Feb 20 2017
We’ve got a new Fantasy AGE Encounter for you today, for just $2.95!
Ancient Shadows: The village of Crows Crossing lies near a site of ancient ruins and standing stones. Someone has explored where they should not have, and the heroes must decide what to do, lest something terrible be unleashed upon the world.
Ancient Shadows is a Fantasy AGE RPG adventure for heroes of levels 5-8.
Fantasy AGE Encounters are short “side quests” that can be used as is or expanded into longer adventures.
Feb 13 2017
The forthcoming Titansgrave: World of Valkana setting book has lots and lots of the sort of setting detail one expects from an expansive world book. Details on settlements, geography, culture, and history all about, sprinkled liberally with inspiration for years worth of gaming in this world.
But one of the challenges of any good setting book is to provide new and interesting traits and resources to player characters. The goal is always to provide new material that isn’t just fun but also highlights the setting quite distinctly. They should be materials that feel like a part of the setting come alive, because they are directly relevant to the player characters.
In this week’s RRT discussing these new options, we’re going to look at some of the detail on the races in this setting book. Here is some of the new material available in Titansgrave: World of Valkana.
Though Valkana’s setting uses the core races presented in the Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook, this sourcebook casts a closer eye on them, examining them by their cultures and history as well. Those races capable of crossbreeding with others in the world of Valkana are included in this description. Some of the races even include strange offshoots with distinct differences from their main kin. These subraces – called the nhazera – are detailed as well, including entirely new Benefits charts to reflect their differing lifestyles, cultures, and temperaments.
Below, we include a sample sidebar detailing those characters who are born of the mixing of dwarven blood with other races.
Mixed Race Dwarves
Dwarves rarely breed with those outside their own race, though this is mainly due to societal pressures of the past. These days, dwarves and humans produce handsome, hearty offspring named rockborn. Dwarf and gnome artificers treasure the fey gnome-dwarf children known as daylins. Rumors hold of dwarves mating with elves, orcs, and halflings, but their offspring always resembles one parent’s race, or the other.
Jan 24 2017
Team Ronin is super excited about Gen Con this year, especially with the success of our updated Freebooter GM Program. We decided to focus on our one big event, as we’re kinda small to support events all over the country and beyond. Make with the clicking to read about the program here.
Many folks think Green Ronin is a huge company, but we’re actually very small. The upside to this is that we can work closely with our GMs to grow this program; it wouldn’t be as successful without their spectacular feedback. And since it was our first big push, with setting up GM Badges and hotel reimbursement, it helped us make the 2017 Gen Con program even better.
Last year, we fielded 24 GMs running over 90 games. Some folks ran one or two games, and some ran more. Some folks ran 2-hour games, and some ran 6-hour games. Really, it was great to have so many folks concentrating on Green Ronin games. We were even in our own room in the Convention Center itself, which was WONDERFUL.
For the folks who signed up early, who communicated well with us about their needs and desires, it was super easy to accommodate folks, like subbing out GMs when we had scheduling issues. For folks to get hotel reimbursements, it was super easy! You just had to email me your receipt and we sent you the reimbursement! Almost everyone followed directions well so we were able to take care of just about everyone by the time Gen Con was all finished!
We had a lot of folks GMing for us who had never been to Gen Con before, or GM’d at a convention ever, which meant so much to us. And our experienced Veteran GMs were on hand to help out the new folks. The Freebooters are a small team, but a wonderful team! Heck, a bunch of new folks to our program even got together and split a room together! They held each other together while I was off doing Geek & Sundry and Gen Con Industry Insider stuff!
Many GMs kept things simple, and many of them printed out great color sheets, special hand outs, and whatnot. Some GMs used our published Quick Start adventures, some used their own home brew. Some used adventures which we haven’t yet published, to be the first to run said adventures.
Why am I tell you all this? Because we want you to run our games! Everyone is welcome, no matter your experience, or lack thereof. If you have GM’d a home game, you can GM for us! You can run what you want, when you want.
And if you want to, we’ll arrange a GM badge for you, so you can get reimbursed by the Gen Con system, and we’ll reimburse you for part of your hotel.
- For 12-hours of games submitted, we’ll arrange the GM badge.
- For 16+ hours of games scheduled, we will reimburse your hotel based on ¼ of a regular rate. As an example, if a room is $200 per night we’ll pick up your part, so $50 per night!
- Green Ronin must submit your games to count towards the GM Badge reimbursement and hotel room reimbursement.
- You are still welcome to submit games via your favorite game group or other game companies, but we will only pick up badges/hotel reimburse for our submitted games.
AND! Based on feedback from the 2016 GM Team, we’ll have ribbons and dice for you to give your players, plus a variety of other hand outs. And maybe something cool for YOU, too! We’re still hammering out those details.
If you’re interested in signing up, click here to fill out this quick contact form. Early submissions have started this week, and will run until Feb 19th. Regular Event submissions are due by March 26th, so we want to get your games in the system as soon as possible. I can help!
If you have general questions, you can email me directly! firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan 11 2017
If you missed out on backing the Kickstarter campaign for Blue Rose: The AGE RPG of Romantic Fantasy, you can now pre-order the book through BackerKit or our Green Ronin Online Store. When you pre-order the book, we’ll offer you the PDF for just $5, to download and read right away! If you want to support your local retailer, have them ask us about our Green Ronin Pre-Order Plus program, through which they can offer their customers the same $5 PDF deal for pre-ordering through them.
Jan 9 2017
New Year’s Message 2017
Welcome to the new year, my friends and fellow gamers! Here at Green Ronin we have been rousing ourselves from our holiday torpor and getting ramped up for 2017. As long time fans know, I traditionally write a message in January to discuss what we have coming up in the new year. And that is true but I’m going to do it a little differently this year. Today I will talk about what we have coming your way through the Spring, then in June I will do a second one of these that covers the rest of the year. So let’s get to it!
In December Crystal Frasier came onboard as our new Mutants & Masterminds developer. She introduced herself in a previous Ronin Round Table, which you can read here if you’d like to learn more about her. We are confident that Mutants & Masterminds is in great hands with Crystal.
Today I’d like to welcome another new Ronin to the ranks: Malcolm Sheppard. He is a 17 year veteran of the game industry who has done a boatload of work for White Wolf and Onyx Path, amongst others. Malcolm will be doing design and development work for us on a variety of lines. You can think of him as a sort of developer-at-large. He’ll be working on Adventure Game Engine (AGE) games for sure, as well as some other projects you’ll hear more about later. Please help me welcome Malcolm to Team Ronin!
We are kicking off the year with a major release for Mutants & Masterminds: the Atlas of Earth-Prime. You’ve seen parts of this setting before in Emerald City, the Cosmic Handbook, Hero High, and many other Mutants & Masterminds books, but now Earth-Prime is getting full campaign setting treatment. The Atlas of Earth-Prime releases in just two weeks. You can still get in on the pre-order now if you are quick about it.
In the Spring we’ll be following that up with Freedom City. This was the original campaign setting for the Mutants & Masterminds RPG going back to 2003. The new book brings Freedom City fully into Third Edition, and creates a triumvirate of super power with Emerald City and the Atlas of Earth-Prime!
The big Adventure Game Engine excitement for the first half of the year is the release of Blue Rose, our RPG of Romantic Fantasy, in February. Blue Rose was our most successful Kickstarter to date, and we’re delighted to get this book out to backers and then released to the general public. The BackerKit went live over the weekend. While we typically do pre-orders through our online store, with Blue Rose we’re trying out BackerKit for that. If you didn’t back the Kickstarter, you can pre-order now at this link . You’ll note some follow up releases on the BackerKit page. We’re making Blue Rose dice with Q Workshop, Blue Rose conviction Tokens with Campaign Coins, and then an adventure anthology called Six of Swords. Those should all come out in the Spring.
For Fantasy AGE itself we’ve got Titansgrave: The World of Valkana coming in the Spring. This is a full campaign setting book that greatly expands the information in Titansgrave: Ashes of Valkana. A lot of stuff that was only hinted at in the show will be revealed in Titansgrave: The World of Valkana!
In other Fantasy AGE news, we’ll be creating a community content program for the game in conjunction with OneBookShelf (the parent company of RPGNow and DriveThruRPG). People have been asking us if they can publish Fantasy AGE content since the game came out and soon that will be possible. OneBookShelf already runs several of these programs, for games like D&D and the Cypher System. Ours will be similar to these but not identical. For starters the products you can do will be limited to settings and adventures because that is the support Fantasy AGE needs most right now. There will be more info about the program and how it all works when we launch it. That should happen in a couple of months.
Our big Pathfinder release this Spring is the Freeport Bestiary. The City of Adventure hasn’t had a monster book since Creatures of Freeport in 2004. The Freeport Bestiary brings together the setting’s many monsters and a bunch of new ones in a beautiful full color hardback. Meanwhile, the Return to Freeport adventure series continues. We’ve released three of these PDFs so far. The remaining three will follow over the next few months and then we’ll collect them all together for a printed book in June.
You may recall that we worked with Wizards of the Coast to create two D&D books: Out of the Abyss and the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide. Now we’re following those up with D&D books of our own. The first is Book of the Righteous, which presents a fully detailed mythology and pantheon you can use in your campaigns. The original edition of Book of the Righteous was our most critically-acclaimed book in the d20 era. We did a Kickstarter for a new 5E version last year and it should be out in May. As with Blue Rose, Book of the Righteous will have a general release after books ship to Kickstarter backers.
I’m going to make an exception and discuss one Summer release because I know I’d get pilloried if I didn’t mention it. Of course I’m talking about Critical Role! We had originally intended to release this in the Spring but we’ve scheduled it for Gen Con instead. This is Gen Con’s 50th anniversary (and my 28th Gen Con!). We wanted a big marquee release for the show and the Critical Role: Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting book is a perfect fit. We want to make this a real event and hope to have the cast out to Gen Con again.
Towards the end of last year we released Love 2 Hate: Politics, the first expansion for the game. We are following that up in April with Love 2 Hate: Comics. Both expansions have 108 cards. You can mix them in with the core game, or play with them on their own for a more themed experience.
Dragon Age and SIFRP
We have Dragon Age and A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying books in development but licensed game lines require approvals and how long those take can vary quite a bit. It could be one week or three months depending. So don’t worry, books are coming. We’ve just decided to wait until everything is approved before we make formal announcements about their release.
We have a variety of PDF releases planned to support our various lines. We have more Fantasy AGE Encounters and short Titansgrave adventures coming for Fantasy AGE, as well as the Short Cuts series for Pathfinder. We’ll also be continuing our series of Chronicle System PDFs, which provide non-canon rules support for A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying. In the past year we’ve released rules for magic (Chronicle of Sorcery) and gunpowder/firearms (Spark to Powder), for example.
As a company Gen Con is, of course, our biggest show. Last year we had a room dedicated to Green Ronin games for the whole convention and that was great. We’re doing it again this year, so if you’d like to run games for us please contact Donna. If you run enough games, we’ll cover your badge and even subsidize your hotel room.
Donna and Barry also run OrcaCon in Everett, WA (just north of Seattle). OrcaCon is happening this coming weekend, so come on out if you’re in the area. It’s the unofficial Green Ronin convention and most of our staff will be there. We’ve got folks running games and giving seminars, though personally I just want to play some games this year!
Green Ronin is once again a sponsor of the JoCo Cruise and Nicole and I will be on onboard. Haven’t heard of the JoCo Cruise? Well, imagine a convention on a ship and you’ve got a pretty good idea, except it also includes music, comedy, and more. If it’s nerdy, it’s probably happening on the ship! There are still cabins available (the cruise is in March) and this year we have the entire ship to ourselves. Should be a great time.
We’ll also be attending various trade shows, like GTS, the Alliance Open House, and the ACD Gamesday. If you are a game retailer, come see us!
More to Come!
So that’s what we have coming the first half of the year. We also have some exciting news to share in the coming months. We’ll be announcing soon a new card game we’re bringing to Kickstarter in April and a new campaign setting for D&D 5E. We’ve licensed a comic book for RPG treatment. We’ve also got another AGE game in development, as well as Ork, Second Edition. Following us on Twitter (we’re @GreenRoninPub) is probably the best way to keep up with our announcements or just bookmark our website.
This is Green Ronin’s 17th year in business. Thank you for your continued support over the years. I started the company as a side project and it’s become so much more than that thanks to you. Come back in June when I reveal our Summer and Winter plans. Until then, game on!
Nov 28 2016
The much-anticipated new edition of Blue Rose Romantic Fantasy Roleplaying is wrapping up in production, soon to go off to print, with the final PDF edition released to Kickstarter backers, and then available with pre-orders of the book. On the design and development side, we’ve moved well past the core book for the game and into some supporting products, including a Narrator’s Kit with sturdy reference screen and pre-generated heroes to get you playing quickly and easily and something every tabletop roleplaying game can use, namely adventures!
Six of Swords is a forthcoming anthology of adventures for Blue Rose. As the name suggests, the book will contain six different adventures set in the world of Aldea, suitable for different levels of characters, and intended for Narrators to use as inspiration and resources for creating their own Blue Rose adventures as well. Authors Jaym Gates, Steven Jones, Kira Magrann, Alejandro Melchor, Malcolm Shepherd, and Rebecca Wise each present a tale where your heroes can make a difference.
The anthology includes ruined mansions, masquerade balls, vampiric curses, mysterious masks, sorcerous secrets, ghostly hauntings, lost loves, looming threats to the Kingdom of the Blue Rose, and tragic quests where heroes are called upon to make the right choices. As the initial cover concept sketches by artist Nen Chang show, the adventurers are expected to delve into some dangerous and inhospitable places, like the depths of the Veran Marsh, in pursuit of their goals.
Six of Swords is finishing up in development and editing and moving on to production and layout right after the main Blue Rose book and the Narrator’s Kit are complete. We’re looking forward to bringing you stories of adventure in the world of Aldea for you and your players to tell and enjoy.
Nov 9 2016
While working on the outline for Titansgrave: World of Valkana, I’d finally hammered down (with an incredible degree of aid from Ryan Wheaton) the various political structures, historical weirdnesses, and generally rich tapestry of the setting’s major landmass.
Then, I turned my attention to some of the cool stuff that the PCs can and should have access to as heroes in Valkana. Naturally, thought turns to the heroes of the Titansgrave: Ashes of Valkana webseries from Geek & Sundry. In particular, Lemley’s cybernetic arm which, among other things, houses Dr. Lobotomy.
Cybernetics can get problematic in game design sometimes. Obviously, a game that includes them must include a way for player characters to have them – it’s half the fun! But designing cybernetics as pieces of equipment with all sorts of great bonuses usually ends up with characters who are as close to full-body-upgrades as they can get, ending up with groups of nearly complete-replacement cyborgs instead of plucky heroes with a piece of chrome or two.
To some degree, that’s a natural outgrowth of character advancement and equipment rules: player characters want effective characters, and when cybernetics all provide benefits of some sort, the more cybernetics your character has, the better they are.
Some systems implement “limits” systems to restrict how much of the character can be cybernetic before penalties begin to accrue, in the shape of penalties to social interactions or some kind of cyber-psychosis. For Valkana, I thought I’d take a different tact.
By and large, cybernetics in Valkana are not upgrades. They are prosthetics, designed to seamlessly replace the easy functioning of the limb or other body part being replaced. There are some pieces of equipment that one can purchase that complement the function of cybernetics (such as the cyber-sheathe Lemley stores Dr. Lobotomy in), but these prosthetic do not provide constant improvements to a character’s abilities.
Now, of course, this is a fantasy adventuring setting, so having cybernetics function solely as different-colored-limbs isn’t fun, either. To strike a balance between this-arm-does-nothing and this-arm-makes-me-constantly-more-powerful, we turned to Fantasy AGE’s Stunt mechanic to do the heavy lifting for us.
The Stunt system already provides a set of mechanics that allow characters to occasionally show off some cool feats of derring-do. It’s not dependable enough to do every round, and even the scale of the Stunt will vary each time it’s evoked.
So, author Seth Johnson and I decided that cybernetics can provide an extra, unique Stunt the hero can spend Stunt points on. It gives a nifty “signature” trick that character can pull every so often, but actually comes within the already-existing “Stunt economy” of the game’s basic system. To show off exactly what we’re talking about here, we’re including the cyberarm from the Equipment chapter of this upcoming book below.
This arm replacement functions for all purposes as a normal arm for the character’s actions. The bearer of this arm also gains access to the following Stunts:
Piledriver (3 SP, Combat): The strength of your arm spins into overdrive for a moment, delivering a punishing strike. Your blow inflicts +1d3 damage and you knock your opponent prone as though you’d invoked the Knock Prone Stunt.
Shieldarm (2 SP, Combat): You set your arm up to intercept incoming attacks. Increase your Armor by +1 until the end of your next action.
Nov 2 2016
Today (along with a new Humble RPG Book Bundle) we are pleased to present two new PDFs–one villain for Mutants & Masterminds and an encounter for the Fantasy AGE RPG.
Rogues Gallery: The Dealer
Once a small-time crook, the man now known as the Dealer has spent his life bringing misfortune to others to stave off a supposed family curse! When he cheated his way into some winnings, he used them to become a super-villain to see what would happen with his curse if he could really spread his bad luck around!
Fantasy AGE Encounters: Drive for Justice
Our heroes are asked by a local sheriff to prove the innocence of an accused knight. Can they save him before it’s too late? Drive for Justice is a Fantasy AGE RPG adventure for heroes of levels 1-3.
Oct 19 2016
Hey folks, Jack here. So in coming months we’ll be delving further into various setting elements for Fantasy AGE. While the game is consciously designed to be used in a variety of fantasy setting and campaigns, we at Green Ronin are working to build and develop our own unique world for the game. You can see some of this in the fiction and concepts we have introduced to date in products like Fantasy AGE Encounters and the Bestiary. While you don’t ever need to use our setting materials to have fun with Fantasy AGE and use it in your own games, we do recognize that building such a setting is useful for many customers, as well as for us internally.
One thing we haven’t detailed yet though are any of our iconic characters. We don’t have big metaplot-heavy characters in Fantasy AGE, but we do have some PC-like heroes who feature into some of our art throughout the books. Chief among them are the three class examples, a trio of characters who also show up on our covers of the core book and Bestiary. Who are these folks? Well, I’m glad you asked…
We begin with Aza, seen as the brave warrior woman more than willing to tackle ogres, ghouls, and other threats for the right cause or the right price. Here she is presented as a level 5 character.
A skilled warrior, Azadrumoda (“mighty leader”) or “Aza” was trained from a young age to serve as one of the elite guards for her kingdom’s nobility. When the noble she was sworn to protect was declared a traitor and their line extinguished, she was exiled. Since then she has lived as a mercenary and freelance adventurer. While she occasionally bristles at the loss of her old life, she is generally quite happy to seek fame and fortune in a land where no one knows the details of her past troubles.
Losing her life of duty and sworn allegiance sometimes wears hard on Aza. She punctuates her normal bold and valiant personality with moments of fatalism and melancholy. She is slow to trust, especially those in positions of authority. However, for her friends and those who truly earn her loyalty there is little she will not dare.
Aza is trained to use a variety of weapons. She is rarely without her sword, Tyrant’s Pyre, a single-edged tulwar-style blade that burns with the heat and light of the sun. However, she will gleefully use axes, spears, tables, and unruly bystanders as necessary. In fact, she often finds her long-hafted battle axe of particular use when battles undead, ghouls, and the occasional stubborn door. She prefers lighter armor than some warriors, allowing her exceptional mobility.
Human Warrior Exile, Level 5
2 Accuracy (Brawling)
2 Constitution (Climbing, Swimming)
5 Fighting (Axes, Heavy Blades)
2 Intelligence (Cultural Lore)
2 Willpower (Courage)
14 Defense (16 with Shield)
5 Armor Rating
Weapon Attack Roll Damage
Dagger +2 1d6+4
Battle Axe +7 2d6+3
Tyrant’s Pyre +7 2d6+5
Unarmed +4 1d3+3
Favored Stunts: Defensive Stance (1 SP), Dual Strike (3 SP)
Specialization: Guardian (Novice)
Talents: Armor Training (Novice), Weapon and Shield Style (Journeyman), Two-Handed Style (Journeyman)
Weapons Group: Axes, Brawling, Heavy Blades, Light Blades, Spears
Equipment: Long-hafted Battle Axe, Tyrant’s Pyre (Enchanted Long Sword, +2 bonus to damage and can burst into flame at will to act as a torch or ignite flammable objects), Light Mail, Dagger, Medium Shield
Note that Aza’s axe and sword are big enough for her to use with her Two-Handed Style if she desires. She just can’t use her shield when she does so. In reality, most Fighting-based weapons can be used in this fashion, just another way warriors get a bit more versatility with their melee abilities in Fantasy AGE.
Aug 31 2016
If you are a publisher, you of course want people to have the opportunity to play your games at GenCon. You can run demos at your booth but the exhibit hall is no place for long form RPG adventures (it’s super loud and booth space is limited). Those are better handled as scheduled events. Finding good and reliable game masters for your RPGs can be challenging though. In past years we’ve had mixed success with our GenCon events. What I really wanted was a dedicated area filled with Green Ronin games. To get that, you have to have a certain number of events. Coordinating that is a job in itself.
Enter Donna Prior, Green Ronin’s events manager. I told her what I wanted and wow, did she deliver. We had over 90 scheduled events this year and GenCon gave us a dedicated room for them on the second floor of the convention center. Going into that room and seeing tables full of gamers playing Fantasy AGE, Dragon Age, Mutants & Masterminds, and A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying was amazing.
So thanks to all the GMs who helped make it happen, and of course to Donna for all her efforts. Having all our games in one area created a great energy, and I had people coming up to me at our booth to tell me that they wanted to GM for us next year. A big part of gaming is community and it was great to see such growth in our community of GMs and supporters.
If you’d like to be part of this next year, go over to our website and check out this article that Donna wrote earlier this year. We’ll be posting a new call for GMs next year, but in the meantime you can see what the deal is. Basically, if you run enough games for us, we’ll pick up your badge and maybe even part of your hotel room.
So what do we look for in a game master? Well, first of all someone who can run an entertaining game in 2-4 hours. This will be the first time many folks will be playing one of our games and we want them to have a good time while seeing what the game has to offer. This means you also should have a strong grasp of the rules of the game(s) you want to run. People should leave a demo with a solid understanding of the game’s features, so they can assess whether it’s right for them and their group back home. We also expect a level of professionalism from our GM volunteers, as you are the “face” of Green Ronin at the games you run.
The game itself is the fun part but before that there is some basic organizational stuff you need to be on top of. While GenCon is not until August, planning for it begins much earlier than that. GenCon has firm dates by which events must be submitted, badge info provided, and so on. One of the benefits of working with us is that Donna sends out emails with reminders of what needs to be done and notes on how to do it. You need to be able to keep up with those emails and follow the instructions. If you have questions, just ask Donna. She is there to help facilitate this process.
Several of our GMs have also gone on to work with us in other capacities, including freelance work writing and designing for the games they love.
We’ve already had some new GMs sign up and that’s awesome. We’re also going to be commissioning some new adventures for our various game lines, so GMs will have more to choose from (and folks are always welcome to write their own if they prefer). I look forward to our game room next GenCon. Whether as a GM or a player, please join our Green Ronin community!