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.


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 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!

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Darryl Mott

Darryl Mott

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