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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Astral virtual tabletop has been shutdown. Nathan at Arkenstone has written a wonderful post mortem/ obituary for the platform. It is a shame that no open source agreement for the code could be reached. This leaves the hope that some of the best features from Astral may find their way into Roll20, since that is where OneBookShefl has their deal now and probably where the sold the code. We ran two excellent campaigns using Astral and the easy of use and excellent features will be missed. Obviously it is not the best technology and community that wins.

Everyone’s favorite Drow is coming to Webtoon. ALong with Breezy, Drizzt will be featured in an official Dungeons and Dragons Webtoon in 2023. It will be written by Suitor Armor creator Purpah and illustrator Ryan LeCount.with the character’s creator R.A. Salvatore “involved”. This deal was official struck with Wizards of the Coast and all we need to know now is… what’s a Webtoon?

A new expansion for Frostgrave called Fireheart is coming soon from Osprey Games. North Star Military Figures is also producing new miniatures including a female enchanter and apprentice, new construct miniatures as well as a box of hard plastic female barbarians. If it is anything likfke the previous expansions it will be worth picking up for the new adventures and soldier types. If you never played Frostgrave before it is one of the best miniatures skirmish games out there. You don’t have to buy the official miniatures. The game is completely miniatures agnostic. Our first campaign was exclusively with LEGO mini figs. Not really a moneysaver, but great fun!

Dark Souls: The Board Game is releasing a pair of of new expansions. The Tomb of the Giants and Painted World of Ariamis boxes will be standalone expansions and might signal a new chapter for tabletop adaptation of From Software’s popular video game. Steamforged Games, the next two releases will act as standalone core sets for the six-year-old series. New players will be able to pick up either the Tomb of the Giants or Painted World of Ariamis and enjoy the full intended experience. This breaks from all of the past expansions that have required the base Dark Souls Board Game in order to properly function. After the stumble of the Dark Souls RPG which the miniatures from the boardgame would be useful, we will see if these new expansions get more people into this strategy combat game.

A newly discovered letters reveals D&D’s co-creator asked to be put in Charge of D&D in 1997. The letter from D&D co-creator Dave Arneson to Wizards of the Coast CEO Peter Adkiso In the letter, Arneson begged to be put in charge of Dungeons & Dragons. This letter and several other interesting artifacts from this time were used in writing the book Slaying the Dragon: A Secret History of Dungeons & Dragons, written By Ben Riggs, tells the never-before-heard true story of how D&D almost died in the 90s and was saved by its bitterest rival.

Disney has partnered with Ravensburger, a 139-year-old game publisher. The new joint effort is called Disney Lorcana, a family-friendly collectible trading card game. The first sets are expected in the latter half of 2023. This game is expected to enter the lucrative market created by the PokemonTrading Card Game and Magic: the Gathering. Is this something that anyone will be interested in aside from the rabid Disney-anything collectors?
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Our spoiler-free and tease-filled review of The Secrets of Blackmoor – The True History of Dungeons & Dragons Documentary Volume One: The Evolution of the Roleplaying Game. #blackmoor #davearneson #

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“What if everything you knew about the history of Dungeons & Dragons was wrong? 6 Years, 12 Cities, 200 Hours of Interviews, 20,000 Documents and Photos: An unprecedented investigation into the history of D&D – the game that spurred a multi-billion dollar industry.”

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The third part of our interview with one of the filmmakers for Secrets of Blackmoor: The Secret History of Dungeons & Dragons.

In this excerpt, we learn the story of a group of friends who all contributed to the story of D&D and creatively played off each other to have fun. However, for many, they’ve been cut out of history and the goal of Secrets of Blackmoor is to correct that.

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The second part of our interview with one of the filmmakers for Secrets of Blackmoor: The Secret History of Dungeons & Dragons.
In this excerpt, we find out that while making the documentary, the filmmakers made an important discovery: the second-ever dungeon to come out of the Twin Cities.

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