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.