News Digest for the Week of January 14

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! Previews of Monsters of the Multiverse, Gen Con registration dates announced, Tabletop Simulator lands itself in controversy, more news from TSR3.5, and more!

Don’t forget, you can keep up with all the week’s gaming news with Morrus’ Unofficial Tabletop RPG Talk! This week, Morrus and Peter count down the most anticipated new RPGs of 2022.


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In case you missed it elsewhere on EN World this week:
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With Mordenkainen Presents Monsters of the Multiverse just around the corner, the previews are coming fast. First, we have a list of all 33 playable races included in the sourcebook. The majority of these are reprints from previous sourcebooks, but updated to come into line with the current, post-Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything rules and presentation style for player races. We also have a list of the 260 monsters that will be available in the book, also similarly updated to the current standard of stat block presentation. Monsters of the Multiverse releases on January 25 (oh hey, that’s my birthday…hint hint) along with hardcovers of Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything and Xanathar’s Guide to Everything as part of the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Expansion Gift Set retailing for $169.95. Wizards of the Coast stated when the title was announced that Monsters of the Multiverse will have a solo release, but no further details on that release have been made since then.

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Remember when TSR LLC aka “TSR3.5” decided to sue Wizards of the Coast claiming they should be awarded the copyright of the artwork for the classic TSR logos? Darlene, the original artist of the TSR “Wizard” logo, released a public statement in response to Justin LaNasa and Ernie Gygax both attempting to get her to sign documentation that she has given TSR3.5 permission to use her artwork and the statement is very telling. Considering the statement is titled “The Power of No”, you can probably guess how well that went for TSR3.5. The statement, reproduced in the link above, goes into detail about the series of events and reasoning behind the statement, but the summary is right up front with Darlene publicly publishing her response to LaNasa: “I prefer not to be directly involved in any way with your lawsuit against WOTC. Therefore, I do not give permission to use the Wizard-head logo."

Meanwhile, TSR3.5 claims it has finally released a roleplaying game product. David Flor posted on Twitter screenshots of a Discord discussion with Michael K. Hovermale, spokesperson for TSR LLC, who stated that Star Frontiers: New Genesis First Edition has already been released and the second edition is under development. However, nobody seems to be able to find the product anywhere. Hovermale clarified, “It was a very small limited run released and sold on the DHSM [Dungeon Hobby Shop Museum] website. It is no longer available, and probably won’t be reprinted.” A store page does exist for the boxed set listing it as out of stock, but the images more similar to proofs rather than an actual mass-produced product. The images of the box itself are CGI mock-ups, and photos of the books are spiral-bound and not printed with full-bleed (meaning the covers have a white border around all sides). While Flor compared the game to the urban legend of the video game Polybius, I think a more apt joke would be “Sure we have a Star Frontiers boxed set, but it’s from Canada so you wouldn’t know about it.”

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A new 5e setting is available on Kickstarter, The Adventurer’s Guide to the Bible. Yes, that Bible. While it is not the first roleplaying game product using Christianity as its basis, it is to my knowledge the first released for 5th Edition. The combination setting book and adventure will feature monsters, settings, NPCs, and events from the Bible, four new playable lineages (Nephilim, Giant, Human, and Raphaim), and seven new subclasses (Path of the Nazirite Barbarian, Prophesy Domain Cleric, Magi Wizard, Spartan Fighter, College of Psalms Bard, Circle of Baptist Druid, and College of Parables Bard). The Kickstarter is not without controversy as a backers-only post requested volunteers to perform normally paid duties on a roleplaying product such as proofreading, fact-checking, and sensitivity readers/consultants. Despite the controversy, the Kickstarter has funded, raising (at time of writing) over $30,000 on a $5,500 goal from almost 600 backers and runs until Saturday, February 2.

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The ramp-up to convention season has started with Gen Con announcing details about the 2022 convention. Badges will go on sale on January 30 with 4-Day badges at $125, Thursday and Friday one-day passes for $65, Saturday one-day passes for $80, and Sunday one-day passes for $16. Attendees who rolled their previous badge purchases from 2020 or 2021 should have their new badges for 2022 added to their account automatically, while those who would prefer to be refunded will be able to do so starting on January 30. Housing registration will begin at noon Eastern time (9 AM Pacific, 5 PM GMT) and event registration will begin at noon Eastern on May 15. Gen Con also stated their health and safety policy for the convention, which will require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 for admittance and masks will be required in all indoor spaces unless actively eating or drinking in designated areas. The convention states that these requirements may change depending on guidance from health and government officials, and that exemptions to the vaccination policy will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Gen Con will also continue Gen Con Online events as well as Pop-Up Gen Con at select hobby stores. Gen Con Indy 2022, Gen Con Online, and Pop-Up Gen Con events will all be held from August 4-7, 2022, with the physical convention taking place in Indianapolis, IN.

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Berserk Games, developer of the Tabletop Simulator virtual tabletop, landed in hot water due to a controversial moderation policy banning users from stating that they are gay or trans due to a “family friendly” chat policy. Twitter user @XoeAllred posted chat logs from a discussion with moderators after she was banned from chat for stating that she was transgender. A moderator on the official Tabletop Simulator Discord server responded with the following statement:

Tabletop simulator is about playing tabletop games, not a place to discuss sexuality, fetishes, politics. Keep that to your private lobbies or public chats where these things are the topic at hand.

When asked whether the company considered being trans “a fetish or political”, no further statement was made from the moderator. The official Twitter account for Tabletop Simulator released a statement on January 8 (though bucked the trend by releasing it as an image of black text on a white background rather than the reverse):

We do not censor, suppress or ban users for expressing their identity, race or orientation. We actively take measures to ban users for harassing members of the LGBTQ+ community. A user got timed out from the chat for what was deemed disruptive behavior by spamming different key words in an attempt to get flagged. This was misunderstood as punishing the user for expressing their identity. This was of course never the intent, and further confusion ensued in attempting to clarify the situation. Our policy is to keep the chat cordial, inclusive and for the most part on the topic of tabletop gaming.

Tabletop Simulator supports the LGBTQ+ community including profiling games with LGBTQ+ themes, designers, and writers as well as having members of the LGBTQ+ community to working on TTS directly.

This statement was immediately refuted by Xoe and others who pointed out that the screenshots posted show previously in a Google document Xoe banned long before the “keyword spamming” for stating that she is trans and gay, with some of the bans coming mere seconds after using the words “I’m gay”, in one instance during a string of profanities and sexual comments from other users at the same time. Following the continued backlash, the official Twitter account for Tabletop Simulator released a second statement the following day:

Hello Tabletop Simulator community, we once again want to stress our commitment to inclusivity in everything we do and would like to apologize for the handling of a user being ban from global chat. Initially, we were misinformed about the sequence of events as well as the full context of the situation that led to this user’s ban. The subsequent messaging around why this ban took place does not reflect the beliefs or sentiments of Tabletop Simulator. Tabletop Simulator has not and does not condone equating sexual orientation/ gender identity with fetishes, politics, or anti-family friendly sentiment.

At this time we have decided to take down global chat as we reassess our moderation process as clearly, we have some shortcomings. The purpose of the moderation team was to keep global communication on the topic of board games and to reduce toxicity and hate. Tabletop Simulator recognizes that the current moderation process of our global chat has failed to uphold its original intention and we apologize for this as well as anyone who was hurt or made to feel unwelcome the past few days as this was never our intention.

Tabletop Simulator community, we hear you and the entire Tabletop Simulator team is prioritizing our commitment to making the TTS community inclusive and safe for everyone. Community feedback and communication is a key aspect in learning and improving. We hope over time to once again retain your trust and respect.

Despite the statement, further screenshots show moderator “CHRY”, who was at the center of the controversy banning Xoe and other individuals, continuing to back the discriminatory moderation practices, stating “Allowing this [self-identifying as an LGBTQ+ person] in the LFG focused global chat is near equivalent to allowing discrimination based on things like political views and sexuality.”

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Fat Dragon Games and Humble Bundle released the Dragonlock and Ravenfell 2D and 3D printable terrain bundle this week. This bundle includes 3D printable terrain from the Dungeonlock series along with accessories and miniatures plus 2D terrain from the E-Z Dungeon and Ravenfell sets that can be printed on standard inkjet and laser printers for construction into amazing 3D terrain. This bundle benefits Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and runs until Thursday, February 3. If that’s not enough printable miniatures for you, the 3D Printable Adventure Bundle is still going, featuring more than 50 ready-to-print miniatures. These miniatures feature a more stylized design similar to video games like World of Warcraft and each unique miniature comes complete with a custom 5e stat block. This bundle benefits the American Cancer Society, St. Jude’s Research Center, and Worldbuilders and runs until Tuesday, January 25.



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


talien

Community Supporter
I just want to state that this is my primary means for finding out about and backing Humble Bundles. Thanks Darryl!
 

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