Biting Cold

Astonishing Adventures: A Cold Day in Midtown!Engaging setting details are one of the keys to producing exciting encounters and adventures in Mutants & Masterminds. Players will remember their epic fight atop a frozen crane which is buckling under the added weight of its ice, threatening to topple onto the streets below, a lot more than another battle in a 30 by 50 foot rectangle. A Cold Day in Midtown is one of those (astonishing!) adventures where the environment is as much an opponent as any of Madame Zero’s gathered rogues. GMs can lean into this frozen wasteland to really make this adventure shine and to increase the challenge facing their heroes.

The Gelid engine, Madame Zero’s newest doomsday device, is a constant obstacle for the heroes, and GMs should feel free to emphasize the damaging environment it is creating. In the adventure itself we call out these specific setbacks caused by the device:

  • In Scene 1 it only creates uncomfortable cold, but in Scenes 3 and 4 it generates intense cold and by Scene 5 it creates extreme cold.
  • The engine also impedes visibility, imposing a –2 circumstance penalty on Perception checks thanks to the driving snow and fog.
  • The icy roads impose a –5 circumstance penalty on Vehicles checks to control cars, Athletics checks to run or climb, and Speed power checks. You may call for a power check for a hero to run at full speed across the frozen streets of the city.
  • The violent winds impose a –2 circumstance penalty on Acrobatics checks, Vehicles check to control aircraft, and Flight power checks. You may call for a power check for a hero to fly at full speed in the turbulent atmosphere.

Consider just the first point here. That progressive cold can wreak havoc on an unprepared party. Basically it means that as the adventure goes on there are more and more chances for the heroes to become fatigued, then exhausted, then even incapacitated. That in of itself limits the amount of power stunting the characters can attempt, while increasing the amount of time it takes to accomplish their goals as their Speed ranks fall. All important factors when considering by the end they’ll be fighting as many as five assembled supervillains. It’s important to keep track of the passage of time in this adventure, as that determines how many Fortitude rolls the group will be making. Once per hour in Scene 1 and 2. Once every ten minutes in Scene 3 and 4 and once every minute in Scene 5.Madam Zero

The other setbacks, icy roads, high winds, and impeded visibility are also nothing to scoff at. These obstacles will affect everyone in the group, even those who are immune to the environmental cold. GMs seeking to challenge their groups further can come up with additional consequences of the Gelid Engine’s use. Perhaps snow banks build high enough throughout the city that regular land travel becomes next to impossible without Athletics or Acrobatics checks or Movement powers. Maybe the white out conditions provide a circumstance bonus to Stealth or outright Concealment for the VLPES Mercenaries moving throughout Freedom City. You could even have sporadic hail storms (Burst Area Damage 1-5) either produced by the Gelid Engine itself or from ice formations falling from skyscrapers add extra danger to failures on the various skill challenges throughout the adventure.

In summary, A Cold Day in Midtown is an excellent showcase of the ability for Environment (both as a power and as set dressing) can have on crafting memorable adventures in Mutants & Masterminds. Make that frozen wasteland as much of a character in the story as you can. With all of the tools at your disposal, even characters immune to cold will be hard-pressed to succeed. The more you lean into the dangers of the Gelid Engine, the more your players will feel the biting cold of Madame Zero’s Cold Front.

Astonishing Adventures: A Cold Day in Midtown is available now in the Green Ronin Online Store, and on DrivethruRPG!

Ships of the Expanse: Torpedoes Away!

Ships of the Expanse<Incoming transmission.>

<URGENT! Imminent contact detected!>

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

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

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

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

Torpedoes Away!

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

Over and out!

< Transmission ends.>

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

Redoubt in the Mists

The Lost Citadel RPG for 5th EditionI don’t know about you, but from the very start of my career as a Game Master, I would steal from find inspiration everywhere: novels, comic books, television, movies, and, especially, other games. I mixed-and-matched elements from multiple superhero game settings and comic books with my own creations in my campaigns. I transposed and stitched together parts of different fantasy settings. The player characters from Gamma World, the first RPG I ever ran, eventually ended up via dimensional rift in the World of Greyhawk, running rampant through the Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan.

So when I got my eager mitts on Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft and began exploring the Domains of Dread therein, I immediately thought: “Redoubt from The Lost Citadel would be right at home here.” With that dark revelation in mind, dear reader, I immediately opened a new file, began to write, and here we are….

When exactly did the Last City, the Final Redoubt, find its way into the Mists? No one knows for certain. Indeed, most of the survivors of the old world of the lands of Zileska don’t even know the rest of their world is gone, since few venture outside the protective walls of the Last Citadel, and fewer still find their way back. Beyond the lush forests surrounding Redoubt, the trees and hills fade into the mists in all directions. All that emerges from the mists are the restless Dead and the few travelers unfortunate enough to arrive in the domain outside of the protective walls. They rarely last long, and strangers are viewed with considerable suspicion when they appear on the outskirts of Redoubt.

The people of Redoubt do not question the fate of the world beyond their walls because they believe they know it: The Dead have risen to reclaim the world. All of the great empires of the elves, dwarfs, humans, and others have fallen to plague and war and chaos, with their Dead rising to prey upon the living. The civilization of the living has fallen, and retreated, again and again, until this: The Accord of the Last Redoubt, the sole island of living people in the world, under eternal siege by the Dead, and more adrift than even they know.

The Hidden Dark Lord

Is the Prince of Tears the Lord of Redoubt in the Mists?

Is the Prince of Tears the Hidden Dark Lord of Redbout?

Who, or what, is the Dark Lord of Redoubt? Who commands its Mists and may seal or open its borders? Who, ultimately, is trapped here? It is one of the great mysteries of the domain, one ripe for exploitation by the Game Master.

The most likely candidate for Dark Lord of Redoubt is the legendary Bone Father, the embodiment of Death itself, who cursed Zileska and brought about the Fall. Of course, to the people of Redoubt, the Bone Father is a god—or at least godlike—and seasoned wanderers of the Mists know the Dark Lords, while powerful, are not gods. Perhaps the Bone Father is some powerful form of undead, such as a lich-necromancer, whose legend has grown over time along with his army of the unquiet dead, to the point where people believe he is a god, and legends speak of him accordingly.

Another possibility is the dread Prince of Tears, certainly the most powerful creature described in The Lost Citadel, an undead monstrosity that feeds upon fear and despair. If not the Dark Lord, then almost certainly the Prince is the Dark Lord’s lieutenant, perhaps providing a useful stalking-horse for the real Dark Lord of Redoubt.

Whoever or whatever the Dark Lord may be, since the Mists have reduced the domain to just Redoubt and the leagues of forests and hills beyond its walls, this also means the Dark Lord is far closer to the Last City than anyone imagines. If the characters are from Redoubt, do they discover the existence of the Mists and that what is left of their world is adrift as a domain of dread? If they are travelers, do they dare reveal the truth to the desperate and hopeless people of the Lost Citadel? What will become of Redoubt and its people if they do?

Grave Robbing

While the whole of The Lost Citadel setting and background is usable as a Domain of Dread, not all of the rules and options in the book are the same as the core 5e classes, ancestries, and spells. Game Masters will need to decide what parts of the graves to loot, as it were, and what to leave behind. Some possibilities include:

Ancestries: The ancestries from The Lost Citadel—dwarf, elf, ghûl, and the various human ancestries—can serve for characters from the domain and those travelers in the Mists meet there. Decide if the Woe system (following) from the setting applies only to those from the domain, to everyone there (including visitors), or is something you prefer to ignore in the context of the Domains of Dread—or even export to other domains.

Classes: Although The Lost Citadel offers a full set of unique character classes, you’re probably better off using the standard 5e classes for characters from the domain, and certainly for those visiting from outside of it. You can potentially mix-and-match character classes from Redoubt with the standard 5e classes, but they’re not particularly designed for that. In particular, the spellcasting classes are more limited compared to the standard classes.

Spells: Speaking of spellcasting, while magic is poor and limited in Redoubt, stay with the standard 5e abilities for spellcasters. Whether they are natives or visitors, it means they are extraordinary individuals, likely subjects of awe and trepidation, and perhaps no small amount of jealousy. They’re also certain to draw attention from the dread and woeful supernatural forces of the Dead. The magical limitations of the Domains of Dread still apply, of course.

Magic Items: The new magic items found in Lost Citadel suit the setting well and can be found in and around Redoubt. Some of them may have even found their way through the Mists to other domains in other hands; things like the potion of deathless steps or a rest-bringer weapon are likely to find use in many realms.

Monsters: As Lost Citadel notes, many 5e monsters are found in the domain and it offers some guidelines for customizing them. The new monsters in the book are found in and around Redoubt, and may appear in other domains or on other worlds as well. Heroes who visit The Lost Citadel and somehow manage to escape and return through the mists to their own world would do well to look for signs that the unquiet Dead have followed them, that the Fall that destroyed Zileska could be as contagious as the plague that first made the Dead rise….

Woe: The Lost Citadel includes a system of Woe, the creeping, spiritual corruption of the realm beset by the unquiet Dead. It is certainly a game system that would import well to other horror realms, or is something you could set aside in a Redoubt in the Mists, using 5e systems from the Guide to Ravenloft for fear, curses, and dark gifts and bargains in its place.

As it happens, The Lost Citadel Roleplaying, is DrivethruRPG’s Deal of the Day! You can get the PDF for 50% off for the next 24 hours! 

Ships of the Expanse: The Ships and Deck Plans

<Incoming transmission.>

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

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

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

PDF PREVIEW for the Munroe-class Light Destroyer

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

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

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

Over and out.

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Ships of The Expanse: Expanding How You Play

<Incoming transmission.>

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

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

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

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

Expanded rules for all your spaceship needs!

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

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

< Transmission ends.>

The Summer of Starhaven is Coming!

Sumer of Starhaven!

Society is in chaos, a city is born, and Europa needs heroes!

One of the most amazing things about starting Mutants & Masterminds Mondays and the M&M Patreon is our ability to hear directly from the fans about what excites them. The alien refuge city of Starhaven has been a setting element since the release of the Cosmic Handbook back in 2015, but aside from supporting details and the local villain, Null, in the SuperTeam Handbook, it has largely existed as a bit of background flavor.

But everyone was thrilled by the setting when our new designer, Alex Thomas, ran a live play adventure set in Starhaven for the Green Ronin staff. Fans were excited! We were excited! The shanty-singing robot pirates were excited! In the new Mutants & Masterminds Monday we even joked about making a Summer of Starhaven event and you told us you loved that idea.

So here we are, ready to kick off the Summer of Starhaven!

For real!

Star Island Bettin

We’re going to spend the summer of 2021 using the M&M Patreon to detail the fledgling city of Starhaven, a refugee colony on the nearby moon of Europa, into a full-fledged campaign setting for your Mutants & Masterminds game. It’s a community make up entirely of refugees carving out new lives in the ruins of an ancient Preserver ruin, dealing with political strife, differing cultures, overzealous oversight, and sinister factions looking to exploit the chaos—the sort of city that needs heroes!

But this isn’t going to be a straightforward campaign setting. We’re going to involve our patrons, casting you in the role of alien refugees who help shape the flavor of the city. You’ll vote on the city’s government, the regions the book explores in detail, and design a villain for the city as a whole group! We’ll post monthly articles delving into bits of Starhaven lore, and after the summer ends, we’ll collect and expand everything into a new book: The Guide to Starhaven, which includes all the patreon material and Alex’s Siege of Starhaven adventure to get your alien heroes started protecting their new home! Patrons will get a discount for all their help on the project, but the Guide itself will be available to every Mutants & Masterminds fan as a supplement for your own Earth-Prime campaigns!

The Summer of Starhaven will last three months—June, July, and August—so if you want to make your voice heard and help shape the city as it forms, tune in to Mutants & Masterminds Mondays and join the M&M Patreon!

 

Ships of the Expanse – Welcome Aboard

Ships of the Expanse<Incoming transmission.>

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Putting Your Fantasy AGE Adventures in the Trojan War

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

Use other Adventures for Fantasy AGE Trojan War!

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

Use Greek Mythology

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

The Trojan War Isn’t All About Troy

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

Heroes Are Monsters…Sometimes

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

Monsters Sometimes, As a Divine Treat

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

Example: Valley of the Whispering Titans…er Giants

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

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

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

Plus of course, you need to change the names!

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

Fantasy AGE Trojan War: Now Available!

Fantasy AGE Trojan War

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

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

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

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

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

Return to the Battlefields of Troy

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

Welcome Alex Thomas to the Ronin Roundtable!

Rogues Gallery

Some of Alex’s first freelance work for Green Ronin was in this very book!

Hello heroes! My name is Alex Thomas and I am the newest member of the Mutants & Masterminds team here at Green Ronin. Crystal asked me to come on board as her Assistant Developer and I am so excited to get started! My favorite genre in fiction is super heroes. There’s something about the larger than life nature, astonishing powers, and moral goodness of most super heroes that sparks my imagination and keeps me coming back for more.  These characters translate so well to the world of RPGs, and M&M is my favorite way to bring that fun to my table each week.

I’ve been playing Mutants & Masterminds for about 10 years now, and I have been a freelance writer for M&M since 2013. In that time, I’ve run over a hundred sessions of M&M at cons across the Midwest, streamed a number of M&M series on Twitch, and contributed to products from Rogues Gallery all the way to Danger Zones. Introducing new players to M&M and allowing them to play their favorite characters from film and comics is one of the great joys of my life.

Rogues Gallery: Arctic Fox

Arctic Fox was one of the first Villains Alex created for Mutants & Masterminds, and will even be featured in an upcoming Astonishing Adventure!

I actually got my start working in Mutants & Masterminds thanks to running a game at a convention. The convention did this thing where the guests of honor were placed in games by lottery. One of the guests of honor happened to be Steve Kenson that year. 15 minutes before my event started, someone from the con came up and asked me if it was okay for Steve to play in my game. I was SO unprepared, but Steve had a great time playing Deadshot in my Task Force X game, and afterwards he was gracious enough to get me in touch with Green Ronin to discuss freelancing, and I’ve been here ever since.

My first job as Assistant Developer is to help Crystal with the development duties on the Astonishing Adventures line. I will be spending the next few weeks learning the ropes and getting some exciting stories out to all of you. Thank you so much for letting me introduce myself, and happy gaming!