Iron Tavern Reconstruction

Posting at The Iron Tavern will be a little slow this week. After seeing how the inaugural year went for the blog and being happy with the result I wanted a little more flexibility in my hosting option. With that in mind I am in the process of moving the blog from its current hosting provider to a new one.

Of course I have chosen an extremely busy time of year for me to tackle this! Between a series family medical issues, a death in the family, a writing project entering the playtest phase, and a few more pitches to hammer out in the coming week I could have chosen a period of better downtime to coordinate this move. But, the pricing deal I was waiting for on hosting came up over Black Friday and sales wait for no one!

Please bear with us over the next couple of days as I get the domain name transfer sorted out. I expect minimal downtime, though there might be a couple of hiccups in the early days of re-opening the tavern on the new host. I hope the new host gives The Iron Tavern a slightly more flexible platform as we move forward!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is Thanksgiving in the US as I sit here writing this. Lazy morning for the family as we have some excellent friends bringing us turkey and all the fixings this evening. I had several ideas for a Thanksgiving Day post, but the recent week has not cooperated due to family medical issues. Today’s impromptu post will have to suffice.

So let me thank the faithful readers of the blog for taking the time for continuing to read The Iron Tavern and sharing with your friends. All the comments, retweets, circle shares, and such are welcomed as the blog continues to grow.

I am thankful for the RPG hobby as a means to use my mind in creative ways and provide hours and hours of entertainment. It is often both a tool to “escape” some of the realities of the day-to-day while it is also a creative outlet for me. From writing posts on this blog, to writing RPG content, to planning and running games, these are all things that exercise areas of my mind and provide enjoyment.

A thanks also goes to the folks I game with – both my online group and my local group. Thanks for taking the time out of your nights to set aside a few hours to play the RPG games we enjoy. Thanks for being awesome players and GMs providing a great group of people to play with. And thanks for the friendly banter between games.

And finally, thanks to my family for understanding my desire to play these games, write RPG content and supporting my hobby. Though they might not always understand my fascination with RPGs, they do understand that it is a mental release for me.

Happy Thanksgiving from The Iron Tavern!

Friday Catch Up

Today we talk about some of the things going on around The Iron Tavern.

Social Media

First up, The Iron Tavern and social media. Many readers have found us on Twitter and Google+, but I finally started a Facebook page for those that use that as their primary social media outlet.

The Iron Tavern on Facebook: Our newest social media outlet, swing by the Facebook page and give The Iron Tavern a Like if you would.

The Iron Tavern on Google+: The Google+ page is not new, but perhaps under advertised. Pointers to the updates here at The Iron Tavern are regularly posted to the Google+ page.

The Iron Tavern on Twitter: I post updates to The Iron Tavern under my Twitter account, so another excellent way to keep up with what is happening over here. Stop by and say Hi.

Guest Blogging

Recently The Iron Tavern opened up the doors to some guest bloggers. This has worked out really well and has brought a different perspective and more importantly, posts on some different fantasy RPG systems! In case you have missed the guest blog posts, I wanted to take a moment to highlight them here again today.

UbiquitousRat has been covering the new Rolemaster Playtest for us and been doing an excellent job. His series will continue as he provides insights on the playtest and how he adapts the rules to his home setting of Heroic Mykenaea.

Shortymonster wrote an excellent post on OSR as a State of Mind. His premise that any RPG game can be played as an OSR game, it is just a matter of how you approach it.

Kelly Davis posted a great review on Dungeonslayers earlier this week. Dungeonslayers is a free fantasy RPG with a focus on lean, mean mechanics for an old fashioned RPG feel. Kelly covered the game in-depth and is well worth the read if you are considering your options for a free RPG or just need a change of pace.

The Iron Tavern still has room for a couple of more guest bloggers. If you have a series of posts you would like to do or even just a single topic you would like to cover, let me know. I posted information on how to contact me in a recent Guest Bloggers Wanted post.

Guest Bloggers Wanted!

The Iron Tavern is looking for guest blogger submissions! I have been considering adding another author at The Iron Tavern for a couple of months now. I think putting out an open call for guest bloggers is a good way to test the waters.

Why would I want to guest blog?

Maybe you have some ideas that you would like to write about but you do not have the platform to do so. Maybe you want to get a feel for blogging without the commitment of setting up a blog and establishing your own traffic in those early days . Or maybe you have things to say, but aren’t sure you have enough to say to continue blogging on a regular basis. Or maybe you write for an established blog and want to get your writing in front of a different readership.

What can I blog about?

Frequent readers already know The Iron Tavern is primarily a blog for the fantasy RPG genre. The major games I talk about here are Pathfinder, Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG, The One Ring, and D&D. I tend more towards Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG and Pathfinder posts or commentary on RPGs in general. I would really like to see some more articles on how the D&D Next playtest is going for you or maybe something on some of the other “retro” fantasy RPG systems that are out there. Or maybe you have some great advice that is relevant to RPGs in general. Those articles are always welcome as well.

If your ideas are fantasy RPG related, pitch them to me. We can go from there.

How do I submit?

My email address is in the About section of this site. Please send a short pitch about what you would like to write about. More than one idea? Go ahead and pitch each of them. If things seem like a good match I just might have a regular blogging spot open for you.

Iron Tavern Contest Winners

The One Year Anniversary Contest ended last night at 9pm Eastern. I want to thank all that entered, either by posting a comment here on the blog, mentioning The Iron Tavern on Twitter, adding us on Google+, or adding us to your blog roll. I spent this morning updating my list of entries with any of the last minute entrants.

With my final list of entries in hand, I randomized the entries in Excel and rolled twice at The first roll was for the first place prize, a $15 gift certificate to either RPG Now or and the second roll for the second place prize, a $10 gift certificate to either RPG Now or

And our winners are…

First Place – $15 Gift Certificate to RPG Now or

  • Jconnell26 from his Twitter Entry

Second Place – $10 Gift Certificate to RPG Now or

  • Saroe from a blog comment

I will be contacting the winners via email shortly for them to choose their choice of prize.

Thanks again everyone for participating in the contest. I look forward to another year of blogging at The Iron Tavern!

One Year Anniversary

Happy Anniversary!

One year ago today I made my first post at The Iron Tavern. I started the Iron Tavern after an #rpgchat that was focused on RPG blogging. With that chat as inspiration I wanted to use The Iron Tavern as a platform for a multitude of things. I wanted it to be a place to write some fiction, offer up product reviews, offer commentary on games I was interested in, and more.

Over the past year I have tackled most of those. I have not posted fiction here since the early months of the Tavern, but reviews, game commentary and the like are frequent topics at The Iron Tavern. In many ways, even a year later I feel like the blog is still hitting its stride and finding its place in the RPG blogosphere.

From the early days of the blog traffic here has increased ten-fold-plus. I would still like to see continued increase, but I am quite happy with how things have been going with the blog. It provides me an outlet or soapbox for me to write about a wide variety of RPG topics, review various RPG materials, and simply as a platform to talk RPG. The comments I receive regarding the blog are favorable.

I do not want to dwell too much on numbers and statistics, but I find it interesting to at least take a look at some of the more popular posts over the year. Let’s take a look at the top three posts from the time I launched this blog one year ago to now.

The most popular post?  A Look at The One Ring. This post is one where I took a quick overview of the game, touched on some of its more major mechanics and provided thoughts on the game. Over the past year, it has been the most popular post, excluding hits to the home page of the blog.

Coming up closely after that, are my review if Hero Lab Beginner Box and my Rise of the Runelords unboxing. The Hero Lab post fell in the first quarter of the blog, though at the tail end. The Rise of the Runelords unboxing was more recent having been posted just over a month ago.

The Contest

What anniversary celebration would be complete without a contest? The Iron Tavern is hosting its first ever contest to celebrate its one year anniversary!  Up for grabs is a $15 gift certificate to RPG Now or – winner’s choice! There is also a second place prize of a $10 gift certificate to RPG Now or, winner’s choice.

While I hope this will be the first of several more contests in the future, this contest certainly has the lowest hurdle to entry! Though there are several methods of entry and even methods to increase your chances!

The Iron Tavern Comment Entries

The first, and easiest, is to simply post a comment to this post wishing The Iron Tavern a Happy One Year anniversary. That is it, post a comment on this post and you are entered! Only one comment for entry per person please. The cut-off is Sunday, September 2nd at 9pm Eastern for comments to be considered.

Looking for another way to enter to increase your chances? I have a few of those as well.

Google+ Entry

You can follow The Iron Tavern’s Google+ page. I post updates there when the blog is updated and it can be a great way to keep up with what is happening at The Iron Tavern. Once you have added The Iron Tavern on Google+, be sure to comment on the Google+ Update about The Iron Tavern Anniversary and Contest so I know to add your name!

Twitter Entry

Tweet a link to this contest post on Twitter, make sure to cc: @ir0nwolf so I know you posted a link and I will add your name again to the list of entrants.

Blogroll Entry

Add The Iron Tavern to your own blog’s blogroll. Already have The Iron Tavern on your blogroll? Then just let me know by posting a comment here or pinging me on Twitter and I will add your name to the list of entrants again!

That is it! Four ways to enter this contest! Post a comment on this post wishing The Iron Tavern a happy anniversary, follow The Iron Tavern’s Google+ page (and comment on this post announcement on Google+ so I know about it), add The Iron Tavern to your own blog’s blogroll, and tweet a link to this contest while mentioning @ir0nwolf! Choose one method or all four to increase your chances of winning!

Who Wins?

The contest winners will be decided by a roll of the dice. I will put all entrants names into a spreadsheet and then use to roll a dice to select the first place winner and then the second place winner by random roll. Get in on this contest now, as this will be the easiest contest The Iron Tavern ever holds! Future contests are going to require a little more work on the contestants’ part!

The Rules

  • Contest Ends Sunday, September 2, 2012 at 9pm Eastern.
  • Winners Announced Monday, September 3, 2012
  • Four Methods of Entry
  • You can enter the contest via each method to increase your chances of winning, but only once per method.
  • Winners names (or handles) may be used in future blog posts or blog promotion.
  • Winners will be determined by random roll at
  • 1st Place Prize $15 gift certificate to RPG Now or – Winner’s choice
  • 2nd Place prize $10 gift certificate to RPG Now or – Winner’s choice

Who Is IronWolf?

Avatar by Wesley Hall

This blog is approaching its one year anniversary next month. It has been a good time writing the various articles here, exploring different fantasy RPG systems, reviews and other RPG related commentary. The Iron Tavern may just celebrate the upcoming anniversary with some form of contest next month! But that is not today’s topic.

When I started writing here I did so under the pseudonym of IronWolf. I have used that name in most RPG related places I have signed up with if it was not already taken. IronWolf was the name of one of my very first D&D characters. Many will also recognize it as the last name of the infamous Morgan Ironwolf, also from the D&D Basic Sets!

However, as time has gone on and my more frequent usage of Google+ I have become more accustomed to using my real name. The mixing of using my alias from various forum sites as my posting name here has also generated confusion on more than one occasion from someone not making the connection.

With much consideration and thought I think it is now time to bring things together under my real name as opposed to my posting alias. As my online social circles grow, The Iron Tavern grows in active readers and contribution credits increase I believe this consolidation will help keep things together a little better.

My posts here at The Iron Tavern will no longer appear as being authored by IronWolf, but as Jeffrey Tadlock now.

I have updated the About page here at The Iron Tavern to reflect the real name and added a few more things about me there. I have also updated my Twitter profile to display my real name as well, though my Twitter account is still under @ir0nwolf. I have also added more contact information to the About page to make reaching me easier.

Week in Review: 2/19/2012

Art Courtesy chiaralily of

Welcome to another installment of this week in review at The Iron Tavern. I like to use these posts as a way to sum up some things that have been going on that might not warrant a post dedicated to the topic.

Timeless Adventures – The Tribute

Carl Bussler of Flagons and Dragons fame has released his Pathfinder Adventure The Tribute for $4.99 for the PDF. I have been quite tempted to do a review on this product, but I was involved with some of the early feedback on the product as he was working on it and feel that could lean my review one way versus another. So I am including in this week in review post.

An adventure for 7th level characters with the Pathfinder system you find yourself at the village of Honningstad and facing the difficult choice of saving the town or rescuing some villagers taken captive from an envoy. The characters must make the choice of which task to tackle first and then see if they can do solve both in a very short timeframe.

In addition to being a well-written adventure it uses a tracking device called the Scroll of Omens to help track the passage of time in an interesting manner. It also allows the characters to visibly see as they proceed in the adventure that their actions have consequences in relation to the timeline.

This one looks like a lot of fun for the GM and the players alike. You can pick it up over at

Kingmaker Campaign

The Kingmaker campaign I am running continues to progress. We are midway through book six at the moment and it seems to be going well. Book six of the Kingmaker AP gets a few complaints that it comes out of nowhere in comparison to the first five books in the AP. I believe in my campaign that I have done a good job of foreshadowing the events in book six and it feels more logical. I hope so as at the moment it is my favorite portion of the campaign from behind the GM’s screen.

Our last two sessions have been over Google Hangouts and Skype due to some scheduling issues on my side. Next week’s session will be face to face again. I thought it might be the finale session, but I am not so sure at the moment. Due to some technical difficulties last week we had a late start, so we might have more left than we can fit into one more session. In either case we are getting close.

Campaign Next

See what I did there? Once the above Kingmaker campaign wraps up I will get a break from GMing for our local group for a while. Our normal group’s GM is going to run Council of Thieves for us. I am looking forward to the campaign as it is always nice to just be the player. Our normal GM does an excellent job of weaving together interesting sub-plots. Given the setting of Council of Thieves he should have a plethora of tools at his disposal to do so!

Troll in the Corner

For those that might have missed it, I have become a regular contributor over at Troll in the Corner. I write an article every Tuesday over there. It has been a fun experience so far. Definitely check the site out if you have not done so yet, there are several talented authors over there that post on a variety of gaming topics.

Open Design – Journeys West

The Journeys West Open Design project is progressing nicely over at the Kobold Quarterly site. The major turn-ins are starting to happen and the early rough drafts of the current turn-ins are starting to surface. It has definitely been a learning experience over there for me, both in honing some writing and learning what makes for a winning pitch. It also gives some insight in what goes into a project from start to finish.

Gaming With Kids

I still have been running a Pathfinder Campaign using the Beginner Box rules for the kids. They have been having a good time with the game. For the past couple of weeks my son has actually stepped up to start GMing his own adventures which I have posted about here. He has done a really good job on that. He has run at least one more adventure since my post here about his first experience. We made it part way through that last week, it was another pretty solid adventure from the mind of an eight year old boy!

Weekly Wrap

And this concludes a weekly review at The Iron Tavern. As always I have been keeping busy!

Week In Review: 1/15/2012

image from Brendan Adkins

Welcome to another week in review at The Iron Tavern. I use these review posts to cover several items in one post that do not quite merit a post in and of itself.

Troll in the Corner

I recently became a contributing author over at Troll in the Corner. Ben had gone on a search for more authors to keep the content over there fresh and interesting. It looks like he has brought on a good crew and I am looking forward to see what the other new folk bring to the site. If you are interested you can catch my articles over there on Tuesdays.

Kingmaker Campaign

Things are going well in the Kingmaker campaign I am running. We missed this past week as one of our players could not make it and there was something that involved his character coming up that I did not want him to miss. Normally we would have gamed one player down, but circumstances and story dictated otherwise.

The group has faced their first major threat to their kingdom from another kingdom. The group was not real happy with the mass combat rules. I tried to let them know it was not a full mass combat system ahead of time so there would not be disappointment. We made it through, but I think their expectations were higher. Given the level of the characters when this occurs I think it might have been better to have the mass combat come earlier when the players would have been more content to lead armies than put themselves on the front lines.

If we can keep up our schedule for the next month and a half or so I suspect we will be wrapping the Kingmaker campaign up in early to mid-March. We shall see. It has been a fun campaign, but I will be looking forward to a chance to be a player again for a bit.

Open Design – Journeys West

I have been participating in the Journeys West project by the Open Design folks. So far I have been extremely pleased with my decision to participate in the project. Everything from the practice of pitching to the other patrons, to watching the others design and build and tweak to the Google Hangout opportunities with some of the others has made it a worthwhile experience.  I have made several pitches for various items so far and I think I have been making some improvements along the way. I look forward to what lies ahead for this Open Design project.

Timeless Adventures

Carl Bussler of Flagons and Dragons fame has been working on his self-publishing effort under the guise of Timeless Adventures. He’s tweeted a bit about it and been active on Google Plus as well. He has previewed various maps along they way and it looks like the project is going well.

I volunteered as a reader and hopeful play tester of the adventure. Those of us doing so received the first part of the module earlier this week and the final part arrived today. It looks very interesting and I am particularly interested to see how one mechanic works out.

I’ve started wrangling a play test group together. It is shaping up to be a remote session for those involved. At the moment I am leaning towards using Google Hangouts and sharing a Google Drawing document for combat encounters. I played with that setup earlier today and it seems promising and more lightweight than a full on MapTool session. Hopefully schedules will cooperate and we will get to see how that goes – both the adventure and the Google Hangouts and Drawing combination.

Gaming With Kids

As I have mentioned on the blog previously, my son received the Beginner Box for his birthday in December. We have had several sessions with that and he has been having a great time. He has also been studying the rule books on his own and seems to be retaining a lot of the information. He certainly reminds me of myself when I was only a year or so older than him and learning the D&D Basic Set.

We missed last weekend as I did not get an adventure prepared in time. I am all set for this weekend and will be playing Hollows Last Hope later today. He has been playing a Dwarven Wizard and his sister helps out as an Elven Cleric. We usually bring along one of the pregens as well. I let him choose which pregen to bring and he usually chooses either Merisiel or Valeros.

Weekly Wrap

And that is the week in review! I have certainly been keeping busy. Remember to watch for my Tuesday article at Troll in the Corner and keep an eye here for more!

A Look Ahead – 2012

The Iron Tavern opened its doors in late August this year. While I still believe The Iron Tavern is still finding its niche, I have been very pleased with how the blog has progressed over the past few months. It has provided an outlet for me to post various thoughts, advice, reviews, and a small amount of fiction.

I wanted to take a few moments to look at the year 2011 in review and then look at where The Iron Tavern will head in 2012.

Popular Posts

What follows are the top five popular posts since The Iron Tavern opened earlier this year.

It appears that my early posts on game systems such as The One Ring by Cubicle 7 and Pathfinder articles that posted very quickly after initial release of the product in question were quite successful.

Referring Sites

I did modify this list slightly in that I removed Google as a referring site from the list below. The top three are not any real surprise. Facebook has been good to me, usually traffic from publisher sites when I post something about their product and they link to it from their Facebook page. The hits are typically from review links in their review section. Twitter reflects tweets I make announcing new posts here at The Iron Tavern.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Top Search Terms

The following are the top ten search terms that have been used to reach The Iron Tavern. The One Ring is a very popular term. Between the pre-review look at The One Ring, the unboxing and The One Ring review I get a lot of visitors through those terms. Merisiel and Valeros terms are typically landings on my Pathfinder Minis unboxing article.

  • the one ring rpg
  • merisiel
  • one ring rpg
  • the one ring rpg review
  • valeros
  • one ring “feat dice”
  • pathfinder miniatures
  • pathfinder battles
  • dice for the one ring
  • “the one ring” rpg

All in all, I am happy with how The Iron Tavern has done in the short time it has had its doors open. And that leads us to…

The Year Ahead – 2012

As I have noted, I have enjoyed my time putting up posts at The Iron Tavern and I am looking forward to the year ahead.

Early on I had intended to put out three blog posts per week. I did not quite hit that rate in 2011 and I am planning on scaling that back to two posts per week as my goal. I have been pursuing a freelancing goal a little harder recently and that has taken time from blog posts. I value this outlet though and realize a blog that is to be followed needs regular updates. I am sure there will be weeks that I exceed that rate, but my goal is two posts per week.

When The Iron Tavern opened its doors I posted that I would post commentary on gaming, fantasy RPG systems, product reviews for various systems. I also said I would post fiction covering The Iron Tavern and its occupants from the fictional slant. 2011 was pretty light from the fiction side of things. I plan to continue product reviews, commentary and such and I hope to increase some of the fiction pieces that hit the blog as well.

And finally, I put this blog up under a minimum of trappings. There are not a lot of graphics that adorn the site and I would like to pursue a masthead that represents The Iron Tavern and spices the site up a bit. I am not certain if this will be through some form of contest or whether I will commission some art at some point this year.

Here is to another successful year at The Iron Tavern in 2012! I hope you enjoy your stay!