24 February–1 March 2020: Tales from the Loop; DnD Gets Greekish

Art Simon Stålenhag from Free League's Tales from the Loop

Giant rats got into the d100 servers this week, but the Level 1 adventurers we sent to hunt them seem to have done the trick! Of course, they haven’t actually come back yet, and there are strange, mechanical groaning sounds coming from the stairs…

Thank you for your patience with this Late Edition!

The big news this week is all upcoming releases! We get the first trailer for Amazon’s Tales from the Loop, a leak from Dungeons & Dragons, and a new free RPG day from Goodman Games.

And with heavy hearts we say farewell to Zine Quest 2, as February ends, and the crowdfunding section returns to its regular length.

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New & Upcoming Releases

Amazon has dropped a trailer for Tales from the Loop, an Amazon Original series based on the art of Simon Stålenhag, which also inspired the RPG of the same name. The show will premiere on April 3rd.

Although this is based on Stålenhag’s art, and not on the award-winning RPG by Free League, we imagine there’ll be a lot of crossover in interest. Hopefully if the show is a success, we’ll see a surge of mainstream interest in the game.

Penguin Random House leaked details of an upcoming Dungeons & Dragons book, Mythic Odysseys of Theros, a campaign setting based on an Ancient Greece-themed Magic The Gathering world.

We seem to hear about most D&D products through leaks on various sites. At what point do we stop interpreting this as persistent error, and start thinking it’s corporate strategy? — Amy

Goodman Games announces DCC Day, a day to showcase Dungeon Crawl Classics at Friendly Local Game Stores with free products and in-store events.

Fantasy Flight Games announces Celestial Realms and Wheel of Judgment, a sourcebook and an adventure respectively for the Legend of the Five Rings RPG.

We believe this is the first set of RPG books announced by FFG after the (not officially confirmed) news that the RPG division will be winding up production and closing soon.

D&D Beyond has released an Alpha version of a Combat Tracker to its suite of digital D&D Tools. The Tracker is available for D&D Beyond subscribers.

I’m personally pretty excited about this — I am a fan of D&D Beyond’s tools, and use them extensively in our Friday night game. I look forward to giving it a go.

D&D computer RPG, Baldur’s Gate III, will arrive in early access this year. At PAX East, Larian Studios revealed the game’s first gameplay footage. EN World provides an overview. (Content Warning: The gameplay footage contains absolutely hellish eye-related squicks.)

Industry News

Paizo will begin selling its products directly to retailers in the US.

RPG History

EN World’s Mike Tresca looks at Roleplaying- and Virtual Reality game creator, FASA.

Historian, Jon Peterson looks at the polyhedral dice of the 1970s.

Jobs

Wizards of the Coast is hiring a Senior Manager for Digital Marketing and an e-Commerce Merchandising Specialist, both roles based in the UK.

Bundles & Deals

Bundle of Holding offers a bundle of Hero Kids RPGs.

Crowdfunding News

We’re coming to the end of the ZineQuest promotion and as a result the number of projects has started to calm down again. I’ll miss it for the much greater diversity in campaigns it inspired. — James

Closing Soon

Altered Carbon: The Role Playing Game campaign has so far raised $300,000 from 3,000 backers. The controversy over Altered Carbon author Richard Morgan’s outspoken transphobic comments on Twitter not long before the campaign launched, does not seem to have dampened people’s enthusiasm for the campaign. It is clear however that despite not addressing the controversy, Hunters Books have been keen to distance themselves from him. Rather damningly, his name is not mentioned anywhere in the campaign — apart from in the FAQ where they clarify he is not involved in any way. Ends March 4th.

Hunter: The Vigil Second Edition tabletop roleplaying game campaign has so far raised $87,000 from 1,700 backers. This puts it on a par with other recent Chronicles of Darkness campaigns for Deviant: the Renegades and the Contagion Chronicles. In fact, it would appear that the Chronicles of Darkness customer base has neither especially grown nor contracted for some time.

The Chronicles of Darkness line continues the “new” World of Darkness line originally published by White Wolf in the 2000s, but they also publish material for the somewhat different “old” World of Darkness line from the 1990s. As a rule, the older line alongside other old White Wolf brands such as Scion and Exalted, do slightly better than Chronicles of Darkness. Ends March 5th.

Decuma: The R&D for your RPG campaign has raised $45,000 from 1,500 backers. There has been a slew of RPG/tarot related campaigns recently but this one does stand out in terms of both card design and mechanics — with rules included for using a tarot deck for worldbuilding. Ends March 3rd.

Swords and Wizardry: Limited and Collectors Edition Box Sets campaign has raised $72,000 from 1,000 backers. When we first visited this campaign a few weeks ago, we expressed concerns about how the campaign had been misleadingly written to imply that Swords and Wizardry was somehow a precursor to D&D 5e, but it has done well nonetheless. Ends March 4th.

5e & Pathfinder

BroadSword Monthly Extra Attack: A collection of adventure idea books for D&D published monthly, by David Hamrick (BroadSword Magazine) — March 12th

OSR

The Evils of Illmire: A Mini-Mega Hexcrawl Adventure Zine: A dark fantasy hexcrawl adventure zine, by Zack Wolf, Spellsword Home Entertainment — March 3rd

GLAIVE: A toolkit for running old school fantasy RPGs, by Scott Wegener — March 3rd

Bunker: An OSR adventure set in a far-future post-apocalyptic world, by Haunted Meat — March 11th

Swords & Wizardry Dark: A collection of grimdark optional rules for Swords & Wizardry and other OSR RPGs, by Emanuel James Miller (Crit Hit! – a tabletop roleplaying gathering in Phoenix) — March 5th

General Fantasy

Under The Floorboards: A Zine Quest RPG: A Borrowers-inspired RPG about tiny people in a giant, hostile world, by Chris Bissette — March 3rd

Artifices, Deceptions & Dilemmas: A book illustrating rooms, traps & tricks for fantasy RPGs, by Courtney (On Downtime and Demesnes) — March 5th

UNCONQUERED: a “bronze-age sword & sorcery & sandals & sci-fi” RPG, by Monkey’s Paw Games — March 15th

Climbing the Witch’s Tower: A game of fairytale horror based on the Trophy system, by Amalie McKee — March 22nd

Powered by the Apocalypse

Pasión de las Pasiones: A PbtA game for playing out telenovelas, by Brandon Leon-Gambetta / Magpie Games — March 20th

This is another Powered by the Apocalypse game being developed by Magpie Games, and while the mechanics don’t appear to be that innovative, it gets points for an original setting (although the Dallas: the Television Role-Playing Game in 1980 sort of got there first!) — James

James has far more PbtA experience than I do, so I defer to him about the game’s mechanics. But I’ve wanted to play this ever since I first heard of it, and I trust Magpie to make a good game. My pick of the week. — Amy

Princess World: A game of magical princesses inspired by My Little Pony and She-Ra, by Kevin Petker — March 25th

I talked last week about how I felt obliged to back any campaign inspired by the Netflix She-Ra TV show and now another one has appeared! As it is yet another Powered by the Apocalypse game, this one feels less novel to me than For the Honor, but I’m still tempted. What a dilemma! — James

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

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