This week: the GAMA expo brings interesting insights into the RPG industry; an ill-thought-out Asian-themed sourcebook is pulled from production; and a Warframe-inspired RPG is cancelled after harassment from fans.
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James Gray outlines some interesting facts about the hobby game industry from ICv2’s presentation at the recent GAMA expo.
ICv2 releases the top-selling RPGs for Fall 2020, with Evil Hat’s Fate and Free League’s ALIEN making debut appearances, and Cyberpunk climbing the charts.
The Pixels LED dice Kickstarter made an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Legendary Games apologised for the release of the culturally insensitive Asian Spell Compendium, which arrived soon after recent attacks on Asian-Americans in the US. The publisher has now pulled all of its Far East books from sale while it decides what to do with them, and is looking for cultural reviewers for future products.
Dicebreaker looks at the cancellation of a fan-made Warframe-inspired RPG after the project was dogpiled by Warframe fans.
Gen Con will be delayed to September, though organisers are hopeful that a reduced event will be able to go forward.
Free RPG Day is scheduled for October 16th.
Screenrant looks at why D&D stopped being associated with witchcraft.
It’s an interesting question — and I wish this article had made an effort to actually answer it. When (if at all) did D&D stop being associated with witchcraft and satanism? How did that association grow and die within and outside the United States? (It was alive and well in South Africa in the 2000s, when witchcraft was considered enough of a worry to have its own police division — I was on their watchlist in 2006.) There was even a recent episode of a true-crime series that made a half-hearted attempt to keep that association. — Amy
New & Upcoming
Wizards of the Coast releases Candlekeep Mysteries for Dungeons & Dragons.
Magic the Gathering’s Forgotten Realms set will launch in July.
Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance will launch on June 22nd.
Renegade’s reprintings of Vampire: The Masquerade will be released in July.
Paizo releases the Pathfinder Combat Tracker app.
Bundles & Deals
Bundle of Holding is offering a bundle of Index Card RPG books, a bundle of GUMSHOE RPGs, and a bundle of Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea books.
Noteworthy New Projects
The Darkest House: An online-first system-agnostic horror adventure, by Monte Cook Games (Ptolus: Monte Cook’s City by the Spire, Arcana of the Ancients, a 5E science-fantasy sourcebook, Your Best Game Ever!). So far this project has raised $115,000 from 1,500 backers. Ends April 3rd
This is an interesting experiment by Monte Cook; a digital-only product specifically designed for playing online. It’s a sign of the times, perhaps, but also possibly points to the future. Certainly, it has done well enough that I would expect to see more of this sort of thing in the future. — James
Roll & Play is a workbook of tables to help you flesh out characters, for any system. So far this project has raised £131,000 ($181,000) from 4,000 backers. Ends March 25th.
An impressive performance for a first-time creator. It reminds me of The Ultimate RPG Character Backstory Guide by James D’Amato, although it is much more D&D focused and uses tables rather than open questions. — James
2022 Quest Calendar is a page-a-day calendar that uses storytelling and RPG elements. So far this project has raised $120,000 from 2,800 backers. Ends March 31st
A Mending is a solo keepsake-making game. So far this project has raised $146,000 from 2,100 backers. Ends March 25th
I love this concept of keepsake games. — Amy
Crypt of the Devil Lich is a dungeon crawl for 5e and Dungeon Crawl Classics. So far this project has raised $103,000 from 1,800 backers. Ends March 26th
Stonetop is a Powered by the Apocalypse Iron-Age fantasy RPG. So far this project has raised $80,000 from 1,600 backers. Ends March 31st
This project really looks lovely and more than your typical Dungeon World hack. I’d be backing it if it wasn’t for the shipping cost to the UK. Hopefully, Leisure Games be able to stock it. — James
Victorian Mage is a historical sourcebook for Mage: 20th Anniversary Edition. So far this project has raised $91,000 from 1,100 backers. Ends March 25th
Onyx Path’s first foray on IndieGoGo seems to have been a moderate success, which possibly means we’ll be seeing them using this crowdfunding platform more in future. — James
Evershift: An Ascension Adventure: A Feywild adventure for 5e, by Drifter’s Atlas — March 27th
The Palace of 1001 Rooms, Chapters 3, 4 and 5: A continuation of a 5e compatible megadungeon, by Michael Grayson S (The Palace of 1001 Rooms, The Palace of 1001 Rooms, Chapter Two) — March 28th
Cyberwilds Augmentations: A cybernetic magic item compendium for 5e, by Ethan Brewerton (Techno-Necronomicon the Coloring Book) — March 29th
Allies & Adversaries: A collection of NPCs for 5e, by Morrus/EN Publishing (One-Page Adventures for D&D 5th Edition, Archetype Anthology: A Dozen Subclasses for D&D 5th Edition, Over the Next Hill: 5 Plug-In Settlements for your 5E Game) — March 30th
Folio #27 Lair of the Serpents Gaming Adventure!: A gaming magazine featuring the continuation of a 5e and AD&D megadungeon, by Scott Taylor (The Complete Cities of Sorcery, The Complete Curse of Roslof Keep Campaign, Folio #26 The Virgin Mine Gaming Adventure!) — March 30th
Börk Morgue #666 for Mörk Borg: A third-party zine for Mörk Borg, by GreysonWHY — March 25th
That name made me audibly groan. — Amy
The Phylactery 3: A zine of OSR adventure hooks and resources, by Levi Combs (Jungle Tomb of the Mummy Bride, Escape from Skullcano Island, Magic and Shit: Weird Fantasy for Your OSR RPGs) — April 7th
Other & Generic Fantasy
Heorot — Role-Playing in the World of Beowulf Beastslayer: A rules-lite RPG inspired by the Beowulf and Icelandic sagas, by Jonathan Green (You Are the Hero, Beowulf Beastslayer, Dracula — Curse of the Vampire) — March 29th
Architects of the Deep: Book of Notices: A book of notices and jobs to use as side quests, by Dren Productions Games — March 30th
East Texas University: Study Abroad: A year-abroad sourcebook for the supernatural university Savage Worlds setting, by Pinnacle Entertainment Group — March 25th
Interesting to see Pinnacle using GameOnTheTable as a crowdfunding platform for this one: it generally hasn’t been a popular platform for English-speaking projects. — James
Solemn Vale™: A folk-horror RPG set in an isolated town in Southwest England, by Mark Kelly — Dirty Vortex (Deco Dice — A collection of elegant polyhedral dice) — April 12th
This project definitely ticks my boxes in terms of theme, but I’d have liked to have been told a little more about the system in the project description. — James
Terror of Octobernomicon: A set of six adventures featuring original monsters for Call of Cthulhu, by Golden Goblin Press (The 7th Edition Guide to Cthulhu Invictus, Cold Warning — A Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Adventure, An Inner Darkness — For 7th Edition Call of Cthulhu) — April 19th
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2 Comments on "16–22 March 2021: Warframe & Witchcraft"
I was really excited about Candlekeep Mysteries because of its diverse cast of writers. I was heartbroken when I read about how one of the authors saw their whole concept gutted by the WotC editorial process. These designers deserved to have their voices heard, and WotC did not deliver while at the same time parading them out as evidence that they were Doing Better.
Thanks for sharing Capybarbarian – yeah, we’ve been eyeing this as it unfolds & I reckon we’ll be talking about it a lot in our next issue. Very disappointing stuff.