6–12 April 2020: Harassment at Wizard School and in the Old School

Czocha Castle, site of the College of Wizardry blockbuster LARP. Photo by Rafał Konieczny

What a bleak news week this has turned out to be… New releases and announcements have slowed to a trickle, while news of how the pandemic is hitting the industry continues to be the focus.

Meanwhile, in the business-as-usual side of the industry, we have stories of a toxic workplace, underpaid employees, online harassment, and livestreams plagued by controversy.

There are at least a few fun crowdfunding projects to make things a little happier.

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The Dark Side of Gaming

Kotaku looks at how harassment, toxic work practices, and financial mismanagement plagued the rise and fall of Dziobak Larp Studios, creators of the blockbuster, College of Wizardry.

I don’t often see deep, complex, long-form journalism on roleplaying. This piece is well worth your time. — Amy

Daniel D. Fox, author of ZWEIHANDER, has issued a statement accusing John Tarnowski (aka The RPG Pundit) of a campaign of online harassment.

Following the controversial end of RPG livestream, Far Verona, two other livestreams GMed by Adam Koebel (and produced by Roll20) have been cancelled: Jace Beleren Must Die, and Roll20 Presents: Descent into Avernus. It is not clear whether these shows were cancelled by Roll20 itself, or by Koebel, who has said that he will be stepping back from livestreaming after the incident.


Paizo will reopen its warehouse on April 13th, and claims that it will not be delaying its release schedule due to the pandemic, but still plans to release nearly 100 products over the course of the year.

I am perplexed by this. Keeping printing, manufacture & distribution going at a normal pace right now seems ambitious to say the least. — Amy

Evil Hat discusses the impact of the virus on its business.

EN World discusses the impact of increased usage on Virtual Tabletops.

EN World looks at the impact of the Diamond and Alliance distributors shutting down in a two part series.

The Origins Game Fair will be postponed to October, with an online convention to take place on the original June dates.

Wizards is releasing free Dungeons & Dragons products regularly on its website.

Bundles & Deals

Bundle of Holding is offering a bundle of Godbound books.

Crowdfunding News

It has been another quiet week, with the biggest launch being an RPG-adjacent board game rather than an actual RPG product.

Noteworthy New Projects

Tales From the Loop – The Board Game: A cooperative board game set in Simon Stålenhag’s ’80s that never was’, by Free League (Forbidden Lands, Vaesun) — 7th May

The art that became an RPG and a TV show is now a board game. The seemingly unstoppable rise of Simon Stålenhag breaks my brain a bit, but in a good way. — James

Closing Soon

World Wide Wrestling: Second Edition: for the revised edition of a Powered by the Apocalypse game about wrestling, this has had a strong run, even though it doesn’t seem to offer existing fans much new content. It has currently raised $49,000 from 1,200 backers.

5e & Pathfinder

Blight of the Moonglow Glade: An Arbor Day themed weird fantasy adventure for 5e, Swords & Wizardry, and Pathfinder, by Frog God Games — April 15th

The Secrets of Warwick Village: A 5th edition setting, featuring a cursed village and its surroundings, by Andy Hand (Ruins of the Lorn Keep Card Game) — April 18th

General Fantasy

2021 Quest Calendar: A Year of Adventure: A calendar featuring a single-player adventure every day, by Sundial Games llc — April 17th

Okay, I’m not going to deny that this is a great idea and I’m seriously tempted! Although I think my tastes would be more for something more like a story game. — James

Fantasy City Sites and Scenes, for use with Fantasy RPGs: A book of city locations and scenes, by Philip Reed (A Dozen Rumors, Outdoor Encounter Cards) — April 24th

Sunken Dungeon. DnD+Coloring. (The Cloud Dungeon 2): A game combining RPGs and colouring in, by AndHeGames (ExSpelled : A magical paper craft game, Cloud Dungeon) — May 1st

Earthdawn 4th Edition – Iopos: Lair of Deceit: A sourcebook for the Earthdawn RPG, by FASA Corporation (Earthdawn 4th Edition) — May 8th

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

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