20–27 July 2021: Top-Selling Games; Shipping Issues

Zephrah, from the upcoming Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn. Art by Kent Davis

This week, ICv2’s top-selling games show the success of Cyberpunk and third-party 5e games. Hasbro reveals its Q2 results, showing massive growth in its Wizards of the Coast products, despite the failure of a major digital release. Meanwhile, global shipping problems and EU regulations cause issues for game importers.

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Industry News

ICv2 releases its list of the top-selling RPGs for Spring 2021. For the first time, “5e-compatible” is listed as its own category, taking the number 5 spot (5e itself remains unchallenged at the top of the list). Meanwhile, Cyberpunk overtakes Pathfinder to take the number 2 spot.

Hasbro releases its Q2 results, showing astonishing growth in its Dungeons & Dragons & Digital space.

Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner was at pains to stress that the failure of Dark Alliance (which has been generally panned in reviews) won’t affect the company.

Comic & graphic novel publisher, Magnetic Press, launches a tabletop game imprint, announcing a new RPG based on the Carbon Grey graphic novel series.

Shipping Issues

Dicebreaker looks at the snarl of shipping issues that are causing issues in the board game industry.

John Nephew of Atlas Games looks at how new EU rules on imports are affecting game publishers.

The D&D Canon

R.A. Salvatore talks about the racism in his Drizzt novels, and expresses his eagerness to be a part of change in D&D.

Dungeons & Dragons’ Jeremy Crawford confirms that past D&D sourcebooks & novels are not considered canon.

New & Upcoming

Darrington Press announces the Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn. The book is a reworking of the Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting, originally published by Green Ronin, which covered the setting of Critical Role’s first campaign setting. The new book will advance the setting to cover the 20 years since the end of Campaign 1.

Free League releases Alberator — The Haunted Waste for Symbaroum.

Modiphius’ new Homeworld: Revelations RPG is available to preorder.

Cubicle7 shows off the collectors’ edition of the upcoming Doctor Who RPG.

Onyx Path releases Technocracy Reloaded for Mage 20th Anniversary edition.

Classic medieval miniatures game (and Dungeons & Dragons forebear) Chainmail is now available via print-on-demand.

Bundles & Deals

Bundle of Holding is offering two bundles of Fragged books, a bundle of FATE setting & sourcebooks, and a bundle of Warlock! books.

Humble Bundle is offering a bundle of 13th Age books & maps.

DriveThruRPG is running its Christmas in July sale.


Noteworthy New Projects

Animal Adventures: The Faraway Sea: An island adventure and miniatures for the Dungeons & Doggies and Cats & Catacombs miniature range, by Russ Charles (Animal Adventures: Secrets of Gullet Cove, Animal Adventures: Tales of Cats and Catacombs, Animal Adventures: Tales of Dungeons and Doggies). So far this project has raised £390.000 ($540,000) from 5,300 backers. Ends July 30th

Steamforged Games has definitely found a lot of success with this growing range of books, boxed sets and minis and this range seems to have carved out a bigger niche for itself than its anthropomorphic cohorts Humblewood and Pugmire — at least judging by our local game store.

The Devil Made Us Do It: A heist game about liars who can bend reality to fit their lies, by Monte Cook Games (Numenera, Your Best Game Ever!, Arcana of the Ancients, a 5E science-fantasy sourcebook). So far this project has raised $155,000 from 1,700 backers. Ends August 14th

An original concept and a novel format, this is certainly the most interesting project to launch this week (in my humble opinion). It’s great to see a publisher which has found so much success publishing conventional RPGs continue to innovate in this way. — James

Vast Grimm: A sci-fi RPG compatible with Mörk Borg, set in a universe threatened by parasitic worms, by Infinite Black  – August 2nd

This is actually the second Mörk Borg compatible sci-fi RPG to come out this year, with Death in Space launching in March. This project has done especially well given it is on Gamefound, which tends to lead to lower levels of support. — James

Stargazer’s Guide to Aroria: A 5e campaign setting with a Zodiac-based character creation system, by Ink and Lyre. So far this project has raised $54,000 from 1,000 backers. Ends August 18th

I think this is the first project I’ve seen to offer socks as an add-on. — James

Closing Soon

Dungeons of Drakkenheim is a 5e adventure set in a city devastated by a meteor shower. So far this project has raised $940,000 from 9,200 backers. Ends July 31st

Alkander’s Almanac of All Things is a 5e rules expansion for combat, exploration and social encounters. So far this project has raised $175,000 from 2,400 backers. Ends August 1st

Rat Queens: To the Slaughter is a board game based on the popular D&D inspired Image comic. So far this project has raised $248,000 from 2,000 backers. Ends August 4th

Incantations is a book of spells for 5e with a greater emphasis on providing players and GMs with greater narrative and game state changing capabilities. So far this project has raised $60,000 from 1,900 backers. Ends July 31st

An interesting idea. I haven’t seen enough examples of what they have in mind to quite seal the deal, but in principle moving magic beyond simple combat spells and towards greater emphasis on storytelling is one I’d want to encourage. — James

Hyperborea 3e is a new edition of the retro science-fantasy RPG. So far this project has raised $146,000 from 1,400 backers. Ends August 1st

With my retailer hat on, Hyperborea 2e was quite a sales hit with us constantly selling out of the ridiculously thick core book. The new edition has nearly 500 more backers than its predecessors, despite the campaign not being especially EU-friendly, something which we have been fielding a lot of subsequent inquiries about. So it’s certainly the campaign I’ve had my eye on the most this week. — James


Celawyn’s Guide to Wilderness and Fey: A 5e zine focused on wilderness adventure and featuring a playable pixie race, by Chamomile Has A Project (Dark Lord, Brac’s Guide to Piracy, Thaemin’s Guide to Gods and Miracles) — August 1st

Zeitgeist: Death of the Author: A standalone adventure set in the world of Zeitgeist, by Morrus / EN Publishing — August 3rd

Our buddies at Up to Four Players have been playing Zeitgeist for a while and raving about it, so we’re sure they’re excited about this one!

The Angels & Devils Trilogy (5e): A trilogy of 5e adventures focused on a battle between heaven and hell, by Anders “The Night Owl” Jordahl (To Catch A Unicorn) — August 12th

The Lost Lights: An epic campaign setting for 5E & Pathfinder 2E, by SideQuestPress — August 13th

Druids: Secrets of the Primal Circle: A druid-focused sourcebook for 5e, by Matthew Yarro — August 19th

Wickerpunk RPG: A folk-horror supplement for 5e, by Crow Land Publishing — August 19th

Necropolis: An Epic Adventure in the Desert Sands: An ancient Egyptian-themed adventure for 5e and Swords & wizardry, based on Gary Gax’s own setting, by Necromancer Games (Midderlands Setting and Bestiary for 5e, Tome of Alchemy, Tome of Horrors 2020 for 5e) — August 21st

OSR & Retro

Crowns, Fantasy Adventure TTRPG: An OSR ruleset zine, by Reese R Surles (Hamlet of Heroes: A Supplement for D&D5e) — July 28th

Seas of Sand: An old-school system toolbox and a desert-as-ocean campaign setting, by Sam Sorensen (Lowlife, Izirion’s Enchiridion of the West Marches, Blood Chrome Neon) — August 11th

Kennels of Karnage: A Mörk Borg adventure about saving lost dogs, by Stein Hansen — August 12th

Delver: A magazine of random tables for Old0School Essentials, by James Floyd Kelly (Tavern Tales #1: Lair of the Battle Mage RPG Adventure Zine) — August 16th

In the footsteps of the Mad Wizard: An expansion for the Forbidden Psalm Mörk Borg miniatures game, by Kevin Rahman (Forbidden Psalm: Miniature gaming Inspired by Mörk Borg) — August 18th

A lot of Mörk Borg this week!


Dreampunk — a surreal TTRPG: A dreamworld RPG played using surreal art cards, by Xavid (O-umajirushi: 17th Century Samurai Heraldry) — August 14th

Dixit-meets-Dream Askew? You have my attention. — James


Maps Your Party Will Die For 3: The Wild Book & Maps: Wilderness, village, and ruin maps, by Laidback Dungeon Master (Shotglass Adventures, Shotglass Rounds, Maps Your Party Will Die For) — August 3rd

Roleplaying Objects 2.0 — Doodad or Die-Cut Trying: A set of flat pre-cut terrain pieces, by Arcknight (Flat Plastic Miniatures, Roleplaying Spell Effects, Hardbound Support — 5E Starter Set) — August 23rd

I have to admit that I appreciated the punnage — James

Conventions & Events

AB Con — The African Boardgame Convention: A tabletop gaming convention in Nigeria, by Cowrie Games — August 10th

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

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