View Profile: Abstruse - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
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    Yesterday, 06:04 PM
    This week, Morrus and Peter take a look at the second part of the original Saltmarsh adventures, U2 Danger at Dunwater, in preparation for the release of Dungeons & Dragons Ghosts of Saltmarsh. In the news, we have a new deck of monster cards for D&D, new Acquisitions Inc. art, #DnDSelfie, Shadowrun 30th Anniversary products, new Star Trek Adventures products, and a LOT more plus Our Favorite...
    0 replies | 392 view(s)
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    Friday, 12th April, 2019, 09:02 AM
    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...
    7 replies | 3230 view(s)
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    Wednesday, 10th April, 2019, 06:23 PM
    This week, Morrus and Peter attempt to definitively answer the question of why D&D is so popular. In the news, our sketch becomes reality as Wizards of the Coast announces the announcement for the announcement for the new Dungeons & Dragons product, John Wick and 7th Sea are going to Chaosium, a D&D cookbook, and more! Plus our favorite game in all the world, a new sketch based on a classic...
    4 replies | 1007 view(s)
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    Thursday, 4th April, 2019, 02:19 AM
    This week, Morrus and Peter tickle their funny bone with the best tabletop RPG April Fools pranks of 2019 and go over several humorous roleplaying games available to keep the laughs coming. Plus news, Kickstarters, a new sketch, and more! Subscribe oniTunes | Google Play | YouTube | TuneIn | Stitcher | Blubrry | Podbean | Spotify | Android In the news, Call of Cthulhu sourcebook...
    0 replies | 611 view(s)
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    Saturday, 30th March, 2019, 06:13 PM
    Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news. Preview of Acquisitions Inc. sourcebook, Call of Cthulhu books destroyed by the government, new Pathfinder and D&D minis from WizKids, and more! The new Acquisitions Incorporated sourcebook, based on the long-running Dungeons & Dragons “show” from Penny Arcade and Wizards of the Coast, got a preview in the lead up to PAX East. The...
    1 replies | 3642 view(s)
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    Tuesday, 26th March, 2019, 02:04 PM
    Dragonlance is one of the most popular settings for Dungeons & Dragons. And, like most things in tabletop gaming, there’s a lot of history behind the scenes that shaped the products over the years. Even very minor decisions made huge impacts as the line progressed, and we’re going to look at some of them! Video game footage is of Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara Art for "Soth...
    7 replies | 2196 view(s)
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    Thursday, 21st March, 2019, 10:49 AM
    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...
    13 replies | 5428 view(s)
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    Wednesday, 20th March, 2019, 08:16 AM
    This week, Morrus and Peter go way back to the original U1: Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh for 1st Edition AD&D to discover what secrets may be in store in the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons 5e adventure, Ghosts of Saltmarsh. In the news, rumors of a new D&D campaign setting, Barrier Peaks getting a reissue, Labyrinth Roleplaying Game coming soon, new Starfinder products, and more! Plus Patreon Asked...
    1 replies | 1284 view(s)
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About Abstruse

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Date of Birth
January 25, 1980 (39)
About Abstruse
Gaming News Columnist, Writer, Designer
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Columnist for ENWorld. Owner and producer of Gamer's Tavern Media. Formerly with Ain't It Cool News.
Nederland, TX
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Podcast #44: Ghosts of U2 Danger at Dunwater Yesterday 06:18 PM


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Sunday, 3rd June, 2018

  • 03:26 AM - Mouseferatu mentioned Abstruse in post The Next Dungeons & Dragons Storyline Will Be...
    WotC was very clear about what hour of what day the new book would be announced and made no further promises. This entire event was set up to disseminate infirmation. Does being press make you believe you are entitled to more information sooner than the rest of us? Or course WotC teased you the way they did. You basically asked if the final day was worth warching. Were they supposed to say 'No? " You know, given that Abstruse busts his ass for this site--hunting down stories, collating information, and writing it all up every week, plus trying to stay on top of big stories like this one--and given that WotC won't allow ENWorld access to advance info due to leaks that weren't ENWorld's fault, while still giving advanced access to other sites that have leaked info early--I think you can back the hell off and just say "Thank you for trying, I'm sorry your time was wasted."

Thursday, 22nd February, 2018

Thursday, 8th February, 2018

Saturday, 28th October, 2017

  • 07:42 AM - Mouseferatu mentioned Abstruse in post News Digest: PaizoCon Harassment, Dungeon Tiles Reincarnated, WizKids and Warhammer 40K, Fantasy Flight Interactive, and more!
    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.

Thursday, 24th August, 2017

  • 04:50 PM - LordEntrails mentioned Abstruse in post News Digest: Gen Con, ENnies, Diana Jones, Star Wars, Starfinder, and more!
    ...n June. Spiel des Jahres is a closed selection process for the jurors, but their names and identities are publicly known. As for what criteria they use. Ah, basically anything that they want. After several sentences, they come down and say this; The precise interpretation of ‘excellence in gaming’ is left to the discretion of the individual judges I mean, "industry insiders patting each other on the back" is pretty much the definition of an award regardless of the medium the award is for. This may often be true. But not all awards are this. Some are popularity contests open to the public. But credibility is not something an awards group can just grant themselves. And it is near impossible when they are secretive in both who they are and how they make their selection(s). If they were credible, then other sources besides themselves would actually cite them as credible. Where are those links? (So far, this question which is probably the most important has simple been ignored.) @Abstruse, note these questions or comments of mine are not meant to question your article. It is straight forward news (and I appreciate it, including this topic and others). I'm just trying to understand what the credibility of the DJA is.

Saturday, 12th July, 2014

  • 04:01 AM - pemerton mentioned Abstruse in post Will there be a 4.75 a la Pathfinder?
    I'm not 100% sure what you mean by "as an item" as that is not a phrase I'm familiar with as a legal term of art.It's not a legal term of art. "As a good offered for sale" is not really a legal term of art either, but would do as a synonym for "as an item". Restricting myself to federal law, trade dress is protected by §43(a) of the Lanham Act. (15 USC §1125 see also Two Pesos, Inc. v. Taco Cabana, Inc., 505 US 763)I think there are going to be complexities in comparing trade dress of a restaurant (or other commercial service provision, like M:tG online mentioned upthread by Abstruse) and trademarks and trade dress of goods. For instance, if a book or magazine is sold solely in shrink wrap, then it seems to me that that must suggest limitations on the extent to which material that appears only on the interior of the book can constitute trade dress or trademarks belonging to the publisher. At a certain point, such material cannot play a role in consumers distinguishing the goods of one producer from those of another, competing, producer. Or, from the point of view of a potentially infringing trader, at a certain point material that appears only within the interior of a book has not been "used in commerce", which is the statutory phrase that triggers liability. Here's an example: A 3PP makes a new monster: A 1 Eyed, 1 Horned Purple People Eater. They use the mechanics from MMIII to create the monsters stats, and they use the same colors and layout as monsters from MMMIII. While it's my position that (if it's protected at all) it's protected by trade dress a...

Saturday, 31st August, 2013

  • 06:41 AM - Morrus mentioned Abstruse in post Long interview with Cordell & Schwalb
    Conducted by Abstruse. There's a lot to get your teeth into in that interview; it's unusually candid and non PR-y for WotC. Great read. I'm surprised about how frankly they spoke about 4E. Equal parts good and bad. It's the sort of interview that is likely to reignite the edition wars, though. Plus lots of tidbits on the D&D Next playtest approach.

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Wednesday, 27th March, 2019

  • 06:18 AM - Azzy quoted Abstruse in post New Video from Gamer's Tavern on the History of Dragonlance
    As far as I'm aware, it's not on any streaming service legally. The company hasn't been that good about taking down pirated versions people have uploaded to YouTube. However, the DVD's pretty cheap, currently only about $5 on Amazon. Sadly, given the poor animation, that's really all it's worth.

Thursday, 14th March, 2019

Wednesday, 6th March, 2019

  • 10:10 PM - Jer quoted Abstruse in post Fallout Tabletop RPG Announced from Modiphius
    It should be noted that the announcement tweet from Modiphius says that this is the "1st officially licensed roleplaying game for the Fallout series" which is...mostly true? ... In addition, Fallout is acknowledged to have been heavily inspired by the CRPG Wasteland, which was developed by Michael Stackpole and Ken St. Andre and used a Mercenaries, Spies and Private Eyes/Tunnels and Trolls derived system. So in some ways this is Fallout coming back to the tabletop.

Wednesday, 30th January, 2019

  • 11:57 PM - ccs quoted Abstruse in post What are the biggest RPG crimes?
    * A party that steadfastly refuses to go with the plot. I don't know if it's a knee-jerk "You can't railroad me!" mentality or what, but...seriously, just go in the dungeon. That's where the plot is. It's in the dungeon. You can wander around the woods all you want and harass all the villager NPCs, but the plot's in the dungeon. Don't complain you're bored if you refuse to go where the plot is. Because the plot's in the dungeon. Go in the dungeon. I'd think the crime here has been committed by the DM. Clearly the players are indicating that they aren't interested in the plot you've cooked up.

Thursday, 24th January, 2019

  • 05:07 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted Abstruse in post News Digest: Shadowrun's 30th Anniversary! BattleTech's 35th Anniversary! Gamers Unite to Spite Sitcom Writer for Charity, and more!
    Thirty years of Shadowrun, how the time flies. I’m really glad to see Anarchy getting some support, finally. Any word if these will get proper print releases? The older I’ve gotten, the less tolerance I’ve had for Shadowrun’s game design, To the point that I just got rid of my Shadowrun 5e core book. Shadowrun Anarchy, on the other hand, is everything I wanted, a rules light system with that same awesome setting. Over the years I’ve been a Shadowrun fan, the number one compliment I’ve heard about the system is the world and worldbuilding. The number one complaint has been the complicated rules system. The streamlined narrative-based system of Shadowrun: Anarchy brought the rules-lite mentality to the Sixth World, but has been lacking a bit in support since it was launched two years ago. Well, what anniversary would be complete without a present for even the youngest of the family? The new sourcebook Shadowrun: Chicago Chaos is specifically written for the Shadowrun: Anarchy system ...

Friday, 11th January, 2019

  • 04:46 PM - Ralif Redhammer quoted Abstruse in post News Digest: D&D 2019 Release Schedule, Pathfinder Playtest Ends, Silver Gryphon Pulls All Savage Worlds Books from Sale, and more!
    I love the thought and detail that went into the preparation and presentation of these spreads! Some of them look quite good. The only one I think went a little awry is the Duergar one. Since Duergar have little interest in ornamentation, only toil, I think that they wouldn’t care much about spices. Considering Gracklstugh is on the Darklake, I might add some smoked fish, or even pickled fish, like rollmops. Maybe even...Hakarl. Tumblr user “Artemis Entreri” posted a collection of possible ration packs organized by race. The list starts with a general ration of bread, cheese, sausage, and dried fruit but moves on to rations specifically tailored to the requirements and culture of different Forgotten Realms races. The list features rations for humans (pictured above), dwarves, elves, halflings, half-orcs, orcs, gnomes (who’d think they’d like sardines so much?), and duergar. As a bonus, there’s also sit-down meals for lizardfolk (only four crawfish?), drow, mind flayers, and ogres. Unde...

Thursday, 27th December, 2018

  • 06:06 PM - Nikosandros quoted Abstruse in post News Digest: D&D International News, New Pathfinder Digests, New Releases for Fantasy Trip and Adventures in Middle Earth, and more!
    Steve Jackson Games has released the first new adventure for the classic game The Fantasy Trip in decades. The Chaos Triads is a 12-page PDF adventure and the first new product for the Kickstarted revival of The Fantasy Trip, featuring a story that sends the heroes on a mission of mercy into a dangerous labyrinth that brings them to the edge of Chaos itself. The labyrinth map is also cut-and-paste tiles for use with the Legacy Edition set along with a set of counters. The PDF is available from Steve Jackson Games’s Warehouse 23 digital store, linked above. There are currently two adventures available in PDF for the FT. Besides the aforementioned The Chaos Triads , there's also The Curse of Katiki-Mu. Furthermore, next week, a new KS will be launched for three more adventures and a printed compilation (which includes mega-hexes and counters) of all five.

Sunday, 23rd December, 2018

Saturday, 22nd December, 2018

  • 10:10 AM - TrippyHippy quoted Abstruse in post News Digest: More Big Changes for World of Darkness, John Carter of Mars Lands, Starfinder Beginner Box Details, Warhammer 40K Series Announced, and more!
    The olive branch was warning you. You came into my home and crapped on the carpet and now you're angry I rubbed your nose it in. I think you'll find it was I who was offering the olive branch. And you know, this is a shared forum. I'm not feeling angry at all, by the way. Are you?
  • 10:07 AM - TrippyHippy quoted Abstruse in post News Digest: More Big Changes for World of Darkness, John Carter of Mars Lands, Starfinder Beginner Box Details, Warhammer 40K Series Announced, and more!
    Oh you sweet summer have absolutely no idea what actual censorship is, do you? You weren't a horror fan in the 80s and 90s to know what actual, real censorship looks like, were you? This? This is the market stating that it will not sit idly while "creators" cross lines for no other reason than to cross them, "creators" who have nothing to say and no commentary to make other than "dOeS tHiS oFfEnD yOu?!" like a child with a booger on the end of their finger. You don't know what it's like when actual censorship happens. When works that are trying to say something are destroyed. When film prints are burned and governments are laying out fines to exhibitioners. When creative works are actually lost. The writers of Camarilla and Anarch and V5 and its pre-alpha playtest are allowed to write whatever they want. But Paradox is under no obligation to publish it. You are allowed to believe and think and even say whatever you want. But I am under no obligation to give you the outlet to d...
  • 09:48 AM - TrippyHippy quoted Abstruse in post News Digest: More Big Changes for World of Darkness, John Carter of Mars Lands, Starfinder Beginner Box Details, Warhammer 40K Series Announced, and more!
    Except you've come onto my column and commented repeatedly questioning my statements when I've written about this very subject multiple times. See, you're demanding courtesy from me in the comments on my own column that you yourself have refused to show me from your very first comment. Taking issue with something you have said is not being discourteous - it's making a statement about something I value, which is not having horror fiction, in any medium, being censored. That is all. If you want an olive branch, then let me commend you on a generally excellent column that is well written and keeps everyone informed. I'm sure you are a good guy, and I genuinely wish you the best for Christmas and beyond. I hope you write more articles in the future. I just take issue, in the article you have written here, with that one statement you made that I feel strongly about. And, no, I don't think it's worth losing sleep over.
  • 08:53 AM - TrippyHippy quoted Abstruse in post News Digest: More Big Changes for World of Darkness, John Carter of Mars Lands, Starfinder Beginner Box Details, Warhammer 40K Series Announced, and more!
    Just asking questions...yet your first comment - minutes within the column going live almost like you were looking for another article on White Wolf to pounce on - was a snarky "Oh well I guess we can't have horror anymore" comment.Which is a legitimate point. You went beyond the Chechnyan refrain, which was that the real world events shouldn't be referenced in a horror RPG, and added extra complaints about issues and concepts that exist in the horror genre, generally. This being a point of concern, for me, about 'where will it end?". I have an interest in games produced by White Wolf, which isn't a crime. If you don't want people commenting on your articles then don't have a comments section. No, you're not going to find those comments on the Twitter pages of the companies because in the gaming industry, official company social media accounts are used pretty much solely for self-promotion. I also specifically stated it was individuals working for those companies - from freelance designers ...
  • 07:55 AM - TrippyHippy quoted Abstruse in post News Digest: More Big Changes for World of Darkness, John Carter of Mars Lands, Starfinder Beginner Box Details, Warhammer 40K Series Announced, and more!
    Which you never did, apparently. Again, I'm not going to give you a laundry list of industry professionals to add to your harassment campaign. But in November, tweets condemning White Wolf and specifically the Chechnya chapter came from designers and executives from: Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Fantasy Flight Games, Steve Jackson Games, Green Ronin Publishing, R. Talsorian Games, Catalyst Game Labs, Evil Hat Games, Posthuman Studios, and that's just off the top of my head that I can remember. I'm going to tell you one last time: If you want to continue discussing this, do it somewhere other than the comments on my column. You're obviously trolling. This isn't a game and you can't rules lawyer your way out of it. Knock it off. I'm not trolling, I'm asking legitimate questions. How dare you try to characterise it as anything other than that. You have made a provocative statement in your article and you've chosen to defend it. If you don't want to engage, you don't have to - I'm quite happy t...

Friday, 21st December, 2018

  • 08:11 AM - TrippyHippy quoted Abstruse in post News Digest: More Big Changes for World of Darkness, John Carter of Mars Lands, Starfinder Beginner Box Details, Warhammer 40K Series Announced, and more!
    ...decided to close their RPG publishing arm solely because the content it was producing was so toxic to their brand that it was damaging their bottom line.No, you're reaching again. The opprobrium surrounding their releases was toxic. The actual content itself was a secondary issue. Had White Wolf been making the required sales figures, then I doubt Paradox would have changed their plans. Yes, I do know how other people play their games. It's kind of my job to know that. It's called "market research".Always good to know a marketing executive thinks they know more about you than you do. Still no quotes. Merry Christmas, again.
  • 07:17 AM - TrippyHippy quoted Abstruse in post News Digest: More Big Changes for World of Darkness, John Carter of Mars Lands, Starfinder Beginner Box Details, Warhammer 40K Series Announced, and more!
    No, I'm reporting on what people were offended by.No, you're not. You're going further than that - you're trying to justify it. You can dress up your attitudes towards the game if you like, but the intent is clear. And also, I resent the inference in your statements that people who were tolerant of the writing in the game were somehow inurred towards 'shocking crap in a RPG'. You have no idea about how other people play their games, and are in no position to judge them either. You say "Don't buy it if you don't like it"? That's exactly what happened - enough people said they wouldn't buy it or anything else from the company that the company closed down their publishing arm​ over it.Actually, you don't know that. We certainly had press releases to address issues raised, but there may be other factors (like sales and other management issues also) in the decision. The controversy over the Camarilla book for example happened after the Paradox decision to change White Wolf management - it...
  • 06:55 AM - TrippyHippy quoted Abstruse in post News Digest: More Big Changes for World of Darkness, John Carter of Mars Lands, Starfinder Beginner Box Details, Warhammer 40K Series Announced, and more!
    Yes, you can choose what offends you or not. But that doesn't entitle you to tell others what does and does not offend them.Don't buy it if you don't like it. You are the person trying to suggest what others ought to be offended by here. And, incidentally, I'm old enough to remember classic movies like The Exorcist, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Evil Dead, A Clockwork Orange, Scum, and Life of Brian all being banned for being offensive - by people who thought they were just as justified in their outrage as you. Here's a video about censored movies:
  • 06:41 AM - TrippyHippy quoted Abstruse in post News Digest: More Big Changes for World of Darkness, John Carter of Mars Lands, Starfinder Beginner Box Details, Warhammer 40K Series Announced, and more!
    Horror roleplaying game claims that a real-life massacre of gay people in the Chechen Republic is secretly controlled by vampires, even statting up the real leader of the country as a (weak) vampire, treating the subject matter with so little thought that it caused outrage not only among the LGBTQ+ community, but caused an international incident with the Chechen Republic. The World of Darkness product line existed for almost 25 years doing "adult-oriented fictional horror games" without causing an international incident or outrage from industry professionals from every single other major company in the industry...Horror roleplaying that uses vampires as an allegory for horrible things, yes. Horror roleplaying that put the despicable actions of a Chechnyan government into focus, that they felt compelled to react to it, yes. And if you don't think White Wolf games have caused 'outrage' before in their history, then you haven't followed them for long. "Every single other major company in the...

Saturday, 24th November, 2018

  • 03:16 PM - Umbran quoted Abstruse in post Hidden
  • 06:46 AM - doctorbadwolf quoted Abstruse in post Hidden
  • 04:02 AM - TrippyHippy quoted Abstruse in post News Digest: White Wolf Dissolved, MORE New D&D Releases Announced, RPG Now Closing (kinda), and more!
    Okay, taking my objective journalist hat off for this one. You want to know what the "moral stance" was? It was two years ago when Paradox created a mobile game that deadnamed a real-life trans person as an NPC to slander her then defending the game writer that put her in and refusing after several patches to make changes. It was a year and a half ago after the "pre-alpha" playtest where there were more rules for when your character was forced to commit various acts of sexual assault than there were for using your skills. It was six months ago when the company allegedly made legal threats against a blogger who posted all of this with cited sources to force him to take down his post with one designer doxxing him so that the blogger deleted his entire online presence to escape the death threats.Which is tantamount to an admission here that certain individuals have been orchestrating a revenge campaign against Paradox/White Wolf for two years. I don't know about the former case, but I do know that...

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