Thursday, October 16, 2014

Art Update: The Black Bestiary

Well, I've got some very good news.

Mark Catho, my publisher and owner of Skortched Urf Studios, who I've been using as my store front the last few years for all my Otherverse Games releases, just sent me an email. He's going to be comissioning some new art work from Anthony Cournoyer for Black Tokyo's upcoming Black Bestiary. 

From this first email, I'm not quite sure exactly how many new pieces Mark will be funding, so I sent a 'top ten' list of concepts and creatures I would like Mark to illustrate. I focused mostly on the big name villains of the setting, high CR threats and quirky creatures that I can't find stock art. So over the next couple of days, I'll find out which of them will get illoed and start doing art direction of those specific creatures.

One really good thing is that Anthony works almost as fast as Amanda, so the book should be out fairly soon. Some more details: right now Black Bestiary tops 100 monsters (!). I have specifically commissioned art for around 50 of those, stock art for another 20 or 30 and a remaining 20-30 creatures which lack illos at this point. I've been debating whether to go ahead and publish now with what I have or wait a bit.... even if I publish now, Black Bestiary would be exceedingly art heavy and well illustrated. I'm glad I waited, because this is good news all around.

Meantime, I'm working on a futuristic melee weapon sourcebook as a companion to The Advanced Arsenal and Advanced Armory sourcebooks in preparation for doing an Enchantments of Heavy Future soucebook in the same vein as the exceedingly crunchy and well received Enchantments of Black Tokyo. The more 'workman-like' Advanced tech books are basically laying the groundwork for the more imaginative Enchantments sourcebooks, and I plan to do something similar, an Enchantments of Otherverse America next year some time, fully converting that setting to a Pathfinder powered, magic-friendly setting! Expect big things with Otherverse America sometime next year.

I'm also taking some time away from these to work, in little spurts here and here, on a revision of Battlechangers, my Transformers homage RPG from 2011. I'll do something with that one sooner or later too.

Blessed Be,


Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Technology Trilogy

While I'm waiting on art for the Black Bestiary, I decided to work on a smaller project. This last year I've been consolidating all the advanced tech from my various campaign worlds, integrating the core content from the D20 Modern/Future SRD and updating everything fully to Pathfinder.

Earlier this year I released the Advanced Arsenal, which consolidated all the Otherverse America, Psi-Watch and Heavy Future guns in one place. I also put out The Polymer Path,which updated the cybernetics rules for Pathfinder.

I just sent the third book in the triology to Mark for posting: The Advanced Armory. This book consolidates all the special armor (as well as other high tech armor from various other OGL sources) in one place.

I started working on this because I wanted to begin work on an Enchantments of Heavy Future book, similar to the Enchantments of Black Tokyo. Writing Enchantments of Black Tokyo really spurred my creativity- I was able to really dial in my focus on Black Tokyo, really add a lot of flavor to the world with that book's spells and magic items, and I want to do something similar for Heavy Future.

However, unlike Black Tokyo, many of Heavy Future's armors and gear are non-standard. For Black Tokyo, I could model a lot of the enchanted armors as things already found in the Pathfinder PRD, for example, I could stat up enchanted o-yoroi, easily, because o-yoroi are already defined mechanically. I couldn't do that for Heavy Future as easily, because as a sci-fi setting, alot of the characters would be wearing spacesuits, rather than plate mail or other extant armors.

So, publishing the Advanced Armory became a necessary (and hopefully profitable) intermediary step. Plus, defining many of the campaign specific armors in more general terms got me thinking about how to modify them for my signature settings.

Anyway, Advanced Armory will be up in a few days, and I hope you pick it up. It's pretty fun, in that since many of the sources I drew on are super heroic or sci-fi, the resulting armors are heavy on exotic space suits, powered armor and superhero type skinsuits, as well as more realistic tactical military body armor.

Over at the right are the covers for the "Tech Trilogy" books. As you can see, they're all based around John Picot images, and have been designed with a consistent design scheme. I'm proud of how they came out.

Blessed Be,