Saturday, January 14, 2023

OSR Christmas - Day 12 Gifts (and giving gifts for Day 11) - FINALLY!

I apologize for the delay in getting to the Day 12 of OSR Christmas, but the gaming world was rocked by the OGL 1.1/2.0 leaks and the accompanying reactions, both public and private. I've been sitting at my desk for 8 to 12 hours a day since the end of last week, fielding phone calls, video calls, PMs, and recording videos (sometimes multiple times per day), and I'm only now beginning to catch my breath. Without any further delay, let's jump into gifting for Day 11 of OSR Christmas and the gifts for Day 12. - Tenkar

Now, this is Day 12 of OSR Christmas (and the assigning of gifts for OSR Christmas Day 11). 

The following are the gift receivers from Day 11 of OSR Christmas. If you see your name below, you are being gifted. Email me at tenkarsDOTtavern at that gmail thing with "OSR Christmas" in the subject. Digital gifts need an email, and physical gifts need a mailing address. 

$10 DTRPG Gift Certificate, donated by The Tavern - Worldwide - IL

OSR Refrigerator Magnet, donated by Thadeus Moore - Worldwide - AEIOU

Shadowdark PDFs, full set, donated by James Mishler Games - Worldwide - MGSherm 

Arduin Map - Physical, donated by Emperors' Choice Games- Worldwide - Rob

Endless Encounters PDF (choice of B/X or 5e), donated by Pacesetter Games - Worldwide - Jason Jensen

The Haunted Ruins - Physical, donated by Wizard Tower Games - US Only - Nathand Christenson

Shadowdark Quickstart & Cursed Scroll (Bundle) – Print Copies – Donated by The Arcane Library – US Only - (Note: This is a different Shadowdark than above) -   Mike Bauer

To be in the mix to be potentially gifted one of the following gifts, you need to comment below. One random gift receiver will be picked for each gift sometime on Thursday, January 19th, 2023. So you have 5 days to get your comment in. Note: if you are outside the United States, I need you to indicate such. Some gifts are cost-prohibitive to ship outside the US. Blame the USPS, not us.

So, without further delay, the gifts in today's OSR Christmas Day 12 mix are:

$10 DTRPG Gift Certificate, donated by The Tavern - Worldwide

OSR Refrigerator Magnet, donated by Thadeus Moore - Worldwide

Shadowdark PDFs, full set, donated by James Mishler Games - Worldwide

Arduin Map - Physical, donated by Emperors' Choice Games- Worldwide

Arduin Grimoires 1 – 9 – Emperors Choice - US Only 

Endless Encounters PDF (choice of B/X or 5e), donated by Pacesetter Games - Worldwide

The Haunted Ruins - Physical, donated by Wizard Tower Games - US Only

Hyperborea – Print Set from Kickstarter, Standard Cover with Damaged Players’ Book ($90 value before postal damage - thank you US Postal Service– The Tavern (US Only)

Random Box of Goodness from the Tenkar Game Collection - priceless ;) - (US Only)

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 cast on AnchorYouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar  

Friday, January 13, 2023

Bundle of Holding - Non-OGL Fantasy

My God! There are a number of titles in this package that I've been dying to read and have never gotten. Now, I have them - and some dupes. What happens if you already own one or more parts of a Bundle? Can you pass them on? Hmmmmmm

I've already snagged the Non-OGL Fantasy Bundle for the Bonus Collection - it's just that good a collection. It's 9.99 for the Starter Collection and it's about 30 bucks for the Bonus Collection.

And yes, OSR Christmas keeps getting pushed back, but time is ticking on this bundle. There are 3 days left as I type this.

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 cast on AnchorYouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar  

Thursday, January 12, 2023

RuneQuest and Call of Cthulhu Starter Sets On Sale for 99 Cents Each!

I own both the RuneQuest Starter and Call of Cthulhu Starter Sets in physical and PDF and they are the best values in RPG material that I've found in the last few years. Hands down.

You can currently snag both for 99 cents.

Grab them both. For far less than a Starbucks coffee, you will have a huge amount of d100-based gaming material.

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 cast on AnchorYouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar  

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Monsters! Monsters! Has a Licensing Agreement that Doesn't Suck the Soul Out of Your Body


Yep, I just signed an agreement to produce a supplement for Monsters! Monsters! (similar enough to Ken St Andre's more famous Tunnels & Trolls to be familiar, different enough to stand on its own). Sovereign Monsters! will be a superpowered supplement for Monsters! Monsters!, written by myself with Glen Halstrom, and art by Glen himself.

Basic terms are pretty fair - $10 upfront and 4% of sales. Besides, I like the system and I'm comfortable working with Ken and Steve.

Continual Light 2e (now a true Second Edition) is still coming, but it does require a rewrite to remove OGL/SRD content, the same position as many OSR systems are in.

Reach out to Steve Crompton on Facebook if you are interested in joining in for some Monsters! Monsters!

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 cast on AnchorYouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar  

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Basic Roleplaying for 99 Cents!

Note: Another day without OSR Christmas. Tomorrow I HOPEFULLY will catch up.

Instead, here's something EVERYONE can treat themselves to - Chaosium's Basic Roleplaying is on sale for 99 cents (marked down from 19.99). An excellent ruleset at full price, for 99 cents it should be in everyone's gaming library!

I'm not sure how long the sale is on for, so grab a copy now and read later ;)

Welcome to Chaosium’s Basic Roleplaying system, a book that collects in one place rules and options for one of the original and most influential role playing game systems in the world.

This book comprises a roleplaying game system, a framework of rules aimed at allowing players to enact a sort of improvisational radio theater—only without microphones—and with dice determining whe­ther the characters succeed or fail at what they attempt to do. In roleplaying games, one player takes on the role of the gamemaster (GM), while the other player(s) assume the roles of player characters (PCs) in the game. The gamemaster also acts out the roles of characters who aren’t being guided by players: these are called non-player characters (NPCs).

From its origin, Basic Roleplaying was designed to be intuitive and easy to play. Character attributes follow a 3D6 curve, and the other Basic Roleplaying mechanics are even simpler. Virtually all rolls determining success or failure of a task are determined via the roll of percentile dice. This means that there’s less fiddling with dice of different types, and the concept of a percentile chance of success is extremely easy for beginners and experienced players to grasp. There aren’t many easier ways to say a character has a 70% chance of succeeding at an activity.

The core virtues of the system are as evident today as they were when it was first introduced. Primary characteristics of Basic Roleplaying that have emerged from decades of play, across many different varieties of the system are as follows:

  • The system is remarkably friendly to newcomers. It is easy to describe the basics of the game system, and the percentile mechanics, to non-gamers.
  • Players of other game systems often find Basic Roleplaying to be much less mechanistic and less of a barrier to the actual act of roleplaying. Less time spent on game systems usually equals more time available for roleplaying and thinking “in character.”
  • Most of the information players need to know is present on their character sheets.
  • Characters tend to evolve based on practicing the skills they use the most. They do not arbitrarily gain experience in skills and qualities based on ephemeral elements such as levels or experience ranks.
  • Combat can be very quick and deadly, and often the deciding blow in a conflict is the one to land first.
  • Basic Roleplaying is remarkably modular: levels of complexity can be added or removed as needed, and the core system works equally well with considerable detail as it does with a minimal amount of rules.
  • The internal consistency of Basic Roleplaying allows for rules judgments to be made rapidly and with little searching through the rulebook for special cases.

This book represents a first for Basic Roleplaying—a system complete in one book, without a defined setting. Previously, Basic Roleplaying has been an integral part of standalone games, usually with rich and deep world settings. Due to differences in these settings, Basic Roleplaying has had many different incarnations. Variant and sometimes contradictory rules have emerged between versions, to better support one particular setting over another.

Chaosium’s Basic Roleplaying system reconciles these different flavors of the system and brings many variant rules together between the covers of one book, something that has never been done before. Some of these rules are provided as optional extensions, some as alternate systems, and others have been integrated into the core system. By design, this work is not a reinvention of Basic Roleplaying nor a significant evolution of the system. It is instead a collected and complete version of it, without setting, provided as a guide to players and gamemasters everywhere and compatible with most Basic Roleplaying games. It also allows the gamemaster the ability to create his or her own game world (or worlds), to adapt others from fiction, films, or even translate settings from other roleplaying games into Basic Roleplaying.

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 cast on AnchorYouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast collection. - Tenkar  

Monday, January 9, 2023

The OGL, SRD, and a Few Days of Distractions - Why You Should Care About the Revocation of OGL 1.0

We have one more day of OSR Christmas and still need to wrap up with Day 12 Gifting, but I've been sleeping light and sitting at my desk the past few days, answering phone calls, text messages, PM on Facebook and Discord, and active on Facebook and Discord. 

This is what the OGL 1.1 fiasco has caused. Want to read OGL 1.1 yourself? Here's the link: http://ogl.battlezoo.com/ Be prepared, it ain't pretty.

Why is that? 

Well, 1.1 cancels 1.0 and 1.0a of the OGL. Like your OSR games? Expect many of them to be pulled from the market by the 13th of this month, the day we expect 1.1 to release and REVOKE the older OGLs. Perpetual no longer means what it means.

Oh, that applies to Pathfinder 1 and 2, Starfinder, Cepheus Engine (what? it's not based on a D&D SRD - but it does use the WotC 1.0 OGL), and others.

Lines of battle are being drawn. Companies big and small, dozens of employees and one-man shops, full-timers and those that supplement their income - all stand together in the face of WotC's likely unlawful action - but as many already know, the civil court system in the US isn't about who is right as much as who can outspend who.

As Alexander Macris (ACKS) put it so well earlier today: "In real-life courtroom dramas, the good guys don’t win. The rich guys win."

All publishers affected by the revocation of the 22-year-old OGL need to stand together. Gamers need to support these publishers. To paraphrase Bill Webb of Frog God Games: "Support your OGL publishers. We don't want your donations, simply spend your money and get value in return."

Some resources: 

Defend the OGL Discord Server https://discord.gg/MMq9GkNS  Go to the #what-to-do channel

Wizards/Hasbro - Do NOT Change the OGL License - Petition https://www.change.org/p/wizards-hasbro-do-not-change-the-ogl-license

The best resource is YOU. Comment on Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter. Get your voice into the discussion. Support your favorite game publishers and creators.

Sunday, January 8, 2023

A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats

A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats
There has been a lot of brouhaha over Ha$bro updating, or at least contemplating/trying to update, the Open Game License to version 1.1 and start skimming money "off the top". This whole thing feels so far past ridiculous as to actually be recockulous.

Now I understand that this is alarming to some people, but to the average gamer, and I dare say small publisher, that would read this blog....meh, it's not something to get too worked up about....well, at least from a more common-sense perspective.

I am fully cognizant that there is always the possibility of a "frivolous" lawsuit from a big company like Ha$bro, which could just ruin a "small guy" even if they're in the right....because lawsuits and lawyers cost money up-front, but I'm discounting that for the purposes of this one-sided discussion.

1st off, if you read the SRD-OGLv1.1 (published January 1st, 2016...according to the PDF) and the OGLv1.0 (pulled WotC via the internet archive), I don't think you can get much clearer than the Offer and Acceptance, "By Using the Open Game Content You indicate Your acceptance of the terms of this License." and the Grant and Consideration, "In consideration for agreeing to use this License, the Contributors grant You a perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive license with the exact terms of this License to Use, the Open Game Content."

This legalese was deliberately written in an easy-to-understand language for a reason. I will postulate that the reason was to entice people to write compatible 3rd party materials for D&D. This is a good thing for Ha$bro, and I will argue that it is still a good thing!

Unless you really want to use the shiny & new version of D&D and need to use the updated OGL & SRD, you can just use the old one......let's see...oh, yeah...in perpetuity.

A lifetime ago I worked in an overly competitive industry and my boss, ever the salesman, worked to break down some of this competitiveness. He realized that there was no possibly way for all these companies to be able to service all of the potential customers. There was always going to be some high-level competition for the high-end(paying) clients, but the well of customers was (unfortunately) never going to run dry and there was far more value in everyone working together.

One of his favorite sayings was "A rising tide lifts all boats."

If you are able to, look at your gaming stuff. Do you have more than one rulebook? More than one set of dice? How about adventures and/or other sourcebooks? If you're here odds are you have multiple game systems, multiple editions, and possibly even multiple copies of certain books of the same game system! I'm willing to be $$$ that you will be adding to your library of material. Most of my gaming friends like to share with new players and each other as well, and I think that's more common than not.

The thing is, all of as, as players, are not just going to pick up a Player's Handbook and call it good. You know this, I know this....hell, Ha$bro knows this! They should know this....I mean most companies do research and have marketing people! Heck, Marketers usually like to segment customer groups and give them interesting names somewhat indicative of their perception of said customer group..... 

I'm sure somebody at Ha$bro realized that everyone is making more money off of RPGs than they are, but I'm not sure that they realize that more than likely nobody is making more money than they are. Obviously by "everybody" I mean collectively. Trying to get a chunk of change off of everyone successfully making products using the OGL & SRD will only reduce the effectiveness of these 3rd party producers, raise their prices, and shrink the number of "competing" products. This is basic economics....seriously Econ 101.

The thing is, there isn't a set, defined pool of customers and customer dollars (although Marketers act as though there is). Getting a 3rd party vendor to lose $100 of profits does not mean that Ha$bro makes $100 more. Instead it just means there is less product "out there", which assuming full utilization of purchased products (no collections, etc.) means there is less gaming going on.

Ha$bro needs more gaming in general, and I'd argue it needs more new gamers than anything. Most of us reading here probably do not play the current edition of D&D, and even if you do, it probably isn't your preferred system. Now, this is going to be my weakest point because it is my "gut" feeling here, but I think there are two main purchasers of the current edition of D&D: die-hard fans, and brand-new-to-rpg players.

Some people will always pick up the current flavor and run with it until there is a new edition. These purchasers are not likely to be "lost" to 3rd party vendors and would be labeled, by the marketers, as "Brand Loyal". This OGL/SRD issue is lost on them.....

Now the other group, new players....they're going to pick up the core books and supplements/adventures. If they enjoy themselves they may pick up 3rd party materials and/or more "in house" products. With any luck, these new players, that marketers would label as well....I'll jokingly call them "Newbs", will become Brand Loyalists.

I've already insinuated it, but there is a 3rd group of potential D&D players and that is the established RPG player that isn't a Brand Loyalist or a Newb.....and odds are most of you reading this fall into this third group. For the sake of this discussion we'll say the Marketers label us as "Gamers". Now the Gamers might interact with the Brand Loyalists and even the Newbs, but this would be in addition to our normal gaming, and with regard to Newbs it might be to help establish non-players as Newbs. Gamers are much more likely to pick up a 3rd party vendor product for a variety of reasons, but one I'll highlight is the likelihood that there is little to no chance that a Brand Loyalist or Newb has seen the 3rd party product (pretty much by group definition). In this instance the availability of 3rd party OGL/SRD products directly impacts the the creation of a new D&D customer. This is a bit of a stretch, which I understand.

The absolute best way for Ha$bro to increase their sales of D&D products is threefold: Make quality products, making playing RPGs more socially-acceptable, and increase the number of RPG players overall.

  1. The availability of 3rd party products does not have a direct impact on the quality of Official D&D products from Ha$bro, but if an author/designer is making good product for someone else, it stands to reason they could be a good designer/author for Ha$bro....
  2. There has been a concerted effort by Ha$bro to make D&D more socially-acceptable. Movies, affiliated products, and time have all been a factor here.
  3. More players means more customers. It doesn't mean Ha$bro gets a larger slice of the pie per se, but the pie itself is bigger, so kind of the same thing?
2nd (I had a 1st off, so I need a 2nd), if Ha$bro is going to play corporate fuck-fuck games, then they can probably expect more dumbfuckery to follow. I'm assuming that since the original OGL is pretty well spelled out that the only way Ha$bro is going to be able to get their skimming operation going is to force 3rd party publishers to update from the old OGL to a new one that has these profitable provisions in it. My assumption is that if you want to make "stuff" compatible with the newest, shiniest edition of the game you have to use the new OGL and it'll be provisioned such that you cannot use the old OGL. What can a publisher do?

I'll tell you...they'll form a new corporate identity to publish material just for the new OGL and keep the old company working under the old OGL. Clearly IANAL (I am not a lawyer), but since companies are essentially people, you just have one person doing one thing and the other person doing the other, and they're brothers in the same family. 


This whole Open Game License update is a lame cash-grab that is more likely going to hurt D&D and Hasbro than it is to bring in gobs of cash, unless you're of the opinion that any publicity is "good" publicity. Hasbro made a very legal promise to the gaming community and trying to rescind that promise is going to cost in multiple ways. They're much better off growing the gaming community overall than they are tearing it apart.

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