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News Digest: More Volo's Guide Previews, HasbroCon, Pathfinder Comic Crossover, Magic thefts, and mo

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s batch of gaming news. Volo’s Guide to Monsters has a lot of new previews out, Hasbro announces its own convention, Pathfinder is crossing over with everyone in a new comic, DC Comics Deckbuilding is going Rogue, a rash of petty crime has struck the industry over the past days, and more!


More details are trickling out about Volo’s Guide to Monsters, as several teaser pages have been released so far. We have a new PC race, the Firbolgs, who are a type of very tall fae creatures with the ability to disguise themselves who have stats to make them excellent clerics or druids. Wizards of the Coast also released several pages describing the different monsters as well, including two pages on lore for the Mind Flayer, one on Beholder lore, and two variant Beholders – the Mindwitness and the Gauth. Finally, we’ve gotten a preview of the art for the Fire Giant Dreadnought and a page of a fully realized Giant background. Just a reminder that Volo’s Guide to Monsters comes out on November 15 with a retail price of $49.95 and Wizard Network stores on November 4. Check your local gaming store, or you can pre-order now through many outlets such as Amazon.

Hasbro officially announced HasCon, a convention for various Hasbro products and licenses including Transformers, GI Joe, My Little Pony, and more. While Dungeons & Dragons was not part of the press release, Magic: The Gathering was with an image of Jace used in the logo banner along with Bumblebee and Rainbow Dash as seen above. The convention will take place in Hasbro’s hometown of Providence, RI, from September 8-10, 2017. Badge sales are not yet active, but there is a sign-up on the official website to be notified when they are available for purchase. This move comes on the coattails of the announcement that Hasbro’s sales are up 13% for Q3, with Magic: The Gathering and Duel Monsters (along with Pie Face, Simon, and Bop-it) as the driving forces behind the jump in profits. Another major factor is a focus on female-driven licenses including a Disney Princess line, with sales among girls rising a whopping 57%. The announcement was enough to drive up Hasbro’s share prices by a full 7% in active trading.

Pathfinder: Worldscape has finally hit the hands of reviewers, including EN World’s own Christopher Helton. The ongoing series from Dynamite Entertainment brings together many of its licensed products with a focus on Pathfinder, as Erik Mona of Paizo scripted the book. In the first issue, Pathfinder Iconics run across several well-known characters from fiction including John Carter, Tarzan, Fantomah, Princess Pha of the Shareen, and Camilla Jungle Queen with a gladiatorial battle between Red Sonja and Valeros (a fighter focusing on two-weapon fighting and one of the original Iconics from Pathfinder). Each issue will also include Pathfinder game statistics for different characters and monsters in that comic’s issue. The first issue should be in comic stores now with a cover price of $4.99, and you can order multiple variant covers from the Paizo website.

The DC Comics Deckbuilding Game from Cryptozoic gets a new expansion early next year with Crossover Pack #5: Rogues. The set includes thirty-one new cards and six oversized supervillains ready to be added to any of the three starter sets available now (Heroes United, Forever Evil, and Teen Titans). A new mechanic will be added with this expansion, Teamwork, which allows you to play cards from another player’s deck so long as you cut them in on the rewards. The set will retail for $13.00 and release sometime in the first quarter of 2017.

CBC reported a late night robbery of Moncton, New Brunswick comic and game store Comic Hunter. The robber knew what to go for, as he specifically targeted a glass case of rare Magic: The Gathering cards. The store has posted a full list of cards stolen on their Facebook page, but the list includes a Black Lotus, Berzerk, Mox Pearl, Mox Ruby, signed Timetwister, Wrath of God, and many other valuable cards. The robbery occurred around 3:55AM on Friday, October 14 when a white male in a baseball cap smashed the glass door to the store and went immediately to the rare card case. If you have any information about the crime, please contact the Codiac RCMP.

Another robbery took place, this time at the Essen Speil convention in Germany. A new game company, LudiCreations, had their cash box stolen from their booth in the middle of the convention floor. This is a huge blow to a smaller company attempting to gain market space at one of the largest gaming conventions in the world. In an attempt to make lemonade out of the lemons, however, LudiCreations put together a new game called Steal This Game on Kickstarter in order to attempt to mitigate the losses. A postcard-sized microgame that plays in under five minutes with two dice (not included), the game is basically a re-creation of the crime they suffered. One player is the Robber and one the Exhibitor, with the Robber attempting to steal the money and the Exhibitor attempting to catch them in the act. They’ve already raised more than $25,000 and still have until Sunday, October 30 for the campaign. If you want to chip in, a copy of the game is available for a $5 pledge.

The last time Matthew Inman and Elan Lee went to Kickstarter, they broke all the records for tabletop gaming by raising more than $8.8 million with Exploding Kittens. The trend seems to be continuing with their newest project, Bears vs Babies, as it has already hit seven figures in its very first day. The game features the same sort of dead simple yet elegant game design with the amusingly dark humor as Exploding Kittens, only this time you’re attempting to build a Bear (or some other monstrocity) in order to defeat a horde of vicious babies ready to attack you. There’s only two pledge levels, $25 for the core set or $35 to add on a NSFW expansion. This project has until Thursday, November 17 to see if it can set a new record for tabletop games.

Inman’s not the only big name on Kickstarter. Ed Greenwood and Matt Mercer are teaming up for Open Legend. This “Open Narrative, Open Genre, Open Dice, Open Source” roleplaying game with the goal to create a fast, flexible game system for use in any genre no matter what story you want to tell with a complete open license to allow both fan-made and commercial products from third parties. Also part of this campaign is the first setting for the game system, Amaurea’s Dawn. A $20 pledge gets you the PDF of either of the two books, $35 gets you both (plus stretch goals), $40 gets you one in hardcover plus the associated PDF, $55 gets you both PDFs and one hardcover book, and $80 gets you both books in PDF and hardcover format. This campaign has already funded and is knocking out stretch goals until Sunday, November 20.

Diemension Games is launching its very first game, Deep Madness, a cooperative Lovecraftian horror game for 1-6 players with over 100 miniatures included. The game features eight different scenarios with a modular board system using thirty double-sided tiles which seems to offer large amounts of replay value. The game is available for a $100 pledge, though you may be able to slide in for one of the Early Bird spots at $90 if your timing is right. This campaign has unlocked twenty-two stretch goals already and still has until Friday, November 11 to finish them out.

Upwind RPG from Biohazard Games is another first-time project that seems rather interesting. A fantasy game set in a world with influences (in their own words) from Studio Ghibli, Disney’s Treasure Planet, and Bakshi’s Wizards. Airships and floating cities seem to be the order of the day for this system according to the preview art. What’s most interesting, though, is the “Q System” powering the game which the creators describe as a “quantum mechanic” using negotiated states and playing cards to determine action outcomes. While it may sound a little out there, this game comes from Jeff Barber (Midnight, Blue Planet) and Stewart Wieck (founder of White Wolf), so there is a strong resume behind this design. A PDF copy of the game is available for $15, a hardcover copy for $55, and all that plus a custom playing card deck and more for $80. This campaign is fully funded and running until Thursday, November 10.

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 you can hear my screams through the internet as I try to get Fallout mods to work properly, or you can listen to the archives of the Gamer’s Tavern podcast. Links in this article to Amazon or Drive Thru are affiliate links with a portion of sales going to the column’s author.

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Darryl Mott

Darryl Mott

From the HASCON official press release:

"From bringing the first action figure to life with G.I. JOE, to creating a world where robots are truly ‘more than meets the eye'with TRANSFORMERS, Hasbro's brands have always overflowed with rich stories and dynamic, multi-faceted characters, providing an incredible platform to capture the imaginations of fans of all ages. The premiere HASCON event will bring the magic of decades of storytelling under one roof for the ultimate, immersive Hasbro fan and family experience. Hasbro's top properties, including TRANSFORMERS, MY LITTLE PONY, NERF, MAGIC THE GATHERING, PLAY-DOH, MONOPOLY, G.I. JOE and many others will be reimagined through dynamic stage performances and unique opportunities for fans to engage with their favorite characters. In addition to interactive experiences designed to offer attendees a glimpse into Hasbro's imaginative storytelling in action, visitors will have the chance to see first-look previews of Hasbro's biggest television and movie series, attend panels and meet-and-greets with celebrities and creative talent associated with Hasbro brands, take part in Hasbro Gaming competitions and purchase special limited-edition Hasbro products."

"first-look previews of...... television and movie series"

Sept 2017 is far enough into the future to maybe get some D&D movie info or footage. I also wonder if they would ever attempt an animated Magic TV show? After all, the anime series based on card games seem to be pretty popular.

I'll be the first (and hopefully only) one to say this, but that M:tG character in the banner isn't Jace Beleren, it's a man named Gideon Jura. Not to be nitpicky, but hopefully you catch it before other Magic fans poke their head in to read the article.

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