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RPGG News

A team of hard-hitting investigative reporters brings you the news when it happens, as it happens at the time it happens. Or maybe a little later.

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Greg Stafford and Sandy Petersen Rejoin Chaosium!

Bruce McGeorge
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That's right... Greg Stafford is back at Chaosium as the President, and Sandy Petersen is rejoining the creative team.

Their plan going forward is:

Quote:
Quickly sift and sort through the current company problems
Immediately ship the remaining Horror on the Orient Express backer rewards
Focus on the Call of Cthulhu 7th edition Kickstarter backer rewards
Return to regularly making awesome new games.

We offer new hope, and ask only for your patience.


Thanks to Chad Bowser and Mike M (Sheep) for the tip!
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Wed Jun 3, 2015 1:00 pm
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News Bits (May 22): New Savage Worlds Game, Rodney Thompson and David Grant leave, Ars Magica 5E gameline ends, AFMBE 2E

Kai S.
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Hello and welcome back to the Industry News. This week's news sees two noted game designers leaving their respective companies, the end of a gameline, a new licensed game and a revised edition of an old favorite. So let's dive right in, shall we?

Let's start with the mandatory Dungeons & Dragons (5th Edition) news for this week, this time not that uplifting though. Rodney Thompson, one of the core designers for D&D 5E, leaves Wizards of the Coast today (May 22), as was announced on the WotC website a few days ago, to pursue an unspecified new endeavour. This basically means the D&D 5E team once again got a bit smaller after James Wyatt moved to the Magic: the Gathering team in 2014 and Chris Sims and Jennifer Clarke-Wilkes were both laid off in early 2015.

Another designer who announced his departure is David Grant, the current line editor for Ars Magica (5th Edition). He will leave at the end of 2015, having "finished everything he wanted to do with Ars Magica". Atlas Games also announced that they'd be ending Ars Magica 5E once the last two planned books have been released. There might a sixth edition of the game but nothing's been announced yet - but they released to Fiasco playsets for free.

Pinnacle Entertainment Group, after acquiering a license for Rifts just a few weeks ago, managed to grab another license, this time for the weird west comic series The Sixth Gun - which should be a nice fit for their weird west game Deadlands: Reloaded. The game will (obviously) use the Savage Worlds system.

Not quite a new edition, but over at the RPGNet Forums Eden Studios announced the All Flesh Must Be Eaten corebook is getting revised instead of reprinted for a fall release.

That's it for this week. As usual, corrections and stuff I missed are highly welcome, so just post below.
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Fri May 22, 2015 9:37 pm
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News Bits (May 15): Apocalypse World 2E, Dragon+ numbers, Blackmoor and Mars Attacks

Kai S.
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Hello and welcome back to the Industry News. After the big news last week we're experiencing a very slow news week this time. But let's get right to it:

This week the big news doesn't come from one of the industry big players but instead from the indie scene. Apocalypse World, the game system that has quickly become a favorite of designers and players alike and powers quite a few games, gets a second edition, as D. Vincent Baker announced on his Patreon page a few days ago. The second edition seems to be available as a preview on Patreon already.

The next one is more of a rumor than a confirmed news bit right now, but it seems the Blackmoor setting, originally designed by Dave Arneson, might get some new material. None other than Mark Rein•Hagen, who still has a few unfulfilled Kickstarters he needs to take care of, alledgedly has expressed interest in putting out new material for the venerable setting. Notable former White Wolf and current Onyx Path Publishing designer C. A. Suleiman also seems to be involved.

Ack! Ack ack ack ack ack ack. Ack ACK! *cough* Sorry 'bout that. Steve Jackson Games and Topps announced they'd be releasing a GURPS (4th Edition) setting book for Mars Attacks. This has me pretty excited, I was a huge fan of the Tim Burton movie.

And finally our mandatory Dungeons & Dragons (5th Edition) news of the week, this week for all you lovers of numbers. The recently released Dragon+ magazine app seems to be doing quite well - so well actually that it surpassed major publications like People Magazine and Maxim in its first week, the Escapist reports. Seems like tabletop rpgs are really doing quite well right now - too bad there's no exact numbers for the app. Also as of now the numbers are down again, at least according to the ranking in the iTunes Store.

There is one additional thing I want to address: there will be some changes in the news team as one long time member has to leave the team due to health issues. We're looking for new members for the news team as of now, so if you want to experience all the glamour of being a RPGG newscaster please contact me via geekmail!

That's it for this week. As usual corrections and stuff I missed are highly welcome, so just post below.
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Fri May 15, 2015 9:33 pm
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News Bits (May 8): New D&D 5E storyline, D&D 5E interview, WotC and Cubicle 7 hires, Conan playtest

Kai S.
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Hello and welcome to the Industry News. We have some larger announcements this week, so let's dive right in!

Currently no week seems to pass without some exciting news about Dungeons & Dragons (5th Edition) - this week Wizards of the Coast announced their next big storyline for D&D 5E. In the "Rage of Demons" storyline, coming Fall 2015, demon lords have been summoned from the Abyss and players must descend into the Underdark to stop them before it threatens the surface. In the upcoming adventure called "Out of the Abyss" players will even be able to meet Forgotten Realms hero Drizzt Do’Urden - WotC quickly added the players will be the heroes of this story and not the (admittedly famous) NPC.

A few weeks ago Forbes magazine conducted an interview with Nathan Stewart, Brand Director for Dungeons & Dragons at Wizards of the Coast. The interview contains a lot of interesting stuff, but what stood out most for me was Mr. Stewart claiming "on the whole, Dungeons and Dragons stopped being a tabletop game years or decades ago".

In other Wizards of the Coast news, the company has just hired former Paizo employee Sean K. Reynolds, who had left that company just a few months ago. He will not be directly involved in the future developement of D&D 5E, instead helping sort out lore and other content (primarily for Forgotten Realms) so licensors have easy access to the info they need.

Cubicle 7 Entertainment announced it has added renowned designer T. S. Luikart to its staff. Luikart, known for among others his work on Dark Heresy (1st Edition) and Dragon Age, has already worked on some C7 projects in the past but has now been hired as a fulltime employee.

We also have some playtest news this week. Modiphius Entertainment is running a public playtest for their upcoming Conan RPG. You can sign up on their website if you're interested in helping in the playtest. The playtest documents can be downloaded here.

That's it for this week. As usual, corrections and additions are welcome - just post below.
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Fri May 8, 2015 5:44 pm
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News Bits (May 1): D&D 5E Dragon+, Pathfinder RPG in Uganda, Pathfinder Society changes, DramaSystem Contest

Kai S.
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Hello and welcome back to the Industry News. Slow news week this time with only a few things to report, but one of them is big news.

We start off the news reel with the obligatory Dungeons & Dragons (5th Edition) news. WotC has announced the release of "Dragon+" What's "Dragon+", you ask? It's an app for iOS and Android that contains interviews, features and comics that cover all things D&D. Is this the new iteration of Dragon? The name at least seems to imply just that.

We also have some Pathfinder Roleplaying Game news this week, albeit not directly related to Paizo. Last year Paizo donated Pathfinder books to the Village Roleplaying Project, that is designed to bring the Pathfinder RPG to kids in Uganda, in the hopes that it will inspire them in general. They currently have a crowdfunding campaign going on, so if you're interested, go and take a look.

Paizo is also restructuring its organized play initiative, the Pathfinder Society in the wake of the release of Pathfinder Unchained. They're launching launching a new variant exclusively for hobby game stores, called The Roleplaying Guild. This program will feature quests and content tied to the release of new hardcover Pathfinder books. The material will be available only to retail stores for a few weeks after release.

The RPGGeek DramaSystem Contest 2015, held in cooperation with Pelgrane Press is over and the winners have been announced. Congrats to everyone involved and the winners in particular. Also a big thank you to Yohann and Pelgrane Press.

That's it for this week. As usual, comments and corrections are appreciated, please post them below.
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Fri May 1, 2015 6:07 pm
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News Bits (April 24): Rifts for Savage Worlds, C&C Basic Rules, D&D 5E and Evil Hat's sales performance, Forgotten Realms Update

Kai S.
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Welcome to the next installment of the Industry News. After last week I’ve decided to keep these on friday as it allows me to recap the whole week in one news bit.

The big news this week comes from Pinnacle Entertainment Group who announced they will be developing Rifts for the Savage Worlds System. A core rulebook may be available for christmas this year. This is especially interesting since this seems to be the first time Palladium Books, the company owning the Rifts brand, has actually allowed another company to produce books for their gamelines.

Troll Lord Games seems to be taking a page out of WotC’s book and announced they’re working on a basic rules set for their Castles & Crusades game. Debuting at Free RPG Day this seems to be a complete (yet simplified) rules set for C&C included in the booklet. The announcement is a bit vague in regards to how they plan to go on with the basic rules though.

This news bit wouldn’t feel complete without some Dungeons & Dragons (5th Edition) news. Both Chris Perkins and Mike Mearls mentioned on Twitter the Forgotten Realms would get an update especially in regards to the recent Sundering event. While that sure sounds exciting, it’s actually not that much news at all, since WotC already had announced earlier this month they’d be working on new setting content, not only for the Forgotten Realms but almost all of the older settings - but not necessarily in book form.

In additional Dungeons & Dragons (5th Edition) news Hasbro announced at the company’s earnings call for Q1 of 2015 D&D 5E, was “really on a tear” (whatever that is supposed to mean, maybe a native speaker can help me out here?) - the company seems to be doing fine and so does D&D for now.

For those of you who are into numbers and how things are working out for smaller publishers the always awesome Evil Hat Productions has released sales performances for the first quarter of 2015. Overall the company seems to be doing fine with quite a few new products released.

The nominations for the Origins Awards have been announced. Bruce already wrote a longer article on this topic.

That's it for this week. If you have any updates or corrections, please post below.
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Fri Apr 24, 2015 4:19 pm
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News Bits (April 8): D&D electronic tools, Paizo's current state, GenCon, Tabletop RPG Show, One Page Dungeon Contest 2015

Kai S.
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Hello and welcome to my first news column. I’ll be tackling a few of the bigger news of the last couple of weeks while I’m trying to get a hang of this whole news thing.

Most of you might have already heard about this: the Fantasy Grounds Virtual Table Top is now selling official licensed D&D 5E products. Currently the products include Player and Monster Packs (single and bundles) as well as an adventure pack for “The Lost Mine of Phandelver”, the adventure from the Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set. Not quite the electronic tools suite we had been promised, but it's a start.

In other D&D-related news, with Princes of the Apocalypse now released Wizards is slowly shedding some light on their plans for future releases. In an interview posted on Youtube, Chris Perkins (Story Manager at WotC) explained that Wizards will not release books just for the sake of releasing books. Older settings might reappear but in new ways that are going to “surprise” players and GMs alike. There is no guarantee, he added, that new setting content would be released in book form. Still, no actual product announcements have been made so far.

A lot of people have been wondering how the success of D&D 5E affects Paizo. In an interview with ICv2 at GAMA Trade Show, Erik Mona from Paizo Publishing talked about the impact the release of D&D 5E had on Paizo - claiming the success hadn’t negatively impacted Pathfinder sales, but instead had lifted the RPG market as a whole. He also announced several new books, including an urban Adventure Path. But Paizo seems to adjust its strategy a bit in regards to the less complex rules of D&D 5E, with the new Strategy Guide being an entry point for new players.

Paizo also made a distribution deal with french game publisher Gob in Tux to release the company’s RPGs (and other games as well) in North America, starting with the Polaris RPG.

For all you dungeon designers out there the One Page Dungeon Contest is held again this year, the deadline for submissions is April 30th.

Quite some time in the making the Tabletop RPG show has been announced including cast, premiere date and its very own game system. Bruce already posted additional details here.

We also have some convention news this week as GenCon confirmed they’d stay in Indianapolis at least until 2020, after some hassle with local legislation about a law which allows discrimination against LGBT people on religious grounds. GenCon had threatened to stop their 2016 expansion plans (space and hotels) if the law would come to pass (which it did). The law has been sent back to receive a work-over to clarify that it was never meant support legal discrimination.

And finally, even though it’s not RPG-centric, International Tabletop Day is on April 11th 2015. Go play some games!

That concludes my first column. Criticism is always welcome, so I’d like to hear your thoughts.
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Wed Apr 8, 2015 2:21 pm
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Random Round-up: Golden Geeks, ICv2's Top 5, Gary Con on Big Bang Theory, Playing D&D with Porn Stars vs. The Escapist

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As everyone likely knows by now, Dungeons & Dragons (5th Edition) essentially swept the Golden Geek awards winning Best RPG, Best Artwork (Player's Handbook (D&D 5e)), and Supplement (Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set). D&D5E also had a hand in the Best Podcast category with Board with Life Radio focusing on their play of the Lost Mine of Phandelver.

Chaosium took two runners up with Call of Cthulhu (7th Edition) and Horror on the Orient Express (2nd Edition). Margaret Weis Productions, Ltd. placed with Firefly Role-Playing Game, and Evil Hat Productions placed with Designers & Dragons: The 70s. Venerable podcasts Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff and Fear the Boot were also recognized.

ICv2 released their Top 5 Roleplaying Games for Fall/Holiday 2014:

1 Dungeons & Dragons (5th Edition) (Wizards of the Coast)
2 Pathfinder Roleplaying Game (Paizo Publishing)
3 Star Wars (Fantasy Flight Games)
4 Numenera (Monte Cook Games)
5 Fate (Evil Hat Productions)

The list is generated through interviews with retailers, distributors, and manufacturers.

Gary Con, an annual convention held in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin was mentioned several times on Big Bang Theory's episode that aired on 2/26/2015 in the US. Gary Con VII is taking place March 26-29, so I help Sheldon already has his plans in place.

"Playing D&D with Porn Stars" (fronted by Zak Smith) has pulled their new episodes of the documentary series "I Hit It With My Axe" from the Escapist over objections to a November 2014 tweet from one of the Escapist's employees (Brandon Morse). Since the "Playing D&D with Porn Stars" blog is NSFW, I won't link the site here (but a quick Google will certainly get you there). (Thanks to RPGG user Stelio for the tip.)
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Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:08 pm
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Modiphius Announces Robert E. Howard’s CONAN Adventures In An Age Undreamed Of; Green Ronin's Mystery

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Modiphius Entertainment has just announced that they have the Conan license.









KNOW, oh prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the Sons of Aryas, there was an Age undreamed of....

The creative team includes Timothy B. Brown, award-winning Robert E. Howard scholar and essayist Jeffrey Shanks, Jason Durall, and Chris Lites. Art will be provided by such artists as Sanjulián, Carl Critchlow, Mark Schultz, Timothy Truman, Phroilan Gardner, and Alex Horley. The RPG will use a "sharpened" 2d20 system which was originally designed by Jason Little for Mutant Chronicles RPG 3rd Edition and promises a cinematic, pulp feel.

Quote:
Modiphius is already working on the roleplaying corebook for Robert E. Howard’s CONAN Adventures In An Age Undreamed Of to be released this Fall. A Kickstarter is planned for the summer to fund a larger range of roleplaying supplements, campaigns, and accessories to follow the core book.


More information can be found at www.modiphius.com/conan. Thanks to Chris Birch (aka RPG Geek user JoystickJunkies) for the advanced notice!




Back in January, Chris Pramas of Green Ronin Publishing announced a new Fantasy setting using the Adventure Game Engine found in Dragon Age. This wasn't big news by itself as a new AGE setting had been announced a few years ago but has been delayed. Pushing this into the newsworthy category was Pramas' claim that this setting book would be "perhaps the biggest RPG story of the year."

Initial speculation (as can be seen here and in other forums as well) centered on licenses... including Conan. Well, we know that's no longer in the running.

Later speculation centered on Pramas' comment that this would be "part of something super exciting." In my opinion, the leading theory (which I first read from EN World user MatthewJHanson) is that this new setting will be part of Wil Wheaton's new RPG show which was funded as a stretch goal from the IndieGoGo compaign. Dread is going to be played on TableTop; the new RPG show will feature a longer campaign, and that RPG has not yet been announced.
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Mon Feb 9, 2015 2:04 pm
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News Bits (Jan 14) New editor, Game Publishers’ Guild, Broken Ruler Games, crystal ball gazing..

Steve Pettifer
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As this is my first go at News Bits as RPGG News Editor, I thought I had better offer a brief introduction. I have been roleplaying for many years (that old D&D Red Box) and have a passion for rolling dice and telling stories. I have inherited a very tidy little office from Steve(Vestige) and would like to take the chance to thank him for his hard work, and yes, you have to be called Steve to get this job.

First off let's catch up on some news from over christmas and new year...

Game Publishers’ Guild

Arcanum Syndicate , Cakebread & Walton , DramaScape , Imaginary Empire , Mystical Throne Entertainment , Rogue Games and Scrying Eye Games have "have formed a strategic alliance called the Game Publishers’ Guild to extend their reach into the industry".

To quote further from the press release:

“This is a great opportunity for print-on-demand publishers to further their reach throughout the industry when the cost of doing so is prohibitive,” said founding member Aaron T. Huss. “Additionally, by opening up the Guild to global membership, members can gain representation at conventions and expos and possibly retailers in countries where they normally wouldn't have representation.”

and...

"With a well-defined Business Plan and agreed upon services for the benefit of all, the Game Publishers’ Guild aims to increase industry awareness for all its members, define a level of product quality for participating publishers, allow members to work cooperatively on projects, keep an open line of communication between members, and form strategic partnerships for key functions.
Independent publishers with print-on-demand models are free to contact any member of the Guild to inquire about joining. New members will be evaluated on the quality of the products they provide and their ability to work with the other members of the Guild."


Sounds like a positive development, especially if it means great games are more accessible to players. A website is to follow later in the year.

In kind of related news...

Broken Ruler Games Moves to Fly Beneath Mystical Throne Entertainment’s Banner

Broken Ruler Games, publisher of the ENnie Award winning Killshot, is moving from independent publisher to development house, handing over publishing and marketing to Mystical Throne Entertainment.

Read the press release here


Finally, as the tinsel from Christmas is only just back in the attic, new year's eve hangovers are fresh in the memory as the exercise bike is pushed to the limits, it is the time of year for predictions, what is in store for the next 11 and some months?

Enworld has some RPG predictions for the coming year.

That's it for now, I am still getting the hang of all this, I hope there isn't a cat in this office, I have an allergy...
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Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:18 pm
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