Saturday, January 28, 2017

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

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

Tenkar, The Warrior Tavernkeeper NEEDS this!

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

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

I'm already thinking of a use for this.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Starfinder Compatibility License is here.

Friday, January 27, 2017

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

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

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

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

Alright, so what is Alternative Facts actually about?

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Thursday, January 26, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kickstarter - Winter Eternal - Tabletop RPG Adventure Module

Where to start?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

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

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

When? 9 PM

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

Who? You and you and you...

See you all tonight :)

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

Holy Shit!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, January 23, 2017

Swords & Wizardry Light Now Available in Spanish

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That changes the power curve, right?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, January 22, 2017

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

What would make your Swords & Wizardry Light experience better?

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

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

- Real play examples

- New spells

- Sample magic items

- New monsters

- Sample encounters

- One Sheet / Short adventures

- Sample setting

- New classes (currently being play tested)

- More levels (currently being play tested)

- New races

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

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

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

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