This week: looking back at how Kickstarter and Dungeons & Dragons fared in 2020; that Dragonlance novel is officially announced; and Pathfinder Savage Worlds launches!
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ICO Partners releases its report on Kickstarter’s Games category for 2020, with tabletop games accounting for a third of all money raised on Kickstarter.
Wizards of the Coast’s Liz Schuh reveals that D&D revenues increased 35% in 2020, and online play rose 86%.
Lumpley Games releases a 5-year business retrospective.
Jon Peterson looks at the history of Hero Points and similar mechanics.
WIRED talks about racism in Dungeons & Dragons.
New & Upcoming
The new Dragonlance novel (which we already sort of knew was coming) has officially been announced.
WizKids has created a collectable Hand and Eye of Vecna.
Free League announces a Symbaroum starter set.
Free League announces The Colonial Marines Operations Manual, a campaign module for ALIEN.
Critical Role and WizKids team up to create a collection of miniatures from the world of Critical Role, featuring creatures and factions from Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount.
Two new adventures for the Quest RPG are coming.
Bundles & Deals
Bundle of Holding is offering a bundle of Troika! books, a bundle of Forbidden Lands books, and a collection of Palladium books.
Speak the Sky is offering a bundle of Indie RPGs on itch.io.
Noteworthy New Projects
Pathfinder for Savage Worlds: The Pathfinder system and the Rise of the Runelords adventure path adapted to Savage Worlds, by Shane Hensley/Pinnacle Entertainment (Rifts® for Savage Worlds, Savage Worlds Adventure Edition, Deadlands: The Weird West). So far this project has raised $245,000 from 1,600 backers. Ends February 16th.
It’s no surprise that this is the biggest new project of the week, but I was expecting it to be doing somewhat better. Pinnacle has been on a bit of a roll with the new editions of Savage Worlds and Deadlands, and even their Rifts® conversion from 5 years ago managed to accrue 4,200 backers at a time when both Kickstarter and tabletop RPGs were smaller. This might be down to the high price, although it follows a fairly similar format to most Savage Worlds crowdfunding campaigns. Still, 1,600 backers in the first week of the campaign is nothing to be sniffed at. — James
It is a very pricey package, with all the bonus bits (tokens, cards, posters) thrown in. I’ve backed it because I’m excited about the system, but I backed at a lower tier than I’d planned because the higher tier optional extras weren’t optional. — Amy
Scion: Dragon and Scion: Masks of the Mythos: Two new supplements for Scion 2nd Edition, by Richard Thomas/Onyx Path (Scion: Demigod – Book 3 for the Scion Second Edition RPG, M20 Technocracy Reloaded, Cults of the Blood Gods for Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Ed.). So far this project has raised $116,000 from 1,400 backers. Ends February 18th.
Given the long gap between the original Scion 2e campaign and Scion: Demigod, I’m surprised that Onyx Path has followed it up with another project so soon afterwards. This also takes the second edition in a different direction from the first, incorporating Lovecraftian mythos. Why not? Every other setting does these days. — James
Mörk Borg Cult: Heretic is the second official community-created zine for the critically acclaimed OSR Mörk Borg. So far this project has raised 1.2million SEK ($144,000) from 2,600 backers. Ends January 29th.
2020 was a big year for Mörk Borg, so it’s no great surprise that this project has had almost as many backers as the original RPG and the first Mörk Borg Cult project combined.
Limitless Encounters vol. 3 is another compilation of encounters and adventure seeds for D&D 5e. So far this project has raised $26,000 from 1,000 backers. Ends January 30th.
The Chronicles of Aeres: A nostalgic fantasy setting for 5e, by Greg Lambert — February 1st
I do love me some ratfolk but I also look a bit skeef at anything nostalgic for a ‘golden age’ of fantasy. — Amy
Rescue at Griffoncrag Pass: A “maritime-rescue” adventure for 5e, by Chad M. Lensch — February 4th
Shintiara Crusade of Time: A science-fantasy setting for 5e, by Giovanni Maurizio Ali Pola (Shintiara RPG Modern d100 system) — February 5th
Those Who Wander: A supplement for 5e focused on background and character creation, by Adam Hancock (Supers & Sorcery) — February 11th
I wasn’t sure whether to stick this one into “5e” or “Other”. It describes itself as a “5e-alternate fantasy tabletop game system”. Superficially at least, it appears to be a fairly significant hack of 5e with care to remove some of its more problematic aspects (specifically, race). — James
Grave Matters: A skeleton-themed supplement for Mörk Borg, by Rinaldo Agostini — February 4th
Magic and Shit: A weird fantasy zine for OSR games, by Levi & Combs (Glimmering Crypt of the Ioun King, Escape from Skullcano Island, The Phylactery) — February 9th
Other & Generic Fantasy
Gods of Metal: Ragnarock: A heavy metal-inspired RPG, by Hunters Books (Alice is Missing: A Silent Role Playing Game, Altered Carbon: The Role Playing Game, Icarus: How Great Civilizations Fall) — February 23rd
Warpland: A heavy metal-inspired RPG, by Gavriel Quiroga (Neurocity) — March 9th
Neither of these projects describes themselves as OSR so we haven’t listed them as such. But their shared DNA is obvious, and they seem to be part of the same movement towards ever more gonzo and colourful metal-inspired RPGs (complete with vinyl soundtracks, of course).
Our Shores: An RPGSEA Compilation: A collection of games from the RPGSEA scene, by Sandy Pug Games (Monster Care Squad, Disposable Heroes, Americana) — February 18th
This is the most interesting project of the week for me, being an anthology of three RPGs to come out of the RPGSEA (South East Asia) movement, made possible by a partnership with Sandy Pug Games. You can read more about the background behind this project on Dicebreaker. — James
Tapestry: Mint Tin RPG: A pocket-sized card-based storytelling game, by Matthew Gravelyn (Mall Kids – RPG about teens and malls, Mall Kids: More Malls, More Kids, Articles of the Arcana: A Troika Tarot Guide) — January 28th
50+ Tabletop Maps for Dungeons and Dragons or any RPG: A collection of digital battlemaps, by BootsNMaps — January 31st
This update was made possible by Keenan Collett, and the rest of our Patreon supporters.
2 Comments on "19–25 January: Dragonlance; Hand and Eye; Hero Points"
Great update this time. Of particular interest is the ‘racism in Dungeons & Dragons’ article link. I think the author has mixed his definitions while trying to apply them to the real world. Where the word racism is used, surely the author meant ‘speciesism’. We use word ‘race’ to refer to our various ethnic varieties in the modern world, whereas we are all from the same race, the human one. Elfs, Orcs, Dwarfs etc are clearly not humans……..
Trying to extrapolate fantasy literature written with no hidden agenda or message into a real world setting just seems a little bit too ‘right on’ to me.
Hi Mark! Well, whether Elves & Humans & Orcs are different “species” in the scientific sense is debatable, given the existence of half-elves and half-orcs. Fundamentally, “race” in fantasy doesn’t technically correspond to either real-world race or real-world species. But that isn’t really the point. The issue is that it mirrors real-world racism, and it feeds on racist ideas… I’m not really able to engage fully right now, but James Mendez Hodes’ series on Orcs (https://jamesmendezhodes.com/blog/2019/1/13/orcs-britons-and-the-martial-race-myth-part-i-a-species-built-for-racial-terror) is a good starting point for why real-world racism is relevant to discussions of fantasy races.