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Thursday, March 31, 2022

Indiegogo - Mithral, Rattlesnakes, and Dwarven Whiskey (OSR & 5E)


Just as an FYI, Frog God Games published Swords & Wizardry Light, a 4 page RPG that I wrote. Just so folks know about the connection I have with Frog God Games and their other label, Necromancer Games.

Mithral, Rattlesnakes and Dwarven Whiskey is the latest Indiegogo from Necromancer Games.

Journey across the Lost Lands' Borderlands Provinces on a scavenger hunt for dangerous unrefined mithral, live giant rattlesnakes, and a truly amazing quantity of dwarven whiskey. Finding this shopping list is only the first part of the adventure, you will have to acquire it and then transport it ba

Dare you take on the task in this adventure for 2-6 characters of Tier 2 (5e) or levels 5-7 (OSR)? Can you save the village of Estan from mithral mutants? Will the salvagers of Wrecker's Cove give up the whiskey so easily? Capturing a live giant rattlesnake will be hard, but three of them and they need to be alive when they are delivered? This is the work of heroes!

Honestly, is the money worth all of this trouble? Only one way to find out, so load up that wagon with Mithral, Rattlesnakes, and a Cask of Dwarven Whiskey!

This adventure does not need to be run straight through. The intent is that the hunt for these rare ingredients can be worked into other adventures or as part of the characters’ travels across the Borderlands Provinces. Our heroes might want to pick up one of the assignments, find the ingredients, and call it quits after they get paid. This might make a nice side quest for a larger adventure or if they should happen to decide to take a break from Rappan Athuk. The choice is yours; the adventure is written so that these ideas, and many others can be used to work it into your campaign.

 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 AnchorYouTubeor wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar    


Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Kickstarter - Tome of Adventure Design Revised (Matt Finch)




A system-neutral sourcebook for designing fantasy adventures, usable with 5e D&D and other fantasy roleplaying tabletop games.

This is where I talk about connections, and there are many. I've known Matt Finch, the man behind The Tome of Adventure Design for years. With Matt's permission, I organized the first Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day (with about 130 blogs participating - those were the days). It was Matt that gave his blessing and backing to me putting together Swords & Wizardry Light and later Swords & Wizardry Continual Light. Swords & Wizardry has been my go-to OSR ruleset since I found it, and the original Tome of Adventure Design (ToAD) is probably my most referred to book when designing and naming adventures.

Matt just launched a new Kickstarter for the Tome of Adventure Design - Revised. Will this now be known as ToAdR? ;)

So, what do you get with ToADR?

  • Matte Finish Hardcover
  • Smyth-sewn binding (stitched in signatures)
  • 500+ pages
  • Printed with black and white interior
  • Thousands of micro-prompts to jump start your imagination
  • Over 400 random generation tables
  • Printed in the USA
Tome of Adventure Design offers a comprehensive method for designing an adventure all the way from the starting concepts to the finer details. Just as with creativity, it’s not a linear method: starting points can include a mission, a villainous plot, a location, or a new monster, but tables are provided for all of these common inspiration-points. For obvious reasons, the highest level of detail is provided for subterranean dungeon adventures, but a wealth of tables are also provided for cities and settlements, planar adventuring, and wilderness adventuring.

If you want to ask Matt questions, tonight's Talking Crit LiveStream at 8 PM Eastern will feature Matt Finch as our Special Guest. You'll need to be subscribed to the channel for at least 20 minutes before you can post a comment or question (that's to combat the spambots). Link below:


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 AnchorYouTubeor wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar   

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

The Winners of the Lanasian Craptor Contest Are...

The quality of the entries for the Design a Lanasian Craptor Contest was simply stunning. I received entries via TenkarsTavern.com, Facebook PMs, and Discord PMs. Some folks wished to remain anonymous. Our first-place winner is such an entry. But the quality of the entries meant there HAD to be some runner-ups. All of the entries were good, and choosing the top three was not an easy task. IMHO, all are of publishable quality and you can read all of the entries that were submitted to this blog at the above link. - Tenkar

Winners need to email me at tenkarsDOTtavernAT that gmail thing. Please put Lanasian Craptor in the subject of your email.

Coming in First Place, and receiving a $60 DTRPG Gift Certificate is the entry from an Anonymous Discord User (but sure as hell I know who they are ;)

Yep, you can print out the page and place it in your Monstrous Compendium. Holy shit, but Rach and I were rolling with the text of this one.

The First runner-up, receiving a $20 DTRPG Gift Certificate is from stavag. Stavag gives you enough to design an adventure around.

Lanasacraptor
FREQUENCY: Unique
NO. APPEARING: 1
ARMOR CLASS: 5
MOVE: 15
HIT DICE: 6
% IN LAIR: 100
TREASURE TYPE: C,U,N,T
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1 + SPECIAL
DAMAGE/ATTACK: Bite (d6+1) or kick (2d4)
SPECIAL ATTACKS: See below
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Nil
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Standard
INTELLIGENCE: No
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic
SIZE: VS trapped in a M body
PSIONIC ABILITY: Nil

Found naturally in derelict ruins. Occasionally attempts to infiltrate the subterranean levels of wealthy occupied properties and feed off of scraps from the oblivious owners. Unfortunately it is compelled to call to others of its kind once per day with a shrill, terrible screech and anyone within 300’ must save vs. spell. If they make the check, they are alerted to the presence of the Lanasacraptor. Combat with a Lansacraptor results in it immediately calling for help, resulting in a cacophony of noises and stunned incomprehension without much actual action. The gravest threat from the Lanasacraptor is to hear it’s call to the point that one is rendered mentally incompetent.

Combat abilities:
Once per round, Lanasaraptor can make one attack AND use it’s special call. A natural attack roll of 10 or lower results in the Lanasacraptor doing the damage to itself, regardless of target roll.

Special Calls: roll d20 to determine its outcome:

1-8 A low, repeated guttural grunt that sounds almost like laughing- Summons d6 Lesser Grognards
9-11 A long, loud roar- Summons 1 Greater Grognard. Only one Greater Grognard can be summoned per combat. Reroll if the Greater Grognard has already been summoned.
12-13 A series of short chirps- Summons 1 Lesser Lawyerdactyl who will join combat until injured and then flee.
13-14 An angry scream- Attracts 1 Greater Lawyerdactyl who will fight AGAINST the Lanasacraptor
15-17 Similar to the first call, a low guttural HURR-HURR sound- All PCs within range must make save or lose -1 INT until the Lanasacraptor is defeated.
18-19 An extremely high-pitched wail- All creatures within range (allied or enemy) must make save or be stunned for 1 round
20 A strained choking cry- Stuns itself for one round

Lesser Grognard
ARMOR CLASS: 10
MOVE: 6
HIT DICE: 1/2
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1
DAMAGE/ATTACK: Headbutt 1

These tiny, hairy humanoid creatures stand only about 12” tall and blindly attack the party with their unusually large and bony foreheads until they are defeated.

Greater Grognard
ARMOR CLASS: 6
MOVE: 6
HIT DICE: 6
NO. OF ATTACKS: Nil
DAMAGE/ATTACK: Nil

Normal-sized humanoid, its only function is to place itself between the Lanasacraptor and its attackers and absorb damage. Anyone attacking the Greater Grognard must make a save vs. spell or the player must hold their action for the round.

Lesser Lawyerdactyl
ARMOR CLASS: 8
MOVE: 30
HIT DICE: 2
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1
DAMAGE/ATTACK: Nil
SPECIAL ATTACKS: See below

Flies above the party and emits a sonic attack once per round. Players save vs. spell or be stunned for 1 round. The Lesser Lawyerdactyl will cease attacks and attempt to flee as soon as it takes any damage.

Greater Lawyerdactyl
ARMOR CLASS: 6
MOVE: 30
HIT DICE: 2
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1
DAMAGE/ATTACK: Nil
SPECIAL ATTACKS: See below

Unlike the other creatures summoned by the Lanasacraptor, this creature is attracted as its enemy. The Greater Lawyerdactyl will make two attacks and then depart. First, it will attempt to stun the Lanasacraptor (save vs. breath weapon) then the following round it will use a diving melee attack. If successful, it deals 2d8 damage but takes all the treasure from the Lanasacraptor and its lair, leaving none for the party.

Our Second Runner-Up is Shakeshift. Shakeshift receives a $10 DTRPG Gift Certificate. This entry truly made me smile.

LanasaCraptor

Terrain: Tattoo Parlors, Military Weapon Expos
Diet: Taunts
Activity Cycle: Night (Only When Intoxicated and also on Twitter)

ARMOR CLASS : 9
HIT DICE: 2+1
MOVEMENT RATE: 12"
# of ATTACKS: 5
THAC0 19
DMG: 1-2/1-2/1-2/1-2/1-2
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Doxxing
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Deceptive Illusion, Blocking Aura, Fear-Based Teleport
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Nil
TREASURE TYPE: E (see below)
INTELLIGENCE: Low (5-7)
ALIGNMENT: Chaotic Annoying

The Lanasacraptor is a weird cryptozoological marvel of engineering. Borne from a test tube when alchemists combined an otyugh, a brain-damaged owlbear, a second-level fighter, and a used sheepskin condom together to see what its gestalt form would be, and what came forth forever would be known as... "The Lanasacraptor!"

This pitiful excuse for a monster will never leave its own lair for fear of being compared to every other monster (which is honestly superior to it in every way.) Instead, this pathetic excuse for a humanoid will pretend to be other monsters far more dangerous than itself by using its natural CHANGE SELF ability of illusion. It will approach prey and pretend to be the monster it has used as a disguise, claiming to be the authentic monster and that ".....It is back, and better than ever!" - Anyone with a WIS score of 9 or higher though can see through this poorly-crafted disguise and will be able to recognize this monster for what it is.... a jealous pretender. This will not stop the Lanasacraptor though from threatening legal action against any and all nonbelievers if anyone starts to point out that the illusion is now revealed.

The Lanasacraptor also has the ability to BLOCK any person who has angered it in any way by using an abjurative aura that lasts for a minimum of fourteen days. Anyone attempting to harm the Lanasacraptor when blocked by this aura must make a saving throw vs spells to even initiate hostilities. Failure means that the attacker simply cannot see or find the Lanasacraptor anywhere that they look, almost as if the monster has removed itself from the battlefield. The Lanasacraptor uses this tactic to launch a vicious first assault on round one (a series of five sissy slaps done with adrenaline-fueled fear) and then BLOCKS the individual afterward because it fears any and all forms of retaliation and will cower and hide like a little sissy bitch.

The creature's only real attack mode which is magical is the Doxxing power it has. By using weak-willed lackeys (those with a WIS score of 8 or less who are still affected by the illusory glamor) the Lanasacraptor can find information on its prey and use TRUENAME (as the 7th level wizard spell) as an attack form on its target if it has 1d6 days to prepare this special attack form. While vicious in nature, anyone who is affected by this spell may simply use a DISPEL MAGIC to negate the advantage. Without the help of a minion, however, the Lanasacraptor is incapable of using its doxxing power because it's not smart enough to be able to doxx victims on its own.

The only other defense the Lanasacraptor has happens when the creature loses more than half of its hit points from any attack. If it does get injured to this point, it can use TELEPORT WITHOUT ERROR to escape from harm's way, crawling back under the flat rock which is its normal home.

NOTE: The treasure type listed is for the Lanasacraptor under normal circumstances. However, if a Lanasacraptor foolishly decides to take action against any magic-using opponent of greater power, the chance of possessing this treasure suddenly becomes questionable. Lanasacraptors are annoying and dim-witted beasts, but in any engagement against magic-users, the Lanasacraptors forfeit all of their worldly wealth to the (far superior) intellect and power of any Wizards, and the treasure type of the Lanasacraptor may be permanently adjusted to (NIL) shortly afterward. There is no known way to offset this penalty. Woe to any foolish little Lanasacraptor who pisses off any Wizards!


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 AnchorYouTubeor wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar  

Monday, March 28, 2022

Two Days Left for the League of Dungeoneers Kickstarter

Two Days Left for the League of Dungeoneers Kickstarter
There are two days left (62 hours as of this post) on the League of Dungeoneers Kickstarter, "a detailed old school solo/co-op dungeon crawl with heavy RPG elements, lots of dungeon tiles, monsters, loot and replayability."

Personally I've (FrugalGM.....not Erik) almost jumped on this Kickstarter because I'd love to be able to run a solo RPG when I can't get my fix otherwise. I say almost because I've been burnt by Kickstarter before (Thanks Ken Whitman!) and something about a 1st Kickstarter project from a guy in Sweden seems...off to me.

Since there are a couple of days left and I'm interested, I figured that maybe I should take a bit of a harder look at this and see if I'm willing to risk the $150 for an all-in pledge, or a bit less for a different pledge level. Instead of doing this just for myself, I'll post the research here to share....assuming at least one other tavern patron has the same interest/concerns.


Not a lot to see on a high-level Google search on the creator, Michael Lundstedt, but that's not a bad thing. I did find a decent YouTube review that had an interview. Pouring through the comments on the review video, Dungeon Universalis keeps coming up.

The problem is that League if Dungeoneers has nothing to do with Dungeon Universalis (DUN) and Mr. Lundstedt isn't listed as a DUN contributor. No worries...again just a high-level initial pass. There was some good intel for the League of Dungeoneers.....but it was more of an advert on what you get if you back the Kickstarter, not quite what I need.

Good to know though that this particular gaming Kickstarter seems like the ideal RPG Kickstarter, as in "Hey I've made this thing I think you'll like and need help bringing it to a final form." and not "I've made this thing and while I clearly have the resources to bring it to market, I'd rather not put up my own money and will be using Kickstarter as a type of pre-order to put more money in my pocket and screw over the supply chain that helped me earn the money I already have...."

Clearly I have some bias or issues there, but it's a common thing I've seen and heard from others.....

Initially there was an earlier print & play version of this game and the Kickstarter is to up the production value and add some needed bells & whistles. Gaminggeek did a review of the earlier version where they self-produced those bells & whistles:


This (the Print & Play version) seems like a pretty sweet-spot for me, BUT it isn't available during the Kickstarter and there isn't an option for this in the Kickstarter. It seems like you could buy-in at the $11 "Dedicated Supporter" level and then pay $16 or so for the PDF, but the "Dedicated Supporter" level specifies you can't simply do this. Evidently it's the whole game or nothing. 

I will freely admit that I made the mistake of trying to watch the Print & Play video before bed...and I fell asleep. All I got out of the first two videos were that I could make use of the map tiles in about any game, and that the game is crunchy.....and I tend to like crunchy.

A little bit of link-hopping and I finally found the video I was looking for:

A walk-through of a suggested initial battle hosted by the author himself. This showed me enough of the rules to see how initiative worked, how you can fairly decide enemy actions, and how combat flowed.

I've got enough to make up my mind, and hopefully if this is something that piques your interest.....well I hope you've seen enough to make up your mind. While I'd like a cheaper build-your-own approach, there are enough bells & whistles and different included add-ons that I'm in at the "All-in Tier".

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Remembering Our Fallen Instead of One Guy

Remembering Our Fallen Instead of One Guy
Just a head's up that I'm going to state an opinion that will inevitably piss off some people, but since this is the internet, ANYTHING I'm going to type has something like a 127% chance of pissing somebody off. "Ken Whitman is just misunderstood." and "I think kittens are cute."......while not equal in terms of PO potential, they both have positive PO factors...

....anyway. Hopefully you're having a good Sunday and if you're lucky you might be slinging some dice. If you're really lucky you're slinging dice at GaryCon. Now I've been to an early GaryCon and I hosted my own "GaryCon 0".......The folks that attended the informal gaming session after Gary Gygax's funeral often call that GaryCon 0.

Unfortunately I never met Gary, although I did briefly meet Dave Arneson. I have friends that have played at Gary's house a time or two. I think it's great that Gary's friends and family have put together a memorial convention, but....and this is the source of my initial warning...I think that collectively we shouldn't be celebrating Gary's life.

Don't get me wrong, I think GaryCon is great and should be a thing, but the average gamer doesn't have much of a connection to Gary Gygax. He's just a name. Sure he created this thing that we all love and enjoy, but I'm willing to bet that there is a HUGE overlap of gamers and lovers of comics & superheroes and how many of us celebrate Simon & Shuster?

How many of us had to think about who TF Simon & Shuster are?

One thing we probably all have are gaming friends that are no longer with us, people we *actually* have a connection with/to. What I'd love to see is our community gather together not so much to celebrate one guy's life & work, but to celebrate all of the RPG friends and family we've lost (including Gary). I'd love to gather with my remaining friends and sling dice, drink a little, and tell some tales of our friends and the stuff they got up to at & outside of the gaming table.

While I have friends at GaryCon and they're celebrating him, I'm at home reminiscing fondly of a few friends I'll not get to play with again.....one of whom I'm 110% certain would be at GaryCon right now doing something epically "stupid" in-character, but awesome like running around in nothing but used underwear or playing a torchbearer instead of a regular PC. Having a 1st level Magic user that tells everyone that their favorite "spell" is "Cast Spear" (i.e. his PC is a spear-chucker 99% of the time instead of *actually* casting spells). 

I think we should just decide as a group that a specific weekend this month is set aside for remembering our fallen and that's when GaryCon is for those that can attend.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

State of the Tavern Keeper - Have Some Heart ;)

First things first. I'm holding off on choosing the winners (yes - winners) of the Lanasian Craptor Creation Contest until Monday, March 28th. You can still enter until noon on Monday. (edit: Christopher Stogdill has the blog through Monday, so the contest will close on Tuesday, March 29th. I'm supposed to treat the right wrist "as if it were broken" for the next few days, and one-handed typing ain't working ­čśë

The reasons are as follows.

I was scheduled for a 9 AM angiogram yesterday after my cardiologist saw an irregularity on my recent Cardiac PET exam under stress. He thought one of my four stents might be having an issue, and rightly wanted it checked out and corrected if necessary.

Well, 9 AM dragged out until 2 PM, when I finally saw my surgeon. The patient before me had a much more complicated issue than had been expected, but thankfully all worked out well for them. Still, I wasn't wheeled into the room until nearly 3 PM (and hadn't eaten or drank anything since prior to midnite Thursday evening.

The surgeon had told Rach and I prior to the procedure that he thought it was most likely going to be short, and that the PET scan could have shown a false result.

Instead, one stent WAS blocked and the obstruction was cleared. More importantly, and potentially more of an issue, my main left artery was 70% blocked. It did not show on the scan. Now, my magic number is FIVE stents ;)

I got home just before 8 pm. I'm not supposed to type with my right hand (as one of the two entry points was my right wrist) for a day or three, and I didn't post last night but thought I owed y'all an update.

Tomorrow, Chris has the con. I should be back on Monday.


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 AnchorYouTubeor wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar 

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Quickstart - Against the Darkmaster (PWYW)


I'm a big fan of Quickstarts, as they break systems down to their basics and it's not easy to strip down a system heavily influenced by MERP & RoleMaster to its basics. In the case of Against the Darkmaster, the basics are still well over 100 pages. The fact that Against the Darkmaster Quickstart is offered at PWYW pricing is amazing.

Return to the Classic Game of Fantasy Adventure!

Against the Darkmaster is a Epic Fantasy role-playing game of high adventures, eldritch magic and heavy metal combat.

Inspired by the classic fantasy sagas and 80s fantasy movies, Against the Darkmaster is built for heroic action and intense, character driven campaigns.

The Against the Darkmaster Deluxe Quickstart Rules include everything you need to start playing, In fact, it could well be a full RPG! This beautifully illustrated 122-page PDF includes:

  • Character creation rules and options;
  • Detailed rules for travels, combat and adventuring;
  • A complete magic system, with over 100 spells;
  • Attack tables and Critical Strikes;
  • Dozens of creatures for your heroes to face

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 AnchorYouTubeor wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar 

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Humble Bundle - Stand With Ukraine Bundle

No matter what your view is on the cause or causes of the current war in Ukraine, the Ukrainian people are suffering.

Humble Bundle has put together a HUGE bundle of computer games, RPGs, 3d printable models, and more.

40 bucks for 125 products.

Note - there is no affiliate link on this one. It all goes to a good cause.

100% donated to Ukraine humanitarian relief efforts

The violent and unlawful invasion in Ukraine is taking a tragic toll—displacing people, devastating families, and creating an urgent need for food, water, supplies, shelter, and safety. To help out how we can, we’ve joined forces with game creators, book publishers, and software makers around the globe for a bundle 100% dedicated to supporting the victims and refugees from Ukraine during this crisis.

The Stand With Ukraine bundle features over 120 pieces of content worth over $2,500, including:

Back 4 Blood, Satisfactory, Metro Exodus, & Fable Anniversary

Pathfinder, Starfinder, & Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay books

GameMaker Studio 2 Creator (12 months), Music Maker EDM Edition, RPG Maker VX, & Polygon game dev assets

100% of the proceeds will go to Razom for Ukraine, International Rescue Committee, International Medical Corps, and Direct Relief. Support vital humanitarian crisis relief efforts for the people of Ukraine today.

 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 AnchorYouTubeor wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar   


Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Death Notice - Marcus King has Passed

Marcus was a fairly well-known - and often vocal - retailer of comic books and RPGs as well as often a larger-than-life presence on Facebook. My few interactions with Marcus were in relation to Ken Whitman, and the less said about that topic, the better. Still, Marcus saw something in Ken that few others did, and would often mention that Ken saved his life.

According to Marcus's Facebook feed, he had a heart attack on the night of March 16th and was posting from the hospital on March 17th. He was diagnosed with pneumonia and Covid at the hospital. On March 18th, he shared that he was going to undergo triple or quadruple bypass surgery in the coming days.

Earlier today I received multiple PMs informing me that Marcus had died during surgery.

My sympathies to Marcus's family and friends. There is a fundraiser on Marcus's FB feed for medical expenses that he shared before his passing.

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 AnchorYouTubeor wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar  



Monday, March 21, 2022

Contest - Write up the Lanasian Craptor and You May Win a $50 DTRPG Gift Certificate

Well, I've been parodied twice thus far by NuTSR - not that it matters much because apparently, TSR can't ship anything.

Fugli was kind enough to gift me with parody art of the LanasaCraptor Lanasian Craptor (edit - you can write for either title, but I like the second better ;), and I do think it captures a bit of Justin's inner self.

Not one to let a good piece of art go to waste, I've decided to run a contest to see who can do the best write-up of the above creature, using the OSR ruleset of their choice (or no ruleset - "generic" - if that is your choice).

To enter, simply comment below with a small stat block and at least a paragraph or two describing the Lanasian Craptor's habits, environment, tactics - whatever awaken's your inner muse.

Entries must be in by Noon Eastern, Friday, March 25th, 2022 - so you have four days. Results will be announced Saturday, March 26th, 2022 at 6 PM on the blog side and 8 PM on the Gamers' Health Livestream.

Note, entries will be judged for creativity and entertainment value, as well as in-game useability. You may enter more than once.

One winner will receive a $50 DTRPG Gift Certificate and possible inclusion in a future issue of Torchlight. The Tavern reserves the right to award additional prizes if so decided.

Good luck to all.


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 AnchorYouTubeor wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar  





Sunday, March 20, 2022

When Do You Pull the Plug on an Adventure?

When Do You Pull the Plug on an Adventure?
After some interesting back & forth with different adventures based on available players my home group, minus one player, got back to our "main" adventure, which we've largely left untouched since before Christmas: Castle Amber.

Now I have had no experience whatsoever with this adventure before, not sure if you have either. I have a copy of the Goodman Games reprint (from hell) book, but since I was playing in it, I haven't so much as cracked the cover. While I'm capable of playing "stupid" (OK, not always actually playing.....), why bother possibly ruining the fun.....who gains from that? I did, just this morning, read a quick review of the adventure here and a couple points jumped at me:

"this is a challenge for a Dungeon Master to run properly" & "It is best if the DM and players try to not to think the logic of the situation, but rather just go with the flow of it all."

As a player it seemed as though this adventure was more of a whimsical framework and our GM had to do a lot of adjudication and frankly, work, trying to take what should be an easy adventure and make it worth our while. "Whimsical and Deadly", while accurate, wasn't what I think we were all ready for, at least not in a printed adventure. We only lost one PC and a prot├ęg├ę, but it did feel much more absurdly deadlier than that. It seemed clear to me that this adventure wasn't that enjoyable for the GM and when faced with one encounter that basically seemed like a big "Eff You" to the players, he was ready to throw in the towel and frankly I think the whole group was feeling the same way, even though none of us said it.

I'm of the opinion that if the GM has to fill-in-the-blanks as they go, the adventure might as well be one of their own planning/design so they can at least have the overall storyline make some measure of sense, even if the adventure is just straight-up KTATTS.

Now I have written some adventures before, but to be 110% honest (with myself mostly), most of them were more outlines (my Toss & Tweaks) or HackMaster Tournaments, with the latter being more closely related to a "Published" adventure while still being quite a bit......off? HackMaster adventures still need the story and background of a published adventure, but probably not so much because the players expect a bit of railroad because they've most likely literally already bought (convention) tickets for the ride. Tournaments also had a set number of related encounters and there were a good mix of encounter types, things that really set tournament adventures apart from published adventures.

Adventures really need to have a decent story to them and enough "meat on the bones" that the GM can run through the adventure easily enough to be making needed adjudications on the fly and not be bogged down with an absurd level of detail. When thinking about adventures I often recall one of my writers (when I was a Tournament Manager) sending me pages of NPC details where a simple paragraph would suffice. As a GM I don't need to know an extensive backstory and detailed motivations to flesh out the NPCs. As we were playing Castle Amber we kind of set one sibling against another and then killed the victor of their battle. Pretty sure the GM didn't need to know all the assorted history between the two to have them set upon each other.

Ok, I think I'm going off on a tangent there.....

One of these days I think I'm going to write an adventure for publication. It's kind of one of those "bucket list" kind of things I want to accomplish some day. It might just be a rehash of something I've written before, straightened up and transformed for a proper OSR audience.

Until then I'm pretty sure we're done with Castle Amber and back to our more traditional adventures.....(yeah!) 

Saturday, March 19, 2022

New PWYW -The OSR Guide to Playing 5e - Module Included (Playtest)

I'm not a huge 5e fan. I have nothing against the system in general, it's just more of a time investment to learn something I do not need to learn. That being said, there are many that DO play - and run - 5e. Some, such as JoetheLawyer, even have house rules to make 5e play more like an OSR game.

The OSR Guide to Playing 5e (PWYW) is a selection of house rules that can be used to make your 5e campaign play more like an OSR campaign. In addition, it includes a short adventure, that although nominally written for 5e, can easily be used with the OSR system of your choice.

As a bonus, Courtney Campbell is involved in the project, and you can't get more OSR than Courtney ;)

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 AnchorYouTubeor wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar  

Friday, March 18, 2022

Kickstarter - Dread Specters of the Shrieking Vale (OSR, DCC, and 5e)

A brilliant DCC, 5E, and OSR jungle adventure (and more!) from Purple Sorcerer Games, influenced by the folklore of S.E. Asia


It shouldn't be a secret that I consider Jon Marr of Purple Sorcerer Games a friend. Jon has been a huge supporter of The Tavern and OSR Christmas over the years. The Purple Sorcerer site is probably the go-to site for most DCC RPG gamers, and I've used Jon's Zero Party Generator for years.

I've used Purple Sorcerer's past DCC RPG releases with the Swords & Wizardry rules, converting on the fly. With their latest Kickstarter, Dread Specters of the Shrieking Vale, you can snag a copy for your preferred ruleset - OSR, DCC RPG, or even 5e.

Funding ends around 6 pm, March 19th, 2022 (Tomorrow when I type this)

  • A thrilling Dungeon Crawl Classics jungle adventure also offered in thoughtfully converted 5th Edition and 'OSR Compatible' versions! (In both PDF and POD print).
  • Pledge for either the Basic Version of the adventure, which contains the full 1st level adventure Dread Specters of the Shrieking Vale, along with stretch goal goodies like paper miniatures and a poster pack. 
  • Or level up to the Expanded Version, which adds a host of new material to the adventure to become A Field Guide to the Great Jungle. Additional content includes the history of the Great Jungle, sandbox mechanics to challenge your players as they explore its endless dark, extra stretch goal goodies, and more! The POD print version of the Field Guide is unique to this Kickstarter: it will never be available later on DriveThruRPG to the general public. (The Field Guide in PDF form, and the basic adventure in POD/PDF, won't be available for general purchase until early 2023... so backers get roughly a six month jump on access).
  • At higher pledge levels, you will also have the opportunity to place your own mark on the Great Jungle by adding content to the Field Guide: describe a unique villager that inhabits the village of Sunggal, or create a description/location/encounter to intrigue or bedevil players as they explore the endless morass!

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 AnchorYouTubeor wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar  


Thursday, March 17, 2022

Humble Bundle - Classic Traveller by Marc Miller

My first sci-fi RPG was Traveller. Not the 3 Little Black Books, but the Traveller Starter Set. I spent many an afternoon, rolling new characters just to see if they could die in character generation ;)

This Humble Bundle is for the Classic Traveller rules. The very same ones in the 3 LLBs and the Starter Set. If you jump in for the full boat at 25 bucks, in addition to all of the classic Traveller goodness, you also get a series of Planetarium Guides by Merle Rasmussen and others.

As always, a portion of your Humble Bundle purchase goes to support The Tavern when using our affiliate links.


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 AnchorYouTubeor wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar  




Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Bad Mike & I had Griff Morgan from the Secrets of Blackmoor Documentary as a Special Guest on the Talking Crit LiveStream

I don't normally post links to The Tavern's Youtube Channel as the very subject of a post, but I'm making an exception tonight.

I'm going to highly recommend watching tonight's Talking Crit LiveStream with special guest Griffith Morgan. The "behind the scenes" and "behind the camera" stories relating to the Secrets of Blackmoor Documentary were fun to hear for the first time, and I learned new pieces of the convoluted history of D&D and RPGs in general. 

Griff is an amazingly entertaining and knowledgeable guest to have on the livestream, and certainly someone Mike & I will have on again.

Here's the link to the Secrets of Blackmoor website, where you can find the documentary, Tonisborg, 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 AnchorYouTubeor wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar  

Monday, March 14, 2022

David Baity (Weird Frontiers RPG) Benefit Raffle for Paved Paws Animal League

David Baity asked to make a guest appearance at The Tavern, and as we do every year, we are very happy to have him and the cause he is helping. I happen to be a huge cat person (and Sadie, our orange tabby, is a rescue from our backyard in October of 2020).

It’s that time of the year again when I throw a bag full of gaming loot on the table and ask you to donate for a cause that is near and dear to me. Most of you are familiar with the charity raffle I’ve done over the last several years to raise money for local no-kill rescues, but for those of you that aren’t in the know, I’ll try to make it short and sweet.

I have a real soft spot for most things running around on four legs, with cats being my favorite people on planet earth. One Saturday, several years ago, I happened to be in a PetSmart store and saw some ladies spending their Saturday trying to adopt out felines that they fostered after ensuring they were healthy. It never really hit me until that day the amazing things these rescues do, and the sacrifice they make. It wasn’t long afterward that I decided to do my part. I threw together a gaggle of nerdy goodies and set up a prize raffle where all money raised was donated to these special people and the animals they give a chance at life to, while at the same time giving some cool gifts away.

This year is only different in that a few local businesses in the area have been kind enough to donate items, some of which aren’t related to gaming. I'm hoping that these donations will bring folks into the raffle that aren't into gaming. The way the raffle works is simple! You donate directly to Paved Paws Animal League by way of https://paypal.me/pavedpaws , and for each dollar you donate, you gain one ticket/entry for the raffle. The raffle will run from 3/6 through 3/20 at midnight. From there, I’ll have someone in the industry draw names. Winners will pick prizes in the order their name is drawn.

I’m very excited to open the raffle up locally this year in the hopes it raises awareness in the community and helps raise more money for the cause.

In the past, I’ve split the donations up between two rescues, but this year I’m going to keep it simple and go with Paved Paws Animal League. Sheri Kassalias is the founder of the rescue, and it was formed in May 2015. They have a full board and are a foster-based rescue with no brick-and-mortar facility. 

I’ve been a big fan of Sheri and those helping her for several years now. I’ve witnessed her many heartaches through the years brought on by the animals she couldn’t save, and the joyful moments when an animal is saved and eventually made healthy enough to adopt out. There aren’t many weekends where she’s not out at a local pet food store in the area selling some cool hand-crafted items to raise money for animals she’s getting ready for adoption. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, folks. Sherri cares for five feline colonies that she feeds every night, rain, or shine. This also means trapping those that haven’t been fixed so that they can be spayed or neutered and then re-released back to their colonies unless there’s a rare case where a cat has been abandoned. These lucky moggies are often tame enough to be re-homed after their medical needs are attended to. Add occasional transporting of animals out of state to be adopted, and some dabbling in wildlife rescue, and you can see why I think they’re a legit place to park some funds.

All you must do to donate to this tax-deductible charitable cause is click the link above. Please remember two things when you do: With your donation, please leave the word “Raffle” so we can keep things separate from the non-raffle donations that may come in while the raffle is live. And second, please remember to select “Friends & Family” when you use Paypal so the rescue isn’t charged a PayPal fee. Once you donate, I’ll add you to a master spreadsheet once for each dollar donated ($10.00 means 10 chances to win!).

Please also consider sharing this post with any group that you think might be interested in the raffle.

Thanks so much!

Dave

PS: All the prizes are shown in the pictures attached to this post!


































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