News Digest for the Week of January 24

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! Pathfinder gets a new Lead Designer, Modiphius lands another big license, news on the RPG tie-ins Cyberpunk 2077 and the Dungeons & Dragons movie, and more!

And don’t forget to keep up with all of the gaming news on Morrus’ Unofficial Tabletop RPG Talk! This week, Morrus and Peter were joined by Matt Corley to talk about his new 5e horror RPG, Whispers in the Dark.


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In case you missed it this week on EN World.
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Paizo announced a new Lead Designer for Pathfinder 2nd Edition, Logan Bonner. Bonner’s credits stretch from Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 and 4e, Fantasy AGE including Dragon Age and Titansgrave, Marvel Heroic, Mistborn Adventure Game, and, of course, Pathfinder both first and second edition. The announcement came on Bonner’s Twitter account where he further stated “If there are products you’d like to see us make, things you’d like to see less or more of, send it my way! Note that we have a general policy of not answering individual rules questions on social media as we have other channels for that. That said, I like talking the philosophy of the game and am hoping to get more involved in public discussions about game design.” Additionally, Bonner said on Twitter that he is “interested in bringing new authors into the game for #Pathfinder2E, in addition to our great pool of 1E veterans.”

Mark Seifter announced on Twitter that he’s also received a promotion to Paizo Design Manager. On Twitter, he said, “Check out Logan's official announcement! And since it looks like we can mention these now, I am now officially Paizo's Design Manager. That means that I'm in charge of design consistency across various products and games, as well as departmental outreach and the design process.”

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Modiphius announced another video game license from Bethesda, the stealth assassin game Dishonored. Originally released in 2012 by Arkane Studios and distributed by Bethesda with sequels in 2016 and 2017, the Dishonored series is set in an alternate 19th Century Europe where the protagonist is an assassin with dark magical powers and access to steampunk-style technology. The game also had a chaos/order system that tracked the number of NPCs killed with in-game effects depending on how violent or pacifistically you play the game, not just affecting the ending but the gameplay throughout. Each mission had multiple paths to complete the mission for both chaos (violent) and order (pacifist) playstyles. The tabletop game is slated for a Summer 2020 release designed by Nathan Dowdell (Star Trek Adventures, Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of) based on Modiphius’s 2d20 System.

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While it’s been speculated for quite a while, we now have confirmation that the Dungeons & Dragons movie will be written and directed by the team of Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley after Goldstein tweeted the title page of the script. Goldstein and Daley co-wrote the screenplay for Spider-man Homecoming and directed the film Game Night and the reboot Vacation based on the Chevy Chase film series. Hollywood trade magazines speculated the two would get the job as far back as last summer when they entered talks with Paramount and Hasbro’s Allspark Pictures following the departure of Lego Batman director Chris McKay, but this is the first official confirmation that the duo signed on for the film. IMDB still lists the film with a 2021 release date. The picture above is unrelated other than I like to remind people they actually did make three films in the original D&D movie series because if I must have this knowledge, everyone else must suffer as well.

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In other big media tabletop RPG news, the CD Projekt Red video game Cyberpunk 2077 has pushed back its release six months to September 17, 2020. The official account of R. Talsorian Games, the creators of the Cyberpunk tabletop game the video game is based on, joined many on Twitter praising the delay to avoid “crunch” saying “Our friends at @CDPROJEKTRED have delayed the release of @CyberpunkGame and we absolutely support them in this. Taking the time to polish and test and do so in a way which puts less stress on the team is important. We love the folks at CDPR and want them healthy and chill.” However, CD Projekt Red quickly dispelled that by stating that they will, in fact, require employees to crunch.

“Crunch” is shorthand for the end period of a video game’s development where employees are forced to work mandatory overtime seven days a week with workweeks of 80 to 100 hours, a process CD Projekt Red had previously come under fire for using during development of Witcher 3 along with other developers such as BioWare, Rockstar Games, and Epic. This news follows a string of controversy surrounding the title including transphobic tweets from the official Cyberpunk Twitter account and other CD Projekt Red social media accounts, accusations of transphobic imagery in the E3 gameplay demo as well as racism in the names and character designs of NPCs and gangs in the demo.

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Paizo released two more previews of upcoming products. The first has more information about Lost Omens: Gods & Magic about the full pantheon of gods. The post tells of how the everyday people of Golarion worship one or more of the hundreds of deities before expanding on the different pantheons. Pantheons now have their own stat blocks that group together like-minded deities with central commonalities in origin, spheres of influence, and what powers they bestow to their followers. Four such pantheons are previewed, the Dwarf Pantheon, the Prismatic Ray of Desna, Shelyn, and Sarenrae, the Egyptian-influenced Wards of the Pharaoh (along with the promise of rules for Isis, Selket, and Thoth), and Pillars of Knowledge who seek understanding of the world. The sourcebook Lost Omens: Gods & Magic is due for release on January 29 with a retail price of $34.99.

Additionally, a second preview of the Starfinder Deck of Many Worlds doesn’t have quite as much detail but does include a contest. The page includes a layout of cards to randomly generate a world and it’s up to you to write the description of that world. “Using the rules reference cards from the deck (a free download available here) design your concept for the world shown below and propose it in the comments [on the Paizo website]. The submissions that are marked as a favorite the most times will be included in the running to have an official writeup by a member of the Starfinder team in a forthcoming blog entry into the Codex of Worlds!” The Starfinder Deck of Many Worlds will be available on February 11 with a retail price of $19.99.

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Tabletop games once again dominated at Kickstarter in 2019. The Games category raked in $219 million overall with $176.3 million of that coming from tabletop games. The number of successfully-funded projects has also gone up to 3734 (up from 3301 in 2018) with 2713 of those belonging to tabletop games. Meanwhile, video game Kickstarters have leveled off since 2016 maintaining an average of 350-390 successful campaigns per year raising a total of between $15.8 and $17.6 million collectively. The top ten most successful tabletop campaigns raised $31.6 million, almost double what video games earned across the board. Oh, and while they used the above image of Critical Role in the column, the figures above do not include their record-breaking Kickstarter as it was in the Animation category. So if you want to include them, tack on another $11.3 million for tabletop games.

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The Black Library and Humble got together to create a unique bundle featuring a total of 18 ebooks in the Warhammer 40K universe in three different languages. Every single book in this bundle is available in not just English but also in French, and German as well including books like Horus Rising, Dark Imperium, Soul Wars, and more. Even the $1 level gets you five books and, with your support, not only gives money to charity but also encourages other publishers to do the same in the future so more people around the world can enjoy these books. Insert a joke about it being heresy not to here.

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Are you looking for a game with the sort of low-magic, high-adventure style of classic fantasy literature? Gallant Knight Games is Kickstarting a second edition of The Hero’s Journey perfect for exploration of the wilds where magic is still mysterious and rare. The game is based on the TinyD6 system which uses a small dice pool for task resolution and the system itself has been overhauled from the first edition to be more streamlined and focused on the specific tone and theme of Tolkienesque fantasy. The PDF is available for $15, the softcover for $25, and hardcover for $40 with other options specifically for international backers. This project is fully funded and runs until Friday, January 31.

For something completely different, Casting the Runes is an investigative RPG using the Gumshoe system and based on the ghost stories and tales of author M. R. James. The game gets its name from one of James’s stories which was adapted into the film Night of the Demon in 1957, just one of James’s stories to be adapted for radio, television, and film. The game is set in the Edwardian era and casts the players in the role of occult investigators of various types exploring the supernatural and uncovering arcane mysteries. The PDF is available for CA$20 (about US$16), a standard edition for CA$40 (about US$31), and a deluxe edition for CA$85 (about US$65). This Kickstarter is fully funded and runs until Monday, February 3.



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 have a marathon BattleTech stream scheduled for my birthday on Saturday and I’ll be starting 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.
 
Darryl Mott

Comments

As long as Courtney Solomon and Sweetpea Entertainment continue to have a hold on the D&D License, they will continue to be a cancer on the D&D movie line.

I don't even think that Joe Manganiello could save the D&D movie while they (Sweetpea/Solomon) are still involved with it...
 

Abstruse

Adventurer
As long as Courtney Solomon and Sweetpea Entertainment continue to have a hold on the D&D License, they will continue to be a cancer on the D&D movie line.

I don't even think that Joe Manganiello could save the D&D movie while they (Sweetpea/Solomon) are still involved with it...
I'm not sure Sweatpea still has any actual control over this film, at least in any meaningful way. Their deal was with Warner Bros. and the settlement over the rights required that the film start production by a specific deadline that I believe passed two years ago.

Also, Joe Manganiello doesn't have anything to do with this film. The script he's been shopping around is for Dragonlance, which was specifically excluded from all rights deals for the film franchise even going back to the TSR days (Fun Fact: it's the reason Fifth Age happened and they made the SAGA System Dragonlance game...if it wasn't a "Dungeons & Dragons" game anymore, it wasn't part of the film license) so anything Joe's doing is completely separate from this film and his own thing. Well, and Margaret Weis apparently...
 

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