I’ve made no secret that ever since I joined Twitter in March of 2012 I’ve entered into my own kind of gaming renaissance. 2013 was a year for growing my knowledge of new Tabletop RPGs and board games I’d never played. Then finally this last year was one for growing my professional association with the hobby I love, utilizing this blog, my many connections through Twitter, and even a bit of Google+. Of course, beyond all that, every year has been one of making new connections and, more importantly, friends. So let’s just say I’m very excited to see where 2015 takes me, the industry, and my good buddies. Let’s see what’s planned in the new year!
FOR THE INDUSTRY
By far the biggest story of last year was the release of the 5th Edition rule-set for Dungeons and Dragons and I am certainly looking to the future for what they have planned. As of right now we know that Wizards of the Coast (WotC) plans to release two items in early 2015, currently March 17. There will be the Elemental Evil Adventurer’s Handbook and it will be herald of another large adventure series called Princes of the Apocalypse. At this time I’m not seeing a second adventure following PotA the way they handled Hoard of the Dragon Queen and Rise of Tiamat but perhaps it just hasn’t been announced yet.
What we know is that WotC has once again teamed with an outside company to craft both the handbook and the adventure. This time they will be utilizing Sasquatch Game Studio LLC. They are relatively new on the scene, having launched a successful Kickstarter back in the beginning of August for their Campaign Setting Primeval Thule, but the company houses industry veterans Richard Baker, Stephen Schubert, and David Noonan (I’d also be remiss if I failed to mention that my friend Scott, the Angry DM, helped out on Primeval Thule so I’m hoping to see his name in the credits once more). I had the pleasure of speaking with the folks behind the studio at Gen Con last year and walked away impressed by not just them but their product. I’m currently awaiting the 4th Edition version of their Primeveal Thule setting but considering their current partnership they might be busy.
Dungeons and Dragons may be the big dog in the room but there are certainly other companies and games I’m keeping an eye on. One of the releases you may recall me being excited for is Iron Kingdoms Unleashed from Privateer Press. I wrote about the Press Panel I attended at Gencon for the product and I’m hoping to get my review copy any day now. I’m all geared up to read about this interesting foray into Role-playing. It seemingly promises to be very different from most games I’m used to. If you’re a fan of Pinnacle Entertainment Group’s Savage Worlds system, and especially their Deadlands setting, keep an eye on their news feed as just a few days ago they announced that the long awaited third Deadlands plot point is soon to be launched called Stone and a Hard Place. Monte Cook Games had a strong 2014, winning numerous Eenies for their RPG Numenera and I expect to see some great things in 2015. Also, we can be certain Paizo will continue to put out quality items, I’ve just never paid much attention to them. Maybe I’ll try better for 2015.
One last bit of industry I’m wildly interested in, that doesn’t have a firm future, is Trapdoor Technologies and their amazing product Codename: Morningstar. Sadly their Kickstarter doesn’t look promising at just about 18% of their fund amount with only three days left. Obviously I’d like to see them fund, and their is still time if anyone wishes to go support this product I yearn for, but I have to admit I’m not hopeful at this point. I’m still hopeful we’ll see something from them though, they have a vision for the future of how we game that I certainly support and, despite what some say, is nowhere right now. I’ll continue to keep in contact with them even if their Kickstarter fails to fund and will continue to support them in any way I can going forward. They are good people and I think they have something special to share with us.
MY PERSONAL HOPES FOR 2015
Obviously I plan to try and grow my impact with this blog, and possibly through some other channels. I am upping my Con attendance, having been invited to a few in a press capacity. Currently I plan to attend Origins in June and certainly Gen Con in August but there may be more in the future, I’ll let you know.
One of the things I was most proud of in 2014 was dipping my toe into mixing volunteerism with my love of gaming. It started with running a panel at the local Teen Fandom Con on tabletop gaming then culminated with running a game once a month for teens interested in learning the hobby. I fully intend to continue running my once a month game, as the kids and I are loving it, and am hoping to bridge this into something more eventually! What I would love to do is see if there is a way to partner with some volunteer groups that deal with either at risk kids or individuals with illness that may like to escape for a while into a world of fantasy. Another idea is to run games for charity where people donate to be a part of the game. These are bigger picture ideas though and I may not get to them in 2015, but I may start laying the groundwork!
Another little concept of mine is to perhaps do either a bit of Vlogging or finally start up that Podcast my buddy Topher and I always talk about doing. If I don’t start my own podcast I at least hope to take a little time to visit with my good friends at Gamerstable across the state line and do a little guest work, if they’ll have me. I’d love to see the Vagabond Gamers G+ group we have grow some, great group of gamers there if you want to meet with some online folk! Who knows, maybe I’ll do some sort of collaborative work with Toby Gee over at Roll and Groove, he’s family so he might be honor bound to accept any proposal I through at him anyway.
I plan to get fit! Maybe I’ll bring back a bit of geeky exercise information, like when I wrote a piece on my mental/physical prep work done to get ready for the Marathon I ran. I know a few people who use apps to play out scenarios while they run. I should probably check those out, maybe I’ll review a few for you all.
If nothing else, I hope my year is full over gaming. Hope yours is too! Let me know what you have planned below if you so wish!
P.S. Keep in mind 2015 is the year they visit in Back to the Future II so you can expect all of that stuff too.