Electronic Tools
  • Electronic Tools


    We previously discussed the "digital line" when a physical product's value online dips to below one U.S. dollar in value, but miniatures are a bit more complicated. 3D printers continue to come down in price, but how cheap do they need to be before the miniature and terrain market is impacted?



    SmiteWorks announces that Fantasy Grounds will support the first edition of the Traveller role-playing game, published by Mongoose Publishing.


    The recent crash in pricing for digital comics provides a data point for the future of electronic versions of tabletop books, 3D-printed miniatures, and terrain. How long can retailers keep their price points for physical product before the dam breaks?



    Ernest Cline's Ready Player One book and movie created a virtual world where winning a game could result in personal riches. There's precedent for a video game awarding real-life riches going all the way back to the 1980s with the Atari 2600, and it begins with a game called Swordquest.



    Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! New releases from Onyx Path, Wizards of the Coast supporting a good cause, the 2018 Mensa Select winners announced, and more!


    In Ernest Cline's Ready Player One, real life is intertwined with a virtual overlay that permeates all of society. In the book and film based on it, James Halliday co-created the Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation (OASIS) a Massively Multiplayer Online Simulation Game (MMOSG), and its success made him a billionaire. It's hard to imagine now, but we nearly had our own OASIS with an immersive virtual world where every player had an avatar: Second Life.

    Ready Player One posits a future where billionaire James Halliday creates a virtual world that encompasses every form of gaming. He's actually inspired by a real-life game developer who made a fortune off of his games: Richard Garriott.



    The Orr Group - the company behind the popular Roll20 virtual tabletop - released its report for Quarter 4, 2017 recently. They report that D&D hard a larger than usual bump, and that Pathfinder also saw positive growth in the quarter. UP until recently, Roll20 has been an official licensee for D&D; as of this week, they are now an official licensee for Pathfinder and Starfinder, too, so those games might see a bump next quarter (though we won't see those figures for six months).

    While you've been able to play Pathfinder on various VTT's for ages, Paizo has teamed up with Roll20 to bring both Pathfinder and Starfinder to Roll20. They'll be launching with the War for the Crown adventure path. Lots of pretty pictures below!

    Dungeons & Dragons evolved from a miniature wargame with a referee to a role-playing game with as many as 20 players managed by a Game Master, to massive multiplayers where there are no referees at all. D&D's model of play is highly flexible, but its expression in other mediums has shown that the model where "anything can be attempted" has limits before something breaks down, and it starts with the referee.



    This week we went exploring at the SPOD - exploring the world of maps for RPGs. Maps have been a treasured part of the hobby since the very beginning, when Dave Arneson took some basic graph paper, crafted a dungeon, and had his friends explore it in search of the daughter of the Elven King. That, my friends, was the true birth of the classic RPG experience as we now know it. To that end, here's a bunch of map-oriented products for the physical and virtual tables.

    Social games are all the buzz thanks to a raft of interviews and marketing pushes by Hasbro and Mattel touting the benefits of "social gaming." Long before these game juggernauts discovered the term, tabletop role-players were gathering around a table and playing games. But the new kids on the block may still be able to teach tabletop gamers a few things.


    If you're a fan of the Roll20 virtual tabletop, and a fan of the ZEITGEIST adventure path, and a fan of 5E, you're at the intersection of an awesome Venn Diagram! You can now get the ZEITGEIST prelude adventure, Bonds of Forced Faith, on Roll20, along with an NPC token pack.

    Some exciting news from SmiteWorks, the makers of the Fantasy Grounds virtual tabletop! "SmiteWorks USA LLC is extremely happy to announce the latest new game system supported by Fantasy Grounds - W.O.I.N. This first installment features N.E.W., EN Publishing's very own game system full of aliens, cybernetics, space ships and atronomical exploration!"

    Many people have been asking for official D&D PDFs, and WotC has been addressing the need for electronic reference materials at the table in various ways. According to Mashable, WotC is releasing a D&D Reader App this fall. It's not a PDF, but it's basically a D&D-specific Kindle-esque app for iOS and Android. Mashable reports that "Each book is broken up into different sections. So with, say, the Player's Handbook, you can tap on little thumbnails in your library to check out the introduction, a step-by-step guide to character creation, a rundown of races, individual sections for each character class, equipment, and all the other pieces that, together, form the D&D Player's Handbook."

    The kind folks over at Smiteworks have sent along some sneak peeks at the Fantasy Grounds virtual tabletop version of the upcoming D&D adventure Tomb of Annihilation. It'll be available from Smiteworks and Steam on September 8th, the same day it appears in some local game stores (and 11 days before it appears in most!) Take a look!

    Fantasy Grounds has been busy working on the Starfinder package for its Virtual Tabletop (VTT). They've sent out a few "sneak peek" screenshots to show their progress. "John (aka Moon Wizard) is busy working on the the underlying mechanic changes from the PFRPG ruleset and Doug (aka ddavison) is working on the re-skinning and graphics that you see [below]."

    Hello everyone, Darryl here with help me help me we went from no news to too much news and I don’t know what to do! Gen Con, Diana Jones, ENnies, highly anticipated products released, all new products and licenses announced, it’s just too much!


    D&D Beyond, the official online toolkit for 5th Edition D&D, is now live - just in time for Gen Con! With a character builder, online rules compendium, digital character sheet, and more, the software has been in beta testing for a while. D&D's relationship with electronic tools has never been an easy one -- Master Tools, Gleemax, DungeonScape all being failed initiatives - but D&D Beyond looks like it might be the one which actually breaks that curse.

    This week from EN Publishing we have a new plug-in location in the Over the Next Hill series over on EN5ider, the 5th Edition Patreon, a look at how the legal system works in a fantasy medieval world filled with magic over on TRAILseeker, the Pathfinder Patreon, and a monster-creation system (and web app!) for GMs who need a little help creating NPCs and critters for the What's OLD is NEW system - along with an accompanying web app which does all the work for you!
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