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Ronin Round Table: Blue Rose Development

Blue Rose cover by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law

Blue Rose cover by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law

Welcome! In this week’s Ronin Round Table, we’re taking a look at the development of the new edition of Blue Rose Fantasy Roleplaying following last year’s successful Kickstarter, along with a preview of some of the ways Blue Rose uses and modifies material from the AGE (Adventure Game Engine) System rules found in Fantasy AGE.

Right now, Blue Rose is poised between the development and editing stages of the process: draft text is in, with AGE System Developer Jack Norris and I going over our respective sections of the book: Jack primarily on the game system material and me primarily on the setting and story material, although there’s some crossover on both our parts. The drafts we have include all of the stretch goals funded by the Kickstarter and the hero and villain submissions by our Kickstarter backers for inclusion in the world of Aldea.

We have Lynne Hardy on-board as editor (or “benevolent editorial tyrant” as we have chosen to call it), empowered to smooth the sometimes rough road of our text so you can enjoy your journey through Aldea. She’s working with the setting material that makes up the first third or so of the book, detailing the world, it’s history, mythology, and the current state of its nations and peoples, roughly a decade since the time described in the original edition of Blue Rose.

There have been some changes! Queen Jaellin of Aldis is married (and not all are in favor of her choice of consort) and has won a stunning victory over the dark kingdom of Kern. Aldis is regaining its equilibrium following that recent conflict, and hopes are high for renewed peace and prosperity, but there are still many challenges for the Sovereign’s Finest throughout the land. The forces of Shadow do not rest and their reach is wide and deep. The nation is still very much in need of heroes to aid the cause of the Light.

Preview: Personas

We also have a special preview of the Blue Rose material in the works (hopefully the first of several such previews).

In this case, it is a draft of the Persona section of the game rules, discussing the qualitative traits of characters: their good and bad qualities (embodied in their Destiny and Fate), their goals and overarching place in the world, the looming specter of corruption and its effects on the spirit, and—most especially—their relationships, the deep emotional bonds that define the characters and help to drive them, not only in the context of the story, but providing clear game system effects when the players focus on those relationships and how they motivate their characters.

Download the preview PDF and take a look! Keep in mind that this is fairly raw text, still going through the development process. Nonetheless, we think if offers a pretty good look at where we’re going. If you have feedback for us, visit the Fantasy AGE forum on Roninarmy.com and let us know!

 

 

Ronin Round Table: Let’s Get Cosmic

Cosmic Handbook (Not final cover)

Cosmic Handbook


The Cosmic Handbook has been a popular product even before it was on the list of books we were working on. Fans have been asking for it since the second edition of Mutants & Masterminds, so at some point in the last few years, we added it to the schedule, wrote it, and are in the midst of preparing it for release!

This is the book you want if you’re planning to expand the scope of your game into the wider galaxy, leaving Earth-Prime behind to explore the wild frontier created after Star-Khan’s forces flooded in to fill the vacuum created by the destruction of Magna-Lor at the hands of Collapsar. It’s also the book you want if you’re running a series in your own setting, because it features an overview of cosmic stories and heroes, tips on creating super-powerful cosmic characters, along with sample archetypes, new equipment and vehicles, rules options to help you adapt to things like the vast ranges characters have to contend with in space, and information for the GM on how to run a game that’s exciting, challenging, and fun.

The Cosmic Handbook will help you run games in which your heroes have to deal with interstellar wars, face down cosmic elders, explore unknown space in their very own spaceship, act as galactic guardians (in case you’re into that sort of thing), and even play games set on alien worlds or in the far-flung, space-faring future.

Ray-Gun Hero

Ray-Gun Hero


We wanted to make sure the book covered as many different cosmic comic book character types, adventures, and settings as we could. We roped James Dawsey, Steve Kenson, Christopher McGlothlin, and Jack Norris into writing it and they really delivered.

Cosmic heroes run the range from power level 8 at the low end, for sword-and-planet style characters and progress all the way to power level 14 (or higher). We recommend starting at power level 12, a step up from standard PL10 M&M games, so characters are able to bring some serious power to bear when they need it.

The hero archetypes included in the book are: the Ray-Gun Hero, the Star Hero, the Cosmic Corsair, the Space Knight, the Cosmic Critter, the Galactic Peace Officer, the Space Demigod, the Space Soldier, and the Strange Visitor. There’s also a number of alien templates you can use to create your own coldly logical aliens, group-minds, insectoids, plant-like aliens, and many more.

As for the forces the heroes fight against, there’s a section that discusses popular cosmic-level plotlines and how to put them together, from alien invasions to ancient mysteries. Then there are the bad guys themselves, who get their own list of archetypes, including the Alien Supermind, the Avatar of Destruction, the Imperial Champion, the Space Dragon, the Devourer, the Galactic Tough Guy, the Renegade Space Cop, the Star Hunter, the Time Master, and multiple variations on each. Plus a selection of minions for your alien invaders.

And that’s just the first half of the book! After that we cover the cosmos as it exists in the Earth-Prime universe, including information on how things have changed since the appearance of Tellax the Redeemer (in Emerald City Knights) and the coming of Collapsar. These events have had a significant impact on the galactic civilization and have turned the galaxy into a wild frontier, ripe for your players’ heroes to make names for themselves.

As you can see, the art for the book is looking great and we can’t wait to show you the final table of contents and some other bits as previews in the coming weeks. Start thinking up some cosmic plotlines and get your friends ready for a high-powered, cosmic, super series!

Nanotech

Nanotech

Alien Supermind

Alien Supermind

Star Hero

Star Hero

Buccaneers of Freeport PDF Preview

Buccaneers of FreeportWe have posted a preview directly from the pages of Buccaneers of Freeport. “Among those pirates of whom legends are sung and drunken tavern-tales told, few are as infamous, or spoken of with such awe, as Scevola Hest, captain of the Black Contessa.” Read all about this spiteful spirit of a sea captain, and get a taste of Buccaneers of Freeport.
Buccaneers of Freeport PDF Preview: Scevola Hest

Buccaneers of Freeport PDF Preview

Buccaneers of FreeportWe have posted a preview directly from the pages of Buccaneers of Freeport. “Among those pirates of whom legends are sung and drunken tavern-tales told, few are as infamous, or spoken of with such awe, as Scevola Hest, captain of the Black Contessa.” Read all about this spiteful spirit of a sea captain, and get a taste of Buccaneers of Freeport.
Buccaneers of Freeport PDF Preview: Scevola Hest