The Twilight Accord Patreon: Paying It Forward for Pride

Twilight Accord Celebrates Pride MonthIn May, Green Ronin Publishing launched its Patreon for Twilight Accord: The Fallen City, a 5e fantasy setting and campaign that centers the experiences of LGBTQ+ heroes and community in that setting. A collaboration between tabletop industry veterans Steve Kenson and Joseph D Carriker Jr., the Patreon is intended to build a collaborative community of supportive patrons with input into the creation and details of this exciting new product.

In celebration of Pride month, Green Ronin Publishing has announced that all funds raised by the Patreon, during the launch and continuing over the course of Pride Month, will be used to hire additional queer creators to infuse Twilight Accord with their creativity and experience. In keeping with the collaborative intent of the project, Green Ronin Publishing will be working with patrons of Twilight Accord to understand their top priorities for additional content: writing, concept art, or concept cartography, and their choices will help guide the allocation of resources towards the hiring of interested creators.

Creators that would like to be involved can email twilightaccord@greenronin.com with their published credits and sample work. LGBTQ+ creators, including LGBTQ+ creators of color, are strongly encouraged to apply and are asked to include details on the aspects of the queer experience they would like to help include in the setting, its culture, and its characters.

 

Steve Kenson shares: Everyone playing a fantasy RPG deserves the opportunity to be the hero of their own story. We want to create a setting and series of adventures where queer people of all kinds can do just that.”

 

Joe Carriker adds: We’re really excited about this project. In the years I’ve been gaming, we’ve seen more and more games make a point of including queer people. It’s high time that we see some games that don’t just include us, but that are actively about us.”

 

You can learn more about the project, and how you can join, by visiting: Twilight Accord: The Fallen City on Patreon.

Straight Talk About Twilight Accord

So, you may have heard or read about the new Twilight Accord Patreon launched last month to develop a queer-focused 5e fantasy setting and campaign. Given that the majority of the tabletop RPG audience is likely straight (although I’d like to see some proper demographic research, myself) I figured it was a good idea to highlight the “What Is Twilight Accord?” post and its FAQ, particularly the question, “Is this for me, if I’m straight?”

Twilight Accord for 5E "straight" to the patreon!

The answer is yes … and no. Okay, it’s complicated, but not that much. Let me explain.

The high concept of Twilight Accord is that the Twilight Advocate, the spirit of the Fallen City in the Gloom, calls out to kindred spirits, namely queer (LGBTQ+) people, who are the ones who have found and followed the Night Road to the city and founded the Twilight Accord. So the default assumption of the setting is that the vast majority of the Accord, and therefore its Champions, the player characters, are queer folk. Our stories are the focus of this campaign.

That doesn’t mean straight (cisgender and heterosexual or “cishet”) people are excluded. As the FAQ points out: “No doubt there are some cishet-folk among the Accord: family members or other loved-ones who accompanied them into the Gloom or otherwise found their way there, but they’re very much among the minority.” So you can use the Twilight Accord as-planned with some straight characters, if you prefer, it’s just not the focus of the setting. (We could talk a lot about how that is essentially the same kind of inclusion queer people experience with most tabletop RPG products that bother to include us, but that would be a whole other article.)

If you’re not looking for a queer-focused narrative, will you get anything out of Twilight Accord or supporting the Patreon? Yes. We already have planned a lot of 5e content for the book, including new subclasses, ancestries, backgrounds, spells, magic items, and creatures, along, of course, with an entire ruined city filled with monsters and challenges to explore. You can use all of this in a Twilight Accord game or in your own campaign setting, as you see fit. We’re playtesting this content at the Counselor and Champion tiers of the Patreon, and encouraging feedback about the design to ensure it’s the best it can be.

If you’re straight, will you be welcome in the Twilight Accord Patreon community? Also yes. We welcome everyone who wants to support and participate in this exploration of new territory. Again, turning to the FAQ: “We welcome everyone’s support and love our allies! There is a place for everyone, even if the focus isn’t necessarily on you. That said, we are not going to tolerate any homophobia, transphobia, sex-shaming, or misogyny on the Patreon (or racism, ablism, or agism for that matter). The reality and personhood of queer people is not ‘up for debate’ in any way, shape, or form, and we will gladly remove anyone who signs up just to stir up trouble.”

Folks who get in on the ground-floor of the Patreon will get access to all of its content, as some older posts may be moved “out of circulation” over time. So if you’re interested in what we’re doing, don’t miss out! Visit the Twilight Accord Patreon, check out the public posts, and sign up if you want to see more. You’ll be most welcome.

Play M&M with One of the Developers at Origins!

Origins Game FairHello heroes! Origins event registration is currently open and I am deep in final preparation for my events at the con. I wanted to share my schedule here in case any members of our Green Ronin community wanted to share a table with me in June. I’m running a ton of M&M events spanning Earth-Prime, Titan City, both DC and Marvel, as well as dipping my toes into Star Wars and the classic 1999 film The Mummy. If you’re looking for other Mutants & Masterminds games at the convention I highly recommend checking out the offerings of the Untold Stories Project and Matinee Adventures, two gaming troupes that I have worked with in the past. They run amazing games!

I hope I’ll get the chance to GM for you, but even if you don’t sign up for one of my games, please feel free to come up and say hi! See you all in a couple weeks and happy gaming!

Wednesday

7pm

  • Event Title: Gotham City Misfits
    • Synopsis: Killer Moth has brought together the ultimate crew of Gotham villains to pull off the heist of the century…

Thursday

2pm

  • Event Title: Freedom League: All in the Family
    • Synopsis: All isn’t as it seems when Zeus requests the Freedom League’s assistance in foiling his brother’s latest scheme to take over Earth-Prime.

7pm

  • Event Title: The Mummy: The Mumkey Returns
    • Synopsis: Rick O’Connell and crew are called to help when mummified animals run amok at Al Azhar University in Cairo.

Friday

2pm

  • Event Title: Titan City Chronicles: Blood Run
    • Synopsis: Vampires are roaring through 1920s Titan City, and it’s up to a ragtag band of heroes to stop them.

7pm

  • Event Title: The Siege of Starhaven
    • Synopsis: Eyes from across the galaxy are focused on Starhaven, eager to make use of its citizens, its ancient Preserver technology, and its close proximity to Earth. It is a city in need of heroes…

Saturday

2pm

  • Event Title: Guardians of the Galaxy: The Thoocury Smew
    • Synopsis: The Collector hires the Guardians to recover a priceless bird statue from the wreck of a Kree warship.

7pm

  • Event Title: Star Wars: The Most Dangerous Game
    • Synopsis: Emperor Palpatine has put out a call across the Outer Rim for bounty hunters willing to hunt down a dangerous Jedi in hiding.

 

And be sure to stop by the Green Ronin booth while you’re there, and check out what we have for sale! We’re in booth 316!
Visit Green Roinin at Origins Game Fair 2022, booth 316!

Building Better Benefits

Advantages like Benefit are in the Deluxe Hero's Handbook!Hello heroes! I hope you’re having a great day out there in gamer land. Today I want to talk about one of my favorite advantages in Mutants & Masterminds. It’s an advantage that doesn’t immediately pop off the page during character creation, but it is perhaps the most flexible advantage. One that I find offers players a way to give their character that personal flair that separates the PCs from the NPCs. I’m talking about the Benefit advantage as seen on page 134 of the Deluxe Hero’s Handbook.

Benefit is defined as a “significant perquisite or fringe benefit.” We include some sample options such as alternate identities, ambidexterity, status, and wealth, but there is no reason to stick to just those options. I enjoy Benefit so much because it gives you and your players a wide open space to play around with the mechanics. It can also inform you as to what your players are interested in seeing in the campaign.

Character creation in Mutants & Masterminds has always been characterized by its flexibility. We empower you to experiment with the system to create your perfect superhero, but we can’t account for every possibility. Options like the Benefit advantage and the Feature effect can be applied liberally to fill in gaps as needed. I encourage my players to come up with custom Benefits that provide minor mechanical perks. Things such as swapping the primary ability associated with skills—Athletics based on Agility or Intimidation based on Strength for example—allow players to add a dash of personal flavor to their characters. I also use custom advantages to modify how other advantages work. For example, I have a player in my regular games who loves the Assessment advantage. (We have a space on our Untold Stories Project bingo card for when he does it.) However, he wanted to be able to use Assessment on multiple characters in a turn, similar to Multiattack on a Damage effect. We worked together and came up with a Benefit called Battlefield Assessment which allows him to assess the strength and weaknesses of an amount of characters equal to his Awareness, plus one per rank in the advantage, once per scene. It’s not a game breaking addition, and it allows him to play his character as the tactical heart of the team. Look for ways to help your players express their ideas through small tweaks like this.

Benefit also gives you a sneak peak into the interest part of your players’ brains. If they spend the points on something like Status: Star Knight, Wealth, or Alternate Identity you can tell that those ideas are important to your player. They want the opportunity within the story to say something like, “Star Knight business. Go back to your drinks.” The wealthy character wants scenes that can be resolved through ludicrous amounts of money. At the very least, they want conflicts to arise centered around their bank account. Alternate Identity Lass has a reason to hide her original identity. These are plot shout-outs directly from the players. Listen and incorporate them into your story. Your players will feel heard and will engage that much more with your adventure hooks.

Thank you for taking the time to let me ramble about this excellent advantage. I hope it enriches your Mutants & Masterminds campaigns as much as its enriched mine. Have a great day and I’ll see you in the next one, heroes!

The Twilight Accord

Twilight Accord for 5th EditionThe guards shifted nervously, coughing a bit, breath fogging in the chill night air. They were all a bit uneasy, and with good reason. One glanced again at the wood piled and arranged in the courtyard, and thought about the hours until dawn.

“Some of them are little more than children,” he announced aloud to no one in particular.

“Then they can repent their ways,” the other guard replied, “and perhaps His Holiness will see fit to spare them, although if you ask me there’s no hope for their sort. Perverts. Unnatural. We’re well rid of them before they corrupt anyone else.” He spat in the dirt in disgust. The first man sighed and shook his head.

“I don’t expect there will be any mercy for any of them,” he said, “repentant or not…unless.”

“Unless what…?”

“Well…” the guard hesitated to go on. “You know. You’ve heard the stories.” That earned him a dismissive snort.

“Just stories. You don’t believe them, do you?”

“I don’t…” he began.

Then there was a deafening sound like thunder and the heavy wooden gates of the keep exploded inward, fragments raining down over the courtyard. The guards who were not knocked down by the blast stood in shock, mouths agape.

Figures appeared in the clearing smoke, wreathed in flames of seven colors that glimmered from their armor and weapons and in the hard glare of their eyes. They were not “just stories.”

“We are of the Accord and we have come for our people,” one of them announced. “Let none who hope to see the dawn stand in our way.”

The battle, if it can be called that, was brief, and so we were freed, and walked the Night Road to Gloamingate, to the promise of hope, freedom, and a home to call our own, if we can claim it—and we will.Twilight Accord On Patreon!

TWILIGHT ACCORD: THE FALLEN CITY: A Queer-focused #5e #TTRPG Fantasy Setting and Campaign, now on Patreon for Development.

Not “gay as in happy” but “queer as in ‘roll for initiative.’”

Do You Hear the Call…?

Secrets of Lemuria

Secrets of Lemuria for the Expanse RPG!

Available NOW!

<incoming transmission>

 

<handshake accepted… decryption protocol required>

 

<decryption completed>

 

“It’s been a long journey to the Ring gate and your final destination: Medina Station. Some weeks ago, you were all hired by an independent journalist, Sangra Velazquez, to escort him to a meeting on Medina with explorer/scientist Dr. Carly Toor. Sangra has been cagey about the exact details of this meeting, but has hinted that Dr. Toor has made an important discovery on one of the worlds beyond the Rings. Fearing that other parties and possibly even governments might be interested in this discovery, Sangra chose a private means of transportation–your ship.”

 

Mysteries aplenty lie beyond the Ring Gates. Secrets of Lemuria is the first adventure for The Expanse RPG that begins to explore those mysteries. The adventure is intended for a crew of 4 to 6 1st to 3rd level Expanse characters (although it would be easy enough to increase the danger for higher-level characters.) The story begins with a simple passenger transport and escort job. Independent reporter, Sanga Velazquez, has a meeting on Medina station with a scientist who claims to have made an incredible discovery on Lemuria, one of the many planets beyond the ring. Of course, things don’t go exactly as planned, and the PCs find themselves in a cross-fire between an OPA gang and another mysterious (and violent) group…. I don’t want to spoil the story here since some of you, undoubtedly, may end up playing the adventure. Suffice it to say there’s plenty of action and intrigue and stakes that could change the course of human history.

Oh, and did I mention that it comes with a preview of Beyond the Ring? If you haven’t yet ordered a copy,  Lemuria gives you a sneak peak at Medina station —a pressure cooker of merchants, explorers, colonists, businesspeople, gangsters, smugglers, and spies from Earth, Mars, and the Belt. You could easily run an entire campaign on Medina alone, and of course, you have the mysteries of Ring space, the hub, and gateways to 1300 worlds right on its doorstep.

Secrets of Lemuria is the first in an upcoming series of PDF-only releases for The Expanse RPG. We have lots of plans, including new adventures and even a new series we may be announcing soon. Stand by for more information about that!

So, keep your eyes open, and your sensors active. Secrets of Lemuria is available now as a PDF in the Green Ronin Online Store and on DrivethruRPG!

<end transmission>

Neon Shadows

Modern AGE Cyberpunk Slice

Available NOW!

TL;DR – So can I use Cyberpunk Slice with Modern AGE to (ahem) run an urban fantasy cyberpunk game? YES! Grab both books (and maybe Modern AGE Companion while you’re at it) and you’ll rock it!

With the release of Cyberpunk Slice for Modern AGE, AGE System players have a new resource for creating campaigns and finally have an answer to that oft-asked question: “Can I run a cyberpunk urban fantasy campaign using AGE?” To which the answer is very much “Yes! I’m glad you asked.”

Having had some experience with the notion of cyberpunk urban fantasy myself, I’ve given the notion some thought and wanted to share with you the key elements for your Modern AGE cyber-fantasy campaign, what I refer to here as Neon Shadows:

Backgrounds

You’re probably going to want to grab the optional backgrounds from Chapter 1 of the Modern AGE Companion, particularly the Dwarf, Elf, Human, and Orc, if your setting includes various fantasy heritages, or people manifesting the traits of fantasy beings. Feel free to add-on to this as you see fit for your setting: Shapeshifters, Spirit-Bloods…more? Why not? Take particular note of the sidebar in the book about adapting Fantasy AGE backgrounds to Modern AGE before you yank them wholesale out of your Fantasy AGE books, as there are some differences.

The ancestries from Threefold (Arvu, Dreygur, Huldra, and Jana) might be useful inspiration, but keep in mind that ancestries supplement backgrounds rather than replacing them per se: You can mix-and-match ancestry and background traits, and might want to allow the same for backgrounds in your Neon Shadows campaign, allowing for Bohemian Elves, Dwarf Laborers, or Urban Orcs, to name just a few examples.

Neon Shadows as Cyber Urban Fantasy

Professions

You are going to want to augment the options from Modern AGE with the professions in Cyberpunk Slice, particularly Hacker, Operator, Assassin, and Personality for your Neon Shadows game. Ditto the various cyberpunk-specific Drives and ability focuses, depending on the availability of tech in your game. Intelligence (Streetwise) is pretty much a must.

Talents

Cybercombat talent? (That’s combat using various cybernetic augmentations.) Virtual Combat talent? (That’s combat inside of a digital virtual reality.) Yes, please! You’re going to want some (if not all) of the talents in Cyberpunk Slice to go with the Modern AGE Basic Rulebook. There are many of them devoted to making your character badass. In particular, don’t overlook the Kinetic talent, what sometimes gets called a “street soldier” or “street samurai,” just in case you were wondering where that was under Professions previously.

Equipment

Ah, the gear. There’s plenty of stuff in Cyberpunk Slice before you even get to the implants and augmentations: guns (smart and otherwise), ammo, armor, drones, vehicles, grenades, and more. Everything you need to kit-out your characters. Monofilament whips? Of course! Are they dangerous to use? Of course!

Then (of course) there are the actual augmentations. Modern AGE players who have read Threefold have an inkling of what awaits in Chapter 3 of Cyberpunk Slice, but with quite a bit more. A medium augmentation campaign (with a starting capacity of 2) suits Neon Shadows pretty well, as most characters are going to have augmentations of some sort. Breakdown or some type of Complications tend to suit those who go over their capacity for augmentation.

There’s no strict rule in Modern AGE that says tech and magic don’t mix, so you can make the cyber-arcanist of your dreams, if you want. If, on the other hand, you’d prefer that augmentations weaken arcane power, pick one of the following options:

  • Arcanists add their total slots in augmentations to the Target Numbers of their arcana, to their cost, or both.
  • Arcanists subtract their total slots in augmentations from their Magic Points, and from the MP they gain each level, with a minimum of 1 or even 0 MP gained!
  • Augmented arcanists lose 1d6 MP per slot of augmentations per day and have to recover those lost MP normally, in addition to any they expend on their arcana.

Powers

Naturally, it’s not a cyber-fantasy campaign without some magic, so you can include any or all of the various arcana from the Modern AGE Basic Rulebook as well as Modern AGE Companion and Threefold as well, if you’d like. Decide how prevalent you want arcana to be in your campaign: Do lots of people sling spells or is it just a select few? How is the world dealing with these arcanists?

What’s more, decide if there are any other extraordinary powers available in your Neon Shadows campaign. Are there psychic adepts? If not, you can just ignore psychic powers, or else turn them into arcana also available to spell-casters. Perhaps psychics are occultists as described in Threefold, giving them a different flavor of magical power, rather than science-fiction psionics as such.

You can even use the enhancements from Modern AGE Companion, Threefold, and Cyberpunk Slice for more than just technological augmentations: Some people might be exceptionals with supernatural powers, essentially fantasy or mythic abilities. They might be “advancements” of their ancestry or magical birthrights or blessings or some kind. Perhaps there are “paragons” who focus their magical potential inward and develop the kinds of enhancements otherwise granted by implants and modifications, making them the fantasy equivalents of cybernetic street samurai and biotech stealth assassins, to name a few. There may even be a magical equivalent to capacity—and penalties for exceeding it—in the setting, distinct from the effects of augmentations. Just turn some of the augmentations in Cyberpunnk Slice into magical equivalents, either from focusing inherent magic inwards or even weirder implants using magically-animated materials or grafts of body parts or organs from fantasy creatures.

Modern AGE Cyberpunk Slice is also available on DrivethruRPG!

A Slice of Cyberpunk Temptation, Coming for Modern AGE

Cyberpunk Slice for Modern AGE

COMING VERY SOON!

Cyberpunk is one of the most popular genres in roleplaying games. Sitting as it does between the modern era and classic spaceships and aliens SF (though some cyberpunk, such as Schismatrix and Altered Carbon, incorporate those elements too), it’s a natural fit for Modern AGE. I was hesitant to add cyberpunk to Modern AGE because of its world-influencing history, and its shift from cutting-edge, to cliché, to parts of reality. How do I fit it all in?

I finally satisfied myself by realizing that I don’t have to. Cyberpunk is a pervasive enough genre that I don’t need to dig into all its historical, technological, and personal resonances, because you’re already confronting them yourself.

Therefore, we’re just putting the finishing touches on Modern AGE Cyberpunk Slice, a compressed, 50ish page PDF treatment of the genre’s essentials:

  • Futuristic technology, from exoskeletons to guided bullets
  • Cyberspace
  • Augmentation through cybernetics
  • Body swapping and consciousness transfer
  • Options for Player Character androids and other synthetic beings
  • New backgrounds and professions for a desperate, technology-drenched future
  • New character options, from the Virtual Combat focus to anti-technology Wrecker fighting style, and the street soldier called the Kinetic

Cyberpunk Slice uses some elements from previous cyberpunk-adjacent work in the Modern AGE Companion and Threefold, but significantly extends and customizes them for the genre. That way it remains interoperable with previous material without being redundant.

Is this all we’ll do in the genre? I don’t know, but I am certain that this supplement is what a vocal segment of Modern AGE gamers have wanted for a while. It’s coming very soon—I submitted proofing notes just recently—and we’ll make some noise when it happens.

Back Into The Expanse: Worlds and Systems

Some of you may have seen the recent actual play of Cthulhu Awakens that I ran in conjunction with the Kickstarter. I really enjoyed running the game, but after that brief foray into the realms of eldritch horror, I’m excited to say that it’s time for me to get back to The Expanse!

Colony worlds and systems in the Expanse

During my first official visit to ThursdAGE last week, we talked a little about the new Expanse sourcebook, Beyond the Ring. (Check it out if you want to see some of the amazing art in this book) We also did a bit of a deep dive into Chapter 5: System & World Creation in Beyond the Ring. If you check out the stream, you’ll get a behind the scenes look as I go through both the system and world creation systems step by step. One of the challenges I have as the developer for The Expanse RPG is where to draw the line between story and science. This chapter, in particular, proved to be quite a balancing act in that arena. After all, this is a game about telling stories, not a science textbook. But on the other hand, The Expanse novels are heavily grounded in real science. Creating your own systems and worlds is an excellent opportunity for bringing a little more science into your games.

In Chapter 5: System & World Creation, we do our best to give you all the pertinent information needed to create your own worlds and systems without getting too bogged down. All of the charts and tables might look a little daunting for someone who doesn’t know much about the science of spectral types, orbital zones, or atmospheric compositions, but I promise you don’t need to know any of the science. Just follow the steps, and you can design a system without any difficulty. Truthfully, the luminosity of the star or a planet’s orbital period probably won’t come into play in your story, but being able to provide all of the star system information to your players lends a sense of authenticity that this is a real system with real planets. Your scientifically minded players will love it, and your story-driven players will appreciate the attention to detail.

One question I’ve been asked is whether science 100% accurate all of the time? My simple answer is: I’m sure it’s not. But it’s pretty close and certainly more than enough for telling a good story. Ultimately even The Expanse is about the story and the characters. The science is there to give it a backdrop of realism and authenticity, but in the end, it’s a good story that matters.

So, do you want to know more about Beyond the Ring and how you can use it in your own campaign? Well, you’re in luck! My appearance on ThursdAGE was just a teaser for what’s to come. In the following weeks I’m going to be running an actual play of The Expanse RPG that showcases a lot of the key systems in Beyond the Ring, especially colony creation and advancement. In Session Zero we’re going to build the colony that the PCs are going to be connected to using the rules in the book. Sessions 1 and 2 will be a story that centers around the colony. Finally, Session 3 will be the finale, and we’ll go through colony advancement, including the repercussions of the PC’s action during the adventure. So, keep your eyes peeled for the exact dates.

There will also be opportunities for those of you watching live to ask questions, and maybe even some audience participation. So, if you’re considering purchasing Beyond the Ring and want to know more this will be an excellent opportunity to see what it’s all about.


You can Pre-Order the print version of Beyond the Ring right now and receive the PDF for just an additional $5! But we understand that shipping internationally is a little difficult at the moment, so our overseas fans can also get the $5 PDF add-on by just letting their Friendly Local Game Store know that they would like to Pre-Order the book there. Just ask your store clerk to contact us, or their games distributor, and mention the Pre-Order Plus program, we will take care of the rest!

Beyond the Ring: Available Now

Beyond the Ring Available Now!

Available for Pre-Order Now!

The ring gates have opened up opportunities on 1300 worlds for scientists, adventurers, explorers, and colonists. Royal Charter Energy is seeking brave and bold individuals of many diverse backgrounds for colony and mining operations beyond the rings. Be the first to set foot on a new world. Make new discoveries. Explore. RCE is currently hiring scientists with backgrounds in geology, chemistry, as well as those with mining, agriculture, and security experience. Stuck on Basic Assistance? We may have a place for you. Find yourself on a new world.

Applications are being accepted by our offices in Lovell City, Luna, either in person or electronically.

 

Ever wanted to run an off-world colony? Beyond the Ring presents a whole new way to play The Expanse RPG. Instead of traveling the Sol system, the player characters can be a part of a new colony. They get to make decisions about the colony’s advancement and deal with issues and threats as they arise. Chapter 4: Colonies opens with rules for designing your own colonies. Colonies have abilities just like player characters.

You have three options for creating colonies, freeform (basically make it up), point allocation (you get a number of points to spend) or random (speaks for itself). There are five core abilities for colonies: Economy, Force, Infrastructure, Media, and Science. In addition to these, every colony has three additional statistics: Size, Stability and Resolve, which help determine how resistant the colony is to disasters and setbacks. Colonies also have Focuses that represent things like specialty installations (like greenhouses), extraordinary knowledge (like local ecology), special resources (like lithium), or colonists with specific expertise (like a doctor or security forces). Disasters can have an impact on both these abilities and Focuses.

Once your colony is established, you get to see how your colony grows or fails. The rules for running a colony exist to provide new opportunities for adventure, provide a sense of investment in the protagonist’s community, and help players feel like an important part of the dynamic and ever-growing Expanse universe. The colony rules interact with the rest of a campaign in two ways: growth checks and plot actions.

For a colony to survive, it must endure the harsh realities of an alien world, grow to support itself, and thrive in the face of adversity–growth checks represent this. The frequency of these checks is usually from one to three months and can result in the colony growing or expanding or suffering a mishap. Mishaps can lead to adventure opportunities as players can sometimes take plot actions to mitigate their effects.

While growth checks represent the everyday ebb and flow of life in a community, plot actions represent deliberate efforts by the colony leadership toward specific goals. Often plot actions are made in response to a threat or rival colony, but colonies may also be proactive, attempting to undermine rivals or build new projects to improve conditions. Successful plot actions can hurt rivals, disarm threats, and make headway on projects, while failed plot actions do the opposite. The GM also gets to take plot actions. A group of pirates that the PCs previously tangled with past might become a direct threat to the colony.

Finally, this chapter offers a few sample colony operations that were built using these rules. These can be used as a guide for building your own colonies or plugged directly into an adventure if a GM finds they need a colony. As you can see, an entire campaign could be built around a crew starting and managing a colony in the worlds beyond the rings.
If you’re looking for inspiration for telling your own colony-based stories, Cibola Burn offers a lot of good material on what it’s like to live in a colony under threat from multiple directions. The novella Strange Dogs offers a good look into the early days of Laconia. And I was super excited to see that the final Expanse novella, The Sins of Our Fathers, is set entirely on a colony world. The story presents some of the difficult choices colonists might be forced to make. We can’t wait to hear the stories of the colonies on new worlds that you and your players create!


Expanse Beyond the Ring on ThursdAGE

Tune into ThursdAGE this Thursday, April 7th at 2p Pacific to catch designer Ian Lemke as he walks us through star system creation and world building in Beyond the Ring, with your pals Owen KC Stevens and Troy Hewitt

You can watch us on Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook and don’t forget to subscribe to Green Ronin’s official streaming channels to be notified when we go live with The Expanse RPG: Beyond the Ring Actual plays throughout the month!