View Profile: Abstruse - Morrus' Unofficial Tabletop RPG News
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    Today, 01:33 PM
    This week, Morrus and Peter explore The Expanse Role Playing Game from Green Ronin. In the news, Bloomberg’s story on people paid to dungeonmaster for Dungeons & Dragons, A Touch More Class Kickstarter in its final days, ENnie Award voting is open, new Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition products and organized play, new John Carter of Mars releases, Countdown to Pathfinder 2nd Edition, yet...
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    Thursday, 11th July, 2019, 04:01 AM
    This week, Morrus and Peter are joined by Sam Webb from Black Cat Gaming and Modiphius to talk about The Spy Game, the 5e-based espionage thriller RPG on Kickstarter now! In the news, ENnie nominations, Pathfinder 2nd Edition adventure path previews, Fallout RPG released, a site outage at EN World, and more! Plus Our Favorite Game in All the World (with a brand-new theme song!) and a new sketch!...
    0 replies | 663 view(s)
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    Saturday, 6th July, 2019, 12:11 PM
    Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! More previews for Descent into Avernus, Pathfinder 2nd Edition, and Shadowrun 6th Edition, plus a new D&D-inspired video game, D&D for the visually impaired, Fallout RPG released, and more! I swear, as Pelor as my witness, I thought Abyssal Chickens could fly! I have no idea how many people reading this will get that reference, but...
    8 replies | 4090 view(s)
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    Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019, 07:44 PM
    This week, Morrus and Peter take a look at the Acquisitions Incorporated sourcebook for Dungeons & Dragons! In the news, WotC is looking for a new Executive Producer for D&D, a preview from Descent into Avernus (if you’re not chicken), new D&D 5e inspired video game announced, Chivalry & Sorcery getting a fifth edition, and more! Subscribe on iTunes | Google Play | YouTube | TuneIn |...
    0 replies | 799 view(s)
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    Thursday, 27th June, 2019, 06:57 AM
    Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! New releases for Dungeons & Dragons, a preview of the finalized rules for Pathfinder 2nd Edition, free upgrade for the Shadowrun Sixth Edition Beginner Box, and a lot more! Two products hit store shelves this week for Dungeons & Dragons. First is Acquisitions Incorporated, the sourcebook based on the podcasts and live streams from...
    9 replies | 4309 view(s)
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    Wednesday, 26th June, 2019, 01:59 PM
    This week, Morrus and Peter are joined by ASH LAW to talk about 13th Age! In the news, new Dungeons & Dragons products released, SLA Industries getting a second edition, new miniatures for Star Trek Adventures and for D&D, and an exclusive announcement from ASH LAW about Ponyfinder! Plus Our Favorite Game in All the World, a brand new sketch, and a lot more in this extra-long episode! ...
    1 replies | 618 view(s)
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    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 07:22 AM
    Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! More release details for Pathfinder 2nd Edition, a story didn’t happen involving Dungeons & Dragons (but I’ll explain why it’s worth mentioning why it’s not a story), a big expansion to BattleTech on its way, and more! Full release details are now available for Pathfinder 2nd Edition. The core rulebook will once again do a minimum...
    17 replies | 4027 view(s)
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    Thursday, 20th June, 2019, 12:26 PM
    This week, Morrus and Peter are joined by Mike Myler, editor for EN5ider, to talk about the new EN Publishing Kickstarter, A Touch More Class featuring nine new player character classes for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition! In the news, how hard is it to conjure a frog, what’s the most popular D&D alignment for 5e, Origins Award winners announced, a new Stargate RPG, and more! Plus Mike joins is in...
    1 replies | 542 view(s)
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About Abstruse

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Date of Birth
January 25, 1980 (39)
About Abstruse
Gaming News Columnist, Writer, Designer
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Columnist for ENWorld. Owner and producer of Gamer's Tavern Media. Formerly with Ain't It Cool News.
Nederland, TX
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Owner, producer, and engineer of Gamer's Tavern Media


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Podcast #57: The Expanse Role Playing Game Today 01:41 PM


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Friday, 28th January, 2011
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Owner, producer, and engineer of Gamer's Tavern Media

Monday, 1st July, 2019

Sunday, 7th July, 2019

Thursday, 6th June, 2019

Friday, 17th May, 2019

Thursday, 2nd May, 2019

  • 06:27 PM - MNblockhead mentioned Abstruse in post News Digest: Shadowrun Sixth Edition, Origins Award Nominees, BESM New Edition Amid Controversy, Alien RPG, and more!
    Abstruse Chill out. I don't read @Nylandfs comment as an attack on you. He's simply posting about another Kickstarter in a post that discusses Kickstarters. He didn't question why you didn't include it. Nobody expects every digest to include every possible related item of news. EN World is my primary source for learning about Kickstarters, both your posts, posts discussing specific single Kickstarter campaigns, and the comments of the many visitors to this site. It is all valuable and doesn't violate the sites rules, as far I can tell. Your umbrage is misplaced.

Sunday, 3rd June, 2018

  • 03:26 AM - Mouseferatu mentioned Abstruse in post The Next Dungeons & Dragons Storyline Will Be...
    WotC was very clear about what hour of what day the new book would be announced and made no further promises. This entire event was set up to disseminate infirmation. Does being press make you believe you are entitled to more information sooner than the rest of us? Or course WotC teased you the way they did. You basically asked if the final day was worth warching. Were they supposed to say 'No? " You know, given that Abstruse busts his ass for this site--hunting down stories, collating information, and writing it all up every week, plus trying to stay on top of big stories like this one--and given that WotC won't allow ENWorld access to advance info due to leaks that weren't ENWorld's fault, while still giving advanced access to other sites that have leaked info early--I think you can back the hell off and just say "Thank you for trying, I'm sorry your time was wasted."

Thursday, 22nd February, 2018

Thursday, 8th February, 2018

Saturday, 28th October, 2017

  • 07:42 AM - Mouseferatu mentioned Abstruse in post News Digest: PaizoCon Harassment, Dungeon Tiles Reincarnated, WizKids and Warhammer 40K, Fantasy Flight Interactive, and more!
    Could you maybe steer clear of the controversial news that your not 100% sure about. Recently the F-up with the Tom Vassel business and now with the Bill Web stuff. Stick with rehashing press releases, because investigative journalism isn't your best feat (or as powerful as it was in 3rd Edition ;-)... I am not Abstruse, but I know him outside of his position as a columnist here at ENWorld, and I can 100% assure you that he will never, ever stop posting about, or calling people out for, sexual harassment, abuse, or assault in the industry. He will report what he's learned, and he will correct as new information comes to him, as he should. But stop reporting it? Never. Nor should he.

Thursday, 24th August, 2017

  • 04:50 PM - LordEntrails mentioned Abstruse in post News Digest: Gen Con, ENnies, Diana Jones, Star Wars, Starfinder, and more!
    ...n June. Spiel des Jahres is a closed selection process for the jurors, but their names and identities are publicly known. As for what criteria they use. Ah, basically anything that they want. After several sentences, they come down and say this; The precise interpretation of ‘excellence in gaming’ is left to the discretion of the individual judges I mean, "industry insiders patting each other on the back" is pretty much the definition of an award regardless of the medium the award is for. This may often be true. But not all awards are this. Some are popularity contests open to the public. But credibility is not something an awards group can just grant themselves. And it is near impossible when they are secretive in both who they are and how they make their selection(s). If they were credible, then other sources besides themselves would actually cite them as credible. Where are those links? (So far, this question which is probably the most important has simple been ignored.) @Abstruse, note these questions or comments of mine are not meant to question your article. It is straight forward news (and I appreciate it, including this topic and others). I'm just trying to understand what the credibility of the DJA is.

Saturday, 12th July, 2014

  • 04:01 AM - pemerton mentioned Abstruse in post Will there be a 4.75 a la Pathfinder?
    I'm not 100% sure what you mean by "as an item" as that is not a phrase I'm familiar with as a legal term of art.It's not a legal term of art. "As a good offered for sale" is not really a legal term of art either, but would do as a synonym for "as an item". Restricting myself to federal law, trade dress is protected by §43(a) of the Lanham Act. (15 USC §1125 see also Two Pesos, Inc. v. Taco Cabana, Inc., 505 US 763)I think there are going to be complexities in comparing trade dress of a restaurant (or other commercial service provision, like M:tG online mentioned upthread by Abstruse) and trademarks and trade dress of goods. For instance, if a book or magazine is sold solely in shrink wrap, then it seems to me that that must suggest limitations on the extent to which material that appears only on the interior of the book can constitute trade dress or trademarks belonging to the publisher. At a certain point, such material cannot play a role in consumers distinguishing the goods of one producer from those of another, competing, producer. Or, from the point of view of a potentially infringing trader, at a certain point material that appears only within the interior of a book has not been "used in commerce", which is the statutory phrase that triggers liability. Here's an example: A 3PP makes a new monster: A 1 Eyed, 1 Horned Purple People Eater. They use the mechanics from MMIII to create the monsters stats, and they use the same colors and layout as monsters from MMMIII. While it's my position that (if it's protected at all) it's protected by trade dress a...

Saturday, 31st August, 2013

  • 06:41 AM - Morrus mentioned Abstruse in post Long interview with Cordell & Schwalb
    Conducted by Abstruse. There's a lot to get your teeth into in that interview; it's unusually candid and non PR-y for WotC. Great read. I'm surprised about how frankly they spoke about 4E. Equal parts good and bad. It's the sort of interview that is likely to reignite the edition wars, though. Plus lots of tidbits on the D&D Next playtest approach.

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Friday, 31st August, 2018

Friday, 10th August, 2018

Saturday, 4th August, 2018

  • 05:20 AM - Umbran quoted Abstruse in post GenCon and "the Attack"?
    Or that someone who has made false claims of attacks previously that were found to be false (yes, in a court of law, even in a civil suit), went to a convention he is banned from attending, targeted someone for harassment (the reason he was banned), and made up yet another false attack. Okay. So, saying it friendly-like was not sufficient. Mod Hat On: This board WILL NOT be used as a court of public opinion against either Hambly, or his alleged attacker. We were not present. We do not know the truth. This is a matter for police and the courts, not the opinions of people on message boards who were not present for the incident. This story has political elements to it. Some people on both sides of those politics just love to besmirch their opponents. But, EN World is generally a no-politics zone. We are not going to engage in that game here. Is this perfectly clear to everyone? If not, please take it to PM or e-mail with me, or another member of the moderation staff. Than...
  • 04:54 AM - Umbran quoted Abstruse in post GenCon and "the Attack"?
    No it doesn't. Here's the quote from the article: You missed some crucial bits there. The article says: "IMPD told IndyStar Thursday afternoon they were unfamiliar with Hambly making a report at that time." (emphasis mine) It also says: "Shortly before 8 p.m. Thursday, hours after the video was posted, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers responded to a "delayed assault" by meeting Hambly at a Downtown hotel." Emphasis again is mine. Of course, if the IMPD didn't speak to Hambly until 8 PM, they could not have had a report that afternoon! We play games about time travel, but we don't actually *do* it! The article is raising the point that Hambly did not speak to the police immediately. He did eventually do so, after posting his video. Now, let us all note that this supposedly happened at 1 AM, at a bar. What's the mostly likely scenario? One or more people got drunk, made some bad decisions, and got into a scuffle in which nobody seems to have been se...
  • 02:39 AM - Umbran quoted Abstruse in post GenCon and "the Attack"?
    Because there's nothing to report as there's no story. I checked with the local paper and the Indianapolis Police Department and there are no records of any police investigation or even a call to the police made concerning an assault anywhere remotely resembling the location, time, or any other details. And I mean nothing. The IndyStar does not agree with you. I won't quote them here, but the article above refers to a police report, and a meeting between the police and Hambly at a hotel.

Friday, 27th July, 2018

  • 07:24 PM - Ghost2020 quoted Abstruse in post News Digest: New D&D Books Leaked, Pathfinder Video Game Pre-Orders Open, Spiel des Jahres Winners, and more!
    Hasbro's issue with Dungeons & Dragons is that the movie rights are tied up in litigation and conditional settlements. That's pretty much all Hasbro cares about the property. That and the fact that it's doing well on a percentage growth quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year which means it's great to brag about in shareholder's meetings. Otherwise, Hasbro doesn't give a damn about D&D because it makes no money. To give you an idea of the scale we're talking about, ICv2's best estimates of annual gross sales for D&D put it at about $45-60 million, and that's being generous with the estimations. Hasbro's net revenue (which is to say their profit) is over $5 billion annually. Which means the gross sales for D&D (which means before any expenses whatsoever) is 1% of the total profit (which means after all expenses for every single department and subsidiary) of the company. If a video game or a feature film made as much money in a single weekend as Dungeons & Dragons makes in an entire year, i...

Friday, 29th June, 2018

  • 07:01 AM - FitzTheRuke quoted Abstruse in post News Digest: Roll20 Gets Big Update, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay and Pathfinder 2nd Ed Previews, and more!
    If it's not for you...well, despite what some people seem to think, the Edition Police won't be kicking down your door to confiscate your old rulebooks. Not to mention, it being a playtest, there's a good chance that if enough people don't like "thing A", then it won't wind up in the final product anyway. So not only is it worth checking the Playtest Rulebook before judging anything, it's worth taking a look at the actual edition when it comes out. Being concerned about it or disinterested based on the blog-posts is fine, but giving up on it entirely seems a bit... premature. (Not that I'm suggesting anyone is actually doing that, but some people appear to be threatening it.)
  • 04:05 AM - vpuigdoller quoted Abstruse in post News Digest: Roll20 Gets Big Update, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay and Pathfinder 2nd Ed Previews, and more!
    I'm not sure if that's a feature yet or not, but it's definitely something you should contact them about to add if it's not currently a feature. Just make sure to be polite when asking and explaining what you want and why you'd like it. Thanks! Yah will indeed contact them and ask nicely. As it is now you either share your entire compendium or not is just an on/off switch.

Thursday, 28th June, 2018

Friday, 22nd June, 2018

  • 09:14 PM - timbannock quoted Abstruse in post News Digest: Critical Role Leaving Geek & Sundry, Origins Award Winners, Pathfinder 2nd Ed Previews, and more!
    The short version is I don't promote people who are toxic elements of the community, particularly those that promote ideas like One True Way/"You're Playing Wrong", displays discriminatory attitudes, and harass designers on social media. But It's your money and your choice if you want to support it because you enjoy his writing. For me, I can't look past the fact I had to block him on Twitter for being a jerk to other people in the industry. I didn't know about that! Thanks for the info. I'll look into it: I do my best not to support toxic people, but I know some people get labeled unfairly based on an online persona or a misunderstanding. If you have any links to the problems you mention, don't hesitate to share them, but don't feel like you have to spend the time on that either; I can do my own research!
  • 08:45 PM - timbannock quoted Abstruse in post News Digest: Critical Role Leaving Geek & Sundry, Origins Award Winners, Pathfinder 2nd Ed Previews, and more!
    No. It's really not worth checking out. For a wide variety of reasons. Can I ask why? I've enjoyed some of their articles though I don't care for the overly verbose lead-ins. Is there something I should watch out for, as someone who was considering backing it but hasn't hopped off the fence about it?
  • 05:44 AM - Birmy quoted Abstruse in post News Digest: Critical Role Leaving Geek & Sundry, Origins Award Winners, Pathfinder 2nd Ed Previews, and more!
    There's not a lot of information yet and there are some miniatures in this, but they're less miniatures and more like highly detailed player pawns/meeples that just happen to use the molds for the miniatures. GF9's been doing the more euro and hobbyist style games with the license, while WizKids has been doing the more dungeon-crawl Adventure System ones. And Catalyst Game Labs has a deckbuilder. It makes sense because CGL repurposed the Shadowrun Crossfire game for Dragonfire, GL9 does the accessories so more card-based and strategy-based games work better with their other production, while WizKids is doing the miniature lines so making the big-box dungeon crawl simulator game fits their other production. Ah, I understand now! This makes sense. Thanks for the detailed answer.

Thursday, 21st June, 2018

  • 07:20 PM - Jester David quoted Abstruse in post News Digest: Critical Role Leaving Geek & Sundry, Origins Award Winners, Pathfinder 2nd Ed Previews, and more!
    I would have written that "Legendary has asked Eric Campbell....... to end SoT in favor of IP they can own and exploit." I doubt Eric wanted to stop the Star Trek show as, if you watch it, it is a dream come true for Eric and the cast to be playing Starfleet. Yeah. The story is ending, but they only started to make real progress to resolution recently, and could easily have started a second storyline. Critical Role had a half-dozen different storylines of varying lengths. They could have played Trek for years and were so excited to start. I was super surprised when they made the announcement. I don’t know if Eric was asked. But it makes sense that they’d want a new show they have more ownership of. It's also possible they had a limited cross-promotional deal going with Modiphius that's run out. I don't see any RPG company outside WotC, Paizo, or maybe FFG having the money to throw at a media company to advertise their game, but it's possible they could've piggy-backed on the Modiphiu...
  • 04:21 PM - Jester David quoted Abstruse in post News Digest: Critical Role Leaving Geek & Sundry, Origins Award Winners, Pathfinder 2nd Ed Previews, and more!
    This is pure educated guess, but they'll probably focus on RPG content and try to build a "new" Critical Role. RPGs are easier to shoot than board games because you don't have to focus on the table as often, which is a pain to light and shoot on a budget. It's also more character and story focused and offers more opportunities for merch (especially if the game itself isn't licensed - you can't do Star Trek or Star Wars characters on tshirts, but Generic Fantasy or Generic Sci-Fi you can). However, I doubt they'll try to compete on Thursdays. Their new push will be a different night of the week. Thursdays will probably be more board games, video games, or they may try to bring back the Magic: The Gathering show they tried to do I think twice now. But trying to go head-to-head with Critical Role for the RPG audience isn't worth the cost of the power for studio lights at the scale their production operates at. And ever so coincidentally, Erc Campbell of Shiekd of Tomorrow (the Star Trek RPG] and f...
  • 03:53 PM - Jester David quoted Abstruse in post News Digest: Critical Role Leaving Geek & Sundry, Origins Award Winners, Pathfinder 2nd Ed Previews, and more!
    I doubt that would change in the near future. Geek & Sundry's Twitch channel is pretty much the House that Critical Role Built. They're doing very well for a multihost multishow variety Twitch channel and have a very strong fanbase, but their numbers skyrocket every Thursday. Their viewer numbers jump from several hundred or a couple thousand to tens of thousands. They're not going to let go of that until they absolutely have to, even if it means hosting via the Twitch system rather than multicasting. But, of course, let's forward ahead a year. To when CR is doing its own Twitch channel and has its own exclusive content that isn't shared with G&S and the fans are ending their subscription to G&S to get the exclusive content. Which they learn of because during the show itself they advertise and plug the new content regularly, advertising during breaks. And, of course, G&S isn't making as much money from merch and advertisers like DnDBeyond and Backblaze are giving funds to CR ins...

Thursday, 14th June, 2018

  • 05:44 AM - Shasarak quoted Abstruse in post News Digest: Diana Jones Shortlist, Free RPG Day, L5R Release Information, EN World Podcast Launched, Cyberpunk 2077 Revealed, and more!
    I know, they look intimidating, but the mechanics are similar to the FFG Star Wars and you get used to them faster than you think. I had to laugh at Morrus's podcast where they said that they played six months of Star Wars and just let the one guy interpret the dice rolls. You can check out the beta PDF while it's still available and see if it's something you're interested in. And if the mechanics aren't for you, the book will still have plenty of setting and lore information you can use to update your previous edition books or to translate it into another system. I know that is why I am tempted. Looks like nothing up at Book Depository yet though.
  • 05:04 AM - Traveller quoted Abstruse in post News Digest: Diana Jones Shortlist, Free RPG Day, L5R Release Information, EN World Podcast Launched, Cyberpunk 2077 Revealed, and more!
    Echoes my feelings. But it's also Kobold Press, Troll Lord Games, Gamehole Publishing, and I think a couple of others. There's also a feature on all Humble Bundles if you scroll down that lets you adjust how much of your purchase price goes to the publisher, to Humble, to the charity, and (if it's an affiliate link) to the affiliate. If it really echoes your feeling, it should have been published here... The other companies should have shied away from joining them. Otherwise what's the point of all those editorials?

Friday, 8th June, 2018

  • 06:13 AM - Shasarak quoted Abstruse in post News Digest: New D&D Product Announcements, Pathfinder 2nd Ed Skill System Previewed, New Products from FFG and Green Ronin, and more!
    Well I have good news! They've started selling deluxe boxed sets with maps, miniatures, handouts, custom DM screens, and more for modules including Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage along with other published campaigns! The bad news is they're $400-500 each... It looks from the website that, starting next year, they'll be releasing more stripped-down versions with a lower price point because... ...I'm going to be honest here, if you've got $500 laying around burning a hole in your pocket that much, I've got a buttload of miniatures and DM screens I can throw in a box for you... Thanks for the link. I must admit that when I wanted a boxed set that I did not expect miniatures, dm screen and coins/badges. Maybe the stripped down version would be more what I expect.

Thursday, 7th June, 2018

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