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