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)

Indiegogo - Encephalon Gorgers on the Moon (Frog God Games - S&W/PF/5e)

Its time for another Frog God Games softcover release, this time penned by none other than Casey Christofferson . Encephalon Gorgers on the Moon. Yeah, I had to look up "encephalon" - it means "brain". Damn you and your SAT words, Casey!

The pitch:
The Forest of Night has always been a strange place. The trees are far too tall and far too thick here. So full in fact that they block out the very sun leaving the entire forest in the perpetual murk of night. Even the bravest and most experienced of hunters shy away the forest’s higher paths. Far too dark they say, and far too easy to become lost on the winding trails of the primeval wood. 
Recently the folk who live upon the slopes of the mountain have complained of strange occurrences, especially around the time of the full moon. Weird shrieks have been heard in the trees. Small creatures acting strangely and deer stumbling into the meadows below the mountain with their brains leaking from their ears. 
The locals have turned on one another. Some suspect witch-craft. Others believe an ancient curse has returned to the land centered on hidden ruins thought to be located on the high slopes of Midnight Mountain. Is it a plague? Are the rumor of a curse true? Have demented beings from Sybil descended on the denizens of Hurrie Inn? What’s the deal with all the cats? 
One thing is certain. It is going to take a brave band of adventurers to unlock the secrets of Midnight Mountain and perhaps save the land from the depredation of the Encephalon Gorgers on the Moon!
The details:
Encephalon Gorgers on the Moon by Casey Christofferson- available in Fifth Edition, Pathfinder or Swords & Wizardry versions is an adventure for mid-level characters. We expect this will be the only  time we offer the premium softcover option for sale. 
Within its covers (or the digital PDF file) you will find: 
  • A stand-alone adventure completed in 2-3 gaming sessions
  • A horror mystery from beyond space and time
  • Exploration of new worlds and dimensions
  • Full Color Maps by Robert Altbaur
  • Richly Illustrated by Michael Syrigos
  • Cats!
The price:

6 bucks for the PDF
16 bucks (plus shipping) for the Print plus PDF

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