Gen Con 50th Anniversary – We’re looking for GMs!

It’s hard to believe that Gen Con 50 is just around the corner, and with that, we’re already starting to look for Volunteer GMs to run our games!

Many of our games, especially Mutants & Masterminds, are on the list of Gen Con High Demand Games. Over the years, we have also received a lot of requests for more Dragon Age, plus we’re always happy for more Song of Ice & Fire. For 2017, we hope to expand that out  more with lots of submissions for Blue Rose, Fantasy Age, Titansgrave, Freeport Pathfinder, Critical Role, Love 2 Hate, and more.

With all this in mind, we are excited for the Gen Con Freebooter program. We’re looking for volunteers to run games, whether one session or 4-days of sessions. Early submissions starts January 22nd! Here’s how it works:

  • Green Ronin arranges for a GM Badge in return for 12-hours worth of game time scheduled.
  • For 16+ hours of game time scheduled, we will reimburse your hotel based on ¼ of a regular rate.  As an example, if a room is $200 per night we’ll pick up your part, so $50 per night!
  • Green Ronin must submit your games to count towards the GM Badge reimbursement and hotel room reimbursement.
  • You are still welcome to submit games via your favorite game group or other game companies, but we will only pick up badges/hotel reimburse for our submitted games.

Don’t need a free badge or hotel reimbursement? We’d still love to feature your game! If you submit a game with your favorite gaming group, or on your own, let us know and we’ll promote your game via our social media and at the Green Ronin Publishing Booth.

If you’re interested in the Gen Con Volunteer GM Program for 2017, you can fill out this form so we can email you with information.  Thank you for your interest in running games for Green Ronin Publishing! Questions? Email donna@greenronin.com.

Happy Gaming!

 

Ronin Round Table: Not Another RetCon

Last week’s Ronin Round Table brought tears to a lot of eyes, and not without good reason. Jon Leitheusser has been the developer for Mutants & Masterminds even longer than Steve Kenson. He was the motivating force behind the DC Adventure Roleplaying Game (now available at a great savings as part of our holiday sale!) and the creator of Emerald City, not to mention some of my personal favorites like the Cosmic Handbook and the upcoming Atlas of Earth Prime. And just to finish out his legacy, he brought the iconic Freedom City into 3rd edition. No one would want to follow that tenure, so where could Green Ronin find someone asinine enough to follow that performance?

Hello, I’m Crystal Frasier. Read more

Green Ronin 2016 Holiday Sale

In an effort to inject some good cheer into the tail end of what’s been a difficult year for most of us at Green Ronin, we have placed a nice selection of terrific gaming products on sale until next year.

Whether you like Pathfinder, Mutants & Masterminds, casual games, sword & sorcery movies, or DC superheroes, we hopefully have something to interest you in the sale.

Shop the Holiday Sale today!

Ronin Roundtable: M&M Style

grr5510e_mutantsandmastermindsthirdeditiondeluxeheroeshandbook_1_1024x1024Our recent yearly Green Ronin summit covers a lot of ground, including plans for all of the company’s current game-lines moving forward into the coming year. The remainder of 2016 and the start of 2017 are a bit of a turning point for Mutants & Masterminds, reflecting the maturity of the third edition line. In particular, by early to mid-2017, we’ll have covered the essential rules and game materials for M&M with the Hero’s Handbook, Power Profiles, Gadget Guides, and the Gamemaster’s Guide, the essential setting material for Earth-Prime with Emerald City, the Cosmic Handbook, the Atlas of Earth-Prime, and the new edition of Freedom City, plus plenty of foes in Threat Report, Rogues Gallery, and the Supernatural Handbook. Add to that a complete and compatible summary of the DC Universe in our four DC Adventures books, and that’s quite a collection!

So, we want to revisit how we present Mutants & Masterminds products in addition to what types of products we’re offering. There’s a lot of material out there for the game (and will be even more in the months to come) so the big question on our agenda is: How do we make M&M easier to use and friendlier to new readers going forward while retaining the great library of material we already have? A lot of the answer to that question is not just what products we do, but how we do them, the style and presentation of the game.

In particular, I’m looking at the stat blocks for M&M and finding ways they can be more user-friendly, informative, and attractive while still conveying everything you need to know about the character in game terms. This goes for our full-size and detailed stat blocks as well as our smaller formats, presented in-line with text. Everything is on the table here: the way things are arranged, the order in which traits are presented, use of color or icons, and so forth. The key limit is that it has to convey essentially the same information and remain compatible with our other third-edition material. Ideally, we also want the presentation to require only the Hero’s Handbook—while we could certainly save space by pulling powers and gadgets wholesale out of supplements, we don’t want you to have to have Power Profiles or Gadget Guides to understand and play the game!

You’ll likely be hearing more about this process as time goes on and ideas percolate but, for now, we’d also like to hear from you. Visit our forums and tell us ways in which M&M products can be more useful, user-friendly, and easy to reference during game-play in your own games, keeping in mind the guidelines that we’re sticking with the current edition and we want the new products we publish in the coming year to be compatible with what we’ve done thus far. You can also drop us an email at custserve@greenronin.com or send us a message via our Facebook page.

I’m looking forward to showing everyone all of the plans we’ve made for Mutants & Masterminds and to giving it the look and style that will last it for years more to come!

M&M Bundles of Holding!

M&M Bundles of Holding!

M&M Bundles of Holding!

We have not one but two Mutants & Masterminds Bundles of Holding on sale right now! The links below will take you to the core bundle and the Power Boost bundle, which includes many M&M supplements from the last couple of years.

Mutants & Masterminds 3E Bundle

M&M 3E Power Boost Bundle

Ronin Round Table: The Art of Art Direction

beastfolk

By Hal Mangold

Today’s Ronin Round Table draws back the curtain on some of the behind-the-scenes parts of creating our products. Art is an essential part of the look and feel of most games, and it’s the role of the art director (that’s me) to make sure all that art gets created. To give you all a little insight into the job, we’re going to answer a few common questions about what being an art director is all about.  

What does the art director do?

As the art director, my responsibility is to make sure that all of the art that goes into Green Ronin’s games and publications is up to the standard we’ve tried to set over the years. I select the artists, assign and approve the art, and herd cats to make sure it all comes into our hands by the deadline necessary for publication.  

How does the art direction process work?

It all starts for me with scouting out the artists who have the right style to fit the project. Games like Mutants & Masterminds have a radically different art style than Dragon Age or A Song of Ice & Fire. I contact the artists I want on the project, see if they are available during the timeframe I need them, and get them contracted if they’re interested in working on the project. Ideally, this is done about 4-5 months ahead of time, but circumstances often compress this a bit.  

The art order or brief comes next. This is a description or set of descriptions for the piece of art needed for the product. These can be written either by me or, more often, by the developer of the product, with my role being more to tweak or jazz up those basic descriptions. Sometimes the descriptions are general, sometimes really specific, and different artists work well with each type. In general, I try to art direct with a light touch when I can. I’m hiring the artist for their talents and inspiration, after all. I try to give them as much room to improvise as I can.   

The next step is to take that art order transfer it to the artist or artists. For a cover piece, this part is simple. For interior work with multiple artists, it’s a bit more involved of a process. The art assignments get broken up between the artists, taking into consideration both spreading the artists throughout the book for a unified look, and assigning the right pieces to the right artists based on their relative strengths.

Next the artists submit their sketches for the assignments. I review them to make sure the composition is as strong as it should be, that the basic look is right, that any characters depicted have the correct look, and so on. If revised sketches are needed, the artist submits them, and once everyone is happy with where the piece are going, the artist takes the piece to its final state.

If the project is for a licensed property, there’s one extra step: approval by the licensor. Most licensors require us to submit all of the original art we commission to them so they can make sure it depicts their world and characters properly. Some licensors want to see sketches, and some just care about the final result.

There was a time when there was another step: the artists physically shipping their work to us for scanning. Fortunately almost all artists today (even those working in non-digital mediums) submit digital files. Considering the international nature of the artists we work with, that’s especially fortunate today, with international shipping costs being what they are.  

Once all the art is approved, the art director gives it a look to ensure it’s in the proper color and file format, and that it will reproduce properly when actually printed. After that, the image file is handed off to layout for insertion into the product. The art director’s work is done.

Where do you find artists?

Anywhere and everywhere! The Internet is a fantastic source, of course. Sites like DeviantArt, Artstation and DrawCrowd give artists a place to put their portfolios, and I browse around on them quite often. Sites like Tumblr and Pinterest are also fantastic art resources, both for finding new artists, and building “mood boards” for how I want a particular project to look. It sometimes takes a little internet detective work to find out who created an image found that way, however. Not everyone is great about tagging sources for what they post.

Conventions are another great source for artists. Whether it’s a comic, gaming, anime or just overall sci-fi show, I always keep an eye out for creators whose style might work with one of our games. If we’re actually displaying at a show (like GenCon, for instance), portfolio reviews are another great source for me.

And finally, email submissions come in all the time, and have provided me with some great people I might not have noticed before.

Can I submit my art to Green Ronin?

Absolutely! Anyone is welcome to submit their work (or a link to an online portfolio, preferably), to art@greenronin.com.

Ronin Round Table: We Could Be Heroes…

If just for one game.

2523On January 10th, 2016 David Robert Jones, known to the world as David Bowie, passed away after a private and protracted battle with cancer. He was a singer, songwriter, musician, actor, and many many more things and his influence was felt far and wide.

He was not, to my knowledge, a gamer.

But he was totally a role player.

From his personas of Ziggy Stardust to the Thin White Duke and various acting roles and constant innovation and re-invention, Bowie was great at making and playing characters. He communicated concepts and ideas not just with evocative music and lyrics, but with performance. Even his battle with cancer is depicted metaphorically through his last album, putting him it a category of unique works that range from Warren Zevon’s The Wind to John Wayne’s The Shootist.

Read more

Ronin Round Table: Where Soars the Cosmic Handbook?

Pre-Order Cosmic Handbook

Pre-Order Cosmic Handbook

The cosmic gods have answered our prayers! Years of requests via email, the Atomic Think Tank, instant messages, and in-person are just a couple of weeks away from being fulfilled! The newest Mutants & Masterminds title, the long-awaited Cosmic Handbook, is about to make its way to your favorite game store!

Right up front, I want to make sure you’re aware that if you pre-order the physical book at the link above, you’ll be able to add the PDF to the order for only $5. And, big bonus, you get the PDF delivered to you immediately.

As for the book itself, it covers a lot of ground. Chapter 1 starts off with a few pages of history of cosmic heroes in comics, beginning with Superman and continuing up to the last few years. Then it dives into conventions of the genre. This section is really interesting because it shows players and GMs the sorts of things they should expect to see in a cosmic game and the sorts of things they may want their character to embody. It’s not a how-to manual, but it should give everyone a good grounding in what makes a cosmic game cosmic.

Chapter 2 is all about player characters. This is the section players will be most interested in. It defines three different levels of cosmic series: Challengers of the Cosmos, at PL8 to 10, Cosmic Crusaders, at PL10 to 12, and Cosmic Avatars, at PL12 and up. The level of a normal cosmic series is the Cosmic Crusader level, with characters beginning at PL12 and advancing from there. This is a couple of steps up from the normal super-heroic M&M series and should be a real treat for players who are interested in pushing boundaries and want to be able to throw around some serious power!

Chapter 2 also includes nine different sample heroes of different power levels, including the Cosmic Buccaneer, Cosmic Critter, Galactic Peace Officer, Ray-Gun Hero, Space Demigod, Space Knight, Space Soldier, Star Hero, and Strange Visitor. Far from an exhaustive list of cosmic hero archetypes, these characters should provide players with a good starting points, examples, and inspiration.

Chapter 3 is for the GM and concentrates on running a cosmic series. It provides GMs with tips on creating ongoing cosmic games, gives examples of the sorts of stories work well, and caps it off with ten villain archetypes to challenge your players! These villains include the Alien Supermind, Avatar of Destruction, Imperial Champion, Space Dragon, The Devourer, Galactic Tough Guy, Renegade Space Cop, Star Hunter, and Time Master. There’s even a bunch of minion archetypes and sample minions that can show up in your games. Can you say “Cuddly alien pet,” or “Xenomorph”?

Chapter 4 covers the Earth-Prime, or Freedom City Cosmos. It gives a brief history of the cosmos as it is in the setting all the Mutants & Masterminds characters exist in, from the Preservers and their role in seeding the universe with races, all the way up to the modern day and the chaos caused by the arrival of Collapsar.

Our goal with this chapter was to clear out all the established empires and make it possible for the player characters to play an important role in the cosmos. Instead of everything being clearly regimented and broken into empires, it’s more like the Wild West. The old powers are destroyed or in survival mode, while new powers, like the Stellar Khanate, are making their move to gain in significance. Along with these changes, more cosmic-powered groups, such as the nanotech-fueled Argents and Blackstar’s Blackguard, have appeared to pursue their own agendas. Agendas which will certainly cause the heroes some problems.

Finally, in chapter 5, we revisit Freedom City 2525. This homage to the Legion of Super-Heroes is converted to the new edition of M&M and includes a bevy of heroes and villains. Whether you use them in a series set in the future or as inspiration for allies and adversaries for your players’ characters, these 17 characters will definitely come in useful!

So far, people who’ve already downloaded the PDF have had great things to say about the book. We’re pleased to be able to get this out to everyone at a time when cosmic movies like The Guardians of the Galaxy and Star Wars: The Force Awakens are so popular. Hopefully they’ll inspire you and your friends to head out into the stars!

Blackest Friday DC Sale

Blackest Friday Sale

DC Adventures Blackest Friday Sale

 

For a limited time, you can order each of the DC Adventures hardback books for just $19.95 apiece, or get all four together for $60!

Ronin Round Table: Green Ronin at Gen Con 2015

Titansgrave​ is coming to Gen Con! Make sure to login to your Gen Con account and look for SEM1582558 to reserve your spot! Presented by Green Ronin Publishing and Geek and Sundry

Titansgrave​ is coming to Gen Con! Make sure to login to your Gen Con account and look for SEM1582558 to reserve your spot! Presented by Green Ronin Publishing and Geek and Sundry.

 

This year is going to be an exceptionally strange and exciting time for us at Gen Con. Not only is Team Ronin headed out in force, but we’re sharing space with Geek & Sundry, highlighting Fantasy Age and Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana! We’re so excited to have such great games for Gen Con.

Before I get into the fun things happening, I want to kindly let you know what our Customer Service & Sales responses will be slow, as we’ll be dependent on whatever internet we can find while traveling and while we’re all working the show. Online orders for in-stock items (or PDFs of course) will continue to go out on the usual schedule.

For those of you lucky enough to be attending Gen Con, stop on by and say hello at Booth #1509! We’ll be running demos of Walk the Plank, Love 2 Hate, Icons Superpowered Roleplaying, Dragon Age, A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying, Mutants & Masterminds, Ork!, and of course, Fantasy Age and Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana. Geek & Sundry will be featuring a photo booth, along with some great merchandise and surprises!

We also have volunteers running games at Gen Con, and we have some Seminars you don’t want to miss. If you didn’t get into a game, be sure to bring Generic Tickets to see if a spot opens up! There are quite a few sessions of games run by various GMs & Gaming Groups, and we have a list of the officially submitted games run by myself or our Freebooter Volunteer GMs! For the Seminars, there are currently spaces, but you’ll definitely need to pick up free tickets to attend!

Thursday:

  • RPG1575877 Blood in the Streets – DC Adventures/Mutants & Masterminds
  • RPG1575473 An Arl’s Ransom – Dragon Age RPG (at ConTessa!)
  • RPG1573267 Hell Comes to Squishy Man Town! – Ork! 2.0 The Roleplaying Game
  • RPG1576447 Fate in Freeport; The 1000 Year Storm – Fate System
  • RPG1575933 Shadows of Tanglewood – Blue Rose/True 20
  • RPG1576439 Titansgrave: The Rust Wastes – Fantasy Age
  • RPG1576440 Titansgrave: The Rust Wastes – Fantasy Age
  • SEM1578318 News & Updates on Green Ronin Publishing’s AGE System

Friday:

  • RPG1575878 Blood in the Streets – DC Adventures/Mutants & Masterminds
  • RPG1573275 Hell Comes to Squishy Man Town! – Ork! 2.0 The Roleplaying Game
  • RPG1576446 The Truth of the Fifth Blight – Dragon Age RPG
  • RPG1576441 Titansgrave: The Rust Wastes – Fantasy Age
  • RPG1576442 Titansgrave: The Rust Wastes – Fantasy Age
  • RPG1578320 Titansgrave: The Rust Wastes – Fantasy Age
  • SEM1578319 What’s New With Green Ronin Publishing!
  • SEM1582558 Titansgrave Q&A with Wil!

Saturday:

  • RPG1575905 Operation: Zandia – DC Adventures/Mutants & Masterminds
  • RPG1573282 Hell Comes to Squishy Man – Town!Ork! 2.0
  • RPG1575934 Shadows of Tanglewood – Blue Rose/True 20
  • RPG1576443 Titansgrave: The Rust Wastes – Fantasy Age
  • RPG1576445 Titansgrave: The Rust Wastes – Fantasy Age
  • RPG1578321 Titansgrave: The Rust Wastes – Fantasy Age

Sunday:

  • RPG1575906 Operation: Zandia – DC Adventures/Mutants & Masterminds

Thank you for your support, and we hope to see you at Gen Con!