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It's January once again and that means it's time for me to talk about our plans for the new year. The good news is that we're in a better position than we were a year ago. Sales on our core lines are strong, product flow has been improved, and we hired three new people in the fourth quarter of 2011. We are kicking off 2012 with a bigger staff that we've ever had before and a plethora of projects to keep us busy and you gaming all year long. So let me get right to it!
Dragon Age and the Adventure Game Engine
I'll start with a game near and dear to my heart: Dragon Age. We are currently putting together Set 3, which covers levels 11-20 of play. As with Set 2, we'll be doing a public playtest of the Set 3 mechanics (I hear those are all the rage these days!). Will Hindmarch is preparing files for that as we speak, and that should begin by month's end. In the meantime, you can check out the sweet Set 3 cover I've included in this article. We'll be following up Set 3 with another adventure collection called The Deep Roads. This will be similar in format to Blood in Ferelden, but with an underground theme.
In addition to these print products, we will be supporting Dragon Age with a series of short PDFs. If you liked the free Tallis dowloadable content (DLC) that we featured a couple of month back, you'll like these. They'll feature new NPCs, monsters, treasure, and so on. The next one will be the Wyvern, a nasty monster for your game that's a cool 99 cents. We also plan to release some PDFs for the Adventure Game Engine (the system that power Dragon Age) with similar content but not tied to the Dragon Age setting.
Speaking of AGE, I should mention that we are working on a new game that uses the Adventure Game Engine. We know folks want to see more AGE material and believe me, we have plans. We are working on a new game and a new world. This is not a license, but a property we are developing ourselves. We'll be developing it throughout this year but the new game won't actually release until 2013. This year our priority is finishing the core rule sets for Dragon Age.
A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying (SIFRP)
I think it's fair to say that 2011 was a great year for fans of A Song of Ice and Fire. A Dance with Dragons was released, HBO's excellent Game of Thrones TV show debuted, and our SIFRP Chronicle Starter was released in time for the holidays. This confluence of events lead to a big spurt of SIFRP sales and it soon became clear that by 2012 we'd be out of core rulebooks. We could have just reprinted but the rising tide of Ice and Fire enthusiasm argued for something grander.
This May we'll be releasing "A Game of Thrones Edition" of A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying. This takes the existing core rulebook and appends the entirety of the Peril at King's Landing adventure. This will give you all the rules and a full adventure in one glorious 320 page, full color package. We've commissioned a new cover from Michael Komarck that we're expecting any day now. We also replaced a dozen pieces of interior art, and of course we're fixing errata and such. If you already have SIFRP, there's no need to panic. Nothing major is changing in the rules and you don't have to re-buy them. We just want to take the opportunity to make our core rulebook bigger and better. And having a sexy new book to sell during season 2 of the TV show is no accident.
We'll be following that up this summer with The Night's Watch. Yes, it's a full sourcebook about the black clad heroes who hold the Wall. The book includes rules and advice on running a Night's Watch campaign, as well as providing the order's history, organization, personalities, and so on. Then later in the year we'll be doing a SIFRP Starter Set aimed at introducing the game to new players and gamers. As awesome as the new edition of SIFRP is going to be, it's not the sort of thing you want to drop in a newbie's lap and say, "Here, read this!" With all the attention the novels and TV show are getting, we want to have an accessible entry point to SIFRP and that'll be the Starter Set.
Another thing the "A Game of Thrones Edition" lets us do is name the game's system. We've dubbed it the Chronicle System and Hal Mangold is designing a logo for it. This will allow us to release material that is useable with the rules but not specific to Westeros. As with the AGE DLC, you'll see a series of Chronicle System PDFs this year that expand the rules in different ways. You can use these options in your SIFRP game if you like or use the rules in other settings.
Mutants & Masterminds and DC Adventures
The year is starting off right for the World's Greatest Superhero RPG. The Gamemaster's Guide for Mutants & Masterminds Third Edition is in stores this week. We also just wrapped up the Threat Report series with the free Atom Family PDF, and started a new PDF series last week called Power Profiles. In each Power Profile, Steve Kenson takes a look at a particular type of super-power in Mutants & Masterminds game terms, and presents of plethora of ready-built powers and options you can choose from. These are a steal at 99 cents, as they make creating themed characters much easier.
The next print product for Mutants & Masterminds is the Threat Report. This collects all the PDFs of that series along with a few additional villains to challenge your super-heroes. Then this summer we'll be releasing our new setting for Mutants & Masterminds: Emerald City. We had previously announced this title as a softcover book but we decided that wouldn't do it justice. We're thus upgrading it a full boxed set with multiple books and a poster map. Emerald City is a great place to kick off a new campaign. It's also in the "Freedomverse," so it's fully compatible with our previous Freedom City books.
We're rounding out the year in Mutants & Masterminds with a mysterious October release. We'll have more to say about this later. We believe you'll find it more treat than trick.
Last but by no means least is DC Adventures. As you know, our license with DC was for four books only. Two have been published already (the Hero's Handbook and Heroes & Villains Volume I). The remaining two should come out this year. Heroes & Villains Volume II is in for approvals now and we're shooting for a March release. The last book, Universe, is scheduled for this Fall.
With all of our licensed material, the thing to remember is that we don't control the approvals process and this can affect our release dates. We do our best and so do our partners but sometimes patience is required. We'll keep you updated as the year progresses.
I hope you enjoyed this overview of our 2012 plans and that you're as excited as we are about what's coming up. We have other irons in the fire as well, so expect more announcements as the year progresses. You can find news here, or on Twitter and Facebook. I've started a thread on our forums where I'll be fielding questions. Stop on by if you have something you'd like to ask.
I'll be playing A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying tonight and I hope you all are gaming this week too. If the world is going to end, I'm going out with dice in my hands!
Green Ronin Publishing