Saturday, January 12, 2019

Follow Up to Yesterday's Post and a HUGE Thank You.

It appears that the response to Gareth's threat to me via his Facebook comment got him some unwanted attention - the post from the original author and Gareth's comment have been removed.

edit - I've been told the initial post and comment is still up. I guess stupid is what stupid is. Feel free to share the screenshot below wherever you feel is appropriate. Included here for your convenience:

I seriously can't thank you all enough for the outpouring of support. I think a protective squad was lining up behind Old Man Grognard for North Texas ;)

Let's be clear. Gareth Skarka is a blowhard. Just like his promises to complete his unfulfilled obligations, his threats of physical violence are empty. The threats, however, do an amazing job of revealing just the kind of man he is.

I've been told by a few that they have sent the screenshot in question to some of the publishers Gareth has done work for. Although I appreciate the thought, I suspect this will not be any sort of new information for them, as they allowed Gareth to do work under a pseudonym, I would assume to avoid any controversies attached to the Skarka name.

Again, I can't say enough about all of you. I appreciate all that you've said and done more than I can ever hope to express.

Still far from 100% on my end and got to add hives on my palms and soles of my feet to the myriad mix of minor ailments I'm going through. God willing, we'll pick OSR Christmas back up on Monday.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Gareth Skarka of Far West Shame Threatens to Punch Your Bartender in the Throat (& calls me names)

So, it looks like my recent Gareth Skarka post was A Post Too Far

As I did in this morning's episode of The Tavern Chat Podcast, let me respond to Gareth:

Yes, you could have walked away, but then you would be on the hook for nearly $50k in refunds. As you spoke earlier this year of a secret benefactor that was going to help fund the printing of books, there is a significant chance the funds are not available to fulfill your print backers. So long as you "are making an effort", even after over 7 years, the Kickstarter bill technically does not come due. Whatever happened to the monies raised for the Buckaroo Banzai RPG from preorders taken PRIOR to the Far West Kickstarter. Or do we not discuss that in "decent circles" anymore? As for still delivering, Far West has set a record for non-delivery and missed dates. Look at this list to jar your memory:  https://www.mutedhorn.net/far-west-delivery-estimates. The list has been updated 73 times as of January 2, 2019.

Now, as for your choice of language, I wouldn't take you for a "C-Word" person. I'm married to an Irish-American woman and I've been exposed to the word over the last seven years (timed well for the Far West Kickstarter lateness) so whatever, but threatening to "punch me in the fucking throat" is a bit much. Threats of violence are a dime a dozen on the internet. You don't scare me Gareth. Sorry if that disappoints you. If you want to talk without throwing fists at a retired law enforcement officer (hint - violence is probably not a wise choice) I'll be at Total Con, Gary Con, NTRPG Con (apparently they are forming a posse so that might be one to avoid), GameHole and Shire Con in 2019. I'm not hiding but I'm certainly not taking a trip out to Iowa or wherever it is you live so you can bellow some more bluster.

Your done apologizing for being late? You mean failing to meet your own publicly stated deadlines and due dates nearly six dozen times you've finally run out of excuses? Glad to hear it.

No, a game is not life or death, but Far West is probably the death knell of your career in RPGs. When you need to write for the new Star Trek line under a pseudonym because the publisher fears bad publicity from you being attached to a project, the signs aren't good.

There you have it Gareth. I use your own words to show the falsehoods you share to your backers and the community at large. That is why you are upset. Your words and your failures.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

State of the Tavern Keeper - On Antibiotics We Go!

I've been feeling run down since Saturday night (as I mentioned prior). Since then I've felt lethargic, run down and have had other symptoms crop up (small pimple break out, sinuses, headaches among other things) and I'm now on antibiotics. Two doses in and some symptoms are already fading. Hopefully, I feel more like myself by the weekend.

Aside from physical therapy appointments and doctor visits, I haven't strayed more than a few blocks from home since the weekend.

Emails? Mostly untouched. Packages? Unmailed. Day 10 of OSR Christmas? Can't focus enough to get the damn post straight.

Two pinched nerves aren't helping. When it rains, it pours ;)

As stated above, I hope to start feeling better this weekend. In the meantime, I'm here. Barely. Heh.

Did I mention how thankful I am that two of this week's interviews for the podcast side of things had to reschedule? Small miracles but I am thankful :)

Alright. On to recording a short podcast and then to bed.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Reminder - Tavern Chat Tonight - 9 PM Eastern - Tenkar's Tavern Discord

Yep. Its Wednesday and that means tonight is Tavern Chat, a general geek / RPG community voice hangout.

It kicks off at 9 PM Eastern and runs until 11ish.

Where? In the Speakeasy Channel on the Tenkar's Tavern Discord Server.

You can use the following link: https://discord.gg/KmnJWEs

Prior to that, we'll have a recorded live interview with Skeeter Green at 8 PM in the Live Shows Channel.

I'll see you all tonight.

Gail Gygax Call to Action - Paul Stormberg is Hosting an AMA from 1 to 3 PM Eastern re: Gary's Unpublished Works and More

Hey, look! Gail Gygax has something she wants us to share!
Gail Carpenter Gygax 
6 hrs ·  
For those interested in hearing about what the future holds for Garys unpublished works and more, Paul Stormberg will be hosting a reddit site in the rpg area under PaulStormberg from 12 -2 cst. 
This is our initial interview and you can feel free to ask Paul questions. 
He has been quite busy cataloging all the IP and is the creative directer and more for Gygax Games. 
Please share
Gail didn't give a link so this might help: https://www.reddit.com/search?q=PaulStormberg

Now, why ANYONE would do an Ask Me Anything (AMA) from 1 PM until 3 PM on a Wednesday afternoon (short window in the middle of a workday afternoon) is beyond me. It seems akin to the government releasing bad news late on a Friday so few actually hear about it.

Still, I AM sharing this out and maybe some Taverners will have some excellent questions :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Gareth Sharka Rings in the New Year - Pretty Much Like the Last Seven Years - Far West is STILL Not Released

Ah, Gareth. What a man, really. Or is it: "What? A man? Really?" Gareth has a blog post to ring in 2019. Here are the relevant parts:

So now we know exactly which books to NOT purchase. Sorry Gareth, but SEVEN FUCKING YEARS is a bit too long for being late. I'd call it a "failed to complete" at this point. But you won't own your failure, because you are banking on the idea that empty promises will keep legal threats from your door. Gareth, meet Ken.

And look. He promises to get it "out the door this year." What a fucking joke. When you don't respect your customers and backers enough, to be honest with them, why should they accept anything that comes out of you as truth.

But hey, how did you wrap up 2016? (I don't see a 2017 wrap up - I suspect his depression / Twitter obsession distracted him)

And yet, two years - 24 months AFTER this post, we still aint got shit.

Well, what about 2015?

Ah, that looks like a promise to complete the project. 36 months ago...

How about the end of 2014?

49 months ago. Pretty good on talk. Empty on promises though.

Monday, January 7, 2019

OSR Christmas - Day 9 - Awarding the Gifts

Here we go with awarding the gifts for Day Nine of OSR Christmas. Let's see who gets what today :)

1) 1 Print Copy of The Mystery at Port Greely, an AS&SH adventure module, signed by the author, Jeffrey Talanian (US Only) - Wolfgang Coe

2) 1 PDF Copy of The Midderlands from MonkeyBlood - Michael Bolam

3) 1 Bundle of OSR Patches from Thad Moore - ships worldwide - Nathan Christenson

4) 1 PDF Copy of The Hero's Journey (James Spahn / Barrel Rider Games) - Theodric Ælfwinesson

5) 1 PDF Copy of the World War II: Operation WhiteBox adventure "The Argentine Connection" (Stouthearted Games) -  Adam Ness

6) 1 Print Copy of Dragon Heresy (Gaming Ballistic) (US Only) - Michael Gross

7) 1 PDF Copy of Heart of Darkness (White Star Adventure/ Middle Kingdoms Adventure & Trading Co.) -  Carl Heyl

If your name is above, email me at tenkarsDOTtavern at that gmail thing. Put "OSR Christmas Gift" in the subject.  If you are receiving a physical gift I'll need a physical shipping address I can forward on (or use myself). If the gift is digital, I will need the email you use with DriveThruRPG. Day Ten of OSR Christmas should go up tomorrow.

Note - the weekend was literally really shitty. I'm feeling much better but I'm still in recovery mode and my ass is still dragging. Emails have gone unread. Packages still need to be mailed. We'll get there.

(edit - all comments at The Tavern have to be moderated - approved by an admin - meaning me. The Tavern has become the target of spambots and others and this is the best, if most tedious, way to handle such. I approve comments as fast as I can. I appreciate your patience - Erik)

New - The Dungeon Show - Live Interview with Stefan Pokorny (Dwarven Forge) - Tonight - 10 PM Eastern

Tonight launches a new weekly event on the Tenkar's Tavern Discord Server - The Dungeon Show. Yep, at 10 PM Eastern, Carl Heyl (Save or Die Podcast) with virtually sit down with Stefan Pokorny of Dwarven Forge.

Going forward, Carl will interview other members of the gaming community on Monday nights using the same format. It feels like the beginning of a talk show network ;)

Carl will be recording the episodes and releasing such in podcast format. Link to the podcast: https://anchor.fm/thedungeonshow

Want to listen live? Use this link: https://discord.gg/9GyQ7kb

The go to The Dungeon Show on the left-hand side of the page:

See you tonight!

Sunday, January 6, 2019

News - Michael Stackpole Resigns from GAMA Board of Directors

I'm sharing this news with minimal comment. I will say, I am ever grateful for Mercenaries, Spies & Private Eyes along with Michael's work on Tunnels & Trolls.

Link to the resignation letter on Michael Stackpole's website is here.


To the GAMA Board,

It is my great pleasure to have been part of the gaming industry since 1972 when I first discovered it. In 1977 I sold my first article, in 1978 I sold my first game design and in 1979 began working for Flying Buffalo, Inc.. In 1985 I was able to go freelance and since that time I have made my living through creative arts including game design and game based fiction. My work has been honored with Origins awards, and in 1993 I received the GAMA Meritorious Service award, and was a first ballot inductee into the Academy of Gaming Arts and Design Hall of Fame. I have worked long enough in this industry to have survived many of the companies for whom I worked, and have continued to enjoy fruitful associations with what companies remain.

A long time ago, to honor the industry which gave me my start, I made a personal pledge to serve it however I could. I have been a long time volunteer. I have been an advocate for gaming in perilous times. With Loren Wiseman’s help, in the late 1980s and early 1990s I successfully led the fight against the religious right and their attempts to censor and abolish the games we create, enjoy and share. I still take pride in gamers reporting to me that The Pulling Report enabled them to fight back against anti-game bigotry even to this day. Though the work is difficult, I have been pleased to continue the fight as part of the Industry Watch Committee of GAMA.

The greatest privilege I have had is to serve on the Board of Directors, initially for three years as an elected member, and the last eleven as an Emeritus member. I feel the Emeritus role on the board is a crucial one, since board turnover requires a repository of knowledge so we can avoid the pitfalls of past mistakes, and maintain the benefits of what we have learned in past times.

I regret that I must now tender my resignation from that post.

I have not reached this decision based on any political divide within the Board. I have come to it because the Board is broken. Since June, the board has had more meetings than ever before, and has done less than ever before. In one recent meeting, it took the board 45 minutes to word a resolution empowering a committee to hire a lawyer to negotiate with another lawyer. Three-quarters of an hour, in a meeting scheduled for two hours, which stretched to four.

The board is broken when the organization’s membership indicates its will; and then the board commissions a poll to second guess the membership’s will. When that poll comes back confirming what the membership wants, the board hires a lawyer to tell them they can ignore the membership.

The board is broken when it, having previously enjoyed robust and detailed discussions about GAMA harassment policies, down to the minutia of the structuring of an investigative team to be in place at our shows, chooses only to censure an officer who physically assaulted a female security guard.

The board is broken when, in wishing to discuss me in email, without my being aware of the chain, they actually send it to a list which includes me. (Thought I’d let you know about that so you didn’t think your emails were leaked to me.)

This is not a decision reached easily, and one that comes with profound sadness. During my time in the industry, I have seen incredible change for the better, and an incredible resilience to recover from all manner of disasters—economic, social and board-generated. I have great belief that the gaming industry will survive and thrive in the future. It is bigger than any one person, or a board. It can be defined only by the pleasure and joy it brings everyone it touches, and, therefore, will be eternal.

My resignation is effective 3 PM, 5 January 2019

Michael A. Stackpole

State of the Tavern Keeper - Sweats, Fever and Fun Stuff - Not!

Last night Rach and I were finally catching up with The Man in the High Castle. We were midway through Season 3, Episode 9 (or 10) when that little voice inside me said: "time to hit pause and use the bathroom."

I might as well have paused for an hour of my life. Food poisoning or harsh but quick stomach bug, I know not which, but I spent an hour with a pot in front of me, my insides leaving from behind me, and the worse case of sweats since I had cancer back in 2006. I literally don't remember most of the hour I lost, except for Rach sponging me down like some child with a 104 fever. And then it passed. Simple as that. Hell, once I dried off it was like nothing had happened. Except for the lethargy.

Seriously. We watched the end of Episode 9 and then finished with Episode 10, with me snuggling into Rach like a cat. Needless to say, my ass has been dragging since then. I feel like I was run over by a truck. My ass is DRAGGING. My energy is lacking and I've been a cranky fucker most of the day but especially this morning - just ask Pexx - or Rach ;)

Anyhow, with any luck, I'll get a podcast out in a bit. If I don't pass out first.

Recapping the Designers & Makers Series of Interviews Thus Far (and a peek at what's coming up this week)

I can't believe we've done eight interviews in the Designers & Makers series on the Tavern Chat Podcast thus far. Not that I can even call them interviews anymore, because they don't keep to a script. It was suggested I refer to them as "fireside chats" and I guess that's as accurate as anything.

So, here are the ones we've done thus far:

E210 - Designers & Makers #1 - Interview with Michael "BadMike" Badolato (NTRPG Con/Frog God Games)
Today we kick off the Designers & Makers series of interviews (with about 40 interviews currently on the grid over the next three months). Michael "BadMike" Badolato has the notoriety of being our first guest in the series. BadMike is one of the main guys behind the NTRPG Con, works for Frog God Games and does his own business selling old school games on eBay. Join us as BadMike answers "Ths Five Questions" after which we free range a bit ;)
E213 - Designers & Makers - I Talk with Tom Knauss (Writer/Freelancer/Frog God Games)
On today's episode of the Tavern Chat Podcast, I talk sit down across the virtual table with Tom Knauss, best known for his work as a writer for Frog God Games. We talk RPGs, art, Hawk the Slayer and more ;)
E215 - Designers & Makers - I Talk with Carl Heyl (Save or Die Podcast)
In this installment of the Designers & Makers series of interviews, I talk with Carl Heyl of the Save or Die and The Crusader Podcast. Yes, we even talk Hawk the Slayer ;)
E217 - Designers & Makers - I Talk with Zach Glazar (Frog God Games)
Today I interviewed Zach Glazar (Frog God Games). No Hawk the Slayer question, because the man has never seen the movie. Sigh.
E218 - Designers & Makers - I Interview Douglas Cole (Gaming Ballistic)
In this episode of the Designers & Makers series of interviews, I talk with Douglas Cole of Gaming Ballistic. We talk GURPS, OSR, Kickstarter, usable unarmed combat rules for OSR gaming, as well as Doug's current Kickstarter - Lost Hall of Tyr (2nd Edition)
E227 - Designers & Makers - I Hang With Jason Hobbs (Hobbs & Friends, Hex Talk, Random Screed)
This morning we recorded another in a series of interviews with Designers & Makers in tabletop gaming. With this episode I hang with Jason Hobbs, of the Ennie nominated Hobbs & Friends of the OSR, Hex Talk and Random Screed podcasts. Jason and I have been friends for a while and it was great to catch up with him :)
E233 - Designers & Makers - I Sit Down with Ian McGarty of Silver Bulette Publishing
Today we have the next installment in the Designers & Makers series of interviews. I am actually loathe to call them interviews at this point, as they have turned more into friendly chats than scripted interviews. This time I sit down with Ia McGarty of Silver Bulette Publishing. 
E234 - Designers & Makers "Fireside Chat" with Omer Golan (Stellagama Publishing)
In today's episode of The Tavern Chat Podcast I hang out with Omer Golan of Stellagama Publishing. Omer has a number of releases in support Stars Without Number and White Star but is perhaps best known currently for Cepheus Light, a reworked and reedited version of Cepheus, which is itself an OGL clone of Mongoose Traveller 1e. Come for the Traveller talk, stay for the AD&D 2e observations ;)
Later this week we'll be adding interviews with Vince Florio (Wild Games Productions / Podcaster), Sizzoul (Strange Gods Podcast), Skeeter Green (needs no introduction ;) and Josh Beckelheimer (JB Productions) with at least another eight on tap before the end of January.

Strap in because it's going to be a helluva ride!  :)

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