Saturday, March 20, 2021

The Tenkar's Tavern Audio Recap Podcast is Live

As I mentioned last week, I'll be converting each week of the Tenkar's Tavern blog into an audio podcast for those that have asked for such.

The first episode covers 3/14/21 thru 3/20/21. It's about 16 minutes long.

It may take a few days / weeks for it to populate across the various podcatcher platforms.

In the meantime, those interested can listen on Anchor:

https://anchor.fm/erik-tenkar/episodes/Tenkars-Tavern-Audio-Recap-Week-of-3-14-21-thru-3-20-21-et4h7b




Review-ish - Monsters! Monsters! (2nd Edition - Tunnels & Trolls)

I'm not one to do much in the way of reviews, even though many have and still do ask me to do so. The reasons are quite simple, as I feel many others do a far better job at reviewing products than I ever could and I don't take pleasure in reviewing (let alone reading) releases that I'm not enjoying. So, for the most part, I leave reviews in the hands of others, although I do post often about new releases that spark my interest.

The Second Edition of Monsters! Monsters! was released in June of 2020, and technically is not a "new release." Quite simply, I knew it had released, I had my copy in print and PDF and I never got around to reading through it until earlier today. So, technically, it's new to me ;)

First things first, the art is damn good. The cover is awesome and the interior art reminds me of Games Workshop / White Dwarf artwork from the 80s and it fits the atmosphere perfectly.

Ruleswise, you can see the influence of later editions of Tunnels &Trolls on this edition of Monsters! Monsters! We get spite damage from T&T 5.5, stunting, and a new optional rule - Chaos Factor. Chaos factor has a huge potential to skew the power level of the game in favor of the players, but that isn't necessarily bad, just something to be aware of. You get 5 Fast Start Kindreds (and 49 altogether), so your choices as a player cover a large potential of concepts.

Still, the rules are Tunnels &Trolls rules. If you play T&T, you'll find inspiration within. The enclosed GM Adventure (not quite as rare as a unicorn in T&T, but certainly uncommon) is part setting with a large helping of adventure and adventure leads. The Ruins of Hael'Ku can be used for Monsters! Monsters! or Tunnels & Trolls, and should work well with either system - or both.

Monsters! Monsters! is 9.95 in PDF, which I think is a very fair value for what you get, especially if you are a fan of the Tunnels & Trolls rules.

T
he 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.

 

Friday, March 19, 2021

Sneak Peek at Various Upcoming Projects at The Tavern


More details of the above when we are closer to launch. I know, it's a tease. Sorry, but so it must be...

James Shields did the logo and did an amazing job with the piss poor description I gave him ;) Back James' current Stock Art Kickstarter - he does damn good work.

This weekend should see the launch of a new weekly podcast, which will have its own feed on Anchor and will simply be an audio recap of the previous week's post here at The Tavern. Nothing new if you steadily read the blog, but convenient if you want a weekly recap to listen to on your commute. No link yet. Soonish.

I've moved the podcast recording to Streamyard from the Anchor app, and it has enhanced how I get to interact with voicemails and has allowed me to put up daily videos on Youtube.com/ErikTenkar that aren't simple conversions of the podcast audio - now the podcast audio is a conversion of the video. It's a much more workable system now and I've noticed an uptick in both Youtube views and Tavern Chat podcast downloads.

We've had Tavern Chat Hangouts on The Tavern's Discord Server for YEARS now on Thursday Nights (9 PM Eastern until 11ish). It's a simple and relaxed voice chat hangout where all are welcome, and you never know who is going to pop in. There appears to be an interest in having an alternate time for those that live across the pond (or across the world), shift workers, those that work from home, etc. I'll be asking on the Discord Server for a prefered day/time to do so. I expect we'll start it on a monthly schedule as we gauge the interest.

Is that enough for the plate? Heh ;)

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.



Thursday, March 18, 2021

Deal of the Day - Weird Adventures (OSR Pulp Fantasy)

I haven't thought of Weird Adventures in a while. I own it in print & PDF, and it simply oozes the pulp genre that mixes well into an otherwise fantasy setting. It's a bit like Reeses Peanutbutter Cups - it shouldn't be as good as it is ;)

Today's Deal of the Day is Weird Adventures. Normally 10 bucks in PDF, until tomorrow morning it's on sale for $4.

Welcome to the City...

The streets are mean--and what lurks beneath them is even meaner. Only the most hard-boiled adventurers make it in this town.  You think you got what it takes? Grab your gun or grimoire and find out.

Weird Adventures is a setting where traditional rpg fantasy meets the Pulp era.  It's a world where hobogoblins hop trains, gargoyles nest on art deco skyscrapers, and celebrity sorcerers hawk cigarettes on the radio.

Weird Adventures includes:

  • A guide to the City, greatest metropolis in the world, including its five baronies, numerous neighborhoods, and points of interest to adventurers.
  • An overview of the Strange New World beyond the City, including the mysterious jungles of Asciana, the zombie-haunted streets of Cujiatepec, and the hidden moonshine stills of the hill-billy giants in the Smaragdines.
  • Thirty new monsters from the Black Blizzard to the Skunk-Ape.

 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.

Kickstarter - Bestial Ecosystems Created by Monstrous Inhabitation (System Neutral)


A guide to dynamic monster ecologies for novel fantasy campaigns.

Courtney Campbell is one of the most skilled writers of DM resource material that I've encountered in my 40 odd years of gaming. Whether we are talking game prep or winging it when your party goes left and you had expected them to go right, Courtney has your back.

Bad Mike & I were lucky enough to have Courtney as a guest on our Talking Crit Livestream last night. It was an excellent conversation and a true insight into the mind of a creative like Courtney.

Bestial Ecosystems Created by Monstrous Inhabitation is Courtney's latest Kickstarter. When he informed us that the title was chosen to be abbreviated as BECMI, I was floored. Apparently, he's done the same with his previous releases in the series: Artifices, Deceptions, & Dilemmas (AD&D) and On Downtime and Demesnes (OD&D). Interesting little Easter Egg.

What if monsters were unique and exciting? What if monsters no longer existed in solitary, but part of individual, specialized, ecosystems? What if you had the tools to make these ecosystems quickly and easily, over and over again?

What's in it?

Thousands of unique monster ideas and origins

Tools to integrate these into biomes and exploratory play

Dozens of ideas to make monsters mechanically unique

No longer will monsters feel like bags of hit points to you or your players.  Bestial Ecosystems Created by Monstrous Inhabitation includes clear guidelines for how players can come across these monsters and learn about them in a system-neutral way. This book has no statistic blocks, no repeating anything in the possibly dozens of monster books you already own. This gives every monster dozens and dozens of ideas to make it special, along with the tools and guidelines to use them in play.

I'm in for 28 bucks, print plus PDF. You can back for as little as a buck to get a peek at the PDF as a work in progress. Courtney writes some seriously useful reference books that should be in every GM's toolkit. 

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.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

News - Gen Con rescheduled to September 16-19, 2021 - Hybrid In-person, Digital, In-Store Pop-Ups

From the Gen Con website (further details at the original post):

Today, we’re announcing that we are postponing Gen Con 2021 as originally planned for August 5-8 in Indianapolis and announcing plans for a hybrid slate of concurrent in-person and online experiences, including the rescheduled Indy convention, this September 16-19, 2021. We believe this is the best approach both to meet the many challenges of the moment and to explore possibilities for the future.

By offering a flexible range of opportunities to participate, we hope to safely include the largest number of people in the Gen Con experience this year and adapt to conditions as they are in September: in-person at Gen Con in Indianapolis with capped attendance and a modified format, from home through Gen Con Online events and livestreaming, and at local game stores through Pop-Up Gen Con retail activations.

With the rollout of effective vaccines, we look forward to an end to the COVID-19 pandemic and an eventual return to normal convention conditions, but the timeline is far from certain. In consultation with public health experts and local partners, with community feedback in mind, and with cautious optimism, we are moving forward with planning while maintaining the ability to shift course as needed to meet the requirements of changing conditions.

Convention planning happens on a long timeline, and we appreciate your continued patience as we tread these murky waters. By postponing our dates and expanding our approach, we hope to provide you with the best experience we can this year. With so many pieces in motion, we aren’t yet announcing dates for badge, hotel, and event registration, but we will announce those decisions soon as we advance to the next stages of planning.

Gen Con Indy

“The Best Four Days in Gaming™,” with capped attendance and enhanced health and safety measures.

  • Smaller attendance numbers to comply with public health mandates and enable safer-attendance procedures.
  • Potential combinations of social distancing, mask-wearing, and vaccination requirements as determined by public health guidelines.

Gen Con Online

Concurrent with the convention in Indianapolis, a virtual offering of livestreaming, remote/virtual gaming and events, and community on Discord.

Pop-Up Gen Con

During Gen Con weekend, Pop-Up Gen Con activates participating Friendly Local Game Stores (FLGS).

  • FLGS adapt their event to local health and safety conditions and requirements, determining how to structure participation in their community.
  • Publishers’ games available to stores for demos, events (where allowed), and purchase.


Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Kickstarter - Dungeon Dangers & Devices (Stock Art)

I'm a huge fan of stock art. Not just for smaller publishers, which I am on occasion, but as a blogger. A good piece of art can inspire a whole post, and knowing you have legal rights to use such art somehow makes the creative juices flow even more, or so it seems to me.

James Sheilds has a very large and very deep catalogue of stock art. The pieces are great, at a minimum, and some reach the level of "Awesome", such as the art I used for the cover of Swords & Wizardry Continual Light. As my niece, Shannon (age 6 at the time) told my wife Rach when she saw the proof copy for the first time: "This art SELLS Auntie!" There can be no greater endorsement. ;)

James just Kickstarted Dungeon Dangers & Devices, Stock Illustrations of Fantasy Traps and Tricks. 10 illustrations for 25 bucks or 25 illustrations for 50 bucks (all B&W) Color is a stretch goal and available at a higher backing point. I'm currently in for 50 :)

This project will be a collection of twenty-five illustrations of various dangers and devices that one might find within the depths of a fantasy dungeon. They will be in A5 format (5.8 x 8.3 inches) and will initially be in black and white.

In my opinion, the licensing terms are extremely fair:

All illustrations may be used for personal and commercial projects.

          The following apply to any commercial use:

  • May be cropped, flipped, or colored.
  • Signature mark should be included in the final composition.
  • Signature mark must remain in its original orientation.
  • Must credit 'Jeshields' for any use.
  • May be used indefinitely.
  • May NOT be used in products sold primarily for artistic value.
  •            (Stock art, tokens, posters, etc)
  • May NOT be used in works overtly deemed racist, sexist, or sexually explicit.

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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Monday, March 15, 2021

Playing with Dungeon Builder - Isometric Mapping Program

I was shown the magic of Dungeon Builder yesterday by Thaddeus and I was blown away by the sample map I was shown. So, I downloaded the free demo and  I put together The Dungeon Privy shown above in less than half an hour. That included time to learn the basics of the program.

This morning I tried my hands at the demo again, this time for an outdoor map, and again I was extremely impressed with the results. Again, the map was completed in about half an hour.


The demo is free. The full app without a commercial license is 59 euros. Commercial license prices depend on whether you want to give attribution to Dungeon Builder and how large your company is in terms of yearly revenue. They start at 199 euros.

I put in for a commercial license. Expect to see me working on my Dungeon Builder skills in the next few weeks.

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, March 14, 2021

Taking Advantage of an Unexpected Opportunity

 

Taking Advantage of an Unexpected Opportunity
Have you ever fallen asleep on the couch some random Tuesday afternoon and gotten a nice little unexpected nap in.....you wake up refreshed and feeling a little cheeky 'cause you got some unexpected rest in....like you got away with something?

No, well that sucks for you, but also for me 'cause you're not going to get my analogy then.

To me that's what it feel like to get in on a pick-up role-playing game. A good time that makes you feel like you got away with something...a pleasant surprise.

I missed my last gaming session because I was out on a date.....probably an event rarer than gaming...well historically speaking at least. Normally there is no issue with the two interests competing, but really is this a surprise for most any gamer to begin with? Well at least most any gamer who tries to date women who are like, "There are dice with more than six sides?" That's probably a post all unto itself....

...anyway, last night I was able to jump in on a pick-up game playing a "prequel" adventure for my newly acquired Henchman, long with some of the other Henchmen. I had a blast, which I'm sure wasn't apparent because for some reason the moment I logged into the Zoom room I had a yawning fit.....can seeing yourself yawn make you yawn more? Is this a Zoom side-effect?

Normally I play the group's Magic User, which means I'm more a supporting character when combat rolls around, although I have had my moments.....the pick-up game had me on the front line bashing skulls to the extent I think I got the majority of the kills (lucky dice rolls.....not skill!), only to be outshined in the big encounter by a well placed Sleep spell. It's easy to forget how briefly awesome a Sleep spell can be. My MU hasn't been able to make decent use of Sleep for at least a level.

Outside of the straight-up fun a pick-up game can be because it's a game, there's that additional opportunity to change things up. To play something new, or even to rekindle an appreciation for something kind of forgotten. The fact you can't really plan for this "thing"....that it has to be taking advantage of an unexpected opportunity.....makes it all the more special.

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