On the August Release

Welcome to the increasingly inaccurately named weekly release. Here's what's been on my radar:

Have you seen Disenchantment?

I watched it. It's possibly the most concrete and consistent portrayal of a fantasy realm I've ever seen. I think it'll probably end up being one of the great works of fantasy. They know where they are going; the world is pre-seeded with relationships, magic, cults, curses and mystery. It has a similar discovery of the realm feel to it, like from Adventure Time or Dungeons and Dragons where the sometimes drastic consequences of events each week carry forward in a tale about a dysfunctional princess.

Bart Simpson
I've also seen people who were like "I dunno man, it didn't make me laugh like the Simpson's did." Well, shit. As someone who saw the premiere of the Simpsons on the Tracy Ullman show the first time they were shown to the world, I can tell you expecting any animation, especially a matt groening one, to have cast chemistry in the first eight episodes has unrealistic expectations.

Look at the cohesiveness of this moving painting of a magical otherworld. As the season carried on, it's clear that what they really want to do is a fantasy epic, and it's a good start. Everything you are seeing is setting up for a payoff and setting the rules of the world. It was surprisingly enchanting.

I mean the words "Cartoon, Fantasy, Matt Groening", how is that not in my wheelhouse? It's 10 episodes on Netflix and premiered about a week ago. There's 10 more finished episodes. And hopefully 26 seasons.

New Releases

On the Shoulders of Giants
He's 15 years old! He is a published role playing game author! He's got a book coming out from Lamentations of the Flame Princess! Chance Phillips wrote On the Shoulders of Giants! It's got great art by Scrap Princess. There are dead gods! New Classes that twist the rules of how the game is played. It's preeety much a guidebook for living on the corpses of giant gods. That's totally a thing that happens in Dungeons & Dragons by the way.

Way more frequently then you would expect it to, actually.

Art Trading Market
As an artist, seeing Mr. Shields set up a market for clip art that's favorable to creators, both people looking to make art available and writers looking for the right art. I know it's just starting, but I'm looking at the cut drive through makes and I'm pretty glad there's people taking steps to provide services, like affordable art, to the people who make the games we play. It's great to see Jestock art at its launch, and I look forward to seeing what happens with it.

Lamentations of the Flame Princess 
Lamentations has put out .pdfs of GTFO, OSR2, and SB, that's Going Through Forbidden Otherworlds, Obscene Serpent Religion 2, and She Bleeds. If you can't afford the shipping across the ocean, the .pdfs are now available. They all look interesting—OSR 2 is a sequel to the book by Rafael Chandler called Obscene Serpent Religion which isn't an adventure. OSR2 is an adventure and has cartography from ennie winning artist Glynn Seal, and brilliant art from twitch streamer Journeyman1020! That's the one I couldn't say no to.

Jennel Rides Again
Man, some days are just good days. I woke up to this, and the phrase "A new adventurer from writer Jennell Jaquays" was in my feed. The way to design dungeons is literally called Jaquaying the dungeon. Caverns of Thracia was one of the greatest dungeons ever created.

This was just like Christmas. It's strange suddenly being an adult, talking regularly with people who weren't alive during the 80's, or sometimes even the 90's, but for us we lived and learned from the old masters. They were alive and they touched our lives. And for one of them to step forward and gift us with more, I could not ask for anything greater.

I haven't read The Dragon's Secret because it's coming in hard copy via mail. I'll let you know all about it when I get it, I'm sure! It's so rare that something happens that makes me this excited, but I have to admit, it's happening more and more often.

Weird Coastal Wizards
I'm saying here I'm not intending to throw shade, but I'm writing still, so maybe I do. Wizards decided to release two new settings for fifth edition. Is it Greyhawk? SpellJammer? Athas?

No. It's Ravinica, forthcoming. And Oh, also Eberron, but it's not a whole setting guide because that . . . already exists for another edition of the game. And this is the best part!

These official releases are .pdf only!

So yeah, that's just a mixed bag. I understand they'd like to tap into their magic playerbase and get some cross synergy going there. And I applaud not just rewriting a bunch of old stuff with new minor system changes. Any Dungeon Master who's played both 3rd edition or Pathfinder and 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons can make whatever conversions he needs easily, with the updated information in the Eberron guide. But, .pdf only? That seems like an odd play. If you've got any insight into this situation, I'd love to hear it.

Personal News

If you'd like to chat about anything D&D related, I'm usually in my virtual office from Tuesday-Friday from Noonish to after-five on Twitch. If you had a question, you could come ask or hang out and listen to music and watch art. I post about it on the social medias. It's a lot of fun, cool people, good times. AgonarchArtist on Twitch!

It that vein, I'm currently playtesting modules, but I'd like to get an online game going on Twitch. Does that sound like something your interested in? Drop me a line on Twitter, over e-mail at campbell at oook dot cz, or via facebook or google. And holy crap! Discord. I'm Agonarch#0828

I'll be finishing up another project soon, and have several books that are near release! I've got a few blog posts lined up. It's exciting to wake up every day and have more work than there are hours to do it in.

I think I liked my last essay more than other people. You got something to say to me? Say it to my face on twitch! There are a group of awesome people making the world the way they want it to be by supporting me on Patreon to make more Dungeons AND Dragons.

Hack & Slash 
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  1. My understanding is that the Eberron PDF is a rolling release of playtest materials. As it gets updated, anyone who bought the PDF will get the new materials for free.

    Once the playtests are over, WotC will release a print version (or POD) of a Eberron handbook which will contain some of the info you already had in the PDF.

    Upside is you get a sneak preview of the materials.
    Downside is you're paying twice for (some of) the same stuff.

    My source is Mike Mearls' Twitter posts.

  2. Keith Baker says the same. Q&A on Eberron PDF, including new vs. old content, is here: http://keith-baker.com/wgte-faq/.

  3. Futurama was awesome right out of the gate. Sometimes the creators love is just obvious in the end product. With Simpson's his love was with his "Life in Hell" comic, at least initially.


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