Pathfinder Short Cuts: Thanemages of Freeport (PDF)

Pathfinder Short Cuts: Thanemages of Freeport (PDF)

Pathfinder Short Cuts: Thanemages of Freeport (PDF)

Today we resume our Short Cuts series of Pathfinder-compatible PDFs. These are tightly-focused PDF products that look at a single topic relevant to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. All Short Cuts are appropriate for use with Freeport: The City of Adventure, but can also be easily used in any Pathfinder RPG-compatible campaign setting.

Short Cuts: Thanemages of Freeport is a 7-page pdf that presents a new base class designed to operate in Freeport, but appropriate for use in any Pathfinder Roleplaying Game-compatible campaign setting. Thanemages are warriors who also study arcane secrets, combining armed might with magical skill to sometimes devastating effect (especially against supernatural foes). They are combatants first and foremost, but have learned that against some foes magic is the only effective weapon. This flexible approach applies both to their spellcasting (requiring them to prepare spells in advance, but allowing them to choose from among all their prepared spells when deciding what to actually cast), and the supernatural powers they learn to turn against horrifying eldritch foes.

Get the Pathfinder Short Cuts: Thanemages of Freeport PDF today for just $2.95!

Return to Freeport, Part Two: The Abyssinial Chain (Pathfinder Adventure PDF)

Return to Freeport Part Two: The Abyssinial Chain (PDF)

Return to Freeport Part Two: The Abyssinial Chain (PDF)

Freeport and Pathfinder fans, it’s time for the second part of Return to Freeport, The Abyssinial Chain

Return to Freeport
Freeport is known for its adventures, from Death in Freeport (the one that started it all!) to the mega-adventure Black Sails Over Freeport. Now the City of Adventure goes back to its roots with Return to Freeport! This six-part adventure series for the Pathfinder RPG is a new way to begin your Freeport adventures.

Part Two: The Abyssinial Chain
A silent threat grows in Freeport’s streets, even as the city’s newest heroes bring the terror of the Brine Witch to an end. One of the pirate city’s own leaders brings Freeport ever closer to war, lining his traitorous pockets even as he plans to open the city to foreign invasion.

Ronin Round Table: GenCon 2016 Roleplaying Games!

 

GClogo-header-2016-91a751cab7b3dc33dd0ac3b3b95595ac9c4e1b4bc5f42b6388531396cb8729beAs I’m sure most folks know, the events registration for GenCon 2016 went live on Sunday. As an aid to everyone who is interested in playing some of their favorite Green Ronin Publishing roleplaying games at GenCon—or trying out one they’ve never played before—we thought we’d compile a handy list of links to those games, by game.

What follows is not a complete list of Green Ronin Publishing games ato be had at GenCon. It’s just a collection of the games we’ve helped put together and coordinate for this year’s convention. See you there!

Reminder: While some of these games are already sold out (a big thanks to all of that enthusiasm!), remember that lots of folks over-buy, and then drop events as they figure out their schedule. Moreover, things happen and sometimes people aren’t able to show for a game, so make sure to pick up some generic tickets and if there’s a game you’re really interested in, show up to it and see if there are any slots unfilled when game time rolls around. Our GMs are only too happy to help.

Read more

Return to Freeport, Part One: The Curse of the Brine Witch (Pathfinder Adventure PDF)

Return to Freeport, Part One: The Curse of the Brine Witch

Return to Freeport, Part One: The Curse of the Brine Witch

In other Freeport news, today we present Return to Freeport, Part One: The Curse of the Brine Witch

Return to Freeport
Freeport is known for its adventures, from Death in Freeport (the one that started it all!) to the mega-adventure Black Sails Over Freeport. Now the City of Adventure goes back to its roots with Return to Freeport! This six-part adventure series for the Pathfinder RPG is a new way to begin your Freeport adventures.

Part One: Curse of the Brine Witch
For weeks a supernatural plague curses the eastern part of the city. Folk from every eastern district are losing their minds, taking their own lives, going on murder sprees, falling sick with incurable diseases, or simply vanishing. Rumors of monsters and black magic swirl through the city, and many believe it is the return of the Brine Witch—a powerful and vicious sea hag that preyed upon the city during the Freeport-Mazin War. Freeport’s newest heroes are thrust into this the middle of this chaos and do their best to discover the truth.

Return to Freeport, Part One: Curse of the Brine Witch (Pathfinder Adventure PDF)

Ronin Round Table: Heroes of Freeport: Janica Flamefist

Heroes of Freeport present the backstory of some of the characters depicted in art (and sometimes text) in Freeport: City of Adventure, and the Return to Freeport adventure path. They serve as examples of the kinds of characters that may be found in the City of Freeport, and be used as inspiration for PCs or as NPC backgrounds for the GM to draw from.


“We thought it was just a bad year. Illness spread through the streets, and we blamed rotten food. Neighbors disappeared, and we blamed the cutthroats. But the truth was far worse. A cult of maniacs had begun to loose ghouls in the sewers nearby. No one believed us, and no one helped us. So we learned how to fight the undead ourselves. And I learned how to do it better than anyone else.”

—Janica Flamefist, Monster Slayer (Freeport: City of Adventure, 371)

P345_Malika__vpcorbella_2.0Janica is a third-generation citizen of Kizmir, and the granddaughter of Captain Janyr Flameblade who commanded the sailing ship Sultan’s Fist 102 years ago when the azhar Sultan Mustafa VI invaded the southern coast of the Continent. Her grandfather was at the front of the forces that marched northward and helped claim the land that is now the nation of Kizmir, and in return he was rewarded with lands and privileges. Along with several other ex-soldiers, Janyr founded Tzeset, a large town in northern Kizmir lying between the Ozkurt Forest and the Broken Land. The people of Tzeset turned their eyes to the woods of the Ozkurt Forest, and began to conquer them.

The trees on the northern edge of the Ozkurt are ancient, tall, and strong, making them perfect for long keels and high masts. Felling these trees and shipping them south to the nation’s capital of Milsar has brought wealth to Tzeset for more than fifty years. Such work is not without risks – kobold warrens often raid the logging operations, and larger, more dangerous creatures sometimes attack out of the Broken Lands, but within the stout walls of the town the families of Tzeset grew wealthy and content. As long as the lumber continues to be shipped to Kizmir’s great shipyards, to ensure the sea fleets of Sultan Mourtos II (Master of the Azhar and Keeper of the Eternal Flame) are always expanding, the Sultanate does not much care about local affairs.

Normally, this suited Janica and her family quite well. Fiercely independent, the azhar townsfolk enjoyed being largely left to their own devices. When the logging went well, the town would hold great festivals. When it went poorly, if the effort to cut the wood was too costly or some threat proved bloody to overcome, the townsfolk banded together and pushed on. Janica’s family were well respected and rich, and used their considerable resources to help the less fortunate in bad years.

Then came a very bad year.

The Ruin of Tzeset

Illness spread rapidly through Tzeset, and dozens died. Entire logging parties failed to return from the woods, and supporting farms were razed to the ground. The azhar were saddened, but not overly concerned. Raiders from the Ivory Ports sometimes attacked outlying groups and monsters from the Broken Lands had caused damage in the past, but the town itself was always safe. Many of its bravest and boldest went out to find the cause of their ills, and set them right. Janica, more interested in business than warfare, paid such efforts no heed.

Until none of the brave heroes returned.

The situation within the town itself grew worse. Dismembered bodies were found in the street. Strange symbols were etched in alleyways. The town’s sewer system, a marvel of underground engineering built by gnomish experts from Iovan, began to echo with growls, moans, and cries for mercy. New disappearances occurred every week, and those who wished to flee the town soon discovered that small parties outside the town walls at night were beset by pale humanoids each night, and suffered even greater losses than those in Tzeset. Janica’s family organized patrols in the neighborhoods near their manor, and Janica did not hesitate to join them. From above the mantle, she removed her grandfather’s massive falchion, supposedly forged in the City of Brass itself, and carried it over her shoulder.

Both lone couriers and large, armed parties were sent to outlying towns and even Milsar, begging for help. None came.

As the deaths and disappearances mounted, panic began to set in. The attackers grew more bold, bursting out of the sewers, covered in the stench of the place, to slash with long claws and bite with sharp teeth. Their victims often made no effort to defend themselves, and whispers began that the attackers were so horrific that to see them up close was to be paralyzed with fear. There appeared to be no safe refuge, no way to flee, and no hope of aid arriving.

The Nightmare Lair

Janica’s family did not panic. They gathered together those friends and allies who still trusted them, and made a simple statement. This evil comes from the sewers. So into the sewers we must go, to seek out the source, and destroy it. Janica and each of her parents swore to lead whoever would follow in three parties, to assault the major entrances of the sewer all in one night. They asked for aid from hundreds of the people of Tzeset. When they gathered that night, they were joined by fewer than two dozen.

Janica’s memories of that night are confused, and drenched with blood. Within the sewers were the horrific monsters of fang and claw, and the scent of them was worse than the smells of the sewers themselves. But there were also elves, humans, and even a few azhar, dressed in tattered robes marked with yellow sigils, and if anything they were worse than the pale creatures of fang and claw. Many of Janica’s allies died that night, but so did many of their enemies. And Janica discovered she could, if pressed, unleash her inner fire, her ancient hereditary connection to the efreet, and release a light so pure, the horrid pale attackers fled before it.

Janica’s family hauled several mangled, clawed bodies to the surface, and showed the town the face of their horror. The creatures where white, with long elven ears, but hairless and hunched. They smelled of putrescence, they left wounds that festered, and their touch could paralyze. The Flameblade family searched the records of their family and found a name to put to this evil – “ghouls.” The next night, armed with scores of emboldened townsfolk, the Flameblades struck into the sewers again. And the night after, and the night after that.

For three months, Janica and her parents lead the assaults into the tunnels and chambers beneath their hometown. Janica studied every ghoul corpse her group killed, and read every manual found on the increasingly rare yellow-sigil-marked cultists. Many of the people of Tzeset became adequate ghoul hunters, but Janica excelled. The town blacksmiths forged armor for her to wear, and her growing militia called her “Flamefist,” to honor her accomplishments.

For a season Janica led the people of Tzeset in reclaiming their town. The ghouls became less and less common, and then suddenly one night there were none. The town’s sewers were fully mapped, with every new chamber and crude tunnel explored. The cultists had fled, leaving behind only a few notes on rituals used to create ghouls, and a vague mention of returning to “our brethren across the sea.” For the town of Tzeset, the long horror was over.

But not for Janica Flamefist.

She and her militiamen carried word of the attack to Milsar, and personally put it in the hands of the Sultan’s head Vizier. She then bid her militia return to their families, and stepped on a ship headed east. In her hand she clutched a scrap of a cultist’s journal, on which had been scrawled a single word.

“Freeport.”

Art by Victor Corbella.

New PDFs: Short Cuts, Atlas of Earth-Prime, Rogues Gallery

This week features three new additions to our ongoing PDF series.

Fifty Campaign Themes

Fifty Campaign Themes

For Pathfinder Short Cuts, we have Fifty Campaign Themes. This is a 10-page PDF offering suggestions and guidance from Owen K.C. Stephens with themes new Pathfinder-compatible campaigns can be built around. Do you want to send the PCs on a voyage of exploration? Turn them into world-changing dam busters? Examine a technological revolution? A campaign can be as simple as a dungeon stomp, or as complex as you want it to be, and these themes can help a GM introduce new directions for a game as an overarching plot, or just a change of pace.


Atlas of Earth-Prime: Atlantis

Atlas of Earth-Prime: Atlantis

The Atlas of Earth-Prime goes from the surface of the world to beneath the seas, exploring the fabled lost continent of Atlantis. Once the home of the most advanced civilization on Earth, Atlantis sank beneath the ocean thousands of years ago, its surviving people transformed into aquatic water-breathers. For decades the House of Atlan—the Atlantean royal family—have held ties to the surface world and hero teams like the Liberty League, Freedom League, and the Next-Gen. Explore their mysterious homeland and dangers in the shifting currents of power in their undersea realm.


M&M Rogues Gallery: Cheat Code

M&M Rogues Gallery: Cheat Code

For Mutants & Masterminds Rogues Gallery, we have Cheat Code. Granted a wish for saving a young woman from attackers, Reggie asked for the ability to use cheat codes IRL. Now, as Cheat Code, he uses his smarts, skills, creativity, and “computer game” powers to pwn any noob he wants! Or, really, anyone he wants.

Get the Cheat Code today—just $1.95!

Pathfinder Short Cuts: Inquisitor Spells of Freeport (PDF)

Pathfinder Short Cuts: Inquisitor Spells of Freeport (PDF)

Pathfinder Short Cuts: Inquisitor Spells of Freeport (PDF)

Today we present the second installment of our Short Cuts PDF series. These are tightly-focused PDF products that look at a single topic relevant to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. All Short Cuts are appropriate for use with Freeport: The City of Adventure, but can also be easily used in any Pathfinder RPG-compatible campaign setting.

Inquisitor Spells of Freeport is a seven-page, full-color PDF featuring several new spells by Owen KC Stephens. The Church of Retribution brought its inquisitors to Freeport generations ago. This was seen as a dark time by many spellcasters, but in truth the inquisitors brought as much spell knowledge as they attempted to repress. The fall of the Church of Retribution caused much of their eldritch lore to become commonplace, at least in Freeport’s spellcasting circles.

Revealed in this PDF are the spells arcane ram, astute fighting, battlelink, beneficence, censure, chastise person, crown of terror, crown of valor, draw on faith, fastheal, foozle, furious assault, locate individual, mark of apostasy, missteps, potent weapon, sanctum, steely will, strength of faith, thievesbane, and vigilance.

These spells are appropriate for any campaign set in the World of Freeport, especially those utilizing Freeport: The City of Adventure, but can also fit with any fantasy campaign compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook.

Pathfinder Short Cuts: Inquisitor Spells of Freeport (PDF)

Pathfinder Short Cuts: Magic Firearms of Freeport (PDF)

Short Cuts: Magic Firearms of Freeport for the Pathfinder RPG

Short Cuts: Magic Firearms of Freeport for the Pathfinder RPG

We are pleased to present the first installment of a new PDF series, Short Cuts. These are tightly-focused PDF products that look at a single topic relevant to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. All Short Cuts are appropriate for use with Freeport: The City of Adventure, but can also be easily used in any Pathfinder RPG-compatible campaign setting.

Magic Firearms of Freeport is a six-page, full-color PDF featuring new magical abilities for firearms and powder, by Owen KC Stephens. A corsair’s weapon can transform from its firearm form to a melee weapon. A hairtrigger firearm is infused with magic to help a wielder strike unexpectedly. A firearm or crossbow imbued with the rumlord’s ability contains a hidden–and deadly–surprise. This PDF includes eleven enhancements for firearms, and three types of special powder.

These firearm special abilities are appropriate for any campaign set in the World of Freeport, especially those utilizing Freeport: The City of Adventure, but can also fit with any fantasy campaign compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook that allows early firearms.

Pathfinder Short Cuts: Magic Firearms of Freeport (PDF)

Ronin Round Table: Freeport Creature Encounters

creatures_covA lot of GMs drawn to Freeport: City of Adventure are relatively new to the Pathfinder RPG, and many who aren’t new to Pathfinder are new to running adventures in a city focused on pirates and cults to elder horrors and serpentfolk. A great deal of advice for both groups is available, much of it in Freeport: City of Adventure, and the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook. But especially given how well Freeport allows a GM to draw in options and monsters from any setting, I thought it might be useful to go over a few oft-overlooked basics on building creature encounters in Freeport.

Change It Up

It’s easy to think a pirate-and-cultists setting like Freeport should focus primarily on humanoid foes, but that can be a mistake. First, it gets boring to face nothing but more warriors and the occasional ranger or sorcerer. Second, PCs are much more likely to identify NPC abilities when they are drawn from the character classes the players can also choose from. And third, it means a weapon that is bane against magical beasts isn’t very useful to the player who wields it.

There’s nothing wrong with having lots of humanoid foes, but it’s also easy to add a few animal and magic beast pets or allies, have cultists accidentally summon outsiders, have aberrations lurk beneath cult strongholds, have one of the main pirates happen to answer to a sea dragon, and so on. Freeport draws its inspiration from stories that primarily focus on human foes, but as a fantasy game there’s no reason not to figure out how chuul and hangman trees figure into local adventures. Read more

Ronin Round Table: The Art of Art Direction

beastfolk

By Hal Mangold

Today’s Ronin Round Table draws back the curtain on some of the behind-the-scenes parts of creating our products. Art is an essential part of the look and feel of most games, and it’s the role of the art director (that’s me) to make sure all that art gets created. To give you all a little insight into the job, we’re going to answer a few common questions about what being an art director is all about.  

What does the art director do?

As the art director, my responsibility is to make sure that all of the art that goes into Green Ronin’s games and publications is up to the standard we’ve tried to set over the years. I select the artists, assign and approve the art, and herd cats to make sure it all comes into our hands by the deadline necessary for publication.  

How does the art direction process work?

It all starts for me with scouting out the artists who have the right style to fit the project. Games like Mutants & Masterminds have a radically different art style than Dragon Age or A Song of Ice & Fire. I contact the artists I want on the project, see if they are available during the timeframe I need them, and get them contracted if they’re interested in working on the project. Ideally, this is done about 4-5 months ahead of time, but circumstances often compress this a bit.  

The art order or brief comes next. This is a description or set of descriptions for the piece of art needed for the product. These can be written either by me or, more often, by the developer of the product, with my role being more to tweak or jazz up those basic descriptions. Sometimes the descriptions are general, sometimes really specific, and different artists work well with each type. In general, I try to art direct with a light touch when I can. I’m hiring the artist for their talents and inspiration, after all. I try to give them as much room to improvise as I can.   

The next step is to take that art order transfer it to the artist or artists. For a cover piece, this part is simple. For interior work with multiple artists, it’s a bit more involved of a process. The art assignments get broken up between the artists, taking into consideration both spreading the artists throughout the book for a unified look, and assigning the right pieces to the right artists based on their relative strengths.

Next the artists submit their sketches for the assignments. I review them to make sure the composition is as strong as it should be, that the basic look is right, that any characters depicted have the correct look, and so on. If revised sketches are needed, the artist submits them, and once everyone is happy with where the piece are going, the artist takes the piece to its final state.

If the project is for a licensed property, there’s one extra step: approval by the licensor. Most licensors require us to submit all of the original art we commission to them so they can make sure it depicts their world and characters properly. Some licensors want to see sketches, and some just care about the final result.

There was a time when there was another step: the artists physically shipping their work to us for scanning. Fortunately almost all artists today (even those working in non-digital mediums) submit digital files. Considering the international nature of the artists we work with, that’s especially fortunate today, with international shipping costs being what they are.  

Once all the art is approved, the art director gives it a look to ensure it’s in the proper color and file format, and that it will reproduce properly when actually printed. After that, the image file is handed off to layout for insertion into the product. The art director’s work is done.

Where do you find artists?

Anywhere and everywhere! The Internet is a fantastic source, of course. Sites like DeviantArt, Artstation and DrawCrowd give artists a place to put their portfolios, and I browse around on them quite often. Sites like Tumblr and Pinterest are also fantastic art resources, both for finding new artists, and building “mood boards” for how I want a particular project to look. It sometimes takes a little internet detective work to find out who created an image found that way, however. Not everyone is great about tagging sources for what they post.

Conventions are another great source for artists. Whether it’s a comic, gaming, anime or just overall sci-fi show, I always keep an eye out for creators whose style might work with one of our games. If we’re actually displaying at a show (like GenCon, for instance), portfolio reviews are another great source for me.

And finally, email submissions come in all the time, and have provided me with some great people I might not have noticed before.

Can I submit my art to Green Ronin?

Absolutely! Anyone is welcome to submit their work (or a link to an online portfolio, preferably), to art@greenronin.com.