• The VOIDRUNNER'S CODEX is coming! Explore new worlds, fight oppressive empires, fend off fearsome aliens, and wield deadly psionics with this comprehensive boxed set expansion for 5E and A5E!

News Digest for the Week of March 24

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! D&D Direct coming next week, Free RPG Day changes dates, ICv2 quarterly sales numbers for TTRPGs are in, 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’...

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! D&D Direct coming next week, Free RPG Day changes dates, ICv2 quarterly sales numbers for TTRPGs are in, 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, Russ and Peter play catch-up after the week off to cover the last two week’s news.


In case you missed it elsewhere on EN World this week:

Wizards of the Coast announced D&D Direct, a 30-minute live-streamed special updating plans for the future. The pre-recorded video presentation hosted by Gina Darling and Ify Nwadiwe featuring the first look at the new Dungeons & Dragons virtual tabletop and a look at upcoming tie-ins for Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. The stream will be available on the official D&D channel (Twitch, YouTube) and the D&D Beyond channel (Twitch, YouTube) starting at 9 AM Pacific on Tuesday, March 28. You can also likely find the stream on other tabletop RPG channels as Wizards of the Coast is encouraging co-streaming and watch parties. After the video, the D&D Beyond twitch channel will have a live stream “post-show party” starting at 9:30 AM Pacific with more announcements, highlights, and special guests.


Wizards of the Coast also posted a new video on the OneD&D playtest. The video talks about the launch of the survey for the current playtest packet covering the druid and paladin classes as well as the results of the survey on the expert class. They address the reactions to the druid wildshape change stating that, if they retain that approach, they will add more flexibility to the three templates and, if they revert to monster stat blocks as the current version of the class, they may allow druids to choose a limited number of forms with default choices provided. They also addressed concerns about the paladin smite ability and clarified it’s still intended to work with critical hits and, if they decide to continue with ranged smite attacks, the damage may be adjusted. As far as the survey results, the ranger scored well but many missed the options available with the hunter subclass. The lore bard’s class features scored well but overall the rating was mediocre for the subclass. Survey respondents cite the loss of the additional magical secrets ability as it was a key attraction of the subclass. The limitation on the rogue’s sneak attack to not work with reactions and other off-turn attacks scored poorly. Finally, the feats all scored well with the exception of the epic boons, which were already updated in the newest playtest packet. The survey of the newest packet covering druids and paladins is available now and runs until April 10.


ICv2 released its sales reports for the fall quarter of 2022 and, surprise surprise, the top tabletop RPG was Dungeons & Dragons. The second best seller on the list was Pathfinder and 5e OGL products were third, which has more or less become the standard for the charts since the addition of 5e OGL products to the list. The final two entries are the ones that tend to vary based on popularity at the time, this quarter both taken by Renegade Game Studios titles with Vampire: The Masquerade at number four and Transformers at number five. ICv2’s sales rankings are determined by a survey of physical product sales numbers by interviewing hobby channel retailers, distributors, and manufacturers so does not include sales from mass-market channels like Amazon or Barnes & Noble. EN World has a chart of the top five sales numbers going back to 2004. ICv2 reports the hobby game industry overall has grown 10% in 2022, which is the 14th year in a row of year-on-year growth for the industry. There are similar reports for the best sellers in the categories of collectible games, non-collectible miniatures, board games, and card/dice games.


Free RPG Day 2023 has been pushed back a week to June 24, 2023. The move comes after the announcement from Wizards of the Coast that the pre-release event for the Magic: The Gathering licensed Lord of the Rings expansion will take place on the previous date of June 17. Paul Alexander Butler explained the reasoning to ICv2 (emphasis mine):

We try our best every year to schedule Free RPG Day in a way that allows game stores to get the most out of the event. The recent announcement of a hotly anticipated prerelease event on the 17th meant that stores would have to make a choice about what to feature. We know what side the bread is buttered on for a lot of stores and we don’t want this celebration of RPGs to feel less than in any way.

Participating companies include Paizo, Pelgrane Press, Modiphius Entertainment, Magpie Games, Steamforged Games, WizKids, Free League Publishing, Edge Studio, Goodman Games, and many others with retailer boxes expected to include 36 unique items with 180 items total in the box. Participating retailers can distribute the items in any way they choose for Free RPG Day so long as they do not directly charge for the items. You can use the search tool on the Free RPG Day website to find the nearest retailer, and if your local game store hasn’t signed up yet, they have until May 31 to purchase their Free RPG Day kit.


Chaosium announced the release dates for the updated core rulebook for Basic Roleplaying: The Universal Game Engine. This setting-neutral version of Chaosium’s D100 system will be released in April in PDF with a hardcover release later this year. The core book will include rules for character creation and advancement, combat, magic, psychic powers, mutations, superpowers, weapons, equipment, and vehicles covering a wide range of settings, time periods, and genres. This marks the first major overhaul to the generic core system rules since the original Basic Roleplaying core rulebook was released in 2007. Oh, and the game will be released under the Open RPG Creative License (aka ORC License), which is interesting as there haven’t been any updates on the progress of the ORC License since it was announced in January. This means the PDF release of Basic Roleplay next month may be the first product released under the ORC License and possibly may be our first look at the license altogether. Either way, the PDF will be on sale on Chaosium’s digital store and on DriveThruRPG.


Dicetale Games have partnered with Modiphius for the release of Blood and Doom including a free 500+ page primer. Blood and Doom is a dark fantasy RPG set in the world of Athyr where malevolent cults worship extradimensional entities known as the Heralds of Doom. The game uses a unique system with a d10 dice pool and fixed target numbers that players of the Chronicles of Darkness games will find vaguely familiar though with a lot of heavy tweaks and major changes. The free PDF primer (linked above) includes a core rules primer, two setting guides with Guide to Athyr and Twelve Pillars of Doom, and a soundtrack sampler from composer Knut Avenstroup Haugen (Conan Exiles, Dune: Awakening). You can sign up now for notifications for the upcoming Kickstarter for the full version of the game (yes, the 300+ page core rulebook included in the free bundle is not the full rules) which will expand to nine classes, eighteen archetypes, more than 60 new weapons, and over 350 traits, powers, and spells.

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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