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News Digest for the Week of November 5

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! Official Tomb Raider RPG announced, loads of miniatures from WizKids coming soon, Paizo expands management team, D&D Creative Lead leaves Wizards of the Coast, 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 Mike Shea to talk about The Lazy DM’s Companion.


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In case you missed it elsewhere on EN World this week:
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The classic video game series Tomb Raider is coming to tabletops as Lara Croft’s Tomb Raider. The announcement came as part of Square-Enix’s celebration of the 25th anniversary of the original Tomb Raider game which also included announcements for a new cookbook and travel guide, sales on existing Tomb Raider video games, updates on the Netflix animated series based on the games, and more. The tabletop RPG is described as a “passion project” of Senior Technical Designer Matthew Gaston, who has worked on the franchise since 2007. Very little information is available and the system has not been announced, but there are previews of three monsters (Shark, Zombie, and Bear). The core rulebook and introductory adventure Lara Croft’s Tomb Raiders: Mark of the Phoenix will be released later this year.

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Pre-orders are open for a slew of new premium products from WizKids including a 12” tall Githyanki figure. Well, it says it’s twelve inches but from base to sword-tip it stands sixteen inches with a 6.5 inch wide base. The resin statue comes in retro-throwback style box and is ready for display in full color. Orders will begin shipping in “Q4 2021” (so any time now) with a retail price of $262.49. Also shipping soon is the full-size foam statue of Drizzt Do’Urden with a retail price of $1499.99, a playable-scale miniature of Tiamat over 14 inches tall with a 28-inch wingspan for $399.99, the 130+ piece two-story playable-scale model of The Yawning Portal Inn with furniture and LED fireplaces for $349.99, a life-size replica of the Wand of Orcus over thirty inches long complete with wall-mount for $169.99, and a premium 12-inch tall statue of an efreeti holding a knight for $249.99. For less pricy offerings, there is the 50-miniature set for D&D Icons of the Realms: The Wild Beyond the Witchlight series of pre-painted miniatures available in random boxes with one Large or Huge figure and three Medium or Small figures along with four set boxes featuring the Witchlight Carnival, the League of Malevolence, Valor’s Call, and the scale Swamp Gas Balloon.

And just in case you think they may have run out of products at this point, we have coming in February 2022 a pre-painted six-inch tall Lolth miniature with a retail price of $69.99 along with the D&D Icons of the Realm: Storm King’s Thunder miniature set. The Storm King’s Thunder set will feature three sets of pre-painted figures for $89.99 each. Set 1 will feature King Hekaton, Queen Neri, Eigeron’s Spirit, Xolkin Alassandar, and Lord Khaspere Drylund; Set 2 has Princess Mirran, Princess Nym, Princess Serissa, Kella Darkhope, and Pow Ming; and Set 3 will have Zephyros, Iymrith, Harshnag the Grim, and Yakfolk Warrior. And coming next summer in August of 2022 we have the Kidrobot D&D 1st Ed Miniatures featuring 3-inch vinyl minis from the first edition Monster Manual, including the Beholder, Displacer Beast, Fire Elemental, Ghoul, Mimic, Mind Flayer, Red Dragon, Remorhaz, Roper, Rust Monster, Sahuagin, Salamander, and Xorn. Each figure will be sold separately in randomized boxes featuring designs similar to the Kidrobot plush designs WizKids released earlier this year. No retail price has been announced for the vinyl figures yet.

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Paizo announced changes to its Leadership Team with Jim Butler and Mike Webb joining the group in charge of Paizo. The two join Jeff Alvarez, Erik Mona, Lisa Stevens, and David Reuland as the executive team at the helm of Paizo and managing the direction of the company in the future. United Paizo Workers, the recently recognized labor union for Paizo employees, expressed concerns about this change in management. According to the union, the change was announced internally at Paizo two days after UPW announced their organization efforts and petitioned for recognition. In a press release, the union stated:

“…it is incredibly difficult to see this move as anything other than a continuation of questionable practices, and antithetical to the stated concerns of Paizo workers. […] When pressed by employees, management responded with an internal memo indicating that this change has been made to add more expertise and voices to the leadership team, which was a new designation for what had previously been known as the executive team.”



This is not the only large staffing change in the RPG industry as Adam Lee announced he is leaving Wizards of the Coast. Lee joined the company in 2010 as a narrative and game designer for Magic: The Gathering before moving to the Dungeons & Dragons team in 2014. Earlier this year, Lee was announced as the new Creative Lead for the Dungeons & Dragons team where he authored this year’s charity offering Domains of Delight and co-authored 2019’s Adventure with Muk, both benefiting the charity Extra Life.

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Geek Native reports that, starting with the upcoming adventure Doorway to the Red Star, Paizo will no longer use the term “phylactery” in reference to liches. The book made the name change to “soul cage” for the magic item containing a lich’s essence following concerns from the Jewish community. The word “phylactery” has real-world religious connotations for the Jewish faith. The change is explained in a side-bar for the adventure’s introduction:

“Starting with the lich Dwandek in this adventure, we’re making a long‑overdue terminology change. The use of the word “phylactery” as the item in which a lich stores their soul is both inaccurate and inappropriate given the evil nature of liches and the word’s connotation with real‑world religious practices. Instead, liches in Pathfinder Second Edition store their souls in objects called soul cages—an act that liches see as an ultimate act of defiance against the cycle of life and death. Liches consider their souls not as things to cherish, but as weaknesses that, once locked away in a cage, allow for eternal undeath. Apart from this change in name, the mechanics for how liches function remain unaltered.”

Doorway to the Red Star is the fifth of six adventures in the Strength of Thousands Adventure Path for Pathfinder 2nd Edition and is set for release on November 10.

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French board game company IELLO announced it is splitting from sister company IELLO USA. IELLO issued a statement:

“The company IELLO, distributor and publisher of board games based in Heillecourt, France, has decided to rethink the distribution of its products IELLO and LOKI in the United States and in Canada. Consequently, IELLO, through its legal advisor, terminated the distribution agreement, effective December 31, 2021, which authorized IELLO USA to distribute IELLO products in the United States, ending any collaboration with Mr. Stephan Brissaud, COO of IELLO USA. IELLO reserves the right to communicate at a later date on the reasons which led to these decisions.”​

The website for IELLO USA is currently down, though the statement from the official IELLO USA Twitter account claims it is due to “technical difficulties”. While the statement above is the only announcement made so far, IELLO USA CEO Stephan Brissaud previously ran into controversy in 2018 following an alleged physical altercation at Gen Con in 2018 against a volunteer. The incident resulted in a policing filing for battery and an official censure from GAMA, which resulted in several resignations from the board of the tabletop gaming trade organization.

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Humble seems to be after the wallets of RPG players once again with no less than four bundles right now. Monte Cook Games has the Numenera Bundle featuring both core books for the system, Numenera Discovery and Numenera Destiny plus the Ninth World Bestiary along with five other books for just $1 and a full library of 28 items for the top tier of $15. This bundle runs until Saturday, November 20. The Warhammer Fantasy Role Play bundle is still going featuring a total of 50 DRM-free books for just $30 including core rules for 4th Edition, 1st Edition, and for the first time in digital release 2nd Edition. This bundle benefits WaterAid and runs until Thursday, November 11. The Dungeons & Monsters 3D Printable Tabletop Bundle features a massive library of 120 STL files ready for use in your 3D Printer. The bundle features a huge collection of PCs, NPCs, monsters, terrain, and more for use with any 3D printer. This bundle benefits Cancer Research UK and Make a Wish Foundation and runs until Thursday, November 18. Finally, we have the Map Bonanza Bundle featuring the Campaign Cartographer suite of map-making software. The top $30 level features a lifetime license for Campaign Cartographer 3, Fractal Terrains 3, Fantasy City Mapper, Fantasy World Mapper, Science Fiction Mapper 3, Cosmogapher 3, Dungeons of Schley based on the work of artist Mike Schley, and more. This bundle benefits Carbonfund.org and Oceana and runs until Monday, November 22.


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


sevenbastard

Adventurer
Random question by why does the box for the Githyanki say it's for "Ages 14+".

Maybe it has complicated rules about when it can be feed or exposed to water?
 


Abstruse

Legend
Random question by why does the box for the Githyanki say it's for "Ages 14+".

Maybe it has complicated rules about when it can be feed or exposed to water?
Regulations in the United States and/or European Union require testing for products marketed at young age groups. Materials used, sharp points/edges, choking hazard, how easy it is to break and become dangerous, etc. The toy manufacturer has to pay the costs of these tests plus provide a certain amount of product in order to be certified for younger age groups. Otherwise, you face fines if you list your product as suitable for children without the testing. That's why a lot of indie board games that are not at all complicated and all the pieces are cardboard are still listed as "For Ages 14+" - the small companies making them couldn't afford the testing costs.

In this case I think it's less that WizKids couldn't afford the testing, but they're selling an expensive collectible so didn't see the point to wasting the money. If a 12-year-old wants to spend $250+ on a statue, I don't think the age rating on the box is going to deter them and it's not exactly like you're going to see deluxe Githyanki statues on the shelves of Wal-mart or Target.
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
@Abstruse In the 2nd para under the Githyanki statue, the first link about the Lolth mini points to the wrong place, I think?
I suspect it should point here, not to HumbleBundle.
 
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sevenbastard

Adventurer
Regulations in the United States and/or European Union require testing for products marketed at young age groups. Materials used, sharp points/edges, choking hazard, how easy it is to break and become dangerous, etc. The toy manufacturer has to pay the costs of these tests plus provide a certain amount of product in order to be certified for younger age groups. Otherwise, you face fines if you list your product as suitable for children without the testing. That's why a lot of indie board games that are not at all complicated and all the pieces are cardboard are still listed as "For Ages 14+" - the small companies making them couldn't afford the testing costs.

That makes sense.
 


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