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News Digest: Jack Chick Dies, New Pathfinder Details, Starfinder Interview, Rob Kuntz's New Company,

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! Jack Chick is no longer with us, Paizo releases details on a major new Pathfinder product, Owen KC Stephens goes into detail on Starfinder, D&D Errata update, Rob Kuntz has a new company, F2Z is officially Asmodee Canada, and a lot more!


On Sunday, October 23, 2016, the official Twitter account for the reclusive artist of evangelical Christian comic tracts announced that Jack Chick passed away peacefully in his sleep at the age of 92. I have been wrestling with how to write about this ever since I realized “Oh crap, I have to write an obituary for him”. I mean what does a gamer who grew up in the late 80s/early 90s in rural East Texas say about a man who was one of the largest contributors to the Satanic Panic? “I came here to bury Chick, not praise him”? I’ve always believed that it is possible to condemn the acts of a man in his life without celebrating his death. That being said, I’m not going to judge anyone if they broke into a rousing chorus of “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead”.

Jack Chick began publishing comic books under Chick Publications in 1975, the most famous of his works being the mini-comic Chick Tracts, of which over 250 were produced with more than 100 still in print today. Many gamers know his works through the Chick Tract “Dark Dungeons” (adapted into a film – the only licensed version of Chick’s works ever created – by writer JR Ralls and director Gabriel Gonda distributed by Zombie Orpheus Entertainment), the so-bad-it’s-hilarious comic that promised roleplaying gamers a fate worse than Hell as they are driven to suicide, Satanism, and taught real magic from a cult dedicated to Diana after achieving 8th level in the game. Others may know his tracts against rock music, Harry Potter, and Halloween (frequently given out in the United States instead of candy when trick or treating).

However, that was only a small amount of the work of Chick. Chick Publications pushed a strongly evangelical Christian belief system based off a very strict interpretation of the 1611 King James Version of the Bible. Tracts published were critical of other versions of the Bible and of any group that did not accept that version, most notably Catholics. In fact, Southern Poverty Law Center listed Chick Publications as a hate group due to its anti-Catholic, anti-Muslim, and anti-homosexual rhetoric. These publications have had real-world consequences as the original version of the “Poor Little Witch” tract listed a statistic of “40,000 people murdered from witchcraft ceremonies in the United States every year”. This is just about twice the actual murder rate of the United States at the time. However, this statistic was frequently cited in the 1980s during the Satanic Panic era of modern American history and used to justify many of the actions taken by those of the era. Tracts by Jack Chick are also responsible for pushing the idea of AIDS and other STDs being a punishment from God for feminism and homosexuality (which has stymied research and outreach in treating the diseases), and the phrase “gay agenda” was coined in the 1984 tract “The Gay Blade”. Probably the most controversial tract, “Lisa”, involves sexual abuse of a minor and probably shouldn’t be read by anyone ever.

Jack Chick did a large amount of damage in his life. But rather than celebrate his death, I lament that he never realized the error of his ways before his passing and made attempts to mitigate the damage he has done. Social media all day Monday and Tuesday was filled with stories of people negatively affected by Jack Chick’s works, and I recommend anyone who was too young to remember an era when Chick Tracts were taken seriously by a not-insignificant percentage of the population seek out these stories. For those who lived through the era or who just wants a laugh, the Dark Dungeon film is available now and is most assuredly not a parody of Jack Chick. Because there is no way to add more comedy to the utter insanity of Chick’s works than to portray it straight. The film has the feel of a cheesy after school special, and the tone is exactly what you want – taken so seriously that it turns around and becomes comedy, but with enough sly references that it becomes obvious that this was intentional. Also note that while this is an officially licensed adaptation of his work, Jack Chick gave the rights away for free and receives no money from the sale or distribution of the film. Chick Publications has vowed to continue the work of Jack Chick into the future. In order to avoid giving exposure to this hate group, I have included no links to their works and the image above is not from Jack Chick, but a parody from White Wolf named “Demonic Deviltry” by Jason Achilli (writing under the penname Dr. Robert Ramos) as a promotion for the Demon: The Fallen RPG.

Now that we’ve got that over with, Paizo announced details about the forthcoming Pathfinder sourcebook Pathfinder Adventurer’s Guide. The book will focus on different organizations in the world of Golarion with eighteen different groups profiled, including the Aspis Consortium, Cyphermages, Grey Maidens, Hellknights, Lantern Bearers, Magaambya, Mammoth Lords, Red Mantis, and the title-naming Pathfinder Society. Each will include at least one prestige class and two archetypes in order to increase the idea of specialization in the world. There will also be the usual package of new spells, magic items, feats, and more. The hardcover book clocks in at 192 pages with a MSRP of $39.99. All material will be immediately available for Pathfinder Society use upon release in May 2017.


The daily gaming video show Transparency Agenda hosted by Louis Porter had Owen KC Stephens as a guest this past weekend and, of course, Starfinder came up. Little was officially confirmed that we don’t already know, but much was teased including information about ship-to-ship combat, various technology levels (including a history lesson on power armor in science fiction), and the tone and feel of the game.

[video=youtube;oWlSmkvYuuY]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWlSmkvYuuY[/video]

Wizards of the Coast have updated the official errata for the Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook ahead of its sixth printing with ten new items. Only eleven items have been updated, most of which are clarifications or minor wording adjustments. Two major changes come for multiclassed spellcasting characters and the spell True Resurrection. Cantrips that improve with level count the character level, not just the class level, for multiclassed characters now, and True Resurrection restores any Undead creature to its normal, non-Undead life.


Rob Kuntz, one of the original Dungeons & Dragons players and designers, launched a new company on Wednesday, Three Line Studios. The first project from this company is El Raja Key Archive DVD, an interactive and searchable DVD with campaign notes, adventures, character sheets, and manuscripts from the original Greyhawk, Kalibruhn, and Blackmoor campaigns. Prices range from $39.99 to $159.99 depending on the features you want. Don’t let the website’s dated appearance fool you. This is an archive of over 1000 high resolution scanned documents from the origins of the hobby and I can’t wait to get my grubby little paws on a copy.


Lawyers for Myriad Games and its owner, Dan Yarrington, have filed their response to the lawsuit against them from former business partners Zev Shlasinger and Paul Gerardi. The link above from Board Game Geek includes the entire response, but it is very difficult to read without the original complaint and even then is a bit of a headache to slog through. The summary is that Yarrington states that he did join Zap’d Games LLC and that he agreed to invest $100,000 in the company to start a game store and that they agreed to hire Paul Gerardi at a salary of $30,000 a year as manager but as an “at-will employee” (meaning he could be dismissed for any or for no reason at any time with no notice), deny that Gerardi was to become a partner in the investment, and further deny the majority of the allegations against them. A general conference is scheduled for November 22, 2016.


While no official announcement has been made, it appears as though Canadian distributor F2Z Entertainment was purchased by Asmodee as they have changed their name to Asmodee Canada. F2Z Entertainment owns Z-Man Games (Pandemic), Filosofia Editions (a French-Canadian localization distributor), Pretzel Games (Flick ‘Em Up), and Plaid Hat Games (Dead of Winter). This means that, of the ten currently best-selling board games in the American hobby market, Asmodee now owns eight of them, with Cool Mini or Not being the only other company to hold a top ten slot (one for Blood Rage and one for Zombicide).


Monte Cook Games is back on Kickstarter with an expansion to their ENnie Award winning children’s roleplaying game No Thank You, Evil! The Adventure Continues. Designed for children of all ages, No Thank You, Evil! is looking to add two new books to their line-up. Story, Please! is a 100 card deck with art and ideas meant to jump-start your imagination as you come up with new stories to tell and is cross-compatible with the Creature and Cypher cards in the original game. The second expansion is Uh-Oh, Monsters! which adds new monsters, aliens, robots, and more along with 30 new Creature cards, and 15 stand-up pawns to help bring the adventure to life. A $20 pledge gets you Story, Please! in print and PDF, $50 gets you Story, Please! and Uh-Oh, Monsters!, and $90 gets you both plus the core set for those new to the game. There are a lot more options, add-ons, and deluxe editions available as well. This campaign is already close to funding on its first day and runs until Friday, November 11.

Pathogenesis is a deck building game in the ever-growing theme of diseases as one to four players work together as bacteria fighting off the host body’s natural defenses to bring them down. I mean come on, you have to love a game that brought an actual scientific illustrator on board to make sure things are accurate but still includes a “Con Crud” card in the game. The game is available for a $39 pledge, or a Classroom Pack is available for $75 which includes two full copies of the game and four additional starter decks (allowing 3 total games of 12 players) meant for use in educational settings. If you want in on this fully-funded Kickstarter, you’ll have to move fast because it ends Friday, October 28 at 9:59AM Central Time.

Bluebeard’s Bride is a fascinating take on narrative-focused roleplaying as it is based around an original story and branches off from that. “A young bride is wed to an ugly, but powerful man with a blue beard. On their wedding night he must attend to other urgent matters. He gives her the keys to every room, inviting her to explore… but one room in his house is forbidden. The bride eventually falls prey to her curiosity and opens it, discovering the gruesome sight of former brides who had been murdered... evidence that reveals her husband to be a killer of women.” That is the description of the setting of this horror game and, while it seems very narrow, keep in mind that Ravenloft is also spun from the tale of a wedding night gone wrong. And like the original I6: Ravenloft module, this game comes with a scenario full of randomly generated elements giving the same adventure multiple replay options. This Apocalypse System-fueled game is available in PDF format for a $10 pledge, a $20 pledge to add on the first expansion Book of Rooms, $50 to get both PDFs and the core rulebook in hardcover, and $100 for the full deluxe edition with custom dice, story decks, and tokens. This Kickstarter is fully funded and has almost run out of published stretch goals as it runs until Sunday, November 20.

That’s all for this week. Find more gaming news at the EN World News Network 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 news@enworldnews.com. You can follow me on Twitter @Abstruse where I will probably be talking about nothing but Skyrim as if it's not just a five year old game that only got an HD graphical upgrade, or you can listen to the archives of the Gamer’s Tavern podcast. Until next time, may all your hits be crits!
 
Darryl Mott

Darryl Mott

Desh-Rae-Halra

Explorer
I have to say that the Louis Porter Jr. Design banner is a real turn off. Even though I sense it is supposed to come off as witty, it lands on me as breaking Wheaton's Law
 

Paizo announced details about the forthcoming Pathfinder sourcebook Pathfinder Adventurer’s Guide. The book will focus on different organizations in the world of Golarion with eighteen different groups profiled, including the Aspis Consortium, Cyphermages, Grey Maidens, Hellknights, Lantern Bearers, Magaambya, Mammoth Lords, Red Mantis, and the title-naming Pathfinder Society. Each will include at least one prestige class and two archetypes in order to increase the idea of specialization in the world. There will also be the usual package of new spells, magic items, feats, and more. The hardcover book clocks in at 192 pages with a MSRP of $39.99. All material will be immediately available for Pathfinder Society use upon release in May 2017.

This is a bit of a change in design strategy from Paizo.
And not just because they're announcing a book only 7 months in the future.... (normally this stuff gets announced at PaizoCon in June)

This is listed as an RPG book, which tend to be setting neutral and not mention Golarion, while this very much sounds like it very much is *not* setting neutral. I could see that being a marketing mistake and this is meant to be a Campaign Setting hardcover, like Inner Sea Races and Inner Sea Gods.
It sounds like an updated and expanded version of the faction guide:
http://paizo.com/products/btpy8emo?Pathfinder-Chronicles-Faction-Guide
 

Ghost2020

Explorer
Supporter
Jack Chick did cause a lot of damage, but he'll be forever known for his comedic genius. His material was so absurd, to the point of being laughable.

His ignorance and hatred will die with him. We've moved on and left him behind. The game industry thrives and so does D&D. He's mocked now more than anything.
 

Jack Chick did cause a lot of damage, but he'll be forever known for his comedic genius. His material was so absurd, to the point of being laughable.

His ignorance and hatred will die with him. We've moved on and left him behind. The game industry thrives and so does D&D. He's mocked now more than anything.

probably it will not. His website promised to "continue his ministry unchanged" as of tuesday morning...
 


D&Dsince76

First Post
Jack Chick's ignorance & hatred may, or may not, have died with him... Unfortunately, Ignorance & Hatred is an immortal beast - with someone always ready & willing to carry it's banner (i.e.: Westboro Baptst Church).

Peace
 


Zil

Explorer
This is a bit of a change in design strategy from Paizo.
And not just because they're announcing a book only 7 months in the future.... (normally this stuff gets announced at PaizoCon in June)

This is listed as an RPG book, which tend to be setting neutral and not mention Golarion, while this very much sounds like it very much is *not* setting neutral. I could see that being a marketing mistake and this is meant to be a Campaign Setting hardcover, like Inner Sea Races and Inner Sea Gods.
It sounds like an updated and expanded version of the faction guide:
http://paizo.com/products/btpy8emo?Pathfinder-Chronicles-Faction-Guide

The artwork is not yet final according to the ICv2 link, so perhaps having it in the RPG instead of the Campaign Setting line may just be an error in the temporary artwork.
 
Last edited by a moderator:



Tranquilis

First Post
Has anyone compared Chick to Hitler or Pol Pot yet? I'm sure I've just missed it. I mean, ol' Jack did round up all the folks he was "anti" about, and put them in camps, right?

Southern Poverty Law Center? Really? Give me a break.

The man felt a sincere burden to express his beliefs, and he did so peacefully. Happens every day in every walk of life: religious, political, philosophical, etc. Putting himself out there like that publicly opens him up to criticism. Legitimate criticism is one thing, but I swear some folks act like he wrote these tracts while stationed at Buchenwald.

Talk about dramatic.
 


Erik Mona

Adventurer
[/COLOR]
This is listed as an RPG book, which tend to be setting neutral and not mention Golarion, while this very much sounds like it very much is *not* setting neutral. I could see that being a marketing mistake and this is meant to be a Campaign Setting hardcover, like Inner Sea Races and Inner Sea Gods.
It sounds like an updated and expanded version of the faction guide: [/COLOR]http://paizo.com/products/btpy8emo?Pathfinder-Chronicles-Faction-Guide

It's correctly solicited. This is a Pathfinder RPG book with lots of rules and character options, just like our other Pathfinder RPG books. In this case, however, instead of making up new adventurer's unions, knighthoods, and assassin's guilds on which to hang the new mechanics, we're using the established organizations from the Pathfinder world.

Our reasoning is that people who want to kitbash their own setting stuff around this will be changing the names one way or the other, so this book is a bit of an experiment to see what happens when we blur the lines a bit more on the setting/no setting approach.

That said, the focus here is very much on character options, so it should look and feel very much like a "traditional" Pathfinder RPG book, even though we're taking a slightly different direction with this one.

Erik Mona
Publisher
Paizo Inc.
 

It's correctly solicited. This is a Pathfinder RPG book with lots of rules and character options, just like our other Pathfinder RPG books. In this case, however, instead of making up new adventurer's unions, knighthoods, and assassin's guilds on which to hang the new mechanics, we're using the established organizations from the Pathfinder world.

Our reasoning is that people who want to kitbash their own setting stuff around this will be changing the names one way or the other, so this book is a bit of an experiment to see what happens when we blur the lines a bit more on the setting/no setting approach.

That said, the focus here is very much on character options, so it should look and feel very much like a "traditional" Pathfinder RPG book, even though we're taking a slightly different direction with this one.

Erik Mona
Publisher
Paizo Inc.
Interesting...

I have wondered how well Pathfinder would do if the RPG embraced Golarion a little more and didn't have to continually contort itself itself into the "generic fantasy RPG design space". If there was more overlap between the Campaign setting team and the RPG team, especially in terms of hardcovers.

Ironically, it being a "traditional" Pathfinder RPG book makes it less appealing to me. The last few campaign setting hardcovers have knocked it out of the park in terms of flavour, story, and just presentation. Inner Sea Races looked great compared to the other RPG books, and Inner Sea Gods is still the high water mark (excluding APs...) And more organization world lore and flavour has far more appeal to me now than more character options.
 


Henry

Autoexreginated
Has anyone compared Chick to Hitler or Pol Pot yet? I'm sure I've just missed it. I mean, ol' Jack did round up all the folks he was "anti" about, and put them in camps, right?

Southern Poverty Law Center? Really? Give me a break.

The man felt a sincere burden to express his beliefs, and he did so peacefully. Happens every day in every walk of life: religious, political, philosophical, etc. Putting himself out there like that publicly opens him up to criticism. Legitimate criticism is one thing, but I swear some folks act like he wrote these tracts while stationed at Buchenwald.

Talk about dramatic.
I'm not sure if you had any direct experiences of Chick's work in the 70s and 80s, but his company, with him at the head, did go around proverbially peeing in the cereal of a LOT of people with different beliefs - and adding fuel to the fire of many hate groups, to boot. Speaking as somebody who had to lie to half his family while growing up about what I was doing on weekends to keep from being kicked pit of the local church, if all he did was espouse his beliefs that's one thing; instead his propoganda packets were in the majority of protestant churches throughout the U.S. In the 70s and 80s. I probably owned a few dozen myself. :) I'm not sure which pressed more copies - Chick Publications, or AOL Floppies and CDs. You could wallpaper your living room with one, and tile your bathroom with the other.
 

Abstruse

Hero
I'm not sure which pressed more copies - Chick Publications, or AOL Floppies and CDs. You could wallpaper your living room with one, and tile your bathroom with the other.
I've seen the number "800 million tracts" stated, but that seems on the low side considering they have 250 different titles and translate into over 100 languages. Meanwhile, a Time Warner executive stated in 2005 that they shipped more than 660 million CDs. So Jack Chick wins in a landslide. Or a landfill, which is where both deserve to be.
 

prosfilaes

Adventurer
The man felt a sincere burden to express his beliefs, and he did so peacefully. Happens every day in every walk of life: religious, political, philosophical, etc. Putting himself out there like that publicly opens him up to criticism. Legitimate criticism is one thing, but I swear some folks act like he wrote these tracts while stationed at Buchenwald.

We feel a sincere burden to express our beliefs, and are doing so peacefully. I'm not sure how you can hold us to a higher standard then a man who published hundreds of millions of tracts filled with calumny. Including https://www.chick.com/reading/books/153/153_03.asp , which literally claims "Hitler's war machine was built and financed by the Vatican to conquer the world for Roman Catholicism", if you want to talk about people accusing their opponents of literally being Nazis...
 

I've seen the number "800 million tracts" stated, but that seems on the low side considering they have 250 different titles and translate into over 100 languages. Meanwhile, a Time Warner executive stated in 2005 that they shipped more than 660 million CDs. So Jack Chick wins in a landslide. Or a landfill, which is where both deserve to be.

The scariest part of it is that people pay for those tracts to be printed and shipped, generally already knowing their content.
 

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