6–12 January 2020: Fantasy Flight to close; Wildemount sourcebook; New Year Bundles

Art from Keyforge, published by Fantasy Flight Games. The property is due to be adapted into an RPG, but with Fantasy Flight supposedly closing its RPG wing, its future is uncertain.

This week’s news is overshadowed by a shocking piece of bad news: Fantasy Flight Game’s digital board game wing is shutting down, and all signs point to the RPG wing following. After a series of lay-offs, it’s unclear what the future of FFG’s RPG lines might be.

There are a few new product announcements (including, perplexingly, a new Fantasy Flight RPG), a little RPG history (including the news that some of that history was recently lost in a fire), and a couple of new years’ sales.

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Industry News

Fantasy Flight Interactive, the digital board games wing of Fantasy Flight Games, will close in February, after a number of layoffs, and the RPG division is expected to close as well.

We’ve had the impression for some time that Fantasy Flight’s RPGs were being somewhat neglected by parent company Asmodee (RPGs are, after all, not as profitable as board games). Nevertheless, this came as a shock to us, and we are in no position to speculate as to the reason for it.

It’s not clear at this stage what this means for Fantasy Flight’s RPG lines: Star Wars, Genesys, or the Keyforge RPG, which was announced in the same week as these layoffs. It seems probable that these products will live on under the purview of freelancers, but it remains to be seen.

Free League Publishing acquires Coriolis from Paradox Interactive.

The Witcher RPG has sold out, presumably on the back of the Witcher Netflix show.

RPG History

Michael Tresca looks at the influence of Jack Vance on early Dungeons & Dragons.

A GoFundMe has been created to help industry veteran, Lou Zocchi, after a fire broke out at his home, destroying out-of-print games and archives.

New & Upcoming Releases

A new Critical Role sourcebook is coming to Dungeons & Dragons: the Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount. The product was due to be announced on January 9th, but the announcement was delayed until 13 January. Nevertheless, Amazon released details of the product a day before it was announced.

We have been curious about about the fate of the first Critical Role sourcebook, the Tal’dorei Campaign Setting, published by Green Ronin, which is going out of print. Now that Critical Role is independent from Geek & Sundry, it’ll be interesting to see what happens to the original publication.

The fact that the second sourcebook will be published by Wizards of the Coast itself speaks to a close relationship — hardly a surprise given the hit show’s impact on the hobby.

Fantasy Flight Games announces Secrets of the Crucible, a sourcebook bringing the world of science-fantasy unique card game, Keyforge, to the Genesys system.

It really is quite bizarre that this news arrived at the same time as so many staff members lost their jobs.

Onyx Path announces two new sourcebooks for Trinity Continuum: Adventure!, a pulp sci-fi setting, and Assassin, a modern crime setting.

Additionally, Onyx Path announces, They Came from Beyond the Grave!, a B-Movie style RPG based on horror movies from the ’60s and ’70s. The product follows on from the publisher’s ’50s pulp sci-fi RPG, They Came from Beneath the Sea!.

Modiphius releases the Gamma Quadrant sourcebook for the Star Trek Adventures RPG.

Bundles & Deals

DriveThruRPG is offering several bundles of books to give you new games to play in the new year, as well as a New Years’ sale.

Modiphius is running a New Years’ Sale.

Bundle of Holding launches two bundles of Rifts RPG books.

Crowdfunding News

Closing Soon

Cults of the Blood Gods for Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Ed.: A guide to kindred cults and faiths in Vampire: The Masquerade, by Richard Thomas/Onyx Path — January 16th

Not a lot to add to this from last week. It has now raised $128,000 from 2,200 backers.

5e & Pathfinder

The Complete Illustrated Book of Conjuration: An illustrated spellbook containing conjuration spells from D&D 5e, by Phil Stone (The Complete Illustrated Book of Divination, The Complete Illustrated Book of Necromancy) — January 14th

A One-shot Mystery Adventure Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft! A Lovecraftian adventure for 5e, by Midnight Tower (Secrets of the Drow) – February 3rd

OSR

The Forgotten Rites of the Moldering Dead: A guide to death and undeath, compatible with Dungeon Crawl Classics, by Donn Stroud (The Lesser Key to the Celestial Legion) — February 7th

Science Fiction

Blood Floats in Space: A New Setting for the Mothership RPG: A weird sci-fi campaign setting and supplement for the Mothership RPG, by Chance Phillips (Phantasmagoria #1: A Sword and Planet Zine for DCC RPG) — January 26th

Urban Fantasy / Horror

Casting the Runes: A GUMSHOE RPG set in the worlds of M.R James, by Lawrence Whitaker/Design Mechanism – February 3rd

The second non-Pelgrane GUMSHOE game (after Bubblegumshoe), the works of M.R. James certainly make a change from the usual Lovecraft-derived fare that we’ve come to take for granted. The Design Mechanism has been a quietly successful company expanding their Mythras (formerly RuneQuest 6) line and this looks like a thoughtfully put together package. My pick of the week, although the UK shipping costs look a little high… — James

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

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