News Digest for the Week of March 10

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! D&D Beyond subscription free trial, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves character stat blocks, Games Workshop starts a new recycling program, community update for D&D, 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, Peter and Jessica talk about Live Action Roleplaying games.

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In case you missed it elsewhere on EN World this week:
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Promotion for Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is still going as D&D Beyond released a Thieves’ Gallery of character sheets for the film’s characters. However, don’t think you can use these to play the heroes in your own version of the game as these are all NPC stat blocks. Doric the Druid, Edgin the Bard, Holga the Barbarian, and Simon the Sorcerer are all Challenge 5 while Xenk the Paladin is Challenge 10, Forge the Rogue is Challenge 8, and the Big Bad Sofina the Red Wizard is Challenge 15. Be warned though, there are a few spoilers about the characters’ backgrounds that haven’t been revealed by the trailers yet such as ties to organizations like the Harpers and Emerald Enclave and someone with ancestral ties to Elminster.

Tie-in media has also made its way to store shelves as the prequel novels The Road to Neverwinter and The Druid’s Call are out now. Beth Rimmels has reviews of the backstory of Edgin, Holga, Simon, and Forge and the origins of the druid Doric (including addressing the Owlbear wildshape ability). Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves will premiere later today at the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas (so expect reviews to start popping up over the weekend) with a worldwide release on March 31, 2023.

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Wizards of the Coast also posted a community update on D&D Beyond this week with a new roadmap for Dungeons & Dragons. The update lists what they’ve accomplished so far for 2023, what they’re currently working on, and what is planned for the future. In the “Done” category, we have adding the SRD 5.1 to Creative Commons (which is interesting that this is presented as a goal when it was something they fought against until the position was clearly untenable), released 4 playtest packets for One D&D, and collected feedback via 3 surveys for player content (the fourth survey is scheduled to start March 20). Under “In Progress”, Wizards of the Coast plans to localize the SRD 5.1 into French, Italian, German, and Spanish (which will open up many avenues for creators in other countries), review previous editions for inclusion in Creative Commons (a move promised in the follow-up to the January 27 announcement due to requests for the 3rd Edition, 3.5 Edition, and D20 Modern SRDs to be released as well), publish our internal content policy for D&D products, and update the D&D core rules. Under “Upcoming”, they list “Ensure One D&D Rules Updates Are Compatible With Fifth Edition and the SRD”, which is likely to address comments that the playtest material presented so far is not compatible with the current SRD and would cause issues for third-party publishers.

The update also listed material that will be included in future playtest documents – Revisions for all classes in the Player’s Handbook, 48 subclasses, revised species, new and revised backgrounds, new and revised spells, new weapons options for certain classes, and future playtests for material from the Dungeon Master’s Guide and Monster Manual. An events schedule for 2023 was included including the online D&D Direct scheduled for this month, events to learn to play and to run D&D in local game stores in the US and Canada via WPN, and events at UK Games Expo, San Diego Comic Con, Fan Expo Canada, GeekGirlCon, Gamehole Con, PAX Unplugged, and a return to the big one, Gen Con where Wizards of the Coast has lacked an official presence since 2014.

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D&D Beyond announced a new 30-day free trial to their premium subscription. You can choose between the Hero or Master tiers of subscription when you sign up for the free trial and will be charged at that rate automatically when the trial period is complete. The regular price for the Hero subscription is $2.99/mo and the Master subscription which adds on the ability to share purchased content with other players is $5.99/mo with discounts available when purchasing 6 months or a full year at once. The free trial will unlock the exclusive monthly perk (which for March are custom character portrait frames themed around the adventure book Keys from the Golden Vault) and those perks will remain unlocked if the subscription is canceled.

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More mainstream praise for Dungeons & Dragons as the adventure anthology Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel has been named as a finalist for this year’s Nebula Awards. The book has stiff competition in the Game Writing category with video games Elden Ring, Horizon Forbidden West, Pentiment, Stray, and Vampire: The Masquerade – Sins of the Sirens also named as finalists. This is the seventh tabletop RPG product making the finalist list for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association’s prestigious Nebula Award and the first time a Dungeons & Dragons product has been nominated. Last year, tabletop games dominated the category with Coyote & Crow, Wanderhome, and Granma’s Hand along with the heavily tabletop RPG influenced video game Wildermyth and the winner for 2021 Thirsty Sword Lesbians. Previous TTRPG finalists include the Fate Accessibility Toolkit in 2019 and Scents and Siesmosos in 2020. The 58th Annual Nebula awards will be held in Anaheim, CA, as well as an online live stream on May 14, 2023.

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Monte Cook Games announced a Backerkit crowdfunding project for The Magnus Archives. The Magnus Archives is a horror fiction anthology podcast written and performed by Jonathan Sims as the Head Archivist of the Magnus Institute, a paranormal research organization based out of London. The podcast follows Sims as he attempts to document the supernatural events from reports filed along with a cast of additional characters at the Magnus Institute and an ongoing metaplot developing over the show’s run. The series has won multiple awards from various podcast award shows and the Best Audio category from the British Fantasy Awards. The roleplaying game will be designed by the Rusty Quill production team behind the podcast and published by Monte Cook Games, though little information is available at this time for the system or further details about the game. This marks the second fiction podcast Monte Cook Games has turned into an RPG following the release of Old Gods of Appalachia which raised just over $2 million in a Kickstarter in 2022. No date for the launch of the crowdfunding effort has been released, but the Backerkit pre-launch page currently has almost 7000 signed up to receive notification of the launch.

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Games Workshop announced a new recycling program for Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 miniature product waste. The Warhammer Recycling Programme will begin later this month at select UK Games Workshop stores with a “sprue bin” where players and miniature enthusiasts can drop off sprues, empty paint pots, and unwanted plastic miniatures for recycling. While paint pots do not need to be cleaned of acrylic paint residue, the program is unable to recycle metal or resin miniatures or waste products. Stores participating in the program at launch include Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton, Cambridge, Canterbury, Carlisle, Exeter, Ipswich, Glasgow, Lincoln, London (Tottenham Court Road), Kings Lynn, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Plymouth, Reading, Rotherham, Salisbury, Sheffield (Central), South Shields, Southampton, St Albans, Swansea, Warhammer World, and York. Games Workshop joins Atlas Games’ Replay Workshop as a major effort to encourage the recycling of products and reduce the waste footprint of the hobby games industry.


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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