Tabletop Gaming Feeds

Cryptozoic Will Showcase Games at Southern Hobby Retail Expo 2017

Cryptozoic - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 13:00

Cryptozoic Entertainment today announced that it will be showcasing upcoming and newly released games at Southern Hobby Retail Expo 2017, November 5-7 in Nashville. The annual open house provides manufacturers a chance to show new products to gaming industry leaders, retail store owners, and the sales team from host Southern Hobby Supply. Cryptozoic will be at PSI’s booth displaying and demoing several games, including ones based on various DC properties, Cartoon Network shows, and Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty TV series.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Dance of the Medusa

Ten Foot Pole - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 11:08

medusa with poison snakes vector in eps10

by Joseph A Mohr
Old School Role Playing
Levels 4-7

In southern Zanzia chaos reigns as a new cult is growing stronger and threatening the powers that be. This cult worships a Snake Godess and her temple is believed to be in the swamps of southern Zanzia. Heros are needed to investigate this cult and temple and put a stop to this threat to the kingdom.

My apologies Joseph Mohr. I just sat in coach on a five hour flight to San Francisco and I feel like I’ve been hit hard lately with unfocused writing.

This temple raid is 31 pages long a describes an evil temple with seventeen rooms on two levels It’s almost entirely a pure hack, although there might be some imposter for at the start to get in. It appears to be boring, large, and uses a writing style that frustrates me to no end. It’s just yet another also-ran obfuscating any good material to come out.

There’s a wand, the description tells us that it appears to be made of stone. A bed appears to be comfortable. A statue appears to that of an adventurer in plate mail. Everything in this adventure Appears To Be. That writing style drives me nuts. It is or it isn’t. These are just weasel words used to pad out an adventure. Unfocused writing. It clogs up the text. It’s the difference between “There is a conformable bed” vs “There is a bed in the room and it appears to be comfortable.” These are miles apart in terms of providing a resource for the DM to use.

The wand “can only be used by magic-users.” Well, yes, that is the normal state of the world. “Listening at the door you hear no sound”. Again, which is what one would expect for an empty room. “There is a door to the west and a passage to the north” … exactly like the map shows. A dresser has normal clothes in it … exactly as one would expect. It has two shirts and one pair of pants and a pair of socks. This is weak writing. Instead of telling us what is new or special or interesting it concentrates on telling us what we would normally expect. Does a room description need to tell us that the sun will rise tomorrow? Does it need to tell us in every empty room that we will hear no sounds when listening at the doors? !!THERES. NO. FUCKING. REASON. FOR. ANY. OF. THIS!! We’re not paying for an adventure in order to be told about the sock & underwear content of drawers, or that there are no orcs, demons, devils, giant rats in the room.

Instead, I went out with a boy who died. Errr, I mean, Instead the descriptions need to concentrate on evocative writing that assist the DM in quickly scanning the text for details ACTUALLY NEEDED during play. You know what’s not evocative? The word “large.” One room, the main temple, has a large alter, a large fountain and a large idol in it. Wonderful. Are they large? Large is boring fucking word. A towering idol, a shadowy alter, a mist-filled fountain, these invoke feelings in the DM which they can then transfer to the players … the goal of evocative room descriptions. (Note, alters should not be vile. Vile is a conclusion. Tell us WHY. Don’t TELL us the alter vile, instead SHOW us why the alter is vile. Fresh babies impaled on candlesticks communicates vile much better than just telling us its vile.)

All of this results in a verbose and boring room text. The aforementioned alter room is one and a half pages long. There’s a column of text to describe a trap where a car falls from the ceiling. A paragraph of text on a needle trap.

“The desk has a drawer to it which is locked and trapped. Should anyone attempt to open the drawer without first unlocking it or removing the trap (or disarming it by pulling the handle and turning it three times clockwise) will be pricked by a poison needle. The person stuck by the needle will need to save versus poison or be paralyzed for ten rounds.”

Again, a long winded winded writing style. The desk is trapped with a poison needle. Save vs paralyzation. Lasts 10 rounds.” Tada!

There is also a room that falls in to a different writing trap. “There is also.” It lists treasure, one item per sentence, and starts each sentence with “there is also. There is a also a jeweled cup work 100gp. There is also a crown worth 10gp. There is also a ….Not to mention the repetition of longer sections of text. We’re told repeatedly that the guard patrols are expecting the king to send someone and thus are super duper alert. We’re told repeatedly (three times, I think) that the blood river is called the blood river because blah blah blah blah blah.

You get a feel for these things after awhile. A long page count with a small number of rooms doesn’t ALWAYS mean an adventure sucks … but it is makes one wary when they see it. The writing style is forgivable since it should improve with time, feedback, and stronger editing. Ideally, this would give the designer more time to concentrate on the actual encounters and constructing more interesting situations and environments.

It’s $3.50 at DriveThru. The preview is six pages but only shows you two pages of actual text, and even that’s general information. Notably, you get to see the first occurrence of the river of blood description, the temple guards, the lich, and what the temple is made of. You’ll get to read those descriptions several more times each before reaching the end.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Mortzengersturm: Back in Print

Sorcerer's Skull - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 11:00

That manticore wizard is at it again on the Prismatic Peak. I have a few copies available of the adventure that Christopher Helton at Enworld declares "channels the darkness of an 80s fantasy movie through the lens of old Hanna Barbera cartoons" and John Arcadian at Gnome Stew calls "incredibly fun and whimsical."

Order soon, supplies are limited!

Trying to Grok Champions

19th Level - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 01:38

With the release of the new Golden Age Champions, at some point in my future there's a Golden Age superhero campaign (not this calendar year though - still adventures to do in Hyperborea). Though much of the writing and art of the Golden Age of comics is extremely juvenile (with a much younger audience in mind), I've always liked many of the "big ideas" of the era. I'd love at some point to do a game that establishes a superhero universe from the start.

I'd like to get a good campaign going with Champions itself - the Hero System, of which Champions is a part of, is one of those games that have been on my bucket list for some time. One additional hindrance to me is given I use Roll20 for gaming nowadays and there's only a basic Hero System sheet there. Mind you there's none for our current game of Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea at all, though I sometimes think of trying to tweak an AD&D sheet into one. My hunch is I'll want some additional digital support to pull it off. I've picked up the Hero Combat Manager in the hopes of both using it to allow me to do some tinkering on my own time as well as to have a tool to use during games (and possibly share using Skype).
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Deal of the Day - How to Write Adventure Modules That Don't Suck (Goodman Games)

Tenkar's Tavern - Sun, 10/22/2017 - 16:07

How to Write Adventure Modules That Don't Suck is today's Deal of the Day at RPGNow. I backed the Kickstarter and have the dead tree of this and I must say, its and enjoyable read with lots of advice you can pick and choose from.

Normal price is $6.99, but for the next 23 hours you can grab the PDF of How to Write Adventure Modules that Don't Suck for $2.10
Over the last 15 years, Goodman Games has established a reputation for publishing some of the best adventure modules in the industry. Now we present our advice on how you can write great adventures! This compilation of articles is authored by two dozen of the industry’s best-known adventure writers. Each article gives a different perspective on how to write adventure modules that don’t suck, written by authors with decades of experience and prominent published credits. By the time you’re done reading this book, you’ll be on the path to designing great adventure modules on your own. Whether you’re an experienced writer or an aspiring novice, you’ll find something of value in this book! New expanded edition! This PDF is now updated to include the 160-page edition published in 2017. It also includes the shorter 32-page edition originally published at Gen Con 2007.Yep, that's an affiliate link above. Using The Tavern's affiliate links keeps us in beer, er... I mean, keeps us lubricated... I mean, keeps us doing what we do best!
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Duelling Babysitters

Sorcerer's Skull - Sun, 10/22/2017 - 14:00
The Halloween season is upon us, and if that puts you in the mood for a horror-comedy about kids who seem a bit old to have babysitters in bloody confrontation with said babysitters, then there are options available for streaming. Before I go into details, I have to warn you that discussion of these films necessitates some spoilers, so if you are particularly adverse, the bottom line is both Better Watch Out and The Babysitter (2017) are worth checking out.

(here we go...)

Better Watch Out is also a Christmas film, and it suggests that Home Alone might have a lot to answer for. Precocious 12 year-old Luke and his medicine-cabinet raiding, bad influence best friend, Garrett seem to have learned its lessons in mayhem well. At first, though, all we know is that Luke has high hopes of seducing his 17 year-old babysitter, Ashley, involving watching horror films. Before his clumsy efforts get too far, there is apparently a home invasion, but all is not as it seems. Suffice it to say, Ashley spends a night trying to escape a pre-teen sociopath amid some gruesome deaths and a few booby traps.

The Babysitter is directed by the infamous McG and is consequently more over-the-top than Better Watch Out, and bit more farcically humorous. Here, the 12 year-old is Cole, who is bullied by neighbors and suffers from anxiety about almost everything, but he does have a very attractive and almost preternaturally cool babysitter, Bee, who genuinely seems to enjoy spending time with him. The downside is that Bee is the leader of a Satanic cult and she and her cult of evil high school stereotypes have sacrificed a guy in Cole's living room after a game of spin the bottle. Cole must find his courage to make it through the night, and in the process deliver improbable and occasionally gory cinematic deaths to the Satanic teens.

So you've got choices: evil charge or evil babysitter. Then again, you could just make it a double feature.

ConManKen Would Like YOU to Replace his Image with Something More Appropriate

Tenkar's Tavern - Sun, 10/22/2017 - 13:29
Sunday's are a magical day. Second day of the weekend. Birds are chirping. The dog licks your face. There's an email from #ConManKen requesting the removal of all of his images from The Tavern:

So, there you have it. A challenge. #ConManKen would like his images removed so lets get some replacements / photoshops / penisheads crowdsourced by the community. Don't worry about the videos, those are all links to hosting sites.

We want some top notch work as it needs to be worthy of the Great Kenny Whit Whitman!

You can use to find the more recent posts about Ken. BTW, he does not own ANY of his Walking Dead pics - that's AMC. I'm sure he has a great working relationship with them at this point. Come to think of it, does Ken own the rights to his own Facebook avatar?

Oh, and he commented on the previous #ConManKen post. Damn it Kenny, you are sooooo funny!

edit - here's an example already submitted:

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

1d7 Random Dangerous Alien & Weird Damned Souls Table For Your Old School Campaigns

Swords & Stitchery - Sun, 10/22/2017 - 06:37
There are echoes of ancient lost souls & civilizations that exist on the fringes of the world, places that no man can or should visit but adventurers & outlaws frequently trespass. These are alien places left over from from things & beings who have passed beyond the turn of the wheel. These beings have lost themselves to the darkness of time. Those who dally with such sites risk the anger of Needles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Midweek Monster Mayhem - Armored Skeleton - (SWL / OSR)

Tenkar's Tavern - Sun, 10/22/2017 - 02:40
Aye, you need to watch out for them skellies with armor. Not saying they're intelligent, but I am saying they aren't your usual bucket o' bones. Simply put, these buggers are harder to hit and hit harder. Faster too, almost like they be feeding on the blood of those they be deading. They just ain't good lad, and I'd avoid them if the choice be mine.

Armored Skeleton
AC: 4[15]    HD: 2   Attacks: By Weapon   Move: 12
Special: Free attack when striking the killing blow against an opponent they receive a free attack on a new opponent.

Art copyright Eric Quigley

Midweek Monster Mayhem is brought to you by the generosity of The Tavern's Patreon Backers.


SWCL released this week. Its PWYW in PDF and 7 bucks on Amazon in Print on Demand

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Frog God Games Sale - 25% off Print & PDF

Tenkar's Tavern - Sat, 10/21/2017 - 21:59

This came in me email overnight:

25% Off Everything, 7 days only!!

Bill has spoken and in his wisdom has decreed that for the next week get 25% off all orders at the webstore (except the Blight)!!

Use the coupon code -


at checkout!
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

A project I am working on

Bat in the Attic - Sat, 10/21/2017 - 15:45
I was thinking of something I could do for Swords and Wizardry Continual Light. Then this came to me as an idea for a setting.

Far beyond the Borderlands,
Beneath the shadowed eaves,
The sighing wind blows,
And the elf maiden grieves.

In the sun, bright steel glints
War drums echos amid the dells.
The land stained red
Orc and Men alike fell.

In darkling fens
And vast caverns deep,
Shadows come alive
and death creeps.

Far beyond the Borderlands
There is no peace.
Will heroes march?
Will the maiden cease to weep?

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Issue 14 is on the way!

& Magazine - Sat, 10/21/2017 - 14:28

We’ re pleased to announce that Issue 14 is being finalized.  Layout should wrap up quickly, then the magazine goes into final review. Once it passes review we’ll be publishing — probably within 2 weeks.

The post Issue 14 is on the way! appeared first on & Magazine.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Hero's Brew Podcast - Episode #3 - Hanging with (Jason) Hobbs

Tenkar's Tavern - Sat, 10/21/2017 - 12:46

Finally! Yeah, its taken some effort to nail down episode Three of the Hero's Brew Podcast, but nail it we did.

James, Glen and myself had an amazing time with our special guest Jason Hobbs. Yes, the same Jason Hobbs from the Hobbs & Friends of the OSR Podcast.

Dare I say it? Best. Episode. Evah! Yeah, its only our third, I know ;)

You can listen above or use the link below to download:

It should be live on iTune and Google Play right now.

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Osr Commentary - Rumbles From The Caves of Chaos - B2 The Keep On The Borderlands As Old School Sword & Sorcery Campaign

Swords & Stitchery - Sat, 10/21/2017 - 05:48
" The PC's are based at a keep & investigate a nearby series of caves that are filled with a variety of  Chaos  monsters.The Cult of Chaos has been on the move! ""The Keep on the Borderlands is a Dungeons & Dragons module by Gary Gygax, first printed in December 1979. In it, player characters are based at a keep and investigate a nearby series of caves that are filled with a variety of monstersNeedles
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Swords & Wizardry Continual Light went "Copper Pick" Earlier Today!

Tenkar's Tavern - Sat, 10/21/2017 - 03:48

Yep. Swords & Wizardry Continual Light made "Copper Pick" at RPGNow earlier today. To say that the response to SWCL has been exciting and awesome doesn't even come close. Thank you all!

Still sitting at #1 in the Hottest Small Press ranking too :)

Remember, the SWCL PDF is priced at PWYW.

Print copies at Amazon are 7 bucks - shipping is free if you have Prime.

Swords Wizardry Continual Light - Print

This weekend will be layout weekend for my Patreon backers as I put together the September monsters and magic. These will be available at RPGNow down the line but not for at least another month.

There are plans for more SWCL content, not just from me but also others in our community. I love this shit! :)

Oh, before I forget, if you are new to SWCL please join the Swords & Wizardry Legion on Facebook. Its an awesome community with active posters and content for your games (and you can have free stuff actually mailed to you!)
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Deal of the Day - Mithgarthr RPG Core Rulebook

Tenkar's Tavern - Sat, 10/21/2017 - 00:45

Sorry this post is a bit late but today was a busy day. Today's Deal of the Day at RPGNow is the Mithgarthr RPG Core Rulebook.

What is Mithgarthr? I'd say its 5e without the bloat and presented from the old school perspective. Oh, and it's extremely well done. I may need to grab the print copy of this.

The Mithgarthr RPG Core Rulebook is usually 19.99 in PDF, but until tomorrow morning at 11 am eastern its on sale for 9.99. Damn good deal.
Introducing Mithgarthr: The Roleplaying Game! Enter a rich, original world inspired by Norse and Germanic culture. Explore the dark places where Gooblitts and Dýrverr roam. Battle against the treacherous forces of Chaos led by Orcus and The Thrir. Die horribly at the hands of greenskins while trying to get rich quick with your friends! Mithgarthr takes its mechanics from the fifth edition of the world's most popular role playing game, but molds them against its grim setting. Characters start at zero level with just the skills they have from their mundane profession (of which there are nine to choose from) and a desire to make a better life for themselves. Players may choose from seven races including the murine Ratten and the winged, hawk-like Fjothr. Life is cheap and death comes often, but those adventurers who survive long enough to attain first level have eight iconic classes to choose from. Magic is cast using a point system, and is less common than usual. Monsters have their own magic system, drawing their power from Orcus. Included in the core rulebook are everything you need to play the game! Character creation rules, combat, adventuring, equipment, magic, monsters, world setting information, and even a fully fleshed out town and surrounding wilderness to start in. That's an affiliate link above. Purchases made via The Tavern's affiliate links help support all that happens here at The Tavern

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Ch. 5, Page 4

Castle Greyhawk - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 18:27
"A wall of ice. Amazing..." Ehlissa said, suitably impressed.

"Well...retrieved from one of the caches of spell books we found back up on the fifth dungeon level, not too long ago," Tenser said with pride. "I have to say, had I not been mapping so diligently, we never would have thought to check for secret doors there..."

"So, your story?" Ehlissa prompted.

"Ah, of course," Tenser said, slightly deflated. But he continued...

Interview at Multiverse

Greyhawk Grognard - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 16:31
Timothy Connolly of TSR, Inc. interviewed me for their Multiverse blog, and the interview went live today:

This was a lot of fun to do, and I hope folks check it out!

Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Swords & Wizardry Continual Light - 420 Copies Sold - Still Holding at #1 Small Press Title at RPGNow

Tenkar's Tavern - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 16:29

Swords & Wizardry Continual Light went live at RPGNow just over 4 days ago late Monday morning. As I type this, we've sold 420 copies via RPGNow (and a handful in print via Amazon)

Remember, the PDF of SWCL is current PWYW, so there is no reason not to grab a copy.

The Print version of SWCL is currently available on Amazon. If you have Amazon Prime, it ships free. POD via RPGNow and Lulu are probably a few weeks out.

Swords Wizardry Continual Light - Print

I appreciate the reviews. They are humbling. This whole experience is humbling, as I never expected the amazing reception Swords & Wizardry Continual Light has received.

Thank you all.

Now, back to work for this old bartender...
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Weird Revisted: Hobogoblin Garbage Kings!

Sorcerer's Skull - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 11:00
This post related to the City and Weird Adventures first appeared on Halloween in 2011. I think I may can coined the term "nyfitsanthropy."

The City generates a lot of garbage, and most of it goes to the expansive Klaw Island landfill. Marshy Klaw Island has always had a sparse human population, but the coming of the landfill with its hills of garbage and pits of refuse has drawn gangs of hobogoblins.

The hobogoblins have divided up into tribes with zealously guarded territories. They mine the garbage for usable (and saleable) items. Hobogoblin “alchemists” have become adepted and making various minor potions with the most dubious of alchemical wastes, and can distill hooch from virtually anything organic.

The hobogoblins must defend their holdings from monsters of various sorts, attracted to the waste. They’ve been able to train giant rats as guard animals to protect their settlements from giant insects, aggressive fungi, or hungry otyughs. In years past, inbred wererat clans sometimes contested the hobogoblin hegemony, but periodic eradication and vaccination campaigns by City sanitation officials seemed to have sharply curtailed (if not eradicated) nyfitsanthropy on the island.

Hobogoblin legends tell of the first and greatest of the landfill kingdoms, Wastenot, a scrap Atlantis now sunk beneath the brackish waters of Lake Zathogua. Hubris of the swells in Wastenot led to neglect of due tribute to the beast of the lake, and all of Wastenot’s “grandeur” was pulled down by pale and vengeful tentacles in a single night.


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