This week: a leak reveals that Critical Role is the highest-grossing channel on Twitch. Meanwhile, Wizards releases a new supplement and gears up to announce another. And a Cowboy Bebop RPG is on the way.
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A leak of Twitch data reveals that Critical Role is the platform’s highest-grossing channel, making $10 million in revenue from August 2019 to October 2021.
Two important points: 1. This is revenue from the twitch show itself (subscriptions & ad revenue), and does not include merchandise or sponsorships (which we’d guess are significantly more lucrative). 2. This is revenue, not profit.
This leak resulted in some pretty poisonous discourse online — Critical Role news always does. I’ve tried several times to explain here exactly what the argument is, but I can’t figure out how to do that in a short comment. Both the show’s critics and the show’s fanbase are creating strawmen of one another, treating fringe criticism or defence as a mainstream opinion. The result is two arguments, neither of which bear much resemblance to reality. I guess that’s just how Twitter works, but it is absolutely exhausting, and it makes me want to yell at folks to go outside. — Amy
New & Upcoming
Wizards of the Coast releases a surprise new supplement: Minsc & Boo’s Journal of Villainy, a collection of monsters & NPCs from Baldur’s Gate.
Meanwhile, Wizards is gearing up to announce a new product sometime today.
On the other hand, more delays hit Dungeons & Dragons, with both Strixhaven and Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons pushed later in the year.
Critical Role reveals a clip of the upcoming Legends of Vox Machina tv series, which arrives on Amazon Prime in February next year.
Don’t Panic Games and Mana Project Studio announce an RPG adaptation of Cowboy Bebop.
Bundles & Deals
The TTRPG Halloween Spooktacular bundle offers a handful of Halloween-themed games.
DriveThruRPG is running a sale on Small Press books.
Noteworthy New Projects
Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition: A stand-alone RPG based on 5e, by Morrus/EN Publishing. So far this project has raised £294,000 ($400,000) from 2,400 backers. Ends November 5th.
EN World has been hyping this project for months now. It looks like an interesting overhaul of 5e, and is set to be EN Publishing’s most successful campaign ever. There’s some stuff which is pretty de rigueur these days, such as replacing race with heritage and culture (surely 5.5 will follow this path?), and some stuff that I’m less sure of, such as the complicated looking manoeuvres.
It’s a very book-heavy project, although the interesting stuff seems to be contained in the Adventurer’s Guide which you can get a physical copy of for just £40. — James
Secrets of the Drow Trilogy is a set of adventures for 5e focused around Dark Elves. So far this project has raised £49,000 ($67,000) from 1,600 backers. Ends October 14th
Blackbirds RPG is a dark fantasy RPG based on the Zweihander ruleset. So far this project has raised $130,000 from 1,100 backers. Ends October 15th
Zweihander originally came out in 2017 and was picked up by Andrew McMeel Publishing, a US-based book publisher. It has picked up a strong fanbase, although finding physical copies in Europe is very hard. It spun off into Flames of Freedom, an American Gothic RPG, last year. Blackbirds is the third game in the Zweihander stable, although it seems to have more of a high fantasy edge than its predecessors.
Morrovion’s Guide to Gambling: A collection of dice games to play in fantasy games, compatible with 5e, by Netherbook — October 31st
Magnificent Maps, Models & Modules: A collection of maps, 3D models, and adventures for 5e, by Gametree (The Crystal Talismans, The Coins of Wonder, The Deck of Many Destinies for 5e DnD) — November 9th
Traveling Encounters Vol. 2 (5e): A collection of travel encounters for 5e, by Jerry Joe Seltzer (Call To Adventure, Traveling Encounters volume 1, UnFamiliar: Release The Tiny Beasts) — December 4th
Other & Generic Fantasy
Organic Towns: A system-neutral supplement for running fantasy towns, by Headless Hydra Press (Hexplorer: Create Whiteboard Maps for 5e and Other TTRPGs, Hexplorer: Magnetic Dungeon Tiles for 5e and Other TTRPGs, Sandbox Adventures for 5E) — October 28th
Goblonia: “Be a goblin! Build your crew! Smash the Faetriarchy!”, by Robert Turk (Purgatory House: an easy to play, haunted house RPG!, Starship Infernum: a tabletop RPG of Interstellar Survival, WyrdScouts: a storytelling adventure game) — October 29th
I’ll admit that that pun almost has me sold. — James
Me too! — Amy
Chew: The Roleplaying Game: A Forged in the Dark “foodie crime drama” based on the Image comics, by Pete Petrusha (Dreamchaser: A Game of Destiny, Rest in Pieces: Jenga-ish Ridiculous Roommate Roleplaying) — November 5th
Powered by the Apocalypse
Follow Me Down: A GMless, two-player tabletop roleplaying game inspired by the myth of Orpheus & Eurydice, by Joie Martin (Mage to Order) — November 4th
This is the project which has interested me the most this week, and it is very pretty. — James
Once upon a time, there was a railroad line,
Don’t ask where, brother, don’t ask when…
Apawthecaria: A Poultice Pounder Adventure: A solo potion-making game about helping people, by Anna Blackwell (Those Who Play — A Narrative-Focused Role Playing System, Delve: A Solo Game of Digging Too Deep, Apothecaria — A Solo Journalling RPG) — October 29th
Secrets of the Vibrant Isle: A RPG about being shipwrecked on a fantastical island, by Craig Campbell (Nowhereville, Low Stakes, Good Strong Hands) — November 5th
MET Vampire: The Masquerade — War of Ages: A LARP based on Vampire the Masquerade 5th Edition, by By Night Studios (Mind’s Eye Theatre: Vampire The Masquerade, Mind’s Eye Theatre: Werewolf The Apocalypse) — November 5th
I’ve never got into the real Vampire LARPing scene — to be honest, it intimidates me. But I have fond memories of a low-budget production we did at university. It has me eyeing this nostalgically. — Amy