News Digest: Hurricane Relief Bundles, Double the Fallout News, Games Workshop Finances, and more!

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! Game companies come to the aid of hurricane victims once again, Fantasy Flight announces details for two games, Modiphius releases pre-order info for Fallout: Wasteland Warfare, Games Workshop releases their annual fiscal report, and more!

With the devastating damage in Puerto Rico, many gaming companies are once again stepping up to help out. EN World has a list of many of the companies, but I wanted to highlight again one of the largest from Drive Thru, the Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief Bundle which includes over 100 different products worth a total of over $500, available for just $25.00 with all proceeds going to GlobalGiving for their Puerto Rico and Caribbean Hurricane Relief Fund. In addition, Green Ronin has expanded their promotion for to include Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook and Fantasy AGE Bestiary 10% off in both PDF and print with 20% of all sales going to the Hurricane Maria Community Relief & Recovery Fund.

Fantasy Flight Games released a preview of Fallout: The Board Game in the form of a “Wasteland Survival Guide”, written in the tone of a Vault-Tec manual complete with the tongue-in-cheek tone. The game itself will focus on exploration as you reveal tiles that may contain hazards such as high radiation or enemies from radroaches to raiders to deathclaws. Combat is handled through the roll of three VATS dice, comparing totals versus armor with different character traits and weapons allowing re-rolls. There is also a quest-based system which gives you goals to accomplish for XP, loot, influence, and more. The website specifically calls out both Diamond City and Megaton, implying that the core game will be based either in Boston or Washington DC if not both. The game will retain for $59.99 and has a release date of March 30, 2018, on Amazon, though initial statements from Fantasy Flight indicated a Q4 2017 release and the Bethesda website lists an estimated ship date of “January 2018”.

That’s not the only Fallout pre-orders, as Modiphius announced pricing and pre-orders for the Fallout: Wasteland Warfare miniature skirmish game. There are a lot of options here and I’m not going to go into all of them, but the two player starter set will have two versions, a normal one for $79.99 and a resin version for $92.99. There will also be special starter bundles for Survivors, Super Mutants, and Brotherhood of Steel (which include the PVC pre-assembled version of the starter set plus additional minis and expansion cards) for $165.99, a Vault Dweller bundle for $443.99 that includes all three faction expansions, and a Vault-Tec Complete Package that includes pretty much one of everything (plus two of the Starter Scenic Set terrain models) for a total of $925.99. This game will release in March of 2018.

In a follow-up to last week’s column, The Legend of the Five Rings beta is now live and the 233-page rulebook is available in PDF for free from the Fantasy Flight website. The rulebook gives a good primer to the setting and culture of Rokugan, while the rules system itself appears based on the system used by the Star Wars roleplaying game system. This playtest will run for twelve weeks and they will be requesting feedback through surveys and forum feedback. A mailing list has been set up for updates as the beta test progresses, with an additional contest for twenty-five subscribers to the mailing list to receive a signed copy of the final hardback when the game is released.

Toys-R-Us is attempting a rebranding while under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection complete with new, restructured departments. This restructuring will debut at New York Comic Con and will feature a major department named the Fun Vault. This section will focus on more “geek culture” focused items such as anime toys from Bandai America and BlueFin as well as an increased stock of Funko figurines. Funko is reportedly owed $3.7 million by the toy store chain due to credit-based purchases of in-store stock, while game companies Mattel and Hasbro are owed $136 million and $59 million, respectively. Washington Post also reported “widespread panic” among suppliers due to money owed by the chain, which may be uncollectable and cause serious financial issues if the chain folds and the debt cannot be collected. Many will be watching sales this holiday season as it appears to be make-or-break for the toy store giant.

Games Workshop stores appear to be far more stable than our previous story, according to ICv2. The company-owned hobby stores in the United States increased sales 58% over the previous fiscal year ending in May 2017, with a final total of $22.5 million in sales across the chain. Meanwhile, company sales are up worldwide by 34% with sales of £118 million with profits of £30.5 million (up from £13.5 million the previous fiscal year). Of note is that the fiscal year ending in May 2017 means that this does not include sales of the new edition of Warhammer 40k which was not released until June of this year.

Violent Life is a podcast focusing on Shadowrun with a very interesting twist: Their main show is an in-character drama fully-produced and set in the Sixth World. They also produce other shows such as actual-plays and out-of-character advice on playing and running Shadowrun. Now the pledge levels on the Patreon are listed in ¥ (Nuyen, the currency of Shadowrun), but that’s for style in the descriptions only so they’re actually in US Dollars and not Japanese Yen. That said, a $1 pledge gets you bonus access to their Discord server, $5 gets access to character sheets and behind-the-scenes outtakes and information, and there’s more from there.

Frank Mentzer’s Empyrea Fantasy Setting is live on Kickstarter now and wow is this a big one. This past week, Morrus interviewed Mentzer about the project and his long career in gaming for you young ones out there who don’t remember the iconic Basic Dungeons & Dragons Red Box and all the other work on D&D that Mentzer has done. This project is ambitious with a $250,000 goal, but you’ll see why in a moment. Empyrea will have options for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, Pathfinder, Runequest, Savage Worlds, Dungeon Crawl Classics, Castles & Crusades, Swords & Wizardry, Hackmaster, Dungeons & Dragons BECMI, Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition, and Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition. Not only that, but each of these will be offered in their own unique boxed set in print format. Let’s run down the list of names working on this: Frank Mentzer, Ted Fauster, Tim Beach, Steve Winter, David “Zeb” Cook, Ed Greenwood, Tracy Hickman, Harold Johnson, Tim Kask, Steve Marsh, Douglas Niles, James M. Ward, Skip Williams, Margaret Weis, Liz Danforth, Jeff Dee, Jeff Easley, Larry Elmore, and Jennell Jaquays. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. The PDF is available for $50, while you can add on the physical copy for $75. And there are many other reward levels with some very exciting rewards from these legendary designers. The boxed sets will include the Empyrea Core Book, Empyrea Player’s Guide, and a System Book with the crunchy rules material for the rules system you choose from that list with additional System Book copies for other systems available as add-ons. This project is still working toward its ambitious funding goal, but it’s got until Sunday, November 12 to get there.

Wow, how can I top that in the Kickstarters? Oh, John Wick, one of the designers behind Legend of the Five Rings and who created 7th Sea which is currently the highest-funding roleplaying game Kickstarter of all time, is bringing an Asian-influenced sequel to that Kickstarter with 7th Sea: Khitai. This book explores the world of Théah, the eastern lands of the 7th Sea setting including the new nations Fuso, Han, and Shenzhou. More than just an expansion and campaign setting, this is a stand-alone game cross-compatible with the original 7th Sea 2nd Edition so you can play it on its own as a self-contained game or you can combine the two to create a cross-cultural adventure. The PDF of the core book is available for $20, while $35 gets you all stretch goals as well (some of which are already unlocked), $45 adds on the ten 7th Sea PDFs currently available, and $60 gets you the physical book. This project is fully-funded and also runs until Sunday, November 12.

Let’s shift over to super heroes with Jacob E. Blackmon’s Super Powered Legends, a collection of over 180 heroes and villains for Mutants & Masterminds previously published by Owen K.C. Stephens’s Rogue Genius Games collected with all-new material and art for the first time in a single volume. Sure, that may be slightly overshadowed by the other two campaigns this week, but this is also incredibly impressive as this book exists solely from the hard work and dedication of a single creator who wrote every word, designed every stat, and drew every picture. This creates a singular vision for a superhero universe that not even the comic giants of today can match. For a $20 pledge you can get the single-volume collection of previously published material, $25 gets you all the stretch goals (and there are some big ones on the table as well), and $35 to get an “at-cost” print-on-demand version along with all PDF content. This campaign is fully funded and runs until Tuesday, October 17.

That’s all from me for this week! Find more gaming crowdfunding news at the EN World RPG Kickstarter News website, and don’t forget to support our Patreon to bring you even more gaming news content. If you have any news to submit, email us at You can follow me on Twitter @Abstruse where I lament my ability to find pictures from the 1970s, you can watch my brand-new series on YouTube Gamer’s Tavern History Check where I explore different areas of gaming history, 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, and/or DriveThru may contain affiliate links with the proceeds going to the author of this column.
Darryl Mott