News Digest: D&D in the Toy Hall of Fame, classic D&D products back in print, Onyx Path's new Operat

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s news! D&D in the Toy Hall of Fame, classic D&D products back in print via on-demand, Onyx Path gets a new Operations Director, Blood Bowl is back, and more!


Dungeons & Dragons is now officially inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. Beating out classics like Nerf and Bubble Wrap, D&D joins a collection of classic and iconic toys in the National Museum of Play in Rochester, NY. Joining the iconic roleplaying game were the Fisher Price Little People and the Swing. Explaining how Dungeons & Dragons won out, the official press release states:

About Dungeons & Dragons: In the 1970s, serious war game players Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson added the concept of role-playing to the strategy games that they enjoyed and helped launch the modern role-playing genre. With Dungeons & Dragons (published first in 1974), they created an entirely new way to play. Taking inspiration, other firms published similar games built upon related mechanics but often employing different fantasy settings, from historic battlefields to outer space.

In Dungeons & Dragons, players assume the roles of characters that inhabit a world moderated and narrated by a Dungeon Master, a player who explains the action to others and solicits their reactions to the unfolding story. The Dungeon Master’s storytelling skills and the players’ abilities to imagine add enjoyment to the game. Some aspects of the play are familiar, such as dice, but the special dice for Dungeons & Dragons hold up to 20 sides. Rolling them determines each character’s individual strengths, plots their complex interactions, and decides the outcome of their encounters.

“More than any other game, Dungeons & Dragons paved the way for older children and adults to experience imaginative play,” says Curator Nic Ricketts. “It was groundbreaking. And it opened the door for other kinds of table games that borrow many of its unique mechanics. But most importantly, Dungeons & Dragons’ mechanics lent themselves to computer applications, and it had a direct impact on hugely successful electronic games like World of Warcraft.”


Dungeons & Dragons joins a very small list of games that have been inducted, which includes Twister (2016), Chess (2013), Dominoes (2012), Playing Cards (2010), The Game of Life (2010), Nintendo Game Boy (2009), Atari 2600 Game Console (2007), Candy Land (2005), Scrabble (2004), Checkers (2003), Jacks (2000), and Monopoly (1998).


Wizards of the Coast hasn’t made an official announcement yet, but they began selling print-on-demand versions of many classic products. This puts several titles are back in print that haven’t been available new for decades, including the Hollow World campaign setting and adventures from under-represented campaign settings in recent years such as Planescape, Dark Sun, Spelljammer, Dragonlance, and Greyhawk. There seem to be some minor variations among what is available on the full Drive Thru RPG website and the Dungeon Master Guild website, but there are at least 20 and as many as 27 offerings available right now including the much-desired reprint of the D&D Faction Kits for D&D Adventure League. Current speculation is that an official announcement will come after more titles are available.

The Gaming & BS podcast recorded the entire Dungeons & Dragons panel from the recent Gamehole Con in Madison, WI. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, and Chris Perkins talk about Volo’s Guide to Monsters, the design approach of different settings, and an audience Q&A. The full recording is almost two hours long and may contain adult language (I don’t recall any, but I do know how salty those guys can get at times). I personally would like to compliment Brett and Sean for capturing some of the cleanest audio I’ve ever heard from a panel and that includes professionally recorded ones. I know exactly how difficult it can be to get good audio under those circumstances and feel that they should be recognized for going above and beyond.


Onyx Path Publishing hired Matt M. McElroy as their new Operations Director. McElroy previously worked for DriveThru as their Director of Publishing, runs the horror and dark fantasy website Flames Rising, and has worked as a freelance designer and writer for many companies including Onyx Path. From Onyx Path Creative Director and CEO Rich Thomas:

"I'm absolutely thrilled to be able to bring Matt on board. His knowledge and experience with tabletop RPG and fiction publishing is immense, and I've relied on his advice and insight for many years informally. Now with his role as Operations Director he'll draw on that experience as he joins Onyx Path and helps propel us along our path into the future."

Blood Bowl is back on tabletops as Games Workshop has announced pre-orders are open in several countries for the classic dark fantasy sports board game. Unfortunately, some have reported difficulty getting to the United States version of the pre-order page, but that appears to have cleared up and further information comes from that link. Two bundles will be available, one with the core game itself for $99 and one including the Death Zone Season One expansion for $124. The Death Zone Season One expansion itself is available for $25, so there’s no price break in ordering them together. The base game comes with 12 plastic Human players, 12 plastic Orc players, and all the materials needed to play, while the Death Zone expansion includes rules for seven other team types, rules for season-long play, and optional rules for casualties, play-offs, and more. The new products are listed as shipping November 25, 2016.


Z-Man Games announced that they are officially reprinting several products. EN World previous reported that many of the products went briefly out of print due to Z-Man’s parent company, Filosofia, negotiating a buy-out deal with Asmodee, so it’s unsurprising to see this announcement now that the deal is complete. Cacao Chocolatl and Micro Robots should be back on store shelves now, and Carcassonne Amazonas and Pandemic: The Cure: Experimental Meds due this week. Many other games, including Stone Age, The Voyages of Marco Polo, Pandemic Iberia, and others, are also listed with updates on their reprint status in the link above.


Steve Shamus has officially responded to the lawsuit against him by Wizard World in the form of a counter-suit. The counter-claim alleges that Wizard World underpaid Shamus since 2011 on an employment contract and failed to pay under the termination clause. The employment letter submitted into evidence (signed by Shamus’s brother, then-CEO Gareb Shamus) stated an annual salary of $150,000 with a bonus of up to 100% of the salary based on performance, a grant of 500,000 options to buy stock, and a six month’s severance plus bonus on an at-will termination of employment. The counter-claim is seeking $525,000 plus options and punitive damages. The lawsuit against Shamus is seeing $1,000,000 plus interest and attorney’s fees and a trust against future memorabilia and autograph sales by Shamus.


Remember how I’ve been talking about Ultra Pro’s hiring spree showing them seeking a slice of the larger gaming market? They’ve officially licensed Luc Besson’s new science fiction film, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, for board games, card games, and gaming accessories. Based on the French graphic novel Valerian, the new film from the director of Leon: The Professional and Fifth Element is a return to large scale science fiction for the director with a trailer generating a lot of buzz. No announcements of specific games have been made yet, but that’s not surprising as the film itself doesn’t come out until July 21, 2017. However, this cements that the accessory manufacturer does indeed plan to move into the design and promotion of tabletop games.


Home By Dark is a storytelling game with no gamemaster for three to five players. Inspired by classic contemporary adventure films and shows like ET, Iron Giant, and Stranger Things, you take on the roles of children and adults attempting to save an innocent being from shadowy pursuers. The game style is similar to Fiasco and other one-shot GMless storytelling games and the stretch goals indicate a similar expansion model with new playsets released to tell new stories. The PDF is available for a $10 pledge, while the softcover book is available as well for a $30 pledge. This Kickstarter is very close to its next stretch goal and has a very short time to get there as it runs until Friday, November 18 at 7:00PM Central.

City of Mists is an urban fantasy roleplaying game where myths and legends have started leaking into our world. This is the first game from designer Amit Moshe and draws strong influences from rules-light narrative games like FATE and Apocalypse World by using an entirely tag-based character creation system, giving you the flexibility to create whatever kind of legend you want. The core rulebook is available in PDF format for a $15 pledge, while a $30 pledge gets you all PDFs for the game including unlocked stretch goals, and a physical copy is available for $42 (includes all the PDFs as well). This project is fully funded and runs until Thursday, November 24.

OGRE is getting an expansion in the form of plastic miniatures. Compatible with OGRE Designer’s Edition and the upcoming OGRE Sixth Edition, these new unpainted miniatures replace the cardboard versions previously available. While more minis are being added as stretch goals are unlocked, currently a $30 pledge gets you a set which includes 1 Command Post, 7 GEVs, 3 Howitzers, 12 Infantry Bases (each one holding 3 Infantry units), 7 Heavy Tanks, 5 Missile Tanks, 1 OGRE Mk III, and 1 OGRE Mk V. Steve Jackson Games is also up-front in this Kickstarter with the stretch goals, stating exactly which levels will increase the MSRP of the finished product when released. However, the Kickstarter pledge of $30 is set regardless of how high the rewards go. This project is on its way to its first MSRP-raising stretch goal and runs until Wednesday, November 30.

That’s all for this week. Find more gaming news at the EN World News Network website, and don’t forget to support our Patreon to bring you even more gaming news content. If you have any news to submit, email us at news@enworldnews.com. You can follow me on Twitter @Abstruse where I am…so…close…to making some big announcements and, completely unrelated to those announcements, you can also listen to the archives of the Gamer’s Tavern podcast. Until next time, may all your hits be crits! Note: Links to Amazon and DriveThru may be affiliate links with a portion of the sales proceeds going to the column’s author.
 

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Darryl Mott

Darryl Mott

So pumped to see Blood Bowl re-released. It's amazing how many players the game has maintained despite getting no support from GW, so I can't wait to see how many new players it can attract with publisher support.
 

mangamuscle

First Post
I wonder if WotC would entertain the idea of printing NEW classics. I mean to say that an updated (to 3.5) version of the Monster Manual II and the Epic Level Handbook would be sweet (whether in pdf and/or print) even after all this years.
 


Xavian Starsider

First Post
I wonder if WotC would entertain the idea of printing NEW classics. I mean to say that an updated (to 3.5) version of the Monster Manual II and the Epic Level Handbook would be sweet (whether in pdf and/or print) even after all this years.

Update 3E (or older) to 3.5? Would this be part of WotC's "Play Pathfinder Instead" initiative?
 


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