One of the challenges of the pandemic was a “logjam” of content we couldn’t publish yet for a number of reasons. Printers were unavailable. Shipping was awful (and hasn’t improved as much as anyone would like, honestly—remember, we don’t set those prices!) and people got sick. Bad times, and we’re still emerging from them.
One of the effects of this has been that Modern AGE has had to deal with a number of delays, compounded by new delays as some priority items are earlier in the queue for publication. Modern AGE is my game and I love it, but we NEED Mutants & Masterminds in print over Modern AGE supplements, for instance.
Where We Were
We did manage to release a few things for the line over the pandemic, however, and just to refresh your memory, they are:
Enemies & Allies: Modern AGE’s book of friends, foes, and bizarre beings from the slipstream SF, procedural, technothriller, horror, and urban fantasy genres. Enemies & Allies dropped in 2020.
Modern AGE Missions Series: Did you know Modern AGE has adventure support? The electronic Missions series started in 2020, and now encompasses the following titles:
Five and Infinity: Threefold Adventure Series: This is the one that was probably the most affected by the pandemic. Originally intended to drop as a thin hardcover hot on the heels of the Threefold setting book, we had to make do when the printing, shipping, and timing opportunities to sell the thing dried up. This collection of five adventures for the dimension-hopping Threefold setting include some of the best work ever done for Modern AGE, in my opinion—and story and planar generators, too! After releasing the adventures one at a time we eventually opted for a collected softcover print release of Five and Infinity in 2022.
Modern AGE Mastery Guide: Released in 2021, the Mastery Guide is, at this time of writing in May 2023, the most recent hardcover release, covering official rules updates, tons of optional rules, and best practices for players and GMs.
Cyberpunk Slice: This one dropped last year, in 2022. Cyberpunk Slice (PDF link; POD at Drivethru here) was a half-unexpected hit—unexpected because we designed it to make sure there was fresh Modern AGE content, but only half so because fans had long asked for dedicated cyberpunk genre support.
All in all, not a bad roster for the Bad Years.
Where We’re Headed
I originally had a more aggressive schedule for Modern AGE planned for the past three years, but looking forward, timing and industry changes mean we’re not necessarily going to dump a glut of products we’ve had saved up out there.
One change that impacted the line was Cthulhu Awakens evolving from a Modern AGE supplement to an autonomous game still largely compatible Modern AGE but able to stand on its own.
Beyond that, here’s what’s coming. Well, some things are almost for sure, while others are more speculative—definitely versus maybe, below!
Definitely More Missions: We have a pair of Modern AGE Missions adventures working their way through the production process.
Definitely Modern AGE Powers: The big book of extraordinary powers, revised and expanded from the Modern AGE Companion to include superpowers, more magic, more psychic powers, strange ancestries, and a whole bunch of extraordinary items. This book is currently awaiting its turn for art and proofing.
Maybe More Slices: Cyberpunk Slice has raised the possibility of other short works that concentrate on a genre. Which ones would you buy? I’ve kicked around Modern Fantasy Slice, Apocalypse Slice, Horror Slice, and so on. Also, I mean “buy,” not “wish existed but would not necessarily buy,” which is why I didn’t list pulp or steampunk.
Maybe More Settings: I always wanted to do settings beyond World of Lazarus and Threefold but for various reasons this sort of thing has been delayed. Plus of course we have the challenge of settings for a base game line, where we can’t provide more support without further divvying up gamers by their level of interest in a given setting.
I look forward to resolving the “maybes,” and also really getting Modern AGE down as a solid body of work that stretches the possibilities of the Adventure Game Engine, especially as I explore potential new AGE games, iterating from the ideas we’ve worked on….