12–19 April 2021: Pandemic; Free League; Future

Art from Free League's upcoming Ruins of Symbaroum

This week, a few articles again reflect on the pandemic, and what the future will mean for our industry — in particular, how conventions will go ahead, and how their growth in recent years could be curtailed by the last year’s events. Meanwhile, Free League releases another Kickstarter, and we look at their success in recent years by the numbers.

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Industry News

Dicebreaker looks at the challenges facing conventions after the pandemic.

ICv2 looks at the rough year faced by GAMA in 2020.

EN World looks at the top-grossing publishers on Kickstarter, focusing on the particular success of Free League.

New & Upcoming

Polygon looks at some of the biggest tabletop releases (including RPGs) coming this spring.

Dicebreaker looks at One More Multiverse, an upcoming computer game-inspired VTT.

GAMA announces a hybrid in-person and online expo for 2022.

Fantasy Flight Games releases two new Legend of the Five Rings RPG books.

RPG History

David Hartlage reflects on the dungeon-mapping that was often essential to players of early Dungeons & Dragons.

Bundles & Deals

Humble Bundle is offering a bundle of Dungeons & Dragons comics.

Bundle of Holding is offering a bundle of 0one dungeon maps and a bundle of Chivalry & Sorcery books.


Noteworthy New Projects

Ruins of Symbaroum for 5E: The Symbaroum RPG adapted for 5E, by Free League. So far this project has raised SEK 2.5m ($293,000) from 2,300 backers. Ends May 6th

This is Free League’s first crowdfunding project since The One Ring, and their first 5e project, albeit using their well-established Symbaroum setting. This hasn’t done the sort of huge numbers that The One Ring did, but this it is already more than 50% as successful as their only other Symbaroum crowdfunding project and looks like it will end up delivering quite respectable numbers.

Grim Hollow: The Monster Grimoire: A bestiary for the Grim Hollow dark fantasy setting for 5e, by Ghostfire Gaming (Grim Hollow: The Campaign Guide for 5th Edition, Grim Hollow: The Players Guide). So far this project has raised $203,000 from 2,000 backers. Ends May 22nd

The previous Grim Hollow projects have both done extremely well on Kickstarter, and while this project hasn’t enjoyed anything like as much success as the Player’s Guide last year so far, Ghostfire has relied very heavily on advertising for the past two campaigns so we expect this project to end up with a lot more backers than it currently has now.

Closing Soon

Anime 5E is a manga/anime-inspired fantasy RPG. So far this project has raised $483,000 from 6,400 backers. Ends April 23rd

Controversies aside, this project has done very well. It looks like quite a heavy hack of 5e with much more emphasis on customisation and balance. 

Trinity Continuum: Adventure! is a pulp-inspired sourcebook for the Trinity RPG. So far this project has raised $93,000 from 1,500 backers. Ends April 22nd

Adventure! always was the least popular of the Trinity series of RPGs, and this has been reflected in how this campaign has done compared to Aberrant and Æon (although 1,500 backers is nothing to be sniffed at).


What a lovely adventure: A book of 8 LGBTQ+ romantic adventures and a ruleset for relationships compatible with 5e, by Ania Kończak — May 2nd

This looks like a charming supplement, and I’m interested to see how their new relationships mechanic will work. From the short description in the campaign, it sounds quite similar to passions in Pendragon and RuneQuest Glorantha. — James

Ekemon’s Exotic Mounts: A collection of exotic mounts for 5e, by TheAlpineDM — May 5th

Tavern Tales: A circus-themed tavern for 5e, by Escape Plan Games — May 15th

Comets & Cockpits: A “junker space fantasy setting” for 5e, by C.R. Day — May 15th


Lord: A campaign for Mörk Borg set in a land conquered by a warlord known as the Saint, by Flamberga — April 25th

This project is being published in English and Italian — something we’ve seen quite a lot of lately.

Other & Generic Fantasy

Fantasy City Sites and Scenes III: A collection of city locations for fantasy RPGs, by Philip Reed (Strange Citizens of the City, The Book of Collected Rumors, Fantasy City Sites and Scenes) — May 5th


Orbital Blues: A Blues-infused Space Western Roleplaying Game, with an accompanying Cassette EP, by SoulMuppet Publishing (Best Left Buried: Deeper, The Stygian Library: Remastered, Beneath The Missing Sea) — May 11th

You kind of had me at “Cowboy Bebop” but the art in this looks gorgeous as well, with a bit of a Simon Stålenhag (Tales from the Loop) vibe. I can see why they are producing a separate artbook. — James

So effin’ pretty. — Amy


Fly Softly: A solarpunk game about butterfly hybrids sowing the future, one seed at a time, by Kira Magrann (Something Is Wrong Here: A Roleplaying Game) — April 22nd

Probably the most original looking settings I’ve seen in an RPG for a while, and worth giving a second look for that reason alone. — James


The Broken Cask: A solo RPG about keeping an inn in a fantasy setting, by Derek A. Kamal (Heavy Metal Thunder Mouse, Good Heart: A Novel) — April 23rd

Storm Weavers: A solo adventure book about a dwarven warrior journeying across the icy North to rescue their friend, by Pawel Dziemski — May 14th


Ginny Di’s Library of Witticisms: A collection of quips and jokes for your RPG character, by Unlimited Realms Ltd (The Deck of Rumours — A Noticeboard Deck for your RP needs) — May 14th

Interesting to see a product specifically marketed around an influencer. — Amy

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

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