Thursday, February 16, 2012

Where I want to go with Otherverse America

Today, I commissioned a cover, from Felipe Gaona, for what may be the most unusual product I’ll be releasing for Otherverse America. It’ll be called Frontlines of Choice- remember a few weeks ago I wrote about a weird project that combined Paizo’s settlement and caravan rules. Well this is it- a mostly standalone resource-management type sim about running a Choicer abortion clinic in 22nd Century America.

It’s mostly stand alone, so you either plug it into your D20 Modern Otherverse America campaign, use it with any other system you’re using to run Otherverse America, or play it as a standalone mini-game. It’s pretty deep, and really gives you a different perspective on OA- the daily life of the world, and the struggles beyond mere combat. I mentioned in the introduction, it’s a different scale too- you’re on the ground with the doctors and clinic defenders, not in the air with the post-human supersoldiers.

I’m excited about Frontlines, first, because this little mini-game continues a trend I began back when Louis agreed to publish Choice & Blood, a trend of treating abortion providers in an unquestionably heroic light. I figure the profession needs a positive portrayal to counter act all the anti-choice bullshit thrown about, and I’m glad I can provide that positive view. Second, on a more pragmatic level, I know I’m getting a great cover that I’ll be able to recycle later.

Since my art budget is pretty small, especially compared to the big boys at Paizo, WOTC or Green Ronin, BUT I still want my books to be as well illustrated as theirs, I have to recycle art and use lots of stock. Not ideal, but not a fatal flaw either. Anyway, I figure the cover produced will eventually find its way into the San Francisco citybook I plan to write.

The Kodiak Island PDF, now that I stop to think about it, is a citybook, as well as an army book. Kodiak is a city- albeit a fairly small (about 30,000 inhabitants) and self contained one. It’s a good way to cut my teeth writing a city book, setting up interesting sites, building local NPCs and relationships, making the place feel basically LIVED IN. Of course, now I want to do a bigger, even more complex city. I want to write a citybook as cool as Freedom City (Green Ronin), Vornhiem (Lamentations of the Flame Princess), The Shackled City AP (Paizo), or Night City (R. Talorsian). I figure there are five American cities important enough to the OA setting to deserve their own city books: The Federal Metroplex/Washington DC, Atlanta GA, Boston MA, Pensacola FL, and San Francisco CA.

Over the next few years, I’ll work up all those books, and probably more, but I’m going to do San Francisco over the next year or so, and do it first. One, I’ve had to live in a Lifer headspace to write Kodiak Island (and the Life Tank splat), which is kinda grim and hard for me. Writing something about the Choicers will help clear my head a bit, and it’ll be welcome.

Anyway, there’s lots of stuff I’m working on for Otherverse America, and lots more ideas percolating in the back of my head. I’m still working on the revised Guide to the Known Galaxy, and that should be out this year, too. Other, less tangible projects include:

  • At some point this year I’m going to put out a ‘details’ and ‘set-dressing’ book, similar to the Bits & Shards stuff I did for Table Top Adventures as my first freelance work. Almost completely system free bits of description of the people and cities of Otherverse America.

  • I want to do a nice race/tech book for Full Conversion Cyborgs. Tons of new cybernetics, new rules options for borgs, details on the tech companies in Otherverse America.

  • Playing on the last, I want to do an India 2107 sourcebook. I envision India as one of the highest tech, most transhumanist places on the planet, with its own unique culture. However, my understanding of Indian culture comes from three sources: Devi (Virgin Comics) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Capt. Nemo from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Obviously, a bunch more research is needed.

  • I keep wanting to do a sourcebook on the Meta-Porn industry, focusing heavily on the Fluxminx and Softling Healers, a sort of mixed race/history splat. Of course, I keep rewriting what I’ve got, and disgarding it because its just not freaky enough, so I keep putting it off. It was supposed to be in Fursona III, but it just didn’t come together.

  • At some point I’m going to pull out elements of the Psi-Watch engine and release ‘em as standalone PDFs tweaked specifically for O.A. I’ll do one on the classes, all integrated into the setting: Frontliners, Nano-Sculptors, Incenerators and all the rest. I also want to do the same for the feat-based psionics engine- maybe include some Dreamscarred Press stuff, since their tweaks to the 3.5 psionics system really rocked.

  • I want to do more with the Neverborn, because along with the Ubasti and Full Conversion Cyborgs, they are my favorite races from the setting. Plus, I loved Amanda’s take on them. (As an aside, she’s done so much art for OA, she’s really starting to shape how it looks and feels. She’s gone from being an artist on assignment to being almost a co-creator. Very cool.)

  • Speaking of Amanda, I loved her take on Dolfie Black, this minor character who kept popping up in the manuscript for the revised core book. I want to a ‘monster splat’ like I did with Life Tank focusing on Dolfie Black in her prime. I would also take the opportunity to present a revised, non-spellcasting version of the Innocent from the D7ACU line.

  • APEX got relatively short shrift in the revised Core Book- it got the least original art, which was a budget constraint. I want to redress the issue and do a nice, fat faction splat on APEX, and the whole notion of military/celebrity superheroes in general. I figure that will be a big, fun, action-adventure sourcebook focusing on big guns and high dollar PR campaigns.

In other news, I’ll be releasing Fursona IV: Fur of the Yokai soon. In my final draft of Black Tokyo: Races of the Tatakama, I included a fairly long appendix about converting some of the animalistic species, like Kitsune and Tanuki, into Anthro Orders, and presented seven new orders. I realized I could pull this out, expand it with new racial options and make it a separate release. This one will be illustrated mostly with public domain ukiyo-e and shunga prints from the late 17th through mid-19th centuries, so I don’t have to wait on art. Plus, Fursona products are always great sellers, as are Black Tokyo-related releases. Look for this fun little freak show in a week or so, with Races of the Tatakama hitting about a month or so later.

Blessed Be,

No comments: