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Last day of ENnie awards voting; please support Eclipse Phase: Panopticon!

July 29th, 2012 No comments
Panopticon cover

"Two uplift enter, one uplift resleeve!"

Today is the last day of voting for the 2012 ENnie Awards, and an Eclipse Phase hardcover to which I contributed, Panopticon, is up for a Best Writing award. Please cast a vote if you’ve got a moment.

Two other products that I didn’t work on but really love are also nominated: Paizo’s We Be Goblins for Best Free Product, and the Unhallowed Metropolis RPG for Best Setting. If you’ve enjoyed these yourself, vote them up!

Thanks much!

Categories: Eclipse Phase, RPG Tags:

Eclipse Phase: Panopticon & Broken Time Blues Go Live

August 17th, 2011 No comments
Panopticon cover

Eclipse Phase: Panopticon. Is that a monkey & an octopus in a pit fight? You bet your sweet ass it is, paatno-san.

The new Eclipse Phase hardcover, Panopticon: A Focused Eye on Transhumanity, Vol. I, went live for PDF sales on DriveThruRPG.net today. It’s available as both a standalone PDF and a Creative Commons-licensed hack pack so that players & GMs can mash up the art for their own use.

Physical copies of Panopticon will be available in  gaming stores (at least in the U.S.) on August 31. Support your FLGS! But if you just can’t wait that long, or don’t have a game store that stocks Eclipse Phase, it’s also available through Indie Press Revolution.

Panopticon features new material on uplifted animals, ubiquitous surveillance, and space habitats (the chapter I co-authored with Justin Kugler). Along with beautiful art and detailed setting information, it’s packed with new morphs, new gear, and new mechanics of use to both players and GMs. This is a great book to own if you’re into the high tech dungeon crawl or political aspects of the game, and the chapter on sentient animals is essential reading if your campaign involves uplifts. And the opening story, El Destino Verde, also written by me, ain’t too shabby, either… in my entirely humble opinion.

# # #

Broken Time Blues cover art

Broken Time Blues: Fantastic Tales in the Roaring Twenties

Meanwhile, on the fiction front, my story Der Graue Engel appears in Broken Time Blues: Fantastic Tales in the Roaring ’20s. It’s got a little bit of Fritz Lang, a little bit of Cabaret, and a little bit of LeGuin’s Hainish Cycle, all turned loose in a Weimar Germany that’s about to hit the skids big time. I can’t wait to get my hands on the book myself, because it’s also got stories by three of my Clarion West 2010 classmates — Frank Ard, John Remy, and Andrew Romine — as well as by Paizo’s fiction editor, the estimable James Sutter. Keen-as-hell art by Galen Dara ices the cake. Our editors, Jaym Gates and Erika Holt, themed their last anthology, Rigor Amortis, around zombie erotica, so I highly doubt they pulled any punches on this one.

All right, enough marketing. I’ve got another chapter of Eclipse Phase: Rimward to polish off tonight…

…and a fine Gen Con was had by all!

August 10th, 2011 3 comments
Panopticon cover

"Two uplift enter, one uplift resleeve!"

Thing with Gen Con: it’s always been too damned short. When I was a kid, it always seemed like Sunday came too soon. And now that I’m going as a game designer, ironically, it seems even shorter (you’d think all that work would make it seem longer, but no!). I didn’t see even half of the people or things I wanted to, but it was a blast all the same.

The biggest news from my court was the release of the latest Eclipse Phase hardcover, Panopticon: A Focused Eye on Transhumanity, Vol. I. We had pre-release copies of the book on sale in the Posthuman Studios booth for those lucky enough to be at Gen Con.

Like every Eclipse Phase book to date, it’s gorgeous, with yet another Stephan MARTINIÈRE cover icing the cake (I’ll capitalize his last name, because he’s French, and that’s how they roll). The writing ain’t too shabby, either, although as co-author of the section on space habitats, I’m clearly biased. The other two sections of the book deal with uplifted animals and ubiquitous surveillance. No street date yet, but EP fans may be assured that we’ve delivered the goods on this one. Can’t wait to see the forum threads on how people use these imaginings in actual play!

ENnie 2011

Posthuman be bringin' home ENnies.

I also finally got my hands on a physical copy of Gatecrashing, and it, too, is pretty darned sweet. And Posthuman won another Gold ENnie, this one for Continuity, Marc & Leah Huete’s excellent scenario from last year’s Gen Con. Congrats to them on taking one of Eclipse Phase’s core concepts — body-hopping — and building an intense scenario around it.

Other acquisitions this year included one of Dragonchow’s beautifully made limited edition Eclipse Phase dice bags; Pathfinder: Ultimate Combat (congrats to Jason & team on another great rulebook); and, from the ENnies benefit auction, a bundle of everything currently available for the Dragon Age tabletop RPG. I have to admit I’m always suspicious of RPGs licensed from a big non-tabletop RPG product, but if you look at the names in the credits (Pramas, Kenson, Kulp, Tidball, to name several), it’s clear Green Ronin wasn’t relying on a franchise name to carry this line.

Meanwhile, my girlfriend grabbed a copy of Don’t Rest Your Head RPG and its companion volume Don’t Lose Your Mind and is threatening to run it, a development I’d welcome. We gave this game a spin at Paizo Con back in June, and it’s a great little design.

Additional awesome things I did or saw, in no particular order…

Giant Robo Rally

Giant Roborally with Mindstorm Robots. Squeee!

Some brilliant genius/maniacs who apparently live at the sweet spot between Maker Fair projects and extreme geek love brought a giant Roborally board to the con and had huge Lego Mindstorm robots tooling around it. I was running by on my way to the Posthuman booth when I spotted it, but Father Fletch (of PAX Tabletop Enforcer fame) was nice enough to let me borrow his photo of it, so that y’all may know this awesomeness wasn’t just something I hallucinated after 3 days of Gen Con sleep dep.

I ran a lot of Eclipse Phase, as Posthuman was short on GMs this year. Last year I spent almost all of my time in the booth, pitching the books, so it was great to get out and game with the fans. I mostly ran Xenovore, the fan-inspired scenario I wrote and ran at East Coast cons earlier this year. Hopefully I’ll get it published some time soon.

Jesus Store

Welcome to Indianapolis, Land of Jesus Stores & Ranch Dressing

And I pitched a board game designed by Nathaniel Dean & I. Far too early to talk about what the project is, but we felt the pitch went well. It was my first experience pitching a new game of my own to a serious potential publisher, and I think my co-designer and I took a lot away from the experience.

On Saturday, advance copies of Degenesis showed up at the Posthuman booth. Gorgeous art; weird, weird setting. I was joking with booth visitors that we only do RPGs about the end of the world. Davidson & Seth, the line developers, took a really tough translation project and made it sing. Unfortunately, I forgot my copy at the booth when I rushed off to the airport, so I’ll have to wait to read it!

Some people say Gen Con leaves them exhausted. True for me, physically, but on a creative level, I find it incredibly energizing. I went home very much revved up for another year of writin’ and schemin’.

PAX, a brief spell of Minecraft addiction, PaizoCon, Firefly & Points Beyond

July 21st, 2011 No comments
El Destino Verde cover

El Destino Verde, part one of an Eclipse Phase novelette

Stuff I’ve done the last few months…

  • Ran some games at TempleCon, including Eclipse Phase and the AD&D 1st Edition module White Plume Mountain (one of my all time favorites).
  • Spoke/discussed/brawled in panels at PAX (which we shall now call Prime rather than East, because it is bigger) and Total Confusion.
  • Played Minecraft until it warped my perceptions of the real world. (But I’m better now. I swear.)
  • Headed out to Seattle with my girlfriend to experience the novelty of a gaming con (PaizoCon) where I don’t do any work. Well, minimal work. Before heading back to Bahston, we spent a day in Seattle visiting friends & a few of my Clarion West haunts.
  • Built a giant bug (actually, it was a mammoth, but… long story… anyway) out of forest deadfall & burned it whilst a bunch of hippies danced semi-clad around it with fire.
  • The usual feverish writing in my off hours, including Eclipse Phase: Rimward.
  • My first piece of Eclipse Phase fiction, “El Destino Verde” came out in e-book. It’s the opening fiction for Eclipse Phase: The Panopticon, as well as first of a three part novelette. You can get it from both DriveThru RPG and the Amazon Kindle store.).

Stuff I’ll be up to…

  • Gen Con! I’m rather excited about it. I actually get to GM Eclipse Phase this year (as opposed to being in the booth the whole con). And I’ve even convinced a few people to observe the ancient Gen Con tradition of playing Dawn Patrol (aka, Fight in the Skies) on Saturday morning. Other than that, I’ll be in the Posthuman Studios booth much of the time.
  • Broken Time Blues, the anthology containing my story “Der Graue Engle” will be coming out soon. I’ll devote a post to it once I know the release date.

Panels at TotalConfusion (Massachusetts, Feb. 26)

February 17th, 2011 No comments

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get Eclipse Phase onto the schedule for TotalConfusion this year, but I was asked to sit on a few of their panels on Saturday, 2/26. So I’m going to be placed at a table with other RPG writers, where we will hold forth on the following topics…

Making Great Adventures, Saturday 11:00-Noon

Our panel of esteemed guests will discuss adventure design. Listen in as we discuss the success and pitfalls of adventure design and learn what it takes to make epic adventures. We will cover everything from the one-shot to the epic campaign. Don’t miss this opportunity to get access to some of the greats. Audience participation is highly encouraged, so bring along some questions for our panel.

Gaming and the Media, Saturday 3:00-4:00pm

Game design is only the beginning of any company’s efforts to be successful. Once the product is out, it needs to be promoted and supported. This has changed vastly over the years from primarily print to primarily electronic. Join our panelists as they discuss how the process has changed over the years. Come to enjoy the “war stories” from the trenches of gaming media and get great insight on what works best for promoting your own product. We’ll be discussing print magazines, the evolution of the pdf model, webzines, podcasts, and more. Audience participation is highly encouraged, so bring along some questions for our panel.

Overcoming Gamer/Geek Stereotypes (with Ethan Gilsdorf, author of Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks)

What does it mean to be a geek? This seminar tackles that question with strength and dexterity. . . . part personal odyssey, part medieval mid-life crisis, and part wide-ranging survey of all things freaky and geeky … playful … funny and poignant … It’s a fun ride and it poses a question that goes to the very heart of fantasy, namely: What does the urge to become someone else tell us about ourselves?”

I’m especially excited about this last one. I haven’t gotten to read Ethan’s book yet, but it sounds like part Napoleon Dynamite autobiography, part journalism, part soul searching.

Hope to see some folks at TotalCon!

Eclipse Phase: ‘Continuity’ PDF Available

November 29th, 2010 No comments

Eclipse Phase: Continuity (cover art)Over the weekend, Posthuman reported they’ve released Marc Huete’s Continuity, the fourth published scenario for Eclipse Phase, as a PDF. I watched a few tables at Gen Con playing this one, and it looks like a ton of fun. In convention play, the players stepped into the roles of multiple forks of the same person, then worked together to unravel the circumstances of their original’s demise. The PDF release includes the set-up for putting PCs from your own campaign into the same situation.

This comes right on the heels of the next major Eclipse Phase book, Gatecrashing, going to the printer. Gatecrashing explores the alien worlds on the other side of the Pandora Gates. It includes lots of setting material and many new character build options, including new gear, morphs, and augmentations.

I didn’t work on either of these projects, but having read the manuscripts for both, I highly recommend them to EP fans. Continuity is available through DriveThru RPG now. We don’t have a street date on Gatecrashing yet.

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Eclipse Phase: Sunward finally available on Amazon!

November 16th, 2010 No comments

After months of Posthuman Studios wrangling with Amazon about a Catalyst-related ISBN mix-up, Eclipse Phase: Sunward is available on Amazon… But check your FLGS first!

Eclipse Phase at PAX West

August 28th, 2010 No comments

Schedule of Eclipse Phase events at PAX West. I won’t be making it, but developer Brian Cross will be there. I highly recommend checking it out if you’ll be there. Not sure if he’ll be running my scenario from Gen Con, Doctrine, but I hope so!

Categories: Eclipse Phase, Events, RPG Tags: , , ,

Accolades for Eclipse Phase

August 20th, 2010 No comments

Posthuman Studios got some love (and some more love, and then some more) for Eclipse Phase this summer, starting with winning an Origins Award for Best Role-Playing Game at Origins Game Fair in July. We went on to receive four ENnie nominations. This was neat, but we weren’t really expecting to win anything, especially since Pathfinder’s powerful fan base would be voting en masse. (And it was a good night for Pathfinder; they left with something like a dozen medals! Being a Pathfinder fan myself, I can’t argue much with this).

But lo, we were to be surprised…

The outcome: Eclipse Phase won…

  • Best Writing: Gold
  • Best Cover Art: Silver (go, Stephan Martiniere!)
  • Product of the Year: Silver

For the Best Production Values ENnie, Adam Jury of Eclipse Phase lost to Adam Jury of Shadowrun: 20th Anniversary. Four ENnies at one table. Sweet!

So now I get to display these…

Ten year old me? Super jealous.

2010 ENnies: Support Eclipse Phase!

July 21st, 2010 No comments

Eclipse Phase is up for an ENnie Award in four categories this year (Best Cover Art, Best Writing, Best Production Values & Product of the Year). The ENnies are one of the two big awards in the RPG field each year, and unlike the Origins Award, they’re based on fan voting. Unfortunately, this puts a product like Eclipse Phase at something of a disadvantage. We don’t have nearly the number of copies in circulation as, oh, say, Pathfinder. That said, I think we put out a superior game that deserves some recognition. If you have a few seconds (and it only takes that long, because there’s no registration), please cast a ballot for Eclipse phase at the ENnies web site. Voting runs until midnight on July 25 (i.e., you have until 11:59 pm on the 24th).

My colleagues Rob Boyle and Adam Jury have also posted some thoughts on voting for the ENnies this year.

Thanks to everyone who supported Eclipse Phase over its first year out on the market. Whether we bring home an ENnie or not, it’s been an excellent ride.

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