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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!) 

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