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.


We are pleased to announce the release of the 5th SotC supplement from Richard Fannon, Powder, Passion & Plunder. Like the other supplements such as Brass, Blood and Steam, this books takes a look at a new genre of roleplaying for the SotC RPG, and in this case its the classic Pirates.

On the face of it, there should be nothing romantic about pirates. They take hard-earned money and goods away by force Рtypically 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. The SRD for SotC can be found at¬†http://www.faterpg.com/dl/sotc-srd.html. 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 $2.50 from RPGNow.

And Once More with Feeling

Posted: July 24, 2011 in General

Well, once again the website has been hacked, and once again I have removed all the offending code. However, this time I am changing my tactics.

Instead of having a static web page, or having a scripted page which I have to keep patched and still gets hacked, I am moving the maintenance of the back end to someone else.

Over the years we have built up quite a few elements of web presence, obviously the main one being RPGNow, but also Lulu and more recently Blogs, Twitter and Facebook Groups. So instead of creating our own pages I have decided that the Blog will be our main point of presence from our URLs, with links to our sales outlets, and other web pages.

Hopefully this will free up time from fixing hacks, maintaining servers and let me spend more time doing what we should be doing, publishing.


Following on from Fleshmongers, UKG Publishing are please to announce the release of Fleshmongers 2 for Year of the Zombie, available from RPGNow priced at $8.00

Year of the Zombie: Fleshmongers 2 brings another batch of the worst of the worst to your Post Apocalyse game.

Whether you are running Year of the Zombie, Nuclear Aftermath or some other Post Apocalypse scenerio, Fleshmongers 2 has a cast of loathsome NPC Slavers for your PCs to butt heads with and despatch.

This 70 page pdf includes:

  • Sample slaver groups and NPC’s, documented at various points in time as the Rising progresses.
  • Printer friendly version

Or to put it in the Words of the Author “It was once noticed by a reviewer that the bad guys in Year of the Zombie are all assholes with bad hygiene and no redeeming qualities. This pattern repeats in this supplement, as I plan on showing Fleshmongers as the worst of the worst, the bottom of Post-Rising society, and some of the most disgusting parasites out there. This book is probably one of the most grueling for me to write, and this one pulls no punches. The NPC‚Äôs detailed in this supplement are the positively worst that I‚Äôve designed. These people are absolutely disgusting, the worst of the worst, ones that are so bad that other villains want them dead, hate them, hate them and fear them. This is a book of villains, their tactics, their methods, their equipment, and how they operate. No glory, no misunderstood diamonds in the rough that just need a little bit of guidance, no showing a better society through slavery. I wholly suggest that the PC‚Äôs be allowed to kill these assholes wherever they find them without feeling pangs of conscience or shades of gray, and to that end I crafted nothing but scumbags, losers, and assholes. -T Willard

WARNING! FLESHMONGERS IS RATED M FOR:
VIOLENCE
LANGUAGE
GORE
ADULT CONTENT

SERIOUSLY THESE NPCs ARE NOT NICE PEOPLE!