Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Accidental Sourcebooks

Heavy Future is an accidental sourcebook.

At the beginning of this month, I was mentally winding down from Black Tokyo Unlimited and looking for another project to focus on. My Sectaurs setting was, if not aborted, than at least put into cryo-stasis until later in the year. I had some ideas but no real passion for the work (Though I have almost enough I can publish a very solid race book riffing on Sectuars soon, and leave the world info for a later date.)

Heavy Future came out of nowhere. It was just an idea- do a grungy, sleezy, satirical space book for Galaxy Command, inspired mostly by crappy exploitation movies and Heavy Metal comics.

Somehow this idea has, over the course of about a month, blossomed into what is already a 150-175 page sourcebook. The book will likely top 200 pages before I’m done. Originally, I intended to include a monster chapter, but this will likely get moved to a stand alone PDF, simply due to the size of the project.

John Picot is doing more than just art. He’s contributed the core text for two of the sourcebook’s new races, and keeps sending various ideas for the world. At his urging, I’m making Heavy Future more of a Pathfinder compatible sci-fi product. Previously, I planed to use D20 Modern/Future with a dash of Pathfinder; at his urging I’ve flipped that, and made Heavy Future Pathfinder with a dash of D20 Modern/Future. It’ll still be compatible with Galaxy Command, but is built to take fuller advantage of the Pathfinder ruleset.

I previewed the Bounty Hunter Ranger archetype a few posts ago. Since then, I’ve added several new archetypes at John’s urging. There will be at least 3 new Bard archetypes, since rock & roll, and music in general plays such a key role in the setting. It’s interesting to see what John comes up with, because he builds things differently than I do.

For instance, he suggested a Barbarian archetype usable as a generic space marine. For me, I would of built the archetype as a modified Fighter but his logic in turning the Conan-style Barbarian class into a space suit wearing shipboard combat and boarding expert is intriguing.  It’s a very creative reversal of expectations and rules elements.

In addition, I’ve added several new Clerical Subdomains, in addition to the new Rock & Roll domain and its associated subdomains, Glam and Heavy Metal. Right now we’ve got Censorship (knowledge), First Contact (travel), Sex (charm) and Psychadelics (plant). I might add some more, but even those four new subdomains really add to the flavor of Heavy Future: vulgar and passionate, sleezy and R-rated, but definitely not mature.

Yesterday I finished off several new Sorcerer bloodlines: Ameriscum (white trash defenders of freedom) Electromedia (television mind controllers),  and Pornborn (x-rated modern fey, basically). Again, very flavorful and evocative. If you have any suggestions for weirdo bloodlines, leave ‘em in the comments.

My to-do list for Heavy Future is slimming down.

Right now, I want to add some more unique adventure sites and plot hooks to the gazetteer.

I’m also planning to add some setting specific feats and starting talents, because things are looking sparse in that sense.

After that, I’ll firm up the mundane weapons and gear lists. (I found a great timeline of genital-related slang on Io9 the other day, and plan to use this fine resource to name my guns. I want most of the weapons and items in this game to be named after obscure terms for dick and pussy from the 1930s, just because that makes me smile.)

Finally, some magic weapons. I had a great time writing up the 150 magic items in Black Tokyo Unlimited, and given how fucking over the top and bizarre Heavy Future is, it should be both easy and rewarding to build magic items for. Again, if you’ve got any suggestions, leave ‘em in the comments.

Anyway, that should whet your appetite for Heavy Future. (At this point, expect the Heavy Future PDF in a month or two.)

By the way, I’m waiting on the last 3-4 pieces of art for Closed: Monsters of the Army of God, the huge ‘monster book’ for Otherverse America. When I get those, I’ll likely take a weekend off from Heavy Future to lay out and release Closed.

I know, I know, I promised this book at the beginning of the year. It’s annoying me that it’s taking this long to get it out, but I want Closed to go out with all the art I can get for it, and I’d rather wait a little bit than release it half assed. Monster books are my favorite gaming products, and I want to make Closed great.

Finally, the art for this post is by John Picot. It depicts Shahteya, the Goddess of Strippers. Yes, stripper-nuns are a faction, this deity has clerics and grants spells. She's got an interesting relationship with the Imperial Church of the Galaxy, the big, theo-fascist bad-guy church, and should be fun to design powers and items for.
Blessed Be,

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