Sunday, May 4, 2014

Tabletop News Round-up April 27 - May 2

I was catching up on some of my favorite companies last night when I noticed that some of the news was completely missed in other sources. So I gathered it all up and threw it together. I've got round ups for Dungeons and Dragons, Paizo, Goodman Games, Privateer Press, Green Ronin, Pinnacle Entertainment, AEG, and Palladium!

Dungeons and Dragons

In this week's Legends and Lore column, The Art of War, Mike Mearls discusses the new Battlesystem for Dungeons and Dragons. It's essentially a substitution of numbers game where one figure represents ten, or twenty, or however many you need. I think that if Wizards of the Coast is going to encourage the Battlesystem in a meaningful way, though, that they're going to need more than just the Attack Wing game from WizKids.

This week also saw WizKids release a lot of information about the actual products that will come in the Dungeons and Dragons Attack Wing game that releases in October 2014. You can read everything I've found out, along with seeing actual products, by reading WizKids Dungeons and Dragons Attack Wing News, with Pictures.

Jason Thompson, who draws the Mockman webcomic, has released two new walk-through maps for G1: Steading of the Hillgiant Chief. These walk-through maps continue to be one of the better things that Wizards of the Coast have put out on their website in recent years and I hope they keep Jason working through their archives as I've really enjoyed everything he's done on their website over the last two years.

The newest encounters season, Dreams of the Red Wizards: Dead in Thay, has been released as a PDF only product on the Dungeons and Dragons Classics storefront for $17.99. Dead in Thay was written by Scott Fitzgerald Gray, who's previous works include the two re-imaginings of the Tomb of Horrors that were released with Fourth Edition, and is an homage to the great killer dungeons of old. The program will launch May 10-11, 2014 and will focus on the ever increasing threat of Szass Tam, the lich lord of Thay, and the destruction of the "Bloodgate."  

Wizards of the Coast has a job opening for a position titled Senior Art Director Dungeons and Dragons Worldbuilding. ". . . The Senior Art Director Dungeons & Dragons Worldbuilding is responsible for forging an innovative, contemporary look for new and classic D&D characters, monsters, and places . . ." (job listing). Since the position was posted there have been several rumors going around that Wizards of the Coast has begun to gear up for the relaunch of their 'key' settings (read 97% is Still Failing 3% of the Time for more on this topic).

This week Ed Greenwood continues to flesh out the Forgotten Realms in his Forging the Realms column. This week's The Cleft Coin focuses on one of the powers behind the scenes in the Realms, House Melander. For Realms fans this column continues to be a major draw to the Wizards' Dungeons and Dragons website; for me, however, it continues to illustrate why I play in Greyhawk instead of the Realms. 

In other Ed Greenwood news this week saw the free preview of his latest book, The Herald. This book is significant on several fronts as it marks the end of the Sundering Novel series and it is the penultimate product on the Wizards of the Coast's product catalog for this year. Only R. A. Salvatore's Rise of the King novel is left. This brings up the question, how much longer can Wizards of the Coast go without announcing the publication dates for the new edition?

Wizards of the Coast has released the cover of the Sentinel as their latest addition to their free wallpaper archives. This makes the second wallpaper release this year and the 42 wallpaper they've released since 2008.

The final news coming out of Wizards this week was that this week's episode of the  Scourge of the Sword Coast on Twitch would be the last for the series. I rooted for a total party kill, how about you?

Goodman Games

The Metamorphosis Alpha Kickstarter fully funded and was able to hit all 14 of the project's stretch goals, raising a total of $83,264. This kickstater has been run by one of the best companies in gaming so I fully expect this project to not only be completed, but to be exceptionally well done.

Privateer Press

This year's exclusive Lock & Load Gamefest 2014 shirt design has been released and it's a beast of a shirt. The shirt is not available for shipping and can only be picked up at the Lock and Load event when you register. So if you're looking to be in Bellevue, WA between June 6 and June 8, 2014 this is a shirt you should definitely consider picking up. 

The Privateer Insider discusses the creation of the Feral Warpwolf pin and has some work-in-progress pictures. Not a bad read for those of you interested in pin collecting.

Green Ronin

This week Green Ronin discussed their use of crowd sourcing to help retool their Wealth Holding rules for the upcoming supplement Out of Strife, Prosperity which is for its Chronicle System (the game system that is used for the popular A Song of Fire and Ice Roleplaying Game). The company opened up their playtesting of the materials from their small group of dedicated fans to the entirety of their Chronicle System community to great success. If you've interest in helping them in future projects then you should join their community today.

On Wednesday the company released two PDFs: Atlas of Earth Prime: Canada for the Mutant and Masterminds game ($1.99), and Out of Strife, Prosperity ($4.99) for the Chronicle System.

On Friday Green Ronin released a PDF preview of Gadget Guides for Mutant and Masterminds.

Pinnacle Entertainment

The Third War short story ($2.99) has been released and concludes the second season of the Wendigo Tales. These stories take place in the Necessary Evil setting for the Savage Worlds System. In this setting an alien invasion decimated the world's super heroes and has left its fate in the hands of the villains.

X-Box Wire announced that it is currently developing a series based on the Deadlands setting published by Pinnacle. As of yet no information has been released on who will be involved with the project

Pinnacle Entertainment has become a Premier Event Group at GenCon this year. This provides Pinnacle with better placement and more space in the on-site booklets at the convention. 

The Emerald Spire Superdungeon is now available for pre-order. It's designed to take your characters from level 1 - 13. Lots of encouraging names attached to this project including Wolfgang Baur, Frank Mentzer, Erik Mona, and Sean K. Reynolds. Here's the pitch: "Discover the ancient secrets of the Emerald Spire, a gigantic dungeon brimming with incredible danger and phenomenal mysteries! With 16 levels designed by a who’s-who of gaming legends—including best-selling author Ed Greenwood, gaming icon Frank Mentzer, and Paizo’s most prominent veterans—the Emerald Spire takes players on a deadly delve into the depths of this mysterious dungeon, its ancient levels each impaled by a mysterious green crystal. Starting at 1st level, novice adventures will rise from facing goblins and deadly traps to high-level battles with the clockwork soldiers of a lost empire and even a forgotten master of creation. Designed to be a complete dungeon-delving campaign, Pathfinder Module: The Emerald Spire Superdungeon features seven new monsters, a detailed description of the nearby settlement of Fort Inevitable, and the history of the Spire and the surrounding territory, which features prominently in the new Pathfinder Online massively multiplayer online game . . ." (Pathfinder Module: The Emerald Spire Superdungeon). 

Alderac Entertainment Group

This week marked the finale of Robert Denton's Sins of the Father series, Sins of the Father: Shadows of Our Past. It's a good read and I wish that I had been with it from the beginning.

We've just finished week two of the Coming of the Storm Draft Kit Contest. To enter you'll have to head over to your favorite Friendly Local Game Store and see if they'd be interested in you hosting an event. Then you submit and wait for the drawing on May 27, 2014.

Brian Reese, Lead designer for the Legend of the Five Rings Collectable Card Game, discusses the way that AEG has refocused the Legend of the Five Rings card game back around its roots. Really an interesting read and I particularly enjoyed his explanations of the clans and how certain aspects of each of them affect the game.

The storyline for this year's organized play of the Legend of the Five Rings collectable card game has been announced and will begin at Origins 2014. ". . . The two sons of the Divine Empress are within the Colonies, and those who follow each man have become increasingly belligerent with followers of the other. Despite that the heirs have indicated no wish to see bloodshed among those loyal to them, the mood within the Colonies is increasingly hostile, and many believe that bloodshed is in fact inevitable. In the summer months, when the temperature soars and tempers run short, the first taste of blood will be had . . ." (2014 Origins: The First Taste of Blood).

Palladium Books 

After numerous delays in the production of Rifts World Book 34: Northern Gun Two is finally being released. According to Kevin Siembiedia, publisher of Palladium Books, the softcover version of Northern Gun Two will be available to the public between May 20 and May 23, 2014. The book is to be both "sewn" and perfect bound to ensure that the 256 page volume is of a quality level that fans of Palladium Books have come to expect. The hardcover version of the book, available to Megaverse Insiders, will be shipped between June 9 and June 12, 2014. The softcover volume will be priced at $26.95; however, you should be aware that the company has used a smaller font size to pack more content per page then would normally appear. You can directly pre-order the softcover book from Palladium Books here

The house magazine, Rifter, will be publishing its 66th issue this month and is scheduled for release on May 21, 2014. Included in this volume is the Heroes Unlimited adventure Bite of the Snake-Men by Glen Evans; a Splicers Bestiary by Edward Sauerland; source material for the Rifts Black Market; Space Pirates for Phase World and the Three Galaxies; and a short story by Brett Caron. You can directly pre-order the magazine from Palladium Books here.    

Five months after its estimated delivery date of December 3, 2013 the highly successful Robotech RPG Tactics Kickstarter project continues to face delays in its release. Currently the problems appear to center around an issue the with sprue layout on the manufacturing front and a delay in receiving the product back from the manufacturer. There appears to be tension developing with the backers of this project as there is a feeling that Palladium Books has neglected their Kickstarter obligations as they continue to publish their regular content.
". . . I would like to try to clear up what seems like a misunderstanding by some people. Robotech® RPG Tactics™ has not been delayed because Palladium Books is continuing to produce role-playing products or putting our efforts elsewhere. In fact, it is the other way around; many of the RPG products we had planned for 2013 release were delayed until this year and they are only now just starting to be released in 2014. That’s because we have been devoting so much time to Robotech® RPG Tactics™. The Robotech® Kickstarter has been our top priority since day one.

"The manufacturer is NOT waiting on Palladium, we are waiting on them. When we get prototypes for approval we jump on reviewing them, making any necessary adjustments and contacting Ninja Division to pass them on to the manufacturer. We are every bit as dismayed and frustrated as you when it comes to why there have been so many delays and why EVERYTHING seems to be taking so long. It has been driving us absolutely bonkers, so we understand exactly how you feel. It was Palladium Books’ honest and sincere expectation that Robotech® RPG Tactics™ would be released last November or December, and then in the Spring. We've been waiting weeks now – since the GAMA Trade Show – to get the prototypes and final sprue layout for the iconic and pivotal Valkyries. Apparently, there were delays and problems getting the molds broken down into sprues and done right. We've only been getting final sprue layouts in recent weeks . . ." (Regult and Glaug Command Pack Sprues, and a Message from the Publisher)

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