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News Digest for the Week of March 5

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news. More D&D movie casting news plus character names, a new open-world Dungeons & Dragons video game on its way, Kickstarter controversy, 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 Jonathan Tweet to talk about Everway.


And you can also get a free preview of our normally Patreon-only Bonus Content episode including discussing the OGL, the future of the RPG industry, miniature painting, and more with Jonathan Tweet. If you want more bonus content like this, our Patreon backers get immediate access to the entire back-catalog of Bonus Content episodes plus new episodes the day following the main podcast's release.


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In case you missed it elsewhere on EN World this week:
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More Dungeons & Dragons movie news as two new cast members have been announced for the big-screen adaptation of the roleplaying game. Hugh Grant (Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, and many other films where he plays the awkwardly-charming British person in an American rom-com) has been cast as the villain of the film. And in the first bit of plot-related information, we have the name of this character via Vulture: Forge Fletcher. Also announced was Sophia Lillis (It, It Chapter Two, Gretel & Hanzel), who will be playing a character named Doric. Grant and Lillis join Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Justice Smith, and Rege-Jean Page in the film (whose roles have yet to be announced) with the writer/director team of Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley.

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Hidden Path Entertainment posted several job openings for a video game taking place inside the Dungeons & Dragons franchise. The game will use the Unreal 4 engine and is described by company as “AAA, third-person, open-world fantasy RPG”. To break down those terms: “AAA” is typically used in the video game industry to denote a top-tier level of quality and budget, akin to mainstream releases from companies like Electronic Arts, Activision-Blizzard, Ubisoft, etc. “Third-person” means that you will see your character on-screen as you play like in Witcher, Mass Effect, or Grand Theft Auto as opposed to first-person like Dishonored, Call of Duty, or Cyberpunk 2077 or the ability to switch perspectives like the Fallout and Elder Scrolls franchises. “Open-world” means there is not a linear plot that you must follow and players are free to explore the world as they wish similar to games like Grand Theft Auto 5, Fallout 4, and Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. So this will be a large project and will likely take years before we know exactly what it is as video game companies typically don’t announce many details until closer to release, and an open-world RPG at that scale can take five or more years to develop. Hidden Path Entertainment previously worked on titles like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with Valve, the HD edition of Age of Empires II, and the VR game Witchblood as well as contributing models to Left 4 Dead 2. This will be their first AAA open-world RPG release.

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TLB Games and Legends of Roleplaying have obtained a license to the library of RPG work by Rob Kuntz. Kuntz was part of Gary Gygax’s gaming group and was part of the first Blackmoor games with Dave Arneson to demonstrate the game to the Lake Geneva gaming group. He participated in many early playtests of Dungeons & Dragons and other roleplaying games throughout the early history of TSR and beyond. The license includes Kuntz’s early levels for Castle Greyhawk from 1974 and Castle El Raja Key, which was used in the playtest for Dungeons & Dragons in 1973 and 1974. The RJK Estate also stated that they are looking to license this and other material to companies seeking to develop 5e products based on the original works.

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HeroForge announced three new wheelchair options for custom miniatures. The three wheelchairs, available under the “Mounts” section of the miniature creation site, include two fantasy variations (the Town Wheelchair and Battle Wheelchair) and one Modern option (which is similar to medical/hospital wheelchairs). The wheelchairs can be painted for color miniatures and have custom options for wheels and handles with multiple poses available. The announcement came on March 1, which is International Wheelchair Day.

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A Kickstarter campaign titled The Perfect RPG caused controversy over the weekend due to its inclusion of Adam Koebel as a designer on the project. The project, created by Kickstarter Vice President of Community and former Head of Games for the company Luke Crane, featured an impressive list of over twenty designers. However, the list was presented in reverse alphabetical order by first name in order to place Adam Koebel at the bottom of the list. Koebel was previously embroiled in controversy last year when he, as gamemaster on the live stream Far Verona, roleplayed out the sexual assault of a player character without the player’s foreknowledge or consent. The incident led to the cancellation of the live stream and Koebel’s removal from future live streams on the Rollplay network as well as Modiphius to remove him as a developer on the Dune roleplaying game. Several designers working on The Perfect RPG stated via social media posts that they were unaware of Koebel’s involvement prior to the Kickstarter going live.

Crane canceled the project within hours of launch after several of the creators requested to be removed. In a backer-only post on the Kickstarter, Crane stated that he “decided to cancel the project as I can no longer offer you what was promised. Many designers withdrew or were harassed to withdraw due to my including Adam Koebel as a designer of one of these games.” No designer who was involved with the project reported any harassment to withdraw from the project, and others have explicitly stated they requested their removal of their own accord and had not experienced any harassment. Boardgame designer Eric Lang posted an open letter to Crane who he called “a friend” to address the controversy and apologize, specifically pointing out that as a vice president at Kickstarter, Crane has a large amount of power and influence over the platform, a point which former Pathfinder and Guild Wars 2 designer Jessica Price expanded on in her post on Twitter. At the time of writing, neither Luke Crane nor Kickstarter have released any statements.

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Modiphius announced the release date for Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20 – March 9, 2021. This new version of the World War II meets Mythos will use Modiphius’s 2d20 system to allow players to join Britain’s Section M, the United States’s Majestic, or the Resistance as they stop the cosmic-horror fueled Nazi warrior-sorcerers known as the Black Sun. The launch line-up includes the Player’s Guide, Gamemaster’s Guide, Gamemaster’s Screen Toolkit, two different custom dice sets, and a Black Sun Exarch Collector’s Edition. There will also be bundles available, and for those interested in an early look at the setting, the QuickStart is currently free on DriveThruRPG.

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Speaking of Modiphius, the Fallout: Wasteland Warfare bundle is in its final week. This bundle features the rulebooks for both the skirmish wargame Wasteland Warfare and its RPG expansion book plus STL files for 3D printers to create your own terrain from the Fallout setting such as Red Rocket stations, Vertibirds, Vault-related terrain and accessories, and more. This bundle benefits the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and runs until Wednesday, March 10. For those podcasters, streamers, and YouTubers out there or anyone who wants some good background music for their games, the Big Music 2 Bundle features a wide selection of royalty-free music from several different genres. The bundle features a total of 30 bundles of songs and loops sorted by mood (horror, action, romantic), genre (rock, metal, electronic), and by theme (fantasy, space, dramatic). This bundle benefits the Prevent Cancer Foundation and Save the Children and runs until Wednesday, March 10.


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




lyle.spade

Adventurer
Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20 is really good. I was part of the closed playtest for the Quickstart and both the Player's Guide and GM's Guide, and the system ran smoothly and helped promote what felt like the spot-on right two-fisted pulp take on both WW2 and Lovecraftian horror. I know there are a few typos, still, in the QS, but nothing worth getting bunched up about.

I think one of the high points of this interpretation of 2d20 is the magic system, which is very cleanly cut into 'battle magic' and 'ritual magic,' which operate along different lines and left us with a strong sense, in play, of the different kinds of magic we see in movies and books. Both worked well in the story, and seeing what's offered for both in the PG I think it'd make for good stories in longer play.
 



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