Saturday, July 11, 2020

Kickstarter - Tome of Alchemy: Magic Item and Potion Creation for 5e (Necromancer Games)

5th Edition rules for alchemical creation of magical and mundane items in your 5th Edition game!

A Tome of Alchemy from Courtney Campbell and the fine folks from Frog God Games under the Necromancer Games banner? It's almost like chocolate and peanut butter, but adding bananas ;)

Courtney does amazing work. I also consider Courtney a friend. As most of you know, under normal non-Covid-19 circumstances I'd be attending conventions and manning the Frog God Table. I consider the Frogs "family". So wow, truth in advertising - this looks great and yes, I am connected to all involved :)
Hundreds of items, dozens of spells, rules for potion-brewing, an innovative research-system for alchemy, tables to resolve mistakes in the laboratory, alchemy-related adventure hooks, and much, much more! 
Bubbling alembics and fiery ovens release the fumes of sweet and noxious gases into the stone-walled laboratory, where mists gather and curl among the rafters. Shelves groan with the weight of clay jars, glass containers, parchment scrolls, boxes of rare minerals, and ancient books forbidden to own. This is the mysterious domain of the alchemist, and now the secrets of this venerable craft are opened before you for use in your 5th edition D&D game. A Pathfinder 1.0 version will be made as a print on demand softcover option (upgrades to hardcover at 250 sold). No leather editions will be made of the Pathfinder Tome of Alchemy. 
Players and game masters both can use the mysteries of alchemy to expand options for adventuring and adventure design. This masterful work by Courtney Campbell explores all aspects of the venerable craft of alchemy and weaves it into the structure of the world's most popular fantasy role-playing game!
Not only does this Kickstarter offer the Tome of Alchemy itself, but backers also have the option to purchase the Deck of Mysterious Creations, a card-based system for tracking and developing alchemical experiments. The cards are system-neutral.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Petition - WotC should remove the disclaimer statement on all of its Legacy products

The following petition went live earlier this weekend:

Wizards of the Coast should remove the disclaimer statement on all of its Legacy products

Wizards of the Coast recently added a disclaimer on all of its "Legacy Products", including all of the previous games published by TSR inc.  declaring that those products were supportive of racial, ethnic, and gender-based prejudice and stereotypes.  The exact statement is below: 
"We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end". 
This disclaimer makes a statement of fact argument, and therefore paints all of the writers, editors, artists, and consumers of those products as supporting those prejudices, stereotypes and bigotry.  This statement by Wizards of the Coast opens the possibility for the players of these "Legacy Products" to face ridicule, and face the labeling as "bigot", "racists", "misogynist", and worse. 
It is with that concern in mind that those that sign this petition request that the disclaimer statement be removed.  Secondly, that an apology be issued to the previous employees of the company, or companies that produced those products.  Finally, an apology be made to the to the "Legacy Consumers and Players" who have been supporting the Dungeons & Dragons franchise for over 40 years.   

Free Classic RPG - What Price Glory?! (1978)

Huge thanks to Thad for tracking this down and providing the scan and links.

What Price Glory?! (1978) Was an early, self-published rules variant of OD&D. It is a complete, stand-alone RPG designed, written and self-published by John Dankert and Jim Lauffenberg while they attended Perdue University in the late 70s. Thomas Sprimont illustrated the game. Less than 500 copies were printed.

The rules are made available at the link below in the files section with Jim’s permission. There is also an errata and an NPC sorcerer class by Tom.

I’d like to thank Jim and Tom for graciously answering my many questions and providing materials from their personal collection. I’d also like to thank The Strong Museum of Play for their research assistance. - Thaddeus G. Moore


Thursday, July 9, 2020

WotC Explains that the recent Legacy Disclaimer is only an Early Step

Rach and I discussed on the Tavern Chat Podcast earlier tonight
A disclaimer has been added to several legacy titles on our partner distribution sites. We'd like to talk about why we've added that disclaimer, what it means, and other steps that are being taken to address a legacy of ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice in some old products. 
This is an early step and not done in a vacuum. It's not enough to evaluate ourselves. As outlined in our original diversity statement (http://spr.ly/6184GTbpj), we're undergoing the process of reviewing our content and practices and hiring external consultants to review with us. 
These processes take time to implement, and we'll continue to provide future updates. Unfortunately, our disclaimer was added before we were ready to fully communicate the steps we are taking. We apologize for failing to handle this situation with the care and grace it deserves.
Lastly, we want to make it clear that we condemn the harassment or bullying of those raising their concerns about our content, past or present. D&D wants to be an open, welcoming, and inclusive space. Those who do not reflect those values are not welcome in our community. 
Simply put, we messed up and we're sorry. Wizards of the Coast is constantly working to be better, and we have a lot of work to do, especially so in repairing trust with our community. Thank you for continuing to use your voice so that we may continue to make meaningful change."

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

WotC Issues Disclaimer for Legacy Products on Sale via DM's Guild / DTRPG

I've already covered this in-depth on The Tavern Chat Podcast. I can't believe they STILL haven't corrected "Dungeon & Dragons".

The quoted text is from T1 The Village of Hommlet (1e)

Podcast discussion:


"We recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website, does not reflect the values of the Dungeon & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end."

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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Sale - The Secret Fire (OSR Ruleset)

Secret Fire Games is running a sale on its entire The Secret Fire line of releases. Has it really been 9 years since it was first released?.

Very much OSR. While some part may be disturbing, there are few games that one can fip through for 10 minutes and be filled with inspiration.
Winner of the 2012 Innovative Game Design Award from I-CON 31, THE SECRET FIRE™ uses a unique blend of game design and storytelling to create a fast and flexible original fantasy game system of roleplaying, exploration, and constant danger. Developed by Origins Award®-nominated game designer George Strayton (Dungeons & Dragons, Men in Black, Star War D6, Indiana Jones, The D6 System, The Lord of the Rings, etc.), TSF’s revolutionary “immersion” mechanics (screenwriting plus fantasy RPG game design) to breathe real life into the experience of descending into dungeons, exploring the uncharted wilderness, and saving the innocent from certain doom. 
“A flavor-filled approach to fantasy gaming that puts the mystery and magic back into the dark recesses of the dungeon.” —Monte Cook
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Monday, July 6, 2020

Kickstarter -Steve Jackson Games' GURPS 2020 PDF Challenge (11 PDFs 3 Bucks)

Can we unlock all twelve PDFs before the clock runs out?

I've been a fan of GURPS since the Man to Man and Orcslayer releases. I actually love the supplements, as they convert to other RPG systems nearly painlessly. This means 11 - potentially 12 PDFs for 3 bucks is something I can't pass up on, and neither should you.

Just 5k away from 12 PDFs :)
The GURPS team, under the direction of GURPS Line Editor Sean Punch, has prepared a dozen different PDFs . . . and this is your chance to possibly grab all twelve of the new PDFs for only $3! 
Starting with the latest expansion to the GURPS Action series (see Warehouse 23), your pledge of $3 secures you a PDF copy of GURPS Action 6 - Tricked Out Rides. This 10-page PDF, written by Sean Punch, is a quick-and-dirty toolkit for adventures where sports cars pack more gadgetry than fighter jets, and miniguns fit behind headlights! 
One new PDF is great, but the project gets more exciting for all of the backers as stretch goals are unlocked. With each unlocked stretch goal (see below), we'll add another one of the twelve new PDFs to your rewards . . . that $3 pledge becomes an even better deal as more backers join the campaign.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

I'm an Elitist When it Comes to Some of my Game Gear

I'm an Elitist When it Comes to Some of my Game Gear
I'll freely admit to being a great many things when it comes to gaming, and most of the adjectives (I'm sure) aren't pretty....like me....seriously, why do you think I use these cartoons instead of an *actual* picture of me?

OK, I kid......but what I'm leading up to is the simple fact that I'm a dice snob. I have a ton of dice and I have purchased a wide array of dice.....I do have some cool ones in my collection, but......BUT I generally only game with one brand of dice: Gamescience.

I do believe dice can be lucky or unlucky and in general I am superstitious when it comes to my dice. I have lucky charms and once I even had my dice cursed and had to do a lot to remove said curse. Now I *know* that most of these beliefs are probably BS and most of my experience in the matter is anecdotal. I also know that run-of-the-mill dice have their flaws. When I was taking Statistics in college I did a few stat experiments where I rolled all of my then-normal (ie. not Gamescience) a few hundred times and recorded the results. Sure enough, my "lucky" dice had an abnormally high distribution and the "unlucky" dice had an abnormally low distribution.

Now I used to run into "Col." Lou Zocchi pretty much every year I went to Origins. Great guy, will talk your ear off for 20' and you'll enjoy most every second of it. He'll gladly go over his spiel about how Gamescience dice roll true compared to "regular" dice, and I believe every bit of it. Everything jives with my personal experience and when I replicated my stats experience I got a pretty equal distribution of numbers, not unlike the experiment done over at the Awesome Dice blog.

Somewhere in my house I have a metric butt-ton of GS dice from when I played HackMaster 4th Edition. I needed a LOT of d4's and d6's for my DS Invoker, between penetration dice and the fact that I just did a lot of dice-worth of damage. My current dice set, pictured below, is what I've been using for the last couple years.....mostly because those other dice are MIA, most likely in a box somewhere.

My Current Gaming Dice

You'll note that I have basically two sets of green dice, four different d10's and a couple d30's. One set of green dice was a gift for my birthday (maybe my 40th?) from Barbara Blackburn. Anyone who knows Barb, except for Ken Whitman, knows she's a freakin sweetheart, so I'm using the hell out of those dice. I bought the second set because I rolled a lot of pairs of dice for the new HackMaster game....which is why I also have the four extra d10's, so I can roll a d 1,000 (red, orange, yellow, & blue).

Now those d30's...those are near and dear to me for sure. Some of you might know I do some d30 stuff. I have a few d30's, but not like these. I'm not quite sure how the whole Gamescience company sale from Lou to whoever owns it now went down...I heard he got it back at some points, but I really don't know squat about it. I just remember that Lou was selling older dice he had made and Gamescience had a separate dice selling booth at the con. Anyway, I went to Lou to buy more dice that I didn't need and I wanted some more d30's. Unfortunately he was all out, not just of his convention stock, but everything he had & would ever have. The live dungeon folks had come through and bought him out. I was pretty bummed, but not much I could do.....I BSed with the Colonel for a while and wished him well.

Two days later as I'm walking the hall seeing if I could find any last-day-of-the-con deals, Zocchi stops me at his booth. While he was packing up he happened to find two.....2! more d30's. These were no-kidding his last two d30's. The green-ish one was a normal dice, but the yellow....the yellow was very old, one of his earliest designs. Instead of being numbered 1-30 it is number 1-10 three times, with one set having a "-" and one a "+".

Most of my dice are inked with a permanent marker, but the d30's are "inked" "old-school" using a black china pen, which is essentially an adult art crayon.

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