Rogues Gallery: The Amalgam (PDF)

Rogues Gallery: The Amalgam (PDF)

Rogues Gallery: The Amalgam (PDF)

Today we have a new Rogues Gallery issue for Mutants & Masterminds!

Long ago, Centurion and the Raven were simultaneously exposed to the Human Duplicator’s Doppelganger-Ray Gun. The result was the super-powerful being known as the Amalgam. With the powers of Centurion and the cunning of the Raven, the Amalgam suffers bouts of dim-witted confusion that make him one of the most dangerous beings on the planet.

Get the Amalgam today—just $1.95!

Rogues Gallery: Waxman (PDF)

Rogues Gallery: The Waxman (PDF)

Today we have a new Rogues Gallery issue for Mutants & Masterminds!

Waxman has the ability to sculpt his own flesh just like he does his beloved wax sculptures! More than that, his touch allows him to sculpt or melt the flesh of anyone he chooses. Now a mad outcast, Waxman preys on the living in order to give him raw material for his wax creations.

Get Waxman today—just $1.95!

M&M GM’s Kit, Revised Edition; Deluxe Hero’s Handbook; Cosmic Handbook; and Rogues Gallery: Tun

Mutants & Masterminds Gamemaster's Kit, Revised Edition

Mutants & Masterminds Gamemaster’s Kit, Revised Edition

We have been out of our Mutants & Masterminds Gamemaster’s Kit for a while, but were recently able to fit a reprint into our schedule. We took this opportunity to upgrade this trendsetting GM’s Screen and accessories while we were at it.

Mutants & Masterminds GM’s Kit, Revised Edition
Design: Steve Kenson
Art: Imaginary Friends Studio
Format: 3-panel hardback screen with 5 reference cards

The Mutants & Masterminds Gamemaster’s Kit is a key accessory for your superhero campaign. It features a sturdy and practical 3-panel hardback screen with all the charts and tables you need to play the World’s Greatest Superhero RPG. The kit also includes 4 quick reference cards and a combat tracker that you can write on with wet or dry erase markers. The Mutants & Mastermind’s Gamemaster’s Kit is the perfect complement to the Deluxe Hero’s Handbook and will help you kick off your game with style.

Speaking of the Mutants & Masterminds Deluxe Hero’s Handbook, it’s back in print!

In case you missed the news and didn’t pre-order it, Cosmic Handbook is available now!

Rogues Gallery: Tun (PDF)

Rogues Gallery: Tun (PDF)

And also for Mutants & Masterminds, we’ve got a new issue of Rogues Gallery for you! Tun is the Mistress of Ceremonies at the Game Station. She is responsible for entertaining the (once-)scientifically advanced race known as the Spigori. As they are now descended into lazy consumers of everything set in front of them, Tun is responsible for finding them new and exciting forms of entertainment. Sometimes that quest takes this powerful A.I. to other worlds, such as Earth-Prime! Written by Crystal Frasier and featuring at by Domenico Neziti.

Tun can be yours right now for just $1.95! (3-page PDF with 2 Hero Lab data files)

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.

Two New PDFs: Apostate and Mountain Terrors

We have two new adversary PDFs for you this week, one Rogues Gallery entry for Mutants & Masterminds, and a compilation of Mountain Terrors for the Chronicle System.

Rogues Gallery: Apostate (PDF)

Rogues Gallery: Apostate (PDF)

Rogues Gallery: Apostate

Pushed too far, once-caring Talia Wilson decided the only way to really change the world, to bring about a true revolution, was to become a villain and inspire people to rise up and destroy a corrupt system! As Apostate, she does everything she can to blunt the effectiveness of the government and point out its weaknesses. She swears that some day, she’ll have her revolution!

Get Apostate today—just $1.95!


Mountain Terrors for the Chronicle System (PDF)

Mountain Terrors for the Chronicle System (PDF)

Mountain Terrors for the Chronicle System

There are more dangers in the highest mountains peaks than just avalanches, treacherous terrain, and foul weather. Here there dwell the terrors that make the highest reaches their homes, from the bestial alpingast to the nearly-unseen cloud leopard, from the legendary devouring shadow to the deadly skullcracker. Explore the dangers of the alpine reaches, in this compilation of the Mountain Terrors monsters!

Mountain Terrors is a bestiary PDF for the Chronicle System, the rules engine that powers our popular A Song of Ice & Fire Roleplaying game.

This product compiles all the high-altitude horrors from our Mountain Terrors PDF series, along with an all-new mountainous monster.

Get Mountain Terrors today–only $5.95

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.

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Atlas of Earth-Prime: Middle East (PDF)

Atlas of Earth-Prime: Middle East (PDF)

Atlas of Earth-Prime: Middle East (PDF)

Today the Atlas of Earth-Prime visits the Middle East. From Armenia and Azerbaijan to the nations of the western Mediterranean and the Arab Peninsula, the Atlas looks at a region torn by conflict, where heroes are needed. The mysterious Ash’Abah (the Ghost) tries to keep the factions of the Gaza Strip from killing each other, while Aziz, the armored hero of Iran, denies rumors that his technology will be used for any nation’s weapons-program. Dr. Tzaddik in Israel studies ancient legends saying the blood of the Djinn and the Nephilim flow amongst the people of this region, while the Unseen Imam guards mystic secrets in his desert tower.

Add the Middle East to your Mutants & Masterminds campaign, today!

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!

Rogues Gallery: Eminence (PDF)

Rogues Gallery: Eminence

Rogues Gallery: Eminence

It’s time for a new Rogues Gallery issue, providing a new villain for your Mutants & Masterminds campaign. Eminence is the result of a breeding program to create super-powered children of Bogatyr, the great hero of the Soviet Union. Zvezda had potential, but it wasn’t until she went into space and was exposed to an alien artifact that she lived up to the dreams of the program that birthed her—unfortunately, she has her own goals now!

Get Eminence today for just $1.95!

Green Ronin in 2016

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!

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