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.
Calling Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage the “dungeon to end all dungeons” would be a mistake but clearly Wizards of the Coast is aiming for fans of such things. While it's big, it's not the biggest dungeon ever produced. It is, however, the biggest ever produced for 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons and Undermountain is considered the largest, deepest Forgotten Realms dungeon.
It seems every RPG Kickstarter claims to do something different. Most aren't, but Orun by New Agenda Publishing definitely is — a “Post-Apotheosis, Afro-futuristic Sci-fi RPG mixing Mysticism and Adventure to create a unique gaming experience.”
A running gag in the game industry is that adding Cthulhu makes everything better (much like bacon) but adding it to heroic fantasy isn't easy. That calls for not just an expert but a specialist, and Sandy Petersen, creator of Call of Cthulhu, is the perfect person for the job.
After H.P. Lovecraft – of course – the person most associated with the Cthulhu Mythos is Sandy Petersen. When the rest of the still-new role-playing game industry was making variants of Dungeons & Dragons and related types of epic fantasy, Petersen created Call of Cthulhu, his first game inspired by Lovecraft's work, for Chaosium.
Since the majority of official D&D adventures have been set in dungeons (or the equivalent) and wilderness areas, making the latest hardcover adventure, Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, a city-based adventure is a breath of fresh air. It's also a great chance to give the Sword Coast's most cosmopolitan city some 5th Edition attention.
The main purpose of RPGs is to have fun but ensuring that everyone enjoys themselves is tricky. First you have to agree on a game, then a play style. A dozen or more things after that can make or ruin a game. John Stavropoulos created an elegant solution to a common fun killer by creating the X-Card.
Every older RPG that has been revived after being out of print for a number of years wants to be 7th Sea. Its 2016 Kickstarter raised $1.3 million, breaking crowdfunding records for role-playing games and making it a huge success in comparison to its $30,000 goal. Lands of Gold and Fire is a by-product of that Kickstarter and a gorgeous by-product it is.
GMs and players share a common problem – getting a group started. No matter the RPG or the genre, turning individual characters into an adventuring party, superhero team, supernatural coven or pack, etc. is hard, and yet it's essential for a good game. Group connections help to raise the stakes when something goes wrong and provides incentive for them to act.
When WotC announced the Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron as a PDF release it caused a great disturbance as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in joy and frustration. The joy is because the most requested setting in the player surveys was finally being released for 5th Edition. The frustration is because it's not a physical book, it's not legal for D&D Adventurer's League and it said that Wayfinder's “will serve to collect feedback on adjusted races, dragon marks, new backgrounds and more,” making it seem like a beta release. By contrast, Curse of Strahd Ravenloft was presented as an adventure and source material.
Unlike 4th Edition, 5th Edition D&D has had a much slower pace for book releases. While some fans grumble, the change has worked in WotC's favor, making each release an event, and interest is doubled for source books like Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes.
Satine Phoenix had already done a lot in the game industry before becoming one of the more recognizable women in the industry and a celebrity GM due to her work DMing for the official D&D Twitch channel and her popular video series, GM Tips. This is the second part of our interview with Satine, you'll find the first part here.
Satine Phoenix might be the most recognizable woman in the game industry. Her popular video series GM Tips, regularly has about 100,000 views per episode. She's a GM for D&D's official Twitch channel, where she co-created Maze Arcana and DMs the popular Sirens of the Realms stream, in addition to her career as a model. artist and cosplayer. She also created both DrawMelt and DnDMelt at Meltdown Comics in Hollywood, founded CelebrityChariD20 and co-created the graphic novel series New Praetorians, and among other projects. With so much going on and convention season starting, Satine was gracious enough to carve some time out of her busy schedule to talk about gaming.
Xanathar's Guide to Everything packs a lot of useful content for both players and DMs in its 192 pages. Here I'm going to expand on the first part of my review to cover the section that will probably be used the most by its readers – character options.
As the first actual rules expansion of 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons, Xanathar's Guide to Everything (XGtE) is facing an immense amount of scrutiny, guaranteeing that it won't please everyone. That said, there's a lot there for fans to like.