News Digest: D&D to Toy Hall of Fame? Celebrity Pathfinder Game! Another big gaming acquisition! And

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week's gaming news. D&D is a finalist for the National Toy Hall of Fame, Pathfinder runs a celebrity game at DragonCon, Ultra PRO buys yet another game company, TimeWatch has a release date as does OGRE Sixth Edition, En5ider has a gift for you to celebrate a landmark feat, the Great Gaming Challenge wants to publish your game, Myriad Games faces a lawsuit, and much more!

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week's gaming news. D&D is a finalist for the National Toy Hall of Fame, Pathfinder runs a celebrity game at DragonCon, Ultra PRO buys yet another game company, TimeWatch has a release date as does OGRE Sixth Edition, En5ider has a gift for you to celebrate a landmark feat, the Great Gaming Challenge wants to publish your game, Myriad Games faces a lawsuit, and much more!

Every year, the The Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame chooses the best and most iconic toys of all time to induct into their Hall of Fame, usually two to three toys per year. This year, the committee for Strong included Dungeons & Dragons as one of the twelve finalists for induction at a November 10 ceremony. Other toys included in the list are Bubble Wrap, Care Bears, Coloring Book, Clue, Fisher Price Little People, Nerf, Pinball, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, Swing, Transformers, and Uno. USA Today (linked above) is running a poll asking readers which two of the twelve nominees they would choose and so far, Dungeons & Dragons is in the middle of the pack while my personal second choice, Bubble Wrap, is in dead last. A second poll on the Hall of Fame’s official website has Dungeons & Dragons dominating with fifteen times higher than the next entry, Transformers. The Strong National Toy Hall of Fame is based out of the National Museum of Play in Rochester, NY.

DragonCon has gotten less attention over the years as a gaming convention as most of its resources these days go to mass media like television and film guests. However, the convention has a long history with the gaming industry and these days has found a unique way to blend the two together. This year, Paizo hosted a live celebrity game of Pathfinder with guests Jim Butcher (author of Dresden Files), Richard Garriott (designer of the Ultima games and Shroud of the Avatar), Monica Rial (prolific anime dub voice actor and director), and Ian S. Frazier (designer of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and Mass Effect: Andromeda) run by gamemaster Jason Bulmahn (designer of Pathfinder). The hour long game features the players running through an original adventure designed by Bulmahn and was filmed in front of a live audience.

Ultra PRO International is buying Playroom Entertainment, best known for the games Killer Bunnies, Unspeakable Words, and Geek Out. Best known for their game and collectable storage line, Ultra PRO has been on an acquisitions streak recently with game manufactures after purchasing Jolly Roger Games (Cthulhu’s Vault), Ruby Mine (TableTopics), and the game rights portfolio from Stone Blade Games (Ascension) over the past year. This further cements the former accessories company as a major player in the current tabletop gaming scene.


Pelgrane Press announced a new roleplaying game titled TimeWatch, a time travel based RPG from Kevin W Kulp based on Robin D. Laws’s Gumshoe system. The game sees players as agents of the TimeWatch, defenders of time and history from those seeking to alter the past to their own ends. The 394 page core rulebook will come out on October 6 with a MSRP of $49.95 and include fourteen different settings for GMs to use out of the box plus twelve time seeds and three adventures. Coming out at the same time are an adventure titled Behind Enemy Times that pits the TimeWatch agents against the giant psychic insects called the ezeru who come from an eradicated timeline they are trying to bring back. This adventure is 108 pages long with a retail price of $19.95. Finally, a companion book called The Book of Changing Years collects stories from various TimeWatch agents and describes multiple pasts and futures, acting as a background setting for the system as well as adventure seeds. The book is 224 pages long with a MSRP of $24.95. TimeWatch funded on Kickstarter back in 2014, raising over $100,000 from almost 2000 backers, whose backer rewards went out this past summer.

In further news of Kickstarters delivered, Evil Hat Games have taken over publishing for two Kickstarter games. The first, Blades in the Dark, is an industrial fantasy game with strong horror influences based around building a criminal empire to fight against the corrupt nobility. Designed by John Harper, the game originally funded in April of 2015 with $179,280 from 3925 backers.

Karthun: Lands of Conflict is the campaign setting designed by Brian Patterson and Tracy Barnett. If the name sounds familiar, Karthun is the setting used for the in-game strips from the amazing gaming webcomic D20 Monkey. It superficially resembles your typical fantasy gaming world, but there are many dark twists and turns hiding for those looking to explore Karthun. This campaign funded in October of 2015 with $42,859 from 1058 backers. Both Karthun: Lands of Conflict and Blades in the Dark will come out in spring of 2017.

Steve Jackson Games announced a “new” Sixth Edition of OGRE, which is a new edition but not really but it is. I asked @SJGames for clarification on Twitter and it’s not as complicated as the original announcements made it seem. The new OGRE Sixth Edition is the same rules from the Designer’s Edition released over a year ago, but with fewer components and in a smaller, more retail-friendly box. OGRE Sixth Edition will include large 3D models for both OGREs and Command Posts, full color counters for regular units, and a storage box capable of holding the models comfortably after assembly. While it won’t include as many models nor the GEV expansion of the Designer’s Edition, it will be available in January 2017 at a much more friendly retail price of $49.95.

EN5ider, the subscription service from EN World bringing you weekly original gaming content, is celebrating its 100th article by giving away a special adventure, Into the Feywild. This fifteen page adventure for D&D 5th Edition written by Kiel Chenier focuses on, surprisingly enough, the plane of the Feywild where fairies, pixies, nymphs, dryads, and more dwell. Designed for characters from first to fifth level, the adventure does a great job introducing new players to the world of the Fae and contains not only a detailed random encounter table and random shop generator, but also a “random oddity” table and a “random Fey trade request” table to amp up the otherworldliness of the Feywild. You can get the adventure for free from the En5ider Patreon page where you can also subscribe at the $1 per supplement level to receive instant access to the previous ninety-nine articles published so far.

The Great Gaming Challenge is open for submissions for the 2016 contest by Hasbro, this year bringing in a guest just, Daymond John, the founder of FUBU and one of the “sharks” from the ABC television show Shark Tank. Five finalists will receive $2000 in assistance to launch an IndieGoGo campaign for their game and a grand prize winner will receive $25,000 and a trip for four to Hasbro Headquarters to pitch your game. Judging will be based on equal parts gameplay, theme, and marketplace viability.

The contest is open to citizens of the United States, Canada (excluding Quebec), Germany, France, and the United Kingdom at least 18 years of age and qualified to open and run an IndieGoGo campaign. You do NOT sign away your rights to your game by entering the contest, but grant Hasbro the “Right of First Refusal” (meaning that you can’t sell the game to another company without first giving Hasbro the right to match their offer). Submissions for tabletop games must be received by October 23, 2016. You can find all the terms and conditions here.

Wizards of the Coast received an odd shipment this week. Several Dungeons & Dragons books arrived at their offices after being separated from their shipping information, with the USPS repackaging and shipping the books to WotC. They are currently searching for leads to the owners of these books via their Facebook page. If you know of anyone who may have lost several third edition Dungeons & Dragons books in shipping from USPS, please check this post and contact Wizards of the Coast.

Myriad Games and its owner Dan Yarrington are facing a fraud and breach of contract lawsuit from Zev Shlasinger (formerly of Z-Man Games) after an investment in a retail game store went south. You can read the full filing here from Board Game Geek, but the short version is that Shlasinger invested $100,000 in a new retail outlet in Staten Island, New York, with the understanding that Yarrington would also invest as-needed up to $100,000 and employee Paul Geradi (another former Z-Man Games employee) as store manager at a reduced salary of $30,000 a year for up to three years and that profits from the store would be split three ways between the men. The lawsuit claims that Yarrington then, in no particular order, filed the store lease under the Myriad Games name (rather than the LLC formed for the partnership, Zap’d Games) and was forced to change it back, misrepresented himself as the CEO of Zap’d Games in official correspondence, opened a financial account under the name Myriad Games for the store without informing the other two partners, under-ordered merchandise so that the store was unable to keep popular titles in stock, took out a $65,000 credit line against the store’s bank account without the other partner’s knowledge or consent (resulting in bounced checks to vendors), co-mingled funds from the Zap’d Games accounts and the store’s accounts with Myriad Games accounts via money transfers, refused to provide accounting information about the store’s finances for months, fired Geradi as store manager, and forced the store to close in debt after only 15 months of operation. There are other allegations made in the full text of the lawsuit as well.

Dan Yarrington responded publicly to the lawsuit with a statement denying all allegations against both himself and Myriad Games and that they will present “a vigorous defense in the courtroom, where the case will be decided on the facts”. Yarrington also states this is the first lawsuit filed against either himself or against Myriad Games in the history of the company (which was founded in 1999). Outside of this public statement, Yarrington has refused further comment due to the ongoing litigation.

Cyberpunk is hands down one of my favorite genres, but it’s typically difficult to find people willing to learn an entirely new ruleset in order to play in the genre. So I’m thrilled to see Interface Zero 2.0 for Pathfinder on Kickstarter! The 400+ page core rulebook is a completely stand-alone game which will be compatible with the upcoming Starfinder space opera game, featuring sixteen new classes (hackers, cybermonks, and psionic-powered "zeeks" are teased) and seven core races (including androids, cyborgs, and genetically-enhanced humans) plus all the typical feats, weapons, armor, equipment, and more you’d expect from the genre. A $15 pledge gets you the PDF, a $20 pledge adds on a PDF adventure, and $40 gets you a print version of the game. This Kickstarter is only a few hundred dollars from its $10,000 goal with plenty of stretch goals afterward to get through until its Wednesday, October 12 ending.

I’m the first to admit I’m not the best miniature painter, but even I can see the utility of the Miniature Holders & Grips. A simple cork base holds your miniature with less effort, while a curved metal bar allows you to steady your brush as you paint. It’s available with a lot of options, including sizes from 32mm, 54mm, and 75mm depending on the size miniature your game uses. The base system is available for a €16 (about US$18) pledge with multiple options for customization. This Kickstarter has at time of writing raised over $172,000 on a $5,580 goal and has even more to go as it runs until Sunday, October 2.

Mutant Chronicles is coming to tabletop gaming with Siege of the Citadel 2nd Edition. Designed by Richard Borg, Kevin Wilson, Eric M. Lang, and Jay Little, this update of the classic 1990 game Siege of the Citadel from Pressman Toys has 40 minis, custom dice, standing tokens for doors/portals, and multiple tiles to generate the map during gameplay for a different experience every game. The base game is available for a $69 pledge, or you can get the first expansion included for a $149 pledge. This Kickstarter is wiping out stretch goals as it’s almost doubled its funding goal and runs until Saturday, October 8.

That’s all for this week. If you want even more gaming coverage from EN World, please support our Patreon so we can double our weekly content at the next goal. If you have any tabletop gaming news to report, email us at news@enworldnews.com. You can follow me at @Abstruse on Twitter where I explain how the Slaadi were based on Egyptian chaos gods and express shock that flumphs are still a thing. You can also check out the back catalog of the Gamer’s Tavern podcast (and keep an eye out for an announcement coming soon there). Until next time, may all your hits be crits!
 

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Darryl Mott

Darryl Mott

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