News Digest: Warhammer RPG Updates, New Tariffs Worrying Game Companies, New Star Wars RPG Books Ann

Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news. The vanishing Warhammer 40K: Wrath & Glory mystery has been solved and it’s tied to Age of Sigmar news, new tariffs have game companies worried, new Star Wars RPG titles announced, and more!
There’s been quite a mystery surrounding Warhammer 40K: Wrath & Glory. Last month, fans noticed that the licensed 40K RPG was no longer listed on Drive Thru and had vanished from publisher Ulisses North America’s website. There was no real information provided, just a statement that Ulisses was negotiating with Games Workshop on how to proceed with the game line. No statements were made by either side clarifying matters until this morning, when Cubicle 7 announced they are taking over the license and will be publishing Wrath & Glory.

This comes directly on the heels of Cubicle 7’s announcement about their Age of Sigmar roleplaying game based on the current plotlines in the Warhammer miniature game. The game has undergone a title change to Soulbound. A starter set is due for release in Spring of 2020 and will include an adventure book that serves as the rulebook for the set, a city guide book for the setting of Aqshy, pre-generated characters, reference sheets, and unnamed “goodies”. This puts all three branches of the Warhammer roleplaying license under control of Cubicle 7, including both the previously mentioned games and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th Edition.

Oh, and there’s not enough information on this story to stand on its own, but Bandai have announced a license with Games Workshop to produce action figures for Warhammer 40K. There will be two lines, 7-inch standard action figures of and a set of chibi-style 2-inch figures (including the Sisters of Battle, which if Games Workshop doesn’t hurry up may be the first official plastic Sisters).


New tariffs on imports from China have many in the tabletop gaming industry worried about the future of the industry. The new tariff will be up to 25% on a broad range of products, which include printed books, dice, toys, and more – basically the core components of roleplaying games, board games, and card games which are frequently manufactured and/or printed in China. Speculation has price increases for customers of 10-20% at a minimum in order to avoid loss of revenue on the already razor-thin margins many game companies operate on. Those who stand to be most adversely affected by these tariffs are companies who have successfully crowdfunded projects based on quotes that will now be as much as 25% higher but they are still obligated to fulfill. At least one major Kickstarter, Against the Shadow from Schwalb Entertainment, cited the tariffs as one reason for cancelling the project. There will be a period of public comment ending on June 17.

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The documentary Eye of the Beholder: The Art of Dungeons & Dragons officially premiered on streaming services this week. The film features interviews with Larry Elmore, Jeff Easley, Clyde Caldwell, Erol Otus, Tony DiTerlizzi, Jeff Dee, Jannell Jaquays, Tim Kask, Margarett Weis, and a lot more as it goes into the influence that the art of Dungeons & Dragons has had on the hobby. It’s available now on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Vimeo, YouTube, and some pay-per-view cable and satellite services. You can check out the trailer above.


It’s been so long since Fantasy Flight has announced any new roleplaying products that I started to worry they’d actually moved their news page for RPGs. This week, we got a slew of announcements for Star Wars: Age of Rebellion. First, the Rise of the Separatists sourcebook is now available, bringing the early days of the Clone Wars with new character options and NPCs. Just announced for later this year is the Gadgets and Gear sourcebook featuring 142 pages of new weapons, armor, attachments, tools, and more including legendary items like Luke’s Lightsaber and exotic weapons like the bowcaster. There’s also the Republic & Separatists II Adversary Deck, a deck of cards featuring 20 NPCs useful for any era of the game. Finally, we got a new peek at the Collapse of the Republic sourcebook focusing on the end of the Clone Wars and the rise of the Empire, this preview focusing on the Mandalorians.


Stephen Colbert is joining Critical Role’s Matt Mercer for a charity stream on May 23 for Red Nose Day. And to make things more interesting, you can affect the game through your donations, helping to create Colbert’s character. Choices include picking his character’s class, a companion NPC, the villain, and the legendary weapon Stephen will be sent to find, but you’ll want to hurry as the polls end on Sunday, May 19. This one-on-one game will be pre-recorded and available on the Critical Role YouTube channel on Thursday, May 23.

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D&D Beyond provided more user stats, this time character names. “Bob” dominates the chart, followed by Varis (yes with an I), Nyx, Luna, Ash, Jack, Lilith, and Nix. Though if you combine the number of Nyxes with Nixes, they blow the Bobs out of the water. Last week, the big statistic were the subclasses from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything with the Hexblade winning easily with more than double the next entry, the Divine Soul. And the week before that, D&D Beyond had a list of the most-used equipment. There’s a few surprises in the weapons category as weapons like the shortsword and handaxe far outpace the longsword, but the list doesn’t take into account things like default starting gear if you take the gear packages rather than purchasing gear a la carte. So if your preferred weapon or armor is way low on the list, that’s probably why.

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And for more stats on the industry, Fantasy Grounds released their user statistics including the first quarter of 2019. While at first glance it looks like Dungeons & Dragons 5e is taking over ground from other games, it’s more that 5e has grown a large amount over the last quarter, thus taking a greater percentage of the pie chart. This chart covers the one-year period starting with the end of the first quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2019, and looking through the statitics it’s clear that most other games are holding steady and it’s just an increase of around five thousand additional games of Dungeons & Dragons 5e driving their boost.


Imgur user “michaelcthulhu” posted a homebrew game that’s basically BattleTech but potatoes. It’s a bit hard to describe it any other way…it’s BattleTech…but it’s potatoes. You use potatoes as the model and then customize your potato with robot arms, legs, turrets, mounts, treads, and more and then fight until one potato is left standing. I mean what’s not to love, it’s BattleTech, but potatoes. The game, titled Kartoffelkreig (which I’ve been informed by Twitter is German for “Potato War”), is available for free with all parts available with print-and-play components at the above link.


Every time this particular bundle comes up on Humble, I always make sure to shout it as loud as possible because the Creative Bundle from Vegas is hands-down the cheapest you’re going to find a functional video editing software suite. For less than a month’s license for Premiere, you can get Vegas Pro Edit 15 along with a lot of supporting software for video and audio editing, perfect for people looking to make content on YouTube or edit live streams for VODs. If you’re even considering doing any video content in the future, you want to jump on this Bundle while it lasts as you’ll kick yourself trying to find an affordable video editing program later.

Ninja Division also has a tabletop PvP bundle with more than $300 worth of print-and-play tabletop games and expansions. There’s the tournament fighter inspired Way of the Fighter, expansions for Super Dungeon Explore!, the techno-magic Relic Knights skirmish game, and more. And the Write like a Writer Bundle is still going for one more week with over twenty-five books on writing including tip son genre fiction, structure, screenplays, and even help navigating the publishing industry.


The first Kickstarter this week is one of those ones that you know if you want it based on the general premise: The Hinterland Dice Collection is carved wooden gaming dice. There’s a selection of woods including ebony, red sandalwood, ash, and others. You can get a single “chunky boi” D20 in 33mm for $25, a full set of dice (at the standard 20mm) for $75, and more pledge levels with price breaks for purchasing multiple sets or combinations. This Kickstarter is unlocking stretch goals until Saturday, May 18.

While the RPG Achievement Stickers Kickstarter looks like it’s something meant for games played with small children…I want stickers when I play… The stickers are rewards for various accomplishments in a game session like setting off a trap or solving a puzzle. Each sheet of one-inch stickers has twenty unique designs, each with a different meaning. Not just perfect for rewards for young gamers, these cute designs are great for any game. You can get one sheet for $10, four sheets for $20, or a full dozen sheets for $50. This Kickstarter is just about 75% funded at time of writing but has until Tuesday, May 28 to fund and start unlocking stretch goals.

If you want a mix of magic and technology that leans heavy on the fantasy, Valor – Best in Class is a new roleplaying game featuring a world where dragons are corporate overlords and the fey run amusement parks and tourist traps. Players take on the roles of Knights, the law enforcement of this world to help keep the peace when evil magics and monsters creep crawl from the shadows to threaten the city. The PDF for the starter set is available for a $10 pledge or add on a physical copy for $15, the PDF version of the full core rulebook is available for $30, and the physical copy is $45. This Kickstarter is fully funded and runs until Saturday, May 18.

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 posting weird things Amazon has tried to sell me via ads and seeing if people can guess what they are, subscribe to Gamer’s Tavern on YouTube featuring videos on gaming history (such as my recent video on the history of Dragonlance), RPG reviews, 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

ced1106

Explorer
From Reddit: "I am a licensed Customs Broker in the US. I literally deal with these tariffs ALL day long. People sit here and complain that "Well a 25% price increase is going to kill businesses".

Here is some news for you to get a better perspective on this situation: So let's say a game publisher has a game with an MSRP of $60.00. The actual cost they declare to Customs is around $8-$11, on average. The rest of the cost goes to paying for things like ocean freight charges (which are non-dutiable and thus, the tariffs do not impact), and warehousing and trucking and profit and labor costs and other local charges, none of which are dutiable and thus the tariffs do not affect. That means, on a game that has an import cost of $8.00, the tariff adds $2 to the price of importation of that copy of the game. $2 to a $60 game is a total increase of 3.33%. That sort of cost can be absorbed with barely any notice to the consumer.

And if you think I making things up, these tariffs have been in place for virtually everything from China since September. How many things have you noticed huge cost hikes on? Anything that jumped 25%? Any small businesses that were thriving prior to Sep 4 that are now out of business? Most people here seem to think of this like a VAT, or a Value Added Tax, which is a flat tax added at the time of sales tax, which means you are taxed on all the freight and trucking and warehousing and whatever charges. That is not how tariffs work. So that $95 copy of Gloomhaven, were it imported from China after these tariffs, would (assuming the cost was fully passed on) cost about $98-100. Again, not a 25% cost increase. And the reality of this is that the additional tariffs they take in from China and a few other countries help offset the ridiculous runaway spending that Congress does so that it offsets some of the money we end up borrowing from China to pay for their nonsense."

https://www.reddit.com/r/boardgames/comments/boej7d/toys_board_games_dice_included_in_proposed/enhgp0r/
https://www.reddit.com/r/boardgames/comments/bphyo3/board_games_are_about_to_be_hit_with_a_25_tariff/
 

Jimmy Dick

Villager
The reality is that these tariffs are bad for everybody. If you want to stop the tariff stupidity along with various other affronts to most people, vote to prevent them on Election Day in November of 2020.
 

aramis erak

Explorer
On the tariff impact...

50¢ to the publisher adds about $1.00 to the distributor, and @$2.00 to the retailer. And that adds $4 to $5 (due to pricing patterns) to the customer. Everyone needs to make a profit.

The reality is that these tariffs are bad for everybody. If you want to stop the tariff stupidity along with various other affronts to most people, vote to prevent them on Election Day in November of 2020.
The presupposes the rule of law will continue; many don't trust that it will. Especially not in November 2020. (I am personally optimistic, but cautiously.
 

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