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,