JP On Gaming

Friday, March 11, 2011

What have I been doing?

Some of you have asked me what I’ve been doing lately. Other than comment on 4e, that is. Actually I have my hands in many pies right now. Too many perhaps! Let’s see...


When I first started talking about Akos this past fall, there was a lot of interest for it. A pretty unique world with a lot of intrigue, really built for Organized Play. At this time, you know about as much as I do, as the editor in chief has kept me in the dark as he works with a major publisher to make it into a big name. Much bigger than originally expected! That is pretty exciting even if the waiting is just killing me. I trust Doug and his managerial style to make it good.

How will Akos come out of these discussions? Changed no doubt! The 150+ pages of content that I have for Amoran (my human empire) can still use more work. I have told Doug that if it didn’t fit anymore, I might pull it from Akos and offer something completely different for this new Akos. I want to contribute my best to this project but don’t want to have to re-write all that I have to fit into something completely different. Pulling out Amoran from Akos would also require some re-writing but it might leave Amoran closer to my vision.

So Akos is currently on hold as far as I am concerned, but could kick up anytime.

No, Louis, it did not get Razor Coast-ed...


I have completed three books for LPJ Design that away release: the Scythians, the Sanguine Covenant and the Church/Order of Kaga. I am currently working on the First Ones - for which I have already re-written and expanded the Locari for Pathfinder.

The Scythians is a monster book about a race of creatures that serve the evil First Ones. Now the thing that really makes them unique is that they can pull out their bones and use them as weapons. Pretty neat! I put a number of goodies in that book including Scythian- specific feats, magic items and I even came up with some new monsters that should make a lot of people shiver. I really think it will do well and I look forward to seeing your comments and reviews of this product.

The Sanguine Covenant is the major religion of NeoExodus. Owen KC Stephens wrote the original book. I thought the original was a little dry on the aspect of GM-material. In other words, there was not as much meat as I wanted to answer my eternal question with reading an RPG document: "How do I use this practically in *MY* game?" So a lot of the work I did was to expand on the notions that were already in there with a focus on using a lot of it at the table. I worked two Prestige Classes into the document (the Daemon Slayer and the Purifier) and a lot of adventure seeds and ideas.

When I first talked to Louis about the Covenant, he told me that he saw it as the Catholic Church: monolithic and oppressive. Being Catholic myself I did find a lot of humor in this! Still the analogy and the points he brought got my brain juices flowing. I am very interested in the Church’s dogma, particular on the weirdest aspects of the faith: the Giants of Genesis, Angels, etc. On the one hand, the faith has to offer people something they can identify and strive towards. On the other, it has to demand something from them. I thought about this duality previously while working on Amoran, and these reflections served me well in this case. The resulting Covenant is an interesting mixture of Buddy-Christ, the 15th century inquisition and the early Byzantine (aka orthodox) Church.

While everyone officially worships the Sanguine Lord (saying his name out loud is heresy), the major envoys - called Venerates - answer the daily needs of the faithful. The Venerates are akin to archangels, serving as intermediaries between the Sanguine Lord and man.

The Church/Order of Kaga is a "Church" that has no god and one of NeoExodus’ most interesting concepts. The Kaga is an arcane construct. A creature made from the union of thousands of minds. The original version of the Order of Kaga made it into a spy network, something which I did not really see the Kaga doing. The Kaga is more a seeker of knowledge, and one who does sociological experiments on mankind (he taught the Canean about feudalism and the Arman how to do siege craft).

When I first started working with Louis on NeoExodus, he explained that the Kaga was an abstraction of the internet. Allowing people to search and query its twenty centuries of gathered knowledge. I liked the concept very much but ran into one question that really got to me. If this thing knows so much and is so open (I can Google whatever I want and find information in seconds). Chances are, it would know something about pretty much anything.

Approaching the problem as an adventure writer this time I tried to create a mystique about the Kaga, altering the original concept of an internet man to something more secretive. Making the Kaga and his "priests" the owners of an edited internet... They know a lot, but only share small part of what they know seeking to expand their knowledge of the world and its own content. They need people to go out, discover things than then feed that information to the Kaga.

The First Ones The perennial villains of NeoExodus, just thinking about these guys make me shudder. These guys are BAD, and I mean rotten to the core. The First Ones are not "just" masterminds and villains. They have their own twisted goals and seek to pursue those goals at the

Like other NeoExodus books I have been involved with, the basics are already there, things need to be tightened up, and enhanced. Namely in the domain of their history, their relations, how to use them, what's the difference between them, and of course, my big pet project: adventure seeds. Make this something more than a "monster book" and really a reference into the dark underbelly of NeoExodus.

Louis has been talking about making a "Book of Vile Darkness" for NeoExodus and this book should start this and add a lot of darkness to the setting.

The NeoExodus Campaign Setting I have been working on and off on this book, adding elements from many 3.5 NeoExodus documents to consolidate everything into one. Every time I tell Louis how big and awesome this book will be, he cringes. Okay it won't be that bad, but it will still be significantly bigger than the other books. I am currently at around 100 pages, including dozens of spells and feats, magic items, poisons, races, some monsters, prestige class and they part that really got me started on this: the History of Exodus.

The history document that was released is still the basis and mostly present in its current form. BUT. In addition, each nation is described individually with their history expanded so you can read about the Dominion's own history as part of its entry instead of having to search through the main document. Similarly locations on the map that did not get much attention in the previous version of the setting, such as the islands of Ablis, Gavea and Unthara now get detailed entries, with their history, important NPCs and geographical.

I took an approach of creating immediate conflict everywhere. Every region has something for heroes to do. That's how I like my settings.

Pathfinder Society

The Society in the Denver area is going strong and something I really enjoy. I have been thinking about making RMPathfinder Custom Dice to sell locally, and try to have dice handy for GM rewards and the like. At this time I’m still looking into it.

I am also looking at making a banner similar to those you can find at Gencon. Have a big logo that reads "Rocky Mountain Pathfinders" that we could display at events and game days. I have made some progress on that and am working with someone to get this done. I really want to complete this. It would really give us added visibility.

So that people won’t come ask me for LFR muster!

Really don’t.

Please. There is only a finite number of saves I can make. My Will save is pretty low!


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