Sunday, October 31, 2021

Do You Play a Seasonal Halloween Game/Session?

Do You Play a Seasonal Halloween Game/Session?
One thing I've always wondered, and maybe I should have been thinking about this last weekend, is if other gaming groups gather to play a holiday-themed session, whether it's a one-off or a regular integration. Maybe you play a different game altogether for the holiday.

Now my group had kind of a one-off this weekend, but it wasn't a holiday-themed game. Now I'm not saying I wanted a Halloween game....actually I didn't even consider it or I'd have made the suggestion. Now I know from my (unfortunate) time in retail that Halloween has pretty much become the #2 holiday after Christmas as far as consumer spending goes. I think it's still #3 after Thanksgiving as far as popularity, and for some it's easily #1.

Some folks just LOOOOOVE Halloween. Me....I'm a bit "meh". Probably doesn't help that my house is in a bad location and I just haven't had a single Trick-or-Treater since I moved here in 2018. I'm already so NOT a seasonal decorator to begin with, so why bother.

Should I stick with 00 Buck or switch to slugs?

It also doesn't help that I swear my part of Oklahoma gets like one week of Fall. Granted it's been this last week, but it'll pretty much be winter by like Tuesday. Hard to get excited about fall activities when you jump from Summer to Winter. I've got stuff to do during the fall and screwing around with Halloween isn't one of them.

So right about now I'm sure that I'm coming across all "bah humbug".....I know, I know, wrong holiday, but you know what I'm saying.....

A couple years ago I wrote a small Tweak & Toss that was kind of inspired by the movie "Motel Hell". If you're not familiar with the movie.....well there's a link for you.

The Horrors of Halfling Hollow Tweak & Toss

Now I don't really think if this Tweak & Toss as a straight-up Halloween "adventure", but if you are the type of GM that likes to slip a potential something-something into your regular campaign, it might work. It's not a scary setup by any means, but occasionally I do some meta-crap and the one thing I did was oversell the cover for those players that take too much notice of the "adventure's" cover (Something I think a lot of us have done as players....).

So while I was thinking of Halloween and this one Tweak & Toss I went ahead and took a second look at the thing. Ugh.....it had a link to a high-resolution map that was essentially lost when I close my Patreon campaign. So I fixed that and I made sure to change the "price" down to a buck and make it Pay What You Want. If you don't have that huge map, which you really didn't need anyway, not something I'd want a couple bucks for. 

Anyway, I know it's a bit of self-promotion, but Erik lets me do what I want on Sundays as it is, and since it's PWYW....feel free to grab it for $0. You can click on through to The Horrors of Halfling Hollow by clicking on the link or the graphic above. Do me a favor though, if you incorporate into your ongoing campaign, drop me a note to say how it went. Always good to hear from GMs.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Tenkar is Raising Money for St Jude's Children's Hospital - Pity the Fool and Show Some Support

Earlier tonight, I did a yoga Livestream with my wife Rachel as my instructor. I was dressed as you see above and we were raising money for St Jude's Children's Hospital. We had an initial goal of $300 and surpassed that in the opening minutes.

As of the writing of this post, we've raised over $785 and hope to raise some more.

At $430, we earned about 8 seconds of Tenkar twerking, so help me God ;)

We have some future "stretch goals".

If we hit $1000 raised before next Friday, I'll die my hair blue and leave it blue for at least a week.

At $1200, I'll walk our dog in Forest Park with my blue hair wearing the outfit shown above. Again, we need to hit this number before Friday, November 5th, 2022.

At $1500, I'll go food shopping with blue hair and "taco cat" pants. The cut-off date on this one is November 30th, 2022.

Again, all for a good cause, and thanks to everyone who has shown support and to all those who do so after reading this post. You f'n rock!

http://events.stjude.org/tenkarstavern

Here's the recording of the Livestream: 





Thursday, October 28, 2021

Kickstarter - Seekers of the Un-K'Nown: A Classics Mutated Adventure


A post-apocalyptic, sci-fi adventure compatible with Mutant Crawl Classics.

There is something about post-apocalypse games that I really enjoy, going back to Gamma Word 1e. It's the idea that the common is now rare, and technology is damn near like magic and rarely fully understood. Mutant Crawl Classics takes the genre to 11 in many ways.

With Seekers of the Un-K'Nown, we mix that with some old school sandbox gaming and it might be exactly what I'm looking for. Of course, I might convert it to Mutant Future to allow me to run it with minimal page flipping. Yeah, I have my issues with too much page flippin'! ;)

18 bucks (plus shipping) for the Print plus PDF. Damn near impossible to pass on at that price point.

This has all the dungeon-crawly goodness of those early modules we all used to play but with the added bonus of a "through-line" plot to pull the dungeon encounters together and bring a little conflict/pressure into an otherwise sandbox-style game.  More than that, I've intentionally written in nice spring board moments where judges can connect the game up to other adventures they plan to run or follow this one up with some of the other Classics Mutated adventures we have in the works -like a voyage to the red planet in our next game, "The Time-Lost Citadel." 

 

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You can catch the daily Tavern Chat podcast on AnchorYouTubeor wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar 

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

News - Supply Chain Woes Hit Hasbro

WotC previously announced that its planned holiday releases are being pushed back to January 2022. Now parent company Hasbro has revealed that it has about $100 million in various products that are caught in the snagged supply chain.

Hasbro logged $100 million worth of orders that went unfilled during its third quarter due to shipping supply chain disruptions, including capacity shortages and port congestion.

Shippers have faced both skyrocketing rates and delays as they try to get goods into the U.S. Larger players have more resources and more options to navigate the crisis, but no one can avoid it entirely. Hasbro Chief Financial Officer Deb Thomas said this summer that the company was seeing ocean shipping costs rise fourfold.

 


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 AnchorYouTubeor wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar

Monday, October 25, 2021

Kickstarter - Cha'alt: Chartreuse Shadows (OSR)


Cha'alt: Chartreuse Shadows continues the eldritch, gonzo, science-fantasy, post-apocalypse OSR D&D campaign setting + megadungeon!

I'm always excited when Venger releases something for his gonzo fantasy setting. While I may not use any of it whole cloth, I do find it fun to read and inspiration to use in my own campaigns.

The Cha'alt: Chartreuse Shadows Kickstarter is the third of the potential Cha'alt trilogy. Although V is hedging his bets and admits its possible that the "trilogy" may see a fourth entry ;)

First of all, what is Cha'alt?  A few years ago, I wanted to go balls-deep into building my own campaign world.  This home setting would be influenced by all the things I love.  It would also focus on the kind of adventures and campaigns I like to run - eldritch, gonzo, science-fantasy, and post-apocalypse - where everything feels familiar, yet utterly strange, along with a sense of humor and erotic cherry on top!  

That's very important because you'll see things in Cha'alt that you ordinarily wouldn't find in other campaign settings.  Jokes and sleaze and meta pop-cultural mash-ups stewing in an unforgettable gumbo a la Venger.

This is book number three of the Cha'alt trilogy!  Is it possible there will be a fourth book in a few years?  Sure, but this is the last Cha'alt book I'm guaranteeing.  What happens in the future is out of my hands (or tentacles), hoss.



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 cast on AnchorYouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar 

Sunday, October 24, 2021

My Thoughts About a Low Magic RPG Campaign

My Thoughts About a Low Magic RPG Campaign
Last night I watched Snake Eyes: GI Joe Origins and while I do not intend to try and review movies here, let me save you a potential waste of 2 hours: its bad.

Yeah I'm not going to start listing the reasons why the movies sucks and right now at least one of you is thinking, "Well then WTF are you even mentioning this bad movie here at the Tavern?" I had already been thinking about magic items and wouldn't you know it, Snake Eyes had a named sword...not magical btw, but it did have an ACTUAL magic item! It was kind of a MacGuffin that came out of nowhere, well the magicality (not sure that is a word, but I'm coining it now) only came out of the blue. I didn't get it....now if the named sword was magical I'd still be WTF since it was GI Joe, but I'd get it.

When it comes to magic in an RPG, I've always been a fan of a relatively low-magic (specifically arcane magic) campaign. Now I don't mean as-in there are no magic items to be had, but that to the average commoner, exposure to magic is a rare, maybe a once-in-a-lifetime event. Sure they know magic exists, but they don't know a Magic-User personally, have never witnessed a spell being cast. A magic item? Maybe they've heard of these things, but they are in the realm of superstition or rumor. Now they may have heard or even seen a magical weapon, but they don't necessarily realize it was magical. I think magical weapons should have names, histories, and have a lore of their own.

Clerical magic is also a bit on the rare side, but a LOT more common because.....well the gawds do like their worshipers. The average commoner goes to church and may have witnessed the low-level Cleric answered prayers. Maybe there is a small stash of Healing potions or a Cure Disease, for emergencies in the congregation.

Most of my favorite fantasy worlds, and clearly I'm not counting GI Joe, are relatively low magic. Lord of the Rings immediately comes to mind, which seems like a misnomer, but aside from the One Ring  the only magical items are the Hobbit's cloaks & clasps, Sting, Gandalf's Staff, and what...the Phial of Galadriel? I'm sure there were some others, but that campaign was EPIC level. The average commoner in Middle Earth might have heard of Narsil and even seen Herugrim, but they probably didn't know that these named blades were magical.

In a lower magic campaign, magical weapons have names. Not really used to seeing non-weapon magical items have names, for the most part, but why not?

I personally like the idea that while common utilitarian magical items, Bags of Holding, Elven Boots, Potions of Healing, etc. can be made, I like the idea that magical arms and armor are created, and not deliberately. Now in the current edition of  HackMaster, IIRC.....the first +'s up to a +5 of a weapon are not magical in nature, but due to higher quality materials and workmanship. I'm ok with that general idea maybe for a +1 or +2 "plain" weapon or armor, but anything else is created by experience. That Sword +1, +3 vs Dragons was a high quality (+1) sword that was the only thing that survived a blast of Dragonfire. It's wielder managed to defeat the Dragon before he expired from his wounds. Now this +1, +3 vs Dragons blade was picked up by the Fighter's companions and dubbed "Dragonsbane" and has been handed down within the deceased fighter's family.

Miscellaneous magical items can be created because of a fortuitous combination of material composition and exposure/experiences. I've written a handful of "mundane" magical items, some for KoDT and some I put up on DTRPG. Mostly items that are magical, but not necessarily known as magical. Stuff that might be considered "lucky" to be used, or a quality heirloom of sorts.

Coming back to the magic in Snake Eyes: GI Joe Origins, that named sword wasn't magical, but it should have been. If it was worthy of a name, it should have been worthy of a backstory, and had some abilities......like maybe it could explain why Snake Eyes, with essentially NO formal sword training, could be a match for Storm Shadow, who clearly had been training for decades. The actual magic item in the movie, the MacGuffin, should have been just a normal, albeit huge, gemstone with a mythological history.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Humble Bundle - Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay

Alright, let me state this straight out of the box. The moment I went to the Humble Bundle Page and saw Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay was one of the bundles I bought in for 30 bucks without waiting. Yes, I have WFRP 1e, 2e, 2e, and 4e. This gives me all but the aberration of 3e as core rules in PDF and so, so, so much more. 

Have you played Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay in the past? Then you know you want this. Never played it? Then you need this. Playing WFRP 4e? You can get the Core Rules, the Starter Box and so much more. Really. I can't say enough. So I'll stop right here ;)



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Friday, October 22, 2021

Kickstarter - Beautiful Hot Female Miniature for 3D Printing - Daniela

3D printable hot female miniature STL file for RPG, Tabletop Games, DnD, D&D, Collectibles and Rolepaying. 75mm, 54mm and 32mm scale

If a picture is good for a thousand words, I guess I don't need to say much more. The idea that this can be the subject of an entire Kickstarter SHOULD surprise me, but sadly, it doesn't.

Multiple poses if you need them. More explicit visuals are on the Kickstarter page.

I won't critique the grammar and spelling beyond saying he should have used a proofreader.







Thursday, October 21, 2021

News - Paizo Releases a Statement Recognizing the United Paizo Workers Union

The original article is linked below:

https://gamingtrend.com/news/paizo-releases-a-statement-recognizing-the-united-paizo-workers/

October 21, 2021 (Redmond, WA) – Paizo is pleased to announce it has voluntarily recognized the United Paizo Workers union, which is affiliated with the Communications Workers of America (CWA).

“We look forward to working with the union to continue and expand our efforts to make Paizo a better place to work and to ensure that Pathfinder and Starfinder products continue to exceed gamer expectations for many years to come,” said Jeff Alvarez, President of Paizo.

The next steps will involve the United Paizo Workers (UPW) union electing their bargaining representatives and then meeting with Paizo management to negotiate terms for a collective bargaining agreement. We expect this process to take some time, but we are committed to the effort and hope to settle a contract in due course. Until an agreement is reached, the Paizo staff continues to focus on creating amazing Pathfinder and Starfinder products.

Paizo has always been about creating awesome games, and we look forward to the changes that unionization will bring to the company. Please join us on this journey by following the UPW on Twitter and stay tuned for future updates!

Interestingly enough, many of the Paizo Freelancers that were involved with the "work stoppage" were full-time Paizo employees moonlighting as freelancers to pay their bills.



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 cast on AnchorYouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar


Wednesday, October 20, 2021

TSR Con 2022 is Now the Same Weekend as Gary Con - March 24-27, 2022

Late this afternoon, the above convention flyer was shared by TSR CON on the TSR CON Facebook page (and elsewhere on Facebook).

Note, the venue is no longer Horticultural Hall but the Dungeon Hobby Shop Museum. This should lower expenses for the convention itself, as LaNassa owns the Dungeon Hobby Shop Museum. It is unclear how much attendance will cost and the maximum occupancy of the venue is not currently stated.

Also note, the timing is no longer the 4th of July weekend (July 1-3, 2022) but the same weekend as Gary Con (March 24-27, 2022). The timing is NOT coincidental and appears to be an attempt to piggyback off of Gary Con and the convention attendees. 

I've heard rumors from multiple sources that LaNassa was attempting to get paid by Gary Con for the use of the Dungeon Hobby Shop Museum and was rebuffed. I've also heard that the Dungeon Hobby Shop Museum had requested that Gary Con provide free shuttle service from Gary Con to the museum and the museum was rebuffed.

As an observation, this is the first time in my recollection that a gaming convention has announced dates and a venue location to coincide with an established convention.

For reference, the original flyer with the original date is still available on the TSR CON Facebook page. It is reproduced here for ease of reference.

It appears TSR CON has gained a sponsor (Smugglers Coffee). Now, only three out of five sponsors are entities owned by Justin LaNassa.

Note, Smugglers Coffee has a website and it appears gamers are behind the brand. I'm not a coffee drinker, but maybe you are. If so, here's the link for Smugglers Coffee.



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 cast on AnchorYouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar



Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Astral Virtual Table Top to Cease Active Development - Cites Competitive Landscape in Near Future as a Reason

There are certainly a large number of Virtual Table Tops in the market right now. The big two are likely Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds, with Foundry and Owlbear Rodeo as the likely second tier of choices. Astral is owned by OneBookShelf, and likely had a budget that enabled it to be competitive in its offered features.

Here's the text of the announcement (with some commentary from your favorite bartender):

Astral TableTop was created by Tom Lackemann and began its life as PowerVTT in 2017 with the simple goal of creating a virtual tabletop software that was actually easy to learn and use.

Over the years, largely thanks to feedback and engagement of its community, Astral grew to become the VTT of choice for hundreds of thousands of tabletop RPG players. Unfortunately, even with the growth that Astral has experienced, it has not attracted an audience large enough to be a thriving business. With the landscape for VTT’s looking to become even more competitive in the near future, Astral’s founder Tom has decided to retire from Astral TableTop to pursue other ventures. (emphasis mine) Fear not, however – Astral TableTop will not be going away just yet. Even though it will no longer be in active development, Astral will continue to live on as it currently is into the foreseeable future (note - this "life" is not a defined length, and can change at any moment). OneBookShelf, the parent company of DriveThruRPG, partnered with Tom on Astral TableTop and will be continuing to oversee and maintain Astral’s current services even after his departure.

Should OneBookShelf need to close down the Astral TableTop service completely at some point in the future, it will provide as much notice as possible to give everyone time to close or migrate their campaigns to another platform (I'd expect minimal notification. the facvt that this is mentioned tells you they are already planning to shut down the service). The creation of something like Astral TableTop was a dream for all of the members of the team, as well as the countless community members who dedicated their time and care to help build this TTRPG platform we all love so much. We are eternally grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of your tabletop gaming adventures over these last 4 years. Forever, Your Astral Allies (edited)

There will be a few notable changes:

Astral’s Marketplace will be closing so no new items will be able to be purchased, but you will still have access to all items already in your Astral Vault and you will continue to be able to upload assets to your Vault.

Yearly Subscription options will be removed and new, lower-cost Monthly Subscription options will be taking their place: - Gold Subscription - $5.99 per month - Platinum Subscription - $9.99 per month ​(no yearly subscriptions likely means the estimated life left is a year or less)

Any time remaining on prepaid subscriptions will be credited to your account and automatically rolled over into the new, lower-cost, monthly subscription plans. No action is needed on your part!

"With the landscape for VTT’s looking to become even more competitive in the near future" - I think this is a reference to the VTT WotC is rumored to be working on. If it is referring to such, I would assume an official announcement will be sooner than later.


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 cast on AnchorYouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar


Monday, October 18, 2021

Can Freelancers Strike? Paizo Freelancers are Exerting a "Job Action" and withholding Submission of Projects

Paizo Freelancers started a "Job Action" in September, and 40 of them stopped submitting completed material to Paizo. At the moment, all they are asking for is recognition of the Paiz Workers Union, which WON'T be in a position to directly support them as freelancers.

Here are the tweets with the details from the Starfinder and Pathfinder's Senior Line Developer:

Today I want to shine a spotlight on UPW’s secret weapon: freelancers. Paizo’s freelancers are our ally in this fight and we’re helping each other. Here’s how:

Paizo’s business model is built on freelancers. Very few of the words in our publications are written in-house by full time employees on the clock. Instead, we outline projects, hire freelancers to execute those outlines, and develop and edit those manuscripts.

This allows a relatively small number of people (about 35, including art directors, editors, designers, developers, and more) to produce, well, everything. Have you seen our publication schedule lately? It’s LONG. And Paizo must publish new books to pay its bills.

Well, about a month ago, about 40 of Paizo’s most reliable, prolific, and skilled freelancers simply stopped working. In official parlance, this is called “concerted action.” In layman’s terms, it’s a strike without a union.

Some of these freelancers were in the middle of projects, with upcoming deadlines. Some of them had completed manuscripts they refused to turn over. Some were people we need to hire, to get scheduled books underway in time to publish. All of that FROZE.

Folks, Paizo can’t operate in that environment. We can’t just assign 10,000 word Org Play scenarios, 35,000 word SF adventures, 50,000 word P2 adventures to new, untested freelancers. And for many projects, it’s too late in the schedule to do that anyway.

Now, this group of freelancers had a specific list of demands. They wanted Paizo to hire a diversity officer, for example, and investigate recent terminations. But yesterday, they updated their demands: they’ll all come back to work if Paizo recognizes United Paizo Workers.

This is an enormous lever, and we at UPW are incredibly grateful to have it. Paizo can’t make its publication schedule without freelancers, and it can’t pay exec salaries without publications. But if they recognize our union, freelancers come back to work TOMORROW.

Sure, yes, contract negotiations will be long and trying for all involved. But Paizo will still get books out the door, it’ll be able to make its commitments and pay its bills and salaries. And during contract negotiation, we, the people who hire freelancers, can pay back.

In contract negotiation, we can fight for better pay rates for freelancers. We can get more time in the schedule, so writers have time to do their job right. We can get playtesting built into these schedules, which not only helps freelancers but creates better books.

Paizo’s freelancers and United Paizo Workers are working hand in hand. And I am so grateful, honored, and humbled to have that partnership.


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


Sunday, October 17, 2021

Nobody Runs By-the-Book and You Don't Necessarily Have to Play BTB Either

Nobody Runs By-the-Book and You Don't Necessarily Have to Play BTB Either
Believe it or not I actually put some thought into these Sunday posts.....usually a couple days even. Unfortunately a lot of thought doesn't always translate into a well-written post, but I'm not looking for validation today. I mention this because it seems to me most of my posts come across as stream-of-consciousness how I think of things, and I doubt today will be much different.

Now I know that I keep coming back to my favorite RPG system being HackMaster and over the last couple of days I've been thinking that 1) my gaming friends have to be getting tired of hearing that and 2) while clearly I'm a fan, maybe I'm not being true to myself.

First off, I fully admit that I'm a big-time rules-lawyer as a player. I really try to not be a dick about it, but I'm sure there are times I am the biggest dick about it. As a rules-lawyer I'm going to gravitate to crunchier game systems. Now HackMaster 4th Edition was crunchy as fuck. Seriously, it was a nightmare at times and GMing the game could be a HUGE pain-in-the-ass. HUGE!

Not sure I've mentioned this at the Tavern before, but generally speaking whenever I play a new rules-system I make my first character an archer. Not a fighter, but specifically an archer. I'm sure this probably goes all the way back to my 1E days, but it gives me a basis of comparison.

Now in HackMaster 4E if your wanted to be a Longbow Archer you kind of sucked compared to ANY other missile weapon specialist, and if you wanted to fire into combat, the best way to do it went like this: You'd tell the GM that you wanted to specifically shoot your (melee) engaged party member's left pinkie toe. The GM would calculate the odds of you targeting your ally (who the arrow would hit if the attack was successful) and if successful, then all the penalties for trying to hit that left pinkie toe would come into play and odds are you'd never make the shot.....but if you did a crit and managed to actually land the shot.....bye-bye pinkie. If the GM determined you weren't going to hit your ally, then those penalties didn't apply.

Now I was able to re-write that bit of the rules as a successful submission to Hackjournal, but that's a different story.

After thinking a lot about not just HackMaster, but how I like to play I have come to the realization that I like the crunchy details, not necessarily the rules. HackMaster just happens to have hit my sweet spot, but I don't actually sit around in other games wishing I was playing HackMaster instead. My favorite game is pretty much whatever game I can get into. Sure, I have had issues with some systems....D&D 3.5 only bugged me with the book-of-the-month club and that I felt like I *had* to have my character's mid and higher levels already figured out before I picked my skills and feats or I'd be behind the power curve, as it was. Now my main D&D 3.5 GM was the real problem I had with that game, but again....another story (some of which I've shared already).

I've liked playing DCC, MCC, CoC, and a bunch of odd one-offs.....and I'm coming around to the idea that pretty much every game is some kind of "one-off", even if it runs into a multi-year campaign. Think about it, there seems to be about a million variations of B/X floating out there: Labyrinth Lord, Swords & Wizardry, Old School Essentials, Pacesetter's BX RPG, etc.....I'm assuming that pretty much every GM runs their very own version of the game, especially when it comes to retro-clones, which is why there are so many versions out in the wild.

Outside of HackMaster I've yet run into a GM running a game 100% by the book. My current home game is a B/X game where the GM runs all kind of home-brew rules. I can't really comment one way or another on the quality of the home-brew, but I haven't really seen anything that I didn't think worked. To be honest, I don't always pay attention to the GM explaining his rules and even though I've read some of them I actively try to "forget" stuff that doesn't apply directly to my PC.

This game has really been a bit of a paradigm shift for me as a player. I'm used to knowing all of the rules and figuring out the best way of doing X, Y, or Z. That was fun for me, but there was no mystery, just an exercise in trying to be the smartest guy at the table (which doesn't happen much, but it's the attempt that's important) and trying to roll well, which can be important in a competitive tournament. I'm not playing in tournaments and don't plan on doing so in the future. I've had much more fun sitting back and figuring shit out in the moment and generally rolling with the game as it is presented. It helps that my GM runs a lot of custom monsters and tries out new rules on us before he commits them for publication.

Of course this particular style of playing is a lot more laid-back than I'm used to and despite my best efforts I'm sometimes jonesing for a bit more crunch. The thing is, and this has been an evolving concept, I don't necessarily need my GM to provide that crunch on a plate for me. In my game I'm playing a Magic User and the GM is happy enough knowing I have a spell book. According to my PC sheet my spellbook is a Guild Duodecimo: 4 5/8" x 7 1/2" in size and 9" thick. It has 92 parchment pages and a calfskin cover. The whole thing weighs 1.5 pounds (encumbrance is 45 coins). My spells are:

  • Read/Write Magic (Pages 1-2)
  • Read Languages (Page 3)
  • Sleep (Pages 4-7)
  • Magic Missile (Page 8)
  • Hold Portal (Pages 9-12)
  • Ventriloquism (Pages 13-15)
  • Protection from Evil (Pages 16-19)
  • Magic Mirror (Pages 20-21)
  • Knock (Pages 22-25)
  • Condone (Pages 26-28)
  • Web (Pages 29-35)
Now I really need a travel/secondary spellbook, but I'll take care of that when we have some downtime in-game. I also have a captured spellbook I need to figure out as well....

Yeah, so it just now occurred to me that while clearly I don't mind doing a little extra on my end to enhance my enjoyment of the game, I don't want to be "that guy". You know "that guy", you might have met him/her once or thrice, maybe in a pickup game...probably not in your regular gaming/friend group, but you never know. If for some reason you don't know who I'm talking about, count yourself lucky. "That guy" gets a little too deep into their PC, which is ok (I guess) until they present the GM with a 15 page backstory of their PC, complete with motivations, aspirations, and extended friends & family list.

If you want to add a bit to your game, go nuts, just don't...well go "nuts" and become "that guy". I don't expect my GM to care what's on page 13 of my spellbook, but if he asks I can push up my glasses, adopt a nerdish lisp, and tell him.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

DriveThruRPG Has Some Halloween Freebies

In prior years, DriveThruRPG has done a Halloween Pumpkin Hunt of sorts, having shoppers scour the DTRPG pages for hidden pumpkins in search of freebies. This year, there are freebies neatly grouped together and an accompanying sale.

Highlights from today's Halloween Freebie Page include Fear Itself 2e (GUMSHOE) and some seasonally appropriate soundtracks. It appears there will be new offerings daily.


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Friday, October 15, 2021

Free RPG Day is Tomorrow, October 16th 2021

Yep, as you may have noticed, Free RPG Day was pushed back this year. Normally held in June, this year, due to the pandemic, it was moved to October.

ENWorld has a surprisingly complete overview of what is available. As usual, the OSR relevant or adjacent are minimal.

Tomb of the Savage Kings for Dungeon Crawl Classics (DCC RPG), a level 2 adventure designed by Stephen Newton.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Soulbound: Reap and Sow gives an introductory adventure for players interested in visiting the Mortal Realms in Soulbound. Great for Age of Sigmar fans.


 

 

 

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Paizo's Staff Votes to Unionize - United Paizo Workers

I'm not sure what larger effect the decision of Paizo's staff to unionize will have on the larger TTRPG industry (likely little if any), but the 30+ staffers at Paizo are hoping that Paizo will recognize their union. 

From Dicebreaker:

Staff say they are “underpaid for their labor, required to live in one of the most expensive cities in the United States, and subjected to untenable crunch conditions on a regular basis”.

Most everyone in the RPG industry is underpaid for their labor, in large part because the profit margins are not as large as many would like them to be.

In any case, 30 some odd members does not make for a powerful bargaining unit. It is, however, likely, that Paizo has the largest staff of non-managerial job titles in the industry.

Interesting times.

My further thoughts are in the video below:


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

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Deal of the Day - Dark Streets & Darker Secrets



A modern-day horror setting with an OSR feel for 2 bucks? Say it ain't so! ;)

Until tomorrow morning, Dark Streets & Darker Secrets is a mere $2 in PDF (marked down from a regular price of $10).

So, what is Dark Streets & Darker Secrets?

Dark Streets & Darker Secrets is a Street & Sorcery Rules Light Role-Playing Game with an Old School spirit, just like its predecessors: Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells and Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells.

It’s a game about modern adventures in the world we live today, only with a layer of supernatural weirdness and horror. Characters are people who have found out about the mysteries and horrors that exist in the world and have decided to do something about it, be it battle it, join it, or simply explore its possibilities in any way they see fit. They will battle evil cultists, corrupted ghosts, bloodsucking vampires, and frenzied werewolves, or maybe they will be the horrors of others. This edition of the game assumes the reader knows the principles of what role-playing games are and how they are played.

What will you get with this book? Not only you will get a complete game system for urban fantasy, action horror and street and sorcery stories, you will also find tools and generators to create cities, neighborhoods, organizations, factions, NPS, monsters, ancient and sinister artifacts, complete adventures, which can all be of great help to inspire Referees of all modern games!

So grab your leather jacket, a baseball bat and whatever you can get your hands on to put the bad monsters to rest and come explore these dark streets and unveil these darker secrets.

It's essentially Chill with an OSR chassis. :)

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Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Why So Many Kickstarter Creators are Horrible at Communication


I recently posted about The Great Supply Chain Disruption. Surprisingly to me, I've gotten ZERO updates from ANY open Kickstarters I've backed since that announcement talking about fulfillment delays that could be blamed on shipping printed books from China - and I know a few fall into that category.

So, why no updates?

I think for the bulk of them, avoiding the issue until it can't be put off any further is simply a trait of human nature. No one really enjoys negative feedback, so if you can delay it, so much the better.

Take Far West for example. Gareth has no issue with using Twitter on a damn near-daily basis but hasn't updated the Kickstarter page since July 19th, 2019. Well over two years ago.

Why would that be? Well, He did say you can ask him questions about Far West on his Far West Forums, but you can't sign up for them - the sign-up app is broken and there hasn't been a comment there since February of this year. 

The thing is, comments on Kickstarter, and Indiegogo to the best of my knowledge, can't be moderated by the project creator. So, if the angry mobs of a late Kickstarter decide to engage with the creator, the creator can not control the ebb and flow of the conversation. The narrative belongs to the mob. Often a righteous mob but a mob nonetheless.

And this is why many creators don't engage on their project page when they go into the realms of the late, late, late project. 

Communication is where many Kickstarters fail horribly.





Monday, October 11, 2021

Kickstarter - Dice, Runes, and Magical Artifacts for RPG's and Witchcraft


I've been trying to cut back on backing Kickstarters these last few months. It's not just recent supply and delivery issues that made me decide that, but also the large number of RPG Kickstarters that I've received and have yet to read. I doubt I'm unique with this issue :)

The Dice, Runes, and Magical Artifacts for RPG's and Witchcraft Kickstarter requires minimal if any reading. Instead, it offers props I can use in-game or simply display on my shelves. The offerings are not something I'd ever expect to find on the shelves of a game store.

I'm partial to the casting runes pictured above. Heck, they can double as 4-sided dice. And it's hand-made. How cool is that?

My name is David Savedge and I am a blacksmith and game designer. I have a studio and blacksmith's shop on my farm, Ravenstead.

Ravenstead is my home and family business, with smithing and metal work becoming a bigger part of what I do to provide. This current project will help better establish the workshop at Ravenstead.

When I'm not working on the farm or smithing, I'm thinking about games and gaming. I love classic tabletop role-playing games. I'm excited to share my new project with you!

I wanted to bring another unique and magical project to the gaming table or altar that involved some serious blacksmithing and pewter work!

 

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Sunday, October 10, 2021

Wanting to Combine My Gaming Circles (Again)

Wanting to Combine My Gaming Circles (Again)
Like most of us, and I know this is an assumption, I'm not just a single type of "gamer". This week a couple of new console games came out, most notably Far Cry 6 and Back 4 Blood. Now I know there are a few "I don't give a damn" eyerolls at the very mention of computer/console games, but years ago my console and RPG gaming circles overlapped, and one of the big overlaps was Left 4 Dead/Left 4 Dead 2.

Now I've been hearing that Far Cry 6 is just more of the same, for good or bad and Back 4 Blood, which I purchased, is technically is an all new game. I say technically because the creative team behind the game worked together on the Left 4 Dead games and damn, does it feel like a difficult, updated version of those games. Since it is a different game/series, the zombies are not necessarily zombies, more like a zombie-like plague or some such called the "Ridden".....I think it's a parasite. The special Ridden have new names and I keep wanting to call them by the closest L4D equivalent.

Anyway I know this is a long intro, but basically I got this new game and really wanted to link back up with the old console gaming group and once again kick some zombie Ridden ass. 

So I did reach out to one guy I'm still a Facebook friend with to see if the rest of the guys still game.....I kind of dropped out when the Call of Duty games when "futuristic" and I refer current to past-era CoD games. I think I'm the only one who got the pre-order.

Now I'm not sure the game is worth the $100 or so for the "Ultimate" edition, but if you want to play an updated L4D......my gamertag is "Face275"

TL;DR I need "friends" to play Back 4 Blood with online.

Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep

Now I have a different console gaming/friends group for a different game......the Borderlands series. I'm a huge fan of all the games but one of my favorites was a DLC for Borderlands 2 called "Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep"

 Now if you haven't played this game or the DLC, the whole thing is essentially a game-within-a-game. Tiny Tina was a ancillary character in Borderlands 2 that is a little "explosives happy" and a lot deranged. In the DLC she is running a table-top game of "Bunkers and Badasses" that is an over-the-top homage to D&D. It's a great fusion of two disparate games, with plenty of puns and adult-ish humor tossed in.

My problem is that my circle of friends that play Borderlands are on the newest game and its DLCs, and you can really only play Assault on Dragon Keep so many times (odds are 3x per character).......


....unless you manage to pick up a copy of Bunkers & Badasses. Yep, the folks at Nerdvana Games is flexing the mashup the other way. I purchased a pre-order and while, like pretty much everything these days, production is running behind, allegedly the game has been produced and is on it's way to the fulfillment center for a mid-October arrival.

With any luck I will again get a couple of my gaming circle to align!

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