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News Digest: Star Trek Playtest Open, Official My Little Pony RPG, No Man's Sky Investigation, Steve

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! Star Trek Adventures opens its playtest to the public, official MLP gaming news, the ASA says Hello Games didn’t use deceptive advertising, Steve Jackson Games new products and organized play announcements, and more!

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! Star Trek Adventures opens its playtest to the public, official MLP gaming news, the ASA says Hello Games didn’t use deceptive advertising, Steve Jackson Games new products and organized play announcements, and more!

The public playtest for Star Trek Adventures from Modiphius Entertainment is now live. The playtests allows you to select from four different “ships” with a different gameplay focus. USS Venture is a broad range of missions, USS Bellerophon is science-based missions, and the USS Thunderchild is conflict-based missions all set in the 24th Century era (the era in which Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager were set). The final ship, the USS Lexington, is a broad range of missions set in the 23rd Century (the era of the Original Series and films Star Trek: The Motion Picture through Star Trek VI: Undiscovered Country). The adventures of the Lexington will serve as a prequel to the events affecting the other three ships.

In addition to the playtest announcement, Modiphius also announced the people working on the project including Dayton Ward (author of over 30 Star Trek novels and novellas), Scott Pearson (author of five Star Trek novels and novellas), Nathan Dowdell (designer on Conan: Adventures in an Age Undreamed Of, Mutant Chronicles 3rd Edition, Black Crusade, and Corvus Bell’s Infinity), with lead writer David Chapman (Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space, Conspiracy X 2.0, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Other designers working on the project announced were Shawn Merwin (D&D 4e), Jim Johnson (Lord of the Rings RPG, Mage: The Ascension), Jacob Ross (Legend of the Five Rings), Ross Isaacs (Star Trek RPG from both Decipher and Last Unicorn), Ian Lemke (Changeling: The Dreaming), John Snead (Eclipse Phase, Star Trek RPG from Last Unicorn), Dan Taylor (writer on IDW Star Trek comics), Bill Maxwell (Fading Suns, Star Trek RPG for Decipher), Tim Beach (AD&D 2nd Edition), Andrew Peregrine (Doctor Who, 7th Sea), Aaron Pollyea (Battletech), Ade Smith (Mutants and Masterminds), Oz Mills (Fantasy AGE, Dragon Age), Chris Huff (Mutants and Masterminds), Kevin Michelson (Mask of Death), and Ryan Schoon (Fragged Empire). They are also holding an open call for additional writers, artists, and designers.

An officially licensed My Little Pony roleplaying game is coming from new company Shinobi 7, formed by Ninja Division and Seven Seas Publishing. Two books have been officially announced for a March 2017 release, My Little Pony: Tales of Equestria Core Rulebook, which will be a 152-page hardcover, and The Curse of the Statuettes Adventure Story Box, which includes a 48-page adventure book, a set of polyhedral dice, and 40 character sheets. Tokens of Friendship will also come out at this time, which contains twelve gemstones in a collector’s bag. While many generic game systems have been developed (most notably Ponyfinder from David Silver), this is the first time a licensed tabletop roleplaying product has been made using official images and trademarks (including Cutie Marks). The game will be designed for the core demographic of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, which the designers described as “tweens”, but noted that they made sure to design a game that will appeal to the entire fanbase of the Hasbro-owned property.

The Advertising Standards Board of the United Kingdom ruled in a complaint filed against both Hello Games Ltd (makers of the crowdfunded video game No Man’s Sky) and Valve Corporation (who manages the distribution platform Steam). The complaint, filed in September by twenty-three individuals, maintained that both Hello Games and Valve led a misleading marketing campaign to promote the game. The ASA found in favor of both companies. Valve was absolved as the Steam platform simply serves advertising content created by game developers and therefore holds no responsibility for false statements made by them. The ASA examined the advertised claims from Hello Games and found that, within the advertising, there was nothing misleading in the advertising as the description listed that the game generated content procedurally rather than fixed content.

This finding is important for gaming in general as crowdfunding becomes a common platform for small, independent companies to receive production funding. Whether it’s a tabletop RPG, a board game, or a video game, designers have to sell games that haven’t been completed yet. This leads to showing CAD design images rather than finished miniatures, promising rules that haven’t been written, or waiting on stretch goals from busy name authors and designers who may miss deadlines, and other issues that change a game from its crowdfunding pitch to its final product. This ruling means that companies aren’t held responsible for those differences so long as the claims originally made are met, at least in the United Kingdom.

Steve Jackson Games made several announcements recently expanding both their presence in game stores and in the mainstream market. Their new release, Batman: The Animated Series Dice Game, will be available in Hot Topic stores across the United States. The press-your-luck dice game has rules similar to their highly successful Zombie Dice rethemed to the best version of Batman ever put to media (and yes, that is an objective fact and I dare anyone in the comments to tell me otherwise). Also announced is the Munchkin Messenger Bag available only for the holiday season with orders closing on December 15th. The bag retails for $74.95 and includes a random Munchkin game, one Munchkin expansion, another randomized Munchkin-themed item, four unique Munchkin cards, a unique six-sided die, and special rules just for owners of the bag that can be used in Munchkin. The bag can hold over a thousand cards plus accessories.

Steve Jackson Games hasn’t forgotten about independent game stores, though, as they are officially launching an organized play initiative for Ogre starting with a launch event on February 11. Store owners signing up for the event receive a free launch kit including a demo copy of Ogre Sixth Edition, a promotional poster, Ogre dice sets, and counter sheets to use as promotional giveaways. To further bolster this initiative, they hired Ian Richards to head up the new organized play division. Richards states in his introductory post that Steve Jackson Games plans to roll out organized play initiatives for all of its game lines. With the recent Dungeon Fantasy Kickstarter for GURPS as well as many posts on the progress of the new edition of Car Wars, it appears as though chasing after big-box exclusives doesn’t mean that they’ve forgotten their hobbyist game roots.

In one of the largest collectible card game auctions, a rare Pokemon CCG card sold for almost $55,000. The card, a holographic Pokemon Illustrator trainer card, was graded PSA 9 Mint and was originally given away to prize winners of a magazine contest with only 23 cards in print. This beats the highest price for a Magic: The Gathering card of just over $45,000 for a BGS 9.5 Alpha Black Lotus last year.

Tabletop gaming has a new contender for the highest funded game as Kingdom Death: Monster 1.5 has topped $7,200,000 at the time of writing. The cooperative horror game pits the players against intelligent monsters in an ongoing campaign play. The game itself weighs in at 17 pounds and includes over a thousand cards, a two foot by three foot game board, seventeen sprues worth of miniatures, a 232-page rulebook, and hundreds of tokens. If you already own the original edition of the game, an upgrade is available for $60, and the full game is available for $195. I should note that while this project runs until Saturday, January 7, the estimated delivery on the final product is December 2020 so it will be a very long time before this game is in your hands.

I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for products that are useful regardless of your game system of choice and add depth to any campaign. In this case, it’s an Orcish to English Dictionary. I’ll let the Kickstarter itself explain more: Kazkulz skaldidz hushdjiokagek muluzkel uth ketae bennathu, gadzmathidz zumors orkors uhura. Gadz pumart udz zak dru ruthanna! Rekkart Barludz Orku yeglorad! Based on the writing done by Matt Vancil on JourneyQuest, this dictionary contains over 2500 words and gives you a chance to put your own spin on the Orcish language as all backer levels can add a word. You can get a PDF copy for $10 or an autographed book for $20. This project is fully funded but you have to hurry as it closes on Sunday, December 11.

Hypercorp 2099: Wasteland is a post-apocalyptic campaign setting and rules addition for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. Inspired by Fallout and Wastelands, this books contains a complete toolkit to allow gamemasters to quickly populate their corner of the wasteland with tables defining what resources are available and what threats lurk behind every abandoned building. This means you can easily bring the open world gaming experience to the tabletop by carefully crafting areas of importance or generating them as needed when your players go off the rails. The book also includes new classes, backgrounds, races, feats, spells, and more to further cement the tone of the setting. You can get the PDF for $10 or add on a voucher for an at-cost print copy for $15. If you missed out on the Hypercorp 2099 Kickstarter, the 5th Edition rules for the cyberpunk game are also available with Wasteland for a $20 pledge or $30 with an at-cost print voucher. This Kickstarter hasn’t funded yet, but it has until Sunday, December 18 to get the (at time of writing) $2000 more needed to fund.

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 keep getting retweeted by Mara Wilson for some reason, 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


For the Kingdom Death: Monster Kickstarter, the full game is actually $250 (without anything else). For $195 you get update stuff for the original game and a couple of expansions.

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