18–24 November 2019: Costs, Rates, FreeRPGDay Gets Indie

Money is at the forefront this week, as several articles look at the difficulty for freelancers getting by and the cost of publishing RPGs. The lamentable income for RPG writers has been an ongoing obsession this year — but we have to admit it feels particularly ironic after last week’s $300 dice set.

Next year’s Free RPG Day will take an indie twist: the day’s new organisers, Gaming Days, announce a plan to include an anthology of indie games. After a week of Discourse about whether the popularity of D&D is a benefit to independent creators, this is an interesting new way to push indie content to new players.

There’s also the long-awaited Eberron release, TSR angst, steampunk, Elric, Filipino mythology, magic crystals and cyborg nuns.

Featured Image: Eberron: Rising From the Last War cover art by Wesley Burt. © Wizards of the Coast


Amy will be running around like an overstimulated toddler at Dragonmeet. Catch her on Twitter if you’d like to meet up!

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Genesis of Legend releases an analysis of its survey into RPG publishing costs.

The Game Manufacturers Association plans to release resources to help deal with sexual and physical abuse in the industry.

Chaosium opens a fulfilment warehouse in Poland.



Giles Pritchard looks at how research and revision impact writers’ income, and what needs to change for RPG professionals to be paid fairly.

Owen K.C. Stephens writes about how meeting RPG professionals helped him kickstart his own RPG career.

Modiphius is hiring a Financial Controller.

Andrew Peregrine (Doctor Who, Blue Rose) is announced as Line Manager for Modiphius’ upcoming Dune RPG.

RPG History

Age of Ravens begins a history of Steampunk & Victoriana RPGs.

James Ward’s column on the history of TSR continues to emphasise tensions between designers and management.

Upcoming & New Releases

In order to broaden the diversity of games available through Free RPG Day, 9th Level Games is teaming up with Gaming Days to produce an anthology of Indie games that will ship as part of the event.

Eberron: Rising From the Last War arrives.

Wizards of the Coasts releases Adventure With Muk in aid of children’s gaming charity, Extra Life.

A TV series based on Michael Moorcock’s Elric Saga is being shopped around.

That’s not RPG news, but will be of interest to many gamers: the Elric Saga was a great influence on Dungeons & Dragons, one of the first licensed settings, and was at the centre of an early legal battle.

Up to Four Players releases Full of Heart, an expansion for the Crystal Heart RPG.

Congratulations to our friends, Aviv Or and Eran Aviram, for this release.

Bundles & Deals

Bundle of Holding releases two bundles of RPG world creation tools.

Humble Bundle releases a bundle of Pathfinder first edition RPG & comic books.

DriveThruRPG is hosting a sale on Pugmire books.

Crowdfunding News

Kickstarter United

One new Kickstarter project has mentioned the Kickstarter United issue this week (as we mentioned when they launched, Free League have also mentioned their position on the Vaesen project page):

The World’s Greatest Roleplaying Game: this campaign supports the Kickstarter employees who are trying to unionize. Both Jen and Todd have discuss how we, as creators, can support them. Terminating employees who want to form a union is not an action we can support as believers in the rights of Kickstarter’s employees who make this site happen. If a boycott of Kickstarter is called for by the workers, we will cancel this campaign and no one will be charged.

Closing Soon

Vaesen – Nordic Horror Roleplaying has done exceptionally well by tabletop RPG crowdfunding standards, having raised SEK 2m ($200,000) from just under 3,000 backers. By Free League standards, however, it has only done moderately well (riding the Stranger Things wave, Tales from the Loop did approximately twice as well). It’s still very encouraging. Ends November 27th.

5e & Pathfinder

The World’s Greatest Roleplaying Game: The Zine: A zine of indie hacks for D&D 5e, by The Warden (High Plains Samurai, The Tower) — November 28th

I’m backing this and making it my pick of the week because I’m So Done with the online discourse of D&D vs indie games and I’m pleased to see people engage with the debate in a more constructive manner. — James

The Islands of Sina Una – Philippines TTRPG Book: A 5e setting and sourcebook based on Filipino mythology, by Lucia Versprille — December 5th

I love seeing mythologies beyond the global west appear in RPGs, so this is my pick of the week. It looks like it’s struggling to meet its goal, but I’m holding thumbs. — Amy

Galder’s Gazetteer: A 5e Expansion: A collection of tools for GMs, benefitting cancer research, by Zipperon Disney — December 20th

General Fantasy

Thorn: City of Kings: A system-neutral, bronze-age fantasy city setting, by Postworldgames Jim Pinto (King for a Day: Revised, Protocol Fantasy Game Omnibus) — November 27th

Science Fiction

Torg Cyberpapacy: A campaign book for Torg Eternity pitting the players against cyborg nuns, or something, by Ulisses Spiele — December 3rd

Urban Fantasy / Horror

City of Mist RPG: The Starter Box: A starter set for the mythic modern fantasy RPG, by Amít Moshe / Son of Oak Game Studio (City of Mist) — December 20th

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

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