News Digest for the Week of February 3

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! The OGL Saga concludes, details on the...

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! The OGL Saga concludes, details on the D&D adventure Keys from the Golden Vault, release date for Marvel Multiverse RPG, new Fallout campaign Winter of Atom, 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 their roleplaying game plans for 2023.

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In case you missed it elsewhere on EN World this week:
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After the last few weeks, we have what may very well be the last update to the ongoing Open Game License saga. Last Friday, the official D&D Beyond Twitter account announced that the feedback on the survey for OGL v1.2 had not “hit the mark”. Responses up to that point in the survey were overwhelmingly negative, with between 86% to 90% of responses against the changes proposed. Very shortly after, Wizards of the Coast announced that they will no longer attempt to modify or “deauthorize” the OGL v1.0a. The license would stand as-is, though the company did not state either way whether they still believed they were legally allowed to do so.

What they did say is, effective immediately, the entire SRD v5.1, the current version of the System Reference Document for the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition rules system, would be available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. The full document is available from D&D Beyond and, under the terms of the license, dozens of other places on the internet by this point. This means that anyone can use the SRD 5.1 to make their own creations including reprinting any part of the document or the document in whole so long as they credit Wizards of the Coast. The full details of the license terms are available from the Creative Commons website.

There has been some confusion about the release as several terms that were previously considered “Product Identity” content under the OGL v1.0a (specifically the monsters “beholder” and “mind flayer”, and the character “Count Strahd von Zarovich”) were also released under the CC-BY 4.0 license. Before anyone gets too excited, it is solely the names that are included in the SRD v5.1 and not any further descriptions or attributes, the Creative Commons license does affect the trademark status (registered or otherwise) of content released under the license, and the release of the names in a CC-BY licensed document does not “backtrack” in any way to include content published in other works.

The overall controversy has driven up sales of other tabletop roleplaying games. The core rulebook for Pathfinder 2nd Edition is currently out of print and awaiting another print run (though Paizo has partnered with Humble Bundle for a digital bundle of the core rulebooks for charity, which I’ll talk more about on Sunday in my sales, bundles, and charity fundraisers column). Chaosium reports Call of Cthulhu starter sets are likely to run out soon with a reprint also ordered for that. And EN Publishing also states they’ve sold more copies of Level Up: Advanced 5e in the past month than they had in the previous six months since the line’s launch.

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Speaking of Level Up and open gaming, EN Publishing announced a new System Reference Document for Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition. The new document will be a complete SRD for 5e including all the new rules included in Level Up along with the updated character classes and the ancestries/heritages that make up the “races/species” in the original 5e rules as well as feats, archetypes, and more. Designer Paul Hughes is leading the team working on the all-new SRD in consultation with a legal firm to ensure the finished product will be a distinct document and protected from any further attempts to wall off the 5e rules system. The first section of the document is available now on the A5E SRD website along with a table of contents, though no license for release has been chosen at this time. EN Publishing has committed to releasing the Level Up SRD under the most open permissive license possible and may release under multiple licenses. The original LUSRD originally released at Level Up’s launch is still available and will remain so under the OGL v1.0a.

Cubicle 7 also announced their intention to develop C7d20, a “brand new system” comparable with 5e with a core rulebook coming later this year. Meanwhile, Kobold Press posted a statement that they are continuing with plans to create their own 5e-based system currently titled Project Black Flag while thanking Wizards of the Coast for "listening to the community and responding by releasing the SRD 5.1 into Creative Commons”.

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With all the controversy, you might have forgotten that Wizards of the Coast makes products for sale. We got more information about some of them this week, including the upcoming Keys from the Golden Vault adventure anthology. The official D&D YouTube channel posted a new video titled Everything You Need to Know About Keys from the Golden Vault, while D&D Beyond has a preview including the titles and level ranges of four of the included adventures: “The Stygian Gambit” (2nd Level), “Prisoner 13” (4th Level), “Vidorant’s Vault” (7th Level), and “Fire and Darkness” (11th Level). We also got our first look at the movie tie-in product line for Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. Products announced include a dice tower, foldable dice tray, leatherette book folio, character folio with Chris Pine on the cover, and a playmat featuring Chris Pine inside a gelatinous cube.

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Marvel announced a release date for Marvel Multiverse Role-Playing Game along with a new expansion. The core rulebook along with the six-adventure collection The Cataclysm of Kang are set for release on August 2, 2023. Additionally, Marvel announced the X-Men Expansion coming in 2024, a full-sized sourcebook covering the X-Men, X-Force, New Mutants, Marauders, and more along with their iconic villains. The Marvel Multiverse will use an original system titled the "d616 System" (named after the title "Earth-616" given to the primary comic book continuity in the Marvel comics by author Alan Moore) designed by Matt Forebeck that uses three d6s. The Marvel Multiverse core rulebook is available for pre-order for $59.99 while The Cataclysm of Kang will be $49.99.

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Andrew McMeel has ceased publishing roleplaying game products, according to a statement from the team behind the Mother Lands RPG that was later confirmed by Zweihander developer Daniel D. Fox. In a follow-up thread, the Mother Lands creators stated that they are looking into options for publication including other publishers and self-publishing to ensure the Kickstarter will be fulfilled. So far, the publisher has not made an official statement either on their website or on their main Twitter account. The last tweet from the RPG-specific account is dated January 3 requesting followers sign up to an email list for updates on RPG products. In addition to Mother Lands and Zweihander, Andrew McMeel was the publisher of the Oz and Neverland RPGs as well as the spin-off dark fantasy game Blackbirds using the same system as Zweihander.

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Free League announced pre-orders for IKHON, a boxed set collection of adventures for MÖRK BORG. The set centers around a gaol (yes gaol, spellcheck, it’s an old word for “jail”, stop trying to fix it!) keeping four almost-forgotten folk-gods at bay with profiles for each of the four – The Bilkherd, the Becklure, the Old Dead, and the Silkfiend – along with what gifts they offer those who might assist them along with how to twist them into curses. The physical product is set for a February 28 release, but those who pre-order from the Free League website will get access to the PDF immediately. The boxed set is available for kr288 (US$21.97 or £17.98).

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Modiphius posted a developer’s blog with details about the upcoming Winter of Atom campaign for Fallout: The Roleplaying Game. The campaign focuses on the Children of Atom faction from the game and takes place in Fallout 4’s Commonwealth as a new leader calling himself the Son of Atom emerges. In the Fallout setting, the Church of the Children of Atom is a religious group made of people who worship radiation as a vehicle for creation and life, personified as Atom. The campaign’s design is meant to emulate that of the Fallout video games with a main quest and side quests that unlock as the players progress, both in level and through the plot, giving the players freedom to explore events in most any order they wish. The story culminates in The Winter War with the rogue sect of the Children of Atom against the settlements of the Commonwealth that will take the characters from level 1 to level 21. In addition to settlement reputation rules, new random encounters and hazards for winter, enhanced traveling rules, and more, there will also be new character options including Gen 3 synths, protectrons, and those who have received the Blessing of Atom and are immune to radiation. Winter of Atom is expected for release in Q2 2023.


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, follow me on Mastodon for RPG chat and general nonsense, 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




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