Monday, May 31, 2021

New Release - RC1 - The Valley of Karaccia (OSR Starter Setting/Adventure)

Mithgarthr is dead, long live Mithgarthr! - Matt Evans

Mithgarthr was a 5e hack that, IMHO, presented D&D 5e in a version that I would have been comfortable running. Streamlined and usable. Sadly, it is no longer available - so if you have it in print, it may be collectible ;)

The good news is, Matt Evans, the writer/publisher of the Mithgarthr RPG, has decided to go back to his OSR. RC1 - The Valley of Karoccia, is the first release of a promised series of OSR releases from Mithgarthr Entertainment.

Matt was kind enough to forward me a review copy of the PDF of The Valley of Karoccia. This is NOT a review. I'll try to get to that later. Instead, this is a "first look", and I'm impressed with what Matt has crammed into 25 pages.

  • Hex map, 4 miles per hex (full page)
  • Town map, 50 feet per hex (1/3 page or so)
  • Hex map centered on town, 1 mile per hex (2/3 page or so)
  • Crimson Caverns (2 level dungeon)
  • Fallsbarrow (2 level dungeon)
  • Stranglehole (cavern style dungeon)
  • Three handouts
Lots of adventure in about 20 pages. Once I give The Valley of Karoccia a solid reading I'll give a review ;) 4.99 in 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 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, May 30, 2021

Everyone Needs a "Backup Convention Kit"


Everyone Needs a "Backup Convention Kit"
Next week is my "main" or perhaps "only" convention of the year: North Texas RPG. I know, I've been talking about it here for a couple weeks now, Erik has been talking about it for some time, and odds are you aren't attending (Pretty sure Erik's readers.....plus my 12 13 outnumber the con attendance cap).

One thing I've personally noted online with regards to this con, and I'm going to assume it holds some truth for other conventions, is that there are a lot of people who are looking forward to attending their first convention.

First off, this is great. I think one positive aspect from COVID-19 is that more people have picked up or returned to playing RPGs and want to "delve deeper", as it was. I'm not going to spend our time together here today chatting up why you should attend a convention or what to prepare for one in general. If you've ever been on vacation AND you've played an RPG you should have a general clue. I have posted on con attendance before, so if you need some 411, I suggest doing a quick search of the site.

What I would like to post about though is a little bit of convention prep, but not the normal convention prep. In a previous life I was quite active with the Boy Scouts and their motto is "Be Prepared", and this is something I've really taken to heart in my life, but I'll only skim the surface on that here.

One easy way to simply make your overall convention experience better is to have a small "Backup Convention Kit". I really don't want to call it an emergency kit even though my personal bit of kit definitely has some emergency items in it. The way I figure it, if you can minimize the potential bad times or even just annoyances, of a convention, then the overall convention experience undoubtedly will be better.

This Backup Convention Kit really doesn't need to be very big. You could easily get away with a small pouch or zipper bag. I travel a lot for work and have a rather small "Go Bag" that is just for everyday stuff and all I have to do is toss in one or two things and I'm good......but I have to remember to toss in those extra items. If I didn't have/use this bag, then I'd get something like a small banker's bag or even a quart-sized ziplock bag (actually the ziplock bag isn't a bad idea for a first-timer. Try it out and then tweak the contents before making a better bag).

What should you keep in your bag? Well here is my starting list. You'd want to tweak things to your own personal desires and experiences, but a few things I consider 110% mandatory and will mark in bold:

  • Extra Dice (Yes, you can usually buy dice at the con if needed, but save that dice purchase for a casual want, not a current need)
  • First Aid Kit (One of those tiny ones with little more than some band-aids and one larger dressing and tape is fine. Mine is a bit more in depth and is a kit unto itself.)
  • Drugs, Legal (I recommend getting one of those weekly pill reminder boxes and using the compartments to carry doses of your prescriptions and some general OTC medications. For example I carry Motrin, Aspirin, Acetaminophen, "Benadryl", "Pepto-Bismol", and some others I cannot recall off the top of my head. Having to leave a con to find and overpay for a couple pills when you need them is the height of a "bad time" at a con.)
  • Extra pencils (Especially if you have a favorite type.)
  • Extra paper (I like to use notecards with graph paper markings. Smaller for table-side use and more multifunctional.)
  • A drinking vessel (If you have room......even a collapsible water bottle helps keep you hydrated.)
  • Flavored drink powder (Ones that will flavor a water bottle-sized amount of water. I prefer the powder to a liquid squeeze because it is less likely to make an accidental mess. I consider this essential because most cons will have free water, but if it tastes "different" you'll be more likely to run a quart low.....)
  • Money (Toss in an extra $20 and do your best to forget it is there until after the con. This is for when you can't get to an ATM or you need cash for food or drink. I would also consider keeping a couple dollars in quarters taped up together. Never know when you have access to a coins-only vending machine.)
  • Game Rules/PCs in Digital Format on a USB stick (This is just for those time you need to print out something quick. Ideally you should have your printed copy and a backup digitally on a tablet or even your phone, but if you need something for a pickup game or some such you might get to use the hotel's business printer or there is a local copy shop. Highly doubtful anything but a USB thumb drive will suffice.)
  • Your convention schedule & convention map (Don't assume you'll be able to look it up online)
  • Phone charger & battery backup (Again don't assume, this time that you'll have access to power at the convention)
  • Snack (This is just something to tide you over if you really need to have something to eat and know it'll be a couple hours until you are free, NOT as a regular table-side nosh.)

Now I'm sure that you might be able to add to this list, but these are my minimums and since I have an Everyday Carry bag, my setup isn't a small self-contained bag. You aren't going to find a $20 bill in my bag......that's tucked away in my minimalist wallet, away from the normal $ I carry. All my first aid stuff is in an external pouch and labeled. I usually don't have my stuff on a thumb drive, but I have a blank thumb drive I can transfer over files from my tablet and the get on with things.....

....again, this is my starter list that you'll want to tweak and make your own, but the thing is you have to do it in the first place, which is my recommendation. Having to run off to find something for your headache, only to find the hotel has two pills of not-what's-best-for-you medication in a travel blister for $5, but if you're willing to take a half hour to find the nearest drug store......screw that noise. Spend $1 on a pill container and even $30 of various pills (which you probably don't need to do since you have them already at home!) will be well worth the effort. I know I kind of mentioned this twice, but I've seen first-hand how much of a suck it can be. I've had friends lose most of a convention morning having to walk a mile or more to find just what they needed because the city was a ghost town on Sunday mornings.....

Trust me.....be prepared!

Saturday, May 29, 2021

I Received My Swords & Wizardry Accessory Pack - Overview with Pics


I ordered the Swords & Wizardry Accessory Pack AFTER the Swords & Wizardry Complete Boxed Set Kickstarter because a quirk in the Kickstarter didn't allow me to order the Accessory Pack with the Collector's Edition. Yep, I was late to the party. So, my order placed on Monday arrived today. Pretty damn fast if you ask me.

So, what do you get?

Moar Monsters, also known as "Supplement #1" (I would take that as a good indication that Frog God Games plans further support for Swords & Wizardry that will fit into the new boxed set). Over 50 new monsters for Swords & Wizardry - although many are prior OGL creatures and will be recognized by long-term gamers. 24 pages including the OGL.

Baron's Gambit, an Adventure Module. Written by Matt Finch. It includes a starting village, a dungeon, a new magic item, and four new monsters. I haven't read the adventure yet (when I do I will be sure to post a summary), but it is a starting adventure for a new campaign.

Gamemaster's Shield for Swords & Wizardry. It fits into the Swords & Wizardry Boxed Set. Personally, I love this height for GM shields. The other art is dark and atmospheric. The inner of the shield has the combat matrixes. It could have been blank for all I care, its a perfect GM shield that does not form a wall between the GM and the players, yet still keeps notes and dice rolls secret. Well done!

To get a Swords & Wizardry Accessory Pack click https://www.froggodgames.com/Extra-Swords-and-Wizardry-Accessory-Bundle

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, May 28, 2021

Kickstarter - Midderzine Issues # 6 & 7 (OSR - Midderlands)

The Midderlands
is probably the best setting book I've come across in my years as a gamer. Yep, even better than Greyhawk & The Forgotten Realms IMHO. Of recent releases, the Lost Lands is a close second. The setting is familiar yet completely different, and Glynn has supported the setting with further releases as well as a series of Midderzine releases - a zine for The Midderlands :)

So, what do you get with the current Midderzine Kickstarter for issues # 6 & 7? (or you can snag seven - a bonanza or OSR goodness)
Issue #6
44 pages. This is also known as The Lost Wyrld Issue, as its primary focus is on the wider Midderlands world setting.
  1. Meet The Midderlander: John Alan Large.
  2. More juicy rumours from The Haven Gazette.
  3. Gloomium - the lowdown.
  4. Currency thoughts.
  5. Slightly Less S**t Lesser Rings.
  6. The Lost Wyrld: The world of The Midderlands setting.
  7. Races of the Lost World: A focus on the main S&W races with a Midderlands twist.
  8. Treasures of the Lost Wyrld.
Issue #7
24 pages.
  • Meet The Midderlander: Pete Day.
  • More juicy rumours from The Haven Gazette.
  • Drakekin - the OSR Dragonborn.
  • Three Drakekin NPCs.
  • New Oddities for Drakekin.
  • Upper Wychbray: A riverside settlement on the edges of Linkern Wolds.
  • Slightly Less S**t Scrolls.

Did I mention that The Midderlands, while an OSR setting, is written for Swords & Wizardry?

Or that Glynn is just an awesome person and deserves your support? Well, he is and he does. 

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, May 27, 2021

Kickstarter - Knock! Issue #2 (OSR)

An Adventure Gaming Bric-a-Brac. Being A Compendium of Miscellanea for Old School RPGs. For us OSR weirdos and curious D&D heads alike.

I'm a proud owner of Knock! Issue #1. Holy shit, it is literally stuffed full of OSR greatness! This is not a zine in the idea of a short, digest-sized book. This is a megazine :)

Once again, we made KNOCK! the overstuffed bric-à-brac we had dreamed of. We hope you still have some room on the part of your gaming shelf that's easy to reach from the gaming table! 

This second issue is 224 pages (A5 format: 5.9’ x 8.25’, slightly bigger than digest size) in beautiful full colour, printed on quality paper (coated 130 gr, with a cover on coated 300 gr). 

It is filled with that old-school-slash-adventure-gaming unique flavour: thoughts about system and substance, useful rules and procedures, random tables and lists, pages of maps, six new classes, nine new monsters, and four complete adventures. 

So, how much is Knock! #2? 19 bucks in PDF, 43 bucks for the Print plus PDF (that includes US shipping)

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, May 26, 2021

News - Doug Rhea (NTRPG Con Founder) Underwent Surgery and Remains Hospitalized re: Stage 4 Colon Cancer

Yesterday, Doug Rhea underwent surgery after his intestines burst. He was already hospitalized and surgery had been scheduled prior. Doug's surgery went well and some tumors were removed but he will require further hospitalization and bed rest. He will not be at NTRPG Con this June.

Doug was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer approximately 5 years ago and has already survived past expectations and beaten the odds. Doug is a stubborn SOB and will not go quietly into the night. God bless him and his family in these tough and stressful times. If you can spare some prayers or positive thoughts for Doug and his family, I'm sure it would be appreciated. The following is from Michael "Bad Mike" Badolato and is borrowed from the NTRPG Con Facebook Page with kind permission. Tenkar

NTRPG con is family. It has been so since the beginning, and it is run by family. It’s no coincidence most of the people running the con are brothers, sons, grandkids, etc. You guys are all part of that family…you took a chance on us when we started this thing in a La Quinta with 50 people, and here we are thirteen years later known as one of the best RPG cons in the south, with a guest list some bigger cons envy. This is mostly due to Doug Rhea, who is an unstoppable force when it comes to getting things done, fearless when it comes to cold-calling guys like Larry Elmore to see if they will show up to our little con in Texas, willing to finance a con that breaks even at best, uncompromising on making sure his high standards are met every year. Which makes this announcement damn difficult…Doug won’t be able to attend NTRPG Con this year. 

So it’s time to let you guys in on some family business. Doug has been very sick the past few months due to intestinal blockages because of the tumors inside him. Sick enough that he finally underwent surgery Tuesday to alleviate the blockages, take out parts of his intestine, and remove some of the tumors that have been growing in Doug for the past several years. For those that don’t know, Doug was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer four years ago and given only a few years to live. Because of bi-weekly chemo, he’s been able to beat the odds. By sheer toughness and willpower alone he’s been able to plow through many health issues the past couple of years, most of which he hasn’t told anyone about since he’s a very private person. However, the present situation progressed to the point where hospitalization and surgery were inevitable, it’s just a damn shame it had to happen the week right before his favorite time of the year, NTRPG con.

The operation he underwent Tuesday was a major surgery that took six hours. Many things were removed and the doctor who did the surgery said it was “miraculous” how well it went considering the circumstances. We are very hopeful this surgery will alleviate much of the discomfort and pain he’s had recently and improve his quality of life in the long run. In the short term, however, things are rough. Doug still has not woken up after his surgery, and has a high fever (a sign of infection). Because of this, we are looking at an extended hospital stay and then bed rest at home for probably two months at least. Even if he was awake, he would be in no shape with his compromised immune system to attend the con or meet with anyone in person. We hope he wakes up and makes it home soon so he can watch some of the live feed from there, but we will also set something up at the con where you can tape personal well-wishes to Doug that he can watch later when he recovers. I know from talking to him the personal messages he’s gotten the last few years mean a lot to him. If you feel inclined, prayers and positive thoughts are also welcome, not just for him, but for his son, grandkids, and wife.

As for the con, we will get by in 2021. Gary Oliver, David Rhea, and I can run this thing in our sleep, and we will still give you the best small con game experience you’ve had in, well, the past two years.  Some of the bells and whistles might be missing due to this happening with such short notice, but all we ask is that you take it in stride and have a great time gaming and saying hello to people you haven’t seen or sat at a table within two years. Seriously, this is what will make Doug the happiest, knowing everyone here is having a blast. I know he would rather be here running his games and hanging out with us personally, but I’m hopeful this surgery will extend the time he has to keep at this convention thing for many more years, and he’ll be able to personally meet and greet everyone next year. His son David will be running all of Doug’s events, so be sure and tell him how much his father means to all of us when you see him at the con. 

For this year, if you have any questions, one of us should be able to help you out. Yes everything is not going to be able to be run with the ruthless efficiency Doug usually brings to this. Be patient with us, and remember where we were last year and how much better this year is looking…smell a flower, have a taco, and be chill. I know a lot of you are saying “What can I do to help?”  The most useful thing you can do, if you are a con veteran (you know who you are), is to take it on yourself to help out a newbie or someone having an issue. Take that guy or gal with the confused expression aside and ask if you can help. Clean that table off that the staff hasn’t gotten to yet. Make sure someone looking for a game to play in knows what to do or bring them to a game yourself. Seriously, half the time a question pops up on the FB page it’s already been answered by con veterans before I even have time to reply myself. Your help this year will be greatly appreciated! 

We will answer questions best we can on the NTRPG con page, but understand, everything I’ve just said is pretty much the extent of our knowledge. We will keep everyone informed to the best of our ability here on the page as news develops, please don’t inundate us with private messages because, well, this is all we know right now. Thanks in advance for your help, and for being a part of our lives and NTRPG con the past 13 years.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Dungeons & Dragons Setting Sale at DTRPG - All Editions - Some Deep Discounta

There is a Dungeons & Dragons Setting Sale at DTRPG at the moment, and some of the discounts are deep. The average discount is 30%, but some discounts hit 40% or as high as 67%. I'll be highlighting a few Tavern Picks below.

Planescape Campaign Setting (2e) - love it or hate it, the original Planescape Campaign Setting is a thing of beauty. I'm partial to Sigil, The City of Doors myself. 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. 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. 14.99 4.99

Dragonlance Campaign Setting (3.5) - With the new Dragonlance series from Weis & Hickman on the way, Dragonlance may see a resurgence. - Sagas from the lands of Krynn are filled with valiant heroes destined to discover ancient secrets and vanquish terrible evils. Like those great champions, you will band together with brave companions to set forth on daring adventures. The tales of those bold deeds will become the newest legends in the world of Dragonlance. From Solamnic Knights and Dragon Riders to kender, tinker gnomes, and draconians, the rich tapestry of the Dragonlance world comes alive in this campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game. With historical content covering eras from the War of the Lance to the War of Souls, along with expanded rules for aerial combat, the Dragonlance Campaign Setting provides the character races, prestige classes, feats, spells, monsters, and maps you need to fully explore the world of Dragonlance. 14.99 4.99

T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil (1e) - probably my favorite release from the 1e era of AD&D, I've run it multiple times. Good stuff. What began years ago, with the introduction of the players to the quiet village of Hommlet and the amazing lands of Greyhawk, at last is complete. Here is the long-awaited campaign adventure, featuring the ruins of the Temple of Elemental Evil, where a great evil broods and grows beneath its blasted stones. This is your chance to drive it back and scatter its force again. This product includes the village of Hommlet, the filthy shire of Nulb, and reveals the ruins of the Temple of Elemental Evil and the labyrinths that lie beneath, a warren of darkness. And beyond these ruins, even more is revealed. For the first time, this product provides a complete campaign adventure, which will take beginning characters from 1st all the way to 8th level and possibly beyond! Hours of adventuring await you! 9.99 5.99

Dark Sun Boxed Set (2e) - I had a lot of fun running the Dark Sun Setting, until we literally burned out -Amid the barren wastelands of Athas lie the scattered city-states, each in the grip of its own, tyrannical sorcerer-king. Protecting their own positions with dark magic, they demand absolute obedience. The restless mobs are placated with bread and circuses --the arenas overflow with spectators seeking release from their harsh lives. The land outside the cities belong to no one. Savage elves race across the deserts while insectoid Thri-Kreen satisfy their taste for blood. Dwarves labor at projects beyond the scope of men, and feral halflings lie in ambush. Athas is a land of deadly magic and powerful psionics that offers the promise of glory or even of survival. Those who do not have the cunning to face life on Athas will surely perish - leaving nothing but bones bleached white under the blistering rays of the DARK SUN.  9.99 5.99

B2 The Keep on the Borderlands (Basic) & Return to the Keep on the Borderlands (2e) - Possibly the best known of the original D&D modules, I ran it using 1e rules. The 2e version adds extra details while remaining true to the original source material. This module includes a cover folder with maps and a complete description booklet to form a ready-made scenario for DUNGEONS & DRAGONS® Basic Set. It has been specially designed for use by beginning Dungeon Masters so that they may begin play with a minimum of preparations. Within are many features to aid novice players and Dungeon Masters: legends, history and background information, a list of adventuring characters, tips on how to be an effective Dungeon Master, plus an interesting area for characters to base themselves in (the Keep) before setting out to explore the Caves of Chaos.  Both versions: 4.99 2.99

Note: Unrelated to the above, Doug Rhea (NTRPG Con) is currently hospitalized regarding complications to his Stage 4 Cancer. Prayers and positive thoughts would be appreciated. I will update you when more information is available - Tenkar

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, May 24, 2021

Swords & Wizardry Complete Boxed Set and Accessory Pack Available at the Frog God Games Webstore

For those that missed out on the Swords & Wizardry Complete Boxed Set when it Kickstarted, you have until the end of May 2020 to buy the Rule Box and / or the Accessory Bundle at a reduced price.

If you already have the Swords & Wizardry Complete rules in hardcover, you don't need the boxed set, but the Accessories Pack includes a digest book height GMs screen, and that is something I'm all over. I just ordered 2 sets ;)

To get a Standard Swords & Wizardry Complete Box Set for 50 bucks click https://www.froggodgames.com/Extra-Swords-and-Wizardry-Box-Set 

To get a Swords & Wizardry Accessory Pack click https://www.froggodgames.com/Extra-Swords-and-Wizardry-Accessory-Bundle

Note, by clicking on the links the products are added to your cart with the appropriate discount.

I did a video discussing the Swords & Wizardry Complete Boxed Set:

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, May 23, 2021

Flurry of Pre-Con Activity (Best Laid Plans and All)


Flurry of Pre-Con Activity (Best Laid Plans and All)
Right off the bat I have to admit I can be kind of an idiot at times, well "idiot" might be a bit rough, but I sometimes have issues conceptualizing time. Usually this manifests by me having issues distinguishing between September and August, like which month is the 8th or 9th month of the year. 

It's an odd thing to be certain, and it makes me feel like an idiot, but usually, usually this is the extent of this temporal-dyslexia. 

For some reason, even though I carry a calendar (on my phone) and keep a huge physical calendar next to my bed (more a financial tool for me), I was laboring under the impression that North Texas RPG Con was this next weekend, instead of two weekends from now.

Now I'm attending as a participant and not a GM, so my workload is much less than my norm, but there are always a few things I have to prep for before a convention. I'm used to travelling to a con, and since NTRPG is a scant three hour drive away, space isn't as big of a deal, but I have to plan on my packing list anyway.

What games am I scheduled to play and what pick-up games would I like to play? Even though I almost never get in a pick-up game, I like to plan and hope. While I have a great tablet and PDFs of most of my game systems, I really want printed gamebooks at the table. To this end I have a bunch of rulebooks printed to roughly Digest size....and I have extra full-size 1st Edition books I can bring. What I'd like to do is standardize my "small print" library and have an actual physical portable game library I can bring with me to the con....

Tasting Box
.....so I have some sketches of my library box that I'd like to build....

....and I'll add it to the list. I've got a list of several building projects that just gets longer and longer, but since there are things I want to bring and use at a/the con, the weeks before the convention tend to get more and more hectic. Losing a week to my idiocy isn't a good thing......but finding a week (well, realizing it wasn't lost in the first place) is a bit of a blessing.

Due to work issues I have more time than usual and I've been ticking items off of my build list and working on my skills. If not for the fact I'm a little behind due to the weather (It's been raining off & on here all week) I'd be able to show pics of my GM Thank You gifts I mentioned last week, but obviously they aren't done yet.

More Boxes
What I did finish though are a few boxes for a small Whisky (and Whiskey) tasting event Erik and I are hosting at the con (more like his event I'm sponsoring.....it's a story unto itself....maybe next weekend?). The main box is heavy-assed oak, way overbuilt.....because I used what was on hand...mostly because I screwed up the dimensions on the first attempt of the box. It happens.....I made the main box after making the boxes that go inside and I wrote down the wrong measurements.

Inside the main box are a series of 11 (10 plus a spare) smaller boxes made of solid oak. These have embedded magnets to keep them closed, but when you open them up.... 

Whisky Tasting Box
There are six 45 dram (roughly 1/3 of a 2oz shot) vials, a pencil, and some notecards. These vials will hold the Whisky/Whiskey for the tasting.

I still need to replace the foam liner seen in the pics with leather because I do not care for the foam. It works in some applications, but not for this one, in my opinion.

Now I'm NOT being self-depreciating or overly critical, but these boxes are not bad....ok even, but an essential part in my own personal learning curve. I've learned so much just from this one project.....

....that I've already applied to the Thank You gifts....which helped teach me a few things that lead me on to the next project, which I should have at the con.

I'm not sure I'm quite to the point where I can make my travelling library to the level I'd like it, but I might be able to scratch another item of my convention build list.....for next year (unless the weather greatly improves...then probably still the next con).

Luckily there is always the next year and the next convention (assuming I don't go to a different convention.....Long Con perhaps....in the meantime) for new projects. I might not be good at figuring out timescales sometimes, but a year is manageable.

This week I have a couple of loose ends (build projects) to wrap up, games to pack up, dice to not forget, and inevitably more ideas to add to my build list.....

Saturday, May 22, 2021

The Legend of Drizzt Youtube Short gets over 3.2 Million Views in Less than 3 Days

I'm guessing we'll be seeing much more Drizzt in the near future. Having Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange) do the voiceover is many levels of awesome. I'm psyched for more and I thought I was over and done with Drizzt and the Forgotten Realms fiction a quarter of a century ago.

Possibly the best 4 minutes you'll spend on Youtube.

If this is the quality we can expect from the forthcoming D&D movie or streaming series I'm all in.

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, May 21, 2021

Deal of the Day - Random Terrain and Encounter Generator

Joseph Bloch has a solid library of OSR releases in his catalogue, but probably the most universally useful release of Joe's is the Random Terrain and Encounter Generator

Although the Random Terrain and Encounter Generator is written for Joe's What If 2e Ruleset, Adventures Dark & Deep, it is not only compatible with any OSR ruleset but should work equally as well with Pathfinder or D&D 5e.

Normally 9.95 in PDF, until tomorrow morning the Random Terrain and Encounter Generator is on sale for 4.97.

A comprehensive system for creating and stocking wilderness and dungeon environments.

Within these pages you’ll find rules for randomly generating terrain in wilderness, including settlements and ruins, as well as random encounter tables you can either use as-is or use as inspiration for your own encounter tables.

Encounter tables are provided for every combination of eight different terrain types, three different climates, and two options for civilization or wilderness are given, as well as tables for prehistoric and water-born encounters. All in all, that's 83 encounter tables for wilderness, dungeon, and the Ethereal and Astral planes. All use the monsters described in the ADVENTURES DARK AND DEEP™ Bestiary, but are quite suitable for any old-school RPG.

In addition, a complete system for generating a random dungeon is presented, as well as ten comprehensive encounter tables for encounters from kobolds to demon princes. Three new monsters are also included to round out both dragon and human encounters.

Plus you will also find a complete system for creating a random urban landscape, with 24 different city district types, special features, and random encounters designed for districts in both day and night.

All are suitable for the game master who wants to run a game using random rules or to use the tables for quick inspiration, or can also be used for solo play without the need for a game master at all. 

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, May 20, 2021

Humble Bundle RPG Book Bundle - Pathfinder Second Edition Bestiary by Paizo

Pathfinder 2e released in August of 2019. In July of 2020, Paizo had their first Pathfinder 2e Humble Bundle. Now, In May of 2021, they have their second Humble Bundle for Pathfinder 2e less than 2 years after launching the ruleset. It's Crazy Eddie level of insane ;)

One hell of a way to kill off your sale of Pathfinder 2e PDFs, when your customers know new PDFs will be available dirt cheap in a year or so.

The current Pathfinder 2e Humble Bundle adds in a Print copy of the Pathfinder 2e Bestiary for 35 bucks, and that includes ALL of the PDFs that will be shown above and below. Currently, a print copy of the 2e Bestiary is 49.99 at the Paizo store and 37.49 for a "non-mint" copy.

The PDFs of the Six-Part Extinction Curse Adventure Path are 17.99 apiece at the Paizo store.

I am sorely tempted to grab the Pathfinder Second Edition Bestiary Humble Bundle at 25 bucks, not for the rules, but the OGL Bestiary that I can crib from, the adventure path, the map packs, and more. 

Somehow it seems like a desperate cash grab by a failing company, but who am I to turn down the wish of a failing company? I'm sure my 25 bucks will return my investment many times over. 

About the only thing Paizo hasn't done to raise cash is to release its ample library of Adventure Paths for 5th Edition D&D. One can only hope, as that would make for easy conversion of such to OSR use ;)

A huge tip of the hat to The Taverner that gave me the heads up on this Humble Bundle. :)

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, May 19, 2021

Tonight at 8 PM Eastern - Talking Crit LiveStream with Special Guest Alex Kammer (GameHole Con)

I'm pleased to announce that joining myself and Bad Mike on the Taking Crit Livestream tonight will be none other than Alex Kammer. Most of us know Alex as the main man behind the "runs like clockwork" GameHole Convention held every November (pandemic willing), but he also own a gaming themed pub, writes D&D adventures, is an avid collector of gaming releases and so much more.

Join us tonight at 8 PM Eastern as Mike & I sit down with Alex on Talking Crit.

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, May 18, 2021

New Release - Zucati Dice & Crayons / Holmage Dice Boxed Set - Limited Edition 1000 Numbered Copies

Zucati Dice & Crayons / Holmage Dice Boxed Set is a release that hadn't come up on my radar, and if it wasn't for a long time Taverner PMing me the link, I'd still be clueless. That being said, I'm not 100% sure of what exactly it is I'm seeing.

Note, the set clocks in at 45 bucks plus shipping.

The cover is a spot-on homage to the original Holmes Basic Set without being a copy:

I can find nothing on this "Dice & Crayons" release aside from the Etsy page. (edit - it's also available on the publisher's website at:  
Note, this is not a stand-alone ruleset, but an adventure generator to use the set of Zucati dice with.

Each limited edition boxed set is serialized and is 1/1000.
All serial numbers will be distributed randomly with no choice for number selection.
Boxed set pictured is #1 of 1000.

Your box will be a different number.

The Holmage dice

These iconic dice pay homage to the most beloved set of dice ever created. The original “Holmes” dice were included in a boxed set of gaming materials made in 1977 – 1980.

These polyhedral dice are perfectly proportioned and updated with easy to read numbers, sharp edges, and modern durable materials.

This new set features the original 5 dice in the same colors, but not the same numbering, updated to modern numbering and also includes the D10 and D% as included dice in other colors. \

All primary colors, all raw.

In modern 100% injection molded acrylic.

Same quality and standards as our first run V1 Perfect Plastic Dice.

Includes original box art, original character sheets and an original map set with adventure generator table.

Named "Holmage" set in honor of the original Holmes dice.

Just want the dice?

42 sets of 7 dice for 125 plus shipping.

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, May 17, 2021

Deal of the Day - Castle Xyntillan (Swords & Wizardry / OSR)

Gabor Lux is one of those names that's floated around the OSR since the early days, and he had articles in Fight On! and Knockspell zines. He always had great stuff to share, and Castle Xyntillan is no exception.

Castle Xyntiillan is Gabor's take on a funhouse megadungeon. While certainly not for everyone and every group, I've enjoyed Joe Bloch's Castle of the Mad Archmage as well as Frog God Game's take on Tegal Manor.

Until tomorrow morning, Castle Xyntillan is DRTPG's Deal of the Day and is marked down from 20 bucks to 10 bucks in PDF.

A 136-page adventure module for 1st to 6th level characters, Castle Xyntillan is a a funhouse megadungeon for the Swords&Wizardry game (and broadly compatible with other old-school systems). The module describes the three massive levels of the eponymous haunted castle inhabited by the remnants of a reclusive and eccentric family, from the soaring tower of the Donjon to the inky depths of the Oubliette (and beyond). Hidden rooms, secret passageways and long-forgotten sub-sections complete a collection of the dangerous and macabre from the gothic imagination – providing ample opportunities for exploration, confrontation, and subterfuge.

Castle Xyntillan has been designed to be versatile, open-ended, complex, and accessible. It is above all, a fantastic place – built on surrealism and dream logic, yet a place which makes a certain amount of sense if you look at it sideways. It should be entertaining, fascinating, and always a bit mysterious. Whether you would like a dungeon for one-off expeditions and convention play, or repeated forays and full campaigns, Castle Xyntillan should suit the demands and particulars of your campaign!

This electronic edition includes the following:

  • The PDF version of the module, with cartography by Rob Conley, and illustrations by Peter Mullen, Denis McCarthy, and Stefan Poag.
  • GM and player maps of the module, as well as a set of virtual tabletop maps, with helpful setup instructions by cartographer Rob Conley for Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds.
  • A GM’s Worksheet, used to track time and characters as the company explores the depths of Xyntillan. Adapted from Dungeons and Companies, a Hungarian retro-clone, and designed by Istvan Boldog-Bernad and Andras Szabo, this is a highly useful play aid for dungeon scenarios.


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, May 16, 2021

GMs Don't Get Enough Love


GMs Don't Get Enough Love
North Texas RPG Con is just a couple weeks away and since Erik is attending, and likes to do the video/podcast thing with Bad Mike, you might have reached your fill about the event already.

Maybe not.

Don't worry, this isn't a post so much about the convention so my 12 13 readers can read on if not interested in this convention, but I will add my 2cp and simply say that if you are in a position to attend this convention and you aren't....your loss. Small con, big guests....I bet that NTRPG is like what the first handful of GenCons were like....well as close at it could be in this day and age.

Anyway, my point that I'm laboring to get to, evidently, is that I know I'm going to a convention in a couple of weeks, as a player, and I still have a lot of prep to do. Realistically I know all I need to do is pack my tablet, computer, RPG HDD, and my dice box and I'll be good to go.....10' packing tops. Maybe toss in some game books if I'm feeling froggy........even though I have PDFs of everything I need, I keep buying or printing out rulebooks 'because evidently I prefer the physicality of them at the table. Maybe I just like having multiple books "open" and that's harder to do on a tablet?

No, my big prep for the convention is trying to figure out, and then make, some GM "Thank You" gifts. Most of my convention experience is still as a GM and tournament organizer, not as a player. I can most definitely tell you that being a GM at a convention is largely a thankless task. Sure most players will express a simple "thanks" at the table, and a couple might shake your hand.

Now, there is nothing wrong with this, BUT.....there is a lot more to GMing that simply leading a table game for three or four hours. The average GM, well the average GM that cares about having a good game, easily puts in at least three or four hours for every hour at the table, even if they are running a pre-printed adventure. Conventions and game companies are quite a bit hit or miss in showing GMs any love as well.

Yes, many conventions do give free badges to GMs, but they usually make you work for it. That $50 badge, well maybe $85 or so now (depending on the convention) usually want a good 12-16 hours of GMing to qualify. Sixteen hours of table-time for an $50 badge, or twelve hours for an $85 badge makes that work worth $3.12 to $7.08 an hour, $0.78 to $2.36 an hour if you factor in non-table time. 

78¢ and hour and a couple handshakes, sign my ass up! Seriously though it isn't about money, but really the resources of time and energy. Twelve to Sixteen hours of time at a convention is a HUGE resource suck.

Don't even get me started about volunteering at a higher level than just a table GM as that involved me paying for the privilege of working.....again not to mention the time and energy suck.

No, in my experience (and I'm not just talking about my personal experience) GMs don't get enough love period. I really doubt that anything I can post will change that, but I will add a tiny bit of self-promotion in that I did make a couple of free "Thank You" cards that are available on DriveThuRPG.

What I can do, have done (although I totally dropped the ball last year), and will do, is make some small GM thank you gifts, along with the thank you card. A couple years ago I did some small boxes (that could double as a dice tray) and some coasters.  Both were just purchased from the hobby store and tweaked. I like the idea of something small and useful.

This year I'm thinking of some handmade wooden/leather dice trays and/or die rolling tower. Now I'm not much of a wood worker, but I'm learning, so the die rolling tower will probably be a bit much for me to pull off. Actually I could easily make some dice towers, but I mean dice towers in the style I want to make them, not what I can manage.

I've got a couple of weeks to get these GM Thank You's squared away, but I'll have to get started this week for certain, unless someone here at the Tavern has a better idea....and no, drinks at/after the game don't count because I'm already down for that (I tend to bring drinks to the game already).

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