This week: the Old School Revival revival; a beautiful Hellboy-inspired RPG; and a fascinating Kickstarter that blurs the line between physical and digital…
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Dicebreaker looks at the recent Old School Revival revival: the latest wave of OSR games that have been doing so well.
CNBC reports on D&D’s “biggest year ever” in 2020.
Age of Ravens continues its history of licensed RPGs.
New & Upcoming
Jamila Nedjadi is teaming up with Evil Hat games to create Hellboy-inspired RPG, Apocalypse Keys.
John Harper’s Laser & Feelings switches to a CC-BY license, allowing other creators to sell hacks of the system.
Monte Cook Games will adapt the board game Tidal Blades: Heroes of the Reef into an RPG.
Bundles & Deals
Bundle of Holding is offering two bundles of Hero System RPG books, a bundle of Index Card RPG books, and a bundle of GUMSHOE books.
Game designer KeganExe has launched a website listing all of the projects currently being crowdfunded over at Itch. So far these are all a lot smaller than we usually cover, but you might want to keep an eye on that page.
Noteworthy New Projects
Pixels – The Electronic Dice: A set of chargeable light-up dice, by Jean Simonet. So far this project has raised $2.4m from 17,000 backers. Ends April 8th
We don’t usually cover dice projects here but a) Amy was very distracted by the shiny, and b) it’s an interesting idea blurring the line between virtual and physical dice. These dice don’t just sparkle; they integrate via Bluetooth with your preferred VTT to enable you to use them when playing online as well as in the real world. An interesting project and I will be intrigued to see how well they work in practice; although I’m not sure I’m intrigued enough to pay $40 plus shipping. — James
Vault of Magic is a compendium of magic items for 5e. So far this project has raised $397.000 from 7,200 backers. Ends March 18th
Kobold Press really has the golden touch these days and this project is no exception.
Camp D&D Online – Dungeons & Dragons Online: An online professional dungeon-mastering service, by Scott Cramton — March 26th
Essentially a professional online DMing service using crowdfunding to launch. I have concerns about the scalability of this; with 300 plus backers and counting, can they cater for everyone? The “Risks and Challenges” section doesn’t really allay my concerns. — James
Dungeon Notes: Campaign notebooks for DMs and players, by 1985 Games (Dungeon Craft: Build your own battle maps!, New Dungeon Craft Series! Two New Terrain books for D&D, Counterspell Miniatures: The Shade Collection) — April 8th
Barrowmaze: Dwarrowdeep: A Megadungeon adventure for OSR games and 5e, by Greg Gillespie (Barrowmaze: HighFell – The Drifting Dungeon, Barrowmaze: The Forbidden Caverns of the Archaia, The Forbidden Caverns of Archaia for 5E) — April 1st
Sci-Fi / Cyberpunk
The Terminator RPG: An RPG adaptation of the Terminator film and graphic novels, by Nightfall Games (SLA Industries: 2nd Edition) – April 5th
A moderately successful launch but I worry this game will have the same problem that all the post-Terminator 2 sequels (as well as the Dark Horse comics I’ve read) have had; the setting doesn’t seem deep enough to tell original stories that aren’t just a rehash of the original. Do you really need a whole RPG for what is essentially one type of monster? — James
Tomorrow on Revelation III: A game about overcoming the capitalist future, by Charles Linton — April 8th
Scientific Barbarian No. 3: The third issue of the post-apocalyptic RPG “magazine”, by Jim Wampler (Check This Artifact, Fight This Mutant, Mutant Murder Hobo Dice) — March 31st
Cerebos: The Crystal City: An uncanny surrealist RPG about crossing a strange desert by train, by Penguin King Games Inc. (Costume Fairy Adventures) — April 10th
Wisp: A two-player RPG about a will o’ the wisp leading a mortal through a bog, by Adela Grace — April 10th
Just a Little Lovin’ – Larp Script Book: A script for the groundbreaking LARP about the queer community living through the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, by Tor Kjetil Edland — March 28th
My LARPer friends have been raving about this LARP for years, so it’s good to see it getting a wider audience. — James
I don’t know if I have the heart to play this, but I’ve definitely backed it. — Amy
Bestial Ecosystems Created by Monstrous Inhabitation: A guide to creating monster ecologies for RPGs, by Courtney (On Downtime and Demesnes, Artifices, Deceptions & Dilemmas) — March 26th
The Deck of Many Quests: A card deck of system-agnostic quests, by Lunch Break Heroes — April 2nd
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2 Comments on "9–15 March 2021: Old School; Apocalypse; Shiny"
If you’re looking for depth in Terminator stories, make sure to check out the sadly-not-longer Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles series. I do wish the movies could live up to that standard.
I have to admit that I never got all the way through season two due to a combination of the writers’ strike disruption (remember that?) and Shirley Manson’s acting. But it is definitely the closest anyone has come to making the Terminator franchise interesting since 1991.
But that show was focused very much on interpersonal relationships and drama, while if the quickstart is anything to go by, this new Terminator game is just another fighty game.
I’m not saying you couldn’t do an interesting take on a Terminator RPG, just that I haven’t seen anything in this take to suggest this is it.