Saturday, August 31, 2019

Kickstarter - Bloodstone Dice RPG Dice Set

That's it. I'm done with dice Kickstarters. Why? Because there is nothing left that's new. I'm pretty sure I've gotten dice just like this somewhere in my hoard of dice.

No mas overpriced dice that offer nothing new.

Bloodstone Dice, you were the straw that broke this camel's back.
After meeting some dice companies at GenCon 2018 I was inspired to try my hand at designing some RPG Dice and these Bloodstones are the first of many I want to retail out to consumers.
Unlike most Dice Kickstarters I want this one to be straight forward, short and to the point. 
This is Kickstarter is for a 7 die set of Bloodstones. That's is. No hidden stretch goals locked away under a crazy high price, no 101 sets to choose from, no hidden strings. 
These dice have a Bloody Red font and have tiny particles of crimson glitter to help the color POP! 

Friday, August 30, 2019

James Raggi offers an Update on the LotFP Ref Book - Its Not What One Expects

I'm offering this without comment here on the blog. My commentary is offered on the accompanying Tavern Chat podcast episode  

OK everyone! ACTUAL NEWS! It took a little longer than planned to get going after Gen Con, but I have a major update. 
I have reached an agreement with a freelancer, Göran Stahl, to be a consultant/taskmaster to get this damn thing done. He is a lifelong RPG fan with knowledge that reaches from the 1974 OD&D boxed set to the latest indie obscurities, he's into horror movies and heavy metal, and he is quite familiar with LotFP. 
We had a long session this week discussing RPG writing and LotFP's approach to it, my personal style and how it is that I work, and how that relates into the hows and whys of this project being so damn delayed. I think we've found a way forward. 
The issue identified, and this is a good chunk of the problem, is that I'm using existing GM guides in the industry as a format guide, and then what I've been attempting to do for years is sit down and attempt to express my ideas in a format that I don't really believe in. That I actively hate when reading it from other games. "If I just come up with the right turns of phrase then it'll all be great!" But there aren't enough genius turns of phrase to make that format any good, and I've known it for a long long time, and that's why I've been writing and trashing so much over these years, never happy with anything. Even when I was making what I thought was major progress over the winter, revisiting that now is sterile as all fuck. 
But when I talk about any of the subjects that the Ref book will contain, I'm a motormouth. I can go on rants about how things should be done, and the failures that occur in games when things aren't done right. There is energy and flow that just dies instantly when I sit down on try to communicate that in written form. 
So I had the idea that I'll just talk about everything that needs to be in the book and record it all. Stahl is onboard, and will act as producer-interviewer-facilitator (his official title will be "Consultant") to the process, and had great ideas about how to go about the whole thing. Our meeting made me have dreams that the final product will be to regular RPG GM books as METAL's Reborn Through Hate issue, or ISTEN's Mädchen issue are to the usual music magazine format... 
I know that referencing metal fanzines from 1997 and 2001 means exactly zero of you know what I'm talking about, but that's kind of the point. The presentation of this book can not be the same old presentation that's always been used, or it will never get done. With the added bonus that if it's done right, it'll be on its own an engaging read and be a valuable addition to the RPG canon. 
So I'm basically going to ghostwrite my own book. He'll prepare his questions and bullet points, and I'll have my own notes and bullet points from all the work I've already done. When we have the recordings, I will hire someone to transcribe them. Then I will work with an editor (maybe this will be Stahl, maybe it won't) to determine how much verbal cruft needs to be taken out to make everything readable, and whether the conversational format serves the book. If not, we edit it down to something that does, and how that's done may change section to section. Whatever best communicates what needs to be communicated at the moment. 
The key at this point is that everything going forward is collaborative and not just people waiting for me to get something done alone in front of my computer. 
I will be traveling to Stahl's location for the first two sessions next week. After we see how those go, we'll figure out the schedule moving forward. When he's available, I'm available, until we're done. 
I'll update at the end of next week on how things went.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

New Release - Old-School Essentials Classic Fantasy: Rules Tome

For those that did not back the Old-School Essentials Classic Fantasy Kickstarter, you can now pick up the Old-School Essentials Classic Fantasy: Rules Tome in PDF for 19.99 at DriveThruRPG. 
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! 
A Complete Game All in One Book 
Old-School Essentials is a modular game where the core rules of the game are extended by additional "rules modules" which add content for different genres of fantastic adventure. The Old-School Essentials Rules Tome is a compilation of the core rules plus four rules modules, forming a complete game for Classic Fantasy adventures:
Core Rules: Rules for character creation and advancement, adventuring in dungeons, the wilderness, and at sea, magic and combat. 
  • Classic Fantasy: Genre Rules: Seven classic classes (cleric, dwarf, elf, fighter, halfling, magic-user, thief), complete lists of weapons and adventuring gear, extensive lists of vehicles, mounts, and vessels, mercenaries and specialists for hire, rules for stronghold construction.
  • Classic Fantasy: Cleric and Magic-User Spells: The complete set of 34 cleric spells (from 1st to 5th level) and 72 magic-user spells (from 1st to 6th level), for use by players or cleric, elf, and magic-user characters.
  • Classic Fantasy: Monsters: A selection of over 200 classic monsters to challenge adventurers of all levels.
  • Classic Fantasy: Treasures: A hoard of over 150 wondrous magic items.
The material in this book forms a complete clone of the classic Basic/Expert game, including all rules, classes, spells, monsters, and magic items.
Yep, that is an affiliate link above. Using The Tavern's affiliate links keep the taps flowing and the beer cold. 

Want a free peek?
A 56-page, art-free sample of the basic rules of the game required by players is available here:
  • The full introduction and character creation rules.
  • The four core human classes: cleric, fighter, magic-user, thief.
  • Full lists of adventuring equipment, weapons, and armour.
  • The rules for dungeon adventures, encounters, and combat.
  • The full rules for spell casting and the complete set of 1st level spells.

Bundle of Holding - Goodman Gems

Looking at the Goodman Gems Bundle of Holding I realize I have everything listed above except for the DM Campaign Tracker. If owning everything else isn't high praise I don't know what else I can say ;)
Adventurer! This Goodman Gems Bundle assembles the crown jewels of Goodman Games: The Dungeon Alphabet and other system-neutral supplements and sourcebooks for fantasy tabletop roleplaying games. Entertaining and inspirational, these key works of the Old School Revival enhance any fantasy campaign with new character backgrounds, locations, setting elements, monsters, a yearlong calendar, and two alphabetic compendia that help you rethink your OSR games at a fundamental level. 
For just US$9.95 you get all four titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $37) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including The Adventurer's Almanac, a calendar of events to fill your campaign world's year; the handy DM Campaign Tracker; and two collections of tips and tricks for players and gamemasters, PC Pearls and GM Gems
And if you pay more than the threshold price of $25.73, you'll level up and also get our entire Bonus Collection with six more titles worth an additional $61, including the latest edition of the famous Dungeon Alphabet, along with its sequel The Monster Alphabet; two collections of fantasy world settings, Points of Light and Points of Light 2: The Sunrise Sea; The Random Esoteric Creature Generator; and the popular treatise How to Write Adventure Modules That Don't Suck.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Kickstarter - Tales From the Sorcerer Under the Mountain (OSR / 5e)

"A rulebook/adventure for OSR/5th editions inspired by 80s British Fantasy Roleplaying Games."

A few quick notes: I really enjoy everything Newt / D101 Games has put out. Be it Crypts & Things (his S&W Swords & Sorcery hack), Openquest and all of the related adventures. Simply immensely playable. Newt's Kickstarters are pretty much on point each time and his track record is quite good.

Which should make it obvious that I'm backing the Tales From the Sorcerer Under the Mountain Kickstarter ;) Seriously, I can't get my fill of Swords & Wizardry hacks, and Newt has done it well in the past.

There are two books you can back in this Kickstarter:
Tales from the Sorcerer Under the Mountain, an A5 hardback OSR rule book, which as well as a concise version of the Swords & Wizardry rules, with a chapter which holds the House Rules I use in my games, and contains the adventure with OSR stats. Overall it weighs in about 230 pages, with black and white art throughout, cover by Jon Hodgson.
as well as:
The Sorcerer Under the Mountain, 5th Edition Adventure module in 8″ by 11″ format, black and white art throughout. 
The 5e adventure is $10 for the Print plus PDF. Shipping extra.

The OSR book in at cost POD plus PDF is 12.27 (as of right now ;)  Obviously, you pay for the cost of the printing and shipping after the Kickstarter funds.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Flying Buffalo Update - The Loss of Rick and What now?

(this has already been shared via Kickstarter and Facebook)

By Steve Crompton

Loss of our friend: By now many of you may have heard the sad news that Rick Loomis, President of Flying Buffalo and a gaming industry legend, passed away on Aug 23rd, just a few hours before his 72nd birthday.  Rick created and ran Flying Buffalo for almost 50 years, and was also President of GAMA (Gaming Manufacturers of America) on several occasions.

Rick's loss leaves a huge hole in our hearts and Flying Buffalo.  Rick was our mentor, our friend (a brother for his sisters) and the intermediary between the high-flying goals of the creative team and the real world. He helped us stay on track and reminded us of the limits of our budgets. Rick also made sure that whatever we created would be something that players would want.  And many, many times he made suggestions that made a game more playable or an adventure more usable. We will miss Rick every single day, and we plan to honor his wishes and hopes for the future of Flying Buffalo going forward.

So What Happens now?: While Rick was fighting cancer and was unable to attend to his work on processing the Kickstarter orders, he did manage to teach me how to do that, and I have been doing so since early July.  (Rick did everything before then.) 

Rick's sisters and the entire Buffalo team are committed to continuing to process and ship out your Kickstarter orders.  In fact just today I did another 25 orders and they are now in shipping, ready to be packaged up. And tomorrow we'll be taking 40 finished orders to the post office. As of now, we only have about MSPE 175 orders left to ship out of the original 675 we started with.  And we will continue to ship out your orders until all of them have gone out.  We have everything in from the printers and everything that Mike was supposed to sign has been signed, so its just a matter of continuing until we are done.

Down the road there will also be new products for T&T, MSPE, Nuclear War, and Catalyst books like new Traps and Citybooks. They may not come as quickly as we'd like right now, as there is a lot to do in regards to taking care of Rick's estate and Flying Buffalo. But rest assured, we are soldiering onward.  That's what Rick wanted us to do - and we plan to do just that. So you don't need to worry - your items will be shipped out.

Please feel free to  post you comments below and if you want to contribute to help with Rick's Medial bills, funeral arrangements and other outstanding bills that have accrued due to Rick's illness you can contribute to his Gofundme campaign.

Thank you all for your concern, your patience and your belief in Rick's dream - Flying Buffalo.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Kickstarter - The Lost Depths of the Ageless (Systemless)

"A System Neutral dungeon adventure in PDF designed using a sensory descriptive style approach. Less text, more clues, maximum fun!"

The Lost Depths of the Ageless is the latest Kickstarter from Thom Wilson. Instead of collections of one and two-page adventures, this project is a single adventure - starting at 8 pages and increasing with stretch goals.
A minimum* 8-page adventure in PDF designed for any fantasy RPG system. Each standard letter-sized page will be filled with encounter details in a style that is geared toward character senses: "What do I see? What do I smell? What do I hear?" Instead of walls of text to parse through, GMs can quickly look at the details by sense to get the answers to the players' questions. 
For those that prefer to craft their own backstories and would rather not use pre-written read-aloud text, this adventure is for you. You'll get a couple of short paragraphs of background before the book delves right into encounter areas. It is up to the GM to develop adventure hooks and detailed reasons for the Lost Depths to be what they are and why they exist.  
The adventure is designed as System Neutral. This means that empty stat blocks for foes, treasure, traps, and other system-specific points will be provided for the GM. The GM can add the stats for their preferred system into the space provided. Since this is a PDF, it can be printed out several times to be run for different systems!  
*Minimum 8 pages; likely more with project funding total stretch goals 
Here are the stretch goals:

The funding period is very short - just five days. The basic backer level is 3 bucks. Want your name as a supporter in the PDF? 5 bucks. That's my kinda Kickstarter ;)

Sunday, August 25, 2019

State of The Tavern - August 25th, 2019 - Thank You!

As I posted yesterday, Rick Loomis has succumbed to cancer. A truly sad outcome. I am hugely proud of this community. You gave over $500 to assist Rick and his family with related expenses (which will now include funeral expenses). The GoFundMe has raised over $39k to date. I offered to match the first $200 raised by our community (I'll make that donation tonight) and another donor who promised to match a second $200 raised by The Tavern's Community. You can and do make a difference.

There is something else I want to thank the community for - The Tavern's Alexa Ranking. We've been on fire this summer, and that's all because of you:

The past six weeks have been insane.

For comparison:

I am humbled by all of you. Again, thank you.

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

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