Welcome back to Gaming Shelf, Gizmodo’s column all about board games and tabletop roleplaying games. This time around, we’ve got a $3,200 contest for families willing to play board games for a week, a few exciting crowdfunding campaigns for 5e-compatible systems, and something that’s so gross I refuse to look at pictures of it anymore. Plus… GIANT CORGI.
News and Releases in RPGs
Privateer Press has unveiled its latest miniature for Monterpocalypse… and just look at him! Grizzi is a giant radioactive corgi who’s technically a monster, but mostly the bestest good boy. He’s part of the Protectors army and has massive destructive powers, including the ability to herd units and disrupt enemies. But he’s also good at cuddles. Grizzi is available on Privateer Press’s website for $32.
Asmodee and Amazon Sue a Dixit Seller
Asmodee has teamed up with Amazon to file a lawsuit against Samuel Katz, a retailer doing business as Crazy Leaf and Gig Trading Inc. According to Board Game Quest, the lawsuit claims Katz has been selling counterfeit versions of Dixit expansions. Given the prevalence of counterfeit board games and expansions available on Amazon, this move could lead to more legal action from other publishers in the future.
Get $3,200 to Play Games for a Week (as a Family)
Underdog Games is putting out an open call for a family willing to give up their phones and devices at night for one week and spend their time playing its board games instead. The family would need “some kids” who are 10 or older, agree to spend at least 90 minutes per evening playing games without electronic devices, and be comfortable on-camera (it doesn’t specify how much of the experience would be filmed). The winning family would get $3,200 and a bunch of free games from Underdog Games.
Applications are open through July 31, and more information is available here.
Pre-orders are now open for Pandasaurus’s new title, The LOOP, a cooperative board game where 1-4 players take on the role of agents moving through time to stop Dr. Faux from controlling the universe through an army of clones. Players have to work together to defeat the clones and close the various rifts in time that Dr. Faux keeps opening up. The game mechanics look fun, using a central platform that disperses “time rifts” on the circular board — kind of like Time Roulette. The LOOP costs $65 and comes out September 22.
TSR Games and Ernie G. Gygax Jr. Controversy
Be sure to check out our coverage of the recent situation between two different game publishers that have called themselves TSR Games, one of which is owned by Gary Gygax’s son, Ernie G. Gygax Jr. The company founded by Gygax Jr. and business partner Justin LaNasa has faced criticism over recent comments made by Gygax Jr., which prompted the owner of the “other” TSR Games to cut ties. It’s a complex story with a few twists and turns, and you can head to Gizmodo’s article (here) to find out more.
Crowdfunding in RPGs
In the world of Fat Magic, food is everything. This 5e campaign from Hannah Tsiopanos takes place in a pun-filled world of British Bake-offs and Nailed It! failures, where players work together to solve the murder of Vampire Lord Pavlov Volauvent while discovering the secrets of food magic along the way. The game looks to be a celebration of the culinary arts, as well as the art of just enjoying the heck outta good food. Fat Magic will be on Kickstarter through August 1. The minimum pledge for a digital copy is $26 while a print edition goes for $64, and both are set to come out in September 2022. Anyone wanting to try out the game first can download a free PDF of the first act here.
Dungeons of Drakkenheim
If dark, fantastic ruins overrun with monsters is more of your thing, there’s Dungeons of Drakkenheim. The 5e campaign, designed by Monty Martin and Kelly McLaughlin, takes place in a city that was destroyed by an eldritch storm, leaving a wealth of treasures and artifacts to be found… along with deadly creatures from another world. The campaign is designed to be non-linear, giving players a chance to explore the world at their own pace. Dungeons of Drakkenheim will be on Kickstarter through August 1. The minimum pledge for a digital copy is $32 while a print edition is $71, and both are set to come out in April 2022.
Incantations is a book for 5e players and GMs, which adds a bunch of new spells, magic items, subclasses, narratives, and strategies for improving magic use in Dungeons & Dragons and other 5e roleplaying games. It has rules for some truly out-there spells, like having a ship fly or making a pact with a “whispered one” for access to great power. Incantations will be on Kickstarter through August 1. The minimum pledge for a digital copy is $19 while a print edition is $45, and both are set to come out in December.
Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: ANNIHILAGEDDON 2
Cryptozoic Entertainment is getting weird with Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: ANNIHILAGEDDON 2: EXTREME NACHO LEGENDS (yes that’s the whole title). This deck-building game, which is compatible with the first Epic Spell Wars of the Yada-Yada-Yada, is basically the Garbage Pail Kids of fantasy gaming. It’s gross, it’s crude, and I have no interest in playing it. But if this kind of humour is up your alley, it seems like a fun time. Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: ANNIHILAGEDDON 2: EXTREME NACHO LEGENDS will be on Kickstarter through July 29. The minimum pledge for a copy is $51 and it’s set to come out in March 2022.