Saturday, June 30, 2018

Spontaneous Gaming - Is it Just for the Youth?

Matt Jackson had an interesting post on Googe Plus about "spontaneous gaming". No, it has nothing to do with spontaneous combustion ;) Instead, he's hit upon something that was lost when we left our youth behind.

In my high school and college years, we gamed every moment we could squeeze in. Three-day weekend off from school? Why, three days of gaming of course. Summers? Not gaming on a certain day was the exception, not the rule. Screw the beach! I want to swelter at the picnic table in the backyard with some Juicy Juice that fermented (true story too).

As adults, we've left much if not all of that freedom behind. Work, Families of our own, general adult responsibilities make spontaneity a luxury most of us can barely ration out as individuals, let alone as a group.

Heck, I haven't "gotten my game on" in months. Hell, I went to NTRPG and didn't even game. Still had a blast though.

What's the solution?

Damned if I know. My old gaming group gets together once a year and that requires weeks of planning, as we actually gather in meatspace, not online. They wanted to do a "D&D on Demand" sort of thing with Roll20, but even in virtual space, the feasibility wasn't there for us. Spontaneity is pretty much dead on my end too.

Do you share the same frustrations?

The Tavern Chat Podcast - Episode #45 - Answering Comments and ShireCon in the Fall

The past few days I've had a number of listeners reach out to me with comments about recent episodes. I always appreciate the feedback and interaction and spend the first part of today's episode answering some of there.

ShireCon is in NW Connecticut on September 22, 2018. Its a one-day gaming con with emphasis on old-school gaming. I'll be there and so should you. :

Link to Episode #45

Friday, June 29, 2018

Kickstarter - Dark Naga - Carcosa for 5th Edition (Less than 2 days left to fund)

Just a quick reminder before I settle in for a sweltering weekend of blogging / podcasting / publishing / project managing / catching up - phew! There is just under 2 days left in the funding period of the Dark Naga - Carcosa for 5th Edition Kickstarter. Yes, there are other Carcosas. No, this isn't them. This is this ;)

Oh, and Kevin updated the KS page to state there will be an OSR version of the adventure coming later.

All backers at $20 not only get Print plus PDf of the adventure but also two custom d6s. That's pretty nifty :)

Yeah, the sweet point is 20 bucks in my opinion.

The project is funded and hitting stretch goals. No brainer if you play 5e. East to convert if you play OSR.

The Tavern Chat Podcast - Episode #44 - Unearthing the AD&D 1e Unearthed Arcana - P1

Ah, the Unearthed Arcana. The official book to destroy all AD&D 1e campaigns. Oh, how I loved you so. Broken in so many ways but also so magical.
This is Part 1 of a series episodes digging into the AD&D 1e Unearthed Arcana. Today, we look at Method V of generating character stats.
Link to Episode #44https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/Episode-44---Unearthing-the-ADD-1e-Unearthed-Arcana---P1-e1nr80

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Kickstarter - Hall of Judgment - a Dungeon Fantasy RPG Supplement (GURPS)

I've liked GURPS ever since I found the Man to Man rules and the Orcslayer supplement back in my early days of gaming. The support material is top notch and I've used it with other RPGs. That says a lot about the system.

Dungeon Fantasy is the Boxed Set RPG about dungeon crawling powered by GURPS. I really need to find a group that plays it at some point as I'd love to get my dungeon crawl on with the GURPS engine.

Which brings up to the Hall of Judgment - a Dungeon Fantasy RPG Supplement Kickstarter. Its a conversion of an adventure originally published for 5e and now available in a GURPS Dungeon Fantasy version.

  • Hall of Judgment is a micro-setting and scenario for the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game (Powered by GURPS)
  • It features non-linear adventuring for 4-6 250-point characters
  • Explore a Viking-flavored world trekking through cold, harsh mountains, facing dangerous fae, and searching for a lost holy place, and the priceless relics within
  • Easily portable and usable with any GURPS Fantasy campaign

I'm pretty stoked.

It's also a licensed third party publisher release for GURPS, licensed by Steve Jackson Games. That's a big deal, as usually, its SJG snagging a license (Discworld anyone?) This could be big going forward.

Hall of Judgment is published by Gaming Ballistic. The man behind GB is Douglas Cole. I've known Doug for a number of years and he used to play in my B-Team Roll20 sessions. Doug is an excellent project manager and I'm looking forward to seeing the end result of his current project. This is not Doug's first Kickstarter (but even his first went extremely smooth) Chat Doug up in a Wednesday Night chat session on The Tavern's Discord Server and use him as a resource if you are thinking of Kickstarting a project. Don't worry - Doug won't mind ;)

PDF only is 10 bucks, Print plus PDF is 30 bucks (shipping will be added later). I'm in for 30 myself.

The Tavern Chat Podcast - Episode #43 - Playing Mind Games with the AD&D 1e PH

Ah, sweet psionics. Psionic Blast vs my Mind Blank. Cell Adjustment for the win. Interesting option but not well balanced IMHO. YMMV.

If you know of any programs for OS/X that might be able to transcribe episodes, please leave a note. Or one that could turn the written word into an audio / podcast format. Inquiring minds want to know ;)

Link to Episode #43:  https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/Episode-43---Playing-Mind-Games-with-the-ADD-1e-PH-e1nl7k

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Reminder - Tavern Chat 9 PM Eastern - Someone Mention Kickstarter?

Today is a Wednesday Night, so that means Tavern Chat at 9 PM on The Tavern's Discord Server. Somehow I suspect Kickstarter will be one of the topics ;)

Link to Tavern Chat: https://discord.gg/fReGmuD

What do we do during Tavern Chat? We talk gaming, gaming news, events in gaming and some random topics. Come and join us - we don't nite - much ;)

Tavern Chat Podcast - Episode #42 - Be Careful What You Ask 4 & Happy Anniversary


I've made this warning in the past, but not all attention one gets from The Tavern in its various forms is beneficial ;)
Well, one of the Kickstarters I talked about yesterday got suspended an hour or so after the podcast went live. I did mention that the same creator had two projects funding at the same time. Oh, and the AD&D 1e Player's Handbook is 40 years old this month.
Link to Episode #42https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/Episode-42---Be-Careful-What-You-Ask-4--Happy-Anniversary-e1ngk8

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Kickstarter - The Forgotten Dungeon Mega Adventure - AD&D, D&D5e, DS, 77W - SUSPENDED

About an hour after this morning's Tavern Chat Podcast went live, The Forgotten Dungeon Mega Adventure - AD&D, D&D5e, DS, 77W Kickstarter was suspended after being live for a week.

Now, there are issues with this Kickstarter, not the least of which is referring to AD&D and D&D5e right in the project title (a no-no) but I didn't catch that both this AND the Dragonscales Fantasy RPG by James M Ward and Stephen A Lee where being run by Stephen Kee concurrently until I recorded the podcast. It was literally something I noticed live. This is verboten according to Kickstarter and I did make mention of this in this morning's podcast.


I did NOT notify Kickstarter (or WotC for that matter) of the issues with this particular KS. I hadn't planned to - although I did intend to bring my concerns to the creator later this week for consideration going forward.

Either a listener contacted Kickstarter or someone at Kickstarter reads The Tavern / listens to The Tavern Chat Podcast.

Hopefully, there is a cleaned up relaunch down the line.

Now, the questions become - how was this even allowed in the first place? Shouldn't there be a system in place to catch this? How hard could it be to program the Kickstarter software to do so? Is the restriction on that Kickstarter tells and remind all creators when they start a new project? If not, why not?

The Tavern Chat Podcast - Episode #41 - Kickstarter Roundup for June 26, 2018

I'm going to try to do a once a week Kickstarter Roundup. Whatever strikes my fancy. This week ranged from awesomesauce to What the F'?
Some Kickstarters are amazing, some are "eh" and some hit the WTF level. We got you covered. City of Brass, The Forgotten Dungeon Mega adventure, Dragon scales Fantasy RPG and F@ck! Yeah! 20 Sided Dice.
Link to Episode #41: https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/Episode-41---Kickstarter-Roundup-for-June-26--2018-e1nb1i

Kickstarter Links:





Monday, June 25, 2018

Mini Review - Temple of the Hamster (DCC RPG)

I don't do nearly as many reviews as I used to. The main reason is that I never seem to have the time needed to sit down and read the product in question. Heck, I have that issue with the gaming books I buy. I never would have guessed that retirement would lead to LESS free time ;)

This is my long-winded way of explaining that I've had a review copy of Temple of the Hamster in PDF for a week and a half and only now have gotten a chance to peruse it (there are other titles in the review pile, both older and more recent - I'm working on it)

Alright, so what exactly IS Temple of the Hamster? Its a DCC RPG adventure about giant hamsters. Sounds simple, but it isn't. There's a bit more here then is obvious with the first glance.
The town of Kamis lies in a panic. Townsfolk are missing and city watchmen lie dead; their sides split open from being over stuffed with grain. A stalwart cadre of adventurers must explore the town of Kamis and uncover the terrible mysteries of the Temple of the Hamster. These adventurers must brave terrible traps and minions before facing the dread peril at the heart of the temple. The Temple of the Hamster is packed with hamster style adventure and has been redesigned to have 100% more hamster wheels and mayhem. This level 3 adventure is compatable with the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG and guaranteed to entertain even the stoutest hamster hating heart. Also be sure to look for more forthcoming adventures from Vance Games. Mother’s Maze is coming soon!
The hook is the PCs are incarcerated and this is their chance to redeem themselves (and get a pardon to boot) While this hook is perfect for a convention session (which is where I really think Temple of the Hamster will truly shine) if you want your regular party to get involved just remind them the town watch is dead, townfolks have gone missing and they are heroes. Or at least they are a close facsimile :)

Yes, there are giant hamsters. Regular hamsters too. Hamster balls. Yep, it's a quirky adventure, but once your players get pulled along they'll soon find themselves immersed in hamster balls and giant ninja hamsters. Wait, maybe I said too much...

Beware, your player's characters can learn Hamster Style Fighting and may never be the same.

Now, it may be a bit too gonzo for some DCC RPG campaigns, but as DCC is pretty gonzo in the first place, this may not be an issue at all. As I stated above, for convention play, Temple of the Hamster is a perfect fit as is.

Yes, that's an affiliate link above. Affiliate links keep the taps flowing here at The Tavern :)

The Tavern Chat Podcast - Episode #40 - Looking at the AD&D 1e PH, Back to Front

Yep, looking at the AD&D 1e Player's Handbook with some fresh eyes.
I've been enjoying looking at the old D&D / AD&D rulebooks with fresh eyes. Today I look at the AD&D 1e Player's Handbook, starting with the back cover and then moving to the front. My God, Rangers are powerful at low levels (and powerful again at name level)
Link to Episode #40https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/Episode-40---Looking-at-the-ADD-1e-PH--Back-to-Front-e1n5r1

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Kickstarter - City of Brass: Epic Adventure for 5e and Swords and Wizardry

Words fail me. The City of Brass: Epic Adventure for 5e and Swords and Wizardry Kickstarter has some of the best art I've seen in ANY RPG project. No joke, It really sets a new high bar for Frog God Games, one they'll need to meet or exceed going forward, not an easy feat.

Now, how about the product itself?
Beginning with low-level challenges in the familiar confines of the Lost Lands, the adventure leads characters on a thrilling journey through multiple planes of existence culminating in the exploration of the City of Brass itself. The gleaming towers and floating platforms of the city hold terrors and wonders such as the Great Repository and the Minaret of Screams. Characters may choose to take a turn in the Circus of Pain, raid the floating Pyramid of Set, or join the resistance to the Sultan’s oppressive rule and lead an assault on the palace itself! A phoenix rises fully formed from the ashes of the past. The City of Brass is re-imagined for the new renaissance of fantasy role playing games, brought to you in the epic style of old school fantasy campaigns of yesteryear.
This new release of The City of Brass includes all new color maps by Alyssa Faden and Robert Altbauer. Plus amazing new color art by Colin Chan, Adrian Landeros, Terry Pavlet, Michael Syrigos, C. J. Allan Marsh, and Artem Shukaev. 
The original City of Brass was divided into 3 books and has been revised and reorganized throughout with 150,000 new words of adventures and material.
For a novel that's about 300 pages of new material. For an RPG book, no idea how that converts, but its a lot.

Note, there's no Pathfinder version for this. Paizo effectively killed the PF 1e market when they announced Pathfinder 2.0.

What's the sweet point to back at? Frog God releases are never cheap, but I'm in at 95 bucks. The book in Print plus PDF, a digital map and all stretch goals in digital format. Oh, and Swords & Wizardry of course ;)

I think the Frogs need to put out a series of prints of select art from the new City of Brass. I'm totally serious. I'd buy in in a heartbeat.

FYI, I am a Frog God Associate. I swim in their pond and often work the Frog God Booth at select cons. I'm also a customer and this KS truly excites me. Not enough for a leather cover though. My wallet is a bit light right now...

The Tavern Chat Podcast - Episode #39 - OD&D: Stop! Don't Let the Players Roll D' Dice

I've owned my copy of the OD&D White Box (OCE) for at least 15 years. I probably pull it off the shelf to read it at least once a year. Somehow I missed the follow following each time:

Go figure.
Tip of the hat to The Tavern's Discord Community for inadvertently giving me today's topic of discussion. Player's don't even roll their characters in OD&D - the DM does.
Thank you Elfstar.

Link to Episode #39https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/Episode-39---ODD-Stop--Dont-Let-the-Players-Roll-D-Dice-e1n202

Link to The Tavern's Discord Communityhttps://discord.gg/fReGmuD
Tenkar's Tavern is supported by various affiliate programs, including Amazon, RPGNow,
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lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

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