It has been a busy month and I can finally reveal what’s had me running about (#ULTIMATESECRETPROJECT) like I’m on fire–I’m the Crowdfunding Engineer and Media Coordinator for the Empyrea Kickstarter by Frank Mentzer!
This is one of the main reasons why Gen Con was so great for me this year. I got to hang out with Frank and get to know him (and hear all these old D&D industry stories which was just like whaaaaaaaat), and my voodo rituals/harvest sacrifices must have done the trick because he asked me to run the Kickstarter! Granted I’ve got 6 successful campaigns under my belt (out of 6–batting a thousand) but still, this is like Hercules knocking on your door and asking you to come help slay the hydra after you’ve survived a few minor skirmishes with, large house cats and maybe a sick bobcat.
I am clearly overwhelmed by the whole concept and honored that I get to be so involved.
As we approach the final week of the Book of Exalted Darkness Kickstarter, over 120 (wonderful!) pledges have unlocked our first backer goal: theBook of Celestial Heroes!
What’s inside this supplement of do-goodery?
30 pages devoted to the holy decopunk utopia of Askis and its three continents: contiguous Ouranios, Samovi, and Zakuthombo.
27 pages covering the 9 Spheres of Askis, great workings of the Celestial Heroes that rule over the world. By undertaking epic quests the PCs will solidify these global magics, making certain they last long after their creators pass away.
33 pages of Player Options including Innate Beliefs, the new exemplar class, holy and technological class archetypes, feats (including troths for those devoted to celibacy, charity, hardship, truth, and more), inaequa equipment (like automobiles, blimps, and even jetpacks!), the holy magic tradition, and holy relics to give holy PCs an edge in their fight against evil!
30 pages of powerful Mad Scientists, ruthless evil adventurers, and vile monsters for the party to hunt down and fight against!
Defenders of the World As defenders of the world and hunters of the last vestiges of evil within it, many of the nuances of the campaign setting (like exploiting the schedules of various officials) just aren’t necessary. Obviously we’re still devoting a fair bit of space to this section but we’ll be exploring more of what it’s like to be part of the establishment and that doesn’t require seeing all the gears at work.
Protecting the Spheres This section will be the reverse of a lot of the material in the Book of Exalted Darkness, giving a quick breakdown of how the sphere works and what it does, then quests for restoring it (if damaged) or making it permanent. We’re estimating 3 pages each but of all the parts of the book, this is one of the areas that might expand.
For archetypes here’s what we’ve got planned so far–I know that more are going to come up during playtesting. Even more so than the Spheres section, this part of the book has the greatest potential for expansion.
HOLY ARCHETYPES – These are *all about* being goody-two-shoes! Whether fighting with honor, empowered by celestial beings, possessing a truly blessed soul, or hunting down evil, these will have you covered. As of this moment I plan on reprinting the Gray Druid Circle and Gray Knight warlock patron, though I look forward to adding those in as additions to go with some more holy-oriented options later on. 🙂
Holy Spirit Primal Path (Barbarian)
College of the Celestial Song (Bard)
Cleric of the Celestial Bureaucracy
Heavenly Soul Monastic Tradition
Oath of the Chosen (Paladin)
Samaritan Rogue Archetype
Angelic Sorcerer Bloodline
Holy Arcane Tradition (Wizard)
INAEQUA ARCHETYPES – Players interested in the technological side of things but not necessarily keen to making everything explode can pick up a few levels with one of these archetypes to take control of inaequa and really make the most out of the wondrous resource.
College of the Inaequa Tinkerer (Bard)
Cleric of the Cog
Deviant Technologist Rogue Archetype
Inaequa Inventor (Mad Scientist)
HOLY TROTHS – These are all feats done in the fashion of the Vows from the Book of Exalted Deeds with the exception that ours aren’t going to be unbalancing! Among them (so far) are Celibacy, Clarity, Charity, Hardship, Pacifism, Righteousness, and Truth, though I reckon playtesters will come up with a few more!
A Despicable Bestiary
This one is pretty simple to explain! We’ve got space allotted for 5 very challenging Mad Scientists (Challenge Rating 16+), 10 moderately challenging evil adventurers (of Challenge Ratings 5-13), and 15 vile monsters of varying challenge levels (ranging from low to high). We’ll work in more as the art budget allows of course, but each of these will have an illustration as well.
I am SO STOKED about this Kickstarter–my fifth campaign setting and last big foray into D&D 5e! If you are like me and love playing an evil character or get lost in worlds with some style and flair, you are going tolove this.
I go into detail about it on the Kickstarter page but we really found something truly unique with this campaign setting, providing a genuinely good reasonto be wicked.
#2099Wasteland is a go! We’re headed for the future again but instead of soaring heights for hypercorporate skyscrapers, this alternate timeline offers only the ruins of a civilization destroyed by nuclear fire!
After 19 glorious sessions of play, the Hypercorps 2099 KS Backer Game has come to an end! Read on to see what chaos Florisley-Ley (Steve), Chaplain (James), Tycheros (John), and Dr. Smith (Matt) get into in the future!
Thanks goes out to that quartet along with all of the Hypercorps 2099 backers (all my fun paperwork for sending out books starts tomorrow, folks), and it is my great joy to share their epic tale here. 🙂
May of 2099 has seen an untoward amount of precipitation in Neo York. Fawkes News places the blame squarely on Skull Island, the socio-anarchists claim that the repulsors from Lucrum’s two decades plus long flight are the cause, and on the Hypernet just about everything seems to be to blame.
It doesn’t matter—Neo York is still as wet as the nearby ocean and just as polluted.
THE PARTY (starting at level 3/hyper score 1)
Florisley-Ley: Oracle/Sorcerer Plant Conjurer Originally an elf born in a druid’s grove Born in Brazil 40 years ago (2050s) during the hypercorp superseeding During adolescence chlorian Combined her with essences of treants and stuff Chosen because of aptitude with divine and arcane magic sent to Neo York where she’s based out of Central Park anti-pollution and any degradation of the natural world
The Chaplain: Angelic War Priest Monk Midwestern kid, regular going to school Started in US Military and then went Private Security Forces for Viztao
Tycheros: Investigator/Netjacker Born and raised in Queens Highschool nerd, got into hacking, went and got a traditional college education in computer sciences Computer Security guy for a while, part of a Redhat team No tramautic event yet
Smith: Vigilante Infiltration Specialist Interested in magic/tech interface Traditional route – college to become an engineer worked for a hypercorp to harness the power of the celestial realms finds out it is used for kidnapped celestials into the Material Plane performs questionably moral things during the day, and sabotages evils at night
Before anything else, I want to address the people that are my fans.
I do not know how to react to having fans.
You are all awesome.
If I failed to thank you for enjoying my work, if I seemed out of sorts, generally came off as curt or strange, or otherwise conducted myself untoward in any way whatsoever, I apologize profusely. I don’t think I managed to offend anyone, but I feel so unbelievably awkward when someone says “you have done something awesome” that I seriously forget how to be a human.
So: thank you for saying hello to me, it was wonderful to meet so many of you, and in the future please be like “MIKE! HIGH FIVE AWESOME TOWN!” and we will slap hands in a most epic manner that I am 100% prepared for and then talk shop or predict the weather or whatever. 😀
I am super duper excited about the project!!! Not only are we really breaking into some truly unique ground with Mists of Akuma as a setting, going to be the first to bring in eastern fantasy to D&D 5th Edition, and enabling me to place some AWESOME art orders, the GM of my youth is writing an adventure for it! Chris Rippee is a peerless storyteller and I seriously cannot wait to see the final copy he turns over (there’s an encounter preview here).
If you would like to support the project but were unable to pledge to the Kickstarter, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get you sorted.
I have had quite a week. One of Hypercorps 2099‘s backers, Steve Caron, bought me a plane ticket to and from Seattle, and my inimitable (and unflinchingly polite, almost to a fault) right-hand man Michael McCarthy put me up in his hotel room for most of the trip. Once again, you both have my sincere thanks for your graciousness!
After a cramped flight to the west coast I wandered down to the hotel and dropped off my belongings before wandering around that area of Seattle for a while before hanging out with some folks in the bar. In the evening we got most of the Hypercorps crew together and made for a fantastic thai restaurant down the rail line, then hit up a grocery before getting to bed early.
Friday kicked off with my first Shadow of the Demon Lord game run by none other than Stephen Radney-MacFarland, then it was straight away to the first Hypercorps 2099 seminar and it went great! Unfortunately to make it to the Hyper RPG studio in time to appear on Rabbit Stew, we had to leave the panel in the hands of Luis Loza and Jason Nelson — I am assured it went well, but will make sure to put links to the Know Direction recordings of the panel so you can be your own judges (and will definitely share the video for Rabbit Stew when it gets onto YouTube).
That night we also did the first scheduled Hypercorps 2099 game, Operation Varsity. I had a very exciting very secret meeting somewhere before we came back to the hotel and sprinted into the game room late, but everyone was very cool about it. Because Steve had a penthouse suite (which was HUGE) we took the group up there and played with a gorgeous view behind us (and many glasses of rum drinks). Getting things underway I was in great trepidation because this was the first time I’d actually played Hypercorps 2099 in person as opposed to through Roll20.net, but there was no reason to be worried–a good time was had by all and the system performed as well in real life as it does through the Hypernet. 😉
Saturday was my “whatever” day and I mostly hit up seminars (which were all good) before the banquet. There was much talk of Starfinder and I look forward to it as much as you likely expect. I have spoken to many Paizo people and many other people about the new ruleset and what that means for Hypercorps 2099and when I’m able to say more about any of that, I will do so.
Sunday was another day of enjoyable and informative seminars until the second Hypercorps 2099 game (Skirmish with Soldier Corps) which had seven players! It was SUPER intense and much to my delight, at the end of the table one of Friday’s players (a netjacker mechwarrior) was doing side battles with one of his friends (that scheduled game’s netjacker)! HOW AWESOME IS THAT!!!
Immediately afterward, the Hypercorps 2099 crew got together and this happened.
The next day kicked off with a seminar for both Aethera and Hypercorps 2099; despite being the morning of the final day of the convention we had more attendees than panelists! There will be a link provided when Know Direction puts it up. 😀 That night I hung out with Steve and my returning mechwarrior (Miles Smith) and we had one final Hypercorps game, and it was as awesome as the rest of the sessions at PaizoCon!
Today (nearly 24 hours ago ~.~) I woke up and walked to the airport with Steve, hopped on my plane, and spent most of the trip brainstorming for Mists of Akuma and reading The Blood Chalice (a Warhammer 40k novel).
Interesting note: Starting Friday morning, my right ankle started doing weird things! There’s no real pain, just discomfort — it feels like there’s a bag of wet sand above my right heel. My regular source of wisdom for these things (my grandmother was a nurse for decades) was just as perplexed as I was. I’ll be taking it easy for a few days (no jogging) to see if some hot/cold pressing fixes it.
All told I had a wonderful time at PaizoCon 2016. All of the Paizo staff put on a fantastic convention and they have both my thanks and congratulations! I feel weird tagging them about Facebook and so on and so forth, but should any of them stop by my website (Cosmo I’m looking at you!) boom — ya been thanked.
Each update has been bringing more short stories for the five legendary survivors of Soburin (Kanden the necroji ninja, Dai-Lan the monkey hengeyokai, Natsuko the kami priest, Karrooc the foreigner, and Tsunaro the Great Bolt), but other goodies have made the project pages as well!
Articles, Interviews, and Reviews, oh my!
Want to know even more about the project and see what tidbits I’ve let slip through into the aether of the media? Check these out!