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News Digest for June 2, 2023

Pathfinder and Starfinder news from PaizoCon, new adventure for The One Ring/Lord of the Rings, and more!

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! Pathfinder and Starfinder news from PaizoCon, new releases for The One Ring/Lord of the Rings RPG, ORC License update, and more!

For a quick summary of the week’s news, Jessica Hancock will bring you up to speed with EN Live's This Week in TTRPG every Friday.

Don’t forget, you can keep up with all the week’s gaming news in detail with Morrus’ Unofficial Tabletop RPG Talk. This week, Morrus, Peter, and Jessica talk about the costs of printing an RPG book.


In case you missed it elsewhere on EN World this week:

PaizoCon 2023 was this weekend and, as you’d expect, there was a lot of Pathfinder and Starfinder news which you can read in more detail in Dawn Dalton’s coverage. First was the cover reveal of the standard color versions of the new Player Core and GM Core for the remastered Pathfinder books. Paizo also revealed more changes coming in the remastered core rulebooks. Some of the changes are more errata-type changes and rebalances, while others are specifically to de-OGL-ify various aspects of the game. Several classes will get an overhaul for weapon proficiencies, abilities, spellcasting, and feats. Some heritages will change, such as the tiefling and aasimar being rolled into the single heritage nephilim, the orc and leshy joining the core heritages, and a new versatile heritage mechanic to mix-and-match heritages to replace the default of “half human”. The planes and the schools of magic are also both getting overhauls to remove OGL elements, with schools of magic focusing more of types of spellcasters rather than specific spell types (School of Battle Magic as an example) and the planes being renamed to more Golarian-esque names. The Drow are also being removed due to being too “deeply enmeshed” in the identity of Dungeons & Dragons. The Darklands will now be replaced with Serpantfolk that will fill the role of Drow with the events covered in the Rage of Elements sourcebook.

Speaking of new sourcebooks, we got more details and announcements there. Rage of Elements will expand the elemental planes beyond the four Greek elements of air, fire, water, and earth. Kineticists will get new impulses and the ability to create composite impulses that mix two elements together. The book will also expand on genies with new types and new lore. How of the Wild is a creature book with new variants of classic monsters, six new playable ancestries, and new familiars and animal companions. The next big adventure path, Sky King’s Tomb, will take place in the dwarven megacity of Highhelm, which itself will get a new sourcebook with Lost Omens Highhelm.

Starfinder fans also got a look at what’s coming in Starfinder Enhanced with new options for both players and GMs. New themes, new species, new archetypes, over 90 new feats, and more. Four classes will get new Enhanced versions. The Envoy will branch out from the support role with abilities like Inspiring Combo that will allow a full action along with using an improvisation. Solarians will be allowed to advance attunement and spend attunement points without needing all three. Technomancers will gain a new technomatic talent every three levels. Witchwarpers can now use Infinite Worlds in a limited number of uses per day that won’t affect spell slots. There will also be more rules expansions such as rules for designing new spells, scaling and customizing equipment, and alternate starship combat rules.


Just because PaizoCon’s over doesn’t mean Paizo was done with the announcements as the third draft of the Open RPG Content (ORC) License was released yesterday. This time, Paizo provided “redline” versions of both the ORC License and the AxE “Answers and Explanations” FAQ showing what’s been changed along with the new drafts. The majority of the changes to the ORC License itself are once again clarifying definitions of terms (including the change from “Product Identity” to “Reserved Material” for parts of an ORC-licensed work that is not released under the license) and some grammatical and organizational changes. The updated version of the AxE includes a few new questions, including a clarification on translations of ORC-licensed work, ORC-licensed articles in magazines or products with multiple game systems including ones that are not ORC-licensed, use of descriptive text from ORC-licensed material, and several others. Paizo is seeking feedback on the official ORC License Discord for “the next few days” as they look to finalize the license by the end of next week.


Paizo and BKOM Studios launched a Kickstarter for the video game Pathfinder: Abomination Vaults. The game will be a hack-and-slash action RPG with online and local co-op and offline solo play. If those terms didn’t mean much to you, the gameplay footage on the Kickstarter page (though the footage is illustrative and not the final product as the game hasn’t been made yet) will give you an idea of what to expect. The combat is real-time as you fight off enemies and explore similar to games like Diablo franchise and the classic Gauntlet arcade game, rather than the turn-based of the previous Pathfinder games or the D&D games like Baldur’s Gate. Players will choose between four Iconics - Amiri the Barbarian, Harsk the Ranger, Kyra the Cleric, and Ezren the Wizard - with their own combat styles and powers as you delve into the dungeon of the Abomination Vaults beneath Gauntlight Keep. The game is available for a pledge of CA$40 (about US$30) with a wide variety of other pledge levels including multiple copies of the game to play with your friends, physical rewards, and in-game material. Note: As a Canadian company, Canadian citizens will be charged GST/HST and applicable provincial taxes during the pledge manager stage of funding. This Kickstarter has currently raised over CA$250,000 of its CA$410,000 goal and will run until Friday, June 30.


Wizards of the Coast launched their annual Pride fundraiser store. The store features black t-shirts, hoodies, and tank tops with rainbow versions of the & ampersand logo for Dungeons & Dragons along with versions of the Magic: The Gathering logo, a Pride 2020 pin with the M:TG rainbow logo, and a new Pride 2023 Magic: The Gathering playmat titled “Bearscape” featuring large hairy men relaxing at a natural spring along with one bear (as in the animal) in the background. Shirts are available for $25.00 and hoodies for $60.00 with all profits from sales going to The Trevor Project.


Free League announced two new products available for pre-order. The first for The One Ring is the adventure compendium Tales from the Lone-Lands. The book features the adventures “A Troll-Hole, If Ever There Was One”, “Kings of Little Kingdoms”, “Messing About in Boats”, “Not to Strike Without Need”, “Wonder of the Northern World”, and “The Quest of Amon Guruthos” that can act as stand-alone adventures or be linked together into a larger campaign. You can pre-order the hardcover now from Free League for 398.00kr (US$36.90, £29.45) and unlock the PDF now for free. If you’re more of a 5e fan for your Middle Earth roleplaying, the same adventures are available for the Lord of the Rings RPG using the 5e rules under the title Tales from Eriador for the same price. Both hardcovers are expected to ship this fall.


The second book up for pre-order is the Vaesen expansion The Lost Mountain Saga. Written by Ellinor DiLorenzo, the book is based on the adventures from her original podcast The Lost Mountain Saga but expanded and modified for official release with illustrations from artists Johan Egerkrans and Anton Vitus. From the press release:

“As a Swede living in the United States who mostly plays with Americans, The Lost Mountain Saga was a way for me to bring everything that excites me about my own culture and customs to the table. From the sacred ritual of Swedish fika, to the often-romanticized Viking heritage, to some of our questionable political movements and of course, the terrifying creatures that used to haunt my dreams when I was a kid.” Says game creator Ellinor DiLorenzo.

"At the end of the day, The Lost Mountain Saga is a love letter to my home country Sweden, celebrating both the good and the bad, and a way for me to express my homesickness by sharing it with others. It’s suitable for anyone who likes their horror with an occasional laugh, non-Swedes, and Swedes alike.”

The hardcover is available for pre-order for 398.00kr (US$36.90, £29.45) with the PDF unlocked immediately on purchase and the physical book shipping this fall.

That’s all from me for this week! Don’t forget to support our Patreon to bring you more gaming news content. 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.

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Darryl Mott

Darryl Mott

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