Saturday, April 2, 2022

Kickstarter - The Heart of Chentoufi: Adventure in Luke Gygax's Okkorim

5e compatible scenario from Luke Gygax - the Son of Gary Gygax. Luke played 
Melf, authored Gaxmoor, Founded Gary Con, and now Okkorim!

I've known Luke for a number of years, although our opportunities to talk in person have been limited (the man is always running around keeping Gary Con running as smoothly as it can). I'm looking forward to having Luke as our Special Guest this coming Wednesday Night at 8 PM Eastern on the Talking Crit Livestream.

Recently Luke launched The Heart of Chentoufi: Adventure in Luke Gygax's Okkorim Kickstarter for 5e (although I am sure one could convert it on the fly to the OSR system of your choice). (Edit: Stretch goal has been hit. Troll Lord Games will be converting The Heart of Chentoufi to Castles & Crusades)

Luke Gygax and Matt Everhart bring you the City of Chentoufi, a 5th Edition adventure series from Luke's World of Okkorim campaign setting. The Heart of Chentoufi expands upon the information published in Luke Gygax’s Gary Con tournament scenarios, bringing to life the  last surviving remnant of the once glorious Ydrissid Empire - the city of Chentoufi. In this adventure, characters will travel below the city into the ancient meandering tunnels known as the Kannat, and travel even deeper into the cavernous reaches of the Dahloom, or Everdark as it is referred to in the common tongue.  

In the first adventure, our heroes learned of the artifact and that there were many people searching for this incredibly dangerous device created by the wizards of the long-dead Ydrissid Empire. At the end of the adventure, our party was left with a critical decision to make, and questions on how to proceed - in this book, those answers and more are revealed!

 PDFs of The Heart of Chentoufi start at 8 bucks. Print plus PDF is $25. There are additional levels as well as add-ons (and stretch goals that are being hit).

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Friday, April 1, 2022

Frog God Games 12th Anniversary Sale - 40% off Print and PDF

Nope, this is NOT an April Fool's Post.

If you go to the Frog God Games web store and use the code: ANNIVERSARY-40 at checkout, you get 40% off damn near everything in the store (I think there is ONE exception - Tome of Wonderous Items).

Still, looking to get the Swords & Wizardry Complete Boxed Set? 40% Off

Bard's Gate for S&W? Yep, 40% off. Rappan Athuk for S&W? 40% off.

Yep, all of the S&W titles in stock are 40% off. So are all of the 5e products (except as mentioned above.

The sale goes through the end of the month, so if you haven't yet decided how to spend your Tax Refund, the Frog God 40% off Sale might be a good option ;)

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 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.

MOVE: 15
% IN LAIR: 100
DAMAGE/ATTACK: Bite (d6+1) or kick (2d4)
SIZE: VS trapped in a M body

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

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

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
MOVE: 30

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
MOVE: 30

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.


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

# of ATTACKS: 5
THAC0 19
DMG: 1-2/1-2/1-2/1-2/1-2
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Deceptive Illusion, Blocking Aura, Fear-Based Teleport
TREASURE TYPE: E (see below)
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.

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