By Chris Pramas
Happy New Year, gaming comrades! I hope you all had a good holiday, and got some quality gaming in with friends and family. As has become a tradition here at GR, I’m here to spill the beans on our plans for the coming year. Last year was a bit awkward because in January I could not yet announce Titansgrave or the fact that we were designing D&D books for Wizards of the Coast. This year will be much less cryptic! So what’s have we got in store for you? Rather a lot, actually!
Fantasy AGE has been a huge hit for us. It’s already in its second printing and we’ll need to do another later this year. Our first bit of support for Fantasy AGE is the Game Master’s Kit, which consists of a hardback screen, four reference cards, and a combat tracker you can write on with wet or dry erase markers. This is printed already (I got an advanced copy just before Xmas and it looks great) and the main shipment is on a boat. Expect it in February.
Following that will be the Fantasy AGE Bestiary, which is scheduled for a spring release. The monsters in the Basic Rulebook are enough to get you started but Game Masters need options. That’s what this book is all about. After that we’ve got the Fantasy AGE Companion, the first rules expansion for the game. It will offer a lot of new options for both players and GMs: new specializations, talents, spells, magic items, and more. I may even add a fourth class if I’m feeling crazy! The Fantasy AGE Companion is currently scheduled for a summer release.
Also scheduled for summer is the new edition of Blue Rose: The RPG of Romantic Fantasy, which is a stand-alone game built off the Fantasy AGE rules. We ran a very successful Kickstarter for this in 2015 and we’ve been working away on it since then. If you missed the Kickstarter, no worries. As usual we will be selling the game through our normal channels after backers get their copies, so you’ll be able to find Blue Rose in stores.
In addition to physical books, we’ll also be starting a Fantasy AGE PDF series. It will feature short, ready-to-use encounters that Game Masters can use as-is or build out into longer adventures.
Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana is the web series we helped create with Wil Wheaton and Geek & Sundry. It’s Wil’s long promised RPG show and Season 1 was an amazing success. Our Titansgrave book for Fantasy AGE (the game played on the show) came out concurrently with the Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook and featured all the adventures Wil ran in Season 1. As soon as it was released, people asked when they could learn more about Valkana? The answer is this summer! We are putting together a proper Titansgrave world book (exact title TBA) that will provide a lot more detail about the locations on that snazzy map. Meanwhile, we’re moving into production on Season 2 of the show this month. Once that airs (dates to be announced by Geek & Sundry), we will release a second adventure book similar in format to the first one.
With the release of the Dragon Age Core Rulebook a few months ago, the full game rules are under one cover for the first time. It sold out its first print run as well, and we have a second one underway. In the meantime, we are finishing up the Revised Edition of the Dragon Age Gamemaster’s Kit. This is a new version of the original that features a brand new adventure, four reference cards, and a combat tracker similar to the Fantasy AGE version. That should be out this spring.
About the same time we will be releasing a new print run of the Dragon Age Dice Set, which sold out last year. We took the opportunity to re-design the black die in the set, as some folks found the original a bit hard to read. The new design is cleaner and I think folks will dig it. Dice masters Q Workshop are manufacturing those for us once again.
Later in the year we’ll be releasing Faces of Thedas. This book features characters from the Dragon Age video games and novels, with backgrounds, game stats, and adventure hooks. GMs can use them as NPCs or you can even play them if you like. There will also be some supporting rules material, such as new specializations needed to do these characters right.
Mutants & Masterminds
We’re kicking off the year with The Cosmic Handbook for Mutants & Masterminds. This lets you take your supers game beyond Earth with spaceships, aliens, and galactic empires. If you enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy, this book is for you. It went it to print before Xmas and it should be releasing later this month. The pre-order for The Cosmic Handbook is still open, so jump on that now if you want our usual deal (order the print book, get the PDF for only $5 more).
Following that in February will be the Revised Edition of the M&M Gamemaster’s Kit. The original has been out of print for some time and we know a lot of GMs have been waiting for its return. The screen itself is the same but we’ve replaced the booklet (which was redundant with the release of the Deluxe Hero’s Handbook) with four reference cards and a combat tracker.
Later in the year two fan favorites return. First, a revised and expanded edition of Hero High, Lucien Soulban’s awesome book about teenage supers campaigns. Then the book you’ve been waiting for: Freedom City, 3rd Edition! This is the game’s original setting book and we know people have been waiting for it. It will be similar in size and format to Emerald City, and packed with heroes, villains, locations, and plots.
Meanwhile, we’ll be completing our current M&M PDF series. The Atlas of Earth-Prime explores the larger world of Emerald City and Freedom City. We’ll also be completing Rogues Gallery, a series of fun new villains for the game. Both series will later be collected up and put into print.
Freeport and Pathfinder
Last year we released our mammoth new book, Freeport: The City of Adventure for the Pathfinder RPG. This year we are following it up with more resources. First, we’ll be releasing a serialized adventure called Return to Freeport. This six-part adventure will be released in monthly PDF installments in the first half of the year and then collected into a print volume in the fall. We’re also working on a Freeport Bestiary, which will include all the classic Freeport monsters plus a bunch of new ones. These will, of course, work in any Pathfinder campaign.
Lastly, we’re starting a Pathfinder PDF series. Owen K.C. Stephens is putting these together and they will be short, focused PDFs with fun new options, some new and some updated from our books of the d20 era. The series will also serve to expand on the World of Freeport, though the rules material will be useable in any setting.
SIFRP and the Chronicle System
A Song of Ice and Fire starts the year with a Revised Edition of its Narrator’s Kit (are you sensing a theme yet?). The GM screen has a new illustration of the Wall, and we’ve added reference cards and a combat tracker to the adventure and map of Westeros of the original. Quite a nice package, and already at print. We should be releasing the Narrator’s Kit in March.
Next we have the main event: Dragon’s Hoard, an epic SIFRP adventure that should keep chronicles going for some time. Our plan is to release it in April when the new season of the Game of Thrones TV show debuts. The text is approved, so we only need to finish the art and get that approved and it’ll be good to go.
We’ll also be continuing our series of PDFs for the Chronicle System, the rules engine that powers A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying. Last year we released a magic system for the rules called Chronicle of Sorcery. This year we’ll be expanding that with new lores, as well as offering new monsters and other cool rules expansions.
What was Green Ronin’s very first book? If you guessed Death in Freeport, you’re wrong! It was actually Ork! The Roleplaying Game. This is a beer and pretzels game I designed with my old friend “Crazy” Todd Miller based on the hilarious games he ran at my Brooklyn apartment in the mid-90s. The original edition of Ork! has been out of print for a long time, so we decided it was past time for a new edition. Get ready to enter the World of Orkness and kill squishymen this Spring!
Love 2 Hate
We released Love 2 Hate, our first party card game, in 2015. The game is doing well and was recently featured on Huffington Post. We plan to support it this year with two expansions. The game lends itself well to themed decks so that’s just what we’re doing. In the spring we’ll be releasing Love 2 Hate: Comics, which lovingly lampoon the world of superheroes and supervillains. Then just in time for the no doubt totally chill and uncontroversial American presidential election we’ll have Love 2 Hate: Politics! Each expansion will add 110 cards to the game. You can mix these in with your base game or play them on their own for a themed experience.
Cinema & Sorcery
Last but certainly not least is a project that’s been years in the making. It’s called Cinema & Sorcery: A Guide to Fantasy Films and it’s unlike any book we’ve done before. Authors Arnold T. Blumberg and Scott A. Woodard have written a stellar book that delves deep into fifty films, and then provides shorter entries for literally every fantasy movie they could track down. Cinema & Sorcery is packed with info, anecdotes, and glimpses behind the scenes, and even calls out gameable elements from each film. This beast will be roughly 400 pages. Look for the electronic editions this month and the printed book in the spring.
Green Ronin attends many conventions throughout the year, from local shows like OrcaCon (organized by our own Donna Prior and Barry Wilson) to big national shows like GenCon. This year I will be a guest of honor at BroCon in Limerick, Ireland and the Great Falls Gaming Rendezvous in Great Falls, Montana. Other Green Ronin staff will be guests at different conventions throughout the year, but we can’t attend them all. We love to see our games played at as many cons as possible, though, so that’s why we joined the Envoy Program at the end of 2015. Envoy recruits GMs (called Heralds) to run games at conventions and retail stores. If this sounds fun to you, consider becoming a Herald and supporting our games. You can learn more about the Envoy Program here.
Our own demo program, the Freebooters, is concentrating on organizing games for GenCon this year, as it is by far the biggest show that we attend. If you’d like to run games for us, we can pay for your badge and maybe even your hotel room. For more about this, see Donna’s recent Ronin Roundtable on the topic.
As you can see, we have an action-packed year planned. This is the bulk of what we’re doing, though there are some a few other projects we will be announcing later. What kind of publisher would I be without keeping a few secrets?
Thanks to you all for a stellar 2015. Stick with us for an even better 2016!