Saturday, February 17, 2018

Announcing the Tenkar's Tavern Monthly (more or less) Gift Box of What I Hope is Not all Crap Giveaway

So, thanks to various monthly crates, boxes, grab bags, Kickstarters and the like I have a shit ton of duplicates. Without a local gaming group to bleed off the overflow (and with a reorganization of my gaming collection revealing more of an overlap than i expected) I need to give some of this away.

Thus the announcement of the Tenkar's Tavern Monthly Gift Box of What I Hope is Not all Crap Giveaway.

What is that exactly?

Basically I stuff a Priority Mail box full of gaming shit, new and old. Some may be $100 game books, others old Judges Guild stuff, some Frog God adventures, maybe some 4e and Pathfinder, comics, cards, dice and more - listen - I need to clear space and this is what we are doing. 'Nuff said ;)

How do you get in the running for such a gift of goodness? Comment on this post by 8:59 PM Eastern time FEBRUARY 21st, 2018 (i left the date out). I'll announce the recipient on Tavern Chat around 9:30 PM Wednesday Night, February 21st, 2018. Note, I'm only shipping within the United States. Sorry, but I'm covering shipping and the goodies and International shipping is ridiculous.

I'll do this monthly so long as there are gifts to gift...

Gygax Memorial Fund - Alex Gygax Was Added to the Board in August... or Was He? (Oh, and other observations...)

So, back on August 17, 2017, the Gygax Memorial Fund announced that Alex Gygax was joining the Fund's Board of Director. You can see it announced here:

As you can see from the first screenshot, he STILL hasn't been added to the listing of the members of the board. Which says a lot about the lack of professionalism with how the GMF Page is maintained. Great way to encourage people to donate when you show you just don't care enough to update what is effectively (or ineffectively) your sales page.

So, Alex is going to help design the memorial? I guess this designed got shelved?

Are we no longer using the guy who made the Fonz statue for the memorial?

Where's the 2016 tax return? The 2015 return was posted in June of 2016. Shouldn't the Fund be filing its 2017 taxes soon? And about that audit that was promised back in 2016... wasn't that supposed to be publicly shared by now? Is the audit why we have no posting of the 2016 return? (and no, deleting posts from Facebook does NOT mean it wasn't promised - remember, we screenshot EVERYTHING)

At least they don't charge extra for "Gamer Size". I was scratching my head as to why they would include 2 #2 pencils until it was pointed out to be that The Trust probably wanted to get the Gygax Trademark on writing implements. I wonder if the Fund is paying a licensing fee to The Trust? Well, its a good way to preempt #ConManKen ;)

Gary Con is in less that three weeks...

Friday, February 16, 2018

Filing an FTC Complaint Against #ConManKen? I'd like to Keep a Tally

As the saying goes, there is strength in numbers.

Yesterday, we posted how backers of the KotDT:LAS Kickstarter could file FTC complaints against Ken Whitman as he is now legally required to refund backers. I would like to keep a tally of such complaints as they WILL result in a criminal investigation of #ConManKen.

Just to make things simple, here's the link again:


If you would be so kind as to email me at tenkarsDOTtavern at that Gmail thing with "ConManKen" in the subject of the email we can get the list going.

All I ask is for your first name / pen name and backer level for tracking. I'll post a running tally as to the number of complaints made and total backer dollars of the complaints on one of The Tavern's sidebars.

There are 9 backers of $1k or more on KotDT, including one $5k+ pledge. If you can't get what you backed for in the past you can help Kenny to three hots and a cot in the future...

Edit: Kenny, just so you know. THIS is how you get legitimate federal charges filed. Not threats of imaginary FBI agents waiting at someone's door for Coffee & Donuts to investigate laws that you either made up or fail to understand. You REALLY should never have made those threats Kenny, because the threats themselves are a violation of federal law. Oh, and they pissed me off. Yes they did.

2nd Edit: No, you don't own the copyright to the above image.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

#ConManKen in Breach of Contract? Say It Ain't So!

It always a happy time to watch Ken Whitman's worst enemy be none other than... Ken Whitman!

So, let's recap, shall we?

Ken's license with KenzerCo expired at the end of 2017. Ken never met his obligations to KenzerCo over KotDT: LAS before the contract expired. How did this happen? Blame Ken.

Now, since Ken can no longer fulfill his obligations, he is ALSO in violation of Kickstarter's Terms of Service:

Quoting +Bob Brinkman 's comment at:
But, since the license has expired and Ken is no longer capable of achieving the KS, the KS terms of service do kick in at this point. 
“Yes. Kickstarter’s Terms of Use require creators to fulfill all rewards of their project or refund any backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill. (This is what creators see before they launch.) We crafted these terms to create a legal requirement for creators to follow through on their projects, and to give backers a recourse if they don’t. We hope that backers will consider using this provision only in cases where they feel that a creator has not made a good faith effort to complete the project and fulfill.” 
As Ken cannot legally fulfill this particular KS project because of the expiration of the license, he needs to either issue refunds or be prepared to face possible litigation. 
Granted, most of this falls into the “small claims” category (unless there is a class action) and, in most cases, it probably isn’t worth the filing cost. But, if d20 entertainment was a single owner corp, things like corporate veil or even the protections of an LLC would likely not apply so there is a possibility of a judgement going after any and all assets of Ken’s. 
It also opens the door for criminal fraud investigation on this particular issue (which could constitute wire fraud). Where such an investigation would lead is another matter entirely but, now that Ken has no further protections on the matter of this kickstarter I’d say he should get AWFULLY helpful really quickly.
But wait! There's more!
With the expiration of his license, Ken can no longer legally fulfill the Kickstarter. With that in mind, it is time for people to start filing legal complaints if he doesn't start issuing refunds. 
The below link will take people to the FTC site so that they may report Ken to the FTC. Enough people report him and a criminal investigation will get rolling. 
Now, remember, D20 Entertainment never existed. Ken never registered the LLC anywhere. So, who is left holding the bag? Ken.

Yep. Congrats Kenny-boy! You've covered yourself in shit.

Kickstarter - The Princess Bride RPG (Powered by FUDGE)

I really don't know what to make of The Princess Bride RPG. While it was a fun movie (with a cult like following) it was never as big a deal to me (as a movie) that it was, and is, to some in my social circles.

The fact that it is powered by FUDGE (I stumbled across the rules in 96 or 97, they were first released in 93) isn't a selling point to me. Sure, the rules creator is also the one behind the Kickstarter, but that still doesn't do much for me.

Thankfully, there is a 48 page, professionally laid out quickstart of The Princess Bride rules for those that want to try before they buy, which might be wise as the low end buy-in for this 250 plus page KS ain't cheap:

$25 for the PDF is cost prohibitive in my opinion, especially when the Print plus PDF plus physical map is $50.

FAUX Leather book plus digital plus FUDGE dice plus map is $85 and a wooden box that adds Grampa Tokens is $200.

Goal is $45k and its at about half of goal in 2 days, which isn't half bad.

For those that are part of "the following" its the game they've all been waiting for. For me? Eh...

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Tavern Chat Tonight - 9 PM Eastern - I Expect I'll Be Late, Let Yourselves In ;)

Today is St Valentine's Day (as well as Ash Wednesday) and its a Wednesday, so tonight is Tavern Chat.

When? 9 PM Eastern

Where? The Tavern's Discord Server

What? Voice and text chat. Feel free to lurk.

Who? Random (and not so random) members of the OSR.


Rach is taking me to dinner at our main courting place back in the day. You guessed it, our local pub ;)

I may be a little late. Don't wait for me. The doors are unlocked. Remember, The Tavern is a BYOB establishment...

#ConManKen Responds to the Release of KotDT:LAS - But NOT at The Tavern (Cowards Gotta Hide when they Lie)

Ah, sweet hell. We all knew #ConManKen wouldn't be able to stop himself from trying to spin the release of Knights of the Dinner Table: Live Action Series, which was released no thanks to him, into something he could take credit for in addition to casting blame at others. Classic Kenny.

His response is NOT where one might expect. Its through the A Walk in the Dark blog, which offered Ken a venue when he turned down your local bartender - wait, I mean Poo Poo Face. Ah well.

I'd suggest you leave your thoughts at both A Walk in the Dark and here. 'Cause you wouldn't want Kenny to miss a single word.

Sad thing is, Kenny lies so much he can no longer keep is lies straight. I almost pity the self diagnosed CTE sufferer. Almost.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Frank Mentzer Announces a New Game

Quietly, almost under the radar, Frank Mentzer announced a new game he his working on. I'm not going to copy Frank's posts whole cloth, just the relevant pieces (read the full Facebook posting of Frank's from today at this link and last week's posting)
Human nature produces competition everywhere. (Road rage, Food arguments, Sneaker theft, et alii). But whenever you Win, somebody else Loses. 
Can we transcend that and still find happiness?
In any role game you start with a character. But --
If you have stats, that produces competition for better stats.
If you have equipment, you compete for better stuff.
If you have combat to the death, that's the ultimate competition.
Can you leave all those out and still have fun? 
> Can a successful form of group entertainment focus on group cooperation and actively deemphasize competition?

In FTG*, play the role of a character in a medieval world with magic and monsters. 
Use the unique game mechanics to resolve events.
But spend less time on details and more on people. They're more fun.
Fairy Tale Games* Debut tour, this year at the cons. 
and from last week's posting:
Fairy Tale Games (FTG)* 
I created a new game system.
It's about storytelling, not combat.
It's for cooperation, not competition.
(Apologies to gamers who maximize your PCs and love the long, intricate combats. This isn't for you.) 
Your character is normal, not a superhero or wizard.
But you have special talents.
Your actions will develop new talents.
You can change the adventure to use your new abilities.
Compare and combine all your talents to get the best results for the whole group. 
* More to come this year at FairyTale.games and FairyTaleGames.net (currently under construction)
*Fairy Tale Games and FTG are trade marks of Loxley inc. Copyright 2017 Loxley inc. All Rights Reserved.
Not quite sure what to make of all this myself, but interesting none the less.

KotDT:LAS to Release to Backers - Ken Whitman NOT Involved - Scream Heard Around the World! ;)

Holy shit!

I knew stuff was in the works and I'm thrilled to see its official. Knights of the Dinner Table" Live Action Series will be making it into the hands of backers DESPITE the best efforts of #ConManKen. Gee Kenny, what's that I hear? A loss of a position of posturing power has lead to tears? Awww! I'm so sorry. Here, let Poo Poo Face wipe your eyes with some sandpaper. Oh, don't forget you are still on the hook for all those rewards...

You can read Jolly's Facebook Post and comments at this link.

Jolly Blackburn
1 hr · Waukegan, IL
Hey folks, I've been hinting for several weeks that some good news for KODTLAS backers was coming. Today the good news finally hit.

I'll just run the statement from Ben Dobyns (Zombie Orpheus Entertainment) we are running in Knights of the Dinner Table #252 below - but to quickly summarize, thanks to Ben the three episodes of KODTLAS are finally going to get in the hands of the backers who paid for them. More details coming. If you backed this project, check your email for information from backerkit on how to proceed.

Very stoked about this. To be very clear, Ken Whitman did not participate or help in this development. Ben Dobyns invested his own time and talents in making this happen. I want to personally thank him and Zombie Orpheus Entertainment for doing stepping in and stepping for backers making this happen. More details to follow but here is Ben's statement...

PS: I want to thank David Scott Kenzer for signing off on this.

<<Hello to the backers of Knights of the Dinner Table: The Live Action Series – My name is Ben Dobyns (CEO of Zombie Orpheus Entertainment, producer of The Gamers and JourneyQuest, etc) and with Kenzer and Company's permission and encouragement I've managed to cobble together complete edits of the three original Kickstarter-funded KODT episodes.
I used a combination of the incomplete footage on the original hard drive that Ken Whitman sent, low-resolution rough cuts from Jolly Blackburn's Dropbox, and any other resources that I could find. It's not perfect—and it probably never will be—but it's better than nothing.
With the original Kickstarter creator apparently permanently out of the picture, Kenzer and Company and I discussed whether it would be possible to at least let backers see the film project they paid for.
I reached out to BackerKit and, thanks to major technical support from their team, we were able to build a pledge fulfillment survey for all of the original KODT:LAS backers. Those surveys will soon be going out to backers!
So, if you're a backer, here's what that means: You'll be able to fill out your BackerKit survey. Then you'll receive a download of KODT:LAS -- The Reconstructed Edition
And optionally, you can order a DVD (at cost) from our print-on-demand partner
YES, it's not a complete Kickstarter fulfillment, we all get that. I don't have the funds (or responsibility) to print up all of the rewards that the original creator (Ken) promised. But I can at least give you a version of the movie.
This has been a labor of love. I'm not making any money from it. Kenzer and Company isn't making any money from it. We just want you to have a copy of the series that you paid for.
Thanks for your understanding and patience, thanks to KenzerCo for allowing this, thanks to Zombie Orpheus for hosting the resources for fulfillment, and thanks to all of you for being loyal KODT fans.
Ben Dobyns
CEO & Exec. Producer
Zombie Orpheus Entertainment>>

And here's my statement which runs along side the new issue coming out next week...

<<Four years ago this month, 795 backers raised almost $70,000 to crowd fun a live action, Knights of the Dinner Table movie. Low budget to be sure, but the cast was amazing, a script was delivered and creative control was in the hands of the KODT D-team and for everyone involved it looked to be a fun project.

Then — as most of you know, the troubles began.
I won’t retread the sad details here other to summarize that the project creator (and the man who had sole acess to the funds) failed to uphold his part of the equation and effectively abandoned the project and went silent.

Which is doubly sad since everyone else involved DID do their part. The script was delivered. The actors and crew showed up. And three episodes of KODTLAS were filmed. All that was left to do was for Ken Whtiman to edit the footage and deliver the finished DVD to backers.
Obviously they never happened.
Enter Ben Dobyns.

Ben of ZOE (Zombie Orpheous Entertainment) took it upon himself to try and salvage something from the project for those who put up their hard earned money.

You can read the detail in Ben’s release below, but basically he cobbled together the footage of KODTLAS and manged to pull together, “A best possible cut with what we have” edition.

So the good news is, if you backed the project you can finally see all three episodes. I want to thank, Ben and ZOE for their hardwork and efforts on this front. It wasn’t THEIR problem. It wasn’t their project.
I’m extremely grateful that KODT fans will finally be able to see the hard work the actors, crew and backers put in to this. They deserved better than how they were treated by the project manager. Thanks, Ben.

Jolly R. Blackburn
January 18, 2018>>

Bundle of Holding - Traveller: The New Era

My memories of Traveller: The New Era are mostly of the support material. By the time I was looking at it - late 90s - I was no longer actively gaming, and that meant I got my gaming itch scratched by reading gaming material. TNE was much of that reading.

Of course, in the intervening years, I've put most of that material into storage, so I find the current bundle highly tempting.

15 bucks is the basic buy in for Traveller: The New Era and a hair over 25 gets you the additional material. I've never run the system, so really, I can't speak on that, but the source material was a fun read.

Monday, February 12, 2018

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

Alright, The "Free OSR Rulesets - SciFi" Page is ready for prime time. There's only eight rulesets listed (compared to thirty or so for Fantasy) and I'm sure I'm missing some - feel free to link or mention in the comments other candidates to add to the page.

Moving on the the "Other" category next. That will be longer than SciFi I expect.

And yes, still need to add a few to the Fantasy page.

Quick Update - Added Three More Rulesets to the Free OSR Rulesets - Fantasy Page

I added three more rulesets to the Free OSR Rulesets - Fantasy page today.

They are Iron Falcon (an OD&D clone), OpenQuest Basic (a RuneQuest clone) and d6 Fantasy (fantasy rules using the West End Games Star Wars Engine)

Later today I'll be addressing the SciFi page.


Deal of the Day - Apes Victorious (Planet of the Apes / Labyrinth Lord)

Today's RPGNow Deal of the Day is Apes Victorious from Goblinoid Games. Normally $4.97 $3.73 (I believe this is stacking with a current site-wide sale) it is currently on sale in PDF for $2.24.
Apes Victorious is a roleplaying game in which you take the role of an astronaut from the 1970’s who finds himself marooned on a future Earth ruled by intelligent apes. Players may also take the role of an ape, a degenerated human, or a psi-active underdweller. Fight to survive in this post-apocalyptic future ruled by four species of apes. Or play apes who hunt humans for sport. For a different kind of campaign, play highly intelligent but insane underdwellers who have advanced technology and powerful psi powers. 
This book contains:
  • A complete game
  • A post-nuclear apocalyptic setting in which apes have become the dominant species
  • Seven player classes
  • Animals and creatures of the post-nuclear future
  • Campaign advice
  • A complete introductory adventure
  • Conversion notes for compatible games including: Labyrinth Lord, Mutant Future, Starships & Spacemen

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Map - From the Summer of 83?

I remember in my High School years I tried something different with my dungeon maps. I had read some article, likely in Dragon magazine, about the importance of "dungeon dressing." Sounds, trinkets, writings on walls and such.

It looks like I went overboard on this map, but at least I used colored pens to keep it all straight. Actually, judging from the colors I used, it looks like it was one of those 3 in 1 pens ;)

Hey, at least I wasn't filling every square of graph paper with walls and floors... heh.

Damn, I loved my irregularly shaped rooms too, didn't I?

Responding to a Suggestion - Why I Won't be Reviewing or Rating the Free OSR Rulesets - However...

I was sent an email suggesting I add small reviews (as time permits) and ratings of the Free Fantasy OSR Rulesets that I'm linking here at The Tavern.

Ain't going to happen.

First, it is WAY too time consuming for me to even attempt. Believe it or not, there are other constraints on my time beyond maintaining and updating The Tavern. Just sayin'  ;)

Second, I have my own biases. Obviously I'm a huge Swords & Wizardry fan. I don't think we need to see me comparing other rulesets to S&W. Not saying I would intentionally, but I'd fear it might happen.

Third, this is your job, and by you, I mean other Old School Bloggers. Review one of these rulesets and send me the link to your post and I'll link it from the listing page. Sure, I'm getting you to share some of the workload but its what being part of a community is all about. Oh, and if you already have done some applicable reviews, send me the links.

Feel free to link to the lists as they go live. Heck, host them on your own site if you prefer. Even swap out my affiliate links for yours if you want (if you do host on your own site, just credit the "Tenkar's Tavern Community" for compiling the lists if you would be so kind) The more use the lists gets, the more value they have not just to publishers but the community as a whole.

I've already put together a short list of updates I need to make to the Free Fantasy OSR Rulesets list before moving onto SciFi.

Alright, on to household chores for now...

PS - If someone has a better suggestion for "buttons" than what I'm using, feel free to suggest. I'm all ears.

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