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News Digest: Shadowrun Sixth Edition, Origins Award Nominees, BESM New Edition Amid Controversy, Ali

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Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news. Shadowrun Sixth Edition. I will do my best to also talk about other things, such as the new Big Eyes Small Mouth, an official Alien RPG, the Origins Award nominees, and more!
Catalyst Game Labs announced that the sixth edition of Shadowrun will be out this year. This new edition will retain a lot of the core elements from fifth edition while eliminating many unpopular and clunky mechanics. The biggest change is the new Edge System, which acts as a pool of resources during an encounter (both combat and non-combat) that you can spend for different effects in game. This system is meant to replace many situational modifiers that tend to stack up in previous editions (“+1 for this -2 for this +1 for this +2 for this -1 for this…”) and allow for more fluidity and tactical options in an encounter. The magic and Matrix systems are also getting overhauls and the rules will be overall streamlined, so much so that the core rulebook is around 300 pages (the smallest core rulebook since 2nd edition). But don’t worry, the gear chapter is still 50 pages on its own, so there will be plenty of customization and shopping. While no firm release dates have been announced, Line Developer Jason Hardy has stated that the Beginner Box will be released at Origins this June with the Core Rulebook available at Gen Con this August.

White Wolf has licensed the anime roleplaying game Big Eyes Small Mouth to the original creator Mark Mackinnon for a new fourth edition. Originally published by Guardians of Order, the game launched in 1997 at the first upswing of anime’s popularity in the United States and acted as a generic system specifically geared for different genres typical of anime. The announcement has caused controversy as the MacKinnon-owned Guardians of Order allegedly closed its doors owing money to many freelance developers, some as many as five figures, along with accusations of accepting pre-orders for products that the company knew would not be released and continuing to sell licensed products after the original licenses expired and selling products after the company folded using work from unpaid freelancers. No release information has been announced yet, but the press release lists writing credits for the new edition that include Jeff Mackintosh, who passed away in 2016.

Free League announced an officially licensed roleplaying game based on the Alien franchise. This new game will release later this year with a setting that takes place after the second film, Aliens, allowing players to take on the role of colonists, scientists, corporate representatives, Colonial Marines, and more. The full press release is available in the link above, but this segment describes the unique gameplay options in the works for this licensed RPG.

To best capture the Alien experience, the RPG will provide more than the framework for continuous, open-world campaigns. Beyond the sandbox campaign game mode, Free League is also designing a “Cinematic” mode, with pre-generated scenarios that players must complete within a single session. Emulating the dramatic arc of an Alien film, these survival challenges promise escalating stakes and fast (often brutal) gameplay where most players aren’t expected to last the night. Their first cinematic scenario, Chariot of the Gods written by sci-fi novelist Andrew E.C. Gaska (Death of the Planet of the Apes), is included in the core manual. More cinematic modules and game expansions are already in production, with direct tie-ins to Fox’s future plans for the franchise slated for 2020 and beyond.

A trailer (listed as Mature due to some violence, though it’s mostly a slideshow of art from the game) has been posted to Free League’s Vimeo page. No release date or pricing has yet been announced.


Ivan Van Norman spoke with EN World about the licensed roleplaying game for Altered Carbon. The game, based on the novel and Netflix original series, is due for release in 2020 from Hunters Entertainment, best known for the Outbreak survival horror roleplaying games and the kid-adventure Kids on Bikes. The interview goes into detail about release plans, design philosophy, rules systems, and more for the Takeshi Kovacs series of novels, which includes Altered Carbon, Broken Angels, and Woken Furies by author Richard K. Morgan.

The Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for this year’s Origins Awards. The roleplaying game nominees are:

Roleplaying Games

Dusk City Outlaws from Scratchpad Publishing

Flash Gordon Limited Edition Collector's Box Set from Pinnacle Entertainment Group

Forbidden Lands from Free League Publishing

Invisible Sun from Monte Cook Games

MidGard Worldbook from Kobold Press

Mutants & Masterminds Basic Hero's Handbook from Green Ronin Publishing

Numenera Destiny/Discovery Core Rulebook Deluxe Slipcover Set from Monte Gook Games

Star Trek Adventures Starter Set from Modiphius Entertainment

Uprising: The Dystopian Universe from Evil Hat Productions

Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition from Modiphius Entertainment​

Roleplaying Supplement

For the full list of nominees for other categories (including board games, card games, collectible games, miniatures, and more), you can find them on the Origins official announcement. The award winners will be announced on Saturday, June 15, during the Origins Game Fair taking place in Columbus, Ohio.

Autumn Burchett has become the newest member of Magic Esports, the professional esports league for Magic: The Gathering Arena. Burchett, who is nonbinary, is the first member of the esports league who is not a cisgender male. They rose to attention this past February after winning the first-ever Mythic Championship, making them both the first non-male player to win a Pro Tour as well as the first English Pro Tour champion. Burchett is replacing M:TG Hall of Famer Owen Turtenwald, who has been dropped from the esports league after being dropped from the $1 Million Mythic Invitational at PAX East. While no official statements have been made as to the reason Turtenwald was banned, allegations have come forward of sexual assault and predatory behavior toward female tournament players, indicating the ban may be due to violations of harassment policies.

Another Hall of Fame player, Yuuya Watanabe, also landed in hot water this past week after being disqualified from the London Mythic Championship for cheating. Watanabe changes sleeves after twelve rounds into the tournament allegedly due to wear and, after being checked by judges multiple times, one found that several of the Urza lands’ sleeves were sharply folded in a way that marked them, allowing for the set of three powerful colorless mana generating lands to be found within the deck easily. Watanabe accepted the disqualification, saying it was “correct in the context of evidence” and added, “I honestly don’t know how my Urzatron lands became marked”. Wizards of the Coast is reportedly still evaluating the incident and has not yet determined if further sanctions will be necessary.

There’s still one week left in the Asmodee More Board Games Bundle on Humble Bundle. The $1 level gets you Steam keys for Ticket to Ride: First Journey, Gloom, Love Letter, and Twilight Struggle. The Pay What You Want level (at the time of writing just under $9) gets you Pandemic, Carcassonne (plus expansions), Ascension, and Mysterium (plus expansions). Finally, the $12 level gets you Scythe and Pathfinder Adventures (which is based on the legacy adventure card game and is not the isometric roleplaying game Pathfinder Kingmaker). It’s also Warhammer Week in the Humble Store with up to 80% off licensed Warhammer and Warhammer 40K titles including Warhammer Quest, Battlefleet Gothic Armada, Blood Bowl, Space Watch, Deathwatch, Warhammer Vermintide, and more.

One of the worst things when running a game is when the players go off the rails and you’ve got to come up with something for them to do fast. That’s why having an ace up your sleeve like the Fantasy RPG Encounters & Maps can be a lifesaver. This isn’t just an encounter you can drop into any game, it also includes multiple versions of the appropriate maps so you’re never caught off guard. All four seasons, day and night, grid or ungridded, low-res for virtual tabletop or high-res for printing, you’ll be sure to have exactly what you need. The Kickstarter has funded for the City/Town level, which is a rooftop chase across an urban setting inspired by (but doesn’t require) Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, and there’s still stretch goals for country, wilderness, and dungeon encounters as well. And they’re compatible with 5e, Pathfinder, and other fantasy RPGs. You can get one pack for $15, two for $25, or three for $35. This Kickstarter is funded with stretch goals left to unlock until it ends on Wednesday, May 15.

Speaking of easy-to-break-out maps, how about a lay-flat oversized book of to-scale dungeon maps? The Dungeon Book of Battle Maps is a set of two spiral-bound laminated books of dungeon maps designed so that any pages can be placed together in any configuration to create one large map all at the turn of a page and protected from spills and erasable markers. You can get a PDF version for £5 (about US$7), one set of two books for £25 (about US$33), or two sets for £50 (about US$65). This Kickstarter is fully funded and runs until Saturday, May 11.

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@enworldnews.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 see more of Thela Iwidia, Chiss Jedi Knight in Star Wars: The Old Republic, follow me on Twitter where I’ve been live-tweeting myself watching classic 80s fantasy films for the first time (Willow and Ladyhawke are good, Krull is bad, Yor: The Hunter from the Future is indescribable), subscribe to Gamer’s Tavern on YouTube featuring videos on gaming history (such as my recent video on the history of Dragonlance) 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.
Darryl Mott


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Smiteworks just launched their Kickstarter campaign to do the final push for the Fantasy Grounds Unity re-write. Funded in 39 minutes.
I tend to catch things in their last week or so as a sort of safety net for projects that have funded or look like they're close to funding so people don't forget. It's a News Digest column after all and most of the stories I write about have already been reported on EN World. I apologize if it seems rude, but it just bugs me when people comment on my column (which only focuses on 2-3 Kickstarters a week and ones that are in their last week or so) as if I didn't know about big projects like Fantasy Grounds or Critical Role or whatever huge project is out there.

Also, my contact information is everywhere if you feel I've forgotten or overlooked some project that's live so there's no need to spam the comments on my columns. In all honesty, all it does is annoy me and, since I have limited space for all of the projects going on, makes it less likely I'll pick whatever one was spammed to highlight because...well, you've already spammed it in my comments why should I waste space with my semi-endorsement of putting it in my column?


Woww Abtruse, this was not nice. He probably just wanted to help people and you treat him like this. If you have such rules, put them in your post. Or disable comments.


A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
[MENTION=6669048]Abstruse[/MENTION] Chill out. I don't read @Nylandfs comment as an attack on you. He's simply posting about another Kickstarter in a post that discusses Kickstarters. He didn't question why you didn't include it. Nobody expects every digest to include every possible related item of news. EN World is my primary source for learning about Kickstarters, both your posts, posts discussing specific single Kickstarter campaigns, and the comments of the many visitors to this site. It is all valuable and doesn't violate the sites rules, as far I can tell. Your umbrage is misplaced.


To address the concerns: This isn't something specifically directed at this one person, but a long build of people who comment on my columns over the years with "You forgoet about--"

No, I didn't "forget about". I'm either waiting until later in the campaign to highlight that specific one or there's a good reason I didn't mention that Kickstarter.


To address the concerns: This isn't something specifically directed at this one person, but a long build of people who comment on my columns over the years with "You forgoet about--"

No, I didn't "forget about". I'm either waiting until later in the campaign to highlight that specific one or there's a good reason I didn't mention that Kickstarter.
By posting this kind of response you frankly just make yourself look like a bit of a petty minded self important arse.


By posting this kind of response you frankly just make yourself look like a bit of a petty minded self important arse.
If that's how you interpret me saying "Please don't spam the comments of my column with random crowdfunding campaigns", more power to you.

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