It seems like I blinked once and 2011 was upon us. Here we are well into the 21st century and the Y2K scare is nothing but a punch line. Most years I write a message from the President in January that talks about what we have planned for the coming year. I did not do so last year because a key part of our plans was the DC Adventures RPG and we couldn’t announce that deal until May. I’m happy to return to this tradition in 2011, so let’s get to it.
First up is GR’s reigning champion, Mutants & Masterminds. We released the PDF of the Third Edition Hero’s Handbook and you can still get in on the pre-order special through our online store or through retailers participating in our Pre-Order Plus program. The book is at print now and should be in stores in about a month.
One of the most exciting aspects of Third Edition is that we’re launching a new city setting for M&M to go with it. Emerald City is part of the "Freedomverse," a West Coast counterpart to Freedom City. You’ll learn about Emerald City first in two regular PDF series, the Threat Report and Heroes Journey: Emerald City Knights. Each Threat Report gives you a new villain and its associated Hero Lab files for 99 cents. We launched the series last week with #1: Pack-Rat. Next month we kick off Heroes Journey. It’s a six part adventure series meant to introduce players to the new edition rules and the new setting. We’ll cap all this off with an Emerald City sourcebook at GenCon.
We also have two other important M&M releases in the works. The first is the GM’s Guide, which provides a lot of advice and resources for the aspiring M&M game master. This includes the material that was originally slated for the Supervillain’s Handbook, an unreleased Second Edition book. The second release is the GM’s Kit, which features one of our trademark hardback GM screens and a booklet with a Quickstart Character Generator. The latter will prove quite popular I think because it lets you generate a balanced 150 point character with just a few dice rolls.
A great feature of all the M&M3 material is that it’s fully compatible with our DC Adventures RPG. That means that while we are not doing a GM book or screen for DC Adventures, the M&M titles will work hand in glove with DCA.
Speaking of which, DC Adventures debuted this past GenCon and it has done great for us. As you may recall from our announcements last year, the DC Adventures license is for exactly four books. The Hero’s Handbook is out now and this year we will publish the remaining three: Heroes & Villains Volumes 1 and 2, and Universe. Together those four books will give you all the resources you need to run an awesome superhero campaign in the DC Universe. Heroes & Villains Volume 1 is in layout now, and we hope to release the PDF and the pre-order deal next month. Volume 2 and the Universe book will follow in that order.
Now let’s go from four color superheroes to dark fantasy with Dragon Age. This is our RPG that ties in to BioWare’s terrific video game franchise of the same name. Last year we released Set 1 (an introductory boxed set that covers characters level 1-5), the GM’s Kit (a hardback screen and adventure), and Blood in Ferelden (a collection of scenarios). We also did an open mechanics playtest for Set 2, which covers levels 6-10. We know people are hungry for Set 2 and it is indeed on the way. We are trying to release it shortly after the debut of the Dragon Age 2 computer game, so we can take advantage of the new wave of DA enthusiasm. We’ll support that with another adventure collection called The Deep Roads. We’re also planning a Quick Start for Free RPG Day to give gamers an easy way to check out what Dragon Age has to offer.
The biggest news for Dragon Age is that we’ve decided to re-work our release schedule for the game somewhat. We had originally planned to make the game four boxed sets that each covered 5 levels of play. We are keenly aware, however, that the arrival of Set 2 has taken too long so we’ve decided to accelerate the pace. Set 3 will now provide the rules for levels 11-20, so all the core material can get out to you faster. Even better, we are trying to get Set 3 out this year.
That brings us to A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying. As I’m sure you all know, HBO is launching a Game of Thrones TV series year and it looks like it’s going to be great. We are trying to take advantage of that by getting the Chronicle Starter out during the show’s first season. The Chronicle Starter gives you a bunch of pre-designed houses and a related adventure, so it makes starting a game easier on the GM. We hope to follow that up with another sourcebook by year’s end.
What I’ve outlined already is a lot of material and a great deal of work. Just getting that material out is going to take up most of our time and energy. I’m sure some of you have questions about our other lines, so let me address a few of those:
- We don’t have any Freeport products planned for the first half of the year at least. However, Open Design is putting together a new adventure book called Dark Deeds in Freeport. If you want some new Freeport action, do check that out.
- Pathfinder seems like the most popular choice for Freeport fans at the moment. We are thus watching the sales on the Freeport Companion: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Edition, which came out in November. Pick it up if you want to vote with your wallet for more Freeport.
- True20 is basically on hiatus at this point. We may do something more with it in the future but we don’t have a lot planned this year. Between the role books, bestiary, Freeport Companion, and third party support, there are a lot of resources available already.
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, many of our upcoming products are for licensed RPGs. Before we get too far into the year, I’d like to issue a caveat. Any licensed product has to go through an approvals phase. The license holder needs to review the text, art, and layout of anything that gets released with their name on it and that’s only fair. Unlike material we own lock, stock, and barrel (like M&M), there is a point in the process that the product leaves our control. Now sometimes approvals are quick and don’t add more than a couple of weeks to the production time. Other times, however, things can bog down for months. This comes with the territory. We know this can be frustrating because it frustrates us! But believe me when I say that we will tell you when products are approved and ready to be released. We are also working with our licensors to make this process run more smoothly, but understand that approving RPGs is a time consuming task and our licensors have many irons in the fire. So products may come out later than we’d like, but I promise you that they will be worth it.
So that’s the state of Green Ronin in 2011. We’ve got a lot of awesome gaming coming at you and that’s just the products I can talk about right now. As always we have more fun stuff cooking on the back burners, but those are subjects for future days. Keep watching this site, Twitter, and Facebook for GR news. Now let’s all have a great year!
Green Ronin Publishing