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News Digest for the Week of January 17

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news. Did you hear that Wizards of the Coast is making a Critical Role D&D sourcebook? We’ve also got more Pathfinder 2e previews, a new Unearthed Arcana for Dungeons & Dragons, custom color minis from HeroForge, and more!

Don’t forget, you can catch up on all the news on Morrus’ Unofficial Tabletop RPG Talk podcast! This week, Morrus and Peter count down the top RPG podcasts of 2019 as voted on by you!


In case you missed it on EN World this week:

I was a bit cheeky in the intro to the column, but it seems the talk of the internet RPG community has been The Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount from Critical Role’s Matt Mercer, which was announced early by Amazon with the cover leaking early from Barnes & Noble before being officially announced later on Monday. The setting book made it all the way to #1 on Amazon. Not just in roleplaying games. Not just in fantasy. The number one top seller in all books. Matt Mercer went to Reddit to talk about the project and the year and a half he’s spent developing it. Wildemount is the same world used in both seasons of Critical Role. A previous campaign setting book for the world was published by Green Ronin in 2017 as Critical Role: TalDorei Campaign Setting, though that book is no longer available on Green Ronin’s website or on DriveThruRPG (though physical copies are still available at the time of writing on Amazon). The Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount will be available March 17 with a retail price of $49.95.


Wizards of the Coast posted a new Unearthed Arcana article with four new subclasses. The PDF is listed as “Subclasses, Part 1”, promising more such expansions in the near future. The Barbarian gets the Path of the Beast subclass which includes shapeshifter-like powers and abilities. The Monk has the Way of Mercy, a healing-focused subclass that allows characters to use their ki pool to heal or to harm. The Paladin’s new oath is the Oath of the Watchers focusing on vigilance, loyalty, and discipline to protect the mortal realm from otherworldly threats. Finally, Warlocks have a new patron in The Noble Genie with a split between elemental effects, binding to other creatures, treasure hoarding, and, of course, wishes.


The HeroForge 2.0 Kickstarter is in full swing and, as of the time of writing, has already raised more than $1.5 million. The crowdfunding effort is for more than just an update to the interface for the custom printed miniature company, but a complete overhaul of their process to allow for full-color miniatures. For those who haven’t used HeroForge before, you pick a miniature from a number of blank templates then choose the options you want for clothing, armor, weapons, gear, accessories, poses, and more to create exactly the miniature you want in multiple genres including fantasy, science fiction, steampunk, Old West, modern day, and more all able to be mixed-and-matched. The backer levels for the new color miniatures are pricy ($39 for one mini, $75 for two, and up from there to a $10,000 level for 250 miniatures), but still comparable to professional miniature painting services or the cost of a custom unpainted mini plus the supplies to paint it yourself. The Kickstarter funded in a matter of minutes and will run until February 13.


Paizo released a free PDF for Pathfinder 2nd Edition, the Extinction Curse Player’s Guide. This circus-themed book is an eight-page overview to prepare players for the Extinction Curse Adventure Path which starts later this month with The Show Must Go On. The PDF gives an overview of the setting, tips for creating characters, how to get with your GM to create unique “circus tricks”, and several new backgrounds.

That’s not the only new release coming soon, as we’ve got another preview from the Lost Omens: Gods & Magic sourcebook. This preview shows some of the new options available that aren’t just for the divine-powered classes like Cleric or Champion like the Raised By Belief background which grants ability boosts and skills tied to your deity. We also get to see the new feats Battle Prayer, the spell Cup of Dust, the focus Winter Bolt, and the magic item Dreadsmoke Thurible. The Lost Omens: Gods & Magic is due out on January 29 with a retail price of $34.99.


Joe Manganiello took some time out last week to visit the UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and bring the patients there the magic of Dungeons & Dragons. Joe and his brother Nick sat down with three patients at the hospital to teach them the rules of D&D while running an adventure for them. The brothers also donated “several carts” of D&D starter sets, rulebooks, dice, and other accessories to the hospital. Manganiello said, “Kids should be allowed to play… to be kids while they’re going through these medical issues that are forcing them not to be kids, but to be grownups.”


So remember last week about all the layoffs at Asmodee and Fantasy Flight Games and worries for the state of the company? It seems as though the company isn’t doing that bad after all as they announced the acquisition of board game company Repos Production. This brings two more award-winning games under the Asmodee umbrella with the modern classic 7 Wonders and the 2019 Spiel des Jahres winner Just One. This acquisition brings the total number of publishers under the Asmodee umbrella to fourteen, including companies like Days of Wonder, Z-Man Games, Plaid Hat Games, Mayfair Games, and Catan Studio.


If you want more Starfinder setting options, Destiny Aurora is a campaign setting based on the novels by Frank J. Zanca. The 190-page book features new backgrounds, classes, alien species, ships, equipment, and more for the Starfinder RPG along with three factions: Coalition Officers, Renegades, and Dreggs. Not only that, but exploration is a key part of the setting as there’s a brand new starmap with new planets. There are also new rules for reputation both for individuals and your ship as you gain notoriety. The PDF is available for a $20 pledge, the hardcover for $40, a set of custom miniatures for $55, and more including an add-on to get the Starfinder Core Rulebook. This project is fully-funded and runs until Monday, January 27.

Here’s a concept I’m surprised I haven’t seen before, a 5e reusable wet/dry erase character sheet booklet. The sixteen-page booklet is fully reusable with every page wet/dry erase friendly with plenty of room for all your gear, feats, spells, and more plus a section for campaign notes to keep ahead of what’s going on. The PDF version of the character sheet is available for $5 if you like the layout, but the real magic is at the $16 level for one character booklet, $60 for four for a full party, and $112 for an eight-pack for larger groups. This project is fully-funded and runs until Tuesday, January 21.

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@enworldnews.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 where I’ll finish up The Outer Worlds and start Gabriel Knight with Shadowrun and Vampire designer and professional voice actor Kevin Czarnecki joining me, 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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