Tabletop Gaming Feeds

RPGNow OSR Extravaganza Sale - 15% off!

Greyhawk Grognard - 5 hours 29 min ago
I didn't know it was coming, but I'm glad to be a part of it.

Right now all of BRW Games products are 15% off as part of RPGNow's OSR Extravaganza Sale. That includes all our game titles, hard copy as well as pdf!


Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

RPGNow - OSR Extravaganza Sale - 15% Off Plus Bundle Deals!

Tenkar's Tavern - 5 hours 31 min ago

How the bloody hell did I miss this?

RPGNow is running an OSR Extravaganza Sale for the next 18+ Days. That is simply awesome.

In addition to the AD&D 1e Bundle of Eight Core books I just posted about minutes ago the is also a Known World Bundle which includes the Rules Cyclopedia!

Here's what you get in the Known World Bundle

D&D Rules Cyclopedia

GAZ1 The Grand Duchy of Karameikos (Basic)

GAZ2 The Emirates of Ylaruam (Basic)

GAZ3 The Principalities of Glantri (Basic)

GAZ4 The Kingdom of Ierendi (Basic)

GAZ5 The Elves of Alfheim (Basic)

GAZ6 The Dwarves of Rockhome (Basic)

GAZ7 The Northern Reaches (Basic)

GAZ8 The Five Shires (Basic)

GAZ9 The Minrothad Guilds (Basic)

GAZ10 The Orcs of Thar (Basic)

GAZ11 The Republic of Darokin (Basic)

GAZ12 The Golden Khan of Ethengar (Basic)

GAZ13 The Shadow Elves (Basic)

GAZ14: The Atruaghin Clans (Basic)

Fifteen PDF for BECMI D&D - 15 bucks

I'll be making OSR Picks of the Day starting tomorrow :)

Remember, all sales via The Tavern's affiliate links goes to support The Tavern. Shop Smart! Shop using The Tavern's affiliate links ;)

edit - a hair over 1300 items on sale. 2 1/2 weeks MAY be enough time to find the gems in the rough...
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

AD&D 1e Core Books Mega Bundle on Sale at RPGNow - 8 PDF Books - 15 Bucks

Tenkar's Tavern - 5 hours 33 min ago
My favorite AD&D 1e book cover and one of my favorite RPG book covers ever.
A HUGE tip of the hat to one of The Tavern's regulars for bringing this to my attention. RPGNow has a Bundle of eight AD&D 1e Core books in PDF on sale for - $14.95

Its an amazing deal with only one omission - Unearthed Arcana. (edit - one omission of NOTE IMHO ;)

Here's what you get:

Player's Handbook

Dungeon Master's Guide

Monster Manual

Monster Manual II

Fiend Folio

Oriental Adventures

Dungeoneer's Survival Guide

Wilderness Survival Guide

Normally 75 bucks, the AD&D 1e PDF Bundle is $14.95

Remember, all sales via The Tavern's affiliate links goes to support The Tavern. Shop Smart! Shop using The Tavern's affiliate links ;)

edit - Yes, the Survival Guides are "eh" but a great bundle value anyhow...
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

1D20 Random Vicious Gargoyle Encounter Table For Your Old School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - 18 hours 9 min ago
The souls of the worshipers that make bargains with the powers of Chaos become trapped within the Outer Darkness. These souls attract a myriad of particles of stone, dirt, dust, and worse in the darkness between worlds this becomes a pseudo living body for the monster. Minds, former lives, personality including individuality are finally scrubbed clean by the ever changing forces of chaos & Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Tentative - Tavern Talk Live Call In Show - Test - 10 PM to 1030 PM Eastern Thursday May 25th.

Tenkar's Tavern - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 22:51
Alright. I've done some research, so it SHOULD work in theory, just need to test how WELL it works in practice.

Thursday night at 10 PM Eastern we are going to do a test run of the Tavern Talk Live Call In Show via Facebook Live. I expect things to go all buggered, but that IS the point of a test.

Why Facebook and not Youtube? Because Youtube had some major hiccups when Zach and I were using that for the livecasts. Hell, in the end we might wind up using Youtube - thus the testing this Thursday Night.

I'll post the Google Voice number on Thursday before we start the test.

This is either going to rock hard or suck eggs ;)


Once the kinks work out we'll set a schedule and general topics. I'm figuring one 30 to 60 min show once a week, with alternate weeks being late evening and late morning my time. In any case, that's putting the horse before the cart. Need to see if the idea works on the technical level first...

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Great Hall Burning - Raid!

Two Hour Wargames - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 20:13
"You all know how this works… If you want to be King, you must kill me."

 - Ragnar Lothbrok in Vikings.

Great Hall Burning is the upcoming Viking Age rules set coming out next week. Inside you'll find a full Campaign System, ways for your Star to become King - it will be hard, but it IS possible. Rules for unit combat as well as Heroic Combat for smaller games. Units range from 4 to 12 figures and the game can be played with any minis, counters (we've provided over 200 PnP counters if you need them), and even with paper and pencil. Heck, this Battle report is in Power Point!

Click the pics for the full story.

More Great Hall Burning.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Some Commentary On The Free OSR Fanzine Underworld Lore Issues 1-3 For Your Old School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 17:19
 Wormskin magazine  From  Necrotic Gnome Productions  is a an old school twisted fairy tale sandbox setting which if you haven't gotten into I would because its perfectly aligned with B/X Dungeons & Dragons. Its really an odd little setting but in a good way. I'll get into Wormskin another time and blog entry. But this isn't an advertisement for Wormskin instead long before this quality oldNeedles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Kickstarter - Archive: Historical People, Places, and Events for RPGs (System Neutral)

Tenkar's Tavern - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 15:23
In the way back, before I was a blogger, before I was a cop, before I worked retail - I was a college student. Not thinking so clearly back in the fall of 85 I decided to defer my major and just take the core requirements and classes that interested me. Lo and behold, come my Junior Year (as college credits are tallied, not by years spent) the computer wouldn't let me register without a major. Reflecting on the classes I had taken prior, t appeared to me that I had self selected History - Sociology was nearly tied, but what does one do with Sociology. Come to think of it, what does one do with History? ;)

Where does all of this lead us? Right to the Archive Kickstarter. If you dig history, if you love RPGs, you'll love the Reeses Peanut Butter Cup that's been put together for you.
Archive is a collection of adventure sites, NPCs, and events ripped right out of history and perfect for your campaign. It’s a 265-page book with 80 subjects. All have everything you need to make them come alive at your table: sights, smells, history, local color, and even plot hooks and ideas to help you adapt them to your campaign setting. Need a villain? Throw your PCs against Ching Shih, the notorious pirate queen, presented with the tactics and schemes she used to wreak havoc across coastal China! Need a random encounter during travel? Recreate the 1861 encounter of the French corvette Alecton with a dying giant squid, and the social consequences that followed. Need an adventure site? Why not Fort Jefferson, complete with real historical secrets for your PCs to uncover?I actually have an advance copy of the PDF. 260 some odd pages, suffice to say I have not read it all. But what I HAVE read appeals to me as both a gamer and a history buff. It scratches both itches and it does it well.

10 bucks for the PDF is a steal. Seriously. 30 for the book plus PDF which is also damn good.

I'm going to do something I rarely if ever do, mostly because I don't have a product to review in order to do so - The Tavern is endorsing the Archive Kickstarter. the PDF exists, I have it and backers get their PDF in June - next month.

Additionally, Tristan Zimmerman of Molten Sulfur Press reached out to me in the right way. Seriously. He hit all of the notes - polite, respectful, explained the project, included a sample (well, the whole book) and ended with the following: "There’s an advance reader’s copy of the book attached. If you happen to glance at it and you like what you see, I’d sure be grateful if you’d mention it, but no pressure. Whether you tell anybody or not, we really hope you enjoy the book, and thank you for your time."

Kickstarter creators, take notes. There is a right way and a wrong way to get attention. Maybe reach out to Tristan if you need to refine your skills.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Deal of the Day - Gloamhold Campaign Guide (System Neutral)

Tenkar's Tavern - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 22:26

Today's Deal of the Day is the Gloamhold Campaign Guide from Raging Swan Press.

Its a setting. Its a mega dungeon. Its a mega dungeon setting.

Sixty pages. Normally $5.95 in PDF, Gloamhold is currently on sale for $1.66 in PDF. Its worth $1.66 for inspiration alone.

Glowering amid dark rumours and terrible stories of desperate adventure, death, betrayal and glimmering treasures squat the unutterably ancient halls of Gloamhold. This crumbling, benighted, haunted dungeon complex of unknown, but undeniably vast, extent is buried deep within the grim and brooding spray-drenched headland of the Mottled Spire. It is a place of legends, madness and death. Within this towering, wave-lashed shard of limestone lies the labyrinthine passageways and chambers of Gloamhold’s outer reaches and, beyond them, the benighted precincts and canals of the legend-shrouded Twilight City.I love the idea that it was written with Old School Gaming in mind (its system neutral)


Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Some Commentary On ASE1: Anomalous Subsurface Environment By Patrick Wetmore & Free OSR Adventure Resources For Your Old School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 17:18
 ASE1: Anomalous Subsurface Environment By Patrick Wetmore  is one of the most seldom mentioned mega dungeons on the OSR market. This  is a great mix of the traditional old school fantasy & gonzo science fantasy adventure elements packaged around a great campaign world setting all for the Labyrinth Lord rpg system.  "Put those dark elves back in their box and get your gonzo on! Riches, glory,Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Kickstarter - Endless RPG: A Random Dungeon Generator for Pen & Paper

Tenkar's Tavern - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 16:09

What can I say about my initial impressions of Endless RPG?

- When the creator says he needs to purchase art assets, he isn't kidding.

- Endless RPG isn't an RPG but a random dungeon generator for 5E and Pathfinder

- It will be iOS only

- Amazing instructions on "Solo Play":
- Even better instructions on "Group Play":
Certainly not meant for me nor my play style nor what I would consider an RPG. Well, it isn't an RPG.

Goal is moderate ($300) and current backing is $250 with 42 days to fund.

There obviously is a market for this, no matter how small. I think with better sample art it would have funded and then some by now.

Interesting that the app will probably be a buck when it releases, but backing for a buck is simply a tip. Backing for 10 bucks gets you a free copy, so you are paying a premium, obviously not a discount.

One thing I'll never understand - limiting backer numbers for an app or other virtual product.

Maximum backing is $550 plus tips. Or wait, is that to keep it under the Tax Man's $600s and you must report the income threshold...
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Mentzer Basic Cover Art Prototype

Zenopus Archives - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 13:25

Mentzer Basic cover art prototype.
Above is Larry Elmore's original idea for the cover art of Mentzer Basic. Frank Mentzer posted about it over on Facebook recently, with a photo of the original art taken by Jon Peterson. Here's part of what Frank wrote about it:

"Initial cover concepts were similar to the previous edition, portraying a group of adventurers with a dragon. That was almost used, but it bothered Gary [Gygax]. After the color images were ready to be finalized in oils, after a lot of plans were made, Gary changed course. He asked Larry to focus the action on just one fighter and one dragon ... and the world-famous Red Box cover emerged."

This version has more elements in common with the Holmes Basic cover art painted by David Sutherland. In addition to the huge red dragon on a pile of gold, there is a block stone archway in the background, and a wizard framing the left side of the composition, both casting a spell and providing an upraised light source (here a glowing staff, in Sutherland's a torch). 

Larry Elmore is currently offering a limited edition print of this original concept via his website. Thanks to Gus Landt for bringing this offer to my attention via a post on the Acaeum. Note that above I cropped the blank margins off the original image to focus on the painting, but that the print being offered includes the margins, which have production notes.

Update: Here's a mock-up of the Mentzer Players Manual with this artwork that Frank posted in the comments to his Facebook post:

Update #2: Over on the Acaeum, misterspock posted an auction photo of a TSR Companion Rules box mock-up. IIRC a photo of this mock-up appeared in a TSR catalog prior to the release of the set. This cover has prototype art showing the same party of adventurers - wizard in red with staff, halfling in green, fighter with the same boots and shield.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The Tall Witch

Ten Foot Pole - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 11:16

By David Pigndolli
Daimon Games
Level 1

It presents a classic adventure, with a mission assigned to the characters by the priest of a small village, and rumors of the coming awakening of the terrible Tall Witch.

This 26 page Pay What You Want “adventure” has five encounters, each with a witch, filling about twelves of its pages. The witches are interesting. The magic items are interesting. I just can’t get over the page count.This is wrong of me. It’s Pay WHat You Want.

Every 333 years a witch hatches fully grown from a giant egg near this certain village. The villagers then get terrorized. The time has come and the local priest has declared a big rock on the sea shore to be the egg. The party needs to go fuck it up. On the way there you either meet a young lady who’s mule is broken or a young lady drowning off the shore, if you approach by boat. You find the egg missing. On the way up the cliffs you meet three more young ladies, all witches.

The witches are fairly interesting. All dressed in strangely nice gowns … a tip off if ever there was one. The first pretending to be lost on the road, her mule having a broken leg nearby. SHe leads the party in to quicksand, the purple flower in her hair allowing her to walk on quicksand. The second pretends to be drowning near the shore, wearing a gown of sea algea. They come off as more sorceresses and have a fine OD&D feel; they’d fit in great in Isle of the Unknown with their weird powers and such. One, when she dies, leaves a pool of water that never dries up. Nice. Each witch encounter takes two to three pages to describe, with a generous margin, font, and random tables.

Treasure includes the aforementioned flower that lets you walk over quicksand, eggshell pieces that could allow you to teleport, and the bronze head of a child that talks to you and if you feed it blood can do more.

The location of the witches is the most confusing part. One on the road, one at the base of the cliff, and three more on the way up to the top of the cliff? This is more of a point-crawl/scene based adventure, but I found it impossible to visualize the witches in relation to each other. IN a 26 pages adventure you’d think that even a small ¼ page map could be included.

It’s hard to bitch too much about a PWYW. Yanking the witches and/or the village to dump in to something else would be nice; I do find the OD&D nature of the witches nice. Then again, this could easily be a 1-pager, or 1-page front & back, STILL be PWYW, and lose very little of its flavor

Is it your bag baby? Fuck it, It’s PWYW and I’ve paid a lot more for a lot less.
The preview on DriveThru is 26 pages long: the entire adventure. Page 7 has the “hook” with the village. Page 8 has the first witch and the first few paragraphs are worth looking over to get a feel for the “airiness” of the witches. The next page, none, gives a good example of the extra detail that bumps up the word count: tables for attack & disease.–OSR-adventure

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Twin Peaks and the Investigative Sandbox

Sorcerer's Skull - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 11:00

Twin Peaks
returned to TV last night, though I haven't seen it yet since I don't have Showtime. But hey, here's a map!
Also, check out this classic post on Weird Towns as "investigative sandboxes."

Reflections on the Passing of Chris Cornell

19th Level - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 01:53

Andrew Wood. Kurt Cobain. Layne Staley. Scott Weiland. And now Chris Cornell.

Grunge music really took off late 1991, the start of my junior year at the University of Connecticut. I graduated in May of 1994 (taking five years due to time spent on co-op). For the second half of my time at UConn, the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, and Soundgarden provided the soundtrack. I loved classic rock like the Beatles and Queen and I'd yet to fully discover the greatness of David Bowie. But the grunge music of the early to mid-1990's inevitably brings me back to my early twenties. I don't think I could ever explain what a seismic change those opening chords of Smells Like Teen Spirit marked for many in my generation. And now so many of them are gone. It's not a unique phenomenon -  earlier generations experienced the losses of the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, John Lennon, and Janis Joplin.

Like many of his musical generation, Cornell suffered from mental health issues of anxiety and depression and had a history of drug addiction. There is some question as to whether his anti-anxiety medication could have played a role in his suicide.

If explaining the impact of grunge music in the 1990's is hard to those who weren't there, explaining anxiety and depression are even harder. They are topics that get a lot of well-meaning commentary. I've seen people I love a great deal suffering greatly from these conditions, turning into people I could barely recognize. I've heard people talk of the evils of medication and I understand their concerns - and share many of them. But there's no magic solution. What works for one person might not work for another. Heck, what works for one person one day might at another point stop working. I do know I've seen people pulled from the brink of suicide from a combination of therapy and depression.

I think the cruelest thing about depression and anxiety is they can sabotage treatment. With depression, you can feel you deserve the way you fell. You feel you don't deserve to get better. This is how you should feel. With some forms of anxiety you can convince yourself of all the things that might go wrong with your treatment. And in the background the feeling, sometimes reinforced by other people, that if only you were a little bit tougher, you'd be able to tough your way through it.

I don't know the details of Chris Cornell's mental health issues. I don't for a second think he was a coward. I've heard people I love explain how they feel I'd be better off without them. That feeling of being a burden. I don't have any answers. I wish he and so may others of his generation were still with us and not in such pain. And I hope his loved ones find some peace.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Weekend Wrap Up - Home, Away and Possible Tavern Chat Facebook Live Dry Run later this Week

Tenkar's Tavern - Mon, 05/22/2017 - 00:54
I'm home now. Rach and I spent Friday afternoon through noon today in the Poconos. My God, we hadn't been there since last November. What a beautiful little weekend vacation it was. Saw deer, wilt turkeys and thankfully no bear this weekend ;)

Certain things planned - like reading some adventures that had been sent to me never happened. There simply wasn't that much spare time. I'm home now, with the better part of a week of rain on its way here to the NYC area, so less gardening and more writing, practicing InDesign, blogging, reading and all that jazz.

Other things that need to be done is matching up artists with the developer of the Frauds, Cons and Angry Mom's app. This will be fun to see come into being. I know #ConManKen is enjoying the attention ;)

I'm thinking of doing a dry run / guaranteed to be fucked up test of The Tavern's Facebook Live Call-In Show, possibly Thursday night (time TBD). Maybe. Still figuring the logistics. I mean, theoretically it SHOULD work, but it may not work well enough. Or it may. Thus the testing.

It was brought to my notice that ENWorld's posting of Ernie Gygax's reminiscing was a uncredited rip from Ernie's Facebook feed. I had read Ernie's story on FB earlier last week but I thought it was a reposting of the ENWorld article when I found it over on ENW. Guess I was wrong. Posted by Morrus at that. Go figure. At least I credit #ConManKen when I post his FB posts - heck, I usually share them as screenshots.

Alright, tonight will probably be an early night - the drive home added about an hour of traffic and I'm exhausted.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Thoughts on Tabletop Roleplaying, Generating Sandbox Adventures

Bat in the Attic - Sun, 05/21/2017 - 21:11
In the previous post I talked about how I developed Scourge of the Demon Wolf. How does one get started with this type of adventure?

Sourge of the Demon Wolf  was developed during the course of one of my GURPS campaigns around 2000. I knew the players were planning to travel along a specific road from the events of the last session. There was a small chance that something different would have occurred but given their goal the odds were high they were going to do. Remember that once a sandbox campaign gets going,it gets easier to predict the players are looking to do for the next session.

PC RouteWhat does it suggest to you?
Thinking of ideas I was inspired by a movie called the Brotherhood of the Wolf about the Beast of Gevaudan. Now I have a basic situation, a monster terrorizing the countryside. What the monster? A wolf of course, but abnormally powerful wolf. Where was the wolf doing this? That was easy for me as a lot of that region were medievalish manorial villages. So I picked one near the road the PCs were travelling on.

Why is the wolf on a ramage? Here I diverged from my source of inspiration and picked something more suited for my campaign. To make the wolf more powerful I elected to have the wolf possessed by a demon. How did get it possessed by a demon? By a botched summoning! Who botched the summoning? A mage's apprentice greedy for power. Where was the apprentice's master? He was one of several living in a mage's conclave in the wilderness.

Now I turned to who the demon wolf was terrorizing. I knew it was a fantasy medieval villages. So I came up wtih a reeve, a village priest, and added two characters for local color. A old guy who "minded" the local tavern and Yoluf a trapper that could act as a guide if the players hit it off with the Reeve.

To connect the village to the mage I had the apprentice be sloppy and left much of what she used for the botched summon out at a site in the wilderness to be found.

At this point I could have run it. But the situation would have been straight forward to resolve. If the PC elect to pursue the reports of wolf attack, they go to the village, do a bit of roleplaying, go out into the wilderness, maybe fight some wolves, find the summoning site, realize that mages are involved, find out about the local conclave and then head there. Another alternative they could just resolve it by main force and figure out a plan to kill every wolf in the area including the Demon Wolf.

So in the next post I will explain how I complicated it.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

15mm Sci Fi Buildings - What do YOU want to see?

Two Hour Wargames - Sun, 05/21/2017 - 17:03
I've finalized a deal with a manufacturer to produce a line of 15mm sci fi buildings. What do YOU  want to see?
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

One down - two to go.

3d6 Traps & Thieves - Sun, 05/21/2017 - 17:01

About five years ago, I started on a personal project to compile and edit (for clarity and conciseness only) all the rules and options (as I felt necessary) for the original edition of the First Fantasy RPG. The goal was three volumes for my personal use, and to share with all those who might be interested. Along the way, I got distracted by a similar project to compile and edit my own Avremier campaign setting for similar publication – except that one became a business venture. Today, I have pushed to complete the first of the three original volumes, started in 2013. While the other two volumes are forthcoming – it may be some time, as work on Avremier takes precedence.
What the OD&D Compilation is:
·         A personal project made for purposes of historic research and personal utility. As there is no original material, no claim of ownership is made by the author and every volume will be offered without cost in PDF format. For the purpose of this project, “0E” refers to any rules or options intended for use with the first published edition of the game, offered through what the author considers official TSR sources.·         All 0E material deemed relevant from the original three books of Men & Magic, Monsters & Treasure, and The Underworld & Wilderness Adventures + Supplements I-III + The Strategic Review + The Dragon magazine.·         All included material organized as coherently and as sensibly as possible. Rules and information sorted into full sections and in a sort of Players Handbook style of organization.·         Information organized, edited, and worded to the author’s preferences. Made as clear, consistent, and concise as possible, without altering or adjusting any rule or detail. Ideally, the game can be played with only these three volumes, with every available rule and supplemental option deemed suitable by the author.·         A simple PDF file, suited to the needs and preferences of the author.
What the OD&D Compilation is not:
·         A retroclone of any kind. This is a compilation of the original rules and options, presented in a fashion that the author considers easier to use and consult. Nothing has been changed — only worded and organized with an effort toward better coherence and clarity.·         An illustrated compilation. These volumes contain only text and tables. No frills. No art.·         An original work. Everything is derivative of earlier works and sources — just presented as the author prefers.·         For sale or publication. This is a personal project offered as-is, at no cost, in PDF format, to anyone that wants it.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The Free OSR Fanzine 'Back To The Dungeon' For The Labyrinth Lord Retroclone System & Your Old School Campaigns .

Swords & Stitchery - Sun, 05/21/2017 - 15:53
Its Sunday at about eleven o'clock, I've picked up the wife to be from the bus stop two town or so away. Barely made it back home but that's another story for another blog entry. Uriah Heep is playing through the speakers & the other half's U.K. twang is picking my memories of my adopted uncle. He did a ton of weed to the Heep's Demons & Wizards album from 1972. Never in front of me mind you Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs


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