This is Audio EXP for the 23rd of October 2021, and the title of this episode is “12 Masks of Halloween”
[The following is a transcript of Audio EXP: #119]
Grim & Perilous Studios is in the spotlight this month, as voted for by Patreons.
Expect the feature with Adam Rose to be live before the end of the month.
Now, last week was a juggling act. I wasn’t here but got a version of the podcast out anyway with a look at the Genre Police RPG tip series in the second half.
I was out at a week-long festival called Scotland Loves Anime and is a chance to watch anime on the big screen. Sometimes British, European, or occasionally even outside of Japan or world premieres.
The festival has grown. The awards – one from the judges and the more prestigious one from the audience – are now media events in Japan. So much so that we have to wait a day or two before finding out who the winners are.
The Jury gave their award to Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko, which is a lovely slice of life, and I recommend it.
The Audience Award went to Sing a Bit of Harmony, which I also recommend and will use someone else’s clever summary of “Skynet meets Glee” to describe.
The anime that they both beat, surprisingly, is Belle. I think Belle has every chance of winning an Oscar.
Directed by Mamoru Hosoda, the guy behind The Boy and the Beast and Wolf Children, Belle is an optimistic view of the internet and VR. It’s a vision in which a cautionary tale of identity and responsibility is told. It’s a version of Beauty and the Beast, as so many of Hosoda’s works are. At times, it’s stunning, and at times it’s moving. Sometimes both at once.
Of course, the world keeps on turning, and this week has been busy with RPG and geeks news.
It’s not all good news, but some of it is. Paizo Publishing was, as Geek Native reported, brought to a standstill by freelancers who put tools down and refused to engage with the company. The demands? Well, the final request was to accept the newly formed Paizo union.
Paizo did so, they did so voluntarily, but I think it’s impossible to say that they did so without pressure.
As you’d expect, Paizo say they want to get back to publishing Pathfinder and Starfinder games. The new union also wants to re-write contracts. The two, though, can hopefully happen at the same time.
Even the bad news has some silver linings. Astral Tabletop a virtual tabletop that was so generous over the lockdowns is now on ice. Platform development has been halted, and the founder has moved on.
It was in partnership with DriveThruRPG. Listeners will know how I’ve pointed out how important the connection between virtual tabletops and marketplaces like DriveThruRPG is.
DriveThruRPG will be keeping a reduced Astral Tabletop going, and it’ll be cheaper but not free to access the top tiers. There are still free options.
SIXMOREVODKA’s Degenesis RPG is no more.
The game was beautiful, produced by a European studio that usually works in movies. It had its own system, which was pretty good and fitted the bleak world of a post-apocalyptic and infected, ruined mainland.
Even going free to play wasn’t enough to save it. Too expensive to make. Not enough money in the hobby.
Is the RPG bubble about to burst? I don’t think we’re in a bubble. The lockdowns have helped tabletop gaming in a way, but the industry has always been dreadful.
It’s a hobby industry and tends to ebb and flow, rearranging itself to fit.
An example of rearranging is Asmodee, who might be on sale for billions, moving their RPG titles to Edge Studio. Edge had previously committed to Star Wars, the RPG license that Fantasy Flight had and went missing during the rearranging. However, this week they finally got their English-language website live and confirmed more Star Wars RPG content was coming.
Star Wars isn’t 5e, although Edge is making a 5e version of their other main RPG, L5R.
Blades in the Dark and the Forged in the Dark games it empowers isn’t 5e either. One of my favourite games is thawing out, leaving the cooler and escaping to bring its own darkness with it with a Forged in the Dark version.
That game is Tribe 8. The new version is Tribes in the Dark.
Tribe 8 is my favourite RPG that I don’t own. I got to play a few times, and each time was a harrowing experience as supernatural refugees.
It’s also the 12 Masks of Halloween tradition here at Geek Native in which the countdown to the 31st is marked with costume masks. Each one you can buy, but, of course, not in time for this year’s Halloween.
Here’s what we’ve managed so far;
- Mask 1 – Warhammer Skaven, actually, a whole cosplay made by a prop-maker, but still has a mask.
- Mask 2 – Squid Game, how could I not include that for 2021?
- Mask 3 – Davy Jones from Pirates of the Caribean, made by a fan, but good enough for the movies.
- Mask 4 – Ani-motion werewolf and ani-motion means animated motion enhanced.
- Mask 5 – Neon Fox which brings us up to today. Stay tuned for what goes live tonight.
None of this is to say there’s not also been much blogging as usual on Geek Native.
There’s a generous preview of the forthcoming Amazing Encounters & Places for 5e. You can grab 46-pages of this supplement in the form of The Sky Isles adventure and check out some of the battle maps on display.
There’s also a list of recommended and terrifying D&D Halloween-themed one-shots from the writers at The Everhearth Inn. They’ve put Masque of the Worms as the top suggestion.
The winners of the 2021 One Page Dungeon Contest have also been announced, and you can buy all 70 in a low-cost bundle.
The top place went to “This Place is a Zoo”.
Speaking of bundles, and to wrap up, you can grab the full Noir series and weird west RPG content in a Deadlands Noir deal from the Bundle of Holding.
You can get started on Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay for just a buck at Humble Bundle. It’s also the first time anyone’s had the chance to buy a digital copy of Warhammer 1e.
Cheaper than cheap is free, and if you need some Halloween greetings cards, perhaps to send to folks on Discord or Telegram, then you can download a bunch from Geek Native and friends at Fun.com.
On that note, let’s wrap there. Keep safe, enjoy the anime, and we’ll see you next week.
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