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Tenkar's Tavern Community Updates

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

The Humble RPG Book Bundle: 5th Edition Dungeon Extravaganza (includes some System Neutral Sourcebooks)

Looks like we have another RPG Bundle over at Humble Bundle. Although this one is labeled for 5e, as I've stated before, just about any GM can convert from 5e to the OSR will little effort, and many can do so on the fly with little to no prep. Additionally, this bundle has some system-neutral setting pieces that I highly recommend: the regional sourcebook The Duchy of Reme and the Lost Lands Setting book. Both come with rules addendums for 5e, but the sourcebooks themselves are system neutral, and the Lost Lands Setting Book comes with a license for other publishers to publish in the Lost Worlds Setting and reference locations and add to the lore. Now THAT is fucking cool.

Did I mention it includes The Book of Taverns, Volumes I and II? I kinda like taverns, go figure ;)

The Humble RPG Book Bundle: 5th Edition Dungeon Extravaganza comes in at three price points: $1, $8, and $15. The Duchy of Reme is included at the $8 level and The Lost Lands Setting book is included at the $15 price point.

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 162 subscribers. 


Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Zine - Black Lung (Charity Zine)

Cancer is some scary shit. I should know, I'm a cancer survivor, and my health issues in 2020 were directly related to cancer treatment over a dozen years ago (congestive heart failure and the occluded left carotid were likely due to radiation treatment.) Yep, cancer is the gift that potentially keeps on giving to survivors, even years down the line.

2020 is also the year that Rocky found out that he had lung cancer. See, we didn't need Covid to make 2020 a truly shitty year, cancer and its lasting effects did a fine job fucking 2020 up on its own. When I found out Rocky had cancer, I literally teared up immediately. Rocky isn't just a good friend, but a damn good person, and he didn't deserve this. No one ever deserves this.

Rocky's battle is ongoing and he could certainly use your support. More importantly, his family needs it. Rocky is a husband and father of three young boys. 

Black Lung, the Charity Zine is being distributed by Frog God Games and is available in PDF format with variable pricing. All proceeds go to assist Rocky and his family, Frog God Games is merely facilitating distribution. Donations range from $15 to $150. The Tavern will be donating at the $150 mark.

Black Lung is a charity ‘zine to support an RPG designer and his family during their fight with cancer.

Authors include: Casey Christofferson, Levi Combs, Jack Cull, Alyssa Faden, Ala Fedorova, Skeeter Green, Greg Gillespie, Keelan Halvorrsen, Brendan LaSalle, Ian McGarty, Gabe Rotberg, James Michael Spahn, and Jim Wampler 

What is Black Lung?

This ’zine is a collection of pieces from a wide swath of the RPG community. Why did all of these authors and artists offer their time? To help a friend in need. And that is what this ‘zine is, people doing what they love for someone they love.

Is this a fundraiser?

All proceeds from this venture will directly benefit the family of RPG author, layout mastermind, father, and husband, Rocky Gardner as they combat the lung cancer that laid him low.

What is inside? 

Inside, you will find adventures, monsters, magic, and technology for a variety of game systems including adventures compatible with Shadowrun, Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition, Swords and Wizardry, Dungeon and Mutant Crawl Classics, and Labyrinth Lord. There is something for everyone between these covers. 


 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 162 subscribers. 

Monday, January 25, 2021

News - Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman to Publish a New Series Based on Classic Dragonlance

I suspected something was in the works when they had their lawsuit against WotC dismissed - Tenkar

Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman to Publish a New Series Based on Classic Dragonlance - https://www.facebook.com/trhickman

Wilmington, NC – January 25, 2021 – Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman are pleased to announce a multi-year licensing agreement with Wizards of the Coast to produce a new, three book series of Classic Dragonlance novels.

The new trilogy will return fans to the most beloved characters from the original novels along with introducing a new strong protagonist. The books will be published by Del Rey Books, an

imprint of Penguin Random House. Although a publishing date has not yet been formally set, they anticipate announcing when the first book will be released later this year.

“We couldn’t be happier to be returning to the world we love,” says Margaret Weis. “Dragonlance is what brought Tracy and I together so many years ago. We’re thrilled to be able to do this for existing lovers of Krynn while bringing our beloved characters to a new generation of readers.”

The first Classic Dragonlance novel, Dragons of Autumn Twilight, was written by Weis and Hickman and published in 1984. Since that time, more than 190 novels have been published in the setting. Weis and Hickman have collaborated on numerous series over the last 30 years including projects set within the world of Classic Dragonlance and outside of it. Two notable series are The Death Gate Cycle and The Darksword Series, both published by Penguin

Random House.

“We credit the fans of Dragonlance for making this journey possible,” says Tracy Hickman. “We wrote this series out of our thanks to them for this amazing life-long journey...and from our wish that they join us once more on the road to Solace.”

The license for the series was secured by Weis & Hickman in 2018. Their recent dispute with Wizards of the Coast was resolved at the end of 2020, with all parties pleased to have come to agreement on how best to move forward with the trilogy. All are focused on 

producing the best series possible and will not comment on the past dispute other than to say it has been resolved.

Watch for additional news from Weis and Hickman about Classic Dragonlance and other projects on the horizon in the coming months

Sunday, January 24, 2021

"Painful" Lesson Regarding System Differences

 

Just a head's-up that today's post is something like 96-103% PC storytime and if that's a turn-off consider this your warning to just come back to the Tavern tomorrow. Also, kind of adult content, possible trigger? Adult content as in Porky's, not as in serious adult content ;)

I've mentioned before that I had a HUGE gaming dry spell between 1996 and 2003, or so.....not that other years were bountiful, just better. I had picked up HackMaster on my honeymoon in late 2002 and we started hitting the FLGS (Favorite Local Game Store) the next year. One friend I made through the FLGS was Rob.

Rob was a medically retired Army vet who happened to be stationed in the same place I was....at the same time even. He was just in the next barracks over and in another unit so out paths just didn't cross "back in the day". Of course we hit it off playing many games at the FLGS and I eventually got into his gaming group. Ugh, that group was painful with Rob as a GM, way too social and mental for my tastes. We'd have entire sessions where no dice were slung. Not my style of game. We used to joke that Rob had his detail settings set too high...he could tell you exactly how many field mice were f*&king in a specific pasture 3 counties over.

Some of us ended up getting together for another, "looser" game that Rob wanted to run for us and this would be my real intro to D&D 3.5 since I could start from scratch with my PC, and I had finally gotten a PHB. I probably should have spent more time reading said PHB, but if I had then the rest of this story never would've happened.....

Anyway, I have a habit of running a very specific type PC whenever I start a new fantasy RPG in that I try to make the absolute best Archer that I can. This time I went with some sort of Elven Cleric of a gawd (I know, but "gawd" is an old HackMaster habit I'm not keen to drop) that had a bow as a preferred weapon. One casting (I hope I remember the spell name right) of True Strike and I'm pretty much guarantied to hit my target, especially after I multi-class a bit into Fighter.

I end up naming this PC BALADAR (yes, it is capitalized!) after a big joke we had while creating PCs. The bit was some back-and-forth about two gamers who get married and have a kid they decide to raise as a self-aware PC. BALADAR was the name we came up with for this poor bastard kid. 1st Day of Kindergarten BALADAR.....btw he speaks of himself in third-person....is sent to school with a pinned note showing his stats "My Intelligence is a 7!" and that 1st day is rough. "BALADAR wants a juice-box! BALADAR wants a nap!" After describing BALADARs various foibles, and laughing for a good half hour at this piece of group fiction, I HAD to name my next PC BALADAR.

We started this new game as 1st level nobodies in a desert seaport. As a group we decided that we didn't want an "urban" campaign and would rather get out of BFE (if you don't know this one......consider yourself fortunate to not have lived there). We didn't have much money between us and figured that it would be much better to get paid to travel to somewhere else instead of the alternative. Working as a caravan guard seemed easy enough, all we had to do was secure employment. BALADAR took off with our Sorcerer.....basically our most Charismatic PC to go find a caravan merchant that needed more muscle.

After some effort we finally find a group that could use more manpower but there's a hitch. The caravan matron, a large attractive-forty-years-ago-maybe, woman has her pick of new guards and why should we be picked up instead of another group? The Sorcerer pitches our abilities.....having a Cleric and Sorcerer as well as a couple of fighters (one was actually a thief, but why mention that?) could prove useful, but to no avail. In what I'm sure is a bit of the GM fucking with the player, the Matron would much rather get a little kick-back in the form of being "serviced", by the Sorcerer. The desert can get cold and lonely at night, after all......

Now these little side discussions between NPCs and PCs were rather common in Rob's games to begin with, and usually not held at the table, so those not actively involved rarely pay much attention. Hell my PC isn't even actively involved....he's just "there" off to the side, but I am trying to listen in the best I can.

So here we have, in-character, some old-fashioned straight-up sexual harassment Quid Pro Quo. Can't get much worse, right? Well the Sorcerer decides instead of taking one for the team, or declining outright....., he'll go ahead and pimp out my PC instead. Wait, what?

He does the old, "My buddy at the bar wants this on his tab.....*waves at guy to get him to nod and/or wave back*" trick and this part I completely fell for 'cause I didn't hear the lead-in. The GM has me enter the conversation and explains that not only did the Sorcerer explain that BALADAR was more than happy to "service" the Matron, my acknowledgement from across the room was considered binding. 

Again....wait, what?

Of course the Sorcerer has hightailed it and BALADAR isn't going anywhere until the deed it done, as it were. This is when I had what I thought was an epiphany....BALADAR wasn't a 1st level Fighter, he was a 1st level Cleric. I have just the spell for this occasion (I hope at least one of you sees where I'm going...): Command.

Command (Enchantment/Charm)
Level: 1    Components: V   Range: 1"    Casting Time: 1 segment   Duration: 1 round    Saving Throw: Special   Area of Effect: One creature
Explanation/Description: This spell enables the cleric to issue a command of a single word. The command must be uttered in a language which the spell recipient is able to understand. The individual will obey to the best of his/her/its ability only so long as the command is absolutely clear and unequivocal, i.e. "Suicide!" could be a noun, so the creature would ignore the command. A command to "Die!" would cause the recipient to fall in a faint or cataleptic state for 1 round, but thereafter the creature would be alive and well. Typical command words are: back, halt, flee, run, stop, fall, fly, go, leave, surrender, sleep. rest, etc. Undead are not affected by a command. Creatures with intelligence of 13 or more, and creatures with 6 or more hit dice (or experience levels) are entitled to a saving throw versus magic. (Creatures with 13 or higher intelligence and 6 hit dice/levels do not get 2 saving throws!)

BALADAR casts Command: Orgasm Yeah, suck it GM! I got over on your little machinations, anc screw that other player too!

Should work, right?

Yeah......no. That spell block above...that's for 1st Edition D&D, which was what I was used to. D&D 3.5 run the spell a bit differently...d'oh!

Command

Enchantment (Compulsion) [Language-Dependent, Mind-Affecting]

Level:Clr 1
Components:V
Casting Time:standard action
Range:Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target:One living creature
Duration:1 round
Saving Throw:Will negates
Spell Resistance:Yes

You give the subject a single command, which it obeys to the best of its ability at its earliest opportunity. You may select from the following options.

Approach

On its turn, the subject moves toward you as quickly and directly as possible for 1 round. The creature may do nothing but move during its turn, and it provokes attacks of opportunity for this movement as normal.

Drop

On its turn, the subject drops whatever it is holding. It can’t pick up any dropped item until its next turn.

Fall

On its turn, the subject falls to the ground and remains prone for 1 round. It may act normally while prone but takes any appropriate penalties.

Flee

On its turn, the subject moves away from you as quickly as possible for 1 round. It may do nothing but move during its turn, and it provokes attacks of opportunity for this movement as normal.

Halt

The subject stands in place for 1 round. It may not take any actions but is not considered helpless.

If the subject can’t carry out your command on its next turn, the spell automatically fails

So now I'm fucked, literally?

We get back to the game table and the GM explains to the other players what happened and how bad I failed to thwart the Sorcerer's manipulation. Good news though! We can still take our place as caravan guards for this trip since BALADAR stayed true to his "word" and made sure the Caravan Matron was "pleased" with her hiring decision.

Yeah........not sure if I was more pissed or disappointed. I know I'm an adult and if it really bothered me I could have shot a proverbial flare up and waved the bullshit flag. I got worked over and thought I could flip the script through creative spell use, but nope. I'm not sure how this scenario was supposed to have gone, not sure how I would've gotten revenge either, but that's because it was all too much for BALADAR.

He died in out very 1st combat encounter. Since 3.5 isn't exactly thought of as an overly deadly game I'm thinking he died of shame, it just took a while for the dice to come around to do their part.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Kickstarter - Magic and Shit: Weird Fantasy for Your OSR RPGs

I must admit I've been remiss in my Kickstarter coverage of new projects, so there are now a few in the hopper. The first one I'm looking at is Magic and Shit: Weird Fantasy for Your OSR RPGs by Levi Combs.

10 bucks for the PDF, 15 for the Print plus PDF.

Levi has been active in the OSR for years, so let's see what his latest project is all about.

Following up on the success of our RPG zines The Phylactery and The Phylactery 2, Planet X Games is stoked to bring you an all-new, all-different zine dedicated to weird fantasy magical items and artifacts with a heavy metal vibe. Magic and Shit is a cover-to-cover 48-page, saddle-stitched, 5.5-inch by 8.5-inch B&W printed zine with a bad ass color cover by Planet X favorite (and consumate, lifelong metalhead) Lawrence Hernandez. Like all of our zines, this poser-free fanzine is stacked with a ton of new plug-n-play content that you can drop directly into your fantasy role playing games. No rambling charts or useless page-filler to suck up space - just our usual grindhouse-style content infused with some denim and leather love for the 70s-80s metal scene.

 The magical items in this zine have been designed to bring something a little weird and altogether new to your campaign, while still giving a knowing nod to the games of yore that we all love and remember so fondly. What will your players do when confronted with the Mummified Hand of Gilly Yonder? Dare they slip on the Graveshroud of Nanthos the Black? What the hell is a Corpsehatch Seed? Dare they summon the dread powers of the Moaning Head of St Barach?

This zine is full of surprises and all-new takes on magical treasures to keep your players guessing. Will they partake of the Blood of the Bol-Gatha and harness the power of the Faceless One? Will they read aloud the Screed of Black Lore and gain the powers of darkness for themselves? Perhaps a villain is in possession of the Ossuary of Yeth and its only a matter of time before the players find themselves at the mercy of howling demons from the great beyond? With options galore, there's a hundred ways to make this zine a staple at your tabletop game. 


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 162 subscribers.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Virtual Gary Con Notifies Attendees of Need to be ID'ed via Video / VoiP Chat Prior to Attending Convention After Purchasing Badges (Updated)

Imagine my surprise when I was pinged by a Facebook thread to a new thread in the Gary Con Facebook Community.


My initial assumption was that it was a fake email, but apparently, that is NOT the case, and it was an email sent out on the behalf of Gary Con.

The concern from many attendees, registered and potential, was that the vetting was possibly going to be on political ground, but it was later clarified that the vetting of potentially thousands of attendees was to weed out one asshole. An asshole that committed an offense at last year's Virtual Gary Con and apparently was already known to convention staff.

Edit 2335 1/22/2021: I've conversed directly with Luke Gygax, and he has updated me with the following:
ID buyer to badge so right person has right badge.  Link badge to Discord ID to help lost players get to right GM.  Verify is VOIP or webcam.  No interview or vet process.  No time or desire to do that. Just like a badge check in.

Second purpose is to help deter bad actors and ban those that are proven bad actors from future events.  The rules are con policies and thats been the case for years.  So nothing new there.  Gamers are good people by and large but any big group may have some bad actors and it’s a responsibility to take prudent action to deter, dissuade and limit those bad actions.
I've included some relevant screenshots from the thread below, but I'll make my observations known here:
This is simply a horrible implementation of a vetting policy. It sounds like someone on the Gary Con Staff realized late last night they may get trolled again by last year's bad actor, and this was the solution they came up with. Registration for the convention opened in late 2020, and this policy should have been in place BEFORE anyone put their dollars down for badges.

The argument that picking up your badge at a physical convention is your vetting process does not hold water. I doubt everyone manning the badge table during the usual early convention mad-rush is matching badges to faces. No one is being asked for ID in my expereince.

If you have a bad actor at a physical convention at your game table, the GM needs to get support staff and have the person removed. At a virtual convention, you simply boot the bad actor from your VTT. 

Not every attendee has access to internet speed high enough to effectively transmit video. Is that now a requirement to attend a virtual convention? 

The man-hours required to implement this for thousands of attendees, as well as the joy of scheduling such interviews, is more than daunting. 

In the future, are we going to be asked for ID and to pay for background checks before attending a physical convention? 

All of this drama, disruption, and annoyance of your community to weed out one bad actor? I don't know what their offense was, but to take action like this, at so late a time, makes me suspect that at a physical convention it would have been an arrestable offense. This is literally panic mode. late in the game. Someone dropped a ball and this is the result.

It's very simple to fool the video vetting process - simply have someone else sit in for the video. I suspect it is more likely an innocent person will be denied attendance to the convention than the bad actor will reveal themself.

I agree with weeding out bad actors from convention spaces, but this is not the way to do it.

Obligatory screenshot dump. The original thread is currently locked.



















Deal of the Day - Grand History of the Realms (Forgotten Realms D&D)

The Forgotten Realms can be a fetid mess to figure out as a timeline with all of the products released over the decades. Grand History of the Realms kinda solves that problem, at least through the 3.5 era.

Clocking in at 162 pages, I see this as a trip down memory lane from when I was waist-deep in Forgotten Realms fiction and source material

Normally 9.99 in PDF, until tomorrow morning the Grand History of the Realms can be had for only 4.99.

From the history:

What It Is. The Forgotten Realms is a huge and rambling place. That's no surprise, considering the number of authors and game designers who have added to the Realms over the past decades. At least in theory, all of these stories and events interlock into one cohesive world history (although admittedly sometimes better than others, depending on the extent of the authors and editors' Realms-lore).

With the quantity of products, however, it's often impractical for a single DM to understand the scope of a campaign's history or to understand what's happening at the same time elsewhere in the campaign world. Brian James made it possible by creating one massive and coherent timeline of the Forgotten Realms' published history, listing dates and events from every single Realms product published by TSR and Wizards of the Coast. The amount of work and attention to detail needed to pull this off somewhat boggles the mind, but the results are delightful for fans of the setting.

 It's particularly effective to see this history collected in chronological order because the Realms' rich history has a variety of ways to count years in its calendar. There's Present Reckoning, Dalereckoning, Northreckoning, the Shou calendar, the Netheril Year, the Aryselmalyr calandar, and the Roll of Years (Year of the Cauldron, Year of the Bent Blade, Year of the Starving, and so on.) Tracking what happens at what time isn't easy for DMs who set their game there. This book solves that challenge neatly.

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
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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Free OSR - Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Game (1999)


The Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Game from 1999 is an often forgotten piece of D&D / TSR history. Sitting somewhere between AD&D 2e and the D&D Rules Cyclopedia, it avoids character generation by presenting character folders. I understand what it was attempting with its approach - lowing the entry bar for new players. It just doesn't quite feel right.

In any case, why don't you peek for yourself, as The Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Game is available for the price of Free. :)

Tip of the hat to Epi!

The classic game of fantasy returns with a new look and approach for a new generation. You control the action. You create the story. You use your imagination to enter a world of mythological monsters, heroic knights, and magical spells. You take on the role of a brave warrior, sly thief, crusading priest, or powerful wizard. You become the Dungeon Master, making the adventure come alive!

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 162 subscribers. 


Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Deal of the Day - Bone Age (OSR)


One of the things I love about the OSR is the ability to mix and match from the various rulesets without breaking anything. Rulesets that are genre or setting specific are great resources for use with other systems. Bone Age is an excellent resource for other OSR games if you don't want to use its ruleset.

Normally 10 bucks in PDF, until tomorrow morning, Bone Age is on sale for a mere 3 bucks.

The Bone Age is an old-school RPG of neolithic-era tribes struggling against the sudden arrival of bug-eyed aliens. You play a Tuzanian, a tribe of jungle-dwelling, vine-swinging, pterodactyl-riding, bone-wielding savages, or a Cruach, giant-crab riding cave-dwellers living in mountains bordering the jungle. Radiation leaked from the Invaders' crashed flying saucers spreads on winds of purple, blue, and white, mutating the land and its inhabitants. Meanwhile, a race of turtle-apes and ape-turtles sleeping in stasis beneath the surface awoke...1,000,000 years later than planned. And they were not impressed by the native population – or the alien Invaders.

The Bone Age isn't based on a specific OSR system, but comparisons can be drawn to Swords & Wizardry, Labyrinth Lord, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, and Dungeon Crawl Classics. The base mechanic uses a d20 where higher rolls are better than low rolls, and works in a similar fashion to the way saving throws and attacks work in Labyrinth Lord. Thus, an ability might be expressed as 12+, meaning you want to roll a 12 or higher on a d20. Placing the target number in the hands of the players means they get the thrill of shouting "My attack hits!" or the agony of lamenting "I failed my mutation roll," as opposed to the Game Master setting a secret Difficulty Class.

The Bone Age uses a class & level system, with levels maxing out at 10. While most of game mechanics in The Bone Age will seem familiar, there are some things that stand out in contrast to many other games. The most important is the concept of Attunement. The land of The Bone Age – called Kalsentia – is itself a living entity, and the creatures that inhabit it can develop a spiritual connection to various geographic regions. These regions are represented by hexes on a map. If you are attuned to a hex, you function more effectively in it. You can attempt to attune to new regions, but you risk the wrath of the land if you offend it – rock slides, earthquakes, and floods are just some of the signs that you have angered Kalsentia.The land is brutally hot. The north is dry, the south is humid. Many regions see rain only once per solar cycle.

Some bullet points of interest:

With the exception of the PCs and NPCs, The Bone Age harbors no terran life forms; no horses, no dogs, no bumblebees, no bats, no platypuses.

The methods necessary to create metal have not been discovered.

The bones of ancient creatures litter the landscape. Bone is thus a resource used for a variety of tools, including weapons.

Three alien ships crashed on the planet one solar cycle ago. Radiation leaks from those ships continues to be carried by the wind, infecting the land and its inhabitants with horrible mutations. The aliens are collectively called the Invaders. 

Advanced technology has been pilfered from Invader ships and Invader dead. Wise men and women have attempted to understand the strange items, to varying degrees of success. Player-characters will discover Invader tech in various states of repair. The use of these items can be unpredictable, wondrous, and dangerous.

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 162 subscribers. 


Tuesday, January 19, 2021

News - Saddle-stitch to be Discontinued at OneBookShelf / DriveThruRPG


I got this email yesterday and talked about it on last night's podcast, but it's important enough to both publishers and their customers that I felt I needed to share it here too.

From DriveThruRPG:

Dear publishers, 

Our printer, Lightning Source, has informed us that they will be discontinuing saddle-stitch printing very soon. The format will no longer be available as of March 1, 2021. We apologize for this change; we realize it is happening without much notice and have voiced our concern with Lightning Source. They have determined the format is not profitable, however, and they cannot continue to support it.

For those publishers who currently have saddle-stitch titles, you will need to convert your title to perfect-bound and, where necessary, add blank pages to reach the minimum allowable size of 18 pages. 

However, currently our site automatically treats premium color books under 49 pages in length as saddle-stitch. We are in the process of updating to handle any premium color book of 18 pages or more as perfect bound. Once we have made that change in our site code, we will let you know so that you can begin uploading your conversions of previously saddle-stitch titles to perfect-bound.

In the meantime, you might also decide to update your premium color saddle-stitch titles to perfect-bound standard color, which can be uploaded now to our site.

If your saddle-stitch title has pages the customer would remove from the book, or has so few pages that adding blank pages to get to the 18-page minimum size for perfect-bound does not seem an ideal option, you might also consider converting your title to use card tiles, card sheets, or even a mini-poster instead of a book. See our Publisher Knowledgebase (https://onebookshelfpublisherservice.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/227867627-Printed-Card-Formats-Costs) for more information on those formats.

Yours, 

OneBookShelf Publisher Relations

Link to the Tavern Chat Podcast Episode on Anchor

Link to the Tavern Chat Podcast Episode on YouTube

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 162 subscribers. 


Monday, January 18, 2021

New Kickstarter Scam - Cloning a Current Indiegogo Project (but the tells are damn telling)

This isn't a scam I had seen before, and I'm kinda surprised by that. I actually stumbled across this with a suggested YouTube video while watching YouTube. I guess Google knows me well at this point ;)

Here's the video in question:


Here's the long story short. Vinnie Tartamella is an independent comic book creator that has 5 prior projects under his belt at Indiegogo. His latest, Shadow of the Kraken is currently funding on Indiegogo. The project launched at least 15 days ago, so around January 3rd, 2021, judging from the oldest comment on the page. Note, Vinnie's location comes up as Weston, United States.

On January 9th, 2021, Shadow of the Kraken launches on Kickstarter. Now, the Kickstarter account is named "Vinnie", but the account owner is Sergey Erentsenov.
Where is Sergey from? Almaty, Kazakhstan.


Something is rotten in Kazakhastan I think.

Now, is there ANY likelihood of the Kickstarter clone of Shadow of the Kraken funding, thus defrauding the 5 backers (of which I am one, in for a buck). None whatsoever, as Kickstarter is an "all or nothing" funding platform. What is sad, and telling, is that the creator of the above video reached out to Kickstarter, and they saw nothing wrong.


I'll be sharing this post with Kickstarter. I expect a similar automated response.

Now, just as an FYI, the Kickstarter page copies the Indiegogo page word for word, except for the Risks and Challenges section, as Indiegogo doesn't have such. It appears Fake Vinnie used our very own long time Kickstarter Scammer Whitless Whitman to write it:



Kickstarter scams in 2021: a new year, a new scam, and an indifferent Kickstarter, as usual.

Update - 1/20/2021 - The project is suspended on Kickstarter

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Sunday, January 17, 2021

From Fever Dream to Initial Thoughts on New Disease

 

From Fever Dream to Initial Thoughts on New Disease
[I'm recovering from what I assume is a bad cold/light flu....NOT COVID....doubt I'll even get tested at this point, and last night I didn't have much of a temperature, but I did have one.....and this post comes straight out of my dreams last night.]

Rarely do I dream about gaming, and even then it's a pretty one-sided affair, like I'm dreaming about being in a game (as a player slinging dice) or I'm dreaming in-character. Last night I had the same dream over & over, but from different viewpoints. The result was an odd stream-of-consciousness that I think was about a HackMaster game, but the reasons for that should be apparent.

Starting from a player perspective there was one player at the table that had the hots for the woman playing a female druid at the table. He wanted to force her PC to fall in love with him, er his Sorcerer PC (yes, it was as creepy as that sound like) and created some magical potion that would do the trick. At this point another female Druid, this was the in-character mother of the would-be victim, discovered the ruse and was all, "Over her dead body". That phrase was a bit off, but I remember it clearly. So this older Druid performs some ritual that twists the magic of the potion so it doesn't work, but it has an unexpected side affect.

The younger Druid drinks the potion and appears to get rather sick, looking a little gaunt. The symptoms fade quickly enough and the Sorcerer, and player, leaves the group before his plans get out.....evidently the older Druid did not just out the guy, which would have made more sense to me. What isn't discovered is that the potion has a nasty side affect that remains hidden until the Druid changes into an animal form. Instead of changing into an expected form the Druid becomes an undead abomination that is an amalgamation of undead and lycanthrope. What's worse is that this state is transmittable through bite or claw attacks. The Druid is able to shape-shift back to human form, but her victims......they're stuck in this undead state.

This new disease, commonly referred to as Zycanthropy, starts off slowly at first and is confined to a single game world. Soon though PCs start getting affected and these PCs are taken to tournaments (why I think this is a HackMaster game) and the infection spread through the greater gaming community. Some game worlds the infection is recognized early and eradicated, but in others.....it just takes over. One issue is that Zycanthropy creates these pseudo-undead, but in doing so it usually severs the connection Clerics have with their Gawds, so higher-level Cure Disease spells are just about non-existent.

Zycanthropy is just decimating the gaming industry as game world after game world falls to this plague. Patient Zero and her home group hops from game table to game table trying to find the Sorcerer that created the original potion. They do end up getting to the right game table/game world, but this world is one the verge of being completely overrun by Zycanthropes. The Sorcerer is unrecognizable as he's some sort of Vampire now, but he's been working on a cure ever since he got infected. The cure is finished, and it works, but there is a big drawback in that it turns you fully Human (even of you were another race before infection) and if you get re-infected that infection is fatal. Doesn't sound terrible, but if you're the under 1% of humanity of a world of Zycanthropes......you're pretty fucked.

My dream kind of ends there. Actually it generally restarts and shows things from another perspective, or just re-hashes aspects already covered.

Zycanthrophy: A disease in which the affected become an racial-undead hybrid which is based on their level. For example a 1st level Elf affected by Zycanthrophy would appear extremely gaunt and skeletal, where upon approaching 2nd level their appearance becomes much more ghoul-like. Infection sets in if a creature loses 1/2 of their hit points to a Zycanthropes natural attacks (claw/claw/bite for 1d2/1d2/1d3).

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Core Books Available for the Blind and Print Disabled

I've been involved in many discussions regarding making gaming material available for those that are blind or visually impaired. It just so happens that Rach is legally blind and as such accessible gaming material for the visually impaired has been of interest to me.

Most RPGs are available in PDF format, and thus can be read by computers or tablets and the print can be enlarged, or used by "readers" that many blind or visually impaired members of our community use, but WotC does not release any of its 5e material in PDF format, thus severely limiting the access to the world's most popular RPG.

Or so I thought. I stand corrected, as it was pointed out in the Thursday Night Hangout on The Tavern's Discord Server that there WAS a version of the 5e Player's Handbook for the visually impaired. I did a bit more research and found all three core books are available (as well as a 1980 version of D&D Basic ;)

NLS produces Dungeons & Dragons core books in navigable audio

core books in navigable audioIf you’ve ever attacked a cave full of Orcs with your Vorpol Sword, right after losing 12 Hit Points that lowered your Strength score (which you mitigated with a Cure Wounds spell), you might already know the fun of playing Dungeons & Dragons—D&D to its fans.

Because it’s a role-playing game, a shared experience between a Dungeon Master who describes events and players who describe how they want their characters to respond, D&D is an ideal game for players with visual impairments.

“At its heart, it’s about using your imagination,” said Megan McArdle, an NLS senior selection librarian. So it makes sense for NLS to make D&D books accessible for its patrons.

“I checked our holdings,” McArdle said, “and saw that even though we had not updated it since we did it back in the 1980s, the D&D Basic Rule Book by Gary Gygax still got a respectable number of downloads on BARD,” the NLS Braille and Audio Reading Download website.

Clearly, the demand was there for NLS to take on a bigger D&D project to address requests from the large community of visually impaired players. So a team formed to update the D&D collection at NLS.

McArdle and Vincent Castellucci, a production control specialist, agreed that NLS should produce all three core Dungeons & Dragons books, starting with the Player’s Handbook (DB 91838).

When NLS released the fifth edition of the format this summer, D&D players were delighted.

“Fantastic to be part of a mainstream gaming community that is making their visually impaired players feel so welcome,” one wrote on the NLS Facebook page.

Another wrote, “I’m not sure I can describe how happy this makes me!”

Two other core D&D books—the Dungeon Master’s Guide (DB 91839) and the Monster Manual (DB 91840)—are also now on BARD.

The project was a complex one for producers and narrators, especially because of the difficulty of accurately replicating a print-book experience for visually impaired readers. One challenge was including descriptions of charts and graphics that are essential to game play. Another was figuring out how to correctly pronounce the name of monsters and magical items, such as the magical mini-submarine in the world of D&D, otherwise known as an Apparatus of Kwalish. For the latter, NLS went to Wizards of the Coast, D&D’s publisher. “They offered to help with pronunciations and provide other primary sources we might need during the recording process,” Castellucci said. “Wizards was very responsive, and even their franchise creative director, Mike Mearls, helped with our producers’ pronunciation questions.”

“As a player, watching these books go through the selection process and being able to add them to NLS’s collection has been very exciting,” Castellucci said.

For McArdle, there was an added bonus. “As I researched what books to get for D&D players,” she said, “it was fascinating to read about the work folks are doing in the arena of making board games accessible.”

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Friday, January 15, 2021

New Classic Print on Demand - Planescape Campaign Setting (2e)

I was a HUGE fan of the Planescape setting back in the day (the mid to late 90s ). Come to think of it, it was probably the last TSR Era setting I truly invested in, both monetarily as well as emotionally. There were just so many adventures laying in that initial boxed set, waiting for one's players to stumble across them. Ah, memories.

WotC has put the Plansecape Campaign Setting back into print as a PDF book. For 17.10 you can snag the softcover print plus PDF, or 21.47 for the hardcover print plus PDF. I may save wear and tear on my boxed set and grab the hardcover. Just a thought :)

Glory? Majesty? You don't know the dark of it!

Discover the multiverse! Enter infinite universes of infinite variety, worlds beyond the prime-material settings of the AD&D game. Explore Sigil, the City of Doors, filled with portals to every layer of every plane. All you need is the right key, including. . .

  • A Player's Guide to the Planes: A 32-page primer that introduces DMs and players alike to the grand design of the multiverse.
  • A DM's Guide to the Planes: A 64-page book of valuable information solely for the Dungeon Master.
  • Sigil and Beyond: A 96-page gazetteer that introduces Sigil and its surrounding plane as the starting point for planar adventures. From Sigil all the Outer Planes may be sampled by novice and veteran explorers alike.
  • Monstrous Supplement: a 32-page, full-color Monstrous Compendium booklet.
  • Four poster-size maps depicting the planes.
  • A four-panel DM screen designed especially for planar campaigns.

Until now, only the most powerful wizards could peek into the magnificent multiverse, but no longer! Gone are the unimaginable distances and the insurmountable obstacles that only the ultrapowerful could hope to overcome. Now even the greenest adventurer can enter the planes, though surviving long is another matter . . . .

Have at it, berk! Powers, proxies, planars, petitioners, and wondrous monsters await just beyond the portal. Step through and partake of the infinite excitement of Planescape.

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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