Saturday, April 24, 2021

Indiegogo -The Folio: Black Label #5 (1E & 5E)

I'm a fan of R Scott Taylor's The Folio series of adventures. Written for AD&D 1e and D&D 5e, you can see Scott's Old School Gaming roots in the writing and the presentation. I'm a huge fan of detachable covers in my gaming books, and The Folio does not disappoint. 

The Folio: Black Label is Scott's "adult line" of adventures, but I see them more are "R" rated. While you probably wouldn't want your pre-teen reading such, as an adult I appreciate the option to do so.

The Folio: Black Label #5 is the latest in the Black Label series of releases, and has just over 24 hours in its funding period as I write this.

The Folio: Black Label series are fantasy adventure modules that are compatible with BOTH classic Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and 5th Edition D&D formats.  Each adventure combines what I enjoyed most from the heady days of of the late 1970s and the 1980s swords & sorcery storytelling. 

The Folio: Black Label #5 continues an adventure path pitting the characters against a demonic slaving nation bound to a cursed ruin called The Burning City.  In this adventure the characters will continue to try to retrieve a stolen noble before she is taken too deep into the demon insect infested 'ash lands' that surround The Burning City for hundreds of miles.  They must brave a slaver camp and then enter the old Temple of the Moon, a long abandoned religious structure that now houses demon insects, fell shaman, and wasteland raiders.

Taking a page from the previous Black Label Trilogy, this one is going to have an even more adult edge than can found in the standard Folio, and yes, there might be some nudity, and maybe some horror, and maybe a twisted quality here or there, but at the base its really just about the unfettered fun of hacking and slashing your way through a pulp style adventure with blatant evil doers, magical treasures, and exposed flesh.  

So, I'm throwing out the standard politically correct playbook, and turning the flux capacitor back to the early days of gaming.  I hope some of you will join me. 

Yep, we use "adult language" on The Tavern's Youtube Channel. Go figure ;)

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, April 23, 2021

Is There an Audience for a Weekly Blog Post Recap of the Past Week of Content from The Tavern’s YouTube Channel?

There has been some discussion over on The Tavern’s Facebook’s Community that readers of The Tavern’s Blog are missing out on content that is being shared on The Tavern’s YouTube Channel. I do not have a magical solution to such a problem, and duplicating content between the two mediums is not feasible for many reasons, not the least of which is the amount of time needed to make a full accommodation.

I am proposing to do the following. Once a week, probably on Monday, I would put together a blogpost consisting of paragraph or so long recaps of each YouTube episode from the prior week. Along with each paragraph would be a link to the YouTube episode in question.

While no a perfect solution, it would offer a recap and perhaps enough information as to whether or not one would wish to view an episode for a more complete coverage of the topic in question.

As always, your feedback and opinion is important.



Thursday, April 22, 2021

Kickstarter - Endless Encounters: Dungeons (a 5th Edition & B/X Adventure Generator)

I love gaming resources that I can use for inspiration when it comes to creating adventures. The more flavor you can add, the more memorable your adventures will be. I was granted a peek at the first chapter of Endless Encounters: Dungeons as a work in progress (level 1) and I am extremely impressed and psyched. With this and the Tome of Adventure Design in hand, I'll be spending many an evening designing dungeon adventures :)

The old school has returned! Back to the good ol' days of monster hotels and dungeon crawling we go! With this 200+ page supplement for 5e and B/X, you will be able to randomly craft a dungeon to play through in just minutes! Running late for game day? Endless Encounters: Dungeons is there for you. Lacking inspiration while trapped in quarantine? Endless Encounters: Dungeons will light the way. Simply feeling a bit adventurous with your game design? Endless Encounters: Dungeons - yeah, you get it.

Endless Encounters: Dungeons is an adventure generator for characters level 1-8 for the 5th Edition and B/X game systems!

This book is separated into 8 distinct sections. Each section is designed and balanced for characters of that specific level. So, the first section is for 1st level characters, the second section is for 2nd level characters, and so on, until level 8. You may use the level that corresponds with the adventuring party's levels!

Each level adds additional difficultly and complexity. This means more charts and more options. With each level, the story can truly build and expand.

Last night on the Talking Crit Livestream, Bad Mike & I were joined by Ben Barsh of Pacesetter Games and we discussed the Endless Encounters: Dungeons Kickstarter (and many other topics:)

The Tavern is supported by readers like you. The easiest way to support The Tavern is to shop via our affiliate links. DTRPGAmazon, and Humble Bundle are affiliate programs that support The Tavern.  You can catch the daily Tavern Chat podcast on AnchorYouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Bundle of Holding - DCC RPG and Lankhmar Bundles by Goodman Games

Bundle of Holding is offering TWO Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG Bundles in PDF format - The DCC RPG Core Rules and Adventures as well as the DCC Lankhmar Boxed Set and further Lankhmar Adventures.

The first bundle, The Dungeon Crawl Classics Starter Collection offers the DCC RPG rulebook, the adventures The Black Heart of Thakulon the Undying & Sailors on the Starless Sea, as well as the DCC Judge's Screen for 14.95

The Bonus Collection, currently at 30 bucks, adds the following adventures to your collection: The Queen of Elfland's Son, Moon-Slaves of the Cannibal Kingdom, The Star Wound of Abaddon, Emirikol Was Framed, Beyond the Black Gate, and Imprisoned in the God-Skull.

The second bundle, The DCC Lankhmar Starter Colection, offers the DCC Lankhmar Boxed Set and Gang Lords of Lankhmar for 14.95

The Bonus Collection, currently a hair over 26 bucks, adds eight supplements and adventures to your collection: The Land of Eight Cities, A Dozen Lankhmar Locations, The Fence's Fortuitous Folly, Acting Up in Lankhmar, Grave Matters, Rats of Ilthmar, Violence for Votishal, and Blasphemy and Larceny in Lankhmar.

Both bundles are at impossible to beat prices.

The Tavern is supported by readers like you. The easiest way to support The Tavern is to shop via our affiliate links. DTRPGAmazon, and Humble Bundle are affiliate programs that support The Tavern.  You can catch the daily Tavern Chat podcast on AnchorYouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Deal of the Day - OSR Solo

I've enjoyed solo gaming since the early Endless Quest books. Then there were the Corgi gamebooks and Tunnel & Trolls solos. Throw in a few D&D solo adventures and it's a pretty well-rounded collection.

Today's Deal of the Day is OSR Solo. Normally 3.99 in PDF, until tomorrow morning OSR Solo is on sale for 1.60. So, what is OSR Solo?

These rules are intended to allow you to play an OSR, in this case meaning 0D&D, B/X style games, without a Dungeon Master.

The game you will get using these rules will be a sandbox style adventure, you will not need to do any Dungeon Master [DM] style preparation although having a few stock NPCs or appropriate level would be helpful.

No DM?

The normal cycle of play is that the DM describes the scene and asks what do you do? The players describe their actions. The DM describes the effects of those actions and the cycle repeats.

In solo play there is just the single character and no DM. You start by imagining your character in the game setting and play them through all the social interactions, all the NPCs and events that would normally come up. At some point you will reach a point where you would normally ask your DM for more information. Are there any guards? Are there any ways out? What can you hear? At this point the solo rules come into play. You pitch your question in a Yes/No format. The solo rules will then return an answer to your question much like a Magic 8 Ball toy. It is then down to you and your improv. skills to decide what does this answer mean right now? Often the first thing that comes into your head is the answer to go with.

If you just got yes and no answers things would get boring quite quickly. These rules are designed to throw up twists and turns into your character’s story.

Solo is a perfect way to learn a new game, test your first adventures and going beyond just making characters when you are first getting to know the rules.

The Tavern is supported by readers like you. The easiest way to support The Tavern is to shop via our affiliate links. DTRPGAmazon, and Humble Bundle are affiliate programs that support The Tavern.  You can catch the daily Tavern Chat podcast on AnchorYouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar

Monday, April 19, 2021

Castles & Crusades City & Town Megapack Bundle Only 9.99 - Today Only! (OSR)

Castles & Crusades was the system that marked my full-on return to tabletop RPGs. Sure, Warhammer 40k's Dark Heresy introduced me to the Fantasy Grounds VTT, but Castles & Crusades had me playing on a weekly basis. I'm very thankful that Rach was extremely understanding as we courted ;)

Heck, I bought copies of the first printing of the Castles &Crusades Player's Handbook for the members of my old high school & college gaming group, as it reminded me very much of AD&D 1e (and the copies were dirt cheap on Buy.com at the time). Good times.

Where I see Swords & Wizardry as the Rosetta Stone among OSR systems, allowing one to convert between OSR systems fairly seamlessly, I see Castles & Crusades filling a similar role between the OSR and 3.x Dungeons & Dragons. As such, C&C holds a special place in my gaming collection.

The Castles & Crusades City & Town Megapack Bundle offers what it says on the tin - 70 bucks worth of OSR ready cities and towns for your fantasy campaign for just 9.99 in PDF. I'd be all over this IF I didn't already own three out of four in print already. ;) This bundle is far cheaper than any one of these titles would be on their own. (Deal is good until the end of the day, Monday 4/19/21)

You get the following titles for your 9.99:

Castles & Crusades Bluffside City on the Edge ($20)

Castles & Crusades Free City of Eskadia ($18)

Castles & Crusades Heart of Glass ($13.99)

Castles & Crusades Town of Kalas ($18)

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, April 18, 2021

I Missed a Far West Kickstarter Fiasco Update in February 2021!

Holy fucken shitballs! I had nearly given up on updates on the Far West Kickstarter. Of course, the Kickstarter itself hasn't seen an update since July 15th, 2019. That's sneaking up on two years. At this point, Gareth has CLEARLY qualified himself for a VP position over at Kickstarter with his amazing history of responsibility, timeliness, and truthfulness. I'm sure if he reached out to Luke Crane he could get a few pointers.

So, what actually does Gareth say in the update buried on his Far West website? (note, my commentary is in Orange - Tenkar)

Here we are in 2021.

Ten years. A decade. The original FAR WEST Kickstarter was in 2011. Ten years is a long goddamn time to ask people to wait, I know. (I don't recall being asked, but whatever)

It’s been the hardest decade of my life (its been a hell of a decade for possibly everyone). Professional (challenges like keeping your pen names straight) and personal challenges, like I’d never experienced before. Physical and mental heath crises requiring damn near all of my focus and attention (well, and Twitter. Twitter has consumed nearly ALL of your focus for the last 10 years). The work on FAR WEST definitely suffered   (I doubt much work on Far West actually happened over the past 10 years) You know it. I know it. 

Honestly, I’m all out of apologies. (Apologies need to be meant to have value. I have heard no apologies of value)

2021 is the year where FAR WEST finally gets released. (where have I heard THIS before?) I have not abandoned the project (I have not yet begun to fight! wait, wrong quote). I am finishing it up (where have I heard THAT before) (currently adding some things, suggested by my editors, to various parts of the manuscript, mostly in the final chapter (the Narrator’s chapter). My business partner, Eric Trautmann, has begun layout of the completed chapters. Things are proceeding (if by proceeding, you mean nothing of value has been happening, then yes, things are proceeding). PDFs will go out first to the long-suffering Kickstarter backers, and then will be released commercially, followed by the printed book (again, to backers first, and then wide). (there is NO WAY printed books are happening, not unless the PDF sales are huge. The money is long gone. Gareth has said so)

We will release this year– delays, disasters, pandemics or societal collapse be damned. (somehow, I doubt this statement. No. Really. Is that bad of me, to NOT take Gareth, the icon of honesty, truthfulness, and honor in the gaming industry at his word?)

Home is on the horizon (What, we're not in Kansas anymore?). We’re racing the sunset, but we’re gonna get there.


Gareth-Michael Skarka

Lawrence, Kansas

22 February, 2021

I think I threw up a little bit in my mouth. 

Then we had some comments, and Gareth replied:

Chad S. says:

February 25, 2021 at 11:24 am

Will you commit to releasing the pdf to backers, in whatever state of completion it may happen to be, before the end of 2021?

admin says:

February 25, 2021 at 11:26 am

Yes, without hesitation. (even if that state is Nothing Completed)

Darq says:

March 14, 2021 at 10:54 am

And the long suffering Pre-Orderers who didn’t have the benefit of all the secret “backer only” communications and releases, I hope! (wait! There were Pre-Orders on top of the Kickstarter backers? How much money did Gareth take in on this shell game?)

admin says:

March 14, 2021 at 4:56 pm

That’s one of the reasons why I’ve moved all updates to this site and our social media accounts. (the main reason was inability to remove negative comments from the Kickstarter page)

Michael says:

March 17, 2021 at 11:08 pm

Would those be the social media accounts you blocked people on when they asked once every 4 years for an update? (see? EVERYONE knows the reason)

admin says:

March 18, 2021 at 12:14 pm

Nobody has ever been blocked for asking for updates. Several people have been blocked for being rude jerks. (me love you long time. Feel free to attempt to "punch Tenkar in the throat" big man)


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

Got Some Unexpected Help Figuring Some Stuff Out


Got Some Unexpected Help Figuring Some Stuff Out
We're pretty much all dorks/geeks/nerds here at the Tavern (except for Rach...she's an angel...[I got your back Erik!]).....and I'm willing to bet that most of us goofs like more than just RPGs.

Now I don't consider myself a Star Wars geek, but I do enjoy the films....for the most part. I really didn't care for the last trilogy we got and at the point of coming across as sexist (too late... I opened my mouth so therefor I am wrong) I really didn't care for the character of Rey. My problem though, was I could not tell you why I didn't like Rey, I just didn't. Now I really try not to be some pseudointellectual type and me trying to get up in my head as to why or why not I don't like something really isn't going to work unless I can point to something concrete and obvious......or I have it pointed out to me.

Now the title alone would normally dissuade me from watching the video, but it came up automagically in my cue 'cause I watched something about "Charismatic Intelligence" with Hollywood types and this rotated in. I won't go into the finer details here but the author/narrator's words hit home because she was able to point out something really obvious, but beyond my grasp to understand without the help.

Now since my mind wanders like no other I started to wonder if there was such a thing as "womansplaining" since I had to have a woman point out the painfully obvious to my clueless self. There is, it's called "femsplaining" and this video was so not it.

No this video was just a good explanation on a few things I couldn't wrap my head around because.....I hadn't tried?......I lack the sufficient mental capacity?......I didn't care to explore the concept further?

Most likely the latter because if you don't like something, why spend more energy trying to figure out why? It's either obvious, or it's not and knowing either way doesn't matter if you don't want to spend more resources (time & energy) on it.

Now there have been some RPG games I haven't liked, but usually it's quite obvious to me. The rules are too crunchy/fiddly for my tastes (Rolemaster) or I don't care for the amount of effort it takes to make a PC (D&D 3.5). Doesn't mean I won't play those games, but I'd rather play something else if given the opportunity.

There was a time when HackMaster was becoming a game I didn't enjoy playing, but I had no clue as to why and again I was fortunate to have another woman point out the painfully obvious to my clueless-ass self. Back when HackMaster 4th edition was waning, but 5th Edition wasn't available yet there was the "secret" 5th Edition playtesting. Now the majority of the D(evelopment) Team at KenzerCo are engineers and while they're all great guys......but holy hell can they over-engineer a RPG....and this is coming from a guy who likes a fair amount of RPG Crunch.

HackMaster 5th Edition is heavily skills based and the design of the skill system was basically that skills started at 100 and went down as they improved. You rolled a % and wanted to get over your skill number. High was always good and adding bonuses to your die roll was literally adding a number to your die roll. Sounds good right? I think there are several systems out there that use a similar mechanic.

Nope......did not like it. Honestly I don't think anyone outside of the D-Team liked this skill system, but for the life of me I could not figure out why I didn't like it. Then Shabby, a fellow friend/gamer/playtester pointed out the painfully obvious: If you have a 90% in a skill, that percentage is your chance of failure, not success.

So do I need to roll a d10,000 for that?

 As players we want to succeed, so I don't want to hear the GM tell me the chances of failure, but my chances to succeed! One is just inherently negative and the other is positive. Yes, a 90% chance of failure is technically the same as a 10% chance to succeed, but don't tell me I'm going to miss on a d20 roll of 1 to 18. Tell me I'm going to hit on a roll of 19 or 20!

The playtesters managed, probably with a HUGE amount of convincing by Shabby, to "fix" the skill system in HackMaster 5th edition to the point where I'm a fan again. While I know now this wasn't "womansplaining" I'm personally glad to have been helped out on these two occasions to figure out that I like character development and positivity in my gaming systems......

.....now if I could only get some help with some other shit I can't figure out.....but that would also require me to care more than I do. Life's too short to dwell on media and games you don't like...... 

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lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

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