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News Digest for the Week of May 22

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news. Big Dungeons & Dragons announcement coming soon, Gen Con and Essen Spiel canceled, Strontium Dog released, and more!

Don’t forget you can get all the week’s gaming news with Morrus’ Unofficial Tabletop RPG Talk! This week is our 100th episode special! Morrus and Peter are joined by Shane Stacks from the ShanePlays Podcast and some guy named Darryl Mott, no idea who he is or how he got on…


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

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Wizards of the Coast announced that they will be making an announcement! Yes, we’re going to keep making this joke as long as they keep doing it. Anyway, the new Dungeons & Dragons live event will be “Roll w/ Advantage” taking place on June 18-20 starting at 10:00 AM Pacific (2:00 PM Eastern, 7:00 PM BST) on the Dungeons & Dragons Twitch page. During the stream, Wizards of the Coast will announce the new big releases for later this year including a new storyline and new campaign setting.

On top of the big announcements, there will be several live-streamed games. Guests will include Janina Gavankar, Deborah Ann Woll, Thomas Middleditch, Sam Richardson, David Harbour, Anna Prosser, Brandon Routh, Matthew Lillard, Felicia Day, Amy Acker, Brian Posehn, Kevin Sussman, Xavier Woods, Tyler Breeze, Ember Moon, Alexa Bliss, and Dio Maddin. Okay, I think that’s everyone… The stream will raise money for Red Nose Day, which is part of Comic Relief (which also did a D&D live stream last week).

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Gen Con officially announce the cancellation of the 2020 convention due to concerns over COVID-19. Housing reservations made through the housing portal will be automatically cancelled and deposits refunded, while badge holders will receive an email for instructions (if you don’t file for a refund, your badge will be rolled to 2021). All pop-up Gen Con retail store events are also cancelled throughout the rest of the year. Gen Con has announced a virtual convention “replacement” in Gen Con Online, which will take place from July 30 – August 2. I’d say check out their website for more information, but at the time of writing that’s literally all the information on there.

The world’s other largest tabletop gaming convention, Essen Spiel, also announced the cancellation of the 2020 event. Oddly, they announced it as “we have to postpone this year’s SPEIL…to the date of 14th to 17th of October 2021” rather than announcing the event’s cancellation for this year since the event will be taking place around the same time as the 2021 convention would have been scheduled anyway.

This won’t stop the two associated gaming awards, however. The ENnies announced that the 2020 ceremony will move to a live stream hosted by Ken Hite and Robin Laws streamed on July 30 starting at 8 PM Eastern. Meanwhile, nominations for the 2020 Spiel des Jahres awards were announced shortly after the “postponement” of Essen Spiel. While they have not yet announced what format any ceremony will be, Spiel des Jahres usually announces the winners in advance of the convention on their website.

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Wyvern Gaming and R. Talsorian Games both announced product delays due to COVID-19. The 5e-based Stargate Roleplaying Game from Wyvern Gaming has been delayed until 2021 with the planned crowdfunding campaign moving to the fall. CEO Brad Ellis said:

“The main reason we decided to delay was that we felt that a lot of people are feeling a financial crunch at the moment and would only spending money on necessities for their families. Also because we had planned to launch at Gen Con 2020, but believe it is likely to be canceled or at the very least greatly diminished in attendance. We felt it would be prudent to delay the physical launch.”


R. Talsorian’s Cyberpunk Red is also being delayed with the release tentatively scheduled for late summer, but also said, “until the world calms down and things stop fluctuating, our crystal ball is full of fog.”

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In better news, Strontium Dog for Judge Dredd & the Worlds of 2000 AD is now available in PDF with pre-orders open for hardcovers. While not as high-profile as Judge Dredd, the Strontium Dog comics have been a staple of 2000 AD since 1978 following the adventures of Johnny Alpha and his team of bounty hunters as they go on adventures not only across the galaxy but across time itself (they literally went back in time to arrest Hitler so he could stand trial for his crimes). And yes, he’s had a few run ins with Judge Dredd over the years. And if you’re completely unfamiliar with the comic, style is very Guardians of the Galaxy meets Legends of Tomorrow with a mix of adventure and tongue-in-cheek comedy. This sourcebook requires Judge Dredd & the Worlds of 2000 AD core rulebook and features new careers and equipment, a galactic gazetteer, sample contracts, adventure seeds, and more. The PDF is available for £14.99 (US$18.14) while the pre-order for the hardcover (which includes the PDF) is £34.99 (US$42.35).

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Paizo announced a partnership with another live stream channel, this time Find the Path with their new series Tales from Darkmoon Vale. They will be playing through a conversion of the 2007 Free RPG Day adventure Hollow’s Last Hope using Pathfinder 2nd Edition. The players will include Heather Allen (Celestine the half-elf street urchin rogue), Jessica Peters (Clove the human herbalist barbarian), Jordan Jenkins (Amaranthe the elf scholar wizard), Rachel Sandidge (Astrea the Halfling laborer fighter), and Rick Sandidge (Grim the dwarf scout champion). I should note that technically it’s not a live stream as the videos will be pre-recorded, but each new episode will be available on their YouTube page every Wednesday starting next week on May 27.

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It’s the final week of the Warhammer 40,000: Deathwatch Bundle from Humble Bundle and Cubicle 7 benefiting Doctors Without Borders. The $1 level features the Core Rulebook for Deathwatch and two introductory adventures, while the top level of $18 gets you eighteen books worth over $270 as DRM-free PDFs. This bundle runs until Wednesday, May 27. For those of you creating your own videos, podcasts, live streams, or just want something to punch up your online games, Humble has a huge bundle of music available. Mystical, scary, medieval, cosmic, action, fantasy, or just “heavy riffs”, there’s something here that’s perfect for your needs. And it comes with a license for use both in personal and commercial projects. This bundle benefits Extra Life and No Kid Hungry and runs until Wednesday, May 27.

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What’s better than more third-party Starfinder monsters? How about more third-party Starfinder monsters from one of the creators of Starfinder? Owen K.C. Stephens, the original lead designer on Starfinder for Paizo, is currently crowdfunding Starfinder Adversaries: Legacy Beasts, a compendium of over 200 fantasy monsters updated both for Starfinder rules and for the science-fantasy setting. Undead dinosaurs? Uplifted owlbears? Mimic vending machines? What more could you want? There’s only one pledge level, the $22 PDF option that also allows you to get an at-cost print-on-demand copy. This project is fully funded and unlocking more stretch goals until Thursday, May 28. (Disclosure: Owen K.C. Stephens writes a column for EN World.)

If you want more character creation options for your 5e games, Ancestry Awakened brings not just new choices for your race or ancestry but also an entirely new system for handling race in your games. The system replaces “Race” with “Ancestry” to allow much more flexibility in character creation. This system is similar to but still very different from the one used in Pathfinder 2nd Edition that divorces most stat boosts from a characters' ancestry, replacing them with player chosen +1 bonuses to three attributes. Ever wanted to play more dual heritage than half-elf and half-orc, or wondered why is the other half just human? Now you can mix all the ancestries to make the character you’ve always wanted. Or if you just want new races, there’s Harpy, Gorgon (as in Medusa not a steel bull), Undead, Gnolls, and more than 40 more races to use. The PDF and at-cost print-on-demand copy is available for $15, or you can add on their previous 5e book Archive of Magic Items for $25. This project is still shy of it’s $5000 funding goal, but it has until Thursday, May 28 to cross the finish line.

This is a rather unique project, as Ekphrastic Beasts looks to turn around the normal monster creation process for 5e as the artwork came first and the monsters designed based on that art. This isn’t exactly a new process as many iconic Dungeons & Dragons monsters came about because Gary Gygax bought some very odd plastic toys to use as miniatures, but it is unique in the modern era. So not only are you pretty much guaranteed unique monsters you won’t see anywhere else, you know this is going to have some stellar artwork. The PDF is available for a $15 pledge while the print version can be added on for $35 or you can go all-out for the limited edition signed and hand-numbered version with “a scrap of concept art” included for $100. This project is fully funded and runs until Thursday, May 28.


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@enworldnews.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 where I’ll be testing out some system upgrades with various games over the upcoming week, 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.
 
Darryl Mott

Darryl Mott

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