Tabletop Gaming Feeds

#ConManKen - Too Good For Me NOT to Share!

Tenkar's Tavern - Mon, 09/04/2017 - 01:15

This was sent to me by a friend. Simply too damn good not to share.

Kenny! Where's my Pencil Dice!?!

I want this on a shirt!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Weekend Wonders - Ring of Projection (SWL / SWC)

Tenkar's Tavern - Sun, 09/03/2017 - 20:35
I'm in the process of revamping The Tavern's Patreon, but that doesn't mean I can't start posting material applicable to the revamp. Weekend Wonders will be a more or less regular feature at The Tavern, dealing with magic items and magical spells for use in Swords & Wizardry Light and / or Swords & Wizardry Complete. Some posts will find their way into the Torchlight Magazine. Others may get collected and placed on sale at OBS. All Patreon Backers will get a quarterly PDF with the prior 3 months of material. Backers at $10 or more will get it in print.

Ring of Projection - This ring allows its user to project their image along with sound for up to 5 continual minutes once per day. The image may be sent to a person or a specific place. The location or person must be within 50 miles of the sender and must be known to the sender. The communication is solely one way and the sender has no way of knowing the reaction of the recipient(s). Images sent to a specific place may have no audience unless a specific time and place were specified by parties in advance.

Note - The pictured ring is from the Publisher's Choice Quality Stock Art Collection Copyright Rick Hershey / Fat Goblin Games.

Yep, that's an affiliate link above. Rick offers some high quality stock art. Purchases made via The Tavern's affiliate links help support The Tavern

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Review & Commentary On B/X Essentials: Core Rules From Necrotic Gnome Productions

Swords & Stitchery - Sun, 09/03/2017 - 15:46
So I received an email last night from Gavin Norman with my sparkling copy of B/X Essentials. Straight up I asked to for a copy for review and boy I surprised at the fact straight out of the gate that its only thirty seven pages long. This really is a boiled down version of B/X Dungeons & Dragons in retroclone form. Right out of the gate The author states exactly what his intent is;"My love Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

State of The Tavern - The Times, They Are A-Changing

Tenkar's Tavern - Sun, 09/03/2017 - 13:53

The summer is wrapping up and there are a few changes in store for The Tavern and its Tavern Master.

First and foremost, Rach and I WILL NOT be at Gamehole this year as previously planned. Rach is looking at surgery later this month / early next month and there are simply too many balls in play to make it work this year. We will be at OSRWARP in February and I will be at Gary Con in March.

The Tavern's Patreon is going to have some changes, including affordable support levels for monthly Swords & Wizardry Light Pick up Games via The Tavern's new Discord Server / Roll20 and goals that include SWL content on a weekly (or more frequent basis) at The Tavern and gathered in PDF format quarterly for free in PDF to all backers and in print at a certain backing level (pieces may also make it into the Torchlight magazine.) Possibly adding a second Tavern Chat per week at a staggered time and day of the week to accommodate our members overseas and / or working off hours.  Oh, and organizing an OSR Online Game Day / Con. Relaxed atmosphere and probably disorganized but 100% Tenkar's Tavern ;) More details in a later post.

When I return from the extended weekend away in the Pocono Mountains Zach Glazer is going to put me through an InDesign crash course - recorded live for your entertainment and education. At which point Swords & Wizardry Continual Light gets laid out.

Remember, you can grab the Beta of SWCL in The Tavern's Swords & Wizardry Light Discord Channel.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Hexcrawling Ghostlight Fen [Intro]

Sorcerer's Skull - Sun, 09/03/2017 - 13:44
Features hex graphics courtesy of JDJarvisGhostlight Fen had an ominous reputation long before the first human colonists arrived on this world. Something about its metaphysical properties made it the site of an ylthaxu beachhead. Their black metallic obelisks irrupted from astral space in great numbers. The ieldri had encountered the ylthlaxu elsewhere and were swifted in their response. The resulting clash ylthlaxu technology and ieldri magic warped the area beyond repair.

These ancient battles create opportunity for human treasure-seekers today. The only genuine road into the area leads into the town of Wollusk (0211). In truth, it's only a village and a fairly meagre one, but shabby businesses have sprung up to accommodate the treasure-seekers.

A Ylthlaxu by Jason SholtisThese seekers are few in number, but dedicated. The black obelisks of the ylthaxu are a vexing but seductive conundrum. Those that have been opened have yielded strange, alien wonders, and also, it must be said, sudden death at times. The base of these is only about 5 feet on each side, but the interior is often larger than the exterior. Some have been long ago looted, others continue to resist intrusion. Still others have been opened before, resealed, and now somehow present something new on the inside.

Beyond the obelisks, the fen itself is dangerous. Only ever sparsely populated, it remains a wild and uncivilized place of hunting skarzgs. roaming gog tribes and the like. Then, their are areas where the ambient fae is so dense than reality itself is untrusthworthy.

Wollusk is the largest village on the outskirts of the Fen, but not the only one. Gamory (0207) with it's deformed folk and unsavory cult is just up the one road. Beyond that lies Draum (0503) with its drug-addled populace.

Bad Moon Rising - Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea - Actual Play Event

Swords & Stitchery - Sun, 09/03/2017 - 06:39
Picking up right where last week's game left off the PC's went down the hidden stair case after almost running into a black pudding sent by one of the vampiric lords of Tegel Manor after last week's game.  That's when they ran into a party of  skull faced Formorian  slavers who were  wrapping up a deal with the servants of the Moon beasts. The Skull Faces are a tribe of intelligent evil Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

RPG Review: The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh

19th Level - Sun, 09/03/2017 - 03:05

We're currently working our way through The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh in our AS&SH game. It adapts pretty well and at a later point I might write up about adapting the series. This post however is simply a brief review of the adventure itself. If you're in my group it's probably best to hold off in reading this until we're done, though I'd not be surprised if some or all of you have played or run this in the past, as it is a fairly common adventure from the 1st edition...

The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh is an adventure from the UK branch of TSR, copyrighted to 1981. It has a bit of a different feel from most adventures of the period. It has a bit of a heavier plot than most adventures back then - it's not like later adventures which sometimes go so far as to render player decisions moot. Rather it has a set of NPCs with their own agenda who aren't likely to sit waiting for the PCs to arrive.

Saltmarsh is a two-part adventure as well as being the first adventure of a trilogy. In it, the adventures visit the town of Saltmarsh. It is designed to be a fishing town like that of 14th century south-coast England. Near the town is a "haunted house", once the home of a sinister alchemist.

As it turns out, the haunting is a sham. The ill reputation of the house is being used by a band of smugglers who mainly operate out of the basement and cave system under the house. The house itself is poor condition, with creepy giant spiders living in chimneys and stirges in the attic. The illusionist leader of the smugglers has used magic to reinforce the reputation of the house.

The second half of the adventures deals with the PCs investigating a sailing ship which transports cargo to and from the smugglers in the house. There's a crew of nasty smugglers, some lizard men passengers receiving a weapons shipment, and an imprisoned aquatic elf. In previous play the second half can be rather dangerous - the boat is small and once the smugglers become aware of the PCs it can prove a very dangerous environment.

For the most part I like this adventure. Nominally set in the World of Greyhawk setting, it is easily adaptable to other settings. I like the fact that the NPCs all have their own agendas - for example, a member of the town council, upon learning that the adventurers are planning on investigating the house, quickly puts together a plan to hinder them, as he is doing business with the smugglers.

I did find the links between adventures to be a bit rough. The only real clue that the PCs receive about the smuggling ship is a scrap of paper with shorthand for light signals to communicate with the ship. It's very tenuous and in actual play I've found it an easy clue to miss. Typically, I've found it works better to have a logbook the smugglers use to record their meetings as well as the possibility of interrogating prisoners. Similarly, the next adventure deals with the fact that the lizard men on the ship are arranging a weapons shipment to their nearby lair. I've often found players miss this clue, just figuring the lizard men are part of the crew. I've found it best to add extra evidence in the form of logs as well as the aquatic elf prisoner being able to provide additional information.

With those caveats, I've found Saltmarsh to be a good low-level adventure. In our game, the characters are 1st level, albeit with a single prior adventure that didn't quite get them to second level. I'm guessing it will be threes sessions to complete - two to cover the haunted house and a third to handle the smugglers' ship.
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Jeff Dee's Mighty Protectors (Villains & Vigilantes V3) on Sale in PDF

Tenkar's Tavern - Sun, 09/03/2017 - 01:05

I never owned Villains & Vigilantes growing up as a gamer but I sure played it. We tried about every supers game in the late 70s and early 80s and while none stuck around and were played for any length of time, V & V stuck around in our minds. How could it not? The ads in Dragon Magazine just looked so damn cool.
Well, the latest edition of Villains & Vigilantes just released in PDF and its called Mighty Protectors.
You can combat the forces of evil! Find their hidden enclaves with your super-senses, and bust your way in with powerful fists! Use your incredible agility or invulnerability to ward off their attacks as you blast away with energy bolts, or confront them with your martial arts or weapon skills! Drag them squirming and cursing to prison, to be brought to justice! Become a champion of truth and an idol of millions! Villains and Vigilantes TM - the world’s first complete superhero role-playing game - is back again. V&V 3.0 Mighty Protectors® features dynamic random & point-balanced character creation, accessible fast-paced rules, brand new powers, streamlined mechanics, all-new illustrations, and an imaginative, far-ranging campaign setting - The Mighty Protectors® Multiverse - created by Jack Herman and Jeff Dee! Mighty Protectors is a registered trademark of Monkey House games. Villains and Vigilantes is a trademark of Scott Bizar, used with permission.Mighty Protectors is $14.99 in PDF.

All sales generated via The Tavern's Affiliate Links earns a small income for The Tavern and lets us do what we do best. What do we do best? Drink beer and...
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Barrel Rider Games - 20% Off PDFs Sale - White Star / White Box / Labyrinth Lord

Tenkar's Tavern - Sat, 09/02/2017 - 13:02

Now +James Spahn has done it. His Barrel Rider Games publishing company is running a 20% off sale on EVERYTHING James has for sale in PDF. Well, except for PWYW offerings. Hard to discount that. Just give 20% less than you had planned to give in that case I guess ;p

James is one of the reasons I did Swords & Wizardry Light as he proved how successful Swords & Wizardry White Box could be.

Barrel Rider Games 20% off sale.

Remember, every purchase made via The Tavern's Affiliate links returns a small percentage to The Tavern's coffers. Keep the lights burning and the taps flowing with your patronage.

James is a true friend. Even if I thought he were an ass, his writing is amazing. 'Nuff said ;)
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Dungeon Magazine #150

Ten Foot Pole - Sat, 09/02/2017 - 11:19

I made it. I fucking made it! I’m not proud of the lack of analysis some of these adventures got, but, fuck man, THEY SUCK.

Kill Bargle
By Jason Bulmahn
Level 3

WoW! A non-shitty adventure in the final issue! A three level dungeon with seventy rooms, maps that are not terrible, terse read-aloud AND Dm notes AND introduction. The encounters are good: search a chimney and be in danger of rubble falling. A hat box with poisoned string tying it shut. Gold dinner plates covered with yellow mold. There’s an interactivity here that most adventures miss. Attacking a zombie in room C can draw zombies from room D. This thing is constructed, and constructed well. The read-aloud is not evocative, AT ALL. “The chamber contains a large amount of trash, but nothing else.” is not the height of prose. Or “The room is filled with boxes and crates of many shapes and sizes.” But, at least the read-aloud is only one sentence. I could quibble with some encounter choices, like the carrion crawler in encounter 1 that attacks if you come within 20 feet of its lair. This feels forced to me and I prefer a “curiosity killed the cat” thing where it attacks if you disturb its lair. But this is petty of me, and there’s certainly rooms for both types of encounters in the world of D&D. This adventure is worth having. I love the introduction to this adventure, short, to the point, and with advice like “the town is full of wild rumors about Bargle.” Maybe a line or two about personalities of the notables, but otherwise this intro does a great job hitting the notable facts, orienting the DM, and keeping things short.

Well fuck. I think I’ve been trolled. I did some research, based on the designer’s notes, and … I’m not sure Jason wrote this? I’m a B/X Moldvay fan, so the history of BECMI is beyond me, but after digging in some I understand this adventure may be based on one in the DM’s book for the basic set? I guess this is somehow the basis of the internet’s obsession with Bargle … which I know nothing about?

Quoth the Raven
By Nicolas Logue
Level 8

Oh it’s fucking Eberron, for fucks sake. You know, I didn’t feel like this when Planescape or Dark Sun or Masque shit popped up; I wonder what it is about Eberron? Anyway, this is just a confusing mess AND linear … quite an accomplishment. Chick is marked for murder by a psycho, and several linear encounters follow as you protect her and track him down. There’s a house at the end with a bit of a creepy vibe going on, but it feels forced.

Prince of Demons
By Greg A. Vaughn
Level 20

The final adventure in the Savage Tide adventure path. It’s just a bunch of overwrought set piece garbage trying to build exciting shit but burying it in TONS of text. There’s some decent roleplay opportunities at the start with the allied demon lord armies, but, again, its buried in confusing text. Jessu Christo, learn to use bullet points!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

1d7 Random Low Level Sword & Sorcery Treasures Table For Your Old School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Sat, 09/02/2017 - 06:40
Dusk on the sea; the fading twilight shifts' The night wind bears the ocean's whisper dim— Wind, on your bosom many a phantom drifts— A silver star climbs up the blue world rim. Wind, make the green leaves dance above me here And idly swing my silken hammock—so; Now, on that glimmering molten silver mere Send the long ripples wavering to and fro. And let your moon-white tresses touch my face Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Kickstarter - Raids: The storytelling RPG (so different its just like the others)

Tenkar's Tavern - Sat, 09/02/2017 - 01:44

So, Raids: The storytelling RPG bills itself as different from other RPGs, but in the end the only thing it differs from is D&D in its various forms.

No character levels? Okay, so that could be anything from RuneQuest to CoC to FATE to whatever.

No classes? Okay, so that could be anything from RuneQuest to CoC to FATE to whatever.

Actively block attacks? Okay, so that could be anything from RuneQuest to CoC to FATE (or not FATE) to whatever.

So in reality, the only thing Raids has going for it is its NOT D&D.

Oh, solo adventures? That's never been done before, right?

But at least we have t-shirts for add-ons:

Don't forget the buttons:

When your only comment is from someone who backed for a buck to tell you what I basically just said above? Yeah, not looking good.
There's a video. I tapped out early on. Ah well.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Some Further Links for Folks in Need due to Superstorm Harvey

Tenkar's Tavern - Fri, 09/01/2017 - 23:45
This is far from a complete list. It is, quite simply, a start. Harvey has left a trail of destruction and many in our community and beyond will need our help. I've never been more proud to be a gamer when than when I've seen the community pull together for those in need.

Link to the Sgt. Steve Perez GoFundMe page

Gamers on Games is collecting for the Texas Diaper Bank for Harvey.

"Many folks got flooded.  I have several strong boys (Eagle Scouts) who are slogging through chin deep water to help folks salvage what they can.  The president of our company (Illusionists - Parent company of Tenkar's Tavern Crate, Mythoard and other monthly gaming boxes), Trina Burns lost everything.  Two cars, all their furniture and she has 5 small babies that had to be evacuated to Dallas. Everyone is fine but we are doing a fundraiser for them at if anyone is inclined to help out." Jared Nielsen

"Jason Yarnell, the boss over at RPG publisher D3 Adventures, and his family had their house flooded and have suffered a major loss of most of their stuff and much of his office is still under water. They are safely staying with friends currently, but the road to recovery is going to be a long one. His sister put up a GoFundMe campaign if anyone wants to help." Matt McElroy
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Clark Ashton Smith's 'Forbidden Planet' Movie Connections To The 'Old Solar System' Campaign Setting

Swords & Stitchery - Fri, 09/01/2017 - 18:49
Out on the outer edges of the 'Old Solar System' are the more forbidding worlds of the system. These worlds are ones where mankind is the trespasser or the late comer. This is something that seems to echo through the original  Star Trek series & the cult classic sci fi film Forbidden Planet. Again this is something that we see in the Clark Ashton Smith "Captain Volmar" sequence with his icy Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Open Letter to #ConManKen - When the Walls Come Tumbling, Tumbling Down!

Tenkar's Tavern - Fri, 09/01/2017 - 17:33
Yeah, I paraphrased from a John Cougar song. Heh

So, Kenny-boy!

You are a month late on your self imposed punted to the future Kickstarter deadline for all of your projects and you couldn't even get your pencils done. Even the Gygax Memorial Fund now has pencils! And yes, I know how you tried to pass that one off to another AND make money off "the sale" and transfer of YOUR obligations. What balls.

See, that's what you do #ConManKen - you try to scam others and pass off YOUR obligations. Those Kickstarters that you have fucked folks over on, many of them your own fans (do you have any left?) - those are obligations.

Don't worry too much Ken. My understanding is that your world is going to get real small real soon and your obligations - well, lets just say, your obligations are coming due.

Ah, a new month. So sweet. I can almost taste fall in the air. Can you taste it Kenny?

Talk to you again soon, Ken. Love ya. Wouldn't want to be you...

Poo Poo Face

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

DC Comics Bombshells Trading Cards - Sketch Card Previews, Part 6

Cryptozoic - Fri, 09/01/2017 - 17:00

Please enjoy the sixth 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

Hohmmkudhuk and Hwaopt

Sorcerer's Skull - Fri, 09/01/2017 - 11:00
I presented these two races for 63 about a year ago, but since then I've colored the images by Jason Sholtis so I felt like I should highlight them again:

The smelly and scholarly hwaopt.

And the subterranean craftsmen, the hohmmkudhuk.

Swords & Wizardry Light to Swords & Wizardry Complete Conversion Guide - Ability Score & Classes

Tenkar's Tavern - Fri, 09/01/2017 - 03:29

Yep, here's the first part of the Swords & Wizardry Light to Swords & Wizardry Complete Conversion Guide. As always, feel free to give feedback. This document will be for you to use and should supply enough information to transition as seamlessly as possible. If there is detail lacking please comment below. The second part will address races, weapons & spells.

Lets address the Ability Scores first.

Strength - Use the chart given on page 7 of the SWC rulebook. Low strength score may now have a penalty. Bonuses for Fighters now kick in a a Str of 13.

Intelligence - Use the chart given on page 8 of the SWC to determine languages, max spell level, percentage chance to know spells and min / max number of spells per spell level known. Keep all spells currently known and use the version in SWC going forward. High Int no longer gives a penalty of -1 to the saves of opponents.

Wisdom - As per page 8 of the SWC rulebook, a Wis of 13+ grants a 5% experience bonus. Clerics with a Wis of 15+ retain their 1st level bonus spell.

Dexterity - As per page 8 of the SWC rulebook, Dexterity Bonus kicks in at Dex 13. Low dexterity score may now have a penalty.

Constitution - As per page 8 of the SWC rulebook, Constitution Bonus kicks in at Con 13. Low constitution score may now have a penalty.

Charisma - If you have a Torchbearer they are now a Hireling. Max hirelings is as per table on page 8 of the SWC rulebook. Note, a Cha score of 13+ grants a 5% experience bonus.

Now we'll peek at Classes. Remember, conversion assumes Swords & Wizardry Light level 3 characters to same level in Swords & Wizardry Complete.

Fighter - Add 2 HP to your 3rd level fighter's HP total. Use the BAB chart on page 38 of the SWC rulebook to calculate new BAB. Remember to adjust for new Str Bonus if applicable. Str score of 13+ offers a 5% experience bonus.

Cleric - HP remain the same. Bonus to Saves is now +2 bonus on saving throw rolls against being paralyzed or poisoned. New Turn Undead Table is on page 43 of the SWC Rulebook. Wis score of 13+ offers a 5% experience bonus.

Magic-user - HP remain the same. Intelligence now determines chance to learn new spells going forward. Darts may now be used as a weapon. Int  score of 13+ offers a 5% experience bonus. High Int no longer gives opponents a penalty to their save against magic.

Thieves - HP remain the same.  Still can use any weapon but note, only magic weapons available are swords and daggers. Convert thief skills to percentage based skills using table on page 24 of the SWC rulebook. Dex score of 13+ offers a 5% experience bonus.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Swords & Wizardry Light / Swords & Wizardry Complete Conversion Document being Prepared

Tenkar's Tavern - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 23:31

Its been requested for a while and I've addressed it in pieces, but this weekend I'll be working on putting together a conversion document for Characters going from Swords & Wizardry Light to Swords & Wizardry Complete and for monsters and spells going from SWC to SWL.

It may initially release as separate posts here at The Tavern.

Character conversion will be specifically for 3rd level characters as that is where the core Swords & Wizardry Light rules top out at. If you stick with SWL and move on to the soon to be released Swords & Wizardry Continual Light rules, the conversion document for material from Swords & Wizardry Complete will be quite useful.

Alright, back to slaving away at my desk ;)
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Frog God Games - 30% off Coupon for PDF Purchases - Benefits Catholic Charities Houston - First in a Series of Superstorm Harvey Posts

Tenkar's Tavern - Thu, 08/31/2017 - 19:30
This is the first in a series of posts highlighting ways to help folks impacted by the floods in Texas / Louisiana.
Frog God Games has one of our owner/partners in Houston. Although he is safe we wanted to do something, even if it is small. Customer PDF purchases through September 4th will get a 30% discount. ALL proceeds on coupon sales after expenses and royalties will go to (Frog God Games store): Code- HOU-STON-HELP
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs


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