News Digest: Warhammer Adventures, Evil Hat Staff Changes, New GURPS Releases, and more

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news! Warhammer for kids, more pre-PaizoCon Pathfinder 2 previews, Evil Hat gets a new Senior Art Director and Fate Line Developer, new GURPS releases, and more!


The internet has been abuzz since the announcement of Warhammer Adventures, a new fiction line from Games Workshop. The new line features two banners, one for Warhammer 40,000 and one for Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, targeted at a YA audience. The response online has been…interesting to say the least, as the two Warhammer properties are best known as helping coin the term “grimdark” and questions of how it could be adapted for the target eight-to-twelve year old audience, or even if it should. Many Warhammer fans are also upset that the fiction represents a betrayal of the “edgy” nature of the settings. However, this appears to be part of a push by Games Workshop to more easily introduce new players to the game and the setting, including low priced introductory single-army boxed sets and making the core rules available online for free. They’ve also tapped bestselling authors with experience in YA licensed fiction to write the first entries, Cavan Scott for Warped Galaxies: Attack of the Necron and Tom Huddleston for Realm Quest: City of Lifestone. No release date has been announced yet.

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Several recent blog posts from Paizo highlight the new design philosophy in Pathfinder 2nd Edition for monsters and their stat blocks. The first post talks about building monsters and how mechanical changes lead to specific thematic differences in how the monster feels while playing while using the new mechanics. The second post takes a look at the monster stat blocks and how they will be presented in the future for a streamlined and easy-to-read format. It also gives us a sneak peek at the Redcap and Ogre. Finally, we got our last update before PaizoCon this weekend, a look at the Wizard class along with arcane spellcasting, class-specific feats, and a couple of spells (Phantasmal Killer and Magic Missile). There will most likely be a flood of new information following PaizoCon, so be sure to check EN World’s Pathfinder 2nd Edition feed for all the breaking stories.


Evil Hat announced some big changes to their creative team. First, Brian Patterson has been promoted to Senior Art Director for the company. You probably know Patterson’s work on his webcomic, D20Monkey (or have seen some of the comics posted on social media). Patterson previously served as Art Director for several of Evil Hat’s titles as well as producing art himself. In addition, Sophie Lagacé will take over as Fate Line Developer. Lagacé has previously served as a project manager on the Fate line and will be taking over the position from Leonard Balsera. Balsera, who is also the COO for John Wick Presents, will be stepping back in his long-time role at Evil Hat but will continue working on projects for Fate, Fate Core, and others.


Steve Jackson Games updated their On Demand program with several new products for GURPS, showing that they still have plans for the classic roleplaying game that put them on the map. The three classic third edition setting books are part of the new initiative through Amazon to bring long out-of-print books back into print and easily available for fans. Reign of Steel is a science fiction setting where bands of human rebels fight against their ruthless mechanical overlords, drawing influence from the Terminator franchise among others. Technomancer is an urban fantasy series in an alternate world where the first atomic bomb tests accidentally completed an ancient necromantic ritual and returned magic to the world by creating the Hellstorm. Voodoo: The Shadow War is a dark urban fantasy setting that dives into the myths of Voudoun and Santeria as the players attempt to protect the world from supernatural evil. Also, two brand new products were released through their Warehouse 23 store, a new setting for GURPS Dungeon Fantasy by Sean Punch called Caverntown and the newest issue of Pyramid focusing on “Mind Over Magic”.


Betrayal at House on the Hill is a beloved game from Avalon Hill but, unfortunately, some of the components can be easily damaged (particularly, the player tracker and its perpetually loose or broken clips). WizKids, through its board game license with Wizards of the Coast, is coming to the rescue with an official component upgrade kit for the game. The kit comes with brand new dice and upgraded player trackers. The new trackers feature actual component wheels that don’t need to be clipped on and brand new character art for all characters. The new kit will be available in September (and is available for pre-order now) for a retail price of $14.99.


One of the new monsters in Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes comes not from any of the Wizards of the Coast designers, but was inspired by Nolan Whale with help from the Make-a-Wish Foundation. The Oblex, an experimentation from mind flayers that creates an intelligent slime that drains the thoughts and memories of those it hunts, came out of Whale’s day spent at Wizards of the Coast last year as part of the Make-a-Wish program where he got a tour of the offices and talked with the designers of the game. And keep an eye out in the artwork for a tattooed, mohawked dwarf, based on Whale’s old character. You can read the full interview with Jeremy Crawford on the DNDBeyond website.


Usually, a game called Fetch Quest wouldn’t be that appealing…unless it’s a new deckbuilding game for Realms of Pugmire. The game is for three to six players and takes about an hour to 90 minutes where each player takes on the role of a dog adventurer to accomplish quests. You can get a print-and-play version in PDF for $10, the game plus all stretch goals for $30, add on a Pugmire digital bundle for $40, or get a set of exclusive Pugmire pins instead for $50 (though this level is limited). This project funded in its first day (as Onyx Path projects tend to do) and will keep unlocking stretch goals until Thursday, June 21.

Endless Realms is a new roleplaying game system set in the world of Lumis, a crossroads between an infinite number of different realms and their populations along with the fragile balance both in power and politics. The system involves rolling two ten-sided dice, one rolled by the player and one by the gamemaster with modifiers applied to either side. You can get the digital version for CA$20 (about US$16), add on the Creature Compendium for CA$40 (about US$31), get the hardcover of your choice of rulebooks for CA$65 (about US$51), or both for CA$115 (about US$90). This Kickstarter is fully funded and has some stretch goals left to unlock until it ends on Tuesday, May 29.

Archives of the Sky is a science fiction GMless roleplaying game slash tabletop storygame set millions of years in the future where humanity has colonized vast areas of the galaxy. The game draws influence from games like Fiasco and starts by creating a deck of words in order to create a House, one of the ruling powers of the galaxy and start weaving a story around them. The random twist in this game is the “Archives”, a stack of player-created single-word cards that can add twists and turns to every scene. The playtest version of the rules is linked in the Kickstarter if you’re curious how the rules work. The PDF is available for a $10 pledge, a $25 pledge gets you the hardcopy book added on for US and Canada, and a special $10 pledge level exists for those outside US/Canada that includes a code to purchase an at-cost version after the product releases. This Kickstarter is fully funded and runs until Thursday, May 31.

That’s all from me for this week! Find more gaming crowdfunding news by following our Kickstarter news tag, and 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. You can follow me on Twitter @Abstruse where I'm still obsessed with the BattleTech video game which I'm still live streaming on my Twitch channel (and I’ll be doing a late-night stream tonight), follow 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

Comments

Oh boy, I've seen very strange discussions online about the planned Warhammer novels. What I really don't understand is how some people think that catering to a young audience spoils their own involvement in 40k, WHFB or even AoS. It's as if they forget that WH has always been focused on kids and YA. WH is not grown-up stuff. It's not serious or adult. It's rather plain silly and so over-the-top that it baffles me how some people could think that opening it further up to a young audience will destroy the franchise. The whole 40k universe looks like something that a 12-year old came up who wanted to make something "adult" and "edgy". Don't misunderstand me: I love it! But it's still silly.
And on the other side I think that it's hillarious to write friendship-is-magic style novels for the 40k universe. :D How will the authors possibly find the right tone? You have to have a true good side that fights for the right cause in order to let the young readers identify with that. But there are no good heroes in the WH fiction (or 40k at least). Even the remotely good guys are a terrible, inhumane bunch of faux-Nazis.
 

Ymdar

Explorer
Friendship-is-magic? Heresy!
However I am looking forward to see how the writers in the new WH books manage not to kill everyone horribly. Maybe use the satiric style of Ciaphas Caine?
 

Abstruse

Adventurer
Oh boy, I've seen very strange discussions online about the planned Warhammer novels. What I really don't understand is how some people think that catering to a young audience spoils their own involvement in 40k, WHFB or even AoS. It's as if they forget that WH has always been focused on kids and YA. WH is not grown-up stuff. It's not serious or adult. It's rather plain silly and so over-the-top that it baffles me how some people could think that opening it further up to a young audience will destroy the franchise. The whole 40k universe looks like something that a 12-year old came up who wanted to make something "adult" and "edgy". Don't misunderstand me: I love it! But it's still silly.
And on the other side I think that it's hillarious to write friendship-is-magic style novels for the 40k universe. :D How will the authors possibly find the right tone? You have to have a true good side that fights for the right cause in order to let the young readers identify with that. But there are no good heroes in the WH fiction (or 40k at least). Even the remotely good guys are a terrible, inhumane bunch of faux-Nazis.
I made a list of things that were over-the-top "dark" and "edgy" and "extreme" where the point was showing how silly being edgy for edginess's sake is, but has a massive fanbase that reads it straight and thinks that was the point. Warhammer 40K is high on that list, as is: Judge Dredd and most of the words in 2000AD, RoboCop, Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns (even if Frank Miller seems to have forgotten it by this point), Starship Troopers, the very first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book (the black and white one that everyone praises for being so "edgy" and "violent" when it was a direct parody of Frank Miller's run on Daredevil down to the same radioactive waste that made Matt Murdock blind mutating the Turles, the ancient ninja clan The Foot being a parody of The Hand, and Splinter being a parody of Stick)...and honestly, I'd spend all day listing all of them.

But, for many, many years, the edgelord content in Warhammer 40K attracted a fanbase so Games Workshop catered to it. Whether GW knew their audience was missing the joke, I couldn't tell you. And I'm not sure you could get a straight answer out of anyone at GW even if they themselves remember.
 

TerraDave

5ever
That is the most confused branding I have ever scene.

Oh sure, "dark and edgy" has been overdone. And rainbow unicorns are (still) a thing.

But WH 40K was built on a strong visual style. Take that away, and I don't think there would be much left.
 

Jer

Adventurer
Those Warhammer covers are hilarious to me. I haven't read a 40K book in years, but I might have to pick those up.

But I suspect that GW has lost the plot a bit. You attract the kids to something like 4oK by having your property be something that pushes the boundaries enough that mom and dad give it the side-eye but not enough that they refuse to buy it outright. Part of the problem that Warhammer has attracting the kiddos to the game is that it's something your dad does and so it isn't the kind of thing that kids can glom onto to be "theirs" in the way that it was back in the day, so you can't really attract as many of those kinds of boundary pushing kids anymore - they're going to get into something else instead. You're going to get more kids who are introduced to the game via their parents or other older family members instead.

I think they'll get more mileage out of cheap intro sets and free rules. It's much easier to hand off the game to a niece or nephew when the cost is low enough that it's an obvious choice for a birthday/Christmas gift. They should also probably cultivate some YouTubers to play some games on their channels and maybe show kids how awesome it is to spend hours carefully painting minis for your armies.
 

Ralif Redhammer

Adventurer
Certainly those all had a strong degree of satire. Yet plenty of people somehow missed that, and a lot of the works they inspired were just straightforward edginess for its own sake.

I think Games Workshop has gotten a reputation for being pricey and not being as accessible. Perhaps the YA marketing is part of an attempt to change that and bring new blood in.

I made a list of things that were over-the-top "dark" and "edgy" and "extreme" where the point was showing how silly being edgy for edginess's sake is, but has a massive fanbase that reads it straight and thinks that was the point. Warhammer 40K is high on that list, as is: Judge Dredd and most of the words in 2000AD, RoboCop, Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns (even if Frank Miller seems to have forgotten it by this point), Starship Troopers, the very first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book...
 
But, for many, many years, the edgelord content in Warhammer 40K attracted a fanbase so Games Workshop catered to it. Whether GW knew their audience was missing the joke, I couldn't tell you. And I'm not sure you could get a straight answer out of anyone at GW even if they themselves remember.
I remember reading somewhere that 40k at first was intended as a satire of 1980s Thatcherism in Great Britain. But good to know that it also is a parody of other earlier "edgy" things in popular culture.
 

Abstruse

Adventurer
I remember reading somewhere that 40k at first was intended as a satire of 1980s Thatcherism in Great Britain. But good to know that it also is a parody of other earlier "edgy" things in popular culture.
Everything remotely cool in the 80s from the UK was satire of Thatcher... Even Red Dwarf got a couple of jokes in here and there, and that show took place a couple hundred or three million years in the future (depending on your perspective).
 

Wrathamon

Explorer
they are warcrafting warhammer to bring in a new generation of customers. Every year they probably loose 10% from strokes and heart attacks.
 

Von Ether

Explorer
"Well, Bobbie, you asked how Slannish babies are made? When a mom and a mom and a dad and a dad and a demon really love each other very much ..."
 

Von Ether

Explorer
Everything remotely cool in the 80s from the UK was satire of Thatcher... Even Red Dwarf got a couple of jokes in here and there, and that show took place a couple hundred or three million years in the future (depending on your perspective).
Same sort of goes with the Hollywood-ization of Jude Dredd. In the comic he started off as satire, but now he's an sci-fi action hero.
 

Ralif Redhammer

Adventurer
As much as I loved the Karl Urban Dredd, it definitely was missing the sense of humor of the comics. Ironically, I’d say a Stallone movie got closer to the ideal. But not the one one would think of. No, I’d point to Demolition Man of all things.

Same sort of goes with the Hollywood-ization of Jude Dredd. In the comic he started off as satire, but now he's an sci-fi action hero.
 

Henry

Autoexreginated
I have to say, that growing up with the “Mud, Blood, and Crap” tagline of Warhammer for 20 years, the concept of a young adult line for ANY of Warhammer is a bit of a disconnect for me. Even the Chaos Gods make me wonder how someone would work the Blood God, or Slaanesh, or Nurgle into a pre-teen story. They are more “Hellrazer” than “Titans Go!” Or “Star wars Rebels” :)
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Same sort of goes with the Hollywood-ization of Jude Dredd. In the comic he started off as satire, but now he's an sci-fi action hero.
Oh, the comics are still plenty satirical.

I am now thinking about “Jude Dredd”! :)
 
S

Sunseeker

Guest
I have very little experience with WH or WH40K. Grimdark has never really been my thing (I'm more the cyberpunk type) and yes, WH's grimdark always read as rather silly, but some of those fans man, they treat it like the gospel truth.

This is sort of an odd approach to the system/setting. Like, I dunno, I'm picturing MLP: Friendship is FOR THE EMPEROR!

Oh thank god the internet beat me to it.
 

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