Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Reminder - Tavern Chat Tonight - 9PM Eastern

Its amazing how fast Wednesday Nights roll around.

Well, tonight is a Wednesday Night, and that means Tavern Chat at 9 PM Eastern over on The Tavern's Discord Server.


Use this link:


Topics of discussion?

Logos on the DM's Guild and how much I dread Jury Duty. Yep, I report 9 A< tomorrow. Sigh ;)

Dungeon Master's Guild Terms of Service Updated - No Third Party Logos on Cover for You!

There are many logos belonging to third party publishers of DM's Guild products but only THIS can be on the product's cover as a logo. Branding for third parties? The horror!
Depending on what you read over on ENWorld, this is either an update to or a restatement of prior terms of service for the DM's Guild. Apparently the prior TOS weren't clearly written.

In any case, the only logo allowed on DM's Guild product covers going forward (prior are grandfathered in, which leads me to believe the prior terms weren't the clearest) is the one pictured above.

Which really sucks for those that have established (or are trying to establish) their brand on the DM's Guild.

Fantasy Grounds compatible products CAN have a FG logo, but that isn't actually in the TOS right now. Yeah, a bit of a cluster.

Yeah, I'm actually going to point you to the comments on ENWorld for this. There are some not so happy campers. The other Community Content Partners at OBS should take heed of changing terms in a way that discourages some from using their platforms to publish content.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Kickstarter - The Midderlands Expanded - An OSR Setting Expansion (Swords & Wizardry)

+MonkeyBlood Design (Glynn Seal) has a new Kickstarter to follow his amazing Midderlands setting - its The Midderlands Expanded - An OSR Setting Expansion. I'm not going to wax poetically on how awesome The Midderlands is from physical presentation to the content and the art. Instead, I'll quote +Matt Finch :
“[The Midderlands] as a small area campaign supplement is the best I’ve ever seen, displacing Dave Arneson’s Blackmoor First Fantasy Campaign area, which up until now -- and that’s decades -- has been my favorite one.” - Matt Finch (Creator of Swords & Wizardry).
Yeah, its "that good."

But if you have The Midderlands, what does the Expansion add?
Firstly, and most-importantly - This is not a revised version, this is EVEN MORE content and game-juice. 
The Midderlands setting gets bigger, expanding out into Havenland (the country that The Midderlands is set in) and its bordering lands, in a dark, twisted, and viridian version of the British Isles. 
If you want to know a bit more about the original 'The Midderlands' setting book, then check out the original Kickstarter for more information, or watch my interview with the creator of Swords & Wizardry, Matt Finch. 
What is going to be in the new 'The Midderlands Expanded' book? 
  • 50+ pages of content previously released in The Midderlands Additions, and The Midderlands Additions II, but as part of a glorious, high specification, hardback format.
  • Approx. 170 pages of new, previously unseen content.
  • More awesome artwork.
  • More locations.
  • More items.
  • More spells.
  • More flora and fauna.
  • More monsters.
  • More classes.
  • More adventure hooks.
  • More adventure.
  • More discovery.
  • More green-hued, dark-fantasy weirdness.
Yep. There's lots more of the good stuff.

Then there's the list of those involved. In addition to Glynn, you have: Edwin Nagy (Writing), Mark Nolan (Writing), Jim Magnusson (Artwork), Juan Ochoa (Artwork), Steve Punter (Artwork) and Matthew Pook (Editing).

Some of these names should be very familiar to old School Gamers.

Yeah, I'm in and happily so.

25 days left to fund as I type this.

Announcement - Frog God Does Stock Art (complete with video with Zach Glazar and Your Humble Bartender)

Here's what happened. I was lying in bed last night, playing some random game on my phone as I was preparing to embark on decongestant and antibiotic induced sleep when +Zach Glazar asked me if I was up. I could be if needed. Zach then said he wanted to talk art. I said sure.

I had no idea he meant on a YouTube Livestream.

I apologize in advance for any weirdness on my part. Well, more than usual weirdness. It was the drugs and late hour, I swear. Zach was fine though ;)

Anyhow, long story short is Frog God Games is opening their back catalogue of black & white art as stock art. First art pack went up last night. 5 pieces for 3 bucks. Those are the five pieces above. Its some damn good stuff. Here's the link: Lost Art: Black & White Illustrations Pack 1 (Commercial License) (and although the cover says "Print Use", it covers PDFs too)

Did I forget to mention... oh yeah, THAT big announcement for small press and hobbyists that Zach talked about in the video. Its an Easter Egg only available in the video, but its worth the watch, especially if you are a small press publisher.

Did you watch it?

Its an exciting time to be a small press OSR publisher ;)

Yep, that's an affiliate link above. Shoppin' through The Tavern's affiliate links keeps the taps flowing and the lights on here at The Tavern :) 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Why Those Certain Kickstarters are Always "This Close" to Completion But NEVER Cross the Line

Far West has been in layout for years. Just one more chapter to go...

City State of the Invincible Overlord has been in layout for years. If it weren't those nasty tables, it would be done...

Everything by #ConManKen was always "a few more edits", "pencils are shipping the end of the month" or "all my outstanding projects will be completed by the end of July, 2017" and yet...

That's the setup.

Here's the Kickstarter terms as they are today when it comes to completion:

Kickstarter provides a funding platform for creative projects. When a creator posts a project on Kickstarter, they’re inviting other people to form a contract with them. Anyone who backs a project is accepting the creator’s offer, and forming that contract. 
Kickstarter is not a part of this contract (this is where Kickstarter washes their hands of any responsibility in ensuring the honesty of creators)the contract is a direct legal agreement between creators and their backers. Here are the terms that govern that agreement: 
When a project is successfully funded, the creator must complete the project and fulfill each reward. Once a creator has done so, they’ve satisfied their obligation to their backers. 
Throughout the process, creators owe their backers a high standard of effort, honest communication (all three of the above examples lack such), and a dedication to bringing the project to life. At the same time, backers must understand that when they back a project, they’re helping to create something new — not ordering something that already exists. There may be changes or delays, and there’s a chance something could happen that prevents the creator from being able to finish the project as promised. (usually this is mis-spent mis-budgeted funds)
If a creator is unable to complete their project and fulfill rewards, they’ve failed to live up to the basic obligations of this agreement. To right this, they must make every reasonable effort to find another way of bringing the project to the best possible conclusion for backers. A creator in this position has only remedied the situation and met their obligations to backers if: 
they post an update that explains what work has been done, how funds were used, and what prevents them from finishing the project as planned; (this requires a breakdown of expenditures - "living expenses" is not a legitimate expense)
they work diligently and in good faith to bring the project to the best possible conclusion in a timeframe that’s communicated to backers
they’re able to demonstrate that they’ve used funds appropriately and made every reasonable effort to complete the project as promised; (we know #ConManKen used pencil dice money for film making - he said so himself)
they’ve been honest, and have made no material misrepresentations in their communication to backers; and (look at the above examples - they are poster boys for "material misrepresentation of communications to backers)
they offer to return any remaining funds to backers who have not received their reward (in proportion to the amounts pledged), or else explain how those funds will be used to complete the project in some alternate form
The creator is solely responsible for fulfilling the promises made in their project. (again, Kickstarter just takes their cut) If they’re unable to satisfy the terms of this agreement, they may be subject to legal action by backers.
But there's more. If the PDFs are completed or the films are fully edited and are released to backers in digital form, then the physical products become due. When the physical products become due and there is no money to print, press, pack and ship then the accounting of monies is questioned. If funds haven't been used appropriately, the contract is violated.

By never actually reaching the finish line with the digital works they avoid the obligations to supply physical copies for which there are insufficient funds left. The project is "still being worked on" and the contract is technically not violated, thus the game continues. Well, for some more than others. Gareth hasn't updated Far West in nearly 9 months. #ConManKen hasn't updated any of his various Kickstarter projects in over a year. Damn those pencil dice are taking a long time to ship...

To Ken Whitman - I'll Give You the Opportunity to Tell Your Side


You claim all that is said about you is "all hearsay and tall tells until one hears both sides."

I'll give you the opportunity to tell your side, unedited and without commentary from me aside from "The following post is by Ken Whitman, telling his side of the story":

I offer you a greater reach on social media than you've ever had before to tell your side of things.

No gimmicks. No tricks. Your story from your point of view. For all the world to read. That IS what you want, right Ken? To explain yourself, your actions, your decisions. To make the community understand.

Well, here's your chance.

You know how to contact me.

Step up or shut up. It really is that simple.


Sunday, January 28, 2018

Bundle - Through Polyhedral Dungeons Deeper (Polyhedral Dungeon / Through Dungeons Deeper 25% off)

Before I even get to the bundle, I want to make an observation - this is the first bundle on RPGNow that I can recall of having a unique graphic. Want to bring attention to your work? THIS is one of the ways to do it.

Anyhow, the Through Polyhedral Dungeons Deeper Bundle, which includes PDF copies of - you guessed it - Through Dungeons Deeper and Polyhedral Dungeons - gives one a 25% discount off the price if you bought both separately. Heck, the bundle is 24 cents cheaper than if you bought Through Dungeons Deeper on its own. Buy Through Dungeons Deeper, get Polyhedral Dungeons for free and STILL save 24 cents ;)

Both are great books. If you own one and not the other, your get a "previous purchase" discount, which still brings down the price. Hey, my discount brings both down to 0.00. Oh, that's right. I already own both of them ;)

Non bundle price is $16.98. Price of the Through Polyhedral Dungeons Deeper Bundle is $12.74

I played Polyhedral Dungeon and for an old grog like me, it fit like a glove, which is a rare statement from me regarding a game not derived from the Gygax original. Through Dungeons Deeper I read on my tablet in a single sitting. I literally never do that. Good Stuff.

POLYHEDRAL DUNGEON is an ultralight modern take on old school roleplaying. 
Using the new and simple to use and extend POLYHEDRAL SYSTEM, you can have countless hours of fun delving into dungeons and stealing dragon's hoards. 
Features of the game include: 
  • Create new characters for play in about 5-10 minutes.
  • Choose from the classic old school character tropes, but with slight twists. Play classic dungeon crawls with a flexible unified system that’s easy to learn and extend - make up your own content, or use any of the official Expansions, including The Advanced Rules which provides many new options for play, The Book of Monsters which expands and explores the Monsters in the game, The Book of Loot for more complete treasure and loot options, including many unique items, and The Book of Magic, which expands Talents and rules for magical and divine characters.
  • Designed for quick pick-up play as well as to handle large groups of players who have little experience in tabletop roleplaying - a perfect beginner’s game and still fun for experts.
  • Pocket-sized, so that you can take it wherever you’re going.
  • Includes dice printed in the page margins in case you forget your own, or if you need to make a secret roll as the Judge!
  • Includes a Giant Badger!
  • Layered and unlayered PDF versions included!
  • Also includes The Crypts of Bes-Amat, a free adventure showcasing how simple it is to create and run adventures for the game and system, as a separate download.
The book comes in a fully layered and bookmarked digital version, in both color and grayscale formats. Full sized character sheets are available in both formats too. There is also a downloadable full-sized cover that can be used to make your own print-at-home version!
A Survival Guide For Dungeoneers As Written By A Survivor
150 pages (145 content, 1 note, 2 covers, 2 blank)  
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? 
Downloads include the PDF, mobi, epub, and raw text version of files.
Yep, that's an affiliate link above. Shoppin' through The Tavern's affiliate links keeps the taps flowing and the lights on here at The Tavern :) 

Announcement: Into the Borderlands Now Available for Pre-Order! (Goodman Games)

Original post at Goodman Games
You’ve been asking about it. You’ve been reading about it. You’ve heard a lot about it.
And now you can pre-order it. 
Original Adventures Reincarnated: Into the Borderlands is now available for pre-order! This 384-page hardcover reprints the classic Dungeons and Dragons modules B1: In Search of the Unknown and B2: The Keep on the Borderlands, in both their original format and updated for Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons. And there is even a full-color 16-page cover gallery insert! 
The expected release date for Into the Borderlands is May, but we are hoping (cross your fingers!) to have some early-release copies available at Gary Con in March! 
Inside this book you will find high-quality scans from multiple printings of the original first edition adventure modules, plus commentary by such gaming luminaries as Luke Gygax and Mike Mearls. Full fifth edition conversions of both adventures are included, as well as brand new additional adventure locations to further expand and develop the Borderlands. This is a fully playable mini-campaign to start off your new fifth edition adventures, with a distinct old-school vibe.
$49.99. I think I need this.

Deal of the Day - WWII: Operation White Box (WWII Swords & Wizardry RPG)

Today's RPGNow Deal of the Day is none other than +Pete Spahn 's WWII: Operation White Box. A Silver Pick, normally $7.99 in PDF its on sale for 24 hours for $3.99. But wait! The softcover print B&W nook is normally $17.99 - on sale for $9.99 with the PDF! Pete's losing his mind - heh. Seriously, its an amazing price for an excellent game.

WWII: Operation WhiteBox is a roleplaying game of WWII special forces action designed for compatibility with the Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox roleplaying game
In WWII: Operation WhiteBox, the player characters (PCs) play the role of WWII special forces operatives. They may be formally trained and part of an officially designated special forces unit such as the SAS or U.S. Army Airborne, or they may simply be guerilla fighters dedicated to making life hard for the German Army. They may also be covert agents working for organizations such as the SOE or OSS. Whatever their affiliation, their job is to complete missions behind enemy lines, paving the way for the next Allied advance.  
WWII: Operation WhiteBox is a standalone game that uses the Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox rules as its base. In addition to standard gameplay rules, the game contains the following:  
  • CHARGEN: This includes Attributes, Nationality, Rank, Profession, etc.
  • NEW CLASSES: Eight new classes including the Charmer, Combat Engineer, Grunt, Maquis, Sniper, Tactician, Wheelman, Uberlaufer, each with their own unique abilities. 
  • GEAR AND WEAPONS: A list of typical WWII weapons and gear. Weapons are statistically grouped by function (Large Rifle, Small Handgun, Submachinegun, etc.) with some named examples to add flavor (M1 Garand, Derringer, MP40, etc.). 
  • PLAYING THE GAME: Rules for Saving Throws, Surprise, Reaction Rolls, Movement, etc.
  • PERSONAL COMBAT: Rules for "theater of the mind" combat including new rules for automatic weapons, using cover and concealment, and explosives. 
  • VEHICLE COMBAT: Rules for "theater of the mind" vehicle combat (basically the same as personal combat) and vehicles grouped and statted out (Small Truck, Medium Tank, Small Aircraft, etc.) with named examples to add flavor (Kubelwagen, M4 Sherman, Brirish Spitfire, etc.). 
  • GAMEPLAY EXAMPLE: A gameplay write up to show some of the new concepts in action. 
  • COMMON NPCs AND ANIMALS: Stats and descriptions for civilians, soldiers, and common European animals. 
  • COVERT SPECIAL FORCES EQUIPMENT: Descriptions of some real world equipment designed and/or used by special forces during WWII. 
  • THE WWII CAMPAIGN: This chapter gives an overview of the different theaters, major events of the different time periods, and lots and lots of tips for running a WWII campaign. 
  • SPECIAL FORCES IN THE EUROPEAN THEATER: An overview of various Allied special forces units such as the SAS, LRDG, OSS, etc., resistance organizations such as the French Maquis and the Norwegian Milorg, an German special forces units such as the Brandenburgers. This chapter also runs down how to design a special forces mission as well as the different types of missions commonly undertaken. 
  • WWII TIMELINE: A chronological timeline of major WWII dates and events.
  • HISTORIC WWII SPECIAL FORCES ACTIONS: Contains a brief description of real world historical missions undertaken by units like the British Commandos, Jedburghs, etc.
  • RESISTANCE AT THE PONTEVILLE BRIDGE: A sample mission deep in Normandy. 
  • MASS COMBAT RULES: Quick and dirty rules for resolving Mass Combat as well as how to incorporate PC missions into the results. 
  • MINI-SETTINGS: Nazi Superscience, Nazi Occult, and Nazi Space elements to liven up your game!
Yep, that's an affiliate link above. Shoppin' through The Tavern's affiliate links keeps the taps flowing and the lights on here at The Tavern :)

Saturday, January 27, 2018

#ConManKen Hits the Big Time! There's a Youtube Video Exposing Kenny and his "Shenanigans"

I just started watching it. Fuck the antibiotics, I'm breaking out some beers for this. Looks good so far and shows ken in the best of light - you know, real bright light that makes cockroaches scurry ;)

Watch it before Ken threatens lawsuits to have it removed...

Kickstarter - TerrainCrafter 28mm Silicone Floor Terrain Molds - Make 100

With 3d printing all the rage these days it isn't surprising that terrain, both dungeon styled and outdoors, are becoming popular.

What if you want to "create" your own terrain but can't afford the expenditure involved in buying and maintaining a 3d printer (or maybe its simply space issues).

Well, Terrain Crafters 28mm Silicone Floor Terrain Molds might be an alternative for some.

Buy the mold and pour your own terrain - about 40 resins pours per mold and hundreds of plaster pours per mold.

Square and hex tile molds available.

Tempting - but then I have all these unpainted minis I'd have to paint too ;P

Still, for those that use terrain the price point becomes truly inexpensive if you decide to make dozens of pieces. Heck, there's even a license that allows you to commercially sell the pieces you make.

Terrain Crafter is part of Illusionist, the same fine folks that bring you the Tenkar's Tavern Crate, Mythoard and other monthly goodies.

State of the Tavern Keeper - Officially Ill - The Doc Says So

This has been a very busy week even before taking into account I've felt like crap most of the month. My mother's cousin (mom has power of attorney) was hospitalized Monday with the beginnings of pneumonia (he stays in assisted living usually). He's got dementia, so I'm not even sure he knew about the change of scenery. Oh, had to get work done on the car. Then my mother was due to see her doc (same doc as me) so I took her yesterday and went myself.

Yep, this never ending cold I've had which has been one hell of an annoyance - its an upper respiratory infection. 10 days of antibiotics. This will be fun.

Did I mention I'm on telephone standby for Jury Duty next week? Escaped Monday thus far.

At least I have the above sketch by +James Shields to put a smile on my face :)

Friday, January 26, 2018

New Release - Beneath the Fallen Tower (SWCL Adventure)

+Denis McCarthy 's Beneath the Fallen Tower just released on RPGNow. Rach and I played in Denis' SWCL session last Saturday and got to experience Beneath the Fallen Tower first hand. We, as well as everyone at the table, had a blast.

Although we achieved our goal in a single 3 hour session, we were treating it as convention play and were much more focused on the goal (not giving into distractions) than I suspect my weekly group would have been. Mu guess is there's about 2 sessions of play here for most groups as well as the nugget of a setting. It makes for a really nice package to kick a campaign off with.
Fifty years ago, a magician known as Melchior the Despoiler, rumored to be consorting with dark forces near the town of Southfork was investigated by a troop of militia and a priest... all of who returned from his tower as undead attempting to slay their own families. They were defeated, and after a petition for aid, the Duke lent the village his trebuchet and his men leveled the mage's tower. Shortly before this assault was mounted, Melchior’s apprentice Xander escaped with a few books, a wand and a magical blade. 
Now that Xander has died. His apprentice, Aurelia, together with her henchmen, have returned to find the master's library. Unknown to them, goblins have been living in the ruins for 30 years...
There's an affiliate link above. Affiliate links keep the taps flowing and the lights on here at The Tavern. We thank you. 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Deal of the Day - Mithgarthr RPG Core Rulebook (a 5e Hack I Could Actually Run)

Its not like I dislike 5e. I don't. I think its the best form of D&D since 1e - not better than the clones, as I can run S&W without looking at the rule book, but much better than the rules bloat of every edition from 2e through 4e. Its just that it takes time and effort to learn a new rules system with enough fluency to run it smoothly is something I currently lack. That being said, Mithgarthr is a 5e hack I could find the time and effort to learn.

Matt Evan's uses Mithgarthr to present a version of the 5e rules that doesn't just feel like old school D&D rules when read, but looks (I haven't had the opportunity to play it yet) like it will play in a manner that will fit with my old school expectations together with a shiny new engine. I'm really digging what I see here. Especially the setting. Normally, I'd be tempted to rip out the setting and run it with SWCL but Matt's hack of 5e is something I WANT to run. No small thing.

Yes, I even get some WFRP 1e vibe, and that's a good thing.

The PDF of the Mithgarthr RPG Core Rulebook is normally $19.99. Until Friday, January 26th at 11 AM it is on sale for the price of $8.29. Print plus PDF starts at $29.99.
Mithgarthr takes its mechanics from the fifth edition of the world's most popular role playing game, but molds them against its grim setting. Characters start at zero level with just the skills they have from their mundane profession (of which there are nine to choose from) and a desire to make a better life for themselves. Players may choose from seven races including the murine Ratten and the winged, hawk-like Fjothr. Life is cheap and death comes often, but those adventurers who survive long enough to attain first level have eight iconic classes to choose from. Magic is cast using a point system, and is less common than usual. Monsters have their own magic system, drawing their power from Orcus. 
Included in the core rulebook are everything you need to play the game! Character creation rules, combat, adventuring, equipment, magic, monsters, world setting information, and even a fully fleshed out town and surrounding wilderness to start in. 
Yes, that's an affiliate link. Keep the beer cold and the snack bowls filled here at The Tavern.

Announcement - White Star Galaxy Edition - Now Available in Print (20% off and Free Ship Today Only)


Hardcover and Softcover digest-size copies of White Star: Galaxy Edition can now be purchased through Lulu! Links below! At the time of this release, Lulu is offering 20% off, plus free shipping until midnight with code SHIPSAVE20, so 1/25! ACT FAST!

Softcover: http://www.lulu.com/shop/james-spahn/white-star-galaxy-edition/paperback/product-23485989.html

Hardcover: http://www.lulu.com/shop/james-spahn/white-star-galaxy-edition/hardcover/product-23485973.html

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Reminder - Tavern Chat Tonight - 9 PM Eastern - Poke the Bear!

Its amazing how fast Wednesday Nights roll around.

Well, tonight is a Wednesday Night, and that means Tavern Chat at 9 PM Easter over on The Tavern's Discord Server.


Use this link:


Topics of discussion?

City State of the Invincible Overlord Kickstarter, Clan & Hammer RPG, Whatever you heart desires :)

Join us! A fun time is had by all!

Update: Wayward Kickstarter - City State of the Invincible Overlord - Poke the Bear, Sometimes the Bear Poke You!

So, last night I posted about the City State of the Invincible Overlord Kickstarter. It was a much nicer, more reasoned, less emotional post than the one I had initially written. I awake this morning and there is a "Backers Only" update waiting in my email. I loath "Backers Only" updates. As it is my understanding that Bob II is not a backer and doesn't get to read the "Backers Only" updates, I will now share it here - along with some comments and questions.

January '18 Update

Hello all. This has been a hard update to get to. Not because of the matter of the update, but day-to-day life getting in the way. (for the last 4 months Bob III didn't have 15 minutes free to update you) The new job I took starting in October was very demanding with lots of overtime. The money was good, but the work-life balance wasn't great. They weren't willing to work with me for time off for my new-born daughter or for caring for my wife's grandmother. My wife's grandmother has advanced Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and moved in with us just after Christmas. I'm no longer working there as-of January, which means I will have more time to work on this and family matters. (no longer employed, Bob III will need to find money from somewhere...)

This project is still being worked on. (but obviously not much over the last 4 months) I'm still having so many issues with tables and stat-blocks that we are going to present what we have to a couple other companies to see if they're interested in taking over. (they aren't) The last company alluded to in September's update was unable to take this project on. (quite simply Bob III took over layout so he could pay himself to do layout and does not know how to do layout. But for a company to "White Knight" they'll need to pony up cash not just to finish up layout but to cover printing of the book and maps. Its a losing proposition)

Now to answer a few questions that keep popping up:

Was this an official Judges Guild Kickstarter? Yes. (now THIS is clarity. I've heard this argued that it is and it isn't. So, in the end, Judges Guild is the one holding the bag of mostly empty toys. Or is it? Was this licensed and "official" or run by Judges Guild "Official"?)

Is this still being worked on? Yes. (how much progress was made over the last 4 months? how much work has to be done by a "White Knight" to get this out the door?)

Is this project out of money? No. The project is over-budget, but not out of money. (right. so, all the monies raised - aside from paying for miniature molds and +Rob Conley for his maps - they were paid, right? - the rest of the monies are still there. If they weren't paid and there are still funds in the pot, why weren't they paid? So, just how much "over budget" is the project?) 

Where did the money go? A statement regarding what money was spent and what is left was made back on February 13, 2015. This is why work for the rest of the maps were suspended; it would mean not having the funds to complete the book. (now, I'm confused - this was 3 years ago - why hasn't the book been completed if the monies were there? The two statements don't parse well with each other)

here's the relevant piece from nearly 3 years ago:
Campaign Map Progress: 
For those that don't know, the first 10 maps have been released electronically. We have the first 5 or so in print. We've had to halt progress on the maps until February because not enough people bought into the Miniatures (we lost about $16k on those) (THIS! Don't mix minis with your RPG Kickstarter). We didn't realize this until it was too late due to waiting for all enough of the survey responses to come in. We're still waiting on some final number crunching to give the go-ahead to continue the Campaign Maps.
Have efforts been made to put money back into this project to get the project back on track? Yes.  Bob II has used money received from Goodman Games's JG Kickstarters to pay Christina and Rob for a couple of more maps to be made. Bob III has paid for product to be printed that was being consigned by Blackblade Publishing at various conventions; the proceeds of which went back into the project.

And thus ends our update. Actually, it ends rather abruptly. No real mention of how close this endless book will take to complete (reminds me of Far West) Really, there is little substance to this update

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Wayward Kickstarter - City State of the Invincible Overlord - Maintaining Radio Silence in the Hope We All Go Away (Guess What Bob III? We Won't)

I had this big post written after reading the last 3 months of comments on the City State of the Invincible Overlord Kickstarter page. I was all piss and vinegar. I was channeling the backers. I'm a backer too.

I was angry and it showed. It wasn't pretty. Actually, its embarrassing.

Thankfully, some friends that got to peek early told me to step back and sit on it for a few hours, and I did. I reached out to a few folks, including Bob Bledsoe II. I asked questions.

I'm still pissed, but my focus is where it needs to be. Solidly on Bob Bledsoe III, the one who ran this horror of a Kickstarter. The one who has a Kickstarter with no funds left to complete.

Bob III is the one that is not communicating. Bob III is the one that took $1k from his father to pay someone to layout the project, only to claim to be doing layout himself. Bob III is the one hoping we'll all simply go away.

Bob II is still putting money into the project, hoping it completes. Monies made from licensing Judges Guild IP are being put aside to complete this project.

In truth, it won't be enough.

Bob II isn't totally blameless - he put his trust in Bob III, and Bob III is doing his best to ruin the legacy that is Judges Guild.

My suggestion? Follow the lead of +Rob Conley . Release the PDF of the book and the maps to backers. Give the backers "at cost" codes to "Print on Demand" the book and the maps at RPGNow. Salvage what you can. Offer partial refunds as monies are raised by sales of the PDF and maps to non-backers and from 3rd party licensees of Judges Guild IP.

Oh, and forget about the Pathfinder version, at least for now. I'm sure the current document is written for the JG Universal System. Take what you can get and move on.

Kickstarter - 28mm Terrain for Tabletop Gaming (or Chocolate Covered Fig Newton)

Look at the above. Tell me what it looks like.

What? You don't see 28mm Terrain for Tabletop Gaming?

Really, do you need more?

Monday, January 22, 2018

Clan & Hammer Teaser #1: Axecracker Clan

Here's a little teaser of the kind of stuff you're going to find in Clan & Hammer. This is an early draft of one of the clans player characters can select for their characters at creation. I give you, the Axecracker Clan.


“Ahahahahahahaha! Is that all ye got ye wee daisy-eating pig-stickin' pointy-eared bastard?”

All dwarves are warriors in one capacity or another. But not all dwarves are driven to gleeful, fearless bloodlust in battle. Axecrackers are the regarded as mad by other clans and its quite possible they may be right. It is said that Axecrackers are born with a blade in their hand and blood in their beards. They crave battle for the sheer joy of it, one and all. Fearless and without any regard for their own safety, they will leap happily into flaming maw of a dragon or a horde of goblin spearmen, simply for the thrill of combat and the off chance that if they survive, they'll have one hell of a story to tell. Scars great and small are regarded as badges of honor to Axecrackers. Whether it's a scar from a barbed arrow or an eye lost to the bite of a giant spider, members of this clan wear their war wounds openly and as proof of the glory they've won for the clan. Indeed, most do not regard an Axecracker as having entered adulthood until they have their first battle scar.
When not cracking skulls and terrorizing their foes, Axecrackers are master weapon smiths. Their axe blades are broad and sharp, their hammers fall like an avalanche. They forge no armor – such foolish protections are the province of the Stonebones – and instead craft arms so deadly as to rival the weapons of the gods, or so they claim.

Clan Strength: Axecrackers are skilled in battle, one and all. Regardless of their class, they can wield any melee weapons they choose in battle. In addition, facing a foe or number of foes whose hit dice are twice their level or more, they receive a +2 on all melee “to-hit” roll, +2 to all melee damage rolls, and automatically succeed on any saving throws made to resist fear-based effects.

Clan Weakness: Because of their recklessness, all Axecrackers refuse to use ranged weapons in combat, with the exception of the thrown war hammer or thrown hand ax. Even then, this is only done as a prelude to charging into melee combat. In addition, whenever faced with an opportunity to slay a goblin, dragon, or other hated foe of their clan, the Axecracker must make a saving throw or immediately throw caution to the wind and charge into battle.

Clan Craft: Axecrackers are masterful weapon smiths. Their Legacy Items are always weapons that are passed down from generation to generation.

Smasher One-Eye, Axecracker Warslayer speaks his mind regarding the other clans
Silverbeards: “Well hello Mr. Fancycoin. Ain't ye all pretty with your finely combed whiskers and your pretty words. Lets see how y' do when the horde comes out 'ta the darkness gnawin' at yer bones.”

Stonebones: “As good a dwarf outside the clan as can be found, but'n they need to be more willin' to split skulls and spill blood instead of using those mattocks for chippin' away at the rock. Nice armor, though – if'n yer inta that sorta thing.”

Brewbeards: “These lads are the ones y' wanna have patchin' ye up and pourin' yer pints when its all over. They'll be singin' yer praises and that of yer fathers long after yer in tha' tomb.”

Rockspeakers: “I dunna know about all this blood of the earth and speakin' ta stone business, but they're tapped inta something queer, and I'm not rightly sure they're to be trusted...”

Beardless: “Only good one's a dead one. Faithless dogs who don't deserve ta taste me axe. Worth less than goblin piss in me book.”

Clan & Hammer - What We're Going For - Flavor and Family

Its not secret that I was a backer of Mike Nystul's Axes & Anvils Kickstarter, which promised a Dwarven RPG and delivered one of the more famous earlier Kickstarter implosions and failures. This was one that took a long time to die.

Still, the core idea - an RPG focused on Dwarves, has been an idea that's kicked around for a bit in my head. So, when +James Spahn challenged me last year to write one using the Swords & Wizardry Continual Light rules I started to sketch it out.

Now I'm actively working on it. Not just classes, but setting and what the setting means. Because this is a dwarven RPG and its going to have to tackle things like dwarven culture, the importance of clan, family and honor. Without magic users or clerics in the culture, where do magic items come from? What is with the obsession with gold and gems? The historical rivalry with goblins and the distaste of eleven culture?

By asking questions, we find answers.

The best answer I've found so far? +james spahn ;)

James has offered to be not only my sounding board but my collaborator. We've done such before (SWCL comes to mind) and we find we are generally on the same wavelength, even if we get there with different methods and from different directions. That, and my respect for James goes beyond mere words. Needless to say, I'm stoked.

So, as we dig into the classes (James may take the lead on some and I others, but the end results will be "we") a question came to us:

Where DO dwarven magic items come from? This lead to the importance of clan and how the two are inseparable. Magic swords with bonuses to hit and damage might be crafted by the surface dwellers, but Balik, Son of Gorin has an axe that slew the Green Beard Goblins' Chieftain. Gulbrand has been in Balik's clan for generations and now he wields it with honor.

Little things like this.

Now, while Clan & Hammer will build off of and be 100% compatible with SWCL (and other S&W flavors) it will be a stand alone game. Classes will be more verbose in their description. There will be more "crunch & fluff" than is typical to SWCL. If its successful, and by that I mean we finish the project with a thirst for more, halflings and elves can't be too far behind...

Alright, enough about the process. I need to get back to the writing. As many of you know, when I go through these steps, a post a portion of the progress here at The Tavern for comments and feedback. That will continue. No reason to change what works :)

Oh, almost forgot. Playing with two different fonts for the title. Any preference?

Kickstarter - Battle Star Trilogy: Trek Wars (Alpha Blue)

You've got to hand it to Venger - he knows how to market and he KNOWs how to source some amazing art. Now, not all of the art is appropriate for every gaming table but V doesn't hide that. Titillation is very much one of his schticks.

You also can't agrue with the success of Alpha Blue. Its a Copper Pick at RPGNow and has a very strong and loyal, if relatively small compared to Stars Without Number and White Star, following amongst the Sci-Fi OSR crowd. Folks that embrace the quirky humor and sexual innuendos (or more overtly sexual references) really enjoy the Alpha Blue line of releases.

Battle Star Trilogy: Trek Wars is the latest in the line of Alpha Blue Kickstarters.

So, what do you get?
Three separate scenarios for the Alpha Blue roleplaying game!  Here are the titles... I Wear My Heart on My Sleaze (you're attending a space party and looking to score), Emergency Escape Sequence Delta Cream (your ship runs into trouble and you've got to get the fuck out of there), and Outer Rim Jobs of Ta'andor (your crew of spacers are looking for employment and crazy shit happens along the way).
I'm sure you see the theme here ;)

Did I mention there is a map by +MonkeyBlood Design (Glynn Seal) ? PDF only, but wow, useable with any old school sci-fi system.

Here's is a more family friendly art sample:

As I said above, the art that Venger sources is simply top shelf awesome.

Now, the 3 adventures in PDF are 7 bucks. But if you get them with the Alpha Blue rules, its 10 bucks. The rules themselves at RPGNow are 10 bucks (there's a link above to the rules on RPGNow but don't use it to buy, just use it for reference - this is a much better deal if you are interested)

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Clan & Hammer - Runecaster - Work in Progress Preview (SWCL)

It looks like there's some interest in seeing the Runecaster Class. Be warned, this is a "work in progress". Its not complete. There is much that is needed to be done, but here's where we are at the moment:

Dwarven Runecaster

Armor: Leather & Shield

Weapons: Hammer, Pick


One Body Rune every odd level starting at 1st level – Each usable once per day – 10 minutes per level

Protection - +2 AC 10 minutes per level

Skin of Rock - Immune to normal, none magical missile weapons

Burning Gauntlets - +1 Hit 1d6 Fire Damage if wielding no weapon – can set papers, kindling on fire

Darksight – see in total darkness as well as twilight

Detect Treasure – Detect precious metals / gems / jewelry of 100 GP value within 50’ – direction – distance

Light as a Feather – fall at a rate of 1 foot per second

Chameleon – Hide 4 in 6 in plain sight if not moving


One Item Rune every even level, starting at 2nd level – Each known item rune can be in effect on only one item at a time. Am item may have more than one active rune. Duration is one day per level

Slaying - +2 damage against creature type (giants, goblinoids, dragons)

Protection - +1 AC

Lighten the Load – weights 1/10th the normal weight (max effect 100#s original weight)

Lock – As per Lock spell

Light - as per Light spell. Must be used on an object.


Runes are carved on pieces of stone. The carving fades after use unless a saving throw is made (adjust by any Wisdom Bonus). If save is made, rune can be reused again the same day. Only 1 rune per level of the Runecaster can be active. Runecaster can prepare multiples of the same rune, but at no time can the total number of runes prepared exceed their level. No more than one rune of the same type can be active at the same time.

Summon Golem







As you can see, far from complete but I've got the rest sketched out.  I'll try and preview the Brewmaster next.

Hmmm, I'm going to need title art and a decent dwarven runecaster - any stock art one can point me to? ;)

Clan & Hammer Question - What Class do You Wish to See Previewed First (and other SWCL News)

I've been in a creative glut the past two months or so. Lingering cold symptoms off and on during those two months hasn't helped much. What did help? Actually playing Swords & Wizardry Continual Light as a player yesterday. Its about time. Batteries Recharged!

Anyhow, the game plan right now is to put one of the following classes planned for Clan & Hammer (the work in progress Dwarven themed SWCL game) into releasable form in the next week or so:

Rune-Caster - dwarven runes and wards are their specialty
Brewmeister - while there are no dwarven clerics (by the book) in SWL / SWCL, there is still a need for community, healing and spirituality
Troubleshooter - it takes a thief to catch a thief
Axe-Thain - a warrior with a singular focus and high sense of honor
Teutatle - a religious warrior on a holy mission to protect the dwarven race
Skald - stories and songs of dwarven heroics are the bedrock that dwarven society is built upon

Figure they will be in a format similar to that of last year's Elementalist class. Which one(s) strike your fancy?

Now, some Torchlight news. Things have been on hold recently with some interesting events behind the scenes that will be revealed sooner than later. It doesn't mean we can't start releasing some teasers to highlight the type of content one might find within.

Torchlight Teaser #1 will be +James Spahn 's excellent article expanding upon Torchbearers. With a high enough Charisma your torchbearer may do more than simply hold your torch.

Torchlight Teaser #2 will be the above linked Elementalist class, slightly tweaked from the original.

Expect them to release as PWYW on RPGNow in the next few weeks

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Manhattan Mini Con III - We played Swords & Wizardry Continual Light

This afternoon Rach and I played in a session of Swords & Wizardry Continual Light run by +Denis McCarthy at the Manhattan Mini Con III. Its the first time I've actually played (not run) SWL / SWCL.

I had a blast. It was great to see Rach really getting into her character and grasping the rules. Ranger was a good choice for her. She likes to hit things - in game ;)

It was great to see faces I hadn't seen in a bit (Miguel & Noah), put a face to a person I've gotten to know online (Denis) and meet a new face (damn but we need name tags - doh)

We played in Denis' soon to be released for SWL / SWCL Beneath the Fallen Tower scenario. We barely scratched the surface in the session of play but Denis let us peek behind the screen afterwards. There is a whole lot of adventuring for a party in this package. I'm going to guess at least 2 to 3 sessions, but with the hooks and setting bits you could build a whole campaign around it. Denis should have a hit here.

I really don't want to give away any spoilers. It was a quest to find a missing son (not a child - though we found a child - but not child sized) with enough hooks and shiny parts we could have caused trouble for many levels. Heck, I even played a combat mage (15s in Strength and Dexterity)

Oh, and as I told Rach over dinner tonight. Its recharged my batteries. Woot!

Kickstarter - ITHERVERSE Fantasy Turn-Based Game / D&D 5e RPG Play-By-Post (Let me Count the Ways)

Alright, what could be wrong with the ITHERVERSE Fantasy Turn-Based Game / D&D 5e RPG Play-By-Post Kickstarter besides the horrid title? Let me count the ways...

1 - The Kickstarter page is a word for word transcription of the 7 minute video. Best part of the video? The first 4 seconds of audio.

2 - This is apparently going to be a subscription service. 15 bucks gets you into the "Closed" Beta, but after the Beta, you'll have to pay.

3 - How much with the service be? Doesn't say. But first level will be free, so never level up and you can play forever. If you wanted to.

4 - This quote irks me, as I don't think it refers to many - if any - table top RPGs: "Does your current game hold you back, limiting your creative use of the environment, such as swinging from chandeliers, parkoring out of danger and being heroic? Well, not here. Just like any other epic story-telling RPG, you are integral to making up your story and your character attempting anything you can think of. "

5 - Yeah. PVP. So, its really being targeted at MMORPGers. Therefore the subscription. Oh, and billing it as "the fantasy turn-based-game". Which is pretty much ALL TTRPGs.

6 - Can't you already do this for free? Aren't there forums dedicated to Play by Post?

7 - Prior failure -

8 - Backed all of 4 projects - all early 2017 - 3 of 4 failed to fund.

9 - "Look, I already own ITHERVERSE.com! I need to USE it!"

10 - "The risks are minimal" Damn skippy they are. I doubt this will fund either...

Some folks think the Kickstarter cash cow hasn't been beaten to death. It has. Sure, the new KS is only asking for 1k, but the fact remains that nothing new is being offered.

Goodman Games 2018 Mystery Grab Bag - $25 and $50

2017 was the first holiday season in years where I didn't grab one of the mystery grab bags offered by the various OSR publishers. I pretty much hda what I needed. Or so I thought...

Then Goodman Games had to announce their 2018 Grab Bag. Damn it! I nearly escaped! heh

25 bucks gets you a 1" deep box of random goodness. 50 bucks gets you 3" deep - about 8 pounds. Cost is 9 bucks to ship the 50 pound box to New York. Don't ask how I know ;)

Product Description
Grab bags are back! Once every couple years we give fans the chance to get a giant box of Goodman goodness at a great price. The catch? We pick what goes in the box! 
This offer is only available to customers in the USA. Sorry international folks, but shipping this many pounds of books overseas is cost-prohibitive! 

This year we are offering two sizes, the 1” deep box and the huge 3” deep tab-lock boxes. The 1” box is $25 and the 3” box is $50. We will stuff the box full of books and send it your way. Each small grab bag holds approximately 2.5 pounds of books, and each large grab bag holds approximately 8 pounds of books. Which books will you get? We guarantee no duplicates in the box, and that all contents are in English. Otherwise, it can be anything from any of our product lines: Dungeon Crawl Classics, Age of Cthulhu, Xcrawl, Judges Guild, Metamorphosis Alpha, Fifth Edition Fantasy, systems neutral, maybe even older 3E or 4E titles. Only the gods themselves know for sure! 
There is a new grab bag feature this year: 
We may include a T-shirt as well! When you place your order, tell us your T-shirt size in the comments field. If the stars align, you may get a T-shirt in your size along with the rest of the grab bag contents.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Talislanta Arrived at RPGNow - Free PDFs - Low Cost HC - No F'n Elves!

Thanks go out to The Taverners. I received multiple notifications that some Talislantian goodness had arrived at RPGNow.

There are six titles available. All Talislantian are free in PDF and reasonably priced in Hardcover (I'm guessing at or near cost)

Now all we need is Skyrealms of Jorune to go free and both weird settings of my teenage years (and well remembered for their ads in Dragon Magazine) would be complete....

That's an affiliate link above. Feel free to just grab the free PDFs. I am, and I'll probably grab the PODs later...

Troll Lords Sale at RPGNow - 30% off (Stacks with Current RPGNow Sale where Applicable)

Troll Lords is having a 3 days sale on their PDFs at RPGNow - 30% off everything, and if its already on sale with the current New Year, New Game promotion at RPGNow it comes out to be just over a 50% discount.

Even better for the bargain hunters, Troll Lords has a series of titles that are normally marked down to $1.99 - it includes some classic C&C adventures. They come out to be $1.39 on sale.

Those are affiliate links above. Keep the lights on and the beers cold at The Tavern ;)

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Kickstarter - Dice Roll Dungeons — Instant Encounters for DND & Pathfinder

I'm on the fence about the Dice Roll Dungeons — Instant Encounters for DND & Pathfinder.

From what I gather, its fairly systemless, which makes it useful for OST systems too.

I'm just not quite sure what it is. A sample page would go far, but there isnt one.

Here's what it says it is:
Dice Roll Dungeons is a collection of 20 different encounter scenarios, designed to work with D&D, Pathfinder, or any other fantasy-based RPG! Dice Roll Dungeons turns the act of detailing your encounters into a game of dice; it provides a fun and easy framework for your encounters, so you can generate ideas instantly and pick and choose from all of your favourite results!

You start by gathering your favourite set of dice and rolling your trusty d20! The result of your twenty-sided dice roll will give you your DUNGEON SETTING, corresponding to what you rolled. From there, you flip to the chapter of the book that coincides with your result, and you will be given an overview of the location, lore about the dungeon itself, and other interesting sidenotes about potential hazards and inhabitants. After that, you can further customize the dungeon by rolling other dice on ADVENTURE HOOKS, the BOSS FIGHT of the dungeon, a variety of ENEMIES and DANGERS, and, of course, totally customized TREASURE! 
So, I know what it says but it doesn't really says what it is. Eh, maybe I'm overthinking it.

Buy in is 8 bucks American. I'll see where it goes. Print options are forthcoming. Its funded with nearly 500 backers. 

Kickstarter - Dungeon Delve #1: Tower of the Black Sorcerers (OSR Adventure)

I'm pretty big on backing OSR themed Kickstarters. I like to back the community I'm a part of and want to see creators, new and old succeed. The Dungeon Delve #1: Tower of the Black Sorcerers looks to be an excellent OSR Kickstarter, with a bunch of pluses and a huge potential warning sign.

Let me explain.


  • The art team is amazing: Bradley K. McDevitt, Ryan Jack Allred, Matthew Ray, and Russ Nicholson
  • Removable cardstock cover printed in color.
  • A cut-away map of the tower, a map of the tower levels, and a dungeon map printed in classic dungeon blue in the inside cover.
  • Its written for 1e
  • Its written, edited, laid out and all art is accounted for.
  • Shipping for the physical copy is apparently included in the $20 price. Looks to ship anywhere. Enough international backers can make this a monetary loss. 
Its funded and I'm currently in for 20 bucks.

Edit: "Tower of the Black Sorcerers" is an adventure for 5 to 7 characters of intermediate levels 5 to 8. "

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Tavern Chat Tonight - 9 PM Eastern - How Should we Celebrate Swords & Wizardry Continual Light going Silver? :)

Today is Wednesday and that means Tonight is Tavern Chat at 9 PM Eastern. Voice Chat. Text Chat. Chat chat :)

As a side note, I noticed earlier today that Swords & Wizardry Continual Light (currently on sale for $1.88 in PDF) hit Silver status on RPGNow. My God, but this is both amazing and humbling. Hopefully we can continue the success with later releases. What shall we do to celebrate?

Here's the link for tonight's Tavern Chat:


New Year, New Game Sale at RPGNow

I've been remiss in mentioning there is a New Year, New Game Sale running at RPGNow. Its 25 % off thousands of titles in PDF, including Swords & Wizardry Continual Light ($1.88 for the next 4 days)

There is a surprising amount of OSR related releases on sale and I'll try and cover a few in the next day or so.

Personally, I find the NYNG Call of Cthulhu 7E Bundle a very tempting pick, and I already have the core books in print. Quite simply a shit-ton of horror gaming for your 40 bucks (not cheap at all, but still tempting). The Conan bundle is tempting, but I backed the Kickstarter, so I think I have (or should have) all included.

Yep, those are affiliate links. Keep the lights on and the beers cold at The Tavern with your Patronage.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

10 Copies of the 2018 Baby Bestiary up for Grabs

Enter to win a copy of the 2018 Baby Bestiary Calendar with artwork by Travis Hanson. 10 copies in the mix.


use the following links

Twitter announcement link

Link to Giveaway

Facebook Link

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10 people will win a Baby Bestiary Calendar,
2 of which will also win the Baby Bestiary Collectors Edition (containing Volumes 1 & 2 of the Baby Bestiary)
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and Humble Bundle as well as Patreon. Your patronage is appreciated and helps keep the
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