News Digest: E3 News for Cyberpunk, Paranoia, and Baldur's Gate, Stargate RPG Announced, Free RPG Day, and more!
  • News Digest: E3 News for Cyberpunk, Paranoia, and Baldur's Gate, Stargate RPG Announced, Free RPG Day, and more!


    Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! E3 brings big news for several tabletop RPGs tuned video games, Stargate getting a new RPG, Free RPG Day this weekend, and more!


    E3 brought us updates on several video games licensed from tabletop roleplaying games. The one that’s gotten the least attention is Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory from Bigben Games, who released a new gameplay trailer featuring your Troubleshooter Instructor Daff-Y-DUK (voiced by Matt Mercer) describing the combat system of the world of Alpha Complex and Friend Computer.


    While we only got a new cinematic trailer and release date for Cyberpunk 2077 which featured Keanu Reeves as the legendary rocker Johnny Silverhand, the game from CD Projekt Red managed to stir up controversy yet again. Even after three separate incidents over 2018 with controversial social media posts from the official Cyberpunk 2077 Twitter account and the CD Projekt Red-owned storefront Good Old Games, the game managed to draw more controversy over transphobic content with an in-game advertisement. The artist, Kasia Redesiuk, states that the ad (which features a provocatively dressed trans woman with a comically large…bulge…with the tagline “Mix It Up – 16 Flavours You’d Love to Mix”) is a commentary on corporations exploiting and demeaning everyone. However, this follows a repeated trend of transphobic content coming from CDPR and Cyberpunk.

    This was followed by even more controversy as Rock Paper Shotgun posted a summary of the E3 gameplay demo from the booth. Two gangs are presented in the demo, the predominantly black The Animals who are addicted to a substance called “Juice” and the Haitian Voodoo Boys. The depiction of these two gangs has caused considerable backlash against the game, with RPS reporting “At one point V, the player character, mockingly says ‘and who are dem’ in response to [Haitian fixer] Placide’s pronunciation” and “He also tells us the Voodoo Boys are going to turn on us the moment we’ve done their dirty work – and is immediately proved right. The violent black thugs betrayed us, as the corporate white man said they would.”

    CD Projekt Red’s Quest Director Mateusz Tomaszkiewicz responded to questions about the racial representation in the game: “Obviously we’re paying a lot of attention to representing different groups respectfully. You know, there’s always a risk. Of course we have it in the back of our heads that we need to be careful about this. We are contacting different consultants to learn about specific groups, and our company has a variety of people with different beliefs.”


    Finally, Baldur’s Gate III had a presentation as part of the PC Gaming Show with Mike Mearls making his first public appearance since February. No new information was presented beyond what was included in the original announcement, though in the video Mearls states that Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus is a prequel to the Baldur’s Gate III video game for some reason, even though the video game is based on the tabletop RPG and that Descent Into Avernus will be out long before Baldur’s Gate III.


    A new Stargate roleplaying game comes out next year at Gen Con 2020 from tabletop company Wyvern Gaming. The game will be based on the D&D 5e OGL and allow progression from levels 1 to 20 set in the Stargate universe. The press release mentioned the “Stargate franchise”several times, but the only show officially confirmed in the press release is Stargate SG-1. Whether or not we’ll see Stargate Atlantis or Stargate Universe may depend on the success of the original launch. Wyvern Gaming is best known for its tabletop board games, though many of them have a strong narrative focus such as the time travel card game Sojourn: A Journey Through Time. This is the first Stargate roleplaying game since the original D20 System version from AEG in 2003-2004.


    Free RPG Day is this Saturday, June 15! The annual event at local gaming stores around the world features free products from a number of companies. This year’s offerings include a quickstart for Dungeon Crawl Classics, “We Be Heroes” for Pathfinder with goblin protagonists, a Starfinder adventure, a storybook for the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Starfinder dice from Q-Workshop, the quickstart for The Witcher, a quickstart for Outbreak Undead 2nd Edition, an adventure for the retro-80s adventure game Kids on Bikes, the quickstart for Modern AGE, and almost a dozen more products from various companies. Make sure to check the store locator on the website to find out which retailers near you are participating, and check with the store as each has different policies for how you get your free products.


    FunkoPop have announced a partnership with Games Workshop for Warhammer 40,000 figures. The Primaris Inquisitor Funko Pop vinyl figure is the first in a DIY line of unpainted Pops. Because even when you’re buying Warhammer 40,000 Funko Pops, you still have to paint the blasted things yourself! Seriously guys, not even the Starter Set comes pre-painted? Anyway... The figure will be available starting this summer exclusively in Games Workshop and Warhammer stores.


    The Humble Science Fiction Bundle features more than $300 worth of DRM-free ebooks from a wide array of authors in sci-fi, fantasy, urban fantasy, and horror. And if you know your game designers, you’ll see a few familiar names among the authors. The novels and anthologies include top name genre authors working today including Neil Gaiman, Charlaine Harris, Kelley Armstrong, Martha Wells, L. A. Banks, Anne Rice, Tad Williams, Ari Marmell, Cory Doctorow, Stephen King, Usula K LeQuin, Elizabeth Moon, Elizabeth Bear, Jeff Salyards, and a lot more. The top-tier bundle features twenty books for just $15 and runs until Wednesday, June 19. And if you’re looking to get into streaming, there’s still two weeks left on the Streaming 2019 bundle with a year’s license for XSplit and a lot more software and licenses to help you create a professional looking stream with ease.


    This game is called MÖRK BORG. The tagline is “Rules light. Art heavy. All doom. MÖRK BORG is a roleplaying game/art book that takes you to the darker corners of a soon-dead world.” The creators describe it as “A Doom Metal Album of a Game”. They’re Swedish. Pretty sure you’ve made up your mind on this one already. They’re producing the game in both Swedish and English, but at least at the SEK 100 (about US$11) level for PDFs, you don’t have to choose as you get both. The SEK 250 (about US$26) gets you the printed rulebook, while SEK 500 (about US$53) gets the Special Edition cover version. This Kickstarter is fully funded and runs until Sunday, June 16.

    Would you like a flat-pack model pirate ship with 1” square grid printed right on each deck? The Pirate’s Plundership is for you! The model ship comes packed flat for easy shipping and can be assembled easily into a 17 inch long, 5.5 inch wide, and 12 inch tall ship with a printed grid on one side and bare wood ready to paint on the other. There’s even rules included for a fast paced game using the ship and included dice. You can get the ship itself for $50, or for $60 you can add on wooden laser-cut 2D stand-up miniatures for a complete crew and a Kraken (because what’s a pirate ship without a kraken attack?) This Kickstarter is fully funded and runs until Monday, June 17.

    Apex Coasters is launching a line of fantasy-themed ceramic coasters with cork backing, perfect for game night. The artwork for each coaster includes a gold dragon, an ogre, elven mage, lich, human wizard, lizardman, rogue, dwarf warrior, and…a squirrel stealing gems? The squirrel is cute as heck so I’ll let it slide. Each coaster is made of thick ceramic with a cork backing to provide maximum protection no matter what surface you’re trying to protect. You can get four coasters for $28, five for $34, six for $40, seven for $46, eight for $52, and more all the way up to sixteen coasters for $100. And yes, you can choose which coasters you want, either mixing and matching or getting one matching set. This project is fully funded and runs until Thursday, June 20.

    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 where I’ve been trying to get a Jedi Consular through Level 1-50 during a Double XP week on 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 10 Comments
    1. Jeffrey Robbins's Avatar
      Jeffrey Robbins -
      Keanu Reeves is playing Johnny Silverhand, not Johnny Depp. You might want to edit that.
    1. David Anderson's Avatar
      David Anderson -
      Great report Darryl. Thanks for the hard work so I don't have to go out and find all this on my own.
    1. Rhianni32's Avatar
      Rhianni32 -
      $50 for the wooden ship? No artwork. No coloring.
      Seems way overpriced but yeah I know, to each their own and I'm happy this is out there for those that want it they can buy it. I would have thought the picture with the ladder and the details would be what you'd get for $50. Then again I suppose this may be why there are only 30 backers.
    1. Abstruse's Avatar
      Abstruse -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey Robbins View Post
      Keanu Reeves is playing Johnny Silverhand, not Johnny Depp. You might want to edit that.
      Ugh, this is what I get for writing the column at 1 AM. I just didn't want to get Baldur's Gate III'd again this week.
    1. Abstruse's Avatar
      Abstruse -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rhianni32 View Post
      $50 for the wooden ship? No artwork. No coloring.
      Seems way overpriced but yeah I know, to each their own and I'm happy this is out there for those that want it they can buy it. I would have thought the picture with the ladder and the details would be what you'd get for $50. Then again I suppose this may be why there are only 30 backers.
      That's actually on-par with what you'd expect to pay for other to-scale models for tabletop gaming. There's only a handful on the market (not counting the massive $250 prepainted one from WizKids), and they're all about the same size, unpainted, and cost about $40-75.

      So it's not expensive for what you get...but it is pricey for a miniature that you may get very limited use out of.
    1. barasawa -
      It's almost funny that people are complaining about an advertisement seen in a cyberpunk setting.

      Cyberpunk is pretty much a corporate dystopia. The world is screwed, and corporations are more powerful than governments. Their ads are barely regulated if at all, and they don't give a rodents donkey about anyones sensitivity unless they can make bank off of it.

      Next thing you know, people will be complaining about a WW2 game because it has hitler killing jews.

      I guess after that super heroes won't be fighting super villains but rather spend entire issues dispensing safety and politeness tips.

      If bad guys don't do bad things, they aren't bad guys, now are they...
    1. Gradine's Avatar
      Gradine -
      Quote Originally Posted by barasawa View Post
      It's almost funny that people are complaining about an advertisement seen in a cyberpunk setting.

      Cyberpunk is pretty much a corporate dystopia. The world is screwed, and corporations are more powerful than governments. Their ads are barely regulated if at all, and they don't give a rodents donkey about anyones sensitivity unless they can make bank off of it.
      It's a matter of representation. If this is literally the only trans representation in the game, then even if the intention is satire it's completely pointless, because it's no different than any modern day fetishization of trans people (more neon lighting, though, I guess). They claim there is better representation in the game itself, but given their past track record in the build up to the game, I don't think it's that strange that folx are skeptical.

      To say nothing of whether a soulless corporation infamous for crunch time worker exploitation is the best vehicle to be satirizing soulless corporations.

      Or the extremely outdated and gross cyberpunk genre trope of "modifying your body destroys your human soul essence!" nonsense.



      I'm probably still gonna play it, though, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    1. barasawa -
      Quote Originally Posted by Gradine View Post
      It's a matter of representation. If this is literally the only trans representation in the game, then even if the intention is satire it's completely pointless, because it's no different than any modern day fetishization of trans people (more neon lighting, though, I guess). They claim there is better representation in the game itself, but given their past track record in the build up to the game, I don't think it's that strange that folx are skeptical.

      To say nothing of whether a soulless corporation infamous for crunch time worker exploitation is the best vehicle to be satirizing soulless corporations.

      Or the extremely outdated and gross cyberpunk genre trope of "modifying your body destroys your human soul essence!" nonsense.



      I'm probably still gonna play it, though, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
      Representation: We've seen almost nothing of the game, and that's just something in the background people are spazzing about.

      People do this now: Ok, and it's disliked. But you aren't supposed to like the cyberpunk corps, so why would anyone expect them to be any different, they should be even worse at it if they think it'll get them and dosh at all. Real world expectations of play nice aren't going to exist in cyberpunk, and they shouldn't. Anyone upset by that is in a whole different fictional world. Not saying that at you, but it's directed at those complaining about bad guys in a fictional game doing bad things.

      Past Track Record: Don't know, and I don't pin much in the way of expecting much out of producers for anything these days. But all I can recall is some poorly made comments, though I also feel the outrage about them were overblown far too much. But that's just my opinion, if that's the track record you were talking about.

      Soulless Corporation: Well a soulless corporation would be better acquainted with soulless corporations activities I guess. To be honest, pretty much all game dev is awful in how they treat, abuse, and throw away the talent. If you aren't one of those very rare and unbelievably luck star programmers, you get treated pretty awful at most companies making games. As to satirizing soulless corporations, I don't think cyberpunk ever intended the corporations in the settings to be any kind of satire. Commentary on the evils of runaway corporate capitalism certainly, but not satire.

      Modifying your body destroys your humanity: Like it or not, it's been one of the keystones of cyberpunk since it's inception. Cyberpsychosis is part and parcel with the setting.

      You might play it: I intend to, but it's going to be a while since I have to get my desktop fixed first. This laptop is barely able to handle the web, it sure can't play any decent games. I hope it's good, but if you're worried (so am I), wait for the reviews from people you know have the same tastes as you.

      As to those complaining about the things in the cyberpunk setting, they probably shouldn't play it. If they made it cyberpunk, it's a dirty, nasty, corporate dystopia where people are cheap and disposable, and cybernetics ubiquitous, both among the downtrodden masses and the ultrapowerful rich elites.
      I'm lousy at describing things, and I don't think I really made the point clear on cyberpunk, but at least I tried.
    1. Gradine's Avatar
      Gradine -
      Meh, I'm fairly new to both trans identity and trans discourse, so I can't speak too much to what has come out of CD Projekt Red prior, but I find it's good policy to take people at their words. On the other hand, I've always found it fruitful to be critical of media, even as I'm consuming (and even otherwise enjoying!) it.

      I've always liked the concept of cyberpunk but there have also always been certain aspects of it that have weirdly turned me off to it (though I've got a pretty good idea why now!). That said, the concept of "cyberpsychosis" and body modification damaging your "human soul energy" or whatever is both (a) transphobic and ableist (no feel good stories about a little girl getting a new 3D printed arm here!) and (b) not actually necessary for good cyberpunk. When genre tropes get outdated they are generally left behind. Generally, anyway. I'm not actually that familiar with CDPR's The Witcher games but their approach to the women-as-reward trope has also always struck me as traditionalist backwards, so it might be asking too much for them to approach Cyberpunk with a little more care towards current discourse.

      It's still important to ask anyway, though.
    1. Jimmy Dick's Avatar
      Jimmy Dick -
      Ran the Pathfinder scenario "We Be Heroes?" for Free RPG Day and it was awesome! The players loved it. The whole table was asking how they could order the PF2 CRB. If I had six copies of it sitting there I would have been able to sell all six immediately. We sat at the table for over an hour after the session just talking about the changes from the first edition to the second. It was an overwhelmingly positive reception by the players. Two of them were experiencing Pathfinder Society for the first time and they registered their player numbers on the spot with their phones. Pathfinder 2 is going to be a huge success if this is any indication in my area.
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