30 March–5 April 2020: Consent in Streaming; Turning Game Accessories into Medical Equipment

Cover Art by Felix Miall for Rowan, Rook & Decard's Heart: The City Beneath.

It was pretty clear this April Fools that we have all had enough shocks for the moment. The day passed with little news, and apart from a small (shall we say quantum?) joke from Beadle & Grimms and a couple of misspelt monsters from Paizo., there just wasn’t much in the way of hoaxes.

There’s one bit of tough news this week, however, with a case of in-character sexual assault during a live-stream raising questions about safe play during RPG performances.

But most of the news is about the virus, though largely of a positive kind, as we see support from GAMA, support from manufacturers, and support from platforms.

Stay safe out there, folks!

We’re heading into the third week of the lockdown in the UK. Honestly, I’m coping the way I have dealt with most difficult periods in my life: making radical changes to my hair (purple) and constantly calling my mother.

I’ve also taken up miniature painting, so that I spend at least a little less time in front of a screen. I am very bad at it. The eyes are particularly bad: on one, I have had to repaint so many times that they are bulging, and still mismatched, asymmetrical, and far, far too big.

When I finally get him to a gaming table, he will look like he has gazed into the heart of madness, and cannot process what he has seen there.

To be fair, the same will be true of me. — Amy

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Difficult News

[Content Warning: In-Character Sexual Assault] RollPlay’s sci-fi stream, Far Verona, has been cancelled after castmembers quit when the game’s GM, Dungeon World co-creator, Adam Koebel, ran an in-game sexual assault without player consent.

This scene was difficult to watch. Having agency over your character taken away is uncomfortable; during a sexual encounter, frightening; during a sexual encounter with dubious (in other words, without) consent, horrifying.

I wish I was more surprised by it, but this kind of thing happens to a lot of players. (It has happened to me.) This just happens to be the first time I’ve heard of it happening on a live-stream.

I have often wondered how player safety is handled on streams, when you add an audience to the mix. In most cases (like in this one) I imagine that there aren’t a lot of systems in place to keep players (and viewers) safe. I hope that this will be a sharp lesson to a lot of folks.

Play safe. — Amy

TSR co-founder, Brian J. Blume has died.

Coronavirus

Fantasy Flight Games is delaying all upcoming releases in response to the pandemic.

The Game Manufacturers Association has written up a list of support programs for retailers during the crisis. It is also including information about ‘curbside pickup’ on its FLGS directory.

An RPG miniature maker in Reno has turned its 3D printers to producing medical equipment for health care workers.

Collector supply manufacturer, Ultra PRO, is donating tablet sleeve protectors to hospitals to help medical professionals avoid cross-contamination.

OneBookShelf showcases solo & one-on-one D&D adventures.

Upcoming & New Releases

Simon & Schuster will release The Ultimate Micro-RPG Book, a collection of micro-RPGs edited by One Shot host and co-creator, James D’Amato.

Rowan, Rook and Decard release Heart: The City Beneath.

Monte Cook Games releases 5e science-fantasy and Numenera adaptation, Arcana of the Ancients.

Dan the DM releases the Game Master Engine 3d mapmaking tool.

Bundles & Deals

Humble Bundle is offering a massive bundle of games and books — including one Starfinder book — in aid of several charities working to provide healthcare and aid during the Coronavirus crisis. At time of writing, the bundle has raised over $4 million.

There’s a lot of great stuff in this one! — Amy

EN World showcases the deals available at different virtual tabletops to support players during self-isolation.

Humble Bundle also offers a bundle of 3D-printable terrain for D&D.

Bundle of Holding is running a bundle of Dungeon on Demand books.

Chaosium is running a “Stay at Home Spring-cleaning” Sale.

Paizo is offering free Roll20 products.

Pelgrane Press is offering an extended trial of The Black Book suite of GUMSHOE digital tools.

Crowdfunding News

Noteworthy New Projects

Frosthaven: Sequel to the dungeon-crawling fantasy board-game, Gloomhaven, by Isaac Childres/Cephalofair Games (Gloomhaven, Founders of Gloomhaven) — May 1st

For such an expensive box of cardboard, Gloomhaven has deservedly been a huge hit, and this project has already eclipsed both its first and second printing Kickstarters. It has raised $6.5m from 45,000 backers in its first week alone. It is already the fifth-highest funding Kickstarter for a game project and we would be surprised if it didn’t surpass 7th Continent (which raised $7m) before the end of the campaign.

Closing Soon

More Magic items for 5e: The Griffon’s Saddlebag | Book One has raised $510,000 from 6,300 backers. It’s clear that Griffin Macaulay has done the groundwork on this with his long-running Tumblr, Instagram & Patreon accounts. Ends April 11th.

Deep Carbon Observatory Remastered is an update of an existing OSR adventure, adding new artwork and produced in a larger size. It is clearly targeted at people already familiar with the original book (we’re not familiar, and haven’t really figured out what it is); nonetheless, at time of writing, it has raised £36,000 ($44,000) from 1,500 backers. Ends April 7th.

OSR

The Fantasy Trip: The Book of Unlife & Red Crypt: A solitaire adventure and a sourcebook for the undead for The Fantasy Trip, by Warehouse 23 / Steve Jackson Games — April 17th

General Fantasy

Fading Suns: Pax Alexius: A new edition of the far future RPG, by Ullisses Spiele (The Dark Eye RPG, Torg Eternity) — April 15th

Superheroes

Galaxies in Peril: A Forged in the Dark superhero RPG, by Samjoko Publishing (The Veil, Hack the Planet) — April 29th

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

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