PRESS RELEASE – Free League and Järnringen Become One

Free League Publishing

Free League and Järnringen Become One

Free League Publishing – Oct 05, 2018 10:38 BST

Free League Publishing and Team Järnringen, two of Sweden’s leading publishers of tabletop roleplaying games on the international market, will become one. The merger of these publishers of acclaimed RPGs such as Tales from the Loop, Symbaroum and Mutant: Year Zero, is underway. The combined company, to be named Free League Publishing, is planning several major game launches in the year to come.

“We’re very happy that the merger is finally happening,” says Free League co-founder Tomas Härenstam. “We have a long history with Järnringen, great respect for their work, and we share similar philosophies on game design. Together we will be stronger, better, and have a greater international reach. And we’ll have even more fun at work.”

The two teams are already working together, with former Järnringen members involved in current Free League projects, and vice versa. To the combined company, Järnringen brings the acclaimed fantasy RPG Symbaroum, which will now become part of Free League’s line-up of award-winning games such as Mutant: Year Zero, Coriolis – The Third Horizon, and Tales from the Loop, as well as the upcoming RPG Forbidden Lands and Crusader Kings – The Board Game.

Free League was initially created ten years ago, as a group of freelancers writing supplements for earlier (Swedish) versions of Mutant and Coriolis, published by a previous incarnation of Järnringen. The fact that these two game franchises are still part of the Free League RPG lineup today is appreciated by the members of Team Järnringen.

“There are many benefits of this merger,” say’s Järnringen co-founder Mattias Johnsson Haake. “But of course, the idea of working on Mutant and Coriolis again is especially appealing. Coriolis was created by us, and is in a way like a child we never got to see grow up. Mutant also has a special place in our hearts.”

The joint company will be named Free League Publishing, a decision made in full agreement between both companies. Free League Publishing has had a longer presence on the international market and a bigger reach among both gamers and sales partners. In addition, the name Free League is taken from a faction in the Coriolis RPG.

Fans and gamers of Free League and Järnringen games should not experience any immediate impact from this merger. All existing game lines will continue as planned. In addition, a number of new game projects are being planned for 2019. More information on these will be revealed at a later date.

Free League Publishing is a Swedish publisher dedicated to speculative fiction. We have published several award-winning tabletop role-playing games and critically acclaimed art books set in strange and wondrous worlds.

Our first game, the post-apocalyptic Mutant: Year Zero was awarded a Silver ENnie for Best Rules 2015. The sci-fi adventure Coriolis – The Third Horizon, was awarded a Judge’s Spotlight Award at Gencon. And we are proud to say that our latest roleplaying game Tales from the Loop RPG based onSimon Stålenhags iconic artbooks made a grand slam at the ENnie Awards 2017, winning five Gold ENnies – among them Best Game.

Our upcoming fantasy RPG is Forbidden Lands, with art by critically acclaimed artist Simon Stålenhag and iconic Swedish fantasy artist Nils Gulliksson, lore by fantasy author Erik Granström and game design by the team that created Mutant: Year Zero, Coriolis: The Third Horizon and Tales from the Loop RPG. Forbidden Lands was the third most successful RPG Kickstarter in the world 2017 and was recently named one of the most anticipated RPGs of 2018 by EN World.

We have also released the critically acclaimed art books Things from the Flood and Tales from the Loopby artist Simon Stålenhag. His third book The Electric State has been released by Free League Publishing exclusively to the backers of the kickstarter campaign.


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Free League and Järnringen Become One

Resource links

Interview on Victory Condition Gaming

5 RPG Kickstarters You Should Back – 7th Sea: Khitai, Symbaroum, Outbreak: Undead, CATaclysm, and more

Answer – “7th Sea, another Swedish RPG, undead, and cats!”

Alex, the question is – What are fun RPG Kickstarters to review?

It’s Halloween, let’s countdown a number of RPG treats!


Check out John McGuire’s The Gilded Age steampunk graphic novel on Kickstarter!


5) SYMBAROUM – Monster Codex by Järnringen
Ends on Wed, November 8 2017 11:00 AM EST.

“Support our effort to breath life (and darkness) into the Symbaroum Monster Codex, made simultaneously in English and Swedish.

Ever since we started thinking and talking about what eventually became Symbaroum, we knew that we wanted to make a bestiary. We still consider the one we did back in 2003, for our first RPG Mutant: Undergångens arvtagare (Heirs of Doom), to be one of the best products we ever made. Obviously, we aim for this one to be even better, in all respects – more artistic, more inspiring and more useful at the gaming table.

At the moment we have a rough draft of the entire text and the work of producing illustrations and graphical elements has begun. During the winter we will put our new baby monsters to the test, in order to tweak the stats and fine-tune their new monstrous traits. Simultaneously, the drafts will turn into print-ready texts and the sketches will mature into polished illustrations. Our aim is to release the Swedish version in April 2018, and the English one no more than two months later (the extra time to be used for text polish and proofreading).

Will the iconic Colossi be thoroughly described in the Monster Codex? Well, of course, and here is the (work-in-progress) illustration to prove it!

Will the iconic Colossi be thoroughly described in the Monster Codex? Well, of course, and here is the (work-in-progress) illustration to prove it!

We have taken this project to Kickstarter for three main reasons, namely in the hope of:

  • Funding the time needed to turn our drafts into print-ready texts and images
  • Funding the postproduction and printing of the Symbaroum Monster Codex
  • Making even more gamers aware of Symbaroum and giving newcomers a chance to join in the adventure

Regarding #3, the campaign features two pledge levels that make it possible to pledge for a printed copy of the Core Rulebook and get it delivered long before the Monster Codex (that is, the shipping amount includes two deliveries – one shortly after the campaign has ended, and one when the Monster Codex is done (see the FAQ section for details).

So, for those who have not heard about the game, what is Symbaroum? This ENnie and Origins nominated game was first launched in Swedish, in July 2014. About one year later, in November 2015, the English edition of the Core Rulebook was introduced – first as an eBook, later available in print from Järnringen and Modiphius, and finally it reached retailers all around the world in April 2016. Licensing deals are already in place and before New Year’s Symbaroum will also be available in French, German, Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian) and Spanish.”


Egg’s Thoughts:

The game’s originally from Sweden like  Tales From the Loop, Mutant: Year Zero, Coriolis, and more. The core rulebook for Symbaroum snagged Origins and ENnie nominations. This campaign is to create a book of monsters. Look at the art and game, this is going to destroy at the gaming table.


You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.


4) 7th Sea: Khitai by John Wick Presents
Ends on

“John Wick expands the award-winning world of 7th Sea into the Pacific Rim with a brand new 300-page, full color core rulebook!

A new STANDALONE RPG in the world of 7th Sea that expands the setting to new shores! Same game, but all-new Nations, Backgrounds, Advantages and Heroes!

Two years ago, 7th Sea: Second Edition broke every RPG record on Kickstarter. Now, 7th Sea: Khitai expands the world of Théah to the East, including new Nations like Fuso, Han and Shenzhou.

Khitai is full of fantastic surprises: monster-filled mountains and seas, where gods walk the earth and spirits communicate with healers and mystics through ancient relics and visions.

Twenty years ago, I helped tell the story of Rokugan’s Clan War in Legend of the Five Rings. It’s been a long time since I’ve explored that territory, and this time, we’re not just limited to Japan. We’ve been talking about how to approach the the Pacific Rim for a long time. Now, we’re ready to show you what we’ve been planning.

And if you want to look at 7th Sea: Khitai, you can download the Quickstart TODAY! It’s got all you need to try out the game, including characters, mechanics, and a starter adventure!


Egg’s Thoughts:

7th Sea is the most-funded RPG on Kickstarter in history with 11,483 backers. The core rules won too many ENnie Awards to list. Now they’re expanding the universe to include their version of the Pacific Rim nations. Do you want to pirate in the East? Want to try before you plunder? Get the free 7th Sea: Khitai Quickstart here.


You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.


3) Outbreak: Undead 2E – The Survival Horror Simulation RPG by Hunter Books
Ends on Mon, November 13 2017 9:00 AM EST.

“The 2nd edition to the cult Survival Horror RPG – Outbreak: Undead is here. Play Yourself as a Character and test your Survival Plan!

The Survivor's Guide and Gamemaster's Guide.
The Survivor’s Guide and Gamemaster’s Guide.

THE NEXT CHAPTER to the AWARD WINNING Zombie Survival Simulation RPG!

Outbreak: Undead.. is the ENnie award-winning RPG that first premiered at GenCon 2010 as the very first Zombie Survival Simulation RPG. The game debuted to a wide audience gaining popularity with both Role Players as well as the Zombie/Survivalist community, obtaining a ‘PLATINUM SELLER’ status on DTRPG.

Over 7 years ago we told people YOUR ZOMBIE SURVIVAL PLAN WILL FAIL, and asked you to PROVE US WRONG. Many of you did, but CAN YOU SURVIVE the next stage?

The stuttering of the generator shakes the machine violently, its last bit of gas rings in the background, while the lights flicker as you enter the sub-basement of the hospital. You came here looking for antibiotics, but there is something else here...
The stuttering of the generator shakes the machine violently, its last bit of gas rings in the background, while the lights flicker as you enter the sub-basement of the hospital. You came here looking for antibiotics, but there is something else here…

Back in 2015, we took our first step into bringing 2nd Edition to life with the Starter Kit on Kickstarter, now we want YOU to be part of the journey to bring the 2nd Edition CORE RULES to print.

Help bring 2nd Edition to (Un)Life with Kickstarter!  

OU2E will feature TWO 350 page full-color hardback books – one focused towards Survivors, aptly tilted the SURVIVORS GUIDE. While the second is geared more towards the Gamemaster, also aptly titled the GAME MASTERS GUIDE. 

Want to learn more? Grab a FREE COPY of our Quick Start Rules and learn more about Outbreak: Undead!
Want to learn more? Grab a FREE COPY of our Quick Start Rules and learn more about Outbreak: Undead!


These two books layout three levels of realism (rules) that in the end cover EVERYTHING to play the most realistic, survival horror game of your own design (while still in the safety of your own home).

Want to see a preview of what to expect? Download our QSG (Quick Start Guide) to see the art/layout/presentation of the rules.

Outbreak: Undead.. is Survival Horror simulation-based RPG, focusing on practical experience – and scarcity of resources rather than sensationalist hero fulfillment. The game asks you not ‘IF’ you are going to die, but ‘WHEN’.

St. Louis in Ruins...
St. Louis in Ruins…


Egg’s Thoughts:

It’s the right time of year for this (this article debuted on Halloween day, 2017). The subject matter for the game is good and the game’s won an ENnie Award. Want to perfect your zombie survival plan? This lets you give it a dry run. Try the Outbreak: Undead 2nd Ed – Quick Start Guide for free here.


You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.


2) On the Shoulders of Giants: An OSR RPG Setting by Lernaean Studio
Ends on Mon, November 13 2017 11:16 AM EST.

“A weird fantasy third party setting written for both Lamentations of the Flame Princess and The Black Hack, as well as most OSR RPGs.

In the beginning, there were twelve gods: Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Hermes, and Dionysus. Each of the gods was one hundred times a man in every way, in wisdom, intellect, and strength. But their bloodlust, rage, and pride were also one hundred times that of a man, and the gods began to recognize faults in every other, perceiving themselves to be the only perfect god. And each, to cleanse the universe of such faults, waged war against the other gods. After this deific combat, only Apollo was left standing, and, confronted with one hundred times the melancholy of a regular mortal, he plunged a dagger through his own heart, killing the last of the gods. Yet their godly corpses still floated through the ether and, from the maggots infesting them, the twelve peoples were born, with different aptitudes and tenets based on the corpse they once fed upon. In this way were the peoples and their homes created.

The transition isn't always painless...
The transition isn’t always painless…


About On the Shoulders of Giants

On the Shoulders of Giants is a setting source book for James Raggi’s Lamentations of the Flame Princess and for David Black’s The Black Hack. It contains four new classes: the Conspirator, the Corpse Worker, the Prize Fighter, and the Witchdoctor, for both systems. The Conspirator is a leader, the person behind the throne, they devise insane plans that somehow succeed. The Corpse Worker is a hardy miner, extracting the humors and metals from the divine Bodies. The Prize Fighter is a gladiator or a mercenary, just fighting to get paid at the end of the day. The Witchdoctor is a healer or surgeon, using the divine humors in mystical ways through experiments. All four of the classes are provided for both the Black Hack and Lamentations of the Flame Princess. Besides the classes, monsters from the Twelve Bodies, random tables to aid the Referee, equipment for the players, and other materials are contained in this booklet.”


Egg’s Thoughts:

Want to run an OSR adventure (specifically for Lamentations of the Flame Princess or The Black Hack)? This adventure has you covered. What’s it about? The maggots of the gods!


You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.


1) CATaclysm: the RPG of Feline Proportions by Akinji Entertainment Inc.
Ends on Mon, November 13 2017 11:16 AM EST.

“This is an RPG for both cat lovers and roleplaying enthusiasts alike. CATaclysm is purrfect for players of all levels and ages!

This is an RPG for both cat lovers and roleplaying enthusiasts alike. CATaclysm is purrfect for players of all levels and ages!

Our goal with CATaclysm is to create an easy-to-learn action-packed tabletop role-playing game that places the fate of the world in the capable claws of furious feline fighters. In CATaclysm you play a Cat, not a Cat person. You think like a Cat. You act like a Cat. Because you are a Cat! The only difference between the Cats you play and your Cat at home is that the Cats of CATaclysm stand on two feet, wear clothes and armour, and swing axes into Rats, Toads, and Frogs. The Cats are aided by Meowgic, a mystic force that they have learned to harness and use to defend Cat civilization.

CATaclysm is a game created by Brent Logan and Shiraz Sheikh, and beautifully illustrated by Toma Feizo-Gas. Together they form Akinji Entertainment, and this is their very first RPG.

Da humanz iz ded. No moar fud for us. No moar scratchez for us. No moar protecshun frum teh outsides for us. We haz taken teh earth…

Catain Galileo Furrwhisker.

No Cat knows exactly how long it has been since the humans left, but one thing’s for sure, they left in a real hurry. The Cats can still see the majestic Human cities of glass and steel on the horizon on a clear day, but they dare not approach, not without protection. These places have become forbidden zones because they are filled with a mysterious and sinister evil: Miasma.

Miasma is a horrible, evil substance that eventually corrupts and destroys everything it touches… well almost everything. The despicable Rats, Toads, and Frogs feed off of Miasma, and it is even rumored that they can control it for their own nefarious ends. The Cats believe that Miasma is what chased the humans away in the first place, and now it is their responsibility to defend the world, and Mommy Nurtur, against it.

Although most animals have evolved into sophisticated, intelligent beings, Cats have been given a very special gift from Mommy Nurtur that singles them out from all the other creatures: Meowgic. This mystical force is where the Cats draw their power – the source of their nine lives. As their birthright, all Cats can use Meowgic, however some breeds are more attuned to its power than others.

Feline society is quite complex. Cats are tribal, living in large societies known as clowders which are based on their breed. As a player you choose to play a breed, of which 9 are the most common, each having their own special talents and gifts. The Maine Coons are a large warrior and seafaring breed who are at home both on land and in water; The slippery and sneaky Egyptian Mau have the fastest of cat-like reflexes, making them effective rogues and assassins; the bookish Persians have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge which sends them to the furthest corners of world in search for lore, and; the mysterious Manx are powerful Meowgicians that can manipulate Meowgic better than any other breed.

In recent years, Cats have become extremely curious of their origins and the fate of their ancient masters: the humans. The Cats do not worship humans (did they ever?) and were in fact quite indifferent to things human, however they now know that the key to understanding their place in the world is to uncover what happened to them. Cats now scour the world searching for ancient human lore and artifacts, going to great lengths to acquire them. The ancient Catains (the founders of the original 9 breeds) have left clues for later generations throughout the land of Cats and it is up to you, the Cat Hero, to find them!”


Egg’s Thoughts:

It’s a fantasy RPG named CATaclysm where the cat characters use MEOWgic or feats named:

  • CAT Burglar
  • CAT Got Your Tongue
  • CAT’s MEOW
  • CAT Out of the Bag
  • CAT Walk
  • CATerwauling
  • Cool CAT
  • CopyCAT
  • Curiosity Killed the CAT
  • HellCAT

If that and the art don’t decide your level of devotion to this project, try their free 52-page CATaclysm Preview Release here.

Want to know more about where this came from? Below is a note the art director sent me about the game:

“My name is Toma Feizo Gas, and I’m the Art Director for CATaclysm!, working with the two co-creators, Brent Logan and Shiraz Sheikh, and this is our debut RPG. We’ve spent the last two years developing and testing the game, and previewed the game to great enthusiasm at Gen Con for the last two shows. Our Kickstarter campaign funded in just under a week, and we are already moving into stretch goals. CATaclysm! is a post-human fantasy setting rpg, where cats have risen to become the dominant species on earth, establishing a grand civilisation. In our game you play feline heroes, band together to adventure while protecting mother, seek out ancient human relics and rare meowgic, and defeat the evil hoard of rats and toads that threaten feline peace everywhere. The game is designed to be an enticing entry into tabletop roleplaying games for first time players, while providing a full experience for long time rpg enthusiasts. There are two core elements to CATaclysm! that make it stand out from other rpgs: 1- Playing a cat isn’t just embodying anthro cats. Cat behaviour, philosophy and civilisation has evolved around innate cat behaviours and antics. Your cat hero is as much defined by their new found level of sentience, as those views and tropes that come from human perception and myths about cats. From laser pointers to dangly tassel play, from unlucky black cats to landing on your feet at all times – you feel a strong link to your ancient beginnings and the human guardians of past times. This encourages players who have and love cats to experience their beloved companions in a new way, while also creating a interesting new “race” experience for lovers of the fantasy genre. 2- The game uses a unique dial based mechanic as part of the Ph4se light system. The dial not only replaces tracking of life or “hit points,” but also provides a mechanic to link stress to gaming outcomes. Each time you are hit or stressed, you go up by one phase, until you finally hit death. The more stressed you are the more likely a strike could decimate you. Additionally, as you are cats and have 9 lives, every time you die, the mythic forces of meowgic resurrect you to venture forth once again. The dials and added lives have proven to be a big hit with our Gen Con play testers, who often shared that it heightened their experience, adding more drama and tension, as well as a relief from constantly watching numbers in an attempt to gauge negative outcomes from actions. It’s tactile nature and ease of use has definitely allowed players to focus on their roleplaying experience.

Cheers! Toma”


You can see examples of their work at DriveThruRPG here.

You can support this Kickstarter campaign here.


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Signal Boost:


Era: The Consortium – A Universe of Expansions 2 by Shades of Vengeance 
The critically acclaimed Sci-Fi RPG returns to Kickstarter: get expansions to the universe, as well as the Definitive Edition Rulebook!
Ends on .

Want to know more about the game? You can get the (free) Quickstart pack right here and try it out!

Why signal boost this? Because I’ll be writing one of the stretch goals – Sirona Specials Part 1 (Sessions 1-10)!


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Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links to and

Savage Worlds: Fast, Furious, and Fun! - Available Now @


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Egg Embry, Wanna-lancer™

Wanna-lancer™ Checklist T-shirt available at Cafepress

Interested in being a wanna-lancer? Start with the official Wanna-lancer Checklist t-shirt or wall clock or ice tea glass!

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Egg Embry wrote comic book short stories, edited comic book series, wrote and drew a webcomic, and contributed to comic book journalism across the 2000s. Now, he buys the opportunity to write for a variety of tabletop role-playing games in the tradition of vanity press. His purchases have been published by:

Want your RPG Kickstarter reviewed? Have some RPG wanna-lancer thoughts to share? Contact me here or on Facebook (Egg Embry) or on Google Plus (+Egg Embry).