FryxGames CEO, Enoch Fryxelius, defends the use of AI in the Terraforming Mars project on Facebook. The company’s next board game, “Fates,” will not include AI, addressing concerns raised in an interview transcript by Polygon. Fryxelius emphasizes that AI was used for artwork in Terraforming Mars but assures that no jobs were lost, though he acknowledges potential impact on illustrators. The next game, “Fates,” will feature exclusively human-made graphics, with a focus on paying a living wage to illustrators.

Tainted Grail, a dark fantasy board game, is getting a tabletop RPG adaptation called “Tainted Grail: Song of a Dying World.” The RPG, based on the Shadows of Esteren system, explores the world of Avalon and introduces new characters known as Guardians of Avalon. The game system emphasizes roleplaying, character progression, and includes mechanics from the original board game. The RPG is being developed by Studio Agate, with a crowdfunding campaign planned for November.

Free League announces the expansion “Ad Astra” for the Mutant: Year Zero tabletop RPG. The expansion takes players from Earth’s surface into orbit, introducing a space-themed campaign. A pre-order for Ad Astra is available, offering early access to a full PDF ahead of the physical release next year. In addition to the expansion, there is a reprint of all Mutant: Year Zero core books, including Mutant: Mechatron.

Modiphius Entertainment introduces Cohors Cthulhu, a game using the 2d20 system, set in ancient Rome. Changes to the system include the addition of the attribute “Gravitas” for serious and dignified actions. The focus shifts from firearms to melee weapons, with a robust combat system and hidden facets of player characters. Cultural and caste choices play a crucial role in character development within the context of ancient Rome.

 #strongholdgames #taintedgrail #adastra #YZE #cohorscthulhu

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Dragonbane Actual Play Episode One:
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Mantic Games has announced that they will launch a new Boardgames Division. This will focus on family-friendly and licensed-IP games. They want to be able to create projects that will be crowd-funded on Gamefound and will be one and done including expansions that are funded. The idea is to free them from one the wargaming space and also to make games that will lead players to the existing Mantic IPs.

BackerKit posts a surprise announcement that they are in beta as a full-fledged crowdfunding platform. They will officially launch in 2023 and already have over 30 companies committed to the platform. This includes Cephalofair Games, creator of the popular Gloomhaven and Frosthaven games. Isaac Childres, owner of Cephalofair, stated concerns over the announcement by Kickstarter to embrace blockchain technology that precipitated the move. BackerKit tools will still be available to Kickstarter campaigns.

We were contacted by Louis Simspon, managing director of Troll Trader, telling us that our discussion of the circumstances of the closure of Secret Weapon Miniatures was completely incorrect. He referred us to a statement posted by his company and the details when compared to the Secret Weapon Kickstarter update posted by Justin McCoy, nothing matches up. The truth lies somewhere in between. We under no circumstances want to damage the reputation of Troll Trader by our discussion. They are a company I have personally bought from in the past. The details are quite interesting so we will discuss them.

Following up on last week’s announcement, we get a statement from the CEO of Embracer Group explaining why Saudi Arabia is a good business partner and how they discussed difficult topics prior to this investment. So we have nothing to worry about and money is money so keep feeding that machine. Just remember to wipe off the blood and human rights abuses!
#manticgames #trolltrader #embracergroup

Interview with Ronnie Renton of Mantic:
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TTCombat Statement about Secret Weapon Miniatures:
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Beyond the Gates of Antares created by Tim and Rick Priestley and published by Warlord Games is being discontinued. The miniatures will continue to be produced by Skytrex. The game will get a free second edition from the original creators and a new website to support the game separate from Warlord. So players of the game are not being abandoned and thankfully the games remains in the hands of its creators.

Hasbro buys D&D Beyond from Fandom for almost $150 million. This will create more of an ecosystem for Wizards of the Coast to offer digital materials for the game and also collect valuable data from its players. Both the president of Hasbro and Wizards are former Microsoft executives, so this first major purchase of a digital platform is not surprising. D&D Beyond will retain its original management and continue as usual with the only change being the oversight of Hasbro. The only missing piece of the puzzle is a virtual tabletop. Will Roll20 be next?

A quick side note. We missed the news a few weeks back that Paizo will be converting one of their Pathfinder Adventure Paths, Abomination Vaults, for Dungeons and Dragons 5E. Is this just an attempt by Paizo to reach a wider audience and boost the sales of their adventures or does this mean the beginning of the end for Pathfinder? According to Roll20 session data Pathfinder has slipped considerably in recent years with D&D accounting more than 50% of online game sessions.

Fearsome Wilderness is an RPG using the Year Zero Engine about a prison ship that crashes on a densely wooded planet inhabited by unnatural fearsome critters of American lumberjack folklore. The horror is compounded by the fact that waking up from such an extended period of hibernation can do strange things to the mind. A free trial version of the game is available on DriveThruRPG.

Tainted Grail, the boardgame by Awaken Realms, is getting a sequel called Kings of Ruin. The sequel will be crowdfunded on Gamefound, their tabletop funding platform that launched earlier this year. The original game that was released in 2018 the biggest Kickstarter of that year, raising over $6.4 million and is now getting a second edition as part of this release. The new edition of the game promises more refined mechanics and gameplay with additional storylines. Hopefully this will help them establish Gamefound as a legitimate alternative to Kickstarter.

And finally, Games Workshop is partnering with Moon Pig to bring us licensed Warhammer 40k custom birthday cards. Emperor Preserve Us!

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The four rules of improvisation. Collaborative storytelling in the Monsterhearts RPG. Defying the Gamemaster. Player agency and narrative in videogames and tabletop games. Styles of tabletop roleplaying games, “roll” versus “role” playing. The final session of the Alien RPG Cinematic Adventure. Etherfields Kickstarter by Awaken Realms.

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The latest Awaken Realms miniatures boardgame, Nemesis, has the very familiar sci-fi setting of a crew stranded on a xenomorph infested space ship. Although it is cooperative, each player has both a personal and corporate secret agenda that are part of their victory conditions. So when a player tells you that the engines are working or that you are totally headed to Earth, you might want to see for yourself. High-quality components and gorgeous miniatures make this game worth checking out. Don’t believe me? Watch the unboxing!

Is that a xenomorph egg in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?