Thursday, January 26, 2012

True Halflings Is Out

A couple of months ago I re-read the Hobbit, and it inspired me to re-do the Halflings' racial traits to closer mimic the Hobbits of literature. Anyway, it was a fun project, one I illustrated exclusively with stock art, which means it took only a long weekend from conception to publication. It's a fun little race book- you've got alternate racial traits, starting talents and even three sample True Halfling villages, built using the Cityscape rules. I fuckin' love those rules, and they've really got me excited about fantasy for the first time in a while.

I'm playing with the idea of putting together a "lifepath" or random event generator for Otherverse America. I've realized that OA has some metaplot, but it's mostly a sandbox environment.... here are the factions, here's some threats, some opportunities, some rumors of things going on in other parts of the's very much up to the players to decide where to go, which faction to ally with, and to define their own goals.

Hey, if you're playing OA, leave me some comments here. I'm very curious what you're playing.
1. Are you using D20 Modern or Pathfinder or are you just taking the ideas and concepts you like and porting them to another system? If so, which system and why? I myself have run Otherverse America using (in order) the Rifts engine, BESM 2nd, Aberrant and Mutants & Masterminds 2nd, in addition to D20 Modern.

2. Are your characters Choicer, Lifer or APEX aligned, or are they somebody neutral: mercs, criminals, cyberpunks, kids?

3. What classes comprise the adventuring party? Are you using the advanced and prestige classes from the corebook, or stuff from other 3rd party D20 publishers, and if so who? I know from my RPGnow account at least one guy bought my OA core book and Powered Hero class, some D20 firearms stuff from another publisher and the D20 Star Trek stuff from Amarillo Design Bureau. That's a campaign I definitely want to play in, by the way.

4. Any cool tales from the table?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Screen Shot of Art in Progress

Just got a screen capture from Vic Shane showing his progress on the "ghost of babies past" image. In addition to Ghost 16 (who appeared in the setting fiction of the revised Otherverse America Core Rulebook, and menaced young abortion provider Julie Riddle), he'll be doing an image of Ghost 8 (who laid waste to the hospital Julie was born in, years prior).

Right now, I'm waiting on the last art for Ghosts and Promises, as well as the art for Races of the Tatakama. In the meantime, I'm working on a short race book for Galaxy Command.... inspired by the Legion of Superheroes, this sourcebook will take the Powered Hero Basic Class sourcebook and use it as the foundation of a race book. Like the old Legion comics, you'll get races of aliens, all of whom have the same superpower. Amanda will be illustrating this book, which will be in the 15-20 page range.

I'm still writing some Endara stuff, plotting out how to do the Witch Hero Basic Class, and I've go ideas for some other short releases, while I wait for the big ones to be ready. My goal is get 50-52 release s this year- a goal that would mean averaging a book a week. Not sure if I'll make it, but it'll be a good thing to shoot for in 2o12.

Blessed Be,

Friday, January 20, 2012

Art Preview: Genesis

Yesterday, I received this piece from Alex Garcia- the space god Genesis, divine patron of cyborgs and inventors, who will become a major part of the revised Guide to the Known Galaxy coming out later this year.

He's so amazing, I thought I'd share with you all. Alex is currently working on Genesis' cosmic rival: Nemesis, a Lovecraftian god of unchecked evolution.

Right now, I'm waiting on a few final pieces from Vic Shane and maybe one or two other images from John Picot and Ghosts & Promises will be out. Anthony Cournoyer is still working hard on the Races of the Tatakama, and I'm splitting my time between Endara and Otherverse America, writing wise. It'll be a kickass year.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

GM's Questionaire from Playing D&D With Pornstars

Zak S. posted this on his site, so I thought I'd answer some of the questions here.

GM Questionnaire

Repost and answer. Or, if you don't have a blog, answer in the comments. Or be a big rebel and do neither.

1. If you had to pick a single invention in a game you were most proud of what would it be?
.....I've invented tons of monsters, gadgets, spells, ect both for professional publication and just for fun in a home game, but one of my favorite critters is from my high school Rifts game. "The Mage-moo"... I was running an all magic user party, and they stopped in a small Federation of Magic village to rest and resupply. I decided to fuck with the party a bit, and so in wanders this 3 story tall dinosaur/cow thing with a bellowing 'moo' that could be heard for miles. The thing is pretty docile, and mostly harmless, but it absorbs PPE like a sponge. One of the best moments is when my friend Erik, playing a conjurer, walks to the window of the hotel, looks eye to eye with this fucked up thing, and gets a big friendly slurp from its 10 ft long tongue... that sucks up all his magic.

2. When was the last time you GMed?

3. When was the last time you played?

These two go hand in hand. Last time I played was a couple of weeks before I left Corpus Christi last year, and I last GMed about a month before that.

4. Give us a one-sentence pitch for an adventure you haven't run but would like to.
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars using Mutants & Master Minds 2nd edition.

6. What, if anything, do you eat while you play?
Whatever's filling and cheap. McDonalds dollar cheeseburgers and McChicken gets eaten quite alot at the game table.

7. Do you find GMing physically exhausting?
Yep. You're combining a military war game, public speaking and theater into one confusing, and sometimes stressful whole. I always need a nice long shower after a game.

8. What was the last interesting (to you, anyway) thing you remember a PC you were running doing?
The last thing I ran was the Shackled City adventure path, and one of my players was a monk with the habit of leaping onto the shoulders of any Large sized creature he encountered and pounding away. The player was a HUGE cheater, with a habit of always 'conveniently' rolling nat 20s anytime he needed. No big deal- I had plans for him to encounter a Large flying critter of some type that as soon as he did the 'leap on the neck and punch the face' tactic, would fly straight up until it died, with him trapped on its back. Slow fall ain't doing shit from 900 ft, fucko.

9. Do your players take your serious setting and make it unserious? Vice versa? Neither?
Both. Back in the Navy, I was running Otherverse America using Aberrant (White Wolf) and one of the players basically built Doc Otaku from Freedom City- a genius computer geek with a harem of android sex-bots as combat backup/harem.

10. What do you do with goblins?
I always run goblins as huge pools of HP- like each Hit Point can represent 2-5 individual critters, so you're describing your attacks against these guys as cleaving off the heads of a bunch of gobbos. Goblins are best killed by the HUNDREDS.

11. What was the last non-RPG thing you saw that you converted into game material (background, setting, trap, etc.)?
Anything in National Geographic. Some of the weirder animal abilities in Fursona come straight from there.

12. What's the funniest table moment you can remember right now?
My kid brother, who ALWAYS plays LE Necromancers, even in non-D&D settings, once pissed off his mentor, who was also a LE Necromancer. The argument turned violent, and my brother Joey's character grabbed the mentor's possum familiar by the tail and beat the senior necromancer to death with her own pet.

13. What was the last game book you looked at--aside from things you referenced in a game--why were you looking at it?
Rifts Core Rules. I keep it in my bathroom in a place of honor. I flip through that book constantly.

14. Who's your idea of the perfect RPG illustrator?
Wayne Reynolds, Kevin Parkinson, and of the artists I've worked with Alex Garcia and Amanda Webb.

15. Does your game ever make your players genuinely afraid?
I've never really had an interest in horror- I usually run high action D&D or Otherverse America, though some of my Lifer NPCs have creeped the fuck outta people.

16. What was the best time you ever had running an adventure you didn't write? (If ever)
The Shackled City adventure path from Paizo rocks hard. My favorite part was the Flood Festival- I turned a single scene in the adventure into a day long, half session Marti Gras. I bought beads and candy from the dollar store, put it out in the center of the table, included lots of pickpocketing, street fair games, a martial arts competition for the party's two monks (including the cheater, mentioned above) and added an 'anything that floats but a boat' race to the volcanic lake at the setting's center.

17. What would be the ideal physical set up to run a game in?
My rich friend Brian has a gaming cave I would kill a puppy to own.

18. If you had to think of the two most disparate games or game products that you like what would they be?
WITCH Girl Adventures and War Hammer 40,000.

19. If you had to think of the most disparate influences overall on your game, what would they be?
Jim Lee's art, Warren Ellis' and Andrew Vacchs' writing, anti-abortion terrorism, and the tech reports coming out of

20. As a GM, what kind of player do you want at your table?
I love running games for first timers- kids, girlfriends, ect. They're always welcome at my table, and I promise to run something simple, kick ass and age appropriate- even if I'm most known for running abortion and hentai crunch-fests.

21. What's a real life experience you've translated into game terms?
I did four in the Navy, and my experiences come out when talking about military matters, Japan, and though I never directly reference the classified stuff I did while I was in, I keep what I learned about military capabilities and geo-politics in mind when writing stuff, especially OA.

22. Is there an RPG product that you wish existed but doesn't?
I'd love a superhero system with the depth of M&M, an Image Comics/Iron Age feel and lethality, with character gen that only takes 10-15 minutes and point-buy numbers in the 20-40 range for X-Men level characters (by contrast M&M 2nd edition would have 200+ point value characters).

23. Is there anyone you know who you talk about RPGs with who doesn't play? How do those conversations go?

I'll tell you instead about what life is like here in Kerrville TX.

The other day at work, I was talking with this 17 y/o teenie-bopper who was working weekends and evenings at my restaurant. It turns out she's a gamer, and she's familiar with both Pathfinder & D20 Modern. Kick ass- now I'm thinking I might be able to get a game group going. She asks me what I write and I tell her. She's interested, so I toss her my thumb drive (which I back up all my stuff to every few weeks), so she can download it all.

At this point, I'm feeling good about life. I forget about it, until we're cleaning up after the lunch rush. I'm in the back washing my line's dishes, and she's getting ice or something.
"You know what game you should make?" She inquires, and I ask her to tell me. Free market research, right.
"You should write something about Nazis and Jews".

O-okay, kinda a simplistic take on WWII, but it's the Kerrville public school system. Maybe that's the limit of her understanding of the conflict. Still, I've never had much interest in making a WWII game, and tell her so. And now, get ready for the point in the conversation when my anurism begins to throb....

"If you made a game about killing Jews, I'd play that all day long."


FUCK! I had no idea what to say to that. Seriously, a part of me wanted to respond like Cap or Indiana Jones would and just deliver a sock to this girl's Aryan jaw, but I just stared at her for like 45 seconds, my tongue lolling out in shock. Finally I managed to stammer "It's fuckin' Kerrville- have you even met a fuckin' Jew in your life?"

Anyway, that's the reason I'm not gaming right now.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sick as a Dog

I've been down with the flu this last week. I'll post some more preview art for Kodiak Island, as well as some info on upcoming projects later.
Also, if you haven't heard yet, and the media is being very quiet about this as usual, the American Family Planning clinic in Pensacola, FL was burnt to the ground by an anti-abortion nutjob earlier this month. This is the same clinic where Paul Hill killed two people during the 1990s. If you can, donate to any pro-choice group you trust, since unfortunately, I can't find a donation site for AFP itself. I just did the same earlier today.

Blessed Be,

Monday, January 2, 2012

Art Preview: Ghost of Babies Past XVI

Over on the right we've got a sketch of the 16th superhuman to call herself a "Ghost of Babies Past".... a freaky, cybernetic anti-choice terrorist, and one of the iconic villain types of the Otherverse America setting.

This approval sketch is by Vic Shane. He'll be layering some clothing and equipment over this, but basically wanted to make sure the mechanical design was good to go.

Anyway, the finished version of this very cool cyborg will appear in Ghosts & Promises: The Secrets of Kodiak Island, which is coming soon.

Also, I'm doing tons of work on the Endara setting. And my birthday is this Thursday, and shockingly, for once I don't have to work it! Rock on.

Blessed Be,