Saturday, July 24, 2021

Christmas in July Sale - Tavern Picks - Part II - Classic TSR Era Settings and Rules

Today I continue with further Christmas in July Sale Picks. As stated previously, everything that is on my pick list for the current Christmas in July Sale at DTRPG is something I own, either in print, PDF, or both.

My Christmas in July Picks Part I post can be found at this link.

Now, on to today's Classic TSR Era Christmas in July Picks:

Planescape Campaign Setting (2e) - Sigil - The City of Doors. There is so much I liked about this setting. My players, however, preferred Dark Sun. 

Discover the multiverse! Enter infinite universes of infinite variety, worlds beyond the prime-material settings of the AD&D game. Explore Sigil, the City of Doors, filled with portals to every layer of every plane. All you need is the right key, including. . .

  • A Player's Guide to the Planes: A 32-page primer that introduces DMs and players alike to the grand design of the multiverse.
  • A DM's Guide to the Planes: A 64-page book of valuable information solely for the Dungeon Master.
  • Sigil and Beyond: A 96-page gazetteer that introduces Sigil and its surrounding plane as the starting point for planar adventures. From Sigil all the Outer Planes may be sampled by novice and veteran explorers alike.
  • Monstrous Supplement: a 32-page, full-color Monstrous Compendium booklet.
  • Four poster-size maps depicting the planes.
  • A four-panel DM screen designed especially for planar campaigns.
Normally 14.99, on sale in PDF for 11.24

Gamma World (1e)
- The first RPG I bought for myself, the whole "Constitution Score equals the number of Hit Dice" caused a lot of head-scratching back in the day.

In a quest for survival and in search of a better future, the players adventure across the land, enduring hardships and encountering dangerous obstacles and mysterious foes - never knowing quite what to expect. The result is a game that can go in many directions, but which will be challenging and fascinating no matter what the outcome.

The GAMMA WORLD™ Set includes all the basics needed to set up your own "world": game booklet (packed with terrible mutants, as well as guidelines for creating additional ones of your own), a large campaign map (designed to be easily modified by individual gamemasters), and a full set of polyhedra dice. The only other things necessary are a good imagination and a spirit of adventure!

Normally 9.99, on sale in PDF for 7.49

Spelljammer: Adventures in Space (2e)
- Forget the City of Doors. Give me a ship that sails the skies and I'm good as rain!

Multitudes of worlds wheel through Wildspace. The crystal shells that encase them bob and drift in a turbulent, rainbow ocean which fills all the cosmos. Sturdy merchants, bold pirates, and daring explorers venture into the great, unknown vastness of the universe, seeking wealth and adventure.

The SPELLJAMMER Game puts you in command of a fantastic ship capable of spanning the tremendous distances between planets. Graceful elven flitters, stately illithid galleys, deadly beholder tyrants, and the awesome Spelljammer itself carry trade, emissaries, and heroic action throughout all the worlds of the AD&D game.

Normally 9.99, on sale in PDF for 7.49

D&D Rules Cyclopedia (Basic) -
Often referred to by many as the single, best rulebook of the era, I remember houseruleing my AD&D campaign with rules taken in whole from the Rules Cyclopedia.

Whether you're a player or a Dungeon Master, the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia is now the comprehensive sourcebook you need for the original fantasy roleplaying game! For ages 12 and up, the Cyclopedia contains the compete game system and hundreds of features, including the following:
  • All the rules from the D&D boxed set series, including Basic, Expert, Companion, and Masters
  • Guidelines to develop and play characters from levels 1-36
  • Comprehensive lists of weaponry and equipment
  • Expansion rules including optional skills and talents
  • An overview of the Known World and the HOLLOW WORLD game setting, the official D&D campaign world; and Rules to convert D&D games and characters into AD&D 2nd edition game statistics and back again
Normally 9.99, on sale in PDF for 7.49

Star Frontiers: Alpha Dawn -
I bought this game for my sister to play, so in the end it became mine ;) 

Alpha Dawn... stage one of the Star FrontiersTM science fiction game system.
A great way to enter the world of science fiction role playing.

These Basic Rules teach you how to create characters, move and fight on the game map, and how to create adventures of your own. The included adventure, Crash on Volturnus, is simple enough for both beginning players and referees.

Stage two... expanded rules and much more!

Picture the world-famous Dungeons & Dragons game. Now imagine this same excitement in a science fiction setting. You'll find our Expanded Rules add that kind of challenge, detail, and opportunity for victory. 

Everything you need: This set includes the Basic Rule Book, the Expanded Rule Book, the Crash on Volturnus Adventure Module, printable full-color map, printable counters.

Normally 9.99, on sale in PDF for 7.49

Dark Sun Boxed Set (2e) -
A great dark setting for D&D. I don't think WotC could do it justice in today's environment.

Amid the barren wastelands of Athas lie the scattered city-states, each in the grip of its own, tyrannical sorcerer-king. Protecting their own positions with dark magic, they demand absolute obedience. The restless mobs are placated with bread and circuses --the arenas overflow with spectators seeking release from their harsh lives.

The land outside the cities belong to no one. Savage elves race across the deserts while insectoid Thri-Kreen satisfy their taste for blood. Dwarves labor at projects beyond the scope of men, and feral halflings lie in ambush.

Athas is a land of deadly magic and powerful psionics that offers promise of glory or even of survival. Those who do not have the cunning to face life on Athas will surely perish - leaving nothing but bones bleached white under the blistering rays of the DARK SUN

On the sands of Athas you'll face:
  • Three new PC races!
  • Muls - half-dwarf, half-human; specially bred for combat!
  • Thri-Kreen - the savage mantis-warriors of the Barrens!
  • Half-giants - bred for tremendous size and strength
  • Three new PC classes!
  • Gladiators - heroes of the arenas, the ultimate warriors!
  • Templars - Wicked priests who serve the sorcerer-kings!
  • Defilers - wizards whose powers drain the life around them!
  • More powerful PC's
  • All Dark Sun game characters begin at 3rd level!
  • Ability scores that can go as high as 24!
  • All PC's have one or more psionic powers!
  • The new character tree allows players to advance many characters at once!
Normally 9.99, on sale in PDF for 7.49

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, July 23, 2021

Kickstarter - Necropolis: An Epic Adventure in the Desert Sands (S&W / 5e)

The legendary adventure updated and rewritten for 5e and S&W! An ancient evil has reawakened in the Necropolis...

Necropolis is an interesting IP. The original version was written by Gary Gygax, using the D20 license and the 3x OGL, and was NOT owned by the Gygax Estate upon Gary's death.

The current version being kickstarted, Necropolis: An Epic Adventure in the Desert Sands is a rewrite of the original, updated, and expanded for Swords & Wizardry and 5e.

Based on the original work by the grandmaster himself, Gary Gygax, Necropolis is an epic desert adventure series for 5e D&D and Swords & Wizardry. Previously published by Necromancer Games as a d20 system adventure, it has been entirely updated and revised by Mark Greenberg, co-author of The World of the Lost Lands by Frog God Games. (D&D is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast; Necromancer Games and Frog God Games are not affiliated with Wizards of the Coast or the Gygax estate.)

This grand adventure is set in the Triple Kingdom of Khemit, on the continent of Libynos in the Lost Lands, the world of Frog God Games and Necromancer Games. Necropolis is designed for a party of 6–8 seasoned characters starting between 7th and 9th level and will challenge even the most experienced players.

The book you will receive includes a multiple-stage adventure taking the party from an oasis village to the depths of a long-lost tomb, together with a wealth of other material that can be used to expand a campaign into this desert land, including:

  • Details of the village of Aartuat and its environs
  • The Temple of Osiris, the Necropolis, and the legendary Tomb of Rahotep
  • A poster map of the tomb
  • Information about the Triple Kingdom of Khemit
  • Wilderness encounter tables
  • Dozens of NPCs, with detailed character notes
  • Almost 50 new monsters
  • New character options, spells, and magic items

Altogether, there is enough material for dozens of hours of play over weeks or even months of game sessions.

I'm in at 55 bucks, print plus PDF, including maps and stretch goals. As I type this, Necropolis has passed 53k in funding, of a 15k goal, with 28 days to go. 

Overseas backers can back for a POD version of the book to save on international shipping costs.

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 22, 2021

Christmas in July Sale at DTRPG is LIVE - The Tavern Picks - Part 1

It's that time of year again. Yep, it's time for the Christmas in July Sale at DTRPG. There are many fine picks this year and there's no way I'll cover everything I like, but I'll sure try ;)

Now, my picks will lean heavily towards the OSR, but in no way will it be exclusive to the OSR. 

How many Tavern Pick Posts will there be? No clue. I will say this. I own every pick I'm mentioning in today's post, some in dead tree format and some in PDF. I think highly enough of these picks to own them myself.

Without further ado:

Worlds Without Number - Kevin Crawford's latest masterpiece, he takes his solid talents to the world of fantasy to give you an amazing RPG and a resource for use with other OSR rulesets. Yep, you can use SWN Tags in your fantasy OSR RPGs now. 

Worlds Without Number is a fantasy role-playing game, one fully compatible with the hit sci-fi game Stars Without Number. It's built from the ground up to provide gritty, hard-edged adventure in the fathomless future of the Latter Earth, a fantastic realm of time-lost sorcery, savage foes, and barbaric splendor. The cold steel in the fists of your heroes and the half-understood sorcery in their tomes must suffice to overcome the monstrous remnants of ancient alien rulers and the present depredations of ruthless lords and hideous beasts alike. The riches of lost ages await in the subterranean Deeps that once held their kingdoms, and even the heavens above are not beyond the reach of the recklessly daring 19.99 16.99 Not sure? Grab the free rules for WWN here.

Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master - Yeah, I know some folks see Sly Florish and cringe, but the work here is solid and the advice is priceless. 

Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master is a book designed to help fantasy roleplaying Gamemasters get more out of their games by preparing less. Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master uses the experiences of thousands of GMs to help us focus on how we prepare our games, how we run our games, and how we think about our games. 

Refined for five years after the release of the Lazy Dungeon Master, Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master is a complete stand-alone book that includes practical steps for focusing our preparation activities on those things that will bring the biggest impact to our game. 7.99  5.99

The Halls of Arden Vul Complete - Yes, I own this in print. It is a thing of beauty. I'm not sure I'll ever run it all, but I'll certainly cherry-pick pieces. 

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! 109  81.75

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Fourth Edition Rulebook - The 4th edition of WFRP reads like a cleaned-up and updated 1e/2e WFRP. Thankfully, they have ignored the 3rd ed ;) 

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay takes you back to the Old World. Get the gang together, create your (anti)heroes, and set off to make your way through the vile corruption, scheming plotters and terrifying creatures intent on destruction. Prepare yourself for the struggle of the gutter, to fight for your survival, and to face corruption on all sides. Prepare yourself for danger, as lethal threats are everywhere, and you can’t face them alone. And, most of all, prepare yourself for the grim and perilous adventure of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay!

The Fourth Edition Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Rulebook contains everything you need for grim and perilous roleplaying adventures in the Old World. Drawing inspiration from the legendary early publications of the grimdark RPG, WFRP brings innovative twists to build on the beloved classic. 29.99  22.49

Mörk Borg English - I own the print version of this and my God, it is a thing of beauty. 

MÖRK BORG is a pitch-black apocalyptic fantasy RPG about lost souls and fools seeking redemption, forgiveness or the last remaining riches in a bleak and dying world. Who are you? The tomb-robber with silver glittering between cracked fingernails? The mystic who would bend the world’s heart away from it’s inevitable end? Confront power-draining necromancers, skulking skeletal warriors and backstabbing wickheads. Wander the Valley of the Unfortunate Undead, the catacombs beneath the Bergen Chrypt or the bedevilled Sarkash forest. But leave hope behind - the world’s cruel fate is sealed, and all your vain heroic efforts are destined to end in death and dismay. Or are they?

MÖRK BORG is a complete game in the OSR genre, that can be played as is or be picked apart for use in your own homebrew. The rules are easily made compatible with most of the editions of the world’s largest role-playing game. 14.99  11.24

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 20, 2021

I was a Guest on the Rollin' Bones Vidcast with Ryan Howard - We Discussed the Next Generation of OSR Gamers

I sat down a week ago with Ryan Howard of the Rollin' Bones Vidcast. We talked mostly about bringing in younger gamers, the next generation if you will, into tabletop gaming and the OSR in particular.

I had a great time :)

It's funny. I've been involved with podcasting for about 7 years. Sadly, The Brainstorm Podcast, my first regular podcast as a host, only lasted about 50 episodes. And look, it's still available!


Anyhow, it was a great experience to be a guest on the cast of another. No show prep, no need to keep a conversation going, just in for the ride and none of the hard work involved ;)

You can catch the episode of Rollin' Bones where I was a guest below. Huge thanks to Ryan for inviting me on. I had a great time!

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 19, 2021

Deal of the Day - Dave Arneson's Blackmoor Core Campaign Book (3X)

Sometimes there are RPG releases that are timeless, and that the system or edition that are written for or presented with is irrelevant. Dave Arneson's Blackmoor Core Campaign Book is one of those releases.

Released back in 2005, and uploaded to DTRPG back in 2007, Dave Arneson's Blackmoor Core Campaign Book is a snapshot look at the earliest (as far as I know) D&D setting but presented in a more modern format with a decent layout and art and a sweet looking full-color map,

I actually own this in print, somewhere in my collection, and already had purchased the PDF, and now I want to snuggle down with Blackmoor on my iPad and relive some of the magic.

Until tomorrow morning, Dave Arneson's Blackmoor Core Campaign Book is on sale for 3 bucks (down from its usual 7.50, which is still a steal if you ask me).

Over 30 years ago, Dave Arneson created the world that spawned a generation of role playing fans! This core campaign setting is 240 pages and features a full color pull out map of Blackmoor! Features Newly Revised and additional materials from the previous hardback edition!', ' The First Fantasy Campaign. Thirty years ago, the world''s first fantasy campaign began. Now it''s back! Enter Dave Arneson''s Blackmoor, a brooding world of dragons, dungeons, and danger. After thirty years of development, Blackmoor is ready for your adventures.

Note, the Original D&D version of Blackmoor is 4.99 in PDF. 


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 18, 2021

Seeing How the Chili is Made: Call of Cthulu


Seeing How the Chili is Made: Call of Cthulu
This week I have a special project coming up and I'm finally getting a chance to essentially see "how the chili is made" with regards to a game I've deliberately put off learning to play....well, actually more like the rules themselves: Call of Cthulu (CoC).

I know there are multiple versions of CoC and I have played in a couple of them a couple of times at conventions. The thing is I have, until now, deliberately avoided learning the game itself. I know nothing about the mechanics aside from that your character can go insane.

Seriously, I cannot tell you about how the stats go or if there is a skill system even. I played one traditional RPG/Fantasy setting that I barely remember (aside from thoroughly enjoying it) and one Viking era game that was equally awesome. I played my character straight, disbelieving everything and towards the end as we're fleeing some monstrous horror, actually I was following my leader who was going insane. Our escape is blocked by some other monstrous horror who offers us an escape if I allow my character to be devoured. I remember telling the GM (are they even called GMs?) something along the lines of "Since this blobby thing isn't real, sure it can eat me." Instant death, but since my leader was able to escape and it was my PC's only goal/function to protect this liege....still a win.

Now I can be 110% wrong, but I think part of my enjoyment of CoC comes from the fact that there is a mystery element to CoC and me not knowing how anything works adds a bit to the immersion. If/when my PC starts going insane, I have no clue how bad this is, how bad it can become, and how to mitigate, in game, the effects. It is kind of a mystery within a mystery.

I was reading one of my older blog posts (on my main personal blog....and no I wasn't planning on linking it) that was about some potential meta-gaming with regards to dealing with HackMaster's treatment of zombie attacks. Now in that campaign there was a lot of in-game character observations that mirrored what could be meta-gaming, and that painful in-character observations were passed along as party knowledge. This happened to the extent that unrelated PCs were simply following along with party Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that were due to what was dubbed "The Zombie Campaign". Of course, this only applies to that one party/my PCs in that party, and not my other games.

Now I like to think I don't meta-game and I'm sure to some extent I can play "straight" when at a convention or visiting another gaming group (it's been known to happen), but I'm sure that the reality is somewhere less than 100% compliance to what I like to think. Of course when it comes to games like CoC, ignorance of the rules pretty much ensures that I can't "game the system"....pun intended?

It's been years since I last played CoC and since I don't go to so many conventions anymore I highly doubt that I'll get to play again in the foreseeable future, and even if I do it probably won't be the same version of the game, so I should be safe.

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