Saturday, July 1, 2017

Update - Mona Dowie Cancer Fund Match Now at $500

I'd like to take a moment to thank Tom Tullus / Fat Dragon Games and Time Riley for literally doubling the matching fund for the Mona Dowie Cancer Donations.

Thanks to the two above, The Tavern will be matching the first $500 raised by this community and the OSR for expenses related to Mona's treatment of stage 4 cancer. I think we've raised over $400 thus far (i'll get the exact figures later today.)

I am proud and honored to be a part of this community.

Prior posts here and here.

Mona's GoFundMe is here.

Friday, June 30, 2017

White Wolf Comments on the V5 Pre-Alpha Playtest Release Reaction

My current thoughts on the matter? (prior post here)

It was all about the publicity. Good, bad, didn't matter. So long as V5 was being talked about. Some have said they'll never come near it now and some have embraced it but many more have talked about it.

And yes, I fed the beast. I may be feeding it again today, but I feel a follow up is needed, at least as far as highlighting some of White Wolf's response. You can read the full White Wolf blog post here.
Last week we released it to the world, and we are grateful for all your survey responses, emails, social media comments, and reviews. Now we are working on the alpha playtest for GenCon 2017, but your feedback on the pre-alpha makes it clear that we need to provide some context for the playtest and for V5.
Context. K.
Our oversight, for which we apologize, was not providing this context so that our players could see why and how we made these decisions. We needed to clearly state again that the material was intended for mature audiences, and to label it that way. We should have stated again that our vision for V5 brings Vampire back to its roots as a morality tale about evil, set in the darkest places of our own world. Contemporary, real-world horrors and atrocities are an important part of the setting and by extension – its characters. 
We’ll communicate this and other design-choices better as we go forward. We can and will make the game’s contents transparent for those who need them to be by giving you fair warning. 
I'm assuming you need to be 18 to download the playtest material. Or am I wrong? In any case, the genie is out of the bottle.
V5 Pre-Alpha QA 
We answer some of the most common questions about the V5 Pre-Alpha. Feel free to send us more questions. 
Q: Why is Amelina a pedophile?
A: She’s not. She has an obsession with young (recently embraced) Kindred and a feeding restriction that forces her to feed from children and young teens. 
Q: Why did you use the term “triggered” to describe someone easily offended on ideological grounds?
A: Because that is the common usage of the term in everyday language, no disrespect intended.  
Q: Why are so many characters children (“Club Kids”)?
A: The term Club Kid (at least in Sweden) means a youngish (roughly 18-25) person who spends all their free time at clubs, often under the influence of drugs.  
The first answer seems forced to me, like one of those answers thought up AFTER the question came up, but whatever.

The use of "triggered" is amusing, as I wasn't the only one to come to the conclusion that Amelina was a pedophile (there were victims of child abuse when they were younger that came to the same conclusion) so there was some "triggering" that was not part of the scenario but because of the scenario.

As for the Club Kids definition - never heard it used prior, not my social circle. Interesting that its being defined from a Swedish perspective. I guess White Wolf really is international now.

Ah well. Hopefully this puts a stake in the drama. Wait! Stakes still kill vampires, right?

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Follow Up - OSR Artist Mona Dowie has Stage 4 Cancer - The Tavern will Match the First $250 Donated by Tavern Readers

Following up on this morning's post about Mona Dowie and her battle against Stage 4 Cancer. I just discussed the situation with Rach and we agreed that The Tavern needs to take a leading roll in this.

So, this is what we are going.

The Tavern will match the first $250 raised by readers of The Tavern that donate to Mona's GoFundMe. Comment below and let me know who you are on the donation page or email me at tenkarsDOTtavern at that Gmail thing with the info.

The matching offer is good through July 7th, at which point I'll total up the donations from Taverners and match up to the first $250. Knowing our readers, I fully expect them to raise more that $250 in said time. Remember, each dollar you give gets matched dollar for dollar (up to $250 from the community)

Money does not cure cancer but it does help the family with associated costs to treatment.

Cancer has hit the OSR hard recently. Lets do our best to keep it at bay.

Here's the link to Mona's GoFundMe.

edit: Tom Tullis / Fat Dragon Games is adding to the matching fund. The Tavern / Fat Dragon Games will match the first $350 raised by members of this community!

OSR Artist Mona Dowie in Need! Funds Needed for Stage 4 Cancer Related Bills

Originally appeared in Petty Gods - Artist Mona Dowie

Let me start this by saying cancer is a topic very near and dear to my heart. I lost two aunts and uncle to cancer and I myself am a survivor of Stage 2 Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I was and am blessed to have very good health care due to my service to the City of New York. I realize many do not have such benefits.

One such person is Mona Dowie. She was brought to my attention by +R.J. Thompson last night in Tavern Chat. I've said many times that the OSR Community is much like the Law Enforcement Community - when a member is truly in need we simply give, no questions asked. Well, Mona is in need:
"My wife Mona has had cancer for years. Her cancer made her too sick to work by the Spring of 2014. Her cancer was first diagnosed in the fall of 2014 as uterine cancer. In early 2015 she finally got surgery to remove the cancer, which consisted of a full hysterectomy. She was in the hospital for weeks following some complications from surgery, which required her to be on dialysis for a few weeks. Radiation followed for the next few months. We went about a year after that thinking she was cancer free, recovering from her treatment. We moved to her hometown of Waverly, NY, since we had lost our house in Mexico, NY anyway, and it was about time we lived near her family and friends. She was not cancer free though. The cancer metastasized first to her lungs, which gave her a diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer, a few months later it metastasized to her brain, which we discovered because of the seizures it caused when it bled into her brain."  +William Dowie 
William has set up a GoFundMe to assist with the medical bills. They need to raise $3,000. You can find Mona's GoFundMe at this link.

R.J. is also going to auction off a signed copy of Petty Gods (Mona's work appeared therein) Go to the Gamer's & Grognards blog if you wish read more on the auction.

If you can give, please do. Times are tough and wallets are light these days, believe me, I do understand. If you can't afford to give at this moment please share this post to others who may.

I thank you all in advance. I consider myself a proud member of the OSR, one of the tightest gaming communities to be found.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Reminder - Tavern Chat Tonight - 9 PM Eastern - Tell Me how to do Better

Tavern Chat is tonight at 9 PM Eastern. Quite simply, tell me how I can do better.

Seriously. I do what I do for you, and if I am not up to par, let me know how I can improve.

Use the Chatwing app o the right side of this page and give me your feedback.

I can only be as good as you let me...

Kickstarter - Thinking of Starting a "Project Evaluation / Consultation Tip Jar" at The Tavern

Over the course of any given month I get a dozen to a dozen and a half requests to either look at a not quite live Kickstarter for potential issues or "hey, this is my Kickstarter! Help!" This post is about the first type of request.

Evaluating a Kickstarter for potential issues can be time consuming if done properly. Admittedly, there are other draws on my time that actually pay (not much, but they do) and Kickstarter evaluations and consultations often don't get done or just get the most basic review.

Having folks pay to have me evaluate their Kickstarter just seems... I dunno, I guess it would put it on a priority over blogging and content creation, which I don't want to do. It could also put into question my impartiality if and when I post about a project that I was paid to consult on.

A tip jar, to me, allows for the potential of some sort of compensation for my time evaluating while still keeping the priorities of The Tavern as they are meant to be - my honest opinion. You may not agree with my opinion, but know that it can't be bought and I disclose all conflicts of interest as they may be. Which going forward, will include if I was asked to evaluate a Kickstarter project before it went live.

I know that some in the community have joked that I should start a Kickstarter Consulting Service. Although said in jest, there is truth to the idea. I'm just trying to find the proper balance to such.

Feedback is, as always, welcome :)

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Tenkar's Tavern Crowdsourced Wand of Wonder - Winners and Effect Table

What follows is The Tenkar's Tavern Crowdsourced Wand of Wonder. I have edited some of the entries for consistency and occasional balance as well as to make them compatible with Swords & Wizardry Light's default dice (d6 and d20).

Random winners are as follows:

$10 RPGNow GC - +Joseph Bloch
$5   RPGNow GC - +Denis McCarthy
$5   RPGNow GC - Wolfgang Cole
$5   RPGNow GC - Steve Queen
For making me laugh
$5   RPGNow GC - +Michael Gross

Winners should email me at tenkarsDOTtavern at that gmail thing to receive their GCs.

To roll on the Tenkar's Tavern Crowdsourced Wand of Wonder Results Table, Roll 1d20 and 1d6 and add the results.

2 - Every color on the user is reversed, including body, clothing, and possessions. Black becomes white, red becomes green, and so forth. The effect is permanent. Joseph Block

3 - The Spirit of the wand 'time-stops' the user for 1d6 rounds, answering one question per round as truthfully as possible, but with a quirky, sometimes off-beat sense of humor, if more than 2 questions are asked, the caster suffers one round of being under a time stop himself. The wand answers only to 'Gary'... James Stanton

4 - Target of wand has their clothing inverted inside out. Denis McCarthy

5 - Fart gun. Shooting it means a normal attack roll, at +2, with 1d6 damage on a successful hit. Regardless of success, the target and anyone within 10 feet of the target must save vs. breath weapon or lose the next round while holding his nose. Range is 30 feet (thank goodness!). Charles Saeger

6 - The rod turns into a non-magical torch for 1d6 hours. Jayson Gardner

7 - Wand utters out loud a nearby enemy’s embarrassing secret. Ray Chapel

8 - Stream of coins. A steady stream of gold coins issues forth for one round, in a cone 15' long and 4' wide at the base. It will do 2d6 h.p. of damage to anything in the area of effect, and when complete, there will be 1d100+100 g.p. on the ground. Joseph Bloch

9 - The wand extends 1d20' for a duration of 1d6 Rounds, thereafter losing all rigidity for a Turn before returning to its normal state. Anyone in the path of the wand's extension must Save vs having their eye poked (-2 to attacks for 1d6 turns). Geordie Racer

10 - When activated the wand will produce a wondrous display of lights and sounds. The audience (those not expecting the use of the wand) must save vs spell or they will become completely enthralled with the display, stop all activity and watch the display. Each time physical damage is taken, a further save may be rolled to break the effect. The display will last 1 + D20 rounds or when the caster stops concentrating.

The difficulty of the save is increased by any CHA bonus and Bard levels of the user. A successful save breaks the effect and protects the character for the next 24 hours from the effect.

The range is a far as an audience member can see or hear the effect. Wolfgang Cole

11 - On use, the wand created 5 cubic inches of mashed potatoes, topped with salt and gravy or butter to the wand user's specification. The wand does not create a bowl or other vessel to hold the conjured food, nor any utensils to eat it with. John Kramer

12 - The Wand extends to 4 feet long and claps the wielder on the back as a show of support for doing such a good job. John Kramer

13 - The wand calls upon the Fates to affect the wielder's attributes. Randomly determine an attribute, flip a coin, heads, add 1d3 to the attribute, tails, subtract 1d3 from the attribute. John Kramer

14 - The wand summons 1d3 alternate universe versions of the weirder. These alternates are of different classes, genders, species and possibly even different genres as well. They spend 1d6 rounds arguing which of them is the truest or best form. After this time, 1 version disappears each round until only one remains, save vs. death to not be one of those that disappears. Nathaniel Hull

15 - All magic rings in 1d10 yards of the wielder strike the wielder doing 1 hp damage each, before tumbling to the ground. This includes magic rings worn by the wielder and any party members. 1d4 rounds per ring are required to gather them up and put on a desired ring. Cursed rings will not leave the wearer, but instead drag the wearer towards the wielder, including all others or objects used to prevent this, if a strength check succeeds. Follow Me And Die

16 - The immediate area will smell strongly of maple syrup. Anyone entering the area (defined as necessary by the DM) must save vs. pancake. Failure cause you to lose initiative will you figure out where you can score pancakes at this hour. Justin Culverhouse

17 - Roll again; this effect occurs normally, but in the process of creating the effect the wand shifts polarity, magically (but not physically) reversing the front and back ends. The next use of the wand will treat the user as the target, and anyone/thing being pointed at by the wand as the user. This reversal lasts until the result is rolled again. Alea Iactanda est

18 - With a sudden flourish of this wand, the air surrounding the wielder becomes filled with 6d20 floating dwarven skulls. These skulls erupt into a raucous falsetto rendition of ancient elven love-ballads. All within 60' of the event (including the wielder) must make a saving throw or stand transfixed and enthralled by the performance until its conclusion. This effect last 1d3+3 rounds. Douglas Zielsdorf

19 - A swarm of brilliantly colored butterflies streams from the wand and flocks around a target. The butterflies can lift the target up to 20 feet up, and on a successful reaction roll, carry them at a rate of 10 feet per round, for 2d6 rounds. On a roll of 1-3 on a d6 they are not butterflies, but moths, and will destroy any cloth items the swarmed character is wearing instead. Denis McCarthy

20 - All creatures within 1d4 x 10' of the wand must make a saving throw or have their heads rotated 180-degrees relative to their torsos for 1d6 rounds. Combat is difficult - every opponent is effectively invisible (-4 to hit) and attack rolls less than or equal to 4 (on a d20) indicate a self-inflicted wound. Unguided movement rate is reduced to 1/3 normal, anything faster requires a saving throw each round or 0-1 hp of damage is suffered from collisions. Steve Queen

21 - A random near-by creature is sucked into the wand. They are unharmed, and in stasis. An additional activation (charge) of the wand is required to release them. Steve Queen

22 - The minds of the two random (near-by) creatures swap bodies for the next hour. Confusion last for a 2 rounds - all skills/classes/memorized spells/etc. remain with the body - unless it would be funnier otherwise. Steve Queen

23 - The flesh of all living creatures within 25' radius becomes magically adhesive - anything touched becomes affixed to it. If flesh touches flesh, the glued creature also immediately becomes adhesive as well. None of the creatures in the glue-chain can be separated (short of amputation/destruction) for 1 turn.  Steve Queen

24 - Three to eight (1d6+2) children from an alternate plane appear near the wand user. Roll a d20 on the table below for the children. Do *not* re-roll duplicates, use them!  Children whose descriptions are noted with an asterisk (*) will eventually huddle around the wand user and ask to go back to the Romper Room. The wand looks much like the children’s teachers “attention stick” back home. (If the wand user or anyone else in the party says, “Romper Room,” the children are returned home. The speaker must make a saving throw or be whisked there, too!) Children will return to their plan on their own in 4d6 rounds.

1. Amy; she asks the wand user (or, if ignored other children) to tie her untied shoe*
2. Bryan; he is flexing his hands and walking in place saying, “I have to go.”*
3. Dylan; he tugs at the wand user’s clothes, saying, “I want to go on the monkey bars!”*
4. Gary; he is reading from a joke book and laughs periodically
5. Gus; he is holding an open plastic container of paste in his right hand and eating it with his left index finger*
6. Irene; she is tugging at the hem of her dress, crying for her mommy*
7. Jeffrey; he walks up to other children and squawks at them*
8. Katherine; she continually asks if she can “go on the playground slide”*
9. Keith; a conscientious child, he walks around to the other children and to the characters, asking, “Are you okay?”*
10. Kelly; she is reading from a book entitled, “Adventure Masters Guide”
11. Madison; she is holding an open bottle of bubbles and a bubble wand*
12. Marcus; he is quietly petting his purring cat, whom he brought in today for “Show and Tell”*
13. Michael; he holds a small hockey stick and exclaims, “Me Like Hockey!”*
14. Monique; an aspiring actress, she asks what her motivation is*
15. Nora; she is looking at a magazine
16. Paige; she is coloring on the floor*
17. Phillip; he wears a brown robe and is “working on his vows”*
18. Sydney; she is showing off her small containers that compose her bug collection*
19. Walter; he holds a beautiful flower and asks the other children to smell it*
20. Wendy; she is brushing her hair & asking, “Is it straight?” over and over*
Michael Gross

25 - The recipient of the wands pointing must make a save (d20) versus switching bodies temporarily with the user of the wand. Time to switch back bodies is 5 rounds + 2d6 (or something more reasonable) - Unknown

26 - Re-roll twice and use both results.


Kickstarter - Top Secret: New World Order

Top Secret is back in a new way. The Top Secret: New World Order Kickstarter has just launched.

Now, I has hoped to have the transcript of the interview I conducted with Merle Rasmussen on Sunday transcribed, but as I have found little in the way of helpful software I will need to do this by hand. It may take a few days and it might come out in pieces. Either way I'll put it in your hands, our readers as soon as it is done.

Back to the Kickstarter. Boxed set with all the extra goodness boxed sets are know for is just 50 bucks. Just want the rules and the module? 10 bucks in PDF. If you ask me, those are really strong buy in points for what you get in return.

I also plan to run the pre-release version of the rules through a play test this Saturday night. Yes, the fine folk at the New TSR were nice enough to send me along the PDF of the rules and some extras. I've not read through everything yet, but having played it at NTRPG Con earlier this month I'm confident enough I can run a fairly accurate to the rules session of Top Secret: NWO. That's a huge statement from a grognard like me.

Oh, this also means I can report that the rules are written, which is often not the case with Kickstarters (Far West, I AM talking about you!)

Alright, time for my legs to recover from yesterday's 4.8 mile walk. I see a few pints and 1# lifts in my immediate future ;)

edit - 30 minutes after launch and the funding goal of 12k has already been achieved and exceeded

Monday, June 26, 2017

Kickstarter - The Folio Issue #15 (1e & 5e)

The Folio is back and while the covers are always good or better, this one is awesome. This is my kind of fantasy transportation right there on the cover ;)

What is The Folio? Its a series of releases of adventures / setting material for OSR and 5e rulesets. In this case, issue #15 follows on the events from issue #14.

Or as it is said on the Kickstarter page:
The Folio #15 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.
Did you catch that "removable cover" part? Yep, makes my heart swell every time I read it.

Folio #15 is 5 bucks in PDF. If you've never checked it out before, 5 bucks is a ground ball for production quality of this level.

15 bucks gives you issues 14 and 15 in PDF, including three mini adventures from issue 14's KS and all the stretch goals from this one.

17 bucks gives you issue 15 in Print and PDF along with the stretch goals.

Did I mention the Folio is quick to deliver (August delivery on tap) and seems to always hit its project due date?

Poppa Frog is on Vacation - The Lesser Frog is Running Dirt Cheap PDF Sales - Swords & Wizardry, Pathfinder and 5e!

What's that you say? Bard's Gate is only 15 bucks in PDF - your choice of Swords & Wizardry or 5e? Exactly where is +Bill Webb and who left you in charge?

Its no secret that I swim in the Frog God's pond these days but when there are good deals I do share them. There are no affiliate links for the Frogs (I need to talk with Bill about that ;) so the only thing in this for me is sharing an excellent product for S&W (and Pathfinder and 5e) at an amazing price.

Use Coupon Code: BARD-DAYS-NIGHT

Just so you know, there's a Tenkar's Tavern located within the city itself. Run by a retired watchman. Dwarven. Yep ;)

But WAIT! That's not all! If you are a member of the Swords & Wizardry Legion Facebook Group - and if you are a regular reader of The Tavern you certainly should be - there a "members only" bundle you can grab. (link to bundle - coupon needed for discount price)

What in the Special Swords & Wizardry Legion PDF Bundle? Its a bundle that grows the more folks that buy it.

It starts with Lost City of Barakus, Grimmsgate and Splinters of Faith I: It Starts with a Chicken. Then, the more folks that buy the bundle the more that's in the bundle. And yes, its retroactive - from the first buyer to the last.

What gets added?
For every 10 bundles we sell we add another Splinters of Faith Module. When we burn through those we add even more. 
Updates will be given on the Swords & Wizardry Legion Facebook Group.
Use the coupon code for the Legion Discount! (link to Legion FB Community)

BTW, the coupons DO stack now. Just put the S&W bundle and Bard's Gate in your cart and add the two coupons.

Fun times! Bill needs more vacations ;)

PS: +Zach Glazar  will post updates on the deal on the SW Legion page...all added modules will be available for download before Bill gets back. ;)

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Door to The Tavern are Open Again - No Pushing, No Shoving, There's Seats for All - There Enough Top Secret: New World Order for Everyone!

The Tavern was pretty much closed yesterday, but the doors are now opened and we are back in business.

Last night Jayson Elliot, he of the new TSR, asked me if I wanted to look at a pre-release PDF of the soon to be Kickstarted Top Secret: New World Order. Not being a fool (and having played a session at NTRPG Con with none other than Merle Rasmussen as the Administrator, I nearly tripped over myself to say "Yes!" Actually, I found out as we were getting ready to start our weekly Roll20 / Hangouts session. We were already derailed and this didn't help. That being said, the plan is for me to run a session of Top Secret with the new rules next Saturday with my group. Huzzah!

Then to top it all off, Merle reached out to me about an interview we had discussed conducting at NTRPG Con a few weeks back. At noon eastern we were on the fun and the interview was on. Good news / bad news - the call did get recorded but Merle's end came in weak (sounded fine on the phone) and I need to find some transcription software to do the bulk of the transcribing.

Some highlights from the interview:

Top Secret: New World Order goes live on Kickstarter on Tuesday, June 27th at 1 PM Eastern. The Boxed Set with all the goodies will be $50 and PDF only for a 128 page (or more) rulebook will be 10 bucks. That's awesome!

I had no idea that Merle submitted his manuscript to TSR when he was a sophomore in college - not that is was returned with a note from Gary himself that said to the effect: "Accepted! Contract to be offered when typewritten manuscript submitted" as Merle had submitted a photocopy of his handwritten notes ;)

Its a great interview and I'll put the text of it in your hands once it gets transcribed :)
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

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