What's Green Ronin Up To In 2018? The Expanse, Lazarus, & More!

Green Ronin has posted its plans for the first half of 2018, which include The Expanse RPG, being Kickstarted in a few months, Modern Age in the Spring, along with the World of Lazarus setting, a new edition of Freedom City for Mutants & Masterminds, and more!


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Here's the list for the first half of the year:

  • The Expanse (Kickstarter in a few months, game releasing at Gen Con in August)
  • Modern Age (Spring)
  • The World of Lazarus setting for Modern AGE (Spring)
  • Fantasy Age Companion
  • Faces of Thedas (for Dragon Age)
  • Aldis: City of the Blue Rose (for the Blue Rose RPG)
  • Freedom City (for Mutants & Masterminds; out this week)
  • Rogues Gallery (for Mutants and Masterminds; Spring)
  • Shadowtide (Blue Rose novel)
  • Ork! The Roleplaying Game (new edition)
  • Return to Freeport (6-part adventure for Pathfinder; later spring)
Later in the year, we can expect to see:
  • Basic Hero's Handbook (for Mutants and Masterminds)
  • Superteam Handbook (for Mutants and Masterminds)
  • A Mutants & Masterminds novel
  • Sentinels of Earth Prime (card game)
  • Lost Citadel (D&D 5E campaign setting)
Green Ronin also reports that its Song of Ice and Fire license has expired; they can continue selling existing books, but cannot produce new ones. Read more here!

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Russ Morrissey

Comments

BytomMan

Villager
This seems to be the case with a lot of their games. True20, Game of Thrones, the Chronicle System, Titansgrave, Dragon Age, probably quite a few others too.
I forget what year it was, but the company stated that True20 did have a finite book line and they had some kind of license for third parties to pick it up and use it. I guess it didn't take off. Too bad, though, because I got the whole line and I really enjoyed the system.
 

vegaserik01

Villager
This seems to be the case with a lot of their games. True20, Game of Thrones, the Chronicle System, Titansgrave, Dragon Age, probably quite a few others too.
I think it has to do with the license, they seemed to have trouble getting the approvals in a timely manner. I think that's one of the reasons for the generic rules books for those systems. Titansgrave puzzles me, I could of sworn I saw on Facebook that Wheaton said they are prepping the second season but then nothing.
 

mach1.9pants

Adventurer
The Freeport core book is system free, you really don't need a 5e book. As nice as a bit of mechanical support would be, it's not that needed.
 

pkt77242

Explorer
The Freeport core book is system free, you really don't need a 5e book. As nice as a bit of mechanical support would be, it's not that needed.
Are we talking about the same book?
View attachment 93155

Because the above book has a ton of NPC's with Pathfinder stats, Pathfinder archetypes, Pathfinder feats, and adventure with Pathfinder stats, etc. Yes it can be converted but the book is definitely not system free.

Here is the product description from Amazon:
Freeport is one of the classic city settings of fantasy roleplaying and it’s back―bigger and better―in this monstrous new sourcebook for The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Clocking in at a massive 544 pages, Freeport: The City of Adventure lovingly details a metropolis that mixes fantasy tropes, piracy, and Lovecraftian horror into an action packed setting for your RPG campaign. The city is now more detailed than ever, with added locations, characters, hooks, and a brand new, full-length adventure. The book, featuring a cover by fan favorite artist Wayne Reynolds and a fold-out map of the city, also includes full rules support for the Pathfinder RPG: new classes, archetypes, feats, and magic items. As always you can use Freeport on its own or drop it into your campaign setting of choice. So set sail for Freeport, mateys! Come for the pirates, stay for the cosmic horror!


How is this book system free?

For the record I own the Pathfinder version and I would gladly pay for a 5E version.
 

jmucchiello

Adventurer
Titansgrave puzzles me, I could of sworn I saw on Facebook that Wheaton said they are prepping the second season but then nothing.
Geek and Sundry, where Titansgrave was produced, (and the Nerdist) were bought by Legendary Entertainment and they basically have dumped a lot of pre-existing shows. Wil just says he has no control over when or whether Titansgrave season 2 happens or not and then he clams up.

Similarly, Wil's TableTop series was released to YouTube in a delayed manner compared to its release on Project Alpha (the new pay website from Legendary). And Wil was rather annoyed by it being hidden behind the pay wall.
 

ChapolimX

Explorer
The Freeport core book is system free, you really don't need a 5e book. As nice as a bit of mechanical support would be, it's not that needed.
I'm curious about that. As far as I know there are 3 system neutral books. But I wonder, how much was added through all those years of Pathfinder and other systems support that would make a 5e book a must have.
 

MarkB

Hero
Geek and Sundry, where Titansgrave was produced, (and the Nerdist) were bought by Legendary Entertainment and they basically have dumped a lot of pre-existing shows. Wil just says he has no control over when or whether Titansgrave season 2 happens or not and then he clams up.

Similarly, Wil's TableTop series was released to YouTube in a delayed manner compared to its release on Project Alpha (the new pay website from Legendary). And Wil was rather annoyed by it being hidden behind the pay wall.
I tend to think Critical Role's success may have had something to do with it. Titansgrave was meant to be the 'gateway' RPG show, with shorter episodes and higher production values, but given how successful Critical Role became without those factors, there may not have still been a gap in the market for a show which was significantly costlier to produce.
 

jmucchiello

Adventurer
I tend to think Critical Role's success may have had something to do with it. Titansgrave was meant to be the 'gateway' RPG show, with shorter episodes and higher production values, but given how successful Critical Role became without those factors, there may not have still been a gap in the market for a show which was significantly costlier to produce.
Critical Role was already a monster when Titansgave season 1 aired. But I don't anything compares to Critical Role. That is far more of a "cult following" (in quotes because I don't mean cult in its usually negative connotation) than an indicator of number of viewers. I think an edited gaming experience like Titansgrave could become a financially valid model for such shows. Not replacing raw shows like Critical Role but filling the niche of people who don't want to watch a 4 hour gaming session.

And none of that explains why they messed with TableTop. They replaced it with Becca Scott's Game the Game on Alpha. Is Becca cheaper to pay or did Wil just refuse to move his show to Alpha? Probably some combination of both. Wil was very annoyed that TableTop was aired on Alpha before appearing on YouTube. The beauty of TableTop over the Alpha show was that Wil could actually attract decent B to C-list actors to play the games. But I doubt Wil will continue TableTop without someone else paying the bills (Assuming he even owns the show's name.)
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
I'm not familiar with AGE. Is it crunchy? My gut feeling is Expanse as a game would benefit from relatively heavy, "crunch" mechanics with a FATE-like metacurrency system layered over top. I think you need both to emulate all the nods to SF "realism", the technical Tom Clancy-in-space stuff, while still allowing for the over-the-top heroics found all over the series.
It's not crunchy at all, and it has been a breeze to teach newcomers to RPGs. It's similar to a D&D lite system that uses 3d6. The main novelty mechanic is the stunt point system. You have 3d6. Two dice are one color and the third die - the dragon/stunt/action die - is another color. When you roll doubles on any two dice, then you generate a number of stunt points equal to the number on the Stunt Die, which can be spent on a range of cool extra benefits.

There are three variations of the rules set: Dragon Age, Fantasy AGE, and Blue Rose AGE. The system was initially developed for the Dragon Age Tabletop RPG. A more generic rules set was created for Fantasy Age, which primarily changes the attributes and magic system. And then they converted Blue Rose (True20) to Fantasy Age, but this again changes the magic system to more akin to the original incarnation of Blue Rose.

I forget what year it was, but the company stated that True20 did have a finite book line and they had some kind of license for third parties to pick it up and use it. I guess it didn't take off. Too bad, though, because I got the whole line and I really enjoyed the system.
True20 is one of my favorite systems of yore, but it unfortunately suffers from many of the same shortcomings of 3.0, being released before even 3.5's revisions. True20 could be fairly easily updated for 5e's rulesets. Fantasy AGE, in some regards, is a successor to True20, albeit built around 3d6. But I also suspect that Modern AGE's classless system would mark a better approach for a True20 successor.
 

John R Davis

Explorer
Dragon Age is very uncrunchy. Lighter than Savage Worlds and even more FFF than it
Not sure how stunts etc will translate to the harsh grit of the expanse?
 
Superteam Handbook is good to see. I hope it has more rules than freedomverse fluff. I'd still like to see a Mecha and Manga 3e and Warriors and Warlocks 3e. I think the reason they were so good was they were filled with new rules and didn't have tons of campaign fluff.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
GR had a rough last year, with people on the team having to face mortality in the family and other non-work related stuff, so they are behind with many of their releases. As someone who played FAGE and Dragon AGE a lot, I grew tired of waiting for the companion or new DAGE material. Recently, on their forum, the mods also grew tired of people making angry post about their release rate, so they threaten to ban any poster who make a post about it. So for now, the forum is mostly dead. I hope this time they can keep up with their plan, 'cause the material they produce is incredible. FAGE Bestiary is one of the best monster manual I've seen and I cant wait to see the rules for Modern Age to play a crunch-lite version of WoD. The next campaign that awaits my table will use the AGE system, that's for sure.
 

Doc_Klueless

Doors and Corners
Recently, on their forum, the mods also grew tired of people making angry post about their release rate, so they threaten to ban any poster who make a post about it.
I was a big supporter of them until that post. Then I thought, "screw it. Too many other excellent games out there that a) keep to their release schedule, or b) if they don't, give you an idea why instead of radio silence." I really liked FAGE, but GR cried Wolf! too many times on the release of the companion.
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
I was a big supporter of them until that post. Then I thought, "screw it. Too many other excellent games out there that a) keep to their release schedule, or b) if they don't, give you an idea why instead of radio silence." I really liked FAGE, but GR cried Wolf! too many times on the release of the companion.
Release of the companion? More like the release of everything. And this was also at the same time as announcement after announcement of new projects that they were taking on before meeting any of their promised deadlines. As you say, there are too many other excellent RPGs other there, and there is no longer enthusiasm in the gaming community for FAGE. It quickly lost momentum at the same time that other games out there, including 5E D&D, gained theirs. In the time we have been waiting for the Companion, we have seen the release of Genesys, an enormous catalog of 7th Sea (2nd ed.), Rifts for Savage Worlds, Starfinder, and soon Cortex Prime.
 
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vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Release of the companion? More like the release of everything. And this was also at the same time as announcement after announcement of new projects that they were taking on before meeting any of their promised deadlines. As you say, there are too many other excellent RPGs other there, and there is no longer enthusiasm in the gaming community for FAGE. It quickly lost momentum at the same time that other games out there, including 5E D&D, gained theirs. In the time we have been waiting for the Companion, we have seen the release of Genesys, an enormous catalog of 7th Sea (2nd ed.), Rifts for Savage Worlds, Starfinder, and soon Cortex Prime.
I think the problem with their release rate is that there's a gap between what they want to do and what they can do with their means as a small-medium-ish company. Since even their big labels dont sell that well, they need to work as 3PP on other project for bigger systems (Sword Coast Adventure Guide, 5e Taldorei, Out of the Abyss, Pathfinder stuff) to stay alive while publishing their own stuff when free time permits it. They also have to wait for license from everything (Dragon Age, ASoIaF, Marvel stuff etc) and those things takes too much time to allow for a quick release if you dont rush as soon you get it. That's why they did mostly nothing with their rights to ASoIaF, and we had to wait many years to get something for Dragon Age (and its ''just'' a lore book on NPC). I'm sure that if their 2018 release are in time, with that many projects in line, GR will be back on the map; this time they will need to use this momentum to create a lasting fanbase. There were talk of an OGL and even something like the DMguild some year ago and I think this should be done to allow fans to create and publish their material using the AGE system.
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
I think the problem with their release rate is that there's a gap between what they want to do and what they can do with their means as a small-medium-ish company. Since even their big labels dont sell that well, they need to work as 3PP on other project for bigger systems (Sword Coast Adventure Guide, 5e Taldorei, Out of the Abyss, Pathfinder stuff) to stay alive while publishing their own stuff when free time permits it. They also have to wait for license from everything (Dragon Age, ASoIaF, Marvel stuff etc) and those things takes too much time to allow for a quick release if you dont rush as soon you get it. That's why they did mostly nothing with their rights to ASoIaF, and we had to wait many years to get something for Dragon Age (and its ''just'' a lore book on NPC).
Green Ronin should consider a better division of labor for their projects. Green Ronin may be a small-medium-ish company, but there are many such tabletop RPG companies in similar size situations that are pumping out a fairly regular stream of product support.

I'm sure that if their 2018 release are in time, with that many projects in line, GR will be back on the map; this time they will need to use this momentum to create a lasting fanbase. There were talk of an OGL and even something like the DMguild some year ago and I think this should be done to allow fans to create and publish their material using the AGE system.
Unfortunately, I think that ship has already sailed, so I am not sure how much fan or 3pp support such a hypothetical AGE-OGL would see. Many people have moved on. A lot of the buzz around the AGE system is fairly dead. I don't even think that the AGE system is really cutting it anymore. Its basic roll 3d6 stunt system is pretty solid. Its supporting framework, however, is not, which has become increasingly obvious with time. The system's problems are highly evident in the numerous threads on the Green Ronin forum dedicated to houseruling the AGE system just so that its head can properly stay afloat above water, espeically post-5th level. At this point, I think that the AGE System needs a major overhaul so that there is a clear and consistent vision for its various interlocking parts across all levels. (It's clearly a system designed in piece-mail chunks and not as a whole.) I'm partially of the opinion that AGE should either condense its levels to 10 (e.g., 13th Age, Shadow of the Demon Lord) or go level-less, especially due to its 3d6 bellcurve.
 

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