Ships of the Expanse: Torpedoes Away!

Ships of the Expanse<Incoming transmission.>

<URGENT! Imminent contact detected!>

Ships of the Expanse is so close we won’t even experience any time delay on this transmission. Ty has signed off on the book, and it’s off to the printers. Since we’re so close, I thought now would be a good time to talk about combat.

Let’s begin with stunts. We added a bunch of new command stunts to the original list to allow for some even crazier maneuvers, including my favorite, Burn Them, which allows a ship to use its Epstein drive as a weapon. (I know I mentioned this in a previous RRT, but I think it bears repeating.) There is also Down with the Ship, which allows the commander to expend their own Fortune to remove damage taken by other characters (as the result of a Collateral Loss) onboard the ship. Or, Rapid Reload which lets you launch an extra torpedo. We’ve also added fleet command stunts and individual crew stunts, allowing the commander to give their generated stunt points to individual crew members to be used on their action. Crew stunts like Not My Ship! permit the engineer to sacrifice their own Fortune to protect the ship, or Steady as She Goes, which allows the pilot to lessen damage from a high-G maneuver.

Next up, the expanded electronic warfare section goes into things like hacking another ship’s systems or even wresting control of a torpedo that is being manually guided. The ship’s gunner gets a little love with systems for trick shots, firing weapons without an automated targeting system, and new rules for targeting specific systems. There is also an extensive section on all the different ways you can hide in space as well as more details on stealth technology.

But, who really wants to hide? Would you rather blow things up? We’ve got you covered with a whole section on alternative weapons. This includes flinging asteroids, making debris screens from shattered asteroids, and we get into the versatility of a torpedo. No longer are these just “fire and forget” weapons. We cover using torpedoes as mines, proximity torpedoes, and even using a torpedo as a point defense weapon. PDCs down? Fire a torpedo at that incoming torpedo! Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t revisit the nuke and get down and dirty discussing the absolute devastation these weapons can cause.

Torpedoes Away!

Information can often be the best weapon and now you’re armed with details about the expanded combat rules. The countdown has begun; deploy PDCs and get ready to make contact. Yes, that means the PDF should be out sometime THIS WEEK, with the print copies coming as fast as we can. As I’m sure most of you know, printing and shipping is still a little wonky due to COVID-19, but I promise we’ll have them in your hands as fast as we can.

Over and out!

< Transmission ends.>

If you pre-order a print copy, you can add a PDF for just $5 in our Online Store! You can also pre-order the book from your Friendly Local Game Store if shipping fees, or changing customs regulations has made getting the book difficult in your neck of the woods. We can even send $5 PDF codes to your local game store as well!

Ships of the Expanse: The Ships and Deck Plans

<Incoming transmission.>

Ships of the ExpanseAlthough they come in the final chapter, the deck plans are very much the centerpiece in Ships of the Expanse. It is also, in part, the reason this book took so long to get out. Although the pandemic can take most of the blame there, making all these plans involved an incredible amount of time. We know it took a while, but a lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into this project. We apologize for the delay, but I think you’re really going to enjoy this book!

There are 28 ships detailed in this book, and we took a lot of time and care to get every one right. We wanted to make them useful for gameplay and make sure that they were as realistic as possible. You might be surprised how long it takes to figure out exactly what goes on each deck: how many crash couches are needed for the crew, how many bunks, where does the galley go, does this ship have a med bay, how many cargo holds, how can you access the cargo holds, and so on. Needless to say, it gets complicated.

Today, you get to see a preview of one of the deck plans, the UNN Monroe-class Light Destroyer, and I’ll break down what all you’ll find in the ships section of Ships of the Expanse. They are in the order of UNN, MCRN, Independents, and finally, a few unique ships such as the Anne Bonny from Abzu’s Bounty. Then they are then listed in alphabetical order. We debated organizing them by size class, but in the end, alphabetical seemed best for easy reference.

PDF PREVIEW for the Munroe-class Light Destroyer

Each ship opens with the ship’s specifications, which is very similar to how they are presented in the Expanse core rulebook, but these are a littleMunroe-Class Light Destroyer more detailed. They also feature the new qualities and flaws that are included earlier in this book. Following that are a few paragraphs that talk about the ship’s origins and history as well as its purpose within the military fleet or as a civilian vessel, followed by a story hook that presents how the ship might appear in an adventure. I think the story hooks will be especially useful for inspiration (and to give you an excuse to use your new deck plans) since it isn’t always easy to figure out how a group of PCs might end up interacting with some of these beasts.

Following the text, you get two silhouettes from different perspectives. One of these shows the actual decks as well as elevator or ladder shafts.  And then you get to the good stuff―the deck plans! For each individual ship you get deck plans for each type of deck. However, if there are four decks of crew quarters, we only provide one plan for that since they are going to be identical in most cases. There is also a key that indicates which decks are on which level.

So, let’s talk deck plans. One of the choices I can see being controversial is the decision to include cargo and the like on the schematics. We felt that it added visual interest and also gave a better idea of space and scale. If you’re using the deck plans on a VTT or the like, you can just ignore the cargo if you want your cargo bay to be empty. I know everyone is going to have their own opinions on certain details. In the end, we had to make our own choices, often with very little actual information to go on. Though, I think you’ll agree that these things look fantastic and will be a wonderful addition to any Expanse game, not to mention just being a lot of fun to pour over.

Over and out.

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Ships of The Expanse: Expanding How You Play

<Incoming transmission.>

Ships of the ExpanseShips of the Expanse is coming to a spaceport near you soon! In my last transmission, I presented overview of what all is in the book, but now I’m going to get into some of  the nuts and bolts.

The Expanse RPG presents  a solid basis for spaceship rules. There is more than enough information provided to set the stage for exciting adventures in space and breathtaking ship combat. Ships of the Expanse takes the framework laid out in the core rulebook and builds upon it to give the players and Game Masters more options for play and more opportunity for drama. Ships provides players and GMs with a lot of new styles of play, including being merchants, smugglers, prospectors, or even pirates.

Players interested in being merchants will be excited to find in-depth rules for buying and selling (and smuggling) cargo. There are charts, tables, and guidelines for buying and selling cargo and taking on passengers. These include Income modifiers and possible risks and complications. You’ll also find rules and details for prospecting for those who want to search the belt for ice and ore minerals. Of course, everything in this book is entirely optional, and players and GMs can pick and choose which rules they want to add to their campaign and which they want to ignore and keeping in line with the core philosophy of The Expanse RPG, these rules aren’t overly cumbersome and are intended to enhance rather than bog down gameplay.

Ships of the Expanse gives you costs and details for making post-market modifications to your ship. There are also Income rules for purchasing and repairing ships as well as selling salvage. Now you know exactly how much it costs to add hull plating or install a torpedo launcher. There’s also quite an extensive list of new Qualities and Flaws for ships. Here are a few to wet your appetite: Increased Acceleration (makes it easier to increase or decrease range), Gourmet Galley (might as well eat well on those long journeys), Drone Bays (keep drones on hand for ship repair, reconnaissance, or even combat), High-Charged Rail Guns (you know you want one), Advanced Security Systems (to keep nosy spies off your ship), Advanced Targeting Systems (make sure you hit your target), and much more.

Expanded rules for all your spaceship needs!

You’ll find many and expanded rules for combat. There’s a greatly expanded list of command stunts as well as the inclusion of fleet stunts and the option for individual crew (pilot, engineer, electronic warfare, etc.) stunts, and guidelines for creating stunts on the fly. Fire up your Epstein and go in weapons hot with new ship maneuvers, including using debris as a shield, skimming planetary atmospheres to shake pursuers, hacking other ships, and utilizing torpedoes for point defense. All of this only begins to scratch the surface, so this is a book that Expanse players are not going to want to miss.

And don’t worry, I didn’t forget the most important part – the new ships! Keep your comms open for my next broadcast, where I’ll get into details on all the cool new ships and deckplans!

< Transmission ends.>

Ships of the Expanse – Welcome Aboard

Ships of the Expanse<Incoming transmission.>

This is the book you’ve all been waiting for! The first major supplement for The Expanse RPG is all about ships and the dangers and rewards of space travel. So, strap into your crash couch–we’re in for a wild ride.

The focal point of many Expanse games is the characters’ ship. Characters are likely to spend most of their time on board a ship, and in many ways, the ship is a character in and of itself.  Ships of the Expanse features everything you’ll need to bring your spaceships to life. The book is packed full of new details and rules for ship construction and combat and also explores what life is like during long voyages throughout the solar system to the hazards and dangers of space travel. This transmission gives you a chapter-by-chapter overview of what all you can expect to find in Ships of the Expanse, but keep your comms open since there’s more to come.

Chapter 1 explores the various shipbuilding facilities throughout the solar system and offers rules for ship construction, repair, maintenance, and salvage. There are also tons of new vehicles, including drones, ground vehicles, mechs, rovers, and thruster packs for when you need to get around a space station or explore the surface of an alien world. For the ships themselves, there is an expanded list of Qualities and Flaws and detailed rules for upgrading your ship. You’re gonna need that new rail gun to fend off OPA pirates, after all. You’ll also find some guidelines for ship reputations, honorifics, and even ship Bonds.

Chapter 2 offers a ton of new rules for ship combat and operation. It’s full of new stunts, including cool things like Burn Them, which lets your turn your Epstein drive into a weapon. There are also new maneuvers and expanded rules for torpedoes and stealth technologies. A section on ship tactics covers things like hiding in space, using asteroid debris to shield yourself from incoming torpedoes, and expanded torpedo rules. You’ll also find new information on acquiring and carrying cargo and passengers, as well as smuggling and piracy. There are also a bunch of new hazards Game Masters can use to torment their players.

Chapter 3 is an in-depth look at life onboard a spaceship. What do the crew members do between the long passages between ports? What’s it like to live in micro-gravity? What do you eat in space? All these questions and more are answered here. There are also rules for Interludes while traveling between worlds, and guidelines for telling stories set entirely onboard a ship.

And finally, Chapter 4 is the section you’ve all been asking for: new ships! This chapter features expanded details on some of the ships provided in The Expanse RPG as well as a boatload of new ships from The Expanse novels. Not only are there stats and descriptions but also scaled deckplans. The deckplans are perfect for use if you like to use miniatures in your games or if you just want to get a better idea what these ships look like on the inside.

Check your seals and hang in there podnas! Ships of the Expanse is coming soon!

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Putting Your Fantasy AGE Adventures in the Trojan War

Fantasy AGE Trojan War, out now (and at DriveThruRPG) is a condensed guide to running Fantasy AGE adventures in the Homeric Age, a mythic-historical period where ancient events inspired grand myths. The events around Troy can be thought of as one of the first popular fantasy series and shared universes, though to ancient Greeks and people who feel deeply connected to it today, they also represent the founding stories of a people. But let’s step back from profound musings to ask: How do I run adventures in it? The Trojan War has different participants, rewards, and challenges than mainstream fantasy RPG adventures, but that doesn’t mean you can’t convert various adventures to fit the period. Let’s get into tips on how to do just that.

Use other Adventures for Fantasy AGE Trojan War!

“The “tainted fey” Mallorsa should be framed as a renegade Nymph, corrupted by the valley.”

Use Greek Mythology

It’s common sense but needs to be said: Frame everything within Greek mythology! That means looking to the gods, titans, heroes, and their struggles for the origins of everything you use. Since Greek mythology is so influential, this often requires less effort than you might think. Monsters are the children or creations of immortals, or spring from their shed blood. Dungeons are the ruins of fallen heroes, secret temples, or built to house accursed creatures.

The Trojan War Isn’t All About Troy

As we note in Fantasy AGE Trojan War, it takes years for the Achaeans just to get to Troy, and they face plenty of challenges on the way. The Achaeans attack multiple islands, and raid Troy’s allies in Asia Minor, so there’s much more to do than simply make another run at the walls of Troy. Any island or rival kingdom can send an enemy force, rouse a divinely created enemy, or own a fortress that must be taken to reach a greater military objective. On the Trojan side, adventurers can ride out to aid allies against the Achaeans, or seek their help—and of course, these friends will want help in return, to retake land and fortifications seized by the Achaeans.

Heroes Are Monsters…Sometimes

The Trojan War is ultimately about heroes, and how the gods love or hate them, and meddle with their destinies. In Greek myths, heroes are not necessarily good or bad, but possess forms of excellence tied to their ultimate fates that attract the notice of the gods. Sometimes heroes act monstrously and can easily replace actual monsters. For example, when the Telamonian Ajax ravages Thrace, he even kills their animals, in a foreshadowing of the madness that would eventually seal his fate. With a small detachment of spear carriers, Ajax, a ruthless, spoils-hoarding killer, can fill the same role in an adventure as a dragon.

Monsters Sometimes, As a Divine Treat

Of course, in addition to using heroes as monsters, you can use, uh monster as monsters. In a Trojan War campaign, monsters are usually related to immortals such as gods and titans. In most cases, only the intelligent offspring of immortals are truly immortal, and even lesser immortals can be defeated, as they lack true divinity and access to the nectar and ambrosia the gods use to maintain their endless health. Animal and bestial creatures usually have an even more limited form of immortality, which is why killing the cattle of Helios is possible, but still a terrible idea. Other monsters are the result of divine curses. The Greeks created monsters as part of their stories, and when you create new stories, you can use them to justify monsters from other fantasy worlds, giving them an origin fitting the Homeric Age.

Example: Valley of the Whispering Titans…er Giants

As an example of converting a mainstream fantasy scenario, let’s look at Valley of the Whispering Titans from Fantasy AGE Lairs. First step: Rename the valley! That’s because while titans come from Greek mythology, the ones in this scenario left behind their skulls, which the immortal titans wouldn’t do. Instead, make the lair a remnant of the war between the Olympian gods and the giants. In fact, we can say that this is a place where Uranus’ blood fell, giving birth to giants and numerous other twisted creations.

The valley is the lair of a corrupt druid—except there are no druids in the Homeric Age (at least, none near Troy) so instead we should make main antagonist Callem Ressmil a pharmakeus: a sorcerer who manipulates divine power without the leave of the gods, as detailed in Fantasy AGE Trojan War. He’s probably a hero with an immortal ancestor who committed an act of hubris by claiming the valley and harvesting its power.

The “tainted fey” Mallorsa should be framed as a renegade Nymph, corrupted by the valley. The Valley Huntsman requires the most changes, turning from a corpse possessing ghost (Hades usually prevents that sort of thing) to a phenomenon specific to the valley, where the blood of Uranus animates dead creatures to face the characters once again—perhaps under the control of the resident witch. The Hanging Vine is another creature made or changed by Uranus’ blood. The “titans’ skulls” should belong to giants but can be used as-is; Greek myths include stories of the Aegis, made from a fallen monster, and it is fitting that other semi-immortal remains should retain special powers.

Plus of course, you need to change the names!

You can set the valley in an obscure peninsula or large island if this challenge is for Achaean heroes, or within the territory of Troy but outside the city for heroes from all sides. Apollo may demand the Trojans do something about the cursed valley before helping them. Artemis may be offended by the phenomena in the valley, and demand the Achaeans deal with it, since they already offended her on the way to Troy.

Fantasy AGE Trojan War: Now Available!

Fantasy AGE Trojan War

Available Now! In the Green Ronin Online Store, and DrivethruRPG!

Cross the Wine-Dark Sea and Storm the Walls of Troy Again!

Fantasy AGE Trojan War, which is available now, revives the classic 3rd Era historical fantasy supplement in streamlined form for Fantasy AGE. This book explores the Homeric Age: a period that’s half history, half myth, and all about dramatic action, where gods and heroes battle each other…and the inescapable judgment of destiny. Enter the Iliad and other ancient tales in Fantasy AGE, using a host of new options:

  • Play Achaean Greeks, Trojans, and other ancient peoples, from Amazons to the divine offspring, with new backgrounds appropriate to the era.
  • Five new talents and six new specializations, from the Swift-Footed fighting style to Amazon ferocity and the strange magic of the Pharmakeus.
  • Three new magical Arcana, over 30 new magic items, and discussions of the role of magic in Homeric mythology.
  • Weapons, armor, and other gear appropriate to the Homeric Age, including rules for hit locations and partial armor in combat.
  • Chariots and ships of the Homeric Age, and how to use them.
  • Rules for divine intervention which let gods and heroes meaningfully interact without compromising divine immortality. Fall under the eye of a deity through a Divine Bond, or feel the wrath of their manifestations.
  • Advice for Game Mastering the Homeric Age, from changing mythology to suit you to interpreting Fantasy AGE monsters through the lens of Greek Mythology.

Inspired by the original d20 release, Fantasy AGE Trojan War takes a “Fantasy AGE native” design approach, where instead of a formulaic subject by subject conversion, we substantially designed for Fantasy AGE from the ground up, from specializations to divine intervention. This includes updating research to support a wider range of interpretations, from stricter Mycenaean technology to the ahistorical blend that made up the Iliad itself, and discussions of how to bring increased diversity to the legends.

Return to the Battlefields of Troy

Available in PDF and Print On Demand at DrivethruRPG, Fantasy AGE Trojan War requires the Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook to play, and while it refers to the Fantasy AGE Companion, that book is not required. With minimal adaptation, it can be converted for use with other Adventure Game Engine roleplaying games.

Fantasy AGE Trojan War: Sing, O Muse, of the Rage of Achilles

Fantasy AGE Trojan War is a compact adaptation of its D20 System predecessor. Instead of just doing item for item conversions, we worked on this as a shorter Fantasy AGE work, with most design happening from the ground up. Over the course of doing this we omitted a few things—most notably, game statistics for Troy’s heroes. We figured GMs might prefer their own interpretations, and in any event, the focus is on Player Characters, who in most games will be the true heroes.

Nevertheless, I’m sure some of you are curious about how we would do it! So here are Fantasy AGE statistics for Aristos Achaion, greatest of the Greeks: Achilles, son of Peleus and the goddess Thetis. Achilles represents the apex of power possible for Fantasy AGE Trojan War Heroes—and the raw might of this hero at the apex of his power. These game statistics represent Achilles after the death of Patroclus, but before he slays Hector.


Achilles, 20th Level Divine Offspring Warrior

Achilles, son of Peleus and the goddess ThetisAbilities (Focuses)

Accuracy 8 (Brawling, Bows, Light Blades, Throwing +3), Communication 5 (Leadership), Constitution 6 (Running), Dexterity 6 (Initiative +3), Fighting 8 (Bludgeons, Heavy Blades +3, Spears +3), Intelligence 2 (Military Lore), Perception 5, Strength 6 (Driving +3, Intimidation +3), Will 5 (Courage +3, Morale +3)

Speed: 20, Health: 230, Defense: 18, Armor Rating: 10

Talents: Arete (Master), Athletics (Expert), Berserker (Specialization; Master), Charioteer (Specialization; Master), Swift-Footed Style (Master), Thrown Weapon Style (Expert), Weapon and Shield Style (Master)

Attacks

Spear of Peleus: +13 to attack rolls, 1d6 + 9 damage

Special Qualities

Special qualities are in addition to class abilities, talents, and specializations, though they may note the specifics of these traits.

Advanced Focuses: Achilles has several focuses with +3 listed, indicating they provide a +3 focus bonus instead of the usual +2.

Arms of Peleus: Achilles carries a bronze-headed spear and ornate shield, each from his father, Peleus. The spear adds +2 to attack and damage rolls and the shield adds +2 to Defense.

Arete: Due to the Arete talent, Achilles can use his choice of the Defensive Stance, Lightning Attack, or Seize the Initiative Stunts for 0 SP on any successful attack, even if it doesn’t score doubles.

Athletics: Due to the Athletics talent in Fantasy AGE Trojan War, Achilles can re-roll a failed Constitution (Running) and Strength (Jumping) test, but he must keep the results of the second roll.

Balius and Xanthus: These are Achilles’ divine horses, which he employs (sometimes along with a third, mortal horse) to pull his chariot. These are horses (Fantasy AGE Bestiary, p. 129) with the Epic template for beefing up adversaries found in the Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook and Bestiary. Each also has an Intelligence of 1 and the Bestial Immortality quality: If reduced to 0 Health, they appear dead, but spring to full Health if left undisturbed until the next sunrise. If burned, dismembered, or eaten, however, they remain dead.

Epic Warrior: As per Fantasy AGE’s Level 20 Warrior benefit, Achilles gains +1 SP to spend on combat stunts when scoring doubles.

Golden Chariot: A gift from Peleus to Achilles, this gilded kingly chariot has a Hull Rating of 3 and grants a +3 to Strength (Driving) tests.

Second Armor of Achilles: This version of Achilles wears the armor he was given after his previous panoply was taken from the body of his lover, Patroclus. It provides an Armor Rating of 10 with no Armor Penalty, and when fighting under the sun, its shine imposes a -2 penalty to enemies’ ranged attack rolls.

Swift-Footed: Achilles’ mastery of the Swift-Footed Style (detailed in Fantasy AGE Trojan War) gives him +2 to Speed in combat, included in his statistics along with a further bonus for his divine offspring ancestry.

Stygian Armor (Optional): The Iliad doesn’t include the later legend that Thetis dipped Achilles into the River Styx as a baby to make him nearly invulnerable. If the legend is true in your campaign Achilles suffers a permanent -2 to all Communication tests, but adds +4 to his Armor Rating, even when unarmored (increasing it to 14 in the statistics above). However, attacks to Achilles’ left ankle inflict penetrating damage. To hit it, an attacker must roll a 5 when determining hit location using the rules in Fantasy AGE Trojan War, or deliberately aim for it by attacking with a -3 penalty. In either case, the attacker only strikes true if they roll 6 on the Stunt Die. All other attacks that reduce the effectiveness of armor do not reduce the Armor Rating given by this quality. The Stygian salve item in Fantasy AGE Trojan War represents a lessened form of this ability; the GM may decide Achilles simply has access to it instead of this quality.

Divine Bonds

Zeus 5 (Ambiguous): As Achilles sets out to kill Hector, his doom may be predestined but he has not yet demonstrated the combination of arrogance, cruelty, and impiety that will seal his fate—that happens after he kills Hector. This Bond is assigned to Zeus as the king of the gods and arbiter of Fate, but he represents the attitudes of the Olympians in general.

Thetis 3 (Favorable): Achilles’ mother Thetis supports her son through such acts as providing him with new armor, made by Hephaestus, after his previous armor is taken from Patroclus’ corpse by Hector.


Fantasy AGE: Trojan War will be available for purchase in PDF and Print On Demand, next Thursday May 13th!

Coming May 13: Fantasy AGE Trojan War

Read the title! On May 13, we’ll be releasing a Fantasy AGE supplement for Homeric Age adventures. Inspired by the classic 3rd Era Trojan War book by Aaron Rosenberg, this 65-page supplement, coming in PDF and print-on-demand, adds numerous new character options, magic items, and special rules for Fantasy AGE.Fantasy AGE: Trojan War!

Note that this isn’t a straight D20 to Fantasy AGE conversion, for the following reasons:

  • Timing and Size: We wanted to make sure we could get this done on time, to get in a Fantasy AGE supplement for mid-2021 before the release of the new Fantasy AGE core rulebook, currently in development. We also wanted to make this a smaller book so people would feel they can spend their money on it without feeling like they have to have a full-on Homeric campaign ready. This means we’ve omitted game statistics for Trojan heroes. This also fits Fantasy AGE, whose smaller number of classes combined with talents and specializations mean there are many ways to interpret these heroes.
  • The Internet: The internet, and the resources it can bring to your table, have expanded since 2005. This means, for example, it would be redundant to describe history and mythology in ways better served by resources such as Wikipedia and other Web resources.
  • 16 Years of Context: We’ve added new context and guidance about how to adapt an era rife with discrimination for contemporary play. For centuries, people have made these legends their own, and by doing the same you don’t violate any kind of “canon,” but follow in the steps of storytellers who changed things to fit their times. We’ve also given much of the original a tune-up to bring forth some of the distinctive elements of the time. For instance, did you know the Trojan War predates the invention of coins? We talk about it.
  • Fantasy AGE First: Fantasy AGE is its own distinct system and handles everything from character creation to armor differently than 3e and its successors do. We wanted to make sure this fit Fantasy AGE’s rules as closely as possible.

Okay, But What’s in It?

Here’s a chapter breakdown:

Introduction: A 101 on the material ahead and an overview of the Trojan War.

Chapter 1: Homeric Character Creation: This section includes rules for characters of human (Trojan, Achaean, and others, including Amazons) and divine heritage, before going into a full set of backgrounds and professions for the Homeric period, and new and modified focuses for such characters. Then we talk about using existing Fantasy AGE talents and specializations before introducing five new talents (Arete, Athletics, Primal Weapon Style, Shield Formation Style, and Swift-Footed Style) and six new specializations of (Amazon, Charioteer, Dedicated Warrior, Demigod, Pharmakeus, and Priest). We finish things off with Divine Bonds, a new system inspired by the Relationships rules in other AGE games, which measure whether the gods love or hate you—and how they might meddle in your life.

Chapter 2: Homeric Magic: After talking about the place of magic in Homeric tales, we introduce the new Charm, Cursing, and Poison Arcana. After that? Magic items—32 of them, to be precise, from the useful herb moly to the head of Medusa—yes, it doesn’t appear in Homer, but the book wouldn’t be complete without it!

Chapter 3: Homeric Equipment: This chapter covers Bronze Age equipment for a Homeric campaign, including how precious metals were counted and spent before the invention of coins. Bare-legged Homeric warriors need special consideration, so this chapter includes new rules for partial armor and hit locations. We also provide a streamlined version of the vehicle rules in the Fantasy AGE Companion tailored for the ships and chariots presented here.

Chapter 4: Religion & The Gods: After providing an overview of divine actions during the Trojan War, this chapter provides complete rules for divine intervention, from the gods spiriting away favored heroes to reckoning with them when they take to the field. New rules let you face down belligerent gods without compromising on their immortality. Finally, for Game Masters looking for a detailed system to track divine favor, we include rules for Piety adapted from the D20 original.

Chapter 5: The Homeric Campaign: This updated Game Mastering chapter not only talks about how to use the Iliad as the basis for a campaign but presents it in the context of a larger body of mythology you can convert to adventures. In the myths, just getting to Troy was an epic in of itself! We also discuss how to change the myths for inclusivity and other play-friendly purposes before talking about which Fantasy AGE monsters fit the period, and how to modify them if they have immortal parentage.

Compatibility Across the AGEs

Fantasy AGE Trojan War was designed alongside the new Fantasy AGE core rulebook, due to come out later this year. Trojan War introduces some concepts from the new rules but is designed with the published Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook in mind. In practice, Fantasy AGE Trojan War should be mostly compatible with the new rules. This is a bridge supplement for both old and new Fantasy AGE players alike.

Watch this space—we’ll announce when it’s out and tell you where to find it at the Green Ronin Online Store and at DriveThruRPG!

End of Year Sale and GR Gift Guide

Happy holidays from all of us at Green Ronin! I don’t think 2020 was the year any of us hoped for but on the upside, it’s almost over! Right now, we’ve got our Year End Sale going on, which offers 20% off most of our titles through January 3. Get gifts for your friends and family, or just treat yourself. If you survived 2020, you deserve it! Two important notes. First, we do offer gift certificates in our online store, so if you don’t know what to get for the gamers in your life, that’s always an option. Second, shipping is particularly slow this year, so if you want things in time for Xmas, get your orders in early. If you aren’t sure what to get, I’ve put together a gift guide that may help. Let’s get to it!

Death In Freeport for Fantasy AGEAs you may heard, 2020 was Green Ronin’s 20th anniversary. One way we celebrated that was with new editions of one of our earliest releases. I wrote Death in Freeport 20 years ago, and now it’s available in two formats: Fantasy AGE and 5th Edition. Pick your system and then set sale for Freeport, the City of Adventure! Fantasy AGE fans will also enjoy Lairs, another new book for this year that features a host of ready to use encounters. 5E fans should check out The Lost Citadel Roleplaying, where players are survivors of an undead apocalypse in the last city standing.

 

Enemies and Allies for Modern AGE

If you want a flexible RPG that can handle just about every sub-genre of action adventure, check out Modern AGE. It got its character/adversary book this year with Enemies & Allies. If you want a kickass setting, also check out Threefold. It got some adventure support with Five and Infinity, which we serialized over the course of the year. We also launched Modern AGE Missions for even more PDF adventure support. We’re certain you need 30-50 feral hogs in your Modern AGE campaign, so make sure to check that out!

 

Envoys to the Mount for Blue RoseBlue Rose, our Romantic Fantasy RPG, is also getting (and giving) a lot of love right now. If you’ve never checked it out before, there’s a new Quickstart that gives you a complete adventure with rules and pre-generated characters. For more experienced players, we’ve just put Envoys to the Mount up for pre-order. This is a complete campaign for Blue Rose that takes characters through all four tiers of play. There’s also a tie-in fiction anthology called Tales from the Mount that’s available now. You can get a bundle with both Envoys and Tales too!

 

Sacred Band 2nd editionSpeaking of fiction, our imprint Nisaba Press has some great titles for holiday reading. Blue Rose fans will definitely want to check out Sovereigns of the Blue Rose, an anthology of stories about the fourteen rulers of Aldis. We’ve also just released Sacred Band, Joe Carriker’s critically-acclaimed LGBTQ+ superhero novel. Supers will also enjoy Roadtrip to Ruin, the latest Mutants & Masterminds novel. If short stories are your jam, we’ve released three anthologies this year: For Hart and Queen for Blue Rose, Powered Up for Mutants & Masterminds, and Under a Black Flag for Freeport.

 

 

Time Traveler's Codex for Mutants & MastermindsSuperhero fans should look no further than Mutants & Masterminds. If you haven’t tried it before, jump right in with the Basic Hero’s Handbook. We’ve just release the Time Traveler’s Codex (now available in print!), which is a whole book about timeline hopping shenanigans. If you’ve been wanting adventure support, we’ve really leaned into that this year with the Astonishing Adventures PDF series. These include stand-alone adventures and the five-part series NetherWar. Danger Zones is another new series. Each entry details a new location for superheroic action. And, by popular demand, we’ve also just released a deck of Condition Cards!

 

Ships of the ExpanseBut what if you want to go to outer spaaaaccceeee? That’s where The Expanse RPG—based on the terrific novels by James S.A. Corey­—comes in. There’s a free Quickstart if you haven’t dived in yet. This year we released Abzu’s Bounty, a series of six linked adventures for the game. Salvage Op offers a one shot for an evening or two of play. We’ve also just put Ships of the Expanse up for pre-order. This is the long-awaited book full of deck plans and details about the spaceships of the setting.

 

Sword Chronicle RoleplayingLast but by no means least, we launched the Sword Chronicle RPG this year. This takes the system we designed for A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying and spins it off into as an independent fantasy system. This has been available as a PDF for several months but just this week we’ve made it available as a Print on Demand title on DriveThruRPG.

 

Happy holidays, everyone! See you in 2021!


Character Hooks in Envoys to the Mount

Envoys to the Mount for Blue RoseIn a previous Ronin Roundtable, we mentioned a little bit about the Character Hooks mechanic we developed for Envoys to the Mount. In this Ronin Roundtable, we’re going to introduce you to not only the Hooks themselves, but how players select and use them, along with a sample of one of them.

The Summary

At the beginning of game play, the Narrator will pass around a sheet that summarizes the Hooks used in the campaign. Players choose these Hooks based on the summaries, allowing them to focus on the role they want to play within the chronicle. This is an example of the Vata Hook summary:

The Vata

The arcane runs through your veins as surely as blood does. You might be one of the pale vata’an, graceful and ethereal. Or you might be one of the umbral vata’sha, whispered about by the ignorant and superstitious. Regardless, you are an inheritor of the ancient legacy of the lost vatazin people. You might have been born to entirely human parents, or perhaps one (or both) of your parents are vata themselves. No matter your origins, you have found a place among the Sovereign’s Finest.

Choose This Hook: If you want to play a vata character in this campaign, a character with a mystical heritage who will begin to uncover ancient secrets about their people.

 

A Vata character for Blue Rose

The HandoutsCharacter Hook Handout for the Vata

Once all of the players have chosen their Hooks, the Narrator then gives each a handout which contains the following information. We have included the Handout for the Vata Hook here as well, so you can see what it all looks like.

  • Flavor Text: A quick paragraph that summarizes the character’s relationship with the Sovereign’s Finest, and very loosely defines their motivations. Ultimately, it simply contains a few evocative suggestions, which players should use as many or as few of as they like to help round out their characters.
  • Bonus Traits: Each Hook includes one or more additional benefits the character receives for taking on this role. Many of them are mechanical in nature, a core conceit for the Hook. Because the hero basically has to have them to function in that Hook role, we’re giving it to them for free, so as not to unduly limit character creation choices elsewhere.
  • Character Creation: This section makes some suggestions for character creation, suggesting focuses, talents, and specializations that expand the theme of the Hook in interesting directions. None of these are requirements, although the suggestions are made with the Hook’s role in the campaign in mind.
  • Drawbacks: Of course, nothing comes for free, so each Hook also includes a Drawback. In many instances, this is a unique mechanic or even story limitation that isn’t so much to balance the additional benefits as it is to drive home the themes of the Hook and further enwrap the hero in the role the player has chosen.
  • Backstory: Finally, each Hook includes three bullet points that are events or details that should be folded into the player’s concept of the character’s past. In many cases, these are not only tied into the assumed history of the character in that role, but they will also impact events that occur within the campaign. They include questions meant to help the player customize these details for their hero. They don’t have to share these details with the other players but should discuss them with you, the Narrator.

Envoys to the Mount is available for pre-order now in our online store, and on DrivethruRPG!

Don’t forget, you can also pick up the Nisaba Press anthology Tales from the Mount along with your PDF (also available on Drivethru), or select the add-on offer with the print version of Envoys to the Mount, for just $5!

And did we mention there were free pre-generated characters for Envoys? Just in case you wanted to get playing right away! Shocking no one, they are on DrivethruRPG as well!