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News Digest for the Week of October 22

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! Paizo officially recognized the United Paizo Workers labor union, free Dungeons & Dragons adventure from D&D Beyond, update from Edge Studio on Star Wars and Legend of the Five Rings, and more!

Don’t forget, you can get all the news every week with Morrus’ Unofficial Tabletop RPG Talk! This week, Morrus and Peter go over the table of contents for Fizban's Treasury of Dragons and give an update on the Level Up: Advanced 5e Kickstarter stretch goals.


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In case you missed it elsewhere on EN World this week:
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Paizo voluntarily recognized the United Paizo Workers union. The announcement came jointly from Paizo itself as a blog post as well as on the United Paizo Workers website. The announcement came one week following the formation of the union and its request for recognition. On Saturday, it came to light that the freelance developers working for Paizo were in solidarity with the union. Over 40 freelancers previously stated that they would withhold work for Paizo until a list of improvements to the workplace environment changed, but the freelancers updated that last week to a single request: Recognition of the United Paizo Workers union. This show of support by the freelance pool was important as many organization efforts are undermined by corporations who switch to using freelance and contract workers to replace employees as a union-busting or strike-breaking method. The next step will be for the UPW to hold elections for positions within the union and to begin negotiations with Paizo management for a labor contract. From the statement posted by UPW:

As of today, Paizo leadership has voluntarily recognized our union! This is the first step in a long journey. Now that United Paizo Workers is officially representing Paizo employees, we get to elect a group of representatives to sit down with reps from Paizo’s executive team and the CWA to start negotiating. Voluntary recognition is an act of good faith on Paizo’s part. That’s cause for celebration!

Now the real work begins.

In order to enact major changes in the workplace, we need to negotiate our first contract with leadership. One of our goals is to increase wages to better match the cost of living, and that is likely to be the first topic we tackle.

Following last week’s announcement of our unionization, even more Paizo employees joined us. Now, we need to talk with our newer members and make sure all their voices are heard and represented.

You can join us in our adventure by engaging with us on social media or through our website, or by purchasing UPW merch. Watching our social media feeds flood with #UnionizePaizo, reading messages of support, and getting our UPW swag in the mail has been so amazing! You’ve all already done so much, and we can’t thank you enough for it. We ask for your continued support as we walk this road together.

In Solidarity,
United Paizo Workers

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D&D Beyond released a free adventure, “The White Dragons Hunt”, where the players take on the role of the dragons. The party are the clutch of the white dragon Korvarlatel who raised them in her lair. A rival crystal dragon, Rysilandra, decided to drive Korvarlatel and her children away to take over the region, and has hired adventurers to steal three of Korvarlatel’s eggs. The party of young white dragons must track down their sibling eggs and return them back home. This tie-in to Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons is a one-shot adventure meant to be completed in two to three hours by a party of three or four players. The hardcover release of Fizban’s Treasure of Dragons is this Tuesday, October 26.

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Edge Studio launched their new website with a flurry of announcements about former Fantasy Flight titles including Star Wars and Legend of the Five Rings. The company had been relatively quiet since the announcement that Fantasy Flight closed their roleplaying game department with the fellow Asmodee subsidiary taking over. This week, Edge Studio announced reprints and new material coming from the Star Wars license with Edge of the Empire lead designer Sam Gregor-Stewart serving as RPG Manager for Edge Studios. Edge also announced an expansion of their partnership with DriveThruRPG, stating that all products (except licensed products with restrictions on digital releases) will be available in PDF on DriveThruRPG when the print product launches. The Edge Studio online store on DriveThruRPG has already updated with Legend of the Five Rings, Android, Keyforge, Realms of Terrinoth, and generic Genesys System books. The user content creation system The Foundary, the equivalent of DM’s Guild for the Genesys System, also updated its license to allow creators to use material from the Keyforge, Android, and Terinoth settings.

The studio also announced more information for Adventures in Rokugan, a 5e conversion of Legend of the Five Rings announced at Gen Con. The post re-confirmed that this will not replace Legend of the Five Rings as its own roleplaying game but will serve as a companion system. In fact, the announcement seems to indicate that Adventures in Rokugan will be almost a story-within-a-story with implications that the more fantasy-adventure version of Rokugan presented in the 5e system will be the world of the myths and legends told in the more grounded and intrigue-focused Legend of the Five Rings Rokugan. This is not the first time that the D20 System has taken over Rokugan, as part of the deal to purchase TSR, Wizards of the Coast also purchased Legend of the Five Rings and used Rokugan as their default Asian-inspired setting for the Oriental Adventures sourcebook over the Forgotten Realms’s Kara-Tur. Adventures in Rokugan is currency scheduled for a 2nd Quarter 2022 release.

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Green Ronin announced the AGE Creators Alliance, a new user content program for the AGE system. The program functions similarly to DMs Guild for Dungeons & Dragons or Storyteller’s Vault for Vampire: The Masquerade, but for the generic AGE System that also powers the Dragon Age and Expanse RPGs. While you won’t get access to those two properties, Green Ronin has provided template books for both Fantasy AGE and Modern AGE to help creators make high-quality products for the online store. Three titles have already been released on the storefront with more to come.

This announcement comes on the heels of two big announcements for both systems. The Modern AGE Mastery Guide is a 128-page sourcebook for players and gamemasters both with alternate character creation rules, new character options, advice on creating an effective party or designing a modern era campaign, and more. This book is available now on DriveThruRPG for $17.95. The Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook has been teased for some time now, but we’ve now got a cover, more information, and a release date. If the style in the cover image by Wayne Reynolds looks familiar, it’s because it features characters from Freeport, the fantasy city setting Green Ronin originally published in 2003. Freeport will be a big part of the Fantasy AGE system, expanding into a large world to create a campaign setting called Stranger Shores. The Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook is expected for release in May 2022.

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More information has come out about the upcoming Cowboy Bebop roleplaying game. The system will use the HexSys previously used in Not the End where each character is described by keywords placed in a “hive of hexagons” with links and relationships that make up a character’s stats. The big difference is that Cowboy Bebop will use a more traditional dice pool system with multicolored dice rather than the tokens from Not the End. Players will be able to create their own characters as well as the iconic characters from Cowboy Bebop as pre-generated player characters. The license for the game only allows for the original anime, so don’t expect anything from Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door nor the upcoming live-action series from Netflix. There will, however, be a playtest available in a few weeks or possibly a few months as the game is still in development. Cowboy Bebop Roleplaying Game will come to Kickstarter “crossing fingers, legs, tentacles, and stuff” in the first half of 2022.

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Virtual tabletop Astral Tabletop announced it has ceased development as the founder has retired from the company. The service partnered with OneBookShelf (the company behind DriveThruRPG) to allow users to purchase memberships through their storefront. The service made headlines early last year by being the first premium subscription virtual tabletop to offer subscription-level products for free during the first lockdowns of the COVID-19 pandemic. From the email sent to users, as reported by Geek Native:

Unfortunately, even with the growth that Astral has experienced, it has not attracted an audience large enough to be a thriving business. With the landscape for VTT’s looking to become even more competitive in the near future, Astral’s founder Tom has decided to retire from Astral TableTop to pursue other ventures.

Should OneBookShelf need to close down the Astral TableTop service completely at some point in the future, it will provide as much notice as possible to give everyone time to close or migrate their campaigns to another platform.

The service will remain live for the time being and still offer subscription services at a reduced rate, with the Gold Support level dropping from $9.99/mo to $5.99/mo and the Platinum Support from $14.99/mo to $9.99/mo. Existing annual and pre-paid subscribers will have their subscriptions converted to credits and applied toward the new lower-priced monthly subscription model.

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A new patch for Baldur’s Gate 3 released this week adding a lot of new content. This patch adds the Grymforge region with new quests, encounters, items, and NPCs to the Underdark sections of the game. The Sorcerer class as been added with two bloodlines, Wild Magic and Dragonic along with rules for metamagic abilities and new spells. A dozen new weapon actions have been added to the game with characters able to choose between three of them for non-magic using classes using a weapon they are proficient with. Other updates include new UI options for don’t sizes, graphical upgrades, support for DLSS 2.3 and AMD FSR graphical upscaling, new music, bug fixes, and Turkish language support. Baldur’s Gate 3 is still in early access on PC and Stadia with Patch 6 available soon on Mac.

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Cubicle 7 partnered with Humble Bundle to offer the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Bundle featuring a massive library of books for multiple editions of the game. The $1 level is enough to dip your toes into WFRP with the Starter Set, the adventures If Looks Could Kill and Buildings of the Reikland plus a 20% off coupon for the Cubicle 7 online store. The $10 level adds on the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th Edition Core Rulebook, a gamemaster’s screen, and six more adventures. The $18 level expands the offerings with an additional dozen sourcebooks, campaigns, and adventures. The top-tier $30 pledge level includes a whopping 50 DRM-free digital books including more adventures, bestiaries, sourcebooks, campaigns, and even includes the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition Core Rulebook and, for the first time in digital format, the original Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1st Edition Rulebook for those wanting a more old-school feel. This bundle benefits WaterAid and runs until Thursday, November 11.


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

Jeremy E Grenemyer

Feisty
Supporter
The Forgotten Realms Magic card featuring the red dragonborn has ended my day more than once on MTG Arena.

It's nice to see the card art used more than once because so many of the pieces are detailed and evocative, but you can't see the art that well because it's on a small playing card.

Thanks for the summary, Darryl.
 

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