All posts by Ed Jowett

How do you start (and complete!) a Creative Project?

We believe that everyone has the ability to create! We feel that people should be helped bring their stories and visions to life as a creative project!

After a decade of experience in publishing a variety of critically-acclaimed books, games, comics and audio dramas, we want to help others do the same!

Our veteran creative team have been on stage at conventions all over the UK. We have run over 30 panels at MCM Comicon, plus at UK Games Expo, StrategyGamingCon, and even Animé North in Canada!

Unfortunately, these panels don’t give us the time we want to explain everything in detail!

We have therefore decided to create a podcast to detail how you start, work through and complete your creative project. 17 episodes of this podcast have been recorded, but we want to deliver you the best possible quality production, so we’re seeking a small amount of funding for editing and distribution. This will allow us to bring the podcast to anyone who wants to learn how to be creative!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/erascapes/creative-podcast?ref=eo9ocp

We look forward to seeing you there!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/erascapes/creative-podcast?ref=eo9ocp

Rampage is Angry!

Yeah, he does that! https://youtu.be/GjeiOlnO8iU

Seems he’s annoyed by the level of attention Violete is getting in “his” story! Make sure you check out the Kickstarter and soothe his ego! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/erascapes/violete-unstoppable-audio?ref=43reh6

The Kickstarter ends on Sunday, so don’t forget to check it out!

Rampage was voiced by the amazing Adam Dergiman, who also contributed this and a few other soundbites (if you’ll excuse the pun!)

– Ed

Violete: Unstoppable Audio Drama is on Kickstarter now! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/erascapes/violete-unstoppable-audio?ref=9se9ua

Hi everyone!

We’ve just launched our latest Kickstarter, which is a brilliant audio dramatisation of Violete: Unstoppable
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/erascapes/violete-unstoppable-audio?ref=9se9ua

It’s the third and final of our Empowered shorts, so check it out and don’t forget to spread the word!

We’ll be offering loads more samples as the days and weeks pass, so be sure to keep checking in.

– Ed

Find out what are we delivering this year! Part 3: Shades of Vengeance (Games & Novels)

Hi everyone! Today, we’re doing the third and final post about what’s coming this year, exploring what’s coming from Shades of Vengeance in terms of RPGs, Card Games, Novels and more!

What games have we already had?

We’ve had a pretty busy year! Delivering the artwork for the Era: Forbidden project has continued to be challenging. We have hired two new artists to deliver our latest Core Rulebook as soon as possible.

Experience the world explored through Era: Survival games with our latest novel and audio book!
Enter Era: Survival’s world with Life on Gaia!

As Life on Gaia was so successsful on Kickstarter in January, we will be looking at the collected stories from some of our other games. The History of the Future, the Era: The Consortium novel, was also received very well. We’re planning to continue with Era: Lost Legend’s story next!

We have finished writing and editing Era: The Consortium’s four new expansions. In fact, they are either with the proofreader or with Kickstarter backers already! I’m very pleased with our third wave of expansions, and I know you’ll love them too. I’ll be bringing those onto the store before long, but I don’t have any further plans for Era: The Consortium until next year apart from that!

Add your games to the Living Campaign, and change the zones of control in the Consortium!

Except the Living Campaign! This idea has been met with wide encouragement, and I hope that we’ll be able to continue for a long time. Don’t forget to check it out: https://www.shadesofvengeance.com/era-the-consortium/living-campaign/

The first of our 5th Anniversary projects has also complete, with Era: Hitman v1.1 over 350% Funded on Kickstarter. We hope to update several games during the rest of the year, including Era: Balam, a new version of Era: The Empowered (read on to find out more!) and the possibility of an Era: The Empowered Definitive Edition all being discussed within the team! Which would you most like to see?

Encouraging Creativity!

The Writer’s Journey, our “Choose Your Own Adventure” book which helps you learn to write is now available on our store.

After a successful Kickstarter in March, we will be looking at what more we can deliver!

I have an idea about turning our frequent panel, “How to be Creative” into a book. Does that sound interesting to you?

RIGHT NOW: Prototype Games!

We’re in the process of bringing you the chance to try out our prototypes! I’ve been playing several of these at conventions on Discord in recent years, and they are 90% there. I decided that The Era Zone could take on a new form, delivering new games that work with just the Era d10 Fundamentals: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/shadesofvengeance/prototype-era-games?ref=3c3i7m

Upcoming Games

We also have two more games coming this year:

Era: Deadwest has been in a similar difficult place with artwork for some time. This pocket game is otherwise ready, and I’d like to get it out to backers by the end of the year! I will post more about what to expect soon, so keep an eye out!

Adapt has been waiting an extremely long time to come to the world! This light-hearted game came out at work one lunchtime recently and restored my faith that people will enjoy it. I’ve decided to put it on Kickstarter a little later this year, so keep an eye out!

And that’s everything that I have planned right now! I hope that’s enough for you – with at least 2 new games, a novel, prototypes of upcoming work and several expansions, it’s going to be keeping us busy!

– Ed

#AudioDramaSunday Experience a Titan’s Rise in the Consortium!

This #AudioDramaSunday, join Elliot Draigon as he enters Consortium society on Taranis, something which is much harder than he could ever realise as a 10-year-old child! A Titan’s Rise is one of our major audio dramas. It’s the best time to get acquainted with it, because we just funded Season 2!

https://www.shadesofvengeance.com/product/a-titans-rise-1/

The Plot of A Titan’s Rise

A Titan’s Rise is the story of a cyberpunk future where corporations rule three solar systems, and a boy who is separated from his parents by the actions of the corporation-controlled Senate of the Consortium.

We follow Elliot’s life as he grows up alone on Taranis. He quickly learns that his new home has huge secrets, that everyone around him has a hidden agenda. Even an intelligent and driven young man like Elliot is not free of the corporations’ influence on Taranis. As a result, this young man fights back, trying to make his own destiny. His path leads him to Smertios Security, where he trains for the one thing he cares about: commanding a starship.

When the starship Elliot serves on is called into battle to fight the largest enemy fleet encountered in centuries, he is already one of the senior officers. His actions in the fight influence the outcome of this battle, and the shape of the Consortium for years to come.

Can he become the person the Consortium needs him to be? Only time will tell…

  • It’s a full-cast Audio Drama, voiced by professional voice actors.
  • Each of the 4 episodes is 20 minutes long, for a total running time of about 1h20m.

Elliot Draigon is destined for greatness…

A Titan's Rise Part 2... coming soon!
One day, Elliot will be a powerful voice in the Big Eight! But he has a long way to go.

Check out what Part 2 has in store here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/erascapes/a-titans-rise-season-2

Join us on Kickstarter now for new and awesome Prototype Games in The Era Zone 2022! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/shadesofvengeance/prototype-era-games?ref=3c3i7m

Era d10 is a fantastically adaptable Rule Set! Over a decade, we’ve brought 10 different game lines to life with Era d10… and we’ve had dozens more ideas that we haven’t managed to publish yet! We’ve also published many issues of The Era Zone, bringing new content for each of our existing games.

Building a Tabletop RPG properly takes a while! There are many aspects to consider, from playtesting new rule ideas to artwork and setting material. But sometimes, you have a quick idea which “just works”, and it has to be put on one side for the ongoing projects. Over the years, we’ve built up a number of these concepts. We hope to publish them one day, but for now, we’re too occupied with other projects.

The Era Zone 2022 is supported by the free Era d10 Fundamentals Booklet!

Enter ZineQuest, bringing you The Era Zone 2022!

We’re not changing what The Era Zone is about – it’s a celebration of universes brought to life by Era d10. But we are changing how we deliver that! This year is going to bring you multiple new worlds to explore and new rules to play with.

We’re bringing these prototype ideas to life, supported by the community-funded Era d10 Fundamentals booklet.

Each zine will contain a unique, never-before-printed game that our team has been messing around with for anywhere up to a decade!

We’re starting with our long-awaited fantasy offering, Era: Dragonsong, and then our Era d10 Lite rule set will be introduced with the first Stretch Goal!

Get more games the more we are Funded!

The more we are funded, the more games we will be offering you in the form of Zines. We aim for every Stretch Goal to bring you a new world and game style to experience!

We have plenty of ideas, and they are detailed in the Stretch Goals of the Kickstarter.

See you there!

– Ed

What are we delivering this year? Part 2: SoVComics (Comics)

Hi everyone! Today, we’re continuing our series of posts about what’s coming for the rest of this year. Today, I’m talking about each exciting comic that is on its way from SoVComics!

We’ve had a great year already, with Kickstarter funding New Year, New Stories 2022 and Melqart. There’s a lot more to come, though…

I’m finally ready to announce all remaining comic titles that will be part of what we have dubbed “Phase One”!

Comics in Phase 1 so far…

Empowered Vol 1 Comic Cover Page

You might be trying to remember all of the comics we have delivered so far, so I thought I’d help!

You can catch up on all of the issues to date here: https://www.shadesofvengeance.com/product/empowered-comics-cascade-digital-bundle/

And here’s the full list:

  • Lacuna: Revelation
  • Blue-Shift: Frenemies
  • Violete: Unstoppable

Of course, these three were combined into the Empowered Volume 1 Trade Paperback!

  • Blue-Shift #2: Mindgames
  • Violete #2: Backlash
  • Penumbra: Tide

These three were combined into the Empowered Volume 2 Trade Paperback

  • Fauna: Community
  • Lobo: Dauntless
  • Melqart: Unity
  • Penumbra Adventures #1 (originally published as Penumbra #1)
  • Penumbra Adventures #2 (originally published as Penumbra #2: Rise of the Bunny Lord)
  • Kazuki and the Deathseekers
  • Cascade, Part 1
    Penumbra, Lacuna, Violete and Blue-Shift team up to fight a giant robot in the first of a 3-part series!

And now, onto the new…

Previously Announced Comics: Cascade Parts 2 and 3

Cascade Part 1 Comic Cover Page
The first Empowered team-up faces down Cascade, a robot with seemingly unlimited powers…

We have already announced that Cascade is a 3-part series!

We have completed the Part 2 script, and are writing Part 3. We’re giving our hard-working artist Rahmad Wisnubroto a break for a short while (keep reading to find out why!).

We hope to deliver you Part 2 by the end of the year, assuming schedules allow! We have no wish to work with any other artist, as Rahmad has defined our Empowered Comics from the start.

Cascade is going to be the crowning glory of Phase 1, but it’s far from the only thing we’re working on!

Drift: Heroism (Upcoming Comic)

Drift Heroism Comic Cover Page
Drift takes off to fly over her city with her power of density adjustment! Her comic is coming soon.

“Captain Speed”, her city’s favourite hero, makes everything worse! He continually tells her that she should give up – it’s much too dangerous, being a hero.

But the call of heroism is strong for Jessica. Will she choose to give up, or keep trying, despite repeated humiliations? And what’s really behind Captain Speed’s attitude?

The opening of this comic appeared in ‘New Year, New Stories’, but the full comic will be on Kickstarter soon!

Vigilance: Escape (Upcoming Comic)

Vigilance Escape Comic Cover Page
Claudette’s journey to become Vigilance is not as easy, or voluntary as you might imagine…
Find out more in this comic!

Ever since she guest-starred in Penumbra: Tide, we’ve been asked more about Vigilance. This comic is set before her first known appearance, and explores not how she got her powers (I’m well-known for disliking origin stories!), but how she donned the green outfit and learned to fight, given her background.

Claudette begins her adventure by heading out into a remote area. She hopes to avoid using her powers by accident – knowing everything about everyone is not a lot of fun.

However, when she meets a familiar face, she is profoundly affected…

Lobo 2: Suppression (Upcoming Comic)

Lobo 2 Suppression Comic Cover Page
Lobo is back, and he’s not alone. In this comic, he has allies to help take his fight to the Empress…

That’s right, he’s back! Everyone’s favourite non-Empowered intends to tangle with the Empress of Bones once again.

However, he’s learned his lesson in direct combat, so he goes out to find help. He doesn’t want to team up with someone famous, known to the Empress – he wants the advantage of surprise. As a result, that help takes the form of Savannah, a talented fighter and relatively unknown Empowered.

The Empress of Bones has not been sitting idle during Lobo’s search for help, however. After outfitting her people with a new weapon, based on her own powers, she plans to take over the other cartels and rule the city.

Lobo has to contend with not just her plans, but Savannah’s mysterious secret…

Penumbra Adventures #3 (Upcoming Comic)

Penumbra Adventures 2 Final Page
Penumbra was in a fix at the end of #2…

We left Penumbra in a precarious position at the end of her second “Adventures” comic. John and I felt strongly that we wanted to finish that story, as well as introduce some more characters.

We’ve written the script and I’m looking for the right artist to finish off this short series. That means you can expect it to come out soon!

Fauna #2: Rampage (Upcoming Comic)

Fauna 2 Rampage Comic Cover Page
Quinn / Fauna returns in another comic, following his previous adventure.

Fauna’s in a bit of a fix in his latest comic. His sister remembers everything since Jan released her from the mind control, so she now knows his secret.

That’s not going to stop him helping his community, of course. But stories of a man-sized lizard attacking people in the city has everyone concerned, even Fauna himself.

Could he be sleep-changing and giving in to his feral instincts?

And, if he is, what will Jasmine do about it?

Empowered Comics Phase Two

Of course, that’s not all we have planned. Once the above comics are all complete, we’ll be pushing on into Phase Two.

Things are going to change for many of the characters. We’ll see the return of Violete for a three-issue arc, Blue-Shift for two adventures, and Lobo and Fauna will be back of course.

Penumbra won’t be far away, and we’ll have a few new characters joining as well, including Bastion and Wallflower, who will be known to fans of the Era: The Empowered RPG.

We’re very excited for what’s coming, so keep an eye out for some amazing stories!

I’ll be back next week with information about our upcoming RPG releases, so watch this space and I’ll see you then!

– Ed

#AudioDramaSunday Survive the Post-Apocalypse through Life on Gaia

This #AudioDramaSunday, you can experience the post-apocalypse in the safest possible way: listen to it, read by a scotsman! Life on Gaia explores the wasteland from our Tabletop RPG, Era: Survival.

https://www.shadesofvengeance.com/product/life-on-gaia-an-anthology-of-era-survival-stories/

We have produced both the original Audio Book and a smaller book with several extra stories: Tales of the Outlands.

The audio books have also been released on Audible, so you can get hold of them here:
US: https://www.audible.com/pd/B07XVDH3C9/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-164475&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_164475_rh_us
UK: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/B07XVCTS4J/?source_code=AUKFrDlWS02231890H6-BK-ACX0-164475&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_164475_rh_uk

Life on Gaia Tales of the Outlands Cover Image
Both Life on Gaia and Tales of the Outlands are also available on Audible!

The amazing Leo Cosh reads the stories, bringing the characters to life with his own take on their personalities.

Thanks to careful and detail-oriented directing and editing by Ed Jowett, this horrifying world has come to life in vivid detail!

The Plot of Life on Gaia

A hundred years ago, a biological weapon was set off… or did a parasite evolve? Who cares, really? It was airborne, infectious and attacked Humans – that’s the point.

It’s been a century, 100 years, since the parasites first spread across Gaia. No-one knows where Infection came from and, honestly, no-one cares all that much anymore. Over the last ten decades, one thing has become clear: there will never be a cure.

The number of Humans left alive dwindles every day. Society has splintered, forming Factions. Some promise to save us, offer medicine that can temporarily immunise people against Infection, while others are bent on imposing totalitarian regimes across what remains of society.

This collection of stories is set in the aftermath of a cataclysm. Survivors adapt, and some have goals beyond living each day as it comes, while many form factions, some allied and some pitted against each other in the struggle for limited resources.

This anthology explores the world, factions and dangers of Gaia. Join those who fight to save humanity, those who wish to cleanse the world in flames and those who hide underground waiting for time to be their saviour.

Therefore, in this world, surviving is a matter of wits and cunning….

The Cast

Leo Cosh as the Narrator and Characters

Ed Jowett as the Announcer

Drift: Heroism is on Kickstarter now! Join our latest #Empowered in her first comic: When your life is otherwise perfect, and wearing your mask often leads to humiliation, what keeps you being a hero? https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sovcomics/drift-heroism?ref=5m24nn

Hi everyone! Our latest comic brings a new hero to life, as we explore the life of Jessica in Drift: Heroism!

This hero’s journey is a little different to the ones we usually see: while her life is pretty much as perfect as anyone could hope for – friends, good grades in college, and so on – being a superhero is… less than perfect.

The Plot of Drift: Heroism

With only limited ability to control her powers, the city’s favourite hero Captain Speed always telling her to go home to be safe and a lowly mugger outdoing her seemingly at every turn, everything is not simple for Drift.

But there are those who want to see her succeed, as well… and dark secrets that she will uncover about the way crime is fought in this city if she continues.

Join us to bring the latest chapter in the Empowered universe to life! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sovcomics/drift-heroism?ref=5m24nn

– Ed

What are we delivering this year? Part 1: EraScapes (Audio)

Hi everyone! I thought I’d take a moment to give a quick glimpse of what’s coming in the rest of this year! We have so much planned that I’m splitting it into three parts. Today, we are looking at the audio projects coming out of our EraScapes division in the near future!

The first thing to say is that A Titan’s Rise Part 2 has been funded. We’re just waiting for our editor to recover from COVID and deliver the version with credits to deliver. Even better news: ATR (as we call it) not one of the things I am counting as “coming”!

The summer heat has delayed a few of our Kickstarters, but we plan to get them to you soon…

Radio Free Taranis Season 2 (Audio Drama, 6 Episodes)

Radio Free Taranis Season 2 Audio Drama Title Image
Midnight Terry returns to the airwaves in season 2 of our first Audio Drama!

The second season of our first ever audio drama is complete, edited and will be heading to Kickstarter soon. This exciting second season features more of Terry’s sister faith, played by the amazing Jennifer Hale. And, of course, Midnight Terry has some personal decisions to make now that she has reappeared. With Smertios Security closing in on his secret location, will he decide to continue broadcasting?

Get a few episodes from the first season for free here: https://www.shadesofvengeance.com/product/radio-free-taranis-free-broadcast/

Violete: Unstoppable (Audio Drama, 1 Episode)

Violete Unstoppable Audio Drama Title Image
Coming soon: An Audio Drama version of our fan-favourite issue 1 to date!

Violete: Unstoppable has been turned into an audio drama, as Lacuna: Revelation and Blue-Shift Frenemies were. It’s ready to go, and we’ll be bringing it to you on Kickstarter as well, after the summer. I’d like to take a moment to thank all involved, but particularly Adam Dergiman for his amazing performance as Rampage and Jade Melhuish for her tenacity as Violete!

A Podcast about being Creative!

I’ve been talking about creating for almost a decade now, visiting conventions around the world. I pride myself on having advised many people on how to approach the significant challenges that exist when approaching a project, especially for the first time. My long-time co-panelist Leo Cosh convinced me that I need to be recording this advice for the benefit of everyone!

As a result, we’ve recorded a podcast, which has just finished editing, called “Trades of Vengeance”. This podcast aims to talk people through my creative process, the rules I follow and the ways I deal with upsets like “Someone else did my idea” or “I don’t know which project to start with!”. If you can’t make those conventions we attend, this should give you everything you need!

As you can see, we’ve been working hard on Audio, and we intend to continue doing so! Join me next week for Part 2 of this series of posts, to find out what else we have planned…

– Ed

#AudioDramaSunday Experience the Consortium with Radio Free Taranis

This #AudioDramaSunday, you can enter the Consortium with Midnight Terry as your guide!

Radio Free Taranis is an audio drama based around the life of a disenfranchised member of Taranis’s population. Midnight Terry speaks to anyone who wants to listen every week via pirate radio, informing them of the Big Eight’s activities, the Resistance’s faults and making suggestions about how people can more constructively stand against the Consortium’s evil.

This is a great way to get an idea of how the ordinary people on Taranis see the Consortium and truly experience the world as created!

Get three episodes for free this #AudioDramaSunday!

You can get hold of three of the episodes for free today, so head on over to our store and download them: https://www.shadesofvengeance.com/product/radio-free-taranis-free-broadcast/

However, if you like the story and want to hear more, please consider grabbing the whole season. Remember, we can only continue to make this awesome content with support from people like you! https://www.shadesofvengeance.com/product/radio-free-taranis-the-first-season-audio-drama/

The Plot

Midnight Terry is an independently-minded individual whose sister disappeared shortly after getting an excellent job at Hayden Bank. Lost and confused, he began broadcasting, hoping to reach Faith or someone who had seen her.

He quickly realised that he has more to offer than just calling for her. Taranis is crying out for help and advice, and there are very few people willing to give it. As a result, he decided that he would be that person, research the Big Eight’s and the Senate’s corruption and reveal it to the people.

Quickly becoming a hero to many, Terry teamed up with an advertiser and began improving his broadcast…

The Cast

Leo Cosh as Midnight Terry

Ed Jowett as the Edvertiser and the Smertios Security Officer

Jennifer Hale as Faith

#GamesMasterMonday – Ed | Shades of Vengeance

Hey everyone! This week we have a special #GamemasterMonday with not only a GM, but the creator of the Era Universe – Ed!

Ed’s love for tabletop gaming can be traced back to his youth. When he was five, he received the RPG computer game Megatraveler 1 and fell in love with it. The expansive universe, hundreds of people to talk to and breadth of the world led to him taking notes about who wanted emeralds or what cargo sold best! He later played D&D 2nd Edition and then 3rd Edition.

His first experience as a GM was with running a game of Paranoia, mainly because the large group had to split in two and didn’t have a second GM! As the group explored various games, he also took a strong liking to Vampire the Masquerade, the Storyteller system from which eventually inspired the Era d10 rule set.

When I asked Ed what his favourite book to write was, he answered “Era: The Consortium” without hesitation, going on to explain that it is the culmination of his lifelong love of sci-fi.

His favourite game to GM is Era: Forbidden, however, because it runs with smaller groups and allows you more time to have character development. You can find him running these two games almost weekly on our Discord server!

“I always felt like I was destined to tell stories, and when you’re GM’ing and you have a committed group in the right place, the story flows naturally. The kind of stories that unfold there can move you, or surprise you, or make you feel like humanity can achieve anything. It stops being only you who has a say when that happens.”

When I asked him what he wanted to say to new players, Ed replied that he wants you to know that all of our GM’s are experienced in helping new people and a vast majority of them had never run a game before… but it’s also super easy to pick up and learn. Most people can pick up the system and be playing within 20 minutes!

You can always join our Discord (https://discord.gg/6C4H9Cv) and play for free before you buy a Rulebook to see if it’s the right fit for you!

Want to try Era: Hitman? Join our session on 8th July at 7:30pm BST (2:30pm EDT)! https://discord.gg/6C4H9Cv

Hi everyone!

We’re running a session of Era: Hitman to celebrate our current Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/shadesofvengeance/era-hitman-v1-1?ref=5nv6z9)!

Everyone is welcome to join us for that, for as long as there are spaces (and if we run out, we’ll be pleased to offer more sessions!). Just hop on Discord (https://discord.gg/6C4H9Cv) and let us know that you’re interested in playing!

If Discord doesn’t work for you for some reason, let us know in the comments below, we’ll find a way to let you play!

– Ed

Era: Hitman v1.1 on Kickstarter now!

Hi everyone! Ed here.

I don’t believe that our games are finished when they are printed and sent into the world.

The only way that the best quality can be delivered consistently is by being aware of what it takes beyond the playtesting and printing. Some of the additions that I created for The Era Zone, along with thoughts I’ve had about the character sheet, make excellent improvements to this game, so I decided to re-visit our most popular Pocket game.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/shadesofvengeance/era-hitman-v1-1?ref=1kpvg9

I’ve been working on improving Era: Hitman for some time, and I’m certain that you’ll like the results. The book now includes:
– A mission generator, originally published in The Era Zone, which I have used a dozen times at conventions to create instant, awesome sessions!
– A brand new character sheet, which includes usage costs for the Kinetic Abilities and a rearrangement of the elements.
– Several small fixes / typos / rewordings that were needed from v1.0
– and much more…

Join us to bring this new version to life by funding a print run of physical copies and making the dream of a bigger, better Era: Hitman a reality!

– Ed

A Titan’s Rise Season 2 on Kickstarter now!

Hi everyone!

We just launched a brand new Kickstarter for EraScapes: A Titan’s Rise Season 2! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/erascapes/a-titans-rise-season-2?ref=2q2x0s

This is the culmination of almost 4 years of work, through adversity, the fall of governments, the pandemic and more, so we’re very happy to present this second chapter in the story of Elliot Draigon.

But it’s more than that…!

A Titan’s Rise Season 2 also goes beyond everything we have explored in the Consortium so far, pushing into the end of 452CE and hinting at what’s coming next in the universe’s epic story. You’ll hear what’s coming here first, as well as starting to get some hints about how all of the disparate events in the Consortium fit together!

For anyone who already knows the Audio Drama, there are options to just get hold of Season 2, but a remastered version of Season 1 with additional music has also been created for your enjoyment by the amazing Michael Herrman who took over the editing of Season 2!

I hope you’ll join us in making this dream, and the next step of the Consortium’s story, a reality.

– Ed

New Year, New Stories 2022 has just launched on Kickstarter!

What is New Year, New Stories 2022?

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sovcomics/nyns2022?ref=31810s

        It’s celebration of indie comics which are new for 2022!

The project was conceived as a way to raise awareness of the indie comic artists who would normally rely on conventions to spread the word about their work. 

With 2019 and 2020 seeing loads of cancelled conventions, the SoV Comics team came together with several other indie creators to share their expertise in crowdfunding and generate the deserved excitement about some of the stories that you probably didn’t even know were published!

        An anthology of 15 comics between 6 and 12 pages long.

That’s right, there are 15 separate stories in this anthology, which comes to 156 pages in total!

These are just a taste of the work of these amazing creators – each story also features a “links page” which allows you to find out more about your favourite creators in the anthology.

And don’t worry, there is plenty of material from me, including sneak peeks at the upcoming Vigilance: Escape and Drift: Heroism Empowered comics, and a re-write of the older Kazuki and the Deathseekers, which I was never entirely happy with!

There’s loads more detail on the Kickstarter page, so check it out to learn more about the stories.

        It’s the second anthology of its type.

The level of support that appeared for the indie creators who submitted to the anthology last year was amazing! Don’t worry if you missed it, we’re offering the chance to catch up by getting hold of New Year, New Stories 2021 through this Kickstarter…

Check the Kickstarter to see photos of the previous print, giving you an idea of what to expect from 2022’s anthology!

        They all came out during 2021 or are yet to be released…

Every story in New Year, New Stories 2022 either came out in the last twelve months… or hasn’t been published at all elsewhere yet!

Nothing’s stopping the creators doing that, if they wish, but these are some of the freshest stories from these amazing creators, so check them out and help bring them to reality!

Life on Gaia… Live on Kickstarter now!

Hi everyone!

I’ve just launched the Kickstarter for Life on Gaia.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/shadesofvengeance/life-on-gaia-a-post-apocalyptic-anthology-novel-make100?ref=1fftl2

We’re aiming to get £500 in order to fund a print run of this novel-sized anthology of Era: Survival stories!

There’s loads of info on the Kickstarter, but feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/shadesofvengeance/life-on-gaia-a-post-apocalyptic-anthology-novel-make100?ref=1fftl2

I hope you’ll join us in making this dream a reality!

– Ed

New Year, New Stories 2021 Kickstarter Launched!

Hi everyone!

We just launched a new comic project which builds on one from earlier in the year, New Year, New Stories. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sovcomics/new-year-new-stories-2021?ref=1cgfhg

A lot of anthologies have a theme, a shared style or shared characters, but that’s not what this anthology is about. Instead, it’s about bringing you work from multiple creators, so that you can enjoy one of their stories and find more if you’re interested.

All profits from this project are split between the creators who brought stories to it (which includes me, my fantastic co-writer Johnathan Lewis, the amazing Dorphise Jean, the always-positive Adit Permana, my fellow Sci-Fi fan Danny Gorny and several others!), meaning that you’re directly supporting indie creators who are struggling during the pandemic. We knew that was important at the beginning of this year and plan to move forward with another issue next year!*

However, the first attempt was a little rushed, and we thought it would be fun to include some elements that are a little quirky, a little more unique to us. We came up with the idea of using Shayde, our mascot to introduce you to the stories! He was redrawn several times with different props to bring character and fun to the covers of the various stories which are in the anthology.

I hope you’ll consider joining us for New Year, New Stories 2021, especially if you didn’t hear about it in January. And in case you need another incentive, there’s a sneak peek at my upcoming (and first solo written) comic, Melqart!

*Want to submit a comic to us for New Year, New Stories 2022? It needs to be PG-13 and either have been released this year or be yet to be released! There are no other requirements apart from quality, so reach out if you’d like to join in!

A Cascade, Five Years in the Making!

Hi everyone!

Cascade is finally here! This team-up comic is on Kickstarter now, and we’re hoping you’ll join us to make the dream of bringing our separate superheroes together a reality by joining us: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sovcomics/cascade-part-one?ref=8p9nvx

We’ve been publishing comics for some years now, and I’ve spoken several times on interviews about Lacuna, Blue-Shift, Violete and Penumbra being destined for a convergence. It was important to the entire Empowered team, however, that this didn’t happen too soon.

We have been more patient than I ever imagined possible, waiting five years to reach this moment! From Lacuna’s first appearance, through two comics with Blue-Shift, two more with Violete, Penumbra: Tide, which pushed us the last little way and now we’re there.

Cascade is going to be a three-issue arc, written by Johnathan Lewis and I, with contribution by Amy Allworden and Jennifer Martin to ensure that all of the characters we have written together are consistent and true to themselves. Rahmad Wisnubroto, who has illustrated all of the comics that lead up to this, has returned to bring this adventure to life in vivid detail.

We couldn’t ask for a better team, and I know you’ll love the world we’ve built. If you want to catch up, we have the ability to get hold of all of the comics, both from our store and from the Kickstarter itself.

Join us to make this dream a reality!

– Ed

Penumbra: Tide, Era: Forbidden and The History of the Future – a busy month!

Hi everyone!

We’ve been more productive than ever over here and I wanted to give you a quick idea of what’s going on!

First and most importantly, we have Penumbra’s first main storyline comic on Kickstarter right now (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sovcomics/penumbra-tide?ref=6keqhr). It’s almost 300% Funded and things are looking great for another sequel, so please check it out and consider supporting it…
Particularly if you like the image at the top of this post, which is the cover!

Secondly, work is continuing on Era: Forbidden! There’s a lot to do, and we’re going to make sure this book is amazing so that you can enjoy the game for years to come. Sophia is still working on the artwork, and I’m pushing the writing along nicely.

Finally, I’ve got a brand new project coming very soon, which is a novelisation of the stories in the Era: The Consortium Rulebook and Expansions! You can take a quick look at the project here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/shadesofvengeance/the-history-of-the-future-novel
I expect to launch that before too long, because I already have a print run of 40 right here as a test!

So, as always, we have some exciting things happening and I look forward to being able to show you more over time. Thank you so much for your ongoing support.

– Ed

Penumbra: Tide on Kickstarter Now!

Hi everyone!

Johnathan Lewis and I have been extremely busy recently! We have completed DISARMed and are now ready to bring out a comic I’m incredibly excited about, Penumbra: Tide (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sovcomics/penumbra-tide?ref=6keqhr)!

This is the final comic before a crossover between characters we have been planning for 5 years, and I can’t wait to bring this into the world so that we can then show you what’s yet to come, the “Cascade” event!

I hope you’ll consider joining the campaign to fund this issue, because you’ll definitely want it when we reach the crossover!

I’ll see you there!

– Ed

Blue-Shift: Frenemies – Now In Audio!

Hi everyone!

Great news today for all you Blue-Shift fans out there, because the amazing EraScapes team has voiced and produced an enhanced and extended audio version of one of our best-loved comics, Blue-Shift: Frenemies!
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/erascapes/blue-shift-audio-drama?ref=ajmg3e

For those of you who don’t already know the plot, it’s all about a speedster who goes out for a date, then finds herself in the middle of a group of supervillains robbing a bank… who then rescue her! Confused and lost, Blue-Shift will have to decide where the difference between “good” and “right” are.

I was honoured to be able to work with that team, and I have added additional scenes (including more from everyone’s favourite newscaster, Rajesh from Metro News!) during my adaptation of the story to audio. I’d definitely say this is a fantastic accompaniment to the current comic (which you can grab from the Kickstarter if you don’t have it yet!), even beyond what we achieved with the comic.

I hope you’ll join us there and, just in case you need more persuading, here’s a playlist of some awesome snippets from this project:
https://soundcloud.com/erascapes/sets/blue-shift-frenemies-audio-drama-samples

Enjoy, and please join us in making this story a reality!

– Ed

What’s Next?

Hi everyone!

I have a tradition, when coming to the end of a year, of talking about what we have done and what’s coming.

There are more games, more comics and more audio planned, everything you would expect, along with some things you might not. But the most important thing that’s coming is none of these…

We’ve struggled through 2020, as many small businesses have. We’ve done our best to make ends meet and continue production as sales fell through the floor and in-person conventions halted. Online conventions, unfortunately, do not favour smaller “stands” in any way, because the majority of people look at the shiny things and then leaves the site – we have made no convention-related sales this year, despite being present and running games at several online conventions.

I don’t have good news coming at the end of this, but I don’t have bad news either.

We’re struggling on, continuing to do our best and trying to put new things into the pipeline. We’re working on several comics, getting some audio dramas finished and a few games projects that have been waiting for a while finished and out of the door.

We’re only able to do this thanks to your help, so rather than talk about all the amazing things we have planned for next year, I wanted to say thank you.

We’re only able to continue creating because of people like you. And we love creating, we don’t want to stop. So please don’t forget to check out Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/SoV) if you have something spare, watch our for our Kickstarters next year and be ready to get some more of our games if you want us to continue making them. I know that a lot of people out there do.

– Ed

Stretching Our Creativity, Learning New Things!

Hi everyone!

Today, I wanted to take a moment out of your day to talk about something that I believe is very important.

Sometimes, you need to extend beyond what you would normally do. There are a number of ways you can do this, and I try to do as many of them as I can as often as I can:

Step outside your normal medium – Audio Dramas
Yes, really! Audio Dramas are not something I find inherently comfortable yet… doubly so if I’m acting in them. A Titan’s Rise was very educational in that sense, and Infiltration: The Bug War #2 (still on Kickstarter for a few more days, so please support it: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/erascapes/infiltration-bug-war-2-audio?ref=5pafkr) has been very difficult in the way I had to tell a story that primarily relied on a massive amount of visuals in the comic format.

I think we’ve done really well on each EraScapes project, but I would not call it a comfortable thing at this stage, so I’ll be continuing for some time. We have a lot more amazing audio for you to enjoy!

Try a new genre – Era: Dragonsong, DISARMed
While I won’t try to claim that the fantasy genre is a complete unknown to me, actually delivering things in that genre is relatively new to me. I’ve never done a full High Fantasy Core Rulebook in the way that Era: Dragonsong is going to be. Instead, I’ve always dodged around it and done something to subvert the genre (Era: Lyres, Era: Silence). Era: Dragonsong is going to be a real challenge and, while I can’t wait, I am also a little nervous as we get started on the worldbuilding.

There’s more, though. DISARMed, our next comic, is a genre that I’m not very familiar with beyond the aesthetic. It’s not a secret that I am not a big animé consumer – I have nothing against it, it’s just not the way my life has gone, and now I’m a little short on time to catch up with everything I don’t have experience of. One of the ways you can get around a lack of knowledge like this is to have a team to work with, as I did on DISARMed. Even if you don’t know much about what you’re doing, you’ll learn very quickly from others!
You can sign up to follow DISARMed, ready for launch, if you like: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sovcomics/disarmed/

Increase / standardise your volume of work – EraMo
We recently finished the Shades of Vengeance version of NaNoWriMo, which we call EraMo. A large number of the community got involved, which was truly inspiring to me. I, personally, wrote almost 100,000 words during the month of November, primarily focused on the Era: Survival Expansions and writing one session per day for one of our games, along with a few other bits and pieces. The members of the community roughly doubled that, coming to a total of around 180,000 words and 45 total sessions written!
It can be very challenging to increase the amount you are writing, but also extremely rewarding to put the time aside and see what results from it.

There are no right or wrong answers in the quest to push yourself creatively. Find something that’s different for you and try – you never know, you might even like it more than what you’re trying to do now!

– Ed

#AudioDramaSunday – How to approach the booth.

Hey Folks!

It’s been a while, but I’m back with another how-to for #AudioDramaSunday! We’ve been doing some recording for an upcoming project, so all of this is rather fresh!

Today, we’re talking about the all-important things you should do to make sure your time in the booth is the best possible!

1. Get Physical (No, I don’t mean punch the director!)

Before recording, get a full body warm up going along with your vocal warm up. Shake yourself out from your head to your toes, do some push-ups or squats.

If you want to challenge yourself, singing while planking can kill two birds with one stone! (It’s really difficult, though!)

2. Take care of yourself in the booth

Stretch out and stay hydrated between takes. Depending on the weather, your soundproofing or size of your recording space, it can get hot (Our studio is nicknamed the hotbox for a reason)! Be prepared to take small breaks and step out to cool down instead of rushing because of the heat!

Speaking of staying hydrated…

3. Swallow the right way.

Yes, before you look at me like I’m mad, just listen!

Swallowing before a take or taking a drink without rinsing it around your mouth will often reduce your mouth clicks. Not rinsing it around your mouth is very important, because that tends to cause a massive number of clicks.

Mouth clicks are well-known as one of the worst things a voice actor can do, so simple techniques to ensure they are minimised are super important! People have been dropped from projects (in the wider world, not from ours yet!) for the number of mouth clicks, so it’s definitely something to watch out for.

4. Use warm ups to prepare – and be ready to improvise

Get in the zone before you hit the script!

Whether it’s warming up in character or discussing key moments an the emotions in them with the team, if you keep your mind on the world you’re building it will give you more confidence to nail those takes and make you more familiar with the material.

Improvising a few bits as the character you’re playing can let you build more of a personal connection with them, as well! It can be great fun and even produce additional material you might use later – we recently did several minutes of improv for both Midnight Terry and the Edvertiser while recording Season 2 of Radio Free Taranis!

This is part of an ongoing series of articles I’m writing about our experiences of writing and performing audio dramas for the EraScapes division of Shades of Vengeance.

We’re always looking for more help, so if you’d like to get involved with our projects in some capacity, please contact us at erascapes@shadesofvengeance.com!

Coming Soon: “Melqart: Unity”

I’m tremendously looking forward to this comic, which is the first I’ve ever written completely alone, coming out on Kickstarter.

With the help of the amazing Robert Nix on artwork and Keith A Johnston on lettering, I have started to see a semi-Sci-Fi story in my superhero universe come to life… and there’s basically nothing better than that!

Melqart: Unity will hit Kickstarter next year with the aim of delivering a 12-page comic and a 24-page comic as the Stretch Goal. I hope people will support it, because I think it’s one of the best comic arcs I have ever written!

If you want to know more about it, make sure you tune into Wayne’s Comic’s this Sunday (with Wayne Arthur Hall), where I speak about it a little!

– Ed

Era: Survival tabletop rpg game

Near the end of #EraMo now!

Hi everyone!

We’re in the last week of EraMo, and the community has produced a massive amount of work!

I’ve spent most of my time split between Era: Survival expansions (now there’s only one left to finish writing!) and writing sessions for the various games each day.

Between the group contibuting, we have written over 130,000 words, more than 40 sessions for gameplay in the era universe, an entire RPG that will gain artwork and be released as soon as we can, 3 comics, online, automated character sheets and even work on a bot that will help us administer our online game sessions on Discord (join us there: https://discord.gg/A6Hx8bAMpf )!

When I think that this idea started with me wanting to do something “like NaNoWriMo, but I usually write short stories”, I’m extremely proud that so many others feel like they would like to contribute. Of course, I’m hoping it will get even bigger next year, but I think for now, I can just thank everyone who has been working on it, encourage them to finish the week in the way they have worked until now, and focus on my work to make sure I don’t fall behind!

Please don’t forget to check Patreon for the best of the sessions I have written this month! https://www.patreon.com/SoV

And don’t forget to check out our latest Audio Drama Infiltration: The Bug War #2 on Kickstarter now (don’t worry, you can still get #1 if you missed it!): https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/erascapes/infiltration-bug-war-2-audio?ref=5pafkr

Thanks for reading and have a fantastic day!

– Ed

A Very Brief Update!

Hi everyone!

I’m going to keep it short this week. Last week, I was not able to join you because I have just moved house from my home of 5 years and that was pretty exhausting! Even so, creation halts for nothing, so I have delivered Violete #2’s Digital Rewards this week, along with preparing a new comic project, which I hope to launch imminently!

I’ve recently reached out to a few indie writers to collaborate on comics and I’m obviously working through the last of the Survival expansions (3 to go, all almost done!). Beyond that, I’m looking at Era: Forbidden’s Core Rulebook and trying to expand the range of sessions that we have available for people who want to run games.

Beyond that, we’re looking forward to offering more multi-table events for CON-Tingency 2021 (along with a number of other things), and running our ongoing games… plus getting a new card game ready for launch, Era Zone 8 finished off and a few other bits and pieces for 2021!

It’s always busy here, but we’re well-organised and things are going very well!

– Ed

Era: The Consortium – Revival

Hi everyone!

I wanted to take a moment this week to talk about one of my favourite books that I’ve ever written, which is an expansion for Era: The Consortium called Revival.

Initially, the plans were relatively modest – a 5-session campaign which explored the intersection of Era: The Consortium’s Science Fiction and Era: Survival’s Survival Horror universes. I planned to work with Johnathan Lewis on writing it and we set up a set of sessions and a storyline.

John wrote the majority of the stories, with a little help from Jennifer Martin. As they did so, I wrote the campaign end and quickly realised what I could potentially offer within this campaign.

It transformed from a fairly minimalist 30-page book into a huge 150-page masterpiece, supported amazingly by the story, isometric maps of every room within the spaceship that the characters might explore, a full bestiary and 13 sessions for players to enjoy. It is the single expansion which I immediately point at when I’m ask which is the best.

This is how I believe sessions and campaigns should be delivered and it is my fond hope that I’ll be able to do more of this in the future.

Why am I talking about this right now?

I’ve never been able to run the campaign in full – I ran sections to make sure everything worked, but it was before the story was finalised and it wasn’t able to finish.

For the last two weeks, I’ve been running Revival in full for the first time with a small group, via Discord, and it’s been an incredible experience: everything that I always hoped would work well has been excellent and the group are embracing the essence of the campaign in the way I had always intended.

You can get hold of Revival and play for yourself (it’s got everything you need, all you need is the Rulebook Primer or Core Rulebook) from our store. If you’re a fan of Dead Space, Aliens and similar genre intersections between Sci-Fi and Survival Horror (as I am!), it’s a must.
Digital: https://www.shadesofvengeance.com/product/era-consortium-revival-digital/
Paperback: https://www.shadesofvengeance.com/product/era-consortium-revival-paperback/
Hardback: https://www.shadesofvengeance.com/product/era-consortium-revival-hardback/

Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy Revival if you choose to look into it!

– Ed

Join us for EraMo!

Hi everyone!

Before I go into the primary part of my post today, I’d just like to remind everyone that Era: Forbidden ends this weekend. We’ve had a fantastic month, with loads of actual plays and a lot of games on our Discord (link at the end). I hope you’ll consider joining us and supporting our latest game: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/shadesofvengeance/era-forbidden-an-rpg-of-hope-in-an-invaded-world?ref=3j18oq

Some of you may be familiar with NaNoWriMo, where the aim is to write a novel in a month. Unfortunately, because of the nature of what I do, I find it very hard to focus on a single game for a month – other things would go by the wayside.

However, I strongly believe in the principles of NaNoWriMo, which is to rapidly get stuff out into the world – writing 2000 or more words per day.

So I came up with EraWriMo, where I write 2000 words per day minimum, but it can be about anything relating to Era universes – sometimes it’s short stories, sometimes it’s rules… That works super well for me.

When Leo got a little more involved and we started producing audio dramas, he decided to do 5 minutes per day of audio material, almost like “sketches”, which we would later edit together into a piece. At that point, I couldn’t call it EraWriMo any more, because it’s EraAudioMo as well. The great thing about this sort of thing is that you can motivate each other when things are hard. Last year, we had someone else join us who did audio drama work, inspired by Forbidden.

We would like to open this up to anyone who would like to be creative, whether it’s writing, audio, artwork, composition, or anything else that works for you! Obviously the focus for us is on Era games, but it’s really about creating. We’ll be happy to guide you where we can as well, if you’re unsure!

We’re mostly coming together on Discord, where I’ve made a special channel for it: https://discord.gg/6C4H9Cv

I hope you’ll consider joining us for this celebration of creativity!

– Ed