Saturday, September 23, 2017

"Kindle" For 5e Coming Soon - But Pricing will Mirror Print

We all knew this was going to happen sooner or later. Project Morningstar - the failed project to digitally offer the D&D 5e rules - was a hint at how far WotC was looking to go to lock down the current rules in digital. Sure, the overlords gave WotC permission to sell earlier editions of the rules in PDF - heck, those files were already in the land of pirates - but 5e was print only - unless you counted the free Basic Rules.

So, what's the solution? A "Kindle" like app that's just for D&D's latest edition. You can nickel and dime parts of the rules or buy whole rulebooks for pretty much print pricing although it looks like "the basic rules" may be free.

From Mashable (full article)
It's worth noting that some of this stuff is completely free. Even if you don't own the Player's Handbook, you can still look at the sections that teach you about character creation, basic classes, gear, ability scores, combat, spellcasting, and all the other sort of ground-level features that everyone needs to understand in order to play. 
Similarly, the app lets you purchase any paywalled parts of each book piecemeal. If, for example, you'll only ever care about rolling a bard, you can just buy that. Prices for individual sections are $3 or $5 (depending on what you buy) and the three full rulebooks — Player's Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master's Guide — are $30 apiece for everything.
Of course they have to use the oft maligned bard as an example. I mean, I like bards and all, but 3 bucks to play the bard class seems kinds steep...

Friday, September 22, 2017

OSR Picks for the RPGNow September Setting Sale - 33% off select PDFs - Part V (Stoneheart Liberation of Perilous Pantries)

RPGNow is running a September Setting Sale with thousands of titles in the mix. That's a lot to sort through. I'm going to try to pick out some of my personal favorites that are OSR or system neutral over a small series of posts (although one or two may creep in from outside those parameters) Part 1 is here.  Part II is herePart III is here. Part IV is here.

The Lost Lands: Stoneheart Valley Swords and Wizardry Edition - Very tempted to bring this into play in my FLGS SWL campaign - hard to beat as a starting series of adventures - "Finally, welcome to the World of Necromancer Games! From Bill Webb and Clark Peterson's home campaign comes the old-school setting of The Lost Lands: Stoneheart Valley. For over a decade, fans of Necromancer Games and Frog God Games have been asking to see the world behind the adventures. And at long last, here is where it all began, in the Stoneheart Valley near the town of Fairhill. This mini-campaign was originally presented to the fans of Necromancer Games in three separate modules: "The Wizard's Amulet", "The Crucible of Freya", and "The Tomb of Abysthor". Weighing in at 144 pages for the Swords & Wizardry Complete rules this product is the first offering in The Lost Lands setting, coming from Frog God Games. Expanded, enhanced, and providing hours and hours of adventure, this book is intended for characters of levels 1-8 (and beyond), including dungeon, wilderness and city encounters."  12.99  8.70

Starter Adventures - perfect adventures to start out new players with, made for one player and one GM - "Starter Adventures is where you learn to fight, steal, cast spells and heal.  You'll have to use your wits to figure out puzzles.  Use a sword to murderize goblins.  And crumble the undead beneath the power of your god. It's time to grab a weapon, memorize a spell and strap on some armor.  This is going to be fun. Starter Adventures is targeted toward introducing a new player into RPGs.  Inside are four short adventures for each of the four main classes, a tavern to hangout in, and a full-fledged adventure when they've got enough blood encrusted on their blades."  7.99  5.35

Nebin Pendlebrook's Perilous Pantry (DCC) - "The tiny village of Bitterweed Barrow is unaccustomed to mysterious tunnels, missing halflings, or the need for brave adventurers, but now it has all three! Can a band of gong-farmers and shoe-cobblers muster the courage to descend into the darkness and confront the terror that waits beyond Nebin Pendlebrook’s unexpectedly perilous pantry? Designed to be completed in a single furious session, this Instant Action 0-Level Dungeon Crawl Classics adventure drops your players into peril straight away. Dangerous foes, wicked traps, and ancient secrets await! Features: 42 pages of classic 6'x9' digest-format old-school b/w dungeon fun! Designed to be completed in a single 4 hour session, perfect for convention or demo play, but with enough hooks to become a centerpiece for your beginning campaign. 37 page appendix contains paper miniatures of every combatant, initiative cards, battlemaps of the entire dungeon, and printable pics of every image in the adventure. "  4.49  3.01

Crawling Under A Broken Moon fanzine issue #1 (DCC) - The whole series is on sale - "Welcome to the first issue of Crawling Under A Broken Moon, a fanzine dedicated to bringing gonzo post apocalyptic content for the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG from Goodman Games. In this issue you will discover the following articles: Welcome to Umerica, Crawling in a Gonzo Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy World, The Technologist, A class dedicated to the accumulation of scientific knowledge and power, Weapons of the Wastelands, Guns, Guns, and more Guns, Twisted Menagerie, The Sharkhana, Debris Elemental, and Sentrybot, An Interesting Place to Die and Blooms Fashions: a store with clothes to die for.  1.99  1.33

Liberation of the Demon Slayer - an extremely solid adventure and a bargain at the price - The stars are falling - which can only mean one thing. Your town is about to be invaded by demons! Unfortunately, the famed demon-slaying sword Kalthalax lies in the caves below, and all manner of dark and deadly fiends reside in those eldritch-haunted Nether Realms. Liberation of the Demon Slayer is an old school, multi-level dungeon complimented by optional rules and campaign guide, usable with practically every paper and pencil, tabletop fantasy roleplaying game!
5.00  3.35

Purchases made via The Tavern's affiliate links help to support The Tavern. Additionally, if we generate $300 or more via OBS affiliate referral monies, I've promised to release a short adventure in the month of October for free on The Tavern. Well, we just did! Woot! If we surpass $300, I'll look to invest at least half of the extra monies into art or cartography for the adventure. I'd love to pony up for original pieces of art, but that will require significant monies in the pot ;)

Looking for Stock Art Suggestions

We are about a buck from The Tavern's September funding goal via its RPGNow Affiliate links with 8 days left in the month and I'd like to invest at least half of whatever earnings come in after this point to the end of the month on some quality stock art.

Yes, I have purchased a fairly large collection prior to this point, but the more I have access to the more inspiration waiting for me. I am looking at 4 to 5 magic items, 4 to 5 creatures, one dungeon / adventure and possibly one fleshed out NPC with adventure hooks and the like for October alone.

So, if you have favorite artists or art packs, please drop links in the comments below. You won't just be helping me - you'll be helping other self publishers and the artists themselves.

I lean to preferring B&W over color but don't let that stop you from recommending artists or art that primarily work in color.

Which Dyson Map Do I Use for the October Adventure Funded by the Tavern's Readers?

I offered to write a Swords & Wizardry Light adventure and post it for free here at The Tavern (and possibly laid out and PWYW on RPGNow)if the monies raised during September via The Tavern's RPGNow affiliate links exceeded $300. Thanks to the community we are currently less than 9 bucks from that goal with 8 days left in the month. So, I'd like to get a head start ;)

I'll be posting four +Dyson Logos maps below. I'd like you, the reader, to pick a map and tell me why you'd like that one written up for October's adventure. Your input will help decide the direction of the adventure.

Comment below!

Pirate's Cave

Serzen's Seven Stairs

Crypt of the Scarlet Wolf 

Hall of the Ancient Ones

Why I Say "Yes" Far More Often Than "No" as a DM at the Gaming Table

Last night at our FLGS (where I recently started running a Swords & Wizardry Light Campaign) we had an interested spectator who wanted to be a player.

"Can I convert my 5e Halfling Cleric to Swords & Wizardry?"


It was then pointed out to me that BtB, there are no Halfling Cleric PCs in SWL. I know, I wrote the rules. There also aren't Dwarven Clerics and the party already had one of those.

Give me a backstory that explains how and why you want to "break the rules as written" and its quite likely I'll go along with it. At the very least, I'll explain my rational for saying no if that's the case.

Gaming is as much about empowering the players as it about the actually game rules. Actually, empowering the players is probably the key to everyone having fun. I don't mean empowering by making their PCs more powerful but by allowing them to invest themselves into the campaign, because without player buy in you really don't have much of a campaign. So, most likely Yes to that class / race combo that isn't allowed by the book, but you better make an effort to sell me on it.

You want to try what? A running power leap into the door with strange metal swirly things and you're a halfling with 8 strength? Sure, roll a d20 and roll under strength. You have a penalty of 4 due to your size. 20? Great - you do that Wylie Coyote deal - you hit the door with a thump and hang there for a second before sliding to the floor.

Yes can lead to fun situations. No just leads to disappointment.

Zweihander Grim & Perilous RPG POD On Sale for $44.99 (Normally $59.99) - WFRP 1e Clone

Yep, for a limited time you can get the Zweihander POD for $44.99 using this link. NOTE! CLICKING THIS LINK WILL PUT THE DISCOUNTED BOOK IN YOU DIGITAL CART. USE THIS LINK IF YOU JUST WANT TO EXAMINE THE PAGE. Without the discount link it is currently on sale for $49.99, normally $59.99. PDF is priced for $13 if that is more your thing.

Now, I have the Kickstarter version of Zweihander in print and it is HUGE and pretty. If you enjoyed WFRP and would like to have an in print version this is certainly an affordable way to go for a high quality book. There are some places the rules take a different direction but that is true with most clones.
The book comes with a full color cover, with black & white interior. We used the Hardcover Color Book (Standard Heavyweight) option to make the B&W images richer. In addition, the heavier paper weight makes this book retail quality! 
ZWEIHÄNDER Grim & Perilous RPG is an OSR Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay loveletter/retroclone/heartbreaker released under Creative Commons License Share-Alike. It is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game, one where adventurers will: 
  • Live in a gritty, ‘realistic’ fantasy world
  • Make morally grey decisions & enact vicious reprisals
  • Uncover insidious plots & political intrigue
  • Desperately fight in clandestine & open field combat
  • Defend themselves from injuries, madness & mutations
  • Take part in heart-pumping chase scenes
  • Venture into the wilderness & survive its perils
  • Encounter sanity-blasting creatures & their minions
Using the classical D100 system, you will create grim characters, write perilous adventures and build low fantasy & dark fantasy campaigns. These rules are perfectly suitable to run Renaissance and medieval-styled adventures, too. You can also use this book to craft homebrew stories set in the works of Andrzej Sapkowski, George R.R. Martin, Glen Cook, Scott Lynch and other ‘grimdark’-inspired worlds. 
This 692 page, all-in-one game includes most of what you need to play: a character creation guide, game mastery rules and a bestiary brimming with creatures both fair & foul. All that’s left to gather are a few friends, pencils and a handful of dice.
Remember, all purchases made via The Tavern's affiliate links return 5% to the Tavern's coffers. You humble bartender thanks you in advance ;)

Thursday, September 21, 2017

State of The Tavern - Milestones Met and a Special Guest

Its been a pretty big week here at The Tavern.

First, we hit 200+ members of the Tavern's Discord server last night Simply an amazing amount of interaction in so little time.

Today we surpassed 1800 members in The Tavern's Facebook Community, putting us within throwing distance of 2000 members by the end of November, its two year anniversary.

Going back to last night, its official - Bill Webb stated there will be a room for Rach and I at Gamehole, so we are going! You be able to find me (and Rach) most often at the Frog God booth I suspect.

Talking about Bill Webb, he dropped into last night's Tavern Chat - specifically the voice chat at 9 PM Pacific - which means midnight eastern, and stuck around for an hour doing what Bill does best - being Bill. If you've ever met Bill at a convention, last night felt like that. If you haven't, you need to drop into Tavern Chat one Wednesday night. Bill will be coming back but there is no set schedule. A wonderful time was has by all.

This morning I did the numbers and for the month of September I'll be able to pay myself minimum wage for two hours a day for the 30 days. And we are only at the 21st of the month. We are within easy striking distance of $300 in affiliate monies earned at RPGNow for me to commit to posting asmall adventure for free at The Tavern in the month October. If all funding hits $500 or better for the month of September (RPGNow, Patreon, Paypal subscriptions and Adsense) I promised to present a well detailed NPC for SWL / SWC, including adventure hooks. That is also within spitting distance. Thank you all for the support. You have no idea how much it means to me.

In the meantime - Game On!

Seven of the Ten Bestselling Titles on RPGNow are OSR Titles

Wow. Look at the above screenshot.

#1 - Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea

#2 - The Forbidden Caverns of Archaia

#3 - White Star: Galaxy Edition

#5 - Villains & Vigilantes 3.0 Mighty Protectors

#8 - B/X Essentials: Core Rules

#9 - BLUEHOLME: Journeyman Rules

#10- Wormskin Issue #7

7 out of 10 of the current best sellers at RPGNow are OSR / Old School releases. Interesting.

One DriveThruRPG? 1 out of 10.

Yep, that's an affiliate link right above this. 5% of all sales go to support The Tavern. Thank you in advance.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Its Here! White Star: Galaxy Edition in PDF has Released!

The update many of us have been waiting for is here - White Star: Galaxy Edition has arrived. You've read White Star I hope (PWYW) . Well, this is all that and more. White Star is my go to OSR sci-fi ruleset and as it's built off of Swords & Wizardry White Box, you already know much of the rules ;) The White Star: Galaxy Edition is $9.99 in PDF - hardcover is coming soon.

edit:  anyone who buys the PDF before the softcover and hardcover releases will receive a discount equivalent to if they had bought the PDF+Print bundle. - James Spahn

Ace Pilots, dead-eyed Gunslingers, and irrepressible Star Squirrels blast off across the stars to save the galaxy from the horrors of the Void! Hellfire Mecha march across the battlefield, leaving carnage in their wake! From the galactic center of Omega Consor to the Manrash System on the edge of the universe, the galaxy needs heroes! 
Endless galactic adventure awaits you in White Star: Galaxy Edition! Integrated and updated to include material from White Star and the White Star Companion, White Star: Galaxy Edition integrates new rules, new options, and expands the original game. Now more than just a tool box, White Star: Galaxy Edition offers you a universe full of thrilling adventure! 
White Star: Galaxy Edition includes: 
  • Twenty-five character classes!
  • Complete rules for Starship, Vehicle, and Mecha combat!
  • New Starship and Vehicle Modifications!
  • New Aliens and Creatures!
  • New Equipment, Advanced Technology, and Cybernetics!
  • New Meditations and Gifts!
  • Two new forms of Mysticism: The tribal Etchings of the Yabnab and strange Chitterings of the Star Squirrels!
  • New Optional Rules, like Deeds Dark & Daring, to add pulp sci-fi heroics to your game!
  • New Star Systems: The rugged Marnash Sector and strange Scuiridae System!
  • White Star: Galaxy Edition is compatible with all previous White Star products and can be seemlessly integrated into White Box and other OSR material!

OSR Picks for the RPGNow September Setting Sale - 33% off select PDFs - Part IV (Classic TSR Settings - Oh my!)

RPGNow is running a September Setting Sale with thousands of titles in the mix. That's a lot to sort through. I'm going to try to pick out some of my personal favorites that are OSR or system neutral over a small series of posts (although one or two may creep in from outside those parameters) Part 1 is here.  Part II is here. Part III is here.

The Great Pendragon Campaign - I've owned every edition since the original boxed set :) "For 1500 years King Arthur’s story has been told around campfires, in noble courts, in taverns, books, movies and now, with the prize-winning King Arthur Pendragon roleplaying game, at your game table. The Great Pendragon Campaign begins during the reign of Arthur’s father King Uther, when player knights can participate in the events of Arthur’s conception. The long and brutal Interregnum of Saxon wars is forever altered when Arthur draws the Sword from the Stone to start his great and glorious reign. The Boy King leads his knights through periods of consolidation and expansion until the entire Western world is brought under his sway. Then, to High Adventure! Knights gain Glory and lands in the periods of Romance and Tournaments, and at last engage in the greatest adventure of all, The Quest for the Holy Grail. Then, amidst tragedy and broken dreams, the Twilight Period draws the epic to a close. Eighty years of campaign detailed year-by-year provide the background, on-going events and adventures that define structure of King Arthur’s glorious reign.The Magic is in The Details, and The Details are in This Book."  24.99  16.74

Dark Sun Boxed Set (2e) - this is the classic dark setting from the 2e era of AD&D - aside from Greyhawk and the Forgotten Realms it is the setting I ran the most - "Amid the barren wastelands of Athas lie the scattered city-states, each in the grip of its own, tyrannical sorcerer-king. Protecting their own positions with dark magic, they demand absolute obedience. The restless mobs are placated with bread and circuses --the arenas overflow with spectators seeking release from their harsh lives. The land outside the cities belong to no one. Savage elves race across the deserts while insectoid Thri-Kreen satisfy their taste for blood. Dwarves labor at projects beyond the scope of men, and feral halflings lie in ambush.  Athas is a land of deadly magic and powerful psionics that offers promise of glory or even of survival. Those who do not have the cunning to face life on Athas will surely perish - leaving nothing but bones bleached white under the blistering rays of the DARK SUN."  9.99  6.69

Planescape Campaign Setting (2e) - probably the setting I wish I had run more in the 2e days - so many awesome settings - "Discover the multiverse! Enter infinite universes of infinite variety, worlds beyond the prime-material settings of the AD&D game. Explore Sigil, the City of Doors, filled with portals to every layer of every plane. All you need is the right key, including. . . A Player's Guide to the Planes: A 32-page primer that introduces DMs and players alike to the grand design of the multiverse. A DM's Guide to the Planes: A 64-page book of valuable information solely for the Dungeon Master. Sigil and Beyond: A 96-page gazetteer that introduces Sigil and its surrounding plane as the starting point for planar adventures. From Sigil all the Outer Planes may be sampled by novice and veteran explorers alike. Monstrous Supplement: a 32-page, full-color Monstrous Compendium booklet. Four poster-size maps depicting the planes. A four-panel DM screen designed especially for planar campaigns. Until now, only the most powerful wizards could peek into the magnificent multiverse, but no longer! Gone are the unimaginable distances and the insurmountable obstacles that only the ultrapowerful could hope to overcome. Now even the greenest adventurer can enter the planes, though surviving long is another matter . . . Have at it, berk! Powers, proxies, planars, petitioners, and wondrous monsters await just beyond the portal. Step through and partake of the infinite excitement of Planescape."  9.99  6.69

World of Greyhawk Fantasy Game Setting (1e) - the setting I quite simply ran all my campaigns in during the 1e era starting with the folio and then with this boxed set as well as much of the 2e era - I can't say enough about it - "Enter the WORLD OF GREYHAWK ...A world where bandit kings raid from their remote stronghold; ...A world where noble elves fight savage invaders and where bold knights wage war on the terror of Iuz; ...A world scarred by a vast Sea of Dust, across which drift lost memories from the awful forgotten past. Enter a World of Wonder & Intrigue... Fantasy Game Setting for a panoramic view of this fantastic place. More than a collection of maps and names, it is an active world filled with decaying empires and dark forests. Game elements include the gods of Greyhawk, the clash of political factions, and encounters in this wild land." 9.99  6.69

Note - Greyhawk Adventures (1e/2e) (this is the book, not the folio or the box) is also 6.69

Ravenloft Campaign Setting, Revised, Boxed Set (2e) - I never ran a Ravenloft campaign but I ran a bunch of ons-shots where my regular party would find themselves in a demi-plane - "This new edition of the RAVENLOFT game combines the original Realm of Terror boxed set with elements of Forbidden Lore and updated rules from other accessories. Domains destroyed in the infamous Grand Conjunction have been deleted, new domains added, and key personalities detailed.  This boxed set includes: Realm of Terror - a 160-page book of rules concerning the reshaping of character classes; fear, horror, madness, and powers checks; curses; spells and magical items,both new and old; psionics; techniques of terror; and more. Domains and Denizens - a 128-page book describing the dark lands of the Core, the islands of terror, and many nefarious personages. Two maps depicting the reshaped Core domains and the islands of terror. A poster featuring a painting by artist Robh Ruppel. A tarokka deck of beautifully illustrated cards for role-playing fortunetelling. A DM screen specifically designed to be used with a RAVENLOFT campaign." 9.99  6.69

Purchases made via The Tavern's affiliate links help to support The Tavern. Additionally, if we generate $300 or more via OBS affiliate referral monies, I've promised to release a short adventure in the month of October for free on The Tavern. Just under 47 bucks to go. If we surpass $300, I'll look to invest the extra monies into original art or cartography for the adventure.

Tavern Chat - Tonight - 9PM Eastern for Text - 930 PM Eastern for Voice

The weekly Tavern Chat has been an overwhelming success since migrating to The Tavern's Discord Server. Both text and voice chat have been breakouts, with 22 folks signed into the voice server at one point last Wednesday night. Chat usually ends around 11 PM - we kept it going in the voice channel until 115 in the morning.

Quick things to point out. This is a community gathering. Please be considerate of others that might want to participate in the voice chat. I had some feedback that 2 or 3 voices controlled most of the voice chat, and in retrospect, that is correct. I know we all have something we want to add to the conversation, but please, be considerate of others. I don't want to be put in a position to mute certain people for 5 or 10 minutes at a time, but I will if needed. Don't make that a need.

For those that need a link to The Tavern's Discord Server, its below:


You'll initially find yourself in The Common Room, out general chat channel that is active 24/7.

For tonight's chat, you'll want to join Tavern-Chat-9PM-Eastern for the text channel and Open Bar for the voice channel.

See you all tonight :)

Free RPG - vs. Stranger Stuff (80's inspired horror / etc)

Halloween is 6 weeks away. It might be time for some Halloween game prep and at what better price than free ;) If it can be used to reimagine Stranger Things, it might be even better...
vs. Stranger Stuff is a mini-rpg of 80’s inspired adventure/horror/ sci-fi, typically involving children and teens. Of course we were in influenced by the recent hit Netflix series Stranger Things, but also those great films that inspired that series. What does this mean? It means that a game of vs. Stranger Stuff will involve you playing an adolescent during the 1980’s going against strange and unusual adversaries (often supernatural) with the aid of your loyal group of childhood friends.  
vs. Stranger Stuff is a complete roleplaying game using the VsM Engine in a slimmed down and quick to use format. Experienced gamers will have no problem creating interesting characters, learning the rules, and starting a game. All you need is paper, pencils, and a deck of playing cards.

Changes to The Tavern's Patreon and other Funding Goals / Rewards

Well, its been a few weeks in the making but The Tavern has tweaked its funding goals over on The Tavern's Patreon. Currently the Patreon is at $115 a month.

  • At the $100 level, you get a monster for Swords & Wizardry Light once a week, posted at The Tavern - Midweek Monster Mayhem - We are there :)
  • At the $125 level, you get a magic item for Swords & Wizardry Light once a week posted at The Tavern. We are almost there and I've been posting them even though we have been short - Weekend Wonders.
Further goals include:
  • $150 - Compiling the weekly entries into monthly PDFs and emailing copies to all backers at $1.50 or higher
  • $175 - Increase the monsters to twice a week.
  • $200 - That good old OSROnline Con using Discord and Roll20 (and maybe Fantasy Grounds)
  • $225 - Increase the magic items to twice a week.

Additionally, there are other funding goals as The Tavern is also funded in other manners. Each month The Tavern raises $300 or more in RPGNow affiliate monies, I'll write a small adventure for SWL and post it at The Tavern. The Tavern is currently funded at $242 for the month of September.

If the total of all monies raised is $500 or more in a given month (Patreon, RPGNow affiliate, Amazon Affiliate and Adsense) I'll stat out a "drop and play" NPC for SWL, complete with background, motivations and adventure seeds)

I appreciate all of the support The Tavern receives from readers like you. Thank you all.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A WTF Kickstarter - Erotic Adventures - Third party sexy adventure rules (for 5e)

Alright. See the pic above for the Erotic Adventures Kickstarter (for 5e). That literally tells you more than the boilerplate.

Yep, that's the whole "sell". I get it. Its over the top. There is a way to do this with some class (Venger comes to mind) and then there is this. And yes, its funded.

Oh, I don't think you can actually mention D&D in the backer levels - and my, what backer levels they are. Here's just a sampling.

OSR Picks for the RPGNow September Setting Sale - 33% off select PDFs - Part III

RPGNow is running a September Setting Sale with thousands of titles in the mix. That's a lot to sort through. I'm going to try to pick out some of my personal favorites that are OSR or system neutral over a small series of posts (although one or two may creep in from outside those parameters) Part 1 is here.  Part II is here.

Dungeon Crawl Classics #35: Gazetteer of the Known Realms - I have the boxed set and it is a beast. You literally have a full campaign in this box and then some - note: written for 3x - "Certain adventures only come around once. Like when the grizzled old warrior decides to go after the dragon, and asks who’s coming with him. Or when the dark-eyed sorceress slowly surveys the crowd of peasants, waiting for one to step forward and pull the sword from the stone. This boxed sets contains those adventures. Dungeon Crawl Classics #35: Gazetteer of the Known Realms brings together the Dungeon Crawl Classics modules into one comprehensive world. This magnificent set includes: Gazetteer of the Known Realms, a 120-page book describing the archetypal fantasy world of Áereth. Three 24"x36" poster-sized full-color maps of Áereth ready to host your adventures. GM’s Guide to the Known Realms, a 136-page sourcebook describing deities, equipment, creatures, and NPCs, plus rules for starting campaigns with 0-level characters and adventure paths that you can build from existing DCC modules.  Halls of the Minotaur, a 32-page adventure module for 0-level characters perfectly suited to starting off your campaign in Áereth. The Thief Lord’s Vault, a 32-page adventure module for levels 4-6 that sends the heroes into the legendary treasure vault of Cazül the Chaotic." 29.99  20.99

Wormskin Issue 5 - Note: The entire series in on sale - "Wormskin explores the mythic forest called Dolmenwood, a weird folklore setting for use with B/X or similar tabletop adventure games. Each issue uncovers various elements of this eldritch realm situated on the leafy verges of Fairy, where austere Drunes rub elbows with weird elf-lords and talking beasts, where witches wander skyclad and armed with sinister magicks to bind the spirits of hapless adventurers. Be wary. " 3.99  2.67

Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding - "Roleplaying games and fantasy fiction are filled with rich and fascinating worlds: the Forgotten Realms, Glorantha, Narnia, R'lyeh, Middle-Earth, Barsoom, and so many more. It took startling leaps of imagination as well as careful thought and planning to create places like these: places that readers and players want to come back to again and again. Now, eleven of adventure gaming’s top designers come together to share their insights into building worlds that gamers will never forget. Learn the secrets of designing a pantheon, creating a setting that provokes conflict, determining which historical details are necessary, and so much more. Even take that creative leap—and create dazzling worlds of your own! Essays by Wolfgang Baur, Keith Baker, Monte Cook, David "Zeb" Cook, Jeff Grubb, Scott Hungerford, Chris Pramas, Jonathan Roberts, Michael A. Stackpole, Steve Winter, with an introduction by Ken Scholes."  14.99  10.04

Cthulhu by Gaslight - Halloween is sneaking up on us. What better way to celebrate the holiday than some CoC? - "IN THE 1890s, Cthulhu and his minions share the globe with the mighty British Empire. But they owe allegiance to an empire of their own — a dark and cruel design on ownership of the world and on the dreams of humanity. Even among the green fields of rural England, only thoughtful and energetic intervention keeps the shadows at bay. CTHULHU BY GASLIGHT offers a thoroughly developed Victorian England setting for use with Call of Cthulhu. Character creation has been enhanced with new wrinkles. There are articles on the Victorian world, crime, politics, personalities, and so forth. There are extensive sections on the Cthulhu Mythos in Britain — creatures, cults, and books — and a précis of Ramsey Campbell’s Severn River Valley. Also included are tips on running various types of Gaslight-era campaigns, a gazetteer of intriguing British myths and legends, a selection of friends and foes from Victorian fiction, and a lengthy bibliography /filmography of suggested reading and viewing. Rounding out this edition are a pair of Victorian-era scenarios — one an urban adventure set in London, the other set in rural Dartmoor. Includes a two-color, fold-out map of the City of London."  15.92  10.67

Alpha Blue - "Warning: Alpha Blue contains potentially offensive material in regards to sexual content, adult situations, vulgar language, mature themes, etc. This book is not only a rules light sci-fi RPG (d6 dice pools similar to both Crimson Dragon Slayer and The Outer Presence), but a campaign setting full of tables and scenario seeds.  And what is that setting?  Well, Alpha Blue is one of the most notorious space station brothels in the universe.  I know I'm biased, being the creator and all, but I really love this game!  I've run it many times during the playtest phase, for my home group after its release, at conventions, virtually on Roll20.  It's literally the most fun to GM of all the hundreds of RPGs I own.  Here's a little secret to running Alpha Blue - just borrow bits and pieces from vintage scifi movies and TV shows, add in a bit of sleaze, and sprinkle some funny stuff on top.  Voila! And what makes this different than similar offerings?  Three things!  The first is humor. I've made this a fun read with hilarious, gonzo shenanigans around every corner.  The second is sex appeal.  Plenty of folks won't buy this book.  Hell, they won't even read a free PDF if it was shoved in their face.  Why?  Because some of it is raunchy, disgusting, perverted, and just plain gross.  Your welcome, skeezoids!  Third, I love old school sci-fi.  So much, in fact, that the future is seen through a 1970s and 80s perspective.  Don't forget tables, tables, and more tables!  Mutations, alien quirks, funky fashion, just the right retro color palette, what's inside that asteroid, what are the scanners picking up, did you assassinate your victim, how does your therapy-bot help you cope with life among the stars, is the space station's central computer in a favorable mood, sexual fetish, weird space cocktails, etc.  A third of this book is fricken random tables!" $10.00  $6.70

Purchases made via The Tavern's affiliate links help to support The Tavern. Additionally, if we generate $300 or more via OBS affiliate referral monies, I've promised to release a short adventure for free on The Tavern. Just under 65 bucks to go :)

Midweek Monster Mayhem - "Paper" Ogre & Todie The Bulibug (Swords & Wizardry Light)

There was no Midweek Monster Mayhem post last week so this post is a bit of a twofer. If all goes well, there will be a second post this week.

Todie was a special Bulibug. Unlike his brethren, he had an affinity for languages. He also found himself blessed with a singular talent, the ability to project a semi-solid illusion, which he often used to his advantage within the tribe. That is, until they cast him out.

Now Todie preys on the Bigguns. He has perfected an 8 1/2 foot "Paper" Ogre projection, one that he can throw his voice to, which he uses to shake down travelers and still wet behind the ears adventurers. He doesn't ask for much - usually a silver per person from travelers - and would much rather the show go as planned, because his ogre projection is much more bark than it is bite. The projection is hard to hit but strikes for minimal damage.

Paper Ogre
AC: 1[18]    HD: 4 (4 HP) Attacks: Club (1 Point Damage - no roll needed)   Move: 12
Special: Really an illusion. Anyone who suspects it is an illusion may make a saving throw. If successful, that character gains a + 4 hit bonus against the illusion.

AC: 6[13]    HD: 1 Attacks: Claws (1d6-1) or by weapon   Move: 12
Special: Hide as a thief in wilderness 5 in 6 chance

Note, although written for Swords & Wizardry Light, Paper Ogres and Bulibugs will work fine with other flavors of S&W (and other OSR rulesets) - all you need do is add expo.

Paper Ogre art by Eric Quigley. Bulibug art by Forrest Imel.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Kickstarter - Tiny Dungeon 2e - Minimalist fantasy roleplaying is back!

If you follow The Tavern with any regularity, you know I like my RPGs with a simple resolution system but plenty of depth. Well, Tiny Dungeon 2e appears to have both in spades.
Tiny Dungeon uses a simple, fast, and dynamic ruleset to handle actions. The game uses up to three six-sided dice as part of action resolution. 
If you roll a "5" or "6" on a die, your check succeeds. Most checks are made with two dice. However, if you are deemed to have "advantage" on a roll, you gain a third die to roll. If you have disadvantage, you lose a dice (rolling only a single die). 
Characters are made quickly and easily. You will select a fantasy race (such as dwarf, salimar, goblin, human or more), three traits, and write down some basic information and you are ready to play!
Even more interesting to me are the included micro-settings. There are 17 such micro-settings included at the moment and I can see myself and others readily ripping them for SWL and other rulesets.

Funding goal was 5k and its currently over 37k with 17 days to go.

PDF is $13,  Print plus PDF is $25.

Bundle of Holding - Lamentations of the Flame Princess

Say what you want about the Lamentations of the Flame Princess releases (and much has been said) but the quality of the art of the strength of the writing is top of the line. Usability? That's a whole other question and depends on the title.

Carcosa and Isle & Dungeon of the Unknown are very strong, if off kilter, sandboxes. Death Frost Doom 2e has always reminded me of a survivable (strange to say that about LotFP) Tomb of Horrors. Blood in the Chocolate is disturbing as all hell. The Monolith from Beyond Space and Time is a useless party fuck IMHO and Lamentations of the Flame Princess - The core ruleset. You get the above for $14.95

As for the Appalling Bonus Collection, this is a much stronger collection. I have nothing but good stuff to say about the choices and if nothing else your reading will be enjoyable. How much will be usable in your campaign will depend on you but lots of ideas to borrow and steal. My two favorites picks from this batch are worth the price of admission on their own - Broodmother Skyfortress and Towers Two.  These are simply amazing examples of great adventures to inspire the DM. Currently priced just short of $27 for the bonus collection.

OSR Picks for the RPGNow September Setting Sale - 33% off select PDFs - Part II

RPGNow is running a September Setting Sale with thousands of titles in the mix. That's a lot to sort through. I'm going to try to pick out some of my personal favorites that are OSR or system neutral over a small series of posts (although one or two may creep in from outside those parameters) Part 1 is here.

KOBOLD Guide to Plots & Campaigns - "Whether you’re a new gamemaster or a seasoned vet looking for a new angle to shake up your game, these 19 essays by expert gamemasters help construct your campaign from the ground up—and keep your players engaged until the dramatic conclusion. Kobold Guide to Plots & Campaigns shows how to begin a new campaign, use published adventures or loot them for the best ideas, build toward cliffhangers, and design a game that can enthrall your players for month or even years. Want to run an evil campaign, or hurl the characters into unusual otherworldly settings? Want to ensure that you’re creating memorable and effective NPCs and villains? We’ve got you covered. Complete with discussions on plotting, tone, branching storytelling, pacing, and crafting action scenes, you’ll find all the tips and advice you need to take on the best role in roleplaying—and become an expert gamemaster, too! Featuring essays by Wolfgang Baur, Jeff Grubb, David “Zeb” Cook, Margaret Weis, Robert J. Schwalb, Steve Winter, and other game professionals." 9.99  6.69

The Adventurers Almanac - "Written in the similar vein of The Dungeon Alphabet, The Adventurers’ Almanac is not a hard and fast “this is how things should be done” gaming supplement, but a spring-board for your own creativity. With a little mental elbow grease, it’s possible to turn the hundreds of adventure ideas waiting inside its pages into full-blown, epic campaigns that will keep your players entertained and waiting to see what happens next. Suitable for any fantasy roleplaying game, The Adventurers’ Almanac is the perfect resource for any game master lacking in that most precious of commodities—Time, itself. So make you sure your dues are paid to the “Order of Adventurers, Explorers, and Treasure-Seekers,” stop by your local chapterhouse for your copy of The Adventurers’ Almanac, and get ready for a year of unforgettable adventure!" 12.99  8.70

Hubris: A World of Visceral Adventure -HUBRIS WON 2017 ENNIE FOR BEST ELECTRONIC BOOK! "Hubris is a weird fantasy setting that  uses the awesome Dungeon Crawl Classics rules!  In this book you will find 10 territories filled with tables and charts to generate interesting locations and encounters, new occupations, 4 new classes, 5 new playable races, 3 new spells, 4 new patrons, including 3 patrons spells for each, 11 new and terrible gods, 14 tables and charts for a GM to use to aid them in their game or create interesting/fun situations, two new adventures to kick off a campaign, and 51 new enemies (including enemies that are unique thanks to random generation).  Hubris is hackable!  Each territory can be used as the GM wills!  Need a desert, swamp, or frozen tundra for your game?  Use what's in Hubris!  14.99  10.04

The Ruins of Undermountain (2e) - "UNDERMOUNTAIN is a dungeon setting for AD&D 2nd Edition campaign play: the oldest, largest, and deadliest dungeon-crawl in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. It is the place where intrepid adventurers endeavor to become veterans, to win a place among the rich and famous - if they survive its depths. Enter an endless maze where waiting death bears a thousand faces and treasures lie hidden in a thousand places. It's just the setting for long running, memorable, great AD&D game play, the perfect locale you'll never forget. So please, come in. Mind your step among the skulls. Oh, yes - good luck - you'll be needing it. The Ruins of Undermountain campaign set includes: A 128-page book describing Undermountain, its history, its horrors, and details of the first three levels of the dungeon; a 32-page adventure book for use exclusively with Undermountain and Waterdeep; Four full-color maps of the vast and dangerous dungeon and; Eight new monsters."  7.99  5.35

Night Below: An Underdark Campaign (2e)Night Below, the first epic campaign adventure for the AD&D game, is designed to take the player characters from 1st level to 10th level and beyond. The PCs start as beginning adventures on a routine courier mission who soon become drawn into combating a sinister plot that menaces the pleasant land of Haranshire.  By the end of Book I, The Evils of Haranshire, the player characters should have worked their way up to 5th level. Book II, Perils of the Underdark, shifts the scene underground as the characters search the seemingly endless realm of the underdark to discover the fate of the kidnappers' victims. By the time they reach the dark cavern of The Sunless Sea in Book III, they should each be 10th level or above, ready at last to confront the ultimate evil behind the far-reaching conspiracy. Inside are Three 64-page books compromising a single grand-scale adventure, which can be placed in any AD&D world. 16 Player Handout sheets featuring art, maps, charts, and letters. 8 two-sided DUNGEON MASTER Reference Cards providing cutouts, monster rosters, and two new evil deities. An eight-page booklet of new MONSTROUS COMPENDIUM entries, detailing three new races and two new monsters. 6 full-color poster maps detailing all the important locations in the entire campaign setting.

Purchases made via The Tavern's affiliate links help to support The Tavern. Additionally, if we generate $300 or more via OBS affiliate referral monies, I've promised to release a short adventure for free on The Tavern. Just under 80 bucks to go :)

Time to Give Away the PDF Copy of The Forbidden Caverns of Archaia Megadungeon

Thanks to the generosity of +Greg Gillespie , he of Barrowmaze fame, The Tavern is giving away a PDF copy of The Forbidden Caverns of Archaia, Greg's latest release. Its a megadungon composed of a sandbox setting and multiple dungeons and it is without a doubt, a campaign worth of gaming and then some.

Previously, we asked you to describe a fantasy bartender. The entries were beyond expectations - in number, details, humor - and I thanks you.

So, we have a few gift to give away here.

The first is the No Prize to Skeeterbug for referencing +James Spahn 's entry for The Tavern in Bard's Gate. Well done Skeeter. ;)

The second prize is for the entry that made me smile or laugh the most. That entry get's a $10 RPGNow Gift Certificate. And there are so many great entries I'm awarding 2 $10 GCs. It could easily be a dozen, the entries were that good. So, james spahn and 賈尼, reach out to me for your $10 GCs to RPGNow.

Now to the gift you've all been waiting for - the PDF copy of The Forbidden Caverns of Archaia. The randomly chosen entry is: Mike Gibb!

Congrats! Those listed above should reach out to me at tenkarsDOTtavernAT that gmail thing and we'll hook you.

The entries were really great. They may find themselves listed in a single document distributed for free here at The Tavern. At the very least, they are going into a random table or two for my games.,

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Kickstarter - Matt Finch's Old School Gamer Radio: A D&D Resource

There are Kickstarters that excite me because of the names involved. Then there are Kickstarters that excite me because of the content. Old School Gamer Radio excites me for both those reasons and more.

Simply put, the OSR is a disorganized and chaotic and extremely beautiful mess. The OSR is vast wilderness of amazing content, creators, communication and the like but it is unmapped and difficult to navigate at times. Make that difficult to navigate all the time.

Old School Gamer Radio plans to help with the mapping:
In our community, it's getting difficult to track the vast array of projects and sub-communities coming from our bloggers, cartographers, YouTubers, artists, authors, facebook groups, and content creators. So OSGR’s first objective is to create and provide a robust search function for links to great OSR content. Looking for the best Greyhawk-centric blogs? Trying to find maps and monsters written specifically for your favorite flavor of D&D or retro-clone? Wanting to try out some podcasts or video blogs that focus on your gaming area of interest? Just looking for free downloadable Old School content? Old School Gamer Gamer Radio will help you find all of that and more quickly and efficiently.  
There will also be new content at Old School Gamer Radio, such as YouTube videos with guest commenters as well as regulars.

Alright, I'll admit I backed at 75 bucks. I want that damn hat. Besides, The Tavern will be a full behind the scenes style partner to help in any way be can. I personally believe deeply in this project. How often do you hear me say that? That isn't because I personally know Matt and Zach (it doesn't hurt) but because I think Old School Gamer Radio will be good for the OSR and the OSR is where I hang my hat.

New Release - BLUEHOLME™ Journeymanne Rules (because this Holme's goes to 20 ;)

BLUEHOLME™ Journeymanne Rules - I'll take your Basic and raise you to a complete game! heh

I backed the Kickstarter for the BLUEHOLME™ Journeymanne Rules and I'm excited to see the PDF go live. The PDF is currently on sale for $9.99
NOTE: This is an early release of the game. There are some pieces of interior art which are not yet ready. Keep an eye out for updates which will include this missing art. 
The BLUEHOLME™ Journeymanne Rules are a table top fantasy roleplaying game which emulates the game play of the original basic rule book, popularly known as the Holmes Edition or simply the Blue Book. Unlike those basic rules, however, this book allows for characters of 1st to 20th levels, and include everything the referee could possibly need to create and run a campaign in the Underworld, the Wilderness, or the Realm: monsters, magic, treasure, and … well, what more do you need? BLUEHOLME™ Journeymanne Rules are fully compatible with the BLUEHOLME™ Prentice Rules (priced at PWYW so no point not to look) and can be used with most old-school adventure modules.
Purchases made via The Tavern's affiliate links put 5% of the sale price to support The Tavern. Thank you :)

Kevin Crawford responded to Frank Mentzer's Commentary on the Viability of the OSR Market

As the original post with Frank's commentary is 5 days old and hasn't had a comment in 48 hours before +Kevin Crawford 's this afternoon, I'm breaking Kevin's comment into a post of its own. It deserves to be read and commented upon.

I'll be reserving my thoughts to the comments section of this post...

Here's Kevin's comment in text format:
"Speaking purely for myself, the OSR has been a very good market segment to me. In the past two years, I've had gross sales of about a half million dollars worth of Sine Nomine books. That's not mansion money on the post-tax net, but it is an extremely comfortable location-independent living for a single creator. 
And that, I think, is the key. The OSR as a market segment can absolutely provide a comfortable living to more creators than it does now, but those creators have to be able to take a project from inception to print with minimal outside involvement. My per-book profits are huge compared to the royalties I'd get from a publisher. They have to be, because in the last year I've sold 12,000 copies of one title or another, and if I were with a conventional fiction publisher they'd burn my rolodex card if I moved less than 20,000 on one title in a year. I can make a very comfortable living on 12,000 copies sold, but that living gets a whole lot less comfortable if I have to pay authors and layout designers on every product I issue. 
And by the same token, those creators have to _produce_. One swallow does not make a summer and one hit product does not make a living. They have to be able to hit their project deadlines and constantly create new, compelling products that draw new buyers and keep existing fans coming back for more. They can move tremendous amounts of back catalog this way, but only if they _have_ a back catalog. You know what a hit OSR product means? It means the customers are willing to see what else you've got."

Weekend Wonders - The Orc Captain's Ring (Swords & Wizardry Light / Complete)

The Orc Captain's Ring was created for the human captain of an orcish mercenary company. Although his name is lost to history, his ring remains. He (or she) who wears this ring gains the following boons, bonuses and curse:

  • + 1 Bonus to hit and damage rolls due to increased strength
  • See in the dark in shades of gray up to 60'
  • Able to march 18 hours a day before needing rest
  • Speak and understand Orcish
  • While wearing the ring, the wearer slowly starts morphing into the physical appearance of an orc. This starts after one week of continual wear and completes after four weeks of wear. A successful saving throw must be made to remove the ring before the four weeks are out. Failure means that the change to the physical appearance of an orc will be permanent. No save is required to remove the ring after the four weeks are up and the change is permanent. Note: Boons and bonuses only apply while the ring is worn.

I'm in the process of revamping The Tavern's Patreon, but that doesn't mean I can't start posting material applicable to the revamp. Weekend Wonders will be a more or less regular feature at The Tavern, dealing with magic items and magical spells for use in Swords & Wizardry Light and / or Swords & Wizardry Complete. Some posts will find their way into the Torchlight Magazine. Others may get collected and placed on sale at OBS. All Patreon Backers will get a quarterly PDF with the prior 3 months of material. Backers at $10 or more will get it in print.

Note - The pictured ring is from the Publisher's Choice Quality Stock Art Collection Copyright Rick Hershey / Fat Goblin Games.

Yep, that's an affiliate link above. Rick offers some high quality stock art. Purchases made via The Tavern's affiliate links help support The Tavern
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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