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News Digest for the Week of April 23

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! A peek under the hood how Dungeons & Dragons is made, new Lone Wolf books coming soon, Gen Con update, Legend of the Five Rings release, and more!

Don’t forget, you can get all the news every week with Morrus’ Unofficial Tabletop RPG Talk! This week, Morrus and Peter are joined by Nolan T. Jones, the CEO of Roll20, to talk about the virtual tabletop platform.


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In case you missed it elsewhere on EN World this week:
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Wizards of the Coast posted a new blog entry giving insights into the nuts-and-bolts of the D&D Studio within the organization. The post goes into detail about how the company is structured and products made, specifically pointing out that D&D Studio handles the tabletop roleplaying game only and is not directly involved with the video games, film and television productions, Twitch channel, or licensed tie-in products (specifically mentioning the D&D socks that Morrus’ Unofficial Tabletop RPG Talk referenced in a sketch last year) D&D Studio is broken into four departments: Game Design, Art, Production, and Product Management each with their own department head with Ray Winninger as Executive Producer. Meetings are held quarterly to pitch new products and decide which should be added to the schedule with the Product Leads (Jeremy Crawford, Amanda Hamon, Chris Perkins, Wes Schnieider, and James Wyatt) handling “a heft chunk of the final work”. Turnaround time for a new D&D product is 12-14 months. Winninger also specifically states the level of involvement that parent company Hasbro has into the production decisions of Dungeons & Dragons: “None.” There’s a lot more information for those interested in how D&D is made or for those who wish to pitch their own ideas, but the biggest bit of information is that there will be five major products released in 2021 (including the recently-released Candlekeep Mysteries and the upcoming Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft due in just under a month) as well as “a couple of additional surprises”.

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There’s a new Forged in the Dark RPG where you play the monsters taking on pesky “heroes” invading their homes called Wicked Ones with the best price you could ask for: Free. In the game, players take on the role of different monsters working together to build their lair, launching raids against the surface-dwellers, conducting secret rituals, building traps, recruiting minions, and more all to protect yourselves from those nasty adventurers. Choose between nine different monster playbooks (Brute, Conniver, Crafter, Hunter, Marauder, Shadow, Shaman, Warlock, or Zealot), five different dungeon themes (Enclave, Forge, Hideout, Stronghold, or Temple), a large regional map of a quiet valley sandbox to build your dungeon, and more. The game also features safety tools for playing the monsters and guidelines for session zero and session one to get started easily. The 325-page PDF is available for free now on DriveThruRPG, with an expanded Deluxe Edition with three additional sandboxes (city sewers, colonials seas, and warzone), four more primal monsters, digital assets for online games or printable handouts, a dungeon generator and more available for $19.99 in PDF and $51.64 for both PDF and hardcover.

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Gen Con released two updates for their 2021 plans. The first is the April Health and Safety Update with changes affecting the convention’s new September 16-19 dates. In addition to going over the progress of the vaccination programs, the Indiana Convention Center has added $7 million in safety upgrades including additional sanitation stations, one-way traffic lanes in hallways and common areas, mask requirements for all indoor spaces, and a hospital-grade air filtration system. However, both the lingering dangers of the pandemic and the move to September means that attendance will be capped lower than normal due to the loss of Lucas Oil Stadium to the football season. The attendance cap is currently estimated to be between 30,000 and 40,000 (about half of Gen Con’s pre-pandemic attendance figures), 24 hour gaming will be suspended for this year to allow cleaning and sanitation of gaming areas, timed entry and other crowd-control measures will be in place for the Exhibit Hall, and the mask mandate will remain in place in September for all indoor areas with Gen Con securing more outdoor areas for maskless eating with more food trucks and drink vendors. Gen Con also warns they are not sure what requirements will be for the convention in terms of proof of vaccination or for social distancing requirements.

For those who don’t want to make the trek to Indianapolis this year, Gen Con Pop Up is also happening at local game stores. Participating publishers announced so far this year are Catalyst Game Labs, Forbidden Games, Pandasaurus Games, Ravensburger, Renegade Games Studios, SlugFest Games, Steamforged Games, The OP (formerly known as USAopoly), and Wyrd Games. You can purchase a badge for $5 to attend events on Saturdary, September 18. There won’t be a list of participating retailers until May as applications are still open. Game stores wanting more information can check this link, and the deadline for submitting an application to participate is May 8.

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Cubicle 7 announced new books on the way for Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf series after extending their license. Cubicle 7 will partner with Holmgard Press to produce a new book series starting with The Book of the Magnakai that will take characters from Rank 10 to Rank 20. From the announcement, Cubicle 7 CEO Dom McDowall said:

I’m thrilled to continue on our Lone Wolf adventure we began back in 2013 — Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf game books were a wonderful part of my childhood and introduction to gaming. It’s fantastic to work with Joe’s son Ben and continue to explore the iconic world of Magnamund.

There is no release date for the new book yet, and the announcement is unclear whether this will be a continuation of the "adventure novel" format of the original series (solo adventure books similar to the Choose Your Own Adventure franchise with some additional RPG-influenced elements) or for Cubicle 7's more traditional roleplaying game.

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Beamdog released big updates for the Baldur’s Gate, Baldur’s Gate II, and Icewind Dale Enhanced Editions this past week. This update brings the game up to 64-bit, improving system compatibility and allowing the games to be played on Mac OSX systems again. There’s also 11 new character portraits, 7 new character voice sets, Mark Meer (Male Shepard aka BroShep from the Mass Effect Trilogy) reprises his roles as Alveus Malcanter and Baeloth Barrityl, and a host of bug fixes, patches, optimization, multiplayer functionality updates, hotkeys, and more along with a huge list of balance and bug fixes for various spells throughout the games.

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Fantasy Flight Games released two new books for Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game. The sourcebook Fields of Victory focuses on large-scale warfare in Rokugan both past and present with rules, tools, and guidance for how to use grand battles in player campaigns. The book also includes the Badger Clan for player characters with ten new schools and new titles and techniques for existing characters to learn. And as normal for the game line, the second book Blood of the Lioness puts all those new rules to good use in an adventure focusing on a brewing war that takes the players from the Akodo War College to a heated battlefield on the Snow Plain. Both books are available now with Fields of Victory available for a retail price of $39.95 and Blood of the Lioness for $19.95.

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If you’ve wanted to start making videos for YouTube or edit your live streams to upload, you’ve likely balked at the price of video editing software. Thankfully, Humble Bundle has its Vegas Pro Bundle again featuring a collection of software to help with video production at reasonable prices! The top level is only $30 and includes Vegas Pro 16 Edit, Sound Forge Audio Studio 13, Music Maker Score Edition, and a selection of tools to enhance your video productions. This bundle benefits Stop AAPI Hate and runs until Thursday, May 13.

Don’t forget, Humble Bundle still has two tie-in fiction bundles for tabletop gaming. The first from IDW Publishing features a collection of comics and graphic novels licensed from Dungeons & Dragons. The collection features stories from Dragonlance, Baldur’s Gate, Elminster, the classic Dungeons & Dragons cartoon, Eberron, and, of course, Drizzt Do’Urden. The bundle has four levels with the top tier of $25 getting you a total of 32 graphic novels and individual issues. This bundle benefits the Hasbro Children’s Fund and runs until Monday, May 3. But if the grimdark future is more your think, the Black Library is back with a collection of novels from Warhammer 40,000. This bundle features 26 novels from across the 40K universe in multiple DRM-free ebook formats. This bundle benefits the Every Library Institute and runs until Thursday, March 6.


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@enpublishingrpg.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 to get notifications when I go live, 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.
 

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Darryl Mott

Darryl Mott




Ghal Maraz

Explorer
Cubicle 7's "Book of the Magnakai" will be for the "Lone Wolf Adventure Game" rpg. The solo gamebooks are being reprinted (and concluded) directly by Holmgard Press, i.e. Joe Dever's son Ben DeVere.
 

Abstruse

Legend
Why not just use free editing software? Davinci Resolve should be your choice.
Because Resolve isn't very intuitive (even by the standards of video editing software) and it's more "free" like a free-to-play game is free. Sure you can technically use it for free, but a lot of the features, effects, transitions, etc. are behind microtransaction-like paywalls.
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
Because Resolve isn't very intuitive (even by the standards of video editing software) and it's more "free" like a free-to-play game is free. Sure you can technically use it for free, but a lot of the features, effects, transitions, etc. are behind microtransaction-like paywalls.
For YouTube editing? It's fine. IMO. We aren't making a movie here....
 

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