Roll20 Contest Winners

This afternoon I put all commenters on the original contest post in a list and rolled a d15 over at Invisible Castle! The winners of a PDF from Iron Tavern Press are:

  • Randall B
  • HoneyBadger
  • Stinky1EyedOgre

An email has been sent to the winners to collect their Iron Tavern Press PDF. If you were a winner and did not receive an email, please check your spam filter or contact me.

Thanks to everyone that participated. It was interesting to see how many hours folks have played on Roll20. There were definitely some really interesting numbers!

New Year 2015

The New Year is upon us! Time for a brief look at 2014 and a look at what is ahead for 2015 on several fronts (all gaming related in some fashion). There will be lots of similar posts from people on the Internet today via blogs, social media posts, etc. So I will try to be brief in this reflection post!

Iron Tavern

The Iron Tavern itself has continued to be a fun platform to post random thoughts from me. Some are reviews of product, opinion pieces, or a vehicle to promote Iron Tavern Press products or the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG Actual Play Podcast. Posting got a little slow towards the end of the year, I have recently learned a 3 or 4 day break from work will do wonders for recharging the creative batteries that power my hobby interests.

The most popular post from 2014 was D&D 5e and PDFs. I suspect a lot of those hits are just people looking for PDFs to download, but even today that post tends to rank a spot in most visited posts of the day.

Since that post we’ve seen Dungeonscape crash and burn (surprise, surprise) and we still don’t have PDFs from Wizards. This is still one of my major complaints about 5e. While I own all the physical core books, I would readily pay for PDFs of the product. It just helps my preparation to have them available digitally. Not having PDFs is a handicap to my preparation of sessions.

The recent break from work has helped recharge my batteries. Blog posts will continue and I will still use the Iron Tavern blog as my platform for reviews, commentary, and promotion of some of my RPG related products. While not the most famous RPG blog on the Internet I get enough traffic to keep Iron Tavern useful to me, and seemingly its loyal readers!

DCC RPG Podcast

This question was answered yesterday! I finished editing all of the queued up live play audio and have the remaining sessions of the Sunken City Campaign scheduled for posting. Starting on Monday, January 5th, one episode will be released per week for folks to hear the completion of the podcast.

The big question is do we post actual play sessions of the next DCC campaign I am starting in January. The group is already gathering up and we should be kicking off next week or the week after. It takes a fair amount of time to prep the episodes, so there is some question as to whether I will continue the AP or not. The current one seemed pretty popular as far as an AP podcast goes, so there seems to be some interest. Just not sure how much.

Do you want to see an AP released for the next campaign? Post in the comments and let me know.

Iron Tavern Press

2014 saw the launch of Iron Tavern Press. This is my effort at self-publishing and has focused on Pocket-Sized Encounters, short scenarios designed to be dropped into a person’s campaign on a short notice with minimal prep. The line has been well received, but is still in its early stages. These things take time and I am learning a bit as we go.

Iron Tavern Press suffered a bit from my business towards the end of last year. But I have a good amount of product already written and in my queue to be published. These include some more Pocket-Sized Encounters and a Dungeon Crawl Classics module. Things are already underway to get the next PSE release out there. I expect we will see it released by the end of January, perhaps a little sooner.

So far all of Iron Tavern Press releases have been in PDF form. When catering to an old-school audience this is necessarily optimal. The customers want physical products – often buying both physical and digital form. This year I hope to work the kinks out of creating a physical product and release in print on demand form as well. I still have some learning curve to get through on this front.


And lets not forget what this whole blog is centered around – gaming! 2014 saw me in an online game and a face-to-face game. A good mix of gaming. I plan on continuing in and with both of those games.

My biggest shift here (and this is the closest thing to a New Year’s Resolution I am making), is I want to focus on gaming with my kids more often. The oldest is definitely of the right age and my youngest has interest and would happily play. So if a blog post has to slip, an AP release a little late, or an ITP product slide a touch because it allows me to play a game with my kids then so be it!

Now resolutions require some plan of action. I think we have the makings of a kid’s game with some of my son’s peers. I am making plans to get that coordinated to start in January will take the form of a Friday night 5e game. This might even involve some mini painting (I have a boatload of Reaper minis with more on the way!!!) and maybe even finishing off my Dwarven Forge pieces!

And that’s it! A look back and a look ahead to 2015! Thanks for all your support and interest!

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.


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!

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!And here we are at the end of 2013 and rolling full steam into the holidays! The Iron Tavern wants to wish everyone a Happy Holidays and hope you have an enjoying and relaxing time!

I have had a great year with The Iron Tavern and the friends I make through this blog and the many social media networks. Over the course of the year I have had many great discussions with people and lots of great gaming – both online and with my local group.

I will be taking a short holiday break from posting to the blog and will return after the first of the year. I will be using this time to make sure I have things in place for the unveiling of Iron Tavern Press, get ahead on a little freelancing, and just generally recharge the batteries a bit!

Happy Holidays!

Keeping Busy

The Haunting of Larvik CoverI have been remiss in my blogging over the past several weeks. My guest bloggers have been awesome at carrying the torch for me so far and that has been much appreciated. They have been responsible for making sure The Iron Tavern has at least something new for you each week.

So if I haven’t been posting here as regularly, what have I been up to?


First I have had several products released by various publishers that contain some maps I have created. I am proud to have been involved in each of these products.

For the Dungeon Crawl Classics crowd Thick Skull Adventures released the PDF of The Haunting of Larvik Island a month or two ago. This is a fun 1st level module to run your DCC players through. I drew many of the maps in the product think they came out looking great! Earlier this week The Haunting of Larvik Island was released in print, available at some online stores and hopefully at local game stores in your area soon. So if you wanted a copy in print that is an option as well.

Waysides: Hair of the DogOn another front, I have had a couple of tavern maps released under the Christina Stiles Presents line from Super Genius Games. Both Waysides: Didjer’s Crab House and Waysides: Hair of the Dog contain tavern maps I did for the product. These are fun products to drop into your campaign when you need a pre-built tavern with some interesting aspects!

I have another map or two in the works for the Christina Stiles Presents line as well.


I have a couple of writing projects on the edge of the plate as well. These are still pseudo-secret and because they are personal projects tend to get bumped when other paying freelance opportunities present themselves. But each week I make a little more progress on each and hopefully a little closer to an announcement on those fronts.


I also have another much larger project coming up that I also cannot reveal the full details on, as I am not 100% sure I am at liberty to reveal my involvement just yet. But a Kickstarter that funded about two months ago will be using me to handle the conversion to a Pathfinder version of the product. This will be a rather large project, but really looking forward to this one as well. Definitely proud to be a part of the attention to detail this product has received so far. Again – hopefully I can be less vague about the nature of this product in the near future.

Still Here!

Those are some of the things that have been keeping me busy over the past month or so. Lots of exciting things going on. And again – special thanks to my guest bloggers for keeping the doors open and the light on here at The Iron Tavern. I will put additional effort forth to get more posts by me here at The Tavern!

Welcome New Bloggers!

Quill BooksLast week The Iron Tavern put out the call to add a few bloggers to the pages here. I felt there was more going on in the fantasy RPG community than one single blogger could keep up with. I have experimented with guest blogger posts in the past with great success. The Iron Tavern has been able to provide reviews and commentary on other fantasy gaming systems I might not have found time to give the attention to.

By adding bloggers it also presents the opportunity for new perspectives and ideas to be offered on a regular basis at The Iron Tavern.

I had several people interested in blogging for The Iron Tavern as a result of the call I put out last week. I have chosen four of those people to being regular posts. This week will be an exciting week as we see the first of those posts start to appear.

Today I wanted to introduce the new folks. I asked each of them to write a brief bio about themselves for today.

Mark Knights

I am a 39 year old guy living in a small rural town called Elliott in Tasmania, Australia.  I have been role playing since I was 11 years old playing the original versions of Dungeons and Dragons, MERP, Elric, Dragon Warriors and the like amongst other genre games.  I played D&D 2nd Edition through the 90’s but I ran Earthdawn for my fantasy setting and loved it as a GM.  When 3rd Edition came out for D&D I tried it but found it too heavy on rules.  I ignored the 3.5 edition of DnD in favour of Earthdawn (big mistake) as I thought it was just a money spinner.  When 4th Edition DnD came on my players and I gave it a red hot go but hated what it had dumbed the game down to be.  On a trip to Melbourne to buy some 4E stuff from a hobby store an old mate of mine pointed me at Pathfinder and in a Fantasy setting I have never looked back.

Currently I run a couple of Pathfinder campaigns (one on Google+ and the other in person) and a Classic Traveller campaign (on Google+).  I am finishing the alpha version of my own game which is highly confidential at the moment.  I run my own blog at which initially was going to be a Pathfinder only blog but has broadened since its start in October last year.  In real life I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I am currently working as a teacher of all things Computer!

Brian Fitzpatrick

Brian “Fitz” Fitzpatrick is a Software Engineer who manages (or is that mangles) Game Knight Reviews and tinkers with writing game materials via his Moebius Adventures imprint. When he’s not writing about gaming, he’s actually gaming or at least thinking about gaming in some capacity. During the non-writing, non-gaming time he’s likely trying to keep up with his wife and two daughters or wrangling code for a living!

Alan Kellog

The name is Mythusmage. More formally, Alan Kellogg. I am a blogger and a gamer, and I opine on various subjects and topics. I believe that you should do your best at whatever you do, and I refuse to cheat on your behalf simply because you refuse to try. Personal initiative is what I believe in, and I’ll do what I can to make your adventures interesting. Demand special treatment for any reason and you’re apt to get stomped on by your enemies and opposition. Give it an honest try, and while you may not succeed, others are apt to extend you some respect.

I live in San Diego CA, have been gaming since 1964 (board games) and 1975 (RPGs). Have credits in Dangerous Journeys: Mythus and have helped out with a few other projects (Charlemagne’s Paladins for TSR for instance). Currently working on a revision of Mythus for possible publication.

What will my blog posts here be about? Better gaming, better play, making your adventures more involving and involve more. You’ll learn more as the posts progress. So welcome, and I hope you find what I write interesting, informative, and useful.


Well known for his reviews from the glory days of EN World, Crothian brings his wealth of reviewing experience to The Iron Tavern. In addition to reviews Crothian has years decades of gaming experience that often causes him to experiment wildly with game rules to push the limits. From feats at every level in D&D 3.5 to starting a Pathfinder adventure path with existing 9th level characters, Crothian explores the boundaries of various gaming systems.

The Iron Tavern welcomes the new bloggers!

Blogger Wanted

Writing with a QuillThe Iron Tavern is looking for a blogger interested in contributing a regular weekly post to the site. My guest blogger experiments in the past have been a positive experience and now I would like to expand that role a bit.

What can I blog about?

Regular readers of The Iron Tavern know the site is primarily dedicated to the fantasy genre of roleplaying games. Articles tend to track with my current gaming system interest. This is one of my primary motivators for adding a blogger to The Iron Tavern’s author pool, to keep the variety of posts up at the site.

Blog posts can be commentary, recent news in various fantasy RPG systems, commentary fantasy RPGs, or anything else that is related to fantasy RPG systems. Specific areas I would like to see more coverage on regularly is the Pathfinder system, how the D&D Next playtest is going, or your OSR system of choice. If one of those topics sounds like something you would like to write about then send me an email and lets talk.

Why would I want to blog for The Iron Tavern?

This is not a paid blogger position. This is a position for someone that loves to talk about fantasy RPGs and would like to tap into an already established (and growing) audience.

Maybe you are a blogger with your own site who wants a regular guest article at another site to increase your own audience. The Iron Tavern can be the vehicle to help facilitate that.

Or maybe you have wanted to start your own blog but not wanted to handle the maintenance and administration of the site. Or thought you couldn’t keep an audience because you weren’t ready to commit to the number of postings needed to do that per week. The Iron Tavern is an already established blog that can act as your platform.

I am looking for someone that can provide one blog post per week, but maybe you are a more prolific writer than that. The blogger chosen will certainly be allowed to post more than one article a week if you have quality content to provide!

Now what?

Interested in blogging for The Iron Tavern? Contact me at the email address I list in the About page of this blog. Please provide me a brief rundown of writing experience you may have. A short writing sample or links to other blog posts you may have made in the past are fine. Don’t forget to mention what types of topics you think you will cover as you get rolling. If things look to be a good match I will review the flow of providing posts to the blog and we will go from there!

State of the Tavern – 2012

2012_LogoIt is time for the annual look back at the year 2012 at The Iron Tavern as the New Year fast approaches. The end of 2012 finds The Iron Tavern a little over a year in from opening its doors in August 2011. We have covered a variety of topics this year from product reviews, commentary on current gaming issues and releases, interviews, and more. The Iron Tavern also welcomed a handful of guest bloggers to help broaden the spectrum of gaming products covered.

The Iron Tavern changed hosting providers towards the end of this year. This change was to position The Iron Tavern a little better for future growth and a couple of other plans rumbling in the back room. Overall I have been quite pleased with the decision to change hosting providers and it was worth effort to do so.

Before we look at the year ahead for The Iron Tavern let’s look at some of the top 5 and top 10 lists of posts, referring sites, and search terms folks came to The Iron Tavern for.

Popular Posts

These are the five most popular posts during 2012 at The Iron Tavern. It looks like my post on The One Ring that was actually made in 2011 is still quite popular! The Dungeonslayers review was done by a guest blogger Kelly Davis and rounded out the top five list!

Referring Sites

I removed search engine results from the list which accounted for a landslide of referrals in the list this year. Google+ has a strong lead in referring sites as well. I find the G+ gaming community very personable and much more engaged than the other social media networks. Not only does The Iron Tavern get a large number of referrals from G+, there is also a reasonable amount of discussion on blog posts over on G+.

The Paizo and Goodman Games are result of a lot of Pathfinder product commentary and reviews done here. I also post a fair amount of Dungeon Crawl Classics fan generated content here as well.

The Facebook referrals are often from other company’s or gaming entities who link to The Iron Tavern to highlight a post I did concerning their product. Twitter, unsurprisingly, is towards the bottom of my top five list. Though I maintain an active presence on Twitter I find the click-through rate from there quite low. It feels much more like shouting into the wind compared to the other social media networks.

  • Google+
  • Paizo
  • Goodman Games
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Top Search Terms

The top search terms for the year again favor The One Ring RPG from Cubicle 7. Dungeon Crawl Classics pushes its way to the top of the list as well. I have a large amount of DCC RPG content at The Iron Tavern. Pathfinder products fill out the rest of the list with my Midgard Campaign setting review rounding out the list, as well as my look at the Roll20 VTT.

  • the one ring rpg
  • dungeon crawl classics rpg
  • the one ring map
  • pathfinder beginner box
  • rise runelord pdf review
  • pathfinder iconics
  • dcc rpg
  • midgard campaign setting
  • rise of the runelords
  • roll20

The Look Ahead to 2013

In many ways I feel like The Iron Tavern is still finding its niche, much as I was last year. Finding the balance between getting two to three blog posts up on the site and working on some side-projects, writing queries, and general content creation for the gaming industry continues to be a delicate balance.

Moving forward I hope to continue the trend of getting three posts up per week. Regular followers have noticed I tend to have new posts on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of the week with occasional surprise posts on other days as time permits. I hope to continue that trend in the upcoming year.

The Iron Tavern will continue to focus on the fantasy genre of RPGs. I expect Pathfinder and Dungeon Crawl Classics to continue to be major topics. It looks like Dungeonslayers will get a few more posts and quite likely Barebones Fantasy as well. My interests seem to be drifting back to an OSR feel with less complex systems catching my eye. I am sure there will be the occasional D&D post as we watch D&D Next evolve as well (more if I can find a guest blogger interested in regular posts on D&D). Rolemaster will continue to make an experience as guest blogger UbiquitousRat continues his look at the playtest.

As mentioned earlier, The Iron Tavern did experiment with guest bloggers this year. The results were successful and I liked the different take and broader look of systems that brought to the blog. With that in mind, I would like to pickup another regular guest blogger or two to write regular articles. Interested in guest blogging? Here are the topics I am especially interested in:

Dungeons and Dragons: I tried to keep up with the playtest, but simply have not had time. I would welcome a blogger who can post an article every other week or so with information on how the playtest is going and other D&D events that are noteworthy.

Pathfinder: More frequent posts on Pathfinder products and Pathfinder games would be great. If you are an aspiring blogger looking for an established platform to talk about Pathfinder, contact me.

OSR systems: There are so many great rule-light, old school systems I would be happy to host guest posts on any number of these. Either a look at products, actual play, or commentary on the genre would be considered for The Iron Tavern.

Overall, I consider 2012 a successful year for The Iron Tavern and look forward to bringing even more content to readers this year! Here is to a great 2013!

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!The Iron Tavern wants to wish everyone a Happy Holidays! It has been another great year for the Iron Tavern. I have enjoyed all the discussion on my blog posts throughout the year, whether the discussion is here, on Google+, Facebook, or Twitter. I hope your holidays are filled with gaming and lots of time spent with family!

I will be taking a break from posting for the next week. I have a couple of projects I want to catch up on and sit back and do some reading of my own to recharge the batteries as we head into the New Year! I will be back to posting at the first of the year with a look back at 2012, possibly a full patron write-up for Dungeon Crawl Classics, and a couple of reviews to start out with.

Happy Holidays!

Ohio Gamers G+ Community

Quick post on this Thursday night that actually has limited audience appeal. Google+ released their Communities feature tonight. Likely if you are a G+ user you have been inundated with invites for various RPG groups. The RPG community is very strong on G+.

I have created a community for Ohio RPG Gamers on Google+ Communities. If you are an Ohio gamer or have friends in Ohio, give them a heads up. The group has categories for major regions in Ohio. Feel free to use this group to discuss RPGs, plan meetups in your area, plan meetups at local cons, or even plan some online games made up of Ohio folks!

The Ohio RPG Gamer community group is here: