Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pirates of the Bronze Sky

So I'd been waiting for Louis to announce it formally on his blog.... I've been named as the Head Weasel in Charge of the new Pirates of the Bronze Sky campaign setting. The image to the right is the cover, and hey: pirate tits!

So what is Pirates of the Bronze Sky about anyway? Over the last week or so, Louis and I have hashed out the major politics and ground rules of the setting. The campaign is going to a bit more swashbuckling, high-adventure and somewhat lighter than either of us are known for. Unlike Obsidian Twilight, which is basically D&D meets Zombie Hell, or Otherverse America which is all about religion, bigotry and civil war, Pirates will be a bit more cheerful, a bit more optimistic.

The basic tag line is this: Imagine the American Revolution taking place on floating islands drifting above an enormous gas giant planet. Simple and very, very memorable. We've got some really cool ideas for the various factions, and new races. Louis has already previewed two of the new races for free here:
and right here:

I've started up on a third race, as yet unnamed that will basically be a kind of sentient air elementals, which fits nicely with the themes of wind, freedom and movement I want to build into the setting.

Right now, the setting feels very cartoony, which to me is a good thing. Cartoons like He-Man and comics were my introduction to fantasy; I was introduced to them years before I ever read Tolkien or played D&D. It's going to be a fun one to work on, especially giving each nation in the setting its own distinct feel. One of the things we want to do, since this is a setting at war is make your character's nation as important as his or her race, if not more so. The different factions are a mix of historic cultures, some fantasy elements and just plain WEIRD, all thrown into a blender together and set on frappé.

There will, despite the obvious fantasy elements like sky-pirates, 4 armed rhino men and living wind, be recognizable and surprisingly correct bits of Revolutionary era and Golden Age of Piracy era history thrown into the mix, which will give the history pendants among our fans, and I know they're out there, something to digest.

Anyway, more on this as it develops, and I'll post updates and previews fairly regularly over the next couple of months.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Here's a new piece from Amanda. It's illustrating a fairly standard Lifer character wearing a new piece of gear found in the Otherverse Armory, my next sourcebook.

“Baby Bones” Smartcloth
This expensive product of the nano-tech revolution is worn by any Lifer street rescuer who can afford or steal it. Outwardly a simple cloth bandana worn over the nose and mouth, the smartcloth acts as a chemical filtration unit, protecting the wearer from poisons, gasses and bio-war agents. Nano-computers and imaging software also takes a real-time X-ray snapshot of the wearer’s skeletal structure, and displays a high resolution skeletal façade on its smartcloth surface. The end result is eerie but practical, perfect for Lifer culture.

Any character wearing “Baby Bones” smartcloth receives a +6 equipment bonus on FORT saves against inhalation toxins and disease.

“Baby Bones” Smartcloth
Size: Tiny
Weight: Negligible
Purchase DC: 16
Restriction Rating: None

I'm previewing the Smartcloth and the related image here first and foremost because that is one kick ass image. I know that I'll get some use of it too, and it will become one of the definitive Lifer cultural illustrations.

Anyway, just wanted to show off some cool new art and let you know what I'm working on next.
Blessed Be,

Friday, September 10, 2010

Freeform Anthro, Black Tokyo II, Guns of the Otherverse and Two Dozen Projects for Louis

Right now, I’m working on several projects. On the work for hire front, my Two Dozen Dangers series for LPJ Designs has gone over amazingly well, and I’ll be on some free material for Louis’ blog, in the same vein. We’ve got about a month’s worth of daily content in the can already and more on the way.

I’m going to be putting out a tech book for Otherverse America which consolidates all the gadgets and weapons found in the setting’s various sourcebooks in one place. I’ve been considering a revamp and rerelease of the core book, but instead, I’ve decided to focus on several ‘core’ books each covering a discrete subject. Sexually Transmitted Future will expand on the Softlings and Fluxminx from the APEX sourcebook, as well as revamp the genetic engineering rules. The Otherverse Armory will be the main tech book, but also has a lot of cultural context and content inside, details about the daily life in the setting.

My favorite sci-fi settings have insane levels of detail and color, and while I’ve always had that for Otherverse America, the more I write the sharper the world comes into focus for me. Every product I put out for the setting suprizes me a bit, because it takes my basic idea of “abortion + military sci-fi” and twists it a little bit more, makes it a little bit deeper. Each time I sit down to write, I go a bit deeper into the Choicer neighborhoods and the Lifer Enclaves. I see it a bit clearer, and frankly I get better at this, and I hope that you as readers notice that too.
I’ve been having a lot of fun putting these two books together, and can’t wait to get the final art so I can piece the releases together and get them out.

In other news, in what will be a very welcome bit of info for some fans here, Black Tokyo II is coming together. Look for a PDF release around Halloween/Samhain. Tentacle rape is back on the menu, boys!

Finally, I’m finally revising and re-jiggering Freeform Anthropomorphica. We’ve found some sweet new art for it, and at the same time we’re gathering resources for a possible POD release, I’m revisiting the rules and cleaning them up. I originally wrote it for D&D 3.5 and converted it over to Pathfinder at the beginning of that license. Looking back on the manuscript, I can tell it was an early attempt at a modified ruleset, and the conversion wasn’t as slick as it should have been. I’m fixing that up, and adding a lot more world information to the re-release.

(I spent all last night going through and making sure all the anthro races had a +2 net ability score modifier. The original 3.5 based draft had a +0 net modifier, so converting everything over, and hunting down the last few references to Hide checks took a couple of tedious but necessary hours.)

Look for at least one campaign setting in the rebuilt FA, and maybe several mini-campaigns, similar to the mini-campaigns presented in the WOTC D20 Future sourcebook. I’m still trying to decide if one world or multiple small worlds would be a) more useful to you, the buyers, and b) more fun for me to write. Drop me a line in the comments: do you want one mid-sized to large campaign world in FA or several smaller mini-campaigns you can expand yourself?

Finally, I joined the 21st Century and got a Facebook page, over to the right of the screen. Go friend me.
Blessed Be,