Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Questions Regarding Gail Gygax and the Gary Gygax Will

One of The Tavern regulars submitted the following questions regarding the Gary Gygax will Gail Gygax is disputing:

1) What does Paul Stormberg have to gain by alienating the Gygax family (minus Gail) by pushing through with these auctions?

2) It is known that Gary owned the original PHB painting and Paul Stormberg the original DMG painting. Where are these paintings now? If they were sold, who was the selling agent? (Rumor is that Australian Banker and TSR collector living in Hong Kong, Matthew Kodor owns both of these items. It is further rumored that he paid in access of $100k apiece for these paintings).

3) When Gary died Wisconsin required probate for all estates of $50k or more. There have been a number of Gygax auctions run by Paul Stormberg on Gail's behalf, was an access of $50k raised?

With the reported numbers on the animation auction running at over $40k it certainly looks like the physical assets of the estate alone (without valuing the IP) was well in excess of $50k.

4) Why does Paul Stormberg feel that these auctions need to be pushed through without pause? Is there a contract, memorandum, or letter of agreement binding him to complete these auctions?

5) If Gail has sold the original PHB painting and other, unique assets can it not be argued that her actions greatly diminish the overall value of the estate? Selling these items prevents the family from ever monetizing these items as well as diminishing Gary's legacy.

Case in point, the animation cells up for auction were hand-selected by Gary, in his very unique role with the D&D cartoon, as items to have and pass down via his estate. There is no finer single collection of animation cells from the cartoon. Is Gail acting in the best interest of the trust, Gary's legacy, or even herself?

6) Paul Stormberg has moved his auctions to his own bidding site, where there is no transparency. What other items might be up for sale that have not yet been discovered? Might this represent a final looting of Gary's estate?

The IP legacy of Gary Gygax has been squandered since his death. The longer the wait for the release of materials based on his IP, the more the value is diminished. Gary's fans are aging, and a majority of them now are in their late 40s and by the 20th anniversary of Gary's death, a large number of them will be in their 60s.

With the changing currents in the gaming industry, what will be left? What reason is there for not having released Gary's materials commercially, while squatting on trademarks and never using them?

Questions to ponder... Tenkar

Monday, June 29, 2020

Tabletop.Events acquired by BoardGameGeek

Full announcement below:

Link to the original post

So many of you helped to bring us back from the brink via the Con of Champions. Thank you! Without your support Tabletop.Events would have gone dark at the end of April.

Con of Champions allowed us to keep Tabletop.Events online, albeit at a severely reduced budget, until the end of 2020. Beyond 2020 though was always still up in the air. So much depends upon what happens with COVID-19 and the rise of virtual conventions.

All along we said we would continue to look for alternative sources of revenue, and we have. We’ve considered over a dozen different options, but found that one option made the most sense. We should hand the reigns of Tabletop.Events over to a larger entity in the tabletop world; someone who has the resources to ensure a very bright future, and BoardGameGeek (BGG) has exactly those means.

Effective immediately, BGG will assume control of Tabletop.Events. However, the Tabletop.Events staff will remain on board helping TTE to grow under new leadership. We will spend the remainder of the year transitioning technology, adding features, fixing bugs, answering questions, and hosting conventions, just like we always planned to do. But with BGG’s support, we can now confidently say that we can continue to do those things into 2021 and beyond as well!

If you run conventions using Tabletop.Events, you can now proceed with your planning knowing that TTE will be here to serve you no matter what.

If you attend conventions using Tabletop.Events, you can sign up knowing that the conventions you attend have a strong and stable platform from which to grow.

Thank you for allowing us to serve you. Thank you for loving what we created. We look forward to serving you far into a very bright future.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Not Erik Story: My 1st Kill (HackMaster 4th Edition PC Kill....I'm not a monster)

Not Erik Story: My 1st Kill (HackMaster 4th Edition PC Kill....I'm not a monster)
I'm still in my computer files trying to locate some older gaming "stuff" of mine and I came across my kill sticker sheet, or at least my old HackMaster 4th Edition kill collection.

HackMaster 4th Edition was kind of adversarial between the GM and the party, but not really. It was more of a "for show" kind of thing that was played up in not only some of the source material, but in the Knights of the Dinner Table comics.

Sure, there were definitely some "Killer GMs"  in the wild, but that really doesn't have squat to do with the game system. The game is crunchy, requires a lot of dice, and can be just as lethal or non-lethal as the next game. I think there was this implanted idea of the adversarial GM more as a tool to keep the players in line. Encumbrance was pretty important, as was not having a PC loaded down with too much magic. Knowing that their PCs could be facing an encumbrance or magic item audit, and the disastrous consequences of failing one......well that helped keep PCs in check and helped with some game balance.....

.....don't even get me started with the player coupons! Part of the joke/not a joke aspect of the game....

I think Jolly Blackburn started the tradition of keeping track of PC deaths with kill stickers on his GM shield. It was his way of rubbing failure in the faces of the rather successful (in general) development team (D-Team) at their weekly game sessions. Eventually he published his system of keeping track. Skull colors denoted perma-death or if the PC was resurrected, while the background told the methodology of demise. Strings of chained skulls meant that multiple PCs died in the same adventure/session, and eventually a couple of symbols were added to show if the death was part of a total party kill (TPK) or death at a tournament. Players would be much more likely to over-extend their PCs at a tournament, which could lead to a TPK. I think eventually most groups would do their best to designate a "sole survivor" just to deny the GM a TPK.

My old kill sticker sheet

I personally added the chicken sticker, based of of Sir Robin's shield in M.......you know, you should get it already......this was to show that somebody "bravely ran away" and quit the adventure just so I couldn't get a TPK. Deny me a kill!!!! I know I later added another symbol to denote a PC purged their honor to avoid a death (like the spineless coward they were!)

This is an older kill shield set because I redid the graphics with a more comical skull, but I doubt I have many more deaths on my most recent set....should I find it.

Color/Text Codes:
White Skull = perma-death
Blue Skull = the PC was resurrected
Red Background = PC was killed by his party (fratricide)
Black Background = Death by monster
White Background = "Miscellaneous" Death
Green Background = Death by Trap
T = Tournament Death
X = Total Party Kill

I wish I could recall the story of each death, but really it's just the 1st one I remember. My brother-in-law was playing with us and he really wasn't into playing RPGs. It was clear it was going to be his first, and last, session. He was playing a bard and it is important to note that one of my other players had a Druid with the cling quirk. It just made sense the Druid would be clingy to the most handsome (HackMaster has a Comeliness stat) and Charismatic PC in the group.

The party had done well figuring out what was stirring up the local goblins and found the evil low-level mage that was using a found wand to lord control over them. Just prior to the BBG (big bad guy, ie. Boss)  battle, when the BBG has a moment to soliloquy, the Bard just walks over and says something to the effect of, "Sounds great, I do hereby pledge my fealty to you..." I sure as hell did not see that one coming. Of course the battle kicks off immediately because the Druid attacks the Bard because, "If I can't have him, then nobody can...."

Ah.....good times. The main party did prevail, killing the Bard, the Mage, and any Goblin foolish enough to stick around....and I got my 1st kill.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Luke Gygax Statement re: Sale of Gary Gygax Estate Items at The Collector's Trove

The following is from Facebook and is shared without comment:

Luke Gygax:
Heads Up Collectors: Gail Gygax is auctioning items that may be part of my father’s estate through Paul Stormberg and the collectors trove- his business. There is a legal action filed to open probate and recognize the Last Will and Testament of my Dad that I was only made aware of late last year. Gail is contesting the Will because it leaves some items to my siblings, Ernest Gary Gygax Jr. Elise' Gygax-Cousino Heidi Gygax Cindy Gygax, including the rights to his legacy after Gail passes away. Currently there is nothing illegal about Gail selling the estate items in auctions but in my opinion, it is immoral. If you agree please don’t bid on them. And I let Paul know about this months ago as well.  So he is choosing to do this with full knowledge.


Luke Gygax:
For full disclosure there are questions as to the ownership of the property being auctioned on behalf of Gail Gygax. Paul is aware of the questions and although not illegal it is morally questionable. There is an action in Walworth county to open probate and execute the Last Will and Testament of Ernest Gary Gygax initiates by my siblings minus Alex. It is being contested by Gail because it leaves items to us and she doesn’t want to part with anything despite what the will says.


https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/E754---I-Find-Some-Overlooked-Details-in-the-Current-War-of-Wills-of-the-Gygax-Estate-eg0sdl (Observations)

Friday, June 26, 2020

Frog God Games Sale - 35% Off at the Webstore

Yoked from the Frog God Discord Server

***__35% Off__*** everything on the webstore! Use code **June-Bug-2020** at checkout. https://www.froggodgames.com/ **Offer Ends July 1st**. *Excludes subscriptions and The World of the Lost Lands*. @everyone

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Looking for Current / Retired Former LEOs to Crowdsource RPG Material

Publisher’s Choice Quality Stock Art © Rick Hershey / Fat Goblin Games 

I've been asked over the years to produce a supplement for Swords & Wizardry / OSR rulesets dealing with Town Watches, City Guards, and the like. I think to produce such with other LEOs that are gamers would not just be fun to do, but could fill a hole in many fantasy campaigns.

Want to participate with ideas, art, layout, or the like? Email me at TenkarsDOTtavern at that gmail thing with "Town Watch" in the subject and we'll see where this goes :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Free - After the Bomb® Map Pack

For the price of free, the After the Bomb Map Pack is a pretty cool assortment of maps for Palladium's After the Bomb RPG and other post apoc RPGs. Seriously, how often does Kevin give away anything for free? ;)
It was recently pointed out that the map on page 1 of the original After the Bomb® sourcebook was left out of the After the Bomb® Second Edition RPG, so we thought we would grab all of the maps from the sourcebooks and make them available for everyone. Enjoy!
There's an affiliate link above. Although this is free, anything you might buy with it ould put some coin in The Tavern's coffers. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Kickstarter -The Book of Dungeon Encounters, for use with Fantasy RPGs

A collection of 100 different dungeon encounters that gamemasters can use with almost any fantasy roleplaying game.

I've been a huge fan of Phil Reed since damn near the turn of the century. I remember subscribing to his email list of GM tips WAY back. His recent Kickstarter releases have been well done and affordable. Heck, you can even back The Book of Dungeon Encounters for as little as a buck and still get a ton of content.
The Book of Dungeon Encounters is a 48-page 8.5" x 11" saddle-stitched book that is packed with 100 different dungeon encounter ideas. These are for use with almost any fantasy RPG, especially old-school RPGs that use square grids for combat, though imaginative gamemasters will no doubt find ways to adapt everything detailed within these pages to any system, including those that use hexes for combat maps.

The book is presented as a giant d100 table, giving the gamemaster 100 different encounter ideas that can either be randomly rolled or selected to construct a dungeon. 90 of the encounters are presented as descriptions only -- no maps -- and range from low-level fights against dungeon beasties all of the way to strange gateways that lead to other worlds. 
Ten of the encounters include square grid maps that were created using the SkeletonKey Games 2e Adventure Tiles. (Please see below for more information.)  
Regardless of how you use the encounters in the book, all of them exist for two reasons:
  • To give the gamemaster the tools necessary to run a dungeon adventure with little to no prep time; just grab some stats from your favorite book of monsters and mix in the ideas in this book and you're ready for freeform dungeon crawls!
  •  Inspiration! Maybe an entry doesn't meet your exact needs, but each one will help drive your creativity and give you ideas. As always, change everything within the book to fit your tastes and needs!

Monday, June 22, 2020

Bundle of Holding - Tunnels & Trolls

Sometimes Bundle of Holding really knocks it out of the park. The Tunnels & Trolls Bundle of Holding is definitely one of those times. I happen to be a HUGE T&T fan, so I MAY be biased in its favor ;)

For just US$9.95 you get all thirteen solo adventures in this revived offer's Solitaire Collection (retail value $53) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:
  • A fun 64-page manga-style set of Tunnels & Trolls quickstart rules, produced by T&T Adventures Japan (where T&T is big) and presented here in English translation. A perfect intro to the game, this booklet gives all the rules you need to play the solos in this collection, plus a solitaire and two gamemastered scenarios.
  • Four starting T&T solos: Battle School, Sea of Mystery, Sorcerer Solitaire, and the first solo RPG adventure ever published for any game, Buffalo Castle.
  • Three mid-level T&T solos: Agent of Death, Naked Doom, and Sewers of Oblivion.
  • Three killer T&T solos: Arena of Khazan, Deathtrap Equalizer Dungeon, and perhaps the most fondly remembered of all the solos, Michael A. Stackpole's City of Terrors.
  • Goblin Lake Deluxe (previously presented in our November 2016 Old School Revival 4).
  • New in this revival! Elven Lords Deluxe, Mike Stackpole's 1990 follow-up to City of Terrors, in an expanded edition with new art by Liz Danforth. (If you bought this offer during its original run, you automatically receive Elven Lords too.)
And if you pay more than the threshold price of $20.22, you'll level up and also get this revival's entire Gamemaster Collection with ten more titles worth an additional $53:
  • The latest and greatest version of the rules, the complete 386-page Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls core rulebook (2015), plus the Deluxe GM Screen (both previously in the OSR 4 offer).
  • Monsters! Monsters!: The 1976 First Edition of Ken St. Andre's standalone spinoff game, based on T&T, that lets you play the monsters, guarding your dungeon home from so-called heroic intruders.
  • Adventurers Compendium: An 88-page collection of nine solo adventures and three gamemastered scenarios unearthed from Sorcerer's Apprentice magazine.
  • Four classic T&T gamemastered scenarios: The Complete Dungeon of the Bear, Dwarf World, Seven Challenges of Kartejan, and Uncle Ugly's Underground Doom.
  • New in this revival! Vault of K'Horror, a looting expedition into a tomb of ancient vampire lords. (And the original September 2018 customers get this one too.)

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Speaking Dwarven at the Table......WITHOUT a Scottish Accent

Speaking Dwarven at the Table......WITHOUT a Scottish Accent
One of the things I do regularly, but probably not often enough, is to go through my digital files and try to clean things up. These days with storage becoming cheaper it's too easy to simply ignore the inevitable bloat of directories and files.

So I'm looking at my directory of PC files....if I'm not using a digital PC sheet I'll often scan my physical sheets every level. Then I can use "old" PCs for NPCs or if a pick-up game comes along and the GM goes "the group needs a 3rd level Magic User...." I'm good.

Anyway I'm in this directory and I found a word document entitled "Dwarven Slang", which kind of cracked me up. As a player in a 5th Edition HackMaster game I had a Dwarven Fighter named Balen.....

......don't sweat it, this isn't really a PC story. Two of those in a row is a bit much.....

5th Edition is crunchy AF, especially compared to the average OSR game, and Balen had a terrible grasp of the Common/Human languages. I can kind of relate because while I know tidbits of multiple Human languages, they get all jumbled up in my head and at best I can speak a phrase or two.

In-game I got this. One thing I did was assign a language to Balen.....I mean a real-world language. I thought that Icelandic was a good choice and since he had such a low ability in "Common" he wouldn't be able to speak the same language as the other PCs, but he'd understand a bit more....kind of like me with German or Spanish.

To this end I made a small custom Icelandic/English dictionary so at the table I could use Dwarven, er Icelandic to a little "point & talk" when dealing with the rest of my home group. Simple stuff, numbers, nouns mostly, but the crown jewel of my RPG linguistics were phrases (idioms) and swears.

A Character Portrait of Balen the Dwarf
Balen the Dwarf (commissioned from Tina Bongomo)

I don't know how many of you have spent much time in another country dealing with another language, but I was fortunate enough to have served overseas in Germany and a few other countries. One thing that always fascinated me when it came to the language barriers were idioms and swears. A lot of things technically translate, but don't actually translate in practice. For example I briefly had a Dutch girlfriend and I said something about someone "taking the short bus to school". Most all Americans got right off the bat that I insinuated that someone was slow/stupid/not to bright. My gf, knew what a school-bus was, but a short school-bus? No clue. Later on that trip I heard her swear and I was straight-up shocked because the literal translation was what I'd argue is the strongest swear possible here in the US (and no, I'm not going to repeat it), but in Dutch was basically the equivalent of saying "shit".

I loved learning Dwarven/Icelandic swears.....my favorite was basically telling someone to "Fuck off" but I think the literal translation was "Go to the asshole!" I wish I remembered the actual phrase, but alas I could only find my Dwarven Slang list and not my dictionary or Dwarven Swear list.

Dwarven Slang (really idiom) List:
Aagh pissa e sko sin (to pee in his shoes: only works for a while)
Al-jeort rasgat (absolute butthole: adorably cute)
Ekki-oop e nos al-ketti (not enough to fill a cat’s nostril: small amount)
Av tefla viv pal-vaan (playing chess with the pope: taking a shit)
Rasgat e bala (butt in a tub: nothing or next to nothing)
Tea-oo dropar (ten drops: a cup of normal sized coffee)
Oondin tuska (wound-out rag: exhausted)
Av-hafa ekki ge-erst svo fraig (Having not been so famous)
Ens auk itla ge-erdur helot-ur (like a poorly made object)
Av stok-va oop a neff si-er (to jump up one’s nostril)
E-ek to khan e bakri-el (took him to the bakery: kicked his ass)
E-ek ska see-na pie-er-I e tavo heymana (I’ll show you the two worlds: kick your ass)

The cool thing is when doing something like this......it doesn't matter so much if you get your pronunciation correct as long as you are consistent.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Advance (repost from Bat in the Attic)

Rob Conley asked me to share the following, as it is very useful for the self publishers among us. You can read Rob’s original post here: http://batintheattic.blogspot.com/2020/06/covid-19-economic-injury-disaster-loans.html

The Covid pandemic has caused severe economic disruption which impacted businesses across the United States including those involved in publishing the tabletop roleplaying industry. Particularly hard hit are those of us who make a lot of our sales from conventions. I am personally am out a significant amount of money as result of Garycon being cancelled and North Texas Con being held on a restrictive basis. But my plight isn't hard as others impacted by Covid-19.

During the early days of the pandemic, Congress passed a bill that made the entire United State eligible for disaster relief. This includes small businesses. You can read for yourself the various options the small business administration has for disaster relief here.

One of the things offered is the ability to apply for a emergency grant and a loan. When I saw this being made available in March I immediately applied. Then I didn't hear anything for a long time until the middle of April. The Small Business Administration approved my grant and sent me a $1,000. Which was slightly more than I was asking for. As near as I could tell the SBA simply looked at how many people were involved and multiplied it by $1,000. In my case that was one. The SBA will approve grants of up to $10,000.

Keep in mind these are grants not loans that have to be paid back. It not free money either. You have to have filed taxes either as a corporation or using a Schedule C profit or loss from business attached to your personal income tax form.

Now I didn't write about this because shortly after I received the money the SBA closed the application process for all business other than agricultural. Apparently the flood of applications was so great they they fear the program would run out of money without fulfilling the ones they had.

The good news they reopened the program for all small businesses.
If your publishing or game business was impacted you can apply here.

The process doesn't end with the grant. Eventually they will send you a loan offer. Again appears to be based on the number of people involved. However this is a loan that has to be paid back over 30 years at 3% interest. So keep that in mind if you get into this part of the process.

Hope this help and stay safe. I wasn't expecting much and was pleasantly surprised to have received the grant. I feel this will help many of us who have lost sales as a result of the pandemic.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Kickstarter - Cat's Cradle: A Fantasy Town for 5e and Other RPG Systems (Frog God Games)

This is one of the reasons I am very happy to be associated with Frog God Games: 
PPA Loan and COVID-19  We’re using the proceeds of a PPA loan to employ our writers and artists on an immediate basis, which lets us keep paying them at normal levels despite a bad market. For this reason, we’re following the unusual procedure of offering a Kickstarter before the work itself is completed. The books will be printed at the Arizona printshop we use for Indiegogo projects rather than in China, which allows us a much faster turnaround to backers. Most of the initial legwork has already been done, and the project should be almost completed by the time the Kickstarter ends, with the exception of layout and some of the art orders. To the extent the Kickstarter generates any profit — which isn’t guaranteed in this market — we will continue turning the profit around to new projects, to generate as steady a stream of work-flow as we can.
 That is good looking out.

So, what is the Cat's Cradle Kickstarter?
Cat’s Cradle stands at the intersection of a caravan and river route, which brings in mysterious travelers, unscrupulous grifters, and -- quite often -- dangerous villains. The Kickstarter includes a town sourcebook for Cat's Cradle, the adventure Eye of Itral, and Fortune Hunters, a book of town-oriented NPCs.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Humble Bundle - Maps Extravaganza (ProFantasy Software)

I own the Campaign Cartographer software from my Windows days. Sadly, I never had the patience to learn the software. With the pricing of the Maps Extravaganza Humble Bundle I might have had more patience ;)

Yes, that is an affiliate link above. Keep the taps flowing and the lights on at The Tavern by using our affiliate links.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Indiegogo - By Dawn’s Early Light (5E, PF & S&W)

I’ve been enjoying the Frog God holiday themed releases. They are very readable and playable, which seems to be a rare combination. By Dawn’s Early Night is their latest, obviously themed for July 4th.

It is midsummer, and the remote mountain village of Ilgaardd is preparing to throw an epic celebration to honor the anniversary of its independence from the tyrannical rule of Killoran the Red. While most of the villagers are happy with the new leadership and are excited about the prospect of hosting a major event, droves of raucous outsiders, bitter loyalists, and an unprecedented heat wave are causing tensions to mount.  You have been hired by the local sheriff to keep the peace. To do your job, you will have to contend with rowdy villagers at each other’s throats and a towering force on the cusp of raising its haunted form high above the Village Green! 

Inspired by (dangerous!) early American traditions of lighting bonfires to celebrate Independence Day, the characters are the only hope that Illgaardd will remain standing by dawn’s early light.

The characters are hired by Jax Blueskin, chief constable of the remote village of Ilgaardd, to keep the peace during the village’s Independence Day celebration. The characters must contend with increasingly rowdy villagers only to discover a nefarious plot devised by Killoran the Red, the village’s presumed-to-be-dead former ruler. If not stopped, this plot will unleash a force so terrible that the village — and possibly the region — may be utterly destroyed. By Dawn’s Early Light is a short adventure for 4–6 low-level characters.
We are on schedule to deliver the PDF by July 4th to light up your Independence Day!

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

New “Old” in Print - Guide to Hell (AD&D 2e)

This might be one of a handful of AD&D 2e releases I do not own from back in the day. I remember how 2e did away with demons and devils, and the 2e Guide to Hell brings back devils - and Hell. Go figure ;)
Diabolical threats lurk everywhere in the world of the AD&D game. Heroes who fight evil on the Prime Material Plane may contend with forces whose power rises from the depths of Hell. Adventurers who travel to Hell meet devildom on its own terms and risk not only their lives, but also their everlasting souls.  

Guide to Hell is a comprehensive look at the nature of devils, ways for heroes to battle them, and the twisted geography and politics of the Nine Layers in the AD&D game. The decision to "go to Hell" should never be made lightly—but once it is made, this book will give the DM everything he or she needs to make the experience memorable for all the heroes... at least, those who survive. 
Four new PC kits: the Devil Slayer, the Thaumaturgist, the Inquisitor, and the Hellblade A devil-fighting organization adaptable for any campaign New spells and magical items with a diabolical twist Advice for DMs on integrating the infernal into their campaigns Full statistics on the Lords of the Nine, the rulers of the Nine Hells The secret history of Hell and the Dark Lord of Nessus, Asmodeus Statistics for all major devil types, plus a new devil created especially for this book at least, those who survive.
  • Four new PC kits: the Devil Slayer, the Thaumaturgist, the Inquisitor, and the Hellblade
  • A devil-fighting organization adaptable for any campaign
  • New spells and magical items with a diabolical twist
  • Advice for DMs on integrating the infernal into their campaigns
  • Full statistics on the Lords of the Nine, the rulers of the Nine Hells
  • The secret history of Hell and the Dark Lord of Nessus, Asmodeus
  • Statistics for all major devil types, plus a new devil created especially for this book

Above is an affiliate link. Affiliate links keep the lights on at The Tavern. I thank you in advance.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Deal of the Day - Adventures Dark and Deep Players Manual

I used to love the What If? Comic book series from Marvel Comics. It gave alternated futures for events that may have happened. I see Adventures Dark & Deep as the “What if Gary Gygax hadn’t been forced out from TSR, and AD&D 2e had followed Gary’s previews as shown in Dragon Magazine at the time?”

Joe Bloch does a great job following the hints that Gary left us.

The Adventures Dark and Deep Players Manual is normally 9.95, but until tomorrow morning it is 4.97 in PDF.

The Adventures Dark and Deep™ Players Manual contains all the rules you need to create and run a character; character classes, races, spells, rules for combat, equipment, social class, skills, and much more.
The Players Manual is the first core rulebook for the Adventures Dark and Deep™ game, an expansion and revision of the original 1st Edition rules that defined the role-playing hobby for a decade. Based on the original plans for expanding the game, Adventures Dark and Deep™ gives you new character classes like the jester, savant, mystic, and mountebank; new spells; a new combat system; new monsters; rules for weather and natural hazards; new magic items, and tons more. And it's all compatible with most old-school games, so you can use it with all your old and new adventures, settings, and supplements.
If you liked 1st Edition, you'll love Adventures Dark and Deep™.

Yep, there is an affiliate link above. Keep the taps flowing at the Tavern by using our affiliate links.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Not Erik Storytime: The Time I Won a Four Hour Tournament in Under Ten Minutes

Not Erik Storytime: The Time I Won a Four Hour Tournament in Under Ten Minutes
So far here at the Tavern I've talked a LOT about tournaments, mostly because I have a lot of experience with them. Playing, writing, organizing, etc. One of the things I liked about tournaments, especially HackMaster tournaments, is that they were both competitive and cooperative. You really have to cooperate with your teammates and your party is competing against the parties at the other tables. If it was a single round adventure even better because there really weren't any losers. You got to play and have fun. If you were playing one of your home PCs and he/she/it died, that kind of sucked, but that's a good thing, right?

Seriously, and I don't know why more people don't instinctively get this, but you should get a little upset if your PC dies and that is a good thing because that means you cared and were invested. Nothing ventured, nothing gained......

...anyway I'm at this low-level, pretty sure it was a 1st level only, tournament game running my Double-Specialist Invoker. I'm not going to go all fanboy nerd and talk about my awesome PC because those details don't matter to this story and I'm not really that kind of loser trying to bore a captive audience with a PC stor.....oh shit, I guess I am that kind of loser. Screw it...in for a penny....

...ok, back to the tournament. This was actually the second tournament for this PC, I just hadn't played this guy in a single home game yet so he was just shy of the experience required for second level. For the most part my PC was on the same level as the others that were rolled up just prior to the adventure.....well technically we were on the same level, but my guy had that other adventure under his belt.

The GM starts reading us the set-up into flavor text for the adventure and I start to get a bit worried because I'm sure I've heard this before.....I think I've played this adventure before so I can't play it again per the normal tournament rules. I inform the GM and luckily he tells me it's ok because this is actually a new adventure based on an older one and after the initial flavor text it's all going to change. Sure enough the next paragraph is new and the setup for this adventure is that a local farmer hasn't been heard from in days and we're sent, by the local Sheriff, to specifically find the farmer and protect his property (It was assumed he and his farm were in danger).

The party makes its way to the farm a bit out of town and find the farmer in his home pretty much scared shitless. Evidently some "monster" got into his barn earlier in the week and he just boarded everything up and hid out in the house. He hasn't gone out to check on all his animals in the barn in three or four days......he agrees to come outside to the barn and I ask the fighters to remove the bar as I toss in a small fireball.

Of course the farmer just loses his shit because we're going to set fire to his barn and all his precious animals. Seriously?! You haven't feed any animals in days and shut them up with an unknown monster? Yeah, the animals are effing toast already dude, quite your bitchin.

But the barn!............Oh for fuck's sake!

I ask the farmer how much the animals are worth. As he hems and haws I up the question to the barn, and then just how much for the whole damned farm? The GM, assuming that all the players are running fresh PCs on their 1st adventure, spits out a figure from the farmer of 600 Gold Pieces , which should be more than what the entire party can scrap together.....

"SOLD! Do you want that in gems or gold coins?" Unlike the other PCs I have loot from the 1st tournament, in the form of coins and 100gp pearls.....

The party escorts the farmer back to the town to be dropped of with the Sheriff. My PC hands over a small pouch of pearls. We're not even 10' into this four hour tournament and I get an inordinate amount of pleasure in informing the GM that we just won the tournament: all objectives met, no PC deaths, three hours and fifty minutes early......the task at hand was to find the farmer and save/secure his property. His property was safely in not only his hands, but the hands of the Sheriff.

Now if the rest of the party wants to come back to my farm and help me with a little pest problem.......

....and that is the story how my 1st level DS Invoker won a tournament in less that 10' by buying the farm.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Humble RPG Book Bundle: 5th Edition Dungeons, Mazes & Barrows

While I am not a player (nor GM) of D&D 5e, it is certainly easy enough to convert 5e to the OSR ruleset of your choice on the fly. The Humble RPG Book Bundle: 5th Edition Dungeons, Mazes & Barrows is simply an amazing bang for your buck.

Yep, that is an affiliate link above. Affiliate links allow you to tip your bartender. It is greatly appreciated.

Friday, June 12, 2020

I Missed The Tavern’s 11th Anniversary...

May 31st was the 11th anniversary of Tenkar’s Tavern. It slipped my mind as it was the day before the procedure for my fourth heart stent. 2020 has been one wicked ride, and I dont mean that in a good way. Heh

11 years. Holy shit.

I guess that means we are at the beginning of the 12th year of The Tavern.

There are plans for the second half of 2020. Gaming content is on the front end of that :)

Thanks o all. Those that have been here since the beginning and those that have. Only recently found The Tavern and everyone else in between. Without you, this never would have been and wouldn’t currently be. I owe all of you more than I can ever fully pay back, but I will try.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

A Little Help (for Information) From the Tavern...

A Little Help (for Information) From the Tavern...
After a brief "conversation" with Erik I have permission to help enlist the Tavern to help me with a pet project of mine. For the record, I don't intend to make a dime off of this and the whopping $10/year domain name registration is my only out-of-pocket cost.

A couple years ago I had an idea to start a blog that was dedicated to a relatively narrow focus: OSR Zines. No reviews, no affiliate links, nothing but news of new issues and letting folks know what zines are out there.

The thing is......I'm not really sure what is out there. Current, discontinued, new issues.....I only know about what I stumble across and for older & discontinued issues mostly. This is where I could use the Tavern's help.

I'd appreciate finding out about new/current fanzines, especially new issues. There is a contact form at OSRZine.com and I could easily be emailed through my gmail (FrugalGM). Links, pointers, pictures of issues, etc are all helpful. I did populate the site with some Zines....two years ago, so you can see examples of the info I've been looking to put up on the site.

Any assistance would be most appreciated. I plan on doing updates on the weekends.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Deal of the Day - For Coin & Blood (OSR)

Today's Deal of the Day is For Coin & Blood. Looking for a dark version of Swords & Wizardry? For Coin & Blood may be right up your alley. Normally 9.99, until tomorrow morning its on sale for 4 bucks.
FOR COIN & BLOOD is a classically inspired d20 fantasy roleplaying game with a twist... 
...a twist of the knife! 
Embracing the literary genre known as "grimdark", and inspired by stories of mercenaries, sellswords and blackguards, FOR COIN & BLOOD keeps you on your toes, as you tell stories about the terrible things that happen to people, when they head out in search of coin, passion, and revenge... 
FOR COIN & BLOOD uses a modified version of Swords & Wizardry: WhiteBox, but is a complete game.
Yep, that is an affiliate link above. Support The Tavern by using our affiliate links.  

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

DTRPG Deal of the Day Worth Checking Out: Old-School Essentials Player's Rules Tome

DTRPG Deal of the Day Worth Checking Out: Old-School Essentials Player's Rules Tome
This one almost slipped by me, but I thought it was worthwhile to share, so here I am....

For the next 13 hours or so the Old School Essentials Player's Rules Tome is on sale for $5. That's half off and for over 100 pages of content.....totally worth it.

You'll have to just take my word on this with a grain of salt because technically I haven't read this particular tome. I picked up the all-in-one Rules Tome, which contains the info from the Player's Rules Tome.

Anyway I have been enjoying Old-School Essentials quite a bit and so far I dare say it's my favorite BX flavor yet. The cool thing, aside from the the sale itself is that if you're on the fence you can check out the art-free light/free/sample edition of this product here.

Support Chris as he supports The Tavern by using the affiliate link above - Tenkar

Kickstarter - Modern Mythos and Machine (Stock Art)

It’s not easy being an indie / self publisher. Ideas are easy, good affordable art is expensive. Answer? Stock art. One of the best artists to offer stock art? James Shields. Today, James launched the Modern Mythos and Machine Kickstarter. I’m already backing at 95 bucks :)

This project will be a collection of 75 to 100 stock illustrations with a Modern, Sci-Fi, or Lovecraft theme. There will be a total of SEVEN categories of artwork:

FONTS - ONE font for each of the Modern, Sci-Fi, and Lovecraft Themes.

FULL PAGE / COVER ART - THREE vertical full page illustrations designed to also be usable as cover art. Each illustration will be divided into foreground, middle, and background images.

VEHICLES - FIVE images of various modes of transportation. These will include up to 3 variants each with a minimum of 12 total variants.*

SCENES - SEVEN half page illustrations of action or display of skill. Like the full page art, these will be broken into foreground, middle, and background images. Each image will include up to 3 variants with a minimum of 15 total variants.*

EFFECTS - NINE images of various effects such as explosions, weather, gunshots, and more. These will be accompanied by an appropriate text effect such as: BOOM, ZAP, CRACK, etc.

CHARACTERS - ELEVEN characters and creatures posed to be used in a scene. Each of these will include up to 3 variants with a minimum of 24 total characters or creatures.*

ITEMS - THIRTEEN illustrations of various items and equipment. These also will have up to 3 variants each with a minimum of 27 total variations.*

*The actual number of variants per illustration will depend upon the complexity of converting the image to another genre.

As usual with most of my projects, illustrations will be chosen from submitted ideas. These ideas will be curated and voted upon to determine the actual contents of this project.

Monday, June 8, 2020

New Release - Toughest Dungeon in the World - solo adventure - Tunnels & Trolls

I've been a huge Tunnels & Trolls fan for years. Interestingly enough, when I was introduced to it in high school in the early 80s, it did not impress me. It took about 20 years for me to appreciate the charm of this focused on solo play RPG.

The Toughest Dungeon in the World is an update of a previously released Tunnels & Trolls adventure (way back in 1980). Sadly, I think my original is locked away in storage.
The Toughest Dungeon in the World is a solitaire adventure that can be played with Monsters! Monsters! or Tunnels & Trolls. Written by Ken St. Andre it was first published in 1980 by Judges Guild. Now, 40 years later, Ken has updated and enhanced this classic solo adventure, bringing it back to life in new and exciting ways. Artists Phil Longmeier and Steve Crompton have enhanced this solo with new illustrations and graphics more suitable for this wild monster-mash solitaire adventure. 
This new expanded edition is now 48 pages long and will keep any player busy for a lot of adventure in caverns and tunnels deep below Trollworld. What makes this the toughest dungeon and what or who is the Lord of Shadows? It dwells in the depths waiting for you. Will you avoid its power or be corrupted by it? Can you conquer this difficult solo and will you find the ruined dwarven city that lays beyond the caverns? If you are brave enough bring your toughest character into the caverns of Hael!
That's an affiliate link above. Support The Tavern by using our affiliate links.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Using my Soapbox to "Discourage" a Problem at Some Tables...

Using my Soapbox to "Discourage" a Problem at Some Tables...
So I'm not 100% when this post will be, well posted, but I'm running with the assumption that this will be my 1st weekly entry here at the Tavern.

There's so many things I could write about, but one thing popped into my head, something I feel strongly about and something that has a back story. There are probably three things I'm passionate about, well maybe five things, or 50........I really don't keep track, but clearly I'm a passionate, passionate man.....

So here I am with an audience....not entirely mine, but hey....I really ought to use this pulpit to educate and eradicate this one particular bane of RPGs. Seriously, there is no worse scourge than the abomination that is the.....wait for it....


Not the GameMaster working some temporary Non-Player Characters, but a full-on Player Character being run in the game side-by-side with the rest of the players. What's the harm in this, you might ask? Well 1st off, the GM should be impartial when running a game. I know some systems have the GM working in more of an adversarial role, but even if it was a cooperative game system, letting the GM run a PC is just.....it's just wrong. They should not be benefiting from the rulings they make at the table. If the GM wants to actually play on the other side of the table, then by all means....sit down as a player....with someone else serving as the GM. Switch off the duties and spread that work load around.

I was asked to join a gaming group once and eventually the GM left and another player stepped up to GM....but we had to let him run his PC with the others. Best damned thief you ever saw.....never missed a trap, always managed to land a backstab when the party needed it, etc. It was a little childish, but hey...it was a game....until it became too much. Because not everyone could game every week we had two different campaigns: one large group and one smaller group.

The larger group was running the Temple of Elemental Evil and I was playing a Pacifist Monk. It was a very specific build.......and wouldn't you know it, the GM had himself a PC with the same build! Thanks for letting me have something unique! The GMPC Monk was actually one of two GMPCs he had in this campaign. As we were going through the adventure there was one big battle where we were clearly heading for a Total Party Kill (TPK). More than half of the party was already dead, and most everyone else was sucking on fumes with single-digit HP left. My PC was in a position to make a break for it and flee the battle, which only made sense because the authorities needed to know what was going on and TPK would prevent that. Of course once my PC bolts the one GMPC, the other Pacifist Monk, miraculously manages to disengage as well. The next week's game we meet and somehow the GM justifies bringing all the dead PCs back to life, save one. His dead PC.....somehow managed to come back actually stronger than he was before he died....seriously, WTF?

We had his awesome Thief in the smaller group and nothing ever touched this PC, which was normal. Nothing new here, but without the other/older GM playing the level of control this PC had over our game was a bit much. Of course he always got the best magic items. I'd try to get the group to agree to some other method for the division of treasure. Didn't really matter, the GMPC got first pick again. This time though, we had one extra magic item, a cursed item at that. The PC who ended up with the last pick got the extra item.....which was my guy. The GM allowed us to sell whatever we didn't want based on some formula in the book, whatever. I had already sold the "extra".....come on it was cursed...item and was divvying that coin out to the other PCs when the GM pipes up, basically telling me to STFU because this time...this time my guy got two magic items when everybody else only got one.

That was the straw that broke the camel's back with me. I told him I'm out and he could go play with himself all he wanted.

The fun part was that on the next business day the GM stopped by my place of work to tell me that he talked with the group and he was "uncomfortable" GMing with me at the table.....wow...what part of "I quit" didn't he get.

Yeah, no more GMPCs at any table I'm playing at....never again. Sure you could write off that this GM was just an asshat or something else, but outside of the GMPC BS he ran a decent enough game. Clearly the temptation to...well I'll just say it....cheat, was too much. A GM cheating is a post in and of itself, but for the purposes of this post, a GM should not be in position where cheating gives a tangible benefit.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Deal of The Day - Gary Gygax's Necropolis

Today's Deal of the Day is Gary Gygax's Necropolis from Necromancer Games. Written for 3e, its normally 12 bucks in PDF. Until tomorrow morning it is on sale for 6 bucks.
I am the Set Rahotep 
No man was more potent when I was amongst those dwelling in the land of Khemit. In death I am greater still! 
Do you not fear serpents? I am the Aepep Rahotep! 
Who does not tremble before the monsters of the Duat? I am one!
Does your flesh not crawl at the sight of a terrible wyrm? I am the Deathwyrm Rahotep! 
Does your blood run cold before the face of a fiend? Know then that I am Rahotep the Fiend! 
Who shuns not demons? Shun me, for I am the demon Rahotep, the Red Devil. 
And which fool listens? That one is wise! Praise Set and the Set Rahotep, that one, and pity the rest! 
An Epic Adventure and Sourcebook 
Gary Gygax's Necropolis is a vast campaign scenario that sweeps the characters into an epic adventure across the magical desert kingdom of Khemit. From a hidden evil in a desert village, to the secrets of ancient tombs, Necropolis takes the characters on a dangerous mission to thwart the plans of an undying archpriest-wizard who would be a god!
Necropolis is also a campaign sourcebook, detailing the lands of Khemit, new classes and prestige classes, new spells and more than 60 monsters unique to the desert lands. This book also details over 50 new gods and new cleric domains, allowing DMs to run extended campaigns in the desert kingdom. 
Players beware! Your characters will face certain death herein! 
This product requires use of the Dungeons and Dragons Players Handbook. 
Gary Gygax's Necropolis is a full length 288 page epic adventure and campaign sourcebook designed for 4 to 8 characters of 10th to 18th level. The source material and initial adventures can be used with lower level PCs as well, but no one under 10th level should attempt to enter Rahotep's tomb.
There is an affiliate link above. Keep the lights on and the beer cold at The Tavern by using our affiliate links. 

Friday, June 5, 2020

Kickstarter -Folk Magic of the Haven Isles (Midderlands)

I love everything that Glynn has put out for his Midderlands setting. It is, to put it quite simply, extremely useful and an easy read. Needless to say, his latest Kickstarter -Folk Magic of the Haven Isles I backed the moment I learned about it.
Folk Magic of the Haven Isles is a role-playing supplement for old school role-playing games. Its focus is on magicians, wizards and magic-users. The book is written for Swords & Wizardry and therefore can be used in all retro-clones and old school role-playing games with little or no work. 
But I don't have or play any old school role-playing games. Is it still useful? 
Absolutely. It is intended for any fantasy role-playing games to inspire and provide ideas for players and Game Masters alike. If you know what HD and Saving Throws are, you will be easily able to understand and adapt most of the rules-related content in this book.

If you know anything about The Midderlands fantasy setting, you will see information within the book that makes it directly usable with The Midderlands setting. It is 100% compatible. 
If not, don't worry! You don't need to know anything. There is a glossary that explains what any unfamiliar (mainly geographical) words/terms are. In your own setting, you can just swap out place names. 
  • An A5-sized (148mm wide x 210mm high OR Approx. 5.8" wide x 8.3" high) containing 60 interior pages comprising 19 pages of evocative, full colour illustrations.
  •  14 Magic-User sub-classes, such as the Peller, Hermetic Magician, Demon Slave, Toadman, Spae Wife, Stitch Witch, Green Child, and Apple Queen/King. These sub-classes are 'overlays' that are intended to be used in conjunction with the magic-user class, giving them benefits, drawbacks and flavour.
  •  16 Magic-User backgrounds such as the Arcane Gloombugger, Cultist, Goblin Stinkbinder, and Stone Tender. Unique and flavourful micro-stories that make your magician unique and explain how they came to practice magic.
  •  7 Tomes (spellbook ideas) such as the Little Key of the Whole Art of Hydromancy. Ideas for spellbooks that can be the goals of magician's quests.
  •  16 Magical Spells such as Gloomray, Transmute Lead into Gold, Enforce Queueing, and more. Usable in any old school game.
  •  4 Oddities of the Haven Isles. Unusual objects, flora, and fauna such as the Mandrake and Wizard Hole.
  • A Glossary
  • Open Gaming License (OGL)

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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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