Saturday, May 6, 2017

Troll Lords sends a Fishing Email - I'm Not the Only One That DIDN'T Back This Kickstarter That's Asking for a Response and Offering a Supposed Reward

This email feels really slimy. Really. Slimy.

And look, when I click the link it shows my pledge level at $0.00

Yep. Nothing waiting for me, but I can add stuff to my order. Which I never made.


Bait and switch?

Another example of a Troll Lords fuck up?

I've received numerous reports of others getting the same email.

Rise of the Dungeon Master - Gary Gygax and the Creation of D&D - Graphic Novel releases May 9th, 2017

Rise of the Dungeon Master is a new graphic novel about Gary Gygax and the creation of Dungeons & Dragons.

Release date is May 9th and it can be snagged on Amazon and other sellers. Amazon is offering release dare delivery (purchases using the below Amazon link will help fund The Tavern)

Rise of the Dungeon Master: Gary Gygax and the Creation of D&D
Rise of the Dungeon Master tells, in graphic form, the story of Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, one of the most influential games ever made. Like the game itself, the narrative casts the reader into the adventure from a first person point of view, taking on the roles of the different characters in the story. 
Gygax was the son of immigrants who grew up in Lake Geneva, WI, in the 1950s. An imaginative misfit, he escaped into a virtual world based on science fiction novels, military history and strategic games like chess. In the mid-1970s, he co-created the wildly popular Dungeons & Dragons game. Starting out in the basement of his home, he was soon struggling to keep up with the demand. Gygax was a purist, in the sense that he was adamant that players use their imaginations and that the rules of the game remain flexible. A creative mind with no real knowledge of business, he made some strategic errors and had a falling out with the game's co-creator, his close friend and partner, David Arneson.  
By the late 1970s the game had become so popular among kids that parents started to worry -- so much so that a mom's group was formed to alert parents to the dangers of role play and fantasy. The backlash only fueled the fires of the young fans who continued to play the game, escaping into imaginary worlds. Before long, D&D conventions were set up around the country and the game inspired everything from movies to the first video games. With D&D, Gygax created the kind of role playing fantasy that would fuel the multibillion dollar video game industry, and become a foundation of contemporary geek culture.

State of The Tavern - Uncle Duties and Falling Behind and Planning Catch Up

So, "Pinky", my six year old niece that thinks Uncle wrote Swords & Wizardry Light "just for me so Uncle can teach me to read and play Dungeons & Dragons!" was sick this week. I got the call Tuesday Night and the young lass missed some school this week. Official diagnosis was "tail end of a virus and full on allergies" Retirement means I am the emergency babysitter and sit I did. And drive to pick her up and drop her off. Which means I got podcast listening in but fell behind on content creation and blogging.

So, here's the updates:

Torchlight - As Swords & Wizardry Continual Light is going through heavy edits and layout by the Frogs (meaning the Alpha that a few people got their hands on at Gary Con truly is limited) work on Torchlight has slowed. I want folks to have access to SWCL when the first issue of Torchlight releases. Pencil it in for a July release.

Revisiting Demi-Options - work commences this weekend rewriting the Halfling classes for SWCL and Swords & Wizardry Complete. I'll follow that up with Dwarven Classes, then Elven and last but not least, Gnomish classes. Wait, there isn't a Gnomish S&W race option? We'll fix that ;)

The Crowdsourced Wand of Wonder - I'm going to put the entries into a table and award the prizes tomorrow or Monday. I'd work on it today, but my niece is over. Heh. Where's all that free time retirement is supposed to entail?

Pocket Creatures - Have a few more creatures outlined. Time to work on it.

Learning InDesign - I need to go back to the book and tutorial videos. Time to dig outa the hole...

Secret Project - still secret. Announcement towards the end of the month.

BRW Games (Adventures Dark & Deep / Castle of the Mad Archmage) 20% PDF Sale and Random Drawing

+Joseph Bloch 's BRW Games is running a 20% off PDF sale as well as a drawing for print prizes for those who purchase PDFs (from Joe's blog)
As we head slowly into the summer months, I thought I'd do an impromptu sale, with a contest to boot! 
From Saturday May 6, 2017 through Sunday May 14, 2017, all print-possible pdf titles will be 20% off. 
In addition, anyone purchasing a pdf version of a title (that has a print version) will be included in a special drawing. Two lucky winners will win a free upgrade to a softcover version of the title, and one lucky winner will get a free upgrade to hardcover (if available)! 
Shipping to the United States is included. Outside of the U.S. you will be asked to make up the difference in shipping costs. But the books themselves are still free! 
Purchases of titles that do not have a print version will not be included in the drawing. But if you get a print title, and want to try for a second copy, more power to you! The following titles have print options available:
A Curious Volume of Forgotten Lore Adventures Dark and Deep Bestiary 
Adventures Dark and Deep Game Masters ToolkitAdventures Dark and Deep Players Manual 
Castle of the Mad Archmage Adventure Book Castle of the Mad Archmage Adventure Book (Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Edition)Castle of the Mad Archmage Illustration Book 
Castle of the Mad Archmage Map Book Castle of the Mad Archmage Expansion - Level Three East 
The Golden Scroll of Justice
This offer does not apply to the Adventures Dark and Deep bundle, but does apply to both the Castle of the Mad Archmage bundles (OSR and Pathfinder)
Remember, purchases made using The Tavern's Affiliate links goes to support The Tavern. Tip your barman! ;)

Friday, May 5, 2017

How NOT to use the OneBookSelf Mail to Sell Your Goods - Columbia Games Loves to Send its Customers Spam

Columbia Games, when is enough fucking enough? Three emails for three different products in 40 minutes? Are you fucking for real?

This isn't a knock of OneBookShelf. They know how to run an online digital and print storefront with minimal hiccups. I'm just pointing out a publisher that abuses the tools given to all publishers and is potentially putting that tool at risk.

Ever hear of "less is more?" Try it sometime...

Somehow I missed April 21st - Four fucking emails!

Gaming Raffle to Benefit Kits N Kats Rescue of SC

We gamers tend to love our furry friends. Whether they are pets, mounts, familiars, or members of the family, cats, dogs, ferrets, etc. we have a tendency to take care of them. Dark Trails creator David Baity has taken his support to a whole new level by running a pretty amazing, winner take all, raffle to raise funds for Kits N Kats Rescue that uses items from his own collection as the grand prize. 

Why Kits N Kats Rescue?
"I had habitually avoided them for years because I’m a total sap for homeless cats, and I think it’s just easier to ignore them than to stop and get sucked into their cause.

That all changed in October. That day, a tiny kitten was set off to the side in a carrier, and as I was checking aquariums my curiosity got the best of me. This little kitten was named Tilly and she was obviously very ill. It broke my heart, and for once I decided to not be one of those folks that just walks by. I found out that Kits N Kats takes the kitties that nobody else wants. It doesn’t matter what is wrong with them, they take them in and get them the medical attention they need, saving many of them from being euthanized. I filled up a cart with food that day and dropped it off on the way out. The thanks I got was unexpected and it saddened me to discover they don’t get much in the way of help.

How many of you would spend every Saturday of your life setting up cages and sitting in a pet food store all day, just in hopes someone will take a cat home that you’re fostering? I know I’m a stingy bastard with my Saturdays, so the fact that sweet folks do this is something I genuinely admire. Firemen are called heroes all the time, but to me, these guys are real heroes. I squirt water on burning things on occasion. These ladies take unwanted animals and refuse to give up on them. They medicate, feed and shelter them until someone gives them a forever home.

Tilly lost her battle to her ailments, sadly, but she went out being loved and cherished every day she was here. She also pulled me into the ring, which is why I’m officially announcing a month-long raffle for a treasure trove of amazing RPG goodness."

For each dollar you donate, David will throw your name into the “fish-bowl-of awesome”.  The charity raffle will last until Midnight, June 5th. In November, David Baity's first raffle raised $900.00 for Kits N Kats Rescue and went to the purchase of food and litter as well as vet costs. This time he is hoping to raise more and he has announced a prize-package that is too good to pass up. To donate simply log in to PayPal and send whatever you can spare to mysticmousers@gmail.com David will update the total every week.

 Now then, what does the grand prize winner actually get? The prize package includes a massive amount of content easily worth $300+!!

  • A hardback custom DCC engraved wooden blank book. 
  • Adventures (19 of them): Boston Crawl for DCC, Faerie Tales From Unlit Shores (The Portsmouth Mermaid), Fates Fell Hand, The 13th Skull, Colossus Arise!, Chaos Rising, The Emerald Enchanter, Frozen in Time, Sky Ov Crimson Flame, Stronghold of the Wood Giant Shaman, Carnival of the Damned (signed by yours truly if you want!), The Vault of Ash, Escape from the Shrouded Fen (signed by Terry), Cast Tower of the Blood Moon Rises, The Vertical Halls, Null Singularity, Attack of the Frawgs, Beyond the Silver Scream. Sunken City Omnibus (hardback).
  • Dice: One 12 piece set of Game Science dice, 3 sets of Dark Trails dice from various runs.
  • Rulebooks: DCC, 4th printing (signed by a whole gaggle of cool people like Kovacs, Stroh, Goodman, Curtis and more). 
  • Sourcebooks: Nowhere City Nights, Mind Games,Hubris.
  • Lunchbox: The DCC lunchbox sold at Gencon 2016 (small dent in corner). 
  • Swag: DCC Belt buckle, satin dice bag, spiral notebook, unused “Original Posse” Dark Trails cup. 
  • Zines: D.A.M.N Magazine #1(revised), Black Powder Black Magic Volume I & II.
For Lamentations of the Flame Princess 
  • Lamentations of the Flame Princess (signed by James Raggi).
  • Death Frost Doom (signed by Zak Sabbath).
System Neutral 
  • Vornheim (signed by Zak Sabbath)
  • Artbook: Doug Kovac’s sketchbook, the Drain Chamber deluxe edition (signed and uber cool!)
  • Cough Drops: 1 Ricola cough drop (signed by Brendan LaSalle)
  • Print: MCC Cover painting signed by Doug Kovacs
  • T-shirts: MCC: XL (never worn), Super cool cat shirt! Chinese XXXXL (would fit a small to medium person)

The "Fine Print": David will personally pay up to $50.00 USD out of pocket for shipping. Beyond that and the winner may need to kick in.

Ever Want to Live in Greyhawk? Well, now you Can! :)

The Taverner's are an awesome bunch, because 24 hours a day, 7 days a week they have their eyes open for interesting tidbits.

So, who wants to live in Greyhawk? Housing prices start at just under $400k. There's an onsite golf course. I can't speak about the thieves' guild, but I'm sure you can inquire ;)

Here's your map ;)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

New Release - 50 ShaDes Of vOrpal (ALPHa) (most certainly NOT a review)

First is was a ridiculed Kickstarter. Now its a release at RPGNow.

This is MOST certainly NOT a review of 50 Shades of Vorpal.

As far as I can tell, the author, such as he is, forgot to include an actual set of rules with this "set of rules" but that's ok, as the rues aren't the point. This is the fantasy rpg heartbreaker that was hidden from most of the 13 year old boys in the late 70s and early 80s, but obviously not all.

You don't read 50 Shades of Vorpal as if it were a game, but as a window into the soul of the fictitious author. Well, that and to laugh. Or cry. Cringing works too.

Amazingly enough, this is one product that @ConManKen could probably spell better than. Not by much. Just a little ;)

50 Shades of Vorpal is 5 bucks at RPGNow. I am not suggesting you buy it. I'm just making the proper notifications. Read at your own risk and remember, a portion of sales through The Tavern's OBS affiliate link goes to support The Tavern...

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Tavern Chat Tonight - 9 PM Eastern - Let's Get 'Er On!

Yep, its a Wednesday and that means tonight is Tavern Chat. Woot!

What ever shall we talk about?

#ConManKen?  Venger?  SWL?  The upcoming announcement on May 30th?  Scratch the last one - can't talk about that yet ;)

Join me and the rest of the gang using the Chatwing app on the right side of this page.

Banned Again - Venger - Guardians of Galaxy XXX

Yep, Venger Santanis has a product removed at OBS - yet again. The link goes to his blog post about the latest product removed - Guardians of Galaxy XXX.

Haven't read it yet, but Venger is offering it as a free download via Dropbox.

Now, could it have been removed for trademark / IP issues? Perhaps

Does Venger often needlessly stir up shit? Perhaps Definitely. It is his trademark ;)

Is OBS obligated to sell everything submitted? No

Isn't there an Adult Content filter to take care of stuff like this at OBS? I thought so

Did I plan on DLing Guardians of Galaxy XXX? Probably not. While Venger's earlier OSR fantasy releases were in my wheelhouse, his more recent SciFi SlutPorn or whatever he calls it is not. Doesn't mean it doesn't have its fans.

Ah well. Interesting times.

ConManKen - He of Multiple Facebook Accounts - Is Looking for Web Hosts - Suckers Need Apply

Marcus was kicking something similar off the other week - apply and get hired the same day to host some live sales web show. Now, as Ken has been leaching off of best friend Marcus for months, I'm assuming we are talking the same gig.

I do so like "position require relocation to Eastern Ky." I'm sure the pay doesn't hit minimum wage AND no matter what the host is getting paid, Ken is pocketing more. Oh, and Ken? Thank you for the typos. Consistently entertaining and oh so true to your inner self.

Oh, and notice that #ConManKen is using his "Ken" account and not his "Whit" account. Apparently he's trying to keep his scams separate after his history was revealed to those that hosted his last workshop. He's apparently been "disinvited" in the future.

Don West Sells MCGWIRE ROOKIE CARDS  - I can see Ken doing this ;)

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Announcement - Goodman Games will be sponsoring the Rodneys Adventure Design Competition at GameHole 2017

Yep, neither a rumor nor some strange gaming related conspiracy, Goodman Games will be sponsoring the Rodney's Adventure Design Competition at GameHole 2017. This won't be the first time either. And yes, there will be a DCC RPG specific contest...

What exactly IS the Rodneys Adventure Design Competition? Well, take off your tinfoil hat and we'll tell you (its mostly a copy n paste from the GameHole website)
They are the name of the awards for our Gamehole Con game design contest. If you look at any of our annual logos, you will see an armored fellow squaring off against some foe. At Gamehole Con command central, we have always called that guy, Sir Rodney. So, "The Rodney" will be the name of the physical award given to the winners of our game design contest. 
There will be three separate awards handed out this year at Gamehole Con 2017. They will crown the best submission we receive is each of the three following categories - RPG Adventure (any setting), RPG Adventure (DCC Rules) and Board Game (Dungeon Crawl Simulation). The parameters for each are below. 
The Board Game design contest will be run through The Game Crafter's website.
The winner in each category will receive the following prizes: 
-$100 cash
-a hand crafted award created by Albion Swords with their names inscribed on it
-the right to display the following on their winning game product:
You can find the rules for each of the contest at the GameHole website.

Enter and enter often. Tell them "The Tavern sent me!" If a Tavern reader wins a prize I'll find something else to add to the prize pool but only if you let them know you came from here. Because, you know, secret handshakes and all that...

Revisiting Demi-Options - Race Specific Classes for Swords & Wizardry - Light to Complete

A while back (October of 2012 to be exact) I wrote Demi-Options: Halflings for Occult Moon. It was supposed to be the first in a series of releases, but for reasons that are no longer of import it was one and done.

So, what exactly was Demi-Options? Well, here's the boilerplate:
Ever want to do an all Halfling party, but 6 Halfling thieves just wasn't going to be to your, or your players', satisfaction?
Are you tired of ALWAYS having to play a fighter when you want to be the Dwarf?
Ever want something more than playing a human based class in Elvish body?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, Demi-Options was written with you in mind.
With Demi-Options, as the GM you are presented with multiple class options broken down by race.
Broadly, they cover the four basic human classes, but tweaked and reworked from the demi-human point of view. They are presented as options. As the GM, you can use all, some or none as options for your
PCs. Some may fit well with your campaign ideas, while others may not mesh as cleanly. You may decide to restrict them to NPCs only, but it's my hope you'll open at least some of them for your players to use.
As a player, Demi-Options is your chance to stray away from the Dwarven Fighter or Halfling Thief archetypes. Become a Dwarven Spelunker, setting traps for the goblins and attacking them by surprise.
Inspire your party to greatness as a Halfling Lorister. Break the old mold and embark on a new path.

That's what I want to revisit. I want to rewrite D-O Halflings with better art and presentation, make it friendly for SWCL through Complete and add more classes. Now, that's simple, right? Then do the same for Dwarves and Elves.

Here's one of the classes I wrote back then:

(note - the other Halfling classes are Brewmaster, Lorister and Adventurer)

Halfling Warder

Every community needs it’s protectors. Halflings have their Warders. Trained to fight foes both head on and from (preferably) a distance, they are guerilla warriors of the wee folks. Many a foe has met their untimely demise at a distance when Warders have targeted them.

Prime Attribute: Strength 13+, Dex 15+(+5% experience bonus)
Hit Dice: 1d6/level (gains 2hp/level after 9th)
Fights as a Fighter of the same level
Armor: Chainmail or Leather, can use shield
Weapons Permitted: Any

Level XP Required for Level Hit Dice (d6) Saving Throw
1           0 1 14
2     2000 2 13
3     4000 3 12
4     8000 4 11
5          16000 5 10
6          32000 6  9
7          64000 7  8
8        128000 8  7
9        256000 9  6
10        350000                 9+2 hp  5
11        450000        +2hp/level        4
12+      +100000                        4

Warder Class Abilities:

Strength Bonuses: Unlike most other character classes, Warders with a high Strength can have bonuses to hit and on damage.

Thief Skills - Hide in Shadows and Move Silently as a Thief of the same level. Note: these skills only work outdoors for Warders.

Engage From Distance - So long as the Warder is 10’ or further from his foes and his foes include man sized or larger creatures, the Warder may use missile weapons without fear of inadvertently targeting his allies so long as he targets man sized or larger creatures.

Goblin Lore - the Warder has learned of the weak spots of Goblins, a humanoid race they often compete with for lands and food. Warders gain +1 damage when engaged in melee or using missile weapons against goblins.

Nature Lore (As Druid First Mysteries) Gained at 3rd level - at 3rd level, the Warder can determine whether water is pure; identify any normal plant by sight, smell or taste; and move easily through non-magical undergrowths, including thorns or heavy vines.

Thanks to +matt jackson for making me think of this ;)

Monday, May 1, 2017

Lewis Pulsipher has an Article at ENWorld titled "The Dilemma of the Simple RPG"

That's an Old School D&D Clone from Spain used in the article picture - awesomesauce!

Some names stick out from my early gaming days, and Lewis Pulspher is one of them. His name seemed to pop up everywhere back then and its nice to see him still kicking the tires of the hobby today.

Lewis writes about games being more complex than they need to be with constant expansions because of "money" More rules being released sells more books which makes more money.

I just added my own thoughts on the matter to the comments over at the ENWorld article from the perspective of someone that actually wrote a simplified rule system that is being distributed for free in PDF.

Its an interesting thread with few commenters (in four pages of comments) agreeing with each other. Well done Lewis!

Best Gaming Conspiracy EVAH! Gummy Bears for the Win!

Ive seen some strange conspiracies recently involving gaming companies, but this one makes more sense than the rest. I do like how all the angles come together so well...

Yep, this is my morning. There are many like it but this one is mine ;)

The Tavern's Facebook Community, where the OSR meets. And discusses "stuff", like gummy bears. Heh.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

One Month Away from The Tavern's 8th Anniversary!

Amazing how time flies. May 31st will be the 8th anniversary of The Tavern. Damn!

From literally nothing (I remember a review of Raggi's Grinding Gear had over 60 views - my God, that seemed like 6,000 views ;) to the large and vibrant community that has formed to support The Tavern and becoming one of the most read blogs in the OSR. Pretty amazing stuff.

I'm working on something for May 31st. Not sure what yet, but something special. Y'all deserve it.

Now to find a screenshot from early one using the Wayback Machine...

Guess What I was a Player in Today? Swords & Wizardry Light :)

Always a DM, rarely a player. Such is both my blessing and curse in life.

That's okay though, as I enjoy running game sessions a whole lot. Heck, I got to run one last night - Swords & Wizardry Light even. Today was different - today I was a player in a Swords & Wizardry Light game.

+Tim Shorts shorts invited me to join +matt jackson , +Jim Magnusson and some of Tim's Patreon backers in Tim's SWL Campaign. Needless to say it was a blast.

I played a human thief with a 17 Charisma. Interestingly enough, Matt also chose to run with a thief with, you guessed it, high charisma.

Tim has some really awesome houserules for clerics of different faith's in his campaign world - I'm going to push him to submit that to Torchlight, as they really do add depth to the campaign.

It was strange playing in the system I hacked together and watching someone else put it through its paces. SWL did as it was meant to do - kept itself in the background and let the play take precedence.

Damn, its going to be a few weeks before the next session and I'm already looking forward to it. Assuming I survive, I'll reach level two ;)
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