This is Audio EXP for the 2nd of July 2022, and the title of this episode is “Do charities get RPG charity bundle money?”.
[The following is a transcript of Audio EXP: #155]
Long Shadows Press is in the spotlight this month, as voted for by Patreons.
We’re halfway through the year, but it’s only the second day of the month, and Long Shadows Press don’t yet know they’re in the spotlight. All being well, I’ll reach out to them and let them know.
Here in Edinburgh, we’re speeding towards August. What happens in August? The city becomes a festival city, not just with the International Festival, Movie Festival, Science Festival and Book Festival but with the Fringe Festival.
Simply put, the city goes epic level weird. And busy. One year, I couldn’t get into my local store because a clown was stuck in the doorway. That’s the sort of thing that happens during the festival.
There’s two ways of surviving Edinburgh the festival city as a local. You either hide and hate, or embrace it and go deep. I’m going to do the latter, I’ve a week off, but it’s my first Festival since my new life as a bachelor and we’ll have to see what happens, and what I can afford.
Speaking of affording things, I wanted to share a thought I had and do so without casting aspirations or concerns.
What happens to the money you spend on charity RPG bundles. I’m sure it goes to charities, but how much and when?
I’d love to know the impact I’ve made. Have I dug a well and bought a face mask or test tube?
It’s the case that most bundle pages are removed when the bundle expires, so the organiser can’t easily post even a screen grab of their charity donation slip. Those that could, through product pages, don’t. One exception springs to mind; Goodman Games have been great about being transparent with their Food Bank donations.
Is this something that the bundle retailers could help with? Could we even get tracks or scores for publishers who routinely raise money for charity and satisfy some basic checks that the money goes promptly to where it was needed?
I’m sure I’d use a system like that to influence my decisions and persuade me to buy.
What do you think? Is it too much to ask Itch or DriveThruRPG to help show evidence of charity work?
Speaking of charity work, Make-A-Wish UK announced Wish 200 Week. You’ll find the details on the blog but it’s essentially a call to run a charity stream of your gaming session.
The notes to editors in that press release contained essential tips about writing up the story, which included, but wasn’t limited to, the words one might use to describe just how ill the kids are because not all the kids fully understand how ill they are.
Isn’t that a sombre thought?
Less sombre, and a story of less important survival follows that of last week’s news that Prezzybox has been bought by the newly forged Gift Universe. The expected, and predicted warehouse sale is now on at Prezzybox. I’ve listed some goodies I think you might like, including a spellbook notepad and a gaming console wireless charger. I think the Prezzybox brand will survive for now.
Zine Quest will also survive, but it’s moving back to February. Geek Native didn’t cover this story until the Friday wrap-up, linking off to Charlie Hall at Polygon, but the move should be a good thing. February is a better point in the year for indie publishers to get their Zine Quest cash and projects underway.
Kickstarter promises it won’t move again.
Another offsite story worth talking about here, just briefly, is Hollywood Reporter’s news that the RPG Alice is Missing is getting a movie treatment by Paramount.
That’s great news, but long-term RPG fans know we get these headlines often, and the movie or TV series rarely. Nevertheless, games are cool now, so let’s see what the studios do.
The final bit of offsite news worth mentioning comes from Dicebreaker, who were clearly watching and waiting. They’ve noticed Jamison Stone is back on Apotheosis Studio’s website.
That didn’t take long. A few heartbeats ago, Stone was removed after credible first-hand accounts of abuse and manipulation were shared online.
An alternative story, a flip-side to the industry, comes from DriveThruRPG and DMsGuild boss Steve Wieck stepping in to reassure, insist and clarify that the Code of Conduct for publishers on those sites was not new.
They had been updated to say that if you doxx or are similarly evil to staff there, the company won’t want to work with you. I don’t see how this was controversial, but apparently, it was, so Wieck stepped in to clarify and stick to his guns.
Good on him.
In the same sort of space, Wizards of Justice a group of Wizards of the Coast employees tactfully called for a day of reflection on the disappointment that Hasbro hadn’t done more to defend human rights.
They didn’t call for a strike, just for reflection, but reading between the wide lines; that’s what they wanted.
Amazingly, the human rights in question are that of women in some states in the United States.
So, that’s just been a few stories of separation and discontent; let’s get positive and to a topic that Audio EXP listeners won’t be surprised by.
Roll20 and the DMsGuild signed a marketplace. It means you can buy once and get the content in Roll20 module format and downloadable too.
In perfect timing, Demiplane announced their digital toolkit Vampire the Masquerade Nexus was ready for early access. That’s not an entire virtual tabletop, but we’re getting there.
It’s also not the World of Darkness Nexus we were expecting, so I imagine Mage and Hunter might follow soonish, and Werewolf will be waiting to ambush us later.
In new-news there’s When the Wolf Comes. That’s not a Werewolf 5e or even a Werewolf W5 story. It’s actually the surprising news that Outland Entertainment which already uses their own system, is dabbling with 5e and will use the Shadow of the Demon Lord system for Ian Sharpe’s Vikingverse books. When the Wolf Comes is the RPG of that matchup.
Another surprising new RPG is Hollows from Rowan, Rook and Decard.
It’s surprising not because it’s been three years in the making, and we’re just hearing about it now, but because it’s not set in their usual universe with Spire and Heart and because it’s a combat-focused hex horror crawler.
One more bit of new game news for you, not a tabletop RPG, but a card-meets-board game from Days of Wonder. It’s Heat: Pedal to the Metal and all about car racing in the 60s where you have to balance speed with not overheating. It looks pretty cool, but I worry about the ethics of anything F1-related. Heat, at least, is F1 inspired.
So, that brings us to bundle news, and we have to start with Steve Jackson Games. They have three at the Bundle of Holding. One is GURPS Essentials with the core rules to that generic system, one is GURPS Fantasy and the last GURPS Space.
In Humble, also raising ethical concerns, there’s Frog God Games with Treasures and Tehuatl, a 5e bundle which includes a physical book.
There’s also a bundle-games-jam combo with RPG Maker Resurgence which is hundreds of bucks worth of computer software to make computer games.
The second last bit of news, and the last bundle, is Rolling for Seduction which, yes, is sexy 5e rules to raise money for Reproductive Rights in the States. Make of that what you will.
The last bit of news and perhaps one to file under “enough is enough” is the discovery there’s an official D&D breakfast set. That’s a large mug and a bowl. I didn’t even know breakfast sets were a thing.
And on that note, let’s wrap up there, enjoy your breakfast, and see you next week.
Got something to say about this article? Let us know in the comments below.