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Tales of Blue Rose: Quartet of Thieves

This week Nisaba Press presents a new Blue Rose short story, “Quartet of Thieves” by Clio Yun-su Davis.

A young woman travels far from home to deliver an important letter but must band together with a boy thief, his rhy-fox companion, and a caravan guard to steal it back when it gets taken by a criminal organization.

This Tale of Blue Rose can be yours to read in your choice of PDF, epub, or mobi formats, for just $1.99.

New Blue Rose Fiction

Of Shadows and Light: Blue Rose fictionToday we have a new short fiction piece up for sale, set in the World of Aldea from our Blue Rose RPG! Rhiannon Louve brings us “Of Shadow and Light,” Part 1 of a series titled “Those Who Wait.”

Marn the Rose Knight is used to saving the world, but can Kiyn help her learn to save herself?

 

For other Blue Rose fiction, see:

Or view our entire Nisaba Press fiction catalog here.

Free Fiction Sampler: Offerings Anthology

Offerings: A Fiction AnthologyWe are pleased to present, for free download, “Offerings, a Fiction Anthology,” a sampler of fiction from three of our upcoming fiction releases. In case you missed it, we recently announced Nisaba Press, Green Ronin Publishing’s new fiction imprint, helmed by Managing Editor Jaym Gates.

Within the pages of “Offerings” you’ll find:

  • The Prologue from Shadowtide, our first romantic fantasy Blue Rose novel by Joseph Carriker.
  • “New Girls,” by Crystal Frasier, set in the super-heroic world of Earth-Prime from Mutants & Masterminds.
  • “Requiem, In Bells,” by Ari Marmell, set in the fantasy horror-survival world of The Lost Citadel.

We hope you enjoy this offering from our first few fiction titles. We can’t wait to share our worlds with you!

ENnie Awards Voting Open and ENnie Awards Sale

We are pleased and humbled to be nominated for eight ENnie Awards this year. We’ve included a list of our nominations at the bottom of this post.

2017 ENnies voting is now open

In our excitement about the ENnies we placed several products on sale in our Green Ronin Online Store. Please check out our 2017 ENnie Awards Sale.

Our nominations are for:

Best Adventure:
Dragon’s Hoard
Best Art, Cover:
Blue Rose: The AGE RPG of Romantic Fantasy
Best Monster/Adversary:
Atlas of Earth-Prime
Fantasy AGE Bestiary
Best RPG Related Product:
Cinema and Sorcery: The Comprehensive Guide to Fantasy Film
Best Setting:
Atlas of Earth-Prime
Best Supplement:
Cosmic Handbook
Product of the Year:
Atlas of Earth-Prime

As always, sincere congratulations to our fellow nominees, and thank you to all who worked on these products, all who vote, and everyone else we may have forgotten to list.

Ronin Round Table: Conversion Experience

PendantImagePart of the experience of creating the forthcoming new edition of Blue Rose, following our successful Kickstarter, is the process of taking the original rules of the game, which were the first iteration of what became the True20 System and converting them over to the Fantasy AGE System. Game system certainly does matter when it comes to game experience, so we wanted to make sure Blue Rose both took full advantage of the best qualities of the AGE System and that the rules adapted, as needed, to fit the world of Aldea and the romantic fantasy style of Blue Rose.

Some things were easy: Fantasy AGE character creation is based off of three classes: Mage, Rogue, and Warrior. Blue Rose character creation was also based off three classes: Adept, Expert, and Warrior. The three mapped almost exactly. On the other hand, Blue Rose adepts are not quite Fantasy AGE mages. Indeed, Blue Rose needed a whole new system of arcana to reflect the more psychic-based style of magic found in the setting. Similarly, the expert class needed additional breadth to handle many more socially-focused characters in Blue Rose, in addition to the sneaks, scouts, and swashbucklers.

Likewise, Blue Rose called for new races and backgrounds, since the world of Aldea doesn’t feature the same fantasy races found in Fantasy AGE, and its cultures have different backgrounds. Whereas Fantasy AGE devoted a fair amount of space to detailing the various kinds of equipment and gear adventures outfit themselves with, Blue Rose doesn’t focus so much on such things, so we needed to condense and simplify the rules for weapons, armor, and miscellaneous gear of all kinds.

The original edition of the game was heavily driven by Feats, individual special abilities characters acquired both at creation and as they advanced. Fantasy AGE, on the other hand, is largely driven by Talent, three-tiered sets of abilities which improve as characters advance, similar to many of the feat-chains or advancement paths set forth in the Blue Rose Companion. We had to consider in many cases whether or not a particular feat needed to become part of a Talent (or get expanded out into an entire Talent unto itself), become a Focus, or perhaps a class power or even arcanum (as most of the supernatural feats became).

The core of the game remains very much the same, with the same abilities, the use of focuses (although there are some new ones associated with the setting), and the use of tests and the stunts that may result from them. There are some new stunts, naturally, and a new way of generating stunt points from the intensity of characters’ relationships, perfect for that needed-right-now stunt to save a hero’s beloved, or strike down a hated enemy. There are also new persona mechanics to determine a character’s Calling as well as their Destiny and their Fate, their “highest” and “lowest” expressions of their nature, the good and bad impulses that exist within us all that help to drive characters.

One of the best results of the conversion experience is the opportunity for players of Fantasy AGE to take and adapt what has been built for Blue Rose and fold it back into their own games. Even if you’re not playing in the world of Aldea, there’s nothing saying you can’t use the new backgrounds, talents, specializations, arcana, or game mechanics like relationships or persona. They make Blue Rose a big Fantasy AGE add-on sourcebook unto itself!

We’re looking forward to getting Blue Rose into production and into your hands this summer so you can see for yourselves the results of our efforts and either return to the world of Aldea or visit anew to create your own adventures.

Enter the Blue Rose T­-Shirt Contest!

We’re extremely excited to announce our very first t­-shirt contest, to help promote both the Blue Rose RPG and the forthcoming Blue Rose RPG Kickstarter campaign. Our community of players is made up of some extremely talented and skilled folks, and we’re always amazed by the artwork created by so many of them.

As Nicole mentioned in her Blue Rose Ronin Roundtable, we’re also super pumped to be bringing the game back with a fresh new system and new stories. Stories of inclusion, of representation of marginalized voices. Stories created by marginalized voices.

“Relationships and community, finding your own authenticity in the face of bigotry, presenting your best self and working for a better world? Those issues are in my news feed every day. Heroes fighting for the greater good are not the sole providence of comic books and they’re going to be taking their place in the new Blue Rose release. My abiding concern as we move ahead is to make sure we improve on our prior presentation. Happily, I can say that our working relationship with BioWare over the evolution of the Dragon Age property has been educational and inspiring and has definitely affected my attitude towards the Blue Rose reboot. The evolution from Dragon Age 2, where we saw trans characters as elven prostitutes played for laughs to Dragon Age: Inquisition where a significant NPC is revealed as transgender in a much more sensitive, and more importantly organic, manner was not only the right way to address a prior misstep but a deft handling of the issue that rippled through the development of the culture of the Qunari and resulted in a much richer background for the world of Thedas as a whole. That is what I hope to see from a Blue Rose reboot as well.”

Which brings us to our new t-­shirt contest! We’re offering a chance for you to design our latest t­shirt, specifically for the Blue Rose RPG. First place will receive $250 USD, along with a copy of the new Blue Rose RPG. And of course, will receive one Blue Rose RPG shirt, featuring the winning design! 2nd and 3rd place winners will also receive one free Blue Rose RPG t­-shirt.

So, are you ready to enter? Of course, we have some rules for you. Whilst we would love to allow people of all ages and nations to enter, we cannot due to contest laws outside the USA. We are a super small company, and don’t have the resources to manage an international contest. We would also love for our younger fans to participate, but as you have to sign a legal agreement to enter & win, we can only accept entries for folks 18+.

You can read our Blue Rose RPG T-shirt Contest Rules here. Once you have read the rules, you can email your entries or questions to me at donna@greenronin.com.

Note: By submitting you agree to the rules, so you might as well read them. They’re not that long. Honest.

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

Events

Green Ronin Game Day

Come play games with Green Ronin!

Local storytellers will be running games throughout the day.

Schedule:

If you are interested in playing one of these games and want to sign up in advance, please email Veronica at events@greenronin.com to get signed up.