Catalyst Game Labs at Gen Con 2018

Catalyst Game Labs will be out in full force at Gen Con 2018, offering attendees never-before-seen new releases and one-of-a-kind experiences at Booth 1611 in Hall B. The Catalyst Demo Team will also be on hand to host non-stop action, including demos of Dragonfireand tons of BattleTech action.

If you want to know more about Catalyst’s plans for the coming year, and participate in a Q&A with company leadership, be sure to stop by the “What’s Up with BattleTech, Shadowrun, and Dragonfire” session, Thursday at 8 p.m. at Lucas Oil Meeting Room 7.

Before we dive into all the new games, expansions, and sourcebooks making their world debut at Gen Con, here are two things you can’t miss!

All-New Dragonfire Expansions!

Fans have been clamoring for more expansions to the smash-hit Dungeons & Dragonsdeckbuilding game Dragonfire, and now we’re delivering! Check out the first-ever Campaign Box for the game, as well as three new adventures and an all-new character pack to provide players with exciting new options for their campaigns.

BattleTech Boxed Sets are Back!

Two of the most hotly-anticipated BattleTechproducts in years will debut on the Gen Con floor: the BattleTech Beginner Box and the BattleTech: A Game of Armored Combat boxed sets! They’ve been redesigned from the ground up with entirely new content including gorgeous highly-detailed miniatures.



• Demos available throughout the convention.
• Two Githyanki promo screens will be available at the booth, in limited quantities.

Catalyst Games:
• Throughout the convention, a variety of other games will be demoed: Master of Orion: Conquest, Shadowrun: Zero Day, Kittens in a Blender, I Would Fight The Dragon, and more.

• Mega-sized Demo of the A Game of Armored Combat boxed set with 8″+ tall figures played on a 10’x10′ battle map — see below for a few examples!




The Catalyst Demo Team wants to introduce you to some of Catalyst Game Labs’ exciting, fun-filled products in the Miniatures and Casual Games Area. Here’s the schedule for the convention–note that some events require tickets or preregistration; consultthe Gen Con events websitefor more information on availability. All events end at 4 p.m. on Sunday.


  • Demos – All days, 10 a.m. to Midnight, every two hours. (Intermediate level)
  • Gen Con Exclusive Events – All days, Noon to 2 p.m.


  • BattleTech Bootcamp – All days, 10 a.m to 8 p.m., on the hour (Introductory level)
  • Alpha Strike Academy – All days, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., on the hour (Introductory level)
  • BattleTech Grinder – All days, 10 a.m. to Midnight. (Intermediate level)
  • Solaris Melee Challenge – Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to Midnight; Finals: Saturday at 10 a.m. (Intermediate level)
  • BattleTech Open – Friday, 10 a.m. (Advanced level)
  • Throwback Thursday – Thursday, 10 a.m. for classic BattleTech, 6 p.m. for Alpha Strike (Advanced level)
  • Bloodname Tournament – Clan Grand Melee, Thursday at 6 p.m.; Tournament, Friday at 6 p.m. (Advanced level)
  • Featured Event – Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Advanced level)
  • Alpha Strike Turning Points – Saturday, 10 a.m. to Midnight (Advanced level)
  • Alpha Strike Battle of the Superheavies – Friday, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Advanced level)
  • Alpha Strike Wolf’s Dragoons Cadet Program – Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Advanced level)
  • Masters and Minions – Saturday, 8 p.m.


  • All days, 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the painting area. (No 3 p.m. session on Sunday.)


Randall N. Bills, Catalyst’s Managing Developer, will be in-booth and reviewing game designs from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Brent Evans, the Catalyst Art Director, will be in-booth specifically for review of art portfolios each day from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.


The following brand-new games, expansions, and books are scheduled for pre-release at Gen Con 2018!


Campaign Box: Moonshae Storms ($29.99)

The Moonshae Storms campaign builds off An Ancient Evil Arises from the base game, as your continuing quest takes you to new lands. A brewing conflict threatens to drown the Moonshae Isles, as lycanthropes and their fomorians allies seek to change the balance of power. Will you tip the tide?

Moonshae Stormsis the first DragonfireCampaign Box. Face encounters from the all-new Mountain environment, and get fully equipped with new Market cards and Magic items! Also included are eight new Character screens, introducing the Barbarian Character class, as well as alternate human races—the Ffolk and Northlanders!

Character Pack: Heroes of the Wild ($24.99)

Character Pack: Heroes of the Wildcontains thirty-two new Character screens for Dungeons & Dragons© Dragonfire™, including the Barbarian, and introducing the Sorcerer Class. Additional distinctive races are also featured, such as the Lizardfolk, Tabaxi, Kenku, and Aasimar. Other cards bring new mixes of class and race together to fill out your adventuring party the way you see fit. This pack also includes a bevy of new Market cards, as well as Subclass Features, from Forge Domain to Cavalier, War Magic to Assassin, and more!


Adventures: Corruption in Calimshan ($19.99)

The exotic cities and arid deserts of Calimshan hide wonders untold…and terrors unknown! Conquer new encounters, including the all-new Desert environment. In the shifting sands, claim new Magic Items and Market cards, along with Crafting Poisons, in the next chapter of the Dragonfire Adventures!




Adventures: Ravaging the Sword Coast ($19.99)

Your relentless enemy, the hobgoblin warlord Torog-Kaitan, has increased in power, and his new army is wreaking havoc up and down the Sword Coast! Challenge two new Encounter Decks, earn new Magic Items, and gain powerful new Market cards in the next chapter of Dragonfire Adventures!





Adventures: Sword Mountains Crypt ($19.99)

In the depths of the Sword Mountains lies a crypt of a mighty Orc Warlord that once raided Waterdeep! Conquer new encounters, including the first Difficulty 4, a Demilich! In the tainted depths, claim new Magic Items and Market cards, in the next chapter of Dragonfire Adventures!


BattleTech Beginner Box ($19.99)

The commline abuzz with pre-battle orders.
The pounding rhythm of a metal titan on the prowl.
The shifting glow of your BattleMechs’ controls spread before you.
Then the abrupt tone-lock of incoming fire wails in your cockpit as missiles, autocannon shells, and lasers fall like Thor’s hammer against your armor. Seize your ‘Mechs controls, draw its weapons into line, and unleash a hellish response!

BattleTechis the world’s greatest armored combat game, filled with a myriad of epic stories and gaming experiences to satiate any player: miniatures to RPG play, hobby painting to fiction, and beyond. The BattleTech Beginner Box is the first step on the fantastic journey and includes everything you need to get started: two high-quality miniatures, quick-start rules, a mapsheet, cards to represent your MechWarrior’s unique skills, dice, and more.

Do you have what it takes to plant the banner of victory and become a legend? Leap into the action and find out!

BattleTech: A Game Of Armored Combat ($59.99)

It is the dawn of the thirty-first century. You are a MechWarrior: master of a multi-ton, towering avatar of destruction that is the culmination of more than 3,000 years of battlefield technology development. A precious heirloom passed from parent to child across centuries, an unassailable mark of your station. Whether a soldier-of-fortune or a true-blue patriot, you drop into hot zones across a thousand worlds to expand the star-spanning empire of one of the noble Great Houses.

BattleTechis the world’s greatest armored combat game. Inside this box you’ll discover epic clashes, dynamic characters, and a myriad of gaming experiences for any type of player: miniatures to RPG play, hobby painting to fiction, and beyond.

A Game of Armored Combat includes everything you need to start tossing dice and moving miniatures on your gaming table. Do you have what it takes to plan the banner of victory and become a legend? Leap into the action and find out!

BattleTech: Shattered Fortress ($29.99)

In 3146, the Republic of the Sphere hangs by a tenuous thread. The last fragments of Devlin Stone’s dream to shepherd humankind toward a more prosperous future hide behind the impenetrable defenses of Fortress Republic. As the interstellar communications blackout rages, the ambitious Great Houses vie for military dominance, and the bloodthirsty Clans strive to find a weakness in the Fortress’s armor on their path to conquering Terra and claiming the coveted title of ilClan. When the Wall comes down, will the Inner Sphere plunge even further into the abyss of interstellar war, or will this herald the dawning of a new age?

Shattered Fortresschronicles the twilight of BattleTech’s Dark Age, as nations are thrown into turmoil and predators circle the broken remnants of the Republic of the Sphere. This volume provides a year-by-year look at pivotal turning points in the history of the Inner Sphere, offers a peek behind the curtain of Fortress Republic, and reveals the fateful decisions that will ultimately decide the future of mankind.

BattleTech: A Splinter of Hope/The Anvil, Novella Omnibus ($7.99)

Jump into your BattleMech cockpit, fire up your fusion engine, and charge into the fray with two all-new BattleTechnovellas from Philip A. Lee and BattleTech veteran Blaine Lee Pardoe.

A Splinter of Hope: Violent expansion of the Capellan Confederation and the Draconis Combine has cost recently crowned First Prince Julian Davion both his mentor and countless Federated Suns worlds. To rally his people, he funnels the fires of justice into an ambitious yet risky campaign to retake a vital system: New Syrtis, the occupied capital of the Capellan March. However, the Capellan people have fought dearly for their prize and will do anything in their power to hold onto it. Will Julian’s gamble preserve the future of the Federated Suns, or is the invasion doomed before it even begins?

The Anvil: Khan Malvina Hazen of Clan Jade Falcon is known throughout the Inner Sphere as a merciless, bloodthirsty tyrant. The next target for her scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners tactics is the Lyran Commonwealth world of Coventry: a persistent stain on the Jade Falcons’ history. But not all Falcons follow Malvina’s lead. Ordered to take Coventry at any cost, Galaxy Commander Stephanie Chistu wishes to see her Clan victorious, but no victory is worth the Jade Falcons losing their very soul. To stand up to tyranny and find an honorable path forward for her Clan, she must balance the razor’s edge between duty and honor—or die trying.


Shadowrun: Kill Code ($49.99)

The Matrix is unknowable because it is infinite. There is always one more corner behind which things can hide, one more hole where secrets can be buried. Your job isn’t to know everything about the Matrix—it’s to know more than the people you are hunting. Or who are hunting you.

Kill Codewill help give Sixth World hackers the edge they need to stay alive and get ahead. From a guide to Matrix basics and operations to more ways to build ace deckers to dozens of new options for technomancers, the book can help everyone who tries to make their living on the Matrix, providing something to give them an edge when riding the Matrix’s datastreams. They’ll also learn about who their opposition might be—and how they might be attacked. The Matrix is full of kill codes waiting to be executed. Just as with the Sixth World’s many firearms, your job is to make sure they’re pointed in the right direction when they go off.

Kill Codeis an advanced Matrix sourcebook for use with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition.

Shadowrun: Street Lethal ($49.99)

Street fighting is only chaotic for amateurs. When you’re a pro, when you know what you’re doing, you’re precise. You know what your opponents might do, and you know ten different ways to respond. The options give you strength. They give you power. They make you dangerous enough that the smart ones on the street will know at a glance that they shouldn’t test you. The dumb ones will suffer.

Street Lethalcontains the data, tools, and options players need to maximize their characters’ combat skills. With briefings on the security techniques of major corporations, information on major mercenary groups and their operations, and a whole truckload of firearms options, this book has all runners need to make sure they’re the ones left standing at the end of a fight.

Street Lethalis for use with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, though much of the information on corporate security and other opponents could also be used in Shadowrun: Anarchy.

Shadowrun: Crossfire: Prime Runner Edition ($59.99)

The shadows of the Sixth World have every kind of danger you can imagine. Ultra-violent gangers, flesh-eating ghouls, mages that summon spirits from toxic waste, backstabbing corporate raiders, hard-nosed police officers, and even dragons. You don’t have much—mainly your guts, your wits, and your friends. But maybe that’s enough. Between you and your teammates, you can sling spells, hack the Matrix, talk a tiger out of his stripes, and bring down a charging ork from a hundred yards away. Will that be enough to face down the worst the mean streets can throw at you? You’re about to find out.

Shadowrun: Crossfireis a deck-building game set in one of the most popular game settings of all time. Crossing cyberpunk with fantasy and plunging players into a world dominated by ruthless megacorporations. Crossfiregives players the chance to dive into the world’s shadows and see if they can survive. The Prime Runner Editionadds new upgrades to make the game even better—with more missions, improved rules, and new character screens, this is the best version of Crossfireever!

Featuring fast, cooperative game play and stacks of dangerous obstacles and opponents to overcome. Shadowrun: Crossfirewill launch you into nonstop action. You’ll even have the chance to get stronger the more you play, tackling harder and harder obstacles as you become more dangerous. Leap into the shadows for deck-building adventure like you’ve never experienced!

Shadowrun: Crossfire: Prime Runner Refit Kit ($24.99)

If you have a Shadowrun: Crossfireset, you might have seen the update to the game called the Shadowrun: Crossfire: Prime Runner Edition, and maybe you’re thinking that it would be good to be able to get something that has only the changed materials—the updated rules, the changed cards, the new missions—so that you’d have all the benefits of the latest edition without having to buy everything again.

You’re right—it would be good! So here it is! The Prime Runner Refit Kitbrings all the changes of the Prime Runner Editionto your Crossfiregame, including updated rules, adjusted character stats, newly designed character screens, more missions, and a full range of upgrade stickers, including the set from the High Caliber Opsexpansion. With this kit, your game will be ready to roll with any Crossfire game out there!

Note: The Prime Runner Refit Kitis for use only with the first edition of Shadowrun Crossfire. If you don’t have Shadowrun: Crossfireor if you have the Crossfire: Prime Runner Edition, you do not need this Refit Kit!


The Duke: Lord’s Legacy ($39.99)

“…this is one of the best abstract strategy games I have ever played.” Tom Vasel, The Dice Tower.
“The most innovative little board game since Chess.” —Michael Stackpole, New York Times best selling author.

In The Duke, players move their troop tiles around the board and flip them over after each move. Each tile’s side shows a different movement pattern. If you end your movement in a square occupied by an opponent’s tile, you capture it. Capture your opponent’s Duke to win!

The Lord’s Legacyedition of this award-winning game includes the complete eight-tile Arthurian Legends expansion, as well as five brand new tiles!

Master of Orion: To The Stars, Fiction Anthology ($7.99)

The Master of Oriongame lets players take their place as one of thirteen different races of the galaxy, each seeking to carve out their own empire from the stars. Now, Catalyst Game Labs and are pleased to present the first anthology set in the Master of Orion universe.

Ranging from one end of the galaxy to the other, these original stories explore the galactic politics, alien planets, and outlaw bases of the Master of Orion universe. A Sakkra ship duels with a mysterious Meklar vessel near the Race Track, the most dangerous area in space. The leader of a Gnolam merchant empire family discovers that danger can come from any direction—even right next to him. A cargo ship crew stranded by pirates must accept an offer of help from an unlikely source. And a special operations team sets a trap to capture the wily creature that has led them on a chase halfway across the galaxy.

Featuring sixteen stories by Michael A. Stackpole, Jody Lynn Nye, Aaron Rosenberg, Jean Rabe, Robert E. Vardeman, Jane Lindskold, and many others, To the Starsexplores the races, planets, and secrets of the Master of Orion universe like never before. So ready your fleet, take stock of your planets, and prepare to embark on adventures that will take you to the stars and beyond!


The following game re-stocks are scheduled for availability at Gen Con 2018!


Dragonfire: Character Pack: Heroes of the Sword Coast ($24.99)

Character Pack: Heroes of the Sword Coastcontains thirty-two additional Character screens, introducing the Druid, Bard, Ranger and Warlock Classes into Dungeons & Dragons© Dragonfire™. Additional races are also featured, including Rock Gnome, Tiefling, Lightfoot Halfling, and Gold Dwarf. Other screens bring Classes, genders, and races together in a broad variety to fill out a sweeping range of adventuring parties. Finally, the pack includes dozens of sticker sheets, as well as twenty-seven new Market cards.



Dragonfire: Adventures: Shadows Over Dragonspear Castle ($19.99)

Evil awaits in the catacombs surrounding Dragonspear Castle. Challenge two new Encounter Decks, and discover new Magic Items and Market cads in the first chapter of the Dragonfire Adventures!




Dragonfire: Adventures: Chaos in the Trollclaws ($19.99)

Chaos brews in the Trollclaws as gnolls, orcs, and goblins clash in conflicts that endanger the countryside. Face new Encounters and claim new Magic Items and Market cards in the second chapter of the Dragonfire Adventures!



Dragonfire: Treasure Hoard: Wondrous Treasures ($19.99)

Wondrous Treasurescontains fifty-two Magic Items cards to expand your Dungeons & Dragons© Dragonfire™experience. From armor to weapons, figurines of power to staffs: a host of great new game play fun can be yours. Unlock the keys to adding these to your deck as you complete more adventures and build the legend of your character!

BattleTech: Total Warfare ($39.99)

It is the 31st century, a time of endless wars that rage across human-occupied space. As star empires clash, these epic wars are won and lost by BattleMechs, 30-foot-tall humanoid metal titans bristling with lasers, autocannons and dozens of other lethal weapons; enough firepower to level entire city blocks. Your elite force of MechWarriors drives these juggernauts into battle, proudly holding your faction’s flag high, intent on expanding the power and glory of your realm. At their beck and call are the support units of armored vehicles, power armored infantry, aerospace fighters and more, wielded by a MechWarrior’s skillful command to aid him in ultimate victory. Will they become legends, or forgotten casualties? Only your skill and luck will determine their fate!

The product of more than twenty years of gaming experience, Total Warfarepresents the rules of the BattleTech game system as never before. For the first time, all the rules for various units that have a direct impact on the deadly battlefields of the thirty-first century appear in a unified rules set: from BattleMechs to ProtoMechs, Combat Vehicles to Support Vehicles, infantry to aerospace fighters and DropShips. Interwoven and meticulously updated, Total Warfare provides the most detailed and comprehensive rules set published to date for BattleTech–the perfect companion for standard tournament play.

Total Warfareis the single-source rulebook for people who play BattleTech. It is not intended to teach new players the game, but rather to serve as a reference work for people who know the game, while introducing more technologies and expansive rules than appear in the basic box set. The introductory game in the BattleTech line is the BattleTech Introductory Box Set. New players should pick up that product before diving into this one. Construction rules for the various units presented in Total Warfare can be found in BattleTech TechManual.

Note: To celebrate the release of the BattleTech Beginner Boxand BattleTech: A Game of Armored Combatboxed sets, the release of Harebrained Schemes’ BATTLETECH, as well as Piranha Games hotly-anticipated MechWarrior 5, new printings of the core BattleTechrulebooks are coming, with the first, Total Warfare, now available! As each are reprinted, they’ll feature fully-updated errata and receive a vintage cover to celebrate the wonderful history of the BattleTechuniverse!

BattleTech: Legacy, Anthology ($11.95)

A Draconis Combine warrior struggles with immoral orders in the First Succession War. A House Davion MechWarrior participates in a risky heist as part of Operation Guerrero. A history buff battles the Word of Blake during the Liberation of Terra. What do these MechWarriors have in common? Each one pilots the same BattleMech, a survivor that has been repaired and rebuilt countless times throughout its long and bloody 300-year lifespan.

The seventy-ton GHR-5H Grasshopper can outmaneuver and outlast some of the most fearsome enemy ’Mechs, making it an invaluable asset to battlefield commanders. Even an incapacitated Grasshopper will be rebuilt to fight another day, with a new pilot at its controls, because MechWarriors can be replaced, but ’Mechs cannot.

In BattleTech: Legacy, thirteen all-new stories chronicle the fortunes and tragedies of a single ’Mech across several tumultuous points in its wide-ranging combat history. Veteran BattleTech authors Kevin Killiany and Craig A. Reed, Jr. bookend this exciting collection, while other familiar names and new blood explore important moments in this ’Mech’s history of constant, unmitigated warfare that leaves no corner of the Inner Sphere untouched.

BattleTech: The Nellus Academy Incident, Novel ($11.95)

The battlefields of the 31st century are ruled by the BattleMech; twelve-meter-tall, 100-ton bipedal engines of pure destruction. Piloted by MechWarriors, commanded by neo-feudal officers, owned by national governments and band of mercenaries, these ’Mechs make every other ground combat vehicle obsolete.
This is the warfare of fusion-powered giants.
This isBattleTech.

Allegra Greene is no stranger to the military; her father is a general, after all. But when she enters the Nellus Military Academy, she finds far more than she expected. She finds a group of friends that will keep her going, challenging training, and instructors that push her to the edge and beyond.

Unfortunately, that’s not all she finds, and soon the endemic politics and warfare of the Inner Sphere reach the Nellus Academy. When their spaceship is hijacked and crash-lands on a remote moon, Allegra and her friends find themselves in a life-or-death struggle just to survive!

Shadowrun GM Screen, with new art ($19.99)

Every shadowrunner knows the value of good information. The right fact, the perfect piece of data, can be the difference between success and failure on a run, between life and death. And in the right hands, information can be more than valuable-it can be powerful.

The Shadowrun Gamemaster Screenprovides a collection of useful tables from Shadowrun, Fifth Editionfor ease of reference in game play. With range tables, action lists, combat modifiers, social modifiers, and more, this is a critical game aid to make your Shadowrungames faster and more fun. And to provide that all-important secrecy so that the players don’t know what you’re up to. This screen is for use with Shadowrun, Fifth Edition.

Shadowrun: Sprawl Stories, Vol. 1, Anthology ($11.95)

The Sixth World is a dangerous place, and nowhere is that more obvious than in Seattle, the so-called Emerald City. Surrounding its neon-drenched heart is kilometer after kilometer of Sprawl, where millions of people scratch out a living among hazardous, slowly decaying neighborhoods and even more dangerous neighbors.

Sprawl Storiescontains four Shadowrunnovellas that explore Seattle through the eyes of the people who live there every day. A burned-out mage detective tackles a missing person case that threatens to spiral beyond his control. A reporter goes on the ride-along of her life with a high-octane DocWagon team, and uncovers a conspiracy on live trideo. A young ex-wageslave is caught between powerful forces while investigating his uncle’s death. And a shaman must deal with a serious injury that threatens his very way of life—but not before taking vengeance on those who double-crossed him.

So take a walk on the true wild side of the Seattle Sprawl. If you’re good—and lucky—you might even come back out in one piece…


If you think that list of books/games is awesome, we’ve got even more stuff for you to check out, including new t-shirts, enamel pins, dice and more!

The following additional items are planned to be available in the Catalyst area:

  • All-new energy drinks to keep you sharp during long gaming sessions!
  • Shadowrun Q-workshop dice
  • BattleTech Q-workshop dice
  • BattleTech acrylic and aluminum dice
  • BattleTech and Shadowrun patches
  • Old and new BattleTech and Shadowrun T-shirts
  • Old and new BattleTech and Shadowrun lapel pins and keychains (right)
  • Two BattleTechminiatures, the Waspand the Valkyrie, in verylimited quantities only at the Catalyst booth!


Promo Character Screens in GTM #220

Catalyst Game Labs is pleased to announce a collaboration with our good friends at Game Trade Magazine (GTM). Issue #220, available this month, not only has a great Dragonfire article, but polybagged with each GTM is one of four random Ranger Class promo Character screens, which you can see below.

If you’re at the Origins Game Fair next week, you’ll find GTM at booth #145, distributing copies of the magazine!



D&D Announces Stream of Many Eyes!

Catalyst Game Labs is incredibly excited to share the news from Wizards of the Coast of this spectacular event for all fans of Dungeones & Dragons! Check out the details below:

On June 1 – 3 2018, D&D will bring tons of Twitch streamers, actors, comedians and D&D luminaries to the Stream of Many Eyes, a three-day livestreamed extravaganza full of cosplay, crazy sets and amazing stories. During the Stream of Many Eyes – #SOMEDND – the D&D team will unveil the new adventure story coming this year and showcase extraordinary D&D live play entertainment, and it will all stream live on

The Stream of Many Eyes starts at 4pm PT on Friday, June 1st, with a visual tour of the studio led by host Anna Prosser Robinson and a roundtable conversation with the D&D team on the new storyline and what makes it so exciting. Dungeons & Dragons will then present live D&D play sessions with Force Grey & Dice, Camera, Action.

On Saturday, June 2nd, the livestream kicks off at 10 AM PT with Sirens of the Realms. Saturday’s games will feature well-known D&D gaming group Girls, Guts, Glory as well newer groups Rivals of Waterdeep and Dark & Dicey, all previewing content from the new story. The entertainment will run all day, wrapping up at 7 PM PT.

Four groups will perform on Sunday, June 3rd, beginning at 11 AM PT and streaming until 8 PM PT. Games will include members of Critical Role, High Rollers, Force Grey and the entire cast of Dice, Camera, Action performing together in costume for the first time.

D&D fans around the world can watch all the excitement unfold on, and on Sunday only, fans in the Los Angeles area can buy tickets to watch one of our live games in person. The live ticketed experience includes a curated set tour, live performances from musicians, dancers and stunt-people, food trucks, a D&D pop-up store full of merch, and of course some of your favorite gaming groups.

Check out the full schedule and buy tickets at Tickets are limited – so if you’ll be in the L.A. area on June 3rd make sure to grab them quick! Check out our website, follow us on Twitter or subscribe to the Dragon Talk podcast feed for all the latest updates and for interviews with our special #SOMEDND guests.

Dragonfire on Dragon+ Lifestream Tomorrow!

Dragonfire will join the Dragon+ Livestream tomorrow! Starting around 2:20 PST I’ll be diving into a game with the Dragon+ crew. We’ll be tackling Adventure Pack: Sea of Swords, which will be available in another month or so.

    Dangers lurk along the coast and in the depths of the Sea of Swords. Challenge two new Encounter Decks introducing an all-new environment, Coastal! Discover new Magic Items and Market cards in the next chapter of Dragonfire Adventures!

We’ll be on the ship Sword Mistress, on the Sea of Swords, fighting off creatures and a pirate ship!

Hope to see you watching!



Dragon + and Dragonfire!

The latest issue of Dragon + includes the very first digital Dragonfire Adventure! The Warlocks’s Crypt is a Level 2 Adventure that any player of Dragonfire can enjoy right now!

    The Winding Waters are blocked, and you put your boats ashore…only to realize to your horror you’ve stumbled near the Warlock’s Crypt! Can you make it past the spell webs to escape?

You can grab the issue for iOS or for Android.

However, if you’ve played through and read the fiction from Adventure Pack: Chaos in the Trollclaws, the Warlock’s Crypt also includes the usual Prologue/Epilogue of fiction as well. It ties into the Epilogue of Chaos in the Trollclaws, while offering a hint of what is to come in our next Adventure Pack: Sea of Swords, available soon!

So grab a great new Adventure to play for Dragonfire, and get a great pile of other D&D content along the way!



Welcome to Chaos in the Trollclaws!

It’s hard to believe we’re already here, but it’s fantastic to have the second Adventure Pack, Chaos in the Trollclaws, already on store shelves!

As with Shadows Over Dragonspear Castle, if your store jumped on the Launch Kit you may have knocked out Trollclaws already. But for the rest just seeing it now, thought I’d give a full run-down on this great new Adventure.

The contents of Trollclaws include:

  • 30 Encounter Cards
  • 12 Market Cards
  • 9 Magic Item Cards
  • 5 Dragonfire Cards
  • 2 Character Screens
  • 18 Stickers
  • 1 Adventure
  • 1 Rules Sheet

Let’s run down the details.

Encounters: Orcs, gnolls, and goblins are clashing in The Trollclaws, and the encounters provide great groupings of these exciting encounters: Orc Claw of Luthic to Orc Tanarukk; Gnoll Flind to Gnoll Flesh Gnawer Pack; Hobgoblin Devastator Legion to Hobgoblin Iron Shadow. We also introduce multiple cavalry encounters that are a Humanoid/Beast Type combo with a new mobile mechanic that makes them extra dangerous. Trust me, the Gnoll Hyena Cavalry are particularly brutal.

Market Cards: Every Adventure Pack will have a card unique to that Adventure, in this instance Cache Raiders. We also introduce an additional new card, Colossus Slayer, to be used when a Ranger is in the party. As with Dragonspear, additionally Glorys (with alternate art), are provided….because you’re going to need them.

Magic Items: A few repeats continue building up a robust catalog of Magic Items, while introducing a few new ones, such as the Oil of Prescience and Oil of Honing; those two Swords on Oil of Honing come in so handy in a clinch!

Dragonfire Cards: As I’ve previously stated, Dragonfire cards bring the pain…and the fun! What’s more, they are ridiculously fun to build and playtest. Not only can they raise fun challenges, but their name and fiction work hand-in-hand with a new mechanic to accentuate the story we’re telling. And no, I’m not going to share the Dragonfire Milestone card for this Adventure Pack.

Character Screens: The two new Character screens for Trollclaws are a Half-Elf Ranger and a Half-Orc Ranger.

Stickers: Three sheets of stickers provide additional copies of the most important Features for your Ranger.

Adventure and Rulesheet: Each Adventure Pack includes a brand-new Adventure to take full advantage of the Pack’s contents, while the Rulesheet provides additional clarifications and new fiction.

Until next time!


Never Ever Ever Ever Give Up!

If you can’t tell by now, I’ve played—and continue to play—a lot of games. And a lot of different types of games (though Dragonfire has stunted that some this last year, with its disproportionately high playtesting quota needs). So while it may sound hyperbolic, even with that breadth of perspective, I believe there is a powerfully unique element to Dragonfire (and its progenitor, Shadowrun: Crossfire).

More effectively than any other game I’ve ever played, Dragonfire tries to convince you that you’ve lost and that you should give up. And yet easily 3 out of 5 times, if the players would just push on, despite the insane odds and Exhausted tokens and Stunned characters, and the overwhelming feeling that the monsters are about to generate a Total Party Kill—victory can be pulled from the jaws of defeat!

We’ve had some pretty epic Hail Marys in the past. One of my favorites involved Talon’s Wizard that previously had to purchase Spirit Guardians to help save the second Scene. And at the end of the third Scene he’s Stunned, then top-decks that Spirit Guardians and proceeds to make a successful Devotion Check—with the only Devotion card in his entire deck—to get just enough damage to save our party’s butts.

However, last week we were playtesting the Calimshan Adventure Pack and had, without a doubt, the most ridiculously awesome Hail Mary I’ve seen in eight months of heavy playtesting.

Let me set the stage:

It’s the third and final Scene. In positions one, two, three, and four around the table we have a Forest Gnome Fighter [Heroes of the Sword Coast], a Tabaxi Bard [new Character screen for this Adventure Pack (see play testing stats below)], a Forest Gnome Druid [Heroes of the Sword Coast (I know, I know…two of them!)] and finally a Tiefling Warlock [Heroes of the Sword Coast].

The Hit Points around the table are: 2, 1, 4, 3. Hellish Rebuke [Warlock card from Adventure Pack: Shadows Over Dragonspear Castle] has been played the previous round, and so there’s a token sitting on the only encounter left…the Mummy Lord.

Now I’m not gonna show the whole card off, especially its nasty text abilities…you’re just gonna have to wait for the Adventure Pack for that. But here’s the damage track from our playtest card (the red outline on that 10 of the final row means immune to level damage). This card, hands down, is the sickest encounter we’ll have published to date. Even more dangerous than the Adult Green Dragon! And it had only the last two levels. We got this!

Except we move into the Dragonfire phase and we’re sitting at nine Dragonfire level! And …Not A Drop To Drink, a new Dragonfire card from this expansion (see the playtest copy at left), shows up!!! Now it’s a tough card, no doubt. But usually the combination of the high Dragonfire level needed for such a huge hit, combined with the Deadfall mechanic, allows’ us to usually miss the effect. In fact, in the half-dozen games we’d played with this card, I’d never seen its full impact yet. But we just blew through a huge swath of cards to get rid of the Gynosphinx the previous round—another brutal Difficulty Three card in this set—so we can’t possible clear that level 10 on the Mummy Lord that’s immune to level damage.

So the round begins. Player one (Jay) and two (my position) both draw cards and build power, knowing there’s nothing we can do. And let’s be very clear here…we barely made it to this point. There had been discussions of ending the game already. Twice. But as soon as …Not A Drop To Drink showed up, that discussion of quitting swelled into a din of pessimism. And even I was wondering if we should call it quits and re-set to get in another game before our time ran out that day. (Which is saying something, because usually I’m dogged enough to go to the bitter end of any game.)

On player three’s turn (Rob), the Mummy Lord attacked, dropping that character’s 4 HP to 2, but the Hellish Rebuke token then went off, eliminating the second to last level. Then the fourth player (Ben) went, and of course the …Not A Drop To Drink went into the discard, and we all were Stunned!

The din to quit became a cacophony! But I mentioned I’m dogged, right? I said we should keep going (and Jay backed me up). The next Dragonfire card was inconsequential, luckily, and we continue. On Jay’s turn, he draws a Master’s Longsword +1 Magic Item, which deals 2 points of damage.

On my turn, I draw a Stealth.

On Rob’s turn, he draws a card that won’t do enough damage—of course—and then the Mummy Lord attacks. Since he’s already got an Exhausted token, when he goes Stunned, he’s instantly Unconscious and out of the Scene, and the Mummy Lord immediately moves to the fourth player.

Rinse, repeat, Ben’s out, and the encounter rotates to Jay as the party leader. All is lost, right? We should just give up. The Mummy Lord is gonna take down Jay and then ruthlessly put me down, right?

But before that happens, we move to the Dragonfire phase…and up comes Dangerous Waters!!!!

Jay heals half his starting HP and immediately draws two cards after healing from Stunned: a Greatsword +1 Magic Item, which normally deals 2 damage, but for a Martial Class character deals 3. And then his second card is a Command Presence.

I also heal from Stunned and draw two cards: another Stealth, but also Encore [a Bard card from Heroes of the Sword Coast], which does 2 damage.

Jay then takes his turn and plays all three of his cards, nominating me to draw a card and play a card with Command Presence. I play Encore, and then with my Bardic Inspiration Feature it deals a total of three damage. Combined with Jay’s seven damage, we generate exactly ten points of damage and defeat the Mummy Lord!!!


So the next time Dragonfire sings its seductive siren song of “go ahead and quit,” don’t listen to it! The brilliance of the puzzle of this game is there is so often a path to victory, even if you might not see it at that moment.

Does that mean you’ll always win? Good heavens, no! (In fact, we got wasted in the game before this one.) But the next time you think you should give up, go ahead and keep trying and see what happens. And then do it again for another game or three, and I’ll bet at least one time (if not more), you’ll pull out that incredible, save-the-day victory when you were confident it couldn’t be done.

So grab that scroll, tighten your grip on your weapons and dig deep for that brilliant move you’ll all be talking about for a long time to come! I know I’ll be thinking about this Adventure for years.

Until next time!


What’s In An Adventure Pack?

Many years ago, I had an experience of watching a game designer have a cool new thing for his game line show up, and he shrugged as though it was no biggy.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’ve talked a lot about how this is absolutely a job of too much work for too little pay and it inevitably merges your hobby with your work and your life. And for many developers, that simply becomes too much. The fun of what we do is lost in the weeds of so much minutia and emails and playtesting. And so it can be pretty difficult to maintain the perspective that despite all of that, we get to make cool stuff!

As such, when something new arrives for a line I’m working on, especially when the last six months has kicked me more than almost any time previously, my reaction is a good indication of whether this is still something I should be doing or if I’m approaching burn out. Holding the two first Adventure Packs in my hands a few weeks back…yeah, felt so good. Of course, the developer part of me had to take it apart and carefully go over it piece by piece and find one or two niggles that we need to improve. But I was just so…excited. Almost giddy. Yup…still good to go!

Some of you already have the first Adventure Pack (and depending on whether your store jumped onto the Launch Kit you might even have the second). But as it’s just becoming available this month for most players, thought I’d dive into Adventure Pack: Shadows Over Dragonspear Castle, a spread of which is shown above (D&D tabletop RPG books and map of the Sword Coast not included).

The contents of Dragonspear (which will be nearly identical from Pack to Pack) are the following:

  • 30 Encounter Cards
  • 13 Market Cards
  • 9 Magic Item Cards
  • 5 Dragonfire Cards
  • 2 Character Screens
  • 18 stickers
  • 1 Adventure
  • 1 Rules Sheet
  • 1 Replacement Adventure Environment Card (Dragonspear-only)

I don’t want to give everything away, of course, but lets break that down with a little more details.

Encounters: A slew of cool new Encounters will meet your party, from Black Pudding to Blink Dog, Spirit Naga to a slew of Kobolds. Several devils also make their appearance—Bone Devil, Spined Devil, and more—as the stars of this Adventure. We also introduce a new keyword for Locations: “Trap.” Some of these cards are unique to this set. An “X” icon on a card indicates that it’s only to be used either in the set where it publishes (i.e. in this instance, Dragonspear), or when an Adventure calls for it. But most of them can be used freely, as indicated; i.e. when you’re using Dungeon Environment Decks, you can add these cards to your cards from the base game.

Market Cards: Every Adventure Pack will have a card unique to that Adventure; as described above, they include an X. For Dragonspear, that’s Dungeon Delver. We also introduce an additional new card, Hellish Rebuke, that can be used anytime a Warlock is in the party. Finally, because everyone will endlessly need the replenishment, additional Basic cards are included (in this instance, the Cantrip), with alternate art.

Magic Items: This includes a few repeats—making sure your Magic Item Decks are robust enough for all the draws you’ll be taking as you play more Adventures—as well as several brand new cards, like the Oil of Blessings and Oil of Proficiency.

Dragonfire Cards: These are so much fun to create and to play with. Five brand new cards bring new challenges and excitement. We also introduce the concept of the Dragonfire Milestone card. After players complete Shadows Over Dragonspear Castle, one Dragonfire card must be included in all future games you play. I won’t show which one it is as it helps to evoke the flavor of this Adventure in future game play and don’t want to give anything away. You’ll just have to play it and find out!

Character Screens: The two new Character screens for Dragonspear are a Lightfoot Halfing Warlock and a Moon Elf Warlock.

Stickers: The three sheets of stickers provide additional copies of the most important Fearures for your Warlock, while we also introduce the concept of a Trophy sticker.

Adventure and Rulesheet: Every Adventure Pack, of course, includes a brand-new Adventure, customized to take full advantage of the Pack’s contents. The Rulesheet, then, provides additional clarifications, as well as new fiction that ties back into the An Ancient Evil Arises campaign from the base game. I won’t go into any more details than that, as I don’t want to spoil anything for you.

Most months in the coming year will include one of these great Adventure Packs. Grab one and see how much more excitement you can add to your adventuring!

Until next time!