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Tenkar's Tavern Community Updates

Saturday, February 27, 2021

I Backed 27 Projects During ZineQuest - Holy Sh!t

I backed 27 projects during ZineQuest month over on Kickstarter, and I literally thought I had backed more. Like 27 isn't already a huge number ;)

My initial budget for spending on ZineQuest - a "soft" budget, and more like a suggestion and not a hard limit, was $250. In the end, it wound up just north of $525. Holy shit.

I could easily have backed more, but my spending was already out of control, so I stopped looking for new projects as the month went on, and for that, I am sorry. I'm sure there were some Zines that were notably released later in the month, but my cup had runneth over.

I'm not going to list the ones I backed, because I know there were some I wanted to back and never did. Again, it was a matter of quality or lack of interest, it simply came down to a lack of available funds. Suffice to say, I'll be enjoying the zines I did back for months to come.

If you haven't checked out ZineQuest, there are still some projects that are funding and could use more backing. Here's your ZineQuest link.

A huge "thank you" to all of the Zine creators, past, present, and future. The light you shine keeps this hobby alive and vibrant.

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Friday, February 26, 2021

Indiegogo - The Dark Den of Dagon (Pathfinder 1e / Lost Lands)

It isn't often that I cover Pathfinder releases, but The Dark Den of Dagon over at Indiegogo is special. As far as I can tell, and please, correct me if I'm wrong, it is the first third-party release under Frog God Games' open license for their Lost Lands setting. I'm kinda excited, as I had advocated for such a license for the Lost Lands a few years back.

This adventure is designed for a group of 4-6 characters of levels 5-7 playing the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. While functional as a standalone module, this adventure is designed to be the first adventure in a series exploring the workings and reasons of a deity of the Lost Lands referred to as the Nameless One and her most faithful servant, “the Walking Stick Man” as they try to recover ancient words of power and stir forces lost and forgotten.

This adventure starts in the settlement of Chesmire, though can be moved around with little difficulty and placed in any campaign world with only minor changes, namely the addition or use of an ancient lost or near lost pantheon. The reason for the placement in this area is easy access to the adventure “Sorcerer’s Citadel” from Quests of Doom, which should be played following the events of the second adventure in this series as a return to the feelings of normalcy while still maintaining references to the ancient pantheon on which these adventures are focused via the statue of Mocham.

The PDF of The Dark Den of Dagon is only 5 bucks. The Print plus PDF is 15. For 5 bucks, I can convert this to Swords & Wizardry on the fly ;)


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.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Bundle of Holding - Old School Cool

I have to admit, there are some titles in the Old School Cool Bundle of Holding that I never heard of. Others that I've heard of and don't own and some that I feel are well worth the price of admissions on their own.

In the 7.95 Starter Bundle, I own Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells, and it is an excellent Swords & Sorcery OSR ruleset. I've heard of Vagabonds of Dyfed but don't own it, and this is the first I've heard of Pariah and Fallen Justice.

In the Bonus Collection (currently at 19.23), I own both Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells (Sword & Planet with magic) and Dark Streets & Darker Secrets are (modern-day horror) and they are great. I've heard of Hypertellurians but don't own it and again, this is the first I've heard of Dortoka: City on the Sea of Glass. Just because I haven't heard of a title doesn't mean it's not good, it just means it has never reached my radar.


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Kickstarter - Character Collections for The Fantasy Trip

Let me start by saying I've known Douglas Cole for a number of years, and he was one of the regular players in my "B Team" Swords & Wizardry Campaign about six years ago. I may just be a bit biased, but Doug has been producing top-level RPG products since Dungeon Grappling - the only usable iteration of unarmed combat for any version of Dungeons &Dragons or its clones I've ever come across. It is simply that good.

Bad Mike & I grabbed Doug earlier tonight for the weekly Talking Crit Livestream, and Doug had some solid advice for new Kickstarter creators. If you prefer an audio-only feed, here's the podcast version.

So, what's so great about Character Collections for The Fantasy Trip? Quite simply, the character descriptions are inspirational and essentially systemless. How do I know? Doug was kind enough to give me a peek at the first three Character Collections and they look awesome. 


Heck, I'm tempted to break out my The Fantasy Trip boxed set and run a few sessions via VTT. As an improv style GM, Character Collections simply is an amazing resource for my personal toolbox, regardless of the game system I'm running.

You can snag Character Collections for The Fantasy Trip for as little as 10 bucks in PDF, which will include at least 3 books - and possibly more if stretch goals are hit. Interestingly, stretch goals are not reached by hitting certain dollar values raised, but by the number of backers. So get the word out, as I want more books like the first three Character Collections.

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
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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Fantasy Grounds 4th Quarter Report Shows 71% of Game Sessions on the VTT are using D&D 5e

If we needed other proof that Dungeons & Dragons 5e was the "bully on the block", dwarfing all other RPGs, the 4th quarter report for the Fantasy Grounds Virtual Table Top shows the stark reality. 5e comes in with an ungodly 71% of 4th quarter game sessions on the platform.

Paizo comes in at 15% IF you combine Pathfinder 1e, Pathfinder 2e, and StarFinder as a single figure.

The following graph shows the influence of the pandemic on virtual play, at least using Fantasy Grounds (I'll be discussing 5e specifically below ):


Holding steady at around 20k sessions a month through February 2020, 5e spiked to over 80k sessions by April, and even the summer dip didn't go below 45k-ish. As for January 2021, it's knocking on 100k - nearly a five-fold increase.

These are just the numbers from Fantasy Grounds. Roll20's last ORR (3rd quarter 2020) report is less revealing, as we don't get to see the increase, if any, in sessions played (although 5e has a 53% share of the games and Paizo's share is even smaller than on FG). There is one tidbit of interesting information on the latest ORR report, and I'll share that below:

For less 5e games played to still equal a greater part of the pie, would mean that Roll20 saw a decrease in usage compared to the Second Quarter of 2020. Interesting.

Actually, FG2 might have seen a similar, small drop

I'd love to see Foundry's usage stats.

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.  

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Monday, February 22, 2021

State of The Tavern - I Missed a Day of Posting, and it Was Good ;)

I can't believe I'm saying it. I totally missed putting up a post on Saturday. The first time The Tavern had a postless day in over 7 years, although much of that streak is thanks to Chris Stodgil stepping up and assisting during my hospitalizations in 2020, and covering Sundays on a regular basis now. It truly is a team effort.

So, what emergency caused me to miss posting on Saturday?

None whatsoever. 

Could it be that 2 1/2 weeks of near-daily and often multiple livestreams caught up with me? That could be part of it but in the final analysis, I think the answer is an easier one.

I was distracted.

By what, you may ask? An idea that is NOT quite ready for prime time, and won't be announced until it is ready. In truth, I was so psyched on Saturday, that I was afraid I'd spill the beans if I did post, so I think the idea was to bleed off some of the excitement before posting. That didn't work out so well, as I never posted, but thought I had. Heh.

Ah well. Back to working on this new project as well as tying off some loose ends on Torchlight #1.

As I mentioned in last night's Livestream of Gamers' Health, the three hospitalizations in 2020 took a toll on me, not just physically (physically I'm currently down 50#s and feeling better than I have in years) but also mentally. I spent the last half of 2020, and the beginning of 2021, considering the idea that when I went to sleep at night, I might not wake up in the AM. I no longer have that fear, or if I do, it is no longer a controlling and distracting factor. In retrospect, it crippled my creativity, and I'm glad to have refound much of my mojo :)

Thanks to all for the support, and I hope to have something to announce fairly soon. Heck, I've even arranged for a logo and stuff ;)

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. 

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Learning Something New About my OSR Game: Strap-Hangers

 

Learning Something New About my OSR Game: Strap-Hangers
With one notable exception, in all my infrequent years of playing and/or GMing I have never really had to deal with any manner of PC strap-hangers that would be classified as henchmen, followers, mercenaries, or Protégés. Actually HackMaster (4th Edition) had a pretty cool Protégé system we used so if your main PC kicked the bucket you didn't have to start off with a zero-XP 1st level nobody.

In my bi-weekly game we decided to pick up some.......henchmen? I know I should probably pick up a DMG or some such and familiarize myself with the concepts, but what's the fun in that?

Seriously? What is the fun in that.......bear with me a second here.

Like probably a good many of the readers here at the Tavern I've been playing and/or running various RPGs for decades now......yes, off and on, but still. The Out of Character (OOC) knowledge base is HUGE and if I play stupid about something at the game table, it's literally me playing stupid. "Oh gee, my 1st level nobody on his very 1st adventure I didn't know that Holy Water can do damage to Undead" *wink* *wink*

Actually it should be more like "HOLY FUCKING SHIT ZOMBIES ARE REAL AND NOT SOMETHING MY MOTHER MADE UP TO SCARE THE CRAP OUT OF US AS KIDS! RUN MOTHER-FUCKER, RUN!!!"

Aside from the occasional GM change-up, "Oh, you run this spell that way? Cool...." there aren't a lot of in-game, at the table surprises in most games. Sure, some systems.....I'm looking at you DCC, have some interesting mechanics that are all about surprise through random weirdness (in a good way, really), but your regular OSR game......not so much. Discovering something new about a game you've played for a long while is a refreshing surprise.

Now my GM may have thought I was bored, or looked bored over Zoom, but I really enjoyed the idea of bringing on a strap-hanger for the adventure and figuring a couple things out. Sweetening the deal with a magic item, sure.....here's a +1 Dagger or two I'm not using. Do I try to get the fighter to follow me or do I play it safe with a PC who won't out-level me......I'm assuming that if they get to be a higher level than I am the dynamic will change and I become their follower, hench....strap-hanger.

I ended up "hiring"....well I'm not technically paying outright for services.....so whatever flavor of strap-hanger that is,  new Lawful Cleric that sounds like she'll fill a need for the party, and evidently her Morale is pretty high....

I have absolutely no fricken clue where this strap-hanger thing is going to end up, and I'm looking forward to trying out this new/old aspect of OSR gaming.

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