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Friday, July 31, 2020

Humble Bundle - Star Trek Adventures RPG


Currently, on Humble Bundle, the Star Trek Adventures RPG is available for as little as a buck. Buy-in at the 8 buck level and you can snag a physical copy of the Star Wars Adventures core rulebook at half price.

Purchases made via the Humble Bunde link linked on this page add a small portion of the purchase price to your bartender's coffers. I thank you in advance.






Thursday, July 30, 2020

An Analysis of Torchlight Sales (Currently #1 in Small Press)


Torchlight is currently the #1 Hottest Seller in Small Press on DTRPG and #2 under 5 bucks (it held #1 very briefly). This is the first time I've released a product with discount coupons and I've found the results to be eye-opening.

In the 36 hours or so that Torchlight has been available for sale, it has sold 108 copies. 78 copies were sold via the discount code shared here and on the Discord Server. 20 copies were sold via the discount code that went out via email to purchasers of prior releases, mostly SWCL (there were over 700 emails sent). 10 copies have been sold at full price, theoretically organic sales for placing high on the DTRPG sales charts.

The numbers in the wishlist and carts are interesting but little more. Clicking a DTRPG coupon code puts the title in your cart automatically.


What is the takeaway? Successful sales on DTRPG require a lot more than placing high on a sales chart. It requires an audience and community looking forward to your release. Without this very community, Torchlight would be withering on the vine right now.

It also means The Tavern has a responsibility to share and highlight new OSR releases as they come out. Sadly, I don't have the time to constantly scour the interwebs looking for new releases and many will pass me by. You can, however, email me, whether you are a publisher or just a fan. I can't guarantee I'll get to them all, but I will certainly give it the yeoman's try.

I can be emailed at:
tenkarsDOTtavernATgmail.com 


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Torchlight Zine is Currently Number 2 on the DTRPG Hottest Small Press


Talk about humbling. I want to thank everyone for the support and please, don't stop ;)

Want to grab Torchlight for a buck? Just use this link!

The next issue is planned for September and then the intention is to go quarterly, but we may do special issues in addition to the usual ones.

Oh, and a Copper Best Seller too!






Tuesday, July 28, 2020

The Premier Issue of Torchlight is LIVE - Discount Code For Taverners Below!



Holy crap! I can't believe the premier issue of Torchlight is LIVE! This has been weighing me down for ages and its here, Now. Woot!

Torchlight will be a quarterly zine, but the next issue, Issue #1 is planned for the end of the summer. We have some great contributors lined up.

The premier issue is priced at $2.00, but if you use the code below, you can snag it for a measly buck:

Snag Torchlight's Premiere Issue for a buck

I seriously can't thank this community enough for the support you all have given me, especially in the trying times I went through earlier this year with my health.

Torchlight - The Zine in support of all things Swords & Wizardry

Words Whispered in a Tavern

What was imagined as a small zine grew into the idea of a quarterly magazine. My personal health issues earlier this year caused that to implode on itself, so I decided to return to the small zine format as initially imagined. Will we stay small? Too early to tell, but at this time and place in my life, this is a size I think I can handle. Please do join me for the ride - Tenkar

Yep, that's an affiliate link above. Affiliate links keep the lights on and the beers cold at The Tavern.

Free Map Tuesday



It's nearly my birthday (and Gary's birthday was yesterday)

I need to register as a GM for the Frog God Game Weekend in September (more on that with a later post).

Today I am highlighting The One Page Dungeon Generator website, probably one of the best free resources for GMs - and publishers too, as the maps are free to use commercially, no attribution necessary.

If these maps don't speak to you, nothing will. Grab them, use them, maybe submit them with an adventure to the Torchlight Zine (editing is done on the Premiere issue - we are sooo close...).


Monday, July 27, 2020

Kickstarter - Foldable Metal Dice for RPG Tabletop Gaming (d20)



I thought I had seen just about every option for unique dice, but a foldable D20? Fuck it, I'm in. I'm going to be 53. It's been decades since I kept a condom in my wallet, but a D20 might see some use ;)

Pricing is Canadian. Five dice came to about 38 bucks plus shipping to the US. Ask me how I know. I DARE ya ;)

Foldable Metal Dice - if you collect dice you need at least one...




Sunday, July 26, 2020

Follow Up to the "Inspired By" Art Disagreement

Dave spoke with Lloyd. Dave also spoke with me. I spoke with Lloyd.

Dave apologized to Lloyd.

As far as I'm concerned it is over and done.

Any further updates will come from the involved parties.

Edit:

I’m told Dave posted a video apology on FB

I can’t view it. Apparently I’m blocked (but I am mentioned)

Now Dave is requesting to join The Tavern’s FB Community

Why ask to join a community when you’ve blocked the owner of said community?

Denied.

Art Theft in the Gaming Community? Say it isn't so Johnson Games!

First, I'm sure 98% of you are going "who the fuck is Johnson Games?" I know I did when I was shown the following piece:
https://my-site-101402-107830.square.site/product/Skull-Mountain-poster/7?fbclid=IwAR0Lw6OrZ9_smnnmgNHMMYPd9VzuhKyJkfrVyxrBrnMbha-pTTYVupxI-bE


Notice the "12" x 18" of my original work" part?

Here's Lloyd Metcalf's original work of art: https://www.instagram.com/p/CABztcpA6_Z/?fbclid=IwAR1K7lhUPrJAl4YaMwDqKrqYNZEybvA3rhrHsNK92iXnkbUeSQ7r83qMZdY


I've spoken with Lloyd. He did not authorize this use of his work, nor is he credited.

This is NOT how things should happen. It reminds of the days of Shipman in the Tunnels & Trolls community. Theft is theft, plain and simple. "Original work" my ass.

There is also the question of dice using a Pelgrane Games trademark. I'll reach out to them later today and see if it is authorized.

Edit: Found the answer, and the use is legit and authorized

This is a quick FYI as I run out to handle today's chores (vet time for Danke). I'll followup later.

Edit:

Follow Up to the "Inspired By" Art Disagreement
Dave spoke with Lloyd. Dave also spoke with me. I spoke with Lloyd.

Dave apologized to Lloyd.

As far as I'm concerned it is over and done.

Any further updates will come from the involved parties.

Tomorrow is Gary Gygax Day and I Think you Should Celebrate

Tomorrow is Gary Gygax Day and I Think you Should Celebrate
Tomorrow is Gary Gygax Day and while not a "real" holiday to the general public, and definitely not something my employer would be keen on giving me the day off to celebrate, it is a good time sling dice with family and/or friends.

Now I don't know about you, but a lot of the friends I've made over the gaming table have been as close to me as family, but that might be a post for another day.

Unfortunately I've never met Mr. Gygax. I did briefly meet Dave Arneson and I have been fortunate enough to meet a lot of designers and my own "heroes" in the industry. Unless you go to a bunch of game conventions and/or just get lucky, odds are you haven't been able to meet your own RPG heroes....definitely not all of them.

While I think most people with access to a stage like I have here (thanks Erik!) would probably tell you to pick up some dice and roll a few in Gary's honor.....I know I am on my own blog tomorrow....but I'd like to offer up an alternate method of celebrating Gary Gygax Day:

Honor Gary's memory by reaching out to a RPG author/designer/creator of a product you've enjoyed and let them know how much you appreciate their work!

That's it, it can be simple, but if you are able.....step it up a notch. Instead of firing off an email, send a card, send a letter. You can usually reach these folks through their publishers if you don't already have their contact info.

Don't wait for your favorite creatives to pass away to honor them. Play their game, read their books, and let them know how their work has impacted you. Their work, your enjoyment, it's all just a couple steps removed from Gary Gygax and his work on D&D. I don't call myself a fancy author or great designer, but I know the joy that comes from hearing someone else enjoys your work........and Gary Gygax Day is about sharing & spreading joy, or at least that's how I see it!

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Torchlight Peek - We Are Getting Close...

I'm really psyched. It's like a weight is being lifted off my back as the premiere issue of Torchlight comes closer to release. Jeff is doing some amazing work laying out my thoughts in a presentable manner.


We are hoping to release by the 30th of the month, which coincidentally both Jeff & I's 53rd birthday ;)

Friday, July 24, 2020

Sneak Peek - The Crypt of the Skull Walker



Work continues on the first issue of the Torchlight Zine. While the layout is ongoing I'm writing up a short adventure for the zine. Here's a sneak peek at The Crypt of the Skull Walker:

Crypt of the Skull Walker

A group of goblins discovered a crypt in the Grey Hills a few weeks back. Protection from the elements and a freshwater source (room 8) as well as incidentals to loot (and a place to store loot) have encouraged them to set up residence. Three nights ago, one of the goblins on sentry duty (room 1) was found, its corpse a dry husk. Sentries were doubled. Last night another sentry was killed, but this time there was a witness - a surviving goblin. He ran to his chief, screaming and ranting about the “skull that walks!” Now, the remaining goblins are hunkering down and establishing defensive positions. Nerves are on edge. Such is the situation your small party of adventurers stumbles into...

1 - There are the remains of a small bonfire in the south-east corner of this room. The embers are still warm. The single door to the north is ajar. The double doors to the south are closed (and barred from the room 4 side). There is the dried husk of a goblin corpse just north of the west entryway. A short sword, short box with 8 arrows and a pouch with 7 silvers are on the body.

2 - Old storage room. In the north-east corner of the room is a crate holding old mining tools. Also in this room is some odds and ends the goblins have looted from various travelers and caravans. Hidden underneath a blanket on the ground in front of the north wall is a silver dagger with a pommel encrusted with crude red gems. Value 100 gp. The rest the loot, if sorted, would be worth about 75 gp and weighs about 30 pounds. There is a secret door on the west wall, which can be opened by placing a torch into the single wall sconce of the west wall.

3 - True Crypt. This is the real burial chamber of a chaotic priest named Nabulis. He prayed for eternal life and his spider god granted it. Well, a form of eternal life. His soul gives energy that powers the Skull Walker - Nabulis’ Skull with the legs of a spider. The goblins woke the Skull Walker with their presence, and it hungers. If the party finds this room and haven’t yet encountered the Skull Walker, it is here.

end sneak peek...

Skull Walker art courtesy of Frog God Games. It will be a new creature written for Torchlight.

Map thanks to https://watabou.itch.io/one-page-dungeon.




Thursday, July 23, 2020

Premiere Episode of the Talking Crit Podcast with Bad Mike & Tenkar - Special Guest Greg Gillespie (Barrowmaze)


Last night we recorded the premiere episode of the Talking Crit Podcast. Sure, Mike & I have recorded some Talking Crits on my Tavern Chat Podcast, but now we are spinning it off as it's own weekly podcast.

Greg Gillespie joined us and we had a blast. Pour yourself a drink, pull your chair up to the bar and join us as we all Talk Crit about gaming :)

Link: Talking Crit Podcast

Currently available on Anchor, Spotify, and Pocketcasts. Other platforms are pending.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Looks Like This Sh!t is Getting Real! Torchlight is Relit!


Huge thanks to Old Man Grognard for the cover!

I'm expecting 16 to 20 pages of content. Patreon backers will get it free. The Tavern's Community will get at least a 50% discount.

Work continues on Torchlight today...

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Raising the Torchlight Zine from the Dead


Torchlight, the Zine for Swords & Wizardry, has gone through a shitload of bumps and bruises. My health issues earlier this year put this very far back on the pile of things to do, and thoughts of jumping back into it at the size it morphed into was intimidating as all hell.

So I scaled Torchlight back to its original vision - a small, amateur zine, initially using much of the OGL content I've already published here at The Tavern.

I printed out a current "work in progress" to get a better feel. Not the final cover, nor the final Table of Contents. More a proof of concept.

I do hope to have something up by the end of the week. We shall see.

I want to thank all of those that were involved in the attempt earlier this year to put Torchlight together. The dream of a larger, more professional zine isn't quite dead, but I need to crawl before I can run ;)



Monday, July 20, 2020

Bundle of Holding - Old School Gold (OSR)


Old School Gold on Bundle of Holding is a mixed bag of OSR titles, some well known and others not so well known.

For 9.95 you get Class Compendium (50 classes by James Spahn for LL), Golgotha, Cinderheim, and Lorn Song of the Bachelor. I don't know the last three myself.
The big 235-page Class Compendium from Barrel Rider Press with more than 50 variant character classes; the science fiction RPG of exploration in alien ruins beyond the frontier, Golgotha; Cinderheim, a setting sourcebook of a demon-ridden desert wasteland; and Hydra Cooperative's Malay-themed sandbox module about a hungry crocodile, Lorn Song of the Bachelor.
Alright, the other three do sound cool.

What about the threshold? (currently a hair over 20 bucks)
If you pay more than the threshold price of $20.11, you'll level up and also get our entire Bonus Collection with seven more titles worth an additional $44.50, including three titles in the new horror SFRPG series from Tuesday Knight Games, Mothership (the adventure modules Dead Planet and A Pound of Flesh plus the Mothership Player's Survival Guide rulebook); the impressively illustrated Trilemma Adventures Compendium of 55 short scenarios; the grimdark standalone RPG of antiheroic mercenaries, For Coin & Blood from Gallant Knight Games; and three short supplements for Golgotha ( The Obsidian Garden, The War Hive, and New Player Character Classes).

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Do You Have a Travel Player's Kit?

Do You Have a Travel Player's Kit
I'm going to come right out and admit it.....I don't game enough.

Now I don't need to roll dice every day, but once a week would be nice. In more than one of my previous jobs I've had to travel....a lot, like a hundred nights a year a lot. The job I'm in now has me gone for two-weeks a go. Frequent travel makes having a home group, well at least a weekly game-having home group, damned near impossible.

Now that the internet is available in even the crappiest location and we have things like Zoom, having an online weekly game is an option.

Before, not so much.....so I had to be prepared for pick-up games as they became available. Back when I played HackMaster (I know, not another HackMaster story) I was also a member of the HackMaster Association, which gave me a nation-wide group of people I could reach out to for a game while travelling. Normally I was too busy....the travel was a business trip after all, but a couple of times when I was in Nashville I did manage to make the couple-hours drive down to Chattanooga to take part in one group's Monday night weekly home-game.

I also had a player or two driving through Boise stop in for a game at my house (I was the GM so the sporadic game schedule was on my terms).

The thing is I had to be ready for a pickup game, so I had a travel game kit. I actually had two, one as a player and another one as a GM, but I never used the GM kit and ended up cannibalizing it for convention games.

I never liked the dice I had in my play kit. Kind of cool dice, but waaaaaay too tiny. I'll have to post pics sometime. Anyway I was in my local game store and they had some small dice and I figured I should update my kit and make it ready for an upcoming trip next month.

Christopher's Travel Game Kit (PC kit)
Here's my player's kit....which is housed in a fancy gift card tin. I did take the liberty of spray-painting the tin in prep of some future decoration plans. The lid is lined with thin craft foam, making for a small dice tray (got to have my DRZ.....designated rolling zone). The actual contents of the player's kit:

  • Two sets of dice
  • PC Sheet(s)
  • Note Cards
  • More note cards (graph-paper)
  • Pencil
  • USB Thumb Drive
Whenever possible I keep PDF copies of my PC sheets. Hand-filled sheets are great, but don't necessarily travel or store well. I print these out multiple pages (2 in 1) and then at 60% size, which makes it small enough for the tin and is still legible. The note cards are standard 3 x 5 cut down to 3 x 4.75" and then rounded with a simple punch. The pencil......it's a fricken pencil. It's actually the same size as I found it, basically a golf pencil with an eraser, but no reason you couldn't cut down a regular pencil and/or use a Fisher space pen (well, but the price!). The thumb drive I use to hold PDFs of my game rules, which I rarely use because of things like laptops and tablets that are ubiquitous these days. What I use it more for than anything are copies of my PCs. Usually the hotel has a printer I can access and I'm able to print off bigger sheets before the game. The tiny one is a back-up...just in case.

So that's it....that's my travel game kit. I do have a couple meeple minis I could toss in, but I don't really see me using a mini 'cause either the GM has them or the game is online.

I can't help but to wonder if I'm the only one with a mini/travel game kit and if not, what do other people add in that I don't?

Some of my various go-to "travelling dice"
Monday Afternoon Edit: I went ahead and took a pic of some of my dice. The big dice are my beloved d30's (well, two of my Gamescience d30's), the next largest would be my "regular" Gamescience d20s. The purple ones are the new travel dice pictured above and the tiny ones.....those are the "big" metal d20's from my tiniest set of dice. I kept more than two sets in one of those emergency pill bottles you'd keep on a keychain.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Christmas in July - The OSR Picks - Megadungeons & More

Time for Round two of the OSR Picks for the Christmas in July Sale at DTRPG. Without further ado lets jump right in, the water is fine :)

The Halls of Arden Vul Complete - over 1100 pages of megadungeon greatness. Undermountain, quiver in fear! - "Arden Vul is the most ambitious megadungeon ever created, with over 1,100 Pages of Incredible Adventure. This 1st Edition compatible fully-bookmarked PDF product features: 2,162 Encounter Descriptions, 14 NPC Factions, 10 Massive Levels, 15 Extensive Sub-levels, 7 Dangerous Exterior locations, 149 New Monsters, 332 New Magic Items, 69 New Technological Items, 44 New Spells, 189 New Books through which PCs can gain a deep understanding of the dungeon, A full NPC appendix with 10 competing parties at 3 levels of power, Over 140 original pieces of art, including 28 full-page illustrations! All of this is mapped via 33 Amazing Maps that you can download for free at The Maps of Arden Vul. As we have gotten requests for VTT player's maps we have created The VTT Maps of Arden Vul for free as well. If you know you want the physical copies, just head over to the Arden Vul Bundle and get everything Arden Vul in one fell swoop. There has never been anything like Arden Vul, and there never will be again.
Welcome to the Halls of Arden Vul! 109  81.75

Low Fantasy Gaming Deluxe Edition - the last game my Saturday Night group played. Very solid system - "Low Fantasy Gaming is a tabletop RPG built for gritty adventures in low or moderate magic settings. It has simple rules, dangerous combat, flexible PC customisation, and mysterious, unpredictable magic. Designed for short, episodic adventures in sandbox worlds, LFG provides the mechanics and tables needed for easy GM improvisation. It’s a heady mix of the best old school, modern, and new game design, wrapped around a familiar d20 core." 20  15

Old-School Essentials Classic Fantasy: Rules Tome - I love this presentation of the Basic / Expert Rules - "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. The Old-School Essentials Rules Tome is a complete game of classic fantasy adventure, containing the following: Core rules: Rules for character creation and advancement, adventuring in dungeons, the wilderness, and at sea, magic and combat. Character options: 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. 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. Monsters: A selection of over 200 classic monsters to challenge adventurers of all levels. 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."  20  15

Barrowmaze Complete - the premier OSR megaduneon - "Local villagers whisper of a mysterious place deep in the marsh - a place shrouded in mist and dotted with barrow mounds, ruined columns, and standing stones. The tomb-robbers who explore beneath the mounds - or rather the few who return - tell tales of labyrinthine passages, magnificent grave goods, and terrifying creatures waiting in the dark. Are you brave (or foolish) enough to enter the Barrowmaze? Barrowmaze Complete (BMC) is a classic old school megadungeon for use with Labyrinth LordTM and other fantasy role-playing games. BMC includes everything in Barrowmaze I and II in the same book in addition to new material, art, layout, and cover art by Ex-TSR artist Erol Otus. Barrowmaze Complete will keep your players on their toes and your campaign going strong. BMC is brought to you by the Old School Renaissance (so don’t forget your 10’ pole)." 29  21.75

There's a bunch of affiliate links above. Your purchases help support The Tavern

Friday, July 17, 2020

Christmas in July Sale - OSR Picks - Swords & Wizardry


DriveThru is running a Christmas in July Sale, with a HUGE selection of PDF releases at 25% off. I'll be highlighting some of my personal OSR picks that are on sale over a series of posts. This is the first.

Note: A portion of monies spend via the affiliate links on this page will go to support The Tavern. I thank you in advance - Tenkar

Swords & Wizardry Continual Light - My baby. My precious. Published by your friendly bartender. "What is Swords & Wizardry Continual Light? It is a streamlined version of the Swords & Wizardry rules many of you already love. You will recognize some White Box and some Complete, but its all Swords & Wizardry. It covers four core classes (and a bunch of optional ones), four races, seven levels of play (and optional rules to keep the game going after seventh level), magic items, spells, monsters and more - all in about 17 pages of rules. Suitable for introducing new players to old school gaming or reintroducing a lapsed gamer, perfect for pick up games, convention play and yes - even campaigns.  3.00  2.25

SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City - Core Rules - OSR supers? Say it isn't so! "From the creators of SURVIVE THIS!! Dark Places & Demogorgons comes SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City, a gritty, street-level, superhero game set in the near future. Vigilante City is heavily inspired by Batman:  The Animated Series.  Along with the X-men, Spider-man and TMNT cartoons of the 1990s. Vigilante City utilizes the familiar ruleset of the world’s most popular fantasy RPG, mixing the old-school with modern mechanics for the best possible gaming experience. With it’s modular system design, you can easily play to the exact style of super’s game you want! SURVIVE THIS!! Vigilante City - Core Rules features ALL the rules to make a vigilante and play the game. Complete Modular Independent rules for Humans, Mutant Animals, Borg Conversion and Power Armor, Magic, Mutant Abilities, Psionics, Speedsters and Super Soldier Drugs, that are designed to be added or removed easily to allow your game of Vigilante City to be tailored to the exact style of superhero game that you want to play! There is also, Background/Origins, Weapons, Equipment, Gadgets, Vehicle Upgrades, Vehicle Combat, Ranged & Melee Combat, Morale, Skills, Usage Die & so much more! Vigilante City features both Human (no powers) and MegaHuman (powers) classes!"  9.99  7.49

Eldritch Tales: Lovecraftian White Box Role-Playing - I am a huge Mythos fan, and this scratches my itch - Eldritch Tales: Lovecraftian White Box Role-Playing in an OSR rule set with its roots in the original version of the world's favorite RPG, but instead of exploring musty dungeons, characters in Eldritch Tales investigate Mythos horrors in the 1920s! The setting and background are based on the cosmic horror tales of Howard Phillips Lovecraft and other members of his writing circle. Within the pages of Eldritch Tales you will find four character classes representing many classic pulp archetypes, occupations, rules for insanity, spells, monsters, esoteric tomes, artifacts, a starting scenario, and setting material, as well as advice on using Eldritch Tales with other White Box games. This game is compatible with Swords & Wizardry White Box and other OSR games. 6.99 5.24

White Star: Galaxy Edition - simply the BEST way to play a sci-fi RPG game - it was inspired a plethora of 3rd party publishers - "Endless galactic adventure awaits you in White Star: Galaxy Edition! Integrated and updated to include material from White Star and the White Star Companion, White Star: Galaxy Edition integrates new rules, new options, and expands the original game. Now more than just a tool box, White Star: Galaxy Edition offers you a universe full of thrilling adventure! White Star: Galaxy Edition includes: Twenty-five character classes! Complete rules for Starship, Vehicle, and Mecha combat! New Starship and Vehicle Modifications! New Aliens and Creatures! New Equipment, Advanced Technology, and Cybernetics! New Meditations and Gifts! Two new forms of Mysticism: The tribal Etchings of the Yabnab and strange Chitterings of the Star Squirrels! New Optional Rules, like Deeds Dark & Daring, to add pulp sci-fi heroics to your game! New Star Systems: The rugged Marnash Sector and strange Scuiridae System!"  9.99  7.49

Willow - I'm a fan of mini-settings and this looks damn good -"Willow is a town that can be dropped into your campaign setting. Focused on game-able content and being easy to use at the table, It is graphic and art heavy. Structured as a mini hexcrawl, players will have to work together to investigate a mystery to move on from a damp backwater town to bigger, brighter places. The Setting: Deep in a vast wood, a town called Willow sits beside the Lake of Tears. The lake is framed by weeping willow trees, their vines pouring into the lake’s dark green shores. Willow is not what one would call an upbeat town. The rains here are relentless and the grey skies loom low like a giant cage. Travelers do not linger here long; one night in the Blue Brew Inn is enough to make most jump on the ferry and move on. But recently the ferries have stopped running as something terrible has taken up residence on the river. Meanwhile, the town folk will not talk about the noises echoing up from the staircase that descends below the lake, nor the broken stone circle on the hill at the edge of town. The town's leader, a witch named Morose Morgan, is a recluse and refuses to leave her island."  7.00  5.25

Far West - Obligatory Annual Update on Gareth the Hut



On July, 15th, Gareth Skarka made the following update on the Far West Kickstarter (funded way back in 2011 - note, my commentary will be in ORANGE)
For those of you that haven't seen this already via social media, the following update appears on my personal blog and the FAR WEST website (not Twitter? I'm surprised):

I've been quiet recently, I know. (but not on Twitter. NEVER quiet on Twitter. If only Far West could be written 256 characters at a time)
First things first:  Far West is NOT dead (please, bring out your dead). I only have one chapter remaining to assemble from the earlier drafts (and I have this bridge in Brooklyn to sell really cheap).  Things are moving slowly, and I figure that I owed you an explanation. (I think we are owed a new explanation)
It's no secret that among the many trials and tribulations that have plagued this project, my depression and anxiety have been at the forefront.  I have been my own worst enemy. (strangly enough, it hasn't stopped Gareth from working on other projects, which we'll detail below)
Well, a few months ago, my family convinced me to finally seek treatment. 
So I've done that. 
The initial stages of the process, where, among other things, we were trying to zero in on the right combination of prescriptions and correct dosages, made it very difficult to get anything done.  I just couldn't focus on anything other than my mental health. 
Now that we are further along, and I've begun to feel the effects, I'm coming back into myself, in a way.  And that includes finishing Far West. (so close, yet so far...)
So that's what I'm going to do. 
I appreciate the patience of so many people who have given far more than I could have ever asked. "Thank you" seems terribly inadequate, given the circumstances. (i think the last year you've given so many people a big FUCK YOU)
As a final administrative note:  All official updates will now appear on the Far West website (last update was THIS very update).  We have a forum there where I can be reached for questions. (last forum comment, not from Gareth was January 2 - Gareth's last was in 2015 - did i mention the forum hasnt taken new sign-ups in years?) The Kickstarter page will be used purely for delivery of texts, PDFs, etc. to backers. (so obviously the KS page hasn't been used)
Now, the home stretch.  Talk to you soon. (but only on Twitter)

Gareth-Michael Skarka
Lawrence, KS
July 15, 2019.
So, what else has Gareth written during the time frame he HASN'T completed Far West?

  • Axanar: Ships of the Four Years War for Squadron Strike! Troy, NY: Ad Astra Games, 2019.
  • Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game. Roseville, MN: Fantasy Flight Games, 2018.
  • Star Wars: Force and Destiny — Unlimited Power. Roseville, MN: Fantasy Flight Games, 2018.
  • Star Wars: Age of Rebellion — Cyphers And Masks. Roseville, MN: Fantasy Flight Games, 2018.
  • Star Trek Adventures: Beta Quadrant Sourcebook. London, UK: Modiphius Entertainment, 2018.
  • Star Trek Adventures: Core Rulebook. London, UK: Modiphius Entertainment, 2017.
  • Fiasco ’12: Fiasco Playset Anthology Vol 3. Chapel Hill, NC: Bully Pulpit Games, 2015.
  • Doctor Who: The Eighth Doctor Sourcebook. Oxford, UK: Cubicle 7 Entertainment, 2015.
  • Doctor Who: Adventures In Time And Space – Limited Edition Rulebook. Oxford, UK: Cubicle 7 Entertainment, 2014.
  • “Exit Visa”, Have Blaster Will Travel. Washington, NJ: Galileo Books, 2012
  • Defending The Earth: The UNIT Sourcebook. Oxford, UK: Cubicle 7 Entertainment, 2012.
  • Doctor Who: Adventures in Times and Space (Eleventh Doctor Edition). Oxford, UK: Cubicle 7 Entertainment, 2012.
Kind words said by those that weren't Far West backers:“[A] standout example […] of one of our newest professions: the e-book publisher.”

—The Associated Press. (Washington Post, December 2007)

“…a visionary in the electronic publishing field.”–Dominic McDowall-Thomas, Cubicle 7 Entertainment.

“A trail-blazer… an innovator… one of the inventors of ‘how it’s done’ in the ePublishing sector.”
–Sean Patrick Fannon, OneBookShelf, Inc.

“Gareth got the Inner Circle off of the ground and I couldn’t recommend a better person to take start-ups under his wing.”
–Jeffrey J. Visgaitis, The Inner Circle.

“A lot of publishers would benefit from [his] experience.”
–Steve Creech, DragonWing Games/Bastion Press.





Thursday, July 16, 2020

Humble Bundle - Pathfinder 2nd Edition by Paizo


Color me VERY surprised. I never expected Paizo to put Pathfinder 2nd Edition on sale on Humble Bundle so early in its life span. Nor did I expect them to include a PRINT copy of the rulebook to be included at 30 bucks, but they did. Hell, it's tempting even for me ;)

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Kickstarter - Frog Folk Villagers - 3D Printable & Physical Model + CHIBI


I'm really really tempted to get a 3d printer, especially in these days of pandemic lockdown. The files coming out for 3d printers these days are simply amazing in detail. With the Frog Folk Villagers Kickstarter you can snag files or physical pieces. I've always been a Bullywug fan ;)
As your brave RPG adventurers travel through the edges of the swampland on their way to the Mountain of Taunting Doom ... they come upon a village of simple Frog Folk.  Are they peaceful?  Will they attack suddenly when your guard is down?  Maybe befriending them will give your party some vital information for your daunting quest ahead!



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