Thursday, January 14, 2010

Looking Forward and Back

Okay, so why do I have an Image Comics cover up on my blog? Well, it should probably give you an idea of the content of this post: Psi-Watch. First, just want to say that I sent Mark a second draft of Campaign Components: Firearms (now referred to as a Campaign Overlay) for his read through. Im excited about the project, because at this point, I only have three hard copy books to my credit, and I want some more! Anyway, I have a feeling CO: Firearms will be a kick ass product, especially with the last revisions laid down.

Also, I decided that the Lifer sourcebook I'm working on will become a smaller, more concise and thematically 'tighter' mini-splat focusing exclusively on the Neverborn species. When I get some cash together, I'll send Amanda the manuscript and get some more excellent art out of her, and maybe if I can start expanding my stable of artists too. Look for the Neverborn splat and a few other Otherverse Products in the next couple of months.

Now, the real meat and potatoes of this post. I'm thinking of putting out a revised and expanded version of Psi-Watch sometime this spring... probably around Easter if my estimate of the work time I will require is on-spot.

Now, I always begin a project the same way. Some initial notes and design goals for myself, written in a pretty much free-flowing, stream of consciousness style. Here are my initial notes for Psi-Watch revised, which I'm tentatively branding as Psi-Watch: Unlimited Edition. Obviously, my increasing skills in layout and design mean the Unlimited Edition is going to look a LOT better, but here's an idea of what you can expect content-wise. Note that since this is really just written for my own use, it may be a bit cryptic, but you should figure out what I'm talking about....

Talk to you later.


1. I’m not satisfied with the Blooded Ghosts- either make them more powerful, more exotic and unique to play, with some feats, starting occupations, classes ect of their own or cut them.

2. Likewise, I never made the Shiftsteel Symbionts COSMIC enough. They don’t feel important enough, well described enough, and don’t really fit. Do more with them, bc they seem like they could be a key element of the metafiction.

3. I like the Patriot Mutates, and I want to add more material to it, another few mutates. The grim, low tech and violent, crude tech 1970s, this weird new tech being tested in the jungles of ‘Nam. (Where Mung Thoy Than supplied weapons and arms to the bad guys, fought against US interests, a very dirty, cold war era story)

4. Racial abilities, feats, cultural touchstones for every race on the level of what the Culture got. More unique content for each one! Do themed sections in the feats chapter corresponding to each race! Put a go-to guide with the page number on the margin and maybe a hot link if I can figure it out.


1. I like everything I’ve got, and I want to simply include more. Classes were the best part. Give everything a second eye for balance, add more optional class features, more action enhancements, ect. Right off the bat, I’m worried that the Nanosculptor is too wordy and not really as powerful as she seems,as powerful as the Engineer should be.

2. Same question: is the Final Sword overpowered with bonus attacks tied to her ranks in art?

3. Pull in and expand the Powered Hero from Otherverse America. New talent trees, Sniper, Mechanic/Fixer, Ghost, Microbe, Nullifier, Elemental (req: Warbody I), disadvantages and prestige abilities, maybe a few more. Make it a very deep, Ultimates-style superhero creation tool. Maybe add the Lifechain superpowers from GTKG????

4. Starting occupation- pull in tube grown from whatever draft I did, assault clone, narsiscian clone, military occupations, child soldier from the defunct D20 Decade (maybe Mustard Men, Spy Master and Arcadians as well?)

5. Starting occupations for every race.

6. A greater sense of the beard stubble, hypermasculinity of the source material- more of a feeling of grizzled veterans of Vietnam, Styker, Cabbot, Cable….. what it’s implied they went through and what we see Team One go through in the Chuck Dixon miniseries. Make that, along with Metal Gear Solid canon, a primary influence.

7. Spy movie cliché plot generator, halfway tongue in cheek, halfway serious and very cool.


1. Lots more of everything. More vehicles, get more vehicular stock. F.P.S inspired weapons- Nectar from Haze, the geo-grenades from Fracture, other cool gaming weapons- one shot kill energy sword for the culture (Halo)

2. Since most of the feats from PsiWatch are reprinted in Otherverse America, a free product, and still available easily to readers, pull the military feats from the script, and use the page count for more and better original material.

I bolded this one because I figure of all the modifications, this decision will probably interest gamers most.

3. Expanded world info- dramatically as well as stuff built into the crunch that tells about the state fo the world. More on Huxley Emergence, some of the galaxy spanning material from the MN sourcebook is included here, more on the MN/Huxley and Culture conspiracy… make it obvious the Culture are cultural imperialist elves, and they’re funding the H.E. for their own ends.

4. A Genosha style nation that uses clones, mutates, ect as slaves and soldiers. Slave stock starting race, or occupation with a waste recycling slave suit, weird Claremont bondage…. An entire nation of doms & subs, but who really has the power, do the slaves really rule the island?

5. A monster manual in the back. On deck: more powerful, non playable Blood Ghost elites, ruling class monsters like Helspont or Despot- powered demi-gods….. ready to use combat robots, mercenary elites, Powered heroes at various levels, each with some basic personalities grafted to the stats- 2-3 biologies per stat block, so you can reuse and re-skin as needed, grunts for each faction- MTT Snake Current thugs (mid), Detroit powered gangers (low) Huxley guards (decent), Culture FS ninjas (elite)

Look upon that blurb and smile, Psi-Watch players!

6. Rework D20 Future’s random mutant chart for a deformities and secondary power system for muties. Powered Hero options, racial option are primary- the D20 Mutation rules are more of a secondary ability, an ace in the hole, a mix of borgs and mutants like Cyberforce, Bloodstrike…. While I’m at it, make the Gravediggers a lot cooler, and a lot more like Ultimate Soldier/Bloodstrike- more individual, less robotic… right now, they’re just Superpatriot/Robocop… the other is more fun & less moody….

7. Pull in some life chain stuff and GTNG races? Start buying up art in prep for a GTNG re-release? That way I can re-use the assets as needed. Off the top of my head, I want to include: Jigsaw and Ejawfe- really round out the Galactic Scar, though those two might be too similar. Likewise I never really did anything with the Polyflor, the snake race (can’t even remember what it’s called now)… the book was basically Jigsaw & Ejaw which were cool and original, the Stonecutters and Half Grey who are iconic and a bunch of also rans.

8. Patriot Hawk- birdman/Archangel type race- do the feather wing stock from Action RPG Counters, or the metal winged archangel type?

9. Rework the shell system dramatically- make it more effects based, less wordy, more standard and easy to use, but with more potential depth. The tier system might work, or something else? Maybe something like FFX style sphere-grids to represent invention- each suit comes with armor, speed, strength enhancement, damage output determined by weight class and size, and can field additional Slots- mobility slot, sensory slots, secondary weapon slots, gadget/comms slots- one or two of each, based on the class of the shell suit- Armor is divided by wieght class (shell, exoframe, ect) and by purpose (recon, assault, comms). Determines how many dedicated each suit has and how many freefloating extra slots....

10. A review mentioned they wanted to see more real world politics- focus on the politics of the 1990s, domestic militia terrorism (but keep it distinct from the Lifers) Iraq- G W Bush was killed while still Gov of TX (big smile!), while at an Astros game with his dad by an Iraqi supervillian, Sept 11 probably didn’t happen, or was the date of a concentrated metahuman assault on America by Iraq, the Taliban and MTT and other villain countries-maybe the setting is an occupied America, where the heroes have to fight for freedom, ground warfare-

11. Add in a section at the end for 100 plot hooks for Psi-Watch filled with comic injokes and lore…

Readers and regular buyers, if you have anything you would like to see in a revised Psi-Watch please leave me a comment here. Your comments will determine what Psi-Watch 2.0 looks like in a very tangible sense.

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