Tag Archive for: Threefold

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.

Modern AGE, Four Years On: Our Modern Worlds

In my last article, I talked about the state of the Modern AGE line as we move into its fifth year. I started out by dividing the line into two loose categories and exploring the first, of “core” book releases. While Modern AGE is completely playable with the Modern AGE Basic Rulebook, the other releases I placed into the core category assemble numerous tools and ideas to customize the system generally, and to suit the worlds you invent.

But Modern AGE has worlds of its own which you can use as-is, or to influence settings of your own creation. In fact, we have various degrees of setting material, ranging from loose outlines to entire setting books.
The Threefold worlds of Modern AGE

Core Inspiration

In Modern AGE, we try to provide concrete examples so that you have something to work from. The Modern AGE Basic Rulebook talks about settings and genres in general terms, but subsequent books get more detailed.

Chapter 9 of the Modern AGE Companion offers firmer outlines of the possible settings associated with various genres, including the age of sail, 1800s gothic horror tales, 1950s UFO sci-fi, 1960s spy-fi, and modern or near future cyberthrillers. These treatments include recommended rules, sketches of settings, and possible NPCs of interest. The rest of the book provides ways to customize the game for these and other settings.

Chapter 7 of the upcoming Modern AGE Powers book also features outlines for supernatural and other power-filled worlds, from the mystic martial arts of “Immortal Ring,” the modern sorcery of “Phoenix Band,” and more, all in a book that gives you the “crunch” of powers as well, and strong guidance on how to use them in your own worlds. I can’t wait to share it with you.

In addition, Modern AGE has two full-on setting books. Each requires nothing more than the Modern AGE Basic Rulebook.

World of Lazarus for Modern AGEWorld of Lazarus

Created by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark, the Lazarus comic (with follow-ups including Lazarus X + 66 and Lazarus: Risen), World of Lazarus introduces the world after Year X, when governments have collapsed and the families behind the world’s mightiest corporations and political influence blocs take over, effectively reinstituting feudalism. These ruling families use various forms of human enhancement, from cybernetics to gene alteration, to create the Lazari, champions who settle disputes on their families’ behalf.

The World of Lazarus setting book isn’t just about Lazari, however, though the book provides in-depth rules for playing them. You can play wasteland renegades, desperate serfs, or privileged members of the Families, navigating a world with notes of cyberpunk, post-apocalyptic fiction, near-future military technothrillers, and feudal intrigue.

In addition to the setting book, individual issues of the Lazarus: Risen comic include expansions to the new rules in World of Lazarus, written by World of Lazarus developer Crystal Frasier.

Modern AGE: Threefold. Infinite worlds and possibilitiesThreefold

Intended to be the “flagship,” or exemplar setting for Modern AGE, Threefold is a vast setting designed to make use of the game’s full potential. Threefold contains notes of cyberpunk, cosmic horror, and portal fantasy, as it reveals Earth is one of many inhabited worlds in the Metacosm, an array of universes primarily linked by gates.

Threefold’s stories center on the exploits of the Sodality, explorers, diplomats, and agents of utopian democracy that spans multiple planes of existence, as well as the operations of Aethon, cybernetically enhanced operatives who shape alternate universes to, perhaps, produce a transcendental AI. These aren’t our only options, however. You might want to play a renegade psychic, defending their guild from families who treat psychic powers as a divine right. Maybe you want to be a plane-crossing mercenary, or a disoriented, semi-human wizard, stuck in our modern world. Threefold provides the greatest possible scope for characters in Modern AGE, including rules for cybernetics, the supernatural, and strange ancestries.

Characters explore Earths with alternate histories, Otherworlds, where magic reigns, and the Netherworlds, ruled by demonic forces. The planes are countless, and Threefold uses them to allow virtually any adventure and genre, but unlike many multiverse settings, there are strong core factions and influences that drive stories, such as the rebel hell-conquering soldiers of the Nighthost, or the tyrannical demigods of the Divine Empire. If you want a taste (and an introduction to Modern AGE generally), try the Threefold Quickstart for free!

In addition to the setting book, Threefold gains an adventure collection this summer, as the combined and expanded Five and Infinity adventure series is due to premiere at or around Gencon. Five adventures take characters through multiple worlds, and levels 1 to 16. A capstone chapter includes table-based tools to outline further adventures, and even generate new planes of existence in the Threefold Metacosm.

From Worlds to Stories

This article was originally going to talk about Modern AGE’s adventures as well, but as things are already running a little long, I’ll save it for next time. Until then? I’m going to recommend you check out Threefold in play (YouTube playlist) by the Fresh Out the Box (Twitch.tv) crew. Cheers!

Pre-Order and PDF: Threefold and Deluxe Gamemaster’s Guide

It’s the first day of Gen Con, and visitors to Booth 929 are finding our latest releases and advance copies of our upcoming books for sale. But even if you’re not at Gen Con, you can get in on the fun, too! When you pre-order Threefold and the Mutants & Masterminds Deluxe Gamemaster’s Guide through our Green Ronin Online Store, you’ll be offered the PDF version for just $5! If you prefer to spend your money at your local store, make sure they know about our GR Preorder Plus program. If they sign up, you can get a coupon for the same $5 PDF deal through them!