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News Digest for the Week of September 24.

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! A new Blade Runner RPG, updated on the Batman game, new planes jumping setting for 5e from Monte Cook Games, 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 Anthony Alipio to talk about Level Up: Advanced 5e’s new Ranger class!


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In case you missed it elsewhere on EN World this week:
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Free League Publishing announced a new roleplaying game based on the iconic cyberpunk film Blade Runner. The game will be set in 2037, placing it in between the original Blade Runner (set in 2019) and Blade Runner 2049 (set in…well…2049). The system will be the Year Zero Engine used in Free League’s other RPGs such as Alien and Tales from the Loop. Free League says the game will go beyond simply “retiring” replicants and explore the themes of corporate intrigue, existential character drama, moral conflict, and of course sci-fi action. The game is set for a release in 2022.

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French publisher Monolith teased more information about Batman: Gotham City Chronicles RPG, the first statement since its announcement last year. The previews feature several work-in-progress pages from the upcoming book which is still going through approvals from Warner Bros and DC. Unfortunately, some of the previews (including a segment that I think is titled “Welcome to Gotham City”) are in French and my knowledge of the language never progressed past barely passing in high school, but there do appear to be several deep dives into the Bat-lore. The rogues gallery and supporting cast profiles include those you’d expect like Joker, Alfred, Gordon, Penguin, and Mr. Freeze but also includes those who haven’t appeared in films or other adaptations recently like Clayface, Vicki Vale, and Lynx. The four-page spread on Robin includes not only Dick Grayson and Tim Drake, but also Jason Todd, Stephanie Brown, Damien Wayne, Julie Madison, Lance Brunner, and Bruce Wayne. Yes, Bruce put on the Robin outfit before becoming Batman. The are also previews of the character sheet, indicating the game will use a modified D20 System with attributes listed as Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Intelligence, Perception, and Willpower. From the announcement:

The role-playing game pays tribute to its main character: Gotham City, with its risks and challenges of varying intensity. Players can create their own characters as well as play as iconic figures:
  • Dive into the city’s everyday life while confronting extraordinary situations as Gordon, Bullock, or Montoya.
  • Explore the shadows of Gotham City as highly-trained and gifted humans like Nightwing, Huntress, and the Riddler.
  • Confront situations that defy logic, using the varied, evolving powers of meta-humans like Black Canary, Killer Croc, Poison Ivy, or Clayface.
We’ve created several books to accompany you along this journey to Gotham City. Heroes of Gotham is an introduction to the universe, with all the rules and tips to create and bring to life the game’s characters and scenarios.

The Gotham Chronicles is a collection of a dozen turnkey scenarios that bring exciting and intense adventures to your table!

The Gotham Guide is a love story to the city! It takes you deep into the heart of its neighborhoods and secrets, a must for those who want to dig deep and gather everything they’ll need to immerse themselves in the atmosphere and make the story theirs.

You will find here some excerpts/Work in Progress for each of the books, as well as a character sheet template used for the GCPD characters. They are not all available in English, as we are still in the intensive phase of translations and proofreading.

We can’t wait to show you more. For now, we will be bringing this experience to life through crowdfunding and are hard at work acquiring all the necessary approvals from Warner (in both languages). We’re looking at a few months now, at most. By launch time, your invitation to Gotham City will be fully secured.

There is no firm date at this time, but the game will be crowdfunded sometime within the next few months.

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Monte Cook Games announced a 5e sourcebook Path of the Planebreaker. The sourcebook features new planes, creatures, player races, subclasses, feats, and spells. Designers on the game include Monte Cook himself plus Bruce R. Cordell and Sean K. Reynolds. Considering those resumes include work on Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, Numenera, and various titles for the Planescape setting, this looks like a promising book. The 192-page hardcover will come to Kickstarter in October.

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The ORR Group released their user statistics for Roll20 for the second quarter of 2021. Dungeons & Dragons rose in market share from 53% to 54%, while Call of Cthulhu went from 11% to 16% and Pathfinder 2e went from 1.5% to 1.8%. “Uncategorized” is at 19.8%, Pathfinder 1e at 3.4%, Warhammer (all versions from classic and 40K together) is 1.2% as is World of Darkness (again all lumped together), and closing out the whole numbers is D&D 3.5 at 1.1%. You can read the full breakdown (with two decimals of accuracy and listings for both accounts and campaigns) at the link above.

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North Americans looking to get their hands on games distributed by Modiphius will have an easier time of it as they’ve launched an official United States website. The new site and distribution methods will reduce costs for shipping to customers in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Modiphius products are available for order now along with pre-orders for upcoming releases like the physical edition of the Star Trek Adventures: The Shackleton Expanse and Homeworld: Revelations. The site launched with deeply discounted items including low-priced PDF bundles, but those have been suspended for the moment due to technical issues.

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Amazing Tales released a free quickstart for the Victorian science fiction/fantasy roleplaying game Inferno. Inspired by the works of Charles Dickens, Jules Verne, Bram Stoker, HG Wells, and Conan Doyle, Inferno places characters in the role of members of the secretive Inferno Club to survive in a world of intrigue, dark magic, extraordinary technology, and larger-than-life villains. The game uses the Card of Fate system and the quickstart features the adventure “The Threat from Above” that pits the protagonists against an aerial menace that threatens Britain and the whole of Europe. The full game is still in development with no release date set at this time.

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The Gaming Goat CEO Jeff Bergren was escorted out of Gen Con and banned from the convention for violation of anti-harassment policies. When asked on the Gen Con forums about the situation, Gen Con stated that The Gaming Goat as a company was attending the convention but that Bergren was not allowed. Gen Con stated, “we do not discuss the results of our decision making with the public for the safety of all involved”. Berman confirmed his ousting from the convention on a Facebook post. The Gaming Goat came under fire after launching a Kickstarter for the board game Tournament Fishing on Kickstarter featuring cover art of a frog making an “OK” hand gesture, both of which are considered “dogwhistles” for the alt-right and/or white nationalism. Bergren has also been banned from the forums of Board Game Geek due to “a history of behavior across multiple social media platforms that directly conflicts with BBG’s community values.” GAMA also announced via Twitter that Bergren and The Gaming Goat both have been expelled from the organization and from all GAMA shows including Origins.

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Asmodee is up for sale once again with a valuation of €2 billion (about US$2.35 billion). The company, which is the second-largest board game publisher in the world behind Hasbro, was previously bought by Eurazeo following an IPO, which was then sold to PAI Partners, both of which are investment firms. The sale will be administered by Goldman Sachs, the largest investment bank on the planet. The restricting process done by PAI Partners involved the shuttering of Fantasy Flight Games’s RPG department and transferring all of its titles, including the Star Wars and Legend of the Five Rings RPGs, to Edge Studio.

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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, Trecherous 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. The Voices of Warhammer 2021 Bundle by the Black Library is also still available, featuring 19 audio books and audio dramas at the $18 level from both Warhammer: Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000. This bundle benefits EveryLibrary Institute and runs until Thursday, October 7.


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
Yes, I guessed it, but maybe Hasbro could try to acquire some franchises/IPs, for example the Legend of the Five Rings.
If Hasbro buys Asmodee, it'll be for Catan, Pandemic, etc. The RPG properties just aren't big enough for them to spend that kind of money on except Star Wars. And if Hasbro wanted Star Wars, they could get Star Wars by negotiating directly with Disney since they already have the toy license.
 

I have thought about a new Star Wars d20. Do you remember when was the last sourcebook of Star Wars RPG published by Fantasy Flight Games? My opinion is Hasbro and Disney want the IPs because these can be sold as different products, this is known as "multimedia franchises".

And the TTRPG franchises can be the "gold mines" of the future in the entertaiment industry. Videogames get old, and the streaming services are becoming a hard market with serious rivals. A good franchise can keep the value.

Other option could be Hasbro buying shares of stock, or offering some partnership deal, or only buying some pieces of the cake.
 

Abstruse

Legend
I have thought about a new Star Wars d20. Do you remember when was the last sourcebook of Star Wars RPG published by Fantasy Flight Games? My opinion is Hasbro and Disney want the IPs because these can be sold as different products, this is known as "multimedia franchises".

And the TTRPG franchises can be the "gold mines" of the future in the entertaiment industry. Videogames get old, and the streaming services are becoming a hard market with serious rivals. A good franchise can keep the value.

Other option could be Hasbro buying shares of stock, or offering some partnership deal, or only buying some pieces of the cake.
But Asmodee doesn't own Star Wars. Disney does. Even if Hasbro bought Asmodee, they wouldn't have the license to make Star Wars video games or movies. They'd just have the rights to make miniature wargames and RPGs. They wouldn't even get the rights to make Star Wars board games because they already have that. There are two flavors of Star Wars Monopoly in print right now, one for Star Wars in general and one specifically for Mandalorian.

The only settings that Asmodee owns outright for RPGs are Legend of the Five Rings and Android. L5R would be...let's say problematic to expand outside its niche in RPGs, CCGs, and LARP due to the nature of the setting. Plus Hasbro already owned and sold off L5R. When WotC bought TSR, they bought L5R as part of the deal. They sold it off to AEG who sold it to Fantasy Flight. And Android...the next word out of everybody's mouth with that setting is "Netrunner", which is a game they no longer own the rights to because that game is owned by Wizards of the Coast and thus owned by Hasbro.

Not to mention that Hasbro is already licensing off its properties to other RPG companies instead of having Wizards of the Coast make them. Power Rangers, Transformers, GI Joe, My Little Pony? Those are big-name brands but instead of having their own in-house RPG company make them, they've licensed the titles to Renegade.

If Hasbro wants Asmodee, they want Catan. That's where the money is for them.
 


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