April Fools naturally brought a string of fake products and inevitably broke a few hearts. There’s big news as Chaosium takes over publishing a classic. James gives us a look at some of the top-selling games of 2018. We take a look at tabletop RPGs becoming computer games (and some reflection on what makes tabletop RPGs better).
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Our very own James appeared on the On the Shoulders of Dwarves podcast to talk about top-selling games at Leisure Games.
Dungeons & Dragons Art & Arcana, the recent visual history of the game, has been nominated for a Hugo Award.
James M. Ward talks about his first encounters with Gary Gygax and Dungeons & Dragons.
EN World publishes a guide to freelance rates for writers and editors in the industry.
Computers & RPGs
The New York Times gives us an op-ed piece about how Dungeons & Dragons brings people back to face-to-face friendship in an age of online toxicity.
We get the first trailer for Black Shamrock’s adaptation of the Paranoia RPG, developed in partnership with Cyanide. As we mentioned last month, Black Shamrock is also developing an adaptation of Runequest.
PC Gamer gives us a history of the Fallout series of computer games, and its origins as a GURPS game.
Paradox Interactive are developing a new strategy computer game, and there’s a little bit of speculation that it might use the World of Darkness IP. (We’re going to bet against this one: it seems like fairly idle speculation, and the World of Darkness doesn’t strike us as particularly good fodder for a strategy game.)
In honour of April Fools, EN World offers a list of (real) comedy RPGs.
Critical Role gave us a “preview” of their forthcoming Vox Machina animated series.
Some jokesters announced a She-Ra RPG and a lot of people were very, very angry when it turned out not to be real.
Chaosium “discovers” that according to a “lost” note by the RuneQuest’s creator, Greg Stafford, one of the tribes of Glorantha ride on giant weasels. (I’m sure James will try to convince me that that’s weirder than Glorantha already is.)
Modiphius releases Tribbles as a playable race for Star Trek Adventures.
ThinkGeek “offers” a Mimic FedEx package to deter package thieves.
R. Talsorian “announces” a farming supplement for The Witcher RPG. (I would play this.)
Green Ronin Publishing “announces” that they are adapting their superhero game, Mutants & Masterminds, to classic superhero game, Champions. (We suspect this is funnier if you know more about these games than we do!)
The fifth issue of Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans’ glorious comic of fantasy horror in an RPG, DIE, is released.
In anticipation of their science-fantasy D&D 5e RPG, Arcana of the Ancients, Monte Cook Games releases a free book of creatures and items.
Onyx Path releases Dragon-Blooded: What Fire Has Wrought, a supplement for Exalted.
Pelgrane Press announces that the Shards of the Broken Sky campaign for 13th Age, which was commissioned in 2013, and originally slated for release in 2015, will be coming out this year, after a long and arduous publication process.
The Acquisitions Incorporated D&D book is officially announced (even though we already knew about it, and were given previews last month).
Flyos Games announces a story-driven legacy-style board game based on Vampire: The Masquerade.
Pelgrane Press gives us a look at the social combat system for its forthcoming sword-and-sorcery GUMSHOE game, Swords of the Serpentine.
D&D Beyond’s Todd Kendrick interviews Dr. Megan Connell of Clinical Role on D&D as a tool for therapy. (This has been a subject we’ve been seeing a fair bit of lately.)
Larp designer, Robb Minneman, is running a challenge to design an RPG supplement in 24 hours.
Bundles & Deals
Editor’s Note: Given that our focus is on tracking broader trends in the industry, when it comes to crowdfunding, we focus more on what projects are gaining traction, rather than covering everything. So we only report on projects that have a certain level of support (which we’ve rather arbitrarily set at around 200 backers), although we include interesting projects with less support if we think it’s newsworthy. This happens to have been a quiet week, so we’re also looking back at some of the more popular projects which are finishing this week.
Dungeon Crawl Classics: Soul for the Ocean Dark: A 0-level adventure made for Dungeon Crawl Classics, by By the Keep Studios (first project) — April 21st
Powered by the Apocalypse
Deniable Assets – The CyberCorporate Villain RPG: A cyberpunk game in which you play the mid-level corporate villains, by Rutskarn (first project) — May 4th
STEAM Hack: RPG Zines for STEM Education: Two zine RPGs to teach real-life engineering and science subjects, by STEAM Hack RPGs (first project) — April 27th
Star Projects Closing This Week
Four projects are ending this week which have more than 1,000 backers:
Welcome to Tikor isn’t actually an RPG — yet. The project raising funds for an imagined pre-colonial Afropunk setting and art book which will form the basis of a future RPG which is still in development. The project itself has since grown to include a professions book, a pantheons book, and a creatures book. Primarily the work of writer Brandon Dixon and artist T’umo Mere, thus far it has raised over $75,000 and has over 1,300 backers. Here’s a great interview with Dixon from Kotaku on the project.
Humblewood aims to do for birds and other woodland creatures what Pugmire did for dogs, by introducing a setting based on anthropomorphised animals into 5e. It isn’t a million miles away from the setting of the hugely popular new boardgame Root, which is also set to be developed as a roleplaying game by Magpie Games later this year. Currently more than 3,100 people have backed the project and it has raised almost $600,000.
Arcana of the Ancients by Monte Cook Games promises to port the science-fantasy of their popular Numenera game into 5e. Monte Cook himself was one of the co-developers of D&D 3e so this represents his return to the game. Currently more than 3,100 people have backed the project and it has raised over $270,000. The stretch goal for Beneath the Monolith — a campaign setting book bringing the world of Numenera to 5e — has just been unlocked.
The Ultraviolet Grasslands and the Black City is a system neutral setting book inspired by psychedelic heavy metal, the Dying Earth genre, and classic Oregon Trail games. It is the work of designer, writer, and artist Luka Rejic. So far it has almost 1,500 backers and has raised nearly $80,000.