Saturday, August 12, 2017

Some Relevant Facebook Quotes from Frank Mentzer re: Empyrea Campaign Setting Kickstarter

There are bits and pieces of Frank's Facebook comments quoted on ENWorld (without sourcing it as FB comments / quotes, but I'm sure that is an oversight due to excitement) regarding the announcement of his forthcoming Kickstarter. Below I've gathered the relevant comments (edited slightly where needed for clarity)

Frank's Facebook posts and comments can be found at this link.

-Gonna be quite an Art project, as well as a full campaign set.

-We're talking to everybody listed, all old friends of mine... Caldwell, Dee, Diesel, Easley, Elmore, Holloway, Jaquays, and Otus

-Most artists are responding favorably. All are VERY busy, so we're gonna build around their schedules; a win/win.

-I plan to double-stat throughout (won't take much room) and issue free Stat Supplements for other systems, including DCC, S&W, C&C, and even Runequest.

-Shouldn't have omitted THAT one (Pathfinder), sheesh. ;> I have close friends at Paizo.

-We'll mention Greyhawk in the historical section (just the facts ma'am) but it will not be used in promotion or actual play. Gary wanted it that way.

-Deities are just masks. ;> See my Immortal set for details (and also for hints on the multiverse that applies to my campaign).

-Aquaria is a continent, Oerid is a continent. Greyhawk is a city in the latter, Empyrea in the former. WotC will receive advance copy of the historical section long before publication, and we anticipate no serious issues. We give them all due credit of ownership, we will not promote use or infract upon Gary's original. This was created before and after my TSR employment, and all I wrote 1980-86 belongs to them. So we'll work around that. But I do have Gary's original handwritten note of approval, and that's a zinger.

-Very fair questions, and I'm a cards-face-up kind of guy. We don't bend rules.

-We plan zero Stretch Goals. There may be a Deluxe version with special maps & overlays.

-Straightforward production project, no stretch. Possibly another 10-50 supplemental products if it's successful, tho (adjacent territories, Colonial play, Post-War play, and a pile of my adventures & others)

-Upcoming: I also want non-English editions; want to work with gamer/fan translators and place it with Euro publishers (avoids all kinds of taxes and stuff). I'll be in touch. :)

-it's (the project) taken 3 years to set up (along with the other stuff I'm up to)

-PR is our worst skill rating; we put all the points into Creativity. :/

-JG is not involved with production, in part because of the delays in existing projects. (All that is working out nicely, btw, just late.) This is a Loxley product. And I can't risk screwing up my very first ever Kickstarter, y'know? So I'm getting good advice on all that.

-Allan T. Grohe Jr. Frank: how will the initial release compare to what you published in a limited edition nine years ago at NTX#1?
-Frank Mentzer That was a mere hint, but it contains the core. I've retooled a few bits of campaign history to avoid legal issues, but that's the premise.

-Jennell Jaquays TBH that part of Oerth is really all Frank. I won't be hurt if any my modifications or changes to his RPGA adventures don't make it into canon.
-I want Jennell's art in the work. Alas, the Jaquays elements in ur Egg of the Phoenix compilation must be left alone, for copyright reasons.

-I'm going to describe a campaign world, in extreme detail. It doesn't hinge on any special monsters, combats, or other one-shot tricks. It's been in constant use for 40 years exactly, on a weekly basis. I'm gonna try to bottle that lightning.

-In fairness, the epic whole may suit oldschoolers more than the new, in the long run. But some folks play 5e oldschool style.

 Frank's G+ thread and comments can be found here

-I started my campaign in 1977 using a far corner of the Wilderlands set, and developed extensively from there. Many of the original names appear in both R-4 and I-12 from TSR, proving the JG connection.

-A lot of outstanding artists (but now independent, no longer TSR Staff) have a lot of work to do, and that'll take a while to schedule in. Rough guess, ship Spring 2018. With this many people on the job I can't dally. This isn't a part-time or basement job, it just got very Real

Comments from me:

-Glad Judges Guild is not involved. Frank doesn't need the attached drama.
-No stretch goals - wise.
-Not going to link to Greyhawk in promotion, but was referenced in the press release
-Frank mentioned to me at NTRPG that where Greyhawk was created for wargaming and then used for D&D, Emprea was built for for D&D right from the start.

Press Release - Historic Dungeons & Dragons® Campaign Returns - Frank Mentzer

I've been waiting for the announcement for a while. I spoke with Frank about this in June at NTRPG and I'm avidly looking forward to launch.
Historic Dungeons & Dragons® Campaign Returns 
Loxley, Madison WI, August 11 2017 
Legendary game designer Frank Mentzer, famed for his worldwide version of the Dungeons & Dragons® game, has teamed with fiction author Ted Fauster to revisit one of the earliest known D&D® fantasy worlds. The game continues to be one of the most popular of all time, and Mentzer’s version is still available in fourteen languages, on every continent. 
In 1981, Mentzer was given written permission from E. Gary Gygax (co-author of the original game in 1974) to establish and develop this little-known portion of Oerth, one of the game’s original settings. This new realm of Empyrea has a 40-year history (starting with simple materials from Judges Guild) and is still actively used. The artist Darlene, who painted Gary’s maps in his 1980 product, will create similar maps for this one. Other famous artists of that era -- including Caldwell, Dee, Diesel, Easley, Elmore, Holloway, Jaquays, and Otus -- are being invited to join the project. 
Empyrea is on the mysterious and isolated continent of Aquaria, east of Gygax’s World of Greyhawk™ setting. Until now, knowledge of this portion of the world has remained largely a mystery, as the broad and dangerous Solnor ocean separates the two. The continent is briefly described in the Advanced D&D® adventure “Egg of the Phoenix” (Mentzer & Jaquays, TSR Inc., 1987). 
“It’s time to share this Dungeons & Dragons® world with hobby gamers,” Mentzer says. “Unlike others, Gary approved this personally. Empyrea combines both traditional fantasy and science fiction elements. Magic is dominant, but technology lurks. And it’s one Realm… this isn’t a cluster of medieval city-states like Greyhawk.” 
Author Ted Fauster has accepted the role of Creative Aide, which was Mentzer’s original title when he worked with Gygax at TSR in the 1980s.Mentzer and Darlene will finance the set through crowdfunding, with support from Judges Guild. It will be compatible with the most recent Fifth Edition D&D® game (D&D 5E) as well as Mentzer’s own world-famous "Red Box" edition of the game. 
An official start date for the Kickstarter will be announced shortly after the GenCon® 50 Game Convention in August.  
For More Information, contact:
Loxley LLC
Mentzer: LoxleyKey@gmail.com
Fauster : ted@tedfauster.com
(Ownership of trademarks indicated is not disputed)
There are some more tidbits over at ENWorld.

Press release tread from Frank on G Plus.

Friday, August 11, 2017

DriveThruRPG Launches “Storytellers Vault”, a Creators Content Program for Vampire: The Masquerade

It isn't often that I pass along actual press releases, but I do know a significant number of "old school gamers" that have a special place in their gaming hear for the "Old" World of Darkness.

White Wolf Entertainment and DriveThruRPG Launch “Storytellers Vault”, a Creators Content Program for Vampire: The Masquerade

Stockholm, Sweden – August 11, 2017 White Wolf Entertainment, creator of the World of Darkness and Vampire: The Masquerade are partnering with DriveThruRPG to allow independent content creators to publish material set in the World of Darkness using the Storytellers Vault.

For over a quarter century, fans of the World of Darkness have aspired to bring their own unique World of Darkness creations to the masses, and now they can as part of the Storytellers Vault, White Wolf’s new creator content program.  Beginning with Vampire: The Masquerade, aspiring writers, artists, and game designers can publish their non-canonical table top RPG supplements and fiction stories worldwide in the language of their choosing, and making half of the revenue as their royalty. To assist content creators making the best possible products, Storytellers Vault offers a considerable variety of graphical layout tools including pre-made design templates, and art-packs to choose from.

“World of Darkness fans have always shared their stories with the world, and now is the time we help them to do that in an even greater scale” says CEO Tobias Sjögren.  “The magic of the Storytellers Vault is supporting fans that love and want to create content from all eras of our games, we can’t wait to see what they produce and how everyone enjoys it!”

The Storytellers Vault features:

- Self-publish service for table top RPG material set using any of the four previously published editions of Vampire: The Masquerade
 - Content creators themselves set the price for the material they publish and receive 50% of the revenue
 - Access to over 15 templates and art packs produced helps content creators make their work look as professional as the official products from any set era
 - Publishing in any language supporting the vast global World of Darkness community
 - Additional content supporting other game lines and historical settings in the White Wolf catalogue will be progressively unlocked beginning in October 2017

 The Storytellers Vault is now available at www.storytellersvault.com.

About White Wolf
White Wolf is a licensing company focused on creating the best participatory brands in the world. Since its original entry into the roleplaying game market in 1991, White Wolf’s World of Darkness has grown to be one of the most recognized and successful brands in the hobby game space with collective book sales in excess of 10 million copies during this time. White Wolf's World of Darkness brands, which include Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Wraith: The Oblivion, and Orpheus, has been licensed for television series, console and computer video games, interactive media events, and a myriad of merchandise and other entertainment products.
Contact: press@white-wolf.com

About DriveThruRPG
DriveThruRPG.com is part of a family of premiere online marketplaces including RPGNow, DriveThruRPG, DriveThruCards, DMsGuild, DriveThruComics, DriveThruFiction, and Wargame Vault. Together, we have been selling digital and print-on-demand comic books, roleplaying games, and fiction since 2001. As of 2016, we have launched multiple community content programs as well as our Community Card Creator for fans to create content for some of their favorite roleplaying and card games.
Contact: matt@onebookshelf.com

The Frog God finds a Little Discord ;)

Yep, any minute now there will be a live chat with none other than +Matt Finch of Frog God Games.

Where? Well, Discord of course.

The Frog have set up a permanent server. Join us. The more, the merrier!
Howdy, Frog God Games the makers of Swords and Wizardry, Rappan Athuk, Tomb of Abysthor, and Slumbering Tsar (and much more) just launched their official discord server. I would like to invite you to come join us to talk about Swords and Wizardry, 5th Edition, Pathfinder, Starfinder and other Frog God Game products. 
We have voice channels for pickup games as well. Lots of free content and resources. 
Step 1.) Go here https://discordapp.com/download
Step 2.) Click which is best for you Windows, Mac, Android, IOS, or Linux and download it.
Step 3.) Once it has finished downloading click the + button surrounded by a dotted circle on the left hand side
Step 4.) Click the Join a Server button and copy and paste this into it https://discord.gg/HKUZfUv

Kickstarter - Quests of Doom 4 (Frog God Games - PF / 5e / S&W)

Early this morning, Frog God Games launched their latest Kickstarter - Quests of Doom 4. Instead of packing 16 adventures into a single (or double) hardcover volume, these adventures are being individually published in softcover. So, that's 16 adventures in 3 rules systems, so 48 individual possible adventures.

It funded in 8 hours - possibly less.

Now, my comments and observations.

  • Personally, I like the idea of individual adventures. Call me old school, but that's how we had them in the early days.
  • Individual adventures lets one pick and choose by author, level spread, whatever. I LOVE this.
  • Bonus rewards AND stretch goals - PDFs and VTT maps. Very nice.
  • 14 bucks for a single adventure plus PDF - 168 bucks for all 16 adventures plus PDF, about 10.50 an adventure.
  • I'd like to know the page count for each adventure, even if its just a ballpark figure before layout. 
  • Some folks are bent that its not being offered as a single hardcover release. I understand their desire for a collectible book on their gaming shelf, but I find the module format much easier to run at the game table than using a hardcover crammed with adventures. YMMV.
  • Authors include Alex Kammer, Michael Curtis, Keven Wright, Ton Knauss, Steve Winter, Ed Greenwood, Dr. Dennis Sustare and Lance Hawvermale.
  • Levels range from 1 to 8. Its almost as if they were written with SWCL in mind ;)
  • Pathfinder, 5e and Swords & Wizardry flavors. You know what I'm backing for ;)
Now, its fairly well know that I swim in the Frog God pond these days thanks to SWL. I've backed every Frog God KS prior to my relationship with the Frogs and have been pleased (or better) with each one. I'll be backing this one with fervor. The range of levels literally is perfect for my use.

For those hoping there will be a hardcover option, I'm not sure that's feasible. I doubt the number of potential hardcover buyers is enough to print at the usual Frog God quality and still find an affordable price point. Then there is the need to layout everything for the HC. I could be wrong. I have no inside info on this. Just my own observation.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Kickstarter - RPG Alignment Pins

RPG Alignment Pins. Never knew you needed such, did you?

Yeah, I have issues with these.

Chaotic Neutral - I mean...

Chaotic Evil - Pink?

Seriously, the colors irk me.

9 bucks for a single pin and 3 bucks shipping. 12 bucks for novelty pins that really aren't hitting the mark IMHO. 9 pins are 73 bucks and 5 bucks shipping.

19 days left to fund. Not quite at the halfway mark.

I'm sure there is a market for novelty alignment pins. I'm not sure there is a market for these novelty alignment pins.

Work Continues on Getting the Hero's Brew Podcast to Your Ears

As I mentioned in last night's Tavern Chat, I had to drop out 30 minutes early to join a Skype conversation with my fellow Hero's Brew conspirators, +James Spahn and +Glen Hallstrom . What were we discussing? All things Hero's Brew.

Now, if you don't know who James and Glenn are, let me give you their bonafides:

James is perhaps best know as the writer of White Star, an OSR scifi RPG based off of Swords & Wizardry White Box. He has self published over 100 releases for Labyrinth Lord, Swords & Wizardry and his own White Star RPG. He's also written for The One Ring RPG with over a half dozen writing credits for that system and of course, The Star Wars RPG for FFG.

Glen has been podcasting for ages. THAC0's Hammer, Save or Die, The Brainstorm and others I'm sure I have forgotten. Glen's done radio work and stage acting. He does voiceovers for numerous podcasts. He has his own YouTube channel - Old Man Grognard where he discusses topics relevant to the OSR.

The three of use were the hosts of Save or Die: Expert Edition. I consider them both close friends with whom the three of us share gaming chemistry.

As for me, I write a blog, have dabbled in podcasting and create some gaming content on an irregular basis.

Anyhow, these are your hosts for Hero's Brew.

Right now, we have the embedded player up on the right side of this page. All we have up is the intro, but soon - soon there will be more ;)

We will be posing questions to the community as this literally is a podcast for the OSR community. We want to be responsive and work hand in hand with our listeners. More on that soon.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Reminder - Tavern Chat Tonight 9 PM Eastern and HUGE Thank You to the Tavern's Community

Tavern Chat is tonight, 9 PM Eastern, using the chat widget on the right side of this very page. Yes, I'm sure the Hero's Brew Podcast will come up.

Note - although the chat lasts until 11 pm, I might be bowing out a few minutes early for podcast related planning,

Now, a HUGE thank you to Tavern's Community. We just went through a health scare with Rach. This morning, we got the news that the referral to the oncologist was refused and she was being referred to a surgeon for consultation in mid September. So a potential crisis turned into "not an immediate concern" and a huge weight was lifted.

As a cancer survivor myself, I don't wish the Big C on my worst enemy. Thinking my far better half could have it did not put me in a good place. I apologize if I've been off the last week and a half or so.

We'd like to thank all of you for your prayers and well wishes. You have no idea how much the support of this community has meant to my family. We are forever in your debt.

I haven't touched email or most direct communication since the weekend. I might not get to it until tomorrow. Right now I'm realizing how much sleep I haven't been getting. Nap-time calls...

Deal of the Day - Feast of the Preserver (DCC RPG)

Looking for a bargain priced quality adventure for your DCC RPG campaign (or other OSR ruleset)? Look no further. Feast of the Preserver is today's RPGNow Deal of the Day. Normally $4.99 in PDF, on sale until tomorrow morning for $2.49. Softcover Print plus PDF is only $9.50
Feast of the Preserver is a survival horror adventure designed for a group of 5 to 8 characters of levels 3 to 4. 
“Welcome traveller to the quaint village of Barrowton. You’ve arrived just in time for the annual Endfast Feast!” 
Something is amiss in the isolated village of Barrowton. Only courage, skill and a lot of luck can aid the adventurers in facing the horror that has taken hold of this once idyllic place. Can the adventurers save the village from a terrible fate or will they become the Feast of the Preserver
-Mystery and excitement compatible with Goodman Games Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG but easily converted to other systems
-Over 40 pages of blood chilling suspence and horror
-Beautifully rendered isometric maps by Brian Van Hunsel
-New evil magic to destroy or be destroyed by

Remember, by using The Tavern's affiliate links you support The Tavern. I really do appreciate it.

Plate Mail Games Hacked - 3200 Tracks Downloaded for Free before Corrected

Someone hacked Plate Mail Games OneBookShelf account and set the prices to all of the audio tracks to ZERO. While the price was so set, there were 3,200 downloads. In theory, thats about a $4,000 hit.

The reality is something different, as many of those sales were probably from folks that were curious about using music in their RPG sessions and might not have purchased a copy otherwise. So, is it a loss of 3,200 potential sales? Perhaps.

It is certainly the loss of some sales and one heck of a hardship on a small small publisher.

Plate Mail Games' tracks sell for $1.25 a pop.

Wes does good work and can use some community support.
Hello All,  
This morning I found out that my products had been switched to $0 and 3200 tracks where downloaded. The theory is that someone got hold of my publisher account password. Luckily, I had recently transferred my balance to Paypal, so no money was stolen. Your information is secure; it's handled on the DrivethruRPG side. So, for 24 hours, people were able to download tracks for free. I think 99% of the people that did figured I had put the prices at $0 and thought nothing more about it. I'm not rich. My family uses the money we make from sales to pay bills. I don't charge a lot for my products. There is no real recourse at this point because multiple people downloaded products, and as I said, I think they didn't understand something was wrong. If I had sold that many products, my cut would have paid my rent and a good chunk of bills. Anyway, here is what I'm asking: if you can afford to get one track today, consider doing so. If everyone was to buy one track, I would recoup the money lost over the last 24 hours.
Also, I want to thank the customer who recognized something seemed amiss and alerted me right away. That was very thoughtful and I greatly appreciate it. 
Plate Mail Games 
Wes Otis
Sales made via The Tavern's RPGNow links go to support The Tavern. Believe it or not, pennies and nickels do add up ;)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Dragon Warriors - Free in PDF

I remember the ads for Dragon Warriors in the old Dragon Magazine issues. I always wanted to own a copy but never found it here in the states.

Then later in my life it came back in print, and it was available in PDF and POD. I snagged the POD the moment it was up. Its on my short list of games I've always wanted to play and never have.

Right now the Dragon Warriors PDF is free. I've heard its free through the end of August but don't wait, grab it now.
Enter a world of magic, folklore and danger. Here, superstition covers peoples' lives like autumn mists cover the moors, and terrifying monsters with bizarre powers lurk in the shadows. The king is a weakling, barons scheme against each other, and lordless knights, back from the Crusades without the honour or riches they were promised, roam the countryside in search of adventure - or prey. 
Ruined castles and barrows are the lairs of the supernatural, or newer, more sinister masters. Labyrinthine underworlds lie forgotten below ancient temples and city cellars. The dark places of the world hold riches for those who would search for them, and the keys to great power, and death. 
These are the Lands of Legend, and they need heroes. Brave knights, courageous barbarians, cunning sorcerers, mystics trained in the powers of mind and body, sword-wielding warlocks, elementalists who command the fabric of reality itself, and assassins trained to bring death to the deserving. All these will be your comrades on the path to glory - and perhaps your enemies too. 
Will you accept the challenge of Dragon Warriors?

Dragon Warriors is a classic fantasy roleplaying game, originally released in 1985-6 by Corgi Books, relaunched in 2008 by Magnum Opus Press, and now published by Serpent King. This rulebook contains full details for creating characters and all that players need to adventure in the Lands of Legend. It also holds information on over 110 different monstrous species, 192 spells from four different schools of magic, and more than 80 unique magic items, artifacts and relics, as well as sections on jousts, crime and punishment, disease and madness. There's advice for novice Games Masters and players, suggestions for building your own game-world tailored to your tastes, an introductory scenario to begin your adventures in Dragon Warriors, and much more.
Remember, purchases made via The Tavern's RPGNow affiliate links kick back a percentage of the sales to support The Tavern. Yes, Dragon Warriors is free but you might buy something with it. Hint, hint ;)

State of the Tavern Keeper - a Kick in the Can

I've been told I've been extra cranky the last week or so. Its quite possible. There are some behind the scene stuff in the Tenkar Family that's been adding some extra stressors over the last week or so. Health issues. We had hoped for a positive resolution yesterday but the can just got kicked down the road a bit and the potential outcome just got a bit more variable. So yeah, I've been stressing (as have others)

If I step out of line, correct me. I expect nothing less.

Expect a few announcements related to projects to lag a bit. Answers to emails and Blogger Contact messages may be delayed.

I MAY get more focused on some content creation. We'll see.

You shouldn't see a change in posting frequency.

Throw some prayers our way if you can. We never say no :)

Monday, August 7, 2017

Announcing the Hero's Brew - The Official Podcast of The Tenkar's Tavern Community

art by +Craig Brasco 

Yep. We done did it. We spread our wings and flew right here. The Tavern. What am I talking about?

Hero's Brew, The Official Podcast of the Tenkar's Tavern Community.

Here's the link to our opening. If this doesn't tell you the kind of podcast we plan to give to the community, I don't know what does.

It really is a podcast for the community. We plan to get y'all involved with the podcast. How? Heh. Trust us on this one.

We still have some stuff to hash out but this will be coming to your digital doorstep fairly soon.

So, join us for a Hero's Brew, relax and enjoy your time in The Digital Tavern ;)

edit - forgot the damn link and my partners in crime - +James Spahn and +Glen Hallstrom :)

Games Workshop is Being Sued For $62.5M - By a Retailer / Lawyer

Looks like there's some money to be squeezed out of Games Workshop - or a the very least, a valiant attempt to do so.

SpikeyBits has the details of a $62.5M lawsuit filed "in the US Federal Court of Southern Florida alleging six criminal violations of US law and is seeking $62.5 million in equitable relief from Games Workshop.

Moore alleges violations of the U.S. Law and RICO under 18 & 15 U.S. CODE, including but not limited to Fraud, Price Fixing, Tortious Interference, Breach of Contract, Unjust Enrichment, Restraint of Trade, Conspiracy and Antitrust Violations."

That's one hell of a shot across the bow.

There's a lot to the article and I'm not going to attempt to break it down, but these two paragraphs stood out to me:
For near-30-years GW has always maintained that we sellers can “Set any price we want for the items we wholesale from them (GW)”. Yet, more recently GW ‘asked’ its retailers “not to have a ‘shopping cart’ on our websites – since they were adding one to theirs”!? Soon after, without agreement from Stores – GW ‘asked’ that “advertised prices (on the internet) not be more than 20%-Off MSRP – directly contradicting their previous assurances and our extant long-held Verbal Good-Faith Contract. Later, (unknown to Plaintiff) GW said 15%-off. 
Eventually (and unknown to your Plaintiff Stores) GW ‘claimed’ to have quietly instituted a ‘policy’ to outright ‘prohibit’ any/all sales which used internet.
Go to SpikeyBits and read it for yourself. IANAL and I have no clue how this will play out. Still, interesting to see the company quick to threaten to sue over its IP being sued over its IP ;)

Last Call for Merchants & Markets in Print Preorders (Throwi Games)

Thom Wilson just informed me that TODAY is the last chance to preorder Merchants & Markets (mini review) in print.

Its 20 bucks including US shipping (and more elsewhere in the world) which is a steal if you ask me. I love the PDF and just ordered the print copy myself, so you are speaking to the converted here ;)

Link to the physical product order is here.

Link to the PDF at RPGNow is here (7.50 in PDF)

Here's the Table of Contents:

Remember, purchases made via The Tavern's RPGNow Affiliate Links (like the M&M PDF) put a few cents in The Tavern's coffers per sale. Keep your bartender in craft beer, not the macro brews!

Free - GM's Monthly Miscellany: August 2017 (Raging Swan Press)

GM's Monthly Miscellany: August 2017 - Nominally for Pathfinder, most of this release fits perfectly in any OSR campaign as much is system neutral.
Featuring material from some of Raging Swan Press’s newest products as well as classic releases of yesteryear, advice articles and material from Creighton’s on-going design of the megadungeon Gloamhold, the GM’s Monthly Miscellany series is a terrific free resource for the busy, time-crunched GM. 
This month’s issue features: 
10 Ogres with Personality (System Neutral)
Needlebriar At A Glance (from Village Backdrop: Needlebriar) (Mostly System Neutral)
Oleander’s Sanctuary at a Glance (from Places of Power: Oleander’s Sanctuary) (Mostly System Neutral)
Goblin Crunch (from 100% Crunch: Goblins) (Skip)
3 Things Not to Include in Your Dungeon Design (System Neutral)
The price is right - FREE!

Remember, purchases made via The Tavern's RPGNow Affiliate links help support The Tavern. Sure, this is free, but maybe you'l buy something with it. Just keeping you informed :)

Sunday, August 6, 2017

There is a Disturbance in the Force - ENWorld Homepage is Down, but Direct Links Work

Yep, www.enworld.org is down but www.enworld.org/forum/content.php works fine. Weird.

I hope if The Tavern goes down someone would tell me. I'd tell Morrus via social media, but I'm blocked on Twitter, FB and various social media.

Kickstarter - The Blue Vale: A Tabletop RPG in Augmented Reality (pay no attention to the man behind the curtain)

I've been told I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. Its possible. Of course, when I did a search on Kickstarter for "rpgs" this is the one that stuck out to me: The Blue Vale: A Tabletop RPG in Augmented Reality.

Now, forgive me if I am wrong (it happens) but isn't D20 just a type of tabletop gaming? Its not that they intersect, tabletop gaming overlaps D20.
Besides the D20-inspired roleplaying, I really wanted to incorporate combat card elements. We're using cards - recognized by the user's device - to provide certain advantages during the game, temporarily improving a character or group's stats. We'll be doing extensive testing after the Kickstarter to fine-tune the rules to support the best balance, but this keeps a powerful tactile component that's such an essential part of tabletop gaming.
See, that's not necessarily tabletop gaming. That's card based gaming, but that's just one part of tabletop gaming. Warhammer, Euro-style games, board games, non D20 based RPGs - they don't use cards like Magic and others games do.

Now, there is a team of 8 involved in this project, which explains the $350k goal - everyone wants to eat. Spend a minute watching the choppy video and you realize what you are being shown is no where near being ready.

Here's the pitch for the game / setting:
The Blue Vale allows for solo, or, importantly, group play - from 2-5 players, typically, both locally (in the same room), or remotely (across the world). 
The journey begins in a quaint woodland village, like many fantasy stories. It could be Tolkien's Middle Earth - but if it is, it's nearly a thousand years later. 
Magic has become a commodity - like electricity - and though it is commonly in the world, few know how it works beyond vague generalities, much the same way as we "understand" how our cellphones and TVs operate. 
But something's wrong. 
A corporeal manifestation of dark fae magic has grown out of control, a sinister power slaking its thirst on the living and the dead. Like a haunting of a place after a traumatic mortal event, this psychic stain grew ever more powerful as it drew upon light and dark alike. It began reaching out to claim the lands in its deadly tendrils. 
As the power grows, it cripples the natural world - overtaking forest, village and stream with dark tendrils of choking undergrowth. It is a visage of sickness and despair, made sentient floral flesh. Poisonous root, noxious flower, and strangling vine grown from an undead tree. 
And so in our village, things aren't quite right. 
Life in The Village is good, if a bit monotonous and rough. The old folk say that the plants used to grow for longer, used to produce more fruit, tools used to last longer, roads used to be better maintained - but old folks everywhere like to complain. So who can know if it's true? Maybe things have always kinda sucked. 
Life in The VIllage is good. It’s not just true - it’s a saying. “Blauvel guut!” Shopkeepers say it to visitors, friends utter it to one another. Life in the Blue Vale is good! As signs of The Threat begin to appear in the forests surrounding The Village, our protagonist awakens to a strange, distant noise. She goes out to investigate and finds the People of the Wood beginning to stop their tasks and wander toward the edge of town, together staring into the woods, toward the mountains beyond. They are murmuring, seemingly to themselves - and appear nervous and afraid. A few return to their daily tasks, while the majority remain swaying and staring into the forest much of which seems to be shrouded in a curious black mist. 
After speaking to some of the People, our protagonist(s) then gather supplies and head out to destroy The Threat. As they travel across the hills, they notice that dark vines are choking the plants and the blue flowers that are synonymous with the Blue Vale are dying.
I'm not sold. I think software where you could run a "virtual reality" RPG game would be awesome. I don't think this is it.

Did I mention the cards involved in this game are "random boosters?"

There's a lot to read but not much to excite.

$350K is a HUGE number to hit, especially for an unproven software content provider. $415 with 2 weeks to go isnt going to hit the mark. Heck, it isnt going to be in the same room.

Interesting concept, failure to execute...

Whay is This even a Thing? #RPGaDay 2017

31 days of not all that insightful commenting on RPGs - is that really a thing these days?

I understand blog carnivals - everyone blogs about the same topic and it all gets linked. That's one post over the course of the month for each blogger - not one a day for questions that become pointless.

I'm going to answer all 31 questions today...

1 - Right now I need to shit

2 - The one that makes me lots of money

3 - Uhm, I read a lot

4 - Swords & Wizardry Light. Is that a trick question?

5 - What game?

6 - I'd be divorced. Rach has a shitload of patience, but not that much

7 - Huh? The ones with metal dice I guess

8 - The one you like to play

9 - The one you like to play

10 - The Tavern, of course!

11 - Bunnies & Burrows. Wait, its already happening...

12 - Are we talking rulebook or just parts of the line?

13 - My dice kept rolling off the table so I bought a dice tray

14 - SWL - again, is this a trick question?

15 - adapting? is this like houseruling?

16 - SWL - some of these are easy

17 - lots

18 - lots

19 - SWL ;)

20 - My friends

21 - SWL

22 - SWL

23 - SWL

24 - This question makes no sense. Charging more than PWYW is simply charging. PWYW is a tip jar. Some publishers have PWYW and priced items. I'm confused

25 - Depends - do I need to answer this "family friendly"?

26 - Life

27 - Dice, pencil and paper

28 - All - None

29 - anything by Kevin Crawford or Zach Glazer

30 - there are ones that haven't been done?

31 - I'm not even sure I understand the question? My gaming? The hobby? What

Yep, 31 questions, barely one blog post.

Sorry if I sound snarky, but what real purpose does this shopping list of questions serve? Most of these questions are answered by a sentence or less.

Anyhow, for those asking me if I'm going to participate - here ya go. I'm good 'till August 2018 ;)
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