Saturday, December 26, 2015

Giveaway results!


I had a total of 20 entries for my 12 Days of OSR Christmas giveaway between blog posts and emails. I randomly rolled a trusty D20 and the following are the winners:

Congratulations and I will be emailing all three of you to get the email/physical address of your nominees. Thanks and best wishes for a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 21, 2015

12 Days of OSR Christmas

Today the original cover art of Tales from the Game Tavern # 1 was sent to +Christopher Hardy. Back in November I did a giveaway and he was the lucky roll to receive Smite or Treat. The piece is the fine work of Ike Horton Arts and looks very nice framed as depicted below.

As this will probably be my last post this year I wanted to do one last giveaway! Tenkar’s Tavern is once again hosting the OSR Christmas and I wanted to participate. For background this is a yearly event organized by Tenkar in which items are gifted throughout the gaming community. It’s a really cool thing to do and the spirit behind it is just wonderful.

For my portion of the giveaway I wanted to focus on those gamers that may be down on their luck this season. I would like to send out a couple zines to gamers who could really use some encouragement. Do you know someone who doesn’t get much over the holidays – but always provides for everyone around them? Do you know a gamer that could use a smile going into the New Year?

If the answer is yes, I would like you to nominate them. Here is how to proceed:

In the comments below, please include: (You can also email your nominations to realmofultanya[at]

• How you know this fellow gamer
• Why you feel they should receive this gift
• Please DO NOT include their name. I will follow-up to get that information later.

I will randomly roll to determine three recipients of Tales from the Game Tavern issue #2 (Print +PDF). With Christmas being this Friday, I will probably alert the winners over the weekend. Thanks and best wishes for a wonderful holiday!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Tales from the Game Tavern: Issue #2

Looking for inspiration for your winter game sessions? Tales from the Game Tavern issue #2 is now available for purchase in hard copy and PDF! This has been a really fun project since there little secret how much I love anything Krampus related. The old pagan traditions of the holiday season are just wonderful for table-top gaming. With Krampus becoming so popular this seemed like a perfect time to create this issue. Inside you will find all system agnostic game material. So whether you play BCMI, a retro clone or 5E it does not matter.

The contents of issue #2 as follows:

  • Klergy of Krampus: They know when you’re naughty or nice.  
  • Figurines of Mischievous Power: Four statuettes with a devilish side.
  • The Frozen Man: A bone-chilling terror for your campaign.    
  • Gruss vom Krampus: A mid-level seasonal adventure and hex crawl.
  • Krampusnacht Curios: Twelve minor magic items gifted by Krampus.    
  • Roast Beast Soup: A delicious recipe for the cold winter nights

As you can see there is a wonderful assortment of Krampus related material for your campaign. If you are planning on gathering after the New Year, Gruss vom Krampus is a perfect adventure and story of redemption to run the players through. I hope all of you have as much fun reading and using issue #2 as I had creating it.

Obviously by releasing this issue during the holidays we will be subject to slowed shipping. That being said, if it takes a few days longer to arrive I would ask for your patience. Best wishes to everyone for a safe and happy holiday season. Wassail!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Throwback Thursday: D100

Back in the 1980s collecting dice was part and parcel with playing role playing games. There was no online ordering or social media to help spread images of new products all over. Sure there were printed publications but they only reached the audience that purchased them. I think as a young gamer part of the fun was just discovering new things and it made the FLGS very important. My favorite haunt was Allied Hobbies in Philadelphia during that time frame. It was there that I saw my very first D100 or correctly known as the Zocchihedron.

Having already been enamored with collecting polyhedral dice this monstrosity was the big times! WOW. It had 100 facets and was the size of a golf ball. When rolled on the table it would barrel over miniatures like the Raiders of the Lost Ark boulder trap! I NEEDED one of these and would double my chore efforts to save enough for one. I eventually collected quite a few of them and ironically they never saw much use. They were utilized more as little maracas by my younger sisters than ever on the game table. The sound came from diminutive weights inside the die which assisted it to settle when rolled.

Lou Zocchi, the founder of Gamescience, invented the Zocchihedron after several years of development. Lou’s dice are definitely my favorite to this day and I was very excited to see Gamescience back in business after a short hiatus. The Zocchihedron to me is synonymous with old school nostalgia. Even to this day they are a blast to pull out and use even when two D10s would be easier. This is especially true if you are playing any sort of percentile based RPG. The Zocchihedron can be used to create some table suspense as everyone crowds around to see the result of some important roll.

The die did not come without some old drama however which started in the 1987 issue 85 of White Dwarf. An analysis sent in by reader Jason Mills allegedly showed bias to numbers at the poles of the die. My understanding is Lou Zocchi subsequently corrected the issue by using less glue that held the two die halves together. That remedial measure removed extra weight which in turn was causing the potential bias. I personally never experienced this and my Zocchihedrons have always seemed to roll rather randomly.

So did you collect the legendary Zocchihedron? Have you used them during your game sessions or are they only a novelty die? With the holiday season upon us a Zocchihedron would be a fun gift for that hard to buy for gamer. In the very least they make for a great conversation piece and ultimately are really fun to roll.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Crown Royal Bags

According to their website approximately fifty million velvet bags are stitched for Crown Royal every year. With inventory like that being distributed all over the world it’s no wonder they became filled with dice at so many game tables. I still recall using mine as a dice bag in the early 80s because my father enjoyed Crown Royal during the holidays. In fact I specifically remember him giving me one because he had no use for it. Admittedly I think at first I stored my marble collection inside it.

Back then there was no social media helping to set trends. Rather RPG players just gravitated to them because they were awesome for dice storage. Shades of purple are a very medieval theme with the gold stitching and draw strings just enhancing the presentation.

This past summer I purchased thirty to use as loot bags for our friends and family gathering Ultracon. It was really fun having so many sprawled out all over the Game Tavern. After all these years they still remain my favorite dice bags and I’m sure nostalgia plays a role in that. However I challenge you to find a dice bag anywhere else that comes with a free bottle of whiskey!

Interestingly Crown Royal is now offering custom bags with which you can add your own message. All of the colors are available making it a great resource if you are on the hunt for a particular bag. If you are looking for a gift this holiday season for that special gamer this may be a good choice. Below are a few examples of some colors rarely seen even around popular game conventions:

So do you use a Crown Royal bag for your dice? If so do you recall the earliest time you had one? Or were they never a thing at your game gatherings. When I was growing up you were not cool unless you had one but I know people have different experiences. One thing is for sure if you meet the Crown Royal Wizard during a dungeon crawl wearing the below robe you better roll initiative or run away!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Interview: Jarrod Shaw of Mythoard

Last month I had the pleasure of interviewing Jarrod Shaw of Mythoard. For the uninitiated Mythoard is a monthly subscription box filled with RPG material. The typical content consists of modules, supplements, dice, minis, zines, maps, accessories and more. If you are looking for a gift this holiday season for someone who enjoys RPGs then consider Mythoard. Or maybe you just want to give yourself a gift subscription?  Hey, it’s a lot of work being a game master and Mythoard delivers inspiration every month!

As a small DIY publisher I was excited to include Tales from the Game Tavern #1 in the October 2015 Mythoard. I definitely will be back to the hoard in the future and encourage other publishers to consider it.

Without further ado’ here is the interview:

Interview: Jarrod Shaw

Date: 24 November 2015

For background how long have you been a gamer?

First introduced in '89, I was 8, then got my first book, Rules Cyclopedia in '91

For those readers new to Mythoard can you explain what it is?

Mythoard is a monthly subscription box, which only contains TTRPGs.  Each month, our members get a box mailed to them that is packed with great gaming material, primarily from small press and indie publishers and makers.

I really like the name, Mythoard. Any particular inspiration when deciding on it?

I was spit-balling ideas for the company around with several folks at the time. When speaking with Michael Tresca about name possibilities, he tossed out Mythoard, and the family and I were instantly in love with the name.  I can't take credit for that!

I suppose the name indicates, at least in my brain, a mammoth cavern, full of rare treasures.  Definitely a quest location!

So in November Mythoard was celebrating its one year anniversary. Looking ahead what can we expect in 2016?

We have a lot planned for the upcoming year!  We are just finishing up an upgrade to our site which will allow members to sign into their own account. A feedback system is in the works, which will allow members to rate and comment on the items in the hoard each month.  We would like to get custom boxes soon.  Also, we plan on doing at least 6 cons in 2016, as opposed to 2 this year.  More Prizes.  More Press.  More Mythoard!

What separates Mythoard from all the other subscription boxes out there?

Content.  Absolutely.  To my knowledge, no one is doing what we are doing.  Not only are we offering only TTRPGs, we are focused sharply on the small press.

How should a potential RPG maker or DIY publisher contact you?

Email is the best route,

If someone was skeptical of subscription boxes what would your advice be?

Give us a try.  It's only $25 shipped, and it could change your life.  Seriously, our boxes are sexy, and when someone sees you reading material from it, they will praise you unending for your outright coolness.  If not, well, it's only twenty five bucks.

What is your go to tabletop game at the moment?

DCC.  Dragon Quest is a close second right now though. I have only gotten to run it a handful of times, but the mechanics blow me away.

THACO, love it or leave it?

It confused the hell out of me as a youngin'.  Haven't ran 2nd in a decade I bet, but THAC0 has never scared me off.

I see the OSR is dead posts now again and they make me chuckle. What are your thoughts on that?

Seems pretty damn vibrant to me!  OSR is not a simple, one size fits all label. People like to slander things that don't adhere to a definable protocol.  Haters gonna hate.

I was curious if Mythoard will ever assemble some themed boxes down the road?

Yes.  It's a beast to arrange a regular box, so the curating for a themed box seems scary, but I'd like to try it out one month.

The MEGA HOARD seems like a good marketing opportunity. Can publishers donate items to that?

That's the primary source of acquirement!  Absolutely!

OK, you are in a dark corridor and your torch is about to flicker out. A nasty gash on your head from a battle with a goblin has left your vision blurred. The way behind you is clear but ahead there is chest filled with treasure. You sense the presence of something else in the corridor. What do you do?

There's likely more goblins here so I'd say in broken goblin.  "I've still got a good fight in me, so if you wish to leave unharmed, we can half this treasure and go our separate ways." Then try to backstab, backstab, backstab.
Some past spoils of the hoard!

OK, now for some really fun questions!

What is your favorite word?


What is your least favorite word?

Elfin.  Or Fissure.

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

Music. Gaming. Cannabinoids.

What turns you off?


What is your favorite curse word

Sh*ta$s (it’s a compound word)

What sound or noise do you love?

When its really quiet and a hundred birds just take off, all at once.

What sound or noise do you hate?

Babys Crying. Fake twang.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?


What profession would you not like to do?


If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

"Finally...  What took you so long? Get on in here! Here's the keys to my mansion, Maserati, and moonshine cabinet.  I am going out for a while and I don't know when I will be back.  Watch over my creations.  Don't be afraid to toss some disaster down there if they get unruly!  Heck, throw some down there anyway.  Keeps em on their toes!  My boy is around here somewhere.  He's a big fan and was wondering if you wanted to split a bottle of wine and throw some dice.  Just shoot him a text when you are settled in.  And remember, above all else, take your shoes off in my dojo!  I just had that floor refinished..."  Something like that anyhow.