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October 30, 2014

Monster Week: Monstrous Lycanthrope

It's Monster Week at GreenRonin.com! Come back every day this week for another free template and monster from the pages of the Advanced Bestiary for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

Monstrous LycanthropeThe Monstrous Lycanthrope template is modeled very closely after the lycanthrope template, but it allows more creatures to gain the template and does not limit the alternate forms to those of animals. Today's sample creature is a tiefling afflicted with were-hell hound lycanthropy: "Even in humanoid form, Mahe'darg bears the sinister marks of an otherworldly heritage. Small horns and cloven hooves mark her as something other than human. In hellhound form, she looks like the shaggy, evil beast that often accompanies her, but the fiendish intelligence that characterizes both glimmers even more brightly in the tiefling were-hell hound's eyes. Mahe'darg's hybrid form is a true horror to look upon, with a demonic dog face and a muscular body bristling with fur that stinks of ash and brimstone."

Download the Monstrous Lycanthrope template and monster for free!

October 29, 2014

Monster Week: Dread Ghoul

It's Monster Week at GreenRonin.com! Come back every day this week for another free template and monster from the pages of the Advanced Bestiary for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

Dread GhoulWhat fuels the nightmares of the mountain folk? Today's Dread Ghoul template also brings us the Ghoul Lord Frost Giant sample creature: "A blight on the frozen lands, a ghoul lord frost giant fills the same role with the dead as a frost giant jarl with living giants. Ever hungry, the giant and its undead minions raid local villages and towns, leaving nothing but blood on the snow."

Download the Dread Ghoul template and monster for free!

October 28, 2014

Monster Week: Dread Spectre

It's Monster Week at GreenRonin.com! Come back every day this week for another free template and monster from the pages of the Advanced Bestiary for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

Dread Spectre: The White LadyThe White Lady is a classic of horror fiction, and today's Dread Spectre template brings her the tabletop: "In life a woman of noble birth who spent her time in academic pursuits, the White Lady was murdered in the night by an assassin hired by a relative for the family fortune. The family member in question soon met with more horrible fate, as the noble woman's spirit returned and drained all life from him. Now known as the White Lady, she wanders her city's graveyards at night. Only a few have tried to interact with her to gain snippets of knowledge, for she knows much about the city, its people, and its secrets. Even fewer have returned alive."

Download the Dread Spectre template and monster for free!

October 27, 2014

Monster Week: Plague Bearer

It's Monster Week at GreenRonin.com! Come back every day this week for another free template and monster from the pages of the Advanced Bestiary for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

Plague Bearer VargouilleToday it's the Plague Bearer template with the Plague Bearer Vargouille sample creature: "Plague bearer vargouilles are often used by those evil creatures that wish to quickly spread disease. They gleefully bite other creatures and flap away, leaving the diseases to do their worst."

Download the Plague Bearer template and monster for free!

Ronin Round Table: A Supernatural Opportunity

It's the week of Halloween here in the States, which means it's an opportunity for kids of all ages to put on costumes and do a bit of LARPing! Okay, not quite, but it's pretty close. Actually, what Halloween means to me as a GM and gamer is that it's the perfect time of year to run or play in a horror-themed game!

With all the werewolves and goblins walking the streets, scary movies on TV, spookily-decorated houses on every block, and ghost stories on everyone's minds, your friends are primed to play in a Halloween-themed game.

Fear and horror are difficult to elicit in roleplaying games, but this is the perfect time of year to play a one-shot featuring monsters or other scary fare. Break out the candles (or battery-powered tea lights), some subtle, spooky music, dim the lights, and have your friends over for a game featuring the supernatural. Consider it a self-contained story for your heroes that may or may not take place within the continuity of their normal series. Perhaps they take on some of the Cryptids in the forests around Emerald City, or come face-to-face with Frankenstein's Monster as he searches for the ancestors of his hated creator on the streets of Freedom City. Maybe the walls between worlds grow thin this time of year and real monsters haunt the city for the day—some of them more dangerous than others—so the player characters get to play "ghostbusters" for a while. Anything is fair game this time of year.

When I was in college, I ran a Halloween game that became a yearly tradition. Everyone played the heroes they usually played, but the villains were both a little scarier and sillier than usual. One of those games featured what's now a classic line among my gaming friends, "You cannot possibly defeat me, for I am made of straw," spoken by the villainous Scarecrow. Another year's most memorable moment was when a little girl dropped a trick-or-treat bag next to one of the heroes and before he could do anything, a teddy bear tumbled out of the bag, grew to be a full-sized demonic bear that could fly and mauled the poor hero.

This year, I get to play in a one-shot in which a bunch of us, including Green Ronin president Chris Pramas and freelancers Jason Mical and Seth Johnson, will be facing off against vampires, werewolves, and zombies in a haunted castle. It should make for a tense and fun game of supernatural horror, and I'm looking forward to blasting some monsters to smithereens!

Gaming has always been about being social and having fun with your friends. When you can combine that with a bit of suspense, the laughs are even bigger than usual. It's the start of the week, so you still have time to set up a game for the weekend. It doesn't have to be Halloween- or horror-themed, but that certainly seems like a natural fit! Check out the Supernatural Handbook for Mutants & Masterminds: both the PDF and the printed book are on sale for 25% off until Halloween. It's the perfect book if you're looking for inspiration for a game, or looking for an excellent book on horror games.

Whatever you do this weekend, stay safe and have fun!

Happy Halloween!
Jon Leitheusser
M&M Line Developer

October 24, 2014

Dragon Age Set 3 Preorders Currently Shipping

If you pre-ordered Dragon Age RPG Set 3, the guys in the warehouse in Indiana have either already packed and shipped your order, or are working hard to get it on its way to you.

Because we use an outside company for our fulfillment and shipping, when an order is listed "fulfilled" in our online store that signals that your order was successfully passed on to the fulfillment company on that date. When they finish fulfillment and ship the product, they send us an invoice with a tracking number attached and we have a lovely intern who transfers those numbers to your order information in our store and generates an email notifying you that it's shipped. A little more cumbersome than Amazon's process but we do try to make it work, though we don't always get the invoices with the tracking numbers in time to add them to the order information before they arrive if it's a short delivery time or part of an unusually large batch of orders.

In case you missed the pre-order window, Dragon Age Set 3 is slated to appear on store shelves soon. It is also available in PDF format now.

October 19, 2014

Ronin Round Table: Chris Pramas on Upcoming Releases

As the last quarter of 2014 is upon us, I thought this would be a good time to update you all on the status of some of our announced books. Our release schedule has been something of a moving target this year for a variety of reasons, but many long simmering projects are either finished or close to being finished. Here is the most up to date info that I have right now.

Dragon Age, Set 3: This is printed and in our warehouse. Hooray! We had a few sent here to Seattle, so I had the pleasure of holding it in my hand after a long development cycle. Normally, we'd be releasing it to distributors next week, but this is an usual situation. We've printed only 2000 copies of Set 3 and will never be reprinting it (because of the forthcoming Dragon Age Core Rulebook). Naturally, after that initial announcement, direct orders for Set 3 were quite robust. That being the case, we are pausing to make sure that the pre-orders go out properly before releasing books to distributors and game stores. We will likely have no extras to fix screw ups so we want to ensure it's done right. Distributors then get their chance to order. If there are any left over at that point, we'll make it available on our webstore again.

The contents of Sets 1 to 3 of Dragon Age will, as previously announced, be compiled into a big, hardback Core Rulebook. We had hoped to release this concurrently with Dragon Age: Inquisition, but the printing delays of Set 3 made that untenable. We are now shooting for a January release.

Advanced Bestiary for the Pathfinder RPG: The Advanced Bestiary was originally a critically-acclaimed d20 book we published 10 years ago. We did a Kickstarter to update the book to the Pathfinder RPG and that was quite successful. The new edition is a big, beautiful full color hardback with all new art. It has been at print for a month or so and ought to be hitting our warehouse by the end of the month. Again, we will pause, this time to ship the book to the Kickstarter backers. Then we'll handle pre-orders from our website, and release it to distributors in mid-November. It's a hugely useful book for Pathfinder GMs, so if you missed the Kickstarter, do check it out.

Freeport, The City of Adventure for the Pathfinder RPG: Speaking of Kickstarters, we've also been hard at work on the new Freeport book. This is a new core book for our classic city setting, and it too has been customized for the Pathfinder RPG. At 512 pages, it will also be the biggest book we've ever published! This is in the final stages of production. Very shortly now, we should be releasing the PDF to Kickstarter backers. Then we'll release that to the public and put the book up for pre-order. After a final errata check, it will go to print. We'll announce a final release date when we have something from the printer.

Mutants & Masterminds: For M&M fans there is good and bad news. The good news is that the Atlas of Earth-Prime PDF series is resuming after some delays caused by convention season. They will pick up with the Mediterranean Atlas shortly. The bad news is that we've decided to delay the Cosmic Handbook to next year. We would have had to rush the production to get it out before Xmas and we didn't want to do that. As we like to say, a late book is only late until it comes out, but a bad book is bad forever.

That's all the news for now. We just had our yearly summit last weekend and we made a lot of important decisions there. We'll be making some additional announcements about our schedule in November, and then in January I'll do my traditional message about our plans for the coming year.

We hope you have an awesome Halloween. To help with that, we've put the Supernatural Handbook for Mutants & Masterminds on sale for 25% off (both the PDF and the printed book). Enjoy!

October 13, 2014

Ronin Round Table: A Chronicle of Sorcery

Recently, we launched the Chronicle of Sorcery, a 48-page PDF detailing a system of player-controlled magic for the Chronicle System, the game engine that powers A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying.

Low Fantasy Sorcery
While it would have been easy enough to put together a system of sorcery in which the magician hucks fireballs and similar expressions of arcane pyrotechnics, we decided to hew closely to the low-fantasy feel of the Chronicle System's inspiration: the world of Westeros. The rest of the mechanics already support a somewhat gritty setting, so it seemed wrong to depart from that.

To that end, the magics in the Chronicle of Sorcery are subtle. They often come in the form of unseen benefits, usually without flashy lights or puffs of smoke. They are often the kind of things that grant the additional edge needed by already-talented characters to accomplish the impossible, and doubters can (and should!) suggest that it was merely luck or simply the encouragement the superstitious receive from farcical magical shenanigans that led to the outcome.

Continue reading "Ronin Round Table: A Chronicle of Sorcery" »

October 6, 2014

Ronin Round Table: The Food Trucks of Freedom!

We take our inspiration from all kinds of places, particularly real life, working events, people, places, and ideas from our own experiences into our fictional work and our games. Take Freedom City for example, in addition to being a love-letter to many of the things I treasure about superhero comics, Freedom City features a number of "Easter eggs" that are essentially bits of my own experience sprinkled throughout. So there's no reason the new update of the setting wouldn't feature the same sorts of things.

Food trucks aren't normally a thing for me, since I live in a suburban town in southern New Hampshire, a bit outside the usual food truck culture, unless I'm at a particular festival or event. On the other hand, the staff of GenCon in Indianapolis very cleverly decided a few years ago to get the local food trucks involved in supporting the convention, and vice versa. So for the week or so that downtown Indianapolis is crowded with thousands of gamers, there's also a small fleet of food trucks offering all kinds of cuisine to those hungry gamers who might not have time to visit one of the equally crowded restaurants.

That experience got me thinking, and so one of the additions to the Visitor's Guide section of Freedom City is the "Food Trucks of Freedom":

Freedom City enthusiastically embraced the food truck trend in urban catering and restaurants: mobile vendors who can set up their business for a day (or just a portion of one) almost anywhere in the city, serving the needs of passers-by and attracting customers via online social networking and word-of-mouth. Food trucks also often gather near or around major event venues. Some of the more popular local food trucks include:

  • Falafel Tower: Owned and run by two brothers (Maurice and Yusef Larrache), Falafel Tower offers French-Middle Eastern influenced cuisine, including their eponymous falafels, shawarma, hummus, and kabobs.
  • The Fatmobile: This food truck embraces "all that makes food good" with a rotating menu of items focusing on fat- and salt-laden savories, including more uses for bacon than one can imagine.
  • Freedom Fries: A truck best known for their delicious french-fried potatoes (and sweet potatoes) with a variety of sides and toppings. Especially popular are the duck-fat fries with poutine (topped with gravy and cheese curds, Canadian-style).
  • The Soul-Van: A truck offering fried chicken and waffles, collard greens, corn-breads, fried green tomatoes, and other traditional soul-food dishes.
  • Sweet Chariot: A successful food truck business with several trucks in the Freedom City metro area offering a variety of freshly made desserts and baked goods, particularly pies, crumbles, and cookies.

Do you use urban fixtures and trends like food trucks in your own Freedom City, Emerald City, or Mutants & Masterminds game? Drop by our forums and share some of them! Meanwhile, I don't know about you, but I'm feeling like having a snack...

October 1, 2014

Chronicle of Sorcery PDF Now Available

Chronicle of SorceryToday we present Chronicle of Sorcery, now available for sale in our Green Ronin Online Store.

When darkest sorcery and the mysteries of magic are laid bare, such power will shake the lands themselves. Chronicle of Sorcery is a supplement that details the core mechanics for magical power into any game powered by the Chronicle System, providing the foundation for entire systems of sorcerous might. Includes the basic Sorcery mechanics, new Benefits and Drawbacks, Common Sorceries, and new Holdings for the Houses with magic at their disposal.

Chronicle of Sorcery is for use with the Chronicle System engine that powers our popular A Song of Ice & Fire Roleplaying game.

Chronicle of Sorcery (PDF)