Friday, June 30, 2017

White Wolf Comments on the V5 Pre-Alpha Playtest Release Reaction

My current thoughts on the matter? (prior post here)

It was all about the publicity. Good, bad, didn't matter. So long as V5 was being talked about. Some have said they'll never come near it now and some have embraced it but many more have talked about it.

And yes, I fed the beast. I may be feeding it again today, but I feel a follow up is needed, at least as far as highlighting some of White Wolf's response. You can read the full White Wolf blog post here.
Last week we released it to the world, and we are grateful for all your survey responses, emails, social media comments, and reviews. Now we are working on the alpha playtest for GenCon 2017, but your feedback on the pre-alpha makes it clear that we need to provide some context for the playtest and for V5.
Context. K.
Our oversight, for which we apologize, was not providing this context so that our players could see why and how we made these decisions. We needed to clearly state again that the material was intended for mature audiences, and to label it that way. We should have stated again that our vision for V5 brings Vampire back to its roots as a morality tale about evil, set in the darkest places of our own world. Contemporary, real-world horrors and atrocities are an important part of the setting and by extension – its characters. 
We’ll communicate this and other design-choices better as we go forward. We can and will make the game’s contents transparent for those who need them to be by giving you fair warning. 
I'm assuming you need to be 18 to download the playtest material. Or am I wrong? In any case, the genie is out of the bottle.
V5 Pre-Alpha QA 
We answer some of the most common questions about the V5 Pre-Alpha. Feel free to send us more questions. 
Q: Why is Amelina a pedophile?
A: She’s not. She has an obsession with young (recently embraced) Kindred and a feeding restriction that forces her to feed from children and young teens. 
Q: Why did you use the term “triggered” to describe someone easily offended on ideological grounds?
A: Because that is the common usage of the term in everyday language, no disrespect intended.  
Q: Why are so many characters children (“Club Kids”)?
A: The term Club Kid (at least in Sweden) means a youngish (roughly 18-25) person who spends all their free time at clubs, often under the influence of drugs.  
The first answer seems forced to me, like one of those answers thought up AFTER the question came up, but whatever.

The use of "triggered" is amusing, as I wasn't the only one to come to the conclusion that Amelina was a pedophile (there were victims of child abuse when they were younger that came to the same conclusion) so there was some "triggering" that was not part of the scenario but because of the scenario.

As for the Club Kids definition - never heard it used prior, not my social circle. Interesting that its being defined from a Swedish perspective. I guess White Wolf really is international now.

Ah well. Hopefully this puts a stake in the drama. Wait! Stakes still kill vampires, right?

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Follow Up - OSR Artist Mona Dowie has Stage 4 Cancer - The Tavern will Match the First $250 Donated by Tavern Readers

Following up on this morning's post about Mona Dowie and her battle against Stage 4 Cancer. I just discussed the situation with Rach and we agreed that The Tavern needs to take a leading roll in this.

So, this is what we are going.

The Tavern will match the first $250 raised by readers of The Tavern that donate to Mona's GoFundMe. Comment below and let me know who you are on the donation page or email me at tenkarsDOTtavern at that Gmail thing with the info.

The matching offer is good through July 7th, at which point I'll total up the donations from Taverners and match up to the first $250. Knowing our readers, I fully expect them to raise more that $250 in said time. Remember, each dollar you give gets matched dollar for dollar (up to $250 from the community)

Money does not cure cancer but it does help the family with associated costs to treatment.

Cancer has hit the OSR hard recently. Lets do our best to keep it at bay.

Here's the link to Mona's GoFundMe.

edit: Tom Tullis / Fat Dragon Games is adding to the matching fund. The Tavern / Fat Dragon Games will match the first $350 raised by members of this community!

OSR Artist Mona Dowie in Need! Funds Needed for Stage 4 Cancer Related Bills

Originally appeared in Petty Gods - Artist Mona Dowie

Let me start this by saying cancer is a topic very near and dear to my heart. I lost two aunts and uncle to cancer and I myself am a survivor of Stage 2 Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I was and am blessed to have very good health care due to my service to the City of New York. I realize many do not have such benefits.

One such person is Mona Dowie. She was brought to my attention by +R.J. Thompson last night in Tavern Chat. I've said many times that the OSR Community is much like the Law Enforcement Community - when a member is truly in need we simply give, no questions asked. Well, Mona is in need:
"My wife Mona has had cancer for years. Her cancer made her too sick to work by the Spring of 2014. Her cancer was first diagnosed in the fall of 2014 as uterine cancer. In early 2015 she finally got surgery to remove the cancer, which consisted of a full hysterectomy. She was in the hospital for weeks following some complications from surgery, which required her to be on dialysis for a few weeks. Radiation followed for the next few months. We went about a year after that thinking she was cancer free, recovering from her treatment. We moved to her hometown of Waverly, NY, since we had lost our house in Mexico, NY anyway, and it was about time we lived near her family and friends. She was not cancer free though. The cancer metastasized first to her lungs, which gave her a diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer, a few months later it metastasized to her brain, which we discovered because of the seizures it caused when it bled into her brain."  +William Dowie 
William has set up a GoFundMe to assist with the medical bills. They need to raise $3,000. You can find Mona's GoFundMe at this link.

R.J. is also going to auction off a signed copy of Petty Gods (Mona's work appeared therein) Go to the Gamer's & Grognards blog if you wish read more on the auction.

If you can give, please do. Times are tough and wallets are light these days, believe me, I do understand. If you can't afford to give at this moment please share this post to others who may.

I thank you all in advance. I consider myself a proud member of the OSR, one of the tightest gaming communities to be found.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Reminder - Tavern Chat Tonight - 9 PM Eastern - Tell Me how to do Better

Tavern Chat is tonight at 9 PM Eastern. Quite simply, tell me how I can do better.

Seriously. I do what I do for you, and if I am not up to par, let me know how I can improve.

Use the Chatwing app o the right side of this page and give me your feedback.

I can only be as good as you let me...

Kickstarter - Thinking of Starting a "Project Evaluation / Consultation Tip Jar" at The Tavern

Over the course of any given month I get a dozen to a dozen and a half requests to either look at a not quite live Kickstarter for potential issues or "hey, this is my Kickstarter! Help!" This post is about the first type of request.

Evaluating a Kickstarter for potential issues can be time consuming if done properly. Admittedly, there are other draws on my time that actually pay (not much, but they do) and Kickstarter evaluations and consultations often don't get done or just get the most basic review.

Having folks pay to have me evaluate their Kickstarter just seems... I dunno, I guess it would put it on a priority over blogging and content creation, which I don't want to do. It could also put into question my impartiality if and when I post about a project that I was paid to consult on.

A tip jar, to me, allows for the potential of some sort of compensation for my time evaluating while still keeping the priorities of The Tavern as they are meant to be - my honest opinion. You may not agree with my opinion, but know that it can't be bought and I disclose all conflicts of interest as they may be. Which going forward, will include if I was asked to evaluate a Kickstarter project before it went live.

I know that some in the community have joked that I should start a Kickstarter Consulting Service. Although said in jest, there is truth to the idea. I'm just trying to find the proper balance to such.

Feedback is, as always, welcome :)

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Tenkar's Tavern Crowdsourced Wand of Wonder - Winners and Effect Table

What follows is The Tenkar's Tavern Crowdsourced Wand of Wonder. I have edited some of the entries for consistency and occasional balance as well as to make them compatible with Swords & Wizardry Light's default dice (d6 and d20).

Random winners are as follows:

$10 RPGNow GC - +Joseph Bloch
$5   RPGNow GC - +Denis McCarthy
$5   RPGNow GC - Wolfgang Cole
$5   RPGNow GC - Steve Queen
For making me laugh
$5   RPGNow GC - +Michael Gross

Winners should email me at tenkarsDOTtavern at that gmail thing to receive their GCs.

To roll on the Tenkar's Tavern Crowdsourced Wand of Wonder Results Table, Roll 1d20 and 1d6 and add the results.

2 - Every color on the user is reversed, including body, clothing, and possessions. Black becomes white, red becomes green, and so forth. The effect is permanent. Joseph Block

3 - The Spirit of the wand 'time-stops' the user for 1d6 rounds, answering one question per round as truthfully as possible, but with a quirky, sometimes off-beat sense of humor, if more than 2 questions are asked, the caster suffers one round of being under a time stop himself. The wand answers only to 'Gary'... James Stanton

4 - Target of wand has their clothing inverted inside out. Denis McCarthy

5 - Fart gun. Shooting it means a normal attack roll, at +2, with 1d6 damage on a successful hit. Regardless of success, the target and anyone within 10 feet of the target must save vs. breath weapon or lose the next round while holding his nose. Range is 30 feet (thank goodness!). Charles Saeger

6 - The rod turns into a non-magical torch for 1d6 hours. Jayson Gardner

7 - Wand utters out loud a nearby enemy’s embarrassing secret. Ray Chapel

8 - Stream of coins. A steady stream of gold coins issues forth for one round, in a cone 15' long and 4' wide at the base. It will do 2d6 h.p. of damage to anything in the area of effect, and when complete, there will be 1d100+100 g.p. on the ground. Joseph Bloch

9 - The wand extends 1d20' for a duration of 1d6 Rounds, thereafter losing all rigidity for a Turn before returning to its normal state. Anyone in the path of the wand's extension must Save vs having their eye poked (-2 to attacks for 1d6 turns). Geordie Racer

10 - When activated the wand will produce a wondrous display of lights and sounds. The audience (those not expecting the use of the wand) must save vs spell or they will become completely enthralled with the display, stop all activity and watch the display. Each time physical damage is taken, a further save may be rolled to break the effect. The display will last 1 + D20 rounds or when the caster stops concentrating.

The difficulty of the save is increased by any CHA bonus and Bard levels of the user. A successful save breaks the effect and protects the character for the next 24 hours from the effect.

The range is a far as an audience member can see or hear the effect. Wolfgang Cole

11 - On use, the wand created 5 cubic inches of mashed potatoes, topped with salt and gravy or butter to the wand user's specification. The wand does not create a bowl or other vessel to hold the conjured food, nor any utensils to eat it with. John Kramer

12 - The Wand extends to 4 feet long and claps the wielder on the back as a show of support for doing such a good job. John Kramer

13 - The wand calls upon the Fates to affect the wielder's attributes. Randomly determine an attribute, flip a coin, heads, add 1d3 to the attribute, tails, subtract 1d3 from the attribute. John Kramer

14 - The wand summons 1d3 alternate universe versions of the weirder. These alternates are of different classes, genders, species and possibly even different genres as well. They spend 1d6 rounds arguing which of them is the truest or best form. After this time, 1 version disappears each round until only one remains, save vs. death to not be one of those that disappears. Nathaniel Hull

15 - All magic rings in 1d10 yards of the wielder strike the wielder doing 1 hp damage each, before tumbling to the ground. This includes magic rings worn by the wielder and any party members. 1d4 rounds per ring are required to gather them up and put on a desired ring. Cursed rings will not leave the wearer, but instead drag the wearer towards the wielder, including all others or objects used to prevent this, if a strength check succeeds. Follow Me And Die

16 - The immediate area will smell strongly of maple syrup. Anyone entering the area (defined as necessary by the DM) must save vs. pancake. Failure cause you to lose initiative will you figure out where you can score pancakes at this hour. Justin Culverhouse

17 - Roll again; this effect occurs normally, but in the process of creating the effect the wand shifts polarity, magically (but not physically) reversing the front and back ends. The next use of the wand will treat the user as the target, and anyone/thing being pointed at by the wand as the user. This reversal lasts until the result is rolled again. Alea Iactanda est

18 - With a sudden flourish of this wand, the air surrounding the wielder becomes filled with 6d20 floating dwarven skulls. These skulls erupt into a raucous falsetto rendition of ancient elven love-ballads. All within 60' of the event (including the wielder) must make a saving throw or stand transfixed and enthralled by the performance until its conclusion. This effect last 1d3+3 rounds. Douglas Zielsdorf

19 - A swarm of brilliantly colored butterflies streams from the wand and flocks around a target. The butterflies can lift the target up to 20 feet up, and on a successful reaction roll, carry them at a rate of 10 feet per round, for 2d6 rounds. On a roll of 1-3 on a d6 they are not butterflies, but moths, and will destroy any cloth items the swarmed character is wearing instead. Denis McCarthy

20 - All creatures within 1d4 x 10' of the wand must make a saving throw or have their heads rotated 180-degrees relative to their torsos for 1d6 rounds. Combat is difficult - every opponent is effectively invisible (-4 to hit) and attack rolls less than or equal to 4 (on a d20) indicate a self-inflicted wound. Unguided movement rate is reduced to 1/3 normal, anything faster requires a saving throw each round or 0-1 hp of damage is suffered from collisions. Steve Queen

21 - A random near-by creature is sucked into the wand. They are unharmed, and in stasis. An additional activation (charge) of the wand is required to release them. Steve Queen

22 - The minds of the two random (near-by) creatures swap bodies for the next hour. Confusion last for a 2 rounds - all skills/classes/memorized spells/etc. remain with the body - unless it would be funnier otherwise. Steve Queen

23 - The flesh of all living creatures within 25' radius becomes magically adhesive - anything touched becomes affixed to it. If flesh touches flesh, the glued creature also immediately becomes adhesive as well. None of the creatures in the glue-chain can be separated (short of amputation/destruction) for 1 turn.  Steve Queen

24 - Three to eight (1d6+2) children from an alternate plane appear near the wand user. Roll a d20 on the table below for the children. Do *not* re-roll duplicates, use them!  Children whose descriptions are noted with an asterisk (*) will eventually huddle around the wand user and ask to go back to the Romper Room. The wand looks much like the children’s teachers “attention stick” back home. (If the wand user or anyone else in the party says, “Romper Room,” the children are returned home. The speaker must make a saving throw or be whisked there, too!) Children will return to their plan on their own in 4d6 rounds.

1. Amy; she asks the wand user (or, if ignored other children) to tie her untied shoe*
2. Bryan; he is flexing his hands and walking in place saying, “I have to go.”*
3. Dylan; he tugs at the wand user’s clothes, saying, “I want to go on the monkey bars!”*
4. Gary; he is reading from a joke book and laughs periodically
5. Gus; he is holding an open plastic container of paste in his right hand and eating it with his left index finger*
6. Irene; she is tugging at the hem of her dress, crying for her mommy*
7. Jeffrey; he walks up to other children and squawks at them*
8. Katherine; she continually asks if she can “go on the playground slide”*
9. Keith; a conscientious child, he walks around to the other children and to the characters, asking, “Are you okay?”*
10. Kelly; she is reading from a book entitled, “Adventure Masters Guide”
11. Madison; she is holding an open bottle of bubbles and a bubble wand*
12. Marcus; he is quietly petting his purring cat, whom he brought in today for “Show and Tell”*
13. Michael; he holds a small hockey stick and exclaims, “Me Like Hockey!”*
14. Monique; an aspiring actress, she asks what her motivation is*
15. Nora; she is looking at a magazine
16. Paige; she is coloring on the floor*
17. Phillip; he wears a brown robe and is “working on his vows”*
18. Sydney; she is showing off her small containers that compose her bug collection*
19. Walter; he holds a beautiful flower and asks the other children to smell it*
20. Wendy; she is brushing her hair & asking, “Is it straight?” over and over*
Michael Gross

25 - The recipient of the wands pointing must make a save (d20) versus switching bodies temporarily with the user of the wand. Time to switch back bodies is 5 rounds + 2d6 (or something more reasonable) - Unknown

26 - Re-roll twice and use both results.


Kickstarter - Top Secret: New World Order

Top Secret is back in a new way. The Top Secret: New World Order Kickstarter has just launched.

Now, I has hoped to have the transcript of the interview I conducted with Merle Rasmussen on Sunday transcribed, but as I have found little in the way of helpful software I will need to do this by hand. It may take a few days and it might come out in pieces. Either way I'll put it in your hands, our readers as soon as it is done.

Back to the Kickstarter. Boxed set with all the extra goodness boxed sets are know for is just 50 bucks. Just want the rules and the module? 10 bucks in PDF. If you ask me, those are really strong buy in points for what you get in return.

I also plan to run the pre-release version of the rules through a play test this Saturday night. Yes, the fine folk at the New TSR were nice enough to send me along the PDF of the rules and some extras. I've not read through everything yet, but having played it at NTRPG Con earlier this month I'm confident enough I can run a fairly accurate to the rules session of Top Secret: NWO. That's a huge statement from a grognard like me.

Oh, this also means I can report that the rules are written, which is often not the case with Kickstarters (Far West, I AM talking about you!)

Alright, time for my legs to recover from yesterday's 4.8 mile walk. I see a few pints and 1# lifts in my immediate future ;)

edit - 30 minutes after launch and the funding goal of 12k has already been achieved and exceeded

Monday, June 26, 2017

Kickstarter - The Folio Issue #15 (1e & 5e)

The Folio is back and while the covers are always good or better, this one is awesome. This is my kind of fantasy transportation right there on the cover ;)

What is The Folio? Its a series of releases of adventures / setting material for OSR and 5e rulesets. In this case, issue #15 follows on the events from issue #14.

Or as it is said on the Kickstarter page:
The Folio #15 is a 1st Edition AD&D & 5th Edition D&D combined gaming module. It will be produced as an 8x11”, removable cover [11x17" once removed], adventure with mostly b/w interior artwork. There are two interior booklets, The Gazetteer and The Dungeon, with the final size being roughly 32 pages of content.
Did you catch that "removable cover" part? Yep, makes my heart swell every time I read it.

Folio #15 is 5 bucks in PDF. If you've never checked it out before, 5 bucks is a ground ball for production quality of this level.

15 bucks gives you issues 14 and 15 in PDF, including three mini adventures from issue 14's KS and all the stretch goals from this one.

17 bucks gives you issue 15 in Print and PDF along with the stretch goals.

Did I mention the Folio is quick to deliver (August delivery on tap) and seems to always hit its project due date?

Poppa Frog is on Vacation - The Lesser Frog is Running Dirt Cheap PDF Sales - Swords & Wizardry, Pathfinder and 5e!

What's that you say? Bard's Gate is only 15 bucks in PDF - your choice of Swords & Wizardry or 5e? Exactly where is +Bill Webb and who left you in charge?

Its no secret that I swim in the Frog God's pond these days but when there are good deals I do share them. There are no affiliate links for the Frogs (I need to talk with Bill about that ;) so the only thing in this for me is sharing an excellent product for S&W (and Pathfinder and 5e) at an amazing price.

Use Coupon Code: BARD-DAYS-NIGHT

Just so you know, there's a Tenkar's Tavern located within the city itself. Run by a retired watchman. Dwarven. Yep ;)

But WAIT! That's not all! If you are a member of the Swords & Wizardry Legion Facebook Group - and if you are a regular reader of The Tavern you certainly should be - there a "members only" bundle you can grab. (link to bundle - coupon needed for discount price)

What in the Special Swords & Wizardry Legion PDF Bundle? Its a bundle that grows the more folks that buy it.

It starts with Lost City of Barakus, Grimmsgate and Splinters of Faith I: It Starts with a Chicken. Then, the more folks that buy the bundle the more that's in the bundle. And yes, its retroactive - from the first buyer to the last.

What gets added?
For every 10 bundles we sell we add another Splinters of Faith Module. When we burn through those we add even more. 
Updates will be given on the Swords & Wizardry Legion Facebook Group.
Use the coupon code for the Legion Discount! (link to Legion FB Community)

BTW, the coupons DO stack now. Just put the S&W bundle and Bard's Gate in your cart and add the two coupons.

Fun times! Bill needs more vacations ;)

PS: +Zach Glazar  will post updates on the deal on the SW Legion page...all added modules will be available for download before Bill gets back. ;)

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Door to The Tavern are Open Again - No Pushing, No Shoving, There's Seats for All - There Enough Top Secret: New World Order for Everyone!

The Tavern was pretty much closed yesterday, but the doors are now opened and we are back in business.

Last night Jayson Elliot, he of the new TSR, asked me if I wanted to look at a pre-release PDF of the soon to be Kickstarted Top Secret: New World Order. Not being a fool (and having played a session at NTRPG Con with none other than Merle Rasmussen as the Administrator, I nearly tripped over myself to say "Yes!" Actually, I found out as we were getting ready to start our weekly Roll20 / Hangouts session. We were already derailed and this didn't help. That being said, the plan is for me to run a session of Top Secret with the new rules next Saturday with my group. Huzzah!

Then to top it all off, Merle reached out to me about an interview we had discussed conducting at NTRPG Con a few weeks back. At noon eastern we were on the fun and the interview was on. Good news / bad news - the call did get recorded but Merle's end came in weak (sounded fine on the phone) and I need to find some transcription software to do the bulk of the transcribing.

Some highlights from the interview:

Top Secret: New World Order goes live on Kickstarter on Tuesday, June 27th at 1 PM Eastern. The Boxed Set with all the goodies will be $50 and PDF only for a 128 page (or more) rulebook will be 10 bucks. That's awesome!

I had no idea that Merle submitted his manuscript to TSR when he was a sophomore in college - not that is was returned with a note from Gary himself that said to the effect: "Accepted! Contract to be offered when typewritten manuscript submitted" as Merle had submitted a photocopy of his handwritten notes ;)

Its a great interview and I'll put the text of it in your hands once it gets transcribed :)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Tavern is Closed Today Out of Respect to Stewart Wieck's Passing

I have no wisdom to share. Nothing to say that will lessen the pain for family and friends.

Yes, I am at a loss for words.

We'll be back to regular postings tomorrow.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Stewart Wieck has Passed (White Wolf)

My sympathies to the family, coworkers and friends of Stewart Wieck.

When I know more I will post an update. For now, please keep Stewart and his family in your prayers.

The following was forwarded to me:
Steve Wieck
59 mins ·  
Yesterday my brother Stewart Wieck died. He had just finished a light fencing workout and then fell over. All attempts to resuscitate him failed. It's still unknown what caused it; we'll know more in a few days. Something catastrophic in his heart perhaps.  
Stewart was 49, ate right, exercised, a specimen of good health... it's all just.. stunning that he could possibly, suddenly be gone. 
He was my brother, my best friend, my business partner since we started White Wolf in high school. He was an incredible human being, full of kindness and empathy, fun and artistic passion.  
I was supposed to grow old drinking and gaming with him. Now that will have to wait for heaven or Valhalla or whatever comes next. 
And of course, leave it to Stewart to die with a sword in his hand. 
No need for flowers, no memorial service has been arranged yet, we're just taking things a step at a time. 
Anyone involved with Stewart's publishing projects feel free to reach out to me in a few weeks.

State of The Tavern Keeper - Just Call Me Butters

Today commenced with Uncle Duties at 1030 AM - last day of Kindergarten. Uncle duties today included teaching the spelling of words such as Dungeons, Dragons, Agony, Sword, Knight, Magic, Spell, Bow, Arrow and the like - she's choosing the words, so she's in tune for sure.

Uncle Duties progressed to - well - headache, vague nausea and stomach issues! Yah! No work tomorrow! Fuck! I'm retired.

Good news is I feel the same kinda shittiness whether I'm in bed or at my desk, so I'll be working on finishing up the Crowdsourced Wand of Wonder for posting here at the blog and possibly a PWYW PDF - and awarding the prizes as due.

Rach is at yoga. She'll return to a real shitty situation ;)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

State of The Tavern - No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service (yeah, posting basic guidelines)

We've had some lively discussions the past few days here at The Tavern and I couldn't be more pleased. The comments, by and large, were thoughtful and the topics were thought provoking. There were some hiccups, and as such I find myself in a position where I either moderate all day or I put together some basic guidelines. Failure to follow these guidelines can lead to you comment(s) being deleted. Your bartender has the final word.

Rule Number 1 - You can not answer a question with another question. We are done with that shit. Its an attempt to control the conversation without actually adding to it. Answer the question then ask your own if such is your desire. Questions in response to questions will be deleted as found without warning.

Rule Number 2 - Stay on topic. That being said, there is some huge leeway there. However, if I tell you that you are off topic and you continue to beat the horse expect to see your comments deleted.

Rule Number 3 - Personal attacks on other commenters is strictly verboten. If you aren't sure, don't post it. This hasn't been an issue but it certainly has the potential.

Rule Number 4 - Leave discussion of real world politics in the real world. The virtual Tavern has a no politics rule.

edit: For clarification - there are other places to discuss "real world issues as they may or may not related to gaming" - its not here. We discuss elf games and such here.

Rule Number 5 - I need your help. If you think something needs my attention, you know how to find me.

It actually pains me to post this and none of the above applies even remotely to The Tavern's regular visitors, but lively discussions bring in those that don't know or understand the community's unwritten rules.

Something else to add to the sidebar ;)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Reminder - Tavern Chat Tonight 9PM Eastern- Chat Now or Chat Not!

Tonight is yet another exciting episode of Tavern Chat!

Hear about the $3,100 estimate for the "minor" rear ending this past Saturday.

Talk about how Zak S answers questions with further questions.

Go where no Taverner has gone before!

Dah dah... dah dah dee dee dah dah!

Use the Chatwing app on the right side of this page.

Did I mention I now have a mini fridge under the left wing of my desk? Retirement is REAL yo!

Gaming - The Ties That Bind

I may not be OSR Jesus (really, I'm not) but in some ways I've become a pastor (I get the darnedest IMs) for some in the community. I've even been ordained on the internet (don't tell my priest - besides, Rach spilled those beans years ago)

This probably doesn't apply to 99.999% of those reading this, because you probably aren't sending death threats to members of the OSR at large because of their political beliefs, left or right.

That being said, politics IS driving folks from the OSR (possibly from gaming altogether) and that's a shame. Gaming is one of those activities that crosses gender, racial, social, religious and political lines. When we sit down to game we are all gamers at the table. We share a social activity that is greater in sum than the individuals that participate in it. We literally share a common denominator.


We make magic together and the loss of any one person in our community lessens us all. We should be growing the community, not chasing folks from it. I'm not suggesting that anyone change their beliefs or opinions. Those are personal and we often fight hard to hold on to them. Just remember that others feel the same about their beliefs and opinions. Its what binds us, not what separates us, that is important.

Alright, getting off my soapbox ;)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

What the Hell is Going On with the New Vampire Game? Pedophilia this Time?

I'll be blunt - I haven't followed World of Darkness since the various first editions. So when this was brought to my attention by David Knighthawk from the GamersonGamers Youtube Channel I thought "no fucking way!"

Wow. Way.

Whatever drama Zak S. brought to White Wolf pales compared to these throwaway pedophilia pieces. You want bad publicity for RPGs? White Wolf has you covered.

Right. So, vampire kids "could be" 100s of years old. Or 5. Doesn't matter. Amelina is pedophile, pure and simple. You're meant to roleplay this character? In a campaign?

There is a line between edgy and sick. It isn't fine or thin. It isn't indistinct. Its pretty fucking solid.

Yes, its only a game. Maybe it should be marketed to pedophiles. I'm sure they are an ignored market.

But wait! Maybe its taken out of context. Nope. Its actually giving you context.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Kickstarter - Far West - Far-gotten and Likely Never to Be

On May 1st, Gareth updated on the Far West Kickstarter that he was dealing with "some serious family matters. I wanted to give you a light at the end of the tunnel, though -- the way things are looking right now, the obligations which are currently weighing on me will be resolved in the next couple of weeks.  At that point, I mean to get back on track and get this done and delivered."

That was seven weeks ago today. Nary a peep. I mean, sure he's been making convention and podcast appearances, but as far as his Kickstarter obligation goes? Nada

Well, i'm glad he has time to tweet:

If I recall correctly, Gareth stated in the past that tweeting doesn't take time away from his work on Far West. I believe him. You can take time away from work that you aren't doing.

Gee, just think, we are coming up on the 6th anniversary of the launch of the Far West Kickstarter.

Holy shit! Really six years! I wonder how many of those 28.6k tweets happened in those six years.

Its always good to know where you stand with a publisher as a customer. It was expensive but now I know...

#ConManKen - you are not alone :)

FBI Via FOIA Request Releases "Gygax Files" (Delta's D&D Hotspot Blog)

I don't go to Delta's D&D Hotspot Blog often, but when I do - simply wow! Why did I go this morning? Because of a truly confusing and boring (pointless?) article on ENWorld about the history of the Fireball spell in D&D. Damn, so glad I looked at that boring article.

Delta has a nice breakdown of what's contained in the "Gygax Files" and boy, are they interesting. Yep, I am sure Lorraine was the unnamed supervisor doing the telling. Do yourself a favor and visit Delta for the write up.

I'll be visiting Delta more often it seems...

The screenshot above is from Reason.com

Bill Webb Has Left the Country - Frogs Are Running Amok Sale - Deep Discounts!

Yep, Bill, Krista and the tadpoles have left the country for a vacation abroad and they've left the other Frogs in charge of the company.

To put it plainly, Bill's loss is your gain.

There are TWO sales kicking off right now.

The first is a bundle: Monstrosities and 1975 for Swords & Wizardry for 10 bucks in PDF. I kid you not. Now, you need to go to the Swords & Wizardry Legion Facebook page to grab the coupon code that opens up the bundle pricing for you. If for some reason Facebook is your kryptonite, you can email Bad Mike at mikebadolatoATntrpgconDOTcom and tell him you want to join the Legion but Facebook is beyond your ken.

Monstrosities is my favorite monster book by far.  Each entry give you an adventure hook. One day I want to run a campaign using nothing but the hooks in Monstrosities and a little DM ingenuity.

1975 is simply an excellent old school adventure. I've run it twice to great success.

So, what is the other sale you might ask? Well, this is one that The Tavern CAN give you the code to open up your discount pricing:

The Slumbering Tsar is a massive PDF. Pricing on the PDF is normally 90 bucks but the following coupon code: IN-SANE-TSAR - will bring it down to 15 bucks. Yes, its Pathfinder only. Yes, I suspect I can convert this on the fly for Swords & Wizardry. Heck, at 15 bucks I'll sure give it a try :)

Endzeigeist has an in depth series of reviews of The Slumbering Tsar:
Conclusion for the whole Saga: 
Now, I had the time to digest the whole epic – and it’s better than the sum of its parts – tying everything neatly together sans artificial borders, adding player-maps,l getting rid of just about every glitch I complained about in above reviews, the final result is a milestone of the art of adventure-crafting and takes the word “epic” to a whole new level. Well worth every single buck spent for the module and #2 on my best-of of 2012-list, this epic tome is 5 stars+seal of approval and should stand on the shelf of just about any DM! 
If you haven’t yet, take a look at its 951 pages of glorious deadliness here.
There you have it. Frogs run amok. Yes, I now swim in the Frog's pond but I make no commissions from these sales. They are simply damn good pricing for some awesome RPG products with that Old School Gamer sensibility.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Kickstarter - Dungeon of Doom: Handcrafted Game Terrain by Dwarven Forge

Yep, Stefan is giving us another Dwarvenite Kickstarter: Dungeon of Doom.

To be honest, this appears to be the one to back if you haven't backed his previous Kickstarters as it goes back to the classic dungeon. Yep, it looks amazing.

Guess what? Its raised over $1.1 million (goal was $100k) and has 23 days to go. Stretch goals galore to be sure.

I may not be backing on this one only because I have nowhere to store more Dwarvenite! Bad Barkeep! Bad!

BTW, watch the video. Stefan may be a ham, but he is a skilled ham ;)

Free Commercial Stock Photos - Pexels

If you create adventures or gaming material, for your home group or as a self publisher, you need to bookmark Pexels.

Free to use commercial stock photos.

I can see this tree representing The Weep in The Misplaced Lands.

I WILL find a use for this cave.

 and this...

oh my!

Ht tip to +Keith J Davies

Swords & Wizardry Light Setting - The Misplaced Lands - Part 1

Click to enlarge

I worked on this map last summer and then put it aside as Swords & Wizardry Light took on a life of its own. I am revisiting it now. There is no set scale. Scale can be set by determining the number of days to travel from the Imperial City of Azak-Nur to New Velgare to the east. Two days on foot makes for a fairly tight sandbox, ten days on foot makes for a fairly spacious sandbox. I'd opt for two to three days myself.

Descriptions of locations will often be light and open to interpretation. This is as intended. The Misplaced Lands are meant to be fleshed out as need as the campaign progresses, and no two campaigns in The Misplaced Lands will ever be the same.

Imperial City of Azak-Nur - Azak-Nur has all the trappings of a city belonging to a large empire - a small but well disciplined army, a large and powerful class of nobles, political machinations, a strong ruler in its imperial governor and a love of the arts. The furthest  eastern outpost of an empire that spans (or spanned) thousands of miles, few know there hasn't been contact with the empire itself in nearly 20 years. It is effectively a self governing state. It thrives on trade from the sea, the river and caravans.

Azak-Nur claims ownership of lands as follows - west, two days ride, north, midway to Lord Cyril's Keep and east to the western shores of the Chames Lake and the two miles east of the Lower Serpent River.

The Governor's Bridge is a large structure, made of stone and wide enough for two carts to pass in either direction without issue. It was built by and is maintained by the Imperial City of Azak-Nur. The toll is 1 copper on foot, 2 coppers for a horse and rider, 5 coppers for a cart and driver. Tolls are only paid to enter the city.

Miller's Hamlet may or not be directly within lands claimed by the Imperial City of Azak-Nur but for all intents and purposes it is an extension of the Imperial City. It just happens to be the corrupt extension. Smuggling, counterfeiting of coins and goods, strange cults, conspiracies and more are part and parcel of daily life in Miller's Hamlet. It is also the source of much of the Imperial City's milled grain (the surrounding land is fertile and well tended), as such little is done that may upset the delicate balance within the hamlet.

The Copper Hills are exactly that, at least to a point. There are active copper mines (and many abandoned mines) in the hills. Dwarves own and run most of the mines although goblins and others have been known to try an eek out a living mining tunnels the dwarves have abandoned. There is an active silver mine near the ruins of Old Velgare which is under heavy guard. There are also a some cairns scattered around the hills. Usually avoided, they are rumored to be both haunted and mark burial chambers of an ancient race.

Old Velgare - This city on the shore lies in ruins. When Velgare was a Kingdom, this was the seat of its government. It ruled lands west to the Lower Serpent River, followed the lakes and river's southern shores then west to what is now Last Son's Harbor. The war with the Empire (as represented now by the Imperial City of Azak-Nur) did not go well for either side. Thousands died, the city was leveled and the Empire fell back to the west side of the Serpent River. Much of the undercity is still intact and it is believed that fell creatures have started to inhabit the passageways.

Alright - part 2 will kick off with New Velgare, The Prism Tower and The Battle of Durbain's Folly.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Is the Gygax Memorial Fund Deleting Posts from their Facebook Feed? Audit Post Gone Missing

So, I got to thinking - didn't Gail Gygax promise an audit of the Gygax Memorial Fund last year on the Fund's Facebook Page as well as promising to post said results?

So, I dug out the screenshot I took at May 1st of 2016 and lo and behold, she did say such on April 30th of last year. Strangely enough, I can no longer find it in the GMF Facebook feed. I had this issue a few months ago with trying to find the same post and assumed it was Facebook's new algorithm screwing with the posting order. This time i read the whole feed. Nada

Above is the screenshot I took last year.

Why delete such a detailed posting?

Well, we are still waiting on said audit.

The internet has a long memory. You really can't "delete" anything. Especially when folks screenshot your words, like I do.

The feed actually IS in post order, so the post in question HAS been deleted.

Gail, all we want in the truth. Is it that much to ask for? Why are you constantly making enemies out of potential allies?

Try some transparency for once. Seriously. Don't simply promise it and then pretend you never did.

And please remember, the internet has a long memory. It doesn't forget.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Deal of the Day - Apes Victorious (Goblinoid Games)

OSR "Deals of the Day" on back to back days? Woot!

Apes Victorious is today's Deal of the Day. Normally $4.97 in PDF, it is currently $2.98.

What are you waiting for? Go!
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
A portion of sales made through The Tavern's affiliate links goes to support The Tavern. Fnord!

ConManKen - 1/10th the Popularity of a Deceased GameTable Making Company

Ah, sweet #ConManKen. The gift that keeps on giving, much like herpes and just as wanted.

Let me explain something to you that you probably don't understand as it involves numbers of all things - I can actually post results. I can post comparisons. I can post truth. You sir, are no more popular nor welcomed than a boil on an ass in 104 degree weather.

You are the standard of failure in the Kickstarter community that NO ONE wants to be compared to. You however, are not a failure because of incompetence (which you most certainly suffer from) or the myriad alleged diseases that you claim to suffer from but because of your outright dishonesty.

You might need to ask a friend to interpret the following for you:

Thursday, June 15, 2017

RPGNow Deal of the Day - Sword of Air (Swords & Wizardry)

Sword of Air by +Bill Webb is today's Deal of the Day at RPGNow. This 432 page adventure is $100 in print and usually $40 in PDF - for the next 23 hours (as I type this) its on sale in PDF for a mere 12 bucks.

Bill is extremely proud of Sword of Air - just ask him when you see him - and it is an excellent campaign's worth of adventure.
This epic tome consists of several parts: 
1. The Hel’s Temple Dungeon—kind of like Tomb of Horrors on crack. This six-level, trap-and-puzzle infested dungeon formed the basis of Bill's game through his high school and college years. Clark Peterson’s very own Bannor the Paladin spent several real life months in the place, and, sadly, finished the objective. This is where the fragments of the fabled Sword of Air can be found…perhaps. 
2. The Wilderness of the Lost Lands extending to the humanoid-infested Deepfells Mountains and providing detail about the nearby Wizard’s Wall. This so-called “wall” was raised by the archmages Margon and Alycthron harnessing the Spirit of the Stoneheart Mountains to raise the land itself, creating a massive escarpment to block invaders from the Haunted Steppes. These archmages are actual player characters from the early 1980s who live on in the legends of the Lost Lands. Over 70 unique encounter areas are detailed, and each one is a mini-adventure in itself. New wilderness areas may be added based on bonus goals described below! 
3. The Ruined City of Tsen. Legend has it the city was destroyed by a falling meteor. This place forms an aboveground dungeon area the size of a city, with over 100 detailed encounter areas. It’s a very dark place…even at noon. 
4. The Wizard’s Feud—This campaign-style adventure pits the players in a long-running series of intrigues and battles between two archmages. Which side will they take? Their actions all play into the overall quest, and could well determine which side wins. Law and Chaos are not always what they seem, and if the wrong decisions are made, the entire ordeal could fail. Remember, one of the wizards WANTS Tsathogga to win. 
5. New monsters, new demons, new spells, and new rules for various aspects of play. 
6. The Tower of Bells. This dungeon is the result of the workshop Bill ran at PaizoCon 2013, where the participants assisted him in building an old-school dungeon. Visit the tower and discover the secrets of the “artist” within. Beware: those entering may never come out!
FYI - I now swim in the Frog's pond (and will be making future convention appearances thanks to the Frogs) - 5% of all sales made through The Tavern's Affiliate Links goes to support The Tavern.

Free RPG Day is This Saturday - What Are You Looking to Snag?

So, Free RPG Day is right around the corner. Actually, it's this Saturday, June 17th. I plan to run a game of Swords & Wizardry Light at Legendary Realms in Plainview NY. I should have enough copies of the rules to cover a full table. It will be a short session, about 3 hours. Guessing kick of at 1230 or so - I'll know more after tonight's game.

Now, what freebies are you looking to score?

For me, I'm interested in the RuneQuest Quickstart, the DCC Quickstart and the LotFP release (even if I have no clue what its about). If I had to choose only one, I'd go with the DCC pick - I'm interested in seeing how +Jim Wampler trimmed and cut the DCC rules ;)

What are you looking to snag?

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Reminder - Tavern Chat Tonight, 9 PM Eastern

Fair warning - I will probably be late tonight to the chat. Rach is prepping for an audit later thus week and I'll be picking her up from work. You hardly need me anyways, the community runs itself ;)

Someone always ask for a topic: I'd be interested in feedback from the interview I was a subject of earlier this week. OH, and talking about Creature Archipelago, and free RPG Fay this Saturday. Maybe even some info on the upcoming The Tavern Facebook Live dealie

So, how do you participate in Tavern Chat? Its the chat widget on the right side of this page. You may need to scroll down a bit but its there.

Anyhow, see y'all tonight :)

#ConManKen Claims "Self Inflicted Alzheimer's"

Not to belittle a possible health scare for #ConManKen, but we all knew SOME event was going to occur before August that would be an excuse not to fulfill ANY of his Kickstarter projects.

The Official #ConManKen clock stands at:

So Ken has been diagnosed with CTE. Wait! not so fast.

According to Alz.org, an Alzheimer's information website:
Currently, there is not a test to determine if someone has CTE. Because CTE is a relatively new area of exploration for researchers and physicians, formal clinical guidelines for diagnosing and managing CTE do not yet exist. A definitive diagnosis can only be made through an autopsy after death.
Or how about Boston University:
At this time CTE can only be diagnosed after death by postmortem neuropathological analysis. Right now there is no known way to use MRI, CT, or other brain imaging methods to diagnose CTE. The CTE Center is actively conducting research aimed at learning how to diagnose CTE during life. 
If #ConManKen can continue "acting", "teach acting", hock Walking Dead shit for hours - he can finish his Kickstarters. Not that he will, but theoretically he can.

Mark my words, CTE is the excuse he will use when nothing is done by August 1st. You read it here first but I'm sure you could draw your own conclusions.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Geek Chic is Deceased - No Tables for You!

The Rolls Royce of RPG Tables is done. Gone. Kaput. No more is Geek Chic.

I could never afford one of these tables but damn, I so wish I could. I guess I should be thankful the temptation is gone.

If you read the Boardgame Geek thread on this, you find some interesting backstory:

and posts like this:

The tread survived 6 pages before being locked.

In any case, if you are still in the market for gaming tables, there are a number of manufacturers linked throughout the thread.

Old School Gaming Friendly Conventions - Updated June 2017

Alright, I think we have enough conventions submitted to let the post go live. The idea is that we will put up a new post the first week of each month, adding and subtracting as needs are. If you know of conventions that are Old School Friendly, add them as a comment and I'll update the list - Tenkar

Camp Cpn
June 30 - July 2
Poconos, PA

Crit Hit
July 15-16, 2017
Phoenix, Arizona

August 27, 2017. 9am to 6pm
Toronto Canada
The Manulife Center

Gamehole Con
Nov 2-5
Madison, WI

Con on the Cob
Nov 9-12
Richfield, OH

Nov 10-12
Scranton, PA

Nov 10-12
Charlotte, NC

Nov 11-12, 2017
Parkville, MD

Nov 17-19
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Nov 18-19, 2017
Louisville, KY

Jan 13-14, 2018
Bangor, Maine

Winter War
Jan 26-28
Champaign, IL

Con of the North
February 16-18, 2018
Plymouth, Minnesota

OSWARP (Old School Wargame and Role Play convention)
February 22-25, 2018
Morristown, NJ

Gary Con
March 8-11
Lake Geneva, WI

Marmalade Dog
March 30 - April 1, 2018
Kalamazoo, MI

North Texas RPG Con
June 7 - June 10, 2018
Irving, Texas

Bundle of Holding - Fat Dragon +2

I seriously don't know how i almost missed this. What am I talking about? Fat Dragon + 2 at Bundle of Holding.

Why am I upset?

Because Fat Dragon makes the sharpest print at home terrain of any publisher I've looked at. The fact that they are a supporter of The Tavern has nothing to do with it - their shit is simply awesome.

My suggestion? Get some white, slightly heavier printer paper and have at it. That's what I'll be doing for my 6 year old niece - more terrain than she can shake a stick out. She'll be in heaven, it won't break my bank and if she needs more pieces, I simply print them out.

$11.95 for the starter collection. Currently $22.46 for the bonus collection.

Time to print out some terrain!
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