It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about Modern AGE, but that’s not because activity on the game has slowed down. Quite the opposite; we have three new books and an adventure written, and a new quickstart ready to drop for Free RPG Day on June 15th this year. I can’t cover everything in one post, but I can tell you about the Modern AGE Companion, which is out now! (Preorder with an instant PDF option here!)
Let’s do a 101 on the contents.
Chapter 1: Characters
This chapter starts by breaking down the logic of character creation in Modern AGE, so you can make heroes using the bare bones of the system. Then we get into something long anticipated: fantasy and science-fictional backgrounds, from human anomalies to elves, dwarves, orcs, spirit-bloods—and even artificial intelligences. Then we move on to rules for handling characters who’ve been born with or acquire traits that may provide extra challenges in adventures.
Check out this sample featuring some of the fantasy and sci-fi types covered in this chapter.
Chapter 2: Talents and Specializations
Next up, we go over optional Grandmaster and Apex degrees for talents and specializations, with some examples of how they’re applied to existing talents. We also present nine new talents and seven new specializations, with full descriptions to the new Apex degree.
Chapter 3: Rules
As the title says! New rules include replacing Health with a damage resistance test, duels, fighting styles, flying characters, using miniatures in combat, advanced rules for hazards, poisons, diseases, fatigue, fear, and horror. These options should be used where they’d fit your campaign.
Chapter 4: Stunts
More about stunts! We start with a general discussion before providing rules to use a single table for all stunts. Then we talk about using these general stunts to make your own suitable for your campaign’s genre, or an adventure’s environment. Use these rules to support everything from swashbuckling panache to fighting in zero gravity.
Chapter 5: Extraordinary Abilities
Powers are one of the most hotly requested additions to the game, and chapter author Steve Kenson might know a little bit about that. These rules don’t turn Modern AGE into a full-on superhero game but are well-suited to lower key “street supers,” cyberpunk, and urban fantasy campaigns. The chapter concludes with rules for items made through magic and other extraordinary means.
Chapter 6: Social Options
New rules for Relationships, along with rules for organizations and social networks, fill this chapter. Characters familiar with other Adventure Game Engine games may have encountered rules for organizations before, but these are expanded to include new ways for characters to directly affect their fortunes. This chapter also includes rules for NPC companions, special stunts, and dramatic complications for Relationships.
Chapter 7: Technology
Here, we provide options for Player Character technicians to jury rig or create devices ranging from simple modifications to weird new inventions, limited by what the Game Master allows. The chapter concludes with guidelines for using explosives in Modern AGE games.
Chapter 8: The Modern Campaign
This chapter includes new rules for Game Masters to use to manage the flow of events in individual scenes and extended campaigns. This includes ratcheting up complications to counteract character success (something you might find familiar from The Expanse Roleplaying Game, in the form of “The Churn”) and rules for serendipity, so good fortune counterbalances failure. The chapter concludes with a system to generate sweeping events in modern games, from political power shifts to natural disasters.
Chapter 9: Genres
Written by Nisaba Press editorial director and accomplished fantasy and SF editor Jaym Gates, Chapter 9 drills deeply into applying genres to your Modern AGE games, expanding on the acclaimed Game Master advice in the core. Sections cover swashbuckling, Gothic horror, 1950s alien invasion, spy-fi, and modern to near future cyberthrillers.
The Modern AGE Companion is here, but what’s next? Threefold, a new original campaign setting for Modern AGE, which will debut with a new quickstart you’ll get for the princely sum of nothing, because it’s coming out for Free RPG Day! The full campaign book is currently in layout and is scheduled to arrive later this summer. Watch for it—and for what we’ll say about it in the runup to release.
After writing and designing games as a freelancer from 2000 on, Malcolm Sheppard is pleased to join Green Ronin as developer at large: the one who works on any number of games, from the Adventure Gaming Engine to Ork! Malcolm’s experience before Green Ronin includes Exalted, Mage: The Ascension, Onyx Path’s Chronicles of Darkness and Scion lines, as well as Shadowrun and Eclipse Phase. Outside game design, Malcolm’s worked in community development and education, and as a professional historical re-enactor, where he gave large metal swords to children. (They were blunt!) Malcolm lives in semi-rural Ontario, Canada.