Saturday, September 25, 2021

Orr Report / Roll 20 for 2nd Quarter 2021 is Here - The Rise of Cthulhu!

Alright, I'm not sure how accurate the numbers graphic is, as they don't match the numbers in the chart. I will say, I'm surprised by the share of campaigns Call of Cthulhu has snared, and sadly not surprised to see Pathfinder / Paizo is still languishing.

It will be interesting to see if Paizo / Pathfinder takes a hit in the going forward after the PR fiasco they recently suffered.

You can read the original Orr Report here.



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You can catch the daily Tavern Chat podcast on AnchorYouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar  


Friday, September 24, 2021

Deal of the Day - The Waking of Willowby Hall (OSR)

I used to be a "featured reviewer" but then I became a "publisher", so I no longer get notifications of nearly everything that is released on DTRPG. If I were still getting review copies, there is no way The Waking of Willowby Hall would have escaped my attention until now. Ben Milton has a top-notch rep as a creative, and this would have been on my "must review list".

Until tomorrow morning, The Waking of Willowby Hall is marked down from 7.50 in PDF to 3.75. I just snagged my copy as I wrote this post, but a review will be a few days away at the very least.

The Waking of Willowby Hall is a dense, highly interactive RPG adventure set in a ruined manor beset by a rampaging giant, roving bands of restless dead, and a very angry goose.

  • Suitable for PCs of approximately 3rd level.
  • Features a highly interactive environment that rewards clever play.
  • Perfect for one-shots or for dropping into an existing campaign.
  • Contains "One Page Dungeon" maps that allow the DM to run much of the adventure at a glance.
  • Uses bullet points and control-panel layout for maximum ease of use.
  • Statted for Knave, but easily usable with any old-school fantasy RPG.
  • Writing, layout, and cartography by two-time ENnie Award winner Ben Milton, author of Maze Rats, Knave, and Jim Henson's Labyrinth: The Adventure Game.
  • Lavishly illustrated by Sam Mameli.The Waking of Willowby Hall is a dense, highly interactive RPG adventure set in a ruined manor beset by a rampaging giant, roving bands of restless dead, and a very angry goose.

 

 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, September 23, 2021

Humble Bundle - Tomes of Lost Magic for 5e (Frog God Games and Others)

Good gaming material is effectively systemless. While I don't play 5e, I can easily convert 5e adventures to S&W on the fly (although I strongly suspect going in the other direction would be much more difficult).

The Tomes of Lost Magic for 5e Humble Bundle has quite a few highlights. If you ARE a 5e player, you can buy in for a physical copy of Book of Lost Spells Hardcover and a boatload of PDFs for 38 bucks. If you AREN'T a 5e player, 18 bucks gives you everything in PDF, along with 30% off coupons for Frog God Games and Nord Games, as well as a coupon for World Anvil. Heck, if you don't want to convert from 5e, buy-in for a buck and you still get the coupons, and you can buy your Swords & Wizardry stuff from Frog God at 30% off.




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, September 22, 2021

Deal of the Day - Terror Australis - 2e (CoC)


Aussies and Call of Cthulhu would seem to be like peanut butter and chocolate. Not necessarily something you would think of on your own, but put together it becomes an amazing combination.

"You call that a shoggoths? This 'ere is a shoggoths!"

Well, maybe not quite like that, but I could see my current gaming group rolling up a Crocodile Dundee-styled character for Terror Australis. I'm not sure if that is good or bad though.

Halloween is just over a month away, and until tomorrow morning Terror Australis 2e for CoC is available in PDF for 8.36 - half off of its regular price of 16.71. "Put another Mi-go on the barbie!"

  Australians

Here we focus on the history of Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders, as well as the white population, and contrast life in the urban and life in the rural environments. Special focus is given to Australian investigators, with new skills and occupations appropriate to for Aboriginal and white Australians. We round things out with brief biographies of some key Australians of the post-Great War period, who might be encountered by wandering investigators.

  Resources for 1920s Australia

This chapter provides a toolkit of historical subjects, usable by Keepers, for running games in Australia. Topics include law enforcement, transport, mounting expeditions into the Outback, communications, and sources for research.

  Australian Cities

Provides an in depth look at some of Australia’s key cities, including Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, and Brisbane. Maps are provide for each city, as well as details on notable mysteries or events, and suggestions concerning cults in thrall to the gods and horrors of the Cthulhu Mythos.

  Alcheringa

Known to some as “the Dreaming” or “Dreamtime,” the Alcheringa chapter focuses on how to incorporate the wisdom and learning stemming from Aboriginal cultural traditions into games, and features special rules and mechanics for running “dream quests” to gather important information to solve dire situations facing the investigators, as well as the rewards for “solving” a “Song-Line.” The stages of a Song-Line are discussed and presented with examples, such as the Story of Bigibila, which can be played as a scenario introduction to Alcheringa. Topics such as Aboriginal sorcery and artifacts are also discussed.

  The Mythos in Australia

Here, the book looks at the dark conspiracies and taint of the Cthulhu Mythos upon the Australian soil, with particular reference to the legacy of the Great Race, the Flying Polyps, and to the elusive and mysteries Sand Dwellers. A range of Mythos cults are presented, ready for the Keeper to incorporate into games, as well as featuring some of the other Mythos monsters that could be found lurking in dark shadows.

  Scenarios

The book is rounded out with two large scenarios and appendices.

Long Way From Home: the investigators look into a series of odd and unexplained meteor showers and are drawn into a web of intrigue involving some ancient foes. Presented as a sandbox with multiple entry points, the scenario features a range of plots and encounters set in the remote region of Paralana.

Black Water, White Death: sought-after papers concerning Australia’s convict history lead the investigators to Tasmania and to a dark mystery to terrify the dreams of all concerned. What begins as a simple matter of attending an auction ends with terror and a cosmic threat.

Gathered in the appendices are some of Australia’s deadly wildlife, with game profiles provided for their use in games, as well as timelines covering Australia, and recommended further reading and viewing.

In Australia, investigators will come face-to-face with supernatural forces that have endured for longer than humanity has existed. It is a land of adventure, danger, and ageless wisdom—a perfect for setting for Call of Cthulhu!

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, September 21, 2021

Bundle of Holding - Mutant Crawl Classics

If you haven't experienced Mutant Crawl Classics yet, think First Edition Gamma World, turned up to 11 (insert Spinal Tap reference here). If you like the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG, you'll likely love the MCC RPG. If you aren't a fan of the DCC RPG, MCC may be more hit or miss for you. But hey, that's what these bundles are for.

For a mere 9.95, you can get the core MCC RPG rulebook in PDF (as well as the MCC Referee Screen) along with the introductory MCC adventure Hive of the Overmind.

The threshold price is just about 21 bucks, which also gets you the supplement The Data Orb of Metakind (published as MCC adventure #8) and six complete adventures for character levels 0-5: #10: Seeking the Post-Humans (a level-0 "funnel" campaign starter), #2: A Fallen Star For All (for level-1 characters), #3: Incursion of the Ultradimension (level 2), #9: The Evil of the Ancients (level 3), #5: Blessings of the Vile Brotherhood (level 4), and #6: The Apocalypse Ark (level 5). That's pretty much a campaign worth of gaming right there.


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, September 20, 2021

Death Announcement - Doug Rhea, NTRPG Con, Has Passed

Doug Rhea passed last night at approximately 9:50 PM CDT. He was best known as the founder and main force behind the NTRPG Con, he was an avid collector of games, and a huge supporter of the founding generation of RPG creators. His passing leaves a huge hole in our community.

Doug was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colon Cancer over 5 years ago and had already survived past expectations and beaten the odds until now. 

Being a stubborn SOB, Doug did not go quietly into the night. He fought to the end. God, take his soul into your care and bless his family and friends in these tough and stressful times. 

I'll update this post when more details are available - Tenkar

Sunday, September 19, 2021

I Think GenCon is Not Worth It (Attend Your Local Con!)

 

I Think GenCon is Not Worth It (Attend Your Local Con!)
If you didn't already know, this weekend is GenCon 2021..and Origins 2021 is (roughly) in a couple weeks. Now I've been seeing pictures and gamer observations on Facebook and the like and it seems a bit like GenCon 2021 is a bit of a ghost town. Evidently attendance is capped at "half".....never felt like there was an attendance limit in the past, so half of "standing room only" is still a metric-buttload of people walking around.

I know that COVID-19/20/21D or whatever the current flu-scare is puts a dent in attendance, but moving the convention out of the summer (technically it is still summer...for like 3 days) and very much into the school year can't help with attendance either. It'll be harder for families to attend and moving this big con hurts other conventions. It's pretty obvious that Origins is trying to work around GenCon, and surely there are other conventions that are getting screwed over by the "Big Boys" moving their dates around.

Yes, I know that GenCon is a business and needs to make money, but it feels like...to me...that they are pushing their weight around a bit, to the detriment of others, something they've done for years to a lesser extent.

Now clearly I'm kind of biased against GenCon here, so I'm certain that I see a bit of the negative aspects of this move, but this bias has been earned, so bear with me.

Having spent a few years as a convention tournament organizer for both Origins and GenCon who also volunteered at a exhibitor booth, I got to see a little bit behind the curtain. From my experience, and perspective, Origins cares about gamers and GenCon cares about making money. 

Origins: Every year I'd have Origins staff check in on my group and make sure everything was going well. They helped me treat GMs a a valuable resource and the staff seemed to be passionate volunteers. Plenty of hotel space available unless you just had to have a room in one of the attached hotels, which I wouldn't recommend unless you want to wait forever on/in elevators for just an "ok" room.

GenCon: Having our tables double-booked was a regular event. The staff seemed to be employees and if I saw them it was for them to verify we all had badges and event tickets. Tickets and badges were all the seemed to care about. Good luck getting lodging at any nearby hotel and registering for games is an exercise in frustration.

As the years ticked by working the booth and talking to other vendors I saw a disturbing trend: many publishers have to make a decision between attending GenCon or Origins. Some of this was due to shifting dates, but lot was due to the expense of attending GenCon and since it was growing every year if you had to pick one, GenCon seemed to be it.

Now as far as the "big" cons go I'm clearly a fan of Origins, but really it's the smaller local conventions that have my attention these days. I'd rather spend a $1000 at North Texas RPG and have a great weekend experience than spend $1000 at GenCon which maybe gets me to Indy and a night or two of hotel (but no badge or event tickets!)

This year there are like 16 September conventions, not counting GenCon & Origins. Two events that would have been during GenCon were cancelled. In 2017 there were 21 conventions during Spetember. In 2018 & 2019 there were 27 conventions during September. Now some of the difference could be COVID related, but there were more cancelled events this year. Looking back over the last several years, no table-top gaming conventions shared time with GenCon.....until this year where there were two, with one being cancelled.

I know it isn't a deep-delve in the data and just a high-level pass, but anecdotally it seemed that GenCon moving to a later date is affecting smaller gaming conventions, and not for the better. Not a fan.....

GenCon 2021 had 1312 RPG games listed, while Origins 2021 has roughly half that at 616 RPG games listed. Now both sound like a lot, but in GenCon's case it looks like roughly half of those RPG events are D&D 5th Edition (Origins far less as a percentage). Since I'm guessing that the majority of the Tavern patrons are OSR fans, this info might be relevant.

TL;DR- If you "have" to attend a big con, check out Origins, but I'd rather go to a smaller local convention.

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