Saturday, December 19, 2015

Working on Awesome Stuff

I've been fairly quiet for the last couple of weeks. I will likely have one more short sourcebook before the end of the year: Weapons of Rock & Roll. This book will take all the Musical and Superior Musical weapons found in various Black Tokyo and Heavy Future sourcebooks, clean up and standardize the rules, and introduce some new content. Basically these weapons can be 'fired' with a Perform check rather than an attack roll, making them very powerful and useful in the hands of bards and other performers.

As you can see from Anthony Cournoyer's art for this book, it's not just going to be laser-blasting guitars. We're going to have weaponized ghetto blasters called Block Shakers and even futuristic video gaming devices as "Musical" weapons. It's a very goofy, toyetic and fun sourcebook to write.I was working on Weapons of Rock & Roll simultaniously with my Voidsparrows racial book and the two concepts fed back and forth, because the Silverhawks cartoon, which inspired both, had the cyborg hero Bluegrass blasting away with a high tech guitar-gun.

Meanwhile, what's on deck for 2016?

Black Bestiary II, motherfuckers!

Not only that, expect a POD version of the two Black Bestiaries, probably combined into one massive hardback Bestiary, as good as anything Paizo has ever published. If all goes well, a lot of my upcoming 2016 tax return will be invested in art and other logistical resources for Otherverse Games.

Right now, I've got around fifty critters written up for Black Bestiary II- some of them you might have seen in the short-lived Tournament of Rapists sourcebook, but since that PDF's publication, the critters have been revised and expanded and made a little nastier. There's also a bunch of really freaky and horrific new monsters, and some new folkloric critters. I'll preview the contents later.

Also, expect a couple of major racial sourcebooks within the first weeks of 2016: Races of Black Japan, which will be a huge sourcebook detailing everything you need to build a hero in the Black Tokyo campaign setting, including 20+ player races to choose from, not to mention cultural templates, traits and feats. We'll also be seeing Heavy Races, another weighty sourcebook detailing all the unique races of the Heavy Future campaign world.

Previews soon, and enjoy your holidays,

Friday, December 11, 2015

A Printed First: The Complete Nemesis Bestiary

Guys, earlier this week, Mark put up Otherverse Game's first print on demand offering!I chose to put out Nemesis Bestiary first, because as generic Pathfinder RPG fantasy content, I know it'll sell well, the production costs were minimal and I had no profit sharing on this book, since it was all stock art.

I got my proof copies of both the hardback and softback earlier this week, and I'm really satisfied with how it came out. The layout's simple and crisp and the creativity behind the monsters feels as good as anything Paizo or Kobold Press has put into their bestiaries. It was just an outstanding product to do.

Anyway, now that I've got this book under my belt, who here wants a POD version of a setting specific bestiary: Horrors of the Lifechain, Closed, Black Bestiary or an as yet unnamed Psi-Watch threat book?

Let me know what you want to see in the comments or email me, and that will help decide what bestiary I put out next.

Blessed Be,

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Say It Again: Abortion Providers Are Heroes.

One of the major themes of my writing- the whole cornerstone of my Otherverse America campaign world in fact- is this: Abortion Providers Are Heroes.

I was away this weekend. Completely disconnected- I hadn't gone on line or watched the news since Wednesday night. I was up in San Antonio with some good friends, eating a huge ass Thanksgiving feast and binge-watching season 1 of The Flash on Netflix. It was a great weekend, until I got home this afternoon and logged on.

I saw that Friday night, some grizzly bearded, hillbilly, Duck Dynasty-looking subhuman walked into a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs, CO and killed three people and wounded nearly a dozen others. The Colorado Springs facility, by the way, was one of the ones targeted by those lying, duplicitous bastards at the "Center for Medical Progress" in their doctored ambush videos over the last six months.

So once again, the talkers in the anti-choice movement continue to preach from the pulpit- to call damn good physicians and medics baby-killers and worse. They talk, and they talk, they pass bullshit laws like Scott Walker's restrictions on abortion access in Kansas or Texas' equally vile laws. And the talkers talk, they preach, they spread blood libel to a nation all too ready to believe their terrorist, misogynistic horseshit.

And eventually, one of the doers has heard enough. He (and it's almost always a "he") picks up one of his 27 guns, and goes down to the local abortion clinic and better people than he will ever be die bloody. Just like the talkers wanted, but didn't have the courage to do themselves.

But you know what, enough about the anti-choice scum bag. Let's talk about the good guys.

People working in facilities like the one that got hit yesterday night are heroes. These are women and men who withstand a constant barrage of legal harassment, cultural warfare and propaganda stings and literal demonization by Christian pundits and power-brokers. Many places, as  the clinic in Colorado Springs is said to have installed, include bullet-proof high security safe rooms, because being an abortion provider is incredibly dangerous, incredibly risky. And they do the job anyway- protect and help women at their most desperate, at their lowest point, despite the threats, the harassment and the very real risk of being murdered.

Thank you.

Hey, if you can afford it, make a donation to Planned Parenthood Colorado or a similar group in your area. Tonight, more than ever it will help.

Blessed Be

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Fun Little Project: Adventure Princesses

So while working on my major releases, I got an idea, found some applicable stock art, and just this morning, put out a new short sourcebook.

The high concept? It's fucking brilliant: Disney Princesses as a Pathfinder RPG player race. You all know cartoons and anime are huge influences on my writing, and I'd been wanting to do a Disney Princess class for a few years now. The other day, I was fooling around with some other projects, when it hit me. I could explore that concept as a player race.

Blame the Afro-Futurists and Leather Clones (which I've previously previewed here).

If I could create a pair of races that were genetically human, but so radically different in terms of culture they had different in-game mechanics and powers than baseline Humans, and drew on some particular literary and artistic tropes, why not do the same for Disney Princesses? After all if I could base an entire player race around the artistic tropes of Tom Of Finland, why not do the same for Snow White?

Anyway, I'm very pleased with the way Adventure Princesses came out and I just uploaded the book to RPGnow. Its a completely all-ages book, which I like to do from time to time, just to keep everybody off balance. I'm kinda hoping it turns out to be a best seller, because it was a very fun little book to work on.

Also some more good news. I received my copy of the Ascendents, Vol 2 from Amanda Webb last week. This is the volume in which I have an 8 page back up story. You can follow the links on Amanda's website to purchase this TBP. However she just told me that one of her local comic shops, Vault of Midnight, in Grand Rapids MI has ordered a few copies of her books for their store.

If you're a Michigan native, you might want to stop in, or check out the Vault's online store.

Blessed Be,

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Fixing the Furries

Well, now that Culture of Choice is in the bag, and art for the Heavy Future racial sourcebook is trickling in, I've started working on a revised, POD version of Fursona. I want to take all the content from the three existing Fursona books, and consolidate it. I also want to simplify the character creation system a bit, and encourage players to create 'hybrid' style furries more easily. Tons of furry fan art exists of say, wolves with dragon wings, fox-bats, and tigers with ram horns, among other hybrid critters. I want you to be able to build chimeric shit like that easily.

I also wanted to eliminate the whole concept of orders- what animal species you belong to is purely a flavorful and descriptive choice. The problem with orders was that every time I created a new power, I had to publish another paragraph or two deciding what orders that power was a major or minor trait for, and likewise with any new order I generated, I had to put out several paragraphs explaining what powers were favored for them.

So how, everybody gets a number of "Gifts of Nature" determined by their size, with Small and Medium Anthros getting the most. Character creation is actually rather similar to Battlechangers: like my genericized Transformers, furries are a very diverse and almost infinitely customizable 'species'. I put species in quotes, because Anthros really aren't one species- its an umbrella which shelters a wide variety of similar species, from genetically engineered uplifts, products of parallel evolution in other worlds or dimensions, creatures transformed by sorcery and even Agathion-like outsiders. That diversity makes writhing a species book difficult, but I do want to give my Anthros more of a sense of place and culture.I also want to tie furry races more strongly into my signature settings, including setting specific stuff for Otherverse America, Black Tokyo, Heavy Future and more.

Here's a weighty excerpt from the racial write up, that should give you an idea of what to expect from Ultimate Fursona

Tiny to Huge Humanoid (Anthro)

Anthros aren’t simply one species. Instead, the term is an umbrella for a variety of mostly interfertile, highly adaptable and exuberant hominids with bestial traits and a partially animalistic appearance. Anthros hail from every corner of the multiverse. Some Anthro bloodlines are products of science: genetic uplifts from animal stock, while others are creatures of parallel evolution on distant worlds, or mystical hybrids created by sorcery.

Regardless of their origins, Anthros marry the natural instincts and survival adaptations of the animal kingdom with the cunning and intellect of humanity.

Anthro Racial Traits
All Anthros have the following racial traits.

Size and Type
Anthros are Humanoids with the Anthro subtype.

Players may give their Anthro an additional subtype appropriate to its origins, if desired. For instance, a cobra Anthro might have the Reptilian subtype, or a human/coyote hybrid might have the Human subtype. Players are not required to give their Anthros an additional subtype.

Players choose their Anthro’s size at character creation. This size determines many of the Anthro’s physical characteristics. These include the character’s base land speed, reach and number of Gifts of Nature allowed, as well as the damage inflicted by their natural weapons.  

Game Master Note
The GM is free to restrict Anthro characters to a particular size range, as Tiny and Huge characters might be considered unbalanced in most standard campaigns.

Anthro’s Size Category
Anthro’s Base Landspeed
Anthro’s Reach
Anthro’s Natural Weapons (claw/hoof)
Anthro’s Natural Weapon (gore)
Gifts of Nature
10 ft
0 ft
1d3+STR (20/x2)
1d6+STR (20/x3)
20 ft
5 ft
1d4+STR (20/x2)
1d8+STR (20/x3)
30 ft
5 ft
1d6+STR (20/x2)
1d10+STR (20/x3)
40 ft
10 ft
1d8+STR (20/x2)
1d12+STR (20/x3)
40 ft
15 ft
1d10+STR (20/x2)
2d6+STR (20/x3)

Natural Weapons (EX)
All Anthros possess some form of natural weapon, provided by evolution.

Anthros receive two natural weapon attacks as primary natural attack forms. These either take the form of two claw attacks (slashing damage) or two hoof stomps (bludgeoning damage). Damage is based upon the Anthro’s size.

Alternatively, the Anthro can select a single gore attack that inflicts piercing damage based upon size, in the case of horned (rhinoceros) or antlered (deer, elk) derived Anthro species.

Lowlight Vision (EX)
Anthros have keen eyes, and possess lowlight vision.

Choose Your Ability Scores
Anthros are such a radically diverse assortment of creatures, with an equally diverse range of talents. Pick one ability score package for your Anthro; once chosen, this choice cannot be changed.

Optional You can also roll D8 to see what your ability score package suggests, if you need inspiration about what kind of Anthro you’ll build, and then select Gifts of Nature that mesh well with this concept.

(1) Adaptable
+2 to any ability score of choice. Anthros like this can excel in a wide variety of situations and environments.

(2) Chase Predator
+2 DEX, -2 CON, +2 WIS. These Anthros are nimble and have keen senses, but a hot-running metabolism saps their vitality.

(3) Domesticated
-2 STR, +2 INT, +2 CHA. These Anthros are clever and likable, but bred to be physically frail.

(4) Enduring but Dim
+4 CON, -2  INT. These Anthros can work all day without breaking a sweat, but aren’t the sharpest claw in the paw.

(5) Instinctual Hunter
+2 STR, -4 INT, +2 WIS. This feral Anthro gets by with instinct and a healthy capacity for violence rather than book learning or rational thought.

(6) Tough and Ponderous
+2 STR, -2 DEX, +2 CON. These Anthros are incredibly strong and healthy, but a bit slow and clumsy.

(7) Trickster
+2 DEX, -2 CON, +2 CHA. This Anthro gets by on guile and charm, but doesn’t know the meaning of hard work.

(8) Quick Witted
-2 STR, +2 INT, +2 WIS. The Anthro learns fast and has good senses, but isn’t a hard hitter by any means.

Choose Your Gifts of Nature
Gifts of Nature are the innate powers that Anthro heroes are blessed with. These gifts can range from a boa constrictor Anthro’s crushing hug, to a falcon Anthro’s powerful wings, or a Clydesdale Anthro’s speed and steel-crushing kick. Players choose a number of Gifts of Nature determined by their Anthro’s size. Players wanting more Gifts can choose Disadvantages, which allow them to select additional powers beyond the usual limit.

Most Gifts of Nature count as a single gift. If there’s no other notation in the ability write-up, that trait counts as just one Gift. If a particularly powerful gift counts as two or more Gift of Nature selections, that’s noted in the ability’s description.

Standard Monster Abilities as Gifts of Nature
The following standard racial abilities can be chosen as Gifts of Nature.
Alignment Subtype (any)
All Around Vision
Anthro Senses (gain Scent and Darkvision 60 ft)
Aquatic (gains Aquatic subtype, ability to breathe water and a Swim speed equal to base land speed)
Blindsight 30 ft (counts as two Gifts)
Blindsense 60 ft
Bonus Feat, Minor (0-1 prerequisites aside from ability score prerequisites, can be selected multiple times for extra feats)
Bonus Feat, Major (2 or more prerequisites aside from ability score prerequisites, can be selected multiple times for extra feats) (each feat of this type counts as 2 Gifts)
Burrow Speed (equal to ½ base land speed; can only burrow through loose earth or soil if chosen as 1 Gift, or through rock or hard-packed stone if chosen as 2 Gifts)
Climb Speed (equal to base landspeed)
Evasion (counts as 2 Gifts)
Fast Healing 2 (can be selected multiple times)
Fast Speed (increase base speeds by 10 ft, can be selected multiple times)
Grab (with natural weapons- bite, paws or hooves only)
Greater Starflight (counts as 2 Gifts)
Greensight 60 ft
Immunity to Non-Magical Disease
Immunity to Poison
No Breath (counts as 2 Gifts)
Natural Armor (+2 natural armor bonus to AC, can be selected multiple times)
Pounce (counts as 2 Gifts)
Psionic (gain the Naturally Psionic and Psionic Aptitude racial traits and the Psionic subtype)
Push or Pull 5 ft (can be taken more than once)
Rake (requires two or more natural weapon attacks) (counts as 2 Gifts)
Rend (requires two or more natural weapon attacks) (counts as 2 Gifts)
Resistance (1 energy type) 10 (can be taken multiple times, either to stack or to acquire new energy resistances each time)
Regeneration 2, nullified by Acid/Fire (can be selected multiple times) (counts as 2 Gifts each selection)
Spell-Like or Psi-Like Ability (zero level, usable at will)
Spell-Like or Psi-Like Ability (1st level, usable 3x/day)
Spell-Like or Psi-Like Ability (2nd level, usable 1x/day) 
You may purchase the same 1st or 2nd spell- or psi-like ability multiple times to gain additional daily uses, or purchase different versions of these Gifts, representing different spell- or psi-like abilities.
Spell Resistance 10+level or Hit Dice (counts as 2 Gifts)
Starflight (counts as 2 Gifts)
Stench (can activate or deactivate Stench as a move action)
Tremorsense 60 ft

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Culture of Choice Up Today!

Well, Culture of Choice is finally uploaded and ready for sale today! It's been a great book to work on and it's a nice satisfying book to get out after the Tournament of Rapists fiasco.Right now, I'm working on an Apex sourcebook in a similar vein, and after that, I'll have a Lifer specific sourcebook. I want to do Apex first, because as a faction they haven't received enough love, and I like the idea of giving mixed Choicer/Apex parties some mechanical support. Next time, I'll show off the revamped Courier race.

In the mean time, take a look at the sell text for Culture of Choice.

Culture of Choice is a complete revision and rethinking of Otherverse America’s talents and feats, making this unique, military sci-fi setting fully compatible with the Pathfinder Role Playing Game.

Culture of Choice focuses on the Choicer Covenant and the pro-choice, feminist and militarized pagan nation’s iconic powers and abilities. Soon, similar soucebooks will delve into the factional talents of both the Lifer Army of God and the United States Fed-Gov.

Detailing the races, traits and superhuman feats available to Otherverse America’s Choicer heroes, this sourcebook is the definitive guide for building heroes…or adversaries… for this war-scarred, neo-pagan cyberpunk campaign setting.

Included in this comprehensive sourcebook:
  • Racial histories and statistics for the Fluxminx, Softling Healer and Ubasti player races, now fully compatible with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.
  • The introduction of the all new Pagan Born and RAINBOW Tribe player races.
  • Alternate Human race traits for Human heroes native to the setting.
  • Suggestions on importing races from other Otherverse Games settings into Otherverse America
  • Hundreds of new traits for Choicer heroes, including new supernatural and spell-like abilities which introduce magic to the setting while retaining its 22nd Century flavor.
  • Every Choicer-specific feat and power published to date, revised and expanded.
  • Powerful new feats like Legendary Weapon of Choice, Bastian Divinity, Point Defense Flames, Threefold Bitch and Flight Capability allow you to build more powerful, more capable and more interesting heroes than ever before.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Culture of Choice Cover Pencils

I just saw this in my inbox this afternoon and thought I'd share it with you. This is the penciled art for the Culture of Choice cover, by Amanda Webb. She based the composition on an old GI Joe cover image, which is awesome and the pencils came out awesome. I'm really, really pleased with this image and can't wait to get the finished version.

One thing you'll notice is that in addition to her designs for Julie Riddle and Hiemdall (bottom male and female figures), she also included Scott Holmes' female Choicer Soldier (middle female figure) and Vic Shane's Ubasti (the lion). I asked her to include a variety of characters from different artists in the image to give the book a consistent feel over all, and I wanted a cover treatment to how Paizo Publishing does its covers. On the Paizo covers, its always a handful of their iconic characters getting into some shit, and I wanted something similar here.

You don't know how happy I am with this artwork.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Mega Preview: Pagan Weapons and Leather Clones

Today I thought I’d do a mega-preview of my next two upcoming projects. Right now, I’m waiting on one piece of art for Culture of Choice- a new cover by Amanda Webb- and I’ll finally get this long awaited sourcebook out. In the mean time I’m adding bits of content here and there. Hopefully I’ll have the final art next week and have the book out next weekend. I’m disappointed a bit with my output this year- lots of various personal difficulties and problems cropped up, and my focus on bigger projects has meant instead of 30+ small books, I’ve done about 15 big ones.

By the way, the cover I’ve talked over with Amanda should be more than worth the wait. Since this is a full revision to Pathfinder, I’ve just got one thing to say. Remember Dr. Julie Riddle, the iconic Midwife from the Otherverse America Unlimited Edition cover….she’s now a spellcaster.

It’s going to look pretty fucking awesome.

Anyway, today I wanted to preview two things: the full Ancient Weapons feat tree from Culture of Choice as well as a couple other feats, and then the new Leather Clone race from the still unnamed Heavy Future Racial Sourcebook. I also want to showcase John Picot’s art work on that one. I referenced the artwork of 70s/80s painter Tom of Finland, and John perfectly captured the look I was going for. Lots of fun.(While I own the John Picot artwork and you'll be seeing it in the book, the top image of the high-tech spellcaster is just something I found on line and stuck in my 'inspirations' folder.)

Anyway, first up is The Ancient Weapons feat tree.
This is an iconic Choicer feat tree, which is probably going to be common among a lot of melee builds. It dates back to the Neo-Witch Guardian class I did for Skortched Urf Studios in 2007, and shapes a lot of how I see Choicer warriors fighting. When I was first designing Otherverse America, I wanted to take a cue from anime and cross-genre games like Rifts or Shadowrun, and make melee combat a viable option and stylistic choice despite the prevalence of various kickass guns. To that end, I designed these feats, and similar combat feats used by Lifer characters, to bring swords, fists and staves to the battlefield.

The Pentacle Shield trait/feat tree is a nice counterpoint, and gives Choicer characters some of the neat defensive abilities I’ve mentioned they have  in the fiction.

1.      Ancient Weapons – Simple Weapons Proficiency, BAB +1, Knowledge (religion) 1 rank
a.       Aradian Toxin – BAB +3
b.      Broom Witchery – Ancient Weapons or Weapon Focus (Staff)
                                                   i.      Agile Broom – Broom Witchery
                                                 ii.      Shield of the Witches – Broom Witchery
                                                iii.      Witch Flight – Broom Witchery, character level 5th

2.      Pentacle Barrier – Pentacle Shield trait
a.       Pentacle Umbra – Pentacle Barrier, character level 5th

Pentacle Shield (Faith Trait)
Ability Type Spell-Like
Requires any pagan patron deity
You can summon a gleaming shield of translucent red and gold energies that takes the form of a glowing pentacle. You may use shield of faith as a cleric of your total character level once per day.

Agile Broom – Combat
You use your broom with the grace and flair of an Olympic pole vaulter or gymnast.
Requires Broom Witchery
Benefit When you have any staff or besom in hand, you receive a +4 equipment bonus on Acrobatics checks. While using Acrobatics to cross narrow or uneven surfaces, you retain your DEX bonus to AC and are not considered flatfooted if your staff or besom is in hand.
Ability Type Extraordinary

Aradian Toxin – Combat
The Covenant claim the legendary Aradia, messiah of witches, fought against the Dark Ages church with blade and poison. They named their capital for the fearsome witch-assassin, and their greatest warriors can also imbue their blades with lethal psi-toxins.
Requires Ancient Weapons, base attack bonus +3
Benefit By expending psionic focus while wielding any weapon for which the Ancient Weapons feat would apply, you coat the blade with psi-created poison. The blade remains poisoned for a 1d4+1 rounds once this feat is activated.

Initially, the poison acts as either large scorpion venom or small centipede poison, chosen at the time you activate this feat. When you reach 10th level, you may also choose to manifest deathblade poison instead.
 Ability Type Supernatural

Ancient Weapons – Combat
You have extensively trained with a variety of weapons, chosen for their symbolism, all of which have an important place in pagan myth and history.
Requires Simple Weapons Proficiency, base attack bonus +1, Knowledge (religion) 1 rank
Benefit You are proficient with the following weapons. You may use any feat or ability requiring an atheme with one of these weapons instead.
  • All hand axes, flails, longswords, combat besom, kama, kris, kukri, scythe, scimitar, staff, spear
Ability Type Extraordinary

Broom Witchery – Combat
You have dedicated your young life to protecting Wicca as a faith, and the Covenant as a nation. You use occult combat techniques based on old witchery, and are a firm believer in hereditary witchcraft- you have a personal witch heritage going back several generations, and grew up proudly pagan. Many Gardnerian heroes choose this ability.
Requires Ancient Weapons or Weapon Focus (staff or besom)
Benefit When fighting with any staff or besom you gain a +1 shield bonus to Armor Class per five character levels. When taking the total defense action with any staff or besom in hand, you gain an additional +2 deflection bonus to Armor Class.
Ability Type Extraordinary

Pentacle Barrier
Your belief-driven defenses are reliable and easily activated.
Requires Pentacle Shield trait
Benefit You may use your Pentacle Shield trait at will, as a spell-like ability, as a cleric of your total character level.
Ability Type Spell-Like

Pentacle Umbra
You can extend your belief-driven defense fields over enormous areas, using psi-tech similar to the force domes that protect Choicer abortion clinics.
Requires Pentacle Barrier, character level 5th
Benefit Once per day per five character levels, you can generate a massive protective forcefield as a standard action. This forcefield remains in place once established until its HP is depleted, its duration expires, or you choose to dismiss it. You do not need to maintain concentration on the forcefield once it is established.

The forcefield is a glistening, half sphere of orange and crimson force, etched with pentagram motifs in golden lightning. It has 100 HP plus +10 HP per character level, and recovers 10 HP per round if damaged. It is immune to all forms of energy that allow specific energy resistance but allows light and visual effects to pass through and is not airtight. You can extend the forcefield to cover a maximum radius of 100 ft + 10 ft/level to a height of up to 30 ft + 5 ft/level. When you construct the field, you may designate airlock style apertures in the field, which you may open or close as a purely mental action. It remains active for 1 minute per level.

If the field is destroyed prior to dismissal or its expiration, you must succeed at a DC 18 WILL Save or be stunned for 2d4 rounds; success indicates you are merely stunned for one round.
Ability Type Spell-Like

Shield of the Witches – Combat
Though your besom is only a thin shaft of wood an inch in diameter, you can take cover behind it as if it were a solid stone redoubt.
Requires Broom Witchery
Benefit You can drop prone and claim cover from your besom or staff as a move equivalent action. At 10th level, you gain the ability to either claim cover from your staff/besom as an immediate action, or gain improved cover as a move equivalent action.
Ability Type Supernatural

Witch Flight – Combat
You’ve learned the secret of imbuing your besom with strange energies that allow it to defy inertia, gravity and most other physical laws.
Requires Broom Witchery, character level 5th
Benefit With a ceremony requiring eight uninterrupted hours of prayer, meditation and weapons training, which requires  the expenditure of 500 gp worth or ritual items. At the end of this ceremony, you bind to a specific besom or staff. This ritual can also be used to replace a lost or destroyed staff or besom.

This besom or staff acts as a +1 dancing staff as well as an immovable rod.  The ritual besom’s enhancement bonus increases by +1 per four character levels, and at 10th level also acts as a broom of flying with an upgraded, non-tactical flight speed of approximately 700 mph. These abilities only function when wielded by you, and the besom is treated as an ordinary staff by other characters. The besom cannot simultaneously be used as a rod, staff and broom.
Ability Type Supernatural

Now, let’s take a look at the next preview, the Leather Clones of Heavy Future. As I said, the artwork of Tom of Finland, and the view of late 70s gay culture it presented are the genesis of the race. Leather Clones were a cultural template in the first draft of Heavy Future, but I decided they had enough unique abilities and a neat enough racial backstory they worked well as a stand alone race.

It’s funny, my revision of the Black Tokyo races emphasizes the whole concept of cultural templates and the modularity that comes with it (plug template A into race B into class C) but I’m basically deleting the concept in Heavy Future. For some reason, the idea of a bunch of human subraces with major mechanical and game play differences seems right for a factionalized and grungy future in a way modular templates anybody can take doesn’t. Maybe it’s the starkness and divisiveness of the choices, it certainly seems like gritty 70s.

Size, Type and Subtypes
Summed Up In One Sentence….
Leather Clone
Medium Humanoid (human)
All male race of muscled gay clones from a hotly radioactive Frontier system

Leather Clone
Medium Humanoid (human)

Leather Clones are muscular, hyper-sexual, aggressive and proud spacers who utterly reject The Command’s stifling conformity and tepid, tech-enhanced quasi-sexuality in favor of the wild nights under the open stars and the embrace of equally masculine space-men. Instantly recognizable in their crotch hugging leather pants and chrome armor, Leather Clones cultivate a tangible aura of strength, masculinity and honor. They are also, proudly, openly and emphatically gay as fuck.

The Command and the Imperial Church of the Galaxy does everything possible to keep Leather Clone culture off the radar and in the closet. Leather Clones living openly in Command Space face every kind of discrimination and Command military harassment Earth’s bureaucrats can dream up, so most Leather Clones make their living prowling Free Space and the Frontier. Most are space pirates, Space Mafiosos, mercs, salvagers, free traders, or simply explorers- a few are heroes.

Leather Clones are big, brawny evolved homo sapiens males. They work out constantly, and what nature can’t give them, they acquire through black-market genemods and hyper-steroid treatments. Leather Clones are a vain people, peacocks in leather and chrome. They cram their massive musculature into tight fitting leather pants, biker jackets and leather vests, all topped off with gleaming chains and studs. Most mature Leather Clones universally favor thick handle-bar mustaches, and darker skinned Leather Clones adopt bushy, impudent afros.

Since the race perpetuates itself by innovative cloning processes, the faces tend to be similar, but Leather Clones distinguish themselves with their wild hairstyles, unique accessories and irrepressible personal style. Though the aesthetics are a bit different, most Leather Clones have a wardrobe that would make a Pacifican drool with envy.

Leather Clones are native to the Starburn System, which got its name from its dangerously unpredictable and lethally radioactive star. The fearsome sun is known to locals as “The Ripper”- often anthropomorphized as a cosmic demon of flame, and celebrated in murals and the full back tattoos favored by Leather Clone pilots.

Starburn is the closest thing the galaxy’s Leather Clones have to a birth-system, and is the center of gay life in the 46th Century. The spray of superheated asteroids and lethal, bullet-sized micrometeorites garlanding the inner solar system, and the dangerous solar storms keep the Command Navy at arm’s reach. Free from outside interference, the Starburn evolved into a free living, hard working and harder partyin’ slice of Free Space. Its citizens are leather daddies and drag queens, iconoclasts, rock stars, hard core spacers and the occasional Cosmic Satanist, and that’s just how they like things.

Sex, Drugs and Violence
Leather Clones like sex more than a Pacifician porno star, they just like it with other Leather Clones. Leather Clones prefer strong, assertive men as lovers- they’ve got no time for twinks or queens. Leather Clones More than a few have kids from a previous hetro romance, but most sustain their race through…what else?...cloning.

The genelines of great Leather Clone heroes are used as the basis for the next generations. Children are raised semi-communally, with young Leather Clones living with different sets of uncles, picking up different skills and talents, for a few months out of each year. Leather Clones are fiercely protective of their sons, and tend to be over protective of young spacers in general, regardless of gender, species or affiliation.

Politics & Culture
There’s been a quiet war brewing between The Command and the Starburn System for centuries. The Command has done everything possible to eradicate the homosexual human subspecies, up to and including actively impeding research into a cure for a lethal new space plague sweeping the system. The Starburn System is under a near constant military interdict, and depends on smugglers and Free Spacer captains for contact with the outside galaxy.

The Leather Clones are on pretty good terms with everybody else feeling the Command’s boot on their throat. Starburn has strong diplomatic relations with Pacifica, with the Outlaw Sex Station network, with various Free Spacer fleets, and with several Afro-Futurist colonies, provided they don’t have problems with the Leather Clone lovestyle.

Leather Clones identify themselves with Americanized Terran names, universally male, and with an alphanumeric code identifying their birth batch. Some might adopt a feminine persona for drag entertainment, but most consider this purely a working, artistic identity and rarely identify as female.

Example Names: Brock X-2251, Kyle NCC-204, Freddie 1976-M, Tom F-1N2L

Leather Clones begin play speaking Galactic Common and one Earth language of choice, usually English or Spanish. Leather Clones with high INT scores can choose any language as a bonus language, except secret languages like Druidic.

Leather Clone Racial Traits
All Leather Clones share the following racial traits.

Size and Type
Leather Clones are Medium Humanoids with the Human subtype. As Medium creatures, Leather Clones receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Ability Score Modifiers
+2 STR, +2 CON, -2 WIS.
Leather Clones have bodybuilder physiques, but they tend to be impulsive, occasionally shallow and way too prone to falling for a sob story or a pretty face.

Muscle Up (SU)
When exposed to any effect that causes a temporary enhancement to their STR or CON scores, the Leather Clone adds additional duration to the effect. This extended duration is based on the Leather Clone’s total character level. This applies to potions, spells such as bull’s strength or bear’s endurance, or class or racial abilities that temporarily increase physical ability scores. The effects of these increases are not cumulative, use the best one.

First level: add 1 minute to the effect.
Third level: add 10 minutes to the effect
Fifth level: add 30 minutes to the effect
Tenth level: add 1 hour to the effect

Normal Speed (EX)
Leather Clones have a base land speed of 30 ft.

Human Blood (EX)
Leather Clones count as human for all effects related to race.

Leather Astronaut (EX)
Leather Clones are adept pilots and extremely comfortable on the grungy side of the galaxy. They receive a +2 racial bonus on Pilot checks and Knowledge (local) checks.

Leather Lust (EX)
Leather Clones like nothing better than a strong man. Leather Clones add their potential romantic partner’s STR modifier as a circumstance bonus on sexually oriented Bluff and Diplomacy checks made against male humanoids and monstrous humanoids, as well as Perform (sexual) checks. For instance, if a Leather Clone is attempting to talk Thom Starseeker (with a STR modifier +2) into bed, he would receive a +2 circumstance bonus on Bluff or Diplomacy checks to do so.

Powerful Build (EX)
Leather Clones’ have bulging, genetically engineered muscles that provide them with the Powerful Build racial trait.

Leather Clone Alternate Racial Traits
There’s a lot of hab-domes, radiation shielded stations and asteroid bases scattered through Starburn, each with their own ways of doing things. Leather Clone culture is a lot less monolithic than the Command imagines.

Ain’t Human, Am Evolved (EX)
Human Blood, Human Subtype
A few Leather Clone bloodlines have gone full on post-human, bigger than the norm and distinguished by bright blue or metallic bronze dermis. The Leather Clone’s type becomes Monstrous Humanoid and he loses the human subtype.

Big Bear (EX)
Muscle Up
The Leather Clone’s even burlier and hairier than the norm, just a wall of gene-sculpted muscle. The Leather Clone’s racial ability score modifier to STR increases to +4 and his racial ability score modifier to CON increases to +3.

Leather Activist (EX)
Replaces: Leather Lust
The Leather Clone’s going to wake up the galaxy to the quiet little genocide the Corporation Command’s trying to commit against Starburn. The Leather Clone receives a +2 racial bonus on Diplomacy and Perform checks made against characters or audiences hostile to the Command.

Leather Engineer (EX)
Leather Astronaut
The Leather Clone’s more at home in a starship’s engine compartment than on the bridge or cruising the bars. The Leather Clone receives a +2 racial bonus on Craft (mechanical) checks and FORT Saves made to resist radiation.

Space Hardened (EX)
Powerful Build
The Leather Clones’ tissues have been genetically hardened against the rigors of space. The Leather Clone is immune to radiation and environmental heat and cold. He does not gain the No Breath racial quality, but can survive in space indefinitely with only a breathing mask and oxygen tank.

Virility (EX)
Leather Astronaut
The Leather Clone is a rock hard ramrod of a man, always ready for action. The Leather Clone receives Gifts of Ecstasy as a racial bonus feat. Additionally, the Leather Clone is immune to permanent drain to his CON or CHA scores, and treats drain to those scores as temporary ability damage instead.