Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Kickstarter - Far Away Land Old School Role-Playing Game

"OSR version of the Far Away Land RPG compatible with older versions of the world's most famous game and its clones."

My experience with Far Away Land has been magical, so obviously I am biased. See, Dirk gives FAL adventures away at PWYW pricing, and that is how I sampled FAL for the first time and I was hooked. The art and the implied setting were chum in the water and the next thing I knew I had all of the releases and was running a session of Far Away Land myself. Me, the "I'll never run a non-OSR game" was running a non-OSR game. The thing is, FAL had obvious OSR roots, and now it has come back to its roots.

Did I mention I wrote a forward for the Far Away Land Old School Role-Playing Game? Yep, I did. No, not biased at all ;P
Project Description: The Far Away Land (FAL) OSR is a re-imagining of the Far Away Land RPG – through the lens of OSR-style games and mechanics. This project was inspired by Swords and Wizardry Light, a stripped-down, rules-lite version of Swords and Wizardry that uses only d20s and d6s. FAL was originally inspired by simple, old school gaming mechanics that place emphasis on characters, story, and adventures rather than heavy rules. This version of FAL uses familiar mechanics (6 stats, HP, AC, etc.) mashed into the Far Away Land setting. It maintains the tradition of a rules-lite game while using a more well-known system that is compatible with the world’s most famous rpg and many of its clones. Essentially, FAL OSR is a complete circle, back to what initially inspired the original game, set in the gonzo world of Far Away Land. 
The FAL OSR Physical Book: The physical book is 130 pages, 8.5 x 11, full color. It features rules for character creation, new classes, new playable races, 100 monsters, new spells, tons of rules for various mini games and lots more (detailed chapter by chapter below). The book is written, tested, and finished. It has a ton of artwork in the style of Far Away Land and maintains the quirky nature of that setting while giving players familiar (although modified rules). The pdf is bookmarked with a complete index and table of contents. 
Shit, just read the FAL Kickstarter page. the is much awesomeness there :)

POD Soft Cover at cost with PDF is 15 bucks (final about 29). POD Hard Cover at cost with PDF is 22 (final about 40 bucks)

Monday, April 29, 2019

Amazon Now Has a Dungeons & Dragons Section

Amazon now has a Dungeons & Dragons Section. Sure, its all 5e and 5e related, but the prices are damn good and its all in one place.

Besides, a percentage of all sales made via The Tavern's affiliate links (even if you stray off the Dungeons & Dragons section and sandbox to other RPGs and beyond) help support The Tavern.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Kickstarter - 5e Fantasy RPG Advent Calendar rammed full of custom gifts!

"A gift filled 24 door Advent Calendar for players of the 5th Edition of the World's Greatest Fantasy Role Playing Game."

I was intrigued when I first saw the 5e Fantasy RPG Advent Calendar rammed full of custom gifts! Kickstarter. I thought "what a cool gift for my who will then be 9 years old niece!" Then I saw the buy-in. 71 bucks plus another 28 for shipping. This is no longer an impulse buy. 99 bucks aint cheap.
TL;DR: 24 doors hiding 24 physical gifts alongside an exclusive Module to download that uses many of the calendars' contents! This includes exclusive metal miniatures commissioned for the calendar, game aids and so forth.  
The calendar front features stunning artwork with a developing cartoon style story and internal pictures behind ever door that further expand on the adventurers journey. Every calendar ships with a poster version of the cover art for when you've torn the doors off! 
If you would like to know a little more about the contents, and are prepared to take the "Full Gandalf" pledge of silence, please drop me a message.
Sorry. For 100 bucks I need more than vague details. Especially from a "First Created, Zero Backed account". I certainly shouldn't need to message the creator directly to find them out. Shame, because it really is a cool, if expensive, gift idea.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Kickstarter - The Koryo Hall of Adventures 5e Compatible Campaign Setting

"A new campaign setting compatible with Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition (5e) based on Korean locations, myths, and legends."

One of the most overlooked Asian themed settings in RPGs is Korean. As someone that used to work in and lives near Flushing, NY - often called the second largest "Korea Town" in the United States, I've always been intrigued with Korean history and myths since childhood, having Korean classmates throughout my public school education. To have an RPG setting that covers such background I find pretty exciting. And thus we have The Koryo Hall of Adventures Kickstarter.
In the Koryo Hall of Adventures campaign setting, you can explore four uniquely detailed lands within the continent of Jeosung. Roam the mystical forest wilderness of Haguiliesta or head to the city and meddle in the mercenary politics of Daewanguk. Heroes (or fools) may attempt to infiltrate the hermit kingdom of Haenamguk or brave the frigid peaks of Noonnara. 
You want more? How about taking part in a pilgrimage along the crest of Wunü Mountain, or exploring the eternally dark swampy forest of Hugakneup? You could also participate in the famous Cave Games under Cheonsanju mountain, or even trade grains and brewed alcohols  along the Chassalgil trade route.
Heck, you  can even sample before putting your hard money down:
Would you like to sample the setting? Setting creator Aurélien Lainé has written five free adventures set in Jeosung, containing just enough hints of the campaign world to get a good taste. Best of all, they're available as a free pdf download on his website.
The sweet spot is 35 bucks for the print plus PDF.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Statement by Bill Webb

Shared without comment:

(original can be found at Frog God Games)

Statement by Bill Webb

Bill Webb here. I am one of the principals of Frog God Games. I have been at the center of a controversy stemming from a series of events that took place at Paizo Con nearly two years ago. For the most part, I have declined to take part in the many, often heated, discussions of these events. But given the strong feelings, opinions, and rumors on the internet concerning the events of that day, myself, and my company, there are some things I need to say.
I want to start by taking ownership of my own bad actions. On the day in question, I acted unprofessionally towards a colleague, BJ Hensley. I was overly familiar with Ms. Hensley and acted in a gender dismissive fashion. To be specific, I put my arm around her shoulders and called her “sweetie.” That behavior was and is not appropriate behavior towards a colleague and, unless one is very familiar with someone and has their consent to speak to them in that manner, that kind of conduct is never appropriate.
Unfortunately, that was not the end of it. While we were out for a cigarette, I offered her one by holding my cigarette pack out towards her so that she could take one. As was my habit, I had my room key in the sleeve of the cigarette pack so that I would not lose it.
I now can imagine how that must have looked. I had absolutely no intention of giving the impression that I was propositioning Ms. Hensley. In fact, my wife and kids were present at the con and my wife would have responded very poorly to additional guests in our hotel room. However, that does not excuse my mistake. I can see that my actions with the cigarette pack could be taken as a pass. I am deeply sorry for making BJ uncomfortable.
I have worked hard since this event to correct my behavior and focused on being more professional in my interactions with both con attendees and colleagues. This in no way excuses my prior behavior.
Beyond this, I have been accused of doing several other things that day. I have seen stories on the internet accusing me of assault, getting into a fight, and attempting to drug Ms. Hensley at PaizoCon and acting like a sexual predator and a violent drunk at other cons. I am posting a series of screen shots below which I hope will address these other accusations. None of these things happened at PaizoCon or any other con.
The company decided a while ago that when I’m at a convention now, I am always accompanied by another FGG associate, which is a policy I agree and comply with.
At the end of the day, I accept full responsibility for what happened that day and accept the  consequences. All that I can do is to try to be a better person. What truly has been the worst part of the aftermath of the incident with BJ are the attacks on Frog God Games. I am just one of many people who work for this company. None of the other people at FGG had anything to do with this incident and none of them have ever conducted themselves in such a poor fashion. They are all perfectly decent and respectful people. It saddens me that they have had to pay for my poor actions from years ago by having our projects attacked by third parties. Many of these projects I have nothing to do with, yet my colleagues must continue endure their company being disparaged because of my poor behavior.
I am not asking for anyone’s forgiveness here. I acted like an idiot that day. That is the full truth of the matter. And I am deeply sorry. At this point, all that I can hope for is that with regard to this incident is that people will form their opinions of me and FGG based the truth and my actions, and not on the basis of rumors and fictional accounts created to fit a desired narrative.
Thank you,
Bill Webb

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Craig Brasco - Artist Available for Freelance Work

I LOVE Craig's artwork. He's done a few pieces for me over the years and they are, quite simply, amazing.

If you're looking for an artist that does quality work on time, look no further than Craig Brasco.

cbrasco@gmail.com is his email. His website has more samples of his work, both black and white as well as color: craigbrasco.com

That is all :)

Kickstarter - Paths: World of Adia tabletop RPG

"Paths: World of Adia is a tabletop RPG that supports both classic Game Master group play and Solo Gameplay."

I've interviewed members of Smunchy Games on the Tavern Chat Podcast and we've spoken about the Paths: World of Adia Kickstarter. Here are the links to the interviews:




I'm intrigued. Paths can be run both with and without a GM. That is a bold move and one I fully support. Who hasn't had an RPG session where no one wanted to GM. Now you have an option. Heck, you can even play solo:
The world of Adia needs adventurers, and understands the limits players have in their personal lives. We’ve developed a system where players can play together, even without a Game Master. Branching choices and required checks are handled within the module itself. This allows for groups or a single player to interact with the world and progress even when real life gets in the way.
I think the sweet points to back are 80 bucks (includes the "GM in a Box" cards) and 110 (which adds in a hardcover module).

I'll probably be in for 110 myself. I may need to go back to work to supplement my Kickstart habit ;)

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Tavern Chat Hangout - 9 PM Eastern on the Tenkar's Tavern Discord Server

Yep. It's a Wednesday yet again and that means this evening is Tavern Chat, a time to hangout out and talk with others in the hobby, big and small (mostly small ;) about going ons in the gaming hobby and general nerd stuff. Come on, you know you want to ;)

Looking for a link? Here ya go:


The text chat channel is #tavern-chat. The voice channel is the Speakeasy.

See you tonight!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Huge Fat Goblin Games Sale - Most of the Catalogue is Priced at a Buck a Piece

Here's your link to the Fat Goblin page at DriveThruRPG:


There's even a sale on Stock Art.

Yes, that is an affiliate link above. Purchases made with The Tavern's affiliate links help keep the lights on and the taps flowing here at The Tavern. I thank you in advance - Tenkar

Monday, April 22, 2019

Kickstarter - RPG Random Encounter Dice (New Comet Games)

"Easy to use Random Encounter Dice for your Fantasy RPG game. Usable with 5E, PF, B/X, S&W, 1E/2E, DCC and more."

Dice. The final frontier.

Seriously, one thing I can never seem to have enough of is dice. Weird sizes, strange colors, unexpected uses - I have all types.

New Comet Games is tossing a new idea (at least to me) onto the table. RPG Random Encounter Dice.
RPG Random Encounter Dice are the perfect tool when you need a new monster to fill in on the fly during a game, when building your dungeon or populating a full world.  
Each die has 10 different monsters grouped into similar monster categories.   
Each set includes 3 different dice for 30 different monsters. The complete collection includes 12 different 10 sided dice for 120 Unique Monster Outcomes!
A complete collection of all 4 sets is 30 bucks (and includes a bonus die). A single set is 9 bucks. Decisions, decisions...

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Gygax Beer - You Know You Want One!

I'm guessing Gail missed the lucrative "liquor and beer" section when she registered the Gygax trademark. That, or she can defend it. Either way, looking forward to this can cooling down enough to drink ;)

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Kickstarter - How Many RPG Pins Projects do We Need? (I Count Three Funding Right Now?)

Everyone like decorative pins, right? I mean, if you subscribe to Loot Crate you get one every month. My niece's school bag is flooded with such. That being said, how many RPG Pin Kickstarters do we actually need?

Well, I found three that are funding right now. All want about 10 bucks a pin. One shows physical samples of the actual pins, two just show concept art.

Here they are for your perusal:

RPG Pins show off your love of roleplaying games! Series 1.5

Sure the graphic says "& Patches" but
we don't need no stinkin' patches!
Oh, there are no patches
D20 RPG Hard Enamel Class Pins

Look! Actual samples!
Potion Shoppe: RPG enamel pins

Maybe it's just me, but I find this
to be the least impressive

Thursday, April 18, 2019

News - DriveThruRPG Partners with Astral Virtual Tabletop

I consider this interesting news for multiple reasons. I'm surprised that DriveThruRPG is teaming up with ANY Virtual Table Top. They don't produce games, they distribute games. Secondly, I've never heard of the Astral Virtual Tabletop. Obviously, I don't know every of the existence of every VTT on the market, but I would have expected a more well known VTT to be part of an announcement like this. That being said, Astral appears to be well along in development - Tenkar
Astral Virtual TableTop is the easiest way to create, host, and play tabletop roleplaying games. Astral has partnered with DriveThruRPG to launch a new experience that makes running tabletop roleplaying games immersive, simple, and fun for both Game Masters and players. Use Astral to play with friends online, or as a helpful tool around the gaming table. Play any tabletop roleplaying system in Astral by importing and sharing your favorite titles purchased through any DriveThru site, including DriveThruRPG and Dungeon Master's Guild
All accounts come with a ready-made starter template, tokens, audio files, and a helpful guide to help you get started. Use Astral for free, or level up to a Pro plan to unlock automation tools and 10,000 assets (designed by Mythic Portal Games) that come with every Pro account.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Reminder - Tavern Chat Tonight - 9 PM Eastern

Barrel Rider Games is now linked with Gallant Knight. Fantasy Grounds is releasing an AD&D 2e ruleset I expect those will just some of many topics tonight during the live Tavern Chat hangout at 9 pm Eastern.

Tavern Chat is held weekly on the Tenkar's Tavern Discord Server, each Wednesday night.

Talk, listen, ask questions, chew the fat. It's all good. You never know who may turn up :)


News - Fantasy Grounds has just released Officially Licensed AD&D 2E modules for the PHB, MM, DMG and N1 Adventure

I received the following from Doug Davidson (Fantasy Grounds) via the Tenkar's Tavern Facebook page:
Fantasy Grounds just released officially licensed AD&D 2E modules for the PHB, MM, DMG and N1 adventure.  
We added a 2E ruleset to all Standard and Ultimate licenses where people can enter their own data if they don't want to buy the preloaded module content we sell. 
I would have preferred 1e or B/X but this is a heluva good sign that there are more classic rulesets in the works. Notice that the adventure converted to Fantasy Grounds is N1 - a classic AD&D 1e adventure.

Interesting times!

edit - From a comment of Facebook:
There is a free extension that makes the 2e ruleset a AD&D ruleset.
You actually get the rules engine (automation) free with the program. You need to buy the books to get the content, but you could enter is all yourself if you wanted to.
DCC also got an official ruleset the same day.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

News - Gallant Knight Games partners with Barrel Rider Games

I've had an inkling that this was in the works - glad it can be officially announced - Tenkar

Full press release from the Gallant Knight website:

Ogden, UT – April 15, 2019 – Gallant Knight Games is excited to announce they have signed a deal with Barrel Rider Games, to help produce tabletop roleplaying games! James M. Spahn is a talented designer, whose creative art and game design have powered Barrel Rider Games, and his flagship work White Star to the top tiers of classic d20 style gaming!

The agreement allows James & Barrel Rider Games to focus on his game and product design while retaining complete control over both new and existing properties. Gallant Knight Games will assume most of the role traditionally associated with a publisher, including sales, marketing, and inventory. All of the games with be co-branded by both Gallant Knight Games and Barrel Rider Games.


“James has worked with me on various projects for the last year, and during that time, we’ve learned that our views on gaming and community strongly align! James is a talented creative, and we’re pleased that we can team up with him to help Barrel Rider Games become even stronger!”


“Alan’s vision as a publisher and generosity as a collaborator have shown themselves to be of the highest quality. With the support and creative freedom of this partnership with Gallant Knight Games, Barrel Rider Games will more easily be able to create new content of superior quality with far more confidence than when operating as an independent entity. The future for Barrel Rider Games is far brighter than I ever imagined!”


The first joint project released by BRG and GKG will be James’s long-awaited Viking White Box roleplaying game! The game will seek funding on Kickstarter in a short campaign for PDF and print-on-demand delivery!

Following that, a collected edition of James’s White Box productions will be produced, with all new art, graphic design, and additional content, in a massive single tome containing the full White Box rules!

Other exciting projects await, including a Fifth Edition adaptation of White Star, and much more!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Tenkar's Terrible Theurgy - Blood Pudding for Swords & Wizardry

Art by Gary Dupuis
Used under license

Blood Pudding
Hit Dice: 8
Armor Class: 5 [14]
Attacks: Attacks 1 to 6 attacks per round at (1d6) damage per attack
Saving Throw: 7
Special: Piercing attacks may cause blood spray. Heal damage by absorbing the recently killed
Move: 3
Alignment: Neutrality
Challenge Level/XP: 10/1,400

Blood Puddings are a disgusting magical construct created by draining the lifeblood of over a dozen sentient creatures. The detailed tome to create such a creature is held close by the Heretics of Dumas and is never willingly shared with outsiders.

Created with the blood and life energies of living creatures, Blood Pudding will reveal some of their histories when they attack. Humanoid heads, monstrous claws, spiked tails and more have been known to form and strike at opponents, before being absorbed back into the pudding, only to have a different number and appearance of appendages striking out on the following round.

Piercing weapons do normal damage but may do a "blood spray" (50% chance). Opponents within 20 feet must save or be blinded for 1d6 rounds as they wipe the blood from their face and eyes.

Blood Puddings can heal themselves by absorbing the blood of a recent kill. This takes 2 rounds and heals 2d6 Hit Points. The pudding may still attack during this period of time but may not move.


I meant to complete this over the weekend, but alas, life had its own ideas on that ;) Tenkar

Kickstarter - Static Cling Table Top RPG Terrains and Interior Decals

"Reusable static cling decals to design RPG games and scenarios. There are terrain, foliage, dungeon tiles and interior items.   "

You might be scratching your head over this Kickstarter. I know I did for a bit. And then it came to me! Static Cling Table Top RPG Terrains and Interior Decals Kickstarter is Colorforms for RPG terrain. Which is kinda cool, and then so not cool at the same time.

I had the Peanuts Colorforms back on the day. Loved it. This version for RPGs? Not so much.
Hi, I'm Benito Garcia and we are hard at work designing reusable static cling decals  that can be used on your vinyl mats and map books to enhance your favorite roll playing game. Watch your maps pop with color. Each pack will have two 12”x12” sheets packed full of reusable decals.  We will start with, foliage, rocky terrains, interiors for taverns and homes as well as shops. Also there will be a dungeon pack with corridors, rooms,
hidden passages  and cool traps to make your game more fun and visually appealing for your players.  We will move into elements as well, things like fire, ice and waterways after the first sets are completed. The Rough Terrain pack will have 18 decals just on its own and we'll do all we can to pack the others full to make a more fun game for everyone. Your imagination will have no limit. No more dry erase marker doodles and scratches on maps. These high quality reusable decals are also washable so they never lose their stick. That means hundreds of game scenarios. You may come up new ideas you hadn't thought of after you open the packs and see whats inside.   
I'm looking for like minded supporters  to get this off the ground and moving forward so everyone can have a great experience when it comes to playing RPGs. 
1 set of sheets (2 sheets - 18 decals) is 30 bucks. Seems fairly steep and the sample pieces are just not appealing to my eye. Typos in the above don't instill confidence. Oh, this isn't the pith - its the whole description.

Did I mention the wonky math?

1 set is $30.

2 sets are $50

4 sets are $125

Dungeon terrain isn't available until the $125 pledge level.

Hard pass. Interesting idea but the execution is lacking.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Kickstarter - Old-School Essentials (B/X)

"A modular adventure game in the tradition of the beloved 1980s role-playing rules. 100% old-school rules, 100% modern design."

If you read The Tavern, I'm sure you've come into contact with the B/X Essentials ruleset. At the very least, you've heard of it. It has been called the best presentation of the Basic / Expert rules, and that says a lot. Well, Old-School Essentials is a rebranding of B/X Essentials and then some. Let's see what you get with the Old-School Essentials Kickstarter:
Old-School Essentials is an adventure role-playing game of exploration, danger, monsters, and magic. The game is intentionally rules-light, putting the focus of play on imagination, improvisation, and fun. The rules are optimised for ease of use at the table, with meticulous attention to wording and layout clarity. What's more, Old-School Essentials is 100% compatible with the classic Basic/Expert game from 1981, meaning that decades of adventure are at your fingertips!

Old-School Essentials comes in two forms: a chunky tome and a modular boxed set. The content is identical. Choose one or both, depending on your preferred format! 
The Old-School Essentials Black Box: A game box containing five deluxe, sewn-binding, A5 (Digest sized), hardcover rule books presenting the complete rules of the game and everything you need to run games in the classic fantasy genre. 
The Old-School Essentials Rules Tome: A deluxe all-in-one, sewn-binding, A5 (Digest sized), hardcover tome containing the complete rules of the game and everything you need to run games in the classic fantasy genre.
Free Basic Rules PDF: To whet your appetite for this game, you can download a free PDF, featuring the basic rules for creating characters, adventuring in dungeons, combat, magic, and spells. Includes the complete rules for four classic fantasy character classes: the cleric, fighter, magic-user, and thief.
Compatibility: Old-School Essentials is a 100% accurate restatement of the original Basic/Expert rules (B/X), with nothing added, changed, or removed. All material written for the B/X rules over the last 38 years can be used with Old-School Essentials, without any conversion effort whatsoever! 
Refinement: The original Basic/Expert rules form a wondrously solid rules set, but they are not without areas of confusion and contradiction. All known omissions, contradictions, and areas of confusion have been carefully ironed out in Old-School Essentials.
There's a lot more info on the Kickstarter page. I suggest you read it. If you are an old school gamer or are at all interested in old school gaming, this is pretty much a no brainer ;)

Old-School Essentials had a goal of just under $17k USD (it's listed in Euros). With 27 days to go as I write this, it sits at a hair under $58k USD and is knocking down stretch goals like a 10th level fighter swatting down goblins - at least under AD&D 1e rules ;)

11 bucks for the PDFs (17 if you want bother versions). Rules Tome in print is 28 bucks. Black Box with 5 individual books (this is The Tome broken down to shorter books) is 57 bucks. 79 for both versions of physical and PDF books. Damn it! I think I'm in for 79...

Donation Link for James Smith Funeral Expenses



Saturday, April 13, 2019

Kickstarter - The Folio #22 (1E/5E D&D Adventure)

I've been following The Folio releases since the first issue and have been pleased with the consistent quality of the releases. I expect the same high quality with The Folio #22.
What is included in Folio #22?  This module will provide the adventurers with access to Level 3 of the Kasbah Dungeon as well as a new monster that even threatens the existence of the Infernal Machine.  Dungeon details include 2D standard 'blue' hex maps as well as fully 3D renderings of  Level 3.  It also features a fully removable stand-alone cover that can act as a DM screen.      
Who is this adventure for? It will be based around classic AD&D gaming mechanics, while also have 'grey' stat and treasure blocks for 5th Edition D&D,  so it is easily playable in BOTH formats.  It has been designed for  6-8 characters, roughly levels 11 thru 13, and will include a Virtual Table Top map without secret doors, traps, and numbers. (this is spot on!)
The Folio has released consistently on time and I see no reason why that trend should end.

10 bucks for the PDF, 18 for the Print plus PDF.

Friday, April 12, 2019

GoFundMe - Gary Con Attendee in Need of New Kidney

As gamers, we are part of a larger community. A community that supports and encourages its members. Today, one of our members needs our support.

Dakota was brought to my attention by a gamer / police officer that I know from attending Gary Con: 
This young lady has been attending GaryCon since she was a kid, but hadn’t shared much of her medical problems with gamers until this year. She unloaded on me and my crew and we were afflicted with the Do Something disease that can still seize even the most bitter paladins… Having 3 coppers there, we were determined to blast this out to cops and gamers.
The Tavern will match the first $250 raised by members of The Tavern's Community. Just make a comment below and let me know how much you gave. Please don't stop giving when the $250 is matched. Please DO share this far and wide. Thank you - Tenkar

From Dakota's GoFundMe Page:
Dakota Alvarado-Ortiz teaches before- and after-school programs for K-5 students in Green Bay, WI. She is a sharp, energetic, outgoing young woman who enjoys dancing, modeling, and fantasy gaming. Most importantly, Dakota is the devoted mother of a 2-year old daughter, Scarlett.

Since the age of 6, Dakota has suffered from chronic hydronephrosis: her kidneys fill with fluid, become infected, and ultimately lose function. Hydronephrosis is usually a symptom of another problem, typically a blockage – but in Dakota's case, her doctors have yet to determine the cause. She has endured dozens of surgeries and learned to live with near-constant pain.

Dakota's right kidney had to be removed two years ago; her left one was recently assessed at 20% function and diminishing gradually. When it falls below 15%, she will need to be on continual dialysis. To have a good chance at a healthy, normal life, Dakota is badly in need of a kidney transplant – and there have been obstacles to this.

Because Dakota has a rare blood type, there are no eligible donors among her family and friends. The hospitals that could perform the transplant have not placed her on their kidney lists because the cause of her hydronephrosis is not known, and patients with more certain odds of success are given priority. She has been told that when the function of her remaining kidney drops below 15%, becoming imminently life-threatening, she will have a greater chance of being placed on the list – but has not been guaranteed a spot. IF placed on the list, she would wait on permanent dialysis, with an undetermined number of patients ahead of her. She would not be able to work and would have difficulty supporting her daughter.

There is a much more promising option for Dakota, however: two hospitals would place her at #3 on their kidney list at a cost of $100,000. This figure is not merely a donation to their institutions; it also covers, in advance, all medical costs of the transplant for both Dakota and the kidney donor. A properly functioning kidney would set up Dakota (and Scarlett) for an immeasurably brighter future.

Dakota's family does not possess the financial means to meet this daunting amount, and we are hoping to do so with this fundraiser. Even if we fall short, the funds raised will be an enormous help; Dakota's medical insurance is less than optimal, and she is slowly paying off substantial out-of-pocket costs from prior procedures and emergency medical services. An amount less than needed for placement on the kidney list could alternately enable Dakota to wipe out her existing medical debt, with the remainder placed in her kidney savings account toward her future transplant.

Thank you for your consideration.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

James Smith (Dreams of Mythic Fantasy) has Passed

I just read about the passing of James Smith on Facebook and confirmed it by going to his blog -https://dreamsofmythicfantasy.blogspot.com/

I don't know what to say. James ran one of, if not THE best, news sites in our corner of gaming. His return to Dreams of Mythic Fantasy was exciting for me and I backed his Patreon the moment I heard about it.

His was a calm, encouraging voice amidst the usual noise and it will be sorely missed.

You can leave condolences at: https://www.forevermissed.com/james-albert-smith-jr/#about

I'm not too proud to admit to my tears at the moment. Rest well, my friend.

New Irregular Feature at The Tavern - Tenkar's Terrible Theurgy

This weekend I plan to kick off a series of Tenkar's Terrible Theurgy posts. New spells, magic items, weapons, armor, constructs, creatures, classes - if it is magical in nature, it fits the bill.

The posts will be written for use in Swords & Wizardry Complete, so compatibility with other OSR rulesets should be spot on. They will be released under the OGL.

For example, here is the Elementalist Class I wrote for SWCL back in 2017:

The Elementalist Class for Swords & Wizardry Light

Art by Brett Neufeld
"Some secrets aren't learned in books but are passed down by oral tradition. Such is the path you have chosen. The mysteries of the elements will be yours to control if you complete your trials. If you fail, mother earth will take you into her embrace. And so it begins..."

Elementalist Class for Swords & Wizardry Light

Elementalists get both spell like abilities and an elemental that can do their bidding.

Level   HD   Save   BhB  Adventures needed for Next Level
1           1        15       0       3
2           2        14       0       +4
3           2+1    13       0       +5
4           3        12      +1     +6
5           3+1    11      +1      +7
6           4        10      +2     +8
7           5          9      +2     xx

Elementalists have + 2 to Saves against fire and air bourn poisons. They can use daggers and staves, much like a magic-user.

They get the following abilities at each level:

Level 1: Summon Elemental (described below) Once per Day
Level 2: Gust of Wind - Can summon wind that can disperse papers, fan flames and knock over small (1/2 pound or less) objects Once per Day
Level 3: Breath Water as Air - Once per Day for 1 hr per level
Level 4: Dagger of Fire: Once per Day can summon a Magical Flaming Dagger. Only the Elementalist can wield it. It lasts for 1 round per level (throwing the dagger dispels it early). The Dagger is +1 to hit per level of the Elementalist and does 1d6+3 damage.
Level 5: Ball of Mud - Once per Day as the 2nd level Magic-User Web Spell, but this is made of mud.
Level 6: Fly - Once per Day as Magic-User Spell
Level 7: Fireball - Once per Day as Magic-User Spell

Summon Elemental

The greatest gift (and most dangerous, to the Elementalist as well as his adversaries) is the elemental they can summon.

The AC for a 1 HD elemental is 9[10] and improves by 1 point per HD to 3[16] at 7 HD.

Damage is 1d6, improving to 1d6+2 at level 4 and 2d6 at level 7.

The HD of the summoned elemental can be as many as the Elementalist has levels, but less HD then the max may be chosen. Only one elemental can be summoned each day and the death of an elemental causes damage to the Elementalist equal in HP to the HD of the elemental. Example: The destruction of a 4 HD Elemental causes 4 HP of damage to the Elementalist. Elementalists often dismiss injured elementals early to avoid this danger.


AC 9 to 3

HD 1 to 7

Damage 1d6 to 2d6


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Kickstarter - Ultimate Bestiary: The Dreaded Accursed for 5th Edition!

"Over 130 new horrific monsters to add to your 5th Edition game! More details, more options, more variations, more fun!"

I love me some monster books and undead monster books generally "take it to eleven" for me. (forgive the Spinal Tap reference)

Ultimate Bestiary: The Dreaded Accursed for 5th Edition! looks to be my cup of tea, even if it is for 5e ;) Seriously, great art and concept from a publisher that has delivered solid 5e releases in the past.
Ultimate Bestiary: The Dreaded Accursed is not another A-Z of monsters. Instead, following on from its predecessor Ultimate Bestiary: Revenge of the Horde, we have focused on some of the commonly encountered undead and accursed monsters like ghosts, ghouls, liches, lycanthropes, and vampires, detailing their origins, environments, and attitudes, as well as introducing a wide variety of stat blocks to suit a range of challenge levels, with a huge variety of unique artwork.
Then its little pieces like the following that truly stand out to me:
Please make sure tankards are washed PROMPTLY and THOROUGHLY. Arteus is clearly upset by mess and clutter and I don’t want to spend another day cleaning up the common-room and scrubbing blood out of the walls. YES, it is hypocritical that he wrecks the place when he’s upset. NO, there is no value in trying to point that out to him.  
-Note posted behind the bar in The Famous Spirit taproom
20 bucks for the PDF. 40 bucks for the hardcover. If I only ran 5e...  ;P

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Introducing the Tenkar's Tavern One Shot Roleplaying Group on Facebook

So, James Spahn approached me and said something to the effect of: "You know what we are missing as a community? A place to organize and find "One Shot" RPG sessions." And James was right.

One-shots are great when you simply want to grab a group of players and game. Or if you are looking for players to playtest an adventure. Or you want run G1 and your home group is nowhere near the levels needed. Or simply just because.

Jame suggested a Facebook Group. I told him he should do it, and he has. Right now we are simply growing the group's numbers. In a couple of weeks, I'll be recruiting for a one shot RPG session from the group. I expect others will too.

Want to get in now? Here's the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2317672128253902/

Join us. It should be a blast :)

Monday, April 8, 2019

Reddit - TheOSR - New Reddit Page / Community / Thread?

I'm not a huge user of Reddit. That being said, with the death of G-Plus, the refugees of the various OSR communities have been exploring Reddit as a replacement option.

https://www.reddit.com/r/TheOSR/ is a recent addition to the OSR scene on Reddit. Surprisingly, it is very heavy on sharing various posts from The Tavern (not shared by me). It needs more sharing from the OSR at large to be viable, so if you have links to share or conversations you might want to have, give it a peek.

FYI - the original OSR Reddit community has over 5k subscribers: https://www.reddit.com/r/osr/

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Kickstarter - Maximum HP - RPG Zine Issue 001 (OSR / 1e)

I do love zines. They bring me back to my college days, when one could go to game stores like The Complete Strategist and find a score or more different RPG magazine, professional and self-published, on the magazine rack. Of course, I never had enough cash to buy . all the ones that I wanted, but they gave an amazing bang for the buck in any case.

Maximum HP is a zine I would have purchased back in the day and I am backing it today.

Seriously. A 1e zine and the first issue is dwarven themed? How can I not? heh
In our inaugural issue, we explore the dwarven community of Dwarfhome mountain in Artera. We chose to focus on dwarves this issue because there are so many possible directions to go with them rather than presenting them as just dour short people with Scottish accents. Though we focus on Dwarfhome, the information and quest provided can be inserted into any dwarven society to bring life to your old school campaigns.
From here we catalyze your creativity with our world of imagination, ideas, and quests. 
So, grab your dice good adventurer, grab your books good GMs, and get ready for Maximum HP!! 
Welcome to Artera, welcome to Fail Squad Games! 
Each issue is 5.5″ x 8.5″ (Booklet size) paperback with a card stock gloss color cover and Black & White interior. We are at 31-32 pages of content before ads this issue. Expect the contents to be gritty for your Advanced RPG game but the zine to be polished for smooth play. 
This first introductory issue will be perfect bound and printed on high quality paper with a full color card stock cover. It hardly qualifies as a 'zine, but we want our milestone issues to be special. 
PDF is 3 bucks. Print is 6 bucks. Print plus PDF is 9 bucks. 4 bucks for shipping in the US.

I'm in for 30 myself - taking out a quarter page ad ;)

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Kickstarter - Creeping Cold - a 5E adventure that promises chills and excitement!

I know I've mentioned Silver Bulette before. Ian and Rocky are two old school gamers that have dipped their toes into Kickstarter with a 5e release called Creeping Cold. What's that you say? No OSR version of the adventure? Well, if it hits the $3500 stretch goal (its currently sitting at over $2500) there will be a free Swords & Wizardry version of the PDF included for every backer at the $10 level or higher. Good stuff!

What makes this extra special is it's written and ready to go to the printer once they receive the funds from Kickstarter:
Creeping Cold is 30+ pages:
  • An overview and introduction
  • Optional cold rules
  • 4 pages of NPCs, including a quick-reference chart
  • Timeline of events
  • Maps of the caravansarai (2 interior and 1 exterior) and a dungeon
  • Pages of adventure and intrigue
  • Pages of new monsters and spells
  • 4 player handouts
We are ready to print and prepared to ship. The module has color as well as black and white player handouts (and maps) for ease of the DM's printer. Once Silver Bulette has the funding in hand, we intend to be at the printer within 10 days.
Yep, that's still a Kickstarter rarity these days.

10 bucks for the PDF, 25 for the Print plus PDF. I think I'm jumping in for the print version myself.

Quick note - I know Ian and Rocky. We've gamed together at cons and they participate in the weekly Wednesday Night Tavern Chats on the Tavern's Discord Server. Heck, we've shared meals together. I've watched them set their bar higher and higher with each release and I'm looking forward to holding Creeping Cold in my own hands. 

Friday, April 5, 2019

Bundle of Holding - Stars Without Number x 2

Stars Without Number is probably the best-known D20 based sci-fi ruleset published, even more so than White Star. While WS builds off of the "Original White Box" / S&W White Box for its engine, SWN is something a bit different.

I've run SWN and it plays very smoothly. It is built for sandbox style play with rules and tables that solidly support such.

If you want, you can check out the Stars Without Number Revised rules for free. (link)

There are two Stars Without Number offerings currently on Bundle of Holding:
For just US$8.95 you get all three titles in this offer's Stars Without Number Revised Starter Collection (retail value $45) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:
  • Stars Without Number Revised Deluxe Edition: The premium full-color 324-page rulebook with 80 pages of bonus content covering transhuman tech, true AIs, mechs, society creation, and even Space Magic.
  • Other Dust: Kevin Crawford's 208-page post-apocalypse sandbox RPG completely compatible with Stars Without Number. Includes the freebies Grandfather's Rain, Cult of the Wraith, and Cult of the Still Lady. (Previously offered in the original October 2013 SWN Classic collection.)
  • SWN Revised GM Screen: A portrait screen with eight pages of useful reference charts.
And if you pay more than this offer's threshold price of $17.12, you'll level up and also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with four more sourcebooks worth an additional $35, including Starvation Cheap (wars and mercenaries), Dead Names (ancient civilizations), Sixteen Stars (popular sf settings), and Polychrome (cyberpunk).
There is also:
For just US$7.95 you get all three titles in this offer's Stars Without Number Classic Starter Collection (retail value $35) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:
  • Stars Without Number Classic: The complete original 253-page First Edition rulebook (2011).
  • Skyward Steel: Join the Thousand Lights of the Stellar Navy and embrace both the duties and the terrible freedom of a naval campaign.
  • Hard Light: The first SWN adventure setting. In the radioactive glare of a red giant star, explore the hard-bitten mining outpost of Brightside and ancient asteroid Sky Tombs.
And if you pay more than this offer's threshold price of $17.15, you'll level up and also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with four more titles worth an additional $34:
  • Suns of Gold: Merchant campaigns and far-flung trade, including trade world tags and guidelines for building your own colony worlds and merchant empires.
  • Engines of Babylon: Create vehicles and low-tech system spaceships for your SWN campaign. This equipment book debuted in this offer's July 2014 revival.
  • Relics of the Lost: A sourcebook of long-dead technology from the Second Wave of human colonization. This supplement debuted in this offer's original October 2013 run.
  • Darkness Visible: Spacefaring espionage campaigns of classified perils, nameless heroes, and secret glory. 

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Burning Down the House - of Gygax (Gail is on a Facebook Meltdown / Sympathy Tour)

There has been a trickle of Facebook postings by Gail Gygax recently (my God but they have accelerated today) that are verging on libel regarding Tom DeSanto and Luke Gygax (as well as some inaccuracies with me). Nearly every post is Gail railing on the two above, accusing them of suing her in an attempt to take Gary's IP and her house. If you are on Facebook and haven't seen this mess yet, send Gail a friend request - she's been adding Facebook friends like they are going out of style the last few weeks.

I'm not going to post any her postings here - all I have is screenshots and they don't read well in a blog post, but I AM going to share a piece from Gail's Kotaku article which I fund VERY relevant:
Two years after Gygax and DeSanto struck a deal, DeSanto was suing for breach of contract. DeSanto says he spent “thousands of hours” and “substantial sums of money” trying to develop the Gygax IP. Speaking through his lawyer, DeSanto did not elaborate on what exactly he was working on outside of sorting through what Gail does and does not own of Gary’s estate, although the complaint mentions a biopic. Over email, DeSanto’s lawyer sent the following statement to Kotaku. 
“My client was left no choice but to file a lawsuit seeking to enforce the rights promised him in the Gygax IP. Tom has developed and produced some of the biggest franchises in movie history, and he is clearly in the best position of anyone to develop and exploit the very rich library of material left behind by Gary Gygax. That is very reason why Ms. Gygax entrusted it to Tom. We are more than certain in our legal position and, in the end, everyone stands to benefit from enforcement of the agreement, including and especially Gail Gygax and her family.” 
What triggered the lawsuit appears relatively benign at first, just another balloon in the parade of lawsuits that Gary’s legacy has drawn. It was a deal that Gail had made, along with her son Alex and archivist Paul Stormberg, to produce a video game based on Gary’s Castle Greyhawk, later named Zagyg, with a company called Fig, which runs a crowdfunding platform for indie games. DeSanto, who was not involved, said this was part of an effort to “freeze” him out. In a response to DeSanto’s lawsuit, Gail contested that she and DeSanto had ever entered into a partnership and, on top of that, contests that their contract gave DeSanto rights to Gary’s “entire library.” Further, she says, DeSanto made up her entire Variety quote. 
It’s unclear whether Gail meant to give DeSanto the full rights to control what happens to her late husband’s creations and name. Should DeSanto prevail in court, it would add to the heaviness of the legend story Gail carries on her shoulders—one more stone of animosity and betrayal to weigh her down, one more piece of evidence that “they” are out for Castle Greyhawk, the Gygax name, and the great Gary Gygax mythos. This is the tidy tale, the one that makes sense in the the linear storyline of victimhood.
DeSanto’s lawsuit could have even larger implications for Gail, ones that don’t fit in that linear storyline. Beneath its allegations of breach of contract and fiduciary duty, DeSanto’s suit claims that Gail does not, in fact, own the rights to Gary’s legacy as freely and clearly as she claims. 
In May 2017, DeSanto’s suit reads, he learned that Gary Gygax had a second will. He wrote it shortly before his death. That will, according to the complaint, merely gives Gail a life estate to some of Gary’s IP—the parts his children couldn’t claim. That would mean that, when Gail dies, DeSanto would no longer have the rights to develop Gygax properties, making their contract worthless. 
Gail agrees that this will exists, but denies that it is valid. She says it was not signed correctly, adding nobody had ever contacted her about the will’s validity before DeSanto.
Read those last two paragraphs again. It means that Gary changed his will - changed his mind about the long term inheritance of his legacy.  Gail knows that. She admits the will exists that would supersede the one she claims all rights via. She knows her late husband's intents towards his children - to, in the end, let them inherit his IP. Yet Gail claims a technicality in her attempt for full rights, beyond death, that wasn't Gary's intent.

I wonder if DeSanto's lawsuit has brought up feelings of guilt for Gail.

In any case, she needs help. More significant help than the community can provide. One that only family can provide. I hope she takes the help I am sure is being offered, sooner than later.
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