Monday, March 11, 2013

San Francisco Citybook Preview: Dogpatch

Last night, I started laying out San Francisco 2107. I'm about 55 pages into a 175-200 page tome, and will be done with layout and editing by Wednesday. It's feeling pretty good. Everything is coming together nicely, the commissioned art I got from Amanda and John for the project is meshing well with existing art I'm reusing and whatever stock I'm filling out the pages with. It's going to be a good looking book, with a slightly fancier layout than normal. 

A few weeks back, Mark Cathro sent me a selection of new fonts, which I'm using for the title art and chapter headers, and I've also used heavily on all my projects this year. You may or may not have noticed the new lettering on the Space Monsters books, the Nemesis Bestiary and Niishima Inn, but those logos are all attributable to the huge folder of fonts Mark sent along. I'm actually embarrassed at how  excited I am about lettering; likewise I found a great stock art background image by Rick Hershey of Empty Room Studios, which I'm using, and it gives the SF Citybook a nice grungy, cyberpunk feel. 

Today I figured I'll do a last preview of the Citybook, with a look at San Francisco's Dogpatch neighborhood. After San Francisco 2107 comes out, I'm going to be working more on Black Tokyo Unlimited as well as some more stuff for Galaxy Command. Right now, the Nemesis Bestiary (20 all new monsters for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game!) is newly up for sale at RPGNow, along with a Free20: The Command Armory, which focuses on cool guns for Galaxy Command. Go pick 'em both up. Nemesis Bestiary just got a great 5 star review- all my stuff seems to be well received this year. Hopefully, when San Francisco 2107 hits, it will be equally popular. 

Next time, I'll preview some Black Tokyo Unlimited artwork. Enjoy the early look at Dogpatch, 

            Welcome to the Choicer nation at street level.
Dogpatch is one of the youngest, angriest and most militant Choicer sectors of the city. Rents are cheap here, with Dog Patch’s rundown warehouses, War-scarred old houses and abandoned big box retailers being converted into semi-legal apartments and lofts after War’s End. Dogpatch proudly calls itself the center of clinic defense for San Francisco- its huge and commingled Bastian and Ásatrú community lives here, goes to college in Mission Bay, works somewhere in SoMa or the Castro, and fights hard every free minute in Pacific Heights. With tensions fueled by close proximity to the Hunter’s Point Enclave, brawls and street fights against the city’s Lifer population is common. And the men and women of Dogpatch wouldn’t have it any other way…

            Dogpatch breeds a different kind of Choicer than the other sectors of the city. While the glamorous, red robed priestesses of Pacific Heights might use Philosophies and diplomacy to win the Abortion War, and Foxjoy’s Bastians prefer genetically implanted weapons systems, Dogpatch’s rowdy clinic defenders prefer their fists and a good set of Kevlar III hard armor on their back. More recruits to the Covenant’s Fire and Earth guards come from Dogpatch than any other sector of the city.

Points of Interest: Dogpatch

            Dogpatch’s Abortion Clinics
            Dogpatch is itself home to a pair of clinics, both of which see more fighting in any given shift than most of the clinics in Pacific Heights see in a month. These clinics tend to political and theological outsiders, part of the Covenant, but only reluctantly. As a result, they lack the funding and military support of the Pacific Heights clinics, and are forced to rely more on Dogpatch’s rough and ready clinic defense networks, and private donations to make up the gap.

            The Winterheath Women’s Center is an Ásatrú-run clinic, run by Lady Alva Hedlund (Female FCB Tough 1, Dedicated 4, Midwife 3). Lady Hedlund grew up poor in the district itself, and rather unusually she began her Midwife training in her early 20s, rather than ten years prior. She taught herself pre-med and theology while serving as a proud valkarie clinic defender, even installing a hacked ob-nan cyberarm on herself…remaining conscious throughout the surgery. She is proudly Choicer, but keeps the Covenant itself at a distance, running her clinic according to her own nature and the whispered voice of her patron goddess, Frejya. She worries that the Covenant has become too obsessed with heritage and bloodline, allowing parentage, not raw talent or passion, determine who becomes an abortion doc. As a result, she will train any woman who shows promise as a Midwife, regardless of wealth or status. Earn the big, butch cyborg’s respect and she’ll teach you every hard, bloody lesson she’s learned along the way.

            The House of the Woman’s Care Coven is a Bastian run clinic these days. Before that it was Dianic Rite, and before the Covenant formed, it had a less theatrical name and was run by a feminist physician’s collective. In any event, it has been a part of of San Francisco’s reproductive-health scene for a long, long time. It’s a free clinic, funded entirely by local donations and whatever support it can pull from the Covenant’s annual budget. It’s run by Lady Hequet Crook, a philosophical but shockingly profane Bastian with a long standing grudge against the Lifer nation. Her hatred is the kind of hatred that only comes from close experience- she was born and raised in Hunter’s Point and disowned when her parents discovered she had an abortion at 14. As a result, she’ll go the extra mile for her patients from the Enclave.

            Dogfennel Lanes
            An abandoned and condemned bowling alley that took some heavy collateral damage during the Abortion War, nobody looks twice at the Dogfennel Lanes anymore. They should, because a cell of Liberty Wolf Choicer terrorists have moved in and made the alley their headquarters, and have set up a couple of quick n’ dirty genetic reassignment tanks back behind the pins. The Wolves can offer Street Enhancile and Metaporn Enhancile protocols for Powered Heroes but only to people they know and trust- usually familiar faces on the clinic defense lines.

            Since last Beltane, the gang’s ‘head wolf’ is Kyla Dovehunter (Female Mau Powered-reflex 4). She’s an expert parkour. Those wanting uplift in her tanks have to keep up with her in a race across the roofs, and then either kick the shit outta a few of the tougher Lifers at a clinic defense or go a few rounds with her ‘pet’- the fearsome Red Duat (Male Ubasti Fighter 3). Most prospective gangers choose the brawl against the Lifers.

            The Iron Queen Dojo
            The Iron Queen has been teaching Choicers how to fight for more than 15 years- it doesn’t matter if they’re clinic defenders, post humans, or little old grannies living in Dogpatch. The dojo is located in a converted storefront, its outer façade decorated in a graffiti mural of the goddess Persephone as a badass combat cyborg, once glorious now sunfaded. Never the less, the dojo’s students leave fresh pomegranates or pomegranate wine beneath the mural as a tribute before stepping onto the mats. Mike Saxon (Male Human Strong 3, Martial Artist 6), a former drill instructor at the Presidio, runs the dojo and has mastered a unique local fighting style named for the dojo. His Iron Queen style teaches Choicer FCBs to maximize the advantages of their artificial bodies.

            Joe Mortari’s Gallery
            Joe Mortari (Male Human Fast 3, Martial Artist 2, Powered- transmuter 1) is a local sculptor who prefers found object abstracts but does a sideline in handforged athames and pagan jewelery that’s rapidly making him famous among the Pacific Heights elite. He and his older brother Steve, got their powers during 2080s’ Silvernight, and are just now awakening to their true post-human potential. Following his brother’s lead but going miles farther, Joe has been an active part of the clinic defense scene since he was 15, and with his new powers has only become more determined. Joe Mortari is a dedicated Bastian, and a fixture at Iron Queen’s, where he teaches self defense to junior high kids.

            His older brother Steve Mortari (Male Human Smart 4, Powered-shapechanger 2) calls himself Choicer but has never really claimed any tradition. Steve is a blogger whose words often appear in the Lion Count Chronicle. The Mortaris, especially the much older Steve, are good friends with Cassie Andra Feneris, having grown up together. Steve Mortari’s dedication to the Choicer cause can be traced to what happened to Cassie when they were kids; to him, even though he’s not a fully committed pagan, the Choicers helped his best friend when she needed it, and he’ll always owe them for that.

            Joe Mortari lives and works out of a converted boat warehouse near the water. His gallery and its eerie sculptures (which also serve as practice targets for his transmutational talents, these days) dominate the cavernous space. He maintains a living space above the cracked concrete work floor. Every piece of furniture and fixture in the place is handcrafted- Joe’s taken the adage that ‘pagans make cool things’ to heart. During the summer, Joe usually leaves his garage doors rolled up, and lets locals and tourists alike, wander through his workspace/gallery and watch him work. His brother lives in a more conventional apartment near the Financial District.

            The Sophia & Lilith Brothel
            Sofia & Lilith proudly calls itself a feminist whorehouse, and is run by a collective of the neighborhoods horae. It maintains no contracts with any of the city’s pornocorps, which makes it something of an oddity. Huge percentages of the brothel’s profits go into a fund supporting the House of the Women’s Care Coven. Most of Sophia & Lilith’s horae are followers of recovered Cannite traditions, with a smattering of Egyptian neo-pagans and the occasional Kaballistic heretic Jew just for flavor. The philosophical debates in the main lounge are almost as intense as the fucking.
            Dogpatch’s Bars and Clubs
            Dogpatch really comes to life at night, as battered street fighters sling their bright orange Kevlar III over their shoulders and descend on the district’s bars and clubs to blow off steam. Some of the Dogpatch’s nightspots include:

  • Cat & Scarab. Fairly quiet neighborhood bar a few blocks from House of Women’s Care. Hundreds of semi-feral cats call the area home.
  • Cat Licking Herself. Exclusively Bastian whorehouse. Other factions are unwelcome, and monotheists get turned away at the door. 
  • Feather & Braid. Local Bastian barber shop, advertised only by word of mouth but considered the best in the city by locals. Offers Sekmet’s Braid (weapons) to local clinic defenders.  
  • The Longhouse. Ásatrú hangout near the beach. You’ll see lots of young Ásatrú tinkering with their implants right at the table.
  • Mossington Avenue Covenstead. Mixed use temple, shared by several Bastian, Dianic and Ásatrú sects depending on the day. Runs self defense and clinic defense/escort training for local volunteers year round.
  • New Giza. A Bastian punk club where lots of local bands first played.
  • Peace Cup. No weapons or armor allowed, a great date spot. Local microbrewers sell their wares here, best selection of beer and mead in SF with bi-annual brewing competitions.
  • Sekmet’s Piss. Hardcore Bastian bar, lots of clinic defenders and local Bastian bands. Fighting circle at the center of the floor for non-lethal bouts between Bastian post-humans.
  • Trollhiem. Nobody looks twice at Ásatrú Powereds with a combat warform here.
  • The Vahalla Apartments. Cheap apartments made from converted warehouses. Huge party area but pretty safe, and the residents tend to look out for other Ásatrú.

The Nails
            The Nails are a local street gang slash low-bottom mercenary crew that operates out of Dogpatch and neighboring Patrero Hill. They’ve been around, in one form or another since the 2070s, and each generation has been meaner than the one before it. The Nails take the name form their favorite weapon- stolen construction exo-skeletons souped up and repurposed for military use.

They recently hit the Line Works Design Showroom in Napa and made off with a shiny new set of LWD “Hephaestus” Industrial Shells, which they’ve modded for service as killing machines. Since the heist, the local Nails have stepped up their game; before the gang had merely dabbled in mercenary work, now they’re moving out of truck hijackings into the world of assassinations for hire.

Tommy Cervantes (Male Mechanic Fast 5, Soldier 1) is the local badass running the Nails. He grew up in Dogpatch, even tried being a clinic defender for a while when he turned 16. That lasted about ten minutes, as he tried to rape a fellow defender after the fighting died down. Some of the local Ásatrú made sure he spent the next few months in the hospital and then the next two years in prison, so Tommy’s got a special hatred for Thor-worshippers. In prison, Tommy made good contacts with the local Lifers, and through his ex-cellmates, he’s hired on for deniable wet work with the Army of God.


Kevin Cameron said...

Just bought your Black Tokyo books from Drivethru RPG a couple weeks ago and my wife and I have become instant fans. (our friends and fellow gamers, not so much lol) Really looking forward to the next installment.

Chris A. Field said...

I'm glad you liked it, and yeah, its definately not to everyone's taste.

Tonight I'm finishing layout for the SF Citybook, and tomorrow and the next day I'm doing some more work on Black Tokyo Unlimited.

I'll preview some more of the artwork for Black Tokyo Unlimited up here in the next couple of days,