Tag Archive for: AGE

The Fifth Season RPG on Backerkit is Live!

The Fifth Season RPG now crowdfunding on Backerkit!

Join us for a special livestream with the developers and designers of The Fifth Season RPG!

 

The Fifth Season Roleplaying Game, now crowdfunding on Backerkit, is designed for you to play out adventures and stories set in the world described in the Broken Earth trilogy of novels by N.K. Jemisin—a world where constant and unstable tectonic and volcanic activity threaten all life; a world whose peoples have learned to adapt in order to survive. It is a world where everyone learns that Father Earth hates his children and is always trying to kill them, where metal rusts and even stone crumbles, and the best you can do is be prepared for the next disaster. In the world of the Broken Earth, community—the comm—is everything, because in community there is support and a chance to persevere.

You and your fellow players take the roles of members of such a community, working to overcome internal difficulties and external threats, in order to be ready when that inevitable Fifth Season comes. Are you a lifelong native of this place, someone everyone has recognized from childhood? Maybe you’re a more recent addition to the comm, someone who’s come from a distance, contributing something to the comm that makes the possibility of your secrets and past catching up to you worth it. Or perhaps you are an orogene, one who was born to sess the movements of the tectonic plates, gifted with a forbidden power to still the shaking earth and bleed heat in your environs away until frost coats everything in a perfect circle around you.

These may be times of peace and plenty, but strife and lean times are ahead, with the next Season of Death looming like a dark thunderhead on the horizon.

Welcome to the Stillness.
Download the Free Quickstart right here
Come check out the campaign, and if you pledge in the first 48 hours, you get a free printed copy of the game’s Quickstart (normally $10) if your chosen pledge level includes printed books (the Standard Edition and/or the Special Edition). The printed Quickstart will also be available as an add-on after the first 48 hours.And our top pledge level is the N.K. Jemisin Bookplate Bundle. This gets you the SpecialStandard, and PDF Editions of The Fifth Season RPG in addition to the signed bookplate. This pledge level is strictly limited to 500 backers.

Be sure to head over to The Fifth Season RPG on Backerkit and pledge early, before they run out!

Four versions available for the Fifth Season RPG

With four versions available, including Roll20!

Fantasy AGE 2nd Edition Coming in February

Fantasy AGE 2nd edition Core Rulebook

If you are looking for a new fantasy roleplaying game, your timing couldn’t be better because the Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook is almost here! It will be available as a PDF and go up for print pre-order next month. With our Pre-Order Plus Program, you can add the PDF for only $5 more when you pre-order the printed book, so you can start reading the game as soon as your order is in.

 

 

 

 


What does Fantasy AGE 2nd Edition have to offer? Glad you asked!

  • Fantasy AGE is easy to learn and fun to play. You can make a character in less than 30 minutes, and you only need three 6-sided dice to play.
  • Fantasy AGE is a class and level game so it’s easy to transition to from similar RPGs. The core classes are Envoy, Mage, Rogue, and Warrior (social, magic, sneaky, fighty). You can customize your character with specializations starting at level 1. Choose from duelist, diplomat, elementalist, mystic navigator, pirate, skald, sword mage, and many more.
  • The heart of the game is the stunt system, which brings dynamism and drama to the table. Roll doubles on 3d6 to pull off heroic maneuvers in combat, cast mightier spells, perform amazing feats of physical and mental prowess, or even cut a rival down to size with a few clever words.
  • Fantasy AGE is a toolkit you can use with the setting of your choice. Game Masters have many options to customize the rules for their campaigns. For example, the mage class represents all spellcasters and the game has no de facto stance on the nature of magic. In one campaign, all magic might come from ancestral spirits. In another, there might be a strict difference between arcane and divine magic with rules to reflect it.
  • Fantasy AGE features optional rules systems for Peril, which ramps up the challenges heroes face, and Daring, which allows those same heroes to pull off even more impressive feats.
  • The Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook is a complete game, with player and Game Master info and advice, an array of magical arcana and enchanted items, a selection of monsters and other adversaries, and an adventure so you can start right away.
  • The game is built with the Adventure Game Engine (AGE), which powers many other Green Ronin RPGs: Blue Rose, The Expanse, Modern AGE, and this year brings Cthulhu Awakens and The Fifth Season as well. Each game has some bespoke mechanics to reflect genre and setting (Blue Rose has psychic powers, Modern AGE has modes of play and forgoes classes, and The Expanse has rules for advanced weaponry and spaceship combat, for example) but they all share a common core of rules. If you play any AGE RPG, you already know the basics of the others.

If you are new to Fantasy AGE, you can see the game in just a few weeks. If you’d like to get a sense of the Adventure Game Engine in the meantime, check out the free Quickstart for our Blue Rose RPG.

 

Fantasy AGE: Origins

I designed the Adventure Game Engine in 2008 for our licensed Dragon Age RPG that came out the following year. This was a big hit for us, and it didn’t take long for fans to let us know that they loved the rules but wanted to see a more general version not tied to the world of Thedas. To coincide with Wil Wheaton’s RPG web series Titansgrave, which used the rules, we released the Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook in 2015 to great acclaim. From there the Adventure Game Engine became our house system, with Blue Rose, Modern AGE, and The Expanse following. One reason we began work on the Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook was to take some of the cool mechanical innovations of those games and implement them in the game’s next iteration. Like the churn in The Expanse? It forms the basis of the Peril system in Fantasy AGE 2nd Edition, for example.

 

What Does 2nd Edition Mean?

Current Fantasy AGE fans know we’ve been working on the Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook for several years. We have not previously called it 2nd Edition because one of the original design goals was to make it 99% compatible with the existing Fantasy AGE line. Two things happened along the way. First, it proved difficult to communicate that this was going to be a brand-new rulebook with some changes but mostly compatible with the Basic Rulebook. Second, during development and playtesting, we found more things that we wanted to update or expand, so now it’s more like 90% compatible. For these reasons, we decided that just calling it 2nd Edition would be best. Still, most of the 1st Edition line works just fine with 2nd Edition. You can use stat blocks from the Bestiary and adventures with little tweaking required. While much material from the Fantasy AGE Companion has been updated and incorporated into the new Core Rulebook, Lairs and the Campaign Builders Guide remain quite useful for the Game Master.

We know Fantasy AGE fans have been waiting for the Core Rulebook for a long time, but now the hour is nigh! Thanks for all your support over the years. Your patience will soon be rewarded.

 

The AGE System is a Map

Nothing quite starts off a new year like a cryptic blog post title, so here we go! Seriously though, I’d like to chat about how I feel about what the Adventure Game Engine is as it now powers a wider array of games than ever: Fantasy AGE, Modern AGE, Blue Rose, The Expanse, Cthulhu Awakens, and as per our recent announcement, The Fifth Season. And of course, it all goes back to its roots in the Dragon Age roleplaying game and Chris Pramas’s design.

Unfamiliar with the Adventure Game Engine? We’ve got you covered with our handy “What Is AGE?” primer!

The AGE System provides nearly infinite story opportunities and options!

I’m the Modern AGE developer, and that means taking an expansive view of the system that has come to be my default. This makes AGE something of a map: The system has “bare metal” mechanical features I can play with in a number of different ways. Very few things about the system are fundamental, but what is there—the fixed points on the map—help me answer questions about how a given instance of the game is supposed to work, and what the play experience should be like.

Are classes essential? Modern AGE proved they weren’t, but that protecting unique niches still mattered. Spending points on spells and other powers? Not essential, but a sign saying power should have some kind of cost.

The core of the AGE experience is something I like to call a “punctuated curve.” The core mechanics are 3d6 + modifiers versus a target number. 3d6 outputs a curve of results, where some numbers on the dice, in the middle of the range, are more likely than others. So, a character’s abilities are fairly reliable. But this sort of thing wouldn’t be especially cool without an additional element. In AGE, this is scoring doubles and generating stunt points. Thus, in the set of successful rolls there’s just under a 50% chance of a more interesting success.

This principle doesn’t tell us what a “more interesting success” is, and of course, that’s up to what stunts the player will pick—and stunts turn out to be something we can greatly customize by a game’s genre and setting. In Fantasy AGE Trojan War, divine stunts can be acquired with the help of the gods. In Cthulhu Awakens, certain stunts represent mind-melting insights won through exposure to the Mythos. The Expanse has stunts related to spacecraft.

But that point on the map can be zoomed in on, divided by area, and customized even further. Stunts represent exceptional results, but we can split them off from doubles. This is how we get the stunt attack mechanic in newer AGE rules sets, and how we use Bonds, where we add an opportunity to do amazing things because of a relationship or belief.

This is the kind of flexibility that lets AGE work for multiple games—we strip it down, see what remains, and it shows us what we can play with to address themes and play experience. While we sometimes do aim for cross-compatibility between games, we usually don’t fret that option A in one game contradicts B in another. You can pick and choose when crossing over. The point is to generate familiarity that lets you make your own crossovers and house rules, while presenting lots of readymade options to choose from.

What do you think is essential to the AGE system? What’s flexible? What should be one, not the other? Feel free to let us know!

Fifth Season Crowdfunding on Backerkit

Fifth Season Roleplaying on BackerkitWe’ve got some exciting news today! The crowdfunder for The Fifth Season RPG, based on N.K. Jemisin’s award-winning Broken Earth Trilogy, launches on January 24. Click here to visit the landing page on Crowdfunding by BackerKit, where you can sign up to be notified when the game goes live. You will also get a direct link to the game’s Quickstart PDF (with 44 pages of rules, an adventure, and pre-generated characters) sent to you on launch day!

Our basic funding goal is $50,000 and we want the campaign to open with a bang. If you pledge for the print edition of the core rulebook within the first 48 hours, you’ll also get a printed copy of the Quickstart. This is great if you want to play the game around the table.

The Fifth Season RPG is set in the Stillness, a vast, furious land that is home to thousands of Comms, settlements large and small where people gather for safety in a dangerous and unpredictable world. Each member contributes according to the dictates of their use-caste, and all with one goal: to prepare for the next Fifth Season, those cataclysmic events when Father Earth himself rages against humankind. It is only through the wisdom of the ancient Stone Lore that the people of the Stillness stand a chance of survival. The game gives players a chance to portray the folk of the Stillness, working together to deal with the problems that face their Comm to better prepare for the coming of the next Fifth Season. Players build a Comm together, create characters of that Comm, and face the challenges that the Stillness has to offer.

Fans of Green Ronin games will be happy to hear that the Adventure Game Engine (AGE) powers the Fifth Season RPG. If you’ve played Blue Rose, Dragon Age, The Expanse, Fantasy AGE, or Modern AGE, you already know the core of the rules. As with every AGE game, we customized the rules to best reflect the setting.

Can you survive in the Broken Earth? Find out in The Fifth Season Roleplaying Game!

Click for Initiative! Roll20 updates

Hey folks, Jonesy here with some exciting Roll20 updates!

We are happy to announce there is now an official Fantasy AGE character sheet on Roll20. A few weeks back we did a soft rollout of the sheet to get some initial user feedback. Since then, we have addressed any critical issues, as well as some under the hood updates that were required. To celebrate the official release we are rolling out not one but two Fantasy AGE adventures! These are Fantasy AGE Encounters: The Children’s Crusade, and Death in Freeport AGE edition.

The Children’s Crusade is a side quests for characters level 1-3, which can be used as-is, or expanded into a longer adventure. Fantasy AGE Encounters: The Children’s Crusade will be available for free on 12/15/22. Alongside Children’s Crusade, we are also releasing Death in Freeport Fantasy AGE edition, this AGE update for our classic adventure will also be available on 12/15/22, for $9.99. We will be following the initial releases with some additional Fantasy AGE Encounters rolling out later in December and early January.Roll20 Mutants & Masterminds Quickstart, for FREE!

On the supers side of the house, we recently released the Mutants & Masterminds Quick-Start. This gives you everything you need to give M&M on Roll20 a try, complete with a super hero slugfest between the Rook, dark-winged detective of Emerald City, and his foe the mutant Pack-Rat! Best of all, it is totally free! So, if you ever wanted to try out M&M on Roll20 here is a perfect opportunity.

Along with the Mutants & Masterminds Quick-Start, we have a number of Astonishing Adventures and Danger Zones which recently made the super leap to Roll20:

Now a sneak peek of what the digital Ronin team has in the works for 2023! We are looking at porting Fantasy AGE Lairs, more M&M Astonishing Adventures, as well as rolling out a M&M Hero Archetype pack. This pack will come with 20 prebuilt Heroes so players can jump in and play right away. Token packs, map packs, and Game Master kits for our various game lines are in the pipeline along with a few other surprises to be announced closer to their release. Last but certainly not least, the team is actively working on Cthulhu Awakens for Roll20, with the official character sheet coming soon. You can even  pre-order the Roll20 Edition of Cthulhu Awakens on Backerkit NOW!

The Cthulhu Awakens BackerKit…Awakens. Metaphorically.

Cthulhu awakens literally, of course.

In what seems like years ago due to pandemic and post-pandemic time dilation effects, but was actually through this past March, we ran our Kickstarter for Cthulhu Awakens, an AGE system game covering Cthulhu Mythos horror from the early years of the last century to the present: a period we call the Weird Century. Cthulhu Awakens evolves the iteration of AGE first seen in Modern AGE, drawing upon innovations from newer and upcoming AGE system books, as well as special rules unique to it. Cthulhu Awakens was developed to cover an epic span of time according to an inclusive ethic, but that isn’t its point of distinction. I think what makes it special is really the broad range of periods and tones, and an interpretation of the Mythos that puts game-centered storytelling before literary homage. Cthulhu Awakens can be about lurking fear or dramatic action—it’s up to you.

Well, the Kickstarter is done…and the BackerKit is live! That’s where we manage pledges to order the game and its related, uh, game stuff. Go to:

Backerkit Pre-order Store!

If you pledged a token amount to get reminded of this, now’s the time to up your pledge. If you want to tweak your pledge, maybe adding on some last-minute books, do it there.

And if this is new to you? Well, go anyway. This is your second chance, like the kind you don’t get unless you’re a Yithian agent consulting future records of yourself to avoid mistakes…but I’ve said too much. Well, except for one thing: If you’re locking in any kind of pledge, thank you!

Cthulhu Awakens Pre-order store is live

A Few Words on Languages

Tabletop roleplaying games can give us some funny ideas about languages and linguistics. At least, I know they did for me in some regards. Starting with a certain Popular Fantasy Roleplaying Game comes the notion that player characters are all multi-lingual, speaking three, four—as many as seven or eight languages fluently! This is often compounded with the notion that entire species share the same language, or that there are special languages for fantastic creatures from dragons to elementals to the denizens of different planes of existence.

Later RPGs have taken a more nuanced, and certainly more detailed approach to languages, including various levels of fluency, and things like complex charts showing the relationships between “language families” of earthly or imaginary languages, which may grant some greater understanding or closely-related tongues.

understanding the Language can be very important

“I’m not sure what you just said, but I don’t care for your tone!” Art by James Ryman

The Modern AGE rules have a somewhat laissez-faire attitude about languages. The sidebar on page 16 of the Basic Rulebook says characters should “be able to speak, read, and write whatever languages” they “would pick up due to their cultural and social class” suggesting a limit of three. The Linguistic talent in the game handles learning additional languages and requires a fairly significant investment, since talent degrees aren’t easy to come by, and each degree in the talent grants only one additional language. It would take a new specialization to create the true polyglot character who speaks a dozen or more languages.

Fantasy AGE likewise offers a Linguistics talent, for characters truly dedicated to speaking other languages. The game’s ancestries follow the fantasy standard of an ancestral language (all elves speak Elvish, for example) along with a “Common tongue” used and understood by everyone, for the most part.

Mutants & Masterminds treats language fluency as an advantage, one rank grants an additional language the character can speak, but each additional rank doubles the number of languages, so it’s fairly cost effective to create someone who speaks a dozen or more of them. Of course, in M&M, the ability to speak and understand all languages is on the table for just 2 ranks of the Comprehend power, so there isn’t a lot of point in having more than a few ranks in the Languages advantage, other than to represent the character’s own skill and knowledge.

Individual Game Masters have to decide the role languages—particularly unknown languages—will play in their campaigns. In some cases, the language barrier can be an important element of adventures or the setting. Others prefer to generally ignore the problem in order to get on with things; the Threefold setting for Modern AGE, for example, includes magical “universal translators” for characters working for the world-spanning Sodality, so GMs don’t need to worry about whether or not the characters speak any of the local languages—at least not until their translators are lost or stolen! Likewise, the Cosmic Handbook for M&M recommends Comprehend as a “default” power for star-spanning campaigns, unless you want to institute some form of “Galactic Common” that all alien species speak and understand.

When building worlds of your own for RPGs, you might want to give some thought as to how people say things, and what languages they are saying them in.

Last Chance Warehouse Sale

Last Chance Warehouse Sale: 75% off select print books, while supplies last!

 

After 22 years in business, the Green Ronin warehouse is looking a little crowded. With reprints and new products incoming, it’s time to make more space! These deals are for print products only. With limited stock and priced to clear some pallets, this is a screaming deal (75% off!) you don’t want to miss. With that, we offer you the LAST CHANCE WAREHOUSE SALE!

Please note the sale does not extend to shipping, and shipping fees are determined by the carrier.

75% off on select titles

 

Wanted: Bounty Hunters – The Expanse RPG

Trades of the Expanse: Bounty Hunter

Available Soon!

Coming soon to the Green Ronin Online Store and DrivethruRPG, Bounty Hunters kicks off the new Trades of the Expanse PDF series of short, well, expansions for The Expanse RPG, looking at different trades and professions in the setting: how to create characters practicing that trade, game systems for handling their jobs, and adventure hooks and ideas for them, to name a few. Bounty Hunters starts off with the basic premise “Throughout human history there have been people who posed problems for other people, and those willing and able to deal with such problems—for a price. It may have been someone who needed to be found, apprehended, given a message or a warning, or simply eliminated.”

Makes a certain amount of sense to start with bounty hunters, since The Expanse essentially starts off with a “kidnap job” assigned to StarHelix detective Miller. Coincidentally, bounty hunters are also prominent in other science fiction media of late and might provide some additional inspiration.

The product takes a look at the practice of bounty hunting in the System of The Expanse, including its relative legality, the types of bounties, and the clients offering them. It provides guidelines for bounty hunters looking for work, and the ways in which they find it, from standing bounties to agency assignments. It also looks at the bounty hunting process from start to finish, from getting the job to tracking the target to getting paid.

Bounty Hunters offers AGE game system material as well. It includes handling bounty hunting as an investigative challenge, income rewards, “Tools of the Trade” equipment, a Bounty Hunter specialization, and a couple of ships suited for bounty hunters. It even has special bounty hunting stunts like “The Upper Hand,” “What Makes Them Tick” and my personal favorite, “Saw That Coming,” which lets you spend Stunt Points to retroactively declare that you planned for something that your target ends up doing and you’re prepared for it.

The product also offers resources for Game Masters, including dealing with bounty hunter reputations, some ideas for Churn effects while hunting a bounty, and a “Jobs Board” with some potential bounties you can use as starting points for your own Expanse adventures focused on bounty hunting.

All in all, Trades of the Expanse: Bounty Hunters is a powerful little package, whether you want your crew to try their hand at the trade for a change-of-pace, or you’re interested in a whole series focused on bounty hunting in the System (and even many systems, with the Beyond the Ring sourcebook).

Trades of the Expanse: Bounty Hunters will be available very soon!

Gen Con Events!

Gen Con ®

Hello heroes! We are running some events at Gen Con this year! We are so excited for the chance to play with all of you. To help you find us, I have compiled this rough schedule of our events so you can come play with us at the con. I know our events are sold out, but you can still add them to your wishlist in case of cancellations, and I usually keep a secret seventh slot for my events if you show up with generics. I’ve laid our schedule out chronologically and have included event descriptions/GM as well. We hope to see you there!

Wednesday

8pm

  • Event Title: Freedom League: All in the Family
    • Synopsis: All isn’t as it seems when Zeus requests the Freedom League’s assistance in foiling his brother’s latest scheme to take over Earth-Prime.
    • System: Mutants & Masterminds
    • GM: Alex

Thursday

8am

  • Event Title: A Familiar Quest
    • Synopsis: After years of planning, the foul sorcerer Soulban has returned, springing his trap, & capturing the brave heroes of Crestwall. Now it is up to their animal allies to save them & all of Crestwall.
    • System: Fantasy AGE
    • GM: Jonesy
  • Event Title: The Mummy: The Lost Library
    • Synopsis: Rick O’Connell & crew dive into danger seeking the ruins of the Great Library of Alexandria.
    • System: Mutants & Masterminds
    • GM: Alex

Friday

9am and 4pm

  • Event Title: Secrets of Renwick Manor
    • Synopsis: As members of Beckmen & Hall’s “special handling” department, you are trusted to complete jobs of a more esoteric nature. The job: recover some dangerous items from the estate of August Renwick.
    • System: Modern AGE
    • GM: Jonesy

7pm

  • Event Title: The Siege of Starhaven
    • Synopsis: Eyes from across the galaxy are focused on Starhaven, eager to make use of its citizens, its ancient Preserver technology, and its close proximity to Earth. It is a city in need of heroes…
    • System: Mutants & Masterminds
    • GM: Alex

Saturday

9am

  • Event Title: Secrets of Renwick Manor
    • Synopsis: As members of Beckmen & Hall’s “special handling” department, you are trusted to complete jobs of a more esoteric nature. The job: recover some dangerous items from the estate of August Renwick.
    • System: Modern AGE
    • GM: Jonesy

2pm

  • Event Title: Titan City Chronicles: Blood Run
    • Synopsis: Vampires are roaring through 1920s Titan City, and it’s up to a ragtag band of noir heroes to stop them.
    • System: Mutants & Masterminds
    • GM: Alex

Sunday

10am

  • Event Title: A Familiar Quest
    • Synopsis: After years of planning, the foul sorcerer Soulban has returned, springing his trap, & capturing the brave heroes of Crestwall. Now it is up to their animal allies to save them & all of Crestwall.
    • System: Fantasy AGE
    • GM: Jonesy

And don’t forget to drop by Booth 101, and come check out all the new things Green Ronin has available for Gen Con this year!

 

Visit Green Ronin at Booth 101, Gen Con Indy 2022