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Press Release: Green Ronin to Publish The Expanse RPG

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

GREEN RONIN TO PUBLISH THE EXPANSE RPG 

James S.A. Corey’s Sci-Fi Epic Comes to the Tabletop 

August 17, 2017—SEATTLE, WA: Green Ronin Publishing announced today that it has signed a licensing agreement with James S.A. Corey to adapt The Expanse series of novels as a tabletop roleplaying game.  

“The Expanse is the most exciting thing to happen in science fiction in the last decade,” said Green Ronin President Chris Pramas. “It’s not just that they are cracking good stories—which of course, they are—but like all of the best science fiction they reflect the issues of today. We could not be more delighted to bring the Expanse to roleplaying games.” 

“The Expanse began as a gaming concept nearly two decades ago, and was played as a home brewed RPG for years before becoming a book series,” said Ty Franck. “To have Green Ronin taking the universe of The Expanse back to its roots is very exciting. I’ve loved their game adaptations of other literary works, and I couldn’t be happier to be partnering with them on this project.” 

“I came to the story first as a RPG, and clearly I had a great time with it,” added Daniel Abraham. “I’m delighted to have other gamers get the chance to make their own stories in this setting.” 

Green Ronin will run a crowdfunding campaign for The Expanse RPG next year and publish the game in August, 2018. The Expanse RPG will use Green Ronin’s popular Adventure Game Engine, which powers its Blue Rose, Fantasy AGE, and Modern AGE RPGs. More information about The Expanse RPG will appear on greenronin.com in the coming months.  

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About Green Ronin Publishing 

Green Ronin Publishing is a Seattle based company dedicated to the art of great games. Since the year 2000 Green Ronin has established a reputation for quality and innovation that is second to none, publishing such roleplaying game hits as Blue Rose, A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying, and Mutants & Masterminds, and winning over 40 awards for excellence. For an unprecedented three years running Green Ronin won the prestigious Gen Con & EN World Award for Best Publisher. 

About James S.A. Corey  

James S.A. Corey is the pen name of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. 

About The Expanse 

The Expanse book series is published in 30 countries and 27 languages, and has sold over a million books in North America alone. It has been adapted as a television show, now entering its 3rd season, and as a soon to be released board game. It has also been nominated for the Hugo Award twice, and won the Locus Award for best science fiction novel in 2014.

Green Ronin to Publish The Expanse RPG

Fantasy AGE Bestiary: Pre-Order, PDF, and Preview

Fantasy AGE Bestiary

We are pleased to open up pre-ordering for the Fantasy AGE Bestiary. As with all our Green Ronin Pre-Order Plus products, when you pre-order the print book through our Green Ronin Online Store or through a participating Pre-Order Plus retailer, you’ll be able to get the PDF for just $5.

Fantasy AGE Bestiary:

What does every fantasy RPG campaign need? Monsters! Monsters! Monsters! The Fantasy AGE Bestiary gives Game Masters a plethora of new foes to challenge their players, from classics like the basilisk and minotaur to new monsters like the eldritch crown and shard lord. Each creature is fully detailed, with background information, adventure hooks, game stats, and variants. This beautiful, full-color hardback is the first sourcebook for the Fantasy AGE RPG and an indispensable resource for Game Masters.

PDF Preview: Gatorkin

Like to try before you buy? Check out this free PDF preview of the Gatorkin.

Pre-Order the Fantasy AGE Bestiary today!

(Or buy the PDF for $16.95, if you prefer pixels to paper.)

Ronin Round Table: The Care and Feeding of Monster Design

MedusaHeya folks, Jack here. I wanted to take a break from working on AGE and Dragon AGE content to talk to you a bit about making your own content for the Adventure Game Engine. Specifically, let’s talk about making monsters.

Since the recent launch of Fantasy AGE and Titansgrave: Ashes of Valkana, I get asked a lot of questions, from “When will they be in stores,” to “What the hell is Interlligence?!” People have a lot of questions about these books.

However, by far one of the most common questions I get asked is “so, any advice on making our own monsters?” Which makes sense. While both Titansgrave and Fantasy AGE contain some cool beasties, there’s plenty of room for more monsters, demons, and beasties. So for today’s Ronin Round Table, I’d like to talk a bit about some things to consider when building your own monsters.

Generally, it’s easy to make your own monsters in Fantasy AGE. Come up with a concept or borrow one from your favorite stories, myths, legends, books, etc… Assign statistics that match up to the rough idea of what your monster can do and then tailor it so that you’re not making it too tough or too easy on your PCs when they face such threats. Speaking of…

You might find that despite having a solid idea and being sure everything will work out, you accidentally made a monster that’s far too strong or weak for the PCs. There are several ways to do this, but some common mistakes to avoid are:

Making monsters who hit all the time or not at all. A really high Accuracy or Fighting is going to mean even very agile and defensive PCs will get nailed a lot. Remember the average dice roll with 3d6 is 11 and starting PCs usually have between 10 and 15 defense. Also, these numbers are slow to increase, so even more experienced PCs won’t become so much harder to hit without serious Ability increases, special items, and other advancements. So you don’t need to give most monsters Fighting or Accuracy of 5 or higher to hit often, and those with scores of 7 or above will hit very often, especially with appropriate focuses. Even a Fighting or Accuracy 1 monster with a focus for their main attack will hit a Defense 14 PC about half the time. Conversely, making monsters with very low Fighting and Accuracy can also be a problem, though it’s admittedly harder to do.

However, if you’re giving a monster -2 Accuracy or some similarly low Ability, consider if that will make them miss often enough they seem more like a joke than a threat.

Making monsters who do ridiculous damage or almost nothing. Sometimes you want a big scary creature who does tons of damage. A giant, dragon, and other big scary monsters should be scary and hit very hard. On the other hand, a swarm of rats might do only a bit of damage and serve to weaken PCs without seriously endangering their lives. Also, remember that damage is a combination of both the dice rolled and the Ability added in and how often you hit affects the damage monsters will do over time.

So a high Accuracy “minor” monster with a 1d6+3 damage attack and 4 Strength will being doing at least 8 damage every hit (1 on the die, plus 3 and then 4 more for Strength). That might be just want you want. Or you might find you accidentally made a minor creature than can kill a player’s unarmored low-defense mage far too quickly for what you had in mind. Likewise, a big scary beast with 3d6 damage and Strength 9 is likely really nasty (doing around 20 damage a hit). Just make sure that’s the effect you want for your monsters.

Ignoring or Overdoing Armor. Armor is both damage mitigating and a pacing mechanism. It often won’t stop a PC or monster from ever taking damage, but it increases the time it takes to damage and defeat a target in combat. So if you give a monster no or very low armor, you’re opening it up to every hit, no matter how small. This might be fine, but it means that anyone who can survive the creature’s attacks and damage can take it down reliably. This might not be what you want for certain monsters. On the other hand, very high armor can get frustrating. It might be tempting to give a heavily armored creature 10 armor rating (or even higher) but realize that without the right stunts or very high damage you’re setting up combats to be many rounds of “I hit and…nothing.”

Not Balancing Health with Other Factors. High defense or armor can make a monster a challenging foe. If combined with really high health, it can make them annoying. On the other hand, too little Health creates “paper tigers.” Again, if intended? That’s cool, but realize that many players expect to only encounter easily dispatched or incredibly tough monsters rarely and at specific times appropriate to the campaign. If your Lizardman lieutenant in a moderately difficult encounter has 150 health and Armor Rating 8 and Defense 17? Your PCs will get bored, frustrated, or discouraged long before they defeat this “mid boss” encounter.

Forgetting Powers and Special Abilities or Overdoing Them. A few cool special abilities, powers, and unique stunts goes a long way. Too many and you risk bogging down encounters. But having none of them makes monsters just collections of basic attacks and statistics. Also, don’t be shy about converting or borrowing powers from existing creatures. If you want a horde of dog-sized flesh-eating beetles to assault your PCs? Adapting Swarm Tactics from the Walking Dead entry in the Fantasy AGE Bestiary will work well and save you design time.

Ignoring the Utility of Reskinning. Sometimes a monster is just an existing one with minor changes and a new look. This isn’t “cheating”; it’s expediency. A terrifying battle-beast created by an evil sorcerer might just be a Demon Soldier with Wings, Blending, or other special abilities already detailed in the Bestiary chapter of Fantasy AGE. A flesh-eating giant “deep one” style humanoid might just be an Ogre with Aquatic and perhaps Bite and Claw attacks adapted from the Manticore entry. These extra abilities will make monsters tougher and you’ll want to consider than when balancing encounters, but it makes it fairly easy to come up with terrifying new threats for PCs to face in a relatively short time.

Also in general, it’s usually better to make weaker monsters than overpowering ones. If a monster is too weak in an encounter? Simply increase it the next time a similar creature is encountered and if anyone wonders, it was a young, inexperienced, or immature monster they faced before—this is the real deal. That’s not even a lie, as the first attempt was not as refined or evolved in many cases. It’s okay if the first demon bear-thing your PCs fight turns out to be a juvenile version of a much scarier threat. In fact, this can allow monsters to grow and evolve alongside your PCs as the campaign progresses.

So those are some of the basics. We’ll be presenting new monsters in the future, but we realize many GMs want to start hacking away at their basic Bestiary entries in the meantime. Hopefully this discussion will help them do exactly that.

Press Release: Wil Wheaton’s New RPG Series To Use AGE System

Wil Wheaton Is Putting Your Money Where His Mouth Is With New RPG Series

Details Revealed on the Highly Anticipated Record Breaking
Crowd Funded RPG Show From Wil Wheaton and Geek & Sundry

April 2, 2015 – Los Angeles, CA – Just one year ago, Wil Wheaton and the team at Geek & Sundry shattered the record for most money raised for a web series with the promise of a TableTop RPG spinoff. The new 10-episode series will premiere Tuesday, June 2, exclusively on www.GeekandSundry.com and will feature an all-star cast including Hank Green (VlogBrothers), Laura Bailey (Avengers Assemble), Alison Haislip (Attack of the Show), and Yuri Lowenthal (Ben 10, Big Hero 6).

“I’m going to take viewers on an epic adventure with phenomenal players through a world that is unlike any they have ever seen before,” says Wil Wheaton, “I’ve been privileged to work with some talented writers and designers, and am so lucky to have an amazing cast and crew to help me bring this to life.”

Without further ado…after a yearlong drumroll…the name of the show is…

Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana

The game will be played using Fantasy AGE, the latest iteration of the Adventure Game Engine by Green Ronin Publishing. Green Ronin will publish a Titansgrave: Ashes of Valkana world and adventure book in conjunction with Fantasy AGE this summer. Gamers will be able to play through the adventures seen on the show and experience the world of Valkana for themselves.

The series will feature live-action game play augmented by animation as the audience follows the weekly journey of the adventurers through this original world.

For more from Wil on Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana, head over to Geek & Sundry www.GeekandSundry.com and follow on Twitter and Facebook for details and updates!

Geek & SundryAbout Geek & Sundry:

Geek & Sundry is a digital entertainment company recognized for providing the best in award-winning Internet television content featuring leading voices in geek culture and lifestyle. Founded in 2012 by Felicia Day, Kim Evey, and Sheri Bryant, the company offers a diverse lineup of compelling content and events that have cultivated a thriving community and social media presence for fans of gaming, comics, music, comedy and literature around the world.  Geek & Sundry is spearheaded by prominent geek figureheads including Felicia Day (The GuildSupernaturalDr. Horrible) and Wil Wheaton (The Big Bang Theory, Star Trek: The Next Generation), and has launched fan-favorite shows such as TableTopCo-OptitudeWritten By A KidSpellslingers and Spooked which have earned them over 1.5 million subscribers and 140 million views. The network has also launched their Twitch Channel that received over 5 million minutes viewed within its first week of going live to further connect with the online community. Geek & Sundry has won multiple accolades and nomination votes from the Annual Streamys, IAWTV, Origins, Davey, Diana Jones and Producers Guild awards since launch.  The office is headquartered in Burbank. For more information, visit www.geekandsundry.com and watch us on YouTube at www.YouTube.com/GeekandSundry.

Green Ronin LogoAbout Green Ronin Publishing:

Green Ronin Publishing is a Seattle based company dedicated to the art of great games. Since the year 2000 Green Ronin has established a reputation for quality and innovation that is second to none, publishing such roleplaying game hits as Dragon Age, A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying, and Mutants & Masterminds, and winning over 40 awards for excellence. For an unprecedented three years running Green Ronin won the prestigious GenCon & EnWorld Award for Best Publisher.

www.greenronin.com

Ronin Round Table: Blue Rose Returns!

Blue Rose RPG

Blue Rose

Ten years ago we published Blue Rose, the roleplaying game of Romantic Fantasy. The idea was pretty simple. While Dungeons & Dragons and many subsequent fantasy RPGs drew inspiration from authors like J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert E. Howard, Michael Moorcock, and Fritz Leiber, a different sort of fantasy fiction began to develop in the 80s—what we call Romantic Fantasy—and there wasn’t a game built off its common themes and tropes. We thought there were a lot of fans who’d want an RPG inspired by writers like Tamora Pierce, Mercedes Lackey, and Jacqueline Carey. And we were right. The game was conceived and published as a three book series, with a core rulebook, a world book, and a rules companion. Blue Rose was quite successful and for many years people have asked us if we were ever going to revisit it.

The short answer is yes! We are preparing a Blue Rose Kickstarter right now. Our plan is to do a new edition of Blue Rose powered by the Adventure Game Engine, the rules I designed for our Dragon Age RPG. Our goal is to launch the Kickstarter in April.

This is something we’ve been talking about for several years. The topic has come up at our yearly summit for the past two or three years. We all agreed we’d like to do it, but when and how were the questions that needed to be answered. So why now?

The biggest reason is that a lot of the issues we tried to tackle in Blue Rose have come to the fore in the public debate, in society generally and in nerdom. Diversity and inclusivity are now common topics of conversation, which was not at all the case in 2005. The idea that gay marriage would be legal in so many states in ten years certainly would have been a surprise to me back then. With the progress that we’ve seen in our politics and our art, a roleplaying game that lets you defend an egalitarian society without fixed gender roles seems like just the thing for the current day.

Of course, progress never comes easy. The simple idea that women should get equal pay for equal work—not to mention the opportunity to work in the fields of their choice—is crazed radicalism in the eyes of some. And while the Supreme Court may have declared that racism is over in the USA, anyone with an ounce of awareness can see that is manifestly not the case. That many of these issues are contentious is no surprise to us. Blue Rose itself was subject to a reactionary backlash from certain quarters. This sort of thing has just gotten worse, particularly in the video game arena, and politics in America has also taken an ugly turn. So while, yes, we have seen a lot of social progress, there is still a lot of work to do.

Now playing games is not going to change the world. That is down to grassroots organizing, voting, and political action. There is a saying though, that all politics is local and our neighborhood is tabletop gaming. We want this to be a better place and we think we can have some effect on it by publishing the right roleplaying game. We want there to be a welcoming place for women, LBGTQ folks, and people of color to enter the hobby. We want to promote the idea that roleplaying games are for everyone, that our hobby—our fun, creative hobby—is something that can bring us together rather than tear us apart.

So why now and why Blue Rose? That’s why.

This has turned into more a political statement than I had intended when I sat down to write. Rest assured that our goal here is to make a fun and playable game and we’ll tell you more about that in the coming weeks. For starters, I just wanted to let you all know about our plans and give you some insight into why we think this is the right time for the return of Blue Rose.

Chris Pramas
President, Green Ronin Publishing
Seattle, WA