Nova Praxis: Savage Worlds Edition is Funded!

Stick a fork in her, she's done folks! 185% funded for $12K. Many thanks to all of you!

We are going to try our best to hit an August release in hopes of getting the book out in time for GenCon.

We'll be keeping you up to date, and if it looks like we're going to hit GenCon, I'll let everyone know if they'll be able to pick up their print copies there.

We also managed to unlock the following Stretch goals:

$8,000 - The Augmented PDF - We will develop an Augmented version of the PDF. Evolved backers will get both the regular PDF, and the Augmented PDF, at no additional cost.

$8,500 - Game Master's Screen - We will develop a Nova Praxis: Savage Worlds Edition Game Master's Screen PDF. Evolved backers will get this PDF for free.

$9,500 - Ghosts in Darkness - We will develop and release the introductory scenario, Ghosts in Darkness for Nova Praxis: Savage Worlds Edition. Evolved backers will get this PDF for free when it is released.

$10,000 - Work Hazards - We will begin developing Work Hazards, a book of alien creatures, biotechnological horrors, combat drones, terrorists, pirates and other NPCs to challenge your players with. Evolved backers will get this PDF for free when it is released. Work Hazards will be released featuring both Savage Worlds and Fate stats.

$11,000 - Nova Praxis Cards - We will develop a custom set of Nova Praxis playing cards for use in determining initiative. These cards will be available through DrivethruCards around the same time the book releases. Evolved backers will get a PDF of these cards for free.

$12,000 - Fragmentation - Mike McConnell will begin writing Fragmentation, a Nova Praxis novel. Evolved backers will get this ebook/PDF for free when it is released.

The primary focus for the next two months will be getting the printed version of NP:SWE out the door. The Augmented PDF will be developed somewhat in parallel, and should follow a few weeks.

The other projects will follow shortly after, with attention shifting to the novel as the other products start wrapping up.


Playtesting for NP:SWE will continue. All backers will continue to have access to the live playtest doc until June 27th, after which this playtest doc will no longer be available. Evolved and Transcendent backers will continue to receive occasional updates until release.

In addition, Evolved and Transcendent backers will receive an alpha version sometime before Monday, June 16th. This alpha verison will be a cobbled together blend of setting material from the Fate version and the new rules. Layout and art will not be complete, or even close, but the alpha version will be around 90% content complete.

Tact-Tiles Progress! For real this time!

After one unspeakably frustrating false start after another, we've finally got a pseudo-sample tile in hand.

What you're looking at in the pics below (click to see more) is one of the original Tact-Tiles (left) mated with the first new Tact-Tile (black) to be produced in nearly a decade. This one is actually from a sample of the material they had on hand today. The real material won't be in for a few days yet, and will obviously be lighter. This was just produced to make sure the mold is okay, and to do a fit check.

It passed! It mates really well, and it's nice, flat, and rigid.

The finished version will look like the one on the left, but with gray lines instead of brown.

We're going to push hard to get these out in the same release window as D&D5e and the Savage Worlds version of Nova Praxis. Expect the Kickstarter to fire up sometime in the next few weeks!

Nova Praxis: Savage Worlds Edition is Funded!

We did it! With 11 days to go, the Kickstarter for the Savage Worlds version of Nova Praxis has been funded!

Now to see if we can hit some of those stretch goals!

In other news, I suppose I should give an update on our other projects.


We're cursed. That's the only explanation. The gods hate Tact-Tiles. They loaded the tool into the injection machine, turned it on, and blew a bunch of bolts. Repairs are under way. This is, I believe, the third time the machine has gone down.


It's basically done. We just need to get the remaining art and finalize layout. I'm hoping to get it released around the same time as "Savage Praxis".

Almost there!

With 16 days to go, the Nova Praxis: Savage Worlds Edition is almost funded. Development is well underway. And while we've hit a few snags, we are still on track to deliver a playtest document to backers early next week.

And while we've heard it before, we're finally supposed to get samples from the plastic injection molders for Tact-Tiles this week. We've been bumped by larger customers more than once, and had the machine break down a few times, but dammit I think we're finally getting there.

Status Update

The Nova Praxis Savage Worlds Edition Kickstarter is doing well. It became over half-way funded in 3 days. But we're still a ways off from being fully backed, and even farther from those great stretch goals. So please, continue to spread the word!

The bad news this week is that we've hit yet another snag with the manufacturer for Tact-Tiles. We're promised samples early next week, but then, we were promised samples last week and the week before that too though. Samples are running a month late. Enough is enough.

I'm not putting a hold on them in case, by some miracle, we actually do get samples next week. But we're going to start looking for another supplier.

The state of Machinations remains much the same as it was in the last update. I got the edits back from Joshua and he has done a wonderful job of catching typos, grammar issues, and editing for clarity. Now the big wait is for art. I've got a few orders out, and will post them as they become available, starting with this one...

If you've been following me on G+, or watching the NP:SWE Kickstarter, you've probably already seen this. It's a piece featuring a Samurai from House Kimura and his recon frame.

The Latest

Nova Praxis: Savage Worlds Edition

We're going live Tuesday! Click here to see the preview page.


So they finally got the machine repaired. They're going to have a scheduling meeting tomorrow and we've been promised that we're first in line to get our samples.


Machinations and "Savage Praxis" share some art. Otherwise, that's just about all we're waiting on before its release.

Nova Praxis

We just released an update to the PDFs for the original Nova Praxis. Check it out!

*sigh* More Delays

On the Tact-Tiles front, it would appear that our mold is STILL stuck in the machine and the repair guy is, I guess, riding in from Cambodia on a unicycle. It boggles my mind that this is taking as long as it is, but it's out of our hands.

The weather hasn't helped. As you may have heard, we've had some nasty storms here in North Alabama this week, which also delayed the meeting I'd planned to have with Sean to discuss the Savage Worlds version of Nova Praxis. We're planning to have that meeting tonight.

Speaking of "Savage Praxis", I got some more art ordered and the Kickstarter page is pretty much done. Now I just have to figure out why Amazon locked me out of my payments account. I can't fire up the Kickstarter until that gets sorted out, so I guess that's the next hurdle to clear.

In other news, someone mentioned that I didn't plug our Facebook site in the last post. We have one, but the truth is I just don't like Facebook all that much so it doesn't get as much love as our G+ or Reddit site. Same for Twitter. But if you use those, and want to follow me, click on CONTACT AND RETAILER INFO above for the links.

So I guess their phones work after all?

After failing to return our calls and reply to emails for almost two weeks, I FINALLY got some answers out the manufacturing manager at the plant responsible for running our Tact-Tiles mold.

He told me that the machine was down with our tool inside. Apparently it went down last week and they are still waiting on the repair guy. He was supposed to be there last week, and should arrive "any day now". He promised to give me a call and do better with communication in the future. We'll see.

They're supposed to give me a call before they run the first samples so that I can be on hand to do an on-the-spot approval and make sure the new tiles correctly interlock with old tiles.

Hopefully that'll be sometime in the next few days. I'm meeting with Sean on Friday to discuss his progress on the Savage Worlds version of Nova Praxis. The Kickstarter for it is just about ready to fire up, and I'm hoping I can post a big update full of good news on Monday.

Fingers crossed!

The Good and the Bad

First, the good news:

I'm currently working on putting together the Nova Praxis: Savage Worlds Edition Kickstarter site. It won't be long now!

Then, the bad news:

The injection molding company was supposed to deliver samples of the new Tact-Tiles last Monday. They didn't. Worse, they haven't returned our call or responded to emails. This isn't a fly-by-night company. They are an established supplier. So I'm not sure what the issue is. 

Regardless, we may have to start looking for someone else. And needless to say, I am not pleased.

Machinations Beta and Other Stuff

It's that time again:

Machinations: The Nova Praxis GM's Guide

The beta version has been released to Kickstarter backers and other assorted testers. It's very nearly content complete, and we're mostly just waiting on art before the official release.

Once it's finalized, it will be available in PDF and print through DrivethruRPG.

"Savage Praxis"

Sean is hammering away at it, and we're planning to fire off the Kickstarter in the next few weeks.


We should be getting our first samples from the injection molders next week. And thankfully we were able to find an ink that's going to get the job done. So once we get samples in hand, we'll print some up and run a few tests. I really hope to get the Kickstarter rolling sometime within the next month.


We've been quiet, but we've been productive.


I sent the "alpha" doc off to playtesters last night. It's pretty rough, but about 95% content complete and has a functional (if unfinished) layout. Now I just need to focus on editing, art, and adding that last few pages of content and NPC stats.


Huge progress on that front. We've got the first samples on order! We should get them around this time next month, and if we don't have any trouble with the molding process, we can start ink testing.

"Savage Praxis"

We've hit a few delays, but we should be off and running on this again. Sean and I have talked a good bit and just need to get around to hammering out more of the details.

Another update?

Yep! Usually the VSS website is kinda quiet, but I'm going to try to do a better job of posting updates. And it helps that I've got more to talk about since the recent announcements.

Machinations (The Nova Praxis GM's Guide)

About 90% of the book is written. The rest exists as bullet points that need to be converted into actual completed thoughts, and then it's off to editing and layout. But we still need a lot of art too, and that can be a pain.

I haven't talked too much about the contents, but I'll tell you about some of my favorite bits:

  • Sequences - This is a rules sub-system designed to help the GM run sessions that consist of a complex sequence of events in a complex location. It helps you run things like enemy base infiltration, complex heist jobs, the boarding of an enemy ship, a military skirmish, or similar scenarios without the need for elaborate maps or tons of NPC stats.
  • New Factions - Along with introducing some new faces, or expanding on some we've mentioned in passing before, we really got to dig into the meat of the setting by exploring some of the movers and shakers that are out there. Some of my favorites:
    • Seraphim - Augmented far beyond what most people consider possible, these techno-angelic beings preside over the hidden utopian enclave of Elysium. From their hidden paradise, these mysterious beings pull strings and set in motion schemes that can be felt throughout the galaxy. They have created a progressive paradise, but what are they up to and what is their connection to the old secret societies of Earth?
    • Talons of Freedom - Born from the remnants of the United States military, the Talons are fast becoming a credible threat. Their agents are everywhere, and their plans are coming to fruition. Soon it will be time to strike.
    • Progenesis Afflicted - When technology and ambition spin out of control... here there be monsters.
    • The Fallen - Fanatically religious Catholics decide to become SIMs in an effort to explore the affects of Apotheosis on the soul and their connection to God; only to go mad and take up the mantles of harbingers of the end times. Rampantly forking, fragmented and mad, the Fallen have become virtual incarnations of Death, Conquest, Famine and War.
    • The Unseen Court - The Illuminati? The New World Order? Monsters in the night? The Boogeyman in the Closet? Who or what really controls the Coalition? How and for what purpose? Why did the corporations become Houses? Why the callbacks to Rome and feudal societies? Why does the Shadow War continue, and to what end?
    • Scholae Palatinae - One Praetorian can't get the job done? Deploy the Scholae. Outfitted with a cutting edge ship, a crew, specialists, scientists, and the best gear the Coalition can compile; the Scholae are small groups of Praetorians authorized to use their resources to stamp out threats and explore the galaxy.
    • Phalanx Formations - Sometimes a more discreet approach is called for. In those times, the Tetragon summons and deploys a Phalanx Formation. The Phalanx are crews of Auxiliaries that step out of the Shadow War to perform covert military ops under the umbrella of the Protectorate. They are sent after violators of the HPA, terrorists, dangerous pirates, lost APEX bombs, rogue scientist attempting to create another Mimir, etc.

Advice is included for GMs who want to run all-Scholae or Phalanx campaigns; encouraging a look at the Nova Praxis setting from a new angle.

The Houses and the Coalition - Each House got more pages dedicated to how they work, how they govern themselves, their ambitions and their troubles. We also spent some time on how the Houses relate to the Coalition as a whole.

Ghosts in Darkness and the Campaign Arcs - We've talked about this before, but I thought I'd mention it again because I really dig it. GiD is an intro scenario designed to get a new campaign started. And there are four campaign arcs, each of which outlines a series of events that can play out over several gaming sessions. GiD fits nicely either before or after the first arc.

"Savage Praxis" (The Savage Worlds version of Nova Praxis)

I met with Sean on Sunday and we talked about schedules and content. We're hoping to have a set of notes put together by the end of this month that we can playtest with. Expect the Kickstarter to go live shortly after, sometime around the first of March.

And yes, it will feature much of what is in Machinations.


I talked to my ink guy. He has a more scratch resistant ink we're going to try.

I also talked to our plastics guys, and it looks like we're going to be able to get the price down some. The original Tact-Tiles were $70 for a set of 12. We're going to try our best to hit that with this new set; but I can't make any promises. That was nearly a decade ago, and prices have done nothing but rise since then.

Right now we're trying to get a sample of the plastic sent to our ink guy so that he can select an ink that works better for us. Hopefully we'll get that sample, and get it sent out in the next few days.


Like I said above, we're planning to Kickstart "Savage Praxis" and hopefully Tact-Tiles soon. And as with any Kickstart campaign, the better it does, the better for all of us. So get out there and start spreading the word! And if you have a cool idea for a stretch goal (for either Tact-Tiles or "Savage Praxis") be sure to let me know.

The Saga Continues...

So, Tact-Tiles and I have a past. I met the boys of BC-Products (the original creators) on ENWorld several years ago when the Tact-Tiles originally came out. I noticed they were in the same city as me (Huntsville, AL) and, in need of a gaming group, sent one of them a private message.

 I got a response and we agreed to meet for lunch one day to sort of interview each other. Both of us have had some problem players in the past and wanted to avoid that sort of situation again.

So we met, hit it off, and have been good friends ever since. In fact, I'm still in a weekly game with them.

Fast forward a few years. Tact-Tiles go out of production due to issues with the manufacturing process and one of the vendors. A few other companies try their hand at it, and fail. I get involved with BC-Products try again. We fail again.

Tact-Tiles effectively disappear.

Fast forward a few more years. I start Void Star Studios with Strands of Fate. By indie standards, it's a huge success. For one guy working with his friends from the internet, it's a massive hit. It goes Platinum on DrivethruRPG. 

Strands of Power comes the next year. For a supplement, it also does very well.

And then this Kickstarter thing happens and I see the opportunity to get the capital to do Nova Praxis the way I wanted to do it. It goes on to generate almost $30,000 in pledges. Again, by indie standards, that's a huge hit. It goes Platinum on DrivethruRPG three times faster than Strands of Fate, and will soon see a Savage Worlds version.

So... emboldened by past success, I acquire the rights to Tact-Tiles for Void Star. We start plotting, scheming, designing and schmoozing vendors. Progress, it seems, it finally being made.

And here we are. I won't lie, we're still facing some challenges.

For example... We got our sample in for the ink that gets applied to make the grid. I'm not real thrilled with it. Take a sharp metal object (like the base of a metal mini), and you can scrape it off. i expect that to some degree, but I'm not happy with how easy it was. So I'll be getting back in touch with my ink guy Monday.

I also got an updated quote to run some samples from the mold, and the price per tile has gone up considerably (like +40%). So we've got to tackle that Monday as well. And I've also got to buy a new sprue for the mold, which clocks in at around $800.

Nasty surprises to be sure, but certainly not show stoppers. Tact-Tiles have become my own personal Moby Dick over the last few years, but by God I'm going to slay this beast.

Stay tuned for more updates as we battle this beast. 

The Big Announcements

Recently I've hinted here and there that we had a few big announcements to make. Well, no more hinting...



Nova Praxis Logo.jpg

We're proud to announce that Nova Praxis is going to be released as an officially licensed Savage Worlds campaign setting. And is that the conversion is being done in conjunction with none other than veteran Savage Worlds developer and publisher, Sean Patrick Fannon, author of Shaintar.

We're really excited about this, and more details will follow soon!

Secondly, we'd also like to announce an even bigger release.

Savage Worlds has long been considered one of the best miniatures games out there. So why not play on the best gaming surface there is? 



Void Star Studios, Inc. has acquired the rights, processes, vendors and original mold for Tact-Tiles! And the original creators of the Tact-Tiles are working with us as advisors.

These aren't some cheap knock-offs. These are the real deal, tweaked to improve the manufacturing process to insure we can bring them to you at an affordable price.

Our intent is to make this new run of Tact-Tiles 100% compatible with the original Tact-Tiles from BC Products, and to insure these are of even better quality. 

Tact-Tiles are highly portable, rigid, thick plastic, dry-erase, gaming tiles. No more erasing the mat and starting over when the PCs run off the edge! And no more fussing with a rolled up mat!

So there you have it.

"Savage Praxis" has been under development for a little while now. I've got a meeting set with Sean this weekend to talk a bit more about conversion strategy and timelines.

On the Tact-Tiles front; we're expecting material and ink samples for the Tact-Tiles within the next few weeks. We're still working through a few kinks, and we'll keep you posted as we progress.

Look for the Kickstarter for both the Savage Worlds edition of Nova Praxis, and Tact-Tiles, very soon!