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RPG Print News – Kobold Press, EN Publishing, and More

Ptolus is back and it is still huge. Many more D&D products are also out for monsters, monster building advice, new spells, dragons, the world of Midgard, and conditions tracked by rings used with miniatures. Battlelords has new adventures and for fans of Star Trek, Boldly Go! offers a new RPG to allow exploring the galaxy. And a Traveller adventure is available again.
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Note: RPG Print News covers new RPG releases and some classics and sales available from online retailers. It does not cover products that are only available to customers through kickstarter, directly from a publisher website, or as print on demand.

Ptolus: Monte Cook's City by the Spire | A Player's Guide to Ptolus by Monte Cook Games
  • SYSTEM: Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition
  • PRODUCT TYPE: massive hardcover setting/softcover supplement
  • RETAIL PRICE: $149.99/$17.99
  • DESCRIPTION: Ptolus is 672 pages plus a packet with a poster map and dozens of handouts. Plus another 300 pages of downloadable content. The city is built on mysteries, secrets, and dark histories that lies forever in the shadow of an impossibly tall spire, an enigma and a reminder of evil long past. Below the city`s streets a seemingly endless network of ancient dungeons draws adventurers from all corners of the Empire. If that isn’t enough for you, A Player’s Guide to Ptolus takes you into the City by the Spire, introducing its districts, organizations, and history, along with its people and their customs and traditions. It is also a guide to character creation. It introduces the species and cultures unique to the setting, offers character background ideas, and discusses the roles of various classes and types within Ptolus society. It is system-neutral. A free PDF version is available at Monte Cook Games.
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Midgard Worldbook | Deep Magic (Pocket Edition) | Kobold Guide to Monsters | Tome of Beasts 2 (Pocket Edition) by Kobold Press
  • SYSTEM: Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition
  • PRODUCT TYPE: 460-page hardcover setting book/356-page digest sized softcover/ softcover monster advice/digest sized monster advice book
  • RETAIL PRICE: $49.99/$24.99/$19.99/$29.99
  • DESCRIPTION: The Midgard Worldbook describes a world embroiled in an age of war. The roads to the shadow realm are open again, the fey have returned to claim their ancient tribute, the giants prepare for Ragnarök, and the goblins grow restless. In the Crossroads, the shadow of the vampire princes falls across the land and the World Serpent is stirring. Includes: detailed description of Midgard’s empires, cities, and kingdoms; characters like Baba Yaga, the lords of the Dragon Empire, the honest folk of Zobeck, various elven holdouts of Dornig, and the vampire lords of Morgau; and full lore on the pantheons of the Northlands, Crossroads, Elves, and others. For the GM only are rituals and ambitions of the Dark Gods, forbidden lore of blood magic, void magic, and various dooms and items. Also includes revised and expanded lore for the planes, history, calendars, and conflicts of the world. Deep Magic contains over 700 spells, the Beer domain among others, and new info on familiars. I now want to make a cleric of Leinenkugel, god of beers, named Bud. And I’m thirsty. The Kobold Guide to Monsters contains essays by RPG veterans Monte Cook, Wolfgang Baur, Mike Mason, and more on how to improve monsters including how to: put their environment and resources to best use, employ common-sense motivations to guide their behavior and choices, develop realistic alternatives to just fighting and dying, and develop sensory-filled descriptions. Tome of Beasts II includes over 400 new monsters including magma octopuses and wraith bears.
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Here There Be Dragons by EN Publishing
  • SYSTEM: Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition
  • PRODUCT TYPE: 28-page softcover book of unique dragons
  • RETAIL PRICE: $28.95
  • DESCRIPTION: Covers five unique dragons ranging from CR 9 to a mighty CR 27 detailed over several pages, with its own description, backstory, illustration, and game statistics. Also includes additional draconic rules and player options. Dragons include Syndrathrax the Soul Hoarder, Bezkusmet the Unscaled, Glamdrellyxxana the Gold, Teyladin the Reclaimer, and The Librarian of Orban Tur.
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LYNX RPG Condition Rings by Nord Games
  • SYSTEM: Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition
  • PRODUCT TYPE: 96 condition rings
  • RETAIL PRICE: $39.99
  • DESCRIPTION: 96 conditions rings to track 24 different conditions. Tracks the most frequently used spell & ability effects. Works with any brand and type of miniatures. With an inside dimension of 1 inch, they fit exactly over the base of standard 25mm miniatures. For larger size figures simply hang the rings on the miniatures.
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Battle Lords of the 23rd Century - Charlie Foxtrot by 23rd Century Productions
  • SYSTEM: Battlelords of the 23rd Century
  • PRODUCT TYPE: hardcover adventures
  • RETAIL PRICE: $40.00
  • DESCRIPTION: A Charlie Foxtrot is a clusterfiasco but not using the word fiasco. Includes five one-shot, scenarios complete with pre-generated characters. Each scenario is set at a different level of character experience. The scenarios range from corporate espionage, to military actions against the Arachnids, to mercenary work, to run-ins with the Atlanteans, and all the way up to flat out piracy. In between several of the scenarios are short fiction pieces that help set the tone, as well as providing deeper insights into the Battlelords universe. Situations in the adventure may go from bad to worse and embrace the dark humor of the game.
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Boldly Go! by GeoffQuest
  • SYSTEM: unique system
  • PRODUCT TYPE: softcover core rulebook
  • RETAIL PRICE: $30.00
  • DESCRIPTION: PCs are officers in Space Fleet, the military and exploration force of the Stellar Alliance. Players design and take command of their own starship, filled to the brim with advanced technology and crewed by NPC shipmates that the players create. Characters travel the stars, meeting new species, solving ancient mysteries, and experiencing all the horrors and wonders the galaxy has to offer. Includes: seven Alliance species, such as a war-like and indomitable human, a rational and calculating synthoid, or a hierarchical and betentacled krakenoid and eight occupations aboard ship such as security officer, engineer, and captain. Uses the Traits System. Avoid injury by tearing your uniform and having it take the brunt of the damage. PCs test their wits against the paranoid spymasters of the Xukunian Union or cross swords with the cybernetically augmented space dragoons of the Vatizaran Empire.
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The Last Train Out of Rakken-Goll by Mongoose Publishing
  • SYSTEM: Traveller
  • PRODUCT TYPE: softcover adventure
  • RETAIL PRICE: $14.99
  • DESCRIPTION: Available again. An invitation from Sir Willard Vorstaten leads the Travellers to Rakken-Goll, a dying cattle town in the middle of nowhere. Fire, flood and feuding threaten to wipe out the town's economy and perhaps destroy it. Sir Willard has the authority to act and he is eager to do right, but he is inexperienced and indecisive. Now he needs allies who can help him stop the last train out of Rakken-Goll.
 

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Charles Dunwoody

Charles Dunwoody

imagineGod

Legend
I missed the Ptolus 5e Kickstarter because of the unnecessary cost added of extra PDFs, supposedly, free 3e stuff.

Anyway, looking for an affordable 5e Ptolus print run.
 

Ptolus is incredibly expensive, but it's hard for me to think of an RPG purchase that, dollar for dollar, I've gotten more value out of, beyond the three D&D core books.

It's incredibly in-depth but also organized better than any RPG book you've ever seen (seriously) and has plenty of space to put in your own stuff. (I just added a bunch of intelligence agents of the High King of the Dwarves, for instance.)

I've been running a Ptolus campaign since 2006 and just purchased the new 5E version during the Kickstarter campaign. (Sold my old one through Noble Knight; space is at a premium in my home.) More support is coming over the next year, with updates of older Ptolus adventures and newly created ones, plus a screen and some other ephemera.
 

I missed the Ptolus 5e Kickstarter because of the unnecessary cost added of extra PDFs, supposedly, free 3e stuff.
A lot of the 3E stuff is useful, although they didn't include all of what I'd consider 3E Ptolus stuff (as I recall, there was no Secrets of the Delvers Guild, Complete Book of Eldritch Might, Beyond Countless Doorways or Demon God's Fane). Chaositech isn't going to be updated to 5E, unfortunately, so the 3E version is all we've got.

They split up the 3E Ptolus into several more manageable chunks in PDF previously and might have made those PoD, I don't recall. You could definitely pick and choose which neighborhoods you care about and just get those. (You can go a long way with just Midtown, the monster listings, the background from the front of the book and dungeons of your choice that you insert below the city, for instance.)
 

imagineGod

Legend
A lot of the 3E stuff is useful, although they didn't include all of what I'd consider 3E Ptolus stuff (as I recall, there was no Secrets of the Delvers Guild, Complete Book of Eldritch Might, Beyond Countless Doorways or Demon God's Fane). Chaositech isn't going to be updated to 5E, unfortunately, so the 3E version is all we've got.

They split up the 3E Ptolus into several more manageable chunks in PDF previously and might have made those PoD, I don't recall. You could definitely pick and choose which neighborhoods you care about and just get those. (You can go a long way with just Midtown, the monster listings, the background from the front of the book and dungeons of your choice that you insert below the city, for instance.)
I just wanted an affordable core 5e Ptolus. That extra 3e stuff could have been great as an add on, not a sneaky way to keep the price of 5e Ptolus Kickstarter high.

I hope to purchase just the core 5e Ptolus early from a retailer before the scalpers put it on Ebay.
 

I just wanted an affordable core 5e Ptolus. That extra 3e stuff could have been great as an add on, not a sneaky way to keep the price of 5e Ptolus Kickstarter high.

I hope to purchase just the core 5e Ptolus early from a retailer before the scalpers put it on Ebay.
I viewed it as a way to tide people over, not a way to justify anything. Chaositech and the Banewarrens are both very useful for running the game.

I believe Noble Knight has copies of the book, or will have them very soon.
 

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
I viewed it as a way to tide people over, not a way to justify anything. Chaositech and the Banewarrens are both very useful for running the game.

I believe Noble Knight has copies of the book, or will have them very soon.
Banewarrens I got for cheap somewhere - and I loved it. So therefore I had to drop $150US on the Kickstarter. Have yet to run for anyone, but it's in the back of my brain...
 


Did Kobold Press decide to go full fledge 5e and leave PF1e in the dust? Really wish they continued to do more PF1e, dunno why they stopped
Some combination of: Accretion of too many books, system flaws well known and a real nuisance to many longtime players, and a need to goose the money-making engine with a new engine.
 

imagineGod

Legend
Saw the unboxing video, and the covers of both the Cypher System and DnD5e Ptolus are nearly identical to the 3rd Edition.

I wish Monte Cook Games spent some of the hundreds of thousands of Dollars from the Kickstarter to update the covers but with a homage to the classic.

May still purchase it at a good price when I see it. It is available for pre-order at several FLGS already.
 

imagineGod

Legend
Did Kobold Press decide to go full fledge 5e and leave PF1e in the dust? Really wish they continued to do more PF1e, dunno why they stopped
That is not always a winning formula.
I am looking at Green Ronin's beautiful Kickstarter of romantic fantasy that is failing to attract the 5e crowd (cannot break the $50,000 barrier) . Almost like many do not think 5e can do romantic fantasy well enough. Or maybe it already has it and Green Ronin just missed the boat by first publishing the Blue Rose AGE system.
 

Retreater

Legend
Did Kobold Press decide to go full fledge 5e and leave PF1e in the dust? Really wish they continued to do more PF1e, dunno why they stopped
I understand why publishers would back away from PF1. Having written for the system, it requires longer statblocks (and more pages?) and greater editorial oversight (incurring more costs?) than 5e, and doesn't have as large of a player base (fewer sales?) as 5e. Plus there are tons of first and third party material out there already (not as much need for product?).
Paizo has dropped it, and the system is going to fade away. Fewer rulebooks are in circulation, are people leaving the game while not attracting new players.
Certainly there's still a small market (its own OSR community), but ultimately it's a system that is based on mechanics that are twenty years old.
Now if someone out there were to Pathfinder-ize Pathfinder (i.e. create a Pathfinder 1.5) with the same level of resources Paizo had when they released the original game, maybe there would be some success. But as we've discussed earlier in this thread, the same factors aren't there now.
It would be like a guy with a great idea for a video rental store to replace Blockbuster and Family Video.
 

That is not always a winning formula.
I am looking at Green Ronin's beautiful Kickstarter of romantic fantasy that is failing to attract the 5e crowd (cannot break the $50,000 barrier) . Almost like many do not think 5e can do romantic fantasy well enough. Or maybe it already has it and Green Ronin just missed the boat by first publishing the Blue Rose AGE system.
I think Blue Rose fans already are playing either the original version or the AGE version.

And it may not have broken $50k, but it's covered its costs and will be produced in a print run. Not every Kickstarter campaign needs to make a million dollars. (In fact, I'd argue that runaway success and 10,000 stretch goals actually causes plenty of problems for fulfillment and quality, much of the time.)

If Green Ronin had undertaken the (expensive) process of marketing the Blue Rose campaign, it would likely be doing a lot better. Romantic Fantasy, as a genre, is no longer as popular as it once was, but a positive, optimistic setting where the focus is on working together to better the world has never been more in keeping with current trends.
 

Doctor Futurity

Adventurer
I would have gone in on Ptolus if they had designed one for Pathfinder 2nd Edition. Unfortunately 3PP are wary of jumping on that boat when the low hanging fruit of 5E is easier to write for and has a well-established and huge audience. I'm probably going to pick up the Cypher edition at some point, though.
 

I would have gone in on Ptolus if they had designed one for Pathfinder 2nd Edition. Unfortunately 3PP are wary of jumping on that boat when the low hanging fruit of 5E is easier to write for and has a well-established and huge audience. I'm probably going to pick up the Cypher edition at some point, though.
How hard is it to convert from 3E over to PF2? I suspect those books are going to be increasingly available and cheap. You'll miss out on a few new pieces of art, but that's about it.
 

Doctor Futurity

Adventurer
How hard is it to convert from 3E over to PF2? I suspect those books are going to be increasingly available and cheap. You'll miss out on a few new pieces of art, but that's about it.
For better or worse PF2E is sufficiently far from 3E that it would be more of a spiritual conversion, believe it or not. Even the PF1E to PF2E conversion advice in the new Gamemastery Guide advises to go with the spirit of the stat block over attempting a mechanical conversion. Honestly, its one of the reasons the 3PP have been slow to adapt to PF2E....I think had the system been a lot easier to convert to it would have fostered more interest in migrating to 2E for 3PP.
 

wellis

Explorer
I am looking at Green Ronin's beautiful Kickstarter of romantic fantasy that is failing to attract the 5e crowd (cannot break the $50,000 barrier) . Almost like many do not think 5e can do romantic fantasy well enough. Or maybe it already has it and Gree
What Kickstarter is this? If it's the 5e Blue Rose one, it looks like it was definitely successful.
 


imagineGod

Legend
He's decided it wasn't successful enough. 🤷‍♂️
I did not so decide. The facts speak for themselves.

Green Ronin a company run by Chris Pramas with years of experience, a previously successful Blue Rose that spawned True20 and then Blue Rose AGE could not break $50,000 for Blue Rose 5e.

And now a totally unknown brand called Double Critical already crossed $70,000 with Adventures in Oz.

Both these Kickstarters used the DnD 5e OGL, yet sadly Green Ronin is no longer an brand that pulls in vast legions of fans, Seems YouTubers are the safer bet for legions of 5e backers.
 

I did not so decide. The facts speak for themselves.
It's an opinion.

Blue Rose has three systems out there and the 5E version has been available on DriveThruRPG for months. It would be ludicrous to expect Blue Rose 5E to have a gigantic Kickstarter campaign to print a version of the game that the faithful are either are already playing with another system or snagged off DriveThruRPG months ago to check out the changes.
And now a totally unknown brand called Double Critical already crossed $70,000 with Adventures in Oz.
I guess this is your first acquaintance with Oz fandom, which is huge, insular, sort of quiet and largely made up of folks GenX and older, many of them with disposable income, especially when you factor in the large number of LGBT fans.

Ever since Wizard of Oz went public domain, there have been years of edgy "Oz but dark" takes that fans have rolled their eyes at (search for Oz on Comixology and you'll find a ton of them). This is the first traditional take on Oz in the RPG space I'm aware of since Dragon magazine announced a big Oz article that never materialized in the 1980s.

There's a lot of pent-up demand for Oz 5E and no real pent-up demand for Blue Rose 5E, which still successfully funded its campaign.
Both these Kickstarters used the DnD 5e OGL, yet sadly Green Ronin is no longer an brand that pulls in vast legions of fans, Seems YouTubers are the safer bet for legions of 5e backers.
Are you just throwing darts at a board to decide where this theory goes? YouTube has nothing to do with anything else you're talking about.

I get that you don't care about Oz and find its success surprising, but that's a you problem, not a Double Critical or Green Ronin problem, and certainly not a 5E problem.

You want successful 5E Kickstarters? Here's a bunch, which took me less than 30 seconds to find:
All of these are more than 100% funded. Some of them are more than 4,000% funded.

Goodman Games doesn't have some sort of big YouTube presence. (I think the most they do is throw up their largely unedited GaryCon panels in lieu of writing up the actual things they announced, for reasons.) TheoryCraft, which has made more than 600% of its goal, is just a guy with a nice product.

A product with a lot of demand will get a lot of pledges, if it looks good and it's well advertised. (The Oz 5E books are being advertised on both Facebook and YouTube I know, having seen the ads in both places.) But even a product that doesn't hit some magical ImagineGod rating for what constitutes a "success" are successfully funding their projects, which is the entire point of Kickstarter.
 

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