12–18 August 2019: IP Law, Cameos, Eberron

The post-Gen Con quiet continues, and this week we have a slim update with a handful of articles and Kickstarters.

We have IP law, a distributor monopoly, designers appearing in their own games, a new Dungeons & Dragons campaign, non-human ethnicities in Pathfinder, a whole lot of bundles, the pre-apocalypse, digital dice, and more!

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RPGaDay

For August we’re participating in the #RPGaDay social media campaign by asking our readers questions about RPGs. You can find our questions (and your answers!) on our Facebook and Twitter.

Business, Law, Data Breach

After being targeted by a cease & desist letter for reproducing Wizards of the Coast stat blocks, IP lawyer, Robert E. Bodine, Esq. argues that stat blocks are not copyrightable under US law.

Obviously, this argument is coming from someone who has a vested interest in it being correct, so read it critically. We are not nearly well-versed enough in the subject of Intellectual Property law to tell if this is a reasonable argument (we suspect that it is flawed), but it seems to be a good introduction to an important debate. It would be interesting to find out if Wizards of the Coast has sent out any other cease & desist letters…

Multinational board & hobby game distributor, Asmodee, have acquired three distribution companies: Lion Rampant in Canada, Kids Power in Taiwan & Skyship in Chile.

From what we can tell, only Lion Rampant works with Roleplaying Games. Nevertheless, RPG fans should be keeping an eye on Asmodee. The company has been vacuuming up smaller outfits like cells in Agar.io, and is well on its way to a global monopoly. This would certainly not be a healthy situation for the industry.

Paradox Interactive, computer game studio, and parent company of Vampire publisher, White Wolf, reports a strong second quarter.

Roll20 concludes the investigation of its 2018 data breach.

Jonathan Tweet reflects on 3rd Edition’s Open Gaming License.

Cameos

Mike Pondsmith, creator of R. Talsorian’s Cyberpunk, will appear as a character in the game’s computer adaptation, Cyberpunk 2077.

Kotaku shows how Fantasy Flight staff sometimes make cameos in their games’ art.

Upcoming Products

Eberron: Rising from the Last War, a new Dungeons & Dragons campaign has appeared on Amazon.

The Eberron setting has been slowly reviving on the edges of D&D: exciting to see another official product coming our way.

Paizo previews the Lost Omens Character Guide, focusing on the setting’s diversity.

My key takeaway from this preview is the way it looks at ethnicity and culture in non-human races. This is something I’ve seen a few appeals for diversity look for: most fantasy settings present non-human races as virtually monolithic, with uniform ethnicity and culture. It strikes me as a hopeful sign that Paizo is emphasizing this side of their world. (Obvious caveat: I’m white. My opinion on anything to do with race is coming from a position of ignorance.) — Amy

Fantasy Flight Games announces Path of the Waves and Sins of Regret, respectively a sourcebook and an adventure for Legend of the Five Rings.

EN World interviews Tactical Adventures about Solasta, their upcoming game based on Dungeons & Dragons 5e.

Deals & Bundles

DriveThruRPG is having a sale on books related to the Cthulhu mythos.

Humble Bundle is hosting a bundle of Warhammer 40K Dark Heresy RPG books.

Bundle of Holding is running a bundle of War on Everything wargame products.

Crowdfunding News

Fantasy 5e & Pathfinder

Immersive D&D™️ Adventure Boxes: Curated adventure boxes for immersive games, by RealmSmith Inc. — September 6th

General Fantasy

Magical Industrial Revolution: A setting guide for ambitious, magical cities just before the end of the world, by David Shugars (The Demon Collective, Vol. 1) — August 24th

Numenera: Liminal Shores: Three new sourcebooks for Numenera, covering the Ninth World’s “datasphere” (Your Best Game Ever, Worlds of Cypher System) — September 13th.

Powered by the Apocalypse

USAGI YOJIMBO Tabletop Role-Playing Game — A Powered by the Apocalypse game based on the Usagi Yojimbo comics, by Sanguine Productions LLC (FARFLUNG) — September 15th

Just to be confusing, this is actually the third distinct Usagi Yojimbo RPG – and entirely different from the game published by Sanguine in 2006. The first of was published by Goldrush Games in 1997 and used the Fuzion (Cyberpunk) system — James

Storygames

Dusk to Midnight: A GMless RPG about the relationships between mech soldiers in a losing war, by Riley Rethal (synthesis) — August 27th

Accessories

HandyMaps – Town & Village A5 Card Handouts for RPGs: A collection of A5 map handouts for RPGs, by Glynn Seal (The Midderlands – An OSR Mini-Setting & Bestiary) — August 31st

eDice: An universal electronic dice for your tabletop games: A rechargeable electronic dice roller, by aniPlay — September 6th.

Not sure what this does what plenty of phone apps and even, as we reported in June, Google does already. And none of them is as fun as rolling physical dice — James

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