Monday, April 16, 2018

Board game preview! MONSTERS!!

It's time for another board game preview! This time I'm going to share some monsters that will come for you out of the event deck as you search New York city for your goal to win the game. If your goal card says you have to fight monsters, this is what you'll face!

This is for the Galaxy Zento Adventure Game: New York City. The game is tied into two other expansions that can be mixed and matched for how you want to play and is based on the stories and novels (see links in upper right of page).

 I know you can't see exactly what they do yet, but I will explain the card layout. The symbols are for the monster's stats.
Star:  Attack power added to a d20 attack roll
Shield: Defense you have to roll on d20 with your own attack power.
Arrow: Evade level you have to roll on d20 to escape it without fighting it.
Naturally, each monster will have perks and challenges of their own.

The Were-beast is a combination threat that you treat as a monster but can count as a beast. If it defeats you in combat it passes its curse to you and you become the next were-beast and a special enemy to everyone else in the game. You can count on it not being a pushover in combat too.

The Chimera can attack you three times in a row before you get to attack once. That means it rolls to hit your defense three times in a single attack turn. You should hope you've built up your defense or can make just as many tries yourself to even it out. Thanks to its snake tail, its also venomous and will poison you if you lose a fight against it. Poison has multiple effects in the game to include hindering movement, blocking powers or abilities, or blinding you so you can't make ranged attacks. Fortunately, poison is somewhat easy to get rid of since all you have to do is be healed of any amount including zero.

The Harpy is a mean monster that can attack twice in combat. If you beat it, you get to keep its card and gain a special artifact weapon called the Harpy Feather. It grants you a boost to your own attack for future combats.

Power Ghoul is a pretty basic monster with a very straightforward effect. If you beat him, you get a new power from the power deck. If you lose, you lose a power if you had one in the first place. Since New York comes with a full deck of powers, there are more chances to get powers than in any expansion so far.

New York comes with a slew of spider cards thanks to what happened in Chicago in the novel Chaos Rising. This one comes with two attacks in combat and is venomous. Thanks to other effects in the game (traps and events) spiders can pop out at you nearly anywhere or anytime during game play.

That isn't all the cards that count as monsters, but it's a nice sharp view of what is coming. I have some artwork left to do and a rule book and hope to release New York this summer! In my next edition I will spoil the game board itself! For now, here's some links to the other expansions!

CHESSMEN or first edition


Hey, want to know what comes after this? The all new Chessmen card expansion will have all the characters from both Chessmen Novels! All the heroic Chessmen, their allies and enemies will be on hand to merge with your gaming experience. All new special edition cards, team memberships, and more still in planning stage! 

Monday, April 2, 2018

Check out the Chessmen and a Contest!

It's time for another GZ update blog and I have more for you than just Chessmen. I have a preview for you too. First I want to show you brand new artwork for the Chessmen. For those who don't know, the Chessmen are a team of heroes from the world of Chyssia. They were forced to flee their home world with the infant princess in order to protect her life. The story has been called a space opera with super powers and you can get your hands on the first book of the series for just 99 cents HERE. Some of this art has only been seen in the email newsletters so far so don't hesitate to sign up for that at the end of this post or in the upper left of this blog page.

Here's Falconer and Sersi, the leaders of the team. Falconer is a powerful elemental capable of commanding any element or weather. He can reshape stone, convert it to water and back to stone, summon lightning, and create storms of any magnitude. Sersi is a mystical falcon with spell casting abilities. Watch out for her thunder dive, it can wreck a tank!

Next we have Helshred, the unlikely hero. Despite his fearsome appearance and odd behaviors, he is the most loyal member of the team and heroic to boot. He is an amnesiac due to the wound on his head and he can never remove those bladed gauntlets. Helshred desperately wants to regain the knowledge of his past and hopes that Falconer can one day help him do that. Helshred is agile and acrobatic, capable of short distance teleportation. Since the gauntlets are indestructible, he's practically a living weapon. They can slice through nearly anything. His tail is prehensile and can grasp a weapon or a person.

Reigndale is a soldier of Amnath and a highly experienced marksman. He knows military tactics and strategies. He is also  a solid hand to hand combatant. Reigndale is ashamed of his people because they are part of the coup that forces the Chessmen from their home. He turns his back on them to serve the princess. Reigndale has a secret that even he doesn't understand. Somewhere within him is another person.

That person is Daxeon the Vengor (vengeance) Angel. At certain times of need, Reigndale's body will disappear and be replaced with Daxeon who is so fearsome on sight, lesser beings flee. He fights with cosmic energies and a blue diamond sword. He can exist in the vacuum of space. Daxeon is super strong and can lift well over 100 tons. He fights in raging fury and when any threats are eliminated, he vanishes and brings back Reigndale.

Viro was an astronaut from the planet Ruwano. He was investigating energy readings from a small star when his ship was overcome by strange radiation. He was rescued by a race called the Cyborians but they had to seal his body in armor. Viro is always encompassed in a green gas within his armor. He can create viruses that can do nearly anything he imagines. He can heal, dissolve, strengthen, weaken, or alter the properties of nearly anything. His power is limited and he often has to rest and recharge. Viro lives in constant caution of anything that could break open his armor for he could destroy and entire world.

Halley is the guardian of the Halley's comet shield. The powerful artifact allows him to fly in space just like a blazing comet. With it's power he can smash through enemies and even the hull of starships. The shield also collects and stores energy from attacks that it protects Halley from. Once enough is stored, the shield can fired a powerful energy blast that can clear trees or knock a space craft out of the sky. Halley is the only human member of the team. He was abducted as a child to be studied, but found the shield and escaped into space.

Major Xeroh is a cumulative mimic. He can use the cumulative physical attributes (strength, speed, endurance,) and powers of any beings within about 50 yards. Even without other people to boost him, he can fly in space and has his own physical strength. The eye piece is a scanner that tells him what sort of powers people have at a distance before he gets close enough to register them with his power. He also uses it to scout long distances ahead for danger. Xeroh is boisterous and often comical without intending to be. Like Viro, he comes from Ruwano.

Messiah is quite possibly the most powerful member of the team. He carries the power of Faith. It is the only power that Xeroh cannot copy. He can use faith to heal or accomplish amazing feats. He can fly in space and boost the abilities of others to astronomical levels. He can be stronger or faster than nearly anything he faces. He has even used his power to stop the cannon blast of a starship from killing his friends before he knocked the ship out of the sky with a gesture. Even if it weren't for faith, Messiah is a master martial artist. His past is as much a mystery as Helshred, but only because he doesn't speak of it.

There you have them, the Chessmen! Now for that preview I promised. It's nothing less than the board for the next edition of the adventure board game! Check it out!

The new board is far more interactive in the game than the first one. There are spaces where a roll of the dice can force a card you want to come out of the event deck. Each location has built in dangers depending on what you draw for your turn. For example, the Bronx is the "Monster zone". Monsters revealed in this area cannot be evaded and have +2 to their attack for combat. But if you are looking for monsters, just hang around the cemeteries. You're bound to find them. Worried about distance across the board? Don't. Just land on one of the airplane spaces to instantly go to any other same space on the board and continue your move normally. The starbursts are starting zones for up to 6 players. Much more will be coming out on the game in the newsletter so be sure to sign up!

Finally it's time for that contest! How would you like to have you or someone else drawn as a super hero or villain? Well here's your chance! It's a coloring contest. All you have to do is color the picture and send it or a photo of it to by April 30! Easy! Print it out or color online and send it to me! If you win, I will draw the person of your choice from a photo you provide! Have fun! And that's all for this edition!


Saturday, March 3, 2018

Updates March! New covers and game art!

Greetings heroes! Today I have things to share and the first is a brand new cover for Chessmen: Opening Moves designed by Scarlett Rugers of the Book Design House. If you are even a budding author looking to take serious steps, you should consider her services. She is an award winning designer and a published author herself. So check out the link and visit her page. I just love what she did for Chessmen's first book as you can see here.

As if that weren't cool enough, for now you can get the kindle of the first book of the series for just 99 cents. Far out! Just hit the book links up on the right or HERE and grab it!

I recently finished the last image for game cards for the next installment of the board game series for Galaxy Zento. This game will come with a brand new board with more interactive spaces covering an entire map of New York City. It will have Cursed Artifacts and we are going to look at some of those right here!

This edition of the board game will be directly attached to the novel, Chaos Rising (you saw the new cover for that in my last entry).

The Hearse: The Hearse is a living artifact and a being filled with hate and murder. It's indestructible and will go around the board ramming into players and dealing some damage. If you're lucky and your dice rolls are hot, you can wind up controlling the Hearse which can lead toward victory. No spoilers for the novel so I won't tell you just how nasty Hearse is to deal with by the heroes.

Hourglass of Time: If you get a cursed artifact in the game, you cannot simply rid yourself of it and it limits what other objects or artifacts you can use. And you can't always avoid using them either. The hourglass forces you to use it every time you have a turn. When you do, you get to increase or decrease counters on other players cards by one. This could risk them winning the game, if you want to increase damage that they have taken. OR, it could keep them from winning by reducing their goal tokens. Either way, you risk carrying a bullseye as players come after you for this artifact.

Skull of Sphidra: This macabre helm make of giant spider skull will give you psychic abilities but turn you into a monster in 3 rounds. It will change your character card into the card for Sphidra herself. It will change you from good to evil. The only way to change this, will be for other players to destroy you. And they will have little choice since you can attack all of them at once regardless of board position.

This will be the biggest event deck to draw from yet and playable with other sets. And as always, you don't have to read the lore to enjoy the game, but it helps.

Soon I'll be drafting up the very first edition of the newsletter with even more content that you won't see anywhere else. So be sure to SIGN UP for the mailing list so you don't miss one awesome thing! That includes downloadable printable black and white color sheets for the kids (or yourself). Character spotlight origins! And even flash fiction stories just for readers who sign up!  On top of that, you get Chessmen Opening Moves free just for signing up. Awesome!

Till next time, heroes!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

So I've started up the mailing list

That's what all the gurus say to do. Get a mailing list going in order to get more people interested and latched on to your brand. Well, there is one phrase that definitely does not work in this business;

If you build it, they will come....

Not so fast. You have to go find them and while I've had some fellow authors croon to me about how easy it was for them.. I have had no such luck.

It's literally the ''superhero age" in movies and books even though comics have suffered. I can't think of a time my brand could possibly be more relevant.  But in a world that wants Spider-mans and Captain Americas how does an Indy brand get noticed?

Well, I'm still struggling to follow guru advice, but I can tell you it is practically never as cut and dried as presented. I'm saying this to you, fellow Indy creator because we live in a tough market. So what am I doing about it now?

Well, opting onto my mailing list (upper left corner of my blog page) will net you a free book. But it won't stop at that. I'm going to make sure my mailing list gives cool updates, more freebies, new artwork, and whatever else I can think of to stuff into that package until it bursts. I want every email you get on my list to feel like you're opening a birthday present. I want fun in your inbox.  Maybe some puzzles or coloring pages you can print out for the kids? Or totally keep them to yourself, I won't mind.

I'm changing the cover of Chaos Rising today. It may take a couple of days for that change to go live, but it will and I will make sure people know about it. Eventually all the covers will be changed. Yeah, you're getting to see that cover right here as the header to this blog post.

And soon I think I'm going to offer a chance to have yourself drawn as a superhero or fantasy character straight from a photo you send me. More details on that if we can get this off the ground.

That's what I'm doing about it now. My next steps are more writing and art of course. I have to keep creating and keep things moving. Direction has always been hard for me. I can wind up with too many projects on the plate but that's easy to do as a one man band.

So that's the update for now. Off to do more creating.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Changing covers

Yes it's time for me to make some changes. I've been rehashing how I'm trying to sell my books and I've gathered some tips. Fact is, even if you are a respected or reputable artist, you need to know a few things about how layouts are done. You also need your cover to accurately convey your story. It also helps if it doesn't look like a child drew it. I've come to the decision that the critics I recently spoke to must be right. So it's time to make changes and recirculate. On top of that I will be adding quite a bit of extra advice like setting up a mail list. I have some ideas for it and I will be looking to make getting my email a fun thing to do.

As for the covers, well, let's take a look at the first novel of the GZ series, Chessmen.

I've realized that the problems are almost too many to list. My book isn't about Chess rather a royal guard of a distant planet. They come to be called "Chessmen".  They are heroes. That's what I do. Heroes. I wanted a near comic book appeal for the story while accenting the planet they are from. Well, I should have sought more advice at someplace like a long time ago. Still I will with this new cover.

Well, what do you think of it? I'm hoping that showing two actual characters from the book will make it clearer what they reader is getting into. I'm quoting a reader in a blurb at the bottom. I think that should be okay. It has the comic appeal I'm going for and simplifies. I'll be looking for what people think of it. Do you like it? Is it appealing? Tell me your thoughts in comments.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Do I have any characters with autism? Yes I do.

Thank you for the question, Simon Passant. Yes I do have two characters with autism and both of them will be revealed in my next novel. But I will tell you right here and right now who they are. But first I want to explain something about  diversity in GZ.

I am far far less interested in making brownie points with any one certain group or classification of people and more in making a complete and believable universe. Look around at the world we live in. GZ is a modern day universe and therefore it makes sense to have modern day people in it. I want it to be rich and diverse in every possible way. It isn't easy to fit all that together in rich character profiles with deep backgrounds.

We live in an age were people point and yell "SJW" at the drop of a hat and that label carries some terrible stigma, especially online. Marvel is constantly getting lambasted for being too "sjw" in their recent story arcs. See here:

I don't want that for GZ. Every person and what makes them up are details in a massive painting of a universe. Without those aspects of those people, it just wouldn't be complete. So just who are these characters with ASD in my universe. Well, if you've been reading and you're all caught up on the story so far, you already know one of them.

Blacktide with the Parahuman Activity Commission (PAC) has Aspergers. His real name is Larry Peters and when he was just a young boy his powers manifested and killed both his parents. It can be hard to separate the trauma he has endured in life with his Aspergers but it's there. When it's revealed in the novel that I'm working on now, it won't be a big thing for him, rather a passing note. He knows what he has, but frankly has bigger fish to fry and it doesn't define him.


This is Spaz and yes he likes being called that. Spaz works with the Crazy Harry Detective Agency. He is an inventive savant meaning that he can invent bizarre contraptions out of ordinary items. Spaz has messed up eyes and never seems to be looking at anyone he's talking to, but he is a genius in a number of ways. He is also ridiculously rich. That allows him to do just about anything he wants and he seldom takes no for an answer. Sometimes unfeeling people call him retarded and he sets them straight in ways readers will love.

This is where I point out that neither of these characters are representative of all persons with autism. Autism is a spectrum disorder/condition that has broad combinations of effects that are different for each person. Only a few factors of autism are common enough to keep all the combinations on the spectrum. My son and I both have Asperger's and even for the two of us the effects are different in many ways. We have the social difficulties and sensory issues, they are just different for both of us.

So there you have it, two ASD characters getting some spotlight time along with several other distinct characters coming soon. Do you have a question about GZ? Post in comments. And if you enjoyed this post, please share it.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

How many Dwarves in Galaxy Zento?

My wife works for a radio station and sometimes I go and have lunch with her. Recently during one of our lunches she asked me how many Dwarf characters I have in my universe. I realized this is a very good question. One worthy of answering right here. I even address this in one of my new short stories currently in the works.

In my universe there are two kinds of Dwarfish people. There are the racial fantasy Dwarves also called Celestials and those with actual Dwarfism.

The two communities don't like being mistaken for each other and this causes some friction between them. One side will say they aren't medical freaks and that will anger the other of course. Those of the medical side will say they aren't a bunch of barbarians to poke at the racial side.

I have more than a couple of active characters from either side of that fence and it can get slightly confusing as to who is who. The short story I'm working on has a character named, Ultrasonic. He is a man with Dwarfism who is deaf and mute. He has the power to amplify and control sound waves. He's also a telepath and an advocate for education on Dwarfish issues particularly where parahuman powers are involved.

In the GZ universe there is a connection of increase of people with powers who also have certain medical conditions, like Dwarfism. It's a matter under study and of intense interest in the society.  It's discovered that a person with Dwarfism is up to 5x more likely to have some sort of power.

I think a development like this makes my universe more believable. It gives depth and identity. As for who those Dwarves are:

Monolith's human form is a man with Dwarfism. His teammate, the Serpent is a racial Dwarf. One of my top villains, The Maker, is a racial Dwarf. I even have a reptilian Dwarf called JoJo.

So that's the answer basically. I have several Dwarves in my universe and you can read about many of them anytime!