Saturday, April 8, 2017

Multifarious Marvelous Memorabilia - Janig's Tankard of Beneficial Beverages

Art by Patrick E. Pullen
Janig's Tankard of Beneficial Beverages

"Oi! You call this swill ale? I call it horse piss, just warmer! Ah, were it that I still had me tankard, the one I found beneath the ruined cloister a few years back. Magical, it were, and could fill itself thrice a day with some of the coldest brews or tastiest wines. Curse these dice and the gods that invested them! There was no way I could lose that roll and I did. Ah well, tis better to have drunk well than to never been drunk at all, least that's what I say!" - Janig, Journeyman Treasure Finder and Failed Gambler

Janig's Tankard of Beneficial Beverages looks like a normal pewter drinking tankard, but the inside and upper lip are plated with brass. Three times per day it can produce beer, ale or wine, properly chilled and of excellent quality. The first drink of each day restores 1d6 HP of damage, the second fills one's belly with the nourishment of a full day's meal and the third provides the drinker with their water requirements for the day. After the third drink of the day it won't produce beverages again until the next sunrise. It has been rumored that there are similar but more powerful tankards waiting to be discovered, that dispense beverages with the effects of various potions.

Full Size or Digest? Torchlight Will Be...

map by +Dyson Logos 
So, I threw the question out to the masses: should Torchlight, the upcoming magazine for Swords & Wizardry, be full sized or digest sized and explain your answer. Interestingly, those that desired magazine size usually explained their answer. The vast majority of those desiring digest sized just voted "Digest!" Not sure exactly what that means, but I suspect that the bulk of OSR zines being in digest sized format has something to do with it.

There certainly is love of the digest size but there is a practicality that comes with the full size - maps like the one by +Dyson Logos above are damn near useless at digest size (I printed out a test page.) Someone suggested the possibility of offering full and digest sized releases, and while that MIGHT be a possibility down the line it will not be feasible out of the gate - simply too much time invested in doing the same work twice. Adventures large and small will make up a large portion of the magazine and the maps do need to be readable to be useable.

What does all that mean? Torchlight will be a full sized, color cover, PDF and Print on Demand magazine upon release. If there is enough demand, we MAY offer digest sized versions down the line, but the content might be slightly different, as maps like the one above work in one format but not the other.

However, it does mean that with the possible exception of stand alone adventures, the rest of the Triumvirate Tavern Publishing releases will continue to be in digest / booklet format. Meaning releases such as the ongoing Pocket Creature Collection and the upcoming Multifarious Marvelous Items releases will be released in digest format.

Thanks for your input, one and all. Now if they only offered digest sized printing with fold out maps...

Pre-Order - Against the Giants Walkthrough Maps - In Print - Today - G2 - Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl

Jason Thompson, he of the amazing walkthrough maps of various classic modules from the AD&D 1e era, is taking preorders for movie poster sized prints of G1 through G3 at his online store ($60 for the trilogy) and he was kind enough to share with me some of the amazing artwork. Tonight, I share with you, G2 - Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl (with close ups)

Friday, April 7, 2017

Kickstarter - BLUEHOLME™ Journeymanne Rules

I'm a sucker for OSR rulesets. There is just something special about them. Eh, what can I say? A grognard am I ;)

The BLUEHOLME™ Journeymanne Rules (does it really need a "TM" to make it official?) is being Kickstarted and its looking good. The rules are written and the funding will go for art.

You can download the BLUEHOLME Prentice Rules at RPGNow priced at PWYW. It covers levels 1 to 3. The Journeymanne Rules cover through level 20.

10 bucks gets you the Journeymanne rules PDF, 15 PDF plus voucher at RPGNow for at cost softcover and 26 bucks gets you a hardcover voucher instead.

If you are an OSR completist, you know you need this ;)
BLUEHOLME™ Journeymanne Rules
Back in the beginning of 2013, Dreamscape Design launched a little retroclone intended to faithfully model the "Holmes" edition of the worlds best-known role-playing game. The BLUEHOLME™ Prentice Rules, like the original Holmes Basic book, only covered character levels 1 through 3.
The stand-alone BLUEHOLME™ Journeymanne Rules go much further than that.
-Character levels 1 through 20
-Over 230 spells for clerics and magic-users
-Over 120 creatures, including may sub-types
-Over 250 magic items
-Rules for combining character classes
-Rules for playing any species in the creature chapter
-Rules for adventuring in the Wilderness and in the Realm
-115 pages in 8.5" x 11" format
The Journeymanne Rules are more just than an accurate rendition of "Holmes" edition game-play, they draw from a wide range of sources to more closely model the eclectic and unique approach to the game promoted by Dr J. Eric Holmes himself. In BLUEHOLME™, anything goes - but the dice never lie!
He, just norice. No "TM on the cover. What's up with that? ;P

Torchlight - Digest Sized or Full Sized?

Not going to run this as a survey as answering a survey question doesn't allow one to explain their choice. Instead, I'm going to throw this out to the community at large:

Digest Sized or Full Sized when Torchlight goes to print?

Its an important question.

Some folks prefer digest sized because it is smaller, and thus more easy to carry around. Others prefer full sized pages for ease of reading and whatnot.

We are aiming for 32 to 40 pages (assuming full sized) per issue - probably twice that if we were to opt for digest sized. Which is an artificial page inflation, but when its PDF and POD, really, who's counting? ;)

I'm leaning towards full size, as the cover and some interior art will be in color, and I think that adventure maps will be more readable, but I do understand the arguments in favor of the smaller size.

Now is the chance to voice your opinion.

Oh, Torchlight content will include - adventures (long and short), encounters, locations, npcs, new monsters, new classes, magic items, rules hacks, micro settings and whatever else fits the bill. Where stats are needed, they will be supplied in both Swords & Wizardry Light as well as Swords & Wizardry Complete flavors and should be compatible with the vast majority of OSR rulesets.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Kickstarter Roundup for April 6, 2017 - Heroic Folios Pioneering on Mars Playing in Castles for all Alternity

Sometimes there's just too much going on to highlight Kickstarters in their own posts, so I'm going to highlight a handful this morning in one post. this might become a weekly feature (and I might do something similar with podcasts)

Heroic Fantasy & Barbarian Conquerors Collection - Somehow the latest Kickstarter from Autarch nearly passed me by. Known for quality writing, solid rules and excellent art, heroic and pulp fantasy are both things that interest me dearly. Funded with 13 days to go, I am sorely tempted to back this one. Even if its just to inspire my own future projects.

The Folio #14, 1E/5E Format Adventure Module - Yep, I literally just posted about this but I thought I'd throw a reminder out there as it has 3 days left to fund. Still needs just under 1k to fund and I hope it does. I need some dinosaurs in my SWL campaign ;)

Pioneers of Mars - not an RPG but a card based table top game. Color me intrigued. "You are the Base Commander reporting to a Government or Corporate entity, with the intent of establishing yourself as the most prestigious and powerful faction. Over the course of four Generations, you will gain prestige by celebrating Mars culture, (Tourism and Olympus Mons cards) using your influence and resources to build out your main base, monitor and manipulate the media (Communications Relay), invest in research (Labratories), and train and develop your colonists. In the end, only one individual will be elected as The First President of Mars!

Castles & Crusades Players Handbook #7 - What's that, you say? Another C&C Player's Handbook KS? Aye, but this time there are bargains to be had. A single copy is $15 for print and PDF but $60 covers your group with 5 copies. Although not my system of choice C&C is a very solid option for the OSR gamer, especially one transitioning from 3x or Pathfinder. 6 days to go, just under $3k needed to fund.

Alternity 2017 - A Science Fiction Roleplaying Game - remember Alternity from the days of the TSR implosion? I do. How do I feel about its spiritual return? Surprisingly non-pulsed as there are simply better choices coming up from bigger franchises  - Starfinder (I was going to call it "math in space" but I'll get accused of system bashing ;), the new Star Trek game and we already have more variations of Traveller than any system should have. Oh, and the OSR has White Star and Stars Without Number. So, uhm, yeah. saving my money.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Pre-Order - Against the Giants Walkthrough Maps - In Print - Tonight - G1 - Steading of the Hill Giant Chief

Jason Thompson, he of the amazing walkthrough maps of various classic modules from the AD&D 1e era, is taking preorders for movie poster sized prints of G1 through G3 at his online store ($60 for the trilogy) and he was kind enough to share with me some of the amazing artwork. Tonight, I share with you, G1 - Steading of the Hill Giant Chief (with close ups)

(I think I need more wall space)

Reminder - Tavern Chat Tonight - 9 PM Eastern - Beware the Crow That Caws at Midnight!

I have no idea what the above actually means. Maybe its a new adventure I'll write for SWL ;)

Anyhow, 9 PM tonight is Tavern Chat. You literally do not know who will drop in, and not to drop names, we usually have name droppable visitors ;)

Use the Chatwing widget on the right side of the page to participate. Have an Android or IOS device? There's an app for that.

See you tonight!

Kickstarter - The Folio #14, 1E/5E Format Adventure Module

I've been keeping up with The Folio series of releases since the beginning. Quality art, strong writing and high production values, I haven't missed a release yet. I've also yet to use The Folio in whole, using bits and pieces to drop into my own adventures and such. Yeah, I'm not normal. Or maybe I am.

The Folio #14 really scratches my itch, as it takes inspiration from the classic AD&D adventure, X1- the Isle of Dread. If you are going to go back and find an old module to be inspired by, that is certainly one to draw upon. I mean, it has dinosaurs! Who knows, maybe I'll start using the new set of releases in whole cloth ;)

As usually, The Folio comes stated for 1e (OSRIC) and 5e, so it should be an easy fit for most GMs.
The Folio #14 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. 
Who’s it for? ALL gamers, both new gamers and old gamers as it is easily expandable or playable as is.The concept is to allow gamers a starting point for adventure that can be modified to their liking while providing excellent reference content and framework.The base mechanic will be for 1st Edition with 5th Edition insets, but I’ve designed it to be readily modified to any fantasy game, and don't forget the PDF! 
What’s in it? All original content built in the Art of the Genre world of the Nameless Realms. Incorporating tidbits from previous Folios such as Roslof Keep and the Taux Trilogy, this new adventure will allow players to start at 1st level as they set out in search of the notorious necromancer Molo of the Thirteen wives.  Incorporating my love of ocean adventures, epic exploration of distant cultures, and delving into the past with cursed ships and rampaging dinosaurs, this adventure is everything I ever wanted TSR's X1 The Isle of Dread to be, but was disappointed in upon playing it.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

We HAVE a Gygax Memorial! No Silly, Not THAT One!

A few quick comments, because otherwise the quote from the Gygax Memorial Fund speaks for itself:

1 - As someone else just said to me, thank God Alex designed the plaque and not his mother.

2 - Didn't see Gail but I heard she was there. Met Alex. His heart's in the right place. If there is going to be a Hail Mary with this fiasco, Alex will be the one throwing it.

3 - "This is NOT the memorial you are looking for. Please move along."

Monday, April 3, 2017

Can You Map the OSR by "The Politics of Personalities?"

Here we are, a week after my return from Gary Con and I find I'm still playing catch up, this time with blog reading.

It's funny that I didn't cut my hair for nearly 11 months in the hopes of growing a ponytail - hint: it never got long enough so I cut it short right before the con. I almost went hipster ;)

Anyhow, I find it interesting that instead of focusing on actual blog content or community building, Patrick Stewart instead focused on things like politics and geography.

Really, when it comes down to it, what does politics have to do with gaming or the OSR? Does it matter who at what publisher voted for who (because yes, even publishers have questions about their political leanings)

As for geography, the internet and VTTs blur the line of distance and location, so it seems pointless to even attempt to do so. It is literally making assumptions based on little, if any, facts.

As for the OSR being driven by personalities, no more so than any other hobby. I'm fairly sure the majority of old school gamers have no idea who I am, not do they care to do so. (case in point, NTRPG 2015, where my wife Rach was astounded that someone as the Con had no clue who I was ;)

You can read more at the False Machine Blog

How the F' is This a Kickstarter? Really funny group of friends new to Pathfinder Tabletop RPG

Where is the project?

What is actually being produced?

How is this literally not a cash grab?

Wouldn't this be better as a GoFundMe?
  My name is Abe and I'm a disabled Army veteran that recently floated the idea to a friend about starting up a Pathfinder RPG campaign and before we knew it had a group of 5 awesome and funny friends ready for me to be their Game Master.  Character creation is still a work in progress be so far we have an Investigator and a Magus.   
     The reason I'm asking for funding is because the 5 of them live roughly 85 miles away from me and I'd like to drive to their house(s) once or twice a month.  Obviously the gas prices are a burden but also any funding I have left over I wanted to spread between the group for notepads, mechanical pencils, sticky notes, dice sets, and official Piazo Pathfinder Core Rulebooks.  Our first game session will be the first week of May 2017. 
     I'm considering, if there are no objections in group, recording our game sessions with audio (or video if I can manage to raise enough funds) and post them online for public entertainment.  I'll post links if I do this. 
Some of us have TONS of video game experience, a couple have no RPG experience at all, but we are guaranteed to have fun and plenty of laughs.  I thank you in advance and greatly appreciate any and all donations.  Be sure to check out the rewards section for added incentive! 
Risks and challenges 
The adventuring party will risk their very made-up and completely fictional lives battling the forces of evil in the pursuit of fame and glory. We really risk having a good time and developing a habit of meeting on a regular basis to develop lifelong bonds and memories.
My challenges include being creative enough to fabricate an epic and intriguing tale, organizing our meetings, and getting the party involved and engaged enough to want to do this over a year or more.
My God! Does Kickstarter even look at the shit that's submitted these days? I mean, the title itself should have been a warning.

Why not grab a system that's free for fuck's sake! Pathfinder is a money sink anyway.

Really funny group of friends new to Pathfinder Tabletop RPG

Kickstarter - Frog God Games Starfinder Roleplaying Game Compatible Line (Frawgs in Spaaaace!)

God but I love the above screenshot. Its just so... so damn frog-like :)

Anyhow, Frog God Games will be supporting Paizo's soon to be released Starfinder game with their very own Frog God Games Starfinder Roleplaying Game Compatible Line. Yep, its a mouthful, so lets see what it actually entails:
Paizo, the powers behind the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, are completing the final system check on the highly anticipated release of The Starfinder Roleplaying Game. Based on the robust, yet familiar The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, The Starfinder Roleplaying Game will be taking fans of The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game forward in time and to the edge of space where familiar races, powers and creatures have been unleashed.   
Now beyond the bounds of their home world they traverse and expand into the dark reaches. Where cryptic cultures, xenomorphic horrors, and merciless enemies are scattered across alien worlds. New technologies, arcana and untapped alien arcana can be discovered in the vastness of space.   
Which is where we come in...   
Science Fantasy Frog God Style   
Frog God Games is pleased to present to you its Starfinder Roleplaying Game Compatible Line, which, with your help, will release alongside Paizo's highly anticipated Starfinder Roleplaying Game: Core Rulebook ™ (expected August 2017). Frog God Games is pleased to present to you its Starfinder Compatible Line, which, with your help, will release alongside the core Starfinder rules (expected August 2017). We have seen the rules and are very excited to be supporting Paizo's foray into Science Fantasy.
The Starfinder Roleplaying Game compatible releases from Frog God Games consists of 2 Full-Color, 8.5 x 11 Hardcover Books: The Planetarium and the Tome of Aliens and a folio of six poster maps all available in both print and PDF format.
So, first thing to note is that it Starfinder isn't a Sci-Fi game, its Science Fantasy. I guess that means more Star Wars and less Star Trek. I actually hadn't realized it wasn't going to be Sci-Fi. Go figure.

Second, if you look at the pledge levels, you'll notice there are some systemless options - specifically deck plans.

So, if you are an old school game whose preference is White Star or Stars Without Number, you can just snag the deck plans. Want Print plus PDF deck plans? 30 bucks.

 +Alyssa Faden deck plans for the win!

Not sure I'll be picking up Starfinder (Pathfinder has WAY to much crunch for me) but deck plans like those sampled? Hell yeah!

Now to just hack Swords & Wizardry Light for some Sci-Fi or Sci-Fantasy gaming :)

Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Tavern By The Numbers - Downloads, Members and More

Art by +Craig Brasco , Cover Artist for Issue #1 of Torchlight Magazine

Just so the paying folks know, monies spent on PWYW products released by Triumvirate Tavern Publishing go towards paying the cover artist of the  Torchlight magazine for Swords & Wizardry. So, if you like the art of +Craig Brasco , tip your barman.

Now, for the numbers relating to Pocket Creatures Volume 1 and 2. 135 downloads of Volume 1, and 76 downloads of Volume 2. I'm impressed and I thank you for the support. So far, $23.59 raised for the cover art of Torchlight but we haven't even started.

1297 members of the Tenkar's Tavern Facebook Community. Sometimes members get information minutes before it goes out on the blogside. Other times it is hours. In any case, it is an active community and certainly a place for all old school gamers to be.

Currently I'm working on a PWYW compilation / conversion / quasi-professional release of Beneath the Battered Dwarf Tavern to be released as PWYW. If we happen to hit 1300 hundred members by tomorrow, I will attempt to submit it my the end of the week to OBS. Mind you, I am learning InDesign and I can't predict my progress. I am, after all, a mere retired Civil Servant ;)

Thanks to all! You make this a sandbox worth playing in :)

On Zines and Readership and Monies, Oh My!

I love me a good gaming zine. Really, I do.

Whether its The Manor, Black Pudding, The Excellent Traveling Volume, Crawl, the Undercroft, Under a Broken Moon, The Wizard's Scroll or any other one that I am quite sure I've missed going off the top of my head, they are all special to me.


Because they are labors of love and they speak with the voice of the one that publishes it. They are, in some ways, intimate and personal.

You won't make a lot of money publishing a zine (or most anything else in the RPG industry) but you have the reward of loyal and vocal readership. There is nothing quite so loud as someone advocating for a zine they love.

Also, zines tend to be published irregularly. Yep, I can buy all of the above and more and not dent my wallet.

What we need is more zines. Truly. There was a time when blogs were all the rage and The Tavern is certainly a good source of gaming news with its finger on the pulse of old school gaming, but it generally can't be read on the train, the bus, while sitting in the doctor's office or taking a bath. Zines, especially those in print, are special and should be cherished.

When Torchlight releases, I want it to be but one of many RPG periodicals from self publishers that the community supports.

I Want more Zines in my Time!  ;)

Kickstarter - Talislanta: The Savage Land (and No F@cking Elves!)

I remember the Talislanta ads in Dragon Magazine. The tagline was always "No Elves..."

Well, I bought a copy and although I never played it, i enjoyed reading about this fantasy world that was certain not filled with hobbits and elves and such.

Heck, even when I packed the game away for its trip to storage, ads like the one above were still burned into my synapsis.

Well, Talislanta is back and West End Games has it. Yep, another resurrection from the past, both the game and the publisher.

Talislanta: The Savage Land is the new iteration of Talislanta, coming in three flavors: revised original, D&D 5e and Open d6. Buy in for PDF versions is 5 bucks a system or all three for 10 bucks. Print for one system plus PDF for one is 40 and print for one and PDF for all three is 50.

I'm actually tempted to back for the PDF of the Open d6 version. Ah, who am I kidding? For 5 bucks, I'm backing. ;)
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