Ten Links in the Chain – Publisher News (30-NOV-2012)

That’s right, it’s time for some publisher news! Every week there are new products released or announced by various publishers. Some publishers have new products that go out every
week (like Raging Swan Press) and others may only release a handful of products in a year. There’s no way for me to catch them all, but these are the ones that caught my attention or I was told about. (Have product news you’d like me to include? Give me a holler  - drop me a quick note via the contact page or drop me an e-mail at news(at)gameknightreviews(dot)com and I’ll add it to the list for next time.)

So without further ado, here’s some news!

(1) Thy Kobolds Shall Count 23 and That Shall Be Thy Final Count…

The kobolds working diligently each quarter on a new tome of gaming goodness have run out of gold. As a result, Kobold Quarterly is no more. When Wolfgang Baur announced on November 16th that KQ was folding, there was a momentary pause as gamers worldwide suddenly cried out in terror. Many folks across the Interwebz wrote about the event with sadness, including Michael Tresca @ Examiner.com.

Personally, I only wish I’d started a print subscription to the magazine much earlier. Why, oh why, did I wait?

Let’s share a moment of silence to honor the fallen kobolds. [Insert one moment of silence here.]

Now that it’s over, let’s make some noise about the fact that Kobolds are still hard at work designing openly… They just released the Player’s Guide to the Dragon Empire this week (featuring some great art from Guido Kuip in the mix) – new feats, spells, creatures, and dragon magic for your Pathfinder campaign, plus more details about the wonders of Midgard.

And I’m sure there’s plenty more to come about Midgard and other fun places, so I look at this as a simple “adjustment of priorities” for the kobolds – focusing more on generating great content and less on finding ways to keep the magazine going quarter to quarter. So I’m excited to see what they come up with. :)

(2) Rising from the ashes, TSR returns and brings…  The Gygax Magazine!

So with the depressing news of Kobold Quarterly closing its doors… I found it interesting that another door was opening somewhere else – and it has some familiar names on it like “TSR” and “Gygax“!

That’s right – TSR Games has been reborn as a venture of Hexagonist Publishing! And its first order of business? Gygax Magazine!

Several folks on the web have had a chance to get details about this new effort…

So I’m excited to see what’s in store for the future of the magazine in December when we learn more!

(3) My Liege, We Need a Castle Tower for the Princess!

Over at The Miniatures Page, they have pictures of some beautiful laser-cut kits from Vatican Enterprises designed for 25mm or 28mm figures. They appear to be made from laser-cut plywood with rigid foam spacers, so they’d probably last a while. But the detail is great. They have tower and siege engine kits available.

If you have regular battles along castle walls, these might be just the thing for your campaigns.

(4) Let loose the previews of art! (And some help for new publishers!)

Oh how I love art previews. It can inspire great things or just offer a glimpse into what’s to come.

CThis week Andrew @ Geek Native offered an amazing full color cover from Infinite X Studio’s Quantum RPG. But more than that, I love the idea of the art through the book offering pieces of a continuous story for the book’s iconic heroes. Brilliant!

Or, if a bit of horror is more your thing, check out some of the art samples from the new Cubicle 7 book - Cthulhu Britannica: Folkore. They have a bit of an “Alfred Hitchcock meets H.P. Lovecraft” feel to me, which is awesome.

And last, but not least, I found this interesting new release from Fat Goblin Games – a decorative layout you can use as a page background in your own game books. It comes in a color version and a black and white version. This is a great idea for folks just getting into publishing to have a bit of a jump start into a good looking page design. So kudos to the Fat Goblin folks! I hope we see more of these.

(5) The Dungeons and Dragons Are Not Just on Paper…

We all know we live in a digital age, right? Well, much of what we love about tabletop RPGs is available on PCs and tablets now… (Shocking, I know. Not.) Regardless of how much of a tabletop RPG fan I am, I’m still a geek and love to get sucked into a computer game from time to time.

This week saw the return of a classic CRPG - Baldur’s Gate! Though the iPad version was delayed another week or two (sad panda), the PC version is available now! Sorcerer’s Place has a great interview with Trent Oster about the project’s rebirth and Jason Schreier @ Kotaku has an “Everything You Should Know” article ready about the game. I played the series to death in the late 1990s and am looking forward to it on my iPad soon!

If that’s not enough, Wizardry is back too! A classic dungeon crawl game from Sir-Tech has been reborn as a MMORPG as Wizardry Online. I’m not sure I’ll play this one (the original was a single player experience and I’m not a huge MMO fan), but it’ll be interesting to see where it goes. Michael Tresca @ Examiner.com had some details about the new game in beta this week.

Beyond that, I’m happy to see the D&D Virtual Table transition over to its standalone self as RPG Table Online. It will be interesting to see how this goes as well – basic access is free, but you can buy a premium subscription for more storage and in-game bits. I did a demo a while back and the system seems pretty robust, so I’m hopeful they’ll succeed and remain another solid choice in the “virtual table” space. target="_blank">Michael Tresca @ Examiner.com has some additional details from Game Table Online VP Robert Eng.

(6) Want to be fired as a client by Ryan Macklin? Do some of these things…

First of all, if you’ve hired Ryan Macklin to help out with your project, why would you want to do anything to jeopardize that? Second, I’ve talked to Kyle Simons, the designer of the Magicians RPG and he seemed like a nice guy in the few e-mails we exchanged. And I’m not sure why things went south, but apparently they did based on Macklin’s post – “How to Get Fired as a Client.”

Everybody I’ve talked to in the RPG industry has been amazingly kind to me. And most of that is probably because it’s all based on a standard of mutual respect. If you ask for my opinion and you don’t like my opinion, that’s on you – not me. So I definitely get where Macklin is coming from. Delays are inevitable. Sometimes life gets in the way. Count on it and move on.

And honestly any badmouthing should occur privately, not publicly. It sounds like Macklin is doing everything he can to get out of the editing arrangement gracefully, so I hope things work out in the end. Lessons to learn here? Be reasonable and expect Murphy’s Law to hold true, otherwise you’re just kidding yourself.

(7) Women in RPGs Are Here to Stay! (They’ve Always Been Here, Gents)

I don’t know why some folks are shocked by the fact that women have been in RPGs (not just CRPGs, but tabletop RPGs and more) FOREVER. Look at this list at Darkshire.net. I’m betting there are plenty more not listed here. (Check out the site Gaming As Women for more perspectives on a wide variety of topics. Or if you’re interested in an all-woman online gaming convention, check out this post on Google+.)

So I’m happy that things have improved over the years as writer/designer Ann Lemay has worked at Bioware and other companies, as relayed by L’s interview of Lemay @ Geek’s Dream Girl. It gives me hope that maybe the discrimination is on the decline and my daughters will have a fair shake at whatever the heck they want to do as they get older.

Life is funny. I have repeatedly said about just about any artistic endeavor, I don’t give a damn whether you’re male or female, what your sexual preference, religion, or skin color are, or whether you’re even from this planet. If you have a good idea, I’m happy to listen. The whole discrimination thing is just beyond me. Why can’t we grow up and embrace the thought that we’re all human beings and get over ourselves?

(8) The Wizards Have Been Busy

Sure, the D&D Next playtest cycle is still in full swing, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of the Wizards are sitting  still. Aaron @ Roleplayers Chronicle reported that they just released a new faction pack for D&D Dungeon CommandCurse of Undeath. Has anyone given it a shot yet?

And though D&D Next is still in early stages (I think we’re still at least a year out from seeing any real products),  NewbieDM found a new product at Amazon that may be D&D Next related. Did they just spoil the release? Doesn’t look like it based on the comments…

(9) Ho Ho Ho! Holiday Sales!

Looking for gaming goodies for your group or GM? Here’s a few options:

If you know of other sales, let me know and I’ll share them too!

(10) What is the “Ultimate” campaign?

The folks at ICV2 announced that Paizo’s releasing the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Campaign book (256-page, full-color hardcover) in April 2013. This may be a great resource for folks, including things like NPC backgrounds, story feats, tracking what characters do between adventures, and more.

(10 +1) The Swans Rage On!

The designers at Raging Swan Press must invest heavily in Red Bull or other energy drinks… They’re releasing THREE products this weekVillage Backdrop: Apia, Village Maps, and All that Glimmers.

  • Village Backdrop: Apia by Ben Kent offers a place where your adventures might hang their hats and get an ale, easy to insert in your home campaign. It seems a quiet place with a sweetness to the local cuisine, but what’s going on in the old ruins?
  • If you like Apia, but want to use it or modify it for your own campaign or product (under a very generous license), the village map is available as part of the Village Maps product series and available now.
  • But All That Glimmers is the big collection for the week. If you need some treasure, you’ve hit the jackpot. It includes all the material from eight different products (such as So What’s the Hoard Like, Anyway?So What’s that Shiny Thing, Anyway?, etc.) as well as some new goodies to sweeten the pot. 152 pages and plenty of glittery things to tempt your players with for more than a few sessions!

(10 +2) And a Kickstarter reminder…

There’s only a week left to support the Kickstarter for Hellfrost Land of Fire from Triple Ace Games… They’ve added some sweet new dice to the mix to entice you. :)

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As always, if you feel I missed something (and it would be impossible NOT to), drop me a quick note via the contact page or drop me an e-mail at news(at)gameknightreviews(dot)com and I’ll add it to the list for next time! Have a product announcement? Let me know!

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