Sunday, September 26, 2021

The Time to Start is Now!

The Time to Start is Now!
I'm going to post something probably a bit unpopular here, for readily apparent reasons, but bear with me: you should be starting to think about your gaming group and Christmas, like now.

I now, I know.....some of you are probably going, it isn't even fall yet! *SPOILER ALERT* It is! Fall started last week even though its still in so much of this country clearly Summer or Summer-ish.

Now I spent too many years in retail and I can tell you that even if you don't see it, odds are there are Christmas items in your local store. This week I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, Christmas ornaments on a wing panel at my local store. That's not a big deal as sometimes those go up as early as July, but seeing as October starts next week, a lot of stores are going to have Halloween stuff up (if they haven't already) and might have an "Early Christmas" section as well. Most of the larger chains will backfill in Halloween season items with Christmas stuff as they can, but this post isn't about retail, well not directly.

December 2021

You may or may not realize that Christmas falls on a Saturday this year, which means at least one weekend is shot for gaming because most of you have families and such. That leaves three weekends in December before the big day, and even if you game every single weekend (lucky SOBs), you know damn well that you'll have at least one, if not seven, Christmas parties to attempt to attend between those three weekends. Work,, Church, neighborhood, clubs, etc......it will probably feel like everyone is vying for your otherwise prime gaming time in December.

When you couple this with all the other holiday shit you have to get done I'm just saying it is probably a good idea to write off December when it comes to gaming or getting together with your regular group. I know a lot of you will manage it anyway....but for planning purposes, best to assume otherwise.

Now if you want to get your fellow gamers anything for the holidays that means you're effectively down to two months. No problem if you just plan on buying some stuff off of Amazon or at a local store. Plenty of time to grab some dice or what you think is a good unpainted mini for their favorite character, but if you prefer to build vs. buy...well two months might not be a lot of time.

Clearly we're all different so I can only speak for myself on this, but I'm a grown-ass man with no kids and no local family. I make a decent enough wage. Pretty much everyday is Christmas so I'm 110% happy not getting Christmas gifts period, much less from my fellow gamers. I do enjoy a little bit of gift-giving though, but usually only if I make something. I really enjoy the creative process and Christmas is sometimes more an excuse to take on projects that don't make a lot of sense if it's just for me.

Anyway, I already have an idea for this year and two months might be a little tight, but we'll see. I've got my main idea for "everybody" which might translate well for my gaming group but I have some other ideas that...well again we'll see.

What kicked all this off was a quick side-stop to my local hobby store and I thought, "Hey, what if I make XXX for my group this year. Is this something they'd like?" I went to check on some supplies I'd normally make instead of purchase and found out that the store put out a whole bunch of stuff I could use on clearance for 75% off. I may or may not have bought out that entire store and driven the hour down to Wichita Falls to buy out the other store as well.......

Now in retrospect the idea I had won't be a good one for my group since we play virtually, but I can still use the supplies so anything I did pick up would be worth the expense.

My entire point is that Christmas is kind of around the corner and if, like me, you want to create gifts for your gaming group, you might not have nearly as much time as you think. Between planning, prepping, and creating, you have essentially two months, tops.

 

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Orr Report / Roll 20 for 2nd Quarter 2021 is Here - The Rise of Cthulhu!

Alright, I'm not sure how accurate the numbers graphic is, as they don't match the numbers in the chart. I will say, I'm surprised by the share of campaigns Call of Cthulhu has snared, and sadly not surprised to see Pathfinder / Paizo is still languishing.

It will be interesting to see if Paizo / Pathfinder takes a hit in the going forward after the PR fiasco they recently suffered.

You can read the original Orr Report here.



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


Friday, September 24, 2021

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

I used to be a "featured reviewer" but then I became a "publisher", so I no longer get notifications of nearly everything that is released on DTRPG. If I were still getting review copies, there is no way The Waking of Willowby Hall would have escaped my attention until now. Ben Milton has a top-notch rep as a creative, and this would have been on my "must review list".

Until tomorrow morning, The Waking of Willowby Hall is marked down from 7.50 in PDF to 3.75. I just snagged my copy as I wrote this post, but a review will be a few days away at the very least.

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.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.

 

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

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Humble Bundle - Tomes of Lost Magic for 5e (Frog God Games and Others)

Good gaming material is effectively systemless. While I don't play 5e, I can easily convert 5e adventures to S&W on the fly (although I strongly suspect going in the other direction would be much more difficult).

The Tomes of Lost Magic for 5e Humble Bundle has quite a few highlights. If you ARE a 5e player, you can buy in for a physical copy of Book of Lost Spells Hardcover and a boatload of PDFs for 38 bucks. If you AREN'T a 5e player, 18 bucks gives you everything in PDF, along with 30% off coupons for Frog God Games and Nord Games, as well as a coupon for World Anvil. Heck, if you don't want to convert from 5e, buy-in for a buck and you still get the coupons, and you can buy your Swords & Wizardry stuff from Frog God at 30% off.




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

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Deal of the Day - Terror Australis - 2e (CoC)


Aussies and Call of Cthulhu would seem to be like peanut butter and chocolate. Not necessarily something you would think of on your own, but put together it becomes an amazing combination.

"You call that a shoggoths? This 'ere is a shoggoths!"

Well, maybe not quite like that, but I could see my current gaming group rolling up a Crocodile Dundee-styled character for Terror Australis. I'm not sure if that is good or bad though.

Halloween is just over a month away, and until tomorrow morning Terror Australis 2e for CoC is available in PDF for 8.36 - half off of its regular price of 16.71. "Put another Mi-go on the barbie!"

  Australians

Here we focus on the history of Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders, as well as the white population, and contrast life in the urban and life in the rural environments. Special focus is given to Australian investigators, with new skills and occupations appropriate to for Aboriginal and white Australians. We round things out with brief biographies of some key Australians of the post-Great War period, who might be encountered by wandering investigators.

  Resources for 1920s Australia

This chapter provides a toolkit of historical subjects, usable by Keepers, for running games in Australia. Topics include law enforcement, transport, mounting expeditions into the Outback, communications, and sources for research.

  Australian Cities

Provides an in depth look at some of Australia’s key cities, including Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, and Brisbane. Maps are provide for each city, as well as details on notable mysteries or events, and suggestions concerning cults in thrall to the gods and horrors of the Cthulhu Mythos.

  Alcheringa

Known to some as “the Dreaming” or “Dreamtime,” the Alcheringa chapter focuses on how to incorporate the wisdom and learning stemming from Aboriginal cultural traditions into games, and features special rules and mechanics for running “dream quests” to gather important information to solve dire situations facing the investigators, as well as the rewards for “solving” a “Song-Line.” The stages of a Song-Line are discussed and presented with examples, such as the Story of Bigibila, which can be played as a scenario introduction to Alcheringa. Topics such as Aboriginal sorcery and artifacts are also discussed.

  The Mythos in Australia

Here, the book looks at the dark conspiracies and taint of the Cthulhu Mythos upon the Australian soil, with particular reference to the legacy of the Great Race, the Flying Polyps, and to the elusive and mysteries Sand Dwellers. A range of Mythos cults are presented, ready for the Keeper to incorporate into games, as well as featuring some of the other Mythos monsters that could be found lurking in dark shadows.

  Scenarios

The book is rounded out with two large scenarios and appendices.

Long Way From Home: the investigators look into a series of odd and unexplained meteor showers and are drawn into a web of intrigue involving some ancient foes. Presented as a sandbox with multiple entry points, the scenario features a range of plots and encounters set in the remote region of Paralana.

Black Water, White Death: sought-after papers concerning Australia’s convict history lead the investigators to Tasmania and to a dark mystery to terrify the dreams of all concerned. What begins as a simple matter of attending an auction ends with terror and a cosmic threat.

Gathered in the appendices are some of Australia’s deadly wildlife, with game profiles provided for their use in games, as well as timelines covering Australia, and recommended further reading and viewing.

In Australia, investigators will come face-to-face with supernatural forces that have endured for longer than humanity has existed. It is a land of adventure, danger, and ageless wisdom—a perfect for setting for Call of Cthulhu!

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

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Bundle of Holding - Mutant Crawl Classics

If you haven't experienced Mutant Crawl Classics yet, think First Edition Gamma World, turned up to 11 (insert Spinal Tap reference here). If you like the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG, you'll likely love the MCC RPG. If you aren't a fan of the DCC RPG, MCC may be more hit or miss for you. But hey, that's what these bundles are for.

For a mere 9.95, you can get the core MCC RPG rulebook in PDF (as well as the MCC Referee Screen) along with the introductory MCC adventure Hive of the Overmind.

The threshold price is just about 21 bucks, which also gets you the supplement The Data Orb of Metakind (published as MCC adventure #8) and six complete adventures for character levels 0-5: #10: Seeking the Post-Humans (a level-0 "funnel" campaign starter), #2: A Fallen Star For All (for level-1 characters), #3: Incursion of the Ultradimension (level 2), #9: The Evil of the Ancients (level 3), #5: Blessings of the Vile Brotherhood (level 4), and #6: The Apocalypse Ark (level 5). That's pretty much a campaign worth of gaming right there.


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

Monday, September 20, 2021

Death Announcement - Doug Rhea, NTRPG Con, Has Passed

Doug Rhea passed last night at approximately 9:50 PM CDT. He was best known as the founder and main force behind the NTRPG Con, he was an avid collector of games, and a huge supporter of the founding generation of RPG creators. His passing leaves a huge hole in our community.

Doug was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer over 5 years ago and had already survived past expectations and beaten the odds until now. 

Being a stubborn SOB, Doug did not go quietly into the night. He fought to the end. God, take his soul into your care and bless his family and friends in these tough and stressful times. 

I'll update this post when more details are available - Tenkar

Sunday, September 19, 2021

I Think GenCon is Not Worth It (Attend Your Local Con!)

 

I Think GenCon is Not Worth It (Attend Your Local Con!)
If you didn't already know, this weekend is GenCon 2021..and Origins 2021 is (roughly) in a couple weeks. Now I've been seeing pictures and gamer observations on Facebook and the like and it seems a bit like GenCon 2021 is a bit of a ghost town. Evidently attendance is capped at "half".....never felt like there was an attendance limit in the past, so half of "standing room only" is still a metric-buttload of people walking around.

I know that COVID-19/20/21D or whatever the current flu-scare is puts a dent in attendance, but moving the convention out of the summer (technically it is still summer...for like 3 days) and very much into the school year can't help with attendance either. It'll be harder for families to attend and moving this big con hurts other conventions. It's pretty obvious that Origins is trying to work around GenCon, and surely there are other conventions that are getting screwed over by the "Big Boys" moving their dates around.

Yes, I know that GenCon is a business and needs to make money, but it feels like...to me...that they are pushing their weight around a bit, to the detriment of others, something they've done for years to a lesser extent.

Now clearly I'm kind of biased against GenCon here, so I'm certain that I see a bit of the negative aspects of this move, but this bias has been earned, so bear with me.

Having spent a few years as a convention tournament organizer for both Origins and GenCon who also volunteered at a exhibitor booth, I got to see a little bit behind the curtain. From my experience, and perspective, Origins cares about gamers and GenCon cares about making money. 

Origins: Every year I'd have Origins staff check in on my group and make sure everything was going well. They helped me treat GMs a a valuable resource and the staff seemed to be passionate volunteers. Plenty of hotel space available unless you just had to have a room in one of the attached hotels, which I wouldn't recommend unless you want to wait forever on/in elevators for just an "ok" room.

GenCon: Having our tables double-booked was a regular event. The staff seemed to be employees and if I saw them it was for them to verify we all had badges and event tickets. Tickets and badges were all the seemed to care about. Good luck getting lodging at any nearby hotel and registering for games is an exercise in frustration.

As the years ticked by working the booth and talking to other vendors I saw a disturbing trend: many publishers have to make a decision between attending GenCon or Origins. Some of this was due to shifting dates, but lot was due to the expense of attending GenCon and since it was growing every year if you had to pick one, GenCon seemed to be it.

Now as far as the "big" cons go I'm clearly a fan of Origins, but really it's the smaller local conventions that have my attention these days. I'd rather spend a $1000 at North Texas RPG and have a great weekend experience than spend $1000 at GenCon which maybe gets me to Indy and a night or two of hotel (but no badge or event tickets!)

This year there are like 16 September conventions, not counting GenCon & Origins. Two events that would have been during GenCon were cancelled. In 2017 there were 21 conventions during Spetember. In 2018 & 2019 there were 27 conventions during September. Now some of the difference could be COVID related, but there were more cancelled events this year. Looking back over the last several years, no table-top gaming conventions shared time with GenCon.....until this year where there were two, with one being cancelled.

I know it isn't a deep-delve in the data and just a high-level pass, but anecdotally it seemed that GenCon moving to a later date is affecting smaller gaming conventions, and not for the better. Not a fan.....

GenCon 2021 had 1312 RPG games listed, while Origins 2021 has roughly half that at 616 RPG games listed. Now both sound like a lot, but in GenCon's case it looks like roughly half of those RPG events are D&D 5th Edition (Origins far less as a percentage). Since I'm guessing that the majority of the Tavern patrons are OSR fans, this info might be relevant.

TL;DR- If you "have" to attend a big con, check out Origins, but I'd rather go to a smaller local convention.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

News - Halls of the Blood King (OSE) Wins Two Gold Ennies

I'm not much of an Ennies watcher these days, but I was happy to see that Halls of the Blood King (OSE) win Gold Ennies for Best Adventure and Best Cartography. I know Diogo Nogueira wrote the adventure but I'm not sure who the cartographer is and Glynn Seal is the cartographer.

In any case, you can snag Halls of the Blood King in print (plus PDF) for 15 bucks plus shipping at the Exalted Funeral Press website. The PDF of Halls of the Blood King is 7.50 at DTRPG.

A fantasy-horror adventure for characters of 3rd to 5th level.

  • 37 keyed areas, rumour table, loot summary, dungeon background info.
  • Keyed in a quick-reference, bullet point format.
  • Statted for Old-School Essentials (B/X), usable with any vintage adventure game.
  • Unlabelled map included for VTT use.

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

Friday, September 17, 2021

Humble Bundle - Voices of Warhammer 2021 by Black Library (Audiobooks)

I'm a HUGE fan of audiobooks these days. One of the side effects of chemo some 15 years ago was a rewiring of my brain, such that I no longer have the attention span to read the written word as I used to. I've gone from reading some 50 odd books a year to one or two. I can, however, stay focused on audiobooks and audiodramas, and I literally jump on the Black Library audio bundles on Humble Bundle when they drop. I'm a huge fan of the Warhammer and Warhammer 40k universes, and getting the fiction in an audio format at a buck a book is a win-win for me :)

You can snag the Voices of Warhammer 2021 Bundle for as little as a buck for 5 books, but since you can sample them all, I advise you listen to a sample or three for free and see if the format works for you. If it does, 18 bucks get you all 19 books (although admittedly, one is a sampler). At a buck an audiobook, if you enjoy the format you simply can't go wrong.


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


Thursday, September 16, 2021

Deal of the Day -Robotech: A Macross Saga RPG (SWAdE, Revised)

When I think of Robotech as an RPG, I tend to think of the Palladium RPG. I never played it, but I remember our GM brought aspects of the setting and system into Rifts back in the early and mid-90s.

I guess I really need to rewatch the originals, having only watched them in bits and pieces back in the day via pirated videotapes that were loaned to me. The quality was poor and I'm pretty sure I never watched any episodes in order.

So, Robotech was never my schtick. It was a love of many in my gaming group, and one even got the license plate Verotech. Good times.

Somehow I missed Robotech getting the Savage Worlds treatment. Shouldn't be a huge surprise after Rifts got the treatment a few years back.

Today's Deal of the Day is Robotech: A Macross Saga RPG (SWAdE, Revised). Sure, it's a mouthful, but it is marked down for $20 to $12 until tomorrow morning. 

Join us as we enter the exciting world of Robotech! Strap into your Veritech fighter and battle giant Zentraedi warriors for the fate of mankind. Defend the earth from invasion in your Destroid. Help maintain the fragile peace after the war that left most of the Earth devastated. Inside this book you will find a complete Savage Worlds setting for the Macross era of Robotech. Play as your favorite characters, Rick Hunter, Max Sterling, Linn Minmai, Breetai, Exedore and more. You can even make your own character to fight in the first Robotech War.

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

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Kickstarter -Journey Into The Madlands: A Post–Apocalyptic RPG Zine

Let me start by saying I am certainly NOT impartial when it comes to the Journey Into the Madlands Kickstarter. Jeff Jones is one of the creators behind Journey into the Madlands, and he is also the layout artist behind the Torchlight Zine and the upcoming Swords & Wizardry Continual Light Digest Sized Edition. Jeff has done some great work on the layouts I mentioned above, and we wouldn't have such projects without his participation.

As I've said in the past, when I have a connection to a project creator, I put my cards on the table. That being said, Jeff isn't just a highly skilled layout artist, but he's also a skilled content creator.

Journey Into the Madlands is Jeff's latest Kickstarter. He is joined on this journey by Buck Crutchfield (cartographer), Mark Finn (writer), and Jose Manuel Gonzalez (artist). If you frequent the RPG Zine Community on Facebook, you may recognize a name or two.

You can snag a PDF copy of Journey Into the Madlands for 12 bucks, Print plus PDF 19 plus shipping (4 bucks in the US). Personally, I'm in for Print plus PDF.

So, what is Journey Into the Madlands?

This zine started out small, but as contributions of art and writing rolled in, we realized that the traditional digest–sized format could not contain all the apocalyptic goodness. Almost overnight, the humble, little zine mutated into a “mega-zine.” We jam–packed these pages with intriguing locations, dangerous ruins, insidious enclaves, mutated monsters, and nefarious NPCs.

The locations, NPCs and creatures, while written into a mini-setting, are modular, making it easy for you to pick only the elements to fuel your game.

We don’t stop with mere write-ups of people, places and thing. We provide an abundance of plot hooks to give your game solid guidance.

Did I mention I'm a sucker for settings? 

Next Wednesday on the Talking Crit LiveStream, Jeff Jones will be our special guest. Ask him anything. Not that he'll answer everything, but you might just get lucky :)

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

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Deal of the Day - Krevborna: A Gothic Blood Opera (System Neutral Gothic Campaign Setting)

I've said it before and I'll say it now - I love campaign settings, even if I rarely use them as is. They are simply a huge source of inspiration. I prefer my campaign settings to be system light or system neutral, as I rarely wish to use them for the system they are written for.

I have a soft spot for Ravenloft, at least the original boxed set (less so the original module, but YMMV). I've always felt it was a setting that TSR/WotC simply couldn't get a handle on. It covered too much, and therefore it covered way too little.

Krevborna: A Gothic Blood Opera looks to hit many of my sweet points. System neutral, gothic horror, and a very solid 4.8 rating on DTRPG with 28 ratings. 

The following review is one of the reason I'm snagging my copy:

I wish there were more setting books like this on the market. Krevborna picks a theme (Gothic horror) and maintains that focus throughout. The broad outlines of cities and regions are here as well as seeds from which GM's can create all the details they want. While some people use it for 5e, Krevborna could just as easily serve as an imaginary region of a slightly-fantastical 18th-century Eastern Europe. It would work extremely well with Lamentations of the Flame Princess or For Coin & Blood. Any period from medieval to Victorian is possible because of what the author is careful not to emphasize. Of course, the other side of that coin is that GM's will need to do some work to fill-in the blanks. For my part, I'm delighted to have found a setting with big blanks exactly where I want them - Patrick Y

Normally 10 bucks in PDF, Krevborna: A Gothic Blood Opera is on sale for only 4 bucks until late tomorrow morning.

The blood moon rises above the haunted lands of Krevborna! Once a country of picturesque villages, deep forests, and sublime mountain ranges, Krevborna is now a land of Gothic ruins preyed upon by fiends, ravening beasts, and the unquiet dead. Shadows triumphantly lengthen across Krevborna; the great powers of darkness work to usher in the dread dominion of an everlasting empire of night.

Krevborna: A Gothic Blood Opera is a system-neutral campaign setting for Gothic Fantasy adventures inspired by Bloodborne, Castlevania, and Penny Dreadful. The book includes:

  1. Art by Becky Munich and Michael Gibbons. Setting map by Michael Gibbons.
  2. Details on nine locations in the setting: the corrupt city of Chancel, the Lovecraftian town of Creedhall, the witch-town of Hemlock, vampire haunted Lamashtu, the seaside horrors of Piskaro, the underworld of the Grail Tombs, the foreboding Nachtmahr Mountains, the eerie Silent Forest, and the forbidden town of Veil.
  3. Information on the people of Krevborna and their folklore.
  4. Ideas for genre-appropriate characters and the dark secrets that damn them.
  5. Thirty-four otherworldly entities to use as patrons for the faithful and the pact-bound.
  6. Eight factions and twelve NPCs to involve your players in intrigue.
  7. Advice and tools for running a fantasy RPG influenced by Gothic literature.
  8. Tools for use in game, such as copious adventure seeds, a bestiary of foes, random tables, and a comprehensive adventure generator that gives you the basis of a scenario with little prep.
  9. A full index and a separate index of the book's random tables.
  10. A design that prioritizes ease of use and speed of play. All "lore" entries are easy to scan, and make use of bullet points to draw your attention to the important bits so you can get on with your game.

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

Monday, September 13, 2021

News - Michael Curtis Joins Goodman Games as Director of Product Development, DCC

I'm a few days late at sharing this, but Michael Curtis has joined Goodman Games in the capacity of Director of Product Development, Dungeon Crawl Classics. I still remember the excitement I felt when I read through Stonehell Dungeon for the first time :)

The following announcement is from the Goodman Games website, linked here:

We are very pleased to announce that Michael Curtis has joined Goodman Games on a full-time basis as Director of Product Development for the Dungeon Crawl Classics line!

Michael’s name is well known to fans of Goodman Games, especially for his work on DCC Lankhmar, and many other DCC products. He has been involved with tabletop role-playing games since he was ten years old and has been working freelance in the RPG industry for almost 15 years. During that time, Michael created the renowned megadungeon of Stonehell, wrote the award-winning gaming supplement The Dungeon Alphabet, served as lead designer on the DCC Lankhmar product line for Goodman Games (during which he located an unpublished manuscript by legendary sword-and-sorcery author Fritz Leiber), and has penned or contributed to more than 60 Goodman Games releases, including fan-favorite DCC RPG adventures Frozen in Time, The Chained Coffin, Intrigue at the Court of Chaos, and The Queen of Elfand’s Son. 

Michael has also contributed to such classic adventures as the Judges Guild reprints of Citadel of Fire, Fortress Badabaskor, and Tegel Manor, and converted and expanded the famous Dungeons & Dragons adventures Castle Amber and Expedition to the Barrier Peaks for fifth edition as part of the Original Adventures Reincarnated line. He is the co-host of the Twitch show “Keep Crawlin’ with Mike and Brendan,” and has written many of the “Adventures in Fiction” essays for the Goodman Games website, detailing the works of classic, yet often overlooked, fantasy authors from the last 100 years. 

Michael joins Chris Doyle, Director of Product Development for our 5E product line, as a leader in our design of high-quality role-playing game products. As our DCC and 5E lines continue to gain momentum, we’re excited to see where their collaboration will take us.

“I look forward to the challenges and rewards this new position with Goodman Games will bring,” said Michael. “I’m excited by the opportunities that guiding Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG into the future allows. I hope to keep true to the game’s past and the works that inspired it, while also making it accessible to new audiences around the world.” Michael is a native New Yorker and splits his time between the mountains and the sea, seeking adventures in both. 

 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, September 12, 2021

The "Most Powerful" Magic Item

 

The "Most Powerful" Magic Item
Ok patrons, quick question for y'all, but I have some framing parameters....first the Q: "What would you say is the most powerful magical item?"

Ok, so that's a real broad question so let's try to narrow it down a little bit to maybe Basic or 1st Edition AD&D, forget about Artifacts, and additionally toss out any magical items directly replicated by a spell.

Got to figure out the proper "sandbox", as it were, and Artifacts are just inherently game-breakingly powerful. Most potions have a similar spell and a Ring of Three Wishes is a no-brainer answer otherwise.....

Do you need a second to think about it?

Yes....no...

...ok, I'm going through my Holmes Edition of Basic and I totally think that the answer is the Bag of Holding.

Bag of Holding — Sack sized magic bag which will hold 10,000 gold pieces or an object up to 10 feet X 5 feet X 3 feet in size. The bag will then weigh 600 gold pieces in weight, or 300 for the gold and no more.

Now I fully expect patrons to have a different opinion on this, probably for a couple of reasons, but one is because encumbrance in D&D has always been a bit of a bother, enough that I don't think many groups really do much to track encumbrance.

Now encumbrance can really be a way-too crunchy game mechanic, but I love the crunchiness......which is one reason I liked HackMaster. I still remember geeking out prepping my PC and his pack horse for the beginning of an Against the Giants campaign. I had to figure out the weight of all the gear carried, in all the packs on the horse, and I had to make sure that not only did I have to make sure each bag/pack wasn't overloaded, but also to spread my shit er gear out across all the different packages 'cause I was sure that the GM would figure out some way for us to lose some of the gear as we trekked across the ice.

Now, that was as a player. As a GM encumbrance is one of those things that is a complete PITA.....BUT there is a good (enough) work-around: dump it off on the players! Make the players keep track of their personal encumbrance & keep track of their combat penalties for being encumbered. Just do a surprise audit once in a blue moon and if the player is caught fudging the numbers, or conveniently "forgetting" the combat penalties (there was an AC bonus is you were overloaded with too much crap!), then you hit them with a massive penalty. It's been years, so I cannot remember the penalty for failing an audit, but loss of like half XP, or immediately being placed into Dishonor sounds about right.....

Now with Basic/1st Edition.....encumbrance is in coins? Wait...what?

US Equivalent to 10 coins or 1#
This is #1 of coins

Yes there is this weird idea that a lot of times things are listed in pounds, but then referenced in gold coins, with a ratio of 10:1 (i.e. 10 coins to a pound). 10 coins to a pound? That means the generic D&D coin is basically the equivalent of 2 Eisenhower Dollars.

Just seems kind of clunky to think (in Basic), "I can put *just* enough gold coins in this here bag to pay for two light crossbows." That's 30 pounds of coinage for two light crossbows that weigh......fuuuuuuck, how much do they weigh? Hell if I know....but in 1st Edition they weigh....nope, they only have the weight of the ammo listed.

Now *this* is really what I consider a PITA.

I think I just need to grab my old KenzerCo Goods & Gear and use that to figure everything out.....the Light Crossbow weighs 7 lbs. (page 25).

Until I bother to pull my Goods & Gear out of storage (I just used my PDF copy for looking up the Light Crossbow) I think I just need to get some Bags of Holding. I'm really thinking the true power of the Bag of Holding isn't *just* that PCs can stuff their crap inside, but that if used judiciously, the whole group can pretty much just ignore the clunky encumbrance system....

......THAT is what makes it the most powerful magic item in the game!

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Historical Setting Sale - DTRPG - Up to 40% Off - Tavern Picks

There is a Historical Setting Sale over at DTRPG. Some are settings and some are core rules with the setting baked in. As I type this, there are over 3 days left in the sale.

Mythras - the game formerly known as RuneQuest - Mythras is the new name for an older game, but while the name might have changed, the system remains the same, but presented in an updated format with new interior artwork and layout design, along with some new content (Special Effects, small tweaks to the rules, and Spirit Combat Effects). In fact, we've managed to pack more into a smaller space, and reduced the price accordingly. For those new to the game, Mythras is a percentile system. In Mythras your characters are defined by their culture, career, community, background, comrades, skills, magic and cults. Progression is through skill advancement – not levels or similarly abstract concepts. As your characters adventure and quest, their capabilities improve and their relationships deepen and strengthen. Players and Games Masters have complete flexibility over what can be achieved, and the way characters develop is entirely dependent on choices players make, depending on their characters’ aspirations and motivations.  6.99 to 4.19

Mythic Babylon - a setting for Mythras - Mythic Babylon is a role-playing supplement for the Mythras game system. It provides everything you need to take your Mythras game back to the 18th century BC and enter a world of cut-throat diplomacy, Machiavellian politics, and ecstatic prophets. Within these covers you'll find information on the society, culture, religion, trade, laws, and beliefs of Old Babylon and the surrounding lands. The setting is presented as a sand-box with a wide-ranging gazetteer of places to explore, each loaded with plot hooks. For those who like to play against the backdrop of history, we provide a timeline of past and near future events. A bestiary and a chapter for game masters rounds out the end of the book. This book contains everything you need to create adventures in the lands of Sumer, Akkad, and Subartu from the low lying Eden to the Cedar Mountains and even into the Underworld. Follow in the steps of kings like Gilgameš, Kubaba, or Hammurabi in this mythological and historical setting that was nearly 4000 years in the making.    17.99  13.49

Wolves of God: Adventures in Dark Ages England - Kevin Crawford is always a winning choice - Wolves of God is an old-school-inspired historical fantasy game from the maker of Stars Without Number and Godbound. Set in 710 AD, PCs take up the roles of daring English adventurers: brave Warriors, holy Saints, and sorcerous Galdormen all setting forth to brave the savage wilds of post-Roman Britain. Whether plundering ruined caesters, delving into the bewitched halls of ancient Roman Arxes, raiding the cattle of rival lords, or helping holy abbots in need of strong arms, the heroes will plunge deep into the savage past of this half-conquered island. 19.99  11.99

Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea (Compleat Second Edition)
- for the handful that haven't encountered AS&SH yet - a sword-and-sorcery role-playing at its pinnacle. Play an Amazon fighter, Atlantean magician, Esquimaux shaman, Hyperborean warlock, Ixian necromancer, Keltic barbarian, Kimmerian cataphract, Pictish thief, Viking berserker, or one of many other possibilities. The heroes of a HYPERBOREA campaign delve the mazes and labyrinths of vast dungeons filled with horrifying monsters, lethal traps, and bewildering puzzles. They explore savage frontiers, breach hostile borderlands, probe ancient ruins, and investigate cursed tombs. They plunder for treasure and magic in a decaying world inhabited by bloodthirsty beasts and weird, otherworldly beings. Now in its second edition, AS&SH™ has been expanded to include new classes, new spells, new monsters, new magic items, and more! It also includes a new, full-colour map, an introductory town and adventure, as well as hundreds of new illustrations! This new edition is backwards-compatible with the original edition of the game.  19.00  11.40

Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells - simply a fun setting - a rules light, Star & Sorcery Role Playing Game with an Old School spirit. This is a complete Role Playing Game, inspired by the Old School Renaissance, the Pulp Literature and the many Science Fantasy stories brought to us by movies, comics and games. Based on the Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells RPG, this game system provides players and Overlords (that's how we call the GM in this game) a set of flexible and streamlined rules, as well as an array of tools to make gameplay fast and fun, allowing them to have exciting adventures with solar blades and cosmic spells!
14.99  8.99

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, September 10, 2021

Preorder - Original Adventures Reincarnated #6: The Temple of Elemental Evil

Back in my High School and College Days I ran "The Temple" as we called it, multiple times. It was simply fun and fairly self-contained and worked really well as a summertime diversion when there were no classes and few responsibilities to interfere with our D & D game time :)

Goodman Games is releasing the classic Temple of Elemental Evil as Original Adventures Reincarnated #6: The Temple of Elemental Evil. You get the original Temple, a 5e update, and so much more it literally takes up 2 full volumes.

Amazon is taking preorders for the Original Adventures Reincarnated #6: The Temple of Elemental Evil. It ships free via Prime for release on September 14th, 2022.

  1. This is a massive slipcased, two-volume hardback collection! Weighing in at more than 8 pounds, the books include high-end touches like full-color endsheets, custom gatefolds, and sewn-in satin ribbon bookmarks!
  2. The entire adventure is an homage to the origins of an adventure that began decades ago with T1: The Village of Hommlet and T1-4: The Temple of Elemental Evil.
  3. Herein you will find high-quality scans from multiple printings of the original first edition adventure modules, plus commentary by gaming legends.
  4. Full fifth edition conversions of both adventure books are included, as well as brand new adventure material adding new wilderness encounters, expanding the Village of Nulb, fully detailing the evil Elemental Nodes, and providing fifth edition updates of many original magic items, monsters, and spells.
  5. This is a fully playable mega-dungeon and mini-campaign—many hours of classic-style adventure await you!
Note, if you shop via The Tavern's affiliate links, a portion of the monies spent will go to support The Tavern.

Note, in the last 15 minutes or so Rob Conley pops into the Livestream and gives a hands-on report on the Original Adventures Reincarnated #6: The Temple of Elemental Evil. Totally unplanned and totally awesome :)


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, September 9, 2021

Deal of the Day - GM's Miscellany: Village Backdrops III (5e)

The entire GM Miscellany series of releases are top-notch. Whether you grab the system neutral version or the 5e version, they are both easily used with the OSR ruleset of your choice.

Today's Deal of the Deal of the Day is GM's Miscellany: Village Backdrops III (5e). Normally 13.99 in PDF, until tomorrow morning it is on sale for 5.60.

A 5e Compatible GM’s Resource supplement by loads of talented designers

Village Backdrops are short, richly detailed supplements that each present a single village ready to insert into almost any home campaign. Perfect for use as a waystop on the road to adventure, as an adventure site themselves or as a PC’s home, Village Backdrop present the details so the busy GM can focus on crafting exciting, compelling adventures.

This GM’s Miscellany collects together twelve Village Backdrops together in one place. GM’s Miscellany: Village Backdrops is the work of many talented designers and features the following villages:

  • Blackhill Gaol 
  • Bossin
  • Echo Harbour
  • Gulls’ Roost
  • Lady Cross
  • Laewas
  • Lanthorn
  • Masquerade
  • Oakhurst
  • Hosford
  • Ravens’ Cradle
  • Underdell
  • Victory Elm

 

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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