News Digest: Stranger Things D&D Set, Numenera for 5e Teased, New Star Trek Adventures books, and mo

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! It’s been a rather volatile week for the roleplaying industry, so let’s focus on the good news! A new Dungeons & Dragons beginner box tie-in with Stranger Things announced, 5e note pages showing up in Monte Cook Games shipments, WOIN system has a new mini-setting with Spirits of Manhattan, new Star Trek Adventures releases, and more!
A new Dungeons & Dragons starter set was announced at the New York Toy Fair, a licensed tie-in with the Netflix television show Stranger Things. The set has similar features to the existing Starter Set (a set of polyhedral dice, streamlined D&D 5e rules for playing Levels 1-5, etc.), though this version will include two figures of the Demogorgon featured in the show, pre-generated characters based on the ones in Mike’s game, and an adventure “Hunt for the Thessalhydra” also written by Mike. What’s interesting about this box set in particular is that the publisher isn’t Wizards of the Coast, but Hasbro Gaming (though the Wizards logo is on the box). The set is available for pre-order now with a retail price of $24.99 and a release date of May 1, 2019, putting it on store shelves a couple months before the July 4, 2019, release of the third season of Stranger Things on Netflix.

Hasbro released their Q4 fiscal report to shareholders and, while Hasbro Gaming overall had a revenue decline of 12%, sales of the Wizards of the Coast game lines Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons are both up and were specifically cited in the report. The downturn overall is speculated to be a lingering effect of the closure and liquidation of Toys R Us stores, as the inventory was purchased in the liquidation and slowing sales through traditional distribution methods. If this is the case, it’s not surprising then that both Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons weren’t affected as much since those brands never featured as much in Toys R Us stores as Hasbro’s other family game lines. The bright spots for the company include the successful launch of Magic: The Gathering Arena in beta with over 350 million games played in the fourth quarter alone, with a full release planned for the online card game this year.

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Paizo released a details of their plans from here forward for the Pathfinder Society transition to Pathfinder 2nd Edition. In a blog post by organized play manager Tonya Woldridge, she outlined the process to prepare for a restructuring for the new rules system including playtest point rewards, faction names and symbols, sanctioning of adventures, support programs, replay for previous 1st Edition seasons, and more. Additionally, if you’re a Pathfinder Society member but haven’t finished yet, you can still earn playtest points for four of the playtest scenarios (The Rose Street Revenge, Raiders of Shrieking Peak, Arclord's Envy, and The Frozen Oath) until at least mid-July (the exact cutoff date has not been determined).

Some shipments of Monte Cook Games releases, such as Numenera: Slaves of the Machine God, had an odd inclusion with them: Pages ripped from Numenera books with handwritten notes that look like D&D 5e rules notations. Monte Cook Games responded on Twitter by saying:

Some very mysterious notes are being found in a few MCG shipments...

We're sure we wouldn't have the faintest idea what those scrawlings might mean.

PAY NO ATTENTION.

Of course, speculation started immediately of D&D 5e version of Numenera. If that’s the case, it will most likely be an OGL sourcebook, but considering Monte Cook’s history with Wizards of the Coast as designer for Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition and an early designer on Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, an officially licensed third party book isn’t out of the question either.

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EN Publishing’s ever-expanding W-series of books for the WOIN Roleplaying Game has a new entry, Spirits of Manhattan! The W-series each takes a popular if niche subgenre of fiction and includes rules to run games in those settings as well as an adventure. The first book in the series, Xenomorphs, featured sci-fi horror and Dark Decade focused on urban fantasy and Chosen One fighters of evil in the modern day. This new book, Spirits of Manhattan, is all about ghost b…attling as you take on the role of paranormal investigations and eliminations in the City that Never Sleeps. The PDF is available from DriveThruRPG for $9.99 or you can get it in paperback from Amazon for $19.99. (Disclosure: EN Publishing is the roleplaying publishing arm of EN World.)

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Modiphius announced three new books for Star Trek Adventures due out later this year. First coming later this month is the Science Division which focuses on the science and medical departments of Starfleet with new character options, equipment, NPCs, and more. This closes out the trilogy for Starfleet divisions following the Command Division and Operations Division books already out. Coming next in July is the Alpha Quadrant sourcebook with details on Deep Space Nine, Bajor, the Cardassian Union, the Ferengi Alliance, and more powers in the Alpha Quadrant. Finally in August, there’s Strange New Worlds, a compilation of ten new missions for the game focusing on away missions on dangerous and strange alien worlds.

The Break Into the Game Industry Bundle from Humble Bundle is still going on, featuring books on game design theory like level and environmental design, character design, marketing for indie games, and more. While it focuses more on video games, many of these books apply just as well to tabletop and roleplaying games. If you are wanting to learn to code video games or create a digital tool for your roleplaying game, there’s the Intro to Code bundle as well featuring books on Python, CSS, Phaser 3, SQL, Javascript, Unity, and more. The Break into the Game Industry bundle runs until Monday, February 18, while the Intro to Code bundles runs until Wednesday, February 20.

Gallant Knight Games is bringing a classic hero to tables with Zorro: The Roleplaying Game using the West End Games D6 system 2nd Edition. This licensed rulebook will be out for the 100th anniversary of the masked vigilante swashbuckler and allow you to right wrongs in the frontier of Alta California. The full-color book will be over 200 pages and use the newest edition of the classic WEG D6 system, keeping the same flexible D6 dice pool but updated with a sleeker, more modern design. The PDF is available for a $15 pledge, while the hardcover is available for $60, a set with custom dice and hero tokens for $90, or a deluxe faux-leather edition for $150. This Kickstarter is fully funded and runs until Friday, February 22.

The Tome of Magical Mystery for 5e is…probably exactly what you’d expect from the title. This book contains more than 200 new magical items for 5e spread over all four tiers of play. All backers will also have the option to submit their own magic item for possible inclusion in the book. The PDF is available for a $20 pledge, print-and-play versions of the cards from all four Decks of Magical Mystery are added for $35, the hardcover edition for $40, and a bundle for $60 includes the hardcopy, PDF, and print-and-play cards. This Kickstarter is fully funded with a few stretch goals left to unlock until Wednesday, February 20.

If you’ve ever played the Sentinels of the Multiverse card game and thought that world would be perfect for a tabletop roleplaying game, well now you have Sentinel Comics: The Roleplaying Game. Using the new GYRO System, the game breaks down your character and abilities into three “zones” of Green, Yellow, and Red, each unlocking new powers and options during play. The PDF is available for a $19 pledge, the hardcover for $59, and you can add on a Gamemaster’s Kit with GM screen, custom dice, character sheets, reference cards, and more for $110. This project is well past its funding goal and is closing in on a quarter of a million dollars, but you’ve still got until Friday, February 22.
[video=youtube;ej2Yx9P_Eb8]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ej2Yx9P_Eb8[/video]​

And one last bit of self-promotion. This weekend, I released the newest video in the Gamer’s Tavern History Check series, this one on the history of the BattleTech license with a focus on the long-running legal struggles with Harmony Gold and Robotech. Spoilers: There’s a happy ending!

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 Twitter @Abstruse where I’ve been posting pictures and videos of cute animals and nothing else controversial or anything, follow me on Twitch where I’ll be streaming hopefully stream weekend, subscribe to Gamer’s Tavern on YouTube featuring videos on gaming history 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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