Saturday, September 30, 2017

Guest Post by Greg C re: The Current Drama on G Plus in the OSR - A Must Read IMHO

Note - this was originally posted on Google + this morning. I read it and immediately asked +Greg C if I could share it here at The Tavern. He agreed and here it is - Tenkar

We all want to be somebody. We want to be recognized. We want to be popular and have lots of friends. We want to be pursued by the opposite sex (or the same sex, whatever the case may be). We want fame and power and money.

They call out to us like whispers in the dark.

But you have to keep your ego in check. You can't let your self-worth get wrapped up in the delusions in your head. You need to stay grounded.

I remember when I first joined Google+. I remember the rush of going from a blog where 3-5 people commented per day to G+ threads with a few comments per minute. It was a wild time. It felt good to grow the number of people following your words, your ideas, your passions, your feelings. It was amazing.

But this world, this social media landscape, it can't become your reason for living. It can't come to dominate your life. You can't spend all your time thinking about what other people are thinking about you. We used to have social norms to keep this in check. As the Devil (or Al Pacino) famously said.... Vanity is my favorite sin. Those norms are washing away.

But in the social media world, there is no one holding you back. No one saying "maybe you are going too far here." Quite the contrary, there are hordes of people pushing you to go further because it entertains them.

What we need now, in our political leaders, in our communities, in our lives is humility. Have the humility to know that you don't have all the answers. Have the humility to know when to stop obsessing about something. All the fiction that we read and discuss speaks to these values. The Jedi from Star Wars, the Prime Directive in Star Trek, the Ring of Power in Lord of the Rings... what is the lesson? Power corrupts. It destroys everything it touches, especially those that wield it.

This week, those of us in the RPG community have watched Zak Sabbath/Smith experience a full-scale nuclear meltdown. We have watched as his own creative collaborator, someone who knew him well, deliver the most eloquent point-by-point breakdown of exactly the kind of toxic behavior that Zak had engaged in. We have watched tonight as word is leaking out that he is sending private messages to people who have done the simple act of Plussing a post that shared this information.

Zak is after a Holy Grail. He wants to be the King of Kings. He wants the power to decide who is good and who is bad. Who belongs here and who doesn't.

He has laid out the philosophy of how to achieve this on his blog (http://dndwithpornstars.blogspot.com/2017/09/sarah-schulman-on-communities-and.html) and in a recent public thread by Arnold K. He believes that there needs to be an organized effort to find and purge people from the community that are deemed undesirable. Unfortunately, what he fails to see is that HE is no different from the demons that he believes himself to be fighting. Like Robespierre before the gallows, he now finds himself hoisting his own petard.

I am not a religious man, but I know that pride cometh before the fall

In the pursuit of the Grail that he seeks, Zak has become precisely the wrong person to hold it.

It is somewhat fortuitous that the man who played Indiana Jones was himself able to resist these forces. He is a humble man. He doesn't throw wild parties. He doesn't try to have sex with every woman in Hollywood. He lives a simple, humble, and rewarding life. So when Harrison Ford resists the allure of the Grail at the end, it is authentic. He doesn't want the fame and the stardom. He avoids it whenever he can. He truly doesn't want the power of the Grail.

If you want peace in your life, if you want to be truly happy.....

Indiana...... Let it go......

I would like to ask anyone reading this to please, stop focusing on the people that you hate in the roleplaying game community. Stop suggesting ways for people to be punished. For voices to be silenced. Stop spending your time discussing who to exclude and what to defame. Build something. Draw a map. Write a piece of game content. Make some miniature terrain or paint a goblin. Do something fun.

Walk out of the temple with empty hands and live your life.

I'm going to cut my grass tomorrow, visit with my neighbors and their new baby, and design a dungeon for my kids to explore the next time that we play D&D. My son told me that he was tired of playing video games, he wanted to play RPGs with his family. He is the future of roleplaying games. Not me. Not you. Not Zak.

Let's move past this shit forever. The time has come.

If you plus this post, or you share it, Zak may block you or send you a private message telling you that he cannot associate with you any longer. I can't protect you from him. But I shouldn't have to. And that is the larger lesson.

Everyone must make their own choices. I choose to reject the Grail. No one should have it. We must all be free to do as we please.

I hope you will join me in this rejection and in the tolerance of others.

Going Down the Rabbit Hole - Mithgarthr RPG (5e Hack)

I've said this before - I'll gladly play in a D&D 5e game, but I won't run one. I stand by that statement - with the following caveat - I might actually run the Mithgarthr RPG, which is basically 5e with some OSR roots and celtic and germanic ties.

Why do I say that?

Well, Mithgarthr is just 190 pages as a complete game. 5e is how many pages across three books? Just as my 6 year old niece told me that my four page Swords & Wizardry Light was something she could learn cause "its only four pages!" a complete 5e powered game coming in at under 200 pages - including setting - is something I can learn :)

I'm enjoying what I've read thus far although I've got a long way left to read. Well, not long - it is only 190 pages for the PWYW Artless Version of Mithgarthr.

Want the full version with the snazzy art? The Mithgarthr RPG Core Rulebook is $19.99 in PDF ($49.99 for full color hardcover with PDF)

I'll be posting more about Mithgarthr in the coming weeks as I read it further. I'm already tempted to spring for the hardcover.

Damn. 5e may still drag me into its web ;)

Yep, those are affiliate links. Using them when you make purchases at RPGNow keeps the lights on at The Tavern. Thank you.

Friday, September 29, 2017

New Release - FrontierSpace Player's Handbook

If you are like me you have fond memories of the Star Frontiers game from the 1980s. There was something very special about it (even if the original boxed set lacked rules for star ships as I recall)

Well, DWD Studios has released the FrontierSpace Player's Handbook. For all intents and purposes its a clone of Star Frontiers, at least in feel, and it is good.

Did I mention that is is licensed under a CC License? http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Very cool.

I'm about halfway though the 250 pages of this PDF and I'm liking what I see thus far.

Someone needs to write up some of the original races for it. Not it! Too much on my plate for October ;)

The FrontierSpace Player's Handbook is priced at $9.99 in PDF.
Among the stars in a distant galaxy there exists a region of densely populated habitable worlds. It is here your story begins, a place commonly called "the frontier" where people dwell and tales unfold. 
The Galactic Federation's power now wanes as corporations rise to fill the void left behind by the loss of their protection and authority. Citizens push on against adversity and defy the obviousness of their limitations. They live their lives doing work for the large interstellar corporations and governments. They huddle around spaceports and seek passage to the next system. They fight and they love and they die... but above all else, despite the vastness, despite the isolation, despite the dirt and the dust and the danger... the frontier is alive. And that's what makes it worth fighting for. 
The Player's Handbook is the essential sourcebook for every FrontierSpace role player. Contained in this book you'll find all the rules you need for creating, training, equipping, playing, and developing your character. This is a companion volume to the Referee's Handbook, available soon.
FrontierSpace is built upon the foundation of the d00lite system, the same game engine used to power BareBones Fantasy and Covert Ops roleplaying games. Years of feedback and continued game system development has evolved this product into something that flows at the game table while getting out of the way of a good story.

That's an affiliate link above. Purchases made via The Tavern's affiliate links help fund The Tavern. Thank you :)

Kickstarter - Angels, Daemons & Beings Between Volume 2 (DCC RPG)

I don't play much DCC RPG these days but I am very excited to see the Angels, Daemons & Beings Between Volume 2 Kickstarter not only go live, but fund in less than 2 days.

Now, in all fairness, I consider +David Fisher (main man behind Shinobi27 Games) a friend and we've talked a decent amount about Angels, Daemons & Beings Between Volume 2 in the days and weeks leading up to release. I can truly say it is a very strong project with well thought out stretch goals (its already hit a few)
Angels, Daemons and Beings Between, Volume 2: Elfland Edition is more than just a sequel to AD&BB, Volume 1: Extended, Otherworldly Edition, it is a project that author James Pozenel Jnr. and publisher/editor/artist David Fisher have poured their creative souls into for over a year. The final product will be a hardback book of approximately 150 pages. 
Like Volume 1, Elfland Edition will provide Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG gamers another great selection of patrons to use at their gaming table but with a distinct fae flavor and like its predecessor, Volume 2 requires the DCC RPG Core Rulebook for use (see below). DCC elves are, after all, compelled to have a patron from the beginning and we felt the selection of patrons could be richer for the Elf class. We strove to reflect the varied depictions of elves in mythology and folklore from which Appendix N authors drew upon for their fantasies.
Angels, Daemons and Beings Between Volume 2: Elfland Edition unleashes the hidden patrons of Elfland. From fey barbarians and vagabond thieves to vile demons and alien vegetation, this tome shines light on 13 new patrons of distinct fae character. With accompanying art, spells, spellburns, patron taints and the rituals required to commune with these patrons, this volume is a must for your campaign’s elves… and wizards, of course!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Deal of the Day - Battle For The Purple Islands

This almost got past me. Battle For The Purple Islands is today's Deal of the Day and will be for the next 11 hours or so. I know many of my readers are fans of Venger's releases and this is a recent one, so some of you may have missed it. Normally $5.00, its on sale until 11 am in the morning for 3 bucks.
This is pure gonzo-light, science-fantasy, eldritch pulp awesomeness!  O5R compatible (including Crimson Dragon Slayer) scenario pretty much requiring The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence (if you don't already own it, get it - you'll thank me). 
Within Battle For The Purple Islands, you'll come across cultists, cannibals, talking apes, and other strangeness... and finally the chance to meet H.P. Lovecraft!  Random tables up the wazoo - that will add to any jungle exploration and hexcrawl / sandbox setting.  Also, fantastic artwork and superb layout by Glynn Seal of MonkeyBlood Design.

Midweek Monster Mayhem - Malifial of The Eye (Swords & Wizardry Light)

Malifial was a wizard of no small repute and even larger arrogance. Upon chancing upon a literal "genie in a bottle" he used his single wish to become one of "limitless knowledge and all seeing." The genie warped the intention of his words and now Malifial mostly resides in an alternate dimension where he is constantly surrounded by knowledge made into beings. As for "all seeing" his head is now a giant eyeball. Even when he sleeps he "sees."

These days Malifial tries to spend the time he can in his secluded hideout, guarded by knowledge creatures from his "other home." He can't stay long, maybe an hour a day, before his curse forces him back into the dimensional rift, but he spends every minute he can trying to find a cure to his curse of knowledge and vision.

No longer having a mouth, Malifial communicates when necessary with the written word. This has also impeded his ability to cast spells but he has gained other powers that help compensate.

One per round Malifial can use his eye to hypnotize an opponent. If the victim fails their save (with a -2 adjustment to the roll) they will just stare helplessly, unable to move or communicate. This lasts indefinitely, with a new save allowed every 10 minutes. Malifial can also move items telekinetically. Up to 100 pounds can be moved effortlessly and items up to 10 pounds can be thrown like a weapon (d6 damage)

Malifial's Familiar has also suffered from the curse. Its former form was that of a minor devil and now - now it is a flying eyeball. It embraces the change and secretly wishes its master will never find a way to break the curse. Malifial's Familiar has the power to stun opponents with its gaze once per round. Those failing their save are at -4 to attacks and other actions for 2d6 rounds.

Malifial of The Eye
AC: 2[17]    HD: 7 (29 HP) Attacks: Thrown Item (1d6) or Special  Move: 12
Special: One per round Malifial can use his eye to hypnotize an opponent. If the victim fails their save (with a -2 adjustment to the roll) they will just stare helplessly, unable to move or communicate. This lasts indefinitely, with a new save allowed every 10 minutes.

Malifial's Familiar
AC: 5[14]    HD: 2 (10 HP) Attacks: Special  Move: 12 (Flight)
Special: Stun opponents with its gaze once per round. Those failing their save are at -4 to attacks and other actions for 2d6 rounds.

Art copyright Denis McCarthy


Midweek Monster Mayhem is brought to you by the generosity of The Tavern's Patreon Backers.

Kickstarter - Drinking Quest: Liquor Before Honor (Light RPG / Card Game Drinking Game)

Let me say this right from the start. I've backed every previous project in the Drinking Quest line and have been extremely pleased with the results of each. Does that mean I'm going to blindly back Drinking Quest: Liquor Before Honor? Pretty much ;)

I'll try to remember to bring a deck or two with Gamehole Con and maybe we can do a pick up game or two - but you'll need to supply the booze ;P

Hell, but in is only 26 bucks US for the buy in - bring your own and maybe I'll buy the booze! (I'll charge it toBill though ;)
Are you the type of Dungeons & Dragons player that just wants to sleep with everything?  
Hi, I'm game designer Jason Anarchy. I make the Drinking Quest series and this is my new game! 
Chuglox, Daiquirin, Bartlebut and Annoying Sidekick ARE BACK! And this time they are REALLY OUT OF SHAPE FROM ALL THE DRINKING! Except for Annoying Sidekick who is now in great shape because he's really annoying. 
Drinking Quest is a really simple, quick-start RPG but when your hero dies... you chug your drink in real life to continue! 
The last Kickstarter (For Journey into Draught) Added two extra quests, a coin token, a cloth map and other extras... and we're starting with that standard this time without even having to unlock them as stretch goals! 
If you've never played Drinking Quest before, this is a great starting point. If you have played Drinking Quest before, then you know to expect a fun new adventure! 
Please quest responsibly.
It funded in 4 hours...

State of The Tavern - Adventures and Art - Oh My!

Well, the find folks of The Tavern have done it. You've funded an adventure to be posted at The Tavern in the month of October using +Dyson Logos map and original artwork +Denis McCarthy (as well as some of Denis' excellent stock art) I'm very excited!

The Tavern's Facebook Community has surpassed over 1850 members and is well on pace to hit 2k by its 2nd anniversary - November 29th. Join us.

As for The Tavern's Discord server, we have surpassed 210 members. Very solid!

Looking at The Tavern itself, we are 18 posts from 7k posts. That's one hell of a "Holy Shit!" I figure we'll hit it within the week :)

Thanks to everyone for the support.

As a reminder, Old School Gamer Radio has 3 days left to its funding period on Kickstarter. If you haven't given it some love yet there's still time. Tell Matt Finch I said "Hi" ;)

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Apes Victorious on Sale in PDF for 2 bucks (Goblinoid Games)

Apes Victorious is Goblinoid Games' (Labyrinth Lord) RPG of a world ruled by apes. Normally $4.97 in PDF, you can - for a limited time - grab the PDF version of Apes Victorious for $1.99 with this link.
You groggily come back to consciousness after a long cryosleep. Your ship’s warning system is telling you the ship has entered the atmosphere of a planet and is about to crash land under autopilot. Crawling to a seat, you buckle in, joining your fellow astronauts as you quickly check instrument readings. 
Through the cockpit window you see a barren, desolate landscape flashing by. The ship skims a large lake before coming to a stop just off the pebble shore. The computer indicates that there is a breathable atmosphere, and after gathering survival packs the crew exits the ship. 
“Where are we?” you ask each other, as everyone wades to the shore seeing a wasteland with little vegetation. 
“Which planet is this? We must have gone off course on our return from Alpha Centauri.” 
Then there is the sound of hoof beats, adding to the disorientation. Hoof beats? Are we on Earth? 
Around an embankment comes several riders bearing rifles. As they approach, the sun glares in your eyes and a shot fires; a companion to your left falls to the ground holding his stomach. A large rider stops in front of you, momentarily blocking the sun and providing a clear look at his face. 
“An ape! We’re on a planet ruled by apes!” 
Apes Victorious is a roleplaying game in which you take the role of an astronaut from the 1970’s who finds himself marooned on a future Earth ruled by intelligent apes. 
Players may also take the role of an ape, a degenerated human, or a psi-active underdweller. Fight to survive in this post-apocalyptic future ruled by four species of apes. Or play apes who hunt humans for sport. For a different kind of campaign, play highly intelligent but insane underdwellers who have advanced technology and powerful psi powers. 
This book contains:
  • A complete game
  • A post-nuclear apocalyptic setting in which apes have become the dominant species
  • Seven player classes
  • Animals and creatures of the post-nuclear future
  • Campaign advice
  • A complete introductory adventure
  • Conversion notes for compatible games including: Labyrinth Lord, Mutant Future, Starships & Spacemen

Remember, your support in using The Tavern's affiliate links helps support The Tavern. Thank
you :)

Flash Giveaway - Through Dungeons Deeper: A Survival Guide For Dungeoneers As Written By A Survivor - Print Copy - A Copy to Award and a Second Copy to Gift!

+Jason Paul McCartan and The Tavern are giving away yet ANOTHER PRINT copy of Jason's #1 Bestseller on RPGNow - Through Dungeons Deeper: A Survival Guide For Dungeoneers As Written By A Survivor.

But first - we have an earlier copy to gift - and the receiver is:

Goblintown - email me at tenkarsDOTtavern at the gmail thing and I'll give your info to Jason. Print copies will arrive in 3 to 5 weeks

edit - SECOND copy goes to: T.G Moore - same instructions as above ;)

How do you get into the mix for a chance to grab a copy in print? Simply make a comment on this very post. In the next 60 to 90 minutes, the post will close and the gift will be awarded to a random commenter.

Tonight on The Tavern's Discord server, we'll give away a THIRD copy in print.

The PDF is $12.99, but if you use The Tavern's link here you can snag it for $9.99

Flash Giveaway - Through Dungeons Deeper: A Survival Guide For Dungeoneers As Written By A Survivor - Print Copy

+Jason Paul McCartan and The Tavern are giving away a PRINT copy of Jason's #1 Bestseller on RPGNow - Through Dungeons Deeper: A Survival Guide For Dungeoneers As Written By A Survivor.

How do you get into the mix for a chance to grab a copy in print? Simply make a comment on this very post. In the next 60 to 90 minutes, the post will close and the gift will be awarded to a random commenter.

Later today we'll giveaway a SECOND copy in print. Then tonight on The Tavern's Discord server, we'll give away a THIRD copy in print.

The PDF is $12.99, but if you use The Tavern's link here you can snag it for $9.99

Tavern Chat Tonight 9PM Eastern- and some Flash Giveaways!

Tonight is another Wednesday Night and that means Tavern Chat on the Tavern's Discord server at 9PM Eastern. There is both a text channel (tavern-chat-wed-9pm-eastern) and a voice channel (Open Bar)

Last week at midnight, none other that Bill Webb himself dropped into the voice chat for an hour. Literally, you never know who will be popping in.

The invite link to the Tenkar's Tavern Live Discord server is:  https://discord.gg/Y9GB4d

Now, even if you don't intent to participate in the voice chat, I suggest you log into it just before 10 PM Eastern and stay for a few minutes afterwards. We will be gifting on random logged in participant with a Print Copy of the current #1 bestseller on RPGNow - Through Dungeons Deeper: A Survival Guide For Dungeoneers As Written By A Survivor

Additionally, we'll be giving away two additional print copies via two flash giveaway posts here at The Tavern today. The posts will be posted sometime between 3 pm and 8 pm Eastern and will remain open for no longer than 90 minutes (and no shorter than 60 minutes) before pulling a random commenter for a gift of Through Dungeons Deeper in Print.

The PDF of Through Dungeons Deeper is normally 12.99, but The Tavern has a discount code that makes that 9.99

Those are affiliate links above. Purchases made via The Tavern's affiliate links help to support The Tavern

Good luck to all and hope to see you in Tavern Chat tonight :)

Kickstarter: The Folio: Storyteller's Arcana - 1E & 5E gaming supplement

Ive been a supporter practically since the first release in the series. The production values are high and the gaming value has been very good, whether you play OSR or 5e your covered. The Folio: Storyteller's Arcana is something a bit different. Instead of an adventure and setting material, tis book harken's back to 1e's Unearthed Arcana.
So you are probably asking, what exactly is The Storyteller's Arcana?  Well, when I was 14 I managed to get my hands on a newly printed copy of TSR's Unearthed Arcana and AD&D was forever changed for me.  That book introduced me to so many great wrinkles in the system, and over the past thirty-five years I've tried to translate my own gaming knowledge into a series of notes and rules that I think can resonate with all gamers, be they OSR die-hards or newly minted 5E campaigners.  By compiling and expanding on everything I've addressed during my time around a table, it is my hope that this new 'Arcana' will hold a special place on the shelves of gamers just as those old Orange Spine hardcovers do. 
We do have the table of contents pages to refer to, so you can make a choice if the content is for you:

Currently the book comes in around 128 pages, but that might grow with the funding. As of this morning the funding goal of The Folio: Storyteller's Arcana has been met with 14 days left for funding. Art of the Genre is pretty much always on time if not early in shipping their projects. And yes, that is Larry Elmore art on the cover...

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Puerto Rico Direct Relief BUNDLE - Aegis Studios (Excellent Stock Art Included)

This has been one hell of a Hurricane Season. The latest heavy hit was Puerto Rico. Much of Puerto Rico is still without power and may be for weeks or even months.

Aegis Studios is offering the Puerto Rico Direct Relief Bundle. All proceeds made by Aegis Studios from the sale of this bundle.
At the recommendation of artist Denis McCarthy, we have compiled a superbundle of stock art, publisher resources and additional materials, the proceeds from which will go to benefit Puerto Rico through the Direct Relief charity. Link to Puerto Rico Direct Relief Bundle
ALL PROCEEDS FROM THE BUNDLE (Aegis Studios gets 70% of what we sell at DriveThruRPG) will go directly to Direct Relief.
The bundle is valued at over $56 and costs $25.

I've already purchased the bundle and have plans for the excellent stock art included. This will be tomorrow's Midweek Monster Madness post and a major player in next month's Tavern Adventure.

Art copyright Denis McCarthy
Yep, that's an affiliate link above. Monies raised from now to the end of the month will help pay The Tavern's art expenses. We've just commissioned Denis McCarthy to do a major scene for next month's adventure ;)

We'll be Using Dyson's Serzen's Seven Stairs map for the October Tavern Adventure

The people have spoken. As has +Dyson Logos : "SOMEONE needs to do something cool with Serzen's Seven Stairs because it is such a "crazy fantasy dungeon" style map." I will attempt to do something cool ;)

A few quick notes:

If you only have the ability to back one RPG related Patreon I implore you to back Dyson's. For as little as 50 cents a map you are supporting a creator that has released dozens of professional drawn maps for free commercial use. That's the resources I'm using here.

Supporting the The Tavern via Patreon or Paypal subscription allows me to put time aside to create weekly monsters and magic items for Swords & Wizardry Light (and other OSR games) and post them for free at The Tavern. Purchases made via The Tavern's RPGNow affiliate links are funding the free adventure for the month of October (we had a goal to raise $300 in affiliate monies and we did) Half the monies raised for the rest of the month are going towards art purchases - commissioned and / or stock art.

Notice the top of the map? That certainly looks like a dragon's head. I wouldn't mind commissioning a pencil / ink drawing of a party of adventurers entering the dragon's mouth. Art budget is probably going to come in between 60 and 75 bucks (currently sitting at 40), which is less than I would like so I may dig into the till. We'll see.

I'm pretty damn excited to be doing this if you couldn't tell. Heh!

In any case, this was all funded by you, Thew Tavern's Readers. Thank you :)

Top Five Bestselling Releases at RPGNow are OSR - Only One Makes Top 10 at DTRPG

Wow. Isn't this a thing of beauty. The five bestselling releases at RPGNow this moment are OSR. All but The Forbidden Caverns of Archaia have hit Copper is their sales numbers.

So, how does that compare to their rankings at DriveThruRPG?

Only AS&SH makes the top ten (at #10) at DTRPG.

The Forbidden Caverns of Archaia sits at #12.

White Star: Galaxy Edition comes it at #16.

Mighty Protectors? You'll find it at #41

And that #1 Best Seller on RPGNow? Through Dungeons Deeper (note - link takes you to the discounted Tavern price of $9.99 instead of the regular $12.99) It doesn't even make the Top 100 Bestselling Titles at DTRPG. Instead, its #89 of the Hottest Small Press.

There's a lesson to be learned from this. If you are an OSR publisher, market to RPGNow. This is where the majority of your customers shop. This is where your new release can rise to the top based on quality, not get lost among the masses.

There's affiliate links above. If you make a purchase through one of the above links a small percentage goes to The Tavern. Half the monies raised from now to the end of the month are going toward art purchases for October projects.

Monday, September 25, 2017

OSR Picks for the RPGNow September Setting Sale - 33% off select PDFs - Part VI - I'll see your Two Temples and a City

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 herePart IV is here. Part V is here.

Temple of Elemental Evil - my original print copy of T1 - T4 saw more use in my high school and college days than any book other than the core three. I must have run this a half dozen times - at least. By far, my favorite old school adventure - A sinister force, long thought destroyed, stirs from the black hole that spawned it. Like an ebony darkness it prowls the land and safety is but an illusion, for it watches from every shadow and ponders possibilities. - What began years ago, with the introduction of the players to the quiet village of Hommlet and the amazing lands of Greyhawk, at last is complete. Here is the long-awaited campaign adventure, featuring the ruins of the Temple of Elemental Evil, where a great evil broods and grows beneath its blasted stones. This is your chance to drive it back and scatter its force again. - This product includes the village of Hommlet, the filthy shire of Nulb, and reveals the ruins of the Temple of Elemental Evil and the labyrinths that lie beneath, a warren of darkness. And beyond these ruins, even more is revealed. - For the first time, this product provides a complete campaign adventure, which will take beginning characters from 1st all the way to 8th level and possibly beyond! Hours of adventuring await you!

The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil (5e & OSR) - "A Fifth Edition Fantasy or OSR adventure for 4-6 players of level 4-6 - The small town of Boldon, and its surrounding villages are afraid. Dozens of people are missing, some speculate lost to some nefarious purpose. A broken drunkard tells fantastic tales of an evil temple and the horrible things within. The rare few who know the legends and history of the region are beginning to think the dark times have returned; not seen since the fall of the first age of man. People are beginning to feel the icy fingers of fear closing in. The party becomes aware of these events and is inspired to investigate. This leads them to a broken man who tells them a story of a lost temple. Has it been rediscovered by men seduced by its forgotten evil? The drunkard’s tale leads to others who might help the party discover more before they face The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil." 6.95  4.66

Against the Giants: The Liberation of Geoff - The classic G1 -G3 series. Didn't much care for the D series that followed, but the G series was a blast - "A ravaged land. . . . Villains that really are larger than life. . . . A time for heroes. . . . A decade ago, the land of Geoff was overrun by a horde of giants, ogres, and evil humanoids, its people either slain, enslaved, or driven into exile. Now at last the tide has turned. Against the Giants features: The full text of three classic adventures by Gary Gygax: G1: Steading of the Hill Giant Chief G2: The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl G3: Hall of the Fire Giant King - Details on 18 new encounter sites in the war-torn land of Geoff, linked together to form a grand campaign. - Dozens of hours of gameplay as the heroes struggle to free and entire country from the grasp of giant overlords. - An epic adventure for characters of all levels." 4.99  3.34

Project Oasis - somehow this one escaped me prior. I'll be rectifying that. "A thousand years ago, the world died. Now, out of the ashes of the great nuclear-biological Devastation comes a new world. A world where intelligent apes hunt humans for sport. Where subterranean mutant cyborgs serve great disembodied brains and plot world domination. Where apocalyptic cults try to finish what the bombs started. Where frightful artificial intelligences command armies of robot servants, and entire nations of clones lead peaceful and productive lives, unless you’re not of the right clone-lineage. Where mankind and his newfound fellow intelligent species try to pick up the pieces and rebuild civilization. This is also a world where a force for good, knowledge, and science works to help restore that which was lost, to guide this new world onto a path of justice and learning. That force is called Project Oasis. Project Oasis is a post-apocalyptic role-playing setting for use with Mutant Future™, Apes Victorious™, and other science fantasy RPGs. Contains a complete overview of 30th century North America, including new creatures and equipment for both the Mutant Future™ and Apes Victorious™ games, more than a hundred adventure hooks, plus a giant poster map." 9.95  6.67 

Metamorphosis Alpha: Epsilon City - "On a spaceship 50 miles long with more than a million colonists, Epsilon City was the single largest habitation. It was filled with entertainment centers, apartments, and offices for all the people moving about the ship during the long voyage. The city was designed to be maintained by its own artificial intelligence (A.I.) and a special series of robots able to maintain areas of the city when breakdowns happened. Epsilon City wasn’t even half full when the interstellar radiation cloud destroyed the people of the ship and turned 99% of them into piles of white ash. The city was wiped out. Now, three hundred years later, things are vastly different in the city. The A.I. is insane and has an aggressive personality. The special robots have had to change or be destroyed, and have mutated much like the rest of the life on the ship. Wolfoid packs now inhabit many sections of the city and consider this metropolis their lair. And many more dangers lurk, hidden and waiting to be explored… 2016 marks the 40th anniversary of Metamorphosis Alpha! In honor of this milestone, creator James M. Ward has authorized Goodman Games to publish Metamorphosis Alpha: Epsilon City. This huge expansion for the starship Warden is the biggest expansion for the original 1976 edition ever published! This product contains: The 272-page Epsilon City setting book, three 11”x17” maps, a 20-page cyborg supplement, and a 56-page adventure supplement." 25.00  16.75  

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!  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 ;)

Matt Finch interview Jason Paul McCartan about Through Dungeons Deeper (Currently #1 Bestseller on RPGNow)

Last night +Matt Finch interviewed +Jason Paul McCartan about Jason's new release: Through Dungeons Deeper: A Survival Guide For Dungeoneers As Written By A Survivor - currently the #1 Bestseller at RPGNow.

Its a great interview and doesn't take up much of the viewers time (approximately 10 minutes).

Through Dungeons Deeper is $12.99 in PDF. But wait! There is a Tavern specific link that puts Through Dungeons Deeper into your cart at $9.99. Purchases of the PDF will be credited for the PDF price if one wants the print version later.

Yep, that's an affiliate link. Thanks to The Tavern's community, The Tavern has achieved its goal of $300 in affiliate earnings for the month of September. At least half the monies earned over $300 will go towards art expenses for the promised October adventure - stock art and / or commissioned, depending on the funds available. Thank you all.

Kickstarter - Devil's Swamp - A Call of Cthulhu RPG Adventure

Halloween is around the corner which means its time to start thinking Call of Cthulhu. Not that you'd receive the Devil's Swamp in time for next month's scare-fest, but you would be situated well for 2018 ;)

I do love me some CoC. I don't play it near enough to satisfy the itch but thankfully CoC works well with one shots and story arcs.

So, what is the Devil's Swamp?
The Devil's Swamp is a Call of Cthulhu adventure book for the classic 1920's era, licensed by Chaosium. The book contains a series of five or more adventures set in the Hockomock swamp in Massachusetts to be used with 7th edition Call of Cthulhu RPG.
You know me - I love to pick out inaccuracies with Kickstarter projects and I'm calling one out now. Thanks to stretch goals its now SIX adventures with a seventh nearly reached ;)

12 bucks gets you the PDF with all stretch goals. 22 bucks gets you the Devil's Swamp in Print plus PDF along with all stretch goals.

I'm in for 22 myself. Seriously, for what will be about 3 bucks an adventure, in print, you really can'y go wrong.

BTW, this is what I like to see with a KS - explanations and expectations:
While we will not guarantee any minimum page count, the first 5 adventures are almost finished, and the book is currently around 60-70 pages. The more people pledge, the more adventures we will add in and the longer the book will be. If we hit the stretch goal for 6 adventures, it will probably be 70-85 pages. If we hit the stretch goal for 7 adventures It will expand to be 85-100 pages. If we hit the stretch goal for 8 adventures, it will expand to be 100-120 pages. If we get all the way to 9 adventure modules, we could push this well over 130 pages! 
The delivery time for the books includes the anticipation of the extra adventures.

Kickstarter - Battlelords, Science Fiction RPG revised edition

I had lots of fun playing Battlelords of the 23rd Century in the early 90s but then again, my group played nearly anything back then. As I recall, it involved a lot of shooting ;)

Here we are, 25 or some odd years later, and the 7th edition of the Battlelords rules are being Kickstarted. I didn't realize the game was that popular. I kid! They really aren't ;)

Anyhow, 15K goal and about halfway there with 24 days left to fund. Its doable but in no way a sure thing.

So, what are my issues? Not the art, which is fairly nice. No, its the pledge levels.

Yep, $25 for the PDF. Actually $40 (as the $35 level is limited) if you want access to any stretch goals - not that I expect any stretch goals to be hit.

$60 for print, $75 for Print plus PDF and Print with stretch goals and some PDFs from prior editions is $100. Yep, you need to be in for $100 for the unattainable stretch goals.

Ah well, still good to see a game I thought would have long ago withered on the vine getting some support. I just don't think this will lead to any long term success - might fail to reach short term success too.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Weekend Wonders - Ring of the Forgotten Man (Swords & Wizardry Light / OSR)

Ring of the Forgotten Man - This ring is a favorite of pickpockets and other ne-er-do-wells. When worn, the ring allows one to change their facial appearance, once per round, for up to sixty minutes. Note, hair color and style, height, weight, clothing, etc do not change. The Ring of the Forgotten Man just changes facial appearance, but that can change racial features (human to half orc, half orc, orc, etc - any humanoid) as well as add / remove beards, scars, birthmarks, change eye color, shape of nose and the like. There is a 1% cumulative change per use that the last facial change of that usage will become the new normal facial appearance of the user. The ring ceases to function as a magic ring should this happen. There is no save against this effect.

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

Thanks to The Tavern's supporters at both The Tavern's Patreon and directly through Paypal, we have a monthly backing of over $150. This means 4 to 5 monsters for Swords & Wizardry Light / OSR per month, 4 to 5 Swords & Wizardry Light / OSR magic items per month AND backers at $1.50 a month or higher via Patreon will get a collected PDF of the prior month's releases emailed to them. Paypal backers will need to email me in the middle of October to receive theirs.

Just a reminder - Through Dungeons Deeper: A Survival Guide For Dungeoneers As Written By A Survivor released today. If you go to The Tavern post that announces the release, you will find a discounted link to save you 3 bucks off the regular PDF price.

RPGNow Deal of the Day - Dungeon Grappling (D&D Grappling that "Doesn't Suck")

My introduction to grappling in RPGs came with my first ever RPG - AD&D 1e. Remember those arcane tables that didn't follow anything else that seemed like D&D and made little sense, at least to me?

Well, Dungeon Grappling is the opposite of that. As +Douglas Cole , the author, has been known to say - these are grappling rules that "Don't Suck" and he's right. Normally priced at $7.50 in PDF, until tomorrow morning at 11 AM Eastern Dungeon Grappling is on sale for $2.85.
From the first story ever told, to tales on the silver screen. They all have at least one thing in common: Grappling. 
Grappling is thrilling, dangerous, and drives thousands of years of epic storytelling.
Dungeon Grappling brings those thrills to the oldest fantasy RPG with rules and examples for Swords and Wizardry (and other OSR-style games), the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, and 5e
Dungeon Grappling provides: 
  • Simple, unified mechanics, using the same concepts as weapon strikes
  • Variable outcomes – grapples can be good or bad
  • Dynamic, tense stories
  • Weapons, talons, magic . . . they’re all in here.
  • Grappling just got scary again! 
What’s in the Book 
First and foremost, this book contains rules based on Open Gaming License content from several editions of the industry’s most popular RPG – explicit examples for Swords and Wizardry, the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, and Fifth Edition
Let’s look inside: 
  • Introduction: How can grappling be as epic at the tabletop as it has been in stories throughout history?
  • Core Concepts: Dungeon Grappling shows that the same basic concepts that you use to smite a foe with your sword are perfectly appropriate when grappling. The attack roll, target number, and effect roll are all unified in the context of grapples to minimize special cases. 
  • Grappling Effects: Dungeon Grappling presents a variable effect roll - using both "control points" as well as conditions to make grappling exciting and unpredictable.
  • Grappling Techniques: This section gives you options, from simply rendering them immobile, to tossing or dragging, to takedowns, throws, choke holds, grappling with weapons, using magical spells to grapple in a way that makes all of them follow the same basic principles.
  • Monstrous Grappling: Let’s face it. Grappling is for monsters. A dozen examples are provided to highlight how to calculate the attack bonus, grappling target number (the equivalent of armor class for grappling), and the grappling damage roll, as well as brief discussions of how such monsters fight.
  • Combat Examples: An example vignette and grappling-oriented combat is provided for each of Swords and Wizardry, the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, and 5e.
  • Quick Reference Sheets: All of the key calculations, tables, and concepts are summarized in three pages in the back of the book for easy lookups and rules checks.
  • Art and Layout: Laid out and illustrated in full color by a great team of professionals, the interior is as beautiful as the rules are elegant.
  • Navigation and Layering: The PDF is hyperlinked in the Table of Contents and Index, and Bookmarks are provided. The document is also layered, allowing the background, art, or text to be turned on and off for ease of printing or readability.
Just a reminder - Through Dungeons Deeper: A Survival Guide For Dungeoneers As Written By A Survivor released today. If you go to The Tavern post that announces the release, you will find a discounted link to save you 3 bucks off the regular PDF price.

All purchases made via The Tavern's affiliate links put coins in The Tavern's coffers. Thanks to The Tavern's readers, I already owe you an adventure in October. Further monies raised in September will allow for future art purchases. Thank you :)

New Release - Through Dungeons Deeper: A Survival Guide For Dungeoneers As Written By A Survivor (With Tavern Discount Code)

Sometimes membership DOES have its privileges. For a limited time only (a couple of weeks) readers of The Tavern can grab a PDF copy of Through Dungeons Deeper: A Survival Guide For Dungeoneers As Written By A Survivor for the discounted price of $9.99 (normally $12.99 in PDF, so that's a $3 discount just for reading The Tavern).

Now, I woke up to my reviewer's copy code sitting in my inbox and I downloaded a copy right away. I'm nearly halfway through it. It might be 150 pages but its such a pleasurable read it sure doesn't feel like it is. So, what is it? Its a DM's resource and a player's resource and the source of a whole lotta chuckling on my end. Seriously, its a fun read and its meant to be that way.
Have you ever wanted a primer on dungeon delving and dungeoneering? Ever wanted to know the stuff that real experts know about how to survive and thrive while looting dungeons of everything they have that's valuable and isn't nailed down?
Written by master dungeoneer halfling Maximillian Sparfoot, veteran of a thousand dungeon delves (according to his own bio). Follow along with Max as he: 
  • Explains the 10 Dungeon Axioms! 
  • Introduces you to his 78 Rules of Dungeoneering, including preparation, your role in the party, how to fight wisely, and how to make a last will and testament, among other Very Important Rules If You Don't Want To Die! Tactics! Strategy! Other stuff! 
  • Gives you important information about magic items, curses, owlbears, traps, mimics and gelatinous cubes! 
  • Tells you the important things you need to know about the races and professions that you'll be dungeoneering with! 
  • Includes a sample simple will from Stonehand & Associates, lawyers to dungeoneers!  
So, what are you waiting for? Buy Max's super guide to dungeoneering today for yourself or a loved one who is considering delving in the darkest dungeons. You don't want them being unprepared, do you? DO YOU? 
Digital+ files (ebook and raw text) will be added to this download soon. Those who purchase the digital version will receive a discount code for the POD version once it is available. 
An update following soon will enable internal hyperlinks as well as additional artwork, and a version of the PDF with layers.
edit: As per Jason -  "anyone who buys now will get a discount of the PDF price against the POD version."

As stated above, the normal price for Through Dungeons Deeper: A Survival Guide For Dungeoneers As Written By A Survivor is $12.99 i PDF. Using the discount link unique to The Tavern, you can snag your PDF copy for $9.99.

Note:  +Jason Paul McCartan is a friend of mine. He's funny and he writes good shit. A Survival Guide for Dungeoneers is funny AND good shit ;)

Remember, purchases made via The Tavern's affiliate links put 5% into The Tavern's coffers. I already owe y'all a dungeon next month due to your support. Thank you!
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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