Saturday, August 5, 2017

State of The Tavern - The Taps, They are a Changin'

There are some changes in the works here at The Tavern. Layout may change a bit and we may add some "special guest" access.

+James Spahn , +Glen Hallstrom and myself are working on a post Save or Die project (note - Save or Die has made its save - new hosts(s) are already signed or signing up). The new project will be asking for input from The Tavern's Community shortly. This won't be one time input, either - The Tavern's Community will be an integral part of the larger whole. More very soon.

Clan & Hammer should be sneaking some peeks here at The Tavern in the next few days. Probably a class or two. I could be wrong though. It may be a Tavern ;)

I have a few Blogger Contact Form emails I need to respond to.

In the meantime I'm listening to Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash...

Podcast - Hobbs & Friends of the OSR #12 - Hex Talk

As I've said many a time in the past year or so, my podcast listening has suffered with my lack of daily commuting. I'm not saying I wish I were commuting again, but I do need to set aside more time to listen to podcasts.

One of the better podcasts out there, especially if you dig the OSR is Hobbs & Friends of the OSR. Relatively knew to the podcast scene, +Jason Hobbs has hit the ground running. I've really enjoyed the conversations he's had with various guests (most of them return on a semi rotational basis)

Now, Hobbs & Friends #12 is not the latest episode (that would be episode #15 - Gaming with Kids) I was listening to the last when Jason mentioned a rant about the Three Castles Award (NTRPG), so I backtracked to episode #12. Its at the end of the episode (31 minute mark or so) and everything Jason said was spot on about this year's award ceremony (such as it was). The chariot racing trophies got more play and care than what is supposed to be THE industry award for the OSR. It made many of us cringe. It was the low water mark of a convention that set many high water marks this year - awesome new venue, new attendance high, an amazing selection of special guests.

There's much I could say, but Jason says it better than I ever could. Heck, one of his guests in episode #12 had a Three Castles Award nomination this year - not that you would have known. Sigh.

In any case, Jason has an eye on the OSR, warts and all as well as amazing discussions of game theory and gaming ideas. Give Hobbs & Friends of the OSR a solid listening to, you won't be sorry.

Friday, August 4, 2017

If Andy Rooney Posed Questions to the OSR, These Might be Them...

Somehow, someway, Andy Rooney got stuck in my head today. You remember Andy, the guy on 60 Minutes with the most inane observations and questions. At least they were inane until you gave it some thought, then the observations occasionally shined through.

Here are some possible questions and observations Andy Rooney might have asked members for the OSR:

  • Did you ever wonder how Gareth has so much time to tweet, but no time to write. Maybe Far West should be released in tweets of 140 characters of less. 
  • #ConManKen - So much energy used to avoid earning an honest buck. Dishonest bucks are apparently good for weight loss though. Not good for hair growth.
  • Did you ever wonder if the lead in old minis is why some of the old timers are as they are?
  • Why is is everyone loves their local gamestore but no one shops there. Except for Cheetos and Gatorade. Amazon should host a VTT that you can shop from at this rate.
  • What ever happened to topless art in rulebooks? Did the art just get too good to display nipples without drawing attention or was it the penises and vaginas that caused the Lamentations?
  • What DOES PDF stand for? I've heard some call it the Pirate Document Format but I never heard of pirates using it for their treasure maps.
  • Why do 1st level Clerics get no spells at 1st level in White Box / S&W? You may as well play a fighting man with a mace that can turn undead. Wait! You are...
  • What's this whole thing with Spell Slots anyway? Why are they different for clerics and magic-users? Where are the weapon slots?
  • Is 8 hours of rest actual sleep? Because who the heck gets 8 hours of sleep? What if you oversleep? Is that credit for later?
  • What's with all of the celebrities playing D&D these days anyway? When I was younger, you couldn't even prop up a dead celebrity at your gaming table.
  • At my age, there is no such thing as a Short Rest.
  • I finally understand the rate of movement in dungeons. The party is all seniors with walkers.
  • Save or Die is something I do every morning. Thank the gods my dice are loaded.
  • What's the deal with Read Aloud Text in an module? Is it story time?
  • If it weren't for the Long Sword vs Large Creatures, would you even bother to keep your d12s? Think of the space saving.
  • DM nPCs. There. I said it. Now, go kill them.

How to Piss Off Your Bartender in One Easy Step - Post Comments that have Nothing to do with the Blog Post in Question

I get it. Really I do. There's a late Kickstarter project (or pre-order) and the project creator doesn't seem any closer to getting the goods in your hands.

The Tavern is well known to look into such stuff and you want to grab my attention, so you make a comment on a random post with the following:
Will you ask XX XX where our product is at or what they did with our XX XX dollars? And put it on your site, I think it's newsworthy... 
First off, I have NO FUCKING CLUE what this is in reference to. None what so ever. The secret is in the details and there are none. If you want me to look into something I need details - date the project went live, date due, what the project was for, a link - anything and everything that can help me figure out what is going on. Tell me your story.

Second and possibly even more importantly, you don't just drop your comment on the latest post that has little if any relevance to your request. It will (and has been) deleted. There is a contact form on the right side of this page. Its pictured above. It gets used every day. I read each message and I try to respond to every single one in a timely manner. Use it.

Sorry if I'm grumpy but I just woke up to this situation. Its not the first time and I'm sure it won't be the last but I felt a need to address this right away. Well, that and we have some morning thunderstorms rolling through, my knee aches and my sinuses are killing me. So yeah, not good timing ;)

Save or Die - New Episode is Live - NTRPG Recap and Moving On

The latest and greatest episode of Save or Die is up for you to listen to+James Spahn , +Glen Hallstrom and myself talk about NTRPG Con 2017 from back in June. Yeah, it was a while between episodes. Life doesn't always cooperate as one might like.

I did make things a challenge for Glen as he had to clean up some of my F-Bombs in production. Sorry, Glenn, I'll try harder next time. I will say this. It was probably the most fun I've had recording a podcast. I kid you not. I think we were all hitting out marks and I hope it shows.

Its also the last episode of Save or Die with the three of us as hosts. He are moving on to other projects. If you want to keep in the know, keep an eye out here, at The Tavern and we'll keep you updated. Nothing is until it is and never say never.

I'd like to thank +Vincent Florio and Wild Games Productions for giving us the opportunity to keep y'all entertained and informed. Some of the greatest podcast fans in the world are loyal listeners to Save or Die, Roll for Initiative and THAC0's Hammer. Old School Gaming is where it is at.

Thanks to all of the listeners. You made every minute we spent recording worth it many times over. Hopefully we'll be able to pay you back in the future ;)

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Bundle of Holding - Palladium Fantasy - The "Other" D&D ;)

Palladium Fantasy is very much AD&D with the serial numbers obscured by mud and dirt and a whole lot of house rules tacked on. I never very much liked the system itself - playable but extremely quirky - but the setting material? Spot on. The adventurers? Well done. The alignment system? Better than anything TSR ever offered us back in the day.

Now, notice how I said I didn't like the Palladium Rules system? I don't, but I do love the Palladium Fantasy Rulebook. Packed with inspiration to freshen up your Old School / OSR campaign, this is where it shines.

Wolfen. I need wolfen in SWL...

I'm glad to see Palladium releasing Rifts and Palladium Fantasy in PDF. Looks like I'm buying yet another Bundle of Holding.

The Starter Collection is $14.95, the Bonus Collection is just under $26.00.

The core rulebook itself is $27 in print.

Far West Non Announcement from Gareth on Twitter Video

Yep, Gareth spoke about Far West yesterday on Twitter for RPGaDay 2017. I had to downsize the video quality to post this, but you can capture it (and Gareth) in all of its glory on Gareth's Twitter feed.


Reminds me I need a haircut and a shave...

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Reminder - Tavern Chat - Tonight at 9 PM Eastern - The Stars are Alighned

Tonight is a Wednesday Night and your bartender will be hosting the weekly Tavern Chat at 9 PM Eastern. If I run late, please feel free to let yourselves in.

Possible topics include - growing old ;) , the The Tenkar's Tavern Crate (I've heard reports its been spotted in the wild), #ConManKen's latest failure's and more.

Use the Tavern Chat / Chatwing Widget on the right side of this page.

See you then...

Kickstarter - Stars Without Number: Revised Edition (Free Beta PDF Available - Link Included with Permission)

Stars Without Number: Revised Edition. You KNOW you want to back this Kickstarter.

Seriously. +Kevin Crawford knows how to run a Kickstarter Project.

Want to look at the rules before pledging? Here's the link the the SWN: Revised Edition Beta Rules

Want to read the stretch goals? Guess what? They've all been hit already.
- At $20,000 I will release all commissioned art for the game as royalty-free, zero-cost art available for other gamers and publishers to use for their own personal and commercial products. I've made arrangements with the artists for this game, including Tan Ho Sim, Christof Grobelski, Joyce Maureira, and Aaron Lee, to buy full rights for all the pieces I commission, and so I will be able to let others freely use these assets for their own purposes. 
 - At $30,000 I will rework both the free and deluxe versions of the core book as additional EPUB and MOBI file formats. This will involve considerable extra effort in redoing the text for these decidedly non-spread-oriented formats, but if the campaign gets this far, clearly you want these formats provided. 
 - At $40,000 I will forge the culmination of madness and bibliomanic obsession- the mighty UNIVERSAL OMNIBUS, a vast hardback tome containing every single Stars Without Number first edition product, both free and for-pay. This massive, black-and-white interior tome will consist of the Stars Without Number first edition core book, Skyward Steel, Suns of Gold, Darkness Visible, Starvation Cheap, Polychrome, Dead Names, Relics of the Lost, Engines of Babylon, Sixteen Stars, Hard Light, all of the Mandate Archive free supplements, and both editions of The Sandbox, the whole summing over a thousand pages. Everything that ever has or will be written for first-edition Stars Without Number will be contained within this book. 
Every backer at $20 or more will be given a code that will permit them to order this voluminous codex from DriveThruRPG for $100, if they so wish. This code will not have an expiration date, so they may defer the purchase until later if they wish to reflect on it. Backers at the munificent Galactic Overmind level of $175 will get one of these superdense grimoires shipped to them at no further shipping cost, provided the address is in Canada, the United States, the UK, or the European Union. 
No other persons will be permitted to acquire the UNIVERSAL OMNIBUS. Only those loyal and fearless backers who join me in my plunge into madness by contributing to this campaign will be allowed to buy the book from DriveThruRPG. It will not be made available for general public purchase. 
 - At $50,000, I will be extremely grateful to you all and have the wisdom to refrain from offering further stretch goals. I am but one man. I've completed every Kickstarter I've ever launched on-time or early, chiefly because I've known when to stop promising and when to start working.
The amount pledged as I write this is just under $65k.

It launched yesterday.

You know you want it :)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Turning 50 isn't Old and Playing Games Makes You Young - Pinkie, My Six Year Old Niece

My niece "Pinkie" is very intuitive at times.

Today, we went to see Wonder Woman. The theatre was loud (not the people, the sound system) There were times Pinkie had to cover her ears but she was a trooper, and stuck with it until about an hour in. That's the point the movie hits "the front" in WW I.

"Uncle, I don't think this movie is appropriate for a child my age."

With a statement like that, what can one do but agree? We grabbed our drinks and left the theatre.

On the drive back to her house we talked. My birthday this past Saturday came up and I told her I had turned 50.

"50 uncle? That can't be right."

"Right as rain young lady. Uncle turned 50 and can now join the AARP"

"What's AARP?"

"American Association for Retired People or something. You turn 50 and you are old enough to join."

"You're not old uncle."

"Thanks Pinkie. It makes me feel good to hear you say that."

"I didn't say it to make you feel good! You play games and write games and that makes you young. You are young uncle, not old!"

Fifty and young. Wisdom from the mouth of a soon to be first grader. Not said for my benefit but because for her, it is the simple truth. Which makes it my truth.

Thank you Pinkie.

August 1st, 2017 - Just Another Day for "Mr. Failure" #ConManKen

Yep, today is the day #ConManKen was supposed to have all of his Kickstarter ducks in a line. You know, delivered by August 1st, 2017.

I'm going to call it right now - Ken is the fucking failure he's always been and always will be. That is my opinion. Your's might differ.

Now, here's some facts - Ken has failed to deliver on his empty promises YET again.

But that's okay. Because he's on "set":

Ken - here's a message directly for you:

You sir, are a thief, a conman, a liar, a fraud and most importantly - a failure. You are lucky if you successfully complete a bowel movement. If you want to be rid of me - complete your outstanding Kickstarter obligations. It really is that simple.

This is Poo Poo Face reporting on #ConManKen's latest failure.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Spahn!!! New Project - Clan & Hammer - Dwarven RPG / Setting Powered by Swords & Wizardry Continual Light

another great piece by +Craig Brasco 

Yep, I squarely placed the blame on +James Spahn . He challenged me yesterday, on my 50th birthday, to attempt a project that I'd have difficulty saying no to. A Dwarven RPG using the Swords & Wizardry White Box rules. I scoffed at the idea. Obviously I'd have to use the Swords & Wizardry Continual Light rules as my base rule set as SWL is my precious. By then, I realized I'd already said yes.

Damn you Spaaahhhnnnn!!!

Shortly thereafter we were brainstorming Clan & Hammer.

James threw Rune-Caster, Brewmeister, Troubleshooter and Axe-Thain into the pool of classes.

I responded with Teutatle (a paladin sort) and Skald.

Then it hit me - the dwarves we see in our weekly games, they are the outcasts that have left the rock behind.

Dwarves, the ones deep in the mountains, mining for gold, gems and other items of wealth as is their nature, those of long lived lineages and ancient underground cities, are an insular race and do nearly all of their trade with dwarven outcasts. They have little understanding of surface dwellers and surface dweller know even lass about them.

It suddenly became a setting that could be dropped into, or rather - under - pretty much any fantasy campaign world. The idea is that the classes should be able to plug into any SWL / SWCL campaign (and will probably also get S&W Complete write ups here at The Tavern)

I've broadly sketched out two 16 page books for this project already. The first, a reworking of SWCL for Clan & Hammer, this will be the "crunch" side of the project.

The second will the background, setting, monsters, artifacts, gods and adventure hooks. Please don't call it "fluff." I prefer "flavor."

If you are a regular reader of The Tavern, expect pieces to appear here in their primordial form as they are written.

Dare I say it? I already have a tavern half written up for this. The Axe & Anvil, owned by The Wandering Gray Wizard, Sage of Unearthed Arcana and on the run from debt collectors from the surface. No, really. I think this tavern practically writes itself ;)

Where was I?

Oh, yeah. Damn you Spaaahhhnnnnnn!

We Have the Cover for the First Issue of Torchlight Magazine (Craig Brasco)

When I asked +Craig Brasco if he would be interested in doing the cover for the first issue of Torchlight, I really hoped he would say yes. Craig is an amazing artist and a friend and I've followed his work for years (its even used on my profile pic on G plus)

Obviously, Craig said yes. When he asked me what I wanted on the cover, I said there needs to be a torch. The rest is up to you.

I think I can say this for all my readers: "Holy Shit!" My God man, but this is beyond amazing.

More examples of Craig's art can be found here.

There will be an announcement about Torchlight submissions in the next day or so.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

State of the Tavern Keeper - Fifty Years Old - What a Glorious, Horrible Milestone (and a challenge)

Yep, I turn 50 years old today. Which is glorious, as I thought for sure at least twice prior (9-11 and latter with Hodgkin's Lymphoma) there was a good chance I wouldn't see 40, let alone 50. Ah glorious 50!

Then it hits me. I'm fucking 50. Time to sign up for AARP and senior discounts. Except that shit, I've already been offered senior discounts! Damn it. I don't want to get old.

Well, except that the alternative to not getting old is simply dying and that's an option I'd like to defer as long as possible. I've got stuff to accomplish.

Now, in the midst of all this, +James Spahn decides to offer me a challenge. Something that will require focus and regular writing (that isnt blog writing - or it may be that too) and in the end should result in something unique for the community.
And so it came to pass that Spahn offered a distraction to the old beard and it was good. With said distraction came responsibility and an end goal, one that, should it be achieved, would be very satisfying. Such it came to be on the thirtieth day of our Fathers in the month of Heyannir thirty-seven years after the old beard's eyes were opened.
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