Well, it’s another week, and oh, boy, is it an exciting one for the computer RPG fans! Mindflayers! Keanu Reeves! Another Vampire: The Masquerade game, or wait, is this one of the ones we’ve spoken about before honestly I can’t tell any more there are approximately three thousand now!
We can see some industry booms and busts in the form of a spotlight on rising (risen?) star Modiphius, the bankruptcy of Clockwork Publishing, and recurring fears about the impact of tariffs.
Also featuring: Third Edition history! Literary criticism! Business networking social media platforms! Luxury yachts!*
* My accountant informs me that we cannot afford a luxury yacht. If you would like to help us get one (and more importantly, keep making this site), please support us on Ko-fi.
Computer Game News
As was hinted at last week, Larian Studios, creators of Divinity: Original Sin, announces Baldur’s Gate 3, the long-awaited third title in the famous Dungeons & Dragons computer RPG series, this time based on 5th Edition rules. Larian also gave us a very grizzly trailer for the game.
Content warning: Gruesome body horror. Hide your kids and/or boss.
The Cyberpunk 2077 computer game cinematic trailer is out, and it features… Keanu Reeves?
There’s also news on two World of Darkness computer game adaptations, but we’ll get to that below.
The World of Darkness continues to spread
Primer for new readers: The World of Darkness is a line of RPGs originally developed in the 90s, featuring (primarily) horror in a modern setting. Of those games, Vampire: The Masquerade is easily the most famous, followed by Werewolf: The Apocalypse. The company who developed the game, White Wolf, were dissolved by parent company, Paradox Interactive, after a series of controversies related to Vampire’s 5th (and latest) edition.
Geek Pride interviews Matthew Dawkins (a.k.a. The Gentleman Gamer) about Vampire: The Masquerade 5th edition, and Onyx Path Games’ role now that Modiphius has taken over the game’s core production.
There is yet another Vampire: The Masquerade computer game coming, this time a Telltale-style story game.
This is a new one, right? Honestly, there have been so many new Vampire products announced in the past few months, that I have lost track. At some point, we’ll need to do a roundup of all the upcoming products set in the World of Darkness. As I intimated last month, I am somewhat sceptical of how Paradox Interactive intends to make good on its promise to keep better control of the IP when it has been licensed to so many different companies.
Variety gives us details on the forthcoming Werewolf: The Apocalypse computer game from Bigben and Cyanide.
This blog post talks about reading the various iterations of Vampire: The Masquerade as social commentary, particularly on capitalism.
The state of the industry
ICV2 interviews Chris Birch, CEO of RPG publisher and distributor, Modiphius, about the company’s history, its present scope, and the state of the industry. If you read one article on the industry this week, it should be this one.
Board game and RPG designer, Mike Selinker, writes about how the US-China trade war will affect the board games industry.
ICV2’s Rolling for Initiative talks about how tariff increases in Canada impacted a game store in Ottawa: perhaps a warning regarding how the present protectionist climate could affect hobby shops.
The UK Games Expo reports an 18% increase in attendance for 2019, and maintains its position as the world’s third-largest tabletop gaming convention (although with Origins this weekend, we could see that change).
Dark Conspiracy publisher, Clockwork Publishing, has gone bankrupt.
Meredith Gerber and Joseph Carriker have compiled a list of LGBTQ+ creators in the RPG industry.
The Gauntlet continues its history of licensed RPGs.
Ars Magica and 13th Age co-designer, Jonathan Tweet, begins a series of monthly columns on EN World with a history of how the Third Edition of Dungeons & Dragons, for which he was the lead designer, came about.
The nature of roleplaying games
Paste Magazine reflects on the differences between Dungeons & Dragons as streamed, and Dungeons & Dragons as played, and what this new era of game-as-performance means for the hobby.
SyFy Wire talks to Mike Mearls about how Dungeons & Dragons incorporates monsters from folklore into the game.
LinkedIn founder, Reid Hoffman, talks about what Dungeons & Dragons and RuneQuest taught him about strategy.
Upcoming Products & New Releases
R. Talsorian have announced a delay on the release of Cyberpunk Red, but also announce a Jumpstart Kit for the game.
Onyx Path releases Scion 2nd Edition.
A French-language edition of RuneQuest is crowdfunding soon.
Kieron Gillen, author of the grim fantasy RPG comic, DIE, launches an open beta for the game’s own RPG.
Pelgrane Press is looking for an Administrative Assistant.
Deals & Bundles
Bundle of Holding launches a bundle of Mutant Epoch books.
Fantasy 5e & Pathfinder
Fantastic Adventures: Ruins of the Grendleroot for 5e: A set of ten underground adventures for 5e, by Mike Shea (Return of the Lazy Dungeon Master, Sly Flourish’s Fantastic Adventures for 5e) — July 3rd
Fearsome Foes: And Where to Fight Them Relaunch: A collection of unusual, high CR monsters for 5e, by Joshua Greer — July 8th.
This is a relaunch of a project which did not meet its funding target. The new project has half the funding goal, the reduced cost being due to them no longer printing physical copies of the book, which instead will be an optional extra. It will be interesting to see if this approach is successful.
Sci-fi 5e & Starfinder
Amazing Adventures 5E RPG: A set of 5e-based rules for playing RPGs in multiple genres, including modern fantasy, pulp adventure, and science-fiction genres, by Stephen Chenault/Troll Lord Games (Castles & Crusades, 5th Edition Players’ Guide to Aihrde) — July 2nd
The StoryMaster’s Tales “Weirding Woods”: A hybrid RPG, adventure game and board game, in a dark fairytale setting, by Oliver McNeil (Cthulhu & Horror Soundscapes, Fantasy Soundscapes) — June 30th
Remarkable Shops & Their Wares: A systemless guide to creating shops in fantasy RPGs, by LoreSmyth (Remarkable Inns & Their Drinks, Dungeon Discoveries) — July 4th
This has had the biggest launch of the week, with nearly 900 backers raising almost €29,000. Not bad for a systemless book about shopping! It looks to be a very attractive book to be fair, and is building off of the back of LoreSmyth’s previous book about inns. — James
James may be surprised, but I’m not. I reckon you could draw a direct connection between the existence of Pumat Sol and the success of this Kickstarter. Everyone loves a good shopping episode. — Amy