This is Audio EXP for the 3rd of August 2019, and the title of this episode is Exploration (through fire forests).
Spoiler. There are no fire forests. That quirky title is just a reflection or a commentary that this little podcast is beginning to take some risks.
The goal is the same. This is still a summary of some of the stories from Geek Native from last week. The exploration and risk are just with style, and you can tell me if it works.
Chaosium will be happy. They’ve done very well at the 2019 ENnies. They were nominated seven times, and they won seven times. That’s five golds and two silver.
I need to take the time to go back over previous years but, from memory, Chaosium tends to do well in the ENnies. They win awards. Last week we even saw Call of Cthulhu as the second most popular game played on Roll20.
That’s only true if you discount all the homebrew games rather than stick them into an ‘uncategorised’ pile and if you put all the possible editions of Call of Cthulhu into one pile. It still feels like a good result for the great old ones, though.
I haven’t played Call of Cthulhu in years, but I still gobble up mythos products. I think that’s because I have regular games, which Call of Cthulhu doesn’t fit. Cthulhu fits one-off games better, and that’s what Roll20 suggested when they looked at the duration of games played.
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Then there are sales to think about. Call of Cthulhu did not make the top five most sold games from the US and Canada this spring. D&D came top, but then we had Starfinder and Star Wars in third place.
That’s right, according to ICv2, Paizo sold more Starfinder than they sold Pathfinder last quarter.
I don’t know about you, but I would hesitate to call Fantasy Flight Games’ Star Wars RPG ‘front of mind’. I guess, though, it’s a game that’s easier to sell given the large franchise it’s associated with. I imagine it’s a gift game too. People buy it for others.
I am wrong? There’s a comment section on the Audio EXP #3 post on Geek Native where you can sound off and let me know if you think I am.
D&D, of course, topped the best sellers list. Did you know a pair of Spider-man writers are talking to Hasbro and Paramount about directing a D&D movie?
Apparently, it’s been quite a struggle to attach anyone to the project. I can see why. There have been D&D movies before, and they’re not award-winners. What even makes a movie a D&D movie? A generic fantasy setting? The Forgotten Realms?
Perhaps the Baldur’s Gate III computer game will change this. It could make Baldur’s Gate well known enough to set a movie in or around it.
Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, the two writers in question, have directed before. In fact, they did a film called ‘Gamers’ in which a game night gets out of control. I’ve not watched it but Geek Native has a trailer for it embedded into the D&D movie article.
Hmm. I’m not convinced.
Gamers looks to be mostly ‘awkward situation humour’ – which I hate – with some action thrown in.
I really hope they don’t try and D&D that.
The search for a good game to movie adaption continues, and I think while D&D tops the ICv2 list, it’ll be a candidate.
It’s not guaranteed that D&D will always be the best selling RPG. A quick search on Geek Native found an article from 2013 that looks at the best selling RPGs of winter 2012. D&D is third.
It’s behind – wait for – Star Wars RPG from Fantasy Flight Games. Makes you wonder just how much cash FFG has made from that one RPG.
You can buy Pathfinder 2 from Paizo’s own store, from Fantasy Grounds and from Roll20. There’s even a discount or free game available if you can sync your Paizo and Roll20 accounts.
I think that’s pretty big news. Imagine getting D&D on discount because you have a virtual tabletop edition already and you can prove to Wizards of the Coast that it’s all legit and above board? I wonder what D&D Beyond would make of that.
That makes me think of DriveThruRPG’s involvement with Astral Tabletop. Astral is a Roll20 rival, a free to play with paid options available, browser-based virtual tabletop. DriveThruRPG gives them free ads, but I think it’s the brand recognition of their logo appearing all over the place that will be worth more. Imagine if DriveThruRPG and Astral linked their marketplaces, so you no longer needed to buy books twice.
While I’m talking about buying things… let’s look at some of the new releases we know about thanks to Gen Con.
Marvel are playing hard. There’s a new living card game called Marvel Champions coming.
Now, living card games are a Fantasy Flight invention. Essentially they’re collectable card games designed to keep you buying, but they don’t have the random “what’s in the pack” feature. This feels a little bit fairer as it means you can’t money-muscle your way into winning the game.
There’s also a Marvel game called Crisis Protocol that uses hard plastic miniatures and really awesome looking packs of scenery. It’s being made by Atomic Mass Games, that’s a new company that might well have been established just to make this game.
I think Crisis Protocol is going to do well. It’s Games Workshop meets superheroes, and they’ve made it as easy as they can for your games to look great.
There’s a Cyberpunk game coming, and it’s not from Mike Pondsmith, but it will be set in the game world he created. Isn’s that strange?
CD Projekt Red have gone to CMON for a partnership. The game will be called Cyberpunk 2077 – Afterlife.
If it is not a total disaster, then I think we’ll see a Witcher card game.
Green Ronin have announced a new game too. This game will use The Chronicle System, that’s the one Game of Thrones uses, and it is called The Fifth Season. It’s based on a science fantasy trilogy I had not heard about before. The world seems harsh, the people mean and The Fifth Season happens every few hundred years and sends the climate wild.
I sense this is Green Ronin producing a game where they get to make contemporary political observations from behind the safety of a fantasy science game. I have no problem with that.
Also in the “new to me” file is The Adventure Zone RPG. The Adventure Zone sounds like a wacky and fun D&D podcast although I don’t think they always use D&D. Now, The Adventure Zone itself is becoming a RPG. A company called Twogether Studio will make it. I suspect it’s one to watch.
I hadn’t heard of either The Adventure Zone or Twogether Studio before. On Geek Native there’s a project to try and boost the publicity of indie RPG studios. It’s called the Spotlight, and the poll for September’s voting is now open for Patreons.
I make the shortlist of indie studios to consider, though I’ll take recommendations, and then Patreon supporters get to vote on which publisher to go with from that shortlist. I think that’s a fair way of doing things. The plan is to accompany the spotlight with DriveThruRPG coupons and vouchers so people can both discover and buy new games.
The money for the coupons is what the Patreon pledges pay for. Hopefully, that’s becomes a self-supporting ecosystem.
Join (or start) the healthy debate. Share your observations below.