#RPG – Diversity Dungeons RELEASED!

Buy it HERE

Diversity Dungeons : Worldbuilding & Game Design in the Safe Space Age
Much digital ink (and blood) has been spilt taking about diversity representation in tabletop gaming and in every other field of geek and nerd endeavour. Usually these conversations are extremely combative and they tend to end poorly for everyone involved. I’ve been involved in these debates and discussions myself, to my detriment. The position I hold being that free expression and the vision of the author or creator should trump any and all other concerns – including diversity, representation and so on. To my mind the answer is for people to create according to their own conscience, not to be condemned out of hand or for their motivations to be presumed and for diversity of ideas to be the benchmark. I want a world in which Varg Vikernes and David Hill can both make and sell games and I can ignore both of them.

That said, I cannot help but be drawn to controversial topics – that is where the interesting conflicts and stories lie – and there are few topics so controversial as the treatment of ‘minorities’ within media. Here we arrive at a nexus-point between realism, expectation, demands for representation, demands for free expression, historical revisionism, magic, science fiction, truth, ‘is’ and ‘ought’. That makes it interesting, but the battle lines of identarian politics, liberalism, conservatism, the regressive left and cultural libertarianism also make it an area fraught with difficulty and wilful misunderstanding.

There are no good – or at least no satisfactory – answers to a lot of these questions. Perhaps there are just multiple approaches each of which will annoy some group or other. What’s true in all circumstances however is that these controversial topics are interesting, fascinating and important in terms of world, character and scenario building whatever your particular stance.

This booklet intends to examine these issues in and of themselves, outside of the current state of controversy and to ask – rather – how we might better simulate the plight of minority groups, understand them within the context of fictional worlds, make allowances for player-characters who might seek to buck those societal trends or allow characters – through their actions – to affect social change within the game worlds.

#RPG Clipart Critters Megabundle RELEASED

CAClabelBuy it HERE

Brad McDevitt is an industry veteran who has worked for a huge number of different companies and for many years now has been providing stock art through Postmortem Studios under the ‘Clipart Critters’ label. Brad has just hit the amazing achievement of offering a grand total of 400 pieces of stock art, covering all the genres, colour, black and white, spot and full size illustrations.

If you’re a small publisher – new or old – or a Games Master who likes making classy hand-outs, or even if you’re an independent fiction publishers you should be able to find something – many things – amongst his work that would suit your efforts. This bundle is essentially a publisher start-up pack, with enough art to – potentially – keep you going for years. It’s a FANTASTIC deal!

It may not be the absolute end-all-and-be-all of “Deals of the Century,” but the Clip Art Critter Mega-Bundle may be all a small publisher will ever need to fill his art needs! For two hundred dollars, you can purchase all four hundred images published to date… an 87% savings over the normal price! And it gets better, since a few of those are bundled collections of head-shots, so you are actually getting something like 412 individual images for the prices of four-to-eight images at normal market prices.

Image sizes range from spot illos that can be placed anywhere to help fill up a page to illustrations large enough to be used as full-pagers or even covers, in black-and-white, grayscale, and color, covering every topic of artwork from manga, to science fiction, horror, fantasy, and even some just plain art pieces. Some images are lightly NSFW, though none are pornogrpahic.

And if you have bought Clip Art Critters in the past, there is no double-buying needed: you only get those images you have not purchased int he past, and the price is reduced accordingly, so you are not wasting money out of your art budget!

This special sale runs from now until September 1st, 2016.

#RPG – The Cathedral of Misogyny RELEASED!

CoverthumbBuy it HERE

There’s a long history of ‘silly’ adventures in tabletop gaming. Even professional modules were often replete with puns, nonsense and other silliness. Some of the most iconic monsters and strange things in Dungeons and Dragons started out as jokes, in-jokes, or silly improvisations and this is something that has become a little lost in more modern times.

This adventure was prepared as an introductory adventure for a new player, hosted in an online session over Google Hangouts (isn’t modern technology wonderful?) As such, it’s full of bad jokes, puns and nonsense relating to online culture and the culture of computer gaming – which they were more familiar with. Still, you may enjoy it and if nothing else it may inspire you to include a little silliness – and some more pop culture references – in your own games.

The Cathedral of Misogyny
The Cathedral of Misogyny is a reference to 4chan. It was intended as a hyperbolic insult to that imageboard but – of course – everyone just thought it was hilarious and embraced it. As a reference to 4chan, it’s a perfect vehicle for re-purposing memes (in many ways the modern equivalent of puns) and using fantasy to make fun of our modern lives and situations. There are, of course, many people who will have no sense of humour about this sort of thing. That’s fine, they can be miserable. I, however, think that there is a great deal of value in laughing both at ourselves and at others – and that’s what this is for. With an irreverent group that can get into the right mood, this should present a great evening or two of fun.

Rough as Toast
‘Rough as Toast’ in this instance indicates a new line of low budget products that are kind of designed to be throwaway ideas, disposable content, silly experiments and so on. They’re not made to such a high standard as normal, but should still be fun. Also cheap.

#RPG – Consultancy Services Available

Locksmith03

As you should already know I have recently expanded my business to offer editing, writing, layout and other assistance to other RPG publishers. These services include consultancy in which I can offer my experience and knowledge, good and bad, of RPG publishing over 15 years to help businesses new and old cope better and maximise their opportunities.

Today I completed a consultancy session with Paul Fields of Evil Robot Games and he had this to say:

I spoke with Jim across a wide range of topics related to RPG publishing. His insights were valuable to me, it would have cost me much more to figure out the publishing, marketing and product selection issues on my own. In marketing he explained to me the marketing options of a major market maker and which ones worked best, which ones weren’t worth your time. I could easily go to the site’s page to see what their offerings are, but they wouldn’t necessarily lead me to the most cost effective options with the better conversion rates. I could use the tools on the site to analyze the sales and conversion rates after paying for ads, but that’s the long way around. We talked about the kinds of RPG products I would like to create, the pricepoints associated with digital products and which products tended to sell better than others. We talked about how product bundling creates a higher perceived value, even if the discounts on individual items weren’t significant. I will be focussing several new RPG projects specifically based on the conversation we had today. All in all a good value for my money.

If you’d like to employ any of my services, I’m sure I can provide you with some value for money. Please do get in touch via social media or email (grim AT postmort DOT demon DOT co DOT uk) and be sure to check out Evil Robot while you’re at it.

 

Back on the Horse

It’s time to get back up to speed. I need to get back to working more fully after years of illness and – until a recent wobble – I was on course to going back to full time work. Because of illness (and controversy) I am pretty set back at the moment, but it’s time to put that effort in to overcome that.

JZ2FnTDFThat said, this means I’m looking for additional freelance work.

I am a 15+ year veteran of the tabletop game publishing world with experience in freelancing and self publishing. I’ve worked for Wizards of the Coast, Steve Jackson Games, Nightfall, Cubicle Seven Entertainment and more. I have also written fiction and worked on social media computer games, packing a lot of meaning into short pieces of text. As a self-publisher I have overseen every step of the publication process from concept through to publications including writing, editing, layout and modification.

Here’s some of the services I can offer, and the minimum prices offered – though anything is negotiable up or down depending on the client.

  • New writing (raw text) $0.03c/word.
  • Proofreading/Light Editing/Commentary $0.01c/word (second and third deeper passes are possible).
  • ePublishing/RPG Publishing consultation Skype/Hangout/Call $20/hour.
  • Consultation on your game project $20/hour.
  • Layout (InDesign) $10 an hour.
  • Full service male escort… oops, wait, no, this is the wrong blog for that…

I’m also looking for light work – preferably office work – in the Whitchurch/Andover area in the UK. If anyone has any leads on any part or full time (work week) positions that are available. Please let me know. Equally, if there are any blogs or websites looking for writers or contributors do let me know, provided it pays at least something!

#RPG Fistful of Horror 3 RELEASED!

FFH3CoverBuy it HERE

If you – like most Games Masters – run out of ideas for adventures – then the Fistful series provides plenty of fodder for you, sparking your imagination and giving you a situation and several possible interpretations to run with. This can be all the spark you need to wing the rest of the session and end up with a good adventure for everyone.

You can find hundreds more adventure seeds HERE

#RPG – Overwatch Characters for Machinations of the Space Princess

I love everything about Overwatch, except the game (I hate PvP) so it’ll be Battleborn for me. Still, the characters are great and I felt like having a little fun, so…

(Want to see more? Leave a comment)

bastion-gameplayBastion – SST Laboratories Siege Automaton E54

Once a frontline combatant in the devastating Omnic Crisis, this curious Bastion unit now explores the world, fascinated by nature but wary of a fearful humanity.

Originally created for peacekeeping purposes, Bastion robot units possessed the unique ability to rapidly reconfigure themselves into an assault-cannon mode. But during the Omnic Crisis, they were turned against their human makers, forming the bulk of the omnics’ rebel army. Following the resolution of the crisis, nearly all of them were destroyed or disassembled. To this day, Bastion units still symbolize the horrors of the conflict.

One unique Bastion unit, severely damaged in the final battles of the war, was left forgotten for over a decade. It lay dormant, exposed to the elements and rusting while nature slowly reclaimed it. Overgrown with vines and roots and nested upon by small animals, the robot sat inert, seemingly unaware of the passing of time. That was until one fateful day, when it unexpectedly reactivated. With its combat programming all but lost, it instead displayed an intense curiosity about the natural world and its inhabitants. This inquisitive Bastion unit set out to explore its surroundings and discover its purpose on a war-ravaged planet.

Though “Bastion” appears to be gentle—even harmless, at times—its core combat programming takes over when the unit senses danger, utilizing its entire arsenal to eliminate anything it perceives as a threat. This has led to instances of conflict with the few humans it has encountered, and has driven it to avoid populated areas in favor of the wild, uncharted regions of the world.

Charisma 11+0 Charm 6
Comeliness 11+0 Looks 6
Constitution 17+3 Toughness 12
Dexterity 13+1 Reflexes 7
Intelligence 13+1 Logic 7
Strength 16+3 Power 8
Wisdom 15+2 Will 8
Painless x3: +3 HP/Level, +3 Toughness

Hit Points: 77
Psi Points: 9
Attack Bonus +5
Ranged Attack: +6
Close Attack: +8
Ranged Defence: 12/9/10
Close Defence: 14/11/12
Ranged Damage Bonus: +2
Close Damage Bonus: +3
Social Reaction: +0
Initiative Bonus: +7
Skills Points: 10

Climb: 1
Languages: 1
Search: 1
Security: 1
Sleight of Hand: 1
Sneak Attack: 1
Stealth: 1
Structure: 1
Survival: 1
Tinker: 5
Juggernaut: 6

Gear

Recon Configuration
Very Heavy Armour: 1d8 Protection -1 Defence
Medium Calibre SMG: 1d6 damage, Medium Range, Ammo Save 16, Autofire x1

Turret Configuration
Juggernaut Armour: 1d20 protection (front) 1d12 protection (rear), -3 Defence.
Medium Calibre Vulcan Cannon: 1d10 damage, Long Range, Ammo Save 10, Autofire x2

Tank Configuration
Ultra Heavy Armour: 1d10 Protection, -2 Defence
High Calibre Cannon: 1d12 damage, Extreme Range, Ammo Save 10, Explosive (1d10)
(Tank configuration drains a lot of energy and can only be activated for 1d8 turns per combat).

Shifting configurations takes a full turn.

11vo7qhD.Va – Hana Song

D.Va is a former professional gamer who now uses her skills to pilot a state-of-the-art mech in defense of her homeland.

Twenty years ago, South Korea was attacked by a colossal omnic monstrosity that rose from the depths of the East China Sea. The massive, lumbering construct caused catastrophic damage to coastal cities before it was driven back beneath the waves. In response, the South Korean government developed a mechanized armored drone unit, called MEKA, to protect urban environments in future engagements with the omnic threat.

The government’s fears proved to be well founded, as a disturbing pattern of attacks emerged. Every few years, the monstrosity would rise from the sea to assault South Korea and its neighbors. The omnic learned from these encounters, often reconfiguring itself in a different form and appearing with new weapons and capabilities. Each incident ended in a stalemate, with the monstrosity defeated but not destroyed.

As the omnic continued to adapt, it eventually disrupted MEKA’s drone-control networks, forcing the military to place pilots in the mechs. Scrambling to find suitable candidates, the government turned to the country’s professional gamers, who possessed the necessary reflexes and instincts to operate the mechs’ advanced weapons systems. Top stars were drafted, including reigning world champion Hana Song, also known as “D.Va.” Famous for her elite skills, D.Va was a fierce competitor who played to win at all costs, and she had a well-earned reputation for showing no mercy to her opponents.

Seeing her new mission as a game, D.Va fearlessly charges into battle alongside the rest of her MEKA unit, ready to spring to her nation’s defense at a moment’s notice. Recently, she has begun to stream combat operations to her adoring fans, and her growing following has turned her into a global icon.

Charisma 14+2 Charm 7
Comeliness 16+3 Looks 8
Constitution 11+0 Toughness 6
Dexterity 17+3 Reflexes 9
Intelligence 17+3 Logic 9
Strength 8-1 Power 4
Wisdom 16+3 Will 8

Adaptable x3: +3 Skill Points.

Hit Points: 17
Psi Points: 12
Attack Bonus: +1
Ranged Attack: +4/+6
Close Attack: +0/+1
Ranged Defence: 15
Close Defence: 12
Ranged Damage Bonus: +3
Close Damage Bonus: -1
Social Reaction: +5
Initiative Bonus: +4

Skill Points: 18

Climb: 1
Languages: 1
Search: 1
Security: 1
Sleight of Hand: 1
Sneak Attack: 1
Stealth: 1
Structure: 1
Survival: 1
Tinker: 4
Experimental Tech: 6
Robotic Companion (MEKA): 6

Gear

MEKA Suit (This must be destroyed before D.Va can be attacked).
Ram +1 Close Attack Bonus 1d4 damage
Twin Fusion Cannons +2 Ranged Attack Bonus 1d8 damage, Autofire, Long Range, Ammo Save 12
15 HP
Armour: 1d4, Jump Jets, Ejector Seat (releases pilot on destruction).
Saves 6
Juggernaut 1

Personal Gear
Skintight bodysuit: 1 Armour
Light Machine Pistol: d4 damage, point blank range, Ammo Save 18, Autofire.

Genji_005Genji – Genji Shimada

The cyborg Genji Shimada has made peace with the augmented body he once rejected, and in doing so, he has discovered a higher humanity.

As the youngest son of the master of the Shimada ninja clan, Genji lived a life of luxury and privilege. He had little interest in the family’s illegal businesses, and although he excelled at and enjoyed his ninja training, he spent most of his time pursuing a playboy lifestyle. Many within the clan considered the carefree Genji to be a dangerous liability, and they resented his father for coddling and protecting him. Following the clan leader’s untimely death, Genji’s older brother, Hanzo, demanded that Genji take a more active role in their late father’s empire. Genji refused, enraging Hanzo. The tension between the brothers built to a violent confrontation that left Genji on the verge of dying.

Hanzo believed that he had killed his brother, but Genji was rescued by Overwatch and the intervention of Dr. Angela Ziegler. The global security force saw Genji as a potential asset in its ongoing operations to combat the Shimada clan. As Genji’s injuries left him clinging to life, Overwatch offered to rebuild his body in exchange for his help. He was put through an extensive process of cyberization, which enhanced his natural speed and agility and augmented his superlative ninja skills. Transformed into a living weapon, Genji single-mindedly set about the task of dismantling his family’s criminal empire.

But as time passed, Genji felt increasingly at war with himself. He was repulsed by the mechanical parts of his body and could not come to grips with what he had become. When his mission was complete, he abandoned Overwatch and wandered the world in search of meaning. He drifted for many years before crossing paths with the omnic monk Zenyatta. Though Genji initially rejected Zenyatta’s wisdom, the benevolent omnic would not be deterred. In time, Zenyatta became his mentor, and under the monk’s tutelage, Genji reconciled his dual existence as both man and machine. He learned to accept that although he had a cyborg body, his human soul was intact, and he came to see his new form as a gift and a unique strength.

Now, for the first time in his life, Genji is free. Even he cannot say where his path will ultimately lead.

Charisma 10+0 Charm 6
Comeliness 10+0 Looks 5
Constitution 16+3 Toughness 8
Dexterity 16+3 Reflexes 8
Intelligence 11+0 Logic 6
Strength 20+5 Power 10
Wisdom 14+2 Will 7

Cyborg x3: Skin Armour 3 (1d8, +9hp)

Hit Points: 66
Psi Points: 8

Attack Bonus: +5
Ranged Attack: +8
Close Attack: +10
Ranged Defence: 17
Close Defence: 15
Ranged Damage Bonus: +2
Close Damage Bonus: +5
Social Reaction: +0
Initiative Bonus: +7

Skill Points: 9

Climb: 2
Languages: 1
Search: 1
Security: 1
Sleight of Hand: 1
Sneak Attack: 1
Stealth: 2
Structure: 1
Survival: 1
Tinker: 1
Ambush: 2 +2d6 damage on surprise attacks
Defensive Gunfighter: 2 +2 Ranged DEfence
Weapon Expert Melee: +1 Attack in Melee

Gear

Deadly Katana 1d10 damage, Armour Defeating x1.
The Katana can be overdrive into ‘Dragonblade’ mode once per combat, doing 1d20 damage with Armour Defeating x2.
Shuriken Clusters D4 damage, Autofire x2
Twin Cyberarm
Twin Cyberleg