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Paper Terrain To Build Wilderness Adventures
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Fat Dragon Games is running a Kickstarter for a "customizable tabletop outdoor terrain system for 28mm scale fantasy miniature games, wargames, and roleplaying games." These are PDF terrain sets which you download, print out, and build. They're already well-known for their dungeon, castle, town, and sci-fi sets. They're already at 2,500% of their Kickstarter goal, and more and more sets are being added to the existing sets through stretch goals. Already, they've hit forest ruins, goblin camp, sphinx, volcano, tent-pack, and more, and future goals include wagons, statues, tombs, and obelisks.
CHAINMAIL Co-Author Jeff Perrin Needs Your Help!
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Game designer Jeff Perren, who co-authored the original Chainmail game which later inspired Dungeons & Dragons, is in need of help. His daughter is attempting to obtain a stairlift for him, as he is wheelchair-bound and living in unacceptable conditions in a nursing home. The idea is to enable him to move in with his daughter, but for that their home needs to be altered. They're trying to raise $6,000 via Go Fund Me to achieve this goal, and are asking for donations from the gaming community.
What's a Freelance RPG Writer Worth?
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Freelance writers (as opposed to those on salary) tend to be paid per word. The rate varies from publisher to publisher, and on how experienced the writer is. Ed Greenwood, for example, can command a much higher rate than a new writer can. Obviously only you, the freelancer, can decide what your labour is worth - and if you're an experienced freelancer you probably already have a pretty solid idea what that figure is. But if you're a new writer, you may be a little lost. In this article, which I'll continue to update with new information, I'll tell you what rate a new writer can expect from various publishers.
And then there were 8! On Chris Sims and Jennifer Clarke Wilkes' Layoffs...
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I've seen quite a few people speculating that Chris Sims and Jennifer Clarke-Wilkes may not have been made redundant, but possibly fired for various reasons, or because contracts ended (given that Jennifer has been at WoTC for about 15 years, that latter guess was always going to be very unlikely!). For that reason, I feel it's a good idea to set things straight and find out exactly what happened; I'm sure neither want rumours like that to start! The short version: yep, they were lay-offs.
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This week's exclusive preview of Iron Kingdom's Unleashed, courtesy of Privateer Press, looks at Monster Hunters. Their name says it all. They are the men and women (and bog trogs, farrow, gatormen, et cetera) who strike out into the territories of the biggest, meanest, and most dangerous creatures in western Immoren hoping to bag a few trophies. They are experts at tracking down and eliminating the deadly wildlife of western Immoren, and they possess a number of talents that make them excel at the task.
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Pegrane Press has just launched 13th Age Monthly, which offers a 4,000+ word PDF each month containing rules, monster, character options, etc. for 13th Age. "The 13th Age Monthly is overseen and developed by Rob Heinsoo, with a stellar list of contributors that includes Jonathan Tweet, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan (Book of Loot, Eyes of the Stone Thief), ASH LAW (Tales of the 13th Age) and Cal Moore (Shadows of Eldolan)." It's a subscription ($24.95 for a year) or individual issues ($2.95). The first three months' installments include dragon riding, frog folk options and character rules, and some one-shot magical items.

Sean's Picks of the Week (0126-0130) - 13th Age, Dragon, RIFTS, and More!

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Sorry about missing my second week into this, Friends, but I was in the midsts of flying out to (and settling in at my hosts' home in) the greater San Francisco area. I'm here running a rather epic campaign mini-series in my own Shaintar epic high fantasy setting for some Kickstarter backers (and very dear friends). Thankfully, I'm pretty well set up with machine and wi-fi here, so we're back this week with the latest round of Picks.
New 3rd-Party PATHFINDER Releases
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Courtesy of Paizo, here's the list of recent third-party Pathfinder RPG releases from a variety of great publishers! Giants, demons, deities, plus adventures and - of course - the latest installment of the ZEITGEIST adventure path!
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Here's a quick look at what you can expect inside the Elemental Evil boardgame box. It's a little small and lo-res, but you can make it out. The game releases on April 30th for $64.99 and "features multiple scenarios, challenging quests and cooperative game play designed for 1-5 players. The contents can also be combined with other D&D Adventure System Cooperative play board games, including The Legend of Drizzt and Castle Ravenloft." Thanks to Eduardo for the scoop!
The Bamfsies Announce the Best Superhero RPGs!
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The Bamfsies (which I mentioned a while back) have just announced the winners of their superhero RPG-themed awards. Nine superhero games have won, chosen by judges Cam Banks, Dan Davenport, Christopher Helton, and Tommy Brownell. The Bamfsies describe themselves as "a cheeky and fun RPG awards focused solely on superhero RPGs. We’re not nearly as serious as the Ennies. We’re probably more serious than the Grammys."
[Updated] Chris Sims & Jennifer Clarke Wilkes Let Go From WotC
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The details are unclear, but D&D editor Chris Sims has reported that he is now in need of a job, and is willing to relocate. He was hired by WotC in 2005 after working for them as a freelance editor. Part of the D&D 5E launch, he was one of the editors for the Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master's Guide, and was responsible for stat block development in the Monster Manual. The reasons have not been revealed, nor is it clear whether he left or was laid off.
R.A. Salvatore Launches RPG Kickstarter
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Creator of Drizzt Do'Urden, prolific D&D novelist R.A Salvatore is raising funds for an expansion to his DemonWars roleplaying game. DemonWars: Allheart is described as "an old-school Tabletop Role-Playing Game, designed for small-group or solo play." It's the second in the DemonWars series, which is set in Salavatore's world of Corona in which he has set 11 novels, and allows you to play an Allheart Knight, with rules for jousting, fiefdoms, and blacksmithing.
How's D&D Working Out For You? First official feedback survey looks at CLASSES and FEATS!
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D&D 5th Edition has been out for 7 months now, with a boxed Starter Set, a free basic game, three core rulebooks, two hardcover adventures, and range of accessories. and WotC has just launched the first of its feedback surveys. From the start, WotC promised 5E would be a "living game" and that they would periodically survey the fan base to find out how the game is working and what areas need to be looked at. This first survey is focused on character classes and feats. "Future surveys will touch on other areas of the game. We’ll also launch more detailed surveys of classes or feats as needed to refine the information we gather and better understand your feedback."
WotC Closing LISTSERV Mailing Lists
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One of the earliest online discussion mediums used by the RPG fan community, predating forums and messageboards (and, of course, social media), the LISTERV mailing lists maintained by WotC are set to close down. "On February 15, 2015, Wizards of the Coast will terminate our LISTSERV system that manages this (and other) mailing lists. We've watched the usage of these mailing lists dwindle due to the rise of other communication platforms, such as forums and social media. Given this decreased usage, we have made the decision that it was time to turn them off."
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Green Ronin has received advance copies of its Freeport: City of Adventure hardcover for the Pathfinder RPG. The classic setting, weighing in at 544 ful-color pages, the book - which comes with a poster map! - is enormous. In fact, it's the largest book Green Ronin has ever made. It's not available quite yet (though the PDF is), but it should hit shelves for $74.95 soon! Freeport is "a metropolis that mixes fantasy tropes, piracy, and Lovecraftian horror into an action packed setting."
EBERRON Creator's New Card-Based RPG
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Eberron creator Keith Baker is working on a new roleplaying game called Phoenix: Dawn Command. He says that "Phoenix uses a simple, flexible card-based system with hooks that encourage storytelling and shared narrative control. It’s a squad-driven game, and death is part of the character advancement process. Your team can accomplish great things, but you’ll be faced with difficult decisions and consequences. You’ll need to push to your limits… and beyond." The game, which features character death as an advancement mechanic, will be hitting Kickstarter in March.
D&D DICEMASTERS (Collectible Dice Building Game)
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Coming in February is a new dice building game with a D&D theme. "Battle for Faerûn brings Dice Masters Collectible Dice Building game to the tabletop with this all-new head-to-head competitive game set in the Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms universe! Battle for Faerûn is the first set in the Dungeons & Dragons Dice Masters Line! Prepare to defeat the opposing warlord with dragons, mind flayers, beholders, kobolds, stirges, and adventurers!"
Pathfinder Society Has A New Core Campaign
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Pathfinder Society has a new core campaign model designed to accommodate new players who might be intimidated by the game's large body of rules content. Global Organized Play Coordinator Mike Brock says that "players have expressed increasing concerns about the availability of replay, new players being overwhelmed or overshadowed by over-optimized characters, Chronicle sheet rewards not having much meaning, and other concerns related to the sheer amount of information and options available to PFS players."
The Strange Recursion Design Competition
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I'm a judge in a contest run by Monte Cook Games! It's a contest to design recursions for The Strange, with the prize of having your creation adapted fo inclusion in Worlds Numberless and Strange - plus a gift certificate, which is useful, but not quite as cool as having your idea in the book. The judges are myself, Sean K Reynolds, and Ed Grabianowski from io9.
Grimtooth's Ultimate Traps Collection
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I somehow missed this, and there's only 3 days left to go, but Goodman Games has a Kickstarter for a system-neutral Grimtooth's Traps ultimate collection. "A 460-page hardcover compilation of all 5 Grimtooth’s volumes & loads of extras! 500+ systems-neutral traps & DCC crossover module!" It's completely funded by nearly 800%, and you can get PDF, softcover, or hardcover versions of the book.

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