ZineQuest 3 is now fully underway, and this week we have an absolutely blockbuster crowdfunding section, with over 50 Kickstarter projects making it into this issue. Crowdfunding isn’t the only place for exciting new projects: Magpie Games announces a cartoon adaptation that will excite a lot of nerds we know; and BioHazard Games brings back an eco-sci-fi game of the ’90s. And a few mutterings from the industry, with Hasbro’s annual financials, an important new hire at Wizards, and some curious departures at D&D Beyond.
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Hasbro releases its Q4 and full-year results, citing another best-year-ever for Dungeons & Dragons.
Four key D&D Beyond staff members have left the company over the past weeks, apparently for better offers elsewhere.
Curious. Could be something happening internally; could be poaching; could be a coincidence we’re getting a bee in our bonnets over. — Amy
Jontelle Leyson-Smith joins Wizards of the Coast as Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
New & Upcoming
Magpie Games announces a multi-year publishing deal to create an RPG based on Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra.
This will be extremely exciting to a lot of fans out there. We’ve had mixed impressions of Magpie Games, lately: some games are absolutely brilliant; others have felt a little underdeveloped. But we’re hoping this will be one of the former. It’s also exciting to see the push for Asian creators in this project, and we’re excited to see James Mendez Hodes (whom we stan) involved. — Amy
Biohazard Games’ Upwind, a skyship fantasy RPG inspired by Studio Ghibli and Treasure Planet is now available through Chaosium. Biohazard Games also announces a partnership with Gallant Knight Games to create a third edition of the ’90s game of underwater exploration on an alien world, Blue Planet.
We are currently playing a homebrew game which is Treasure Planet meets underwater exploration on an alien world, so this news shook me. — Amy
Michelle Rodriguez and Justice Smith join the cast of the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons film adaptation.
Goodman Games announces Crypt of the Devil Lich for 5e and Dungeon Crawl Classics.
Pinnacle Entertainment announces a Simplified Chinese translation of Savage Worlds Adventure Edition.
Bundles & Deals
Ordolea Publishing is offering a bundle of RPGs in aid of Croatian Earthquake Relief.
Humble Bundle offers a bundle of third-party 5e books.
ZineQuest 3 is now well underway. The list below is long, but we’ve only really scratched the surface, with many, many more projects funding with fewer backers. Pandatheist keeps a useful list of current and upcoming projects.
It could be our perception, but ZineQuest certainly feels much bigger this year, with many creators returning for their second and third go at the format this year. OSR and horror (particularly using the Mothership system) are by far the most popular genres, but solo RPGs are also proving to be popular again — unsurprising at the moment.
Noteworthy New Projects
Bucket of Bolts: A solo RPG in which you build a spaceship and discover how it changes as it passes through the hands of different captains, by Jack Harrison (Artefact, Orbital). So far this project has raised £40,000 ($55,000) from 2,300 backers. Ends February 16th
Jack Harrison’s Artefact was the big hit of last year’s ZineQuest 2, so it is no great surprise that he has managed to repeat his success here. As with Artefact, you play an object as it is handed down from owner to owner; this time, however, it’s a spaceship. With almost a week to go, this project looks set to overtake its predecessor in terms of backer numbers.
Let’s Role: A free-to-use browser-based virtual tabletop, by Let’s Role. So far this project has raised €105,000 ($126,000) from 1,700 backers. Ends March 6th
Does the world need yet another highly ambitious VTT? 1,700 backers say yes. — James
Iron Kingdoms: Requiem is an updated range of 5e-compatible books using The Iron Kingdoms setting. So far this project has raised $453,000 from 5,000 backers. Ends February 12th
Dangerous Destinations is a book about developing your own adventure locations. So far this project has raised $191,000 from 4,400 backers. Ends February 11th
Pathfinder for Savage Worlds is an adaptation of the popular Paizo RPG for the popular Pinnacle Entertainment system. So far this project has raised $315,000 from 2,100 backers. Ends February 16th
Colostle is a solo RPG about exploration. So far this project has raised $48,000 from 2,100 backers. Ends February 11th
The Vast in the Dark is a zine containing fantasy RPG setting. So far this project has raised $14,000 from 1,400 backers. Ends February 15th
Epic Legacy Tome of Titans is a book of antagonists for 2CGaming’s “Epic Tier” version of Dungeons & Dragons 5e. So far this project has raised $90,000 from 1,300 backers. Ends February 15th
Flik Silverpen’s Guide to Dragon Town: A whimsical low-level adventure for 5e and OSR games, by JP Coovert — February 15th
Tomb of Immolation: A prison-dungeon-crawl adventure for 5e and OSR games, by Yog’du Games — February 17th
Under the Seas of Vodari: An underwater world and sourcebook for 5e, by Tribality Publishing (The Seas of Vodari — 5th Edition Swashbuckling & Sorcery) — March 5th
Monsters of the Wilderness for 5th Edition: A collection of cursed monsters for 5e, by Cawood Publishing (Monsters of Feyland, Monsters of the Underworld, Monsters of the City) — March 5th
The Haunted Hamlet: A collection of four hex locations for Old School Essentials and other games, by Shane Walshe (Woodfall, Willow) — February 15th
Planar Compass Issue 2: A zine for planar seafaring in Old School Essentials, by Planar Compass — February 15th
In the Shadow of Tower Silveraxe: A classic adventure module for Old School Essentials, by Jacob Fleming — February 15th
Lowlife: A toolkit for tunnels, trenches and mines for OSR games, by Sam Sorensen (Blood Chrome Neon, Rust Hulks, Izirion’s Enchiridion of the West Marches) — February 15th
The Many Crypts of Lady Ingrade: A series of tomb-raiding adventures for Old School Essentials, by Gothridge Manor (Hunters in Death) — February 15th
BEstitchARY: A bestiary zine for stitching together chimeric monsters for Mörk Borg, by Michał Gotkowski — February 15th
Glimpses of a Dying World — A zine with monsters, rituals and adventures for Mörk Borg, by Adrian L. Sanjuan (Deck of Heroes — 5e RPG Supplement) — February 16th
The House of the Hollow: A one-shot horror-house adventure for Mörk Borg, by Dylan Mangini (Mephisto: The Card Game) — February 17th
Realms of Peril: An “old-school, fiction-focused” RPG designed for West Marches-style games, by Zack Wolf, Spellsword Home Entertainment (The Evils of Illmire: A Mini-Mega Hexcrawl Adventure Zine) — February 17th
The battle of the OSR systems sees Mörk Borg neck and neck with the more traditional Old School Essentials. It almost feels as if there are two different genres here by this point. — James
James, maybe we should start splitting this section into two: OSR and ÖSR. — Amy
Nö. — James
Other & Generic Fantasy
The Power Words Ending: A spell generation tool for fantasy games, by Dom Liotti (Kishu) — February 14th
Back Again from the Broken Land: An RPG about “small adventurers sharing stories on the long walk home” by Alexi Sargeant/Cloven Pine Games (The Great Soul Train Robbery) — February 15th
I’m moved by the Tolkienesque melancholy of this one — I’ve backed it. — Amy
Sküllbox: Dungeon, Mayhem, Magyk TTRPG Zine: An RPG zine about floating skulls defending their dungeon from wannabe heroes, by Shardstone (Scavenger) — February 15th
Through Ultan’s Door: A weird fantasy RPG zine from the realm of dreams, by Ben Laurence — February 16th
Dungeoneering: A zine featuring a “quick-and-dirty” two-page dungeon crawling system, by Nate Whittington — February 16th
City of Flesh: “A tarot-based femmecore roleplay zine set in the rotting womb of a dying colossus”, by Elizabeth Chaipraditkul (Witch — a dark, modern fantasy role play game, Familiars of Terra, Afterlife: Wandering Souls) — February 18th
😮 — Amy
Quest: Fantastic Characters and Wondrous Treasures: A character sourcebook and treasury the Quest RPG, by The Adventure Guild (Quest) — February 22nd
The Drain: A level-0 funnel adventure for Mothership, by Ian Yusem — February 16th
All Must Bow: A system-agnostic cosmic space opera horror setting, by Bleak Horizons Press — February 16th
Desert Moon of Karth: A space-western sandbox setting Mothership, by Joel Hines — February 23rd
What We Give To Alien Gods: An existential horror RPG about exploring ancient alien civilisations for Mothership, by Lone Archivist (Primeval_) — March 1st
Gordinaak: “Mech Bustin’ Gang Warfare on a dying planet” for Mothership, by Jeremy Childrey — March 3rd
The Burning of Carbex: A three-part adventure for Mothership featuring a mutating parasite, by Tim Obermuller (The Hunted: A Game of Medieval Magic, Mischief, and Mayhem) — March 4th
Huge support this year for Mothership, a rules-lite system that just seems to grow and grow in terms of reputation. — James
Low Stakes: A comedy game about vampires, inspired by What We do in the Shadows, by Craig Campbell (Capers, Die Laughing, Good Strong Hands) — February 17th
Lichcraft: “An RPG zine about trans people waiting so long for healthcare that they decide to become liches”, by Laurie O’Connel — February 18th
Ouch! — James
Ahahahahahahaha f*** TERFs. I’m backing this. — Amy
Rebel Scum: An Anti-Fascist Star Wars-inspired RPG, by 9th Level (Kobolds Ate My Baby!!!, Mazes The RPG of Dice, Danger, and Dungeons, The Excellents RPG & Princess Accessories) — February 11th
A Complicated Profession: A crew of ex-bounty hunters hosting intergalactic cruises, by Jason Price — February 15th
Really fun concept. — Amy
Bounty Hunter: An easy-to-play space bounty-hunting RPG, by Guy Sclanders (A complete Guide to Nautical Campaigns, Epic Battlemaps) — February 16th
Torg Eternity – Orrorsh: The latest sourcebook for the revived 90s dimension-hopping RPG, by Ulisses Spiele — February 17th
End Times: An RPG about time-travellers trying to prevent apocalypses, by Brian St.Claire-King — February 25th
Xanadu: A monstrous city-state setting for Nibiru, by Federico Sohns (Nibiru, a Science Fiction RPG of Lost Memories) — February 27th
Traveller: Mercenary Campaigns in the Far Future: An expansion for Traveller introducing Mercenary companies, by Matthew Sprange/Mongoose (Paranoia RPG, Traveller RPG: The Great Rift & Deep Space Exploration, Traveller RPG: The Deepnight Revelation Campaign Box Set) — March 7th
Pulp & Adventure
Swordpoint: A swashbuckling-themed zine of d100 OGL mechanics, by Gallant Knight Games (Monster Hunter International RPG: Savage Worlds Edition, Tiny Dungeon: Second Edition, Tiny Supers: Minimalist Superhero Roleplaying) — February 12th
Gamma Zine, Issue #3: A fanzine dedicated to Gamma World and other old-school post-apocalyptic RPGs, by Thom Wilson (Gamma Zine, The Lost Depths of the Ageless, Space Scoundrels — A Not Too Serious Science Fiction RPG) — February 9th
Torq: rallyraid roleplaying: “Race along the open road of a weird world to stitch together its people and places in this mixed board/roleplaying game”, by Will Jobst (Black Mass) — February 20th
Cool style, and I really like the dual RPGs here. — Amy
Old Roads: A collection of hand-drawn isometric maps, by Kyle Latino — February 17th
Nerves: An RPG magazine analysing and critiquing games, by Project Nerves — February 15th
Two Summers: A diceless RPG where you play the same characters 30 years apart, by Côme Martin (Green Dawn Mall) — February 15th
Thursday RPG: “A tabletop role playing game of time loops, drama, and learning from your mistakes”, by Eli Seitz — February 15th
I feel like I’m almost being goaded to say “Thursday! What a concept!” at this point — James
This RPG looks cool but I’m also going to use it as an excuse. to share one of my favourite short stories ever. Time loops are incredibly powerful story-telling tools. — Amy
12 Years: A handcrafted solo hexcrawling RPG, by Max Moon — February 15th
Hibernation Games: An anthology of solo journaling games from Lucian Kahn, Jeeyon Shim, Anna Anthropy, Viditya Voleti, and Will Jobst, by Lucian Kahn (Visigoths vs Mall Goths) — February 17th
The Lighthouse At The Edge Of The Universe: “A solo journalling game about running a lighthouse on the edge of the universe”, by Ella Lim — February 19th
Menagerie of the Void: A solo RPG about maintaining a menagerie of alien beings, by Eran Aviram — February 19th
We are all fans and friends of Eran so we’re pretty excited about this one.
Apothecaria: A solo journaling RPG about potion-making, by Anna Blackwell (Those Who Play — A Narrative-Focused Role Playing System, Delve: A Solo Game of Digging Too Deep) — February 22nd
D&Tea: A set of D&D themed teas, by D&Tea — February 24th
Deadlands: the Weird West in Spanish, by HT Publishers (Black Sword, Savage Worlds, Lovecraftesque) — February 26th