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News published by WhiteWolf and Onyx Path.

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Mortekai

Dark-Eras-MockupSmall-194x300.pngGreetings to you, Knights of the Realm!

Matthew Dawkins here. I’m posting an update to talk a little about the plans for King Arthur’s Britannia, which as an era, falls within the nebulous so-called “Dark Ages” of the British Isles and Europe. We’re choosing to set this era between 400 and 500 C.E., with a focus on the weakening of the Romano-British and subsequent Saxon dominance of Britain, and where the Arthurian mythos falls within that period.

The team we have on board for his chapter includes veteran Ethan Skemp handling the Changeling: The Lost section, covering the True Fae and the Lost in a time and place where magic and mystery experienced a resurgence and walking off into the woods alone was really a bad idea, Summer turning to Autumn in a realm increasingly reduced to squalor; new hand Alan Gowing handling Vampire: The Requiem, as the Kindred infest the last of the Roman courts and brace for the plunge into misrule, and a revisit and 2nd Edition overhaul of the Bron bloodline from Bloodlines: The Legendary; and David Cartwright, author of Camelot 2050, handling Hunter: The Vigil for us. While expectations might put the Knights of the Round Table as classical hunters, and there may well be some among the ruling nobles in Britain, our hunters will predominantly arise among the Saxons, Angles, Jutes, and other invading Germanic tribes of Europe.

For our chapter, we’re pulling more on the threads of history than Chrétien de Troyes’ Lancelot saga. Leaning more into Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain, we want a vibe of authenticity in this chapter, though with the fantastical elements of Arthur’s war with Mordred, the present threat of Morgana, and maybe, just maybe, a little bit of a Holy Grail to tie into the Bron’s presence here.

The authors are referencing and have referenced Worlds of Arthur by Guy Halsall, which provides an incredibly detailed exposure of this historical era. A Brief History of King Arthur by Mike Ashley also makes for a wonderful biography piece I suggest anyone interested in the figure checks out, and of course, Bernard Cornwell’s The Warlord Chronicles Trilogy is great fun. Not to do other RPGs a disservice, and as much as I love Pendragon, we also look to Paul Mitchener and Graham Spearing’s Age of Arthur as a high benchmark. It’s an excellent game I can’t recommend enough.

To wrap up, I think I’ll give a tease of the prevalent themes and mood we want coming across in this era.

The themes in this era are:

Change: For all three creature types present in this era, the times, they are a-changin’. Vampires do not desire this change, the Lost are split between change and former glories, while the hunters proudly instigate this change. Can the three work together to make something acceptable for all involved, or are all destined for their own brand of ruin?

Darkness: In what will later become known as the Dark Ages, Britain is about to enter the era of warring kings and barons, persecution of scholars, and end to freedom of trade. While Britain was not sleeping at this time, life under the Saxons was wholly different to life under the Romans (for better and worse). For the established nobility, this was a time of encroaching darkness.

The mood for this era is:

Gloom: The world is growing smaller, the nights are drawing in, the invaders are coming, and blood flows readily. The glory that was Rome has faded. Gloom has overtaken King Arthur’s Britannia.


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Mortekai

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The Kickstarter for Fetch Quest is now live!

Fetch Quest is a collaboration between Onyx Path Publishing and Pugsteady, the home of Eddy Webb’s various projects set in the Realms of Pugmire. With your help, we hope fund the purchase of additional art and to produce and distribute a boxed edition of this card game, allowing further exploration and interaction with the world and characters of Pugmire.

Fetch Quest is a family-friendly cooperative deck-building game. Each player represents a pioneer, one of six adventurous dogs on a dangerous quest. The pioneers work together to overcome dangerous challenges and resolve missions. Once the missions are resolved, the quest is finished and the players win the game.

Are you ready to fetch what has been left behind?


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Mortekai

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…And he says he has a mission for you and your valiant pioneer friends. In less than two wags of their tails, you are all ready to follow the cryptic map the stranger has given you, and off for adventure!

That could be how a session of Fetch Quest starts. Story-wise.

Part of the fun, and part of what we’ll be exploring, with Fetch Quest is how the card game connects with the TTRPG. You can play it as a straight-up card game, you can add in your own characters as the pioneers going on the quests, you can role-play the challenges as well as solve them mechanically with the card game rules, and we’re looking at how a card set of missions could be transformed into a TTRPG adventure.

What I’m saying is, if the Kickstarter goes well, we have some ideas to explore.

In any case, the Kickstarter starts at 2pm Eastern US time Tuesday the 22nd – which is tomorrow as I write this. Here’s one of the videos we created to give more details about Fetch Quest:

As always, I have no idea if this one will do well, or even fund. You’d think after thirty of them I’d get blase, but I’m not. It’s still exciting and I always can’t tell if what we’re doing will be interesting enough and exciting enough to get folks pledging. We’ve all worked to make this one fun to follow, and Jaunty James Bell has proven to be an engaging “Kickstarter Concierge” as he titles himself, so it should be pretty cool. See ya there, good dogs!

 

 

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Changeling: The Lost 2nd Edition illustration by Michael Gaydos

 

 

Meanwhile, we posted a short Onyx Pathcast last Friday announcing that the team feel so confident and excited about the response to the first three episodes that they will now be doing it weekly! So make sure to subscribe to PodBean or whatever podcast service you use, and get ready for your weekly dose of insider info about Onyx Path and our projects, game design, gaming in general, professional wrestling, and general good-natured repartee.

And here is the link and their third visual treatment by our old friend and first edition Trinity developer Charlie Bates:

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https://onyxpathcast.podbean.com/e/special-episode-one-youre-doing-great-kid/

We had a lot of fun doing this shorter special edition Onyx Pathcast, and yes, I said we as I joined Dixie and Matthew and basically pretended to weasel them into going weekly. Now, what you hear there is not what happened in real life as they all came to me with the weekly idea, but we thought we’d go broad and I’d be sort of a cross between an evil Stan Lee and P.T. Barnum. Hope it’s as much fun to listen to as it was to perform!

This week’s episode will be their interview with Impish Ian Watson, and these are some of the things they cover:

  • Ian talks about his history with the Trinity Continuum pitch, through the CCP merger, and into the creation of Onyx Path – Ian’s love for the Trinity line goes back to 1997.
  • We talk about rabbit holes and why we love what we love.
  • The dynamics of the Trinity Continuum design team, and how awesome Danielle Lauzon is.
  • How the Storypath System came to be and how we reframe Storypath between TrinityStorypath and They Came From.
  • Reexamining how we do the development process, and how we are trying new things for Aberrant.
  • Ian talks about his Community Manager role.
  • What’s exciting about this new version of TrinityAegis! Anima! (Maybe) – Trinity as a pop culture toolbox.
  • We answer some forum questions (did yours get answered? Listen to find out!)
  • We talk about fonts! Fonts are cool!
  • Aberrant‘s diversity.
  • Ian’s contributions to Vampire: Bloodlines.

So, just chock full of great conversation, and going live on Friday.

 

 

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Scion Origin art by Gregor Pedrycz

 

And here are some quick notes that came out of our Monday Meeting today:

 

 

  • Just to let folks know, since the various Kickstarter communities may not actually overlap all that much, we have shipped the Deluxe Changeling: The Dreaming last month, are looking good to start shipping the Prince’s Gambit casual Vampire: The Masquerade card game this month, and should be shipping Deluxe V20 Beckett’s Jyhad Diary next month. Phew!

 

  • And along those lines, we’re going to be sending the Backer PDFs out for Cavaliers of Mars this week! Here’s the gorgeous cover:

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So, wrapping this up, I also took to heart your comments about pruning the Blurbs! section of this blog, and while I still want to consolidate the Amazon epub section, I think you’ll already find it a lot less bloated. We are also looking into the suggestion that we set up tabs featuring our various sales partners as a fixed place to locate them, and I’ll be able to only “blurb” new stuff.

Thanks for all your help. With all that we are doing, it can sometimes be an important task to find the best way to communicate all the great things that are happening with our…

Many Worlds, One Path!

 

 

BLURBS!

KICKSTARTER:

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Fetch Quest, the adventure card game set in the Realms of Pugmire is going live tomorrow Tuesday, May 22 at 2pm Eastern US time! That’s 2pm, not noon like most of our other Kickstarters!

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ELECTRONIC GAMING:

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As we find ways to enable our community to more easily play our games, the Onyx Dice Rolling App is now live! Our dev team has been doing updates since we launched based on the excellent use-case comments by our community, and this thing is both rolling and rocking!

Here are the links for the Apple and Android versions:

http://theappstore.site/app/1296692067/onyx-dice

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.onyxpathpublishing.onyxdice&hl=en

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Three different screenshots, above.

 

 

ON AMAZON AND BARNES & NOBLE:

You can now read our fiction from the comfort and convenience of your Kindle (from Amazon) and Nook (from Barnes & Noble).

Our latest offering is the Mage 20 Cookbook, now in a convenient Kindle ebook version! https://www.amazon.com/Mage-Cookbook-World-Darkness-Enlightened-ebook/dp/B07C71BRDC/

Nook version is coming soon!

If you enjoy these or any other of our books, please help us by writing reviews on the site of the sales venue you bought it from. Reviews really, really help us with getting folks interested in our amazing fiction!

Our selection includes these fiction books:

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  • Vampire: The Masquerade: The Endless Ages Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse: Rites of Renown: When Will You Rage II (Kindle, Nook)
  • Mage: The Ascension: Truth Beyond Paradox (Kindle, Nook)
  • Chronicles of Darkness: The God-Machine Chronicle Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Mummy: The Curse: Curse of the Blue Nile (Kindle, Nook)
  • Beast: The Primordial: The Primordial Feast Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Vampire: The Masquerade: Of Predators and Prey: The Hunters Hunted II Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse: The Poison Tree (Kindle, Nook)
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse: Songs of the Sun and Moon: Tales of the Changing Breeds (Kindle, Nook)
  • Vampire: The Requiem: The Strix Chronicle Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Werewolf: The Forsaken: The Idigam Chronicle Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Mage: The Awakening: The Fallen World Chronicle Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Vampire: The Masquerade: The Beast Within Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse: W20 Cookbook (Kindle, Nook)
  • Exalted: Tales from the Age of Sorrows (Kindle, Nook)
  • Chronicles of Darkness: Tales of the Dark Eras (Kindle, Nook)
  • Promethean: The Created: The Firestorm Chronicle Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Demon: The Descent: Demon: Interface (Kindle, Nook)
  • Scarred Lands: Death in the Walled Warren (KindleNook)
  • V20 Dark Ages: Cainite Conspiracies (Kindle, Nook)
  • Chronicles of Darkness: Strangeness in the Proportion (KindleNook)
  • Vampire: The Requiem: Silent Knife (Kindle, Nook)
  • Mummy: The Curse: Dawn of Heresies (KindleNook)

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And here are the Champions of the Scarred Lands fiction anthology and the Huntsmen Chronicles anthology for Changeling: The Lost 2nd Edition!

 

 

OUR SALES PARTNERS:

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We’re working with Studio2 to get Pugmire out into stores, as well as to individuals through their online store. You can pick up the traditionally printed main book, the Screen, and the official Pugmire dice through our friends there!

https://studio2publishing.com/search?q=pugmire

 

 

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Looking for our Deluxe or Prestige Edition books? Try this link! http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Onyx-Path-Publishing/

Here’s the link to the press release we put out about how Onyx Path is now selling through Indie Press Revolution: http://theonyxpath.com/press-release-onyx-path-limited-editions-now-available-through-indie-press-revolution/

And you can now order Pugmire: the book, the screen, and the dice! http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/manufacturers.php?manufacturerid=296

 

 

 

DRIVETHRURPG.COM:

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For the first time since it was originally published, we now have the Champions of the Scarred Lands fiction anthology as a physical book, available as a PoD on DTRPG and going live this Wednesday!

 

 

 

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Pan’s Guide to New Pioneers has found its way through the wilderness to arrive in PDF and physical book PoD versions on DTRPG! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/239620/Pans-Guide-for-New-Pioneers

Pan’s Guide for New Pioneers

When a devastating flood hits Pugmire, all manner of bad dogs, opportunistic rats, and manipulative cats take advantage of the kingdom. Good dogs try to turn the tide, but searching the dangerous wilderness for a way to heal the land is no easy task. If only there existed brave dogs to lay down the way for other intrepid pioneers…

It is time for a new group of heroes to set out on a chaotic and risky adventure! Armed with a guide prepared by the daring dog Pan Dachshund, fabulous treasure and great recognition await them. All these pioneers need do is explore the wilds, discover the key to Pugmire’s salvation, and return in one piece!

Pan’s Guide for New Pioneers includes:

  • A full Pugmire adventure, aimed at people brand new to roleplaying games and experienced players alike!
  • Rules laid out and explained for every encounter and challenge in the adventure.
  • Snippets of Pan’s journal presented for enjoyable reading or integration into the game.
  • Ready-made characters so a game of Pugmire can commence as soon as you open this book.
  • Hyperlinks to video footage for those who prefer to follow along in different mediums.

 

 

 

 

CONVENTIONS!

Matthew Dawkins, Steffie de Vaan, and Mighty Matt McElroy will be at the UK Games Expo next week running games and talking shop with fans and retailers.

Prep is also underway for Gen Con 2018 in August, which takes place in Indianapolis, IN. In addition to our booth presence, be sure to check out the games and panels in the Gen Con Event Schedule.

From Fast Eddy Webb, we have these:

Eddy will be speaking at Broadleaf Writers Conference (September 22-23) in Decatur, GA. He’ll be there to talk about writing for interactive fiction, and hanging out with other writers who have far more illustrious careers. http://broadleafwriters.com/3rd-annual-broadleaf-writers-conference/3rd-annual-broadleaf-writers-conference-speakers/
Eddy will also be a featured guest at Save Against Fear (October 12-14) in Harrisburg, PA. He’ll be running some Pugmire games, be available for autographs, and will sometimes accept free drinks. http://www.thebodhanagroup.org/about-the-convention

If you are going and want to meet up, let us know!

 

 


And now, the new project status updates!

DEVELOPMENT STATUS FROM FAST EDDY WEBB (projects in bold have changed status since last week):

First Draft (The first phase of a project that is about the work being done by writers, not dev prep)

  • M20 Book of the Fallen (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • C20 Novel (Jackie Cassada) (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • M20 The Technocracy Reloaded (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • M20 Victorian Mage (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • CofD Dark Eras 2 (Chronicles of Darkness)
  • C20 Players’ Guide (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Wr20 Book of Oblivion (Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Aeon Aexpansion (Trinity Continuum: Aeon)
  • In Media Res (Trinity Continuum: Core)
  • Trinity Continuum: Aberrant core (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant)
  • Lunars: Fangs at the Gate (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Tales of Excellent Cats (Monarchies of Mau)
  • Dog and Cat Ready Made Characters (Monarchies of Mau)
  • Adventures for Curious Cats (Monarchies of Mau)

 

Redlines

  • Deviant: The Renegades (Deviant: The Renegades)
  • Spilled Blood (Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition)
  • Night Horrors: Shunned by the Moon (Werewolf: The Forsaken 2nd Edition)

 

Second Draft

  • WoD Ghost Hunters (World of Darkness)
  • Tales of Good Dogs – Pugmire Fiction Anthology (Pugmire)
  • CofD Contagion Chronicle (Chronicles of Darkness)
  • Dystopia Rising: Evolution (Dystopia Rising: Evolution)

 

Development

  • Signs of Sorcery (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)
  • Hunter: the Vigil 2e core (Hunter: the Vigil 2nd Edition)
  • Fetch Quest (Pugmire)
  • They Came From Beneath the Sea! Rulebook (TCFBtS!)
  • Guide to the Night (Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition)

 

WW Manuscript Approval:

 

Editing:

  • M20 Gods and Monsters (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Night Horrors: The Tormented (Promethean: The Created 2nd Edition)

 

Post-Editing Development:

  • Scion: Hero (Scion 2nd Edition)
  • Trinity Continuum Core Rulebook (The Trinity Continuum)
  • Trinity Continuum: Aeon Rulebook (The Trinity Continuum)
  • Ex Novel 2 (Aaron Rosenberg) (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Exalted 3rd Novel by Matt Forbeck (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • GtS Geist 2e core (Geist: the Sin-Eaters Second Edition)

 

Indexing:

 

 

ART DIRECTION FROM MIRTHFUL MIKE:

In Art Direction

  • Ex3 Monthly Stuff
  • Scion Hero Last art notes and contracts being sent.
  • Trinity Continuum Yep… workin on it.
  • Geist 2e
  • The Realm
  • M20 Gods and Monsters
  • Ex3 Dragon Blooded – Wave 2 art in progress
  • Monarchies of Mau– Artwork in progress.

 

Marketing Stuff

 

In Layout

  • Wraith 20 Screen I’ll pull this together while doing errata. I got the list from Dansky of what tables to pull… just want to make sure they are right.
  • Fetch Quest KS stuff all done for tomorrow.
  • EX3 Dragon Blooded firming up layout and backgrounds while waiting for new art.

 

Proofing

  • Scion Origin PDF almost ready for in-Onyx review.
  • Boggans – Waiting for WW approval.
  • Monarchies of Mau – Filling in XXs and prepping alpha PDF.
  • Changeling: the Lost 2
  • Wr20 Guide for Newly Departed – Art in Progress… book pretty much layed out.

 

At Press

  • Beckett Screen – At shipper.
  • Scarred Land PGs & Wise and the Wicked PF & 5e – Shipping from fulfillment shipper. PDF and PoD physical book versions on sale at DTRPG.
  • Prince’s Gambit – At fulfillment shipper, prepping for KS ship-out.
  • V20 Beckett’s Jyhad Diary– Set to arrive at fulfillment shipper this week.
  • Scion Dice – At fulfillment shipper.
  • Wraith 20 – Errata being input.
  • SL Champions of the Scarred Lands Anthology PoD – PoD on sale this week at DTRPG.
  • Cavaliers of Mars Backer PDF out to backers this week.

 


TODAY’S REASON TO CELEBRATE: Tomorrow is Mighty Matt McElroy’s birthday! We could not have built up Onyx Path all these years without Matt, so please celebrate with us that dark and stormy night he was born!


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Mortekai

130126-200x300.jpgA selection from Loathing in Malfeas by Jason Andrew, one of the stories from Songs of the Sun and Moon: Tales of the Changing Breeds, currently on sale via DriveThruFiction, Amazon Kindle, and B&N Nook.

We were lost somewhere in the Desert of Atrocity, nearly halfway to Malfeas, when the Wyrm-taint began to take hold. There was no shade for the wicked or weary, no hint of relief for those foolish enough to attempt to transverse this Umbra wasteland, where we measured every step in suffering and regret.

Somehow, I remained just conscious enough to keep my tiny rat claws burrowed into Ghunbari’s thick, black mane. I let her superior Crocas form ferry both of us across the wasteland, away from the pack of Banes that had taken a chunk out of both of our hides.

Ever see a spotted hyena the size of a grizzly bear and twice as mean? Imagine how ugly and nasty the Bane had to be in order to take a bite out of that. They swarmed over us, appearing as a plague of skeletal cats screeching with bile and hate. It didn’t take a genius to see why the bastards took the form of grizzled Simba prides. We survived the ambush due to equal parts of luck and Ghunbari’s gumption.

My thick blood has never been suited to arid climates. I was born to a world of air conditioning, venturing outside only to luxuriate in the shade near a swimming pool, sipping mai tais out of a half-coconut shell complete with a little frilly umbrella. Sharp-Sorrows sent me on this run because I was a specialist: a thief by trade and inclination.

Ghunbari was wild-eyed and full of grit, the type of hero born to suffer this spiritual land and earn the glory of the ages. The Simba prides damn near hunted most of her Tanzanian tribe to extinction after Black Tooth’s purge. Sad to say, the rest of us Fera didn’t dare say boo about it until an Ajaba whelp convinced us to unite and become the Ahadi.

Our pace slowed through the desert. Ghunbari’s leaps grew sluggish. Something about this realm cut both of us straight to the bone. The bite marks on her hind leg weren’t healing properly. If we didn’t stop and dress our wounds soon, Ghunbari would hit the proverbial runner’s wall, and then we’d die in the sun long before the Banes could catch us.

I climbed higher up her shoulders, trying to gain altitude to look ahead. I was hoping to find some sort of oasis in the desert: someplace we could catch a breather. On the horizon, maybe half a mile away, I spotted a creepy rock formation that looked a bit like a grinning skull. It was likely a trap designed to box us in on all sides, but it had shade and just enough shadow to maybe hide from our enemies for a spell.

I leaned close to Ghunbari’s ears. “Head for the skull!” Her eyes glowed red. She was caught in the fox frenzy, a rare thing for her. I cuffed her on the back of the head and tried again. “Ghunbari! Your wounds aren’t healing. I can smell the poison from here. If I don’t clean your wounds, you’ll die out here! And then I’ll be stuck alone.”

“We can’t stop here, Manny! This is Bane country!”

“This whole desert is Bane country! They’re born here. Trust me. Get us to that shade!”

The words must have sunk in somehow, because the massive hyena changed course, slowing as we reached the cliff. We crept into the shadow of the rocks, sniffing the air for danger.

I scouted ahead, pleasantly surprised to find a safe little nest out of the way, just big enough for the two of us to rest and plan our next move. I shifted back to Homid and gestured for Ghunbari to join me. Tight spaces didn’t bother me much. I’m a tiny guy for being Samoan, despite the slight gut.

Ghunbari sniffed the crevice and then shook her massive head. There’s no way she’d fit in her massive Crocas form. I shook my head insistently and pointed to her bleeding leg. “I need to clean your wounds. We don’t have time for nonsense.”

“What if they find us and attack us while we’re weak?”

I pointed to my long rodentesque nose, noticeable even in Homid form. “Rats can smell danger. You ever hear of a rat notescaping a sinking ship? We have a nose for shit that’ll get us killed.”

Just this once, logic and reason won the argument. Ghunbari shifted into her Homid form: a young, athletic woman with hopeful eyes, ready to fight anything for a tomorrow that would never come. Fur receded, replaced by clothing and tribal tattoos. She rubbed her hands over her shaved head to wipe away the sweat and winced from the pain. Her right leg had two jagged wounds from the encounter with the Banes. “I can’t feel it, but I know it’s bad, Manny.”

“That’s the point of the poison, to keep you running until you exhaust yourself, and then it paralyzes you. And then drive you crazier than a shithouse rat.” I offered her a friendly hand, helping her inside the makeshift warren. “Rest a bit and I’ll have you fixed up in no time.”

As soon as she accepted the gesture, I used the gift granted to me by the Rat Mother to cloak both of us in shadows. Few can see me if I’m trying to be sneaky, but Ghunbari’s nature prevented her from taking full advantage of the opportunity. It wouldn’t hide us from the big bads out in that desert, but it’d keep the riff raff knocking on someone else’s door for the duration.

I dug deep into the pockets of my khakis. Thanks to the blessing of the Rat Mother, it felt like rummaging through a cluttered trunk in the family attic. You never know what Ratkin might have on them at any time, especially if we’re prepared. You know what they say about pack rats and never throwing anything away, right?

It took but a moment to find the ?ask and cast a blessing on the water. It should’ve been good, but you never can tell, and purified water is almost better than a doctor when dealing with shifters. “Take a drink. Slowly. Too much too soon might shock the system.”

Ghunbari sullenly took the ?ask. “I know how to survive in the desert, Manny.”

“Kid, sometimes you have to say the obvious to avoid the pain of silence.” The wound was already blistering yellow puss and stunk of the Wyrm. If the poison got to her heart, she’d turn and never leave this desert. “I won’t lie. This is gonna hurt like hell. But you’re brave.”

The Maasai know more about bravery than I ever will. They live in Gaia’s heart, where the Wyld is strong and the weak fade away without even a whimper. Ghunbari merely nodded and steeled herself. “Do what you must. We have to capture the package before they manage to bring it to Malfeas.”

I took the ?ask back and sprinkled the water over the wound. It sizzled over the Wyrm-taint like acid. It must have hurt like the devil, but Ghunbari only grunted and sti?ed her cries. Pain is different here. It’s not just physical. Every sensation is tied to a memory of something that was lost forever.

I placed my fingers on opposite sides of the wound and pushed it together like I was trying to pop a particularly nasty zit. The venom had infected the wound, negating her body’s natural healing process. The trick was that if I didn’t take her mind off of the pain, she might just snap and rip me a new one. “Why did you accept this mission from Sharp-Sorrows? Why bother helping the Silver Fangs?”

“Kisasi showed all of the Ajaba the truth.” Every word she muttered was a willful defiance against screaming out. “Our purpose was to slay the weak so that the strong would thrive. In our pride, we failed to see that strength comes from unity of purpose. The Ahadi is the promise to return to what all of us once were. We need to ally with the wolves and everyone else against the Wyrm. The only way to do that is to show them that we are worthy allies in the war.”

I kept at my work, cleaning the wound and pushing out the venom. The blessing of Rat Mother helped some, but we were too close to Malfeas for helpful spirits to reach us. “And wolves have no place in the desert.”

Ghunbari scoffed. “The Silver Fangs fear this land as we do. Why did you agree to this task? You are not a warrior, Manny Sideways. I have fought the Assassins when our purposes were crossed. The Ratkin typically don’t agree to help outsiders to their nests.”

“I’m a thief. There ain’t much for me to do at home. Have to go out to fnd the jobs if I want my fair share of infamy. Besides, I’m Homid-born. My kin don’t take kindly to humans these days, even those of us born from them. I have to make my way where I can.”

“We can’t stay here long, Manny. If the caravan makes it to Malfeas, we’ll never capture the package.”

It’s hard for the young to fully comprehend the Umbra, even when they’ve stepped into it and can’t get the muck out from their toes. “This isn’t a place of distance measured in steps from point A to point B. Travel is measured in endurance. The caravan has to endure and suffer just like we do. The Wyrm doesn’t show kindness to its own. They’re out there same as we are, suffering the weight of the deeds done.”

“You think we can catch them?” Ghunbari asked.

She was a strong warrior, but still young enough to hope for a better world and to half-expect victory. I didn’t want to dampen her spirits. We needed that for the next part of the mission. “You’ve already carried us across the frst threshold. If we had been able to resist getting pulled into that fight, we’d be almost on them. As it is, they can’t be that far ahead of us.”

“You’re the expert. What’s next then?”

To find out, pick up a copy of Songs of the Sun and Moon: Tales of the Changing Breeds via DriveThruFiction, Amazon Kindle, and B&N Nook.

There are still some Deluxe Edition versions of Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition available Indie Press Revolution! Get one now while supplies last!


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When I first started hiring writers to work in the Realms of Pugmire, I knew I had to articulate the tone the game goes for. For years I got by with a sense of “I’ll know it when I see it,” but that wasn’t sustainable. Going forward, I had to spell out exactly how Pugmire uses concepts like grief, loss, and humor. So I wrote a lengthy essay/rant about the topic for my writer’s guide, and now I’m sharing it with all of you for the first time ever. Enjoy!


Let me start by spelling it out: Pugmire is ultimately about the power and danger of nostalgia. Everything (intentionally or unintentionally) points back to this concept, whether it’s the fact that dogs worship an idealized humanity or the intentional use of Dungeons & Dragons as a mechanical base. That’s the secret lurking at the heart of this world — Pugmire is built to evoke fondness for what has come before.

Taken a step further, nostalgia can be funny or it can be sad, and in an ideal world, Pugmire strives to be both. In the very first version of the game (ominously titled “The Fall of Pugmire”), the elegiac qualities were very strong, and melancholy has a strong connection with nostalgia. And the funny thing about nostalgia is that it works primarily because we don’t clearly remember all the details. Thus, a story evocative of nostalgia is not one that’s a slavish reproduction of what came before, but evocative of the high points, the parts that really resonated, the parts that mattered. That’s why the world of Pugmire isn’t exactly recognizable as our own, why the dogs aren’t exactly right about what humanity was, and why the game system isn’t exactly like old-school gaming. It’s the best bits of all of those things, blended together into one seamless whole.

But Pugmire is being experienced by people, and in particular people with at least a moderate knowledge or affinity for fantasy fiction and gaming tropes. As such, it takes on an additional meta-textual context. These people want to enjoy that nostalgic and elegiac feel because of a love of animals (including those pets that have passed on), a desire for a simple game experience (including mourning the days when they had the time to play more complex games), or an increasingly nebulous definition of “light-hearted fun.” It’s probably a combination of all of these. In my experience, “simple” is usually code for “I recognize these tropes” along with “I have very few barriers to understanding this.” Trying to understand “fun” would require a whole book (and, indeed, such books have been written), but for our purposes it generally tends to mean “I want to laugh a bit, ideally with friends and family.”

But I reject the notion that “simple” and “fun” are at odds with challenging narratives. In fact, because of the meta-textual context — these are people who know how fantasy tropes work, after all — we’re in a place where we can twist and subvert those tropes to make for engaging stories. We laugh at the cat that tries to act like a dog, or nobles that enforce a strong lineage to pass on humorous familial traits, or characters that are aggressively supportive of concepts like “be a good dog.” And yet, we’re left with the vague sense that maybe these things aren’t okay when applied to people. But if these dogs and cats and other uplifted animals are presented as authentic characters, as authentic people, then maybe it’s not okay when applied to them, either. This gives us leave to take problematic tropes like “evil races” “rescuing the princess” and change them in ways that still make sense in the world, and thus still feel authentic. This is why cats aren’t evil, and why Princess Yosha Pug goes out to adventure and can rescue herself, thank you very much. And yet, in them we still recognize different (and, frankly, more inclusive) concepts like “the people we don’t trust” and “nobility as morally superior leaders.”

This also applies to the humor. If the meta-narrative humor drowns out the story context, then the humor has failed. “Be a good dog” works because the humor supports and reinforces the concept — there are plenty of comic strips that play off the religious overtones of the phrase, and that’s exactly where we go as well. Having a Shiba Inu head of the Church of Man with the title of “Doge” drowns out anything that character might do that’s narratively interesting. A few characters are intentionally humorous and can get away with more (look to Alastair Afghan as an example), but all in all the humor should work with the world concept, not against it.

None of this needs to be done intentionally as you work on Pugmire. In fact, in my experience, it’s better if it’s not foremost in my mind when I write. But it does help when going back and deciding what makes for “authentic Pugmire” or not. Since this is an evolving property, my response to a lot of things will be some form of “I’ll know it when I see it,” but the above rant may help you to see it too, before it even gets to me.


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Front-Cover-210x300.jpgNow available in PDF and print from DriveThruRPG: Pan’s Guide for New Pioneers for Pugmire!

Pan’s Guide for New Pioneers

When a devastating flood hits Pugmire, all manner of bad dogs, opportunistic rats, and manipulative cats take advantage of the kingdom. Good dogs try to turn the tide, but searching the dangerous wilderness for a way to heal the land is no easy task. If only there existed brave dogs to lay down the way for other intrepid pioneers…

It is time for a new group of heroes to set out on a chaotic and risky adventure! Armed with a guide prepared by the daring dog Pan Dachshund, fabulous treasure and great recognition await them. All these pioneers need do is explore the wilds, discover the key to Pugmire’s salvation, and return in one piece!

Pan’s Guide for New Pioneers includes:

  • A full Pugmire adventure, aimed at people brand new to roleplaying games and experienced players alike!
  • Rules laid out and explained for every encounter and challenge in the adventure.
  • Snippets of Pan’s journal presented for enjoyable reading or integration into the game.
  • Ready-made characters so a game of Pugmire can commence as soon as you open this book.
  • Hyperlinks to video footage for those who prefer to follow along in different mediums.

Video footage, you’re saying? If you’d like a little prep to found out how Pan and our Pioneers got into this situation, as well as a follow-along guide to how Pugmire‘s rules work, we recommend playing along with Pan’s Story, a choose-your-own-adventure video series that serves as a prequel to Pan’s Guide.

 

Kickstarter

Did you miss one of our previous Kickstarters? The following Kickstarted products are still open for preorders via BackerKit:

Community Spotlight

The following community-created content for Scarred Lands has been added to the Slarecian Vault in the last week:

The following community-created content for Pugmire has been added to Canis Minor in the last week:

The following community-created content for Vampire has been added to the Storytellers Vault in the last week:


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A preview of Hunter 2e from Monica:

HunterTheVigil-Corebook-327px-229x300.pnHunter: The Vigil 2nd Edition has been in development for a while and there’s a few reasons for that. The game is designed to stand alone as its own corebook, and this approach is something I have to be conscious of with respect to rules and referenced material. It also, however, has a lot of callbacks to what the first edition of Hunter is all about: fighting monsters in your own backyard. To that end, once I finish tidying up the rules, I’ll be applying a lot of my own research to spruce up the Slasher Chronicle, make sure the compacts/conspiracies are well-covered, and then jam-pack the chapters with flavorful story seeds by replacing some generic terms like “monster” with actual threats so the game is fun to read and to play. I’m also working on a new preview for you, and I think you’re really going to dig it.

Remember that the setting conceit for HTV 2E is: “There are more monsters than ever before.” To hunt them, you’ll need more tools — and it’s my job as developer to provide them for you. While it’s true that hunters fight monsters, they also spend a lot of time investigating, identifying, and tracking them, too. To that end, my team and I thought about the “where” in monster hunting. This preview is a sneak peek from our Mysterious Places chapter. This sample reflects my first pass at development, and may be spruced up further following my second pass and a round with our glorious (and talented) editors. It will be tied to the Storyteller chapter and the list of Tilts and Conditions in the Appendices. And, you’ll also be getting samples of each mysterious place in the chapter that offers you ready-to-play locations for your chronicle, too.

Classifying Places

Hunters track down monsters in rat-infested sewers, creepy attics, gnarled oak trees. Sometimes, they get a lead. A neighbor points to the oldest house on the block or the local rickety bridge just beyond the cemetery. Sometimes, however, hunters can’t catch a break. Maybe their nervous informant is missing. Maybe that slimy trail of footprints they were following disappeared. Or worse: they’ve discovered there’s more than one monster on the loose.

When hunters reach a dead end (or don’t know where to begin), the cell should be reminded that the hunt isn’t always about shooting or trapping monsters. It’s also about tracking monsters down to find out where they devour victims, lick their wounds, and sleep — in a monster’s own backyard.

Nests are homes and lairs a monster claims. They are usually secluded, defensible places — a dank cave, an abandoned factory, a crashed train — where a monster feels safe. No matter how you look at it, Nests are very, very dangerous and hunters should be wary of rushing in to fight a monster on their own turf.

Places that are Tainted are just…wrong. Whether they’re twisted, cursed, or corrupted, simply being present in a Tainted place is a health hazard. Sometimes, a hunter might experience strange, supernatural-like effects. A trapped hunter is convinced the exit is right in front of them — only they’ve been locked up in a room with no doors or windows for several hours. A victim believes the hunter is the true monster, and rushes to attack them instead of the beast lurking in the corner. If Nests are dangerous, Tainted places can be downright terrifying because an invisible, accursed force permeates each one. Entering a Tainted place is always risky; being trapped in one can invite additional trouble on top of dealing with the monster that haunts it.

Perhaps the strangest areas of all are Sentient. Unlike Nests or Tainted places, areas that are Sentient can be classified as monsters themselves. In game terms, a monster is an antagonist that possesses Dread Powers — and Sentient places definitely do. A Sentient place can think and reason, feel and hate, plan and attack. Some can communicate, move or alter their dimensions, ooze blood, or even ignite fires. Though they are supernatural, not every Sentient place specifically targets mortals. A Sentient house, for example, could trap monsters and hunters alike. Unfortunately, since a Sentient place can simply seem like it’s Tainted, many hunters do not know what — or who — they are dealing with until they’re trapped inside.

For these reasons and more, whether a hunter is investigating a Nest, Tainted place, or an area that’s Sentient, they should learn their surroundings are just as crucial to a successful hunt as dealing with a threat.

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For the Stortyeller: What’s in a Term?

The terms in this chapter are defined for the Storyteller’s use. Hunters will use their own definitions to describe what they “think” they know, either through the lens of their experience or by relying upon a common lexicon used by their cell, Compact, or Conspiracy. If a player gets a term “wrong” during the course of the chronicle, that usage has no bearing on whether or not their instincts are correct. As such, the Storyteller is encouraged to give players the reins to investigate locations without getting caught up in terminology. Don’t be afraid to use a cell’s lack of knowledge to facilitate the needs of the story, either, by leveraging misdirection and the occasional red herring.

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Nests

Even monsters need familiar places they can call “home”. A pack of dog-sized creatures covered with rusting metal plates hides between piles of crushed cars in a junkyard. The old woman’s house, abandoned since she died, is a Nest for a group of things that only look like the cats she used to care for. Some Nests might even be called a “haunt” or a “resting place” by the ghosts who lurk there Whatever you call it, whatever form it takes, a Nest is the lair or refugee of a monster.

Nests are suited to the creatures living in them and hostile to any hunters who dare to enter. Investigating a Nest can be as dangerous as tracking down a feral animal, because the monster’s home is their turf and they chose it for a reason. Hunter approaching a Nest should proceed with the utmost caution and come prepared.

Using Nests

Nests exist to facilitate a confrontation with a monster. Storytellers might use a Nest to narrate the satisfying climax of a chronicle or highlight how a cell is in over their heads and needs to regroup. In either case, dealing with a monster on its home turf should reflect a dramatic scene filled with heightened tension.

Depending upon how the Nest is physically structured, it can also be used for chilling investigation scenes. A labyrinthine network of caves or sewers is a great backdrop for a slow and steady pursuit of a monster’s trail. In this case, the Nest itself can be a source of clues to not only track down the monster, but identify it. Sprawling Nests are also, however, a terrible gamble: what do hunters stand to gain by investigating a Nest? What happens if and when the monster returns unexpectedly?

The kind of lair a monster chooses should reflect its personality and nature. A Nest might reveal a monster’s weakness; if it’s light-sensitive, the area might be pitch black. If it can be weaked by fire, it might choose a swamp as its home. Savvy hunters will also notice Nests can provide hints about a monster’s capabilities. A cell might assume a monster acts solely on instinct, but then discovers a collection of stolen photographs hung carefully inside its cellar. Some monsters might even lead hunters to a false or fake Nest to protect their true home which, in turn, delays a cell’s ability to rescue victims.

No matter how a Nest is introduced, a monster’s lair is more than just a place; it’s a characterization of an antagonist the hunters are forced to deal with.

Neutralizing a Nest

The easiest way to neutralize a Nest is to ensure the monster never returns to it. Some hunters might bulldoze a dilapidated mansion to the ground or call in a favor from the chief of police. Others might pursue a monster back to its Nest, trap it inside, and then start a fire. Keep in mind that, unlike other types of mysterious places, Nests are not usually supernatural in nature. Once the monster is destroyed or dealt with, technically the Nest is no longer a hunter’s problem. Sometimes, however, driving a monster out of its lair can cause unforeseen complications. A monster survived the attack and targets the cell’s homes. A collapsed cave forces monsters to the surface where they attack joggers more frequently. Or, perhaps, the hunters missed the obvious: more than one monster called that Nest “home”, and now they are pouring out of a burning skyscraper, howling for blood.

Neutralized, damaged, or destroyed Nests may still be unsafe after the monster has left. A cave on the verge of collapse or a dump site full of toxic chemicals are both extremely hazardous. And, if an emptied Nest is in great condition, it could attract other, new monsters to move right in. Hunters might solve the problem by using fire, explosives, or demolition equipment, but that kind of outright destruction has its own set of complications. Abandoned places are usually owned by someone who can be bribed, cajoled, or convinced to look the other way. These details might seem tedious, but dealing with “real world consequences” are part of what keeps a hunter grounded.

Systems

A Nest’s physical structure and layout aren’t always apparent at first glance. Exploring an unknown, mysterious place can be difficult because monsters use their surroundings to their advantage. Tilts and Conditions, defined on page XX, offer Storytellers tools to customize their scenes by tying the Nest to the players.

Most of the time, a Nest possesses Environmental Tilts to reflect its hazardous or dangerous attributes. Say the hunters have tracked a living doll back to the 13th floor of a condemned apartment building; the floor’s narrow hallways are cluttered with ripped sofas, rusted bedframes, and broken chairs. In this Nest, the doll can move freely and intuitively to stab victims between holes in the furniture. The hunters, unfortunately, caught in the doll’s trap have trouble maneuvering. In this example, a Storyteller might choose the Detritus and Tight Tilts to reflect the terrain.

Conditions are also a great tool for Storytellers to leverage provided they fit the scene. Picture a looming figure in a gas mask that takes up residence in a chemical factory. In this Nest, the Storyteller decides fumes inflict the Nauseated Condition on anyone who breathes the factory’s toxic air. Then, after intruders have been weakened (e.g. suffering from the Nauseated Condition), the monster lunges to attack.

Creating a Nest

Creating a Nest is a two-step process that can either occur before a chronicle begins or between sessions.

Step One: Develop a Concept

Who lives here? When creating a Nest, Storytellers should have a clear idea which monster will be occupying it. The Nest should either suit that monster in some way, or be intentionally devised to thwart the hunters and force them to rethink what they know. In many ways, the Nest is representative of the monster in your chronicle. Think about the tone and mood you’re trying to exude in your chronicle and, when appropriate, how the Nest offers hunters clues about their prey. Example: A man-eating crocodile slithers in a subway station that has been closed for maintenance. It has punctured sewage pipes with its sharp claws; the murky water covers the tunnel walls, masking the scent of blood, making clean-up crews nauseous.

What are the Nest’s physical traits? After deciding where the Nest will be, focus on the “what”. Flesh out details that offer hunters clues and warnings. Example: A shambling figure hides in a city park, where the thick trees and overgrown brush hides its every step. Broken twigs and branches reveal signs that something is hiding in the park, but it isn’t until a group of hunters discovers a set of muddy human-sized paw prints they realize they’ve got their hands full.

What is the site’s history? Nests represent physical locations in the real world and, as such, many of them possess a history. Details hunters uncover in the present can shed light into the past. Developing the Nest’s backstory is another way for hunters to investigate an area and lead them to a more successful confrontation with the monster. Example: A ghost haunts a convenience store. The land that store was built on, however, used to belong to a murdered family the ghost was sworn to protect in life.

Step Two: Assign Tilts and/or Conditions

Storytellers may, at their discretion, assign Tilts and Conditions to the Nest. It is strongly recommended that these rules are attached to the Nest before gameplay, and not during a tense scene. The Storyteller should consider:

Physical Attributes: What are the Nest’s physical, identifiable features? What effects might those have on hunters?

Circumstances Used: When using Tilts or Conditions, sketch a scene where they might be used. Is the entire Nest full of slime and rotting garbage? Or, have they hunters discovered a bloody pit filled with the bones of a monster’s victims?

Example: Megan is creating a Nest for a horror in her game, a slimy, amphibious humanoid creature. Its Nest is located in the water-logged tunnels of a storm sewer. She decides to give the Nest the Tight and Viscous Tilts, to represent the narrow passages and the thick, slippery muck filling most of the tunnels. She briefly considers also using the Filthy Tilt, but decides that keeping track of the potential for open wounds will slow down the scene too much when combined with the other Tilts.

There is no set number of Tilts or Conditions that should be applied to a Nest. Less, however, is usually more. To avoid overwhelming players, select one or two Conditions or Tilts to add some narrative heft to a scene. Often, a Nest’s terrain is best reflected by Tilts. The determination and usage of the rules in a session, however, are at the discretion of the Storyteller.


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Actually, it’s Pan’s Guide FOR New Pioneers, it’s a starter guide for Pugmire, and it is going on sale on DTRPG this Wednesday.

I’m highlighting this not just because it goes on sale to the public this week, after all that’s what we have the Blurbs! section for below, but because there’s a very specific thought process that got us here.

We knew Pugmire was a fun new take on fantasy gaming, with a great chance to appeal to dog-lovers. It took Pugmire‘s Kickstarter campaign to demonstrate that there was an interesting demographic drawn to the game – folks who had never or only minimally played TTRPGs before.

We heard so many anecdotes, and still do, about how Pugmire is the first game that non-gaming relatives were willing to try out, that spouses who didn’t gather round the table on game night expressed interest in trying, and that folks wanted their kids to have as their first TTRPG experience.

So Eddy and I hit on a “quickstart” that was set more into the Pugmire setting; something that was set up as a guide with our friend from the setting and Kickstarter, Pan Dachshund, explaining in detail how this gaming thing works. At the same time, we wanted to provide enough game material so that a new or semi-experienced group would also have what they needed to play – a clear and well explained adventure.

Finally, because so many new gamers are coming into our venerable hobby via on-line feeds and videos, we wanted to include videos covering the help info from the book on our Onyx Path YouTube channel that could be linked to in the book. (The PDF should have actual working links, the print book, obviously, would require typing the link into a browser).

Naturally, Eddy reached out to our most experienced YouTuber, the Gentleman Gamer himself, Matthew Dawkins, and the two of them developed the project. This is before I hired Matthew on as one of our full-time in-house devs, but his work and assistance with this project certainly set the stage for our developing relationship.

(Heh, heh, Little pun there. Drive safely, enjoy the veal.)

What we got, once all the creative work was done, is actually so much more than we originally imagined. Like much of Pugmire, there is a lot beneath the surface. In this case, we started with all of the above as concepts we needed to include, and wound up creating an excellent adventure for experienced players as well. In fact, I have a quote from Matthew about Pan’s Guide right here:

I’m bloody proud of this book. With Pan’s Guide, we wanted to create the best kind of adventure sourcebook. We pursued several lofty aims: it had to be accessible to new players and enthralling for established ones; we wanted an accompanying video series; there had to be an even layout for each chapter of the scenario comprising two pages of adventure, one of accompanying rules, and one of fiction that can be used for hints and clues regarding that part of the adventure; and it needed beautiful, full-colour art. I believe we delivered on all our ambitions. I truly hope you all check it out, as I think the whole team pulled out the stops on this one.

I asked Eddy for a quote too, but he just howled and scratched his ear with his foot.

 

 

 

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Scion: Origin illustration by Pat McEvoy

 

 

 

Speaking of the two of them, I might as well bring Dixie Cochran (no e) into things here by reminding everyone that all three of them (Dixie, Eddy, and Matthew) appear in their 3rd episode of the Onyx Pathcast now live on PodBean and other podcast sources : https://onyxpathcast.podbean.com/

This episode they talk a lot about their early and formative gaming experiences, reveal tidbits about upcoming Onyx Path projects that they are overseeing and developing – in fact Matthew continues to just spill all the beans about the Contagion Chronicle – and share some thoughts about BackerKit and how it works with our Kickstarters.

I believe that they have a surprise message for listeners that they’ll be putting up later this week, but don’t quote me on that.

And as I mentioned last week, we’re going to be doing my interview with Dixie and Matthew for the Pathcast this week, so there’s still time to submit questions that you want them to ask me. Just pop them into the comments here, and thanks to all of you who did that last week.

Enough about those three!

 

 

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Boggans illustration by Brian LeBlanc

 

 

 

I’m very happy to share the news that our developer and marketing guru Monica Valentinelli has been picked to present at the Nebula Awards seminars this coming weekend from Thursday to Sunday. In addition to a few panels and SFWA volunteering, she’ll also be available to answer questions. Attendees should definitely check out the great program: https://nebulas.sfwa.org/

We’ll be starting a sale next Monday at our sales partner Indie Press Revolution (IPR) on our Chronicles of Darkness Prestige Editions from Kickstarter. Mummy: The Curse, Demon: The Descent, Beast: The Primordial, and the first Chronicles of Darkness Dark Eras will all be on sale at around 40%. Now’s the time to give them a try with these very beautiful traditionally printed versions while we still have a few on hand!

Finally, once you scroll down you might notice that this blog has been a tad bit pruned and neatened, and I’m just getting started. For a while now, I’ve felt like I needed to keep projects on sale and with our burgeoning list of venues and partners as part of the blog for a bunch of weeks in order to be sure that ya’ll had a chance to see them.

But, not only have we started to establish other ways for you to get that info, like with more blog posts on different days and the Onyx Pathcast, but as we have kept on growing, this blog has become unwieldy and just stuffed with too much info for folks to absorb.

So, like you can see below, I’ve made the first steps – but now it comes to a point where I’d love to hear from you as to what info bits you want to see here. As always, please post your suggestions and preferences in the comments. With your help, I hope to give you a focused look here each week into our:

Many Worlds, One Path!

 

 

BLURBS!

KICKSTARTER:

Fetch Quest, the adventure card game set in the Realms of Pugmire will be going live Tuesday, May 22 at 2pm Eastern US time! That’s 2pm, not noon like most of our other Kickstarters!

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ELECTRONIC GAMING:

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As we find ways to enable our community to more easily play our games, the Onyx Dice Rolling App is now live! Our dev team has been doing updates since we launched based on the excellent use-case comments by our community, and this thing is both rolling and rocking!

Here are the links for the Apple and Android versions:

http://theappstore.site/app/1296692067/onyx-dice

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.onyxpathpublishing.onyxdice&hl=en

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Three different screenshots, above.

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(The Solar Anima special Dice above)

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Hunter: The Reckoning and Mage: The Awakening dice on a Mage: The Awakening tabletop

 

 

 

ON AMAZON AND BARNES & NOBLE:

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You can now read our fiction from the comfort and convenience of your Kindle (from Amazon) and Nook (from Barnes & Noble).

Our latest offering is the Mage 20 Cookbook, now in a convenient Kindle ebook version! https://www.amazon.com/Mage-Cookbook-World-Darkness-Enlightened-ebook/dp/B07C71BRDC/

Nook version is coming soon!

If you enjoy these or any other of our books, please help us by writing reviews on the site of the sales venue you bought it from. Reviews really, really help us with getting folks interested in our amazing fiction!

Our selection includes these fiction books:

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  • Vampire: The Masquerade: The Endless Ages Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse: Rites of Renown: When Will You Rage II (Kindle, Nook)
  • Mage: The Ascension: Truth Beyond Paradox (Kindle, Nook)
  • Chronicles of Darkness: The God-Machine Chronicle Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Mummy: The Curse: Curse of the Blue Nile (Kindle, Nook)
  • Beast: The Primordial: The Primordial Feast Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Vampire: The Masquerade: Of Predators and Prey: The Hunters Hunted II Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse: The Poison Tree (Kindle, Nook)
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse: Songs of the Sun and Moon: Tales of the Changing Breeds (Kindle, Nook)
  • Vampire: The Requiem: The Strix Chronicle Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Werewolf: The Forsaken: The Idigam Chronicle Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Mage: The Awakening: The Fallen World Chronicle Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Vampire: The Masquerade: The Beast Within Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse: W20 Cookbook (Kindle, Nook)
  • Exalted: Tales from the Age of Sorrows (Kindle, Nook)
  • Chronicles of Darkness: Tales of the Dark Eras (Kindle, Nook)
  • Promethean: The Created: The Firestorm Chronicle Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Demon: The Descent: Demon: Interface (Kindle, Nook)
  • Scarred Lands: Death in the Walled Warren (KindleNook)
  • V20 Dark Ages: Cainite Conspiracies (Kindle, Nook)
  • Chronicles of Darkness: Strangeness in the Proportion (KindleNook)
  • Vampire: The Requiem: Silent Knife (Kindle, Nook)
  • Mummy: The Curse: Dawn of Heresies (KindleNook)

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And here are the Champions of the Scarred Lands fiction anthology and the Huntsmen Chronicles anthology for Changeling: The Lost 2nd Edition!

 

 

OUR SALES PARTNERS:

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We’re working with Studio2 to get Pugmire out into stores, as well as to individuals through their online store. You can pick up the traditionally printed main book, the Screen, and the official Pugmire dice through our friends there!

https://studio2publishing.com/search?q=pugmire

 

 

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Looking for our Deluxe or Prestige Edition books? Try this link! http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Onyx-Path-Publishing/

Here’s the link to the press release we put out about how Onyx Path is now selling through Indie Press Revolution: http://theonyxpath.com/press-release-onyx-path-limited-editions-now-available-through-indie-press-revolution/

You can now order wave 2 of our Deluxe and Prestige print overrun books, including Deluxe Mage 20th Anniversary, and Deluxe V20 Dark Ages! And Screens…so many Screens!

And you can now order Pugmire: the book, the screen, and the dice! http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/manufacturers.php?manufacturerid=296

Here are the direct links for the Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras Prestige Edition: http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Chronicles-of-Darkness-Dark-Eras-Prestige-Edition.html

Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras Storytellers’ Screen: http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Chronicles-of-Darkness-Dark-Eras-Storytellers-Screen.html

Deluxe Exalted 3rd Edition: http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Exalted-3rd-Edition-Deluxe-Edition.html

Ultra-Deluxe (Orichalcum) Exalted 3rd Edition: http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Exalted-3rd-Edition-Ultra-Deluxe.html

Exalted 3rd Edition Storytellers’ Screen: http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Exalted-3rd-Edition-Storytellers-Screen.html

EX3 Chibi Bookmarks: http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Exalted-3rd-Edition-Chibi-Bookmarks.html

Deluxe W20 Shattered Dreams: http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/W20-Shattered-Dreams-Deluxe-Edition.html

W20 Shattered Dreams Storytellers’ Screen: http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/W20-Shattered-Dreams-Storytellers-Screen.html

Plus price adjustments on M20, Book of the Wyrm, Anarchs Unbound and a
few other projects!

 

 

DRIVETHRURPG.COM:

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Pan’s Guide to New Pioneers has found its way through the wilderness to arrive in PDF and physical book PoD versions on DTRPG this Weds!

(see notes above)

 

 

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Book of Freeholds for Changeling 20th Anniversary Edition has arrived in PDF and physical book PoD versions at DTRPG.com! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/239407/C20-Book-of-Freeholds

They are the center of Kithain culture, the havens and shelters required when times get grim. They are dreams made manifest, and hopes kept burning. From the Mythic Ages to the present day, freeholds have been the linchpin around which the changeling world turns. Learn the history of freeholds as they wind throughout Kithain history. Discover the lost Treasures that bind the fae and their homes together, soul-to-balefire. Study the dangers, the threats, understand the duties and responsibilities, and then gather your motley to claim your birthright.

The Book of Freeholds contains:

• Two new freehold Archetypes

• Four new Glade Archetypes

• Full rules for the creation of freeholds and Glades

• 11 fully developed freeholds and Glades

• New chimera, Treasures and Oaths, and more

 

 

 

 

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To celebrate the opening of the Slarecian Vault for Scarred Lands, we’ve put four Scarred Lands posters on sale via DTRPG.com. These 12? x 18? posters feature both classic SL covers with Hollowfaust and the Blood Sea, and new images from the new book, like the SL PG cover wrack-dragon, and a hearty band of adventures well met and ready to divvy up their magical treasure.

 

 

 

CONVENTIONS!

Matthew Dawkins, Steffie de Vaan, and Mighty Matt McElroy will be at the UK Games Expo in a very few weeks in early June running games and talking shop with fans and retailers.

Prep is also underway for Gen Con 2018 in August, which takes place in Indianapolis, IN. In addition to our booth presence, be sure to check out the games and panels in the Gen Con Event Schedule.

From Fast Eddy Webb, we have these:

Eddy will be speaking at Broadleaf Writers Conference (September 22-23) in Decatur, GA. He’ll be there to talk about writing for interactive fiction, and hanging out with other writers who have far more illustrious careers. http://broadleafwriters.com/3rd-annual-broadleaf-writers-conference/3rd-annual-broadleaf-writers-conference-speakers/
Eddy will also be a featured guest at Save Against Fear (October 12-14) in Harrisburg, PA. He’ll be running some Pugmire games, be available for autographs, and will sometimes accept free drinks. http://www.thebodhanagroup.org/about-the-convention

If you are going and want to meet up, let us know!

 

 


And now, the new project status updates!

DEVELOPMENT STATUS FROM FAST EDDY WEBB (projects in bold have changed status since last week):

First Draft (The first phase of a project that is about the work being done by writers, not dev prep)

  • M20 Book of the Fallen (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • C20 Novel (Jackie Cassada) (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • M20 The Technocracy Reloaded (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • M20 Victorian Mage (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Spilled Blood (Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition)
  • CofD Dark Eras 2 (Chronicles of Darkness)
  • Night Horrors: Shunned by the Moon (Werewolf: The Forsaken 2nd Edition)
  • C20 Players’ Guide (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Wr20 Book of Oblivion (Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Aeon Aexpansion (Trinity Continuum: Aeon)
  • In Media Res (Trinity Continuum: Core)
  • Trinity Continuum: Aberrant core (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant)
  • Lunars: Fangs at the Gate (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Tales of Excellent Cats (Monarchies of Mau)
  • Dog and Cat Ready Made Characters (Monarchies of Mau)

 

Redlines

  • Deviant: The Renegades (Deviant: The Renegades)

 

Second Draft

  • WoD Ghost Hunters (World of Darkness)
  • Tales of Good Dogs – Pugmire Fiction Anthology (Pugmire)
  • Guide to the Night (Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition)
  • CofD Contagion Chronicle (Chronicles of Darkness)
  • Dystopia Rising: Evolution (Dystopia Rising: Evolution)

 

Development

  • Signs of Sorcery (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)
  • Hunter: the Vigil 2e core (Hunter: the Vigil 2nd Edition)
  • Fetch Quest (Pugmire)
  • They Came From Beneath the Sea! Rulebook (TCFBtS!)

 

WW Manuscript Approval:

 

Editing:

  • M20 Gods and Monsters (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Night Horrors: The Tormented (Promethean: The Created 2nd Edition)

 

Post-Editing Development:

  • Scion: Hero (Scion 2nd Edition)
  • Trinity Continuum Core Rulebook (The Trinity Continuum)
  • Trinity Continuum: Aeon Rulebook (The Trinity Continuum)
  • Ex Novel 2 (Aaron Rosenberg) (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Exalted 3rd Novel by Matt Forbeck (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • GtS Geist 2e core (Geist: the Sin-Eaters Second Edition)

 

Indexing:

 

 

ART DIRECTION FROM MIRTHFUL MIKE:

In Art Direction

  • Ex3 Monthly Stuff
  • Scion Hero Art notes and contracts being sent.
  • Trinity Continuum Got notes and text for both Aeon and the Core. Also… workin on it.
  • Wr20 Guide for Newly Departed – Everything with Gaydos.
  • Geist 2e We have a nice window to get KS art – fulls and splats assigned.
  • The Realm
  • M20 Gods and Monsters
  • Ex3 Dragon Blooded – Wave 2 art in progress
  • Monarchies of Mau– First finish coming in.

 

Marketing Stuff

 

In Layout

  • Wraith 20 Screen I’ll pull this together while doing errata. I got the list from Dansky of what tables to pull… just want to make sure they are right.
  • Fetch Quest KS stuff ready, ad banners to do.
  • EX3 Dragon Blooded firming up layout and backgrounds while waiting for new art.
  • Changeling: the Lost 2 With Josh.

 

Proofing

  • Cavaliers of Mars If everything panned out over the weekend, we are in final proof.
  • Scion Origin Sheet stuff with Mr. Gone. Adding in cover text for cover.
  • Boggans – Waiting for WW approval.
  • Monarchies of Mau – Second proof with Eddy for page XX’s.

 

At Press

  • Beckett Screen – At shipper.
  • Scarred Land PGs & Wise and the Wicked PF & 5e – At fulfillment shipper. PDF and PoD physical book versions on sale at DTRPG.
  • Prince’s Gambit – Being sent to the US, expected at fulfillment shipper this this week.
  • V20 Beckett’s Jyhad Diary– Deluxe edition finishing printing now.
  • Scion Dice – At fulfillment shipper.
  • Wraith 20 – Errata being input.
  • SL Champions of the Scarred Lands Anthology PoD – PoD proof coming.
  • Pugmire – Pan’s Explorer’s Guide (or whatever) On sale this Wednesday in PDF and PoD versions!

 


TODAY’S REASON TO CELEBRATE: Mark Zuckerberg’s birthday is today. Yay, Facebook?


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Mortekai

In which our three hosts talk about their personal gaming histories, what games we’ve played and been inspired by, and what we’re working on now. Now with a curated list of references!


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Mortekai

This week we present Leath Sheales’ Unity, the opening fiction to Trinity Continuum: Æon, currently available for preorder via BackerKit.

Trinity-Aeon-Mockup-300x225.jpg The room beyond the open door was minimalist, but spoke volumes about Nippon. The desk to the left appeared to be molded from a single piece of unknown material. Its writing surface washed gently with images of waves against the shores of the Home Islands. To the right was a couch and two single lounges, all arranged around a low coffee table that appeared to be a younger sibling of the desk. Both the desk and the lounge setting were arranged facing each other, with the entrance on one side and window on the other. The man who inhabited the office could easily turn his head to see the UN building’s inspiring view of Olympus and upwards to the sky where Earth glittered like a multi-hued jewel. He could stare straight ahead, ordering the wall to transform into a single massive vidscreen to show whatever he wanted. Or he could see who was entering his sanctum. As he was doing now.

Amina, rather than entering, was staring at his personal assistant who was standing beside the doorway, gesturing her through. She studied the assistant’s face carefully, leaning in close for detail. The assistant stared back at Amina with a pleasantly neutral expression. She took no offence at the scrutiny; part of her purpose was to invite it. The man in the office also took no offence, but did shift slightly with impatience. Amina saw this from the corner of her eye and took the hint. She walked through the doorway, moving to the lounges; the man gestured for her to do so and stood from his desk to join her.

“Nakamura-san, my name is Amina Buhari,” she introduced herself as they both sat. Her voice was smooth, her expression and body language indicating appreciation but not subservience. This was a meeting of equals, and Nakamura was slightly taken aback, though he quickly covered his surprise. “May I compliment you on the quality of your servant,” she said, steering the conversation into compliments and pleasantries, aiming to settle Nakamura but also keep him off balance at the shifting conversation. “I’ve rarely seen a robot so lifelike, especially the skin texture. The artificial pores and fine hairs are incredible.”

“Thank you, Ms Buhari,” Nakamura replied, unsure exactly what was the purpose of their meeting. He stopped after this short sentence, letting the quiet of the office envelope them, aiming to take control of the conversation by forcing her to fill the silence. Amina smiled, undeterred, as she prepared to completely unbalance him. “I’m from Æon, and I’m here to help.”

• • •

Yamashita Sachi threw herself around the corridor’s corner so quickly that she tracked wide and bounced off the opposite wall. The collision twisted her balance, forcing her to make several quick shuffling steps to keep from falling over. Her shoulder ached from the impact. Sachi grinned at the thudding pain down her arm and the increasing burning from her lungs. Pain meant life. She was still alive, despite the seemingly endless run of bad luck she’d experienced on this job.

Catching her balance had slowed her momentum. She didn’t have time to rest — the clock ticked onwards despite her success or failure — so she turned the scrabbling steps into purposeful bounds, driving her legs like pistons against the cold metal floor, forcing herself onwards.

Sachi had a small but powerful build. The combination of dense muscle and short limbs gave her natural leverage that she used mercilessly whenever opponents underestimated her. It also meant that she had to push twice as hard to outpace larger, leaner opponents.

Though she was physically fit — beyond fit — she panted as she ran. Her fitness came from growing up in the officially unpopulated sections of the Nippon arcology. She did what was needed to survive and avoided the authorities when they deigned to acknowledge these areas of the city existed at all. Her natural aptitude was greatly magnified after she escaped Nippon and was found by the Vitakinetic Order. The Prometheus Chamber transformed gifted human into perfection.

The shoulder ache persisted, which told her she’d incurred a heavier injury than simple bruising. It would have been a moment’s effort to know exactly how she was damaged, and probably not much more to repair it, but she didn’t want to waste the time. Even before her training she would never bow to pain, refused to let it be her master.

She found the location she was searching for deep within the abandoned sections of Nippon. With her senses pushed beyond normal human limits, her keen eyes picked up traces of booted feet on the floor. She smelled faint traces of antiseptic chemicals and human sweat. The corridor ended in a hatchway guarded by a crablike, many-armed drone.

Sachi increased her speed and tackled the robot, using her momentum to tumble both and forcing a moment of confusion too difficult for the machine’s mind to calculate. Her right arm kept her body tight to the robot while her left grabbed a retractable cable protruding from the pocket on her thigh. She worked to shove the plug into the bot’s hardware I/O port before it worked out enough to send a wireless distress call. She’d been trained in physical guerrilla hacking by some of the best Nipponese outcasts food could bribe, and had practiced the art more times than anyone should. The crab kicked out, trying to regain control, knocking her hand out of the way, but she twisted and brought it down again, altering her grip and position to avoid being crushed under its chassis. She snagged the plug into the socket on the third try and slapped at the minicomputer in her pocket. The scramble code was uploaded in microseconds and the maintenance drone twitched and scrabbled in pathetic machine distress as its brain dumped into an endless loop executing meaningless commands.

Sachi lay on the ground for a moment longer, allowing herself to breathe and smile at her success. Celebration was short-lived; time was wasting and she heard the staccato march of reinforcements. Either the drone had managed a distress call or she hadn’t lost her earlier pursuers as she’d thought. She rolled into a seating position and grabbed a miniature pry-bar from another pocket. The bar made short work of the door’s access panel and she had the minicomp’s cable into the port before the panel clattered to the floor.

• • •

Amina waited patiently while the robotic assistant served tea. Nakamura wore an expression of forced calm, though flashes of extreme worry and anger crept through. Though she didn’t make a show of it, Amina watched every micro-expression carefully. She was developing an understanding of the man, even in the silence.

Finally, the servant finished pouring and left, closing the door behind her. Nakamura couldn’t completely mask the slight tremble as he took a sip from his cup.

“As I said, Ms Buhari, I have no need of your assistance,” he said. She heard the lie, and even the hint of desperation in his voice. He wanted her help, but he needed to be persuaded.

“Let us speak frankly, Mr Nakamura,” she said, her voice confident and reassuring, “We know that your daughter, Yuna, was kidnapped while vacationing in Makaro-Shima. We know that the kidnappers told you not to contact anyone, and we know they forced you to use your position to pass hardtech designs to them.” She paused and sipped at her tea.

Nakamura appeared dumbstruck, all stoicism and pretense of ignorance gone. “But,” he said, “How?”

Amina shook her head slightly. “The how isn’t important, Mr Nakamura. What is important is that we also know that the kidnappers haven’t honored their end of the deal, and have demanded more.” Tears welled up in the man’s eyes and he lowered his head, avoiding her gaze. Amina’s expression showed sympathy and understanding. “I believe they’ve sent one of her hands as proof of their seriousness, yes?” She pushed at his emotional triggers. “That can be reattached, of course,” she said. Nakamura looked up into her eyes, elements of anger mixed with his grief. “I understand your nation distrusts psions,” she continued, “But Nipponese medicine is quite advanced. I assume your doctors have preserved it? If not, you also have other options that are remarkably life like.” Amina kept watching Nakamura; his eyes strayed to the door where the robotic servant had retreated. “As I said, Æon wants to help. We will find your daughter, and return her to safety.”

A tiny signal of hope penetrated the cocktail of confusing emotions Nakamura struggled to keep under control. “What do you need from me?” he asked. Amina smiled and nodded her head encouragingly. Everything about her said that they were partners in this, and that she and Nakamura had bridged the distrust for the greater good.

“First, tell me everything you can about the people who took Yuna.”

• • •

Jack cast a critical eye over the room. This work was normally Sarah’s job, but she had tasks elsewhere. Obtaining the information they needed had fallen to Jack, and he was doing what he did best — improvising.

He looked at the man hooded and bound to the old-fashioned chair in the center of the basement room, and to the semi-circle of holodisplays a few feet beyond. Jack kept the room dimly lit for his own benefit. His captive wore a blindfold that looked like a pair of antique aviator goggles. The biotech kept a firm seal around the eyes, to keep moisture out while wicking away tears that could lead to condensation on the inner lens. Though originally made to help neutrals visualize the myriad energy wavelengths that suffused the world, they had another setting that Jack was using now. Complete blackout. Not even a stray photon could pierce the biotech/skin bond until Jack allowed it. When possible, Jack preferred to work in darkness. Bright lights just added a jumble of chaotic wavelengths that he had to filter out and ignore.

Jack moved around the room, adjusting the position and angles of several screens once more. He went back to the man, pivoting left and right to check that the screens were precisely where he wanted them. Finally, Jack nodded his head, satisfied.

With the tiniest flicker of concentration, Jack tapped into the ever-present wireless signals and checked the time. He sighed. He needed the man to be awake for this. For a moment, Jack toyed with the idea of sparking tiny pulses into his amygdala to increase the chance of provoking weird, terrifying dreamscapes. He decided against it. He wasn’t a torturer, although the man didn’t need to know that.

The man jerked awake, moving his head in blind confusion and unconsciously testing his bonds before he even realized he was restrained. He tried to yell his distress but only muffled grunts made it past the gag across his mouth. More biotech. Almost complete silence, and it monitored the captive’s vitals to ensure they received enough oxygen.

“Hey, Mr Williams, good morning,” Jack said, though it was just past 8 in the evening. Jack wanted to increase the man’s confusion, the worry at what had happened in the lost hours would help cut his resistance. “Here’s what’s going to happen. I’m going to show you images, ask some questions, and you’re going to do your best to answer them.” More muffled attempts at speech. “No need to talk,” Jack continued.

He stood close to Williams and placed his hand on the man’s head. Williams tried to shake Jack’s hand away, but his bonds held tight. Jack pursed his lips and frowned in concentration. “That’s it,” he murmured, “Just relax and this won’t hurt a bit.” Crawling sparks played across Jack’s hand, jumping excitedly to Williams’ scalp. Williams’ hair stood from his head as it charged with static electricity.

Jack shifted his fingers and narrowed his eyes as he psionically pushed. He felt some resistance — unexpected, intriguing — and shoved. Williams grunted against the sudden alien feeling.

“Fighting makes it worse,” Jack murmured. He gestured to the surrounding screens with his free hand and several flared to life. Garbled, static-filled signals filled them. They may have been people or places, but were too broken to tell. Jack saved them anyway for later analysis.

Jack tapped the biotech lenses, commanded them to project images. “Now,” he said, “Recognize that place?” Williams saw a picture of his home, and several of the screens flared in recognition. Neural networks fired tiny electrical fireworks, racing across the brain. Jack’s fingers picked up the faint pulses. He couldn’t understand them — he wasn’t a telepath — but he could translate mental impulse into electronic signal through his psi. Jack noted the positive response and adjusted his fingers for a clearer signal. “How about this?” The image changed to Williams’ wife and children. Another positive, with more of the peripheral screens flashing with what Jack recognized as stress. “Good. Cooperate, and they’ll be fine. If not,” the images vanished from the lenses. More stress response.

“You and your associates like to kidnap people for money.” Jack fed images through the lenses, too fast for Williams’ conscious mind to register them all, but his subconscious surged with a mix of signals. He recognized some, but not all. “One of those people was a young woman from Makaro-Shima.” Another image and recognition response.

“I want to know where she is,” Jack said. The lenses rapid-flashed images of different cities. Jack watched for positive responses and honed in on suburbs and locales.

Williams struggled, trying to avoid giving away what he knew. The biotech lenses revealed Williams had closed his eyes. Jack curled his fingers and held Williams’ hair uncomfortably tight. He resisted the urge to hurt the man. Though Jack hated Williams for what he did, kidnapping was as close as Jack would come to emulating him.

“I’m not in the mood for games, Williams,” Jack hissed into his ear. With his free hand, he touched the lenses and surged a pulse through them. Williams’ eyelids spasmed open and stayed that way. Painless, and temporary, but terrifying to someone whose knowledge of psions came from sensationalized OpNet dramas. “You’ve lost your blinking privileges,” Jack whispered menacingly, “When your eyes dry out they’ll itch so much you’ll want to claw them from your sockets. Eventually, they’ll shrivel and die from lack of moisture. If you’re very, very good, I’ll let you have eye-drops when we’re done.”

Jack touched Williams’ stomach and another pulse triggered intestinal contractions; Williams barely managed to stop from soiling himself. “If you’re not good, you’re really not going to enjoy the rest of your short life.”

“Now, let’s continue with location.”

• • •

“What did they want, Mr Nakamura?” Amina asked, “What was so important that they kidnapped your daughter to force your compliance?”

Nakamura looked increasingly wretched. His façade of control had crumbled. He shook his head. “I don’t know,” he said. A lie, and one that Amina spotted easily.

“We often know more than we think,” she said, not directly calling him on his deception, but pushing him nonetheless. “When you accessed the files, you must have seen something. Some clue, however small, of what they took.”

“Maybe,” he said, “Maybe it involved medical research, a device that worked at the cellular level, some kind of genetic induction therapy?”

Amina nodded, “That’s good, Mr Nakamura, thank you.” She knew there was more information to be had, but she was patient. As upset as Nakamura was, he wasn’t a stupid man. He knew more than he was willing to say. Amina had time to work on him, to painstakingly draw the details out until she had the full picture.

• • •

Olivia stood at the computer terminal, mentally ticking through the instructions Sachi had provided, to access the command structures and take the corrupted files she’d provided. Olivia had a basic knowledge of hardtech operating systems but she lacked Sachi’s expertise. The display changed as Sachi had said it would and Olivia slotted the storage device into its socket. Though she faced the terminal, she wasn’t looking at it. Her head was cocked slightly to one side and her eyes were glazed with a faraway look. She straightened and backed away from the terminal.

A security guard opens the door, considering the control room. He thinks he heard something, and as far as he was aware, no one was scheduled to be working in here now. He can see most of the room from the doorway, and he can see one of the displays is active, running activity. He scans to the left of the room first, leaving his right side exposed.

Olivia pounced from the guard’s blind spot, grabbing his arm and dragging him into the room in a spinning motion designed to keep him off balance. As he stumbled she hooked her leg behind his and pushed his chest, sending him crashing to the floor. She quickly turned and shut the door to muffle any noise that could warn others.

The guard lands heavily, still unsure what was happening. Scrambling backwards, he grabs at the holstered pistol on his hip, drawing it and shooting at his unknown assailant’s back.

Olivia stepped to the right and ducked, as the laser’s beam burned a small, circular hole into the door. She dropped her left knee and rolled back in the opposite direction. The rapid changes were quicker than the still-shocked guard could track. He burned two more holes in the walls before Olivia was on top of him, striking quickly at his throat. He dropped the gun and gasped for air as she slid around behind him, locking him in a choke hold and pushing his head forward with her body to increase the pressure. He fell unconscious within moments.

Four minutes and 38 seconds after the scuffle, a routine patrol discovers an unconscious body on the floor of the control room. The guards quickly place the facility on alert and corner the intruder. She’s injured, but captured alive. Eventually she breaks under interrogation and reveals what she knows. By the time anyone comes looking, the illegal aspects of the operation have moved to a different location.

The terminal chimed in completion as the files finished installing themselves. Olivia grabbed the storage device and tucked it back into her pocket. She frowned and concentrated, sifting through the myriad potential futures, searching for the best outcome.

In four minutes and 38 seconds, a two-person patrol checks the control room. They miss the young woman who left the room minutes before, struggling to carry an unconscious guard in a fireman’s lift. They continue their patrol. Though they give the nearby washroom a cursory glance, they don’t think to check the cubicle farthest from the door where the woman holds the unconscious guard propped up on the toilet. They close the door and continue their circuit. The woman cuffs the guard with his own equipment and makes an impromptu gag from the torn sleeve of his shirt. When he is found an hour later, the woman has already escaped the building using the ceiling crawl space. The changes to the computer system aren’t discovered until it is far too late.

Olivia sighed and grabbed the guard’s arm, hoisting him up and lowering her shoulder to carry his heavy form. It was time to leave.

• • •

Amina took a minicomp from her bag and gestured to the wall. “May I?” she asked politely. Nakamura nodded and her Agent connected to the display. She sent several images across, some showing an illicit hardtech production facility, others showing a young woman missing her right hand being helped into an ambulance to be taken for medical treatment.

“I don’t understand,” Nakamura said, tears welling in his eyes.

Amina brought up other photographs. “We believe you do, Mr Nakamura. These show you meeting with the people who ‘stole’ your data. They were your business partners, were they not?” Nakamura shifted uncomfortably in his seat. He called for his assistant via cybernetic implant and was dismayed that she didn’t respond.

“The Nippon police picked up on your scheme and started hunting for you, didn’t they, Mr Nakamua?” Amina continued. “You got cold feet, but your partners weren’t willing to let you back out of the deal. They took Yuna, but it wasn’t enough. How many body parts were you willing to let them take before you’d admit your fault and seek help?”

Amina stood as the door opened and UN police entered, arresting Nakamura for his part in the criminal conspiracy. His expression turned from shock to fury.

“You witch,” he spat, “You read my mind, implanted information.” He snarled, “Illegal search, nothing will stand up in court.”

“I’m not a psion, Mr Nakamura,” Amina said with a sigh, “Not even a hint of latency. I took the test three times, to be sure. I’m as baseline as you, but I have been told I have a trustworthy face.”

• • •

sci-fi-piece-300x194.jpg“Come on, come on,” Sachi muttered as the door resisted her hacking. The door had its own minor Satisfactory Intelligence that didn’t want outsiders getting in — or insiders escaping. The  SI’s firewall and countermeasures pushed back hard. Sachi pumped everything she had at the command systems, peeling back layers of control code, smashing the sides of peripheral awareness subroutines, searching for some way in.

Frustrated, she grabbed her pry-bar again and wedged it into the side of the door. She pushed hard, leveraging her entire body against it. She knew whatever additional security Nippon was going to throw at her would arrive soon. Metal screeched in protest and the door budged a fraction.

Sachi released the tension, took a breath, and flooded psi throughout her body. Bone density and muscle mass grew in seconds. Her skin rippled and bulged with the sudden increase. The fabric of her smart clothing resisted for a moment before relaxing fibers to meet new requirements.

She grabbed the pry bar and pushed again, this time her efforts reinforced by the sub quantum universe. The door moved further, opening a small gap between hatch and frame. The pry bar snapped. Sachi dropped the useless metal and drove both her hands into the gap, grinding her teeth together and pushing herself beyond her known limits.

The first droid rounded the corner. It was an old police interface model and looked mostly human, except for the perfect neutrality of its facial expression and the cold, dead eyes that saw Sachi. The lighter unit was slightly faster than bulkier models, and it blocked the path of the two clearance-and-destruction units that tried to round the corner behind it. Its original programming could barely have taken this situation into account, and the modifications made by the criminals who acquired it had slowed its processes. It sought additional instructions and that bought Sachi a few valuable seconds.

The door finally gave, snapping open and surprising Sachi. Her additional force threw it open so hard that it slammed back against the wall, denting it and twisting its hinges.

Sachi ducked inside and saw the combination hospital/laboratory/prison beyond. Dozens of malnourished, mistreated people lay strapped on wheeled beds. Some were barely conscious from whatever drugs the IV lines attached to the beds flooded into them. Others were barely alive, having been repeatedly subjected to hideous experiments. Two android nurses patrolled the room, ensuring none of the test subjects died before every scrap of data had been gleaned. Every victim wore a psi-inhibiting collar, keeping them from using their abilities except as their captors demanded.

Rather than immediately rushing to help the victims, Sachi scanned the room carefully, trying to ignore the noise of the security robots as they reached the twisted doorway with lethal intent.

I’m here, do you have what you need? She shouted silently with her thoughts.

Incoming, Sarah’s reply echoed inside Sachi’s head.

With a sharp buzz, a glowing circle flared to life to her left, and through it another room became visible. Five people hurried through it. Sachi felt Sarah’s mental link take hold and her brain processed the room from multiple angles, mingling her sensory input with the rest of her team.

As soon as the team arrived, Sachi ignored everything else and rushed to the teleporter. Rahmat knew what she wanted through the psionic link and held his hands outstretched to take hers. Their subquantum signatures mingled as the two psions combined their powers. To the Vitakinetic, each living template was distinct. To the teleporter, all space was one. Sachi pushed her healing though Rahmat and out into each victim at once. The effort was immensely draining, compounded by the reserves Sachi had spent opening the door. She slumped as her power faded, satisfied at the increased strength of life she could now feel within the room. Rahmat still held her hands — he needed the continued strength and sense of life — and steeled himself as he prepared to teleport everyone out and to safety.

The robots tried to react to the new situation but Jack worked faster. Lightning exploded from his hands, forking and jumping from robot to robot, overheating and melting their circuits. The lighter units simply stopped, their servos locked up. Instant emulated rigor mortis. The combat models seized for a moment, but they were built to withstand such attacks and their artificial brains kicked in redundant pathways while they rebooted primary function. These backup functions couldn’t keep Olivia at bay as she pressed the attack with pistol and taser in hand, not waiting to see the outcome of Jack’s assault. She already knew.

Standing back from the violence, Amina reached out and took the hand of the nearest ‘patient’.

“Who are you?” he asked, feeling stronger than he had in weeks. The air shimmered as Rahmat phased everyone out of the physical universe and translated them into subquantum particles.

“We’re from Æon,” Amina said as the room faded from view, “We’re here to help.”

Trinity Continuum: Æon and the Trinity Continuum core rules are currently available for preorder via BackerKit.


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Mortekai

To celebrate the announcement of our latest Community Content program, the Slarecian Vault for Scarred Lands, Bill Bodden creates a new character to play. The Scarred Lands Player’s Guide is available for 5th Edition OGL and Pathfinder rules. 

SLPG-5e-232x300.jpgI’ve become familiar with Scarred Lands only since the recent reboot, and now I’m sorry I didn’t pick it up much earlier. The background material is fascinating and creative, and it leaves plenty of room for vast adventures and long-running campaigns. The Scarred Lands setting is a world ravaged by a war between the titans and the younger gods, and the land still bears numerous deep wounds from that earth-shattering conflict.

Intrigued, I decided to create a character for the Scarred Lands setting. It’s important to note that creating a character using the Scarred Lands material requires one of two things: either the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Player’s Handbook from Wizards of the Coast, or a copy of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Book from Paizo Publishing. I will be using the D&D 5E Player’s Handbook, as I’m more familiar with those rules. The basic character creation information begins on page 11, and I’m supplementing my choices with the Scarred Lands Player’s Guide for 5E when appropriate.

Step One: Choose a Race

Besides the usual elves, dwarves, halflings, and humans, Scarred Lands has some interesting new character races, and I’ve decided to take one out for a test drive. I chose a slitherin, a rat-like humanoid with a prehensile tail. The slitherin race description begins on page 40 of the Scarred Lands Player’s Guide. They are one of the Redeemed races, former servants of the titans who have renounced their old ways and tried to fit in with the various societies still existing on the world of Scarn.

“Dinesh” is one of the sample names given in the Slitherin section on page 40, and I like it, so Dinesh it is.

Step Two: Choose a Class

There are a lot of cool magical class options for characters, and I was tempted by several. The Tattoo Adept prestige class particularly made me want to go with a spellcaster so I might eventually have access to it.

Given the slitherin’s natural affinity for sneakiness, though, I chose rogue as my character class. I most often play fighters in D&D — particularly rangers — so I’d like to do something a little different this time. Going with rogue still gives me some kick-butt fighting abilities, but also access to the rogue grouping of skills, which come in handy while adventuring.

Page 70 of the Scarred Lands Player’s Guide also has two alternate Roguish Archetypes to choose from, which give characters additional benefits not available in the D&D 5E Player’s Handbook. They are available when my character reaches 3rd level.

Step Three: Ability Scores

I rolled up six scores using the “roll 4d6, subtract the lowest die” method. I came up with 11, 9, 16, 10, 14, and 15. Since Dinesh is a rogue, Dexterity will be critical, so the 16 goes there. Charisma will be my dump stat: after all, most races of Scarn view slitherin with mistrust and perhaps a certain amount of contempt for their support of the losing side — the titanspawn — in the war, so a slitherin won’t make many friends from first impressions alone. Charisma gets the 9.

Creatures living on Scarn must be hardy to deal with the numerous toxic wastelands left behind as a result of the war. Constitution will be important, but slitherin receive a +2 Constitution bonus as outlined on page 41 of the Scarred Lands Player’s Guide, so I can do okay by holding back a bit. I give Constitution the 14, with the bonus pumping it up to 16. That gives Dinesh a +3 Con modifier, for 3 extra hit points at each level.

Dinesh is most likely young, so his Wisdom is probably not so great yet due to his lack of worldly experience. Also, he’s a rogue. Therefore, the 10 goes to Wisdom.

Lastly, we have Strength. I debated this for some time — whether to give Dinesh extra damage in combat and good athletic skills, or to go with a higher Intelligence so he would have some mental faculties to call on when needed. I opted for greater Strength, even though he’ll rely on Dexterity, to balance out his character’s stats. Dinesh’s Strength is 15, giving him a +2 modifier.

Slitherin also receive a +1 to either Dexterity or Intelligence (again, per page 41 of the Scarred Lands Player’s Guide). Since Dinesh’s Dexterity is already high, I opt to put that bonus in Intelligence. I assign the 11 I rolled to Intelligence, and with the racial bonus of +1, Dinesh is now above average with a 12.

Dinesh’s final ability scores now read like this: STR 15, DEX 16, CON 16, INT 12, WIS 10, CHA 9. Dinesh is clearly a physical being, and being a rogue reflects this to a degree.

Step Four: Describe Your Character

Slitherin are roughly human-sized, perhaps a bit smaller. This impression is reinforced by their crouching, hunched posture, making them seem shorter than they actually are. Dinesh is no different. With good Strength and Dexterity, he is clearly well put together, perhaps a bit on the larger side of the slitherin height range. I decide Dinesh is rather willowy at 4’11” in height, weighing just 79 pounds.

Slitherin tend to favor chaotic or neutral alignments, so I opt for Dinesh to be Chaotic Good. This allows Dinesh to have his lawless tendencies take center stage, while still shying away from truly selfish or evil acts. If the campaign were about titanspawn trying to avenge their side’s loss to the gods, and it meshed with the other characters in the group, I might change Dinesh’s alignment to chaotic neutral or even chaotic evil.

Initially, the slitherin were created as servants of the titan Chern, being fed his foulness to maintain their artificially induced madness. As the titans fell, groups were freed from this thrall, and I determined that Dinesh’s tribe was among the first to be so freed. Born in the years that followed, Dinesh has never known what it was like to suffer and serve under such a yoke, and his curiosity in general — specifically his interest in learning more about those times — leads him to explore places where the titans once held sway. His curiosity is typical of the slitherin ideal of discovering new things to bring back to the tribe.

In the short time that Dinesh has been out in the wider world, he has learned much about the other races, many aspects of which he will teach to his brothers and sisters when he returns home next, expanding their culture and satisfying the slitherin thirst for new experiences and knowledge.

Dinesh’s fur is dark grey, with a slightly salt-and-pepper look to it. Like nearly all slitherin, he has rat-like features. His snout is much more pronounced than a human’s, with a black nose. His ears poke through the holes in his hood (when he wears one) and his teeth are sharp and pointy. He dresses in dark, neutral colors as befits his choice of careers, but when in friendly environments or social situations, Dinesh prefers bright colors, wearing sparkly baubles and jewelry that dangle from his ears, around his neck, and even from a few subtle piercings in his tail.

Dinesh’s insatiable curiosity can get him into trouble; just as often, he discovers some secret piece of knowledge or hidden thing that turns out to be profitable for him later.

He speaks Slitherin and Ledean. (“Height and Weight” and “Languages” can be found beginning on page 42 of the Scarred Lands Player’s Guide.)

Step Five: Personality

As a slitherin, it is incumbent upon young Dinesh to discover new things to share with his people. If he happens to heap fame and fortune onto his name at the same time, that’s also desirable among his people. This makes adventuring a natural choice for any slitherin, and since his people are highly prized by nearly any adventuring party as thieves and scouts, Dinesh’s prospects for employment look good.

The charts on page 127 of the D&D 5E Player’s Handbook provide some fantastic characteristics to help flesh out a character. They are simple, yet they lead in many directions, allowing players the greatest degree of customization in developing character backstory.

I begin with the first chart: Personality Trait. I rolled a 3 on a d8, which gives the following result: “I see omens in every event and action. The gods try to speak to us, we just need to listen.”

Next is the Ideal. I rolled a 3: “We must help bring about the changes the gods are constantly working in the world.” Appropriate for the chaotic Slitherin.

Third, we have Bond, and I rolled a 4: “Everything I do is for the common people.” In this case, it probably refers more to “the common slitherin,” but I get the point.

Lastly, we have Flaw. I rolled a 5: “I am suspicious of strangers and expect the worst of them.” A little world-weary for this young slitherin, but it still seems to fit. Maybe he was ill-treated by someone (or some group) in his past, making him a bit aloof and mistrusting.

Taken together, these characteristics give easy-to-grab handles for better, more effective roleplaying of the character, and it’s one of the little touches that I am most impressed with in D&D 5E.

Step Six: Skills and Feats

Before I get to choosing equipment, I wanted to delve into the subject of Dinesh’s features, skills, and feats. Per the D&D 5E Player’s Handbook, page 95, Dinesh is entitled to choose proficiency in four skills. I choose Athletics, Insight, Perception, and Stealth for Dinesh. Proficiency means that Dinesh gets an extra +2 modifier added to any skill in which he is proficient when making a skill check or attack. (Characters at 1st level have a proficiency rating of +2, which increases as the character gains levels.)

At 1st level as a rogue, Dinesh acquires Expertise, Sneak Attack, and Thieves’ Cant as additional class features. Expertise allows Dinesh to double his proficiency bonus for two skills in which he is proficient: I choose Stealth and Thieves’ Tools for this bonus. Sneak Attack is the most envied ability of Rogues, and it’s a biggie. Doing and extra die of damage on nearly any attack (certain restrictions apply) is a huge benefit. And with Thieves’ Cant, Dinesh will be able to converse with any thief anywhere who is also familiar with the secret, coded language of thieves. This could become important as he travels more. Sharing intel with others of the profession could keep Dinesh’s neck out of trouble!

Feats are listed as an optional rule, and while my eventual DM may choose not to allow them, I find they add a great deal of color and life to a character, so I’m selecting some here. Chapter Four of the Scarred Lands Player’s Guide includes an extensive list of some new, interesting, and useful feats to choose for your character. I chose Wild Scent, from page 115, as Dinesh’s starting feat. It’s a highly useful one to have, as it removes disadvantage when he’s unable to see because of blindness or darkness.

Rogues use d8s for their hit points at each level. At 1st level, Dinesh has the maximum (8) hit points, plus he adds his Constitution modifier at every level, so he has a total of 8 + 3 = 11 hit points. (Dinesh had better hope he can level up quickly; 11 hit points won’t last long in the wild!) Each time he levels up, he will add another 1d8+3 to his hit point total.

Step Seven: Choose Equipment

Using the class “equipment packages” found on pages 124-25 of the Scarred Lands Player’s Guide, Dinesh, by virtue of being a rogue, has in his possession a tail blade, a suit of leather armor, a dagger, a burglar’s pack, a traveler’s outfit, and a set of thieves’ tools. For his racial equipment package, Dinesh adds a shortsword, a short bow with quiver with 20 arrows, and a set of common clothes.

Now I have a fully fleshed-out slitherin Rogue character, Dinesh, ready to seek his fame and fortune in the Scarred Lands. I can’t wait to find a game to play where I can put Dinesh to the test!

If your curiosity is piqued, check out all of our Scarred Lands-related releases on DriveThruRPG.com!


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Mortekai

C20-BookofFreeholds1-232x300.jpgNow available in PDF and print from DriveThruRPG: Book of Freeholds for Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition!

Home is Where You Go…

They are the center of Kithain culture, the havens and shelters required when times get grim. They are dreams made manifest, and hopes kept burning. From the Mythic Ages to the present day, freeholds have been the linchpin around which the changeling world turns.

Fragile, powerful, mysterious and oft-dangerous, the complex natures of freeholds make for valuable commodities to all changelings, worth dying to protect or killing to acquire.

… Where They Have to Take You In…

The Book of Freeholds opens the doors and invites you in to sit at the hearth for a deep dive into the foundations of changeling society. Learn the history of freeholds as they wind throughout Kithain history. Discover the lost Treasures that bind the fae and their homes together, soul-to-balefire. Study the dangers, the threats, understand the duties and responsibilities, and then gather your motley to claim your birthright.

The Book of Freeholds contains:

  • Two new freehold Archetypes
  • Four new Glade Archetypes
  • Full rules for the creation of freeholds and Glades
  • 11 fully developed freeholds and Glades
  • New chimera, Treasures and Oaths, and more

… and Where Your Dreams Burn Brightest

Also available from our new friends at Black Chantry Productions: The return of Vampire: The Eternal Struggle! Now available in print on demand via DriveThruCards:

Sales

For entire month of May, DriveThruRPG is running their May D&D Sale, with up to 66% off tons of D&D and D&D-related products!

That includes lots of products from Onyx Path, like current 5e/OGL and classic 3e/d20 Scarred Lands material, as well as our Pugmire releases!

Kickstarter

Did you miss one of our previous Kickstarters? The following Kickstarted products are still open for preorders via BackerKit:

Community Spotlight

The following community-created content for Scarred Lands has been added to the Slarecian Vault in the last week:

The following community-created content for Pugmire has been added to Canis Minor in the last week:

The following community-created content for Vampire has been added to the Storytellers Vault in the last week:


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Mortekai

214580-232x300.jpgGreetings, fellow Kindred!

Matthew Dawkins here. As we’re nearing the release and delivery of Prince’s Gambit, I wanted to give you an update on my experiences playing this rather excellent game. While I wasn’t available for the initial formal playtesting, my gaming groups all wanted a stab at the rules released through the Kickstarter.

Using proxy cards from VTES, and later using the printable cards from the Kickstarter, we first of all attempted to master the core set. Wanting to get to grips with the rules, play through a variety of table compositions, and each find a favoured clan or two upon which to hang our hats, we played several games across multiple gaming nights.

Honestly, it didn’t take long to learn the rules. By the conclusion of our first playthrough, we were comfortable with the simplicity of the mechanics. Not dissimilar to games such as Werewolf and The Resistance, Prince’s Gambit relies heavily on a simple system, table talk, fluid play, and a healthy paranoia within the group. Additionally, we were soon identifying our favoured roles: the majority enjoying the abilities of the Ventrue (reclaiming Prestige can be a real game-changer at the latter half of the game) and the Brujah (drawing two additional Trait cards for the low cost of 1 Prestige is too good a deal not to take). My preferred clan was always Toreador (I enjoy being an arse and redistributing Prestige – away from obvious Sabbat players, of course!) but what do I know?

When we unlocked a bunch of new clans through the Kickstarter, I spoke to Eddy Webb about getting my groups to playtest the new additions to the game. We got quite a few added, if you recall: Assamites, Setites, Giovanni, Ravnos, Lasombra, and Tzimisce. To say they changed up the game would be an understatement. Each of my groups was incredibly pleased to see the variety the game now offered.

As an aside, the core game before stretch goals were added was great fun and something I could have seen myself playing at conventions and rolling out for parties now and again. With the additional clans, though? Prince’s Gambit can go from light-hearted play to angry glares across the table, cutting remarks, and strategic jousting. That’s not to say the game can’t be that way with all clans involved, but having the Lasombra and Co. at the table really adds a new dimension.

What do I mean? Well, none of the players were expecting to have their Prestige depleted back to the central pool until the Assamites came along. It’s a good way to mess with a suspected pair of Sabbat, or if you are Sabbat, a good way to weaken a powerful Toreador who needs a lot of Prestige to fire off their Presence. The Setites’ Serpentis is a power that interested everyone, as it requires a fair amount of forward planning: you nominate a player to take part in an upcoming Intrigue (one of the challenges the coterie can undertake). If you’re Camarilla and you’re sure the other person you’re nominating is likewise, it’s a clever move to get closer to a victory. If you’re Sabbat and so’s your nominated associate? You may have just guaranteed a victory.

Thematically, everyone loved the Giovanni’s Necromancy. The ability to resurrect a spent Trait card and place it back in their hand was a pleasing touch. Likewise, the Lasombra’s denial power, preventing another player from bidding Prestige for the Prince’s Favour was a sure (and appropriate) way of pissing off the Ventrue. There was even more fun to be found with the Tzimisce and Ravnos.

In short, my groups and I loved the complete clan set that will be available in every copy of Prince’s Gambit. I recommend new groups try it first with the big seven and the Caitiff before adding in the other clans, just to feel the difference it makes. What I value the most in a card game is replayability, and knowing there’s a breadth of playable options that can drastically alter the way play goes is exactly what I want.

If you’ve given the game some playtesting, please leave a comment to tell us about it! Either way, I hope you’re looking forward to the game’s release. Not long now!

Prince’s Gambit is currently available for pre-order via BackerKit.


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Mortekai

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We’ve been mentioning our smash-hit Onyx Pathcast here and all over our social media, and I’m thrilled to say that our team of podcasters; Eddy Webb, Matthew Dawkins, and Dixie Cochran (no e), are at it again with this week’s episode that will be found here on Friday: https://onyxpathcast.podbean.com/

The team is really just getting started, and in two weeks they’ll have an interview with Impish Ian Watson, our community manager, and uber-dev for the Trinity Continuum. He’s no slouch on classic White Wolf  lore, either! Thanks to all you who sent in questions for the team to toss at Ian.

We’re just getting set up to record the next interview, and I think this might be the team’s first big mistake. They’ll be interviewing yours truly, and that can’t be anything but trouble. Potentially hilarious trouble, but trouble nonetheless.

You, yes you, can help them, though.

Please give them some questions to ask me in the comments here, and that way they can come to the interview pre-armed and let the chips fall where they may. Interestingly, Fast Eddy Webb has recused himself from this interview as he claims he already knows all the answers I might give. (Which is fair, for years we did the What’s Up With White Wolf/Gameline/Onyx Path panels at conventions together. So he might already know my likely responses!)

 

 

 

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Changeling: The Lost 2nd Edition illustration by Ken Meyer, Jr

 

 

A couple more things, but not a lot. I don’t know about anybody else, but right now the pollen is starting to waft here at Onyx Path central, and I’m feeling a bit zombie-like. Stupid allergies.

Thanks to everybody who checked out and “liked” our friends at the Bodhana Group‘s Facebook page. They do good work, and have great potential to help more kids and adults via gaming, so please stop over and check out what they’re doing: https://www.facebook.com/thebodhanagroup/

We’ll be having a sale at IPR (Indie Press Revolution) on Chronicles of Darkness Prestige Editions like Demon, Mummy, Beast, and Dark Eras, starting May 21st. Most will be 40% off, so if you’re in need of a fancy edition of the core books for those lines, that’s your chance!

 

 

 

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Pan’s Guide illustration by Pat Loboyko

 

 

We’re reviewing the “How to Play” videos for the Fetch Quest Kickstarter, and Jaunty James Bell is starting to pull the KS page together. You can see some of the cards in the Blurbs! section below. This is going to be an experiment of a KS for us, as Fetch Quest is a fun, collaborative card game for all ages set in the Realms of Pugmire. As Eddy says:

I really want to make a card game that allows people to experience the realms of Pugmire in a new way. Fetch Quest is portable, easy to learn, and encourages cooperation and teamwork. Not only does it seem to be a fun game in its own right, but I hope it’ll be a great product to play when you don’t have time for a session of the Pugmire RPG, or to get new players excited about Pugmire as a whole.

We really hope that all of our intentions come across, and the KS is a lot of fun for all, but it is really hard to gauge these things when we move into uncharted waters and do a card game. Prince’s Gambit was a different sort of game, with a very different play-style, and I think it appeals to a different sort of player, so even that is hard to use as a template for how Fetch Quest will do.

We’ll see in a couple of weeks (hopefully May 22nd).

 

 

 

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Page from Cavaliers of Mars.

 

 

 

Work on projects for all sorts of our game lines, old and new, continues apace – like for the Cavaliers of Mars core rulebook pictured above. Meanwhile, I’ve been negotiating contracts for all sorts of things, licenses mostly, but also reviewing pitches new books, projects, and game lines. Some of those pass from me over to White Wolf for approval if the pitches are for projects in their settings, and others – the majority right now – are ours to chart the course of.

Many Worlds, One Path!

 

 

BLURBS!

KICKSTARTER:

Now that the massive Dragon-Blooded: What Fire Has Wrought Kickstarter campaign has triumphantly finished, we’re prepping for a puppy of a different color with Fetch Quest, the adventure card game set in the Realms of Pugmire!

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As we try and find ways to enable our community to more easily play our games, the Onyx Dice Rolling App is now live! Our dev team has been doing updates since we launched based on the excellent use-case comments by our community, and this thing is both rolling and rocking!

The devs have added a whole bunch of new game lines’ dice and rolling bg’s and got caught by a bug Apple needed to fix, so be sure to update your app and soon that should be fixed.

There’s been tweaks to all elements of the UI, you can now preview every die type in the store, and you can use multiple die types per roll! Here are the links for the Apple and Android versions:

http://theappstore.site/app/1296692067/onyx-dice

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.onyxpathpublishing.onyxdice&hl=en

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Three different screenshots, above.

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(The Solar Anima special Dice above)

 

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Promethean: The Created and Demon: The Descent dice on a Demon: The Descent tabletop

 

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Hunter: The Reckoning and Mage: The Awakening dice on a Mage: The Awakening tabletop

 

 

 

ON AMAZON AND BARNES & NOBLE:

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You can now read our fiction from the comfort and convenience of your Kindle (from Amazon) and Nook (from Barnes & Noble).

Our latest offering is the Mage 20 Cookbook, now in a convenient Kindle ebook version! https://www.amazon.com/Mage-Cookbook-World-Darkness-Enlightened-ebook/dp/B07C71BRDC/

Nook version is coming soon!

If you enjoy these or any other of our books, please help us by writing reviews on the site of the sales venue you bought it from. Reviews really, really help us with getting folks interested in our amazing fiction!

 

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Our initial selection includes these fiction anthologies:

  • Vampire: The Masquerade: The Endless Ages Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse: Rites of Renown: When Will You Rage II (Kindle, Nook)
  • Mage: The Ascension: Truth Beyond Paradox (Kindle, Nook)
  • Chronicles of Darkness: The God-Machine Chronicle Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Mummy: The Curse: Curse of the Blue Nile (Kindle, Nook)
  • Beast: The Primordial: The Primordial Feast Anthology (Kindle, Nook)

 

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And here are six more fiction books:

  • Vampire: The Masquerade: Of Predators and Prey: The Hunters Hunted II Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse: The Poison Tree (Kindle, Nook)
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse: Songs of the Sun and Moon: Tales of the Changing Breeds (Kindle, Nook)
  • Vampire: The Requiem: The Strix Chronicle Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Werewolf: The Forsaken: The Idigam Chronicle Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Mage: The Awakening: The Fallen World Chronicle Anthology (Kindle, Nook)

 

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Andand six more more:

  • Vampire: The Masquerade: The Beast Within Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse: W20 Cookbook (Kindle, Nook)
  • Exalted: Tales from the Age of Sorrows (Kindle, Nook)
  • Chronicles of Darkness: Tales of the Dark Eras (Kindle, Nook)
  • Promethean: The Created: The Firestorm Chronicle Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Demon: The Descent: Demon: Interface (Kindle, Nook)

 

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And even more books are now on Amazon and the Nook store!:

  • Scarred Lands: Death in the Walled Warren (KindleNook)
  • V20 Dark Ages: Cainite Conspiracies (Kindle, Nook)
  • Chronicles of Darkness: Strangeness in the Proportion (KindleNook)
  • Vampire: The Requiem: Silent Knife (Kindle, Nook)
  • Mummy: The Curse: Dawn of Heresies (KindleNook)

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And here are the Champions of the Scarred Lands fiction anthology and the Huntsmen Chronicles anthology for Changeling: The Lost 2nd Edition!

OUR SALES PARTNERS:

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We’re working with Studio2 to get Pugmire out into stores, as well as to individuals through their online store. You can pick up the traditionally printed main book, the Screen, and the official Pugmire dice through our friends there!

https://studio2publishing.com/search?q=pugmire

 

 

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Looking for our Deluxe or Prestige Edition books? Try this link! http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Onyx-Path-Publishing/

Here’s the link to the press release we put out about how Onyx Path is now selling through Indie Press Revolution: http://theonyxpath.com/press-release-onyx-path-limited-editions-now-available-through-indie-press-revolution/

You can now order wave 2 of our Deluxe and Prestige print overrun books, including Deluxe Mage 20th Anniversary, and Deluxe V20 Dark Ages! And Screens…so many Screens!

And you can now order Pugmire: the book, the screen, and the dice! http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/manufacturers.php?manufacturerid=296

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Wave 3 of our extra Kickstarter projects is now on sale at IPR!

Here are the direct links for the Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras Prestige Edition: http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Chronicles-of-Darkness-Dark-Eras-Prestige-Edition.html

Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras Storytellers’ Screen: http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Chronicles-of-Darkness-Dark-Eras-Storytellers-Screen.html

Deluxe Exalted 3rd Edition: http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Exalted-3rd-Edition-Deluxe-Edition.html

Ultra-Deluxe (Orichalcum) Exalted 3rd Edition: http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Exalted-3rd-Edition-Ultra-Deluxe.html

Exalted 3rd Edition Storytellers’ Screen: http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Exalted-3rd-Edition-Storytellers-Screen.html

EX3 Chibi Bookmarks: http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Exalted-3rd-Edition-Chibi-Bookmarks.html

Deluxe W20 Shattered Dreams: http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/W20-Shattered-Dreams-Deluxe-Edition.html

W20 Shattered Dreams Storytellers’ Screen: http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/W20-Shattered-Dreams-Storytellers-Screen.html

Plus price adjustments on M20, Book of the Wyrm, Anarchs Unbound and a
few other projects!

 

 

DRIVETHRURPG.COM:

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DTRPG.com continues its D&D Sale with nice discounts on Scarred Lands and Pugmire books!

 

 

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Book of Freeholds for Changeling 20th Anniversary Edition arrives this Wednesday in PDF and physical book PoD versions at DTRPG.com!

They are the center of Kithain culture, the havens and shelters required when times get grim. They are dreams made manifest, and hopes kept burning. From the Mythic Ages to the present day, freeholds have been the linchpin around which the changeling world turns. Learn the history of freeholds as they wind throughout Kithain history. Discover the lost Treasures that bind the fae and their homes together, soul-to-balefire. Study the dangers, the threats, understand the duties and responsibilities, and then gather your motley to claim your birthright.

The Book of Freeholds contains:

• Two new freehold Archetypes

• Four new Glade Archetypes

• Full rules for the creation of freeholds and Glades

• 11 fully developed freeholds and Glades

• New chimera, Treasures and Oaths, and more

 

 

 

 

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To celebrate the opening of the Slarecian Vault for Scarred Lands, we’ve put four Scarred Lands posters on sale via DTRPG.com. These 12″ x 18″ posters feature both classic SL covers with Hollowfaust and the Blood Sea, and new images from the new book, like the SL PG cover wrack-dragon, and a hearty band of adventures well met and ready to divvy up their magical treasure.

 

 

 

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Ask the darkness, and it shall answer: the Beast: The Primordial Player’s Guide PDF and physical book PoD versions will answer your questions now on DTRPG.com! http://drivethrurpg.com/product/236135/Beast-Players-Guide

The Beast Player’s Guide expands on the material presented in Beast: The Primordial, with additional information on the Families and Hungers, what it feels like to be a Beast and experience the Devouring, and how to commune with the Dark Mother. You’ll also find two new Families and two new Hungers!

The book also includes a plethora of new Atavisms, Nightmares, Merits, and Birthrights, as well as systems for creating smaller, subservient versions of the Horror, new forms of Inheritance, and details on the mysterious Obcasus Rites.

 

 

 

 

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There are some things that even a Demon fears – Night Horrors: Enemy Action for Demon: The Descent has arrived in PDF and physical book PoD versions: http://drivethrurpg.com/product/236133/Night-Horrors-Enemy-Action

Fighting the Machine is like fighting the ocean. You literally cannot hurt it. Doesn’t matter how much poison we dump into the ocean. We’ll only kill the things in it. We’ll never kill it. Same with the God-Machine. Kill angels, traitors, stigmatics, cultists, cryptids, whatever, you’ll never hurt the Machine Itself. No, that doesn’t mean we stop trying. You stop trying, you drown. Screw that.

—Mr. Bliss, Guardian Inquisitor

Night Horrors: Enemy Action includes:

• Dozens of Storyteller characters, including Unchained, angels, exiles, cryptids, and stigmatics, for use as antagonists, allies, or just inspiration

• Multiple plot hooks and story seeds for your Demon: The Descent chronicles

• A brief look at cults in Demon, including the Ten Thousand Names of God, a secret society fueled by the God-Machine

 

 

 

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When you need a Changeling 20th character and a way to get started with C20: here are the C20 Ready Made Characters in PDF and physical book PoD versions! Available on DriveThruRPG.com! http://drivethrurpg.com/product/225641/C20-Ready-Made-Characters

Running a one-shot game of Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition? Starting up a chronicle with new players who aren’t sure what to play? Looking for some examples of how the various kiths might look?

Thanks to our generous Kickstarter backers, these thirteen ready-made characters cover each of the Changeling kiths. Each character is provided with background, roleplaying suggestions, art, and some potential motleys and story seeds — everything you need to immerse yourself in the Dreaming!

 

 

 

 

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Coming NOW as both PDF and physical book PoD on DTRPG, we reveal The Secret of Vinsen’s Tomb, a Jumpstart adventure for Pugmire. www.drivethrurpg.com/product/232337/The-Secrets-of-Vinsens-Tomb–A-Pugmire-Jumpstart

A cat living in Pugmire disappears, but neither the police dogs nor the cats of the Cat Quarter know why. When zombies attack the heroes, however, all signs point to an invasion by the Monarchies of Mau. But how does this intrigue tie into the lost tomb of the first king of Pugmire?

The Secret of Vinsen’s Tomb is a Pugmire story for three to six characters. This jumpstart contains all the rules and characters you need to play — just grab some dice and go! You can also use this adventure with the full version of Pugmire.

The Secret of Vinsen’s Tomb contains:

• An evocative and mysterious setting that’s both family friendly and deep enough to create compelling stories.

• A summary of Pugmire’s traditional fantasy rules system. It’s designed for streamlined play, with an emphasis on cooperation and action over competition and violence.

• A complete adventure for a Guide to run for three to six players. Also useful for Guides running a full Pugmire game of first or second level characters!

• Six ready-to-play characters, so you can jump into the action.

Can your good dogs discover the secret of Vinsen’s Tomb?

 

 

 

 

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Appearing now on DriveThruRPG are the PDF and PoD physical book versions of Arms of the Chosen for Exalted 3rd Edition! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/226224/Arms-of-the-Chosen

Take up the panoply of legendary heroes and lost ages, and awaken the world-shaking might of their Evocations. Before the dawn of time, the Exalted wielded god-metal blades to cast down the makers of the universe. In an ancient epoch of forgotten glories, Creation’s greatest artificers forged unimaginable wonders and miracle-machines.

Now, in the Age of Sorrows, kingdoms go to war over potent artifacts, scavenger princes risk everything to uncover relics of the past, and the Exalted forge great arms and armor on the anvil of legend. These treasures are yours to master.

Discover the mystical power of the five magical materials and the secrets of creating your own Evocations. Wield weapons of fabled might and don the armor of mythic heroes, making their puissance your own. Claim Creation’s wonders: the miraculous tools of the Chosen, living automatons, flying machines, hearthstones, and more. And unleash the mighty warstriders, titanic god-engines of conquest and devastation, to once more shake Creation with their footfalls.

 

 

 

CONVENTIONS!

Matthew Dawkins, Steffie de Vaan, and Mighty Matt McElroy will be at the UK Games Expo in early June running games and talking shop with fans and retailers.

Prep is also underway for Gen Con 2018 in August, which takes place in Indianapolis, IN. In addition to our booth presence, be sure to check out the games and panels in the Gen Con Event Schedule.

From Fast Eddy Webb, we have these:

Eddy will be speaking at Broadleaf Writers Conference (September 22-23) in Decatur, GA. He’ll be there to talk about writing for interactive fiction, and hanging out with other writers who have far more illustrious careers. http://broadleafwriters.com/3rd-annual-broadleaf-writers-conference/3rd-annual-broadleaf-writers-conference-speakers/
Eddy will also be a featured guest at Save Against Fear (October 12-14) in Harrisburg, PA. He’ll be running some Pugmire games, be available for autographs, and will sometimes accept free drinks. http://www.thebodhanagroup.org/about-the-convention

If you are going and want to meet up, let us know!

 


And now, the new project status updates!

DEVELOPMENT STATUS FROM FAST EDDY WEBB (projects in bold have changed status since last week):

First Draft (The first phase of a project that is about the work being done by writers, not dev prep)

  • M20 Book of the Fallen (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • C20 Novel (Jackie Cassada) (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • M20 The Technocracy Reloaded (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • M20 Victorian Mage (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Spilled Blood (Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition)
  • CofD Dark Eras 2 (Chronicles of Darkness)
  • Night Horrors: Shunned by the Moon (Werewolf: The Forsaken 2nd Edition)
  • C20 Players’ Guide (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Wr20 Book of Oblivion (Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Aeon Aexpansion (Trinity Continuum: Aeon)
  • In Media Res (Trinity Continuum: Core)
  • Trinity Continuum: Aberrant core (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant)
  • Lunars: Fangs at the Gate (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Tales of Excellent Cats (Monarchies of Mau)
  • Dog and Cat Ready Made Characters (Monarchies of Mau)

 

Redlines

  • Deviant: The Renegades (Deviant: The Renegades)
  • Dystopia Rising: Evolution (Dystopia Rising: Evolution)

 

Second Draft

  • WoD Ghost Hunters (World of Darkness)
  • Tales of Good Dogs – Pugmire Fiction Anthology (Pugmire)
  • Guide to the Night (Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition)
  • CofD Contagion Chronicle (Chronicles of Darkness)

 

Development

  • Signs of Sorcery (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)
  • Hunter: the Vigil 2e core (Hunter: the Vigil 2nd Edition)
  • Fetch Quest (Pugmire)
  • They Came From Beneath the Sea! Rulebook (TCFBtS!)

 

WW Manuscript Approval:

  • Night Horrors: The Tormented (Promethean: The Created 2nd Edition)

 

Editing:

  • GtS Geist 2e core (Geist: the Sin-Eaters Second Edition)
  • M20 Gods and Monsters (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)

 

Post-Editing Development:

  • Scion: Hero (Scion 2nd Edition)
  • Trinity Continuum Core Rulebook (The Trinity Continuum)
  • Trinity Continuum: Aeon Rulebook (The Trinity Continuum)
  • Ex Novel 2 (Aaron Rosenberg) (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Exalted 3rd Novel by Matt Forbeck (Exalted 3rd Edition)

 

Indexing:

 

 

ART DIRECTION FROM MIRTHFUL MIKE:

In Art Direction

  • Ex3 Monthly Stuff
  • Scion Hero Getting that rolling.
  • Trinity Continuum Got notes and text for both Aeon and the Core. Also… workin on it.
  • Wr20 Guide for Newly Departed – Everything with Gaydos.
  • Geist 2e We have a nice window to get KS art.
  • The Realm
  • M20 Gods and Monsters
  • Ex3 Dragon Blooded – Wave 2 art in progress

 

Marketing Stuff

 

In Layout

  • Wraith 20 Screen I’ll pull this together while doing errata. I got the list from Dansky of what tables to pull… just want to make sure they are right.
  • Fetch Quest Working on the logo.
  • EX3 Dragon Blooded
  • Changeling: the Lost 2 With Josh.

 

Proofing

  • Cavaliers of Mars Splats and map should be in by end of the month.
  • Scion Origin Sending Sheet stuff to Mr. Gone. Dropping in the art I got in.
  • Boggans – Going to WW for approval.
  • Monarchies of Mau Some art still coming in while this is proofing.

 

At Press

  • Beckett Screen – At shipper.
  • Scarred Land PGs & Wise and the Wicked PF & 5e – At fulfillment shipper. PDF and PoD physical book versions on sale at DTRPG.
  • Prince’s Gambit – Being sent to the US, expected at fulfillment shipper this this week.
  • V20 Beckett’s Jyhad Diary– Deluxe edition printing now.
  • Scion Dice – At fulfillment shipper.
  • Wraith 20 – Errata being input.
  • SL Champions of the Scarred Lands Anthology PoD – PoD proof coming.
  • Pugmire – Pan’s Explorer’s Guide (or whatever) PoD proof coming.
  • Book of Freeholds PDF and PoD versions on sale this Wednesday!

 


TODAY’S REASON TO CELEBRATE: Today is the birthday of Randall “Tex” Cobb, who had a career first as a boxer and then as an action film actor. He had a bunch of appearances, but his ultimate role was that of Leonard Smalls, the Lone Biker of the Apocalypse, in Raising Arizona. He’s that antagonist, the one that just keeps coming and destroys all around him as he does. Excellent inspiration for any game. And, he has dark secrets – is he the personification of evil, or of the negative impulses (the Shadow) in H. I. “Hi” McDonnough’s psyche?


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Mortekai

C20-Anth-Front-200x300.jpgA selection from “Summer Girl” by Wren Handman in the Anthology of Dreams for Changeling: The Dreaming.

After we had talked, and walked through the woods awhile, and dipped our feet in the pond just beyond the back lot, we began the slow meander back towards the old barn.

“Tell me a story,” she said.

I threaded my way through the trees and she followed, half a step behind. The sunlight lazy there, the heat not so strong in the half-light. I could feel the air against my face, the warmth of it, but I closed my eyes and remembered winter.

“First you have to remember,” I said, and I knew that she had her eyes closed too, feeling her way through the woods by the feel of her feet, following the sound of my voice. “Remember what it feels like to have the air cool against your face. Remember when the sky is so bright blue it hurts to look at, and the ground is white and smooth like an unbroken lake. Remember how it feels when you breathe in and the air is crisp, like the rough edge of a new leaf. Winter.”

“I remember,” she whispered.

“One winter, when the snow was piled so high a grown man could barely reach the top of the drifts, a young girl fell into a deep, dark sleep. And her sister, alone with her in the cottage while their father was out hunting, had to set off into the wild white country, in search of a rare cure.”

“Did the cure grow in the winter?”

“This cure only grew in the winter. It was a rare plant, a flower with beautiful, bright, purple petals, and tiny emerald leaves, called forget-me-never. This plant only survived under snow drifts, at the base of the mountains. Instead of water it would drink ice melt, and instead of sunlight it absorbed the howls of wolves.”

“Did she have to fight wolves?”

“Of course. But she wasn’t scared — she brought a long, sharp knife, and a piece of steak. She threw the steak far away and slashed at their alpha with her long, sharp knife, and he decided he would rather eat well than eat something he would have to fight and kill, so he ran after the meat. But the other wolves recognized the fire in her spirit and believed her one of them. When the other alpha ran from her she became the new alpha, and took over the pack. And she ran with them, through the snowdrifts and up the mountainside, and she howled to the moon that seemed to reflect the snow beneath it, and she had never been so wild and free and happy in her entire life. But…”

“But her sister.”

I nodded. “She remembered her sister. So when she went home that night, back to the den where the pack slept, she dug deep into the snow and found the forget-me-never, and she picked it and began the long trek home, through snowdrifts as high as her head. But the snow was even more dangerous than the wolves. Snow makes you cold, and it makes you sleepy, and it makes you want to lie down and forget everything.”

“But how could you sleep when you were cold?” she asked with a skeptical tilt of one lazy eyebrow. She picked a leaf from a nearby branch and shredded it, deliberate and slow. “I can’t even sleep when it’s too chilly.”

“Snow is different,” I chided. I tripped on something, catching myself against a tree trunk, and I pictured the girl, stumbling through the snow drifts, lost in a blizzard. “Snow is so cold it eats you up until you don’t feel anything at all. It makes you so cold you get warm again, and you think ‘I’ll just rest… just for a minute….’ And the blizzard around her was so fierce she could barely see the ground, and the path behind her was devoured as soon as she made it.”

“Did she eat the flower? The forget-me-never?”

“Just enough — just enough to remember, to not forget. She had to be careful, or there wouldn’t be enough for her sister. So she ate the smallest bite, a tiny flash of purple on her tongue, just enough to remember the way forward; and finally she reached the little cottage, and she felt the warmth of the fire and knew…”

“She was safe.”

“She was safe,” I agreed, and I spun towards her. She was only a step behind, shivering in imagined sympathy, and I grabbed her and wrapped my warmth across her body, feeling her heart pounding against my neck as I snuggled in close. For a minute I forgot how warm it was in our summer forest, as the remnants of winter tugged on my memory.

“Snow is so cold it eats you up, until you don’t feel anything at all,” she said, repeating her favorite line. She kissed my neck, her lips brushing a path of summer through the fog of our pretend. She seemed more solid, somehow, more present than she had when I first arrived. Pleasure quickened her smile. “I almost forgot — there’s a new bramble bush by the pond and I think if we’re clever we can turn it into a trap for unsuspecting goblins.” She took my hand and I let her lead, content to embrace this latest game. We were never still and quiet for long, my Summer Girl and I.

***

One night, several weeks into summer, I had to leave her early, to attend my uncle’s birthday party. I invited her, of course, knowing she would only smile and say no, but that night I wished more than ever that she was beside me. Mother forced me to sit with the adults, and Aunt Beverly asked me endless merciless questions about school and boys and my future, and when I pinched my oldest brother under the table he only looked at me, tired and bored, and said, “When are you going to grow up?”

The next morning, I woke feeling wrung out. I could not clear my mind of conversations about crop rotations, or the look of exhausted despair on my mother’s face when I got into a wrestling match with my younger cousin. Most days I had no desire to live up to their suffocating expectations, but sometimes… I wanted to desire it. Wished being who they meant me to be could make me happy, as it seemed to do for my brothers and my friends.

I slept in late and walked down to the barn with slow steps, my hands still at my sides. For a moment I didn’t see her there, and a rush of fear gripped me. She was always waiting; she was always here. I went into the barn, panic gripping my pulse in a steady hand. There was no sign of her in the half-formed shadows. What if she had left, and I had no idea where to find her? What if her parents had moved away, and — oh god, what if she had been kidnapped, stolen by an evil cult and there would be no one to rescue her—

“Where were you?” she whispered.

I spun, panicked soothed away by the sound of her voice; but it returned as soon as my eyes lit on her face. She was standing only a step away; I could not see how she got so close without my hearing her. There was something strange about her, something shimmery and not-quite-there, and the look on her face… was so strangely like that of my mother… I shivered and reached out to touch her.

“What is it? What’s wrong?”

“I’m dying,” she whispered.

“Don’t.” I let go of her arm, taking a step back as if to banish both her and the words.

“That isn’t a game.”

“I’ve been poisoned,” she whispered. “There’s only one cure — deep in the heart of Fairy.”

“There’s no such thing as fairy,” I said. I heard my brother’s voice, saw the look on my mother’s face. My Summer Girl sighed, a breath like a goodbye.

“Then I suppose I’ll die,” she whispered, and she turned away. In the barn’s strange half-light, she seemed almost transparent. I imagined I could see motes of dust through the paper-white skin of her chest. I felt my heart constrict, felt her voice like breath leaving me.

“Wait!” I cried. She paused, looked back over her shoulder at me. There was no hope on her face, only quiet resolution. She was so pale, and I could not imagine this barn without her, could not imagine summer. It was only a game, after all, what could it hurt?

And what if — just maybe, just possibly, what if — it wasn’t a game?

“Of course I’ll come,” I said. “How could you think I wouldn’t?”

Find out what happens to the Summer Girl in the Anthology of Dreams for Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition, also available on Amazon Kindle and B&N Nook.


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Mortekai

197803.jpgOnyx Path Publishing is partnering with DriveThruRPG to allow independent content creators to publish material in the Slarecian Vault utilizing the OGL for both Pathfinder and Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition editions of existing and future Scarred Lands books produced by Onyx Path.

A world known to its inhabitants as Scarn, the Scarred Lands is a place of dynamic heroism, supreme villainy, and incalculable magic. Torn and twisted by battles between the titans and their children, the young gods —fought largely by monstrous titanspawn pitted against humans, elves, dwarves, and other “divine races” — Scarn is a world still wounded deeply by the Divine War that took place less than two centuries ago.

“Scarred Lands is a gem of a setting that’s flush with opportunities for great storytelling, adventuring, and good, old-fashioned monster hunting,” says Scarred Lands developer, Monica Valentinelli. “With this setting, there’s an unlimited potential for creators to explore Scarn by offering new classes, races, and more!”

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The Slarecian Vault for Scarred Lands features:

– Self-publish service for tabletop RPG material set using the all-new Scarred Lands Player’s Guide and The Wise & The Wicked for Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition and Pathfinder.
– Content creators themselves set the price for the material they publish and receive 50% of the revenue.
– Access to templates and art packs produced helps content creators make their work look as professional as the official products
– Opportunities to develop new content as additional supplements are released.

The Scarred Lands has been a favored d20 system fantasy setting since the release of the Creature Collection in 2000. Over the next several years, over 40 titles were published for the Scarred Lands, making it one of the most fully supported fantasy RPG settings ever and the premiere product line of the former Sword & Sorcery Studios imprint of White Wolf. Now, Onyx Path Publishing brings this cherished fantasy setting back to your gaming table in Pathfinder and Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition editions, along with offering fans more ways to adventure in Scarn through the Slarecian Vault.

The Slarecian Vault for Scarred Lands is Onyx Path’s Publishing second Community Content program, and follows on the heels of Canis Minor for the World of Pugmire.

The new Slarecian Vault for Scarred Lands is now available at: Drivethrurpg.com/cc/19/Slarecian-Vault

You can also take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions here: Drivethrurpg.com/hc/en-us/articles/360000698086-Scarred-Lands


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Mortekai

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What better way to start off a column than we an appendix? But it’s a very special appendix. Appendix N.

Okay, okay, hear me out before I have to write “appendix” again. For those that don’t get the reference, the original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master’s Guide had a series of appendices. The fourteenth(!) appendix was N, and it was titled “Inspirational and Educational Reading.” I believe it was the first such example of indicating related products that can be read or played to inspire another product, and I’ve certainly added inspirational reading sections to both Pugmire and Monarchies of Mau.

But inspiration is a funny thing. It’s not always clear how something inspires you. Further, if you’re working on an ongoing line like Pugmire, things crop up that inspire you long after the initial genesis of the world. People are glad to reference games, books, and movies that I might find interesting. And some of my inspirations aren’t what you’d expect.

I only had so much room in the book — I doubt anyone would appreciate pages and pages of cool things to read when they could be getting on with fighting the Unseen with spell and paw — but now I have the perfect format to list what has been and continues to be inspirational to me. Here is my own version of Appendix N… “Appendix P,” if you will.

NOVELS AND ANTHOLOGIES

  • Redwall by Brian Jacques
  • Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien and Zena Bernstein
  • Watership Down by Richard Adams
  • The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett
  • Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (for the political structures of Monarchies of Mau)
  • City by Clifford D. Simak (seriously, if I had read this book first, I would have never written Pugmire for fear of it being a “City” ripoff)
  • The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham (for the blend of weirdness in a post-apocalyptic setting)
  • The Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories by Fritz Leiber
  • The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff (for a breakdown of how animal characters can communicate depth)
  • The Conan the Barbarian stories by Robert E. Howard

COMICS, MANGA, AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

  • Mouse Guard by David Petersen
  • Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin by Yoshihiro Takahashi
  • Rover Red Charlie by Garth Ennis
  • ElfQuest by Wendy and Richard Pini
  • Sam & Max Surfin’ the Highway by Steve Purcell (one of my touchstones of how to pitch the humor of the setting)
  • Maus by Art Spiegelman (another great example of using animal characters to communicate depth)
  • Kingdom of Dog by Christopher Lawson and Soo Lee
  • Atomic Robo by Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener (another humor touchstone)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird (the original black and white comics)
  • Usagi Yojimbo by Stan Sakai

CARTOONS

  • Redwall by Raymond Jafelice and Luc Bihan
  • The Secret of NIMH by Don Bluth
  • Thundarr the Barbarian by Steve Gerber, Joe Ruby, and Ken Spears (for utterly bonkers post-apocalyptic imagery)
  • Adventure Time by Pendleton Ward (same)

TABLETOP ROLEPLAYING GAMES

  • S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks by Gary Gygax (an old-school D&D module)
  • Gamma World by James M. Ward and Gary Jaquet
  • Mutant Future by Daniel Proctor and Ryan Denison (a neat retroclone that blends old-school D&D and Gamma World sensibilities)
  • Mouse Guard by Luke Crane and David Petersen
  • The Secrets of Cats by Richard Bellingham
  • Marvel Super Heroes by Jeff Grubb (for great mechanics on how to encourage players to act like heroes and like a team)
  • Tales of the Floating Vagabond by Lee Garvin, Nick Atlas, and John Huff (the first game I owned that encouraged me to be funny at the table)

VIDEO GAMES

  • The Geneforge series (another weird blend of science fantasy)
  • Kingdom of Loathing (even though I enjoyed it, it helped me sort out exactly the wrong kind of humor for me)
  • Sam & Max seasons 1-3
  • Ducktales (a great game that is very tight mechanically)
  • Armello
  • Owlboy
  • Undertale (you can make friends with monsters!)
  • Super Mega Neo Pug (proof that not all inspirations need to be GOOD)

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Mortekai

SV-Logo-Website-300x129.pngThe Slarecian Vault Community Content program for Scarred Lands is now live! Like the DM’s Guild, Pugmire‘s Canis Minor, or White Wolf’s Storytellers Vault, you can create your own Scarred Lands content, upload it to the Slarecian Vault, and sell it to other Scarred Lands fans!

Matt will be posting more details about the Slarecian Vault in a separate blog post shortly.

In celebration of the Vault’s launch, we’re releasing a number of amazing Scarred Lands posters:

SL_Dragon-Poster-203x300.jpgNow available in image and print from DriveThruRPG: Scarred Lands Player’s Guide Wrack Dragon Poster for Scarred Lands!

The effects of the Titanswar still ripple through the world, and the heroines and villains of many of these stories are part of living memory, if not still living. 

Here is a poster of new Scarred Lands art by Shen Fei, available now in Poster format.

Scarred Lands Player’s Guide Adventurers Poster for Scarred Lands!

The effects of the Titanswar still ripple through the world, and the heroines and villains of many of these stories are part of living memory, if not still living. 

Here is a poster of one of the new Scarred Lands works by William O’Brien.

Blood Sea: The Crimson Abyss Poster for Scarred Lands!

In a trench deep in the ocean floor lies the bound titan Kadum. He bleeds endlessly from the hole in his chest where his heart was plucked out. This blood — the blood of the Mountainshaker, the blood of the Father of Monsters — changes everything that it touches, men and beasts alike.

The cover of the classic Scarred Lands supplement Blood Sea: The Crimson Abyss is now available as a 12×18″ poster!

Hollowfaust: City of Necromancers Poster for Scarred Lands!

In the shadow of a dormant volcano crouched the dead city of Sumara. Wandering necromancers rediscovered it in the wake of the Divine War, and from the bones of that slain nation, the wizards fashioned a new realm: Hollowfaust, City of the Necromancers.

The cover of the classic Scarred Lands supplement Hollowfaust: City of Necromancers is now available as a 12×18″ poster!

Sales

For entire month of May, DriveThruRPG is running their May D&D Sale, with up to 66% off tons of D&D and D&D-related products!

That includes lots of products from Onyx Path, like current 5e/OGL and classic 3e/d20 Scarred Lands material, as well as our Pugmire releases!

Community Spotlight

The following community-created content for Scarred Lands has been added to the Slarecian Vault in the last week:

The following community-created content for Pugmire has been added to Canis Minor in the last week:

The following community-created content for Vampire has been added to the Storytellers Vault in the last week:


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Mortekai

BPG-Front-232x300.jpgApril had us running around like fools (April fools, if you will) with the incredible Dragon-Blooded Kickstarter. Thanks to everyone who contributed! This month also saw:

Fiction

A new title is available for your tablets:

  • Mage: The Ascension: The Mage20 Cookbook (Kindle)

Merch

 

Community Spotlight

New Pugmire community-created content has been added to Canis Minor, which opened this month:

  • No new Canis Minor content this week. 🙁 Have you considered creating something?

The following community-created content for Vampire has been added to the Storytellers Vault in the last month:


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Mortekai

 

Here’s a selection from the recently-released Beast Player’s Guide.

BPG-Front-232x300.jpgBeyond the Nightmares a Beast can learn from her kin or by exploring the Primordial Dream, other members of the supernatural community spread their own brands of terror. As she spends time with other creatures, and especially if she creates Family Ties with others, her Horror begins to reflect the company she keeps. A Beast among a coterie of vampires learns precisely how to sow seeds of betrayal and mistrust to feed her Ravager Horror. A Whisper learns from the same group how far the power of silence goes to keep others talking, and just how much people will reveal to avoid silence. As the Beast learns from her companions and witnesses them using their own power, she expands her understanding of what fear truly is, drawing her closer to her Horror and the other members of her supernatural family.

Nightmares

This section presents a plethora of new Kinship Nightmares, followed by a discussion of how a Beast can use Family Ties to a supernatural being to create custom Nightmares.

Kinship Nightmares

The Kinship Nightmares presented below include more possible examples of the sort of abilities a Beast may develop with Family Ties.

Checking It Twice (Wizened Changeling)

You know that you assembled it perfectly. This is absolutely the way to put this together, but you still feel like something could have gone wrong. What if something came loose while your back was turned? What if somebody ruined your masterpiece? You just need to check it to be sure. Just one more time.

Dice Pool: Presence + Satiety vs. Composure + Supernatural Tolerance

Normal: The victim becomes consumed with the need to perfect her craft. The victim gains the Obsession Condition for an object they can toy with, repair, or are even planning to create in the future.

High Satiety: The victim is consumed with the need to double check her work to make sure it’s absolutely immaculate. Any action the victim takes other than rechecking what she’s previously done requires a reflexive Resolve + Composure roll. If this roll fails, the victim can’t do anything as she goes back to just making sure everything was running smoothly. In combat, the victim loses her Defense for the turn she fails her roll.

Satiety Expenditure: The victim knows something is wrong and she needs to fix it right now because if she doesn’t do it, nobody will. The character becomes utterly monomaniacal in her focus on the object of her perfectionism. The Obsession Condition remains even after the Nightmare expires. The victim can only cure herself of the Obsession by finally perfecting the object or being forcibly separated from her project. The Beast can cure the Condition with a touch as well.

Exceptional Success: The victim gains a +2 bonus to any roll that furthers their obsession, but a –2 on all rolls to notice or focus on anything else.

Everything You Know Is a Lie (Mage)

Your eyes have been opened to the profound truth. Nothing you have ever experienced is true. This world is a simulation and others are just pawns in some cosmic play. How can you love if you don’t know what love truly is? How can you eat if you’ve never felt true hunger?

Dice Pool: Intelligence + Satiety vs. Resolve + Supernatural Tolerance

Normal: The victim comes to the terrible realization that his life experience is based off a false paradigm or incorrect assumptions. The victim loses access to Specialties and 10-again for the duration of the Nightmare.

High Satiety: The character is plagued by doubt — every action feels false and guided by some principle that simply doesn’t apply to the situation. While the Nightmare is active, the victim’s player must reroll any dice that come up successes when using any Skill in which the victim has a Specialty. The victim keeps the results of this reroll.

Satiety Expenditure: The Beast chooses a Skill category (Mental, Social, or Physical). Within that category, the victim treats all Skills as untrained (meaning the character loses access to any dots in that Skill and suffers a –1 or –3 penalty as appropriate). If this would affect a supernatural being using a power or ability, it provokes a Clash of Wills.

Exceptional Success: The victim’s threshold for exceptional success in any Skill that lost a Specialty is raised to seven successes. For Storyteller characters, who might not have Specialties, the player can specify one Skill that suffers from this effect.

Evil Doll (Unfleshed Promethean)

You just saw it. Somewhere out of the corner of your eye you saw it, with those mechanical hands and blank, beady eyes. You saw that monstrosity somewhere right when you got into the room, but now you can’t find it. That monster is hiding from you, waiting for you to look away long enough to get you.

Dice Pool: Presence + Satiety vs. Composure + Supernatural Tolerance

Normal: The victim becomes convinced that some inanimate object in the room is actually a monster in disguise, just waiting for her to lower her guard. As long as the object remains in the room the character has the Spooked Condition, unless they prove without a shadow of a doubt that the object actually isn’t alive (perhaps by burning it).

High Satiety: If the victim destroys the object, she believes that another object in the room has become possessed by the same malevolent force.

Satiety Expenditure: The victim lets her guard down for just a moment and is attacked by the creature in a flurry of motion, biting her leg or lodging a steak knife in her shin as it skitters by. In reality, the only damage dealt to the victim is caused by their nervous handling of the object causing it to go off, fall, or otherwise cause injury. The victim suffers the object’s equipment bonus in lethal damage. This deals a minimum of one damage; even with the most harmless objects the victim finds a way to stumble into a suitably horrible accident.

Exceptional Success: As long as the victim has the Spooked Condition, she may not perform extended actions or other time-consuming activities that might let the monster get the drop on her.

Family is Forever (Vampire)

You know what they say about blood being thicker than water. You also know that just because you have to be polite doesn’t mean you have to particularly like this asshole. Something about them drives you up the wall but you can’t just put them out.

Dice Pool: Manipulation + Satiety vs. Resolve + Supernatural Tolerance

Normal: The victim becomes convinced that they’re in some way distantly related to the Beast. No matter how vague the details are, the victim’s subconscious fills in the gaps to make the cover story seem true. The victim gains the Leveraged Condition.

High Satiety: The Beast gains access to a number of the victim’s Social Merit dots equal to the Beast’s Satiety at the activation of the Nightmare. She cannot partially access flat-rate Social Merits (such as True Friend) if she doesn’t have the requisite number of dots, but may partially access scaling Merits like Resources. For example, a Beast with 7 Satiety using the Nightmare on a victim with Contacts 5, Resources 4, and True Friend could gain access to Contacts 5 and use the remaining dots to access two of the victim’s Resources, but not True Friend. She could, however, use Contacts 2, Resources 2, and True Friend.

Satiety Expenditure: The Beast may make requests of her “family” that would normally require blackmail or weeks of cajoling. The Beast may spend multiple points of Satiety while this Nightmare is active — for every point of Satiety spent, open one additional Door against the victim.

Exceptional Success: The victim may be irritated by the distant “family” member, or even hate them, but them but turning them away seems unthinkable. The victim gains the Guilty Condition if they refuse a request of the Beast.

The Water Won’t Last Forever (Hunter in Darkness Werewolf)

You can’t help but think about it. How long has it been since it’s rained? Aren’t those earthquakes just a little too frequent for this part of the world? Sure, the government has done a good job of keeping it covered up, but the truth is obvious. This world is dying and you’re not going let it take you with it.

Dice Pool: Presence + Satiety vs. Composure + Supernatural Tolerance

Normal: The victim is “clued in” to an impending environmental or economic apocalypse that he’s certain will happen in the immediate future. The victim gains the Paranoid Condition, feeling compelled to hoard material resources to ensure his own survival from the impending end of all things.

High Satiety: The victim only respects the rule of might and all other law is just a weakness of society. As long as the victim is under the effect of the Nightmare, he is treated as hostile for all Social Maneuvering actions short of hard leverage. Attempting to bargain for resources instead of just taking them for himself fails outright without a roll.

Satiety Expenditure: In a world without law, only survival of the fittest matters. The Beast may spend multiple Satiety on this effect. For each Satiety spent, the Nightmare persists for another day. Additionally, the Beast may indicate one object in these Nightmares that the victim simply can’t be without if they have any hope of surviving. The victim gains the Obsessed Condition for acquiring this object.

Exceptional Success: The Paranoid Condition persists for a day after the end of the Nightmare.

You Have Foreseen This (Acanthus Mage)

There’s no chance they’re going to stop it in time. You already know exactly how it’s going to happen and how much they’re going to suffer, but nobody will believe you. So all you can do is watch it play out exactly as you saw it coming.

Dice Pool: Intelligence + Satiety vs. Resolve + Supernatural Tolerance

Normal: The victim falls under the delusion they are in some way able to foresee or plan for all future outcomes. The victim gains the Delusional Condition (the Beast outlines the delusion in general terms), and any attempt to stray from the vision of the future the Beast left in their head requires a reflexive Resolve + Composure roll. The Beast may resolve the Delusional Condition prematurely by touching the victim of the Nightmare.

High Satiety: The player may select a number of rolls equal to the successes rolled on the Nightmare activation roll that the victim knows are destined to fail. No matter how many successes the victim’s player achieves, these rolls are treated as though they only show one success.

Satiety Expenditure: The victim walks through the world a helpless tool of capricious destiny. As long as the victim has the Delusional Condition, her threshold for exceptional successes is three successes instead of five — as long as she follows the vision’s narrative. When the Delusional Condition is resolved, the Beast regains one Willpower for each exceptional success that the victim achieved. After the Delusional Condition is resolved, the victim loses 10-again for the scene.

Exceptional Success: If the Delusional Condition is resolved by the victim during the duration of the Nightmare, it counts as fulfilling the Beast’s Hunger.

You Should Fade Away (Silent Sin-Eater)

You’re so tired but you don’t want to impose on anyone. What kind of needy and desperate thing would you be if you couldn’t take care of yourself in this situation? You’re an adult. Surely you can get through this yourself instead of bothering somebody else with your problems. Maybe someone will just notice you when they have the time to spare.

Dice Pool: Presence + Satiety vs. Resolve + Supernatural Tolerance

Normal: The victim seeks to avoid being a problem for those around him, subconsciously aware that his needs are a drain and annoyance on those around them. The victim must make a Resolve + Composure roll to ask somebody else for something he needs, even if his life is at stake.

High Satiety: The victim is grateful for any attention. He gains the Swooning Condition with whomever chooses to directly address him.

Satiety Expenditure: The victim becomes part of the background noise of the environment, a barely noticeable footnote on the occurrences of daily life. To try and get someone’s attention, the victim rolls Presence + Resolve if human, or Presence + Supernatural Tolerance if not. Success for the victim means the observer doesn’t even notice there was anyone there at all.

Exceptional Success: The victim’s body grows heavy and the will to continue to participate in the world with others bleeds away. The victim gains the Lethargic Condition.

Breaking Down a Character

Creating a Kinship Nightmare based on another character can be difficult for both player and Storyteller characters. A neonate vampire, originally a faceless pawn sent to hunt the brood, is unexpectedly adopted after the Beasts take a liking to him. A werewolf whose original concept was a remorseless berserker has a change of heart after several stories, embracing a different way of life before a Beast gets around to creating a Kinship Nightmare. Here are a few ways to break down a character into that essential fear needed to create Nightmares. Remember there is no one right answer to what makes a member of the supernatural community terrifying, as long as the table agrees it makes for an interesting part of the story.

  • Describe the character to someone else at the table without bringing up their supernatural species, profession, or affiliation with a supernatural order. What traits most strongly define them? What most differentiates them from the presumptions of the setting?
  • Discuss with the character’s player or the Storyteller a single defining event that happened, either at the table or in the character’s backstory. How did it alter them? What was the worst possible outcome of that event? Why is it terrifying?
  • Define a single area where the character has unparalleled power. What is the worst possible thing they could do with that control? What is the character most afraid of becoming with that sort of control?
  • Consider what sort of predation the character is capable of that would cause a Chamber to form. How does that Chamber resonate with the Legend of the Beast? How did they perform such an act? What sort of Lair Traits tie the two together?

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Hope everybody had a great time reading this blog last week with guest blogger Mighty Matt McElroy. Big thanks to Matt for stepping in and posting!

A bunch of stuff has happened in these last two weeks that I haven’t had a chance to comments on, so I’m just going to go down the list and cover as much as I can from my own slightly warped viewpoint.

1- If you read this section before jumping right to the Project Progress section, which I know all insight-lovin’ folks do, then I’ll note that some things that moved forward last week are now, or still, in bold this week. I just wanted to get caught up myself on what was new or newish, and so I emphasized a few projects again rather than chance missing them.

 

 

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2- Last week, our Dragon-Blooded: What Fire Has Wrought Kickstarter campaign wrapped up and we were just wowed by how well the campaign ran! The enthusiasm of the backers and the awesome communication encouraged by our “Kickstarter Concierge” James Ring-a-Ding Bell, in-house dev Dixie Cochrane, and EX3 developers Robert Vance and Eric Minton really made for a fun and exciting KS!

Backer suggestions were mixed in liberally with the outline of plans concocted by the team, and we were able to pass over 30 Stretch Goals. The Dragon-Blooded Companion alone is going to be a big book of additional DB material that truly complements and adds to the main book. It’s a great perk with these KSs to be able to provide a really solid and useful set of additional projects that have turned the Dragon-Blooded book into a “mini-line”.

 

 

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Boggans illustration by Drew Tucker

 

 

 

3- The big thing that went on all of last week and culminated on Saturday, was the launch of the pre-order for Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition from our friends, and licensing partners at White Wolf. It’s a helluva package of books and accessories, and as Mighty Matt noted last week, they are being distributed into stores by our other friends at Modiphius.

A few folks wrote to me expressing their concerns; everything from us losing the license, to how we were being ripped off by White Wolf. But really, not a whole lot of our gang here who follow Onyx Path, because, as you all know, none of this was out of line based on the info I and the rest of our team have been sharing with ya’ll along the way since the news of the WW purchase first hit our social media several years ago.

This makes me proud and glad; that we’ve been able to explain and illuminate the ins and outs of Onyx‘s license and what that means to both us, and the bigger picture of how we fit into the continued revival of the great WW game lines, to all of you these last couple of years. It’s not easy being as transparent as we strive to be in the midst of a sale from one company to another of the game lines you are licensed to create projects for.

And, in case anyone did miss where we are in all this: we still have the license to create WoD projects (and CofD and Exalted), whether for the 20th Anniversary lines or for 5th Edition WoD. We continue to work with the gang at WW to make these new projects work together with their bigger plans for the WW IPs across all media.

 

 

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Chopper illustration for Pan’s Guide by Brian Syme

 

 

 

4- Another group of folks we are affiliated with is the Bodhana Group, the therapists and teachers that I’ve talked about before who use gaming as a way to help adults and kids. We’re proud to be able to help them with their efforts in a lot of ways, and this year they are having Eddy Webb as a guest at their Save Against Fear convention in central Pennsylvania. (Details about that in the Conventions section of the blog, below).

Let me pass on a request from them, if you have an interest in what they do or want to help generally: could you go onto their Facebook page and “like” the group? It would help them greatly in their efforts to be able to point there as an indicator of how many folks support them. And personally, my thanks to anyone who can pop on and “like” them. https://www.facebook.com/thebodhanagroup/

 

 

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Illustration by Michael Gaydos

5- Eddy is also part of our team of three “in-house developers” who are not only stepping up across the board and helping your favorite projects and gamelines get finished up and out to you, but all three of them – Eddy, Dixie Cochrane, and the always-delightful Matthew Dawkins – just posted their 2nd episode of the Onyx Pathcast podcast on Friday. This one features an interview with one of our favorite up-and-coming writer/developers Meghan Fitzgerald, who has been absolutely impressive not just with the quality of the work she can do, but with the range of game lines she can handle so very well.

It’s a good one, if only to hear Matthew offer up an emergency question to Eddy and Dixie for use if they get stuck (he was unable to actually interview Meghan himself), and for them to ask her the question right in the beginning. Boom! Check it out here: https://onyxpathcast.podbean.com/

 

 

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6- Finally, this Wednesday we are opening the Slarecian Vault: Scarred Land Community Content site on DTRPG.com, and you can access the content creation materials early, like right now, if you have ideas and want to get in on it ASAP, although nothing goes on sale until Wednesday.

This is the second of our Community Content sites, along with Canis Minor, the Realms of Pugmire CC site, and we’re pretty excited to put another one up. The Scarred Lands has a lot of folks from over a decade ago who have some excellent ideas from the games they’ve been playing, and we’d love to see those go up on the site. Yet, fear not true believers, this won’t be the last Community Content site we open; we have Scion and Trinity Continuum ones in the works!

This is, after all, the truth of Onyx Path: we have…

 Many Worlds, One Path!

 

 

BLURBS!

KICKSTARTER:

Now that the massive Dragon-Blooded: What Fire Has Wrought Kickstarter campaign has triumphantly finished, we’re prepping for a puppy of a different color with Fetch Quest, the adventure card game set in the Realms of Pugmire!

 

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As we try and find ways to enable our community to more easily play our games, the Onyx Dice Rolling App is now live! Our dev team has been doing updates since we launched based on the excellent use-case comments by our community, and this thing is both rolling and rocking!

The devs have added a whole bunch of new game lines’ dice and rolling bg’s and got caught by a bug Apple needed to fix, so be sure to update your app and soon that should be fixed.

There’s been tweaks to all elements of the UI, you can now preview every die type in the store, and you can use multiple die types per roll! Here are the links for the Apple and Android versions:

http://theappstore.site/app/1296692067/onyx-dice

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.onyxpathpublishing.onyxdice&hl=en

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Three different screenshots, above.

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(The Solar Anima special Dice above)

 

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Promethean: The Created and Demon: The Descent dice on a Demon: The Descent tabletop

 

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Hunter: The Reckoning and Mage: The Awakening dice on a Mage: The Awakening tabletop

 

 

 

ON AMAZON AND BARNES & NOBLE:

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You can now read our fiction from the comfort and convenience of your Kindle (from Amazon) and Nook (from Barnes & Noble).

Our latest offering is the Mage 20 Cookbook, now in a convenient Kindle ebook version! https://www.amazon.com/Mage-Cookbook-World-Darkness-Enlightened-ebook/dp/B07C71BRDC/

Nook version is coming soon!

If you enjoy these or any other of our books, please help us by writing reviews on the site of the sales venue you bought it from. Reviews really, really help us with getting folks interested in our amazing fiction!

 

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Our initial selection includes these fiction anthologies:

  • Vampire: The Masquerade: The Endless Ages Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse: Rites of Renown: When Will You Rage II (Kindle, Nook)
  • Mage: The Ascension: Truth Beyond Paradox (Kindle, Nook)
  • Chronicles of Darkness: The God-Machine Chronicle Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Mummy: The Curse: Curse of the Blue Nile (Kindle, Nook)
  • Beast: The Primordial: The Primordial Feast Anthology (Kindle, Nook)

 

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And here are six more fiction books:

  • Vampire: The Masquerade: Of Predators and Prey: The Hunters Hunted II Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse: The Poison Tree (Kindle, Nook)
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse: Songs of the Sun and Moon: Tales of the Changing Breeds (Kindle, Nook)
  • Vampire: The Requiem: The Strix Chronicle Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Werewolf: The Forsaken: The Idigam Chronicle Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Mage: The Awakening: The Fallen World Chronicle Anthology (Kindle, Nook)

 

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Andand six more more:

  • Vampire: The Masquerade: The Beast Within Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse: W20 Cookbook (Kindle, Nook)
  • Exalted: Tales from the Age of Sorrows (Kindle, Nook)
  • Chronicles of Darkness: Tales of the Dark Eras (Kindle, Nook)
  • Promethean: The Created: The Firestorm Chronicle Anthology (Kindle, Nook)
  • Demon: The Descent: Demon: Interface (Kindle, Nook)

 

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And even more books are now on Amazon and the Nook store!:

  • Scarred Lands: Death in the Walled Warren (KindleNook)
  • V20 Dark Ages: Cainite Conspiracies (Kindle, Nook)
  • Chronicles of Darkness: Strangeness in the Proportion (KindleNook)
  • Vampire: The Requiem: Silent Knife (Kindle, Nook)
  • Mummy: The Curse: Dawn of Heresies (KindleNook)

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And here are the Champions of the Scarred Lands fiction anthology and the Huntsmen Chronicles anthology for Changeling: The Lost 2nd Edition!

OUR SALES PARTNERS:

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We’re working with Studio2 to get Pugmire out into stores, as well as to individuals through their online store. You can pick up the traditionally printed main book, the Screen, and the official Pugmire dice through our friends there!

https://studio2publishing.com/search?q=pugmire

 

 

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Looking for our Deluxe or Prestige Edition books? Try this link! http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Onyx-Path-Publishing/

Here’s the link to the press release we put out about how Onyx Path is now selling through Indie Press Revolution: http://theonyxpath.com/press-release-onyx-path-limited-editions-now-available-through-indie-press-revolution/

You can now order wave 2 of our Deluxe and Prestige print overrun books, including Deluxe Mage 20th Anniversary, and Deluxe V20 Dark Ages! And Screens…so many Screens!

And you can now order Pugmire: the book, the screen, and the dice! http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/manufacturers.php?manufacturerid=296

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Wave 3 of our extra Kickstarter projects is now on sale at IPR!

Here are the direct links for the Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras Prestige Edition: http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Chronicles-of-Darkness-Dark-Eras-Prestige-Edition.html

Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras Storytellers’ Screen: http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Chronicles-of-Darkness-Dark-Eras-Storytellers-Screen.html

Deluxe Exalted 3rd Edition: http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Exalted-3rd-Edition-Deluxe-Edition.html

Ultra-Deluxe (Orichalcum) Exalted 3rd Edition: http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Exalted-3rd-Edition-Ultra-Deluxe.html

Exalted 3rd Edition Storytellers’ Screen: http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Exalted-3rd-Edition-Storytellers-Screen.html

EX3 Chibi Bookmarks: http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Exalted-3rd-Edition-Chibi-Bookmarks.html

Deluxe W20 Shattered Dreams: http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/W20-Shattered-Dreams-Deluxe-Edition.html

W20 Shattered Dreams Storytellers’ Screen: http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/W20-Shattered-Dreams-Storytellers-Screen.html

Plus price adjustments on M20, Book of the Wyrm, Anarchs Unbound and a
few other projects!

 

 

DRIVETHRURPG.COM:

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To celebrate the opening of the Slarecian Vault for Scarred Lands, we’re going to put four Scarred Lands posters on sale Wednesday via DTRPG.com. These 12″ x 18″ posters feature both clasic SL covers with Hollowfaust and the Blood Sea, and new images from the new book, like the SL PG cover wrack-dragon, and a hearty band of adventures well met and ready to divvy up their magical treasure.

 

 

 

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Ask the darkness, and it shall answer: the Beast: The Primordial Player’s Guide PDF and physical book PoD versions will answer your questions now on DTRPG.com! http://drivethrurpg.com/product/236135/Beast-Players-Guide

The Beast Player’s Guide expands on the material presented in Beast: The Primordial, with additional information on the Families and Hungers, what it feels like to be a Beast and experience the Devouring, and how to commune with the Dark Mother. You’ll also find two new Families and two new Hungers!

The book also includes a plethora of new Atavisms, Nightmares, Merits, and Birthrights, as well as systems for creating smaller, subservient versions of the Horror, new forms of Inheritance, and details on the mysterious Obcasus Rites.

 

 

 

 

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There are some things that even a Demon fears – Night Horrors: Enemy Action for Demon: The Descent has arrived in PDF and physical book PoD versions: http://drivethrurpg.com/product/236133/Night-Horrors-Enemy-Action

Fighting the Machine is like fighting the ocean. You literally cannot hurt it. Doesn’t matter how much poison we dump into the ocean. We’ll only kill the things in it. We’ll never kill it. Same with the God-Machine. Kill angels, traitors, stigmatics, cultists, cryptids, whatever, you’ll never hurt the Machine Itself. No, that doesn’t mean we stop trying. You stop trying, you drown. Screw that.

—Mr. Bliss, Guardian Inquisitor

Night Horrors: Enemy Action includes:

• Dozens of Storyteller characters, including Unchained, angels, exiles, cryptids, and stigmatics, for use as antagonists, allies, or just inspiration

• Multiple plot hooks and story seeds for your Demon: The Descent chronicles

• A brief look at cults in Demon, including the Ten Thousand Names of God, a secret society fueled by the God-Machine

 

 

 

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When you need a Changeling 20th character and a way to get started with C20: here are the C20 Ready Made Characters in PDF and physical book PoD versions! Available on DriveThruRPG.com! http://drivethrurpg.com/product/225641/C20-Ready-Made-Characters

Running a one-shot game of Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition? Starting up a chronicle with new players who aren’t sure what to play? Looking for some examples of how the various kiths might look?

Thanks to our generous Kickstarter backers, these thirteen ready-made characters cover each of the Changeling kiths. Each character is provided with background, roleplaying suggestions, art, and some potential motleys and story seeds — everything you need to immerse yourself in the Dreaming!

 

 

 

 

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Coming NOW as both PDF and physical book PoD on DTRPG, we reveal The Secret of Vinsen’s Tomb, a Jumpstart adventure for Pugmire. www.drivethrurpg.com/product/232337/The-Secrets-of-Vinsens-Tomb–A-Pugmire-Jumpstart

A cat living in Pugmire disappears, but neither the police dogs nor the cats of the Cat Quarter know why. When zombies attack the heroes, however, all signs point to an invasion by the Monarchies of Mau. But how does this intrigue tie into the lost tomb of the first king of Pugmire?

The Secret of Vinsen’s Tomb is a Pugmire story for three to six characters. This jumpstart contains all the rules and characters you need to play — just grab some dice and go! You can also use this adventure with the full version of Pugmire.

The Secret of Vinsen’s Tomb contains:

• An evocative and mysterious setting that’s both family friendly and deep enough to create compelling stories.

• A summary of Pugmire’s traditional fantasy rules system. It’s designed for streamlined play, with an emphasis on cooperation and action over competition and violence.

• A complete adventure for a Guide to run for three to six players. Also useful for Guides running a full Pugmire game of first or second level characters!

• Six ready-to-play characters, so you can jump into the action.

Can your good dogs discover the secret of Vinsen’s Tomb?

 

Also available NOW, are two physical PoD spell card packs and PDFs for Pugmire: the Artisans‘ and the Shepherds‘ spells.

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Appearing now on DriveThruRPG are the PDF and PoD physical book versions of Arms of the Chosen for Exalted 3rd Edition! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/226224/Arms-of-the-Chosen

Take up the panoply of legendary heroes and lost ages, and awaken the world-shaking might of their Evocations. Before the dawn of time, the Exalted wielded god-metal blades to cast down the makers of the universe. In an ancient epoch of forgotten glories, Creation’s greatest artificers forged unimaginable wonders and miracle-machines.

Now, in the Age of Sorrows, kingdoms go to war over potent artifacts, scavenger princes risk everything to uncover relics of the past, and the Exalted forge great arms and armor on the anvil of legend. These treasures are yours to master.

Discover the mystical power of the five magical materials and the secrets of creating your own Evocations. Wield weapons of fabled might and don the armor of mythic heroes, making their puissance your own. Claim Creation’s wonders: the miraculous tools of the Chosen, living automatons, flying machines, hearthstones, and more. And unleash the mighty warstriders, titanic god-engines of conquest and devastation, to once more shake Creation with their footfalls.

 

 

 

CONVENTIONS!

Matthew Dawkins, Steffie de Vaan, and Mighty Matt McElroy will be at the UK Games Expo in June running games and talking shop with fans and retailers.

Prep is also underway for Gen Con 2018 in August, which takes place in Indianapolis, IN. In addition to our booth presence, be sure to check out the games and panels in the Gen Con Event Schedule.

From Fast Eddy Webb, we have these:

Eddy will be speaking at Broadleaf Writers Conference (September 22-23) in Decatur, GA. He’ll be there to talk about writing for interactive fiction, and hanging out with other writers who have far more illustrious careers. http://broadleafwriters.com/3rd-annual-broadleaf-writers-conference/3rd-annual-broadleaf-writers-conference-speakers/
Eddy will also be a featured guest at Save Against Fear (October 12-14) in Harrisburg, PA. He’ll be running some Pugmire games, be available for autographs, and will sometimes accept free drinks. http://www.thebodhanagroup.org/about-the-convention

If you are going and want to meet up, let us know!

 


And now, the new project status updates!

DEVELOPMENT STATUS FROM FAST EDDY WEBB (projects in bold have changed status since last week):

First Draft (The first phase of a project that is about the work being done by writers, not dev prep)

  • M20 Book of the Fallen (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • C20 Novel (Jackie Cassada) (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • M20 The Technocracy Reloaded (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • M20 Victorian Mage (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Spilled Blood (Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition)
  • CofD Dark Eras 2 (Chronicles of Darkness)
  • Night Horrors: Shunned by the Moon (Werewolf: The Forsaken 2nd Edition)
  • C20 Players’ Guide (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Wr20 Book of Oblivion (Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Aeon Aexpansion (Trinity Continuum: Aeon)
  • In Media Res (Trinity Continuum: Core)
  • Trinity Continuum: Aberrant core (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant)
  • Lunars: Fangs at the Gate (Exalted 3rd Edition)

 

Redlines

  • Deviant: The Renegades (Deviant: The Renegades)
  • Dystopia Rising: Evolution (Dystopia Rising: Evolution)

 

Second Draft

  • WoD Ghost Hunters (World of Darkness)
  • Tales of Good Dogs – Pugmire Fiction Anthology (Pugmire)
  • Guide to the Night (Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition)
  • CofD Contagion Chronicle (Chronicles of Darkness)

 

Development

  • Signs of Sorcery (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)
  • Hunter: the Vigil 2e core (Hunter: the Vigil 2nd Edition)
  • Fetch Quest (Pugmire)
  • They Came From Beneath the Sea! Rulebook (TCFBtS!)

 

WW Manuscript Approval:

  • Night Horrors: The Tormented (Promethean: The Created 2nd Edition)
  • M20 Gods and Monsters (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)

 

Editing:

  • GtS Geist 2e core (Geist: the Sin-Eaters Second Edition)

 

Post-Editing Development:

  • Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition, featuring the Huntsmen Chronicle (Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition)
  • Scion: Hero (Scion 2nd Edition)
  • Trinity Continuum Core Rulebook (The Trinity Continuum)
  • Trinity Continuum: Aeon Rulebook (The Trinity Continuum)
  • Ex Novel 2 (Aaron Rosenberg) (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Exalted 3rd Novel by Matt Forbeck (Exalted 3rd Edition)

 

Indexing:

 

 

ART DIRECTION FROM MIRTHFUL MIKE:

In Art Direction

  • Ex3 Monthly Stuff
  • Scion Hero
  • Trinity Continuum Got notes and text for both Aeon and the Core.
  • Wr20 Guide for Newly Departed – Everything with Gaydos.
  • Geist 2e
  • The Realm

 

Marketing Stuff

 

In Layout

  • Wraith 20 Screen I’ll pull this together while doing errata. I got the list from Dansky of what tables to pull… just want to make sure they are right.
  • Fetch Quest Working on the logo.
  • EX3 Dragon Blooded
  • Monarchies of Mau Layout is firmed up to Chapter Two… aka the seven hour soul breaker. Rest should go quick
  • Changeling: the Lost 2 With Josh.

 

Proofing

  • Cavaliers of Mars Splats and map should be in by end of the month.
  • Scion Origin Inputting Neall’s first round of corrections.
  • Boggans – Yep. That happened.

 

At Press

  • Beckett Screen – At shipper.
  • Scarred Land PGs & Wise and the Wicked PF & 5e – At fulfillment shipper. PDF and PoD physical book versions on sale at DTRPG.
  • Prince’s Gambit – Being sent to the US, expected at fulfillment shipper this week.
  • V20 Beckett’s Jyhad Diary– Deluxe edition printing now.
  • Scion Dice – At fulfillment shipper.
  • Wraith 20 – Errata being input.
  • SL Champions of the Scarred Lands Anthology PoD – Re-uploaded and processing.
  • Pugmire – Pan’s Explorer’s Guide (or whatever) Prepping PoD files.
  • Book of Freeholds PoD processing.

 


TODAY’S REASON TO CELEBRATE: Tomorrow is MAY DAY! Let’s hear it for Flora, and the onset of greenery and flowers (at least in this part of the world). If you are in the UK, you might espy Matthew Dawkins holding onto a ribbon and dancing around the maypole or watching Morris dancing in a small local village while a particularly sinister minister looks on.


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Mortekai

In which Eddy and Dixie interview Changeling developer, writer on many, many projects, and all-around fascinating woman, Meghan Fitzgerald, about her role in the gaming industry, her work on Onyx Path lines as well as other games, and whether or not we’re “cool.” After the interview, stick around to hear all three of our usual hosts talk about their early tabletop gaming experiences, including a harrowing tale from in-house developer Matthew Dawkins. Things only get awkward once or twice.


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Mortekai

3317-201x300.jpgThis week we look at a piece from The River’s Flow, a story by Alejandro Melchor in Champions of the Scarred Lands.

They followed the man, who later introduced him as Gareth. They walked a path covered in mud. Jedem slipped twice, the innkeeper three times as many. Only Essery seemed like she was actually enjoying the scenery and not worrying where she stepped.

“So, why did you come?” Essery asked the druid; Gareth had gone ahead once the path upstream reached higher ground.

“Curiosity.”

“About the villagers’ efforts?”

“About you.”

“Oh, Jedem. What’s there to see? I’m a simple girl.” Her reply was jovial.

“What are you?” He asked. “You’re not fey, and I sense no magic around you.”

“True enough.”

With those two words, she told him he knew what he was asking, and she also dared him to find the answer on his own.

There were around two-dozen people gathered among scattered sacks and logs, arguing loudly.

“Here they are!” Gareth pointed at them. Another villager, covered in mud, walked over angrily, wielding a shovel. He pointed at the two of them with the metal end.

“You shouldn’t be here!”

“We know.” Essery answered calmly.

“You’re in danger, you fools!” The villager shouted. “I don’t know what this idiot and his wife told you, but the river will ?ood soon, and drown everything in this valley.”

“Then why are you still trying?” The girl asked with complete innocence, hiding Jedem’s low chuckle.

“Wh…what?”

“I ask, why do you try, if you know you’ll lose in the end?”

“It’s… we…. Look, little girl…” He pointed the shovel at her and stared in amazement at his now empty hand.

Jedem was looking at Essery. Now she had disarmed the man with an ease that spoke of a warrior’s training; she now held the shovel, and was leaning on it.

“It’s rude to point, specially with a sharp object.” She said.

“Er… sorry.”

“All right!” She gave the shovel back. “Now, Jedem, is there a way in which you can help these people?”

Of course there was, Jedem thought. He could conjure the incoming storm away, he could harden the peasants’ crude blocks into hard barriers of ironwood and stone; he could even have the trees still standing help build the blocks, or invoke a wall of stone that would serve much better than their inappropriate bulwarks. But he wouldn’t; Denev had decreed the storm, and if a human settlement was washed away, it was because it was built where it shouldn’t.

“No.” He answered finally; Essery just shrugged.

“Figured as much.” She turned to the villagers. “Right, people. Give me something to do!”

The druid spent remaining hours until dusk watching the girl intently; she didn’t lie when she said she was stronger than she seemed. She was also tireless. No matter how hard the task was set upon her frail-looking shoulders, she finished it without complaint, and with the good cheer to joke around. The men’s morale increased a thousand fold, and by the time the sun hid behind the horizon, they had made great progress.

The men themselves were amazed at how far they’ve built their blocks. Jedem faded into the background, letting his presence be forgotten. He looked at everyone work hard at a completely futile task. It reminded him of ants.

They all returned to the town in good spirits; several buildings had light coming from inside, but none of the farms did. The druid supposed that they were being cautious, keeping all the people in the settlement together in case of a disaster. The fools didn’t realize that they stood a better chance by scattering; the ?ood would take them all out in one swoop.

“Gods, I’m beat!” Essery crumbled on one of the inn’s chairs; the room was packed, with all the men and some of their wives and daughters.

“You realize you worked for nothing.” Jedem talked low.

“Yes.” She answered.

“Why, then?”

“Look at them, Denev’s son.” She gestured toward the peasants. “They too know they face their death and that of their loved ones; yet their spirits are high.”

“Sheer foolishness.” He grumped. Already someone had taken out some musical instruments and they were all singing.

“They tried to turn us away.” The girl leaned closer to him; he could smell her, sweat and mud and dried leaves. “They wanted to spare us the fate they fear. You know of the coming storm; probably they know too.”

“Except I know exactly how strong it will be.” Jedem wanted to prove how Denev favored him, not these people that abused her.

“Why haven’t you left yet, then?”

“Because…” He hesitated; it was an excellent question. “I have ways to survive, and I’m still curious.”

“I hope your curiosity can outweigh your conscience.” She was uncharacteristically serious. “You have these people’s salvation in your hands.”

“Only by the power Denev grants me.” He hissed. “And who am I to go against Her will?”

“You know Denev’s will?” She countered.

“Of course! I’ve served Her for longer than you’ve even been alive!”

“Humans have trouble understanding the will of the gods, and they’re here with us.” She looked at the townsfolk. “You think you can understand the will of a Titan?”

“You speak nonsense, girl.”

“Maybe.” She got up. “But consider this, mighty druid: If Denev believed as you do… would she have helped the gods in the Titanswar?”

She walked into the mob, leaving Jedem scowling. He left the room angrily, shutting the music and laughter from his ears. The last thing he heard from the annoying girl was her rejecting a marriage proposal.

He saw lightning in the distance, and felt the wind. The storm would be here tomorrow, if not tonight.

Discover how Jedem and Essery’s story concludes in Champions of the Scarred Lands, available in ebook and print from DriveThruFiction, via Amazon Kindle, and via B&N Nook.


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Mortekai

Ex3-Cover-232x300.jpgOnyx Path is pleased to kick off a new series about creating characters for the game lines we’ve published. Today, Bill Bodden dives into Exalted 3rd Edition. If you’re itching to try Exalted, check out Bill’s new character!

To me, Exalted 3rd Edition is about larger-than- life characters: heroes who serve their gods as pawns in the never-ending struggles and intrigue that punctuate creation. The struggle may be heroic or nefarious, but in the end all that matters is fame and glory. The Exalted are characters who were either created to be heroes or were born of heroes so the gifts for performing extraordinary deeds are contained within them.

After reading through the examples, I decided I wanted to come up with an Exalted character to play in an upcoming game. First, I browsed through the introduction and flavor text in the Exalted 3rd Edition rulebook to get a better idea of the setting. In an interesting twist, the default character type in the core book is the Solar Exalted. In the game’s backstory, the Solars were mostly killed off by the Dragon-Blooded. Solars were cursed ages ago by enemies they defeated. Subsequently — and over many, many years — many of the Solars began to grow drunk with power or go mad, and so the Dragon-Blooded Exalts — and others — went to war and defeated the Solars. It’s this background into which new Solars step, and the air of suspicion and mistrust surrounding Solars makes for a challenging environment.

To start creating my character, I flipped to page 120.

Step One: Character Concept and Caste

The Dawn Caste are, first and foremost, warriors, and I want to kick some butt in this upcoming game, so I settled on the Dawn Caste, summarized on page 139. They highly favor martial skills, so hopefully I can pick out things that will mesh well together. I decided on the name Ayesha for my character. I’ve chosen “Child of Lightning” as her sobriquet, so I need to make sure she’s fast!

Step Two: Select Attributes

My Dawn Caste Solar is very clearly a fighter, so I’ve ranked Ayesha’s Attributes accordingly. Physical is primary, Social is secondary, and Mental is tertiary. Checking in at the Character Creation Summary on page 127, I see that I have eight, six, and four dots respectively to spend in these three attribute groupings — plus the default dot in each.

The heroic nature of the setting gives me plenty of dots to play with, so only her Perception and Intelligence — at two each — are at average levels for a normal human. Ayesha is going to be a combat specialist, and her above average Dexterity should help her in combat.

I want more Perception than Ayesha currently has, and for that I need to dip into my Bonus Points pool. Another dot of Perception — one of Ayesha’s tertiary attributes — will cost me four Bonus Points. Ayesha now has three dots of Perception. I also spend three points to give Ayesha another dot to Strength, which is one of her Primary Attributes so it costs a little less. After buying up these two attributes, I still have eight Bonus Points left.

The breakdown of Ayesha’s Attributes now looks like this: Strength 4, Dexterity 4, Stamina 4, Charisma 3, Manipulation 3, Appearance 3, Perception 3, Intelligence 2, Wits 3.

Step Three: Abilities

Next, I select Abilities which are sorted into two groups for ease of reference: Caste Abilities and Favored Abilities. My Dawn Solar’s Caste entitles her to pick five from Archery, Awareness, Braw/Martial Arts, Dodge, Melee, Resistance, Thrown, and War. Since she’s a warrior, but also Dexterity-minded, I choose Archery, Awareness, Brawl, Dodge, and Melee.

For Ayesha’s Favored Abilities, I choose Athletics, Medicine, Ride, Socialize, and Stealth. Next, I need to choose one of Ayesha’s Caste Abilities as her Supernal Ability — that’s the one thing she does best, the thing that her legends are based on. If I want her to be a speedy, nimble warrior I’d have to go with Melee, but the limitation here is that I can’t have an Ability higher than three without spending Bonus Points.

I have 28 dots to spend, and no default dots to rely on this time. The final score looks like this: Archery 3, Athletics 2, Awareness 3, Brawl 3, Dodge 3, Medicine 2, Melee 3, Ride 1, Socialize 2, and Stealth 3. I also take Integrity 1, Presence 1, and Resistance 1 to round out the Abilities.

I’m also allotted four Specialties. Specialties are things that give you an extra die to roll for that skill when the specialized conditions are at work, and they are open-ended. There’s no list to pick my Specialties from, so I’ll need to come up with something that compliments Ayesha’s existing Abilities without being too broad. To compliment her Abilities, Ayesha’s Specialties will go into Archery (long-range shot), Melee (swords), Awareness (ambush), and Stealth (reconnaissance).

I want Ayesha’s Abilities to be better than what she has currently, so I’m going to spend a few Bonus Points here to bulk up her rules. First, I’m putting another dot in Archery, which will cost me one Bonus Point. I also put another point in Melee to lift that Ability to four, and an additional point in Resistance, for a total of two more Bonus Points spent.

My total point spend at this stage, which includes adding a dot to two Attributes, is now 11 out of 15. Not bad! I’ve spent more than two-thirds of my Bonus Points, so I’m going to be a bit more cautious going forward.

Step Four: Merits

I have 10 dots’ worth of Merits to acquire, and I’ve decided to use these to work in Ayesha’s backstory. Ayesha has been a fighter all her life, and she’s well-acquainted with commoners. I am leaning toward creating a character who champions their causes whenever and wherever she can.

I check the Merits’ listing on pgs. 157-58 and, after further reading, I invest the first three dots in Manse 3 — which also gives me Demense 2 and Hearthstone 2 for free.

Exalted Healing is free, so I take it and laugh heartily. The rest of Ayesha’s Merits look like this: Danger Sense 3, Fast Reflexes 3, and Language (Low Realm) 1.

That adds up to my 10 starting points in Merits.

Step Five: Charms

Charms are immensely cool: they offer a fantastic way to customize your character, provide a great handle for describing action in-game to help build excitement, and they can allow the Exalt to do some amazing things. The list starts on page 250 and runs for some 175 pages. It’s long, but it’s worth it to read through them all.

That said, there are a LOT of Charms. Choosing 15 seemed daunting to me at first, but the more I read about them, the more excited I became. My choices became more difficult because there were so many great options and I wanted them all!

I finally settled on these:

Wise Arrow (Archery)
Phantom Arrow Technique (Archery)
Graceful Crane Stance (Athletics)
Sensory Acuity Prana (Awareness)
Surprise Anticipation Method (Awareness)
Fists of Iron Technique (Brawl)
Reed in the Wind (Dodge)
Reflex Sidestep Technique (Dodge)
Flawless Diagnosis Technique (Medicine)
Excellent Strike (Melee)
Call the Blade (Melee)
Ox-Body Technique (Resistance)
Master Horseman’s Techniques (Ride)
Perfect Shadow Stillness (Stealth)
Blinding Battle Feint (Stealth)

You may find that some Charms will be appealing enough to make you want to re-arrange your Attribute and Ability scores to take better advantage of what they offer, and the guidance offered in the book encourages this!

Step Six: Intimacies and Limit Trigger

Intimacies are the things that the Exalt cares deeply about, from her personal moral code to her dearest friends, right on down to her bitterest enemies and deepest hatreds. I must choose four for Ayesha, but could choose more if I wish. From time to time these Intimacies may be eliminated as things change in-game, so having more isn’t a bad thing. It helps clarify my character’s motivation, and gives the Storyteller more tools to introduce new plots and intrigues.

After reflecting on what I’ve got so far, I decided that Ayesha’s defining Intimacy is that she loves children and will do anything in her power to protect the innocent from harm. Her Major Intimacy is that she cares for creation and hates to see it plundered greedily and wastefully. Her Positive Intimacy is that she does what she can to lift her teammates’ spirits, and her Negative Intimacy is that she despises The Wyld and the Chaos it represents.

Limit “is a measure of stress, self-doubt, and instability” within each Solar, and the closer they get to their Limit, the more endanger they are. Intimacies, which I’ve just defined above, work hand-in- hand with Limit. When a character knowingly acts against one of her Intimacies, there is a chance for that character to gain points toward her Limit. Limit Triggers, then, are the event that may cause a Solar to go over the edge, activating the curse laid upon their kind by the enemies of the gods whom the Solars had defeated.

I decided that an appropriate Limit Trigger for Ayesha, would be when she’s humiliated by friends and allies. Once she has accumulated 10 Limit Points, she will suffer a break; its timing and effects will be at the Storyteller’s discretion.

Step Seven: Bonus Points

Remember all those bonus points I already spent? I have a total of 15 bonus points to spend per page 124. The downside is that bonus points work like experience points, in that most bonuses are more expensive to buy than during character creation. I plan to give Ayesha extra Willpower dots — because who can’t use more Willpower, right? I’ve already spent 11, so I only have four left. Four Bonus Points is enough to by Ayesha two more dots of Willpower, so that works out great, and brings me up to 15.

Step Eight: Finishing Touches

Ayesha’s Willpower starts at five dots. I increased that to seven dots by spending bonus points from the previous step. I can also/instead spend experience points later to buy more Willpower.

I need to have seven health levels available, and the character sheet provided on page 635 will make keeping track of that easier.

Essence Rating of all starting characters is one. That will increase, slowly, with time and experience. Essence is the spiritual/supernatural power Exalts use to perform miraculous feats. Peripheral Essence is the easiest to tap into, as it lies on the surface. Personal Essence represents an Exalt’s spirit. Ayesha’s Personal Essence Pool contains 13 Essence motes. Her Peripheral Essence Pool holds 33 Essence motes. Essence does replenish itself over short periods of time, so spending it usually isn’t an issue.

Now, Ayesha is a fully, fleshed out character who’s ready to play! I still need to work out details like her starting equipment and review her rules with my Storyteller. Additionally, my party should work on aspects of their relationships to one another, how they’re inter-connected, and where their loyalties lie.

Interested in Exalted? You can check out the Exalted 3rd Edition rulebook, the Tomb of Dreams Exalted 3rd Edition Jumpstart, or visit our latest Kickstarter for the Dragon-Blooded: What Fire Has Wrought supplement for more information about what we’re up to!


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