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Topics - Apparition

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1
The Chinese government incinerated a Kickstarted Call of Cthulhu supplement, The Sassoon Files.

Quote from: Boing Boing
Julio writes, "Sons of the Singularity is a small RPG publisher. Last year, they kickstarted The Sassoon Files, a sourcebook for the popular Call of Cthulhu RPG and Trail of Cthulhu RPG. As a lot of publishers, they did the printing in China. The same day that the print was finished, the Chinese Government decided that it was "problematic", so they burned the entire print run. Targeting foreign publications is a first, specially when it seems there wasn't anything problematic (the supplement was based on Shanghai but was respectful and documented carefully). Will this be a new sign of Beijing tightening its iron grip or just a show of bravado with a small publisher used as an example?"

From Yog Sothoth:

Quote
For many years, various publishers in the Americas and Europe have had their books printed in China as a cost-saving measure (including many in the RPG field). Often the primary downside of this has simply been the time taken for the books to arrive, but it appears there can also be another problem, as the publishers of The Sassoon Files (a Cthulhu-based RPG supplement) have announced that all print copies of their book have been destroyed by the Chinese Government – for unspecified reasons.

The Sassoon Files is a collection of Cthulhu Mythos scenarios and campaign resources set in 1920s Shanghai (for both Call of Cthulhu and Gumshoe systems) and was Kickstarted back in September 2018, raising some $24,000 USD from more than 500 backers. The volume was due to ship from the printers very shortly.

Perhaps having books printed in Asia isn't such a good idea after all.

2
Frank Mentzer posted a "help wanted" ad on Facebook for a new five day tabletop game convention in Milwaukee, WI this July...

I suppose that's one way to handle the GaryCon situation.

3
Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / PSA: Roll20 Hacked
« on: February 15, 2019, 11:27:38 PM »
Roll20 was hacked in late December, and the usernames, real names, e-mail addresses, passwords, and the last four digits of the credit or debit cards of four million Roll20 users was stolen and currently on sale on the dark web.  Much more concerning is that Roll20 had no clue about this massive security breach until it was reported on TechCrunch yesterday.


Quote from: TechCrunch
A hacker who stole close to 620 million user records from 16 websites has stolen another 127 million records from eight more websites, TechCrunch has learned.  The hacker, whose listing was the previously disclosed data for about $20,000 in bitcoin on a dark web marketplace, stole the data last year from several major sites -- some that had already been disclosed, like more than 151 million records from MyFitnessPal and 25 million records from Animoto. But several other hacked sites on the marketplace listing didn't know or hadn't disclosed yet -- such as 500px and Coffee Meets Bagel.


[...] In all, the hacker is selling the hacked data for about $14,500 in bitcoin.


Quote from: Roll20
Based off the account numbers from breached data, we've determined this took place on approximately December 26th. The data size (~700MB) is consistent with being our "account object," which, as earlier stated, contains name, email address, last four of credit card, most recent IP address, and hashed & salted password. While the hash & salt should keep passwords safe, it never hurts to reset.


So if you use Roll20, change your password immediately.

4
Twitch/Amazon sold Curse Media (owners of D&D Beyond and Gamepedia) to Fandom/Wikia.  That's... not great news for D&D Beyond.

Quote

We are excited to announce that Fandom and Curse Media are joining forces! Curse's network includes properties like their wiki services Gamepedia, D&D Beyond, Futhead, and Muthead. By coming together, Fandom and Curse Media solidify our exciting new venture as the #1 online experience for entertainment and gaming fan communities.


For years, Fandom and Curse Media have shared a common mission: to provide online tools and resources for communities in the entertainment and gaming spaces. By joining forces and combining knowledge, we are able to expand our resources and provide better support to our communities.



It mostly seems to be about combining Wikia and Gamepedia.  No mention of D&D Beyond in the press announcement at all, which is not a good sign.

5
I was just made aware of a new crowdfunding campaign by Jeremy Hambly/The Quartering that is for a new gaming (both tabletop and video) news site with no politics by the name of "Exclusively Games."  The crowdfunding campaign only has one day remaining.  You can find it here.

6
The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Late Night Conservative TV
« on: December 09, 2018, 10:29:56 PM »
Apparently this is a thing as a couple conservative news sites I follow have been blowing up about it the past week.  There will be a new late night conservative television show at some point next year by the name of DWECK.











I guess it can't be less funny than the late night left-wing television shows.

7
It was apparently announced during this year's Palladium Books open house that they plan to revise the Palladium system to be more rules light in 2020 for the upcoming 40th anniversary of Palladium Books, beginning with a new edition of Rifts.

Was anyone there?  Was there any more information given?

8
Cody of Taking20 (one of the few YouTubers I donate to), posted a new video today that is... interesting.

Is Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition killing off the game part of role-playing games? Cody believes that there's been a shift in role-playing over the past couple of years, thanks to D&D 5E and Critical Role, that stresses role-playing over gaming.



9
Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / DnDSports
« on: October 15, 2018, 06:44:15 PM »
Are you ready for Dungeons & Dragons as an eSport?  Introducing: DnDSports.  From Comic Book:

Quote from: Comic Book

A popular streaming production company has announced a new competitive Dungeons & Dragons tournament as a way to merge competitive esports with tabletop gaming.

Encounter Roleplay, a streaming channel that frequently partners with Dungeons & Dragons, has announced DnDSports - a new online D&D tournament. The tournament is billed as a way for competitive games to get comfortable with trying out Dungeons & Dragons as well as a unique way to depict the versatility of D&D's fifth edition combat system.

The rules are relatively simple - two teams of four characters will be placed in a dungeon and will battle to the death. Players will choose from a collection of 15 pre-generated characters, each with their own unique abilities and traits. In addition, the tournament will utilize a Pick/Ban system similar to some existing MOBA tournaments.

Each game will still have a dungeon master and some opportunities for roleplaying, but obviously most of the games will be focused on combat. The tournament is also sponsored by D&D Beyond, the popular digital character builder and rules resource.

The tournament will feature four teams duking it out in a single elimination format, with winners determined by a best of three battle. The winner of the tournament will win $5,000 and money raised during the tournament will also go to the 826LA charity.



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10
Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / R.I.P. Google Plus
« on: October 08, 2018, 03:24:43 PM »
Google just announced the impending shutdown of Google Plus, effective August 2019. You can read more about it here.

Is anyone actually surprised?

11
Three Dungeons & Dragons artists hired by WotC were detained by ICE in Seattle and then later denied entry to the U.S.

Quote
The artists -- Anna Steinbaur, Magali Villeneuve, and Titus Lunter -- were allegedly detained at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport by ICE officials while en route to the United States for a brainstorming sessions. The three artists were supposed to be involved in a meeting to discuss ideas for upcoming Dungeons & Dragons content. Villeneuve will have her art featured on the cover of the upcoming Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica publication, and Steinbaur and Lunter have both contributed to previous D&D and Magic: The Gathering publications.

According to the reports, the three artists were detained for violating their ESTA visa waivers, an automated system that determines whether a person can travel to the United States without a visa. After six hours of being detained at the airport, the artists were handcuffed and taken to an ICE detention center where they were placed in cells without beds for 11 hours.

The following morning, the group were escorted back to the airport and then placed on flights back to their respective home countries.

As you can imagine, this incident is going over swimmingly on Twitter at the moment.  I wonder what, if any, impact it will have on the Ravnica book.

12
The RPGPundit's Own Forum / ArenaNet Fired Jessica Price
« on: July 05, 2018, 10:29:39 PM »
ArenaNet (developers of the Guild Wars 2 video game) just fired Jessica Price (formerly of Paizo), and another developer for getting into a flame war on Twitter.

Quote from: Massively Overpowered
The Guild Wars 2 team is short two narrative designers today after a pitched internet war of words on Twitter.

"Recently two of our employees failed to uphold our standards of communicating with players," ArenaNet's Mike O'Brien wrote on the game's forums. "Their attacks on the community were unacceptable. As a result, they're no longer with the company. I want to be clear that the statements they made do not reflect the views of ArenaNet at all. As a company we always strive to have a collaborative relationship with the Guild Wars community. We value your input. We make this game for you."

We presume the employees are Jessica Price and Peter Fries, who have been the subject of a heated Reddit-and-forum flamewar nearing 10,000 comments across its many threads for the last two days.


Price, it appears, seriously overreacted to an influencer's hopefully well-intentioned but clumsy advice on narrative design on her personal Twitter feed; when she insinuated he was mansplaining and referred to "hurt manfeels," what should have been a simple misunderstanding escalated as a mob of angry players then flocked to raid her Twitter for evidence, harass her on social media, and riot on Reddit to effectively call for her head.


What's good for the goose is good for the gander after all.

13
News and Adverts / The Expanding Frontier
« on: May 03, 2018, 06:23:48 PM »
Tom Stephens, the man behind the Star Frontiersman and Frontier Explorer Star Frontiers fanzines and a Star Frontiers fan web site, just launched a new web site and Patreon for science-fiction tabletop RPG gamers.

Quote from: Tom Stephens

This blog and site is dedicated to creating gaming resources focused on science fiction role-playing games.  I'll be posting maps, locations, ships, vehicles, characters, and more that you can use in your games.  I'll also be talking about the tools and processes I use to to create the materials.

I'll primarily be focusing on creating adventures and all the bits and pieces that go along with that.  There will occasionally be other stand-alone or one-off projects as well.


The idea is that there are a vast number of resources available online for fantasy tabletop RPGs, not so much for science-fiction RPGs.  As such, Mr. Stephens will create resources for science-fiction tabletop RPGs (such as maps, ships, adventures, etc.) that are system agnostic.  If stats are needed, Star Frontiers stats will be given since that is the RPG that he's most familiar with, but everything should be usable with just about any science-fiction RPG.

A few items are already in the works, including a starship technical manual with deck plans and a 3D model that can be printed, and two new adventures.  $5 per month via Patreon will give you everything published as it's released.

14
Help Desk / VPN Blocked?
« on: February 16, 2018, 06:54:30 PM »
The VPN I use appears to be blocked behind a firewall.  It worked fine for the past two years, but starting a few days ago when I try to connect the connection times out.  I've tried switching VPN servers a few times with the same result.  Disconnecting from the VPN and using regular ol' Comcast works fine, but that's something I'd rather not do.

15
Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / R.I.P., Mayfair Games
« on: February 10, 2018, 12:27:48 AM »
Mayfair Games, the maker of DC Heroes RPG, Underground RPG, and more popularly the Settlers of Catan board game, is no more.

Quote

After nearly 40 years in the tabletop industry, the longtime publisher of the popular Settlers of Catan franchise is closing its doors. Mayfair Games has sold its remaining games catalog to Asmodee North America, a massive games publisher and distributor, the company announced.

"As of today, the management team at Mayfair Games, Inc. announces we will wind down game publishing," the company said in a statement. "After 36 years, this was not an easy decision or one we took lightly, but it was necessary. Once we had come to this conclusion, we knew we had to find a good home for our games which is when we reached out to Asmodee."


Asmodee owns Fantasy Flight Games as well.

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