Kajak’s Kave Labyrinth Lord Conversion Sheet

Labyrinth Lord Conversion SheetPocket-Sized Encounters from Iron Tavern Press are designed to be easily placed in your existing game to fill an evening’s worth of play as a short side-trek. While written to be compatible with the Swords & Wizardry system, they are easy to convert to your fantasy RPG system of choice.

Sometimes though even a relatively easy conversion is too much. Wait no longer Labyrinth Lords! Iron Tavern Press has created a Labyrinth Lord conversion sheet for the first Pocket-Sized Encounter release, Kajak’s Kave. This free PDF is a one-page sheet that presents the stat blocks for the encounters in the Labyrinth Lord format further reducing conversion time.

The conversion sheet is available for free at RPGNow. It does require the Kajak’s Kave Pocket-Sized Encounter product to get full use from the conversion sheet.

Episode 15: Running the Gauntlet

dcc_rpg_cover_smallRunning the Gauntlet’ is the fifteenth episode of a Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG actual play podcast. Additional information can be found at http://irontavern.com/podcast.

Session Synopsis

Finally gaining entrance into Leotah’s Tower the party finds themselves in a strange foyer of sorts. After investigation they discover the way onwards and find themselves facing an unrelenting gauntlet of challenges. Paying a heavy price to reach another chamber, Leotah presents one more set of tasks before the adventurers before she will grant them audience…

 

Download Link: http://irontavern.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Episode-15.mp3

Credits

Intro and outro music is ‘Wrecking Ball’ from 137 from http://music.mevio.com.

Happenings at The Iron Tavern

Whew! I have not managed to post much here since my return from Gary Con VI! Thanks to Mark for helping carry the load with his Monday posts! It is definitely exciting times at The Iron Tavern and with associated projects. Today’s post just sort of covers what I have been up to over the past couple of weeks.

Gary Con VI

Gary Con VI was a wonderful time. It was my first time attending and the size of the con was a welcome change compared to the larger cons I tend to attend (Gen Con and Origins). I was able to hangout with some great people and put real faces to a lot of virtual ones while I was out there.

I played in several Dungeon Crawl Classics games run by Michael Curtis and Doug Kovacs (though some say the latter are Kovacs Crawl Classic games). I also got in a little bit of board gaming in the evening either before the next round of RPGs started up or shortly after.

I definitely hope to attend again next year. The size of the con is big enough to meet some new folks, but small enough to find the folks you already know. My only regret is not getting in on one of the Dungeon games while I was out there.

Spellburn

While at Gary Con all three hosts of Spellburn were in the same geographic location for the first time. Though all that exists of that is one picture that someone managed to snap for the brief time we were actually in the same vicinity!

Jobe managed to post some audio from the Goodman Games seminar while we were there. After several retakes of recording the intro as we played Red Dragon Inn with others!

The day after we all got back from Gary Con we had a brief conference call and should be back on track with recording Spellburn this coming up weekend. We know it has been awhile since we’ve posted an episode, but we should have this thing back on track quite soon!

Iron Tavern Press

I missed the March release! My goal had been to release a new product every month. I even had the product through its first editing phase and just needed to get it into layout and then off for its second editing pass. Other projects kept that from happening (and these freelance projects help foot the start-up costs of Iron Tavern Press while it gets going).

This month I have the next release, Skull Cave in layout. The text is all in there and I started the art selection earlier this week. I hope to make a big push and finish the layout this weekend and get it off to the editor for its final editing pass. Make a few revisions and get it out the door! More announcements to come on that closer to release date.

Freelance Project #1

I had a big turn-over for some conversion stuff I was doing for someone (hush, hush for the moment, but I don’t think it will be a secret much longer) prior to Gary Con. I polished up that turn-over and met the deadline. Feedback has been quite favorable and I expect to see some of the results this weekend if all goes well.

Definitely happy to have been a part of this one. The person running it has a high quality product and puts a lot of time into doing it right. I’ll post more about it as the covers are lifted.

Freelance Project #2

The other big project I have been working on is mapping related. Again, not sure how much I can disclose, but it is part of successful Kickstarter that funded a little bit back. I’ve been busy mapping and such for that. This project is coming along well and I think we’ve finally synced as the more recent map turnovers (and there are a lot of them!) have required much fewer revisions and tweaks. This project has been a lot of fun as well – lots more mapping to do on this one though.

Freelance Project #3

HHHhmmm, see the theme here? I am lousy at seeing how public some of the projects I work on should be. So I default to treat as if under an NDA until it is released. I should start asking more so I can publicize some of this! But this was a smaller mapping project that I squeezed in after Project #1 turnover. I am really happy with how the maps turned out on this one and can’t wait until this product is released as well. This one is all wrapped up now though.

DCC RPG Actual Play Podcast

I released an episode of this just before I left for Gary Con. Finished editing Episode 15 earlier this week. This weekend I will mix the audio together and folks should see it hit their feeds on Tuesday. The “heroes” are facing the most recent challenge of actually facing off with Leotah. Can they run the gauntlet? Or will Leotah live to fight another day?

Wrap Up

So that is what I have been up to! Lots of exciting stuff from Iron Tavern Press and other projects I have been involved with coming soon!

Breaching the Tower

dcc_rpg_cover_smallBreaching the Tower’ is the fourteenth episode of a Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG actual play podcast. Additional information can be found at http://irontavern.com/podcast.

Session Synopsis

The assault is well under way as the group takes a two-pronged approach to circumventing the Wizard Tower’s defenses. With one group prepared to battle power iron sentinels in the courtyard and the other a colossal sized yellow ooze in the sewer tunnels. The battles are hard fought on both fronts and casualties mount as the party presses onwards. Reaching the front door of the tower the group prepares to enter and face Leotah.

 

Download Link: http://irontavern.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Episode-14.mp3

Credits

Intro and outro music is ‘Wrecking Ball’ from 137 from http://music.mevio.com.

Gary Con VI

gary-con2Gary Con VI is right around the corner! On Thursday morning I will be getting up, having breakfast with the family and then headed out. I hope to get into a pick-up game of something on Thursday night and I have scheduled games on Friday and Saturday, with a short seminar on Sunday morning before I hit the road and head back home.

For those also headed out and fans of the DCC RPG Actual Play podcast I have the continuing saga of the adventurers’ assault on the Wizard’s Tower scheduled to post earlier than normal on Wednesday morning. So be sure to fire up your favorite podcast client before heading out.

Beyond that the blog will be pretty quiet through early next week. I was going to try to chronicle my trip, but I have switched thoughts and plan on relaxing and just enjoying gaming for those four days. I’ve been doing a lot of freelance work this past couple of months and also hard at work on Iron Tavern Press as well. I think I will use the con as a chance to recharge my batteries!

With that said, I am sure I will take some pics and such – so keep an eye on my Twitter feed and G+ feed for some occasional fun that will inevitably find its way into my social streams.

And if you are going to be at Gary Con this year – feel free to stop me and say hey! Whether you are fan of the blog, Iron Tavern Press, want to ask when the next Spellburn episode is, or if we just frequent some of the same circles – say hi!

How the Gang Got Together

Fun and Games at Origins

Fun and Games at Origins

Something that gets assumed a lot about the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG Actual Play podcast is that we all knew each other prior to this game. In reality, it is online gaming that brought us together. Today’s meta post about the podcast is how we got together as an online gaming group.

Group History

My interest in DCC RPG was growing back in the summer of 2012 but it didn’t really seem like my local group’s thing at the time. G+ Hangout gaming was taking off and an opportunity to try out DCC via a Hangout was presented. Carl Bussler (of Flagons and Dragons podcast fame and much more) was going to start running DCC RPG. He wrangled up a group of folks to start out with Sailors on the Starless Sea. Hopefully I don’t forget anyone, but that group had me, Kelly, and Matt in it. It also had Tony and James who both did brief forays into the one-shot I ran and early in the Sunken City Campaign days.

We managed to play two sessions of Sailors before that game went to the wayside. Carl’s schedule got busy and we lost some momentum. I ended up running The Jeweler That Dealt in Stardust as a one-shot. That game had Kelly and Matt, plus Tony, I think James, and Dustin in it. We had a great time and I decided to kick off an actual Dungeon Crawl Classics campaign back in the late summer of 2012.

When Sunken City launched we had Matt, Kelly, Dustin, Tony, James, and Joe (a local friend of mine). James made a session or two, Tony held on for another session or two before school reared up. We quickly brought Aaron on board with some 0-levels just after the other characters hit 0-level.

From Fall of 2012 to Spring 2013 the group was Matt, Kelly, Dustin, Joe, and Aaron. Eventually Kelly had to drop because of time commitments, but we kept on with the core group rolling through the rest of Spring 2013 into the summer. Coming into the summer we made plans to meet up at Origins in Columbus, Ohio.

Oh – I should also mention that a Dungeonslayers online game was started by Kelly in January of 2013 and there was a heavy mixing of the same players with some new faces in the DS game. The Origins meetup also involved a couple of the Dungeonslayer players – Adam (now in the DCC group) and another Dustin.

A great time was had at Origins and that likely did a lot to further cement the solidness of this online group.

After Origins, Joe needed to drop from the game so we were looking for another player again. We ended up recruiting Adam from the DS game to play DCC.

Which brings us to today, a group made up of Aaron, Adam, Dustin, Matt, and me.It seems Kelly will be returning to the group in April bringing a lot of the original crew together again.

Strength of Online Gaming

A lot of folks will say online gaming isn’t like being at the table and steer away from it. And while there are differences, online gaming has brought me a group of folks that I would call great friends. Meeting at Origins helped cement that (and we have plans to do the same this year at Origins and this time we’re dragging Aaron along – can’t wait to meet “Baptist” in person!)

So if you are out there lamenting the fact you can get some local folks together for gaming, don’t be too quick to dismiss online gaming. With a little work I suspect you can find yourself a great group of folks to play games with and build some new friendships as you do so! I know our group has had a great time playing. It has worked out very well for us!

Episode 13: Assaulting the Wizard’s Tower

dcc_rpg_cover_smallAssaulting the Wizard’s Tower’ is the thirteenth episode of a Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG actual play podcast. Additional information can be found at http://irontavern.com/podcast.

Session Synopsis

The group recovers from the successful Temple of the Moon ritual and discuss their plans to eliminate the threat from Leotah. Working with others in the temple district Tsanth convinces a priestess of Justicia that some assistance might be in order. Bong uses his newfound position within the city guard to enlist additional help for a daring tower raid. With one group assaulting the front gate of the tower wall and the other seeking a path in through the sewers the assault begins!

 

Download Link: http://irontavern.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Episode-13.mp3

Credits

Intro and outro music is ‘Wrecking Ball’ from 137 from http://music.mevio.com.

Episode 12: Temple of the Moon Ritual

dcc_rpg_cover_smallTemple of the Moon Ritual’ is the twelfth episode of a Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG actual play podcast. Additional information can be found at http://irontavern.com/podcast.

Session Synopsis

The party enters the City of the Dead to seek out the body of Ephardius in order to learn more of Leotah and her defenses at the tower. Tsanth harasses the fledgling clergy of Cthulhu in order to further prove Mani’s power and growing relevance within the city.  During the day the temple is prepared for the evening’s ceremony to Mani. That night the party must defend the Temple of the Moon against an attempt from Leotah’s minions to interfere with the ritual.

 

Download Link: http://irontavern.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Episode-12.mp3

Credits

Intro and outro music is ‘Wrecking Ball’ from 137 from http://music.mevio.com.

Dungeon Crawl Classics Kickstarter

The folks over at Goodman Games have a Kickstarter running to help fund the swag for the World Tour 2014. What is a World Tour?

Last year Goodman Games offered some promo items for folks running Dungeon Crawl Classic games open to the public. The judges running the game could sign up to receive some swag in the form of bookmarks, buttons, con ribbons, mechanical pencils, etc. When the game was complete the judge could submit the event to Goodman Games and receive cooler swag for themselves. T-shirts, transfers, the infamous belt buckle, and a secret prize if you hit nine games or more.

The World Tour is in effect for 2014 as well. Word is a certain Spellburn acolyte already has 5 games under her belt! To help fund the swag for this years World Tour Goodman Games started up a Kickstarter. From the blurb:

Send DCC RPG on a 2014 World Tour! Fund swag, travel, and games across the known universe, including the epic Wizard Van!

The goal here is to get enough orders for various swag items to bring down the manufacturing cost to allow the production of more items at about the same cost. Most folks know the more you make of something, the cheaper it gets. So while an order of 100 might cost $100, an order of 1000 might only cost $120 (I made these numbers up to make the point). If Goodman Games gets the order quantities up for a lot of these items, that lets us get some cool swag and helps them be even more generous with it during the World Tour this year.

The Kickstarter page has the full list of items, but they have everything from buttons to bookmarks to mechanical pencils to pads of 0-level character sheets, and more.

Stretch goals range from sweet blacklight posters, custom character sheet pads, to a Wizard Van for Goodman Games.

To help out the effort Purple Duck Games has contributed Bone Hoard of the Dancing Horror, The Falcate Idol, and The Perils of Cinder Claws. Folks that pledge $25 or more are eligible for these PDFs.

So swing on over to the Goodman Games Kickstarter pickup some swag for yourself and help Goodman Games with World Tour 2014! You have about 10 days left!

Cover Art – Or Lack Thereof

Iron Tavern Press LogoIron Tavern Press has two products out in the world now, with more Pocket-Sized Encounters on their way. One decision that is now obvious to the public is that I chose to go the no cover art route with these products. This was not a decision made lightly and this post looks at what went into this decision for Iron Tavern Press.

The primary factor is of course cost. Artists deserve to be paid for their talents. But with the somewhat steady release cycle I have in mind for the launch of Iron Tavern Press, my up front expenses to put a unique cover on each product was a very real cost that I might not see return on until the venture gets it feet under it.

These funds seemed better spent to me by putting it into editing services, the tools to publish a clean product, and interior art that spruced up the product. With the release schedule I had in mind this is the decision path I leaned towards to get Iron Tavern Press established.

The other factor is the quality of that art. Given a limited budget there is a question of what quality of art would be on the cover if I went that route. I did some mock-ups a few months ago with some images. Frankly, they had a more amateurish look to them than the minimalistic covers I have launched with. Just as great cover art can help a product, bad cover art can hurt a product.

The decision is not without its risks. Who doesn’t love cool cover art? I see it all the time – a cool cover gets posted to a social network, it gets shared around and that is all based on the appearance of the cover. Very little is said about the actual content of the product. Cool cover art definitely can help with exposure and generate some excitement about a product.

My feedback from the mock-ups I sent out was mixed. Some encouraged using cover art and others understood why I would make the decision to launch products with no cover art. Even those that encouraged the use of cover art acknowledged the cover mock-up was very clean and looked well done. It at the very least gave a professional appearance, even if it did lack cover art.

In the end I chose the clean, minimalistic covers for the Pocket-Sized Encounters line. I am happy with the choice and it has allowed me to use quality interior art (some stock art, some commissioned pieces) and hire an RPG editor to make sure the words in the product are the best they can be.

All of Iron Tavern Press’ products are currently on sale as part of the GM’s Day Sales going on at the beginning of March. This is a great opportunity to check them out (cover art or not!) at either shop.d20pfsrd.com or RPGNow.