This week big news on the media front as we learn of a World of Darkness TV universe in the early days of development. Meanwhile, the end of Q1 brings its regular reports: Roll20 on the most popular RPGs and Hasbro on the success of (among many other things) Dungeons & Dragons. Finally a number of exciting crowdfunding projects, including some solo sci-fi, some funky dice, and a miniatures game set in the Cyberpunk universe.
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Roll20 releases its Q1 Industry Report, featuring new data focused on the systems, rather than games, that are performing well on the platform.
Dungeons & Dragons begins a new studio blog by detailing the inner workings of the D&D Studio.
This seems very much like a way for the company to define itself in the public eye — which makes sense given the past months’ criticism. Interesting to hear their assurances that D&D remains independent of Hasbro. — Amy
Hasbro releases its Q1 financial report, predictably citing growth in Dungeons & Dragons.
David Hartlage looks at the history of skills in RPGs.
New & Upcoming
A World of Darkness TV and Film universe is currently in development.
Christine Boylan’s comment about how diverse and LGBTQI-inclusive the World of Darkness is doesn’t sit well with me. Paradox only recently revived the tabletop game after a years-long sulk after homophobic content in the new edition sank it. Moreover, they still have a lot of work to do to fix much of the racist content that has been published under the brand over the years. I hope that any upcoming film and TV shows will help to make the setting more inclusive, but let’s not give them cherries before doing the actual work. Hmph. — James
James has a point. Nevertheless, I’m a bit excited: the writer of Arrival, the production company behind The Expanse (also The Witcher if for some reason you like that better). It might be good. It might be good. — Amy
Pelgrane Press releases Legions of Carcosa for The Yellow King RPG.
Wicked Ones, a Forged in the Dark game about monsters fighting heroes, releases a free edition.
Modiphius is developing a new series of products in the Achtung! Cthulhu universe.
Bundles & Deals
Humble Bundle is offering a bundle of Dungeons & Dragons comics.
D&D Beyond is running a Spring Sale on its books.
DriveThruRPG is running a sale on maps.
Noteworthy New Projects
Auroboros: Coils of the Serpent: An epic 5E fantasy campaign setting by Chris Metzen, by Warchief Gaming. So far this project has raised $860,000 from 6,900 backers. Ends May 22nd
As the former SVP of Story and Franchise Development for Blizzard Entertainment, Chris Metzen was one of the main developers of World of Warcraft, Diablo, Starcraft and Overwatch. This is a “kitchen sink” project offering minis, custom dice, a screen and dice as well as the sourcebook itself and so far looks set to be one of the biggest projects of the year.
Ironsworn: Starforged: A sci-fi edition of the Ironsworn RPG, supporting solo, co-op, and guided play, by Tomkin Press. So far this project has raised $100,000 from 1,800 backers. Ends May 27th
I have to admit to having not come across the original Ironsworn, but as well as being a superficially attractive project, this looks pretty interesting mechanically as well. Essentially a mixture of solo journaling and the Powered by the Apocalypse system, it ticks a lot of my boxes. — James
Sirens: Battle of the Bards: A 5E campaign and setting from the folks behind Sirens of the Realms, by Apotheosis Studios (The Red Opera RPG). So far this project has raised $134,000 from 1,300 backers. Ends May 23rd
Curious one this, as I would have thought that the high profile of some of the creative team behind it (led by Satine Phoenix) would have led to it being more popular than it has been so far. Still, it has a month to go and so I expect it will pick up a lot more backers over the next few weeks. — James
Sin is a sourcebook for the Spire RPG. So far this project has raised £83,000 ($116,000) from 1,600 backers. Ends April 29th
Blue Planet: Recontact is an updated edition of the sci-fi RPG originally published in 1997. So far this project has raised $94,000 from 1,200 backers. Ends May 5th
Crimson Chains: A cosmic horror 5e campaign, by Robert Gresham — April 29th
Into the Feywild: A fey-themed sourcebook for 5E, by Morrus/EN Publishing — May 5th
Endless Encounters: Dungeons: A random table adventure generator for 5e and B/X, by Pacesetter Games & Simulations (Into the Unknown: A Solo Campaign for 5e, B/X, and S&W!, Path of the Vanished: A 5e & B/X RPG Campaign!, Basic and Expert RPG Sets Remastered!) — May 19th
The Prophecy of Nine Omens Trilogy: A book of three adventures for 5e, by Midnight Tower (A Mystery Adventure Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe for 5e, Rise of the Ice Dragons Trilogy: Three RPG Adventures for 5e, A One-shot Mystery Adventure Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft!) — May 27th
Other & Generic Fantasy
Fantasy World: A Powered by the Apocalypse fantasy RPG, by MS Edizioni — May 10th
This game appears to be pitching itself as the successor to Dungeon World since that game’s lustre has dulled since last year’s controversy surrounding Adam Koebel. Still, there have been plenty of Powered by the Apocalypse fantasy RPGs over the last few years and nothing has stolen Dungeon World’s top spot so far. — James
Pathfinder: Fumbus! A Pathfinder comic book, featuring playable content, by Dynamite Entertainment — May 19th
Court of Blades: A renaissance fantasy RPG featuring gunpowder, magic and romance, by A Couple of Drakes — May 22nd
Looks like an interesting spin on the Forged in the Dark system. Keeping an eye on this one. — James
The Bleakness: An indie horror RPG about travelling into the North on an ancient road, by Twisted Image — May 7th
I will admit that I’m vaguely amused by the differing connotations of “the North” on both sides of the Atlantic. — James
*laughs in southern hemisphere* — Amy
Corsairs of Cthulhu: A Call of Cthulhu setting set in the golden age of piracy, by New Comet Games (A Time for Sacrifice: A Call of Cthulhu Adventure, Critical Hit & Fumble Dice, Devil’s Swamp — A Call of Cthulhu RPG Adventure) — May 21st
I don’t like Call of Cthulhu, so this one isn’t for me, but squeezing together the grim cosmic horror of the mythos with the romantic heroism of swashbuckling fiction is just so wrong it must be right… — Amy
Spiral Dice: A set of narrative-focused dice for use with the Sapio system, or for hacking into any game, by Jon Koliner — May 5th
Atlas of Fantastic Worlds: A fantastic atlas inspired by RPGs and other fantasy media, by PAM Hansel — May 23rd
Licensed Board & Miniatures Games
Cyberpunk Red: Combat Zone: An officially licensed miniatures game for Cyberpunk Red, by Monster Fight Club (Monster Scenery: Ice Wilds, Monster Scenery: Metropolis, Monster Terrain) — May 13th
I honestly would have expected a minis game set in the same world as Cyberpunk 2077 to have done much, much better than this has so far (compare it to Monster Hunter World, which also launched last week, and is currently looking at raising more than $3.5m from over 14,000 backers). I guess that says something about that video game’s rocky launch last year. — James
I don’t think I agree with James that the blame lies on the rocky launch. I see a lot more overlap between Monster Hunter World and boardgame fans than I do with Cyberpunk 2077 and wargame fans. I know this is absolutely No-True-Scotsman, but… Cyberpunk 2077 is just not that nerdy. — Amy