Saturday, October 27, 2018

Kickstarter - Labyrinth: The Lich Lord's Lair tabletop fantasy RPG game

Sometimes a game looks interesting, then you see the lack of backers and it makes you dig a bit deeper. Labyrinth: The Lich Lord's Lair tabletop fantasy RPG game is just such a game.

Launched on October 19th, its had 8 days to find an audience. In that time, its found 12 backers and about 7% of its funding. No, it's not doing well with 19 days to go.
A unique tabletop fantasy RPG adventure game where YOUR CHOICES and the ROLL OF THE DICE determine the OUTCOME of the story and game.
Wait, isn't that pretty much ALL games that aren't pure skill or pure chance?
Labyrinth: The Lich Lord's Lair is a tabletop, fantasy role-playing, multi-path adventure game that is unique in the sense that YOU (and/or your party, if you are playing with multiple players) choose your own destiny(s); that by your own choices YOU determine the OUTCOME of the story. In fact, sometimes, your very fate(s) might even depend on the roll of the dice....
I got drawn in by the art and the title. I must admit the pitch is pretty horrid, claiming uniqueness fr something that is very NOT unique.

But wait, there's more!
You get to decide where the story goes! By no means a new concept, Labyrinth: The Lich Lord's Lair is a multi-path, tabletop game modeled after the Choose Your Own Adventure and Fighting Fantasy style books. Because the outcome of the story is determined by the choices you and/or your party make, this creates a more intimate gaming experience for everyone, and a new adventure every time you and your friends play! It is also the first in a series of Labyrinth adventures to come! 
An engaging storyline, coupled with tons of incredible artwork from high-caliber fantasy artist, Ilya Shkipin. In fact, all of the artwork above that you see in this campaign was created by Ilya specifically for Labyrinth: The Lich Lord's Lair, and are just a taste of what is to come!  
Single Player or Multiplayer! Labyrinth: The Lich Lord's Lair can be played by yourself, or can be modified to create a multiplayer adventure experience for you and your friends!
 Simple game mechanics! We at EndGame wanted to create a game that you, the player, can actually spend playing, not learning, but enjoying, without feeling intimidated by it.  We want our adventurers to get right into it, without wasting precious time doing a bunch of math, and filling out tons of confusing boxes that only further complicate the game play. With our game, character creation is super easy, and our simple turn-based, dice roll combat system delivers a fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat combat experience that is both engaging, and maintains the flow of the game.  
Appealing to gamers of all different levels and backgrounds! In fact, a recent beta test of the prototype/draft of this game received rave reviews and positive and enthusiastic responses from both hardcore and casual gamers alike! 
Approximately 2-1/2 to 3 hours tops to complete an adventure! One of the more engaging and attractive aspects of this game is that it was created knowing that people like you lead active and busy lifestyles.
Different strokes for different folks! For the avid reader and casual gamer, Labyrinth: The Lich Lord's Lair will be available as an adventure gamebook in a PDF version, complete with all of the artwork, that you can take anywhere with you on your mobile device, tablet, or laptop or play on your desktop at work when the boss is not around. For the tabletop enthusiast, the game will be available as a tabletop game in a full-color box, complete with a high-quality, fully-illustrated ADVENTURE book, CHARACTER PROFILE sheets, a BATTLE CHEST containing one set of custom HERO dice and one set of custom ENEMY dice, CREATURE CARDS, INVENTORY CARDS, TREASURE TOKENS, and a tabletop SATCHEL for your INVENTORY CARDS. And finally, if we hit Stretch Goal #2, we will be bringing the Lich Lord to PC as an exciting, interactive fantasy RPG video game. Each format of the game will obviously have unique features that the other ones will not.
Sorry, this is not unique. Buy in for the game is 80 bucks, which isn't horrid, but I've literally seen a dozen or more of these "fantasy heartbreaker" boardgames. Some even fund. This one won't.

Ah well, maybe I can count those 80 bucks as "money saved" ;) If only Gareth hadn't bilked me for 150 7 years ago...


Friday, October 26, 2018

Looking at My Original AD&D 1e Player's Handbook is a Peek Into My Gaming History

I talked a bit about this on The Tavern Chat Podcast yesterday, but I think it's an interesting enough topic to also explore a bit on the blog side looking at my old gaming books is like a peek into my personal gaming history. Thankfully, with the blog, I can use photos ;)

Look at the beat up and worn out cover. This book has been used. And yet the binding is still holding tight - not like my Unearthed Arcana and 2e books. I guess TSR changed to a cheaper printer down the line.

Even back in 1980 (6th print), it was important enough for me to highlight a certain sentence. This is the ONLY highlighting in the entire book and is the one rule that applies to every game I've ever run or played in.

I think I made the pencil change for half-orcs for my sister who wanted to play a half-orc thief, but I'm far from sure 38 years later...

This isn't a bad photo, it's a bad print of A Paladin in Hell. Too much black ink on the page for the printer to handle I guess.

I was house ruling the Ranger class before house ruling was a thing apparently ;)

Looks like I failed a roll to learn Feather Fall. WTF was I marking this in the book of all places?

Yep, 4 pages (2 sheets) are missing. They were perforated and that was an invite to "pull them out" and I did. No idea if I still have them tucked away in a folder or not.

I'd love to hear about (or see) the stories of your gaming history tucked away in the books that brought you into the hobby. 

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Is Gareth Michael Skarka Writing for the Star Trek RPG Under a Pen Name? Will the Real Michael Brophy please stand up ;)

There was a huge push back when it was learned that Gareth Michal Skarka was brought on board to write for the new Star Trek RPG from Modiphius Entertainment. In response, Modiphius promised to announce the books that Gareth was contributing to.

So now we have this mess:

 His credit is missing. It's there, under a different name.

But initially, they said he wasn't involved with the core book:

Let's peek closer, shall we?

Original PDF credits.

RPGNow preview.

Current PDF credits.

Sorry for all the screenshots, but it is what it is. Pictures speak in this case.

Now, IF Michal Brophy IS Gareth Michael Skarka, there was a slight of hands being performed on the buying public. Looking at the evidence above, I'd say that is most likely the case.

Kinda glad I never bought the Star Trek game at this point. Shame, I really like Star Trek.

Hey Gareth! When the next "do or die!" day for Far West?

Boardgame Geeks for the win ;)

Humble Mini RPG Book Bundle #1: Horrors Unbound: Stank Hog (5e)

Yep, there's a new Humble Bundle in town, just in time for the Halloween Holiday, and it maxes out at 7 bucks. Oh My!
Welcome to the inaugural Mini RPG Book Bundle! We assembled a party of awesome RPG publishers to create a series of three ebook bundles. Spice up your 5th Edition adventures with this set of sourcebooks and play aids, then come back next month for another! Actual Stank Hog not included.
For 7 bucks - or as little as a buck, 5e adventures are a breeze to convert to the OSR ruleset of your choice.

Here's what you get for a measly buck:

and for 7 bucks, you get to add the following:

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

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Reminder - Tavern Chat Tonight - 9 PM Eastern - Release the Hounds! Er, Dachshunds that is ;)

Spent today running errands and taking my son to a doc appointment. I think I need a nap if I'm going to make tonight's chat ;)

I've mentioned this before, but we've added a second nite of hosted chats on Tuesday nights with the Frogs. The Sunday Morning RPG Breakfast Club will also be a regular event. Yes, our plans to make a Live Chat Network for Tabletop RPGs is slowly coming to be. Wait, that was supposed to be an internal monologue...

In any case, tonight I'll be high on NyQuil (again), so enjoy :)

Here's the link for everyone:   https://discord.gg/bHTfzM7

Join us for the voice chat at 9 PM tonight. You don't even need a mic, just listen and pretend its a live, uncensored podcast ;)

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

New Release - Marvin the Mage! - Issue #1 (Jim Wampler)

I'm grabbing the PDF and a Print copy at Gamehole :)
Marvin the Mage is back! This first issue treasury edition will be released at Gamehole Con, but this is your chance to get in on a early-bird special. Just send $3.99 via PayPal to jwampler(at)mac(dot)com, and I will email you a special coupon code and link to go download the PDF version of Marvin the Mage No.1. The PDF version features exclusive content that will not be in the print version, like full-color comics and a never-published story for a fanzine that never was. $3.99 CHEAP gets you the goods TODAY!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Review - Dungeons & Dragons Art and Arcana: A Visual History

I know I posted about Dungeons and Dragons Art and Arcana: A Visual History before when I received my review copies, but it releases tomorrow and I wanted to put a short review together to remind folks who haven't yet snagged a copy. Remember, in this case, Amazon is your friend ;)

Dungeons & Dragons Art and Arcana: A Visual History has a suggested retail of $50 - on Amazon, it is available for $31.45

Dungeons & Dragons Art and Arcana: A Visual History - Special Edition, Boxed Book & Ephemera Set has a suggested retail of $125 - on Amazon, it is available for $76.27

Note - these are Amazon affiliate links. A small portion of your purchase price made via these links will go to support The Tavern. I Thank you.

I'm going to do this review picture by selected picture, as it IS an art book, and the art is what really makes this stand out.

Standard cover and special boxed set.

 Box cover of the Special Edition. It really is special and pops in person more than this photo shows.

 Cover of the Special Edition book.

A Paladin in Hell is one of my favorite pieces of art from any 1e book. Emirikol the Chaotic was also damn - and pretty much what my players thought "chaotic" meant ;)

 Dungeons & Dragons Viewmaster and a record release? I literally had no clue.

I love the classic ads.

I realize now that I never had the "orange spine" releases of the core AD&D 1e books. Otherwise, I'd have this complete collection.

I have some of these colored covers, but not many.

The AD&D 2e art was a huge change from 1e. Not going to say which I think was better, just remarking on the huge change in direction.

 Beholder by the Numbers. Edition numbers ;)

 Ah, the Forgotten Realms. The beginning of the end of Greyhawk. Nope, not bitter at all...

 Dragonlance. Fun books. Excellent art. Shitty modules.

 I like this piece but don't recall it.

Collectors edition only.

Inside of above.

Lots of frameable posters in the Special Edition.

So, my final score? To (poorly) quote Nigel from Spinal Tap, "this goes to ELEVEN, and eleven is a larger number than ten."

Get it. Seriously.

Its Beginning to Look a lot Like OSR Christmas...

This picture is probably from 1998. 20 years ago (remind me on Tavern Chat to tell the story of when I shaved off my mustache). And look, its Christmas!

I, as usual, have a shit ton of gifts for OSR Christmas. I plan on Kicking off OSR Christmas the weekend of Thanksgiving and keep it running through the end of December, with gifts given away every two or three days (12 days of actual gift giving / posting). I suspect I'll be offering two Tenkar's Tavern Holiday Grab Bags into the mix.

If you want to join in the gifting, start looking on your shelves for games you no longer need or want. If you are a publisher, consider what you may be able to part with for the joy of the Christmas spirit.

In a coup;e of weeks I'll put out a call for those that wish to participate from the gift-giving side.

If memory serves me correctly, this will be the sixth year The Tavern has hosted OSR Christmas. Without the continued generosity of the gaming community, we would never have gotten this far :)

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Coming Soon - Man, Myth & Magic (Classic Reprint)

I never played Man, Myth & Magic when it released, but I do remember the advertisements in Dragon magazine and I was intrigued. I just never had the funds.

Precis Intermedia has announced they will be reprinting Man, Myth & Magic and I'm kinda excited. I don't expect I'll ever play the rules, but I'm looking forward to owning and reading them.

Anyone play Man, Myth & Magic back in the day? What was your experience?
Your journey has been long and arduous, but you and the rest of your party finally camp within the great stone ring of Salisbury plain to spend an anxious night waiting for the golden glow of the midsummer day's dawn. Your thoughts are not of the mad emperor, Caligula, who sent you on this maniacal quest. Nor do you dwell upon the evil clans of Black Druids, who stood between you and this night. Rather, you ponder the unknown, mystical dangers that lurk within these very stone megaliths, as well as the hazards and powers that will be unleashed as sure as the sun will rise. Obsessed with this premonition of danger, you have not the slightest inkling that you will be irresistibly pulled into a series of events of such magnitude that they not only dwarf Caligula and Rome, but form the greatest adventure in human history. You have not the slightest suspicion that tomorrow's dawn will throw you into danger and intrigue, leading you to discover... the riddle of Stonehenge... the secrets of the pyramids... the mysteries of the ancient world.  
Man, Myth & Magic is a fantasy roleplaying game set in the ancient world. A world seen not from our modern historical perception, but rather through the eyes of the people who lived it. A world filled with magic and sorcery, demons and monsters, and incredible powers and forces that hold the key to the domination of all mankind. Reincarnate as an Egyptian Sorceror, British Druid, or even as an Irish Leprechaun to face the might and mysteries of the ancient world. 

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lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

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