log in or register to remove this ad

 

News Digest for the Week of March 26

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! New Critical Role novel announced, Dungeons & Dragons television series update, ex-Blizzard executives reveal 5e campaign setting book, 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 Claudio Pozas to talk about art and RPGs.


Legendary Adventures cover snapshot.jpg

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

tvdad01.jpg

We’ve got an update on the Dungeons & Dragons television series from John Wick creator Derek Kolstad. The intention is to create a smaller series focused on a “tinier sliver” of the world, with comparisons to the original Star Wars: A New Hope where things like the Clone Wars or major players like Jabba the Hutt are mentioned but not seen, or the first Rambo film titled First Blood which is less “massive battle in the jungle” and more “PTSD-scarred veteran eludes small town police in the woods”. Kolstad also said it would be set in “deeper and deeper into the Underdark”. He did also say that he wanted it at the “end” of any canonical metaplot so that his events would take place after everything was “canonical…it happened” and build a new future, which may be challenging with an ongoing property like most Dungeons & Dragons settings. So far, the television show does not have a network and this is very early production planning, so everything involved is subject to change.

kithandkin.png

A new prequel novel for Critical Role is set for release this October featuring the twins Vex’ahlia and Vax’ildan. Written by Marieke Nijkamp, author of the New York Times #1 Bestsellers This Is Where It Ends, Before I Let Go, and Even If We Break, the story focuses on the backstory of the twin characters played by Laura Bailey and Liam O’Brien on the original Vox Machina campaign of Critical Role. From the Amazon sales copy:

After leaving the unwelcoming refuge of Syngorn, the twins become entangled in a web spun by the Clasp, and for the first time Vex and Vax find themselves on opposite sides of a conflict that threatens the home they have carried with each other for years.

And yes, for those worried, the bear animal companion Trinket will make an appearance. The book is available for pre-order now in hardcover and Kindle and is scheduled for an October 26, 2021, release.

auroboros.jpg

Warchief Gaming, the publisher created by two former Blizzard executives, announced their first project, the 5e setting Auroboros: Coils of the Serpent coming to Kickstarter next month. The game comes from former Blizzard vice president Chris Metzen who previously worked on titles including Warcraft and Diablo based on his homebrew D&D setting. Another former Blizzard alum, Ryan Collins, handled lead development on the setting book which is described as a “very rock-and-roll” take on traditional fantasy settings. The land of Lawbrand is a collection of trade cities that are more urbanized and industrial where Auroboros (the mythical serpent eating its own tail) is a dangerous source of chaotic magical power characters can tap into via tattoos. The setting book will include five new playable races and four new subclasses along with a full detailing of the game world. Warchief Publishing was formerly a private gaming club that was converted into a publishing company by Metzen along with Mike Gilmartin, another former vice president at Blizzard, this past October. The Kickstarter for Auroboros: Coils of the Serpent will launch on April 20.

steve jackson games.jpg

Steve Jackson Games posted their 2020 Stakeholders Report documenting the company’s achievements in 2020 and their plans for the future. Unfortunately, 2020 was not any kinder to company than it was to most of us, and though they managed to not lay off any staff, the company’s gross income was down from the previous year. Several issues with manufacturing and shipping have caused issues and the general change of the market landscape meant that new games underperformed compared to expectations. The long-overdue Car Wars Sixth Edition, which raised more than $1 million via crowdfunding between Kickstarter and BackerKit, has faced multiple delays due to the pandemic and other causes but is scheduled to come out this year in time for the game’s 40th anniversary. Under the “Priorities for 2021” section, survival is listed as first and foremost for the company with new games given the lowest priority, with the warning that, depending on market factors, Steve Jackson Games may not release any new games in 2021 in favor of supporting “evergreen” titles such as Munchkin and GURPS in hopes of starting 2022 on stronger footing.

fiveparsecs.jpg

Modiphius announced Five Parsecs from Home, a narrative-driven miniature wargame geared toward solo play. The game is part reprint, part new edition, and part expansion of the original game from Nordic Weasel Games designed by Ivan Sorenson. Players will take on the role of “a ragtag crew of galactic trailblazers and head out to explore the stars, pick up jobs, and every now and then – engage in some action-packed sci-fi combat”. Five Parsecs from Home is designed for solo play but also has rules for cooperative games in order to tell an ongoing story of space exploration, aliens, robots, and more. Combat encounters are procedurally generated with each one providing experience and equipment to advance your characters. And for those of you balking at having to prime and paint another set of miniatures, the game is designed to be “miniature agnostic” so you can bring any miniatures you already have. The 184-page hardcover is currently scheduled for a May release with a retail price of £25 (US$34.22 on Modiphius’s website).

frame.png

The tabletop roleplaying game Frame inspired by the looter-shooter video game genre made famous by games such as Borderlands, Destiny, and Warframe was abruptly cancelled the same day. Dicebreaker, in interviewing designer Spencer Campbell, says it was not copyright issues but toxic fan communities that caused the project to be pulled. Campbell, who previously published the game Light which was also inspired by the video game Destiny, says that the online Warframe community found out about the crowdfunding effort and began harassment ranging from personal messages to public accusations of plagiarism on social media while tagging Warframe developer Digital Extremes with calls such as “What are you gonna do about it?” The attacks on Twitter, Reddit, and other outlets were severe enough Campbell could not continue, saying “I couldn’t do three weeks of this because I was only two hours into it and felt like dying”. Of course, the tabletop roleplaying game community is built on inspiration from works in other media going all the way back to the Tolkien, Vance, Lieber, and Burroughs references throughout the original Dungeons & Dragons. Campbell said he has decided to take Frame back to the drawing board to remove all Warframe-inspired content, stating “I have no intention of ever going near the Warframe community, in the near future or ever again.”

wisewizards.jpg

Boardgame publisher White Wizard Games has changed its name to Wise Wizard Games following feedback from their community. The publisher of Star Realms did not cite any specific complaints about the name in the press release but noted that the original name “was a throwback to Gandalf, the iconic fantasy character” but needed to change as the company looks to broaden their product lines. The press release also announced Riders of Chaos, an arena battle game from Richard Garfield (creator of Magic: The Gathering), and Robot Quest Arena, a deckbuilding game from Perfect Day Games, along with new expansions for Star Realms and Hero Realms. The name change also comes with an updated website available at wisewizardgames.com.


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.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Darryl Mott

Darryl Mott


Paragon Lost

Terminally Lost
SJG, is a company I've been a fan of since their inception. That said they've made repeated errors in my opinion on how they produce, market and look at expanding GURPs. It's been very annoying over the last twenty plus years in particular at how they've approached and managed GURPs. :/ I done my part and bought a decent amount of SJG items last year including backing several Kickstarter's as I've done every year for the past few years actually. Though I'm growing more and more tired and frustrated with how they manage GURPS in particular and purchasing their other items just to support them is growing thin. (shrugs) Ah well, frustrating.
 


Abstruse

Legend
SJG, is a company I've been a fan of since their inception. That said they've made repeated errors in my opinion on how they produce, market and look at expanding GURPs. It's been very annoying over the last twenty plus years in particular at how they've approached and managed GURPs. :/ I done my part and bought a decent amount of SJG items last year including backing several Kickstarter's as I've done every year for the past few years actually. Though I'm growing more and more tired and frustrated with how they manage GURPS in particular and purchasing their other items just to support them is growing thin. (shrugs) Ah well, frustrating.
This might be your year then because, based on the report, they're focusing on established brands because new games are too risky. Makes sense, can't market them at conventions which is one of their major marketing avenues. So they're going to focus more on Munchkin (as their obvious cashcow franchise) plus The Fantasy Trip and GURPS.

And yeah, they didn't do great in 2020 but it could've been a lot worse. They managed to make it through the year with the pandemic and all the manufacturing and shipping and tariff issues without laying off a single employee. I'd say that's a pretty big accomplishment.
 

Paragon Lost

Terminally Lost
This might be your year then because, based on the report, they're focusing on established brands because new games are too risky. Makes sense, can't market them at conventions which is one of their major marketing avenues. So they're going to focus more on Munchkin (as their obvious cashcow franchise) plus The Fantasy Trip and GURPS.

And yeah, they didn't do great in 2020 but it could've been a lot worse. They managed to make it through the year with the pandemic and all the manufacturing and shipping and tariff issues without laying off a single employee. I'd say that's a pretty big accomplishment.

My issues with GURPs in particular and this is a problem with their fan base as well, is that they've chosen a very rigid and narrow point of view on how they develop material for GURPs. They've been really stubborn on their mindset that GURPS is a tool kit and they and their fans push back at development of anything else for GURPs much to my annoyance. Once in a while they dip their toes into doing otherwise (points to Traveller campaign setting for 3e) and their individual source books.

When it comes to say developing a whole world with follow up adventures, sourcebooks, campaign supplements etc they've been very resistant. Yrth they did do a few things with and Conan as well though most of extra work was solo material and as I mentioned Traveller which they did a lot of stuff with though having Loren working on and driving that was a big deal. What fans of SJG and SJG themselves apparently don't recognise as being important (my experiences on their forums and on Reddit) is that free time and creative free time in particular is something that many find themselves in short supply of.

Having a toolkit is awesome, don't get me wrong, but having the structure of pre made works for a campaign, setting or adventures is not something to be ignored. Hell they've dragged ass for almost two decades on finishing the update of making more of the baseline GURPS 3e stuff 4e. It's a mess and honestly I am not a fan of 4e as it currently is laid out and over all works though there are some parts that I like that I feel are improvements.

Added I've found myself not really a big fan of Sean Punch in particular. I feel that he's overall hurt GURPs, looking back over the years and as his influence grew changed how GURPs felt in my opinion. I'm sure he's a fine person but I am not a fan of his oversight of the game, it's direction nor his point of view and approach. Looking back over the years I found myself enjoying the GURPs books that came out from say 1997/99-ish and before more than the later books though there are some exceptions of course. Anyhow I'm just rambling on and venting on fifteen plus years of frustration on where GURPs is today. I'm sure you have your own rants about your passion (Shadowrun) as well. :)
 


Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
Time and creative free time in particular is something that many find themselves in short supply of.

Having a toolkit is awesome, don't get me wrong, but having the structure of pre made works for a campaign, setting or adventures is not something to be ignored.
I agree, a GURPS adventure path would be great, I would pick it up in a heartbeat.
 

Related Articles

Visit Our Sponsor

Latest threads

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top