Monday, December 19, 2016

New Picot Artwork

 Hey guys, I thought I'd preview some art I just received from John Picot. Some of these pieces will be found in the upcoming Blackest of Heroes, and others will find their way into Enchantments of Black Tokyo II.

Up top, we've got  a racial illustration for the Dhampir player race. In the second row, two men from the setting's Maebashi High Tech University- badass bishonen techno-mancer types, who'll show up in EBTU2. The kissing catgirl & android image will be used as a spot illustration in the feats/powers chapter of Blackest of Heroes.

Finally, the last image is going into the Heavy Future spell/item book. I told John to give me a riff on the iconic image of Freddy Mercury and he delivered.

Expect some big releases within the next few weeks.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Coming Soon: The Blackest of Heroes

This coming week I'll start layout on the Blackest of Heroes, the char-gen compendium/player's guide to the Black Tokyo setting. For the last year, I've been working at a local college, and we have a pretty impressive winter vacation. I'll be on paid leave until January 2nd, so I'll be using that free time to work on some neat releases to end this year and begin 2017.

In addition to Blackest of Heroes, I'm working on several more magic item books. First a shorter Battlechanger-specific item book, which also delves into Lifespawn stuff as well, than the larger and more complex second volume of Enchantments of Black Tokyo and a Heavy Future sourcebook in the same vein. After that expect some big campaign sourcebooks for all my lines. I've got writing completed on several books just need to start gathering art.

Today, I want to preview another race from Blackest of Heroes. A few years back, I included an Ainu cultural template. This time I included the Utari Ainu as a full playable race. Take a look at how they work, and the final format for BTU character races. The artwork to the right makes no claims at being culturally accurate- in fact it's gender-flipped Overwatch cosplay, but it had the vibe I was going for with the Utari Ainu race.

Utari Ainu
Medium Humanoid (Human)
The Ainu (which means people in their own language) are a vanishing indigenous race that once roamed freely across the frigid plains of far Northern Japan and territory that would eventually belong to Russia. Circa 2015, only vestiges of Ainu culture remains in Black Japan, washed away by years of forced assimilation into Japanese society, or by a retreat into the twilight of the Tatakama, via lost gates hidden on Japan’s northern-most islands. Those vanishingly few Ainu who keep their old ways in defiance of modernity are the Utari (comrade) Ainu.

Our Appearance
Utari Ainu are a small, muscular people that straddle the line between Caucasian and Asiatic features so nimbly anthropologists write papers debating which ethnicity the tribe actually belongs to. They have dark hair and intense eyes, and traditionally Ainu males grew bushy beards once they came of age (though modern Ainu men might favor going clean shaven). Life outdoors darkens their skins to a dusky brown several shades darker than the Japanese norm.

Soon after puberty, Utari Ainu children are ritually tattooed. Beginning at 13 or so, an Ainu child’s lips, hands and arms are intricately tattooed. The deep azure marks become deeper and more complex with successive tattooings, until the tattoos are completed around 16, and an Ainu is considered an adult. Utari Ainu with mystical talents find these carefully etched tattoos burning as brightly as the sky itself when they call upon their powers.

Our Sexuality
The few traditional Ainu living in the modern world often intermarry with Japanese or Russian families. Even in olden days, the races’ women were free to choose their own spouses and were fairly equal participants in community life. Today’s Utari Ainu women are equally proud, equally fierce, and often become adventurers to protect other women; some might contract with the Eyrines Sisterhood.

Ainu children aren’t usually given a permanent name until their second or third year. Instead, they’re given often vulgar nicknames (like ‘little shit’) by their parents; as the predatory creatures of Ainu myth avoid unclean things, this tradition offers newborns a measure of mythic protection.

Our Faiths and Beliefs
Today only a few Ainu practice their traditional, animistic and proto-Shinto beliefs, with most having embraced either a mélange of Shinto and Buddhist beliefs similar to other Japanese, or else embracing the Russian Orthodox Church. Some Ainu are Gothic Christian demonologists or hunters, though from Orthrodox rather than papal sects. The traditional myths and stories of the Ainu race offer deep insights into the ghosts and monsters of the Japanese archipelago. When the horrific rears its head, Ainu are better able to defend against the unknown than many other Japanese mortals.

The Places Important to Us
During the race’s heyday, the Ainu hunted the Kuril Islands, the large, cold island of Hokkaido and into the northern provinces of Honshu. They also claimed the Russian territories of the Sakhalin Island and the Kamchatcha Peninsula. The surviving remnants of the culture are concentrated in Hokkaido, and know its frigid environs well. Some live in Tokyo, having migrated there in the last few years to insular neighborhoods.

The Ainu were officially recognized as an indigenous people by the Japanese Diet in 2008, reversing a policy of non-recognition more than a century old. At roughly the same time, Russia eliminated the Ainu ethnicity entirely from its national census, claiming that the Ainu race was extinct in its territory.

The Languages We Speak
Utari Ainu characters begin play speaking and literate in Ainu (also known as Emishi) and either Japanese or Russian. Utari Ainu characters with high INT scores can choose any language as a bonus language, including Druidic due to the race’s primordial traditions.

Play An Utari Ainu If….
·         You want to be an excellent druid, ranger or wilderness survival expert.
·         You want an especially tough and impressive animal companion.
·         You want to exist on the fringes of modern, Japanese culture.
·         You enjoyed Princess Mononoke.

Utari Ainu Racial Traits
All Utari Ainu share the following racial traits.

Size and Type
Ainu are Medium Humanoids with the Human subtype. As Medium creatures, Ainu receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Ability Score Modifiers
+2 STR, -2 INT, +2 WIS.
Utari Ainu characters are physically robust and strong for their size. They have keen senses and strong wills, but are tradition-bound to a fault and are not as well educated as more mainstream Japanese children.

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

Animal Friend (SP)
Utari Ainu speak the language of beasts fluently, and the race was often considered little more than beasts themselves during the 17th – mid 20th Centuries.

Utari Ainu are treated as being under a permanent speak with animals spell, as cast by a druid of their total character level. 

Animal Wisdom (EX)
Utari Ainu receive a +2 racial bonus to Handle Animal and Survival checks.  Ainu especially love and revere bears, and are equally beloved by ursines. This bonus on Handle Animal checks increases to +4 when dealing with ursine creatures. These skills are always class skills for the Utari Ainu.

Bear Spirit (SU)
If an Ainu character who selects a bear (or bear-like creature) as an animal companion, the creature receives maximum Hit Points per Hit Die, and is an incredibly large, powerful example of the species, often with unique markings in its fur or strange and compelling eyes.

Human Blood (EX)
Utari Ainu count as Humans for all effects related to race.

Lowlight Vision (EX)
Years of night hunting have trained the Utari Ainu to see far. The Utari Ainu gains lowlight vision.

Mercy Towards the Beasts (SU)
Hunting is a duty that is necessary for survival, but is a somber task for Utari Ainu.

For 24 hours after slaying any creature of the Animal type, an Utari Ainu character suffers a -2 racial penalty on REF and WILL Saves; they are distracted and unlucky. If the Utari Ainu slays a bear or bear-like creature, he is considered shaken as well for the duration.

Tattoos of Maturity (SU)
When an Utari Ainu reaches adulthood, their lips, hands and forearms are tattooed ritually. These tattoos protect the Ainu, and declare their role in society.

Ainu characters receive a +2 deflection bonus to Armor Class against creatures of the Animal or Magical Beast type, thanks to their mystic tattoos. This bonus increases by +1 per four character levels. An Utari Ainu’s ritual tattoos are considered a holy symbol.

Utari Ainu Alternate Racial Traits
The Utari Ainu are a loose coalition of tribes, some fully assimilated into mainstream Japanese culture, and some not. Other clans might have retreated completely into the Tatakama, abandoning Earth entirely.

Ancient Wisdom of the Forest (EX)
Replaces: Animal Wisdom
Utari Ainu have guarded Hokkaido’s forests and tundra for uncounted generations, and the secrets of doing so are passed down along family lines. When in the region of their birth, or any area designated as favored terrain, the Utari Ainu may substitute a Survival check for Knowledge (arcana, planar and religion) checks made to identify threats, wonders or natural features.

Bear Caller (SP)
Animal Friend
The Utari Ainu can cry out to the kamui (gods) of nature and animals for protection and be heard.

Once per week, the Utari Ainu can use Summon Nature’s Ally IV as a 10th level druid, but may only use this ability to summon a grizzly bear. If the Utari Ainu is in a cold or temperate forest, mountain or plain, the duration of the summoning is one hour/level.

Kamchatchka Ainu (EX)
Bear Spirit
The Ainu hails from a tribe whose traditionally hunting grounds were especially frigid. The Ainu gains the Cold subtype, becoming Immune to Cold and Vulnerable to Fire.

Nameless Ainu (SU)
Animal Wisdom
The Ainu never received a permanent name, and is called the vulgar, often scatological nickname he was given upon birth. This has made the Nameless Ainu virtually invisible to the animistic spirits of disease and ill health, and given him a kind of instinctive mastery of skatto magic.

The Nameless Ainu receives a +2 racial bonus on Concentration/Spellcraft checks to cast spells with the skatto descriptor, and rolls 2d20 rather than d20 on FORT Saves against disease and takes the better result.

Scent (EX)
Lowlight Vision
The tattoos on your lips continue onto your cheeks and the bridge of your nose, marking you as a Utari Ainu with an extraordinary nose, the equal of any bear’s. You gain Scent.

Tattoos of Life (SU)
Tattoos of Maturity
The Utari Ainu’s tattoos are inked with black rather than blue, and mark the Utari Ainu as someone of intense vitality and vigor. The Utari Ainu receives a +2 racial bonus on FORT Saves, which increases by +1 per four character levels. An Utari Ainu’s ritual tattoos are considered a holy symbol.

Tattoos of Warfare (SU)
Replaces: Tattoos of Maturity, Animal Friendship
The Utari Ainu’s tattoos are inked with crimson rather than cerulean, and mark the Utari Ainu as a defender of their tribe and great hunter in the traditional methods. The Utari Ainu receives a +2 racial bonus on attack and damage rolls with the longbow, longspear and short sword, thanks to their mystic tattoos. This bonus increases by +1 per four character levels. An Utari Ainu’s ritual tattoos are considered a holy symbol.

Walking with the Forest’s Spirits (EX)
Animal Friend
When you were very young, you encountered a strange animal in the wilderness, which may have been a minor kamui rather than a natural beast. You won this creature’s friendship and protection, and you adventure together as equals.

You gain an animal companion as a Druid of your total character level. Your animal companion may only be chosen from the following list.
  • Bear, Bird, Boar, Dog, or Wolf

Warm Breasts of Nature (EX)
Available To:
Female Utari Ainu characters
Replaces: Bear Spirit
The Utari Ainu woman is especially busty and maternal. She receives the Busty Extreme trait and Mega-Busty as a racial bonus feat.


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Nemesis Unleashed

Guys, I just uploaded Nemesis Unleashed at at $9.99. It should pop up on the main-page within a few minutes. I had a ton of fun writing this project, as I waited for needed artwork to come in on other projects. In a lot of ways, Nemesis Unleashed was a fun 'slump-buster' for me- I put out 43 new critters, didn't have to put forward a lot of money for original art, though I ended up with a great looking book.

I'm going to do a fantasy magic item book I think, soon after I finally put out my Black Tokyo char-gen book.

Anyway, from the sales text for Nemesis Unleashed:

Nemesis Unleashed is the fourth volume in the Nemesis creature series. Like the first three volumes, this sourcebook creates more than 40 unique horrors from interesting stock art. The formatting is changed up a little bit, providing more concrete information on these monsters.
This volume also goes a little darker than the first three, exploring more mature themes familiar to readers of my Black Tokyo and Otherverse America campaigns. Some creatures here-in wield mind-destroying, will-sapping Pleasure damage, a perverse energy type first introduced in the Black Tokyo campaign setting. The villains are viler: rapists, murders and cannibals abound, all well-prepared for your heroes’ swords.
Nemesis Unleashed introduces more than forty new horrors, from the inbred and sexually predatory Dark-Kin (complete with creepy banjo music), the Snowfire Deer, harbinger of winter, all the way to the majestic Pontiff Dragon and the campaign-defining Emperor of the Burning Eye, inspired by one of literature’s greatest fantasy villains. Heroes might charge into battle atop an adorable Riding Bantam steed or cross swords and wits with a tricksy, trapsy Tucker.
Threats by Challenge Rating 
This alphabetic list of creatures in this sourcebook is divided by challenge rating.
Challenge Ratings Below CR 1
Dark-Kin (CR &frac;12;), Murr (CR &frac;12;)
Challenge Rating 1
Privy Worm, Riding Bantam, Riotblood, Tucker, Wax Ghoul, Workhouse Princess
Challenge Rating 2
BlackMustard Croaker, Wotter
Challenge Rating 3 
Monstrance, Tide Horror, Whipsling
Challenge Rating 4 
Cactarine, Capricorn Archon, Rotwing
Challenge Rating 5 
Blitzwyrm, Ordinary Reaper, Paper Dragon
Challenge Rating 6 
Ironbelly, Perch, Pygmalion Sculpture
Challenge Rating 7
Menstrum, Snowfire Deer
Challenge Rating
Harem Daughter, Janker, Stormdrummer Ape
Challenge Rating 9 
Wolf of Age
Challenge Rating 10
Inserpentis, Treadnaught
Challenge Rating 11 
Harem Master, Rebel Spirit
Challenge Rating 12 
War King
Challenge Rating 13 
Challenge Rating 15 
Maternis Angel
Challenge Rating 16
Gilded Necromancer, Mother of Abominations, Scab Dragon
Challenge Rating 18 
Scrimshaw Dragon
Challenge Rating 20
Forge Master
Epic Threats (CR 21+) 
Emperor of the Burning Eye (CR 28), Kingdom of Entrails (CR 26), Pontiff Dragon (CR 23) 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Some Books Coming Soon: Blackest of Heroes and Nemesis Unleashed

Well, I've started getting the final full color images from Vic Shane. With these in hand I'll be able to finally publish the Black Tokyo char-gen guide: Blackest of Heroes. Expect that one up sometime next week!

Beyond that, I'm working on a fourth volume of the Nemesis Bestiary series, entitled Nemesis Unleashed. Like the other books in the series, this is a collection of new monsters built from random stock art I've purchased and liked. Right now, the tally stands at 43 new monsters, roughly 1/3 of which are above CR 10, including three epic-level threats. I thought I'd preview one of them today. You know how in Bestiary 4, Paizo statted up Godzilla, Cthullu and a few other traditional fantasy enemies? Well, here is the Otherverse Games' official knock-off of the Lord of the Rings' Sauron: the Emperor of the Burning Eye. The art that inspired him was taken from

Take a look at this statblock, and expect both these books next week sometime. I'll likely have Nemesis Unleashed up this weekend or Monday, and some follow-up volumes are coming soon.

My next project after that: FURRIES.

Emperor of the Burning Eye – CR 28
Huge LE Undead (elf, evil, lawful)
XP 4,916,200
Init +3 Senses Lowlight vision, Darkvision 120 ft, true seeing, Perception +50         
Languages Abyssal, Aklo, Common, Draconic, Elven, Goblin, Infernal, Orc, Undercommon
Aura Banner of the Burning Eye

AC 37 Touch 23 Flatfooted 35 (-2 size, +1 DEX, +1 dodge, +14 armor, +8 profane, +5 deflection)
HP 46d8+522 hp (729 HP)
Regeneration 20 (good and epic)
Resist Cold 30, Fire 30 Turn Resistance +6
FORT +35 REF +29 WILL +42
Immune ballistic and piercing damage, undead immunities

Spd 50 ft Flight 100 ft (average)
Melee +45/+40/+35/+30 Warblack Glaive (2d10+8 slashing plus 2d10 fire plus 16 profane, plus slay living, 20/x3, 20 ft reach)
Special Qualities Eternal Thronehold, Scrying Name
Special Attacks Black Gaze of the Eye (10d10 fire/profane plus panicked for 1d6 rounds, 30 ft or 90 ft in dim light/darkness, W-DC 40 half) 
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 40th Concentration +50) 
At WillCreate Undead
-          quickened Cloudkill (F-DC 24)
-          quickened Disintegrate (R-DC 26)
-          quickened Flame Strike (R-DC 25)
-          quickened Slay Living (F-DC 25)
-          Lesser Planar Ally
-          Scry
-          Summon Monster IX
3x/day – Summon (1 Lich or Graveknight plus 1 Adult Black Dragon, 100%)
            - Summon (1 Balor, 50%)
1x/day (at moonrise only) Limited Wish
            (at midnight only) – Gate
-          Plane Shift
1x/month (at the rise of the full moon only) – Wish

Str 28 Dex 17 Con – Int 22 Wis 18 Cha 31
Base Atk +34 CMB +45 (+47 sunder) CMD 58
Feats Cleave, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Wondrous Item, Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Great Cleave, Great Fortitude, Greater Feint, Greater Sunder, Intimidating Prowess, Improved Feint, Improved Great FortitudeB, Improved Iron WillB, Improved Lightning ReflexesB, Improved Sunder, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Power Attack, Toughness, Whirlwind AttackB
Skills Appraise +29, Craft (blacksmith, structural) both at +52, Bluff +56, Diplomacy +56, Fly +27, Intimidate +64, Knowledge (arcana, dungoneering, history, nobility, the planes, tactics) all at +29, Perception +50, Sense Motive +27, Spellcraft +29, Use Magic Device +56
Gear Imperial War Plate (+5 deathless heavy plate of greater fire resistance), ring of turn resistance +6, ring of protection +5, Warblack Glaive (+5 axiomatic, cruel, flaming burst vorpal glaive-guisarme)

Environment any (commands a vast empire occupying a blasted hell-scape)
Organization commands endless legions of Orcs, undead and worse things. Usually accompanied by an honor guard of nine Liches B1 or Graveknights B3 riding Adult Black DragonsB1 or Adult Umbral DragonsB2. The Emperor does not enter battle alone under any circumstance.
Treasure triple standard or greater (including a plethora of near-epic and epic treasure, including combat gear)

Special Abilities
Banner of the Burning Eye (SU)
The Emperor of the Burning Eye is truly the tyrant his title implies- a dark war-god at the head of a vast and savage nation. All allied creatures within 500 ft who can clearly see and hear the Emperor of the burning eye gain a +8 profane bonus to all skill checks, attack rolls and saving throws, as well as damage inflicted on a successful attack and their armor class.

As a swift action, the Emperor of the Burning Eye can fix his infernal gaze upon up to 8 allied creatures within this range and further enhance their power. These creatures contort with agony, as their bodies swell and ignite with black internal flames.

Affected creatures gain Regeneration 5 (good and epic), a +8 inherent bonus to their STR scores and a +4 natural armor bonus to their armor class. The creature adds +1d8 fire damage to natural and melee weapon attacks and gains Fire Resistance 20 as well as the Ferocity racial trait. Once affected, a creature so transformed remains transformed for 2d10 rounds or until slain. At the end of this time, if not slain sooner, the creature explodes, inflicting 8d6 fire damage (REF DC 15 half) to all creatures and objects within a 30 ft range.

Black Gaze of the Eye (SU)
The Emperor of the Burning Eye can kill even a hero with a single glance at his horrific eyes of flame hidden within shadow. Any creature who meets the Emperor’s gaze suffers 10d10 damage, half of which is fire, half of which is profane damage and is panicked for 1d6 rounds. A successful DC 40 WILL Save halves the damage and negates the panicked condition. The saving throw DC is CHA-based.

The Black Gaze has a range of 30 ft in bright illumination, which increases to 90 ft if the Emperor is in dim illumination or darkness.

Eternal Thronehold (SU)
The Emperor of the Burning Eye rules his dark realm from a fortress of obsidian and ebony steel, hewn with his own mighty hands. This vast palace is larger than some tiny kingdoms, well guarded, warded mystically and protected by cunning traps, both mystical and mundane. The Thronehold is an artifact-level structure, protected by the most malign magic imaginable, and virtually impossible to permanently destroy. Finding a way to destroy the Thronehold should be the subject of an epic quest or quests possible only by the greatest of heroes.

As long as the Thronehold endures and remains under the control of the Emperor’s legions, it functions identically to a lich’s phylactery. If the Emperor of the Burning Eye is slain, his body reforms within a fortified, ceremonial tomb deep within the Thronehold within 3d20 years, exactly as a lich would reform near its phylactery, save that the duration of dormancy is longer.

Infernal Saves (SU)
The Emperor of the Burning Eye adds his CHA modifier as a profane bonus to his armor class and all saving throws. His Improved saving throw feats allow the Emperor to re-roll any failed saving throw, once each category, per day. However, if a living creature hostile to the Emperor fails a saving throw in a particular category within a 100 ft radius of the Emperor, the Emperor gains an additional daily re-roll of that saving throw.

Scrying Name (SU)
The Emperor of the Burning Eye is aware of any creature that speaks his true name or most common epithets, so long as the Emperor and the speaker are both on the same plane of existence. The Emperor can choose to begin to scry on any creature that speaks his name as a swift action.

If the creature scryed-upon is carrying, touching or wielding any magic item created by the Emperor personally, the Emperor can choose to affect the creature as if by his Black Gaze. Doing so ends the scrying effect, and renders the subject immune to future scrying by the Emperor for 1d4+1 days.

Slaying Slash (SP)
The Emperor of the Burning Eye affects any creature struck with his glaive with his slay living spell-like ability.

The Emperor of the Burning Eye is a cruel, paranoid tyrant whose hunger for power, knowledge and eternal life burned away all traces of decency, humanity and mercy. Once the Emperor was an Elf noble- proud, haughty and honorable, beloved by his people and respected by the world outside his borders. Eventually though, honorable rulership and the dance of diplomacy wearied the future-Emperor. Over long decades, the Emperor of the Burning Eye became a despot, and then a tyrant…and soon, a conqueror. Using his vast mastery of magic and own fertile imagination, the Emperor transformed himself into something like a deathless God, and transformed his subjects into foul war-creatures.

The Emperor’s first defeat was a near thing, only accomplished by a potent coalition of every good hearted creature on the plane, and many of the nobler monsters as well. That defeat cost the Emperor his beauty and the last remnants of his fading Elven nature. However, the great spells the Emperor worked preserved his existence as a ghost of flame and shadow, skulking the halls of his black fortress. Over the centuries, the Emperor regained his power, and marshaled his forces once again.

Now, the forge fires burn in the Emperor’s Thronehold and dark drums are beaten. The Emperor prepares to make war on the civilized races of the world once again…

The Emperor of the Burning Eye is a colossal and imposing figure within gleaming obsidian plate traced with silver. Regal horns rise from above the Emperor’s furrowed brow. The Emperor is a shadow within armor, his war-helm lit only by the twin fires that are the Emperor’s endlessly perceptive and cruel eyes. When the Emperor speaks, his grim yet melodious voice echoes for miles- his whispers can drive strong men to insanity and suicide.

The Emperor of the Burning Eye is a skillful commander and daring general. He never fights alone, and does not feel compelled to accept personal duels or rise to provocation. The Emperor is usually accompanied by an honor guard of dark undead knights mounted on dragon-back. He is canny enough to respect competence and lavishly reward skillful and courageous followers. The Emperor retains a genuine passion for creation- he has forged uncounted hundreds of magic items wielded by his generals, from lethal vorpal longswords to humble rings of invisibility. The Emperor gives such gifts often, knowing that his power over those accepting such largess grows.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Not My Vice President Either.

Saw this online today, and it accurately summarizes exactly why I hope Mike Pence is eaten by a school of piranha......

“Pence is no Uncle Joe.His record as governor indicates that he is willing to completely undermine the core values of a free country in order to impose his own vision of theocratic control.
While Donald Trump is a bumbling political idiot, Mike Pence is actively against the people and possibilities that we need to help America to have a strong future. His career has been built on hateful exclusion, not intelligent inclusion.
Here are some things that every voter should know about Mike Pence:
- Science and invention helped build America, but Mike Pence is 100% anti-science. He chooses not to accept the preponderance of evidence that supports anthropomorphic climate change, and he thinks schools should be required to teach Christian “creationism” mythology alongside evolution in science classrooms.
Mike Pence is anti-environment. As governor, he has vetoed every piece of environmental regulation that has crossed his desk. He doesn’t want the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases, and he does want to open up pretty much every part of our country to oil and coal companies. No more wildlands under Pence. He is one of those irresponsible extremists who think that God gave us the world so we could just use it up, and when it is all used up the second coming will occur. There is no Biblical basis for this belief.
- Females make up more than half of the American population, but Mike Pence is anti-woman. He has said the Disney movie “Mulan,” which was based on a centuries old Chinese poem, was the work of a “mischievous liberal” trying to groom young children to accept women in combat. “Despite her delicate features and voice, Disney expects us to believe that Mulan’s ingenuity and courage were enough to carry her to military success on an equal basis,” he wrote on his radio show’s website.
He obsessively pursues a personal vendetta to take Title X funding away from Planned Parenthood because Planned Parenthood provides abortion services. Title X money CANNOT be used for abortions. Abortions are paid for by the recipient or through private, tagged donations. Taking away Title X will not impact abortion services, but it would leave thousands of women without access to cancer screenings or birth control. 
- Speaking of birth control, Mike Pence once again revealed his historical ignorance in saying that condoms are “modern” and “liberal.” He thinks all women should be pregnant unless they can’t afford a baby, in which case they should abstain from sex, even if they are married. That’s right: sex is only for procreation in PenceWorld. If you can’t afford the diapers, then hubby should be sleeping on the couch.
Mike Pence is also anti-gay, to the point of denial. He doesn’t want the government to pay for cancer screenings, but he does want the government to pay for abusive “conversion therapy” programs that systematically undermine the victim’s self-esteem, and then indoctrinate them into robotic gender-appropriate behaviors. He has signed into law a bill that allows discrimination against LGTBQ customers based on religious belief.
- As governor of Indiana, Mike Pence was personally responsible for an outbreak of AIDS when he refused to allow clean needle exchanges for drug addicts. Instead, he asked people to pray for the addicts.
Mike Pence is racist. He thinks there is “too much talk” about institutional racism in law enforcement because “police officers are human beings.” His solution is unity through “faith.” The Indiana governor has tried to prevent Syrian refugees from settling in his state because the “pose a threat to safety of residents.” Pence argued that his policy was based on fear, not race, so it wasn’t discriminatory. A Federal Appeals Court dismissed his racist arguments on October 3, 2016.
A Federal Court also had to block his bizarre anti-abortion law that required burial or cremation for fetuses, whether miscarried or aborted, no matter how far along the pregnancy had progressed. 
Mike Pence is pro-birth, but not pro-life. He once funneled $3.5M dollars from Temporary Assistance to Needy Families into programs that counsel against abortion. He wants those women to have those babies, but he doesn’t care if the kids starve or live on the streets afterward.
Mike Pence has refused to comply with federal guidelines aimed at reducing prison rape.
When you add it all together, you can see that the most dangerous part of the Trump-Pence ticket is …that calculating quiet man who will be leading the charge from behind. Mike Pence is basically against anyone who is not white, conservative, Christian, and male.
When Mike Pence was a young lawyer on the rise, he challenged a longtime Democratic congressman for a seat in a Republican-leaning Indiana district. He seemed to have it in the bag until voters were stunned to learn that he had been using political donations to pay personal expenses including the mortgage on his house, his credit card bill, groceries, golf tournament fees, and car payments for his wife.”

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Men Who Were Not There

In case you didn’t know, I was born in 1978, and I came up during the 1980s. As far back as I can remember, even as a child, I watched the news. Every day, after Transformers ended and the local news began, and than ABC News, with Peter Jennings. Every evening. Watching the news was something grown-ups did, and I wanted to know what was going on, even if I didn’t (couldn’t) understand it all at the time.

This was the early 1980s. I was watching the news on a crappy little six or eight inch black and white TV that my grandfather used to have in the garage. I was maybe six myself- 1984 or thereabouts. Like I said, I didn’t understand everything I saw back then, didn’t realize some things until just recently.

I watched AIDS first hit.

It was….it was a fucking apocalypse.

I didn’t know what gay people were back then, except they marched in protest a whole hell of a lot, and they were dying in droves. And that nobody, except the gay people themselves, through organizations like ACT UP (and others whose names I once knew but forgot sometime in the intervening 30 years), was doing anything about it. At that point, all I knew about Ronald Reagan was he was the President. To a six year old, President was an almost mythic title- the heroic god-king of our nation. And he seemed like he couldn’t do anything to stop AIDS. Neither could C. Everrett Coop, the impressively bearded, majestic and baritone Surgeon-General who appeared at the President’s side in every press conference about AIDS. Holy crap, thought my six or seven year old self, if these two badasses couldn’t do anything to help, AIDS must have been really, cataclysmically, bad.

That’s what a kid thought, watching the news.

I didn’t realize until much later that Reagan and Coop weren’t doing anything to stop AIDS because they didn’t want to stop it. Back then, AIDS was thought of purely as a disease of young, gay men- and young gay men, whether in 1984 or 2016 never vote Republican. As senile as that rat-bastard was, Reagan was smart enough to realize that every gay man his practiced, intentional inaction buried circa 1985 was a liberal Democrat vote tossed into the coffin. Not just votes for that election season, or the next…. Assuming all those gay dudes who died in their 20s would have otherwise lived to be 70 or so, that’s 40 or 50 years worth of liberal Democrat votes moldering in a grave.

Hey, what would have happened if they all lived? In 1988 or 1990, when this lost generation hit their 30s, would they have started having kids of their own? Kids who would grow up elibible to vote for the first time in the 2008 Presidential elections, kids who grew up with a gay father (s) and would be reflectively hostile to the Republican platform of homophobia, which hasn’t changed all that much between 1984 and today? How would the theoretical children of this lost generation of voted in all the elections afterward?

That’s ten or twelve Presidential elections already pre-advantaged to Republican interests. That’s before decades of gerrymandering and organized voter suppression efforts. That’s a 10 foot headstart in a hundred meter sprint- in every hundred meter sprint you’ll have to run for more than four decades.

That’s the only reason the aging and monstrous Tea Partiers and Trump voters have such loud voices these days. By their intentional inaction, by their lazy, convenient genocide 30 years ago, they murdered the voices on the other side that would have spoken against them today. An entire potential generation of left-leaning queer activists, removed from history, one at a time. And back in the 80s, Reagan and Coop knew that every month they delayed putting out an effective counterstrategy, every week they sprinkled platitudes rather than government research funds on the problem, there were more enemy dead being shoveled into the ground.

It was the coldest and most sociopathic kind of brilliant. Hannibal Lecter brilliance, Dr. Doom brilliance. Karl Rove brilliance.

And it worked.

Remember back in 2000, when Bush the Lesser “won” Florida? He “won” by about 600 votes. Six hundred votes. Do you think that more than 600 gay men died in Florida between the years of 1983 (or so) and 2000? How many of those guys would of willingly voted for Bush the Lesser, you imagine?

So ask yourself something else: why did Trump win last night? There’s a lot of reasons being speculated about by left- and right-wing media and pundits, a lot of blame to go around. But I think Trump’s victory came down to one thing and one thing only: to the men who weren’t there at the polls. To the men I saw die on that 6 inch, black and white TV three decades ago.


Monday, November 7, 2016

Blue State Texas

Vote tomorrow.

Especially if you live in Texas.

We almost turned Texas into a blue state two years ago when Wendy Davis ran for Governor. Even taking into account the handicap posed to Democrat politicians by decades of Republican gerrymandering and voter suppression, we almost turned Texas blue. It was a close race, and even though Greg Abbott (who BTW, is an utter and complete piece of shit) won a hotly contested election, he was business as usual as far as Republican candidates go. Abbott didn't, with the opening speech of his Presidential campaign, manage to slur roughly 60% of the population of Texas as rapists and murderers.

So vote tomorrow if you're a Texan Democrat. Notice I do not suggest voting tomorrow if you're a Texas Republican.... unless you pull your head out your ass, do what little you can to salvage the respectability of your party and cast a reluctant vote for Clinton.


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Upcoming: Blackest of Heroes

Hey, I'm only a handful of images away from my release of The Blackest of Heroes, which is the title I decided upon for the Black Tokyo character guide. Among these is a sketch of the revised Bloodstrong Men, which will get a new Vic Shane illustration. Shown here's the very rough pencils for the character.

I'm also currently working on a magic item/spell sourcebook for Heavy Future. I'm going to add new magic items and similar content intended for Otherverse America and my Battlechangers stuff to this sourcebook as well. I've basically decided I'll be putting out a follow up to my Technology Unleashed and Occult Tech Armory sourcebooks that isn't quite as all ages, and is more campaign specific.

I'll post up a preview of some of this content in a couple days.

Blessed Be,

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Complete Preview: The Dodoma

The Dodoma have always been one of my favorite Black Tokyo races, and here's a lengthy preview of how they'll be revised and expanded in the Black Tokyo Race Book, tentatively titled Blackest of Heroes. The art is by Amanda Webb, and I'm mostly posting this as an excuse to show it off.

Medium Humanoid (human)

The Dodoma are a tribe of attractive and petite humanoids with hundreds of eyes across their lithe bodies. Some claim that thieves and pickpockets are born into Dodoma families in the Tatakama when they die in the Earth-realm, and are brought up as master thieves by the nomadic bandits. Others, including the Dodoma themselves, claim that the Dodoma predate humanity. The multiply eyed rogues were supposedly an early prototype of the human form who were cast out of the heavens for stealing the gods’ coin purses.

Dodoma are comfortable walking the torii between the Tatakama and the Earth Realm. The boldest have very little fear of an excursion into the Black Else (if they can be convinced there’s some profit in it). Dodoma enjoy the sights and modern comforts of the Black Japan, and many lead rich, full mortal lives among cross-planar humans. Dodoma can usually be found walking the realms, running scams, filching treasures and carousing, but a few have been known to put their natural talents to nobler use as treasure-hunters, eerily perceptive exorcists or even….rarely…true and noble heroes.

Our Appearance
Dodoma closely resemble human of Asian descent, though they are uniformly petite and slightly built. They can pass for Japanese with difficulty, or for Chinese, Korean, Thai or Vietnamese with a little less effort. Both male and female Dodoma have soft, vaguely androgynous features. Their hair naturally grows in an assortment of vibrant, rainbow colors: greens, electric blue, screaming pink and canary yellow are only a few shades. A Dodoma’s hair color provides a clue to the humanoid’s clan of origin.

While a Dodoma is clothed, she might easily be mistaken for a mortal human. However, if the Dodoma’s clothes are removed her strange heritage becomes obvious. One hundred and eight blinking human eyes cover the Dodoma’s shoulders, breasts and back, and run down their arms. The Dodoma’s fingers end in tiny photosensitive spots like eyes, and a wreath of strange, lustful eyes surrounds their genitals.  

Our Sexuality
Though they share a shape with mankind, Dodoma cannot cross breed with ordinary humans. However, seduction and strange romances between Dodoma and men are not uncommon. Dodoma pregnancies last the same span as a human’s, but Dodoma mothers-to-be suffer one complication undreamed of by mortal women. For the last month of a pregnancy, a Dodoma female is blind, all her many eyes tightly shut until the birth of her child.

Dodoma live significantly longer than mortal humans, remaining energetic and vital into their 120th year, and the eldest crones of the race surviving as much as fifteen decades. Dodoma are great respecters of age, because their own elders are some of the most deceptive, cunning bastards in any realm.

Our Faiths and Beliefs
Dodoma are a little more religious than you might expect, but often in a shallow, superstitious way. They learn a little bit of this and that: some Taoist philosophy, a bit of Shinto animism, something from the darkness of the Tatakama, bits of misunderstood Filipino Catholicism and blend it together in a mélange that makes individual sense. They’re rarely Buddhists, except in their old age, as the religion is a bit too staid and stuffy for their tastes. Dodoma will light incense after a successful gig, or at the passing of a friend or comrade in arms, and might enjoy a religiously motivated street fair, but no more than that.

The Places Important to Us
Dodoma are rootless, often mistrusted nomads, who prowl the Tatakama’s trade routes in ragged caravans. A few Dodoma live as thieves and spies in larger human cities, covering their many eyes and passing for mortal. Dodoma are extraordinary vain creatures, and their homes will always be lavishly decorated with polished mirrors and reflecting bowls. In the modern world, they’ve a great love for neon and for long, tangled strings of holiday lights.

In the Earth Realm, Dodoma prefer larger cities, which provide a measure of anonymity and an opportunity to earn. For most, the terms Dodoma and criminal are synonyms, and small, tight-knit Dodoma families can be found in any Japanese city with a large Yakuza or Triad presence. Ordinary mortals might not know it, because Dodoma are masters of passing for human, but there are surprisingly large communities of the many-eyed rogues in both Hiroshima and Gunma Prefecture, clustered around the Jomo Mountain Range.

The Languages We Speak
Dodoma begin play speaking Japanese and one other language of choice, usually either Common, English or another Asian language: Korean, Cantonese and Vietnamese are popular choices, as many Dodoma pass as members of immigrant races when working in Japan. Dodoma with high INT scores can choose any language as a bonus language, except for secret languages like Druidic.

Play A Dodoma If…
·         You want the keenest eyes in the campaign and a lot of enhanced senses beyond those.
·         You plan to do a lot of pickpocketing, shoplifting and infiltration.
·         You want to play something street savvy and able to pass for human (most of the time).
·         You favor agility over heavy armor and favor a highly mobile fighting style. 

Dodoma Racial Traits
All Dodoma share the following racial traits.

Size and Type
Dodoma are Medium Humanoids with the human subtype. As Medium creatures, Dodoma receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Ability Score Modifiers
+2 DEX, -2 CON, +2 WIS.
Injuries to their many eyes can render a Dodoma incapacitated with agony, but their senses are far keener than a human’s, and most are as agile as trained martial artist.

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

108 Eyes (EX)
Dodoma’s entire body is covered in eyes. When unarmored, lightly armored or wearing armor with the Near Nudity property, the Dodoma’s enhanced senses are active. The Dodoma cannot be flanked, and receives a +4 racial bonus on Perception checks.

Dodoma possess lowlight vision. Their lowlight vision functions even when the other aspects of their 108 Eyes racial ability are suppressed, due to the Dodoma wearing heavier armor.

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

Natural Thief (EX)
Dodoma receive a +1 racial bonus on Disable Device and Sleight of Hand checks, and these skills are always class skills for the Dodoma.

Thief’s Instinct (EX)
Dodoma are consummate thieves, who seem to have a sixth (or seventh) sense about where you’ve left your valuables. A Dodoma who merely passes within 5 ft of a secret or concealed door is entitled to a Perception check to notice it as if she were actively looking for it.

If the Dodoma’s 108 Eyes racial ability is suppressed, due to her wearing medium or heavy armor, this ability is also suppressed.

Thief’s Step (SU)
Once per day, the Dodoma can step partially between worlds, becoming as unsubstantial as a ghost. As a move equivalent action, the Dodoma can become ethereal, and can pass through solid matter. The Dodoma can maintain the ethereal state for a number of rounds equal to his or her CHA modifier (minimum one round).

Unaverted Gaze (EX)
If the Dodoma’s skin of eyes is exposed and her 108 Eyes ability is active, the Dodoma  cannot avert her gaze from any supernatural gaze attacks, and she automatically fails all saves to resist sight based attacks, such as a medusa’s lethal gaze.

Dodoma Alternate Racial Traits
Every Dodoma has adventure and crime in their heart, but various Dodoma clans boast unique powers. Don’t expect a Dodoma to ever tell you all of his talents; the shifty multi-eyed rogues like to keep a few secrets for just the right moment.

Dodoma Precision (EX)
Natural Thief
Some Dodoma actually make an honest living, and their 108 very sharp eyes serve them well when it comes to detail work. The Dodoma receives a +2 racial bonus on one Craft skill of choice where sharp vision would come in handy. This skill is always a class skill for the Dodoma.

Eyes of Ink (SU)
Thief’s Step
As a full round action, the Dodoma  can transform her 108 bodily eyes into the intricate, full body tattoos of a Yakuza soldier, or back again. These tattoos always depict animals with eerily glowing, cunning eyes, snarling at the viewer.

In her tattooed state, the Dodoma can automatically pass for human, and may use animated tattoo at will, as a sorcerer of her total character level. While her eyes are hidden in plain sight as Yakuza tattoos, her 108 Eyes racial ability is considered suppressed. 

Hitotsume-Kozo (SP)
Replaces: Thief’s Step
Though their lean child-like bodies are covered with 108 perceptive eyes, their heads have only one, a huge cyclopean eye in the middle of their bald forehead. Cute, perky and curious, Hitotsume-Kozo are the perpetual teenagers of the Dodoma race. They never seem to grow up, or lose their lust for the adventuring life.

Hitotsume-Kozo can cast each of the following spells once per day as a sorcerer of their total character level: Daze, Flare or Ghost Sound.  

Manipulative Insight (SP)
Thief’s Instinct
Dodoma can spot a sucker at a kilometer away, and have an uncanny sense of who’d be most receptive to their charms, their cons, and their schemes.

The Dodoma can cast one detect alignment spell of their choice (detect good, detect chaos, ect) at will as a sorcerer of their total character level. At 10th level, the Dodoma gains the ability to cast a second detect alignment spell of their choice at will, also as a sorcerer of their total character level.

If the Dodoma’s 108 Eyes racial ability is suppressed, this ability is also suppressed.

Magic Eyes (SP)
Thief’s Instinct
Your 108 eyes see the truth of things beyond the merely physical, granting you supernatural insight. Select any one first level divination spell with detect in the name, such as detect animals and plants, detect evil or detect secret doors. You gain the ability to use this effect as a spell-like ability at will.

If the Dodoma’s 108 Eyes racial ability is suppressed, this ability is also suppressed.

Petite Dodoma (EX)
Available To:
female Dodoma
Replaces: Thief’s Instinct
Your chest is flat and almost boyish, broken only by hard little nipples surrounded by strange, blinking eyes. You receive the Small Breasts Forever trait and gain Mega-Pettanko as a racial bonus feat.

Shirime (SU)
Natural Thief, Thief’s Instinct, Thief’s Step
Dodoma of the Shirime breed are more honest then the norm, but are acid-tongued, foul-mouthed and sarcastic in the extreme. They are among the greatest healers, surgeons and medics in all the Realms, but have absolutely no regard for tradition and zero respect for authority. Shirime have 109 eyes, not the 108 typical of their race- the hundred and ninth protrudes from their anus and stares sullenly.

The Shirime ability package is a major rebuild of the Dodoma race. It grants the following abilities.

Healing Instinct (EX)
A Shirime Dodoma who merely comes within 5 ft of a person suffering any disease may make a Heal check as if actively attempting to diagnose the disease.  The Shirime Dodoma can tell if a creature is healthy (at 75% or greater HP), wounded (at 75-25% HP) or grievously wounded (at 25% HP or less) merely by looking at a creature. 

If the Shirime’s 108 Eyes racial ability is suppressed, this ability is also suppressed.

Master Surgeon (EX)
The Shirime Dodoma is an incredibly skilled physican, and receives Skill Focus (heal) and Surgery as racial bonus feats.

The Dodoma receives a +2 racial bonus on Heal checks made to assist Humanoids and Monstrous Humanoids, and Heal is always a class skill for the Shirime Dodoma.

Spirit of Disease (SU)                                                                                       
Replaces: Thief’s Instinct
Some say the audacious Dodoma are spirits of disease. (The association of some Shirime Dodoma with the healing arts might have something to do with this stereotype.)

This Dodoma is immune to all diseases, including magical disease. However, any living creature (except other Dodoma) who spends more than an hour in the Dodoma’s company suffers a -2 luck penalty on FORT saves to resist disease for the next 24 hours.

You'll notice that I added a "Play an X if you like...." header to the racial description, which is totally stolen from Fifth Edition. It's just a good idea and interesting way to summarize a race quickly. 

Beyond gathering art and doing final layout for the race book, I'm also working on some Heavy Future and Otherverse America stuff. Look for a HUGE magic sourcebook for Heavy Future, and a Lifer Player's Guide coming (relatively) soon. 

Blessed Be,