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Modern AGE, Four Years On: Modern Adventures

In my last two articles I talked about where the Modern AGE line currently stands with its core, setting-agnostic books, used to customize the game as you please, and its published settings, from sketches to two full-blown game settings: The World of Lazarus and Threefold. However, I ran long on the second article and didn’t have a chance to talk about the adventures we have—and that’s what this one is for.

Modern Adventures await!

Two Versions of the Quickstart

Modern AGE: Threefold QuickstartOne weird thing that happened during Modern AGE line development is that we ended up with two quickstarts.

Original Quickstart (Burning Bright): Back in 2018, Modern AGE’s quickstart included an adventure about going to another dimension, Tannebrim. To inform you anew or refresh your memory, a “quickstart” contains cut down rules, pre-made characters, and an adventure to run them through, so you can get a taste of what the full game is like.

Expanded Threefold Quickstart (Burning Brighter): Fast forward a year, to when the Threefold game setting was on the cusp of release, and we wanted to participate in Free RPG Day. Well, Threefold was one of the inspirations for the original quickstart adventure anyway, so we produced an expanded, updated version with additional content and pregenerated characters that were fully integrated with the Threefold setting. We made that available in print for Free RPG Day, but you can still get it for free electronically.

Both versions are still available for download, but be aware that the latter version, with the adventure “Burning Brighter,” is an expansion of the original and its adventure, “Burning Bright.” You’ll have to run one or the other in any given campaign.

Backs of the Books

The Modern AGE Basic Rulebook comes with an adventure called “A Speculative Venture,” about bad things happening at a fancy party…and special options to let the Game Master decide what the central secrets of the adventure really are, to make it work with as wide a range of published or homebrew settings as possible. It’s for Level 1 characters.

Both setting books also include adventures for new characters, though these don’t have a choose-your-own premise option.

The World of Lazarus scenario “Taking the Stone,” is firmly set during the rule of the families, decades after Year X, but can be adjusted based on which of the setting’s campaign models you employ—and whether you’re a serf or one of the elite.

Threefold’s included adventure, “Identity,” takes characters across multiple planes of existence to deal with transdimensional political intrigue, bound in the question of what it means to have a soul.

Modern AGE Missions Modern AGE Missions: Feral Hogs

The Modern AGE Missions series presents a variety of adventures, some of which might appear in any modern setting, and some of which are more specific. These adventures are not necessarily connected, and can be dropped into your game, or used as the anchor for a campaign if you expand them. The first two were developed by me, while the rest come courtesy of Meghan Fitzgerald.

Warflower: Sudden, strange violence at an auction leads to the disappearance of a late medieval book on warfare and alchemy. Who took the Warflower, and why? And who gets killed with a sword nowadays? Like “A Speculative Venture,” Warflower lets the GM choose the ultimate secret behind it all. For characters levels 1 to 4.

Feral Hogs: A pop-culture infused apocalyptic ATV-riding, meshback-wearing fever dream. The end came with mutagenic chemicals, abundant energy drinks, pyramids of cardboard boxes, and of course, 30-50 mutant feral hogs, running into your yard. And what will you do when they come? Huh? HUH? For characters levels 1 to 4.

Flight 1701: A routine flight turns into humanity’s first contact with extraterrestrial life—and first trip to an alien biosphere. The passengers and crew must work together to discover what happened, communicate with an alien species, and figure out a way to get back home. The decisions they make may alter the course of human civilization forever—and like Warflower, its central secrets are up to the GM. For characters levels 5 to 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 designed to be suitable for characters between levels 13-15, showcasing Modern AGE in the urban fantasy genre. It provides multiple paths for the Game Master to follow, allowing it to stand on its own or fit into a larger campaign.

Infinity and More

We’re expecting at least one more Modern AGE Missions adventure. Beyond that, we have the Five & Infinity adventure series for the Threefold setting. We’ve presented the individual adventures before, but at Gen Con we’ll be premiering the collected series alongside special tools to generate stories and even planes of existence. I’ll talk about that another time. If you’re headed to Gen Con, check it and the rest of Modern AGE out at Booth 101.

Location, Location, Location

Danger Zones: Tons of locations for M&M adventures!

Available to Pre-Order now!

Add at least two dozen “locations” to that and you start to get the concept and usefulness of Danger Zones for the Mutants & Masterminds Superhero RPG. The sourcebook, a compilation and expansion of our long-running series of PDF products, takes a look at an oft-neglected element of superhero adventure creation. You guessed it: location.

Superhero adventures are often about the “who” (villains and their schemes) and the “what” (whatever the villains are after) and even the “how” (mainly various super-powers, gadgets, or magical weirdness) and not that often about the “where.” Danger Zones addresses that by offering a whole series of locales both common and not-so-common as backdrops and settings for your adventures. Each Danger Zone comes with an overview map, descriptions of the locations’ common features in game terms (including things to break, lift, and throw), sample characters you might encounter there, and adventure hooks featuring that location.

You can use Danger Zones for quick sources of what we might refer to as “backdrops,” locations that aren’t especially essential to the adventure but add color and detail. Does your adventure start out at a nightclub (like Green Thumb, Black Heart for Astonishing Adventures)? Grab the Nightclub write-up and map from the book and make use of them to detail that location without any extra work on your part. Are high school heroes hanging out at a local coffee shop or fast food place when villains attack? Take and use those locations from Danger Zones and you have ready-made maps to show your players and details on what happens when, say, a hero throws an espresso machine or somebody gets knocked into a fryalator.

You can also use Danger Zones to inspire and create adventures focusing on particular locations. Each one comes with 2–3 adventure hooks, multiplied by over 30 locations, making Danger Zones a sourcebook for a hundred or more different adventure ideas for your Mutants & Masterminds games! They may, for example, inspire you to throw a parade for the heroes (or have them participate in an event like your city’s long-standing Pride parade. In fact Danger Zones: Parade Route is free as a fantastic sample PDF download!), run into trouble at City Hall, get involved in politics, stage a daring high-speed chase scene on the local highways, or delve into the city’s history, possibly complete with literal ghosts from the past!

Because the locations in Danger Zones are sufficiently “generic” you can use them with any modern urban or suburban setting, real or imagined, and re-use them over and over. You’ll quickly find Danger Zones an indispensable Gamemaster resource you’ll turn to again and again. The sourcebook pairs especially well with the Emerald City and Freedom City setting sourcebooks, providing the street- and building-level detail to go with the sourcebooks’ broader overview of those cities, helping to bring them to life in your game.


Danger Zones is available to Pre-Order now in the Green Ronin Online Store, with the $5 PDF add-on (which is also available at your friendly local participating retail game store!) as well as on DrivethruRPG!

If you haven’t checked out Danger Zones before, be sure to take a look at the brand new Historic District for free! And if you’ve already purchased a few of the individual Danger Zones locations, you’re sure to find even more new surprises if you choose to pick up this collected version in print or PDF.

Join us for the Green Ronin Livestream, Mutants & Masterminds Monday #MuMaMo on Monday, July 11th on YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, and Facebook Live for the Developer’s review of Dangers Zones, 2p Pacific/5p Eastern (The #MuMaMo team is off on July 4th!)

Stay Home and Play Fantasy AGE … For Free!

Free Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook PDFFantasy AGE for free: As many of you already know, we are having a 20th anniversary sale right now that puts almost everything in our online store on sale at 20% off until April 20. We are taking that a step further by making the Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook PDF free for the duration of the sale.

We know a lot of folks are at home now, anxious and looking for a distraction. Please enjoy Fantasy AGE on us. We hope it helps. If you like what you see, we have a bunch of support material that’s part of the sale. We also have Lairs, the latest Fantasy AGE book, up for pre-order right now. It’s super useful for the GM, providing a collection of themed encounters and villains that can easily be turned into full adventures.

If you’d like to explore some of our other games, we have free quickstarts available for most of our RPGs. If you haven’t gotten your kids into gaming yet, this is a good opportunity, and games that use our Adventure Game Engine (Fantasy AGE, Blue Rose, Modern AGE, The Expanse, Dragon Age) are all good choices for that.

Stay safe out there, everyone.

Jump into the Action! Modern AGE Quickstart Is Out!

Modern AGE RPG Quickstart Cover Image: Three characters in modern-day garb strike dynamic poses on an urban rooftop, lit from below. Skyscrapers tower in the background.A disease with no Earthly origin strikes. A legendary monster stalks back streets. Refugees from another world hide in our own, afraid of secret authorities. Gates between worlds, a sly demigod and a conspiracy introduce the Modern AGE roleplaying game with its new quickstart!

The Modern AGE Quickstart contains streamlined rules for Modern AGE, a game of contemporary adventure which uses the Adventure Game Engine found in Fantasy AGE and Blue Rose: The Age Roleplaying Game of Romantic Fantasy. Pre-set to Modern AGE’s Cinematic rules mode, it includes everything you need to run your first game except six-sided dice, writing materials and your friends. Along with the rules, the Modern AGE Quickstart comes with ready to play characters and Burning Bright, a modern fantasy adventure in its own mini-setting.

Using the full rules in the Modern AGE Basic Rulebook, you can continue the quickstart adventure, or devise an entirely new campaign. Modern AGE is designed to support any modern era setting from the Age of Sail to near future action. Modern AGE releases this June, followed by the World of Lazarus campaign setting, based on Greg Rucka’s comic series of future feudalism.

Jump into the action and download the Modern AGE Quickstart!

Image from Modern AGE Quickstart: A cigar-chomping, bearded mercenary stands in the foreground, with a wicked knife strapped to his flak jacket. In the distance, a magical-seeming castle looms atop a wooded hill.

Free Spooky Preview: The Chindi From Freeport Bestiary

Freeport Bestiary for the Pathfinder RPGNeed something spooky to scare your players for Halloween gaming? Green Ronin’s Freeport Bestiary is full of things that go boom in the night! As a free preview we’re offering a single creepy critter, the chindi–an undead created to terrorize its victims as it pursues a mission of vengeance!

Freeport Bestiary PDF Preview

(Psst! If you don’t have the Freeport Bestiary yet, you might want to also check out the Deadwood Tree, for additional free, creepy, Halloweeny preview goodness.)

Free Mutants & Masterminds Adventure: Monster Mash-Up

As fall begins, All Hallow’s Eve approaches. Though once a yearly reminder that the dead linger just beyond the living world, Halloween has now become a time of fun and frivolity. Even in Freedom City, where genuine monsters sometimes stalk the streets and sewers, Halloween is a time for candy, parties, fun costumes, and laughter. Protected by their spandex-clad heroes, many Freedonians feel downright invulnerable. Too invulnerable.

When a Halloween prank ends up calling down far more trouble than anyone expected, Freedom City needs heroes to protect it once again.

Monster Mash-Up is a free short adventure for a group of three to five PL 10 heroes. The adventure is set in Freedom City, but can easily be transplanted anywhere in the world that celebrates Halloween and has a large, old theater to gather an audience into.

Free M&M Adventure: Monster Mash-Up

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!

Cosmic Handbook PDF Preview

Cosmic Handbook (Not final cover)

Cosmic Handbook

The Cosmic Handbook is in the final stages of layout and we’re planning to make it available in PDF form and as part of our Pre-Order Plus program next week! To tide you over, we’ve pulled nine pages from the book to create a preview that includes everything from the complete table of contents to heroes, villains, and sneak peeks at some of the new organizations and locations that debut in the book.

Check it out now and come back next week to get the complete PDF!