News Digest for the Week of November 4

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! More Dragonlance previews, new Dungeons & Dragons toys announced, CY_BORG gets an official release date, D&D on ESPN, 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, Morrus and Peter talk about online communities for tabletop roleplaying games.


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

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EN Publishing showed off a preview of the Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition campaign setting, Elissar. The world of Elissar is the setting of the introductory adventure Memories of Holdenshire and will be fleshed out into a full campaign setting in the upcoming adventure path To Save a Kingdom. A remake of the previously published EN5ider 5e adventures To Slay a Dragon, To Stake a Vampire, and To Smite a Fiend; this hardcover will not only collect and update them to Level Up: Advanced 5e but expand on them with brand new material. To Save a Kingdom comes to Kickstarter in 2023.

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More Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen have come out from Wizards of the Coast this week. If you missed it at the end of last week, two videos came out previewing the Solamnic Knights and the Mages of High Sorcery (yes, “Mages” and not “Wizards” as the order covers all arcane magic users on Krynn). We also got a look at the update of the iconic Dragonlance villain, Lord Soth. The Death Knight now not only rides a death dragon mount, but he can resurrect dead dragons as death dragons under his command. For those who missed it while it was live, EN World has a summary of the video Wizards of the Coast posted then took down discussing the flying citadel from Shadow of the Dragon Queen. In other Dragonlance news, the Dragonlance Nexus interviewed setting creators Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman about the lack of orcs in Krynn. The hardcover for Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen is available for pre-order now with a retail price of $49.95 and a scheduled release date of December 6.

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Free League announced the imminent hardcover release of CY_BORG, the cyberpunk spinoff of the heavy metal RPG MÖRK BORG. The game was originally Kickstarted in November 2021 raising over SEK 4 million from 6,866 backers with a PDF release to backers in April and a slew of OGL content released this year from creators thanks to the “Compatible with CY_BORG” license. From the press release:

CY_BORG RPG is a game about climate collapse, out-of-control consumerism, the commodification of personal data, late-stage capitalism, transhumanism and senseless violence. A fever-dream of tech, punk and fury. Of fighting a failed future. A deck-hacking, brick-throwing upheaval of a game.

CY_BORG is compatible with multi-award-winning apocalyptic heavy metal RPG MÖRK BORG. This is to noise, industrial and underground hiphop what MÖRK BORG is to doom and black metal. Rules-light, rage-heavy. A messed-up mirror image of MÖRK BORG RPG. Similar in tone and approach to game and book design, but enhanced and augmented. Includes an introductory scenario and ≈60 random tables for your every cyberpunk need.​

The core rulebook is ready to help you put the punk back in cyberpunk with pre-orders for SEK 448 (US$42.12, £35.80, €41.07) on the Free League store with the PDF available in advance of the hardcover’s November 15 release.

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Hasbro announced more merch for Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves over the past week. First came the expected launch of the action figures featuring Edgin the Bard (Chris Pine), Holga the Barbarian (Michelle Rodriguez), Forge the Rogue (Hugh Grant), and Simon the Sorcerer (Justice Smith). Each posable action figure will come with appropriate accessories like a lute for Edgin, battleaxe for Holga, etc. A black dragon figure with a ten inch wingspan will join the previously announced gelatinous cube as the monsters for the first wave of figures. Along with the action figures, Hasbro will have NERF brand foam weapons including a sword and axe each branded with the Dungeons & Dragons ampersand logo along with a movie-themed reskin of Monopoly. And in what is the most…interesting of brand cross-promotion is the transforming D&D monsters. The Diceling line will feature four oversized D20s that transforms into a red dragon, black dragon, owlbear, and beholder. The Dicelings are available for pre-order for $13.99 each, while the other products do not yet have a retail price announced. The merchandise line will hit stores sometime in January/February 2023.

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Steve Jackson Games is ramping up for FnordCon 6 Virtual next week. The online convention will take place across Discord, Twitch, and Tabletop Simulator to allow fans of SJG releases to gather from the safety and comfort of their homes and play games together. The event kicks off Friday, November 11, at 5 PM Central with a streamed panel from founder Steve Jackson and CEO Phil Reed discussing upcoming products and will continue throughout the weekend with demos of GURPS, The Fantasy Trip, Munchkin, Car Wars, Girl Genius, Hack & Slash, Zombie Dice, and more. There will also be discounts from online dealers and SJG’s online store Warehouse 13. The convention will take place November 11-12, 2022, with events organized on the Steve Jackson Games Discord server.

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Two big pieces of industry news. First, the US Department of Justice has blocked a proposed merger between publishing giants Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster. Penguin Random House announced the acquisition in November 2021 for $2.175 billion, but the US District Court blocked the merger on antitrust grounds, stating effect of the purchase “may be substantially to lessen competition in the market for the US publishing rights to anticipated top-selling books”. The challenge was led by Attorney General Merrick Garland, who stated “American authors and consumers will pay the price of this anticompetitive merger – lower advances for authors and ultimately fewer books and less variety for customers”. Both companies are involved in the RPG industry with Penguin Random House having a publishing agreement with Wizards of the Coast and Simon & Schuster publishing licensed Dungeons & Dragons calendars along with RPG books by authors including James D’Amato, James Introcaso, Rhianna Pratchett, and dipped their toes into directly releasing RPG books with the 5e compatible Oz: A fantasy Roleplaying Setting earlier this year.

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On Monday, workers at tabletop gaming retailer Noble Knight Games announced the formation of Noble Knight Games United in affiliation with Communications Workers of America to form a labor union. On Wednesday, Noble Knight Games management informed CWA they would not voluntarily recognize the union and will force an election overseen by the National Labor Relations Board. Noble Knight Games is a brick-and-mortar and online retailer of tabletop games and roleplaying games well known for their selection of used and out-of-print RPG products. Workers at the company speaking anonymously to ICv2, the union was formed to address issues of low pay, a lack of paid sick days, and low numbers of paid days off among other issues. The union reported they have support of over 70% of employees of the retailer. This labor organization follows several others in the gaming industry including Paizo workers and video game developer Raven Software.

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The sports network ESPN ran an extended segment this week on Dungeons & Dragons. The SportsCenter segment focused on former Cleveland Browns fullback Johnny Stanton IV and current Browns players Myles Garnett and Wyatt Teller and their D&D campaign. The three football players also participated in a charity D&D live stream that raised over $7000 for Red Nose Day earlier this year. And to think, it was only five years ago that ESPN aired an advertisement mocking fantasy roleplaying in favor of fantasy sports. How far we’ve come.


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


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