Saturday, January 7, 2017

Swords & Wizardry Light "Word File" and Smaller PDF (3 MB) are Now Live!

Thanks to the magic of +Zach Glazar we now have a Swords & Wizardry Light PDF that clocks in at 3 MB. The original file was a hair over 26 MB, so Zach found a nearly 90% savings for you. Yes, its now a "lighter Light" ;)

Additionally there is a Swords & Wizardry Light Word file available for download. You want to hack the rules? Have at it. I know I will. Heh.

Here's the link for the Swords & Wizardry Light folder:  http://bit.ly/2eHQNZw 

For those asking, yes, its a free download.

Work continues on Swords & Wizardry Extra Light, which is extra goodies for SWL, not a more stripped down SWL, as that would be crazy talk...

Old School Blues Podcast - Episode #8 - How can you have any Black Pudding if you don't eat your meat!?!

Last night, Vince, Colin and myself reviewed Black Pudding #2 on the Old School Blues episode #8. How did it go? Well, I'm going to quote the great DM, Tim Connolly:
It was just like having you and Vince in my car with me whilst I was driving to Levittown and back again to Glem Cove afterwards. 
I'm awarding it 6 tankards!
There you have it.

Listen to the podcast, but before you do, download your copy of Black Pudding #2 so you can follow along at home. Unless you're driving. It that case, read Black Pudding later ;)

Friday, January 6, 2017

Save Failed! Save or Die! Podcast Loses its Hosts

The Save or Die! Podcast hosts have left the podcast. Liz, Mike and Jim are moving on. To what? No clue. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a new project involving one or more of the team - podcasts rarely die, they just reincarnate as new beasts ;)

So, where does this leave the Save or Die! Podcast? Sadly, the last episode with the current team was a Email Hot Tub episode. Its no secret that I dislike email features of podcasts in general and having a whole episode dedicated to it? Needless to say, I won't be listening to episode 130. I hereby declare that the last Liz, Mike and Jim episode of SoD was episode 129, when they reviewed The Hero's Journey - that way their run truly ends on a high note.

Will Save or Die! continue? I suspect so, but it won't be the same creature. I'm interested to see what Wild Games Productions has in store for the future of SoD+Vincent Florio , can I request less emails? ;)

Why I Focus on the Kickstarter Con Men - Hatred or Diligence?

There is currently a discussion going on in a Google Plus Community that has come down to this - is shining a continual spotlight on certain reprehensible individuals (my words, not theirs) that have abused the Kickstarter process to harm our gaming community an act of hatred or diligence?

Let me get this out there. I hate neither Gareth nor Con Man Ken. I do, however, loathe them for what they have done to the gaming community and to the Kickstarter process.

You see, no project creator on Kickstarter is in a bubble of their own (well, maybe Monte). When someone abuses the process, there are repercussions throughout this hobby of ours. I can't tell you the number of communications I've had with folks that tell me its because of Gareth, #ConManKen, Brave Halfling, Nystul, Myth & Magic or some other "took their money and failed to deliver" Kickstarter creator that they are now gun shy when it comes to supporting further Kickstarters.

Can you blame them?

Kickstarter funding requires trust and that is something that can not be bought, only earned. It is easy to lose and difficult to regain. And its a fucking shame that shitty people have taken the money of others and given back nothing that was promised, even years later.

Some do try to make right. Others, like Nystul, fall on the sword and admit to their failures. I can respect that. I might not be happy with the results, but it takes a certain amount of introspection to admit you are a failure. It also requires honesty.

Neither ConMan Ken nor Gareth are honest. They have yet to show they have the potential to be so. I will continue to shine my light on the pair of them until they either provide their backers with the products that were promised them OR fall on the sword, admit to their lies and failures and cease trying to fleece honest people of their money. They are a blight on this hobby of ours. Maybe by keeping this pair in focus I have discouraged others. Maybe...

So no, its not hatred. It isn't just diligence. Its a responsibility that I take seriously, even if I do make some of the posts lighthearted at times.

There you have it.

Darkzel Art Scholarship 2016-17

+Grim Jim / James Desborough and I do not see eye to eye on everything but we do have some significant common ground. I've always felt that artists in our hobby are underpaid, whether they are "A" names like Doug Kovacs or skilled unknowns just finding their way, taking their first steps to getting their works published in this hobby of ours. Yes, I call it a hobby - its my perspective. For others, this is a business and a livelihood.

Well, James has put together a scholarship fund to assist artists like the one this scholarship is named after:
This will be the fourth annual fundraiser in memory of my long-time art collaborator ‘Zel’ Harris, cruelly taken from us in a terrible accident, putting paid to what I always thought was a very promising career in art. In his memory and given working for me helped him through his education, I have set up an annual scholarship to aid genre artists working their way through college or in reduced circumstances such as disability, long term unemployment, mental health crises and other hardships. 
The fundraising part will run through the month of December and we’ll be accepting entries through December and January before awarding the scholarship by the end of February. 
We already have a fund of $100 from this year’s art sales, I’ll be seeking to raise another $500 on top of that for a total of at least $600 as a scholarship. 
The aim is still to make the scholarship self funding and it has become apparent that a much stronger effort is going to be needed to make this happen. As such I’m doing a big push this year for donation art. As well as supporting with financial contributions, sharing on social media etc I will be hitting up artists for contributions that can be sold to help support the scholarship in the coming years. 
More information will be coming soon, but for now if you’re an artist or know artists and are willing to help, please contact me about submitting a piece for sale (as stock art) to help continue to fund the scholarship. Your work will be sold electronically and will be used – with credit – by multiple role-playing and publishing companies as well as contributing via the sales to the fund. 
These pieces should be genre fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror, superheroes or similar) and 300-600dpi. Old pieces or concept pieces you haven’t otherwise sold are perfectly acceptable. 
I think you, in advance, for your aid, whether in donating art or helping with the publicity and fundraising in the near future! 
Love and bunnies,
So, how can you help?

Here's the link to enter if you are an artist in need of assistance or have art to donate.

Here's the link to donate to the fund.

If you do donate, please make a note of it in the comments below. The Tavern will match the first $50 raised by Tavern Readers by 1159 PM, Eastern, Sunday January 8th, 2017.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Tales From the Yawning Portal - Against the Giants, Tomb of Horrors, White Plume Mountain and others coming to 5e this Spring

Forbes has an article on Tales From the Yawning Portal (are they getting paid by WotC?) but the gist of things is seven adventures from various editions are being converted into a D&D 5e adventure path this coming April.

What's included?

-Against the Giants
-Dead in Thay
-Forge of Fury
-Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan
-Sunless Citadel
-Tomb of Horrors
-White Plume Mountain

I wonder if they will be using any of the crowdsourced edition translations that have been published on the DM's Guild / OBS site in whole or as a resources. Do you give up all rights to your work when you do said translations?

The Brain Gorger's Appetite releases at Frog God Games Online Store

The Brain Gorger's Appetite (for 5e) just released at the Frog God Games webstore. From what I can tell, this is the first third party product carried at the FGGs store, which is impressive unto itself. You know its a quality release if Bill Web approves of it. Heck, its the rare gaming release I read cover to cover.

Remember, orders of physical items, such as The Brain Gorger's Appetite, will have a copy of Swords & Wizardry Light included in the package for free. Just sayin'. $14.99 in Print. $5 in PDF.

The Brain Gorger's Appetite is the first official convention module originally released at GameHole Con 2016.
For the most part, the town of Ockney’s Hold has always been a peaceful place—bordering on boring. The most interesting things going on in this frontier mining settlement include the annual livestock fair, the cost of spirits at its various inns, and speculation fueled by those same spirits as to what foul things are being dumped into the river by the ore refinery. Recently, however, the usually placid Baron Reinson has begun to act erratically, ignoring most of his counselors, giving more responsibility to his equally erratic chamberlain, and replacing key figures in Ockney’s Hold with outsiders. With no clear answers as to what might be behind the baron’s strange behavior, his last loyal counselor seeks out a band of adventurers to help. Will these brave heroes be able to get to the bottom of a widening conspiracy? And can they expose the terrible and unseen forces manipulating the baron in time to save Ockney’s Hold?

Gareth is Adamant He will Release... Anything but Far West: Thrilling Tales 2e: Pulp Villains - The Subterranean Monarch releases for the New Year

Ah, you gotta love it when one flat out lies to one's backers about putting product into their virtual hands before the year is out (yep, never happened - color me surprised) and yet finds time to release a product for yet another product line.

Thrilling Tales 2e: Pulp Villains - The Subterranean Monarch

Awesome! So, this means all proceeds are going towards putting already paid for physical copies of Far West into backers hands, right?

Er, right?


Far West. When tomorrow is always a day away.

In all seriousness, the reason that Far West is Far From Complete is because there is no money in it. The money is long ago spent and the layers of media that were planned to be built upon the Far West property have rotted away over 5 years of falsehoods and misdirection.

New releases, semi detached from the Albatross can generate income for Adamant / Gareth. Far West is a time and money pit with no current upside - all the upside was spent up front with little if anything to show for it.

This is why there are no refunds - there IS NO MONEY left to refund anybody. I'm not going to guess what it was spent on, but it certainly wasn't held aside to ensure print copies went out to backers.

There is mismanagement here, not just of time but of the funds and it should serve as a warning for anyone looking to do business with Gareth in the future.

Remember, if it never releases, there will never be further refunds. I think I understand now...

Oh, and those "beta versions"? Four months later - haven't happened.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Tavern Chat - 9 PM Eastern Tonight - Talk on the Livestream and More

The Tavern Chat Livestream kicked off last Friday. Although it had a rough first few minutes, it went amazingly well over all and we'll be converting it to an audio podcast too.

Tonight is the regular weekly Tavern Chat, where everyone who wants to gets to join the chat room and chaos ensues.

My day has led me to crack open a bottle of red and I'm quite sure I'll be done with that bottle before 9 PM - Yep, we may have our very own chaos.

See y'all tonight :)

TSR Tuesday,er, Wednesday - New PoD Releases

I missed this post last week and I'm late with it this week. as I've said elsewhere, life has been busy (and today has real doozy potential ;)

This week we have two TSR Era POD releases:

GAZ6 The Dwarves of Rockhome - it's a Gazetteer about Dwarves. Really, do I need to say more?  I'm tempted, because I never owned this back in the day and well... dwarves!

CM3 Sabre River (Basic) - I never owned the Companion rules, so I never owned this adventure / setting back when, but my God, it includes wresting rules for BECMI+Douglas Cole you might find this interesting. $9.99 in Print

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Tavern Chat Livestream will soon be available as a Podcast

We've gotten some very nice feedback on The Tavern Chat Livestream that +Zach Glazar and I recorded last Friday night. Going forward, the goal is to record two sessions a month, with Zach and / or other guests from the OSR community. Just as last Friday, most of the discussion will be fueled by questions asked by out live audience.

As an aside, I'll be keeping the Adult Swim green screen effect and probably swap out art with each episode ;)

I do realize that watching Youtube videos isn't everyone's "cup of tea". The idea is to give you options to access the content. I'll be working on getting the audio uploaded as a podcast feed available on iTunes and other podcatching software. I'm hoping for mid week of next week to kick off the podcast side, but that's a soft date. I'll also be working on editing the Swords & Wizardry Light rules into a word doc for your houseruling pleasure during this time.

As for who the next guest will be, I guess we'll find out next week...

Its 2017 - Where's My F@cking Far West!?!

Gareth, he of endless release dates, promised to release Far West by the "end of the year" even if it was a dump of an incomplete manuscript.

So, where is it Gareth?

Failed again? Say it isn't so. After five fucking years there must be SOMETHING to show for the effort.

How about some words of wisdom attributed to Mister Big Time Publisher?

Gareth, after five years, this is your baby and yours alone. There is one thing I do understand about publishing - if the manuscript isn't complete, it can't be published. Gee, who has supposedly been working on the manuscript for the past five years?

Don't blame Cubicle 7 at this point. They jumped in to save your ass and you had nothing to give them in publishable form.

If you have nothing, be a man and admit it. Right now you've been playing the gaming community for a bunch of fools almost as long as Con Man Ken.

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Tomb of Imperishable Darkness - Background and Intro

-Prince Calishun, First Dwarven Lord of the Imperishable Darkness, knew his day of death was soon approaching. He had created a tomb for himself and his undying servants and for now it served as both temple and residence. Each night he threw the bones of destiny. Each night all he knew was his time was near. Then soon became now, and he barred the entrance to the tomb, his tomb. He went to his crypt and started the ritual that would make him one beyond the undying. He would leave the mortal realm and embrace his destiny. And then there was darkness...

-One of Grunx's kobold scouts reported finding doors in a shallow cave. Doors often meant halls and rooms made by the builders, and that meant warm nights and a sleeping mat. These things were important to Grunx. An ogre considered large even my his brethren, Grunx had learned long ago the secret to survival - let others fight for you and if possible, let others find your food. Finding a leaderless war band of kobolds was a win win for both. Grunx was an able leader and the kobolds had good survival instincts.

The scout was right, there were doors - double doors to be correct. Old doors. Heavy and barred doors. It took Grunx nearly 5 minutes to get the doors open and in doing so, he removed the right door completely off of its hinges. Inside was a hallway. This was promising. Grunx reattached the door as best he could and led his band of Kobolds into the darkness beyond.

-Tomas the Hunter followed the kobold tracks back to a small cave. He didn't get too close, but now he knew where they were based at. Their ogre leader couldn't be far and that was an encounter he didn't wish to have. The caravan masters would pay well for this info and bands of adventurers were rarely hard to find.

Yep, that writer's block is gone. +Pete Spahn , it shouldn't be long now. Maybe I should run a fever for full effect ;)

Creativity is Fed by Illness it Seems

So, yesterday I was pretty much laid out for the day and something strange happened - the writer's block I've suffered recently didn't just end, it started me back at the beginning and moved forward.

Whereas before I had a half dozen adventure seeds that weren't able to get over the creative hump, last night I had an adventure outlined on paper, rooms being detailed and everything already detailed in my head. Surprisingly, I don't seem to have lost anything in that head of mine after a solid 10 hours sleep.

Now, life rarely cooperates with such niceties, and lo and behold, Pinkie and my sis are coming over in half an hour. Thankfully, Pinkie, all of six years going on middle age in some ways, has been known to order me to sit at my desk and write - just need to see if I can convince her to do the same today.

So, a dozen kobolds and an ogre walk into a tomb...

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Inauspicious Start for the New Year? - A Stomach Bug Welcomes your Bartender to 2017 - But Then...

Yeah, today has NOT been a fun day. Its been a good day for NYC NFL teams, but instead of watching the games from the pub or the couch, I've been watching mostly from bed. I've been knocked down by a stomach bug. Hasn't been fun.

There have been some bright spots though :)

+James Spahn forwarded the current draft of what is being referred to as Swords & Wizardry Extra Light and damn it looks good. I might have some occasional good ideas, but James has constant good ideas coupled with amazing writing skills. If all goes well the draft will be put into play next weekend.

Did I mention there is a Tenkar the Dwarf mini in the works? +Darcy Perry of Star Hat Minis is leaving me in awe with each update. Yep, that's the WIP pictured above.

Well, if I need a stomach bug to have such awesome progress being made on projects I am personally invested in, I guess I can handle it. 2017 looks better already ;)
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