Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ley Lines D20

Hey, I've been busy the last couple of weeks.....
I just finished Armada for Louis Porter, and that seems like it'll be an absolutely kickass seller for us. If you haven't already, check it out- like my Trade Routes soucebook, it's full of crunchy, world-building goodness.

On the freelance side, I've been re-reading my old Rifts books, and recently downloaded about a years worth of the Rifter. It got me thinking......

I had gotten a draft of Ley Lines to about 80% completion last year, but never finished it. So this week, I went back, tightened things up, fleshed out what I needed to, gathered some art, and sent it off to Mark for publication. Anyway, it's a meaty 35 page sourcebook designed for any Pathfinder RPG campaign, but with a special emphasis on Ley Lines in the Tatakama- my 'hentai' setting.

Check out Ley Lines when it's released later this week. It's pretty unique- includes rules for different types of Ley Line structures on a campaign world, tons of feats and starting talents all built around moving Ley Line energy around, and a new 10 level Prestige Class: The Geomancer. It works pretty well with the existing D20/PFRPG magic system, but adds a ton of depth and some flavor.

I also did another project inspired by one of my favorite Rifts races: the Dog Boys. I re-used the 'dog soldier' illustration Amanda Webb did for Fursona III, built a race around it, and released it as Project: GENEHOUND, for Psi-Watch. It's a flavorful, fun little race, and plays differently than human characters in that setting. I've also included some info on playing Genehounds in Otherverse America, Galaxy Command and Black Tokyo.

I figure my main strength is my diverse roster of settings, so I should take advantage of that whenever possible. I like doing releases focusing on one of the four campaign worlds, but with applicability for the others. That said, here's what I'm working on.....

1. I'm still gathering art for Frontlines of Choice, and that'll be out soon.

2. I just got some excellent art for the revised Guide to the Known Galaxy yesterday. I'll preview it soon enough.

3. I'm working on the Cybernetics sourcebook (which my page art is a tribute today- the absolutely coolest looking cyborg in all of gaming, by Kevin Long). Give that one another month or two.

4. I'm planning a short book on the Covenant's Woven Council, focusing on high level politics and manipulation. No art or script yet.

5. Getting back to work on Pirates of the Bronze Sky, because working on Armada and the Sky Sailor whet my appetite.

6. Also, just a question. If I started making Print on Demand versions of my sourcebooks, would you buy thhem? Any particular ones you'd like to get first, and how much would you be willing to pay? I ask that because I've been investigating the POD set up over at RPGnow, and it'll be pricy to do a single core book the size of Otherverse America, especially if I do it in color. Anyway, is there any interest in a print version (possibly a combined or expanded edition) of Psi-Watch, Galaxy Command, Black Tokyo, the complete Fursona or Otherverse America? Any sourcebooks you'd love to see?

Talk to you later,


Anonymous said...

Would you mind listing what products you've done are for Black Tokyo? I have the first three books (the original GT, and Chastity and Depravity, and Tales of the Tatakama), but I'm slightly confused on what subsequent books have BT material.

Chris A. Field said...

I've got Black Tokyo I-III,
Black Tokyo Legends: Races of the Tatakama, and Fursona IV: Fur of the Yokai, which is a "Tatakama-specific" add on to the Fursona character builder.

I'm also working on a revamp of the Starting Occupations system, which will include tons of campaign specific starting traits for all four of my game lines (Otherverse America, Psi-Watch, Galaxy Command, Black Tokyo).

I've already pulled the starting traits from BT II, and will be adding more to the as-yet-unnamed Starting Occupation book.

I'm also going to do a Cities of the Tatakama Sourcebook, building off what I did with Cityscapes, and acting as a mini-gazateer for the setting.

Question for you: You've bought most of the B.T. stuff already, what am I missing from the setting? What sourcebooks, races, classes, powers, ect.... would you like to see in subsequent releases. Also, any interest in a Print on Demand compilation of BT (probaly with new art and a better layout, like I did for Psi-Watch and Otherverse America?)

Thanks again, Alzrius,

Anonymous said...

Wow, has it taken me too long to get back to you on this! Sorry for the delay, Chris.

In regards to what's missing from Black Tokyo, I think you've already got a fairly good handle on what's missing - namely, setting material that's more focused on the campaign as a PLACE, than on the mechanics. I remember being fairly confused by the location material in the first Black Tokyo, so something that tries to flesh that out more (pun intended) would be welcome.

As it is, I don't quite understand things like the setting's planar structure (this doesn't mean it needs to use mechanical planar traits, though that would be a nice extra) - the language seems to be alluding to it, rather than saying in the plainest possible way just what the Tatakama actually IS and how it interacts with the Material Plane.

Do the people living in (Black) Tokyo know about this? Or is it generally hidden from the public eye? Does it only affect Tokyo and the surrounding parts of Asia, and if so why only there?

I also think that the setting needs more iconic characters. I don't follow the Otherverse America setting too closely, but I still know about characters like Choice Meredith or the Ghost of Babies Past. I can't name one individual from Black Tokyo - to put it another way, I wish the setting got the campaign development that Otherverse America is receiving.

In regards to what I think Black Tokyo needs from a mechanical standpoint...what I really want, I mean what I REALLY want to see, are ways to make sex relevant in a mechanical context. I've blogged about this before, but ultimately role-playing games are reward focused, and the rewards are found in the mechanics, whether in-game (e.g. treasure) or meta-game (e.g. experience points). What's necessary to make sex truly tempting to the player-characters, rather than just the players (which would be awkward anyway) is a way for it to have some sort of reward mechanic. That's damn hard to do, however, and just handing out XP for having sex with a creature ("seXP"?), a la the Well Educated Slut spell (from TotT) isn't enough (and has its own problems).

Ultimately, the game needs not only a way to make sex have a reward mechanic, but also make sex (and, perhaps, a wider array of non-combat interactions) have as many options and variables as combat does now. However, I've only seen one attempt to make any such thing in the d20 System, and it remains unfinished and forgotten by the fans who were making it (due to the Book of Erotic Fantasy taking the wind out of their collective sails).

There are other, easier-to-attain things I'd like the setting to have, of course. I think you were wrong to immediately renounce "loli"-type material (the nikusui notwithstanding), though to be fair I also can't think of much in the way of mechanics for such a theme (beyond just saying "bust this race down one size category" or perhaps an erotic version of your Innocent base class).

I hesitate to say, where are the combat rules for sexually assaulting a character? In Black Tokyo, that's going to come up, either by a PC or an NPC.

I'd also like to see some sort of "sex magic" supplement, but I'm not sure how well that'd work with the Vancian casting that the d20 system uses. That is, this is how sex can be incorporated into the actual method of casting spells, rather than just new spells based around eroticism.

Those are just some off-the-cuff ideas, but I think they'd be cool to see.

Chris A. Field said...

Alzirus, I love you man.
Those are some kick ass ideas.
Let's see what I can do with 'em over the next few weeks.