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 ;)

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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

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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™.

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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.
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