Saturday, October 2, 2021

Bundle - OSE Spooktacular

To be honest, I only realize this bundle was up because Tim Shorts shared it on Facebook (Tim also has an adventure in the bundle). Tim is a friend of mine and we play together in JoetheLawyer's Bronze Age Fantasy Heartbreaker playtest group every Monday. 

I like the OSE Spooktacukar Bundle based on the listed titles, and I've always been fond of Halloween-themed adventures to be run around the holiday. It was a staple of my High School and College years. Good times :)

Individually the titles come to 43.77. The bundle price is 20.50.

Titles included with the OSE Spooktakular Bundle are:

DD-01 The Darkness Beneath Dalentown for 1st Edition and BX

        DD-02 The Darkness Beneath Brightwell Manor for 1st Edition and BX

        Fantasy Stock Art: Demons

Fantasy Stock Art: Undead

        Hex 18.24 -- The Deadwoods


        PHM Hex 55.68 -- Entrance to the Valley of Kings (pt. 1)

        Solar Sanctuary of the Cannibal Corpse

        The Deadly Mine of Pantanga 

The Warlock

        Witch Character Sheet - Basic era

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

Friday, October 1, 2021

Torchlight #1 Will be Available in Print at GameHole!

Thanks to the talents of Jeff Jones, a limited print run of Torchlight Issue #1 will be available at GameHole Con later this month. Seek out Jeff or myself to purchase a copy.

Work continues on Swords & Wizardry Continual Light Digest Edition. Hopefully, it will be ready by Christmas. We also plan to do a limited print run before moving to POD in 2022.

As SWCL wraps up, work will commence on Torchlight Issue #2.

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 30, 2021

Kickstarter - Arcane Scrollworks: Ascension

There are few Kickstarters that catch my attention for doing something different and interesting. The Arcane Scrollworks: Ascension Kickstarter falls into that category. I'm not sure what I'd actually use these scrolls for, but that doesn't matter.

This Kickstarter is simply FUCKING cool! What will I use it for, I'm not sure, but damn, it will certainly bring a different level of gameplay to my table. I'll let the pictures talk.

Greeting aficionados of the arcane, welcome to the next level in SkeletonKey Games’ series of bespoke scrolls. Arcane Scrollworks: Ascension brings some of the most iconic spells from fantasy gaming into reality as hand-finished props. This campaign focuses on both 5th and 6th level spells and brings in a series of scrolls inspired by Mörk Borg thanks to their third-party license. Use these scrolls to bring depth and detail to your RPG or LARP by adding them to your character or next treasure haul, gifting them to spell casting players, or decorating your game room with them.

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 29, 2021

A Breakdown of the Relevant Parts of the Turbo/Servotronics Lawsuit and the Mentions of Luke Gygax and Gary Con

I've been asked by multiple people over the last few days as to when I was going to address the Servotronics / Kenneth Trbovich lawsuit. Well, here we go...

I became aware of the "Turbo" lawsuit Saturday morning when a friend messaged me the PDF telling me I'd be interested. I started to read it, wondering why it would be of any concern to me when I started seeing "Gary Con", "Gygax" and "Luke Gygax" get mentioned in the filing - multiple times. A lot.

It then dawned on me that Kenneth Trbovich was "Turbo" from Gary Con. I now realized I had 104 pages of a dumpster fire. Really. You can snag your own copy of the Trbo Lawsuit at this link. I dare you to call it anything but a dumpster fire.

The allegations detailed within are beyond belief and fall along the lines of "throw everything into your lawsuit and see what sticks". More, literally, is more. 

It reads like the script to a Porky's reimagining. If only 10% is accurate, Turbo is a pretty shitty person. The thing is, there are exact dates given. Which likely means the plaintiff was documenting events as they happened. Leaving out the personal drama, it shows a dysfunctional business environment.

There are, however, some parts that are relevant. One allegation states that: "Trbovich’s compensation began to balloon, particularly after Gygax was appointed Chair of the Compensation Committee." (page 47) Turbo's compensation jumped 70% from 2019 to 2020Luke was appointed Chair of the Company's Independent Directors Committee and is also a member of the Company's Audit Committee. As Turbo and Luke are/were friends, and Turbo participated as either staff or as a volunteer at Gary Con for a number of years, this part doesn't look particularly great for Luke.

Yep, Luke was paid $85k a year as an Independent Director in 2020 by Servotronics.

Nor does Luke and Turbo going on a trip to Eastern Europe together, which kinda strains the idea of an "independent director must be completely independent and they cannot receive any compensation of any kind outside of Board stipends and reimbursement for legitimate Company expenses (such as travel to Board meetings)."(page 50)

Gary Con gets its first mention with: "Gary Con was (and is) a gaming convention owned and operated by Gygax, the “independent” director and the Chair of the Compensation Committee and Audit Committee Member." (page 52) It appears Servotronics employees were sent to the con on company time and compensation.

Then we apparently have a book written by Turbo and Luke: "In March 2019, Trbovich revealed to Pirrone that he (Trbovich) had co-authored with “independent” director Gygax a book for Gary Con. Trbovich used his nickname “Turbo” as a pen name. Trbovich implied to Pirrone that he used his pen name in an effort to conceal his identity from the Board, shareholders, and anyone else with an interest in the Trbovich Companies." (page 53). The book/module in question is Knight Fall, and yes, Turbo is credited along with Luke and Chris Clark.

Pages 60-61 give us: "Trbovich mentioned, for the first time, that he knew his travel with Luke Gygax was brought into question by the Whistleblower Complaint, as well as his spending on Noura Ibrahim." and "Specifically, Pirrone reported his concerns of corporate waste, fraud, dereliction of fiduciary duties, as well as other unlawful and unethical conduct, including, without limitation: (1) Trbovich’s Company-funded all-expenses-paid trips to Prague and Gary Con with “independent” director Luke Gygax, the Chair of the Company’s Compensation Committee; (2) Trbovich’s use of Company funds to support Gygax’s personal business ventures that are not legitimately related to the Company or the Company’s business interests; (3) Pirrone’s suspicion that Trbovich is a silent part-owner of Iron Wind (Mike Noe’s company) and Monster Fight Cub (Gygax’s company); and (4) information about Trbovich’s use of Company funds for trips and plane tickets for Servotronics contractors with whom Trbovich had admitted having a sexual relationship, quid pro quo, including Noura Ibrahim.

Page 65: "On November 15, 2019, CFO Bencel approached Pirrone to discuss the Company-funded business trips to Gary Con, involving Gygax, Grayson, and Redd. Pirrone shared dates and photographs from social media. Pirrone also reported to CFO Bencel the cross- country “business trip” involving Grayson and the aforementioned Candace (“Candy”) Miller."

Page 72: "For example, on January 28, 2020, Pirrone reported to CFO Bencel that he had found a link to a “streamed game event” from Gary Con where Beast Grayson (who was present on the Company’s dime and, in fact, reimbursed for his travel and lodging), participated in a live stream “celebrity” game with Gygax. Pirrone reported this information and suggested that these events are required by law to be referenced in the independence questionnaires for the Board. A short while later, HR Director Zechman emailed Pirrone, out of nowhere, requesting verification and additional information about the paid leave Pirrone had taken back in 2017."

Pages 73-74: "Reminder that when Ken had Luke Gygax and Jason Bear appointed to the board he had me punch up their resumes to make the case for their appointment. In the case of Jason, I believe, he also had me punch up the resume of Mike Noe, the president of Iron Wind Metals, which I suspect Ken of co-owning as the result of that fraudulent trip to Ohio where he forced me to be one of his "seconds" in a bonding ceremony with his mistress and then had me guard his tent while he was having sex with her. Ken used Mike's resume as "another candidate for consideration" to contrast against Jason. Basically radar chaff."

From Page 99 - This one I can personally attest to: "giving away hundreds or possibly thousands of dollars in OKC samples to gaming convention attendees—Trbovich’s friends—who had nothing to do with the Trbovich Companies;" Back in 2016 (17?) someone came to the booth with a bunch of knives and said "these are for you guys!" I had no clue who was giving it to us at the time, but now I do. Go figure.

Also page 99: "funneling corporate funds into Monster Fight Club and other businesses owned and/or operated by Officers and/or “Independent” Directors on the Board, which are wholly unrelated to Servotronics or OKC;"

Finally from page 100: "approving full reimbursement for massively lavish all-expenses-paid “business trips” taken by Trbovich and others, including Gygax, Grayson, and Redd, as well as contractors and friends of Trbovich, some of whom he had an ongoing personal and/or sexual relationship, including, without limitation, Candace Miller and Noura Ibrahim."

Phew. That's a lot of mentions.

Perhaps the most disturbing revelation is that Turbo was/is still using an AOL email account. I can't wrap my head around it ;)

In any case, these are simply allegations at the moment, and Luke and Gary Con are not named defendants in the lawsuit.

Luke reached out to me on Monday and explained that Turbo stepped in when Gary Con's operations manager left after being caught taking from the till and had volunteered to help the con through 2019 and that Turbo hasn't been involved with the Con in recent years. (Edit 9/30/21): For those inquiring, Dale Leonard WAS NOT the individual in question and left Gary Con Staff the year prior. Thank you Dale for the clarification.)

Luke has also offered to answer any questions I may have, but I'm leaving the questions to you, my readers. Add your questions to the comments below, or email me at tenkarsDOTtavern at that gmail thing. I'll put it all together and get them out to Luke

A special thank you to The Taverners that went above and beyond to provide me with clarifying details and links. Much appreciated.

Quick note, this will likely be a topic on tonight's Tavern Chat Livestream. It will fall under the This Week in Gaming Stupid segment ;)

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 28, 2021

Kickstarter - Aeon: Ancient Greece Vol#1 (DCC RPG)

I know everyone thinks that a video is a "must-have" to run a successful Kickstarter, and while it can certainly help, few people want to slog through a 38-minute video about a project they may or may not have an interest in.

My unsolicited advice: keep your initial pitch to 5 minutes or less, and put the relevant info in the first 2 to 3 minutes. If you want to do a longer video, that's fine, link it further down pm the Kickstarter page. It shouldn't be your "pitch video."

Now that all of that is out of the way, Aeon: Ancient Greece Vol#1 for the DCC RPG looks interesting. I may be biased in its favor, as I'm currently beta testing JoetheLawyer's Bronze Age Fantasy Heartbreaker, but the setting and time frame is ripe for a playable setting.

You can snag a PDF copy for 5 bucks, or the Print plus PDF for 8 bucks plus shipping - in the US, a grand total of 11 bucks.

This first issue in the series includes everything you need to create 0-level Ancient Greek characters as well as a 0-level adventure funnel filled with lethal traps, death-dealing encounters, plus, memorable role-playing scenes even Homer would be proud to share and tell others.

You'll need all your wits and the luck of the dice gods (and maybe a few others) to survive and make it through to the end to claim your reward!

Here's just a taste of what you'll find inside AEON: Ancient Greece Zine Issue #1:

  •  Complete 0-level character creation rules! From Athlete, Basketweaver and Charioteer to Hoplite or Sailor - Over 40 professions and their starting equipment to roll up randomly. Plus…
  • Includes a full list and rules for bronze age equipment, weapons and armor…
  •  Attention Judges! Run your friends' newly created characters through the deadly Labyrinth of Daedalus - a 0-level funnel filled with DCC inspired mayhem, trickery and death (Hades will love you for adding to his empire)!
  • Over 100 ancient Greek names - Female and Male!
  • Hittite... Minoan... Phoenician... Discover the ancient languages your character might know…
  • You’ll also get 4 custom created, Greek themed blank character sheets (see the add-on below for a pic). Plus…
  • Includes pre-generated 0-level characters so you and your friends can jump right into the action!
  • Fully immerse and inspire yourself in the exciting history of Ancient Greece with an 'Appendix N' for your reading and viewing pleasure…
  • Enjoy unique, Ancient Greek themed and inspired artwork spread throughout the entire zine…
  • And more!

 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 27, 2021

D&D 5e to Get a "Revision" in 2024 - Backwards Compatible

I know, I know. Since Tenkar doesn't even play D&D 5e, why is he posting about its revision THREE Years in the future? 

Quite simply, Dungeons & Dragons is the engine that drives the RPG hobby, and even if I don't use the rules, I appreciate the importance it holds.

The most important takeaway? 

Backwards compatibility, which I've been predicting. WotC has seen what Paizo did to its core business by releasing a version of Pathfinder that was not backwards compatible with its prior edition. 

From Reddit:

They used the words "new evolution" and "new version", but not "new edition". They also confirmed that it's going to be backwards compatible with 5e.

Now, things may change. Remember, when Monte was the lead designer for code name D&D Next, his goal was a group where: "your White Box character could play in the same session as the BX character and be joined by a 1e character and a 4e character" yadda yadda. That never happened. Pretend it was never mentioned.

The relevant part starts at the 8 hours and 10 minutes mark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxb8xiDU5Kw

More info at ENWorld.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

The Time to Start is Now!

The Time to Start is Now!
I'm going to post something probably a bit unpopular here, for readily apparent reasons, but bear with me: you should be starting to think about your gaming group and Christmas, like now.

I now, I know.....some of you are probably going, it isn't even fall yet! *SPOILER ALERT* It is! Fall started last week even though its still in so much of this country clearly Summer or Summer-ish.

Now I spent too many years in retail and I can tell you that even if you don't see it, odds are there are Christmas items in your local store. This week I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, Christmas ornaments on a wing panel at my local store. That's not a big deal as sometimes those go up as early as July, but seeing as October starts next week, a lot of stores are going to have Halloween stuff up (if they haven't already) and might have an "Early Christmas" section as well. Most of the larger chains will backfill in Halloween season items with Christmas stuff as they can, but this post isn't about retail, well not directly.

December 2021

You may or may not realize that Christmas falls on a Saturday this year, which means at least one weekend is shot for gaming because most of you have families and such. That leaves three weekends in December before the big day, and even if you game every single weekend (lucky SOBs), you know damn well that you'll have at least one, if not seven, Christmas parties to attempt to attend between those three weekends. Work,, Church, neighborhood, clubs, etc......it will probably feel like everyone is vying for your otherwise prime gaming time in December.

When you couple this with all the other holiday shit you have to get done I'm just saying it is probably a good idea to write off December when it comes to gaming or getting together with your regular group. I know a lot of you will manage it anyway....but for planning purposes, best to assume otherwise.

Now if you want to get your fellow gamers anything for the holidays that means you're effectively down to two months. No problem if you just plan on buying some stuff off of Amazon or at a local store. Plenty of time to grab some dice or what you think is a good unpainted mini for their favorite character, but if you prefer to build vs. buy...well two months might not be a lot of time.

Clearly we're all different so I can only speak for myself on this, but I'm a grown-ass man with no kids and no local family. I make a decent enough wage. Pretty much everyday is Christmas so I'm 110% happy not getting Christmas gifts period, much less from my fellow gamers. I do enjoy a little bit of gift-giving though, but usually only if I make something. I really enjoy the creative process and Christmas is sometimes more an excuse to take on projects that don't make a lot of sense if it's just for me.

Anyway, I already have an idea for this year and two months might be a little tight, but we'll see. I've got my main idea for "everybody" which might translate well for my gaming group but I have some other ideas that...well again we'll see.

What kicked all this off was a quick side-stop to my local hobby store and I thought, "Hey, what if I make XXX for my group this year. Is this something they'd like?" I went to check on some supplies I'd normally make instead of purchase and found out that the store put out a whole bunch of stuff I could use on clearance for 75% off. I may or may not have bought out that entire store and driven the hour down to Wichita Falls to buy out the other store as well.......

Now in retrospect the idea I had won't be a good one for my group since we play virtually, but I can still use the supplies so anything I did pick up would be worth the expense.

My entire point is that Christmas is kind of around the corner and if, like me, you want to create gifts for your gaming group, you might not have nearly as much time as you think. Between planning, prepping, and creating, you have essentially two months, tops.


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