As part of our ongoing Charitable Giving Initiative, through the end of March, 2017, you can partake of our Justice For All Sale in our Green Ronin Online Store. Both the print and PDF version of the Advanced Bestiary for the Pathfinder RPG are on sale, with $10 of each one sold going to the National Immigrant Justice Center.
Latest posts by Evan Sass (see all)
We are a very tiny team here at Mutants & Masterminds, and can only protect so much of the city on our own. But many tiny teams make for a mighty league. Thankfully, Green Ronin does not stand alone on the field of superhero gaming. We’re backed by some of the coolest and most creative third-party publishers in the hobby industry, and there are a lot of them out there, from small passion-project companies with one or two offerings to powerhouses that turn out monthly or even weekly offerings. Time spent in exciting crossovers with Green Ronin’s many allies won’t be wasted, and here are just a few of my personal favorites:
(the Might Miracle Guardians by Tony Parker)
Vigilance Press offers some of the most fun and creative characters out there. Their two Rogues, Rivals, and Renegades collections are some memorable lineups or rogues and rivals (as one would expect from the label), but my personal delight is the Kaiju Kultists installment of the Due Vigilance series and the oft-requested romance comic rules available in Strange Attractors. For added entertainment, give their podcast a listen; Beacon City is a great campaign that features guest stars from the Freedomverse!
Rogue Genius Games’s weekly Super Powered Legends series offers familiar faces from pop culture with modern twists, all written and illustrated by the double-threat Jacob Blackman. Also among their offerings is the incredibly useful Super Powered Bestiary.
The brilliant Steven Trustrum and I got started in the industry around the same time, and I spent most of my twenties with a professional crush on his writing. His company, Misfit Studios, puts out some of the most useful and insightful products around, including the indispensable Better Mousetrap which contains a wealth of character-building ideas, GM advice, new villains and organizations, and plenty of expanded options for the core Mutants & Masterminds rules.
Finally, Xion Studio offers the popular and well-developed Watchguard campaign setting, which I am embarrassed to admit I still haven’t managed to read through despite the incredible reviews and popularity. Despite my personal blind spot, Xion is worth highlighting if only because Charlie McElvy, the creator of Watchguard, is helping Carlos Cabaleiro and Vito Delsante bring the world of their comic book, Golden Guard, to life as an RPG as part of their kickstarter!
Our third-party publishers are an amazing group that work hard and deserve plenty of love. There’s nowhere near enough space here to highlight all the amazing creators who deserve it, so please share your favorites here on our forums or on social media!
“Its already been such a ride. When I began our little home game nearly over 4 years ago, I never expected to be inspired enough to create a whole continent. When the fine folks at Green Ronin approached me last year about fleshing it out and putting it all down in a book, I was in disbelief that people would be interested in such a thing. When I accepted the challenge, I was filled with trepidation at the herculean task ahead of me. Now here I am, nearly complete with the first book of my writing history, about a world I created within my silly brain space, discovered by my wonderful friends as they explored it, and now prepared to be released into the wild for others to learn about, take up, and they themselves create within. I am extremely proud already.
It has been a curious process, fraught with difficulty and learning experiences, but has been extremely fulfilling. To look down at this collection of thoughts, ideas, and possibilities… to put it out into the world as my gift to others, permission to take my baton and run with it, is so very exciting. I hope the final product will be something you enjoy creating with as much as I enjoyed creating it.”
One of the neat things about being developer at large at Green Ronin is that I get a taste of nearly everything. And lo, I have sampled many hyper-palatable game treats, full of the salt, sweetness and fat of . . . okay. Metaphor’s been stretched too far. Besides, maybe that doesn’t fit with the taste of Ork!
Ork! The Roleplaying Game was Green Ronin’s first original RPG: an unabashed “beer and pretzels” roleplaying game of comic carnage by Todd Miller and Chris Pramas, with Robert Toth. Green Ronin’s been working on a new edition for a while, but they—now we, since I’ve joined the firm—want to get it just right. Ork! comes from the company’s cradle. The kid’s grown up and headbutted people at a few hardcore shows, but we still love him. He was never good in school, so we’re giving him a job at the company, and an upgrade, into Ork! The Roleplaying Game, 2nd Edition.
Getting Ork! right means getting the tone (funny and relaxed) and game play (action-oriented but not tactical) down the way the game needs, and the way Chris and Todd want to see it. Thus, as the game’s developer I’ve stood on the shoulders of giants, or at least trolls: Chris and Todd, Robert, and Jon Leitheusser, who started the process of getting Ork! to its next edition.
You Am Get Core Premise
Since I became Ork! developer, it’s been my job to review everything to date, and polish it to fit Chris and Todd’s vision for the game. When confronted with the manuscript, I decided to think like an ork, and ask dumb questions, like: “What am game about?” (This is how orks speak, by the way.) This is a dangerous question in game design, because if you develop the game to stick too closely to the answer, you get something narrow and boring. But Ork! is a comedy game, and these aren’t usually in danger of getting too anchored—in fact, they tend to need that premise more than your average straight-faced game. Players already tend to act silly, so for comedy, the question really asks, “What absurd thing gets taken seriously, so comedy happens without forcing it?” So, I read Ork! and found the key: god barf.
In the beginning, there was no earth, no sky, no sea. There was Krom.
Krom slept and dreamed, and dreamed and slept for countless ages.
And then, he woke up. And he was hungry. So, Krom searched around for something to eat.
At last, he found a rock. Krom ate the rock, and it was good.
But later, the rock made Krom sick to his stomach, and he threw up for seven thousand days, and seven thousand nights.
Out of Krom’s stomach came the world, all the mountains and oceans and animals.
But Krom still felt sick. He never should have eaten that stupid rock!
And he was mad.
And then, he threw up for seven thousand more days, and seven thousand more nights.
Krom threw up the squishy men, and the sour men, and the trolls, and the giant cockroaches and the flying monkeys and the goblins, and then, when he thought he couldn’t throw up anymore, he threw up the orks.
And they were good.
Krom spoke to them.
“You shall be brave and strong,” he told them.
“You am shut up!” they yelled back.
And so, Krom cursed the orks.
“Everything that walks, swims, or crawls on the earth shall be your enemy. And they will never rest until they destroy you!”
“But, if you should somehow kill them all first, then I shall reward you.”
So spoke the mighty Krom.
And the orks were happy.
That’s what Ork! is about. You’re an ork and somewhere, up there, Krom presides over his barf. He’s annoyed.
You Am Get Game Meka, uh Miccani—You Am Get New Rules!
Ork! reinforces is mythology with its core mechanic: All dice rolls are opposed! Sometimes they’re opposed by the rolls of other orks, squishy men, sour men and the hordes of other annoying beings that inhabit the world, but when anything else opposes an ork, such as a tricky thing to climb, or how to make a weird magic item work? There’s not static, objective difficulty. There’s Krom. You roll against his dice. Now he’s a god, and this might seem unfair, but Krom rolls dice based on how interested or annoyed he happens to be with his least-favored creations. Chris Pramas baked this idea right into the rules, and I’ve decided to use it for a couple of new systems, including the following:
Cheats: Other games have “specializations,” and “focuses” that represent special training or talent. But orks aren’t the sort of people who stay inside and practice violin while the other orks play kick the squishy man head, and they’re not really “gifted”—or at least, orks don’t get tutors and special classes and pats on the back. To be especially good at something, they must cheat Krom.
Cheating Krom gives an ork the ability to steal dice from the Orkmaster—that is, the GM who represents Krom in an Ork! session. You roll them alongside your own to do especially well at something. The downside? Krom can’t be cheated forever, and those same dice get added to some future roll against you. Todd Miller’s called the new edition a game of “passing the dice around,” and that’s intentional, as swiping dice back and forth, to defy and be punished by Krom, is part of play.
Magic: Ork! features a lot of magic. Most of it takes the forms of items orks either find during adventures, or are given by their leader, the Warlock (changed from “shaman” in the last edition). To activate them, players roll against the item’s Krom dice. Magic is, after all, a form of cheating, and Krom prefers orks use their toothy snouts and meaty hands to get things done. In addition, this edition features ways for orks to use magic themselves. Todd’s experimented with this idea, and wanted a system that could deal with it without leading to “magic-user” types annotating their character sheets with boring stuff. Thus, all magic deal’s with Krom’s Curse—and if you’re trying to twiddle your thumbs and magick up some missiles, well, Krom doesn’t like that one bit. But the world is weird, and Krom wants orks to show a little backbone (their own, or one ripped out of an enemy vertebrate), so this punishment is about flavor, not giving the players a bad time.
You Am Play!
I’ve grown pretty attached to Ork! and have really enjoyed collaborating with Chris and Todd, and seeing the great work people have put into the game. Now that it’s my turn, I’m taking their advice and looking at it with an eye toward how I’d like it to run. That means breezy, brief rules, plenty of room for improvisation, and a system that leashes a couple of fun ideas to a system designed to unleash a little orkish mayhem. Hope you like it! Or, uh, you am like it!
Jack also hates writing bios...
Latest posts by Jack Norris (see all)
- Ronin Roundtable: Wim (Fantasy AGE iconics 2) - February 27, 2017
- Ronin Roundtable: Aza (Fantasy AGE Iconics 1) - October 17, 2016
- Ronin Round Table: Fantasy AGE Bestiary Table of Comments - July 12, 2016
Hey Fantasy AGE fans, Jack again. Some time ago we introduced you to Aza, our iconic warrior as featured on various images and in our warrior entry in the Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook. This time we’re turning to the mystical side of things and taking a look at Wim, our mage.
Pale-skinned, well-dressed, and bearded, Wim Iakabal fits many people’s idea of a wealthy dwarven merchant or scholar. The scion from a family of famed academics, Wim studied classic architecture and engineering at several esteemed universities until his natural aptitude for the mystic arts was discovered. Enrolling in the elite King’s College of Magicians (see Fantasy AGE Bestiary, p. 50), he excelled in his studies.
Unlike his many cousins and siblings, Wim was ultimately not content to merely study in the safety of the library or laboratory. In his fortieth year of study, he left the university seeking more dynamic and exciting opportunities. As an expert in ancient structures, complex machinery, and magic he found his particular eclectic skillset was in high demand on various expeditions to explore lost tombs, ruined cities, and ancient temples. Nearly dying on an early expedition to a trapped temple rumored to hold vast treasures, he was rescued by and fell in with his current companions and has been traveling with them ever since.
Wim tends to spend a lot of time thinking, theorizing, and planning. In fact, his companions often tell him he thinks “too much”, especially since it is their skills in battle that must save him when his magical talents fail to protect him from his own curiosity and tendency to distraction. However, his knowledge often comes in handy in a variety of situations, as does his quick wit. Wim is surprisingly hardy for a scholar, a fact owed to a realization of the importance of physical fitness and his dwarven constitution. He isn’t much in a stand-up fight, but can use his magic to great effect in battle. He is rarely without his magical Staff of Channeling, a souvenir from an early adventure. He’s been considering taking up explosives, but so far his companions have convinced him that’s probably more trouble than its worth…
Dwarf Student Mage, Level 5
1 Accuracy (Arcane Blast)
4 Constitution (Running)
3 Dexterity (Traps)
4 Intelligence (Arcane Lore, Engineering, Evaluation, Historical Lore, Lightning Arcana, Research)
Speed Health Defense Armor Rating
11 52 13 0
Weapon Attack Roll Damage
Arcane Blast +3 1d6+4
Staff +1 1d6+1
Unarmed +1 1d3
Favored Stunts: Skillful Casting (2 MP), Magic Shield (3 SP), Split Spell (4 SP), and That Makes Me Wonder (3 SP)
Specialization: Arcane Scholar (Novice)
Class and Race Powers: Arcane Blast, Arcane Focus, Darksight
Arcana: Healing (Novice), Lightning (Journeyman), Power (Novice)
Spellpower: 14 (16 for Lightning Arcana) Magic Points: 50
Spells: Arcane Awareness, Jolt, Healing Touch, Revival, Shock Blast, Spell Ward
Talents: Lore (Journeyman)
Weapons Group: Brawling, Staves
Equipment: Staff of Channeling (Take a minor Activate Action to reduce the MP cost of the next spell you cast by 2 and grant a -1 SP to any spell stunts), spyglass, compass, books and notes on various theories and discoveries.
With the pre-order of the Freeport Bestiary opening up, I thought it would be worth taking a moment to discuss how to get the most value out of the book. Of course if you are running a Freeport game this is easy – grab monsters as appropriate. We build the book to make that easy! But if you want to use the Freeport Bestiary to add some spice to other classic fantasy campaigns that’s easy too! In essence this is a companion piece to my discussion last year about adding typical Pathfinder Roleplaying Game to a Freeport game, but in this case we’ll talk about how to select the Freeport-themed monsters for your other campaign ideas. Since a fantasy campaign can focus on just about anything, I’ve broken this conversation into specific information the Freeport Bestiary gives you that can help you decide if a specific creature is a good match for your game’s overarching plot.
It’s true of nearly every bestiary, but it’s worth noting that we break down the monsters by CR, and every monster entry gives you information about its type, size, environment, and so on. Sometimes when building an adventure a GM just needs more choices for a CR 14 aquatic encounter, and having more choices to go through expands the odds that you can pick exactly the monster you need. We also talk a bit about what we mean by the various terrain entries, since for some reason monster terrain types don’t use the same terms as ranger favored terrains.
Latest posts by Evan Sass (see all)
We’ve got a new Fantasy AGE Encounter for you today, for just $2.95!
Ancient Shadows: The village of Crows Crossing lies near a site of ancient ruins and standing stones. Someone has explored where they should not have, and the heroes must decide what to do, lest something terrible be unleashed upon the world.
Ancient Shadows is a Fantasy AGE RPG adventure for heroes of levels 5-8.
Fantasy AGE Encounters are short “side quests” that can be used as is or expanded into longer adventures.
Latest posts by Evan Sass (see all)
The pre-order window for the Freeport Bestiary for the Pathfinder RPG is now open!
The world of Freeport is a perilous one, as any swab can attest. Sailors face monsters like ocean wyrms and sail dragons, explorers must deal with ghost eaters and harpoon crabs, and city dwellers may be surprised by burnlings and flayed men. You’ll find all these creatures and many more in the Freeport Bestiary for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game!
This 180-page, full-color sourcebook includes a wide variety of threats, from classic Freeport adversaries like serpentmen and fire spectres to new monsters like corsair drakes and witch beasts. It’s the perfect complement to Freeport: The City of Adventure and can be used to add spice to any Pathfinder Roleplaying Game campaign.
As with all of our RPG book pre-orders, when you place your pre-order in our Green Ronin Online Store, you’ll be offered the PDF version of the book for just $5 when you check out. If you prefer to shop locally, make sure your retailer takes part in our Green Ronin Pre-Order Plus program, and they will be able to get a coupon code for you to order the PDF from us when you pre-order the physical book from them.
Latest posts by Evan Sass (see all)
GREEN RONIN AND GREATER THAN GAMES TEAM UP FOR SENTINELS OF EARTH-PRIME
New Card Game to Bring Together Mutants & Masterminds and Sentinels of the Multiverse
February 14, 2017—SEATTLE, WA: Green Ronin Publishing and Greater Than Games announced today that they would be working together to create Sentinels of Earth-Prime, a new version of the hugely successful Sentinels of the Multiverse card game using the core setting of the Mutants & Masterminds RPG. The game, a joint venture between the companies, is coming to Kickstarter in April.
“Nothing says superheroes like a great team up!” said Green Ronin President Chris Pramas. “We are big fans of Sentinels of the Multiverse around here, so there was no way we were going to pass up the chance to work with Greater Than Games. I’m especially excited that Christopher Badell, the original designer of Sentinels of the Multiverse, will be designing Sentinels of Earth-Prime as well.”
“Mutants & Masterminds is one of our favorite super-heroic RPGs—we’ve been fans since the first edition,” said Christopher Badell, Editor-in-Chief of Greater Than Games. “Some of the side characters from Sentinels of the Multiverse even started out as heroes and villains from our home games of M&M! So, when Chris Pramas mentioned doing a Mutants & Masterminds card game, we jumped at the chance. I am eager to bring the rich lore, characters, and settings from Steve Kenson—a hero in his own right—to the card game format, now that the Sentinels of the Multiverse line is coming to a close.”
Earth-Prime has been the core setting of the Mutants & Masterminds RPG since its debut in 2002. Its characters and stories have been detailed in many books over the years, from Freedom City and Foes of Freedom to Emerald City and the Cosmic Handbook. The Atlas of Earth-Prime, a comprehensive setting book, was just released in January.
Sentinels of Earth-Prime will be a stand-alone card game that can be played on its own or with decks and characters from Sentinels of the Multiverse for universe-spanning action. Its Kickstarter launches in April and Green Ronin will publish the finished game in 2018.
About Green Ronin Publishing
Green Ronin Publishing is a Seattle based company dedicated to the art of great games. Since the year 2000 Green Ronin has established a reputation for quality and innovation that is second to none, publishing such roleplaying game hits as Fantasy AGE, A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying, and Mutants & Masterminds, and winning over 40 awards for excellence. For an unprecedented three years running Green Ronin won the prestigious GenCon & EnWorld Award for Best Publisher.
About Greater Than Games
Founded in January 2011 by Christopher Badell, Adam Rebottaro, and Paul Bender, Greater Than Games, LLC designs and publishes tabletop games. At Gen Con 2011, they released Sentinels of the Multiverse, which was called the best game of Gen Con 2011 by notable reviewers. Sentinels went on to have several highly successful Kickstarter campaigns, culminating in the OblivAeon campaign in 2016, which raised over 1.5 million dollars.
Greater Than Games and Dice Hate Me Games (founded by Chris Kirkman) merged in 2015, combining their powers to maximize the awesomeness of the games they publish.
Contact Green Ronin Publishing
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The forthcoming Titansgrave: World of Valkana setting book has lots and lots of the sort of setting detail one expects from an expansive world book. Details on settlements, geography, culture, and history all about, sprinkled liberally with inspiration for years worth of gaming in this world.
But one of the challenges of any good setting book is to provide new and interesting traits and resources to player characters. The goal is always to provide new material that isn’t just fun but also highlights the setting quite distinctly. They should be materials that feel like a part of the setting come alive, because they are directly relevant to the player characters.
In this week’s RRT discussing these new options, we’re going to look at some of the detail on the races in this setting book. Here is some of the new material available in Titansgrave: World of Valkana.
Though Valkana’s setting uses the core races presented in the Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook, this sourcebook casts a closer eye on them, examining them by their cultures and history as well. Those races capable of crossbreeding with others in the world of Valkana are included in this description. Some of the races even include strange offshoots with distinct differences from their main kin. These subraces – called the nhazera – are detailed as well, including entirely new Benefits charts to reflect their differing lifestyles, cultures, and temperaments.
Below, we include a sample sidebar detailing those characters who are born of the mixing of dwarven blood with other races.
Mixed Race Dwarves
Dwarves rarely breed with those outside their own race, though this is mainly due to societal pressures of the past. These days, dwarves and humans produce handsome, hearty offspring named rockborn. Dwarf and gnome artificers treasure the fey gnome-dwarf children known as daylins. Rumors hold of dwarves mating with elves, orcs, and halflings, but their offspring always resembles one parent’s race, or the other.