Saturday, March 10, 2018

Gary Con - Tonight I Ran Rappan Athuk - The Mouth of Doom

Yep, tonight I ran Rappan Athuk: The Mouth of Doom Level in full, painted 3d terrain, and it was f'n cool!

We had a table of nine and I killed  - well, the dice killed - five PCs, and it was good.

I wish I had the space to do a setup like this at home, but it is damn huge :)

Great group, great time. Still no convention TPKs under my belt - heh.

Now, as for some Gary Con related questions that have been asked of me:

- Haven't done anything beyond some basic page flipping of Into the Borderlands and won't do much more until after i get settled back home next week. Is it worth you picking up or pre-ordering? Don't know yet.

- The Midgard Swords & Wizardry Guidebook was part of Kobold Press' recent Kickstarter. It should be on the way to backers that supported for it. I assume it will be for sale on the Kobold website shortly.

- Yes, I occasionally "Hang with Hobbs"

- Pathfinder By The Pound at 5 bucks a pound is a thing at the Frog God booth at Gary Con. The Frogs are not taking requests for mail order. No, I can not bring your books back to NYC in my carry on and ship it to you upon my return. I'll be lucky to bring my own purchases home in my carry on without throwing out clothes and I've hardly shopped yet. Rappan Athuk and Bard's Gate are sold out.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Gary Con - Day One Acquisitions

So, having arrived at 1130 and put to work spiffing up the Frog God Games presentation, I still had time to make certain acquisitions.

In order of acquisition:

The Midgard Swords & Wizardy Guidebook was put into my hands by none other than Kobold Press' +Wolfgang Baur . No, I haven't had a chance to do more than flup through the pages thus far, but it looks good so far and its exciting to see Kobold Press supporting Swords & Wizardry.

Into The Borderlands: A Fifth Edition Conversion & Classic Homage is the acquisition I almost didn't make. Not that is doesn't look good - it looks amazing. Not that it wasn't value for the money - page count alone is 384 pages. All that for 50 bucks is a bargain. The fact that WotC was throwing in a nice dice bag with dice (picture coming later - I forgot) is something I didn't know before making the purchase, so it wasn't part of the equation. No, the reason I almost didn't pick this up is that I may need to leave some clothes behind for this to fit in my carry on going back to NYC.

Hobbs & Friends of the OSR Fanzine #2. Issue #1 was simply good shit. I expect more of the same. Thanks to +Jason Hobbs for putting the latest issue into my hands.

Alright, time for this man to catch some sleep.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Quick Post from Behind the Booth

Rach and I got to Gary Con around 1130 this morning. A day later than planned but awesome in any case. I've a number of Con related posts in the works, just need time in the room. Actually, we have more than a room, we have a villa.

Thanks Bill, Rocky and Zach. You all rock!

Video tour of our "room" below.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Kickstarter - Folio of Fiendish Monsters 1E Monster Compendium

The Folio is a series of adventures that have been Kickstarted. Production quality has been top notch, right from the start and each project has been spot on for releasing on time. Now, R Scott Taylor wants to release a monster book in the feel of the classic 1e monster manuals.

Presenting the Folio of Fiendish Monsters Kickstarter.
What's in it?
Our plan is to create a 128 page book (like those in the original AD&D orange spine series) and fill it with as many monsters as we can get in there.  All monsters will be set up for 1E AD&D.
What is a Monster Sponsor? 
Well, art is expensive, and even old TSR didn't get images for all its monsters in the original books, so this campaign features a level called a 'Monster Sponsor', and as a backer you are helping create a piece of art for one of the monsters in the book, and in doing so, you will get credit posted next to the image, so you'll be immortalized inside the book. 
There are two sweet point for the backer levels IMO - $50 for the book in print plus PDF and $150 for the Monster Sponsor. With Gary Con this week (damn it I should be there already - curse you Boreas!) money may be a bit tight so I may limit myself to the print and PDF backer level - but damn I'd love to sponsor some art. In any case, 128 pages of OSR monsters will simply rock.

No Flight For You! Gary Con Delayed Until Tomorrow...

Well, the wait at the airport is over and Rach and I are back home. Yes, it was that kind of a day.

1215 flight was cancelled as we were literally walking out the door, rescheduled to a 230 flight.

230 flight was delayed until 500PM at which point Rach and I decided to splurge on some airport food. After we ordered the food, we heard out flight get cancelled.

The agent rebooked us for 905 tomorrow morning. We arrive in Milwaukee at 1050 or so. Ubering to the Grand Geneva. Reporting direct to the Frog God booth.

Le sigh...

But I WILL be in Tavern Chat tonight (probably bowing out early though)

Reminder - Tavern Chat Tonight 9 PM Eastern - Glen is Hosting - I'm Heading to Gary Con - Hopefully...

Real quick, as my scheduled flight was cancelled and I'll be hading out to my rebooked flight soon. This is turning into an Escape from New York situation!

Tavern Chat will be held as usual tonight at 9 PM Eastern. None other than our very own +Glen Hallstrom will be hosting. I'll try to drop in as time permits but I'll be at Gary Con - hopefully...

If you've never experienced Tavern Chat before, here's the link:


Have a few beers for me ;)

Gary Con Here We Come!

Our son drives us to the airport in about 90 minutes. Our flight leaves just after High Noon. They are calling for a foot or more of snow before the storm passes here in NYC.

So far, not a flake on the ground.

Expected to land in Milwaukee just before 2 PM, then Uber to Lake Geneva.

Saying a few prayers it all goes off as planned ;)

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

News - Pathfinder 2.0 is Coming! Itssss Coming!

Paizo announced earlier today that Pathfinder 2.0 would enter Beta Testing this summer. Is anyone all that surprised? I'm not. Starfinder is far from a failure, but it isnt the reboot of Pathfinder that is need to generate new revenue. While Pathfinder is still profitable for 3rd party publishers, D&D 5e took a huge chunk of the market away from Pathfinder. Hmmm, actually, they clawed back much of what they lost with 4e.

Anyhow, here's the link to the Paizo post about Pathfinder 2.0 and some interesting tidbits - and no, it doesn't look like its compatible with the current Pathfinder rules - cha-ching!

"The rules that make up the game have to fundamentally still fill the same role they did before, even if some of the mechanics behind them are different."

"We've made a number of changes to the way the game is played, to clean up the overall flow of play and to add some interesting choices in every part of the story. First up, we have broken play up into three distinct components. Encounter mode is what happens when you are in a fight, measuring time in seconds, each one of which can mean life or death. Exploration mode is measured in minutes and hours, representing travel and investigation, finding traps, decoding ancient runes, or even mingling at the queen's coronation ball. Of all the modes of play, exploration is the most flexible, allowing for easy storytelling and a quick moving narrative. Finally, the downtime mode happens when your characters are back in town, or relative safety, allowing them to retrain abilities, practice a trade, lead an organization, craft items, or recuperate from wounds."

"After initiative is sorted out and it's your turn to act, you get to take three actions on your turn, in any combination. Gone are different types of actions, which can slow down play and add confusion at the table. Instead, most things, like moving, attacking, or drawing a weapon, take just one action, meaning that you can attack more than once in a single turn! Each attack after the first takes a penalty, but you still have a chance to score a hit. In Pathfinder Second Edition, most spells take two actions to cast, but there are some that take only one. Magic missile, for example, can be cast using from one to three actions, giving you an additional missile for each action you spend on casting it!"

Note - italics above is added by me.

Podcast using the current state Pathfinder 2.0   https://glasscannonpodcast.com/

Interesting times...

GM's Day Sale - Tavern OSR Pick Day 4 - Designers & Dragons Complete [BUNDLE]

If you want the history of the RPG hobby, not just D&D or TSR, then Designers & Dragons is what you need to be reading.

Seriously, its that good.

10.95 gets you all four volumes of Designers & Dragons in PDF, Mobi and ePub, so you can read on your tablet, your Kindle, your computer screen, your ebook readers - you're covered from the 1970's through the 2000's. Did I mention it includes a 5th book now - its an appendix with essays. Heck, I don't even have the appendix. 42.50 if the collection is bought individually, normal bundle price is about 28.50, you can get it all for less than 11 bucks.

If you don't have Designers & Dragons yet, you really should think about snagging a copy of the collection.

There is also a GM's Day Tips & Tools [BUNDLE] for 7.95 and a GM's Day Worldbuilder [BUNDLE] for 5.95

Yep, those are affiliate links above. By making purchases via The Tavern's affiliate links you help keep the lights on. Its much appreciated.

State of the Tavern - Gary Con or Winter Storm - Who Will Win Out Tomorrow?

Rach and I are scheduled to leave for Gary Con shortly after noon tomorrow. Of course, the snow in NYC starts late tonight. Delta is already issuing travel warnings. Sigh.

At least I'm mostly packed. Lets see if it even matters :(

Game plan is to have a handful of copies of SWCL on hand and I'll mostly be found manning the Frog God booth or lounging in the bar area. I'll have my voice recorder ready for quick interviews ;)

Monday, March 5, 2018

Magic the Gathering - ABC Local News Piece KVIA Texas - "Magic the Gathering players struggling to weed out sex offenders"

Earlier tonight KVIA 7, a local affiliate of ABC, aired a piece on sex offenders in the Magic the Gathering Community.

This bit of controversy is not going away quietly.

Link to the 2 minute 23 second long video is here (along with the article):


There is a nice piece of history as to what caused this all to come to the surface:

Dice Dice Baby - Dice Bags, Dice Cup and Dice (Amazon)

Saturday I got an itch for more dice. Its a horrible itch. I have more dice than I could ever need - but I need more ;)
So I went on Amazon to see what struck my fancy. I ordered two picks and surprisingly they arrived yesterday.

The first pick was for a large dice bag, five smaller dice bags and five sets of dice for 9.99

Note, the bags are not embellished with stitching, its more like an iron on. The smaller bags each hold a full set of seven dice with space for two or three more dice if necessary.

ENTOY Dnd Dice Set 5 x 7 Polyhedral Dice Sets for Dungeons and Dragons Dice Game D&D Dice For RPG MTG Table Games With Black And Golden Drawstring Dice Bag 9.99 - Prime

The Cup of Wonder is a dice cup with five sets of glitter dice.

I prefer the dice in the Cup of Wonder but I have little use of a dice cup. I think the dice with dice bags is a better value and more immediately useful.

Cup of Wonder: 5 Sets of 7 Premium Glitter Polyhedral Role Playing Gaming Dice for Tabletop RPGs with Black Bicast Leather Dice Cup by Wiz Dice - 12.99 - Prime

The above affiliate links go to Amazon.com. Affiliate monies keep the lights on here at The Tavern.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

GM's Day Sale - Tavern OSR Picks - Part 3 - Astonishing Swordsmen & Barbarians Delve into The Temple full of Monsters of Mythras

Its March and that means the annual GM's Sale at RPGNow. I'll be putting together a series of Tavern OSR Picks for this year's sale (although a pick or two may stray from those OSR parameters). This is Part 3. Part 2 is here. Part 1 is here.

T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil - "What began years ago, with the introduction of the players to the quiet village of Hommlet and the amazing lands of Greyhawk, at last is complete. Here is the long-awaited campaign adventure, featuring the ruins of the Temple of Elemental Evil, where a great evil broods and grows beneath its blasted stones. This is your chance to drive it back and scatter its force again. This product includes the village of Hommlet, the filthy shire of Nulb, and reveals the ruins of the Temple of Elemental Evil and the labyrinths that lie beneath, a warren of darkness. And beyond these ruins, even more is revealed. For the first time, this product provides a complete campaign adventure, which will take beginning characters from 1st all the way to 8th level and possibly beyond! Hours of adventuring await you!"  9.99  6.69

Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea (Second Edition) -
"AS&SH is sword-and-sorcery role-playing at its pinnacle. Play an Amazon fighter, Atlantean magician, Esquimaux shaman, Hyperborean warlock, Ixian necromancer, Keltic barbarian, Kimmerian cataphract, Pictish thief, Viking berserker, or one of many other possibilities. The heroes of a HYPERBOREA campaign delve the mazes and labyrinths of vast dungeons filled with horrifying monsters, lethal traps, and bewildering puzzles. They explore savage frontiers, breach hostile borderlands, probe ancient ruins, and investigate cursed tombs. They plunder for treasure and magic in a decaying world inhabited by bloodthirsty beasts and weird, otherworldly beings. Now in its second edition, AS&SH™ has been expanded to include new classes, new spells, new monsters, new magic items, and more! It also includes a new, full colour map, an introductory town and adventure, as well as hundreds of new illustrations! This new edition is backwards-compatible with the original edition of the game."  19.00  12.73

Barbarians of Lemuria: Mythic Edition - "The Second Age of Man is a savage time of sorcery and bloodshed, where strong men and beautiful women battle with warlords, priests, magicians and gladiators to carve a bloody path to the Throne of Lemuria... Barbarians of Lemuria is a heroic role-playing game set firmly in the sword-and-sorcery genre. Lemuria is a post-apocalyptic world thousands of years in the future and unrecognisable to anyone from today. The continent has returned to an almost prehistoric state – a land of steaming jungles, vast untamed wildernesses, horror-filled swamplands, and sunbaked deserts. Massive man-eating beasts roam the unexplored regions of Lemuria and beyond, from island-sized sea serpents capable of sinking wargalleys, to the huge jungle-dwelling dinosaurs that can swallow a man whole."   11.04  7.40

Dungeon Full of Monsters - "Dungeon Full of Monsters is a modular megadungeon for use with Labyrinth Lord and other old school fantasy role-playing games. The Dungeon is Modular: The megadungeon is composed of 50
individual sections, separated into 5 different levels. You can assemble these in any configuration you like, either randomly or not, either before the campaign or on-the-fly in play. You can also use these sections on their own, without reference to the larger dungeon itself. And Full of Monsters: The second half of the book contains dozens of monsters, illustrated in full colour, often with multiple variations and types. Combined with the unique monsters located in specific dungeon sections, this book contains over 150 different monster stat blocks. There are criminal organizations, insane cultists, meddling deities, evil wizards, undead kings, infernal demons and other invaders from beyond the stars, numerous unspeakable horrors and arcane beasts, and even a few rival adventurers. Use these monsters with this dungeon or any other."  15.00  10.05

GM's Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing (System Neutral Edition) - "Tired of dungeons lacking in verisimilitude? Want to add cool little features of interest to your creations but don't have the time to come up with nonessential details? Want to make your dungeons feel more realistic? Then GM’s Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing (System Neutral Edition) is for you! This gigantic compilations comprises all 34 instalments in the line as well as scores of riddles, new material and design essays by Creighton.  GM’s Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing (System Neutral Edition) presents loads of great features to add to your dungeon. Designed to be used both during preparation or actual play, GM’s Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing (System Neutral Edition)  is an invaluable addition to any GM's armoury!"  13.99  9.37

Dungeons & Delvers - Black Book - "This extensively playtested, profusely illustrated, lightweight-yet-complete roleplaying game is an homage to the "Easy-to-Master" black box of the first role-playing game (and the first version or edition that I ever played) that does everything I wish the original did (which might also include some stuff you wish it did, too). Like the black box, the Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book contains four races (which function as races do in later editions: they’re not racial classes), four classes, and five levels, though each class has far more talents than you can possibly choose from in a five-level spread, and there are guidelines if you want to go beyond 5th-level (there are also guidelines for making and converting monsters if you want more variety)."  6.99  4.68

Mythras - "Mythras is the new name for an older game, but while the name might have changed, the system remains the same, but presented in an updated format with new interior artwork and layout design, along with some new content (Special Effects, small tweaks to the rules, and Spirit Combat Effects). In fact, we've managed to pack more into a smaller space, and reduced the price accordingly. For those new to the game, Mythras is a percentile system. In Mythras your characters are defined by their culture, career, community, background, comrades, skills, magic and cults. Progression is through skill advancement – not levels or similarly abstract concepts. As your characters adventure and quest, their capabilities improve and their relationships deepen and strengthen. Players and Games Masters have complete flexibility over what can be achieved, and the way characters develop is entirely dependent on choices players make, depending on their characters’ aspirations and motivations. Games Masters receive a huge amount of support through the Mythras rules. All the concepts and game mechanics are explained clearly with options and considerations explored and presented for ease of use. You need only this rulebook for many years of exciting and imaginative play."  15.00  10.05

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Remastered Star Frontiers Rules and Support Material Taken Down by Request of WotC

It was shared in The Tavern's Facebook Community that WotC has requested that the Star Frontiers rules and support material that contained articles original published by TSR be removed from starfrontiers.com and http://www.starfrontiersman.com/magazines.php


The Remastered Star Frontiers rules are gone along with 14 of the 25 issues of Star Frontiersman Magazine, as the issues in question contained remastered articles from TSR's Dragon Magazine and such.

Note: WotC had given permission for the sites to host the original TSR published material, but as WotC is now releasing Star Frontiers material from the TSR days as PDFs on RPGNow, having such material available for free elsewhere doesn't make good business sense.

There ARE, however, some download links that still work as of this morning:

Star Frontiers Expanded Rules  

Star Frontiers Campaign Book Expanded Rules

Grab them before they are gone...

Kickstarter Follow-Up - The Exfiltrators (an RPG adventure module for 1E, 2E, Swords & Wizardry, and OSRIC)

I posted about The Exfiltrators (an RPG adventure module) Kickstarter before. It looked impressive as written up and looks just as impressive as written. What do I mean by that? I received a mostly complete (not all maps were present) copy of this adventure and it is as advertised - I want to call it a "sandbox" dungeon but that isn't quite right - calling it a "non-linear" adventure as the author does is more to the point (but doesn't sound as cool)

Again, the adventure is written. It reads as if it will run well, but it needs some DM prep because it IS non-linear. You need to read it fully once, if not twice, before running it. For the players, non-linear means that they need to think before acting as it can play out in many different ways.

Layout is classic two columns.

The appendix includes the details of a new god and its priesthood, three magic items and a new spell.

The art is great will a classic old school feel.

At 7 bucks for the PDF, 19 for Print (including shipping in the US and UK) and 22 everywhere else The Exfiltrators is a bargain. Just over a day left in funding. I'm in for the Print myself.
The Exfiltrators is a 36-page prison-break scenario in which the player characters enter an infamous tower of incarceration (either as unwilling inmates or as willing spies) and extract an innocent prisoner.  But just who is innocent and who is guilty?  Inside Velgate prison, no one can be sure.
  • The narrative is non-linear; the PCs have complete freedom in the direction of their investigation.
  • The plot contains puzzles to solve and NPCs to be persuaded, in addition to the usual challenges of sinew and might.
  • At the gamemaster's option, the story can extend into the Outer Planes and transport the PCs to an off-world adventure.
The Exfiltrators is an adventure module for experienced gamemasters.
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