18–24 March 2019: Bloodlines 2, Stranger Things, What D&D Means to Us

Last week we had some announcements that we all saw coming: the much-hinted-at Vampire: The Masquerade computer game release by Paradox Interactive, and the trailer for the third season of Netflix’s RPG-filled, 80s nostalgia horror, Stranger Things. We were also delighted to see a handful of personal essays by gamers and RPG fans talking about what D&D and D&D streamers have meant to them.

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A Quick Shout-Out

The International Game Developers Association’s LGBTQ+ Special Interest Group is looking for queer games organisations (including analogue & tabletop games groups).

Long-Expected Announcements

Artwork from Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2

As predicted, Paradox Interactive’s hinting led to the announcement of Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2 at GDC. According to the announcement, the computer game draws a lot from the tabletop game’s latest edition, but also influenced that game. The game will drop in Q1, 2020.

This could well be a controversial release: as a sequel to a much-loved cult game, it’ll be up for quite a bit of scrutiny; the latest tabletop release was something of a disaster, leading to the dissolution of White Wolf after it released hugely insensitive material; we’ve even seen some grumbling from Gamergate-allied blogs around the game’s promised progressive handling of gender in character creation.

The trailer for Stranger Things Season 3

After the launch of the Stranger Things season 3 trailer, Comicbook.com speculates on what the show will name its latest monster. Previous seasons saw the Demogorgon and the Mindflayer. (Our money is on the Tarrasque for this one. Our money is also on Amy weeping openly for most of July 4th, when the season drops.)

What D&D Means to Us

Gamer, Carley Fockler, talks about how discovering her mother’s past with Dungeons & Dragons helped them to connect.

Critter, Valerie Anne, talks about her love of Critical Role, and how it helped her discover that queer stories have a place in Dungeons & Dragons. (This one’s actually two months old, but Amy just discovered it and she’s in love with it.)

Critter, Elizabeth Garn, talks about her love of Critical Role, and the relevance of the show to her Christian faith.

Jeremiah Johnston at comicsverse praises the portrayal of D&D in Rick and Morty vs. Dungeons & Dragons. We’ve failed to talk about this crossover comic until now, being more than a little exhausted with the IP, but it’s worth mentioning that this comic has made a splash in the RPG community.

Streaming (and as always, Critical Role)

Wizards of the Coast’s Aland Failde and Michelle Sutterfield give a talk at GDC, discussing the vital role of streamers in community building for games. Although the speech focuses on Magic the Gathering, we can probably draw some parallels in the role of streamers in Dungeons & Dragons’ recent success.

The cast of Critical Role is interviewed at East Coast Comic Con about the show and the Kickstarter. They also do a read-through of a scene from the forthcoming animated series, and it’s… well… watch through to the end.

Forbes reports on the Critical Role Kickstarter.

Essential Reading (and Listening)

Podcast catcher, Pocket Casts, releases a curated list of RPG-related podcasts.

Matt Jarvis of Tabletop Gaming magazine talks about the history of Chaosium’s classic Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign. (The article came out in the magazine’s February 2018 edition, but has been reprinted online in honour of Masks creator, Larry DiTillio, who passed away earlier this month.)

David Hartlage talks about how Half-Orcs have been handled in different editions of Dungeons & Dragons.

Andrew Peregrine of EN World sets straight some common RPG industry misconceptions.

Matthew Rossi at Blizzard Watch talks about Source Reference Documents (SRDs) in RPGs.

Upcoming and Recent Products

We should soon see Onyx Path release the Kickstarter for the Contagion Chronicle — a campaign which crosses over between all of the Chronicles of Darkness game lines (Vampire: The RequiemWerewolf: The ForsakenMage: The Awakening, etc.), and should give guidance and rules for Storytellers (GMs) wanting to run games which include player characters of any of the Chronicles creature types.

A long-awaited collection of rulebooks for the latest edition of Chaosium’s classic, RuneQuest, will land March 28th, in the form of a slipcase set, including the core rules, Bestiary, and Gamemaster Screen Pack. (James has been positively dying for this one.)

25 years later, we’re going to see a second edition of Jonathan Tweet’s Everway RPG.

The first issue of IDW’s Dungeons & Dragons comic, A Darkened Wish launched.

Keith Baker, creator of the Eberron campaign setting, launches a new Eberron sourcebook for 5e on the DM’s Guild (D&D’s 3rd-party publishing platform). Baker has also been producing Across Eberron, a by-the-fans adventure path, on the DM’s Guild.

Chaosium releases Berlin: The Wicked City, a sourcebook for Call of Cthulhu set in 1920s Berlin.

Fantasy Flight Games launches Night on the Town, a free adventure for their new Shadow of the Beanstalk RPG.

Goodman Games will be running its DCC (Dungeon Crawl Classics) Team Tournament at Gen Con and Origins this year.

The Pathfinder: Kingmaker computer game gets some new, free DLC.

Jobs and Corporate

D&D Beyond seeks a Full Stack Developer.

James Hutt joins R. Talsorian Games as a designer.

F. Wesley Schneider, former Paizo editor and co-creator of Pathfinder, joins the D&D team as an editor.

Deals and Bundles

Bundle of Holding releases two bundles of products for Kevin Crawford’s OSR sandbox Sci-Fi game, Stars Without Number.

Goodman Games is selling grab bags full of a random selection of their products.

Crowdfunding News

Educational

Critical Core: A roleplaying game for children on the autism spectrum, co-developed with autism advocates, parents, therapists, and educators, by Game to Grow (first project) — April 26th

5e & Pathfinder

Quickstarter: Limitless NPCs Revision (100+ 5E NPCs): A revised collection of setting-neutral, 5e compatible NPCs, by Limitless Adventures (Limitless Monsters, Limitless Encounters) — April 6th

The Seas of Vodari – 5th Edition Swashbuckling & Sorcery: A swashbuckling, seafaring campaign for 5e, by Tribality Publishing (first project) — April 12th

Ultimate Spheres of Power: The Complete System! (Pathfinder): A compilation of the Spheres of Power magic system for Pathfinder, by Adam Meyers (Rogue Glory, Spheres of Might) — April 14th

Hidden Oddities: A Witch’s Primer: A Witch class, with accompanying spells, backgrounds, and archetypes for 5e, by Eva Brown (first project) — April 19th

OSR

Basic and Expert RPG Sets Remastered!: A remastered version of D&D’s first edition Basic and Expert rules from 1981, by Pacesetter Games & Simulations (Rise of the Nefarious: A 5th Edition Campaign) — April 4th

The City of Great Lunden: A City Setting for OSR games, by Glynn Seal (The Midderlands Expanded) — April 14th

Ruin Masters: An updated, translated edition Swedish RPG, Drakar och Demoner, by RiotMinds (Trudvang Chronicles, LexOccultum) — April 19th

Supers

Prowlers & Paragons Ultimate Edition: The second edition of the 2013 superhero RPG, by Evil Beagle Games (first project) — April 8th

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