Cosmic Handbook PDF Preview

Cosmic Handbook (Not final cover)

Cosmic Handbook

The Cosmic Handbook is in the final stages of layout and we’re planning to make it available in PDF form and as part of our Pre-Order Plus program next week! To tide you over, we’ve pulled nine pages from the book to create a preview that includes everything from the complete table of contents to heroes, villains, and sneak peeks at some of the new organizations and locations that debut in the book.

Check it out now and come back next week to get the complete PDF!

Dragon Age RPG Ultimate Edition: Limited Number Available

Dragon Age RPG Ultimate Edition

Dragon Age RPG Ultimate Edition

The Dragon Age RPG Ultimate Edition is once more available in our Green Ronin Online Store, while supplies last.

This limited edition of the Dragon Age RPG Core Rulebook, available exclusively through the Green Ronin and BioWare online stores, features a slipcase with a red leatherette bound book, silver foil stamped, with silver-gilded edges and a ribbon bookmark.

Order yours today!

Ronin Roundtable: Scared, Hero?

Supernatural Handbook

Supernatural Handbook

It’s late October, when thoughts turn to the Things That Go Bump in the Night and the variety of Halloween horrors we can bring … not just to parties and film-fests, but to the gaming table.

While Mutants & Masterminds might not be the sort of game that immediately springs to mind when you’re thinking about Halloween horror, not only does the superheroic genre have more than its share of ghosts, ghouls, and Things Man Was Not Meant to Know, but M&M has all of the tools you need to bring them into your game, with the Supernatural Handbook by Lucien Soulban. Here’s just a quick look at what the book offers by way of scaring your heroes:


The Affliction effect (Hero’s Handbook, page 97) can represent the impact of fear and horror on characters. Different creatures may inflict fear by their very presence and different situations may do so as well, just as other hazards inflict Damage. The general assumption in a Supernaturals series is that fear is a hazard just like any other, so most creatures do not pay power points for the “power” to terrify their victims, unless it is in some way special compared to other fear-causing hazards in the series. The typical fear Affliction looks like this:

Fear: Affliction (Resisted and Overcome by Will; Dazed, Stunned, Incapacitated)

So, when encountering a source of fear, the victims make Will resistance checks, with the DC determined by the source of fear, from DC 10–11 for a mild fright all the way to DC 30 for mind-shattering terror. The average should be around 10 + series PL. Falling victim to fear means the character is less able to act and victims get a new Will check each round to shake off the fear; incapacitated characters get a chance to recover each minute.

The Supernatural Handbook also offers an optional system for handling corruption, everything from slow moral decay to the body-horror of unrelenting transformations. When the heroes grapple with monsters, do they risk becoming just as monstrous?

But the book isn’t just limited to game-system tools: It offers extensive advice for Gamemasters on how to create and manage fear and horror in their stories, from a light touch to “blunt force trauma” and from playing with expectations and speculation to keeping players invested in the story and playing along.

It also offers a cunning “Build-A-Critter” series of trait packages, giving you the building blocks to put together endless monsters to challenge your heroes. This works great in conjunction with the prefabricated powers from the Power Profiles book (particularly things like Animal, Darkness, and Death Powers, to name a few). It includes a variety of monster archetypes, including my personal favorite: WTF! (free download)

The book offers the complete organization ARCADE (The American Research Center for the Arcane Defense of Earth) suitable as the center of an entire supernatural series or for inclusion in your regular M&M game as the secret supernatural defenders of the world.

Best of all, the Supernatural Handbook is on sale this week in both print and electronic editions for all of your Halloween gaming needs! Just visit the Green Ronin Store (for the print or electronic editions) or DriveThruRPG or RPGNow (for the electronic edition only) and best wishes for a super and spooky Halloween!

Threat Report for Third Edition M&M is also on sale, as are the Second Edition M&M PDFs Book of Magic and Time of Vengeance.

Check out the Supernatural Sale!

Two New PDFs: Kathryn the Red and Sub-Saharan Africa

We have two new PDFs for you this week, one Rogues Gallery entry and one for Atlas of Earth-Prime, for Mutants & Masterminds.

Rogues Gallery: Kathryn the Red (PDF)

Rogues Gallery: Kathryn the Red (PDF)

Rogues Gallery: Kathryn the Red

Mystery, New Hampshire has a legend about a headless horsewoman known as Kathryn the Red. She’s a spirit of vengeance from the time of the American Revolution that can be summoned to carry out revenge by anyone willing to pay her price. But she also returns on her own from time to time in order to hunt down seemingly random people. Can she ever be stopped?

Get Kathryn the Red today—just $1.95!

Atlas of Earth-Prime: Sub-Saharan Africa

Atlas of Earth-Prime: Sub-Saharan Africa

Atlas of Earth-Prime: Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa is what most people think of when they picture Africa in their minds, and this region is the subject of this week’s Atlas of Earth-Prime. Inside is information about Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, the Republic of Kenya, the United Republic of Tanzania, the Republic of Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the high-tech nation of Dakana, the Republic of Botswana, the Republic of Malawi, the Republic of South Africa and many more nations. Learn about Project Hive, meet the Hellscreamer, Prime Detective, the living goddess Ayesha, the members of the Gathering of Heroes, and the villains they face off against.

Visit Sub-Saharan Africa today–only $3.95


Ronin Round Table: Within the Coils – The World of Freeport Expands

Freeport: The City of Adventure for the Pathfinder RPG

Freeport: The City of Adventure for the Pathfinder RPG

Freeport: City of Adventure is the biggest book Green Ronin has ever produced, and is a huge part of the Freeport Kickstarter we ran. While that Kickstarter still has a few straggling items to be fulfilled (we’re working on the Hero Lab files, the serpentman figure, Return to Freeport, and all the other rewards people still have coming), we also need to look at how we’re going to support the Freeport line going forward.

So far Freeport: City of Adventure is one of two big Pathfinder-compatible hardbacks we’ve released in the past few years, the other being the amazingly popular Advanced Bestiary. While those big books have been a lot of fun to produce and extremely satisfying to complete, they also take a lot of time and effort. Especially with a number of things taking longer than we’d hoped, it doesn’t seem like a good time to plan many more 300+ page books in the near future. But we DO want to continue to explore and expand the world of Freeport, and support the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

So, starting this winter we’ll begin releasing some short World of Freeport pdfs. These will be general Pathfinder-compatible products that present a wide range of game material (ranging from advice on campaign themes to new weapon enhancements and even new character classes) and detailing how that material can be used to expand the world beyond the City of Freeport. This will allow us to both offer new products to our Pathfinder fans, and see which of the places that we’ve only mentioned in passing in previous Freeport books our customers want to learn more about.

We DO have plans for more big, beautiful books ranging from a bestiary to possibly an expanded campaign setting, but rather than make everyone wait months in between every big release, we hope to establish some smaller, easier, more manageable options fans of both Freeport and Pathfinder can enjoy in regular doses. I’ll be watching fan feedback on these releases more intently than usual, so I can see if some concept or region becomes an early frontrunner for more products and greater expansion.

The World of Freeport is an amazing and dangerous place. We’d like to start to share more of it with you.

Owen K.C. Stephens

Pathfinder RPG Developer

BAMF Podcast: Enter to Win Emerald City!

BAMF!On the latest episode of the BAMF podcast, Mike Lafferty chats with an all-star panel about superhero teams — and they’re giving away a copy of M&M’s Emerald City setting book! Listen for details on how to enter (they tell you in the first minutes, honest).

Team Talk on the Bamf Podcast

Ronin Round Table: Let’s Get Cosmic

Cosmic Handbook (Not final cover)

Cosmic Handbook

The Cosmic Handbook has been a popular product even before it was on the list of books we were working on. Fans have been asking for it since the second edition of Mutants & Masterminds, so at some point in the last few years, we added it to the schedule, wrote it, and are in the midst of preparing it for release!

This is the book you want if you’re planning to expand the scope of your game into the wider galaxy, leaving Earth-Prime behind to explore the wild frontier created after Star-Khan’s forces flooded in to fill the vacuum created by the destruction of Magna-Lor at the hands of Collapsar. It’s also the book you want if you’re running a series in your own setting, because it features an overview of cosmic stories and heroes, tips on creating super-powerful cosmic characters, along with sample archetypes, new equipment and vehicles, rules options to help you adapt to things like the vast ranges characters have to contend with in space, and information for the GM on how to run a game that’s exciting, challenging, and fun.

The Cosmic Handbook will help you run games in which your heroes have to deal with interstellar wars, face down cosmic elders, explore unknown space in their very own spaceship, act as galactic guardians (in case you’re into that sort of thing), and even play games set on alien worlds or in the far-flung, space-faring future.

Ray-Gun Hero

Ray-Gun Hero

We wanted to make sure the book covered as many different cosmic comic book character types, adventures, and settings as we could. We roped James Dawsey, Steve Kenson, Christopher McGlothlin, and Jack Norris into writing it and they really delivered.

Cosmic heroes run the range from power level 8 at the low end, for sword-and-planet style characters and progress all the way to power level 14 (or higher). We recommend starting at power level 12, a step up from standard PL10 M&M games, so characters are able to bring some serious power to bear when they need it.

The hero archetypes included in the book are: the Ray-Gun Hero, the Star Hero, the Cosmic Corsair, the Space Knight, the Cosmic Critter, the Galactic Peace Officer, the Space Demigod, the Space Soldier, and the Strange Visitor. There’s also a number of alien templates you can use to create your own coldly logical aliens, group-minds, insectoids, plant-like aliens, and many more.

As for the forces the heroes fight against, there’s a section that discusses popular cosmic-level plotlines and how to put them together, from alien invasions to ancient mysteries. Then there are the bad guys themselves, who get their own list of archetypes, including the Alien Supermind, the Avatar of Destruction, the Imperial Champion, the Space Dragon, the Devourer, the Galactic Tough Guy, the Renegade Space Cop, the Star Hunter, the Time Master, and multiple variations on each. Plus a selection of minions for your alien invaders.

And that’s just the first half of the book! After that we cover the cosmos as it exists in the Earth-Prime universe, including information on how things have changed since the appearance of Tellax the Redeemer (in Emerald City Knights) and the coming of Collapsar. These events have had a significant impact on the galactic civilization and have turned the galaxy into a wild frontier, ripe for your players’ heroes to make names for themselves.

As you can see, the art for the book is looking great and we can’t wait to show you the final table of contents and some other bits as previews in the coming weeks. Start thinking up some cosmic plotlines and get your friends ready for a high-powered, cosmic, super series!



Alien Supermind

Alien Supermind

Star Hero

Star Hero

Atlas of Earth-Prime: West Africa (PDF)

The Atlas of Earth-Prime heads to the 15 nations that make up West Africa. Inside, you’ll meet the Champions of West Africa, a team made up of heroes from across the region, with members including Exemplar, Jali, Genome, Maitre Aimant, the Futurist, and Fantasma. Together, they protect the region from threats such as King Claw and his followers in Righteous Fire. Another hero, Mr. Twist, concerns himself with refugees in the region and has set up the Refuge to offer a safe place to stay, at least for a while. There’s more going on in Niger, Senegal, and Sierra Leone, where the son-of-a-villain known as Brodha Renbo tries to prove himself a true hero.

This $3.95 product includes a 6-page, full-color PDF and three Hero Lab files.

Buy Atlas of Earth-Prime: West Africa today!

Ronin Round Table: The Care and Feeding of Monster Design

MedusaHeya folks, Jack here. I wanted to take a break from working on AGE and Dragon AGE content to talk to you a bit about making your own content for the Adventure Game Engine. Specifically, let’s talk about making monsters.

Since the recent launch of Fantasy AGE and Titansgrave: Ashes of Valkana, I get asked a lot of questions, from “When will they be in stores,” to “What the hell is Interlligence?!” People have a lot of questions about these books.

However, by far one of the most common questions I get asked is “so, any advice on making our own monsters?” Which makes sense. While both Titansgrave and Fantasy AGE contain some cool beasties, there’s plenty of room for more monsters, demons, and beasties. So for today’s Ronin Round Table, I’d like to talk a bit about some things to consider when building your own monsters.

Generally, it’s easy to make your own monsters in Fantasy AGE. Come up with a concept or borrow one from your favorite stories, myths, legends, books, etc… Assign statistics that match up to the rough idea of what your monster can do and then tailor it so that you’re not making it too tough or too easy on your PCs when they face such threats. Speaking of…

You might find that despite having a solid idea and being sure everything will work out, you accidentally made a monster that’s far too strong or weak for the PCs. There are several ways to do this, but some common mistakes to avoid are:

Making monsters who hit all the time or not at all. A really high Accuracy or Fighting is going to mean even very agile and defensive PCs will get nailed a lot. Remember the average dice roll with 3d6 is 11 and starting PCs usually have between 10 and 15 defense. Also, these numbers are slow to increase, so even more experienced PCs won’t become so much harder to hit without serious Ability increases, special items, and other advancements. So you don’t need to give most monsters Fighting or Accuracy of 5 or higher to hit often, and those with scores of 7 or above will hit very often, especially with appropriate focuses. Even a Fighting or Accuracy 1 monster with a focus for their main attack will hit a Defense 14 PC about half the time. Conversely, making monsters with very low Fighting and Accuracy can also be a problem, though it’s admittedly harder to do.

However, if you’re giving a monster -2 Accuracy or some similarly low Ability, consider if that will make them miss often enough they seem more like a joke than a threat.

Making monsters who do ridiculous damage or almost nothing. Sometimes you want a big scary creature who does tons of damage. A giant, dragon, and other big scary monsters should be scary and hit very hard. On the other hand, a swarm of rats might do only a bit of damage and serve to weaken PCs without seriously endangering their lives. Also, remember that damage is a combination of both the dice rolled and the Ability added in and how often you hit affects the damage monsters will do over time.

So a high Accuracy “minor” monster with a 1d6+3 damage attack and 4 Strength will being doing at least 8 damage every hit (1 on the die, plus 3 and then 4 more for Strength). That might be just want you want. Or you might find you accidentally made a minor creature than can kill a player’s unarmored low-defense mage far too quickly for what you had in mind. Likewise, a big scary beast with 3d6 damage and Strength 9 is likely really nasty (doing around 20 damage a hit). Just make sure that’s the effect you want for your monsters.

Ignoring or Overdoing Armor. Armor is both damage mitigating and a pacing mechanism. It often won’t stop a PC or monster from ever taking damage, but it increases the time it takes to damage and defeat a target in combat. So if you give a monster no or very low armor, you’re opening it up to every hit, no matter how small. This might be fine, but it means that anyone who can survive the creature’s attacks and damage can take it down reliably. This might not be what you want for certain monsters. On the other hand, very high armor can get frustrating. It might be tempting to give a heavily armored creature 10 armor rating (or even higher) but realize that without the right stunts or very high damage you’re setting up combats to be many rounds of “I hit and…nothing.”

Not Balancing Health with Other Factors. High defense or armor can make a monster a challenging foe. If combined with really high health, it can make them annoying. On the other hand, too little Health creates “paper tigers.” Again, if intended? That’s cool, but realize that many players expect to only encounter easily dispatched or incredibly tough monsters rarely and at specific times appropriate to the campaign. If your Lizardman lieutenant in a moderately difficult encounter has 150 health and Armor Rating 8 and Defense 17? Your PCs will get bored, frustrated, or discouraged long before they defeat this “mid boss” encounter.

Forgetting Powers and Special Abilities or Overdoing Them. A few cool special abilities, powers, and unique stunts goes a long way. Too many and you risk bogging down encounters. But having none of them makes monsters just collections of basic attacks and statistics. Also, don’t be shy about converting or borrowing powers from existing creatures. If you want a horde of dog-sized flesh-eating beetles to assault your PCs? Adapting Swarm Tactics from the Walking Dead entry in the Fantasy AGE Bestiary will work well and save you design time.

Ignoring the Utility of Reskinning. Sometimes a monster is just an existing one with minor changes and a new look. This isn’t “cheating”; it’s expediency. A terrifying battle-beast created by an evil sorcerer might just be a Demon Soldier with Wings, Blending, or other special abilities already detailed in the Bestiary chapter of Fantasy AGE. A flesh-eating giant “deep one” style humanoid might just be an Ogre with Aquatic and perhaps Bite and Claw attacks adapted from the Manticore entry. These extra abilities will make monsters tougher and you’ll want to consider than when balancing encounters, but it makes it fairly easy to come up with terrifying new threats for PCs to face in a relatively short time.

Also in general, it’s usually better to make weaker monsters than overpowering ones. If a monster is too weak in an encounter? Simply increase it the next time a similar creature is encountered and if anyone wonders, it was a young, inexperienced, or immature monster they faced before—this is the real deal. That’s not even a lie, as the first attempt was not as refined or evolved in many cases. It’s okay if the first demon bear-thing your PCs fight turns out to be a juvenile version of a much scarier threat. In fact, this can allow monsters to grow and evolve alongside your PCs as the campaign progresses.

So those are some of the basics. We’ll be presenting new monsters in the future, but we realize many GMs want to start hacking away at their basic Bestiary entries in the meantime. Hopefully this discussion will help them do exactly that.