Evan Sass

Evan Sass

Evan got his start in the hobby game industry in 1995, as a co-founder of Rubicon Games. Among other games, he has worked on Cranium, Cranium Hullabaloo, and the Pokémon trading card game. He has been editing and proofreading books for Green Ronin since our first product, Ork! The Roleplaying Game. He has been managing our web sites since about 2002. He co-designed Walk the Plank, our card game of piratical trick taking, and is our in-house Dragon Age and Fantasy AGE editor.
Evan Sass

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Ronin Round Table: Titansgrave Character Creation Day

By Chris Pramas

Titansgrave CoverEpisodes 0 and 1 of Titansgrave debuted on Geek & Sundry last week and we’ve been delighted with the response. After working on this since last year, it was great to see the show begin and the way the community embraced it. For those of you not so familiar with RPGs generally and Green Ronin specifically, let me quickly answer the most common question we are seeing. Yes, you’ll be able to buy the Fantasy AGE RPG and yes, there will be a Titansgrave book to go with it. I’ve been working feverishly (sometimes literally) to finish them so we can debut them at GenCon in August. They will be in stores shortly thereafter. You can follow the above links to read about the Fantasy AGE and Titansgrave books in our online store.

So this week you were introduced to our fabulous players and their characters: Laura Bailey as Lemley, Hank Green as Aankia, Alison Haislip as Killiel, and Yuri Lowenthal as S’lethkk. Back in March I flew down to Burbank for a character creation day. Hank could not be there (we did his character over Skype), but the other players were, as was GM Wil Wheaton. While some people like to just make their characters at home and bring them to the first session, I prefer to create characters as a group. This lets everyone talk and bounce ideas off one another, which usually leads to stronger characters.

Wil started by giving the players some background on Valkana and explaining that it’s a science fantasy “swords and blasters” setting. I then guided Laura, Alison, and Yuri through character creation. They conveniently settled on warrior, rogue, and mage (the three classes of Fantasy AGE) respectively. Hank had previously made a rogue as well.

As for races, I explained that Fantasy AGE featured dwarves, elves, gnomes, halflings, humans, and orcs (the fantasy classics, if you will). Valkana also has saurians, who are a race of intelligent lizardfolk. I think it was Yuri who first asked about playing a mixed-heritage character like a half-orc. I like to accommodate players if I can, so even though I didn’t have rules for such at that moment I said they could do that if they wanted. And oh, they wanted. Half elf/half human? Too tame for our intrepid adventures! Alison decided Killiel would be half elf and half dwarf. Yuri got crazy with half saurian and half orc (you can see Hank’s amusing reaction to that in Episode 0). Laura, perhaps feeling left out as a plain ole human, decided that she was adopted by saurians. I rolled with all this and made rulings on the fly as needed. Later, as I was finishing Fantasy AGE, I made sure to add a section on mixed heritage characters to cover the bases.

After doing all the nuts and bolts work of picking classes, talents, spells, equipment, and so on, we moved on to goals and ties. This is an important stage of character creation in Fantasy AGE, as it helps flesh out the characters. Players create personal goals for their characters. Basically, why is your character an adventurer and what do they want to achieve? Ties are the things that bind the characters together. How did the group get together? What made them into an adventuring party? This is where a lot of the fun stuff you see in Episode 0 was first conceived. You can see by the end of that even though this was the first adventure of the campaign, the group already had a nascent identity. The character creation day was also crucial for Wil, who was then able to take what he had learned about the characters and think about ways to work that material into the campaign. As you’ll see in the coming weeks, this is something Wil is quite adept at!

With characters created, I flew back home from Burbank 12 hours after I arrived. I would return in just a few days for the beginning of the shoot. More on that another time!

To keep up on Titansgrave and Fantasy AGE news over the coming weeks, check back here or follow us on Twitter at @GreenRoninPub or on Facebook. The Titansgrave RPG has its own Facebook page, too.

Jack Norris

A writer and game designer since the mid 1990s, Jack Norris has worked on numerous award winning and critically acclaimed publications over the last two decades, including products for Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, DC Adventures, Scion, Mutants and Masterminds, and Feng Shui.He is currently working at Green Ronin developing Dragon Age, as well as co-developing other projects such as Blue Rose. Outside of his work for Green Ronin and others, Jack also designs and writes Tianxia, his own line of wu xia/kung fu action rpg products published through Vigilance Press. When not writing and designing, Jack is an attorney and consultant at the Vidar Law Group, a small Chicago-based litigation firm.

Jack also hates writing bios...

Ronin Round Table: Age of AGE

By Jack Norris

So…wow. There’s been a lot of stuff released or announced involving the AGE (Adventure Gaming Engine) system lately. Lot of things going on and it can be hard to keep everything straight. So, for this week’s Ronin Round Table? Let’s recap.

Fantasy AGE

Fantasy Age is the AGE system reworked from the version used in Dragon Age to provide players and GMs with a broader fantasy experience, not linked to the world of Thedas. The rules will be  similar to Dragon Age’s rules, but with some changes to character creation, especially the magic system for mages. The first release for Fantasy Age will be its corebook, intentionally designed as a shorter, more streamlined book to help get you ready to play quickly.

Titansgrave

There’s been a lot of discussion on this already and more to come, but just recap quickly this is the setting for Wil Wheaton’s new RPG based Tabletop series. It’s a post-apocalyptic techno-fantasy in the vein of Thundarr the Barbarian. Titansgrave will use the Fantasy Age rules.

Blue Rose

So…Blue Rose’s kickstarter didn’t launch on April. That’s because between some high profile Kickstarters from other fine creators and companies and us working to get various other releases ready, the month just rushed by a  too quickly to run it right. However, it’s coming soon. Steve Kenson and I have been figuring out changes to the world of Aldis and recent events there while Chris and Nicole are discussing the logistics of the Kickstarter to help ensure things go well. Watch for an announcement and your opportunity to back the Kickstarter when it’s ready to go live.

Dragon Age

Lest anyone think I forgot. There’s Dragon Age, the game that started it all. The new corebook is out in PDF, has been updated with various fixes and corrections, and is being sent to print. The GM screen is next, with the included adventure in editing. Then we’ll have Faces of Thedas, which details various important characters and groups throughout the Dragon Age setting. All the first drafts are written and while development slowed briefly due to Titansgrave, Fantasy Age, etc… it will be picking up again soon.

So yeah, LOTS of AGE related material on the horizon. I’ll update folks with more information as it comes. It’s going to be an exciting year!

Chris Pramas
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Chris Pramas

Chris Pramas is an award-winning game designer and writer, and the founder and president of Green Ronin Publishing. He is best known as the designer of the Fantasy AGE RPG, the Dragon Age RPG, and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, 2nd Edition. He has been a creative director at Wizards of the Coast and Flying Lab Software and a lead writer at Vigil Games. Most recently he worked with Wil Wheaton on the Titansgrave web series from Geek& Sundry. Green Ronin continues to thrive under his leadership, publishing roleplaying games like Blue Rose, Mutants & Masterminds, and A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying.
Chris Pramas
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Ronin Round Table: Titansgrave Details, Writing Team, and More

Last week we were finally able to reveal our role in Wil Wheaton’s upcoming RPG Show, Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana. We’ve been working hard on this project for many months and were delighted and relieved for the news to go public. Nicole and I were in Burbank all last week for the filming, so we got to watch the reaction to the news from the set. Quite gratifying after months of secrecy!

Chris on Titansgrave set

Chris on the Set of Titansgrave

Last year, when Wil and I were first talking over the project, I noted that the schedule was aggressive. I may have even said “ridiculously aggressive.” Wil paused and asked, “Do you think we shouldn’t try to do it?” And I said, “We absolutely should. This could be the best thing to happen to RPGs since the publication of the D&D red box in 1983.” That may sound like hyperbole to you but I meant it then and I believe it even more after the filming. No one has done a show like Titansgrave before. We’re going to show a huge number of people how awesome roleplaying games are and what it’s like to play in a campaign. I think it’s going to be an amazing boost for the entire roleplaying hobby and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

Titansgrave Sneak Peek

A sneak peek of the setting!

The show debuts on Geek & Sundry on June 2 and runs for ten episodes. At GenCon Green Ronin will release two books together: the Fantasy AGE RPG and Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana world and adventure book. Fantasy AGE is the next development of the Adventure Game Engine, the rules system I designed for the Dragon Age RPG. This is a core rulebook for the system and you can use it with a huge variety of settings. Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana is a book that features world information and supporting rules, and the adventures that are featured on the show. This means you can play your own version of the campaign the cast got to experience. Since each episode will be roughly 45-60 minutes, the book will include plenty of encounters new to viewers, as well as options for customizing the story for your group.

If creating a book like that in a short time sounds like a lot of work, it is! That’s why we recruited a crack team of designers to put the adventures together. These folks had short deadlines and limited world information when they started, so they deserve huge kudos for doing a great job in challenging circumstances. So who are these intrepid writers? Let me introduce them:

Keith Baker (Eberron, Gloom)

Leonard Balsera (Fate Core, Dresden Files RPG)

Logan Bonner (Pathfinder RPG Unchained, The Slaying Stone, Refuge in Audacity)

Will Hindmarch (Eternal Lies and Odyssey: Journey and Change)

Jackson Lanzing (Hacktivist, Freakshow)

Nicole Lindroos (Vampire: The Masquerade, A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying)

Robert J. Schwalb (Shadow of the Demon Lord, A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying)

Mike Selinker (Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, The Maze of Games)

Clark Valentine (Dresden Files RPG, Fate Accelerated)

Ray Winninger (DC Heroes, Dungeoncraft)

We also recruited cartographer supreme Andy Law (whose work you can see in the new Freeport: City of Adventure book) to do the maps and he did a stellar job on short notice.

All in all, a great team and we could not have done this without them. I’ve been developing the adventures, and working on world and story stuff with Ryan Wheaton, Nicole, and Wil.

Now that the shoot is over, it’s full steam ahead to finish the two books and get everything off to print in time for GenCon. We’ll have much more to share with you about Fantasy AGE and Titansgrave as the clock ticks down to their debut. Watch this space and our social media, and we hope to see you at GenCon!

Chris Pramas
Green Ronin Publishing