Friday, June 11, 2021

Deal of the Day - The Waking of Willowby Hall (OSR Adventure)

Sorry for the lateness of this post, but today was a busy day of gardening, shopping, napping, live-streaming, and napping. I've had either a severe allergies attack or a cold come on over the past 24 hours, so there was lots of muting and nose-blowing on tonight's live-stream ;)

Anyhow, for the next 12 hours or so, The Walking of Wiilowby Hall is the Deal of the Day at DTRPG. Normally 7.50, on sale in PDF for 3.75

The Waking of Willowby Hall is a dense, highly interactive RPG adventure set in a ruined manor beset by a rampaging giant, roving bands of restless dead, and a very angry goose.

  • Suitable for PCs of approximately 3rd level.
  • Features a highly interactive environment that rewards clever play.
  • Perfect for one-shots or for dropping into an existing campaign.
  • Contains "One Page Dungeon" maps that allow the DM to run much of the adventure at a glance.
  • Uses bullet points and control-panel layout for maximum ease of use.
  • Statted for Knave, but easily usable with any old-school fantasy RPG.
  • Writing, layout, and cartography by two-time ENnie Award winner Ben Milton, author of Maze Rats, Knave, and Jim Henson's Labyrinth: The Adventure Game.
  • Lavishly illustrated by Sam Mameli.


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Thursday, June 10, 2021

Gamma World 1e Bundle - PDF - $9.99

Well, this caught me by surprise. There is a post-apocalypse sale going on at DTRPG and one of the highlighted bundles is a classic TSR era Gamma World 1e Bundle - core rules, Gamemaster Screen, and three modules for 9.99

As a side note, does anyone know why there are three different Gamma World logos for 1e?

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Wednesday, June 9, 2021

The Folio: Black Label #6 (1e/5e Indiegogo)

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Scott Taylor writes some good shit. The Black Label line of The Folio is a bit more risque than the regular Folio releases. Just look at the cover above.

Scott always hits his release dates, which is a rarity on crowdfunding projects. Turn around on Black Label #6 is November 2021, but I expect it will ship sooner than that.

The maps are simply second to none. Classic blue for the win :)

The secret of The Folio is presenting the adventure for 1e and 5e. It really makes the adventures accessible to all. Well, all that roll a D20 :)

What does the adventure Before the Necrotic Gate revolve around? 
Well, this will be a standard swords & sorcery based adventure that deals with the a three level keep you see above, located in the deadly 'ash lands'.  Characters will be required by an outside contract to return the daughter of a noble that fell victim to the roving slavers, bound for The Burning City.  The question will be, can the characters get in and out before the entire land rises up against them?

The PDF for The Folio: Black Label #6 is 10 bucks. Print is 20 bucks.

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, June 8, 2021

RPG News - Catching Up with Risus: Sold! and Other Interesting Tidbits

I must admit, I haven't been paying much attention to the news in the World of Gaming for the past week or so, as NTRPG Con was occupying my waking (and sleeping) thoughts. But now I'm home, and its time to catch up on some topics covered here and on our accompanying Youtube Channel:

Risus has been sold. Yep, I had mentioned that it was for sale, along with its Kickstarter obligations, and someone has taken on the responsibilities to fulfill those obligations and apparently paid for the privilege:

Big Dice Games Acquires Risus: The Anything RPG, Charts Course for the Future of Joyful RPGs!

A joint press release from Cumberland Games & Diversions and the new home of Risus: Big Dice Games.

Dave LeCompte, of Big Dice Games, has purchased the Risus RPG line from S. John Ross of Cumberland Games and Diversions.

S. John Ross designed, authored, and published the groundbreaking roleplaying game system, subtitled “The Anything RPG,” in a time where individual role playing manuals were hundreds of pages, and a well-prepared gaming group would have dozens of books. Risus is a different sort of game system, with a set of rules that can fit on a single sheet of paper.

Dave LeCompte has been a friend of Risus for years, and looks forward to carrying it forward as a game where there’s “No Wrong Way to Play!”

Big Dice Games has agreed to complete the outstanding Kickstarter campaign to publish more free adventures, and intends to publish all-new Risus worldbooks as well.

S. John, who has shepherded his creation for 28 years, has overseen its changes from a plain-jane document of the early 90s to a stick-figure festooned one in the 21st century, is proud to see Big Dice Games carrying the torch forward to see the Risus line expand to include entire worlds, more adventures, and more voices from around the world. The Risus community has always been international (the game has been translated into 18 languages besides S. John’s attempts at English), and S. John hopes to see something from everyone. He’s also happy he won’t have to edit them.

Dave LeCompte notes: “S. John is one of those creators who do so many things well, it will require many people to fill his shoes. Big Dice Games welcomes the best stick figure art submissions, as well as writing submissions from adventure- and worldbook-authors to provide a breadth of perspectives while staying true to the open-hearted, creative gameplay that Risus gamers expect.” Contact for freelancing opportunities.

The Risus library will continue to be available at DriveThruRPG, with all previous customers transferred painlessly behind the scenes thanks to the efforts of the OBS management. Risus will soon have a new home on the Web as well, at

So, I did a video on an upcoming RPG called Into the Mother Lands. It's an interesting Kickstarter and I am excited about the setting info thus far, but I was (and still am) concerned that the system that will be used has yet to be determined (it was playtested with Cortex). I should note that it has already raised a quarter of a million dollars (11 days to go) for a creator that has a single prior Kickstarter (for about $6k).

Egg Embry interviewed some of the folks behind the Into the Motherland Kickstarter over at ENWorld, and he asked a question about the lack of a determined system at the launch of the Kickstarter. The answer is NOT what I expected. 

EGG: One of the campaign’s FAQs discusses the game’s system, or, more precisely, how that’s yet to be determined. As a business person, why keep that option open?

BDW: Business is exactly why we did it. We’ve been blessed to have a number of options in terms of publishers we can partner with, or go it completely on our own and create a whole new system. There are a lot of other intangibles to weigh like production costs, who has retail distribution, etc. Until you’ve done it, you don’t realize how much more there is to it than deciding if we want to roll d10s or d6s. Ultimately, we’ll do whatever allows us to deliver the best possible game to the widest possible audience.

Intangibles such as "production cost" and "retail distribution" mean that they (those behind the Kickstarter) want another company to take the responsibility of development and distribution. As a potential backer, this lack of decisiveness is enough to keep me from coming anywhere close to this Kickstarter.

What else? 

The Tavern will be refocusing some of its affiliate support and redirecting such to a member of our community in need. Further details when it's finalized.

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, June 7, 2021

State of the Tavern Keeper - Post Con Update and "Stuff"

I had an amazing time at NTRPG Con, as you can probably tell from the posts and Youtube videos I've shared the last few days. Well, I'm home now and it feels good. Almost as good as the weekend was ;)

The true joy in getting out and travelling halfway across the country after the health horrs I had last year can't be understated.

It was amazing seeing the friends and extended family that I hadn't seen for an extended period of time, and it was great putting faces to folk that read the blog, listen to the podcast, and watch the YouTube Channel.

I discussed a potential RPG project with another creator. Far too early to announce, and we aren't even sure it is viable, but damn, it would be a fun project to work on. More if and when we decide to move forward.

The next day or two will see me uploading a shit-ton of podcast episodes, as I was falling behind even before NTRPG Con.

Back behind the grindstone ;)

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Played a DCC Game and "Won" by "Losing"


Played a DCC Game and "Won" by "Losing"
Special Note: I'm at North Texas RPG Con and exhausted. It's been a great con by almost any standard and I'm pretty much wiped. I'm pre-writing this at 2030 on Saturday night when I have a free moment and I should be resting before the midnight auction. I know I'll be dragging tomorrow screw sleep I'm putting up the post.

There are a few games I own I don't get to play much. Probably more my fault than the system's....maybe I prefer other systems or I get enough gaming in already (yeah, right.......that can't be it!). I like DCC, but for me it's a convention game. Maybe that'll change, but for now it's the odd convention game and listening to the Spellburn podcast.

I did get in a DCC funnel game that was unexpectedly good time for me.....I say "unexpectedly" because it was advertised as a 3rd level game and ended up being a zero-level funnel, which can be fun, but not what I was hoping for in the least.....

You will listen to my PC story!
....yes, this is going to be something of a PC Story and since I'm pretty sure it was an actual published adventure I'm going to forgo a lot of specific game-ruining aspects because that isn't the heart of this specific PC story.

This is the story of Jimbobob. Yes, if you want to continue reading you will have to suffer through said PC story. If not, Erik will undoubtedly have another post tomorrow...

That out of the way, this is the story of Jimbobob (Jim-bo-bob) who got rounded up with his fraternal twin sister Jillbobob and his best bud Scrotus and forced with a gaggle of others to complete not just a task that will lead to certain death, but THEN continue on and try to save the world from some BBG (Big Bad Guy) who is going kill everybody and everything at some unspecified "soon" time. Score of victims suckers have gone before and perished and the powers that be are already herding the next group to follow after Jimbobob and his compatriots are nothing but a memory and a bloodstain.

Miraculously the initial task was met without suffering too many loses. The group manages to secure the MacGuffin and there is a glimmer of hope that maybe the impossible task is not so impossible.....the group makes it back to the assembly point and is able to advance forward on the final step of the journey to confront the BBG. Our group has been able to build upon the incremental deaths successes of HUNDREDS that have come before, but the MacGuffin is more than just a means to get to the end, but a mighty tool, a weapon even, that can turn the tide for humanity. Our small, motley assembly of nobodies actually has a chance of pulling this off!

Then all of a sudden.....out of the blue....


Jillbobob is just vaporized in an explosion of pink mist. Jimbobob is covered in the puréed remains of his sister. His one companion from before he was even born! What.....the....fuuuccckkkk.....

Evidently the MacGuffin has a killer of a downside (pun intended). It allows the wielder to perform magic and if there is a spell failure, the result is a random being suffers a "violent decompression event", or "gets popped" as the group quickly puts it.

What was the brief glimmer of hope for Jimbobob turns into a deep level of despair. Nothing matters, we're all going to die anyway so why bother........(I basically started channeling my inner emo and started speaking as much like Eeyore as I could, when using this guy). Scrotus is thankful for every moment the group has and getting closer to succeeding is worth celebrating, especially when we start losing group members to the perils of adventuring....and a few POP!s.

Eventually the group finds another MacGuffin, a different one, and hopes to find a third before confronting the BBG. There's a tantalizing "lead" but someone has to go all Tunnel Rat and start crawling into some stone tunnels/rabbit holes....something that will probably lead to a lonely and/or painful death. 

"Whatever, we're all going to die anyway. I've been all alone since Jillbobob died anyway....." Jimbobob is sent into the tunnels with 50' of rope tied around him and eventually just disappears. The party waits for a while and then just leaves him for dead. (The GM didn't ask me to stamp the PC sheet 'dead' so I just STFU and thought maybe he'd be found later).

Through an unfortunate incident Scrotus now has MacGuffin #1 and another PC has MacGuffin #2 when the party faces off against the BBG and it is apparent that the few remaining PCs are true and rightly fucked. The world is fucked. This isn't just a BBG, it's a fricken B...B...G. It's like we were hoping to fight a Lizardman and then coming across fricken Godzilla! Holy shit people-who-ramroded-us-into-this-crap, I can see why you buried the lead. We could have saved ourselves the trouble and stress (of being POP!ped for one) and just slit our own throats on the onset of the adventure.

Luckily though the world might not be screwed as we are because while even one mighty MacGuffin won't do diddly-squat, at least in the group's hands, to the BBG, the other MacGuffin can turn one guy into a different type of BBG. Basically we might have a chance against Godzilla because our guy can turn into Mecha-Godzilla.

OK, a little honesty here....."we" are still righteously fucked, but Mecha-Godzilla boy had a decent shot at surviving this thing and saving everybody back home.

Out of Character (OOC): think you might have seen a typo, God knows I can be full of them, but I did mean "had" because this is when Jimbobob comes back into the picture.

The nearly-useless MacGuffin changes hands a few times as people die from the BBG and maybe a few POPs. There's a bit of chaos happening when Jimbobob emerges from the tunnel into the final battle with the BBG and guess what happens to be on the floor near his feet...another MacGuffin! Since everything is fucked and we're all going to die anyway, might as well give the MacGuffin a go. Jimbobob tries to activate the magic and nope and he fails miserably.

POP! goes the Mecha-Godzilla.

OOC: At this point I think as a player I'll be all smart and maybe a little rules-lawyerly. There are only three PCs alive in the chamber, but IIRC the vaporization was a random effect.....did the GM account for the BBG when rolling off? Evidently this was a possibility and he had been rolling for the effect to target other beings outside the group before, but hadn't this he'll re-roll.

POP! goes the Mecha-Godzilla. (OOC: Oh well, I tried)

So it's the BBG against the one remaining PC, that it knows about, armed with essentially a useless MacGuffin, and then there's Emobobob, er I mean Jimbobob armed with an even more useless MacGuffin. The BBG rips through the other PC like he was a wet piece of tissue paper and it won't be long before Jimbobob is discovered and snuffed out just as easily.....

.......and then....

POP! The BBG is vaporized and the world is saved, but not Jimbobob. He just doomed himself to an eternity least in his mind.

OOC: So I know I'm screwed and this is the end of the game with the GM clearly having a winning hand. Now, he may have just thrown me a huge bone, adventure wise, but I thought I had a rare rules-lawyering moment, one proud enough to post about it here at the Tavern, no less. While on the surface the MacGuffin really seemed useless because it had no real powers other than casting spells, and those spells weren't going to do a whole helluva lot to the BBG, like highly doubtful even a single-digit of damage, I noticed that the highest level spell had a DC30 spell check and made it clear if you rolled high enough you could pick....actually quoting from the book...."any two of the effects listed above". You know what was on said list...and I hope you've figured it out dear reader.....

.....failure. Failure was on the list. Now clearly the intention is to pick a beneficial spell effect, but in this case, clearly failure is an option.....and if I pick it twice, then I'm assured a pyrrhic victory. 

Of course you'd think that if I'm typing this out now that I managed to pull off that 29 or 30 roll on my d30, or that I was able to burn Luck to get the desired results, but no....I just actually failed my spell check, so someone is gonna POP!, just not both Jimbobob and the BBG. It was all down to the die roll, which the GM let me make. Odds the BBG POP!s and even Jimbobob gets to reunite with his sister in whatever fresh hell serves as the afterlife....

.....and I roll a "1".

Jimbobob saves the day but now he's stuck in a virtual mountain or riches that he can't possibly use.....well he could, but in doing so he'd undoubtedly release the MacGuffins into the world and how many more would suffer being POP!ped? I figure he'll just turn into the Mecha Godzilla and spend the rest of his days alone protecting the world from his group's sucessess. 

Saturday, June 5, 2021

NTRPG Con Day 3 - Predators, Football, Auctions and the Devil

Dear Diary.

Today I played in a Star Wars RPG session run by James Shields. My Fallen Jedi assisted in taking down a Predator. It was a blast!

I followed that with a playtest session of Ty Beard's Football Game. It was not a simulation but was a gamified recreation of a football dynasty. It was a blast to play and I hope to see it come out commercially.

After building my failed football dynasty, I was privileged to be a part of the NTRPG Con Auction. Jim Kitchen was, by far, the best auctioneer I've seen at any convention. I was laughing constantly, learned much and thankfully was not parted from any of my money.

We followed that with an excursion for BBQ. Huge thanks to Jason S and Glen Halstrom. Rach and I were stuffed like Carne pinatas. Happy pinatas.

At midnite, the Midnite Auction will kick-off. God help us all...


Friday, June 4, 2021

NTRPG Con Day 2 - The Bonds Made will Not Break

NTRPG Con is about people. 

I've never felt this as strongly as I have this year. Sure, playing games is fun, but it's fun because of the people. You don't bond with games, you bond over games.

I go to conventions to socialize. To be with my community. To reconnect with my friends. To see the work of my friends displayed, for sale. 

Share a drink. Make new friends. Create new connections and reinforce those I've made prior.

2020 was a year of trials and tribulations. In many ways, it is the year that never was.

The old year is dead. Long live 2021!

Thursday, June 3, 2021

NTRPG Con 2021 - Day 1 - An Emotional High and the Trip I Nearly Didn't Take

In truth, I almost didn't come to NTRPG Con this year. 


Because I was afraid. Not of Covid, mind you. I was afraid of traveling outside my comfort zone with my "new normality". The medical necessity to take nine pills every morning and three every night. Of keeping an eye on my blood sugar, fluid intake, and daily weight fluctuations. The memory of my 2020 that went to shit at a hotel room, at another convention, in another state.

So, when I got my second Covid immunization shot, I immediately bought the airline tickets for Rach and me to go to NTRPG Con this June, this trip. I knew if I didn't go this year, this June, I'd likely never go to another convention again. Ever. Because fear consumes one like cancer. And if you don't fight cancer, it is sure to win. I survived cancer. I have good friends at NTRPG Con, Doug Reah and Rocky Gardner, just to name two, that have fought and are fighting their own cancer battles. I was not going to surrender to the fear.

I am so glad I am here. I'm getting to see friends and extended family that I haven't seen in over a year. Sure, social media and Discord chats help fill in some of the gaps, but nothing beats hugging the people that mean the most to you. Reconnecting with your community. I may even be physically glowing ;)

I am truly blessed.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

NTRPG Con Pre Con Show - Numerous Special Guests

Bad Mike & I did a Livestream earlier tonight at NTRPG Con, and the number of special guest appearances is astounding. In no particular order:

Bill Barsh

Ben Barsh

Jim Kitchen

Steve Marsh

The Frugal GM

Zeb Cook

Jason Braun

Bill Meinardt

Skeeter Green

and many others :)

A blast was had by all.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

News - Risus for Sale! Get Your Risus for Sale! Comes with Thousands of Dollars in Kickstarter Obligations as a Gift with Purchase!

What can you get for an untold amount of money? Untold, because we aren't given a minimum bid. Why, Risus of course. Here are some highlights:

  1. A nearly 30-year-old RPG with a community of "nearly 1,800 sales in various forms (mostly PDF sales, but also a few hundred as part of print-on-demand offerings in the past). The Companion and the game’s fan club – the IOR – are one and the same. To buy the Companion is to join the club and vice-versa. My estimate of the total fan-club membership is approximately 1,500 gamers."
  2. It's an RPG that is free to own. seriously, the rules are free.
  3. The rules expansion that makes not ONE, but TWO sales a week - on average:  "a single sale a week defined the average performance of the Risus Companion, but over the last few years that’s doubled, and seems to be still on the rise." Damn, at $6.50 or so per sale in your pocket, that's hundreds of potential dollars per year.
  4. A Risus Twitter account with 326 followers. 

But more importantly, you also buy "obligations". What kind of obligations, you may ask? (here's where it get's interesting)

Part of the sale is adopting responsibilities related to a languishing, half-fulfilled Kickstarter from several years ago to produce some free Risus adventure scenarios in PDF form. Specifically, the Kickstarter provided enough funding to produce approximately 80 pages of adventure material (including handouts, pregens, etc. as appropriate) and only 40 or so have been published, in the form of the deluxe “showcase” module that is Toast of the Town. This means the public are still owed four additional free modules which should average about 10 pages each. In addition, approximately 50 higher-tier backers are entitled to a print-on-demand softcover collecting all five adventures (Toast of the Town, plus your four smaller modules), and some are entitled to sets of custom dice with little stick-dude faces where the 1 should be (an inexpensive custom item from Chessex; I will provide you with the master graphic), and a few are entitled to a random piece of original art from one of the modules.

Finally, Risus fandom has been promised a new edition of the Risus Companion. This could be a very minor liability: the current Companion could be spruced up to present-edition compatibility in a matter of hours and published almost as-is … or it could be a major undertaking with lots of new material, as you like. If you’re thinking of publishing a third edition of Risus itself, you might want to make it compatible with that … There must be a new Companion, but what that means will be up to you.

Depending on your own standards for design and playtest, and how much you pay your writers and production people (or if you do it all yourself), the total cost of eliminating the liabilities should run somewhere in the $300-$3k range (if you do the labor itself, the out-of-pocket expenses would be limited to shipping the POD softcovers and dice), and could be completed in just a few weeks.

If it could be completed in just a few short weeks for as little as $300, why has it been languishing for years? I call bullshit. $300 to $3000 is a huge range for potential liabilities.

Feel free, also, to ask more detailed or probing questions about the past performance of Risus titles or my projections for future revenue, the overall size and scope of the global fandom, or anything else you’d like to know … but questions unaccompanied by an offer will be given the lowest priority.

Wait, so one has to make an offer BEFORE the questions are answered? WTF? 

Risus IS its community. Or communities. Were the system to be unsupported by S. John Ross, I think it would continue just fine without him. I suspect that John is hoping a Risus True Believer overpays for a system that is already owned in many ways but its community.

BTW, Risus is free over at DTRPG and other places.

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 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 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 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

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 

To get a Swords & Wizardry Accessory Pack click

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


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