Saturday, July 10, 2021

State of the Tavern - Time to Start Updating the Free OSR Resources Links

So, apparently, all of the RPGNow links for the Free OSR Rulesets & Resources Pages on the right side are dead. 404 or some such nonsense. This means I need to change them all to the appropriate DTRPG links. One at a time. There must be hundreds.

This will take time. I'll be starting tomorrow. I'll also need to update for titles that have become free or PWYW since the last update.

If you know of any OSR rulesets are resources that are missing from the linked lists, please comment below and I will add them as I update the lists.

Now I know why I bought four bottles of wine...  ;)


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Friday, July 9, 2021

Deal of theDay - The Halls of Arden Vul Complete (HUGE OSR Mega-dungeon)

I'm not even sure how to say this, without sounding overly dramatic. If you define a Mega-Dungeon as a dungeon no party will ever complete, due to sheer size alone, The Halls of Arden Vul Complete certainly fits that bill. You'll want to use it all, I just don't think a party could ever hope to do so, even with years of weekly gaming.

Now, just to put this out there - I own The Halls of Arden Vul Complete in multi-volume print glory, thanks to the generosity of those kind enough to use The Tavern's affiliate links. I have barely scratched the surface of the content, as it can be intimidating. Still, as a mega-dungeon option for the campaign I plan to kick off later this summer, it is high on my list.

The Halls of Arden Vul Complete is today's Deal of the Day at DTRPG. Normally 109 for the 1100+ pages of mega-dungeon glory, until tomorrow morning, The Halls of Arden Vul Complete on sale for 43.60 in PDF.

I suspect with the discount you can get off of the hardcover print versions with this purchase, it may be cheaper to buy the PDF than the print copies if you desire to go that route. You'll need to figure out the math on that one ;)

Arden Vul is the most ambitious megadungeon ever created, with over 1,100 Pages of Incredible Adventure. This First Edition compatible fully-bookmarked PDF product features:

  • 2,162 Encounter Descriptions
  • 14 NPC Factions
  • 10 Massive Levels
  • 15 Extensive Sub-levels
  • 7 Dangerous Exterior locations
  • 149 New Monsters
  • 332 New Magic Items
  • 69 New Technological Items
  • 44 New Spells
  • 189 New Books through which PCs can gain a deep understanding of the dungeon
  • A full NPC appendix with 10 competing parties at 3 levels of power
  • Over 140 original pieces of art, including 28 full-page illustrations!

All of this is mapped via 33 Amazing Maps that you can download for free at The Maps of Arden Vul. As we have gotten requests for VTT player's maps we have created The VTT Maps of Arden Vul for free as well. If you know you want the physical copies, just head over to the Arden Vul Bundle and get everything Arden Vul in one fell swoop.

There has never been anything like Arden Vul, and there never will be again.

Welcome to the Halls of Arden Vul!

If you want everything but can't afford the full Arden Vul Bundle right now, those who order this PDF can receive 33% discounts on the print versions at a later date so you can piece-meal your purchase as finances allow. Just send me an e-mail (josephbrowning@gmail.com) with your Complete PDF order number and I'll get the discount codes to you.

 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  

 

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Kickstarter - Chromatic Dungeons (OSR Ruleset)

Capturing the feel of playing TSR era RPGs with modern lessons learned. Making the OSR welcome to ALL gamers of every demographic.

Do we need another OSR ruleset? What about a ruleset that isn't the direct clone of an actual edition, but a more general clone?

Why create yet another OSR clone when others already exist? 

Simply put, I am trying to capture the feel of gaming in the 70s/80s without necessarily copying the mechanics of that era, whereas most clones are almost near copies of both presentation and rules. Some rules are important to capture the feel, sure, but only when necessary. We have decades of lessons learned since then, and the FEEL of the game is more important than any sacred cow.  See some of the mechanical changes below.

Interesting, but what does that actually mean?

What's Different From the Older Versions?

Alignment. Humanoids no longer have a default alignment in the Bestiary. This will vary by individual monster culture and region. You as the GM decide if all orcs are chaotic (evil), or if some might be neutral or even lawful based upon the cosmic forces influencing them.

 Alignment part II. There are only three alignments, similar to B/X: lawful, neutral, and chaotic. Rather than being driven by a sense of individual morals, alignment is influenced by cosmic forces of law, neutrality, and chaos.

 Ability modifiers. Modifiers you get to your ability scores based on race (hereafter called “ancestry”) will not be the sole method that adjusts your initial ability scores. You will now modify initial ability scores based on class choices.

 Ability scores. Limits or modifiers based on gender or ancestry are removed.

 Ability checks. Most skill resolution scenarios will be based on a simple ability check. It’s how many of us were doing it anyway, and does replace the traditional thief percentile based skills that appeared in the game back then.

 Armor Class will be ascending, rather than descending or using attack tables.

 Race. This term is going away and being replaced by Ancestry. The original term was used (and is still being used) because the game was based on the early fantasy works of authors like J.R.R. Tolkien where humanoid creatures like orcs and elves were referred to as “races”. Since then, and over the past few decades, the term “race” isn’t really the best descriptor to use, and often carries loaded connotations.

 Heritages.  Many of the traits that were previously tied to race are now part of a heritage, as well as many more new traits.  When you create your character, you choose two heritages and get those traits for your character.  That keeps things simple, and yet adds a level of customization to keep every character unique.

 Class categories. Rather than each “class” as unique like it is in 1e, 3e, 4e, and 5e, they will be in groups similar to how 2e classified them. For example, fighters, berserkers, paladins, and rangers would all be classes under the Warrior group. 

 Class features. Some class features/abilities have been added or rearranged to avoid what is called “dead levels”. A dead level is any level advancement where the PC doesn’t gain anything other than additional hit points. Dead levels are widely regarded as not a good thing.

 KEEP IT SIMPLE. For those familiar with 1e or 2e, you know that there were a lot of rules for a lot of different scenarios, from time keeping to aerial flight maneuverability (and we ignored many of them). This game will be more streamlined and simplified, putting those scenarios into the hands of the GM to make an adjudication rather than dedicate hundreds of pages towards rules. The goal is to keep the game moving without needing to look up many different rules, and to give you a strong outline and guidance on how to handle these situations, rather than list them out individually for you.

 Compatibility. You should be able to take those old modules from the 70s/80s and easily use them with only very minor adjustments (mostly moving from descending AC to ascending).

 Introduces a crafting system.  It's simple and easy to use, and adds a new element to traditional treasure (finding rare and exotic items).  Besides, what warrior doesn't want to wear a suit of red dragon armor from the beast they just slayed? ;) 

Interesting, but how much Chromatic Dungeons? Well, 10 bucks for the PDF. 30 bucks PLUS the cost of the PSD and shipping for the print. I'm not sure if that is SC or HC, as the reward description isn't clear.

Edit: it’s hardcover  somehow I missed it  

The book is written, so there is that going for it.

I'll need to think about this one. It's interesting but hard to recommend.


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, July 7, 2021

Kickstarter - Back to BasiX Fanzine Hardcover Compilation - Issues 1-10 (B/X)

If you missed issues of Thom Wilson's Back to BasiX zine over the past few years, here's your chance to find that missing material. Maybe you missed the zine entirely or like me, you have a complete run but are so unorganized you can't find more than a handful of issues when you look for them on your gamng shelves. The Back to BasiX Fanzine Hardcover Compilation - Issues 1-10 Kickstarter is here to rescue you ;)

For as little as 20 bucks (plus shipping) you can get all 10 issues of Back to Basix in a single hardcover volume. Prefer PDF? A mere 10 bucks get you what you need.

This hardcover compilation combines all ten issues in their original format with a few tweaks to clean up layout and fix a couple of typos. Additionally, fonts were standardized throughout the book. The page size of the hardcover is slightly larger than the original digests, so the font size increased slightly (a half-point). The compilation will be printed on heavier stock paper and, of course, will be hard cover instead of saddle-stitched softcover.

Thom is tonight's guest on Talking Crit with Bad Mike & Tenkar - 8 PM EDT

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, July 6, 2021

Bundle of Holding - Catalyst.Collection

Looking for answers when you party zigs and you thought they would zag? Need a baker or a candlestick maker? Are more traps more better? If so, the Catalyst Bundle of Holding from Flying Buffalo just might be for you.

The Catalyst Starter Collection is 9.95 and includes CityBook I-III, Grimtooth's Traps 1-2, City of the Gods Map Pack, 2 other Catalyst Map books, and the Treasure Vault. For just under 21 bucks as I type this, you can add CityBooks IV-VII, Grimtooth's Traps 3-4, 3 more Grimtooth Books, Elves of Lejentia, and Wilderness Encounters. 

The Catalyst series is system neutral, so no matter what system is your system of choice, you'll find tons of inspiration within.



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, July 5, 2021

Kickstarter - Call of Cthulhu Classic

After nearly ceasing to exist from the horror that was the Call of Cthulhu 7th edition Kickstarter, Chaosium has made one hell of a comeback. Part of that comeback has been rereleasing its more classic titles in their classic editions - RuneQuest was one such title.

Call of Cthulhu is next on the list, and the offering is right here if you want your old-school gaming notes stroked. This is a reprint of the boxed edition of Call of Chtulhu that I picked up in the 80s, and for the longest time, it was the only edition of CoC that I owned.

The reprints are ready to go, and the PDFs will be distributed mere weeks after the close of the Kickstarter.

For Call of Cthulhu Classic Kickstarter in print (plus PDF), it's 40 bucks for the basic box, and 99 bucks if you want the deeper box with the 5 classic supplements. My originals are all beat to shit, so I'm in for a $99 box.

1" Box of CoC

CALL OF CTHULHU RULEBOOK (we say it kuh-THOOL-hoo; Lovecraft said it “klhul-hloo” or “tluhluh”) tells how your investigators interact with the horrors of the Cthulhu Mythos. It is expressly written for people without great experience in role-playing. This book explains all of the Investigator characteristics, including Sanity, the consequences and SAN losses required when meeting fearsome creatures, the alien intelligences of the Cthulhu Mythos, a magic system and spells for the Mythos, scenarios so that you can begin immediately, and appendices with useful additional materials.

A SOURCEBOOK FOR THE 1920s (36 pages) provides much of the campaign material that a gamemaster (called in the Cthulhu rules a ‘Keeper’) needs for extended role-playing in the 1920s. Though the rules are not time-specific, this book is. It contains prices, distances, travel times, historical background, plans, a system for generating prior experience, an expanded weapons list, additional monsters, archaeological digs site plans, and more.

The WORLD MAP shows major cities, continents, mountains, rivers, actual archaeological sites, and suspected Cthulhoid locations. Call of Cthulhu investigations can be globe-trotting adventures! Pretty cool that the original map was done in ruby red ink...

CHARACTER SHEETS will get your investigators started.

CHARACTER SILHOUETTES that can be cut apart and used to show the position of the Investigators and the minions and monsters they meet; these figures can make everyone's actions much more understandable.  

The 2" Boxed set with 5 supplements

Five Supplements in the Full Classic 2" Boxed Set

Everyone wants more adventures to play, more monsters to flee, and more source material to enjoy. Thus, we have remastered five additional early supplements:

 SHADOWS OF YOG SOTHOTH (80 pages), a global campaign to save mankind. The first of its kind.

 THE ASYLUM & OTHER TALES (72 pages), seven shorter sinister scenarios set around the world and at sea.

 CTHULHU COMPANION (64 pages), four scenarios as well as added rules and source material.

 TRAIL OF THE TSATHOGGHUA (64 pages), a mini campaign of two scenarios, plus a third adventure. It's world spanning, and thus all over the place.

 FRAGMENTS OF FEAR (72 pages), additional gods, background, and other material, as well as a bonus scenario.

Due to the remastered formatting (remaining very true to the original look), we have room to add additional bonus content by the early authors from various other sources. These supplements often contain more than the originals!


 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, July 4, 2021

A Bit Cheesed Off, and Saddened, By What I'm Seeing

 

A Bit Cheesed Off, and Saddened, By What I'm Seeing
Right off I need to throw up a bit of a disclaimer: I know that I'm wrong. No matter what I type by the simple fact that I am even thinking of engaging in this topic of conversation means I will be painted by a wide brush from those with an axe to grind. Against me, against the internet, against whoever will bother to listen......

.....I will try not to pre-emptively defend myself while freely admitting I am on the defensive. Why? Because I've already been painted with that brush by someone who does not know my personal history, a personal history that they would probably find shocking and closer to their professed ideology than to their professed assumptions of mine.

While not a rule per se, I really do try to treat people not just fairly, but the same? I'm sure I fail at times and I have my biases, last time I checked (to the best of my ability) I am only human. Again, not being defensive, or even offensive, I'm sure I've done shit that would be seen in a negative fashion by those wishing to attribute malice to said shit.



OK, done with that bit.

This last few days/weeks there has been a LOT of drama over unkind remarks said by TSR. I'm not gonna touch that drama because of the aforementioned brush and honestly because I am not informed enough of all the goings on, and I'm not self-important enough to think my opinion on that matters. What I have seen though, is a lot of name-calling, armchair white-knighting, and general asshattery on the periphery of our community. A whole different level of bullshit involving that same brush being applied to other people....

....good people, but also human people. 

I know, I know, just because I say that someone is a "good person" it doesn't mean that you would agree, and that's OK. I'm not trying to stand up for any specific person but for a group of people.....gamers in general. You know....us.

The thing is a lot of us, I'd argue most of us really, are not normal. I'm going to paint us with an even wider, but different (I hope) brush: we're largely dorks, geek, nerds. Yes, some of us are LGBTQ. Some of us are on the Autism spectrum. Some of us are people of color. Some of us are just assholes.

There will ALWAYS be factors that divide us. It's in our nature. The real problem, as I see it, is that in recent years we, as in people in general, allowed ourselves to be defined more by our differences than by our similarities. We've adopted this mentality that we're all special and everybody not in our self-defined division.... well, they're not. Since they aren't in our group we generally don't give a fuck about them or their feelings. Yes, fuck their feelings is the general statement, and that....THAT is the paint slathered on by the wide brushes.

You know what? Dice don't care if you're an Autistic Black Gay Jew who happens to be a wheelchair-bound asshole. Dice don't care if you're the Nicest, Straightest Mid-West White Boy, but you also know what? You have more than dice sitting with you at the table. You have PEOPLE at the table. PEOPLE have feelings, biases, make mistakes, etc.

Now I don't realistically expect people to fundamentally change who they are. I don't believe people can easily make large scale course corrections, BUT we can make make small changes. I'm willing to be most of us have seen these changes in others at our gaming table. Hell, maybe you've been lucky to see them in yourself.

Don't believe me? Take a second to think about all the gaming groups you've been in, or even all the gaming groups you've come across. Have you NEVER come across a socially awkward, unconfident, or just plain weird kid at the game table? Have you NEVER seen how acceptance of said gamer by the gaming group has had a positive effect on well, probably everyone?

I can say I have.

What I'm trying, and probably failing, to say is that gaming, in general, is a social event that is INCLUSIVE and has a POSITIVE effect on all involved, and we've largely been working against the better nature of our shred hobby,  I'm trying to advocate for all of us to step back get the fuck out of our own way and to stop painting others (or "others") with that damned brush. The thing is, when painting with that brush it's hard to not get some of that paint on ourselves by accident.

I don't expect the conservative among us to go out of their way to find some liberal gamers for their table, or vice versa. I do expect that if you try to see others in our hobby as a gamer first and everything else third. Why third? Well I'm a realist and second thing you should see is the game system. That's a fair division of players. Not the my-system-is-better-than-yours kind of way, but playing at the same table necessary way.

I've typed most of this out a few times (which is why I might not come across as smoothly as I'd like) and I keep coming back to my belief that a lot of our problems in out community are not only self-inflicted, but treatable by simply doing the one thing that actually unites us: gaming.

You know that stupid shit you said that I don't like? Well stop the table chatter and pick up the fucking dice instead. Oh I'm being an asshole (?), maybe I should be rolling 3d6 seven times. We're not going to fundamentally change who we are or come together for world peace, but maybe...just maybe you'll stop talking about stupid shit that pisses other people off and maybe I'll be less of an asshole. 

In any course, please try to be kind to each other, acknowledge your own faults, and put down the fucking brush and pick up some dice, ........but what the fuck do I know....I'm wrong, remember.

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