Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Next Project: Assault Witch Campaign Book

Well, I know what my next book's gonna be.

After releasing Heavy Races, I decided to take a look at what's ready or close to ready for release. As I reviewed all the content I've created for Black Tokyo to date and went through it I realized I had already written roughly 100 pages of content related to a Strike Witches inspired campaign frame-work.

(That's one of the things that's most fun about Black Tokyo, to me as a designer. It's a sprawling sand box world with so fucking many crazy anime homages, you can frame your home BT campaign around virtually anything, just pick a direction and storyline your group enjoys and run with it. )

Anyway, logistically and financially, putting out this as-yet-unnamed Assault Witches campaign guide make sense. I've already got a bunch of usable art but anything new I commission for this sourcebook can feed back into the eventual racial/char-gen sourcebook and the POD version of Enchantments of BTU, both of which will be massive, extremely art heavy (and thus expensive) products to put out.

Anyway, I mentioned last year I did an Assault Witch cavalier archetype which will form the centerpiece of this source book, and I'll follow up on that in future previews.

Should be a fun ride,

Monday, January 25, 2016

Heavy Races!

As promised, Heavy Races just went up for sale in PDF format on!

I've been working on this sourcebook for several months now, gradually collecting artwork and adding content, and I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. It's a big, pretty sourcebook focusing on all the races found in Heavy Future. It's basically the first step in turning my three sub-settings: Galaxy Command, Action Galaxy and Heavy Future into one comprehensive far future space opera setting, that's a total homage to Heavy Metal, Star Wars, the Legion and bad sci-fi in general.

I want to go ahead and preview some of the opening text and the racial descriptions so you know what you're in for with this sourcebook.


It’s the Stellar Year 4,576.

The future’s a dirty, all-analogue place. Technology got more advanced, but the culture and politics of this fucked-up future still stinks like 1976. The galaxy’s equal parts grunge and glam, polyester and leather. It’s a place where billowing Afros never went out of style, where the heroes spark up joints the size of a baby’s forearm and blast off for the Frontier. It’s a galaxy of stoner nomads cruising the galactic backwaters at FTL speed, banging cute alien spacers with only a cheap-ass Dr. Youp’s Condom to protect them. It’s a place where the smuggler always shoots first, and the Cosmic Televangelists of the Imperial Church of the Galaxy are always tryin’ to get their cut.

It’s a Heavy Future, where futurism takes a back seat to pulpy, retro-futuristic, blasphemous kick-ass adventuring.

That’s all you really need to know. We’ll make up the rest as we go along.

Who’s Who in the Dirty Future
The galaxy’s a crowded place. Just about every star has a sentient race living beneath it. Humans are everywhere, but they share the galaxy with a myriad of other races. Some of them, like the Synths or Pacifians, the humans created, either by their technology or through their deeds. Other races evolved without any human involvement, but that’s not to say their evolutions weren’t tampered with.

Once upon a time, a race of psionic manipulators called the Psyren ruled every part of the galaxy worth ruling. They fucked it up, though, and they lost it all. Ruins of the once great Psyren Empire can be found all across the universe, including in some secret places on Old Earth itself. Treasure hunters seek out Psyren ruins, because even though the ruins are perilous in the extreme, a single scrap of old Psyren tech can turn a salvager into a merchant prince.

Beyond the ruins, the Psyren left strange species behind. Races as diverse as the  Testorites, the Tal-Anon and many others can trace their lineage back to some Psyren experiment or the other.

Heavy Tongue Action
The following unique languages can be found in the Heavy Future. Other languages, from Old Earth standbys like French or Mandarin to more exotic languages like Draconic or Gnoll, can be heard, here and there.

·         Binary Code – sounds like a fax machine fucking. Most machines- even alien ones- can communicate via Binary. Humanoids can learn to understand the language but cannot speak it without mechanical assistance.
·         Galactic Common – the lingua franca of the dirty future, spoken by pretty much every civilized species and equivalent to Common in other settings
·         Imperial – a ritual language based on Latin and Aramaic, used by the ICG during worship
·         Locke – an unimaginative language spoken by Locke and other mercenaries
·         Proximite – the language of the Proximite race, preferred by engineers and spacers of all races for its technical vocabulary
·         Pulsa – the language spoken by the Pulsa race
·         Seth – spoken by Sethzinians, but also by other criminals. Renowned for the largest and most imaginative vocabulary of  profanity in the entire galaxy
·         Shipper Patois – a trade language developed by various breeds of Shipper, also fairly common as a galactic trade language
·         Star Droid – a whistling, beeping machine code spoken by Star Droids and other robots. Humanoids can understand the language but cannot speak it without mechanical assistance.
·         Trion – the native language of the Trius, often spoken in 3-part harmony

Humans, Robots and Alien Freaks
This sourcebook is divided into three sections.
The first deals with all the Neo-Human Races: these are human cultures and sub-species, separated from baseline humanity by culture, distance and engineered genetics. Here’s where you’ll find the Pacificans, Afro-Futurists and others.

Next up, you have the Robot Races. These are the artificial lifeforms common to the setting. Look here for sex bots, infiltrator androids, droids, labor mechs and military war-bots.

Finally, we’ve got The Basics. All the other intelligent, bipedal species of the galaxy live here, with all their relatives.

The following species come from human stock, and are products of evolution or design. Neo-Humans usually can breed with baseline humans and have some kind of evolutionary or cultural connection to the mother world…no matter how tenuous.

Size, Type and Subtypes
Summed Up In One Sentence….
Medium Humanoid (human, psionic)
Proud technologists inspired by the glory and achievements of Old Africa
Free Spacer
Medium Humanoid (human)
A motley crew of human spacers serving with a variety of libertarian space fleets
Jesus Clone
Medium Outsider (human, native)
Mass produced clone Messiahs with potent healing nanites in their blood
Leather Clone
Medium Humanoid (human)
All male race of muscled gay clones from a hotly radioactive Frontier system
Medium Humanoid (human, Pacifican)
Nanite blooded adventurers from a perfect planet of love, sex and peace
Medium Humanoid (human, psionic)
Race of twin-born farmers who were once great warriors with natural force blasting powers
Large Humanoid (human)
Nerdy 20th Century kids brought to the future and transformed into barbarian adventurers
Medium Humanoid (human, psionic)
Skilled martial artists capable of conjuring duplicates of themselves from psionic energy
TV Head
Medium Monstrous Humanoid (human)
Conformist cyborgs with bulky television screens for heads

Robot Races
Robots are second class citizens of the 46th Century, at best. Most robots are slaves or servants of somebody or another and even free machines face prejudice at best and press-ganging or illicit salvage at worst.

Size, Type and Subtypes
Summed Up In One Sentence….
Large Construct (robot)
Durable but slow-witted heavy labor robots
Medium Monstrous Humanoid (android)
Self designed sex robots with interchangeable components, built by free androids
Star Droid
Small Construct (robot)
Useful little robots with a full assortment of built in tools
Medium Monstrous Humanoid (android)
Human-like androids with superior skills

The Basics
The most common body plan for intelligent life is the Basic- short for ‘basic humanoid’. Two arms, two legs, one head, somewhere between 1.5 and 3 meters in height. Sometimes a race might have an extra pair of arms, or wings, more impressive than normal bulk, or an additional head or other oddity, but these races are still classed as Basics.  

Many Basic species are interfertile and so, hybrids, half-breeds and mutts are common from one end of the dirty galaxy to another. Some species can’t breed outside their species due to radically alien genetics, or flat refuse to on cultural grounds. Everybody else just smirks and dives right into the galactic orgy.

Size, Type and Subtypes
Summed Up In One Sentence….
Medium Fey (electrical)
Adventure-seekers born inside a parallel reality found inside every computer and arcade vid-game
Medium Humanoid (psionic)
Night-fighting psychic warriors struggling for survival on a broken world
Medium Humanoid (psionic)
Psi-resistant mercenaries from a secret, fortified world with powerful racial enemies
Small Humanoid (psionic)
Race of petite technopaths from a dangerously overcrowded home planet
Medium Outsider (native, psionic, Psyren)
Seductive manipulators who once ruled the galaxy with psionic might
Medium or Large Monstrous Humanoid
Nearly indestructible bullies from a post-apocalyptic world they haven’t even tried to improve
Medium Humanoid (anthro)
Diverse confederation of anthropomorphic species from lost or destroyed worlds, traveling together by necessity
Space Case
Small or Medium Humanoid
Quirky screw-ups from a diverse group of species, lumped together under a vaguely insulting umbrella
Small or Medium Humanoid (psionic)
Nomadic, teleporting thieves with an uncanny knack for foiling Psyren plots
Medium Humanoid      
Low tech fliers from a jungle world only recently introduced to the wider galaxy

Friday, January 22, 2016

Upcoming: The Modern Grimorie POD and Heavy Races

First up, happy 43rd anniversary of Roe vs Wade.

Second, I've just sent a copy of the POD edition of the Modern Grimorie to Mark. He'll put together a print cover and set up the POD version of this book. While I was waiting for the last few pieces of art for Heavy Races, I decided to work on this sourcebook.

Modern Grimorie POD topped out at about 70 pages, and is a pretty dramatic expansion of the original PDF version. It includes a bunch of new spells, as well as all my existing space-focused and sci-fi oriented spells from Heavy Future, various Otherverse America releases, and other books. I left out a bunch of the setting specific stuff, but there's still something like 200 new sci-fi and modern arcana spells in here. I expect this to be a softcover, magazine style release, and should be available as a POD book in a week or two.

Tonight, I'm going to start laying out Heavy Races. I'm looking forward to it- have been for a while. Right now, the manuscript stands at 23 awesome, grungy sci-fi races all with a really unique feel to them. I've previewed some of the human races: the Leather Clones and Afro-Futurists here before, so if you liked that, I think the final product will be pretty entertaining.

Blessed Be,

Saturday, January 2, 2016

First 2016 Release: Weapons of Rock and Roll

Well, as of about 20 minutes ago, I've published my first PDF of the New Year. Weapons of Rock and Roll is out, and should be a fairly fun little sourcebook. I'll be referencing it often in future Heavy Future releases, as well as a few Black Tokyo products.

I felt I needed to do a stand alone sourcebook of all the Musical weapons and music-tech gear and traits, separate from either campaign core book, because of its relative length. There's a lot of content here, and putting it in its own short sourcebook made sense to me.

Next up is going to be Heavy Races, the race book for Heavy Future, which should be POD as well as PDF. I'm going to be laying that out starting Monday or Tuesday and should have it up for sale by the end of the week in PDF form, and in POD format soon thereafter.

Hope 2016 is kinder than 2015 was,