Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Next Project: Assault Witch Campaign Book

Well, I know what my next book's gonna be.

After releasing Heavy Races, I decided to take a look at what's ready or close to ready for release. As I reviewed all the content I've created for Black Tokyo to date and went through it I realized I had already written roughly 100 pages of content related to a Strike Witches inspired campaign frame-work.

(That's one of the things that's most fun about Black Tokyo, to me as a designer. It's a sprawling sand box world with so fucking many crazy anime homages, you can frame your home BT campaign around virtually anything, just pick a direction and storyline your group enjoys and run with it. )

Anyway, logistically and financially, putting out this as-yet-unnamed Assault Witches campaign guide make sense. I've already got a bunch of usable art but anything new I commission for this sourcebook can feed back into the eventual racial/char-gen sourcebook and the POD version of Enchantments of BTU, both of which will be massive, extremely art heavy (and thus expensive) products to put out.

Anyway, I mentioned last year I did an Assault Witch cavalier archetype which will form the centerpiece of this source book, and I'll follow up on that in future previews.

Should be a fun ride,
CHRIS

Monday, January 25, 2016

Heavy Races!

As promised, Heavy Races just went up for sale in PDF format on Rpgnow.com!

I've been working on this sourcebook for several months now, gradually collecting artwork and adding content, and I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. It's a big, pretty sourcebook focusing on all the races found in Heavy Future. It's basically the first step in turning my three sub-settings: Galaxy Command, Action Galaxy and Heavy Future into one comprehensive far future space opera setting, that's a total homage to Heavy Metal, Star Wars, the Legion and bad sci-fi in general.

I want to go ahead and preview some of the opening text and the racial descriptions so you know what you're in for with this sourcebook.

Enjoy,
CHRIS



It’s the Stellar Year 4,576.

The future’s a dirty, all-analogue place. Technology got more advanced, but the culture and politics of this fucked-up future still stinks like 1976. The galaxy’s equal parts grunge and glam, polyester and leather. It’s a place where billowing Afros never went out of style, where the heroes spark up joints the size of a baby’s forearm and blast off for the Frontier. It’s a galaxy of stoner nomads cruising the galactic backwaters at FTL speed, banging cute alien spacers with only a cheap-ass Dr. Youp’s Condom to protect them. It’s a place where the smuggler always shoots first, and the Cosmic Televangelists of the Imperial Church of the Galaxy are always tryin’ to get their cut.

It’s a Heavy Future, where futurism takes a back seat to pulpy, retro-futuristic, blasphemous kick-ass adventuring.

That’s all you really need to know. We’ll make up the rest as we go along.

Who’s Who in the Dirty Future
The galaxy’s a crowded place. Just about every star has a sentient race living beneath it. Humans are everywhere, but they share the galaxy with a myriad of other races. Some of them, like the Synths or Pacifians, the humans created, either by their technology or through their deeds. Other races evolved without any human involvement, but that’s not to say their evolutions weren’t tampered with.

Once upon a time, a race of psionic manipulators called the Psyren ruled every part of the galaxy worth ruling. They fucked it up, though, and they lost it all. Ruins of the once great Psyren Empire can be found all across the universe, including in some secret places on Old Earth itself. Treasure hunters seek out Psyren ruins, because even though the ruins are perilous in the extreme, a single scrap of old Psyren tech can turn a salvager into a merchant prince.

Beyond the ruins, the Psyren left strange species behind. Races as diverse as the  Testorites, the Tal-Anon and many others can trace their lineage back to some Psyren experiment or the other.

Heavy Tongue Action
The following unique languages can be found in the Heavy Future. Other languages, from Old Earth standbys like French or Mandarin to more exotic languages like Draconic or Gnoll, can be heard, here and there.

·         Binary Code – sounds like a fax machine fucking. Most machines- even alien ones- can communicate via Binary. Humanoids can learn to understand the language but cannot speak it without mechanical assistance.
·         Galactic Common – the lingua franca of the dirty future, spoken by pretty much every civilized species and equivalent to Common in other settings
·         Imperial – a ritual language based on Latin and Aramaic, used by the ICG during worship
·         Locke – an unimaginative language spoken by Locke and other mercenaries
·         Proximite – the language of the Proximite race, preferred by engineers and spacers of all races for its technical vocabulary
·         Pulsa – the language spoken by the Pulsa race
·         Seth – spoken by Sethzinians, but also by other criminals. Renowned for the largest and most imaginative vocabulary of  profanity in the entire galaxy
·         Shipper Patois – a trade language developed by various breeds of Shipper, also fairly common as a galactic trade language
·         Star Droid – a whistling, beeping machine code spoken by Star Droids and other robots. Humanoids can understand the language but cannot speak it without mechanical assistance.
·         Trion – the native language of the Trius, often spoken in 3-part harmony

Humans, Robots and Alien Freaks
This sourcebook is divided into three sections.
The first deals with all the Neo-Human Races: these are human cultures and sub-species, separated from baseline humanity by culture, distance and engineered genetics. Here’s where you’ll find the Pacificans, Afro-Futurists and others.

Next up, you have the Robot Races. These are the artificial lifeforms common to the setting. Look here for sex bots, infiltrator androids, droids, labor mechs and military war-bots.

Finally, we’ve got The Basics. All the other intelligent, bipedal species of the galaxy live here, with all their relatives.

Neo-Humans
The following species come from human stock, and are products of evolution or design. Neo-Humans usually can breed with baseline humans and have some kind of evolutionary or cultural connection to the mother world…no matter how tenuous.

Species
Size, Type and Subtypes
Summed Up In One Sentence….
Afro-Futurist
Medium Humanoid (human, psionic)
Proud technologists inspired by the glory and achievements of Old Africa
Free Spacer
Medium Humanoid (human)
A motley crew of human spacers serving with a variety of libertarian space fleets
Jesus Clone
Medium Outsider (human, native)
Mass produced clone Messiahs with potent healing nanites in their blood
Leather Clone
Medium Humanoid (human)
All male race of muscled gay clones from a hotly radioactive Frontier system
Pacifician
Medium Humanoid (human, Pacifican)
Nanite blooded adventurers from a perfect planet of love, sex and peace
Pulsa
Medium Humanoid (human, psionic)
Race of twin-born farmers who were once great warriors with natural force blasting powers
Testorite
Large Humanoid (human)
Nerdy 20th Century kids brought to the future and transformed into barbarian adventurers
Trius
Medium Humanoid (human, psionic)
Skilled martial artists capable of conjuring duplicates of themselves from psionic energy
TV Head
Medium Monstrous Humanoid (human)
Conformist cyborgs with bulky television screens for heads

Robot Races
Robots are second class citizens of the 46th Century, at best. Most robots are slaves or servants of somebody or another and even free machines face prejudice at best and press-ganging or illicit salvage at worst.

Species
Size, Type and Subtypes
Summed Up In One Sentence….
Bulk
Large Construct (robot)
Durable but slow-witted heavy labor robots
Erobot
Medium Monstrous Humanoid (android)
Self designed sex robots with interchangeable components, built by free androids
Star Droid
Small Construct (robot)
Useful little robots with a full assortment of built in tools
Synth
Medium Monstrous Humanoid (android)
Human-like androids with superior skills

The Basics
The most common body plan for intelligent life is the Basic- short for ‘basic humanoid’. Two arms, two legs, one head, somewhere between 1.5 and 3 meters in height. Sometimes a race might have an extra pair of arms, or wings, more impressive than normal bulk, or an additional head or other oddity, but these races are still classed as Basics.  

Many Basic species are interfertile and so, hybrids, half-breeds and mutts are common from one end of the dirty galaxy to another. Some species can’t breed outside their species due to radically alien genetics, or flat refuse to on cultural grounds. Everybody else just smirks and dives right into the galactic orgy.

Species
Size, Type and Subtypes
Summed Up In One Sentence….
Arcadian
Medium Fey (electrical)
Adventure-seekers born inside a parallel reality found inside every computer and arcade vid-game
Kalloc
Medium Humanoid (psionic)
Night-fighting psychic warriors struggling for survival on a broken world
Locke
Medium Humanoid (psionic)
Psi-resistant mercenaries from a secret, fortified world with powerful racial enemies
Proximite
Small Humanoid (psionic)
Race of petite technopaths from a dangerously overcrowded home planet
Psyren
Medium Outsider (native, psionic, Psyren)
Seductive manipulators who once ruled the galaxy with psionic might
Sethzinian
Medium or Large Monstrous Humanoid
Nearly indestructible bullies from a post-apocalyptic world they haven’t even tried to improve
Shipper
Medium Humanoid (anthro)
Diverse confederation of anthropomorphic species from lost or destroyed worlds, traveling together by necessity
Space Case
Small or Medium Humanoid
Quirky screw-ups from a diverse group of species, lumped together under a vaguely insulting umbrella
Syrion
Small or Medium Humanoid (psionic)
Nomadic, teleporting thieves with an uncanny knack for foiling Psyren plots
Tal-Anon
Medium Humanoid      
Low tech fliers from a jungle world only recently introduced to the wider galaxy




Friday, January 22, 2016

Upcoming: The Modern Grimorie POD and Heavy Races

First up, happy 43rd anniversary of Roe vs Wade.

Second, I've just sent a copy of the POD edition of the Modern Grimorie to Mark. He'll put together a print cover and set up the POD version of this book. While I was waiting for the last few pieces of art for Heavy Races, I decided to work on this sourcebook.

Modern Grimorie POD topped out at about 70 pages, and is a pretty dramatic expansion of the original PDF version. It includes a bunch of new spells, as well as all my existing space-focused and sci-fi oriented spells from Heavy Future, various Otherverse America releases, and other books. I left out a bunch of the setting specific stuff, but there's still something like 200 new sci-fi and modern arcana spells in here. I expect this to be a softcover, magazine style release, and should be available as a POD book in a week or two.

Tonight, I'm going to start laying out Heavy Races. I'm looking forward to it- have been for a while. Right now, the manuscript stands at 23 awesome, grungy sci-fi races all with a really unique feel to them. I've previewed some of the human races: the Leather Clones and Afro-Futurists here before, so if you liked that, I think the final product will be pretty entertaining.

Blessed Be,
CHRIS

Saturday, January 2, 2016

First 2016 Release: Weapons of Rock and Roll

Well, as of about 20 minutes ago, I've published my first PDF of the New Year. Weapons of Rock and Roll is out, and should be a fairly fun little sourcebook. I'll be referencing it often in future Heavy Future releases, as well as a few Black Tokyo products.

I felt I needed to do a stand alone sourcebook of all the Musical weapons and music-tech gear and traits, separate from either campaign core book, because of its relative length. There's a lot of content here, and putting it in its own short sourcebook made sense to me.

Next up is going to be Heavy Races, the race book for Heavy Future, which should be POD as well as PDF. I'm going to be laying that out starting Monday or Tuesday and should have it up for sale by the end of the week in PDF form, and in POD format soon thereafter.

Hope 2016 is kinder than 2015 was,
CHRIS

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Working on Awesome Stuff

I've been fairly quiet for the last couple of weeks. I will likely have one more short sourcebook before the end of the year: Weapons of Rock & Roll. This book will take all the Musical and Superior Musical weapons found in various Black Tokyo and Heavy Future sourcebooks, clean up and standardize the rules, and introduce some new content. Basically these weapons can be 'fired' with a Perform check rather than an attack roll, making them very powerful and useful in the hands of bards and other performers.

As you can see from Anthony Cournoyer's art for this book, it's not just going to be laser-blasting guitars. We're going to have weaponized ghetto blasters called Block Shakers and even futuristic video gaming devices as "Musical" weapons. It's a very goofy, toyetic and fun sourcebook to write.I was working on Weapons of Rock & Roll simultaniously with my Voidsparrows racial book and the two concepts fed back and forth, because the Silverhawks cartoon, which inspired both, had the cyborg hero Bluegrass blasting away with a high tech guitar-gun.

Meanwhile, what's on deck for 2016?

Black Bestiary II, motherfuckers!

Not only that, expect a POD version of the two Black Bestiaries, probably combined into one massive hardback Bestiary, as good as anything Paizo has ever published. If all goes well, a lot of my upcoming 2016 tax return will be invested in art and other logistical resources for Otherverse Games.

Right now, I've got around fifty critters written up for Black Bestiary II- some of them you might have seen in the short-lived Tournament of Rapists sourcebook, but since that PDF's publication, the critters have been revised and expanded and made a little nastier. There's also a bunch of really freaky and horrific new monsters, and some new folkloric critters. I'll preview the contents later.

Also, expect a couple of major racial sourcebooks within the first weeks of 2016: Races of Black Japan, which will be a huge sourcebook detailing everything you need to build a hero in the Black Tokyo campaign setting, including 20+ player races to choose from, not to mention cultural templates, traits and feats. We'll also be seeing Heavy Races, another weighty sourcebook detailing all the unique races of the Heavy Future campaign world.

Previews soon, and enjoy your holidays,
CHRIS


Friday, December 11, 2015

A Printed First: The Complete Nemesis Bestiary

Guys, earlier this week, Mark put up Otherverse Game's first print on demand offering!I chose to put out Nemesis Bestiary first, because as generic Pathfinder RPG fantasy content, I know it'll sell well, the production costs were minimal and I had no profit sharing on this book, since it was all stock art.

I got my proof copies of both the hardback and softback earlier this week, and I'm really satisfied with how it came out. The layout's simple and crisp and the creativity behind the monsters feels as good as anything Paizo or Kobold Press has put into their bestiaries. It was just an outstanding product to do.

Anyway, now that I've got this book under my belt, who here wants a POD version of a setting specific bestiary: Horrors of the Lifechain, Closed, Black Bestiary or an as yet unnamed Psi-Watch threat book?

Let me know what you want to see in the comments or email me, and that will help decide what bestiary I put out next.

Blessed Be,
CHRIS

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Say It Again: Abortion Providers Are Heroes.

One of the major themes of my writing- the whole cornerstone of my Otherverse America campaign world in fact- is this: Abortion Providers Are Heroes.

I was away this weekend. Completely disconnected- I hadn't gone on line or watched the news since Wednesday night. I was up in San Antonio with some good friends, eating a huge ass Thanksgiving feast and binge-watching season 1 of The Flash on Netflix. It was a great weekend, until I got home this afternoon and logged on.

I saw that Friday night, some grizzly bearded, hillbilly, Duck Dynasty-looking subhuman walked into a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs, CO and killed three people and wounded nearly a dozen others. The Colorado Springs facility, by the way, was one of the ones targeted by those lying, duplicitous bastards at the "Center for Medical Progress" in their doctored ambush videos over the last six months.

So once again, the talkers in the anti-choice movement continue to preach from the pulpit- to call damn good physicians and medics baby-killers and worse. They talk, and they talk, they pass bullshit laws like Scott Walker's restrictions on abortion access in Kansas or Texas' equally vile laws. And the talkers talk, they preach, they spread blood libel to a nation all too ready to believe their terrorist, misogynistic horseshit.

And eventually, one of the doers has heard enough. He (and it's almost always a "he") picks up one of his 27 guns, and goes down to the local abortion clinic and better people than he will ever be die bloody. Just like the talkers wanted, but didn't have the courage to do themselves.


But you know what, enough about the anti-choice scum bag. Let's talk about the good guys.

People working in facilities like the one that got hit yesterday night are heroes. These are women and men who withstand a constant barrage of legal harassment, cultural warfare and propaganda stings and literal demonization by Christian pundits and power-brokers. Many places, as  the clinic in Colorado Springs is said to have installed, include bullet-proof high security safe rooms, because being an abortion provider is incredibly dangerous, incredibly risky. And they do the job anyway- protect and help women at their most desperate, at their lowest point, despite the threats, the harassment and the very real risk of being murdered.

Thank you.

Hey, if you can afford it, make a donation to Planned Parenthood Colorado or a similar group in your area. Tonight, more than ever it will help.

Blessed Be
CHRIS