Thursday, December 28, 2017

Reviewing the 2017 Gaming Predictions

Back in December 29 of last year I made some gaming predictions/analysis about where things ought to go for how did it stack up?

1. A Companion Book for Fantasy AGE


As it turns out, Green Ronin got Blue Rose out this year, announced a Modern AGE (though that will probably not come out until sometime in 2018) and that was about it.

2. WotC Releases a Player's Tome for D&D 5E


Sure enough, the did it: Xanathar's Tome is also for DMs, but contains plenty of new archetypes for players, new background details, and loads of little bits that D&D 5E needed. I wish they'd do this every year, but understand that the game's focus is on less maybe 2018 will give us a new monster book, instead.

3. Starfinder support for straight SF


Starfinder is fun, but it's pure fantasy space opera of the Nth order. I still contend it needed to be a broader toolkit, but for what it does set out to do, it does very well. So I suppose this is a wash. Given how saturated the market has become with SF game options, though, I would suggest that Starfinder probably is doing fine by distinguishing itself with its fantasy-based Pact Worlds universe and this was probably a smarter move on their part than directly competing with Star Wars, Star Trek, FrontierSpace, a re-release of Star Frontiers in POD, Traveller, Coriolis, and probably two dozen others I haven't mentioned, never mind all the generic systems with SF support. So yeah.

4. Swords & Wizardry goes mainstream


The new edition came out but it doesn't appear to have changed S&W's saturation in the market. If anything the OSR seems to be dominated by the more innovative titles which are better described as "inspired by" as well as a slew of weird "we are going to repurpose the fuck out of B/X D&D" releases on rpgnow that are all over the place. So no mainstream OSR title.

5. GURPS Returns


Hell yeah it did. Dungeon Fantasy has re-energized GURPS, and then Steve Jackson Games got GURPS on to rpgnow which was a bold decision on their part, but brings it back in to the "view" of most gamers who don't frequent e23. They are looking to a future of new stand-alone, Kickstarter-funder releases similar to Dungeon Fantasy, and lastly Steve Jackson also regained control of his content for The Fantasy Trip, which was GURPS's predecessor, which based on his comments on the GURPS forums he plans to re-release as-is, meaning a very "lite" version of the system which inspired GURPS will be available again soon.

SJG could move too slowly on future plans, but for 2017 at least GURPS got some much needed love and attention.

6. Pathfinder 2.0 


They could be quietly working on this, but they didn't announce it. There are lots of streamlined design decisions in Starfinder, but I feel many of those are designed to suit the space fantasy laser gun elements of the setting and may not be so ideal for straight fantasy gaming. There's a planned release schedule that suggests no 2.0 announcement for 2018, either....and judging from the diehard dislike of the Wilderness Adventures book's shifter class, the Pathfinder core will not be happy with anything that isn't fully public in playtest, so I suspect no 2.0 is in the works right now, or the foreseeable future.

So...2 out of 6! About par for the course with any good fortune teller, in other words....

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