23–30 March 2021: Candlekeep Controversy

Cover art from Critical Role's upcoming novel, Kith & Kin

This week, the release of Dungeons & Dragons’ latest adventure anthology brings controversy, with one contributor raising concerns around how his work was changed by editors. Meanwhile, Kickstarter’s head of community stands down after a controversial Kickstarter campaign. And a bumper crop of news about upcoming & new releases!

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Candlekeep Controversy

Last week, Dungeons & Dragons released Candlekeep Mysteries, an anthology featuring a collection of adventures by a notably diverse cast of writers. However, since its release, one contributor, Graeme Barber, also known as Panzerlion and @POCGamer, has raised concerns about how radically the published version differs from what he wrote. In particular, Barber points to the published book’s somewhat racist portrayal of the Grippli. Barber has requested that his name be removed from future printings of the book.

Candlekeep was deliberately sold as a product that brought together diverse creators to D&D. It’s disappointing that it didn’t meet the vision of those creators — at least in this one case.

Predictably, the book has been hitting various bestseller lists.

Industry

Kickstarter head of community, Luke Crane, is leaving the company following the controversial Perfect RPG Kickstarter campaign.

UFO Games is merging with Rowan, Rook and Decard.

Steve Jackson Games releases its Stakeholder report for 2020.

RPG History

As of this year, Wizards of the Coast has owned Dungeons & Dragons longer than TSR did.

Veteran board- and roleplaying game designer, Will Niebling, is awarded the Rick Loomis Service Award.

New & Upcoming

Collider interviews Derek Kolstad about the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons TV series.

The promise here of a small, intimate treatment of the world sounds pretty good to me. I’m terribly cynical about the big- and small-screen adaptations of D&D, but this actually cracked through and got me a little bit excited. — Amy

Critical Role announces Kith & Kin, a novel set in the universe of the streaming show, following the origins of two characters from its first season. The novel is written by Marieke Nijkamp and published by Penguin Random House, and it will drop in October this year.

Onyx Path announces a live-action TV adaptation of the Scion RPG in collaboration with Jenkins and Tate Entertainment.

Jenkins and Tate has no portfolio visible publicly so I’m not sure what to expect here. But yay? — Amy

Modiphius launches the official Fallout tabletop RPG.

Paizo details its upcoming products.

WizKids announces an absolutely massive miniature of Tiamat for Dungeons & Dragons. ICv2 looks at the proliferation of these high-price-point miniatures.

Panayiotis Lines announces Shadow of Mogg, a satirical post-Brexit RPG.

Warchief Gaming, founded by ex-Blizzard VPs, announces its first book: Auroboros: Coils of the Serpent, a 5e setting.

Free League announces Alberetor — The Haunted Waste for the Symbaroum RPG.

Shacknews looks at Cartographr, an AR RPG tabletop app, coming to alpha next year.

Bundles & Deals

Bundle of Holding is offering a bundle of Hyperborea RPGs, and two bundles of Tales from the Loop and Coriolis books.

Crowdfunding

Noteworthy New Projects

Inferno — Dante’s Guide to Hell for 5e: A Dante-inspired setting for 5e, by Acheron Books (Brancalonia — The Spaghetti Fantasy RPG). So far this project has raised $266,000 (€226,000) from 2,000 backers. Ends April 9th

Trinity Continuum: Adventure: The next edition of the pulp adventure RPG, by Richard Thomas / Onyx Path. So far this project has raised $69,000 from 1,100 backers. Ends April 22nd

Adventure! is the Trinity RPG I came closest to actually running (I couldn’t get a handle on Æon/Trinity and Aberrant was just too 90s for me), so I’m pretty familiar with the original edition of this. It’s good to see it making a comeback and who knows? Maybe it will get me to pick it up again. — James

Closing Soon

Coyote & Crow is an original RPG based on a future in which the Americas were never colonised. So far this project has raised $788,000 from 11,500 backers. Ends April 2nd.

This is another sign of the growth and diversification we’re seeing in crowdfunding at the moment. This project, featuring a setting that would have seemed pretty niche a few years ago, is more popular than any project to launch last year, and, after The One Ring 2e a few weeks ago, now the 2nd biggest original RPG to be crowdfunded. Congratulations to all involved.

Encyclopedia is a lorebook and toolbox for 5e. So far this project has raised $535,000 from 6,400 backers. Ends April 2nd.

Airship Campaigns is a set of rules for airships in 5e, as well as a set of STL files for you to 3d-print your own airships. So far this project has raised $274,000 (CA$345,000) from 4,400 backers. Ends April 1st

Remarkable Cults & Their Followers is a sourcebook for running cults in any RPG. So far this project has raised $190,000 (€161,000) from 4,100 backers. Ends April 1st

Survivalist’s Guide to Spelunking is an underworld sourcebook for 5e, written by the original author of the AD&D Dungeoneer’s Survival Guide. So far this project has raised $95,000 from 2,700 backers. Ends April 1st

The Darkest House is a horror RPG supplement built for online play. So far this project has raised $143,000 from 1,900 backers. Ends April 3rd

Adventures Await! is a collection of 40 5e adventures. So far this project has raised $58,000 from 1,700 backers. Ends April 1st

The Deck of Many Quests is a tool for randomly generating quests, based on drawing cards. So far this project has raised $43,000 from 1,500 backers. Ends April 2nd

The Terminator RPG is an original RPG based on the time-travel murder robot film and comic franchise. So far this project has raised $126,000 from 1,500 backers. Ends April 5th

OSR

Death in Space: A rules-light, in a gritty science-fiction RPG and setting, by Carl Niblaeus — April 19th

This project definitely has a Mӧrk Borg! In! Spaaaace! vibe, largely due to the layouts design by Carl Niblaeus of Stockholm Kartell. Definitely one to keep an eye on in case it enjoys a similar level of popularity. — James

Other & Generic Fantasy

Expedition: Incredizoology Tabletop RPG: A game about taming, training and hunting fantastic beasts, by Imagined Chaos Games — March 31st

Diesel: An Action TTRPG At The Edge Of Reality: A cinematic weird frontier RPG, by Steven Pankotai — March 31st

Sci-Fi/Cyberpunk

HC SVNT Dracones 2.0: Mastered: An expansion for HC SVNT Dracones, by Pierce Fraser (HC SVNT Dracones) — April 18th

Indie

Possible Worlds: An RPG Subscription Box: 6 games in 6 genres over 6 months, by Tyler Crumrine (Beak, Feather & Bone) — April 22nd

Producing 6 RPGs via a subscription model is an interesting approach. I do wonder if anthologies risk putting off backers who are only interested in one or two games. The digital version of this is affordable though and it looks great, so it might be worth a second look. — James

Editor’s Note: Possible Worlds let us know that folks interested in one or two games will be able to buy them individually if the product funds.

I’m a big believer in the boxed RPG future of our hobby. — Amy

Accessories

NeverEnding II: An RPG character avatar building tool, by NeverEnding, Inc (NeverEnding: Bring Your Stories To Life) — April 13th

This update was made possible by Keenan Collett, and the rest of our Patreon supporters.

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