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Monday, September 25, 2017

OSR Picks for the RPGNow September Setting Sale - 33% off select PDFs - Part VI - I'll see your Two Temples and a City

RPGNow is running a September Setting Sale with thousands of titles in the mix. That's a lot to sort through. I'm going to try to pick out some of my personal favorites that are OSR or system neutral over a small series of posts (although one or two may creep in from outside those parameters) Part 1 is here.  Part II is herePart III is herePart IV is here. Part V is here.

Temple of Elemental Evil - my original print copy of T1 - T4 saw more use in my high school and college days than any book other than the core three. I must have run this a half dozen times - at least. By far, my favorite old school adventure - 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 long-awaited campaign adventure, featuring the ruins of the Temple of Elemental Evil, where a great evil broods and grows beneath its blasted stones. This is your chance to drive it back and scatter its force again. - This product includes the village of Hommlet, the filthy shire of Nulb, and reveals the ruins of the Temple of Elemental Evil and the labyrinths that lie beneath, a warren of darkness. And beyond these ruins, even more is revealed. - For the first time, this product provides a complete campaign adventure, which will take beginning characters from 1st all the way to 8th level and possibly beyond! Hours of adventuring await you!

The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil (5e & OSR) - "A Fifth Edition Fantasy or OSR adventure for 4-6 players of level 4-6 - The small town of Boldon, and its surrounding villages are afraid. Dozens of people are missing, some speculate lost to some nefarious purpose. A broken drunkard tells fantastic tales of an evil temple and the horrible things within. The rare few who know the legends and history of the region are beginning to think the dark times have returned; not seen since the fall of the first age of man. People are beginning to feel the icy fingers of fear closing in. The party becomes aware of these events and is inspired to investigate. This leads them to a broken man who tells them a story of a lost temple. Has it been rediscovered by men seduced by its forgotten evil? The drunkard’s tale leads to others who might help the party discover more before they face The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil." 6.95  4.66

Against the Giants: The Liberation of Geoff - The classic G1 -G3 series. Didn't much care for the D series that followed, but the G series was a blast - "A ravaged land. . . . Villains that really are larger than life. . . . A time for heroes. . . . A decade ago, the land of Geoff was overrun by a horde of giants, ogres, and evil humanoids, its people either slain, enslaved, or driven into exile. Now at last the tide has turned. Against the Giants features: The full text of three classic adventures by Gary Gygax: G1: Steading of the Hill Giant Chief G2: The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl G3: Hall of the Fire Giant King - Details on 18 new encounter sites in the war-torn land of Geoff, linked together to form a grand campaign. - Dozens of hours of gameplay as the heroes struggle to free and entire country from the grasp of giant overlords. - An epic adventure for characters of all levels." 4.99  3.34

Project Oasis - somehow this one escaped me prior. I'll be rectifying that. "A thousand years ago, the world died. Now, out of the ashes of the great nuclear-biological Devastation comes a new world. A world where intelligent apes hunt humans for sport. Where subterranean mutant cyborgs serve great disembodied brains and plot world domination. Where apocalyptic cults try to finish what the bombs started. Where frightful artificial intelligences command armies of robot servants, and entire nations of clones lead peaceful and productive lives, unless you’re not of the right clone-lineage. Where mankind and his newfound fellow intelligent species try to pick up the pieces and rebuild civilization. This is also a world where a force for good, knowledge, and science works to help restore that which was lost, to guide this new world onto a path of justice and learning. That force is called Project Oasis. Project Oasis is a post-apocalyptic role-playing setting for use with Mutant Future™, Apes Victorious™, and other science fantasy RPGs. Contains a complete overview of 30th century North America, including new creatures and equipment for both the Mutant Future™ and Apes Victorious™ games, more than a hundred adventure hooks, plus a giant poster map." 9.95  6.67 

Metamorphosis Alpha: Epsilon City - "On a spaceship 50 miles long with more than a million colonists, Epsilon City was the single largest habitation. It was filled with entertainment centers, apartments, and offices for all the people moving about the ship during the long voyage. The city was designed to be maintained by its own artificial intelligence (A.I.) and a special series of robots able to maintain areas of the city when breakdowns happened. Epsilon City wasn’t even half full when the interstellar radiation cloud destroyed the people of the ship and turned 99% of them into piles of white ash. The city was wiped out. Now, three hundred years later, things are vastly different in the city. The A.I. is insane and has an aggressive personality. The special robots have had to change or be destroyed, and have mutated much like the rest of the life on the ship. Wolfoid packs now inhabit many sections of the city and consider this metropolis their lair. And many more dangers lurk, hidden and waiting to be explored… 2016 marks the 40th anniversary of Metamorphosis Alpha! In honor of this milestone, creator James M. Ward has authorized Goodman Games to publish Metamorphosis Alpha: Epsilon City. This huge expansion for the starship Warden is the biggest expansion for the original 1976 edition ever published! This product contains: The 272-page Epsilon City setting book, three 11”x17” maps, a 20-page cyborg supplement, and a 56-page adventure supplement." 25.00  16.75  

Purchases made via The Tavern's affiliate links help to support The Tavern. Additionally, if we generate $300 or more via OBS affiliate referral monies, I've promised to release a short adventure in the month of October for free on The Tavern. Well, we just did! Woot!  I'll look to invest at least half of the extra monies into art or cartography for the adventure. I'd love to pony up for original pieces of art, but that will require significant monies in the pot ;)

Matt Finch interview Jason Paul McCartan about Through Dungeons Deeper (Currently #1 Bestseller on RPGNow)

Last night +Matt Finch interviewed +Jason Paul McCartan about Jason's new release: Through Dungeons Deeper: A Survival Guide For Dungeoneers As Written By A Survivor - currently the #1 Bestseller at RPGNow.

Its a great interview and doesn't take up much of the viewers time (approximately 10 minutes).

Through Dungeons Deeper is $12.99 in PDF. But wait! There is a Tavern specific link that puts Through Dungeons Deeper into your cart at $9.99. Purchases of the PDF will be credited for the PDF price if one wants the print version later.

Yep, that's an affiliate link. Thanks to The Tavern's community, The Tavern has achieved its goal of $300 in affiliate earnings for the month of September. At least half the monies earned over $300 will go towards art expenses for the promised October adventure - stock art and / or commissioned, depending on the funds available. Thank you all.

Kickstarter - Devil's Swamp - A Call of Cthulhu RPG Adventure

Halloween is around the corner which means its time to start thinking Call of Cthulhu. Not that you'd receive the Devil's Swamp in time for next month's scare-fest, but you would be situated well for 2018 ;)

I do love me some CoC. I don't play it near enough to satisfy the itch but thankfully CoC works well with one shots and story arcs.

So, what is the Devil's Swamp?
The Devil's Swamp is a Call of Cthulhu adventure book for the classic 1920's era, licensed by Chaosium. The book contains a series of five or more adventures set in the Hockomock swamp in Massachusetts to be used with 7th edition Call of Cthulhu RPG.
You know me - I love to pick out inaccuracies with Kickstarter projects and I'm calling one out now. Thanks to stretch goals its now SIX adventures with a seventh nearly reached ;)

12 bucks gets you the PDF with all stretch goals. 22 bucks gets you the Devil's Swamp in Print plus PDF along with all stretch goals.

I'm in for 22 myself. Seriously, for what will be about 3 bucks an adventure, in print, you really can'y go wrong.

BTW, this is what I like to see with a KS - explanations and expectations:
While we will not guarantee any minimum page count, the first 5 adventures are almost finished, and the book is currently around 60-70 pages. The more people pledge, the more adventures we will add in and the longer the book will be. If we hit the stretch goal for 6 adventures, it will probably be 70-85 pages. If we hit the stretch goal for 7 adventures It will expand to be 85-100 pages. If we hit the stretch goal for 8 adventures, it will expand to be 100-120 pages. If we get all the way to 9 adventure modules, we could push this well over 130 pages! 
The delivery time for the books includes the anticipation of the extra adventures.

Kickstarter - Battlelords, Science Fiction RPG revised edition

I had lots of fun playing Battlelords of the 23rd Century in the early 90s but then again, my group played nearly anything back then. As I recall, it involved a lot of shooting ;)

Here we are, 25 or some odd years later, and the 7th edition of the Battlelords rules are being Kickstarted. I didn't realize the game was that popular. I kid! They really aren't ;)

Anyhow, 15K goal and about halfway there with 24 days left to fund. Its doable but in no way a sure thing.

So, what are my issues? Not the art, which is fairly nice. No, its the pledge levels.

Yep, $25 for the PDF. Actually $40 (as the $35 level is limited) if you want access to any stretch goals - not that I expect any stretch goals to be hit.

$60 for print, $75 for Print plus PDF and Print with stretch goals and some PDFs from prior editions is $100. Yep, you need to be in for $100 for the unattainable stretch goals.

Ah well, still good to see a game I thought would have long ago withered on the vine getting some support. I just don't think this will lead to any long term success - might fail to reach short term success too.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Weekend Wonders - Ring of the Forgotten Man (Swords & Wizardry Light / OSR)

Ring of the Forgotten Man - This ring is a favorite of pickpockets and other ne-er-do-wells. When worn, the ring allows one to change their facial appearance, once per round, for up to sixty minutes. Note, hair color and style, height, weight, clothing, etc do not change. The Ring of the Forgotten Man just changes facial appearance, but that can change racial features (human to half orc, half orc, orc, etc - any humanoid) as well as add / remove beards, scars, birthmarks, change eye color, shape of nose and the like. There is a 1% cumulative change per use that the last facial change of that usage will become the new normal facial appearance of the user. The ring ceases to function as a magic ring should this happen. There is no save against this effect.

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

Thanks to The Tavern's supporters at both The Tavern's Patreon and directly through Paypal, we have a monthly backing of over $150. This means 4 to 5 monsters for Swords & Wizardry Light / OSR per month, 4 to 5 Swords & Wizardry Light / OSR magic items per month AND backers at $1.50 a month or higher via Patreon will get a collected PDF of the prior month's releases emailed to them. Paypal backers will need to email me in the middle of October to receive theirs.

Just a reminder - Through Dungeons Deeper: A Survival Guide For Dungeoneers As Written By A Survivor released today. If you go to The Tavern post that announces the release, you will find a discounted link to save you 3 bucks off the regular PDF price.

RPGNow Deal of the Day - Dungeon Grappling (D&D Grappling that "Doesn't Suck")

My introduction to grappling in RPGs came with my first ever RPG - AD&D 1e. Remember those arcane tables that didn't follow anything else that seemed like D&D and made little sense, at least to me?

Well, Dungeon Grappling is the opposite of that. As +Douglas Cole , the author, has been known to say - these are grappling rules that "Don't Suck" and he's right. Normally priced at $7.50 in PDF, until tomorrow morning at 11 AM Eastern Dungeon Grappling is on sale for $2.85.
From the first story ever told, to tales on the silver screen. They all have at least one thing in common: Grappling. 
Grappling is thrilling, dangerous, and drives thousands of years of epic storytelling.
Dungeon Grappling brings those thrills to the oldest fantasy RPG with rules and examples for Swords and Wizardry (and other OSR-style games), the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, and 5e
Dungeon Grappling provides: 
  • Simple, unified mechanics, using the same concepts as weapon strikes
  • Variable outcomes – grapples can be good or bad
  • Dynamic, tense stories
  • Weapons, talons, magic . . . they’re all in here.
  • Grappling just got scary again! 
What’s in the Book 
First and foremost, this book contains rules based on Open Gaming License content from several editions of the industry’s most popular RPG – explicit examples for Swords and Wizardry, the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, and Fifth Edition
Let’s look inside: 
  • Introduction: How can grappling be as epic at the tabletop as it has been in stories throughout history?
  • Core Concepts: Dungeon Grappling shows that the same basic concepts that you use to smite a foe with your sword are perfectly appropriate when grappling. The attack roll, target number, and effect roll are all unified in the context of grapples to minimize special cases. 
  • Grappling Effects: Dungeon Grappling presents a variable effect roll - using both "control points" as well as conditions to make grappling exciting and unpredictable.
  • Grappling Techniques: This section gives you options, from simply rendering them immobile, to tossing or dragging, to takedowns, throws, choke holds, grappling with weapons, using magical spells to grapple in a way that makes all of them follow the same basic principles.
  • Monstrous Grappling: Let’s face it. Grappling is for monsters. A dozen examples are provided to highlight how to calculate the attack bonus, grappling target number (the equivalent of armor class for grappling), and the grappling damage roll, as well as brief discussions of how such monsters fight.
  • Combat Examples: An example vignette and grappling-oriented combat is provided for each of Swords and Wizardry, the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, and 5e.
  • Quick Reference Sheets: All of the key calculations, tables, and concepts are summarized in three pages in the back of the book for easy lookups and rules checks.
  • Art and Layout: Laid out and illustrated in full color by a great team of professionals, the interior is as beautiful as the rules are elegant.
  • Navigation and Layering: The PDF is hyperlinked in the Table of Contents and Index, and Bookmarks are provided. The document is also layered, allowing the background, art, or text to be turned on and off for ease of printing or readability.
Just a reminder - Through Dungeons Deeper: A Survival Guide For Dungeoneers As Written By A Survivor released today. If you go to The Tavern post that announces the release, you will find a discounted link to save you 3 bucks off the regular PDF price.

All purchases made via The Tavern's affiliate links put coins in The Tavern's coffers. Thanks to The Tavern's readers, I already owe you an adventure in October. Further monies raised in September will allow for future art purchases. Thank you :)

New Release - Through Dungeons Deeper: A Survival Guide For Dungeoneers As Written By A Survivor (With Tavern Discount Code)

Sometimes membership DOES have its privileges. For a limited time only (a couple of weeks) readers of The Tavern can grab a PDF copy of Through Dungeons Deeper: A Survival Guide For Dungeoneers As Written By A Survivor for the discounted price of $9.99 (normally $12.99 in PDF, so that's a $3 discount just for reading The Tavern).

Now, I woke up to my reviewer's copy code sitting in my inbox and I downloaded a copy right away. I'm nearly halfway through it. It might be 150 pages but its such a pleasurable read it sure doesn't feel like it is. So, what is it? Its a DM's resource and a player's resource and the source of a whole lotta chuckling on my end. Seriously, its a fun read and its meant to be that way.
Have you ever wanted a primer on dungeon delving and dungeoneering? Ever wanted to know the stuff that real experts know about how to survive and thrive while looting dungeons of everything they have that's valuable and isn't nailed down?
Written by master dungeoneer halfling Maximillian Sparfoot, veteran of a thousand dungeon delves (according to his own bio). Follow along with Max as he: 
  • Explains the 10 Dungeon Axioms! 
  • Introduces you to his 78 Rules of Dungeoneering, including preparation, your role in the party, how to fight wisely, and how to make a last will and testament, among other Very Important Rules If You Don't Want To Die! Tactics! Strategy! Other stuff! 
  • Gives you important information about magic items, curses, owlbears, traps, mimics and gelatinous cubes! 
  • Tells you the important things you need to know about the races and professions that you'll be dungeoneering with! 
  • Includes a sample simple will from Stonehand & Associates, lawyers to dungeoneers!  
So, what are you waiting for? Buy Max's super guide to dungeoneering today for yourself or a loved one who is considering delving in the darkest dungeons. You don't want them being unprepared, do you? DO YOU? 
Digital+ files (ebook and raw text) will be added to this download soon. Those who purchase the digital version will receive a discount code for the POD version once it is available. 
An update following soon will enable internal hyperlinks as well as additional artwork, and a version of the PDF with layers.
edit: As per Jason -  "anyone who buys now will get a discount of the PDF price against the POD version."

As stated above, the normal price for Through Dungeons Deeper: A Survival Guide For Dungeoneers As Written By A Survivor is $12.99 i PDF. Using the discount link unique to The Tavern, you can snag your PDF copy for $9.99.

Note:  +Jason Paul McCartan is a friend of mine. He's funny and he writes good shit. A Survival Guide for Dungeoneers is funny AND good shit ;)

Remember, purchases made via The Tavern's affiliate links put 5% into The Tavern's coffers. I already owe y'all a dungeon next month due to your support. Thank you!