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News Digest for the Week of October 8

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! Delays in D&D books, Level Up: Advanced 5e live on Kickstarter, Twitch hacked, controversy in the BattleTech community, 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 Craig Campbell to talk about his upcoming Kickstarter for Secrets of the Vibrant Isle.


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In case you missed it elsewhere on EN World this week:
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While I admit there’s a bit of selection bias in play, the biggest story I’ve seen in tabletop roleplaying games all week is the launch of EN Publishing’s Level Up: Advanced 5e Kickstarter. The 600-page hardcover core rules features a complete overhaul of the 5e rules to add more options and rules to expand your 5e games, completely compatible with all 5e material. You can read the introduction to the core rules here, and the introduction to the Monstrous Menagerie here. There’s also a preview of the Adept class, the culture-neutral replacement for 5e’s monk. The Kickstarter is already close to unlocking the £250,000 stretch goal of a full online character creator in just a few days in, and the Kickstarter runs until Friday, November 5.

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Wizards of the Coast announced via Twitter that two upcoming products would be delayed. Due to “goblin related issues”, Fizban’s Treasure of Dragons will be delayed until October 26 while the Magic: The Gathering tie-in book Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos will be delayed until December 7. Digital releases for those products will also be delayed until the respective dates. These delays will not affect the releases of updated localizations of the core rulebooks for 5e in German, French, Italian, and Spanish due for release in Europe on October 8.

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WizKids announced a new “miniature” that doesn’t seem all that miniature. The D&D Icons of the Realms Gargantuan Tarrasque will be a pre-painted scale miniature 11 inches tall and almost 16 inches wide, making it larger than even the Arveiturace dragon miniature released earlier this year. The tarrasque is available for pre-order for release in December 2022 (yes, next year) with a whopping retail price of $399.99.

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Modiphius announced the release of Star Trek Adventures: IDQ Year Five, a tie-in to the IDW comic book series covering the final of year of the five-year mission of the USS Enterprise commanded by Captain James T. Kirk. The 26-page PDF, which Modiphius graciously provided me a review copy of, provides information covering the political schism within the Federation caused by the Originalists, factions within the Humans, Andorians, Tellarites, and Vulcans who believe the Federation’s expansionist policies have diluted their influence and the original intentions of the Federation. Also included in the book are life path options for the I’Qosa, Iotians, and Tholians available for all eras of play. The PDF is available now on DriveThruRPG for $4.99.

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PAX Unplugged, the tabletop gaming convention in Philadelphia, announced the convention will re-open this December. The convention will require full vaccinations for attendance and masks will be mandatory for all events (including cosplay events) enforced by the show’s Safety Ambassadors. This requirement extends to all exhibitors and attendees. Exhibitors announced to participate include R. Talsorian Games, Gloomhaven publisher Cephalofair, and Root creator Leder Games. PAX Unplugged will take place from December 10-12 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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RPG historian Jon Peterson posted an updated timeline of the creation of Dungeons & Dragons to his blog. The timeline, based on hand-written notes from Gary Gygax, Dave Arneson, Dave Megarry, and others to create as close to a definitive timeline as we have for the creation of the game. The research tracks the development from the initial variant game of Chainmail in 1972 to the investment of Blumes in TSR and the publication of the Dungeons & Dragons boxed set in 1974. Jon Peterson’s book Game Wizards: The Epic Battle for Dungeons & Dragons is set for release on Tuesday, October 12.

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Twitch confirmed a security breach in their systems after an anonymous user posted a torrent file alleging to contain over 120 GB of data from the site including source code and some user information. Twitch has pro-actively reset all stream keys for users and, while end-user data is not reported to be part of the initial leak, the hacker has stated that this was the first of potentially multiple data dumps so users would be advised to reset their passwords as well as making sure two-factor authentication is active on their accounts. The resetting of stream keys means that all streamers must either log into their Twitch accounts again through their streaming software or manually update the stream key in their settings. Users can reset their passwords by clicking on their user icon in the top right-hand side of the site, selecting Settings, then navigating to Security & Privacy before selecting Change Password. For those who need to locate their stream keys, it is located under the Channel Dashboard under the Settings menu on the left and is at the top of the Stream page.

Part of the user data that was leaked includes what is alleged to be payout records from streamers going back to August 2019. This information has been verified by some streamers who have searched themselves in the data and confirmed it looks correct, while others have refuted the numbers as inaccurate. If accurate, the information would still not give a complete profile of a channel’s earnings as it would only include payments made directly from Twitch or parent company Amazon as the streamer’s share of tips made through “bits”, their 50-70% share of subscriptions, and/or revenue from advertisements run during streams. This would not include any licensing deals, merchandising, or outside monetization such as tips or affiliate accounts, and would not indicate expenses such as overhead for studio space or equipment, payment of employees (whether staff or freelancers), or other expenses associated with running a live stream.

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Two controversies took place over the weekend involving the BattleTech franchise. MechWarrior 5 and MechWarrior Online developer Piranha Games issued a ban on at least one user and two competitive playgroups for the use of the phrase “Trans Rights” with claims that the statement was “political” and was unacceptable for use in group chat or for names of groups. Piranha CEO Russ Bullock initially backed the actions of the moderator who banned the user and changed the names of the group on Twitter. After criticism for the action, Piranha Games apologized and reversed the decision and made a statement that the user will be unbanned, and the teams returned to their original names. Meanwhile, the online wiki Sarna.net for the BattleTech tabletop game, wargame, novels, and video games banned a user from the site’s Discord server for changing her username to state “Trans Rights” in response to the incident with Piranha. The owner of Sarna.net via the site’s official Twitter account issued an apology and reaffirmed “You’re welcome in our community, and I’m happy for anyone to share their pride.” Neither Piranha Games nor Sarna.net have announced any actions taken against the moderators who made those decisions.

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Humble Bundle and Frog God Games have partnered for the Tomes of Lost Magic for 5th Edition Bundle. The bundle at the $18 level features a total of 31 digital titles including five volumes of Tome of Horrors 2020 Instant Encounters, Book of Lost Spells, Orcus of 34th Level, Treacherous Traps, Tome of Horrors 2020, and more. At the $38 level, you can add on a physical copy of the Book of Lost Spells. This bundle benefits Hospice of the Northwest and runs until Thursday, October 14.


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


Abstruse

Legend
I think Wizkids is pushing their luck with the Tarrasque. Arveiaturace was $100 yet they are asking $400 for something slightly larger. No way.
It's also a lot more dense. The Amazon page doesn't have the picture, but here's a size comparison between two of their previous dragons and the tarrasque. There aren't any wings to pad out the size.

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Now whether or not that's worth an extra $300 (give or take a few bucks) is not for me to say because I'd rather spend that much money on a new TV, but I'm sure there's a market for it somewhere. Also, don't discount the current cluster that is shipping and manufacturing right now in affecting the price. It's possible the dragons would need to be $200 MSRP or more now to make a profit (I read somewhere that Tonka's price-per-unit for shipping for toy trucks went from around $0.30 to $11 since this time last year, which seems a decent comparison in size).
 

mykesfree

Explorer
The Star Trek Adventures supplement is awesome! If you want to make a Star Trek Original series game this is a must have. Plus, in it you get Stats for Gary Seven and Harry Mudd.

Thank you for sharing.
 

EthanSental

Adventurer
They should compare the Tarrasque to the Tiamat premium figure since they are both $399 or so. Epic looking for sure for it and if I was in a game and fighting this was an end game plot line or a major part of high level play, man that would be cool seeing this on the table for comba!
 
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