20 Years of Green Ronin! (Ronin Roundtable 2020 preview)

This time every January I write a message about our plans for the coming year. This is a special occasion though because 2020 is Green Ronin’s 20th year in business! We’ll be talking a lot more about that all year, looking back at our history and how we got here. I can say that when I started the company, it was a side project to my day job as a Creative Director at Wizards of the Coast. I couldn’t have imagined Green Ronin would still be around in 2020! So what do we have cooking for our big year? Let’s take a look!


Green Ronin’s very first release was a beer and pretzels RPG called Ork! in July, 2000. That game got a new edition worthy of Krom last year if you want to check it out. A month later, at GenCon 2000, we released Death in Freeport, the book that really put us on the map. It was an adventure for the just released third edition of Dungeons & Dragons and it introduced the world to Freeport: The City of Adventure, a setting that mixed classic fantasy elements with pirates and Lovecraftian horror. Since this year is also Freeport’s 20th anniversary, you know we had to do something to celebrate. And what brings people together like a marriage? This year we will finally wed Freeport and Fantasy AGE! Freeport is a setting I created, and Fantasy AGE is a game I designed, so it’s long past due that these two get hitched. This will begin at GenCon with the release of the Fantasy AGE Starter Set, a boxed introduction to both the game and Freeport. After that we’ll publish the Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook, a bigger, better rulebook for the game that features Freeport as its example setting. Further books exploring the city and the larger world of Freeport will follow. In the shorter term, the Lairs sourcebook for Fantasy AGE is almost ready to go to print, just waiting on a few pieces of art, so look for a PDF release and the beginning of the pre-order soon.

 

Nisaba Press, our fiction imprint, will also be supporting Freeport with both short story anthologies and novels. The first novel, I Am Gitch by Lucien Soulban, feature’s Freeport’s most famous goblin! Speaking of Nisaba, we are really ramping up our fiction in 2020, exploring the settings of our Mutants & Masterminds, Blue Rose, and Threefold properties in addition to Freeport. Last year we released two novels and one anthology (Aaron Rosenberg’s Mutants & Masterminds novel Height of the Storm, Joseph Carriker’s Blue Rose novel Shadowtide, and the brand new Sovereigns of the Blue Rose anthology). Our next Mutants & Masterminds novel, Roadtrip to Ruin by Skyler Graye, is at print now so look for that release soon. Later in the year you will see new anthologies for all our properties, the first novel for our Threefold setting, and the release of Joseph Carriker’s Sacred Band, which we announced last year. It’s going to be an exciting year for Nisaba Press!

 

Abzu's Bounty: An adventure path for The Expanse RPGOn the topic of awesome fiction, let’s talk about The Expanse! We launched the game, based on James S.A. Corey’s modern scifi classics, last year, releasing both the core rulebook and Game Master’s Kit. We also brought on Ian Lemke as the developer and he’s already putting his stamp on the line. We are kicking off the year with Abzu’s Bounty, the game’s first big adventure. It’s brand new this month so you can grab it right now. We’re following that up later in the year with two more books: Ships of the Expanse and Beyond the Ring. Ships of the Expanse is exactly what it sounds like: a big book about spaceships, with stats, deck plans, and more. Beyond the Ring is the first sourcebook to advance the timeline. The core rulebook was set between the events of the first and second novel. Beyond the Ring takes things through the third and fourth (Abaddon’s Gate and Cibola Burn). With the ring gates open, there are huge numbers of new star systems to explore, many littered with the ancient relics of dead civilizations. Beyond the Ring opens up a whole new style of adventure for The Expanse RPG and gives GMs all the info and tools they need to support it. Something else you will see this year: Expanse dice! We are working with Q Workshop (who did our dice for Dragon Age and Blue Rose) to make three different sets of the dice. Earthers, Martians, and Belters can all represent!

 

Modern AGE, under the stalwart leadership of developer Malcolm Sheppard, is going from strength to strength. Last year we launched Threefold, the first original setting for the game, and it is a stunner. We are starting this year off with Enemies and Allies (at print now), the adversary book for Modern AGE. It details NPCs and creatures, covering genres such as modern fantasy, horror, near future SF, technothrillers, and crime dramas, and provides new mechanics to support them. We’re following that up with Five and Infinity, a collection of adventures for Threefold that cover all levels of play. It also introduces the Infinity Engine, a tool for using random chance and choice to generate both original adventures and new planes of existence to stage them in. Then we have the Mastery Guide, the last of what one might consider the “core books” of Modern AGE (the others being the Basic Rulebook, Companion, and Enemies and Allies). While you might think of the Mastery Guide as a GM’s guide, that’s only half the story. It also provides advice and support for players, so everyone can up their game.

 

Meanwhile, the Kingdom of the Blue Rose continues to thrive under the benevolent rulership of developer Joseph Carriker. The next book in the line is Envoys to the Mount, an epic adventure that spans five years of game time and all four tiers of Blue Rose play. This is a full campaign that will keep your group busy for some time. If you want a smaller commitment, Six of Cups is there for you. It’s an anthology of six shorter adventures, along the lines of Six of Swords from a couple of years back. After that comes Touching the Wild, which is a dual-purpose sourcebook. Half of it is a bestiary about the shadowspawn. The other half is a player’s guide to the rhydan, the psychic animals of the Blue Rose setting. This does include the option of an all rhydan party!

We are keeping Joe very busy this year because he’s also working with co-developer Tanya DePass on Fifth Season Roleplaying, licensed from N.K. Jemisin’s fantastic Broken Earth trilogy. We announced the game at GenCon and it will release towards the end of the year. The game will use a revised and updated version of our Chronicle System, the engine that powered our Song of Ice and Fire RPG. We’ll have a lot more to say about Fifth Season Roleplaying as we get closer to release so stay tuned!

Image shows the three novel covers from N.K. Jemisin's The Broken Earth trilogy. The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate, and The Stone Sky.

 

All that is great, but don’t you want to get super sometimes? Well, Mutants & Masterminds has got you covered! Superdev Crystal Frasier (who is by the way, doing the graphic design of the whole line in addition to game development) has a lot of comic book goodness coming your way. First up is the Time Traveler’s Codex, a sourcebook that covers the myriad of ways you can use time travel in your campaign and explores some popular eras for such shenanigans. After that is the Vigilante’s Handbook, which is all about running street level campaigns. If you want a break from four-color heroics, this book provides a grittier option for lower level characters. Then there is Danger Zones, a sourcebook that provides 30 different urban backdrops for superheroic action, each of which includes a map, special features, and adventure ideas. This book will be super handy for time-pressed GMs. Pick a danger zone and some villains and you’re ready to rock. Something else we know Mutants & Masterminds GMs have been wanting is more adventures. Last week we started a new PDF series called Astonishing Adventures. This will provide a regular stream of new adventures, which should make things a whole lot easier for M&M GMs.

That ends our whirlwind tour of 2020! There’s even more to come, like The Lost Citadel and the Book of Fiends for 5E, and our Sentinels of Earth-Prime card game, but we will talk about those a little later. Thanks for all your support these past 20 years. It means the world to us that so many of you love and play our games. See you on the convention circuit!

Chris Pramas

Green Ronin Publishing

Astonishing Adventures: Power Play (Mutants & Masterminds PDF)

Astonishing Adventures: Power Play

Power Play: A complete M&M adventure PDF for $4.99!

We are pleased to present Astonishing Adventures: Power Play, an urban Mutants & Masterminds adventure PDF for 4-6 heroes of PL 10! Power Play is now available in our Green Ronin Online Store.

Bizarre heists and gang warfare rock the city as a new criminal organization—the Black Rose Syndicate—begins to seize control of the underworld. But the Syndicate has far more ambitious plans and a secret weapon that will guarantee them control of not only the city’s criminal elements, but the city itself! Can the heroes strike a deal with the devil they know and locate the secretive leader of the Black Rose in time, or will they be blacked out as part of the Syndicate’s Power Play?

Astonishing Adventures bring exciting new adventures for Mutants & Masterminds, Third Edition to you every single month, complete with all the action and villains you need to bring the story to life!

HEED THE CALL TO ADVENTURE! (Ronin Roundtable)

Brave heroes stand up to stop super-powered opponents whose abilities place them beyond the reach of most law enforcement. But what’s the villains plot? How do they lay the groundwork? And how do they react once a band of meddling kids starts sniffing around their scheme? It’s not a secret that Mutants & Masterminds is a fun system but lacks much adventure support. Groups are still playing our introduction to 3e, Emerald City Knights a decade after its release because we’ve been falling down on providing more adventures for you.

One of the reasons Green Ronin asked me aboard to develop Mutants & Masterminds is for my experience developing fun adventures. And while a lot of my attention has gone into delivering on all the outstanding projects and sewing my costume for the last few years, we’ve all been tinkering away in the background to solve the greatest of M&M challenges: adventure!

 

Welcome to Astonishing Adventures

Astonishing Adventures is a new monthly PDF series of superhero adventures, written by some of the best minds in the RPG industry today, like Steve Kenson, John Polojac, Lyz Liddell, Amber Scott, and many more. Each adventure includes everything you need to play, including some suggestions for how to bring your superheroes into the excitement, how it might tie in to Earth-Prime, suggestions for expanding the adventure if you want more than just one or two nights’ entertainment, and all the statblocks you need, generally clocking in around 15-20 pages of excitement.

We’ve also played around with the statblock presentation so GMs can find the information they need at a glance, with a compact summary whenever a combatant is mentioned in the running text and more details in each adventure’s Cast section. As both a graphic design and a GM, I’m pretty happy with that development.

 

 

While most of the Astonishing Adventures will be designed with standard PL 10 “cape and cowl” heroes in mind, we’ll also be releasing support for cosmic teams, hero high adventures, and more as time goes on.

Our first round of releases drop next week. You’ll be seeing the urban adventure Power Play and the assault on a volcano fortress that is The Island of Dr. Sersei, the two new adventures included in the Deluxe Gamemaster’s Guide, letting you run the adventures even if you still keep your original Gamemaster’s Guide! February will see Rise of the Tyrant as well as the lighthearted Reign of Cats and Dogs, and every month after will see the release of one or two new adventures. We’ve got text and art orders ready to carry us for the next 12 months, so let’s make 2020, and our own 20th Anniversary, the year of adventure!

 

Q&A

Are you going to be releasing Astonishing Adventures in print?

Mutants & Masterminds 3rd edition has produced several books from regular PDF series in the past, but we’re not currently planning to release any of these adventures in print. If there’s a lot of fan demand that might change, but for the time being, they’re PDF exclusive.

Will there be two adventures every month?

We plan to alternate. Some months will release a single adventure and other months will have two.

Will you make an Astonishing Adventure around my favorite M&M villain?

I don’t know. Hopefully. There are a lot of great Mutants & Masterminds villains, so I don’t know that we’ll get to all of them, but we’ll try to provide a good mix of classic fan favorite and new or niche weirdoes. Conundrum, Cerebrus Rex, and Medea are all coming soon, and even more villains are showcased in our Mutants & Masterminds fiction from Nisaba Press.

How much will each Astonishing Adventure cost?

Each Astonishing Adventure is $4.99 USD, less than the price of a foot-long sub!

Are you planning to do more multi-part adventures like Emerald City Knights?

The NetherWar is brewing. Stayed tuned for more information.

Happy Holidays from Green Ronin Publishing!

Everyone at Green Ronin would like to wish you the very best this Holiday Season, and we’ll see you soon in the new year!

Green Ronin Publishing will be closed from today, December 22nd and will return on January 6th.

Roadtrip to Ruin: a new Mutants & Masterminds novel (Ronin Roundtable)

I love working on book covers. It’s not my primary skill set, but I’ve done enough now to feel vaguely competent, and I’ve gotten to work with some incredible artists, so I’ve learned a lot.

But this is the first time I’ve written “The Pomeranian is the wrong shade of green. We need him to look more radioactive.”

Thankfully, the artist, Dale Ray Deforest, took it in stride and did, indeed, make the Pomeranian a more radioactive green.

 

This book has been quite a lot of fun to work on in general. I first met Skyler in Austin, Texas, during one of the most memorable weekends of my life – I was at World Horror Convention, got the worst food poisoning of my life, was breaking up with a boyfriend, and had my first book signing for my first anthology (I did that signing half a bottle of Jack Daniels in, because it turns out whiskey can help calm food poisoning). I loved her work, and when I needed an author to write a Mutants & Masterminds novel for Nisaba, she was an immediate choice.

She had a strong concept almost immediately, and turned over a draft that had me laughing as I read it. The basic premise is a familiar one: a girl entering adulthood, trying to find her way into her new responsibilities.

In Roadtrip to Ruin, there’s nothing normal about Hannah’s life. Going to school with a rich social media celebrity, breaking people out of the hospital, trying to make friends with a demon, and embarking on a road trip to find out where she came from, that’s all just Monday for Hannah.

And yes, the dog is green.

Pick up Roadtrip to Ruin¸ a Mutants & Masterminds novel by Skyler Graye, from Nisaba Press/Green Ronin Publishing soon!

Green Ronin Is At PAX Unplugged

PAX Unplugged logoGreen Ronin is at PAX Unplugged this weekend, exhibiting in booth 3649 in the Expo Hall and running games all weekend (with the able assistance of our Freebooters) in the Tabletop Freeplay hall. We will have copies of Abzu’s Bounty (the soon-to-be-released adventure path for The Expanse RPG), Critical Role: Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting, Threefold, Superteam Handbook, the novels Height of the Storm and Shadowtide, and more!

PAX Unplugged and Freebooting

Green Ronin is very excited to be attending PAX Unplugged again this year. PAX Unplugged is Penny Arcade’s completely analog convention. It’s become known as the convention where people actually play games – a lot of them! Crazy, right? So, if you are in Philadelphia the weekend of December 6 – 8, please come join us and play some games.

You will be able to find us at Exhibitor’s Hall Booth 3649. Even better is that this year we will also have a table within the free play hall in an area designated for exhibitor demos. We will have our own dedicated table throughout the entire weekend!

Speaking of the demo table – we could really use a few more people to help us run games. Does this sound like fun to you? In addition to the fun of running games, Green Ronin will reimburse your badge and give you a t-shirt. Win-win for all of us!

If you’re already a Freebooter and interested, please contact me to discuss details.

Not a Freebooter but still want to run games for us? No problem! Becoming a Freebooter is fun, easy, and packed with perks. The first step is to fill out this form. If you want to help with PAX Unplugged, please also send me an email at freebooters@greenronin.com to make sure I expedite your application.

The Expanse RPG – Gen Con 2019

Finally, if you’re attending PAX Unplugged, please feel free to drop by our booth and say hello. Happy gaming!

Spooky Superhero Times!

With Halloween fast approaching, this is a time for seasonal merriment, and there are few things merrier than punching self-important super villains in the face! To celebrate this spooky time of year—a favorite around the Green Ronin offices—we’ve prepared a special treat: A free adventure for Mutants & Masterminds, Third Edition!

Nothing To Fear

Nothing to Fear is a short seasonal adventure set in Freedom City. As the heroes attend the city’s annual Halloween parade, sinister agents are afoot, looking to spread fear and chaos among the attendees. Only swift action can prevent a fun-filled holiday from mutating into a night of violence. Nothing to Fear is self-contained, with the major villain stat blocks provided for you. All you need to play is a copy of the Deluxe Hero’s Handbook and either the Gamemaster’s Guide or the Deluxe Gamemaster’s Guide! It’s also a stealth preview of our upcoming PDF Astonishing Adventures line, coming later this year. More details on that as we get closer.

Download Nothing to Fear here!

 


And check out last year’s previous Halloween Adventurer: Monster Mash-Up!
And for more holiday fun, (even though it’s still months away, despite what the seasonal aisle in retail stores might like you to think): Crisis on Christmas!

Nisaba Journal Issue 3 (PDF, mobi, epub)

Nisaba Journal Issue 3Nisaba Journal Issue 3 is now available for purchase and download. For $6.99 you get three formats: PDF, epub, and mobi.

Nisaba Journal

Open the Nisaba Journal and immerse yourself in original fiction gathered from your favorite worlds. Issue 3 collects five tales from two of Green Ronin’s most popular settings—Blue Rose and Mutants & Masterminds—and offers ideas for incorporating the heroes, villains, and adventures from the stories into the ones you tell in your own campaigns.

Featured Stories 

Blue Rose:

“Nearly Perfect,” by F. Wesley Schneider

Whoever said your lover should never change you might not have had flesh-shaping arcana at their fingertips.

“Those Who Wait, Part 4,” by Rhiannon Louve

Marn and Kiyn continue trying to unravel the corruption spreading through Aldis while dealing with their feelings for each other.

“The Price of Mercy, Part 2,” by Clio Yun-Su Davis

Family and obligation continue to clash even beyond death and freedom.

“The Rhy-Horse,” by A. B. Neilly

A lonely young rhydan, burdened by the expectations of his herd, finds his bonded companion, but deadly trouble is brewing.

Mutants & Masterminds:

“A Great Day for Trepidation,” by Eytan Bernstein

Kevin’s built a team, and now the bad guys are coming for them.

Pick up Nisaba Journal Issue 3 today!

Height of the Storm, A New Mutants & Masterminds Novel

Height of the Storm cover imageHeight of the Storm by Aaron Rosenberg is a new Mutants & Masterminds novel from Nisaba Press, available for preorder and in three formats of ebook (epub, mobi, and PDF), in our Green Ronin Online Store.

Lindsey’s life changed the night she saw her beloved grandfather in his superhero guise for the first time. It changed again the day she got caught in a strange storm, and she took up her grandfather’s mantle as a protector. Diagnosed at a young age with a rare chronic illness, she must balance her family’s protectiveness against her desire to carry on their legacy and prevent a bitter genius from taking revenge on those who slighted him.

Height of the Storm is the first novel to explore Earth-Prime, the setting of the hit superhero RPG Mutants & Masterminds.

 

About the Author

Aaron Rosenberg, authorAaron Rosenberg is the author of the best-selling DuckBob SF comedy series, the Dread Remora space-opera series, the Relicant epic fantasy series with Steve Savile, and the O.C.L.T. occult thriller series with David Niall Wilson. Aaron’s tie-in work contains novels for Star Trek, Warhammer, World of WarCraft, Stargate: Atlantis, Shadowrun, Eureka, and more. He has written children’s books (including the original series STEM Squad and Pete and Penny’s Pizza Puzzles, the award-winning Bandslam: The Junior Novel, and the #1 best-selling 42: The Jackie Robinson Story), educational books on a variety of topics, and over seventy roleplaying games (such as the original games Asylum, Spookshow, and Chosen, work for White Wolf, Wizards of the Coast, Fantasy Flight, Pinnacle, and many others, and both the Origins Award-winning Gamemastering Secrets and the Gold ENnie-winning Lure of the Lich Lord). He is the co-creator of the ReDeus series, and a founding member of Crazy 8 Press. Aaron lives in New York with his family. You can follow him online at gryphonrose. com, on Facebook at facebook.com/gryphonrose, and on Twitter @gryphonrose.

Nisaba Press

Nisaba Press is the fiction imprint of Green Ronin Publishing, under the leadership of Editorial Director Jaym Gates. Nisaba publishes novels, anthologies, and nonfiction tied to the rich and varied worlds of Green Ronin’s tabletop roleplaying properties and the larger world of tabletop gaming. With the release of Joseph D. Carriker’s Shadowtide and Aaron Rosenberg’s Height of the Storm, Nisaba Press brings a new facet to Green Ronin’s award-winning worlds.