Beth Rimmels is a journalist, editor, and marketing professional. In addition to EN World, her game industry writing has ranged from CityBook VII to The Vampire Codex, as well as Awesome 8's, the multi-setting RPG she is currently designing. She has been a D&D Adventurer's League store organizer and taught a wide range of games at stores and conventions.
One of the biggest surprises at D&D Live 2019: The Descent was the announcement of the D&D Essentials Kit. The D&D Starter Set has already been around several years so it was surprising that that Wizards of the Coast would make another set for new players. It seemed even more odd once they explained that the Essentials Kit was not replacing the Starter Set.
Acquisitions Inc. has earned a special, beloved place in the actual play segment of the game industry. In 2009, long before Critical Role, Sirens of the Realms, or Dice, Camera, Action, Penny Arcade debuted D&D games presented as podcasts. They later transitioned to video and live-play in front of an audience at conventions, and have even had a comic book. Crowds for those live events have grown to larger and larger venues.
Wizards of the Coast is promoting Ghosts of Saltmarsh as an adventure book with a setting and rule supplements so since I already did a spoiler-free review of the book overall, let's take a closer look at the adventures it contains. While I avoid significant spoilers, be aware that broad information about each adventure is mentioned.
Ghosts of Saltmarsh will make Greyhawk fans happy without losing newer D&D 5th Edition players. Billed as a supplement for nautical adventures, it's a mix of new rules for ships and sea travel, adventures and supplemental material for any coastal campaign.
The Stranger Things Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set was pretty much inevitable. From the moment we saw Mike DM D&D for his friends early in the first session of the Netflix series, the clock started ticking when some crossover product would be released. Announced at Toy Fair earlier this year, Hasbro is heavily gearing this product to the mass market, not just hobby game stores.
Most companies design an RPG and use the same rule set, with or without new editions, for everything. With NerdBurger Games, Craig Campbell created three RPGs using three very different sets of original mechanics.
RPGs are commonly played to blow off steam and as a bit of wish fulfillment, but they can also be used to immerse yourself in a new experience as well as be a teaching tool. The game anthology War Birds by Unruly Designs definitely falls into the latter category. Set during WWII, it focuses on forgotten stories about the “Greatest Generation.”
After raising $2,121,465, Strongholds & Followers might be the most anticipated Kickstarter RPG (at least until the next record is broken). Of course, the bulk of the money raised went to the “Streaming” part of the Kickstarter so creator Matt Colville could get a proper studio for his very popular YouTube channel. The book definitely fills a need within the 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons landscape.