11–17 May 2021: The Last Gameboard; Powered by Lesbians

Cover art from Evil Hat Productions' Thirsty Sword Lesbians

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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Industry

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 History

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

Bundle of Holding is offering a bundle of Legendary Planet books, two bundles of Icons books, and a bundle of BattleTech books.

Modiphius is offering a bundle of Vampire: The Masquerade books.

Crowdfunding

Closing Soon

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

5e

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

Urban Fantasy

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

Sci-Fi

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.

Post-Apocalyptic

Necrobiotic — A Dystopian TTRPG: A post-apocalyptic, necromantic steampunk-ish RPG, by Penny for a Tale — June 11th

Storygames

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

Actual Play

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

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

4 Comments on "11–17 May 2021: The Last Gameboard; Powered by Lesbians"


  1. It might be good to highlight that the designer of Once More Into The Void is Jamila R Nedjadi who, as I understand it, can’t use Kickstarter from the Philippines where they live. Hence at least part of why Jason Pitre is publishing / leading the kickstarter.

    Reply

  2. Matthew Lillard… who played Shaggy? Is there a different Matthew Lillard who makes dice trays?

    Reply

    1. I think Lillard is actually involved with Beadle & Grimm’s rather than Wyrmwood – I’ll double-check later, but yeah, Shaggy is big into the deluxe RPG accessory market.

      Reply

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