ASSAULT ON THE NERIAN NEXUS: WEST COAST EDITION

Nerian Nexus in Emerald City!

Assault on the Nerian Nexus is out and ready to run your heroes through the gauntlet! And while it’s packed with excitement featuring your favorite Freedom City baddies, an observant fan of our weekly Mutants & Masterminds Monday livestreams raised an excellent question: How do you jump from our previous adventure series, Emerald City Knights, to the events of NetherWar if your group wants to keep the same lineup?

There’s nothing saying you can’t just transplant the personalities and histories of Freedom City directly to Emerald City. Like any comic book series, simply give your heroes a few “villain-of-the-week” style adventures as a palate cleanser, then you can lead right into the events of Assault on the Nerian Nexus. But Freedom City and Emerald City have very different themes and casts, and with the events of Emerald City Knights delving so deeply in the west coast city’s obscured history and establishing the new status quo, you might want to recast the events of NetherWar to fit the west coast flavor.

Re-inventing the NetherWar adventure series to fit Emerald City requires a little more legwork if you really want to lean into the charm and mood of the city established during Emerald City Knights:

Step 1: Pick a Theme

Freedom City’s is inspired heavily by the long comic book histories of major publishers. It’s a melting pot of silly and serious, combining many genres of superpowers and comics with an eye more toward earnest heroics as the unifying theme. Emerald City, with its deliberately concealed history and modern, tech-oriented power boom, is more rooted in modern film and television, drawing inspiration from television shows like Heroes and movies from the new cinematic takes on classic comic mythologies. These sources look for a common and scientific (or believably pseudo-scientific) origin to superpowers and often ignore magic or else describe it like a scientific force not yet entirely understood.

All this is to say: Magic isn’t a major force in Emerald City as depicted in Emerald City Knights, even if the city itself has several noteworthy magical villains.

You as the Gamemaster need to decide if you want to keep the original magical overtones of NetherWar, or convert it to one of the power archetypes more commonly seen in Emerald City, like aliens or psychic ability. Rather than use NetherWar’s existing big-bad, you could use a powerful psychic like Koschei or the Cosmic Mind—who has become disembodied and is now trying to merge with the collective human unconscious to rule the world! Alternatively, you might run NetherWar as an extension of Emerald City Knights, with many of the magical threats being replaced with technology and nanites unleashed by Tellax as the alien robot continues its quest to transmute the Earth into a cosmic weapon.

Step 2: Decide the Histories

The events of NetherWar turn heavily on the actions of Adrian Eldrich before his death, with his old foes re-emerging to threaten the world now that no Master Mage opposes them. If you stick with a magical theme to the series, you’ll need to decide if Adrian Eldrich operated out of Emerald City and left much of his legacy there . If not, you’ll need to cast a replacement. With the Fraternal Order of Evil deliberately concealing much of the city’s superheroic history, it’s entirely possible another powerful mage made their home in the city, and whose legacy was forgotten and stronghold lost upon their death. In this case, it isn’t wards keeping villains from plundering the Nerian Nexus (or whatever you decide to call it), but simple ignorance. The gold rush to reclaim the lost treasures might begin when a Silver Age villain like the original Mad Machinist might babble about the lost stronghold in their old age, or the rediscovery of another Silver Age lair like that of Guild of Justice headquarters in The Reign of Cats and Dogs might point heroes and villains alike to this lost trove of magic.

If you instead decided on a theme other than magic, you’ll need to pick histories and locations to replace the magical ones featured throughout the NetherWar series. The Nerian Nexus might instead be a secret Ghostworks of Majestic-20 lab or a Preserver ruin hidden in the Atlas Mountains or deep below the Pacific Ocean. Peruse the Emerald City sourcebook for inspiration and don’t be afraid to create your own lost legacies in Emerald City to explain the how and why of strange locations.

Step 3: Cast Your Villains

To round out your Emerald City remake of NetherWar, decide which villains from the original adventures you want to keep and who you might re-cast with Emerald City natives.

The menacing Madame Macabre makes an excellent substitute for Medea. While nowhere near as ancient and a good deal more sarcastic, Madame Macabre is still bitter at the world failing her and relies as much on trickery and manipulation as she does brute force to get what she wants. For more powerful magical opponents to replace Malador in later adventures, you might look at Doctor Azathoth or Professor Jackanapes, or the chaos goddess Eris might insert herself into events to complicate everything. The obsessive collector of secrets Arcanix might stand in for Warden, while Toy Boy’s role as the ever-loyal spy might be replaced by another terminally-ill villain like Doubletime or Mosquito.

You can round out your gallery of rogues with magical adjacent villains, such as the Looking Glass Gang and various magic-themed Stormers like Chain, Epiphany Jones, Ghostlight, Lord Etheric, and Silver Sorcerer.

In the end, Astonishing Adventures are tools to help you and your group have a good time. Take what you like, replace what you think will work better, and otherwise customize the adventure to fit your needs!

All the villains and organizations in this post can be found in the pages of the Emerald City and Threat Report sourcebooks.

Ronin Army forums update: All Good Things…

Hello Green Ronin fans,

Today we have guest post from our stalwart forum moderator Fildrigar, on the status of the Ronin Army forums that have been down for the last week.


Ronin Army Gamer Badge

Green Ronin Gamer Badge

Greetings!

I’m Barry Wilson. You might remember me from such internet places as That One Wargaming With Miniatures Forum and Esoteric Prog Rock Fans Online.

I have a long history with, and a deep and abiding love of internet forums. Since I first discovered them in the Nineties, I have whiled away many an hour reading and posting on them. I never had the patience for IRC, far preferring the slower, more thoughtful discourse (and formatting options) forums usually provided. I’ve been moderating Green Ronin’s forums for around eight years now. 

Unfortunately, the time has come to shut down the forums. While it wasn’t an easy decision, it was necessary once we discovered a rather serious security vulnerability that made continuing to support the forum software an untenable position. We have reached the tipping point where the security risks involved with maintaining the forums outweigh the benefits. We tried to find a solution that would allow us to maintain the existing forums in read-only mode, but just running the forum software on our servers would pose too great a security risk. 

Forums have in the past provided a place for people to discuss our games. Increasingly, those discussions have moved to places like Facebook, Reddit, and Discord (and many, many others.) Places like these are allowing us to reach more fans than our small forums did. Searching Facebook for the names of our games will direct you to groups available there. There is also a very robust and friendly Discord community called the Green Ronin AGE Appropriate Discord. You’ll find some of your favorite Green Ronin staff regularly hanging out there to talk about the latest Green Ronin happenings.  

In closing, remember that we love you, keep on gaming, and we’ll see you on the internet.

The Origin of the Book of Fiends (Ronin Roundtable)

This morning we have launched a crowdfunding campaign for a new 5E edition of the Book of Fiends on Game On Tabletop. It’s a great book and we hope you go check out the campaign. If you weren’t gaming in the early 2000s, you may be wondering what the Book of Fiends is exactly and why its return is exciting? Conveniently enough, my last post about the history of the company segues nicely into this, so pull up a chair by the fire and let me tell you a story.

Book of Fiends for 5th Edition. NOW FUNDING!


Legions of Hell

Our first monster book for 3rd Edition. Published in 2001!

Last time I told the tale of Green Ronin’s big launch as a company in the summer of 2000. With the success of Death in Freeport, the immediate course was clear: more Freeport adventures! So we commissioned Terror in Freeport and Madness in Freeport from Rob Toth and Bill Simoni respectively. I would develop those books, but I also wanted to design something else. Since I had written the AD&D Guide to Hell, I decided something infernal would be a great (albeit unofficial) follow-up. And hey, I still had all my research books and notes from the Guide to Hell so even better. The result was Legions of Hell, Green Ronin’s first monster book. It included a bunch of new devils, and my take on the Lords of the Nine Hells. A subtitle on the cover pointed towards the future. It said, “Book of Fiends, Volume One.”

Armies of the Abyss

Published in 2002, and written by Erik Mona

Legions of Hell was another huge hit for us, so it didn’t take me long commission Volume Two. Demons were the obvious choice, so I hired my co-worker Erik Mona to write Armies of the Abyss, which came out in 2002. Erik would, of course, go on to great heights as the publisher at Paizo, but at the time he helped run the RPGA at WotC and Armies of the Abyss was his first RPG title credit. He had fun creating new demon lords and added a new type of demon called the qlippoth that would later migrate to Pathfinder via the Open Game License. Erik did a great job and the book was another solid hit for us. So on to Gehenna, right?

Well, yes, eventually but it was a bumpy road to get there. The first person I hired to write Hordes of Gehenna dropped the ball on the project and had to be replaced. That delay proved fateful because in 2003 WotC announced a 3.5 edition of the D&D core rulebooks. 3.0 books were still mostly usable but there were so many small changes in the rules that it became inconvenient to do so. I decided therefore that Hordes of Gehenna would no longer be a stand-alone book. Instead, it would become part of the Book of Fiends, alongside 3.5 updated versions of Legions of Hell and Armies of the Abyss. Those original books had been modest 64-page softbacks. Book of Fiends would be a hearty 224-page hardback.

Book of the Righteous for 3rd Edition

The Original Book of the Righteous by Aaron Loeb, published in 2002

Three people were key to making the Book of Fiends a reality. First, there was Aaron Loeb, who had written the Book of the Righteous for us in 2002. This is a great book (already updated to 5E a few years back) that presents a complete cosmology, mythology, pantheon, and attendant churches. As part of that Aaron re-concepted Gehenna and that became the basis on which we built Hordes of Gehenna. Aaron’s partner in that was Robert J. Schwalb, who had begun freelancing for us in 2002 with the Unholy Warriors Handbook and would soon come onboard as our d20 line developer. Last but not least, there was Jeremy Crawford, who in addition to editing did much of the 3.5 updating the book required. Jeremy was very good with the rules, and—surprising no one who has worked with him over the years—he went on to work at WotC and is now the Leader Rules Designer for Dungeons & Dragons.

The Book of Fiends for 3.5

The original Book of Fiends, published in 2003!

Book of Fiends came out in 2003 to critical acclaim and great sales. Turns out GMs really love a book chock full of evil outsiders! The following year the Book of Fiends won an ENnie Award.

Today the Book of Fiends returns on Game On Tabletop! Rob Schwalb, who was on the D&D 5E design team, updated and expanded the book. It’s getting the full color treatment this time with all new art. And if we unlock enough Level Ups (what Game On calls stretch goals) we can add fun PC options, an adventure, and tie-in short stories from Nisaba Press (our fiction imprint). Are you ready for some evil? Because we’re bringing the evil.

 

Threefold’s Five and Infinity Goes Serial

So, if you’ve been following Modern AGE, and specifically the Threefold setting, you might be wondering if there’s more to come, given that we called it our “flagship setting.” The answer: Yes! We’re putting together Five and Infinity, a series of adventures and adventure generators for Threefold.

Fine and Infinity, an adventure anthology for the Threefold setting for Modern AGE(What! What’s Threefold? It’s the Modern AGE setting of innumerable planes of existence, each aligned to some combination of high magic, dark forces, and high technology. Heroes typically represent the Sodality, who explore the planes and protect the people they meet, or Aethon, a cabal of posthuman spies working to shape Earth and its alternate timelines. They must contend with strange worlds, interdimensional crime lords, mad scientists, warlocks, and alastors, demon-lords of the Netherworlds. Read more here.)

Five and Infinity was originally slated to be a print release, but this being the era of COVID-19, we’ve had to change that, for reasons discussed here. Instead, we’ll be presenting it as a PDF series with the following parts:

Chapter 0—Adventure Generator: Written by Jesse Heinig, this series of tables outlines adventures for you! This is a taster for the rest of the series, so it’ll cost around a buck, to grab you.

Chapter 1—Hunting Night: Ron Rummell’s adventure takes you after a fallen spider goddess and her brood as they unwittingly invade earth. For Characters of levels 1 to 4.

Chapter 2—The Dreaming Crown: Psychic renegades threaten to wreck diplomatic contact with a new plane. What’s their real agenda? It’s by Steve Kenson, so you know it’s good. For Characters of levels 1 to 4.

Chapter 3—The Soul Trade: Neall Raemonn Price spins an adventure about souls as drugs, multiple dystopias, and pilots who can’t tell which reality they belong to. For characters of levels 5 to 8.

Chapter 4—The Midnight Gold: Visit a demonic casino in a hell of industrial despair, where your debts are literal chains, to free the soul of a foolish gambler and interfere in the politics of Inimicals, the rules of the Netherworlds. Crystal Frasier’s imagination pops in this one. For characters of levels 9 to 12.

Chapter 5—Threshold of Apocalypse: Meghan Fitzgerald is one of the best writer-developers in her cohort so I’m grateful she wrote this adventure, where a time loop beings characters to the literally end of everything, where they must decide if what comes after the end is worth saving. For characters of levels 13 to 16.

These adventures aren’t a campaign per se, but have built-in connections to let you run them that way. In some ways it’s Threefold’s answer to Blue Rose’s Six of Swords (on this page as a collection or individual adventures), which happens to have been my first work for Green Ronin.

There’s some beautiful potential storytelling in Five and Infinity, and Chapter 0 will be available next week. Watch this space!

What is Lost Citadel Roleplaying, Anyway? (Ronin Roundtable)

The release of The Lost Citadel Roleplaying is probably cause for curiosity if you didn’t back the original Kickstarter. In essence, The Lost Citadel is about a fantasy world, Zileska, that has been transformed from something very similar to many traditional fantasy worlds (though with a greater emphasis on non-Western influences than most) by the rise of the undead—simply called the Dead in the setting—to an urban survival horror setting. And just as the world has transformed, so too have our heroes. Even though this is a setting for Fifth Edition, races, classes, magic, and more have been changed by the Dead. Here’s how.

The Lost Citadel, The Dead rise!

Urban Intrigue

The classic theme of survival horror is that it isn’t about the evil of the creatures coming after you, but that locked within survivors. Will you turn on your friends to live another day? Unfortunately, that kind of messes with the dynamics of traditional fantasy games, where we want the party to cooperate. The Lost Citadel’s solution is Redoubt: the last city in the world, where survivors banded together to hold off the Dead. The city is mostly cramped and filled with political chaos, as communities from many cultures protect their traditions and advance their interests. In effect, this takes the classic theme and makes it a slow burn, taking place across multiple enclaves instead of a single group of survivors. That way, the PCs can feel the desperation and threat of betrayal without having to watch for—or plant—knives in each other’s backs.

Magic and Woe

This is not to say there’s no room for personal conflict. Evil is pervasive in The Lost Citadel. It infects the land. It causes people’s sins to poison the earth. It corrupts magic itself. This manifests in the form of the Woe mechanic. Woe may give a living person an unnatural pallor, or cause natural animals to hate the sufferer. In can come from many sources. Evil acts concentrate Woe within someone, but it doesn’t provide an easy way to “detect evil,” because Woe also springs from the spiritual damage caused by contact with certain undead, and from casting magic without using a careful ritual. Woe strikes the good and bad alike, and if too much of it gets in you…death isn’t the end. Consequently, the book presents a variety of original magic-using classes, and even a variant of the monk class, that have adapted to a world claimed by Woe.

Wilderness Adventure Horror

Nevertheless, there’s still room for more of a classic 5e experience. Dungeons? Redoubt was built by dwarves—it’s full of tunnels and fissures. The new masters of the city don’t know all its secrets, and often need adventurers to clear and map lost storehouses, secret foundries, and even cursed tombs. But the bigger, more dangerous quests lie outside the city proper. That’s where the Foresters go. Even with its walled farms, Redoubt isn’t quite self-sufficient. The city needs to do logging, find rare materials left behind during the great exodus from the old nations, and patrol to see if the Dead are gathering in significant numbers. The Forester faction does that job, and needs more than rangers to help. The wilderness can be hauntingly empty or teeming with the Dead, and it’s hard to know which is which until you venture forth. Besides, every other city has fallen, to every building outside the city’s a dungeon, too.

The Last Brass Tacks

Like an absolute genius then, I’ll actually put the vital info last. The Lost Citadel Roleplaying is compatible with and requires the 5e PHB, DMG, and MM. Here’s what you get:

  • The fallen world of Zileska and its last city, Redoubt, described faction by faction and area by area
  • Four new character classes in the Penitent, Beguiler, Sage, and Warrior Monk, and unique variants of the Barbarian, Fighter, Rangers, Paladin, Rogue, and Warlock
  • Zileskan dwarf, elf, and human cultures, and a new race, the ghul
  • 10 new backgrounds
  • A new system for martial arts available to all characters, but especially good for fighters and warrior monks
  • Zileskan magic and its interactions with Woe, the forces of corruption
  • And of course, the Dead: 14 undead monsters in all their rotting glory

You can get it from our online store (GM screen PDF from our store here) or DrivethruRPG (GM screen on DrivethruRPG) now.

Book of Fiends 5E Crowdfunder on Game On Tabletop May 19

Book of Fiends 2003

The original Book of Fiends from 2003, using the 3.5 rules!

We’ve got an exciting crowdfunder coming up later this month and I wanted to tell you a bit about the project and also how it’s different from our previous campaigns. The project itself is a new edition of our classic Book of Fiends monster book for Fifth Edition. The original Book of Fiends came out in 2003 for the 3.5 rules and it was a huge hit for us. We’ve had Robert J. Schwalb, who was on the D&D 5E design team, write all the new stats and rules and you know that the Demon Lord delivers. Book of Fiends will be a stylish full-color hardback with over 130 daemons, demons, devils, and other creatures of the Lower Planes, all beautifully illustrated with brand new art. Got evil? Yes, yes, we do.

The Book of Fiends for 5th Edition

Coming soon to Game On Tabletop! Book of Fiends for 5th Edition

What’s different about this project is that we are doing it on Game On Tabletop. This is a newer crowdfunding platform and we are excited to launch our first campaign there. Game On was created by our long-time partners in France, Black Book Editions. Their vision was to create a crowdfunding platform designed with tabletop games in mind and they’ve done that and more. Game On Tabletop launched in 2017 and has hosted many successful projects since then. Paizo’s highly successful Kingmaker campaign was run there.

Game On Tabletop logo

Game On Tabletop has a lot of great tools, most of which will be invisible to you but are hugely useful to us. The best thing about it is that it’s a crowdfunding platform and a pledge manager rolled into one. This means you’ll be able to take care of everything at one site. You can back the project, buy add-ons, and pay shipping all in one place. If you haven’t backed a project there before, we think you’re really going to like it.

Book of Fiends is coming to Game On Tabletop on May 19 and Hell is coming with it! Also, the Abyss and Gehenna because we’re generous like that. See you there!

For Hart and Queen (Ronin Roundtable)

For Hart and Queen

Cover art by Jian Guo

My first real projects with Green Ronin were all Blue Rose. I wrote a chunk of the setting for Blue Rose, 2nd Ed., and then did the proofreading on it. Later, I wrote an adventure for Six of Swords (Rezea forever!). I’ve also only ever played Green Ronin IP games in the Blue Rose setting (sorry, Crystal and Malcolm and Ian, some day!). I think it’s safe to say I like this setting a lot. I mean, come on, I volunteered to write a guide to the horses of the world of Blue Rose for in-house reference. Never expected to get paid for it, either, but then Joe decided it would be useful, so now that’s part of canon.

Hey, there are some perks to working in games – you get to take your real-life experience with evil ponies and stick it in a game so other people can experience your pain.

ANYWAYS, I love Blue Rose, and when I got to start buying Blue Rose fiction, I was so excited. We’ve brought you a lot of those stories over the last couple of years, but always mixed in with other things. Some fans let us know they wanted all Blue Rose (or all Mutants and Masterminds), all the time, so we took that to heart and started putting together anthologies like Sovereigns, which focused on just the chosen of the Golden Hart.

But the early Blue Rose fiction was scattered everywhere, and I wanted to put that all in one place. Thus, For Hart & Queen was created. I worked with Joe and Steve, the stewards of the Blue Rose world, to pull the Blue Rose stories from the first few years of Nisaba Press into one collection, and then added a few new stories, too.

Along with reprinted stories from authors such as Brandon O’Brien, Lindsay Smith, and F. Wesley Schneider, we have the final installment in Rhiannon Louve’s tale of love and Shadow-corrupted plots, and new stories from Calvin Jim and Jenifer Purcell Rosenberg.

(I am really excited to bring you Calvin’s story: I published a story from Cal in one of my earliest magazine roles, and I’ve been wanting to work with him since!)

For Hart & Queen is a wide-ranging anthology of stories from the world of Blue Rose. From the deadly plains of Rezea to the gentle city life of Aldis, these stories explore the many cultures and tales in this vibrant world. You can look for this new anthology of Blue Rose stories, on sale next week in the Green Ronin Online Store, and DrivethruRPG!

THE TIME TRAVELER’S CODEX: ALL TIME, NO SPACE… (Ronin Roundtable)

It’s Monday, and we’ve got a lot of things going on we wanted to share, so we figured: “Why not host an impromptu live-stream?” So, we’re inviting you to join Green Ronin Publishing today at 2:00 pm Pacific/5:00 pm Eastern for a special test-run of our live-streaming capabilities, featuring Mutants & Masterminds Super-Dev Crystal Frasier and designer Steve Kenson! They’ll be streaming from our Facebook page, talking about all things Mutants & Masterminds, including the Astonishing Adventures line, its exciting new NetherWar adventure series, and the newly-released Time Traveler’s Codex. Barring any unforeseen technical challenges, they’ll take your questions, too! So come hang out with us as we dip our toes into the world of Facebook live streaming! See you at 2:00 pm Pacific/5:00 pm Eastern, today!



One of the weird truths in any publishing industry is that you often pay for text you can never fully use. The reality of publishing, especially anything highly visual like textbooks, manuals, and game books, is that graphic element of the book needs the text to stop in specific places or only take up so much room. You order your text hoping for a perfect fit, but all too often you need to trim all kinds of interesting tidbits to finally make your book fit. And while the Time Traveler’s Codex gave us access to the End and the Beginning and all ticks on the clock in between… we still ran out of space.

But all good things in time! The miracle of the internet means we no longer throw out babies in the trash, but instead package them up into a free bonus PDF for you to enjoy, whether you purchase the Time Traveler’s Codex or not! Obviously you’ll get a lot more utility out of the content provided if you have the sourcebook in hand, but when push comes to shove, this eclectic mélange of equipment and minions from up and down the timestream can find a home in just about any Mutants & Masterminds campaign. It includes some of my favorite bits, like the centaur and mermaid, that had to be cut from their respective eras—while fun, they’re far from historically accurate—as well as a few fun pieces of time travel gear that can expand your arsenal or provide a handy power boost to your favorite villain!

So download it and… take some time for yourself.

The Time Traveler’s Codex: BACK FOUR SECONDS! (Ronin Roundtable)



Fools!

You flipped through the sacred text of the Time Traveler’s Codex  and now you think yourself an equal of the Chronomaster?! You thought your petty time travel shenanigans were any match for true villainy? I was weaned on chronal energy, with all the timestream as my playground. They think time is a realm for heroes? But villainy is relentless! Unyielding! Immortal! Your paltry acts of goodness are waves crashing against a beach, thinking they achieve something by sweeping sand into the tides and ever unaware that mountains stand beyond their reach.

Every era across space and time has its villains, from ruthless Gladiators of the Roman Empire to the Cyber Ronin prowling the neon kingdoms of the cyberpunk dystopia, I have eager minions ready to throw themselves in harm’s way. Even outside of time, loyal chronozoids—the Time Elemental, the Temporal Weaver, even the Chrono Predator—bend to my will!

But by now you’ve bested my minions. You think yourself safe. But I’m only just beginning. Can you face not one but SIX diabolical villains, gathered from the far-flung corners of the omniverse?! The Future Perfectionist, a diabolical mastermind who will use your own powers to shape the future to fit her ideal; the Immortal Conqueror, a master of the crudest form of time travel who has waged war since time immemorial; the Living Gateway, a fiend unmoored in the timestream, able to gallivant anywhere beyond the reach of your finite law; the Temporal Wizard, a master of chronomancy who bends past and future into potent weapons and reshapes his own body with evolutionary trickery; or the terrifying Time-Hopping Tyrant, a warlord evolved beyond human concerns and bedecked in technology far beyond your petty, 21st-century understanding! But first you must survive my personal pet—a silicon soul, forged with only a single purpose: to wipe you and your pathetic cause from the history books! Behold, the eXterminator!

Download the eXterminator preview PDF now!

Idle Thoughts on Idol Pursuits (Ronin Roundtable)

The shared world experience is an interesting one, something my earliest experiences with roleplaying games informed me about. After all, I started out playing around in imaginary worlds created by others, first as a hobby and later as a professional writer, so it’s a natural progression that now, other people are playing around in imaginary worlds that I created. One of the important things about shared worlds is that they’re like living things: They grow and change over time and, while you might help to create one, or even “raise” it, ultimately, it doesn’t belong to you and it can be better from a lot of different contributions.

Idol Pursuits, the Mutants & Masterminds novella from Nisaba Press, written by Michael Matheson, is an example of how those diverse shared-world contributions come together. Like the upcoming NetherWar adventure series for the Mutants & Masterminds RPG, the story of Idol Pursuits has its origins in the update of the Freedom City sourcebook (itself the origin of the Earth-Prime setting) to the third edition of the M&M rules.

One of the background elements that was updated in Freedom City is a change in the forces of magic in the world: The loss of Adrian Eldritch as Master Mage, followed by his successor Seven inadvertently becoming ruler of the Netherworld, forced to exile herself from Earth. Now sinister forces of sorcery that were once under control are rising in power. One strand of that story is told in NetherWar (NetherWar: Master of Earth is on sale NOW!), while others appear in M&M fiction like Idol Pursuits and the forthcoming novel The Doom That Came to San Francisco.

When there’s magic at work in the world of Earth-Prime, you can bet things are going to happen in Mystery, New Hampshire, a mystic part of the setting I first detailed in Altas of Earth-Prime, which is also the setting for Idol Pursuits. Just the place where you might expect a deathless vigilante dealing out harsh justice might come across a strange idol that everyone seems to want, and team up with a young sorcerer-detective and his sword-wielding barbarian protector. For me, it’s a fun experience to see Matheson’s Revenant, Kid Necro, and Ilkath, among others, meet up with some familiar Freedom City characters of my creation, mixed with other contributions to Earth-Prime like Scott Bennie’s specialists in magic and weirdness from Agents of Freedom, and some of Prof. Christopher McGlothlin’s creepy characters from Freedom’s Most Wanted, to name a few.

Intrigued? Well, no spoilers here, but if you’re interested in magic and misadventure in the Mutants & Masterminds manner, and maybe getting another perspective on the Rise of Dark Magic in the Earth-Prime setting, take a look at Idol Pursuits, the ebook and pdf are available today from Nisaba Press!