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News Digest for the Week of March 19

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! Gen Con happening in-person this year, D&D Dark Alliance gameplay trailer, Paizo releases combat tracking app, ICv2 quarterly sales reports are in, and more!

Don’t forget, you can get all the news every week with Morrus’ Unofficial Tabletop RPG Talk! This week, Morrus and Peter are joined by Sam and Kay Bartlett of Roll & Play Press to talk about The Fantasy Character Kit.


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In case you missed it elsewhere on EN World this week:
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Gen Con 2021 will officially be an in-person physical convention again this year taking place in Indianapolis, Indiana, from September 16-19. While many areas of the United States are still under lockdown conditions, the vaccination program for COVID-19 is going strong and the government announced an estimated date for full adult vaccination of May 1, making the autumn return of the convention a safer prospect. In order to maintain safety for guests and exhibitors, there will be a lower attendance cap and other possible restrictions on activities depending on guidance from local, state, and federal government agencies as well as the Center for Disease Control. The statement released also stresses that things may change depending on the course of the pandemic, which is understandable considering that plans for even normal-sized events take months let alone a convention the size of Gen Con.

For those who are unable to make travel arrangements, the convention will continue to run Gen Con Online with live-streamed and remote-accessible events and the Gen Con Pop-Up program to bring convention exclusives to local gaming stores. There are also multiple options for those who already purchased badges such as those who rolled over badge purchases from 2020, including the option to roll over the badge to 2022, exchanging the full value of the purchase for (non-refundable, non-transferable, does not expire) credit with Gen Con for future event purchases, or a refund of the badge price minus a 5% processing fee.

The date change has met with some controversy as the Jewish High Holy Day of Yom Kippur takes place from sunset on September 15 until sunset on September 16. Gen Con updated their statement on Thursday with the following statement:

‘We understand that our date change places Gen Con on Yom Kippur. We recognize the seriousness of this conflict and the valid disappointment felt by our Jewish attendees and exhibitors. During the course of investigating our options, this was unfortunately the only date we could take that maintained an opportunity for us to still run Gen Con this year.

We intend on offering accommodations to our Jewish fans and vendors, including on-site Erev Yom Kippur service. You can check the Help Center article “What will Gen Con be doing for Yom Kippur?” for more information as it becomes available.’

The Gen Con announcement comes one day following a similar update from UK Games Expo in Birmingham, England, that their in-person convention will also be scaled back due to renovations at the host hotel and limited convention hall availability but still take place in person from July 30 – August 1 this year.

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The new Dungeons & Dragons action game Dark Alliance released an official gameplay trailer. As opposed to the emulated-GoPro announcement trailer from last year, this new trailer gives us an indication of the gameplay but doesn’t lose the style as the gameplay footage is accompanied by Ozzy Osborne’s “Straight to Hell”. The gameplay shows a focus on third-person combat with each of the four characters filling a different role in the fast-paced combat, though you will have the option to customize their abilities through a skill tree and equipment choices. There will also be multiple difficulty settings to get the experience you want from the game, whether you prefer to micromanage your stamina meter and tactically choose your abilities and combos with precise timing or you just want to just pick up the game and mash buttons (my preferred way to play if I’m honest). While the game will release on X-Box, Playstation, and Windows PC (via Steam), the co-op focused game will not allow cross-play between systems so make sure to pick up the same version your friends are getting. The Standard Edition can be pre-ordered now ahead of the June 22 release for $39.99 as well as the Digital Deluxe Bundle for $59.99 which includes in-game bonus items and access to the “Echoes of the Blood War” expansion.

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Paizo announced the Pathfinder 2nd Edition Combat Tracker app to recreate the utility of the Combat Pad. The app is meant to re-create the usefulness of the Combat Pad’s dry-erase magnets for initiative, hit point, and status tracking on Android and iOS devices and improve upon it with online functionality. Users can use the “Gamemaster Mode” to simply use the tracker as a digital replacement for the combat pad, or players at the same game can link their apps together so everyone can see the board via Bluetooth in person or over the internet for remote games. Yes, even across platforms. The app is available now for $2.99 from the Apple App Store and from Google Play.

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ICv2 released their quarterly sales report for the fourth quarter of 2020 and Dungeons & Dragons still dominates the sales in tabletop RPGs. While Dungeons & Dragons takes the number one sales spot and Pathfinder number two, the next three entries are interesting changes as Cyberpunk takes number three, Alien is number four, and the fifth most-selling RPG is Fate. ICv2 also tracks the top-selling board games (Pandemic morbidly takes the top spot there), non-collectible card and dice games (Codenames topping that list), collectible card and miniature games (Magic: The Gathering being no surprise at the top), and non-collectible miniatures (Warhammer 40K coming in at number one while Warhammer Age of Sigmar is at number five). Sales charts cover physical sales in hobbyist retail outlets and crowdfunding sales through platforms like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo.

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Modiphius released a new quickstart boxed set for the Star Trek Adventures roleplaying game specifically for the core rules centered on the Klingon Empire. The 37-page free PDF features a streamlined version of the 2d20 System rules presented in the Star Trek Adventures: Klingon Core Rulebook released last year. The download also includes the introductory adventure “The Tip of the Bat’leth” and six pre-generated Klingon warrior player characters. Project Manager Jim Johnson also posted a blog entry discussing the process for creating the quickstart.

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Roll20 has added the Savage Worlds Adventure Edition to its platform, available from the site’s marketplace. The system is available in two bundles. The SWADE Compendium Bundle available for $24.99 includes the Savage Worlds Adventure Edition core rules, multiple character sheets (with drag-and-drop elements like skills, hindrances, edges, gear, and powers), a bestiary with tokens for each entry, over 180 additional images for weapons/armor and vehicles, and pre-programmed macros. The Savage Worlds Core Rules Bundle available for $34.99 includes everything in the Compendium Bundle plus the Savage Worlds Action Deck and Savage Worlds Adventure Deck. The two decks are also available individually for $4.99 and $9.99 respectively.

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Some things come and go far too fast, as the popular casual farming simulator slash dating simulator slash dungeon crawler Stardew Valley got a board game adaptation…that sold out the same day it launched. The game is a co-operative streamlining of the experience as players work together each season to attempt to complete six bundles of items to restore the Community Center and complete four of the goals set out by your Grandpa, who gave you the farmstead in Stardew Valley. The players work together to plan each season’s activities to gather the proper resources before the final season card is drawn and the evil Joja Corporation wins in its attempt to industrialize the small village. The game was available for $55.00 before selling out following a quiet, unadvertised launch coinciding with the video game’s fifth anniversary. Currently, games are going for over $200 on eBay and other auction site, though Stardew Valley creator has asked people on Twitter not to support scalpers and that reprints and shipping options outside the United States are coming soon.


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


wicked cool

Adventurer
dark alliance-top right corner is the ice troll. Not sure why they keep messing with the design of trolls. the troll was iconic and fine as it was.

it makes it more cartoony . Has to be an editor/writer telling an artist-I really don't like trolls they are 2 scary for my children or something like that.
 

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