Yes! Two links posts within just a couple of days of each other… Amazing, isn’t it?
This one is all about the publishers. Dang they’ve been busy! Announcements, product releases, and all sorts of goodies to sink your teeth into!
Before I start, I want to help shout from the rooftops about a recent milestone of the RPG Blog Alliance. The RPGBA just hit 500 active members this weekend and that’s no small feat! Congratulations to all the RPGBA founders! Next stop… on to 1,000 members!
Now, on to the news…
(1) Gygax… Gygax… Gygax…
We will always miss Gary, but his legacy lives on and has taken on a fantastic new role as part of Gygax Magazine! It launched this weekend and I’m happy to say that I watched part of the streaming celebration and have already purchased my own subscription. Definitely anxious to read it cover to cover each quarter and enjoy the fruits of a new TSR rising from the ashes…
Ethan Gilsdorf @ Wired’s GeekDad had a great article about the magazine launch on Friday along with some images of the table of contents. There’s plenty there to look forward to, including articles from Luke Gygax and Ernest Gary Gygax Jr., Michael Tresca, Cory Doctorow, Mark Radle, and many more. Take a gander, then pop over to the Gygax Magazine site to purchase an issue or a subscription.
Michael Tresca @ Examiner.com also had a great interview with Jayson Elliot, founder of the new TSR, at the end of last year right after Christmas. It’s a great, wide-ranging article that covers everything from gaming in his childhood to hooking up with Luke & Ernie Gygax and what the future holds for the new TSR.
(2) The Kobolds Aren’t Sitting Idle…
Though Kobold Quarterly may have closed its doors and Gygax Magazine is picking up the mantle, don’t think for a minute that Wolfgang and the rest of the crew at Open Design/Kobold Press are sitting around eating bon-bons. They have been quite busy!
The Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding from Kobold Press has become a popular pick @ DriveThruRPG and the Kobold Quarterly store, but now you can also read it on your Kindle! I think this is a fantastic idea and wonder how well it will sell at Amazon vs. DTRPG. That said, the markets are quite different so who knows?! But now you can read all about how to make your worlds even more full of life, death, and everything in-between!
They also recently released New Paths: Expanded Elven Archer (PFRPG), which includes fun ways to extend the traditional elven archer class in Pathfinder. New feats. New spells. New items. And tons of new options for rangers AND druids. What’s not to like? Check it out today at the KQ store or over at DTRPG.
Lastly, it was announced that Shelly Baur, Minion #1, is stepping down from some of her roles at Kobold Press. She’ll still be involved, but will leaving someone else to the task of managing all the other minions. She’s been very kind in the many e-mails we’ve exchanged over review copies over the last couple of years and I wish her all the best as she adjusts to wearing a few less hats!
(3) Wizards Releases
The Kraken! Part of their Huge D&D Archive
That’s right! It finally happened… again. And this time I think the good folks at Wizards of the Coast got the recipe right. No, it’s not the recipe for dwarf stew!
Eventually I hope we see the entire D&D back catalog of titles from 1e to the end of time show up in PDF form, but for now they’ve released quite a few titles (with more promised) at DnDClassics.com. And based on a couple of review copies of PDFs I acquired (reviews to come) I think they did a solid job of converting from paper to PDF. The art is crisp. The text is crisp, readable, and (most importantly) searchable. There’s a table of contents linking bookmarks to the various sections. Honestly I have to say I’m impressed with the quality.
Ethan Gilsdorf @ Wired’s GeekDad (the man seems to be hardwired to RPG news!) posted a great article with images of the DnDClassics site and an overview of what the plan is from Wizards. “Eventually, dndclassics.com will offer hundreds of titles for digital release…” and dang it’s about time! Welcome to the world of e-Books D&D!
(4) The Swans, They Are a-Ragin’
Creighton Broadhurst and the gang at Raging Swan Press must be like the Sleepless from Nancy Kress’ novel Beggars in Spain. They released 60 products in 2012 – nearly doubling what they did in 2011. And according to their yearly report, their revenues nearly tripled as a result of the aggressive release schedule. Congratulations to Creighton and all the writers and artists who make Raging Swan great!
Looking to spice up your towns and cities? Check out Urban Dressing: Market Stalls from Brian Liberge to get some ideas for what’s on sale in your particular corner of the multiverse. Market stalls, items, adventure hooks, and NPCs to make the least exciting shopping trip into an adventure to remember! Grab a copy at DriveThruRPG and elsewhere!
If you’re worrying about what riddles to throw at your players in the next adventure, check out So What’s the Riddle Like, Anyway? II from Liz Smith. It adds even more options to what she did in the first part of the series – tons more riddles to torture even the most talented tongue tiers. Grab a copy at DriveThruRPG and elsewhere.
Or perhaps you need… some double doors. Sure, you can have your one-door entrances, but wouldn’t it look cooler with two? Now with Dungeon Dressing: Double Doors from Creighton Broadhurst you can add some challenges for just such a problem. New traps, cool ideas for hidden compartments, discarded equipment, and… fungal growths? Grab yours at DriveThruRPG and elsewhere.
Next up is 100% Crunch: Skeletal Champions from Julian Neale. These aren’t your average, run-of-the mill, smack-em-with-a-hammer kind of skeletons. These skeletons will keep your players guessing! Grab a copy at DriveThruRPG and elsewhere.
(5) Flights of Fantasy…
Fantasy Flight Games has been working on the beta for The Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Roleplaying Game for a while now, but they’ve recently announced when it will be released! Q2 2013! Sure, that’s a bit of a wide target (91 days), but we’ll get to see the final versions of the Edge of the Empire Core Rulebook, a set of Star Wars-themed dice, and a GM Kit show up at our local retailers sometime in there. Everything I’ve seen has definitely whet my appetite, but I didn’t get to play the beta at all. If you played the beta, what did you think?
But that’s not all… FFG also recently announced an open beta for the Dark Quest Vault – an online tool for Descent: Journeys in the Dark Second Edition that enables you to create your own quests and share them with others… I’m curious if anyone has joined this one. I’ve not heard of Descent before, but it’s apparently a board game for 2-5 players with a story element. The screen shots of the tool itself look pretty cool, so I’m wondering if they could be used to design maps for other games…
(6) The Rite Stuff
Steven Russell and the gang at Rite Publishing have had an amazing year – with tons of great releases along with some Kickstarters that have me geeked up. The Demolished Ones and the Kaidan Campaign Setting should be coming out sometime this year I hope. But I didn’t know half of the stuff they did this year. Thankfully Russell was kind enough to put together a “year in review” post that went through all the exciting things that went on during 2012. We can only hope 2013 is half as exciting!
And continuing their great run of releases, they recently published Faces of the Tarnished Souk: Vhulgus Sangrevorr
(7) Other Publishers with Announcements!
Of course, those aren’t the only folks with announcements! Everybody has news!
Atlas Games recently announced that Cam Banks will join the team in February as Brand Manager. He was working at Margaret Weis Productions previously, overseeing management and creation of RPGs for licensed properties and will continue to work with MWP on a few select products as well as helping Atlas out. Congratulations to Cam and Atlas!
Unfortunately, some sad news from Chaosium. Lynn Willis, a co-creator of Call of Cthulhu and member of the Chaosium team since 1978, passed away recently. He will be missed.
Scott M @ The Trollish Delver offered a sneak peek at USR Fantasy, which offers a guide to using the free USR rules for a fantasy campaign. The art looks great and I’m always curious to dive into a new system!
And lastly, it seems that Champions is getting a new lease on life at Hero Games. ICv2 has reported that Champions Complete will soon be available from Hero Games in print and digital versions, taking the place of the earlier Champions 6th Edition rulebook. I know many people who will be happy to see Champions back again!
(8) More Releases!
- 1st Ed Advanced Character Sheet and A5 B/X OSR Character Sheet from Gold Piece Publications
- New Maps from Scrying Eye Games - Tech Grids 1: Basic Grids, Tall Ships 12: The Dwarven Warship, and Realms Subterrane 1: The Labyrinth
- Ultimate Spell Decks: Spell Cards for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game from LPJ Design
- Faith & Demons Nation Guide: Byzantine Empire from Mystical Throne Entertainment
- Swamp Dwellers from Arion Games
- Dramascape Miniatures Volume 03 from Dramascape
You can never have enough
toys tools, right?
So why not stop by Sly Flourish to get the skinny on a few of the tools from The Lazy Dungeon Master in a video? Mike Shea covers everything from different kinds of paper you might want to particular sourcebooks and cards to make your life easier. And if you like the video, grab a copy of the book!
Or if you’re looking at writing some of your own RPG materials for publication, I will direct you to the article “Right Writing” by the Warden @ Roleplayers Chronicle. Is page count really that important? Or do huge books impede gamers’ ability to fully grok the rules? Great tips.
(10) Some Kickstarters For Your Attention
Lastly I want to point out a few Kickstarters that I think deserve your attention.
First up? Rebuilding EN World. EN World has been one of the sites I look at frequently to get the latest gaming news – especially about D&D. Morrus and the gang seem to be hardwired in for announcements, rumors, and new projects before many other folks catch wind of them. And when they were hacked in December, it all fell down like a house of cards. But Morrus didn’t give up. And now he’s asking for some help. Money to support better servers, software, and support to ensure that this doesn’t happen again. The Kickstarter ends on Valentine’s Day, so send some love EN World’s way and chip in to help. Sure, it’s been funded, but some of the stretch goals are VERY cool and it’s for a good cause. Please drop by and lend your support.
Next? Gnomish Adventurers. This is from the same folks who brought us the Dwarven Adventurers Kickstarter last year – Stonehaven Miniatures – and they did a fantastic job (I was a backer and love the dwarves I got), so I had to pounce on this one as well. Every time I turn around they’ve added something new to the project, so get in while you can! Three weeks left and I want the banner for McKrakken’s Glory Squad on a t-shirt, dangit!!
After that, Tavern Cards from Hannah Lipsky @ Chaotic Shiny. If you don’t know Hannah (aka Swordgleam), she’s run Chaotic Shiny for as long as I can remember. Random generators up the wazoo! And now she’s building a deck of cards you can use to inspire a tavern randomly. It’s a very cool concept, the art looks fun, and I definitely want one! Can you help get the project to its funding goal?
Anybody remember Tunnels & Trolls? I do, and I jumped on the Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls Kickstarter as soon as I heard about it. Huge book. Tons of great material. And a legacy of fun. What more do you need?
And lastly I’ll put out a plea once again to help out the Slayers of the Great Serpent Kickstarter from David Caffee of Chaos Trip Studios. This epic campaign deserves some love and I want to see it come to fruition. I had a chance to chat with David this week and it sounds like an awesome story – for both 4e and PFRPG – so I’m wondering why it’s not funded yet? It needs some serious help to get funded in the next 6 days, so please chip in if you can!
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 week!
If you’re a publisher and have an announcement to make or new products being released, let me know and I’ll include them in my next publisher round-up!