11–17 March 2019: Adapting RPGs, Remembering Larry DiTillio, Cthulhu in Australia and Japan

This week we see a host of announcements related to adaptations: RPGs being made into movies, movies being made into RPGs, RPGs into computer games, miniature-lines into RPGs, and so on. We get some reminiscences on Larry DiTillio’s work at Chaosium, and on the global reach of Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu. In addition, we have speculation about theme parks, Neil Gaiman miffed at White Wolf, and more discussion about the influence (good and bad) of Critical Role.

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Adaptations

The upcoming Dungeons & Dragons movie, slated for November 2021, has got a new script, and a bizarre list of A-Listers that Paramount hope might fill the male lead. (We’re personally left bewildered by what kind of role they think could be filled by actors as wildly different as Josh Brolin and Johnny Depp, but we’re going to swallow our dread and hope they cast Vin Diesel, who is at least familiar with the source material.)

An RPG Adventure Game based on Jim Henson’s Labyrinth is in the works by River Horse Games (My Little Pony: Tails of Equestria RPG, Labyrinth: The Board Game). Author of the adventure, Ben Milton, describes the adventure as “90 interlinked scenes full of OSR-style challenges. Definitely not OSR rules, though.”

Black Shamrock is adapting Chaosium’s classic Runequest as a video game. The Dublin-based developer is also working on an adaptation of the classic dystopian RPG, Paranoia, in partnership with Cyanide (Call of Cthulhu: The Official Video Game, Blood Bowl).

Tuque Games (developers of top-down shooter, Livelock) are working on a new Dungeons & Dragons video game, with job listings hinting at an RPG of some sort.

Renegade Game Studios (Overlight, Kids on Bikes) is making a D&D 5e-compatible RPG setting for WizKids’ Wardlings miniatures line. The line features young adventurers and their magical companions, and the setting promises a world in which these children must save the world from threats that adults cannot see.

Goodman Games announces the third in its Original Adventures Reincarnated series of D&D First Edition adventures adapted for Fifth Edition: Expedition to the Barrier Peaks.

Some Gaming History

Larry DiTillio, creator of She-Ra, and a former writer for Flying Buffalo and Chaosium, has died. Chaosium’s Mike Mason remembers Larry’s historic work on Call of Cthulhu.

A Crunchyroll article on H.P. Lovecraft’s popularity in Japan cites Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu as an influence, naming it the most popular RPG in the country.

Australia’s National Library requests a copy of Terror Australis from Chaosium, as a work “of national significance relating to Australia and the Australian people”.

EN World launches a new column in which James M. Ward (former game designer at TSR, the original publisher of D&D) talks about the early days of the game.

For those looking to explore the interconnected world of RPG development, we present Six Degrees of Chris Pramas.

Critical Role (and other Streams)

Polygon offers an excellent article on Critical Role’s record-breaking Kickstarter, which takes a look at Tabletop RPG industry’s relationship with Kickstarter and with Livestreaming, as well as alluding to some of the criticism surrounding the success of the Kickstarter. The success of Critical Role’s latest venture has led many to point out the economic disparity in the industry, in which very few creators (a largely white and male minority) make ends meet.

CNBC talks about D&D’s growing popularity, focusing on the role of streaming.

Critical Role announces Series 2 of its prequel comic, Vox Machina Origins, a paperback release of Series 1 of the comic, as well as an art book featuring fan art from the stream’s second season.

411Mania talks to Critical Role stars, Travis Willingham and Sam Riegel, on the success of the kickstarter.

SyFy interviews professional RPG streamer, Will Jones, of EncounterRoleplay.

Blank Slate is a Live Action Roleplaying livestream murder mystery where the audience determines whodunnit. We’ve been intrigued to see a handful of streams promising audience participation in RPG actual plays lately.

Some Idle Speculation

Hotel owners in Indianapolis are fighting a planned expansion of the Indiana Convention Centre, as it would saturate the market. The US’s largest tabletop convention, Gen Con, renewed its contract with the city, contingent on this project being completed. The project seems likely to go ahead (the city doesn’t want to lose big clients like Gen Con), but if it is derailed, we could see Gen Con making a move to another city.

EN World’s Mike Tresca speculates on the possibility of a D&D Theme Park.

A Facebook Post from gaming convention, Gamehole Con, has led to speculation that we might see a new D&D campaign setting later this year.

The Money Behind Games

Following on from news last week that Dziobak Larp Studios is shutting down, Swedish production studio, The company P, are attempting to take over the blockbuster College of Wizardry LARP, and are running an IndieGoGo campaign in order to do so.

Genesis of Legend Publishing is conducting a survey on RPG Publication costs.

The Cool and the Not-So-Cool

70 Dungeon Masters ran a D&D game simultaneously on a Caribbean Cruise.

Neil Gaiman tweets about the “tacky” way in which White Wolf used his work for Vampire: The Masquerade in the disastrous latest edition of the game:

Jobs

Wizards of the Coast is hiring a Senior Software Developer.

D&D Beyond seeks a Senior Product Manager.

Deals & Bundles

EN Publishing is having a sale on DriveThruRPG.

Bundle of Holding is offering a bundle of Lone Wolf products.

Upcoming Products

Fantasy Flight Games announces Collapse of the Republic, a sourcebook for Star Wars Roleplaying covering the Clone Wars and the… uh… collapse of the Republic.

The second volume of Starfinder’s Dawn of Flame Adventure Path, entitled Soldiers of Brass, launches this month.

Wizards of the Coast gives us a sneak peek at some of the maps from Ghosts of Saltmarsh.

Pelgrane Press previews its Free RPG Day giveaway.

Roll20 is bringing sound mixing and weather effects to its virtual tabletop.

Kickstarter News

5e & Pathfinder

Arcana of the Ancients, a 5E science-fantasy sourcebook: The anticipated science-fantasy sourcebook (featuring the Numenera setting) for 5e, by Monte Cook Games (Numenara, The Strange) — April 13th

Humblewood Campaign Setting for 5e DND: An adorable birdfolk campaign setting for 5e, by Hit Point Press (The Deck of Many) — April 11th

Snowhaven for Fifth Edition: A “snowpunk” dark fantasy setting for 5e, by Josh Heath (Old Don: a Heathen Tale) — March 31st

OSR

Dark Streets & Darker Secrets: An old-school inspired modern, urban horror & fantasy game, by Gallant Knight Games (Cold Shadows, Tiny Dungeon 2e) — March 20th

General Fantasy

Welcome to Tikor | The Swordsfall RPG Setting and Art Book: An “Afropunk” science-fantasy game set in a fantastical pre-colonial Africa, by Brandon Dixon (first project) — April 10th

Mysthea: Legends From the Borderlands: A kingdom-building game of “politics, adventure, and discovery”, adapted from the Apocalypse World system, by Jay Iles (Legacy: Life Among the Ruins) — April 11th

20th Century

Dangerous Times: Muckrakers and Magic in Old New York!: A zine-based game about journalists in 1920’s New York, By Michael Bacon (first project) — March 29th

CAPERS Noir RPG: A 1940s noir superhero supplement for CAPERS, a game about super-powered gangsters in the 1920s, by Craig Campbell (Die Laughing, Murders and Acquisitions) — April 12th

An Inner Darkness – For 7th Edition Call of Cthulhu: A collection of adventures for Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition, by Golden Goblin Press (Cathulhu – Tails of Valor and Terror, Cold Warning – A Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Adventure) — April 15th

Sci-fi

Dungeon Discoveries – Sci-fi Card Sets for Roleplaying: A collection of system-neutral idea generation cards for Sci-Fi Roleplaying Games, by LoreSmith (The Claws of Madness) — April 3rd

Accessories

Fantasy World Creator + APP: An updated and reprinted set of modular tiles and tokens for fantasy roleplaying games, by Game Start (Fantasy World Creator) — March 28th

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