Sunday, September 30, 2018

I Found My Mapping Program - Illwinter's Floorplan Generator (Win / OSX / Linux)

About 30 minutes of initial playtime with Illwinter's Floorplan Generator

Thanks for all of the feedback. I was presented with lots of mapping tools to explore and I will do so, but for now, I have found my dungeon mapping program - Illwinter's Floorplan Generator.

It hits a few sweet points for me.
  1. It works on OSX (and Windows and Linus too).
  2. Maps made with the core assets can be used commercially. Using "mod" assets, you'd need to confer with the creator(s). I haven't progressed that far. (https://steamcommunity.com/app/630900/discussions/0/1694920442953847793/)
  3. It's inexpensive. 7 bucks on Steam.
  4. It's easy to use and user-friendly (the map you see above I did in about 30 minutes, playing with various features)
Here's a list of features from the Illwinter's Floorplan Generator Steam Page:

Illwinter's Floorplan Generator is a grid-based dungeon and wilderness floorplan creator. The floorplan generator can be used to quickly draw and print an encounter floorplan for your favorite pen and paper roleplaying game. It is very quick and easy to create a simple floorplan, you just select what terrain type each square should be and the program fixes the rest. E.g. a cave wall next to a rocky ground will automatically create a jagged wall, but the same cave wall next to a marble floor would create a much smoother wall because this is likely to be an indoor room with polished walls.

  • About 50 different terrain types to choose from
  • Icons included for the most common objects, e.g. doors, stairs, tables, beds, trees, bushes, pentagrams
  • Color maps or old school black and white style
  • Adjacent terrains interact automatically to create jagged edges, smooth transitions and shadows when necessary
  • Random fractals used to create shapes for cave walls, rivers and other non regular terrains
  • Create a multi-page pdf with the dungeon divided into pages suitable for printing
  • Export dungeon as a single png suitable for roll20 and similar applications
  • Configurable square and paper sizes, (default is 1 inch squares on A4 pages)
  • Outdoor and dungeon shadows with configurable strength
  • Export to your favorite paint program for finishing touches
  • Import your own icons
  • Create new terrain types from imported images
  • Configurable grid, default is to not draw it on top of walls and with thicker lines between pages
  • Grid based, terrain is placed in squares or on square edges (icons can be placed and rotated freely)
  • Shortcuts to quickly put a random door, tree or bush in a square
  • Dungeon layout can be imported from a simple ASCII text file, like this http://www.illwinter.com/floorplan/ss/ascii.jpg
  • Create random dungeons automatically
  • Editor to create rules for your own random dungeon
  • Color dungeons can be converted to Black & White style dungeons automatically
  • Steam workshop support

Better mapping example. Not my work ;)

I have some ideas on the usage of the maps I'll be working on. More on that later.

Edit: I tweaked a bit and learned new features, like hiding secret doors for VTTS

The Tavern Chat Podcast - E 137 - Meltdown in the Roll20 SubReddit Makes Newsweek

How often does our corner of the universe make it to a news outlet like Newsweek? I'm not talking major announcements, I'm talking dumpster fires.
First, thank you for all of the support. It means more than you know. We have voicemails from Jason Hobbs and Old Man Grognard. The news section is about Roll20 moderator, cofounder and manager Nolan T banning a Reddit user, the backlash and dumpster fire that resulted and the actions taken to resolve the public relations nightmare.
Link to Episode 137https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/E-137---Meltdown-in-the-Roll20-SubReddit-Makes-Newsweek-e2ajet

Link to Reddit Thread 


Link to Newsweek Articlehttps://www.newsweek.com/roll20-reddit-nolant-jones-apostleo-apostleoftruth-dungeons-and-dragons-ban-1142706

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Announcing Midderlands Patches - Ships Worldwide for 6 Bucks a Patch

Pick a patch, any patch!

With apologies to Thad. This past week has simply had a life of its own.

In collaboration with MonkeyBlood Design (Glynn Seal) I am proud to present a new OSR patch for the Ennie award winning Middlerlands.  

The Midderlands is an old-school game setting with bestiary for use with old-school role-playing games. It is based on Swords & Wizardry Complete, but could easily be used with other old-school systems and even non-OSR systems such as D&D or Pathfinder. It is a green-hued, dark-fantasy, late-middle ages, early-renaissance view through grime-smeared spectacles. The setting itself is based on an area in the middle of England called The Midlands. Many of the locations are loosely based on reality, but others are pure fantasy from an addled mind.


Patches are available now! All OSR patches have an iron on backing, 100% digital embroidery coverage and merrowed edges.

To order ANY OSR patch send $6 per patch to: paypal.me/thaddeusgmoore

Free Shipping world wide from the USA is included in this price. Please make a note specifying which designs you would like and ensure your shipping address is correct in your PayPal account info. Thanks to all of you in the OSR community for your camaraderie and support.

The Tavern Chat Podcast - Episode # 136 - Stacy D's Allegations re: Myself - Debunked

Wow. And here I thought I could rant. Normally, I'd leave this be but there are so many outright lies here I need to address it. More details will be in the Podcast Episode, but my commentary should suffice for some.

Link to Episode 136: https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/E136---Stacy-Ds-Allegations-re-Myself---Debunked-e2admn

First, some background. I first came across Stacy when she was organizing Contessa as an online convention. I remember her complaining that she couldn't get enough female GMs to fill the slots needed to be filled. I pointed out that when you ONLY will accept women as GMs, you are probably excluding 80%+ of the gaming public, maybe even a higher percentage of GMs. I also wasn't comfortable knowing that all sessions were being recorded on Google Hangouts for a lifetime of viewing on Youtube. Yes, I criticized her and her project. Its been all downhill from there.

In the summer of 2015, she went online and criticized NTRPG Con for both the "serving wenches" and the fact that Merle Rasmussen ran an "all ladies" game. A game he ran with his wife in the room. I know, Rach played in it. Stacy then lobbed stones at Rach and I. Here's the post and here's the screenshot:

Apparently, I should spend less time with my wife. Sigh. Stacy was upset that I responded to her G plus thread because it was private and I basically had no right to even read it. 

Did I mention that Rach is legally blind? That would make her a "marginalized" person according to Stacy.

This to me was the point where I realized there was something special going on.


If you're friends with Erik Tenkar, please don't be friends with me. If you're interested in keeping women in RPGs safe, please don't be friends with Erik Tenkar. (THIS. WTF does this imply? EVERY con I've gone to I've gone with Rach except my first Gary Con, and that was last minute) Erik Tenkar only cares about one thing: Erik Tenkar. (How many fundraisers have I offered matching monies for from The Tavern?) He has been following me around the internet in super creepy style since ConTessa began.  (I've given the background above. I'm not the one ranting on a monthly basis to have someone unfriended and complaining about him. Last time you came up in The Tavern was in October of 2017 - https://www.tenkarstavern.com/2017/10/gamer-in-need-stacy-dellorfano-cancer.html)

WHEN ConTessa began, he spread lies that we thought all white males were potential creepers, and immediately distrusted them. (All sessions were on Google Hangouts Live in 2014 and put up on Youtube. I felt uncomfortable putting myself on YouTube, in a game session with strangers, for all time. It was a measure used to ensure the safety of the women. Here's my quote: "The assumption that male players are bound to include their share of "creepy guys" and "that's why we have to record everything" creeps me out...") While that is now actually TRUE, it wasn't at the time, and it's people like Erik Tenkar who've made that true. (Crock of shit. Give examples.) Sorry dudes, you don't police your own, that's what happens.

At the time, when I corrected him, he ignored me, and continued to spread lies about ConTessa. (Did you then, and have you in the recent past, struggled to fill Contessa GM seats? Not a lie. But please, list the lies I spread about Contessa. Wait, recording sessions were done for what reason exactly?)

All four of my Contessa posts. http://www.tenkarstavern.com/search?q=contessa

The post from 2014 that Stacy is still fuming over: http://www.tenkarstavern.com/2014/02/if-you-have-con-and-no-one-shows-did-it.html

He writes a vague blog post or podcast EVERY TIME I mention him outside my walled garden.  (link them please, because I'd like to see them myself. Because you mention me an awful lot, and I do have other stuff to post about) When I was diagnosed with cancer, he grossly and inappropriately used it to promote his own work (I offered to raise at least 50 bucks from the proceeds of the sales of SWCL. I was to make no money off of it. A third party on your behalf demanded I rescind the offer and I did. If I was out of place with my offer, its because I am a cancer survivor myself and I acted on emotional impulse, without malice.) He never asked me if that was okay, he never apologized for all the times he treated me like shit (and you've never apologized to me nor Rach for the insults you threw at us. What exactly is your point?), he just put it up complete with backhanded compliments.
I sat at my keyboard, ugly sobbing, trying to get friends to go talk to him because I refuse to talk to the asshole. He refused to take the post down, but kept the money when it got to him I didn't want it, and added a snarky edit to the post. But he left the post up, completely fucking missing the point.

Link to post: https://www.tenkarstavern.com/2017/10/gamer-in-need-stacy-dellorfano-cancer.html

(You are missing the point. I've never deleted a post. Ever. The internet never forgets. I don't hide anything, even my mistakes. As for never sending you the money, your third party told me you didn't want it and then BLOCKED me from responding or explaining. So, at that point, what do I do? You didn't want it. You can't have it both ways)

His current method of harassment is to talk about me boldly on his podcast, claiming I have so much power over the people of the OSR (a community I've repeatedly stated I want nothing to do with anymore) that I function as the "thought police", and my asking people to not be friends with me if they are friends with my harassers is somehow controlling a community I can't even stand.
Erik Tenkar is such a coward, however, that he refused to name me in his podcast and redacted my name and likeness from the screenshots he took of me saying this very same thing to other people on one of the posts about Darrick Dishaw AKA Venger Satanis. (Yep, I didn't mention you because quite frankly it was more of a community learning moment. But here, now you are mentioned)

Erik Tenkar seems to believe I shouldn't be allowed to decide what content from whom I wish to see in my feed.  (apparently, you don't know how social media works. If I'm blocked or not on your friends' list, I won't appear on your feed.)

Someone on the thread called me "vindictive". You don't know the half of it, buddy.
Let's be clear. I don't have some strange, illuminati-based power against the OSR you all have to wear tin-foil caps to avoid. I am not an influential voice within the OSR, and I don't strive to be. I don't even run OSR games anymore, aside from Lamentations of the Flame Princess, which, aside from the system, is definitively NOT an OSR game. (wait. this is double speak. It's built off of B/X, the rules are certainly OSR and LotFP is sold to the OSR, but it's not OSR)

If you want to see all of the times he's mentioned me by name in his blog, take a look here:

The first part was so wildly successful, that he's made a second part:

Now, since Erik can't read this himself unless he logs out of Facebook, I expect one of his lackeys to take screenshots and share it with him. Go ahead, stick your nose right up his ass, I'm sure it smells splendid. (Nope, they did fine)

Note: Continued unfounded accusations of nefarious activity will be treated seriously and potentially legally.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Help me Obi Wan - Looking for User Friendly OSX / Mac Mapping Software

I'm looking for some user-friendly OSX Mapping software. Primarily looking to map out some dungeon, underground environments. If the end rest can be used in commercial projects, so much the better.

OSX is not a target-rich environment for mapping software it seems.

Please, point me in a direction or three ;)

The Tavern Chat Podcast - E135 - Follow up to Beware the OSR Thought Police

Ah, sweet irony. I call out someone, well, more accurately, it's being actively done by more than one person but anyhow - I call someone out for demanding their social media "friends" unfriend those they feel are sources of "wrong think" and I'm called a coward by a random individual on social media. Musta struck a nerve. Might need a root canal...

Remember when Bad / Wrong / Fun was all the rage? We had an element telling other gamers that they were doing it wrong. That their "fun" was wrong and bad. We have officially jumped that shark I think.
Wow. Yesterday's episode was well received. Lots of feedback, much direct, some by voicemail and comments on the blog side. I share and respond to some of the feedback.
Link to Episode 135 - https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/E135---Follow-up-to-Beware-the-OSR-Thought-Police-e2aanf

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Bundle of Holding - Tunnels & Trolls

It's little secret that I'm a huge fan of Tunnels & Trolls, enough that I have a nearly complete run of the various editions of the core rules, including UK releases. I even have Ken St. Andre's personal  play copy of 2nd edition, dog-eared and signed by Ken himself.

I like the system. Oh, and my favorite edition is 5.5

So, where do I stand on the Tunnels & Trolls Bundle of Holding?

If you are an experienced T&T'er looking for some GM adventures, its a great opportunity. If you are new to T&T, you are going to be confused, because as far as I can tell, there is a mix of editions in this Bundle, and while the editions are more or less compatible, there are enough changes to confuse those new to the rules.

7.95 for the Solitaire Collection, about 20 for the Gamemaster Collection.

The Tavern Chat Podcast - E134 - Rant - Beware the OSR Thought Police

Last night on the weekly Tavern Chat hangout over on The Tavern's Discord channel, a topic came up that really struck a chord with me - the whole concept of telling folks who they can and can not follow on social media. It's all about control. Controlling thought, controlling access, controlling conversations and more. What is next? Telling folks which rulesets they can play and enjoy? Maybe they'll be asked to burn books next. Thus, I rant. If four-letter words offend you, you will be very offended ;)
I kinda got worked up on last night's weekly Tavern Chat hangout on The Tavern's Discord Server. Today I rant about the idea of telling people who they can and can not follow on social media and the danger that comes with it. Which gaming books will you burn?
Link to Episode 134 - https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/E134---Rant---Beware-the-OSR-Thought-Police-e2a4gs

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Reminder - Tavern Chat - 9 PM Eastern - I Survived Shire Con ;)

I am very much looking forward to tonight's Tavern Chat. This past week has been... stressful. Shire Con was by far the highlight but it did wipe me out for the weekend.

Wednesday Night Tavern Chat is very much like hanging out at your neighborhood pub, but rubbing elbows with fellow members of the OSR and beyond instead of fellow drunks :)

You can use the following link to join the party over on The Tavern' Discord Server:


It's mostly a voice chat. You don't need a mic if you just want to listen or just wish to use the associated text chat channel.

Kickstarter - Bloodwraith: A Fantasy World of Survival and Torment (OSR System / Setting)

Sweet! Another Jim Pinto Kickstarter. Even the projects of Jim's that don't interest me still intrigue me, and Bloodwraith is an OSR project, so I'm interested AND intrigued :)

So, what's Jim's pitch?
Sixty years ago, the sky erupted with blood. Not rain. Blood. Sacramental blood, born of the heavens and all the dead gods. This blood rain was known as the purge. And from this purge, faith died. Humankind knew the gods were dead. They sensed it. Felt it. The world was coated in the viscera and blood of the supreme beings who once created them. 
And from this blood was born all manner of horrors. Dwarves, elves, goblins, orcs. Just to name a few. Humankind went from being a tranquil race to living at the edge of a knife. Entire nations were wiped out and replaced with the despotic dwarves, powerful elves, chittering goblins, and warlike orcs. Humankind scattered to the world’s edges, leaving the Bloodmarshes to the mongrel races that fell from the sky. 
Humans who once stood together, became divided, forming into small enclaves. Each disconnected from the other. Each afraid to unite together again. For who could be trusted? 
Which is exactly what the bloodwraiths wanted.
As for the world itself?
Gyrr is a flat, disc-like world with the bloodmarshes at the center. No one knows what lay there before, but now it is the place from whence all horrors grow. The blood of dozens of gods now fuels a near endless parade of evil creatures, led by thirteen bloodwraiths, each horrible and vile. 
Humans have been unable to rebuild since the purge. Hamlets, thorpes, and villages dot the landscape, but towns are destroyed as quickly as they are planned. In order to stay alive, humans must keep to the fringes, and in small numbers. This means hastily made hovels, huts, and tents. Nomadic “squads” are common. 
The bloodmarshes are hot, humid, and smell of death. No one can prove it, but it is believed they are spreading. From the bloodmarshes all of the captured lands radiate. The non-human races and monsters serve the bloodwraiths, who in turn serve their own selfish desires, fueled by the blood of the gods themselves.
Bloodwraith is a new way to approach world building. Not only does the setting have a unique take on the role of humans and non-humans, it also has built in adventure concepts that pull away from traditional models. Characters do not dungeon-crawl, but rather fight to keep their communities alive. Nearly all of the playable characters are human, which means things players are used to seeing in game worlds is not there.
I'm not looking for a new ruleset, but as far as setting goes, I'm all over this. Even if I don't take it and run it, but instead steal inspiration from it, it looks worth my while.

The Bloodwraith Setting in PDF with digital stretch goals is 7 bucks. Softcover print plus PDF with stretch goals is 15 bucks. Neither includes the new magic system Jim has worked up for the setting. Game ruleset, setting, and magic system in print plus PDF are 39 bucks. I think, for me, 15 bucks is the value point.

The Tavern Chat Podcast - E133 - 1st Look @ The Ultimate RPG Character Backstory Guide

Yep. We've hit the "big time". I actually have a reviewer's, pre-release copy of The Ultimate RPG Character Backstory Guide from the publisher Simon & Schuster. Woot! The review will follow on the blog side soon. This is more of a "first look".
I take a first peek at The Ultimate RPG Character Backstory Guide (releasing October 2nd, 2018). Review to come later. Excellent tool for sandbox campaigns BTW. Also, how to get banned from Gen Con for being punched in the face.
Link to Episode 133 - https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/E133---1st-Look--The-Ultimate-RPG-Character-Backstory-Guide-e29t8t

Preorder The Ultimate RPG Character Backstory Guidehttps://amzn.to/2R19ZF9 (10.39 on Amazon - This is an affiliate link)

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

RPGNow Deal of the Day - Mortzengersturm, The Mad Manticore of the Prismatic Peak

Normally 7.99, Mortzengersturm is on sale until tomorrow morning for 2.65 in PDF. (yes, I'm late getting this up ;)
After turning himself into a manticore, the self-style wizard-artiste, Mortzengersturm, moved to the crystalline peak of Mount Geegaw to practice his transformation magic without interference. You've been hired to snatch his most prized artifact, the Whim-Wham Stone--or at least some of its eldritch light. A menagerie of magic hybrids, a self-absorbed vampire, more than a few hippogriffs, and of course, the mad manticore himself await! 
It's like a Rankin-Bass stop motion special--except it could end in a total party kill. Are you up to the challenge? 
Mortzengersturm, The Mad Manticore of the Prismatic Peak is a 5e-compatible adventure for 5-6 players of 3-4th level set in the Land of Azurth. This digital edition contains exclusive extras: a map and brief gazetteer of Yanth Country (the locaiton of Mount Geegaw), and a short excerpt from an upcoming Land of Azurth adventure.

The Tavern Chat Podcast - E132 - Kickstarter Roundup for September 25, 2018

Ah, the sweet sound of Kickstarters tempting the masses. What is that? There are patches, too? We don't need no steenkin' patches! ;)
We've got it all! Midderlands patch info, a Tim Shorts voicemail and a peek at four Kickstarters: Svilland: The Norse Mythology Setting for DnD 5E, Dortoka: an OSR + PbtA City Module, Bunnies and Burrows, and Bloodwraith: A Fantasy World of Survival and Torment.
Link to E132https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/E132---Kickstarter-Roundup-for-September-25--2018-e29mp7

Links to Kickstarters:





Monday, September 24, 2018

Kickstarter - Bunnies & Burrows - Silly Wabbit! Adventuring is for Kids!

Silly Wabbit! Adventuring is for kids! Wait, you killed the cat that attacked you and then you and your fellow rabbits did WHAT?!?

Yep, I ran a playtest session for the new Bunnies & Burrows early on with my regular group and it was a blast. Don't ask what happened to the cat. That which has been seen can't be unseen, and it was certainly unseemly ;)

Bunnies & Burrows can be more tactical than your typical OSR RPG, which are generally more theatre of the mind, but you can also run it less tactical and more theatre of the mind if you so desire. Its flexible enough to do so.

I spent an evening at NTRPG 2017 talking with Dr. Dennis Sustare long into the night about Bunnies & Burrows and I was enthralled. The man knows his source material and is passionate about B&B. What more do you want from your game designer? ;)

$25 for the PDF, $40 for the softcover (with a free upgrade to hardcover if the stretch goal is met)

There are other pledge levels, but there seem to be the sweet points for me.
Bunnies & Burrows (B&B) is a role-playing game (RPG) that features animal characters contending with enemies and hazards in a world of nature. Published by Fantasy Games Unlimited in 1976, the game centered on intelligent rabbits. It introduced several innovations to role-playing game design, being the very first game to allow players to have non-humanoid roles, and the first to have detailed martial arts and skill systems. Fantasy Games Unlimited published a second edition of the game in 1982, and the game was modified and republished by Steve Jackson Games as an official GURPS supplement in 1992. 
As rabbits, player characters are faced with dangers mirroring those in the real world. The only true "monsters" in the game are humans, but there are many predators, traps, and natural hazards. The characters' position in the food chain promotes an emphasis on role-playing and problem solving over combat.
Originally published in 1976, only two years after the first role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons was published, this original edition is now long out of print. The game was inspired by Richard Adams' fantasy novel Watership Down, and the players were given the opportunity to take on the role of rabbits. As such, the game emphasized role-playing over combat, and according to Steffan O'Sullivan, "You're playing a rabbit, after all — how much combat do you want to do?" David M. Ewalt, in his book Of Dice and Men, commented that Bunnies & Burrows "pushed setting even farther" than other early RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons and En Garde!, as the "player characters were intelligent rabbits and had to compete for food, avoid predators, and deal with internal warren politics.
Full disclosure: Yes, I am "A Frog". Technically, I'm the Convention Coordinator for Frog God Games, but I think that just means I run games and sell shit at the vendor table ;)  Bunnies & Burrows is being published by Frog God Games. See, there IS a connection. I'm also a backer of Bunnies & Burrows. It's simply good.

Guest Poster - So, What is a Successful Kickstarter Exactly?

As I've stated before and I state again - The Tavern belongs to The Community. I am but a mere caretaker. Submit a well-written article and you may see it here - Tenkar

Hey, I am Darcy Perry from New Zealand, also known as Aotearoa (The land of the Long White Cloud) and Godzone (God’s Own Country). It’s a real place, although it may not be on your map, where they filmed the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. We have more sheep than people and the national Rugby team are called The All Blacks - because they wear black clothing (players can have any skin colour). Oh, and yeah, we don’t take life too seriously down here - or up here, depending on how you look at our rapidly spinning planet, hurtling through space while in a gravitationally connected cluster/galaxy of other similar (and not-so-similar) things surfing a wave/helix/screw-like pattern through the ever-expanding universe.

Ok, I put the word successful in the title as a tease. More on that later. Kickstarter should be no stranger to readers of the Tavern, as Tenkar loves to hold accountable those ratbags who rip off backers on this crowdfunding platform. I say ratbags because although Kickstarter calls you a Creator (or a Collaborator) when you launch a campaign, you deserve far worse than insults from Tenkar on his blog if you “take the money and run”. But wait a minute, I know more about this than the average FA-Q troll. So, pull up a seat and buy me a beer… I will tell you what I’ve experienced in the last two years from five “successful” Kickstarter campaigns.

Running a Kickstarter is a full-time job. The kind of job you don’t get paid for but you do it because you really want to see something happen. Maybe it’s your dream (or someone else’s) but the whole point is making it a real thing – a thing people will give you their money (or someone else’s) to make real. Hang on, did I say you don’t get paid?

Well, you kept reading so let’s start with the thing. Hours of love, sweat and long nights will have gone (or will go) into making this special thing. The fact that you want to share this thing with others is a reflection of you as the artist. Typically, artist’s get rich and famous after they’ve been dead for a century or so… but with Kickstarter, you can gather a crowd of folks who like what you’re making and don’t want to wait until you’re dead to enjoy it.

As a Kickstarter Creator, you will wear many hats. It’s a business expression that means you will do anything to get the job done, including work you might not enjoy so much. As an artist you will create the original thing. You will also have a hat for marketing, advertising, project management, liaising with contractors, quality control, public/media relations, shipping fulfilment and backer troubleshooting. No, you can’t shoot your backers, even the ones that cause you grief. At times you will wish you were just the artist. If you are fortunate, some friends may help you along the way and wear some of these hats efficiently, albeit briefly. Look after them, even if you can’t afford to pay them. Give them stuff. At the very least, the thing you have made. They’re your friends and their support is worth more than any “thing”.

There will be tyre-kickers. They really don’t want your thing. They really want their thing. It might be similar to your thing but it’s smaller or bigger or most likely, cheaper. Provide them with what they want and they will “thank you in advance” but in the meanwhile they will suck up your precious time with messages and emails, to prove how important their opinion is and why you’re doing it all wrong. They might even back you for a dollar… but will likely drop their pledge before the Kickstarter funding deadline, with a well-intended lie about buying it later when it’s something they really want.

When the money (eventually) comes in from Kickstarter, minus fees and taxes, pay everyone who is running a business first. For my Kickstarters, the main pledge rewards for backers are miniatures. The original sculpting is usually my own, on my own time. So I will be paid last, if at all. The casters who supply the miniatures are paid for production costs (skill, time, materials) of the miniatures the backers pledged for – so the casters get paid first. When the miniatures are packed (more costs: labour/packing materials), they are ready to post and the costs of shipping will kill you. International shipping especially. It will kill you dead. You will leave a note in your Will to pay the postal service. If there is some money left over, pay your Collaborators - or at least give them a promise of payment and make sure you deliver on that debt - you may want to work with them again!

During the production, contractors may let you down. When a project is delayed, Kickstarter funds disappear like water poured out on the desert sands. Normal business expenses that go out each month, still go out each month, even though you can’t concentrate on other work while your Kickstarter fulfilment is delayed. Power, phone, internet, accounting fees, etc. They all add up. Don’t worry about rent and food – your Kickstarter was never designed to cover basic living costs. You will need another job to help pay for the privilege of running a successful Kickstarter. The biggest cost will be time. Time with your loved ones. Time with peace of mind. Time making other things. If something can go wrong, it probably will. Nobody will worry about this more than you. Talk to your friends or get religion. Don’t let anybody get your spirit down. You can do this!

The average backer treats Kickstarter like a bargain bin webstore having a fire sale. You will post updates and keep backers informed of all the issues, small achievements and minor setbacks… even how to fill out the all-important backer surveys… but most won’t read them. Don’t blame them for this lack of enthusiasm during the production phase. They just want the thing in their hands to enjoy. Their main response comes after their packages are delivered (and this may take months if they rely on the Canadian postal service). Remember, above all, they backed your Kickstarter. They backed you and you shared your creation with them. Rejoice and say thank you to everyone. Everyone!

So, what is a successful Kickstarter exactly? For me, it is a collaborative community, connected by the thing you are creating. It’s about putting that thing out there for others to enjoy. It’s also about sacrificing a part of your life and leaving yourself open to all manner of abuse. There will be haters. Ignore them. There will be new friends. Reward them. Kickstarter has enabled me to give back in a very significant way to a lifelong pastime - I love this hobby and the way it brings everyone to the table. After all that is said and done, is running a Kickstarter worth the effort? YES! To everyone who has backed or collaborated on my Kickstarters past, present and future… THANK YOU!

Darcy Perry

Star Hat Miniatures

Last Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/darcyperry/dungeons-of-doom-v-law-vs-chaos-star-hat-miniature

Final days on Backerkit here: https://starhatminiatures.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders

Star Hat Miniatures Webstore: https://starhatminiatures.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StarHatMiniatures/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+DarcyPerry

Blogger: https://hitstokill.blogspot.com/

The Tavern Chat Podcast - E131 - Community Follow Up to Gamemaster Anxiety

All things Tavern are better with community involvement. Gamemaster Anxiety hit a chord (or nerve) with The Tavern's community and I really appreciate all of the feedback.
Yesterday's episode about Gamemaster Anxiety struck a nerve with The Tavern's Community. We listen to voicemails and read some comments and I give my feedback to all. Community rules!
Link to Episode 131 - https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/E131---Community-Follow-Up-to-Gamemaster-Anxiety-e29hdb

Photo by Michael Gross

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Shire Con - Recap and Highlights (and Photos)

Yesterday was Shire Con, and my God it was a blast! I ran Beneath the Battered Dwarf Tavern (using the Swords & Wizardry Light rules) and the players had me laughing my ass off. I couldn't have asked for a better group sitting at my table.

Thom Wilson ran an amazing con. With the help of his volunteers, you would never have known this was his first time running one. Thom told me much of the success was due to advice he asked for and received from Bad Mike and Doug Rhea of NTRPG Con fame as well as Alex Kammer (he of Gamehole Con).

I enjoyed finally meeting Michael Gross (and his son, Michael) face to face. Amazing how you can know someone for so long and yet never have a chance to shake their hand or grab a hug until now, years later. It's stuff like this that really makes the memory highlight reals for me.

Other's (like Joe the Lawyer) I hadn't seen in years. It was nice finally running a game with Joe at my table and it wasn't a VTT ;)

I'm glad I didn't try to squeeze a game into the day's second slot. The time I spent socializing with friends was extremely well spent and meeting friends of The Tavern was another highlight. Just know that remembering names was never my strong point, and it's even harder for me these days, but I really do appreciate the kind words and encouragement I received. I thank you all.

This was my first time as a Convention "Special Guest". Thom, you were my first ;P

The photos were posted to the Shire Con Facebook page. Everyone should join the page- and plan to attend in 2019. Photos by Arjen L,  Jerry J, and Michael Gross.

The Tavern Chat Podcast - E130 - Do You Also Suffer from Gamemaster Anxiety?

Yesterday morning, on the drive up to Shire Con, I actually considered the consequences of driving off the road (one of those winding, country roads) to avoid running my morning session of Swords & Wizardry Light. Obviously, I didn't, but the thought did cross my mind. Do you suffer from Gamemaster anxiety?
I know I suffer from Gamemaster Anxiety. Right before I have to run a session, that feeling of dread, nervousness, and fear slips in - and immediately leaves the moment I start running the game. Do you suffer the same or similar? How do you handle it?
Link to Episode 130https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/E130---Do-You-Also-Suffer-from-Gamemaster-Anxiety-e29ct8

Saturday, September 22, 2018

The Tavern Chat Podcast - E129 - ShireCon 2018 and How to GM for a Con RPG Session

I'm beat. Not even 9 PM and I'm ready to crawl into bed. ShireCon 2018 write up tomorrow here on the blogside.
Today was the ShireCon #1, and it was a blast. Huge props to Thom Wilson. I ran a game of Swords & Wizardry Light today and I discuss on this episode my thoughts on running a successful convention RPG session.
Link to Episode 129https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/E129---ShireCon-2018-and-How-to-GM-for-a-Con-RPG-Session-e29ahb

Friday, September 21, 2018

State of TheTavern - On Blogs, Podcasts, & Discords - Oh My!

It's time to address the elephant in the room. You guessed it. I'm talking about the lack of gaming content here, at The Tavern's blogside.

Where did it go?

In truth, there was never much of such in the first place. Sure, I've posted new creatures, discussed setting ideas, designed new magic items, shared some classes - but little of it got read all that much here at The Tavern. Given a choice between a new creature for Swords & Wizardry and a post highlighting the new Midderlands release, the latter wins hands down over the former every time. By multiples of traffic. Often 3x to 4x the number of hits on the post. Why is that?

Maybe my content isn't all that good. I'm proud of it but maybe it doesn't resonate with The Tavern's readers. Or maybe my readers "as a whole" come here more for the news than gaming material. I'm at a loss, in truth, because the posts creating new gaming content are time sinks and rarely get a fraction of the traffic that other posts receive.

What about the gaming questions? The questions such as "do you use henchmen in your campaigns?" or "how much magic is in your ideal setting?"  Why have they moved to the Tavern Chat Podcast?

Quite simply, because it works better for me and the way my mind works. Believe it or not, I often lose my train of thought while writing. I lose it when speaking too, but I can talk faster then I type and derailing seems to happen less for me when I'm talking. Part of those concentration and focus issues I mentioned the other week.

Why is the Tenkar's Tavern Community on Facebook full of product releases, Kickstarter announcements, blog post links, Youtube videos and the like? I want more game discussion!

Again, the Facebook Community has always been dominated by announcements and gaming links. It is a hub of sorts for much of the OSR and a repository of OSR announcements. If you want more gaming discussion in The Tavern's Facebook Community, the opportunity to do so is literally in your hands. Just do it and the conversation will follow.

The Tavern's Discord Server has lively discussions going on 24/7, and Pexx (one of the moderators) puts up a discussion topic each morning. I'm considering stealing his daily topic each day to inspire a blog post. This may help alleviate some of the concerns that all of the actual gaming talk has moved to the podcast side of things.

There is a concern that the podcast is leaving behind members of The Tavern's community that are deaf. I'm looking for a partial solution, one that would maybe allow me to convert one or more episodes of the podcast each week to text. I'm open to suggestions. I'm on the Mac / OSX side of things.

I've been "doing this" since the Spring of 2009. First, the blog, then the Facebook Community, then the Discord server and now I've added the daily podcast. Its become a damn near fulltime job (but trust me when I say the pay isn't there ;) I wouldn't do it if I didn't enjoy it. All of it.  Change is part of the process, but I'll try and alleviate the growing pains as best I can. All I ask for is patience as we get there.

As an aside, The Tavern is always open to guest posters. If you have an idea, send me a short pitch at tenkarsDOTtavern at that Gmail thing.

Thanks for taking the time to read all of this. It's a bear ;)

The Tavern Chat Podcast - E129 - Podcast & Blog - Mutually Exclusive or Complimentary?

The Tavern Chat Podcast has achieved strong downloads numbers. The blogside has maintained very strong traffic numbers. Can the two work together in harmony without driving everybody crazy?
In the past few days, there has been some concern over the perceived lack of content on the blogside (tenkarstavern.com) and the moving of much of my gaming talk to the podcast. I address the concerns while offering no true solutions. Sucks, don't it? ;)
Link to Episode 129https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/E129---Podcast--Blog---Mutually-Exclusive-or-Complimentary-e292m4

My kingdom for transcription / voice to tet software for OSX that is both inexpensive and relatively accurate ;P

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Podcast - Game School - Swords & Wizardry Light - Your Bartender is the Special Guest

Wow. I was surprised to get the notification that the Swords & Wizardry Light episode of the Game School Podcast was live. We recorded it mid-summer and it kind of fell off my radar, but its here.

Want to hear me talk about Swords & Wizardry Light? Here's your chance.

If you are playing in my game at ShireCon this Saturday morning, you might want to wait until Saturday Night before you listen ;)

Kickstarter - Ral Partha’s Chaos Wars - Wave 3

Damn it! More minis. I love minis, even if I hardly ever use them in game and I haven't painted any in over 25 years.

Ral Partha era minis are so damn cool. Grenadier and Ral Partha were my go-to miniature lines in my teens and early 20s. The Ral Partha's Chaos War - Wave 3 Kickstarter looks damn cool.

Interestingly there is only one backer level - a buck. You find a pledge you like and simply pledge that amount. Want more than one set? Add up the costs for each set. Not a bad way to do it.

The Tavern Chat Podcast - E127 - Is the Journey or the Destination More Important?

Christmas was always the most exciting in the days before the actual gift giving when I was a kid. The expectations I had in my head were nearly always more exciting than the actual gifts, even when I got the ones I wanted. Same for D&D campaigns for me, I enjoy the journey far more than getting to the destination - or the play to get to the end over achieving the end goal. I guess that's why I prefer open-ended campaigns ;)
I ramble on about the importance of the journey (playing the campaign) and the destination (completing the campaign) in my games.
Link to Episode 127 - https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/E127---Is-the-Journey-or-the-Destination-More-Important-e28sgf

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Reminder - Tavern Chat Live! Tonight - 9 PM Eastern - Now with Over 1k Discord Members!

Yep. Happened earlier today. What happened? The Tenkar's Tavern Discord Server surpassed 1k members.

Mike drop! ;)

Seriously, I'm hugely excited. It's a 24/7 live community where members of The Tavern can shoot the shit back and forth. While most of the activity happens in the "text channels", Wednesday Nights are special. Wednesday Nights are Tavern Chat nights.

Tavern Chat Live! has been likened to a live, unrecorded podcast with numerous guests. Its voice-chat and its a blast. Your regular hosts are Glen Hallstrom (he of many podcasts and Youtube) as well as myself. Its held from 9 PM Eastern until 11ish - the ish meaning more or less, and we've gone past 3 AM in the morning at rare times.

Here's the link to join us:


See y'all tonight!

Kickstarter - Impact! Miniatures Presents: The Lost KS Mini Project

OK. I must admit. I find the Impact! Miniatures Presents: The Lost KS Mini Project Kickstarter very interesting.

Instead of sculpting their own line of miniatures, Impact! Miniatures has instead licensed or bought the rights to the minis from prior Kickstarters. Those that funded and only had a single run made, those that failed to fund and in one case, those that funded and failed to produce (more on the Torn Armor KS later in this post).

I should note, these minis are 3d prints. They are not metal and are not Reaper Bones either. I've seen some recent 3d printed mins and ecept for the color I couldnt tell a difference in detail between them and metal (that being said, my eyes aren't what they used to be ;)

So, which miniatures lines are available in this Kickstarter?
  • Miniatures from the discontinued board game Wizard's Academy
  • Miniatures from the closed company ZN Games
  • Miniatures from the discontinued line for Breachworld by Jason Richards
  • Miniatures from the discontinued line by Hivetrygon Minis
  • Miniatures from closed company Soul Jar
  • Miniatures from the failed to fund KickStarter Dawn of the Archmage
  • Miniatures from the failed KickStarter Torn Armor 
I'm seriously tempted by the Breachworld minis myself. Damn it! heh

For those asking "what's the deal with the Torn Armor minis and Kickstarter?"
One of the group of STL files I was able to purchase was the STLs from the Torn Armor KS project that funded but failed to deliver.   While I have no connection to that project at all, I will work with you to get you some/all of the miniatures at cost + shipping.   I set up a special $2 reward level to assist with handling this.
Note: the "I" referred to above is Tom Anders, not your bartender :)

The Tavern Chat Podcast - E126 - Voicemails & Comments regarding Henchmen & Hirelings

I've always had issues with henchmen. They were oft forgotten when an area effect spell was cast but always remembered when the party was hurting and needed some fresh meat to throw at the enemy. Not quite a PC and yet not quite a DM-PC. Has their time come and passed?
In Episode 124 I discussed my thoughts on henchmen and hirelings in RPG campaigns. Today, we listen to some feedback from The Tavern's community. Huzzah!
Link to Episode 126 - https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/E126---Voicemails--Comments-regarding-Henchmen--Hirelings-e28lus

Link to Episode 124 - https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/E124---Henchmen--Hirelings--Followers---Yea-or-Nay-e288t9

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

World of Darkness Sale - 75% Off

Back in my earlier days in the hobby, Werewolf and Mage were RPGs / settings that really struck a note with me (Vampire less so). Never fully grasping the mechanics (and lacking a group that had any interest in the system) I jumped at the opportunity when GURPS editions of the World of Darkness settings were released. I REALLY wanted to run a GURPS Mage game back in the day.

In any case, for the next two days, there is a sale on all things World of Darkness over on RPGNow. Nearly 650 releases are on sale, nearly all at 75% off (community releases are 25% off)

Damn tempting.

Yep, that's an affiliate link. More beer for your Tavern Keeper, please!

The Tavern Chat Podcast - E125 - Kickstarter Roundup for September 18, 2018

Ah, Tuesday. That means Kickstarter Day here at The Tavern Chat Podcast. The good, the bad and the outright Far West.
Tuesdays are Kickstarter day here at The Tavern Chat Podcast. We look at 5E Stat Appendix for Fiendish Monster Hardcover, Adventure Realm RPG Tiles - Village and Riverland set, Gorgeous RPG Dice Sets for DnD and other roleplaying games, Mutant Mayhem Minis - RPG Post-Apocalyptic Figures for MCC, and Pirates of the Undead Seas: Fantasy Pirate Miniatures. Oh, and I rant about Far West and Gareth.
Link to Episode 125 - https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/E125---Kickstarter-Roundup-for-September-18--2018-e28g2l

Links to Kickstarters:







Monday, September 17, 2018

Kindle Books -The Adventures of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser: Swords and Deviltry, Swords Against Death, and Swords in the Mist - 3.99 for the Set

A tip of the hat to Joe K over at The Tavern's Facebook Community for bringing this to my attention.

The Adventures of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser: Swords and Deviltry, Swords Against Death, and Swords in the Mist is $3.99 for the set.

I really hope Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser need no introduction, but if they do:
Many decades before George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, Grand Master Fritz Leiber ruled the sword-and-sorcery universe. These three short story collections chronicle the unconventional adventures of Leiber’s endearing antiheroes: barbarian Fafhrd and former wizard’s apprentice, the Gray Mouser.

Swords and Deviltry: Fafhrd, a handsome barbarian of the Steppes, is seduced by a beautiful prostitute and her equally intoxicating city, while the Gray Mouser, a slum rat wizard-in-training, is tempted by the dark arts. The two men meet on a night of multiple thieveries and an enduring partnership is born.

Swords Against Death: Rogue swordsmen and devoted companions Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser pursue ill-gotten fortunes within the confines of Lankhmar. They cross paths with two wizards, Sheelba of the Eyeless Face and Ningauble of the Seven Eyes, and a most violent clash ensues. Eventually, following further adventures, the two antiheroes end up as indentured swordsman servants to their former foes.

Swords in the Mist: A cloud of concentrated hatred and lean times in Lankhmar compels Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser to temporarily depart the most corrupt metropolis in all of Nehwon as they seek adventure in the realm of the Sea-King—and on a different world entirely.

This must-read collection of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser short stories features multiple Hugo and Nebula Award–nominated tales, and includes the acclaimed novella Ill Met in Lankhmar.


Yep, that's an affiliate link. Keep the beer fresh and cold at The Tavern by using The Tavern's affiliate links.

The Tavern Chat Podcast - E124 - Henchmen, Hirelings & Followers - Yea or Nay?

I've found that the use of henchmen and hirelings in RPG campaigns has decreased since the early 80s. Is that also your experience? Why do you think that is?
In this episode, I discuss the use (or lack thereof) of henchmen, hirelings and followers in fantasy RPG campaigns.
Link to Episode 124https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/E124---Henchmen--Hirelings--Followers---Yea-or-Nay-e288t9


Sunday, September 16, 2018

The Tavern Chat Podcast - E123 - How Important is it for U to Create a Homebrew World?

I really need to do a Midderlands episode. I'm just afraid I won't do the releases justice. In any case, tody's episode is again inspired by some questions on the current Dungeons & Dragons survey by WotC.
Another peek and reaction to a handful of questions from the Dungeons & Dragons Survey. I also talk a wee bit about the new MidderZine #1 release. 
Link to Episode 123 https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/E123---How-Important-is-it-for-U-to-Create-a-Homebrew-World-e281d2


www.drivethrurpg.com/product/251643/Midderzine-Issue-1?affiliate_id=1446 (affiliate link)


Saturday, September 15, 2018

New Release - Midderzine Issue #1 (Midderlands / S&W / OSR)

This popped up in my Facebook feed last night and I nearly lept out of bed to share it. Of course, that never happened as sleep overtook me ;)

In any case, I'm picking up Midderzine #1 in Print & PDF - because I can't wait on the mail to come to me...
This is a fanzine for The Midderlands campaign setting for old school games. Although The Midderlands was written for Swords & Wizardry Complete, it works with all the old school games and retroclones with little or no conversion. Hell, you can even adopt it for any fantasy roleplaying game. 
Within this issue you can find news articles, information about locations, NPCs, monsters, races, classes, oddities, spells, flora, fauna, and just about anything to do with the Midderlands, the Haven Isles, and further afield.  
  • More fodder for your ‘The Midderlands’ OSR campaign setting.
  • Rumours from The Haven Gazette.
  • Details on the village of Stonecastle.
  • 3 new monsters: The Catvile, Gloomrat, and Devil’s Goat.
  • The Crowmaster class.
  • New Oddities, Flora, and Fauna including: Catvile Spittle, Demonfeathers, and Plague Flies.
  • Jim Magnusson: The Scandinavian Artist Sensation.
  • And more…
Midderzine #1 is $3.92 in PDF

Midderzine #1 is $9.14 in Print - Shipped (converted from 6.75 British Pounds)

Yep, PDF sales use an affiliate link. Put some beer in your bartender's fridge. :)

The Tavern Chat Podcast - E122 - Are Game Sessions with Constant Action Good Gaming?

I'm actually very happy with the Dungeons & Dragons Survey currently posted by WotC. Remember, under "other editions of D&D played", enter "OSR" ;)
I'm really enjoying the D&D survey posted by WotC. Some of the questions are thought-provoking. They certainly drive the conversation. I'd love to hear some community response to the questions I covered on this episode :)
Link to Episode 122https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/E122---Are-Game-Sessions-with-Constant-Action-Good-Gaming-e27tit

Friday, September 14, 2018

Free Games on Humble Bundle - Through September 16th, 2018

Earlier today I received the following email from Humble Bundle:
From now until September 16 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time, the following DRM-free games will be available to the general public: 
  • Alan Wake's American Nightmare
  • Limbo
  • Uurnog
  • Fortune 499
  • Tiny Echo
  • Cat Girl Without Salad
  • Drawkanoid
  • THOR.N
  • Crescent Bay
Here's the link (yep, its a link to free stuff, but of course Humble Bundle hopes you subscribe to Humble Bundle Monthly, so yes, its an affiliate link):

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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