This is Audio EXP for the 30th of July 2022, and the title of this episode is “WotC’s latest gaming studio and the one dice fantasy RPG”.
[The following is a transcript of Audio EXP: #159]
Long Shadows Press is in the spotlight this month, as voted for by Patreons.
The Long Shadows Press piece is up, and while I didn’t get to Aaron Kavli, I did have some fun snooping around.
First, I’d speculate that A.R. Kavli considers himself an author first and game designer second, although his author bio references games.
I draw that conclusion from my own bias. There is no Long Shadows site, but there is an author portfolio site which lists Aaron’s fiction, not his games.
But it’s his games we’re interested in for the RPG Publisher Spotlight.
Secondly, Long Shadows Press has been busy and seems able to cope with multiple systems and different settings.
Given that A.R. Kavli is also a flight technician or was and fences in a historical style, he’s one of those sickeningly talented people.
Are Long Shadows Press’ settings any good? Well, I didn’t find the cash to pay for the big titles just to take a look so if you know, let me know.
It’s nearly the end of the month. If you’re a mega awesome super double plus Patron backer, you have got a day left to vote for the August poll. The candidates are;
In industry news, it’s nearly GenCon, nearly ZineQuest and I think it will be incredibly busy.
Timing-wise, yikes, I also have a crunch on the day job, the other blog – oh yes, I have another one – and the Edinburgh Festivals. Then there’s Tabletop Scotland coming up.
Perhaps I should channel some Traveller.
Back on July 22nd, this grandfather of sci-fi RPGs turned 45. That’s an impressive run, and you see why I’d want to channel the game for its stamina.
I’m pretty sure there are whole actual play troupes with a combined age of less than 45.
There’s also energy in change. I note this week that Pinnacle and Sigil did something. I appreciate I could just email and ask for clarity, and I’ve been too lazy to, so let’s just say the two have joined forces.
Sigil is perhaps best known for 5e stuff; now they’ll be making Savage Worlds stuff while a spin-off Sigil Services continues their VTT conversions for other publishers.
A freshly released RPG that’s heading to a sorta-VTT is Hunter: The Reckoning 5th edition. That RPG is covered by the World of Darkness Nexus; it might even get its own Hunter: The Reckoning Nexus after Vampire did, but Demiplane, who power these tools, don’t yet have a full VTT.
It’ll be interesting to see what Renegade and Paradox do. It’ll also be interesting to see if there are further reactions to the mixed reviews. I noticed the media reviews liked the book, and there was high praise. However, at DriveThruRPG, there was more negativity. Firstly, consumer reviews tend to lean towards the negative as happy customers speak up less often. Secondly, much of the grumbling was over the price. I kind of get it, but the same amount of time goes into making an RPG available on paper as on PDF. How much more expensive should the book be?
Another new book out this week is 9th Level Games Mazes. That plays with a very slick modern system but with a retro vibe. You only ever roll one dice, and that dice matches your character class.
Ten Years of Adventure is a book that’s not yet out, but you’ll still have to be quick to secure a copy. This is a limited edition hardback from Monte Cook Games to celebrate their 10th anniversary. I don’t imagine they’ll keep the pre-order open for much longer.
It’s a compilation of adventures for different games.
In other tabletop gaming news, the President of GAMA stepped down after just a few months. There’s no suggestion of dodginess; it’s just that Kylie Primus had time pressure, and since I’ve already shared my own time pressure, I get it.
Grace Collins from Snowbright will temporarily replace him, and then there will be elections.
The Game Manufacturers Association, GAMA is a trade body and the group behind the Origins Game Fair. Its mission is to promote the tabletop gaming hobby.
Outside the tabletop, but not too far away, there’s the new Skeleton Key. There’s already an RPG publisher called Skeleton Key Games, which is the cartographer Ed Bourelle’s publishing studio, but it’s not them. This Skeleton Key games will make computer games, perhaps horror, and it’s been set up by Wizards of the Coast.
Wizards of the Coast is, after all, Hasbro’s new computer game arm. They now have six different computer game studios, so they might have at least six projects in the pipeline.
I wonder if Wizards talked to Ed about the competing Skeleton Keys, whether they care, or whether it matters.
Safely filled under “It doesn’t matter but is still interesting” is the shocking discovery that the average pint of ale in Diablo III would cost about $1,388. Catching public transport in Pokemon costs about $10,000 per trip.
The research is for a marketing stunt from the UK retailer Currys. They imagined living in computer RPGs and found that Skyrim was the best of the batch.
Pokemon was even outranked by The Witcher.
Speaking of marketing stunts, you can now buy Geek Native merch as bucket hats. You can have ‘My dice hate me’ and other witty quips on your forehead or various demons and mascots.
In due time, RPG publishers with their own Redbubble sites will offer the same, and you can find out who they are from the list on the blog. You’ll find the link to them via the show notes and transcript.
We’ll finish touting wares as we do the bundle round-up.
Meanwhile, at Humble, there are another 30 years of Image Comics celebration with hundreds of dollars worth of titles from the 2000s. It costs only around twenty or so squid.
On that note, may your time pressure be mild and occasional, and see you next week.
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