News Digest: D&D Announcements, Starfinder Premiere Event, Diana Jones Award, Asmodee is Alliance Exclusive, and more!
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  • News Digest: D&D Announcements, Starfinder Premiere Event, Diana Jones Award, Asmodee is Alliance Exclusive, and more!


    Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! New D&D product announcements, a Starfinder premiere reveal event, Diana Jones shortlist announced, Asmodee and Alliance sign an exclusive distribution deal, tabletop BattleTech’s new development team, and more!



    During a two-day marathon live stream event, Wizards of the Coast announced the newest storyline for Dungeons & Dragons: Tomb of Annihilation! The storyline focuses on Acererak’s further attempts to gain power, this time by causing a zombie apocalypse by “eating” resurrection magic from attempts to raise the dead. Set on the lost continent of Chult, this adventure for levels 1-11 comes from Chris Perkins, Will Doyle, Steve Winter, Adam Lee, and Pendleton Ward (yes, Adventure Time’s Pendleton Ward). The adventure will include many jungle-themed and pulp adventure elements (“zombie dinosaurs” were mentioned frequently in the live stream) as players explore the lost continent trying to find a necromantic artifact known as the Soulmonger. The hardcover comes out on September 19 with a retail price of $49.95.

    The other big announcement is the new sourcebook, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. And they’re doing their best to meet the definition of “everything”. The book includes 20+ new subclasses, dozens of new feats and spells, a random backstory generator, new tools for Dungeonmasters, and more. It’s been clarified on Twitter that, while many of the subclasses have been previewed on Unearthed Arcana, they’ve been overhauled using the UA versions as an open playtest to get feedback from players. Also, there will be some reprinted material from other sourcebooks (mostly to help with Adventure League’s “Core + 1” limitation for character creation), but those subclasses are not counted toward the 20+ new subclasses. A normal hardcover as well as a hobby store exclusive variant cover (see image above) releases on November 21 with a retail price of $49.95.


    Wizards of the Coast also announced two board games during the live streamed event. The first, Tomb of Annihilation, is produced under licensed by Wizkids and is part of the D&D Adventure Game line of DMless dungeon crawl games. It will be cross-compatible with the others in the series such as Castle Ravenloft, Legend of Drizzt, and Wrath of Ashardalon, but will also be a stand-alone game with its own elements and tie-ins to the ongoing story event. One of the designers, Kevin Wilson, spoke about his role in the project and what new concepts he’s bringing to Tomb of Annihilation in a long Twitter thread.

    Also from Avalon Hill comes Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate. The pitch on the promotion is “Betrayal at House on the Hill meets Wrath of Ashardalon”, which seems pretty accurate to the description. It takes the base rules and gameplay of Betrayal at House on the Hill and adds in Dungeons & Dragons elements in order to expand the gameplay into something new. Tomb of Annihilation comes out this August in two editions, a Standard Edition with a retail price of $79.99 and a pre-order only Premium Edition with pre-painted miniatures with a retail price of $159.99. Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate comes out October 6 with a retail price of $50.00.


    Paizo is also having a big streaming event for Starfinder on Tuesday, June 13. Streaming live on the Encounter Roleplay Twitch channel starting at 8PM Eastern, the show will feature a demo game of Starfinder with new reveals of rules systems, races, classes, and more from the final version of the game with players including Taking 20’s Cody Lewis, Web DM’s Jonathan Pruitt, Encounter Roleplay’s Will Jones, and Nerdarchy’s Red Adams. The Gamemaster will be Owen K. C. Stephens from Paizo, one of the designers on Starfinder. The event will also be archived on the Web DM YouTube page.


    The Diana Jones Award announced the shortlist for the 2017 award. Along with the Origins Award and the ENnies, it is considered one of the highest honors in gaming and winning one of each is considered the tabletop version of an EGOT. This year’s nominees include

    • The Beast, a card game from designers Aleksandra Sontowska and Kamil Wegrzynowicz published by Naked Female Giant
    • End of the Line, a Nordic-style LARP event set in the World of Darkness from designers Bjarke Pedersen, Juhana Pettersson, and Martin Elricsson
    • Gen Con, the annual gaming convention currently held in Indianapolis.
    • Gloomhaven, a board game designed by Isaac Chidress and published by Cephalofair Games
    • The Romance Trilogy, a roleplaying game from designer Emily Care Boss published by Black & Green Games
    • Terraforming Mars, a board game by Jacob Fryxelius published by Fryxgames


    The winner of this year’s award will be announced on Wednesday, August 16 at an industry-only event held on the eve of Gen Con 50 in Indianapolis.


    Asmodee North America signed an exclusive distribution deal for the hobby channel with Alliance Game Distributors effective August 1, 2017. Asmodee, which owns Fantasy Flight Games, Days of Wonder, Asmodee, Z-Man Games, Plaid Hat Games, and Catan Studio, stated the reason as a “significant investment” by Alliance in communication, allocation, and support for Asmodee North America’s products. What does this mean for you? It means that Asmodee and all its affiliated games will only be available through hobby stores who use Alliance as their distributor, and that stores previously using other distributors will no longer be able to obtain Asmodee products through standard distribution. Before this deal, Asmodee had agreements with ACD Distribution, GTS Distribution, PHD Distribution, and Southern Hobby Supply as part of last year’s restructuring of its hobby channel distribution. Mass market outlets (such as online retailers or “big box stores”) will see no change. ICv2 contacted the involved parties for comment and received statements from PHD Distribution and Southern Hobby Supplies.


    Catalyst Game Labs announced a change to the design team for the BattleTech tabletop and roleplaying game lines. Randall N. Bills will step down as Line Developer in order to focus on his role as CGL’s Managing Director. Brent Evans, former Art Director for CGL, will take over as Line Developer with Ray Arrastia coming on as Assistant Line Developer and Mary Kaempen as Catalyst Demo Team Lead and Event Coordinator. Also mentioned in the announcement are brand new introductory BattleTech products targeted at both new fans and longtime players.


    EN World EN5ider is up to 150 issues of brand new content for 5e. Yes, I know I just did EN World’s Trailseeker for Pathfinder last week, but seriously, 150 issues! Each one has new classes, subclasses, feats, backgrounds, adventures, spells, magic items, and more to add to your 5e game. And this issue is special as author and game designer Ari Marmell gives us Tides of Battle, a combat stunt system that adds tools for characters (both PCs and NPCs) to use acrobatics, guile, and dirty tricks to gain an advantage. Like the Trailseeker Patreon, this is set up per-article with no difference in content between tier and you can set up a monthly maximum. However, the next goal is just within grasp to give six brand new articles per month so the more you donate, the faster that goal is reached and the more content you get!


    Speaking of Ari Marmell, he along with Jaym Gates and C.A. Suleiman created an anthology series about a zombie apocalypse set in a traditional fantasy world. Now, that series is coming to your game tables through Green Ronin’s The Lost Citadel RPG! The setting uses 5e rules as a basis to create a rich fantasy world where one mega-city named Redoubt remains, ruled by the tyrannical Magisterium to protect its citizens from the undead horrors beyond its secure walls. A $25 pledge gets you the PDF of the core rulebook, a $59 pledge gets you a physical copy, and a few are left of the early access $74 pledge level for the deluxe limited edition (the price rises to $79 when those are gone). There are several more pledge levels and add-ons for different rewards including adventures, the fiction anthology Tales of the Lost Citadel, and other stretch goals as they unlock. This project is fully funded and runs until Monday, July 3.

    I don’t do a lot of IndieGoGo campaigns, but this one caught my eye. Veteran game designer Jamie Chambers created A Delve in the Cave, a 5e adventure with an old-school mentality focused on merging the hack-and-slash dungeoncrawls with modern storytelling design. You can pick up the PDF version for a $5 pledge, add on a printed version for a $10 pledge, or go with one of the larger rewards to add on things like creating an NPC for the adventure, participation in an online playtest via Roll20 with credit, and more. This is a Flexible Funding project, which means it’s happening whether or not the $1500 goal is reached. Which is a good thing, because the manuscript is already done and the early access PDF of the adventure will go to all backers just 48 hours after this product closes on Saturday, June 17.

    Remember recently when I announced that Owlcat Games licensed the Pathfinder Kingmaker adventure path for a video game? Yeah, Pathfinder: Kingmaker is on Kickstarter already. The project cites its influences as Baldur’s Gate, Fallout, and Arcanum for this single-player isometric RPG which will boast a main quest completion of about 40 hours and sidequests bringing it up to 80 hours. It looks like the game is slated for an August 2018 release. Gameplay will take place over five years as you assemble your party and attempt to lay your claim on the Stolen Lands. A downloadable version of the game is available for a $28 pledge with many more levels including a limited edition boxed set, Pathfinder books, an exclusive miniature, special in-game items, and more. This project is halfway to its $500,000 funding goal already and runs until Tuesday, July 11.

    That’s all from me for this week! Find more gaming crowdfunding news at the EN World RPG Kickstarter News 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 news@enworldnews.com. You can follow me on Twitter @Abstruse where I’m currently coveting all the awesome video games on sale I know I’ll probably never play, or you can listen to the archives of the Gamer’s Tavern podcast. Until next time, may all your hits be crits! Note: Links to Amazon and/or DriveThru may contain affiliate links with the proceeds going to the author of this column.
    Comments 22 Comments
    1. jaynay27's Avatar
      jaynay27 -
      Hope I am not treading on any toes by adding that Fragged Empire (previous Ennie nominee) has a Kickstarter running now too.
    1. Mouseferatu's Avatar
      Mouseferatu -
      I just want to add that The Lost Citadel KS--in addition to the RPG itself and the short story anthology--also includes novel-length fiction among its offerings. To say nothing of an array of stretch goals, some of which haven't even been revealed yet, but which include AGE and Pathfinder system mechanics in case 5E isn't your preferred game.
    1. DemoMonkey's Avatar
      DemoMonkey -
      "Tomb of Annihilation comes out this August in two editions, a Standard Edition with a retail price of $79.99 and a pre-order only Premium Edition with pre-painted miniatures with a retail price of $79.99."

      So the pre-painted Premium Edition is the same price?
    1. dbm's Avatar
      dbm -
      DnD product page has Tomb listed as $49.95.
    1. Vampyr3's Avatar
      Vampyr3 -
      Quote Originally Posted by DemoMonkey View Post
      "Tomb of Annihilation comes out this August in two editions, a Standard Edition with a retail price of $79.99 and a pre-order only Premium Edition with pre-painted miniatures with a retail price of $79.99."

      So the pre-painted Premium Edition is the same price?
      $159.99 is MSRP for Premium Edition...
    1. Vampyr3's Avatar
      Vampyr3 -
      Along with the Origins Award and the ENnies, it is considered one of the highest honors in gaming
      Along With The Orgins Award and Spiel des Jahres *FTFY* I"m just saying...
    1. Abstruse's Avatar
      Abstruse -
      Quote Originally Posted by DemoMonkey View Post
      "Tomb of Annihilation comes out this August in two editions, a Standard Edition with a retail price of $79.99 and a pre-order only Premium Edition with pre-painted miniatures with a retail price of $79.99."

      So the pre-painted Premium Edition is the same price?
      Crap, copy and paste error. There isn't an official announcement on either WotC's or Wizkids sites yet about the game so it's off a press release. Thanks for letting me know!
    1. Abstruse's Avatar
      Abstruse -
      Quote Originally Posted by Vampyr3 View Post
      Along With The Orgins Award and Spiel des Jahres *FTFY* I"m just saying...
      No, the article is correct. Spiel des Jahres is ONLY for Euro-style board games. ENnies and Origins have categories covering all of gaming, while Diana Jones (as shown in their award nominees this year) are pretty much anything remotely tabletop gaming related, from games to conventions to TV shows to individual industry veterans regardless of any one specific game.
    1. dbm's Avatar
      dbm -
      Quote Originally Posted by Abstruse View Post
      Crap, copy and paste error. There isn't an official announcement on either WotC's or Wizkids sites yet about the game so it's off a press release. Thanks for letting me know!
      The standard version definitely looks to be $49.95
    1. Abstruse's Avatar
      Abstruse -
      Quote Originally Posted by dbm View Post
      The standard version definitely looks to be $49.95
      And here's where the confusion comes in.

      There's two different game products announced with the title "Tomb of Annihilation" (three if you count the new plastic pre-painted miniatures line from WizKids).

      The hardcover adventure book titled Tomb of Annihilation for the D&D roleplaying game will have an MSRP of $49.95.

      The miniature board game from the D&D Adventures line will have an MSRP of $79.99 for the standard edition with unpainted minis, while the pre-order only deluxe edition will have an MSRP of $159.99.

      I hoped putting the image break between the D&D RPG game books announced and the D&D-licensed board games announced would help ease the confusion, but it doesn't help with the thing has the exact same friggin' official title
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by Abstruse View Post
      ENnies and Origins have categories covering all of gaming
      ENnies are RPG focused.
    1. neobolts's Avatar
      neobolts -
      I believe the release dates for the D&D products may be incorrect or misleading. The hobby shops are continuing to get the releases two weeks ahead of other stores, i.e. a staggered release.
    1. Abstruse's Avatar
      Abstruse -
      Quote Originally Posted by neobolts View Post
      I believe the release dates for the D&D products may be incorrect or misleading. The hobby shops are continuing to get the releases two weeks ahead of other stores, i.e. a staggered release.
      Yes, but those are the release dates from the Wizards of the Coast announcement, which is the street date for all markets. Stores part of the Wizard Play network typically receive these 2-3 weeks earlier than the street date.
    1. JRedmond's Avatar
      JRedmond -
      Quote Originally Posted by Abstruse View Post
      Yes, but those are the release dates from the Wizards of the Coast announcement, which is the street date for all markets. Stores part of the Wizard Play network typically receive these 2-3 weeks earlier than the street date.
      11 days earlier to be exact, not two to three weeks.
    1. Vampyr3's Avatar
      Vampyr3 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Abstruse View Post
      No, the article is correct. Spiel des Jahres is ONLY for Euro-style board games. ENnies and Origins have categories covering all of gaming, while Diana Jones (as shown in their award nominees this year) are pretty much anything remotely tabletop gaming related, from games to conventions to TV shows to individual industry veterans regardless of any one specific game.
    1. Mouseferatu's Avatar
      Mouseferatu -
      FWIW, if D&D 5E isn't your thing, the Lost Citadel Kickstarter just revealed the AGE-conversion stretch goal.
    1. Shasarak's Avatar
      Shasarak -
      Quote Originally Posted by Abstruse View Post
      Remember recently when I announced that Owlcat Games licensed the Pathfinder Kingmaker adventure path for a video game? Yeah, Pathfinder: Kingmaker is on Kickstarter already. The project cites its influences as Baldur’s Gate, Fallout, and Arcanum for this single-player isometric RPG which will boast a main quest completion of about 40 hours and sidequests bringing it up to 80 hours. It looks like the game is slated for an August 2018 release. Gameplay will take place over five years as you assemble your party and attempt to lay your claim on the Stolen Lands. A downloadable version of the game is available for a $28 pledge with many more levels including a limited edition boxed set, Pathfinder books, an exclusive miniature, special in-game items, and more. This project is halfway to its $500,000 funding goal already and runs until Tuesday, July 11.
      I am glad to see that there are a few people interested in this and not just me.
    1. DrGerm's Avatar
      DrGerm -
      I kinda wish they just would have named it Unearthed Arcana, I mean, that's essentially what Xanathar's guide is, isn't it? Either way, I can't wait to read it!!
    1. TheBlueKnight's Avatar
      TheBlueKnight -
      I love the adventure system board games that include minis, and I was excited to hear about the premium version with repainted minis. In the live stream it is stated that the premium version costs a "little more".

      I was hoping this would be maybe 50% more, not double the price! Oh well...

      Still looking forward to the game...
    1. Dhaylen's Avatar
      Dhaylen -
      Quote Originally Posted by DrGerm View Post
      I kinda wish they just would have named it Unearthed Arcana, I mean, that's essentially what Xanathar's guide is, isn't it? Either way, I can't wait to read it!!
      Unearthed Arcana... I can see it - at the same time, I can see the following:
      1: Volo's Guide = Monster Manual 2 --- Players Handbook 2 (part 1, playable monsters)
      2: Xanathar's = Dungeon Master Guide 2 --- Players Handbook 2 (part 2, sub classes)
      3: You coukd even fit Scag as "Setting book 1"

      Mike Mearls said that he felt naming core books "volume 2", etc., in the past, made players feel as if the first one was invalidated.
      I personally dont see it that way... Also, with 5e trying to be light, playful, not taking itself seriously, the naming conventions work.

      Consider also, that selling player handbook 2 material, with DMs stuff, will sell more than to a limited DM market, even if we would like more, on both sides, and dedicated books.

      As for UA... in 5e its ever evolving, and is playtest till it hits a sourcebook, vs. being released as a 'final' sourcebook.
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