The Companies Behind the Games
Hasbro, parent company of Wizards of the Coast, releases its Fourth Quarter and Full Year Reports for 2018, reporting a 12% net revenue decline across the board (largely due to the loss of Toys ‘R’ Us), including a 12% decline in revenue from their Gaming products. Their Dungeons and Dragons line was cited as having grown in revenue after another ‘record year’. Senior VP for Investor Relations, Debbie Hancock claimed that “plans for an expanded universe of gaming behind D&D is [sic] taking shape in analog and digital game play”.
Fan-culture platform Fandom (who recently acquired Curse Media, the company behind D&D Beyond) hires veteran media tech executive Perkins Miller as CEO. Miller takes over from CEO Andrew Doyle, a director at private equity firm TPG Capital, who has been acting as interim CEO since shortly after TPG led a $100 million investment in the company.
Dan Olson of Folding Ideas offers some gloomy predictions about the future of Patreon, which could be relevant to RPG creators who produce content on that platform.
D&D is Digital
Wizards of the Coast joins the Entertainment Software Association.
Forgotten Realms-based computer games Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights are coming to consoles.
Adam Bradford alluded to D&D Beyond affecting game design decisions by Wizards of the Coast, though he was unable to elaborate.
D&D Beyond is adding support for the Adventurer’s League play to its roadmap, and the two teams plan to partner going forward.
James Haeck and James Introcaso (two of the designers on Waterdeep: Dragon Heist) teamed up with Will Doyle to create a supplement expanding the replayability of the original campaign, available on the DM’s Guild with Haeck posting suggestions on how to remix the campaign on D&D Beyond: an interesting illustration of how Dungeons and Dragons is spreading across multiple digital platforms hosting official, unofficial, and semi-official content.
D&D Beyond launches Tactical Maps Reincarnated, its first dedicated Battlemap product. This could be part of building a library for their planned Virtual Tabletop, but as this project is a long way in the future, there’s no telling if/when this might pan out.
The Big Names in Streaming
The first episode of Deborah Anne Woll’s star-studded actual play stream Relics and Rarities launches on Project Alpha.
Matthew Mercer, Dungeon Master on Critical Role, shares a little about how he preps with his GM notes for episodes 17 – Harvest Close and 50 – The Endless Burrows.
Hyper Rabbit Power Go teams up with Rat Queens creator Kurtis J Wiebe to create an actual play based on the comics, launching February 13th.
Deals and Bundles
Bundle of Holding launches two Shadowrun 5E Bundles, coinciding with the game’s 30th Anniversary.
DriveThruRPG is having a sale on OSR titles.
Recent and Upcoming
Kevin Pulp talks about using the GUMSHOE system to power a swords-and-sorcery game in the upcoming Pelgrane Press game Swords of the Serpentine.
Issue #3 of DIE, Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans’ dark fantasy comic about the trauma of a party of gamers trapped in an RPG world, is released.
Modiphius announces release dates for three new Star Trek Adventures books.
EN Publishing launches Judge Dredd & The Worlds of 2000 AD along with its first sourcebook.
We get some previews for Dungeons and Dragons’ forthcoming nautical book, which seems to contain allusions to the classic AD&D adventure The Final Enemy.
Paizo launches the Player’s Guide for the upcoming Pathfinder Adventure Path Tyrant’s Grasp.
Chaosium previews the RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha slipcase.
Gritty, low fantasy Roleplaying Game, Song of Swords is released.
Steve Jackson Games released its Kickstarter Projects Report.
Onyx Path talks about using DriveThruRPG, Indie Press Revolution, and Studio 2 to fulfil Kickstarters and sell their products.
Kickstarter has launched it’s new Zine Quest initiative, encouraging RPG creators to develop zines along the lines of the classic small press publications from the 1970s and 1980s. Dozens of projects have launched under this banner over the past fortnight. Some highlights include:
- The Demon Collective by GMDK is four horror-themed adventures for D&D and other fantasy games written, illustrated and edited by trans and non-binary creator (closes 15 February)
- Mini-Dungeon Monthly by AAW Games is an RPG zine for D&D 5th Edition (closes 15 February)
- RPG Design Zine by Nathan D. Paoletta (World Wide Wrestling, carry) a cut and paste how-to zine focusing on game design (closes 21 February)
- Two Apocalypse World Zines by Vincent D. Baker (Apocalypse World, Dogs in the Vineyard) is, um, two Apocalypse World Zines: a compilation of playbooks for the original game and a family friendly reworking of the original game (closes 26 February).
- Girl Underground by Jesse Ross (Matches to Paper Dolls), a complete Powered by the Apocalypse RPG inspired by Alice in Wonderland and other “girl lost in a fantasy world” stories (closes 6 March).
Carbon 2185 is a new cyberpunk game based around the D&D 5e Open Gaming License. Dragon Turtle Games are hoping to fund the core rulebook and sourcebooks for Tokyo, Manhatten and London (closes 15 February).
Building on the Starter Set they released last year, Greater Than Games have launched a campaign for Sentinel Comics: the Roleplaying Game, a superhero RPG set in the world of their successful Sentinels of the Multiverse card game (closes 22 February).
RiotMinds have launched a new campaign for Carta Monstorum, a monster manual for LexOccultum (closes 24 February).
Gun Metal Games have updated their popular cyberpunk setting for the new Savage Worlds Adventure Edition. Interface Zero 3.0 promises among other things, updated rules on races, hacking, drones and campaign themes to better tune your game to the type of cyberpunk you want to play. The campaign is also for a GM’s Guide to 2095 (closes 28 February).
A post on BRP Central points readers to the Quora archive of the late Greg Stafford, founder of Chaosium and game writer. The archive of answered questions about history, mythology, and parenting is a beautiful testament to his passions and his compassion.
Patton Oswalt’s viral tweet mocking former White House Press Secretary, Dana Perino’s queso leads to 1st Edition D&D artwork getting featured on Fox News.
GenCon looks to have named its new mascot. They didn’t go for Dragon McDragonFace.
A US Customs Office classifies a shipment of Kult: Divinity Lost books as “Bibles, Testaments and Prayer Books“.
Win a trip to PaizoCon with Roll for Combat.