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Saturday, March 9, 2019

Ken Whitman - Keep Hope on Life Support and the Threatened Lawsuits at Bay- Spinward Traveller Gets First Update in 30 Months


If there is one thing we've learned about Ken Whitman, its that lawsuits CAN prod the man to either truth or deception, but at least he takes action.

Apparently, Ken has been facing the threat of lawsuits from angry backers of the Spinward Traveller TV Pilot Kickstarter. How does Ken respond? First update on the Kickstarter in 2 1/2 years.

I kinda assumed the raw video for this and the Castles & Crusades video was destroyed when his friend's barn went up in flames with the raw footage for the Knights of the Dinner Table: Live Action Series Kickstarter.

And wasn't it six months ago or longer since Ken and Marcus posted about a foiling machine being purchased to makes some of Ken's infamous pencil dice? I mean, they use dice as pencils in our prison system. Ken might want to give that a first hand checking out...

Friday, March 8, 2019

Gary Con XI - Day 2 - Demonic Unionized Workers Take Over Rappan Athuk: Mouth of Doom



There was a little stress in getting the Rappan Athuk: Mouth of Doom dungeon set up last night. The tables didn't get set up until Rach and I were out getting dinner. The rest of the Frogs started the setup and Rach & I finished it. Admittedly, the rooms were kinda mixed up.


Stealing a schtick from Joe Bloch, the Demon Union is involved in renovations of the Mouth of Doom, which was a nice twist for those that have played thru or read the printed version.

Demons Working signs, Helmets Required and florescent CAUTION tape were in high use ;)

Today's session was a blast to run. Two more sessions - Saturday and Sunday morning.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Kotaku Article Dropped - Gail Fluff Piece with No Fact Checking

https://kotaku.com/graphic-novel-about-d-ds-creator-is-enchanting-but-fal-1795058665
A quote from our Intrepid Reporter


When an article’s subject, Gail Gygax, reaches out to a website to get a fluff piece written about her and instead I suspect most readers feel sympathy for Gail. Not because she is a victim, but because she appears to have mental health issues. I've suspected such but this article provides much of the evidence.

Of course, Our intrepid reporter doesn't no shit from fact-checking. Here's my small piece from the article: Fantasy's Widow: The Fight Over The Legacy Of Dungeons & Dragons
  https://kotaku.com/fantasys-widow-the-fight-over-the-legacy-of-dungeons-1833127876
Gail used to attend the show (Gary Con), but stopped in 2016 (I saw Gail in attendance at my first Gary Con in 2017.) She said that a man named Erik Tenkar, who runs a blog about old-school role-playing games, had in private conversations joked that Gail would try to trademark the word “cunt,” and that he would burn the rubber bricks she’d use for her memorial. (Let me understand this - Gail is the one supplying the quotes. From some unknown private conversation with who exactly? No wonder there are no screenshots. No wonder I don't recall saying any of this. Great reporting. Someone got paid to write this shit?) In his public blogs, he had meticulously documented, and often criticized, Gail’s every public move on behalf of Gary’s legacy. (Negative. I reported on the Gygax Memorial Fund. I documented evidence to support my postings. Any of that in this story? Mind you, story is the keyword here) Gail said she planned on attending the VIP dinner at Gary Con until Luke told her that she would not be comfortable there since Tenkar would be in attendance. (I have never been a VIP at Gary Con, nor have I attended a VIP dinner nor been invited to such 
Later, on his blog, Tenkar wrote in an open letter to Gail that “the attendies [sic] of Gary Con are pretty negative about your presence.” I reached out to Tenkar to ask about his views. He declined to be interviewed for this story, then posted our entire email exchange on his blog. (yes, I did. Got your knickers in a bind, diidnt it?) When Kotaku sent another email to Tenkar for fact-checking, he did not respond, but posted that email on his blog, too. (Yes, I did. And your implied threat) Tenkar continues to attend Gary Con, and Gail said she is still afraid to be around him. (with the apparent state of mind the article shows Gail to be in, she seems to have many fears)

Let's be clear, none of the Gygax children, not even Alex, agreed to be interviewed for this article. As of yesterday evening, our intrepid reporter was still seeking to interview members of the OSR community to flesh out this article.

I feel bad for Gail. She needs help and I hope this article results in her getting the help she needs. Let the memorial fade away. The community doesn't need it - we have Gary Con, a living memorial.

edit - it appears both jokes were said by me - I answered in the comments, but I'll repeat it here for clarity:

JRT - Welcome back. Its been a while.

Chatwing - technically, not said in private, as the entire conversation could be read from the blog’s home page at the time, live - no log in to the app required. So yes, I used the word publicly.

As I said prior, I certainly do use THE word. As this reference was clearly a joke and the context was obviously at the time made in reference to the fiasco surrounding GYGAX magazine, it was certainly made in jest. Perhaps not in good taste, but I own to making the joke and using THE word.

As for the burning of rubber bricks - that one I both own and do apologize for. It has context - the brick sale that still hasn’t happened for the memorial - but it is neither funny nor does in make sense.

In any case, If I knew then what I know now about Gail’s mental state, I would have advocated for her to get the help she needed and worried less about the GMF.

Hindsight is 20/20.

Good Morning Gary Con!


This morning’s sunrise bodes much better than last Night’s sunset - we didn’t have tables for the Frog God booth until we returned from dinner. Setting the booth up was all hands on deck and the Silver Bullette guys were awesome. Went back to our room around 1030 last night, exhausted.

True friendship is being told you are running 3 sessions of Mouth of Doom for 5e at 8 am each morning then finding out its 3 sessions for S&W at 10 am.  Heh. Thank you Zack for the busting :)

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Kickstarter - Basic and Expert RPG Sets Remastered!


I'm at Gary Con. This is kinda like Day Zero. As in "Zero Tables for the Booth" and probably a late night of setting things up. So, I better get a post in now - and what's better than a Kickstarter post? ;)

Today I'm looking at the Basic and Expert RPG Sets Remastered! Kickstarter. First, I love art. It's a homage to the originals and looks great!

Here's some info:
In 1981 the Basic and Expert game for the world's greatest fantasy RPG was released. Written by Tom Moldvay, David "Zeb" Cook, and Steve Marsh, these two comprehensive books created a complete fantasy game system that exploded on the gaming scene and made it into mainstream game markets. This game system is alive and well some 38 years later! This pioneering game was later revised into what is commonly called BECMI and later into the Rules Cyclopedia. But even as those systems further expanded the game, Basic and Expert (B/X) retained a huge following - one that still thrives today. It is with this history in mind that we have decided to create two new books, the B/X Player's Handbook and Dungeon Guide. Instead of merely retro-cloning this system, we have separated the player rules and game master rules into separate books. We have also expanded the character classes, added spells, weapons, monsters, magic items, and much more. All the while, we have steadfastly maintained the simplicity and elegance of the original game. We have done all of this with one thing in mind; we are not replacing the Basic and Expert books, we attempting open the game up for more opportunity to new and old players alike. You no longer have to search for those beat up copies of the rule books - it's all here and more!
My thoughts - I was introduced to RPGs with AD&D 1e. I feel very comfortable with having the Players' and GMs' material in separate books. Additionally, in my old age, I find B/X and its various clones to be more my current style of play. Tastes great, less filling ;)

As for more classes? Awesome :)

35 bucks for the 2 books in Print plus PDF plus shipping. 60 for the boxed set (with dice). 100 gets you 5 players copies and a DM book to outfit your group. I'm going in for the boxed set I think.

Neither The Tavern nor myself receive compensation for Kickstarter coverage or Kickstarter posts. Some Kickstarters are brought to the attention of The Tavern by their creators. Such communication does not guarantee coverage here at The Tavern. I do not back every Kickstarter I highlight as my wallet's contents are not limitless but I do find all highlighted Kickstarters interesting for one or more reasons - Erik Tenkar

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

More Reporter - More Fun - Can You Actually Trademark the Word "C@nt"?

If you missed the beginning of this saga, I'll send you to the initial post where I shared the original email chain. Today, I received another email. Vaguely threatening and now with new spice. Shall we look and see what today brings? Tenkar

edit - I've been informed that Stacy D now works at the same website as does this "reporter" - it's all coming into focus - Tenkar

edit edit: looking for proof of the above - Tenkar

Hi Erik,

I'm circling back because we are publishing our article on Thursday morning at 10 am ET. (ah, the start of Gary Con. And yet, in the initial email she referred to Gen Con. Wonder why?) Like I said in another e-mail, I want to share every instance pertaining to you that we're referencing in the article so nothing surprises you (and I wish to share all of your communications with me. again, so there are no surprises). I also wanted to give you a final chance to offer on-the-record comments on anything mentioned below or off-the-record fact-checking responses.

Queries and statements below:

- We mention that you run a blog pertaining to old-school gaming and the community around it.
- We mention that your blog documents in detail and often criticizes Gail's treatment of Gary's legacy, including her approach to instituting a memorial statue and publicly releasing Gary's creations. Do you have any comment on this? (my posts speak for themselves, although if you want posts about me speaking about the IP it will be a light load to tote)
- We mention that Gail says she is not comfortable being around you, which has influenced her desire to attend Gary Con. (that's strange, but I guess if you were an individual looking to avoid criticism, you would avoid your vocal critics)
- We quote screenshotted private chats in which you joke that Gail would try to trademark the word "Cunt" (that's a funny joke actually. Wish I could remember saying it. That being said, I have referred to individuals that have threatened me with groundless legal action in attempts to intimate me as "cunts" in the past, in private and public, regardless of gender or age. I make no apologies) (Rachel -   The true Irish style way to use the word "cunt" and especially when it is applied to both genders) and in which you reference burning rubber bricks (If I said this I am embarrassed by the lack of funny and I would be forced to apologize), perhaps an allusion to her memorial (exactly whose memorial are we talking about? I thought it was a memorial for Gary Gygax, not for Gail). Do you have any comment on this?
- We mention you saying that Gary Con's attendees are negative about her presence. (Its quite likely I said so as have many others.) 
- We also mention you posted our e-mail exchange on your blog. (yep, and posted this one too)

Like I said before, we'll be publishing at 10 am ET on Thursday. Look forward to hearing back. (Impeccable timing. So, any luck with actually showing these screenshots you are alluding to?)

Very best,
Cecilia D'Anastasio


Kickstarter - City of the Hobgoblin King: 3D Printable Fantasy RPG Terrain (Matt Finch)

I'm in a bit of a Kickstarter coverage backlog due to last week's TotalCon and this week's upcoming Gary Con. I'm trying to get in what I can before I fall into "Con Posting Limitations." I'm happy to get a post a day in while at a convention.


As usual, I blame Tom Tullis. Tom of Fat Dragon Games knows 3d printing and has released some amazing 3d printing files via Kickstarter. If I told you how close I am to buy a 3d printer because of Tom, you might not believe me. Well, Matt Finch and his City of the Hobgoblin King: 3D Printable Fantasy RPG Terrain Kickstarter may just put me over the edge. I think when I get back from Gary Con we're moving my son's boxes (of shit he left being when moving to Salt Lake City) to storage. I need room for a 3d printer.

Seriously, look at the samples pictured (yep, pictures speak volumes with this Kickstarter)

5 bucks

49 bucks
Damn you all! I do not need but I sure do want...

Neither The Tavern nor myself receive compensation for Kickstarter coverage or Kickstarter posts. Some Kickstarters are brought to the attention of The Tavern by their creators. Such communication does not guarantee coverage here at The Tavern. I do not back every Kickstarter I highlight as my wallet's contents are not limitless but I do find all highlighted Kickstarters interesting for one or more reasons - Erik Tenkar

Monday, March 4, 2019

GM's Day is Here -

Yep, March 4th is GMs Day, a remembrance of the passing of Gary Gygax. I remember Gary's passing, or at least my learning of it, quite clearly. I was at work, at my desk, and one of the tabs I had open had the Troll Lord Games Castles & Crusades forums. I refreshed the page and saw a new thread. Gary Gygax had passed. It hit me right in the gut. My son's mother had passed a month and a day prior and all of the emotions came back. I had never met Gary in person but we had conversed on the interwebs, and he had been nothing but a gentleman in our exchanges. Now, I'd never get to take the man up on his invite to play games on his back porch. Never get to shake his hand and thank him for the influence his games had on me becoming the man I had become.

It seems like yesterday and an eternity at the same time.

If it weren't for Gary it's likely our hobby would never exist. Scary thought, that. Gary, I owe you much. Not just from the direct joy of gaming, but the problem solving and social skills that roleplaying gave me.


In any case, DriveThruRPG is holding a GM's Day sale. Heck, even Swords & Wizardry Continual Light is 20% off in PDF (it's just 2 bucks right now)

We'll now return to our usual postings :)

Yep, those are affiliate links above. Affiliate links put a portion of sales generated into The Tavern's coffers. I thank you in advance.

Kickstarter - Hex Tile content Add-Ons for MapForge map-making software

I'm in a bit of a Kickstarter coverage backlog due to last week's TotalCon and this week's upcoming Gary Con. I'm trying to get in what I can before I fall into "Con Posting Limitations." I'm happy to get a post a day in while at a convention.


Battlegrounds RPG / Heruca has been publishing RPG VTT software for years. One of the most amazing things about the Battlegrounds RPG site is the extensive amount of links to RPG resources, including competition for their own software products. Who the hell does that?

Mapforge is one of the stronger options for creating one's own map tiles for use at the gaming table - virtual or otherwise.

Hex Tile content Add-Ons for MapForge map-making software Kickstarter is exactly what it says on the tin:
This campaign seeks to broaden MapForge's current offerings by producing several more fantasy-themed mapping content Add-Ons (equivalent to 8 products' worth of content) which will, for the first time, support the creation of area/regional scale maps (MapForge has thus far been limited to tactical-scale battlemaps).
Note, you'll need Mapforge to get full use of the resources offered in this Kickstarter.

The details are in the guts of the Kickstarter page itself. Read it carefully and pay for the art packs - at low or hi res - that you want.

Neither The Tavern nor myself receive compensation for Kickstarter coverage or Kickstarter posts. Some Kickstarters are brought to the attention of The Tavern by their creators. Such communication does not guarantee coverage here at The Tavern. I do not back every Kickstarter I highlight as my wallet's contents are not limitless but I do find all highlighted Kickstarters interesting for one or more reasons - Erik Tenkar

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Kickstarter - Cade's Big Book o' Booze (5e)



I'm in a bit of a Kickstarter coverage backlog due to last week's TotalCon and this week's upcoming Gary Con. I'm trying to get in what I can before I fall into "Con Posting Limitations." I'm happy to get a post a day in while at a convention.

Cade's Big Book o' Booze Kickstarter is "an alcohol-related zine for use with 5th edition fantasy." My God! How could The Tavern fail to highlight this Kickstarter? ;)
Cade's Big Book o' Booze is a humorous zine designed to be used with the 5th edition of the world's most popular fantasy rpg. While the tone is jovial, the book itself will contain content useful for any fantasy game.  
  • The "Intoxicated" condition and what it entails
  • New alcohols for your fantasy game to add some flavor (pun-intended) to your campaigns
  • New equipment and weapons, including the formidable dwarven battle mug
  • Cade's Bar Guide: a list of materials/ingredients found in the game world and how to use them to make the ultimate cocktails 
  • New magic: spells and magic items 
  • New monsters to face, including the b'ooze and the dreaded bad beer elemental
  • NPC stats for Cade Ashworthy, the titular planehopping halfling 
  • And more... 
Fun stuff :)
In addition to the pledge rewards at funding, all backers will receive PDF copies of Conspiracy Theories A SURVIVE THIS!! Zine: Issue 1: The Dark Door and Conspiracy Theories A SURVIVE THIS!! Zine: Issue 2: Frostbitten by Bloat Games. I want to thank Eric for his generosity. 
More fun stuff!

5 bucks in PDF. 12 for Print plus PDF (including shipping in the US)

4 days to go and funded.

Neither The Tavern nor myself receive compensation for Kickstarter coverage or Kickstarter posts. Some Kickstarters are brought to the attention of The Tavern by their creators. Such communication does not guarantee coverage here at The Tavern. I do not back every Kickstarter I highlight as my wallet's contents are not limitless but I do find all highlighted Kickstarters interesting for one or more reasons - Erik Tenkar

PSA - Your Bartender has Never Been Paid for a Post

So, I just got the following as a comment on this morning's post just a few minutes ago:


Of course, the profile is blocked, so he or she was kind enough to cast shade without actually standing behind their words. I didn't have to approve the comment, but if I didn't I'm sure the individual in question would have used that to convince themselves and others that I was taking money to make posts for advertisers. Because you know how such shit spreads.

Just to be clear - I've never taken money to post about a product, Kickstarter or ANYTHING on the blog. When I've been provided with free product (commonly for review purpose) I've indicated such in the posts in question. When I have a personal relationship with a publisher or creator, I indicate it in the post. If there are affiliate links in a post I state so - explicitly.

Do folks bring their Kickstarters or new releases to my attention? Sure as shit they do. Do I share them all? No. Do I personally back all the Kickstarters I share? If I had limitless funds, I would, but I don't so I can't. Doesn't mean others shouldn't get a chance to make that decision for themselves.

Am I considering paid sponsorship from the community for the Tavern Chat podcast? Yes, but if I were to do so it would not be allowed to impact the content of the podcast itself - just a 15-second sponsorship spiel. And I still haven't decided if I'm going to follow that idea to implementation.  And no, I haven't taken money to talk about someone product (there were sponsorships going via Anchor for Flipboard and that was effectively a commercial)

FYI - I've been blogging at The Tavern since May 31st, 2009. This year will make 10 years. Like The Tavern or hate it, I'm not going to sully its reputation by taking money for posts now, after nearly 10 years of honest posting.

Of course, the response I initially wanted to make was not so polite ;)

Kickstarter - DM Oddities RPG POTIONS


There are accessories for RPGs that aren't needed but hit that "cool" factor. DM Oddities RPG Potions is a fine example of such - not needed but certainly cool.


Yeah, this is a very visual Kickstarter ;)

I bottle is 15 bucks with about 8 more for shipping. The dice are included as shown, but you can upgrade for more and different dice (different potions)

Tenkar's Tavern is supported by various affiliate programs, including Amazon, RPGNow, and Humble Bundle as well as Patreon. Your patronage is appreciated and helps keep the lights on and the taps flowing - Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

Tenkar's Tavern Discord Server Events - link - https://discord.gg/fReGmuD - Click to embiggen

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