Each year, I like to take a look back at the biggest TTRPG news stories of the year. Below you’ll find two lists — one for Dungeons & Dragons articles, and one for other topics. As you can see, it’s been an eventful year, and one filled with controversy.
There were 11 massive Kickstarter successes breaking the $1M barrier, astonishing when compared to the fact that in the 12 years since Kickstarter’s creation in 2009 until the start of 2021, only 4 TTRPG projects beat the $1M mark. Big brand licensed games like Marvel and Avatar hit the headlines, and there were big changes to D&D itself. And of course, there was TSR3.5. 2021 was a lot of things, but uneventful wasn’t one of them.
The lists below show individual articles in descending order of popularity (for certain values of ‘popular’ — infamy is it’s own type of fame, I guess). As many of them can be grouped into certain large ongoing news stories, here’s a quick breakdown of that:
- TSR dominated the news by far with 9 articles in the list.
- Kickstarter features in 6 articles, mainly about big campaign successes including Avatar, The One Ring, Into the Mother Lands, and Coyote & Crow.
- D&D changes to race and alignment attracted a lot of attention. Most of those threads ended up being closed.
- Big brand licensed games such as Avatar, Marvel Multiverse, The One Ring, Tomb Raider, and Hasbro licensed properties like Power Rangers, GI Joe, and Transformers featured heavily.
- And of course, new D&D books as always generate a lot of buzz.
Dungeons & Dragons
Dungeons and Dragons news is often dominated by the Unearthed Arcana playtest updates — this is mainly because rules ‘crunchy’ pieces generate a lot to talk about. Other news included upcoming (at the time) releases such as Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons, Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft, and Strixhaven.
The biggest news story of the year, though, was all about how race was being changed in future D&D books, as discussed in a January Unearthed Arcana article.
- Unearthed Arcana: Gothic Lineages & New Race/Culture Distinction
- WotC: Novels & Non-5E Lore Are Officially Not Canon
- Unearthed Arcana: Travelers of the Multiverse
- Unearthed Arcana: Mages of Strixhaven
- WotC Explains ‘Canon’ In More Detail
- Latest D&D Errata: Drow, Alignment, & More
- Is Paladine Bahamut? Is Takhisis Tiamat? Fizban’s Treasury Might Reveal The Answer!
- The October D&D Book is Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons
- “The Future of D&D” (New Core Books in 2024!)
- Two New D&D Books Revealed: Feywild & Strixhaven Mage School
- WotC: 5 D&D Settings In Development?
- D&D Beyond Cancels Competition
- Jon Peterson: Does System Matter?
- Unearthed Arcana: Draconic Options
- New Unearthed Arcana: Folk of the Feywild!
- Fizban Is In The Wild — With the Table of Contents!
- New WotC Survey! Learn About A New D&D Product!
- Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft Review Round-Up – What the Critics Say
- Ray Winninger mentions third project!
- Candlekeep Mysteries Author Speaks Out On WotC’s Cuts To Adventure
- Preview Witchlight’s New Rabbit People
- Michelle Rodriguez, Justice Smith Join D&D Movie
- Hugh Grant To Play Villain in the D&D Movie
- RA Salvatore Wants To Correct Drizzt’s Racist Tropes
- The History of ‘Immersion’ in RPGs
- Fizban’s Treasury Dragons Ranked By Challenge Rating
- Witchlight Promo Video: Ellywick Tumblestrum
- Ravenloft Previews of Dementlieu, Lamordia, and Har’Akir
- Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft Table of Contents
- D&D Head Talks Future Plans (Sort Of)
In non-D&D news, the ongoing story of TSR3.5 dominated the year, taking the top 8 most popular spots in the list. TSR3.5 aside, popular stories included big brand tabletop RPGs such as Avatar Legends, Marvel Multiverse, and The One Ring.
- Companies & Freelancers Distance Themselves From The New TSR
- TSR3.5 Launches IndieGogo Campaign to “Stop” WotC
- TSR3 Blames Widespread Pushback On WotC
- TSR (2) Confirms TSR (3)’s Acquisition of Trademark (Updated!)
- Just when you thought it was all over…. now there’s a fourth TSR!
- TSR3 Throws In Towel, Rebrands Wonderfilled
- Ernie Gygax on New TSR, WotC Beefs, Trademarks, Licensees, 5E, & More
- Who’s running the TSR3 social media accounts?
- Worlds of Design: What Defines a RPG?
- Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game Kickstarter is live!
- Marvel to Launch Official ‘MARVEL MULTIVERSE’ Tabletop Role-Playing Game in 2022
- Is The One Ring 2E Kickstarter going to break the records?
- A TSR Announces a Star Frontiers Reboot
- Million Dollar TTRPG Kickstarter Club
- Worlds of Design: Is There a Default Sci-Fi Setting?
- Into the Mother Lands: A Sci-fi RPG by PoC Designers
- Roll20’s Latest Usage Report: D&D Steady, Cthulhu Down!
- Luke Crane Resigns From Kickstarter
- Nominate your MOST ANTICIPATED RPG of 2022
- Another Year of EN World Demographics!
- Cyberpunk Red: One Year Later
- Essence20: The New RPG System Which Powers Hasbro Licensed Games
- Top 5 Tabletop RPGs Spring 2021: Cyberpunk Gains!
- Nominate your favorite TTRPG podcast of 2021
- Cortex Fan License Published
- Free League is Demiplane’s Latest Nexus
- Flying Buffalo Being Sold?
- Pathfinder Nexus is the Official Toolset for PF2E
- Pathfinder Guns & Gears: An In-Depth Review
- Marvel Multiverse RPG Alternate Covers
- Paizo Leadership Team Update
- Coyote & Crow Joins The $1M TTRPG Club!
- Paizo Recognizes Union!
- Vote For The Most Anticipated RPG of 2022!
- There’s a TOMB RAIDER RPG Coming!