News Digest for the Week of August 5

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! More Spelljammer previews plus big Gen Con announcements from Paizo, Green Ronin, Critical Role, 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 playtesting a new game.


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In case you missed it elsewhere on EN World this week:
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Before we get into all the news coming out of Gen Con, Wizards of the Coast had some more previews and a big announced. First more Spelljammer with D&D Beyond previews of the monsters scavvers, space eels, space hamsters (go for the eyes!), space mollymawks, and space swine. Like previews D&D Beyond previews, this does not include any game stats but does feature new artwork and a general description of the monsters. Over on the D&D YouTube channel, Chris Perkins talked about space clowns (which is as frightening as it sounds) and Boo, the miniature giant space hamster. And Morrus has collected together several of the art previews and photos of the boxed set. The boxed set for Spelljammer: Adventures in Space is set for release on August 16 with a retail price of $69.99.

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Bart Carroll also announced in the closing article for Dragon+ that Wizards Presents will take place on August 18. We don’t know a lot about the event yet other than we’ll “learn more of the brand’s future plans”. The event will also cover Magic: The Gathering releases and will likely also include other announcements from the digital entertainment segment of Wizards of the Coast (though the latter has not been confirmed). The event will be live streamed, though no time has yet been announced. And just to feed fire to the speculation, “Wizards Presents” was the title of the line of D&D products released after Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition 3.5 Edition closed but while Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition 4th Edition was still in playtest with system-neutral setting content. Corrected with the proper editions for the "Wizards Presents" series.

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And now it’s time for the Gen Con news! Free League announced the upcoming Kickstarter for a new edition of the classic Swedish RPG Drakar och Demoner published for the first time in English as Dragonbane. The game was originally published in Sweden in 1982 and kicked off the Scandinavian TTRPG industry. Loosely translated as “Dragons and Demons”, the first edition was a Swedish translation of the Basic Role-Play system by Steve Perrin used in games such as RuneQuest and Call of Cthulhu, but ended up with several modifications over the seven previous editions of the game including a move from percentile dice to a 20-sided die. The rights to the game changed hands several times over the decades, most recently with RiotMinds who used the system to back up their setting Trudvang Chronicles. Free League acquired the rights to Drakar och Demoner in 2021 with RiotMinds retaining the rights to Trudvang. The new edition will be designed by Free League CEO Tomas Härenstam along with a team of writers which will include historical fiction author Niklas Natt och Dag and art from Johan Egerkrans. From the press release:

We call this playstyle "mirth and mayhem roleplaying" – great for long campaigns but also perfect for a one-shot if you just want to have some quick fun at the table for a night. The core set will include at least one complete adventure and we hope to unlock many more as stretch goals, offering a complete campaign to play even in the core game set.

And if you needed more incentive to be interested: The game includes anthropomorphic ducks.

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Paizo announced their streaming schedule for Gen Con with multiple live streams over the weekend. Thursday included the Paizo Keynote Address with Erik Mona along with introductions to Pathfinder, Starfinder, and organized play. Friday will include new product announcements for Starfinder at 4 PM Eastern (1 PM Pacific, 9 PM BST), for Pathfinder at 2 PM Eastern (5 PM Pacific, 10 PM BST), and a stream about the Infinite third-party publishing program at 3 PM Pacific (6 PM Eastern, 11 PM BST). Saturday’s streams will focus on workshops and introductory panels for virtual tabletops and gamemastering. And speaking of the Infinite program, Paizo announced a new slate of community creators into the Infinite Masters program of active and influential creators of the Pathfinder Infinite and Starfinder Infinite programs.

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Evil Genius Games announced that Owen KC Stephens will be joining the company as Editor-in-Chief. Evil Genius made waves recently with their Kickstarter for Everyday Heroes as a 5e reinvention of the D20 Modern system along with a slew of licensed tie-ins. Which makes Owen a great fit for the role considering he worked on the original D20 Modern for Wizards of the Coast along with Dungeons & Dragons, Star Wars, Pathfinder, Starfinder, and many others over the years. Owen will also maintain his role as Lead Developer on Fantasy AGE for Green Ronin Publishing.

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Speaking of Green Ronin, they released a slew of physical reprints and new releases at Gen Con. The links below are for the PDFs on DriveThruRPG, but check your local game store soon if you want physical copes. First up for Modern AGE is Cyberpunk Slice: Near Futures & Hackable Selves featuring a collection of setting-neutral cyberpunk and post-cyberpunk material both from previously-published material and all-new rules and options. Next is Six of Cups, an adventure anthology for Blue Rose featuring six new adventures for characters of varying levels with resources for Narrators to create their own adventures. Finally we have Danger Zones, a collection of urban settings for superhero adventures in Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition fully detailed with descriptions, special rules, and NPCs ready to populate your encounters.

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The OP (formerly known as USAopoly) announced the release of Clue: Critical Role this week. This licensed adaptation of the classic board game Clue (or Cluedo in the UK) featuring licensed material from Critical Role Campaign 2. The game takes place during the Harvest Close Festival in Zadash as one of the members so the Mighty Nein is being targeted by a plot against them. Players must determine WHICH member of the team is being targeted, WHO is responsible for the plot, and WHERE the scheme is set to go down. The game will feature seven stand-up cardboard pawns of the Mighty Nein – Fjord, Caduceus Clay, Caleb Widogast, Jester Lavorre, Beauregard Lionett, Nott the Brave, and Yasha – seven sculpted tokens representing the target of the attack – Cloven Crystal, Cadeceus’ Tea Cup, Frumpkin the Cat, Sprinkle the Weasel, Beauregard’s Goggles, Nott’s Mask, and Yasha’s Mini Bone Harp – along with a game board featuring nine locations from the city. The game is available for purchase now for a retail price of $44.99.

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Ross Watson announced a new edition of the Savage Worlds horror setting Accursed. The dark fantasy setting described by someone as “…you secretly slipped Ravenloft some PCP”. Okay, it was me covering the setting’s original 2013 Kickstarter. The dark fantasy setting takes place in a world where powerful Witches conquered the land and plunged it into darkness where all manner of horrors have been unleashed. But the Grand Coven has been sundered, leaving the world split and the Witches’ former agents, the Accursed, unable to return to their old lives as they attempt to atone for their past sins. The new edition will be an officially licensed Savage Worlds setting published by Sigil Entertainment Group with lead designer Ross Watson returning as Line Manager. More details will be available about the upcoming release in 2023. Disclosure: Ross Watson was the host of the Gamer’s Tavern Podcast which the author of this column produced and co-hosted from 2013 to 2016.

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In the run-up to Gen Con, several women and BIPOC reported harassment from individuals claiming to be members of Gen Con staff and/or volunteers. One harassing message sent to LaTia Jacquise of Monte Cook Games called her an “uppity black woman” and threatened to assault her as a member of Gen Con security along with the text “I have everyone’s numbers because I am part of the safety team. Oopsie doodles. I guess your con isn’t as secure as you weaklings would want it.” Gen Con’s safety consultant Kelsey “Magpie” Danger confirmed that none of the phone numbers of the affected people were in Gen Con’s system and the convention does not believe that there was any information leak from within the convention nor any insider collusion at this time. In response to concerns voiced on Twitter, Mx. Magpie stated “It’s not legitimate. They’re being contacted by means that aren’t in our system.”


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




Abstruse

Legend
Looking forward to hearing on ENWorld about the future of Starfinder. @Abstruse any ENWorld journalists at GenCon this year?
Honestly, I'm the last person to ask. Unless it's already on the main page or it directly involves the podcast, I've usually got no idea. And I usually don't know about podcast stuff until it's already recorded.

But for Paizo stuff at least, you can watch the live streams or check out the videos afterward.
 





Abstruse

Legend
shw would make a great npc in D&D. these characters should be introduced in some kind of event in D&D
Looks like the crossover D&D and Magic stuff they've done has worked out pretty well. I remember there were disappointments in the performance of the Forgotten Realms Magic set, but it certainly didn't affect sales any considering the shareholders report. And the Strixhaven, Theros, and Ravnica book seem to have sold well enough they're going to move forward with more. I just think they're focusing more on the D&D brands right now since they've got the movie coming out and eOne/Paramount are going to be shoving D&D in people's faces.
 

shw would make a great npc in D&D. these characters should be introduced in some kind of event in D&D
She was introduced to MTG a long time ago as kinda “cool, sexy, rebellious, badass, (and much younger) pyromancer chick”, back before MTG became as character-focused as it is now. Subsequently she was basically replaced in that role by Chandra, another “cool, sexy, rebellious, badass pyromancer chick” but with a different character design and more of a CG personality (compared to Jaya’s CN).

Some time travel stuff and planeswalking happened, and Jaya was reintroduced in her “dangerous grandma pyromancer” form (seen in the pic above). I think she’s appeared more in MTG in this form than she ever did as her younger version. She also plays the role of mentor and personal hero to Chandra, so there’s some acknowledgement there.

MTG has a lot of lore, and I’ve surely glossed over and butchered it to some degree. But yeah, Jaya Ballard would make a great D&D NPC. “Fire Grandma”.
 

wicked cool

Adventurer
She was introduced to MTG a long time ago as kinda “cool, sexy, rebellious, badass, (and much younger) pyromancer chick”, back before MTG became as character-focused as it is now. Subsequently she was basically replaced in that role by Chandra, another “cool, sexy, rebellious, badass pyromancer chick” but with a different character design and more of a CG personality (compared to Jaya’s CN).

Some time travel stuff and planeswalking happened, and Jaya was reintroduced in her “dangerous grandma pyromancer” form (seen in the pic above). I think she’s appeared more in MTG in this form than she ever did as her younger version. She also plays the role of mentor and personal hero to Chandra, so there’s some acknowledgement there.

MTG has a lot of lore, and I’ve surely glossed over and butchered it to some degree. But yeah, Jaya Ballard would make a great D&D NPC. “Fire Grandma”.
Wouldn’t mind a real crossover. Why couldn’t she be introduced in a drizzt world or elminister etc.
 


wicked cool

Adventurer
Because Salvatore or Greenwood would kill her off. It's the same reason those two don't cross over into the other's books. Salvatore's flat out said so.
Sorry Not saying books I’m saying adventure content. Why can’t some of these characters be introduced like the action figures were in say witchlight. Why can’t she be introduced in a campaign book down the line. These characters are basically wasted.
Off topic So is elminster-how many new players introduced to 5e even know who he is

I looked at her artwork and realized her potential is wasted
 


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