News Digest: Magic: The Gathering TV Series Announced, Baldur's Gate Video Game Tease, UK Games Expo Controversy, and more!
  • News Digest: Magic: The Gathering TV Series Announced, Baldur's Gate Video Game Tease, UK Games Expo Controversy, and more!


    Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! Magic: The Gathering coming to Netflix, a Baldur’s Gate teaser may have spoiled a big announcement, UK Games Expo attendance and controversy, and more!


    Netflix announced a new animated series based on Magic: The Gathering with The Russo Brothers producing. The show will feature a brand-new story, but still focus on the iconic planeswalkers with Chandra already confirmed via the teaser image released. The series will be written by Henry Gilroy (Star Wars Rebels, Agent Carter) and Jose Molina (The Tick), who will also be acting as showrunners with Joe and Anthony Russo (Captain America: Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, The Avengers: Infinity War, The Avengers: Endgame) overseeing the creation of the narrative. There’s no release date at this time, which isn’t surprising as the show is still in its scripting stage. Speculation is the series will premiere sometime in late 2020 at the earliest and more likely in 2021.


    So video game developer Larian Studios posted the above teaser image on their site with no context or other information. Considering they’re the developers of Divinity: Original Sin and Divinity: Original Sin 2, you might think this would be for a third game in that series. However, Twitter user @kunkken managed to check the HTML files and found that the filename of the image is, in fact, “BaldursGate_logo_III_retouched.png”, with other metadata indicating that this is, in fact, a teaser for Baldur’s Gate III. Again, we have no details at this time beyond the teaser, but Larian Studios makes a good fit for an isometric CRPG style game as Divinity: Original Sin and its sequel were frequently compared to Baldur’s Gate in both gameplay style and quality. Keep an eye out for more announcements as it’s likely we’ll see tie-ins during the release of Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus.

    Update! Not ten blasted minutes after I posted this column, the official announcement of Baldur's Gate III came out along with a teaser trailer.


    UK Games Expo once again cemented its slot as the third largest tabletop gaming convention in the world (or “cemented” until Origins in a little over a week). The convention grew by around 4000 additional unique attendees this year, placing it behind Essen Spiel and Gen Con on the list of largest tabletop gaming conventions. If history is any indication, Origins Game Fair will see similar growth during their show June 12-16 and take over the third place slot again.

    The event didn’t pass without controversy, however. One game garnered national media attention in the UK with articles from the BBC and The Mirror (the latter getting nearly every single detail wrong) over offensive content in one game played at the convention. The game in question was Things from the Flood (which is the direct sequel to Tales from the Loop as the latter is “Kid Adventure in the 80s” while the former is “Teen Adventure in the 90s”). The gamemaster in question, who stated he enjoyed the “shock value”, started the game off by having the teenage player characters kidnapped and sexual violence committed against them. While some online have defended this by stating that Things from the Flood is a “horror game”, it is first and foremost a teen adventure game and the gamemaster did not advise of any offensive or shocking content in the game posting. One Twitter user compared it to signing up for a game of Toons expecting Bugs Bunny and Goofy but getting Robert Crumb and Legend of the Overfiend.

    UK Games Expo handled the situation well by all reports. As soon as they learned of the situation, they immediately removed all games by the gamemaster from the schedule, tracked down the person and interrupted an ongoing game in order to ban him from the premises for this and future events, and made an immediate public statement about the matter via press release where they stated they will be examining their submission policies to prevent similar issues in the future so that players are aware in advance of adult or potentially offensive content before signing up for a game.


    Fantasy Flight Games released more previews of the upcoming Collapse of the Republic sourcebook for the Star Wars Roleplaying Game. The first preview from last month features the Mandalorians with information on creating a Death Watch character and a peek at the rules for jet packs and how they can be used to gain tactical superiority on the battlefield. The next preview features a look at new Jedi talent trees representing the more martial focus of the Jedi Order during the Clone Wars, placing the Jedi Knights as the role of Generals on the battlefield. Finally this week, there’s a look at the Dathomirians and the Nightsisters, forced from their neutrality and isolationism due to the war. We get a preview of their talent tree with their unique mystical approach to the Force, closer to witchcraft and alchemy than even the most devout Jedi or Sith. While Fantasy Flight typically doesn’t announce release dates until books are on the way to stores, Amazon has a release date listing of August 30 for Collapse of the Republic with a retail price of $39.99.


    EN World is expanding their coverage of the history of roleplaying games, as Jonathan Tweet has joined James Ward in a series of regular columns on the events that shaped Dungeons & Dragons and the hobby in general. This past week, James Ward talked about the origins of Deities & Demigods and explains his side of the events surrounding the Cthulhu and Elric sections of the book. Jonathan Tweet, meanwhile, tells the story of the development of Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition from his perspective as lead designer. As someone who has an interest in the history of our hobby (as my YouTube channel will indicate), both of these series are fascinating looks into how we got where we are today in terms of design and the corporate landscape of the industry.


    Catalyst Game Labs posted a preview of two new books for BattleTech coming up on the game’s 35th Anniversary. The first is a look at the new BattleTech Alpha Strike Commander’s Edition, which…I don’t want to call it a new edition even though it technically is because that indicates more changes than there really are. The fast-playing optional ruleset for BattleTech is undergoing a tweaking of the rules to refine elements using six years of feedback. The new edition will also include all the errata and incorporate rules from the Alpha Strike Companion as well as the core rules, giving you everything you need to play.

    The other book is something people have wanted since the release of the BattleTech video game from Harebrained Schemes (which is currently on sale from the Humble Store along with the game’s first DLC, Flashpoint), a full sourcebook on House Arano: The Aurigan Coalition. The sourcebook covers all the major events from the video game’s campaign mode with profiles on all the associated Houses and other powers in the region, information on several of the key planets in the region, and stats for several unique vehicles from the game such as the Argo Dropship and the LosTech Atlas II AS7-D-HT variant. At this time, neither book has a release date more firm than “2019” reportedly due to printing delays.


    Looking to start your own live stream but not quite sure where to start? Humble Bundle has the Streaming 2019 Bundle with all the software you need to get started and more. There’s multiple levels with $1 getting you one month access to Monstercat Gold and Pretzel Rocks Premium (both of which are music licensing services with songs from pretty much any genre you want that are legally cleared to use on stream and won’t get any copyright claims) and a lifetime license to XSplit’s VCam software, which can blur backgrounds or even replace a background without needing a greenscreen. The “Beat the Average” level (currently around $8.00) upgrades both the music licenses to three months each, plus three months of Restream.io Multistreaming (allowing you to stream to multiple services at once including Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, Mixer, and more), and the Facerig motion capture software allowing you to replace yourself with a 3D animated character using only your webcam. There’s also a three-month license for XSplit Premium, a powerful and easy to set up streaming software with many built-in features. The top tier of $25 upgrades all those licenses to a full year, which is over a $700 value! This Bundle runs until June 26.


    I’m going to be just a bit self-serving with my Kickstarters this week as I have personal connections to both of these. The first is going to be for an admittedly narrow audience – Gamers in Boise, Idaho. The Room & Board Games Café is just about ready to open and looking for funds to make the experience better from the start by expanding their game library and their menu of offerings. Scott Pepper has been a friend of mine for many years and he’s worked hard for quite a while to start this new venture, so if you’re in Boise and looking for a welcoming and inclusive place to game with a robust library of board games, card games, and roleplaying games with knowledgeable owners between Scott and Clara Pepper, this will be your new favorite hangout. This Kickstarter is fully funded and has some stretch goals to further expand the café’s offerings until it closes on Tuesday, June 18.

    Zombie Orpheus wants to make the fourth season of their award-winning fantasy/comedy series, JourneyQuest. If you’ve never seen this fantasy series from the team behind The Gamers, the first three seasons are available on Amazon Prime and on The Fantasy Network. The Kickstarter is full of different backer levels depending on exactly what kind of reward you want, from premium subscriptions to The Fantasy Network to DVD or Blu-ray copies of the final product to miniatures of the characters and a lot more. This Kickstarter has an ambitious goal of $450,000 to produce a full independent television series run, but is already more than a third of the way there and has until Friday, July 12 to secure funding. Disclosure: The author of this column has previously done paid freelance work writing for Zombie Orpheus.

    That’s all from me for this week! Don’t forget to support our Patreon to bring you more gaming news content. If you have any news to submit, email us at news@enworldnews.com, and you can get more discussion of the week’s news on Morrus’ Unofficial Tabletop RPG Talk every week. You can follow me on Twitch to see more of Thela Iwidia, Chiss Jedi Knight in Star Wars: The Old Republic, subscribe to Gamer’s Tavern on YouTube for videos on gaming history, RPG reviews, and gaming Let’s Plays, or you can listen to the archives of the Gamer’s Tavern podcast. Until next time, may all your hits be crits! Note: Links to Amazon, Humble Store, Humble Bundle, and/or DriveThru may contain affiliate links with the proceeds going to the author of this column.
    Comments 11 Comments
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Origins didn't retake third spot last year (UKGE held it). It'll be inetresting to see if it can hold it for another year.
    1. Barantor's Avatar
      Barantor -
      Battletech by HBS/Paradox just released it's newest DLC: Urban Warfare as well.
    1. Parmandur's Avatar
      Parmandur -
      @Abstruse not a tease anymore:

      https://venturebeat.com/2019/06/06/b...-into-avernus/
    1. Abstruse's Avatar
      Abstruse -
      Quote Originally Posted by Parmandur View Post
      I *censored string of near-incoherent profanity* know. The announcement came between me posting the column and making myself a second cup of coffee. After banging my head on my desk at my horrible luck and timing, it's got its own story: http://www.enworld.org/forum/content...-III-Announced

      Seriously though, thanks for the head's up. If I hadn't checked Twitter when I did, it would've come in handy.
    1. GreyLord's Avatar
      GreyLord -
      I'm sure other forums have noticed it, but there is a shadow (and eyes) behind the III for the Baldur's gate teaser. I would imagine it could be a spoiler or a clue.

      Many who have seen the trailer now may put it as a hint towards the same direction as the trailer, who know (well, Larian knows...obviously...but...you know what I mean...maybe...).
    1. Yaarel -
      Netflix is all kinds of awesome.
    1. mach1.9pants's Avatar
      mach1.9pants -
      Baldur's Gate 3 will be based on 5E rules too:

      He promises “a whole bunch of new systems” but won’t name them, pointing us to the 5th edition D&D rulebook for inspiration. “We have carte blanche and can take whatever we want. They have cool systems they’ve developed over time. When you play it you’ll start to figure out that there are many more systems than Original Sin 2 had. You can fool around and say ‘if I do this and this and this… ha! It worked!’ You’ll get that feeling.”

      https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/201...-original-sin/
    1. Aaron L's Avatar
      Aaron L -
      I SERIOUSLY wish I could play BattleTech; I'd been waiting to play it with bated breath ever since it was first announced... but when I finally bought it I discovered that it just wouldn't run on my laptop for whatever reason. As far as I can tell my machine meets all the specs, but for whatever reason it just wouldn't even start up on my computer. I was SO upset. I've been trying to look up reasons for why it wouldn't run and solutions to make it work, but so far I haven't been able to find anything. I'm still sad about it.
    1. Rygar's Avatar
      Rygar -
      So will you be posting the rest of the story about the UK event, or will you be doing the same thing you've done with stories in the past, leaving out significant portions of the story?

      Because quite frankly, the GM's account is pretty different than your story. Which seems par for the course for what passes as journalism here as every story I see on this site, when I google it, I discover this site left out most of the story.
    1. Vanveen's Avatar
      Vanveen -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rygar View Post
      So will you be posting the rest of the story about the UK event, or will you be doing the same thing you've done with stories in the past, leaving out significant portions of the story?

      Because quite frankly, the GM's account is pretty different than your story. Which seems par for the course for what passes as journalism here as every story I see on this site, when I google it, I discover this site left out most of the story.
      I dunno, man, they were all trained at Columbia before they did stints at NYT and Reuters.
    1. Gradine's Avatar
      Gradine -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rygar View Post
      So will you be posting the rest of the story about the UK event, or will you be doing the same thing you've done with stories in the past, leaving out significant portions of the story?

      Because quite frankly, the GM's account is pretty different than your story. Which seems par for the course for what passes as journalism here as every story I see on this site, when I google it, I discover this site left out most of the story.
      Seeing as how the GM's account comes from a highly biased source and that several pieces have been debunked by every other account, including the guy behind the ban from UKGE, I'm not sure there's much more to add that hasn't already been said, if not in this article than within the thread we had about this that got shut down.
    Comments Leave Comment