News Digest: Shadowrun 30th Anniversary Products, New Star Trek Adventures Products, #DnDSelfie, New Lord of the Rings Game, and more!
  • News Digest: Shadowrun 30th Anniversary Products, New Star Trek Adventures Products, #DnDSelfie, New Lord of the Rings Game, and more!


    Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! New Shadowrun 30th Anniversary Products, Acquisitions Inc. details announced, new Star Trek Adventures minis and adventure, a new Lord of the Rings game, and more!


    Shadowrun is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and, in celebration of the milestone, Catalyst Game Labs released several limited edition products for fans. The first is a lapel pin with the Shadowrun logo and the “XXX” of the 30th anniversary with “Est. 1989” underneath rendered in look-alike neon design for $9.99. There’s also the Shadowrun Executive Dice Set which features six dice designed for Shadowrun with the classic skull logo for the 1, the current Shadowrun S logo alongside the 5 and 6, and cyberpunk designs around the 2, 3, and 4. (If you haven’t played the last two editions of Shadowrun, the game uses a dice pool system with fixed target number of 5, so making the numbers 5 and 6 stand out makes counting successes (or “hits”) easier, and the skull replacing the 1 makes it easier to determine if there’s a “glitch”, or more 1s rolled than successes.) The dice set is $29.99 for six dice or $59.99 with the limited edition carrying case. Finally, several Shadowrun 5th Edition sourcebooks have been printed in limited edition red faux-leather for $49.99 each: Street Lethal, Chrome Flesh, Data Trails, Forbidden Arcana, Howling Shadows, Kill Code, Rigger 5.0, Run Faster, and Street Grimoire. The alternate campaign called Court of Shadows is also available in limited-edition green faux-leather.


    Modiphius announced two new products for the Star Trek Adventures line. The first is a brand new adventure, Nest in the Dark. The adventure is set in the TNG-era but has guidelines for adapting to other eras of the franchise. In the adventure, your ship’s warp drive fails as you encounter an alien subspace field generated by a Matryoshka Brain, a networked computer system large enough to completely surround a star. Worse, the Brain is moving…directly toward a Federation colony. And the subspace field will destroy the colony, killing everyone on board. Can you avert this imminent catastrophe? The 19-page PDF is available now for $4.99.

    Coming this July is a new expansion to the miniatures for Star Trek Adventures, both of heroes and villains. The Iconic Villains set features Khan, the Borg Queen, Q (in his judge’s robes), Locutus of Borg, Gul Dukat, Lore, General Chang, and the Gorn Captain. And if you’d like some diversity in your Starfleet officers, there’s the Landing Party set with ten crewmembers in TOS-era uniforms with male and female versions of Andorians, Denobulans, Tellarites, Vulans, and Humans (or arguably Trill, TOS-Klingon, or any other species that appears human) that aren’t modeled after any specific character. Both 32mm unpainted resin miniature sets will be available this July with an MSRP of $49.99.


    The Dungeons & Dragons Acquisitions Incorporated sourcebook has been officially announced, at least by Wizards of the Coast. While the book was announced at PAX almost two weeks ago, Wizards of the Coast waited until late last week to officially announce the new book based on the series of podcasts, live streams, and stage events. We also got a preview of some of the new art from the book, as well as some more details about the contents. The 256-page hardcover will have tips for dungeonmasters and players for creating unique challenges and characters, new backgrounds and other character options, a brand new playable race, and an adventure to take characters from level 1 to 6. The book is available for pre-order now with a retail price of $49.95 and scheduled for a June 18 release.


    Speaking of release dates for media tie-in products for Dungeons & Dragons, apparently the May 1 release date for the Stranger Things Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set was a suggestion rather than a firm release. Reports started this week of seeing the set in the wild, while Amazon both in the United States and the United Kingdom have the set available for immediate purchase. Speculation is that the early release is due to Hasbro Gaming handling distribution rather than Wizards of the Coast as the product has a more wide appeal than typical hobby gaming channels. The Starter Set has a retail price of $24.99 and features a streamlined version of the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition rules, an adventure (written by Stranger Things character Mike), pre-generated characters, a set of dice, and two demogorgon miniatures (one painted and one unpainted). If you own the original Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set, the biggest differences aside from the additional $5 price tag are the different adventures (the Starter Set features The Lost Mines of Phandelver by Rich Baker), the new errata version of the rules, and the inclusion of the two demogorgon miniatures.


    Paizo released an unboxing video of the new Starfinder Beginner Box previewing the contents of the starter set for the science-fantasy RPG. The video gives a full look at the contents of the box which, as the previous Pathfinder Beginner Box, makes it look like a good purchase even for those who are already playing the game. The set features a 96-page Heroes’ Handbook with character creation and general rules, a 96-page Game Master’s Guide with an adventure, bestiary, and advice on creating adventures, a set of dice, 80 sturdy cardboard stand-up pawns (with 24 bases for the pawns), six pre-generated characters, six blank character sheets, six quick-reference rules cards, and a double-sided erasable flip-mat. Personally, I’ve found these worth the value based on the pawns, map, and a rulebook I can pass around the table without spending the money for a second full core rulebook not even counting the other material. The boxed set has a retail price of $39.99 and will be available from hobby outlets and directly from Paizo on April 24 and in mass-market outlets such as Amazon on May 7.


    Fantasy Flight Games announced a new board game based on the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-earth. This is a massive cooperative adventure game for one to five players as you undertake the quest to destroy the One Ring and save Middle-earth. The scenario is managed through a companion app, allowing for quick setup and play that also saves your progress as you play through an entire campaign, with updates available to allow more dynamic replay potential. The boxed set itself comes with six heroes to choose from, each with their own miniature, along with twenty-two map tiles, twenty-five enemy miniatures, plus cards, tokens, and other gameplay aids. The game has a retail price of $99.95 and will be available on April 19.


    Last weekend, Saturday Night Live aired a sketch about Dungeons & Dragons that – and this is my personal opinion – was one of the most hack attempts at nerd humor I’ve seen since William Shatner shouted at Star Trek fans to get a life. In a direct response to the “Central Casting Nerd Stereotypes from the 80s” representation of gamers, the Twitter hashtag #dndselfie popped up to refute the claims that all gamers are traditionally-unattractive asocial shut-ins with no social skills. Started by The Killustrators podcast co-host Nic ter Horst, the hashtag has spread far and wide and is still trending at this time, featuring a wide variety of tabletop gamers from all over the world as a strong reminder that gaming is for everyone and there is no “stereotypical roleplayer”.


    There have been many articles (including some academic papers) about the use of tabletop gaming and roleplaying games in therapy, but Critical Core may be the first attempt to specifically design an adventure roleplaying game for that purpose. Based on the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition rules with redesigning from therapists and specialists, Critical Core’s goal is to help children, teenagers, and adults on the autism spectrum to develop social skills and confidence through roleplaying. The box includes all the rules needed to play for both players and gamemasters, three adventure modules (in separate booklets), four sets of dice for each player, pre-generated character sheets, a reusable map, and game tokens. It also includes game cards with quick-reference rules to help keep track of how to perform actions and a Facilitator’s Guide specifically for parents and therapists on how to use the game in a therapeutic setting. Additionally, new adventures are being unlocked through stretch goals, with Shanna Germain of Monte Cook Games and Jerry Holkins of Penny Arcade and Acquisitions Inc. already unlocked. And for those who just want a new game, the boxed set looks amazing with some great art and many of the accessories are useful for neurotypical gamers as well. A digital version is available for $30 and the physical Starter Set for $50, while there’s also a backer level at $50 to donate a set to schools, hospitals, and other non-profits or $100 to get a set for you and donate a set to charity. This project is fully funded and runs until Friday, April 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 I’ve been cloyingly raving about the new live-action The Tick series, 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 (such as my recent video on the history of Dragonlance) 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 7 Comments
    1. LuisCarlos17f's Avatar
      LuisCarlos17f -
      I am Spanish, I don't see TV at all and I couldn't watch that Saturday Night Live but I can tell you. Don't trust toxic propaganda showed as acid humor, don't trust toxic people who try to be fun but really wish to humiliate and psychologically mistreat who he doesn't like. They are more dangerous you could guess in the beginning, because they forget the respect of the human dignity, the base of our rights, and later it is easier move from the offenses and taunt to the physical violence. Sometimes the "acid humor" is only vulgarity, mediocrity and the first step to fall in the dark side of the Force.

      About Shadowrun, this franchise would be perfect for a anime serie. In the right hands could be a success. Even Hasbro could publish its own Shadowrun, cyberrave arcana, a idea of setting from d20 Cyberscape, perfect to sell toys of action figures and vehicles. If the cyberpunk 2077 is a success (probably it will be it), I could see new tries of Shadowrun videogames.
    1. Augreth's Avatar
      Augreth -
      The Shadowrun dice are pretty nice
      I just don’t get why they didn’t leave the 2, 3 and 4 blank as they are not needed at all in the game‘s current edition. And they should have dropped the numbers 5 and 6 as well, just displaying the S-icons for success.

      My guess is that they left it for those people who tweak the game and use the numbers anyway.
    1. Derren's Avatar
      Derren -
      Quote Originally Posted by Augreth View Post
      The Shadowrun dice are pretty nice
      I just don’t get why they didn’t leave the 2, 3 and 4 blank as they are not needed at all in the game‘s current edition. And they should have dropped the numbers 5 and 6 as well, just displaying the S-icons for success.

      My guess is that they left it for those people who tweak the game and use the numbers anyway.
      Also $30 for 6 dice? And if you know Shadowrun you also know that 6 dice gets you nowhere.
    1. Stilvan's Avatar
      Stilvan -
      Quote Originally Posted by LuisCarlos17f View Post
      I am Spanish, I don't see TV at all and I couldn't watch that Saturday Night Live but I can tell you. Don't trust toxic propaganda showed as acid humor, don't trust toxic people who try to be fun but really wish to humiliate and psychologically mistreat who he doesn't like. They are more dangerous you could guess in the beginning, because they forget the respect of the human dignity, the base of our rights, and later it is easier move from the offenses and taunt to the physical violence. Sometimes the "acid humor" is only vulgarity, mediocrity and the first step to fall in the dark side of the Force.
      Well said sir.
    1. Nawara's Avatar
      Nawara -
      Quote Originally Posted by Augreth View Post
      I just don’t get why they didn’t leave the 2, 3 and 4 blank as they are not needed at all in the game‘s current edition. And they should have dropped the numbers 5 and 6 as well, just displaying the S-icons for success.
      If nothing else, I hope that the next incarnation of Shadowrun dice will have numbers be small and on the corner while the dragon (5-6) and skull (1) logos are big and center.

      I just made my own by taking black opaque d6s from Chessex and coloring the 2-4 pips black (and 1s a different color). With the current system you really want the 5s and 6s to jump out at you from a distance.

      (Also, it's Shadowrun... which means you want 15+ dice, not six.)
    1. Fandabidozi's Avatar
      Fandabidozi -
      I remember the first time visiting Spain in the ‘80’s and being shocked that there was no television. Interesting that it’s still not made it’s way over there.
    1. Ranger REG -
      I don't see the offense. We were like that in the 80's. Maybe not embellished but not really part of the popular crowd. Nowadays the Populars (aka mainstream) have hijacked the nerd culture and making it cool by being offended by the caricature trappings of typical nerds that started it all. "We're not like that!" they cried.

      Frankly I don't care if you're beautiful, pretty, average, or geeky like me.I don't care if the popular IN crowd makes fun of us now-popular nerds. It shouldn't matter. Embrace yourself as well as others that are different than you, in look and/or fashion.

      As for the SNL skit, it's not humorous, but also not offensive.
    Comments Leave Comment