I can’t help but feel, after the year we have all just endured, that we as Tabletop Roleplaying Game fans might be a bit optimistic about the coming releases for 2021 and beyond. With good reason, I’d wager!
Look, we all know that 2020 was a bit hard on the TTRPG business, not to mention the hobby in general. Brick-&-Mortar stores closing down due to the pandemic, or their business severely curtailed due to social distancing restrictions. Printers and shipping companies hammered by the plague, extra demand for deliveries, and whatnot. Even game developers forced to change their entire creative model, with most of their staff working from home.
In short, COVID-19 basically bent the TTRPG industry to its breaking point… But did it buckle under the strain?
Instead, while many releases were delayed in 2020, it would seem that things are looking up in 2021. Maybe it is simply that ancillary businesses (printers, suppliers, shippers, etc) are starting to bounce back from the pandemic, or perhaps that some titles delayed from last year are looking like they will come out soon? Regardless, the release schedule for 2021 thus far is looking quite robust, and honestly…
… I’m pretty excited!
I have bought more tabletop roleplaying games in the last six months, than I had in the ten years before that. Seriously! This was mostly because I…
- Felt like a bit of Retail Therapy was in order, after my heart surgery last summer
- Needed to ‘catch up’ on a lot of games that I had wanted to check out, but just never got around to buying before
- Started a solo tabletop roleplaying actual-play podcast, which needed new games to feed to the Content Monster
But in this frenzy of game purchases, I have also been tracking new games coming out over Kickstarter, as well as through more traditional publishing venues, and it seems to me like more and more games are queueing up for release! This could be due to a lot of reasons, but I feel like the need for social interaction brought on by this pandemic, has really driven interest in TTRPGs in the last year. Yes, we are pretty much stuck with online play only right now, but the need for human interaction is fairly strong right now, which is driving people towards TTRPGs, however they can play them.
And play them, we shall!
I’ve been looking at the games I am not-so-patiently awaiting in 2021, and the list is pretty extensive. There is the long-delayed “Tiny Cthulhu”, along with “Thirsty Sword Lesbians”, “Urban Shadows 2nd Edition”, and several more! Plus a good amount of tools for supporting current games, like a veritable fuck-ton of cards, supplements, and zines for “Mörk Borg”. In any other year, I’d consider that a ‘phat haul’, but in 2021… it’s just the bare surface!
Consider, if you will, that we only know about one official supplement for “Dungeons & Dragons” 5th edition coming in 2021, being “Candlekeep Mysteries”. While that book isn’t really my cup of tea, I can see why some are quite excited about it. But also note that Wizards of the Coast will likely be delivering two, possibly three more books for D&D, before the end of the year!
Then there is “Pathfinder” 2e. Not to mention “Call of Cthulhu”. I happen to know a bunch of stuff is coming out for “Shadowrun”. Hell, even Atlas Games has four supplements planned for “Feng Shui 2”, this year alone!
I could go on and on, but I think you get my point. A bunch of new games are on the horizon (“Dune”, anyone?), even more supplements for existing games, and a quiet avalanche of third-party content is coming in 2021! The market is about to become awash in roleplaying goodness, and I could not be happier.