Saturday, September 26, 2020

Deal of The Day - Lordling: Fantasy Role-Playing Game for Kids (Goblinoid Games)

I'm a huge fan of youth accessible RPG gaming. My niece is now 9, she was 5 when Swords & Wizardry Light released. When she realized what I wrote she told me: "Uncle, you can use this to teach me to read, and then I can play D&D too!" 

The fact that Lordling: Fantasy Role-Playing Game for Kids was written for kids is awesome. Normally 4.49 in PDF, until tomorrow morning Lordling is on sale for 2.69

Lordling is the baton to hand off fantasy role-playing to the next generation!

It is an introductory role-playing game for kids. Play all of the classic race classes from Labyrinth Lord, but with a new streamlined system perfect for young new players.

Lordling is meant to be used by a mentor to teach young kids how to play role-playing games. It is a self-contained game, but as the players become more experienced it will benefit from using Labyrinth Lord for additional material.

Finally! Your kids are ready to play. But can you handle their imaginations?

Lordling presents rules very similar to B/X, but uses 2d6 or 1d6 for resolution. The overall system is streamlined for kids, but with enough detail that it can also be used as a "beer & pretzels" RPG for adults or older kids.

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.  

Friday, September 25, 2020

The Tavern is Looking for a Web Designer to Design The Tavern 3.0

I know that I've been talking about upgrading The Tavern for well over a year now, and its time for me to admit to myself that I lack the skills and the time to do so.  Hell, I'm far behind on every project at the moment - "knock on wood" I am working on the assumption that further hospitalizations are no longer a thing, and if they are a future thing, expanding The Tavern will ensure things continue smoothly even if I am unable to temporarily participate.

This is what I would like for the next / future version of The Tavern:

  • rotating header art
  • portability of the web address. currently registered with Google/GoDaddy.
  • the ability to host multiple blogs by multiple authors, each with their own feed
  • integrate Discord Chat into the website
  • add a forum
  • possibly a web store
  • further features the community may pitch, that are feasible and doable

Note: This is a PAID position for the initial design and a monthly stipend to keep things up and running smoothly. No, I am not made from money, nor do I print my own, but I do want to see people paid fairly for the work they do. Call me Old School.

Email me at tenkarsDOTtavernATgmailDOTcom with Tavern 3.0 in the subject and we can discuss potential web hosts and other such details :)

Shit is becoming real :)

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. 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

The Tavern is More Popular in the US than RPG.net - Thank You for the Support!

I was running some websites through the Alexa.com ranking system of web traffic. I was VERY surprised to see that in the US, The Tavern ranks higher than RPG.net (worldwide RPG.net places significantly higher)

The Tavern


I'd like to seriously thank each and every one of you for spreading the word about and supporting The Tavern. There are plans to expand on what you currently get, and with a little luck and a healthy streak, we should have something to show by the New Year. Wish us luck :)

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. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Humble Book Bundle: Dungeons & Dragons: R.A. Salvatore Showcase

When I was younger, the Cleric Quintet was one of my favorite fantasy series. That led to more Drizzt and R.A. Salvatore's rising star. If you missed the releases or don't want to pay "dead tree" prices, the Humble Book Bundle: Dungeons & Dragons: R.A. Salvatore Showcase is a bargain and then some.

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. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Frog God Games - 50% off Sale on PDF - Swords & Wizardry Picks

There is just over a week left on the Frog God Games PDF Sale over at DriveThruRPG. While nearly everything for 5e, Pathfinder, Swords & Wizardry, and more are on sale, I'm going to highlight some Swords & Wizardry relevant picks (and one Pathfinder pick that is just a HUGE bargain)

Monstrosities - NOW 7.50 - Probably THEE monster book in the OSR, each entry has an adventure hook.

You can never have too many monsters, and this book is filled with them! No matter what kind of campaign, there are foes galore to stock its wildernesses and dungeons, even the unknown depths of its mysterious oceans. This is a compendium that contains the monsters from the rulebook and many monsters from the First Edition of the original roleplaying game, but there are hundreds and hundreds of completely new beasts. Note: this is a second printing of the original Swords & Wizardry monster book, updated with errata and hundreds of illustrations.

The largest compilation ever of monsters for Swords & Wizardry/0e. If you play the very first edition (0e) of the game, or if you play Swords & Wizardry at the gaming table, this book is a must-have! 186 brand new monsters await, along with hundreds of the older monsters so that they're all in one book.!

Monstrosities was created with the generous help of the Swords & Wizardry internet community, as you can see from the list of unusually brilliant authors whose erudition and eloquence grace these pages. The book’s successes are due to them, whilst any errors or failures in the transcription of their noble work are doubtless my own.

Tome of Adventure Design - NOW 6.30 - My go-to book for inspiration when I'm looking to design a new adventure.

A fantasy adventure game, at its very heart, is about developing an open-ended "story" of the characters. The referee is in charge of the fantasy world, and the players direct the actions of their characters in that fantasy world. Neither the referee nor the group of players has complete control over what's going to happen, and the result is an evolving set of surprises for both the referee and the players. Unlike the players, as the referee and creator of the game world, most of your "work" is done ahead of time. To some degree or other, you have to create the groundwork for the adventure before the game starts. Even though no battle plan survives contact with the enemy - and if you're an experienced referee you know exactly what I mean - the game has to start ... with a starting point. This might just be a vague set of ideas, or it might be as complex as a set of maps with a detailed key and well thought-out encounters for the players to run into.

The Tome of Adventure Design is organized as a series of "books," each one providing resources at every step of the way. The vast majority of the content of each book is made up of random generation tables that we created over a quarter of a century (sigh) for our own use. It shoud be said up front that these are tables for deep design - in other words, most of them are too long, and contain too many unusual or contradictory entries, for use on the spot at the gaming table. There are already many excellent books of tables for use on the fly; the tables in these books are different. They work best as a tool for preparation beforehand, providing relatively vast creative resources for browsing and gathering, rather than quick-use tables designed to provide broad, fast brushstrokes. Our shorter tables tend to d - eliver cryptic results designed to shock the reader's creativity into filling in the gaps, whereas the longer tables are unusably vast for easy random generation, being designed to shock the reader's creativity into operation by presenting a sea of possibilities.

The Lost City of Barakus - NOW - 10.00 - I had a blast running this for my old gaming group. So much fun.

The Lost City of Barakus, designed to take characters from 1st to 5th or 6th level (or higher), is as much of a campaign setting as an adventure. Detailed within these pages is the great, bustling metropolis of Endhome, the Penprie Forest and Duskmoon Hills located north of that city, and, finally, the huge dungeon that is the Lost City of Barakus. Within all these areas are many adventures, NPCs, and locations for the party to explore, interact with and conquer. How and in what order the party chooses to take on the various challenges before them is entirely yours (the GM’s) and the players’ choice.

Stoneheart Valley - NOW 8.00 - Three classic Necromancer era adventures make for a nice micro-setting and an excellent campaign kickoff.

Finally, welcome to the World of Necromancer Games! From Bill Webb and Clark Peterson's home campaign comes the old-school setting of The Lost Lands: Stoneheart Valley. For over a decade, fans of Necromancer Games and Frog God Games have been asking to see the world behind the adventures. And at long last, here is where it all began, in the Stoneheart Valley near the town of Fairhill. This mini-campaign was originally presented to the fans of Necromancer Games in three separate modules: "The Wizard's Amulet", "The Crucible of Freya", and "The Tomb of Abysthor". Frog God Games has taken the full series from the 3E version plus supplemental material previously available only online, and converted it all to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game system and the Swords & Wizardry Complete ruleset.

Razor Coast (PF) - NOW 3.00 - Yes, the Pathfinder version is far cheaper than the S&W version. My God but this was a fun read. Three bucks? Snag it!

Razor Coast is the long anticipated Caribe-Polynesian flavored, Age of Sail swashbuckling RPG campaign envisioned and designed by Nicolas Logue. It is applauded for its ambitious and original design, its epic flavor and its lurid, full-color art – including a cover by the award winning Wayne Reynolds. Logue tapped a team of veteran designers to help develop and write Razor Coast, including Lou Agresta, Adam Daigle, Tim Hitchcock, and John Ling.

“Razor Coast isn’t just an adventure,” according to Agresta, Razor Coast Project Manager, “it’s part setting, part adventure path, and part toolkit to build your own unique campaign. It’s non-linear. It’ll never play the same way twice.”

“We filled it with corrupt municipal Dragoons, dastardly smuggling rings, weresharks – lots of weresharks, desperate naval battles, oppressed tribes craving heroes, witches, cursed islands, legendary treasure troves, an impending apocalypse or two, demon pirates, retired assassins, undead worms, gator men, failed heroes waiting to be redeemed, dark conspiracies brewing in the oceans depths, vengeful ghosts…oh – and mutating cannibal pygmies. Who doesn’t like those?”

Bill Webb's Book of Dirty Tricks - NOW .75 - That's right, Bill Webb's Book of Dirty Tricks is a mere 75 cents. If you pick up nothing else, you should be grabbing this :)

This fun little tome is a GM utility for use during regular play when either too many good things happen to the players due to luck or just whenever the GM feels they need a little push to remind them that success is fleeting. 

Dirty tricks are intended to create great players. That is and should be the only reason a GM springs such things on them. It also has the effect of creating a great game, where even mundane tasks cannot be taken for granted, and boredom is rare.

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. 

Monday, September 21, 2020

Deal of the Day - Mike's Dungeons: The Deep Levels (OSR)

Sometimes all you want to do is dungeon crawl like we did back in 1984. Back when we didn't worry about what went on outside the walls of the dungeon. Backstory? Setting? NPCs? Bah!

Mike's Dungeons: The Deep Levels allows you to game like the old days. Normally 2.99 in PDF, until tomorrow morning it is a mere 1.49.

MIKE'S DUNGEONS: THE DEEP LEVELS includes 39 dungeon levels that take 10th-level characters up to 14th level.


This is a massive dungeon of 39 hand-drawn levels, for character levels 10th through 14th. It was made with Moldvay/Cook's 1981 Dungeons & Dragons rules, but it can be used with other versions of the game.


These dungeons are not for collecting, not for reading, not for gazing at, and not for displaying on your coffee table. It has no art, no stylish formatting, no production values at all. If you aren't going to use and abuse this in a game, there's no reason to buy it.


The word for this is FUN. These are the dungeons you could have made when you were 12 years old, but were too lazy. It is a no-nonsense dungeon for playing D&D. You don't even need to study it beforehand. You can run it on-the-fly.


You read that right. You can freely preview every single page of this book. It's like you're flipping through this in a bookstore before you make your decision to buy.

The price comes to less than 8 pennies per level for the PDF, and a quarter per level for the print+PDF option.

Fight on!

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.  

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Some Personal Experience with one of the KenzerCo D-Team

Some Personal Experience with one of the KenzerCo D-Team

If you've been reading my ramblings here at the Tavern for the last couple of months you've got to have learned by now that I was a fig HackMaster player and used to volunteer for the folks over at KenzerCo.

I really considered the D-Team (Development Team) at KenzerCo as friends and when you're doing things for friends, working conventions and doing all the extra stuff I did really didn't feel like "work"....until it did and unfortunately that soured things for me. I could easily blame KenzerCo and if I layed everything out some of you may very well do so as well, but I clearly have to shoulder some of that blame not matter what.

I really try not to live with regrets and be accepting of the past that I cannot change, but one regret I have comes with souring my relationship with Steve Johannson, one of the D-Team. I'm not 100%, but I'm pretty sure Stevil from Knights of the Dinner Table was based on Steve Johannson and even though I think the character is an asshole, I lovingly called Steve "Stevil". This Stevil was also a character and could easily come across as an asshole, but in reality he was a great guy who had some awesomely epic rants. You'd be talking to him about something and BAM!, he'd go off on some long tirade sounding like Grandpa Simpson, but without (much) malice.\

One time when visiting the KenzerCo office, which was a hole-in-the wall small warehouse with a conference room and some odd office space (most of the guys worked from home 90% of the time), we we talking about printed modules and I mentioned I had a couple older ones that were in good shape except for some highlighting I had made. Stevil started just going off on how pristine printed adventure modules were an abomination.....an affront to gaming in general. Adventures were meant to be used and abused, dog-eared, and marked-up......basically giving up their "lives" in creating a great gaming session and memories that will last a lifetime.

For all the years volunteering for KenzerCo and with personal visits, etc., I actually had limited gaming experience with the D-Team. I wrote a tongue-in-cheek adventure for GMs at Origins one year and Stevil bellied up to an otherwise full table to play. Instead of playing an "appropriate" PC and overbalancing that table he decided to run a NPC torchbearer....a halfling IIRC. Now I was too busy GMing another table, but I remember seeing Stevil sitting on the floor, barely able to look over the table, his hand held high as he asks one of the PC's, "Do you have enough light?" At another Origins I actually got to play in a Roll-n-Run adventure (you quick roll up 1st level PCs and go on an adventure). Stevil rolled up a Magic User, which is usually considered a bit of a waste for this type of game. Since this was HackMaster 5th Edition you could (at an expensive cost) have your Magic User take a pole-arm for a weapon. For the rest of the game Stevil's Mage loved the spell he called "Cast Spear", which was of course just him using the spear like a really shitty 1st level Fighter. I also got to play at his table at GaryCon (2013) during a Sunday morning pickup game. We ran a few encounters out of the Temple of Existential Evil......I remember enjoying the game, but since it was Sunday morning at a Con...details will be lacking. I do remember the group had a barbarian so poor he had nothing but his weapon....yep, running around "adventuring" nekkid. To throw the guy a bone Stevil threw in as "loot" some nasty, used underwear just so the barbarian wouldn't be completely naked.

A Sewer Runs Through It

Well actually I did play in another of Stevil's games at GaryCon. He had a rough shell of an adventure seed that he ran a group of us through and towards the end of the adventure my Halfling Cleric saved the life of another PC using a particular spell. When that happened Stevil just freakin lit up and he had to stop and tell the rest of the D-Team what I had just done. These guys play together on the regular and when they wrote the new edition they pretty much all thought the spell I had used was pretty much useless and he/they were surprised to see if actually used for once, much less that it worked! After the game Stevil approached me with the idea of me writing/fleshing out the adventure and then he could edit it. Evidently he had the idea, but not the time to do the leg-work. I was elated at the opportunity to write a "real" adventure and went so far as to churn out a map, add art, and even do the cover. There was a drowning mechanic I wrote up, as the adventure required one. Stevil had a better mechanic and had to do some reformatting, but the adventure ended up largely as I wrote it. He even kept the title and cover (but he did change the font for the authors on the cover, which is the only change I didn't care for).

Unfortunately this was our only collaboration because initially I wasn't reimbursed for my work and since I was unemployed, taking a few days "off" to do unpaid work wasn't something I could afford to do. I HIGHLY suspect that in the end Stevil gave me $100 out of his own pocket to pay me for that adventure. I'm not really playing HackMaster anymore (but would like to!) and now that I have a good paying job I could afford to flesh-out more of Steve's ideas......

.....but unfortunately Steve passed away a year ago this weekend. Yes, I intentionally "buried the lead" (pun NOT intended, although I think he'd like that one), but I've been thinking of Steve lately and miss him more than I expected to. His "hands" were intimately involved in so much of my favorite gaming memories, basically anything involving HackMaster or Knights of the Dinner Table.

I appreciate getting the opportunity to share this here and hopefully someone here will tear off that shrink wrap on some saved adventure and start making some notes in the margins in preparation of running their home group in a dice-slinging session. You can always bag it and protect it for use again in the future.......

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

Blogs of Inspiration & Erudition