Now On Sale: Feral Hogs for Modern AGE

Release the Hogs!

Was there an apocalypse, or is this a fever dream brought on by too many energy drinks? Or is Murica, a future nation of trucks, guns, mail order distribution centers-turned-fortresses, and most importantly, mutated feral hogs, truly a Utopia, where everyone can express themselves as the ruggedest of individuals? Find out by testing yourself against this brave new world of mutant Suidae, from running Squealers to the dreaded Hogferatu!

Hogferatu from Modern AGE: Feral Hogs

Feral Hogs is a new PDF adventure for the Modern AGE Missions series. Beyond nakedly exploiting the 30-50 Feral Hogs meme from the comparatively paradisiacal year of 2019, Feral Hogs started out as a one shot adventure for the Dice Priori stream. Watch the original session here (though you’ll be spoiled if you do!). We were so amused by it we asked Dice Priori’s Matthew Foreman and Chase Schneider to write it out as an adventure the rest of us can enjoy.

Consequently, it’s our duty and pleasure to announce that Dice Priori will be running a sequel to the adventure on September 23. Visit their stream, watch, and maybe win prizes! And when you’re good and ready, run Feral Hogs for your 1st to 4th level Modern AGE characters. Chug your BEAST energy drink, lock and load, and for Murica’s sake, shoot tens of feral hogs!

Get Feral Hogs

Modern AGE Missions: Warflower

The Modern AGE Missions series presents unusual or customizable scenarios for the Modern AGE roleplaying game that aren’t connected to any established AGE setting. The first adventure, Warflower, smashes characters against the problems caused by eccentric modern sword fighters, pretentious drug dealers, and a very weird CEO, where the Game Master decides upon its culminating secret.

Feral Hogs and Memes in Modern AGE

Not every Modern AGE adventure has to be deadly serious, and last year I was charmed when the streamers of DicePriori ran a one-shot based on the infamous “30-50 Feral Hogs” meme. It looked like so much fun that I asked DicePriori members Chase Schneider and Matthew Foreman to write the adventure out for me as a Modern AGE Mission:  next in a series of unconventional and/or setting-neutral PDF adventures for the line. The first in the series, Warflower (also available at DriveThruRPG) was a choose-your-own secret romp through medieval-style sword fighters, drug-dealing alchemists, and corporate perfidy. Feral Hogs’ claim to fame is that it was ripped from the headlines of…well, 2019 (stupid COVID-19 delays) and set in a post-apocalyptic fever dream of big trucks, guns, distribution centers turned fortresses, and nuclear reactors. If it had a genre, it would be “memesploitation.” Look for Feral Hogs this week!

Feral Hogs!

But speaking of memesploitation, how do characters in Modern AGE use memes? In a past Threefold campaign one of the PCs got their Twitter account verified, so I know from experience social media plays a part in contemporary campaigns. In most games the Click “Share” stunt in the core rules works well, The Modern AGE Companion’s Influencer talent and Communicator specialization are the power duo for social media, but anybody can make a meme (or grow one from an opportunity, like the original Feral Hogs Twitter blow up), and this being Modern AGE, the ability to make a meme naturally implies Meme Stunts!

Making Modern AGE Memes

A meme is an idea expressed in some rough form (an image, or a video, or…well, it’s 2020, we know what memes are) that people feel compelled to share. To make a meme on purpose requires a Communication (Expression) test, with a TN determined by the reach you want it to achieve:

Sympathy Likes—TN 10: You want to amuse your social media connections who will at least pretend to think the meme is clever.

Community Appreciation—TN 14: You want that meme to spread across a significant scene of people, like backpackers or miniatures gamers.

Mass Culture—TN 18: You want the meme to be known to a vast section of people.

You can also strategically share a meme (with good timing, a good venue, and maybe a witty addition or two) but this puts you on the periphery of its hottest social media action. Generally, sharing an existing meme has the TN and effects of creating a meme of one rank less, so piggybacking on a Mass Culture meme has the TN and effects of an original Community Appreciation Meme. Sharing a meme worthy of Sympathy Likes is useless. Sorry.

A meme’s main practical effect is to strengthen your social media reach by amusing and increasing the number of followers you have. This provides a one-step Attitude shift in the direction of your choosing about the target or subject of your choosing among the audience you aimed for, though this is short-lived, lasting just 3d6 days. Furthermore, you can use the following Meme Stunts!

Meme Stunts

1-3          Meme Economy: You’ve got a good format or idea. You can spend up to 3 SP on this stunt, with each SP adding +1 to your next meme.

2/4/6     Viral AF: Your meme’s effects last longer. Double its duration for 2 SP, then double it again at 4 (4x) and 6 (8x) SP.

3              Actual LOL: Your meme is sweet enough to provoke a real reaction. You shift your targets’ Attitudes an additional step up or down.

4              Cash Me: Your improved social media reach translates into money from a hustle you promote, or a simple appeal for money. You gain +1 Resources for 1 week for Sympathy Likes, 1 month for Community Appreciation, and 2d6 months for Mass Culture memes.

5              I AM the Senate: 1d6 weeks after your meme launches, an online community forms to talk about it and make related memes. If you contact this community it automatically confers 1 rank of Membership on you. The community is one size smaller that the scope of your meme, unless it’s a Sympathy Likes meme, in which case it’s just a handful of people.

Fantasy AGE Freeport

Death In Freeport for Fantasy AGELast month, in “Return to Freeport,” we talked a bit about the classic adventure Death in Freeport, which helped to launch Green Ronin Publishing twenty years ago, and the forthcoming anniversary edition of that adventure. Not only is Death in Freeport being offered for the fifth edition of the world’s most widely-played fantasy roleplaying game, we are also offering a Fantasy AGE edition for AGE System players who would like to experience the City of Adventure for themselves!

Just like the 5e version, the Fantasy AGE edition of Death in Freeport will be full-color and available in electronic (PDF) and print-on-demand (POD) formats, with the same exciting adventure, but designed for Fantasy AGE game-play. Since both Freeport and Fantasy AGE were designed by Green Ronin’s own Chris Pramas, their aesthetics fit together like they were made for each other! That includes some fun AGE System style touches, such as:

  • Roleplaying stunts while interacting with the various low-lifes and scoundrels of the city.
  • Exploration stunts while delving into the mysterious dungeons beneath Freeport.
  • Mechanics for the hazards of some classic fantasy traps found in the adventure.
  • The unique stunts of serpent people, skeletons, and other monsters the characters may encounter.

Death in Freeport introduces the player characters to the free city and pirate haven of Freeport, and entangles them in the mystery of a scholar who has gone missing, leading them to a much deeper threat, both figuratively and literally!

The adventure also includes Fantasy AGE versions of the four pre-generated player characters who were a part of the original Death in Freeport: Rollo (gnome warrior), Malevir (half-elf mage), Alaina (human rogue), and Thorgrim (dwarf mage and healer).

From Freeport to Lairs

Fantasy AGE Game Masters looking to expand things beyond the events of Death in Freeport can find inspiration in Lairs for Fantasy AGE, many of which can easily be situated on the islands of the Serpent’s Teeth:

  • Shifted to a jungle locale,The Valley of the Titans could be on one of the islands, possibly connected to Lost Valossa or another ancient, mythic civilization.
  • The Temple of the Stone Oath could be hidden on the slopes of the volcano at the heart of A’Val or in mountainous terrain on another island.
  • Madness Under the Sea suits Freeport quite well, with Coral Scar’s Island hidden amidst the Serpent’s Teeth.
  • The Night Market can appear anywhere, even just outside the walls of Freeport itself.

Other Lairs or published Fantasy AGE adventures can also be placed in and around the city of Freeport or on the islands of the Serpent’s Teeth, mixing-and-matching to create a fantastic setting for your swashbuckling AGE adventures!

Death in Freeport for Fantasy AGE, is now available in the Green Ronin Online Store, or on DrivethruRPG

Midnight Gold Now Available: Five and Infinity Chapter 4

Midnight GoldDemetrius Bassei came to the Netherworld of Mar Saothair to win back his son’s lost soul at the Midnight Gold, the plane’s foremost casino. He never returned. Now it’s up to your heroes to dare this hell dimension of endless cities and spirit-flensing factories, where demons gamble over the souls of the damned and the merely unlucky alike. In Mar Saothair, bodies and minds crumble before the demands of endless urban toil, but debt is eternal. Who will you save, what will you win, and who do you owe?

Industrial Damnation and Infernal Fortune

Written by Crystal Frasier, Midnight Gold is an adventure for Modern AGE characters levels 9 to 12 in the Threefold setting, though with some adaptation it can be used for other Modern AGE campaigns. This adventure takes us to one of the Threefold Metacosm’s Netherworlds: hellish dimensions ruled by infernal overlords

For full use of the adventure, the Modern AGE Basic Rulebook and Threefold campaign book are required.

This adventure can stand alone, but it’s also the fourth part of Five and Infinity adventure series, which takes your Modern AGE Threefold characters from levels 1 to 16.

Save the Damned, If You Can Afford It

Get Five and Infinity Chapter 4: Midnight Gold at the Green Ronin Online Store or DriveThruRPG 

Previous Five and Infinity Installments

Adventures, Mastery, and Powers: What’s Coming For Modern AGE

It’s been as tricky a time for Modern AGE as it has for other games during the pandemic, but we’ve still been busy. I’m writing to tell you where we’re at with the line, what’s just come out, and what’s coming.

Enemies & Allies

First of all, COVID-19 put a bit of a dampener on our first hardcover release of the year, Enemies & Allies, so I’d like to give it another mention! Enemies & Allies is a “core” release for Modern AGE, detailing a few dozen possible friends and foes for your campaign. Enemies & Allies provides entities and optional rules split into modern fantasy, horror, crime-focused genres, military and technothriller, and science fiction focused chapters. The book includes appendices for creating your own NPCs, introducing ordinary animals, and converting creatures to and from other Adventure Game Engine books.

PDF Adventures: Modern AGE Missions and Five and Infinity

Modern AGE has two adventure series. The first, Modern AGE Missions, is a series of PDF releases mostly unconnected to any particular setting. The first, Warflower, is available through our webstore or DriveThruRPG. The next adventure, Feral Hogs, is due out later this quarter.

The second series, Five and Infinity, is a series of semi-connected adventures in the Threefold setting that can take characters from level 1 to 16. Five and Infinity was originally going to be released as a hardcover, and it still will be, but has been pushed back. For now, we’re releasing the adventures chapter by chapter, along with Chapter 0: The Adventure Generator, a table-based tool for producing plots for Threefold games that’ll set you back just 99 cents. Like Modern AGE Missions, they’re available at our webstore or DriveThruRPG.

Coming Hardcover Releases: Mastery and Powers

Coming soon! Modern AGE Mastery Guide

Finally, we have two hardcover books at various stages of development and production. First up is the Modern AGE Mastery Guide. The Mastery Guide is a book for both Game Masters and Players which includes advanced advice on how to play and run the game. It also includes new optional rules covering everything from equipment to extraordinary powers, and insights gleaned from a few years of Modern AGE being in the wild. If you want to assemble a “core rulebook” series, the Mastery Guide accompanies the Modern AGE Basic Rulebook and Modern AGE Companion, along with Enemies and Allies and the other book I’d like to talk about, Modern AGE Powers. The Modern AGE Mastery Guide is currently text-complete, and due for release in the fourth quarter of this year.

Modern AGE Powers is what you think it is: a guide to using extraordinary powers in Modern AGE. This book collects rules for powers found in prior releases, adds new rules, and does a deep dive into the story elements of magic, psychic disciplines, extraordinary abilities and items, and even a roster of strange beings suitable for games that revolve around the existence of powers. Modern AGE Powers is currently awaiting second drafts and is due to release in 2021.

And More…

Not counting Five and Infinity’s eventual hardcover release, Modern AGE currently has two more books in various stages of development, and casual discussion about everything from licenses (World of Lazarus has done well, and we’re interested in similar good fits) to rules innovations. Stick around, play the game, and tell me what you’re doing with it, and what you’d like to see, though our various social media channels.

Ronin Report, July 10th, 2020

It’s been a couple of months since our last Ronin Ronin Report: new serialized adventures!Report so I thought I’d update you all on how the company is faring during the ongoing COVID crisis. In March and April things were dicey. When our warehouse shut down and we could not ship physical books anymore, that put us a bad situation and severely impacted our ability to bring in revenue. Team Ronin really pulled together though, and we were able to roll with the punches and make some contingency plans that helped us weather the roughest patch.

Thankfully, Alliance—the game distributor who warehouses our books—re-opened with new safety procedures in place in May. This meant we could begin shipping books again, both to customers of our online store and the distributors who serve game retailers. This was a big help. A couple of print jobs that had been put on pause were also able to get going again. Lairs for Fantasy AGE and the reprint of the Deluxe Gamemaster’s Guide for Mutants & Masterminds both arrived and are available now. We also ran a successful crowdfunding campaign for the Book of Fiends on Game On Tabletop.

All of this means that things are more stable now than they were a couple of months ago. Does it mean everything is back to normal? Well, no, unfortunately not. Pretty much every convention in 2020 has been cancelled at this point, game stores are still struggling, and orders did not magically go back to their pre-COVID levels. We had to make some big adjustments to our schedule and have to be much more strategic about what gets printed and in what quantities. And yes, M&M fans, we will print the Time Traveler’s Codex! We just need to find the right time for it.

The hardest decisions we had to make regarding our schedule were pushing the Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook and Fifth Season RPG into next year. 2020 just Ronin Report: new serialized adventures!isn’t the right time for big launches like that, so we reluctantly made that call. On the upside, it does give us more development time on both projects and we are putting that to good use.

Overall, we are getting by but it’s not an easy time. If you’d like to support us, pick up some Green Ronin books from your local store or our online store. We also have some exciting stuff being serialized in electronic format: Five and Infinity for Modern AGE, the NetherWar adventure series for Mutants & Masterminds, and new Blue Rose Adventures. Nisaba Press, our fiction imprint, has released two new short story collections (For Hart and Queen for Blue Rose and Powered Up for M&M), and the superhero novel Sacred Band is also up for pre-order.

And there’s more fun stuff coming up. In August we’ll be launching Sword Chronicle, a full fantasy RPG built on the rules from our Song of Ice and Fire RPG. Ships of The Expanse will bring all the sexy spaceships to your Expanse games. Danger Zones will provide lots of interesting adventure locales for Mutants & Masterminds. And we’ve got a 20th anniversary surprise to boot!

We hope you are all staying safe out there. Remember to wear a mask when you go out and maintain social distancing. We know it’s hard for gamers used to sitting around the table together, but we want to see all your faces when this is all over.

Ronin Report: new releases from Nisaba Press!

 

 

A Pearl of Necessity

They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and that is certainly as true in the tabletop gaming business as it is anywhere else. One of the necessary reasons for writing adventures for the various game-lines that I work on is the need to have something to run when I am a guest at various conventions. For example, I originally wrote the Expanse adventure Salvage Op as a demo adventure to run at conventions before the game was even released. I likewise wrote the Blue Rose adventure Flight of the Snow Pearl (on-sale now!) in order to have something to run at a convention. I honestly don’t recall if it was originally OrcaCon, GaymerX, or one of the big summer conventions where I ran it first, but I’ve used it as a demo adventure at a number of conventions over the past couple of years since I wrote it.

Flight of the Snow Pearl

Cover art by Rita Fei

Without giving away too much about the actual plot of the adventure, Flight of the Snow Pearl is about what poet T.S. Eliot called “a wilderness of mirrors” which has become common parlance for talking about spying and espionage. In a situation or subculture where trust is a dangerous luxury, how do people maintain trust as an essential value? It’s a fairly short, focused, adventure but deals with some essential themes from Blue Rose, including characters helping those in need.

Flight of the Snow Pearl also demonstrated to me the way a fairly simple plot can play out in so many different ways at the table. I’ve lost count of the number of times that I have run the scenario at conventions, and it plays-out differently almost every time, with players focusing on different aspects of the plot and characters, and with certain rolls of the dice sending things off in different directions, even in cases where I’ve provided the same pre-generated characters to play. I love how such variability and variety are a part of tabletop RPGs.

So, if you’re looking for an adventure for your ongoing Blue Rose game, or have always thought of giving running the game a try—especially if you might want to run Blue Rose for a virtual convention or online event this summer—check out Flight of the Snow Pearl and give its story a go.

Now Available: Five and Infinity Chapter 1 – Hunting Night

The call goes out: Giant spiders stalk the city. Bystanders have seen their leader in the form of an enormous arachnid or a strange woman. Warriors hardened by assaults on Hell itself hunt her on a mission of vengeance. The Metacosm-spanning criminal conspiracy called the Krypteia seek her too, to profit from her powers—or whatever secrets they can steal from her corpse. But why is the spider-goddess Vabhis on Earth, and how can you stop her from revealing the existence of many worlds to the public—or keep the public safe when her children get hungry? 

Five and Infinity: Part 1 Hunting Night

Hungry Spiders and Fallen Demigods 

Hunting Night is an adventure for Modern AGE characters levels 1 to 4 in the Threefold setting, though with some adaptation it can be used for other Modern AGE campaigns. For full use of the adventure, the Modern AGE Basic Rulebook and Threefold campaign book are required.  

This adventure can stand alone, but it’s also the first part of Five and Infinity adventure series, which takes your Modern AGE Threefold characters from levels 1 to 16. 

Get Five and Infinity Chapter 1: Hunting Night 

…and generate your own adventures with Chapter 0 

Lost Citadel Roleplaying: The AGE of Redoubt

Lost Citadel RoleplayingThe Lost Citadel Roleplaying is out (currently in PDF, but coming to print as soon as our COVID-19-altered industry can manage). This setting for 5e presents a world where the Dead have risen, and the living survive behind the walls of Redoubt, a great dwarven city seized from its original rulers. In Redoubt, many cultures mix, each trying to maintain its traditions in a new, desperate environment, while Woe—the power of corruption brought by the Dead—manifests in unquiet corpses and magic alike.

While The Lost Citadel is designed for 5e, our Kickstarter campaign unlocked a stretch goal promising rules to use the setting with our own Fantasy AGE roleplaying game, and those rules are currently in layout ahead of their eventual release to backers. They’ll also be made available in PDF form. I was selected to write them as I happen to have experience working on both The Lost Citadel setting (I wrote a story for the anthology and did both rules and setting work on the roleplaying book) and Fantasy AGE, I became the designer for this particular supplement.

One thing I tried to do was to formulate The Lost Citadel as a Fantasy AGE setting from the ground up. Instead of simple conversion rules, the character options, equipment, magic, and the rest were done from a Fantasy AGE perspective. For example, custom Fantasy AGE backgrounds, compatible with those in the core book, provide a history for your character specific to the setting. This approach has the added side effect of adding a number of things that might be of interest for general Fantasy AGE players and GMs as well, such as the 17 specializations available. While a handful have been adapted from the Fantasy AGE Companion, a number of them are brand new, such as the Witch talent, previewed here.


Witch

You represent the remnants of rural folk wisdom traditions from across Zileska. In the age of the Dead, the power of nature has been twisted and suppressed, but your studies and meditations have revived ancient bonds, and may even evoke the powers of nature spirits that have long lain dormant in the land. Herbalism is a mandatory field of study. Witches are often employed by the Foresters, as their knowledge is of use to the organization, and it provides an opportunity for them to explore the wild beyond Redoubt.

Class: Any

Requirements: Must have Intelligence and Constitution of 2 or higher, the Intelligence (Natural Lore) focus, and the ability to cast spells using magic points, such as by being a mage or Arcane Initiate.

Witch Talent

You study the ways of nature.

Novice: You can speak to natural animals, and they can communicate with you without vocalizing, though you hear them speaking back to you. You may use Communication tests to influence animals you communicate with, and add your Animal Lore focus bonus (typically +2) on top of any other Communication focuses bonuses you have for them.

Journeyman: You can charge non-metal weapons with natural energy. This requires an Activate action, which charges one weapon that has no metal components for the duration of the encounter. If this is a ranged weapon, the ammunition can incorporate metal, but not the weapon itself. When activated and used by you, your weapon is considered magical for the purposes of harming creatures vulnerable to magic weapons, and inflicts an additional 1d6 damage.

Master: Nature is your ally. Your movement is never impeded by natural terrain (brush, mud, etc.) that would otherwise slow you down. Furthermore, you can use a minor action to create a space up to 4 yards by 4 yards in diameter up to 20 yards away, where natural impediments reduce everyone else’s Speed by half. Any creature that moves through this space or ends their turn in it takes 3d6 penetrating damage inflicted by the poisonous plants and wildlife that arise in this spot. You are immune to the hazards created by your own space, as is anyone you designate, as long as you can perceive them as they enter the space. You can create a space like this as often as you like, but creating a new space eliminates the old one.

Ronin Army forums update: All Good Things…

Hello Green Ronin fans,

Today we have guest post from our stalwart forum moderator Fildrigar, on the status of the Ronin Army forums that have been down for the last week.


Ronin Army Gamer Badge

Green Ronin Gamer Badge

Greetings!

I’m Barry Wilson. You might remember me from such internet places as That One Wargaming With Miniatures Forum and Esoteric Prog Rock Fans Online.

I have a long history with, and a deep and abiding love of internet forums. Since I first discovered them in the Nineties, I have whiled away many an hour reading and posting on them. I never had the patience for IRC, far preferring the slower, more thoughtful discourse (and formatting options) forums usually provided. I’ve been moderating Green Ronin’s forums for around eight years now. 

Unfortunately, the time has come to shut down the forums. While it wasn’t an easy decision, it was necessary once we discovered a rather serious security vulnerability that made continuing to support the forum software an untenable position. We have reached the tipping point where the security risks involved with maintaining the forums outweigh the benefits. We tried to find a solution that would allow us to maintain the existing forums in read-only mode, but just running the forum software on our servers would pose too great a security risk. 

Forums have in the past provided a place for people to discuss our games. Increasingly, those discussions have moved to places like Facebook, Reddit, and Discord (and many, many others.) Places like these are allowing us to reach more fans than our small forums did. Searching Facebook for the names of our games will direct you to groups available there. There is also a very robust and friendly Discord community called the Green Ronin AGE Appropriate Discord. You’ll find some of your favorite Green Ronin staff regularly hanging out there to talk about the latest Green Ronin happenings.  

In closing, remember that we love you, keep on gaming, and we’ll see you on the internet.