Saturday, February 10, 2018

The "Free OSR Rulesets - Fantasy" Page is Done - For Now

I believe we have 27 systems listed so far on the Free OSR Ruleset - Fantasy Page. I'm sure I missed some. Hit me with any you think I've missed.

Next up will be the SciFi rulesets, then the "Other" category of rulesets, after that adventures and general resources.


Remember, these lists will be constantly growing. I'll try and remember to mention when something is added to them.

Kickstarter - Strongholds & Streaming - 1 day - $730k (5e)

Sometimes success can't fully be planned for. Sometimes success exceeds all expectations.

Then we have Strongholds & Streaming.

$50k goal.

A day into the campaign? $730K to raised. A month left to fund.

This is the success many dream of but few, if any, achieve.

Oh yeah, what's the product?
A hardcover book (or PDF!) for 5th Edition that gives your character something to spend their money on and extend their influence in the local area. Raise armies! Research spells! Spy on your enemies!  
This is a book! 
We’re printing a book and we need money for art and layout and printing costs. The core release is 128 pages, hardcover, but the content and page count increase with each stretch goal!  
That means the book you order just gets more content as more people pledge. It grows!  
A Style Of Play 
More than just a set of rules and charts, this book also describes a style of play that assumes your character becomes more interested in influencing the world around them. You’ll still adventure and fight monsters, but this supplement gives you tons of fun things to do during your downtime. 
It's also:
Because the other goal of this kickstarter is to raise money to cover the lease on studio space for us to stream our next game starting with character creation! I’ve already spent several thousand dollars on gear, we just don’t have any space to stream and we have very specific requirements. No, your garage won’t do. No, your living room isn’t big enough. :D We’re basically building a TV Studio.  
Since finding studio space means signing a multi-year lease and being on the hook for a lot of money, it terrifies me. It’s my hope that enough people want this book, or want to support the stream, to cover some or all of that cost. If not, no big deal. You still get a great book! 
Follow this one, if even only for a buck. It will be glorious as a success or even as a successful failure.

I may even back for the book. I'm sure there's enough to yoke for my S&W  games.

BTW, watch the videos in the updates. If you want to see the nervousness unexpected success can result in, the first is priceless. I like it, because it is real and unvarnished.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Its Time to Kill the Free OSR Lists - and Create Some Free OSR "Pages"

The feedback on yesterday's post seeking help in updating The Tavern's resource lists has shown me that simply revising the lists isn't feasible - there is simply too much stuff to list.

My thought is to use buttons and pages in Blogger. Pages have the advantage that they can be continually updated, descriptions can be added to each item listed and linked folks can comment on them - simply put, its much better ;)

Place holders so far for the pages.

I'll start building the pages this weekend.

Let me know if anything is missing. Oh, and yes, anything that doesn't fall under fantasy falls under scifi :)

Mayfair Games is No More

I have varied memories of Mayfair Games. While their Dark Folk adventure book was a supplement I went to numerous times, their City State of the Invincible Overlord boxed set was... lacking, But their Demons series was top notch and their Underworld RPG wasn't bad. Wasn't Chill under their label for a bit?

In any case, the shop is now closed:

As always, a tip of the hat to The Tavern's community for bringing this to my attention.

Link to the Mayfair Games Facebook Post.

Kickstarter - Off the Beaten Path, Desert Excursions (S&W and System Neutral Adventures)

Thom Wilson is one of the workhorses of the OSR. Constantly producing high quality stuff and on time too. Thom's latest Kickstarter is Off the Beaten Path, desert Excursions.

So, what is Off the Beaten Path, Desert Excursions?
A minimum of twenty single or double page desert excursions to use as side quests or stand-alone adventures for your Fantasy RPG. There are over twenty-six pages of encounters found within dry deserts and desolate locales. As your player's characters travel through the arid wasteland, they will come across burial chambers, deserted villages, sunken towers, troublesome oases, and more! These adventures are a great way to add additional encounters during travel, or to handle an unexpected change in direction!
Its literally is something to pull out when your party goes "off the beaten path". Its a great series of adventures if you sandbox or if your players tend to stray from the expected story line (or simply useful as random encounters and events)

You have a choice of Swords & Wizardry or System Neutral versions.

PDF's are 6 bucks, at cost POD is 9 (you'll still need to pay the POD cost and shipping), 13 for PDF plus POD (where I'm at) and 18 for at cost POD in both S&W and System Neutral versions.

There are daily stretch goals and the funding period is only 10 days so don't wait too long ;)

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Its Time to Rebuild the Tavern's Lists of Links - First Up - Free OSR Games

Its been years since these lists of Free OSR Goodness went live, and even though I've added to them on occasion, I've noticed there are omissions (Swords & Wizardry Light anyone?) as well as dead links.

Its time to rebuild them.

First list to get attention will be the Free OSR Games. If you know of Free OSR Rulesets that aren't listed to the left, please link them in the comments below. I know there are some dead ones (some of the Swords & Wizardry links are dead - I need to find updated lists)

I'll work on the Games list through Saturday, then I'll post the updated list. Then we'll move on to Free OSR Adventures. Woot!

Thanks in advance for the assist :)

New Release: & Magazine #14 – Animal Companions (Free OSR PDF)

New issue of & Magazine is out: release the hounds!
This issue’s featured articles are:
  • Animal Amalgamations
  • Animal Companions …
  • Dogs of the Lakelands
Bonus articles:
  • Political Treasures in D&D
  • Ability Checks: Are You Doing It Wrong?
  • Making the ‘God Call’
and Regular Columns:
  • Town Maps: Library and Records Hall
  • Gilderlo Hippogriffs
  • Who Let The Dogs Out?
  • A Plethora of Ideas
  • New Weapons VIII – Siege Weaponry
  • Brewmaster: Extraordinary Holy Symbols
  • … plus more!
Download you copy at the and-mag Website 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Northlands Saga Complete (S&W Version) Coming in Tenkar's Tavern Crate #6

I may still be feeling the lingering effects of an upper respiratory infection but I know a good deal when I see it. I have The Northlands Saga Complete sitting right to my left, in the bookshelf on top of my desk. Don't ask - its a big desk ;)

You can read a very thorough review at Nerdtrek.
Get ready for Tenkar's Tavern OSR Crate #6! We have packed a stunning $125 hardback book into every box. This month we welcome the Northlands Saga in Swords & Wizardry rules. We aren't stopping there. This month also features two bonus printed modules that are not available anywhere else. We'll pick two random modules from the six we have in stock to add to your box. That puts your crate value over $150! Add to that the printed and digital campaign map and you've got yourself a Crate #6.

Reminder - Tavern Chat Tonight - 9 PM Eastern Let the Rules Cyclopedia Beware!

Tonight is a Wednesday and that means tonight is Tavern Chat. Tavern Chat is where all of the cool kids hang out, talk shop, compare notes, discuss pop culture and generally have a good time. You literally never know who will drop in.


The Tavern's Discord Server:  https://discord.gg/fReGmuD


9 PM Eastern

While its mostly in the Voice Channel: Open Bar (upper left in you Tavern Discord screen) you don't need a mike to hang out and listen. We love our lurkers too :)

Default is "Push to Talk" but we do make exceptions.

See you tonight :)

Wherein ENWorld Makes the Same Faux Pas I Was (Rightfully ) Accused of Years Ago

The release of the D&D Rules Cyclopedia in Print is a big deal. I covered it yesterday. ENWorld posted about it over night.

A few years back, when WotC started releasing (or re-releasing) the classic TSR titles in PDF on RPGNow, I was excited and started posting their releases here at The Tavern nearly in realtime. As I do with reviews, I included the publisher's boilerplate. I also was including Shannon Appelcline's historical pieces that were attached after the boilerplate. I truly don't recall if I gave Shannon credit or not - but as his credit line is the last paragraph of each of the entries, I probably did. I'm an asshole if I didn't.

I was, however, accused of "stealing content" from OneBookShelf in a thread at ENWorld at the time and they were right. The boilerplate is legit, its the product description, but the historical summary? That's wasn't mine to copy the whole cloth of. Quote a few sentences perhaps, but refer back to the source for the rest.

I guess such social graces don't apply to ENWorld. Funniest part? They use the whole historical piece EXCEPT for the author's credit:

Here's the bottom part of the same article on RPGNow:

Oh, and I guess they no longer worry about mentioning articles with affiliate links have such links:

Notice the line just over the posts here at The Tavern?

Its not hard to do. And I mention it again on posts that have affiliate links.

I am far from perfect. I do, however, admit my mistakes and try to not repeat them. I find it amusing to see others commit the exact same mistakes they rightfully called me out on prior.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

D&D Rules Cyclopedia is now available in Softcover and Hardcover - POD - City of Greyhawk, Others

For many, the D&D Rules Cyclopedia is the definitive version of D&D. As for me, I liberally stole ideas from it to slap into my 1e / 2e campaigns. It really is a damn good version of D&D.

I received numerous emails informing me that the D&D Rules Cyclopedia is now available in Softcover and Hardcover via RPGNow's Print on Demand service. $25 in softcover, $30 in hardcover. I expect to see those aftermarket prices as a collectible start to fall on this one.

Additionally, the City of Greyhawk boxed set is now a POD book for $20 as well as In the Cage: A Guide to Sigil (softcover for $20, hardcover for $25)

Those are affiliate links above. They allow you to support The Tavern doing what you already love to do - buy gaming material. Thank you :)

Grow the Hobby, Regain the Wonder - Guest Poster - Michael "Zudrak" Gross

This morning we have a guest poster, +Michael Gross . If you hang out in The Tavern's Facebook Community or on The Tavern's Discord Server, I'm sure you've seen (or heard) some of Michael's thoughts. Its with great pleasure that we present to you what we hope will be the first in a regular series of postings by the man otherwise known as Zudrak :)

Most Old School Role-Playing Game/Renaissance/Revival players started in the hobby the way most anyone is introduced to something new: by word of mouth. In the early years of the role-playing game hobby (while Dungeons & Dragons was still categorized as a “wargame”), college kids and wargame aficionados tried out the new game created by Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax. These plucky guinea pigs took to the game with the same aplomb that they and their forebears did when the game, Chainmail, appeared not long before (in 1970). Chainmail’s fantasy appendix was the first time a game was published in which a player could be in control of troops -- even single characters -- with magical powers. It was mostly through word-of-mouth that other players were taught the game or told about it.

During the current “era” of the 5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons (again the world’s most popular role-playing game), there have been questions on how to make the OSR portion of the hobby grow. The “OSR portion” is that segment of the hobby that prefers to play their fantasy role-playing games akin to D&D in its 1974-1991 published forms and/or Advanced D&D in its 1977-1985 published forms. I have often wondered why this is such a difficult puzzle to solve, when the hobby has created some of the brightest and most sensible problem-solvers, creative types, and inventors the world has seen.

Like a rock band going back to “its roots” and playing music the way they did years before, perhaps the OSR needs a Rick Rubin-type of producer to tell it to look at its own origins because the human touch of the hobby is the same as ever. People like sharing hobbies with one another. People like engaging in said hobbies with other people. The Internet may have given us all a “player screen” we all like to hide or obfuscate behind, but the desire for some kind of play or collecting hobby exists in many of us. Now that sites and tools like Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds exist -- allowing people from all over the world to come together to play RPGs, many hindrances that keep players apart have been removed since one does not even need to leave the house to join in a virtual tabletop role-playing game. (I do admit, as I sometimes struggle with it, that anxiety is an issue many folks have that can keep them from engaging in the hobby.)

Rewinding my own calendar, I can report that my third-grade classmate, Kellen, came to school with handwritten notes based upon her dad’s original (1974) D&D books at home. She talked classmates into creating player characters, one classmate a day (the original “session zero,” because recess time is limited). Then she began assembling the classmates together for the first game session. For me, I would have been 7 (if it was within the first 3 weeks of September) or 8. I was not invited to play for a couple days, because Kellen was slowly creating characters for other folks so that she could have a party that contained a variety of races and classes. Eventually, we all had characters made up and my fighter, Thor, was born. Well… he was made anyway -- full-grown and with an axe. I don’t remember much of the gameplay other than it was a lot of fun cooperating with classmates as Kellen the Dungeon Master led us through her homemade castle and dungeons.

Soon, I began telling my younger brother about the game and he wanted to play, too. I did not have a way for him to do that since we were two grades apart and did not share recess time. So, we asked our parents for a copy of the game. The game was unknown to them, but our uncle played it with an older cousin of ours. Uncle Mark told my parents -- board game aficionados that they are -- to buy the Dungeon! board game first. If they had no issues with Dungeon!, he said, then they would have no issues with D&D.

Within a week, I think, Dad came home with Dungeon! from either Kiddie City or Woolworth’s. We loved playing it, but knew it wasn’t exactly what we wanted to play. About two weeks after that, Mom and Dad were to be going on a skiing trip with friends. My brother and I were to stay at our grandmother’s house for the duration. Dad took me to Woolworth’s to point out the game to him, since I was older and was to be “The Dungeon Master.” Another friend of ours had the Basic book from the 1981 box set, the edition edited by Tom Moldvay, so I knew to look for the awe-inspiring Erol Otus art. I saw the pinkish box with the great art on its cover and pointed it to dad. Holding that on the way home was a highlight, for sure. I can still remember the sense of wonder as I read the back of the box, waiting to open it at home. That sense is what I (and if I have the correct pulse of the OSR, many of my fellow OSR players) try to recapture when we play. The sense of wonder -- which Luke Gygax succinctly described in an episode of “GM Tips with Satine Phoenix” back in October of 2017 -- is enticing and can keep a mission, an entire session, and even a long-term campaign going indefinitely.

So, how were you introduced to this wonderful hobby of tabletop RPGs? Was it, like me, when a classmate brought her notes to school? How do you think new players can learn about the game? Do you think, as I do, that word-of-mouth has no comparison because advertising and seeing a box online or in a store just cannot compete with a friend, peer, or family member showing off or talking about a game?

Monday, February 5, 2018

My Goodman Games Grab Bag of Holy Sh!t Arrived Today

Holy shit! Really. I can't believe how much Goodman Games put into a $50 Grab Bag (less that 60 bucks with shipping.

20 different releases (one was doubled for a total of 21)

Overall estimated retail value? $297

Pictures speak for themselves ;)

DCC 83 Chained Coffin - Silver Cover with Wheel on back - (unknown value 25?)
DCC - Saga of the Witch Queen (1e / NTRPG 2015) (25)
DCC 83A - Almanac of the Shudder Mountains (unk value 5)
DCC 83B - The Woeful Caves Under Yander Mountain (unk value - 2 copies 2x5?)
DCC 84A - Lost Tombs of the Ancients (unk value 5?)
Goodman Games Free RPG Day 2016 (unk value 5)
DCC 67 - Sailors on the Starless Sea - Variant Cover (15)
DCC 69 - The Emerald Enchanter - Variant Cover (15)
DCC 86 - Hole in the Sky - Variant Cover (15)
DCC 91 - Journey to the Center of Aereth - Variant Cover (20)
The Thieves of Fortress Badabaskor - (20)
Points of Light (13)
Metamorphosis Alpha (10)
Doug Kovaks Sketchbook 2016 - (unk value 10?)
Classic Dungeon Art Folio: Bradley K. McDevitt (unk value 5?)
Level Up #3 - (4)
Age of Cthulhu: The Timeless Sands of India (13)
50 Fantastic Functions for the D50 (20)
Monstercology - Orcs (22)
Xcrawl Swimsuit Edition 2014 (40)

State of the Invincible Tavern (Keeper) - Slowly but Surely, Returning to Normal and Filling the Plate

So, one dose of antibiotics left for tonight and I'll have finished my 10 days of Ceftin. Not sure what was worse, the upper respiratory infection or the lethargy that went along with the meds. I really feel a need to pick myself back up and return to writing.

Successfully completed Jury Duty last week. I'm glad I didn't have to return today.

I highlighted the The Exfiltrators Kickstarter this past Saturday. Its an OSR adventure module by Lance Hawvermale. Well, I was lucky enough to receive in my email the adventure itself for review purposes.  As Lance noted:
As promised, please find a mostly final draft of my First Edition AD&D module, The Exfiltrators.  The only real change to be made to this draft is to replace the header on each page, which bears the adventure's working title instead of The Exfiltrators
Only one map is included; the others are being drawn by a professional as part of the Kickstarter funding.
I'll be giving this a read tonight. For future reference I am open to doing this with other Kickstarters - nothing does more to calm cautious minds than actually presenting a reviewable draft. Layout looks clean.

I'm also going to allocate time to properly review +Rob Conley 's excellent City State of the Invincible Overlord color maps. I have them in print from RPGNow and they are amazing. I had no idea their POD service could do quality poster maps.

Recently we added Humble Bundle as a store that we link to for affiliate sales. Its, there, in the upper left corner. I'm only going to highlight bundles that I think will appeal to my readers, but that doesn't mean you can't use the link for other Humble Bundle purchases.

"Judge me not only by the friends I keep but the enemies I make." said by me in The Tavern's Facebook Community over the weekend, but I doubt I'm the first to say such ;)

Thanks to all of you for your support. It means a lot, especially when one spends a month "under the weather."

Warning! Warning! Affiliate links above! Warning! heh

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Atomic Highway - Post Apocalyptic Roleplaying goes POD (free in PDF) - Starts at $9.99

I remember reading the Atomic Highway PDF when it released. It dripped of Road Warrior / Mad Max influence, and it was a good thing. Sometime over the past few years, the PDF went free. Now, you can grab the Atomic Highway RPG  via print on demand, for as little as $9.99 in softcover. Not too shabby at all. I think I'll be ordering a copy after I get the additional shelving I ordered - yes, its gotten that tight and more ;)
Civilization came crashing down. Billions died. 
A new Dark Age has begun. The descendants of the apocalypse's survivors scavenge the remnants of the Before Times, struggling to build a new life amidst the ruins of the old. In a savage world where the strong ravage and exploit the weak, the survivors' settlements are oases, connected only by convoys of armed and armored vehicles that run the gauntlet of raiders... and worse. 
Though the threats of chemical and biological agents and radiation have all but faded, their taint lingers on in every mutant born to man and beast. 
This is the world of Atomic Highway. 
Atomic Highway is a complete roleplaying game. All you need to play it is this book, a few friends, paper and pencils, and a few ordinary dice. 
  • The V6 Engine: a simple, fast-playing game system that emphasizes cinematic, or "movie-style" action, supported with many clear examples.
  • Quick and easy character creation rules providing dozens of potential character types. Tear along the shattered highway as a road warrior, track down monstrous threats as a brave tribal warrior, or unearth the wonders of the past as a canny scavenger.
  • Rules for mutants and mutations, including optional rules for humanoid animals and psychic powers.
  • Straightforward rules for a wide variety of vehicles and modifications.
  • A complete bestiary of threats, mundane and mutated.
  • Easy-to-use scavenging tables - you never know what you'll unearth.
  • A customizable setting with advice and tips on how to create your own post-apocalyptic world.
  • Roleplaying and game running advice for Players and Game Masters, new and experienced alike.
  • A ready-to-use introductory adventure.
That's an affiliate link above. Keep the beer cold and the lights on here at The Tavern. Thank you :) 

Tenkar's Tavern is supported by various affiliate programs, including Amazon, RPGNow,
and Humble Bundle as well as Patreon. Your patronage is appreciated and helps keep the
lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

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