This week: The Last Gameboard, a digital tabletop game board, raises millions in its Seed round; Thirsty Sword Lesbians releases an open license; the Japanese educational tools that found a place in early RPGs; and a wave of big 5e Kickstarter campaigns.
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The Last Gameboard raises $4 million from TheVentureCity and others. The company promises a digital game board for playing tabletop games, and has partnered with a number of board game publishers (including Asmodee).
I don’t buy this as a commercially viable product. The price tag ($699) is too high, and the product too niche (yes, even in the current heyday I’d call board games a niche). That said, I’d bet good money on the company. If their marketplace can migrate to other platforms as those technologies advance, I could see it doing well. Most people won’t drop $700 on a fancy screen to play games on. But I’m betting they’ll buy board games to play on their tablet/VR headset/smart TV/whatever the next thing is. — Amy
Thirsty Sword Lesbians releases an open license for products based on the game.
Whatever games, good or bad, may come out of this, we can celebrate that we now have “Powered by Lesbians” as a game genre. — Amy
ICv2’s Rolling for Initiative looks at the shortage of plastic game accessories.
RPG Historian, Jon Peterson, looks at Sansu Sets: Japanese arithmetic tools which became some of the earliest available polyhedral dice.
We’ve sure come a long way from polyhedral dice as specialist items. From Louis Zocchi (creator of early American polyhedrals) to Laura Bailey (patron saint of dice hoarders).
New & Upcoming
There are a number of Warhammer animated TV projects upcoming.
Wizards of the Coasts announces a Ghosts of Saltmarsh expansion to the D&D Adventure board games.
Shadowrun supplement, Power Plays will arrive in June.
Bundles & Deals
Modiphius is offering a bundle of Vampire: The Masquerade books.
Grim Hollow: The Monster Grimoire is a 5e bestiary for the Grim Hollow setting. So far this project has raised $970,000 from 11,000 backers. Ends May 22nd
Auroboros: Coils of the Serpent is a 5e campaign setting by Chris Metzen, one of the lead developers of World of Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft. So far this project has raised $1.1m from 8,400 backers. Ends May 22nd
Sirens: Battle of the Bards is a bard-themed 5e campaign setting headed by Satine Phoenix and Jamison Stone. So far this project has raised $212,000 from 2,100 backers. Ends May 23rd
A big month for 5e sourcebooks, including another member of the burgeoning $1 million club. Clearly, you can never have too many Wyrmwood dice boxes, which must make Matthew Lillard very happy. — James
Court of Blades is a game of political skulduggery, using the Blades in the Dark system. So far this project has raised $49,000 from 1,500 backers. Ends May 22nd
This looks like a nice iteration of the Blades system. — James
Broken Tales is a dark fantasy RPG of twisted fairy tales. So far this project has raised $93,000 from 1,200 backers. Ends May 22nd
I dunno. When it comes to fairies versus the Vatican, I’m very firmly pro-fairy! — James
Shotglass Adventures: Kal-Zar’s Bane 3 — Titanothae Rising: A set of adventures for 5e and OSR games that can be played as one-shots or as part of a larger arc, by Laidback Dungeon Master (Shotglass Adventures — 10 adventures for D&D 5e and OSR RPGs, Dungeons Your Party Will Die For, Shotglass Rounds 5e Adventures) — May 19th
Deep Magic Spell Cards for 5th Edition: A set of 5e spell cards based on the Deep Magic spell compendium, by Kobold Press (Vault of Magic for 5th Edition, Deep Magic for 5th Edition: A Tome of New Spells & Arcana, Creature Codex: 5th Edition Monsters) — May 29th
Wayfarers of the Farwood: A primordial fantasy campaign setting for 5E, by Farwood Publishing — May 29th
Grio’s Guide to the Wildlands (D&D 5e): A 5e supplement focused on wilderness environments, by Next-Level Gaming — June 16th
Monsterhearts: Brave New Worlds: A collection of settings for Monsterhearts 2, by Creatively Queer Press (Indescribable Horrors — A Quickstarter, Cuentos: A Bilingual Latinx+ Illustrated Story Anthology) — May 25th
Once More Into The Void: A science-fiction roleplaying game of bringing the family back together for one last job designed by Jamila Nedjadi (Sword Queen Games), by Jason Pitre (The Spark Roleplaying Game, After the War Roleplaying Game, Sig: City of Blades) — June 10th
Family / Child-friendly
Magical Kitties Level Up!: A deluxe edition of and sourcebook for the all-ages RPG, Magical Kitties Save the Day, by Atlas Games (Feng Shui 2: Action Movie Roleplaying Game, Unknown Armies Third Edition, Over the Edge: A Roleplaying Game of Weird Urban Danger) — June 10th
Sticking a cat on the cover of a game is pretty much guaranteed success, but even so, Magical Kitties seems to have done very well after its initial Kickstarter in 2019.
Necrobiotic — A Dystopian TTRPG: A post-apocalyptic, necromantic steampunk-ish RPG, by Penny for a Tale — June 11th
Pretentious Games for Villains and Bastards: An anthology of 9 one-shots RPGs, by Jessica Crimes (Storybox!) — May 31st
You Are the Dungeon: “You are the dungeon. You exist on the margins. You are brooding, tempting, and insatiable.” by Tracy Barnett/Exploding Rogue Studios (Karthun: Lands of Conflict, DEAD SCARE — An RPG of blood-splattered white picket fences, Paper Arcade, vol. 1) — June 8th
This looks creepy and interesting. — Amy
Skyjacks: Courier’s Call — Season 2: A second season of the Skyjacks: Courier’s Call actual play, by James D’Amato (Noisy Person Cards, Dungeon Dome, A Woman With Hollow Eyes) — June 12th
One day I’ll catch up on Skyjacks. What I’ve listened to is lovely. — Amy
Licensed Board, Card & Miniatures Games
Vampire: the Eternal Struggle Unleashed: A professional printing of player-made cards for the Vampire: The Eternal Struggle collectable card game, by Black Chantry Productions — June 9th