Acquisitions Incorporated Dungeon Manual (2019)

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Acquisitions Incorporated Dungeon Manual (2019)

Post by Havard » Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:41 am

Penny Arcade partners with Wizards of the Coast to publish official ‘Acquisitions Incorporated Dungeon Manual’

Penny Arcade, the Seattle-based webcomic that spawned the popular PAX video game conventions, is partnering with Dungeons & Dragons publisher Wizards of the Coast to release an official Acquisitions Incorporated Dungeon Manual, the first official third-party D&D book. According to the announcement, with this new manual, “fans will be able to franchise their own branch of the famous finders collective.”

Currently in its eleventh year, Acquisitions Incorporated began as a podcast hosted by Wizards of the Coast producer Chris Perkins and starring Penny Arcade co-creators Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik as Omin Dran and Jim Darkmagic, respectively, in addition to a rotating cast of other friends of Penny Arcade.

While it was initially created as a form of marketing for the new 4th Edition of D&D, Acquisitions Inc. grew to be a popular standalone show and has expanded to live performances at most PAX events in which Mike, Jerry, and the other Acquisitions Inc. players don elaborate character costumes. To date they have produced 44 podcast episodes, 19 live shows at PAX conventions, and 13 web series episodes including the holiday special for a total of 76 documented adventures over the course of over 10 years.

The new Acquisitions Inc. D&D manual brings together two Seattle-area gaming powerhouses who have collaborated on many projects and are now taking their partnership to the next level. Penny Arcade hosts PAX, which is Seattle’s largest annual convention and has spawned four other PAX events across the US and Australia. Renton-based Wizards of the Coast produces the hugely popular Dungeons & Dragons and Magic the Gathering games, and has been a perennial presence at various PAX events.

The Acquisitions Incorporated Dungeon Manual will introduce new character positions, and is slated to be sold in hobby stores, bookstores, and digital storefronts this summer.

To get some additional background about the new Acquisitions Inc. Dungeon Manual, we spoke with Jerry Holkins and Penny Arcade producer Elyssa Grant:

GeekWire: How long have you been working on this? Is it something that you’ve wanted to do for a long time?

Holkins: We’ve been wanting to do it forever. In fact, that was originally the whole reason we hired Elyssa Grant – to project manage the book! Of course that was a couple years ago, and on the way to getting it done Elyssa essentially owns Acquisitions Incorporated as a project now. Bringing the book across the finish line is only one of the things she’s doing.

Who initiated this project, Penny Arcade or Wizards of the Coast?

Holkins: We told them we were about halfway done with the book, just to let them know what’s going on over on our side – we’ve worked on tons of stuff over the years. We’d shipped everything from our previous Kickstarters, so the deck was clear, and we thought this might be a cool way to use the platform. We were surprised when Wizards said, well, what would it look like if you didn’t Kickstart it? What would it look like if we put it out together? I think I died very briefly but I came right back.

What’s your favorite part of this project?

Holkins: Having a chance to codify a decade of public play. Getting to put our stamp on a little corner of the Forgotten Realms. Working with great artists. Making cool tools for players and DMs. I think I like all of it.

Is this likely to lead to additional follow-ups down the road?

Holkins: If it does okay, I hope they ask us back! There are a few things hinted at in this book faction-wise that, well… hm. How much to say. Recall that it began life as a Kickstarter – of course, you have to plan for things to go well in those, and if they do you want to have more stuff ready to go. So I already know exactly what the second book could be because we already have an outline and the guts of the book complete. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Can you share a little more about how the process of creating this manual worked?

Grant: The process for a book like this is largely reliant on finding those with the expertise and passion to create content that matches the tone we’re targeting. Bringing the comedic yet high fantasy tenor of Acquisitions Incorporated to an official D&D product is the result of hard work between our team of designers, writers, artists, and editors. The final step of the process is getting the book into the hands of players and we’re beyond excited to bring our beloved brand to life at the table!

Did Jerry and Mike both do a lot of work for this new manual, in your usual words+art collaboration style?

Holkins: Part of making the book was accepting that it wasn’t gonna be something we could do ourselves – we were gonna have to build a team. Luckily, we’d just come off Thornwatch and that had a ton of asset requirements, and a couple years ago Wizards had made a couple Acq. Inc. themed adventures for special events – you could tell from the first page they understood the genuinely odd mixture of danger and dark humor that goes into our take on the game and setting. So we do have lots of work in there, but this is a team effort from the ground up.
https://www.geekwire.com/2019/penny-arc ... on-manual/

I wonder if this will be a new trend. Launch a Live Stream show first, then a sourcebook?

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Re: Acquisitions Incorporated Dungeon Manual (2019)

Post by zontoxira » Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:00 am

It's an interesting take, I wonder though what the quality standards are. Does being popular enough and hosting successful game tables or conventions qualify as publishing one's books, regardless their d&d background?
The way I see it is, it's more usual to see third party companies design a sourcebook than have in-house employees do the work.
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Re: Acquisitions Incorporated Dungeon Manual (2019)

Post by Big Mac » Thu Jan 24, 2019 12:11 pm

I've not really seen much of Acuisitions Inc, but I know they have something going on with "green flame", so I think there might be some rules about that.

Does Acquisitions Inc. use an existing D&D campaign setting, or is this going to be a sourcebvook for a new world?
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Re: Acquisitions Incorporated Dungeon Manual (2019)

Post by timemrick » Thu Jan 24, 2019 1:53 pm

Havard wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:41 am
I wonder if this will be a new trend. Launch a Live Stream show first, then a sourcebook?
It worked for the Tal'dorei Campaign Setting for Critical Role. But it's going to have to be a darn popular show (as CR is) to make a print sourcebook turn a profit.

I foresee most books of this sort to be funded through Kickstarter (as the article says Acquisitions Inc. initially was) or released only as PDFs (which require a much smaller investment than a print book). The latter seems more likely for settings that lack the huge following of shows like Critical Role.

If Matt Colville's upcoming live-stream campaign proves as popular as he hopes, MCDM will almost certainly publish a sourcebook for it. But that show is being financed with Kickstarter money from his (non-setting) game book, so that's to be expected.

(OTOH, I'm not the target audience for any of these setting books, as I very rarely watch live-streamed games. My local library has a copy of the Tal'dorei book, so I've flipped through it a couple times. But there's simply not enough new crunch packaged with all the setting fluff for me to actually check it out to read through.)
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Re: Acquisitions Incorporated Dungeon Manual (2019)

Post by Hugin » Thu Jan 24, 2019 2:56 pm

I'll probably grab this one when it comes out. My wife and watch both Acquisitions Incorporated games - the main "A" team and spinoff "C" team. They are quite entertaining and have some very interesting stories.

They're set in the Forgotten Realms, which is neither good nor bad in my opinion, but that may actually help sales as well.

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Re: Acquisitions Incorporated Dungeon Manual (2019)

Post by Havard » Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:43 pm

New art has been released for this book at the Sage Advice Page

Image

Image

Image

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Re: Acquisitions Incorporated Dungeon Manual (2019)

Post by Angel Tarragon » Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:15 am

The artwork is really neat!
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Re: Acquisitions Incorporated Dungeon Manual (2019)

Post by Havard » Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:08 pm


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Re: Acquisitions Incorporated Dungeon Manual (2019)

Post by Hugin » Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:20 pm

I just bough this on the weekend for my wife (she loves AI and we both watch it together as a date night). I've only glanced at it so far but it looked very interesting and well done.

I quote my wife, "This will be the first D&D book that I will actually read cover to cover".

There is also a campaign at the end that she is very excited to run for our group. She has only DM'd one session as a one-shot game last Christmas.

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Re: Acquisitions Incorporated Dungeon Manual (2019)

Post by Big Mac » Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:53 pm

Amazon are claiming to sell the Dungeons & Dragons Acquisitions Incorporated hardcover cheap in the USA ($29.97 instead of $49.95).

The discount for the Dungeons & Dragons Acquisitions Incorporated book in the UK is a lot less (£33.88 instead of £39.20).
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Re: Acquisitions Incorporated Dungeon Manual (2019)

Post by Zeromaru X » Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:05 pm

As expected, they retconned out the Nentir Vale for the Sword Coast (again). Shouldn't be disappointed at this point...

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Re: Acquisitions Incorporated Dungeon Manual (2019)

Post by Havard » Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:34 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:05 pm
As expected, they retconned out the Nentir Vale for the Sword Coast (again). Shouldn't be disappointed at this point...
Did Acquisitions Inc start out in the Nentir Vale? I am not a hard core fan of the series, but I think most of the episodes I have listened to/watched have taken place in the FR?

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Re: Acquisitions Incorporated Dungeon Manual (2019)

Post by Zeromaru X » Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:08 pm

Yeah, the first 4 or 5 seasons of AI took place in the Nentir Vale. They later changed it to the Realms after the D&D Next playtest started.

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Re: Acquisitions Incorporated Dungeon Manual (2019)

Post by Havard » Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:36 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:53 pm
Amazon are claiming to sell the Dungeons & Dragons Acquisitions Incorporated hardcover cheap in the USA ($29.97 instead of $49.95).

The discount for the Dungeons & Dragons Acquisitions Incorporated book in the UK is a lot less (£33.88 instead of £39.20).
Wow, that is quite a discount!

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Re: Acquisitions Incorporated Dungeon Manual (2019)

Post by Coronoides » Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:50 pm

Here in Australia
Amazon Australia $49.67
Store prices $52.75 to $71.45
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Re: Acquisitions Incorporated Dungeon Manual (2019)

Post by Havard » Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:10 pm

I bought this.

While there are some cool monsters towards the end of the book, I'm not sure I will use much of the rest of the contents. This book is very much written for people who want to run a game in the style of the Acquisitions Incorporated youtube/twitch show, including the humor and running parties that are "franchise" groups within that organization.

I could see myself reworking the "franchise" concept into organizations that would fit my style of gaming more, but it would require some work.

I do enjoy what I have seen of the show, but that's very different from how I actually enjoy playing and running games.

Did anyone else end up buying this book?

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