Thursday, March 31, 2016

Art Preview: Black Bestiary II

Well, guys, I've been working on several Black Tokyo projects simultaneously. First, a dramatically revised and expanded setting book entitled The Black Atlas. That fucker tops out at nearly 300 pages of adventure hooks and dense, dense content. In addition, I've got a second volume of Enchantments of Black Tokyo on deck, with tons more spells and magic items, including stuff that homages pretty much every anime out there. The book that will likely be out first, though is Black Bestiary Volume II. 

This sourcebook will incorporate dozens of new monsters, as well as consolidate some of the new critters I've introduced in Witches of the Blue Skies, bad guys from the aborted Tournament of Rapists sourcebook and other stuff. It's going to be a huge, art heavy book, featuring tons of new illustrations from Anthony, Amanda and John, and I thought I'd preview several of the new images today.

The first image is an anime-esque warrior we're calling Boy Alpha- an otaku serial killer with shadow manipulation powers and magus abilities, by John Picot. He's based loosely on the real world's "Boy A" a notorious, juvenile lust-murderer in Japan who's release from a juvie facility as an adult generated a shit-ton of controversy.

Next, we have rough pencils of the Firefly Yokai and Gaki by Amanda Webb. The Firefly Yokai is an especially nasty undead that haunts Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and has a host of fire and radiation-linked powers. The colors on it should be incredible from what Amanda tells me she has planned. The Gaki, by contrast, is a purely physical threat to mid-level parties: fast, nimble and deadly as fuck.

Next is the Gashadokuro, a kaiju-sized, CR 18 undead behemoth also illustrated by Amanda Webb. He's a fucking city-killer and should be a fun fight.

After that, we've got the Guro-Fiend, another brutal, brawler-type demon. The Guro-Fiend is a mid/high-level adversary, a generic hentai demon-type critter. This image is in the running for Black Bestiary II's cover art, and is by John Picot.

After the Guro-Fiend, we've got a host of small WIP images from Anthony Cournoyer, including two new Kaiju for the setting: The Slaughter Train, and the Dune Grinder. The Dune Grinder is a direct homage to the Jags from Vexxile, as well as some of the enemies from the Bikanel Desert region of Final Fantasy X.

We also get a shot of a variant version of the Gakido Walker, as well as a new creature called the Flesh Mother, and some other critters. More on the Gakido Walker in a minute.

The next image is John Picot's attempt at the same monster, and I think of the two, John's rendition of the Gakido Walker will win out. Directly inspired by Silent Hill's Pyramid Head, the Walker is a fearsome, cannibalistic murder machine, attracted by industrial scale cannibalism. The Walker, along with the Slaughter Train and some new beasties, plays up Black Tokyo's 'cannibal fetish/guro horror' plot line nicely.

Finally, we've got a beastie called a Shikome, a high CR undead minion for Izanami, by Amanda Webb. The Shikome's got a strong folkloric grounding, and is a tough fight even for near epic level parties.

Anyway, I'll have more previews soon, and if anybody wants a copy of any of the raw text files for these upcoming books, please, just drop me a line at the email atop the page.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Witches of the Blue Skies is UP!

Okay, I was delayed a couple of days but Witches of the Blue Skies just went up at

Let me know what you think- hopefully this will be a fun and well received campaign framework for BTU. Next up, a few monster books and some magic items for the same campaign setting.

Talk to you later,

Monday, March 7, 2016

Getting Ready to Lay Out Witches of the Blue Skies

I just got the last pieces of art for the upcoming Witches of the Blue Skies and I'll be laying out that sourcebook starting this evening. It should be up for sale by mid-week.

To the right, we have the text free cover by Amanda Webb. I really like she captured the spirit of Strike Witches, but made the protagonists a little older and a bit tougher looking.

After Witches hits RPGNow, expect a follow up PDF bestiary for Black Tokyo, which I'll be releasing a few months ahead of a huge POD version of the Black Bestiary. I'm also still hard at work on a POD version of Enchantments of Black Tokyo, and a lot of the illustrations I commissioned for Witches will find a final home in Enchantments.

Also, I'm working on what will likely be a massive PDF campaign guide to Black Tokyo, bringing a lot of new depth to the setting and really upping the nastiness of the setting villains. Anyway, Black Tokyo Unlimited had about 60-70 pages of pure world information: the Kansai Region chapter by itself is nearly that size. I'm going region by region, and I'm going to save the city of Tokyo for last because that single city gets its own chapter.

You know how the original Pathfinder Gloriaran campaign setting was a 30 page pamphlet, than a 96 page guide, than a 300+ page hardback? That same evolution's happening here. I'm having a lot of fun working on Black Tokyo basically.

Anyway, the revised setting guide is a ton of fun, though its pretty dark writing. BT is a horror setting at its core, though it can venture in anime slapstick or superheroic territory at times (as Witches attests) there's always a really nasty undercurrent there. So I'm adding some truly horrific touches. The Amakaze are more evil than ever- and their evil is more specific, more personal. The storyline in Yamagata Prefecture is probably the darkest thing I've ever written, and that's saying something.

Part of the revision process is a reaction to my Tournament of Rapists release.  Setting villain Taru Tsuyoi is an even bigger part of the world, with more involvement in various schemes at different areas in the campaign world. There's a lot more opportunities for players to encounter Tsuyoi or his Rape Pure minions and put a bloody end to them. I realized the sheer visceral reaction of fans to this guy, made him an excellent master villian, a campaign defining threat on the order of the Amakaze or the Ubume Empress, so why not play him up?

Anyway, some more previews later.