Subscription boxes—tempting consumers with special deals and cool surprises—are the latest rage in geeky retail. So I guess it shouldn’t come as any surprise to find Mythoard, a recently-launched subscription box specifically for roleplaying games.
Mythoard’s mailer includes such things as adventure modules, mini-supplements, maps, dice, posters, and magazines. The cost is $20 a month.
Juggernaut, from Bully Pulpit Games, is a live-action RPG that’s supposed to have players exploring the meaning of free will. Set in cold-war 1950, the game posits the invention of a computer that predicts the future.
Players draw a series of cards that represent computer output. Then because the Juggernaut computer is infallible, the players must come up with stories for how the predictions come true.
One session lasts through a deck of 22 Job Summary Cards but the game comes with a total of 58 such cards for a different experience each time.
Magic… Magic… Magic…
Such was the refrain this week during Hasbro’s earnings conference call. Overall, the company’s first quarter revenues were up 5 percent compared to 2014 (14 percent before foreign exchange impact). And certainly that wasn’t all due to Magic: The Gathering. The boys category was up 10 percent and preschool (mostly Play-Doh) up 22 percent. Across categories, revenue from franchise brands grew 20 percent.
The girls category was down 16 percent, that attributed mostly to a drop in Furby sales.
But gamer or not, one couldn’t help but notice the attention that Magic received or the interest of analysts in how fans were responding to the new release schedule. Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner, who also revealed that MtG experienced double-digit growth in the latest quarter, stated:
Thus far in the year, the engagement with fans and enthusiasts, the tournament play, and our effort and commitment to continue to improve the online experience with Magic: The Gathering is front and center at the company. It’s something we’re investing in. We think Magic long term has incredible growth potential and we’re just scratching the surface of the opportunity with that brand.
In the category—overall up 7 percent—Goldner described other games as “generally flatish”, except for Dungeons & Dragons, which is “really on a tear”.
Our first quarter performance reinforces that our strategy and approach to brand building is working. For the full-year, our teams are delivering innovative brands and executing against a robust entertainment slate, while facing a difficult foreign exchange environment. As we continue to invest around our brand blueprint, beginning with consumer insights to develop the right innovation and storytelling to engage the consumer across all forms and formats, the Hasbro team is delivering truly differentiated and compelling play experiences for consumers around the world.
Fans of Rifts will soon have an officially supported but simpler roleplaying system with which to explore Palladium’s classic game. Pinnacle Entertainment announced today that it has secured a license to develop Rifts for Savage Worlds.
Rifts is a multi-genre post-apocalyptic setting that includes elements of fantasy, science-fiction, horror, cyberpunk, mythology, mecha, and more.
According to Pinnacle, Rifts for Savage Worlds will be available by December.
The Cthulhu-head dice tower looks amazing but I won’t be held responsible for what happens should you actually bring it to the table or, worse yet, feed it dice.
Lone Shark’s The Apocrypha Adventure Card Game has a modern horror theme but is built off the system that Mike Selinker developed for the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. Also differentiating it from its predecessor is character development. Rather than with check-boxes, players add cards to their character decks as they reveal their character’s repressed memories.
Requiem Vampire Knight is a game for which I published a detailed preview when it originally sought funding on Indiegogo 2 years ago. Now on Kickstarter, the game I’m told plays pretty much the same, though with a thoroughly-edited rule book and an upgrade to plastic miniatures. As a I said then, the game does have some interesting mechanics but it’s the dark theme and artwork that’s particularly striking.
On a lighter, cuter note there’s JunKing, a card game about scavenger imps who hoard garbage. Pulling the “Crown” from the junkpile (a.k.a., the draw pile) ends the game and is a major point boost, but holding the “Perfectly Good Sandwich” (“Someone threw this away?”) is a strong consolation prize.
BattleBards is a background-audio system for tabletop games. Audio tracks and a soundboard from the same company already exist for PC and MAC. This project is for creating a web-based soundboard, producing additional audio, and recording a series of voice-overs covering standard fantasy adventure encounters (such as the barmaid in the tavern that the PCs always visit).
From the creators of Driking Quest comes Haiku Warrior, a card-based roleplaying game told via haiku. “Fight monsters, find souls, eat fruit.” I think maybe they played with their first product a little too much.
Boardgamesmaker.com has just launched today. This isn’t a Print on Demand service, but a full-fledged board game manufacturer based out of Hong Kong. What’s great is that all prices are up-front. You pick your materials, quantities, and get a price based on what you’ve chosen. No quotes, no turn around times. A summary of part pricing can be found right on their Prices page.
I’ve reached out to them to obtain some print samples to see the quality of their work, and will report back if they decide to send any!
The newest roleplaying book from Paizo, Pathfinder Unchained, represents something of a departure for the game, the publisher, and the typical supplement. It’s the result of the company allowing its designers to “do what they want” with Pathfinder, unrestricted by backwards compatibility.
Pathfinder Unchained includes four entirely new versions of the barbarian, monk, rogue, and summoner classes; variant rules for multiclassing, alignment, and wounds; a simplified monster creation process; an alternative, stamina-powered combat system; and more. The book will retail for $40 in print, $10 as a PDF.
To celebrate the fifth season of Game of Thrones, Green Ronin has put the A Song of Ice and Fire core rulebook, Campaign Guide, and Night’s Watch supplement on-sale for 10% off. The Campaign Starter is 35% off.
Dungeons & Dragons video games are on sale at GOG.com for up to 80% off.
Some 150 rare, out-of-print Ral Partha miniatures are being auctioned off on eBay by The Collector’s Trove.
A wood Mancala game board from Nigeria will be auctioned at Bonhams in San Francisco May 5th with an estimated price of $3,000-5,000.
The Game Publishers Guild, a new coalition of RPG companies, is offering a bundle of five PDF rulebooks for 25% off.
LDS Board Games is giving away The Armor of God from Cedar Fort Publishing.
The 13th Age RPG Starter Kit is a bundle of 13th Age products for 25% off.
My Boys & Their Toys is giving away The Reading Game.
Mummy and the Cuties (UK) is giving away Hotel Tycoon from Esdevium Games.
Also for UK residents, Madhouse Family Reviews is giving away three board games from Drumond Park: Wordsearch Junior, Logo What am I?, and Rapidough.
Women and Their Pretties is giving away Morphology.
That’s right! Today is International Tabletop Day!
What are you playing today? Are you attending an event, holding an event, or just playing at home?
Need some game suggestions? Lory’s recent post Five Great Family-Friendly Games to play on Easter Sunday is a good place to start, or just take a look through our Second Look archives!
If you need to buy a game last minute, local Target and Barnes & Nobles stores usually have some great games. If you’ve got a local brick-and-mortar game store then all the better!
On the 6th of June there will be a charity fundraising event for War Child in Putney, London. It’s called The Great Game, a board gaming, model painting & game design event for War Child, because every child deserves a loving, peaceful future.
Right now they need some help. They’re looking for volunteers, guests, and donations to help them run a successful event. If you’re in the area, and are willing to lend a hand, shoot them an email at email@example.com.