Tag Archive for: AGE

Do you Want the Power in Fantasy AGE? Well, Have It!

It’s no secret that lots of gamers are, like me, remnants of the Generation cohort who got into it during the 80s roleplaying game trend. Ah, the 80s, an era of many bad things, a few good things, and admittedly morally ambiguous things—like Saturday morning cartoons. And toy-based cartoons. These vehicles to sell toys and sugary cereals represented advertisers preying on children in a low-key fashion, though it wasn’t always so low key for their parents when we kids dutifully screamed for consumer goods—but we’ve still got good memories of them, and even the most commercial pop culture has to be attractive, and therefore interesting. Toy designers recruited comic creators. They looked at inspirations from sword and sorcery fiction. Then they mashed it up to create playsets and dolls (called “action figures” for a gendered flair when they had swords and ray guns). And we pretended to be them, or used them as a playing piece in imaginative games.

Enter the Icon: a way to play such a character in Fantasy AGE, coming soon to an unannounced project.

YOU HAVE THE POWER! As a Fantasy AGE Icon character

New Specialization: Icon

Some say icons were born of experiments conducted in an ancient fortress, whose secrets were used to fuse magic and technology. Others say the icons are an order of spiritual knights who, in communing with the universe, found the discipline to bind science and sorcery behind a single mystical archetype. They might be from a lost world at the center of the universe, or the remnants of angelic beings, who are born again within the icon. Not all icons are heroes, however. In fact, evil icons are sometimes easy to identify, because of the way icon status influences appearance, so skull-tipped staves and blood-red cloaks set them apart.

Regardless of their origins, these figures of action are defined by a techno-mystical aspect solidified in the form of mysterious vestments: special clothing and gear laced with technology and sorcery. Only an icon can use the powers of their vestments to perform extraordinary feats. These abilities fit a theme that is usually apparent by appearance of individual vestments. Vestments consisting of a pectoral plate, loincloth and sword suggest an untamed warrior, while robes and an animal headdress might belong to a sorceress who channels the power of a god the animal represents.

Consequently, an icon is often best known by a name that refers to their powers and appearance. A demonic soldier with three horns might be known as “Tri-Horn,” for instance. It may seem to be a simple nickname, but that’s enough to earn the respect and fear of those who know the power of icons.

Class: Any

Requirements: 3 or higher in one of your class’s primary abilities.

You have the power to master the universe when you take on an alternate identity.

Novice: You initiate yourself into the path of the icon. You acquire techno-magical vestments. These only work for you, and while they can be stolen, you always know what direction to find them in, or even if they’ve been taken to another world. You may include up to 100 sp of non-perishable equipment with your vestments, including armor and weapons.

When you wear your vestments, you may use a minor action to prepare a stunt you select when you gain this power that normally costs you 2 SP, so that you can use for 0 SP on your next action (assuming it succeeds) without having to score doubles or spend stunt points, though you gain the normal benefits of both. This stunt must fit the theme and loose capabilities of your vestments, but it can be a basic stunt or class stunt. If the selected stunt proves to be a poor fit, you can swap it for another the next time you gain a level.

Expert: Your icon abilities grow. You may use the Novice benefit, under the same conditions, for another stunt that normally costs you 3 SP. You must use a separate minor action to activate each free stunt, however. You must also select an iconic name. This name acts as an honorific while you wear your vestments. Finally, when you’re wearing your vestments, you can choose to cause them to conceal your identity. As a free action that can only be rescinded by removing your vestments, you can make them a disguise with a TN of 10 + your Willpower to penetrate, allowing you to keep a secret identity.

Master: A lord among icons, your enemies tremble when they see you in your vestments. You may use the Novice benefit, under the same conditions, for an additional stunt that normally costs you 4 SP, though again, activating each free stunt is a separate minor action. Furthermore, you may summon from or dismiss your vestments to another dimension as a minor action. You choose whether to summon your vestments to appear on you, or adjacent to you. If they appear on you, anything that you could not wear with them is shunted to the alternate dimension until you dismiss your vestments again.

 

Robots, in Fantasy AGE? If only the Icon was here to save us!

But Wait, There’s More

Like I said, the icon is one of a number of brand-new specializations coming to an upcoming unannounced Fantasy AGE project—the second in a row I’ve been working on. If you checked out Fantasy AGE Trojan War you’ll have a sense of the probable format, but that’s all I can say for now. Let us know if you like these peeks at what we’re doing. Cheers!

 

Cthulhu Awakens Compendium on Roll20

As a big fan of both the AGE system and of the Cthulhu Mythos, I was super excited when the Cthulhu Awakens Kickstarter was announced and backed it immediately. Part of what excited me was the inclusion of a Roll20 Compendium since I run games both in person and online as part of the USP actual play team. What I didn’t know, at the time I backed that Kickstarter, was that I was going to be entrusted by team Ronin to make that Roll20 Compendium a reality.  With that said we are happy to announce the stars are right and the Cthulhu Awakens compendium is now available on the Roll20 marketplace, as well as DrivethruRPG.

The compendium includes

  • Rollable Tables to randomize your character’s Social Class, Background, Profession, and Drive
  • Dynamic Lightening for all included maps.
  • Drag & Drop for support for Character Creation, including Focuses, Background, Talents, Specializations,
  • Eldritch Workings, Dangerous Texts, Artifacts, and Psychic Phenomena
  • Full drag & drop compatibility and tokens for over 40 Cthulhu Awakens adversaries

Cthulhu Awakens Roll20 compendium

Cthulhu Awakens Roll20 Compendium

Along with Cthulhu Awakens compendium we released Revelations of the Bacchae on Roll20, which features three location maps with dynamic lighting, two Challenge test trackers, Four pre-generated characters, and seven new NPCs

Revelations of the Bacchae

Cthulhu Awakens Roll20 Compendium monsters!

Lastly, we released the token set that comes with the Cthulhu Awakens Compendium as a stand-alone offering for those game masters who only need the tokens.

Cthulhu Awakens Tokens: Entities Pack

So, what is next for Cthulhu Awakens on Roll20? We are working on the Game Master’s Kit, and a couple new surprises I hope to share with you soon.

Cthulhu Awakens Roll20 Compendium Abilities

And don’t forget to tune in to ThursdAGE on the Green Ronin Publishing official YouTube Channel, today 2/8/24 at 2p Pacific/5p Eastern where we’ll do a deep dive into the Cthulhu Awakens Compendium! Your host Disembodied Troy welcomes Malcolm Sheppard, Ian Lemke, and myself to celebrate this VTT Team milestone and talk all things Cthulhu Awakens!

Uncover the Secrets of the Galaxy with Trades of the Expanse: Journalist

Trades of the Expanse: Journalist Available now!<transmission from Green Ronin Publishing incoming.>
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Today I’m here to tell you about the latest for The Expanse RPG—Trades of the Expanse: Journalist. The 1300 worlds are filled with stories, and it’s the journalist’s job to seek them out, uncover the truth, and share them with the galaxy. This exciting supplement explores the life of journalists in The Expanse. It offers helpful information for players who want to make journalists, groups who want to play a team of journalists, and plenty of source material and new rules, gear, and ships for any GM who wants to expand their campaign.

 

The life of a journalist can be hazardous. Journalists pride themselves on keeping humanity honest by speaking truth to power and exposing dirty secrets. With humanity spread across the galaxy, the sharing of information has become even more important. Journalists help to share the human experience of people from vastly different circumstances and backgrounds. They expose the dirty secrets of the rich and powerful, share the plight of the Belters with the Inners, and shine a light on the truth. Journalists tend to make a lot of enemies. Most folks don’t like having their secrets exposed and sometimes seek revenge or just to stop information from being released.

 

Trades of the Expanse: Journalist follows the same format as the other Trades books. It opens with an in-depth look at the role of journalists in The Expanse universe and explores different kinds of journalism. There’s also a fun section on media lingo and a listing of many of the media outlets journalist characters are likely to interact with. Then, there’s the Finding Work section that provides some charts and tables for GMs to use to determine the types of journalist jobs that are available.

 

The Tools of the Trade section details a trove of new gear for journalists: electronic press IDs, recording drones, and burn keys for quickly deleting data, and even a new augmentation. Following the tools is everyone’s favorite section—Ships! There are new Ship Qualities and a ship designed for the journalist on the move, the Cronkite-class Media Ship.

 

Under Doing the Work there are new rules for journalists and campaigns involving journalists. There’s a Journalist specialization with a new talent that helps with getting access and getting the story out. There are new stunts including Hardball (for getting to the truth when conducting an interview), Fourth Estate (for earning the trust of different organizations), and Press Pass (for getting access). There are even new Churn complications for adventures for journalist-oriented adventures and campaigns.

 

To wrap things up, you’ll find a rogues’ gallery of ready-made sources that GMs can use to build a story around or if they need a quick NPC in a pinch. Finally, there we present an optional system for journalists (although it could easily be adapted to other types of adventures and characters). The No Further Questions! optional system allows a player to add to the Churn tracker in exchange for special journalistic actions such as getting answers to questions, capturing important video, finding a new source, or gaining an important clue.

 

That about wraps it up. The Trades of the Expanse series continues. Next up is Trades of the Expanse: Entertainer. Keep your comms open!

 

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Trades of the Expanse: Journalist is available now in the Green Ronin Online Store, and on DrivethruRPG!

Cthulhu Awakens Now! Well, in Preorder and PDF Form, That Is!

Cthulhu Awakens Preorder Available Now!After a successful Kickstarter campaign, careful design and art direction—and errata, where necessary—Cthulhu Awakens is available to general audiences for preorder and in PDF! Furthermore, if you preorder the print release, you can add the PDF for just another $5.

Cthulhu Awakens brings cosmic horror and the Cthulhu Mythos to Green Ronin’s AGE System. This complete RPG reimagines and expands the Mythos beyond the biases of the original stories, creating a setting designed specifically for roleplaying eldritch adventures across about a hundred strange years—what we call the Weird Century. Follow aliens and cults through wars, the broken atom, the rise of digital and genetic technologies, and the horrors of social media. Contend with Deep One cults, Yithian agents, and terrifying revelations from across the globe—and within your dreams.

If you’ve played any AGE game, such as Blue RoseThe ExpanseFantasy AGE, or Modern AGE, you already know the basicsCthulhu Awakens customizes the system with the effects of horror and Alienation, eldritch workings, psychic powers, strange artifacts, mystic tomes, and more. The game also includes Mythos horrors and ready-made NPCs for the Game Master, and two complete adventures. All you need are character sheets, 3 six-sided dice, and friends ready for weird stories. In Cthulhu Awakens, anyone can stand against the darkness.

If you backed the Kickstarter, you’ve probably already received a preview PDF, and an updated PDF, along with everything else you backed, in time, is on the way—and you’ll get it first. This is for the rest of you, to follow backers in a similarly amusing abyss where everything you thought was a lie…for fun.

Here’s where to go:

There’s more Cthulhu Awakens to come, from the Game Masters Kit to adventures and other supplements. Stay wary!

Travel the Stars—Trades of the Expanse: Scout

Scouts! a new supplement in the Trades of the Expanse seriesExplore the galaxy! Chart new systems! Study new stellar phenomena! See what no human has ever seen!

Sign up today and join this new branch of Pope Enterprises family – The Pope Scouting Service!

 

Just a little over a month ago, I brought you the news that the new edition of Trades of the Expanse was coming out. Now I can tell you that the next is ready to go. The PDF for Trades of the Expanse: Scout is now available! So, what exactly are scouts in The Expanse RPG? Well, let me tell you….

The 1300 new worlds beyond the ring gates are ripe for exploration, colonization, and plundering. However, before these worlds can be explored, they must be located and determined and their safety analyzed. While much of the initial exploration and observation is uncrewed, using probes and other remote-operated ships, nothing beats the human touch. A scout can often notice dangers or anomalies that a remote probe might miss. They can also react immediately and make on-the-fly decisions if an unusual situation arises rather than waiting for hours due to the time delay in communications.

Scouts and planetary surveyors often work hand-in-hand, with a scout ship leading the way and then a team of planetary surveyors arriving soon after they give the all-clear. Sometimes, the ships explore a system in tandem, or you may even find planetary surveyors on the same ship.

Of course, not all scouts explore new systems and stellar phenomena. The MCR and UN Navies make heavy use of scouts to monitor their enemies, and the Belters also have their own scouts for spying on the MCR and UN as well as other Belters. The megacorps are also not averse to using scouts to ferret out information about the competition. This type of scout overlaps somewhat into the territory of spying, although in most cases, they never leave the ship. It can also prove to be incredibly dangerous. No military or corporate entity takes well to surreptitious scans of their stations, factories, or colonies. The response to this sort of snooping can often be lethal.

Trades of the Expanse: Scout offers the trove of information folks have come to expect from all of the Trades books. You’ll find lots of fun details about the life of scouts, who hires them, and what kind of jobs they can find. Then there are new rules, including sample advanced and challenge tests for scout-oriented adventures, new stunts, reputations, and a scout specialization. And finally, the fun part—new ships and equipment!

For new equipment, you’ll find expert systems for scout ship computers and an array of probes and drones that can come in handy while exploring new systems. Ships are a necessary tool for any scout, and we’ve got four new designs. The Mosquito-class (dubbed the “Tin Can”) is a tiny one-person scout vessel. The Dove-class Stealth Scout is a slight step up, with serviceable living quarters for its crew of two—both of whom had best get along. This ship is designed for getting into and out of places without being seen. With a standard crew of six (perfect for a group of player characters), the Orion-class Heavy Scout is designed for long-term missions. However, most are constructed on a decommissioned class of  UNN patrol ships, and sometimes the age shows. Last but not least is the Beta-class Scouting Platform. While technically a ship, the Beta is more of a mini-space station meant for long-term missions and observation.

Keep your comms open for more information on upcoming books for The Expanse RPG at a space station near you!

Disembodied Troy and I will be taking a deep dive into the material, during ThursdAGE!, the official livestream Powered buy the Adventure Game Engine. Come join us on YouTube at 2P Pacific, 5P Eastern.

Trades of the Expanse: Scout is also available over on DrivethruRPG

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Exploring the Expanse—Trades of the Expanse: Planetary Surveyor

Trades of the Expanse: Planetary SurveyorI know I’ve been talking about it for a long time, but it’s finally here—Trades of the Expanse: Planetary Surveyor! The perfect companion for Beyond the Ring, this book offers an in-depth look into the dangerous trade of planetary exploration. Not only will you find details about the nuts and bolts of planetary exploration but there are lots of new gadgets and new rules for expanding gameplay.

Prior to the discovery of the ring gates and the 1300 worlds that lie beyond, planetary exploration by humans had become a thing of the past. By the timeframe of The Expanse, all the major worlds and many of the major moons and asteroids in our solar system had been extensively explored. While new discoveries are still being made, the need for human-centered exploration missions has dwindled. However, with the opening up of so many new worlds and systems, planetary surveyors (and their companion scouts) have become hot commodities sought out by governments and mega corporations in the gold rush to the stars.

Planetary Surveyor offers a wealth of new information on the life of a planetary surveyors and includes details on the types of missions surveyors are likely to find and who might be hiring them. Governments, corporations, and even religious and special interest groups are all seeking information about these new worlds. Which planets are habitable (suitable for a colony), what are their resources, what are the dangers. Planetary surveyors are expected to report back with all this information and more. Of course, as the first colony on Ilus/New Terra proved, exploring new worlds is a dangerous task and suitable for only the bravest hardiest individuals.

Of course, scientific exploration breeds innovation and planetary surveyors have a wealth of new tools of the trade to make their job easier and maybe even a little safer. The new gear described in this book includes animal capture gear, chemistry decks, survival kits, drones (reconnaissance, surveying, sampling, snare, and submersible) as well as aircraft, aquatic vehicles, and ground vehicles. They even have their own special designed ships including the Giza-class research vessel, the Liu Hui-class scout, and the Narwhal-type submersible skiff. Yes, you read that correctly, a space craft designed for underwater exploration as well!

The book also features new rules including a planetary surveyor specialization, new reputations, and Churn results targeted specifically at exploration-based stories and campaigns. You’ll also find a few ready-made contacts, clients and fixers who might hire planetary surveyors.

So, what’s next? Trades of the Expanse: Scout, sort of the companion for this Trades book is right around the corner. And this fall, we’ll be bringing you Sol System which has everything you’d want to know about our very own solar system during The Expanse era as well as new rules including augmentations for player characters. And we’re not done yet! The Trades of the Expanse series continues with new entries and we have new books planned that take us through the Free Navy Conflict and beyond! So, keep your eyes on the stars, watch out for killer robots, and stay tuned to this channel for more updates.

 

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Out Now: Fantasy AGE 2nd Edition!

Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook out now!I am delighted to announce that Fantasy AGE 2nd Edition is here, there, and everywhere! It’s in game stores this week and we will, of course, have it at our Gen Con booth in August. The print edition of Fantasy AGE 2E is, of course, available through our online store, and you can get the PDF there or at DriveThruRPG. Virtual tabletop wise, we’ve got a character sheet, short adventures, and tokens available on Roll20 and we’re hard at work on a full compendium for Fantasy AGE 2E as well. The Fantasy AGE GM’s Toolkit—with a hardback screen, reference cards, and an adventure—is already at print and coming soon.

If, like many people this year, you are looking for an alternate swords & sorcery RPG, check out what Fantasy AGE 2E has to offer. It’s a complete RPG in one book that gives you the tools to run a game in the world of your choice, our new Stranger Shores setting, or one you create yourself. The class and level system gives new players something familiar, but the stunt system and other design innovations set Fantasy AGE apart. If you’d like to read more about it, we’ve got a series of Ronin Round Tables that delve into various aspects of the game.

You can start here, with our January announcement.

You can learn about the ancestries available for your characters here.

You can read about classes and specializations here.

You can get in a fight here.

You can learn about magic here.

You can see what’s great about stunts here.

Fantasy AGE 2E is a relaunch of the whole line and you can learn more about what’s coming up for the game here.

We have been working on Fantasy AGE 2E for many years and it’s exciting to see it get into people’s hands. I hope you all have fun with it. There’s still plenty of time to start a summer campaign!

 

Storm Warning: A New Modern AGE Missions Adventure!

Storm Warning a new adventure for Modern AGEIn a small, seaside town, a cult lurks in the shadows and prepares to fulfill the dark prophecies it’s harbored for years. Now, the time is finally right to bring their patron into the world, using an incoming natural disaster as both cover and a source of fell energy. Heroes must work against the clock and the elements to discover the cult’s plot and decide what to do about it, rescuing or dooming the town while doing their best to simply survive.

Written by Jose R. Garcia and developed by Meghan Fitzgerald, Storm Warning is a new adventure for the Modern AGE roleplaying game, designed to be suitable for characters between levels 1-4, showcasing Modern AGE in the survival horror genre, as the cult, its bizarre servitors and, perhaps, the unspeakable being behind it all, arise in wind and water. It provides multiple paths for the Game Master to follow, allowing it to stand on its own or fit into a larger campaign. Therefore, it requires the Modern AGE Basic Rulebook.

 

 

Storm Warning is part of the Modern AGE Missions adventure series. These adventures aren’t tied to any detailed setting, though they sometimes loosely imply a setting. This makes them ideal for one-shots, as a campaign kickoff, or as a break from your game’s primary story arc. Check out the other Modern AGE Missions:

Warflower

Alchemy, drug dealing, corporate intrigue, and medieval sword fighting combine in a modern-day murder mystery with a side of action and a little mysticism—or is it just strange chemistry? Warflower is an adventure for characters of levels 1-4.

Feral Hogs

After civilization fell apart, and the people of ‘Murica retreated to desperate villages and the enormous walled distribution fortresses of the Bozos clan, a new threat arose—no, not the rise of strange mental powers triggered by energy drinks, the other threat: feral hogs. In case the adventure title didn’t give it away. Whether in squealing hordes of 30-50 or in singular mutants of towering porcine glory, they stand in the way of recovery. Feral Hogs is a lighthearted adventure for characters of levels 1-4.

Flight 1701

A routine flight turns into a challenge to survive and humanity’s first contact with extraterrestrial life, as the plane somehow crashes on another world. The passengers and crew must work together to discover what happened, represent all humans while struggling to communicate with an alien people, and figure out a way to get back home. The decisions they make may alter the course of human civilization forever. An adventure for characters of levels 5-8.

Assault on the Aerie

A skilled strike team must find a way to breach the defenses of a nigh-impenetrable mountain fortress, rescue the hostages inside, stop a threat to humanity, and get out alive. That alone would be hard enough, but the mystical wards and magical creatures standing in their way makes the mission all the more dangerous. Assault on the Aerie is a new adventure for the Modern AGE roleplaying game, designed to be suitable for characters between levels 13-15, showcasing Modern AGE in the urban fantasy genre.

Playing With Stunts

Stunts are one of the pillars of the Adventure Game Engine, the system we use in Fantasy AGE, Modern AGE, Blue Rose, The Expanse, and the upcoming Cthulhu Awakens and Fifth Season roleplaying games, all descended from design work on the grandfather of them all, Dragon Age.

Heading into the new edition of Fantasy AGE and Cthulhu Awakens, as well as some proposed and to-be announced projects, I played with how stunt point generation and stunts functioned. Part of game development is exploring ideas that won’t necessarily make it into the final game—and sometimes even ideas that would never have done so, but act as conceptual landmarks.

Relationship Bonds and the newer Stunt Attack option aside, the basic way to generate stunt points is to match any 2 dice on a 3d6 test. This prompts a look at the Stunt Die (Drama Die in some games, or Dragon Die in Dragon Age), which tells you how many stunt points (SP) you get. But what if we did it differently?

Let’s take a look at some of these options.

Creating your own house-rules like stunts is part of what makes AGE so fun!Highest Die is Stunt Die: Instead of having a fixed Stunt Die, it’s always the highest die. Since you get SP on the set of successful tests your SP will always tend toward the higher range in the first place, but this exaggerates the effect even further. I don’t recommend this as a standard practice, but it might work as a special ability provided by a talent or extraordinary effect.

Lowest Die is Stunt Die: Woah, this one is interesting on a few levels, and in fact, is the most mathematically “logical,” but it isn’t fun enough to replace the ordinary Stunt Die. For one thing, that means you need a natural 18 to get 6 SP—and there’s a 0.46% chance of getting that. That’s why it isn’t fun enough, as part of the purpose of the Stunt Die is to add more variable results— “swinginess,” we call it, sometimes—to the regularity provided by the 3d6 curve.

SP and Degrees of Success Are Separate Dice: As we also use the Stunt Die to measure your degree of success, making the highest or lowest rolled die the Stunt Die becomes a problem for things like automatic weapons in Modern AGE, as well as advanced tests and other things that rely on degree of success. So, you might retain a visually distinctive die called the “Success Die” or “Power Die.” Even if you keep the usual Stunt Die you might split it from the Power Die. I looked at this pretty seriously as it opens up a lot of design-level opportunities, but in the end, I didn’t think it was worth it.

Anti-Stunts: Cthulhu Awakens actually has a limited version of this, but the version here is simpler. If you blow a roll but get doubles, you generate SP—for bad things. The simplest application is to hand them over to an opponent who spends them on stunts that are bad for you on their turn, in addition to the SP they might gain. Enemies who do the same naturally give you SP in return, so if you use this option SP ebb and flow from one side to the other. Besides the convolutions necessary outside of straightforward situations like combat, the problems with this one are the sheer number of SP that can concentrate in one place, which can get out of hand.

Degree of Success to SP: One recent idea I had was to award degree of success -5 SP regardless of whether a roll scores doubles or not. This means 1 SP on a 6. It gets really interesting when characters gain the ability to add focus bonuses to degrees of success. In newer AGE games this bonus maxes out at +4, so a roll of 6 with that bonus on the Stunt Die would provide a degree of success of 10, which converts to 5 bonus SP. The tricky bit comes when we score doubles. We could drop that completely, which would be miserable because low level characters could only ever get 1 SP from a roll, but if we keep SP from doubles the range of SP would be (degree of success -5) + Stunt Die, which might award up to 11 SP, which is too much.

Everything is Stunts: The answer to too-many-SP variants of course is, “What if it’s all stunts?” In this scheme we would add a Base Effect stunt table and the General Stunts from the Modern AGE Companion, and instead of stunts being an extraordinary result, we use SP as the building blocks to do anything—but no SP, no result. This would produce a really formal set of AGE mechanics which don’t fit the GM-guided goals of the system but might be fun to experiment with, nonetheless.

What do you think of these ideas? Would you try any of them? AGE is house rule and variant-friendly by design, as shown in the optional systems in Fantasy AGE. Modern AGE has two books that are filled with optional and variant game systems: the Modern AGE Companion and perhaps more relevant to this article, the Modern AGE Mastery Guide. Regardless of what we cook up in the lab, so to speak, we like it when you make the games your own.

Modern AGE, Post-Pandemic

Modern AGE Powers!One of the challenges of the pandemic was a “logjam” of content we couldn’t publish yet for a number of reasons. Printers were unavailable. Shipping was awful (and hasn’t improved as much as anyone would like, honestly—remember, we don’t set those prices!) and people got sick. Bad times, and we’re still emerging from them.

One of the effects of this has been that Modern AGE has had to deal with a number of delays, compounded by new delays as some priority items are earlier in the queue for publication. Modern AGE is my game and I love it, but we NEED Mutants & Masterminds in print over Modern AGE supplements, for instance.

Where We Were

We did manage to release a few things for the line over the pandemic, however, and just to refresh your memory, they are:

Enemies & Allies: Modern AGE’s book of friends, foes, and bizarre beings from the slipstream SF, procedural, technothriller, horror, and urban fantasy genres. Enemies & Allies dropped in 2020.

Modern AGE Missions Series: Did you know Modern AGE has adventure support? The electronic Missions series started in 2020, and now encompasses the following titles:

Five and Infinity: Threefold Adventure Series: This is the one that was probably the most affected by the pandemic. Originally intended to drop as a thin hardcover hot on the heels of the Threefold setting book, we had to make do when the printing, shipping, and timing opportunities to sell the thing dried up. This collection of five adventures for the dimension-hopping Threefold setting include some of the best work ever done for Modern AGE, in my opinion—and story and planar generators, too! After releasing the adventures one at a time we eventually opted for a collected softcover print release of Five and Infinity in 2022.

Modern AGE Mastery Guide: Released in 2021, the Mastery Guide is, at this time of writing in May 2023, the most recent hardcover release, covering official rules updates, tons of optional rules, and best practices for players and GMs.

Cyberpunk Slice: This one dropped last year, in 2022. Cyberpunk Slice (PDF link; POD at Drivethru here) was a half-unexpected hit—unexpected because we designed it to make sure there was fresh Modern AGE content, but only half so because fans had long asked for dedicated cyberpunk genre support.

All in all, not a bad roster for the Bad Years.

Where We’re Headed

I originally had a more aggressive schedule for Modern AGE planned for the past three years, but looking forward, timing and industry changes mean we’re not necessarily going to dump a glut of products we’ve had saved up out there.

One change that impacted the line was Cthulhu Awakens evolving from a Modern AGE supplement to an autonomous game still largely compatible Modern AGE but able to stand on its own.

Beyond that, here’s what’s coming. Well, some things are almost for sure, while others are more speculative—definitely versus maybe, below!

Definitely More Missions: We have a pair of Modern AGE Missions adventures working their way through the production process.

Definitely Modern AGE Powers: The big book of extraordinary powers, revised and expanded from the Modern AGE Companion to include superpowers, more magic, more psychic powers, strange ancestries, and a whole bunch of extraordinary items. This book is currently awaiting its turn for art and proofing.

Maybe More Slices: Cyberpunk Slice has raised the possibility of other short works that concentrate on a genre. Which ones would you buy? I’ve kicked around Modern Fantasy Slice, Apocalypse Slice, Horror Slice, and so on. Also, I mean “buy,” not “wish existed but would not necessarily buy,” which is why I didn’t list pulp or steampunk.

Maybe More Settings: I always wanted to do settings beyond World of Lazarus and Threefold but for various reasons this sort of thing has been delayed. Plus of course we have the challenge of settings for a base game line, where we can’t provide more support without further divvying up gamers by their level of interest in a given setting.

I look forward to resolving the “maybes,” and also really getting Modern AGE down as a solid body of work that stretches the possibilities of the Adventure Game Engine, especially as I explore potential new AGE games, iterating from the ideas we’ve worked on….