Saturday, July 15, 2017

TSR Era POD - B1 - In Search of the Unknown

I've been lax at keeping up with the lasted Print on Demand (POD) releases from the TSR era. Well, today I'm trying to do some catching up.

The latest POD release of TSR goodness is B1 - In Search of the Unknown. After the Dungeon Geomorphs and before B2, B1 was the adventure you found in your D&D Basic Set.

Pricing is $4.99 for the PDF, $7.99 for the Print and $9.99 for the PDF plus Print.
"In Search of the Unknown," forms a complete adventure for use with Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set. It is especially designed as an instructional aid for beginning Dungeon Masters and players, specifically created to enable new Dungeon Masters to initiate play with a minimum of preparation.  
In addition to descriptive and situational material, this module also includes special informational sections giving background history and legends; listings of possible monsters and treasures, and how to place them; a list of adventuring characters; tips on various aspects of play for the Dungeon Master; and helpful advice for starting players.
Remember, all purchases made with The Tavern's affiliate links helps fund The Tavern. Its also good for karma and cures warts and arthritis. These statements have NOT been approved by the FDA.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Bundle of Holding - CityBooks - Grimtooth's Traps - Mercenaries, Spies & Private Eyes (Flying Buffalo)

There is currently a Flying Buffalo / Catalyst bundle at Bundle of Holding and its a good one.

For 7.95 you get CityBooks I, II, III - Treasure Vault and Grimtooth's Traps 1 and 2. That is quite simply an amazing value for the old school resources you get.

Up your buy in to about 20 bucks, and you add in CityBooks IV, V, VI, VII - Grimtooth's Traps 3 and 4 - and the real gem IMHO, Mercenaries, Spies & Private Eyes (it includes the Adventure of the Jade Jaguar solo adventure)

20 bucks for seven CityBooks, four Grimtooth's Traps, Treasure Vault and MS&PE? You simply can't beat the value. Less than 2 bucks a book.

Note, although OneBookShelf delivers copies of these PDFs, I do not make affiliate monies from these sales. I bring offers like this to your attention because I think they are amazing deals and I'd hate for my readers to miss out on them. You can always buy me a beer later ;)

Back to Basix Issue #1 - Now Trending as #2 Hottest Small Press at RPGNow - (B/X BECMI)

Thom Wilson / Throwi Games has released their OSR / B/X / BECMI fanzine, Back to Basix Issue #1 in PDF.

I have B2B in print, as it released at NTRPG Con and Thom was nice enough to hook me up and it is very nice. Popular demand convinced Thom to release it in PDF (as the print run was limited) and it is available for $1.50. Back to Basix is currently sitting at #2 on the Hottest Small Press sellers at RPGNow.

So, what's inside?

This fanzine celebrates, highlights and supports one of the original roleplaying game systems of the 1980's, the Basic and Expert editions of Dungeons & Dragons.  Each issue will provide or highlight content within the Holmes, Moldvay, Cook and Mentzer edited rules from TSR's Gary Gygax.  
Issue contains:  Product Spotlight, Spell Review, New Magic Items, New Monster, Short Encounter, Full page comic "Dungeon Delvers", and interview with Merle Rasmussen (of Top Secret fame).
Remember, all purchases made with The Tavern's affiliate links helps fund The Tavern. Its also good for karma and cures warts and arthritis. These statements have NOT been approved by the FDA.

New Releases for Operation White Box - Stalingrad on Fire & Tactical Combat (Bundle Available)

+Pete Spahn / Small Niche Games has two new releases for Operation White Box.

The first is Stalingrad on Fire:
STALINGRAD ON FIRE is a support mission designed for WWII: Operation WhiteBox™. Recover secret military documents, engage in house-to-house fighting with German soldiers, and take on a legendary Nazi sniper in the ruined city of Stalingrad!
Stalingrad on Fire is designed for 3-6 characters of 1st-3rd level.  
This mission is compatible with the WWII: Operation WhiteBox™ sourcebook OWB: Tactical Combat, and comes with a download file containing Stalingrad street maps and tokens to help facilitate grid and miniatures play.  
Stalingrad on Fire can be played three different ways: 
-Print the Stalingrad street map on one page and conduct combat encounters using the Theater of the Mind. This is the default style of play for WWII: Operation WhiteBox.
-Print and assemble the Stalingrad street maps for tabletop play. Print the tokens or use your own WWII miniatures to conduct combat encounters using OWB: Tactical Combat.
-Upload the Stalingrad street maps and tokens to a VTT such as Roll20 and play with friends online! 
Stalingrad on Fire is the perfect way to kick off an Eastern Front campaign. Check it out now, Comrades! (3.99 - 28 pages)
The second release is a matching piece for the first.

Tactical Fire:
OWB: Tactical Combat is a sourcebook for WWII: Operation Whitebox that offers a more tactical approach to combat encounters.  
The combat rules presented in the WWII: Operation WhiteBox core rulebook take place mainly in the “Theater of the Mind”. This means that the Referee sets the scene and decides whether or not a character is capable of a certain maneuver, action, or attack. 
The OWB: Tactical Combat rules are designed for groups who prefer a more visual representation of combat, particularly those who play online. These rules are not meant to mimic the complexity of a true wargame. Instead, the focus is on small unit actions involving a squad of enemies and/or a handful of vehicles battling it out in a single playing area—the kind of combat most commonly encountered in WWII: Operation WhiteBox.  
If you prefer using miniatures and grid-based maps, check out OWB: Tactical Combat now! (4.99 - 53 pages)
You can save 2 bucks and grab both releases as a bundle for 6.98

Remember, all purchases made with The Tavern's affiliate links helps fund The Tavern. Its also good for karma and cures warts and arthritis. These statements have NOT been approved by the FDA.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Far West Kickstarter was Six Years Old Tuesday - Launched July 11, 2011


How the fuck did I miss this anniversary? Six years. Traditionally, that's a gift of Iron in the US. All I know is that as backers all we've gotten is broken promises and lies. Shit - it almost sounds like we're in a real relationship.

Gareth has been silent for over two months now. Actually, two and a half months. The update is from May 1st of this year. April 1st may have been more appropriate.

I understand family matters and obligations. These are things one has little control over. Obviously Gareth does not have five minutes in any of his days to update his backers over the last 10 weeks.

Cropped to remove overtly political themes

But look at that! Just went to Gareth's Twitter feed. Still tweeting away. Every day. All day.

Can't spend five minutes saying "Shit's still shitty. Hoping to have something for you soon. Will update in a few weeks" or some other method of appeasing the masses. Sure, it would be a stroke job, but for 150 bucks I deserve something ;)

See, this is what REALLY irks me. Its not the lies. Its not the broken promises. It the idea that after six years the backers just don't matter.

He went to a con and did a podcast interview shortly after his last update. He tweets every day. Yet for the backers that pledged nearly $50k to bring Far West alive, all we have gotten is carnival tricks. Smoke and mirrors.

At least we have gotten a view of the real Gareth Sharka. It aint pretty but its real.

Publishers - Tomorrow is Your Last Chance to Sign up for Christmas in July Sales at OneBookShelf

I got this email last night and thought I should share it. I know I've been told in the past from other publishers that they've missed certain notifications from OBS and I'm trying to expand the bandwidth.
Dear publishers, 
This is a final reminder that our annual "Chrismas in July" sale, the biggest sitewide promotion of the year, is fast approaching. During Christmas in July, we offer many thousands of titles all at 25% off, across DriveThruRPG/RPGnow, DriveThruCards, DriveThruComics, and DriveThruFiction. 
If you would like to take part in this major promotion, please make sure to opt in using the "Opt in or out of site-wide sales" tool page 
by 10 AM (EST) this Friday, July 14, at the latest.

Scott Holden
Sales, Data, and Special Projects
OneBookShelf, Inc.
Which means for The Tavern's general readers - there's a big sale from OBS coming up soon :)

ENnies - Breaking Their Own Rules When it Comes to Judges (Disregard - I Can't do Basic Math)

edit: This is what happens when you are your own editor - 2016 to 2018 is 2 years? right? wrong, as we are only in 2017 - Yes, three of the four perennial judges are NOT running this year - I guess they decided to get a head start on the impending new rules THAT ARE NOT YET IN EFFECT. Kurt is within the rules to run this year - but not next. The three not running this year CAN run next.

So, read this post as an example of what happens when I do fuck up - I correct, retract but I do not delete. Enjoy my embarrassment. It is well deserved - Tenkar

Look at the highlighted part of the rules to apply to nominate yourself to be an ENnies judge:

So, you can't be a judge if you've been a judge for the last two years. Simple enough, right?

I guess two consecutive years is no good, but SIX consecutive years is just peachy! Please tell me how both the applicant (Kurt Weigel) and the ENnies "powers that be" just overlooked this.

Its all on the level kids. Its all on the level.

ENnies Voting Has Started - Time to Do Some "All Star" Voting - Here's The Tavern's List

Yep, its ENnies time. Time time to vote from every McDonalds or library within driving distance. Wait, that's what they do in Chicago or something.

Here's The Tavern's Picks:

Best Adventure
Blood in the Chocolate (Lamentations of the Flame Princess) - its actually a damn good adventure that your PCs might survive.

Best Aid/Accessory
Kobold Guide to Plots & Campaigns (Kobold Press) - Kobold Press - need I say more?

Best Art, Cover

Best Art, Interior
Baby Bestiary Handbook Vol 2 (Metal Weave Games) - amazing art - simply one of the best.
S. Petersen’s Field Guide to Lovecraftian Horrors (Chaosium) - also excellent

Best Blog
Gnome Stew: The Gaming Blog - To be honest, I never heard of the other four...

Best Cartography
The Cursed Chateau (Lamentations of the Flame Princess) - It is an OSR pick. We gotta represent.

Best Electronic Book
Hubris: A World of Visceral Adventure (DIY RPG Productions) - Stuffed full of inspiration. Savor the reading, as it is a five course meal and then some.

Best Family Game

Best Free Product
What, no SWL?

Best Game
Not my bag, man

Best Miniature Product

Best Monster/Adversary
S. Petersen’s Field Guide to Lovecraftian Horrors (Chaosium) - Simply on of the best. Timeless
Veins of the Earth (Lamentations of the Flame Princess) - 66 fucking Euros? Holy shit! No wonder I hadn't heard of it before.

Best Podcast
Spellburn - Excellent podcast and unscripted. Can't say the same about others

Best Production Values
Call of Cthulhu – 7th Edition Slipcase Set (Chaosium) - a beauty to behold - it does justice and more for CoC
Baby Bestiary, Collector’s Edition (Metal Weave Games) - you need to see it to believe it

Best RPG Related Product
Call of Cthulhu: The Coloring Book (Chaosium) - I haven't seen it but I can imagine.

Best Rules
Adventures in Middle-Earth Player’s Guide (Cubicle 7 Entertainment) - If I only ran 5e
Veins of the Earth (Lamentations of the Flame Princess) - How much is 66 Euros in USC?

Best Setting
Le sigh

Best Supplement
The One Ring – Horse-Lords of Rohan (Cubicle 7 Entertainments) - Well, it is Tolkien

Best Website
Nothing to say

Best Writing
Veins of the Earth (Lamentations of the Flame Princess) - $75.32. Goddamn
The One Ring – Horse-Lords of Rohan (Cubicle 7 Entertainments) - Tolkien

Product of the Year
Veins of the Earth (Lamentations of the Flame Princess) Times like this is when retirement sucks.

Voting this year will take place from July 11 to July 21.

Don't forget to vote Frog God Games as Fan Favorite Publisher. Vote early and vote often. Well, I mean, get your friends, family and pets with an intelligence of 3 or higher to vote. Don't submit multiple votes yourself. That would be wrong. Neither Frog God Games nor The Tavern advocate ballot stuffing. Heck, the Frogs have no nominations and neither does The Tavern. Don't vote. See if I care.

Grumble... Grumble... Get off my lawn ya damn kids and take your peeing dog with you!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Reminder - Tavern Chat Tonight - #ConManKen, Torchlight, Hats, Assorted Sh!t - 9 PM Eastern

Tonight is a Wednesday Night, and that means Tavern Chat.

Tonights topics may include:




Assorted Shit

When: 9 PM Eastern

Where: Here - ChatWing Box on the right side

Why: Because its fun as shit

#ConManKen - Mad Ox Games & Comics is Closing Its Doors July 30th - Time for Another Gig for Ken

Mad Ox Games & Comics is closing its doors for good July 30th. #ConManKen's record of success (or lack there of) is maintained. The universe can now let out its held breath. All is right in the world of Ken.

Why would anyone want to buy a stocked Games & Comics store for $20k that is abruptly closing? I'd want to know why the abrupt closing before putting my money down.

I'm guessing the above has something to do with the store closing. Both postings were from last night.

Damn, Ken is always the victim. Now Marcus is closing the store he's been faithfully managing right out from under him.

Poo Poo Face - AKA Erik Tenkar reporting from the interwebs...

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Chris Yoder (Clangador on the Dragonsfoot Forums) has Passed - Family needs Money for Burial

Stuart Marshall asked for my help and that of The Tavern's Community - and the OSR at large:
Hi all 
It'll be no surprise to most regulars when I say that Chris Yoder, known on these forums as Clangador, has passed away. No surprise, but perhaps, still a bit of a shock. His widow and teenage sons are trying to raise money to pay for his funeral. 
I'll say that again. Those boys and their mum are trying to figure out how they can afford to bury their dad. 
Now, I realise that there's a recession on. For a lot of us, money is tight. Some Dragonsfooters aren't working. Others might have jobs, but still be struggling to make the rent each week. If you're in that position, then your well-wishes will of course be quite sufficient. 
But I know that some of us are fortunate enough to be able to donate a couple of quid, a few dollars, maybe a shekel or two. For those people, I'd like to respectfully draw your attention to this link:- 
Chris Yoder burial costs 
Thanks for reading, and all the best, Stuart
Its been a rough couple of weeks here in the OSR. If you can give, literally even if its just a buck, please do. If you can't, and that I'm sure is many in this community, please share either this post or the GoFundMe link. Just by adding to the bandwidth, you are doing a great service for the Yoder family. No one should have to worry about burial expenses in the midst of such a tragedy.

Thank you,

Torchlight Will be Taking Submissions Starting August 1st - Plan is for a Gamehole Con Release (Swords & Wizardry)

Damn, I need a shave. I should be lucky Rach lets me in bed each night ;)

Yes, that's a Torchlight hat. I ordered from Vistaprint and one other. Wouldn't mind having a few on hand to give away. There MIGHT be something in the works for Swords & Wizardry Light hats, but all I'll say for now is "its being looked at."

Alright, so we are reopening Torchlight for submissions come August 1st. Submissions will be open for the first issue through September 15th. I'll be putting together some guidelines. Basic rule is, articles must be either system neutral or for Swords & Wizardry. The preference is for SWC and SWL / SWCL as they are the editions in print with Frog God Games, but we'll be open to all.

Of course, I don't know when SWCL will be releasing, but one can hope - soon ;)

Hat without my head:

#ConManKen - Complete With 2nd Grade Putdowns - The Return of Poo Poo Head


Lets talk some FACTS about you, shall we?

1 - You told me you were going to have your lawyers sue my ass for slander. A lie.

2 - You told me you had filed federal and state level criminal charges against me. Another lie.

3 - You claimed pencil dice had shipped. Another lie. And NUMEROUS lies regarding KotDT LAS. Too many to count. You lie as easily as you breath.

4 - A listing of your unshipped / unfulfilled Kickstarters:
     - Deck Dice
     - RPG Pencil Dice
     - Pencil Dice
     - Castles & Crusades: Beyond the River
     - Spinward Traveller
     - Knights of the Dinner Table: Live Action Series 

5 - Your revised completion date for all the above - August 1st, 2017

6 - You used money from the Pencil Dice KS to pay for your exploits in film. Your statement.

Now, with the facts above, a lack of updates on any of the above listed projects, your statements about your undiagnosable but self diagnosed illness and less then three weeks before your new but already later than all of the original project due dates coming up, it doesn't take a trained investigator to conclude that the likely outcome in three weeks is more excuses, not fulfilled projects.

I know you worry that I might have a mole in your circle of friends, both in real life and online. Just know I never ran a case using informants where I had less than three at my disposal. Friends, associates, family, business partners, deli owners, the guy at the pizza shop. You need at least three to validate any one of the three sources. Not saying I have any moles, Kenny. Just saying if I did, it would be more than you think.

Monday, July 10, 2017

More Swords & Wizardry Sales from The "Bill-less" Frogs! - Tome of Horrors Complete and more - Oh My!

I should have put this up LAST night, but I went to bed early (I had Uncle duties early this morning)

Yes, the Frogs are having another Swords & Wizardry Sale.

So, what do they have for you this week?

Sword of Air, Tome of Horrors Complete and ToH4 are 10 bucks each in PDF using the following coupon:


If you don't have Sword of Air - GET IT! Tome of Horrors? No matter the OSR system you use, grab the bugger. Same goes for ToH4

Wait, you want more?

Okay, but for this one you need to get the coupon code from the Swords & Wizardry Legion Facebook Group

What do you get?

The Legion Bundle is horrible...as in Tome of Horrors, Hall of Bones and Hex Crawl Classics 1 in PDF More Hex Crawls get added as bundles get sold.

I make no monies off of the sales of Frog God products. I share this as a service to The Tavern's readers and because the products are damn good. Yes, I now swim in the Frog God Pond. I always thought the Frog's products were damn good ;)

Looking for #ConManKen? He's Managing a Games and Comics Store in Somerset Ky

Yeah, I've been slow on #ConManKen news. Sometimes the rest of the world is simply more interesting than Ken

So, Ken is now managing Mad Ox Games & Comics in Somerset Ky. I hope its in walking distance for Ken, as I've heard rumors he no longer has a valid driver's license. Not confirmed, just a rumor mind you. Besides, with self declared Alzheimer's he shouldn't be driving anyway.

In any case, if someone were looking to have Ken served, you now have a location where he should be at 40 plus hours a week. I'm glad to see that even those with self diagnosed Alzheimer's can find themselves gainfully employed. I'm sure he'll find the time to complete all of his outstanding Kickstarters by August 1st. Gee Ken - three more weeks! You're on perfect pace to be the failure we all know and - well, hate is too strong a word. I'll settle on "strong dislike."

Oh, you want an address?

4440 South Hwy 27
Somerset, KY 42501

While you visit, ask for this comic:

Could someone tell me how a fictitious character can sign a comic? Not the author. Not the writer. Not the editor. Not the letterer. The main character.

Someone better be counting that till on a daily basis, as Mr self declared Alzheimer's seems to be a little confused (or working a "con")

Should ENWorld be Endorsing Ennie Nominations?

Tip of the hat to Venger Santanis for pointing me in the direction.

Sean Fannon's Picks of the Week for July 8th. Its a regular column that is also posted on Sean's own blog, but of course, ENWorld is what drives the traffic.

and so on for categories such as:

Best Electronic Book
Best Writing
Best Setting
Best Rules

I'm sure I'm going to surprise many when I say I don't fault Sean for his picks nor posting them at his own blog. Heck, I made picks of my own.

The issue here is that by posting this on ENWorld, the company / site that is the force behind the ENnies (as well as lending its name to them) this sure as hell comes of as picking ENWorld favorites for certain categories. This NEVER should have gotten past Morrus or anyone else that might do the editing (if there is such) at ENWorld.

As the organization running the ENnies, ENWorld should be above reproach. Ethically, they should not give the appearance of endorsing any nominations and they sure as hell look like they are doing so.

This is ground ball shit. Simply another reason to hope that there is some transparency to the ENnies process in the near future.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Kickstarter - Dungeon Crawl Classics Scratch-Off Character Sheets

This is either the most awesome Kickstarter run by Goodman Games to date or the most insane.

For a second, I thought these were "scratch and sniff" character cards. Yes, I am a child of the 70's :)

DCC RPG Scratch-Off Character Sheets. You know you need them. Or want them. Or something...

10 sheets for 10 bucks. The more packs sold, the more sheets in a pack. Perfect for convention play and just screwing around with your home group ;)

The Tavern has some Suggestions for The ENnies (and we're soliciting your suggestions too)

So, I've criticized the ENnies voting process in the past (and the ENnies process as a whole) and Hans Cummings, ENnies Submissions Coordinator has suggested that he was open to feedback, so here we are.

Personally, I think much of the issues resides in the "judges round" where the submissions get cut down to five nominations per category.

Strangely enough, I can't find the ENnies judges for 2015 on the ENnies site (but have have found it with some digging off the ENnies site) but Kurt, Stacy, Jakub and Kayra have been judging for a number of years. At least five years for some (and is Stacey Muth related to Mathew Muth?)

2015 Judges

2013 Judges

All FOUR judges from 2016 were carried over to 2017.  Reece Carter was added for 2017. I suspect we'd find a similar trend with the prior years which I can't find on the ENnies site. (I found the trend)

The first thing to do is limit judges to one year at a time - no consecutive years of judging. This really is a no brainer. Biases are natural but bringing in new blood every year will do well at balancing out those biases.

Now, choosing the judges is a popularity contest, and much like in real world politics, the incumbent is at an unfair advantage. One year terms - it really is that simple.

About the judging process? Is there a set of guidelines the judges are expected to follow? Is it public? It should be.

Product is submitted as physical product and shipped around the world at considerable cost to the publishers seeking to be considered. I suggest requiring all submissions be made in PDF. Why? Why not? The judges are volunteers reviewing product. They don't need physical products to do their review.

Switching to digital submissions would remove much of the cost involved. It would also remove the idea that judges are being monetarily compensated for their work, as the post judging Ebay sell off is certainly a thing. And hey, we'd save some trees.

I would also suggest disclosing the votes of both the judges (for the nomination process) and the voting public (for the awards) after the award ceremony. Nothing is better at showing the legitimacy of a process than full disclosure of the process.

If only one thing were to be done, just one - limit judges to one year terms.

So, what are your suggestions?

edit: so, this is a thing. no more than two consecutive years as a judge - I'd prefer one year but its a start:

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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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