Necromancer Games returns from the Undead for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition

EnWorld have broken the news that Necromancer Games, once a stalwart of Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition third party support, has been resurrected as an active company/imprint of Frog God Games rather than just an imprint selling older product. They are going to be releasing three new products for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition via a 60 day Kickstarter that just launched this morning: a book of monsters, a book of adventures, and a book of spells. Each of these will contain all new material.

There’s been no official word from Wizards of the Coast regarding licensing just , and Necromancer Games point this out in the Kickstarter.

Necromancer Licensing

The text reads (emphasis ours to for the highlighted text above):

Our team (through Frog God Games) has run, funded, and fulfilled 3 Kickstarters (Rappan Athuk, Swords & Wizardry, and Razor Coast), and we have 2 more that are in the fulfillment process (Lost City of Barakus and Sword of Air). These 5 Kickstarters raised a total of over $600,000. In each of them, we had most of the work done ahead of time, and the main focus was on raising money for the art, the printing, and so forth. For this one, it’s a little different because we’re operating ahead of the normal timeline. Not all of the game’s rules are known to us at this time, and probably a couple of them are still being finalized in the Crystal Towers of Renton. The terms of the licensing aren’t nailed down either.

This means we’re creating a product that has some unknown variables, and it means that you’re backing it more as a patron than as a pre-order customer. We’re going to deliver these books, but it’s going to be an evolving process.

The fact that licensing isn’t locked down means there’s a little bit of the “Third Edition Wild West” going on right now, but Steve Winter, who is involved with Necromancer Games has also been involved with Wizards of the Coast for years, so perhaps Necromancer Games has an inside track on the upcoming licensing. Necromancer Games have already released  a remake of an older Necromancer product under the OGL in the past few days, but is that a highlight of what’s coming, or is it an outlier? The only licensing that’s given any prominence on the WotC website right now, even on the Dungeons & Dragons free PDF download page, is the 4th Edition GSL:

WotCBottomLicensing

Frog God Games is one of the companies that has made extensive use of Kickstarter over the past few years to develop and launch product. This Kickstarter is being run as a Necromancer Games project and has a low initial goal of $15,000 but a list of stretch goals up to $225,000 so far. There are obvious expectations that this will be a success, but the cost of being involved in this Kickstarter to get access to all three books could be a limiting factor as it will cost $125 US to purchase all three books at the base $40 pledge level, and the last two books are only available as stretch goal unlocks. Another could be that the licensing isn’t locked down and that might make backers skittish, but as that is due to be finalized during the Kickstarter campaign, this may eventually be a non-issue and may actually help boost the campaign in its second half.

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