28 October–3 November 2019: Digital Platforms, RPGs in Asia, Asia in RPGs

This week we learn that Wizards of the Coast is pushing further into the digital D&D space, purchasing a computer games studio that is already working on a Dungeons & Dragons game.

In other digital news, a number of OneBookShelf accounts have been hacked, Roll20’s industry report shows movement in the top 10 RPGs, and D&D Beyond makes its first push into translating its content.

There’s also Orientalism, memories of the Satanic Panic, a lawsuit, maps, and quite a few references to Cthulhu.

Featured Image: Call of Cthulhu 7th edition cover art, by Sam Lamont

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Digital Platforms

Wizards of the Coast acquires Canadian computer games studio, Tuque Games. Tuque announced the development of a Dungeons & Dragons game earlier this year.

A number of accounts on DriveThruRPG and other OneBookShelf sites were hacked using passwords leaked from other websites.

Take a few minutes to secure your accounts. Check if you have been compromised in a data breach. Don’t use the same password on different websites. Maybe use a password manager. But also get your cybersecurity advice from professionals, not RPG news bloggers.

Roll20 releases its Q3 Industry Report, showing the most popular systems on its platform.

The report shows Call of Cthulhu continuing to rise up the charts. Increased support (and visibility) from Roll20, as well as the Critical Role one-shot in July, probably factored in here, though Call of Cthulhu has been a contender for the top spots for some time.

Even more interesting is the appearance of Japanese RPG inSANe in the top 10, being driven by players in Korea. This could indicate growth in the Asian market generally, or simply Roll20’s growth in Korea. Either way, it will be interesting to see what happens to these charts if and when it becomes more indicative of the international market.

D&D Beyond has released its first translated product: the Player’s Handbook, in Italian. Although this is a very limited release (only a single book, and with features like character sheets and spell lists still in English), this appears to be a pilot project for a broader translation effort.

DriveThruRPG is increasing its print-on-demand prices.

RPG History

James Ward discusses TSR’s strategies for dealing with the Satanic Panic in the 1980s.

James Mendez Hodes looks at Orientalism in the representation of Asian martial arts in roleplaying games.

Sage Advice shares the original, hand-drawn maps of the Forgotten Realms by Ed Greenwood.

Transformers producer, Tom DeSanto drops his lawsuit against Gail Gygax over a deal for the licensing and merchandising rights to Gary Gygax’s intellectual property.

Atlas Obscura gives a history of the Demogorgon.

State of the Industry

The UK Games Expo is launching an industry convention.

Wizards of the Coast is running a survey about players’ engagement with D&D.

New & Upcoming Releases

Onyx Path’s meeting notes allude to meetings with Paradox Interactive. Onyx Path has several Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition products, but they are evidently pitching projects for other World of Darkness lines. It seems likely that they will be involved in Werewolf: The Apocalypse 5th Edition, announced last week.

Beadle & Grimm is producing a deluxe “Gold Edition” of Eberron: Rising from the Last War.

Onyx Path announces two new series of supplements for the Scarred Lands RPG.

Bundles & Deals

Bundle of Holding is running two bundles of Trail of Cthulhu books.

Crowdfunding News

Kickstarter United

Kickstarter has begun proceedings to ballot all members of staff on whether or not to recognise a union of workers. The following Kickstarters which are mentioned this issue have also stated their position on this issue:

The House of the Red Doors: I almost didn’t run this crowdfunding on this platform because of the anti-union stance of Kickstarter leadership. I’m the son of a unionized worker and I like things like 40 hour work weeks, vacation time, paid sick time, week-ends, lunch, and safe working conditions. I’m also a technology professional and it’s well past time for the workers in our industry to advocate for themselves in organized ways. When many companies call themselves tech companies that happen to “x”, its workers are part of that change in visualization. We too must change our view of technology professions. As we become ubiquitous, obligatory, and integral to corporate success, we will be increasingly considered interchangeable and expendable (it’s already happening if you haven’t noticed). Unions are there to protect the worker and protections we will soon need. I stand in solidarity with KSRU. I call on Kickstarter’s senior leadership to recognize the union now, and I hope you’ll join me.

Space Kings: Space Kings supports Kickstarter United unionization efforts!


The House of the Red Doors (DCC RPG): A one-on-one 0-level adventure for Dungeon Crawl Classics, by James A. Pozenel, Jr. — November 26th

Science Fiction

Space Kings: The Book: An improvisational card-based sci-fi comedy RPG, by Kevin B. Cole (Haque) — November 23rd

Traveller RPG: The Deepnight Revelation Campaign Box Set: A boxed set campaign for the Traveller RPG, by Matthew Sprange / Mongoose (Paranoia, Traveller) — December 1st

Urban Fantasy / Horror

A Time for Sacrifice: A Meso-American adventure book for Call of Cthulhu, by New Comet Games (Devil’s Swamp, Operation: Deep Freeze) — November 22nd

This update was made possible by Keenan Collett and the rest of our Patreon supporters.

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