This is Audio EXP for the 14th of August 2021, and the title of this episode is “The Move”
[The following is a transcript of Audio EXP: #109]
In RPG Publisher Spotlight this month we have Trash Mob Minis. If you’re looking for bold and memorable paper minis, Trash Mob are worth checking out.
That’s not an ad. Trash Mob are in the Spotlight as Geek Native’s Patrons voted Jesse in there. Mentioning them at the start of the podcast is a test, but it’s working for me. Let me know if you feel otherwise.
This will be a shorter than usual podcast, and the clue is in the name.
Audio EXP is already an unusual podcast in that episodes are 10 to 15 minutes long. It’s a highlights show and a chance for me to lean into the editorial.
After this episode, I’ll be unplugging the computer. I’m moving homes. I’m not going far geographically, but it’ll be a big life change for me and something I’m doing on my own.
I hope my downtime is measured in days. Getting my desk and computer back up and online is a priority, but a bed is higher. It’s all a logistical challenge, and that seems to be the theme of the week from the tabletop and geeky hobby news.
I usually begin the “RPG news from around the web” section with an image in Routinely Itemised. This week I included a quote from Phil Reed at Steve Jackson Games. He calls global shipping a nightmare.
These freight costs are tearing into already-thin margins for many publishers, and some publishers are being forced to make decisions between shipping now and losing money, or holding inventory at the factory – and losing money. If there is such a thing as win-win options in game publishing (or for any small businesses who rely on global trade), we’re now as far from those options as we can get.”
We’ve talked about logistics for games makers in earlier Audio EXP episodes, although it’s a subject I barely have a surface understanding on. All I can do is replay the occasionally shared struggles and seem to be incredibly challenging.
I also talked to the award-winning designer Andrew Gaska and Magnetic Press Play’s Mike Kennedy. I promised you I’d push on the MVD6, anime and Cthulhu news that’s brewing there, I did, but they didn’t spill any beans.
We did talk about Carbon Grey, the company’s first RPG.
I asked about where the market was going and, well, I’ll read you a snippet of the reply;
With it now being twice as expensive and taking twice as long to deliver goods to consumers, direct-to-customer sales (such as crowdfunding, direct webstore offerings, etc) have helped to streamline some of the overhead that might otherwise require publishers to raise their prices.
I also think about Cubicle 7’s news when I think logistics. They’ve already had a busy month but, with logistics, their Soulbound game comes to mind.
I think the RPG had been barely out of the warehouse when Games Workshop announced a new edition of the wargame it’s based on. A new wargame means Games Workshop advances the plot, sells new books and models as a result.
At the time, I asked Cubicle 7 about how that impact the RPG. As you might predict, they had no comment.
Now, Cubicle 7 have revealed that the Era of the Beast sourcebook will bring the RPG up to the current wargame era.
It’s a good plan. It’ll be about 18 months behind the wargame, perhaps longer, but I don’t imagine they had any advance notice at all.
I also wonder what future Soulbound supplements will have; rules and world information for both the eras supported by the RPG? That might be cool, but if you’re not playing in the Era of the Beast, does that mean there’s a bunch in every book that you can’t use?
Another example of how challenging logistics can be comes from the world of trade shows and conventions. Wizard World was struggling to make cash before the pandemic before travel and shipping became frightfully expensive.
Fan Expo HQ has now bought six events from them. It’s a move that whittles Wizard World away considerably and makes Fan Expo HQ the largest geek convention company in the world. Well, that’s what they say.
Wizard World’s Chicago, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Portland, St. Louis, and Cleveland have been sold. However, the immediate Chicago event will be run by Wizard World as normal this year.
If you do attend these conventions, you’ll almost certainly meet geeky TV show alumni if you want to. I’ve met some Buffy and Angel stars that way. Okay, “met” is probably the wrong word, but you know what I mean.
The next story is a Buffy one. There’s a new young adult fiction series on the way, and it’s coming from Disney Hyperion. I think it’s the first time the House of Mouse has dug into the IP catalogue it bought when it secured Fox.
The story In Every Generation follows Willow’s daughter. Frankie Rosenberg isn’t just a witch, but she’s a slayer too.
At trade shows, you’ll also get a chance to buy merch from upcoming and recently released movies. In that vein, the Dune Sandworm bookmarks previewed by Dark Horse this week simply amazed me.
But, it seems, only me. I was expecting a wave of stunned reactions to the reveal on social media. But, well, no. Nothing that I saw.
Perhaps I’m the only one tempted to pay $150 to have a hand-sculpted worm with teeth burst out from my books. If it wasn’t for the poverty that comes with an impromptu flat move, I’d be tempted!
At trade shows and conventions, you also get awards. Last week we went over the UK Games Expo awards. This week there’s three sets of awards news.
First up, the Tabletop Gaming Awards have been announced by the Tabletop Gaming Magazine. They had to cancel their live events. I think their awards are a good idea because they’re big enough to make it matter.
They also have some quirky categories like “The Best Way to Die in an RPG Award” and the “I’m Suprised That I’m Still Playing and Thinking About This Game in 2021 Award”.
The Indie Groundbreaker Award nominees for 2021 are also out. You might not recognise all the nominees, which is good, because that’s what the Groundbreaker awards are kinda bout.
I see “Honey & Hot Wax” by Pelgrane Press is up for Game of the Year. I didn’t give it a stellar review, but it’s a collection of sex party games, and I’m just not hip enough to go to, let alone arrange, those sort of parties and said so. I don’t see any problem, or conflict, with my tepid review and their nomination.
I wish them and all the other candidates the best of luck.
The 2021 ENnie nominees are also out. At the same time, the Judges’ Awards are out so we can actually talk about 2021 ENnie award winners.
- Anyone Can Wear the Mask by Jeff Stormer.
- Righteous Blood, Ruthless Blades: Wuxia Roleplaying by Osprey Games and authors Brendan Davis and Jeremy Bai.
- Abracadabra. A Guide to Becoming a Magical Games Master by The Grinning Frog and author Stephen Hart.
- Altered Carbon RPG by Renegade Game Studios and authors Christopher De La Rosa and Ivan Van Norman.
- SLA Industries 2e by Nightfall Games and author Dave Allsop.
Once again, congratulations to everyone who made it that far. Also, congratulations to Parable Games. In this case, not for any award win, but for the horror RPG Shiver.
I’ve played that a few times, but not face-to-face, which I want to do and put up my review this week.
It has a clock system that inevitably counts towards more bad stuff happening, which reminds me of an RPG version of Betrayal at House on the Hill. This is a good thing.
There are several great freebies and bundle deals to be aware of this week. So let’s dig into those.
First up, and back to Cubicle 7, Doctor Who and the Einstein Engine is free to download.
That’s an adventure for the Doctor Who 2nd edition RPG, which came out this month, but it’s compatible with the 1st edition.
On Friday 13th, Pelgrane Press released a free to download quickstart for 13th Age.
13th Age is an open d20-fantasy designed by the former lead designers of D&D 3 and D&D 4.
We’re not done with Doctor Who yet, though, because starting the bundle section, we’ve got two Bundle of Holding deals of Doctor Who 1e content. That’ll all be compatible with 2e.
It’s a good week to give the Doctor Who RPG a test.
Also in the Bundle of Holding, there are two Delta Green offers. Delta Green is a sinister and dark conspiracy theory of an RPG that loops into Cthulhu Mythos.
Er, I suppose you could say Delta Green is a sombre and mature alternative to Doctor Who.
At Humble Bundle, there’s a collection of so-called big brain games which include 5D Chess and Battletech.
There’s also one from Modiphius with Mutant Chronicles. That’s one of their games that crosses from the RPG space into minis and back again. It’s the game that partners with the more famous Mutant Chronicles franchise.
Lastly, before you go, there’s a chance to win The Hand of the Sun King for UK readers with a competition on the site. That’s a story that might appeal to fans of Brandon Sanderson or Robin Hobb.
On that note, let’s wrap there. Keep safe, I’ll try and survive my move, and we’ll see you next week.
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