern sent you ;)

3 - Your comment must be made prior to 230 PM Eastern Time, Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

Good luck :)

edit - obviously 2a and 2b are completely optional ;)

Prepping for Shipping Out the Giveaways - New Giveaway Later Today

Went to Staples this morning to pick up some shipping supplies. The Tavern needs to ship some giveaways, some early printings of Swords & Wizardry Light (hopefully soon - as I said yesterday, I'm impatient) and I need to prep for OSR Christmas.

I'll be packing up the recent giveaways between today and tomorrow. I have uncle duties on Monday, so I may actually have access to a Post Office with available parking ;)

As for what's being given away later today? You'll know when the post goes up. I'm figuring 24 hours. Should be up sometime this afternoon.

Rach is so happy I'm making room. Sadly see doesn't realize I'm doing so to make room for more games...

Friday, October 21, 2016

More Light Please! Current Plans for the Swords & Wizardry Light Ruleset and Support

If all goes well, I should have an advance copy of Swords & Wizardry Light in my grubby hands in a couple of weeks IF the Gods look upon me favorably. I expect the PDF will release around the same time. The plan is to get some advance copies into the hands of those that have expressed an interest in writing for SWL as soon as possible. Patience most certainly is not one of my virtues and Fate often has its own plans that rarely intersect with my own.

The Unholy Triumvirate has put into place Triumvirate Tavern Publishing to support Swords & Wizardry Light. The current plans are to publish a zine every 2 to 3 months (working that detail out) under the title Continual Light. The zine is expect to be 16 to 24 pages in length (most likely digest sized) and the majority of its material should be compatible with all flavors of Swords & Wizardry. New classes, spells, settings, encounters, adventures, magic items and the like. In the months there is no zine published, one or more one-sheets can be expected to be released under the TorchLight name. There will also be some other releases from TTP that aren't related to the zine or one-sheets.

Additionally there will be support and content here at The Tavern. We'll provide guidance on how to progress from SWL to Swords & Wizardry Complete (or Core or White Box) as well as how to integrate current SWC adventures into your SWL campaign. Oh, and other goodies, of course.

We are looking into a Swords & Wizardry Light compatibility logo. More on that later.

The goal is to have the initial support up and running in time for the release of Light.

I still can't thank Bill, Matt and the rest of the Frogs enough for allowing me to play with their toys. Its an honor.

Gee, looks like I'll have that time sink I need now that I'm retired ;)

Kickstarter - Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea 2E (OSR Swords & Sorcery)

Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea is back in a new 2nd Edition, and it looks to be glorious. +Jeff Talanian has gone all out with the art this round and I must say, I am extremely impressed. Jeff has a good eye for art but damn...

Del Teigeler did the art at The Tavern's Facebook Community
The Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea 2E Kickstarter has a goal of $15k. It went live less than 12 hours ago. It just passed $25k. Yep, that's the reputation that Jeff has. 4 stretch goals down and none of them should effect fulfillment.
What is AS&SH
Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea is the creation of Jeffrey P. Talanian (Castle Zagyg, Charnel Crypt of the Sightless Serpent, Mystery at Port Greely). It is a role-playing game inspired by the fiction of Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, and Clark Ashton Smith, with rules descended from the original 1974 fantasy wargame and miniatures campaign rules as conceived by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.  
The heroes of an AS&SH game delve dungeons filled with horrifying monsters, lethal traps, and bewildering puzzles; they explore savage wilderness frontiers and hostile borderlands; they probe ancient ruins and investigate cursed tombs; they match steel against sorcery and sorcery against steel; and they plunder for gold, gems, and magical treasure.

Troll Lord Games - Sale - 99 Cent Print Adventures (Castles & Crusades)

Yep! 99 Cent adventures in Print. C&C is easy enough to convert to other OSR games making this deal damn near impossible to pass up.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Deal of the Day - OpenQuest 2 Deluxe

OpenQuest reminds me very much of Chaosium's RuneQuest 2. Not sure why. Maybe it's the lack of endless tables that RQ6 brought into the mix.

In any case, OpenQuest 2 is the Deal of the Day. $7.50 in PDF, but that's not the sweet spot.

$14.50 in color Softcover, $22.50 in color Hardcover. Both options come with the PDF.
A complete and easy to play Fantasy Roleplaying game, with monsters, magic and exotic locales. 
OpenQuest uses the classic D100 rules mechanic, which uses percentages to express the chance of success or failure. 
This is the 2nd Edition of the game in full colour with 80 new pages of content. The Deluxe version of the game aims to be a self contained game with rules and advice on how to run a full campaign where the adventurers progress from their poor and ill experienced beginnings to the lofty heights of Godhood! 
Open Quest is based on the Mongoose RuneQuest SRD (MRQ SRD), with ideas from previous editions of Chaosium's RuneQuest and Stormbringer 5th, mixed in with some common sense house rulings from the author's twenty years of experience with the D100 system.

So, who gets The Northlands Crypts were Full of Alphabet Things? I'll tell you Who...

I do love giving stuff away. Rach loves it too, as my gaming collection keeps growing and I am loath to downsize it. Giving away some of the duplicates I've collected over the years doesn't hurt and keeps the collection from growing too fast ;)

So, who gets the Crypts & Things (1st Edition), along with the Northlands Saga N2 and N3, in Print, for Swords & Wizardry as well as The Dungeon Alphabet?

Weird Dave, step forward! Email me at tenkarsDOTtavern at that gmail thing. Let me know if you want it inscribed "From the Tenkar Games Collection, 2016"  (please tell me you live in the states ;)

I'll need a valid US mailing address. Shipping won't happen until next week as I have a few more things to give away and would like to make as few trips as possible to the post office.

Remember, by backing the current Swords & Wizardry Complete KS for a buck you are in line to get some sweet loot in PDF ;)

Swords & Wizardry Light - Working on a One Sheet Open Content Sandbox Setting

Remember this map from my summertime mapping? Well, its going to be a one sheet sandbox setting for Swords & Wizardry Light.

No name for it yet, but it's going to have just enough description of the main locations to provide some hooks. It will be open content, so the community can detail certain locations further and even drop published adventures into it.

Did I mention we already have three OSR adventure writers planning to write adventures for SWL? I don't even have advance print copies to give out to them yet ;)

Very exciting times.

I expect to have the support page for Light up and running by the end of the month with continual updates to the setting as the community adds them and content additions / options for Light itself.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Classic TSR - Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms - PDF Release

I'm really enjoying the releases of classic TSR products at OBS recently. While I have many of the releases from my younger days of gaming, there are some I missed. Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms is one that I missed.

It was missed because my gaming group at the time just couldn't get into the Oriental Adventures rulebook. Although we embraced non-weapon proficiencies, wrapping classic dungeon adventuring (which was all we knew at the time) in Eastern trappings wasn't a good fit for us.

So now I am looking at the Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms setting some 28 years later and wondering if I would run it now. Well, certainly not using OA as is, I'd have to convert to Swords & Wizardry first. But it might not be a bad conversion at all.

Heck, for 5 bucks it's virtually a no brainer.

Remember, all purchases using The Tavern's OBS 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 - Ask Me Anything (about Swords & Wizardry Light)

It's Wednesday, which means tonight it yet another Tavern Chat from 9PM to 11PM Eastern.

As usual, the topics will range far and wide, but I'll be fielding Swords & Wizardry Light questions from those that want to field them. Will I be able to answer all of them? That's a question unto itself ;)

Be there or be not. Tavern Chat is where all the cool nerds hang out :)

Kickstarter - Operation Unfathomable (Swords & Wizardry adventure and campaign setting)

What better to support during the Swords & Wizardry 3rd Edition printing KS then a Swords & Wizardry Setting / Adventure KS? I'm talking, of course, about Operation Unfathomable.

+Jason Sholtis is the mad mind behind Operation Unfathomable (perhaps best known for his The Dungeon Dozen blog). In his words:
I wrote OPERATION UNFATHOMABLE originally to be a one-off adventure and for utility as a convention scenario. As such, the gloves were off both in terms of danger level for player characters and the campaign-changing potency of the enchanted treasures they might run off with. Going against my own advice, I used it to start a campaign.
Four years and hundreds of game-hours later, the campaign continues (and is still fun). 
As every DM knows, there is no substitute for play when it comes to breathing life into a setting. I believe the Underworld of OPERATION UNFATHOMABLE has that lived-in feel precisely because it has been explored extensively at the table and its secrets probed by a number of minds sharper than my own (I have awesome players).
So, what is Operation Unfathomable?
OPERATION UNFATHOMABLE is an internally-consistent, gonzo funhouse that runs like a subterranean wilderness trek instead of a “down the 10 foot hall and kick in a door” affair. There are random elements aplenty to keep GMs guessing as well as players. No balanced encounters to be found here, but the clever setup allows low level characters to drop into the dungeon “deep end” and still have a chance of making it out alive—if they’re smart and wary. 
Underworld Phenomena: Novel environmental hazards to challenge explorers like Horizontal Cave Lightning, Whirlwinds of Unbidden Transportation, Sudden Seismic Events, and many more!  
Fractious Factions: Enter a crossroads of Underworld civilization where combat is only one of the options (and often not always the wisest!) for dealing with its denizens. The PCs can make a temporary truce with Blind Antler Men or forge an unlikely alliance with the minions of Nul the Mindless God!  
Races, Weirdos and Chaos Godlings Galore: Over two dozen new creatures, from Batwinged Dwarfs to Shaggath Ka the Worm Sultan, malevolent...and even more malevolent! 
Near-Endless Adventure: Enough NPCs, encounters, and areas to explore to keep a campaign going well beyond the initial scenario.
Basic buy ins are $9 in PDF and $15 for the at cost POD and PDF. If you want to add the stretch goals hit in PDF, it goes up to $25 and $40 respectively. I'm currently in at $40 myself.

Disclosure: I'm a huge Swords & Wizardry fan. My Swords & Wizardry Light rules (published by Frog God Games and offered for free) should be available in a couple of weeks. I've met a number of folks behind the Hydra Collective and they are simply awesome folks.

Apes Victorious - No Art - FREE Download

Goblinoid Games has generously added a no art, free to download PDF of Apes Victorious.

It's a no brainer. Try before you buy.

If nothing else, it should get one all ramped up for the Print on Demand coming soon :)

120 pages of ape gaming goodness.

Grab the No Art Free PDF of Apes Victorious

Art enhanced PDF of Apes Victorious is $4.97

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

48 Hour Flash Giveaway - The Northlands Crypts were Full of Alphabet Things

Today we're giving away The Northlands Saga NS2 and NS3, along with its Crypts & Things 1st edition (a Swords & Wizardry Variant ruleset for Swords & Sorcery roleplaying) and The Dungeon Alphabet, 3rd Printing Expanded Edition.

I have NS1 somewhere and if I find it before shipping I will include it. I backed the KS and no longer need the individual modules. I have the new 2nd edition of Crypts & Things and I have the black leatherette cover of The Dungeon Alphabet. So, duplicates to be given away as a single package.

Here are the rules:

1 - I'm only shipping to the US, but anyone can enter. If the winner is randomly picked from outside the states, they will get a $10 RPGNow Gift Certificate and the physical prizes gets bumped to the 12 Days of OSR Christmas or something.

2 - You need to leave a comment below to enter. Thats pretty much it.

   2a- You could go to the Swords & Wizardry Complete 3rd Printing KS and back for a buck, which gives you the rules in PDF and all the stretch goals in PDF (currently Strange Bedfellows, the new cover as an art poster and Deck of Treasure, Deck of Spells and Deck of Hirelings) This also allows you to choose in Print add ons. If you do back, add a comment to the KS page stating to the effect that The Tavern sent you ;)

3 - Your comment must be made prior to 12 PM Eastern Time, Thursday, October 20th, 2016 - Yes, only 48 hours.

Good luck :)

edit - obviously 2a is completely optional ;)

edit edit - The Swords & Wizardry 3rd Printing KS now includes the following at the Complete Package level:

Hardcover +PDF copy of Swords & Wizardry Complete Rulebook, Monstrosities Hardcover +PDF, Cover Poster, Bill Webb's Deck of Dirty Tricks, Bill Webb's Book of Dirty Tricks Softcover +PDF, MCMLXXV (1975) Softcover +PDF, Grimmsgate Softcover +PDF, The Five Maidens Softcover +PDF, Zaya’s Promise Softcover +PDF, +All unlocked physical and digital stretch goals!

What are the stretch goals that have been hit?

 all 7 of the Hex Crawls 

 all 10 Splinters of Faith

next up is 5 One Night Stands

these releases by themselves are 10 bucks a pop in print. It makes the $225 Complete Gamers Package almost impossible to pass up.

So, Where's That Gygax Memorial Fund Audit?

It's been five weeks since I last poked the Gygax Memorial Fund. Its overdue.

Now, back in June, the 2015 Tax Return for the GMF was posted. Prior to that, Gail had stated that after the 2015 tax return was filed, she would have an audit done. So, we have been waiting at least 4 months for the results of that audit.

Of course, 2015 was the first year the Fund had it's net worth decrease, not so much because of large expenses but simply for lack of monies coming in.

Now, interesting to note - according to Schedule O - 2015, the following expenses were incurred by the Fund:

As the Fund only took in $566 in 2015, just the cost of running the Fund was nearly twice its income.

Professional fees were nearly $3k. All things considered, 2015 was cheap:

As for 2016?

Judging from the lack of updates, I'm going to guess the Fund will not incur any construction or sculptor expenses for this year.

I hope no one is seriously waiting on Gail's "Call to order." Not that you'd hear it anyway. The GMF rarely updates.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Kickstarter - I'M The Dungeon Master (No, I Too am F'n Clueless)

What exactly are Augmented Reality dice? While we are on the topic, what the fuck is an Interactive T-shirt? Do you need to touch the person wearing it? Do you touch yourself?

Nope, no answer there. The shirt itself doesn't look like it needed much development. They could have invested in a semi decent English translator though, because this is painful.

I don't think you get those pretty dice. Apparently you can't play everywhere without your IMDM printed direct-to-garment T-shirt. Without the shirt, you can only play "somewhere", maybe?

Thank the Gods they have a "fully printed and working T-shirt." I hate it when t-shirts fail to work. So, does my perspiration help generate random numbers? Is the shirt heat sensitive? Is it wired with electrodes that will lead to my death when my sweat shorts it out?

WTF are they trying to sell here?


A dice APP?

That needs a shirt?

Wait. They're signed multiple contracts already to print these shirts?

I knew the dice image looked too professional: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81bZIhMZbpL.jpg

So much pain.

New Release - Apes Victorious (Labyrinth Lord / Goblinoid Games)

I got to grab a sneak peek of Apes Victorious at NTRPG Con this past June thanks to +Tim Snider . What I saw looked very cool. Cool as in "Shit! This is Planet of the Apes without being Planet of the Apes!"

I grew up watching the 430 movies on channel 7 here in NYC. Kung Fu movies, Godzilla and the Planet of the Apes series of movies were the afternoon staples.

+Dan Proctor and +Tim Snider are the authors of Apes Victorious. If you know either of them, you know the quality of the work they do.

I'll be snagging a copy later on this week (I had Uncle duties today and again tomorrow, so I won't have a chance to enjoy this until later, but enjoy it I will, even if it is just to use intelligent apes in my Swords & Wizardry gaming.)

Apes Victorious is $4.97 in PDF.

Good stuff!

Remember, all purchases using The Tavern's OBS 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!  ;)

You groggily come back to consciousness after a long cryosleep. Your ship’s warning system is telling you the ship has entered the atmosphere of a planet and is about to crash land under autopilot. Crawling to a seat, you buckle in, joining your fellow astronauts as you quickly check instrument readings.

Through the cockpit window you see a barren, desolate landscape flashing by. The ship skims a large lake before coming to a stop just off the pebble shore. The computer indicates that there is a breathable atmosphere, and after gathering survival packs the crew exits the ship.

“Where are we?” you ask each other, as everyone wades to the shore seeing a wasteland with little vegetation.

“Which planet is this? We must have gone off course on our return from Alpha Centauri.”

Then there is the sound of hoof beats, adding to the disorientation. Hoof beats? Are we on Earth?

Around an embankment comes several riders bearing rifles. As they approach, the sun glares in your eyes and a shot fires; a companion to your left falls to the ground holding his stomach. A large rider stops in front of you, momentarily blocking the sun and providing a clear look at his face.

“An ape! We’re on a planet ruled by apes!”

Apes Victorious is a roleplaying game in which you take the role of an astronaut from the 1970’s who finds himself marooned on a future Earth ruled by intelligent apes. Players may also take the role of an ape, a degenerated human, or a psi-active underdweller. Fight to survive in this post-apocalyptic future ruled by four species of apes. Or play apes who hunt humans for sport. For a different kind of campaign, play highly intelligent but insane underdwellers who have advanced technology and powerful psi powers.

This book contains:

A complete game
A post-nuclear apocalyptic setting in which apes have become the dominant species
Seven player classes
Animals and creatures of the post-nuclear future
Campaign advice
A complete introductory adventure
Conversion notes for compatible games including: Labyrinth Lord, Mutant Future, Starships & Spacemen

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Unholy Light Triumvirate is in Place - Now that Swords & Wizardry Light is off to the Printer, Work Begins on Extra Light

Earlier today I was speaking with +James Spahn and he told me "Hey! I have a new spell for Swords & Wizardry Light" and he did, and it was good.

The he said "I have an idea for a S&W Light class", and he did - and he wrote it exactly how I was thinking of writing the exact same class. We are in the zone, so to speak. We wrote six classes up today. They are, dare I say it, elegant in their execution.

Extra Light will be a free supplement for S&W Light. New classes, new spells, advancement through 5th level, new monsters, magic items... and more.

The third part of the Unholy Light Triumvirate is +Zach Glazar . With these two in my corner, I can only look good.

Did I mention James also sent me an adventure for S&W Light? The second one we have now and we haven't even released the rules yet. They will be free in PDF.

The conversion sheet for Rogues in Rembalo is the first in line. Free adventure from the Frogs. Wow, that will give three adventure options right out of the gate.

It just got very real ;)

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