17–23 February 2020: End of Fantasy Flight RPGs; Kickstarter Unionises

Art from Pixar's new animated feature, Onward, which features numerous references to Dungeons & Dragons

The news this week may not surprise you.

Fantasy Flight Games will wind down development on all its RPG lines. FFG laid off the bulk of its RPG team last month, so this was a looming probability, but will be sad news to many fans.

Meanwhile, Wizards of the Coast gives us the announcement we anticipated last week, and it’s… something we already knew.

Some good news: Kickstarter United is finally recognised; Evil Hat gets a nod from the Nebula Awards; and we might get a D&D actual play starring the Avengers!

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Industry News

Fantasy Flight to discontinue RPG lines

d20 Radio reports that Fantasy Flight Games will discontinue the development of its RPG lines. Previously announced books (such as the Keyforge sourcebook for Genesys) will be released, but the company will wind down production. This was not surprising news: we more or less expected this after the majority of Fantasy Flight’s RPG staff were laid off in January. Fantasy Flight Interactive (FFG’s digital board games wing) shut down at the same time. There has been speculation that private equity firm, Eurazeo, may be preparing to sell Asmodee, the parent company of Fantasy Flight Games.

Editor’s Note: This is a third-party source, and there does not seem to have been any announcement from an official FFG source. We expect that this is true, but want to be upfront about this haziness!

Kickstarter officially unionises

Kickstarter employees have officially voted to unionise, and Kickstarter United has been formally recognised by the National Labor Relations Board.

More responses to Judges Guild owner’s antisemitism

Goodman Games has issued a statement following the antisemitic posts by Judges Guild owner, Bob Bledsaw Jr, which we reported on last week. Meanwhile, Bledsaw issued a statement on Judges Guild’s Facebook page (now removed, but duplicated at Tenkar’s Tavern) defending his views. (CW: Racism, antisemitism, homophobia.)

Evil Hat nominated for a Nebula Award

The shortlist for the 2019 Nebula Awards has been announced, and Evil Hat Publishing’s Fate Accessibility Toolkit, written by Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, is among the nominees for the Game Writing category.

RPG History

Daniel Scott Palter, founder of Paranoia and Star Wars (1987) publisher, West End Games, has passed away.

EN World’s Andrew Peregrine looks back at the design of the James Bond 007 RPG.

Dicebreaker looks at how the Mutant: Year Zero RPG helped make Free League Publishing.

New & Upcoming Releases

Wizards of the Coast CEO, Chris Cocks announces that there are seven Dungeons & Dragons digital games in development. These will no doubt be for a range of platforms (mobile, console & PC), and take a range of formats. This seems to be the announcement alluded to by Hasbro CEO, Brian Goldner, during a call with investors last week. It’s not exactly news — Cocks claimed last year that we should expect “seven or eight” digital titles in the near future.

Critical Role releases a video showcasing the writing team working on The Legend of Vox Machina animated series.

Onyx Path’s Chicago By Night for Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition is now available.

During the premiere of Pixar’s Onward (a film which contains a lot of Dungeons & Dragons references), Tom Holland let slip that he and Chris Pratt have discussed starting an Avengers D&D group (and possibly filming it).

Bundles & Deals

Bundle of Holding is offering a bundle of Castle Falkenstein books.

Crowdfunding News

ZineQuest

Week three of ZineQuest turned out to be a big one! You can find an analysis of this year’s various ZineQuest campaigns on the Bone Box Chant Blog.

Noteworthy New Projects

Ptolus: Monte Cook’s City by the Spire: Monte Cook’s campaign setting for D&D 3rd edition, updated 5e and Cypher System, by Monte Cook Games (Numenera, Invisible Sun) — March 21st

Closing Soon

Vampire: The Masquerade – CHAPTERS has raised 1,103,000CAD ($830,000) from over 5,000 backers and is Flyos Games’ biggest hit to date. It is also the most successful campaign for a Vampire: The Masquerade board game we’ve seen. Over the past 12 months alone we’ve seen Vampire: The Masquerade — Heritage by Nice Game Publishing and Vampire: The Masquerade — Blood Feud by Everything Epic, with a fourth game due to launch on Kickstarter next month. Ends February 29th.

The Ultimate Guide to Alchemy, Crafting & Enchanting for 5E has raised $145,000 from 3,000 backers, putting it at around the same level of support as Nord Games’ last project, The Ultimate Bestiary: The Dreaded Accursed. There has been quite a spate of 3rd-party 5e supplements on crafting recently, but this looks like the most successful one yet. Ends February 28th.

5e & Pathfinder

The Black Iron a 5th edition Dark Fantasy Setting: A dark survival horror setting for 5e, by FeralGames (Ghost Ops – An RPG of Modern Day Covert Operations, Super Secret Spy Agency) — February 25th

Ancestry and Culture: An Alternative to Race in 5e: Alternative character creation rules for 5e, replacing Race rules with Ancestry and Culture, for awesome new PCs, by Eugene Marshall — February 29th

I would be tempted to back this one simply for lighting a candle instead of cursing the darkness. But the truth is, I’m actually very interested in the concept of characters with more diverse backgrounds and this has the potential to make characters richer and more interesting as well. This isn’t just about addressing a problematic aspect of the D&D, it has the potential to make it more interesting — James

Adûl, City of Gold: A D&D 5e Adventure: An level 6-8 adventure for 5e in which the heroes must explore a magical city in a single day, by William Murakami-Brundage (Descent into Mirefen: A D&D 5e Adventure, Ghoul Cove: A D&D 5e Adventure) — February 29th

Spheres of Might and Power; 5th edition D&D Supplements: A 5e conversion for the Spheres of Power and Spheres of Might Pathfinder supplements, by Adam Meyers (Spheres of Power: A New Pathfinder Magic System, Spheres of Might: A New Pathfinder Martial System) — March 18th

Hardbound Support – 5E Starter Set (LMOP): A collection of flat minis & maps for the 5e Starter Set, by Arcknight (Roleplaying Spell Effects 2.0 – Cheaper and Pre-Cut, Flat Plastic Miniatures) — by March 20th

We don’t normally cover minis campaigns here (because there are so many of them!) but this one is especially useful as it is designed to work with the campaign in the D&D Starter Set.

TPK Bestiary – Vol. 2 for 5th Edition: The second edition of a Bestiary full of deadly creatures for 5e, by 2CGaming (Epic Legacy Campaign Codex: 5th Edition Beyond 20th Level, GrymmWorld) — March 23rd

OSR

YOU GOT A JOB ON THE GARBAGE BARGE: An OSR-style adventure set on a barge that collects unwanted things, including a list of 100 kinds of trash, by Amanda Lee Franck — February 25th

The Bone Age – Weird School RPG: An OSR-style RPG that pits neolithic tribes against weird aliens, by Bill Edmunds (Black Dragon OSR ‘zine) — February 25th

Barrow Keep: Den of Spies: An RPG themed around Young Adult fantasy, by R. Rook Studio — February 28th

I am not really drawn to OSR games, but this one calls to my Tamora Pierce-loving girlhood nostalgia. — Amy

General Fantasy

For the Honor: A She-Ra Inspired GM-less RPG about powerful heroes fighting to make the world a better place, by Quinn Vega — February 27th

I got mad last year when someone announced an official She-Ra RPG last April Fool’s so I guess I was morally obliged to back this one! — James

Night Reign RPG #ZineQuest2: A noirish fantasy RPG set in a “scabrous, rainslick metropolis”, by Oli Jeffrey (Quietus) — February 28th

Our Queen Crumbles: A collaborative storygame in which the players seek to avenge the queen they failed to save, by Jason Brown — February 28th

Fish in the Pot: TTRPG Characters Collection: A collection of ready-to-roleplay NPCs for fantasy RPGs, by Fish in the Pot (Fish in the Pot One-Page Dungeon Collection) — February 29th

Rebel Crown: A Forged in the Dark RPG about the overthrown heir and their allies trying to retake the throne, by Michael Dunn O’Connor (Goblinville Gazette) — March 2nd

A Visitor’s Guide to the Rainy City: A system-agnostic setting featuring a doomed city at the end of the world, by Andrew D Devenney — March 2nd

Science Fiction

SPACE KIDS RPG: A Sci-Fi RPG designed for kids aged 4-12, by Big Bald Games — March 2nd

The Black Pyramid: An scenario for the Mothership RPG, by josh Dixon — March 4th

Urban Fantasy/Horror

INSIDE OUT: the body horror TTRPG zine: A guide to body horror for RPGs, by Joel Ruiz — February 26th

THEY FEED ON FEAR: A Horror RPG.: An RPG in which the players take on the role of the monsters, by Alexei Vella — March 3rd

Tiny Cthulhu: A Lovecraftian RPG using the TinyD6 system, By Gallant Knight Games (Tiny Dungeon: Second Edition, Monster Hunter International RPG: Savage Worlds Edition) — March 22nd

Indie

Oligarchy RPG Zine: A Trophy-based game in which the players play corrupt politicians determined to get away with it, by Eli Kurtz (The Blackwood for the Savage Worlds RPG System) — February 25th

Disk Horse#1: Off to the Races: A game about RPG discourse, by FM Geist — February 27th

This project broke my brain a little bit. — James

So, yeah, this is a satire about RPG Twitter discourse. On the one hand, that discourse frequently deserves to be mocked. On the other hand, I cannot think of a more joyless subject for a game. — Amy

Accessories

Mammoth Maps – Tabletop Sized Tabletop Action: Maps and stickers for creating tabletop-sized battle maps, by Mammoth Maps — March 12th

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

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