Saturday, February 6, 2021

ZineQuest 3 - Catpocalypse Meow had Low Stakes but Maximum HP was full of Scoundrels

Ah, sweet, sweet ZineQuest 3. Not even a week in and I think I've already blown by the $250 budget I had set aside for it. Eh, I'm sure I can sell my soul for some coin ;)

In addition to this series of blogposts covering the various projects, I'm also sitting down with a large number of project creators over the next few days and weeks via YouTube LiveStreams. Subscribe at YouTube.com/ErikTenkar so you don't miss a chat, like the one I had this morning with the creator of Low Stakes.

Dirty Bowbe's Roadhouse Presents: Catpocalypse Meow - We are creating Dirty Bowbe's Roadhouse Presents: Catpocalypse Meow, a cat themed role playing games supplement for OSR Games. Mischievous, often maligned, mysterious, and oozing with cuddly cuteness and primeval murder is the noble cat. Here at the Roadhouse we have three and couldn’t be happier with all of their puffy tailed, razor clawed, nap taking, sometimes infuriating, snack demanding cattitude. We took the time out of the rolling quarantines and lengthy social distancing to bring all of their yowling hissing fun to our first ever Old School Rules zine! Dirty Bowbe’s Roadhouse Presents: Catpocalypse Now. Let the fur fly!

So why the Zine and why Now?

A lot of the stuff we come up with doesn’t necessarily fit “in” with the creative direction of other publishers that the old Bowbe usually works with. That is definitely the case with this particular Zine. Catpocalypse Meow is chuck full of purrfect new items, creatures, and adventure hooks for your OSR campaign! This product tips the hat to punsters and funsters of a seemingly bye gone era, with gentle nods to Mark E. Rodgers, Robert Asprin, and heaping helpings of Gary Gygax, and Bowbe’s old mentor Jim Ward for good measure.

A year of quarantine and social distance together saw a lot of D&D and Swords & Wizardry played on Discord with friends and gamers around the globe. During that time we started applying our combined lifetime of gaming and cat friendship into what has evolved into Catpocalypse Meow. The zine is a furious feline themed combination of old school style RPG comics and game ready materials like those once featured in the most popular pen and paper RPG magazine of all time! Original comic tales lead to ready to play mini-adventures. Adventures lead to new treasures, strange creatures, arcane artifacts, obligatory cat butts, insane artworks, crazy cat ladies, forbidden feline temples, canopic kitties, and cat-astrophic spells carefully curated to enrich your OSR gaming table!

Full disclosure: Casey is a friend of mine as well as sharing an association via Frog God Games. Casey will be making an appearance on the Talking Crit Livestream this Wednesday at 9 PM Eastern over at YouTube.com/ErikTenkar

Low Stakes - A Game to Play in the Shadows...inspired by What We Do in the Shadows. Low Stakes is a tabletop roleplaying game inspired by What We Do in the Shadows, both the movie and the TV show. 

In the game, you portray a vampire, werewolf, ghost, mystic, or maybe even a regular ol' human sharing a house together in the modern day. And you’re not very good at it. You'll create situation comedy style stories of gothic monsters trying to get by in a world that has moved on from their day. Conflict, character, humor...it's all there for the taking. 

As stated at the top of this page, I sat down for a Livestreamed Fireside Chat with Craig Campbell this morning.

Maximum HP #5 Kobolds! - The old school zine, for the new school world. Joining Zinequest 2021 with 1E extras. Issue #005 is the Kobold issue of Maximum HP, The old school ’zine for a new school world. In this issue we explore the world of the kobolds, their tricks, traps, and treats. Discover the various breeds, skills, magic, lives, and of course, the dastardly kobold traps.

In this project we are returning to our 1E roots, and releasing this Zine Quest project in the FIRST EDITION of the world's favorite roleplaying game.

We're a 'zine for gamers by gamers. Taking submissions from gamers all over and sharing the best with our readers. We intend to enrich the gaming experience of our readers and help them offer new and unique challenges to their table.

Another full disclosure: I've known Lloyd for years, thanks to NTRPG Con and I own some of his original art. Damn Good stuff!

Tomorrow afternoon at 2 PM Eastern I will be sitting down with Jeff Jones, creator of the Scoundrels Zine for a Fireside Chat. A set of three zines with NPCs, locations, tables and rules to inject a strong crime-theme into your sci-fi (or modern) game. At the most basic level, Zine 1 and Zine 2 of Scoundrels provides 200 unique NPCs to drop quickly into your game. Some are tied to locations, some to gangs, and others are tied to a theme. You can randomly determine NPCs or easily flip through pages. The names are taken from 5 different real-world cultures, making this a great resource for determining names and motivations on the fly for any game.

Scoundrels also taking it to the next level, fleshing out your world with factions, locations and institutions and the NPCs that populate them. The NPCs and factions have motivations, and their writeups evoke way for them to interact with the characters and each other.

There are tables for random encounters with NPCs and tables for adding friends and rivals for the characters. But I didn’t stop there, Ther are additional tables that allow the GM to create crime-related jobs and adventures for the players.  There is even a step-by-step example of me creating a job.

But wait, there is more! Zine 3 provides optional rules for the player characters to have their own crew and be one of the criminal factions in the city. Rules taken from the Blades in the Dark SRD but changed to use with any game system. This provides a framework to create games and campaigns for characters increase the reach and influence in the city.

This is a system-neutral reference that works for any sci-fi game, but easily works with any modern game as well.  I truly believe that this will become one of the most-used GM resource in your arsenal.

I'll be back with more ZineQuest picks on Monday - as well as two ZineQuest Livestreams on Monday and two more on Tuesday. Seriously, subscribe to YouTube.com/ErikTenkar so you don't miss any of them :)

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 the affiliate programs that support The Tavern.  

You can catch the daily Tavern Chat podcast on AnchorYouTube
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Thursday, February 4, 2021

ZineQuest 3 - Rascals attack The 13th Fleet with Wizard Funk

Today I peek at three currently funding zines that are part of ZineQuest 3. As I mentioned prior, I'll be doing a series of Livestreamed interviews of the creators of various zines during the month of February.

First up is The 13th Fleet. In truth, it reminds me much of the micro and pocket games from SJG, TSR, and others back in the 80s and 90s that I would snag during my pilgrimages to the  Complete Strategist. Note, I was supposed to do a Livestream earlier this morning with the writer of The 13th Fleet but we had technical issues. We will attempt to reschedule. 

The 13thFleet is a light-hearted and occasionally co-operative role playing experience. Officers of the Imperial Armada (and especially the 13th Fleet) have traditionally furthered themselves through ruthlessness, deceit, and the needless sacrifice of disposable Redshirts. While they’ll need to occasionally help each other in order to make it home, the Captains will benefit from causing entanglements for one another. The campaign will end with a clear winner, who will be promoted to Admiral and named Fleet Champion upon their successful return to Imperial Space.

Or it’ll end with the remains of the 13th Fleet floating as cold, dead debris through the dark void of space...

One of the two.

Our next peek is Rascals. Sticking with scifi, Rascals focuses not on the officers, but the talented grunts - or dare I say "Adventurers" of the genre. The focus shifts from the leaders to the survivors.

Note: I'll be having a Fireside Chat Livestream on Friday 2/5/21@8 PM Eastern with Gile Pritchard over at our YouTube Channel.

Rascals is a science fiction table top role playing game of action and adventure. The game system uses traditional playing cards and poker chips, and is designed to bring the tension, twists of fortune, and calculated gambles of action adventure stories to the fore. Rascals is ideal for 2-5 players, including the GM.

You are Rascals: ex-special forces, spies, or crooks. Hard boiled types who worked together in the hottest zones during the former unpleasantness. You were some of the few who managed to get out, make a new life, but something has changed all that...

Now the old crew is together again, you Rascals who survived the bloody final years of terrible war, have been pulled back. An abominable plot is unfolding in secret... 

Rounding out today's picks we have Wizard Funk 3. If you play OSR games in their default genre (is it obvious I'm talking old school D&D and its clones and simulacrums?) Wizard Funk deserves a look. Full disclosure, I consider myself friends with the creators of Wizard Funk. I still think its awesome, but I may be biased ;)

My gaming buddies and I have put together a zine for the sheer enjoyment of it.  We love to play Old School RPGs.  Myself?  I was introduced to D&D back in 1981.  I loved the hobby then and love it even more today.   If you have seen Wizard Funk 1 and 2, then you will have a good idea about what you will get for your hard earned money in Wizard Funk 3.  If you love Old School Rules, then you should take a chance on this KS.  It's not much money and I've been able to deliver a satisfying product in the past.  Fight On brothers and sisters of the OSR!

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 the affiliate programs that support The Tavern.  

You can catch the daily Tavern Chat podcast on AnchorYouTube
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Wednesday, February 3, 2021

ZineQuest 3 - Gamma Zine

I'll be sharing various ZineQuest 3 projects over the next days and weeks, and I'll be doing a series of Fireside Chats (12 in the next 11 days) live on our Youtube Channel (which will then be shared on the Tavern Chat podcast)

Today I'm peeking at Gamma Zine #3. This a zine showing love for the classic Gamma World RPG originally published by TSR. Written and published by Thom Wilson of Throwi Games. Thom has a proven track record with both delivering Kickstarter projects and producing zines.

Do you still play Gamma World or another post-apocalyptic, science fiction RPG? Do you wish there was more material for the games you play? Well, your wish has been granted: a B&W fanzine for your post-apocalyptic game campaign or reading pleasure! In the third issue of Gamma Zine, you'll find three short adventures, new mutated monsters, lost and forgotten tech, and more.

The zine will be black & white, perfect bound, and digest-sized. The size of this third issue is fixed because it's already written!

Although the fanzine will focus primarily on the first edition of Gamma World by TSR, we'll try to keep much of the fanzine flexible to allow the reader to adapt its contents to other systems. However, when statistics are displayed for foes and challenges, we'll use the earliest edition of Gamma World for the rules and stats.

Tonight at 8 PM Eastern, Thom will be joining Bad Mike (NTRPG Con) and myself on our weekly Talking Crit Livestream. In addition to pumping Thom for information about Gamma Zine, we'll drag Thom along on our usual hexcrawl through the past week in Gaming News.

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 the affiliate programs that support The Tavern.  

You can catch the daily Tavern Chat podcast on AnchorYouTube
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Tuesday, February 2, 2021

ZineQuest 2021 - Post the Second - Livestream Fireside Chats Schedule for February 2021

Last night, in the RPG Zine Community on Facebook (a truly amazing community of creators and consumers of zines) I offered to do some Livestream Fireside Chats with creators that are participating in ZineQuest 2021. I expected there would be some moderate interest. Instead, before I went to bed, a dozen creators had messaged me. 

We currently have 10 ZineQuest related Livestreams on the calendar (9 directly covering individual projects), with more to be added. This list will be updated as needed.

Livestreams will be on our YouTube Channel @ YouTube.com/ErikTenkar

Here is the current schedule (with links to the ZineQuest Projects for those that want to follow along at home):

All times are Eastern Time Zone / NYC

Wednesday 2/3 @  8 PM - Talking Crit w/ Bad Mike - Thom Wilson - Gamma Zine

Thursday   2/4 @ 11 AM - Nathan Robert - The 13th Fleet

Friday        2/5 @   8 PM - Gile Pritchard - Rascals

Saturday    2/610 AM - Craig Campbell - Low Stakes

Sunday       2/7 @   2 PM - Jeff Jones - Scoundrels 

Monday      2/8 @ 11 AM - Zak Goins - Scrap Rats

Monday      2/8 @   7 PM - James Carpio - Anarchy!

Tuesday      2/911 AM - Frank Tufler - The Lair of the Manticore

Wednesday 2/108 PM-(Talking Crit) Casey Christofferson - Catpocalypse Meow

Friday         2/12@  8 PM - Iron Rations with JoetheLawyer - Tim Shorts -                                                              The Many  Crypts of Lady Ingrade

Saturday     2/13@  7 PM - Joel Hines - Desert Moon of Karth

Wednesday 2/17 through Saturday, 2/20 @ 8 PM each night, Bad Mike & Tenkar will be hosting livestreams with special guests in support of Virtual TotalCon 2021.

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 the affiliate programs that support The Tavern.  

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

Monday, February 1, 2021

ZineQuest 2021 - Post The First - Give Me Mohr Zines!

It's the most, wonderful time, of the year!  

It's time for ZineQuest!

Whenever I start feeling that Kickstarter is a soulless marketing tool for large publishers and the small ones get lost between the cracks, I find that ZineQuest has come back around and I smile and get all giddy.

In the middle of a cold, Covid filled winter, with a blizzard blowing snow past my window, I get all warmed up by the thoughts of zines arriving in my mailbox as early as the spring.

I actually budget for ZineQuest, as I am loath to recommend a Kickstarter I wouldn't back myself, and as I love zines and enjoy Kickstarter in general, this can be a truly budget-busting endeavor as a consumer if you don't plan accordingly. I've budgeted $225 for backing ZineQuest projects. Hopefully, I can stay on budget this year ;)

Expect the next three days of postings to cover ZineQuest projects, if not longer. In the meantime, you can check the main ZineQuest link here.

As for how I'm spending my NYC 2021 Blizzard, you can watch the following link:

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 the affiliate programs that support The Tavern.  

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Sunday, January 31, 2021

Scratching an Artistic Itch


Scratching an Artistic Itch
Maybe three of you guys know that a lifetime ago I used to work in the addiction industry. During that time my boss tricked me into attending a week-long intensive outpatient group therapy "retreat". Don't get me wrong, it was awesome....I worked through some repressed shit and made some friends I'm still in touch with (Group 4 represent!), but I thought I was going to evaluate the place in advance of my company trying to provide some specific business services.....

....anyway, as part of my therapist's recommended future "self care" I was specifically told to take up some more artistic pursuits. This is the biggest reason I started doing maps and writing some game "stuff". While I have been blogging for close to twenty years I do not consider myself an artist or writer, so working on "artistic" pursuits is a stretch for me, which was kind of the therapists point. I'm supposed to push myself and try new shit....which can be a lot harder than you might expect. I can come up with ideas, but execution....that's difficult for me. I love to gather up materials, plan things out, and try to figure out how I'm going to execute, but actually pulling the trigger.....yeah, I procrastinate like a....well, I just do. I know this is a problem for me and a barrier to my own prescribed after-care.

A couple weeks ago when I came down with the Flu (Covid?) I knew I had to do something 'cause if not I'm going to have a problem just wallowing in my sickness and doing nothing but watch TV. I needed a project....and I found one. I decided I'd make some terrain, specifically some round stone & thatch dwellings. I was inspired by this YouTube video by Landvetter's Lair

My messy workspace
While this was my inspiration, I wanted to make it my own and do some tweaks. My original idea was to work on the scale of the wattle and try a few different techniques. I actually started on doing four separate buildings. I liked the way the wattle came out, but to say it was labor intensive was an understatement. I think the wattle for each building took eight hours. In retrospect while I got the scale of the wattle how I liked, the buildings, intended to be two story, were still too tall. I don't like the enormous doorways I ended up with.

This whole endeavor took about a solid week and a half of work. At one point the walls of three of the buildings....well, I think they just sucked. I attempted to use thin foam-core and texture using a greenstuff cobblestone roller. While you could see the cobblestone, the moment you worked with it or God-forbid, try to paint it....the cobblestone pretty much disappeared. I ended up ripping the glued foam-core off and applying clay, which does hold the texturing, but had its own problems.

Four finished huts

My workspace is a mess I still need to clean up, but I did at least finish....well kind of. My goal was to finish by today's post, but I still need to coat the four models with a protective spray. I'm not sure I'm going to keep these particular models.....I'll probably send them to a gaming buddy who I know will use them at his gaming table.

One hut with figure for scale

This whole process has been a PITA, but I did enjoy trying to figure out how to do  few things, and how to fix some mistakes. I already have a couple of ideas on how to improve upon the build process, getting all of the scale how I want it, and where to spend just a little bit of money (not much in the scheme of things though) to improve the outcome. 

I think the thatch roof I did was much easier than in the video and I'm looking forward to trying it in an easier (rectangular) application.

I'm glad to be "done" with this initial project. I hope this was sufficient to scratch my art itch, at least for a while. I have other things I want to work on.....

Single hut with roof removed

Aside from the huge amount of time expended here, the actual cost comes down to maybe $3-$4 a piece for these things....seriously. The most expensive supply, use-wise, was probably the Modpodge I used generally to seal various bits and bobs. One of the huts I used plain Modpodge to see how that worked on the "wattle", and some black-ink infused Modpodge was used as a sealer for the clay and the roofs. The foamcore was from the dollar store and the clay was $10 for a HUGE box I used a tiny portion of.

I'm not looking for encouragement or even kind words about this project (I'm not an idiot, I won't turn them down), but I thought it might be nice to share a gaming-related project that I've spent some serious time on. After I seal these models and document my build-process and lessons-learned I hope to be able to revisit this style of building and eventually make a small bronze-age style village.

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