Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Black Tokyo Is Here

Okay, boys and girls, thank you for your patience. The audio commentary for Black Tokyo is up on the Skortched Urf Website, and the book itself will be releasesed sometime tonight or tomorrow most likely. It's strangely ironic that a book about tentacle porn is going to be released this close to Valentine's Day, but there ya go. Life is funny sometimes.

Anyhow, give the audio commentary a listen, and please, forgive me my squeeky little voice.

On the new releases front, D20 Decade: The 1980s will be hitting soon after Black Tokyo, also from Otherverse Games. Mark will be releasing another few D20 Modern Advanced Classes within a few weeks of Black Tokyo. The first, the Innocent is pretty much ready to go, so he tells me. The Innocent is a toy-using magic user, basically a playful, magically enhanced child. The class pretty much the anti-thesis of Black Tokyo, but since it's a fairly anime influenced concept, could easily be adapted to a Black Tokyo campaign.

I sold some D20 Modern, post-apocalypse advanced classes to Reality Deviants, each of whom have some really fun powers and give the reader the potential for some really cool roleplaying options. I don't want to say too much about these guys, since they're pretty early in the design process, but I had alot of fun writing them, espeically what I'm calling the "Rust-Borg" advanced class, which is basically Trap Jaw from He-Man mutated into a D20 Modern class. Very sweet stuff.

Over the last couple of weeks I've also been working on Guide to the Known Galaxy and the Otherverse America core rulebook. The text for GTKG is pretty much set in stone, and I'm working on my portion of the art. I'll start comissioning some art for it pretty soon. Also, being the relative low-budget designer that I am, I just have to say, I frickin' love NASA's public domain image gallery. There are some really beautiful shots of space and various starscapes, which I plan to uses as backgrounds for alot of the figures. If you get a chance, broswe NASA's site, because there are some mindblowingly beautiful images out there.

Right now, the Otherverse America corebook is less than 1/3 done, and it's already huge, well over 70,000 words. It's going to be a well thought out superhero/cyberpunk setting, closer in tone to really detail orientied sci-fi settings like Abberant and Trinity than the more generic worlds that D20 Modern and Future postulate. Right now, the plan is the core book will introduce readers to the setting and concepts, provide a general overview of America, circa 2107 C.E. and provide alot of crunch to support the setting flavor.

The basic premise- America torn apart by a religious civil war- shapes everything in the setting. It's not typical cyberpunk, and I make no bones about it. This setting is shaped by my own world view, prejudices and obsessions, and my view of current American politics. Like Christian Gosset's Red Star, which grew out of his fascination with Russian history and the Cold War, Otherverse America is a definate labor of love. It's also going to be exhaustingly researched; Otherverse America is going to be an absolutely huge world with alot for the players to see and do.

The core rules will introduce the three main powers of setting: The pagan-inspired Choicers, the evangelical Christian flavored Lifers, and moderate, unaligned America, with an emphasis on the corporation and military power structure which is controlling what's left of the federal government. Each of the factions are going to feel VERY different- each has its own history, language, holidays, sex roles, political structures, not to mention feats, exclusive classes, weapons and gear. Crossing the theological 'borders' of the 22nd Century should feel like crossing an armed DMZ and visiting a new country with its own traditions.

I've also decided to incorporate alot of the material from Sexually Transmitted future into the core rules, since the game was going to be a mature readers OGL product anyhow. Doing so has allowed me to integrate popular civilian technology into the core rules, which is going to make the Otherverse seem alot more complete and realistic. Guns and power armor are awesome, but not the be all and end all of civilian technology. You're going to have things like civilian genetic engineering, non-combat cybernetics and smartlight technology: forcefield based computers which are operated telepathically as 'over the counter' gadgets.

Otherverse America's going to incorporate the Psionic Rules from the upcoming Psi-Watch as well as Lifechained feat chains from the GTKG, as well as the cybernetics rules I published with Skortched Urf last year. Superpowers and metahuman abilites, imagined as part of class abilities and feat chains, rather than the free form stuff in Mutants & Mastermind are going to be really common. Additionally, there are going to be some pretty dramatic abilities which are exclusive to a particular faction, detailed in the core book.

Imagine urban combat in a reality where high level neo-pagan priestesses can summon hurricanes and lightning strikes, or specially trained anti-abortion terrorists can walk through walls or return the dead to life. Otherverse America is going to be a really wierd setting, and one I think you'll enjoy exploring.

After the mainbook hits, probally sometime this summer, I'm going to do some expansions for the setting. I'd like to do a few short 30-50 page 'city books' focusing on the major power centers of the setting, San Fransisco, Boston and Pensacola, FL, as well as on the major human space colonies, such as Diana Station on the moon, and the Lifer-controlled Soloman Station, out in Jupiter orbit. Follow that up with a 'NPC / monster book' focusing on stats and write ups for the major setting NPCs and stock characters, in the tradtion of the D20 Menace Manual, and maybe a couple of expanced 'weapons and toys books' focusing more deeply on the guns and warmachines, and you've got a pretty gamable, well supported setting.

Talk to you later, and happy V-Day,


trollsmyth said...

Listened to your interview. You did very well. Bought the book. Interesting. Very "YUCK" in parts, but that is part of the genre, no? You clearly know it a lot better than I do. Are there any anime in the genre that you believe stand head-and-shoulders above the rest?

Chris Field said...

The two I liked best are the ones referenced in the bibliography- Wicked City and The Legend of the Overfiend. Excellent stories and art in both of 'em.

There's alot of stuff out there, though, and alot of it is lighter, less horrific than the inspiration for Black Tokyo. You should be able to find stuff to your taste on YouTube. A couple that made me smile are Devil Angel Jibutu (probably misspelled) sex warrior Pudding and a couple of others.

There's one called Little Witch: Episode of the Clovers, which is pretty creepy pedo/loli-con but it is just stunningly beautifully drawn. I have to admire it even if it creeps me out a bit.

On the manga front, see if you can find something called variously Vulgar Ghost Companion or Vuglar Ghost Daydream, and anything with the Bondage Fairies, which is just hilarious.