Tag Archive for: fantasy age

Dare the Lair of the Horned Giant, and Enter the First Fantasy AGE Dungeon

Lair of the Horned Giant for Fantasy AGE 2nd edition!

Available Now!

 

As the new Fantasy AGE developer, I’m pleased to share something from the roots of the AGE system, updated for the 2nd edition of Fantasy AGE: a new adventure called Lair of the Horned Giant!

Long ago, a hero confronted a fierce challenge on the sacred fields of Kreyatos, and what transpired became the origin of a thousand legends—of sacred bulls slain, of a curse that fused victims with beasts, and of the Horned Giant and its cult. Now your heroes have come to investigate the legends at the fields themselves, where the cattle of the gods once roamed, and where the servants—or jailers—of a fallen hero, now given horns and an urge for bestial violence, dwell. But is there more to the Horned Giant? Beyond the rumored bull-man, what of the rumors of konotaurs and other beast-people?

Lair of the Horned Giant is an adventure our friend and very cool game designer Will Hindmarch originally created to support fans of the Dragon AGE roleplaying game who wanted to use it to adventure in other settings, but it was never published. I discovered it in our files, loved it, and updated it for Fantasy AGE’s second edition. It features an open-ended presentation like Fantasy AGE Lairs, a book for First Edition Fantasy AGE I really like, but it has a mythic resonance I think would go especially well with Fantasy AGE Trojan War, though it’s designed to slip into the classic fantasy worlds core Fantasy AGE supports.

(As I talk editions, remember that Fantasy AGE editions, and AGE games in general, are easy to convert between.)

This challenging adventure with shades of Greco-Roman and Middle Eastern mythology is best suited to characters of levels 8-10. It includes new creatures and magical treasures for Fantasy AGE suitable for a wide variety of campaigns. The mythology of the Horned Giant is even designed to be easily adapted for your own games, too.

This also inaugurates our series of new adventures called Fantasy AGE Dungeons, though some of these might not be “dungeons” in the usual sense. We’re currently working on another, Menace of the Grave Warrens, and I can’t wait to announce that too. Use them for one shots, side quests—whatever works for your table. Until then, challenge the cursed cult and dare the Bull of Heaven!

The Fantasy AGE Quickstart Arrives!

Fantasy AGE 2nd Edition Quickstart

A neglected ship sales the moonlit seas with no living crew to guide her. Can the heroes unravel the mystery? And more importantly, can they live to tell the tale?

New to AGE games? Looking for more starting adventures for your Fantasy AGE game? That’s the teaser for “Terror of the Ghost Ship,” the adventure included in the new Fantasy AGE Quickstart up above. It’s available today! Get it in PDF at the Green Ronin Online Store and DrivethruRPG —click through to wherever you want it from.

The Fantasy AGE Quickstart also contains streamlined rules and pregenerated characters for Fantasy AGE, the Adventure Game Engine (AGE) game of swords & sorcery adventure. The current, second edition of Fantasy AGE is an evolution of the rules found in Modern AGE, The Expanse Roleplaying Game, Blue Rose: The AGE Roleplaying Game of Romantic Fantasy, and others. The pregenerated characters, rules, and included adventure provide everything you need to run it except at least three six-sided dice, writing materials, and your friends.

AGE is designed to be intuitive and straightforward, while leaning into the swashbuckling side of adventure roleplaying with amazing stunts, cinematic combat, and a loose, four-class system that lets you shape a heroic archetype into a true individual.

After the adventure, move on to the full rules of the Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook. The Stranger Shores await—and that’s for starters. Adventures, new settings, and more are on the horizon, and we can’t wait to share them with you.

Tune in today (Thursday, 21 March 2024) at 2p Pacific, 5p Eastern for ThursdAGE, when Malcolm Sheppard and Ian Lemke join your host, Disembodied Troy Hewitt. We will not only take a look at the new quickstart, we’ll be talking about the future of the Adventure Game Engine!

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!

 

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!

 

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.

A Gathering of the AGEs: Consolidated Rules in Fantasy AGE 2e

Fantasy AGE Core RulebookHey folks, Malcolm here. I’m not the developer of the new edition of Fantasy AGE but I am one of the developers of the core rulebook. While I can’t give you a first-person perspective on the whole game, I can tell you a bit about the parts I helped work on. So, I thought I’d write a couple of pieces about that!

One of the goals of Fantasy AGE’s second edition was to consolidate various rules developments from multiple AGE games and supplements. If you’re an Adventure Game Engine completist you might recognize the following new and updated rules as familiar—with a few exceptions, because they’re from AGE works that haven’t come out yet but influenced development nonetheless! In any event, this is one of the factors that led us to eventually decide the new core rulebook was a true “Second Edition” of Fantasy AGE even though much of 1e remains compatible.

Challenge Tests: Challenge tests are advanced tests with certain special conditions, meant to emulate heists and other forms of dramatic extended tasks where characters need to apply multiple focuses, and fallout from failures can occur mid-test. Originally created by Crystal Frasier (and called “breaching tests”) for Modern AGE’s World of Lazarus supplement, it proved to be such a good idea we moved it to the core rulebook. The Expanse merged challenge tests and Modern AGE’s chase tests, and that final evolution is part of Fantasy AGE now.

Daring: Daring, an optional rule that promotes dramatic reversals in encounters, is an evolution of the rules for Serendipity, originally from the Modern AGE Companion.

Daring is one of the cool new optional rules in Fantasy AGE 2nd edition

Peril and Daring!

Defeat Conditions: Despite making their first appearance in Fantasy AGE 2E, Defeat Conditions were originally invented for Cthulhu Awakens, to provide alternatives to death as the result of dramatic combat.

Fortune: Fortune is an invention of Steve Kenson, originally devised for The Expanse roleplaying game, where escalating Health wasn’t appropriate but “script immunity” was a better fit. It was a great idea in that game, and it’s a cool option in Fantasy AGE, too.

Minor Arcana: These petty spells originally hail from the Threefold setting for Modern AGE.

Peril: Peril, where success lands you in deeper trouble, began as the Churn spiral in The Expanse. Interestingly, in the Modern AGE Companion it’s present and called Complications.

Relationships: Relationships, an optional rule to strengthen character connections in Fantasy AGE, was first introduced in Blue Rose.

Revised Spellcasting: In the new edition of Fantasy AGE spells only fail to be cast when a mage decides to abandon them or doesn’t have the magic points for them, because we determined spending MP on nothing happening wasn’t fun. Instead, if you fail a casting roll, the MP cost goes up. This is another option that was originally piloted in Modern AGE’s Threefold setting.

Simple Tests: A “test that doesn’t use stunts/SP” has existed in an ad hoc fashion since the beginning of the AGE system but the Simple Test concept, introduced in the Modern AGE Mastery Guide, gathers them all together as versions of simple tests and lets the GM use them at their discretion as well.

These nine examples aren’t the only ones, and notably, much of the Fantasy AGE Companion from the game’s first edition has been updated and added to the core of Fantasy AGE 2E.

Works Cited!

Want to know about the games that provided input for the new Fantasy AGE? Check them out:

Blue Rose: The AGE Roleplaying Game of Romantic Fantasy

Cthulhu Awakens

The Expanse Roleplaying Game

Modern AGE

Modern AGE Companion

Threefold (Modern AGE)

World of Lazarus (Modern AGE)

Fantasy AGE 2nd Editon—Set Sail for Adventure!

Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook Prepare to set sail for adventure!With the core book behind us, one would think I might be taking a moment to relax. We’ve got the book out, right? No need to rush ahead. Nothing could be further from the truth! I’m already neck deep in the first few supplements, with lots more to come! So what can you expect to see in the coming months? Well, sit back and let me spin you a yarn of what we’ve got in store for you.

One of the biggest complaints I’ve seen about Fantasy AGE is that previously, there was not enough setting and adventure support. Many of us have busy lives these days, and having good adventure and setting material can be vital to keeping a campaign alive. I’m here to tell you that we’ve heard you.

Right out of the gate, you’ll see several adventures for the Breakwater Bay setting from the core rulebook. Set Sail for Breakwater Bay (in the core book) is a shipboard adventure full of horror and intrigue. If you are so inclined, this adventure is well suited for introducing the new Horror rules. Quickly following will be the Fantasy AGE 2nd Edition Quickstart and the Fantasy AGE Game Master’s Kit. Both of these feature adventures written by the amazing Steve Kenson. The Breakwater Curse (included with the GM’s Kit) explores the dark history of Breakwater Bay, and Terror of the Ghost Ship (featured in the Quickstart) is an encounter with a derelict ship at sea. All three of these are designed to be used as part of the Breakwater Bay setting but could easily be moved to another location of your choosing. So, before you know it, you’ll have three adventures that can easily be linked together.

In case you thought that was all, hang tight—there’s much more! The first major supplement planned is a five-part adventure series called The Lost Isle of the Pirate Queen that begins in Breakwater Bay and explores much of Kassa Isle and beyond. This series is packed full of adventure, horror, and whimsy. There’s something in there for everyone. The series takes characters all the way to 11th or 12th level and should be enough to keep most groups busy for quite some time. The story and adventures are also easy to modify to suit your group’s style and provide a lot of additional background and setting material for Kassa Isle. There is also ample room for introducing your own adventures and encounters during the campaign. In fact, this is encouraged!

We’re up to eight adventures now, all of which could be strung into one campaign with little or no work on behalf of the GM. So what next, you ask? I don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but I’ll give you a glimpse. A new, massive bestiary called Adversaries & Encounters is already well underway. This massive tome will feature monsters and other adversaries, both old and new. But even those you may have seen before have fresh new takes and variations. The book features story hooks for every monster and over a dozen encounters for monsters from Adversaries and the core rulebook. Each of these is a 2-page encounter with a map designed to be inserted into an existing adventure, either as a “random” encounter or to spice things up. Though, honestly, many of these could easily be fleshed out as full adventures in their own right.

Finally, we’ve got the book I’m most excited about—Stranger Shores. This book (slated for 2024) is going to provide the nautical-themed campaign setting for Fantasy AGE that you’ve always wanted (even if you didn’t know it). This book will be crammed full of details on new islands and continents made accessible with the Mystic Navigator talent. Most of these lands are completely new, but you’ll also find some old favorites, such as the ever-popular Freeport setting! It will also feature expanded rules for seafaring campaigns so you can live your pirate dreams!

All right, this is as far as I can go now without risking getting lost at sea. I hope this gives you a better idea of our current course heading and something to look forward to. I can’t offer you details on release dates at this time other than to say that all of these are in the works, and we want to get them to you as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, issues with shipping and printing are still a reality, so giving exact dates this far out isn’t a safe bet. Keep your eyes on the horizon. You’ll hear more from me soon enough.

Safe sailing!

Fantasy AGE 2nd Edition Preview: Stunts!

Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook

Get the PDF for just $5 with a print copy preorder, and start reading today!

Stunts are a hallmark of the Adventure Game Engine, and something we looked at very carefully for Fantasy AGE’s new edition—one that’s available for preorder (with discount PDF option) and in PDF now, by the way! Look at the PDF and you’ll be able to see all the details for yourself, but this article will still serve you as a general review.

Where Stunts Have Been

Stunts have been part of the Adventure Game Engine since Dragon Age and have proven to be one of the most enjoyable, useful elements of the system. Dragon Age made more central use of stunts restricted to certain character types when it came to magic, to get into the flavor of its video game source material. The first edition of Fantasy AGE was designed in a more setting-neutral fashion with less of this kind of focus, but the rules were otherwise very similar.

The basic way to trigger a stunt remains the same: Roll matching results (doubles) on any two dice on your winning test, and consult the Stunt Die (called the Dragon Die in Dragon Age, and the Drama Die in The Expanse and the upcoming Fifth Season Roleplaying). You get as many stunt points (SP) as the result of that specially marked die. You can then spend the points on the stunt tables for various extraordinary effects, from extra damage to the ability to distract an enemy. Stunt lists for combat, exploration, and “roleplaying” (as social things were called) remained core to Fantasy AGE. Other AGE games, such as Modern AGE, used more and variant tables to hook the system to a particular flavor or expand what stunts could do. Modern AGE presented a large number of stunts in particular.

Stunts let you do all sorts of wild combat actions!

Stunts in the New Fantasy AGE

In looking at prior designs we wanted to better define what stunts are for, how to use them, and how to enhance Fantasy AGE as a distinct game with a (loose) class-based, heroic fantasy design. We also wanted to make stunts easier to pick, since while it usually just takes a session or two to select them on the fly with ease, some players found making that decision a bit flustering. With all that in mind, we kept the basics of stunts, but refined them, as follows:

More about story and function: We introduce stunts with an eye toward how they work in the story of the game, as well as its systems. A stunt has to tell a story that makes sense! Chapter 6 of Fantasy AGE 2nd Edition now makes that clear, along with the roles of stunts to represent exceptional performance and to cover a number of unusual situations (such as grappling and disarming opponents) other games might cover with special subsystems.

More ways to get stunt points: Fantasy AGE now includes the Stunt Attack option, where you can forego normal combat results to gain 2 stunt points for a special maneuver, such as when you want to restrain someone without hurting them. We’ve also introduced Daring, where you might gain extra stunt points in tough times, as failure accumulates and you’ve earned a truly stunning reversal of fortune; and Relationships, where powerful emotions about others can become a reserve of stunt points to call on when those bonds enter the story.

Basic and class stunts: Perhaps the biggest change is the introduction of a distinction between basic stunts, which anyone can use most of the time, and various forms of advanced stunts, including class stunts. Class stunts are earned as characters gain levels, letting them perform tasks supported by the class with true excellence. A few weeks ago we previewed an example Warrior class stunt. Here are a couple of others, from the Warrior and other classes. Be aware that class stunts are a little more potent than their basic counterparts by design, to support what each class is best at.


Envoy Stunt—Dominate Foe (4 SP): You compel an enemy to feel intense fear, confusion, or distraction. Select one target who can perceive you and has a Willpower no higher than your Communication. You impose one of the following conditions on them: Confused, Defenseless, or Frightened. You choose which condition affects your target. It lasts until the end of your next turn.

Mage Stunt—Battle Magic (2 SP; Spell):  You may follow up your spell with an Arcane Blast as an immediate free action, though the blast becomes a simple test that can’t generate or use SP.

Rogue Stunt—Evade (2 SP): You slip past your foes. Until your next turn, you gain +2 to Defense, and each time an attack misses you, you may move 4 yards without using an action.

Warrior Stunt—Limb Strike (3 SP): Your blow injures one of your foe’s appendages, and they take a –3 penalty to tests that use it until your next turn. Furthermore, a blow to a humanoid leg or equivalent levies a –5 penalty to Speed, while one inflicted on a shield arm deprives your opponent of its Defense bonus.


See For Yourself

As we’ve said, the game ready for preorder and out on PDF. Give it a look!

Fantasy AGE 2nd Edition Core Rulebook – Available to pre-order now!

We are excited to announce that the day has come at last! The Fantasy AGE 2nd Edition Core Rulebook pre-order is live!

You can get a copy of the PDF immediately with your pre-order by selecting the $5 add-on when you add the print book to your cart. And if the costs for shipping are a bit rough, be sure to ask your Friendly Local Game Store to pre-order the book. If they belong to our Pre-Order Plus program (all it takes is a quick email), you can get the $5 PDF through your local store too! We know international shipping has gotten a little extreme lately, so be sure to support your FLGS, skip the shipping fees, and take advantage of a great deal all at the same time!


Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook

Available to Pre-Order now!

Leap into sword & sorcery RPG adventures with the Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook!

Powered by the popular Adventure Game Engine,Fantasy AGE 2nd Edition is easy to learn, fun to play, and welcoming to new roleplayers. The Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook includes these features:

  • Simple Character Creation: Pick an ancestry (such as draak, dwarf, goblin, and wildfolk), pick a class (envoy, mage, rogue, or warrior), pick a specialization (such as duelist, diplomat, pirate, and sword mage), and jump into the action.
  • Heroic Stunts: The heart of the game is the stunt system, which brings dynamism and drama to the table. Roll doubles on 3d6 to pull off unexpected moves in combat, cast more potent spells, perform amazing feats of physical and mental prowess, or even cut a rival down to size with a few clever words.
  • Mighty Magic: Spell casters learn arcana, which are themed groups of spells. Mixing and matching the 19 arcana gives the mage class a huge amount of flexibility. To get started, choose two arcana like Beast, Cold, Death, Earth, Fate, Fire, Healing, Protection, Mind, and Shadow.
  • Game Master Guidance: If you are new to RPGs or have never GMed before, the Core Rulebook breaks it all down for you. Not just GM advice but practicalities as well. There’s guidance for each of the GM’s four roles: Game Planner, Game Host, Game Runner, and Game Moderator.
  • Customizable Rules: The GM can use optional rules for the campaign to better reflect the setting. Choices include the twin systems of Peril and Daring, which allow for dramatic swings from disadvantage to advantage as the tension builds. Horror rules can give the campaign a sinister turn. The Fortune system is an alternate way to handle health and damage first introduced in The Expanse RPG.
  • The Stranger Shores: The Core Rulebook introduces a campaign setting of its own called Stranger Shores. Brave the Deeps, which have been the doom of many a ship. Sail with a Mystic Navigator to travel to distant lands.
  • Breakwater Bay: Enter the Stranger Shores with Breakwater Bay, a starting adventure area to kick off your campaign. The book includes Set Sails for Breakwater Bay, a complete adventure.
  • So Much More: You’ll also find character talents, challenging monsters, chase rules, magic items, relationships and bonds, and more. This is the complete package.
  • Part of the Family: Green Ronin publishes other RPGs powered by the Adventure Game Engine: The Expanse, Modern AGE, Blue Rose, Cthulhu Awakens, and Fifth Season. If you’ve played any AGE games, you already know the core of the system. Veteran gamers will be pleased to hear that Fantasy AGE 2nd Edition is largely compatible with all previous Fantasy AGE releases.

Swords, sorcery, stunts, and Stranger Shores—the Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook is your portal to exciting new RPG adventures!

Fantasy AGE 2nd Edition Preview: Magic

Fantasy AGE Core RulebookFantasy AGE’s magic system is getting a bit of a polish for the new edition. The fundamental rules are the same, but there are more spells and options for spellcasting characters. This preview is going to be a bit more straightforward, as we’ve made various adjustments across other AGE books, and took those efforts and adjusted them some more for the upcoming core rulebook. Many of these got their start in the old Fantasy AGE Companion¸ but in each case we’ve revisited the spells and other rules to examine game balance and clarity of writing.

Let’s take a tour.

More Spells and Arcana

The Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook includes 19 magic talents—seven more than the old Basic Rulebook: Air Arcana, Beast Arcana, Cold Arcana, Death Arcana, Divination Arcana, Earth Arcana, Enchantment Arcana, Fate Arcana, Fire Arcana, Healing Arcana, Heroic Arcana, Illusion Arcana, Lightning Arcana, Power Arcana, Protection Arcana, Mind Arcana, Shadow Arcana, Water Arcana, and Wood Arcana.

In addition, each Arcana has multiple spell possibilities, so two mages with the same Arcana can possess different spell selections.

Fantasy AGE Magic!


Example Spell: Tree Form

Requirements: Wood Arcana (Master)

Spell Type: Enhancement

MP Cost: 12

Casting Time: Major Action

Target Number: 15

Your body transforms, taking on the form of an animated tree.

This transformation lasts for the remainder of the encounter or until you choose to end the spell (a free action). You gain the following statistics as your body turns into that of a gnarl­walker (see Chapter 9).

Abilities: Constitution 6, Dexterity 0, Strength 6, even if this would reduce your ability ratings. All other abilities retain the caster’s usual ratings.

  • Focuses: Fighting (Branch Blows), Intelligence (Natural Lore).
  • Other Statistics: You gain an Armor Rating of 8 from the monstrously tough hide special quality. This doesn’t stack with worn armor, however.
  • Special Qualities: You gain the gnarlwalker special qual­ities of big, made of wood, many branches, mighty and lethal, monstrously tough hide, and voice of the green.
  • Your new body doesn’t impede your ability to cast other spells. However, your clothing and worn equipment are absorbed into your tree form, reappearing when you return to your usual form.

In this case, we not only included this spell in the core rules (there was an earlier version of it in the Fantasy AGE Companion) but made a dedicated creature for both the spell and the GM’s general use instead of reskinning the walking dead, as the precious version did.

Alternatives to Duds

In the last edition of Fantasy AGE if you failed a casting roll, you lost the magic points and got nothing in return, which leads to some dud results for mage characters. The new rules include an option to save a failed spell by spending more magic points, and a spell failure now costs less than a normal casting.

Minor Arcana

Introduced in prior AGE material, minor arcana join the core Fantasy AGE rules. These minor utility spells just cost 1 MP each, and they allow mages to do a number of convenient things outside the purview of action and high sorcery.


Example Minor Arcana: Mage’s Compass

Mage’s compass tells the mage unerringly where a cardinal direction (usually north) lies, and the time until the next sunrise or sunset. The direction cannot use as its reference point a specific geographical location beyond a cardinal direction or the equivalent in worlds that have unusual dimensions.


Divine Magic

The idea of “divine” versus “arcane” magic is an RPG neologism that was never especially prevalent in supernatural beliefs or fantasy fiction until popular RPGs conceived of the split. In some respect Fantasy AGE has always cleaved to an older tradition from sword and sorcery where gods and demons are simply part of the practice of magic. However, divine magic as a category is popular! That’s why we’ve added options for spellcasters who concentrate on magic from the gods, but these rules are optional. We’re Fantasy AGE, so we do things our own way.

Other Amazing Feats

We still haven’t talked about stunts, creatures, GMing material, and a number of other revised and new parts of the new Fantasy AGE core rulebook. Maybe next time!