17–31 August 2021: Blades in the Dark on TV

Cover Art from John Harper's Blades in the Dark, now being adapted into a TV series

This week, John Harper’s hit RPG, Blades in the Dark, will get a TV adaptation; Virtual Tabletop platform, Role raises a stunning seed round; and controversy surrounds The Broken Token after accusations of sexual harassment are levelled at its CEO.

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Acquisition & Investment

Virtual Tabletop platform, Role, raises $2.75 million in its seed round, led by Konvoy and London Venture Partners.

When Role first hit Kickstarter, I was sceptical: “Can you build a successful video chat platform for $60,000? I’m doubtful.” Well, $2.5 million sure beats $60,000.

I was always keen on what Role was trying to build — hell, I’ve bad-mouthed every VTT we’ve ever seen crowdfunded, but I backed this one. I hope this money helps them build that dream. — Amy

Chaosium acquires Cthulhu Britannica and World War Cthulhu from publisher, Cubicle 7.

Free League Publishing acquires Swedish RPG, Drakar och Demoner.

Broken Token Controversy

Several companies have broken ties with tabletop gaming accessories maker, The Broken Token, after a former employee accused the company’s CEO of sexual harassment and abuse.


ICv2’s Rolling for Initiative looks at the shipping crisis facing tabletop games, predicting the erosion of MSRPs (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) as retailers recoup costs.

RPG History

James Nicoll remembers the late Steve Perrin’s Worlds of Wonder RPG set.

The Gauntlet continues its history of Post-Apocalyptic RPGs.

New & Upcoming

UK-based film & TV production house, Warp Films, will adapt John Harper’s Blades in the Dark RPG for television.

Huge news! Blades in the Dark is an incredible game, with an absolutely incredible world. I’m looking forward to seeing this one. — Amy

Renegade unveils its new Power Rangers Roleplaying Game, using its new Essence20 system, which will also power upcoming GI Joe and Transformers games.

City of Mist publisher, Son of Oak, announces queer super sentai RPG, Queerz!

Modiphius announces the release of Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20, September 28th.

American fast food restaurant, Arby’s, briefly sold a set of branded D&D dice, but they sold out within hours.

Arby’s’ answer to the D&D—Wendy’s collaboration.

Bundles & Deals

Bundle of Holding is running a bundle of City of Mist books, a bundle of Delta Green books, a bundle of Metamorphosis books, and a bundle of Shadowrun books.

Humble Bundle is running a bundle of 13th Age books, and a bundle of Mutant Chronicles books.

DriveThruRPG is running a sale on Cthulhu Mythos RPGs.


Noteworthy New Projects

The Corpus Collection: Good & Evil Supplements for 5E: A collection of sourcebooks for 5e focused on good, evil, angels and fiends, by Dream Realm Storytellers (Svilland: 5E Norse Setting & Freyja’s Tears A Grim Adventure, Corpus Malicious — The Codex of Evil for 5E, Svilland: The Norse Mythology Setting for DnD 5E). So far this project has raised £153,000 ($211,000) from 1,900 backers. Ends September 16th

Adaptable Encounters for D&D 5E: A collection of short encounters for 5e, adaptable to any level, by Guillermo Buenfil (Micro Dungeons for DnD — $1 USD). So far this project has raised $1,400 from 1,200 backers. Ends September 8th

Boricubos: A bestiary and campaign setting for 5e and Pathfinder 1 & 2e, inspired by Central and South America, by Legendary Games (Asian Monsters, Sea Monsters, Mythos Monsters). So far this project has raised $69,000 from 1,200 backers. Ends September 17th

Wondrous Items for 5e — Magical Oddities: A collection of magical item card decks for 5e, by Dungeon Scribe. So far this project has raised $100,000 from 1,100 backers. Ends September 16th

Closing Soon

Avatar Legends is a roleplaying game based on the popular and critically acclaimed animated show. So far this project has raised $8 million from 66,000 backers. Ends September 3rd

When this project first launched, Amy told me she had read a prediction that this campaign could raise $10 million. I scoffed at the idea at the time (although I expected it to do well), but there’s an outside possibility that it might yet reach that target. Either way, it is a phenomenal achievement and now the most successful TTRPG Kickstarter campaign ever, in a year that has already had a number of major hits.

It will be interesting to see what the longer-term impact of this campaign will be. Specifically, to what extent will the Avatar RPG continue to be successful after this project has been completed and the game is available for sale? Does this mark a turning point for Magpie Games and the Apocalypse World system? And will it encourage publishers to be less dependent on 5e (which, as you can see this week, continues to dominate crowdfunding by a big margin)? Only time will tell. — James

Carbon Grey is a roleplaying game based on the graphic novel series of the same name. So far this project has raised $105,000 from 1,200 backers. Ends September 3rd

It’s nice to see a return of West End Games’ D6 System — James


Criminal Contracts For D&D 5E: Digital book of 10 adventures compatible with Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition!, by Jason DM (Bounty Hunts Vol 1: Contracts for 5E, Book of Bounty and Treasure Hunts for 5E) — September 12th

The Lost Codex of Mirkryn — Grimhaven: A gothic-Venetian campaign setting for 5e, by Sundered Skies Press — September 21st

Historica Arcanum: The City of Crescent: A sourcebook featuring a “Near Eastern” inspired campaign setting and rules for alternate history campaigns, by Metis Media — September 22nd

Peculiar Discoveries: A sourcebook of magic items and companions for 5e, by William Martin — September 23rd

Red Dawn — Into The Dawnlands: A campaign setting inspired by the 1990s Dark Sun campaign, by Burning Star Games — September 23rd

This project has attracted a lot of criticism online due to the “bio-essentialist” description of two new races being naturally inclined towards slavery, which was also present in the original Dark Sun setting that it is attempting to associate itself with. As far as I’ve been able to see, Burning Star Games have not responded to these criticisms, which is unfortunate. — James

The Adventurer’s Guide To Theria Volume II — Ta’lor: The second part of the 5e campaign setting based on the Dungeons & Randomness podcast, by Jason Massey (Dungeons and Randomness, The Adventurer’s Guide to Theria Volume 1: Ellara) — September 27th

The Delver’s Guide to Beast World: A 5e campaign setting, featuring caravans, wagons and anthropomorphic animals, by Heartleaf Games — September 30th

Valda’s Spire of Secrets: An everything-but-the-kitchen-sink supplement for 5e, by Mage Hand Press (Dark Matter, Dark Matter Starter Set: Science Fiction for DnD 5E) — October 1st

5e/PF2 Battlezoo Bestiary, Monster Hunting, Pirates, Dragons: A collection of supplements for 5e, by Roll For Combat — October 2nd

OSR & Retro

Kingdoms of Hârn: Melderyn Hardcover: A setting book for the Hârn campaign world, by Columbia Games (Kingdoms of Hârn: Kaldor Hardcover, HârnMaster Boxed Set — Updated and Upgraded!, High Colonies) — September 10th

Sölitary Defilement: A set of solo rules for Mörk Borg,, by 1d10+5 — September 13th

The Complete Folio Black Label: A collection of B-Movie-inspired campaigns for 1e & 5e, by Scott Taylor (The Complete Curse of Roslof Keep Campaign, The Folio: Digital Quarterly) — September 19th


Protocol Squared: Eons: A GMless supernatural horror RPG, by Postworldgames Jim Pinto (Good Guys Finish Last, Protocol Squared: Home, Fairview) — September 3rd

SLA Industries 2nd Edition — Collateral: Two new sourcebooks for the horror Sci-Fi RPG, SLA Industries, by Nightfall Games (The Terminator RPG, SLA Industries: 2nd Edition) — September 16th

Story Games & Experimental

Tiny Library: A deck of 50 single-card RPGs, by Long Tail Games (Ash) (A Divorce of Druids) — September 13th

Looks like a fun experiment. — Amy

The Price of Coal: A Story Game of Labor Rights: A tabletop roleplaying game about labor rights and the Battle of Blair Mountain, by Jennifer Adcock – September 15th


The Exquisite Corpse in Maggots’ Keep: An interactive choose-your-own-adventure-style game book written by multiple authors, by Gabriel Komisar — September 19th

Translated Editions

Picaresque Roman: An English edition of the Japanese RPG inspired by Yakuza and Persona, by LionWing Publishing (Sainome Colosseum R English Edition, Kradia: Wild Hunt Festival — A JRPG Board Game, Gun and Gun: An Anime-Themed Battle Card Game) — September 10th

Licensed Board, Card & Miniatures Games

Doomtown: Weird West Edition: An updated edition of the trading card game based on the Deadlands RPG, by Pine Box Entertainment LLC — September 8th

Back in the 90s you couldn’t throw a brick without hitting a trading card game based on an RPG. More than two decades later, Doomtown continues to struggle on having seen off the likes of Netrunner, On The Edge and Mythos (Vampire: the Eternal Struggle also lives on via Kickstarter). I’ve certainly been impressed by the enthusiasm of its fanbase. — James

Oh, hey, speaking of Netrunner, did you see that it might be coming back to life (in some form yet to be determined)? — Amy

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

1 Comment on "17–31 August 2021: Blades in the Dark on TV"

  1. *Yikes* on the “Dark Sun” thing. Maybe that’s why WotC hasn’t been pushing it very much recently. Maybe instead of continuing it, they should do a ‘reverse cataclysm’ style full revamp of the setting?

    All of a sudden entire cultures used to hardship and desperation are exposed to a world of growing abundance. Do they greedily snatch up land and resources for fear of it all going away again, or do they see this as a second-chance to do things right and try to become stewards of sustainable prosperity? Sometimes the most interesting thing to do with a setting is to jettison 90% of it and seeing how its inhabitants adapt.

    After all, isn’t the premise of every post-apocalyptic setting seeing how folks adapt when the rug of normalcy is yanked out from under them? So where could “Dark Sun” go if it’s already post (magical) apocalyptic? Into the healing and rebuilding phase is my hope.


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