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Tenkar's Tavern Community Updates

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Kickstarter - Folio #26 The Virgin Mine Gaming Adventure! (1e & 5e)


Oh my! I think I'm in simply for the cover. I probably should read further to see what lies behind the cover ;)

Even better. "The Rat Dungeon". Low-level adventure. It's ticking off more boxes and I've barely started reading the description...

Folio #26 The Virgin Mine is 10 bucks in PDF, 25 bucks (plus shipping) for the print plus PDF

Join the adventure as Art of the Genre creates its first new mega-dungeon in over three years!  This first part of a six-phase mega-campaign is based around 1st level characters in a completely revolutionary setting.  I've specially designed the dungeon to breathe life into those adventuring levels while allowing the DM the ability to create incredible story arcs with old favorite monsters like goblins, rats, and even early fantasy RPG video game monsters like creeping coins and bushwhackers!

The Virgin Mine setting revolves around an adventuring company moving into the ruins of the wild jungle around the Imperial Capital city of Nextyaria. Here, they will match wits against other treasure-seeking adventuring companies as well as the intelligent dungeon that hosts relic treasures with nearly unlimited power.

Folio #26 will introduce characters to the setting, the mysterious and ancient The Rat Dungeon, as well as the other companies who seek their fortunes in the jungle.  New rules for character play complicate the dungeon crawl, and threats of marauding bandits and other companies looking for a quick profit by ambush also threaten the party.  Unlike normal dungeons, this one carries various mysteries, and strategy will need to be employed as the party learns the ropes within the first level of the Virgin Mine.  Dungeon details include 2D standard hex maps as well as fully 3D renderings of The Rat Dungeon section of The Virgin Mine.  A gazetteer section will give background on the new rules and the exterior camps and companies.  Several new monsters lurk within as well as new magical treasure.  It also features a fully removable stand-alone cover in perfect OSR tradition!

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 160 subscribers. When we hit 200 subscribers, I'll award 2 random subscribers a $10 DTRPG Gift Certificate.  

Friday, December 4, 2020

The Tenkar's Tavern Discord Server and YouTube Channel - Two Great Ways to Experience a Great Community (amongst other fine ways)

The Tenkar's Tavern Community has been a Godsend this year. Between my personal health challenges, health challenges for other members of our community, and the general shittiness of The Year of Covid, the saving grace has been this community. I truly feel blessed.

The Tenkar's Tavern Facebook Community has been around for years, and I give full credit to Frank Mentzer for the idea of making it, and by extension, all of The Tavern's various incarnations, a Neutral Ground. Peace-knot your political views and real-world issues when passing through these doors. We make no promises you won't be offended, but if you are, it should be related to differing opinions on that which we hold dear - games and other geek-like hobbies. Over 2,600 members, of which over 1k are active. Damns!

The Tavern also has a presence on MeWe. Although the community is nowhere near as large as the one on Facebook, it is growing and vibrant. Besides, everyone needs a refuge that isn't Facebook ;)

Probably the fastest growing and most active of The Tavern's platforms is on Discord. The Tenkar's Tavern Discord Server. With over 2,200 members, an active chat channel 24 hours a day, and a weekly bullshit session on Thursday Nights in the Speakeasy (I do apologize for missing Thanksgiving evening) The Tenkar's Tavern Discord is where you can call out to the darkness and you'll generally get a response within minutes.

YouTube is becoming another fast-growing aspect of The Tavern. Every Wednesday Night at 8 PM Eastern Bad Mike (NTRPG Con and Frog God Games) and yours truly host the Talking Crit Livestream. We catch up on the last week of news in our hobby and respond to comments from our live viewers. Starting Friday, December 11th, and every second and fourth Friday Evening of the Month, JoetheLawyer and myself will be hosting an Iron Rations Livestream, with general OSR gaming talk and thoughts. We currently have 184 subscribers to theYouTube.com/ErikTenkar channel. Hint: we can always use more subscribers ;)

Last is our weekly Tenkar's Tavern Community Newsletter. With 160 subscribed readers, it helps keep you up to date on the new releases, projects, and others going on in the OSR. You can subscribe by using the link at the top of this page.

If you had asked me over a decade ago when I started the Tenkar's Tavern Blog, if I thought it would spur a community as vibrant as the one it has, I would have thought you to be daft Apparently, I was the daft one on :)


Thursday, December 3, 2020

Humble Bundle RPG Book Bundle: Warhammer 40K: Black Crusade & Only War by Cubicle 7

I love me some Warhammer 40k. Warhammer 40k Dark Heresy marked my return to RPGs over a dozen years ago and the setting holds a special place in my gaming heart. The current Humble Bundle RPG Book Bundle: Warhammer 40K: Black Crusade & Only War by Cubicle 7 is the latest Humble Bundle related to Warhammer or Warhammer 40k material. Simply, it's more Warhammer for my virtual gaming material connection. I get good use out of my table these days ;)

This is one of the rare times that grabbing for a buck gives you all you need to play an RPG, in this case, W40k Black Crusade. Only War kicks in at 15 bucks.


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 160 subscribers. When we hit 200 subscribers, I'll award 2 random subscribers a $10 DTRPG Gift Certificate.  


Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Kickstarter - A Packet of Particular Peaks (System-Neutral Campaign Material)

I need to give a huge shout out to all of The Taverners that have been kind enough to give me links to projects and new releases that may have escaped my attention otherwise. We all owe you a beer :)

Today we have A Packet of Particular Peaks, a system-neutral Kickstarter offering mountain setting campaign material for the harried GM.

As a side note, I generally prefer system-neutral releases over those for multiple systems, but I do enjoy winging things and running sessions with lots of improv.

This is a go-to reference for a system-neutral, old school inspired fantasy setting that aims to provide a “drop-in-and-drop-out” experience. You can run a small side quest within the peaks, provide a parallel campaign to your normal adventures, or simply pull from this packet for game-able material in your role-playing game sessions.

Contained in this packet you’ll find three particular peaks featuring dream-like locations, strange inhabitants, unique overland features, an extensive bestiary, and much more.

8 bucks for the PDF, 20 bucks for the print plus PDF. 

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 160 subscribers. When we hit 200 subscribers, I'll award 2 random subscribers a $10 DTRPG Gift Certificate.  

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

News - Three Castles RPG Design Award - 2020 has been Announced

 

and the winner is:

"Operation: Deep Freeze & Thunderclap"

 by Ben Burns, Ellena Landara & Paul Riegel-Green

A Top Secret Soviet lab located just outside a small town in Latvia. Secrets put in Deep Freeze. Secrets that leaked out in the dead of winter. Secrets of things that should never have been.

Operation Deep Freeze is a Top Secret: New World Order mission.

This 80 page book is a double adventure that includes both Operation: Deep Freeze and Operation: Thunderclap. This adventure takes a set of ICON agents from London to Latvia, to the Baltic, Middle East and Africa.

Jump into this world-wind is this easy to use mission for the spies in all of us.

Note: Operation: Deep Freeze & Thunderclap is available for 5.99 in PDF at DTRPG. Its 14 bucks in Print from New Comet Games directly.

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 160subscribers. When we hit 200 subscribers, I'll award 2 random subscribers a $10 DTRPG Gift Certificate.  

Monday, November 30, 2020

DTRPG Cyber Monday Door Busters are Live

Wow. Thanksgiving weekend really left me worn out. My niece was over for the weekend (certified Covid free :) and it was an awesome weekend, but uncle felt a need to nap the weekend away this afternoon ;) Thus we ALMOST missed out on some deep discount doorbusters over at DTRPG.

Here's the link to the DTRPG Cyber Monday Door Busters



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 155 subscribers. When we hit 200 subscribers, I'll award 2 random subscribers a $10 DTRPG Gift Certificate.  

Sunday, November 29, 2020

That One Time I Expected my PC to Die

 

That One Time I Expected my PC to Die
I've mentioned that my favorite game was 4th Edition HackMaster, which is definitely a crunchy game and arguably the very 1st OSR retro-clone. I especially liked how the game had a big fan base that allowed for an organized play group where you could bring your home character to a convention and play an adventure with said character with a new group/new table.

Of course there has to be all sorts of rules and conditions to make this possible and fair to the whole group of players. One of those rules had to do with rationing magic items. Magic items had an experience point value and PCs had magic item value caps based on level. You generally needed to be at your level cap so you had the stuff you'd need to survive a tournament adventure.

Actually this is all just a little backstory 'cause I was thinking about what was probably the most fun/exciting tournament game I ever had......

Get Out of PC Story, Free Card

Ok, at this point I'm thinking there is at least one eye roll and "OMG, he's going to tell us another fricken PC story!" At this point you're probably wondering if you have access to one of those Get out of PC Story, Free cards. For your trouble, you can print one of these off....

I made these up as business cards for me and my ex-wife, based on the "originals" that the KenzerCo crew had. Our contact info was on the flip side, along with our pictures done up in similar fashion....

Listen to my PC Story
.....but there was a catch, which you've clearly noticed by now. Assuming you had the Get out of PC Story, Free card I could counter with my card, which was the lesser-seen Listen to my PC Story.

So now we've virtually swapped cards, even though I provided both cards, and now you're going to listen to my PC story, but don't sweat it because I'm not going to get anally-specific and droning on about the fine details (like at my age I can remember the fine details anyway...).  A story, at least one worth listening to, has some point and I'll not bury the lead....

The absolute best games are those where you are expecting to lose your PC but manage to survive to continue playing....

The party was hired to investigate some strange goings-on in part of a neighboring kingdom that the ruler was unable to get details on. Armed scouts, scrying, spying....nothing worked. The party was to be stripped of anything magic and sold as slaves to a group none to provide slaves to the area where the trouble was brewing......basically that was the extent of the knowledge. Now, for a group of 5th to 7th level PCs....well we have a LOT of magic stuff and going into an adventure blind and unarmed, is not a promising proposition.

My 7th level Double-Specialist Invoker is already Paranoid and having to forgo all his stuff, including having his Gold Tooth of Purify Beverage, was painful. At least I was able to tweak my memorized spells to take advantage of spell components I could be expected to find. HackMaster is crunchy, so keeping track of actual spell components is a thing.

The first round of the tournament adventure was basically just gaining our freedom and trying to bust out, re-arm, and start investigating. What we discover in the first round was that a Red Dragon, along with some allies, had taken a Gold Dragon hostage and was forcing her to lay eggs and then was using magic to alter the eggs and create some humanoid-dragon monstrosities (think the Draconians from Dragonlance). We get in to the second round and we get most of the way through the second adventure, just shy of freeing the Gold Dragon and taking on the Red Dragon.

Now another thing to know about HackMaster tournaments is that they are limited to a four hour time limit. This is kind of a good thing because if you're on the losing side of the Big Boss Battle and time runs out, instead of your PC dying you get to go home. It's not a win, but it's not a loss/death either.

So what we have is a bunch of players who ran out of time with that Big Boss Battle still looming. We've been beaten & battered and the players are pretty certain it's a toss-up if any of us could survive the final battle. Facing a likely TPK (Total Party Kill) with characters we've all spent years playing & building up, not fun...

.....but it WAS FUN. We all wanted to finish the adventure. Luckily the convention gave us our own HackMaster room for the weekend, so if we could convince the GM to continue..... which we did. After taking a quick break we were able to spend a good hour fighting the good fight. One of our party, a BattleMage, was tapped out spell-wise, so we made him the Designated Survivor and even though we could use his help, somebody needed to let the King know what was going on in case we failed. Since we had discovered a Teleportation scroll, we were able to send him off immediately. At least our impending deaths won't be in vain. As a group, the remaining party members took on the Red Dragon and during the battle we managed to secure the magical key that would allow us to free the Gold Dragon, which ultimately is what kept us from a TPK. We did lose one guy and the thief lost an arm, but the rest of us made it through with single-digit HP.

The entire battle, we all stood around the game table. Nobody could sit still for this epic clash. I think if we went one more round without the Gold Dragon's help that would have TPK'd us. During the lead up to this BBG Battle we did manage to acquired a lot of magical items, but we had to use almost everything for the fight. Still, loot wasn't lacking, but probably not nearly as much as expected for the level of difficulty of the adventure.

I think I ended up getting a couple of spells out of the deal and a new staff. As a reward from the Gold Dragon I was allowed to make a request as far as my reward and I asked for one of the Red Dragon's bones to fashion into a new staff. Even though it came from an evil Dragon, a Dragon-bone weapon probably wouldn't be seen favorably by a good-aligned Dragon, and my PC was smart enough to realize this. As part of my boon I was able to get in inscribed in multiple languages to denote not only where this bone came from, but who gifted it, which allegedly would give my PC a pass of sorts.

Urddas Nerthol, DS Invoker

I've had a couple of my PC's immortalized by commissioning a portrait by the wonderful Fraim Brothers, who have done a lot of art for KenzerCo/Knights of the Dinner Table/HackMaster. I try not to be too specific in what I'm looking for in a Character Portrait and just briefly describe the character. In this case I mentioned he was a magic-user who carried a crossbow, spellbook, and had a Dragon-bone staff with runes on it. I know I mentioned he kept a mask on and I think I added the amulet around his neck. Whatever the Bros. come up with I knew I was going to like....and I did.

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