Gen Con 2016 : Order these now.

I’m gonna make this short and sweet.
What RPGs debuted at Gen Con last week that you should be looking at and pre-ordering for your store now? It’s the most frequent question I’m asked.
“Butler, you go on and on about carrying those other roleplaying games and how they’re as important to the department as the big boys, but what should I be carrying?”
I’m here to help. I’ll even give a kick in the pants to your D&D sales while I’m at it.

In no particular order:

7th_sea_cover_V17th Sea from John Wick Productions
This puppy has potential. Many people have fond memories of the first go ’round with this world, and the hobby is really lacking a strong swashbuckling themed brand (Freeport not withstanding). The new rules seem to be of the love it or hate it variety (I have not yet read them myself) but word is that it’s a bit more narrative in flavor, which may appeal to the indie-game crowd. That’s the demographic that is certainly doing good things for my bottom line. Personally, I’m really excited. This will be exclusively available to retail through Indie Press Revolution starting Monday, August 15th. So if you ever really needed an excuse to have an account with IPR, there you go. Get on it.
Available to order exclusively through IPR.

TomeofBeastsTome of Beasts (for 5E D&D) from Kobold Press
If you’re not carrying Kobold Press stuff, you should be. Everything they’ve put out has been of stellar quality. In case you didn’t know, they’re the design studio behind Hoard of the Dragon Queen and Rise of Tiamat, so they know their way around 5E D&D. Tome of Beasts fills a void for those D&D players that really want more monsters, and while other companies have done monster books for 5E, none have been to this level of quality. Hungry for more D&D 5E product? Kobold has you covered.  Also releasing the same day: Book of Lairs.
Available to order from Alliance and ACD.

Agent's Handbook Cover.inddDelta Green from Arc Dream Publishing
The beloved Delta Green setting returns. I know plenty of people who talk about Delta Green in hushed, reverent tones, or even with a bit of regret, pining over something lost… “Delta Green. Yeah, Delta Green was good.” Well, it’s back. Not familiar with it? Think Cthulhu meets X-Files, but waay cooler than that suggests. It’s got two products releasing out the gate, a $39.99 Agent’s Handbook, and a quick-start product called Need to Know at $24.99
Available to order from Alliance and ACD.

Adventures_in_Middle-earth_front_cover800Adventures in Middle-Earth Player’s Guide (for 5E D&D) from Cubicle 7
What is there to say about this? It’s Middle-Earth and D&D together for the first time. PEOPLE, THIS IS CHOCOLATE AND PEANUT BUTTER TOGETHER AT LAST.
All kidding aside, I have read the entire book, and the tone is perfect. It still feels like 5E, while managing to bring in all that Tolkieny goodness without drowning in the minutia that sometimes scares people away. Casual fans of Lord of Rings want certain things out of Tolkien and are less concerned with obscure family lineages or the Lay of Beren and Lúthien ya know? For that latter group, there will always be The One Ring RPG, (which is awesome and my favorite RPG of all time) but this? This you will sell metric piles of. Put it next to your Player’s Handbook and watch it go. For decades people playing D&D have had to play “rangers” or “halflings”. Well, now they can play Rangers and Hobbits.
Available to order from just about anyone.

CoC7th-724x1024Call of Cthulhu 7th edition from Chaosium
It’s been delayed quite a few times, but it’s finally coming. After all these years of Cthulhu veritably oozing into every corner of our stores, if you can’t sell a brand new edition of the seminal Cthulhu roleplaying game, you’re not even trying. Core Rulebook, Investigator Handbook, and Keeper Screen Pack all release on the same day, which is next week by the way.
Available to order from just about anyone.

FantasyAgeBestiaryFantasy Age Bestiary from Green Ronin
Fantasy Age has been doing pretty well for us, nothing earth shattering, but it’s got a solid following and the addition of a Bestiary should spike some interest. Fantasy Age is one of those second-tier games that could really bulk up your RPG presence,
Available to order from just about anyone.

 

 

BaronMunchausenAdventures of Baron Munchausen from Fantasy Flight Games
Baron Munchausen is the grand daddy of all indie RPGs. It’s a game of competitive lying, in the best possible way. Honestly, if you haven’t read the product announcement at the Fantasy Flight website, you should do yourself a favor and read it. If you’ve got an indie RPG crowd, this is a must carry.
Available to order from just about anyone.

 

PolarisSetCrop

Polaris from Black Book Editions
A futuristic post-apocalyptic game in which humanity has gone beneath the seas to survive. It certainly looks unique. But be warned, the twin hardcover slipcase set retails for $89.90
In reality, that’s cheaper than a PHB and DMG, but there may be some sticker shock. It’s certainly really pretty, but will probably only move if you’ve got a copy open for people to look at. But boy o boy is it pretty.
Polaris is being distributed through Paizo, so it should be available from most distributors. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Shadowrun Anarchy from Catalyst Game Labs (not final cover)
An alternate rules set for the seminal Man Meets Magic and Machine roleplaying game. A rules-light, narrative way to play Shadowrun, based on the system from Cosmic Patrol and the Valiant RPG. I’ve read this one too, and I’m very excited. This is what will get Shadowrun to my personal table again, and with any luck will bring in an entirely new batch of players, and maybe some lapsed players as well. At the top of my personal wish list right now.
Available to order from just about anyone.

BlueRoseCropBlue Rose from Green Ronin
And now for something a little different. The Blue Rose “Romantic Fantasy” RPG is being updated with the AGE system (mechanics from Dragon Age and Fantasy Age). It didn’t actually make it to Gen Con, but it’s coming soon. From Green Ronin’s own product page –

“While Dungeons & Dragons and many subsequent fantasy RPGs drew inspiration from authors like J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert E. Howard, Michael Moorcock, and Fritz Leiber, a different sort of fantasy fiction began to develop in the 80s—what we call Romantic Fantasy—and there wasn’t a game built off its common themes and tropes. We thought there were a lot of fans who’d want an RPG inspired by writers like Tamora Pierce, Mercedes Lackey, and Jacqueline Carey. And we were right.”

And holy crap that art.
Available to order from just about anyone.

Finally, I give you an extra scoop of post-apocalyptic goodness:

MutantYearZeroGenlabAlphaMutant Year Zero Genlab Alpha from Modiphius 
A fully stand-alone sequel and expansion for Mutant Year Zero, Genlab Alpha brings the descendants of humanity’s gene-splicing experiments to the forefront of the MYZ setting. The original Mutant Year Zero was a big hit for me, and I hope this to do at least as well.

 

And that’s all I’ve got. Get those pre-orders in now kids.
What did I miss? Let me know.

(Full disclosure:  I wrote the preface for Shadowrun Anarchy, and I helped with some proofreading on Adventures in Middle-Earth.)

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