Saturday, July 31, 2021

Deal of the Day - Death Dwarves Attack (Tunnels & Trolls Group Adventure)

I am a great fan of Tunnels & Trolls, which is strange because I couldn't stand it when I was introduced to it back in High School in the early 80s. A fantasy RPG that just used d6s, WTF was up with that?

Later on, I found some Tunnel & Trolls Solo Adventures, and then I saw the system truly shine. Still, it was damn near impossible to find any adventures written to run with a group.

Today's DTRPG Deal of the Day is Death Dwarves Attack, a starting adventure for a group of Tunnels & Trolls adventurers written by Ken St Andre himself. Although it is written for the Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls rules, it should be easy enough to use with T&T 5e - probably the most popular edition of T&T. Normally $5 in PDF, until tomorrow morning Death Dwarves Attack is on sale for $2.50

This is a beginning adventure for Deluxe Tunnels and Trolls.  It's designed to be fast to play and full of action.  It's also the first adventure scenario set in the dark times after the destruction of the Empire of the Goddess in 1313 A.K.--a barbaric time with similarities to colonial America.  It's swords and sorcery and guns.

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, July 30, 2021

Humble Bundle - Starfinder (Paizo)

I don't own Starfinder, which is kinda strange. Because the setting seems like something I would be interested in, similar to DragonStar of the 3e era, but obviously different. Still, it's based on Pathfinder, and Pathfinder has always been 
too crunchy for me.

You can, however, buy-in for a level that includes a physical copy of the Starfinder Beginner Box, and if it's anything like the Pathfinder 1e and 2e Beginner Boxes, there just might be a lot for an old school gamer like me to find useful.

As always, purchases made with The Tavern's affiliate link at Humble Bundle help to support The Tavern. I thank you in advance.

Here's what you get at the $50 level (plus shipping as there are physical items included)

And here's what you get at the $5 level:

There are also $15 and $30 levels, but I suspect most folks will be in for $5 or $50.

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, July 29, 2021

TSR3 Abandons Three Graphical Trademarks

I woke this morning to a PM linking me to the below link:


What makes this even more interesting, is that the above trademark was approved (as best as I can tell) on June 16th, 2021.

The following trademarks are also pending abandonment:


Here's what we have on "TEAS Express Abandonment":

You can follow all of the TSR-linked Trademarks at the following link. Note, it includes trademarks from other companies in different fields named TSR. Also note, that "TSR" itself is apparently NOT trademarked by TSR, just the graphical representations of such.

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, July 28, 2021

Deal of the Day - By This Axe I Hack! (Black Hack Hack)

I'm not a huge fan of the Black Hack, but I think I'll make an exception for today's Deal of the Day: By This Axe I Hack! I'm partial to swords & sorcery, and this may just be a good fit. Normally By This Axe I Hack! is 9.95 in PDF, but until tomorrow morning it's 4.98.

Before the dawn of recorded history, our world was a primeval landscape dotted with pockets of civilization; kingdoms, nations, and city-states surrounded by a vast and unforgiving wilderness teaming with danger and littered with the fallen ruins of an ancient empire of mighty sorcerer-lords and the remnants of older, darker civilizations.

Based on David Black’s game-changing The Black Hack, By This Axe I Hack takes its cues from Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian and Kull of Atlantis, Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor Smith’s Red Sonja, Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melnibone, and Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.

By This Axe I Hack includes 18 unique Character Classes (6 warriors, 6 rogues, and 6 magicians), a magic system that makes even low-lever Magicians exciting and fun to play, 120 spells tailored to the sword and sorcery genre, over 70 special features to customize your Characters, rules for modifying existing Character Classes or creating your own, a huge assortment of men and monsters to throw at your Players, a number of optional rules to help you fine tune the game to exactly your liking (including the ever-popular roll-high option for those who prefer games where higher rolls are always better), and a variety of random tables to help Gamemasters create their own Lost Age.


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, July 27, 2021

Christmas in July Sale - Tavern Picks - Part III - The OSR & Beyond

Today I continue with further Christmas in July Sale Picks. As stated previously, everything that is on my pick list for the current Christmas in July Sale at DTRPG is something I own, either in print, PDF, or both.

My Christmas in July Picks Part I and Christmas in July Picks Part II posts can be found at these links.

Without further ado, lets dive in :)

Tome of Adventure Design
- written and designed myMatt Finch, and likely nearly as influential as Swords & Wizardry and OSRIC to the OSR in general, I'm currently using ToAD to design the adventure I'll be running at ShireCon.

The Tome of Adventure Design is organized as a series of "books," each one providing resources at every step of the way. The vast majority of the content of each book is made up of random generation tables that we created over a quarter of a century (sigh) for our own use. It should be said up front that these are tables for deep design - in other words, most of them are too long, and contain too many unusual or contradictory entries, for use on the spot at the gaming table. There are already many excellent books of tables for use on the fly; the tables in these books are different. They work best as a tool for preparation beforehand, providing relatively vast creative resources for browsing and gathering, rather than quick-use tables designed to provide broad, fast brushstrokes. Our shorter tables tend to deliver cryptic results designed to shock the reader's creativity into filling in the gaps, whereas the longer tables are unusably vast for easy random generation, being designed to shock the reader's creativity into operation by presenting a sea of possibilities. 21.99  16.49

Old-School Essentials Classic Fantasy: Rules Tome
- Can you make B/X D&D better than the Labyrinth Lord interpretation? Apparently, the answer is yes.

A Complete Game All in One Book
This book contains everything a referee needs:  the complete game rules, full guidelines for creating and running adventures, 7 fantastic character classes, full equipment lists, over 100 classic spells, over 200 fearsome monsters, and over 150 wondrous magic items. Simple rules let imagination and fast-paced action take the spotlight. Clear, modern presentation makes the game easy to learn and quick to reference. Compatible with decades of classic adventures and supplements.
20.00  15.00

Low Fantasy Gaming Deluxe Edition
 - Can you take an OSR chassis, throw in some modern rules, and still keep and OSR feel? Yep.

Low Fantasy Gaming is a tabletop RPG built for gritty adventures in low or moderate magic settings. It has simple rules, dangerous combat, flexible PC customisation, and mysterious, unpredictable magic. Designed for short, episodic adventures in sandbox worlds, LFG provides the mechanics and tables needed for easy GM improvisation. It’s a heady mix of the best old school, modern, and new game design, wrapped around a familiar d20 core.
20.00  15.00

Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG -
I haven't run it in years, reading the DCC rues for the first time was similar to reading the AD&D DMG for the first time - magical.

You’re no hero.

You’re an adventurer: a reaver, a cutpurse, a heathen-slayer, a tight-lipped warlock guarding long-dead secrets. You seek gold and glory, winning it with sword and spell, caked in the blood and filth of the weak, the dark, the demons, and the vanquished. There are treasures to be won deep underneath, and you shall have them. 

Return to the glory days of fantasy with the Dungeon Crawl Classics Role-Playing Game. Adventure as 1974 intended, with modern rules grounded in the origins of sword & sorcery. Fast play, cryptic secrets, and a mysterious past await you: turn the page…

DCC RPG is a fast-paced, open-feeling rules set allowing for epic game experiences without unnecessary tethers. It uses modern game-play while paying homage to the origins of role-playing and the fun that it inspired.  24.99  18.74

Torchlight Issue #1 -
Not only am I very proud of this release, as I type this it is sitting at #88 on the Christmas in July Sales Ranking. Woot!

This is the First, full-sized issue of the Torchlight Zine for Swords & Wizardry Complete, Swords & Wizardry Light, and Swords & Wizardry Continual Light. Inside the virtual covers you will find: Magical Potions for SWL, Social Combat Rules, Torchbearers for Swords & Wizardry, Keep on the Wildlands (a first-level adventure by James Spahn), More Monsters for SWL, Alternate Thief Abilities, and Summon Familiar Spell & Critters for SWL/SWCL.  3.00  2.55

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, July 26, 2021

We Have Lost a Stalwart of the Community - Brian Fitzpatrick (Moebius Adventures) Has Passed at 51 Years of Age

I was notified earlier this afternoon that Brian Fitzpatrick had passed away Saturday afternoon, July 24th, after a rafting accident. Brian was 51.

One dead after raft flips on Arkansas River in Chaffee County

One man was found dead Saturday after his commercial raft flipped on a 'rocky and steep' section of the Arkansas River, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. 

It is believed that 51-year-old Brian Fitzpatrick was attempting to raft through the Numbers Recreation Site, north of Buena Vista, which is known for technical and challenging rafting when his raft flipped, officials said in a news release. 

Employees for a commercial rafting company downstream of the accident reportedly pulled Fitzpatrick from the water and began CPR, according to parks and wildlife. 

Chaffee County EMS officials along with parks and wildlife staff responded to a 911 call regarding the incident. After arrival, further lifesaving efforts were made, but they were unable to revive him. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

An autopsy to establish an official cause of death is scheduled Monday, according to the Chaffee County Coroner's office. 

Gallant Knight Games has made an announcement:

Brian Fitzpatrick & Moebius Adventures

On Saturday July 24th, Gallant Knight Games was notified that Brian Fitzpatrick of Moebius Adventures passed away unexpectedly in an accident.

The loss of our friend, colleague and publishing partner is heart wrenching, and we can only imagine the pain his family is going through. Brian was a vital part of our day to day lives, both in the industry and outside of it, and his loss is deeply felt.

While the family takes the time they need, we again extend our heartfelt sorrow at this unexpected loss and everyone to respect the family’s privacy.

Alan & Erin Bahr, Gallant Knight Games.

Short Bio of Brian Fitzpatrick and Moebius Games (PRLOG)

RPG Geeks Page for Brian Fitzpatrick

From Brian's Wife, posted to Brian's Facebook account:

My husband was the one who wrote eloquently, so for me, this is extremely difficult.

For those of you that do not know, the world became a lesser place 48 hours ago. Our girls and I are heartbroken, confused and upset with the universe.  Our family went on a rafting trip on Saturday, our raft flipped, we were all thrown into the water, and Brian did not survive the accident.

Brian was the center of our world.  He was the one who kept us grounded.  He was the one who made sense of everything.  And this makes no sense.  

At this time, our family wanted to inform those close to Brian of his funeral services:  

Services will be held at:


6575 Oakwood Blvd Colorado Springs, CO 80923

Saturday July 31st, from 5-8pm --Viewing.  For family and friends that need the closure to see Brian one last time.  

Sunday August 1st starting at 2:30pm-   Celebration of Life.  Anyone that would like to speak, it will be open for everyone to speak about him, what he meant to you, tell a story, whatever you like. IF you are not comfortable with speaking but want to write something and have it shared with family or those there, please bring it to be shared.

Brian HATED formal events, so we ask that for all services please dress casual.  Brian loved quirky t-shirts, we ask if you have a t-shirt that reminds you of him, wear that shirt. But please know t-shirts, shorts and tennis shoes are requested.  IF you show up in all black formal dress or attire, you will be judged 😀.

In lieu of flowers or any more food, our family has requested if you would like to honor Brian, any contributions go to the following:

IF you are a gamer, Brian's passion and proudest achievement was his published game books, buy one of his books, read his work that he loved so dearly : moebiusadventures.com/shop

IF not a gamer, Brian was an amazing supporter of my non-profit Street Petz, he loved that we helped pets and the homeless community in the Colorado Springs.  Donations can be made at Streetpetz.org

IF you would like to make a contribution to support my girls, please send me a FB message and I can get a Venmo address to you.  

Many of you know that Brian was an introvert, and with many social events, he reached a point of "critical mass" and excused himself.  With that in mind, and respect for our family, we will not be having a gathering after the Celebration of Life. 

We will be looking at a later date, possibly organizing a memorial Gaming Day in honor of Brian at one or several of his favorite local gaming locations for all of his gaming family.

We will be reaching out to our Crossfit family to do a family WOD in his honor as well

I offer prayers and condolences to Brian's family, friends, and business partners. When and if there is further information to share regarding services and such, I will update this page. Tenkar

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.  May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.  Amen

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Dissing the Call of Cthulu Quick Start Rules.....for a Purpose


Dissing the Call of Cthulu Quick Start Rules.....for a Purpose
Today the podcast I helped with dropped, and while I'm not above self-promotion, the reason for mentioning it is the fact that I was clearly NOT a fan of the Call of Cthulu Quick-Start rules....

.....like holy fuck I would NOT want to play the game after reading these rules.

"Gee Chris, what's your beef with the game*?"

*(Asshole) is clearly inferred.....

Now I did take copious notes while I was reading, and re-reading the Quick-Start rules. While I have the notes, I'm not even going to glance at them. Since it's been a week now I'd like to *just* go off of my memory because some, well maybe some, of the small nit-picky stuff would be forgotten and the problems that remained with me a week later might be something that could be addressed....

......not that I expect Chaosium to read the Tavern, much less take my advice (but if they do my standard consulting fee is $50/hr with a 2 hour minimum), BUT.....I know sometimes uber fans try (and in my opinion fail) to put together their own "Quick-Start" rules. If anyone can learn from my observations/pain, than great....this post will be worthwhile.

First off, I really think ANYONE trying to put together any sort of RPG guide needs to sit-down and literally (as in write it out) determine what their focus/audience is. Making a guide for experienced RPG players vs. completely new players is fricken huge! This Call of Cthulu Quick-Start (CoCQS) said it was for total RPG newbs, but it clearly was not. There were references to advanced rules not even mentioned in the guide....and by not mentioned I don't even mean in passing. If I wasn't already a gamer I might not even have noticed that the references were to "advanced" rules.

On the flip side though, to advanced rules, is to realize what rules you're going to include and actually use them! After reading the CoCQS and then the included adventure it seemed apparent there was some sort of base-line for essentially untrained skills....but there wasn't a single mention that skills had a base level, just if you "got" the skills then you used  certain numbers as a base you added a percentage to. For what seemed like a skills-heavy game, not actually expressing how your skills work is a cardinal sin.

So we had rules included/referenced that shouldn't be, and basic skills missing......we also had basic aspects of the game that technically were represented in the adventure, but easily skipped. I think it would have been difficult to go through the adventure and not use the Sanity mechanic, but Luck.....Luck could easily have been missed when playing through the included adventure.

When you started out the adventure the players are given an either/or direction for where to proceed, when it is really obvious to an experienced player that there were more than the two options.....not terrible in and of itself, but since the CoCQS was aimed at not only inexperienced players, but a brand new Keeper (GM).......not cool.

...also not cool were including things that had no value to the game. There was a spell mentioned and even a handout that were straight-up throw-aways as they were never shown or mentioned again. Now after talking to the other guest hosts evidently there are some follow-on adventures that can utilize these elements. Nothing wrong with that per se, BUT even a simple included statement letting this new Keeper know that these elements tie into a larger thing would be useful.

Speaking of useful, or really not useful in this case, were the included handouts for the adventure. Ugh, talk about a missed opportunity. These handouts were basically just a typed up summation of "boxed text" the Keeper would have read out. No added value......which leads me into a larger point.

The whole idea of the CoCQS is to give a taste of the game rules with a short adventure. Hopefully this would entice people to I don't know.....actually want to play the game! It was clear that the product I downloaded from the Chaosium website was an actually printed product....and printed product costs money, BUT download product....not so much. Simply dumping what was a full-color (even if the color was black & white) press product into a PDF and calling it good was a missed opportunity. They could've easily reformatted the contents to look nicer for at-home B&W or even color printing and those handouts.....they could have made "real" handouts. If a handout was a newspaper clipping, then make a freakin handout that looks like a newspaper clipping! Chaosium could have, relatively cheaply, made a full CoCQS "packet" that would have had a ton of impact and really drew in some new players.

As it stands the CoCQS was a confusing mess of rules and an adventure that did not accurately reflect the rules trying to be taught.

Thing is, and this might seem painfully obvious, a metric shit-ton of potential difficulty could be involved by simply involving people that are your desired audience. If you wish to market your Quick-Start to complete RPG newbs, get some RPG newbs involved in at least the editing and playtesting elements. Some of the problems I noted were most likely created because the writer was overly familiar with the rules to begin with. 

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Christmas in July Sale - Tavern Picks - Part II - Classic TSR Era Settings and Rules

Today I continue with further Christmas in July Sale Picks. As stated previously, everything that is on my pick list for the current Christmas in July Sale at DTRPG is something I own, either in print, PDF, or both.

My Christmas in July Picks Part I post can be found at this link.

Now, on to today's Classic TSR Era Christmas in July Picks:

Planescape Campaign Setting (2e) - Sigil - The City of Doors. There is so much I liked about this setting. My players, however, preferred Dark Sun. 

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

  • A Player's Guide to the Planes: A 32-page primer that introduces DMs and players alike to the grand design of the multiverse.
  • A DM's Guide to the Planes: A 64-page book of valuable information solely for the Dungeon Master.
  • Sigil and Beyond: A 96-page gazetteer that introduces Sigil and its surrounding plane as the starting point for planar adventures. From Sigil all the Outer Planes may be sampled by novice and veteran explorers alike.
  • Monstrous Supplement: a 32-page, full-color Monstrous Compendium booklet.
  • Four poster-size maps depicting the planes.
  • A four-panel DM screen designed especially for planar campaigns.
Normally 14.99, on sale in PDF for 11.24

Gamma World (1e)
- The first RPG I bought for myself, the whole "Constitution Score equals the number of Hit Dice" caused a lot of head-scratching back in the day.

In a quest for survival and in search of a better future, the players adventure across the land, enduring hardships and encountering dangerous obstacles and mysterious foes - never knowing quite what to expect. The result is a game that can go in many directions, but which will be challenging and fascinating no matter what the outcome.

The GAMMA WORLD™ Set includes all the basics needed to set up your own "world": game booklet (packed with terrible mutants, as well as guidelines for creating additional ones of your own), a large campaign map (designed to be easily modified by individual gamemasters), and a full set of polyhedra dice. The only other things necessary are a good imagination and a spirit of adventure!

Normally 9.99, on sale in PDF for 7.49

Spelljammer: Adventures in Space (2e)
- Forget the City of Doors. Give me a ship that sails the skies and I'm good as rain!

Multitudes of worlds wheel through Wildspace. The crystal shells that encase them bob and drift in a turbulent, rainbow ocean which fills all the cosmos. Sturdy merchants, bold pirates, and daring explorers venture into the great, unknown vastness of the universe, seeking wealth and adventure.

The SPELLJAMMER Game puts you in command of a fantastic ship capable of spanning the tremendous distances between planets. Graceful elven flitters, stately illithid galleys, deadly beholder tyrants, and the awesome Spelljammer itself carry trade, emissaries, and heroic action throughout all the worlds of the AD&D game.

Normally 9.99, on sale in PDF for 7.49

D&D Rules Cyclopedia (Basic) -
Often referred to by many as the single, best rulebook of the era, I remember houseruleing my AD&D campaign with rules taken in whole from the Rules Cyclopedia.

Whether you're a player or a Dungeon Master, the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia is now the comprehensive sourcebook you need for the original fantasy roleplaying game! For ages 12 and up, the Cyclopedia contains the compete game system and hundreds of features, including the following:
  • All the rules from the D&D boxed set series, including Basic, Expert, Companion, and Masters
  • Guidelines to develop and play characters from levels 1-36
  • Comprehensive lists of weaponry and equipment
  • Expansion rules including optional skills and talents
  • An overview of the Known World and the HOLLOW WORLD game setting, the official D&D campaign world; and Rules to convert D&D games and characters into AD&D 2nd edition game statistics and back again
Normally 9.99, on sale in PDF for 7.49

Star Frontiers: Alpha Dawn -
I bought this game for my sister to play, so in the end it became mine ;) 

Alpha Dawn... stage one of the Star FrontiersTM science fiction game system.
A great way to enter the world of science fiction role playing.

These Basic Rules teach you how to create characters, move and fight on the game map, and how to create adventures of your own. The included adventure, Crash on Volturnus, is simple enough for both beginning players and referees.

Stage two... expanded rules and much more!

Picture the world-famous Dungeons & Dragons game. Now imagine this same excitement in a science fiction setting. You'll find our Expanded Rules add that kind of challenge, detail, and opportunity for victory. 

Everything you need: This set includes the Basic Rule Book, the Expanded Rule Book, the Crash on Volturnus Adventure Module, printable full-color map, printable counters.

Normally 9.99, on sale in PDF for 7.49

Dark Sun Boxed Set (2e) -
A great dark setting for D&D. I don't think WotC could do it justice in today's environment.

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 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

On the sands of Athas you'll face:
  • Three new PC races!
  • Muls - half-dwarf, half-human; specially bred for combat!
  • Thri-Kreen - the savage mantis-warriors of the Barrens!
  • Half-giants - bred for tremendous size and strength
  • Three new PC classes!
  • Gladiators - heroes of the arenas, the ultimate warriors!
  • Templars - Wicked priests who serve the sorcerer-kings!
  • Defilers - wizards whose powers drain the life around them!
  • More powerful PC's
  • All Dark Sun game characters begin at 3rd level!
  • Ability scores that can go as high as 24!
  • All PC's have one or more psionic powers!
  • The new character tree allows players to advance many characters at once!
Normally 9.99, on sale in PDF for 7.49

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, July 23, 2021

Kickstarter - Necropolis: An Epic Adventure in the Desert Sands (S&W / 5e)

The legendary adventure updated and rewritten for 5e and S&W! An ancient evil has reawakened in the Necropolis...

Necropolis is an interesting IP. The original version was written by Gary Gygax, using the D20 license and the 3x OGL, and was NOT owned by the Gygax Estate upon Gary's death.

The current version being kickstarted, Necropolis: An Epic Adventure in the Desert Sands is a rewrite of the original, updated, and expanded for Swords & Wizardry and 5e.

Based on the original work by the grandmaster himself, Gary Gygax, Necropolis is an epic desert adventure series for 5e D&D and Swords & Wizardry. Previously published by Necromancer Games as a d20 system adventure, it has been entirely updated and revised by Mark Greenberg, co-author of The World of the Lost Lands by Frog God Games. (D&D is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast; Necromancer Games and Frog God Games are not affiliated with Wizards of the Coast or the Gygax estate.)

This grand adventure is set in the Triple Kingdom of Khemit, on the continent of Libynos in the Lost Lands, the world of Frog God Games and Necromancer Games. Necropolis is designed for a party of 6–8 seasoned characters starting between 7th and 9th level and will challenge even the most experienced players.

The book you will receive includes a multiple-stage adventure taking the party from an oasis village to the depths of a long-lost tomb, together with a wealth of other material that can be used to expand a campaign into this desert land, including:

  • Details of the village of Aartuat and its environs
  • The Temple of Osiris, the Necropolis, and the legendary Tomb of Rahotep
  • A poster map of the tomb
  • Information about the Triple Kingdom of Khemit
  • Wilderness encounter tables
  • Dozens of NPCs, with detailed character notes
  • Almost 50 new monsters
  • New character options, spells, and magic items

Altogether, there is enough material for dozens of hours of play over weeks or even months of game sessions.

I'm in at 55 bucks, print plus PDF, including maps and stretch goals. As I type this, Necropolis has passed 53k in funding, of a 15k goal, with 28 days to go. 

Overseas backers can back for a POD version of the book to save on international shipping costs.

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, July 22, 2021

Christmas in July Sale at DTRPG is LIVE - The Tavern Picks - Part 1

It's that time of year again. Yep, it's time for the Christmas in July Sale at DTRPG. There are many fine picks this year and there's no way I'll cover everything I like, but I'll sure try ;)

Now, my picks will lean heavily towards the OSR, but in no way will it be exclusive to the OSR. 

How many Tavern Pick Posts will there be? No clue. I will say this. I own every pick I'm mentioning in today's post, some in dead tree format and some in PDF. I think highly enough of these picks to own them myself.

Without further ado:

Worlds Without Number - Kevin Crawford's latest masterpiece, he takes his solid talents to the world of fantasy to give you an amazing RPG and a resource for use with other OSR rulesets. Yep, you can use SWN Tags in your fantasy OSR RPGs now. 

Worlds Without Number is a fantasy role-playing game, one fully compatible with the hit sci-fi game Stars Without Number. It's built from the ground up to provide gritty, hard-edged adventure in the fathomless future of the Latter Earth, a fantastic realm of time-lost sorcery, savage foes, and barbaric splendor. The cold steel in the fists of your heroes and the half-understood sorcery in their tomes must suffice to overcome the monstrous remnants of ancient alien rulers and the present depredations of ruthless lords and hideous beasts alike. The riches of lost ages await in the subterranean Deeps that once held their kingdoms, and even the heavens above are not beyond the reach of the recklessly daring 19.99 16.99 Not sure? Grab the free rules for WWN here.

Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master - Yeah, I know some folks see Sly Florish and cringe, but the work here is solid and the advice is priceless. 

Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master is a book designed to help fantasy roleplaying Gamemasters get more out of their games by preparing less. Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master uses the experiences of thousands of GMs to help us focus on how we prepare our games, how we run our games, and how we think about our games. 

Refined for five years after the release of the Lazy Dungeon Master, Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master is a complete stand-alone book that includes practical steps for focusing our preparation activities on those things that will bring the biggest impact to our game. 7.99  5.99

The Halls of Arden Vul Complete - Yes, I own this in print. It is a thing of beauty. I'm not sure I'll ever run it all, but I'll certainly cherry-pick pieces. 

Arden Vul is the most ambitious megadungeon ever created, with over 1,100 Pages of Incredible Adventure. This First Edition compatible fully-bookmarked PDF product features:

2,162 Encounter Descriptions -14 NPC Factions - 10 Massive Levels -15 Extensive Sub-levels - 7 Dangerous Exterior locations - 149 New Monsters - 332 New Magic Items - 69 New Technological Items - 44 New Spells - 189 New Books through which PCs can gain a deep understanding of the dungeon - A full NPC appendix with 10 competing parties at 3 levels of power - Over 140 original pieces of art, including 28 full-page illustrations! 109  81.75

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Fourth Edition Rulebook - The 4th edition of WFRP reads like a cleaned-up and updated 1e/2e WFRP. Thankfully, they have ignored the 3rd ed ;) 

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay takes you back to the Old World. Get the gang together, create your (anti)heroes, and set off to make your way through the vile corruption, scheming plotters and terrifying creatures intent on destruction. Prepare yourself for the struggle of the gutter, to fight for your survival, and to face corruption on all sides. Prepare yourself for danger, as lethal threats are everywhere, and you can’t face them alone. And, most of all, prepare yourself for the grim and perilous adventure of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay!

The Fourth Edition Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Rulebook contains everything you need for grim and perilous roleplaying adventures in the Old World. Drawing inspiration from the legendary early publications of the grimdark RPG, WFRP brings innovative twists to build on the beloved classic. 29.99  22.49

Mörk Borg English - I own the print version of this and my God, it is a thing of beauty. 

MÖRK BORG is a pitch-black apocalyptic fantasy RPG about lost souls and fools seeking redemption, forgiveness or the last remaining riches in a bleak and dying world. Who are you? The tomb-robber with silver glittering between cracked fingernails? The mystic who would bend the world’s heart away from it’s inevitable end? Confront power-draining necromancers, skulking skeletal warriors and backstabbing wickheads. Wander the Valley of the Unfortunate Undead, the catacombs beneath the Bergen Chrypt or the bedevilled Sarkash forest. But leave hope behind - the world’s cruel fate is sealed, and all your vain heroic efforts are destined to end in death and dismay. Or are they?

MÖRK BORG is a complete game in the OSR genre, that can be played as is or be picked apart for use in your own homebrew. The rules are easily made compatible with most of the editions of the world’s largest role-playing game. 14.99  11.24

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, July 20, 2021

I was a Guest on the Rollin' Bones Vidcast with Ryan Howard - We Discussed the Next Generation of OSR Gamers

I sat down a week ago with Ryan Howard of the Rollin' Bones Vidcast. We talked mostly about bringing in younger gamers, the next generation if you will, into tabletop gaming and the OSR in particular.

I had a great time :)

It's funny. I've been involved with podcasting for about 7 years. Sadly, The Brainstorm Podcast, my first regular podcast as a host, only lasted about 50 episodes. And look, it's still available!


Anyhow, it was a great experience to be a guest on the cast of another. No show prep, no need to keep a conversation going, just in for the ride and none of the hard work involved ;)

You can catch the episode of Rollin' Bones where I was a guest below. Huge thanks to Ryan for inviting me on. I had a great time!

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, July 19, 2021

Deal of the Day - Dave Arneson's Blackmoor Core Campaign Book (3X)

Sometimes there are RPG releases that are timeless, and that the system or edition that are written for or presented with is irrelevant. Dave Arneson's Blackmoor Core Campaign Book is one of those releases.

Released back in 2005, and uploaded to DTRPG back in 2007, Dave Arneson's Blackmoor Core Campaign Book is a snapshot look at the earliest (as far as I know) D&D setting but presented in a more modern format with a decent layout and art and a sweet looking full-color map,

I actually own this in print, somewhere in my collection, and already had purchased the PDF, and now I want to snuggle down with Blackmoor on my iPad and relive some of the magic.

Until tomorrow morning, Dave Arneson's Blackmoor Core Campaign Book is on sale for 3 bucks (down from its usual 7.50, which is still a steal if you ask me).

Over 30 years ago, Dave Arneson created the world that spawned a generation of role playing fans! This core campaign setting is 240 pages and features a full color pull out map of Blackmoor! Features Newly Revised and additional materials from the previous hardback edition!', ' The First Fantasy Campaign. Thirty years ago, the world''s first fantasy campaign began. Now it''s back! Enter Dave Arneson''s Blackmoor, a brooding world of dragons, dungeons, and danger. After thirty years of development, Blackmoor is ready for your adventures.

Note, the Original D&D version of Blackmoor is 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, July 18, 2021

Seeing How the Chili is Made: Call of Cthulu


Seeing How the Chili is Made: Call of Cthulu
This week I have a special project coming up and I'm finally getting a chance to essentially see "how the chili is made" with regards to a game I've deliberately put off learning to play....well, actually more like the rules themselves: Call of Cthulu (CoC).

I know there are multiple versions of CoC and I have played in a couple of them a couple of times at conventions. The thing is I have, until now, deliberately avoided learning the game itself. I know nothing about the mechanics aside from that your character can go insane.

Seriously, I cannot tell you about how the stats go or if there is a skill system even. I played one traditional RPG/Fantasy setting that I barely remember (aside from thoroughly enjoying it) and one Viking era game that was equally awesome. I played my character straight, disbelieving everything and towards the end as we're fleeing some monstrous horror, actually I was following my leader who was going insane. Our escape is blocked by some other monstrous horror who offers us an escape if I allow my character to be devoured. I remember telling the GM (are they even called GMs?) something along the lines of "Since this blobby thing isn't real, sure it can eat me." Instant death, but since my leader was able to escape and it was my PC's only goal/function to protect this liege....still a win.

Now I can be 110% wrong, but I think part of my enjoyment of CoC comes from the fact that there is a mystery element to CoC and me not knowing how anything works adds a bit to the immersion. If/when my PC starts going insane, I have no clue how bad this is, how bad it can become, and how to mitigate, in game, the effects. It is kind of a mystery within a mystery.

I was reading one of my older blog posts (on my main personal blog....and no I wasn't planning on linking it) that was about some potential meta-gaming with regards to dealing with HackMaster's treatment of zombie attacks. Now in that campaign there was a lot of in-game character observations that mirrored what could be meta-gaming, and that painful in-character observations were passed along as party knowledge. This happened to the extent that unrelated PCs were simply following along with party Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that were due to what was dubbed "The Zombie Campaign". Of course, this only applies to that one party/my PCs in that party, and not my other games.

Now I like to think I don't meta-game and I'm sure to some extent I can play "straight" when at a convention or visiting another gaming group (it's been known to happen), but I'm sure that the reality is somewhere less than 100% compliance to what I like to think. Of course when it comes to games like CoC, ignorance of the rules pretty much ensures that I can't "game the system"....pun intended?

It's been years since I last played CoC and since I don't go to so many conventions anymore I highly doubt that I'll get to play again in the foreseeable future, and even if I do it probably won't be the same version of the game, so I should be safe.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Bard – Swords & Wizardry – A Work in Progress

I’ve been a longtime fan of Bards. No, not the Bard from the AD&D 1e Player’s Handbook, but starting with the Bard Class presented in issue #56 of The Dragon. Heck, 10 years ago, I wrote a Swords & Wizardry Bard Class for issue #6 of Knockspell. It wasn’t a bad attempt, but I think I’ve learned a bit more over the years when it comes to game design – and class design. I think its time to refresh the design. ;)

So, what defines a bard in my mind? A bit of a jack-of-all-trades, a bard is a class that is useful, but not meant to replace any other particular core class. It’s the type of class that comes into play when you are playing solo, or in a group that has already covered the four core class types of fighter, cleric, thief and wizard. The bard does a little bit of each class, but certainly not as competently as any of the core does theirs.

A bard is lightly armored. Nothing heavier than chainmail. They can’t wield a shield either.

Weapons are limited to the type that can be wielded in a single hand. Any weapon that would be stored across their back is avoided, so no bows or crossbows. Missile weapons would be limited to slings and thrown weapons.

Hit Dice would be as a thief, as would the Bard’s combat matrix and saving throws.

Bard’s have a song list, much of which would draw from the established cleric and magic-user spell lists. Bard songs are different from the spells they replicate, and bards can not use magic-user or cleric scrolls, even if the spells are on the bard song list. They would also progress slower as casters, with new spell levels at 4th, 7th, and 10th levels

Of course, bards would need the ability to inspire their compatriots as well as distract their foes. Obscure knowledge would also be their forte.

Alright, not quite a complete checklist. Work commences later today. I’ll show peeks at the progress as it happens, and the final design will likely appear in Torchlight #2.

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