The upcoming historical book, “The Making of Original Dungeons & Dragons: 1970-1976,” delves into the first six years of Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) history. The 500-page book, not intended as a playable module or rulebook, features annotated pages and letters between D&D’s co-creators, Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. The book, set for a general release in 2024, is described as a retrospective historical account with original illustrations and notations from the original RPG manuscript. A key highlight is the inclusion of never-before-seen correspondences between Gygax and Arneson during the playtesting phase, shedding light on the collaborative process that led to the creation of D&D. The article also mentions a leaked promotional image indicating release dates for D&D’s 2024 core rulebooks and related materials, although the official release dates have not been confirmed.

Preorders for the English translation of the Shin Megami Tensei tabletop RPG rulebook, titled “Shin Megami Tensei: The Roleplaying Game – Tokyo Conception,” have unexpectedly become available on Amazon. This marks the first localization of the RPG, which has been present in Japan since 1993. The English hardcover edition is set to release on February 20, 2024, at a price of $50. LionWing Publishing, known for localizing other Japanese tabletop games, is listed as the publisher. The game, based on Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, was originally launched in Japan in 2004, with an expansion called Mala Underground following. The article notes uncertainty regarding the inclusion of the expansion material in the English release. Despite the lack of official details, fans are anticipating the opportunity to embark on demon-infested tabletop adventures with the English release.

A concerning trend of artists leaving Games Workshop, a prominent company in the tabletop gaming industry. Notable departures include Paul Dainton, who served as the head of the Warhammer 40k art team for over 20 years, and others like Thomas Elliot and Phil Moss. The loss of key artistic talents raises questions about the impact on the company’s ability to create compelling content, such as codexes and rulebooks. The article also notes a decline in live viewership for Games Workshop’s previews on Twitch, suggesting a potential disconnect between hobbyists and the company’s products, possibly influenced by economic issues, ordering changes, and product delays. The overall tone of the article reflects apprehension about the company’s current trajectory.

The founder of CoolStuffInc, Jerry Sunkin, expressed frustration over Amazon’s impact on the online board game market, leading to CoolStuffInc’s decision to exit the sector. Sunkin mentioned that Amazon’s competitive advantage in shipping costs and willingness to undercut prices significantly affected CoolStuffInc’s ability to compete. The company faced challenges as manufacturers began taking more control of product lines, and the board game market became more complex with the rise of Kickstarter and increased releases. Sunkin acknowledged the financial feasibility issues of competing with Amazon on its own marketplace due to lower shipping costs and additional fees. Despite CoolStuffInc diversifying its operations in response to these challenges, Sunkin believes that Amazon’s practices, including targeting competitors with similar pricing, contributed to the difficulty faced by CoolStuffInc and other businesses. Sunkin welcomes the legal action taken by the US Federal Trade Commission against Amazon, hoping it may benefit others in the future. The article also includes perspectives from other board game retailers on Amazon’s role in the industry.

MCDM Productions, known for third-party Dungeons & Dragons supplements, is venturing into creating its own role-playing game called the MCDM RPG. Founded by Matt Colville, with roots in video game development and ties to Critical Role, the studio aims to deliver a unique gaming experience by focusing on the heroes’ journey, cinematic action, and strategic combat. Departing from the d20 system, the MCDM RPG primarily uses six-sided dice and emphasizes dynamic storytelling over simulationist elements. The crowdfunding goal is $800,000, with plans for core rulebooks and a monster book. Stretch goals include a virtual tabletop and a box set for the Vasloria setting. The BackerKit campaign begins on Dec. 7, with an expected delivery in Q2 2025.

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