News Digest: Starfinder Reviewed, Fallout Announcement, Fantasy Grounds Price Drop, Games Workshop Sued, and more!
  • News Digest: Starfinder Reviewed, Fallout Announcement, Fantasy Grounds Price Drop, Games Workshop Sued, and more!


    Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! Starfinder in the wild, Pathfinder Adventures comes to desktop PCs, Fantasy Grounds price drop, Fallout coming to tabletop, Games Workshop gets sued, and more!



    After a few pre-order copies made it into the hands of some fans early, Paizo lifted their embargo on Starfinder reviews and EN World’s Christopher Helton was one of the first to get the word out with what to expect from the new sci-fi game.

    Starfinder is here, and it is everything that you would expect from a science fantasy hack of Paizo's popular Pathfinder rules. Paizo dropped the embargo on reviews of the game early, so we're going to talk some about the Starfinder game and share some early thoughts on it. The game is an evolution of everything that you've seen to date in the Pathfinder line, cleaned up and consolidated with a cool science fantasy paint job.

    You can read the full review here and find out exactly what to expect from Starfinder when it hits Gen Con (and game stores, online pre-orders, and Paizo’s digital store) on August 17.


    In other Paizo news, the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game has made it to desktop computers via Steam. Similar to the app and tablet version of the game, Pathfinder Adventure has over a thousand cards from the card game including the base deck, six additional adventure desk, eleven iconic characters, and more. The Obsidian Edition (named after the video game adaptation’s developers, Obsidian Entertainment) also includes several exclusive expansions including three Pillars of Eternity promotional ally cards based on characters from the isometric RPG of the same name. The standard version retails for $24.99 while the Obsidian Edition for $39.99 (though like many Steam games, be sure to check Steam, Humble, and other outlets for periodic sales).


    Wizards of the Coast announced a new program as part of the Dungeon Master’s Guild online store, the Guild Adept Program. The program acts as a spotlight on specific creators and designers using DM’s Guild to create licensed Dungeons & Dragons material. The first list of designers included is Lysa Chen, Will Doyle, Claire Hoffman, James Introcaso, Rich Lescouflair, Shawn Merwin, Cindy Moore, Satine Phoenix, Ruty Rutenberg, and Monica Valentinelli. Each of the creators will get a spotlight on the Dungeons & Dragons web page, the Dragon Talk Podcast, and on the official D&D Twitch channel.



    In more news from the online gaming space, SmiteWorks announced that they will be lowering prices for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition rulebooks available for purchase in their virtual tabletop software, Fantasy Grounds. In the quote from the press release, SmiteWorks said:

    "SmiteWorks is working alongside Wizards of the Coast to significantly lower the cost of entry for Dungeons & Dragons players looking to play online with the Fantasy Grounds virtual tabletop. While the project has been a major success, both partners would like it to be even more successful. The prices for official D&D content for Fantasy Grounds will be reduced on August 15, 2017, as part of an initiative to increase new player adoption. Modules which previously cost $49.99 will now be $29.99. Large adventure modules will now be $24.99. Existing customers will benefit in lower prices on all newly released content."

    The prices changes will go into effect in Fantasy Grounds effective August 15 and range from 25% off to 40%, mostly focused on books which duplicate material if you own a copy of the hardcover books from Wizards of the Coast. The full list is available here from EN World.



    Fantasy Flight Games gave fans of the Fallout games a minor heart attack when they posted the now iconic “Please Stand By” image on social media accounts with their logo attached. Hopes for a Fallout tabletop roleplaying game were dashed, however, and replaced by anticipation for Fallout: The Board Game. This 1-4 player game draws more on the East Coast end of the Fallout games (Fallout 3 and Fallout 4 rather than the first two games or New Vegas). The game will focus on exploring the modular map of the wastelands in order to defeat the various factions and claim your place (or just get all the caps for yourself). The game is slated for a 2017 Fourth Quarter release and will have an MSRP of $59.99.


    Games Workshop is involved in a possibly frivolous lawsuit. As the Defendants. I’m going to be honest, I always link to the legal documents and court filings whenever possible when I write up these legal actions just in case you want to read them, but I never expect any of you to actually do it. Because reading legal documents is about as boring as you can get. Unless they’re like this one. The action is for “Fraud, Price Fixing, Tortious Interference, Violations of Anti-Trust Act, RICO, et al”. It then goes on from there to read to me less like a lawsuit filing and more like a ranting blog post complete with random bolding, underlining, italicizing, and even all caps. The lawsuit is asking for $2.5 million in damages, $10 million in punitive damages, all of Games Workshop’s trademarks, and a $50 million fund so that the plaintiff can oversee these trademarks for a period of ten years before reverting them to the public domain. But wait, there’s more! An affidavit was filed the same day as the lawsuit, which is just as entertaining. The lawsuit was filed on May 31 in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and has not yet been dismissed.


    John Kovalic is once again embarking on his charity bicycle marathon with a duck on his head. This will be the fifth year that the writer/artist of Dork Tower, artist of Munchkin, Kobolds Ate My Baby, and Apples to Apples, and designer of ROFL! and Double Feature participated in the Bike the Barns fundraiser that helps local farmers and in-need families. Various donation levels exist with rewards including exclusive Dork Tower material, promotional material from Munchkin including original card art, and a guest-starring role in a Dork Tower strip about a subject you choose (with the option to use it as promotional material for your store, product, or company). The charity promotion will run for 28 more days and, once the $12,500 goal is reached, stretch goals will kick in, which in previous years ranged from more signed material from names like Neil Gaiman, Patrick Rothfuss, and others to John wearing even more ridiculous things while riding a bicycle in a marathon. There are rumors that one of this year’s stretch goals will include forcing John to ride with two ducks on his head!


    Stars Without Numbers is an OSR-style science fiction system set in the year 3200, long after the fall of mankind’s empire and the collapse of the Jump Gates that sent them to other worlds. This revised edition is looking to update and streamline the rules while still maintaining backward compatibility with previously published materials. They’re also expanding the rules to include transhuman technology, artificial intelligence, mechs, and more. The PDF is available for a $20 pledge, while the print version is $55 (with a $35 at-cost print-on-demand version for those where that is a cheaper option than paying increased international shipping). Not only has this project funded, but it’s run completely out of stretch goals (as the publisher made a rare decision to cut off stretch goals to prevent over-promising). This Kickstarter runs until Wednesday, August 30.

    Cthulhu Wars Onslaught 3 is an expansion for the asymmetric strategy game Cthulhu Wars, which pits two to four players (up to eight with expansions) against one another as agents of Great Old Ones looking to carve up their piece of Earth as the planet is in its death throes. Honestly, I’m not sure what else I can tell you about this one because either the concept of a Lovecraftian strategy game where you take on a faction of evil to fight for control of the world sells you on the game or puts you off entirely. The four new armies are available for a $149 pledge, the entire new expansion for $199, or you can get the core game plus one expansion for $200. This project is fully funded and closes this Monday, August 14.

    Binwin’s Minions Volume 1 collects the adventures from the first season of the Binwin’s Minions webcomic into a single book. A spin-off of both the Table Titans webcomic and the character of Binwin Bronzebottom from Acquisitions Inc, this comic follows the adventures of Binwin’s followers as they attempt to assist the dwarf by mitigating the chaos he leaves in his wake (or causing plenty of their own). The comic features concepts developed by PvP’s Scott Kurtz and is created by Tavis Maiden and Cory Casoni. A digital copy of the book is available for a $10 pledge, while a $30 pledge gets you the hardcover edition, and many other pledge levels and add-ons exist for more memorabilia. At the time of writing, this Kickstarter still has a way to go as they’ve managed just over $7500 of their $30,000 goal, but they’ve got plenty of time to get there before the campaign ends on Friday, September 8.

    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 as I grumble about the problems of trying to reproduce the audiovisual quality of a television studio using fifty bucks worth of stuff off Amazon, 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, Humble Store, and/or DriveThru may contain affiliate links with the proceeds going to the author of this column.
    Comments 19 Comments
    1. kenmarable's Avatar
      kenmarable -
      Dang, that lawsuit is something special! Someone needs to take away that guy's formatting buttons: "Steal my sales" It's like he randomly highlighted text and clicked blindly in the formatting bar.

      But even without that, I'm surprised there isn't rage spittle stains all over this:

      This architecture of falsehoods and Ponzi is used to manipulate stock prices, that actually have No value outside of their construct of deception. The employ a Cult of thralls to foment calumny and economic harm against anyone injured by their unethical violations of law.

      Conniving, spying, deceiving, LYING, about everything - every day - to people BUYING items with hard-earned money made by Real Work is hardly 'innocuous'.

      GW rude acts reveal a dangerous lot of criminals with ZERO grasp of right or wrong.

      I guess the Time Cube guy opened a hobby shop.

      Edited to add this beauty from the 2nd document. This is an actual quote from an actual legal document that a judge actually has to respond to.

      GW sells mass-produced plastic at 50,000-percent-mark-up! Its not a 100% markup for 6-cents, not a 1,000% for 60-cents - but 50,000% at $30.00!?

      Its It's not an underline. It's not an italics and underline - but a Bold, Italics, Underline?!
    1. Desh-Rae-Halra's Avatar
      Desh-Rae-Halra -
      I'm really happy about the Fallout announcement......for those who wish for a Fallout RPG, you might try Hypercorps Wasteland 2099 by Mike Myler.
      It uses 5E's engine, but is a pretty good "Fallout" skin without saying it's Fallout.
    1. AriochQ's Avatar
      AriochQ -
      The lawsuit is entertaining to read. He has a point that GW drew heavily from Heinlein, Tolkein, et al. Did they cross the line legally? Probably not. (just a layman's opinion, I am no lawyer).

      The more interesting allegation is that they violate anti-trust laws by not only being the manufacturer, but also the distributor. Again, not a lawyer, but one could put together some sort of coherent argument that this in an anti-trust issue of some sort. Would it get very far? Probably not, but I guess it would depend on their market share.
    1. Abstruse's Avatar
      Abstruse -
      Quote Originally Posted by AriochQ View Post
      The lawsuit is entertaining to read. He has a point that GW drew heavily from Heinlein, Tolkein, et al. Did they cross the line legally? Probably not. (just a layman's opinion, I am no lawyer).

      The more interesting allegation is that they violate anti-trust laws by not only being the manufacturer, but also the distributor. Again, not a lawyer, but one could put together some sort of coherent argument that this in an anti-trust issue of some sort. Would it get very far? Probably not, but I guess it would depend on their market share.
      There's one big, massive problem though...

      Games Workshop is based out of the United Kingdom, not America. So different trade laws apply.

      Even if they weren't, you could say the same thing about Paizo since they make Pathfinder and own the only outlet to purchase online copies of Paizo books. Same with Steve Jackson Games and GURPS with Warehouse 13. Or Valve with Half-Life/Portal and Steam. Any store-brand product. Walmart made their money by being both the storefront and distributor.

      But seriously, that lawsuit is a hair's breadth away from claiming that Kevin Roundtree is an Illuminati Grey Alien Freemason Lizardman Satanist that beams mind-control rays to kill goats not wearing tin foil. Any legit points the guy may have is buried under the 80,000 metric tons of batcrap crazy.
    1. Ralif Redhammer's Avatar
      Ralif Redhammer -
      Oh my, that court docket is quite the thing. It seems more like a manifesto or screed, absent all but the barest frosting of actual legal experience.
    1. AriochQ's Avatar
      AriochQ -
      Quote Originally Posted by Abstruse View Post
      There's one big, massive problem though...

      Games Workshop is based out of the United Kingdom, not America. So different trade laws apply.

      Even if they weren't, you could say the same thing about Paizo since they make Pathfinder and own the only outlet to purchase online copies of Paizo books. Same with Steve Jackson Games and GURPS with Warehouse 13. Or Valve with Half-Life/Portal and Steam. Any store-brand product. Walmart made their money by being both the storefront and distributor.

      But seriously, that lawsuit is a hair's breadth away from claiming that Kevin Roundtree is an Illuminati Grey Alien Freemason Lizardman Satanist that beams mind-control rays to kill goats not wearing tin foil. Any legit points the guy may have is buried under the 80,000 metric tons of batcrap crazy.

      I agree that the lawsuit reads like it was written by someone in the loony bin. But, it appears he is making the argument that they are not a 'game company', an area that is rich with competitors, and are instead a 'model company', an area they tend to dominate. Sure, there are many other companies making miniatures, but GW is probably the heavy hitter in that arena. Even though they are a foreign company, I would think if they conduct business in the U.S., they are bound by U.S. laws.

      All that being said, I still think he is a few cans short of a six pack. I am just pointing out that in the midst of all the inane ramblings, he may actually have an arguable point. Personally, I think there is enough competition that any anti-trust allegations are not very strong.
    1. Von Ether's Avatar
      Von Ether -
      as the publisher made a rare decision to cut off stretch goals to prevent over-promising
      Well, rare for kickstarter, but not for this publisher. He's put some KS over the years and one of the things he says is "walk away from that temptation to pile on those stretch goals."
    1. Rygar's Avatar
      Rygar -
      I find the Fallout announcement exceedingly confusing. It was made very clear that the developers have a very low opinion of games that aren't first person perspective, real time, and player skill based during the development of Fallout 3. They made it very clear that the "only" way to make an RPG is to do the above. I'm extremely confused about why they're making a board game since they made it clear that turn based games are archaic and can't be sold.

      Though I suspect the answer is: We'll license the property to anyone if they're willing to pay us!

      I'm not sorry to see a boardgame being made, I just wish the property was in the hands of a company that actually had interest in producing RPGs and properties based on Fallout instead of action-adventure games that wouldn't be recognizable as Fallout if you removed a few key images.
    1. Mike Myler's Avatar
      Mike Myler -
      Quote Originally Posted by Desh-Rae-Halra View Post
      I'm really happy about the Fallout announcement......for those who wish for a Fallout RPG, you might try Hypercorps Wasteland 2099 by Mike Myler.
      It uses 5E's engine, but is a pretty good "Fallout" skin without saying it's Fallout.
      <3!

      We all love Fallout and a GM could definitely pull all the non-Fallout bits of 2099 Wasteland to play it that way (it was something that got considered in the design process) but we are indeed pretty different after all the nuclear dust settles.

      Thank you for mentioning us though! Merlin approves.


      Name: merlin snip.JPG ► Views: 1385 ► Size: 243.0 KB
    1. Abstruse's Avatar
      Abstruse -
      Yeah, there's a lot of material out there to play a game of Fallout...but it's not quite the same as having an actual Fallout game with stats for deathclaws and radroaches and perks and power armor and whatnot. It's like the RPGaDay question about what dead systems do you want back (I think that's tomorrow's?) Sure, I can use Open D6 to make Force Awakens or Rebels material for Star Wars, but it's not the same as having professional game designers create licensed material. There's a couple of OSR versions of FASERIP I can use to recreate characters from Marvel comics, but it's just not the same as Marvel Super Heroes.

      So yeah, it's nitpicky fanboy whining...but damnit, I want a Fallout RPG, not a "1950s Americana inspired post-nuclear apocalypse atomic age roleplaying game"!
    1. Jhaelen -
      Personally, I'm not interested in a Fallout RPG at all, but I like the looks of the board game.

      Imho, FFG board games are a bit like Blizzard's video games: not particularly imaginative or original, but highly-polished with addictive gameplay.
      (Two areas where the comparison breaks down a bit is FFG's tendency to have bad or overly complex rule books and a severe case of 'expansionitis',
      i.e. a tendency to publish dozens of expansions for each of their games.)
    1. Sir Brennen's Avatar
      Sir Brennen -
      Quote Originally Posted by kenmarable View Post
      Dang, that lawsuit is something special!
      Yeah, I just ... I dunno. This guy wants to hold $50M for the "public interest" - but nothing about reparations to the people he claims GW "stole" intellectual property from via copyright violations? And then he would release everything into the public domain in 10 years, which would again ignore the copyright arguments he starts the case with.

      I mean... this (sans crazy formatting):

      Prior to stealing these, GW's Warhammer game as a 110% rip-off of J.R.R. Tolkein - a Middle Earth magic/fantasy war of Tolkein's Orcs-Goblins-Trolls-Orgres-Dwarves-Elves, etc.

      The 110% made me laugh. Sure, we use that as a colloquial exaggeration, but in a legal document, I'd think you'd need to be a little more... precise.
    1. Abstruse's Avatar
      Abstruse -
      Quote Originally Posted by Sir Brennen View Post
      Yeah, I just ... I dunno. This guy wants to hold $50M for the "public interest" - but nothing about reparations to the people he claims GW "stole" intellectual property from via copyright violations? And then he would release everything into the public domain in 10 years, which would again ignore the copyright arguments he starts the case with.

      I mean... this (sans crazy formatting):
      Prior to stealing these, GW's Warhammer game as a 110% rip-off of J.R.R. Tolkein - a Middle Earth magic/fantasy war of Tolkein's Orcs-Goblins-Trolls-Orgres-Dwarves-Elves, etc.

      The 110% made me laugh. Sure, we use that as a colloquial exaggeration, but in a legal document, I'd think you'd need to be a little more... precise.
      It's written that way because he wrote the filing himself. He doesn't have a lawyer, as far as I can tell.

      Also, he claims to have worked for FASA (though I can't find any evidence of it...which doesn't make it untrue, just that he didn't do any significant game design work there) and is using that as a basis to claim that FASA owns the rights to the concept of giant robots fighting because of BattleTech.

      ...which started off with licensed mecha designs from Macross, Crusher Joe, and several other anime series.
    1. Dannyalcatraz's Avatar
      Dannyalcatraz -
      It's written that way because he wrote the filing himself. He doesn't have a lawyer, as far as I can tell.
      He claims to have earned a LLM- that's a Master of Laws which, in certain schools, is the equivalent to a Juris Doctor. IOW, it's a basic law degree. That doesn't mean he's passed the bar, and since he's proceeding pro se, my guess is he hasn't been admitted to the practice or has let his license lapse if he had one.

      Thing is, if you get past the crazy talk, hyperbole & bad formatting, there are some allegations I've heard other store owners make hiding in there. There may be meat on those bones.

      ...but I doubt he's going to win. If he can't present nicely formatted legal briefs with all the time needed to edit & organize them, I shudder to think about his oral arguments on the fly. He'll present as a loony, and lose based on that because they won't even weigh the merits.


      Maaaaaybe if another game store or one of the IP holders files an amicus, or this gets transformed into a class action.
    1. aramis erak's Avatar
      aramis erak -
      A missing world from a space fantasy setting... Hmmm sounds just like the WH40K/WHFB split...
    1. smiteworks's Avatar
      smiteworks -
      New prices for D&D content within Fantasy Grounds are now available on their site, on Steam and from DMsGuild.com. Enjoy!
    1. LordEntrails's Avatar
      LordEntrails -
      Sad thing is, my taxes go to pay the judge who has to read this all the crap and make sure there isn't a single nugget of concern in that whole thing.
    1. Hugopig_1963's Avatar
      Hugopig_1963 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Abstruse View Post

      But seriously, that lawsuit is a hair's breadth away from claiming that Kevin Roundtree is an Illuminati Grey Alien Freemason Lizardman Satanist that beams mind-control rays to kill goats not wearing tin foil. Any legit points the guy may have is buried under the 80,000 metric tons of batcrap crazy.
      You mean he's not?

      Seriously, though, I've always wondered how lawsuits get dismissed. It's obvious this one isn't worth wasting the time of attorneys and the system on. I also wonder why an attorney would go along with filing the suit -- or whether an attorney was involved at all. Part of a lawyer's job is to let their client know when something is legal and when it is not. If I were to go to an attorney's office and, for example, file a lawsuit that would result in Mickey Mouse becoming public domain in challenge of existing copyright law, part of that attorney's job is to give me fair warning of what an uphill battle I would face, and that this was a case I was not going to win.

      If the plaintiff went into this process without an attorney, then I hope the judge manages to get it tossed quickly. Courts really do have better things to do with their time, including dealing with genuine corporate abuses of power.
    1. LordEntrails's Avatar
      LordEntrails -
      Quote Originally Posted by Hugopig_1963 View Post
      ...I also wonder why an attorney would go along with filing the suit -- or whether an attorney was involved at all. ....
      The plaintiff claims to be trained in the law. A master degree or some such. But no claim that he passed the bar or was ever licensed.
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