Saturday, June 19, 2021

TSR Trademark Assigned June 16th - Let the Flurry of Pointless Announcements Begin!

Let's see. We want to premiere a new convention and use the nostalgia attached to our newly registered as of June 16th Trademark. 

I know. We'll call it TSR Con 2022!

But what makes us special? I know! We'll have it at Horticultural Hall in Lake Geneva! Instant super nostalgia! We'll get signups without even announcing a schedule.

Sure, its max capacity is 160 peeps, but we'll say it's "The Nation's Premier Wargame Convention" because surely there aren't any others that are bigger and have history, right? I mean, it's not like there's a list of wargaming conventions available to check against. Who needs a proven track history to make these statements when we have "nostalgia!" 

When is it you ask? Just say "2022". It's a big year. We'll figure out the details later but we need to build the hype now!

If only we could secure the TM for Blackmoor in time for the convention. That would be icing on the cake.

What, we already filed for it? Awesome! Let the Arneson Estate know we will give them favorable licensing terms.

Just wait for the press release at PR.com! It will be amazing with run-on sentences that will make every German proud!

Just like our TSR Games is Back press release. Just don't take it too seriously, because WotC might get offended...

Hey, do we get to sue the "old" "New TSR" for using our TM? What about WotC using our TMs on their DTRPG PDFs and PODs from the "original" TSR era? Now that we've redrawn all of the classic logos and have TMs pending, they're violating our trademarks, right? 

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Friday, June 18, 2021

Kickstarter - Atlas - Rise or Die: a tabletop roleplaying game


An indie, vintage, sword&sorcery RPG, full of blood, brutality, and barbarism. New races, classes and a new 2d10System on a new world.

Atlas – Rise or Die is a classic, vintage sword & sorcery tabletop RPG. In its style and mood, Atlas brings about the renaissance of the epic RPGs of the '80s with a modern, clean design and breath-taking illustrations.

"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." The Princess Bride

vintage - The word vintage literally means "of age." How can a new game with a "new" resolution system be "vintage"?

Do I need to say more? Let's add in typos and grammar mistakes on the Kickstarter page. Doesn't make one confident

Oh, and fully compatible with D&D 5e, assuming you use 2d10 instead of a D20.

Hard pass.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

WotC is Planning for a VTT - What Does that Mean for the 5e Fan Base?

So, the super-secret part of the new WotC D&D Survey (which may have ended) showed a handful of survey takers video of a planned new by subscription Virtual Table Top (VTT) service that will incorporate much of what is currently available in D&D Beyond. Techraptor has the details.

In short, the video appears to be a virtual tabletop program with integrated rules for Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons. The video included digital toolsets and 3D graphics, including isometric maps and customizable miniature figures. It was compared to the grid system used in Roll20 combined with the convenience of D&D Beyond. Finally, it seemed that character sheets will be handled on players' smart phones and tablet devices and would be connected to the program somehow. 

If this is true, it would give more players variety for how they choose to play Dungeons and Dragons. The only concern however is how it will be made available. There is speculation that this will be a subscription-based service, much like D&D Beyond

According to a prior WotC D&D Survey, there are 40 million D&D 5e players/fans in the world. D&D Beyond subscriptions are $5.99 for a DM, $2.99 for a player. Assume 1% of D&D players subscribe to D&D Beyond, and we'll assume an average rate of $4 per sub. 400k paid subs at 4 bucks a month is $1.6M a month. Nearly $20M a year, the bulk of which is not paid to WotC. WotC wants all of that and more (again, we don't have precise numbers)

WotC had $816M in sales in 2020. The bulk of that is Magic: The Gathering. D&D makes money, but much of it is via licensing - including to the various VTT publishers.

We recently have seen WotC take translations back in house. I suspect that D&D Beyond will also be brought in house (its founder left earlier this year), and by having their own VTT they bring much of the VTT income in house.

WotC just needs to invest real money into this project.

Interesting times ahead...


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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Ken Whitman - Looking for New Fools - Involved with yet ANOTHER Kickstarter

I will say this about Ken "Whit" Whitman, he is stubborn and persistent. He simply can not give up Kickstarter. I suspect he keeps telling himself: "I'm only one project away from hitting it big!"

Ken's latest project "not his project but maybe" is Unmortal : Out of Time Short Film. Ken is listed nowhere on the Kickstarter page, but his LLC (or expired LLC) Little Monsters Entertainment, was involved in the worthless trailer.

The creator of the Unmortal Kickstarter, Robert Kostner, was also the creator of The Whittler Kickstarter, which Ken was most certainly involved in.

So, what did Mr. Kostner have to say when an inquiry was made about Kenny's involvement in the project?

"Thank you for reaching out to me. Our company has contracts with many independent companies, actors, and crew members, and we do run background checks on all of our contractors. Mr. Whitman has no legal or criminal activities on his record. During past meetings, he seems very respectful to all that attend. I do know of his past Kickstarter failures and assure you that Mr. Whitman is not involved with our company's business practices and is merely part of the creative team along with several dozen other talented contractors. Once again, thank you for your concern, and have a wonderful day."

Yep, I guess Robert left the "go fuck yourself for even asking!" part silent, but man, it still came through.

As I stated in the vidcast, I recommend backing for a buck just to follow this trainwreck.

Here's the accompanying vidcvast:


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Monday, June 14, 2021

There's a New Dungeons & Dragons Survey from WotC - Some Folks are Getting an NDA with Extra Questions




There's a new D&D survey from WotC and it asks, among the basic questions, which editions you've played in the last 12 months and what other games you play.

So yes, it's an opportunity to let them get some information on old-school gaming.

Also, some folks are getting additional questions with an NDA attached. I'm not sure how enforceable that NDA would be, but there has been some pushback.

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Sunday, June 13, 2021

Dealing with Post-Con Letdown

 

Dealing with Post-Con Letdown
Unless you've been away from the Tavern for a month or so, you know that North Texas RPG Con ended last weekend. I've already stated that I enjoyed it, and I'm pretty sure Erik (and Rach) had fun as well.....at least the videocasts sure make it seem like we all had a good time.

The thing is, after having so much fun for five days (I'm counting the Wednesday pre-con) having to return to "the real world" is a bit of a letdown.....depressing even. Now in my case there's a good reason because my "real world" sucks ass right now. I'm not looking for some pity here, it's just that I'm unemployed and my benefits are running out too soon (sooner than anticipated)*. I've been doing well with my budgeting, but in doing so I spend the vast majority of my time alone & not doing a whole helluva lot.

I'll live....this isn't a cry for help and if I needed to "send up a flare" I sure as hell wouldn't be doing it here.

Anyway, I don't think it is unusual for people to actually feel a little down after attending a con. First off there is always the possibility of picking up a little "con crud". Probably not as much now that people are COVID-19 shy, but a little physical discomfort following such a gathering....and don't forget travelling....is not unusual. If you're a little introverted, the crowds & interactions can leave you exhausted. Even if you aren't, sometimes just having to be "on" for extended periods of time can also leave you simply spent. Combine that with the what I would hope is a good time and you end up finishing the convention not in that "having fun" state and possibly physically as well as mentally spent/deficient.

Perfect setup for feeling a little depressed.

Now the question naturally rolls around to, "What can you do about it?" Now that's a HUGE million-dollar question with answers that are largely above my ability to answer....especially if you are clinically depressed. I don't have an answer...well I do, otherwise why bother with this post anyway, but my answer is, at best, my attempt to make myself feel better about my run-of-the-mill post-con letdown. You know, how I'd feel if my "real world" life was peachy-keen to begin with. Basically any other year than this year.

The first thing I usually do is go through my "loot" from the con. Everything I've bought, won, gifted....anything new I came home with. I'm probably far more materialistic than I should be, but going through these items lets me either relive events from the con, or look forward to the next con. That's a big deal for me....being able to look forward to the next event, and I'm certain it's a recurring theme in what works alleviating post-con letdown.

Whisky Tasting

Every con I tend to have a new "project" or three I'm giving a go for the first time, so post-con I get the opportunity to reflect and figure out what works and what didn't. I get to think about what, or even if, I want to change should I try the project again. For example, I put together a Whisky Tasting at NTRPG and while everybody loved the boxes I used to hold the samples, I do not. The little holder for the pencil doesn't do it's job and the cases don't mate up as smoothly as I'd like. I'm going to look and see if I can find some kind of plastic clip I can insert and maybe shave a tiny amount from each case's lid and bottom. I think I have just enough room to make the changes, but I may have to re-do the rare-earth magnets that hold the halves together.  

Speaking of convention projects. Post con is the time to start planning for next year. My creative juices get a proverbial "shot in the arm" during the con and I end up getting a metric shit-ton of ideas that I want to implement. Of course not every idea is even feasible, but getting them down on paper and figuring out how to start, much less finish takes up a fair amount of mental capacity (well, for me at least). It's difficult to feel down about the con being over if I'm busy planning for the next one.

Getting back into my regular gaming routine is a big deal......and since my home group didn't game last night like planned there might be some unnecessary reading into this last bit by my GM and/or fellow players. Seriously though, after a convention is a great time to get back into your game or even start a new one. This last week I've heard from a few folks that attended NTRPG for the first time and felt revitalized. At least one told me he hadn't gamed in years but was feeling motivated. Pick up those dice! Try that new game system! Please don't just save up your gaming for those con weekends. If you find yourself without a home group then get to your FLGS (Favorite Local Game Store) and start asking around.

Ultimately, at least for me, the inevitable post-con letdown is just something I have to deal with. Now I wouldn't say you should just "suck it up", but I definitely have to......it's more a price to pay for the fun I get to have at the con. Pretty much the ying to the yang and it all balances out in the end, again for me.

Now if you happen to have some minor post-con letdown yourself maybe these things will help, but I'm not posting this as self-help for you as much as an acknowledgement for myself. If you happen to have some post-con letdown realize that it might just be a normal temporary thing or maybe it's something else. If things get worse or linger talk to somebody about it. I won't go so far as say talk to a professional counselor since I'm not capable of pointing out the requisite criteria for needing that kind of help, but bringing in someone else might help establish, or rule out, the need for said help.

Oh and for the record.....I'm NOT planning on making Gamer's Health a thing, well one of my things....that's on Rach & Erik. I'm actually just about to fire up their vidcast from last night and thought I should mention that as they have Con Crud in the title.


*Technically I have a job, just the start-up date has not been announced yet. I expected to start working months ago and then maybe this month....now? August maybe?

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