18-24 February 2019: TV, History, Culture

Editor’s Note and Content Warning: There have been further developments regarding last week’s accusations of abuse in the industry. As we did last week, we’re sticking that story at the bottom of the page, for the sake of anyone who needs to avoid that content.

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Games on TV

Hugely popular live stream, Critical Role, has gone independent from production company, Geek & Sundry. It’s probably not a coincidence that Geek & Sundry, and their streaming network, Alpha, have been pushing their star-studded Relics and Rarities so hard: while they will still broadcast some Critical Role content, the loss will likely hit their viewer numbers.

The Big Bang Theory D&D episode happened.

Gaming History, Gaming Culture

EN World discusses how playtesting has evolved over the course of Roleplaying Games’ history, and how parts of the industry are evolving towards (in Dungeons and Dragons creative director, Mike Mearls’ words) a ‘living game’.

The Public Medievalist talks about the problem of race in the Fantasy genre, including Dungeons & Dragons.

Toy Galaxy talks about the history of the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon (technically this was last week, but we failed to mention it).

Misha Bushyager of New Agenda Publishing has been highlighting black RPG creators under the hashtag #28DaysOfBlackRPGs.

Gaming Online

Syrinscape, a tool that provides background music and sound effects for RPGs and Board Games, launched a Beta for a long-awaited player for online games.

Rise of the Runelords, the ENnie award-winning adventure path for Pathfinder, is released on Roll20. Return of the Runelords, the game’s sequel, is also due to arrive on the platform in 2019.

D&D Beyond releases stats on Feats used on its platform.

Roll20 released their February rundown video, and we would like to know what their Content Producer eats for breakfast because we want his energy.

RPGGeek is looking for GMs to run Play by Forum games.

Gaming and the Law

Lewis Pulsipher talks about Intellectual Property and game development.

Wizards of the Coast is looking for a Digital Marketing Attorney.

Bundles

Dungeon Masters Guild’s promised bundle in aid of anti-abuse charity, RAINN, turned into five bundles, is now available.

Humble Bundle is celebrating Pathfinder’s 10th Anniversary with a bundle.

To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of anthropomorphic fantasy game, Ironclaw, Bundle of Holding is running a bundle of Ironclaw and Jadeclaw games.

New and Upcoming

The 3rd Edition of Jonathan Tweet’s fringe fantasy RPG, Over the Edge, launched this week. (Personal Note: Jonathan Tweet happens to have been the first RPG creator I ever corresponded with, and who made me feel welcome in the industry. Congratulations, Jonathan!)

Following on from hints last week, Monte Cook Games announces Arcana of the Ancients, a sourcebook to bring science fantasy (including their own Ninth World from Numenera) to Dungeons and Dragons 5e.

A new sourcebook for Monsterhearts 2, the indie hit about teen monsters, is coming.

Kieron Gillen, the writer of dark fantasy comic, DIE, releases some hilarious excerpts from the forthcoming DIE roleplaying game.

As promised last month, Cubicle 7 gives more news on their upcoming Age of Sigmar game.

Two new books in Dungeons and Dragons’ Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style series, Endless Quest, are coming later this year.

Kickstarter News

5e & Pathfinder

Professor Humbert Drumsley: 5e RPG Adventure Codex: A collection of short 5e adventures featuring the ponderous, oblivious, disastrous (and recently suspended) Professor Humbert Drumsley, by Terry Hero (first project) — March 2nd

Ultimate Player Race Creator – Endless 5E D&D Races: Make any playable Dungeons and Dragons race you can imagine with hundreds of racial traits to choose from, by Andrew Michael Engelbrite (1 previous project) — March 3rd

OSR

A Rasp of Sand: A Roguelike Tabletop RPG Experience: A large zine with a Roguelite randomized ocean temple. Designed to be difficult and highly replayable, by David Cox (first project) — March 1st

General Fantasy

Reach of Titan: An RPG about fighting larger than life creatures, and the struggles to survive their world, by Jim McClure (3 projects including “The Satanic Panic”) — March 1st

Ordinary Towns: Small Settlements for Any Campaign: A collection of 50 small towns ready to drop into any fantasy RPG campaign, by Legendary Pants (4 projects, including “The Upstart Line – Polyhedral RPG Dice”) — March 3rd

What Happened at Wyvern Rock? Bring High Strangeness to Your High Fantasy RPG Setting. This zine features close encounters, aliens, and other fantastic weirdness! by Drew Meger (first project) — March 3rd

Horror & Lovecraftian

Hudson & Brand: Shadows of the Past: A Cthulhu by Gaslight adventure anthology, by Stygian Fox Publishing (10 projects including “The Things We Leave Behind” and “Fear’s Sharp Little Needles”) — March 1st

A Pound of Flesh: Module for Mothership Sci-fi Horror RPG: Zine Quest: A brand new zine-sized module for the Mothership Sci-Fi Horror RPG by Alan Gerdin (6 projects including “TWO ROOMS and a BOOM!”) — March 7th

Sci-fi

Dead Halt ~ A Retro RPG Zine: An RPG Zine about the Clunkpunk world of a megalithic Hotel, quirky computer Consoles, and endless wonky adventures, by Ben Doran (“Moglan’s DnD 5E Augmented Reality Magic Item Cards”) — 28th February

Powered by the Apocalypse

Beat the Boss: A Roleplaying Game for Organizing on the Job and in the Community, by Doug Geisler (first project) — March 1st

Indie

Exodus: An RPG zine of angels on the run in a fascist dystopia, by Erika Shepherd (first project) — February 28th

Tome & Wish You Were Here RPG Zines: Tome, a system-agnostic RPG supplement, & Wish You Were Here, a compilation of mini RPG,s by Adam Vass (first project) — February 28th

#AbuseIsNotAGame

Content Warning: The stories below relate to abuse and assault (physical, emotional, and sexual). Although none are especially graphic, ALL the links that follow contain some difficult discussions and many of the comments on the pages we link to are upsetting. Please take care.

Last week saw the industry caught up in controversy after accusations were made against already controversial industry figures Zac S. (aka Zac Smith, Zac Sabbath), Matthew McFarland, and Michelle Lyons-McFarland. This week, we have seen continued discussion on the subject.

Polygon reports on the response to Zac S, and notes that DIY RPG Productions, publishers of Zac’s latest project, Demon City, have promised action, but cannot offer refunds after the Kickstarter. Should any backers decline their copy, the extras will be sold in aid of two anti-violence charities.

The Dungeons & Dragons team released a statement on Zac S, stating their intention to remove Zac S’s name from future editions of the Player’s Handbook, on which he consulted. The credits page has already been updated on D&D Beyond to remove references to all consultants. Robin D. Laws, who was among them, responded positively to this. This statement came after an earlier response from Mike Mearls which drew criticism.

Fandomentals offers background to the Wizards response. (Editor’s Note: this article erroneously attributes the creation of the Dungeon Masters’ Guild RAINN bundles to Wizards. DM’s Guild is a partner, rather than a part of Wizards, though their statement says they fully support the bundles. DM’s Guild is a part of OneBookShelf, as is DriveThruRPG, who are also supporting RAINN.)

Gen Con has clarified its statement from last week, saying that Zac S has officially been banned from the convention.

James Raggi IV of Lamentations of the Flame Princess said in a Facebook post that Zac S. would no longer be working on any LotFP projects, expressed sadness that the partnership had to come to an end, and warned of ‘snakes slithering among us’, looking to take advantage of the situation.

Onyx Path Publishing releases an official statement regarding their former employee, Matthew McFarland, and declaring their intention to circulate an official harassment policy among their freelancers.

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