Tenkar's Tavern Community Updates

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Humble Bundle - RPG Book Bundle - Conan by Modiphius


I was a Kickstarter backer of the Conan RPG less for the system and more for the setting material. You simply can't get more swords & sorcery than Conan. I am very glad I backed it.

If you didn't back the Conan RPG Kickstarter, the Humble Bundle - RPG Book Bundle - Conan by Modiphius is your chance to grab a huge selection of source material for a fraction of the cost. Although you can buy in for as little as a buck, I truly think your sweet spot kicks in with the rulebook, a sourcebook, and adventures at 8 bucks. Of course, 15 bucks gives you more sourcebooks than you can shake a Pict at :)


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.  

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Don't forget to subscribe to The Tavern's weekly Newsletter! We currently have 144 subscribers. When we hit 200 subscribers, I'll award 2 random subscribers a $10 DTRPG Gift Certificate.  

Friday, November 13, 2020

Torchlight - We Are Now Soliciting for Paid Submissions (Swords & Wizardry / SWL / SWCL)


The next issue of Torchlight is coming together but we aren't announcing a projected release date until we have two issues ready to go. The content in the Premiere Issue of Torchlight was mostly from your humble bartender, and that isn't a content workload I can expect to repeatedly hit on a regular basis.

Issue One will have other (well known) contributors aside from me, but further issues will depend on outside contributors for future success. 

At the moment we are expecting to pay 5 cents a word for new classes, creatures, NPCs, adventures, locations, articles, and the like. The author retains copyright and the work will be released under the OGL. Torchlight will require exclusive publication rights for 1 year, and the right to reprint in compilations (such as annuals) in the future.

Content should be written for Swords & Wizardry, Swords & Wizardry Light, Swords & Wizardry Continual Light, or White Star. 

At the moment we are not commissioning new art but may do so in the near future if / when we have a thematic issue of the zine planned.

Email tenkarsDOTtavern at that gmail thing with "Torchlight" in the subject with your pitches and inquiries.

We want to get Torchlight out on a regular quarterly basis, and this will only happen with your help and contributions.

When you shop via The Tavern's affiliate links, the monies will go towards Torchlight, other Tavern related projects, and community giveaways. So long as we are breaking even on each issue of Torchlight we'll be rocking and rolling.

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.  

You can catch the daily Tavern Chat podcast on AnchorYouTube, or wherever you listen to your podcast collection.

Don't forget to subscribe to The Tavern's weekly Newsletter! We currently have 142 subscribers. When we hit 200 subscribers, I'll award 2 random subscribers a $10 DTRPG Gift Certificate.  So on at 300 subs and beyond.


Thursday, November 12, 2020

Kickstarter - The Lost Triptych: A 5e and B/X RPG Campaign!


Pacesetter Games has a very nice Kickstarter record. Thom Wilson has a deep & full library of quality OSR releases behind him. Put them together and you get The Lost Triptych for B/X and 5e.

Bad Mike and I sat down with Thom last night on the Talking Crit podcast and it was a blast, and we got some insights into how The Lost Triptych came to be as a collaboration between the two companies.

Minions of a rival deity have stolen a sacred artifact of your order with the intent to transform it to suit their own nefarious machinations. They have brought the holy device to the Mountain of Whispers, the stomping grounds of evil sycophants and zealot soldiers who serve the goddess Egramish without question. Your precious artifact has been broken into separate pieces and hidden in secret locations to make it harder for your order to recover. No doubt, the high priest Miltotok is preparing the rituals and spells to make the device a vessel for evil at this very moment.

Is your faith strong enough to endure the evil horrors of the mountain, where your gods can barely be felt? Can you persevere through overwhelming odds to defeat Egramish and recover the Lost Triptych?

The Lost Triptych is a campaign for characters level 8-12 for the 5th Edition or B/X game systems!

The Lost Triptych is a high-level adventure that pits seasoned adventurers against the dark forces of an evil god whose servants are willing to sacrifice themselves and others to bring about the end of peace and prosperity. The foes that the characters will face are quite deadly – powerful spellcasters, ancient undead, and ruthless spies will challenge the group at every turn. This is no simple adventure, by any means!

This adventure can be dropped into any world of the game master’s choosing. The only location-specific element of the story is the Mountain of Whispers, which can be placed in any mountain range within the game master’s campaign world. Characters will start their journey at the bottom of the mountain, crawl through its dark depths, and finally arrive at the fortress peak to confront the minions of the evil god and her thieving sycophants.

If none of the characters is Lawful or (especially) a Cleric, the story can be adjusted to fit the group’s deities or alignments. The story plays out best if a conflict between good (the characters) and evil (followers of the rival goddess) exists. Also, the opposing deity can be adjusted to fit the game master’s world as needed. The story suggests using the evil goddess Egramish if the game master has no other viable antagonist in mind. If Egramish is used in this adventure, it will be assumed that the central character or characters (those affiliated with the Lawful deity) will know of the goddess as a long-standing rival deity and her constant attempts to overthrow their own god.

This book will include:

  • 150+ Pages of Adventure
  • Full-Color Interior Art and Maps
  • New Magic Items
  • New Monsters
  • And More Pending Stretch Goals!

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.  

You can catch the daily Tavern Chat podcast on AnchorYouTube, or wherever you listen to your podcast collection.

Don't forget to subscribe to The Tavern's weekly Newsletter! We currently have 133 subscribers. When we hit 200 subscribers, I'll award 2 random subscribers a $10 DTRPG Gift Certificate.  So on at 300 subs and beyond.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Deal of the Day - Creature Description Generator Volume 10 - Mutations (System Neutral)

As I work on my upcoming campaign, one thing that sticks out to me is that there needs to be a uniqueness to some of the creatures. Sure, orcs and goblins and ogres can me your mainstays, but it's the unique adversaries that your party will remember.

I don't have much of an issue coming up with new and unique creatures, but any resource that can assist in such is priceless.

Creature Description Generator Volume 10 - Mutations is just such a resource. I've added it to my Virtual GM's Resource Guide :)

Mutants – The word can conjure fear and sometimes revulsion. They are the same as you, yet different. Some perceive them as a threat, as a hidden danger walking amongst all good and right-minded folk, whilst some see them as the next stage in evolution for many species.

They are pitied, they are feared, they treated as outcasts. Yet a few rises above the hatred, ignoring the braying mob and doing the right thing no matter what.

They can become heroes, villains or horrible creatures with abilities not seen anywhere else. They are here to stay and you could be sitting right next to one right now.

CDG – 10 Mutations is, unlike others in the Creature Description Generator series designed to take an already existing being and give them a twist or two, turning that mundane creature into something special.

Designers Note

Whilst this publication is designed to be useful in as many genres as possible, some of the mutations may require a bit of tweaking to fit in with your chosen genre, such as psionics replacing magic in a sci-fi or near modern setting and so on.

Featuring...

  • 500 possible mutations - Some good, some bad others downright dangerous
  • Many of the mutations have sub-versions or variations
  • A system for categorizing how strong the mutations are
  • Some suggested side-effects to go along with them

As an aside, the cover is atrocious. Don't judge this book by its cover...

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.  

You can catch the daily Tavern Chat podcast on AnchorYouTube, or wherever you listen to your podcast collection.

Don't forget to subscribe to The Tavern's weekly Newsletter! We currently have 133 subscribers. When we hit 200 subscribers, I'll award 2 random subscribers a $10 DTRPG Gift Certificate.  So on at 300 subs and beyond.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

In-Person Gary Con for March 25-28, 2021 is Canceled - Virtual Only



The following is from the Gary Con website

Material Gary Con 2021 Cancelled

November 10, 2020 0  By MELF

Greetings Fellow Gamers,

After thorough consideration of the circumstances throughout the nation and the world, I regret to announce that Material Gary Con is cancelled for 2021 due to the risks posed by coronavirus. The steep increase in new cases across the country and the lack of an approved vaccine made it clear to the entire staff that to go forward with a physical gathering of 1,500 people would be irresponsible and potentially put tens of thousands of people across the nation at an increased risk. This was a difficult decision because we all really wanted to bring everyone together and create the unique spirit of camaraderie that has been the hallmark of Gary Con since 2009, but we unanimously agreed the right decision was to go virtual only in 2021.

So what does this mean for our Gary Con Family? Although Material Gary Con is cancelled, we will still celebrate Ethereal Gary Con March 25-28, 2021. If you purchased an Ethereal Badge you are all set and do not need to take any action. If you have a Physical Badge Package, there are two options. You can convert to an Ethereal Badge and join us as we celebrate Gary Con XIII by filling out this form [https://forms.gle/Pdrm23968yLySzbw6]. We will convert your badge to one of 6 possible options Ethereal, Astral, or Elemental- and we added a “PLUS†option to include a special GC merchandise bundle with each. The other option, if you decide you do not want to attend Ethereal Gary Con, is to request a refund through TTE. The refund process is administered completely through their system and not the Gary Con Staff. We encourage you to show your support for Gary Con by converting to an Ethereal Badge and adding the Merchandise Bundle so we can come back strong and celebrate together in Lake Geneva for Gary Con XIV in March 2022.

The deadline for converting or requesting a refund is still December 31st 2020. Please make sure to take action as soon as you can and help us spread the word to your fellow Gary Con Goers in case they missed this in their email and social media feeds. These are challenging times for all of us, but we are strong when we stick together as a community. I look forward to seeing you and gaming alongside you in ethereal form in March. Stay tuned for more information on the great line-up of Guests and special events we have planned for Virtual Gary Con XIII. And thank you for your understanding and support as we all navigate through the effects of the pandemic.

Cheers,

Luke Gygax

PS- If you already have a virtual badge and want to get a PLUS badge with the Merchandise Bundle fill out the request form and we will get that added for you. Game on!

Monday, November 9, 2020

On Magic Weapons by Racial Background (more campaign design thoughts)

So, I've been working on tables to randomly generate magic weapons, because cookie-cutter magic is boring and not magical ;)

While working on the tables, it occurred to me that weapons created by dwarves would be enchanted via a different method than those of men, or elves.

  • Dwarven magic weapons would be made of mithral or adamantine, perhaps with precious metals added to the mix. Magic would be centered more on bonuses to damage, with other powers (rock breaking, goblin slaying, or the like) centered on what would be most useful in dwarven culture.
  • Elven magic weapons would be lighter and intricately embellished. Made of steel or specially enchanted ironwood, bonuses to hit would be the focus. Elven weapons often come enchanted with spell-like powers, such as flight, charm, or alter self.
  • Human magic weapons are almost crude compared to those of dwarves and elves. Focused. As the human life span is short compared to their longer-lived brethren, less time is spent in the creation and their abilities are often crude but effective (drain health from the target and give it to the wielder, but wielder no longer heals naturally). Powers usually come with an offsetting curse. Such is the way with those so shortsighted.
These basic assumptions are helping to flesh out the item generation lists, the first of which I hope to share with you tomorrow.

Note: artwork copyright John Buckley, used with permission.

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.  

You can catch the daily Tavern Chat podcast on AnchorYouTube, or wherever you listen to your podcast collection.

Don't forget to subscribe to The Tavern's weekly Newsletter! We currently have 133 subscribers. When we hit 200 subscribers, I'll award 2 random subscribers a $10 DTRPG Gift Certificate.  So on at 300 subs and beyond.






Sunday, November 8, 2020

PC Deaths can be a Good Thing....no, Really!

PC Deaths can be a Good Thing....no, Really!
Special Note: For the record....I'm typing this up on a Saturday morning, hours before my bi-weekly game. Just have to mention this in case there happens to be a coincidence between the game and today's subject matter.

I'd like to think that I've had less than my fair share of PC deaths, which is interesting since I like to play HackMaster, which is known to be crunchy and deadly. Of course I might actually have more than my fair share of PC deaths and I just don't remember them because they aren't remarkable or because they were low-level PCs. Who really regrets the loss of a 1st level nobody?

As a GM I have kind of relished killing off the PCs, and have exercised some bragging rights when doing so. In truth though I try to be a bit of a tactician and I'm trying to have and share in the fun at the table. I get a metric shit-ton more mileage out of almost killing a PC. Now I'm not the type to fudge the dice rolls, but bringing a mighty PC down to low single-digits or castrating their abilities in some way......good times. The players fear for the safety of their PCs and the party has to tie up resources covering for the new weakness in their ranks. This can lead to a snowball effect that either makes the party escape by the skin of their teeth or suffer a crushing defeat. I'll risk one for the other any day, but I'll not let you know which one I'm rooting for in the moment...... 

"Fear for the safety".....do players really have feelings about their PCs? I sure hope they do! I want my players to be proud when their PC pulls off something mighty & heroic, and get a bit miffed when things don't go their way. Downright sad, for a while, when their PC actually dies....this is a good thing. No, I'm not a sicko GM.....well maybe I am, but not for this reason. The way I see it, players should be emotionally invested in their PCs. It's what makes the game fun and I think it's what can help make a game, for the lack of a better term, "real". Sure, players can have fun simply because they are hanging out with their friends and generally having a good time, but they can also just do that over pizza a beer.....don't need to be adding dice to the mix then.

What makes role-playing games an actual hobby is this emotional investment and the bond a good game group establishes with each other. I personally look forward to my next game, my next get-together, and I think this is because of this emotional investment in my PCs. Hell, I would also argue this is one of the reasons so many players don't do regular game conventions, unless they end up going with some of their home group members.

<insert Wayne's World doodly-doo noises here> Deep in my old records I have a write-up from my very first official HackMaster tournament as a GM. It's a rather in-depth (and lengthy) account because my table didn't fair so well and there were quite a few PC deaths. At one point there was some yelling/swearing and a chair was kicked a fair bit. I had heard, and disagreed with, how another table breezed through a couple encounters and assumed that the players from the one home-group that sat at my table would file a compliant (I didn't blame them), so immediately after the game I took my notes and wrote up the game. Wow, did I make a bunch of mistakes. With one exception they were all in the players favor, both the player and I had simply forgotten about one of their PC's magic items, but the players really didn't play well. You'd never guess this was an established home group used to playing together. I think the fact it was a late night game hindered their collective cognitive abilities because one PC could have avoided death simply by side-stepping 5' in almost any direction....and this was pretty obvious. <insert Wayne's World doodly-doo noises here>

Back to the intended train of thought.....this group lost several mid-high level PCs and were super pissed in the moment, and not that happy for the rest of the convention. They had been playing these characters for years and had a lot of investment, clearly not just time, in them. I'm sure they were able to resurrect the PCs, albeit with some new quirks and flaws (par for the HackMaster 4th Edition course) and carry on. I'm certain the extremity of their initial reactions were a bit much, but that's the chance you take.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained......had the players made a couple different decisions, like the aforementioned player stepping left two paces or the one player reminding me her PC could run like the dickens due to her magic item, then the party would have gotten their asses handed to them, but the would have survived. The players would have been high-fiving each other and they probably would have won the tournament.

Just remember this the next time you lose a PC and you're pissed off.......this is actually a good thing. Surely more a silver lining, but still.....a good thing. Stop short of kicking that chair, thank you GM, and figure out how you could have avoided that death. Worst case, pick up your 3d6 and hope you can get pissed when you lose this one as well....hopefully a long, long time (and many more levels) than last time.  

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