This could potentially turn out to be the next big thing. The Witcher Tabletop RPG that was revealed last month is set for release next week at GenCon. To be specific, the date is August 2nd. Meanwhile, game's developer R Talsorian will hold a Questions & Answers session for those interested, having Lead Developer Cody Pondsmith, the classic Cyberpunk 2020 author's son, doing the talking. Q&A will take place on Wednesday, 25th of July, at 7:30pm Central (8:30ET, 5:30PT) on #randomworlds IRC channel hosted by game designer & writer Dan Davenport. Chat's transcription will be available afterwards.
And here's the cover of The Witcher: Roleplaying Game sourcebook:
...which in press note was accompanied by some more art, strangely, originally made for Gwent (trading card game released by CD Project RED):
According to IGN, TW:TRPG's first printing will be sold at the price $50 and shall be available at coming GenCon 2018. Soon after we'll get digital version of the book, possibly in PDF format and then in coming months, we can expect second prints of the physical edition (they usually have some typos corrected).
Whether The Witcher: Roleplaying Game is a good idea for a tabletop RPG, or is it just an easy way to get more money from Andrew Sapkowski's lightly sold license, we'll have to check and evaluate by ourselves. What we do know now is that the game's mechanic should be a bit similar to the old Cyberpunk 2020 system, and that we'll get to play a number of classes and races, just like in usual fantasy PnP game.
Game Master's Guide is going to be a part of the core rulebook, so we expect that whole game should be packed into one book just like Warhammer: Fantasy Roleplay or Pathfinder. No separate Player's Handbook or Monster Manual.
As for the game's world, R Talsorian Games promises it's going to be an absolutely grim and dark fantasy setting, while saying something contrary on the same page:
Yes, I do understand it's going to be a dark world where there is some joy, just rare. But I'd argue most dark fantasy settings are like that.
Still, maybe we should give this one a chance.
Personally, I like CD Project RED's version of The Witcher world. Maybe not as much as Andrew Sapkowski's original books, but the digital mainstream interpretation wasn't that bad, and the games were actually great. I'd expect tabletop RPG could feel like something between those two - and if we're lucky, maybe it could be closer to AS's books. Cyberpunk 2020, a legendary Pondsmith title that's going to be revived digitally by mentioned Polish game developer, featured an awesome Blade Runner inspired setting and mechanics that seemed appropriate. But will its kind of mechanical and world presentational approach be a good fit, I'm a little worried. It all depends on how it's done in details that we do not know at this point.
However, there seems to be that quite welcome potential for a good side effect for pen & paper RPG games as a genre. Just imagine - fans of CD Project RED's PC/console The Witcher are already asking "what are those tabletop roleplaying game's about?", "is it a book, or is it a game?"... Is it a bird, or a plane?... Fools, you think?...
I know many people say it's a blasphemy to admit you're a stranger to what real PnP RPGs are, but you know, after they check that TW: Tabletop RPG out of curiosity and love for the digital game, they might get hooked and end up die hard PnP geeks.
So, interesting times. Planewalkers are sent and we'll report.
~ W. M.