Under a Black Flag: Tales of Freeport

Under a Black FlagToday is Talk Like a Pirate Day, and in our newest anthology Under the Black Flag, the blood and salt of Freeport breeds a special kind of hero, one usually kicked out of all but the crustiest taverns and immortalized in bawdy songs. Ancient cultists lurk beneath the streets, unknown horrors prowl the depths, but the real trouble is the ne’er-do-wells who walk the city’s streets and alleys.

Under a Black Flag features nine rollicking tales of swashbuckling action centered around the City of Freeport, a fantasy pirate city unlike any other.

Under a Black Flag is available for Pre-Order in our Online Store as well as on DrivethruRPG.

About Nisaba Press

Nisaba Press draws the rich detail and excitement of collaborative storytelling from the world of roleplaying to create immersive fiction for all readers to enjoy.

We believe everyone should see themselves reflected in our stories. By actively seeking out and amplifying the voices of under-represented writers: women, people of color, and LGBT+, we strive to be inclusive of all readers.

While currently focused on exploring the richly detailed worlds created by Green Ronin Publishing, Nisaba Press’s vision extends to a future filled with speculative fiction set in all manner of places, times, and genres.

While you’re here… Would you like to know more about Freeport: The City of Adventure?

Check out our recent updates to the classic Death In Freeport adventure, now available for Fantasy AGE as well as 5th Edition!Death in Freeport

20 years ago, Green Ronin made a name for itself with Death in Freeport, a d20 System adventure released at GenCon the same day as the 3E PHB. It went on to win the very first ENnie Award and the Origins Award for Best RPG Adventure. Return to those halcyon days with this 20th Anniversary Edition of Death in Freeport, now updated to the Fantasy AGE rules!

Chris Pramas—the designer of the AD&D Guide to HellWFRP 2E, and Dragon Age—created the city of Freeport for this classic adventure for low-level characters. Add urban sprawl, pirates, and a touch of cosmic horror to your campaign with the City of Adventure.

Death in Freeport has already kicked off thousands of campaigns. Be part of the legend with the 20th Anniversary Edition!

Blue Rose Blooms Again

Blue Rose Adventurer's GuideI seem to have a thing for writing Blue Rose announcements in June but, given it is Pride Month, and roses bloom in the early summer, that makes a certain amount of sense. I’m writing this one in June as well, although I don’t know exactly when you’ll see it, website and product scheduling being what they are.

The notion of returning Blue Rose to its d20-based roots in some form or another has been something we have discussed various times over the years, but it took a pandemic closing down printers, distributors, and game stores to prioritize it in the company’s busy schedule. Green Ronin is certainly no stranger to the Fifth Edition landscape, having designed and developed two official Dungeons & Dragons books (Out of the Abyss and The Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide) as well as publishing a Fifth Edition compatible edition of the Book of the Righteous and the hugely-popular Tal’dorei Campaign Setting sourcebook for the online streaming show Critical Role. With a Fifth Edition version of the Book of Fiends in the works, a large Fifth Edition audience and the opportunities available to us, it seemed that the Wheel of Rebirth had turned once again and it was time for the Blue Rose Adventurer’s Guide to find its way into your hands.

The Blue Rose Adventurer’s Guide is a complete setting sourcebook for Aldea, the romantic fantasy world of Blue Rose, for Fifth Edition fantasy roleplaying. It details Aldea, its history and cosmology, and the Sovereignty of Aldis and its surrounding lands, all of the essential information you need to know about this fantasy world. The remaining third of the book covers the game information you need to play your own Fifth Edition campaigns in Aldea: unique ancestries (including the awakened animal rhydan), backgrounds, character subclasses (including the Peacekeeper martial archetype, the Way of the Spirit Dance monastic path, the Oath of the Rose for paladins, the School of the Psyche for wizards, and much more), modifications to spellcasting, rules for the corrupting power of Shadow, and details on Aldean monsters and magic items. All of it, of course, beautifully presented and wrapped in the gorgeous art of cover artists Stephanie Pui-Min Law.

We’re excited to offer a way to experience the world of Blue Rose using the world’s most popular tabletop roleplaying game, and to introduce fans of Fifth Edition to a romantic fantasy world where connection, empathy, and kindness play important roles, and where a diverse nation of good people work together to uphold and protect their society against the forces arrayed against it.

For Aldis, and the Queen!

Return to Freeport

Twenty years ago, at Gen Con in August of 2000, Green Ronin Publishing released one of the very first adventures for the brand-new third edition of Dungeons & Dragons, also one of the first published under the new Open Game License. Death in Freeport was the first experience many had in playing the new edition, both that weekend and in the months and even years that followed. As part of celebrating Green Ronin’s 20th anniversary this year, we’re pleased to offer players both old and new the opportunity to return to the swashbuckling “City of Adventure” with a re-release of Death in Freeport, updated for the fifth edition of the world’s most popular fantasy roleplaying game!

Death in Freeport for 5th edition!Of course, along with editions, a number of things have changed in the past twenty years, not the least of which is a worldwide pandemic that has placed some limits on printing, publication, and distribution. That means this new edition of the adventure will be available only in electronic (PDF) and print-on-demand (Coming Soon!) formats. On the other hand, we’ve come a long way from producing black-and-white saddle-stitched booklets with line art: The new edition of Death in Freeport is in full color, with plenty of color illustrations, the style of our other 5e products like Book of the Righteous and Book of Fiends.

What about the adventure itself? Here, we largely stick to tradition and the original work of Freeport creator Chris Pramas. Death in Freeport introduces the player characters to the free city and pirate haven known as 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!

Of course, all of the adventure’s mechanics, encounters, and characters have been updated for Fifth Edition, and that includes the four pre-generated player characters who were a part of the original Death in Freeport: Rollo (gnome fighter), Malevir (half-elf sorcerer), Alaina (human rogue), and Thorgrim (dwarf cleric). As an added bonus, we’ve created three unique backgrounds and four original sub-classes for these characters, included in an appendix in the adventure. They feature the backgrounds of Privateer, Historian, and Street Knife, and the sub-classes of:

  • Valor Domain: A cleric domain to stoke bravery, cast off fear, and serve as a beacon of courage to your allies.
  • Buccaneer: A martial archetype for sea-faring fighters who rely on striking fear into the hearts of their foes, and using that fear to make themselves all the more deadly!
  • Alley-rat: A rogue archetype that rules the streets and alleyways, turning terrain into deadly traps and even developing Lair Actions for your turf!
  • Serpentkin: A sorcerous origin drawing upon the ophidian power well known to long-time fans of Freeport, summoning spirits and forces with a serpentine bite.

So whether you are looking for a fun 1st-level adventure to introduce players to the City of Adventure (or to Fifth Edition or even tabletop gaming) or just some characters, encounters, ideas, and traits you can loot and plunder for your own 5e games, join us for our return to Freeport!

Now available in the Green Ronin Online Store

or check it out on DrivethruRPG

A Series of Tubes (Green Ronin on YouTube)

“Or we can just dive-in, do it, and see what happens.”

That was Green Ronin Community Director Troy Hewitt, one of our resident extroverts, encouraging us to pivot in the time of covid-19 toward our community, using the means at-hand, including video streaming. Troy has a great way of getting those of us who would want to study the situation for, well, ever out of our heads and into action. That next week, the first “Mutants & Masterminds Monday” live-streamed with me and M&M Developer Crystal Frasier, with Troy acting as host, moderator, and on-the-fly tech guru.

It’s now almost three months later and we have eleven (soon to be twelve) M&M Mondays under our belts. It’s still very much a “see what happens” learning process, but we’ve had guests on the stream, fielded questions from our audience, and Troy has come up with a few fun activities for us to do. We’ve even developed in-jokes (as gamers interacting are wont to do) from Crystal’s “journal of dreams” to our tendency to come up with new projects for ourselves while on the stream.

Green Ronin on Youtube!

All of which is a long introduction to announcing that, as things are progressing, some of our “M&M Mondays” episodes are available on Green Ronin Publishing’s YouTube channel. We’re putting more up as we go and the eventual plan is for us to start streaming live on YouTube and Twitch as well as on Facebook, so there will be even more places where you can see and hear from us and we can tell you everything that’s going on with Mutants & Masterminds and Green Ronin Publishing.

 

Not going to lie, for an introvert like myself, being on-camera isn’t easy, and I have been on-camera more in these past three months than I think I have been in the past three years, and then some. But at the same time, it has been wonderful getting to talk on a weekly basis with Crystal and Troy and our guests and to hear the questions and feedback from our community, many of you from week to week. It hasn’t been easy for Green Ronin (or many small businesses) with the initial loss of distribution and with many game stores still closed or doing only limited business. So every purchase of Green Ronin’s games helps, whether it is from the GR Online Store or supporting your favorite local game retailer.

We’re about two weeks from experiencing Gen Con Online for the first time (another “dive-in and see what happens” experience) and Green Ronin Publishing will be there with our games, our staff of wonderful and creative people, and with you, our community, and I’ll be there, in front of my camera, just as I plan to be next Monday. I don’t know for how many Mondays, to be honest, because things are changing fast and often these days but, I can tell you this: We’ll see what happens.

Hope you can join us sometime.

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.

The Origin of the Book of Fiends (Ronin Roundtable)

This morning we have launched a crowdfunding campaign for a new 5E edition of the Book of Fiends on Game On Tabletop. It’s a great book and we hope you go check out the campaign. If you weren’t gaming in the early 2000s, you may be wondering what the Book of Fiends is exactly and why its return is exciting? Conveniently enough, my last post about the history of the company segues nicely into this, so pull up a chair by the fire and let me tell you a story.

Book of Fiends for 5th Edition. NOW FUNDING!


Legions of Hell

Our first monster book for 3rd Edition. Published in 2001!

Last time I told the tale of Green Ronin’s big launch as a company in the summer of 2000. With the success of Death in Freeport, the immediate course was clear: more Freeport adventures! So we commissioned Terror in Freeport and Madness in Freeport from Rob Toth and Bill Simoni respectively. I would develop those books, but I also wanted to design something else. Since I had written the AD&D Guide to Hell, I decided something infernal would be a great (albeit unofficial) follow-up. And hey, I still had all my research books and notes from the Guide to Hell so even better. The result was Legions of Hell, Green Ronin’s first monster book. It included a bunch of new devils, and my take on the Lords of the Nine Hells. A subtitle on the cover pointed towards the future. It said, “Book of Fiends, Volume One.”

Armies of the Abyss

Published in 2002, and written by Erik Mona

Legions of Hell was another huge hit for us, so it didn’t take me long commission Volume Two. Demons were the obvious choice, so I hired my co-worker Erik Mona to write Armies of the Abyss, which came out in 2002. Erik would, of course, go on to great heights as the publisher at Paizo, but at the time he helped run the RPGA at WotC and Armies of the Abyss was his first RPG title credit. He had fun creating new demon lords and added a new type of demon called the qlippoth that would later migrate to Pathfinder via the Open Game License. Erik did a great job and the book was another solid hit for us. So on to Gehenna, right?

Well, yes, eventually but it was a bumpy road to get there. The first person I hired to write Hordes of Gehenna dropped the ball on the project and had to be replaced. That delay proved fateful because in 2003 WotC announced a 3.5 edition of the D&D core rulebooks. 3.0 books were still mostly usable but there were so many small changes in the rules that it became inconvenient to do so. I decided therefore that Hordes of Gehenna would no longer be a stand-alone book. Instead, it would become part of the Book of Fiends, alongside 3.5 updated versions of Legions of Hell and Armies of the Abyss. Those original books had been modest 64-page softbacks. Book of Fiends would be a hearty 224-page hardback.

Book of the Righteous for 3rd Edition

The Original Book of the Righteous by Aaron Loeb, published in 2002

Three people were key to making the Book of Fiends a reality. First, there was Aaron Loeb, who had written the Book of the Righteous for us in 2002. This is a great book (already updated to 5E a few years back) that presents a complete cosmology, mythology, pantheon, and attendant churches. As part of that Aaron re-concepted Gehenna and that became the basis on which we built Hordes of Gehenna. Aaron’s partner in that was Robert J. Schwalb, who had begun freelancing for us in 2002 with the Unholy Warriors Handbook and would soon come onboard as our d20 line developer. Last but not least, there was Jeremy Crawford, who in addition to editing did much of the 3.5 updating the book required. Jeremy was very good with the rules, and—surprising no one who has worked with him over the years—he went on to work at WotC and is now the Leader Rules Designer for Dungeons & Dragons.

The Book of Fiends for 3.5

The original Book of Fiends, published in 2003!

Book of Fiends came out in 2003 to critical acclaim and great sales. Turns out GMs really love a book chock full of evil outsiders! The following year the Book of Fiends won an ENnie Award.

Today the Book of Fiends returns on Game On Tabletop! Rob Schwalb, who was on the D&D 5E design team, updated and expanded the book. It’s getting the full color treatment this time with all new art. And if we unlock enough Level Ups (what Game On calls stretch goals) we can add fun PC options, an adventure, and tie-in short stories from Nisaba Press (our fiction imprint). Are you ready for some evil? Because we’re bringing the evil.

 

What is Lost Citadel Roleplaying, Anyway? (Ronin Roundtable)

The release of The Lost Citadel Roleplaying is probably cause for curiosity if you didn’t back the original Kickstarter. In essence, The Lost Citadel is about a fantasy world, Zileska, that has been transformed from something very similar to many traditional fantasy worlds (though with a greater emphasis on non-Western influences than most) by the rise of the undead—simply called the Dead in the setting—to an urban survival horror setting. And just as the world has transformed, so too have our heroes. Even though this is a setting for Fifth Edition, races, classes, magic, and more have been changed by the Dead. Here’s how.

The Lost Citadel, The Dead rise!

Urban Intrigue

The classic theme of survival horror is that it isn’t about the evil of the creatures coming after you, but that locked within survivors. Will you turn on your friends to live another day? Unfortunately, that kind of messes with the dynamics of traditional fantasy games, where we want the party to cooperate. The Lost Citadel’s solution is Redoubt: the last city in the world, where survivors banded together to hold off the Dead. The city is mostly cramped and filled with political chaos, as communities from many cultures protect their traditions and advance their interests. In effect, this takes the classic theme and makes it a slow burn, taking place across multiple enclaves instead of a single group of survivors. That way, the PCs can feel the desperation and threat of betrayal without having to watch for—or plant—knives in each other’s backs.

Magic and Woe

This is not to say there’s no room for personal conflict. Evil is pervasive in The Lost Citadel. It infects the land. It causes people’s sins to poison the earth. It corrupts magic itself. This manifests in the form of the Woe mechanic. Woe may give a living person an unnatural pallor, or cause natural animals to hate the sufferer. In can come from many sources. Evil acts concentrate Woe within someone, but it doesn’t provide an easy way to “detect evil,” because Woe also springs from the spiritual damage caused by contact with certain undead, and from casting magic without using a careful ritual. Woe strikes the good and bad alike, and if too much of it gets in you…death isn’t the end. Consequently, the book presents a variety of original magic-using classes, and even a variant of the monk class, that have adapted to a world claimed by Woe.

Wilderness Adventure Horror

Nevertheless, there’s still room for more of a classic 5e experience. Dungeons? Redoubt was built by dwarves—it’s full of tunnels and fissures. The new masters of the city don’t know all its secrets, and often need adventurers to clear and map lost storehouses, secret foundries, and even cursed tombs. But the bigger, more dangerous quests lie outside the city proper. That’s where the Foresters go. Even with its walled farms, Redoubt isn’t quite self-sufficient. The city needs to do logging, find rare materials left behind during the great exodus from the old nations, and patrol to see if the Dead are gathering in significant numbers. The Forester faction does that job, and needs more than rangers to help. The wilderness can be hauntingly empty or teeming with the Dead, and it’s hard to know which is which until you venture forth. Besides, every other city has fallen, to every building outside the city’s a dungeon, too.

The Last Brass Tacks

Like an absolute genius then, I’ll actually put the vital info last. The Lost Citadel Roleplaying is compatible with and requires the 5e PHB, DMG, and MM. Here’s what you get:

  • The fallen world of Zileska and its last city, Redoubt, described faction by faction and area by area
  • Four new character classes in the Penitent, Beguiler, Sage, and Warrior Monk, and unique variants of the Barbarian, Fighter, Rangers, Paladin, Rogue, and Warlock
  • Zileskan dwarf, elf, and human cultures, and a new race, the ghul
  • 10 new backgrounds
  • A new system for martial arts available to all characters, but especially good for fighters and warrior monks
  • Zileskan magic and its interactions with Woe, the forces of corruption
  • And of course, the Dead: 14 undead monsters in all their rotting glory

You can get it from our online store (GM screen PDF from our store here) or DrivethruRPG (GM screen on DrivethruRPG) now.

Book of Fiends 5E Crowdfunder on Game On Tabletop May 19

Book of Fiends 2003

The original Book of Fiends from 2003, using the 3.5 rules!

We’ve got an exciting crowdfunder coming up later this month and I wanted to tell you a bit about the project and also how it’s different from our previous campaigns. The project itself is a new edition of our classic Book of Fiends monster book for Fifth Edition. The original Book of Fiends came out in 2003 for the 3.5 rules and it was a huge hit for us. We’ve had Robert J. Schwalb, who was on the D&D 5E design team, write all the new stats and rules and you know that the Demon Lord delivers. Book of Fiends will be a stylish full-color hardback with over 130 daemons, demons, devils, and other creatures of the Lower Planes, all beautifully illustrated with brand new art. Got evil? Yes, yes, we do.

The Book of Fiends for 5th Edition

Coming soon to Game On Tabletop! Book of Fiends for 5th Edition

What’s different about this project is that we are doing it on Game On Tabletop. This is a newer crowdfunding platform and we are excited to launch our first campaign there. Game On was created by our long-time partners in France, Black Book Editions. Their vision was to create a crowdfunding platform designed with tabletop games in mind and they’ve done that and more. Game On Tabletop launched in 2017 and has hosted many successful projects since then. Paizo’s highly successful Kingmaker campaign was run there.

Game On Tabletop logo

Game On Tabletop has a lot of great tools, most of which will be invisible to you but are hugely useful to us. The best thing about it is that it’s a crowdfunding platform and a pledge manager rolled into one. This means you’ll be able to take care of everything at one site. You can back the project, buy add-ons, and pay shipping all in one place. If you haven’t backed a project there before, we think you’re really going to like it.

Book of Fiends is coming to Game On Tabletop on May 19 and Hell is coming with it! Also, the Abyss and Gehenna because we’re generous like that. See you there!

The Lost Citadel Live-Stream!

The Lost Citadel RPG on sale now!It’s Humpday, and today we’re taking another shot at the Green Ronin Live-Stream! Join Green Ronin Publishing today at 2:00 pm Pacific/5:00 pm Eastern for another test-run of our live-streaming capabilities, and this time it’s all about the Lost Citadel. Join Green Ronin Publishing Developer Malcolm Sheppard, and General Manager Nicole Lindroos as they cover the latest PDF release and barring any unforeseen technical challenges, they’ll take your questions, too! So come hang out with us as we continue our headlong jump into Facebook live streaming. You can register for this event by visiting our Facebook events page here!

See you at 2:00 pm Pacific/5:00 pm Eastern, today!

The Lost Citadel: 5e Heroes Against the Dead, at the End of the World

Seven decades ago, there were cities upon cities; kingdoms and nations, the remains of ancient empire. Cultures at war, cultures at trade. Races with varying degrees of alliance and distrust. Humans, elves, dwarves, and others; magic and monsters, rare but real. Regions of desolation, certainly, but also regions of plenty; forests, farmlands, and fields. And so it was for millennia, through two dynamic ages the lorekeepers and scribes called Ascensions.

Until the world ended. Most call it the Fall, but whatever term a given people choose to use, it marked the point where everything—everything—changed.

The Lost Citadel RPG for 5th edition, available now!

Art by Todd Lockwood

Today, we present The Lost Citadel Roleplaying Game, a supplement for Fifth Edition that takes you to Zileska, a world claimed by the undead—or simply the Dead, as they’re called in Redoubt, the last city in the world, where the survivors of the Dead’s rise, and of the corruption of magic, wall themselves away from the tide of the damned. But in the world of the Lost Citadel, anyone may rise again, as their own Woe, or spiritual corruption, reanimates their expired flesh.

Although it requires the DMG and PHB (the MM is also helpful), The Lost Citadel  is more than a bolt-on undead apocalypse setting for 5e. We present a tailor-made world and experience within the 5e engine, with its own distinct rules for character types, magic and more, including the following:

  • Original character races, and new takes on traditional races for 5e, from the flesh-eating ghul to elves whose souls have been ravaged by the fall of magic.
  • New and modified character classes for the world of Zileska, including the Penitent, whose powers eradicate corpse-animating Woe, the Sage who rediscovers secrets from the fallen world, and the Warrior Monk, a spiritual street fighter who abjures the internal magic of their ancestors for the pragmatic arts of war.
  • A new system for martial arts that allows practitioners to exploit opportunities in combat for devastating effects—and which goes beyond traditional fighting arts stereotypes. Confound your foes with the Beggar’s Crook style, or become the ultimate armored combatant by mastering the Jewelled Cannon.
  • The magic of Zileska, where practitioners must choose between slow, safe rituals, or swift spells that summon Woe, a pervasive force of corruption that rose with the Dead.
  • A detailed urban setting featuring numerous cultures, faiths, and customs which adventurers must navigate as carefully as any dungeon.
  • And of course, the Dead, from rotting Ramblers to the secret intelligences behind hordes and infiltrators.
  • New magic items, equipment and more—it’s a full color 304 page book. Take a look at the table of contents here.

The Lost Citadel is the offspring of a successful Kickstarter, and in turn is based on the successful shared world fiction project, also available through Green Ronin. You can get it at the Green Ronin Online Store or through DrivethruRPG now!

NOTE: While we are absolutely producing full color, traditionally printed hardcovers, due to COVID-19 industry issues (see this post) we cannot guarantee a specific printing or shipping date for physical editions of this book. Therefore, we’re only offering the PDF at this time.

Kickstarter Backers: Assuming your backer tier entitled you to it, you should have already received a pre-release link to download The Lost Citadel. If you can’t find it, contact custserv@greenronin.com.