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News Digest for the Week of November 6

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news. More information about Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, a new Starfinder class in playtest, Fantasy Grounds Unity released, update on Free League's The One Ring RPG, a new Star Trek Adventures adventure, and more!

Don’t forget you can get all the week’s gaming news with Morrus’ Unofficial Tabletop RPG Talk! This week, Morrus and Peter are joined by Philip Reed from Steve Jackson Games to talk about crowdfunding, self-publishing, and Strange Citizens of the City for Mörk Borg.


You can also find out the latest in RPG Kickstarters with Our Favourite Game in All the World, Guess the Kickstarter From Just the Name and Nothing Else. For the latest in RPG crowdfunding projects, check out Egg Embry’s RPG Crowdfunding News every week.


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In case you missed it elsewhere on EN World this week…
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Wizards of the Coast released a large preview of Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything including the table of contents. The preview on IGN consists mostly of art, but does have the full table of contents, the opening page of Chapter 4: Dungeon Master’s Tools, and some information about the new supernatural realms. Each class is getting new optional class features and at least two new subclasses (three for the Cleric, Druid, and Warlock) plus new maneuvers for the Fighter as well as new builds for the Battle Master subclass and new companions for the Ranger’s Beastmaster subclass. There’s also the full Artificer class, new feats, and options for customizing origins, changing skills, and changing subclass. Chapter 2 is all about the new Group Patrons, while Chapter 3 contains new spells and magic items plus rules for personalizing spells. Chapter 4 has guidance for “Session Zero”, new puzzles, and rules for sidekicks, natural hazards, and magical phenomenon (including an entry listed as “Magic Mushrooms”). The Supernatural Regions also in Chapter 4 features seven new realms of existence that change the very nature of reality including the Far Realms, the original home of mind flayers and beholders. The hardcover Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything will be released on November 17 in North America with a retail price of $49.95 and on December 1 for the rest of the world due to COVID-related shipping delays.

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Paizo announced the upcoming Starfinder playtest for a new class: the precog. The playtest will start on November 16 and run through December 25 with the survey open the entire playtest period. So far, no details are available for the new precog class, but for those unfamiliar with science fiction tropes, “precog” is short for “precognizant” and means those who have the ability to see the future. Personally, that seems a very difficult archetype to add to a roleplaying game (where even simple foreshadowing can be thrown awry by player actions and dice rolls), so it will be interesting to see what mechanical options this new class will bring. There will not be an accompanying adventure for this playtest as the class can be used in any existing Starfinder adventure. Starfinder Society also posted guidelines for playtesting this new class within the Starfinder organized play.

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Modiphius released a new adventure for the Star Trek Adventures roleplaying game, Back to Reality. This 17-page adventure set in the TNG era (but with guidelines for adapting to other time periods) starts with a small away team on a shuttle to study a dangerous asteroid field which resonates with infinite quantum signatures at the sub-atomic level, indicating it may be a bridge to between quantum realms. Based on the title and that description, is it really a spoiler to say that the away team ends up in an alternate reality? Rather than ending up in something as pleasant as the Mirror Universe, the away team ends up in a reality where the Borg have all but destroyed the Federation. The adventure features a strong moral dilemma at its core and puts the potential fate of all realities in their hands. The PDF is available on DriveThruRPG at the link above for $4.99. (Disclosure: Modiphius provided the author of this column a review copy of the adventure.)

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Free League Publishing announced new details about their plans for the Lord of the Rings license and their new edition of The One Ring RPG. The new edition of the game will be, as it says, a new edition rather than a ground-up remake. The same core system will receive a series of tweaks, revisions, and improvements. While it is not the same 2nd Edition that Cubicle 7 was working on prior to the license transfer to Free League, designer Martin Takaichi says that aspects of that edition will be included in this new 2nd Edition along with inspiration from Free League’s hex crawl RPG Forbidden Lands and the mystery landscapes of Tales from the Loop. Also announced was a new version of the Moria – The Long Dark adventure and that a D&D 5e-compatible version of the rules similar to Adventures in Middle-earth to follow the release of the new core rules.

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WizKids is accepting pre-orders for a new budget-priced terrain Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden Papercraft. The first set is the Lodge Papercraft Set (pictured above) which features a high-roofed lodge with a second wing available for $15.99. The second set is the Ten Towns Set which features three different buildings, a tavern, an apothecary, and a residence, available for $29.99. Few details are available, though “papercraft” terrain typically refers to digital products you print yourself on normal 2D printers using cardstock then assemble. However, as the image above shows, this appears to have far more 3D effects than one would normally expect and are a physical product (though the WizKids site states that images are not final). Both sets will be available this December.

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Fantasy Grounds officially launched Fantasy Grounds Unity, the new version of the virtual tabletop software built in the Unity engine. This new upgraded version has a brand new lobby for finding games, updated graphics, more stability potential due to a 64-bit engine, tile-based map building, and other new smaller features such as a time of day slider and additional dice macro support. The biggest advantage to Fantasy Grounds Unity is that it is fully supported on both Windows and Mac systems and the Unity engine’s ease of including new assets. This new version is backwards-compatible with existing campaigns and a guide has already been made to convert them to the new engine. Fantasy Grounds Unity is available in two tiers, Standard and Ultimate. Standard is available for $3.99 for three months and $3.99 monthly after or a one-time price of $39 while Ultimate (which only adds the ability to run demo games for players without a subscription) is $9.99 for three months and $9.99 monthly after or a one-time price of $149.

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Danial Rashidi, former DICE developer on the Battlefield, Payday, and Battlefront franchises, launched a Kickstarter for Atlas Architect, a creative world-building game. The game itself is meant to be “a relaxing and creative experience” in creating a world, but the implications for tabletop RPGs is evident in its use as an easy to use 3D hex-based map-making tool. Landscapes are generated in seconds by clicking in hex-shaped sections that are rounded off to create realistic coastlines, borders, mountainsides, etc. The Kickstarter videos shows an entire island with a massive keep created in under two minutes just by selecting the terrain and clicking to customize it. In its current beta/early access state, the game already has assets for castles, cities, farmlands, forests, mountains, roads, ruins, swamps, villages, and many other useful environments with plans for specific fantasy elements like cities and camps styled after dwarves, elves, and orcs plus floating islands, caves, bridges, and more. The game is available for SEK100 (about US$12 or £9) and there’s an option for developers to add the Houdini source file for the tile generation for SEK500 (about US$57 or £44). If you want to keep your eye on the project, you can wishlist the game on Steam now ahead of its December 21 release. The Kickstarter has already met its modest goal and will fund on Thursday, November 19.

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There are a lot of bundles of interest right now. First there’s the Dungeon Crawl Classics bundle with over 40 DRM-free digital books for the DCC line including the core rules, dozens of adventures, token packs, and more. This bundle is available until Monday, November 16. There’s also a short time left to get the Voices of Warhammer bundle from the Black Library featuring audio books and dramas set in the Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 universes. This bundle runs until Wednesday, November 11. Also available until November 11 is the Ultimate Fantasy Game Development Bundle with a selection of character assets, armor, weapons, monsters, accessories, music, sound effects, animations, and more for Unreal and Unity.


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 where I’ll be streaming as soon as I get a proper night’s sleep, 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


talien

Community Supporter
Yeah....there's no way the wizkids paper buildings look like that image.
THIS. It's been really bugging me because I keep trying to imagine how this can be done with papercraft and have come to the conclusion it can't. The 3D model approach works fine for painted miniatures (which usually look at least somewhat like the graphic) but is not something I would expect for a papercraft product.

I look forward to being proven wrong if they can do something amazing with papercraft, but remain skeptical until then.
 

Abstruse

Hero
THIS. It's been really bugging me because I keep trying to imagine how this can be done with papercraft and have come to the conclusion it can't. The 3D model approach works fine for painted miniatures (which usually look at least somewhat like the graphic) but is not something I would expect for a papercraft product.

I look forward to being proven wrong if they can do something amazing with papercraft, but remain skeptical until then.
I can only guess it's prepainted thick cardstock and multiple layers, like the roof is one piece of cardboard and the snow is another. But I couldn't find any actual information about the product and even the blurb on their website just describes the Icewind Dale region more than the actual models. The image looks like molded plastic to me if not a 3D render so...I guess we'll see in a month or so.
 





Abstruse

Hero
Somebody can enlighten me about that? Googling I've found only a card game...
Warning: I just woke up and haven't had coffee yet so this is accurate to the best of my knowledge but I may have some of the details wrong: It was announced as a large adventure for The One Ring 2e under Cubicle 7 and highly anticipated because it was meant to map out most of if not all of Moria with information about the underground Dwarven kingdom across the ages. It, along with all of the other Lord of the Rings-related material, was cancelled when Cubicle 7 didn't renew the license and it went to Free League, despite a lot of work already being done. So this is Free League saying that they're going to release their version of it.
 

schneeland

Explorer
Thanks for sharing that Dicebreaker article! I was a bit on the fence regarding TOR2e (I have a complete collection of 1e books, at least digitally) , but the more I learn about the new edition, the more I want it. Both having Martin (Grip) and Alvaro as artists, and learning that there will be sandbox influence from Forbidden Lands is a strong plus for me.
 

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