The world of tabletop role-playing games continues to evolve. Most games these days come via Kickstarter-backed projects and appear to be the most successful of those which use the crowd-funding platform in terms of actually delivering a quality product at the end.
So, while there may be even more exciting tabletop RPGs pitched on Kickstarter or announced at events such as Gen Con, these are the ones that, as of March, look to be among the best of the bunch by the time 2019 is over.
There’s a lot of hype around the upcoming release of Lex Arcana because of the exceptional original of the same name, which was released in 1993. Unfortunately, many English-speaking players didn’t get to play the original as it was released in Italy, so a team of the same authors of the original have been assembled to create a new Lex Arcana. The game itself takes place in a unique setting where Romans battle barbarians in the field while mystical powers, ancient monsters, and cults threaten the Caesar from within Rome’s walls. Lex Arcana is set for release around June 2019.
Pathfinder RPG: 2nd Edition
Pathfinder RPG, lovingly called D&D version 3.75, started as a modified version of Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 as a means to offer players a way of continuing to play in a similar way to the much-loved D&D 3.5 rather than the controversial 4th Edition, leading to Pathfinder even outselling Dungeons & Dragons through many quarters. In late 2014, D&D returned to the top with 5th Edition, but there’s a good chance that Pathfinder will once again give the legendary game a run for its money in 2019 when Pathfinder RPG: 2nd Edition is released. There are many stages to get through yet, but the hope is that 2nd Edition will release at or shortly after Gen Con 2019, which takes place from 1-4 August 2019.
Inspired by the novels of James S. A. Corey, just as the excellent series which was saved by Amazon in 2018 was, The Expanse will be a tabletop role-playing game which takes players to the universe where humans have colonised much of our Solar System. In the game, the people of the Earth, Mars, and those known as Belters continue to struggle for power while an older alien force begins to stir across the universe. Originally slated for a late 2018 release, the Expanse RPG was approved on 4 March – coincidentally, the day of writing this article – and is now available for purchase.
Savage Worlds: Adventure Edition
In 2003, the creators of miniature wargame Deadlands: the Great Rail Wars revised the rules for the game and expanded it into a new role-playing system that they would then call Savage Worlds. After many revisions and expansions to the original, a new edition was announced 15 years later, Savage Worlds: Adventure Edition, which was fully funded to the tune of $15,000 in less than five minutes and has since been given in excess of $520,000 in funding. The creators, Pinnacle, say that they’ve taken on all of the feedback of their fans to create a faster, more furious, and more fun edition which is expected to be given a print release later this year.
Things from the Flood
Hot on the heels of the fast-selling Tales from the Loop, Things from the Flood will be taking players back to the Loop in the 1990s, where you’ll try to balance your regular life with solving the mysteries of the dark times. The big difference here, according to creators Free League, is that the stakes are much higher – meaning that you can die. Final PDFs of the core rulebook were released in February, with printed copies on the way later in 2019.
While Pathfinder RPG: 2nd Edition and Savage Worlds: Adventure Edition are set to be huge hits with the tabletop RPG audience, Lex Arcana could challenge for the top spot with its very intriguing story and undoubtedly popular theme which blends history and mythology.