11–17 May 2020: TSR Lawsuits, Covid-19 Delays, Twilight: 2000

Cover art for the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Players Handbook

The “regular” news this week is sparse — a few delays, a few snippets of RPG history, a vague promise that something will be announced sometime in the computer games industry.

We revisit two of the countless legal battles from TSR’s history, we take a look at the Itch.io RPG community and we get some clarification about the future of Pathfinder’s first edition.

There are also two games taking place in the aftermath of cataclysmic events (ulp), which is just a little too on the nose.

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RPG History

Screenrant looks at the battles between Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson over Advanced Dungeons & Dragons royalties.

Screenrant also looks at how the threat of a lawsuit from TSR led to the renaming of Gygax’s game, Dangerous Journeys.

Industry News

Dicebreaker looks at the community of RPG designers publishing games on Itch.io.

UK Games Expo announces Virtually Expo: an online convention to replace the recently cancelled expo.

Alliance Game Distributors announce that they will resume distribution today (18 May).


Essen SPIEL has been postponed until 2021 — effectively cancelled.

Wyvern Gaming announces delays to the Stargate Roleplaying Game.

R Talsorian announces delays to Cyberpunk Red.

Upcoming & New Releases

Paizo has clarified that it will no longer be publishing any new books for Pathfinder 1st edition, It will continue to keep many of the core products in print and available to support players and indie developers who still publish 1st edition content.

Larian Studios, developers of the upcoming computer RPG, Baldur’s Gate 3, are at it again, announcing that they will be announcing something in June.

Free League announces a new edition of the sandbox post-World War III RPG, Twilight: 2000.

Bundles & Deals

Bundle of Holding is offering two bundles of Champions 4e books.

The UK Indie Roleplaying League is offering a bundle of books in aid of the NHS.

Crowdfunding News

Noteworthy New Projects

The Deck of Many Animated Spells, Tarot and More for 5e: A follow up collection of physical spell cards that use lenticular printing to create animated loops on the physical card, by Hit Point Press (The Deck of Many Animated Spells: 5E Spell Cards, Humblewood) — June 11th

This project has currently raised $404,000 from 3,499 backers — meaning that the project has equalled the first animated spells project (for spell levels 1-5) with over three weeks still to go.

The problem with a lot of these unlicensed projects is that they are limited to 5e’s SRD, but I’ll admit that these are very pretty. I’m always a sucker for Tarot decks and these are especially tempting. — James

Closing Soon

Fantasy City Sites and Scenes II, for use with Fantasy RPGs has currently raised $13,000 from 1,300 backers. This is slightly lower than last year’s Fantasy City Sites and Scenes, which raised $16,000 from 1,700 backers, although it still has a few days to go. Ends May 22nd.

5e & Pathfinder

Escape from Skullcano Island: A tier 4 adventure module for 5E, set on a primordial island straight out of a B-movie, by Levi Combs (Jungle Tomb of the Mummy Bride, The Phylactery) — June 2nd

Cards Against the DM: A set of 52 cards with beginnings, middles & endings or building stories, by Dave.Paints — June 3rd

I think the allusions to Cards Against Humanity will put off as many potential backers as it attracts. Nonetheless it’s worth pointing out that this is a game aid and has nothing to do with CaH as far as I can tell — James

Trudvang Adventures: A 5e-compatible edition of the Trudvang campaign setting, by RiotMinds (Trudvang Chronicles, LexOccultum) — June 10th

Exalted Vales: Region and Campaign Guide for D&D 5th edition: A mystical campaign setting for 5e, by TheInkPlot — June 12th

The Mineralogy Manual: A 400-page collection on gems, stones & minerals in RPGs, by Deep Dungeon Games (Diception, Niwri’s Marvelous Menagerie of the Multiverse) — June 14th

I got pretty excited when I saw that title, expecting a weird little book about magical stones to jumpstart a game (Fungi of the Far Realms, but for gems). Instead, this is a 400-page monster with accompanying adventures, NPC cards, item cards, battlemaps, and a dwarven lexicon. Obviously it found its target audience but to me this feels like a great idea that succumbed to bloat.

Side note, does anyone want to help me write a book of cryptogeology? — Amy


DCC RPG: Fred Saberhagen’s Empire of the East: A Dungeon Crawl Classics sourcebook for Fred Saberhagen’s Empire of the East sci-fi fantasy series, by Goodman Games (Dungeon Crawl Classics, Mutant Crawl Classics) — May 30th

General Fantasy

Shadows of Esteren RPG: Dark Romanticism: An artbook to celebrate the 8th anniversary of Shadows of Esteren, by Jim Searcy (Fateforge: Epic Tales in the World of Eana, Shadows of Esteren) — June 2nd

Urban Fantasy/Horror

Skull Diggers: A dungeon crawling game about outcasts defending the village that despises them, by Jacob Randolph (Inverse World: A Dungeon World Sourcebook, Fellowship: A Tabletop Adventure Game) — May 25th


The Troubleshooters: A pulpy action-adventure RPG in the style of Franco-Belgian Comics, by Helmgast (Neotech Edge – reboot av det klassiska cyberpunk-rollspelet, Eon-modul: Magi – Den förbjudna konsten) — June 4th

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