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News Digest for the Week of October 9

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! Baldur’s Gate 3 released in Early Access, HeroQuest pre-orders in the UK, Origins Awards winners announced, HeroForge 2.0 available for everyone, and more!

Don’t forget you can catch all the week’s gaming news at Morrus’ Unofficial Tabletop RPG Talk! This week, Morrus and Peter are joined by Jessica Hancock, publishing administrator at EN Publishing, to talk about the nuts and bolts business work of making games!


And Our Favourite Game in All the World, Guess the Kickstarter from Just the Name and Nothing Else is available as its own podcast! For all the RPG projects ending soon, be sure to check Egg Embry’s RPG Crowdfunding News.


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

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After a long wait and a week’s delay, Baldur’s Gate 3 is now available on Steam for PC and Mac and Google Stadia. It’s important to note that the game is in Early Access, meaning it is basically a beta version of the game so expect bugs. The link above documents a portion of EN World editor Morrus’s struggles with the game (particularly the Mac version not launching) and I had a crash when attempting to change resolutions due to the Vulkan graphics API (though I do have a complicated setup with two 4K and one 1080p displays which can cause issues with even rock-solid games). That said, the game is gorgeous and they have done well with the environmental chaos you can create if you’re creative (I’ve never had so much fun with the grease spell). The launch was also popular enough that Steam’s payment system crashed (it took me about five minutes before my payment went through). The game is available for $59.99 on Steam and the Early Access features the first act of the game (about 20 hours of gameplay, depending on your playstyle). If you’re wary of getting a game in early access, the full release is due sometime next year and, of course, if you purchase it now you’ll get the full version when it’s released.

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The 2020 Origins Awards winners have been announced and in case the image above didn’t spoil it, the winner for best roleplaying game was Teens in Space. Teens in Space is the sci-fi focused roleplaying game using the same system as Kids on Bikes, both from Renegade Game Studios (yes, the same company making the Power Rangers RPG). Other winners include Best Board Game Tiny Town and Best Card Game Point Salad both from AEG, The Quacks of Quedlinburg from North Star Games as Best Family Game, and Best Miniatures Game went to Warcry from Games Workshop. You can read the full list of winners here. The Academy of Adventure Game Arts & Design also announced five inductees into their Adventure Game Hall of Fame: Designers Reinhold Wittig and Wolfgang Kramer with Wolfgang Warsh honored as this year’s Rising Star, plus the game Yahtzee and the reference site Board Game Geek.

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HeroForge officially launched version 2.0 of its website to create custom miniatures made to order. In addition to an upgraded user interface and additional options for clothing, accessories, poses, body types, and more, this new upgrade allows you to order your miniatures in full color. They’re not cheap with a color plastic mini starting at $44.99, but there are a large number of options not just for colors but also effects like metal, cloth, plastic, wood, and other fine details. The interface is also easy to use with several pre-set color options available or you can change them piece by piece by selecting the color and finish and just clicking on the segment. As you can see from Krusk above, even my artistically untalented self can create a pretty nice mini.

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The Kickstarter for the Stargate SG-1 Roleplaying Game is now live and already funded. The game uses a modified version of the 5e rules featuring classless leveling after 5th level, new encounter types beyond combat (including convince, research and development, aerial combat, pursuit, firefight, and more), a campaign system to structure your games like a TV series, facility building mechanics, a new initiative system, and more. The 360-page book also covers canonical information through to the seventh season of the Stargate SG-1 television series and also has new Goa’ulds, planets, allies, and life forms. The PDF version is available for a $10 pledge, the standard hardcover for $50, and a limited edition leather-bound hardcover (limited to 2500 copies) for $90. This Kickstarter is fully funded and will unlock stretch goals until Thursday, October 29.

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Good news for UK fans of HeroQuest as the relaunched board game from Hasbro and Avalon Hill will be available in the UK. The game announced as part of Hasbro’s pre-order pseudo-crowdfunding site Hasbro Pulse, which is only available in the United States and Canada. However retailed Zavvi launched a pre-order page for the Mythic Tier which includes the base game plus two expansions, Kellar’s Keep and Return of the Witch Lord. The good news is that orders through this pre-order system will count toward orders on the Hasbro Pulse page and help unlock more Stretch Go—err, “Mythic Goals”. The bad news is that apparently there’s no difference between the US Dollar and British Pound as the set is available for US$149.99 through Hasbro Pulse but still £149.99 through Zavvi. While it’s not available for pre-order in the UK, the base game without the expansions will also be available when the game releases in Fall 2021.

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Sometimes, a setting has a title that tells you immediately if it’s something you’ll be interested in, and Nazi Dracula Must Die! is one of those titles. The alternate reality World War II campaign setting for 5e is probably exactly what you pictured from that title, a setting full of the occult, weird science, and pulp adventure. The game features all new rules including equipment, monsters, subclasses, and more plus a two-hour adventure for 5th level characters to fulfill the promise of the title and kill Nazi Dracula. The book is available on Kickstarter now (PDF and virtual tabletop ready maps for $15, at-cost print-on-demand copy for $25). There’s also a nine page preview available if you want to take a peek. The project runs until Thursday, October 22, and is currently almost a third of the way to its $30,000 funding goal.

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It’s the final week for the R.A. Salvatore Showcase Bundle from Wizards of the Coast and Humble Bundle, featuring over thirty Forgotten Realms novels in multiple DRM-free ebook formats. Not only does the bundle get you Books 7 through 33 following the exploits of Drizzt Do’Urden, but it also includes the Cleric Quintet series. This bundle benefits Extra Life and runs until Wednesday, October 14. The One Special Day Bundle is also still available featuring the video game versions of tabletop classics Talisman, Ogre, and Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms plus more. This bundle benefits Special Effect and runs until Tuesday, October 20. Finally, there’s a collection of novels and comic books from World of Warcraft (including a heavily discounted physical version of The World of Warcraft Pop-Up Book) in the World of Warcraft Legends Library Bundle. This bundle benefits the Call of Duty Endowment and runs until Thursday, October 29.


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’m streaming my first proper playthrough of Baldur’s Gate III early access this weekend, 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

univoxs

That's my dog, Walter
Supporter
I have never gotten on with R.A. Salvatore. It is unfortunate because he has written so many books for D&D. When I go into a used book store and hunt down the bottom shelf where they shove all the licensed novels (Star Trek, Warhammer etc) I almost always find a shelf almost solely dedicated to Drizzt. Lets here from those Salvatore lovers out there. What are the best ones?
 

Higgs

Explorer
Supporter
I have never gotten on with R.A. Salvatore. It is unfortunate because he has written so many books for D&D. When I go into a used book store and hunt down the bottom shelf where they shove all the licensed novels (Star Trek, Warhammer etc) I almost always find a shelf almost solely dedicated to Drizzt. Lets here from those Salvatore lovers out there. What are the best ones?
Honestly, don't bother. I, like many of my peers, read The Crystal Shard and thought it was absolutely amazing. And then I turned 9.
It's fine as juvenile fiction, but there are so many absolutely amazing fantasy novels to read that I think you'll be better served taking a pass on this.

Just my opinion. I'm a professional bookseller, if you'd like any recommendations hit me up.
 

cbwjm

Hero
Did Salvatore write the original trilogy about drizzt? I remember that series being really good. Still, sometimes it doesn't matter how much you want to like an author and their books you'll just always find you can't get into them. I have much the same problem with Tolkien, millions around the world live his books, I find them to be the answer to insomnia.
 

univoxs

That's my dog, Walter
Supporter
Honestly, don't bother. I, like many of my peers, read The Crystal Shard and thought it was absolutely amazing. And then I turned 9.
It's fine as juvenile fiction, but there are so many absolutely amazing fantasy novels to read that I think you'll be better served taking a pass on this.

Just my opinion. I'm a professional bookseller, if you'd like any recommendations hit me up.

The question at hand is, are there good novels (beyond the original Dragonlance stuff, which I feel is roundly well regarded) in any D&D settings? There were a few good Pathfinder novels. Plague of Shadows was enjoyable and had some original ideas. Every time I try to pick up a Forgotten Realms or Greyhawk novel from yore, the writing is never quite there and I end up dropping it. In general, I find Sci Fi novels from this period to be of higher quality. I totally understand that you should not expect too much from a licensed book but there must be a few.
 

Abstruse

Hero
Art is, by its nature, subjective. Not everyone will like the same things and that's good. If everyone liked the same thing, the world would be a very boring place. R.A. Salvatore's novels tend to be on the popcorn fun, pulp side of fantasy. They're quick reads that are entertaining, which is what a lot of people want from a book, particularly in an escapist genre like fantasy. That doesn't mean there isn't nuance or complexity there, particularly in the characters. But that sort of thing isn't for everyone, just like many people rave over a lot of the "deep, meaningful, inciteful" fantasy from the last couple of decades that I loathe because, to me, they're cruel for the sake of being cruel, shocking for the sake of being shocking, call themselves "deconstructions" when they're not deconstructing anything, and are just unpleasant and unfun to read. While they may lack the depth of other works, at least I can say I've never thrown a Drizzt book across the room in anger and disgust.
 

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