Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Kickstarter - The Ultimate Apocalyptic Planet - 77 Worlds RPG James M Ward

The Ultimate Apocalyptic Planet - 77 Worlds RPG by James M Ward. Or is it The Blasted Earth: The Ultimate Apocalyptic Planet? What about the Lost 77 Worlds? I'm confused already.

First, look at the art / splash above. Personally, I think it looks like shit. It tells me nothing about the game and is depressing as hell. Sigh. We are not off to a good start.

Second, James M. Ward on the tin is both a blessing and a curse. Mr. Ward certainly has cred, but then one remembers the recent fiasco known as the Metamorphosis Alpha KS with Jamie Chambers. The less said about that, the better.

Third, they are selling the digital as if it is a selling point on its own. If you want PDFs with your printed book, you need to add the full price of the PDFs in question to your pledge. Decidedly NOT cool.

Fourth, the few comments in the comments section are about the confusing support levels and project description:

Fifth, its great that the rules are written. Maybe give us a hint at the type of rules they are. What is the resolution system? Inquiring minds want to know.

Sixth, sadly, this inquiring mind does not want to know. There needs to be a focused description of this project, not something that rambles and bounces around and contradicts itself. I don't have the patience to track down the answers to my questions and in truth, I don't think the answers matter much. The only answer I need is that this project isn't for me.

Edit - Fuck me, I looked deeper. It uses a deck of cards for game system. Definitely not for me...

PETA - Boldly Going Where No Sane Group Should Go - Trying to Make Games Workshop "Fur Free"

I first saw this yesterday and initially figured it HAD to be a joke. PETA, the animal advocacy group, wants Games Workshop (Warhammer, Warhammer 40k, etc) to stop sporting figures with fur.

Now, follow this.

This are "miniatures" - they are not real. Which means that any fur detailed is not real.

But what about art? Its not real.

How about in computer games? Its not real.

No animals were harmed in the creation of any of Games Workshop's IP.

Wait... do they still sell horse hair brushes to paint these fur wearing miniatures? Are the horses harmed? It may be time for a revolution!

Now, if Games Workshop were to declare the not real fur in the first place to be faux fur, would that make PETA go away? Probably not: "While we appreciate that they are fictional, draping them in what looks like a replica of a dead animal sends the message that wearing fur is acceptable"

How many Warhammer players drape themselves in fur? Fuck, who could afford to at the price GW minis cost.

Grounding in reality is weak in this one.

For fuck's sake...

And Here I Thought it was an Email about Swords & Wizardry...

Ah well, guess not. I HAVE been fielding a number of questions regarding publishing supplements and adventures for Swords & Wizardry Light (SWL) but this wasn't one of them.If I haven't gotten back to you, email me again.



In any case, if you haven't caught the latest Tavern Talk Uncut Videocast, do so. SWL, Frog God, assorted sundries...

An 11 Year Old Runs a Session of Swords & Wizardry Light - and she LIKES it :)

I'd like to thank +Christopher Bishop for the excellent post at his Rolling Bones Blog. Nothing warms my heart as much as seeing my little offering to the gaming community find a proper home. The fact that the home it has found is with Chris' 11 year old daughter makes me want to jump up and down too ;)

A small quote from Chris' post:
So I printed the rules out from the Swords & Wizardry Light dropbox site on cardstock and laminated them.  Four pages folks, just four pages!  I handed them off to my daughter who promptly went like a troll back to her pink cavern of doom, also known as her room.  She spent the better part of an hour looking it over and came out with a huge grin on her face.  
"Dad, I understand this and it's so much easier to find everything, IT'S ALL RIGHT HERE!  They even have monsters and spells!!!!"  She actually jumped for joy folks, not a literary expression but a physical 98 lb girl jumping in the air with glee.  I gave her a little one-page adventure to run that I whipped up from a DCC one shot, told her to just ignore the stats and look at the name of the creature and use the light rules monsters in its place for stats.  So we went from her taking an hour or so to familiarize herself with the rules to sitting at the table and rolling bones in the next hour.  Might I add her confidence level was hugely boosted by the fact that she had the rules sitting in front of her like a DM screen, and everything was there that she needed.  She even embellished the short session which ended up being 3 hours long with added stuff on top of the one-page adventure because she said the rules were simple enough she had time to think about where the plot was going.  
The real reward for me at least was seeing the huge grin on her face.  There is no greater feeling as a parent than seeing your child enjoy something and get the same kind of glee out of it that you did at their age.
Yep. Makes all the effort worthwhile.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Kickstarter - One Hundred Dungeons: A Make/100 Dungeons Project (Crowdfunded and Crowdsourced)

Alright. The One Hundred Dungeons: A Make/100 Dungeons Project makes me scratch my head a little:

1 - Its crowdfunded - obviously

2 - Its crowdsourced - "everyone who backs at the Dungeon Builder level (up to 100 backers) will become an active participant in the creation of this Mega Dungeon.  You will be able to see and comment on layouts, room elements, traps, monsters, quests, and even the overarching storyline.  You can be as involved as you like -- you can even submit dungeon layouts or object and artifact suggestions, that we can then vote on as a group." bTW, this level is 75 bucks.

3 - Its a "megadungeon" of 100 levels, but the sample maps shown only show one set of stairs each, so they aren't leading to other levels. That does not make a multileveled dungeon let alone a megadungeon.

4 - at the $75 level, you get commercial use of the art assets of this project, which aren't bad. The corridors and rooms are nothing to get excited about, but the dungeon trappings look decent and were hand drawn. I'm not saying they are worth $75, but if you buy into the concept of the project, its a nice bonus,

5 - Its for 5e, which gives it a welcoming source of funds.

6 - Its a "megadungeon" - sure, I mentioned this already but megadungeons generally need a theme to be successful. 100 random levels doesn't seem like much of a theme. As an aside, are 5e players particularly fans of megadungeons? Oh wait, I was wrong - classic megadungeons don't have themes:
One Hundred Dungeons is an attempt to build an old-school MEGA DUNGEON -- an insanely deep and varied dungeon -- with this one having 100 different levels -- each a complete dungeon on its own that can be explored (some small - some large - some enormous), but together they form a Mega Dungeon that can provide years of adventures for your party. 
Most classic Mega Dungeons are deep labyrinths without one real overarching narrative -- you can simply explore, find treasure, fight monsters, and discover various secrets while your party ventures through the dungeon. 
With One Hundred Dungeons, what I hope to do is create a classic Mega Dungeon -- but one that comes with an optional overarching story -- and which you could alternatively use for individual stand alone adventures with your group. 
Still, like I mentioned earlier - you still need a way to get from level to level, and the sample maps are missing that.

I'd be interested in the theme or narrative that can carry through 100 levels and possibly that many creators inputing their ideas.

This is not my type of megadungeon. It may be yours...

Tavern Talk Uncut # 3 - Livestream Link Enclosed

Live at 7ish PM tonight.

Join us and talk Swords & Wizardry, Frog God Games, OSR and assorted gaming goodness.

Yes, you can use the chat window to ask us questions and converse ;)

Beneath The Battered Dwarf Tavern - A Swords & Wizardry Light Starter Adventure - Part 2

I realize in retrospect that we didn't discuss Turning Undead in the previous post. If the Ghoul is successfully turned (requiring a roll of 13 or better on 3d6 by a 1st level Cleric) it will attempt to flee. In this case, it will attempt to flee whence it came, which is the trap door via room 2. In this case it will drop itself the 15' or so to the floor beneath, and will avoid using the metal runged ladder it used to climb from the cellar to the tavern's ground floor.

Did I mention hexes are 5'? Oops ;)

Room 2 is a storage room for less perishable items such as flour, dried meats and fruits, potatoes and other vegetables with a long shelf life, along with pickled cucumbers and wine. Ale is generally served chilled (at least when initially tapped) and is stored in the cellar. Hidden beneath bags of flour in the S/E corner of the room is the tavern owner's suit of chain mail (dwarven sized)

(f) indicates a pulley system that allows for the floor (5' square) to lower to the cellar and return with goods needed for the tavern. There is also a series of metal rungs on the north wall that can be accessed if the floor in question is lowered at least 5'. Currently the floor is lowered all 15' to the cellar below.

The hallway below is lit by a Continual Light spell cast on a metal rod, which serves as a removable torch. Treat as a Light spell that does not cease unless dispelled.

No roll is needed to descend using the metal rung ladder. PC's deciding to drop the 15' (10' or so if they lower themselves off the edge of the floor) must roll a Saving Throw or suffer 1d6 damage. A generous GM may decide to give them a bonus of + 2 to the Saving Throw as it is a controlled fall.

Into the Cellar...

Tavern Talk Live Uncut Vidcast # 3 - Livestream @ 7 PM Eastern Tonight

Can you believe it? We are actually sneaking a third Tavern Talk Live Uncut Vidcast into the month of January.

Join +Zach Glazar and myself and a live audience (live and able to chat and ask questions via chat- not live as in "studio audience" ;). Ask us about Swords & Wizardry Light, current Frog God goings on, make suggestions - the world is your oyster ;)

7 PM tonight.

I'll add a link to this post and drop a new post when we go live.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

My Goal With the Swords & Wizardry Light Starter Adventure - Assume Little and Explain Everything

Many of those running adventures with the Swords & Wizardry Light rules will fall into one or more of the following categories:

- Lapsed gamer / lapsed DM

- New gamer

- Current gamer / new to the OSR

- Simply a new DM

So, what I've set out to do is breakdown the processes required to run a session of Swords & Wizardry Light or most any OSR game (or even 5e) (as started with an earlier post today)

In the first encounter I explain how to roll initiative, what happens if the initiative rolls are tied, what happens if a PC is hit by the ghoul and fail their save and the like. In a way, its the exact opposite of the succinct presentation of the SWL rules themselves.

The rest of the adventure will be similar, explaining concepts as they occur.

I'll aim for a room a day (more or less) posted at The Tavern. A quick and dirty PDF will be put together when the adventure is complete and sent to Patreon backers and then a "professionally" laid out version will go up with some art as a PWYW release at RPGNow.

Thus is the purpose of Beneath The Battered Dwarf Tavern.

Patreon - James Spahn is Creating Old School Roleplaying Games

You know +James Spahn I hope. The man behind White Star, the various White Box supplements and of course more Labyrinth Lord classes than you can shake a stick at. He's also a co-conspirator on Swords & Wizardry Light.

I'll bet you didn't know James has a Patreon Page.

Backing James via his Patreon really is the best way to get sneak peeks of some of his upcoming projects (and he has some nice ones in the works - but I'm sworn to secrecy)

Personally, I think Arcane Trickster is the sweet spot.

If you back for $20, James will run a game for backers at that level once a month on a Saturday evening (Eastern Time) using his White Star rules via Roll20. Most likely you'll be playtesting new material and, as such, be given playtester credit. Now, James doesn't know this part yet - but I volunteer to assist, fill in for an empty seat or roleplay NPCs if James requests. Not sure if that's a boon or a curse. James will need to decide ;)

The Polls Have Closed - Lets Look at What Resources are Currently Desired for Swords & Wizardry Light

First things first - it isn't much of a poll. 23 votes in all, so while it may give some hints it certainly isn't enough of a sampling to draw any huge conclusions.

That being said, two things stand out:

- One-sheet / Short Adventures were an indicated desire by 78% of those that responded. That works well with the adventures that are in the works, from +Tim Shorts (Gothridge Manor), +Thom Wilson (Off the Beaten Path, Forest Excursions KS) , myself and others. This need will be addressed ;)

- Sample Setting came in at 43%. I have something that could be put together fairly quickly here at The Tavern and possibly put together as PWYW in PDF. I agree that this would be very useful.

As for the rest? The sample size wasn't really large enough. I think its all viable but the two above are a more immediate priority.

Alright, back to productivity...

Swords & Wizardry Light Campaign Kickoff Adventure - Picking Up Where I Left Off

I really like this +Dyson Logos tavern and associated cellar. I had plans for this back in June of last year but events got in the way. Now to pick up where I left off while including some instructions to the new Swords & Wizardry Light GM.

A foul looking creature bursts forth from the storeroom of the Battered Dwarf Tavern. It holds a gnawed arm in its mouth as it surveys the dinner crowd. The arm drops to the floor with a thump as it softly slurs the word "buffet."

The bartender, an old and bearded dwarf, shouts to the assembled patrons.

"The facker! My wife's nephew was gettin' the next cask of me ale to be brought up. I'll pay the tab of any that dispatch this beast and then go down the basement and bring up me ale!  Oy, and the boy too I reckon, or whatever is left 'em. Heck, I'll go so far as offer room and board for a month - but yaz needs ta triple up in the room, mind ya. A dwarf's gotta make a profit still."

The creature is a Ghoul and has a chance to paralyze any foe it strikes. Have one of the players roll 1d6 for Initiative and you roll 1d6 for the Ghoul. The side with the highest roll attacks first. In case of a tie with the Initiative Roll, everyone on both sides of the combat rolls their attacks and, if applicable, their damage, but damage does not take effect until everyone has had a chance to attack and any failed saves are applied after damage is accounted for.

Ghoul - AC 6[13]  HD:2  HP:8  Attack 1d6 (if hit is successful, target must Save or be paralyzed for 3d6 turns - 30 to 180 minutes)

Note: If the dropped arm is examined, it is obviously from a long deceased and decomposing corpse and not that of a young dwarf.

One or more characters may be paralyzed for 3d6 turns if they were struck by the Ghoul and failed their save. Kuzder (the bartender) will patiently wait for any paralyzer characters to recover but will prod the party when all are capable again with phrases like: "Me poor wife's nephew! Ain't ye gonna rescue him?" and "We've got no ale to sell! How can ye run a tavern without ale!" and "Time is money! Without ale I'm losing money!"

Onward to the Storeroom... 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Kickstarter - Miniature RPG Terrain Wood Furniture (There's a F@ckin' Tavern!)

My God! This is so damn sweet! The Miniature RPG Terrain Wood Furniture Kickstarter has a tavern option. More accurately, multiple tavern options.

Tenkar, The Warrior Tavernkeeper NEEDS this!

You can actually get in on this for as little as 15 bucks:

The Kickstarter has about 5 weeks to go and it is already funded. Andy "Cosmo-Joe" Watkins has offered to send me a sample to review and I jumped at the chance. In the meantime, I'm backing at $50 for the Complete Tavern. I mean, I literally have no choice in the matter. The Tavern must be THE TAVERN.

I'm already thinking of a use for this.

Why Play a Retroclone When You Can Get the Original Rules via Print on Demand?

Its a valid question now that the AD&D 1e rules are available via POD - why play retroclones when you can play the originals?

I'm sure everyone has their own answer to this question but I'll give mine for what little it is worth:

Twice a month, on Thursday Night's, I play in a very wacky, drop in - drop out, AD&D 1e campaign. The group consists of grogs that have their original rulebooks right through to Pathfinder players who have grabbed copies of the rules from eBay.

AD&D 1e is so ingrained in my brain's synapses that if there is a rules question, our DM Tim often just calls out to me for the answer, which I usually know off the top of my head. I played it from 1980 to 1989, when 2e released (being a new edition, 2e HAD to be better, right?). I never memorized the 2e rules like I did the 1e rules. I guess you first love when it comes to RPGs makes a real impression in your mind.

Anyway, a few years ago, I ran my first AD&D 1e / OSRIC game in 25 some odd years. I found I didn't enjoy running 1e as much as I used to.

See, I had found Swords & Wizardry, a ruleset that ran almost exactly as we ran our AD&D 1e games back in the day (fudging "segments" and interrupted spell-casting, ignoring weapon vs armor type adjustments, ignoring reaction rolls, total confusion about weapon speed and so much more). So, S&W ran like we houseruled our 1e rules (we didnt call it houseruling back then) without all the extras that we literally didn't need and never used.

These days, I can run a S&W session without opening a book. My players? Pretty much the same. Its better written, better organized and simply easier to learn than the source material. 468 pages for the AD&D 1e core trio of rulebooks vs 144 pages for the Swords & Wizardry Complete 3rd Printing.

Could I have tweaked 1e or BX down to a playable 4 pages? I highly doubt it.

Are retroclones for everyone who has played the originals? Hell no! Nostalgia is a strong force to recon with. Retroclones are a viable alternative to the originals for many of us, and there is no rule that says you can't enjoy both the originals and the clones they inspired.

Frog God Games to Support Starfinder (and the release of the Starfinder Compatibility License)

Frog God Games is on the Starfinder rocket. This should be interesting, as FGG have been putting their material out for Pathfinder and Swords & Wizardry for a few years now...

No, I don't know any details but I do listen for rumors. Once I have some I'll pass it on.

The Starfinder Compatibility License is here.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Kickstarter - Alternative Facts - A Hilarious Card Game by Frog God Games

Alternative Facts - the latest game from Frog God Games most certainly is NOT and RPG - or is it?

Inspired by current events BUT not by politics itself - or maybe its the other way around. Damn facts get subjective at times, don't they?

What is NOT subjective is the minds behind this little project - +Matt Finch and Krista Webb (along with enablers +Bill Webb and +Zach Glazar ) With a starring cast like that, you expect something good. Failing that, you may finds yourself stepping up to excellent.

Alright, so what is Alternative Facts actually about?

Yep. The Frogs don't take themselves too seriously and I suspect that will show strongly in the game itself.

The game is 20 bucks in Print, 40 if you add the expansion deck. Might be a fun game for some downtime at a Con or some after dinner drinks with family and friends. Or maybe skip the drinking... heh

Kickstarter - How to Write Adventure Modules That Don't Suck (Goodman Games)

How to Write Adventure Modules That Don't Suck - excellent title. Right to the point. But what are you actually getting with this Kickstarter?

"Advice on how you can write great adventures - from the company that has published more than 200 top-notch adventures!" Right, Goodman Games. Excellent adventures. Heck, I've run the DCC RPG adventures using Swords & Wizardry rules.

Now, the list of authors involved in this project (which is already written) is long and deep. Some of the names on the list are like deep tracks of old rock albums - excellent songs that don't get much airplay but are some of the better songs of the genre.  Jobe Bittman, Mike Breault, Anne K. Brown, Timothy Brown, Stephen Chenault, Casey Christofferson, Chris Clark, Michael Curtis, Chris Doyle, Joseph Goodman, Allen Hammack, Jon Hook, Kevin Melka, Brendan J. LaSalle, Lloyd Metcalf, Bill Olmesdahl, Steve Peek, Jean Rabe, Merle M. Rasmussen, Lester Smith, Harley Stroh, Jim Wampler, James M. Ward, Skip Williams and Steve Winter.


Also part of this Kickstarter is The Adventurer's Almanac.
This fantasy sourcebook, estimated at 112 pages when published, is structured around a fantasy calendar. Written like a fantasy version of the Farmer's Almanac, it provides hundreds of adventure seeds, organized around the passing of the seasons, fantastic holidays, and the movement of the calendar. It is written by Michael Curtis. The Adventurer's Almanac is a terrific example of an inspirational RPG sourcebook, and sure to give every GM dozens of ideas for their next game. It is systems-neutral and usable in any RPG campaign.
Yep. That's a lot of gaming goodness included in there.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Kickstarter - Off The Beaten Path - Forest Excursions (System Neutral and SWL Flavors)

Yes, your read the post title correctly - Off The Beaten Path - Forest Excursions comes in both a system neutral version and a Swords & Wizardry Light version. How cool is that?

+Thom Wilson does some great work and he's not new to Kickstarter, but with Off The Beaten Path he's upped his game - a minimum of twenty single or double page forest adventures to use as side quests or stand-alone adventures - more if certain stretch goals are hit.

Pledges start at $9 for Print copies. (PDFs are only available to Patreon Backers) Minimum 24 pages. All 20 adventures are already written. It just needs to go to print. If you like the cover and would like a copy without the title to frame, it's 5 bucks. Yeah, I'm getting that too. (in at $45 plus $5 for the cover print)

Now, just a heads up. Thom is putting aside 1% of the sales of the Swords & Wizardry Light flavored book to fund further work on SWL here at The Tavern. I'm flattered just to be thought of. Huzzah!

Below are the stretch goals. I wouldn't mind seeing some adventures added :)

Kickstarter - Winter Eternal - Tabletop RPG Adventure Module

Where to start?

Let's see. Winter Eternal is a 1e / 5e adventure set in Fail Squad Games +Lloyd Metcalf 's ) Lands of Lunacy setting (although it can be used without such setting)

Lloyd's track record as a small press publisher on Kickstarter is impeccable. Seriously. On time or early. Excellent production values.

He's also a "one man show" doing the writing, art, layout... All Lloyd, all the time. Unless family jumps in.

Pricing is reasonable: I'm in at $15 plus shipping for Signed full color Print of the 1e version. Shit, its practically a Kickstarter impulse buy ;)

The details:
Winter Eternal - (Bring a Cleric) 
Is the first Lands of Lunacy Release from Fail Squad Games. This adventure is designed as a one-off adventure in the Lands of Lunacy Setting. 
It is expected that you will have the Lands of Lunacy Setting Guide when you play this adventure. fitting it in without the setting is easy enough, if you skip over all the fun challenges of playing the Lands of Lunacy.  
Have no fear, there are bundles where you can get your copy WITH the Winter Eternal adventure if you need one. 
This adventure puts the cleric (Or divine character) in the driver's seat. While not necessary, it is more fun with a cleric! 
How does it fit in?

Like all Lands of Lunacy adventures, seamlessly into any world. This particular quest begins when your heroes stumble across a mysterious bit of treasure. A Crystalline globe, with bits of snow swirling around an icy tower at the center of a lake inside.
Full Color!

Winter Eternal is moving into the world of FULL COLOR maximum quality printing. The paper quality is heavier, the feel is better, and the color hops off the page. This does eat into the FSG profits a bit, but allows us to bring print quality to a maximum.

TSR Thursday - AD&D 1e Core Books now available as POD at RPGNow

Yep. Remember the reprints of the Core Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1e books from a few years back - the ones where the proceeds went to the Gygax Memorial Fund. Yes, those reprints and that Fund.

Well, AD&D 1e Core Books are now available at RPGNow as Print on Demand. I'm guessing the gold edged pages are a thing of the past and not a cent goes to the GMF, but I could be wrong. Heck, I'm sure if Gail COULD get her hands on some of the profits she would.

At less than 25 bucks a book, this is an affordable way to get your hands on the AD&D 1e books in brand new condition. Less than 28 bucks if you add in the PDF (10 bucks if ordered separately)

Now, 5% of purchases made through The Tavern's affiliate links helps to fund The Tavern.

Player's Handbook, Dungeon Masters Guide and the Monster Manual.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Tavern Chat Tonight - 9PM - Remember, Bring Your Own Booze ;)

Yep, its Wednesday and that means tonight is another Tavern Chat.

When? 9 PM

How? Using the Chat Box on the right side of this page.

Who? You and you and you...

See you all tonight :)

Far West is Late - AGAIN - And its the BACKERS' Fault!

Holy Shit!

Gareth is such a piece of work. I really don't know how he does it. You know what, i'll share his own words and some responses from the Far West Kickstarter Comments Section. Because seeing is believing:

Translation - sure, I promised to put stuff in your hands prior to the end of 2016, but actions taken by certain backers in 2017 prevented me from doing so...

Yep. Dude, its all you. You are the reason Gareth is a failure. Hold your head high, because the amount of bullshit coming your way from Gareth is going to be neck deep.

BTW, I encouraged others to file right here at The Tavern. So Luke, I'll stand with you when the Sharka Shit starts to flow down hill.

Wow. There are parts of the above I wish I had said.

In any case, add "Contacted by the Kansas AG in 2017. This prevented me from producing what I had promised by the end of 2016" to the Sharka List of Far West Excuses.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

State of The Tavern Keeper - Tomorrow is a "Do Nothing Day" - Which means All I do is Gaming / Tavern Related

Strangely enough, tomorrow is my first "Do Nothing Day" of 2017. Actually, I think its the first day I'm home for most of the day in 2017. Even then, its "take the car for its yearly inspection and an oil change" but its STILL a "Do Nothing Day" - so I'm going to do lots of "somethings".

The early morning is blocked out with a morning post and then finishing an overdue project (and dropping off the car - sunny and 5 degrees, I'll enjoy the walk home)

Late morning through noonish - more project writing and catching up on communications. God, I am far behind on reading emails.

Afternoon? Post research - I'm really down on posting so far this year and its due to lack of free time - hoping to get a bunch of stuff started.

So yeah, Do Nothing, Do Lots of Somethings ;)

The Princess Bride RPG - Coming from Toy Vault in 2017 (Remember FUDGE?)

Here's the scoop from the Toy Vault Facebook page:
Coming in 2017! 
Explore the world of The Princess Bride with our new role-playing game! Fezzik, Inigo, Westley, and Buttercup are coming to your tabletop this year. The Princess Bride rpg is designed by Steffan O'Sullivan, the designer of classic RPG titles such as GURPS: Swashbucklers, GURPS: Bunnies and Burrows, and of course FUDGE. The Princess Bride rpg, is using Steffan’s FUDGE system. FUDGE is a great, light RPG engine that provides just the right feel of light-hearted, fantastic adventure that embodies The Princess Bride universe. 
Follow us on Facebook, or sign up for our email list for more information! 
FUDGE? Wow. What a blast from the past. When I was away from gaming but downloading every possible free RPG on the internet, I found FUDGE. Still can't believe the system is 25 years old. I understood FUDGE. FATE, its modern day descendant, not so much.

So, Steffan is going to use his own system to bring The Princess Bride to life? Very interesting.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Swords & Wizardry Light Now Available in Spanish

+Dwayne Hicks has translated the Swords & Wizardry Light Doc file into Spanish. It is fucking awesome! Not that I can read Spanish, but just the fact that SWL has been translated into another language is AWESOME!

You can go to his blog and download Swords & Wizardry Light en Espanol in both PDF and Open Office format. If you look at his earlier posts he has other Swords & Wizardry releases also available in Spanish.

BTW, there is a Hebrew translation also in the works.

How cool is it that SWL is going to be played in multiple languages?

New Episode of Save or Die: Expert Edition - Adventure 132: Hack & Slash

Banner by +James V West 
It is time for another thrilling episode of Save or Die: Expert Edition.

Yep, Adventure 132: Hack & Slash released earlier today.
The new crew is back for you! In Adventure 132 we’re hacking our way through classic D&D, talking about house rules, rules hacks, and the beautiful elasticity of the game. We give example of common house rules, complete rules overhauls that have their roots in classic D&D, offer advice on making rules modifications at the table to better suit your campaign – something you’re probably already doing without even realizing it! Join DM James, DM Vince, TM Erik, and DM Glen for Save or Die: Expert Rules Adventure 132: “Hack” & Slash!
We had a blast recording this. Hopefully you'll have a blast giving it a listen.

On Hit Dice & Weapon Damage - Conversions and Comparisons to Swords & Wizardry Complete

One of the first things you'll notice about Swords & Wizardry Light (SWL), after its small size, is that it only uses two sizes of dice - d20s and d6s. Newer players often have trouble differentiating between the different sized polyhedral, and using just two sizes of dice simplifies things greatly.

One result of this is that monsters, which have a d8 for Hit Dice (HD) is Swords & Wizardry Complete (SWC), now use a d6 for HD in SWL.

That changes the power curve, right?

Not really. If you figure the Long Sword is the base weapon for damage in SWC, it does d8 damage, same as the HD size of a SWC monster. In SWL, that Long Sword does 1d6 damage, same as the HD size of a SWL monster.

Where the power curve does change a bit is with casters. That Magic Missile spell which did either 1d6+1 with a hit roll needed (basically the same avg as a 1d8) OR 1d4+1 with no roll needed to hit (basically the same avg as a 1d6) in SWC is now, in SWL, 1d6 no roll to hit needed. In many ways, its the best of both options from SWC - no hit roll needed AND a full HD die of damage.

When we consider optional rules that will allow higher level casters, spells like Fireball and Lightning Bolt will become more powerful if not tweaked - area effect damage spells that potentially effect a full HD per die, not 3/4s of a full HD as it is in SWC. Something to think about as we move forward.

So, how does one convert monsters from Swords & Wizardry Complete or other OSR sources to Swords & Wizardry Light?

If you are converting a monster from a monster section, monster bestiary or such, remember to roll the Hit Points (HP) using d6s. Monster damage will be rolled using d6s also. So, 1d4 becomes 1d6-1 and 1d8 becomes 1d6+1. For larger damage numbers, add the low end of the damage indicated to the high end. Divide by 3.5 - this is the approximate number of d6s it converts to.

To adjust the Hit Points (HP) of the monster in question for an adventure, for each HD of the creature (assuming a d8 for the HD size in the source material) subtract one HP from the total of the creature. If the total is still higher than HDx6, either lower the total to HDx6 or subtract one HP per HD again. Obviously, the first option give you a much stronger adversary.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Content Question - What Resources Would Make Your Swords & Wizardry Light Experience Better? (Poll)

What would make your Swords & Wizardry Light experience better?

I'm sure that's a question that can be asked of most any RPG and in some way the answers will apply to all OSR systems, but Swords & Wizardry Light has a unique challenge - it's more than a Quickstart but less than a fully robust game system. Four pages of rules imposed some space limitations.

So, what we want to know is what you would like to have available to make your experience with Swords & Wizardry Light "better" for you and your group. Better is a relative word, so I'll give you some random ideas:

- Real play examples

- New spells

- Sample magic items

- New monsters

- Sample encounters

- One Sheet / Short adventures

- Sample setting

- New classes (currently being play tested)

- More levels (currently being play tested)

- New races

Again, this is just a small list and certainly not all inclusive. Much of this potential new content would be posted here at The Tavern and / or on the Swords & Wizardry Light Resource Page, also hosted here at The Tavern.

There is a poll attached to this post. You may choose multiple answers. Please feel free to comment and add your thoughts to the mix. Swords & Wizardry Light was written to be your game, so tell us* what you want.

*Note - "Us" doesn't refer to just James, Zach and myself, nor is it limited to FGGs. "Us" in this context is the Swords & Wizardry Light Community

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Apparently I Used to Paint Minis & Why are All of my Skeletons ALL Missing an Arm?

 Rach had me doing some major cleaning today. actually, not so much cleaning as Marriage Archeology 101 - I dug through drawers and such of my clutter that hadn't been touched for years PRIOR to our marriage in 2011. Yes, I put this off for over 5 years AND STILL completed the project faster than Gareth.

Sadly, my skellies all seem to have lost their weapons as well as the arms attached to such. These are Games Worksop plastic minis and I guess the glue didn't hold up over time.

Painting all ended in the summer of 1996 and many of these minis are in various stages of painting (or lack there off) I think I do need to return to the hobby.

Apparently Someone Forgot to Set their Lunar Clock - Another Month of Silence On Far West (Oh, and another missed delivery)

So, here we are, three weeks into 2017.

We were supposed to get "something" by the end of 2016. Never happened.

Of course, I could set my watch by Gareth's failed deliver dates. So long as I was using a lunar standard.

Here's the link to file a complaint with the Attorney General in Kansas.


And now, a musical interlude by Kansas:

How long? How Long? How long to the point of no return...

Friday, January 20, 2017

Looking at Swords & Wizardry Monstrosities from a "Light" Eye and Forthcoming Content

Ogre by Eric Quigly
I was a backer of the Swords & Wizardry 3rd Printing Kickstarter at the "I Want All of the Swords &Wizardry Shit in Existence" level, even if I have much of it in print. Just filling my holes made the idea of getting it all something I could not pass up on.

I already have Monstrosities in print- its a great book with a seemingly endless source of monsters for your S&W / Old School game. It took until tonight when I downloaded the PDF for me to realize, or at least remember, that each entry has a short encounter or scenario attached to it. Pure. Fucking. Genius.

Its both a seed to growing into a larger adventure as well as an instant filler for the moments in between adventures. In the hands of a skilled DM, some of these encounters can morph into a night of gaming with minutes of prep. Or no prep at all ;)
Ghoul by Storn Cook

So, what does this have to do with Swords & Wizardry Light?

After this weekend I should have some free time on the creative side of things. What I'd like to do is an encounter / small adventure for each creature in the Swords & Wizardry Light release. Examples for the new GM as to how to use the creatures in question. I'd post them here at The Tavern and put the final product out as a PDF.

Other creatures / monsters from the OGL can be added later and new creatures can be added to the mix.

These aren't one sheets so much as a couple on a sheet. Kinda. Sorta.

So, the question becomes... which creature do I start with?

ConManKen - Pick Axe Savior Short - A Role Made for Ken

Every Savior has a Story by #ConManKen. Wait, I use the #ConManKen hashtag too liberally? Lets refer to the hashtag expert:

Fuck! The hashtags are longer than the post itself. Oh, BTW #TheWalkingDead

Still, I apologize. All this is delaying you from watching Ken in the role built for him: a homicidal, brutish man of minimal intellect. At at least he didn't have to reach too far inside himself to find inspiration. BTW, it says "Six Comments" over on Youtube but I don't actually see any. It also appears you can't like it or dislike it at Youtube, but I could be wrong.

Marcus gets an axe to his head and Ken's wife stabs him in the gut and he likes it.

Fuck me! Blogger uploaded it twice and I can't delete the extra.

Don't watch it twice! I implore you!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

WotC Won't be at GenCon 50 - But Will be at GaryCon 2017 (and others)

It seems really strange that WotC's DnD division / staff / team / last men standing won't be at the 50th GenCon this year. I know they've been distancing themselves from GenCon for a while, but this is the 50th one after all and it has some significance (aside from being the largest gaming convention in the world)

Here's the list of the cons WotC WILL be officially attending:

January 27-29
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
900 E Market St.
San Antonio, TX

February 1-5
Grand Wayne Convention Center
120 West Jefferson Blvd
Fort Wayne, IN

March 10 -12
Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
415 Summer Street
Boston, MA

March 23-26
Grand Geneva Resort & Spa
7036 Grand Geneva Way
Lake Geneva, WI

June 14-18
Greater Columbus Convention Center
400 N High Street
Columbus, OH

September 1-4
Washington State Convention Center
800 Convention Place
Seattle, WA

September 9-10
Rhode Island Convention Center & Dunkin Donuts Center
1 La Salle Square & 1 Sabin St
Providence, RI

November 2-5
Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall
1919 Alliant Energy Center Way
Madison, WI

I should be at two of these myself - Gary Con and Gamehole Con. Interestingly, HasCon is all about Hasbro properties. Time to play My Little Pony ;)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Tavern Chat - Tonight - 9 PM Eastern - Be There or Be Not

Yep, its Wednesday, so that means another Tavern Chat tonight at 9 PM Eastern.

What is Tavern Chat? Its that chat box on the right side of this page where readers of The Tavern get to converse via chat every Wednesday night.

What are the topics? Whatever we damn well please ;)

Join us. You never know who may pop in. Seriously. You never know...

Updated Swords & Wizardry Light PDF With Corrections & Clarifications Available for Download - High Res and Low Res

A HUGE thanks goes out to +Zach Glazar for updating the Swords & Wizardry Light PDF (both High Res and Low Res versions) with the edits, corrections and clarifications pointed out by the community.

Consider this version 1.01. Somehow I suspect there will be a minor tweak or two still to be found before we can consider this the "Gold Copy" or whatnot ;)

FYI, the High Res version of SWL was been reduced in size by about 10 MB, so over a third. to 17.5 MB. If your tablet had problems with the snazzier version before, the updated file may work better than its predecessor.

The Low Res version of SWL comes in at 3.9 MB.

As for the notable changes / corrections / clarifications:

- Starting weaponry was added to the M-U description

- Hit Dice (HD) are defined under the heading of Constitution (as a high constitution grants a bonus to the HD roll)

- The Combat Table was corrected to follow the advancement of the Fighter's BAB as detailed in the fighter's description

- Corrected the spelling of my name in the copyright ;)

- Other typos / spacing / etc

You can grab the updated PDFs as well as the Word file from here: http://bit.ly/2eHQNZw

(you do know its free, right? ;)

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