22–28 July 2019: Q2 Reports, Accessibility, D&D Beyond Elections

As July limps to a close, we have survived a stupendous heatwave, and Gen Con is nearly here.

The Q2 reports are arriving, starting with the biggest of all: Hasbro. Dungeons & Dragons continues to grow, but the star of the show is Wizards of the Coast’s other big property: Magic: The Gathering. Hasbro intends to invest heavily in the product, planning to double the team over the next five years — we’ll see what effect, if any, that has on Dungeons & Dragons.

Accessibility is a key subject this week, with a new supplement from Evil Hat looking to support players with disabilities and (a little controversially) support the portrayal of characters with disabilities. We’ve seen awareness of disabilities in gaming growing recently, and it’s good to see more support, but it’s clear that this is still a gap in the industry.

What else, now…? RPG-related challenges, a completely made up election, heavy metal, chain letters, and every other name for the game master.

See you all after Gen Con!

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Q2 Reports

Hasbro report shows Magic the Gathering driving growth

Hasbro, parent company of Wizards of the Coast released its quarterly report for Q2. As expected, the company continues to see healthy growth as it recovers from the hit it took after the closure of Toys ‘R Us. The report doesn’t tell us much about Dungeons & Dragons — except that the product saw revenue gains that were offset by losses elsewhere in Hasbro Gaming. Magic the Gathering, however, which is also created by WotC, continues to drive growth, and Hasbro indicated that they will encourage WotC to double the size of its team over the next five years.

Most-played games on Roll20

The Orr Group releases its Q2 report on which games are being played on its virtual tabletop, Roll20.

Accessibility in Gaming

Evil Hat has released a prototype (unillustrated) edition of the Fate Accessibility Toolkit, a sourcebook for including disabled characters in games (FATE or otherwise), as well as resources for supporting players with disabilities.

This book’s first (and judging by the table of contents, primary) aim — to facilitate playing disabled characters in games — has drawn some strong criticism in the comments here. It’s worth noting that the creative team behind the book was largely made up of disabled creators.

The Mary Sue spotlights the solutions which are making roleplaying games more accessible for blind and visually impaired gamers.

August Challenges

#RPGaDAY2019, a social media event encouraging gamers to share their experiences, launches this week.

Next month will see RPGenesis, a challenge to write a 5000 word RPG in a week.

Changing Roles

Jason Cordova, founder of gaming community, The Gauntlet, is stepping down.

Joe Pasini, developer at Paizo, is taking over as Lead Designer for Starfinder. He replaces Owen K.C. Stephens, who left Paizo in June.

EN Publishing is hiring a line manager for their 2000 AD line.

Fun Stuff

Comics writer, John Reppion, discusses the influence of roleplaying games on heavy metal.

Lowell Francis’ updated list of alternative terms for Game Masters is a thing of beauty.

A long-running ad campaign has culminated in the so-called elections for the president of D&D Beyond.

I have no idea how to explain this joke to anyone who hasn’t watched the last 100 hours of Critical Role. Essentially, CR’s opening bits to promote their sponsors, D&D Beyond, have developed a bizarre in-world canon involving a mud-slinging election campaign, collusion with foreign powers, and the campaign slogan, “Vote with your Johnson”. The D&D Beyond adverts are… elaborate at this point. — Amy

New & Upcoming Products

Paizo announces that Archon Studio will take over the license to produce Starfinder Miniatures, after the closure of Ninja Division.

A new sourcebook for the Eberron campaign setting is on its way.

Renegade Game Studios announces The Ivory Mausoleum, an adventure model for their ‘Kaleidoscopic Fantasy’ RPG Overlight.

Bundles & Deals

Bundle of Holding launches a bundle of books from the “Zeta” edition of the mecha RPG, Mekton.

Crowdfunding News

The subject of accessibility being at the front of my mind this week, I couldn’t help but notice how many of these Kickstarters (most, in fact) included huge amounts of text in image format, making this information difficult or impossible for blind or visually impaired readers to access. I’m sure this is happening all the time without me noticing. — Amy

Closing Soon

Trinity Continuum: Aberrant has raised over $100,000 from over 1,500 backers. Originally published by White Wolf in 1999, Aberrant was the second in the Trinity/Aeon series of RPGs (starting with the far future set Trinity and ending with the 1920s set Adventure!). It was the ultimate edgelord 90s superhero RPG, set in the distant future of 2008. It has been updated to use Onyx Path’s Storypath system.

Fantasy 5e & Pathfinder

The Dragon’s Garden and 49 Other Forest Encounters: A collection of low-level encounters for D&D 5e, themed around forests, by Quest Chests — July 31st

OSR

HYPERBOREA: Otherworldly Tales: Two adventure modules for the modestly named “Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea™” by Jeffrey Talanian (Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea) — August 19th

General Fantasy

Arcane Rites – A Deadly New 700 Paragraph Fantasy Gamebook!: A fantasy adventure gamebook, in the style of the Fighting Fantasy books, by Simon Birks (Robyn, Hexes Volume One) — August 4th

The Moebius Deck of Wonders – Usable in any TTRPG System: A deck of systemless, magic item cards, intended as both a prop and a game tool, in the same vein as the Deck of Many Things, by Mystic Dragon Games, LLC — August 16th

Content warning: The following project describes itself as a “realistic” medieval fantasy, and warns that that means it contains sexual violence.

Cities of Hârn: A cities sourcebook for the systemless medieval fantasy setting, Hârn, by Columbia Games (Victory in Europe, Napoleon) — August 26th

Using an appeal to historical accuracy to justify potentially offensive/harmful content is a big red flag for me. Hopefully, this project will handle the subject of sexual assault sensitively. — Amy

Storygames

Chain Mail: a group-driven story written through mail: A chain letter game of story-writing, fully facilitated by the creator, by Travis D. Hill (Reunification) — August 2nd

This is such a lovely concept — it’s especially great to see a Kickstarter that’s not just for the rules of the game, but for the game itself. — Amy

What We Were – Tabletop Roleplaying System: A story-focused RPG designed to be easy for new players, by Freddie Taylor-Bell — August 8th

Accessories

PROJECT DEIOS – DUNGEONFOG Mapmaker Suite for Worldbuilders: A mapmaker suite expanding the DUNGEONFOG battlemap editor to create city, region, and world-maps, and to seamlessly connect all levels, by DungeonFog (DUNGEONFOG | Create RPG Maps and GameMaster Notes Online) — August 19th

I haven’t used DUNGEONFOG, so I can’t vouch for the software here, but Caeora, the artist creating assets for it, is my favourite artist in this genre. My pick of the week. — Amy

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