Saturday, April 27, 2024

Deal of the Day - Castles & Crusades Castle Keepers Guide 4th Printing

I really like Castles & Crusades. It marked my return to gaming in general, and it's how I found the OSR. It's essentially AD&D 1e, built of the 3rd edition SRD.

Today's Deal of the Day is Castles & Crusades Castle Keepers Guide 4th Printing from Troll Lord Games. Normally 20.99 in PDF, until tomorrow morning the Castle Keeper's Guide is on sale for 8.40

The Castle Keepers Guide includes a host of new material for the role playing enthusiast; from world creation, to dungeon designs, managing non-player characters, character attributes at high levels, spell use and cost, equipment its use and wastage, the tumult of storms, from warfare to combat, monsters, treasure, death and more. The Castle Keepers Guide provides the CK and the Player with a host of new tools for their use; tools designed to enhance play, not hinder it; designed to be malleable from gaming table to gaming table.

Table of Contents

  • Expanding the Character: In this chapter we explore new attribute modifiers, god like attributes, beauty as an attribute, creating new races and role playing examples.
  • Magic: Digging into the magic using classes with spellbooks, starting spells, components, pricing magical components, playing without components, wands and holy symbols, illusion magic as healing, buying, selling and trading spells, scroll use, non caster scroll use and so much more.
  • Expanding Equipment: A fresh look at equipment includes types of carrying items, stabling, costs of lodging and meals, a complete illustrated study of wagons with costs, speed and cargo, a similar treatment of boats and ships, general equipment and a new look at backpacks (abbreviated from the Adventurers Backpack).
  • NPCs: A complete breakdown and explanation of the three types of NPCs (Adherents, Hirelings and Henchmen), how to use them, what their skills are, tracking loyalty, hiring them permanent or part time and developing their personalities.
  • World Building: A guide on building your own world, beginning with planetary design and exploring everything from plate tectonics to weathering. Ten different types of climates are discussed and a host of biomes. Terrain, weather, movement charts and historical ages are all covered in this chapter. A complete how to will get you started on your world building journey.
  • The City: In creating urban environments we explore populations, governments, culture, economic systems, economic systems, cost of goods and bartering, social stratification, types of religions and how to integrate them. Also it explores the types of settlements from the single dwelling to the metropolis, fully illustrated. Occupations, construction and criminal codes round out the chapter.
  • Dungeons: Beginning with a study of light, temperature, humidity and movement underground it expands in to caves and types of caves (erosional, solution caves, coastal and so on), to terminology of both caves and underground structures: dungeons. A look at ecosystems, building dungeons, tunnels, gases and traps rounds the chapter out. Everything you need to know to build a complete dungeon.
  • Air and Water Adventures: Chapter 8 allows you to expand you adventure into heights its never been. Movement in the air and under water as well as combat, combat maneuvers, spells, magic underwater and monsters with aerial combat ratings.
  • Equipment Wastage: Role playing equipment is a wonderful tool that every CK should learn to do. From equipment wear and tear to destruction in combat, from both mundane, magical and monstrous means (what does dragon fire do to +1 armor?). This section is filled with examples and charts to help you along.
  • Land as Treasure: In this chapter we explore using land as treasure, where noble titles mark the characters and NPCs with title, rank, stipends, men at arms, offerings and so much more. Broken down by class it allows for the master of the druid's grove and the king or queen of vast realms. Rank/title is assigned by level if that is the direction desired.
  • Going to War: Here we explore mass combat and introduce a system fully explored in Fields of Battle that allows your table to conduct massive battles with minis, chits or home made pieces. From morale to siege engines it covers the vast array of encounters that afflict armies in the field. It touches on sea battles as well.
  • Monsters: Here the most common monsters are discussed, their ecological niches, geological niches, and geographic regionalization. From arrow hawks to ogre magi the host of monsters supplies the game master with a mountain of material to enhance game play and offer a lead into other monster development. Basic encounter tables serve to get you started.
  • The Future: An introduction to the Siege Engine as it applies in a host of different game genres: space age, horror fiction, pulp noir, post apocalyptical and more. It includes guidelines on how to introduce your standard classes into these genres with little effort. Also find guns, canon and laser weapons, all the tools needed to launch a game in a new genre.
  • Advancing the Game: A complete break down for starting and continuing RPG sessions. This chapter is dedicate to novice and experienced game masters. Addressing such issues as game balance, leveling, mood, tone, as well as awarding experience and managing expectations.
  • The Siege Engine: Here we break apart the Siege Engine. The extremely simple game mechanic is driven by a variety of processes and game design theory. Learn how to expand, change or mold the Engine to your game and table. It further explores attributes and their never end value at the table.
  • Treasure: A new look at an old subject. Exploring treasure as a backdrop and role playing tool from quests to unusual coins. Here we discuss extraordinary items, precious metals, gems and more. It includes such subjects as class restrictions and hiring magical services. Scrolls, silver items, destroying and purchasing magic items, treasure is explored for top to bottom.
  • Combat: Here we explore the nature of combat at the table, how to run combat and how to pace it. It also expands the idea of inter personal combat with critical hit tables, critical fumble tables and host of combat maneuvers as well as attribute checks, line of sight, ranged, damage reduction and a host of other optional elements.
  • Skill Packages: In skill packages we demonstrate the versatility of the game by paving the way for the CK to allow players extraordinary skills that go beyond the class and race skills outlined in the Players Handbook. From orc hunters to elves with enhanced empathy. Furthermore it opens a world of secondary class skills such as armorer, hunter etc.
  • Character Death: Lastly we explore the deaths of characters, both the loved and unloved. We look at the impact of their death and explore ways in which they day from combat to disease. It includes a system for Luck Points, Hero Points and more.


The Castle Keepers Guide is a tool box with almost limitless optional rules, ideas, concepts and theories. A tool box you will want at your table, no matter what game you play.


Thursday, April 25, 2024

Deal of the Day - Carbon 2185 | A Cyberpunk RPG Core Rulebook (5e OGL)

I own a copy of Carbon 2185, and it's an effective use of the D&D 5e OGL. Until tomorrow morning, Carbon 2185 is DTRPG's Deal of the Day and is on sale for 10 bucks.

Play as a Cyberpunk, a rebel refusing to live life by the rules of the oppressive megacorporations that rule San Francisco in this high action tabletop roleplaying game by Robert Marriner-Dodds.

Carbon 2185 gives you the chance to play in the cyberpunk worlds you've seen in movies, television shows, and video games.

The Core Rulebook is the only thing you need to run and play hundreds of hours of games in the world of Carbon 2185.

Carbon 2185 is a brand new tabletop roleplaying game built using the D&D 5e open game license, with all the magic, magical items, and fantasy elements removed, and replaced with cybernetic augmentations, upgradable and customisable weapons, and computer hacking skills. 

The Tavern is supported by readers like you. The easiest way to support The Tavern is to shop via our affiliate links. The Tavern DOES NOT do "Paid For" Articles and discloses personal connections to products and creators written about when applicable.

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, April 24, 2024

Bundle of Holding - ProFantasy Mega Bundle

Probably one of the Most Popular mapping programs in the tabletop hobby industry, the ProFantasy Mega Bundle is one of the current bundles at Bundle of Holding.

Adventurer! This new ProFantasy Megabundle gives you Windows mapmaking programs from ProFantasy Software Ltd., including Campaign Cartographer 3+, Dungeon Designer 3, City Designer 3, and Fractal Terrains 3, along with tutorials, tokens, symbol sets, and map tools. Get current digital downloads of these programs (hosted on the ProFantasy website), along with tutorials, Style Packs, symbol sets, and map collections.

Authors, game designers, and thousands of gamers have beautifully mapped the worlds of their imagination with Campaign Cartographer 3+. In minutes you can learn all you need to rapidly create beautiful maps for campaigns, games, and real-world applications, for private and commercial use. CC3+ gives you easy access to a huge range of mapping symbols, styles, and types, and fingertip control over every aspect of your map. Whether it's roleplaying games or wargames – fantasy, modern, or SF – from entire worlds to floorplans and furniture – CC3+ can do it. Map your entire campaign world, place troops in the field, or chart your galactic empire. With CC3+ you draw exactly what you want. A friendly community of like-minded designers can give help, ideas, and feedback. Hundreds of user websites display a huge variety of maps. Check out ProFantasy's CC3+ map gallery.

For just US$29.95 you get all five DRM-free software titles in our CC3+ Collection (retail value $140), including the complete Campaign Cartographer 3+ program and three Symbol Sets – 1- Fantasy Overland, 2 - Fantasy Floorplans, and 3 - Modern – along with the invaluable Tome of Ultimate Mapping.

And if you pay more than the threshold price of $60.10, you'll level up and also get all the software in our Designer Collection – six more Windows titles worth an additional $200, including Dungeon Designer 3, City Designer 3, Fractal Terrains 3, Cartographer's Annual 2022, and two Token Treasuries: Monsters 1 and Monsters 2.

(Note: Your software is hosted on the ProFantasy Software site, not on this Bundle of Holding site nor on DriveThruRPG.)

Your purchase includes a unique, one-use discount code good for 20% off a purchase of one or more items at the ProFantasy webstore. The discount code expires Friday, June 7, 2024.

Previous Bundle of Holding offers in 2018 and 2019 presented Campaign Cartographer, Dungeon Designer, City Designer, and the Tome of Ultimate Mapping. The titles in this offer new to the Bundle of Holding – Fractal Terrains 3, the three Symbol Sets, Cartographer's Annual 2022, and the two Token Treasuries – have a combined retail value of $195.

The Tavern is supported by readers like you. The easiest way to support The Tavern is to shop via our affiliate links. The Tavern DOES NOT do "Paid For" Articles and discloses personal connections to products and creators written about when applicable.

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, April 23, 2024

Kickstarter - Adventures Dark and Deep Core Rules 2nd Printing

An enhanced and expanded version of the 1st Advanced edition of the world's most popular tabletop roleplaying game.

Interested in the best "what if" version of AD&D 2e? Look no further, as Joe "Greyhawk Grognard" Bloch has you covered with the Adventures Dark and Deep Core Rules 2nd Printing Kickstarter. (Joe will be a Special Guest on the April 24th Talking Crit Live! @ 8 PM Eastern)

Adventures Dark and Deep™ is an expansion of the first Advanced version of the world's most popular roleplaying game. Originally designed to include all of the classes and other material that the original designer couldn't include in the 1980's, the game is even more expanded to include a skill system, more new classes, and much more. 

Adventures Dark and Deep™ is a comprehensive rules system, designed to allow play in a variety of different styles; dungeon crawling, exploration, epic storytelling, and more.

Adventures Dark and Deep™ is my attempt to show what would AD&D would have looked like if Gary Gygax had stayed at TSR. It starts with the AD&D 1E rules, includes all the new character classes he mentioned in Dragon magazine in the 1980's (bards, jesters, mountebanks, etc.), plus other changes and additions he mentioned over the years in online fora.

In recent years, the game has grown beyond that basic concept to include more things, and also includes expansions on things Gygax had pioneered (like the skill system, which is based on the concept he had for a skill system for C&C). This new version brings everything together, reorganizes it, and re-edits everything to make it clearer.

This second printing incorporates numerous errata, expands the material with new classes like the blackguard and skald, and centaurs as a player race, and makes many other improvements to the original three books. In addition, the original three books have been consolidated into two; the Core Rulebook and the Core Bestiary. Everything is being comprehensively re-edited and re-organized to make it much easier to use. 

The Core Rulebook has all the rules you need to play the game: ability scores, character races, character classes, secondary skills, creating characters, cost of equipment/services/etc., combat, magic, treasure, the game environment, creating the setting, and game master advice. See the FAQ for the complete table of contents (subject to change).

The Core Bestiary is a complete collection of monsters, including all of the classic monsters, plus many more, for a total of nearly 900 creatures both old and new. See the FAQ for the complete table of contents (subject to change).   

The books are written, and are estimated to be over 500 pages each once editing and art is complete (all details are subject to change as the editing and layout process progresses). The money raised will be used to pay for new art and editing. The retail price for the books will be around $65 each.

The project will be fulfilled using DriveThruRPG's digital delivery and print on demand services. When the POD versions are available to order, you will receive links to purchase these versions of the books from DriveThruRPG. You will be expected to pay the cost of printing as well as postage and any taxes or fees.

The Tavern is supported by readers like you. The easiest way to support The Tavern is to shop via our affiliate links. The Tavern DOES NOT do "Paid For" Articles and discloses personal connections to products and creators written about when applicable.

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, April 22, 2024

Humble Bundle - Dune: The Universe Collection (Fiction)

I am not a huge Dune fan, and in truth, I have never read Dune itself. The first movie was certainly enjoyable and well done, but I came into it as someone who had little previous insight into the Dune universe.

That all being said, there are some HUGE Dune fans in my circle of friends, and this bundle of Dune: The Universe Collection is for them :)

The Tavern is supported by readers like you. The easiest way to support The Tavern is to shop via our affiliate links. The Tavern DOES NOT do "Paid For" Articles and discloses personal connections to products and creators written about when applicable.

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  

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Hasbro Doesn't Seem to be Big on Anniversaries.....

Hasbro Doesn't Seem to be Big on Anniversaries.....
One of my...quirks I guess, is that I like to have the TV on pretty much anytime I'm at home and in my living room, if I can at least pay it half-assed attention. Otherwise it's music for me ...anything but having to listen to the high-pitched tinnitus whine in my head.

Earlier this week I actually tuned in to Tenkar's Tavern on YouTube where Erik, Bad Mike, and Jim Kitchen talked ostensibly about Cynthia Williams resignation. Eventually they talk about D&D's 50th Anniversary celebration, or lack thereof.

That got me thinking......

....did you know that Hasbro just celebrated their 100th anniversary last year? I didn't know until recently. You'd  think a big company celebrating 100 years would put some emphasis on a major division celebrating 50 years, but I really wonder how much of a "major division" D&D (I know WotC) really is to Hasbro. A quick visit to the main Hasbro website doesn't even show D&D as one of their brands, much less a mention of the anniversary. They currently have two D&D board games, one being for the recent movie, and a few D&D toys scattered about.

So no love for WotC or D&D?
No D&D Here!

The main D&D page has the WotC and Habro logos/links at the bottom, but really no reciprocation. The closest I could find was a press release from February. I honestly expected more.

Now while I'd love to talk about what I think is a pitiful set of anniversary offerings, which maybe isn't pitiful if you're 5E fans, but if you're into playing BX or 1st....or even 2nd edition? Pitiful. Thing is Erik, Bad Mike, and Jim did enough talking on the topic that I don't think I can add too much.

Not too much, but maybe a little. See Hasbro had a down year in 2023.....remember this was their 100th anniversary....and they finished down 15% for the year. WotC, on the other hand was up 10%, but I'm not sure about that breakdown because WotC is lumped in with Hasbro's "Digital Gaming Segment".

"Digital Gaming Segment" kind of spooks me a bit because it just reinforces where I think they're trying to push D&D, but that is conjecture for another day.

What really stood out to me was Hasbro's expectations for WotC in 2024: "Wizards of the Coast Segment revenue down 3% to 5% decline largely driven by second half comp in licensed digital gaming; Operating margin 38% to 40%."

Now I haven't done a lot of corpo reading in years, but IIRC that doesn't mean that WotC is expected to be losing money, just not making as much. Now if maybe they would...I don't know....pull their head out of their ass quickly & forcefully (as in we could all hear a loud, audible POP), they could capture the nostalgia market with this large audience of BX/1st Ed players who mostly have disposable income AND have a decent sense of nostalgia!

So I'm reading this 4th Quarter and 2023 Year-End report looking for a specific something and then I finally see this gem......WotC is expected to have an operating margin of 38% to 40%?!! Now if it was 30% or maybe even 35% I wouldn't be surprised, but up to 40% seems like a lot, and that's after they take their cut for all the overhead, like Cynthia William's salary....well her replacement anyway. For year end 2023, WotC's margin is 28.4% which makes more sense (at least from my personal experiences).

Overall Hasbro lost more than $10.73 a share in 2023, which is not good but maybe those of you with a better understanding of corporate stocks & bonds can explain why a company loosing money is planning on giving away $97M worth of quarterly dividends.

Clearly it has something to do with D&D and WotC not making enough money....

Interesting reading:     Hasbro Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2023 Financial Results

                                    Dungeons & Dragons Celebrates 50th Anniversary in 2024 with More than 50 Million Fans

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lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

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