Redoubt in the Mists

The Lost Citadel RPG for 5th EditionI don’t know about you, but from the very start of my career as a Game Master, I would steal from find inspiration everywhere: novels, comic books, television, movies, and, especially, other games. I mixed-and-matched elements from multiple superhero game settings and comic books with my own creations in my campaigns. I transposed and stitched together parts of different fantasy settings. The player characters from Gamma World, the first RPG I ever ran, eventually ended up via dimensional rift in the World of Greyhawk, running rampant through the Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan.

So when I got my eager mitts on Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft and began exploring the Domains of Dread therein, I immediately thought: “Redoubt from The Lost Citadel would be right at home here.” With that dark revelation in mind, dear reader, I immediately opened a new file, began to write, and here we are….

When exactly did the Last City, the Final Redoubt, find its way into the Mists? No one knows for certain. Indeed, most of the survivors of the old world of the lands of Zileska don’t even know the rest of their world is gone, since few venture outside the protective walls of the Last Citadel, and fewer still find their way back. Beyond the lush forests surrounding Redoubt, the trees and hills fade into the mists in all directions. All that emerges from the mists are the restless Dead and the few travelers unfortunate enough to arrive in the domain outside of the protective walls. They rarely last long, and strangers are viewed with considerable suspicion when they appear on the outskirts of Redoubt.

The people of Redoubt do not question the fate of the world beyond their walls because they believe they know it: The Dead have risen to reclaim the world. All of the great empires of the elves, dwarfs, humans, and others have fallen to plague and war and chaos, with their Dead rising to prey upon the living. The civilization of the living has fallen, and retreated, again and again, until this: The Accord of the Last Redoubt, the sole island of living people in the world, under eternal siege by the Dead, and more adrift than even they know.

The Hidden Dark Lord

Is the Prince of Tears the Lord of Redoubt in the Mists?

Is the Prince of Tears the Hidden Dark Lord of Redbout?

Who, or what, is the Dark Lord of Redoubt? Who commands its Mists and may seal or open its borders? Who, ultimately, is trapped here? It is one of the great mysteries of the domain, one ripe for exploitation by the Game Master.

The most likely candidate for Dark Lord of Redoubt is the legendary Bone Father, the embodiment of Death itself, who cursed Zileska and brought about the Fall. Of course, to the people of Redoubt, the Bone Father is a god—or at least godlike—and seasoned wanderers of the Mists know the Dark Lords, while powerful, are not gods. Perhaps the Bone Father is some powerful form of undead, such as a lich-necromancer, whose legend has grown over time along with his army of the unquiet dead, to the point where people believe he is a god, and legends speak of him accordingly.

Another possibility is the dread Prince of Tears, certainly the most powerful creature described in The Lost Citadel, an undead monstrosity that feeds upon fear and despair. If not the Dark Lord, then almost certainly the Prince is the Dark Lord’s lieutenant, perhaps providing a useful stalking-horse for the real Dark Lord of Redoubt.

Whoever or whatever the Dark Lord may be, since the Mists have reduced the domain to just Redoubt and the leagues of forests and hills beyond its walls, this also means the Dark Lord is far closer to the Last City than anyone imagines. If the characters are from Redoubt, do they discover the existence of the Mists and that what is left of their world is adrift as a domain of dread? If they are travelers, do they dare reveal the truth to the desperate and hopeless people of the Lost Citadel? What will become of Redoubt and its people if they do?

Grave Robbing

While the whole of The Lost Citadel setting and background is usable as a Domain of Dread, not all of the rules and options in the book are the same as the core 5e classes, ancestries, and spells. Game Masters will need to decide what parts of the graves to loot, as it were, and what to leave behind. Some possibilities include:

Ancestries: The ancestries from The Lost Citadel—dwarf, elf, ghûl, and the various human ancestries—can serve for characters from the domain and those travelers in the Mists meet there. Decide if the Woe system (following) from the setting applies only to those from the domain, to everyone there (including visitors), or is something you prefer to ignore in the context of the Domains of Dread—or even export to other domains.

Classes: Although The Lost Citadel offers a full set of unique character classes, you’re probably better off using the standard 5e classes for characters from the domain, and certainly for those visiting from outside of it. You can potentially mix-and-match character classes from Redoubt with the standard 5e classes, but they’re not particularly designed for that. In particular, the spellcasting classes are more limited compared to the standard classes.

Spells: Speaking of spellcasting, while magic is poor and limited in Redoubt, stay with the standard 5e abilities for spellcasters. Whether they are natives or visitors, it means they are extraordinary individuals, likely subjects of awe and trepidation, and perhaps no small amount of jealousy. They’re also certain to draw attention from the dread and woeful supernatural forces of the Dead. The magical limitations of the Domains of Dread still apply, of course.

Magic Items: The new magic items found in Lost Citadel suit the setting well and can be found in and around Redoubt. Some of them may have even found their way through the Mists to other domains in other hands; things like the potion of deathless steps or a rest-bringer weapon are likely to find use in many realms.

Monsters: As Lost Citadel notes, many 5e monsters are found in the domain and it offers some guidelines for customizing them. The new monsters in the book are found in and around Redoubt, and may appear in other domains or on other worlds as well. Heroes who visit The Lost Citadel and somehow manage to escape and return through the mists to their own world would do well to look for signs that the unquiet Dead have followed them, that the Fall that destroyed Zileska could be as contagious as the plague that first made the Dead rise….

Woe: The Lost Citadel includes a system of Woe, the creeping, spiritual corruption of the realm beset by the unquiet Dead. It is certainly a game system that would import well to other horror realms, or is something you could set aside in a Redoubt in the Mists, using 5e systems from the Guide to Ravenloft for fear, curses, and dark gifts and bargains in its place.

As it happens, The Lost Citadel Roleplaying, is DrivethruRPG’s Deal of the Day! You can get the PDF for 50% off for the next 24 hours! 

Living in Dev-Time

Dev-Time is a lot like Time Travel

Dev-Time is a lot like Time Travel!

“When is that book going to be done? When?”

It can be strange living in what I call “dev-time” (or “development time”) because eagerly-awaited projects are often not just yesterday’s news for me as a writer but most likely last year’s news at times. The development cycle of a book, much less an entire game, is a fairly long one, and getting all of the words written is among the very first steps. Typically, I may get to see a project at the concept stage, getting in on discussion of whether or not to do it at all, along with what it might look like, contain, and so forth. More often, I get involved at or after the outline stage, when the overall concept of the book is pretty well established, and the developer is looking for someone to write stuff. That’s me.

Now, these days, I don’t write too many entire books for RPG publishers, including Green Ronin. While product development time for a book is long, actual writing time is relatively short. So unless I’m publishing a book myself (as I do with Icons Superpowered Roleplaying) and can take 4 to 6 months to write it all, or I’m working with an extended publisher timeline that allows me to write sixty to eighty thousand words or more, chances are I’m only writing a part of a book, a chapter or two (maybe three). Solo projects tend to be short: adventures, Patreon write-ups, articles, and the like, and many of those also get incorporated into larger books or collections.

I get my assignment, write it, and (ideally) hand it off at the appointed deadline. There’s feedback, development, revisions, new drafts, and then I hand over a final version of the text. Typically, that’s where my involvement ends. Sure, an editor might have the occasional “what were you thinking here?” question (tinged with varying degrees of frustration) or an art director might need notes or “does it look like this?” confirmation but, for the most part, my text sails off to those other shores to continue the rest of its journey towards becoming a finished book without me. That can sometimes be a long journey, even under the best of conditions. When conditions look like they have over the past year or so … even longer.

Thus the eagerly-awaited book someone is looking forward to is already in my rear-view mirror, often several exits back behind other recent projects I have handed off, some of which the public hasn’t even heard about yet. There’s a running joke in the freelance business that sometimes the only answer to a polite inquiry of “So what are you working on these days?” is “Upholding my non-disclosure agreement.” Dev-time is such that many projects aren’t even announced publicly at the time when people are writing them, although there may be rumors (the tabletop game industry being quite small and tight-knit).

While I have moved-on to other projects, the words I’ve already written are sailing through development, editing, layout, illustration, and proofreading. If they’re destined to see print, there will also be preflight checks, print buying and quotes, print proofs, and more before the book is finally handed-off to the printer. Even then, there’s printing, binding, shipping, warehousing, and distribution before it finds its way to a game store or gets shipped off to the buyer. In every one of those steps there is both margin for error and the potential for things to go wrong. I mentioned before about “ideally” handing off my text by the agreed-upon deadline. I pride myself on getting my work in on time, but life happens. This past summer, I took a fall off my bicycle and fractured my hip. While my recuperation didn’t overly impact my ability to work, allowances still needed to be made. Multiply that times all of the people who touch a project before it sees print and you magnify those allowances accordingly. People get injured, sick, divorced, married, pregnant, quit or take on new jobs, lose loved ones, run into financial problems, and all of life’s other challenges, to say nothing of encountering global pandemics, political upheavals, and more—all in the same year!

So if anyone involved in the publishing process of a book or product ever looks vaguely bewildered concerning its eagerly-anticipated release, it is quite possible that they exist in “dev-time.” From their perspective, that project has been “done” for some time, and it’s not that they’re not eager to see the finished products (believe me, there are several of my projects I’m looking forward to actually holding in my hands), it’s just that they’ve had to move on to other things in the meanwhile. Patience and understanding that there is more going on behind the scenes than you know will always get you a kinder response.

Malcolm Sheppard’s Top 5 Green Ronin Picks!

What’s good? Taste is subjective, though I think everybody feels there are certain exceptions, such as the terribleness of the Star Wars Holiday Special, which transcends cultures and times as an object of derision, albeit sometimes affectionately so. So, this list of “Malcolm Sheppard’s Top Five” is just my opinion, though there may be hidden objective excellence rattling around in there, somewhere. This list isn’t in any particular order.

Mutants & Masterminds Basic Hero's Handbook coverMutants & Masterminds Basic Hero’s Handbook

Supers, and generally, point-build systems, aren’t my strong suit as a designer, but I love the genre. The Basic Hero’s Handbook is a masterful introduction to Mutants & Masterminds that communicates everything you need with remarkable brevity and straightforwardness. I especially like the streamlined character creation system, and how after using it, and not having to sweat points too much, you still end up with a character fully compatible with the rest of the M&M line, including characters made using the Deluxe Hero’s Handbook. Plus, it has all the rules you need to run it!

Fantasy AGE LairsFantasy AGE Lairs

This supplement for Fantasy AGE does a great job of mixing function and atmosphere. Each lair presents a creature, location, and situation. None of these are hard-coded adventures, but contain plenty of hooks and suggestions, and can be run sandbox style. My favorite lair in the book is the Lair of the Ghoul Prince, which I’ve talked about before, in a pervious article. Go read it!

 

 

Trojaqn War for the D20 system!Trojan War (d20)

Maybe I’m doing this wrong and I’m supposed to stick to current releases, but I love Homeric mythology, and really enjoy Trojan War’s particular adaptation. It covers all the major elements of this mythic-historic event, from gods and heroes to how it all works for original characters using the d20 System. I think it’s still valuable now because of the way it’s structured for games and the fact that d20’s design has been influential enough to seed itself in many other games, making conversion pretty easy. I miss these kinds of treatments of real-world mythology in games, and while there are new ones around, I want more! Maybe I have to do it myself….

 

The Lost Citadel Roleplaying (5th Edition)The Lost Citadel Roleplaying for 5th edition

Here comes the bias! I worked on the Tales of the Lost Citadel anthology, The Lost Citadel Roleplaying, and The Lost Citadel Fantasy AGE Conversion Codex—but there’s plenty I didn’t work on, in fiction, rules, and concepts, that’s just fantastic. The Lost Citadel is set in the last, desperate, walled city of the living, who struggle with each other while battling for survival against the risen Dead. One thing I love about the setting is it takes the basic conflict in the zombie apocalypse genre—that your living companions are as much a problem as the undead—and renders them on a social scale, in conflicts between the city’s factions.

Threefold A Campaign Setting for Modern AGEThreefold (Modern AGE)

Where The Lost Citadel is a choice tinged by my bias as a designer, well, uh, I’m the principal designer of Threefold. I made up the broad strokes and developed other writers’ work to get what I wanted: a setting for Modern AGE that would use the conceit of planar travel to permit virtually any kind of character, but wouldn’t seem generic, unfocused, or lacking strong story structures. Whether you explore the planes as a member of the Sodality or defend the Earth (sometimes from other Earths) with Aethon, there are always things to do, rivals to deal with, and secrets to uncover. One reviewer said the game felt like its setting had already been established for years. That’s the feel I wanted, and I hope you like it.

End of Year Sale and GR Gift Guide

Happy holidays from all of us at Green Ronin! I don’t think 2020 was the year any of us hoped for but on the upside, it’s almost over! Right now, we’ve got our Year End Sale going on, which offers 20% off most of our titles through January 3. Get gifts for your friends and family, or just treat yourself. If you survived 2020, you deserve it! Two important notes. First, we do offer gift certificates in our online store, so if you don’t know what to get for the gamers in your life, that’s always an option. Second, shipping is particularly slow this year, so if you want things in time for Xmas, get your orders in early. If you aren’t sure what to get, I’ve put together a gift guide that may help. Let’s get to it!

Death In Freeport for Fantasy AGEAs you may heard, 2020 was Green Ronin’s 20th anniversary. One way we celebrated that was with new editions of one of our earliest releases. I wrote Death in Freeport 20 years ago, and now it’s available in two formats: Fantasy AGE and 5th Edition. Pick your system and then set sale for Freeport, the City of Adventure! Fantasy AGE fans will also enjoy Lairs, another new book for this year that features a host of ready to use encounters. 5E fans should check out The Lost Citadel Roleplaying, where players are survivors of an undead apocalypse in the last city standing.

 

Enemies and Allies for Modern AGE

If you want a flexible RPG that can handle just about every sub-genre of action adventure, check out Modern AGE. It got its character/adversary book this year with Enemies & Allies. If you want a kickass setting, also check out Threefold. It got some adventure support with Five and Infinity, which we serialized over the course of the year. We also launched Modern AGE Missions for even more PDF adventure support. We’re certain you need 30-50 feral hogs in your Modern AGE campaign, so make sure to check that out!

 

Envoys to the Mount for Blue RoseBlue Rose, our Romantic Fantasy RPG, is also getting (and giving) a lot of love right now. If you’ve never checked it out before, there’s a new Quickstart that gives you a complete adventure with rules and pre-generated characters. For more experienced players, we’ve just put Envoys to the Mount up for pre-order. This is a complete campaign for Blue Rose that takes characters through all four tiers of play. There’s also a tie-in fiction anthology called Tales from the Mount that’s available now. You can get a bundle with both Envoys and Tales too!

 

Sacred Band 2nd editionSpeaking of fiction, our imprint Nisaba Press has some great titles for holiday reading. Blue Rose fans will definitely want to check out Sovereigns of the Blue Rose, an anthology of stories about the fourteen rulers of Aldis. We’ve also just released Sacred Band, Joe Carriker’s critically-acclaimed LGBTQ+ superhero novel. Supers will also enjoy Roadtrip to Ruin, the latest Mutants & Masterminds novel. If short stories are your jam, we’ve released three anthologies this year: For Hart and Queen for Blue Rose, Powered Up for Mutants & Masterminds, and Under a Black Flag for Freeport.

 

 

Time Traveler's Codex for Mutants & MastermindsSuperhero fans should look no further than Mutants & Masterminds. If you haven’t tried it before, jump right in with the Basic Hero’s Handbook. We’ve just release the Time Traveler’s Codex (now available in print!), which is a whole book about timeline hopping shenanigans. If you’ve been wanting adventure support, we’ve really leaned into that this year with the Astonishing Adventures PDF series. These include stand-alone adventures and the five-part series NetherWar. Danger Zones is another new series. Each entry details a new location for superheroic action. And, by popular demand, we’ve also just released a deck of Condition Cards!

 

Ships of the ExpanseBut what if you want to go to outer spaaaaccceeee? That’s where The Expanse RPG—based on the terrific novels by James S.A. Corey­—comes in. There’s a free Quickstart if you haven’t dived in yet. This year we released Abzu’s Bounty, a series of six linked adventures for the game. Salvage Op offers a one shot for an evening or two of play. We’ve also just put Ships of the Expanse up for pre-order. This is the long-awaited book full of deck plans and details about the spaceships of the setting.

 

Sword Chronicle RoleplayingLast but by no means least, we launched the Sword Chronicle RPG this year. This takes the system we designed for A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying and spins it off into as an independent fantasy system. This has been available as a PDF for several months but just this week we’ve made it available as a Print on Demand title on DriveThruRPG.

 

Happy holidays, everyone! See you in 2021!


The Lost Citadel Roleplaying, Now Available in Print

The Lost Citadel RPG for 5th edition!

Buy It at the Green Ronin Online Store

In The Lost Citadel Roleplaying, seven decades ago, there were cities upon cities, kingdoms and nations. Cultures met each other in war, travel, and at trade. Humans, dwarves, elves, and peoples made their fortunes across vast lands. For millennia, through two vibrant ages called ascensions, they explored their world.

Until the world ended. Nations crumbled. Magic sputtered. Nature sickened. Civilizations died.

The dead woke.

They say the doors to the Underworld flew from their hinges, or the god of the dead went mad. Whatever the cause, across the lands of Zileska, the dead have become the Dead. Whether human, elf, dwarf, or monstrous ghûl, all must survive a world overrun by death, where all that’s left of civilization has gathered behind the walls of: Redoubt. The last city. The Lost Citadel.

Born of roots in a dark fantasy anthology and a successful Kickstarter, The Lost Citadel Roleplaying, previously available in PDF, is now available in print for everyone, as is The Lost Citadel GM Screen. The Lost Citadel Roleplaying is a detailed resource for 5th Edition play in the city of Redoubt, a desperate city-state standing against the tide of the returned Dead.

Inside this book, you’ll find:

  • A deeply realized setting of many cultures, peoples, and factions, all on the brink of destruction—unless you intervene.
  • The peoples and cultures of Zileska, now confined to Redoubt, the last city, from the oppressed dwarves and sorcery-mad elves, to vividly realized human cultures and the ghûl, canine eaters of the dead.
  • A new and modified array of character classes fitting a world claimed by the Dead. Discover new variations of the Barbarian, Fighter, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, and Warlock classes, or adopt the ways of the Beguiler, Penitent, Sage, and Warrior Monk.
  • New feats, backgrounds, and other character options, including the martial arts of Redoubt, which run the gamut from vicious street fighting to the noble art of armored combat.
  • New equipment and magic items, fitting the desperate streets of Redoubt.
  • A host of new undead with which to test your characters’ wits and will. Will they face down the horror of a grim aggregate, the terror of a forlorn child, or even the power of a mighty malevolent?
  • A full-color, 15” x 22” double-sided poster map of Redoubt.
  • Original fiction by award-winning dark fantasist Elizabeth Hand.

If you also like playing Fantasy AGE, supplement The Lost Citadel’s 5e-focused text with The Lost Citadel Fantasy AGE Conversion Codex, a PDF which provides a complete treatment of the setting’s game rules for Fantasy AGE.

A Series of Tubes (Green Ronin on YouTube)

“Or we can just dive-in, do it, and see what happens.”

That was Green Ronin Community Director Troy Hewitt, one of our resident extroverts, encouraging us to pivot in the time of covid-19 toward our community, using the means at-hand, including video streaming. Troy has a great way of getting those of us who would want to study the situation for, well, ever out of our heads and into action. That next week, the first “Mutants & Masterminds Monday” live-streamed with me and M&M Developer Crystal Frasier, with Troy acting as host, moderator, and on-the-fly tech guru.

It’s now almost three months later and we have eleven (soon to be twelve) M&M Mondays under our belts. It’s still very much a “see what happens” learning process, but we’ve had guests on the stream, fielded questions from our audience, and Troy has come up with a few fun activities for us to do. We’ve even developed in-jokes (as gamers interacting are wont to do) from Crystal’s “journal of dreams” to our tendency to come up with new projects for ourselves while on the stream.

Green Ronin on Youtube!

All of which is a long introduction to announcing that, as things are progressing, some of our “M&M Mondays” episodes are available on Green Ronin Publishing’s YouTube channel. We’re putting more up as we go and the eventual plan is for us to start streaming live on YouTube and Twitch as well as on Facebook, so there will be even more places where you can see and hear from us and we can tell you everything that’s going on with Mutants & Masterminds and Green Ronin Publishing.

 

Not going to lie, for an introvert like myself, being on-camera isn’t easy, and I have been on-camera more in these past three months than I think I have been in the past three years, and then some. But at the same time, it has been wonderful getting to talk on a weekly basis with Crystal and Troy and our guests and to hear the questions and feedback from our community, many of you from week to week. It hasn’t been easy for Green Ronin (or many small businesses) with the initial loss of distribution and with many game stores still closed or doing only limited business. So every purchase of Green Ronin’s games helps, whether it is from the GR Online Store or supporting your favorite local game retailer.

We’re about two weeks from experiencing Gen Con Online for the first time (another “dive-in and see what happens” experience) and Green Ronin Publishing will be there with our games, our staff of wonderful and creative people, and with you, our community, and I’ll be there, in front of my camera, just as I plan to be next Monday. I don’t know for how many Mondays, to be honest, because things are changing fast and often these days but, I can tell you this: We’ll see what happens.

Hope you can join us sometime.

Lost Citadel Roleplaying: The AGE of Redoubt

Lost Citadel RoleplayingThe Lost Citadel Roleplaying is out (currently in PDF, but coming to print as soon as our COVID-19-altered industry can manage). This setting for 5e presents a world where the Dead have risen, and the living survive behind the walls of Redoubt, a great dwarven city seized from its original rulers. In Redoubt, many cultures mix, each trying to maintain its traditions in a new, desperate environment, while Woe—the power of corruption brought by the Dead—manifests in unquiet corpses and magic alike.

While The Lost Citadel is designed for 5e, our Kickstarter campaign unlocked a stretch goal promising rules to use the setting with our own Fantasy AGE roleplaying game, and those rules are currently in layout ahead of their eventual release to backers. They’ll also be made available in PDF form. I was selected to write them as I happen to have experience working on both The Lost Citadel setting (I wrote a story for the anthology and did both rules and setting work on the roleplaying book) and Fantasy AGE, I became the designer for this particular supplement.

One thing I tried to do was to formulate The Lost Citadel as a Fantasy AGE setting from the ground up. Instead of simple conversion rules, the character options, equipment, magic, and the rest were done from a Fantasy AGE perspective. For example, custom Fantasy AGE backgrounds, compatible with those in the core book, provide a history for your character specific to the setting. This approach has the added side effect of adding a number of things that might be of interest for general Fantasy AGE players and GMs as well, such as the 17 specializations available. While a handful have been adapted from the Fantasy AGE Companion, a number of them are brand new, such as the Witch talent, previewed here.


Witch

You represent the remnants of rural folk wisdom traditions from across Zileska. In the age of the Dead, the power of nature has been twisted and suppressed, but your studies and meditations have revived ancient bonds, and may even evoke the powers of nature spirits that have long lain dormant in the land. Herbalism is a mandatory field of study. Witches are often employed by the Foresters, as their knowledge is of use to the organization, and it provides an opportunity for them to explore the wild beyond Redoubt.

Class: Any

Requirements: Must have Intelligence and Constitution of 2 or higher, the Intelligence (Natural Lore) focus, and the ability to cast spells using magic points, such as by being a mage or Arcane Initiate.

Witch Talent

You study the ways of nature.

Novice: You can speak to natural animals, and they can communicate with you without vocalizing, though you hear them speaking back to you. You may use Communication tests to influence animals you communicate with, and add your Animal Lore focus bonus (typically +2) on top of any other Communication focuses bonuses you have for them.

Journeyman: You can charge non-metal weapons with natural energy. This requires an Activate action, which charges one weapon that has no metal components for the duration of the encounter. If this is a ranged weapon, the ammunition can incorporate metal, but not the weapon itself. When activated and used by you, your weapon is considered magical for the purposes of harming creatures vulnerable to magic weapons, and inflicts an additional 1d6 damage.

Master: Nature is your ally. Your movement is never impeded by natural terrain (brush, mud, etc.) that would otherwise slow you down. Furthermore, you can use a minor action to create a space up to 4 yards by 4 yards in diameter up to 20 yards away, where natural impediments reduce everyone else’s Speed by half. Any creature that moves through this space or ends their turn in it takes 3d6 penetrating damage inflicted by the poisonous plants and wildlife that arise in this spot. You are immune to the hazards created by your own space, as is anyone you designate, as long as you can perceive them as they enter the space. You can create a space like this as often as you like, but creating a new space eliminates the old one.

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.

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.

The Lost Citadel Live-Stream!

The Lost Citadel RPG on sale now!It’s Humpday, and today we’re taking another shot at the Green Ronin Live-Stream! Join Green Ronin Publishing today at 2:00 pm Pacific/5:00 pm Eastern for another test-run of our live-streaming capabilities, and this time it’s all about the Lost Citadel. Join Green Ronin Publishing Developer Malcolm Sheppard, and General Manager Nicole Lindroos as they cover the latest PDF release and barring any unforeseen technical challenges, they’ll take your questions, too! So come hang out with us as we continue our headlong jump into Facebook live streaming. You can register for this event by visiting our Facebook events page here!

See you at 2:00 pm Pacific/5:00 pm Eastern, today!