Saturday, October 9, 2021

Kickstarter Warns of The Great Supply Chain Disruption


I logged into Kickstarter earlier today and noticed a notification that WASN'T about a Kickstarter Survey that I was supposed to fill out. No, this notification lead to an article that would have been at home in the NY Times or BBC News.

Supply Chain Disruptions Are Affecting Kickstarter Projects–Here's What to Know

It’s a good bet you've already heard at least a little about the supply chain issues that are making it hard to access certain kinds of products and materials, and causing delays in manufacturing and shipping all around the world. Created by a confluence of factors including pandemic-related changes to consumer demand, worker shortages, and the ripple effects of COVID on a globally interconnected economy, the "Great Supply Chain Disruption" has become an emblem of the increasing unpredictability of the modern world.

Read the article linked above. It's a good read. But why did Kickstarter put together such a post?

Because supply issues are going to hit Kickstarter hard, and I suspect they are trying to get ahead of potential chargebacks from customers. 

It's not just chargebacks. 

Late Kickstarters aren't going to be "a thing". Late Kickstarters will be "The Thing" for the immediate future, and it's going to cut into their business model. 

Creators may hold off launching new projects until delivery services stabilize. Backers may decide not to back, but to wait until certain projects hit the retail market, if they ever do.







Friday, October 8, 2021

WotC Dungeons & Dragons Titles for the Remainder of 2021 Will Be Delayed

Now, I know a certain percentage of The Tavern's regular readers are saying "who gives a fuck that WotC releases are being delayed!" and I certainly understand that sentiment. It's not the fact that the books are delayed, it's WHY they are delayed that is the actual story. It appears the Expansion Rules Gift Set will miss the Holiday sales season (among other titles being delayed)

According to ComicBook.com:

Wizards of the Coast previously announced that its upcoming Expansion Rules Gift Set box would be released in January 2022 instead of its originally intended holiday 2021 release date. 
Many industries have experienced delays and disruptions caused by a global shipping crisis and widespread resources shortages. The book industry has been particularly hard hit in part because of printer capacity issues compounding the supply chain problems caused by the pandemic. Several experts have noted that larger books - such as gift books, box sets, art books, and coffee table books - are being particularly impacted by the current wave of shortages. 

Add in the labor shortage in the US, impacting everything from unloading cargo ships, warehousing, and shipping within the States and you have a perfect storm.

I wonder if this makes using a US printer more viable, at least for some of the smaller publishers, as shipping from China (where WotC, Paizo, and other TTRPG publishers print the bulk of their books) is becoming more of a crapshoot.



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Thursday, October 7, 2021

The Halls of Arden Vul Complete (PDF) on Sale for 40% Off

The Halls of Arden Vul Complete is a monster of a megadungeon. I own it in print. Maybe in 2022 I'll get through the five volumes. It is over 1100 pages if I recall correctly.

Until October 12th, Halls of Ardun Vul is on sale in PDF for 40% off, which STILL prices it at 65.40!

As an aside, Torchlight and SWCL as well as a ton of other titles are also on sale.

Prepare to Beard the Halls of Arden Vul!

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!


 

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Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Apparently Devils in D&D 5e are Just Misunderstood


Bad Mike and I touched on this story earlier tonight on the Talking Crit Livestream, but I thought it was worthy of sharing on the blog:

D&D lead rules designer: Devils don’t have to be evil any more 

While the title may be a bit extreme and expands upon a topic that has already been touched upon (orcs and drow no longer necessarily being evil) Jeremy Crawford takes it to the next level:

Almost all other creatures will either be listed as “Any Alignment” or, in a few cases, “Unaligned” – and even creatures with a “strong moral inclination” such as Angels, Devils, and Demons, will merely be listed as “Typically” Good or Evil, to be customised at the DM’s discretion. It’s aimed at underlining the idea that alignment – which plots a creature’s position on the twin spectrums of Good to Evil, and Lawful to Chaotic – is meant as a “narrative suggestion” and “roleplaying aid” rather than a fundamental, cast-iron rule.

I don't remember alignment being a cast-iron rule. I always thought it was meant as a guideline and a narrative shortcut.

"It's a raiding party of orcs" - evil

"It's a hunting party of elves" - good

Individuals were always potentially exceptional. That is the narrative power behind characters like Drizzt - he is exceptional. If all Drow could be good heroes, he'd no longer be special.

Devils are just misunderstood in D&D 5e. I knew it all along...

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Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Indiegogo - The Folio: Black Label #7

I've shared posts of The Folio in the past, and The Folio: Black Label is kinda like a reserve whiskey. It might not fit the tastes of all Folio fans, but it certainly adds something different to the mix.

With The Folio: Black Label #7, Art of the Genre introduces gamers to our newest sexy swords & sorcery duo, Imani the priestess of Bast, and Daiyu the wu-jen/ninja.  Together, these two will take our adult themed gaming to the latest uncharted area of The Nameless Realms, the Steppes of Arcania, in a brand new trilogy of adventures!

Join these two as they find even more trouble than one can imagine, and witness just what kinds of delights they utilize to defeat their amorous enemies.  The Folio: Black Label #7 should inspire any gamer who is looking to spice up their table sessions with some dark, and sometimes comical, adult role-playing situations inspired by the 'B' fantasy movies of the 1980's.

I kinda regard The Folio: Black Label series of releases as Venger without the sleeze yet with the sex appeal. The fact that Scott has been consistant with high quality art across the various Folio releases is simply extra awesome

The Folio: Black Label #7 is 10 bucks in PDF, 20 bucks (plus shipping) for the Print plus PDF.


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 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, October 4, 2021

Can You Play an RPG without Owning the Rulebook? Ever?

I think most of us oldtimers know the answer is "yes". In my teens, I was in a group right here in the Poconos (Rach and I have Escaped From New York for a few days) and one player in our group owned none of the books. I THINK he owned a set of dice but I could be wrong. As far as I can recall I was the only group member with the DMG (and pretty much the only DM).

This wasn't uncommon back in the 80s. I knew of groups that had one communal Basic Set and one communal Expert Set, and whoever was DMing took possession of the boxes until the next DM stepped up, then rinse and repeat.

I strongly suspect this whole concept is foreign to players that started with 3e and later. The OGL lowered the ownership barrier, players could download the 3x SRD or simply play a freely distributed OSR game under the OGL - S&W Core, Labyrinth Lord, and OSRIC are some fine earlier examples, but there are more. Heck, these days you can even play 5e without paying for the rules - the Basic rules are your to grab for free in PDF (the only version of the 5e rules available in PDF from WotC as far as I know).

Did you own the rules to the RPG you started playing? How long was it before you had your own copy of the rules? I'm curious.

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Sunday, October 3, 2021

Remembering Doug Rhea

 

Remembering Doug Rhea
This weekend was Doug Rhea's Memorial Gathering at the Frog God Games Warehouse in Dallas.

Now I won't pretend to have known Doug very well, or be lucky enough to consider him a friend, but I did get to spend time with him just bullshitting at his North Texas RPG Con, and he came across as a stand-up guy. 

I went to this gathering mostly because Doug was more of a "friend of a friend" and I wanted to be there in support.....because I could.

The weekend was rather interesting on a couple of levels. It was not
somber although it was mostly sober. People didn't just sit around telling stories about Doug, although there were a lot of stories of the man told, mind you. No games were played, no dice rolled, but it was definitely a weekend of gamer fellowship. Lots of people catching up with each other, talking about their lives, their games, and about NTRPG. Stories about Doug were woven in here & there and honestly I was kind of surprised.


Now I'm not trying to bring the focus around to me, but with the guys I normally hang out with a significant percentage of the stories would most definitely be NSFW. I would expect a similar event being held for those I interact with on a daily basis (old military brothers) would be far less sober, more games, and stories about events that would get people fired or thrown in jail these days!

But with this event and Doug, the stories told about him could've been written by a modern PR firm. The underlying theme of each and every story was how kind, generous, and thoughtful he was. Compared to wo many in our industry
the man was practically a saint! Thing is, I didn't sense even an ounce of bullshit in any tale told about Doug. These weren't tall tales or some sort of idolization about the man who brought North Texas RPG Con into the world.....no these were stories about a guy who loved sharing his passions and a man who was rather compassionate and giving of himself.


By the time I walked away from the warehouse Saturday afternoon I fully realized that I missed a few opportunities to get to know Doug better, but I am glad that I did get to play in one of his games. I also realize that I need to be a little more grateful for the gaming I do get to partake in and I should be a bit more mindful of appreciating those I get to sit with in this hobby, at and away from the table.

There's a tradition from my time with KenzerCo to remember a gamer with a specific poem. Since that's a different group of folks I figure those here may not be familiar with the poem of The Empty Chair, by Jolly Blackburn.


The Empty Chair

Eulogy for a Gamer


There is an empty chair,

at the table this day.

A hallowed place where,

a friend once played.

The roll of his dice,

my ears long to hear.

Or perhaps it would suffice,

if he should suddenly appear.

With character sheet in hand,

and a bag of Cheeze-doodles to share.

All his friends would stand,

as he sat in the empty chair.

I hear his voice a-callin’,

and it ties my heart in a knot.

For he cries, “Though a comrade has fallen,

You must play for those who cannot.”

We conquered worlds on the run,

he and I in the name of fun.

And as others may come and go,

I make both both friend and foe.

But what I long for most,

is our past now long a ghost.

Doug Rhea

1963-2021

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