Tabletop Gaming Feeds

ENnies Submissions are In - Guess What Will Soon Need Your Votes? ;)

Tenkar's Tavern - Tue, 05/09/2017 - 15:15
Yep, a couple of firsts here with the 2017 ENnies:

  • First submissions to the ENnies by Frog God Games
  • One of the (if not the) first Free Print Product submitted that was not released for Free RPG Day
  • First time my name was on a submission (not counting the submission of Tenkar's Tavern a few years ago as a blog entry before realizing I wasn't edgy enough ;)
It should be an interesting summer ;)
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Poor quality scans for the Wilderlands of High Fantasy

Bat in the Attic - Tue, 05/09/2017 - 12:28
Over on RPGNow and DriveThruRPG Judges sells scans of the original maps. Many have commented on their poor quality. The reason for this is because they were made in the early 2000s by a fan who had access to a large format blueprint scanner. The problem is that the blueprint scanner could only scan black or white. The scan area under each pixel could register either only black in color or remain blank i.e. white.

Even a decade later large format scanners that could do full color were rare. I tried to get my own hand drawn version of the wilderlands map scanned and the best I could do was greyscale.

When I got aboard with Judges Guild and Necromancer Games, Bob Bledsaw sent me a CD of every scan they had whether it is maps or books. Most of the published maps were in there but not many books.

The original scan looked like this.

Somewhat readable. So what can one do to improve. Luckily the PDFs of the maps Judges Guilds allow you to export the map as a full resolution image if you have a program like Abode Acrobat or another PDF editor. I recommend saving this image as a PNG or TIFF.

Once you have that image you can then using a image processing program like Gimp, Paintshop Pro, or Adobe Photoshop to blur the image ever so slightly. New version of these programs have an adjustable blur. I would keep bumping it up until the b/w cross hatching disappears. The map looks way better although you can detect the blurriness when you look close at it.

I hope this helps with getting more out of your purchase of the original Wilderlands Map.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Keep on the Borderlands cover study

Zenopus Archives - Tue, 05/09/2017 - 11:47

This is a study for the famous cover of the module B2 Keep on the Borderlands by the late Jim Roslof (a bibliography of his work here). It just sold on Ebay for almost $10,100 (!). The auction listing (by the Collector's Trove, from the collection of Laura Roslof), states that "This is Jim's original color study that he used to determine how he wanted to paint the final cover art", and is in pencil, ink and watercolor on parchment paper.

The composition is very close to the finished product. Here the humanoids have more elongated snouts (and the one to the left has a pointed ear), perhaps more orc-like than the ones in the final picture, who are clearly hobgoblins with the orange-red faces and blue noses specifically described in the AD&D Monster Manual. 

Of note, the apparent caves on the hills in the background are more prominent in this study, particularly the one under the right arm of the elvish archer (who is bald here!). This supports that these holes are actually intended to depict the entrances to several of the Caves of Chaos entrances. For comparison, see this annotated cover image from an earlier blog post, Caves of Chaos Revealed:

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Kickstarter - Rifts® Board Game (100 buck buy in, but the drama is free)

Tenkar's Tavern - Tue, 05/09/2017 - 02:48

Wow. Simply wow. The Kickstarter is live for less than 12 hours and already there are over 350 comments. Its also 46% to its $100k funding goal.

What am I talking about? Quite simply the Rifts® Board Game (don't forget to use the ®)

Now, you might be saying "didn't this happen already?" and the answer is "no". What DID happen is a whole lot of drama, a suicide attempt and lots mudslinging by Kevin and those frustrated with the the Robotech Tactics KS. You can read THAT post here. Too much to repost but very useful for those looking to do some "due diligence" on the Rifts® Board Game Kickstarter.

Let's cover the basics (its your cheat sheet):

  • Palladium does not have a good record with its prior Kickstarter.
  • Technically, this Kickstarter is not being run by Palladium.
  • There are those questioning who really is calling the shots on the Rifts® Board Game Kickstarter.
  • Carmen, the one who is producing this Kickstarter, attempted suicide less than 3 months ago.
  • We know this because Kevin told us so.
  • The suicide attempt was blamed on angry backers of the Robotech Tactics KS. We know this because Kevin told us so. Backers who refused to back the board game because they are stil waiting for full fulfillment of Robotech Tactics.
  • The Rifts® Board Game has train wreck capacity right from launch.
Personally, I would be wary of backing a project being run by someone that attempted suicide because of this very Kickstarter less then 3 months prior to launching this Kickstarter with this much drama and baggage attached to it. I am sympathetic of all that the creator has gone through, but that doesn't mean I'd back this.

That being said, I'm backing for a buck to get the backers only updates, as I expect this will be an interesting ride. Its just not a ride I'm willing to gamble 100 bucks on. It has a two year stretch before fulfillment and there is just too much potential for something to go wrong.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Train Heist: Designing the Ultimate Western Board Game, Part 1

Cryptozoic - Mon, 05/08/2017 - 21:15

I love racing games, both in video game and board game form. When designed with a good catch-up mechanic, there’s an extra thrill when you can compare yourself directly to the other players in terms of placement—knowing it could still be anyone’s game—and see how close you truly are to the end of the game. I get a rush from it. Some non-racing board and video games can make it hard to figure out the player in the lead until the points are tallied up at the end, whereas racing games present it front and center. 

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Guns, Gunpowder, & Pulpy Sword & Sorcery In Old School Campaigns & Retroclone Systems.

Swords & Stitchery - Mon, 05/08/2017 - 16:33
Guns, Swords & Sorcery, & old school gaming! The mind boggles as we tackle one of the most controversal topics in the OSR & Dungeons & Dragons style campaigns. Black powder and the application of technology! First of happy birthday to Jeffrey Talanian of Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea fame. Which begins my entry for today & the on going battle that I've had with friends over Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Kickstarter - d20 Dice Ties

Tenkar's Tavern - Mon, 05/08/2017 - 15:06

d20 Dice Ties. I'm surprised no one thought of it before. Or maybe they had and it totally went past me.

I like the concept. Heck, if I was still working I'd buy one just to wear it at official training classes just to mess with the minds of my fellow officers. Sadly, the only time I'm going "shirt and tie" these days is weddings and funerals and I don't think it fits either.

The ties are 15 bucks for one (plus 3 bucks for US shipping - other shipping rates are higher) Not sure what they are mad of but for 15 bucks, I'll assume they aren't silk.

I'm kinda partial to the blue ;)

Anyhow, funded with six days left in the funding period. Expected to ship in July of this year.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Along the Road of Tombs

Ten Foot Pole - Mon, 05/08/2017 - 11:15

By Gus L
Self Published
Swords & Wizardry
Level 2?

This free, 41 page dungeon adventure, with about 39 encounters, details four tomb-systems / lairs carved in to a huge mesa. It’s rife with factions, social play, weird shit, and has more than enough interesting stuff in it to keep a party busy for several sessions, including perhaps trips back at a later date, allies and so on. It reminds me much of B2 or Ironwood Gorge, a location to visit multiple times. The writing constructs a rich dreamlike tapestry of words in the various rooms in AS&SH style… and needs to be trimmed because it makes it impossible to find anything. It should be easy to drop in to almost any game. As long as you’ve got a printer and a highlighter.

The idea is that there’s a road out of the capitol, now seldom used, that has tombs all along it. There’s always been a bit of banditry, but things have picked up and the illegal folks in/near the city, running their craft through it, are feeling the pain. Rumors paint the center of the issue at The Red Mesa, a big tomb complex about a day away. The mesa is the center of the adventure. Carver all over with statues, tombs, etc, it houses four cave complexes, three of them connected in some way. There’s a small inn/waystop, a petty necromancers home, a sullen mythic tomb, and a group of hiding bandits. The innkeeps run a cannibal cult, the necromancer is dead of natural causes, the bandits only steal a little, unless threatened, and the one remaining ‘real’ tomb is mythic. In to this we chuck the party, probably acting as agents of the Matrons, a group of brothel owners who lair on the road near the city.

We learn almost all of this in the first page of the adventure. It delivers the background, the current situations, the factions and so on. It’s a great overview, full of flavor and supports the DM well in understanding the environment up front. It’s supported by three pages of rumors, one for talking to unsavory types, one for merchants, and one for the general populace. The rumors are excellent. Full of colorful characters and in-voice rumors. I often bitch about verbosity, and page bloat, in adventures (and will in this one also) but the rumors here are a good contra-example. Each rumor is almost a little mini-encounter, but it’s done in a way that organizes it easily and makes it easy to both run AND find. And that’s the key: usability by the DM. The goal is to support the DM and transfer data to them effectively during play. By placing the rumors in tables they can almost be eliminated from the word/page count of the adventure. Want a rumor? Here’s the table: run it. If this were integrated in to the text then you’d have to go digging. The organization/layout/presentation of the rumors supports the dm’s ability to run at the table.

The content itself is wonderful, and not just from the rumor table. A broken bureaucrat, ragged, his chains and badges ripped from his robes, tries to sell his worn sandals in an attempt to bribe his way back in to this job site. Strong stuff, flavor seeds laser delivered to your brain. A fallen titan, eternally sleeping ina cave-like chamber, awaiting a prayer to be said over him from the bloodline of forgotten emperors. An open pavilion on the top of mesa, surrounded by gold lettering, and the preserved naked body of a long dead general. The factions have notes on how they respond to intrusions, things they will try with the party, strong NPC personalities to use for the talking. And the talking isn’t just pretext; it’s real. There is real social interaction (probably) that makes this stuff useful and not just trivia. That could, through the party or the NPC’s, devolve in to combat, but it’s not the default. The rooms and encounters gets two or even three uses out of them. Friendly talk talk, the (probable) murder-hobo’ing, and then the exploration elements of tricks, traps, etc. It’s a well constructed and flavorful. Roads ‘debouch’ in to canals. It’s “… largely imperishable, with only mild crazing of its smooth bonewhite surface …” There’s an almost dreamlike quality to the language in places. It remind me some of the AS&SH use of language, except while I think Northwinds comes off cold I think this comes off dreamlike and mythic.

And, the language is also a problem. Or, rather, it’s one part of a problem with usability at the table. Taking a look at the (free) PDF, the first will become immediately obvious: the font. I don’t complain about this sort of thing much, except when it sticks out, and it sticks out here. Whatever font it is is a travesty in the eyes of readability. Old Man Lynch has trouble reading it and his eyes fight to easily make out the content. Not. Cool. Gus. Then we add in some formatting issues. Something has gone haywire in the formatting, or in my viewers display. Take for example the bottom of page 31. A normal 2 column layout somehow ‘breaks’ and the last two paragraphs, one in each column, belong “together” while the first column breaks above that last paragraph and continues on at the top of the second column. This whole section on page 31 & 32 seems out of whack. Finally there’s the writing proper. Gus’s dreamlike & mythic atmosphere is obtained, at times, by a writing style that degenerates in to walls of text in the various encounter rooms.

Room A1 of the feasthall, on page 12, is half a column long. The first paragraph is the front door. The second paragraph is the common room description. The third paragraph describes the employees, while the fourth details the sleeping & food arrangements. During play you’d be hunting for information, trying to figure out which information is where. Right off the bat, that last paragraph could have been a small table, or boxed off, instead of being in paragraph form. It’s reference data; pulling it out of “text form” doesn’t kill the vibe. Likewise the employee section. ‘Gear carried’ can be integrated in to NPC descriptions/stats and maybe employees boxed off or tabulated as well. These two changes make it 2 paragraphs to dig through instead of four. This is probably enough to get by. Another technique would be small section headings abiev the paragraphs, like Exterior, Interior, Employees, Prices. The technique isn’t important; the desire is to orient the DM to the text QUICKLY when they are scanning it during play.

Room C4, at the bottom right of page 28, is perhaps the best example of the strengths and weaknesses of the text in one place. “A chamber of torment for the souls of the one hundred and thirteen sorcerers slain by the ancient general, a testament to his power and alleged sainthood. The chamber is a cage of ancient wards and iron bars, containing a huge pile of petrified bones. One hundred and thirteen skulls hang from the ceiling in baskets of chain beyond the bars. A plinth, molded from the stone of the floor stands before the cage and proclaims “Look upon the bones of the fallen and ask how the great, the dread, the mighty and the powerful have come so low. I am the answer to that question, for my wrath carries all before it.” No signature is inscribed below this statement.” The first and last sentence are filler. Yes, they absolutely help work to strengthen the vibe … but only incrementally more than the core text of “113 skulls hanging from the ceiling in baskets of chains.” I note that there are two more paragraphs beyond this one.

There are some logic gaps in places that stand out a little more than the ones in B2 do. The necromancer has been dead awhile, people think he might be dead, but no one has gone over to his cave to look for him. Likewise the mythic tomb, and top of the mesa, are largely unexplored in spite of them being on a major road. The bandits are at least a little friendly with the necro, but haven’t walked round the corner to talk to him. Then again, the Caves of Chaos are two miles from the keep with a road going to them, so, you know …

The NPC descriptions are fully formed. These are fleshed out people in about three sentences each: descriptions, personality, history. I could quibble with some of the choices made, prefer the personalities up front instead of descriptions and bitch a bit about a sentence for character history, or things like The Boy hanging near Bruno but Bruno not saying The Boy is always near him … things that impact play.

The content of this adventure is good. It has strong imagery and imaginative encounters without the usual set-piece nonsense that modern adventures resort to. The one-pager about the road and the culture around it is great. The set ups are great … and probably a challenge for the party. I really like what’s going on. Its presentation, to the DM, is the major issue. The formatting, the extra language and that FUCKING FONT all work to help obfuscate. What’s that old saying about an artist knowing when to stop painting?

This is free, at Gus’ Dungeon Of Signs blog:

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Excellent Article at Glixel - How a Pen and Paper RPG Brought 'Star Wars' Back From the Dead

Tenkar's Tavern - Mon, 05/08/2017 - 03:17

I don't often link to articles from fairly obscure places on the net and in truth I never heard of Glixel before this article was forwarded to me, but damn - its a good article. (and looking deeper, Glixel seems like a decent site to read other articles too)

D6 Star Wars IS Star Wars for me. The first three films that were released where the be all end end all - I know I'm a heretic to most when I can say I didn't care for the second trilogy and haven't watched any of the later releases, film or cartoon. My Star Wars ended when West End Games lost the license.
Greg Costikyan, a co-creator of Paranoia, was one of the people tasked with securing the Star Wars license. “We flew out to California to meet with Lucasfilm,” he says. “We made a bid of $100k. We later learned that TSR had tried to get the license too, but they only bid $70k.”Just imagine - we were close to getting Star Wars done in the same manner as Indiana Jones and Conan - the sad TSR treatment. Shudder.

Read the article (linked here). Its well worth the minutes of your time.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

FAE Star Wars Actual Play: Operation Shadowstrike

19th Level - Mon, 05/08/2017 - 01:43

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away....
Star Wars: Tales of Rebellion
Episode III: Operation Shadowstrike

The Rebel operative code-named Prodigal One has crashed in his Y-Wing on the planet NCW-781. This agent had been gathering intelligence information about double-agents embedded within the Rebel Alliance.

Gaven Stark, Marcus Doha, and R2-C4 have been dispatched on a U-Wing fighter to NCW-781 to retrieve Prodigal One's information and, if possible, the agent as well. While the Alliance has managed to distract an imperial Strike cruiser into leaving the system, elite Imperial Deathtroopers are searching for Prodigal One.

To evade detection as long as possible, the team must risk a high-altitude drop and fly to the surface in stealth-enhanced combat paragliders...

Cast of Characters:

  • R2-C4 - Rogue Imperial assassin droid
  • Gaven Stark - Idealistic former Imperial army officer
  • Marcus Doha - Veteran Clone Trooper who has lived an active life since the Clone Wars
Based on the adventure "Operation: Shadowstrike" by Eric S. Trautmann in Star Wars Instant Adventures. Note that this is a bit of a brief writeup. A little bit more can be found at Fate Lessons #2 - Tossing Death Troopers off the Cliff.
Scene 1: The DropThe drop was a bit on the hair-raising side what with the air being incredibly thin, a dim moonlight their only light source, and needing to drop several kilometers before the repulsorlift enginges could be engaged - all while evading Imperial sensors. They made it down to their landing point with only a few scrapes and began the several hours walk to the Y-wing's crash site.

Scene 2: DeathtroopersAs they walked between two low cliffs they saw above them a trio of dark-suited Deathtroopers on patrol. R2-C4 continued forward to provide a distraction while Doha circled behind them and Stark attacked from the side. With the advantage of surprise they managed to take out the troopers, though poor C4 got a bit banged up.Scene 3: EscapeThe trio reached the trapped Y-wing and found a message with Prodigal One's location, encrypted with an Alliance code. They found him hiding in some nearby caves and took him to the nearby pickup point just as the sun began rising. However, seeing an Imperial Floating Fortress crashing into the pickup point they sprinted to the alternate point, battling more Deathtroopers and COMPNOR CompForce soldiers. The CompForce soldiers were far easier to deal with, having been trained more in enforcing the ideals of the New Order than in fighting... Banged up, they managed to hold off the Imperials long enough to be picked up by their U-wing and escape back to the Rebel Base on Yavin IV...
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Gunslingers, Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyprborea, & More Commentary On Steve C.'s 'Arthurian Twist' Campaign & Actual Play Events

Swords & Stitchery - Sun, 05/07/2017 - 17:33
So last night about four A.M. after I got back from my regular game of Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea I got an email from Steve C. and he wanted to talk about Arthurian mythology and Celtic legends. Sometimes that how these things begin small & work themselves into a bit of an OSR  frenzy. Steve had  seen the Steven King Dark Tower movie trailer that came out last week.I'm Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

When The PC's Inner Monologue Clashes with The Parleying Encounter, Anything Can Happen

Tenkar's Tavern - Sun, 05/07/2017 - 15:54

Last night's session of Swords & Wizardry Continual Light was a blast. The group is exploring the cave system above The Lost City of Barakus and last night the party was focused AND lucky.

They blew through encounters that could have easily been TPKs if they had followed the +Tim Shorts method of rolling ;)

Then came the final encounter of the night. Its a minor spoiler for any that may play The Lost City of Barakus in the future, so I'm going to add a page break.

Read more »
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Review & Commentary& Review Of the Free O5R Adventure 'Guarding Galaxy XXX 'From Kort'thalis Publishing For The Alpha Blue Rpg System Or Your Old School Science Fiction Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Sun, 05/07/2017 - 14:20
Venger has been working hard to make the Alpha Blue his brand of sleazy mature(ie Adult) science fantasy and fiction rpg visible in the wilds of the rpg market. You've got numerous resources & source books, etc. including a set of free rules under the dubious title Alpha Blue Quickie. I've used Alpha Blue numerous times to help fill in the gap in science fiction or fantasy campaign or when INeedles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

The Weird and the Unusual

Sorcerer's Skull - Sun, 05/07/2017 - 14:00

The difficulty with dealing with the fantastic is too-often repeated tropes/ideas become cliches, and kind of unfantastic. The D&D (read: prevailing) view of elves, dwarves, dragons, etc. has thoroughly mundanified and Gygaxian-realismed these things into yawns for a lot of people. Now, it's resonable to ask just how fantastic an element needs to be in a game about killing stuff and taking its treasure, but feeling burned out on the standard tropes has led to a lot of folks reaching for the Weird. It's funny that almost 100 year-old tropes can seem fresh and untrod territory, but fantasy is nothing if not a conservative genre, I guess.

The trouble is, those elements might get a little stale for some people, too, with repetition. So there's the New Weird or gonzo, of course, but I'd also like to suggest that maybe things don't have to be wholly "new." They just have to be a bit surprising, and those surprises can each be employed a small number of times so they stay fresh.

I think looking back to mythology and folklore helps a lot, because there are a lot of forgotten elements in those that make no sense from the modern perspective, and so have tended to be dropped from retellings. Medieval bestiaries are good, too.

Here's an interesting thing I came across a couple of years ago: "mundane" animals as treasure guardians:

Washington Irving notes the folk-belief that the spiritual guardians of buried treasure could take on the form of animals, such as toads. “Wild vines entangled the trees, and flaunted in their faces; brambles and briers caught their clothes as they passes; the garter snake glided across their path; the spotted toad hopped and waddled before them; and the restless cat-bird mewed at them from every thicket. Had Wolfert Webber [a man in search of treasure, but who was unschooled in folk-magic] been deeply read in romantic legend, he might have fancied himself entering upon forbidden enchanted ground; or that these were some of the guardians set to keep watch upon buried treasure.” Diedrich Knickerbocker (pseud.), “The Adventures of the Black Fisherman,” Tales of a Traveller (1825), 2: 356.
So replace a dragon or some other "fantastic" creature with just an animal, acting kind of strange and maybe able to talk. Adventure Time! sort of (I'm sure unknowingly) uses this trope with a frog that serves as a portal to lumpy space:

Monsters that want to chat, instead of kill the party immediately, are also a mythological staple that is not as often done in rpgs (though I try to do a bit of this in Mortzengersturm). This one can hard because PCs are a stabby lot, but it can help put them in the old school mindset of the goal being to get treasure, not necessarily kill things. A loquacious monster is a challenge, not an encounter.

Finally I would suggest the behavioral reskin (this is sort of a broader application of the talking monster principle). We're all familiar with putting new flesh on a set of stats, but a more subtler reskin will sometimes surprise players more. If goblins aren't following their Gygaxian role, but instead all consumed with building/repairing some ancient machine, maybe that hooks the PCs interest? Maybe it's only me, but I think backwards talking derro that can only be understood if you look in a mirror as they speak, move a known monster away from an evil dwarf back to the Shaverian paranoid weirdness.

Those are just some examples, which may or may not work for you, but I'm sure you can think of your own. Instead of trying hard to make things fresh and new, just make them a little odd.

The Inn Between Worlds

Sorcerer's Skull - Sun, 05/07/2017 - 12:00
Our Land of Azurth 5e game continued last night with the fifth session of our free adaptation of X2: Castle Amber. Last time, the party had opened the gate with the silver keys--and promptly been attacked by an amber lion statue come to life. Two shatter spells meant the end to that creatures, and a load of amber shards as loot.

The party passed through the gate and found themselves in a rather unusual French inn, Bonne Joissance. Unusually because the staff are all fae, including the all woman band. Each will show the party to a door to a different locale where they fight find on of the treasures they are looking for (the same door, but it opens to a different place depending on which band member opens it).

The harp player opens the door to the forest Sylaire and a half-ruined tower upon a tor. There they find Freydis, a faerie queen who sits a vigil waiting for her lover. She will exchange the Sword of Sylaire for the party subduing (but not killing) her lover, now a werewolf under the full moon. The werewolf and his pack attack the tower, but again the mages save the day with a barrage of scorching rays.

When the door is opened by flutist the party passes through a limpid pond and a lovelorn knight, Luc. He's being trying to find a feather to match the one he snatched (and then lost) from the cape of a swanmay as she fled their dalliance at dawn. He's certain he can find a substitute to present to her, but no mundane feather seems to match. He is willing to trade the Ring of Eibon for a feather from the fearsome jubjub that dwells in the nearby forest. Shade the Ranger tracks the heard and it is willing to part with two feathers for something shiny. The party offers up some amber from the statue and gives one feather to Luc, getting the ring in exchange.

The drummer ushers them the hall of Lord Huidemar. Huidemar is very pleased to see the party as their coming has been prophesied. He relates that he is widely known as a fool, but he will become a wise man when they give him the feather of the Simurgh bird. They give him the jubjub feather instead, but he doesn't seem to know the diffference. They get the Serpent Encircled Mirror in exchange.

The guitar player opens the door to the location of the potion of time travel--the dungeons of the debauched sorceress, the Lady d'Azederac. The party interrupts a ritual. Their coming exasperates her but is not unexpected. It has been prophesied that beings from another world would bring her an acorn of gold from Eden. The presentation of this relic would turn her from her iniquities and set her on the path of saintliness. The party presents her with one of their acorns and get the potion in exchange.

Returning one last time to the inn, the party uses the items to summon the tomb of Estvan.

Troll Lords sends a Fishing Email - I'm Not the Only One That DIDN'T Back This Kickstarter That's Asking for a Response and Offering a Supposed Reward

Tenkar's Tavern - Sun, 05/07/2017 - 00:14

This email feels really slimy. Really. Slimy.

And look, when I click the link it shows my pledge level at $0.00

Yep. Nothing waiting for me, but I can add stuff to my order. Which I never made.


Bait and switch?

Another example of a Troll Lords fuck up?

I've received numerous reports of others getting the same email.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Rise of the Dungeon Master - Gary Gygax and the Creation of D&D - Graphic Novel releases May 9th, 2017

Tenkar's Tavern - Sat, 05/06/2017 - 23:32

Rise of the Dungeon Master is a new graphic novel about Gary Gygax and the creation of Dungeons & Dragons.

Release date is May 9th and it can be snagged on Amazon and other sellers. Amazon is offering release dare delivery (purchases using the below Amazon link will help fund The Tavern)

Rise of the Dungeon Master: Gary Gygax and the Creation of D&D
Rise of the Dungeon Master tells, in graphic form, the story of Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, one of the most influential games ever made. Like the game itself, the narrative casts the reader into the adventure from a first person point of view, taking on the roles of the different characters in the story. Gygax was the son of immigrants who grew up in Lake Geneva, WI, in the 1950s. An imaginative misfit, he escaped into a virtual world based on science fiction novels, military history and strategic games like chess. In the mid-1970s, he co-created the wildly popular Dungeons & Dragons game. Starting out in the basement of his home, he was soon struggling to keep up with the demand. Gygax was a purist, in the sense that he was adamant that players use their imaginations and that the rules of the game remain flexible. A creative mind with no real knowledge of business, he made some strategic errors and had a falling out with the game's co-creator, his close friend and partner, David Arneson.  By the late 1970s the game had become so popular among kids that parents started to worry -- so much so that a mom's group was formed to alert parents to the dangers of role play and fantasy. The backlash only fueled the fires of the young fans who continued to play the game, escaping into imaginary worlds. Before long, D&D conventions were set up around the country and the game inspired everything from movies to the first video games. With D&D, Gygax created the kind of role playing fantasy that would fuel the multibillion dollar video game industry, and become a foundation of contemporary geek culture.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

State of The Tavern - Uncle Duties and Falling Behind and Planning Catch Up

Tenkar's Tavern - Sat, 05/06/2017 - 20:33

So, "Pinky", my six year old niece that thinks Uncle wrote Swords & Wizardry Light "just for me so Uncle can teach me to read and play Dungeons & Dragons!" was sick this week. I got the call Tuesday Night and the young lass missed some school this week. Official diagnosis was "tail end of a virus and full on allergies" Retirement means I am the emergency babysitter and sit I did. And drive to pick her up and drop her off. Which means I got podcast listening in but fell behind on content creation and blogging.

So, here's the updates:

Torchlight - As Swords & Wizardry Continual Light is going through heavy edits and layout by the Frogs (meaning the Alpha that a few people got their hands on at Gary Con truly is limited) work on Torchlight has slowed. I want folks to have access to SWCL when the first issue of Torchlight releases. Pencil it in for a July release.

Revisiting Demi-Options - work commences this weekend rewriting the Halfling classes for SWCL and Swords & Wizardry Complete. I'll follow that up with Dwarven Classes, then Elven and last but not least, Gnomish classes. Wait, there isn't a Gnomish S&W race option? We'll fix that ;)

The Crowdsourced Wand of Wonder - I'm going to put the entries into a table and award the prizes tomorrow or Monday. I'd work on it today, but my niece is over. Heh. Where's all that free time retirement is supposed to entail?

Pocket Creatures - Have a few more creatures outlined. Time to work on it.

Learning InDesign - I need to go back to the book and tutorial videos. Time to dig outa the hole...

Secret Project - still secret. Announcement towards the end of the month.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Commentary On The Road To S3 Expediation To The Barrier Peaks As Campaign Fodder For Your Old School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Sat, 05/06/2017 - 16:35
Happy Saturday morning to everyone! Hope your Saturday is going good & you've got an old school game or two going on. So last night I was on the phone with my old school systems guy & friend for over thirty years Ed. Ed & I have been friends for a long time, we game together, fight, make up,  we went to middle school together,etc. you know the drill right if you've seen Stranger Things. IfNeedles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

BRW Games (Adventures Dark & Deep / Castle of the Mad Archmage) 20% PDF Sale and Random Drawing

Tenkar's Tavern - Sat, 05/06/2017 - 16:24

+Joseph Bloch 's BRW Games is running a 20% off PDF sale as well as a drawing for print prizes for those who purchase PDFs (from Joe's blog)As we head slowly into the summer months, I thought I'd do an impromptu sale, with a contest to boot! From Saturday May 6, 2017 through Sunday May 14, 2017, all print-possible pdf titles will be 20% off. In addition, anyone purchasing a pdf version of a title (that has a print version) will be included in a special drawing. Two lucky winners will win a free upgrade to a softcover version of the title, and one lucky winner will get a free upgrade to hardcover (if available)! Shipping to the United States is included. Outside of the U.S. you will be asked to make up the difference in shipping costs. But the books themselves are still free! Purchases of titles that do not have a print version will not be included in the drawing. But if you get a print title, and want to try for a second copy, more power to you! The following titles have print options available:A Curious Volume of Forgotten Lore Adventures Dark and Deep Bestiary Adventures Dark and Deep Game Masters ToolkitAdventures Dark and Deep Players Manual Castle of the Mad Archmage Adventure Book Castle of the Mad Archmage Adventure Book (Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Edition)Castle of the Mad Archmage Illustration Book Castle of the Mad Archmage Map Book Castle of the Mad Archmage Expansion - Level Three East The Golden Scroll of JusticeThis offer does not apply to the Adventures Dark and Deep bundle, but does apply to both the Castle of the Mad Archmage bundles (OSR and Pathfinder). Remember, purchases made using The Tavern's Affiliate links goes to support The Tavern. Tip your barman! ;)
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs


Subscribe to Furiously Eclectic People aggregator - Tabletop Gaming Blogs