Saturday, January 14, 2017

This is How I Roll... Online

Well, I had a comment to the previous post which I figured needed a follow up answer and a post of its own:
Hey, barkeep. Remind us how you do your online play. I seem to recall Hangouts, but do you mix in any other apps? 
Right now I'm targeting Rolz, plus Skype. (Roll20 is just too ... much.) I don't know if I want to trust Hangouts when they are sunsetting app support. 
Bob P
Historically I used Google Hangouts with the Roll 20 app inside the hangout. Yeah, couldn't figure out how to get ANY apps open in Google Hangouts. Google, the only company that can make great applications basically useless. Alright, maybe not the only company...

So, this is what we did:

We used Google Hangout for voice and video. I actually like seeing my players expressions and I'm sure they enjoy seeing my cat's ass in HD ;)

Then I loaded up the Roll 20 app which I had set up earlier in less that 15 minutes, sent out invite and used that on my main screen. On my vertical side screen I had the Hangout and various PDFs open.

The map is a +Dyson Logos . Its a perfect dungeon for what I needed. Support his Patreon for more awesome maps for the RPG community. Find his maps at his blog.

I use Fog of War to show may players what they can see and where they have been. I reveal new parts as the party progresses. Sure, part of the fun and challenge from my teen and college years was the mapping. Well, not really. No one ever wanted to be the mapper. Now, its not an issue.

Notice something missing? Tokens. I never use them. I could. Maybe I should. I have access to hundreds, if not thousands of them. Instead, I go more theatre of the mind. Maybe at some point in the future I'll find a nice middle ground between not using them and using all the bells and whistles.

I do use character sheets now. They actually have ones coded for Swords & Wizardry. I'm impressed.

The thing with Roll 20 is use what you need, not what sounds cool. Dynamic lighting would be a blast to use but the time needed to set it up could be better spent making blog posts like this, or writing more SWL content, or drinking more beer, or...

I roll all attack rolls, damage rolls and 99% of adversary saves in the open. I think players trust the DM to do what is right behind the screen when the rolls of chance are all in front of the screen.

As a DM, I want the players to think out of the box. You want your halfing fighter to make a running leap into the half dozen skeletons coming at you, trying to knock some over and block the doorway at the same time? Sure, make an attack roll with a penalty of 2 to the roll.

Oh, in case you missed it, here's Tim's blog post of last night's session.

Peter just put up his post. Read it. Please comment on the possible motto for The Tavern. It came up organically in play ;)

Last Night the "B" Team Playtested Swords & Wizardry Extra Light & an Adventure I am Finishing Up

Idi the Ogre by Eric Quigley
Its been a long time coming. I hadn't run a game for the "B" Team+Tim Shorts , +Peter V. Dell'Orto and +Douglas Cole ) since late 2015. Yeah, the last year or so of work was rough.

As Tim mentions in his post over at The Gothridge Manor, in the time since we last gamed, Doug created a Kickstarter to make grappling feasible in D20 based games and I put together Swords & Wizardry Light. Of course, Pete's been writing GURPS articles and Tim's been a beehive of creativity with his Patreon and SWL projects.

If you want a recap of last night's game session, read Tim's post on it. Its well done and entertaining.

Here's my highlights:

I got to put the Swords & Wizardry Extra Light rules into play. They are built off of SWL and they really don't change the core, just add to it. The Ranger class played well.

I also got to give the short adventure I owe +Pete Spahn a playtest. Some parts can use tightening and I certainly need to take into account that even my players can attempt non violent solutions to encounters ;)  Attempting to Charm Person an Ogre, even one that speaks Common and is inclined to negotiate, shouldn't work. But when you roll a Natural One on a save, anything can happen ;)

I need to flesh out the setup a wee bit. Which is good to know. I also know where I left out details that were in my head but not on the sheet.

It went well, even though I knew we were on a time constraint. It played out in about 2 hrs 15 minutes - probably closer to 3 hours with a larger party and a tweak to the last part of the dungeon the party reached. Right about where I want it.

I expect a relatively quiet posting weekend...

Original set up of the adventure is here.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Bundle of Holding - Adventurer Conquerer King System - ACKS Collection

I can't believe I would have missed. this if it hadn't been pointed out in a comment on the previous post. I used to check the Bundle of Holding site every few days but I've gotten lazy. In any case...

Grab this bundle!

ACKS is a great system, kinda like Labyrinth Lord with racial classes (note, I didn't say Race as Class - there is a difference and ACKS handles it well) Then you have the ACKS Player's Companion. You want a set of rules, charts, costs and balance checks to create new classes for the OSR game of your choice? This is the book for you.

Looking to handle larger combats or military actions? Check out the Domains of War books. Lairs & Encounters is practically worth the price of admission to the Bonus Collection (currently just under $20) on its own. Don't forget Dwimmermount. Even if you don't run it as is there's simply a huge amount of material to mine.

I strongly suggest the Bonus Collection if you can afford it.

You have just over 17 days to close the deal, but don't wait too long... you might forget ;)

Pathfinder Resource Material - Echelon Game Design - 40% off - Plus Pathfinder Humble Bundle

I don't play Pathfinder. Quite simply, there are just too many rules for me to follow, let alone remember while playing. Still, it is a well written system and enjoyed by a very large segment of the RPG community.

So today I'm highlighting two Pathfinder deals.

The first - Echelon Game Design, aka +Keith J Davies , is running a sale that covers nearly all of his Pathfinder resource series. Keith does extremely accurate and complete work. Here's a description of the Echelon Reference Series which is currently 40% off:
The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game offers a vast range of options for characters of all classes. This is great when a player wants to explore variations on a theme, but it comes at a cost: the character options for each class have been published across many places. 
Books (hardcover compilations such as Pathfinder® Roleplaying Game Core 
Rulebook™ and Pathfinder® Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Combat™, plus the various companions, adventures, and chronicles); 
PDFs (from Paizo and from third-party publishers); 
Websites, blogs, and other online sources. 
This can be intimidating to new players, and inconvenient to experienced players. The Echelon Reference Series aims to make this easier for everyone by gather information for each class into a single book.
Then we have the Pathfinder Humble Bundle. Just in case you are a Pathfinder player without the proper basic resources - oh, and comics!

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

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Tavern Talk Livestream is Live! Kicking at 9 PM EST

Join +Zach Glazar , +Michael Badolato and myself for The Tavern's 2nd Tavern Talk Uncut Livestream.

Link below:

Tavern Talk Livestream Tonight with The Lesser Gnome and the Dwarven Tavernmaster - 9 PM Eastern-ish

Yep, we have the 2nd Official Tavern Talk Livestream tonight around 9 PM Eastern. Figure we'll still need a few minutes to get our act together ;)

The success of the Livestream is YOU and YOUR questions, so think of some and join us live tonight.

I'll update this post and throw up a new post when we have the link for the livestream ready.

Hopefully we'll have some Swords & Wizardry Light news to share.

For those looking for the first Tavern Talk Livestream, its linked below:

Gamer in Need - Doug Rhea (NTRPG Con Founder and Main Man) has Medical Expenses From Stage 4 Colon Cancer

Doug's Chemo Relief - SoTA CTA

Doug Rhea has Stage 4 Colon Cancer and is currently receiving chemo. The medical expenses his family is incurring are very large. In addition to being the main man behind the yearly NTRPG Con (which loses money every year because of Doug's desire to throw the "Best Gaming Convention Ever!") Doug is very active with Shroud of the Avatar (an on-line game and community) since Kickstarter. Although the GoFundMe has benefits for those that donate and are in the Shroud of the Avatar Community, Doug needs all of the support the various gaming communities can give him and his family.

If you've ever attended NTRPG Con, you should know that the awesomeness of the Con itself is directly related to Doug's generosity. Lets see if we can return the favor in this time of need.

Those pledging $50 or more will receive a free pass to NTRPG Con courtesy of Doug.

From the GoFundMe page:
SoTA Community Call to Action - Help IronMaiden 
The campaign is on behalf of Doug (IronMaiden) Rhea. Doug recently (and unexpectedly) discovered he has stage 4 colon cancer. Doug needs $25,000 to cover overwhelming medical bills.  
Doug is an avid gamer and a major supporter of Shroud of the Avatar (an on-line game and community) since Kickstarter.  Doug has 7 accounts + add-ons (and no time/energy to play) and would like to sell them to help pay for his unexpected medical bills.  
As a community of SoTA players, we can help Doug (our fellow Avatar) relieve the pressure of finances and focus on what is important: healing and getting well.  
Our Mission 
We will buy Doug's accounts (via this GoFundMe drive) and hold a charity auction for all whom contribute in this campaign (donating $100 or more). All proceeds will go to Doug (up to 25K) and the remainder will be put into a charity for other Avatars who are in desperate need (per Doug's request). He only seeks to recoup his investment and then wants us to help others. 
About IronMaiden 
Doug is 53 years old, married with 1 son, and 3 beautiful grandkids: Daegan 6, Cora 2, and newborn Griffin.    
Dougs still runs a BBS (gamemastersrealm.com/client), collects old BBS game doors (BBSFiles.com), hosts game servers for Never Winter Nights (nordock.net), and game servers for Quake, Tribes 1, Tribes 2, Wolfenstein, Freelancer and even an old Shard for playing the Ultima Online Renaissance. Doug is an early backer of Shroud of the Avatar and has 9 accounts ranging from Lord of the Manor to Edelmann. 
Doug also hosts and runs the North Texas RPG Con (ntrpgcon.com) every year. 
Pledge Reward Levels: 
Avatars who pledge $25 or more will receive an exclusive, rare cloak in game. This cloak will be custom-colored (TBD), and carry the unique name: IronMaiden's Chemo Relief Fund. The style will be based-off of the ever-popular community events cloak:

Avatars who pledge $50 or more will receive a free pass to the North Texas RPG Con courtesy of Doug (travel and lodging not included). 
Avatars who pledge $100 or more will be invited to participate in an exclusive charity auction for Doug's accounts/deeds/add-ons. This auction will be commission free and provided by Shroud Marketplace.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Reminder - Tavern Chat - Tonight 9PM Eastern - SWL gets some updates...

Its Wednesday, so that means another Tavern Chat from 9PM to 11PM, using that chat box on the right.


Swords & Wizardry Light got some edits, updates and corrections to the Word file.

I got myself a Green Screen

Possibly Tavern Talk Uncut tomorrow night

Imaginary law enforcement with imaginary arrest warrants...

Plus whatever else the community decides.

See you then...

Con Man Ken is Offering Acting Lessons Tonight

Go figure, a time sensitive post.

Yes, none other than our very own #ConManKen is offering acting lessons tonight at 6PM in London, KY.

Remember, those that CAN - DO. Those that CAN'T - TEACH. I suspect this is one of those situations that falls squarely in the middle with the expected mediocre results.

I wonder if the lessons include: "How to accumulate your own film equipment using other peoples money?" Maybe that's in the Advanced Class...

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Neoplastic Press Puts All Titles at PWYW at OBS (and at cost at Lulu)

+Rafael Chandler has put all of his titles at PWYW in PDF at OBS and AT COST over at Lulu.

Terratic Tome, Roll XX, Lusus Naturae and others.

All my PDF gaming stuff is now free or pay-what-you-want. All my print gaming stuff is now sold at cost (no profits to me). Why? Because I pretty much broke even, and had a bit left over to commission some artwork for that heavy metal OSR sourcebook I'm working on. Time to cut prices to the bone! If you like cannibalism, tentacles, and scaphism, check out my stuff in the links below (also, new Lulu code: RESOLUTE15 saves you 15% -- Christ, talk about burying the lede, Chandler).
Here's the link for the PWYW PDFs

Here's the link for the at cost Print at Lulu

Here's a 15% off Lulu coupon:  RESOLUTE15

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

TSR Tuesday - Chainmail $5 in PDF - Mic Drop...

Chainmail is $5 in PDF.

Shall we do a mic drop?

Sure, there were other releases for TSR Tuesday - Print and PDF - but does anything come close to Chainmail?

Questions for the Tavern Master - Swords & Wizardry Light Omissions, Clarifications & Questions - Part the First

+Sophia Brandt emailed me some questions / clarifications regarding Swords & Wizardry Light. Without further ado, here we go:

edit - somehow blogger dropped this post)

I'm writing on a post for SW Light. First, great idea to slim down the ruleset!

Second, I have some questions + I found a typo.
a) Typos
1. The Thief:
"...Leather Armor AC 12[7]." - Shouldn't it be AC 7[12]?
ET - yep - that's a typo

2. Magic-User
Magic-user spells – Level 1 (*user* is lowercase)
ET - I'd need to refer this to one of our grammar experts...

b) Questions
Does the game assume that the reader knows Swords & Wizardry rules?
ET - No, but it does assume a familiarity with RPGs and to a lesser extent older editions of the original RPG. Basically, lapsed gamers and current players of the latest editions and those between. Can you learn to play from just these rules? Probably, but it would sure be easier to have a gamer show you the ropes, as we learn best by doing and experiencing, not by reading. With just 4 pages to play with, explaining the concept of an RPG is beyond the scope of the rules

1. Ability Scores/Ability Score modifiers
You mention that you can use the bonuses for different things, for example, STR bonus for Fighters to hit. But there is no table for the bonuses. AFAIK the modifiers between various editions are slightly different.

ET - There is no table because there is only, at most, a + 1 bonus

2. Hit Die
Is it a d6? HD is mentioned but it's not explained that HD = Hit Dice

ET - The morning tea hasn't quite kicked in, so I can't say for sure we explained that you roll a D6 for Hit Dice. A D20 and D6s are, however, the only dice used in the game. That was to simplify the learning curve, as I've noticed new players often have difficulty telling the different sized dice apart.

As for Hit Dice = HD, it is a common abbreviation across all editions of the game. Additionally, it is shown here for clarity:

3. M-U
Does the M-U get no starting weapons, no dagger? Per rules as written he only gets a spellbook.

ET - That is a big "oops". Dagger or staff. I'll update the Word file later today.

4. Does spellcasting require a test?
Couldn't find an explanation, just that the M-U prepares spells.

ET - As far as I can recall, no edition of the original RPG required a test or spell check to cast a spell (later editions did require one if struck while casting, and the DCC RPG does require such, but it is a very different beast)

All the questions may be redundant if you assume familiarity with S&W Complete. But then it wouldn't be necessary to explain a lot of other things.

ET - Excellent questions. It should be noted that the Swords & Wizardry Light Word Doc will be the living document for SWL. All corrections and edits will be made to the document you see in the SWL download folder. I'll make sure to add a "date updated" to the last page, so you know how current a copy you have. If and when there is a 2nd printing of SWL we'll make sure to include the fixes and corrections.

Please send any questions / clarifications / unlawful gratuities to tenkarsDOTtavern at that Gmail thing. Put SWL in the email title if you could.



Monday, January 9, 2017

State of The Tavern - Light Posting Week and Time Sinks, Oh My!

Yep, just like last week was fairly light, this will probably be another, even lighter, posting week. I need to finish some work for +Pete Spahn , get the Tavern Talk Live podcast conversion of the Livestream done, probably record another Livestream with +Zach Glazar and deal with the ongoing drama that is my mother's cousin (amazingly NOT kicked out of Assisted Living her first weekend, but damn it was close). This is a hellova time sink. Oh, and a dozen or so other responsibilities that have crept in. Heh. Fun times.

Oh, did I mention the metric ton of product I need to review? Amazing stuff like Bard's Gate, Blood in the Chocolate, Hubris, Gramma World and others. I may need to lock myself in a room for a couple of hours a day to get all caught up.

Now, for those playing along at home, I can be found running my mouth with various others of more import than myself on:

The Old School Blues Podcast

Save or Die! Expert Edition Podcast

The Tavern Talk Livestream on Youtube (and soon an audio file on iTunes, so help me God) - I even ordered a green screen for effect - lets see if it works

Tavern Analytics - We Are an Older Bunch of F@ckers ;)

ENworld just posted their analytics results and I figured it would be interesting peeking at those of The Tavern.

79.5% of Tavern readers are 35 years of age or older. For ENworld, approximately 70% of their readership is 34 years of age or younger.

96.2% of Tavern readers identify as male, putting female readership at 3.8% (if I recall correctly, it was 3.1% back in July)

ENworld is 92.4% and 7.6% respectively.

There are observations that can be made from these numbers about the number of female gamers in the hobby, but the biggest one is that they are an untaped market for the gaming hobby in general.

68.3% of Tavern visitors are returning visitors, ENworld has a 67.3% rate. Pretty much the same.

So, The Tavern audience consists overwhelmingly of middle aged men. Sounds like my local pub :)

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Save or Die! Podcast - Resurrected!

The Save or Die! Podcast is continuing in a slightly new format with new hosts. Its new, official title is Save or Die! Expert Edition in homage to the Expert Boxed Set. The main man behind the wheel is none other than +James Spahn himself.

Now, if James reaches out and asks a favor of you, who among us would say "No!" Not I, as I owe James much over the past few years, so I readily agreed to join James in his newest endeavor. Along with James and I, +Vincent Florio and +Glen Hallstrom also agreed to be part of the newly assembled team. For me, it is almost a homecoming to my first podcasting experience, the Brainstorm Podcast.

Episode Adventure#131 is actually a Swords & Wizardry Light episode. By the way, I am TM Erik - Tavernmaster :)
After hovering on Death’s Door for a few rounds, Save or Die continues! Save or Die: Expert Edition bursts on to the scene with Swords & Wizardry Light – an ultralight folio sized incarnation of the flagship Frog God Games fantasy roleplaying game. Join DM James, DM Vince, TM Erik, and DM Glen as they keep it light, keep it fast, and keep it fun!
So, if you want some behind the scenes info (and some upcoming plans) of Swords & Wizardry Light, here's your chance.

Kickstarter - The Folio #12 & #13 - 1E / 5E

Art of the Genre has issues #12 & #13 of The Folio currently funding on Kickstarter. If you've been following along at home, AoG does some high quality releases and they release on time. I know, that's a rarity among gaming Kickstarters, and R. Scott Taylor hits the mark each time. There really should be a Tenkie Award for such an achievement.

The art is top notch as always and I love the fact that the covers are folders like in the era of 1E. Yeah, I'm a sucker for nostalgia.

Folio #12 & #13, along with the prior #11, which can also be ordered from the current Kickstarter, make of the City of Taux Trilogy. You get adventure and setting material in each issue. Game information is given in both 1e and 5e format, so it is both OSR compatible as well as with the latest edition.

I haven't been disappointed with a Folio yet, but I am the type of GM that constantly mines my collection of gaming material for ideas and twists in my campaign. The Folio series has been an excellent resource for me.

Tenkar's Tavern is supported by various affiliate programs, including Amazon, RPGNow,
and Humble Bundle as well as Patreon. Your patronage is appreciated and helps keep the
lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

Blogs of Inspiration & Erudition