Saturday, August 22, 2020

Extra Life - James Spahn is Raising Money to Help Children


I've known James for years and he is one of the most generous people I know. Tonight he is running a charity game of Hero's Journey 2e via Etra Life to support children in medical need.

The Tavern will match the first $250 raised by members of this community. Use this link and drop me a note in the comments section of this post with the amount you are donating.

We know times are hard now but we are trying to make them better at least for those few we can make an impact on.  Our club, the Royal Dragoon Guards (RDG) is a small one but if we can raise some money it will go to the Extra Life Charity.  The charity raises funding for local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and we are big fans of helping children in need.  

The Royal Dragoon Guards (RDG) is an inclusive gaming organization that promotes the gaming hobby.   The Extra Life Charity is about gaming to raise money.  You can see why we make a good team.  We love to game and raise money for charity while they love to take the money we raise.  

Seriously though, come watch us on our Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/RDGExtraLife donate while we play and help influence the game through your donations.  

This weekend’s game session will be a story created for “The Hero's Journey 2nd edition” role playing game.  Which is a fantasy genre game with a Tolkien feel.  The story will be led by the creator of the game and a member of the Royal Dragoon Guards.  James Spahn.

The game promises to be a lot of fun and we think you will enjoy it if you come to our site and journey with us.  The Session will start at 7 pm and continue late into the night.

Also for every $500 raised James is going to be sending a signed copy of The Hero's Journey to a random viewer.

We really do love giving back to our community so please help us support the Children’s Miracle Network.

We need your help!

Your donation is tax-deductible and will make miracles happen for families who desperately need them.

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Friday, August 21, 2020

Cthulhu Mythos Sale - OSR Picks

 There is a Cthulhu Mythos Sale over on DTRPG. This post is to highlight some of the OSR selections in the sale. I'll add another post over the weekend highlighting some Call of Cthulhu selections.

Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea (Compleat Second Edition) - what if AD&D were primarily inspired by Conan and not Middle Earth? Wonder no longer. "ASTONISHING SWORDSMEN & SORCERERS of HYPERBOREA™ is sword-and-sorcery role-playing at its pinnacle. Play an Amazon fighter, Atlantean magician, Esquimaux shaman, Hyperborean warlock, Ixian necromancer, Keltic barbarian, Kimmerian cataphract, Pictish thief, Viking berserker, or one of many other possibilities." 19.99 15.20   AS&SH Player's Manual 12.00 9.60

Silent Legions - anything from Kevin Crawford simply rocks :)  Silent Legions is a game of modern-day Lovecraftian horror, one carefully designed to support sandbox adventures by hard-bitten investigators and fearless hunters of the dark. Its clean, lightweight old-school rules are compatible with the free Stars Without Number sci-fi game and give both GM and players a steady framework for plumbing the unspeakable secrets of the eldritch night. Now, after a successful Kickstarter with more than 1,100 backers, a Kickstarter completed a month early, this tome of dark secrets can be yours. Silent Legions isn't just about traditional Yog-Sothothery. Silent Legions is a creation kit, a toolbox in the Sine Nomine style for creating your own Mythos, with all-new deities, alien entities, foul magics, accursed artifacts, unaussprechlichen kulten, and diabolical dream-worlds to bedevil your players. These tools are system-neutral, so even fans of other Lovecraftian gaming systems can scoop them up to add a splash of fresh horror to their more familiar tentacular abominations. Not only that, but Silent Legions is built to help the GM create investigative adventures with minimal strain. Within these pages, you'll find a modular set of templates and adventure guides that help you snap together an evening's intrepid investigation and fit it neatly into your campaign setting. Like the Mythos creation tools, these guides are system-neutral and can be exported for any occasion when you need something wicked to this way come. 19.99  15.99

Eldritch Tales: Lovecraftian White Box Role-Playing - Swords & Wizardry Horror Roleplaying? Sign me up! - "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  5.69

The Cthulhu Alphabet - Simply an excellent read -"The Cthulhu Alphabet is a collection of random tables to inspire your role-playing game, structured around an abecedarian theme. If you are a player navigating an uncaring universe, a haunted setting, or a horror-filled dungeon, you will find new ideas for your character and adventures. And if you are a game master creating scenarios set in the Cthulhu Mythos—or in any fantastic world—you will find every page bursting with ideas. Your brain will spark on every page, whether you roll randomly for inspiration or read the tables in order." 12.00  9.60

Realms of Crawling Chaos -
a classic OSR horror release. It should be part of every gamer's collection. - "Evil cultists consummate their union with Shub-Niggurath in dark woods no other mortals dare go. Alien terrors lurk in the underworld; their vast riches wait, or their incomprehensible powers could leave you broken, dead, or worse. Adventure in underworlds filled with horrible entities, or the ruins of alien beings that enslaved the ape-like ancestors of mankind. Seek hidden secrets from the arctic wastes to dark, briny seas. But as you approach the ocean, what are those strange longings you feel? Realms of Crawling Chaos is a Lovecraftian Dark Fantasy campaign supplement for Labyrinth Lord and the Advanced Edition Companion. In this book, you will find: New player races, including white apes, white ape hybrids, sea blood, and subhumans. New spells, New monsters, New artifacts, and a system for designing unique artifacts, Rules for psionics, compatible with Mutant future." 6.99  5.59

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Kickstarter - Hex Tile content Add-Ons for MapForge mapmaking software

The goal: To enable the creation of gorgeous "hex crawl" or West March style maps by bringing flat-side-up hextile content to MapForge.

I'm a huge fan of mapping programs for use with RPGs. Probably because my skill at drawing maps freehand is virtually non-existent. I've also been a fan of Battlegrounds Games and their main man Heruca literally for years and years. They've always done great work and have been a huge force in supporting the gaming community over the last 10 years, more or less.

The Hex Tile content Add-Ons for MapForge mapmaking software is the latest Kickstarter to add content to their Mapforge software. There are just over 24 hours left to support the project.

MapForge is map-making software that was successfully funded on Kickstarter in 2017. Version 1.0 of MapForge was released in 2018, along with an incredible 50 content Add-Ons for it from leading content providers. Since then, the number of content Add-Ons has more than doubled. Those of you who are new to MapForge should please visit the above links for more information about the software (it's simply too much information to repeat here). The FAQ for the original campaign is also a useful source of information.

The TL/DR version

MapForge is easy-to-use software for Windows and Mac OS that makes high-quality maps for printing or for use in virtual tabletop software (e.g., Roll20, Fantasy Grounds, etc.).

Can be used for free (no license required for low resolution output).

Comes with  33 free content Add-Ons (totaling around 5600 assets!).

You can download and try the software out for yourself, to evaluate it and see if the program is what you want/expect it to be.

This campaign seeks to broaden MapForge's current hex tile offerings by producing several more mapping content Add-Ons to better support the creation of area/regional scale maps, albeit this time with "flat-side-up" hex tiles (aka V-Hex, or "short grain"). In case you missed it, a prior Kickstarter campaign already covered "pointy-side-up" hex tiles (aka H-Hex or "long grain").

I've already implemented flat-side-up hexgrid generation in MapForge using my own funds (already available in MapForge v1.1.6 and later). A portion of the proceeds from this campaign will go towards implementing the snap-to-grid function on flat-side-up hexgrids, which is a key element that is currently missing. This will allow for much faster and more-accurate mapping. 

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I Thank you in advance - Tenkar 

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Kickstarter - Chewer of Fingers (Midderlands Adventure)

A grim old-school adventure for The Midderlands setting intended as a low-level one-shot. Generally usable for all old-school games.

When it comes to old school gaming Kickstarters, Midderlands releases are then high watermark that other Kickstarter are judged against. I also love low-level adventures. Chewer of Fingers looks to be a lot of fun.

Chewer of Fingers is a grim, old-school introductory adventure intended for The Midderlands setting. The adventure is written for Swords & Wizardry and therefore can be used in all retro-clones and old school role-playing games with little or no work. The book contains swear words and mature themes.

If you know anything about The Midderlands fantasy setting, you will see information within the book that makes it directly usable with The Midderlands setting. It is 100% compatible.

The encounters in the adventure take place in and around the small hamlet of Fetterstone—a depressing place on the edge of a stinking marsh near the border between the Western Midderlands and Staffershire.

The PCs are heading to Fetterstone because there is a 20 gold quid reward for the capture of an escaped criminal called ‘The Finger Chewer'. He absconded from Middlemoor Gaol five days ago and is believed to be hiding out in the surrounding oft-foggy marsh. The marsh is notoriously dangerous and even the lure of 20 gold quids isn’t enough to entice the locals into its fetid clutches.

  • The adventure is A5-sized (148mm wide x 210mm high OR Approx. 5.8" wide x 8.3" high) containing 24 interior pages (+2 printed inside cover pages).
  • The adventure features 4 encounter areas: Old Lady Harris' Farm, The Village of Fetterstone and the Gloombug Tavern, Middlemoor Gaol, and The Marsh.
  • Four pregenerated adventurers are provided: Solomon Pilkington (Level 2 Human Cleric of Gael), Dergal Pock (Level 2 Wart Goblin Fighter), Norris Hitchcock (Level 2 Half-elf magic-User), and Elspeth Fallows (Level 2 Human Thief).
  • 6 beautiful hand-drawn and scanned maps. These will also be provided as seperate unlabelled VTT versions with the PDF download.

The adventure is littered with extra details (game-juice) and adventure hooks that make this suitable for additional future adventures. Any Game Master could take the information contained and use it for their own campaigns.

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I Thank you in advance - Tenkar 

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Humble Bundle - Judge Dredd, 2000 AD, & More

 I was a huge fan of the 2000 AD, Judge Dredd, and related comics back in my college days in the late 80's. I'd make my trips to Forbidden Planet and stock up on a couple of months worth at a time.

To be able to snag Judge Dredd, 2000 AD, & More for as low as a buck is mind-blowing. I expect to mine my $15 purchase for many adventure ideas :) Covid-19 and comics - perfect together ;)

We've teamed up with 2000AD for our newest bundle! Get comics like Zombo Book 1, Counterfeit Girl, Best of Tharg's Future Shock, Judge Anderson: Psi Files 2, Zenith Book 1, Brink Book 1, 2000 AD's Greatest: Celebrating 40 Years, and Halo Jones Book 1. Plus, your purchase will support War Child and Special Effect!

The Tavern is supported by readers like you. The easiest way to support The Tavern is to shop via our affiliate links. DTRPGAmazon, and Humble Bundle are the affiliate programs that support The Tavern

I Thank you in advance - Tenkar 

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

New OSR Release - Ziggurat of the Mega-Maiden (DCC RPG)

 Ziggurat of the Mega-Maiden literally had me at Iron Maiden :)

An Experimental Speed Metal Dungeon!

2 minutes to midnight.

A 20-round race to the top.

The fate of the world in the balance!

Can your 2nd level DCC characters become heroes?

This is a what now? An experimental Speed Metal Dungeon? Yes, yes, it is. The idea emerged while listening to, shockingly, heavy metal. Specifically, Iron Maiden and Megadeth, hence the title and content. So, what’s it all about?

The PCs have been on the path of The Cult of the Mega-Maiden. The Cult seeks to bring the Demon Seed of Deth to the Iron Ziggurat of the Mega-Maiden. There they hope to perform the Ultimate Ritual and fulfill the Prophecy. This will break open the Demon Seed and bring the Wrathchild into the world with the Mega-Maiden acting as surrogate mother. We begin in medias res, in the middle of the plot. This gives Judges various options to drop this into an existing campaign with some minor set up, make this the culmination of previous adventures, or just run his as a speedy one-shot.

The PCs stand at the foot of the Iron Ziggurat of the Mega-Maiden and it is 2 minutes to midnight. They have 20 rounds to get to the top or the ritual will be completed and the Wrathchild will gain entrance to the world bringing death and destruction of unimaginable proportions.

Perfect for 6 DCC Level 2 PCs, Challenging for 4-5 DCC Level 2 PCs. Deadly for anything less, but still fun. Perhaps a mob of villagers don't want the world destroyed and this turns into a funnel with lots and lots of dead villagers in a mighty struggle to save all of existence!

What are Two-Hour Tales?

Quick Crawls are perfect for in-person or online play and include maps and tokens to facilitate that. Additionally, the Two-Hour Tales work well online as we have found that people begin to fade or lose focus after around 2.5-3 hours. These DCC Quick Crawls, as we call them, will be PDFs only.

The Two-Hour Tales run about 2,500-3,000 words. Each will have at least one map, several tokens and a complete three-part adventure. All NPCs will have a Strategy section so Judges get insight into how they act and fight. We will break out all new spells, creatures and items into reference cards. This will help the Judge run the Two-Hour Tales by giving them all the info they need for each specific encounter in the Quick Crawl.

Additionally, each Quick Crawl leads into longer campaigns after the Two-Hour Tale with our Further Adventures section which gives ideas on how to continue along a specific storyline. Later Two-Hour Tales can be dropped in as side quests or events in between major campaign action.

In playtesting, this adventure took just under 3 hours. We imagine most groups will finish by then.

The Tavern is supported by readers like you. The easiest way to support The Tavern is to shop via our affiliate links. DTRPGAmazon, and Humble Bundle are the affiliate programs that support The Tavern

I Thank you in advance - Tenkar 

Monday, August 17, 2020

Crowdfunding - Aryx's Almanac of Unusual Magic (ACKS)


I'm a huge fan of the Adventurer Conquerer Kings System (ACKS). It's a modular OSR system that draws upon B/X yet breaks it down and rebuilds it. It's that rebuilding that I find so useful in my old school gaming campaigns, even if I'm running with Swords & Wizardry.

I'm also a huge fan of alternative magics, as it just seems to make magic more, well, magical. Aryx's Almanac of Unusual Magic seems like it will scratch two itches.

The Almanac is a 56-page treatise on new and unusual magic. Within the pages of the Almanac, you will find four new kinds of magic, each of which uses magic in new and exciting ways:

Dwarven earthforgers inherit an ancient tradition allowing them to draw on the spark of the divine found in all creation to power their magic.

Gnomish alchemists are experimenters whose concoctions range from ‘helpful and safe’ to ‘incredibly poisonous’.

Terran engineers are scientists and builders from another time, whose inventions and tinkering certainly appear magical to most non-technological societies.

Warlords draw on the chaotic energy of battle, taming it with their practiced tactics and leadership to ensure that their side wins.

All of these classes use variants on ceremonial magic, introduced in the Heroic Fantasy Handbook. Three of them use eldritch magic, and many of the spells on their spell lists are described in that book. The fourth (the dwarven earth-forger) uses a new kind of magic, gnostic magic, which relies on using the power in existing materials and can have terrible effects should a practitioner try to avoid that requirement.

Every campaign is a law unto itself, and you as Judge can include as many or as few of the elements of the Almanac in your campaign as you desire. Each class is entirely self-contained, and none of them rely on the addition of any of the others. Because they use eldritch magic, the new spells (and tactics) described for the gnomish alchemist, the Terran engineer, and the warlord constitute more than one hundred new eldritch spells usable in any campaign that includes eldritch magic, even one that doesn’t include any of these new classes.

Of course, full builds for all of the classes and spells, and the source factors for gnostic magic, are included as well, allowing you to build your own content to expand what’s in the Almanac. Build your own gnostic spellcasters, or use the additional spell design factors to create your own new spells. Even in a book that’s largely new player options with these new and exciting classes and spells, we include something for the Judges out there. Magic is all around you. Are you a forger of creation, an engineer of wonder, an alchemist of the unknown, or a lord of war? Discover what kind of unusual magic speaks to you, with the help of this Almanac!

10 bucks for the PDF, 15 for the PDF plus at cost POD.

The Tavern is supported by readers like you. The easiest way to support The Tavern is to shop via our affiliate links. DTRPGAmazon, and Humble Bundle are the affiliate programs that support The Tavern

I Thank you in advance - Tenkar 

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Playing by Yourself

1st off, get your mind out of the gutter.....there's only room for one down here.

Clearly I am talking about gaming here, specifically RPGs....this is Tenkar's Tavern after all!  Sometimes you want a bit of a table-top fix and you've got nobody to sling dice with. It happens and thankfully with the advent of this whole interwebs thing you can play online at a virtual table, but I'm talking specifically about when even the virtual table top is a no-go. Basically my main experience as a game-starved kid.

I get that maybe we'll just have to put on our big-boy pants and suck it up......play something else or just do without, but it just sucks to not be rolling dice when you want to be rolling dice.....

.....and for the three of you that are probably thinking "Well go play some Yahtzee then!"....well you can go fuck right off! (Erik....I can tell readers to "fuck off" here, right?). I want to be slinging spells and bashing orc's heads in, not trying to roll a straight or a flush. The only time I want 3d6 in my hand is rolling up a new PC or a higher-level Magic Missile.

Still, if you're by yourself you might have to make some allowances, but still no Yahtzee....I think I've made myself clear there.

Personally my initial go-to has been the good old-fashioned Choose Your Own Adventure Books. Now, not the mainstream series.....I don't want to be playing as a fricken race car driver.....but the Endless Quest series from TSR. I had a small set of these as a child and last year I found some at a local HPB. Unfortunately those were is near mint condition so now I should be looking for a worn or electronic copy so I can have some nostalgic fun. Now there were some other similar books out there, but hell if I can remember their names after 30 years. The ones I liked let me roll some dice and (I know I mentioned this before) I kind of cheated, which made it so much more fun. What I did is map out the game as I played so some of those dead ends were not so much dead ends and if I needed to get back to that one magical healing fountain I could heal-up and then press forward.

The next step up, at least for me, was the rare find of a Solo D&D (or AD&D) printed adventure/module. There were a couple different ones out there. The "Magic Window" type and another with invisible ink. I remember getting my hands on a couple, but they were literally one-offs that were hard to find and harder to play. I remember the invisible ink pen not working and being so frustrated. I did really enjoy Midnight on Dagger Ally (MV1). In a more modern(ish) vein, there are some Solo Adventures you may not have seen. I know KenzerCo had a couple for HackMaster 4th Edition that were dual statted....I believe for D&D 3.5(?), but in a pinch you could easily use the HackMaster version for AD&D. I've also played a DCC Solo Funnel called The Hounds of Halthrag Keep (which is a free PDF from DTRPG). That was fun, especially if you like churning through PCs.....it is a DCC funnel after all.

Well that's it. Those were my two options growing up and thankfully not my only options these days. My problem, at least as a game-starved boy with way too sharp polyhedral dice, was that I didn't know what I didn't know. I did not know there are entire fricken RPGs dedicated to solo or solitaire play.

Holy crap.....Tunnels & Trolls, where have you been all my life? Where was my "Cool Uncle" that introduced me to D&D? Totally failed on me here. The Church didn't have T&T on the "bad list" so my parents conceivably could have bought the 5th edition of the game (I'd have taken editions 1-4 happily). All those dry gaming years wasted on things like school/book learning, girls, Boy Scouts, and chores (not in that order) when I could have been the dork in my room slinging dice!

Yeah...so I didn't get to sling dice this last week or two and I now have a copy of T&T......see you guys next week!

Seriously though, there are several different RPGs, not necessarily Fantasy Hack & Slash RPGs, out there these days to check out. I'm looking at some now, but until I've vetted them......

I would suggest, to those of you of the adventure or Zine writing persuasion, to take some time to maybe write your own solo adventure for your preferred game system. You can easily take what I've already mentioned as initial inspiration. One of these days I really want to write up a new Choose Your Own Adventure and I think I have some cool ideas to make it work.....but we'll see.

Gamers' Health - Low Sodium / Low Carb Chicken & Vegetables Stir Fry with No Carb Noodles

 I've been talking about the various dinners I've been prepping on the Friday Night episodes of the Tavern Chat podcast. I've also shared photos of my dinners on Facebook, and there seems to be some interest in the recipes I've kitbashed together.

I've been doing a lot of cooking after being released from the hospital in May after 2 weeks of hospitalization for congestive heart failure and four stents to help the heart. Low carb and low sodium diet for life.

This past Friday I made a low carb / low sodium chicken & vegetables stirfry with no carb Miracle Noodles.

Here's what you'll need to cook along with Tenkar ;)

  • a wok. I snagged this one on Amazon.
  • a small pot to boil the pasta - if it has a strainer lid it will make rinsing and straining the pasta easier.

  • 1lb of chicken. I used white meat chicken cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 bag (4 servings) frozen broccoli florets
  • 1/2 bag (2 servings) frozen peppers & onions
  • 1/4 bag (1 serving) frozen corn kernels
  • 2 oz olive oil
  • 2 to 3 oz Mrs. Dash Sweet Teriyaki Marinade
  • 2 to 3 oz Mr. Spice Ginger Sauce
  • 2 bags Miracle Noodle Fettucini (shirataki konjac noodles)
  • dash of no salt added hot sauce (optional)
Start by cutting your chicken into 1-inch cubes or so. Add the Ginger and Sweet Teriyaki sauces to the chicken and let it marinate for 30 minutes or so.

Heat your wok on medium heat on the stovetop and add the olive oil. Once heated add your chicken. Cover your wok with its glass top. Stir occasionally.

Prepare your Miracle Noodles as indicated on the bag - which means rinse, boil for 2 minutes, and then dry in a heated pan on the stovetop. This removes the earthy smell of the noodles. Do these steps as your stirfry is cooking.

After your chicken has turned white on all sides, add the corn. Cover the wok and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the peppers and onions to the stirfry. Stir and cover for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the broccoli. If desired, add another oz or so of the ginger and teriyaki sauces. Add optional hot sauce to taste. Stir, cover for 5 minutes.

 Add the Miracle Noodles. Stir. Heat uncovered for 5 minutes. 

Note, you haven't used any thickening agents, nor have you added water. The vegetables add plenty of water and this is the chance to cook some of that moisture off.

Serves 2 to 3 depending on their appetites :)

The Tavern is supported by readers like you. The easiest way to support The Tavern is to shop via our affiliate links. DTRPGAmazon, and Humble Bundle are the affiliate programs that support The Tavern

I Thank you in advance - Tenkar 

Tenkar's Tavern is supported by various affiliate programs, including Amazon, RPGNow,
and Humble Bundle as well as Patreon. Your patronage is appreciated and helps keep the
lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

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