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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Press Release: Green Ronin To Publish Lost Citadel Roleplaying Game

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

GREEN RONIN TO PUBLISH LOST CITADEL ROLEPLAYING GAME

COMPANY ACQUIRES EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS, WILL BEGIN WITH 5E ADAPTATION

 

SEATTLE, WA (01/24/17): Green Ronin Publishing announced today that it has signed a licensing agreement to release a tabletop roleplaying game sourcebook based on The Lost Citadel, a transmedia shared world. The dark fantasy RPG will draw players into the setting of Zileksa, a land ravaged by death and undeath, where all that’s left of civilization has gathered behind the walls of the last remaining city of the living. The announcement was made by Chris Pramas, president of Green Ronin, and C.A. Suleiman, editor of The Lost Citadel.

“We are eager to bring a new dark fantasy setting to roleplayers and to offer Fifth Edition gamers a world they haven’t seen before,” said Green Ronin President Chris Pramas, “Lost Citadel is a perfect follow up to our work on Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay and Dragon Age.”

“I came to know The Lost Citadel as a backer of the fiction anthology,” added Green Ronin General Manager Nicole Lindroos. “As soon as I saw it I recognized the potential inherent in the setting. I couldn’t be more pleased not only to bring Lost Citadel to roleplaying, but to have C.A. Suleiman himself on board as developer.”

“Since the Lost Citadel project went live, people have been asking about when it would come to gaming, and I’m excited to tell them that the moment has arrived,” said Suleiman. “As both a dark fantasy setting and a concept that’s expressly inclusive of women, I can’t think of a better fit for The Lost Citadel than Green Ronin, publisher of A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying and the Blue Rose roleplaying game. If their track record is any indicator, this could be the start of something big.”

Work is now underway on the first book, Lost Citadel Roleplaying, which introduces the setting and establishes its core rules and themes. It is scheduled for release in Winter 2018. All books in the series will use the Fifth Edition rules, but plans are in the works to offer fans of other popular RPG systems the means to play Lost Citadel games using those systems, too.

About Green Ronin Publishing

Green Ronin Publishing is a Seattle-based company dedicated to the art of great games. Since the year 2000 Green Ronin has established a reputation for quality and innovation that is second to none, publishing such roleplaying game hits as Dragon Age, A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying, and Mutants & Masterminds, and winning over 40 awards for excellence. For an unprecedented three years running, Green Ronin won the prestigious GenCon & ENWorld Award for Best Publisher.

About The Lost Citadel

The Lost Citadel™ is a transmedia experiment that harnesses the talents of writers, artists, musicians, and more, in a bid to explore the themes and aesthetics of a shared world. Founded in 2012 by C.A. Suleiman, Ari Marmell, and Jaym Gates, the project launched online and came to Kickstarter soon after, successfully funding the creation of an anthology of short fiction called Tales of the Lost Citadel, which featured the talents of a cast of veteran dark fantasy authors.

Contact Green Ronin Publishing

Nicole Lindroos
General Manager
nicole@greenronin.com
http://greenronin.com/

 

# # # # #

Download a PDF of this press release

Tales of the Lost Citadel cover image:

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 Roundtable: New Year’s Message 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!

New Faces

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!

Atlas of Earth-Prime: Now Pre-OrderingMutants & Masterminds

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!

AGE Games

Blue Rose the AGE RPG of Romantic FantasyThe 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.

Freeport Bestiary for the Pathfinder RPGFreeport and Pathfinder

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.

D&D 5E

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.

Love 2 Hate

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.

PDF Support

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.

Chronicle System: Spark to Powder (PDF)

Chronicle of Sorcery (PDF)

Conventions

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!

Chris Pramas

Chris Pramas
Follow Chris

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 Roundtable: GenCon GMing for Green Ronin

GR-Gameroom1If 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. Read more

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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Press Release: Geek & Sundry and Green Ronin to Create Critical Role RPG Books

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

GEEK & SUNDRY PARTNERS WITH GREEN RONIN TO CREATE RPG BOOKS BASED ON ITS GROUNDBREAKING SHOW – CRITICAL ROLE

New Line of Sourcebooks To Be Written By The Show’s Creator and Star Matthew Mercer

August 8, 2016—SEATTLE, WA: Green Ronin Publishing announced today that it has signed a licensing agreement with Geek & Sundry to release roleplaying game sourcebooks based on Critical Role, the weekly web series in which eight renowned voice actors come together for an ongoing Dungeons & Dragons game. The books, which will be written by Critical Role creator and Game Master Matthew Mercer, will bring readers into his world of Exandria. The announcement was made by Chris Pramas, president of Green Ronin and Ryan Copple, General Manager of Geek & Sundry.

Critical Role has excited many new fans about the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Each week, the show attracts hundreds of thousands of viewers, who watch it both live and recorded. Overall, Critical Role has garnered over 50 million views since its launch in March 2015. The cast includes Mercer, Travis Willingham, Marisha Ray, Taliesin Jaffe, Ashley Johnson (Blindspot), Sam Riegel, Liam O’Brien, and Laura Bailey. Additionally, the show has attracted quite a few celebrities who have joined the cast as special guests including Chris Hardwick, Felicia Day, Wil Wheaton, and Phil Lamarr, to name a few.

“Watch even one episode of Critical Role and you can see that Matthew has developed a rich setting for his campaign,” said Green Ronin President Chris Pramas. “We are delighted to be able to bring the world of Exandria to RPG fans and doubly so that he will be writing the books himself.”

“The request I get most often is if I’d be interested in releasing my world to everyone, allowing them to set their own home games in a detailed Exandria,” said Mercer. “I am so happy to be able to finally say yes! I’ve put so much of myself into Exandra and Tal’Dorei these past years, and am so excited and proud to be working with Green Ronin to bring Exandria to our community and the gaming community at large!”

Work has already begun on the first book, Critical Role: Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting, which explores the main featured continent of the world of Exandria. It is scheduled for release in Spring of 2017. All books in the series will use the Fifth Edition rules.

“Green Ronin Publishing has been an incredible collaborator with Geek & Sundry,” said Felicia Day, actress, writer, producer, and founder of Geek & Sundry. “Last year, we worked together to bring Wil and Ryan Wheaton’s world to life in both the series and adventure book of Titansgrave. With the growing demand for fans to explore the world of Critical Role we knew they were the perfect partner. With only one question left in our minds, to borrow from the Critter community, ‘Is it Spring Yet?’”

More information and previews for the Critical Role RPG sourcebooks will appear on www.greenronin.com in the coming months.

About Green Ronin Publishing

Green Ronin Publishing is a Seattle based company dedicated to the art of great games. Since the year 2000 Green Ronin has established a reputation for quality and innovation that is second to none, publishing such roleplaying game hits as Dragon Age, A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying, and Mutants & Masterminds, and winning over 40 awards for excellence. For an unprecedented three years running Green Ronin won the prestigious GenCon & EnWorld Award for Best Publisher.

About Geek & Sundry

Geek & Sundry is a digital entertainment company recognized for providing the best in award-winning Internet television content featuring leading voices in geek culture and lifestyle. Founded in 2012 by Felicia Day, the company offers a diverse content lineup of video games and tabletop gaming, such as Wil Wheaton’s TableTop, and explores the verticals of comics, music, literature, comedy and beyond. The network has also recently launched GnSLive on Twitch that provides of 30 hours of live content every week. Geek & Sundry is owned by Legendary Entertainment and is part of the Legendary Digital Networks which also includes Nerdist and Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls.

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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Funded!

The Book of the Righteous - Now on Kickstarter

Our current Kickstarter campaign, The Book of the Righteous for Fifth Edition, is now funded! Next up, stretch goals—just three days to go!

Stretch Goals

Our stretch goals for this project are about making the final book bigger and better. Basically, the more money the campaign raises, the more value you get in the finished book.

$30,000: We will add 16 pages to the book. New page count: 272.

$35,000: We will commission new cover art.

$40,000: We will add a poster with family tree of the gods to the book.

$45,000: We will add 16 pages to the book. New page count: 288.

$50,000: We will put a map of a cathedral of the Great Church on the other side of the poster.

$55,000: We will add 16 pages to the book. New page count: 304.

$60,000: We will create Hero Lab files for the book. Justiciars, Holy Warriors, and Unholy Warriors get them for free. Other tiers can purchase them as an add-on.

$65,000: We will add 16 pages to the book. New page count: 320.

 The Book of the Righteous for Fifth Edition

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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Book of the Righteous Interview: Aaron Loeb

On Monday I interviewed Robert J. Schwalb (you can read that here, or here, if you missed it). Today I’ve got an interview with the man himself, The Book of the Righteous author Aaron Loeb! He is in China on a business trip but still found time to answer my questions. Thanks, Aaron!
Aaron Loeb

Aaron Loeb

Q: About six months ago you texted me one day and asked, “Why isn’t there a 5E version of The Book of the Righteous yet?” What made you feel like the time was ripe for a new edition of the book?

A: When 3E came out, there was a lot of excitement about it. It was like the D&D we grew up loving was having a re-birth. I got that same feeling from 5E. And it’s been over a decade since we released the original, so I thought now might be the right time to bring it back as new players are coming into the game — or others are returning — due to 5E.

Q: When you were writing The Book of the Righteous, was there a particular type of gamer you had in mind? Or did you try put in something for everyone?

A: Yeah, it was definitely for the hard core roleplayer. There was a lot of “crunch” in it — a lot — a whole new class, prestige classes, tons of spells and artifacts and monsters. But at its heart, the book is for people who want to have their character’s or their campaign’s mythology have depth to it. It’s so rewarding when you’re playing a character whose powers come from a religion to have a deep mythology to draw on.

Q: You’ve run several campaigns using The Book of the Righteous cosmology. Any tips you want to pass on to GMs planning to do the same?

A: Once you have a meaningful religion in your campaign, it opens up whole new plotlines and conflicts — and not just for the characters with religious powers. Every character in the campaign can, if their players are interested, have a meaningful relationship with their god and it can lead to compelling storylines for them as well. Sometimes it leads to conflicts within the party. It opens up a whole new area of mentors and trainers for all the characters, and new justifications for quests.

In campaigns most of my life (I’m not sure about others), the religious characters have some basic idea of what their religion is. Sometimes they even developed pretty deep background on their churches. But the other players didn’t necessarily have any connections to their religion or church. They didn’t have any reason to develop what their character thinks about the other character’s religion. And of course, there were those campaigns where one player worships Thor and another one worships Zeus or something, and it always felt like the less said about religion the better — because the very topic would break the bubble of the fantasy.

Q: Before he moved into the game industry and went to work at Wizards of the Coast, Jeremy Crawford was in your game group. Was there one of the gods he particularly favored? 

A: Yes, indeed! We had a great long campaign where he played a scholar of Tinel, a 60 year old wizard. It was a great example of religion playing an important role for a character without religious powers as he was a scholar in a Tinelite lyceum. I still remember his character’s regular cries of “Outrageous!”

Q: Your day job is in video games. Can you tell folks what you do, and how it relates to your roots as a tabletop gamer?

A: Sure! I’m the President of Worldwide Studios & Live Services at Kabam. We make mobile games, with a focus on games that are massively multiplayer — meaning games with deeply-embedded competitive and cooperative gameplay. Our games include Marvel: Contest of Champions, which is one of the most popular mobile games in the world.

Core tabletop roleplaying systems are at the core of nearly all of our work, because our games are services that last for years. Tabletop roleplaying games pioneered the game design concepts around continued character development over years and years. When you look at RPG design, you can think of good design as a series of connected gears — some large, some small. Just as you advance one gear, it advances another, but now creates a new challenge or set of choices to advance a different gear. For instance, every time you play, you gain experience points, constantly advancing one gear that eventually triggers a level. Every time you turn the level gear, you advance other gears — powers, spells, etc. And each of those has embedded within them their own systems that involve interesting choices and challenges.

This all comes from D&D and other tabletop games and it is at the heart of nearly all game system design for massively multiplayer games in the modern era.

Thank you, Aaron! We are closing in on $14,000. Hopefully, we will have The Book of the Righteous funded by the time you get back from China. 

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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Book of the Righteous Interview: Robert J. Schwalb

Reposting from yesterday’s Kickstarter update, here’s an interview Chris did with Book of the Righteous developer Rob Schwalb:

Today I’ve got something fun for you: an interview I conducted with Robert J. Schwalb. Thanks to Rob for taking time out of his weekend to answer my questions.

Robert J. Schwalb

Robert J. Schwalb

Q: You’ll be developing the new edition of The Book of the Righteous and working on the rules design with Rodney Thompson. What’s the most exciting part of the project for you?

A: A billion years ago, when I was getting my start in the business, The Book of the Righteous was one of those books that left me astonished. It really was one of the high-water marks for d20 publishing and few supplements have ever come close to the imagination, the comprehensiveness, and the utility found in its pages. Further, it screamed to be used. You could pick up the book and build a world around it or just pull out the pieces you needed to flesh out your existing campaign. The chance to help bring this mighty tome to 5th Edition is both intimidating and exciting. The whole project is awesome and I’m thrilled to have the chance to bring this book to a whole new crop of D&D fans.

Q: What do you think your greatest challenge will be?

A: What made BotR such a powerful tool was that it took full advantage of 3rd Edition’s mechanics. Not only did the book produce a new class (the holy warrior), it also introduced a swathe of prestige classes, spells, feats, monsters, and more. Two editions later, we find D&D in a very different place from how it was almost fifteen years ago. We don’t have the same mechanical buckets into which we can chuck the various options. A domain, for example, is now a far weightier game object than it was in 3rd edition. Rather than go back to the prestige class well or try to emulate 3E design, Rodney and I are taking the story and finding the best way to express it through the current mechanics. In some ways, it’s like starting from scratch. Some might be simple, needing only to point toward an existing option in the game, but most will require entirely new design. Rodney and I will create new domains, oaths, and options for other classes as well. Each needs to stand on its own and be portable to other cosmologies/pantheons to ensure maximum usage.

Q: You wrote The Unholy Warrior’s Handbook, which was a sort of sequel to The Book of the Righteous. Are you going to fold any of that material into the new book?

A: Whew! That takes me back. Whether or not we get to incorporate any material from that book depends on how many pages we get to play with. I would love to include paladin oaths for Thellos, Naran, and the other evil gods. We are getting some room back since we won’t need as much space to express the mechanics as the original book needed, but stuff from the Unholy Warrior’s Handbook will only come forward if we have the space.

Q: Are there aspects of the Fifth Edition rules you think work particularly well with The Book of the Righteous?

A: Fifth Edition took many great steps forward, but one of the most interesting, and the one to our great advantage, was in class design. Classes represent big story ideas. They are broadly conceived to encompass several different archetypes. At some point in the character’s development, sometimes at level 1 and others at higher levels, the player faces a significant decision point, which involves choosing a subclass. Now the Player’s Handbook calls these points by many different names—ways, paths, archetypes, origin, patron, and so on, but they all have a similar function, which is to provide players with a way to customize their character along a particular development route. A rogue character with the thief archetype is pretty distinct from a rogue with the assassin archetype.

The subclass system lets us capture the holy warrior domains without needing a new class. We can get to the same place as the holy warrior took us by creating new oaths to model paladins of different religions or point readers to existing oaths when it makes sense to do so. Similarly, we can create new domains to make clerics of one god very distinct from those in service to another god or, again, just point the reader to an existing domain. In the end, subclass mechanics let us shape classes in a variety of ways without having to replace a class or add one to the game.

Q: When we first talked about the project, you felt strongly that we didn’t need to revisit prestige classes in the update. Do you think that’s a concept whose time has passed?

A: I really wrestled with this one. While not everyone in the universe loved the proliferation of prestige classes in Third Edition, I still feel they were a valuable addition to D&D and one that fit in well with how the game handled multiclassing. Most prestige classes were hyper-specialized around a set of mechanics or particular story, so going back to this design could be interesting in Fifth Edition. However, I resisted because I don’t think 5E needs them.

Classes now take up a lot more conceptual and mechanical real estate than they did in previous editions. For example, paladins in 3E were presented as champions of order and virtue. Variations on the paladin either came into the game as variant class features or through the domain system utilized by the holy warrior class. You could also customize your paladin through skill and feat selection.

In 5E, the paladin class is more broadly conceived, large enough to accommodate a wide range of expressions as shown in the Sacred Oath class feature. This decision point, more or less, grabs all the customization options and compresses them into this decision point. So if you want to play a classic paladin, choose Oath of Devotion. If you want to be more like the 4E warden class, choose the Oath of the Ancients. If you want to be like the 4E avenger class, then the Oath of Vengeance is for you. This decision, along with others like them, let the root class shoulder a lot of the work in delivering classic D&D classes. Rather than populating the game with dozens and dozens of classes, we can just make the core classes bigger by introducing new options for the big choice point.

When I looked at the prestige classes in 3E, I realized many were really just specializations of a particular class. While they could be accessed by a variety of classes, certain classes stand out. Assassins, for example, typically had levels in rogue. Likewise, archmages usually had levels in wizard. In a way, prestige classes function as 5E subclasses but lurking outside core classes. Since almost all customization options beyond level 1 live inside of classes, it makes sense to nest prestige classes inside the associated class. Doing so makes it clear what kinds of characters are likely to move into that area of specialization and removes the prerequisite hoops for doing so and without forcing groups to use the multiclass rules, which are optional. For groups who are using multiclassing, characters interested in moving into specialization from can simply do so by using the normal multiclassing rules described in the Player’s Handbook.

For example, let’s take the god Urian. The Book of the Righteous says this deity has three major orders: Skylarks (clerics), Eagles (paladins), and Hawks (a prestige class). The prestige class’s description says that hawks often come from the ranks of barbarians and through their training become “just as the bird for which they are named … trained to hunt and maul.” Rather than create a micro-class, we can instead build a new “path” choice for the barbarian class, perhaps called the Path of the Harrier. We can then build mechanics that reflect the sort of training members of the Hawks might receive. Barbarian characters worshiping Urian could choose this path when they reach 3rd level, while characters belonging to other classes who have Strength scores of 13 or higher can access them using the normal multiclassing rules. Best of all, even if your group isn’t using the full pantheon described in the book, the new path option offers barbarians a new choice even in games that don’t make use of this book.

Q: To date Wizards of the Coast has been focused on The Forgotten Realms setting, so many new campaigns are using it as a setting default. What do you think Realms players can get out of The Book of the Righteous?

A: One of the great things about the Realms is the size. There’s no shortage of gods in the realms and introducing the pantheon or parts of the pantheon from our book would only enrich the setting. Even if you don’t want to adopt the cosmology presented in BotR, you can easily plug the orders in to the religions of other gods. Finally, many of the new paths, domains, oaths, and other subclasses are setting agnostic, so you can plug those into whatever world you’re using.

Q: After you left Wizards of the Coast, you designed your own game, Shadow of the Demon Lord, and had a hugely successful Kickstarter for it. What’s new in the world of the Demon Lord?

A: It’s been an exciting year since the campaign ended. Since last April, I’ve released something like 75 products and we still have many more in the pipeline. Last month, I released Terrible Beauty, a juicy supplement filled with dark, twisted faeries and the hidden kingdoms in which they live. This month, I’m releasing Exquisite Agony. My take on Hell, it’s an alarming book, dripping with evil, and lavishly illustrated. I think the kids are really going to like it.

Thank you, Rob. We look forward to seeing what you do with The Book of the Righteous! And those of you who haven’t seen Shadow of the Demon Lord should check it out. It’s like, how much more Schwalb could it be? And the answer is none. None more Schwalb. 

Please check out the Kickstarter, and we’d appreciate any support you can give us.

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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Now Kickstarting: The Book of the Righteous for Fifth Edition

 

In case you missed it, we have a new Kickstarter campaign going!

We teamed up with Wizards of the Coast to bring you Out of the Abyss and the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide. Now Green Ronin wants to bring you a divine sourcebook for Fifth Edition like no other.

“As the editor and developer of the 1E Deities & Demigods, I’m pulling hard for your Book of the Righteous Kickstarter. I backed it, and I encourage every other dedicated 5E player to do the same!”

—Lawrence Schick

Return of a Classic

In 2002 Green Ronin published The Book of the Righteous, a massive tome for the Third Edition rules describing an entire pantheon of gods, as well as their churches, worshipers, and defenders. It was a big hit for us and became one of the most critically-acclaimed books of the d20 era. Now we are bringing it back for the Fifth Edition rules as a beautiful, full-color hardback book. Even better, the new rules material will be designed by Robert J. Schwalb, one of the designers of Fifth Edition!

Update: D&D Fifth Edition and Lords of Waterdeep designer Rodney Thompson has also joined the design team!

Please check out the campaign, and of course, we would greatly appreciate your support.

Donna Prior

Donna Prior

Events Manager at Green Ronin Publishing
Donna “Danicia” Prior is the Events Manager for Green Ronin Publishing. She is also the Executive Director of OrcaCon, the Inclusive Tabletop Games Convention in Everett, WA.

Donna is also a speaker at numerous conventions and conferences. She has spoken about building communities, diversity, harassment, and accessibility. She was a Gen Con Industry Insider for 2016.Donna is a gamer and a beer geek, often combining both hobbies while teaching new people to game and appreciate beer. She’s also insists she is NOT a Hobbit. You can follow Donna on Twitter: @_Danicia_. Find her also on http://about.me/Danicia.
Donna Prior

Gen Con 50th Anniversary – We’re looking for GMs!

It’s hard to believe that Gen Con 50 is just around the corner, and with that, we’re already starting to look for Volunteer GMs to run our games!

Many of our games, especially Mutants & Masterminds, are on the list of Gen Con High Demand Games. Over the years, we have also received a lot of requests for more Dragon Age, plus we’re always happy for more Song of Ice & Fire. For 2017, we hope to expand that out  more with lots of submissions for Blue Rose, Fantasy Age, Titansgrave, Freeport Pathfinder, Critical Role, Love 2 Hate, and more.

With all this in mind, we are excited for the Gen Con Freebooter program. We’re looking for volunteers to run games, whether one session or 4-days of sessions. Early submissions starts January 22nd! Here’s how it works:

  • Green Ronin arranges for a GM Badge in return for 12-hours worth of game time scheduled.
  • For 16+ hours of game time 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.

Don’t need a free badge or hotel reimbursement? We’d still love to feature your game! If you submit a game with your favorite gaming group, or on your own, let us know and we’ll promote your game via our social media and at the Green Ronin Publishing Booth.

If you’re interested in the Gen Con Volunteer GM Program for 2017, you can fill out this form so we can email you with information.  Thank you for your interest in running games for Green Ronin Publishing! Questions? Email donna@greenronin.com.

Happy Gaming!