Monday, December 21, 2009

Otherverse America is now FREE!

Hey, as of yesterday, the Otherverse America campaign setting is a free product. This is probably the biggest, coolest free product ever released for D20 Modern, a completely realized 320 page world that is definately not like anything else in gaming.

I had decided to make it free earlier this month because I figure that after nearly a year on the market, the sales I would 'lose' by making Otherverse America free-ware are more than offset by the good will from customers... as well as downloads of related source books, if people like what they saw in the freebie.

So if you've been curious about the setting or the politics, or just the cool new advanced classes and gadgets unique to the setting, but have been holding off because $17 is alot of money to drop on a RPG PDF by an unknown... about superheroes, paganism and abortion.... indulge your curiosity. Download it, give it a read, play test it, enjoy it.

Oh, in the next year, expect lots more Otherverse America material, as well as alot of Galaxy Command stuff, not to mention some hopefully very innovative Pathfinder material.

Blessed Be, and enjoy your upcoming solstice,

Friday, November 27, 2009

On Deck for 2010

Right now, I'm not working on anything too pressing. I just sent over a first draft of Campaign Components: Firearms to Mark Cathro for his input. That product (and probably the Ley Lines Campaign Component) will both come out some time in the next year for Pathfinder.

In terms of Otherverse America releases, I plan to release a State of the Otherverse Sourcebook detailing the mega-corporation Metamorphosis North in the next month or two. That one I'm working on now, and I expect it to be in the 30-50 page range, shorter than the Coven of Bast release. I wasn't planning to create another faction-splat for Otherverse America for this year but thsi concept sorta snuck up on me. It also is support for Psi-Watch, because I used the same corporation in both settings, in a very similar role both times. I'm actively working on this project right now.

Also look for a short sourcebook detailing the Neverborn player race, which is a pretty major mystery I stuck into the Otherverse Core Book. That's a mystery that will be solved here. The Neverborn splat will dovetail and merge with my plans for a "Traveller Culture" sourcebook... again, not something I really planned but something that just snuck up on me as I was working on the manuscript.

Less tangibly, I have some pretty ambitious plans for our Pathfinder line in 2010. Spurred by a comment here, I'll be revising the Wizard of Shadowfell for Pathfinder, but don't expect just a straight conversion. You could work out that stuff for yourself, after all. I want to do something a bit spicier and set up a whole host of competing 'wizard schools'... basically allowing a Wizard to specialize in a particular style or philosophy of magic with its own advantages and disadvantages, instead of in a specific school of magic. I've got a couple o' ideas in mind.

Second, I want to a Campaign Components: Psionics book for Pathfinder, since that's a currently unexploited niche. How much like Psi-Watch it will be I don't know, but I don't expect it to be too much like the D20 psionics system. I never really liked that system, in any of its incarnations. Right now I'm leaning for something more like eastern myth, Indian culture and chi-summoning kung fu.... not to mention insect hiveminds and wierd alien bio-tech stuff. I've always been more influenced by 80s cartoons.... He-Man and his comrades are my go-to for heroic fantasy more than Tolkien or Moorecock, since I was exposed to them first. This might be my chance to riff on Sectuars a little.... which is a very obscure psi and bio-tech heavy fantasy setting where insect evolved humnaoids mind-merged with giant insect steeds.

Might be fun, and D20 Psionics have alwasys included plenty of bug like races anyhow, like the Dromites and Thri-Keen.... maybe it won't be as jarring or strange as I assume. Anyway, it's something I'll be working on in the back ground for the time being.

Finally, I want to do a project called "Godriders" for Pathfinder fantasy..... Basically take a look at the bizarre, almost animal like living vehicles on the He-Man figures page over to the right side of the screen, combine that with a gameplay idea from the most recent Final Fantasy game I just read about in a videogame mag, where the godlike summon-creatures can transform into vehicles for the heroes to ride, and the kinda-odd way gods, the loa, are percieved in the voodou religion. Should be an interesting project.... I'll probaly sell Godriders as a 20 level core class with lots of feats and related content.

Also, I'll be doing something kind of eye opening with the Otherverse America Core Rulebook in the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for it....


Monday, November 16, 2009

As Promised, pics of my feline.....

As I mentioned last post, I've got a new kitty. Here are some pictures of the adorable, skittish, exceedingly random Bast.

My brother's girlfriend took this on her camera phone, so it's sideways. Sorry. Can't be arsed to flip it right now, as the British say.

Anyway, talk to you later.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Looking forward to 2010....

Wow, Coven of Bast is out, and I just looked back over what I released this year and support of Otherverse America and impressed myself. So far, we have the core book, APEX, an Apex Strikefile, the Coven of Bast, Guide to the Known Galaxy and two State of the Otherverse tech books, one of which is fuckin' huge... not to mention two advanced classes specifically for the setting a Free20 supplement and a couple of modern/sci-fi releases that aren't Otherverse specific, but still useful. That's a pretty impressive one year word count

Anyway, Coven of Bast (which is doing decently, and I hope somebody reviews...hint, hint hint.) will probally be the last major Otherverse America release for 2009, which leaves me looking forward to what I'll be doing in 2010.

Right now, I'm about 18K words into a major campaign sourcebook dealing with fantasy firearms, a follow-up to the Fantasy Firearms PDF I worked on for Skortched Urf. Mark is looking to release this one as a print product, and I can't wait. Hopefully, he'll also release the Ley Lines sourcebook I shopped him as a physical book. These two books would look NICE on my bookshelf.

For 2010, I want to release a splat-book for the Lifer-run Jupiter colony, Solomon Station. Expect that one to be about the size of Coven of Bast. Should be fun. Now that I've detalied Choicer culture really deeply, I want to do something similar for the Lifers. I also am doing preliminary research on a Lifer subculture based on the modern "traveller" clans. Right now, I have some things I want to say about home schooling, Christian isolationism, bad-ass Irish Travellers. My wikipedia research pages are delving deep into Traveller culture, Housetrucking and other wierd bits of jury rigged subculture, carny culture and Hellhouses.... The Traveller book, which I'm tentatively calling Dark Carnivals will probally be shofter than COB, and will have at least one new advanced class...basically a Lifer version of Spiderman's foe Myserio. Should be a fun one.

What I had planned as the Outcast America sourcebook is rapidly mutating into a series of smaller and more focused mini-splats. Hopefully that' s a good thing. Each release I've done for Otherverse America gets a little bit tighter, more concise and professsional, and I hope to keep that up for 2010. I'd originally planned to include the Bastian sourcebook in Outcast America, as I did the Traveller thief/showman culture and metaplot-lite flavored things I plan to include for the Neverborn player race, which are a really wierd, out-there part of the Otherverse America core book. They're a BIG mystery, and I want to answer a couple of questions about them in the Dark Carnivals sourcebook.

Anway, I relazied I haven't mentioned too much of the wider world. I probally won't, simply because the focus of the setting is the future history of a FUBAR America, but I figured I'd shed a little bit of light on some of the foreign powers in the setting. It's all pretty rough, but this is the starting point I'm writing Otherverse America from, and I'll probally follow up on this in future sourcebooks.

  • Japan: Japan is this aging, greying sexist hellpit in 2107. Birthrates are dropping, and women are waiting much longer to have children, a trend that begins in reality and accellerates into the 22nd Century. Japan's populace is very old, traditional and xenophobic, and many of their political leaders are full-conversion 'borg century-plus survivors from the near future. Abortion is outlawed, and maternity is almost (but not quite) mandatory. I think alot of the young and desperate make dangerous crossings into Russia, Korea or China to have an abortion, and the young, poor and middle class are the slaves of the wealthy elite. Expect some follow up on this in Outcast America.
  • China: No earthly idea at this point. Their history of mandatory abortion and population control has made them unpopular with both the Lifers and the Choicers. I think their culture buys alot of stuff- cultural artifacts, reproductive and contraceptive tech, bionics and genemods, from the Choicers.... sorta equalizing today's trade imbalance. No real role for China yet, at least not in a major way
  • India: I figure in contrast to China, India is one of the Choicer Covenant's best foreign allies. They love Choicer culture, and pagan 'missionaries' have gone into India liberated its women, and raised the standard of living for everybody, without the desire for mass conversions their Christian counterparts have. I kinda blew India off in the original core book, but after reading the very cool Devi TPB from Virgin Comics, I want to do something better with the region.
  • The Middle East: I touched on the Middle East and the wierd relationship Israel has with the Lifer nation, which is an outgrowth of current evangelical geo-politics in APEX. Basically, Israel and the Lifer nation help each other, want things from each other, but they don't really LIKE one another. Unlikely allies: Isreal supports the Lifers because traditionally red state Christians have a very pro-Israel faction. See Fred Clark's Slacktivist blog for a really great dissection of the subject. So Israel does under the table weapons trades, hires Lifer mercs to handle problems with Muslim terrorists, and other questionable, spy-game activities.
  • Europe: I have no clear idea how Europe fits into things, but I have a feeling most European nations are undergoing a cultural and economic rennisance. I figure they've been watching America get crazier and crazier for decades, and look down on the future version of us. Meanwhile, the War kills America's economy, and European nations rise to fill the gap. I figure by 2107 most of the EU is wealthier, more comfortable and alot more peaceful than America at this point. I'll be taking the continent country by country, peicemeal in the background of a lot of other releases.
  • Greece: I figure Greece is wholly owned by the Nicellos family, which I see as major European and international powerplayers, one of whose daughters is the High Priestess of the Covenant. These guys are everywhere, and always somewhere highly placed and influential. I figure they're reaping the financial benefits of their space elevator, but the whole country is pretty much a giant fuckin' Starbucksl at this point. Corporate dominated, sleek, clean and monied, but without any of its idigenous soul left. By contrast, I figure Turkey and Bosina have devolved into old racial hatreds and civil war.
  • Mexico and Canada: Mexico is detailed in APEX, since I figure I'm close enough (both geographically and culturally) to write knowlegably about it. Canada, however, I have no idea what's happening. In a way, Canada is more foreign to me than Japan, since I at least lived in Japan. Anyway, I want to do something mroe than the usual sterotype. I mentioned that some wealthy Lifers have emmigrated to Enclaves up near the Canadian border, so maybe the whole nation is a refuge for the wealthy, a place to keep both their money and their ass safe during the war. Maybe a version of what happened in Europe, makign money while the Americans are fighting amongst themselves.
  • Australia and Africa. No frickin' idea. None at all at this point. Sorry.
  • South America: I figure South America is dotted with lots of Lifer enclaves, hidden strike bases, ect. South America has a huge Evangelical presence (as that huge march in Chile a while back demonstrated), and I figure that can be translated to material support for the Lifer army very easily. Anyway, I have this idea that the Lifer powers that be hire alot of mercenaries from South American countries, bring 'em to the US as foreign fighters.
Anway, that's a bit of a preview of the rest of the world of Otherverse America.
Talk to you later,

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Adopted by Bast (or a furry, four footed fascimilie)

Okay, I'm actually going to get a little bit into pagan theology here, for a second, so forgive me if this sounds strange. I'm about the worst pagan ever. I hardly go to sabats, don't cast 'spells', and don't perform seasonal rituals. I consider myself pagan in my beliefs, in the art I create, and most importantly of all, in my politics. However, the superstitious, magical (or magikal) side of things, I've never really given a lot of credence to.

However, ever since I started working on Coven of Bast, and building up this fictional Bast-cult and its culture, I've been experiencing alot of magical synchronicity. What I'm talking about is a concept that some pagans I genuinely respect, both as pagan theologians, and more importantly as artists: Alan Moore and Grant Morrison, talk alot about in their writings. Basically, every time they perform a magical ritual, cast a spell, whatever, their lives get quietly strange. Coincidences, chance meetings, weird hallucinations glimpsed out of the corner of the eye, cool stuff like that begins happening. Even, depending on what you did, some not so cool stuff begins happening.

Anyway, I've been experiencing a mild form of that ever since I started on page one of the manuscript. Some of it may simply because I'm thinking more and more about a cat-goddess, I start noticing cat symbolism more in my life. That's the mundane explanation, and it's probably accounts for 99% of everything that's been on my mind. But the first day I started the project, more than a dozen girls all came into the restaurant I work at wearing cat-themed or animal print shirts. Again, some of it isn't too surprising, since I live and work down the street from Carrol High School, whose mascot is a tiger. But when a girl in a Carrol Tigers t-shirt walks in, and when you read the message on the back, it first says "Best of the BAST" and than, when you look again, reads "Best of the Best".... it sorta brings a smile to your polytheistic face. At least it did to mine.

So for the last couple of months, I've had dozens, dozens of stray cats come up and want to be petted, when the strays are normally pretty feral around here. Cool. When I turn on the TV to a random channel and it's a documentary about cats, or something about Bast, or even (shudder) Catwoman... again, I'm smiling a bit.

Anyway, last night, right as I finished laying out the sourcebook and prepared it for sale, I got adopted by the most adorable little kitten in my apartment complex. She comes up, hangs around my balcony all night. I give her some food, water the next morning, and open up the balcony door, if she wants to come in. She does- this cat is very socialized. I'm wondering if it's someone's pet running loose, or if somebody abandoned her. Anyway, it's been rainy, so I let her stay in last night, and it turns out she's potty trained too. She crawled up into my bed and stood on my head at about 4 am last night to let me she know she wanted out.

Anyway, the cat is absolutely adorable- she looks like she may be 7-8 months old, not too skinny, so she's been eating decently. Jet black, glossy fur and bright green eyes. I went out this afternoon and got some Purina and Frontline for her, and in the spring, when I can afford it and if she chooses to stick around that long, I'll find a vet that does cheap vaccinations and neutering, get her taken care of and formally registered with the city. Anyway, what did I call my new cat: Bast, of course. (Now, if I hadn't just finished up the sourcebook, I probably would of gone with Wakanda- the name of the Black Panther's fictional nation in Marvel Comics, a name perfectly suited for an all black feline.)

So, even if Coven of Bast doesn't sell one copy, I consider it a success. It brought me a cat.

What am I talking about? Something I read while doing preliminary research for CoB.... a modern Bast cult website mentioned that Bast is a fickle goddess. Sacrifice to her and be rewarded. Now, as mentioned, I really don't go in for that, both because the superstitious nature of it, and the idea that doing a magical ritual purely for some kind of gain seems selfish to me. Still, Coven of Bast is a sacrifice in a way... of money (to pay Amanda for the art) of time (about 3 months) and of effort (lots and lots), and it certainly presents this old goddess to a new audience. Hey, maybe somebody reads CoB and is intrigued enough to research Bast, and chooses Her as a patron Goddess. In my own way, I certainly have, and I can't help but think that makes Bast a bit happy.

So for my service, for my unwitting but freely given sacrifice, I get a cat.

You don't know how happy that makes me.

Blessed Be,

(Oh, I'll try to get some pics of the fur ball up here soon)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Rob Zombie and the Myth of the Burning Times....

Okay, one of the minor subplots in the Coven of Bast sourcebook is how the Covenant, and especially the Bastian factions feel about the Salem Witch Trials. In addition to talking about future history, I want to say something about how the Salem Witch Trials are viewed in contemporary pop culture, and how modern neo-pagans have appropriated the witch trials and "Burning Times" meme for their own end... basically I think we do (and should) use the Witch Trials as political capital.

Every time a pagan political figure is debating a Christian politician, he or she should force the opponent to either defend or apologize for the old crimes, and while I can't realistically buy into the huge numbers of millions of slaughtered pagans of some adherents of the Burning Times idea, that's something I would never, ever say in a debate. Of course, that means that neo-pagans as a people need to get more commentators, debaters and ideologues (especially well educated, articulate and damn angry ones) out into the media to counter and debate with douche-nozzles like Glenn Beck and his kind, but that's another issue, for another day and an

It's a myth, sure, but it's a good myth. It makes neo-pagans the oppressed heroes of a history specifically written to screw 'em over. It makes us the last hope of a destroyed culture. Instead of being moody goth kids reading crap like Silver Ravenwolf (seriously, how the fuck can you take seriously a ideologue/theologian who basically named herself after a D&D character?) we're the Last Starfighter, but instead of weird space-lizards wanting to kill us for our beliefs, we're up against modern Christian America. Plus, bringing up things like Salem and the Burning Times supports the argument that Christianity is a hate-filled, dangerous religion.

So it's a good meme, and a better cultural myth. And it's something I really want to explore in a more articulate way through the game. Anyway, I've always been a horror movie fan, so the trope of the pagan avenger, risen from the ground of Salem to kick a little monothiestic ass is a good one. I wrote the Neo-Witch Avenger advanced class (for the Skortched Urf Studios "Advanced Class Update" line) after watching Silent Hill and Blair Witch II: Book of Shadows back to back. Anyway, I'm always rooting for the risen pagan revenant in those movies, no matter how horrific her vengeance is. It's cathartic for me, I guess in both a political and purely personal sense.

That said, I found a couple of absolutely kick ass videos on YouTube. Hopefully, I can figure out how to embed the little fuckers here, or at least you can follow the link and get a nice, viscerally visual explanation of the whole concept of grim, pagan vengeance, that whole feel of "I will have justice, and I don't care if the entire world has to burn for it." Anyway, very cool.

Talk to you later,

Friday, October 9, 2009

Coven of Bast, Amanda Webb Art Preview

I can't afford to commission nearly as much art as I want to for these projects, so when I do pay for art, it's something special, and it has to be high quality. I just checked my email, and saw some amazing rough pencil sketches of some of the work Amanda Webb will be doing for Coven of Bast.

To the right, is her take on the Bastian Metaform. She kept the topless design I used, but everything else is so much better, more detailed than anything I came up with. I can't wait to see the inks. I have a feeling this image will become the cover art for Coven of Bast....

Below you get a look at the first image of the new Combat Ubasti player species. These guys are genetically engineered lions who work along side Bastian combat units, and are revered as the ultimate symbol of loyalty and courage in Choicer culture. They're nonhumanoid, but are smart enough to be suitable as a player race.

Anyway, Amanda Webb's art makes anything better, and if any of you want to hire her for your own projects, her contact link is over to the right side of the screen.

Talk to you later,

Friday, October 2, 2009

A quick art preview of Coven Of Bast...

As promised, I'm going to preview some concepts and images from the upcoming Coven of Bast sourcebook. When all is said and done, the Coven of Bast splat will probably clock in at around 96 pages, and will go very, very deep into a specific faction of the Choicer's Covenant. The Bastians are an Egyptian-flavored, very militaristic Choicer sub-culture, and making them look different from the mainstream choicers but still recognizable enough you can tell they're from the same army is a difficult balancing act.

I've been playing around with darker colors, lots of brown, bloody red, burnished gold, and much less orange and yellow than in traditional Choicer designs. I've also decided that alot of the elite troopers of the faction can learn a feat- Bastian Metaform- that allows them to shapeshift into a jaguar-headed war form. If you ever played Werewolf: the Apocalypse, and know what a Crinos form is, you're halfway there.....

I'm getting alot more confident in my art, and at the same time, having a year of working and detailing the Otherverse has given me a better concept of how everything works and fits together. While I'm working on the Bastians my ideas of what the Chociers as a whole should look like are getting clarified.

Everything's going to be a bit tighter, better laid out, and more interesting than in the core book, which means that sooner or later I'm going to go back, and improve the Otherverse America core book. That'll probally wait until I have the money to comission more and better art, but it's something I want to do.

Over on the right is an image of a Bastian veneficia, a ritual executioner.... Here's an excerpt from the manuscript describing Neken, the Choicer's death row.....
Death Row Sacramento

Sacramento, CA is home to the single Choicer death row, (codenamed “Nekhen” after the original Egyptian city of the dead) and has been since the mid 2070s. This small facility is several miles outside Sacramento, deep in the reborn redwood groves planted after the treaty’s ratification. Per the treaty of Boston, any Choicer convicted of capital crimes has the right to have his or her sentence carried out by a Bastian veneficia (executioner) in a prescribed ritual manner rather than at a Fed-Gov death row.

Executions are usually performed via nano-toxins, but depending upon the condemned’s sect (and metahuman defenses, if any), ancient forms of execution, such as ritual decapitation, exsanguination, drowning or hanging may be used. Dreamborn Mau are often subtly pressured into becoming veneficias, because a common Bastian superstition holds that those executed by these Goddess-touched psions are reincarnated quickly and mercifully, so they may more quickly atone for misdeeds in this life in their next.

The Nekhen facility is not equipped for long term housing of prisoners, and is rarely staffed year round. Instead, a small custodial staff and a troupe of janitorial robots maintain the facility until it is needed. Specially appointed Bastian death-priests and guards travel to the facility only when a Choicer prisoner requests their services, which only happens once or twice every few years. Only the fact of the facility’s obscurity and miniscule cost has prevented the Woven Council from writing it off as a budget expense.

Prisoners usually remain at Nekhen for only a few days before their sentence is carried out. Cyber-enhanced and Powered guards are supplemented by known and trusted combat volunteers, though security at the facility is never as comprehensive as at a true Super-max.

Sanctioned Veneficia (General)
Bastians account for a large percentage of all Covenant hospice and terminal care workers, second only to priestesses of Grieving Demeter. Euthanasia is legal and accepted in Covenant territory, and while suicide is still seen as a mental disorder, voluntary martyrdom and ceremonial suicide are (very gradually) emerging as ritual practices among some sects. Unlike other Covenant citizens, critically injured Bastians usually choose euthanasia and retention of their essential humanity rather than full cyborgization.

The veneficia (poison witch) is a specially trained cleric and physician who assists both dying patients and their families. Part hospice worker, part nano-chemist, part funeral priestess, the veneficia is expected aid both in a painless death and in the soul’s rebirth. In recent years, and a handful of Bastian veneficia have aided Strega’s Path ritual martyrs in their sacrifice. By longstanding Covenant tradition, the executioners assigned to duty at “Nekhen” are all civilian veneficia, not law enforcement personnel.

While veneficia are well regarded in Covenant society, they are almost as despised as abortion providers are in Lifer society. Suicide is the one unbreakable Lifer taboo and to them, is the ultimate surrender. “Bowing Down”, either by suicide or by acquiescence to governmental authority are both seen as cowardice. Terminally ill Lifers often reject a veneficia’s services as much out of sheer stubbornness as fear of death or a last hope for some medical treatment.

Prerequisites: Anointed Cleric, Craft (chemistry) 4 ranks, Knowledge (behavioral sciences) 2 ranks, Treat Injury 2 ranks
Benefit: You are especially good at dealing emotionally with the dying and their survivors. You receive a +4 competence bonus on Diplomacy checks made concerning death and dying, or made against a patient with a terminal illness, a condemned prisioner, ritual sacrifice or the like. You are legally sanctioned to euthanize patients, at their request, or execute condemned prisoners.

Your knowledge of nano-chemistry allows you to tailor nanotoxins specifically for a specific creature, vastly increasing their toxicity at the same time reducing their onset time and making the death easier. If you have a blood sample from the intended target of a poison, you can tailor the toxins specifically to that character’s DNA. The save DC associated with the poison is increased by a number equal to your WIS modifier (minimum +1), and unconsciousness 1d4 hours is added to the initial effect. These additional effects do not apply if the toxin is used against anyone other than the intended target.

Now, if you can't think of some plot hooks after reading that, give your GM screen to a neighbor and pawn your dice bag. But if you're dreaming of Choicer versions of The Dirty Dozen/The Suicide Squad, black ops agents recruited from death row, missions to recapture deadly criminals and the like, well than, you're my kind of gamer.

Anyway, look to see more in the coming days,


Monday, September 28, 2009

Still working....

Initially, Freeform Anthropomorphica sold extremely well, and better than I could of hoped. Unfortunately, some behind the scenes problems popped up, and it's not being sold. However, Mark and I are fixing the situation, and will probally be re-releasing a slightly tweaked version of the sourcebook. I'd like everyone who bought the original sourcebook to leave some comments here, and let me know what you thought. (thanks to those of you who already did so!)

It's not my first choice to do a re-release, and its not an ideal situation, but I want to make the best of it, take advantage of the situation and re-release a superior product. So please, tell me what you liked, what you didn't, and what mistakes I need to correct for Version 2.0. Bill, I saw your comment about 'voltaic skin', and that'll be in version 2.0! For the meantime, it's an eel-like electrical field that adds +1d4 points of electrical damage to your unarmed melee attacks, or 2d4 points of elec damage each round a grapple is maintained. I think I considered it a Major ability, but since I don't have the manuscript handy, I can't quite remember.

Also, I'm working steadily on the Coven of Bast sourcebook, and should have some art to preview for you soon. The Coven of Bast faction has a unique look, perspective and power set, even within the Choicer faction as a whole. I'm really having a great time with them, and sooner or later I want to do a 96-pager focusing on brief writeups- like 5-6 page articles- on each of the other major Choicer sects and Lifer subfactions, since writing up the politics and personalities is so much fun.

I've got a bunch of stuff in the pipeline, such as Black Tokyo II, which is progressing nicely. Also, look for a Pathfinder revsion of Mega-Feats: New Paths to Victory sooner or later, and a few advanced classes for Otherverse America and Psi-Watch. I've also got an idea in the back of my head for a mini-RPG/squad based minis combat game that tries to capture the gritty, military sci-fi feel of movies like Alien and the first (badass) Predator. So you can probally guess what movies I watched this weekend.

That last one won't be d20, it'll be a quick-play standalone system like I did for Table Top Adventures, with Against the Darkness a few years back. I understand that one was a pretty good seller, and I wish I hadn't let it go so cheap. Ah well, it was a cool little product, and I got a nice little 96-page hardcopy book out of the deal. Anyway, if you liked my non-D20 work on that one, this as yet unnamed minis-combat game (which I'm expecting sometime next summer) will be up your alley.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Happy Dance!

Top ten on RPGNOW! Top ten on RPGNOW!

Happy Dance! Happy Dance! Happy Dance!

Everybody's buyin' Freeform Anthropomorphica!

Happy Dance! (And thanks to all of you who bought it, and I hope you enjoy it. Let me know what kind of cool stuff you build!)


Friday, August 14, 2009

Workin', workin' like a busy little beaver....

Okay, right now, I'm working on 3-4 projects simultaneously.

Here's the list:
1. Coven of Bast. I'm pretty satisfied with the text, and I'll be starting on the art soon enough. I want to set Bast aside for a few weeks, make sure I don't have any more ideas pop into my head that I want to include before I seriously start laying it out. As it stands now, CoB is around 30K words, and will probably be around 80-90 pgs when fully laid out. As can be expected, it's got alot of culture, plot hooks, setting detail, and around 50 new feats, some new equipment and other unique Bastian goodies.

2. I'm working on State of the Otherverse: Cybernetics Armory, the seqel to D7 Tech Update: Cybernetics. It's around 17K words, will include over 40 new cyber implants, 20 new weapons, expanded rules for full and light reconstruction cyborgs, some Otherverse specific starting occupations and cyborg feats. It really gives a sense not only of culture, but also of new possibilities for 'borgs. I'm laying this one out right now and look for it in a couple of weeks.

3. I'm finishing up Freeform Anthropomorphica for the Thinking Races line. I just spent all day browsing Furripedia and immersing myself in the culture, as well as collecting GNU, Share/Share Alike and other public domain and free images for the project. I absolutely LOVE public domain image sites and services, because they are such a great way to illustrate lower-budget projects.

Anyway, I'm having a lot of fun writing this. Like Galaxy Command, its a bit goofy, a bit lighter and less serious than the usual Otherverse America stuff. I've been adding stuff to the manuscript steadily over the last few weeks, and will continue to do so. I want this puppy to be a comprehensive character creation guide for Pathfinder. Basically I'm aiming to top what Palladium did back in the day with the TMNT Bio-E mutation creation system. It's going to be a very pretty, very deep project, and as with Galaxy Command, I'm being inspired to push my writing to match up with the excellence of the stock art I've found. F.A. should be out in another month or less.

4. On a related note, Black Tokyo II is still in the pipeline. The manuscript is about 30K words, and I'm pretty satisfied with it as it stands. I'm gathering art, including some new Amanda Webb and hopefully some Anthony Cournoyer pieces, as well as older Japanese art- shunga and uriko-e prints in the public domain. Again, another very pretty product, if it comes out the way I want it to.

Also, I've got a couple of advanced classes for Otherverse America and Psi-Watch in the can, and I'll be uploading them soon. I've also got our first Pathfinder release on deck. It's The Thinking Races: Iron and Steel. This short sourcebook is all about playing constructs, elementals and other durable metal and stone beings in Pathfinder, and includes a bunch of races more than a little inspired by the Warforged. TR: Iron and Steel also includes Pathfinder revisions of the Forgeblood Feats originally presented in 2005's Megafeats: New Paths to Victory.

So I've got a lot on my plate, and you guys can expect a bunch of cool products as we wind down 2009.

Blessed Be,

Monday, July 27, 2009

Something I just noticed

There's more stock art than ever on RPG now, but over the last few weeks I've noticed fewer and fewer actual gaming releases. I know I'm buying the art, and doing stuff with it, but is anybody else? I'm worried the RPG market is stagnating a bit, which is probaly natural as people focus on Gen Con and the Pathfinder release.

Anyway, I'm working on some stuff right now.... Black Tokyo II and the Bastian sourcebook. The Bastain sourcebook is turning out to be really fun. I enjoy detailing new cultures and playing junior anthropologist, which makes world books like this rewarding to do. Plus, there's something exhilirating at designing a religion around a mostly forgotten pagan diety. It makes me feel like I'm reclaiming something, polishing up an old divine concept, and putting my own unique stamp on it. It's almost an act of worship, strange as that sounds.

Anyway, look for both soon, as well as some shorter releases as soon as I send 'em to Mark.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Black Tokyo II In the Works

Right now, I'm gathering research and putting the initial outline for Outcast America together, but since I know it's going to be a big, lengthy project, I've been working on shorter, easier to put together mini-splats and short PDFs. I want to have a good release cushion while I work on Outcast America, especially since the Pathfinder release is imminent, and I want to have some products to release this August.

So amid some other projects, I've finally dug out the manuscript for Black Tokyo II and have begun working on it in earnest. Black Tokyo has been my best seller by a wide, wide margin, so it deserves some support, plus, it's just a fun thing to work on.

So let me just say this: Black Tokyo II is coming soon!


Friday, June 26, 2009

Random Fun Release

In between Otherverse America releases, I like to work on random fun projects. Apolitical, mass-market, goofy stuff. Fantasy, less serious sci-fi.... anime girls being violated by hentai tentacles. Whatever, you know?

I just put the finishing touches on Galaxy Command- a 90 pager minisourcebook about 70s style cheesy sci-fi TV. It was a project I was smiling the whole way through. Part of the reason I got it out so fast is the fact I decided to look at it artistically from the point of view of a lame 70s TV producer. They reused props, built things on the cheep, did whatever it took to put the TV shows out quickly and cheaply, and I thought I'd do the same. So instead of writing first, and than finding stock art that sorta fits, I decided to pick my stock art first and write around that. The cover peice from LPJ's Image Portfolio: Mixed Genre, a badass Tron-esque android made of glowing red light became the setting's central villian. I found a great Ronin Arts sci-fi clip art pack, which I'd been first introduced to a few years back through the purchase of another sci fi project. This stuff is fucking incredible. It looks just like old Dave Cockrum stuff, and is perfect for what I'm going for.

Here, let me show you some of the art.....

These pretty mofos come from the Ronin Art's stock pack, and as you can probally guess from my previous work are another Legion of Superheros riff- they're the "Dawnstar" type race. Low tech, Amerindian-flavored, winged humanoids. The sheer quality of the art I found let me really get into this project. As cheesy as it is, and as cheesy as I wrote everything, all the injokes and oddities, I really had fun with Galaxy Command.

I mean, this is pure old-school Cockrum here!

I'm still a little giddy about that. Anyway, I wrote it with the original Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica in mind, not to mention 70s era Legion and Cockrum's X-Men... and the Omega Men, and Alien Legion, and the Futurians and a whole load of comics even more obscure and niche than that. Hopefully, if you like old space-opera type sci-fi, you'll get a kick out of this book.

Laying out Galaxy Command was pretty fun. I kept the layout as clean and simple as I could, in the spirit of old 70s RPGS. I was considering doing the book entirely in black and white with spot color, like the original DC RPG, but that would of looked far too ugly, even for retro-kitcsh. Still, I enjoyed it, the red, white and blue pageborders, which really look 70s were almost a direct lift from the box of the DVD collection of old 70s shows which inspired this sourcebook!

One thing that I noticed I was doing about half way through coloring the art was making everyone either Caucasian or alien-colored. It's a pretty white-boy future in Galaxy Command, but once I realized I was doing it, I actually decided to keep it up. It's not the most inclusive thing out there, but for this project, based on media from a specific time period, it felt right. Anyway, it's an odd thing to admit, especially as racially integrated as most of my Othervere Stuff is. Not a big personal revalation, or some major contraversy, I hope, just something odd I noticed about the art. Speaking of art....

That's a few Sade stock images right there, cropped together and backed with some PD images from NASA. Looks frickin' amazing. I really love her stuff. I wish she'd do more males and monstrous figures, but her T&A heroines are amazing.

Along with Galaxy Command, expect a Free20 product that gives you another player race for the setting. they'll be releasing simultaniously. Let me just tell you the title: Free20: Threeway. That should get your lavicious minds working over time.....

Okay, let me stop you before you all get too out of hand. For a few years now, ever since Guide to the Known Galaxy, I've been trying and trying to find a way to create a Carrgite-inspired race for D20 Future. Carrgites are the species of Triad of the Legion- a perky little brunette ninja who's power is that she can split into 3 perky little brunette ninjas. Anyway, as a D20 power, her ability is unbelievably BROKEN, but I finally figured out a way to do her justice... as a +0 ECL player species! Anyway, pick 'em both up (especially the free stuff!) and let me know what you think.

Anyway, after a day or two of vacaton, I'm going to start seriously working on Outcast America. It will probally be the darkest thing I've ever written. More on that later.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Still in shock....

It's been a week since Dr. George Tiller was murdered and I'm still processing it.

I've been writing about- obsessing about- a coming conflict between pro-choice and anti-choice activists for years now, since high school. I've studied the subject, read every thing I could get my hands on about the killings in Pensacola and Brookline back in the mid-90s, and while I had all the knowledge about the subject in my head, a decade of relative peace (or at least Cold War) had eroded some of the emotional response. I was thinking of those events in terms of history and literature, in terms of what those killings meant in terms of the real future of America and the fictional future of America I'm inventing.

Now, it seems very, very deeply weird to be writing a sourcebook about a fictionalized military sci-fi version of this conflict as a real soldier in the real war is laid to rest. On one hand I feel like The Goddamned Batman- I've got files and photoes on my hard drive at home, I know the psychology and tactics of the badguys and have a pretty good guess what will happen next. On the other hand, I feel like a fucking vulture.

What you may not know about me is I've never had any signifigant personal contact with abortion. I've never had a girlfriend get pregnant, though I do know alot of women who have confessed their own abortions to me. (which is sorta understandable if they knew what I wrote about, what kind of reference books I've got on my shelf.... I'm a pro-choice guy who isn't a Christian, and isn't likely to judge and knows enough about the subject not to make an ass of myself. But alot of these women, I've never told about my writing, or my bookshelf, or really about my politics or faith. It's just like I've got some kind of comforting pro-choice pheremones....) In EVERY single case, these women feel guilty which is a testament to both their innate goodness and the sheer virulence of the pro-life mindset.

A few weeks before this, I was watching the movie Knocked Up with my friends, and I commented to one of them that when a main character seriously starts considering abortion, it ceases to be a comedy. I still stand by that, but what got me thinging is that even I as a pro-choicer have sorta bought into the pro-life meme. The ideology is like spiritual Sarin gas- it does nothing but spread death and misery, and you can't escape it. I started asking myself why do even we pro-choicers view abortion as this monumentous, life altering event? Why do we allow the pro-life cause to make us feel guilty about what is basically the first choice a parent- a good parent- makes? I got to thinking about it more and more, and I realized that part of being a good parent is knowing when the circumstances aren't right for you to be a parent, and taking action to prevent a lifetime of misery for your child to be. So why exactly is abortion any more signifigant than sitting through a spectacularly boring PTA meeting, another mundane (and often lampooned in sitcomedies) part of good parenting?

On a Lighter Note
That's why I can't watch Labryinth today, by the way. You know the one, David Bowie, muppets, Jennifer Connelly? I can't watch it as an adult, even if I loved it as a kid, because of the stident and obvious anti-abortion metaphor. Seriously, if any kid who grew up watching that movie has an abortion as an adult and feels even the tensiest bit guilty about it, about doing the right thing for herself and her family, every copy o' that peice of shit should be pulled off the shelves and shoved right up Jim Henson's dead asshole. And don't get me started on Bill Mantlo's run on Alpha Flight and Goblyn... sure that run gave the comic book world Jim Lee's penciling debut, but it also gave us the world's first aborted fetus superhero.

Anyway, about two years ago I was working at a call center for American Express, replacing lost and stolen credit cards for overprivledged yuppies who were put out by the fact that I couldn't get 'em a card TODAY, but I'd be happy to get 'em a card tomorrow. 99% of my customers, I would of cheerfully shot in the face, the entitled, spoilt, hedonistic rich fuckers.... bastards, the lot of them. But one day, I got a call from a woman who had lost her credit card last week, and we'd already UPSed her a replacement. She called, practically in tears, because the card hadn't arrived yet, and was promised to arrive by 5 pm. At first I thought she was just another damn prima donna, but I started to talk to her, calm her down and I said that I'd send out another replacement to her tomorrow, and I'd send it to her work place.

She explained she couldn't get packages at work. 100% non-negotiable, and it wasn't just a matter of her boss being a jerk, it was an ironclad security policy. I immediately woke up a bit, because very few workplaces have that strict of security requirements. Military bases, especially intel bases have that level of security. So do some really skeezy strip clubs/whorehouses and most crack houses, but those kind of folks usually don't have a gold AMEX. And one other place of work....

She explained the situation. She is an abortion doc, whose home address was in Kansas somewhere. I don't remember where. And she's crying on the phone with me, because the bad guys know where she lives, and they may have taken the package UPS left in her mailbox. And she's afraid that politically motivated credit card fraud is the least of her worries, because if they (she capitalizes the words as she says them) murder might be next.

Okay, no question about it. She's not a spoiled rich fuck at all, and I'm about to pull out all the stops, the Spoilt Millionaire option for Titanium cardholders only to get her a card tonight by private courier. Fuck policy. Fuck the fact she doesn't spend enough to get the shit-bag billionaire treatment of having a card deployed to her by helicopoter-piloting mercenaries, like some kind of really stupid Shadowrun game.

This woman is a fucking hero, putting her life and financies and reputation on the line to save women when they are at their most desperate and needy, and getting called 'babykiller' for her trouble. She's a cop on the beat, a soldier in Iraq, she's a member of the motherfucking Justice Leauge of America. She's getting the card, and I tell her this, and I'm thanking the Goddess that I took her call, and not the Evangelical Christian guy over to the cubilce on the right, because even though he's a good guy, everything the right to life movement would ever need to fuck this woman's life completely was on my screen.

And that was that. I helped her. Felt good about it for days, about the only time in that whole job full of babysitting rich bastards and dipshit debutantes that I actually felt I accomplished something postive for the world. And remeber, this poor lady was terrified three years before Tiller's death. I don't know if she worked at Tiller's clinic, or even knew him, or not, and I honestly don't even remember her name, not that I'd say it here even if I did, but that doesn't matter. Where ever she is I hope she's safe. And I hope she still has the credit card I sent her.

Anyway, enough of my rambling, incoherant rage. I'm still working on APEX, and just finishing up the art. I'll start layout on APEX either this week or next, and should have a draft up on RPGnow for purchase by July. I'm already starting work on Outcast America, which deals with kids, cults and criminals in the setting, a sourcebook on the Bastian Chocier faction, and setting books for 2107's San Fransisco and Solomon Station, the Lifer-flagged spacestation out in Jupiter orbit.

Finally, I'm worring about future violence. I'm glad that the pro-choice blogger circuit is calling FOX news and that dipshit O'Riely to account for his ideological imeptus to violence. he's like America's Osama Bin Laden, but only more dangerous, because alot of Americans actually LISTEN to him. I'm hoping that after all the dust settles, Operation Rescue is at the center of the nastiest FBI/Dept of Homeland Security fuck-fest ever devised by man or beast, and that Randall Terry is in prision as a co-conspirator.

However, short term, I have a feeling both organizations are going to emerge stronger and even meaner, like a dying coyote with rabies, even if the long-term survival of Op Rescue and FOX News are in question. I also have a feeling that more violence is in the offering- I'd place the the next anti-abortion shooting in one of the Dakotas, either north or south, because both states have recently been ideological battlegrounds, and are dramatically underserved in terms of abortion access. Killing a doctor there will seriously hinder abortion access, and garner media attention, and will provide a concrete tactical 'victory' for the extremist art of the anti-choice movement. The clinic on the Ogalada-Souix reservation land in South Dakota, the one I mention on page one of the Otherverse America setting is a Real Place (TM) (C), (though I changed the name in the game) and I really, really hope they're tightening their security. Having Federal marshalls in palce to protect the clinic wouldn't be untoward, and I hope President Obama does so.

It would also be a memetic/propaganda victory for the pro-choice side- if the media runs photoes of US Marshalls escorting young women into the clinic, it calls to mind the Marshalls escorting the Little Rock Seven to school during the segreation era, and reminds people that the government occasionally takes Big Risks to protect the rights of its citizens, and visually/historically reframes the debate as a matter of civil rights.

I'm hoping Tiller's clinic opens soon, but if I were the staff there I"d be bracing for more violence, as well as more semi-violent and non-violent protests and harassment, everything from sit ins in procedure rooms, 'lock and glue rescues' that destroy the doors or block access to the clinic, to harassment from lifer infiltrators within the local government, beauracracy and regulatory agencies. I have a feeling that one of Operation Rescue's tactics will be to discourage, harass and eventually try and bankrupt which ever doctor assume's Dr. Tiller's practice.

Anyway, it's been a long post with little central theme, and I'll let you go now. Be safe.

Blessed be,

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

This is why the pro-lifers are the BAD GUYS in my fiction

Ever wonder why I write the pro-life side as the bad guys?

This Sunday morning you had your answer.


Friday, May 1, 2009

Things I Would Like Other Publishers to Use...

I've been working on D20 Modern for over 5 years now, and at this point, simply because I'm one of the few authors publishing under that ruleset, and not under the more profitable D20 Fantasy / D&D Engine, I consider myself an expert on D20 Modern. I've done some interesting stuff with it, produced some variant rules that both push the system forward and effectively emulate the media I've set out to well... emulate.

That said, there's alot of good rules I've created that I would like to see other D20 Publishers expand upon. It's all OGL to begin with, so take advantage of it, and use my ideas to push your own games forward.

I produced ALOT of good material for D20 Modern working with Louis Porter- I'd like to see the skydiving rules from Adrenaline Surge (2006, LPJ Designs) used in other contexts. Likewise, the archery rules and equipment from D7ACU: Perfect Archer (2007, Skortched Urf) adds alot of flavor to the games, and provides a nice alternative to guns.

On a larger note, I'd like to see the torture rules from Tell Me Now (2006, LPJ Designs) used as a basis for other opposed, complex skill checks. I could see the system powering that suppelment easily be adapted to things like computer hacking, forensic invesitgations, medical drama.... any time where one party attempts to solve a very complex problem or wear down the opposition through skill and tenacity. Hell, it's a damn fine rule for torture as is.

In terms of more complex ideas, I'd like to see other D20 Modern publishers expand on my ideas of Intermediary Classes (2005, LPJ Designs) and Affiliations (Otherverse America, 2009, Otherverse Games). Intermediary classes are story-based starting classes, not attribute based ones. You might play an ER Intern, or a Blogger instead of a Smart or Charismatic Hero. Intermediate classes are more powerful, but more specialized and less customizable than a Basic Class, but not quite as good as an Advanced Class.

Affiliations are basically like the X-Box 360's Achievements for Otherverse America.... you earn them by meeting specific feat and skill prerequistes and serving with a specific group, who trains you in secret techniques. Affiliations in Otherverse America can be famous military units, criminal gangs, political groups, terrorist cells, corporations, cults.... basically in exchange for cooperating with the GM in buildling a character that's an active part of the world, you are rewarded with the equivalent of a minor feat (and bragging rights) for free.

It's a concept that I think can be easily ported to other games, including fantasy ones. Anyway, that's just some stuff of mine that I'm especially proud of, and I think you, as readers, would enjoy.

Talk to you later,

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

You know what's really gratifying....

.... going on RPGnow, seeing that a product that I put out less than 24 hours ago is the 6th current best seller, on the Top One Hundred.

Even better, seeing that alot of purchasers have also picked up other products I've worked on, such as D7ACU: Voidsparrow, Otherverse America, Giants In the Earth....

To all my readers:



Cruel Evolution, MotherF@#$er!

I mentioned it last post, but Cruel Evolution is up and running at and all the usual suspects. Go pick it up, I had alot of fun laying that one out. I've realized that post-apoc stuff is some of the most fun to work with, especially magi-tech post apocalyptic fiction, because the blending of the traditional fantasy and sci-fi genre lines. Lots to love.

Anyway, I'm putting the finishing touches on the APEX manuscript, right now. I'm working up the 100 plot hooks section at the back of the book, as well as flavor fiction. The 100 plots part is especially important to me. Otherverse is a politicized, social-interaction heavy, deep roleplaying experience, but I see how it can easily be played as just a 'mission-based' wargame. I've seen it happen with the old World of Darkness stuff, instead of getting deep into an alien psychology and fictional culture, you're tasked by your Boss Vampire or Boss Werewolf with going and killin' something- the same exact kind of missions that you'd find in D&D or Shadowrun.

That always disappointed me, as a gamer, especially when I was stuck in a thinly disguised WOD dungeoncrawl. Not fun. So making sure that Otherverse game masters have ALOT of good inspiration and plot hooks to draw upon, which incorporate mysteries, political action, problem solving, romance, seduction, exploration of the culture, ect.... as well as straight up combat is of prime importance to me. I don't want the missions in Otherverse America to turn into:

"You're all Lifer soldiers. Your XO tells you that you've got to destroy a Choicer clinic and a nearby weapons depot."


"You're all Choicer soldiers. Your XO tells you that you've got to destroy a Lifer weapons cache and assassinate a terrorist leader."

Anyway, like I've said before, the 100 Plots section is probally my favorite part of the sourcebook.

I'm planning out the third big 'faction splat' for Otherverse America as I wrap up APEX: Outcast America, which focuses on the poor, the young, the abused and the fanatical in the setting. After that, I'll probally give a full write up for Solomon Station, and I'm speculating on creating a HUGE species book for Otherverse America, tentatively titled the "Patriot's Alphabet". (Alternatively, I can release a line of shorter splats, each covering 5 or 6 mutates. I'll probally do the latter.)

In Psi-Watch, I introduced three species of human-engineered supersoldiers codenamed the Patriot Anvils, Patriot Boxers and Patriot Ivories. Those mutates exist in the Otherverse as well, as do the Patriot Couriers and Patriot Mechanic superhumans, who are described in APEX. So we've got A, B, C, I and M covered. There's alot of letters of the alphabet still there, and alot of mutant soldiers whose codenames can start with those letters.

Finally, I have to comment on something I read on Louis' blog (which I follow religiously). In a post last week, he divided RPG publishers into two categories, based on sales footprint and distribution method: PDF publishers and hard-back publishers. I can certainly see where he is coming from, but I think that in his post, there is an unspoken 'submission' to hard-back publishers, a feeling that as a PDF publisher we can't compete on the same level, an acceptance of lower sales and lower levels of prestige.

Certainly, as a small PDF publisher I don't have the logistical support, art budget or advertising capability of a big 'HB' publisher. But in terms of just IDEAS, I think all RPG publishers, no matter what their operating budgets or distribution methods are, compete on the same plane. Every product I put out, I feel like I am directly competing against industry giants like Green Ronin, Paizo, LPJD, Adamant, and yes, WOTC (well, less now, but you know what I mean). In order to feel satisfied as an artist, each time I release something, I have to feel that the ideas you'll find inside are AS GOOD IF NOT BETTER than anything from any other publisher, big or small. The art, the layout, the limitations of the PDF format.... screw it.

The question for me is: are the black words on the white page as good as anything WOTC put out? As good as anything Monte Cook does? If yes, I'm happy as a publisher. If not, I'm pissed and try to do better next time.

I don't know.... I find myself agreeing intellectual with everything that Louis said, but for some reason, some emotional part of me wants to disagree wtih everything. Something about that post just sorta rankles me, and I can't really put my finger on WHY.

Anyway, just my thoughts,
talk to you all later,

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Attack is for times of plenty.....

....defense is for times of insufficiency.
-Sun Tsu.

The quote is appropriate right now. About 6 months ago I was contracted to produce a modern magic/post-apocalyptic setting for Reality Deviants. Unfortunately, the money fell through, which is a problem when working freelance. So for about half a year now, I've had a draft of Slaughterhouse Earth sitting on my harddrive, doing nothing.

And every spare dollar I've had, I've put into building up a stock art morgue during this time. And my tastes in stock art tend to run to the dark, the violent and the creepy. I like images of monsters, guns, and monsters with guns.

So I have a surplus of 1) post apocalyptic text and 2) stock art suitable for a post-apoc setting. So guess what I'm doing right now?

I'm taking a break from APEX for a couple of days to put out a new post-apoc/horror sourcebook entitled Cruel Evolution. I'm breaking the big Slaughterhouse Earth manuscript into 3-4 smaller products, which I'll release over the next few months in conjunction with Skortched Urf.

The first sourcebook will be a 'powers' book- expect a new player race, the Clavers, new mutation rules, a bunch of feats spells and 5 new advanced classes. The best way I can describe Cruel Evolution and the Slaughterhouse Earth campaign world is "Rifts as written by Clive Barker"......

Hopefully it'll be well recieved.

Anyway, I'm about 2/3 done with the layout. One of the great satisfactions of self publishing is the fact I'm getting better at layout and design with every book I put out. Cruel Evolution is clean, pretty and lavishly illustrated.

Anyway, have a good one, and expect a bunch of releases from me, and from Mark, over the next few months.

Blessed Be,

Friday, April 10, 2009

Just a quickie.....

You know, I'm not even going to get into the myriad reasons that Wizards of the Coast is shooting itself in the genitals, and I will not comment upon my opinion that if this nonsense keeps up, WOTC will be a closed division of the Hasbro unholy megacorp within 10 years at this rate.

I just won't. Folks alot more articulate than I have already commented. Read Gareth or Mark Cathro''s blogs on the subject, because they have said everything I wanted to, and they got there first with better quality material.

I will say this. I will be continuing to produce D20 Modern-compatable products under the Otherverse America banner, as well as continuing to produce D20 Fantasy and Pathfinder goodies for you guys.

Speaking of Otherverse America, I'm still at work on the APEX soucebook. Right now, its about 140 pages or so. I'm not quite satisfied with it yet- I want to have more. I've got a pretty good selection of gear, armor and aircraft but I want more. I've detailed alot of the history of the world, but it doesn't feel clear and cohesive enough yet.

Still, I'm having fun with it. One thing I'm anxious to get started on is the 100 Plot Hooks section at the end of the book. That section is one of my favorite parts of Otherverse America, and I'm saving the big list of 1 paragraph plot hooks for my last task. It'll be something to savor.

Anyway, I'm off. I've got some family stuff to do tonight.


Friday, April 3, 2009

More Influential Than I Thought....

Just a quick post. I'm on vacation this weekend, visiting my mother up in Kerrville TX, where I'm writing this with a minor concussion from a gardening accident.

I am still working. I've got about 120 pgs of good material for the APEX sourcebook, which I'll get back to on Monday. But that's not the reason I'm posting.

I'm a bit more influential in my selection of stock art than I thought. About two weeks ago, Mark and I put up Giants in the Earth, which is illustrated completely with public domain illos of various dinosaurs. I just saw this product,which is a stock art collection using the same dinosaurs I did.

I noticed the same thing. In the weeks after PSI-WATCH came out, which used alot of art from Louis Porter's Image Portfolio, I noticed a bunch of other supers products using the same stock art.

It's flattering to see that people are reading my products and respecting my choices enough to follow my design lead- plus it gives the producers of stock art packages a bit of free exposure.

Let me say the names of some of the stock art collectons I've either used or plan to use:

Louis Porter Jr Image Portfolio
Anthony Cournoyer's Shaman Stock Art Packages
Art by Shinkei, Sci-Fi and Fantasy images (which I'll use in APEX)
Sade's Stock Art
Richard Spake military stock art (another one which will be in APEX)
Dark Sphere Productions

I've also been trying to convince Amanda Webb that she should put a stock art collecton of her own. If you agree, or if you're a game publisher who needs some work done fast, cheap and at high quality, you can find the contact informaton for her on her website, over to the right hand side of this blog.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

GO SEE WATCHMEN! (and current activity)

First and foremost: Go see Watchmen. Right fucking now. Shut down your computer and go see that movie, this blog will still be here when you get back.

As a fan of the comic, I give the movie an 8/10. The pacing was a little bit off (especially the psychologist subplot, which had a lot more weight and gravitas in the graphic novel) and there were a few more things I wish were included, but it was an amazingly faithful adaptation. I personally can’t wait for the extended cut, fully loaded DVD, which will probably take the Lord of the Rings route and be a dense, five hour monster of a movie. Can’t wait.

So anyway, in addition to gaming on Sundays and watching the Watchmen, what am I working on?

Right now, I’m hard at work on some additional Otherverse Games releases. I’ve still got some releases in the pipeline, which I assume Mark is waiting for the GM’s day sales to clear, before releasing. In addition to a Thinking Races sourcebook focusing on the core races- Elves, Dwarves and Halflings (and Goblins too, yeah!), expect a trio of advanced classes, which act as indirect support for the Psi-Watch and Otherverse America campaign settings.

In terms of new stuff, I just put together a big, very pretty sourcebook purely of dinosaur stats. All the art is public domain, from various non-profit scientific sources, and looks great. The sourcebook, which I’m titling Giants in the Earth, was pretty much a lark. I felt like putting out some quick, fun monster stat-blocks, and was able to do so at no cost to myself. Again, if you’re a lower end game designer, use all the P.D. and stock art you can- it will dramatically increase your profitability.

I’m also hard at work on two new Thinking Races supplements, one focusing on Planar Races, and another focused exclusively on monsters from Greek mythology. I’ll be commissioning some art for the Planar Races book, as well as doing some stuff myself. Expect that one out in a month or two, and the Greek book shortly there after.

I’ve just sent a couple of fantasy manuscripts over to Louis Porter, one of which brings Ley Lines, geomancy and Ebberon or Final Fantasy-style magi-tech to D20 Fantasy. Hopefully, they’ll get picked up and published. Go buy ‘em when they do, Louis usually puts out some pretty cool stuff.
I’m also putting together a freeform, race creation cookbook which allows players
to build ‘furry’ style anthromorphic races. The manuscript on that one is about 90% complete, though I’ll probably be tweaking it a bit till release. I’ll find some of the sexiest, coolest furry stock art I can and maybe do some of my own. Don’t expect Freeform Anthromorphica until August though- I have every intention of supporting Paizo’s Pathfinder GSL, and will probably release Freeform Anthromorphica as a Pathfinder compatible sourcebook at midnight on the day their ‘streetdate’ restriction expires. I have a feeling that book, hitting at that time, will be a damn good seller for me.

Right now, I’ve got about 50 pages or so of material for Otherverse America’s APEX sourcebook. I’m delving very deeply into the military structure and history of Otherverse America, and focusing lots of attention on the APEX organization itself as well as 2107’s various federal law enforcement agencies. Expect another big ass sourcebook with lots of assorted crunch and fluff. Right now, I want the final sourcebook to top out at between 150 and 200 pages, so I still have a lot of work to do.

Readers, if there’s any thing you want to see in the APEX sourcebook, or questions you need answered after reading the Otherverse America campaign setting, let me know, and if I can I’ll address it in this upcoming sourcebook.

Free Stuff

Finally, I’ll leave you with an excerpt from my yet-to-be-named Greek Thinking Races splatbook- a full racial write up for the Cyclops. Enjoy, and let me know how these big boys work out in your home campaigns. The art on the side by the way is a piece from a Todd Lockwood Magic: the Gathering card, which I’ve always sorta liked.

Player Species: Cyclops

When the world was young, a nation of Cloud Giants allowed a primitive tribe to worship them as gods. The proud giants taught the humans to write, to harvest, to carve runes and to craft weapons- first from bone and wood, and than, as the human’s skills increased, from finer things. And in time, the human tribe became more and more like their giant fathers, becoming as strong and enduring as the mountains that both races called home.

Appearance: Cyclops resemble gigantic, transfigured humans, hinting at the species’ origin as a servitor tribe. The massive creatures have lean, ropy physiques corded with dense muscle- the Cyclops are nearly as powerful as their giant benefactors. They are swarthy, with dark skin, hair and a dark single eye. A Cyclops’ caramel skin is inlaid with slender golden and silver threads, and their large, but dexterous hands are concealed beneath thin, gauntlet-like, bronze plates. Their metallic adornments are gifts from the Cloud Giant Nation for the Cyclops’ millennia of loyal service.

Cyclops have only a single enormous eye under a heavy brow. Flakes of gold float within the creatures’ dark amber pupil. A Cyclops’ single eye is incredibly keen, able to see at a distance as clearly as a well-made spyglass, and as adept at picking out fine details as a jeweler’s eye-lens.
Cyclops of both genders wear their curly, dark hair long, and favor simple styles. When working or waging war, the Cyclops pull their hair into a practical top-knot to keep it out of the way. When at rest, a Cyclops lets its hair hang freely; Cyclops tradition views bound or braided hair as a sign of war-like intent. Cyclops diplomats and rulers rarely tie or braid their hair, for that reason.

Cyclops are excellent smiths, who craft superb, finely decorated weapons and armor, as well as non-military goods such as caravan wagons and long-ships. Cyclops enjoy well-made armor, favoring highly decorated, colorful, full suits of scale armor. Crafting a fine set of scale mail is considered more of a test of a Cyclops’ crafting abilities than building a ‘simple’ suit of full plate, which leads to some interesting rivalries and contests of skill with Dwarven and Rune Troll armor-smiths. When discussing their skills at the forge, Cyclops can be insufferable braggarts, but they have the talent to back their haughty words up.
When at peace, Cyclops wear loose flowing cloth tunics, and both genders will go nude (or nearly so) when the weather is comfortable. Cyclops favor heavy, two handed weapons which take full advantage of their massive strength, with most Cyclops warriors carrying mammoth warhammers and pole arms longer than a human trading wagon.

Reproduction: Cyclops have no set breeding season and enjoy sex for pleasure. Their culture is strongly patriarchal. Though Cyclops females have a few rights and can own property, their lives are ruled by their fathers and husbands. Females are traded between Cyclops clans to cement allegiances or presented as gifts from a vassal to his jarl (ruler).

The Cyclops are a created species, which adds an odd dimension to their pregnancies. Cyclops pregnancies do not come to term until the mother-to-be is ritually blessed by a Cloud Giant, who touches her swollen belly and wishes her unborn child strength and good health. Any Cloud Giant can perform this simple ritual, and even the most evil Cloud Giant will willingly assist a Cyclops female with bringing her child to term. The Cyclops female enters labor within hours of the ritual’s completion; without the assistance of a Cloud Giant, a Cyclops’ pregnancy can last for years, perhaps even decades or centuries, without progressing. Cyclops always give birth to a single son or daughter.

Lands: Cyclops favor mountain homes, especially homelands that look out over a human-held valley. Cyclops enjoy the company of both their giant benefactors and their distant human cousins, and prefer to build their homes near both species. Cyclops have relatively small settlements- most aren’t much bigger than a village, and many are just glorified trading posts.

Relations: Cyclops often act as mediators between the two species that shaped their culture, negotiating peace treaties and trade agreements between humans and the more civilized giant nations.

Alignment: Cyclops share many of the traits of the giants they worship as living gods, a moral outlook not the least among them. Like Cloud Giants, they are often neutral good, though they hold little malice toward evil giant races. Even the most good hearted, crusading Cyclops would rather negotiate with evil giant-kin rather than do battle, but can and do fight evil giants when necessary. Adventuring Cyclops can be any conceivable alignment.

Adventurers: Cyclops adventurers may leave their mountain homes on some errand for their Cloud Giant allies, as part of a trading caravan, or they may simply venture into human lands to find out how their human ancestors lived.

Names: Cyclops names are based upon metallurgical terms, and the proud giants trace their heritage through their father’s line. A Cyclops prefaces his father’s name with the prefix Saka- ‘son of’ or Dakka ‘daughter of’. Once married, a female Cyclops will adopt her husband’s lineage. There is little difference between male and female names otherwise.

Male names: Brannz Saka Iryn, Iryn Saka Cappar, Stylgld Saka Malaky
Female names: Brannz Dakka Sylv, Styl Dakka Brazz, Tyn Dakka Cappar

Languages: Cyclops are equally fluent in Common and Giant. They may select Dwarven, Terran, Auron or Celestial as bonus languages.

Cyclops Racial Traits

Size and Type: Large Giant. As a large creature, a Cyclops receives a +4 size bonus on grapple checks, but suffers a -4 penalty on Hide checks and a -1 size penalty to Armor Class. Cyclops have a base landspeed of 40 ft.

As giants, Cyclops are immune to effects which specifically target humanoids, such as charm person, but are especially vulnerable to spells, weapons and tactics designed to slay giant-kin.

Ability Score Modifiers: +4 STR, +2 INT. Cyclops are strong and tireless, and are highly intelligent. Even the dullest Cyclops can hold their own in philosophical debates with the sages of other species.

Racial Skills: Cyclops enjoy working metal, and all Cyclops (even females) are taught the secrets of forging fine Cyclops-smelted steel during their adolescence. Cyclops settlements ring with the sound of hammers hitting anvils at all hours of the day and night. A Cyclops may add his STR modifier as well as his INT modifier on all Craft (blacksmith) checks.
Cyclops are deferential to giant-kin of all kinds, and are welcome in most giant villages. They receive a +1 racial bonus on Diplomacy checks made against other creatures with the Giant type, including other Cyclops.

Racial Feats: Cyclops receive Alertness as a racial bonus feat, thanks to their keen, giant-granted senses.

Enhanced Senses: A Cyclops has lowlight vision, and even more incredible day vision. Cyclops suffer no distance penalties on Spot checks made in conditions of bright illumination. They can easily recognize a familiar face on the distant horizon.

Favored Class: Any. Like their human forebears, Cyclops are a skillful folk, able to master a diverse array of skills. A multiclass Cyclops’ highest class level does not count when determining if the creature suffers an XP penalty for multiclassing.

Level Adjustment: +2. Cyclops are strong and clever enough to gain levels much more slowly than a member of one of the smaller races.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Well, She Survived.....

Okay, yesterday was game day. I rolled into my local game shop at about 1 pm, to finish up Chapter One: Life's Bazaar from Paizo's Shackled City adventure path. It's a fun little adventure, and as a adventure path, is ALOT different from the adventures I usually design myself. That game has converted me forever to the love of D&D minis and battlemats.

I rarely used minis in my previous games, preferring to just abstract combat and occasionally make do with symbols scrawled on a dry-erase board. The group I play with- about 90% current or former military by the way, which makes it just like coming home for me- all enjoy minis, and have a huge collection. One of the players has a huge rolling box filled with every damn monster in the game, and I've had great fun borrowing his toys for the session's encounters.

At about 7 we broke for dinner, and when I came back, I played my first actual session of Shadowrun 4th edition. Things got off to a late start, because a couple of extra players from the D&D game wanted to make characters and jump in, but soon enough things were off and running. Our GM ran us through a basic, intro adventure, which amounted to little more than a live fire exercise. Good thing, since out of the six players, three of us were veterans of SR4, myself and one other guy had never played this edition of the game, and one guy had never played Shadowrun, of any kind, at all.

Basic premise was a raid on a Shiawase shipping hub, to intercept a blood sample, do some damage, and make the raid look like standard corporate espionage. Our real objective was to swap out the blood sample for a clean (?) sample, supposedly to cover up some dark secret of our Johnson's wife.

The whole raid, start to finish, in game took about 5 minutes. I learned something about my character. I had built her as a non-combat girl, and I'd assumed that having extra 'initiative passes'- or extra actions was like having a high BAB in D20, useful but not essential. Instead, not having extra actions was like being the team's semi-retarded, drooling mascot. I'll be purchasing Wired Reflexes before the next session.

Another thing I learned, is that as the team's face, my function is front loaded. I do research on our clients, negotiate the pay, and help in the planning. After that, I get to stay in the car and listen to the radio while everybody else is inside, killing the fuck outta some unprepared guards. Grrrr....

Still, my character's stock market knowledge ended up being one of the more useful skills in the session, and I'll be pumping some extra points into that. I figure my role on the team is 'clue wagon' and I want to have as many knowledge skills and funky enhanced senses as possible. Anyway, Arywn Unchained survived, much to my shock and pleasure...

Oh, and lest you think I'm not working....

I'm sending some material over to Amanda to illustrate. I'll be releasing another short race book for Otherverse America, focusing on genetically engineered human subspecies used by the military and the mega corps. That'll be a fun, quick one.

I'm also working on a sequel to this sourcebook:

Hey, what do you expect? I've been playing Shadowrun,and I've got a hankering to build some cool D20 bionics. I'm going to release Cybernetics II as a State of the Otherverse product.

After that, expect me to get to work on Otherverse America: APEX, and to put the finishing touches on some more Thinking Race sourcebooks.

Talk to you later,

Monday, February 9, 2009

Elven Porn Stars

Well, Otherverse America will be coming out soon and while I'm still working, this post isn't about releases. Instead, I'm going to say something:


I've given my Sundays over to gaming completely- I'm running a group through Paizo's Shackled City adventure path during the afternoon, and starting this Sunday, I'll be playing in Shadowrun 4th edition campaign. I've still got 2nd edition on my shelf, but never actually played that system. If I wanted to use the Shadowrun setting, i'd just cobble together something with BESM or GURPS- I've never liked the older edition's rules, and this will be my first experience with the 4th edition. So far, having finished up character creation, I can say I really, really enjoy SR-4. It's very crunchy and fiddly- where in D20 Future, I'd just buy cybernetics, in SR-4 I'm actually picking out individual components and an operating system for my girl. I love that level of detail and immersion.

This is an actual conversation I had with another player, which is a damn good example of why I like the Shadowrun setting so much.

ME: "So what are you playing?"
MY BUDDY MARTIN: "A Chinese dwarf mage who works for the Tongs."
ME: "Chinese dwarf, cool. I've got a Hispanic Elf pornostar."

Yes, I'm playing the 'face' of the group, the negotiator/blackmailer/seductress. I'm pleased to announce that my girl has some very well chosen cyber-systems that allow her to record every sensation she ever experiences- she's got a full SimSense studio in her head, an absurd amount of wealth and contacts and a nasty sociopathic, emotionless (but she can fake emotions convincingly) disosition. I'm picturing her as some kind of unholy cross between Emma Frost and Lt. Kavanaugh (from the Shield).

So I'll keep you updated on Arwyn Unchained (TM), who pays a liscensing fee to the Tolkien estate for her stage name, and let you know how long she survives.

And did I mention the guy running the campaign is a former Army MP with a shit-ton of security experience? This is going to fucking rock.

Saturday, January 31, 2009


Okay, I just sent off Otherverse America to Mark for posting... expect Otherverse America for sale in a couple of weeks, at most. The campaign setting tops 320 pages of very, very dense content. I've also included a printer friendly, no art edition, which tops out at about 100 fewer pages.

One of the things I'm most proud of is the fact this is a huge, guaranteed to be controversial, attention-grabbing and unique setting. In terms of content, I'd put it up against anything WOTC or Green Ronin ever put out, and its a solo project. With the exception of some stock art and stock images, I bled into every line of the sourcebook. The fact I did everything myself means no matter how many or how few PDFs I sell, I make money, and there is literally no way I can lose money. Even taking into account the cost of the stock art peices I used, if I sell two copies I make a profit. Freed from the worry about breaking even, I can put out some really ambitious stuff, at my own pace, answerable to noone but myself, and in so doing create a really personal, really ambitious project.

Hopefully, my faith in the setting and pride in what I've accomplished is justified, and you all pick up a copy and enjoy it.

One thing to note- after finishing writing, drawing and laying out a 320 page behemoth, I am definitely ready to take a bit of a break. Expect some light, quick stuff, including some fantasy stuff and maybe some freelance modern crime/espionage stuff for Louis.

Anyway, have a good one, and enjoy the Superbowl tomorrow.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Otherverse America is coming together!

Late Wednesday night, I finished the layout for the Otherverse America campaign setting. Epic undertaking does not begin to describe this. I used the layout and design lessons from Mil-Tech 09, which is my best looking project to date, and produced a very, very slick looking project.

The core sourcebook is around 320 pages, and covers ALOT of ground. In addition to the regular edition, I put together a no-art, printer friendly edition, which will be bundled with every purchase. The no-frills edition is around 200 pages of 12 pt, double column goodness.

I'm going to take a second look at everything this weekend, make sure the release is legible and than send it off for Mark to put up for sale. Look for this big, beautiful badass in a couple of weeks.

Oh, if you're interested, there's some new free material at our sales site.... follow this lovely little link:

I'll start working on the APEX and Federal Government sourcebook for Otherverse America soon enough. however, after the sheer effort of putting a 320 page core worldbook out singlehanded, I am a bit hungry for some quick, easy, punchy fun little products. I'll probally put together some fantasy releases and maybe another Free20 release, because those are always a good mental vacation for me... a perfect palate cleanser after a big project like Otherverse America.

Anyway, have a good one,


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

G T K G is out!

It's amazing you work the weekend and you miss the first official release in the Otherverse America campaign setting. Mark just coded the flash preview and put up Guide to the Known Galaxy up at all the usual sales sites. I'm hoping some of you have picked it up already, and hope you enjoy the dozen-plus new alien races, tons of new feats and cool new monsters.

Right now, I'm finishing up the art for Otherverse America, which is coming together very, very quickly. I'm actually planning to engage the services (read: beg and hope she's off work two Thursdays from now) of a pretty talented photographer I know to assemble some photos of the Jan 22 protests to fill out the roster of illustrations. The hardest part, of course, will be finding shots that are dynamic and can easily be maniped for a futuristic look. Of course, if my friend isn't available, I might end up just taking the pictures myself and see how that comes out.

Right now, I've got a bit of 'crunch' for you guys to savor. The last preview focused on the sociology and pop culture of the Otherverse, so this preview includes a new weapon to play with.

Here is the write up of an iconic "Lifer" weapon, the fearsome and ultra-heavily armed Judgment power armor. It's built using the rules for power armor construction found in the Psi-Watch campaign setting.

“Judgment” Rescue-Oriented Urban Combat Exo-Frame (PL 7)

Defeating even a single Judgment exo-frame is a job for an entire Choicer squad, or a full team of well trained metahumans, and even then is rarely possible without massive causalities. The Judgment epitomizes the Lifer military’s basic ethos: victory through overwhelming firepower, delivered by a committed Rescuer wearing a suit of power armor with more destructive capability than an entire 20th century tank platoon. This hulking shell suit can end a fight purely by virtue of its appearance on the battlefield- many enemies will surrender or retreat rather than facing one of these heavily armed behemoths head on.

Physical Description: The Judgment is a walking tank which stands nearly fifteen feet tall, and weighs more than four tons, blurring the line between man-portable power armor and robot vehicle.

The Judgment has almost simian proportions, with long, powerful arms and mammoth hands. The Judgment walks with a slightly hunched over posture, burdened by the weight of the pilot’s compartment and weapons load out on its back, contributing to its apelike appearance. The Judgment’s lower legs are thick and stocky, ending in spatualte elephant like feet, designed to keep the top heavy, multi-ton vehicle stable as it maneuvers.

The Judgment’s most fearsome weapons- its Firefog Dispenser and Liberty fusion cannon- are stored in a blunt, almost mushroom shaped weapon pod rising from its spinal armor. The right shoulder mounted weapons pod slides forward and locks into place when the pilot wishes to fire the Judgment’s main gun. A forest of small antenna, sensor nodes and sodium-vapor floodlights rise from the pilot’s left shoulder. The Judgment’s mini-missile launchers are concealed in a bracer like structure built into its left forearm. To fire, the Judgment pilot simply points and shoots.

Like all Lifer equipment, the Judgment is painted a dark, regal purple, with joints and vulnerable areas protected by thick grayish-black ballistic Kevlar and rubber. Most of the armor is dominated by integrated LCD display screens, which run a constant loop of gory fetal images and anti-abortion theology. The armor’s bulky shoulders, barrel chest, abdominal, groin and knee plating, not to mention its forearms all incorporate high resolution display screens.

The armor’s helmet is actually a sculpted sensor pod, as the cockpit protects the pilot’s actual head. The faux helmet rises out of the armor’s powerful torso, giving the suit a bullnecked, animalistic appearance. The armor’s headpiece is designed for intimidation, resembling an horrid, mechanical skull carved from some type of durable grayish-white ceramic. In place of a lower jaw, the skull has something resembling a futuristic gasmask. The cranial dome skull is longer and taller than a human’s, protected beneath a heavy, triple-pronged purple metal crown carved in imitation of Artemis’ own.

The pilot enters the suit through a loading hatch in the center of the armor’s back. The suit’s cockpit is incredibly claustrophobic. The pilot controls the suit from a semi-reclining position, with his lower legs near the armor’s groin, and his head at the suit’s neckline. The pilot controls the suit through verbal and subvocal commands, nerve impulses read and transmitted by the Judgment’s pilot-interface ‘skullcap’ and ergonomically designed manual controls, which were intentionally designed to mimic the familiar mouse/keyboard interface of first-person-shooters.

“Judgment” Rescue-Oriented Urban Combat Exo-Frame
Standard PL 7 Design Specs
Size: Huge Exo-Frame designed to be worn by a Medium Pilot
Superstructure: Neutronite
External Armor: None standard
Armor Penalty: -4
Strength Bonus: +15
Dexterity Bonus: +0
Speed: 20 ft , flightspeed 30 ft (clumsy, but has hover capability)
Bonus Hit Points: 220
Hardness: 30
Fire Resistance: 10
Defense Bonus: -2 size
Reach: 10 ft

Additional Modifiers: Charisma based skills have their DC increased by +4 when used on armored pilot. Immune to fear and mind influencing effects. Blindsight 180 ft. Armor recovers 1d10 HP per hour of non-use.

Suit Sentience: Intelligence and Wisdom scores of 12 each. Sentience has the following skill ranks: +5 Spot, +4 Listen, +2 Knowledge: theology & philosophy, +2 Knowledge: tactics.

Template: Heavy Combat Class; slower and bulkier but more heavily armored than a typical suit of armor.

Standard Sensors and Equipment: Comfort Lining, Life Support, Spaceskin, Pilot’s Cockpit (Back and Belt slots), Pseudo-Muscle Endoskeleton (torso), Thoughtshield (helmet) Suit Sentience (left leg), Advanced Diagnostics (right leg) Hostile Environment Cladding (right arm) Reluctance Field (visor), AP-121 Liberty Fusion Cannon (back), Pencilbox Missile Launcher (left arm), Firefog Dispenser (shoulders), Smartpulse Hitter (helmet)

Standard Weapons Loadout:
Slam 2d6 +STR modifier
Reluctance Field (Target is nauseated within 50 ft of armor, FORT Save DC 22 target is sickened instead)
AP-121 Liberty Fusion Cannon (200 ft range, 30 ft blast radius 8d8 fire + Highly Irradiated for 1 round, REF DC 18 half)
Pencil Box Missile Launcher (4 missile tubes, variable load, 200 ft range)
Firefog Dispenser (30 ft radius, 6d6 fire damage, REF DC 18 Half, triggered by anything moving faster than 10 ft per round through affected area)
Smartpulse Hitter (200 ft max range, 2d6 bludgeoning + 1d6 per each 50 ft traveled, to maximum range)

Base Purchase DC: 47 (Restriction rating: Military +3)

Suit Variants: The “Baby Judgment” is a miniaturized, Shell Suit version of the Judgment Exo-Frame. The Baby Judgment is a relatively new weapon in the Lifer arsenal, developed post-War, and has not yet seen wide use in combat. The Baby Judgment is described below. The Baby Judgment is a slightly cheaper, smaller and more maneuverable suit of armor, which loses very little of the Judgment’s formidable ability to deal death.