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News Digest: Upcoming D&D Releases, New Pathfinder Playtest Survey, Call of Cthulhu Gameplay Footage

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! More information on upcoming D&D releases, Pathfinder and Starfinder news, an update on GAMA’s internal issues, gameplay from the video game Call of Cthulhu, and more!
More information has come out about the Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica. The biggest question has been answered, how will they deal with mana colors in D&D? The answer: They won’t. At least not in terms of game mechanics. Instead, the color combinations that define the different guilds on Ravnica as well as the characters and monsters will influence the themes, tropes, tone, and philosophies used in their design. The book will include several new playable races and almost as many new monsters as Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes. Designer James Wyatt even gave some canonical reasons for the races and monsters to show up in Forgotten Realms or other D&D worlds, specifically the Cult of Rakdos (a demonic cult circus) as a traveling act across the planes. The Magic: The Gathering expansion Guilds of Ravnica hits store shelves on October 5, while the hardcover Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica comes out to mass market on November 20.

I’ve also talked about the Art & Arcana book due out October 23 in previous columns, but Morrus has written up a nice summary of the entire contents along with finding a little bonus. Penguin Random House set up a registration page giving away a free metallic ink 11x17 print of the special edition cover for anyone pre-ordering either the regular or special edition. The bad news: Only one request per IP address and per email address is allowed (so if more than one person in the household gets a copy, you may need to find free wifi somewhere else to submit), and you must have a US mailing address. The registration site includes several retailers which will provide a valid “receipt number”, but the contest also states it will accept a pre-order from any retailer, so you may experience issues if you purchase from an independent store.

The new Pathfinder playtest survey is out, this one about the ancestry and class mechanics. The Paizo site warns this survey is long as it asks questions about every single class in the playtest, though can you skip any that you don’t want to answer (though you should go through to the end as there are more questions at the closing). The ancestry survey does require you answer all questions, but doesn’t have a warning about its length.

In Starfinder news, the new Starfinder Society adventures were announced. 1-22: The Protectorate Petition is a Tier 1-4 scenario available September 26 where the players are sent to study a planet seeking entry into the Pact Worlds. This world is Tabrid Minor, populated by the copaxis, a coral-like organism with shades of a gestalt entity, and the players go to a ruined floating city to learn more about the alien culture. 1-23: Return to Sender is a higher tier adventure for levels 5-8 directly following up the events of 1-99: The Scoured Stars Invasion. The post for 1-23 states that you don’t need to have played the previous adventure, but they also go out of their way not to mention the threat revealed in 1-99, so you may have that spoiled for you here. But unless you can make it to a convention running The Scoured Stars Invasion, you’d have to wait until it’s released to mass audiences in June 2019.

Paizo is also gearing up to promote the release of Pathfinder: Kingmaker from Owlcat Games. The isometric RPG comes out September 25 and Paizo has posted two blogs recently about the game, the first an overview of the game and its release and the second an overview of the companions available in the game (most of which are Pathfinder Iconics) and a guide to their personalities, abilities, and letting you know which are romance options (Valeri for male PCs, Tristian for female PCs, and both Octavia and Regongar for either gender). The game will be available on PC, Mac, and Linux on Steam or GOG.

That’s not the only big video game on its way out based on a tabletop roleplaying game. Call of Cthulhu from Cyanide Studio is officially licensed from the Chaosium Call of Cthulhu game and is due for release on October 30. Last week, we got our first look at the game itself from the publisher and developer, showing off the graphics and gameplay in an hour-long demo. According to the commentary, the game will take about 10-15 hours to play through (though up to 20 if you take your time exploring around the world) and while it has a first-person perspective, as expected from Call of Cthulhu, combat is not the focus compared to exploration, investigation, and conversation. The game will be available on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

GAMA’s Board of Directors voted to officially censure the game manufacturer trade organization’s president Stephan Brissaud for his actions at Gen Con. In a statement released on September 18 (the day after the vote), GAMA’s board stated that the only method allowed by their bylaws to punish a board member is exclusion and, because neither Gen Con nor the Indianapolis Police Department have furthered any action for punishment, they did not feel it was appropriate. On September 19, ICv2 released footage from security cameras they obtained (which was also available to the Board before their vote) of the confrontation, though the actual physical altercation is obscured by the venue’s architecture. A general meeting of GAMA members is scheduled for next week and, based on discussions on GAMA’s social media, should be very contentious between this incident and the firing of Deputy Director Angela Ward and the decision not to renew the contract of Executive Director John Ward.

The Humble Book Bundle Trivia Champion is a godsend for anyone looking for random bits of information to mine for worldbuilding or adventure design. The book Greek Mythology Explained: A Deeper Look at Classical Greek Lore and Myth alone is worth the $1 lowest tier donation as I’ve had to tear myself away from it to write this. But there’s a lot more here, including a book about the origins of everyday objects, descriptions of what it’s like to be in space as well as of the different planets, a history book on anime, a book on the technology of science fiction and the morality of it, and a lot more. This bundle benefits the National Coalition Against Censorship and 826 National and runs until Wednesday, September 26. There’s also a great software bundle with several design programs in the Ultimate Creative Design Bundle (including an easy-to-use video editor, graphic editor, and website design suite), a huge bundle of books on video game design for pretty much any engine, language, or platform you could want, and a bundle of one-time banned books and comics supporting Banned Books Week.

So the sequel to Tales from the Loop is on Kickstarter. It’s called Things from the Flood. Based on another series of art from Simon Stalenhag, this book is based in the 1990s and has teenage characters (rather than in the 1980s with child characters), features more mature themes, and more about monsters from the deep coming to land, bent by the Loop. The PDF is available for SEK200 (about US$23) and the hardcover SEK350 (about US$39) with two unique deluxe editions also available. This thing has not only funded, it’s starting to lag my computer as the pledges pour in and the site updates in realtime so I’m closing this tab now after verifying the end date is Tuesday, October 9.

So…this is a new one on me. The North Sea Epilogues is an RPG based on Vikings exploring and conquering the North Sea. No, that’s not the unique thing, those aren’t that rare. No, the thing I don’t think I’ve ever seen before is why this is called “Epilogues”…it’s a sequel to a series of board games, Explorers of the North Sea. The premise is that you’ve finished the board game successfully, built your fleet, and conquered the lands. Now, you create your character to roleplay what happens next as you further your explorations of the world as you raid and pillage the lands. The PDF is available for a NZ$20 pledge (about US$13), the print for NZ$48 (about US$32), and a large playmat based on the map of in the board game for NZ$38 (about US$25) with several other options to bundle the mat with the books and/or a GM screen in different combinations. This project is fully funded and runs until Thursday, September 27.

Steve Jackson Games is looking to bring back Ogrezine, a collection of articles for the game Ogre started last year. The previous series included a plethora of new rules, maps, terrain, scenarios, and more for Ogre which has been collected into a single PDF available from Warehouse 23. The PDF for the second volume is available for a $3 pledge, and an exclusive Ogre playmat is available to add on for a $28 pledge or two mats for $53, plus a limited level (that’s running out fast) for $88 that includes the Ogre Miniatures Second Edition rules. This project is fully funded and runs until Friday, September 28.

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.comand 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’m going to announce some test streams for my new layout on Twitch, probably playing Dragon Age: Origins, 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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