Atlas of Earth-Prime: The Mediterranean (PDF)

Atlas of Earth-Prime: The MediterraneanOur crack team of Super-Geographers is back from a long research mission, having saved the world a few times along the way. Thanks to their efforts, Earth-Prime still turns and today’s Atlas of Earth-Prime issue for Mutants & Masterminds, The Mediterranean, is available now!

Once the center of the western world, the Mediterranean is still a land rich in history, culture, and opportunities for adventure. From the Straits of Gibraltar and the secrets of the great rock, to the ancient gods of Greece and modern heroes like the cyber-centaur Professor Chiron and Stella d’Argent, the Star of Italy. Nations once part of the communist bloc face new challenges with the aid of their own heroes, while lands once part of ancient myth see the mingling of magic and modernity.

Atlas of Earth-Prime: The Mediterranean

Ronin Round Table: A Supernatural Opportunity

It’s the week of Halloween here in the States, which means it’s an opportunity for kids of all ages to put on costumes and do a bit of LARPing! Okay, not quite, but it’s pretty close. Actually, what Halloween means to me as a GM and gamer is that it’s the perfect time of year to run or play in a horror-themed game!

With all the werewolves and goblins walking the streets, scary movies on TV, spookily-decorated houses on every block, and ghost stories on everyone’s minds, your friends are primed to play in a Halloween-themed game.

Fear and horror are difficult to elicit in roleplaying games, but this is the perfect time of year to play a one-shot featuring monsters or other scary fare. Break out the candles (or battery-powered tea lights), some subtle, spooky music, dim the lights, and have your friends over for a game featuring the supernatural. Consider it a self-contained story for your heroes that may or may not take place within the continuity of their normal series. Perhaps they take on some of the Cryptids in the forests around Emerald City, or come face-to-face with Frankenstein’s Monster as he searches for the ancestors of his hated creator on the streets of Freedom City. Maybe the walls between worlds grow thin this time of year and real monsters haunt the city for the day—some of them more dangerous than others—so the player characters get to play "ghostbusters" for a while. Anything is fair game this time of year.

When I was in college, I ran a Halloween game that became a yearly tradition. Everyone played the heroes they usually played, but the villains were both a little scarier and sillier than usual. One of those games featured what’s now a classic line among my gaming friends, "You cannot possibly defeat me, for I am made of straw," spoken by the villainous Scarecrow. Another year’s most memorable moment was when a little girl dropped a trick-or-treat bag next to one of the heroes and before he could do anything, a teddy bear tumbled out of the bag, grew to be a full-sized demonic bear that could fly and mauled the poor hero.

This year, I get to play in a one-shot in which a bunch of us, including Green Ronin president Chris Pramas and freelancers Jason Mical and Seth Johnson, will be facing off against vampires, werewolves, and zombies in a haunted castle. It should make for a tense and fun game of supernatural horror, and I’m looking forward to blasting some monsters to smithereens!

Gaming has always been about being social and having fun with your friends. When you can combine that with a bit of suspense, the laughs are even bigger than usual. It’s the start of the week, so you still have time to set up a game for the weekend. It doesn’t have to be Halloween- or horror-themed, but that certainly seems like a natural fit! Check out the Supernatural Handbook for Mutants & Masterminds: both the PDF and the printed book are on sale for 25% off until Halloween. It’s the perfect book if you’re looking for inspiration for a game, or looking for an excellent book on horror games.

Whatever you do this weekend, stay safe and have fun!

Happy Halloween!
Jon Leitheusser
M&M Line Developer

Ronin Round Table: The Food Trucks of Freedom!

We take our inspiration from all kinds of places, particularly real life, working events, people, places, and ideas from our own experiences into our fictional work and our games. Take Freedom City for example, in addition to being a love-letter to many of the things I treasure about superhero comics, Freedom City features a number of “Easter eggs” that are essentially bits of my own experience sprinkled throughout. So there’s no reason the new update of the setting wouldn’t feature the same sorts of things.

Food trucks aren’t normally a thing for me, since I live in a suburban town in southern New Hampshire, a bit outside the usual food truck culture, unless I’m at a particular festival or event. On the other hand, the staff of GenCon in Indianapolis very cleverly decided a few years ago to get the local food trucks involved in supporting the convention, and vice versa. So for the week or so that downtown Indianapolis is crowded with thousands of gamers, there’s also a small fleet of food trucks offering all kinds of cuisine to those hungry gamers who might not have time to visit one of the equally crowded restaurants.

That experience got me thinking, and so one of the additions to the Visitor’s Guide section of Freedom City is the “Food Trucks of Freedom”:

Freedom City enthusiastically embraced the food truck trend in urban catering and restaurants: mobile vendors who can set up their business for a day (or just a portion of one) almost anywhere in the city, serving the needs of passers-by and attracting customers via online social networking and word-of-mouth. Food trucks also often gather near or around major event venues. Some of the more popular local food trucks include:

  • Falafel Tower: Owned and run by two brothers (Maurice and Yusef Larrache), Falafel Tower offers French-Middle Eastern influenced cuisine, including their eponymous falafels, shawarma, hummus, and kabobs.
  • The Fatmobile: This food truck embraces “all that makes food good” with a rotating menu of items focusing on fat- and salt-laden savories, including more uses for bacon than one can imagine.
  • Freedom Fries: A truck best known for their delicious french-fried potatoes (and sweet potatoes) with a variety of sides and toppings. Especially popular are the duck-fat fries with poutine (topped with gravy and cheese curds, Canadian-style).
  • The Soul-Van: A truck offering fried chicken and waffles, collard greens, corn-breads, fried green tomatoes, and other traditional soul-food dishes.
  • Sweet Chariot: A successful food truck business with several trucks in the Freedom City metro area offering a variety of freshly made desserts and baked goods, particularly pies, crumbles, and cookies.

Do you use urban fixtures and trends like food trucks in your own Freedom City, Emerald City, or Mutants & Masterminds game? Drop by our forums and share some of them! Meanwhile, I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling like having a snack…

Atlas of Earth-Prime: The Lost World (PDF)

Atlas of Earth-Prime: The Lost WorldToday’s Atlas of Earth-Prime issue for Mutants & Masterminds: The Lost World is available now!

Brave the savage wonders of the Lost World, from the marble halls and great arena of Nova Roma to the god-ruled mountain civilization of the pteranodon-riding Incas, team up with the Slayer or Zandar the Jungle Lord, and explore the Lemurian ruins of the Serpent People.

Atlas of Earth-Prime: The Lost World

Atlas of Earth-Prime: Northern Europe (PDF)

Atlas of Earth-Prime: Northern Europe (PDF)A land of harsh winters, dramatic landscape, and ancient magics, Northern Europe is also home to some of the most advanced scientific organizations in the world. The region’s diversity has caused it to become a hotbed of superheroic—and supervillainous—activity. Ancient mysticism and modern technology collide, while heroes like Britannia and MacRoth take on threats like Manteis and the monstrous Iku-Turso.

Atlas of Earth-Prime: Northern Europe (PDF)

RPG Designer Tryouts

We are looking for new freelance design talent at Green Ronin. Have you always dreamed of writing for RPGs? This could be your opportunity! Below you will find documents for each of our major game lines (Dragon Age/AGE, Mutants & Masterminds, Pathfinder, and A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying/Chronicle System). These documents are from our line developers and they tell you how to submit for each game. Follow the instructions carefully! This is a key skill for freelancers to have. If we ask for a sample monster and you send an adventure, don’t expect an email back.

Tryouts are open until August 31. We look forward to your submissions!

Atlas of Earth-Prime: South America (PDF)

Atlas of Earth-Prime: South America (PDF)From sweltering tropical jungles to freezing glaciers, from snow-capped mountains and salt deserts to paradisiacal beaches, South America is a land of diversity, both in nature as well as in population. Heroes empowered by the ancient Orixá of Candomble struggle against agents of SHADOW and criminal syndicates alike. Agencies like Brazil’s Secretary of Special Affairs (SAE) and Argentina’s National Superhuman Research Council (CONIS) contend with Extra-Dimensional Alien Intelligences (EDAI) while the small nation of Costazul opens its borders (and often its citizens) to all manner of technological interests, both legal and illegal.

Atlas of Earth-Prime: South America (PDF)

Diversity, ICONS, and M&M on BAMF! Podcast

Steve Kenson, Chris McGlothlin, and Dan Houser recently joined Mike Lafferty on the BAMF! Podcast to chat about diversity in comics, ICONS Assembled Edition, the Cosmic Handbook, and the upcoming Freedom City Campaign Setting (updated for 3e). Listen all about it!

Atlas of Earth-Prime: Central America

Atlas of Earth-Prime: Central America (PDF)Geographically close, culturally diverse, the nations of Central America have served as a bridge between the great continents of North and South America, and that status has cost their people in decades of internecine conflicts, foreign intervention, and injustice. On Earth-Prime, they feel the influence of Aztec sorcerers, ancient Mayan artifacts, super-powered mercenaries, and the sinister tendrils of SHADOW.

Atlas of Earth-Prime: Central America (PDF)

In other Atlas of Earth-Prime news, we have updated the PDF for Atlas of Earth-Prime: Mexico. If you purchased that product through our Green Ronin Online Store, you can log in and click the appropriate link at the bottom of your Account page to download the updated download package now.

Ronin Round Table: I Can Haz Moar Icons?

Icons: The Assembled EditionBy the time you read this Ronin Round Table, the "Assembled Edition" of Icons should be available for pre-order on the Green Ronin online store [Editor’s Note: It is!], after a long process of design, playtesting, art direction, layout, and production. I’m sure one of the very next questions, before the book even hits the printing press and gets into the eager hands of Icons players is: "So, what’s next…?"

Honestly, there isn’t an extensive road-map. I have plenty of ideas, but Ad Infinitum Adventures (the publishers of Icons) is just … well, me, along with stalwart freelancers like artist Dan Houser. Green Ronin Publishing is handling the printing and distribution of the Assembled Edition, but any further projects are just Ad Infinitum, unless we come to another agreement. Considering that running Ad Infinitum is just one of my three or four jobs (depending on how you slice it any given week), there isn’t exactly going to be a massive release schedule.

That said, there are some plans, and Icons benefits from a robust and free open license, which allows some great third-party publishers to step up and offer some products to fill the gaps.

On the Ad Infinitum side, the immediate priority now that the Assembled Edition is done is getting back to wrapping up Dan Houser’s "Rise of the Phalanx" series with The Metaskulk Invasion. Primary text is written, and art (also by Dan) is finished, and it just needs to be developed and laid out. After that, chances are good you’ll see a compilation of all of the Phalanx adventures into a complete "mega-adventure" for Icons as well.

On my to-do list is a minor update of the Great Power sourcebook, mainly making sure references in that book now refer to the Assembled Edition and that the two books are as compatible as possible, since they now form the "core" of Icons as a game system: with the main rules in Assembled and expanded power information in Great Power. The update will likely be available for free to anyone who has the PDF via DriveThruRPG/RPGNow.

I’d also like to see an update of the Icons Character Folio software, bringing it fully in-line with Great Power and the Assembled Edition, but that is entirely dependent on programmer Daniel Gallant, so we’ll have to see what his schedule permits. If there’s news on that front, I’ll be sure to share it.

On the third-party side, Fainting Goat Games is already hard at work on a sourcebook with the working title of The Supervillain’s Handbook for Icons. You may be familiar with their Star City setting or Improbable Tales series of Icons adventures. Artist Dan Houser has more Hero Pack content in the works as well.

The big follow-up question is: What do you want to see next for Icons…? Updates of "classic" villains and adventures? Adventure compilations? Source material? Optional rules? Small, regular product releases or larger, less frequent, books? Electronic, print-on-demand, or both? If you have an Icons "wish list," drop me a line at stevekenson [at] gmail [dot] com and let me know about it!

[Editor’s Note #2: If you pre-order Icons: The Assembled Edition in our Green Ronin Online Store, just forward your email receipt to Steve (you read that previous paragraph, right?) and he will send you a coupon code with which you can get the PDF version for just $5!]