Saturday, April 28, 2018

Kickstarter - Barrowmaze: HighFell - The Drifting Dungeon (OSR)

I didn't even realize the Barrowmaze: HighFell - The Drifting Dungeon Kickstarter was in the works, let alone was Kickstarting earlier tonight. Well, it was and it is.

So, what is the Highfell Kickstarter? I'm going to let Greg Gillespie explain:
This Kickstarter campaign is designed to support the creation of a new megadungeon adventure called HighFell: The Drifting Dungeon
HighFell is designed for Labyrinth Lord but can be played with any Old School Role-Playing Game (or their clones) from the 70s and 80s such as B/X, First or Second edition, OSRIC, or Swords and Wizardry. This scenario can also be played with the DCC RPG with conversions. 
This new medgadungeon adventure is designed to support a medieval fantasy campaign lasting months and years. HighFell will support low-level to high-level play. 
I estimate the final draft to be between 180-250 pages and approximately 500-600 encounter areas. If you are familiar with Barrowmaze Complete, that project was 259 pages in a two-column format (cover to cover). Forbidden Caverns, my follow-up project, was 293 pages, PDF poster maps will be done in both black and Old School blue. 
HighFell opens with a gazetteer that outlines the region in which the adventure takes place. This includes a cultural history as well as the detailing of several small villages that can provide a base of operations for an extended campaign. Like the mounds in Barrowmaze, or the caves in Forbidden Caverns, HighFell also provides some low hanging fruit above-ground to get (wise) players started. The dungeon proper will be leveled in a traditional style, albeit in a floating dungeon context with twists and surprizes. This approach merges my own particular vision with inspiration drawn from modules like The Village of Hommlet, Dragons of Desolation, and The Ghost Tower of Inverness.
PDF is $39 US (higher than I am comfortable with) and $62 for the at cost POD coupon and PDF - so about $77 plus shipping.

I've been very happy with Greg's prior releases, so I'm in for this one too - Print plus PDF.

News from Steve Jackson Games - New The Fantasy Trip Logos for Melee and Wizard

In the Better Late Than Never category of gaming news, it seems I missed Steve Jackson Games releasing the new logos for their The Fantasy Trip Melee and The Fantasy Trip Wizard games (for those that missed the announcement, Steve Jackson regained the rights to The Fantasy Trip late last year.

Coming soon(?) to a Kickstarter near you (around 15 bucks each for 2 mini boxed games)

Update - Tavern Tales: Crowdfunding Advice & Tales of Horror - The Series will Have Guest Posts

I'm excited to see that many of the creators of Old School Gaming Kickstarters are interested in contributing to the series of Kickstarter advice posts and articles The Tavern plans to publish. It truly is a strong and deep community we have built here.

While guest posts at The Tavern are unpaid, any articles used in the compilation will be paid at 1.5 cents a word.

Email pitches to tenkarsDOTtavern at that gmail thing with Tavern Tales in the subject.

I may have the first post up later this weekend...

Brainstorming a Series of Kickstarter Advice Articles

I know I've spoken about the possibility of doing a series of Kickstarter advice articles here at The Tavern but I think we've reached the point where we should "kick it off", if I may be so bold.

It's going to cover everything from what to avoid (No Shoes, Dirty Socks, No Backers) to what to do (So it is Written before Launch, So it is Done.) The dangers of stretch goals (Danger! Unfunded Physical Stretch Goals Will Kickstarterson) to funding goals (Not Every Project is a 7th Sea). Pricing (Balancing Numbers & Backers) to videos (No Virginia, Not Every KS needs a Video). Marketing your project (Social Woes & Social Nos) to marketing yourself (You Don't Know Me, So Why Support Me?) Oh, and lots more in between.

I suspect the posts will be a bit disjointed at times. Not necessarily within each post (at least, I hope not) but between posts in the series. I'm a blogger and it's simply a result of how my mind works.

Will all of this apply to every potential Kickstarter creator? Of course not. It will be advice, compiled later (hopefully) as a guide for sale on OBS and elsewhere. As a reader of The Tavern, you will get to see the draft as it is written. Offer feedback, support, criticism or simply dismiss it all together. Take from it what you will.

It will certainly be centered on the creation of RPG and related Kickstarters, but I'm sure some of the advice will be useful beyond such circles.

I may need a graphic down the line but the series definitely needs a title. Let's see:

  • Tenkar's Kickstarter Tidbits & Tales
  • Crowdfunding Advice from Tenkar's Tavern
  • Kickstarter Tales From Tenkar's Tavern
  • Kickstarter - Tavern Tales - Crowdfunding Advice & Tales of Horror (this I have a graphic for ;)
Eh, it's all I got. Feel free to suggest some alternatives in the comments below ;)

Friday, April 27, 2018

Kickstarter - Sometimes the Kindest Act I can do is Nothing at All

I've mentioned this before but I get multiple requests each month to look at pre-release Kickstarter pages to offer my critiques (which I am generally happy to do so as time allows). This generally picks up as the weather gets warmer.

Those numbers pale to the number of requests I get asking me to post about this or that Kickstarter. I get requests through my Blogger Contact form, email, and even PMs.

Apparently, it's well known that I cover Kickstarters. Sadly, it doesn't mean that folks bother to check what kinds of Kickstarters I cover. It also doesn't mean that I cover each request.

I've had one Kickstarter open as a tab on my browser since I got the request last weekend. Sure, its pretty, but the video is annoying and, more importantly, it's NOT the type of RPG I'd likely find myself playing. There is nothing bad about its presentation but there is nothing that hooks me. If I'm not going to be looking to spend my hard earned cash on it why would I suggest my readers do so?

Would a post at The Tavern make or break its funding? I doubt it. But if I'm not excited about it my readers won't be either. Of course, I'd probably wind up focusing on the annoying video, the lack of community comments and the fact that the genre it appears to be trying to accomplish has already been done, very successfully, by another publisher - via Kickstarter of all places.

So I do nothing. Or, at least, post nothing directly about this project and others like it. Somewhere, someone is getting frustrated that nothing has appeared about their passion project. They were told, quite specifically, to make sure their project got covered at The Tavern and still nothing.

Sometimes the kindest act I can do is nothing at all.

This doesn't mean folks shouldn't send me links and reach out to me to look at pre-release pages and what not. It's just a reminder that the service I provide is for my community, not for the Kickstarter creators themselves. The currency involved is the good will and positive feedback from The Tavern's readers and I value it all.

I really do need to do a series of Tavern Kickstarter Tips posts ;)

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Alignments by M*A*S*H

Cat knocked the mouse off the desk for the umpteenth time and its acting flakey.  In the meantime, enjoy ;)

Tip of the hat to Michael G in The Tavern's Discord Server

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

#ConManKen - Did He or Did He NOT Buy Little Monsters?

Wow. #ConManKen is never one to cease to surprise.

Jess Hunter is the new owner of Little Monsters, now called Little Monsters Entertainment LLC. Little Monsters Games & Comics LLC is still incorporated by Ken Whitman. So, there are now TWO Little Monsters. Following thus far?

Jess Hunter claims she purchased the store location and merchandise from a "Jim Sears", not Ken Whitman.

4440 S Hwy 27 Somerset, KY is the location of Little Monsters in either incarnation.

The WhitePages lists the following businesses at that location:

Mad Ox was both after an earlier incarnation of Little Monsters and prior to the Ken and Jess incarnations - or is it?

Is Jim Sears the business partner that Marcus King has alluded to in the past?

It seems to me that either nothing was ever sold, and Marcus defrauded the Tax Man...


The store was sold to Ken Whitman and now Ken, Marcus, Jess Hunter and Jim Sears are trying to defraud the courts.

with thanks to NotAnotherDime

Neither looks to be on the up and up.

Ah well, Ken always entertains.

For more #ConManKen escapades read NotAnotherDime (for Ken Whitman)

Reminder - Tavern Chat Tonight - 9 PM Eastern - Oh My!

Tonight is a Wednesday Night and that means Tavern Chat. What are we going to talk about? I don't know all of it, but I do know SOME of it will be #ConManKen. Simply "because" ;)

Tavern Chat is held on The Tavern's Discord Server. Its a voice chat but you can simply listen if you want to. there is also an associated text channel, but that's mostly in addition to the voice channel.

Here's the link to join the server:


Far West makes Me Proud to be a Joker

The thing is, I don't see the unconscionable delay of Far West (nearly 6 1/2 years late and counting) as an achievement by Gareth. Instead, it is his albatross. Whatever he published prior to this fiasco is now tainted and his work as a freelancer now - well, I just hope he puts such funds to actually getting folks the print copies they paid for.

Almost as striking is the fact that he hasn't updated the Far West Kickstarter since May 1st, 2017.

How shall we celebrate on May 1st, 2018? I know - lets all NOT do something ;)

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

#ConManKen Goes to Ground - Deactivating Facebook Accounts - So He Can Finish Kickstarter Projects...

So, this has nothing to do with Kenny being served. I mean, he's going to work on Kickstarter projects. He says so, so it must be true. Kenny never lies.

Let's see. Since being served Ken has "sold his business" and is deactivating his Kickstarter accounts (I THINK he still will have one left, as last I checked he had two as Ken Whitman). Kenny is looking to escape justice it seems. Ken, why don't you just close your eyes and cover your ears - might be as effective and be a whole lot simpler.

We may need to GoFundMe a Private Eye to keep an eye on #ConManKen ;)

Edit: Forgot to add my last words to Kenny - Get yer shinebox!

Edit edit ;) 

Free OSR Rulesets - Fantasy - RetroQuest II (Chasoium RuneQuest 2 Clone)

Huge thanks to Michael Thomas for not only pointing me to RetroQuest II but for also writing / publishing it. Well done sir!

RetroQuest II - is a D100 SRD for creating your own rules and adventures in the vein of everyone’s favourite second-edition D100 roleplaying game. This System Reference Document uses the Open Game Licence and several existing System Reference Documents to re-create the mechanics and play of the first versions of the classic D100 system. See the OGL at the end of this document for more information.

Other Free OSR Rulesets - Fantasy 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Kickstarter - Graphic Novel Adventures (Solo Gamebooks)

I'm a fan of solo adventures done right. They are fun to pull out when you have the desire to game and no regular game scheduled. Some of my favorites were from ICE back in the day using their Middle Earth license. I've never seen one that used a graphic novel for the chassis, so I'm finding the Graphic Novel Adventures Kickstarter fairly compelling.

Somehow, visualizing your choice add a new dimension to the genre of solo gaming.

This is just a great visual:

Nice and short video review:

Watch the video. Well worth 3 1/2 minutes of your time. Made my decision to back much easier ;)

19 bucks to back for a single book. 75 bucks to back for all five books.

Time to play with myself... shit! That doesn't sound right!

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

Blogs of Inspiration & Erudition