Friday, April 30, 2021

Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea 3rd Edition FAQ


The following was originally shared by Jeff Talanian here:

What makes it a Third Edition?

Posted by Ghul 

Greetings HYPERBOREA friends,

This list is intended to provide you with a decent idea of what is different about the Third Edition of HYPERBOREA. This list is not intended to be exhaustive; rather, it's a sort of highlights list of what is being changed. I plan to update this post as time allows. I won't for example, list things like a spell's range changed from 30 feet to 60 feet. This list is intended to show the more significant alterations; the Cliffs Notes version if you would.

Physical Changes

- Two hardback set (same Smyth sewn binding, high-quality paper)

- Possibly a slipcase as an add-on. It's being quoted for.

- Map reworked by Glynn Seal and to be presented in atlas format and special poster version.

- New layout, fonts, etc.

- Indexes in both books.

Branding

- Simplifying the branding and naming to HYPERBOREA, but "Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea" remains part of the scheme and is shown as a back cover subtitle.

People

- The game has been revised by the author.

- Editing by George Sedgwick.

- New cover art painted by Charles Lang (both books).

- Interior colour plates by Charles Lang, David Miller, Peter Mullen, and Val Semeiks (with Daisey Bingham)

- 26 new character illustrations by Diogo Nogueira.

- Chapter frame art by Del Teigeler.

- Gynn Seal has recoloured the map.

- More to be announced!

Content

- Cataphract new ability: shield sacrifice.

- Huntsman new ability: harvest venom.

- Paladin: Introduction of the fell paladin, LE version of the paladin. Also, cleric scroll reading ability at 7th level. High wisdom now grants bonus spells.

- Ranger now has scroll reading ability at 7th level. High wisdom now grants bonus druid spells cast per day, high intelligence grants bonus magician spells cast per day. 

- Illusionist new ability: coloured globe.

- Witch brew decoction ability simplified and expanded. Also, certain detection spells can be cast through familiar.

- Monk has a decent overhaul to the entire class. It is the most changed class for 3E.

- Shaman new ability: harvest venom. Also, spells per day slightly improved.

- Assassin new ability: harvest venom.

- Bard spells per day slightly improved.

- Scout new abilities: disguise (like assassin) and run (like monk).

- 12 new playable character races (Anglo-Saxon, Carolingian Frank, Esquimaux-Ixian, Greek, Lapp, Lemurian, Moor, Mu, Oon, Roman, Tlingit, Yakut).

- Languages: More available languages available.

- Several new spells.

- Sorcerer types can learn a known spell from another caster type’s spellbook, so long as it is on their list of learnable spells. For example, an illusionist can copy an invisibility spell from a magician’s spellbook, but he can’t copy a magic missile spell, because that contains proprietary language. However, we separate thaumaturgical sorcery from ecclesiastical sorcery. So, a druid can copy a detect magic spell from a cleric’s prayer book, but he can’t do the same from a witch’s spellbook. 

- Characters need not memorize the regular spell or its reversed form; rather, they can decide at the last moment to invert the incantation and thus cast its reversible form. We have so many examples of spells in which the caster is deciding which version of the spell is being cast, and I realize resource management is part of the allure of a game like this, but I don’t see why a cleric can’t elect to use cause moderate wounds on a whim instead of cure moderate wounds, and so forth. 

- Scroll-using characters can now invoke a scroll that is on their spell list, as long as it was not created by one who practices the opposite form of magic, which we are defining as thaumaturgic sorcery (magicians and subclasses) and ecclesiastic sorcery (clerics and druids), so a magician can indeed use a fireball scroll created by a pyromancer, and vice versa.

- Streamlined combat system (no more phases).

- New monsters.

- New magic items.

- And more!

All of the above shows you why it is a "3E" yet the game remains backwards compatible. I'll be revealing more in the coming weeks. Thanks for your interest!

- Jeffrey Talanian


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 affiliate programs that support The Tavern.  You can catch the daily Tavern Chat podcast on AnchorYouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar


Thursday, April 29, 2021

Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea 3rd Edition is Coming in June to Kickstarter (The Talking Crit Livestream)

Neither Bad Mike nor myself were informed of any of the following in advance. When Jeff announced that Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea's 3rd edition was not only currently in the works but likely Kickstarting in early June, we were as surprised as our Talking Crit live audience.

I did, however, quickly open up Pages on my desktop and took a few quick notes. Further details are, needless to say, in the Livestream.

Here's the summary I was able to make:

ASSH to likely be renamed Hyperborea. Simpler name. Easier branding. Tastes great. Less filling ;)

The new edition will be split into 2 core books.

There will be a new cover and new interior art, including full-color plates. A number of artists were mentioned. Val Semeiks & Del Tiegler were two names I recall, but there were many others.

There will be 26 new class illustrations - 4 core classes and 22 subclasses.

New chapter frames/art

The goal is an early June Kickstarter, but this is subject to change.

1st level adventure by David Prada (add on available on the Kickstarter)

Future projects:

2 other adventures - one written by Johnathan Bingham and the other by Ben Ball , who also wrote Beneath the Comet)

Again, further details are in the video below. Jeff also spoke about Castle Zagyg (and working with Gary Gygax), how AS&SH came to be, heavy metal, Conan, H.P. Lovecraft, and more. 

The Talking Crit Livestream is every Wednesday Night at 8 PM Eastern.

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 affiliate programs that support The Tavern.  You can catch the daily Tavern Chat podcast on AnchorYouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Deal of the Day - Sly Flourish's Fantastic Locations (System Neutral)

I've been intrigued by the Sly Flourish line of supplements for a while now. I used to think they were all about the hype, but I've had a number of old school (and newer school) gaming friends speak highly of the various releases in the line. And while "going Platinum" doesn't guarantee a quality product, coupled with good word of mouth, I think I'll be picking up Sly Flourish's Fantastic Locations in PDF as a resource to use at my gaming table. Normally 15 bucks in PDF, until tomorrow morning Sly Flourish's Fantastic Locations in PDF is a mere 6 bucks.

We RPG game masters have a lot of tools to help us run our roleplaying games. Our monster books and bestiaries give us piles of foes to throw at our adventurers. The various guides for game masters often give us non-player characters, treasures, and story-building tips.

One of the hardest parts of game mastering, however, is coming up with interesting adventure locations for our characters to explore. These locations need to be fantastic, detailed places that capture the minds of our players every session we run. Good locations are hard to improvise and often hard to strip out of a fully-fleshed-out adventure.

Sly Flourish’s Fantastic Locations is a book, available in PDF and print-on-demand, that gives you twenty system-agnostic locations to drop into your favorite fantasy roleplaying game. Each location builds on a fantastic theme, such as a mysterious ancient structure under the ice, a cursed castle of a mad king, a fallen celestial fortress, and a dwarven mine that cracked into the tomb of a dead god. Each location includes artwork by Brian Patterson of D20Monkey. Sometimes this artwork takes the form of maps. Sometimes it's an overlook of a specific location.

These sites and structures aren’t full adventures. Instead, you and your players build your own stories in these fantastic locations, then you populate them with the monsters that fit your story.

Thanks to the support of 779 backers on Kickstarter this book was expanded to include a total of twenty locations each with full color artwork.

This book is system agnostic. You can use it in just about any fantasy roleplaying game.

Please note that this book does not contain maps for these locations. This was done on purpose to give you greater flexibility choosing the chambers you wanted to use for shorter or longer games. If you want to tie these locations to maps, I highly recommend the free maps available by Dyson Logos. He has thousands of maps available, many of which fit the themes of the locations in this book.

 

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 affiliate programs that support The Tavern.  You can catch the daily Tavern Chat podcast on AnchorYouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

I Legitimately Rolled 2 18's on 3d6 on Saturday Night - If You Call Roll20 "Legitimate" ;)

I've heard it said there is something not quite "kosher" with the Roll20 Diceroller. I do recall many a Roll20 session where Tim Shorts, he of Gothridge Manor, couldn't stop rolling 1's, be it on a D20 or a D6. It was so bad it was comical. Sorry, Tim ;)

This past Saturday night I was involved in a playtest of Greg Christopher's Ambition & Avarice 2nd Edition RPG. It's very much OSR and I still have my first edition printing of the rules, but I digress. Due to my serious lack of planning as I headed to The Poconos for the weekend, I didn't have the proper charger for my laptop, and I knew my time in session would be limited.

Rolled my first character. His total modifiers were negative 3 (with only one positive modifier), and by the rulebook, he was not a keeper.

Rolled my second character. No stats with a bonus, the total modifier was negative 1. Greg told me to reroll.

Right out of the gate I knew something was different:

17, 15, 18, 18, 16, 8

On 3d6 

I could have taken the rolls in order and Charisma would have been my dump stat, but as I was playing a Ranger, I figured I needed some kind of handicap, and as many of the Ranger's talents are Wisdom based, that is where the 8 went.

On a side note, I'm enjoying the A&A playtest, uber stats not-withstanding. ;)

It is very much a sandbox-style game, and I plan to do a session report after my next session of play, when my dying laptop won't be giving me an untimely end to my game session...

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 affiliate programs that support The Tavern.  You can catch the daily Tavern Chat podcast on AnchorYouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar





Monday, April 26, 2021

Tenkar's Tavern YouTube Channel Recap for the Week of April 18th -April 24th, 2021


As there has been an interest in a recap of the Tenkar Tavern's YouTube Channel for the blog-side, this will be the first of what should be a weekly roundup of seven days worth of YouTube episodes. Note, these are not transcripts, merely a paragraph or so summary, and if you desire a deeper delve, the relevant video episode will be linked below. Hopefully, the information included herein will suffice for some. If you do watch any of the videos, I kindly ask that you subscribe to the channel. It helps more than your know. - Tenkar

April 18th, 2021 - Far West Fiasco - Gareth Skarka, Icon of Lies, Deception & Broken Promises

I missed a Far West Kickstarter update from February 2021, not on the Kickstarter page, but on the Far West website. Suffice to say, more words, with nothing to back them up. Nearly two years since there was an official update on the Far West Kickstarter page. Covered in large part at this blog post from the same day here at The Tavern.

April 19th, 2021 - Was D&D 50 Years Old on April 17? Maybe...

"According to Dave Arneson's Corner of the Table newsletter, Vol. III, #4"

"There will be a medevil "BRAUNSTEIN" April 17, 1971 at the home of David Arneson from 1500 hrs to 2400 hrs with refreshments being available on the usual basis. Players may come at any time and any number are welcome to attend what should prove to be an exciting time.  It will feature mythical creatures and a poker game under the Troll's bridge between sunup and sundown."

There have been people lining up and taking sides for years, as to whether Dungeons & Dragons owes more to Dave than to Gary, or visa-versa. My feeling is that without either, we'd never have the game, industry, or hobby that we now have. Dave had the imagination and Gary had the vision, and without both, we wouldn't have Dungeons & Dragons.

April 20th, 2021 - Ken Whitman Hit with a Copyright Claim by Ed Kramer? (Yes, THAT Ed Kramer) Say it Ain't So, Ken!

So, Ken Whitman, AKA Whit Whitman, wrote and directed a movie called The Whittler, but of course he left his name off of all promotional material. Apparently written back in 2005, there was a copyright claim filed by Ed Kramer of Dragon Con fame (and a former roommate of Ken's)

Kenny has been pushing his "creative move maker" side for a while now. With The Whittler, starring some former pro wrestler I never heard of, Kenny hit the Big Time. Sort of. Initially, The Whittler was available on Amazon video for purchase or rental, but it appears the copyright claim by Ed Kramer (a convicted child molester) led to the removal of said movie from the Amazon store.

It should be noted that in the case of The Whittler Movie Premiere in Wise Virginia Kickstarter, only $525 of the 2,576 raised (of the $2500 goal) can be accounted for from the public pledges.

April 21st, 2021 - Talking Crit LiveStream with Ben Barsh of Pacesetter Games

Bad Mike (of NTRPG Con Fame) and Tenkar are joined by Ben Barsh of Pacesetter Games. We talk in general about Kickstarters (do's and don'ts), specifically about Pacesetter's Endless Encounters: Dungeons a 5th Edition & B/X Adventure Generator, and also do some quick summaries of the latest Far West and Ken "Whit" Whitman drama.

April 22nd, 2021 - Forums Begat Blogs, Which Begat Podcasts, Which Begat Vidcasts, Which Begat...

I talk about the history of media in the digital age in the world of OSR Gaming, and specifically address how I (Tenkar) have participated in such over the years, my participation in forums, my inspiration to start The Tavern's Blog, my history of podcasting and why I kicked off the Tavern Chat solo podcast and later why I started  The Tavern's YouTube Channel.

Thus this blogpost. My attempt, of sorts, to close the circle, and ensure that all of the content from the spoken side, is available on the written side. Definitely not word for word, but at least to the point that you have enough of a summary to decide if you want to listen to the relevant episode. If not, you have the elevator pitch of a summary ;)

April 23rd, 2021 - Iron Rations with JoetheLawyer & Tenkar  

Live from Connecticut (Joe) and The Poconos of NE PA (Tenkar). Danke the Dachshund makes an appearance. They talk about Critical Role and similar types of shows, and argue over whether such shows bring new players into the gaming hobby, if the expectations the new players come in with are accurate, and more. Very much a sandbox-styled episode.

April 24th, 2021 - Gamer's Health with Rach & Tenkar

Rach and I are back with another weekly livestream, this time from The Poconos. We discuss the importance of weekend getaways for one's mental health, the emotions I felt simply after shopping at Walmart, the challenges one faces when on vacation and trying to maintain good eating and exercise habits, and more.

Yep, we use "adult language" on The Tavern's Youtube Channel. Go figure ;)

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 affiliate programs that support The Tavern.  You can catch the daily Tavern Chat podcast on AnchorYouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar


Sunday, April 25, 2021

I've Discovered my Spiritual Successor to Baldur's Gate

I've Discovered my Spiritual Successor to Baldur's Gate
Confession time: Like a lot of grown-ass men, I'm not a lot of fun when I'm not feeling well and Friday I got my 2nd Covid-19 shot. The side effects are there, I am cognizant of this, and I'll try not to be a whiny bitch this week.

That being said, I'm mildly annoyed with the community after my post a month ago about computer RPG games. Since this is largely an OSR community here at the Tavern I get it though.......this will make sense in a hot minute.

So I mentioned that I've bought Baldur's Gate a couple times now, most recently on Xbox One. I've played it for maybe an hour and I'll just say it: I think the Xbox port sucks major donkey dick. I think some of my veteran brothers know that "major donkey dick" is a quantifiable measurement. I was an idiot and bought this when it 1st came out and now at the price of $18 for BG1 & BG2......I'm not sure it's worthwhile at that price. Now maybe with a keyboard and mouse.....but with a controller? Nope.

Since I knew I was likely to be sick for a couple days I figured I'd hit up the Gamestop to see what I could find and I came across a copy of the "Definitive Edition" of Pathfinder Kingmaker. OK, so it isn't D&D, much less anything close to OSR, BUT it is a surprisingly good table-top RPG on a console. I'm really digging it and finding it so much more enjoyable than Baldur's Gate on the Xbox.

Now, of course the interface is not perfect. There are some occasional things, like group movement changing where I'm trying to figure out what button combo I accidentally pressed to change things. Overall though, it's freaking fantastic. I love, love, LOVE how you can basically create a bunch of hotkeys for each character. Want to use a spell, ability, or even have some equipment at your virtual fingertips....easy-peasy.

After five hours of gameplay....and by five I mean probably more like 25 since time freaking flies while gaming online.....I have lost count of the number of times I was thinking, "I wish these guys would use this engine on Baldur's Gate." Many times I forgot I was playing Pathfinder and the ruleset stuff wasn't as big of a deal. I don't know the Pathfinder rules and my experience in D&D 3.5 was limited, so the rules weren't really that big of a barrier for me.

Pathfinder Kingmaker Screenshot


Yes, I did have to spend much more time reading things to figure out ruleset stuff, but again this is where the interface shined. If I needed a bit of an info-dump it was usually a button click away.

Now I'm only in the beginning of the game with level 4 PCs. I know there is going to be some kingdom-building "stuff" in the game I may or may not like. I was thinking how much it'd suck if I didn't like this aspect of the game, but after looking at the in-game options I can have that stuff automated and concentrate on the adventuring aspects. Actually, there are a TON of options as far as gameplay goes, much more than just tweaking difficulty settings.

The biggest is that you can have real-time combat and traditional turn-based, so you can be more like a "regular" computer game and a "regular" Pathfinder table-top game. Feel free to let the AI run the other PCs and concentrate on your one (main) guy. I haven't tried the AI option yet and try to control everything on my own, which takes up more time. One HUGE improvement over Baldur's Gate is that you can toggle on and off PC auto following, and you can tweak your party formation really easy.

One think I HATED with BG was pausing the game so I could direct each PC to take a specific action and then when you un-pause they do that one thing and then go all Leroy Jenkins on your ass. Ugh. This means I'm always having to pause and un-pause to keep my guys from running off stupid (even when I've tweaked the AI). While I can pause the Pathfinder Kingmaker game, when I do it's usually by accident. Since I'm playing turn-based those PCs move when I tell them to (in combat) and they will keep in formation when out of combat. Unlink the PC movement and I can put each PC where I want and *gasp* THEY STAY THERE!

Clearly I'm enjoying this game and I wanted to share this with the other patrons because....well because this is a game I would have normally passed on by and I'm willing to bet the average OSR-focused Tavern patron would as well. Honestly the biggest reason I picked it up was the fact that Deep Silver worked on it and I've liked every Deep Silver game I've played. Just consider this post a PSA of sorts. 





Saturday, April 24, 2021

Indiegogo -The Folio: Black Label #5 (1E & 5E)

I'm a fan of R Scott Taylor's The Folio series of adventures. Written for AD&D 1e and D&D 5e, you can see Scott's Old School Gaming roots in the writing and the presentation. I'm a huge fan of detachable covers in my gaming books, and The Folio does not disappoint. 

The Folio: Black Label is Scott's "adult line" of adventures, but I see them more are "R" rated. While you probably wouldn't want your pre-teen reading such, as an adult I appreciate the option to do so.

The Folio: Black Label #5 is the latest in the Black Label series of releases, and has just over 24 hours in its funding period as I write this.

The Folio: Black Label series are fantasy adventure modules that are compatible with BOTH classic Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and 5th Edition D&D formats.  Each adventure combines what I enjoyed most from the heady days of of the late 1970s and the 1980s swords & sorcery storytelling. 

The Folio: Black Label #5 continues an adventure path pitting the characters against a demonic slaving nation bound to a cursed ruin called The Burning City.  In this adventure the characters will continue to try to retrieve a stolen noble before she is taken too deep into the demon insect infested 'ash lands' that surround The Burning City for hundreds of miles.  They must brave a slaver camp and then enter the old Temple of the Moon, a long abandoned religious structure that now houses demon insects, fell shaman, and wasteland raiders.

Taking a page from the previous Black Label Trilogy, this one is going to have an even more adult edge than can found in the standard Folio, and yes, there might be some nudity, and maybe some horror, and maybe a twisted quality here or there, but at the base its really just about the unfettered fun of hacking and slashing your way through a pulp style adventure with blatant evil doers, magical treasures, and exposed flesh.  

So, I'm throwing out the standard politically correct playbook, and turning the flux capacitor back to the early days of gaming.  I hope some of you will join me. 

Yep, we use "adult language" on The Tavern's Youtube Channel. Go figure ;)

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 affiliate programs that support The Tavern.  You can catch the daily Tavern Chat podcast on AnchorYouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar

Friday, April 23, 2021

Is There an Audience for a Weekly Blog Post Recap of the Past Week of Content from The Tavern’s YouTube Channel?


There has been some discussion over on The Tavern’s Facebook’s Community that readers of The Tavern’s Blog are missing out on content that is being shared on The Tavern’s YouTube Channel. I do not have a magical solution to such a problem, and duplicating content between the two mediums is not feasible for many reasons, not the least of which is the amount of time needed to make a full accommodation.

I am proposing to do the following. Once a week, probably on Monday, I would put together a blogpost consisting of paragraph or so long recaps of each YouTube episode from the prior week. Along with each paragraph would be a link to the YouTube episode in question.

While no a perfect solution, it would offer a recap and perhaps enough information as to whether or not one would wish to view an episode for a more complete coverage of the topic in question.

As always, your feedback and opinion is important.

Thanks,

Tenkar


Thursday, April 22, 2021

Kickstarter - Endless Encounters: Dungeons (a 5th Edition & B/X Adventure Generator)

I love gaming resources that I can use for inspiration when it comes to creating adventures. The more flavor you can add, the more memorable your adventures will be. I was granted a peek at the first chapter of Endless Encounters: Dungeons as a work in progress (level 1) and I am extremely impressed and psyched. With this and the Tome of Adventure Design in hand, I'll be spending many an evening designing dungeon adventures :)

The old school has returned! Back to the good ol' days of monster hotels and dungeon crawling we go! With this 200+ page supplement for 5e and B/X, you will be able to randomly craft a dungeon to play through in just minutes! Running late for game day? Endless Encounters: Dungeons is there for you. Lacking inspiration while trapped in quarantine? Endless Encounters: Dungeons will light the way. Simply feeling a bit adventurous with your game design? Endless Encounters: Dungeons - yeah, you get it.

Endless Encounters: Dungeons is an adventure generator for characters level 1-8 for the 5th Edition and B/X game systems!

This book is separated into 8 distinct sections. Each section is designed and balanced for characters of that specific level. So, the first section is for 1st level characters, the second section is for 2nd level characters, and so on, until level 8. You may use the level that corresponds with the adventuring party's levels!

Each level adds additional difficultly and complexity. This means more charts and more options. With each level, the story can truly build and expand.

Last night on the Talking Crit Livestream, Bad Mike & I were joined by Ben Barsh of Pacesetter Games and we discussed the Endless Encounters: Dungeons Kickstarter (and many other topics:)

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 affiliate programs that support The Tavern.  You can catch the daily Tavern Chat podcast on AnchorYouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Bundle of Holding - DCC RPG and Lankhmar Bundles by Goodman Games

Bundle of Holding is offering TWO Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG Bundles in PDF format - The DCC RPG Core Rules and Adventures as well as the DCC Lankhmar Boxed Set and further Lankhmar Adventures.

The first bundle, The Dungeon Crawl Classics Starter Collection offers the DCC RPG rulebook, the adventures The Black Heart of Thakulon the Undying & Sailors on the Starless Sea, as well as the DCC Judge's Screen for 14.95

The Bonus Collection, currently at 30 bucks, adds the following adventures to your collection: The Queen of Elfland's Son, Moon-Slaves of the Cannibal Kingdom, The Star Wound of Abaddon, Emirikol Was Framed, Beyond the Black Gate, and Imprisoned in the God-Skull.

The second bundle, The DCC Lankhmar Starter Colection, offers the DCC Lankhmar Boxed Set and Gang Lords of Lankhmar for 14.95

The Bonus Collection, currently a hair over 26 bucks, adds eight supplements and adventures to your collection: The Land of Eight Cities, A Dozen Lankhmar Locations, The Fence's Fortuitous Folly, Acting Up in Lankhmar, Grave Matters, Rats of Ilthmar, Violence for Votishal, and Blasphemy and Larceny in Lankhmar.

Both bundles are at impossible to beat prices.

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 affiliate programs that support The Tavern.  You can catch the daily Tavern Chat podcast on AnchorYouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Deal of the Day - OSR Solo

I've enjoyed solo gaming since the early Endless Quest books. Then there were the Corgi gamebooks and Tunnel & Trolls solos. Throw in a few D&D solo adventures and it's a pretty well-rounded collection.

Today's Deal of the Day is OSR Solo. Normally 3.99 in PDF, until tomorrow morning OSR Solo is on sale for 1.60. So, what is OSR Solo?

These rules are intended to allow you to play an OSR, in this case meaning 0D&D, B/X style games, without a Dungeon Master.

The game you will get using these rules will be a sandbox style adventure, you will not need to do any Dungeon Master [DM] style preparation although having a few stock NPCs or appropriate level would be helpful.

No DM?

The normal cycle of play is that the DM describes the scene and asks what do you do? The players describe their actions. The DM describes the effects of those actions and the cycle repeats.

In solo play there is just the single character and no DM. You start by imagining your character in the game setting and play them through all the social interactions, all the NPCs and events that would normally come up. At some point you will reach a point where you would normally ask your DM for more information. Are there any guards? Are there any ways out? What can you hear? At this point the solo rules come into play. You pitch your question in a Yes/No format. The solo rules will then return an answer to your question much like a Magic 8 Ball toy. It is then down to you and your improv. skills to decide what does this answer mean right now? Often the first thing that comes into your head is the answer to go with.

If you just got yes and no answers things would get boring quite quickly. These rules are designed to throw up twists and turns into your character’s story.

Solo is a perfect way to learn a new game, test your first adventures and going beyond just making characters when you are first getting to know the rules.

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 affiliate programs that support The Tavern.  You can catch the daily Tavern Chat podcast on AnchorYouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar

Monday, April 19, 2021

Castles & Crusades City & Town Megapack Bundle Only 9.99 - Today Only! (OSR)


Castles & Crusades was the system that marked my full-on return to tabletop RPGs. Sure, Warhammer 40k's Dark Heresy introduced me to the Fantasy Grounds VTT, but Castles & Crusades had me playing on a weekly basis. I'm very thankful that Rach was extremely understanding as we courted ;)

Heck, I bought copies of the first printing of the Castles &Crusades Player's Handbook for the members of my old high school & college gaming group, as it reminded me very much of AD&D 1e (and the copies were dirt cheap on Buy.com at the time). Good times.

Where I see Swords & Wizardry as the Rosetta Stone among OSR systems, allowing one to convert between OSR systems fairly seamlessly, I see Castles & Crusades filling a similar role between the OSR and 3.x Dungeons & Dragons. As such, C&C holds a special place in my gaming collection.

The Castles & Crusades City & Town Megapack Bundle offers what it says on the tin - 70 bucks worth of OSR ready cities and towns for your fantasy campaign for just 9.99 in PDF. I'd be all over this IF I didn't already own three out of four in print already. ;) This bundle is far cheaper than any one of these titles would be on their own. (Deal is good until the end of the day, Monday 4/19/21)

You get the following titles for your 9.99:

Castles & Crusades Bluffside City on the Edge ($20)

Castles & Crusades Free City of Eskadia ($18)

Castles & Crusades Heart of Glass ($13.99)

Castles & Crusades Town of Kalas ($18)

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Sunday, April 18, 2021

I Missed a Far West Kickstarter Fiasco Update in February 2021!

Holy fucken shitballs! I had nearly given up on updates on the Far West Kickstarter. Of course, the Kickstarter itself hasn't seen an update since July 15th, 2019. That's sneaking up on two years. At this point, Gareth has CLEARLY qualified himself for a VP position over at Kickstarter with his amazing history of responsibility, timeliness, and truthfulness. I'm sure if he reached out to Luke Crane he could get a few pointers.

So, what actually does Gareth say in the update buried on his Far West website? (note, my commentary is in Orange - Tenkar)

Here we are in 2021.

Ten years. A decade. The original FAR WEST Kickstarter was in 2011. Ten years is a long goddamn time to ask people to wait, I know. (I don't recall being asked, but whatever)

It’s been the hardest decade of my life (its been a hell of a decade for possibly everyone). Professional (challenges like keeping your pen names straight) and personal challenges, like I’d never experienced before. Physical and mental heath crises requiring damn near all of my focus and attention (well, and Twitter. Twitter has consumed nearly ALL of your focus for the last 10 years). The work on FAR WEST definitely suffered   (I doubt much work on Far West actually happened over the past 10 years) You know it. I know it. 

Honestly, I’m all out of apologies. (Apologies need to be meant to have value. I have heard no apologies of value)

2021 is the year where FAR WEST finally gets released. (where have I heard THIS before?) I have not abandoned the project (I have not yet begun to fight! wait, wrong quote). I am finishing it up (where have I heard THAT before) (currently adding some things, suggested by my editors, to various parts of the manuscript, mostly in the final chapter (the Narrator’s chapter). My business partner, Eric Trautmann, has begun layout of the completed chapters. Things are proceeding (if by proceeding, you mean nothing of value has been happening, then yes, things are proceeding). PDFs will go out first to the long-suffering Kickstarter backers, and then will be released commercially, followed by the printed book (again, to backers first, and then wide). (there is NO WAY printed books are happening, not unless the PDF sales are huge. The money is long gone. Gareth has said so)

We will release this year– delays, disasters, pandemics or societal collapse be damned. (somehow, I doubt this statement. No. Really. Is that bad of me, to NOT take Gareth, the icon of honesty, truthfulness, and honor in the gaming industry at his word?)

Home is on the horizon (What, we're not in Kansas anymore?). We’re racing the sunset, but we’re gonna get there.

謝謝你的好意

Gareth-Michael Skarka

Lawrence, Kansas

22 February, 2021

I think I threw up a little bit in my mouth. 

Then we had some comments, and Gareth replied:

Chad S. says:

February 25, 2021 at 11:24 am

Will you commit to releasing the pdf to backers, in whatever state of completion it may happen to be, before the end of 2021?

admin says:

February 25, 2021 at 11:26 am

Yes, without hesitation. (even if that state is Nothing Completed)


Darq says:

March 14, 2021 at 10:54 am

And the long suffering Pre-Orderers who didn’t have the benefit of all the secret “backer only” communications and releases, I hope! (wait! There were Pre-Orders on top of the Kickstarter backers? How much money did Gareth take in on this shell game?)

admin says:

March 14, 2021 at 4:56 pm

That’s one of the reasons why I’ve moved all updates to this site and our social media accounts. (the main reason was inability to remove negative comments from the Kickstarter page)


Michael says:

March 17, 2021 at 11:08 pm

Would those be the social media accounts you blocked people on when they asked once every 4 years for an update? (see? EVERYONE knows the reason)

admin says:

March 18, 2021 at 12:14 pm

Nobody has ever been blocked for asking for updates. Several people have been blocked for being rude jerks. (me love you long time. Feel free to attempt to "punch Tenkar in the throat" big man)


 

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Got Some Unexpected Help Figuring Some Stuff Out

 

Got Some Unexpected Help Figuring Some Stuff Out
We're pretty much all dorks/geeks/nerds here at the Tavern (except for Rach...she's an angel...[I got your back Erik!]).....and I'm willing to bet that most of us goofs like more than just RPGs.

Now I don't consider myself a Star Wars geek, but I do enjoy the films....for the most part. I really didn't care for the last trilogy we got and at the point of coming across as sexist (too late... I opened my mouth so therefor I am wrong) I really didn't care for the character of Rey. My problem though, was I could not tell you why I didn't like Rey, I just didn't. Now I really try not to be some pseudointellectual type and me trying to get up in my head as to why or why not I don't like something really isn't going to work unless I can point to something concrete and obvious......or I have it pointed out to me.

Now the title alone would normally dissuade me from watching the video, but it came up automagically in my cue 'cause I watched something about "Charismatic Intelligence" with Hollywood types and this rotated in. I won't go into the finer details here but the author/narrator's words hit home because she was able to point out something really obvious, but beyond my grasp to understand without the help.

Now since my mind wanders like no other I started to wonder if there was such a thing as "womansplaining" since I had to have a woman point out the painfully obvious to my clueless self. There is, it's called "femsplaining" and this video was so not it.

No this video was just a good explanation on a few things I couldn't wrap my head around because.....I hadn't tried?......I lack the sufficient mental capacity?......I didn't care to explore the concept further?

Most likely the latter because if you don't like something, why spend more energy trying to figure out why? It's either obvious, or it's not and knowing either way doesn't matter if you don't want to spend more resources (time & energy) on it.

Now there have been some RPG games I haven't liked, but usually it's quite obvious to me. The rules are too crunchy/fiddly for my tastes (Rolemaster) or I don't care for the amount of effort it takes to make a PC (D&D 3.5). Doesn't mean I won't play those games, but I'd rather play something else if given the opportunity.

There was a time when HackMaster was becoming a game I didn't enjoy playing, but I had no clue as to why and again I was fortunate to have another woman point out the painfully obvious to my clueless-ass self. Back when HackMaster 4th edition was waning, but 5th Edition wasn't available yet there was the "secret" 5th Edition playtesting. Now the majority of the D(evelopment) Team at KenzerCo are engineers and while they're all great guys......but holy hell can they over-engineer a RPG....and this is coming from a guy who likes a fair amount of RPG Crunch.

HackMaster 5th Edition is heavily skills based and the design of the skill system was basically that skills started at 100 and went down as they improved. You rolled a % and wanted to get over your skill number. High was always good and adding bonuses to your die roll was literally adding a number to your die roll. Sounds good right? I think there are several systems out there that use a similar mechanic.

Nope......did not like it. Honestly I don't think anyone outside of the D-Team liked this skill system, but for the life of me I could not figure out why I didn't like it. Then Shabby, a fellow friend/gamer/playtester pointed out the painfully obvious: If you have a 90% in a skill, that percentage is your chance of failure, not success.

So do I need to roll a d10,000 for that?

 As players we want to succeed, so I don't want to hear the GM tell me the chances of failure, but my chances to succeed! One is just inherently negative and the other is positive. Yes, a 90% chance of failure is technically the same as a 10% chance to succeed, but don't tell me I'm going to miss on a d20 roll of 1 to 18. Tell me I'm going to hit on a roll of 19 or 20!

The playtesters managed, probably with a HUGE amount of convincing by Shabby, to "fix" the skill system in HackMaster 5th edition to the point where I'm a fan again. While I know now this wasn't "womansplaining" I'm personally glad to have been helped out on these two occasions to figure out that I like character development and positivity in my gaming systems......

.....now if I could only get some help with some other shit I can't figure out.....but that would also require me to care more than I do. Life's too short to dwell on media and games you don't like...... 

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Holy Crap! There was a Collectable Live Action Hygiene RolePlay Game at GenCon 2001

Sometimes a post just writes itself. THIS is one of those times :)

I received an email from a listener/viewer of the Talking Crit Cast (VidCast / PodCast). Actually, Glen and I did a follow up last night on Dungeons, Dragons & Discourse (VidCast / Podcast) After listening to either Bad Mike and I or Glen and I broach the topic of "gamer funk", he sent me the following pics of, as he put it: 

"something I picked up at GenCon 2001. They had lots of these laying around in common areas. It’s obvious that the gamer hygiene issue is not small is someone felt the need to make these."
If any others happen to have an original copy of the above, I'm sure Bad Mike would love the donation for the NTRPG Con Midnight Auction. 

A HUGE tip of the hat to Taverner JW for the above. You made my weekend as only a Taverner can ;)

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 affiliate programs that support The Tavern.  You can catch the daily Tavern Chat podcast on AnchorYouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar


 

 

 

Friday, April 16, 2021

Humble Bundle Comics - New & Classic D&D by IDW Publishing

Through my early 30s, I was an avid comic book collector. When I stopped collecting (nearly 20 years ago), I stopped cold turkey. Now, I'm quite happy to buy comic book bundles to read on my iPad, as it no longer requires poly bagging and storage issues. It is simply so much easier. :)

The Humble Comics Bundle: New and Classic D&D by IDW Publishing has a large selection of D&D comic book titles. Most tempting for me personally are the Dragonlance titles. I don't think I have the patience to reread the original novels, but in comic book form on my table, I'm good to go. You can grab a bundle for as little as a buck.

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 affiliate programs that support The Tavern.  You can catch the daily Tavern Chat podcast on AnchorYouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar


Thursday, April 15, 2021

Humble Bundle - Warhammer 40,000 Stories 2021 by Black Library

I've always enjoyed the fiction set in the Warhammer and Warhammer 40k settings. The stories are generally suitably dark and quirky and scratch that itch for me that more general sci-fi can't.

The Warhammer 40,000 Stories 2021 by Black Library eBook Humble Bundle is a steal and a half. If I read two books from the whole collection in the next 12 months I'll more than make my money's worth, and I expect I'll read much more than that ;)



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 affiliate programs that support 
The Tavern.  You can catch the daily Tavern Chat podcast on AnchorYouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar


Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Deal of the Day - Pyramid of the Lost King (Swords & Wizardry)

Today's Deal of the Day is Pyramid of the Lost King for Swords & Wizardry. I've owned this is PDF since it released and I am dying to run it, as it is as much setting as it is an adventure. There is a lot of meat on this bone, and it's in my wheelhouse, as it's geared to levels 1 to 5.

Normally 15 bucks in PDF, until tomorrow morning Pyramid of the Lost King is on sale for 7.50

Millions of year ago the lands of Usarm were devastated by a great Cataclysm in the final days of the war between the Gods of Usa’arm and the demonish threat of the N’zi. In the wake of a final assault by the Usa’arm the very fabric of reality was torn asunder flooding the world with arcane energies and rips that sundered other worlds and realities … and in the process sank Usarm into the dark depths of ruin.

Now, Usarm is home to races and monsters dragged through those rips; refugees who now call a world ravaged by magic home. Wars between some races is common, and a dark threat rises in the North and another in the far south. A south that until now was left unexplored by the peoples of Usarm.

Intrigued by the prospect of riches the Merchants Guilds of Newrk stretch their arms and money into the great southern desert of the Saragubi hoping to find new peoples and new cultures to trade with and to grow more wealthy by.

Pyramid of the Lost King is designed for play with Frog God Games Swords & Wizardry and can be enjoyed by characters of the first to five level and is as much a campaign as it is an adventure. Within this book lay the trade city of Basq, the Rift Bridge, the Saragubi Desert, and hours of adventure for all who are foolhardy enough to venture into the Desert.

edit: I was reminded there was a guest review for this from back in 2018:

 https://www.tenkarstavern.com/2018/04/guest-review-pyramid-of-lost-king-by.html

 

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