Darrington Press has just concluded its State of the Press, an event hosted by Matthew Mercer, Critical Role DM and CCO, and Mica Burton. Darrington Press, the Tabletop and publishing arm of Critical Role, used this brief 8-minute State of the Press to give fans an update on some of the few named projects they've previously announced as well as use the space to announce a number of new projects. We have collected all of the announcements from the Darrington Press State of the Press 2023 below.
Darrington Press State of the Press 2023 - Chronicles of Exandria Reprint
One of the first items to be discussed at the State of the Press 2023 was the confirmation that The Chronicles of Exandria I: The Tale of Vox Machina, and The Chronicles of Exandria II: The Legend of Vox Machina art books will be getting a reprint under the Darrington Press label. These books, first published in 2017 and 2018 respectively, are a collection of fan artworks from Critical Role's first campaign Vox Machina. While originally published by Hunters Books & Apparel this reprint will move the book under their own label.
Darrington Press State of the Press 2023 - Queen by Midnight and Guardians of Matrimonia
Two new board games were announced by Darrington Press. The first was created by Producer Kyle Shire and is called Queen by Midnight. In the State of the Press Shrire explained that many years ago he began working on creating Queen by Midnight, when he was hired on as a Producer at Critical Role the project was put on the back burner but after Darrington Press was established he invited them to watch a playtest that he had made of the game in Tabletop Simulator. After seeing this Darrington Press was impressed and wanted to publish the game.
Queen by Midnight is a battle royale deck builder game where each player takes on the role of the different princesses of the land. The aim of the game is to become more powerful and work to take down your opponents so that when the clock strikes midnight you'll be the most powerful princess and named the Midnight Queen. Each princess has their own unique play style allowing players to test out different characters and find the right fit for them. The State of the Press also showed off the premium look of Queen by Midnight including the player boards, and a giant pop-up clock tower that doesn't just serve as a way to track the turns. The clock also rotates to face each player as their turn comes, on top of serving as a dice tower.
The second board game that was discussed is Guardians of Matrimonia, the game that Matthew Mercer and Marisha Ray designed for their wedding and gifted to attendees. Working with board game designers they have been able to rework and improve their original idea to create a board game that will be releasing in early 2024.
Darrington Press State of the Press 2023 - Illuminated Worlds and Daggerheart RPG Systems
The two largest announcement of the State of the Press 2023 is that Darrington Press is launching not one but two RPG systems. There had definitely been questions as to whether Critical Role was working on a game system since earlier this year when the OGL 1.1 was leaked, and subsequently rolled back, with system designers such as Pathfinder working on their own ORC. Darrington Press has specifically created its RPG systems to facilitate shorter format games as well as long campaigns.
Illuminated Worlds, created by Stras Ascimovic and Layla Alderman, is a RPG game system that's specifically designed for "shorter, arc-driven campaigns". This system will use a d6 dice pool system and has also been designed to be setting agnostic. Whether you're remaining in the world of High Fantasy, or adopting a present, sci-fi, or any other fictional setting Illuminated Worlds will be flexible enough to facilitate your adventure. Those in the RPG space might be aware of Stras Ascimovic from his work on Band of Blades.
The second RPG system that Darrington Press announced was Daggerheart. This system, sounding more in line with what fans of Dungeons & Dragons might be familiar with, is a fantasy RPG system. Not much was said about Daggerheart other than that it is "designed for long-term campaign play and character progression."
While not much information was revealed about Illuminated Worlds and Daggerheart Mercer did confirm that both RPG systems, as well as Queen by Midnight and Guardians of Matrimonia would be available to try at Gencon this August in Indianapolis.