It’s been a couple of months since our last Ronin Report so I thought I’d update you all on how the company is faring during the ongoing COVID crisis. In March and April things were dicey. When our warehouse shut down and we could not ship physical books anymore, that put us a bad situation and severely impacted our ability to bring in revenue. Team Ronin really pulled together though, and we were able to roll with the punches and make some contingency plans that helped us weather the roughest patch.
Thankfully, Alliance—the game distributor who warehouses our books—re-opened with new safety procedures in place in May. This meant we could begin shipping books again, both to customers of our online store and the distributors who serve game retailers. This was a big help. A couple of print jobs that had been put on pause were also able to get going again. Lairs for Fantasy AGE and the reprint of the Deluxe Gamemaster’s Guide for Mutants & Masterminds both arrived and are available now. We also ran a successful crowdfunding campaign for the Book of Fiends on Game On Tabletop.
All of this means that things are more stable now than they were a couple of months ago. Does it mean everything is back to normal? Well, no, unfortunately not. Pretty much every convention in 2020 has been cancelled at this point, game stores are still struggling, and orders did not magically go back to their pre-COVID levels. We had to make some big adjustments to our schedule and have to be much more strategic about what gets printed and in what quantities. And yes, M&M fans, we will print the Time Traveler’s Codex! We just need to find the right time for it.
The hardest decisions we had to make regarding our schedule were pushing the Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook and Fifth Season RPG into next year. 2020 just isn’t the right time for big launches like that, so we reluctantly made that call. On the upside, it does give us more development time on both projects and we are putting that to good use.
And there’s more fun stuff coming up. In August we’ll be launching Sword Chronicle, a full fantasy RPG built on the rules from our Song of Ice and Fire RPG. Ships of The Expanse will bring all the sexy spaceships to your Expanse games. Danger Zones will provide lots of interesting adventure locales for Mutants & Masterminds. And we’ve got a 20th anniversary surprise to boot!
We hope you are all staying safe out there. Remember to wear a mask when you go out and maintain social distancing. We know it’s hard for gamers used to sitting around the table together, but we want to see all your faces when this is all over.
https://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Ronin_20th-small.png350350Chris Pramashttps://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/RoninBanner_2022_72.pngChris Pramas2020-07-10 08:48:202020-07-13 07:37:37Ronin Report, July 10th, 2020
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.
Green Ronin Gamer Badge
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.
https://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/GreenRoninGamerBadge-crop.jpg339372Dylan Templarhttps://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/RoninBanner_2022_72.pngDylan Templar2020-05-26 08:22:162020-05-26 08:22:16Ronin Army forums update: All Good Things…
It is often remarked that The Expanse novels are “hard” science fiction. While this may or may not be the case, it is undoubtedly true that the science is an important aspect. However, what really makes these novels shine are the characters and the story. If you want to delve into whether The Expanse is “hard” sci-fi or not, you can find endless discussions on the internet, but I’m not here to debate that. Today, I’m here to talk about how we try to capture the balance of science and story in The Expanse RPG.
Enjoy this sneak-preview of the upcoming Ships of the Expanse book! Cover Art by Ben Zweifel!
Some sci-fi and modern setting RPGs spend a lot of time focusing on the science and the inner workings of every gun, gizmo, and gadget. Finding how much detail is “fun” in a roleplaying game is a difficult tight rope to walk. Too much detail and the GM and players can end up focusing too much on the gadgets and not enough on the characters; too little, and the setting may feel to generic. With The Expanse RPG, we chose to focus on characters and the story. We’ve tried to give enough details to provide a rich setting without getting bogged down in the nuts and bolts. We are content to say that a ship has an Epstein drive without worrying about exact type of Epstein drive or that a ship has full PDC coverage without worrying about the exact number of point defense cannons a ship has. Rather than define particular types of pistols, rifles, or torpedo bays and require players to check off boxes to track ammunition, we use rules such as the Stunt System for special maneuvers and The Churn as a means to inject the drama of running out of ammo or weapon malfunctions.
Ultimately, a roleplaying game is about character interaction – either with their environment or other characters and NPCs. Epstein drives, PDCs, plasma torpedoes, spin gravity, and all the bells and whistles are cool and add to the story, but in The Expanse RPG, they take a back seat to the story and drama. Personally, I think if you look closely at the novels, the authors of The Expanse do much the same. The ships, weapons, and gadgets give the story context and a platform on which to stand. But it is the characters and their actions and interactions that form the core of the story. The Expanse RPG is designed very much with that thought in mind.
Players and GMs who want to add more detail to their campaigns are certainly free to do so. It is easy enough to come up with particular types of weapons by basing them on 21st-century weapons and using the Item Qualities listed in the core rulebook to spec them out. You can even come up with ammo quantities if you want. The same applies to spaceships. Different engine types could grant small modifiers, and you can decide how many torpedoes and PDC bursts a given ship can fire. Later expansions, such as the upcoming Ships of the Expanse will also delve deeper into the details of the mechanics of space travel.
Recently Steve Kenson’s adventure “Salvage Op”, which some lucky fans may have had the opportunity to play during conventions over the last year, has been made available for purchase! Check it out in our online store, or on DrivethruRPG.
“Salvage Op is a short adventure for The Expanse Roleplaying Game intended for a crew of four to six 1st to 3rd level characters. The characters encounter a small ship floating dead in space. Salvaging the ship’s cargo could be an opportunity for riches, but what danger awaits onboard? What happened to the crew, and why is it here? This adventure works well as a one-shot or can be easily inserted into an existing campaign.”
https://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/GRR6607_SotE_small.jpg651500Ian Lemkehttps://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/RoninBanner_2022_72.pngIan Lemke2020-04-06 07:37:252020-04-06 07:37:25The Expanse: The Science of Story (Ronin Roundtable)
It can be hard to keep track of the days when you’re on the float, but our hand terminals tell us it’s Monday. In honor of another week spent breathing recycled air, we’ve put Salvage Op, a short adventure PDF for The Expanse RPG, up for sale.
(If you backed our Kickstarter campaign for The Expanse RPG you should already have this PDF as a part of your backer rewards.)
Salvage Op is a short adventure for The Expanse Roleplaying Game intended for a crew of four to six 1st to 3rd level characters. The characters encounter a small ship floating dead in space. Salvaging the ship’s cargo could be an opportunity for riches, but what danger awaits onboard? What happened to the crew, and why is it here? This adventure works well as a one-shot or can be easily inserted into an existing campaign.
https://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/GRR96601e-Salvage-Op-200px.jpg261200Evan Sasshttps://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/RoninBanner_2022_72.pngEvan Sass2020-03-30 15:35:292020-03-30 15:35:29Salvage Op: An Adventure PDF for The Expanse RPG
Fantasy AGE for free: As many of you already know, we are having a 20th anniversary sale right now that puts almost everything in our online store on sale at 20% off until April 20. We are taking that a step further by making the Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook PDF free for the duration of the sale.
We know a lot of folks are at home now, anxious and looking for a distraction. Please enjoy Fantasy AGE on us. We hope it helps. If you like what you see, we have a bunch of support material that’s part of the sale. We also have Lairs, the latest Fantasy AGE book, up for pre-order right now. It’s super useful for the GM, providing a collection of themed encounters and villains that can easily be turned into full adventures.
If you’d like to explore some of our other games, we have free quickstarts available for most of our RPGs. If you haven’t gotten your kids into gaming yet, this is a good opportunity, and games that use our Adventure Game Engine (Fantasy AGE, Blue Rose, Modern AGE, The Expanse, Dragon Age) are all good choices for that.
For modern day action with an introduction to our Threefold setting, check out the Modern AGE Quickstart.
If you’d like some fiction to read, we’ve got you covered there, too. Offerings is a free collection of short stories from Nisaba Press, our fiction imprint.
Stay safe out there, everyone.
https://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/FAGE.jpg584450Chris Pramashttps://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/RoninBanner_2022_72.pngChris Pramas2020-03-17 12:46:242020-03-17 13:32:13Stay Home and Play Fantasy AGE … For Free!
https://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Green-Ronin-20-For-20-Sale-square.png375375Chris Pramashttps://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/RoninBanner_2022_72.pngChris Pramas2020-03-09 01:00:152020-03-07 21:01:42Green Ronin 20 For 20 Sale
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.
On 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!
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!
Green Ronin Publishing
https://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/green_ronin_logo_color.jpg864494Chris Pramashttps://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/RoninBanner_2022_72.pngChris Pramas2020-01-21 09:15:002020-02-06 22:39:2320 Years of Green Ronin! (Ronin Roundtable 2020 preview)
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.
https://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/GreenRonin-Holiday-2019.png463720Dylan Templarhttps://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/RoninBanner_2022_72.pngDylan Templar2019-12-23 08:31:072019-12-23 08:31:07Happy Holidays from Green Ronin Publishing!
Note: If you’d rather buy our products from your local game store or bookstore, please make sure they know about our Pre-Order Plus program! If you pre-order from a participating retailer, they can give you a code to download the PDF version for just $5.
Readers of The Expanse novels have thrilled to the adventures of the crew of the Rocinante. Now it’s your turn to make your mark! Abzu’s Bounty presents six full-length scenarios designed for a new crew of characters in The Expanse Roleplaying Game. They embark on a series of adventures, from a fateful discovery in the rings of Saturn to acquiring their own ship to a deadly confrontation that could change the course of history for the entire solar system.
Abzu’s Bounty is the perfect way to kick off a new campaign. Get ready for launch!
https://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/RoninBanner_2022_72.png00Evan Sasshttps://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/RoninBanner_2022_72.pngEvan Sass2019-12-21 05:00:012019-12-20 15:25:47Abzu’s Bounty Pre-Order and PDF
Orbit and Green Ronin are partnering up to present a drawing for fans of The Expanse. (Open to US residents only. Ends 1/2/2020.)
One lucky winner will get the chance to win a boxed set of the first three books in hardcover that has been signed by the cast of The Expanse show, The Expanse RPG core rulebook and Game Master’s Kit from Green Ronin Publishing, plus a set of four pins and a lanyard!
Now if you’ll excuse us, we have Season 4 of The Expanse to binge…
https://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Expanse-Sweepstakes.jpg6281200Evan Sasshttps://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/RoninBanner_2022_72.pngEvan Sass2019-12-13 09:16:402019-12-13 09:16:40Orbit and Green Ronin Partner Up For The Expanse Drawing