Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Neverborn Again is finished, Psi-Watch and Black Tokyo II Next Up

Okay, I just finished the Neverborn Again sourcebook last night, and it should be appearing at all the usual sales sites within the next couple of days.

It's probably the darkest, most satirical thing I've done, and this is for Otherverse America, which is a pretty fuckin' bizarre setting to begin with. It's also beautiful. When I said the book is dark, I don't just mean in terms of content- since it focuses on the Lifers, the primary costuming colors are black, grey and purple, giving the whole thing a very regal, somber look. I'm also using the simpler, cleaner layout style I used for Coven of Bast, and playing around with formatting alot.

The book opens with some amazing Amanda Webb artwork I haven't shown here, and then a few pages of opening fiction before I run the credits. Pushing the credits back to page 8 gives the thing a nice, cinematic feel. It's something you see in movies, TV shows, and comics, but not often in RPG books, so I'm curious how that layout decision is received.

Anyway, I had alot of fun writing Neverborn Again.... about halfway through I realized that with the creation of a new villain for the setting, I'm taking things in a weird new direction. I mentioned something in Otherverse America, brought it up again in Coven of Bast and with this splat, I really pick up the tread of ideology-based AI and emergent intelligence. The book's 'secret' is very cyberpunk, but nicely twisted.

Anyway, I'll be putting out a few more Otherverse America releases this year. My next will likely be a State of the Otherverse tech-book focusing on Object Philosophies, sorta revamping this key element of the setting and exploring a theme I've realized I've stumbled into with these writing: In Otherverse America the technology is so advanced, so completely post-human and Warren Ellis-ey that ideology determines physiology. Should be something fun to explore.

I've got titles for a few other faction splats, though the contents are tentative. I'm thinking of doing a sourcebook on the young, the poor and angry called "All Teenagers Are Terrorists" and then another Choicer faction-splat titled "Maiden, Mother and Crone".

Over to the left is the inked cover art for Psi-Watch version 2.0. I just got it from Rudolfo Montemayor, and though it turned into a pretty huge chunk of the Psi-Watch art budget, I'm thinking it's worth it. Look at that badass! I gave him a draft of the revision, told him to give me a big, dynamic fight scene that felt like the cover to an Image comic, circa 1994, and he knocked it outta the park. I'm really pleased with this. I've been staring at this art for 10 minutes, just soaking in the little details.

Finally, I've pretty much finished the Black Tokyo II revision, and Mark and I will begin working on it in depth as soon as Campaign Options: Fantasy Firearms is done. CO: Fantasy Firearms will be a print release, and I'm excited about that. I love the ego-boost of seeing a sourcebook I've sweated into on my shelf. Right now, I've got three: Against the Darkness (Tabletop Adventures), Mother of All Treasure Tables (Necromancer Games) and Koboldnomicon (Bards & Sages). Having a fourth hard-copy release will be awesome, and I don't think it will be the last print release from Skortched Urf with my fingerprints on it.

Blessed Be,

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Shiftsteel Symbiont Artwork

Pretty, pretty pretty. Over to the left is the Shifsteel Symbiont racial illustration from the upcoming Psi-Watch.

Just a quick update:

I've added about 10K words to Black Tokyo II and will be sending the revised manuscript off to Mark. I've got a few more pieces from Amanda coming, as well as some really neat artwork already in the can.

I went back and added about 3K additional words to the Neverborn sourcebook, some last minute ideas that pick up some themes I'd placed earlier in the text. I've got the artwork in and I'll be laying out in a day or two. Expect this one in a couple of days.

Finally, artwork for Psi-Watch is trickling in gradually. I'll have everything in a few more weeks. Just today, I saw rough sketches for the Blooded Ghost player race and the Fuji-analogue race, as well as a sketch of one of the setting's major villians. He's a Blooded Ghost overlord, analogous to Helspont in the comics. I'll be using him as the center piece of a 'monster manual' supplement which I'll release shortly after Psi-Watch itself.

Anyway, enjoy your fertility rituals tonight,

Monday, February 8, 2010

If you live in Virginia....

Just saw this on MSNBC.....

If you live in Virginia, drop a line to your political weasels and let them know you want this plate. It infuriates me beyond all reason when I see an anti-choice plate (as I did when I was stationed in Florida) and a pro-choice plate would be a nice counterbalance.

Lets hope this plate gets into circulation.


2010 is going to be an awesome year!

Things are coming together very nicely and I'll be putting out alot of high profile projects in Spring 2010. The image to the right is a character illustration from the Neverborn racial Sourcebook, done by the excellent Amanda Webb.

I've got almost all of the art I need for this project and will be laying out the Neverborn racial splat in a few days, once the last pieces trickle in. I'm looking forward to it, as it represents a very nice, integrated view of a race and culture.

Next on deck is Psi-Watch Ver 2.0. Again, I've got a bunch of awesome art on the way from Amanda, and Rudolfo Montemayor, who did some of my favorite Image-style illustrations from the LPJD Image Portfolios in the original release will be contributing an original cover.

I'm looking forward to that. I sent him a draft, told him to pick out any elements he thought were cool and draw something badass.

Finally, after a while on the back burner, Black Tokyo II is nearing completion. Spurred by a question here, I got in touch with Mark the other night to find out exactly what's going on with it. Expect it soon! I'm also revisiting the manuscript. Just last night I added around 3K new words, a new major villainous organization and some new feats.

I'd like to include Black Tokyo specific starting occupations or character templates, some new monsters and at least one new class to the manuscript- lolita superheroines inspired by the Strike Witches anime. I also want to include some more monsters and keep putting my diseased spin on some traditional Japanese monsters.

I've also got a stronger narrative hook and theme for BT II: how women react to living in this fucked up, misogynist world and how they either strengthen themselves or mutilate themselves to survive. Should be interesting.

Oh hey want a preview of Black Tokyo II's table of contents?

I'm only half way joking. This particular page is probably my favorite Wikipedia entry, and one I've got immeasurable use out of.

Anyway, have a good one.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Waiting on Art!

Okay, that image to the left gives me way too much joy. I'm putting it up here because not only is it very awesome, it sorta thematically ties to my upcoming project.

So I've finished up the script for my Neverborn Sourcebook, which is going to be the best damn race-splat in gaming history. I've got Amanda working on the art for it, and can't wait to start laying it out.

In a more mainstream vein, Psi-Watch is proceeding very swiftly. I've finished revising the original manuscript, including the Power Armor creation system (let me tell you that was a pain in the ass, but I do it out of love for you, my readers). The manuscript is humming along nicely- even with some filler material taken out (the teamwork feats which were mostly just a reprint from an earlier sourcebook) the new manuscript is about 10,000 words longer than the original draft of Psi-Watch.

I have taken out a few things. The Gravity Cat race got pulled from Psi-Watch, because they migrated to Galaxy Command, where they're a better fit. Instead of the more generic cat-aliens I've done some stuff with the new Mutant race that is a better thematic fit for feral killer muties as they appear in comics like X-Force and Youngblood. I've also pulled the Light Reconstruction Cyborg race because I did everything I needed to with them in State of the Otherverse: Cybernetics Armory. I feel like I pushed that concept as far as I could go, with cyborg feats, starting occupations, a real sense of history and lots of new gadgets. Basically I did more with the LR Cyborg race in a standalone product than I would be able to with a more limited page count as part of a larger work.

In terms of what I've added.... I've added a few new races, and before it's all said and done I'll probably one or two more. Right now, I believe I'm at 15 player races, plus humans. I would love to get it to 17 and 20 is a nice round number, right?

I originally intented to include a monster manual in the Psi-Watch Core Book, but as I progress further I've started thinking about making the "MM" a standalone product. I think it will sell very well, and I don't have to worry so much about making a brick of a sourcebook this way. I have a feeling that Psi-Watch will top 250 pages as is, and might balloon quickly to the size of Otherverse America as I keep tweaking it.

One reason for my writing of big sourcebooks is that I personally LOVE big sourcebooks. I know asking 15 -20 bucks for a PDF is a fairly big entertainment expense, so I feel guilty if I don't put out value for dollars. Also, I'm just a wordy bastard. I usually keep noodling around a concept until I feel I've explored it as far as I can go, and that usually results in big, rambling word counts.

Anyway, I've also got some fantasy stuff coming out, and I've got some great news art wise. It looks like Amanda Webb will be publishing some stock art of her own, under the name MandaPandaStocks! If you've liked her stuff in my releases, be sure to pick up the packs when the release, and say some good things about her on okay?

Talk to you later. I'll probably post the table of contents for Psi-Watch in a few days, give you an idea of the changes I've made. Take it as tentative though, because something tells me I'm not quite done with the manuscript yet.

Blessed Be,