A group of RPG creators is crowdfunding a physical book for a memorial megadungeon called Return to Perinthos, dedicated to the late D&D designer Jennell Jaquays. The project aims to cover Jaquays’ medical and funeral expenses, featuring nearly 90 interconnected dungeon levels mirroring her classic Caverns of Thracia. The 200-page book, designed by Luke Gearing, includes a fresh setting and a previously unpublished Q&A with Jaquays. The crowdfunding campaign on Crowdfundr, licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0, allows contributors to use various RPG systems, resulting in an eclectic mix. All proceeds from retail sales will go to Trans Lifeline in honor of Jaquays’ activism. The campaign runs until February 26th, with shipping expected in May.

Evil Genius Games, a tabletop RPG company, experienced a rapid decline from over 20 staff members to just six within a few weeks. The company faced financial troubles despite initial success, with staff working without pay for months. A failed collaboration with Netflix on the Rebel Moon tabletop game, accompanied by a lawsuit and subsequent settlement, contributed to the company’s woes. Internal conflicts arose over the use of controversial Web3 technologies, including AI, blockchain, and NFTs, and disagreements led to resignations and layoffs. Allegations of a toxic work environment, broken promises, and unethical behavior by the CEO were raised by former employees. The company is now seeking to recover with a smaller team and scaled-down ambitions. A crowdfunding campaign for Military Heroes sourcebooks is underway, emphasizing a commitment to avoid using AI or blockchains in their projects.

Board game company CMON LTD and crowdfunding platform Gamefound have entered into an exclusivity deal for tabletop crowdfunding and pledge management. CMON will now host its crowdfunding and preorder campaigns exclusively on Gamefound, marking a significant shift from its previous use of Kickstarter. The move is driven by Gamefound’s features and a desire to enhance the consumer experience. CMON’s current A Song of Ice & Fire: Tactics campaign on Gamefound has already raised over $1 million. Meanwhile, Backerkit, a crowdfunding platform, is gaining traction in tabletop gaming by attracting disenchanted Kickstarter users. Backerkit aims to offer a more intimate and sustainable relationship between backers and creators. The platform has experienced success with tabletop campaigns, managing projects that account for a significant percentage of Kickstarter funds. Backerkit’s CEO, Maxwell Salzberg, envisions crowdfunding as a way for creators to turn their unique projects into a long-term career. 

Pathfinder RPG has partnered with Michael Ghelfi Studios to produce official soundtracks for upcoming Adventure Path releases. Paizo, the studio behind Pathfinder, will collaborate with Michael Ghelfi Studios to create full-length soundtracks for Adventure Paths, enhancing the ambiance of tabletop RPG sessions. The partnership aims to provide players with memorable music associated with key themes, characters, and story beats from their campaigns. The soundtracks will be available for download alongside the Adventure Path volumes and can be streamed on various platforms, including YouTube, Spotify, and Bandcamp. Paizo plans to list the music on popular virtual tabletop programs for online RPG sessions.

Return to Perinthos: A Memorial Book for Jennell Jaquays:
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Wizards of the Coast is working on a revision of the 5th edition of D&D, initially referred to as One D&D and later as the 2024 revision. However, the release of the Monster Manual, the final book in the revised rulebooks, is delayed until February 18, 2025, a year after the game’s 51st anniversary. The Player’s Handbook (2024) is expected to release on September 17, 2024, followed by the Dungeon Master’s Guide on November 12, 2024, and the Monster Manual on February 18, 2025. Two new adventures for D&D: “Vecna: Eve of Ruin” and “Quests from the Infinite Staircase,” offering diverse settings and challenges will also be released this year. A history book titled “The Making of Original Dungeons & Dragons: 1970-1977” by Jon Peterson is set to release on June 18, 2024. The 3D virtual tabletop for D&D, aiming to enhance the gaming experiences also due some time this year. Additional products, including footwear and apparel from Converse, an official LEGO IDEAS building set, and treats from Pop-Tarts. 

A new sci-fi wargame called “Epic Warpath” by Mantic Games is introduced, drawing inspiration from the classic Epic 40k and involving tiny miniatures in large-scale battles. The Kickstarter campaign is now live and is only running for 15 days. Four Warpath army factions are included with the possibility of unlocking two more as Stretch Goals.

Comedian Sarah Silverman and other authors filed a copyright case against OpenAI, alleging that ChatGPT pirated their work. The court partially dismissed some claims, but the main complaint of direct copyright infringement remains. This is one of several copyright lawsuits Open AI is facing including suits from John Grisham, George R.R. Martin and The New York Times.

Goodman Games is running a crowdfunding campaign for Adventures On the Purple Planet, offering various DCC RPG products, including a hardcover compilation, dice sets, accessories, and more. This campaign is on Backerkit and is a hardcover volume including all the contents of the previously released Purple Planet boxed set. Seven publishers are also contributing to this campaign and the more campaigns you support the more you can save as well as getting a free 3d6 dice set.

#DnD #epicwarpath #mantic #openAI #purpleplanet

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Paizo has released the Starfinder Second Edition Playtest, which includes a 264-page softcover playtest rulebook. The rulebook features new content, six classes, new ancestries, feats, spells, equipment system, and more, using Pathfinder Second Edition rules as a foundation. Two playtest adventures, “A Cosmic Birthday” and “Empires Devoured,” are also introduced, each designed to showcase the new Second Edition rules and create narrative-driven experiences. The playtest materials will be available for free in PDF format at launch.

Free League Publishing has unveiled its 2024 games slate, including two new games and 11 RPG expansions. The new games are Mutant Year Zero: Zone Wars (a tabletop miniatures skirmish game) and The Electric State Roleplaying Game. RPG expansions include titles for Alien RPG, Mutant: Year Zero, Blade Runner RPG, Ruins of Symbaroum, The One Ring RPG, and more.

Free RPG Day 2024 is scheduled for June 22, 2024, featuring RPG adventures, previews, exclusives, and accessories from various companies like Renegade Game Studios, Paizo, WizKids, and more.

Cool Mini or Not and Knight Models are set to launch two new Game of Thrones wargames, “A Song of Ice And Fire: Tactics” and “Game of Thrones Miniature Game.” The games offer different gameplay styles, including massed battles and strategic skirmish wargaming. Knight Models emphasizes detailed miniatures, while CMON introduces a playable diorama with a giant dragon, Drogon, as a centerpiece in its crowdfunding campaign.

Modiphius is releasing Fallout: Factions Nuka-World, a versus skirmish game set in the Fallout universe.

The game features customizable gang-members, standard d10 dice, and a streamlined resolution system.

Players aim to control Nuka World, engaging in fast-paced player-versus-player games with ongoing narrative development.

Joe Manganiello confirms that the proposed live-action Dragonlance project is not moving forward.

The project faced obstacles, including Hasbro’s sale of eOne studio and the poor performance of a Dragonlance D&D adventure and board game in 2022. Despite positive feedback on the script, efforts to revive the project, including Manganiello’s attempt to buy the rights, have not succeeded, but he remains optimistic about potential future developments.

#starfinder #freeleague #fallout #dragonlance #gameofthrones

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Hasbro, the owner of Dungeons & Dragons, is reportedly in talks with Tencent for various rights, including electronic game adaptations. The report suggests a potential sale of the Dungeons & Dragons IP, but there are conflicting details. The success of Larian’s Baldur’s Gate 3 might have influenced Tencent’s interest in investing in similar projects.

Mythic Games, a crowdfunding-focused board game publisher, faced financial woes and outsourced its remaining projects to CMON. HEL: The Last Saga and Anastyr were sold to CMON due to challenges in completing the projects without additional funding from backers. The backlash from Kickstarter backers, the death threats received by Mythic Games’ co-founders, and the future of the company are all part of the difficulty.

Duncan Jones is working on an animated Rogue Trooper film based on the 2000AD comic strip, using Unreal Engine 5 for animation. The film has finished principal photography, and it is a collaboration between Rebellion, Liberty Films, and Treehouse Digital. A star-studded cast includes Aneurin Barnard, Hayley Atwell, Daryl McCormack, Matt Berry, Sean Bean, and Diane Morgan.

A report from Tabletop Analytics indicates a decline in Kickstarter funding for tabletop games in 2023 for the second consecutive year. The data suggests a 30% decrease in earnings for individual tabletop creators compared to the pre-COVID year of 2019. Kickstarter has not publicly disclosed its data for the first time in almost a decade, and the decline is attributed to factors like crowdfunding fatigue and increased competition. The importance of community management tools and concerns about Kickstarter’s permissive stance on AI generative art are highlighted.

#tencentl #CMON #roguetrooper #kickstarter

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Evil Genius Games and Netflix have reached an amicable resolution regarding the canceled Rebel Moon roleplaying game. The lawsuit, which involved a breach of contract claim by Evil Genius Games after Netflix terminated their license, has been settled without disclosing details. Despite the resolution, the Rebel Moon game will not be released. Netflix expressed gratitude for Evil Genius’ work, and the latter assured fans of upcoming cinematic adventures and a new sci-fi project. Retailers who preordered the game will receive information on processing refunds.

 

Warhammer: The Old World, recently relaunched by Games Workshop, will have a tabletop RPG adaptation by Cubicle 7. While details about the RPG are pending approval, it is expected to explore a new era in the Warhammer universe. Cubicle 7 plans to support both Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th Edition and the new Old World RPG. The lack of concrete information has left fans curious about the differences between the two game systems.

 

To coincide with the release of Dune: Part 2 in cinemas, Modiphius Entertainment is offering the pre-order for Dune: Fall of the Imperium, a campaign book for the Dune: Adventures in the Imperium roleplaying game. The book follows the events of Frank Herbert’s Dune and lets players experience the rise of Muad’Dib and the fall of the Imperium. The campaign is divided into four acts, each with three adventures, providing players with choices that impact their House’s fate.

 

Guild Ball, a fantasy football miniatures game by Steamforged Games, is making a return in the form of officially sanctioned print-on-demand files. Steamforged will release updated rules for free, and players can use STL files to print their own copies of the game components, including teams and terrain. The decision to support Guild Ball again comes after the game’s cancellation in 2020 due to reasons including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and a shift in gameplay style in the competitive scene. The files will be available on Steamforged’s website soon.

#guildball #oldworld #dunerpg #rebelmoon

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The Deck of Sexy Things is a deck of playing cards designed for Dungeon Masters to handle romantic/sexual encounters in tabletop role-playing games. The cards will be fully agnostic, suitable for any race, gender, or orientation in characters.They can be used as a standard 52-card French-suited deck for various purposes. Each card features artwork by the artist 13th Warlock, portraying scenes for different circumstances (positive, neutral, negative, or weird). The crowdfunding campaign will Include game mechanics for various gaming systems such as AD&D, D&D 5E, Pathfinder, Castles & Crusades, Savage Worlds, FAST Core, and 13th Age. The deck will be printed on premium, casino-quality card stock for durability and high-resolution printing. Stretch goals include a Card Art Book PDF, Call of Cthulhu deck rules, Science Fiction Jokers, and a free PDF of The Folio: Black Label #1 Adventure.

Goodman Games plans to bring Dungeon Crawl Classics (DCC) to Roll20 through a crowdfunding campaign. DCC is an old-school fantasy dungeon-crawling RPG featuring unique mechanics and a challenging character progression system. The Roll20 integration includes all DCC mechanics, iconic adventures, and a campaign path from level 0 to 3. The crowdfunding campaign will launch in early February and aims to fund the complete DCC integration on Roll20.

Tabletop designers are organizing a game jam to create a megadungeon in memory of game designer and activist Jennell Jaquays.The game jam, named Return to Perinthos, encourages participants to submit dungeon content inspired by classic D&D adventure Caverns of Thracia. Crowdfunding proceeds will support Jaquays’ family, and profits from wholesale and retail sales will benefit Trans Lifeline, a grassroots nonprofit. Submissions are accepted until February 1st, and the project aims to create a diverse, system-agnostic dungeon.

Ars Magica, an RPG set in mythic Europe in the 1200s, is getting a definitive 5th Edition. The new edition, called Ars Magica 5th Edition Definitive, features extensive revisions and updates, including new art and layout. The crowdfunding campaign is set to launch in fall 2024, offering a deluxe, full-color, hardcover print edition with an open license. Atlas Games has also “resurrected” the original printer files for the Ars Magica 5th Edition line, making the entire back catalog compatible with the new edition.

#arsmagica #megadungeon #dcc #roll20

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Bryan Ansell, considered the grandfather of Warhammer, has passed away at the age of 68. Ansell played a significant role in transforming Games Workshop from a hobby game retailer to a miniature wargame manufacturer, with Warhammer becoming a central focus. Ansell co-founded Asgard Miniatures in 1976, which caught the attention of Games Workshop founders. In collaboration, Citadel Miniatures was established in 1978, becoming a profitable part of Games Workshop. Ansell’s leadership saw a shift towards the production and sale of miniatures, and Warhammer Fantasy Battle, co-authored by Ansell, played a crucial role in this transformation. Ansell bought out Games Workshop founders in 1985 and remained involved in the wargames industry. He started Wargames Foundry in 1983, a separate miniature manufacturer. Ansell stayed connected with the ‘Oldhammer’ community until his passing.

Jennell Jaquays, a significant figure in the development of Dungeons & Dragons and the tabletop roleplaying game industry, has passed away at the age of 68. Known for her contributions to games like Dark Tower and Caverns of Thracia, she worked as a game designer and artist, creating RPG covers, including Dragon Mountain. Jaquays was associated with TSR, Judges Guild, Chaosium, and various video game companies, contributing to titles like Quake and Age of Empires. Beyond her professional achievements, she was an activist for trans rights and played a crucial role in legislative changes as the creative director for the Transgender Human Rights Institute. Her recent years were marked by struggles with Guillain-Barré syndrome. The industry mourns the loss of this legendary figure, remembering her impact on both gaming and the advocacy for trans rights.

Mantic Games, developers of Kings of War, will partner with 343 Industries to create a new Halo tabletop miniatures game based on the Halo videogame franchise, set to launch in September 2024. The game will feature 40mm Spartan miniatures and will be suitable for both newcomers and veterans.There will be no crowdfunding campaign as the game is going direct to market.

Wizards of the Coast and AI: Wizards of the Coast (WotC) denies using AI in recent Magic: The Gathering images, emphasizing that the art was created by humans. The denial follows accusations from fans who believed AI was involved in a promotional image. WotC acknowledges the need for better transparency and disclosure regarding AI use in creative processes. Lawsuit Against OpenAI and Microsoft: The New York Times has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft and OpenAI, claiming the unauthorized use of millions of its articles to train large language models. The lawsuit seeks damages in the billions of dollars, alleging systematic and competitive infringement. Wacom and Wizards of the Coast Controversy: Wacom and Wizards of the Coast face criticism for allegedly using AI-generated images in their recent ad campaigns. Artists accuse Wacom of using AI in a dragon illustration, and Wizards of the Coast issued an apology for using AI-generated elements in an ad. The controversies raise concerns about the impact on creative professions and trust in companies within the creative community.

A D&D historian and writer, Ben Riggs, claims that the Golden Age of tabletop roleplaying games (TTRPGs) is coming to an end. Riggs argues that the peak, brought in by the popularity of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) in the 2010s, is declining due to the aftermath of the Open Gaming License (OGL) controversy. He suggests that the emergence of new RPG systems, while successful in crowdfunding, is a sign that the industry has peaked rather than grown. Riggs predicts that the upcoming 6th edition of D&D may not match the success of its predecessor, leading to layoffs at Wizards of the Coast. He contends that the diversification of RPG systems will result in a fractured community, making it harder for businesses to thrive. Riggs draws parallels with the 1990s, citing TSR’s downfall due to splitting the fan base among various settings. Criticism of Riggs’ viewpoint comes from D&D Twitter, with some arguing against his D&D-centric perspective and pointing out inaccuracies in his claims. Despite Riggs’ warnings, TTRPG creators seem undeterred, with figures like Matt Colville dismissing the idea of a decline, suggesting that the so-called Golden Age was primarily beneficial for investors and D&D’s owners. Riggs concludes with predictions of a less successful 6th edition, decreased crowdfunding success for TTRPGs, plateauing attendance at gaming conventions, and a less diverse and interesting TTRPG landscape, unless significant changes occur in the industry.

#BryanAnsel #JennellJaquays #mantic #AIart

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Is one neverending Dungeons and Dragons edition a mistake?

We take a look at 2023 in all its WotC bashing, OGL mishap glory!

Plus the final Brinkwatch of 2023!

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Demetrious Polychron, author of “The Fellowship of the King,” lost a lawsuit against Amazon and JRR Tolkien’s estate, claiming infringement on his Lord of the Rings fanfic. Polychron demanded $250 million but now owes $134,000 in legal fees to the Tolkien Estate. The court ruled that Polychron’s book infringed upon Amazon’s Rings of Power series. The judge described Polychron’s lawsuit as “frivolous and unreasonably filed.”

Black Site Studios released a new edition of the Horror miniatures game, Don’t Look Back, featuring updates, revamped mechanics, and new characters. The edition includes bonus rules for Vehicles and Companions, incorporating previous expansions. The set includes 32mm resin miniatures and a new Core Rulebook.

Amazon Studios secured global rights to Warhammer 40,000, with Henry Cavill set to star and executive produce multiple projects. The deal covers series, films, and more. Cavill, a high-profile Warhammer fan, expressed excitement, and Amazon plans to work with Games Workshop and Vertigo Entertainment. The announcement follows Cavill’s involvement in various upcoming projects. Games Workshop announced a £2,500 end-of-year bonus for all employees as part of its 2023 profit share scheme. This comes after the release of Warhammer 40,000’s 10th Edition ruleset and the Leviathan box set. Additionally, Warhammer: The Old World is set to receive a robust reboot in 2024.

Wizards of the Coast denied claims that generative AI was used in artwork teasing the 2024 core rulebooks. Responding to social media allegations, the company stated that no generative AI was used, consistent with their artist guidelines. The artist, Nestor Ossandón, defended the process, sharing early sketches and work-in-progress versions. Concerns over AI-created artwork in the industry were raised following recent layoffs at Hasbro.

Nightfall Games discovered that artwork for Terminator 2 and RESIST on Kickstarter had AI-generated elements, identified as resembling the ‘Midjourney’ AI art generator. The company expressed disappointment, stating AI art is theft, and vowed to fix the issue. They are working with external artists to ensure AI-free art and implementing checks before payment and acceptance. The team thanked backers for their support.

#blacksitestudios #henrycavill #jrrtolkien #nightfallgames

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The upcoming Revised Player’s Handbook for Dungeons & Dragons is set to be released in 2024. The new handbook will be the largest ever, featuring more pages and 48 subclasses (four for each of the 12 classes), along with new spells, feats, and weapon rules. Notably, the backgrounds will now impact a character’s starting ability scores and provide a special feat at first level. The Revised edition is designed to be compatible with the current fifth edition material, allowing players to use it alongside existing products. There will also be an upcoming Revised editions of the Dungeon Master’s Guide and Monster Manual in 2024, providing a campaign setting, adventures, and over 500 monsters, including new creatures and tweaked versions of familiar ones. Additionally, it highlights other D&D books expected in 2024, such as updated classic dungeon crawls, an anthology called “Quests from the Infinite Staircase,” and an all-new adventure called “Vecna: Eve of Ruin,” featuring the return of the iconic villain. These releases coincide with the 50th anniversary of D&D’s publication and the Year of the Dragon in 2024.

Hasbro, the parent company of Wizards of the Coast (WotC), has announced layoffs of 1,100 employees, in addition to the previously downsized 800, just before the holidays. This decision is part of Hasbro’s strategic transformation to modernize and streamline its organization, citing challenging market conditions in the toy industry. Despite record years for Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, the restructuring aims to refocus Hasbro on “fewer, bigger, better brands.” The layoffs include various roles, such as game designers and art directors, sparking criticism for the disparity between the company’s success and the job cuts. Wizards of the Coast’s upcoming releases for 2024, including Dungeons & Dragons’ 50th-anniversary celebration, remain unaffected. The move is part of Hasbro’s broader effort to optimize costs and reshape its organization. Critics question the company’s priorities, emphasizing CEO Chris Cocks’ substantial compensation and raising concerns about the impact on game development and support.

Talsorian Games has revealed the upcoming release of “Shadow Scar,” an anime-inspired RPG scheduled for 2024. Created by Cody Pondsmith, lead designer of The Witcher RPG and co-designer of Cyberpunk RED, the game revolves around the Shadow Scar Agency, a covert group of ninja defending multiple dimensions from interdimensional monsters. Drawing inspiration from anime series like Naruto and Demon Slayer, the game features a diverse range of dimensions, each influenced by Japanese folklore, pulp noir, steampunk, and alternate history. The unique character creation draws from six shinobi clans, resembling the monster-hunting schools in The Witcher. The game introduces a new d6-based system called Mosaic, designed for a quicker and lighter gaming experience compared to the Interlock system. Cultural consultants are being consulted for the Japanese setting to ensure an authentic portrayal. The release is anticipated in 2024, starting with a Starter Set and followed by a full launch line, including the core rulebook, miniatures, and accessories.

Free League Publishing has announced a new campaign book for Alien: The Roleplaying Game called “Building Better Worlds.” Set in the Alien universe, the campaign involves exploring a moon turned into a colony, facing calamities and mysteries. The $47 book is available for pre-order and is set to be released digitally and physically on January 16, 2024. The campaign includes new characters, gear, ships, and alien species, offering an expanded experience for players. The campaign book aims to provide tools for running a full open-world campaign within the Alien RPG universe, featuring exploration, colonization, and encounters with extraterrestrial creatures.

#hasbro #dnd #alienrpg #shadowscar

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