The Fifth Season Roleplaying Game is designed for you to play out adventures and stories set in the world described in the Broken Earth trilogy of novels by N.K. Jemisin—a world where constant and unstable tectonic and volcanic activity threaten all life; a world whose peoples have learned to adapt in order to survive. It is a world where everyone learns that Father Earth hates his children and is always trying to kill them, where metal rusts and even stone crumbles, and the best you can do is be prepared for the next disaster. In the world of the Broken Earth, community—the comm—is everything, because in community there is support and a chance to persevere.
You and your fellow players take the roles of members of such a community, working to overcome internal difficulties and external threats, in order to be ready when that inevitable Fifth Season comes. Are you a lifelong native of this place, someone everyone has recognized from childhood? Maybe you’re a more recent addition to the comm, someone who’s come from a distance, contributing something to the comm that makes the possibility of your secrets and past catching up to you worth it. Or perhaps you are an orogene, one who was born to sess the movements of the tectonic plates, gifted with a forbidden power to still the shaking earth and bleed heat in your environs away until frost coats everything in a perfect circle around you.
These may be times of peace and plenty, but strife and lean times are ahead, with the next Season of Death looming like a dark thunderhead on the horizon.
Welcome to the Stillness.
Download the Free Quickstart Today!
If you're wondering what The Fifth Season RPG is like, you can find out right now. We've got a free PDF Quickstart that has an introduction to the Stillness, basic rules to play, pre-generated characters, and a complete adventure. Reading it, or better yet playing it, will give the best introduction to what The Fifth Season RPG is all about. Download it today!
The free Quickstart is also available on Roll20, making it even easier to get a game together. This will also give you a taste of what the Roll20 Edition of the full game will be like. Click here to check it out at roll20.net!
Signed N.K. Jemisin Bookplates, Limited to 500 Backers!
Our top pledge level is the N.K. Jemisin Bookplate Bundle. This gets you the Special, Standard, and PDF Editions of The Fifth Season RPG in addition to the signed bookplate. This pledge level is strictly limited to 500 backers.
Your Pledge is Already Better!
As we unlock stretch goals, you get more bang for your buck. Thanks to your support, the rewards now include:
- A poster map of The Stillness, in print and/or PDF depending on your pledge level.
- A free PDF of the Game Moderator's Kit. You can get the print version as an Add-on.
See Stretch Goals below for more info.
The Fifth Season RPG gives you info on the following:
A guide to the Stillness, describing each region and its people, important comms, and customs. When it’s time to create your own comm, its location will inform many aspects of your settlement. Comms from regions like the Equatorials, Somidlats, Coastals, and Antarctic all have different characters.
An overview of life in the Stillness, covering such topics as roles and responsibilities of the use-castes, Season Law, orogeny and oregenes, deadciv technology, the Seventh University, the Fulcrum, and stonelore, the vital wisdom of previous generations when it comes to preparing for and surviving a Fifth Season.
Details on the nature of Fifth Seasons, also known as the Seasons of Death. Includes a catalog and descriptions of previous seasons, such as the Boiling Season, the Season of Teeth, the Acid Season, the Season of Yellow Seas, the Breathless Season, and more. No two seasons are alike!
Before you make your characters, you will work together to create your own comm. Really, the comm is like another character in the campaign, with its own rules for generation, traits, and qualities. The story elements and recent history you decide guide the process. During play, the comm is dynamic, with seasonal turns that provide crises and opportunities that can lead to adventure. Player character action can affect the comms’ advancement or decline. This system is one of the major additions to the AGE system featured in The Fifth Season.
Once the comm has been created, you can make characters. The Fifth Season uses character levels but not classes. The use-caste your character is born in, however, has a major effect on their development. Choose from use-castes such as Innovator, Strongback, and Resistant, and specializations like Geomest, Cultivator, and Hunter. Your character has Fortune (as in The Expanse RPG) to measure their ability to survive and players can use it to influence their chances of success, but spend carefully, as your character’s luck can run out! Your character will also have a Drive (such as Builder, Protector, and Rebel), Goals, Relationship Bonds, and more.
Stunts are the iconic feature of all AGE Games. When your character tries to do something, you roll three 6-sided dice to make the test. Two of the dice should have one color and the third (known in as the Drama Die in The Fifth Season) a different color. If you roll doubles on any of the dice, the Drama Die determines how many stunt points you get. You can then spend them to perform various feats detailed on the stunt tables, and you narrate how your character pulled them off. There are different stunt tables for Action, Chase, Exploration, and Social encounters. Orogeny is also handled by the stunt system.
The Fifth Season RPG provides robust advice on how to be a Game Moderator, covering everything from adventure and campaign planning to safety tools to practical advice about scheduling and table rules. The game also presents a variety of potential adversaries and rules to design your own.
Finally, The Fifth Season RPG includes a complete adventure called False Season that you can use to kick off your campaign.
The AGE System
The Fifth Season RPG uses a customized version of the Adventure Game Engine (aka the AGE system), the rules that power most of Green Ronin's other RPGs. It was originally designed for the Dragon Age RPG but has proved hugely adaptable. AGE system RPGs include Blue Rose, Cthulhu Awakens, The Expanse, Fantasy AGE, Modern AGE, and now The Fifth Season. If you've played one AGE RPG, you've learned the core of all the others.
For a detailed look at the AGE system, check out this article on our webiste.
There are four editions of the Fifth Season RPG you can choose from, each included in one or more of the pledge levels.
- The Standard Edition of the The Fifth Season RPG is a 192-page, full color hardback, sized 8.5” x 11”. Estimated delivery: September 2023.
- The Special Edition is exclusive to this crowdfunder. It includes the full content of the Standard Edition, but features an alternate cover with spot varnish and foil treatment, custom endpapers, and ribbon bookmark. Estimated delivery: September 2023.
- The PDF Edition of the The Fifth Season RPG is the game and all suitable stretch goals in PDF format. Estimated delivery: June 2023.
- This Roll20 Edition version includes all the content of The Fifth Season RPG but optimized for use on the Roll20 virtual tabletop platform. Estimated delivery: September 2023.
Each edition has its own reward level and higher levels let you pledge for more than one edition. Please note that all pledge levels containing the Standard and Special Editions also include one copy of the PDF Edition at no additional charge. You can choose what you want on the Pledge Levels tab above.
If you want additional copies and/or other editions, you can learn about them in the Add-Ons section. The various add-ons will be offered to you when you choose your pledge level.
Retailers, there is a special pledge level for you if you'd like to bring the game into your stores.
Stretch goals make your pledges better! Once we hit our basic funding goal of $50,000, we can begin to unlock stretch goals. Our first one is:
At $65,000, we will include a poster map of the Stillness with the game, printed for the Standard and Special Editions and electronically for the PDF and Roll20 Editions.
At $100,000, we will produce a Game Moderator’s Kit for the The Fifth Season RPG. This will include a three-panel hardback screen, useful reference cards, and more. Once unlocked, the GM's Kit will be available for purchase as an add-on in print and PDF formats.
At $120,000, we will add a complete adventure to the GM's Kit. This will let GMs start with three adventures at their disposal (one in the rulebook, one in the Quickstart, and one in the GM's Kit).
MORE STRETCH GOALS COMING SOON.
At the start of the campaign, the available add-ons are the four editions of the game. If you want more than one printed rulebook, for example, or you wanted to add the Roll20 Edition to the Hard Core pledge level, you can add them on when you make your pledge. Expect more add-on options as the campaign progresses.
The currently available add-ons are as follows.
- The Fifth Season RPG, Standard Edition: $60.00 USD
- The Fifth Season RPG, Special Edition: $80.00 USD
- The Fifth Season RPG, PDF Edition: $30.00 USD
- The Fifth Season RPG, Roll20 Edition: $59.00 USD
- The Fifth Season RPG, Game Moderator's Kit (Print): $25.00 USD
- The Fifth Season RPG, Printed Quickstart: $5.00 USD
Important note: If you want more add-ons after you've pledged, all you need to do is increase your pledge by the appropriate amount ($60 for another Standard Edition, for example). You can do that by going to this page and scrolling down to the Pledges section. You can increase your pledge there.
After the campaign, you'll be able to make your final choices (and add more items if you like) in the pledge manager. That's also where you'll pay for shipping.
You will be charged for shipping—and have an opportunity to adjust your pledge—after the campaign.
We'll do so when the game is closer to going to print and that will happen through BackerKit as well.
The following are estimates for shipping one copy of the Standard Edition or Special Edition. Please note that these are estimates only and are subject to change by the time of fulfillment.
- UNITED STATES: $10.00 USD
- CANADA: $25.00 USD
- UNITED KINGDOM: $20.00 USD
- EUROPEAN UNION: $26.00 USD
- AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND: $30.00 USD
- THE REST OF THE WORLD: $30.00 USD
You should also note that we are unable to ship backer rewards to Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine, Belarus for various reasons (war, unreliable postal service, and untenable shipping regulations among them). Additionally, we are unable to cover any potential VAT fees that may be due for international packages. However, the UK has 0% VAT for books, and many other countries have reduced VAT for books. Be sure to check and see what your country's regulations are so you are not surprised by unexpected fees.
The good news is that the Standard Edition of The Fifth Season RPG is not a campaign exclusive. The game will be available through normal channels, such as game stores and online retailers, after we ship rewards to backers.
Right now, the game has been written, developed, and edited. The full text still needs N.K. Jemisin's approval, however. We will, of course, make any changes that she requests. We want to make sure everything is correct and approved.
Art is coming in now, as you can see in the free Quickstart. Graphic design will begin once the text has been approved, and continue as the art is finished.
Our estimate on delivery is June 2023 for the PDF and September 2023 for the print books and Roll20 set.
We put together a great team for this project. Let's meet them!
Joseph is a developer for Green Ronin, responsible for the Blue Rose AGE line, as well as working on other games such as The Fifth Season RPG and Fantasy AGE. He has worked in the gaming industry for over twenty years, including freelancing for Wizards of the Coast, White Wolf, and Onyx Path Publishing. He is an outspoken queer gamer and a novelist, with his first novel, Sacred Band, about a team of LGBTQ superheroes, garnering starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly. Joseph lives in Portland, Oregon with his fiancé A.J.
Diverse in ethnicities, experiences, and careers, Hiromi Cota is a proud Uchinaanchu and Yaimapitu, two of the Indigneous peoples of the unceded islands Japan calls the Okinawa Prefecture. Hiromi has been a special operations heavy weapons expert, medical first responder, adjunct professor, rave journalist, and the flaming-sword-swinging lead in a heavy metal opera. They (singular) have lived in nations around the world, but have settled down in Seattle with their spouse Randi and their (plural) dog Nasus.
In addition to their work on the Fifth Season RPG, Hiromi is the Creative Lead for the increasingly queer and multicultural Scion RPG and has worked on nearly 100 books and games. Outside of crafting roleplaying experiences, Hiromi writes and develops queer fiction, programs video games, and expands their library faster than they have time to read.
Samantha Day is a game designer and wrestling afficiato. She combined these passions with the two-player RPG, Hard Times, which centers on two professional wrestlers, their wonderfully gay feud, and how they can build a legacy that transforms their rivalry from a ring gimmick to a wrestling legend. In addition to her setting work for the Fifth Season RPG, she’s worked on ORUN: Post-Apotheosis Afro-Centric Space Opera, Warhammer Fantasy, and countless game jams.
Hard Times, Virtuous Service (a game about being a sad mech), Sanctuaire (a game about gay wizard nuns), and the rest of Samantha’s games can be found at passerines.itch.io
Tanya DePass is the founder and Director of I Need Diverse Games, a Chicago-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to better diversification of all aspects of gaming. Tanya is a lifelong Chicagoan who loves everything about gaming, #INeedDiverseGames spawn point, and wants to make the industry better and more inclusive for everyone. She’s part of the Rivals of Waterdeep actual play stream on twitch.tv/rivalsofwaterdeep, a partnered Twitch variety broadcaster, and often speaks on issues of diversity, feminism, race, intersectionality & other topics online, at conventions and as a public speaker. She’s also contributed to publications at Green Ronin, Paizo, Monte Cook Games, Uncanny Magazine, Polygon, Wiscon Chronicles, Vice Gaming, Paste Games, Mic, and other publications.
She is a Senior Annenberg Labs Civic Media Fellow at USC, the programming & diversity coordinator for OrcaCon and GaymerX, and the creator and Creative Director of Into the Mother Lands, a new sci fi afro-futurist RPG developed with a team of all POC and Black creators, live streamed on her twitch channel, /cypheroftyr.
“Home is what you take with you, not what you leave behind.”
– N.K. Jemisin, The Fifth Season
Steve Kenson (he/him) joined Green Ronin Publishing in 2003. For the past twenty years he has worked as a developer for games like Mutants & Masterminds, Blue Rose, True20, Icons Superpowered Roleplaying and others and, for the past 11 years, as staff designer, including on products like DC Adventures, Emerald City, Freedom City, Song of Ice & Fire Roleplaying, The Expanse, and many others. Steve has over 200 game product credits to his name as an author, designer, and developer over the past thirty years. He helped launch the “Queer as a Three-Sided Die” seminar series at Gen Con. Steve lives in southern New Hampshire with his partners, Adam and Christopher, and maintains a personal website at stevekenson.com where you can find out more about him and his work.
While being rained on near Portland, Oregon, Monte Lin writes, edits, and plays tabletop roleplaying games. Staff Editor for Angry Hamster Press and copy editor for Magpie Games, Monte has worked on rpgs such as Afterlife: Wandering Souls, Avatar: Legends, Edge's Star Wars and Twilight Imperium, 7th Sea Second Edition, Green Ronin's Cthulhu Awakens, and Paizo's Pathfinder. He is also the Managing Editor of Uncanny Magazine and a speculative fiction writer with short stories and essays in various online magazines. He can be found tweeting Doctor Who news, Asian American diaspora discourse, and his board game losses at @Monte_Lin.
Nell Raban has been developing and writing for games for more than half a decade, currently as a narrative designer at Firaxis Games. Her tabletop work includes her own Powered by the Apocalypse game Home Again, procedural adventures for the board game Sea of Legends (Guildhall Studios), a contribution to The Ultimate Micro-RPG Book (Simon & Schuster) and others. You can learn more about Nell and her work, as well as where you can find her around the internet, at nellraban.com.
Alice Rendell is a game and narrative designer from the UK, currently living and working in Sweden. With over a decade of experience in the video game industry, Alice has worked on a variety of games including point & click adventure The Descendant, JRPG Zodiac: Orcanon Odyssey, the upcoming AAA title Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora and several other projects which you can read more about on her website.
When not developing, playing or thinking about games you will find Alice curled up with a good book, surrounded by her two mischievous felines, Furi and Jin.
Eugenio Vargas is an NYC-based singer, actor, music director, conductor, vocal coach, Twitch streamer, podcaster, and tabletop game designer. He’s performed in dozens of stage plays, both on stage and conducting in front of the orchestra. Eugenio caught the tabletop roleplaying bug in 2014 and fell in love with running games. Since then, he’s DMed countless games, most notably as part of The Last Refuge podcast as his alter ego DM Jazzy Hands. He’s also created his own adventures available on Dungeon Masters Guild.
Those interested in Eugenio’s theatrical or musical abilities can contact him at eugeniovargas.com, and those seeking his game-related talents can contact him at dndlastrefuge.com.
Kiara is a jack of many trades, and is currently most interested in exploring new applications of AR, learning guitar, and brewing the perfect batch of kombucha. With a history in game design, she is always on the lookout to design or play new interactive experiences of all sorts. Kiara loves empowering and helping to unleash creativity in others. She hopes to use games and similar mediums as tools to facilitate empathy and connectivity.
LaShawn M. Wanak
LaShawn M. Wanak writes short fiction, essays, poetry, and other speculative-related work. She has been published in numerous venues including Fireside Magazine, FIYAH, Uncanny Magazine, and 2019 Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy Anthology. She is the editor of the online speculative magazine GigaNotoSaurus. An alumni of Viable Paradise, she previously wrote book reviews for Lightspeed Magazine. Currently, she is collaborating with the immersive art collective, Meow Wolf, on their newest project set to open in Grapevine, TX in 2023. She enjoys knitting, anime, and wrestling with theological truths from a Womanist’s perspective. Writing stories keeps her sane. Also, pie.
Copyrights and Trademarks
Copyrights and Trademarks
The Fifth Season RPG is ©2023 Green Ronin Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. References to other copyrighted material in no way constitute a challenge to the respective copyright holders of that material. Green Ronin, The Fifth Season Roleplaying Game, and their associated logos are trademarks of Green Ronin Publishing, LLC. The Fifth Season and the Broken Earth Trilogy are © 2015-2023 N.K. Jemisin.