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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.
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