News Digest: D&D Adventure League Changes, M:TG and D&D Streaming News, CAH Throws Money in a Hole, Joe Dever Passed Away, and more
  • News Digest: D&D Adventure League Changes, M:TG and D&D Streaming News, CAH Throws Money in a Hole, Joe Dever Passed Away, and more

    Hello everyone, Darryl here back from the holidays with your update on gaming news! Wizards of the Coast has new streaming events and a change to its D&D organized play, Cards Against Humanity throws money in a hole, Worldbuilders raises money with a unique gaming twist, and Joe Dever has passed away.

    Wizards of the Coast announced new streaming plans
    , expanding its current official offering and rolling several streams into official streams. Twitch is now the exclusive platform for broadcast, streaming, and distribution for Magic premier play events. This includes the Grand Prix, Pro Tours, World Championships, and World Magic Cup. For Dungeons & Dragons, the finale of the Force Grey: Giant Hunters series produced by Nerdist will be streamed live from an event at the historic Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles. This event will be streamed live through Twitch, Facebook Live, and other channels with archives available immediately after the live broadcast.

    Dungeons & Dragons Adventure League announced late Wednesday a change in organization. Adventure League contact with stores and conventions is being rolled into the current Wizards of the Coast corporate structure through its Customer Service and Retail Support departments. Players and Dungeonmasters for Adventure League should be unaffected by this change. However, a side-effect of this change is that the roles of Regional Coordinator and Local Coordinator are being eliminated. While people holding these roles tended to be heavy organizers of D&D Adventure League, their only official role in that capacity was disseminating information from Wizards of the Coast to appropriate venues such as stores and conventions. I would like to thank the D&D Adventure League Community Manager Robert Adducci for speaking with me to clarify some of these points.

    While the information distribution is now being done by Wizards of the Coast’s corporate structure, the organization efforts are moving to the Herald’s Guild of DMs and their Ambassador Program, a new program from Baldman Games. Herald’s Guild is structured similarly to the old RPGA with feedback cards filled out by the players at every table for an official game and various levels which grant additional benefits and responsibilities as you move up. However, there are a few issues. Moving up in ranks requires attending “seminars”, which are only held at conventions. While there will be streaming and downloadable versions of these seminars according to the site’s FAQ, the recordings will only count for “lower levels” of DM. This means that dungeonmasters outside of North America, who live in rural areas unable to travel to large conventions, or for whom such travel would be a significant financial burden may be out of luck for reaching the higher levels of the organization. Much of this information is still in its formative stages as the announcement was just made Wednesday evening, so further clarifications will most likely be coming soon as details are more firm.

    Cards Against Humanity historically used Black Friday to perform some sort of publicity stunt as a protest against the day devoted to consumerism. In previous years, they raised their prices for all products for that day only, sold a clump of dried bull feces, and requested money for nothing at all. This year, they asked fans to throw their money in a hole. And they did to the tune of over $100,000 where each $1 donation kept a backhoe and dump truck digging a hole in the ground for a set number of seconds (depending on donation frequency). The stunt worked, as it was covered by outlets including CNBC, Huffington Post, NPR, The Telegraph, The Guardian, and many others.

    This comes after an announcement from Cards Against Humanity on a complete overhaul of their product line. The core set remains unchanged, but the expansions have changed from a numbered system to a color-based one. The first, second, and third expansions are combined in the Red Box, the fourth, fifth, and sixth expansions in the Blue Box, and a new Green Box with 245 new White Cards and 55 new Black Cards. Each of these sets will retail for $20. The New Bigger, Blacker Box is 60% larger than the previous one and includes 50 black cards and “some surprise extras” (a gold-foil card could be found by cutting open the lining of the lid of the original Bigger, Blacker Box) and retails for $15. A new product, “Your S****y Jokes”, will retail $5 and include fifty blank cards. I know from personal experience that thin-tipped permanent markers are the best for making these sorts of cards, and if you get big-name game designers and authors to do cards for you, have them sign them so you can know which to blame on Elizabeth Bear and which to blame on Bruce Cordell.

    Speaking of Wizards of the Coast and Cards Against Humanity, they are but two of the corporate sponsors of this year’s Worldbuilders charity fundraising drive along with Iello, Mayfair, Lone Shark Games, Fantasy Flight, InXile, Humble Bundle, Daw, Subterranean Press, and others. The charity, started by fantasy author Patrick Rothfuss, raises money each year for Heifer International to bring not only clean water and livestock to the poorest areas in the world most needing of assistance, but also educates those they help in how to maintain the equipment and raise the livestock in order to build up and solidify the infrastructure needed for communities to grow and prosper. On top of rewards for pledging from a variety of groups, there is also a lottery drawing with almost 2000 different prizes ranging from books, games, and jewelry all the way up to a Geek Chic solid wood gaming table, a custom hand-made Tak board with real silver and mother of pearl inlays, a fully paid cabin on next year’s JoCo Crazy Cruise, and a golden ring entitling you “one favor” from Patrick Rothfuss himself. Every $10 pledged (no matter the rewards for that pledge or the items purchased) gets a single entry in the lottery. So far, the pledge drive has raised over $530,000 in individual donations, and all those donations plus more up to $1 million will be matched by corporate sponsors. The fundraiser is being accompanied by several Twitch streams from Rothfuss playing Witcher 3 to an Overwatch tournament with multiple teams competing including Penny Arcade, Geek & Sundry, Cards Against Humanity, Secret Hitler, and others. The fundraising drive ends on December 9 and there are still several more announcements still to come.

    Licensed attorney and gaming enthusiast Zachary Strebeck will be doing an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit on December 7 with a focus on board game law. While I’m sure it will start with the standard “This does not constitute legal advice” required of such events, this is a good chance for those of you who are aspiring game designers or otherwise looking to enter the industry to ask general questions about the murky areas that can sink a project before it’s even begun. This is a rare and fantastic chance to get advice from someone familiar with both the legalities involved and the gaming industry.

    It’s with sadness that I must end this week’s news by reporting that fantasy author and game designer Joe Dever, best known for his Lone Wolf series, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 60. His family made the following statement:

    We are sorry to be the bearers of such tremendously sad news, but our father passed away peacefully at 10:15 yesterday morning. This follows twelve years of an illness that he kept secret to all but those closest to him. We appreciate this news may be a shock to many.

    He died as he lived - with colossal bravery and dignity - and held by those that loved him. He was working on the final three Lone Wolf books until Monday evening. His thoughts were with his work and thusly his fans until the last possible moments. His work clearly meant a lot to his fans, and your loyalty meant everything to him.

    It is with enormous honour and great responsibility that these notes for the final three books of the saga, and the legacy of his incredible universe, are passed to us to complete.

    Please allow us time to attend to the family, and his personal affairs. We will be in touch via this page and his website with further news about a memorial service that we hope to arrange for late January. We will also share how you can apply to attend the memorial, with full details of the time and location.

    With love,
    Ben Devere & family

    It seems far too often that those who work in the gaming industry rarely get the recognition they deserve. Wizards of the Tabletop looks to change that as a coffee table book about the men and women behind the games we play. A companion to the film The Next Great American Game, the book (at its base funding goal) will be 75 pages long in full color highlighting different game designers with photographs from 1995 to the present. A PDF and EPUB version is available for $19, while the hardcover 12”x12” book is available for $29 (with a special $39 level to receive both the digital and hardcover versions plus a download of the film The Next Great American Game). This project is working toward its first stretch goal of expanding the book with more photos and text and runs through Tuesday, December 13.

    Red Dragon Inn is looking to add its sixth expansion to the series, Villains. This stand-alone expansion for up to four players builds on the rules of Red Dragon Inn by adding even more backstabbing and villainy as you take on the roles of the Big Bads. For those unfamiliar with the game, each player takes on the role of a fantasy character at the tavern following the Big Quest. The goal is to be the last man, woman, or genderless demihuman left standing after a night of drinking and partying. The expansion is available for a $40 pledge and a special Collector’s Edition available for $120. The campaign has blown through the majority of its published stretch goals already with more to come as it runs until Thursday, December 15.

    Sunken Temple is a Lovecraftian dungeon crawl adventure designed for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, Pathfinder, and W.O.I.N. On top of the sprawling temple itself, the adventure brings to live a few horrors from Lovecraft’s world including deep ones, star spawn, byahkee, night gaunts, and rat things. $10 gets you the PDF designed for the game system of your choosing and $20 gets the print version, while a $30 pledge gets you the digital version for all three systems plus four other adventures (Yrisa’s Nightmare, The Book of Terniel, Rats in the Street, and Memnon’s Gambit). A $60 pledge level also gets you those digital adventures and print copies of Sunken Temple and Yrisa’s Nightmare. This project is fully funded with stretch goals left to until Sunday, December 18.

    That’s all for this week. Find more gaming news at the EN World News Network website, and don’t forget to support our Patreon to bring you even more gaming news content. If you have any news to submit, email us at You can follow me on Twitter @Abstruse as I ask the questions like "Why do I have 8 Funko Pop figures?" and "Seriously, I've never bought one of these things, did gnomes bring them or something?", or you can listen to the archives of the Gamer’s Tavern podcast. Until next time, may all your hits be crits!
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