News Digest: D&D Movie "News", a New Editor for D&D, More Eberron from Keith Baker, Robin's Laws of Good Gamemastering Reprint, and more!
  • News Digest: D&D Movie "News", a New Editor for D&D, More Eberron from Keith Baker, Robin's Laws of Good Gamemastering Reprint, and more!


    Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! Hollywood trades reporting on D&D movie news, D&D gets a new editor, more Eberron content from the setting’s original creator, Robin’s Laws of Good Gamemastering finally getting a reprint, and more!


    Several of the Hollywood trades, including Screenrant, posted big headlines that are making the rounds like “Dungeons & Dragons Movie Reportedly Gets a New Script as Early Casting Begins”. For those of you who don’t regularly read these sort of trades, it’s very common to take any tiny piece of new information and create an entire article around it. In this case, the only news is that a re-write of the script (originally by David Leslie Johnson of The Conjuring, re-write by Michael Gillio of…2001’s Kwik Stop and 2008’s Jolene) is now complete. Despite claims that early casting has begun, the film doesn’t currently have a director attached (Chris McKay of The Lego Batman Movie left the project in favor of the sequel to that film and a Nightwing film). So despite the listing of pretty much every semi-A-list male actor in Hollywood, no one has been cast because there’s not even a director to do the casting yet. While the film has a 2021 release date, it’s starting to look like Joe Manganiello’s self-promoted Dragonlance film might make it to screens first (which is a separate project from Paramount’s Dungeons & Dragons).


    Going with the theme of “stories that are interesting but there’s not really a lot of information”, two big announcements have come out involving Dungeons & Dragons. F. Wesley Schneider announced on Twitter he has taken a new position as editor at Dungeons & Dragons. The long-time Paizo employee left the company in 2017 after joining in 2003 as assistant editor on Dragon Magazine (then published under license from Wizards of the Coast). He’s also the co-creator of Pathfinder and worked on the video game State of Decay 2. It’s unknown at this time what editorial capacity he will have at Wizards of the Coast as he’s only listed on his Twitter profile “Editor for Dungeons & Dragons”.

    On Friday, GameHole Con’s Adventure League coordinator accidentally confirmed that there will be a new campaign setting released for Dungeons & Dragons this year. The information came from a post looking for volunteer DMs for “The premiere of an Epic event set in an as yet unannounced setting” and “The premiere of adventures set in an as yet unannounced setting”. The event in question is this November, which indicates another fall release for a campaign setting. This, as always, has sprung a new round of speculation as to which setting it will be (a classic setting, a licensed setting like Ravnica, or something brand new) but there’s no solid information at this time.


    In other Dungeons & Dragons news, Keith Baker teamed up with other authors to release Morgrave Miscellany, a sourcebook on DM’s Guild for the campaign setting Baker created, Eberron. The four-chapter, 164-page digital release brings material from the original setting into D&D 5e along with updated lore and background information from the setting’s original creator. Not only does the book have new dragonmarks, subclasses, races, feats, and backgrounds, it also converts the game’s original prestige classes into class archetypes and has optional rules to create more hardboiled, pulp-noir stories plus adventure hooks and 0-level adventures. The PDF is available for $14.95.


    Steve Jackson Games announced they will be reprinting Robin’s Laws of Good Game Mastering as part of their Kickstarter for Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2. Originally published in 2002, this book contains advice on running games from veteran game designer Robin Laws, who has won more awards than I could possibly list over his career. While the original book was less than forty pages, it managed to pack a lot of wisdom into its deceptively small size and became a standard recommendation for advice on game mastering for both new and experienced players. The book has been out of print for a very long time and used copies tend to go for over $100, so a proper reprinting at a reasonable price – it’s a $13 add-on to the Dungeon Fantasy Kickstarter so the retail price should be in that range – is welcomed by many who have wanted to recommend the book but balked at the secondary market prices.


    Designer James M. Ward has a new series of columns here on EN World discussing his long history of game design and telling lots of behind-the-scenes stories. The first entry is an overview of his career, while there are planned columns on his first introduction to Dungeons & Dragons by Gary Gygax, designing Metamorphosis Alpha (arguably the first science fiction roleplaying game), the first Monty Haul, the story behind Dragon Dice, the controversy around the Palace of the Silver Princess, and more. Personally, I’m interested in the creation of Deities & Demigods and the controversy around the Cthulhu Mythos and Elric entries in the first two printings. I did a YouTube video on this and the various conflicting accounts of what happened, so I’m curious if any new details will be available since the original Facebook post I used as my source in the video. Look forward to more columns from Mr. Ward and his unique perspective on the history of the industry coming to EN World soon.


    Wizards of the Coast announced plans to revamp the Wizard Play Network, the company’s promotional network for hobby stores. The previous system ranked stores into four different tiers with different promotional efforts and “rewards” (typically promotional material and prizes for Magic: The Gathering tournaments), while the new system will reduce this to two. The changes seem entirely focused on Magic: The Gathering and the requirements for remaining part of the Wizard Play Network revolve solely around Magic events. Stores must have a minimum of 250 tickets to any events (Standard, Draft, or Sealed) and at least five “Engaged Players” (players who participate in at least six events) over a given year to remain in the program. The top five percent of stores will be “Wizard Play Network Premium” and receive additional support such as priority listing in the Store & Event Locator, in-store advertising like light-up logo signs, and exclusive events. No mention was made of Dungeons & Dragons in the announcement, but the FAQ posted elsewhere on the WPN site states Dungeons & Dragons events will not count toward the minimum metrics required, but stores that do not host Magic: The Gathering events will still receive WPN support in the form of preview adventures, alternate art covers, and listings in the Event Locator.


    I often hear complaints that so many campaign settings are the same generic Faux-European Medieval/Renaissance Anachronism Stew and look for anything new. If you’re one of them, Swordfall is something you’ll kick yourself if you miss out on. A fantasy setting with lore drawn from pre-colonial Africa and heavy influences from the Afrofuturism genre, the world of Tikor has a deep history and unique take on the nature of magic and nature and build a story that makes you immediately want to dive in and experience it for yourself. And the art is absolutely amazing, drawing from a diverse pool of talent from Botswana, South Africa, New Zealand, and Bethesda. Okay, the last one isn’t a country, but they got Jonah Lobe to do creature designs (the man behind Fallout 4’s super mutants and deathclaws and Skyrim’s dragons and giants) so it has to be mentioned. You can get the PDF for a $30 pledge, the hardback for $50, and several other backer levels to get your own character or town into the setting. This project funded in under an hour and still has until Wednesday, April 10 to unlock more stretch goals.

    Because bringing back old games with a new design is all the rage, why not do the same for Mercenaries Spies & Private Eyes? Originally published in 1983 by Flying Buffalo, this game focuses on the pulp era of adventure ranging from the 1800s age of exploration, Victorian steampunk, crime noir, cold war spy thrillers, and more. This new edition of the game from veteran Michael Stackpole uses the updated rules from Tunnels & Trolls including its unique solo play rules, giving you the best of old school narrative feel with modern game design. The PDF is available for $6, printed copy for $18, and a signed copy for $25 with a special hardback version for $55. This project is fully funded and runs until Tuesday, March 26.

    That’s all from me for this week! Don’t forget to support our Patreon to bring you more gaming news content. If you have any news to submit, email us at news@enworldnews.com, and you can get more discussion of the week’s news on Morrus’ Unofficial Tabletop RPG Talk every week. You can follow me on Twitter @Abstruse where, follow me on Twitch to see more of Thela Iwidia, Chiss Jedi Knight in Star Wars: The Old Republic, subscribe to Gamer’s Tavern on YouTube featuring videos on gaming history and gaming 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 13 Comments
    1. Ath-kethin's Avatar
      Ath-kethin -
      You can get a good, long taste of Swordsfall by visiting their website at https://www.worldanvil.com/w/swordsfall-solkyoshiro

      It's pretty amazing.
    1. Yaarel -
      Swordsfall looks cool!
    1. ParanoydStyle's Avatar
      ParanoydStyle -
      I really hope they keep George Strayton the hell away from this (theoretical) D&D movie.
    1. Traycor's Avatar
      Traycor -
      Article states: "Despite claims that early casting has begun, the film doesn’t currently have a director... [snip]...While the film has a 2021 release date, it’s starting to look like Joe Manganiello’s self-promoted Dragonlance film might make it to screens first"

      Highly disagree. The original story is from ThatHashtagShow (a consistently reliable source) who states they want production to begin late summer/early fall (3 to 5 months from now). That means the film has been fast tracked, and they will be finding people (like a director) to fill all the slots asap. That also means preproduction work is starting now, director or not. This is a big story and expect things to move quickly.
    1. VGmaster9's Avatar
      VGmaster9 -
      I hope the new D&D movie becomes a cinematic universe. Each film could have a protagonist that's a different race and class. One film can be about a human fighter, another about an elf rogue, and another about a half orc ranger.
    1. Traycor's Avatar
      Traycor -
      Quote Originally Posted by VGmaster9 View Post
      I hope the new D&D movie becomes a cinematic universe. Each film could have a protagonist that's a different race and class. One film can be about a human fighter, another about an elf rogue, and another about a half orc ranger.
      I assume /sarcasm.

      That being said, if they go Forgotten Realms, you could get something of this sort if they eventually crossed over things like Drizzt and Baldur's Gate. Minsc vs Drizzt, the two rangers slogging it out while Boo fights Guen!
    1. Derren's Avatar
      Derren -
      Quote Originally Posted by VGmaster9 View Post
      I hope the new D&D movie becomes a cinematic universe. Each film could have a protagonist that's a different race and class. One film can be about a human fighter, another about an elf rogue, and another about a half orc ranger.
      You are quite optimistic to assume that there will be more than one film.
    1. dalisprime's Avatar
      dalisprime -
      Quote Originally Posted by VGmaster9 View Post
      I hope the new D&D movie becomes a cinematic universe. Each film could have a protagonist that's a different race and class. One film can be about a human fighter, another about an elf rogue, and another about a half orc ranger.
      Fantasy movies (lotr and Harry potter aside) don't have an exactly stellar track record lately. Heck, WoW only got saved from flopping hard by the Chinese market. I doubt D&D will have similar pull over there. A
    1. VGmaster9's Avatar
      VGmaster9 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Derren View Post
      You are quite optimistic to assume that there will be more than one film.
      As much as I know it won't actually happen, I still think it would be an awesome idea.

      Quote Originally Posted by dalisprime View Post
      Fantasy movies (lotr and Harry potter aside) don't have an exactly stellar track record lately. Heck, WoW only got saved from flopping hard by the Chinese market. I doubt D&D will have similar pull over there. A
      I think it has something to do with lack of marketing. We've had so many sci fi and superhero movies lately, there needs to come a time when fantasy gets more popularity. First big step should be to stop making crappy adaptations of novels.
    1. Dee Cole's Avatar
      Dee Cole -
      Let's hope it has another Wayons in it!
    1. hopeless -
      How about a movie about a family with elven ancestry that has built a life on an Earth-like world, having to spend their vacation on various fantasy world's courtesy of their matriarch a 269 year old Horizon Walker who believes in being prepared.

      So introduce the latest generation who ends up accidentally transported to another world with a group of people ending up having to rescue and escort them home without them realising as that would force her to leave her homeworld permanently to protect her family...

      Just imagining family get together where there's a Dark elf Great Aunt (Rogue), a Tiefling Father (Barbarian/Paladin), Wood Elf Great Aunt (Ranger), etc so you could have them go on an adventure as a family vacation...

      No I can't see that working...
    1. chibi graz'zt's Avatar
      chibi graz'zt -
      Wait, the co-creator of PF is now working for Wizard's 5e team?? What can this mean?
    1. Kendra Lawrence's Avatar
      Kendra Lawrence -
      Whenever the movie gets underway, I hope they do an original story, with original characters, and that it really showcases the setting.

      Now if only the FR novel line (and the Pathfinder novel line) would pick up again.
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