Tabletop Gaming Feeds

Paizo News - Starfinder Creative Director James Sutter Leaves to Freelance

Tenkar's Tavern - Sat, 09/09/2017 - 04:23

I find bits of news interesting not so much for what they say but the timing of it.

When James Sutter, co-creator of Pathfinder and Creative Director of Starfinder leaves Paizo less than a month after Starfinder's launch after 13 years with the company, I find myself looking at the tea leaves.

Coupled with industry rumors that Paizo has had cash flow issues (and sank a few million into the now cancelled Pathfinder MMO) and is now taking returns on unsold product I think there could be some more changes coming up. Pure half assed speculation on my part, but I wouldnt be surprised to see more departures.

But hey, freelancing pays well, right? I mean, who wouldn't leave a well paying job at the leading company in the industry to freelance?

Anyhow, you can read read James' final Paizo blog entry here. Nothing earth shattering. As I said above, the timing of the news is more interesting than the news itself.

I wish James luck in his future endeavors.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Icier Ripples From G2 Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl By Gary Gygax

Swords & Stitchery - Sat, 09/09/2017 - 01:50
The last time I ran G2 Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl the PC's had been hired by hired by nobles to destroy the frost giants & I was already running 'The Old Solar System' setting  I want to do some brief flying commentary on the giants of the Old Solar system setting. Fire & Ice giants are respectively some of the only technology & magic item producing races in the solar system. Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The Avremier Metagame

3d6 Traps & Thieves - Sat, 09/09/2017 - 00:42
The evolution of Avremier as a campaign setting came about partially due to attempts at making many of the rules-based game specifics a rational part of the game world. For example - why humans were able to pursue certain classes and demihumans could not. Avremier is, in part, an exercise in the mitigation of metagaming.

Many of the background elements and setting secrets exist as world-specific answers to player (and DM) concerns over what has been perceived as gaps or weaknesses in the rules. In Avremier, there are setting-based reasons for the following:
  • Human "superiority" in the adventuring classes.
  • Human "mastery" of arcane spellcasting.
  • Human cleric adventurers - while there are no demihuman cleric PCs.
  • The lack of half-human races (an Avremier standard).
  • PC level limits.
  • And others...
Not every rule or option is explained or incorporated into the setting - but, those that caught my attention are. The setting also was not created around these efforts - it was an organic progression that built upon specific needs and preferences. Avremier has been about 35 years in development, through almost every edition of the game. The entire campaign history of play has been incorporated into this development - meaning that there is actual played history to the campaign setting. The actions of countless adventuring parties have contributed to the history and evolution of Avremier as a game world.

So, Avremier is a combination of my own writing and preference combined with the choices and influences of many, many players of the game throughout the years. It has been my goal to use what works best along the way. That practice continues to this day. 
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Kickstarter - SUPERHERO: 2044 RPG (Oh Boy)

Tenkar's Tavern - Fri, 09/08/2017 - 21:48

Let me start this by saying that we talked about the Superhero: 2044 RPG Kickstarter on the last episode of The Hero's Brew podcast. Well, not exactly. The one we talked about had miniatures in addition to the RPG and a goal of $100k. This one has a goal of 100 bucks. I kid you not.

There is a lot of discussion of the current Superhero: 2044 RPG Kickstarter on Facebook. Suffice to say, it is not glowing.You can find a list of the threads Here. Click the link. Read the threads. SEE the fucking attitude this "publisher" has.

We'll wait.

Back? Cool!

So, where are the other problems with this KS?

I'd start with the $100 goal, which sounds to me (especially after the 100k goal was cancelled) to be a simple money grab. Something tells me the end product, if there is one, will not be the product being sold. I could be wrong. Feel free to back and bet against me.

Of course, you have remarks like this from the original KS page:

Yeah, just belittle your backers. Always a selling point. Especially one that is also a publisher.

Did I mention 4, no - now 5 - previous Kickstarters. None have funded. This one has fundsed, but it only had a goal of 100 bucks.

Oh, then there is the Wall of Text:

How about the Risks and Challenges?

Read that first paragraph. Right. Time to move on.

Seriously, that 100 buck goal? Simply so he can say "Look Ma! I'm a success!" No you aren't.

Keep away from this, even with Steve Perrin attached to the project. Bet you didn't know that, did you? Yep.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

DC Comics Bombshells Trading Cards - Sketch Card Previews, Part 9

Cryptozoic - Fri, 09/08/2017 - 17:00

Please enjoy the ninth installment of our DC Comics Bombshells Trading Cards Sketch Card previews, hand-drawn by our talented artists. Links to contact the artists can be found below the images of their Sketch Cards.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Goodman Games - DCC RPG Hurricane Harvey Relief Bundle - 3 Adventures - 9.99 - All Proceeds Donated

Tenkar's Tavern - Fri, 09/08/2017 - 14:28

Goodman Games has launched the DCC RPG Hurricane Harvey Relief Bundle with all proceeds donated to the American Red Cross to aid Hurricane Harvey victims.

The adventures included in the PDF Bundle are:

Sailors on the Starless Sea, The Sea Queen Escapes and Journey to the Center of Aereth
This special bundle is to benefit victims of Hurricane Harvey. All proceeds will go to benefit the American Red Cross for Harvey recovery. The bundle is specially priced to contain three popular adventures at a discount of more than 70% off regular price! And all three modules have water encounters - exactly what your DCC RPG characters will want while Harvey is on their mind.The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund Charity Donation Bundle ($400+ in gaming PDF for $25) is still live as I write this. Remember, purchases made via The Tavern's affiliate link help to support The Tavern. At times like this, monies raised go right back into the donation pile.

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Tales of Peril - Cover Art

Zenopus Archives - Fri, 09/08/2017 - 13:22
"Amazon Assault" by Ian Baggley, original art for the front cover of Tales of Peril 
Tales of Peril is a work of art, and the editor Allan Grohe deserves a round of applause for assembling such a beautiful tome.

The stunning front and back covers for Tales of Peril are by the artist Ian Baggley. They illustrate Underworld action scenes from the Maze of Peril novel, which I will mention again when we get to those portions of the story in the read-through.

I wasn't familiar with Ian's work prior to this, but his previous credits include the Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerors of Hyperborea RPG, as detailed by grodog here. His Tales of Peril contributor biography states that "he trained at the Toronto School of Art where he focused on drawing, portraiture and oil painting". 

A gallery of Ian's fantasy are can be seen here on his Deviant Art page. I've posted the images from this page above and below so you can see the original art used for the covers.

I love these shadowy brazier-lit compositions, completely fitting for a book that heavily features the mysterious and dangerous Underworld.

The subject matter of the front cover is striking - why is that ship in a cavern? - and the perspective draws your eye right into the scene and the book itself. The back cover subject matter brings to mind Dave Trampier's classic Players Handbook cover, with the giant statue with gem-like eyes, flanked by braziers. It's also sort of a zoom-in of the front cover, where the statue can be seen in background.

"Dagon" by Ian Baggley, original art for the back cover of Tales of Peril
This post is part of the Tales of Peril Book Club.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Reskinned Monsters of Ghost Light Fen

Sorcerer's Skull - Fri, 09/08/2017 - 11:00
Here are some monsters that will likely appear in upcoming posts on the Ghostlight Fen hexmap. Some of those, I'll probably give "official" stats at some point, but they can pretty easily be approximate (or replaced) with some existing monsters.

by Wayne BarloweSkarzg
Sometimes they run on four legs, sometimes on two. They are gaunt things, like greyhounds the size of men, if greyhounds had rubbery, scabrous hides, and beaked faces full of nightmare teeth. They are very hard to kill, and they will eat anything. They live like animals, but they have speech and are cunning and cruel. [Treat as a troll.]

Four-haired, fur-covered savages. Their faces are noseless and their skin hangs somewhat loose, which might have the effect of making them appear a bit comical--to someone unacquainted with their propensity to violence and rumored anthropophagy. The variety found in the Ghostlight Fen have indigo colored pelts. [Treat as orcs, with chiefs like bugbears.]

Otherworldly creatures with disturbingly human faces and pantherine bodies. They are not to be trusted. [Treat as a Rakhasa, though on the lower end for hit point.]

by Tom KiddBandaryegs
Arboreal, lemurine creatures whose sneak-thievery is nuisance but whose mockery and incessant whispering has uncanny effects on the minds of humans. [Treat as a monkey or similar small animal, but that have an ability like the 5e spell vicious mockery and a troupe may cause an effect similar to dissonant whispers.]

Two Months of Fitness

Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog - Fri, 09/08/2017 - 03:34

My favorite trainer was back today after being gone for a few weeks. He could tell right away that I had gone up on the size of dumbbells I using.

Back then I was working through my first case of tennis elbow and was terrified that I would hurt myself somehow. I quickly moved up from the five pound weights to eight pounds. And I would have hung around the tens for a while longer. But if there are a bunch of women in the class, then all the eights and tens get used up. So I moved up to the twelves and have gotten used to them.

I think back to month one and it seems like nothing. I was doing five mile runs then because I didn’t know what was wrong with my knee yet, but gosh it was a real struggle to get into the gym three days a week for forty-five minutes each. I never really got sore, but I was dog tired a lot of the time.

Lately, I’m doing closer to six days a week and between an hour and a half to two hours each time– plus biking to the gym and back on top of that. I suspect I’m at the point where improving my diet will give more results than spending more time at the gym. But I’m much less afraid of getting hurt at the gym now. In fact, due to a chronic knee problem I have always been terrified of the gym. Of course, weights turn out to be a huge part of the cure for that sort of thing, so my instincts were opposite from what I really needed to do for years.

I know exactly how far I can run or bike before hurting myself now. A month of time consuming physical therapy did not work a miracle, unfortunately. I don’t know what to think of that. Surprisingly, I don’t skip leg day anymore. In fact… lifting weights makes my ailing knee feel better.

Gaining a newfound familiarity with your limitations… it can be a real downer. I can’t tell you how bad I wish I could be training for a half marathon right now. But it’s off the table right now. And I can’t console myself with insanely long bike rides while I work through this, either. On the plus side I’ve got a pair of biceps that I just didn’t have four weeks ago. And there’s nothing stopping me from hitting the gym as much as I want. But I tell you… there’s nothing like not being able to do something that really makes you want to be able to do it.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Flip Through Coalition Wars Coalition Overkill

Gamer Goggles - Thu, 09/07/2017 - 23:52

In this Flip Through Matt talk about the second chapter of Coalition Wars the Siege of Tolkeen Coalition Overkill. The Coalition faces a new enemy and learns some valuable lessons about guerrilla warfare.

Click here to view the video on YouTube.

The Third book is about retaliation!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

State of The Tavern - 9/7/17 - Amazingly Organized Discord and Rewards for What You Already Do

Tenkar's Tavern - Thu, 09/07/2017 - 18:16

So, last night was a Wednesday Night and that meant the weekly Tavern Chat. Holy shit! At one point we had 18 people in voice chat alone and it was an amazing example of organized chaos. We have hit attendance heights. Switching to Discord was obviously the right choice. I will try to add a second Tavern Chat to the weekly schedule relatively soon.

The Tavern's Patreon is being revamped to offer more content to The Tavern's readers (monsters and magic) but it occurred to me that Patreon is NOT the only way to support the The Tavern. Many folks do so using The Tavern's affiliate links for RPGNow and Amazon. How do we get them into the additional content mix?

The Tavern has made nearly $85 in affiliate monies from RPGNow / OBS this month so far. If we hit $200 for the month (any month going forward), I'll write a SWL / SWCL adventure on par with Beneath the Battered Dwarf Tavern (small adventure). If we hit $300 for the month I'll either write 2 smaller adventures or one larger adventure. If we hit $400 for the month of September, I'll write 3 smaller adventures or one adventure of at least 20 rooms. Adventures will be posted here at The Tavern and may appear later for sale on RPGNow or in Torchlight Magazine.

As for Amazon (link is on the left side of this page) if we hit $100 for the month I'll write up an NPC for SWL / SWCL. One additional NPC written up for each additional $50. Again, content will be posted to The Tavern but may appear elsewhere later.

Content will be posted in the following month.

Thank you all in advance. I'm also thinking of overall funding goals, where Patreon, Affiliate monies, Adsense and Paypal subs get added up for additional goals, but that's beyond the scope of this post.

Seriously, I appreciate the support from the community. Without all of you there would be little point in me doing what I do...

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

'Where Giants Dwell' G1 Steading of the Hill Giant Chief By Gary Gygax In the Old Solar System Setting

Swords & Stitchery - Thu, 09/07/2017 - 17:34
" Giants have been raiding the lands of men in large bands, with giants of different sorts in these marauding groups. Death and destruction have been laid heavily upon every place these monsters have visited. A party of the bravest and most powerful adventurers has been assembled and given the charge to punish the miscreant giants."  Alright its Thursday September fifth & to my amazementNeedles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

New Release - Back to BasiX - Issue #2 (zine)

Tenkar's Tavern - Thu, 09/07/2017 - 14:11
If you haven't been following Thom Wilson / Throwi Games you've been missing out on a series of solid OSR releases. Easily one of the best bangs for your OSR buck is Back to BasiX, a fanzine dedicated to B/X and similar OSR clones.

I grabbed issue #1 of Back to BasiX in print at NTRPG Con in June and it was excellent. I expect more from issue #2 (which should be on its way to me via the US Post Office as I preordered). The PDF release of Back to BasiX is $1.50 an issue. There are two issues available.
This fanzine celebrates, highlights and supports one of the original roleplaying game systems of the 1980's, the Basic and Expert editions of Dungeons & Dragons.  Each issue will provide or highlight content within the Holmes, Moldvay, Cook and Mentzer edited rules from TSR's Gary Gygax.  Issue contains:  Product Spotlight, Spell Review, New Magic Items, New Monster, Short Encounter, Full page comic "Dungeon Delvers" (artist, Travis Hanson), and an interview with Frank Mentzer.All purchases made via The Tavern's affiliate links help to support The Tavern.
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Hexcrawling Ghostlight Fen - Settlements

Sorcerer's Skull - Thu, 09/07/2017 - 11:00

These relate to the hexmap presented here.

0503 Draum (pop. 80); no real leader but Godo Shrune is a likely spokesman): Actually an abandoned manor built by a successful treasure-hunter, Draum is haunted by squatters who spend their days in deep reverie brought on by use of the muhrdzu fungus that grows nearby (0505). The mushrooms are eaten directly, made into a snuff and then snorted, or for an even more potent effect, smoked. Some rooms in the manor house and in derelict outbuildings hold bodies with clusters of muhrdzu mushrooms sprouting from them. These are the remains of those who wasted away thinking their bodily thirst could be quenched by dream refreshments or starved disdaining the tastelessness of mundane foods compared with the viands of fancy. The living Draumites trade the muhrdzu for food and other necessities.

0207 Gamory (pop. 325; Glatis Malva, Matriarch of the Malva clan): The old, inbred, and sometimes feuding families of Gamory abide through canny exploitation of the grove of black hroke trees planted by their ancestors (0208). The trees’ blood-red sap is valuable in the manufacture of healing salves and hemostatic poultices. Ironically, the Gamoryites are secret adherents to an outlawed cult of human-ieldra transformation, that of the Night Carapaced Mother, that practices human sacrifice by exsanguination in a secret place amid the trees.

0211 Wollusk (pop. 550): Wollusk was built amid the ruins of an ancient fortification from a more lucent age when humankind still possessed much of its ancient technology. A large portion of a wall of some sort of ceramic stands between the town and the Fen,though the ends of its crescent seem to have been melted by some great heat. The town has a larger inn and better facilities for travelers than might be expected for its size, as it serves as a base for treasure-hunters, but none would be reckoned more than middling quality.

Zeniba by Jason SholtisTwo factions vie for control of the village. Zeniba “the Shrewd” (Fighter 4) styles herself “Mayor-Prefect,” but was originally hired as a bodyguard for the last person to officially hold that office. Her gang is known as the Medioxumate Devils and is based in the cylindrical keep of the ancient fort. She is opposed by the faction of Sodmos Thalur the Vintner. He owns the inn, the tavern, and the brothel serving the two. No wine is consistently available in Wollusk, but Thalur has a monopoly on the sale of muhrdzu snuff and muhrdzu tea, which he adds to whatever spirits are available (typically the local beetle milk mead). Thalur has more men at his disposal (perhaps 20-25) but Zeniba’s 10-12 soldiers are more skilled (treat as Bandits).

Random Thoughts on Stale Beer Espionage Gaming

19th Level - Thu, 09/07/2017 - 02:31

“Intelligence work has one moral law - it is justified by results.”
― John le Carré, The Spy Who Came In from the Cold
With John le Carré's A Legacy of Spies coming out this week I've been rereading his George Smiley novels. Doing so has been getting me thinking about espionage RPGs.
I don't have a ton of experience running or playing in espionage RPGs. I've been involved in a number of one-offs using Top Secret, Top Secret S/I, and James Bond. Back in my middle school and high school days of the 1980s such games tended to emulate the James Bond movies - some investigation/information gathering, with a lot of thrilling chases. 
A lot of Call of Cthulhu gaming over the past several years has taught me that gaming can be quite exciting with a high degree of tension with minimal combat. In Call of Cthulhu combat is dangerous. If you need to fight someone, your best bet is to ambush. A fair fight is dangerous, even for someone with a high degree of military training.
I'd love to see an espionage game which gives very mortal characters. With characters of questionable moral character. With difficult decisions, abandoned agents, dead drops, double agents, betrayals, blackmail, etc. This has been referred to as the "Stale Beer" sub-genre. Examples of this include include Ian Fleming's James Bond novels as well as the first two Connery movies, Doctor No and From Russia with Love. John le Carré's novels fall into this. Tvtropes points out that Stephen Maturin of the Aubrey/Maturin Napoleonic Wars-era novels fits into this as well. So does FX's The Americans. If you are comfortable with a dose of the supernatural, Delta Green and Tim Powers would seem to fit in here as well.
How would I run such a game? I'm curious how the new Top Secret game will handle such gaming - my impression is it's a bit more action-oriented, but the original Top Secret was rather flexible. I think Chaosium's BRP engine is very well suited for such a game. The passions and traits from Pendragon would adapt well to such a game - they'd be a great way to see what would motivate a PC or NPC to betray their agency/country/allies/etc. PCs could use them on enemy agents to flip them and on foreign national to recruit them. Delta Green, which shares a ton of design pedigree with BRP and Call of Cthulhu would work incredibly well for this as well - the mechanics have ways for agents to fall apart as they get caught in a web of lies and betrayals, all for the "greater good".
My own inclination would be to do such a game before the fall of the Soviet Union. The historical aspect lessens the chances of real world politics causing trouble in a group. And I find the technology level of that period works better for maintaining suspense - no instant communication, no finding the answers on the internet...
When I began writing this my inclination was to say I'd stay clear of the supernatural. Giving it some more thought, I don't think I'd be totally against it actually. It would really depend on what the group is looking for. If I did use the supernatural, I'd probably stay clear of the idea that Nyarlathotep is responsible for the rise of the Nazis, the Soviet Union, the Viet Cong, and everything else that goes wrong. I don't think the Old Ones would care one bit about our politics... 
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Deal of the Day - CASTLE OLDSKULL - Oldskull Adventure Generator

Tenkar's Tavern - Thu, 09/07/2017 - 01:30

I know this actually went live at RPGNow at 11 am and we just passed 9 pm, so time is running short and for that I apologize. So, what is the CASTLE OLDSKULL - Oldskull Adventure Generator?
The world’s ultimate adventure creation tool.  Infinite possibilities await you in dungeons, the wilderness, the seas, skies, netherworld, and the planes of existence.  Whither are you bound? Years in the making, mega-supplement GWG2:  OLDSKULL ADVENTURE GENERATOR is the “Rosetta Stone” of the Castle Oldskull system, the one master system which binds all of the present and future supplements of the Castle Oldskull OSR gaming universe together into a massive unified imagination engine.  Harness the power of over 30,000 data elements to create dungeons, villains, quests, and more.  Your worlds of adventure will never be the same!  Using this 700+ page supplement, you can create millions of unique adventures for your players.  There are so many options, that in a lifetime of play no two adventures will ever be the same. I believe (but would be happy to be proven wrong) that this is the most ambitious and extensive adventure creation tool available on the market.  Using this volume, you can create an entire campaign of multiple adventures, entailing wilderness journeys, dungeons, monster lairs, traps, tricks, treasure, and unforgettable tales.  When coupled with the GAME WORLD GENERATOR, you can create your own world of endless adventure and allow the Players Characters to journey anywhere.  And you will be creating new realms of wonder every step of the way.  Do you need a new island, temple, tomb, forest, swamp, mountain range, netherworld, or sea?  This book will show you how to build them all, each uniquely detailed with their own locales and opportunities for play. Another old school gaming experience from Kent David Kelly and Wonderland Imprints, Only the Finest Works of Fantasy.  (A deluxe supplement.  702 pages, 134,100 words.)Normally $4.99, the Oldskull Adventure Generator is on sale for $2.50. I've download a copy and the table of contents is hyperlinked. Thank God ;)

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Icy Echos From T1-4 Temple Of Elemental By Frank Mentzer and Gary Gygax

Swords & Stitchery - Wed, 09/06/2017 - 21:53
"A sinister force, long thought destroyed, stirs from the black hole that spawned it. Like an ebony darkness it prowls the land and safety is but an illusion, for it watches from every shadow and ponders possibilities. What began years ago, with the introduction of the players to the quiet village of Hommlet and the amazing lands of Greyhawk, at last is complete. Here is the Needles
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Tavern Chat Tonight - 9PM Eastern - Text and Voice Chat - Discord

Tenkar's Tavern - Wed, 09/06/2017 - 20:53

Yep, this is the second session of the Tenkar's Tavern Tavern Chat using the Tenkar's Tavern Live Discord Server.

Text chat is from 9 till 11ish.

Voice chat from 10ish till whenever.

The link to The Tavern's Discord Server is here:

Topics may include SWL, the new content features at The Tavern, Patreon changes, Torchlight and whatever the community brings to the table.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

It not a Harn Day but a Ivinia Day

Bat in the Attic - Wed, 09/06/2017 - 18:19
Harn is part of a larger world known as Kethira. The island of Harn lies off of the western shore of the continent of Lythia which is home to many cultures (mostly human dominated). Ivinia was the first of these to be develop back in the 80s. It is Harn's equivalent of Scandinavia and home to several viking kingdoms.

Columbia Games re-edited, and re-formatted the original Ivina module and it has been released. Like most Harn product it is pricey but the quality is top notch. One big change is that each Ivinian realm now has a page devoted to it compared to the original.

You can get it in Print or PDF.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

DC Comics Bombshells Trading Cards - Sketch Card Previews, Part 8

Cryptozoic - Wed, 09/06/2017 - 17:00

Please enjoy the eighth installment of our DC Comics Bombshells Trading Cards Sketch Card  previews , hand-drawn by our talented artists. Links to contact the artists can be found below the images of their Sketch Cards.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs


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