Saturday, August 4, 2018

Untold Adventures Crowd Sourced Sourcebook in Development

Hey Taverners, it's James Spahn. You know me. The White Star/White Box guy. The dude with a strange obsession with Halflings and Squirrels. The dude who's been running around the OSR for the past half-decade or so trying to write a few fun games.

Well, I recently released Untold Adventures: Minimalist Fantasy Roleplaying. I'm ridiculously proud of my little game and hope you'll grab a copy over on RPGNow when you get a chance. It won't cost you anything. Heck, the PDF is Pay-What-You-Want and will always remain so.

To that end, I've also created a Google Plus Community for Untold Adventures. Give it a join as I talk with other fans of the game and post little tweaks and options for the system. Heck, there's already a post about modifying ENnie winner Glynn Seal's Midderlands Expanded for use with Untold Adventures - because Midderlands is awesome.

In addition, I wanted to give a shout to anyone who was interested. I thought it would be fun to do a supplement for Untold Adventures as a community. A compilation of short dungeon-crawl adventures using the freely available commercial-use maps by Dyson Logos. The book would tentatively be titled Undiscovered Dungeons and the PDF would be released for free on OBS, with the a softcover print version made available at-cost via Lulu. Basically, each contributor would select a small map and write do a dungeon write-up no longer than 3000 words. Just enough for a night or two of adventure.

I'm not looking to make a dime off Undiscovered Dungeons, just to get together with my fellow OSR fans and make a fun companion to Untold Adventures. If this is something you'd be interested in, leave a comment on this thread over on the UA G+ Community.

Thanks for your time and consideration.

James M. Spahn
Barrel Rider Games

edit - there are affiliate links above - keep your Tavern Keeper in fresh, cold beer by using The Tavern's affiliate links - Tenkar

Guest Review - Adventurer Conqueror King System - An OSR title that refines the past to create a new standard in gaming!

I'm always open to pitches for guest posts. When Christopher Bishop approached me and told me he had a comprehensive review of ACKS written and ready to go, I was anxious to see it. Seriously, one of the best put together reviews of any product I've read in the OSR. Doesn't hurt that ACKS is probably my second favorite system in the OSR (Swords & Wizardry is my first love, but you knew that). Chris has a blog over at Rolling Bones. This review can also be read there in its original format - Tenkar 

The reviewer is writing this review using his own personally bought copy of the product

Adventurer Conqueror King System (or ACKS) came into existence back in 2011. It was right at the height of the OSR's first big boom, where most of the products went from PDF only affairs to offering more traditional dead tree format. While there have been literally well over a hundred different variations of old D&D rules, you would be deceiving yourself to think once you have seen one you have seen them all.

ACKS did not come on to my radar until much later through a Bundle of Holding offer. At the time I was playing 5E and Swords and Wizardry. Swords and Wizardry will always be near and dear to my heart, but I found myself wanting something with a little more teeth. Something that really took the old idea of character progression into something other than just more advanced murder hobo adventures. Sure as a DM I have control over the world my players are in and all the intricacies available therein. But having a mechanics system in place to handle the heavy lifting sure is nice.

I was looking through my DrivethruRPG library and what pops up but this package from Bundle of Holding I purchased a year and a half ago. I began skimming the product and was kind of shocked at what I was seeing. I had assumed (boy never a good thing to do) that it was another B/X clone. Not a bad thing mind you, but not exactly what I was looking for. What I found was something else.

Image by Ryan Browning ©Autarch LLC 2011-2018

Becoming an Adventurer

First of all, let's discuss or define what a B/X game looks like in comparison to more modern renditions of Dungeons and Dragons. B/X typically only took you to level 14. Levels 1-3 were the basic level of the game chiefly revolving around dungeon crawls. Levels 4-14 were focused on the exploration of wilderness environments, and once characters reached level 9, the idea of ruling a small domain with many servants or followers to assist you. Race and class were one in the same with only humans actually selecting a class type and the others being relegated to racially stereotypical pursuits.

ACKS keeps the same level scheme of 1-14 but changes several other aspects up quite a bit. First of all, ACKS provides many classes in the core book beyond the standard affair. Humans have the options of being Fighters, Mages, Clerics, Thieves, Assasins, Bards, Bladedancers (clerics that are slightly more functional at fighting and mobility at the cost of wearing certain armor types), and Explorers (rangers of a sort more focused on actual outdoor survival without the spell component).

Nonhumans instead of being one singular class are divided up into different aspects of their society. Elves can choose from Elven Nightblades (think sorcerer/assassin) or Elven Spellsword (fighter/mage combo). Dwarves have Dwarven Vault guards (typical iconic dwarf), and Dwarven Craft priest (combine cleric and fighter together without the hefty restrictions of a paladin).

No halflings appear in this rulebook (though do not worry they do appear later in another product) and nonhumans do still get restricted on level gain, though this is less of an issue with ACKS leveling system ending at 14 for human classes.

Optimization in droves
ACKS utilizes a proficiency system. While this is not a new idea, the way it is utilized is both efficient and really changes ACKS from being just another retroclone restating the same tired ideas. Within ACKS, Proficiencies fall somewhere in between feats and skills. Couple this with the use of templates and you can really make a customized version of whatever class you decide on that further individualizes without having to make yet another class.

Proficiencies are unique to certain class types. There are of course shared proficiencies, but by and large, this is more within a template (something I will go into more detail about on the Players Companion review). This makes a sword and board fighter operate differently from say a 2 handed fighter. The Mercenary template for instance: you throw in 2 proficiencies, Combat reflexes and Manual of Arms and a customized equipment package flavored to the more iconic mercenary role and voila your fighter is instead a professional soldier for hire.

Image by Ryan Browning ©Autarch LLC 2011-2018

Magic by the numbers
Magic in ACKS will be both familiar and unique compared to other OSR systems. I realize that is a fairly vague statement. So in most d20 systems wizards have a pool of spells in their spellbook. ACKS is no different in this. Where the differences come in is how those spells are utilized. Normally arcane spellcasters are restricted to only using those spells they have memorized unless we are talking about 3.X era Sorcerers. The problem with Sorcerers is that not everyone wants a spellcaster that does not have to "pay" in the traditional sense for their power. What this did is set what some looked at as an unfair imbalance to the more traditional mindset of spellcasting based around Vancian rules.

ACKS, however, says any spell in your repertoire can be used provided you have the spell slot left to cast it.

This might seem like a minor change but in effect what it does is make the magic-user more flexible. Now the spellcaster can safely go into dungeons knowing that not only do they have offensive magic usable but also all those oft unused utility spells that could potentially make or break an encounter. I was skeptical at first until I saw this in practice. It worked very well and was in no way overpowering. The limitation of so many spells cast per day keeps it railed in while giving the benefit of far more utility.

ACKS has little touches inserted all over the place to individualize itself. The author encourages folks playing spellcasters to add little signatures that are aesthetic in name but really help to flavor their caster individually. The example that is given in the book is of a necromancer character that whenever he casts magic missile the magic manifests as a shard of a bone. It is a simple nonmechanical storytelling the device that still helps to further the idea of not relying on a hard mechanic to define your character.

Fantasy economy done right
One of the surprises and delights of Adventurer Conqueror King System is the extensive study of 4th-8th-century history that the authors have done. A great deal of analysis has gone on to properly represent from a socioeconomic point of view the very real financial and labor challenges living in that era would have produced. Your first introduction to this is the equipment section, in which equipment availability by market size, as well as pricing conventions based upon supply and demand. This is not done in a time-consuming fashion. Everything is lined up in easy to follow tables that very quickly let the Judge scan for the market type based on domain size. In a clear manner, this tells the Judge how to price objects, if they are available, and if not if it is possible to get the product in and how long it will take.

A lot of folks hear the word tables, and that turns them off thinking this is going to be a game where they have to nonstop consult table after table. I am here to tell you, the information is oriented in a fashion in which it's easy to find in a time of need without disrupting gameplay for long periods of time. Later when the rulebook begins discussing domain management and creation, the game offers meticulous detail about acreage, production of resources based on peasant morale, population, and natural sustainability. A desert offers different financial and logistical differences than an overgrown forested region. All of this is presented in a fashion that a Judge can find and use with ease.

Image and information presented ©Autarch LLC 2011-2018

This land is my land
It was always the intent of Dungeons and Dragons B/X era gaming to guide players from lowly dungeon delver to wilderness explorer, to notable and important heroic figure and eventually to ruler. While a system to do this has been included in just about every iteration of D&D since B/X days, only in the BECMI rendition is the concept actually given real depth in the core rules. Yes, supplements have been offered in one fashion or another, but a supplement makes it more of an optional thing than an actual feature or focus of the game.

ACKS chooses to instead really dial in this oft-neglected aspect of gaming. Sure your adventurers will dive into pits of despair. But around 3rd to 4th level they spread their wings and begin to focus on exploring the wilderness surrounding them. As tales of their heroics spread, so does their notoriety. The movers and shakers of the land begin to take notice, and with this also comes those who will seek the players out.

However, this is just where the fun begins. In order to create a stronghold or a domain, the players must first clear or "conquer" the surrounding hexes from their chosen build site. This is the only way they can hope to attract not just followers, but peasants and commerce to come to their domain. The costs in labor, time, pedigree of hireling required (engineers for instance) is laid out in digestible bits that neither overwhelm nor undersell the reader.

Once the project is complete and the domain established now the mechanics of actually running a realm come into play. With such an eye for historical accuracy and logical population disbursement (you won't find a town of 50,000 people in a medieval desert setting where it would have been impossible to sustain it) you can easily weight the requirements of maintaining and growing your kingdom.

Creation defined 
A lot of products shy away from the idea of letting players construct or build things. Specifically, most of this kind of detail did not become available until the 3.x era of gaming, and even then as an afterthought or option without the true details needed to fully convey this process. ACKS, however, does not shy from tackling this topic.

Complete rules are given for creating magic items, researching and creating new spells, building magical constructs, and necromantic minions and more. What is more interesting is that it also gives rules on how to infuse this into the domain aspect. A mage might have a few apprentices, which instead of just being fluff actually serve the purpose of advancing the mages personal goals and acquisition of power. This is done through harvesting ingredients, researching spells, writing scrolls or a myriad of other various functions. Your retainers, hirelings, and followers are more than mere torch wielders and trap finders.

This idea that a player can create items worthy of the magic item index is not new, but rarely has it been portrayed in the common sense fashion that it is in ACKS. Once again all of this is presented in an easy to follow fashion that is modular, use it or don't use it at your leisure. If you want the total ACKS experience use it, but if you just want it to be basic, the game runs fine without it.

Summary of my thoughts on ACKS
ACKS is not a retro-clone as much as it is a reinforcement of the B/X foundation, then a layered approach of adding complexity to this style of gameplay. All this is presented in a very modular format. Meaning you can easily remove this aspect if you dislike it as a gamemaster without breaking anything. I think that is important to folks who look for flexibility in a system. It can be as complex or as clean a B/X inspired game as you want it to be. The foundation has been refined to perfection so that other aspects of ACKS can sit comfortably atop it.

The core rulebook follows a very predictable pattern in how it presents information. Chapters roll into one another in a common sense placement. You can tell time and understanding of gaming has clearly helped the author to conceive a functional layout. Every chapter progresses on the groundwork of the chapter before it in a clear and concise pattern.

The author has constantly worked towards individualizing the product. Attack Throws or To hit numbers are neither the Thac0 system nor the ascending system as it is used in 3.x products. It falls right in the middle still following an ascending pattern and more common sense approach of simply needing to add the respective armor class to a base roll to figure out the number needed. Unarmored foes start as Armor Class 0, and armor increases positively from there.

The artwork is superb with gorgeous color cover art and amazing interior Black & White illustrations. The author's tone is easy to follow and even subject matter that would have put me to sleep in other games is presented in a fashion to keep the reader interested. Most of this is done by using constant examples to make the idea shown click.

Where can you buy it?
You can pick up Adventurer Conqueror King at RPGNOW or Drivethrurpg. Most of the products come in PDF form or you can Print on Demand the core rulebook. You can pick up the Softcover for $35.00 with PDF as well or $40.00 in Hardcover with the PDF. There is no price difference between buying the PoD version with or without the PDF currently so it is the best of both worlds!

Join me in 3 weeks for a review of the ACKS Players Companion. I plan to go through each one of the ACKS products as all of them offer a bevy of different options worth exploring even if you do not intend to run ACKS itself.
Until Next Time,
Keep rolling them bones

Yep, that's an affiliate link above. Keep the lights on and the beers cold by using The Tavern's affiliate links :)

Free OSR - Liberation of the Demon Slayer From Kort'thalis Publishing - Through August 20th, 2018

As explained by Venger over here: https://vengersatanis.blogspot.com/2018/08/almost-like-being-there.htmlLiberation of the Demon Slayer is available for free (normally 9 bucks for the PDF) through August 20th (H.P. Lovecraft's birthday).

I personally believe that Liberation of the Demon Slayer is one of Venger's strongest releases, and given the opportunity to grab it for FREE it should be on every OSR gamer's digital bookshelf. Heck, maybe every gamer's virtual bookshelf - period.
The stars are falling - which can only mean one thing. Your town is about to be invaded by demons! Unfortunately, the famed demon-slaying sword Kalthalax lies in the caves below, and all manner of dark and deadly fiends reside in those eldritch-haunted Nether Realms.

Liberation of the Demon Slayer is an old school, multi-level dungeon complimented by optional rules and campaign guide, usable with practically every paper and pencil, tabletop fantasy roleplaying game!
Yep, that's an affiliate link above. Although Liberation of the Demon Slayer is free, you might make an additional purchase that helps keep the lights on and the beer cold here at The Tavern

The Tavern Chat Podcast - Episode 80 - Gen Con - Fisticuffs & ENnies Awards

Yep, it's Gen Con time. The OSR did surprisingly well with the ENies awards. Congrats to all that won.
Gen Con is in full swing - literally. A Youtuber gets attacked at a local bar by a Gen Con exhibitor and Gen Con silences the discussion. The ENnies were announced and the OSR did very well.
Link Episode 80 - https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/Episode-80---Gen-Con---Fisticuffs--ENnies-Awards-e1ut65






Friday, August 3, 2018

The Tenkar's Tavern Discord Server Got a Facelift Today - We Now Offer Channels for Content Creators

Pexx and I had a discussion about The Tavern's Discord server this morning (Pexx is/was the Admin of the Frog God Discord server which has mostly been merged into the tavern's - he's also my right hand on the Tavern's Discord server). We discussed how to make The Tavern's Discord server even more community friendly.

One of the things we've done is add channels for specific Content Creators. We already had channels for gaming publishers (if you are a publisher of gaming content, particularly old school but also system agnostic ping either Pexx or myself on Discord and we'll set you up with your own channel) but we lacked channels for podcasters, Youtubers, Twitchers, bloggers and the like, we've started to address that. Again, ping Pexx or myself over on Discord and we'll set things up for you.

This does not mean those with their own Discord Servers for their communities should be moving theirs to The Tavern's. Specific gaming communities all have their own flavor but having a channel at The Tavern is certainly a way to expand one's audience. The Tavern's Discord server is currently at 725 active members and growing. Join us. The water is fine. Really. All we ask is that you don't pee in the pool ;P

Invite to The Tavern's Discord Server: 

The Tavern Chat Podcast - Episode 79 - New - Freeport Goes CRPG, New Robotech RPG & Pathfinder 2 Download is live

I'm not all that impressed with the upcoming Freeport CRPG but it is early. Time as always will tell.
All the news that's fit to yap. Freeport from Green Ronis is going to be a CRPG in late 2019, Robotech returns to RPGs in 2nd quarter of 2019 and the Pathfinder 2 playtest is available for download.
Link to Episode 79 - https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/Episode-79---New---Freeport-Goes-CRPG--Robotech-RPG--PF2-DL-e1ulb3







Thursday, August 2, 2018

The Tavern Chat Podcast had 400 Downloads on August 1st - Thank You!

Yep, that little graphic shows that The Tavern Chat Podcast had 400 downloads on August 1st, 2018. That is a new high water mark for the podcast and I am simply floored. Thank you.

The Tavern's Discord server has over 700 members (722 to be exact) and the Facebook Community has well over 2,100 members.

As for the "backwater blog" known as Tenkar's Tavern, I'm still averaging two to three posts a day. Did I mention the Tavern's Patreon hit 40 members earlier tonight?

I'm simply thrilled to see all the numbers showing growth. A growing, vibrant community is what we want for The Tavern and I see that happening on all fronts.

Again, thank you :)

#ConManKen - Open Letter from Louis Desy Jr. to Marcus King re: people not doing business with Marcus King because of Ken Whitman

Note: The following is being shared as a courtesy. The words are not mine and do not necessarily reflect that of The Tavern - Erik Tenkar

I was somewhat surprised to hear that Marcus King’s business has been greatly affected by the entire situation with the Kickstarter projects and would hope that people would do business with Marcus again. While I can understand people not doing business with any business that Whitman is running, it is not right that people would want to ruin Marcus for his friendship to Ken Whitman over the years plus it hurts the people that work for Marcus and that is not something we want to do or be part of.

Putting Marcus King out of business and getting people laid off is not something we want to be remembered for because of Ken Whitman.

I sent an apology to Marcus King on Tuesday early afternoon for everything he had been through with 'the process' and was not aware of how much people had been taking it out on Marcus, his store, and his employees. 'The Process' is ugly at times, but usually, the only way to get to the truth and unavoidable in situations like these, and for this, I apologize to the other people who got stuck in this and the effect it has had on them.

While anyone can understand not wanting to do business with Whitman after everything that happened with the projects and being lied to over the past three years, Marcus was not responsible for doing that. People did not like Marcus helping Whitman BUT If Marcus did not do his part in all of this, Whitman would have never come back to Kentucky, never took over the second store and never filed the LLC that allowed me to find an address for Whitman and have him served for the court case. If it was not for the fact that Whitman was put into the store that he was, I would have had a much harder time getting Whitman served and everything that followed from the court case. It is also possible that if Marcus King was not who he was, and played the role that he played in this entire situation, that I would have not been able to finally figure out what happened and get the admission from Whitman that we did.

For this, Marcus King had a very important role to play and we should all be grateful that he was able to play that role, which he did at great cost to himself and his business.

Some people may think that Whitman is getting away with something, but I assure you, that probably within something like 18 to 24 months, Whitman will get more than anyone could ever wish on a person. It is the way things simply work in the world and not anything that can be stopped. My expectation is that the IRS/Feds have taken notice of Whitman taking in over $170K+ in revenue and never filed any taxes on any of it. Whitman couldn’t file any taxes because he took in all that money with a company that never existed. As anyone who has ever had any kind of tax problems knows, having any kind of tax-related problem is not a good way to start the day, having $170K+ in not filed taxes on a company that never existed is simply an easy way to go to jail, especially when you can’t pay those taxes anymore and shift assets around like you are hiding assets. While Whitman could try to fix the situation by filing all of the missing taxes, I think that Whitman is simply not mentally and emotionally capable of the journey that would be.

I know that everyone is probably in absolute shock at the truth of the raw footage being gone. While there is a small chance that the individual where the devices were left might have something, and I sent inquiries last night and this morning, I have heard nothing back. Plus, as incredible as it seems, Whitman apparently made no effort whatsoever over the past three years to even ask his friend if he had made an extensive search for the devices, even after the court case was filed or he was in negotiations earlier this year with Jolly plus Kenzer and Company about turning over the footage. It would be one thing if Whitman contacted his friend and found out the devices were really and truly gone, but it is incredible that Whitman has not even had any contact with the guy for a while.

But all of this is and was Whitman’s responsibility, I ask that people NOT take it out on Marcus King and his employees, or Whitman's ex-wife or Whitman's kids. I have apologized to Marcus King for what he went through as part of what I call, ‘the process’, but it was unavoidable in situations like this. We are supposed to be doing something that is fun, not at each other throats over money or something like Whitman’s antics.

I think that anyone who deals with Whitman eventually regrets it, so if Marcus King is to be somehow punished for dealing with Ken Whitman, let Ken Whitman do what he does best and be the one to melt out said punishment, not any of us.

Apparently, Whitman does currently have something in writing so Marcus King can't do anything about Whitman working in the second store by contract and Jim Sears is sort of stuck because if Whitman does not keep paying the lease until the end near the end of next year, Sears will be stuck with making lease payments on the space for a failed store. I think that at this point it is highly likely that Whitman's store simply will not make it to the end of the lease and would not be surprised to even see the landlord lock Whitman out of the space. (How long can a failed store keep going in a small town?)

I am reminded of a scene from a movie with Dustin Hoffman (can’t find the clip but if someone can could you please post it?) movie where there is something crazy going on. He is divorced and his son plus sons’ friends are at his house. Then something like his ex-wife's new husband comes over to the get the son, but the son does not want to go with the stepdad, so everyone runs up to the roof and barricades it. The stepdad, on the ground, calls the police, who come over and everyone is screaming and yelling all over the place. Eventually, Dustin’s character shouts down from the rooftop and says something like, “Hey I got a court order that I am supposed to have visitation this weekend”. The police officer looks at the stepdad and says, “Is this true?” The stepdad then sheepishly looks down and says, “Yes, it is.”

The next seen is everyone is in the kitchen, with everyone now friends, signing reports to explain what happened and the stepfather profusely apologizing to Hoffman’s character and the police, at which point Hoffman’s character says to the stepdad, “No one who is married to my ex-wife Gloria ever has to apologize to me for anything they ever do”, showing that he understands that anyone who is around her will inevitably do something that seems completely unreasonable, even crazy but can’t be avoided, is to be expected and just simply not avoidable if you are stuck dealing with them.

In the same way, I would ask people to understand that the people around Ken Whitman are stuck in a similar situation and many of them simply have no way to get Ken to NOT do the things he does, and to NOT take it out on those people, especially Whitman's ex-wife, Whitman’s kids or Marcus King and his employees.

Louis J. Desy Jr.

The Tavern Chat Podcast - Episode 78 - News - How Did I Miss Gail Gygax Getting Sued?

Remember that deal between Fig and Gygax Games? Well, apparently Tom DeSanto remembers it too and is pissed he wasn't invited.
Yep, Gail is being sued by Tom DeSanto, the Transformers producer that signed a deal two years ago with Gail to market the Gary Gygax IP. Whatever could have gone wrong with that? Note - the Gygax Memorial Fund is back online.
Link to Episode 78 - https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/Episode-78---News---How-Did-I-Miss-Gail-Gygax-Getting-Sued-e1ue7l






Wednesday, August 1, 2018

New PWYW Release - Untold Adventures: Deluxe Edition [Swords & Wizardry]

Gotta love that cover. Oh, and it's a James Spahn release ;)

Untold Adventures: Deluxe Edition just went live at the amazing price of Pay What You Want. So, what is it?
Instant Adventure Upgraded! 
In Untold Adventures: Deluxe Edition you'll find all the material previously released in Untold Adventures and Unsung Heroes, as well as a short introductory adventure -- all combined into a single volume. In addition, the book has been illustrated throughout by William McAusland and features cover art by Jim Wampler!  
Untold Adventures: Minimalist Fantasy Roleplaying is a streamlined adaptation of Swords & Wizardry White Box. This complete game reimagines several core concepts of White Box to create an even faster gaming experience. Classes, races, equipment, weapons, armor, magic spells, encumbrance, and several other foundational elements are modified to create super-fast play where rulings (not rules) are the order of the day! 
Yet with all its changes, Untold Adventures is 100% compatible with Swords & Wizardry products with no adaptation! You can drop your favorite adventures, items, and monsters, on the table and go!

Digest sized print-on-demand and optimized PDF are coming soon. As with all products in the Untold Adventures line, the digital release of this product is Pay-What-You-Want!
James is a close friend of mine AND yes, that's an affiliate link above. Keep the lights on and the taps cold by using The Tavern's affiliate links. 

Reminder - Tavern Chat Tonight - 9 PM Eastern - #ConManKen - The Biggest Loser

Today is a Wednesday so that means tonight is a Tavern Chat Night! Woot!

Tavern Chat is a weekly gathering of members of The Tavern's Community and beyond where we talk about current events in gaming and all things geekdom.  suspect much of that talk tonight will be focused on #ConManKen.

We do a voice chat on The Tavern's Discord Server, but you don't need to talk. Many just lurk and listen.

Here's the link: https://discord.gg/fReGmuD

See you tonight at 9 PM Eastern

The Tavern Chat Podcast - Episode #77 - News- Truth, Justice, What Did #ConManKen Say?

Ah, "No gnews is good gnews with Gary Gnu." But wait, we do have Good Gnus!
Today was to be a trip for #ConManKen to NYC for some fun and a court appearance. Kenny dodged that by finally telling the truth. Also, a look at some sales figures and player stats for the RPG industry from ICv2 and Fantasy Grounds.
You tell 'em, Kenny!

Link to Episode 77: https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/Episode-78---News--Truth--Justice--What-Did-ConManKen-Say-e1u3dh

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Top Five RPGs - Spring 2018 - From ICv2 - 5e #1 -Starfinder #2?

I'm not surprised by D&D 5e being in the #1 spot. I AM surprised by Starfinder in the #2 Spot. Not even sure I know about Genesys...

Link to original article: https://icv2.com/articles/markets/view/41009/top-5-roleplaying-games-spring-2018

#ConManKen Comes Clean - He IS the Biggest Loser

When all you do is lie, when you suddenly come clean and tell the truth, it's almost too incredible to believe. Yet the evidence is clear, Ken Whitman lost / misplaced / broke two 4 TB hard drives that contained KotDT: LAS and possibly other videos from other Kickstarters BEFORE Gen Con 2015 and the KotDT Release Party.

The attempted shakedown of Kenzer Co for an extension to Ken's contract at the end of 2017 in return for the HD video? All bluster. There WAS no video. It was already gone.

The court case is basically done. There is nothing to be recovered.

Huge thanks to Louis Desy - without you, we'd never have closure. Without you, Kenny would still be lying.

Link to latest court update:  https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/fbem/DocumentDisplayServlet?documentId=nWcYcjVwzRXtn7pcdY4bDQ==&system=prod

From Louis Desy (highlighting is me):
If we assume that Whitman is lying about the files being gone, but no one can get him to tell them what he wants to turn the raw footage over, none of anything going on makes sense. 
BUT once we realize that Whitman is telling the truth to some people at times about the files being gone, then everything he has done and is doing makes perfect sense.
It also explains why no matter what I did over the months, including offers of money, I could never get Whitman to name a price or say what he wanted to turn over the raw footage. Why? Because if Whitman named a price, and I said OK, and sent ZOE to make the transfer, it would have been discovered that Whitman had been lying about having the raw footage and lying to make it look like he was holding it hostage. 
It is also why Whitman only told me late yesterday afternoon the number of devices and what happened to each. Whitman figures, as I did, that the case was going forward and it was going to now come out that he was lying about still having the footage shortly. If Kickstarter PBC had filed their appearance and motions several hours earlier yesterday, and Whitman had seen them, Whitman would have continued to refuse to detail the number of devices and what happened to each. On this I got lucky in how the timing played out plus Whitman start to cave on the court issue. Where last week Whitman was telling me that 'I want you to have to drive to court in New York', then on Monday, after I had given up on getting either defendant to do anything on appearing in person for about the Preliminary Conference, Whitman is all of a sudden calling the court clerk about arranging a telephone conference for the Preliminary Conference? Whitman is 'crying' in his filings that his car can't make the trip and he is so broke that he can't afford the trip, yet still will not try to get money for transferring the files? This is probably the most sincere and truthful any of us have ever seen Whitman in a long while. Whitman was not telling a 'sob story' in the hope of getting the court to agree to a telephone conference, his car is probably really not suitable for any long distance travel and Whitman was starting to fear that the case was going to require personal appearances in New York at some point and he was not capable of such a trip, even later this year, in all probability. 
As more examples of how 'the files are really gone' makes sense and answers the questions as to why Whitman is acting the way he does: 
1: Offer of ZOE to make the transfer. ZOE had a standing offer to make the transfer whenever Whitman would agree to allow that to happen, They even offered to have someone drive to where the files were and make the transfer. All of this was going to be FREE to Whitman, BUT Whitman refuses to let this happen and will not tell anyone anything he wants, why?  
Answer: Because the files are gone. Whitman can't agree to this because ZOE would find out the files were gone. 
2: I try for months to get Whitman to say what he wants, but Whitman never says anything definite or keeps making excuses as to why and how he can't do a transfer to anyone and talks in circles all the time on issues, why? 
Answer: Because the files are gone. Whitman can't tell me what he wants, because if I give it to him, I will find out the files are gone. 
3: I ask Jolly plus Kenzer and Company if Whitman wants anything. There are reports that Whitman wants to sign another contract but that Whitman wants to bar Jolly plus Kenzer and Company from talking about the project for five years, plus who knows what else, why? 
Answer: Because the files are gone. Whitman has to name terms that Jolly plus Kenzer and Company would never agree to because if they did agree, they would find out the files are gone. Whitman also asks for something that makes little to no sense, what difference does it make it if Jolly or Kenzer and Company talk about the mess, over 3,000 people know and it is all over the place, yet somehow one is to believe that it would really help Whitman if they stopped talking (if they do at all) online about the project? Plus, once it came out that the files were gone, any talking online by Jolly or Kenzer and Company would pale in comparison to the fact that Whitman lost the files. 
4: Whitman is offered 20 hours per week to work on the project by Marcus King, at Marcus King's expense, but Whitman turns King down, why? 
Answer: Because the files are gone. At least for KODT:LAS, Whitman CAN'T work on that project because he does not have the files anymore. If Whitman takes Marcus King up on the offer, eventually Marcus King will wonder why no progress is being made on KODT:LAS, which Whitman can't make any progress on if there are no files to work with.
5: Whitman is asked multiple times by various people but changes his answer as to whether or not the files exist, why? 
Answer: Because the files are gone. Whitman can't have people believing and knowing that he is so incompetent that he lost files that can not be recreated, but he can't just out and out tell everyone they are gone, Whitman has to be evasive as to whether or not they exist so no one is really sure of the status of the files. Which makes no sense when it is clear Whitman is broke but will not even name a price to transfer the files, but DOES make sense once you realize the files are gone and Whitman CAN'T deliver the files for any amount of money!  
6: Why doesn't Whitman try to negotiate a price for the transfer of all of the raw footage? 
Answer: Because the files are gone. If Whitman names a price, and someone meets that price, they will find out Whitman does not have the files anymore.

The Tavern Chat Podcast - Episode 76 - Kickstarter Roundup for July 31, 2018

Time for another weekly Kickstarter Roundup. The Good, the Bad and the downright UGLY ;)
Yep, today is a Tuesday and we have the latest Kickstarter Roundup. Eldritch Century: Monsters Wave 1, Void RPG Logo, Dice Tube - All Weather, Fantasy World Creator, and THE FANTASY TRIP – Old-School Roleplaying!





Monday, July 30, 2018

Tavern Chat is Far From the Only OSR Podcast on the Anchor Platform

I really like the graphic the OSR Anchorites Community is now using. Gabriel, you did a really good job :)

In no particular order, I'll list the OSR Anchorite Podcasts that I know of (and will add others as they are brought to my attention):

https://anchor.fm/the-red-dice-diaries - The is The Red Dice Diaries podcast, a rambling journey through the wonderful world of RPGs from the viewpoint of a long-time GM and player.

https://anchor.fm/follow-me-and-die - Ramblings and Musings on Tabletop RPGs by an Old School Gamer.

https://anchor.fm/glynn-seal - Welcome to Glynn Seal (MonkeyBlood Design), where amazing things happen.

https://anchor.fm/jason-hobbs - I go on rants about things in life, usually concerning Mental Health and using Tabletop Role-playing games to deal with my struggles.

https://anchor.fm/playing-it-wrong - Welcome to Playing It Wrong, the They Might Be Gazebos podcast. about D&D, RPG's and the people who play. Remember: Roll dice. Kill Monsters. Take their stuff. And HAVE FUN!

https://anchor.fm/spikepit/ - Spikepit where Colin ponders tabletop RPGs and his gaming exploits, with a view to engaging with the community.

https://anchor.fm/thesquirrelspeaks - The Squirrel Speaks is not so much a formal podcast as much as the ramblings of James M. Spahn, RPG freelance author and designer. He'll talk about whatever comes to mind.

https://anchor.fm/jbpublishing - JB Publishing the creator of One-Page Adventures for Swords & Wizardry and other OSR systems.

https://anchor.fm/frankt - Welcome to Frank T"s Liner Notes where I, Frank T chat about what I'm up to with Print and Paste Tabletop Terrain, Techniques, Theory, and other things all Tabletop RPG related.

https://anchor.fm/mattrandom- Welcome to MattRandom, where I ramble about various aspects of life from my point of view.

https://anchor.fm/dm-dad/ - Welcome to DM Dad, a podcast about running Dungeons & Dragons and other RPGs for kids. A great way to spend time with your family, now that your friends are too old and have all moved away.

https://anchor.fm/radio-grognard - An OSR Role-Playing Game Podcast

https://anchor.fm/gilligans-isle-of-add/ - Hey everyone, this podcast is about OSR RPG's, Music, Craft Beer, and having some fun! Shane discovered the OSR back in 2013, since then he has written furiously on the subject. Included are ramblings, random tables, monster ideas, reviews and interviews with other OSR authors!

https://anchor.fm/steve-c3 - Steve Cook talks about OSR gaming stuff, does '2 Minute Reviews' (yeah right!) and gives 'OSR Metal Shoutouts.' \m/

https://anchor.fm/playing-it-wrong - Welcome to Playing It Wrong, the They Might Be Gazebos podcast. about D&D, RPG's and the people who play. Remember: Roll dice. Kill Monsters. Take their stuff. And HAVE FUN!

https://anchor.fm/tavernchat - A daily chat with your Old School Gaming Bartender

https://anchor.fm/gothridgemanor - Welcome to my Anchor channel. You'll find nothing serious here. I talk about tabletop RPG gaming with a focus on the older editions and retro clones. Some folks call it the OSR, I just call it gaming. If you like rolling weird dice, talking in weird voices and just being weird, pull up a chair and stay a while.

The Tavern Chat Podcast - Episode 75 - You Say its My Birthday

75 Episodes. 51st birthday. It all comes together.
I turn 51 today. A look back and a look forward to #ConManKen's court appearance in two days, August 1st, 2018.
Link to Episode 75https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/Episode-75---You-Say-its-My-Birthday-e1tfld

Edit - TARGA is the name of the organization I couldnt think of...

Sunday, July 29, 2018

State of the Tavern Keeper - July 29th, 2018 - You Say it My Birthday, But Not for Another Few Hours...

Tomorrow, in a few short hours, I turn 51. For some reason, turning 51 has more meaning to me than turning 50.


As I turn 51, its the first birthday that I am truly a member of Team Frog God.

As I turn 51, I have added a moderately successful daily podcast to the mix.

As I turn 51, I no longer see myself primarily as a cop, or retired cop, but an active and contributing member of the OSR. I am forever grateful and humbled by the community that has formed around The Tavern.

As I turn 51, I suddenly have an understanding of my own mortality. Being a cop, at least a successful one usually means believing in your own immortality. I no longer have that illusion clouding my vision, and each day is more precious with my new clarity.

I started blogging at the age of 42, a few months short of my 43rd birthday. For the handful that have been around all that time, I am in your debt. For those that have joined the ride along the way, know that I plan on continuing doing what I've been doing over the past few years, just more so. 

As for another 51 years...

The Tavern Chat Podcast - Episode 74 - Why I Turned Down Working on an Amazing KS

There are some offers that are nearly too good to turn down. When I do turn them down, the reason is simple. You.
It's never easy saying no to working on a project that looks to be very exciting, with a publisher that has a very strong Kickstarter history. Here's why I did so - for the second time. I blame you ;)
Link to Episode 74https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/Episode-74---Why-I-Turned-Down-Working-on-an-Amazing-KS-e1t7ao
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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