All of us at Green Ronin wish a Happy Tal’Dorei Day to all Critters! To help celebrate, we’ve turned on ordering in our Green Ronin Online Store for the Tal’Dorei Campaign Guide.
Now that you have the Tal’dorei Campaign Setting in your hands, what can you do with it? Play games, of course. But what adventures? Wizards has released a number of adventure books since 5th edition launched, and some of them are easy to integrate into Exandria.
Caution: Spoilers for Out of the Abyss are contained beyond this point. If you wish to play as a player, stop reading here. You have been warned!
One of the Adventure books that Wizards has released for 5th Edition D&D is called Out of the Abyss. It was primarily written by Green Ronin, on behalf of Wizards. The adventure, as written, is set in the Forgotten Realms, but it takes place mostly in the Underdark, and so requires very little massaging to use it in Tal’dorei.
You may wish to change the names of some of the cities of the underdark. I don’t think it will really matter much for most of them, although many of them have been in use in the Forgotten Realms for many years. There is a rough map on page 19 of the adventure that shows approximate locations of the underdark cites in relation to the overland Forgotten Realms map. You probably don’t need to change this, as the facing page has approximate travel times between the various locations. It’s probably best to use that as a rough guide for travel.
The largest change needed in the book is Chapter 8. The first thing to do is replace Bruenor Battlehammer and Gauntlgrym with Gradim Greyspine and Kraghammer. Then, replace the various Forgotten Realms specific factions (The Harpers, The Lords’ Alliance, The Zhentarim, The Emerald Enclave, and The Order of the Gauntlet) with Tal’dorei specific ones. (I’d suggest The Arcana Pansophical, The Ashari, The Council of Tal’dorei, The Chamber of Whitestone, and The Clasp.) Special note: In the adventure, the Zhentarim have a trading outpost in an underdark city. Have one of the factions that you replace the Zhents with (perhaps the Clasp?) have a similar outpost.
Please feel free to make any other changes you might need or want to. Playing with a toolbox is fun, and can help you level up as a DM. Bonus conversion: here is the sword Dawnbringer (found early in the adventure) turned into a vestige:
Weapon ( longsword ), legendary ( requires attunement by a non-evil creature )
Dawnbringer appears as a golden longsword hilt. When it’s attuned and held in your hand, you can use a bonus action to activate it, causing a glowing blade to appear. Dawnbringer functions as a longsword with the finesse property. You have a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls with this weapon. It deals radiant damage instead of slashing damage. When you hit an undead or demonic target with it, it deals an extra 1d6 radiant damage.
Sentience/Personality: See the adventure, page 222.
Increase the bonus to attack and damage rolls to +2.
Increase the extra damage to undead or demonic targets to 2d6
Once per day, you can use your action to cast lesser restoration on a target you are touching. ( Recharges each day at dawn. )
Increase the bonus to attack and damage rolls to +3.
On a critical hit against an undead or demonic target, maximize all damage dice. ( Treat them as if you rolled the maximum number on the die. )
The first time each day that one of your allies within ten feet of you drops to zero hit points, Dawnbringer heals them for 2d8+2 damage. ( Recharges each day at dawn. )
Tune in next time for a more in-depth conversion, Princes of the Apocalypse!
We wanted to give you an update on the shipping of pre-orders for the Critical Role: Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting. This is the biggest pre-order we’ve ever had by far. It’s a large and complicated job, so we are using an outside fulfillment company for shipping. This has led to some minor issues that had to be ironed out with our store software and their fulfillment software not being 100% in sync. That got sorted out and shipping began.
If you pre-ordered, there’s no need to worry. Shipping is ongoing and you will get your books. We had said on Twitter that you’d get a confirmation email when your order shipped. Due to the software issue I mentioned above, however, that is actually not the case. We will get tracking info from the shipping company when they have finished the job, but by that point most of you will have your books anyway. The best thing to do is just hang on while the job is processed. You will be seeing your books soon.
Thanks for your patience!
Pre-ordering is now active for the Critical Role: Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting!
Important! You have three choices of where to start, so please make sure you choose the one you want:
- Pre-Order for Shipping:
This is the option to get the physical book shipped to you once they are done printing. You’ll receive an offer to get the PDF version right away for just $5, but you must choose “Add to Cart” in the pop-up window to get the offer.
- Pre-Order for Gen Con Pick-Up:
This is the option to choose if you are going to be at Gen Con 50 this August in Indianapolis and can come by the Green Ronin Publishing booth (#1321 in the Exhibit Hall) to pick up your book in person, with photo ID. When you check out you’ll be offered the PDF version for just $5, but you must choose “Add to Cart” in the pop-up window to get the offer.
Don’t like lugging books around with you as you search for adventure in Tal’Dorei? This is the option for you.
We have a FAQ set up just for you. If you’re still not sure about something, you can write our Customer Service Templar at email@example.com. But please do read the FAQ first.
GenCon is coming up next month and it’s a big one: the 50th anniversary! We will, of course, have a booth (#1321) and we’ll be debuting the Critical Role: Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting there (pre-orders for which started today). GenCon is doing a lot of cool stuff to celebrate the anniversary, including a recreation of Lake Geneva’s Horticultural Hall, site of the very first GenCon. There will also be a museum with all sorts of artifacts from the history of the hobby, including a couple of Green Ronin books. I already wish I was going to have more time to check all that stuff out!
The anniversary has, of course, made me think about my own history with the show. I first went to GenCon in 1989, when I was in college. I didn’t know anyone there. I went out by myself, had an amazing time, and convinced some friends to come back with me the following year. I’ve never missed a GenCon since. In 1993 it started to turn into work, as I began to pursue a career as a freelance game designer that eventually lead to me becoming a publisher. For a long time now the focus of the con has been work and I wouldn’t give up that up, but I do look back on those first five GenCons with much fondness.
In those days I came to play and I did not mess around. I would usually play in three 4-hour events per day. I would try to have one block free so I could get food and hit the dealers hall, but sometimes the events would line up so that I’d play for 12 hours straight. Some of the bigger miniatures game I played would be 8 hours by themselves! I didn’t mind. Quite the opposite! I was hungry for it, and I developed strategies to maximize my fun. At the time, I worked at an old school Italian coffee store in New York City. To save money and also time, I began bringing ground coffee, filters, and an electric kettle with me from home. I’d make a big thermos of coffee in the morning and drink it all day. One year, when I could barely afford a plane ticket, I brought a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter and that was most of my meals that week.
I hear folks complain about the various online registration systems in use at conventions today and all I can think about is fax machines. Back then you’d get a program book in the mail ahead of time and a sheet where you’d fill in your requested games and some alternates. On a specified day, you would fax it to TSR’s headquarters. Or try to anyway because thousands of other people were jamming up the fax lines at the same time. I was working a different job one year and one my regular duties was faxing various documents. Come registration day, I took my sign-up sheet, told my boss I had to make a fax for our department, and then spent an hour and a half in the basement trying to get it to go through! I pity the poor TSR staffers who had to hand collate all those sheets and fill the games. Closer to the con you’d get an envelope with printed tickets for your events. You often didn’t get all the games you wanted, so they’d fill out your order with generic tickets. On site, they had a giant board where the tickets would hang from rows and rows of hooks. You could wait in line and try to get into more events there. As you got the front, you could actually figure out which events still had tickets left by looking at the code numbers under the hooks that weren’t empty.
In this era GenCon was in Milwaukee. I don’t know if this is still the case but the downtown often smelled like chocolate because there was a factory there. Fun fact, it’s where noted cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer used to work! Every year there was a rush on the Hotel Wisconsin because it was cheap (like $64 a night) and close to the convention center. There was a diner on the ground floor where we’d get breakfast some mornings. I remember tying to order a bagel there and the staff had no idea what I was talking about. This was a confusing experience for a New Yorker. It did not help that was a vegetarian at the time. Let’s just say the options for non-meat eaters in Milwaukee in the early 90s were not plentiful. There was a terrible sports bar called Major Goolsby’s across from the convention center and I once ordered what they called a Wisconsin cheese sandwich there. Seemed safe enough. Wisconsin! Cheese! Why, there’s even a cheese museum on the highway between Chicago and Milwaukee. I get my food and it is a hamburger bun with one slice of American cheese, one piece of lettuce, and one slice of tomato. Sad vegetarian was sad.
But hey, no one goes to GenCon for the cuisine. I was playing tons of games and meeting new people every year. I loved the dealers hall then because the internet was barely a thing and there was so much gaming stuff I’d never see anywhere else but there. Finding that game I’d only heard about or scoring something long out of print felt like victories. The auction was great for that and I spent a lot of time between games there.
After my first GenCon experiences, I decided I wanted to start running games myself. Ars Magica was my favorite RPG then, so I began to run a two round ArM tournament. The characters and their covenant persisted year to year and I built on stories that played out in the finals. I did that for four years and it was a useful bridge between just being a fan and starting a career as a game designer. The things I learned playing and running games, and the people I met and the contacts I made, all played a role in me taking that leap. For these reasons and so many more, GenCon will always be special to me. So thanks, GenCon! Happy 50th and here’s to 50 more!
Critical Role fans, you have questions about the release of the Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting book. So many questions! Rather than answer hundreds of tweets individually, I’m just going to lay out exactly what is going to happen with the book and when. Gather your party, because we are venturing forth!
The Basics: Critical Role: Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting is a 144-page hardback sourcebook. Matt Mercer wrote it himself, with assistance from James Haeck and development by Green Ronin’s own Joseph Carriker. The book is full color throughout and features terrific art, as well as an awesome poster map by master cartographer Andy Law. The MSRP is $34.95 for the printed book.
Release Date: The book debuts on August 17 at GenCon. Note that it is NOT a GenCon exclusive! If you can’t make it to the show, you can still get the book from us, your local game retailer, and other sources. It should be in stores in the US and Canada by the end of August, and other countries in September.
Pre-Order and PDF: We will open up pre-orders in mid-July. We have a program called Pre-Order Plus that we use for most of our releases. Here’s how it works. If you order the physical book directly from us or from a participating brick and mortar retail store, you can get a PDF of the book immediately for only $5 more instead of its usual cost of $18.95. You’ll be able to buy the PDF separately at its regular price at this stage if you only want the electronic version.
If your local game store is not part of the Pre-Order Plus program, they can contract our sales team and sign up for the newsletter at this link: https://greenronin.com/retailer-support/.
Note that while we do sell into the book trade—so you can find our games on Amazon and other online vendors—the Pre-Order Plus program is only available through our online store and participating brick and mortar retail stores. (By brick and mortar, we mean stores that have a physical location, not online only sellers.)
GenCon Pickup: You will be able to pre-order the book, take advantage of the Pre-Order Plus program, and pick it up at GenCon. This will guarantee that a book will be waiting for you at our booth on August 17. There will be a special item in our online store for this when we open the pre-orders. Make sure you read the details at that time.
Shipping: We charge the actual costs of shipping. If you live overseas, this can, we know, be expensive. We do sell to international game distributors, so our best advice if shipping is too excessive for a direct order is to try to get your local game store to bring the book in. Stores in other countries can participate in the Pre-Order Plus program as well.
So that’s the skinny! To keep up on news about our Critical Role and other releases, bookmark this website or follow us on Twitter at @GreenRoninPub or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GreenRonin. Watch for the pre-order going live in mid-July!
As we’re closing in on the finish line for Critical Role: Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting, I’m putting the finishing touches on the chapter that deals with the heroes of the land. Part and parcel of that hero experience is, of course, magic items, and Tal’Dorei has some very cool things to offer, in the form of Vestiges of Divergence.
For those not in the know, the Vestiges are holdovers from a powerful magical era. When found, their power is subdued, after long years slumbering. But as the hero accomplishes more and greater tasks, the magic of the Vestiges stirs and begins to rise, allowing heroes to advance these items first to awakened status and finally to exalted status through the performance of great feats or personal development.
For today’s post, I’m going to share with you the Pyremaul, a massive hammer filled with potent elemental power.
Weapon (maul), legendary (requires attunement)
Forged from deep red iron, this massive hammer houses an ever-burning gemstone of orange flame. You have a +1 bonus to attack rolls made with this weapon. When you hit with an attack using this weapon, the target takes an additional 1d6 fire damage.
You can choose to have this weapon shed bright light in a 30 foot radius and dim light for an additional 30 feet. If you kill a creature with an attack using this weapon, the corpse is immolated, turning to ash.
When a character awakens Pyremaul, apply the following changes to the item’s traits:
- Increase the bonus to attack rolls to a +2.
- Increase the additional fire damage inflicted by a hit to 2d6.
- When you score a critical hit with this weapon, the target must succeed on a DC 15 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.
When a character exalts Pyremaul, apply the following changes to the item’s traits:
- Increase the bonus to attack rolls to a +3.
- Increase the additional fire damage inflicted by a hit to 3d6.
- When you score a critical hit with this weapon, the target must succeed on a DC 17 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. The target also suffers an additional 3d6 fire damage from the critical hit.
(It should be noted that this item is currently in-development, and this draft may not reflect its final description.)
“Its already been such a ride. When I began our little home game nearly over 4 years ago, I never expected to be inspired enough to create a whole continent. When the fine folks at Green Ronin approached me last year about fleshing it out and putting it all down in a book, I was in disbelief that people would be interested in such a thing. When I accepted the challenge, I was filled with trepidation at the herculean task ahead of me. Now here I am, nearly complete with the first book of my writing history, about a world I created within my silly brain space, discovered by my wonderful friends as they explored it, and now prepared to be released into the wild for others to learn about, take up, and they themselves create within. I am extremely proud already.
It has been a curious process, fraught with difficulty and learning experiences, but has been extremely fulfilling. To look down at this collection of thoughts, ideas, and possibilities… to put it out into the world as my gift to others, permission to take my baton and run with it, is so very exciting. I hope the final product will be something you enjoy creating with as much as I enjoyed creating it.”
Team Ronin is super excited about Gen Con this year, especially with the success of our updated Freebooter GM Program. We decided to focus on our one big event, as we’re kinda small to support events all over the country and beyond. Make with the clicking to read about the program here.
Many folks think Green Ronin is a huge company, but we’re actually very small. The upside to this is that we can work closely with our GMs to grow this program; it wouldn’t be as successful without their spectacular feedback. And since it was our first big push, with setting up GM Badges and hotel reimbursement, it helped us make the 2017 Gen Con program even better.
Last year, we fielded 24 GMs running over 90 games. Some folks ran one or two games, and some ran more. Some folks ran 2-hour games, and some ran 6-hour games. Really, it was great to have so many folks concentrating on Green Ronin games. We were even in our own room in the Convention Center itself, which was WONDERFUL.
For the folks who signed up early, who communicated well with us about their needs and desires, it was super easy to accommodate folks, like subbing out GMs when we had scheduling issues. For folks to get hotel reimbursements, it was super easy! You just had to email me your receipt and we sent you the reimbursement! Almost everyone followed directions well so we were able to take care of just about everyone by the time Gen Con was all finished!
We had a lot of folks GMing for us who had never been to Gen Con before, or GM’d at a convention ever, which meant so much to us. And our experienced Veteran GMs were on hand to help out the new folks. The Freebooters are a small team, but a wonderful team! Heck, a bunch of new folks to our program even got together and split a room together! They held each other together while I was off doing Geek & Sundry and Gen Con Industry Insider stuff!
Many GMs kept things simple, and many of them printed out great color sheets, special hand outs, and whatnot. Some GMs used our published Quick Start adventures, some used their own home brew. Some used adventures which we haven’t yet published, to be the first to run said adventures.
Why am I tell you all this? Because we want you to run our games! Everyone is welcome, no matter your experience, or lack thereof. If you have GM’d a home game, you can GM for us! You can run what you want, when you want.
And if you want to, we’ll arrange a GM badge for you, so you can get reimbursed by the Gen Con system, and we’ll reimburse you for part of your hotel.
- For 12-hours of games submitted, we’ll arrange the GM badge.
- For 16+ hours of games scheduled, we will reimburse your hotel based on ¼ of a regular rate. As an example, if a room is $200 per night we’ll pick up your part, so $50 per night!
- Green Ronin must submit your games to count towards the GM Badge reimbursement and hotel room reimbursement.
- You are still welcome to submit games via your favorite game group or other game companies, but we will only pick up badges/hotel reimburse for our submitted games.
AND! Based on feedback from the 2016 GM Team, we’ll have ribbons and dice for you to give your players, plus a variety of other hand outs. And maybe something cool for YOU, too! We’re still hammering out those details.
If you’re interested in signing up, click here to fill out this quick contact form. Early submissions have started this week, and will run until Feb 19th. Regular Event submissions are due by March 26th, so we want to get your games in the system as soon as possible. I can help!
If you have general questions, you can email me directly! firstname.lastname@example.org
New Year’s Message 2017
Welcome to the new year, my friends and fellow gamers! Here at Green Ronin we have been rousing ourselves from our holiday torpor and getting ramped up for 2017. As long time fans know, I traditionally write a message in January to discuss what we have coming up in the new year. And that is true but I’m going to do it a little differently this year. Today I will talk about what we have coming your way through the Spring, then in June I will do a second one of these that covers the rest of the year. So let’s get to it!
In December Crystal Frasier came onboard as our new Mutants & Masterminds developer. She introduced herself in a previous Ronin Round Table, which you can read here if you’d like to learn more about her. We are confident that Mutants & Masterminds is in great hands with Crystal.
Today I’d like to welcome another new Ronin to the ranks: Malcolm Sheppard. He is a 17 year veteran of the game industry who has done a boatload of work for White Wolf and Onyx Path, amongst others. Malcolm will be doing design and development work for us on a variety of lines. You can think of him as a sort of developer-at-large. He’ll be working on Adventure Game Engine (AGE) games for sure, as well as some other projects you’ll hear more about later. Please help me welcome Malcolm to Team Ronin!
We are kicking off the year with a major release for Mutants & Masterminds: the Atlas of Earth-Prime. You’ve seen parts of this setting before in Emerald City, the Cosmic Handbook, Hero High, and many other Mutants & Masterminds books, but now Earth-Prime is getting full campaign setting treatment. The Atlas of Earth-Prime releases in just two weeks. You can still get in on the pre-order now if you are quick about it.
In the Spring we’ll be following that up with Freedom City. This was the original campaign setting for the Mutants & Masterminds RPG going back to 2003. The new book brings Freedom City fully into Third Edition, and creates a triumvirate of super power with Emerald City and the Atlas of Earth-Prime!
The big Adventure Game Engine excitement for the first half of the year is the release of Blue Rose, our RPG of Romantic Fantasy, in February. Blue Rose was our most successful Kickstarter to date, and we’re delighted to get this book out to backers and then released to the general public. The BackerKit went live over the weekend. While we typically do pre-orders through our online store, with Blue Rose we’re trying out BackerKit for that. If you didn’t back the Kickstarter, you can pre-order now at this link . You’ll note some follow up releases on the BackerKit page. We’re making Blue Rose dice with Q Workshop, Blue Rose conviction Tokens with Campaign Coins, and then an adventure anthology called Six of Swords. Those should all come out in the Spring.
For Fantasy AGE itself we’ve got Titansgrave: The World of Valkana coming in the Spring. This is a full campaign setting book that greatly expands the information in Titansgrave: Ashes of Valkana. A lot of stuff that was only hinted at in the show will be revealed in Titansgrave: The World of Valkana!
In other Fantasy AGE news, we’ll be creating a community content program for the game in conjunction with OneBookShelf (the parent company of RPGNow and DriveThruRPG). People have been asking us if they can publish Fantasy AGE content since the game came out and soon that will be possible. OneBookShelf already runs several of these programs, for games like D&D and the Cypher System. Ours will be similar to these but not identical. For starters the products you can do will be limited to settings and adventures because that is the support Fantasy AGE needs most right now. There will be more info about the program and how it all works when we launch it. That should happen in a couple of months.
Our big Pathfinder release this Spring is the Freeport Bestiary. The City of Adventure hasn’t had a monster book since Creatures of Freeport in 2004. The Freeport Bestiary brings together the setting’s many monsters and a bunch of new ones in a beautiful full color hardback. Meanwhile, the Return to Freeport adventure series continues. We’ve released three of these PDFs so far. The remaining three will follow over the next few months and then we’ll collect them all together for a printed book in June.
You may recall that we worked with Wizards of the Coast to create two D&D books: Out of the Abyss and the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide. Now we’re following those up with D&D books of our own. The first is Book of the Righteous, which presents a fully detailed mythology and pantheon you can use in your campaigns. The original edition of Book of the Righteous was our most critically-acclaimed book in the d20 era. We did a Kickstarter for a new 5E version last year and it should be out in May. As with Blue Rose, Book of the Righteous will have a general release after books ship to Kickstarter backers.
I’m going to make an exception and discuss one Summer release because I know I’d get pilloried if I didn’t mention it. Of course I’m talking about Critical Role! We had originally intended to release this in the Spring but we’ve scheduled it for Gen Con instead. This is Gen Con’s 50th anniversary (and my 28th Gen Con!). We wanted a big marquee release for the show and the Critical Role: Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting book is a perfect fit. We want to make this a real event and hope to have the cast out to Gen Con again.
Towards the end of last year we released Love 2 Hate: Politics, the first expansion for the game. We are following that up in April with Love 2 Hate: Comics. Both expansions have 108 cards. You can mix them in with the core game, or play with them on their own for a more themed experience.
Dragon Age and SIFRP
We have Dragon Age and A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying books in development but licensed game lines require approvals and how long those take can vary quite a bit. It could be one week or three months depending. So don’t worry, books are coming. We’ve just decided to wait until everything is approved before we make formal announcements about their release.
We have a variety of PDF releases planned to support our various lines. We have more Fantasy AGE Encounters and short Titansgrave adventures coming for Fantasy AGE, as well as the Short Cuts series for Pathfinder. We’ll also be continuing our series of Chronicle System PDFs, which provide non-canon rules support for A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying. In the past year we’ve released rules for magic (Chronicle of Sorcery) and gunpowder/firearms (Spark to Powder), for example.
As a company Gen Con is, of course, our biggest show. Last year we had a room dedicated to Green Ronin games for the whole convention and that was great. We’re doing it again this year, so if you’d like to run games for us please contact Donna. If you run enough games, we’ll cover your badge and even subsidize your hotel room.
Donna and Barry also run OrcaCon in Everett, WA (just north of Seattle). OrcaCon is happening this coming weekend, so come on out if you’re in the area. It’s the unofficial Green Ronin convention and most of our staff will be there. We’ve got folks running games and giving seminars, though personally I just want to play some games this year!
Green Ronin is once again a sponsor of the JoCo Cruise and Nicole and I will be on onboard. Haven’t heard of the JoCo Cruise? Well, imagine a convention on a ship and you’ve got a pretty good idea, except it also includes music, comedy, and more. If it’s nerdy, it’s probably happening on the ship! There are still cabins available (the cruise is in March) and this year we have the entire ship to ourselves. Should be a great time.
We’ll also be attending various trade shows, like GTS, the Alliance Open House, and the ACD Gamesday. If you are a game retailer, come see us!
More to Come!
So that’s what we have coming the first half of the year. We also have some exciting news to share in the coming months. We’ll be announcing soon a new card game we’re bringing to Kickstarter in April and a new campaign setting for D&D 5E. We’ve licensed a comic book for RPG treatment. We’ve also got another AGE game in development, as well as Ork, Second Edition. Following us on Twitter (we’re @GreenRoninPub) is probably the best way to keep up with our announcements or just bookmark our website.
This is Green Ronin’s 17th year in business. Thank you for your continued support over the years. I started the company as a side project and it’s become so much more than that thanks to you. Come back in June when I reveal our Summer and Winter plans. Until then, game on!