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As you probably noticed, a new System Reference Document for D&D 5E was released under the Open Gaming License yesterday. Already fans and publishers alike are planning their third-party releases to support the game. There's another interesting development, though -- it seems that clones of the game are appearing already! Stan Shinn, who runs a D&D community over on Google+, has launched an Indiegogo fundraising campaign for a two-booklet red-box project called Dungeonesque: Red Box RPG. Described as "a 5E Compatible RPG Done in Red Box Style", it is very reminiscent of Frank Mentzer's 1983 version of D&D.
What are the most anticipated tabletop roleplaying games of 2016? Last week I held a massive poll and collected thousands of votes based on a list of a few dozen nominations submitted by EN World members. The voting took place over a period of a week. This week, I reveal to you what the Top 10 Most Anticipated RPGs of 2016 are, plus four Honorable Mentions which came close but didn't quite make it into the Top 10. In some places, the votes were close, but there were - fortunately - no ties. So, without further ado, I offer you in reverse order the games voted for by you! Note that some of these upcoming games do not have cover art yet, so I may have used older editions or other placeholder images.
Green Ronin has revealed its plans for the coming year - a year packed with news of Fantasy AGE, Wil Wheaton's Titansgrave, Mutants & Masterminds, and more! In fact, with over 20 products planned, Green Ronin has a pretty hectic release schedule. You can read the full report here, but for those looking for the highlights, I've listed them below. The schedule includes RPGs, card games, dice, even a coffee-table book about fantasy cinema. Plus there are new or revised GM's Kits for several of their lines with new GM screens, reference cards, and combat trackers.
The day has finally come! WotC has just announced a Dungeon Master's Guild. "There’s a new way to buy and share D&D adventures. With the Dungeon Master’s Guild, you’ll be able to self-publish material set in the Forgotten Realms using monsters, spells, characters, and locations." You can self-publish D&D materials, and buy, sell, and share it. It's a partnership between WotC and OBS (the company which runs DTRPG and RPGNow) and they take 50% of the revenue. The guild is only accepting 5E material set in the Forgotten Realms. Not only that, but there's also a new SRD (System Reference Document) for use with the Open Gaming License (OGL)!
Rob Bowes of Lone Wolf Development spoke to one of my favourite podcasts, the Round Table on The Tome Show, recently. Amongst the many things discusses was the likelihood of D&D 5th Edition support in HeroLab (character building software) and Realmworks (campaign management software), and the possibility of a 5E SRD. The short version is that officially licensed support for both is very likely this quarter. Also, interestingly, he seems very, very sure that WotC is going to release a System Reference Document (SRD) for D7/D 5th Edition in the very near future. Here's what he said.
It's a big day for EN5ider fans! Today marks the start of a new series called 'The Holdenshire Chronicles'. A 5E adaption of Russ Morrissey's TO SLAY A DRAGON, the PCs will start their adventuring careers in the sandbox village of Hengistbury, in the county of Holdenshire, before embarking on a quest to travel across the land and slay a dragon. But first, before the adventuring can begin, we launch with this 23-page Holdenshire Primer which introduces you to the county, its peoples, and locations of note. By Russ Morrissey, Jacob Driscoll, Christopher J. Herbert, and Brian Casey. Illustrated by Claudio Pozas. Cartography by Sean MacDonald.
New for TRAILseeker patrons! James Wylie takes a close look at the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game's flame blade spell, with new archetypes and feats designed to enhance or complement the flaming sword. The Oasis Guardian is a druid who calls on the burning blade; the Burning Wanderer is a ranger who gains the flame blade in his repertoire; and feats like Divine Flames, Elven Fire Duelist, Lingering Flames, and Soul of Fire extend the flame blade's abilities. Illustrated by Egil Thompson and Phil Stone.
If you have enjoyed Jason Thompson's previous walkthrough posters, you'll get a kick out of this one. This time he has tackled Vault of the Drow, an adventure originally produced for AD&D 1st Edition back in 1978. Artist Jason Thompson has produced several of these posters now, and EN World columnist Christopher Helton interviewed him just last week - you can read that right here. His complete list of walkthrough posters is now Tomb of Horrors, White Plume Mountain, Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth, Slave Pits of the Undercity, The Isle of Dread, Ravenloft, Steading of the Hill Giant Chief, Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl, The Village of Hommlet, Out of the Abyss, and Vault of the Drow.
The Orr Group (who produce the Roll20 virtual tabletop platform) has just sent along its latest quarterly statistics which look at what folks have been playing over the last three months. The group reports that "Once again, 5th Edition is widening the gap as the most popular DnD option. 4th Edition activity decreased slightly, but the biggest change is that 3.5 Edition players seem to be migrating to 5e. This is a continuation of a shift we noticed in Q3, so it will be interesting to see if the trend continues in 2016." The statistics below are from Quarter 4 2015.
It's a momentous day. I just received the last 4 art pieces from Savage Mojo (who was acting as art director) for the WOIN (What's OLD is NEW) Bestiaries! Aside from some weapon illustrations coming in over the next week or two, that's the art now finally done. And there's a LOT of art, and it has been going for about 18 months. Anyhow, here are those last four monsters - three for fantasy, one for modern.
It's no surprise that D&D is the most played game on Fantasy Grounds, seeing as the virtual tabletop platform is the officially licensed VTT for the game. However, it can be interesting looking at the stats for all the other games. Smiteworks has sent along a couple of charts showing the games played on their platform throughout the whole of 2015. That included 136,000 D&D 5th Edition games. Below is the breakdown of the top 25 most popular games. Smiteworks' Doug Davison notes that there were many other games played, but they came to less than 1% in total. Of note following D&D 5E were Pathfinder, D&D 3.5, Savage Worlds, and D&D 4E. In that top 5, only one game (Savage Worlds) is not a flavour of D&D in some way.
New for EN5ider patrons! In the second in our Epic Threats series, James Introcaso brings us a range of goblinoids and orcs designed to challenge high level adventurers. Meet the brutish Bugbear Savage (CR 18), the depraved Goblin Creeper (CR 16), the battle-hardened Hobgoblin Monarch (CR 14), the devoted Orc Godspeaker (CR 14), and the mighty Orog Devastator (CR 20). Illustrated by Jen Tracy.
If you want 200 pages of NPCs for your game - and by game, I mean D&D 5E, Pathfinder, or Swords & Wizardry - Nord Games looks like it has you covered. Ultimate NPCs has NPCs galore at levels 1, 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20. It's a Kickstarter, already funded, and they've kindly sent me along a couple of pages from the book to share with you. I had the choice of 5E, Pathfinder, or S&W, and figured 5E would gather the most attention, but if you're a fan of those other two awesome games, just imagine these with suitable stat blocks. Anyhow, on with the preview! This is Jana, a gladiator, at levels 1 and 4.
It's a New Year Big Name Kickstarter Bonanza! For fans of the Scarred Lands, Numenera, or Burning Wheel, or an unholy mix of the three (The Scarred, Burning Lands of Numenera?), these three new Kickstarters are all set for some fairly epic success from the starting gate. All three are produced by veteran publishers already known for their high quality work, and based on existing well-loved settings and games. It looks like 2016 is starting off with a bang!
After taking nominations in this thread, it's time to start voting. Let us know what RPGs you are most anticipating this year. The nominations were gathered over a series of days, and culled down to those which were full roleplaying game systems (i.e. not settings, adventures, supplements, or accessories for an existing game). The poll will run for one week, after which I will announce the 10 Most Anticipated Games of 2016. You may choose up to three options.
Last month, I shared a little technobabble table from my What's O.L.D. is N.E.W. game system. It was just a flavour thing, but a few folks expressed an interest in seeing some of the others from the game, including herbalism, alchemy, medical science, and computing/hacking. This one is the alchemy table - like before, you roll d66 four times to generate a result like boil zinc in a sapphire bowl. It's mainly useful as background flavour stuff - if your character is making an alchemy check, or an NPC is doing alchemy, and you want something alchemyish to say, you can whip this little technobabble table out.

This Week in TTRPG


A moody game in a dark city full of spies, revolutionaries and strange magic.
Ever since Toy Story debuted, I've wanted rules to play with army men. Now we can!
Knave 2e offers great resources for any OSR style game.
A great small sandbox for old school gaming.

Dungeons & Dragons

Here are the D&D events WotC is holding at Gen Con this year.
3,000 copies available ahead of September release.
Hight previously oversaw the World of Warcraft franchise.
The sets include Ravenloft, Tomb of Horrors, Vecna Lives!, White Plume Mountain, Temple of Elemental Evil, and Expedition to the Barrier Peaks.
There might even be a rescue involved—if the adventurers are fast enough.
Wolfgang Baur, Kobold Press CEO, was kind enough to talk to me about Tales of the Valiant, the setting of Midgard, and all things Kobold.

Industry News

Tabletop Mirror with integrate the chat features of Role Gate into its platform
Hight previously oversaw the World of Warcraft franchise.
Your backing helps Owen's fight against cancer and gets you a book of cartoons by Stan!
DEI grants for publishers and retailers open for applications

Voidrunner's Codex

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