Thursday, February 28, 2019

Kickstarter - Crypt of the Science-Wizard (5e & S&W)

All fear the Skeeter! Violator of Bad Mike. Muse of Bard's Gate and now Keeper of the Crypt of the Science-Wizard.

I like Skeeter. A lot. It's much safer to like Skeeter than it is to not like Skeeter ;)

Seriously, Skeeter Green is good people and I'm excited to see him release his first Kickstarter. Skeeter was playtesting this at TotalCon last weekend ad al the feedback I heard was that it was an excellent adventure. I'm backing Crypt of the Science-Wizard for the Swords & Wizardry version myself. 30 bucks for the Print plus PDF - shipping included in the continental US.
This site-based module is designed to bring you back to the age of pulp adventure, where you can discover the secrets of the hidden tomb of an ancient wizard! Travel great distances to a remote location to unlock the mysteries sealed within an ancient tomb. What harrowing challenges are contained within? Only the bravest and quickest of wit shall survive! 
Seek the entrance to the tomb of Kersete, long-lost magician of the first age and fabled hoarder of forgotten technology! 
SGP has gathered together a group of industry veterans and fresh talent to create a truly challenging and fun adventure. Talented artists, old-school game designers and a veteran developer mix fan-favorite tricks and traps with modern modifications to turn these classic tropes on their heads! Don't be afraid to think outside the box, but remember; use your head or lose your head! Can you bypass the hazards of Kereste, to explore deeper into The Black Tower?

Tonight @ 9 PM Eastern - Strange Murmerings Podcast Recording LIVE on the Tenkar's Tavern Discord Server with Guest Tom Knauss (Frog God Games)

I'm excited to announce a new regular live show on the Tenkar's Tavern Discord Server. Strange Murmurings is a twice-monthly podcast where the hosts (@melkor @BearEclai and @የሁዕዕረቿነ  from the Strange Gods podcast) sit down and talk with TTRPG content creators and designers and find out what makes them tick.

Tonight on Strange Murmurings, we have @Tom Knauss (Frog God Games) .. feel free to jump in the conversation at 9pm EST!  (yes, audience participation is encouraged) If you miss it, you can download it tomorrow on the Strange Murmurings podcasthttps://anchor.fm/strange-murmurings

You can find the Tenkar's Tavern Discord Server at the following link:


In addition to the above podcasts, you may enjoy Swords & Misery, an actual play podcast using the Swords & Wizardry rules. Same great folks. More great content.

Frank Mentzer Shares on Facebook: Truth, for the Record

The following was shared around 9 AM Eastern this morning. I'm sharing this without comment. You can read the original on Facebook here:

Frank Mentzer
2 hrs ·
Truth, for the Record

A. Dragonsfoot

In 2005, my friend and co-author Gary Gygax invited me to join him at Dragonsfoot.org. I posted often, freely interacted in several forums, and donated money when I could.

In 2015, I had a security problem (unauthorized use of my desktop computer), the only one in 10 years. But Dragonsfoot simply closed my account and never responded to my emails. They never handled the matter properly or fairly.

I did not write or send the nasty private message being quoted publicly. The recipient joined Dragonsfoot moderators Silvey, Marshall, and Gonnerman (the latter two having written OSRIC and BFRP, respectively) to make their accusations public at another website (Knights & Knaves Alehouse, now a locked NSFW thread). Their tales have been widely circulated in place of the facts. In falsely painting me as a bad guy, their actions crushed my former admiration for these two pioneers of 21st century roleplaying. Two of my idols had suddenly fallen.

B. Price

I was a Guest of Honor at Paizocon 2014. During that period I made many new acquaintances, including Lisa Stevens, Mona, Bulmahn, Alvarez, Radney-Macfarland, and others. More than one pointed out another employee, Jessica Price, and suggested that I include her in my new acquaintances, as she had notable potential. Price and I did not interact at the convention, but both of us attended a larger dinner at some point. She used feline analogies to describe herself, and spoke of her pet.

Over the next year I sent various FB friend invites to Paizo personnel, including Price. Her only response was “you’re sweet.” From that I realized that my words were misinterpreted, and I immediately pointed out that I was old and married, and left it there. However, she quickly attacked me during our subsequent Facebook interactions, so a few weeks later I unfriended her. She Blocked me immediately in her anger, and we had no further contact. As she requested, I never again had any effect on her or her life. (She has made other false claims referring to conversations that do not exist. Any claim that I meddled in her life is untrue.)

My words obviously affected and insulted her. She incorrectly treated my words as a threat, imagining nuances I did not intend. I was wrong to use the phrasing I did. I apologize once again for anything my words caused. I have tried to learn from my many errors, and I will keep trying.

Price left Paizo. Soon the “me too” movement occurred. Price dug up our brief interaction from two years earlier and repackaged it, adding paranoid fictions about my (nonexistent) meddling in her life. The careful timing of her attacks was a major factor in the destruction of my Empyrea kickstarter campaign and more than 30 jobs. I publicly apologized to her for whatever I had done, and asked for a formal investigation to clear up the falsehoods. That never happened; nobody cared. (I personally made sure everyone who worked for me got paid, whatever it took. I am poor and that hurt a lot, but I keep my word. I did not publicize that fact.)

Price was very publicly fired in July 2018 for irrational attacks on men, and became the personification of a vulgar internet meme. (https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Rando-Asshat)

I respectfully ask that the reader consider the fact that this infamous and discredited person is the primary character witness against me.

Personal Notes

Those who attack me know nothing about me, so it’s time to fill in some details (also see wiki/Frank_Mentzer)

I’m 68, a suburban kid who moved to the rural Midwest in 1980. I was active in the tabletop gaming industry from 1980-1988, and have only dabbled in it since, though it has been my primary hobby. Tens of millions of my works were sold, but that was long ago, and I am not a Public Figure.

My many published works and unpublished tournament adventures contain Zero controversial or objectionable elements. I’ve run more than 1100 online games, also entirely G-rated and uncontroversial, and I have text logs of most of them (perhaps a future publication).

I was hired by TSR in 1980, and they sent me to game conventions. Over 38 years, in meeting thousands of fans at hundreds of cons, there have been Zero complaints about me or my events. This of course includes Gary Cons 2008-2018. The total is now too large for me to count… several GenCon South, East, and SoCal, and 38 main GenCons (WI & Indy)… several at both TotalCon and NTRPG… dozens of small cons coast-to-coast, two in Canada, two major international cons (Finland and Italy), and many more (sorry, no room). I have a perfect record of perfect attendance and behavior.

I avoid profanity, vulgarity, and obscenity. I’m pacifist, and avoid attacking anyone or anything. I’m very private, and tend not to respond when attacked. I practice what I learned in 35 years as a game auctioneer: There are too many critics already, spreading hatred and conflict. Find something good to say about every game and every gamer, and strive to be a positive influence.

I make lots of mistakes, as do all humans. I am averse to malevolence, hatred, and other negative emotions. I mention this because attackers prefer to portray me as a highly motivated Old White Evil Power. That is another of their fictions, created so they can pretend to be good guys. In reality I’ve always been poor, have marched with and fought for minority groups, and now stand firmly with my gay and trans friends.

(Brief Downer) I survive on a Fixed (government) income and Medicare coverage. I don’t drink alcohol, not even beer. I can’t walk much, and need a scooter to navigate game conventions. I take a dozen pills a day (plus more to deal with recent stress), and suffer from emphysema, hypertension, diabetes, coronary artery disease, gout, cataracts, and other maladies. But retirement is wonderful.

Gaming style

At my gaming table, everyone is both welcome and equal, but you must leave your problems (and issues) at the door, for everyone’s comfort and benefit. I strongly feel that Gaming time is limited, and is for gaming and not Reality (whence we must all return afterward).

I removed the rules’ obvious white-male bias (limits on non-humans and females) decades ago. In games I include very little combat, and prefer interaction, dialogue, role-playing, and problem-solving… solutions other than ‘kill them all’. Race and gender are generally irrelevant peripheral details. In convention games and my ‘home’ (chatroom-based) games, I avoid mention of ingestion, excretion, reproduction, and other body functions, details that make some players uncomfortable. I’ve created a new roleplaying game (Fairy Tale Games/tm) that avoids the combat and bookkeeping so prevalent in modern games. I’m giving it away free.

Some Comments on the overall Situation

I do take full responsibility for my mistakes, and sincerely apologize for my errors of ignorance. Much of the fault is in not fighting back against the lies when they were created. But my internet expertise pales next to these formidable opponents, and I have no assets to balance their many accounts, platforms, and acolytes. Their machines are built to destroy, and I do not play that game.

Words & Deeds
100% of the valid complaints about me are about words. All complaints alleging real actions are false exaggerations and assumptions.

Internet Assassination
I keep getting Pearl Harbored. Dragonsfoot sought no fair resolution of our problems; they simply attacked without warning. Price sought no resolution, an ambush once again. Each attack also bears a hallmark: privacy violations. In business and law, Private generally means confidential and exclusive. To these amateur assassins, ‘confidential’ means ‘file for later public use.’ When compared to ethical professionals, their character seems markedly aberrant.

One extremist group promotes division, exclusion, and segregation, running convention tabletop games designed for that and advocating bans & boycotts. They publicly named me as a liability to Gary Con, basing their opinion on internet rumors alone. Despite their destructive mission objectives, their few good attributes do attract lots of forgiving fans, and that has influenced this situation.

No Resolution
I have publicly begged for someone, or some oversight body, to review the charges made in these controversial incidents and come to a fair conclusion. I believe that most of the accusations are invalid, and will be proven false. I am fully willing to be held accountable for anything I have actually done.

But in all of Hobby Gaming, including every aspect of game creation and manufacturing, organized play, and all of global fandom, there is no Oversight, no control. Anyone can claim anything, and nothing is ever resolved. Rumor and innuendo dominate the climate of the hobby, and the negativity has reached into local events. This situation is unsustainable, and is rapidly degenerating. Please fix this.

(end Part 1)

Kickstarter - Citadel of Terror - An Adventure for 5E and 1st/2nd Ed

I'm a huge fan of AD&D 1e. It's literally what brought me into the hobby. I'm a big fan of New Comet Games. Ben Burns knows how to put out quality Kickstarters. Slip in Paul Riegel, about as old school as it comes and Citadel of Terror rates as a no-brainer.
Citadel of Terror is a Fantasy RPG adventure module written by Paul Riegel-Green and Ben Burns for Fifth Edition (5E) and also converted to be used in 1st/2nd Edition games. This adventure takes place in a new fantasy setting, The World of Darknoth, being released by New Comet Games later this year. Citadel of Terror can also work in any setting.
Citadel of Terror is a starting adventure module for 4-8 players of level 1-4, written by Paul Riegal-Green. The adventure is set in the Kingdom of Addenshire, on the continent of Draconia, in the World of Darknoth. Darknoth is a dark and dangerous world, born from the ashes of all that has come before and been destroyed.  
To get more information about the Kingdom of Addenshire, be sure to select a Hero Reward Tier or higher, to include the Addenshire Gazetteer in your rewards. The Gazetteer provides an initial look at the description and background for the Kingdom, providing special information for the area surrounding the city of Adwick for a more in depth experience for your players. The Gazatteer will be written by Gary Van Binsbergen, creator of the World of Darknoth. 
PDF is 12 bucks. Print (POD) plus PDF is 19 bucks plus shipping. Higher reward levels include the gazetteer.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Reminder - Tavern Chat - 9 PM Eastern - Tonight

Shit! I didn't forget there was a weekly Tavern Chat tonight but I did forget to put up a reminder post. Grrr!

Tavern Chat - Where you never know who will drop in. It's like hanging out at a convention and talking with fellow gamers from the privacy of your desk chair :)

Link to the chat:  https://discord.gg/fReGmuD

See you shortly ;)

The Return of Greyhawk? - Ghosts of Saltmarsh coming in May 2019 (D&D 5e)

I generally don't get excited all that excited about D&D 5e releases but this is an exception. Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh is one of my favorite AD&D 1e modules and I've run it multiple times. Ghosts of Saltmarsh uses that module as the springboard to a whole campaign.
Ghosts of Saltmarsh brings classic adventures into fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. This adventure book combines some of the most popular classic adventures from the first edition of Dungeons & Dragons including the classic “U” series, plus some of the best nautical adventures from the history of Dungeon Magazine: Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, Danger at Dunwater, Salvage Operation, Isle of the Abbey, The Final Enemy, Tammeraut’s Fate, The Styes.

• Ghosts of Salt Marsh includes a variety of seafaring adventures, enough to take characters from level 1 to level 12.

• This supplement introduces the port town of Saltmarsh, the perfect starting point for a nautical campaign.

• Each adventure can be played individually, inserted into your ongoing game or combined into a single epic nautical campaign.

• Dungeon Masters will find rules for ships and sea travel, deck plans for various vessels, an appendix with rules for new and classic monsters, and much more
Some observations/questions on my part:

  • Is it just me, or is WotC mining much of the 1e and prior era and updating it to 5e?
  • Goodman Games updated Isle of Dread to 5e. Definitely a pattern.
  • Amazon pre-order does not YET appear to be discounted. 
  • Does this mark the return of Greyhawk? Will the setting see a 5e update?
  • Reaching into old Dungeon Magazine for adventures leaves me concerned about the current creative ability at WotC's current design team
  • Wasn't Yawning Portal all rewrites too?

Ghosts of Saltmarsh is available on Amazon as a preorder for 49.99.

https://amzn.to/2U9WHqP (this is an affiliate link. by using affiliate links on The Tavern's various pages, a percentage of the purchase price goes to support The Tavern. And beer.)

Kickstarter - The Citadel at Norðvorn (Norse-flavored setting for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG)

I really like the GURPS powered Dungeon Fantasy RPG. Back in my earlier days of gaming, GURPS was one of the many systems I owned and ran. Dungeon Fantasy is the GURPS treatment I've been waiting over 30 years for.

Sadly, there wasn't much support for it on release. Step aside for Gaming Ballistic / Douglas Cole. Douglas loves the GURPS system and it shows in his work. This time he gives us The Citadel at Norðvorn Kickstarter, a Norse-flavored setting for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG. Saweet!

Doug is spot on what it comes to his Kickstarter projects. High quality and on time.
In The Citadel at Nordvorn, you will find many adventures, plus more trouble the players will doubtless create on their own. The area is so teeming with strife and peril that their characters will have the opportunity to stand at the center of many crises. 
The Citadel at Norðvorn is a setting for the Dungeon Fantasy RPG. It consists of three major settlements, many small villages, at least one ruin, and two primary sources of conflict: The Hunted Lands to the northwest of The Palisade, and the Endalaus Forest, to the north and east of Audreyn's Wall. 
Return to Norðlond, a Viking-flavored world with its own history, culture, and expectations. Visit as an outsider, or fresh from a victory rediscovering the Hall of Judgment. 
It is intended for starting Dungeon Fantasy RPG characters of 250 points. They will be major players, and the fulcrum around which the future of Norðlond turns. While it is set in the same world as Hall of Judgment, it is not sequel. It is a setting, filled with adventuring possibilities, and easily tuned up or down in power level as the GM desired to suit any fantasy campaign! 
Good luck, and may the Fates have a bold destiny in store for you!
PDF is 14 bucks.  35 bucks (plus shipping) for the Print plus PDF.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

New Release - Walking the Way: A Mysticism Sourcebook (White Star)

James Spahn has released a new title for the White Star lineup - Walking the Way: A Mysticism Sourcebook.
Walking the Way: A Mysticism Sourcebook for White Star brings a plethora of new options to your OSR sci-fi campaign! As heroic Star Knights and exotic Alien Mystics fight against the agents of the Void and the evil Galactic Consortium, they find new options to add to their arsenal in the latest supplement for White Star: White Box Science Fiction Roleplaying and White Star: Galaxy Edition. Inside you'll find:
  • Four brand new classes! Elusive Althar meld both Meditations and Gifts, while Augumented Waybreakers meld cybernetic enhancement with the powerful Meditations.
  • New Gifts and Meditations to expand the power of your Mystic character classes!
  • Half a dozen paths for Alien Mystics to customize their journey towards enlightenment!
  • Complete rules for building and customizing the iconic weapon of the Star Knights: The Star Sword.
  • New gear, weapons, and armor!
  • New Advanced Technology, like the esoteric Spirit Stones!
  • New Monsters, from the adorable Gorp to the dangerous Void Serpent!
  • A completely new form of Mysticism: Technomancy!
Expand your galaxy today with Walking the Way: A Mysticism Sourcebook 
(7.99 PDF)
The above includes affiliate links. Shopping via The Tavern's affiliate links helps to support The Tavern  

Monday, February 25, 2019

Kickstarter - Pocket Box Games of the Eighties (Steve Jackson Games)

There were a number of really cool Kickstarters already in my browser tags ready to get highlighted at The Tavern before TotalCon (and I intended to post more from TotalCon but that simply wasn't in the cards.) So, here we go with the first of a short series of highlighted Kickstarters.

I remember well the Pocket Box Games of the Eighties. I had each one pictured above. They were great when you lacked a full group to play "the RPG of the week" or were meeting up with one or two others on a non-regular gaming day. Hell, OGRE rarely needed an excuse to play, it was simply fun.

Now Steve Jackson Games is bringing pocket games back. I'm thrilled that a new generation will get to play these games in the manner that they were intended - on a paper board with pieces that could get moved by a light wind. Trust me, it never stopped us ;)

20 bucks (plus shipping) gets you one game in a box. 145 gets you eight (free US shipping at this level and above)

I need to check how many i stillown...

Zak Smith - The Hits Just Keep on Coming - ENnies Ban Announced

Pretty much what it says on the tin. I'm glad they did not retroactively remove awards, as the products in question won because of teamwork from all involved, not just Zak.

You can read the original link here: http://www.ennie-awards.com/blog/ennie-award-announcement

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Post TotalCon Wrap Up - First Time Attending - Definitely NOT the Last ;)

Alright. I'll say this out loud - I shouldn't have waited this long to attend. Rach and I had a blast and next year will be even better as Frog God will be having more table space, more Swords & Wizardry and possibly even more Tavern Chat. Seriously had a blast recording live at TotalCon.

Oh, and for those that asked about business cards - yes, coming soon to a convention near you ;)

Convention staff treated us like aces. Hotel and bar staff were top notch.

It was great meeting the different fans of The Tavern - both blog and podcast. Its a really special time when I get to meet members of The Tavern's community face to face and now I have a New England convention where I can do just that. Huzzah!

The ride back to NYC was messy with steady light rain and fog. Just under four hours including a pit stop at a rest stop for a Subway sandwich. Any port in a storm ;)

Now its time to catch up before Gary Con arrives in a week and a half ;)

Saturday, February 23, 2019

TotalCon Day 3 With the Real Wives of the OSR :)

The ladies have taken over the Frog God table at TotalCon. I've been blessed with meeting and talking with a number of Taverners at the convention and I'm having a blast.

Our neighbor Jeff. We try to keep him well fed and happy. You won't like Jeff if he's angry... ;P

Stefan Pokorny is all his glory.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Gen Con Bans Zak S

Yep. The final nail may have just been pounded into Zak S' RPG coffin. Here's the original link: https://www.gencon.com/attend/gencon_policies

Gen Con's Stance on Abuse & Harassment
At Gen Con we have a policy of not disclosing the names of individuals who have been sanctioned or banned from our events. However, our statements regarding a recent ban have caused confusion and more importantly, made people feel that Gen Con doesn’t care about attendee safety. To clarify, I want to state that Zak S has been banned from Gen Con and that we flat-out don’t tolerate harassers or abusers in our community or at our convention. 
As a gamer and con-goer myself, I believe that everyone deserves space in their lives for the fun, excitement, and community that tabletop gaming brings, and that action needs to be taken to make spaces safer and more inclusive, especially for marginalized communities and survivors of abuse.
We have and will continue to ban from attending those individuals who threaten the safety of our attendees or members of our community. Before, during, and after the show, we review incident reports and accusations, we investigate claims, we coordinate with local authorities, and we ban people who violate our policies regardless of their stature in the industry or their relationship to Gen Con. We ban people for actions that range from theft and counterfeiting all the way up to harassment and assault. We also ban people for actions that occur outside of Gen Con’s immediate control in accordance with our policies. When we decide to ban someone, we inform the individual they are no longer welcome to attend our show, we block them from buying a badge through our site, and if they show up anyway, we remove them from the convention center and event spaces. It’s a very important part of our regular process for managing the show and the community that surrounds it, and we are always looking for ways to improve. 
We admire the bravery of victims who report their abuse or harassment, and we’re here to support you. If you witness or experience abusive behavior or harassment at or around our event (or in online spaces), we want to know about it so we can take action. That said, reactive bans alone are insufficient and as an industry we need to do more. Earlier in the year we revised our Code of Conduct and Anti-Harassment policies and published them on our website under a Creative Commons license for anyone to use and improve upon. We’ve improved our on-site reporting procedures and developed a Policy Enforcement Team to review incidents and take actions, whenever they arise, anytime of year, and we will continue to focus on this going forward. You can email us confidentially at policyteam@gencon.com if you have any questions or need to report an incident or concern. We will continue to work to make Gen Con safer, more inclusive, and of course more fun. Please do reach out if you have further thoughts or questions. 
Peter D. Adkison
Co-owner of Gen Con and Chairperson of the Board 

Thursday, February 21, 2019

TotalCon 33 - Day One - Road Trip

This is the first TotalCon for Rach and I. Its also the first con we've driven to that we are staying overnight at because we drove up from NYC.

That snow last night made for some beautifully frozen trees in the early morning sun. I'm guessing there was a nice coating of freezing rain. Door to door, including a Burger King visit for breakfast, was about 3 hours, 40 minutes. Not too shabby. Rach doesn't know it yet, but my lower and mid back is going to need some repair work. Sciatica is not fun :(

Cell service sucks. Period. Hotel internet is poor. Period. I will survive. Somehow. This may be a pic free post. That is how long its taking to upload a single photo.

Other than that the con is great. Zach and Bill are dong a fine job of filling my trunk with goodies I will need to ship to them. Sigh

Looks like the photo isn't uploading. I need a drink...

Back to the Frog God booth in the AM :)

edit - internet is down - back to trying phone back to hotel internet

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The Fantasy Trip Legacy Box - Photos and First Impressions

Yesterday I met Phil Reed and his assistant Amy (well, way over-qualified to be called an "assistant") for lunch in Manhattan. Lunch was great but what I left with was damn near priceless. One of three copies of The Fantasy Trip Legacy Edition to make it to the states. Kickstarter backers should expect to see theirs in late March or early April.

I plan on bringing this with me to TotalCon. I suspect if you drop by the Frog God booth you may catch a peek of it at some point.

The box is huge. Even the inside of the lid cover has a use (there are instructions on using it to drop dice on various drawings of the hex tiles to make an instant dungeon.) When Phil told me it weighed 8 pounds, he was NOT kidding.

 Aventure time!

I need to unfold the map later and take a pic of it in all of its glory.

 Character sheets

Mini character sheets Oh, and pre-gens.

 Dice and a handy folder.

GM's screen on its side. Grrr. 4 panels and solid.

Hexes for maps - and a dragon too!

Who the hell reads the Read This First first thing? Heh. I had to squeeze other goodies in my may and the sheet got a bit squashed ;)

The following doesn't exist either. Well, just a handful, as its a proof copy of Phil's zine. Half the pages of the final zine, as folks made it bigger and better ;)

Reminder - Tavern Chat Tonight - 9 PM Eastern - Dramatic Readings Anyone?

Today is Wednesday and that means tonight is Tavern Chat, where a bunch of geeks hang out in a voice channel on the Tenkar's Tavern Discord and talk geeky things. Last week there was even a "dramatic reading." Go figure ;)

Use the following link if you desire to drop in tonight. The festivities kick off at 9 PM Eastern in the Speakeasy Channel:


James Raggi / LotFP Cancels All of Zak Smith's Upcoming Work

You can read the original post on Facebook (sharing without comment)
5 hrs ·
'allo all... 
Jim here. Let's get this over with.
Do note that I have been advised by legal counsel to not comment about the content of statements released by various parties involved in the current situation. 
Similarly, I have been advised by legal counsel that LotFP is responsible for the comments left on our pages, so we will have to be heavy-handed moderating comments about this matter. There's a whole internet out there for you to express your unfiltered opinions, please respect our situation concerning this matter in our spaces. 
(thank fucking christ for lawyers, eh?) 
And something I would have thought could go without saying, but I have been advised to go ahead and state: Lamentations of the Flame Princess publications are purely fiction. There are many things our books portray imaginatively that are absolutely unacceptable in reality, including all forms of violence, which also includes sexual harassment and assault. Keep the bad things in make-believe, and the good in reality. 
And now on to the business at hand: 
1. All of Zak Smith's upcoming work with LotFP is canceled. We are not destroying stock or erasing things that have already been published (there isn't anything on this Earth that would make me a book burner), but should current stocks sell out, they will not be reprinted. 
Breaking this out, and clarifying the grey areas: 
2. Zak's financial interest is in Vornheim, Red & Pleasant Land, and Frostbitten & Mutilated, and that's it. He is not and has never been LotFP management and doesn't make decisions concerning books that he's not specifically credited on, and he doesn't have further financial involvement in the company beyond royalties from sales of just these three books. 
3. Zak had some time ago received considerable advances for two new books. One was in quite late stages of development and was planned to be released in April, and we had been preparing another printing of Red & Pleasant Land. These of course are not moving forward. Zak's Ref book contributions will also not be happening. I think that's all that was on his docket for us, but if I've missed mentioning anything here, they're still canceled. 
4. A new printing of Death Frost Doom, that has a considerable amount of Zak's work, is already at the printer and there's not much to be done about that. At this point I'm getting charged a near five-figure printing bill whether they deliver the books or send them straight in the landfill, and I'm not sending them to the landfill. His work on this one was done and paid for in early 2014 and he does not receive any royalties from sales of this book. 
5. Zak is credited as editor of Veins of the Earth but the writing there is all Patrick. Zak's involvement in that project ended in 2015 and he was paid his fee at that time, and he does not receive any royalties from sales of this book. 
6. We've got two full-time (including myself) employees and one part-time employee (who doesn't have another job), and investments in literally dozens of other Zak-free projects in various stages of completion. Many people are making royalties off of books that have nothing to do with Zak. Some people already have bailed from their upcoming projects. Some might still. But I plan on fulfilling all my current obligations and continuing to release for a long time to come a lot of things that uphold the LotFP standards of quality, intensity, and pure "What the hell were they thinking?" 
And now a personal note... 
I've talked to a lot of people this past week, people with different perspectives, from the deeply affected to my printer representative who doesn't know anybody involved. People who had all sorts of opinions on the matter, some favoring one side, some favoring the other. People I agreed with, and people I disagreed with. 
You know what they all had in common? They were bummed out. They recognized this was a tragedy from top to bottom. Even the people who agreed with my course of action here, hell, even someone that thought I wasn't going far enough, recognized what we were losing, even while they said we needed to lose it. 
But there are other people out there. People who don't think this is a tragic situation. There are people out there thrilled about how things have turned out. They're going to tell you they were right all along about things. And they'll be most helpful suggesting all the things that still need to be done.
You all need to keep your eyes out for these snakes slithering among us, feigning compassion when they once spat only cruelty, loving what this has done to us, ready to take advantage of the situation for themselves and further erode what we've all collectively built as a creative community. 
Don't let them. 
And one last thing. I'd like to thank Zak for all the work and support over the years. I am absolutely crushed that we cannot continue to collaborate.

Luke Gygax follows up on Frank Mentzer's removal as Guest of Honor at Gary Con

Luke posted the following on Facebook earlier this morning. I think it sheds some light (though not a lot) on what led to Frank's removal as a guest of honor at Gary Con.

Link to Luke Gygax's FB Post:
It’s been a very busy and long day between the Army and GC but I feel this is important. 
I want to share some more information to stop the rumors and give those of you that care to know some insight as to why I made the decision to remove Frank as a Guest of Honor. I believe that it was Frank himself who emphasized the importance of communication in our community way back in Polyhedron number one. That is sage advice that I want to heed. The way things get better is through communication and that is what I was trying to do with Frank. I called him several times over the past months. Sunday was the first time he called me back and we had a chance to talk. 
I needed to talk to him about something that had become clear to me; making Frank a Guest of Honor gave the perception that Gary Con condoned some behavior that was against our policies. I feel I am taking better actions now than I have in the past. The gaming community is in the midst of change and it is change for the better. Gamers are speaking up and demanding that we provide safe and inclusive environments for all of us to gather, play games and have fun. In the past we have had to talk to Guests about their behavior at Gary Con and even tell some not to come back the following year. Sometimes an attendee has crossed the line with a volunteer, and we addressed that with them and got resolution. I believe that due to Frank’s status and friendship with my Dad, I treated him differently in the past. 
However, I want to make some things clear. No one strong-armed me into making a decision. Sure people talked to me and gave me their opinions, but no one demanded that I remove Frank as a Guest of Honor. In fact when I talked to Frank I left the door open for him to attend Gary Con as he did last year. At the end of our communication it was Frank that closed that door. I respect Frank’s contributions to our hobby and all that he did to help Gary Con over the years. I hold no animosity towards him, he is a practically an uncle to me along with Tim, Jim, Tom and Mike. Quite the opposite is true; I wish Frank well. I am saddened by this entire situation. 
This is our hobby and in my mind it is about friends sharing good games and going on great adventurers together. Someone messaged me saying that a GM or GMs were considering canceling their plans to attend in protest. I hope that isn’t true, but if anyone is thinking about it they should realize that the people you are punishing is your fellow gamers who signed up to play in your game. As I said above, communication is critical, it is what will help us be better. I am willing to listen and I have read and replied to the messages that I received. If you have a concern or a suggestion please contact me. I hope that we can focus on what things unite us and get back to enjoying ourselves by rolling dice, creating new stories and forging strong bonds of friendship.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Tonight at 9 PM Eastern - Bill Webb and Mark Greenberg talk Lost Lands in Frog Chat - 9 PM Eastern

We host a weekly Frog Chat every Tuesday Night on the Tenkar's Tavern Discord Server. Tonight we'll have two special guests who you can pepper with all of you Lost Lands questions - Bill Webb and Mark Greenberg of Frog God Games.

Here's your handy link to tonight's chat:  https://discord.gg/fReGmuD

Have a great time :)

Removal Day - Zak S' Consultant Credit to be Removed from Future Print & Digital D&D Player's Handbooks

Interesting day. An interesting day indeed. Zak S actually made the news at the WotC D&D page. Let's read along, shall we?
To all D&D fans, 
We spent the last week listening and learning from the D&D community. 
Zak Smith, along with many others, was engaged by Wizards to provide feedback on D&D Next, the playtest which evolved into D&D fifth edition. We have not contracted with him since, and regret our choice to do so in 2014. Because of that, we are removing Zak’s credit from future physical printings and digital versions of the Player’s Handbook. 
We applaud how the D&D community supports one another and fully support the planned Dungeon Masters Guild bundle raising funds to donate to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network). The bundle is live now and we will be amplifying it going forward! 
We are grateful to be a part of this wonderful community, and we thank you for your passion. We remain committed to working with and learning from you, the D&D community. You may always share your comments and thoughts with us on our social media platforms and we are setting up an email address to receive feedback more directly. 
The D&D Team
Interestingly enough, now there are NO consultants at all listed anymore:

Frank Mentzer Removed as a Guest of Honor from Gary Con

Sometimes it seems like we are in a time of un-personing the main influencers in the OSR. The removal of Zak S from the community over the last week was huge. I'm guessing Contessa is feeling its oats because now Gary Con has removed Frank Mentzer as a Guest of Honor from Gary Con.

Heres the announcement (you can read in full here:  https://garycon.com/blog/2019/02/18/harbinger-unheeded/)

Note that I am highlighting certain text that I will be commenting on below.

Harbinger Unheeded
          February 18, 2019  
After much deliberation, I made the decision to remove Frank Mentzer as a Guest of Honor from Gary Con. His past misconduct and threatening behavior violate the ethics and harassment policies established by Gary Con. This was a difficult decision for me because Frank was a long-time friend and employee of my Dad, he has been to every Gary Con and had the honorarium of Old Guard attached to his name. He made significant contributions to the gaming industry in the 1980s with Basic D&D and the RPGA. However, Frank’s harassing behavior, threatening communications, tone-deaf and unapologetic responses are unacceptable to say the least and not the kind of behavior that represents what Gary Con is about. This form of toxic aggression is detrimental to the safe space we as a gaming community strive for.

I want to make something crystal clear, Gary Con is about celebrating the love of gaming, making friends, having fun and sharing camaraderie. All while we honor the memory of my father, one of the most important figures in RPG history. In order for Gary Con to continue to be the premiere gaming convention that it is, we must ensure that everyone feels welcome, safe, and believes that they are a valued member of our community regardless of their gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or what edition that they play. I want everyone to understand that if someone acts inappropriately, the staff will take action swiftly to correct it.  It is my reasoned judgment that having Frank as a Guest of Honor was counter to these principles.  That is the bottom line.

Luke Gygax
Founder, Gary Con
Wow. So, nothing new. Its the same drama that was attached to Frank at last year's Gary Con and he didn't get uninvited. It is also especially harsh wording. After Frank was removed as a Guest of Honor from Gamehole in fall of 2017 he was left, primarily, with two of the three Old School Cons a year. This past fall, citing health issues, Frank was limiting his convention appearances to one on a year - Gary Con. It's looking like Frank is done on the convention circuit.

Frank's comment on the situation:

Monday, February 18, 2019

Kickstarter - The World of the Lost Lands (System Neutral Setting from Frog God Games)

My God. This is the setting book Frog God fans have been waiting forever for. Well, maybe not forever, but it certainly has been a long time. We've received the setting in bit and pieces prior to the World of the Lost Lands Kickstarter.

Where to start. $50k goal. After less than 7 hours it's already surpassed $29k. Yes, it's that kind of project ;)

So, what do you get?
Over 42 years in the making, this is the definitive guide to the world of the Lost Lands!
This massive volume includes the history of the Lost Lands, a wealth of detailed maps, cultural information about its nations and peoples, and a huge gazetteer containing descriptions of the world's countries, cities, waterways and geography. For the first time, readers can explore the length and breadth of the great continent of Akados, including regions never before described, and far Libynos, home of the Desert Kingdoms and many ancient cultures alien to the folk of Akados. 
The book weighs in at approximately 700 pages in full color, with maps by award-winning cartographers and beautiful, original artwork to place you directly into the world itself in all its glory and terror. 
Entirely system-neutral, the guide can be used with any game system you choose.
The Lost Lands are the setting for a tremendous array of over 150 individual adventures and sourcebooks already published by Frog God Games and Necromancer Games, many providing statistics in multiple game systems. All of this material is available to provide an almost inexhaustible resource of ready-made adventures and epic quests! Future Frog God Games products set in the Lost Lands will be built into the ever-growing canon finally revealed in this volume.
Yes, you can use it with The Fantasy Trip (a popular choice in the comments section of the Kickstarter.)

Now, at $75k there is a REALLY interesting stretch goal:
The Lost Lands are opening up! At $75,000, Frog God Games will set up a license agreement that, at no charge, allows third-party publishers to commercially publish adventures, supplements, fiction and other written material set in the Lost Lands. Frog God Games material older than 18 months is available to expand upon and use as a springboard for your stories and adventures. Rights to third party-created content are retained by the creator and can be sold through any gaming or fiction marketplace determined by the creator. Simple guidelines apply (no indecent material, no harassment or encouragement of harassment of actual persons, no *-cist or *-phobic, no real world intrusions into fantasy games, etc.). Want to create new levels in Rappan Athuk? Go right ahead. Wish to reunite the Sundered Kingdoms? Great. Desire to expand upon otherwise unexplored locations? By all means! Want to go into the past and explore ancient times? Go forth and conquer!
Example of the thousands of illustrations and maps that will be available for 3rd party publishers or really awesome Game Masters. 
What is more, Frog God Games is currently developing a community hub that will contain resources like reference materials, a published adventure directory and access to almost 2,000 illustrations that have appeared in Frog God Games and Necromancer Games products, all for use by creators. The Hub will be free to backers for at least 3 months and will have a very minimal fee thereafter (only to pay for maintenance and compensate the coordinator behind everything). 
Other details will be forthcoming in updates and other channels as they are developed.
Dare I say "Holy Shit!" This is literally more than I could ever have hoped for (and I pitched an idea to open up an unused corner of the Lost Lands nearly two years ago but as always, my shots were placing low on the target ;)

Note - there is no POD option for overseas customers so PDF might be your friend.

Sweet spots for backers? I'm in at $105

For PDF only I'd probably recommend the following:

I'm stoked. Really. I might help the Frogs out at conventions but The World of the Lost Lands setting book is something I've been hoping to see for years. Opening the world to third-party publishers? Simply icing on the cake.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Kickstarter - DRAGONLOCK™ 3D Printable Miniatures

Wow. I want o give a huge "fuck you!" to Tom Tullis. I think he's finally pushed me over the edge. I have enough terrain that I will rarely get to use that although tempting, wasn't enough for me to take the 3d printer plunge.  Minis on demand is simply beyond tempting. 6 to 8 cents to print a mini? Yes, Fuck You Tom Tullis and your Fat Dragon Games too! Heh ;)

Now I need to negotiate the buying of a 3d printer with Rach.

$237 at Amazon - ships Prime - https://amzn.to/2GOICeQ (affiliate link)

$209 at Creality https://www.creality3donline.com/official-creality3d-ender-3-diy-3d-printer-kit_p0019.html (no affiliate)

Enough about me. Let see what you get with the DRAGONLOCK™ 3D Printable Miniatures Kickstarter.
DRAGONLOCK™ Miniatures are specifically designed to be the easiest-to-print minis you can buy for 3D printing. These miniatures are optimized for FDM-type 3D printers and do not require slicer-added supports to successfully print, as the sculpts are designed to self-support or in some cases have pre-designed supports built in. All of this means you can print highly detailed miniatures easily without having the hassles often associated with printing miniatures at home. Best of all, the miniatures in the photos you see are all printed on a $220 3D Printer and a standard 28mm miniature only costs around 6-8 cents in plastic to print!
Files are distributed via DTRPG (you AREN'T getting physical minis. You are getting the files to print your own)

Here's what you get:

(note - pledge levels include the lower level pledges before them, so $60 pledge level includes all)

$20 pledge

$40 Pledge Level

$60 Pledge Level

Stretch Goals (for $60 pledges)

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