Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Tavern is Closed Today Out of Respect to Stewart Wieck's Passing

I have no wisdom to share. Nothing to say that will lessen the pain for family and friends.

Yes, I am at a loss for words.

We'll be back to regular postings tomorrow.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Stewart Wieck has Passed (White Wolf)

My sympathies to the family, coworkers and friends of Stewart Wieck.

When I know more I will post an update. For now, please keep Stewart and his family in your prayers.

The following was forwarded to me:
Steve Wieck
59 mins ·  
Yesterday my brother Stewart Wieck died. He had just finished a light fencing workout and then fell over. All attempts to resuscitate him failed. It's still unknown what caused it; we'll know more in a few days. Something catastrophic in his heart perhaps.  
Stewart was 49, ate right, exercised, a specimen of good health... it's all just.. stunning that he could possibly, suddenly be gone. 
He was my brother, my best friend, my business partner since we started White Wolf in high school. He was an incredible human being, full of kindness and empathy, fun and artistic passion.  
I was supposed to grow old drinking and gaming with him. Now that will have to wait for heaven or Valhalla or whatever comes next. 
And of course, leave it to Stewart to die with a sword in his hand. 
No need for flowers, no memorial service has been arranged yet, we're just taking things a step at a time. 
Anyone involved with Stewart's publishing projects feel free to reach out to me in a few weeks.

State of The Tavern Keeper - Just Call Me Butters

Today commenced with Uncle Duties at 1030 AM - last day of Kindergarten. Uncle duties today included teaching the spelling of words such as Dungeons, Dragons, Agony, Sword, Knight, Magic, Spell, Bow, Arrow and the like - she's choosing the words, so she's in tune for sure.

Uncle Duties progressed to - well - headache, vague nausea and stomach issues! Yah! No work tomorrow! Fuck! I'm retired.

Good news is I feel the same kinda shittiness whether I'm in bed or at my desk, so I'll be working on finishing up the Crowdsourced Wand of Wonder for posting here at the blog and possibly a PWYW PDF - and awarding the prizes as due.

Rach is at yoga. She'll return to a real shitty situation ;)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

State of The Tavern - No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service (yeah, posting basic guidelines)

We've had some lively discussions the past few days here at The Tavern and I couldn't be more pleased. The comments, by and large, were thoughtful and the topics were thought provoking. There were some hiccups, and as such I find myself in a position where I either moderate all day or I put together some basic guidelines. Failure to follow these guidelines can lead to you comment(s) being deleted. Your bartender has the final word.

Rule Number 1 - You can not answer a question with another question. We are done with that shit. Its an attempt to control the conversation without actually adding to it. Answer the question then ask your own if such is your desire. Questions in response to questions will be deleted as found without warning.

Rule Number 2 - Stay on topic. That being said, there is some huge leeway there. However, if I tell you that you are off topic and you continue to beat the horse expect to see your comments deleted.

Rule Number 3 - Personal attacks on other commenters is strictly verboten. If you aren't sure, don't post it. This hasn't been an issue but it certainly has the potential.

Rule Number 4 - Leave discussion of real world politics in the real world. The virtual Tavern has a no politics rule.

edit: For clarification - there are other places to discuss "real world issues as they may or may not related to gaming" - its not here. We discuss elf games and such here.

Rule Number 5 - I need your help. If you think something needs my attention, you know how to find me.

It actually pains me to post this and none of the above applies even remotely to The Tavern's regular visitors, but lively discussions bring in those that don't know or understand the community's unwritten rules.

Something else to add to the sidebar ;)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Reminder - Tavern Chat Tonight 9PM Eastern- Chat Now or Chat Not!

Tonight is yet another exciting episode of Tavern Chat!

Hear about the $3,100 estimate for the "minor" rear ending this past Saturday.

Talk about how Zak S answers questions with further questions.

Go where no Taverner has gone before!

Dah dah... dah dah dee dee dah dah!

Use the Chatwing app on the right side of this page.

Did I mention I now have a mini fridge under the left wing of my desk? Retirement is REAL yo!

Gaming - The Ties That Bind

I may not be OSR Jesus (really, I'm not) but in some ways I've become a pastor (I get the darnedest IMs) for some in the community. I've even been ordained on the internet (don't tell my priest - besides, Rach spilled those beans years ago)

This probably doesn't apply to 99.999% of those reading this, because you probably aren't sending death threats to members of the OSR at large because of their political beliefs, left or right.

That being said, politics IS driving folks from the OSR (possibly from gaming altogether) and that's a shame. Gaming is one of those activities that crosses gender, racial, social, religious and political lines. When we sit down to game we are all gamers at the table. We share a social activity that is greater in sum than the individuals that participate in it. We literally share a common denominator.


We make magic together and the loss of any one person in our community lessens us all. We should be growing the community, not chasing folks from it. I'm not suggesting that anyone change their beliefs or opinions. Those are personal and we often fight hard to hold on to them. Just remember that others feel the same about their beliefs and opinions. Its what binds us, not what separates us, that is important.

Alright, getting off my soapbox ;)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

What the Hell is Going On with the New Vampire Game? Pedophilia this Time?

I'll be blunt - I haven't followed World of Darkness since the various first editions. So when this was brought to my attention by David Knighthawk from the GamersonGamers Youtube Channel I thought "no fucking way!"

Wow. Way.

Whatever drama Zak S. brought to White Wolf pales compared to these throwaway pedophilia pieces. You want bad publicity for RPGs? White Wolf has you covered.

Right. So, vampire kids "could be" 100s of years old. Or 5. Doesn't matter. Amelina is pedophile, pure and simple. You're meant to roleplay this character? In a campaign?

There is a line between edgy and sick. It isn't fine or thin. It isn't indistinct. Its pretty fucking solid.

Yes, its only a game. Maybe it should be marketed to pedophiles. I'm sure they are an ignored market.

But wait! Maybe its taken out of context. Nope. Its actually giving you context.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Kickstarter - Far West - Far-gotten and Likely Never to Be

On May 1st, Gareth updated on the Far West Kickstarter that he was dealing with "some serious family matters. I wanted to give you a light at the end of the tunnel, though -- the way things are looking right now, the obligations which are currently weighing on me will be resolved in the next couple of weeks.  At that point, I mean to get back on track and get this done and delivered."

That was seven weeks ago today. Nary a peep. I mean, sure he's been making convention and podcast appearances, but as far as his Kickstarter obligation goes? Nada

Well, i'm glad he has time to tweet:

If I recall correctly, Gareth stated in the past that tweeting doesn't take time away from his work on Far West. I believe him. You can take time away from work that you aren't doing.

Gee, just think, we are coming up on the 6th anniversary of the launch of the Far West Kickstarter.

Holy shit! Really six years! I wonder how many of those 28.6k tweets happened in those six years.

Its always good to know where you stand with a publisher as a customer. It was expensive but now I know...

#ConManKen - you are not alone :)

FBI Via FOIA Request Releases "Gygax Files" (Delta's D&D Hotspot Blog)

I don't go to Delta's D&D Hotspot Blog often, but when I do - simply wow! Why did I go this morning? Because of a truly confusing and boring (pointless?) article on ENWorld about the history of the Fireball spell in D&D. Damn, so glad I looked at that boring article.

Delta has a nice breakdown of what's contained in the "Gygax Files" and boy, are they interesting. Yep, I am sure Lorraine was the unnamed supervisor doing the telling. Do yourself a favor and visit Delta for the write up.

I'll be visiting Delta more often it seems...

The screenshot above is from Reason.com

Bill Webb Has Left the Country - Frogs Are Running Amok Sale - Deep Discounts!

Yep, Bill, Krista and the tadpoles have left the country for a vacation abroad and they've left the other Frogs in charge of the company.

To put it plainly, Bill's loss is your gain.

There are TWO sales kicking off right now.

The first is a bundle: Monstrosities and 1975 for Swords & Wizardry for 10 bucks in PDF. I kid you not. Now, you need to go to the Swords & Wizardry Legion Facebook page to grab the coupon code that opens up the bundle pricing for you. If for some reason Facebook is your kryptonite, you can email Bad Mike at mikebadolatoATntrpgconDOTcom and tell him you want to join the Legion but Facebook is beyond your ken.

Monstrosities is my favorite monster book by far.  Each entry give you an adventure hook. One day I want to run a campaign using nothing but the hooks in Monstrosities and a little DM ingenuity.

1975 is simply an excellent old school adventure. I've run it twice to great success.

So, what is the other sale you might ask? Well, this is one that The Tavern CAN give you the code to open up your discount pricing:

The Slumbering Tsar is a massive PDF. Pricing on the PDF is normally 90 bucks but the following coupon code: IN-SANE-TSAR - will bring it down to 15 bucks. Yes, its Pathfinder only. Yes, I suspect I can convert this on the fly for Swords & Wizardry. Heck, at 15 bucks I'll sure give it a try :)

Endzeigeist has an in depth series of reviews of The Slumbering Tsar:
Conclusion for the whole Saga: 
Now, I had the time to digest the whole epic – and it’s better than the sum of its parts – tying everything neatly together sans artificial borders, adding player-maps,l getting rid of just about every glitch I complained about in above reviews, the final result is a milestone of the art of adventure-crafting and takes the word “epic” to a whole new level. Well worth every single buck spent for the module and #2 on my best-of of 2012-list, this epic tome is 5 stars+seal of approval and should stand on the shelf of just about any DM! 
If you haven’t yet, take a look at its 951 pages of glorious deadliness here.
There you have it. Frogs run amok. Yes, I now swim in the Frog's pond but I make no commissions from these sales. They are simply damn good pricing for some awesome RPG products with that Old School Gamer sensibility.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Kickstarter - Dungeon of Doom: Handcrafted Game Terrain by Dwarven Forge

Yep, Stefan is giving us another Dwarvenite Kickstarter: Dungeon of Doom.

To be honest, this appears to be the one to back if you haven't backed his previous Kickstarters as it goes back to the classic dungeon. Yep, it looks amazing.

Guess what? Its raised over $1.1 million (goal was $100k) and has 23 days to go. Stretch goals galore to be sure.

I may not be backing on this one only because I have nowhere to store more Dwarvenite! Bad Barkeep! Bad!

BTW, watch the video. Stefan may be a ham, but he is a skilled ham ;)

Free Commercial Stock Photos - Pexels

If you create adventures or gaming material, for your home group or as a self publisher, you need to bookmark Pexels.

Free to use commercial stock photos.

I can see this tree representing The Weep in The Misplaced Lands.

I WILL find a use for this cave.

 and this...

oh my!

Ht tip to +Keith J Davies

Swords & Wizardry Light Setting - The Misplaced Lands - Part 1

Click to enlarge

I worked on this map last summer and then put it aside as Swords & Wizardry Light took on a life of its own. I am revisiting it now. There is no set scale. Scale can be set by determining the number of days to travel from the Imperial City of Azak-Nur to New Velgare to the east. Two days on foot makes for a fairly tight sandbox, ten days on foot makes for a fairly spacious sandbox. I'd opt for two to three days myself.

Descriptions of locations will often be light and open to interpretation. This is as intended. The Misplaced Lands are meant to be fleshed out as need as the campaign progresses, and no two campaigns in The Misplaced Lands will ever be the same.

Imperial City of Azak-Nur - Azak-Nur has all the trappings of a city belonging to a large empire - a small but well disciplined army, a large and powerful class of nobles, political machinations, a strong ruler in its imperial governor and a love of the arts. The furthest  eastern outpost of an empire that spans (or spanned) thousands of miles, few know there hasn't been contact with the empire itself in nearly 20 years. It is effectively a self governing state. It thrives on trade from the sea, the river and caravans.

Azak-Nur claims ownership of lands as follows - west, two days ride, north, midway to Lord Cyril's Keep and east to the western shores of the Chames Lake and the two miles east of the Lower Serpent River.

The Governor's Bridge is a large structure, made of stone and wide enough for two carts to pass in either direction without issue. It was built by and is maintained by the Imperial City of Azak-Nur. The toll is 1 copper on foot, 2 coppers for a horse and rider, 5 coppers for a cart and driver. Tolls are only paid to enter the city.

Miller's Hamlet may or not be directly within lands claimed by the Imperial City of Azak-Nur but for all intents and purposes it is an extension of the Imperial City. It just happens to be the corrupt extension. Smuggling, counterfeiting of coins and goods, strange cults, conspiracies and more are part and parcel of daily life in Miller's Hamlet. It is also the source of much of the Imperial City's milled grain (the surrounding land is fertile and well tended), as such little is done that may upset the delicate balance within the hamlet.

The Copper Hills are exactly that, at least to a point. There are active copper mines (and many abandoned mines) in the hills. Dwarves own and run most of the mines although goblins and others have been known to try an eek out a living mining tunnels the dwarves have abandoned. There is an active silver mine near the ruins of Old Velgare which is under heavy guard. There are also a some cairns scattered around the hills. Usually avoided, they are rumored to be both haunted and mark burial chambers of an ancient race.

Old Velgare - This city on the shore lies in ruins. When Velgare was a Kingdom, this was the seat of its government. It ruled lands west to the Lower Serpent River, followed the lakes and river's southern shores then west to what is now Last Son's Harbor. The war with the Empire (as represented now by the Imperial City of Azak-Nur) did not go well for either side. Thousands died, the city was leveled and the Empire fell back to the west side of the Serpent River. Much of the undercity is still intact and it is believed that fell creatures have started to inhabit the passageways.

Alright - part 2 will kick off with New Velgare, The Prism Tower and The Battle of Durbain's Folly.

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