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What's Happening Around RPG Geek? Virtuacon prep, mixtapes, milestones and contests

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There's so much news happening out there in the wider world that we can sometimes overlook what's happening in our own backyard. So here's a roundup of what's on at this very site...


The Virtuacon play by VoIP convention draws ever nearer, with just five weeks to go. Though there's already a great level of participation, more players are always wanted. There are still free seats available for games like Pathfinder, Star Wars (WEG 2nd Edition), Dungeons & Dragons (4th Edition), and Lady Blackbird. If you haven't played online before, there's technical support available for first time VoIPers. Thrilling prizes for participants are also on offer.

The 1000th Question of the Day was posted (sort of) recently -- congratulations Slipperboy on this great initiative! QoTD really helped build the community here when there were fewer people on the forums, and probably inspired many people to de-lurk. You can nostalgically look back on past questions via The big QOTD Summary and Subscription Thread. Which question was your favourite?

The Halloween mixtape exchange is now open for registration. It's got nothing to do with roleplaying, but it's a great opportunity to foist your taste in music upon an unsuspecting target. The first mixtape exchange was a hit, and this one is sure to be a lot of fun too. Registration ends September 25, so sign up now to give and receive a mad spooky tape!

Since their implementation in the database, articles have been a huge success. Thousands of magazine issues already have their contents listed and interlinked. RPGGeek is currently drawing close to the milestone of 66,666 articles. Fittingly, Old & Chaotic Evil Bob has increased the regular geekgold reward for article submission until we reach that impressive number. Join forces with other geeks and push us beyond that number!

Shortlisting for the Geek Lifetime Achievement in Role-Playing (GLARP) is on now. The GLARP is RPG Geek's hall of fame, and honours games that have had an impact on the hobby. Previous inductees include Dungeons & Dragons, Paranoia, and Call of Cthulhu. Cast your vote now to get your favourite venerable game onto the award shortlist! Shortlist voting closes on the 20th September, with final GLARP voting happening in January right now.

Voting for the Tavern's Tales 2013 RPG short story contest is now open. The tales in this contest are all based on RPGs chosen by the authors. You can read the short stories on the competition geeklist, and voting closes September 22nd.

Speaking of contests, there's still time to get your entry in for the Design your adventure: Doomtown (contest). It's an adventure design contest set in a wild west town, with a model of the town provided for reference. Fabulous geekgold prizes are for grabs, along with the usual glory. The contest closes on September 29th.



Thanks to RPGG Newscaster Jonas (jasri) for contributions to this article!

Have a news tip for us? Please send it along to rpgg-news@googlegroups.com!
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Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:42 am
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LotFP Magic Item Contest

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Lamentations of the Flame Princess are holding a magic item design contest over the next three weeks. The winner will receive a print copy of the Lamentations of the Flame Princess (Deluxe Edition) boxed set plus dice, pencil, and grid paper. The deluxe edition also includes Tower of the Stargazer and Weird New World. No Mountain Dew though.

The entries will be compiled and released as a free PDF magic item compendium. So if you've always wanted to contribute to a LotFP product, now's your chance. If magic item design is not your thing but you still want to get involved, volunteer artists and proofreaders are sought for the compendium.

The contest deadline is July 21st.
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Tue Jul 2, 2013 5:15 am
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Lamentations of the Flame Princess weekend sale, products going OOP

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The LotFP store is having a 25% off sale this weekend. The sale includes the final few print copies of The Magnificent Joop van Ooms and also the LofFP Grindhouse Edition, which is due to be replaced by a new two-hardback edition. If you do pick up one of the last Grindhouse versions, PDFs of the new edition will be sent to you when it comes out.

The LotFP t-shirt (featuring our sensibly-clad heroine and a freaky monster) is also down to the last garments, including some in women's sizes.

Use the sale code SVERIGE at the checkout to get your discount... presumably because Raggi is off to Sweden for the weekend. The sale ends Sunday 11:59pm Finnish time (UTC+3).
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Sat May 18, 2013 1:11 am
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Crowdfunding News

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A quick look at what's happening on Kickstarter. All of these projects are open and accepting new backers.

The Golden Sky Stories Kickstarter finally launched, and was funded in six hours. It's a family-friendly game of henge (Japanese animal spirit) roleplaying. The English translation is being handled by the translator of Maid: The Role-Playing Game.

Fred Hicks's Fate Dice kickstarter was funded even faster, in a mere two hours. The new dice moulds look great. Regular RPGG forum readers will recall the mild controversy associated with the project's original announcement.

Bingo Baby is a graphic novel written using a Fiasco playset to generate characters and plot elements. The Kickstarter rewards include the Fiasco rulebook at the $30+ level. Jason Lutes (of Jar of Fools fame) is a contributor to the comic, along with his students.

Island of Ignorance is an adventure compilation / sourcebook for 1920s Call of Cthulhu (2nd - 6th Edition). One of the stretch goals could potentially see RPGG's Chad Bowser contributing an adventure.

Domains at War is a bolt-on mass combat system for fantasy RPGs, along the lines of Battlesystem Fantasy Combat Supplement. The Domains at War project is notable for having the most realistic risks and challenges section I've yet seen on Kickstarter.

In other RPG mass combat news, Palladium have launched a Kickstarter for the Robotech RPG Tactics minis game. There doesn't seem to be any connection to the RPG that I can see -- perhaps the it appears on the box in order to satisfy the conditions of their licence. Astute backers have noted that the figures are being produced in a scale compatible with BattleTech / MechWarrior.

For those of you looking for something a little different, why not help bring Jack Chick's Dark Dungeons to film? Yes, that's right - the epic 1984 anti-RPG screed is being adapted to film. Oddly, it's officially licensed - and yet will quite clearly be a parody of some form. (Thanks to RPGG user elberon for pointing this one out.)
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Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:50 am
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Indie News Bits

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The Game Chef RPG design contest is going multilingual. If you want to help out, you can either submit your games in multiple languages, or volunteer to translate other people's games.

The Unstore is down, but not for good. D. Vincent Baker is working on getting it back it action.

The Dungeon World barbarian class has been revised. Minor tinkering only, so if you've already got some playbooks printed you can just scribble on them.

Are you a designer looking to release a pdf product? Or just curious about how the pdf market works? The CEO of OneBookShelf (who run both rpgnow and drivethrurpg) has posted an interesting blog about pricing and how to make it work for you.

This weekend the Conpulsion game convention is taking place in Edinburgh. At the convention, the organizers will be awarding the "Griffies" awards for the second year in a row. The nominees - selected by the convention committee - in the "Best Role-Playing Product" are:
Dungeon World Roleplaying Game
Eternal Contenders
Primeval Core Rulebook
Night's Black Agents
Squadron UK
Interestingly, there's only one product - Primeval - that appears on both this list and the Origin Awards nominees list. The winner will be determined through votes by convention attendees and announced at the end of the convention. (Thanks to RPGG user jasri for the tip!)

Thanks to RPG newscaster vestige for contributions to this article.
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Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:01 am
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Crowdfunding Report

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Ongoing Campaigns

Short Order Heroes is a deck of cards for quickly generating PC or NPC personality traits / aspects - and a (very) rules-light RPG in its own right. It has already reached its funding goal and first stretch goal - the deck is growing and growing.

Rustyn Sa is making sets of translucent fudge dice using Grey Ghost's moulds. And, yes, these ones are still called "Fudge dice".

The Lords of Gossamer and Shadow campaign is an interesting one. The project - which uses the Amber Diceless Role-Playing system but is a standalone game - began life as a patronage project for Rite Publishing. In the patronage model, backers sign on to a project at or near inception and then get access and input to the project as it develops. In this case, during the patron process the project grew from an anticipated 60 pages to a full 160 pages - so Rite Publishing went to Kickstarter for funds (a mere $1,000!) to complete the layout and art. But the campaign has already raised over $13,000. Also, this campaign is using a "right to buy" model where backers don't get the printed book but instead get the right to buy it at cost (plus shipping).

(As a side note, if a relatively large, and certainly prolific, RPG company can't pull $1,000 of capital on their own, this industry really does run on a shoestring!)

And the Dwarven Forge Kickstarter continues its march toward 7 figures, having just surpassed $600,000. The value per dollar is beginning to plateau a bit, as the later stretch appear to be shifting toward the creation of "add-on" packs that will cost you additional money.

Completed Campaigns

Meanwhile, a couple of notable crowdfunding campaigns have wrapped up in the past few weeks.

The Achtung Cthulhu! campaign completed at £177,557 - far surpassing its original goal of £8,000 - and placing it somewhere either fifth or sixth of all time in the RPG category (depending on what you consider to be an RPG). The projects offers World War Two settings for Call of Cthulhu (2nd - 6th Edition), Savage Worlds, and Fate Core (see our entry here) in which the investigators must contend with both Lovecraftian horrors AND Nazis. Not bad for a relative newcomer to RPG design!

On the other end of the spectrum, Green Ronin Publishing partnered with Fiery Dragon Productions for the Freeport: City of Adventure project for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. This was very much a luxury-market retread of an established property (the Freeport setting, of course), with a $75 price tag for the 512-page book - which collects older material and adds a good deal more. The campaign struggled for quite a while to meet its $50,000 target, but careful attention from Chris Pramas, additional pledge levels, and adjustments to meet the requests of fans made it a big success in the end, finishing with $73,471. This seemed a pretty textbook example of an established company using Kickstarter to make a risky product: testing the market both for Freeport and a luxury edition, and using the feedback generated by a campaign to adjust the product to meet expectations.

Thanks to RPGG newscaster Vestige for writing the bulk of this to story.
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Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:57 am
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Breaking News: Hasbro acquires Paizo

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For those of you arriving to this post late, be sure to check the date at the right...

Paizo Publishing, best known for the Pathfinder RPG, has been purchased by Hasbro in a deal worth $117 million dollars. Details are sketchy at the moment, but we can tell you that Paizo CEO Lisa Stevens has stepped down in exchange for an undisclosed number of Hasbro shares and a life-size model of the Millennium Falcon (Wookiee co-pilot not included). Paizo's IP will become part of a new 'family tabletop games' division at Hasbro, alongside Dungeons & Dragons (5th Edition) and Magic: The Gathering.

A final decision between the Pathfinder and D&D Next systems will be placed in the hands of the public through dueling crowdfunding projects, with the rewards structured around collectible card packs and online video games.

Meanwhile, Paizo's RPG Superstar contest will be spun off into a reality television show debuting on Hasbro's own television station, The Hub, in December 2014.

Hasbro has additionally announced that D&D/Pathfinder superfan (and RPG Geek regular) Hida Mann will provide consulting services, while a select team of "fantasy heartbreakers" will be brought in for design work.

Thanks to RPGG Newscaster Steven for his invaluable inside info.

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Mon Apr 1, 2013 9:12 am
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TableTop Day freebies

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The inaugural TableTop Day was held on March 30th, and by all accounts was a great success, with over 100 events taking place. If you couldn't make it to an event, fear not! There are still a bunch of TableTop Day freebies kicking around the intertubes.

DriveThruRPG's TableTop bundle includes numerous quickstart PDFs, as well as full versions of Scion: Hero, Little Fears, The Esoterrorists and Parsely #1: Action Castle. There's over $40 worth of stuff in there, absolutely free.

Flying under the radar a bit is a free preview PDF of the soon-to-be-Kickstarted henge RPG, Golden Sky Stories.

Bully Pulpit Games are offering a free Fiasco PDF bundle, including playsets and player aids. Of particular note is the Business Casual playset from the American Disasters compilation.

Finally, there's a ludicrous cut-out trophy to award to the best player.

What did you do for TableTop Day?
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Mon Apr 1, 2013 1:37 am
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Registration open for Camp Nerdly 2013, May 17-19

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Camp Nerdly is a three day convention held in Prince William Forest Park, Triangle VA. It's a long weekend of story gaming, where campers play, lodge, and cook together in a national park. Game-wise Dungeon World and Lady Blackbird already on the cards, and past camps have also featured experimental jeepform games like The Upgrade.

Kids are welcome, and registration info and fees can be found on the Camp Nerdly wiki.
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Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:33 am
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Vornheim sold out

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The Golden Crown Award winning Vornheim: The Complete City Kit is sold out at distro. The original print run in 2011 was 2000 hardbacks, which is a pretty good result for an OSR product. There are a few hardcopies of Vornheim still on shelves, so if you've been waiting for the right moment to buy it, now is the time to strike.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, Vornheim is a weird fantasy campaign setting / GM toolkit / adventure module collection for D&D and its various retroclones. To me it's evocative of the early Conan stories, The Book of the New Sun, and perhaps The Dying Earth. The Vornheim hardback is particularly cool, with charts and scribblings on the inside of the dustjacket, and the outside and inside of the actual cover. The cover charts in particular are designed to have dice physically land on them so they are good to have in a robust and chunky print version.

No reprint is planned, but the PDF is still available from the usual places.
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Tue Mar 19, 2013 3:33 am
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