Saturday, February 15, 2020

Deal of the Day - Dark Streets & Darker Secrets

Today's Deal of the day at DriveThruRPG is Dark Streets & Darker Secrets. While not strictly "old school" in nature, it certainly has that feel. Without much work, you could probably emulate the Dresden setting or World of Darkness. For 2 bucks (normally 9.99), you really are getting a modern age horror RPG bargain.
Dark Streets & Darker Secrets is a Street & Sorcery Rules Light Role-Playing Game with an Old School spirit, just like its predecessors: Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells and Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells. 
It’s a game about modern adventures in the world we live today, only with a layer of supernatural weirdness and horror. Characters are people who have found out about the mysteries and horrors that exist in the world and have decided to do something about it, be it battle it, join it, or simply explore its possibilities in any way they see fit. They will battle evil cultists, corrupted ghosts, bloodsucking vampires, and frenzied werewolves, or maybe they will be the horrors of others. This edition of the game assumes the reader knows the principles of what role-playing games are and how they are played. 
What will you get with this book? Not only you will get a complete game system for urban fantasy, action horror and street and sorcery stories, you will also find tools and generators to create cities, neighborhoods, organizations, factions, NPS, monsters, ancient and sinister artifacts, complete adventures, which can all be of great help to inspire Referees of all modern games! 
So grab your leather jacket, a baseball bat and whatever you can get your hands on to put the bad monsters to rest and come explore these dark streets and unveil these darker secrets.
Yep, that is an affiliate link above. Affiliate links keep the beer cold and the taps flowing here at The Tavern.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Kickstarter - Valor Knights: The Electrocube War (ZineQuest 2)

A complete roleplaying-game-in-a-zine that is more than meets the eye by Eric Bloat and Phil Stone.

Ah, Transformers. I was a bit too old for it when it released in 1984, just starting my senior year of High School, but that didn't stop me from watching it upon getting home from school. I never was interested in the toy line, but I did enjoy the caroons.

As an RPG? Shjit, I might just need Valor Knights: The Electrocube War. 5 bucks for the PDF, 15 for the Print plus PDF.
Valor Knights is a complete RPG in a zine format.  VK uses a hybrid combination of The Black Hack by David Black and The Blackest of Deaths Game System by Eric Bloat.  Its fast, loose and a ton of fun to play; A perfect game to emulate the over the top 80s cartoon tropes and adventures that we remember and love.
Rules included:
  • Core Mechanic
  • Hindrance & Benefit
  • Advantage & Disadvantage
  • Attributes (Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Dexterity, Constitution and Charisma) 
  • Determining Attributes, Luck
  • Hit Points, Hit Dice, Healing and Death
  • Evade & Armor Points, Damage Points
  • Leveling Up
  • Everything in Turn, Initiative, Time & Turns
  • Movement & Distances (Close, Near, Far, Distant)
  • Shifting
  • Character Creation
  • Character Classes (Leader, Warrior, Support, Mini-Bot)
  • Weapons & Equipment
  • Valor Knights vs Chaos Lords

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Announcements Regarding Judges Guild / Bob Bledsaw JR from Various Publishers and Conventions

FYI, Judges Guild is no longer available for sale at DrveThruRPG. I have not seen an official announcement from OneBookShelf nor Judges Guild explaining why the products were removed.
NTRPG Con That I even have to make a public statement about this is uncomfortable. But I have been contacted by a few regular attendees asking about Bob Bledsaw Jr. and the statements that came to light this week on his social media pages. No, he will not be asked back to the con nor allowed to attend. While Doug and I foster an inclusive environment, believe in free speech, and champion gaming with all other gamers over political litmus tests, this is a step too far. Bob's statements weren't another political view. They were the kind of statements that show extreme ignorance at best and promulgation of evil at worst. Doug and I both were shocked by Bob's comments and taken by surprise....we've talked with him for years and never had a clue. In fact in person he seemed like a nice guy. We never suspected he held opinions and beliefs that are antithesis to what brings us to the gaming table to share adventures and companionship at cons, nor that he would state them so publicly. Stated bluntly, if you have views like Bobs and feel the need to share them socially, please don’t attend NTRPG con. 
Doug and I aren't looking for kudos or backpats for this, this is pretty much Being a Human 101. If you want to thank us, please spread the word that Judges Guild products and Bob Bledsaw Sr shouldn't be held responsible for Bob Jrs words, and people should continue to enjoy the great gaming products JG gave us over the years. Good people like Jennell Jaquays and Paul Elkmann own some of their own JG material they worked on and shouldn't have to suffer guilt by association. Support them and other creators like Robert Conley who have contributed to the mythos over the years. And thanks for attending the con for 11 years and trusting us enough to provide a safe enough con that you share this experience with your kids and sometimes grandkids. Gaming is something that brings us together, in good and bad times, and we love seeing all of you every year. Be safe and be good to each other. Michael Badoloto - NTRPG https://www.facebook.com/groups/310434204630/ 
The Secrets of Blackmoor Team Due to recent events that have come to our attention, there will be changes in the Tonisborg Dungeon book. 
We had initially reached out to Bob Bledsaw and Judges Guild to partner on the book via artwork and branding. At the time, we wanted to ally ourselves with a company and artist that would help boost visibility to Blackmoor fans. We also felt the book should be in the same category as Dave Arneson's First Fantasy Campaign, which was produced by Judges Guild way back in 1977. However, due to a series of entirely unacceptable comments made by Bob Bledsaw Jr. and Bob Bledsaw III on social media, we can't continue a business relationship with the Bledsaw family or Judges Guild.  
We are still very much dedicated to producing the Tonisborg Dungeon book. The manuscript is full of fun OSR material for new and old referees, and the dungeon itself deserves to be in print for everyone to enjoy. To this end, we will be dropping the Judges Guild name from the publication and replace the Bledsaw artwork with works by other artists before going to press. 
Additionally, we are aware that we've delayed delivery on your Kickstarter rewards way too long. On our end, it's been an issue of trying to cut shipping costs and waiting with crossed fingers for everything made by our vendors to arrive. We're just going to cut to the chase today and ship what we have (DVD's, Blu rays, T-shirts, and Dice Bags).
We want to hear from you, our backers, on how you feel about the changes to the Tonisborg book. Please respond here, or send us a message privately.
Thank you, The Secrets of Blackmoor Team https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/secretsofblackmoor/secrets-of-blackmoor-the-true-history-of-dungeons/posts/2756098
Frog God Games Recently the owner of Judges Guild made a series of racist and anti-semitic posts on Facebook. We will not reproduce them here; they are shown on Rob Conley's Bat in the Attic blog, and we are convinced of their authenticity. Rob wrote his post because, as a licensee of Judges Guild property, he felt he needed to state clearly that he would not be doing business with Judges Guild in the future. We have also licensed property from Judges Guild in the past, and we are seconding Rob's example by cutting off all future business with Judges Guild. The posts made on Facebook were completely unacceptable.     https://www.facebook.com/frog.god.games/                                    
Bat in the Attic - Rob Conley Concerning Judges Guild
I use facebook to keep in contact with various individuals including Robert Bledsaw II, the owner of the Judges Guild IP and the son of one of the company's founders.
Saturday evening, I noticed the following post:

Read the caption above the picture to see the issue. This is unacceptable. 
Sunday evening, I called Robert Bledsaw II and discussed the issue. I notified him that I will no longer be doing future Judges' Guild projects and will only continue to sell what I have currently listed.  I stated that I will be calling the other Judges Guild licensee and inform them of the situation and of my decision. 
I was not planning making any public announcements. Given the mob mentality I have seen emerge, I was not comfortable in making a public statement. 
However, because I was calling several people who are immediately affected by this situation, the odds of a public post were high. With issues like these, one has to follow the dictates of their conscience. It has gone public hence this post explaining what happened and why. 
In addition to the above post, I noticed shortly before the call the following post:

The video is of Christian Bale dropping the card and looking disappointed. 
This cemented my decision that I can no longer be in a future business relationship with Judges Guild. Then later this post was pointed out to me:

This too, I consider unacceptable. 
For now, I will keep up my Judges Guild related products up for sale. I currently have a unique situation in regards to the royalties I pay. Given the state of the Kickstarter finances, Robert Bledsaw II suspended the royalty payments in lieu of paying me for finishing the last nine maps. This has been going on since November of 2017 when I released the CSIO map. Since then, all revenue after taxes and expenses have gone to me. This will not last indefinitely, at which point I will have to revisit having these products listed based on how things have progressed. I will make an announcement accordingly. 
Expect a post outlining my future plans for Bat in the Attic Games. In a nutshell, I wasn't expecting to have a license to Judges Guild IP ten years ago and was proceeding on that basis for what became the Majestic Wilderlands supplement. Then an opportunity came up after I finished working on the map for City State of the Sea Kings, and as a result I secured a license. 
Last Word
To those of you familiar with my published writing: I try to follow a philosophy of less is more. So is it the same in the case of my response. I don't need to explain the ills caused by generations of bigotry and prejudice. It is just wrong, and it is unacceptable.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Kickstarter - Beak, Feather, & Bone: A Map-Labeling RPG (ZineQuest2)

A competitive map-labeling RPG and worldbuilding tool.

It's rare that I look at a Kickstarter and say: "Wow, this is really unique and interesting." Beak, Feather, & Bone is one of those rare Kickstarters. 5 bucks for the PDF, 10 bucks for print plus PDF.

Here, I'll let the KS page explain:
Beak, Feather, & Bone is a collaborative worldbuilding tool as well as a competitive map-labeling RPG. Starting with an unlabeled city map, players are assigned community roles before taking turns claiming and describing locations. Players draw from a standard 52-card deck to determine a building's purpose and then describe its beak (reputation), feather (appearance), and bone (interior). As buildings are claimed, a narrative for the town and its inhabitants emerges, including major NPCs and shifting power-dynamics.  
Inspired by map-making games like Avery Adler's A Quiet Year and archetype-focused RPG systems like Meguey & Vincent Baker's Powered by the Apocalypse, Beak, Feather, & Bone is a zine-length game including rules of play, 11 community roles illustrated by Austin Breed, a map by Jonathan Yee, and optional lore & GM tips for running games in a city populated entirely by ravenfolk (or kenku, tengu, etc).  
While default play is lightly competitive, rules variants for solo, cooperative, and character-focused play are included as well. Similarly, while the illustrations and GM notes provided will help inspire a ravenfolk city, the beak/feather/bone labeling system can be used with any map, game genre, or populace.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Kickstarter - The Bone Age - Weird School RPG [Zine Quest]

Tabletop RPG of stone age people fighting off Invaders from outer space, Turtle-Apes and Ape-Turtles.

Back to our regularly scheduled posting :)

I would back The Bone Age - Weird School RPG Kickstarter for the art alone. The fact that the setting looks to be a blast is simply icing on the cake.

8 bucks in PDF, 18 bucks Print plus PDF shipped in the US.
The Bone Age is an old-school RPG of neolithic-era tribes struggling against the sudden arrival of bug-eyed aliens. You play a Tuzanian, a tribe of jungle-dwelling, vine-swinging, pterodactyl-riding, bone-wielding savages. Radiation leaked from the Invaders' crashed flying saucers spreads on winds of purple, blue, and white, mutating the land and its inhabitants. Meanwhile, a race of turtle-apes and ape-turtles sleeping in stasis beneath the surface awoke...1,000,000 years later than planned. And they were not impressed by the native population – or the alien Invaders. 
The Bone Age will be a 48+ page saddled stitched book with illustrations by the incomparable Jack Woiak.

The Bone Age isn't based on a specific OSR system, but comparisons can be drawn to Swords & Wizardry, Labyrinth Lord, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, and Dungeon Crawl Classics. The base mechanic uses a d20 where higher rolls are better than low rolls, and works in a similar fashion to the way saving throws and attacks work in Labyrinth Lord. Thus, an ability might be expressed as 12+, meaning you want to roll a 12 or higher on a d20. Placing the target number in the hands of the players means they get the thrill of shouting "My attack hits!" or the agony of lamenting "I failed my mutation roll," as opposed to the Game Master setting a secret Difficulty Class.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Ever Get Totally Derailed by Something You Can't Currently Discuss?

It just happened to me. Not something good. On the level of WTF!?!

I'm going to drink now.

Maybe it will make sense after a few beers.

I'll share if / when I can. Maybe it was a hack.
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