Monday, August 29, 2011

Upcoming Sale!

Hey, the Revised Otherverse America core rulebook (which includes the Game Master's Guide) will be on sale at RPGnow very soon. To celebrate, I'm going to be doing a pretty comprehensive sale on Otherverse America supplements all throughout September.

Included in the sale will be:
Coven of Bast
The Eleusinian Covenant
Neverborn Again
The Otherverse Armory
Sexually Transmitted Future
Guide to the Known Galaxy
Species of Otherverse America
The Powered Hero Basic Class
Fundamental Forces
Tactical Upgrade 2107
...and maybe a few more titles I've forgotten. In short, since I want everybody to pick up and play the new Otherverse America corebook, every one of my pricey splat-books is going on sale! Micro-sourcebooks like the Techno-Magic of Bast or Razor Culture won't be affected.

Blessed Be,

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Today, I started laying out the Otherverse America Game Master's Guide, and thought I'd talk a little bit about how I laid out the core book, and why I chose that format. Every campaign book I've ever picked up lays out its information differently.

Rifts has a 500 word over view of the setting, then character generation rules and only then do we get history and world info. We get to know the heroes of the setting first, but we're making Dog Boys and Juicers and whatever without ever really getting to know the world they inhabit.

Eberron and Forgotten Realms follow the standard Wizards of the Coast format: races, classes, feats, prestige classes, world info, monsters, spells and items. It's okay, because at least we start off with a description of the races that inhabit the world.

Aberrant, like most White Wolf products, has 100+ pages of history and flavor text before we ever start assigning stats. We definitely know what the world's all about and can build characters that fit in, but the sheer weight of flavor text before rules might turn off some gamers.

So what's the right way to arrange a campaign guide? Fuck if I know. All of these layouts have strengths and weaknesses. What I did was lay out the book as if it were a character's life. The book starts with a birth, and then describes the world and the factions as if the character were literally born into and growing up in Otherverse America. The first 120 pages or so are all history and setting info, but through out the fluff, there are Affiliations- groups players can sign on with and get a bonus similar to a feat. The affiliations mentioned during the first chapters are all available to first level characters- they're things like Choicer clinic defender organizations that characters can belong to in their teens.

Next, I've got the settings starting occupations and birthright feats, which can only be chosen at first level. Now, the characters feel like high school or college students, or boot camp recruits, or whatever, just starting out. After that I've got Advanced Classes, feats and powers. Finally, I've got 'advanced' affiliations that have requirements beyond the reach of most starting characters. Those are options for 'adult' characters, experienced in the world.

Anyway, I kinda like this arrangement.
Blessed Be

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Just a Few Edits and Otherverse America Will Be Done....

Last night, I finalized the layout of the revised Otherverse America core rulebook. This sucker clocks in at 285 pages, including a full glossary and index, and the PDF is in the rather weighty neighborhood of 63 mb. Tonight, I'm going to go through the text, find all the little formatting errors and minor typos I didn't catch on the first run-through and print out a final copy. I've also set up a complete printer friendly version of the text. The printer friendly version consists of several smaller PDFs each covering a related topic: feats, character classes, Object Philosophies, setting history and flavor text.

After this I'm going to work on the Otherverse America game master's guide, which I will include as part of the purchase of the Core Rulebook. Basically, when you download this sucker (I'm figuring on a price point between $25-30.) you'll get a zip file the Core Rulebook, the GMG and all the little printer-friendly PDFs. Early on in this project, I figured to make the GMG a stand alone release, so what changed?

Simple, I downloaded the One Ring RPG a few weeks ago. It had a similar split between core rules and the GMG, and I felt the decision worked well. As a consumer, I definitely like I got my money's worth- between the One Ring core book and GMG I got 500+ pages of kick-ass content. I figure that my Otherverse America, like Tolkien's Middle Earth is detail heavy enough that this format really works. (And somewhere, if he's reading this I know Louis is gnashing his teeth, going like "Chris, you idiot, put out a mid-length corebook and lots of little splats to maximize profits.")

Anyway, I'll start laying out the GMG tomorrow and should have it completed by Monday or Tuesday.

Blessed Be,

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Last Art

Okay, I just received this piece, illustrating an APEX supersoldier, from Alex Garcia. After this, I've got one last illo outstanding: a landscape shot of Pensacola, FL from Felipe. The scenic shots have been a huge drain on the budget, artwise- they're more expensive than most character shots- but they're absolutely vital to the setting. I'm glad I've gotten them. Anyway, Felipe send me a rough draft for comments the other day, and I should have a finalized illo soon.

In the meantime, I'm starting to work on a revised draft of Guide to the Known Galaxy, and I've already commissioned a handful of images: Amanda is doing a revised illo of the Sequence, while I'll eventually get a shot of a generic Arabic spacer (who works the Asteroid Belt region) and a monster called a Valkyrie Type from Alex.

I'm also in the process of revising some Black Tokyo content for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Living Toys and Harem Mages has sold (and continues to sell) ABSOLUTELY HUGE numbers. However, as I'm working on the text, I'm realizing that D20 Modern and the PFRPG are such different beasts that I'm not just going to do a straight up conversion, and worry more about capturing my original feel and intent within the new rule set. I figure I'll start with a couple of mid-length sourcebooks: one focusing on shit and blood magic, and one focusing on the various races of the setting. I'll be using Amanda and some of my other artists for the illos, and will use the eventual profits from these sourcebooks and other BT-converts to fund Guide to the Known Galaxy and Pirates of the Bronze Sky. Also, expect a few quick sourcebooks in the meantime, including a very fun Galaxy Command sourcebook I've got Amanda doing cover duty on.

Also, I'm looking for even more artists. If you've got a decent online portfolio, send me a link and a basic schedule of your rates to

Blessed Be,

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Patriots, Robots and Ghosts

Hey, I finally saw Captain America this weekend. It was a ridiculously fun, and extremely pulpy movie. I'm amazed that Marvel Studios has so far been able to produce three movies, each with their own unique feel, but keep everything as integrated as it has. Capt. America was straight up classic 40s style pulp; Thor was Kirby-tech filled science-fantasy, and Iron Man was straight up military sci-fi.

The possibly best part of the movie? Seeing Nazis get disintegrated with their own, ridiculously over-powered guns. Seriously, seeing Nazis get blasted what what's effectively Rifts weapons never gets old. Chris Evans did a spectacular job as Capt America too- determined, clever and noble (if a little too prone to martyrdom). Capt America's "death" was really touching and emotionally affecting.

The worst part? That fucking 40s style show tune. Yes, it accurately captured the music of the time. the only problem is that the music of the time fucking sucked. That was five minutes of my life I'll never get back.

Anyway, I should have the last piece of Otherverse America artwork in a couple of days. Now, once that's in hand, I'll have everything laid out pretty quickly. My only internal debate is, after having purchased the awesome (and HUGE, I'm talking 600+ pages) One Ring RPG, is should I keep the division between the core book and game masters guide I was planning, or make one mammoth core book that includes everything? I'll probably decide that during the layout stage.

I'm also planning a short follow up to Synthetic Heroes, offering a few new robot Design Schemes and new powers, including robot specific talent trees.

In addition, as you can see by my visual hint over to the right of the page, I'm thinking of doing a Fursona-compatible freeform creation system for Undead characters. Build your own vampires, liches, mummies and zombies- it should be fun, and a good seller. Hopefully, I'll have it ready by Halloween/Samhain.

Talk to you later,

Monday, August 8, 2011

Friday, August 5, 2011

Competing with Tolkien

Okay, The One Ring RPG hit yesterday, and I did pick it up. I'll post my thoughts on it a bit later. What's awesome, and thank you for all this is that as of 5 minutes ago, The One Ring is at the number one slot on RPGnow. As it should be- it's probably the most venerable and respected license in gaming. And I'm at #8 or #9. I'm competing with the big boys- in this case, the biggest of the big boys, old JRR himself, and while I'm not winning, I'm not exactly getting embarrassed either.

Sorta makes me feel better about life.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Goat-fucking Sons of Bitches....

You know who is a goat-fucking son of a bitch?

The goat-fucking son of a bitch who stole my bikes yesterday night! Yep, I said bikes. I had two of the damn things chained up against my porch, and when I went out yesterday morning to run some errands, guess what I saw? My porch, now minus my bicycles.



Monday, August 1, 2011

Two More Previews

When I first started doing work for Skortched Urf Studios, I did an advanced class for D20 Modern called the Sentai Spectrum Ranger. Over the last couple of weeks, I've gone back and blown this 10 page class into a 50+ complete guide to playing Sentai superheroes. Amanda will be providing a color version of the image at left for the cover. As soon as I get that, my little Sentai sourcebook will be out. On the right, you've got a really evocative image of 2107's Boston, by Felipe Gaona. This very amazing piece of art will find itself a home in the revised Otherverse America.

Blessed Be

My Backlog

Okay, Alzrius pointed out something to me- I need to mention what I'm working on a bit more often. Thanks man, and thanks for the notes on Living Toys and Harem Mages. Okay, first.... I finally started converting Black Tokyo material over to Pathfinder. I started with Living Toys and the Harem Mages concepts- they work well together, and I had all the art I needed for it ready to go.

As expected, my fans are pervs. This thing has been up for about 24 hours, and has outsold my last 3 releases. I love my perv fans.

I have two pieces of art outstanding for Otherverse America: an illustration of Pensacola by Felipe Gaona, and an illustration of an APEX supersoldier by Alex Garcia. I should have those within the week, and then I'll lay out the book.

I've got small releases on deck, too. Expect a 10 pager called Ediolons Unleashed, which is a bunch of new options for Pathfinder's Summoner class. I added a few new base forms, some Summoner class feats, and a couple of new magic items. Fursona II, a short supplement for the Fursona character-generation system will also come out soon. Expect 5 new orders, a bunch of new racial traits, and some more spells and a pretty funky new kind of magic item: enchanted gastroliths.

On the Otherverse America front, I'll have two short tech books coming out about the same time as the revised core rulebook. One is entitled "The Technomagic of Bast" and focuses on Bastian psi-tech, and the other is called "Medical Pack" and focuses on lifesaving and EMT gear.

A big release coming out soon is Synthetic Heroes. You know the bad ass character generation system found in Fursona? Twist that one just a little bit and use it to build robot and android player characters. That one will support Otherverse America, Psi-Watch and Galaxy Command, and like Fursona is going to be a kick ass general supplement that offers a ton of new player options.

Looking farther ahead, right after I'm done working on this, I'll go back to working on the revised Pirates of the Bronze Sky. I'm completely re-organizing it, adding lots of new factions, countries and a couple of new player races beyond those included in the original draft I sent Louis. I'm also debating whether or not to include slavery in this Revolutionary War analouge setting, or avoid heavy, realistic concerns like that, and just focus on the swashbuckling action. Thoughts?

I'm going to start gathering artwork for Pirates of Bronze Sky (and a revised Guide to the Known Galaxy) later tonight.

Anyway, I hope enjoy what I've got for you.