8-14 June 2021: Critical Role’s New Show & D&D’s Own Virtual Tabletop (Maybe)

The cast of Critical Role's Exandria Unlimited. Photo by Heirlume Photography.

This week: Critical Role announces a brand new campaign set in Exandria, with a new Dungeon Master taking the helm. Dungeons & Dragons hints at a number of new releases — and some are claiming to have seen previews for D&D’s own virtual tabletop.

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The Next Few Weeks

Hey folks! We wanted to give you a heads up that the next few issues could be a little disrupted. Amy’s heading into the last weeks of a big project, while James is dealing with the slow end of lockdown. We’re still keen to keep writing these updates, but we could have a few late ones in the next few months. Thank you always for your incredible support!

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Critical Role announces a new campaign

Critical Role announces its next project: Exandria Unlimited, a short, streamed D&D campaign, set in the world of the Critical Role, but with a very different cast. Critical Role GM, Matt Mercer, is stepping out of the GM’s seat, with Aabria Iyengar running the campaign. Mercer will join regular cast-members, Ashley Johnson and Liam O’Brien, as well as newcomers Aimee Carrero and Robbie Daymond as a player.

There’s a lot to be excited about here. Representation is obviously something we need to talk about — CR has drawn a lot of criticism for its all-white core cast (at least in the Exandria campaigns). ExU is a departure from that, and that is nice to see. Secondly, seeing the most popular livestream* campaign being run by a black woman is really exciting.

I’m also just excited by the idea of a new GM taking over the world for a bit: I think it will make for a more exciting Exandria to see someone else’s vision of it. And a short run campaign should be a nice jumping on point for folks who have never watched it — or who, like me, are just very far behind. — Amy

* Not strictly speaking a livestream anymore: Campaign 2 was prerecorded in its last months, and Exandria Unlimited will be too.

Still no news on Campaign 3 (which this is not), but we’re expecting to hear that soon.

Dungeons & Dragons: new settings, new translations, new photos

Dungeons & Dragons Executive Producer, Ray Winninger, teases 5 settings coming to D&D, including two products that will revive classic settings in 2022 — though he warns that not all will necessarily make it to release. He also promises another release this year, between the release of The Wild Beyond the Witchlight (September) and Strixhaven: Curriculum of Chaos (November). We will get more news at in July.

Wizards of the Coast has taken over control of a number of Dungeons & Dragons’ European language translations, and is promising more dedicated distribution outside of North America (starting with Europe).

A new D&D Survey is up, and some users are reporting a sneak preview of D&D’s own virtual tabletop service.

Early days, and this one seems a bit mired in rumour. I didn’t get any video on completing the survey. Also some of the questions are bizarre: how satisfied are you with the Deep Gnome subrace? Maybe I just don’t play D&D enough to care… — Amy

We’ve got a few more photos from the set of the Dungeons & Dragons film, including our first look at Hugh Grant, Michelle Rodriguez and Chloe Coleman.

More new & upcoming

Tuque Games releases a new gameplay trailer for Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance.

Onyx Path releases its 2021-2022 Publishing Brochure.

Cubicle7 releases The Bloody Gate for Warhammer 40,000 Wrath & Glory.

Chaosium releases The Children of Fear.

Board game sequel, Return to the Dark Tower gets an RPG adaptation.

Renegade Game Studios announces a number of new products for Vampire: The Masquerade, including two new sourcebooks: The Book of Nod and The Second Inquisition.

Industry

Polygon looks at professional Dungeon Mastering.

Competitions

Dungeons & Dragons is running “The Dungeon Master Challenge“, a multi-stage D&D game design competition.

This is a similar concept to the RPG Superstar competition that Paizo used to run.

Bundles & Deals

Bundle of Holding is offering two bundles of Traveller books, a bundle of Alderac Entertainment d20 supplements, and a bundle of Survive This books.

Humble Bundle is offering a bundle of RPG maps.

DriveThruRPG is offering three post-apocalyptic RPG bundles.

Crowdfunding

Noteworthy New Projects

Worlds of Web DM: Weird Wastelands: A D&D supplement focused on settings affected by magical forces, by WebDM. So far this project has raised $168,000 from 2,100 backers. Ends July 12th

As someone with chronic 5e kickstarter project fatigue, this one looks slightly more interesting than most; it feels a little less generic and safe. — James

Closing Soon

The Story Engine: Deck of Worlds is a tool for creating fantasy lands utilising a deck of prompts. So far this project has raised CA$641,000 ($528,000) from 4,700 backers. Ends June 21st

I’ll admit that this looks tempting. But for me (as a completionist) it’s a bit of a victim of its own success. I’m not sure I’m willing to fork out the $320 + shipping for the full set! — James

Into the Mother Lands is an original RPG with an afrofuturist setting. So far this project has raised $274,000 from 3,800 backers. Ends June 20th

I’d still like more information about this game’s system. So far the only information they’ve provided is that it won’t be 5e. — James

5e

Botanical Bestiary: A bestiary for 5e and Pathfinder 2e exclusively dedicated to Leshy (sentient plants), by M. Cavanaugh — June 27th

Very cute and wonderfully specific. — Amy

Isle of the Dreaded Accursed: An adventure for 5e based on the Dreaded Accursed bestiary, by Mr.Tarrasque — June 30th

Asian Monsters: A 5e bestiary featuring creatures from Asian folklore, by Legendary Games (Sea Monsters: 60+ savage creatures of the deep for DnD 5E, Mythos Monsters: 40+ Lovecraftian horrors for DnD 5E, Ultimate Kingdoms for DnD 5E or PFRPG) — July 3rd

Den of Assassins 5e: A collection of assassin-themed subclasses and NPCs, by BiteSizedGaming (Motherload, Captain Hartchild’s Guide to Rare Dragons, SIEGE: Pocket Warfare) — July 7th

Other Fantasy

Atlas — Rise or Die: A vintage-style sword & sorcery RPG, by Old Mages Games Studio — June 24th

Investigation

Somninauts: A rules-light RPG of weird science and dream exploration, by Fish in the Pot (Fish in the Pot One-Page Dungeon Collection, Fish in the Pot: TTRPG Characters Collection, Ancient Undead Spider Wizard) — June 17th

Sci-Fi

Nova: A rules-light RPG of a world clinging to the last of the light, by Spencer Campbell (Score: A Modern Day Heist RPG, Slayers, Dust) — July 3rd

My pick of the week for having an interesting and atypical setting and system, and clearly explaining both on the project page! — James

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

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