On blocking and dodging

We are making some minor changes to blocking and dodging in the second edition of Bulletproof Blues. For one thing, expertise in blocking or dodging gives the player a +3 bonus on those rolls (that’s how expertise will work in second edition). For another, an extreme success on a block or dodge task roll alters the order of play so that the attacker’s turn comes after the defender’s turn on following rounds.

As you know, the difficulty of blocking and dodging are both based on the rank of the attacker’s power or weapon. That seems strange to some players. Wouldn’t it make more sense to make these rolls against the attacker’s Accuracy or Prowess? We base these rolls on the rank of the attacker’s power for two reasons.

First, a character only chooses to block or dodge if the attack has already hit them, which means that there has already been an Accuracy or Prowess roll, and the attacker rolled well enough to hit. There is a good chance that a second roll would have a similar outcome, so we base the block and dodge rolls on the rank of the attacker’s power or weapon in order to give the defender a chance to change the odds, particularly against attackers with very high Accuracy and Prowess.

Second, the rank of a power is more than just how much damage it does. The power’s rank also reflects the character’s skill and finesse in using that power. By basing block and dodge on the rank of the power, we take into account how much control the attacker has over the power in addition to how much sheer force they are using.

Bulletproof Blues 2e Kickstarter preliminary totals

Bulletproof Blues Second EditionAmazon has completed their billing of the backers for our Kickstarter (although they won’t release the funds to us for another week), and I thought people might be interested in the preliminary results.

In raw numbers, the Kickstarter attracted 158 backers, who pledged a total of $5,277. Three of those pledges failed to bill successfully (expired credit cards, etc.), resulting in a real total of 155 backers and $5,217 in pledges. Amazon and Kickstarter took their fees (to the tune of 9%, combined), leaving us $4,750.

Of our 155 successfully billed backers, 4 chose no reward ($7 in pledges), 84 chose PDF-only rewards ($1,501 in pledges), and 66 chose print rewards ($3,224 in pledges).

The “no rewards” and PDF-only rewards go straight to paying artists and authors: $1,508.

Of the print rewards, we estimate that about $1,365 will go toward paying artists and authors, with the rest going to fulfill the the printing and delivery of the physical books. We won’t know the exact numbers until they have all been shipped, but we think this is a pretty good estimate.

So we raised an estimated $2,873 to put toward the art and supplemental material provided by the brilliant artists and authors who agreed to be a part of this project. Not too shabby!

We will be sending backers a survey later this week, asking for your contact information, street address, how you learned about the Kickstarter campaign, and so on. Look for that in the next few days. And thanks once again for supporting Bulletproof Blues!

Kickstarter: Bulletproof Blues Second Edition

It’s here! The Kickstarter for Bulletproof Blues Second Edition!

Why should you support this Kickstarter? New interior art! New cover art! A whole new GM Resources section, with more information about the Kalos Universe setting! A new, more attractive layout! More sample characters! Stories, sourcebooks, and adventures from Steve Long, Chris Helton, Jason Tondro, and Sean Patrick Fannon! And so much more, all dual-licensed under the OGL and Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike licenses!

What can you do to help? Well, obviously we’d like you to back the project. Every little bit helps! But even more important than your direct financial support is your spreading the word. This campaign will only be successful if it reaches a wider audience than the existing Kalos Comics fan base. Please help! Share news of this Kickstarter campaign, “like” and/or “circle” the Kalos Comics pages on Facebook and Google+, and if we post any campaign updates you like, please share them!

We would love for this campaign to be successful, but it can only happen with your help.

Bulletproof Blues Second Edition

Bulletproof Blues Second Edition -- Kicktraq Mini

Day 2: We are off to a great start! (2014-02-02)

The campaign is off to a great start. We are only on day 2, and our first goal is 60% funded. Let’s keep the momentum going! Share the link for the campaign, and ask your friends to share it. Encourage them to support the project. If you have questions or suggestions, let us know! Together, we can make this happen, and fund all of our fantastic stretch goals.

And because we believe that what comes around goes around, from time to time during this campaign we will point you to other Kickstarter campaigns that we think are fun or interesting. Even if you aren’t able to support our campaign, take a look at these other campaigns and see if you’d like to support them. Today’s shout-out goes to Iron Edda: War of Metal and Bone for Fate Core. Their campaign has already met its initial goal, but they have some really fun stretch goals. Check it out!

Day 4: Two-thirds of the way to our base goal! (2014-02-04)

It’s day 4 of our Kickstarter, and the campaign has broken $1000! We are 2/3 of the way to our base goal. Of course, we want to go much further than that. To fund the cover and the new character art, we’ll need to hit $5000. To fund the fabulous stories, sourcebooks, and adventures of our stretch goal authors, we will need to reach almost $11,000. And to have the brilliant Dan Houser provide new illustrations for each of the chapters, we will need to reach a little over $13,000.

But we can do it! All it takes is just a handful of backers (say, a thousand or so) to back us at the $10 or $25 level. It’s possible: we just need to get the word out. So please share the Kickstarter link among your friends and circles (as appropriate — please don’t spam), and ask them to do the same. A fantastic second edition of Bulletproof Blues is within our reach.

As part of “what comes around goes around”, today I’d like to direct your attention to Medusa’s Guide for Gamer Girls, a book for women gamers and those of us who love them. Some of the book will look at problems we face in a male-dominated hobby, but it’s a constructive book too. Medusa’s Guide for Gamer Girls is the brainchild of Christina Stiles, a respected and prolific game author, but if the IndieGogo campaign is successful, it will also include contributions from a number of other women in the gaming industry. Check it out.


James Squeak Cawtheray was kind enough to write a blog post extolling the virtues of Bulletproof Blues! Feel free to share the link. 🙂


P. S. Happy birthday to Alice Cooper!

Day 5: Miamsa inks, BAMF! podcast, and Something Terrible! (2014-02-05)

Miasma inks by Sean Izaakse

Miasma inks by Sean Izaakse

Welcome to day 5! We have four entries in our update for you today. First, here is the inked version of Miasma, by Sean Izaakse! A few minutes ago, I sent the high-resolution version of this image to our backers, but this lower-resolution version is for everyone to enjoy.

Second, the campaign has surpassed $1100, and is still growing! That’s entirely due to everyone who has supported or shared our campaign. We would not have come this far without you. Thanks!

If you have suggestions for how we can attract even more supporters, please let us know. We are open to your ideas!

Third, here is a fun podcast that Sean Izaakse and I were invited to sit in on recently: the BAMF! Podcast from Mike Lafferty. We talked about Elseworlds, alternate continuities, and just generally waxed geeky about superhero comics. Check it out!

Finally, as our “what comes around goes around” entry for this update, here is a touching autobiographical drawing by Dean Trippe on a sensitive topic: sexual violence toward children. It’s worth reading, and if you have 99 cents to spare, please consider buying a copy of Something Terrible, the artist’s book.

Day 6: $100 to go, The Fall Of Man, and Perils Of The Lady Gamer! (2014-02-06)

It’s Day 6 of the campaign, and we are just a smidge away from reaching our base goal. Thank you! When the campaign hits $1500, we’ll post the full color illustration of Miasma (and our backers will get a high-resolution version). Look for it soon!

In the “what comes around goes around” department, we’d like to direct your attention to The Fall Of Man, a post apocalyptic-gothic-horror-fantasy RPG set on ruined Earth and compatible with Pathfinder and other game systems. Their Kickstarter is ten days and about $15,000 away from their goal. Check it out! Your support may make the crucial difference. (You may also want to check out this Dorkland! interview of the game’s designers.)


Finally, take a look at this comic: “Perils Of The Lady Gamer” (a new Graphical Diversion by Shaenon K. Garrity). It would be funny if it weren’t true (although it’s still kind of funny, in a black humour sort of way).


Day 7: GOOOOAAAALLL!! (2014-02-07)

Miasma says, “Thanks for your support!”

We have reached our base goal of $1500, so let’s start with a bang: the full color illustration of Miasma, by Sean Izaakse!

Miasma by Sean Izaakse

Our backers will be receiving the high-resolution version of this image shortly, released under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 US license.

Meeting our base goal is a milestone (thanks!), but we have so much further to go. We need to reach:

  1. $6100 in pledges to pay for the new cover and all of the new character art,
  2. $10,700 to pay for the wonderful sourcebooks and adventures from our stretch goal authors, and
  3. $13,100 to pay for the new chapter art.

We can do it, if we can get the word out to the many gamers and superhero fans out there that have never heard of Bulletproof Blues. So please share the Kickstarter link with your friends, and if you have any suggestions for how we can attract more backers for the campaign, please let us know.

Character sheet contest

Don’t forget about the character sheet contest! Take one of the characters from Bulletproof Blues, and write, draw, or design a new format for the character’s write-up at the back of Bulletproof Blues Second Edition. The winner will receive credit in the second edition credits and a free print copy of the game (either the current edition, or, if they are willing to wait for it, the second edition).

“Jerepp” on RPG.net pointed out that the sample characters on the RPG Library Open Game Content site were missing the numbers next to their attributes. Thanks, Jerepp! We have fixed that, but to be sure that everyone has what they need, here are the pages from the first edition of Bulletproof Blues PDF, with the character layout we would like to replace: http://www.kaloscomics.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/bulletproof_blues_1.05_characters.pdf

The contest will run through the end of the Kickstarter, but don’t wait until the last minute. Send your contest entries to bblackmoor@kaloscomics.com .

What comes around goes around

Today’s “What comes around goes around” feature is AMP: Year One, A Modern Supers RPG by Eloy Lasanta (from Third Eye Games). Players become the first of their kind in a modern world of conspiracy and danger. Why would I point you to another superhero RPG Kickstarter? Because, as we say in the introduction to Bulletproof Blues, different people like different things, and that’s okay! Maybe Bulletproof Blues isn’t your bag, or maybe you’ll like both games: who knows? The most important thing is that you find the games you like. If that’s Bulletproof Blues, great. If that’s AMP, or some other game, that’s great, too. So check it out!


Have a great weekend!

Day 10: You spoke: we listened! (2014-02-10)

Chthyra inks by Sean Izaakse

Chthyra inks by Sean Izaakse

Great news! Over the weekend, we conducted a survey of our current backers to see how they would like us to prioritize our stretch goals. As a result, we have re-organized our stretch goals. Check them out! As a result of this re-organization, we are only $44 away from our first stretch goal, The Ruins of Atlanta from Jason Tondro. That’s just one backer at the National Icon level!

To celebrate, here is the inked version of Chthyra by Sean Izaakse. As always, our backers will be receiving the high resolution version of this image in a separate update, licensed to them under the Creative Common Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 US license.

While you are are admiring that, pop over to the GagMen Podcast. They invited Brandon Blackmoor to sit in with them and help concoct a one-shot adventure for Bulletproof Blues. Brandon had a lot of fun doing it, and we hope you enjoy listening to it.


Day 11: Atlanta in ruins, Chthyra in colour, and Dorkland! (2014-02-11)

Ruins of Atlanta is funded!

We have reached our first stretch goal: Ruins of Atlanta by Jason Tondro!

Ruins of Atlanta by Jason Tondro

Ruins of Atlanta by Jason Tondro

Everyone who supports the campaign at the City Defender ($25) level or above will receive this PDF supplement and all other supplements unlocked throughout the Kickstarter campaign.

Chthyra in colour

As part of our regular updates, here is the full colour version of Chthyra, the Crawling Chaos! Our backers will be receiving a high-resolution version of this image, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 US license.

Chthyra by Sean Izaakse


The Dorkland! blog regularly features fun and interesting content related to comics and roleplaying games. Recently they had some very nice things to say about Bulletproof Blues.


They also have an interview with comic legend Pat Mills, and a review of the DeadWorld comic, what some consider the original “walking dead” comic.



Day 12: Manticore in black and white, and Nimona! (2014-02-12)

Manticore by Sean Izaakse

Manticore by Sean Izaakse

A quick update today. First, we have updated the Kickstarter site to reveal the inks for one of our favorite sample characters, Manticore. Fun facts! In China, Manticore is known as “Dragon’s Lovely Daughter”, while in Japan she is known as “Super Demon Rider Girl”.


Second, we recently encountered a fun and different take on the the superhero genre: Nimona, an ongoing comic by Noelle Stevenson! Nimona is the spunky sidekick to supervillain Balister Blackheart, but don’t sell her short! She grows on you. 🙂 Nimona updates Tuesdays and Thursdays. Check it out!


Day 13: Manticore in colour and superheroic academia! (2014-02-13)

We are fast approaching our second stretch goal: more characters, and more art! So keep spreading the word!

Manticore in full colour

Here is the full colour version of Manticore. Our backers can find the high-resolution version of this image in the super-secret Backer Rewards Vault.

Manticore by Sean Izaakse

Superheroes in academia

Do you like superheroes? Sure, we all do! We’d like to take this opportunity to share links to a couple of book on the subject that you might find interesting.

Super-History: Comic Book Superheroes and American Society

In the less than eight decades since Superman’s debut in 1938, comic book superheroes have become an indispensable part of American society and the nation’s dominant mythology. They represent America’s hopes, dreams, fears, and needs. As a form of popular literature, superhero narratives have closely mirrored trends and events in the nation.

This study views American history from 1938 to 2010 through the lens of superhero comics, revealing the spandex-clad guardians to be not only fictional characters but barometers of the place and time in which they reside.

Heroes of Film, Comics and American Culture

These essays consider the way that heroes and the domestic spaces they defend have been represented in 20th and early 21st century popular forms, especially film, comic books and material culture. The authors work in various academic disciplines such as English, film studies, history and human geography, thus bringing a rich variety of theoretical vantage points to the reader in a single collection.

Topics covered include Tales of Suspense, Captain America, gender and popular culture during World War II, Iron Man and the military-industrial complex, Batman, Xena: Warrior Princess, The Ring, Ridley Scott, and many others.

Day 14: We love games (and Thornmallow inks)! (2014-02-14)

Thornmallow by Sean Izaakse

Thornmallow by Sean Izaakse

We’ll keep it short today. DriveThruRPG is having a “We Love Games” sale this week. In honor of St. Valentine’s Day, they are marking a whole pile of stuff down to 14% off this week, February 14-20. Check it out!


P.S. Check out the inks for Thornmallow!

Day 15: Thornmallow in “undead colour” and Blambot fonts! (2014-02-15)

We are officially halfway through the campaign, and over halfway to our second stretch goal — more characters, more art! We are trying to find ways to reach new people who haven’t heard of our Kickstarter campaign yet. If you have a suggestion, send it to bblackmoor@kaloscomics.com

Thornmallow in colour

Here is Thornmallow, the Iron Lich, in full “undead colour”. Backers can get the high-resolution version of this and all of our previous high-resolution updates from our Backer Rewards Vault.

Thornmallow by Sean Izaakse

Blambot fonts

Did you know that the Bulletproof Blues logo uses the Revenger BB font by Nate Piekos? The Blambot site has tons of free and pay fonts suitable for comicbooks and roleplaying games. Check it out!


Day 16: Widow inks and Warren Ellis’ birthday! (2014-02-16)

A quick update today: inks for Widow, and a nod to Warren Ellis, creator of Planetary, one of the inspirations for Bulletproof Blues.

Widow inks!

Widow by Sean Izaakse

Widow by Sean Izaakse

First, we have updated the Kickstarter site to reveal the inks for another of our favorite sample characters, Charlotte McCoy, known to the fine people of Chicago as the wild and wonderful Widow. Fun fact! The nanotechnological goo that enhances Charlotte McCoy’s strength and speed was originally bonded with the late photojournalist Carson Cross, who secretly led a double life as the notorious Scarlet Spider.

Happy birthday Warren Ellis!


Warren Girard Ellis (born 16 February 1968) is an English author of comics, novels, and television, who is well known for sociocultural commentary, both through his online presence and through his writing, which covers transhumanist themes (most notably nanotechnology, cryonics, mind transfer, and human enhancement).

In 1997 Ellis started Transmetropolitan, a creator-owned series about an acerbic “gonzo” journalist in a dystopian future America, co-created with artist Darick Robertson and published by DC’s Helix imprint. When Helix was discontinued the following year, Transmetropolitan was shifted to the Vertigo imprint, and remained one of the most successful non-superhero comics DC was then publishing. Transmetropolitan ran for 60 issues (plus a few specials), ending in 2002, and the entire run was later collected in a series of trade paperbacks. It remains Ellis’s largest work to date.

1999 saw the launch of Planetary, another Wildstorm series by Ellis and John Cassaday. Planetary concluded in October 2009 with the release of issue 27.

(from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Ellis)

Warren Ellis in the Grand Comics Database

Day 17: Widow in colour and the Lion Whisperer! (2014-02-17)

Here is Widow in full vibrant colour, courtesy of brilliant artist Sean Izaakse. As always, our backers get a high-resolution version of this image, released under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 US license.

Widow by Sean Izaakse

Did you know that Sean Izaakse hails from South Africa? He does! We don’t know if Sean has ever hugged a lion or snuggled with a hyena, but here is a video of one of his countrymen doing just that!

Day 18: Noble Glaucus inks, and the life of a struggling superhero artist! (2014-02-18)

Noble Glaucus inks by Sean Izaakse

Noble Glaucus inks by Sean Izaakse

Here are the inks for Noble Glaucus, Warlord of Lemuria.

Have you heard of Minimum Wage? In Minimum Wage, writer/artist Bob Fingerman documents the life of an up-and-coming comic creator who is transitioning from a life as a starving indie cartoonist into the bright lights and big dreams of work in the superhero mainstream. Fingerman himself has lived the life of a comics creator and worked with virtually all of the publishers (both superhero and independent), and the stories in this recently relaunched Image series are filled with true stories, backstage gossip and Fingerman’s imagination to create a fictional view of being a working comics creator that is brutal, heartening and humorous. Check it out!


Day 19: Stretch goal 2 and Noble Glaucus colors! (2014-02-19)

As I write this, the Kickstarter has blown past our second stretch goal (more art! more characters!) and is heading toward our third stretch goal (Extraterrestrial Villainy, from Steve Long)! That’s exciting!

We also have the last of our scheduled art update to share with you: the colours for the aquatic antihero, Noble Glaucus, Warlord of Lemuria!

Noble Glaucus by Sean Izaakse

Day 20: Contests and podcasts! (2014-02-20)

Did you know that there are two different contests related to Bulletproof Blues? There are! And they are awesome!

Character sheet contest

First, we have a contest to redesign the character sheet we use for sample characters in the book itself and in the character art packs we release on DriveThruRPG. Entering is easy! Just take one of the sample characters in Bulletproof Blues, and write, draw, or design a new format for the character’s write-up. The winner will receive credit in the second edition credits and a free print copy of the game (either the current edition, or, if they are willing to wait for it, the second edition).


We have decided to extend the contest until March 31, to coincide with the GagMen contest, below. Send your contest entries to bblackmoor@kaloscomics.com.

GagMen contest

The GagMen are a group of friends that get together periodically, brainstorm a one-shot adventure, and then publish it! Once in a while they invite a guest along to join the fun.


Right now the GagMen are having a character contest, and the winner gets everything at the Kalos Team-Up reward level from the Bulletproof Blues Second Edition Kickstarter. That’s all the PDFs, a print version of the game, plus comicbook artist Sean Izaakse will draw your character, and your character will be featured in Bulletproof Blues Second Edition! You will also receive a high-resolution digital copy of your character, released to you under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 US license. Here is a short version of the rules:

  • The character can be any hero, villain, or even regular person that anyone could find in the Bulletproof Blues universe.
  • Submission should include your name, email contact, and be no more than 1000 words, but could be as simple as a name. Pictures or photographs (for cosplayers) would also be acceptable, but please do not use a name or picture you don’t have the rights to use.
  • The character should be based in the contemporary world of Bulletproof Blues, or be capable of being used in the contemporary setting.
  • All character entries do not need to have statistics, though it would be helpful.
  • Four characters will be selected by the hosts of GagMen and those four finalists will be sent to Kalos Comics, who will select the winner.
  • The winning character will be drawn by comic book artist Sean Izaakse and the character will be featured in Bulletproof Blues Second Edition. The winner will also receive a digital copy of the image, released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 US license.
  • Entries accepted until March 31, 2014 at midnight east coast time.

Check out the GagMen site for full details!


Podcasts, podcasts, podcasts!

Bulletproof Blues head writer Brandon Blackmoor has been making the rounds on gaming podcasts over the past couple of weeks. In addition to the GagMen podcast, he sat in with Steve Russell (of Rite Publishing) and Owen Stephens (of Rogue Genius Games and Green Ronin) on their Demiplane of Gaming podcast. Last but not least, Nicholas Ahlhelm invited Brandon to join him tonight on the SuperPowerCast. Keep an eye on the SuperPowerCast site for that podcast!

Day 23: The final week! (2014-02-23)

With only seven days to go, we are swiftly approaching the third stretch goal, an adventure written by Steve Long. We are confident that we will blow past that goal and continue racking up more! If you’d like to get as much as possible for your generous support, spread the news about the Kickstarter, and ask your friends to spread the news, as well. More eyes on the campaign means more support, and the more support we have, the more you will get for your contribution.

In the “what comes around goes around” department, we’d like to share with you a game reviewer that we only discovered today: The Gentleman Gamer. We’ve only watched a few of his videos so far, but we like his take on things. Check it out! For example, here is an excellent commentary on “Sexuality, Gender, and Race in RPGs”.

Day 24: A quiz for Monday! (2014-02-24)

It’s day 24, and we are $250 away from stretch goal $6 #3: Steve Long’s adventure. How did your Monday go? Need some distraction? Try out this 20-question quiz from PlayBuzz:

How Well Do You Know MARVEL Comics?

Day 26: 4 days left! (2014-02-26)

If you read closely, you probably thought that the previous update was supposed to say, “It’s day 24, and we are $250 away from stretch goal #3: Steve Long’s adventure.” You MIGHT think that, but in fact it SHOULD say,

“It’s day 26, and we are only $100 away from stretch goal #3: Steve Long’s adventure!”

We are excited, and we hope you are, too. Maybe even excited enough to write your own roleplaying game! If so, here are some helpful links:

Thanks to S. John Ross and Blood Brethren Games for these links!

Day 27: 3 days left, and Extraterrestrial Villainy by Steven S. Long is funded! (2014-02-27)

Stretch goal three has been funded!

Extraterrestrial Villainy by Steven S. Long

Gaming industry veteran Steven S. Long will provide a short adventure involving extraterrestrials.

Day 28: 2 days left! Cosmic Adventures funded! (2014-02-28)

Two days left, and the stretch goals are falling like dominoes!

Cosmic Adventures by Christopher Helton

Christopher Helton will develop a larger than life space setting featuring (but not limited to) powerful alien cultures, space-faring law-enforcement agencies, and big, cinematic dangers that need the power of fearless super-beings.

Christopher Helton will develop a larger than life space setting featuring (but not limited to) powerful alien cultures, space-faring law-enforcement agencies, and big, cinematic dangers that need the power of fearless super-beings.

And we are only a few hundred dollars from stretch goal five, which will give you even more great character art from Sean Izaakse! If you have friends who were hesitating to support the kickstarter, don’t let them miss out! Share the news!

Day 29: Final day! Stretch goal 5 funded and then some! (2014-03-01)

Tomorrow, March 2, is the final day of the campaign. Stretch goal 5, “More characters, more art!” has been funded and left in the dust!

Izaakse preview 02

A total of nineteen character illustrations by brilliant artist Sean Izaakse!

A total of nineteen character illustrations by brilliant artist Sean Izaakse!

Our next stretch goal is new chapter art by Icons line artist Dan Houser. Will we make it? Let’s find out!

Success! (2014-03-03)

The Kickstarter campaign has ended. The final total is $5,277. We didn’t fund all of our stretch goals, but we funded most of them, and that’s fantastic! Huge thanks to everyone who backed the project or spread the word about it. Doubly huge thanks to the authors and artists who offered to contribute to the project: Sean Patrick Fannon, Christopher Helton, Dan Houser, Sean Izaakse, Steven S. Long, Jason Tondro, and John Zeleznik. I am certain that it would not have been anywhere near as successful without their encouragement and support.

Would you like to follow the progress of Bulletproof Blues Second Edition? Please “like” us on Facebook, “circle” or “follow” us on Google+, or check back regularly on the Kalos Comics blog.


If you backed the project, I will be in touch with you individually to fulfill your backer rewards.

Thanks again, everyone!

Bulletproof Blues Second Edition -- Kicktraq Mini

Race, gender, and institutionalized power

illuminati pyramid

Earlier today, I read this post on a Facebook page devoted to roleplaying games:

“what is RPGing coming to when we look for the embrace of socialism and political correctness in RPG games. Sounds like a plot for the Progressive Government Movement to take part in our gaming sessions, like the NSA has already does in Warcraft, etc,. Gaming is a chance to get away from it all, not bring real world political drama and bullshit to the game table. Christ why not have the OBAMACARE RPG…where everybody plays a character in a fictional world where Obamacare works, and progressive socialism reigns supreme.”

This was a reply to the question, “Can anyone recommend game systems that embrace politically/socially progressive ideals, such as sexual and racial equality, full acceptance of LGBT characters/players, etc?”

Fortunately, most of the replies were not so, ah… conservative?

However, this made me think about Bulletproof Blues. Just because a setting doesn’t “embrace politically/socially progressive ideals” doesn’t necessarily mean that the game designers are unaware of those ideals or disagree with them. For example, the setting of Bulletproof Blues is a bit darker than our world. The corruption that results from institutionalized power is a theme of the game (not so much as you’d find in a cyberpunk game, and we try not to beat you over the head with it, but it is there). As a result, nearly every CEO and powerful non-superpowered figure is an old white guy. That’s deliberate, not because we (the authors) think that’s how things should be, or even how they are in the real world, but because that’s the kind of world Bulletproof Blues is set in.

In the Kalos Universe, the real divisive issue isn’t race or gender or even money: those are just symptoms. It’s about power. In the Kalos Universe, the first priority of institutionalized power is to preserve itself. The general assumption is that the PCs will put themselves in opposition to this power structure.

You don’t need to use any of this in your own game, of course. It’s your game, and you can play however you like.

A few minor changes now in print

Bulletproof Blues cover

Just a quick update:

The minor changes we mentioned on 2013-04-23 are finally in print! If you bought the current print version and would like to buy the updated version, let us know and tell us what email address you used to order the book, and we will send you a coupon for around $5 off the price of the book (basically, you get the revised book at our cost).

Thanks again to Sean Patrick Fannon of Evil Beagle Games for his input and suggestions.

A few minor changes

Bulletproof Blues cover

As a result of some feedback, particularly from gaming veteran Sean Patrick Fannon, we are making some minor changes in Bulletproof Blues.

The first problem is that the “trip” action is supposed to represent a range of actions, including aikido and judo throws, pro wrestling slams, legsweeps, and simple Three Stooges style trips, but we did not convey that adequately in the text. To help make this clearer, we are changing the name from “trip” to “slam” (a term in common use in the field of pro wrestling), and we are expanding the description a bit.

Of course, we already have an effect called “slam”, which is one possible result of an extreme success in combat. We are changing the name of that to “smash”.

We hope this change doesn’t cause more confusion than it alleviates…

Here is the new text for “Slamming”, which replaces the old section, “Trip Attacks”.


A slam or takedown involves using a target’s mass and velocity against them so that they fall to the ground. Slams are only effective against targets whose feet are on the ground to begin with. A slam can represent a an aikido throw, a leg sweep, a judo hip toss, or even tripping someone with an umbrella, depending on the attacker’s fighting style.

A slam requires a Prowess task roll against the Prowess of the intended target. If the slam attack is successful, the defender falls to the ground and may be injured by the impact. The damage rating of this attack is normally equal to the attacker’s rank in Agility. Characters with human level Agility (rank 3 or less) inflict stunning damage with their throws. A character with rank 3 Agility would have damage rating 3, and any damage inflicted would be temporary. See Stunning for more details.

If the defender was moving, the damage rating of this attack is equal to the defender’s rank in their movement power or the attacker’s rank in Agility, whichever is greater. If the defender’s rank in their movement power is 3 or less, the slam inflicts stunning damage.

Another small change is in the coordinated attacks action. We are changing the task roll requirements so that the characters attempting to assist with the attack need to make a challenging task roll (task difficulty 12) rather than attempt to actually hit the target. Here is the new text for “Coordinating Attacks”.

Coordinating Attacks

Multiple characters can work together to increase their chances of hitting an opponent. One character will actually make the attack, and the rest of the characters will attempt to assist them. Each character wishing to assist with the attack attempts a challenging task roll (task difficulty 12) using the appropriate attribute (usually Prowess or Accuracy). Each successful task roll increases the attack bonus of the attack by +1, up to a maximum of +3. The character who actually rolls to hit the target provides the base damage (or effect) for the coordinated attack. If the character who actually rolls to hit the target fails their task roll, the entire coordinated attack fails.

We have also made a tiny change to the “distract” action, granting a bonus to the next attack against the target, regardless of who makes that attack.

These changes have been made to the PDF on DriveThruRPG, and the update is free to anyone who has purchased it.

The changes will be made to the print version as soon as we get the print proof of the revised book. Until then, we are making the print book unavailable to keep anyone from buying the current version. If you bought the current print version and would like to buy the updated version when it’s released, let us know and tell us what email address you used to order the book, and we will send you a coupon for $5 off the price of the book.

Bulletproof Blues conversion for Extreme Earth

Extreme Earth

Brandon Blackmoor had a conference yesterday with Joe Bardales and Jon Gibbons, two of the creators working on Extreme Earth, a dystopian superhero setting. Extreme Earth will support a number of game systems, and Bulletproof Blues is one of those systems. Pretty cool, eh?

Joe and Jon talked about the Extreme Earth setting, and the three authors discussed how Bulletproof Blues could be adapted to it. For instance, the power level of Extreme Earth is quite a bit lower than a typical Bulletproof Blues game, and some powers, like Amazing Movement (which allows the character to travel in space or through time), wouldn’t be available at all. However, the basic premises of Extreme Earth are quite similar to those of the Kalos Universe, if a bit grimmer. Think of Extreme Earth as a cross between Heroes and The Wild Geese. We think using Bulletproof Blues with Extreme Earth will be a great match!

Extreme Earth doesn’t have a web site yet, but they do have a Facebook Page and a Google+ Community. Check it out!