Monday, January 31, 2011

Geek Weekend

So I spent this weekend in San Antonio, visiting with some old friends of mine. It was a good vacation from Kerrville, and a chance for a geek weekend with the boys. I finally saw Avatar, Red and Zombieland…. I’d been waiting till I could get together with these guys to watch it. I’d been asked to come down multiple times, but just couldn’t swing it, which meant when I finally did come down, I was treated like visiting royalty. I enjoyed some fine Mexican food, Halo:Reach until the wee hours of the morning and rampaged through San Antonio’s comic shops and used book stores.

My list of swag is pretty impressive. The only thing I couldn’t find is Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition- that thing was sold out everywhere I went. I can get the PDF, but I’m liking the liscensing agreement Green Ronin put out and would like to produce M&M3 content. I can do that with a PDF but, I really prefer having a hard copy of the rules I can reference- and printing and binding the PDF would end up costing as much as the hard copy and not be as durable. I’ll end up getting the hard copy sooner or later, but for now, I’m glad for Green Ronin.

So what did I find?

First, I found one of the best roleplaying supplements ever: Federation of Magic for Rifts. Still one of my favorite sourcebooks, filled with tons of good ideas. I lost my original copy before I went into the Navy, and never was able to find a replacement. And with FoM, I picked up the old edition of the Rifts corebook (my copy is still in Corpus Christi in storage). It’s an amazing read, and maybe I can get a game going up here. I’ve always had a blast GMing Rifts.

I also picked up a copy of IDW’s G.I. Joe: Cobra issue 12…. I won’t spoil it too much for you, but some major shit goes down this issue. It’s the first actual issue of a comic I’ve bought in like four years…. And the content and the quality of the death inside is worth it. Loved this issue and can’t wait to see what’s coming next.

About a year or two ago, Jim Shooter was brought on board to write Legion for 12 issues- it was the ‘teen rebellion’ legion that Waid and Kitson came up with but Shooter made it worth reading. The man did some of the definitive LoSH stories back in the 60s, and fortunately, he’s still got it. Unlike Stan Lee, whose writing style has seemed to stagnate, Shooter still tells an entertaining story. It’s very good sci-fi, and boasts some of the best art I’ve ever seen on the Legion. Francis Manapul’s art is very flashy and reminiscent of Mark Silvestri’s early stuff, with absolutely amazing backgrounds.

Plus, Shooter created about two dozen new characters, and set up a ton of new subplots to a comic that was going no where. He also played up the sex- there was a lot of casual hook ups in this run, which added a ton of drama and character to the team. The romance- especially Saturn Girl’s subplot was very well done. There were two trades of it, Legion: Enemy Rising and Enemy Manifest and I scored both of them.

I also picked up this absolutely huge Dark Horse omnibus containing every single Martha Washington story ever published, entitled “The Life and Times of Martha Washington in the 21st Century.” If you don’t know the comic is a absolutely bad ass mix of military sci-fi and social satire, and it’s by Frank Miller and Dave Gibbons. Seriously, if you like Otherverse America at all, go buy this fucker, it’ll be worth it, because I wish my stuff was half as cool. Anyway, at 600+ pages, this trade will stop bullets.

Finally, I found a copy of Witchcraft Today, by Gerald Gardner, who founded modern Wicca back in 1953. I’ve seen excerpts referenced in other books, but never read the whole thing. So I’m very curious what old Gerald has to say for himself. Should be interesting.

So basically- sci-fi and Wicca this weekend. Rock on.

Friday, January 28, 2011

One More Free PFRPG Armor Before Bed

One last He-Man inspired armor before bed.

Armor of Regency
Aura: strong enchantment CL: 15th
Slot: armor and cloak Price: 210,000 gp Weight 63 lbs

This ornately styled suit of baroque +3 full plate armor is presented to warrior kings upon their ascension to the throne, allowing professional soldiers to rule justly and well. Masterfully cut rubies are set into the armor’s gilded steel, and glow with a rhythmic pattern of internal light that seems to move and dance across the armor. A thick cloak of finest russet ermine is attached to the armor’s collar.

The wearer of the armor perceives social interactions as intricately plotted combat, and can excel at duels of words as easily as he can a sword-duel. The armor’s wearer experiences conversations and negotiations as if they were honorable duels, and can use the parts of his brain and soul that control his sword arm instead of the often less practiced parts of himself that govern his tongue.

The wearer of this suit may substitute a melee attack roll for any Diplomacy or Intimidate check he is called to make. This attack is a fleeting mental image, and a purely mental exercise- the wearer does not outwardly move or make any hostile gesture. Instead, he merely perceives himself slicing through arguments and cutting to the heart of the matter.

Only lawful characters may wear this armor. To non-lawful characters this armor is merely masterwork quality full plate of especially baroque design.

Requirements: Craft Magic Arms & Armor, mass charm monster, creator must be lawful
Cost: 125,000 gp

One More Free Armor

Why I'm doing this I don't know, but it's fun and I might have the beginnings of a fun little supplement in the work.

Rampart Plate
Aura: moderate abjuration CL: 8th
Slot: armor Price: 41,310 gp Weight 47 lbs

This +2 half plate armor is worn as a badge of honor and trust by well trained knights. A simple green steel cuirass is reinforced with heavy bronze plating. Intentionally designed to be asymmetric, the wearer’s ‘off shoulder’ is protected by a bulky, bulbous armor plate studded with three or four inch blunted screws. A retractable faceguard protects the wearer’s throat and jaw, deploying from the armor’s breast plate with a series of low clicks when needed.

When worn with any shield, the Rampart Plate improves the character’s Shield bonus to Armor Class by +2. Three times per day, by touching a jeweled stud over the right shoulder as a standard action, the wearer can activate ancient forcefield projectors built into the armor.

This armor provides the wearer with a +4 deflection bonus to Defense, as well as negating the effects of 1st through 3rd level spells. This glistening, golden aura remains in place for three minutes once activated.

Requirements: Craft Magic Arms & Armor, mage armor, lesser globe of invulnerability
Cost: 20,655 gp

Free Pathfinder RPG Armor

I'm not working on any thing in particular right now, so I thought I'd toss this up here for fun. I'll be heading down to San Antonio tomorrow and hitting the comic shops this weekend.

The Breast Plate of Rusting Pipes
Aura: moderate conjuration CL: 10th
Slot: armor Price: 75,000 gp Weight 42 lbs

This +1 Heavy Fortification Breast Plate is made from some strange, rusted orange alloy that rings like steel when struck. Bulky beyond the ability of most warriors to wear, this breast plate is not a single piece of steel- rather it is a twisted knot of pipes and pressure gauges that hiss enigmatically. Bulky vents built into the spinal plating and the lopsided and exceptionally bulky left shoulder plating belch out a foul smelling odor that only gets more intense as the battle wears on.

Anyone coming within 10 ft of the wearer of this strange armor is considered Sickened for as long as they remain near the armor and for 1d4 rounds afterward (FORT DC 12 negates). Anytime the wearer suffers a critical hit negated by the armor’s Heavy Fortification feature, the stench only gets more intense as strange pressures build within the armor. For one minute after the hit, those who fail their save are considered Nauseated.

The wearer becomes immune to inhalation toxins and poisons while wearing the air, including magical gasses. However, the armor’s bulk imposes a -8 armor check penalty.

Requirements: Craft Magic Arms & Armor, stinking cloud
Cost: 37,500 gp

Sunday, January 23, 2011

New Layout!

Hey, just taking a moment to redesign my blog. I've used the standard template for the last couple of years without any changes. I decided to play around with the look a bit tonight. This layout gives me more room for art, and a little better flow for the text. I picked red as the background because it ties into my main line of fiction: the Choicer nation in Otherverse America, and hopefully puts the reader into the right mindset for gaming the world. The look I'm going for is moderately futuristic, sleek and stylish. Hopefully, I got close. Let me know what you think.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Black Tokyo III Is Out! (NSFW)

More good news: Black Tokyo III: Tales of the Tatakama has just gone up at RPGnow. It's going to be a fun release- there's a new player race called the Daughters of Kirin. They're big, beautiful, glamorous and heroic women with unicorn blood. We've got a new advanced class called the Assault Witch: think the mecha-musumane anime Strike Witches and you're there. We've also got new starting talents that transforms an ordinary D20 Modern game into something uniquely Japanese, and a new selection of monsters.

So right now, in addition to plugging Black Tokyo, I'm restarting the dormant Dept Seven Advanced Class line. These new superheroic character options will support Psi-Watch, Otherverse America, Galaxy Command and occasionally Black Tokyo. The core concept between each new Advanced Class will be usable in any high power D20 Modern or D20 Future setting, while side bars throughout the text will detail the specifics of how the classes work in a particular world. I figure that my greatest strength is the fact I've got four very cool campaign settings. Supporting 'em can only bring in more profits.

Let me give you a visual hint of what I'm planning for the first articles for the line. Expect some advanced classes that let you play THESE GUYS:

Finally, let me drop something a bit unusual on you all. We all know I'm a Legion of Superheroes fan, especially a fan of Triad. Her origin story post Zero Hour during the early years of the post-Zero Hour run ranks as one of the best single issues I've ever read. My love for the character inspired Free20: Threeway, which detailed the Trius race for Galaxy Command.

Anyway, Triad is a favorite, and well... you know what? Black Tokyo III is out, Legion Lost is getting released in collected form at long last, and today's the Roe Anniversary. You know what. Fuck it, I feel like celebrating a bit. So take a look at some bizarre and wonderful thing I found while searching for LOSH artwork one day. It's NSFW in the extreme, and unfortunately I'm not sure who the artist is.

Anyway, talk to you later.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

DC Comics Finally Collects "Legion Lost"

Okay, DC- you've got an incredible artist who draws superheroes and mecha with equal proficiency. You've got, in Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning a literally best selling writing team- authors respected in sci-fi circles more than they are as comic writers thanks to their awesome Warhammer 40,000 novels. You've got a Legion of Superheroes story that's self contained, a great introduction to new readers and filled with some amazing moments.

And you idiots wait nearly 10 years to collect it in trade.

Well, good news. I just saw the solicits on Newsarama (here: and Legion Lost will finally be available as a $39.99 hardcover in June, with Legion of the Damned (the preceding story arc, available in April as a lower cost trade paperback). And I'm sure the Legion Lost hardback will be replaced with a lower cost TPB soon enough, I'm not waiting.

Hopefully, this means Legion Worlds and the restarted DnA Legion run will be coming in trade soon. And maybe, if we're good DC will release some of the amazing Jeff Moy penciled post-Zero Hour LOSH? Please?

Anyway, I feel like I should celebrate.

Look for some more D20 Modern superhero stuff soon, including an idea I just had for Galaxy Command.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Am I the only one who likes this?

Question: Are there any Internet nerds out there that aren't obsessively, compulsively negative? Seriously, I gotta stop reading comments on geek message boards.

Anyway, I kinda like the new costumes. They remind me, for some reason, of para-rescue gear. I also really like the innocent Mystique, who makes a new contrast to the hardline, and utterly badass mutant terrorist of the modern-era films. I have a feeling seeing Mystique's defection is going to be the dramatic high point of the film. I also kinda like the 'stereo speaker' built into Havok's chest. I wonder if those components light up when he fires?

Other then the fact her character is codenamed Angel (I'm wondering if she's bug-Angel from Morrison's run?), I know nothing about the Hispanic girl between Mystique and Havok. She's adorable though, and I certainly don't mind seeing more Hispanic superheroes.

I thought Azreal was a stupid idea in the comics, but the guy is such a blank slate there's a chance the movie might be able to do something cool with him. Right now, he looks like a skeevy, sexually manipulative asshole- which would make him a perfect fit for the Hellfire Club. And Emma Frost.... January Jones in lingerie is worth seeing in widescreen all by herself.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Draft of Black Tokyo III

I just saw a laid out draft of Black Tokyo III, which should be coming out in the next couple weeks. It's a nice clean layout and includes a new player race, new advanced class, and starting talents for Black Tokyo, among some other stuff. Clocking in at about 35 pages, it will be a good player and gamemaster guide to what's turned into my best selling and most popular campaign setting.

Anyway, I just figured I'd give everybody an update on what's going on with me. When my computer died, I lost my Adobe Pagemaker for good. Which really, really sucks, because I love the independence that program gave me. If I had an idea I could lay out a script in PDF form in a couple of hours and get it up on that night.

Right now, I'm saving up to get a copy of Adobe InDesign 5. The good news is I can probably score an academic license and save a couple hundred bucks on it, but I won't have it for a little while longer. Still, I'll get it soon enough. Once I get it, it'll take me a bit of time to learn the new program, but I figure I can learn on the job as I release smaller PDFs before jumping into Otherverse America Unlimited Edition or some other big ideas I've had.

In the mean time, I've been having to depend more on Louis and Mark to put stuff out on my behalf. Right now, I'm working on a revision of an older Devil's Workshop sourcebook- one of the first I did with Louis, infact. I realized that the old Accidents of Birth sourcebook I did, which deals with mutations and deformities, would be an absolutely perfect candidate for revision to the Pathfinder RPG. I plan to revise everything more in line with the D20 Future Mutation rules, because the old book (viewed as a more experienced game designer) was kinda all over the place. Anyway, I'm heading back to the draft of that.
Talk to you all later,

Comics Thoughts: Marvel Comics Siege

I just bought the trade of Siege- I know. I'm like a year behind continuity at this point, but still. I have to say I fucking loved it. The last big event I bought into was the Black Lantern story from DC last summer, and I was really disappointed by it. Not so with Siege. The story is every bit as continuity heavy, but was an incredible pay off to 3+ years of stories and build up.

Some things I especially liked: first, the story reminded me ALOT of Claremont's "Adversary" arc in X-Men. Unprepared superheroes have to enter an American city that's somehow been warped by magic and confront gods, while the media watches, broadcasting everything to the world. I loved that set up during Silvestri's run on X-Men and the premise is just as solid today.

Second, Oliver Copiel's art. This man draws tech better than anybody in comics. Some of my favorite scenes were the huge dog fight between the SHIELD jets and the helicarrier- granted it was a relatively minor scene, but those planes were awesome. Copiel was amazing on Legion of Superheroes, and he's only gotten better. (Though as a Legion fan, I really wish he'd re-visit that comic.)

Third.... that image up top. Reading this story, I got to the big splash page when the Avengers drop out of the sky, and I realized something. Captain America's emergency team is made up mostly of black guys and gay dudes. I'm not sure if Bendis even intended the symbolism, but that right there is a pretty powerful statement about America. It's an intensely political (and very cool) image, even if it's unintentional.

Anyway, if you haven't read it yet, go buy the trade. It'll be worth it.
Talk to you all later,

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Lines and Support

Last night, I made a list of the campaign settings I'm publishing through Otherverse Games and the products I've released specifically in support of each line. My list didn't include more general works, like most of the Dept. 7 Advanced Class line, which can support any of these four campaign settings, and didn't include cross over products (for instance, you can use Guide to the Known Galaxy in Galaxy Command pretty easily).

Over on the left, to give you something pretty to look at is an Amanda Webb design for a suit of Lifer powered armor. This big fellow will be menacing a Choicer mecha pilot in a comic style full page illo in the revised core book.

Otherverse America Campaign Setting
Revised Core Book (upcoming)
Otherverse America Game Master’s Guide (upcoming)
APEX (no longer canon, and soon to be free at
Guide to the Known Galaxy
The Coven of Bast
The Eleusinian Covenant
Neverborn Again
Razor Culture
Scion of the Pilgrim Advanced Class
Radiant Shaper Advanced Class
The Otherverse Armory
State of the Otherverse: Smartlights
State of the Otherverse: Cybernetic Armory
Free20: The Gorger

Galaxy Command Campaign Setting
The Space Mafia
The Adorable Avenger Advanced Class
The Planetary Champion Advanced Class
Stars and Nightmares
Free20: Threeway

Psi-Watch Unlimited Edition
Project Watchtower
Vector of Infection
Psi-Tech Declassified (upcoming)
Free20: Troublemaker

Black Tokyo Campaign Setting
Black Tokyo II: Chastity & Depravity
Tales of the Tatakama (upcoming)
Unnamed American Sourcebook (upcoming)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Another Shooting. Damn it.

"When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous," the sheriff said. "And unfortunately, Arizona I think has become the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry."

This is a quote, originally reported by MSNBC, by Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, who is investigating the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords, and the murder of a 9 fucking year old girl and a Federal judge, among others.

Fuck, I was hoping we'd at least get one month into the year without something fucking horrible happening.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Birthday Post

Neo-Witch Midwife: Dr. Julie Riddle (CR 5)
Dedicated Hero 4, Neo-Witch Midwife 1
Medium Human
Init +1 Senses Scent Aura none
Languages English, Spanish,
Allegiances pro-choice, good, The Eleusinian Mystery Cult, the Covenant
Defense 17, touch 15, flat-footed 16 (+1 DEX, +2 equipment, +4 class)
Resist Electricity 5, Fire 5, Force 5
HD (5d6+10) (28 HP)
Fort +4, Ref +3, Will +8

Speed 30 ft
Melee Space 5 ft x 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft
Base Atk +3; Grp +4
Atk Options +5 melee (implanted cyber-scalpel 1d4+2 slashing) or
+5 melee (unarmed strike 1d3+1 subudal) or
+4 ranged (Grimassi Needler Pistol, 1d8 ballistic + poison, 30 ft range increment, 30 round box magazine. Drawback: Needler pistol can’t affect targets with a natural or equipment bonus to Defense +3 or greater. )
(Poison: Lactic Retention Enzyme, FORT DC 14. Initial effect; Target is exhausted for 3d6 hours. Secondary effect: unconsciousness 1d6 hours)

Abilities STR 14 DEX 13 CON 14 INT 15 WIS 16 CHA 12
Starting Occupation Clinic Defender
Additional Class Skills Diplomacy, Knowledge (streetwise), Treat Injury.
Talents Healing Knack (+2 to Treat Injury checks), Skilled Surgeon (patients fatigued for ½ usual duration after surgery)
Feats Anointed Cleric, Iron Will, Meaningful Ink, Personal Firearms Proficiency, Reproductive Care, Simple Weapons Proficiency, Surgery
Affiliations None
Skills Computer Use +5, Craft (pharmaceutical) +6, Diplomacy +6*, Drive +2, Gather Information +2 *, Knowledge (earth & life sciences) +8, Knowledge (streetwise) +5, Knowledge (theology & philosophy) +10, Treat Injury +8 (Treat Injury +10 when providing Reproductive Care)
*gains a +2 morale bonus on checks made against fellow Choicers
Possessions Grimassi APSL-3 Needler Pistol, 2x spare clips, masterwork first aid kit, masterwork surgery kit, Witch’s Rings (1 attuned pair), Vestal Shawl, street clothes, ceremonial atheme

Cyber Implants and Smartlights Obstetrics Nanonics (shapeshifting limb becomes tool or Masterwork quality skill kit), R.E.M. Sleep Regulator (go without sleep for up to 4 days without ill effect)
Dreamscape Smartseed and Messenger (acts as virtual cellphone and PDA, has the following apps: Hot Zone, Media Djinn, Monthly Note, Psi-Alert, R&R Refresher, Symbol Scan)
Action Points 51 maximum (20+2d6 remaining)

Counselor (EX): After five minutes of conversation with any sentient creature with an INT score of at least 5, Dr. Julie Riddle may make a DC 18 Sense Motive check to gain insight to that person’s sexual history, beliefs and relationships.

Witch’s Rings (EX): Thanks to her high tech accessories, Dr. Riddle rolls d8s, rather than d6s when spending action points to improve the result of any skill check.

“My name is Dr. Julie Riddle, and I’m seventeen years old. I received my medical degree three months before my sixteenth birthday. I tend women’s needs, deliver newborns, and even perform abortions when I must.

I chose to have my right arm replaced by an advanced nanotech prosthesis, capable of altering its form into an almost infinite number of useful tools. I have a connection to the Mother that those far wiser than me consider profound, and I’m responsible for the spiritual needs of a covenhearth with over three hundred young souls, as well as for the advice I give to women older than my own mother.”
-Dr. Julie Riddle; Choice, Red and Raw Mesh-blog, first posted January 17, 2107.

Julie is a slender brunette girl of some undefined but mostly Anglo ancestry. She braids her hair with crimson thread, and usually wears a battered, but tough and comfortable rust-red sweater over cargo pants rather then the more feminine (and less practical) robes of a priestess-midwife. Her newly installed bionic arm is the rich red of new Porsche’s trademarked paintjob, and pulses in time with her heartbeat. Her forehead and cheeks are covered in spiraling ritual scars inscribed by a mono-molecular scalpel. Beneath her bulky clothes, a mystery seen only by her few lovers, the spiral designs continue down her belly and breasts and encircle her thighs like garters.

Campaign Use
Julie Riddle is emblematic of the young, committed women who become Neo-Witch Midwives. She lacks the young Vespa Nicellos’ wealth and connections, but she put in time as a clinic defender while attending seminary on a scholarship. Though this tough young Midwife wears vestal shawls today, she still misses the bulky old Kevlar vest she wore when she first started fighting for choice. This stat block can be used for any young Neo-Witch. Minus the class-exclusive cybernetics, this stat block might be any Choicer EMT, para-physician or unit medic.

Here's a preview of one of the prebuilt characters from the revised Otherverse America, and a pretty decent preview of the revised Neo-Witch Midwife class as a whole. If you want to play one, Julie's a good pre-gen. The art is a low rez copy of a piece by Mark Hyzer.

Anyway, have a good one.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year, New Art

Happy New Year, everyone. I thought I would preview some new artwork I've got coming in. This image depicts Life Tank, a powerful full conversion cyborg anti-abortion terrorist. I'll be using it as the class illustration for the Closer Advanced Class. I've currently got it as my computer's background. The artwork is by Alex Garcia.

This image is of a suit of Choicer powered armor, by Amanda Webb. There's still some additional work to be done, but she's got a nice sleek design. It will be part of an action scene depicting a few Choicer suits going toe to toe with a massive suit of Lifer armor... Hell depending on how big Amanda feels like drawing the bad guy, it might be properly classified as a Lifer mecha. The funny things, I never really planned to have full-on mecha in the campaign- since they're too big and unwieldy for actual urban combat, but if she wants to put one in, go for it. Sometime plausibility has to take a back seat to AWESOME.

Finally, this image is also by Alex Garcia. It's a shot of a Choicer Clinic Defender, which will be used in the starting occupations/character backgrounds section. Right now, the guy looks like a fairly generic sci-fi foot soldier, but the coloring and detailing on his kevlar vest will make alot of difference. Enjoy it just as a cool shot of a futuristic solider for today though.

That's all for today. Next time I'll show you some art for the Vindicator Advanced Class and some more race stuff. Oh, look for some work for hire stuff my me coming fairly soon, and maybe a new Dept. 7 Advanced Class.

Blessed Be,