For a fast abstract of the week’s information, Jessica Hancock will carry you in control with This Week in TTRPG.
Don’t forget, you can keep up with all the week’s gaming news in detail with Morrus’ Unofficial Tabletop RPG Talk! This week, Morrus, Peter, and Jessica talk about the Wizards of the Coast purchase of D&D Beyond.
In case you missed it elsewhere on EN World this week:
- EN Publishing has a new Kickstarter coming next week, Can We Keep It? (I just want to say I absolutely love this title), a rules expansion for 5e that allows you to add pets to your game compatible both with original 5th Edition and with Level Up: Advanced 5e.
- The second playtest for the upcoming Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition science fiction sourcebook Voidrunner’s Codex is live giving you a chance to give feedback on the Scientist class.
- EN5ider #450 is another Dangerous Scenario ready to drop into your games involving someone running a gruesome experiment on the regeneration abilities of trolls.
- On EN Live, this past week’s episode of Not DnD featured Jim Johnson talking about Star Trek Adventures, and don’t forget you can watch live every Monday at 10 PM BST (5 PM Eastern, 2 PM Pacific).
- EN Live also had this month’s EN Publishing update talking about the new actual play live stream The Star Crossed Seaway and the Kickstarter for Can We Keep It?.
- We also have a tease for the third issue of EN Publishing’s Gate Pass Gazette, the monthly zine full of new official content for Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition.
- Modiphius announced a new 2d20 System game Cohors Cthulhu which takes the Cthulhu Mythos into the era of the Roman Empire.
- Hasbro told shareholders the company intends to use the Wizards Play Network system used to promote Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons for other Hasbro properties.
- Rob Wieland takes a look at the just-released playtest book for Marvel Multiverse from Marvel Entertainment.
- Rob also reviewed the rules-lite but tonally-dark Undying, a new Powered by the Apocalpyse about immortality and vampirism.
- Evil Genius Productions posted the first of a video series about the making of D20 Modern featuring some of the designers responsible for creating the original game.
- Michael Talien finds more sources of inspiration for your games from streaming media, this time looking at animation.
- M.T. Black continues his journey through RPG periodicals past with Dragon Reflections #56 covering the December 1981 issue of Dragon.
- Charles Dunwoody talks about the pros and cons of long-term campaigns and the steps to prepare to run one.
- And continues his Worlds of Design column with the difference between a plot twist and a deus ex machina.
- Morrus has posted a poll asking what are your favorite Dungeons & Dragons monsters from the Monster Manual.
- Don’t miss out on the newest RPG crowdfunding projects ending soon with Egg Embry’s RPG Crowdfunding News.
- Keep up with all the new print RPG releases with Charles Dunwoody’s RPG Print News.
- Find the big TTRPG sales, bundles, and charity fundraisers with the RPG Bundles, Freebies, and Sales News.
So apparently there was a bit of news about Dungeons & Dragons this week. We knew that D&D Direct was coming this week, but the news started when a listing for “Dungeons & Dragons Release (Summer TBA)” popped up on Amazon on Monday. Then came D&D Direct itself and if you want a full recap written as it happened, Morrus watched the stream and provided updates here.
First, we found out what that listing was, the announcement of the D&D Half-Life 3: Spelljammer. There, you can stop making the “Spelljammer Confirmed” joke now. More interesting than the final, really-real, not an April Fools joke announcement of the Spelljammer setting is the product itself. It won’t just be one book, but a set of three 64-page hardcovers with slipcase, DM screen, and map. The three books are titled Astral Adventurer’s Guide, Boo’s Astral Menagerie, and Light of Xaryxis. The first book will be the rules for the setting including six new races (astral elves, autognomes, hadozee, giff, plasmoids, and thri-kreen), the second book will be a bestiary, and the third an adventure set in wildspace that spans twelve different tightly interconnected missions (each one ends in a cliffhanger until the final adventure). If none of that made any sense to you because you’re unfamiliar with the Spelljammer setting, Wizards of the Coast will also launch Spelljammer Academy, a series of free content that, according to Chris Perkins, will act as “a friendly introduction to the concept of spelljamming” along with a free adventure taking characters from first to fifth levels. This set will be released on August 16, 2022, with a retail price of $69.99 and is available for pre-order now.
That wasn’t all we got from D&D Direct as we received confirmation of the other setting that pretty much everyone expected, Dragonlance. The roleplaying game release will be Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen, an adventure set during the War of the Lance. There will also be a large-scale battle game called Dragonlance: Warriors of Krynn. After the presentation, D&D Executive Producer Ray Winninger gave a few more details about the products. Shadow of the Dragon Queen and Warriors of Krynn are designed to work together with large-scale conflicts played out via the cooperative board game as part of the adventure. Another set of large-scale battle rules will be included in the adventure as well, but the intent seems to be for Warriors of Krynn to take the role BattleSystem did during the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons era as the alternate combat rules for mass combat with other versions of the game released for different settings depending on sales.
The new setting will also be separate from the novel trilogy written by Weis and Hickman with the RPG setting designed so that players can make their mark and tell their own stories in the world of Krynn. There’s no release date yet but it will be due out this year. As previously reported, the first new Dragonlance novel in over a decade Dragons of Deceit: Dragonlance Destinies Volume I by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman is due out on August 2, 2022.
It’s official, I can retire the old Justin Whalin and Jeremy Irons image anytime there’s an update to the Dungeons & Dragons live-action film as we got our first official graphic along with the full title – Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. We also now know when the film is schedule for release, March 3, 2023. There was also a “teaser trailer” released as well, but it’s the most teaser-y of teaser trailers I’ve ever seen as it’s more of a logo reveal than anything else. Based on how these things usually go, I would expect a proper teaser trailer sometime this summer and a full trailer in late fall so long as they keep to the March release schedule.
We also got our first look at D&D Starter Set: Dragons of Stormwreck Isle. This is what you’d expect from a starter set with one 32-page booklet of rules, one 48-page booklet with the introductory adventure, five pre-generated character sheets, and a set of dice. Some have speculated that the image on the cover seen above is meant to represent the characters Hank the Ranger and Diana the Acrobat from the 1980s Dungeons & Dragons cartoon which, with just the one image, one could argue it was just a neat easter egg but not meant to be an intentional parallel. However, the Target product page has a second image…
I’m not sure who the cleric could be in the picture because, despite the different character class, the figure is wearing colors similar to Sheila the Thief but…yeah, that beyond a shadow of a doubt Eric the Cavalier right down to the facial expression. From the Target product description:
An ideal introduction to the world of Dungeons & Dragons, offering players and Dungeon Masters a turnkey onboarding experience.
This complete game experience contains everything you need to leap into adventure, including an adventure book with everything the Dungeon Master needs to get started; a rulebook for playing characters of levels 1–3; 5 ready-to-play characters, each with a character sheet; and 6 game dice.
Discover the secrets of Stormwreck Isle in this quest designed for brand new players and Dungeon Masters.
In further announcements, the Dragons of Stormwreck Isle will “play nice” with the revisions to Dungeons & Dragons scheduled for 2024 and will be part of a larger initiative to make bringing new players into the hobby easier. D&D Curriculum will launch this fall with the goal “to create the next generation of storytellers” along with a relaunch of the D&D After-School Club Kits meant to encourage student groups and clubs targeted at grades 4-6 and grades 7-12. The new starter set will release on July 31, 2022.
No, we’re still not done with new Dungeons & Dragons products as we have two different Campaign Cases coming this year. The line will launch with two produces, the Creature Case and the Terrain Case. The Creature Case features weighted plastic discs and reusable cling stickers to create monster tokens for use at the table. Disks will come in four colors to help distinguish different monsters and will be available in three sizes: 40 medium size 1” discs, 20 large size 2” discs, and 4 huge size 3” discs. The boxed set will also come with a storage case with magnetic closure and rope handle, a storage folder for the five sheets of monster art clings, and two removable storage trays. Meanwhile, the Terrain Case will feature a set of 30 double-sided interlocking 5”x5” tiles and a double-sided 22”x25.5” foldable map. One side of each will be colored a stony grey for dungeons and a grassy green for wilderness. You’ll also get a similar carrying case plus five sheets of clings with terrain features such as campsites, rubble, and tombs. No price was announced but the Campaign Cases will be available on July 19, 2022.
Steamforged Games issued an official apology for the problem-filled release of the Dark Souls RPG. The game using a heavily modified 5e system began accepting pre-orders in February and the first copies reached players in Europe this month. Unfortunately, the hardcover books received were reportedly riddled with typos, copy-paste errors, rules contradictions, misnamed classes, missing rules, character classes without the required attributes to use their starting weapons, and more errors. Steamforged issued an apology and stated they will replace copies once a corrected print run was completed:
We at Steamforged Games would like to issue a sincere apology regarding the errors that have come to light in the DARK SOULS™: The Roleplaying Game. We want to thank the community for all the feedback we have received through our customer support channels and online. We are listening to your comments and recognise the importance of the issues that have arisen.
We want to make it clear that we take this matter extremely seriously and therefore have decided the best course of action is to order reprints of the book, issuing replacement copies to those customers who have already bought or pre-ordered the Standard Edition and/or Collector’s Edition.
The same applies for the PDF version we previously announced. Every customer who buys a copy of the printed rulebook will get a free PDF copy, with a release date and details on how to get your copy coming soon.
We ask for a little patience as we gather more detailed information regarding these reprints, the timescales involved, and how best to ensure we resolve this for each affected customer. As soon as we have these details, we will release them. In the meantime, if you have any issues or questions, please contact us through our support hub.
Catalyst Game Labs released a new campaign book for Shadowrun 6th Edition, The Third Parallel available now for $19.99. The 168-page adventure takes place in the city of Denver and features a collection of 35 interconnected missions that take the team between the digital world of the Matrix and the magical world of the astral plane. From the product description:
Your eyes have to be everywhere. In front. In back. On the Matrix. On the astral. Threats come from every possible direction and dimension, and runners who don’t keep an eye on every possible danger end up falling to the one they neglected.
The threats are lined up in Denver, a city ruled by a dragon and home to one of the greatest outlaw tech archives in the world. Shadows are aligning and plots are fomenting, and shadowrunners have the chance to learn what’s happening in enough time to make some nuyen and save a few lives—including their own.
In other Shadowrun news, Paradox Interactive announced that the trilogy of Shadowrun video games developed by Harebrained schemes are coming to consoles. Shadowrun Returns (aka Dead Man’s Switch), Shadowrun Dragonfall, and Shadowrun Hong Kong will be available for the first time on consoles including the Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, and Nintendo Switch. Each game has a retail price of $19.99 individually or a bundle of all three for $39.99. Pre-orders on all platforms include a 25% off discount bringing the price down to $29.99 if purchased before the June 21, 2022, release date. This discount is available for all on the Xbox and Nintendo platforms but requires a subscription to Playstation Plus for the Playstation 4/5. All three games will be available for free for subscribers to Xbox Game Pass.
That’s all from me for this week! Don’t forget to support our Patreon to bring you more gaming news content. If you have any news to submit, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you can get more discussion of the week’s news on Morrus’ Unofficial Tabletop RPG Talk every week. You can follow me on Twitch to get notifications when I go live, subscribe to Gamer’s Tavern on YouTube for videos on gaming history, RPG reviews, and gaming Let’s Plays, or you can listen to the archives of the Gamer’s Tavern podcast. Until next time, may all your hits be crits! Note: Links to Amazon, Humble Store, Humble Bundle, and/or DriveThru may contain affiliate links with the proceeds going to the author of this column.