Into the Mother Lands will now be distributed by Green Ronin Publishing after former publisher Andrews McMeel exited the tabletop space. A press release from April 21st clarified that the team behind the science fiction RPG will retain creative control and ownership of all intellectual property.
Originally announced in 2020 as a joint actual play stream and new tabletop RPG system, Into the Mother Lands sprang from the combined efforts of several prominent POC actors and artists in the tabletop community - most notably, Tanya DePass and B. Dave Walters spearheaded the project. Other core members include developers Gabe Hicks and Jasmine Bhullar and lead artist Vanessa B.
“Into the Mother Lands uses a new system of our design,” said Walters. “We’re ecstatic to work with Green Ronin, a legendary publisher, to bring the game to backers, players, and storytellers.”
Into the Mother Lands’ first actual play season premiered in late 2020, introducing viewers to an afrofuturist science fiction universe and a people attempting to create a new home on an alien planet. A second season followed in 2021, along with a Kickstarter campaign meant to crowdfund a publicly available RPG rulebook detailing the system behind the actual play series.
The team managed to raise over $360,000 and later teamed with publisher Andrews McMeel to handle distribution for both Kickstarter backers and retail sales afterwards. Andrews McMeel historically existed in the book and toy publishing sphere but attempted a foray into the tabletop RPG space when it picked up Zweihander RPG and its lead designer Daniel D. Fox.
That venture reached an unceremonious end earlier this year when Fox announced his departure from Andrews McMeel. DePass confirmed via Twitter that the publisher had terminated its contract with Into the Mother Lands’ team early as part of shuttering its tabletop RPG division. Andrews McMeel made no public statement beyond closing its RPG-focused Twitter account.
Green Ronin president Chris Pramas clarified that the company would primarily handle distribution of the RPG to hobby shops, book stores and online channels - transferring ownership rights or IP control was not a part of the recent deal. Pramas said he wanted to keep the project “POC created and POC owned”, and Green Ronin would help it “reach the widest possible audience.”
Other Green Ronin tabletop titles include The Expanse and Dragon Age official RPGs, along with Mutants & Masterminds - a beloved 20-year-old superhero system based on Dungeons & Dragons’ 3rd edition ruleset. Green Ronin first rose to prominence during the early 2000s' 3rd-party RPG boom and has since become a mainstay in the traditional publishing space.
There has been no mention of a new or updated timeline, and updates to the Kickstarter page only contain what was published in Green Ronin’s press release. Given the seemingly abrupt nature of Andrews McMeel’s contract termination and departure, it may be some time before Into the Mother Lands has a reliable street date. DePass did reiterate that Kickstarter backers will still be first in line for books before it heads to retail.