Thursday, January 28, 2016

Hell Freezes Over in Finland, and other 2016 Things to Watch

Since I've started blogging again, and the calendar turned to 2016, there have been a whole series of announcements on things I didn't expect to see this year.

Jim LOTFP is Going to Gencon
I was really surprised to see the news that LOTFP is going to Gencon.  I ran some LOTFP at Gencon years ago, and there were controversies a few years back where some prudish Gencon organizers didn't want the LOTFP games or modules on display in the dealer hall and whatnot - can't have gore, horror, and boobs on display in Indianapolis!  I never expected to see an announcement that Jim LOTFP is making the long haul from Finland to Indianapolis.  I'd love to make it out there - get a bunch of missing LOTFP stuff in person.  My teenager is looking to play some "edgy" D&D with his friends, and LOTFP's early stuff (Tower of the Stargazer, Grinding Gear, Hammers of the God) strikes a good balance between classic dungeons, weirdness, and horror, so I have him checking out Stargazer (he played through all those, plus Death Frost Doom, back during a game I called "Gothic Greyhawk").

Does that mean the long-awaited Referee Book is getting done this year?  That one's been kicking around a few years now.  That seems like the kind of product and release that would warrant an appearance at gaming's biggest convention.

Delta Green Trail of Cthulhu?
I like the Delta Green world, but haven't played BRP in a long time; any recent horror games have been Trail of Cthulhu.  One of the bits of news coming out of the recent Delta Green kickstarter is that Pelgrane Press is doing a 1960's Delta Green setting book (written by Ken Hite, naturally) called The Fall of Delta Green.  That one is going right to the top of the pre-order list.  Maybe we'll see a full-blown Gumshoe Delta Green book at some point, too.

The Auran Empire for ACKS
The guy(s) over at Adventurer Conqueror King are making some moves; the president of a video game company joined the management team, they just had their Lairs & Encounters kick starter clear $25,000, they're publishing articles via a decent-sized Patreon, and now news that the Auran Empire setting is coming this year.  I've played ACKS intermittently since it came out in 2011, and I thought the Auran Empire was going to be the company's "Castle Greyhawk"; that product that was talked about since the early days but never managed to see print.  2016 could prove me wrong!

The Return of Strahd
It's been all over the blogosphere, the next 5E sourcebook \ adventure is a return to Barovia (The Curse of Strahd).  Love it!  Looks like it's going to include more about the lands of Barovia and an updated delve into Ravenloft in an adventure for levels 1 - 10; I guess they need something for those low level guys to do before they can fight Strahd.  My players had a lot of fun beating that guy a few years ago in Gothic Greyhawk.

5E OGL?
I'm doing school on the weekends so there's no chance I'll be working on any grandiose 5E megadungeon this year.  I eagerly await the efforts of an enterprising 5E designer with old school sensibilities who creates a (good) epic 5E megadungeon - I've got some money right here.  5E doesn't play out the same as the old school clones because of the power levels and wahoo magic stuff, but it's a really fun game and I hope this OGL brings some good things to the market.  Splatbooks and rules bloat need not apply - although I could be persuaded by an updated setting like 3E's Midnight, or a well done Asian-themed setting.  Speaking of which, I need to pick up a copy of Yoon Suin this year and check out Stonehell 2 - those were a few old school products from last year that slipped by while I wasn't blogging.  I may get my first Indie game this year too, something like Dungeon World (after some recent recommendations here).

Now if someone could announce they got a Traveller license for Star Wars or Star Trek, 2016 would be completely bananas.

What are you looking forward to this year in the RPG game-o-sphere?