Tag Archive for: fantasy age

Fantasy AGE 2nd Edition Preview: Advancements – and Damage!

Fantasy AGE 2nd edition Core RulebookFantasy AGE’s new edition does its best to strike a balance between keeping the game familiar—so familiar that many elements from the old edition work with little to no adjustments—and making improvements in all areas. One of those improvements was giving characters more ways to distinguish themselves from each other right from the beginning of play, and one of the ways to make it happen is through level advancements: the benefits characters gain as they level up.

Getting Focused

Most of the game’s focuses are the same, though there are a few tweaks here and there, such as a Slings focus since we added that heretofore missing weapon category to the game. At Level 11, however, two things happen: Your character gains a +1 Bonus to all the focuses they know for free, and they can add the option to double focus by spending an additional focus advancement on a focus they already know. Thus, known focus bonuses increase from +2 to +3, and focuses you choose to concentrate on can increase to +4.

More Talents

In addition to the all-new ancestry talents mentioned earlier in this series, we’ve revised many talents from the prior edition’s Basic Rulebook and Fantasy AGE Companion.

More Specializations—and Sooner

In the new edition, characters take a specialization starting right at Level 1, to better define who they are right from the start. Characters also gain one specialization slot at each odd-numbered level, with fewer restrictions than there used to be.

Fantasy AGE Advancements and Damage

What About Dawizar—I mean, Damage Scaling?

One long-time observation about Fantasy AGE is that characters and monsters get pretty tough compared to the damage output of various weapons, spells, and other threats as characters go up in level.

We crunched the numbers to get a look at this and determined how a model attack would scale at different levels and monster Threat ranks. We wanted to avoid the “treadmill effect” of advancement becoming meaningless where equally advanced enemies would inflict equivalent damage, so that characters and creatures are actually never any harder to beat in encounters (many games do this with monsters and things like “Level 20 slippery ice,” but Fantasy AGE isn’t one of them). We also wanted class niches to become increasingly present in the equation. Consequently, every class has a version of the following level 6 feature:

  • Damage Bonus: You may add your weapon focus (if you have one) when inflicting damage with a melee or ranged attack.

That’s taken from the Envoy. Mages also gain this for Arcane Blast and spells. This may seem like a piddly benefit, but at Level 11 this +2 bonus increases to +3 and might even be increased to +4.

At Level 16, members of each class gain an additional damage bonus that works out to around 1d6 depending on their class, on an action or in a circumstance appropriate to their class. This stacks with other bonuses. Here’s the one for the Rogue:

  • Stunt Die to Damage: You may add the value of the stunt die of your attack test when you use Pinpoint Attack to inflict damage against a creature.

In addition, members of each class gain various other circumstantial damage bonuses. Compared against the math, they meet our design goals.


Specialization Preview: Skald

Skalds are battlefield poets who sing and write about heroes and war—those of ancient times, and those before them—during the heat of battle. They fulfil a dual role, urging heroes on to greatness, then immortalizing their deeds in verse. These chronicles can feature skalds themselves, who plunge into the thick of the fight to witness bravery and horror, and participate as earnestly as their companions, adding inspirational words to the clash of steel and roars of beasts.

Skald Talent

Classes: Envoy.

Requirements: Communication 2 or higher, the Communication (Performance) focus, and the Intelligence (Military Lore) focus.

You’re a fighting poet who draws upon legends of heroism and tactical brilliance to achieve victory.

Novice: You spout improvised and memorized poetry that guide your friends and intimidate your foes. When using the Coordinate Envoy ability, you can use the stunt attack option as a minor action, but instead of an attack roll you make an opposed Communication (Performance) test vs. your foe’s reaction Willpower (Morale) roll. If you use this and the ordinary Coordinate ability in the same turn, you must pass on the SP you gained from each to a different ally. Your ally must be able to understand you.

In addition, to survive the battles you’ll sing about, you receive training in one additional Weapon Group of your choice.

Expert: Your knowledge of great battles gives you tactical wisdom that supplements your fighting ability. Once per encounter, you may add your Intelligence (Military Lore) focus bonus to your attack roll, as an applicable bit of lore occurs to you. You may instead grant this bonus to an ally (they get your focus bonus, not theirs), who must use it on their next turn. Neither option uses up an additional action, but you can only use one of these options once per encounter. If you affect an ally, they must be able to understand you.

Master: Your lore-backed verses can wound your enemies’ spirits as powerfully as a blade might cut their bodies. As a major action, you can make a Communication (Performance) test vs. your foe’s reaction Willpower (Morale) roll. Your foe must be able to feel fear, understand you, and be within 10 yards. If you succeed, you inflict 1d6 + Willpower penetrating damage, and you can attach combat and Envoy stunts to the result if you have the SP and they’re appropriate to an attack based on frightening and demoralizing a foe. You may not, however, use this attack to perform a coup de grace—no matter how artfully you tell someone they’re going to die, you can’t just kill them that way.

Fantasy AGE 2nd Edition Preview: Staying Classy

Last time around we chatted about ancestries in the new edition of Fantasy AGE, which is just going through final production tweaking ahead of its PDF and print preorder release—soon! This time, let’s talk about classes

Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook

Four Classes?

We took a long time to get the new edition of Fantasy AGE together, and people wondered whether we were going to stick with the three classes found in the original game, or go classless, like Modern AGE and The Expanse. Well, the answer is that we now have four character classes:

  • Envoy: Our new character class, a master of influence who rallies hearts and acts as the face of group of heroes.
  • Mage: Spiritualist, sorcerer, sage, theurgist—those who concentrate on magical power, no matter the doctrine.
  • Rogue: Sneaky experts and agile combatants.
  • Warrior: A tough-as-nails expert in direct combat using virtually any weapon.

Class Tune Ups

We’ve changed each individual class as well, to resolve some feedback from playtesting and developer experience, as well as to help you better individualize your character to set them apart from other members of the same class.

Class Stunts: The new edition of Fantasy AGE includes class stunts. These are acquired as characters gain levels. Each class has its own stunt list, consisting of stunts that are slightly more potent than the stunts available to all characters.

Damage Bonuses: Responding to concerns about how damage scales in Fantasy AGE, each class has features allowing them to inflict more damage when they use a class’s special purview.

First Specialization: Characters gain a free degree in a specialization at first level. Instead of being a bonus for perseverance, a specialization in the new edition is a way to make your character distinctive from the start. And best of all, the new edition has revised and entirely new specializations to choose from.

The Envoy is a new option for Fantasy AGE 2nd Edition classes!Introducing the Envoy

An envoy is a master of social situations, building or exploiting relationships and group interactions. The classic envoy is an agent of a ruling court or council who both carries out the orders of their superiors and works to increase their own influence and rank. You can also use the envoy to repre­sent anyone who is primarily concerned with deals, diplo­macy, leading, or deceiving others, from a noble captain of the guard to a scoundrel with a heart of gold or even a con artist.

As an envoy you aren’t the best fighter in combat, and don’t have the stealth and subterfuge a rogue uses to pick off foes from the shadows. You can hold your own in a fight, especially if you can find weaker-willed targets to cow or bamboozle, but you are much more in your element in social encounters. If you are playing an envoy you should expect to do a lot of the talking with patrons, friendly rivals, suspicious officials, and tight-fisted merchants.

Primary Abilities: Communication, Fighting, Intelligence, and Willpower

Secondary Abilities: Accuracy, Constitution, Dexterity, Perception, and Strength

Starting Health: 25 + Constitution + 1d6

Weapon Groups: Any three of the following: Black Powder, Bludgeons, Bows, Brawling, Light Blades, or Spears

Level 1 Class Powers

Coordinate

You create opportunities for your allies. Whenever you generate Stunt Points, you get an extra SP that you can give to another character. Alternately, you can give 2 of your SP from the stunt attack action to an ally (in which case you do not generate an additional extra SP). In either case, the given SP must be used on the character’s next turn, or it is lost.

Dazzle

Whether it is through charming patter, a dour glare, cutting remarks, or the performance of tricks and art you can dazzle a foe, leaving them unable to concentrate on attacking you. As a minor action select one foe, that can hear you, to dazzle. If your Communication is greater than their Will­power, you gain a +1 bonus to Defense against their attacks until the beginning of your next turn.

Social Chameleon

You have two social classes, and two backgrounds. Deter­mine your first social class and background normally. For your second social class and background, you may select any different social class and then select any background appropriate to that social class. You select a focus for each background, as normal (thus gaining one additional focus).

Select one social class and background that represent the circumstances you found yourself in as a child. The other represents a second society you successfully integrated yourself into, gaining a new class and background by the time you were a young adult. For example, you may have been born into the life of a criminal but fought your way up to be seen as a dilettante. Or you might have been raised as a guilder but spent enough time with soldiers to be able to move comfortably among them.

When using backgrounds to determine starting wealth, use the higher of your two backgrounds.

Want to Advance?

Next time we’ll talk about level improvements, including the revised and expanded set of talents and specializations available in the new edition.

Fantasy AGE 2nd Edition Preview: Ancestries

Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook 2nd edition

Coming Soon! Pre-order begins in February.

Fantasy AGE’s new edition is coming soon—and we’ve been remiss when it comes to telling you about it! If you didn’t get involved in playtesting, you may not be aware of some of the revisions in store. One of those is revised and expanded ancestries. Let’s talk about it.

Ancestries?

In the last edition of Fantasy AGE, we used “race” instead of ancestry, following what was familiar to gamers at the time. However, there was always some internal unease. In the Threefold book for Modern AGE back in 2019 we standardized to “ancestry.” This removes some problematic implications and doesn’t make us drill down on the ultimate nature of these varied fantasy origins.

2nd Edition Ancestries

The original Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook presented a small number of classic fantasy ancestries. The new edition features a much wider set of options—the following ones, to be precise:

  • Draak
  • Dwarf
  • Elf
  • Gnome
  • Goblin
  • Halfling
  • Human
  • Orc
  • Wildfolk

Some of these have been revised from the old Fantasy AGE Companion, but all of them have been reexamined. In addition, guidelines to play characters of mixed ancestry are part of the core rules.

Ancestries in Fantasy AGE 2nd Edition

Ancestry Talents

In addition to the core benefits of an ancestry, characters can deepen their ancestral abilities through Ancestry Talents, a new addition to Fantasy AGE that provide further benefits if you want to epitomize a particular ancestry. Each ancestry has its own talent.


Example Ancestry Talent: Dwarven Secrets

Ancestries: Dwarf Classes: Any

You live for the stone-hearted ways of the dwarves.

Novice: Structures and natural caves tell you their secrets readily. You may use Intelligence (Engineering) tests to determine your direction indoors and underground, including whether you’re going up or down, at a TN determined by the Game Master. If someone without this degree could do the same, you gain a +2 bonus to your test on top of any provided by focuses and other advantages.

Expert: When besieged, a true dwarf takes up the axe. When using a weapon from the Axes group, you gain +1 SP whenever your attack roll scores doubles.

Master: You partake of the endurance of stones against foul magic—or you call upon secret teachings to counter sorcery with the power of certain runes. If you fail any test to resist or reduce the effects of a spell, you may make a second test using Constitution (Tolerance) against the same target for the same benefits if you succeed. In any case, you must keep the results of this second roll.


Next Time: Classes

In the next article in this series, we’ll talk about what character classes are like in the new edition of Fantasy AGE. Until then, be daring!

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!

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

 

Bonds: An AGE Mechanic Evolved

Bonds form the basis of many relationships and effects of Alienation

Art by Tentacles and Teeth

If you’re familiar with Blue Rose or Modern AGE, you’ve come across Relationships: a system that provides mechanical benefits based on your character’s powerful feelings for another person, whether it’s love, friendship, professional admiration—or deadly enmity. Relationships form the seeds of Bonds, a generalized mechanic used in Cthulhu Awakens that among other things, is used for the Alienation systems we’ve discussed elsewhere. I’ve been experimenting with expanding the basic concept of Relationships ever since developing Modern AGE and notably, used it as the basic for a divine influence system in the Fantasy AGE Trojan War supplement for sibling game Fantasy AGE.

In Cthulhu Awakens, Bonds are covered in the character creation chapter, as they are essential to the game. A Bond can represent things other than a relationship with a person, and can represent the following:

Enlightenment: This is a Bond of strange, mind-warping insights gained from contact with the Mythos.

Ideology: A belief system to which you’re strongly committed. This could be a religion, a political theory, or some code of honor.

Material: Your Bond connects you to an object, structure, or location. This is the kind of Bond possessed by a character who treats their car like a pet or child, or who would rather die than give up their home.

Melancholy: This Bond attaches itself to characters who abruptly leave the Dreamlands and are deprived of its wonders by our gray, heavy world.

Organization: This Bond either represents an organization’s hold on you or your feelings for it.

Relationship: This is the most common Bond. It represents your feelings about another person or the hold they have over you. A Personal Relationship Bond need not represent affection; you can have a Bond with an enemy.

Terror: This is a Bond given to thoughts cracked by the unnatural, and like Enlightenment, is produced through Alienation.

Each Bond has a rating and descriptor, such as the ideology Bond I will stand up for workers against the bosses because an injury to one is an injury to all (3). This tells you its strength and purview.

Unlike previous AGE system Relationships, Bonds are also split into Personal and External types. Personal Bonds are a source of strength when it comes to addressing the subject of the bond, and you choose when to draw on them. In practical terms, you can spend it on bonus stunt points to make an action more effective, even if you didn’t roll doubles on the dice, the usual way to gain SP. External Bonds represent an involuntary attachment, either because it represents how someone or something else treats you, or it’s a mental and emotional association you can’t consciously control. These are used aversively, such as to add stunt points to tests used against you. Once a loyal member of a group, you’re vulnerable when your former comrades act against you, for instance.

Bonds permeate the Alienation mechanic and several other places in the game, and I look forward to seeing the full rules out in the wild.

Rules Tinkering

Folks who know me know that I am a tinkerer when it comes to rules and game design: I love to play around with different ideas for how something can get done in the context of a game, and I have notebooks and digital files full of ideas and random thoughts jotted down about particular rules and system concepts to try out or experiment with at some point. There are two particular Green Ronin areas of interest with my rules tinkering manifested recently.

Modern AGE Powers! Coming Soon!

Modern AGE Powers! Coming Soon!

The first is in getting to work on sub-systems for extraordinary powers for the AGE System, particularly Modern AGE. Anyone who knows my work gets that super-powers of various sorts are a particular interest, so naturally I jumped at the opportunity to work on power systems for AGE, starting right from the design of the Fantasy AGE and Modern AGE Basic Rulebooks. I wrote the Powers chapter of Modern AGE game, adapting the magic system of Fantasy AGE to present systems of spellcasting and psionic in the core game. Then I got to expand on those systems for the Modern AGE Companion and particularly the Threefold setting, which offered setting-specific examples of magic and psychic powers, along with expanding upon extraordinary powers.

From there, I got to build-out both psychic and extraordinary powers even further for the forthcoming Modern AGE Powers sourcebook, and adapt extraordinary powers and the augmentations sub-system from Threefold for a more general cyberpunk style. That material, it turned out, was useful for The Expanse as well, since we know there are some cybernetics and body augmentations in the setting, so we were able to adapt the core of that material for another AGE System game as well! Most of this development and tinkering went on with manuscripts that haven’t yet seen print, so there were also opportunities to go back and apply later developments to some of the earlier stuff. If you’re going to be working under pandemic conditions where product releases are delayed, at least take advantage of the longer development times!

Similarly, our conversations on Mutants & Masterminds Mondays sometimes inspire the desire to tinker with particular aspects of the game rules. That’s where an article on what I called “Challenge Points” came from for the M&M Patreon: We discussed the concept of first edition’s “Villain Points” and some similar mechanics introduced in more recent M&M adventures to provide Gamemasters with different balancing tools to make encounters sufficiently challenging and interesting. I summed-up a lot of what we discussed in writing, added a few extra details, and presented it to our patrons for their feedback and use. Seems to have gone over well, so chances are we’ll look to share some other rules-tinkering ideas on the Patreon in the future. Who knows? Maybe some of those ideas will find their way into official game releases at some point. I know that both M&M Developer Crystal Frasier and I have already written additional articles along those lines and have some ideas for others.

Do you like to tinker with the rules of your favorite RPGs? Do you enjoy designer speculation and ideas for variant rules or optional systems? Drop us a line at letsplay@greenronin.com and let us know about it or about the sorts of things you’d like to see. You might well inspire us to go in and tinker with something new!

Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook Cover Reveal

New Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook!

As Fantasy AGE fans know, we’ve been working on a Core Rulebook for the game for a while now. We decided it was time to bring together Fantasy AGE and Freeport, our signature fantasy city since 2000. More than that, we’ll be exploring many new lands in the world of Freeport through a setting concept called Stranger Shores. Once we had decided to put Freeport in the mix, there could be no other choice for the cover artist: Wayne Reynolds!

Tales of Freeport from the 3rd edition eraDenizens of Freeport from the 3rd edition era

Wayne has been the signature cover artist for Freeport since 2003, when he painted the covers for both Tales of Freeport and Denizens of Freeport. Wayne just gets the look of Freeport and his previous covers helped to define it. We wanted the Core Rulebook cover to illustrate that Fantasy AGE and Freeport were coming together. My idea: take characters from both and have them fighting side by side in the city. Art director Hal Mangold worked with Wayne to make it a reality.

Freeport: The City of Adventure for Pathfinder 1eFantasy AGE Campaign Builder's Guide

 

All the Fantasy AGE covers have featured a trio of iconic characters in perilous encounters. I suggested we take our iconic warrior and team her up with the pirate captain Wayne painted for the cover of Freeport: The City of Adventure. The foes had to be serpent people, a major element of the Freeport setting. You can see the results for yourself. As always, Wayne knocked it out the park. This is a cover worthy of our new Core Rulebook!

The Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook is scheduled to release in May of 2022. If you’d like to learn more about how it has been developed, check out episodes of ThursdAGE (also available on Youtube and Twitch). Each week the disembodied voice of Troy Hewitt chats with Fantasy AGE developer Owen K.C. Stephens, who gives advice about the game, the Adventure Game Engine that powers it, and answers your questions. Leading up to May, we’ll also have a series of articles exploring the Core Rulebook, so stay tuned.