Archive for June, 2010

Blog Update for 6/28/10

| June 28th, 2010 | No Comments »

The Arient just fell off the front page. Look for the Neuralon later tonight.

I have a couple more Traveller projects on deck behind them as well; another S.C.A.R.E., a new career option and the first Augments & Upgrades release.

Chris Filed is also working on some smaller releases. We’re also hard at work on the follow-up to Black Tokyo! I can’t wait to get the art back fro some of the concepts; should be a lot of fun.

I’m still waiting on the new cover for the Fantasy Firearms release. Between that and a few interior images that project will be done and “off to the printer” shortly with several other projects right behind it. Next on deck is the new, updated version of Freeform Anthropomorphica. Behind that there is another Campaign Overlay dealing with adding Ley Line magic to your campaign.

More info soon.

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What I’m working on now -6/21/10

| June 21st, 2010 | No Comments »

Sorry for the lack of posts! I have been super busy the last few weeks. On the home front my wife lost her job a couple weeks ago which really sucks. The job hunt is on but needless to say the stress level has jumped a notch or two. (It may even affect my GenCon plans!) Time will tell.

Also, work had me hopping last week. My day job had me clocking fifty hours including two days where I had to be in at Oh-Dark-Thirty which curtailed late night RPG work. (But the overtime will be nice since!)

But never fear, I have been toiling away every spare moment I could find. In fact yesterday I finished the layout of two new Traveller releases. Check out the first two releases in our Minor Races line:

We have quite a few new races lined up. These two were the first and a third one is already in my hand ready for art and layout. Just the thing to spice up your Sci-Fi game!

The first installment of the Augments and Upgrades line is nearing completion as well. I focusing on augments that change or alter ones appearance for the first release. I figure grouping augments by category will be a good way to tackle them. I’ve got some really cool ideas and can’t wait til we get into adding power-plants, weeapons and massive cybernetic re-construction to the mix!

I’m also putting the finishing touches on the big Fantasy Firearms release; including a new cover. I’m expecting a draft of the cover any day now.

On deck I have a couple of smaller releases of my own and quite a few from Chris Field. He’s been busy with a new core class, a short PDF on Alchemy and some more Fantastic Races of the Otherverse.

On top of all that I am also in the beginning stages of a large modern RPG setting/game.

Right now I’m trying to get as many small (5-10 page) projects laid out and ready for release as I can to clear up the log-jam. Once I have them all lined up and ready I can focus on the larger projects and automate the release schedule.

I really enjoyed seeing the free adventures Mongoose put out for the Traveller game. I may begin running them for a local group. It also gave me the idea of doing something similar. I’ve been reading what Louis Porter Jr. has been talking about regarding a free version of the Dungeon a Day concept, and spoken a bit with him about it. So I am toying with the idea of turning my Zhawaan Shipyard project into a “Base of Operations” around which to stage free adventures for the Traveller community to use. It’s still in the very early planning stages, but instead of a PDF or print project I envision it as a website where players and GM’s can access info about the system in general (Shipyard, High-Port, Low-Port, Breakers Yard, Naval Base, Scout Base, Asteroid Belt etc.) as well as specific adventures set in, around or that jump off from the system.

More info soon!

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Monday update 6/7/10

| June 7th, 2010 | No Comments »

I got some good feedback from two different sources regarding the Fantasy Firearms project. As a result of that, I am shopping for new cover art. I’ve already got a guy in mind, and hope to hear back from him later tonight. I’ll probably re-do a few of the interior images while I am at it; some of the stock art and a couple I had done before I had the finished script in my hand.

I’m also knee-deep in several other smaller projects getting ready to hit the streets. Look for a new Fantastic Races of the Otherverse very soon, as well as some Traveller stuff. The first Minor Races and a new series called Augments & Upgrades are nearing completion. I re-worked the augment description I posted earlier, which I think makes it much better. To wit, check it…

Skin Pigmentation Mod
Type: Biological or Hybrid
Description: This augment allows the user to change their skin pigmentation virtually at will. When activated, an amino acid sequence is altered in the host that interacts with the the pituitary gland (or alien equivalent) to regulate melanin content in the skin. This can be achieved naturally, limiting the available skin tones to those normal for the species, or use a supply of synthetic melanin that allows virtually limitless color variations. Higher TL variants can produce patterns rather than a single tone. This augment is fairly common, and is used to protect citizens of planets and bases where the star emits high levels of ultraviolet radiation. On particularly dangerous stations, a metallic sheen embedded in the skin is been used to actively reflect harmful rays or protect from extreme temperature ranges by reflecting heat away from the body. Naturally, the addition of a synthetic melanin supply has opened up the augment to use by the military for camouflaging scouts and forward observers, spies so they can blend in with a native population, and even entertainers who can now make their beauty literally ‘skin deep’.

Restrictions: Not typically restricted where augments are common, but might be on low-tech worlds.

TL9 Drain 0 Cr.1500 This version of the augment achieves the change in skin tone via a simple gene switch which causes the body to naturally produce the desired amount of melanin. Because the augment utilizes the bodies natural chemistry, it is limited to only the normal skin tone ranges for the species. This augment is undetectable by passive scanners and requires an advanced medical scan to detect. (Naturally, if the skin tone adopted does not match other physical features like the hair or eyes, then an advanced medical exam would not be required to detect the augments use.) The color change takes three hours per shade along a ten shade human normal range from pale white to deep ebony. (i.e. 30 hours to go from pale white to deep ebony.)

TL10 Drain 0 Cr.3000 This augment utilizes synthetic melanin along with that naturally possesses by the skin to create a near-limitless single color palette. Synthetic melanin is produced by hybrid melanocyte cells injected into the dermal layer of the augment recipient. These cells allow the user to control the activity of the melanocytes as well as the color of the cells output. This augment is undetectable by passive scanners and requires an advanced medical scan to detect. The color change takes three hours per shade along a ten shade human normal range from pale white to deep ebony.

TL11 Drain 0 Cr.6000 This augment works just like the TL10 version but adds a control unit that can alter the melanin output of melanocyte cell clusters to create patterns on the skin. While not precise enough to create something as detailed as a tattoo; it can create patterns, alternating colors, spots or mimic the surrounding area. The control unit is the size of a small coin and actively monitors the output of all melanin. It can be located just under the skin anywhere on the body. New patterns can be added to the unit via wireless interface or it can be tied into other augments such as visual sensors. The control unit is detecable by passive scanners due the material it is composed of and the low-power charge it emits. (Though not enough to cause Drain on the bodies bio-electric power since the pigment remains static after the change occurs.) The control unit is capable of storing patterns in memory and reduces the time to change by one half, thus it would take 1.5 hours per shade of change along a ten shade human normal range from pale white to deep ebony.

TL12 Drain 0 Cr.12,000 This augment works just like the TL11 version but adds multiple control units that and many more melanocyte cell clusters. This version of the augment includes the ability to change patters or add them to memory via a comm device or other augment sensor the user possesses. Multiple control units and the additional melanocyte cells increase the speed of the change to fifteen minutes per shade of change along a ten shade human normal range.

TL13 Drain .5 Cr.25,000 This version acts as the TL12 version but vastly increases the number of control units and melanocyte cell clusters which allows the skin to take on any appearance desired; including intricate patterns such as might be seen in a tattoo or other skin art. The larger number of control modules and the ability to adjust skin pattern on the fly increases the Drain and renders the augment detectable by passive scanners, but decreases to just five minutes the amount of time required to change shades. Adding a detailed pattern to an area such as a tattoo takes about five minutes for a small area such as the arm, and up to fifteen minutes for a large, detailed image across the chest or back for example.

TL14 Drain .5 Cr.50,000 This augment acts as the TL13 version but increases the power of the control units and adds an order of magnitude to the melanocyte cell clusters. Patterns can be changed on the fly via visual input from an optic sensor, stored memory or touching a sample of the color with either hand where a modified control unit analyzes the color. The increased power of the control units and melanocyte cells decrease the time required to a mere six seconds (one round) per shade of change, including intricate tattoo patterns!

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Project Updates

| June 3rd, 2010 | No Comments »

I sent off the next S.C.A.R.E. script to JDavid for some art treatment, so look for that soon-ish. I’m in the middle of laying out various other projects as well. The first of the new Minor Races line for the Traveller RPG is on deck, with another right behind it that both have art already done. I’ve got several short projects from Chris Field as well, including a couple new Fantastic Races of the Otherverse and a new class.

Fantasy Firearms is 99% done! I meant to bring the file with me to work but left the thumb drive plugged into my computer at home. I want to print it out and give it another read before I send it off. It’s been a long time coming, but I am quite pleased with the results and have learned a ton by producing such a large book. Looks like the final page count will be 96 pages of AWESOME! :-)

I started work on a Traveller release I’m calling “Augments & Upgrades”. I’m stealing borrowing the drain mechanic from work Chris Field did for D20 modern and implementing it into the Traveller system for augments. Some small augments have little or even no drain, but once you reach a certain level you’ll need some kind of power supply as many cybernetic augments require more juice that a normal human body can produce. I’ve got some really cool stuff planned, from P.A.N.’s (Personal Area Networks) that tie multiple augments together to Battle Dress interface mods and ways to make characters tougher, smarter and faster.

Here is a (still in the early stages) preview of one I worked up last night:

Skin Pigmentation Mod
Type: Biological or Hybrid
Description: This augment allows the user to change their skin pigmentation virtually at will. When activated, an amino acid sequence is altered in the host that interacts with the the pituitary gland (or alien equivalent) to regulate melanin content in the skin. This can be achieved naturally, limiting the available skin tones to those normal for the species, or use a supply of synthetic melanin that allows virtually limitless color variations. Higher TL variants can produce patterns rather than a single tone. This augment is fairly common, and is used to protect citizens of planets and bases where the star emits high levels of ultraviolet radiation. On particularly dangerous stations, a metallic sheen has even been used to actively reflect harmful rays or protect from higher than optimal temperature ranges. Naturally, the addition of a synthetic melanin supply has opened up the augment to use by the military for camouflaging scouts and forward observers, spies so they can blend in with a native population, and even entertainers who can now make their beauty literally ‘skin deep’.

Restrictions: Not typically restricted where augments are common, but might be on low-tech worlds.

TL9 Drain 0 Cr.1500 Simple, biological mod restricted to species normal pigments. Three hours to change skin tone.
TL10 Drain 0 Cr.3000 As TL9 but adds synthetic melanin for near limitless color palette. 3 Hr to change skin tone.
TL11 Drain 0 Cr.6000 As TL10 but can reproduce patterns stored in the mods memory chip. 1 Hr to change skin tone.
TL12 Drain 0 Cr.12,000 As TL110 but can reproduce patterns captured via camera, optics etc. 15 min to change tone.
TL13 Drain .5 Cr.25,000 As TL111 but with multiple melanin implants-points for added speed. 5 min to change skin tone.
TL14 Drain .5 Cr.50,000 As TL113 but with many melanin implants-points for increased speed. 1 round (6 sec) to change.

Some of my most astute readers (Hi Mom!) might recognize that mod from SCARE Vol. 2 but in this case I’ve actually spelled out how the mod works and how much it would cost to buy it in game terms. If you want simple protection and don’t mind waiting a few hours for the change it can be had fairly cheap, but if you want to change colors on-the-fly then it will cost you a bit more.

So what do you think? Like it? Hate it? Please share your thoughts on the matter by either commenting here, via Facebook or Twitter. Got any ideas for more mods you would like to see? I’m all ears!

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S.C.A.R.E. Vol. 4 Released!

| June 2nd, 2010 | No Comments »

S.C.A.R.E. – Secrets, Contacts, Allies, Rivals and Enemies. They are part and parcel of the character generation process, and provide endless opportunities for adventure, intrigue and complication. The S.C.A.R.E. line gives you NPC’s designed to provide maximum flexibility as they can be used in several ways; either as a valuable Contact or Ally, or as a dangerous Rival or Enemy. Secrets can be exploited for profit, patriotism or career advancement; and each could lead to danger, wealth or fantastic new discoveries. Multiple plot hooks and adventure ideas are also presented in each release, allowing easy integration into your game.

Volume 4 in the series details Vasco Anurin.


The Starport Authority (SPA) manages and builds all of the starports in imperial space. SPA inspectors like Vasko Anurin provide oversight of Starport operations, arriving unannounced with a team of investigatorschecking everything from airlock seals, accounts, traffic control protocols, and the honesty of starport personnel to the customs procedures,security procedures and so on.

Vasco Anurin is good at his job; he can smell a fake manifest in hard vacuum, ferret out a contraband cargo and spot the holes in Starport security. Though he is harboring a terrible secret, his loyalty cannot be purchased.

He is notabove using his influence to help friends or hinder foes, however.

Be sure to check out other Volumes in the S.C.A.R.E. series:

Or get them all in a bundle for maximum savings!

For sale now at OBS.

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