News Digest: PaizoCon Harassment, Dungeon Tiles Reincarnated, WizKids and Warhammer 40K, Fantasy Flight Interactive, and more!
  • News Digest: PaizoCon Harassment, Dungeon Tiles Reincarnated, WizKids and Warhammer 40K, Fantasy Flight Interactive, and more!


    Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news. An incident at PaizoCon prompts responses from several game companies, Dungeon Tiles are coming back, WizKids will be playing in the Warhammer 40k sandbox, Fantasy Flight announces a new video game development studio, Saving Throw having a charity marathon, and a lot more!


    Those of you who check the site in the middle of the night know I usually post these columns overnight. I used to post them on Wednesday nights until I got burned a few times by late evening big announcements after I posted the column. So I write them overnight knowing there’s no chance whatsoever that any company would ever, ever make an announcement this la—Darn you WizKids and Games Workshop!! Yes, not an hour after I posted last week’s column than the announcement came out that WizKids has entered a licensing agreement for Warhammer 40K with Games Workshop. The deal will feature content similar to the popular Dungeons & Dragons board game series currently published by WizKids as well as their Dice Masters series. They also received rights to republish other Games Workshop board games including Relic and Fury of Dracula. Before anyone gets their hopes up, though, the classic HeroQuest would not be part of the deal as its rights are held by Games Workshop for the world, Hasbro for the game, and the name is owned by Moon Design Publications.


    Following last week’s story about Frank Mentzer’s alleged misconduct and sexual harassment, other allegations came back into the discussion including incidents at PaizoCon earlier this year. EN World’s Christopher Helton gave a thorough rundown of the story this past Tuesday. Frog God Games CEO Bill Webb was accused of sexually harassing another guest at the convention and, when PaizoCon staff attempted to intervene, a struggle occurred which injured the staff member. Multiple witnesses confirm the details of the incident, and Frog God Games partner Matt Finch also released a statement confirming the incident and an ongoing investigation within the company. Webb was not barred from the convention following the incident and appeared at scheduled events the following day. [EDIT: The preceding sentence may be inaccurate. Webb was not asked to leave the convention area and was allowed to "sober up" and leave on his own, and there are no reports he attended further convention-related activities. The previous statement and this correction are based on the original Twitter thread from witness Robert Brookes. -DM] Lisa Stevens, the CEO and owner of Paizo Inc., also released a statement addressing the concerns (at the time of writing, Paizo’s website is down so the link goes to a Google cache of the statement released). Both companies’ statements make clear their zero-tolerance to harassment, but neither make any clear statement as to action moving forward.

    This follows other allegations of incidents of sexual harassment within Pathfinder Society, where a volunteer was allegedly told that her NDA prevented her from coming forward to speak of another volunteer’s actions. A statement from Pathfinder Society Organized Play Coordinator Tonya Woldridge was reportedly released, but at the time of writing, Paizo’s website is down and this cannot be verified (the preceding link goes to the reported URL of the statement, which appears to be the third comment on Lisa Stevens’s statement).


    Dungeon Tiles is returning this January with Dungeon Tiles Reincarnated. For those who don’t remember this 4th Edition era Dungeons & Dragons product, it was a series of punch-out heavy-duty cardboard terrain tiles that could be mixed and matched in order to make a variety of terrains. The sets announced are Dungeon, Wilderness, and City, which matches the second series release from Wizards of the Coast of the line which came out the same time as D&D 4th Edition Essentials. There is no word if the products will match the original set with a new cover, if they will include art from previous tile sets, or if they will be all-new. The first three sets will be released on January 23, 2018, with an MSRP of $24.99.


    Fantasy Flight Games announced a new development studio, Fantasy Flight Interactive. This new software development firm will focus on creating games for Steam and other platforms. Fantasy Flight Games founder and CEO of Asmodee North America stated in the release, “We didn’t create a new company just to translate board games into digital games. We’re focused on the bigger picture of the experiences our fans can have on new platforms, and this will take our brands in new directions.” Tim Gerritsen will head the new studio. Gerritsen previously served as CEO for Human Head Studios and later the Studio Director of Irrational Games and was involved in the production of titles including BioShock Infinite, Prey, and Rune.


    Wizards of the Coast released full details on the stand-alone Magic: The Gathering: Explorers of Ixalan game. This game set during the Ixalan storyline features four decks, each themed after one of the factions: Legion of Dusk (Vampires), Brazen Coalition (Pirates), River Heralds (Merfolk), and Sun Empire (Dinosaurs). The game will include a political layer aimed at fans of Commander and Planechase and include an exploration quest element with the goal of finding the Golden City of Orazca. The game includes four sixty-card decks, fifty map tiles, four player markers, four deck boxes, and assorted counters and tokens. The game releases on November 24 this year and has an MSRP of $64.99.


    Saving Throw is doing its annual Extra Life stream marathon this weekend on Twitch starting at 8 PM Pacific Time on Friday, October 27 and running until 8 PM on Saturday, October 28. They’re raising money through donations for the Extra Life charity, which supports the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals assisting children’s hospitals throughout the United States and Canada. The stream starts with Wildcards (a Deadlands campaign), a Scooby-Doo inspired game run by Havana Mahoney at 12:30 AM, Justice League Dark at 5:00 AM, Strahd Must Die (a D&D quest to be the first to find and kill Count Strahd von Zorovich) at 9:30 AM, Tales from the Loop at 2:00 PM, and ending with a Halloween costume contest at 6:30 PM. As usual for Saving Throw, your donations will affect the games being played by helping or hindering the players or the gamemaster, or just adding more chaos to the game.


    Speaking of roleplaying games and charity, Humble Bundle has another charity bundle! This time, in partnership with Privateer Press for a library of books for Warmachine, Hordes, and Iron Kingdom. This is another fixed-tier bundle where the prices won’t change, but what you get varies depending on your donation level. At the $1 level, you get core books for Warmachine, Hordes, and Iron Kingdom as well as ten other books plus a 50% off coupon for any Battlegroup Starter Set or 25% off a two-player Battlebox. The $8 level adds on the core rules for Unleashed and thirteen other books, plus a free copy of the card game High Command Rapid Engagement (shipping not included) and a 50% off coupon for Iron Kingdoms Unleashed. The $15 level adds another sixteen books plus a 33% off coupon for Undercity which includes 48 plastic miniatures, for a grand total of a $382 value not including the coupons. This bundle benefits the American Red Cross. You’ve got until November 8 if you want to get in on this deal.


    Richard Garfield, the creator of Magic: The Gathering, is returning to the world of card games and bringing many of the original Magic artists with him for his new game, Carnival of Monsters. This card game for two to five players and focuses on card drafting as the main mechanic. Each turn, you get eight cards and get to pick one to keep before passing the others to the next player. Other gameplay may sound somewhat familiar, as you use Land cards as a resource to play Monster cards, with Staff cards providing permanent bonuses for your carnival and Events giving you a one-time boost, but there are also Secret Goals that add bonuses to your score along with your monsters. At the end of four turns, you add up your points and see whose carnival wins. The base game includes 240 cards with stretch goals potentially adding more. The game itself is available for a €45 (about US$53) pledge, the deluxe edition available for €65 (about US$77), and an artist’s edition which includes seven art prints for €99 (about US$117). This project is only at about 20% of its funding goal of €222,000, but has until Sunday, November 19 to make it there and unlock its stretch goals.

    Speaking of card games, Munchkin is well known for its parodies of pretty much every genre there is, but it all started as a parody of fantasy roleplaying games. What better target to go with next than Munchkin Starfinder? Illustrated by Schlock Mercenary artist Howard Tayler, this 168 card stand-alone cross-compatible game features new races, classes, and a Starfinder card back. I mean, do I need to hard-sell you on Munchkin Starfinder? I doubt it. You can get the base game alone for a $25 pledge, add on the first 56 card expansion immediately for $35, both plus all unlocked add-ons for $60, and adding on the Munchkin Pathfinder game for $80. Note that the add-ons are not available at the $25 and cost extra at the $35, but the value of the ones already unlocked is $36 so you can save $16 already going with the higher pledge level. This project is fully funded and adds more stretch goals until it closes on Thursday, November 2.

    Dragon Bagons by Wayward Designs are plushie dragon dice bags. And they. Are. So. Cuuuute! You flip open its angry little head and put up to 100 dice inside its thick, fuzzy belly and I want one so bad! If you’ve seen the Bagthulhu dice bags, this is the same company making high-quality, hand-made dice bags and the designs are always top notch. And, as with their previous campaign, this one is also smartly designed with limits on quantity as these are a hand-made product as can take time to create, making sure that they are able to fulfill for all backers. The Young Dragon Bagon is available for a NZ$48 (about US$33) pledge, the double-sized Adult Dragon Bagon available for a NZ$120 (about US$84), the Drakeling bendable/twistable/clipable plushie ornamental dragon for NZ$90 (about US$63), and there’s even a level for those wanting the Deep Old One himself, Bagthulhu for NZ$47 (about US$33). This project is at about 35% of its funding goal, but it has until Tuesday, November 21 to fund and unlock additional colors through stretch goals.

    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 have stated I never ever want to hear the phrase “ludonarrative dissonance” ever again after researching BioShock Infinite, follow Gamer’s Tavern on YouTube featuring videos on gaming history and Let’s Plays, 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, Humble Bundle, and/or DriveThru may contain affiliate links with the proceeds going to the author of this column.
    Comments 16 Comments
    1. God -
      Webb was not barred from the convention following the incident and appeared at scheduled events the following day.
      This is the first I'm seeing that he returned for panels the next day. According to the original report on Twitter, he left after sobering up. Do you have a source?
    1. Abstruse's Avatar
      Abstruse -
      Quote Originally Posted by God View Post
      This is the first I'm seeing that he returned for panels the next day. According to the original report on Twitter, he left after sobering up. Do you have a source?
      It was based on the statements of Robert Brookes on his Twitter thread where he described the incident he witnessed. Re-reading it, it's not as clear-cut as I made it seem in the article whether or not he attended further convention-related activities. I've updated the article reflecting that correction.
    1. ddaley's Avatar
      ddaley -
      Also, Tome of the Unclean for Castles & Crusades: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...of-the-unclean

      Dragon dice bags... interesting. Wish they would be done for x-mas. Probably will back that one too.
    1. HawaiiSteveO's Avatar
      HawaiiSteveO -
      Magic card/board game sounds very interesting, it's all in one box (no deck building, boosters, etc)? Have they done something like this before? Haven't played magic in 15+ years but might get back into it if someone didn't have a vac. in my pockets and good replay value.

      Still, this could be a 'gateway' game...

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    1. ddaley's Avatar
      ddaley -
      Tome of the Unclean funded already.
    1. Dire Bare's Avatar
      Dire Bare -
      Not that it's a big deal, but Dungeon Tiles debuted during 3rd Edition, and continued through 4th Edition, it was not a solely 4E product line.
    1. smiteworks's Avatar
      smiteworks -
      Quote Originally Posted by HawaiiSteveO View Post
      Magic card/board game sounds very interesting, it's all in one box (no deck building, boosters, etc)? Have they done something like this before? Haven't played magic in 15+ years but might get back into it if someone didn't have a vac. in my pockets and good replay value.

      Still, this could be a 'gateway' game...
      There is a Magic the Gathering Arena of the Planeswalkers boardgame that is pretty good. I ran it for some not MtG gamers and they loved it and then wanted to try MtG. Overall, I think Hasbro & Wizards have had a pretty good track record with boardgames. The D&D board games from Wizards were all pretty well done, but the latest (Tomb of Annihilation) released under WizKids improved upon them further by making the scenarios linked into an ongoing campaign. Anything combining the efforts of those two companies is a guaranteed auto-buy for me.

      BTW, Holy Crap Arena of the Planeswalkers is only $10 on Amazon Prime right now. (75% Off).
      https://www.amazon.com/Magic-Gatheri.../dp/B00SDJGCRA

      There are 2 expansions that are also on sale now for ridiculously cheap.
    1. Cergorach's Avatar
      Cergorach -
      Could you maybe steer clear of the controversial news that your not 100% sure about. Recently the F-up with the Tom Vassel business and now with the Bill Web stuff. Stick with rehashing press releases, because investigative journalism isn't your best feat (or as powerful as it was in 3rd Edition ;-)...
    1. Mouseferatu's Avatar
      Mouseferatu -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cergorach View Post
      Could you maybe steer clear of the controversial news that your not 100% sure about. Recently the F-up with the Tom Vassel business and now with the Bill Web stuff. Stick with rehashing press releases, because investigative journalism isn't your best feat (or as powerful as it was in 3rd Edition ;-)...
      I am not @Abstruse, but I know him outside of his position as a columnist here at ENWorld, and I can 100% assure you that he will never, ever stop posting about, or calling people out for, sexual harassment, abuse, or assault in the industry. He will report what he's learned, and he will correct as new information comes to him, as he should. But stop reporting it? Never.

      Nor should he.
    1. Abstruse's Avatar
      Abstruse -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cergorach View Post
      Could you maybe steer clear of the controversial news that your not 100% sure about. Recently the F-up with the Tom Vassel business and now with the Bill Web stuff. Stick with rehashing press releases, because investigative journalism isn't your best feat (or as powerful as it was in 3rd Edition ;-)...
      Sorry I got some fine details on a couple of breaking and still-unfolding stories incorrect when the sources on those stories themselves were ambiguous. I know I'm terrible for pointing out when I made a mistake and making my corrections and updates with new information obvious and clear rather than burying them or ignoring the errors entirely so I appear to be infallible. I know the latter is what most news outlets do, but I thought it would be more prudent to be accurate and open both for my own integrity and for my readers.
    1. Cergorach's Avatar
      Cergorach -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mouseferatu View Post
      I am not @Abstruse, but I know him outside of his position as a columnist here at ENWorld, and I can 100% assure you that he will never, ever stop posting about, or calling people out for, sexual harassment, abuse, or assault in the industry. He will report what he's learned, and he will correct as new information comes to him, as he should. But stop reporting it? Never.
      You know him outside of being a 'columnist' for ENWorld, great! Maybe you can sit him down and talk about professionalism in news media...

      If he's never going to stop, maybe ENWolrd should stop using him, because in a short period he's been wrong/inaccurate on two quite fundamentally different news items that can be traced back to very poor research. The Vassal story is a case where I, as a non industry expert, already knew that what was reported was not true. Just by doing my due diligence as a consumer on a reviewer, I did the same with you back in the 3E early days. Opening up ENWorld up to a libel case due to substandard work is not ok with me.

      The harassment case is also not up to 'journalistic' standards: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_sources
      I read that 'news' segment by Abstruse and I see sexual harassment, public intoxication and assault. The first might have some merrit, the second I can't find much about and might be to another poor word choice (sobering up vs. cooling off), the third no one is coming forward with and injury. At it's worse I call it intentional sensationalism of an event, we can call it incompetence or at 'best' I call it jumping the gun (again).

      I also will never stop calling people out that (in an official capacity) provide bad information from sites I expect better of. This is not some thread in a subforum by member X, this is frontpage news... A certain level of competence is expected here, especially about incidents that are personally damaging to others, you better be 100% right about your facts.

      Quote Originally Posted by Abstruse View Post
      Sorry I got some fine details on a couple of breaking and still-unfolding stories incorrect when the sources on those stories themselves were ambiguous. I know I'm terrible for pointing out when I made a mistake and making my corrections and updates with new information obvious and clear rather than burying them or ignoring the errors entirely so I appear to be infallible. I know the latter is what most news outlets do, but I thought it would be more prudent to be accurate and open both for my own integrity and for my readers.
      Sorry, those were NOT fine details! Those were essential facts about stories that with proper research and due diligence could have been found out. Instead, being first/fast is more important then being accurate. Waiting a week, doing proper research and having multiple independent sources telling you the same thing might solve this problem.

      I also taste a hefty dose of personal bias, which makes the inaccuracies even more grating.

      Maybe you should watch The Orville episode "Majority Rule", that's pretty much what your driving at here.
    1. Abstruse's Avatar
      Abstruse -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cergorach View Post
      The harassment case is also not up to 'journalistic' standards: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_sources
      Let's see, I cited the primary source of the allegation, cited the confirmation from the company that employees the accused which confirmed the incident and confirmed the investigation, cited the confirmation from the holder of the event where the incident took place that further confirmed the incident, and cited an article that had further cited sources. So...yeah. Try again!

      Or, if you don't like my column, just don't read it. Won't bother me any.
    1. Abstruse's Avatar
      Abstruse -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cergorach View Post
      Maybe you should watch The Orville episode "Majority Rule", that's pretty much what your driving at here.
      And if you're citing Seth "I Saw Your Boobs" MacFarlane as someone I should take my journalistic cues from, I'd rather prefer you didn't read my column actually. Kthxbuhbye.
    1. Robbaker's Avatar
      Robbaker -
      Found a good interview about the Wizkids and GW Workshop a few days ago. Thought I would share it here, since I have been lurking a bit but never contributed.

    1. evileeyore's Avatar
      evileeyore -
      Quote Originally Posted by Abstruse View Post
      And if you're citing Seth "I Saw Your Boobs" MacFarlane as someone I should take my journalistic cues from, I'd rather prefer you didn't read my column actually. Kthxbuhbye.
      No... what he's suggesting is that you're edging up on willfully engaging in mob "justice"* instead of, you know, dispassionately reporting on the news.



      * Mob justice being the the plot of that The Orville episode.
    1. Abstruse's Avatar
      Abstruse -
      Quote Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
      No... what he's suggesting is that you're edging up on willfully engaging in mob "justice"* instead of, you know, dispassionately reporting on the news.



      * Mob justice being the the plot of that The Orville episode.
      Yes, I'm doing such a poor job of reporting what with my citing multiple sources directly and quoting both sides and citing them and updating the article with new information and posting the new information and corrections as obviously as possible for my readers to see it (be that updating the column itself or making a correction in the next week's column). Wait, that doesn't seem like "willfully engaging in mob justice" and sounds like the job of a journalist. In fact, it sounds like a better ethos of updating and correcting than most mainstream "real" news sources about world events do since I put my corrections and updates up-front rather than bury it in fine text on page 12 surrounded by ads to update what was an above-the-fold front-page story.

      Anyway, see you Thursday. Unless you decide to stop reading my column, that is.
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