Archive for August, 2011

Weekly Roundup

Posted: August 22, 2011 in Game Design
Tags: , ,

Well apart from the new StockArt Cover, there’s not alot to add. This week has mainly been dedicated to icing a cake for our friends combined Stag and Hen Party, hence forth known as a Sten Party (we suggested Hag Night, but the girls weren’t overly keen on that idea).

That said I have still managed to get a little work in on Pluto Rising (The first Dead Future adventure), mainly working on building the floorplans for the I.P.S.E. Pluto and getting some ideas down for nasty trick to spring on the party as they occur (usually as I am mapping a particular section and think “That would be fun to do here”). I’ve also managed a little more on Shadow of the Zombie, starting to work on the Jiang Shi (or Hopping Dead) from oriental myth.

I am finding that OneNote from Microsoft it a great tool for recording your idea’s and building up the various project I have on the go, and double useful when linked to SkyDrive so I can access the file anywhere I have Internet access. If you haven’t tried OneNote yet and have the Office Suite I seriously suggest you have a look, you won’t regret it.

Finally, I have picked up “Rise Britannia” again, and I am making some progress on the outline for this book.

Anyway, enough for tonight.

John

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Not much to update this weekend, we have uploaded a new set of stock art from John Picot (Art by Shinkei: Robots 1) which is now available from RPGNow priced $3.50.

And whilst I am talking about John, it’s his Birthday today, so Happy Birthday John ūüôā

I have done some more work on Shadow of the Zombie and the Ghoul is now complete. Next stop Jiang Shi.

I have also started work mapping the decks of the SS Pluto (the Starship for the upcoming Dead Future Adventure “Pluto Rising”), with 2 of the 20 decks now mapped, and the 3rd in progress. As usual I am designing the decks ‘clean’ and will add a Dead Future layer with the blood, etc. This means that we can also use the Pluto for a d20 Future supplement at some point without major re-working.

Anyway that’s it for this weekend, more as it comes.

Nite all


Well apart from Shadow of the Zombie, I am working on the first full Dead Future Adventure, which takes place nominally on the same ship covered in the Flavour text from Dead Future. I have been redesigning the ship and have currently got this design:

 This is a jump capable deep space explorer with a crew of a couple of hundred, decks will be arranged around the central lift shaft, and gravity plane will be in line with thrust (although the ship will have A.G. from the neutrino jump engines).

This adventure should then lead on to the second adventure on an asteroid mine, for which the maps are mainly done.

Anyway, I have work tomorrow so night all.

New Books in Print

Posted: August 11, 2011 in Product Release

The proofs have arrived and we can now announce that the following are available in print from Lulu.com.

 Dead Future Rebooted. Dead Future Rebooted is a campaign template for d20 games and Year of the Zombie set in the future, that can have slight effects that are quietly silenced and hidden from the general public, or galaxy changing events that will forever change the lives of those who survive depending on the wishes of those participating in the campaign. Includes data on the human threat as well as environmental threats, cybernetic and other scifi enhancments and their effects on the risen. This is an expanded copy of the original Dead Future, and now includes over 70 pages of new material including new aliens, robots, equipment, rules and zombies. New and improved art features throughout. This also includes a startup mini-adventure for the Dead Future Universe (Vacuum Packed Death) and complete battlemaps for the adventure.

Priced at £14.99 from http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/year-of-the-zombie-dead-future-rebooted/16449401

 

 

Killing Winter is an adventure for the Brass, Blood and Steam, supplement for the SotC SRD. You will need Brass, Blood and Steam (also from UKG Publishing) and a copy of the SotC SRD in order to run it “as written”, though it should be quite easy to adapt to any steampunk or generic games system. This adventure is set in Queen Victoria’s Land, the sample campaign background in Brass, Blood and Steam and follows directly from the sample adventure, Diamonds in the Snow.

Priced at£3.99 from http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/killing-winter/16449474

 

And finally, Powder, Passion & Plunder

On the face of it, there should be nothing romantic about pirates. They take hard-earned money and goods away by force – typically accompanied by torture, murder and rape. And yet there is still something attractive about a life of adventure, freedom and lived without responsibility. SotC is a OGL role-playing game written by Evil Hat Productions and based on their FATE system. This supplement contains additional rules to tailor SotC to the pirate genre. If you don’t want to use this game, the information will be useful for any tabletop campaign. As well as the rules, this book also contains a history of piracy (both in reality and in fiction) and looks at the enduring appeal of these “wolves of the sea” and what we find attractive about characters like Long John Silver and Captain Jack Sparrow that are as magnificent as they are malevolent. This book should allow you, the GM, to create games that tap into these tropes to provide a more enjoyable experience for your players and yourself.

Priced at £4.99 from http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/powder-passion-plunder/16449446

 

More as we get it ūüôā

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ghoulish Delights

Posted: August 8, 2011 in Game Design

¬†¬†So I’m working on Shadow of the Zombie at the moment, being, as I have previously mentioned, a look at the shadier and more fantastical undead from Mythology and other media such a literature, film and video games. Of course no such work would be complete without the Ghoul or Ghul of Arabian Myth.

¬†The¬†ghŇęl¬†(literally¬†demon)¬†dwells in burial grounds and other uninhabited places. The¬†ghul¬†is a devilish type of¬†jinn¬†believed to be sired by¬†Iblis.

The Arabian ghoul is a desert-dwelling, shape shifting demon that can assume the guise of an animal, especially a hyena. It lures unwary travellers into the desert wastes to slay and devour them. The creature also preys on young children, robs graves, drinks blood, steals coins and eats the dead, taking on the form of the one they previously ate.

It is clear from this description that these are a precursor to our more familiar flesh eating zombies, but they have a number of key differences. That they are attributed to demonic influences is the first, whereas a classic risers reason for being is left deliberately unexplored. They can shapeshift into animal form, as well as the form of one recently consumed, so clearly they are rooted in the magical or mystical. And they are said to lure travellers indicating a degree of intelligence or cunning not normally exhibited by our friendly, but mainly dumb classic zombie.

This concept of a zombie that can assume the form of someone recently consumed, started me thinking of how a Ghoul might manifest in Year of the Zombie, and how best to accomplish this remarkable ability in stat form for the book. What if the Ghoul consumed the living and dead for more than the base needs of a classic riser? What if they somehow took more from the victim than simple flesh which offered them no nutritional value what so ever.

The more I thought about this, the more I became excited by the idea of an almost ‘vampiric’ zombie that ate the flesh of the living and the dead to grow and somehow develop as a creature.

So I am now looking at a creature that at first resembles a classic zombie, being slow, somewhat dumb and ravenous in it’s appetite. However, it starts life a little smarter and more cunning, and more importantly not overly choosy over what it eats, living or risen. As the Ghoul feeds it starts to gain strength (hp and hd) which as it progresses, manifests as improved stats, skills and feats. The Ghoul prefers living victims (much as any zombie would) and gains more from consuming the flesh and life energy of the living than the dead, but can equally consume and advance from risen victims (albeit more slowly).

But how rare would such a creature be, whilst a  Draugr or a Lich might be 1 in a 100,000,000, Ghouls could be relatively common, perhaps 1 in 100,000. But wait I hear you say, we would be overrun with them. Not necessarily, as Ghouls start out life weak and dumb, much like a classic shambler. We could have encountered them numerous times, despatching them will relative ease and never the wiser. Only the strongest, most cunning and probably the luckiest would survive to advance in power. Even these creatures may be slain without ever thinking more than it was a powerful and tough riser, and so more fall to the survivors until perhaps only 1 in 100 Ghouls make it through to the higher power levels and abilities.

Obviously, I can go into too much detail at this point as I would a) have nothing new to put in the Shadow of the Zombie, and b) am still only playing with the idea’s above and have yet to translate them fully into a stat’d monster, but I thought I would share these¬†embryonic ideas with you and perhaps get some feedback on the Ghoul (such as it is now).

Night All

John


Well after an evening of quietly laying out Killing Winter, Dead Future Rebooted and Passion, Powder and Plunder for print, I have now got the proofs ordered.

Can’t wait to see how they look in print!

We have a lot of books in our print queue, so I will keep you informed when our back catalogue is available in Dead Tree version.

Night all

 

John

The Hacked Site Blues!

Posted: August 3, 2011 in Game Design, General

One of the great things about having your website hacked, is all the linked items which are destroyed resulting in hours of reconstructing the damn stuff.

I suppose there is always a silver lining though, as this is giving me the chance to review our product listings and standardise our product previews.

Just spent a couple of hours rebuilding the samples for a whole bunch of stock art, uploading them to the, now clean, server and editing each product listing to include the sample links. 14 products out of 165 done, yay go me….

 

However, I don’t want to let the “admin” work get in the way of other more creative tasks, so I am trying to split the load between new products and fixing old products.

 

I have re-started work on a Dead Future adventure, completely redesigning the starship design and underlying floorplans, which should lead me onto the next adventure for which the floorplans are all but finished. This first adventure will roughly parallel the diary entries from Dead Future, with the characters investigating, boarding and subsequently having to escape from a drifting Explorer vessel which is one of the first Dead Future rising points. From here I hope to plot the course of the survivors as they head back into the solar system and Earth, in a¬†dilapidated starship in much need of repair. In fact the state of the starship leads to the next adventure, putting into an asteroid mining facility to refuel and refit, of course Mr Hungry got there before them ūüôā

I also want to look at some parallel adventures taking place on Future Earth during the rising, but I think I may need to come up with a skirmish system for this as the risen verses mechanised troops will not necessarily lend itself to d20 Modern. More on this as the idea’s come.

Finally, I have been putting in some graft on Shadow of the Zombie, a sideline to the main YotZ theme which introduces more Shadow and FX into the game for those who want it. So far it’s been an interesting ride researching mythological zombie varients, zombies from literature, film and games. I have especially enjoyed developing the Bokor class for this, with Voodoo being a perfect example of FX in a zombie setting. The Bokor will provide some interesting possibilities for Havens. Anyway, on with the book, I gotta get the Draugr finished tonight before bed.

Later Peoples

John


One of the great things with working with such a diverse and talented group of authors, is that you are often exposed to new game systems and ideas that you would otherwise miss out on.

Of course the downside to this, is that you are often laying out work for a system you haven’t used before, and thus mistakes are much harder to spot.

This came to light recently with Powder, Passion & Plunder. After releasing the product, Richard Fannon emailed me to let me know I had missed off the Composure track for the characters in the sample adventure.

“Have I?” I asked, “What’s one of those when it’s at home?”

Anyway, Richard explained it to me and sent over the corrected text, all fixed no problems. Of course, that’s the great thing about electronic publishing. If I had made that error in a traditional print operation I would have been left with a few thousand incorrect books and an errata section on the web site.

If you have purchased Passion, Powder & Plunder please download a new copy from RPGNow to obtain the updated version.