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News published by WhiteWolf and Onyx Path.

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Mortekai

hjox1313-bgf8f8f8.u2-300x201.jpgNow available on our RedBubble store: Hardcover Clan Journals for Vampire 20th Anniversary Edition: The Dark Ages!

These blank journals come in 13 varieties, one for each of the Clans of the Dark Ages. The interior pages come in your choice of lined, grid, or blank pages.

  • Dark Ages Clan: Assamites (journal)
  • Dark Ages Clan: Brujah (journal)
  • Dark Ages Clan: Cappadocians (journal)
  • Dark Ages Clan: Followers of Set (journal)
  • Dark Ages Clan: Gangrel (journal)
  • Dark Ages Clan: Lasombra (journal)
  • Dark Ages Clan: Malkavians (journal)
  • Dark Ages Clan: Nosferatu (journal)
  • Dark Ages Clan: Ravnos (journal)
  • Dark Ages Clan: Toreador (journal)
  • Dark Ages Clan: Tremere (journal)
  • Dark Ages Clan: Tzimisce (journal)
  • Dark Ages Clan: Ventrue (journal)

Also available: the Scarred Lands Dead God Trilogy is now available via Amazon Kindle and B&N Nook!

Sales

Until the end of August, all Werewolf20 and Mage20 products on Indie Press Revolution are 40% off while supplies last!

Kickstarter Update

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Our Kickstarter for Dystopia Rising: Evolution, the second edition of the Dystopia Rising tabletop RPG, launched an hour ago! Come join us as we push back the undead hordes!

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 the World of Darkness has been added to the Storytellers Vault in the last week:


View the full article

Mortekai

JonothanReed_DRE-300x208.jpgOur Kickstarter for Dystopia Rising: Evolution is now live!

> Join the fun here! <

No one knows how long it’s been since the world was blasted with nuclear radiation and became infected with the undead. Major cities were all but destroyed; transit is reduced to animals, wagons, and the occasional iron horse. The survivors of the Fall were the first strain of deviation from the human condition and were able to make it through the rapidly spreading epidemic.

Humanity has just started to rebuild, but large sections of the world are still irradiated or completely overrun by the undead. Small communities come together in a world where the concepts such as “democracy,” “freedom,” and “government” are newly reborn. Finding a community of decent size in this world is rare; finding one that has any concept of equality or morality is rarer still.

Oh, and people have the unnerving ability to come back from the dead, regrown from the very virus that destroyed the world.

This is dystopia. The world is broken. It is up to you to pick up the pieces and make a new world from the remains of the old.

Dystopia Rising is a post-apocalyptic roleplaying game that quickly grew into a live-action sensation. Now, Onyx Path is pleased to update the live-action setting with Dystopia Rising: Evolution, a tabletop roleplaying game that presents a fresh and exciting take on the post-apocalypse genre.

The Dystopia Rising: Evolution Kickstarter campaign is designed to enable us to create a hardcover core rulebook that will introduce the world, as well as setting up room for expansion and further exploration of the setting. We also want to get at least one print run into traditional distribution and available for sale at game and hobby stores.

Dystopia Rising: Evolution will be powered by Onyx Path’s Storypath system, and includes all the rules you need to play as a survivor in the post-apocalypse, including rules for creating characters for up to 24 different Strains, variations on humanity that survived the Fall. It also has details on the powers of faith and psionics, along with advice on running action-adventure stories, webs of personal intrigue, or procedural investigations. And, finally, dozens of antagonists, including a variety of zombies and raiders to use in your series.

JOIN US!


View the full article

Mortekai
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Dystopia Rising: Evolution illustration by Jonothan Reed

 

Every once in a while, I need to take a week’s worth of this blog and do kind of an Onyx Path Publishing primer.

Just go through our history, who we are, and how and why we do what we do. Usually this sort of “Who the Hell is Onyx Path?” blog is necessitated by external forces; by an influx of questions or misapprehensions here or on other bits of our social media.

And this is no exception.

This installment is brought to you by the letter V and the number 5, in fact.

The recent release of White Wolf‘s Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition (v5) has increased the number of folks stopping by here – hi, nice to see ya! – and with WW planning to continue to push further into new venues and media, I’m not thinking we’re going to see less folks confused by who we are and how we relate to White Wolf and V5.

And it is totally understandable that who we are and what we do is not obvious, particularly if you are used to the way the original White Wolf operated as a business. So, first I’m going to talk about Onyx Path‘s evolution through the last six years, and then end with reminding folks that our new Kickstarter campaign for our new game Dystopia Rising: Evolution starts on this coming Wednesday.

So, if you’re an long-time reader and know all this, please feel free to skip down to where I remind folks that our new Kickstarter campaign for our new game Dystopia Rising: Evolution starts on this coming Wednesday.

 

 

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Scion: Hero illustration by Enzo Lopez

 

 

Okay, everybody else, skootch closer and I’ll tell you a tale. It’s a longer than usual blog post, so get comfortable.

In 1991, a gaming company called White Wolf published a ground-breaking tabletop RPG called Vampire: The Masquerade. It was massively influential and popular. More World of Darkness game lines came out every year, then other game worlds like Trinity and Exalted got lines, and the original WW kept expanding and then contracted big-time. In an effort to spur sales, the World of Darkness was ended in accordance with all the prophesies presented in the various lines, and a New World of Darkness set of game lines began publication.

Unfortunately, while the initial sales of the core rulebooks for each New World of Darkness line were huge, the overall trend of declining sales was not stopped. In an effort to keep publishing and also to evolve into the electronic games market, White Wolf merged with an Icelandic MMO (massive multi-player online game) company named CCP, and began work on a World of Darkness MMO.

For too many reasons to go into here, but maybe I will someday, eventually the project stalled and CCP laid off a lot of the US office, which meant they laid off most of the original White Wolf staff. (Later, the WoD MMO was canceled).

Which is where Onyx Path enters the story.

Onyx Path, that is, not me. I entered the history of WW many years earlier and had, in fact, been with White Wolf for years before Vampire: The Masquerade came out, and was responsible for all the visuals (art, layout, printing) for every project we created. As the WoD MMO was ramping up and our TTRPG publishing conversely was slowing down, they asked me to come over to help with the MMO. While the herculean efforts to make it were occurring, a few of us also put together a side project and convinced CCP to OK its publication.

That project was a special return to TTRPGs: an omnibus edition of VtM celebrating the 20th anniversary of its publication, which is now known as V20. Even with relatively little outreach and selling it from our own webpage, it did pretty darn well.

Even more importantly from my point of view, it reminded me how much I loved making game books.

So when the big layoffs came, I was faced with watching folks who I had hired into WW, some of them more than a decade before, and who had devoted that time to the company, lose their jobs. For me, it was time to go, but I wanted to not just go but to return to TTRPGs and not as an employee, but with my own company.

Thus, in 2012, Onyx Path Publishing was born!

With the feedback from V20 indicating that there were a lot of folks still interested in WW‘s Intellectual Properties (IPs) as TTRPGs, Onyx Path negotiated licenses to create new TTRPG books for the World of Darkness, Exalted, and New World of Darkness game lines. Onyx Path bought outright the Scion, Trinity, and ultimately Scarred Lands game lines that had been originally created and published by White Wolf from CCP.

It was never my intention to try and be the new White Wolf, even if there weren’t still people at CCP who needed to approve what we were doing with the license and might be a tad miffed if I started announcing that. You see, by the time I left, I was WW‘s creative director and responsible for not just visuals but every phase of creating our games. I knew the pitfalls we had fallen into previously and intended Onyx to follow a different Path.

With that in mind, we started with PDFs and then very quickly added physical book Print on Demand (PoD) versions as well via DriveThruRPG.com. The advent of Kickstarter enabled us to create Deluxe books and later books that were traditionally printed in other ways. Getting those books to backers was a challenge, but we kept on with fulfillment shipper after shipper.

Structurally, Onyx Path worked off of the Developer/Writer/Editor to Art Director/Graphic Designer book creation track that we had perfected during the WW days. Our processes were those processes, because that was what the folks I was working with and I knew best. And those creative folks were mostly developers and writers from the olden times of WW, along with some newer folks who were fans of those days. It was great to make books with Justin Achilli, Phil Brucato, Ethan Skemp. and many more folks again, as well as artists I hadn’t worked with in over a decade.

We followed that path of creating new projects for the WW IPs and in a few years I was able to add some new game worlds by working with creators on more of a partnership basis. Thus were Pugmire and Cavaliers of Mars brought onboard. So we had the licensed IPs from WW, these creator-owned lines, and the game lines we owned. I was able to hire some folks on as full-time staff, like Mirthful Mike Chaney as art director and numero uno layout artist, and Rose Bailey to help our developers.

Other than them, though, everyone else was (and pretty much still are) freelance contractors, most of whom have other full-time jobs and create what they create in their “spare time”. Despite that, their devotion to their game lines has been amazing and very gratifying. And while we hammered through a lot of challenges with deadlines, Onyx still published some amazing books and games, revitalizing WoD with our 20th Anniversary lines, Exalted with its 3rd Edition, and 2nd Editions for the Chronicles (New World) of Darkness.

 

 

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Exalted 3rd Hundred Devils Night Parade illustration by Melissa Uran

 

 

Hold it. Something realllly important happened right at the point we started those 2nd Editions.

CCP sold all of what remained of White Wolf to a Swedish computer game company called Paradox Interactive, and they spun off a new company called…White Wolf! And why not, they bought the name along with all the IPs, after all.

We talked, we tweaked processes to work with how they needed them to be, and we continued with our Tabletop RPG licenses of the WW IPs. Current White Wolf is a lot more hands-on than CCP, as befits a company that want to build those game lines into RPGs plus other venues like computer games and other media like TV and movies. They have a lot more feedback for us on our licensed projects with them, they helped us rebrand the New World of Darkness into the Chronicles of Darkness to better differentiate the lines from WoD, and then, and then…and then they created the latest edition of Vampire: The Masquerade in-house: V5.

So, to be clear: until we started working on V5 Chicago By Night, we at Onyx Path really didn’t contribute anything to V5 directly. WW wanted it to be their baby, and we totally respect that as creators ourselves.

Continuing our clarity moment: we do not own WoD, Chronicles of Darkness, or ExaltedWhite Wolf does. We can’t OK your screenplay based on your Mage game, we can’t fire that guy who looks like Dracula at WW, and we pitch to WW book ideas for the game lines we have a license for, but they are the ones that OK them so we can work on them. We are one of what they hope to be hundreds of licensees, and WW is at the hub, licensing.

With the way WW is working with licenses, we at Onyx Path may or may not know about another one of the licensees, but we don’t know who is working on a license from White Wolf until WW tells us. We aren’t involved with who gets a license, who they or WW hire to work on a project – we only call the shots on the projects we’re creating under the WW license.

As of this writing and for as far into the future as I can see, Onyx Path is independently owned by your Uncle RichT, and I continue to look at building Onyx to last as a publisher forever, basically. It is a challenge, as we don’t have a safety net of a parent company or investor we can fall back on, so I’m very careful about how and where we expand.

With what I hope is some ongoing strategic thinking, evolution of our company continues.

We currently have four full-time staff members: myself, Mirthful Mike, LisaT in our business office, and Mighty Matt McElroy as our Operations Manager. Rose Bailey left early this year and has already produced about 14 zillion games you can get in on through her Patreon and on DTRPG.com.

Before Rose left, we were already evolving how to work with our developers and writers. We had changed and raised our pay rates, and then began to look at the challenges faced by our freelance creators. While it was obvious that trying to make the old WW processes work just wasn’t ultimately going to get us where we needed to be, we needed to be in a position where Onyx Path could provide more hands-on mentorship for our developers.

First, I lucked into being able to create a role doing just that with Eddy Webb, who had been involved with Onyx Path since the beginning, but now he was set to be our first full-time freelance developer “at-large”. In other words. Eddy was going to work with those developers who needed another dev to cover some of the very diverse responsibilities their position encompasses.

As Eddy and I were working out just what this new thing entailed, Matthew Dawkins approached me wanting to be more involved with Onyx Path. So he became our second of these contracted but full-time devs. And then, with Rose leaving, she suggested an outstanding editor who was kicking ass to step up, and Dixie Cochran became our third development overseer. Meanwhile, I talked James Bell, who has huge customer service experience, into running our Kickstarters full-time.

When you see a game line start to move forward with more and more timely releases, when you just have a blast being part of one of our Kickstarters, when you listen to our weekly Onyx Podcast for more news and insight into what we’re up to; these are the folks doing that.

As a company ethos, we believe that everyone should be able to enjoy and be represented respectfully in our projects and social media, and that, in the words of Buckaroo Bonzai, “we don’t have to be mean”.

I realize that this runs counter to a lot of the internet, but within our social media we do try to live up to that.

Just to come back to the evolution of Onyx Path in terms of our business, we are still working to license to other companies our existing game worlds for a variety of new projects that allow folks to enjoy those worlds in other ways, and to obtain licenses to other worlds that we think can be transformative TTRPG experiences as well as a lot of fun to play.

In fact, our new Kickstarter campaign for our new game Dystopia Rising: Evolution starts on this coming Wednesday.

We continue to offer PDF and PoD versions of our projects on DriveThruRPG.com, and at least our fiction so far on Amazon and the Nook store. Because we have been able to forge excellent relationships with Studio2 Publishing and Indie Press Revolution for post-Kickstarter sales, we have been able to start offering our physical products into retail channels in a way that is healthy for our business model. Studio2 is also able to put the books they handle for us onto Amazon, so you will see more and more of our projects there.

Just look below for even more venues for our projects.

Finally, because we actually do think of the worlds we create as springboards from which we can create art, we’re very proud to be working with several groups of folks who are dedicated to gaming as a therapeutic tool to help people around the world. Our friends at the Bodhana Group and iThrive are out there trying to make the world a better place. There is no doubt in my mind that gaming, and particularly roleplaying games specifically, has changed many lives for the better. I’ve just heard so many stories over the years about just that, and I’m proud the worlds we’ve created have made a difference in the real world.

 

 

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Promethean: The Created 2nd Edition Tormented illustration by Vince Locke

 

 

OK, That’s who we are and what we do. You can all sit back now, lecture-time is over. 🙂

Oh yeah, please don’t forget that our new Kickstarter campaign for our new game Dystopia Rising: Evolution starts on this coming Wednesday. (And there’s even more info in the Blurbs! section below).

Finally, always remember this when you think of Onyx Path Publishing:

Many Worlds, One Path!

 

BLURBS!

KICKSTARTER:

 

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Dystopia Rising: Evolution art by Mark Kelly

Our next Kickstarter will be for Dystopia Rising: Evolution starting on Wednesday the 22nd at 2pm EDT.

Dystopia Rising is a post-apocalyptic roleplaying game that quickly grew into a live-action sensation. Now, Onyx Path is pleased to update the live-action setting with Dystopia Rising: Evolution, a tabletop roleplaying game that presents a fresh and exciting take on the post-apocalypse genre.

Dystopia Rising: Evolution will be powered by Onyx Path’s Storypath system, and includes all the rules you need to play as a survivor in the post-apocalypse, including rules for creating characters for up to 24 different Strains, variations on humanity that survived the Fall. It also has details on the powers of faith and psionics, along with advice on running action-adventure stories, webs of personal intrigue, or procedural investigations. And, finally, dozens of antagonists, including a variety of zombies and raiders to use in your series.

Throughout this Kickstarter campaign, we will be posting complete previews of the Dystopia Rising: Evolution manuscript as backer-only updates.

 

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).

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)

 

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

SPECIAL W20 and M20 SALE! Huge savings on our Deluxe printing overruns until 8/31! ONE WEEK LEFT!

https://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Deals-and-Specials/

 

 

DRIVETHRURPG.COM:

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This week we are responding to the many, many messages asking for V20 Dark Ages Journals! So expect those to go live on our RedBubble store on Wednesday!

 

 

CONVENTIONS!

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

 

Dixie Cochran will be at High Level Games Con in Atlantic City October 12-14, running a Women in Game Design panel, Eddy’s RPG Developer Bootcamp, and possibly making a surprise appearance at another event!

 

 


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)
  • Trinity Continuum: Aberrant core (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant)
  • Tales of Excellent Cats (Monarchies of Mau)
  • Scion Companion: Mysteries of the World (Scion 2nd Edition)
  • City of the Towered Tombs (Cavaliers of Mars)
  • Night Horrors: Nameless and Accursed (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)
  • Heirs to the Shogunate (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Witch-Queen of the Shadowed Citadel (Cavaliers of Mars)

 

Redlines

  • Deviant: The Renegades (Deviant: The Renegades)
  • Spilled Blood (Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition)
  • CofD Dark Eras 2 (Chronicles of Darkness)
  • V5 Chicago By Night (Vampire: The Masquerade)

 

Second Draft

  • WoD Ghost Hunters (World of Darkness)
  • Tales of Good Dogs – Pugmire Fiction Anthology (Pugmire)
  • Aeon Aexpansion (Trinity Continuum: Aeon)
  • C20 Players’ Guide (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • In Media Res (Trinity Continuum: Core)
  • Wr20 Book of Oblivion (Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Lunars: Fangs at the Gate (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Changeling: The Lost 2nd Companion (Changeling: The Lost 2nd)

 

Development

  • Signs of Sorcery (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)
  • Hunter: the Vigil 2e core (Hunter: the Vigil 2nd Edition)
  • Fetch Quest (Pugmire)
  • CofD Contagion Chronicle (Chronicles of Darkness)
  • Dystopia Rising: Evolution (Dystopia Rising: Evolution)
  • Night Horrors: Shunned by the Moon (Werewolf: The Forsaken 2nd Edition)
  • Changeling: The Lost 2nd Jumpstart (Changeling: The Lost 2nd)
  • Adventures for Curious Cats (Monarchies of Mau)

 

Manuscript Approval:

 

Editing:

  • They Came From Beneath the Sea! Rulebook (TCFBtS!)
  • Dog and Cat Ready Made Characters (Monarchies of Mau) (With Eddy)

 

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

 

Indexing:

 

 

ART DIRECTION FROM MIRTHFUL MIKE:

 

In Art Direction

  • Dystopia Rising: EvolutionWorking on banners for the KS. Art is in for the video and KS page.
  • VtR: Guide to the Night
  • M20: Gods and Monsters – Leblanc already has sketches in.
  • Geist 2e
  • The Realm
  • Trinity Continuum (Aeon and Core)
  • Ex3 Monthly Stuff
  • Ex3 Dragon Blooded Sketches and color roughs continue to come in and even some finals from Gunship.

 

Marketing Stuff

 

In Layout

  • Scarred Lands Trilogy Novels – Converting to PDF and PoD.
  • Fetch Quest – New cards contracted…. will be in by September 15th. KS backer shirt out.

 

Proofing

  • Scion Hero 
  • Cav Talent cards
  • PTC: Night Horrors: The Tormented

 

At Press

  • Changeling: The Lost 2e – incorporating errata and getting it ready for indexing.
  • Monarchies of Mau – Printing. Dice and buttons printing.
  • Scion Origin Errata review and incorporation.
  • Cavaliers of Mars Finishing printing.
  • Wraith 20th – Prepping the Deluxe files, still poking printer for cover specs.
  • Monarchies of Mau Screen Printing.
  • Cavaliers of Mars Screen Printing.
  • Wraith 20 Screen Printing.
  • Scion Dice – At fulfillment shipper.

 


TODAY’S REASON TO CELEBRATE: Today is James Marsters birthday, and so let’s wish a great one for Spike! Arguably the best of the bads from Buffy, and role model for thousands of Vampire: The Masquerade characters!

 


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Mortekai

In which the Terrible Trio talk about their Gen Con experience

* Since our normal recording solution was acting wonky, we switched to Skype. As a result, Eddy is a bit quiet in parts.
* Playing (and running) demos at the show
* They Came from Beneath the Sea demos (also, obligatory wrestling reference)
* Pugmire demos and lizard society
* More about Pirates of Pugmire
* Dixie asks a burning question about bird arms
* Demigod and more about Scion
* More about Mummy the Curse 2e
* Updates on other Chronicles of Darkness games
* More about M20 Victorian Mage
* More about Chicago by Night (and Vampire Fifth Edition overall)
* We talk about Dixie’s love of the Lasombra
* More about Dystopia Rising: Evolution
* Harry and Izzy’s shrimp cocktails
* We talk about inclusion and diversity
* ENnie Award Ceremony: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UiAhyIBK9c 
* Obligatory Sailor Moon reference


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Mortekai

ScionOrigin-233x300.jpgPresenting “Apple,” written by the inimitable Kieron Gillen, from the upcoming Scion: Origin.

Everyone liked Donnie. They always liked him.

Donnie served the girl her cappuccino. She glanced down, and her eyes widened in delight. Written in the froth, in perfect foam writing, was the word “Brittany.”

“How did you know my name?”

Donnie shrugged a sculpted shoulder. “When you walked in the door, I just looked at you and thought… there’s a Brittany.” He unleashed his matinee-idol smile for a second. “Was I right?” Her cheeks reddened as she looked down at her drink and then, with a calm determination, raised her gaze.

“This isn’t a thing I’d normally do but…” she said, “do you want my number?”

“I’m sorry. I’ve got a girlfriend,” said Donnie, who didn’t.

This wasn’t enough to stop her. She pushed a business card across the counter. “Well, if you ever don’t have a girlfriend, call me.” She gave him a smile that made him suspect she wanted Donnie to call her, girlfriend or not, and left.

Donnie examined the card. Brittany was a model. He could have guessed. She was, by any reasonable standard, beautiful, but Donnie’s standards were far from standard. Even in L.A., where every second barista looked like a sex-symbol-in-waiting, Donnie was something else. A week didn’t go by when someone didn’t try to scout him for one agency or another. When he told them about his life story — abandoned as baby, terrible foster families, all the misery-porn human interest a marketing department could ever hope for — they offered to virtually bury him in cash to convince him to sign.

Donnie always turned them down, much to the annoyance and envy of his fellow model-actor-whatever baristas. That’s not what he came to town for, he’d explain, though he was never able to precisely articulate what he hadcome to town for. The best he managed was that shoulder shrug, his smile, and a vague “It just feels like it’s where I’m meant to be.”

Donnie knew he’d figure it out and, until then, enjoyed the game of the place, the endless stream of tiny offerings, digits he knew he’d never call pushed across his coffee-shop altar…

His musing was disturbed by Martha. She was the oldest barista, somewhere in her late 20s, maybe even edging over the 3-0.

“Hey, Donnie — it’s your turn to close up today,” she said. “Time to see if you can even make mopping look good.”

Donnie locked eyes, then lowered his head faux bashfully, looking at her through a rainforest of lashes.

“Martha, do I have to? I had other plans…” Martha froze, and then visibly melted, but just at the moment when Donnie knew she was going to let him off, she stiffened.

“No, Donnie. You have to stay late tonight,” she said, seemingly as surprised as Donnie at the words coming out of her mouth.

She turned away, before Donnie even managed to deploy a military-grade pout. This was unprecedented. He’d done this job for a year, and was yet to touch any mop other than his surfeit of luxurious hair. He didn’t know why he was doing this job, but it certainly wasn’t for dousing the ?oor with… whatever you douse the ?oor with when you’re mopping. It was only then that Donnie realized he didn’t actually know how to mop. He’d never had to. The normally iron-willed Martha could never say no to him, for obvious reasons. Few people could.

Everyone had always liked Donnie. Mostly they really liked him. In Donnie’s universe, “platonic friend” roughly translated to “friend who is biding their time.”

He sighed. He’d have to skip the gym. Not that that was a huge problem — his friends were always shocked and envious at how little he had to work out to maintain his body — but it was always a good opportunity to gather a few more digits.

Donnie had stopped going by his given name within a day and a half of arriving in L.A. A writer had glanced at his name tag, up at his face, then leaned across the counter to say, “Don’t you think that’s a little on the nose, kid?”

Donnie smiled back and, when the writer had left, googled “on the nose” and realized he agreed.

Ever since then, Adonis went by Donnie.

* * *

While he didn’t necessarily want to repeat the experience, staying after hours had its appeal. Donnie had never seen how the amber light of sunset almost miraculously transformed the workaday cafe. As much as a Santa Monica coffee place could look magical, it did. It distracted him so much, it took until the ?oor was as clean as it was going to get for Donnie to notice the cell phone.

He couldn’t see how he had missed it. He couldn’t see how anyone could miss it. It was gold-plated, wafer-thin, and beautiful. He didn’t recognize the model. He couldn’t even identify the brand until he ?ipped it over, and saw a crisp apple logo. Perhaps a prototype that someone in R&D had left? He scoured the locked phone for any sign of identification.

On the back, there was an inscription carved in its metal casing:

For The Prettiest One

The door opened. Donnie could have sworn he locked it, and was halfway through saying that they were closed before he turned around and momentarily lost control of all language.

In the doorway was the most beautiful woman Donnie had ever seen. He would have guessed she was in her late 30s, but as exquisitely preserved as Greek marble. The business suit was simple, a picture frame on her Mona Lisa. Her hair was arranged in thick braids, a crown high on her brow. For the first time since he was 16 and had met that impossibly lithe Russian gymnast, he felt the urge to offer someone his digits. Back then, the athlete had pre-empted him by passing Donnie his first, but now, Donnie could feel himself reaching for a pen and a napkin…

“I think you have my phone,” she said.

Donnie came around. A conversation. He remembered these. He could handle a conversation. He raised the phone, glinting in the light.

“I may have. Do you have any ID?”

She made the sort of expression Donnie could imagine her offering someone who interrupted a business meeting to tell an extended fart gag. She sighed, and then aimed one inevitably perfect finger at her face.

“I think you’ll find this is all the identification I need.” She smiled for the first time, a cold moon rising on a chill paradise.

Donnie found himself about to pass her the phone when they were interrupted.

“Oh god, don’t listen to her, Donnie. It’s not her phone,” said the new voice, “It’s mine.”

Small matters like how the newcomer knew his name, or the fact that the door hadn’t opened again, were forgotten as Donnie glanced in her direction. She had the sort of self-confidence that could make Donnie imagine her running a gym or a laboratory, or else ruling a library where there was little reading and much pining. She had the sort of looks that made him want to dive into a thesaurus in hope of finding better words to capture them.

She was, without a doubt, the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.

Donnie glanced back at the first woman. Actually, maybe not. It was hard to tell.

“My phone. I’ll take it now…unless you want things to get rough,” said the second woman, hand outstretched, “but I really don’t want that.”

Donnie was a half-foot taller than her, but felt sure that in any fight, this woman would kick his ass. If he was pressed, he’d admit that actually added to her allure. But was she more beautiful than the regal business woman? It was difficult to tell but was, as far as dilemmas to consider go, an enjoyable one. He was no closer to a decision when a third voice interrupted.

“Oh, darling. Don’t. It’s so obviously my phone…”

Donnie turned towards the new voice. That it was the third time in as many minutes this had happened didn’t diminish his sense of awe in the slightest. She was the youngest of the three, with neither the grandeur of the first or the appealing threat of the second, but instead radiated lightness and joy. Her smile was a promise: dawn when it was cold, rain when it was hot, whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted it, better than you could ever have wished.

Yes, it was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. There were a lot of them around.

“If you threaten my boy, I’ll make you wish you were never born,” she said, before laughing. “Oh, I’m sorry — of course, you were never born, Little Miss burst-from-Daddy’s-brow.”

“Don’t try to do clever. It’s not your thing. It’s my thing,” said the second woman to the newcomer, before turning to the first. “Why did you never teach this blond bastard her place?”

“Do not be too proud of yourself,” said the original. “You thought it wise to enter a contest of beauty against the queen of all heavens and the Goddess of sex. That third place is the best you can hope for is hardly the strongest argument for you being ‘Goddess of Wisdom’.”

Donnie looked between the three, and then back at the golden apple on the phone, and he started to understand. Three Gods, a difficult decision… and something bad happened afterwards? Paris? Something about going to Paris, maybe? Donnie didn’t think that sounded too bad. Paris was great. Maybe it had rained when they were there?

But the other part, the most important thing: The latest arrival had called him “my boy.”

The first was Hera. The second was Athena. The third was Aphrodite.

And Aphrodite was his mother.

He was a Scion of the Gods. He was a Scion of the Gods, and his blood was a?ame. He was a Scion of the Gods; his heart was filled with an endless choir of boys and girls like Brittany singing for him, and only him. He was a Scion of the Gods, and his name was the accelerator to the world’s pulse, He was a Scion of the Gods, He Who Breaks Hearts, He Who…

In the abstract, Donnie knew what a word like “demigod” meant. The general knowledge was revealed to be as meaningless as knowing the sun is merely a ball of hydrogen and helium. True, but oh so small, so insignificant to the purging incandescence consuming his every part.

He’d always had an interest in extreme sports, but everything paled to this. Divinity was the ultimate high.

By the time Donnie had returned to something resembling consciousness, he was shocked to find his knees still worked. The women watched, patient as only the eternal can be. As he tried to recover a passing facsimile of his easy charm, his golden blood sang a warning song to him.

This choice? This petty, shallow, vain little decision?

It was the most important of his life.

“So…girls. I get it. I have to give this phone to who’s the most beautiful,” he smiled, remembering how this story went. “Aren’t you meant to try and offer me a little motivation?”

They all looked at Donnie at once, equally harshly, then glanced away, innocent. The phone vibrated in his hand, a new message on the screen.

The only gift worth having. Power. Only I can make this world yours. – Hera

Hera met his eyes, dark as a million shadowy boardrooms.

The phone vibrated again.

Strength and the wisdom to know how to use this strength. Imagine your perfection. – Athena

Athena had folded her arms. Her expression implied that if he was considering any other offer, she’d think him a fool.

The phone vibrated once more.

Someone as beautiful as you are, my child. – Aphrodite

Aphrodite winked. Donnie was aware from how the world treated him that such temptations are always the sweetest.

Donnie turned from the women, face hidden from them as he came to his decision. He knew this would entirely define his future. Those he didn’t pick would despise him. He’d have humbled them, and the one thing he knew about these women is that they would never, ever forgive him.

Did he really want to live with this?

He smiled. Of course he did.

Donnie turned back, holding up the phone.

“I’m sorry ladies, but there’s clearly been some confusion,” he said. “You’re all extremely beautiful, of course, but this phone is for the prettiest one.”

He put his thumb on the reader. The phone unlocked.

“This is my phone.”

The temperature in the room dropped several degrees. Literally. A sheen of ice covered the windows, the surfaces of the tables, the badly mopped ?oor.

“You don’t know what enemies you’ve made today, boy,” said Hera.

“Oh, I do,” said Donnie with absolute sincerity, feeling alive for the first time, like the rest of his life had just been a prologue. “I’ve made the best enemies a man can have.

“You’ve got my digits. Don’t be strangers,” he said as he held the door open for the three Goddesses. “Now get out.”

Everyone liked Donnie.

And he was oh, so bored of that.

Scion: Origin and Scion: Hero are currently available for pre-order via BackerKit.


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Front6-232x300.jpgThe rumors are many and varied. Cannibal tribes run by a magical woman, people who can create water out of nothing, glowing plants and animals that give any who eat them mystical powers. I’m going to find out for myself what lies in the Labyrinth of Night once and for all.

– The last entry in the diary of Diokel, explorer

Soon after the First Martians disappeared, as the Red Martians made their way across the planet to settle cities, a group of voyagers made their way into the Wyeth Valley. They did not make contact with the Wyeth, but instead traveled far to the northernmost tip of the canyon, a place where the sun cannot reach, and found a wondrous landscape of luminous flora and fauna. They built a city there and lived in a perpetual twilight within the glowing cavern. As the years passed and the city became prosperous, trade between the Red Martians and the Wyeth flourished, despite the Wyeth’s misgivings about the Reds living so close to their homeland.

One night a bright light fell from the sky and all communication between the Red Martians in the Labyrinth of Night and those outside was shut off. Some claim the Reds in the Labyrinth all died that night and the city they built is a vast abandoned wasteland. Others claim the light was the landing of an alien creature from the amber star, Venus. Those who have traveled to the Labyrinth since then come back with wild stories. One described an indoctrinated people who devoutly worship alien gods under the sway of a Venusian witch-queen, who attempted to control her through magic before she made a daring escape. Another told a tale in which he discovered a nearly-abandoned city with a giant monolith in the center, one whose construction he could not determine and that was vastly different from even First Martian artifacts. Yet another told of barely surviving a strange tempest within the canyon and being nursed back to health by a Red female in a dark city lit to dazzling beauty with brightly glowing flowers and lichen. While not all stories and rumors about the area can be believed, most Martians are certain the Reds living in the city are still there in some form or another.

Cavaliers of Mars is currently available for pre-order from BackerKit.


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hjx1000-bgffffff.u2-279x300.jpgNow available on our RedBubble store: Hardcover Guild Journals for Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition!

There are countless ways of tracking the events of your life, especially with the advent of digital records and social media. But all that comes to an end once you’ve died. How will you keep track of what happens after death? Let these hardcover journals help!

These blank journals come in 13 varieties, one for each of the major Guilds. The interior pages come in your choice of lined, grid, or blank pages.

Sales

Until the end of August, all Werewolf20 and Mage20 products on Indie Press Revolution are 40% off while supplies last!

Kickstarter Update

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

Coming up next: Dystopia Rising: Evolution

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 the World of Darkness has been added to the Storytellers Vault in the last week:


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233842-232x300.jpgBoo!

Matthew Dawkins here, to talk a little about Book of Oblivion for Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition! The writing of this book proceeds apace, as we endeavor to include new Arcanoi, provide fresh looks at antagonists, make environmental horror a real thing (especially in the Underworld), and give new coverage to heretofore only mentioned Necropoli and Kingdoms the world over.

It’s an exciting time to be on a Wraith book.

Honestly, one of the things I love about working on Wraith is the ability to provide deeper and darker coverage of material left fallow in its previous editions. Lacking a Revised edition, we have a lot of ground we can cover, and the Book of Oblivion seeks to address some gaps while adding brand new material most of you won’t expect.

Do you want an example? While the Guilds are still at the forefront of Hierarchy life in the Shadowlands, we wanted more organizations and clubs wraiths might belong to. Here’s Clayton Oliver’s Maelstrom Bureau and a piece on how Reapers target those struck down in natural (and sometimes unnatural) disasters:

 

The Maelstrom Bureau

On the top floor of a Brutalist office block down the street from the Sea of Shadows, the one Hierarchy agency with an official disaster mission struggles to coordinate its far-flung network of observers and researchers. Founded as the Office of Maelstrom Preparedness in the 19th century’s twilight years, the Maelstrom Bureau has endured every bureaucratic indignity known to wraithkind over its decades of existence, including numerous changes of name and structure. Despite it all, it is one of the Underworld’s foremost clearinghouses of Maelstrom knowledge – when it can be convinced to share.

The Bureau’s self-assigned mission is the prediction, mitigation, and study of Maelstroms. Its Stygian headquarters staff numbers just over 100 wraiths, only half of whom come from its sponsoring body, the Iron Legion. The rest hail from other Legions, seconded through a complex arrangement of reimbursement agreements. Most headquarters wraiths are clerks and academics who spend their shifts poring over reports and research proposals. Far larger are the ranks of the Bureau’s field staff, who range from lone weather-obsessed volunteers to the pluviometrists and  anemologists who operate the field offices in the largest and most Maelstrom-prone Necropoli.

Each aspect of the Bureau’s mission falls to a different branch. Maelstrom prediction is the duty of the Forecasting Service, which monitors both Skinlands events and the Tempest’s protean weather for signs of impending Maelstrom. The Forecasting Service also makes extensive use of Argos, Fatalism, and other divinatory methods to separate “ordinary” Tempest patterns from those heralding a more destructive event. As with Skinlands meteorology, Underworld forecasting is neither exact nor consistently accurate, and wraiths remember the failures more than the successes.

The Fortification Center specializes in defensive architecture. This office turns its eye toward reinforcing structures – anything from the tiny storm shelters scattered along major Byways to the greatest Citadels – against Maelstrom effects. It also grudgingly handles the Bureau’s public education work, disseminating Maelstrom preparedness pamphlets to all Hierarchy citizens through its Citizen Outreach Office. Finally, its Storm Systems Laboratory is an engineering think-tank focused on personal protective equipment for Maelstroms. This latter group supplies the majority of the Bureau’s supplemental funding through the sale of its creations. Storm Systems chain-coats, fog masks, wind-staves, and storm gauges command a premium among wraiths who must brave the Underworld’s elements.

The Bureau’s research arm is the Beaufort-Granogrec Anemological Institute. Prone to academic infighting and knowledge hoarding, the Institute generates its greatest successes despite itself. At any given time, its library and laboratory staff may be perusing damage reports from a storm-struck Citadel, analyzing the composition of a plasmic eyeball hail sample, or statistically surveying a half-century of Forecasting Service predictions against seismic records from the Cascadia Subduction Zone. Of course, someone must gather these data, and the Institute’s more adventurous (or foolhardy) members lead field research missions across the Shadowlands and Tempest. The Institute has several research campuses in Maelstrom-prone areas; the most prominent are in London, San Francisco, and Istanbul. In cooperation with other Empires’ authorities, its No.3 Storm Penetration Squadron (“3SPS,” officially an Iron Legion military unit) flies and sails from Hong Kong to make observations from within Maelstroms throughout the Western Pacific Shadowlands and coterminous Tempest regions.

Only the largest Necropoli’s field offices host representatives from all three branches. Most commonly, a field office contains a single Bureau representative who struggles to discharge the full spectrum of her assignment. Such field reps recruit volunteers for daily weather observations, post-Maelstrom damage assessments, and scientific expeditions into the Tempest.

Even as the Bureau’s scientific and operational capabilities have waxed with the deaths and recruitments of experts in a wide range of disciplines, its leadership and ability to influence Stygian thinking have waned. Its founder and first superintendent, Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort, was lost in 1969 when Hurricane Camille’s echo claimed the research ghost ship Muskeget. Co-founder and successor Jean Granogrec was an able meteorologist but a ham-fisted administrator, driving away many long-serving veterans. Granogrec’s mismanagement came to a head in 2010, when the agency (then titled the Maelstrom Prediction and Preparation Unit) failed to predict or prepare for the Haitian earthquake and subsequent Pan-Caribbean Maelstrom. In response, the Ashen Lady reassigned Granogrec and renamed the MPPU. The office of superintendent gave way to a committee of bureau chiefs drawn from the Iron Legion’s most influential Necropoli. Sadly, while some of these chiefs are able politicians, few are scientists or leaders, resulting in a vacuum of direction and coordination. Even the Journal of Applied Anemology, once a cutting-edge monthly publication laden with advice accessible to the average wraith on the street, has been reduced to an unreliable quarterly reprinting of monographs dredged from the archives. Increasingly, local field offices reach out to other sources of support in the absence of timely guidance from headquarters.

Reaping (After) the Whirlwind

The fear, grief, and other emotions stemming from disasters are concentrated and shared, so it’s no surprise that disaster deaths create a heightened number of wraiths when compared to the same number of similar individual deaths across the mortal population. This makes any disaster a fertile ground for Reapers. Reaping in a catastrophe’s aftermath (to say nothing of doing so amidst the storm) can be perilous, though. Competitors, Spectres, and the odd Plasmic or Ferryman all contest hunting privileges, and the freshest wraiths can erupt from their Cauls with surprising vigor, still fighting against whatever killed them. Casualties who tear their way out of their own Cauls are another sort of danger altogether, as they know exactly what’s happened to them and take a dim view of other ghosts profiting on their deaths. On top of all of it, the most fertile Skinlands disasters are the most likely to spawn Maelstroms.

Wraiths who specialize in picking swiftly through mass fatality incidents to harvest newly-made Restless are known as vultures in Stygian parlance. Like their namesakes, Circles thereof are called wakes. Any successful wake has a member who can predict a disaster before it occurs (usually by reading pre-Maelstrom portents, though some are adept at analyzing political, meteorological, or geographic indicators), allowing the group to stage itself nearby. This willingness to go where the bodies will fall requires wakes to be more mobile than typical Circles, so most have a member who can facilitate transportation, either personally or through connections. Of course, wakes must manage workplace hazards ranging from soulforged blades to supernatural weather; self-protection skills are a job requirement.

Less prestigious, though sharing many of the same traits, are tidings of magpies – Circles who salvage disaster-created relics rather than Enfants. Profitable magpies are well-attuned to current market forces and are adept at promoting their gleanings for auction or barter. Tidings tend to be busier than wakes and face slightly less peril in their trade, as many events of massive destruction (and thus large-scale relic creation) occur without significant casualties. Some Circles bridge both trades, but the different logistical needs and marketplaces lead most to focus on one or the other.

Some  vultures are more altruistic than others. The best style themselves as SAR teams, often adopting the Cormorant Order’s heraldic creature in place of their usual appellation. The worst are simply slavers with an unusually-strong work ethic and tolerance for (or addiction to) risk. Magpies, operating in a less morally-perilous marketplace, tend to be more businesslike – though it’s not unknown for predatory tidings (or ordinary bandits) to lurk outside disaster areas and rob fellow magpies at the end of a night’s labor.


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SteveEllis_ScionHero-300x218.png

Hi, everybody!

It’s good to be back after a week away post-Gen Con. So I’m going to tell you a little bit of what went on there, from my point-of-view, of course, but I’m also going to intersperse some quotes from some of our Onyx Path folks who were there helping us.

Of course, the first big thing we announced there was that we’re publishing Chicago By Night for Vampire 5th Edition!

We actually did feel kinda bad that we couldn’t tell you about it sooner, in that we do try and keep our inner workings pretty transparent for all of you. This was one of those times where the nature of working with White Wolf on this made it impossible to reveal it until the con. Their efforts and emphasis had to be on getting V5 out as promised, so we put our efforts towards getting V5 Chicago By Night written.

And as you see it mysteriously appear already in Redlines in the Progress Report below, you’ll realize we’ve been rolling on this for a while. Right now, we expect to have the text ready for editing in time to have a Kickstarter for it in October.

Kind of a fitting month, actually.

One of that Kickstarter’s goals will be to get this traditionally printed and into stores, where it can join V5 on the shelves. So, that’s a cool thing for us to try out with a WoD book, and we’re looking forward to how that will work out.

 

“It’s so refreshing to interact with fans in person and hear about all the games that excite you! Every one of our games got some love in conversations I had with you folks, and that was awesome to see. Thanks especially to all those Changeling: The Lost fans who came to chat with me. :)” – Meghan Fitzgerald

 

Like I mentioned in a previous blog, our booth was across the aisle from White Wolf‘s this year, and they, of course, were selling Vampire 5th Edition like fanged and bloody hotcakes. Or maybe just “bloodcakes”.

Besides V5 Chicago By Night, they announced several other projects from other licensing partners, including V5 Makeup, which was a huge hit with some of the folks I talked with. Others, who seemed to have missed WW‘s whole “we’re going to license all sorts of things for all sorts of fans” stated intentions, felt like this “cheapened” V5.

Back in the day at WW, we licensed out VtM zippos and license plates. Action figures. Just sayin’.

 

 

 

MicheleGiorgi_ScionHero-300x206.jpg

Scion: Hero illustration by Michele Giorgi

 

 

The gang at the WW booth were also fantastic at directing the throng buying V5 over to our booth where Mighty Matt McElroy had arranged that entire side of our booth with our 20th Anniversary WoD books on display. That worked really well, and further illustrated how the current team from WW are both gracious and fun to be next to for many, many, hours!

 

“I really enjoyed talking to fans about Pugmire, Monarchies of Mau, Fetch Quest, and Dystopia Rising: Evolution! I love watching people have fun around a table, and this year I got to see that directly, which is always wonderful. I just wish I had more time to talk to everyone and do everything!” – Eddy Webb

 

Our demo tables in the booth were really well attended, particularly on Saturday, and we were really glad to be able to walk folks through different games. I think this is even more important with games like Fetch Quest which is very much a card game, or They Came From Beneath the Sea! which adds a bunch of fun extras to the base Storypath System in order to create an “enhanced” TTRPG experience. It really helps to play through them a bit.

We’re used to getting gasps and excitement with a lot of our demos, it’s great to hear that both of these two games also had demo players laughing, as well.

 

 

TilenJavornik_PtCTormented-124x300.png

PtC Tormented illustration by Tilen Javornik

 

 

We shared our booth with our friends from Eschaton Media, the Dystopia Rising creators, and not only were they great booth-mates who really helped make booth tear-down a breeze, but we were able to trade some fantastic ideas about rewards and stretch goals for our Dystopia Rising: Evolution RPG Kickstarter coming up next week. We think fans of our RPGs and fans of their previous DR projects like the LARP are going to find this Kickstarter pretty interesting!

We were also able to talk about the challenges of running a “franchise” business model for their LARPs, which is similar to licensing each venue out (as opposed to the “fan club” method used by old WW), and how they continue to evolve that system.

Since I am always trying to find ways for Onyx Path to evolve and improve, it is really good to be able to compare notes with folks who are also able to clearly look at how they did things in the past and actively try and improve on them. Maybe more on that at a later time.

 

“It’s always wonderful to interact directly with our fans and customers. I found myself answering a whole load of questions about They Came From Beneath The Sea! and V5: Chicago By Night, but also being able to just chat away about all our other games and roleplayer experiences is a joy. I had the chance to run several games, including They Came From, Pugmire, and Wraith 20 at the booth, and even Werewolf: The Forsaken in the hotel bar! In all, I had a fantastic, busy convention.” – Matthew Dawkins

 

We also announced our latest license, Legend Lore, based on the comic book world of “The Realm” and “Legend Lore” from Caliber Comics. The system is going to be D&D 5e based, and we’re sorry if an early press release said something different, but there is one key aspect of Legend Lore that we think will make it a very unique game.

The primary setting plot point is that the protagonists are people from our world transported to the fantasy world of Legend Lore. Now this is a pretty common trope in the fantasy fiction genre, but less so for TTRPGs. And pretty much the basis for that translation that I’ve seen in other games was to look at things like your Strength stat and ask how many weights you can bench press, or your real world IQ translated between 3 and 18.

We’re not doing it that way. More on how we are doing it as the book begins to be previewed. We’re also keenly aware of not minimizing anyone’s real-world challenges and disabilities. More on that too, in the months to come.

 

“As always, fans are why we do this Con, whether it was meeting fans of our stuff for the first time, making new ones out of interested folks, or seeing old friends after yet another year.” – Neall Raemonn Price

 

Our “What’s Up With Onyx Path?” panels went really well (although I had to miss most of the second one on Saturday), with some really excellent Q&A after the big points announcements. That was where we could delve deeper into the specific projects folks in the audience wanted to hear about. Both the “Freelancing for Onyx Path” panel and the “Developer Bootcamp” were super well attended and folks seemed really engaged.

Dixie, Matthew, and Eddy recorded both the “What’s Up With Onyx Path?” panels and edited them together into a semi-coherent whole that went up on the Onyx Pathcast last Friday. As always, you can hear them on PodBean or your favorite podcast venue.

They had to edit them, though. Even though we didn’t have whole swathes of the recording drowned out by trains like in previous years, we still had some outside noise break through, and I’m sure I talked away from the mic plenty of times!

 

“It’s always such an amazing feeling to get to interact with new and old fans, as well as my peers in the gaming industry I don’t get to see often. I love how excited everyone was! Thank you to everyone who stopped by the booth to chat or say hello.” – Dixie Cochran

 

Like every year, there’s never enough time to talk with everyone on a business level – nevermind all the friends and members of our community who want to chat and catch up. Like last year in particular, I think you’ll be seeing some amazing results from a bunch of the meetings and chats I did have as the year progresses. But there’s not a lot of details I can share.

In general, I talked with several translation partners about pretty much all of our game lines, sat down to hear a bunch of pitches for new games or licenses, discussed our upcoming art needs with several of the illustrators in attendance there. I had a very quick but very focused meeting with Jaunty James Bell, our Kickstarter Concierge in order to be sure that he was still loving his job. He is.

I counseled way too many creators with Imposter Syndrome, a different depressed artist, and let an old and dear friend know that I was going to be a grandparent like she has been for a few years already. “Any tips?”

I was sitting in the Indy airport finishing my last blazing shrimp cocktail and wondering how that thing we had planned for for so long could have gone by so fast. It is just so packed with sights and conversations and games and late nights and early mornings.

It’s Gen Con, baby!

 

 

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Monarchies of Mau art by Pat McEvoy

 

 

Here’s a handy link list from Impish Ian Watson, who set up the blog last week. Thanks, Ian, and also to Matthew Dawkins who wrote the texty part.

Check them out and see the proof of our motto:

Many Worlds, One Path!

BLURBS!

KICKSTARTER:

 

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Dystopia Rising: Evolution art by Mark Kelly

Our next Kickstarter will be for Dystopia Rising: Evolution starting on Wednesday the 22nd at 2pm EDT.

 

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).

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)

 

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

SPECIAL W20 and M20 SALE! Huge savings on our Deluxe printing overruns until 8/31!

https://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Deals-and-Specials/

 

 

DRIVETHRURPG.COM:

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This Wednesday, we will release a series of Wraith: The Oblivion Journals on RedBubble!

 

 

CONVENTIONS!

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)
  • Trinity Continuum: Aberrant core (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant)
  • Tales of Excellent Cats (Monarchies of Mau)
  • Scion Companion: Mysteries of the World (Scion 2nd Edition)
  • City of the Towered Tombs (Cavaliers of Mars)
  • Night Horrors: Nameless and Accursed (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)
  • Heirs to the Shogunate (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Witch-Queen of the Shadowed Citadel (Cavaliers of Mars)

 

Redlines

  • Deviant: The Renegades (Deviant: The Renegades)
  • Spilled Blood (Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition)
  • CofD Dark Eras 2 (Chronicles of Darkness)
  • Changeling: The Lost 2nd Companion (Changeling: The Lost 2nd)
  • V5 Chicago By Night (Vampire: The Masquerade)

 

Second Draft

  • WoD Ghost Hunters (World of Darkness)
  • Tales of Good Dogs – Pugmire Fiction Anthology (Pugmire)
  • Aeon Aexpansion (Trinity Continuum: Aeon)
  • C20 Players’ Guide (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • In Media Res (Trinity Continuum: Core)
  • Changeling: The Lost 2nd Jumpstart (Changeling: The Lost 2nd)
  • Wr20 Book of Oblivion (Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Lunars: Fangs at the Gate (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Adventures for Curious Cats (Monarchies of Mau)

 

Development

  • Signs of Sorcery (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)
  • Hunter: the Vigil 2e core (Hunter: the Vigil 2nd Edition)
  • Fetch Quest (Pugmire)
  • CofD Contagion Chronicle (Chronicles of Darkness)
  • Dystopia Rising: Evolution (Dystopia Rising: Evolution)
  • Night Horrors: Shunned by the Moon (Werewolf: The Forsaken 2nd Edition)

 

Manuscript Approval:

 

Editing:

  • They Came From Beneath the Sea! Rulebook (TCFBtS!)
  • Dog and Cat Ready Made Characters (Monarchies of Mau) (With Eddy)

 

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

 

Indexing:

 

 

ART DIRECTION FROM MIRTHFUL MIKE:

 

In Art Direction

  • Dystopia Rising: Evolution – KS finals rolling in.
  • VtR: Guide to the Night
  • M20: Gods and Monsters 
  • Geist 2e
  • The Realm
  • Trinity Continuum (Aeon and Core)
  • Ex3 Monthly Stuff
  • Ex3 Dragon Blooded

 

Marketing Stuff

 

In Layout

  • Scarred Lands Trilogy Novels – Converting to PDF and PoD.
  • PTC: Night Horrors: The Tormented
  • Fetch Quest
  • Cav cards

 

Proofing

  • Scion Hero 

 

At Press

  • Changeling: The Lost 2e – incorporating errata and getting it ready for indexing.
  • Monarchies of Mau – Press proofs signed off… now printing.
  • Scion Origin Out gathering errata.
  • Cavaliers of Mars Printing.
  • Wraith 20th – Prepping the Deluxe files.
  • Monarchies of Mau Screen Printing.
  • Cavaliers of Mars Screen Printing.
  • Wraith 20 Screen Printing.
  • Scion Dice – At fulfillment shipper.

 


TODAY’S REASON TO CELEBRATE: And we’re back! A bunch of us got some down time after/during Gen Con, and we’re feeling gooood.


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In which Matthew, Dixie, and Eddy present a recording of our “What’s Up with Onyx Path” panel. But will their sanity survive low audio quality and recording software issues?

* Intro, and we talk about the audio quality and the applause next door
* Rich introduces the panel, and talks about the stuff that’s not specific to games
* Changeover in process and staff over the past year
* Rich is on the board of the Bodhana Group
* iThrive and the Critical Strengths Engine
* Rich has to go, leaving us in charge
* Matt McElroy talks about fiction and distribution
* Community Content programs
* Talking about the Onyx Pathcast while recording for the Pathcast! Pathcastception!
* Matthew talks about World of Darkness
* Chicago By Night for Vampire 5th Edition
* Mage 20th updates: Book of the Fallen, Guide to the Technocracy, Victorian Mage
* Wraith 20th updates: Book of Oblivion
* Changeling 20th updates: C20 Player’s Guide
* Dixie and Matthew talk about Chronicles of Darkness
* Innocents Second Edition
* Mummy the Curse Second Edition
* Exalted updates: Lunars, Heirs of the Shogunate, Sidereals
* Scion, guest-starring Neall Price
* Some initial ideas about Scion: Demigod
* Trinity Continuum
* John Snead talks a bit about Trinity: Aeon, Aeon Aexpansion, and Distant Worlds
* Trinity: Aberrant, as written by Steve Kenson
* Cavaliers of Mars status updates: Core, Witch-Queen, City of Towered Tomb
* They Came From Beneath The Sea
* Dystopia Rising: Evolution
* Pugmire updates: Monarchies of Mau, Fetch Quest, and announcing Pirates of Pugmire!
* Announcing the Legendlore RPG (based on the Caliber Comics series)
* Q&A – the questions are sometimes hard to hear, but we preserved this, just in case
* The outro descends into chaos, so Eddy quickly wraps things up

Links
* Onyx Path Brochure: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/246767/Onyx-Path-20182019-Publishing-Brochure
* Storypath System Preview: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/246766/Storypath-System-Preview-2018
* Bodhana Group: https://www.thebodhanagroup.org/
* iThrive Games: http://ithrivegames.org/
* Studio 2 Publishing: https://studio2publishing.com/collections/all-products
* Indie Press Revolution: https://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/home.php
* Canis Minor: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/cc/17/canis-minor
* Slarecian Vault: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/cc/19/Slarecian-Vault


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M20-Front-232x300.jpgToday’s sample comes from “No Fear is There for the Wide-Awake,” the introductory fiction to Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition.

If, with perceptions polluted, one speaks or acts,
Thence suffering follows
As a wheel the draught-ox’s foot.
— The Dhammapada, Chapter I: The Pairs, Verse 1

Johnny

There’s a boy on a boat in a purple sky, where the air flashes like catastrophic dragons and a patch-eyed man lays a heavy hand on that boy’s shoulder and tells him This is where the world dies, son.

…but this isn’t the way it happened at all…

From the edge of the boat, I gaze into the Abyss. I’d like to think it gazes back, but all I feel is vast indifference. This, then, is the legacy of truth: Everything I have known, was a lie.

“Johnny!” cries the Patch-Man, his black boots gleaming with the ending of our world. I refuse to answer him. If this is where it ends, or starts, I want to be alone when it does.

But the Patch-Man grabs me by the arm so hard I feel things break inside. His familiar face ripples in the purple light, contorted to a waxy sheen where falling stars reflect their dying selves.

He shakes me and my left arm stretches in some slow-motion taffy-pull, then pops off suddenly, leaving floating globes of bright red blood behind. I howl butterflies as my jaws stretch out toward the corners of the clouds. The ship veers suddenly at an impossible pitch, tossing us into the flashing purple skies.

“Here,” she says, reaching out her hand – a girl with eyes as old as time.

From horizon to horizon, the sky goes dark, closing like the eye of God.

“You’re still mine, Johnny!” yells the Patch-Eyed Man My Father as he drifts into the dark and is gone.

Ekstatikos

Fuck, but my head hurts.

All of me hurts, actually. Lee Ann dearest, perhaps you’re finally getting too old for this shit.

That’s ridiculous, of course. You’re only as old as you think you are, the saying goes, and I realized a long time ago that that was true.

Going by the calendar, I look younger than I am, feel older than I am, and stopped aging a long time ago. The play of years on human calendars is a trick of the light – one of the first tricks I’d learned to turn on its back. Like a stranded turtle, Time kicks its legs but goes nowhere unless I choose to pick it up and set it on its expected path again.

Every so often, though, that turtle knocks you down and tramples you ?at with all four feet. I feel like that this morning, and I’m not quite sure why.

It’s not the dancing. I’m used to that. Or the hike – that’s my favorite thing in the world, except maybe dancing. It’s not the sex, though gods know it was passionate enough.

The storm is in my bones. Then, now, and always.

Well, yeah. That would explain a lot.

Lightning ?ickers underneath my skin – needles, tongues, fingers, fists, a rush of stars exploding into nova to blot out the thrusting of my father’s cock – but all those eternal Nows are distant to the person in my skin today. We shed our skins like serpents, washing through the molecules every seven years until only memories hold the energy of what we are together in a construct I call Me. I can choose which Now I live in, and so as much compassion as I hold for the little Me’s that I have been, I’m not that person anymore. Right here – this now, this Me – is the only one I want to be.

Although I could do without the headache…

A mental shrug, and it’s gone.

Still… huh. It was there for a reason, so…

Time to check things out.

Shutting my eyes, I let the pain ease back into my skull, then expand my senses out beyond that pain, beyond my skin, beyond Ryk’s sleeping body and our tent, out into the dirt and trees and coiled power of the forest and the mountaintop. The essence of the breeze and every dancing drop of water in the mist.

Oh.

Him.

What’s HE doing here?

I guess I’ll go find out.

Slipping out from under Ryk, I savor the glide of skin over skin, the little hairs across his arms and chest, the puff of living chemistry in this stranger’s morning-breath. The tent still smells like sex, like us, so powerfully that for an endless instant I fall back into the scratch and push of last night’s rituals. It’d be nice to hang forever in those moments, but I’ve apparently got shit to do outside. So leaving a little bit of dream inside his head, I push Ryk deeper into Maya’s domains. He’s still asleep, so I’ll leave him asleep. If I need Ryk later, I can wake him from a distance without making a sound.

Right now, though, I think this visit’s just about me.

Courage

She’s Awake.

A miserable scrap of smack-addicted wreckage, but the signs are obvious. The smeared remains of what used to be her teacher attest to the efficiency of his methods… and to their results. I had planned to dispose of him myself, but I can’t say I’m sorry to have been saved the trouble. The paperwork, though, will be a pain.

Initial VDAS scans reveal a latticework of minor spells – blood-work, mostly, and a petty example of it too. Rats, a few alley-cats, no sight of the missing children our reports had spoken of. As usual, popular hysteria exaggerates the facts at hand. Still, our sources are expected to be more accurate. I make a mental note to emphasize reliable restrain, with dark skin, cropped hair, and a decidedly feminine build that would have been unthinkable in our ranks during my initial Processing), I scan the occultist trash for signs of children or items of authentic paranormal value.

Nothing. All significant risks of Deviance died with the organic finger-painting on the wall.

Agent Briggs glances back to me, her face betraying nothing that an unskilled eye could read. My eyes, of course, are not unskilled. What should we do with her? Briggs asks without making a sound. The “her” in question is obvious.

Reading our silence, the girl goes quiet too.

A blink of my eyes activates a temporal-probabilities scan. Tiny numbers flash near the corner of my left eye. Faint green traceries skim across the shivering girl. The VDAS datacrawl begins:

NAME: LAURIE ANN MILLER-CHASE
DOB: 5/6/1974 CE
AG: 17.127
HT: 158.242
WT: 42.63768278
MISSING – SUSPECTED RUNAWAY

The datacrawl moves by: Facts, numbers, estimations, probabilities, mechanical prognostications for one scared mess of a girl.

Finally, the one I’m looking for:

RD%: 96.045763946352

Hmmmm.

There was a time when I would have shot this girl on sight. Under hot lights, I took her kind apart, synapse by synapse. I beat them bloody with skillful fists, sent hot projectiles tearing through their organs and skeletal structures until their vital processes ceased. This was not simply my duty (although it was) or my privilege (which, again, it often was) or my last resort on a menu of less-attractive options. I must confess, if only to my private internal jury, that I enjoyed it.

That has changed.

One simple motion of my chin signals Agent Briggs to my intentions.

An almost imperceptible tilt of her head questions my decision.

The merest tightening of my eyebrows reminds her who among us holds seniority.

Silence in the room, broken only by hissing candle wax and the dripping of a once-human masterpiece.

Finally, the girl speaks up, her voice just above a whisper: “You’re not cops, are you?”

I resist the urge to quote a well-known film. Instead, I simply tell her No.

Presence

Sliding from the tent’s warm shelter feels like an act of sacrifice. Throughout the clearing, a cold cloak of early morning mist shimmers with the light of a distant sun. Thunder burns across the break of dark and dawn, the grumpy roll of elements in their beds. Stretching out the morning stiffness, I zip up the tent door, plant my feet in the dirt, shut my eyes, and reach my arms to the hidden sky.

Off to the side, hidden by the mist, he’s there. A dense presence, more solid than the hills. Without turning to look at him, I reach tendrils of perception out across the space between us. He’s alone, as usual. I smile at the thought of the mud on his shoes. My own feet, rich with trail-dirt, pad lightly on the rain-thick soil. Through my soles, the earth welcomes dawn. I’m in my element here. He’s not. Still, it’s never smart to turn your back on his kind.

So, of course, I do.

When people think of “magic,” they envision wands and circles and all that ritual stuff. And they’re not wrong – not all the time. To me, though, magick is the pulse of life. Rain on skin, dirt underfoot, Nature speaking in a storm. It’s not his kind of magic, though. His world doesn’t have magic… until it does… and then, it needs another name.

Deviance.

Well, I’ve certainly been accused of that before.

The creak across my muscles as I stretch reminds me I am mortal. Still, the play of chilled breeze and dew across my skin, the earth-pulse, the wash of possibilities contained in every molecule of mist, help me reach beyond my human frame. I am soil. I am ?ies. I am water trickling in a stream nearby. I’m the trees. I’m even him. He occupies space like a blank block of nothing, but we’re still bonded in the unity of All.

“You can stop pretending you don’t see me,” he says in that bleak monotone of his. “That’s insulting to both of us.”

“You can stop looming, John. It’s not polite.”

In the dark behind my eyes, I feel him frown. “I see you dressed for the occasion.”

“Isn’t it fitting?” I say, opening my eyes at last. “You’ve dressed enough for us both.”

He’s not behind me now. He’s in front of me without having walked across the distance, dew sheened on his trench coat, mud caked on his shoes.

“What are you grinning at, Lee Ann?”

“Me? Just happy to see an old friend.”

His mirrorshades re?ect two Me’s back at myself. He’s not smiling anymore. “Spare me.”

“I knew your shoes would get muddy out here. I find that funny.”

“Why?”

“It doesn’t fit your image.”

I can’t lie – he still scares me. That black solidity with the presence of a mountain and the grace of a greased tiger. If John Courage wanted me dead, though, I’d have never left that loft over 20 years ago. And since then, we’ve both had reasons to be glad I did.

“Do I have an ‘image,’ Ms. Milner?”

I reach out and press my palm against his chest. It’s like touching leather-wrapped ice. He doesn’t move. I get nothing off of him at all. Sigh. Typical. “You’re so much image, John,” I tell him, “that I’m not sure that even you know who’s really you.”

What does Secret Agent John Courage need with Lee Ann Milner? You can read the rest in Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition. Available in PDF and print from DriveThruRPG.

All deluxe edition Mage20 and Werewolf20 products are 40% off from Indie Press Revolution until the end of the month! Unfortunately the Ultra-Deluxe Mage20s sold out almost immediately, but there’s more great products available if you’ve missed one of our earlier Kickstarters!

 


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Eddy returns with the latest “Claws & Effect”:

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Last post, I talked about the number one question I get about Pugmire (“Can I play as my favorite breed?”). Today, I want to cover the other side — my number one criticism. Time and again I’ll wade into a forum thread or Facebook post about Pugmire, and someone will say “Oh, that’s just D&D with dogs.” And that’s both right and wrong.

Yes, it’s based on the d20 OGL used for 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons. And unlike some OGL-based games, the surface layer (what I call the “output”) looks and acts a lot like 5e D&D. But the mechanics that drive the game (what I call the “engine”) are distinctly different. I tend to call it a “streamlined” version of 5e, but even that’s not entirely right. I’ve spent a lot of time challenging core assumptions, adapting new ideas, and seeing how each piece impacts the others. For example, rather than having a pre-constructed set of abilities, I presented a series of options so players can pick and choose the tricks that make sense to them. I also needed to find ways of mechanically representing some of the concepts unique to Pugmire, such as the artisans (which is somewhere between a bard and a wizard).

But I wanted to keep that “classic fantasy gaming” feel. I’ve mentioned in a previous post that one of the central themes of Pugmire is nostalgia, and D&D holds a nostalgic place in my heart (and indeed, in the hearts of many gamers). But nostalgia isn’t memory — it’s a polished and refined view of history, smoothing over the rough edges and focused on the parts that brought you joy. So it’s the same with the system — something that looks and plays more like the D&D I remembered over the D&D that actually existed.

I also wanted to deemphasize record-keeping and mechanical incentives to kill. That’s why there are no experience points or loot beyond relics: The design cycle of D&D is “kill monsters, gain treasure and XP, use those to become more powers, kill bigger monsters.” There’s nothing wrong with that cycle — it’s worked for over 40 years, after all — but it wasn’t what I wanted for Pugmire.

Anyhow, the output is (largely) compatible with 5e D&D. If you take a bit of 5e OGL design and bolt it onto Pugmire, it’ll mostly work as intended — you may need to fiddle with some bits, but it doesn’t take a ton of design experience to make it work. That was my ultimate goal. But it’s the difference between restoring a classic car as it was, and installing a modern engine, Bluetooth audio hookups, and a satnav into a classic car. In the end, if you drove each car separately, you might consider them equivalent, but if you carefully compared them side-by-side, you’d see a whole host of small changes and differences. Neither is inherently better than the other, but some people will have preferences to one style of restoration over the other.

If you want to make Pugmire into a “purer” D&D experience, it’s easy to port. But because it uses the lingua franca of D&D, it’s also easy to convert into other systems, or to bolt on engine bits you like or prefer. You might even radically change the output so it looks nothing like D&D. That’s wonderful! Make Pugmire into your game. And as long as people are having fun exploring the realms of Pugmire, then it’ll always be something more than “just D&D with dogs.”


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233842-232x300.jpgNow available on DriveThruRPG in PDF and print on demand: Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition!

All the stories they told you about what it would be like after you died? They were wrong.

There is no Heaven and there is no Hell. There’s only the Underworld, with the ravening maw of Oblivion at the bottom and the impossible dream of Transcendence at the top. And in between, all the Restless Dead.

Are you ready to join them?

Wraith: The Oblivion is the Storytelling game of passion and horror. Take the role of a ghost whose unfinished business won’t let them rest.

  • Protect the things you love in the lands of the living, or travel into the deeper Underworld to become a citizen – or an enemy – of the ancient Empire of the Dead.
  • Learn the forbidden Arcanoi, ghostly powers that can terrorize the living or wreak havoc on the dead.
  • Fight the pull of Oblivion, the endless void that seeks to drag everything down into it, and come face to face with its corrupt Spectre servants in an endless Labyrinth filled with nightmares.
  • Walk the streets of the eternal city of Stygia, where the crumbled monuments of antiquity rise one after another, a thousand destroyed cities blending into one.
  • Set sail on the never-ending storm of the Tempest with a wordless Ferryman at your side, or seek the legendary Far Shores, where it is said that every wraith can find peace and contentment.

So don’t go into the light. You’ve got more interesting things to do in the Underworld instead.

Twenty years ago, White Wolf published what many have regarded as their darkest, bleakest, and most mature gaming achievement. Largely disconnected from the rest of the World of Darkness, yet tied to it by fetters of unresolved issues from their lives, the characters also had to face the compelling whispers of their own dark sides, their Shadows.

This 20th Anniversary Edition of Wraith: The Oblivion returns to that darkly compelling world and both compiles and completes the concepts of the previous two editions.

Led by legendary Wraith: The Oblivion developer Rich “Deadguy” Dansky, our writing team consists of Wraith veterans like Bruce Baugh, Lucien Soulban, Jackie Cassada, Nicky Rea, and Clayton Oliver, as well as familiar names such as Charles Andrew Bates, Matthew Dawkins, and Lillian Cohen-Moore, and they one and all dedicated themselves to making Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition the most playable edition yet – while not losing the incredible depth of setting and emotion that Wraith is known for.

With the release of Wraith20, we’ve rounded out the 20th anniversary edition core rulebooks of the original major World of Darkness releases: Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition, Vampire 20th Anniversary: The Dark Ages, Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition, Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition, Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition, and Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition. Thank you to everyone!

Kickstarter Update

 

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

Coming up next: Dystopia Rising: Evolution

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 the World of Darkness has been added to the Storytellers Vault in the last week (actually the Werewolf SV resources weren’t previous flagged in my usual search, so they may be a few weeks old. Mea culpa.):


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Mortekai

John Snead brings us this excerpt from Trinity Continuum: Æon:

Trinity-Aeon-Mockup-300x225.jpgIsolation Followed by a Dramatic Rescue

Then the Upeo wa Macho disappeared, and Earth heard nothing more from Karroo Mining Colony for nearly seven years. Given the lack of reinforcements and support from Earth and the likelihood that the Chromatic attacks had continued, the UAN assumed that the colony had been lost.

Personal Log of Njenga Jeptoo
03.17.2117

I’ve never seen anything like it. We thought we were done for this time — we’d never seen the frogs send such a large force, with so many ships. They wouldn’t even need to force their way into the station this time, they could just blast us into dust with that fleet. All this time fighting, surviving, and then to end like that… Well, obviously it didn’t.

It was N’Gamba who saved us. I was with her when she got the news, with her when she saw the external scans on the monitor. One second she was there, and the next she was gone. Vanished into thin air. Then five minutes later, she was back, with that smile, that secretive smile. “We’re going to be okay,” she said. I saw them on the monitor. Over a dozen of them, winking into existence out there, human-looking, but floating in space with no protection. Some of them were glowing. They flew — they flew — toward the alien fleet, and started…well, fighting it. Blasting ships with beams from their eyes, tearing through hulls with their bare hands. Some absorbed laser fire like it was nothing. Others got hurt. I think I saw one of them die.

We helped, of course. We fired off all the colony’s ion cannons, sent sheets of plasma at the frogs’ fleet. Maybe those glowing people couldn’t have beaten the aliens without our help. I don’t know. I do know we’d never have beaten the aliens without theirs.

When it was all over, the teleporters — finally, the teleporters! — took them away, back to wherever they came from. All but one, who came in to meet N’Gamba. He was tall, beautiful, glowing like a star. He looked like some kind of god. “I don’t believe we’ve met,” he said to her, and his voice was like angels singing. “I’m Apollo.”

I think that’s when I passed out.

After the Upeo’s return, contact was reestablished with Karroo. As it turned out, they’d been in contact with the teleporters for years, and it was with their aid — and the aid of a group of novas from the planet Eden — that the mining colony was still mostly intact, despite relentless attacks from the Chromatics. Even with that outside help, though, life in the station was full of hardship, with barely enough food to keep the population from starving, poor air and water quality, and crowded living conditions due to the massive damage the station had taken during the attacks. Making matters worse, much of the social power and authority on the station had been usurped by a criminal organization known as the Leopards.

With additional supplies and security forces arriving regularly from Earth, Karroo is beginning to recover, although the population is holding steady at about 100,000 due to many residents leaving as space on Earth-bound Leviathan jump ships becomes available. Conflicts between the arriving forces and the Leopards are frequent, and the Chromatics are still a threat.


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Mortekai

38422912_2227243750696495_22109513503956

Wraith20 Print Proof from Gen Con

Boo!

Matthew Dawkins here! I imagine I look pretty damn frightening after a week in Indianapolis for Gen Con. My tie may have loosened or top button come undone… Still, my purpose guest blogging isn’t to scare you but to enthuse you, because…

[drumroll]

It’s been a long time coming, I know, and I need to thank all of you for your great patience, but it’s finally here:

Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition will be available in PDF and print on DriveThruRPG this week! Check back on our blog soon for the link to purchase a copy!

Before I get onto the hype train, I should also mention the deluxe version of the book. Now the text and art is completely final, the files have been sent to the producers responsible for assembling our deluxe copies. I ordered one as well, so don’t worry, I’m eager for mine as well. In the meantime however, please enjoy the finished version of the PDF or order a print on demand version. I feel confident it’s the best 20th Anniversary game yet.

I’ve long held a strong love for Wraith. It may be my favourite of all the World of Darkness lines. I recall in one of my conversations with developer extraordinaire, Richard Dansky, that I mentioned it’s so difficult to find players for it, which was something that always disheartened me. He disagreed and said “The number of people who have approached me saying they’d love to play but could never find a group could have formed hundreds of groups by now.”

What he said was true. Or at least, it is now. With the internet, livestreaming, forum play, and similar, you can play Wraith with a whole host of ghosts. If your local tabletop group doesn’t want to play (and they should want to play), you’ve no reason to succumb to Oblivion. Instead, post in our forum or on one of the many World of Darkness Facebook groups that you’re open to running a game or looking to play one. With private messaging enabled in any of those forums, you have an excellent way for your Shadow to whisper threats and secrets to you, or their player can put their dialogue in different colours, or italicised.

Wraith was always a game ahead of its time. Mechanics such as the Shadow, a world as bleak of Stygia, and tone as heavy as death, struggled to find an audience in the 1990s. In these days, with fantastic games like Vampire: The Requiem 2e, Promethean: The Created 2e, Monsterhearts, Bluebeard’s Bride, and all kinds of other indie press and innovative mainstream games, it finally finds its place.

Another thing Richard said to me was he believed Wraith was the most hopeful of the World of Darkness games. It’s not a game about death: That’s already happened. It’s a game about finding peace and moving on. I think we’re ready to move on from waiting for this game to arrive. It’s here. Let’s now arrange to play it!

Many Worlds, One Path!

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Ian here! Following up by hitting all the news that came out over the weekend (at least, that I’m aware of):

From White Wolf:

  • Vampire: The Masquerade’s 5th Edition came out. Congratulations to everyone involved!
  • Changeling: Waking Dreams is an upcoming blockbuster LARP event from Dziobak Studios and the ImagineNation Collective.
  • Nice Game Publishing’s Vampire: The Masquerade – Heritage is a quick-playing legacy game of clan politics with an epic campaign spanning 700 years of vampire history
  • Belladonna’s Cupboard is now offering Vampire: The Masquerade makeup sets
  • Rusted Icon Designs is now offering World of Darkness merch: laser etched drinking glasses, character cards, dog tags, vinyl decals, and more
  • Geek & Sundry will be streaming an L.A. by Night chronicle for V5

BLURBS!

KICKSTARTER:

 

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Dystopia Rising; Evolution art by Mark Kelly

We ended off our Geist Kickstarter last week with 232% of our original $50,000 goal! Thanks to James and everyone on our Kickstarter Krewe for getting us there, and helping us hit 14 different stretch goals on the way!

Our next Kickstarter will be for Dystopia Rising: Evolution, so keep an eye out for further details.

 

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).

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)

 

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

SPECIAL W20 and M20 SALE! Huge savings on our Deluxe printing overruns until 8/31!

https://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Deals-and-Specials/

 

 

DRIVETHRURPG.COM:

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This Wednesday, we will release Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition in the PDF and print!

 

 

CONVENTIONS!

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!

(Ian here: since most of the crew was at Gen Con, there wasn’t much in the way of updates. This list is copied-and-pasted from last week, albeit without anything bolded.)

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)
  • Trinity Continuum: Aberrant core (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant)
  • Tales of Excellent Cats (Monarchies of Mau)
  • Scion Companion: Mysteries of the World (Scion 2nd Edition)
  • City of the Towered Tombs (Cavaliers of Mars)
  • Night Horrors: Nameless and Accursed (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)
  • Heirs to the Shogunate (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Witch-Queen of the Shadowed Citadel (Cavaliers of Mars)

 

Redlines

  • Deviant: The Renegades (Deviant: The Renegades)
  • Spilled Blood (Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition)
  • Wr20 Book of Oblivion (Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Lunars: Fangs at the Gate (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Adventures for Curious Cats (Monarchies of Mau)
  • CofD Dark Eras 2 (Chronicles of Darkness)
  • Changeling: The Lost 2nd Companion (Changeling: The Lost 2nd)

 

Second Draft

  • WoD Ghost Hunters (World of Darkness)
  • Tales of Good Dogs – Pugmire Fiction Anthology (Pugmire)
  • Aeon Aexpansion (Trinity Continuum: Aeon)
  • C20 Players’ Guide (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • In Media Res (Trinity Continuum: Core)
  • Changeling: The Lost 2nd Jumpstart (Changeling: The Lost 2nd)

 

Development

  • Signs of Sorcery (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)
  • Hunter: the Vigil 2e core (Hunter: the Vigil 2nd Edition)
  • Fetch Quest (Pugmire)
  • CofD Contagion Chronicle (Chronicles of Darkness)
  • Dystopia Rising: Evolution (Dystopia Rising: Evolution)
  • Night Horrors: Shunned by the Moon (Werewolf: The Forsaken 2nd Edition)

 

Manuscript Approval:

  • Dog and Cat Ready Made Characters (Monarchies of Mau) (With Eddy)

 

Editing:

  • They Came From Beneath the Sea! Rulebook (TCFBtS!)

 

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

 

Indexing:

 

 

ART DIRECTION FROM MIRTHFUL MIKE:

(Ian here. Mike, like me, was not at Gen Con, so unlike the production stuff above, this is updated over last week)

In Art Direction

  • Dystopia Rising: Evolution – KS art sketches coming in.
  • VtR: Guide to the Night
  • M20: Gods and Monsters 
  • Geist 2e
  • The Realm
  • Trinity Continuum (Aeon and Core)
  • Ex3 Monthly Stuff – gonna try out a new artist on some of the NPCs.
  • Ex3 Dragon Blooded

 

Marketing Stuff

 

In Layout

  • Scarred Lands Trilogy Novels – Converting to PDF and PoD.
  • PTC: Night Horrors: The Tormented
  • Fetch Quest
  • Cav cards

 

Proofing

  • Scion Hero 

 

At Press

  • Changeling: The Lost 2e Errata gathering.
  • Monarchies of Mau Awaiting press proofs
  • Scion Origin Out gathering errata.
  • Cavaliers of Mars Printing.
  • Wraith 20th Going live Wednesdsay, Deluxe files getting ready for printer.
  • Monarchies of Mau Screen Printing.
  • Cavaliers of Mars Screen Printing.
  • Wraith 20 Screen Printing.
  • Scion Dice – At fulfillment shipper.

 


TODAY’S REASON TO CELEBRATE: Gen Con’s over! Time to celebrate by taking a long, long nap.


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Mortekai

In which Dixie, Matthew, and Eddy queue up and buy their badges for a chat about conventions

* Tangent 1: Dixie and Matthew argue about Japanese
* We’re at Gen Con! But not yet. But we are now. It’s very confusing.
* The food trucks are quite good
* Matthew’s first con experience at UK Games Expo
* Dixie’s first con experience at Dragon Con
* Tangent 2: Matthew as a DC fan at New York Comic Con
* Eddy’s first con experience at Origins and the early 90s LARP scene
* Very few (US) cons these days are focused on just one thing, but gamers are sometimes very focused
* How often do we get to play games at cons?
* Dixie has never played a game at a con. Or has she?
* Fomo: The fear of missing out
* Playing and running con games/one-shots is different from playing and running a game with a regular group
* Midwinter is a great show
* What’s the difference of attending as a professional over attending as an individual?
* The RPG industry is a drinking culture
* Tangent 3: People telling us we suck
* How to chat with pros and ask for autographs
* Tangent 4: Harry Potter discussion
* What we’re looking forward to at Gen Con 2018
* Matthew got wrestled without consent. Consent is important!


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Mortekai

As most of our crew are running around at Gen Con, let me tell you a story. It Happened to Me.

Aimee

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So he’s me, kind of. Better job, better relationship with my — our — mom. Takes selfies and posts photos of his matcha lattes and his wife and their million adopted babies. Gross.

He’s… not married to Katrina, though. And I sort of thought we would be. I mean, I followed the scent of her hair back out of Arcadia. Rolled it around in my mouth like a peppermint as I ran, brisk and clean and full of unkept promises. When I stood in the long saltgrass by the bay to catch my breath on solid ground, real ground, the first thing I did was try to pick its scent up again. I thought I might have missed some dates, I didn’t think I’d be missing years. Well, he didn’t miss those years. He sews his button eyes back on every morning, thinking they’re eyeglasses, and kisses some other woman. She’s cute, I guess, but doesn’t seem like our type. Or maybe just not mine. It’s getting unhealthy, all this watching them go to work and scrolling through his Instagram.

And it’s not like I have to kill him, right? I could just let him keep a life I don’t even want, mothers and mothers-in-law and an associate at a nice anonymous firm. God, I was so basic. But he’s not even friends with Katrina anymore. Her life, maybe I could slip back into.

That was the logic that carried me to the doorstep of her apartment complex, loitering in the lobby, waiting for her to come downstairs. Her voice was cautious and slow, like the words were crawling around a feeling too big to speak. Anger, probably. But she said she’d come downstairs. I rocked forward and back on the balls of my feet, squeaking in my wet shoes. I’d always been a little titchy, but now I can’t bear to be still. I spent a lot of time running, my first weeks back. The continuity helped, even if it felt a little perverse.

The elevator doors opened, and I released a breath I hadn’t even realized I was holding. She came and she was so very the same that I blinked a little. Aging gracefully, I guess. A little sprinkle of white in her wiry black hair, long and full around her head. A belted dress I bought her at a street fair 10 years ago. No shoes. There was a wild look in her eyes that felt familiar, but before I could really think about it I was calling her name. It sounded high and sharp in the empty hall. Too di?erent, even though I’ve been practicing.

“Ja…Aimee?” She started to touch my face, and checked herself. Flattened out the betrayed look on her face. “What are you going by these days?”

My heart twisted. “Aimee, I guess. That’s how my roommates know me.”

“What about Lucy?” She looked increasingly less confused.

Lucy? Oh. “It’s…complicated. She doesn’t know.”

Katrina’s eyes ?ickered past me and she snorted. “Girl, you’re not complicated. I see you.”

My vision went dark around the edges. I took a step backwards, then too many forward, until we were breathing the same air. “What do you see?”

She tipped my head up to look at her, and this time I actually did. A second eyelid snapped over her eye and back again. Eyes so deep a black I almost fell into them. I did fall onto her. And I felt the soft scaling on her shoulders. Oh, Katrina.

“I didn’t…did you fall down the well after me? I never thought. Was that you yelling back to me? Oh god, I left you there. I’m so sorry, I thought it was a trick.” Words were falling out of my mouth, I might have been crying. “I would have gone back, I would have gone back, I’m so sorry.”

“Shh. If you can even think about putting a foot back into the Hedge without screaming, I’ll accept that as an apology. It’s been a minute, Aimee. Where’ve you been?”

She was smiling, a little. Not enough to get myself invited back upstairs, but enough to keep talking. “Oh, over the river and through the woods. I’m pretty sure my grandparents are dead now, though.”

She rolled her eyes. “Not what I meant. Why hit me up now?”

“Oh. Well. I’ve actually only been back a couple of weeks? And if I’m being completely honest, I spent most of that time following… him to work and hanging out outside your building wondering if I should call you.” Then I had an awful realization. “Wait. I found you under your real name. Did they… did they not replace you too?”

Katrina shivered. Now that I was looking, the scales rippled too. Like mica and cobras and the inside of shells. “She was made of glass and she wanted to fight about it.”

“What happened?”

“I cracked her open and feathers poured out.”

“I haven’t. I mean, I didn’t. I don’t want to. Jesus, he has kids. He’s a he.”

“Yeah, I know. I went looking for you after I got back, too. I can see why you might want to leave well enough alone. Not like you wanted to be him before.”

“Well, Mom seems happy with him, and… if Lucy can’t tell, maybe it would be kinder to let her keep him? It seems cruel to just pop into her life and be like ‘Hey, your husband is imaginary and I have to destroy him so I can have a name I don’t want back. So how do you feel about a divorce and full custody of all these kids?’ I did joke a lot about blowing up my life.”

Katrina pulled on a curl. “Well, that’s not quite fair to her, either. Like, what if… she does know? Or figured some piece of it out on her own, but didn’t know what to do about it? She’d… she’d probably think she was going crazy, and only we would know di?erent.”

“Hell, I don’t know what to do with my own life. I definitely don’t have any words of wisdom to fill the pages of ‘So Your Husband’s a Fetch: Living with the Consequences of Fae Jerks.’ She’d be better o? talking to you.”

Katrina winced. And even as the door creaked open, I knew. “She was going to talk to you.”

“Aimee, we have a history. If she was going to call someone, it would have been me. I think you should talk to her, too, but she didn’t come looking for you.”

Of course they knew each other. I knew that. I must have known that. They had lives that kept happening while I was gone. People that they were to each other, through… James. Things about him they shared that I’d only know secondhand. I suddenly felt like an eavesdropper in a conversation about myself. A lacuna in their lives that was unwelcomely filled. Lucy was looking at me like her life might go up in smoke if I blinked. And she wasn’t wrong.

The rain outside picked up. Katrina’s eyes ?ickered to my left half a second before mine followed. It was like someone had run a finger up the length of my spine, at first just a nervous tickle, but getting insistent and angry.

I had not properly considered the possibility that escaping Arcadia wouldn’t be enough to keep me safe.

Changeling: The Lost 2nd Edition can be preordered via BackerKit.


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Mortekai

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Onyx Path Publishing and Caliber Comics Announce the Legendlore RPG based on the Award-Winning Legendlore and The Realm Comics

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Thursday, August 2, 2018 — Rich Thomas, founder and creative director of Onyx Path Publishing, in conjunction with Caliber Comics announced a new partnership today. Onyx Path will develop a tabletop RPG called Legendlore RPG based on Caliber Comics’ long-running fantasy comic book series The Realm and Legendlore.

“What I love about Legendlore is it’s you, reading this right now, who gets to explore the world. Small but fierce? The portal makes you a warrior. Always talking your friends into things they shouldn’t do? You get to be a bard. Read more books about magic than you can remember? A sorcerer! It’s completely up to you,” stated Steffie de Vaan, developer for the tabletop RPG. “Character creation and setting will be incredibly diverse, so regardless your ethnicity, body, gender or sexuality: the Realm is for you.”

“It’s a privilege to be working with Onyx Path in bringing a Legendlore RPG to a whole new audience. Onyx Path Publishing is one of the best in the business in crafting and launching an entertaining tabletop RPG that gamers truly come to enjoy,” said Eric Reichert, President of Caliber Comics. “The Realm/Legendlore property is one of the gems from the hundreds of IP titles within Caliber’s extensive library. And its concept and grand fantasy scope is a natural fit for a tabletop RPG. It will be interesting to see what new adventures await us in the land of Azoth.”

Legend-Lore-V1-209x300.jpgDrawn from The Realm and Legendlore comics, the Legendlore RPG will whisk characters from our modern world to a magical Dungeons and Dragons-meets-Game of Thrones land filled with dragons, orcs, unicorns and hobgoblins. With over 60 comics published covering twelve graphic novel volumes, The Realm and Legendlore comics became one of Caliber Comics most critically acclaimed and popular series. In the RPG, players can choose to play as themselves or create a new character using the Storypath system.

Some of the creative talents featured in the comics were Ralph Griffith (Deadworld/OZ), Stuart Kerr (Deadworld/OZ), Guy Davis (Hellboy/B.P.R.D./Grendel/Aliens), Brian Michael Bendis (Ultimate Spiderman/Guardians of the Galaxy/Avengers/Daredevil), Jim O’Barr (The Crow), David Boller (Spiderman/X-Men/Ghost Rider), Tim Bradstreet (Punisher/Serenity), and more!

Both digital and print editions of the Legendlore RPG are scheduled for a 2019 release.

About Onyx Path Publishing: Founded in 2012, Onyx Path Publishing is a Pennsylvania-based company dedicated to the development of exemplary, immersive worlds. Working with a group of amazingly talented creators, we explore print, electronic and other forms of media distribution to produce games and fiction based on the Scarred Lands, Pugmire, Scion, Trinity, Exalted, World of Darkness and Chronicles of Darkness properties. With over 20 years of publishing experience from which to draw, we are industry professionals who love the art of the game and plan to continue making meaningful, innovative contributions in the years to come.

On the web: http://www.theonyxpath.com
Twitter: @theonyxpath
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheOnyxPath

About Caliber Comics: Caliber Comics has released over 1500 individual comic issues and graphic novels since its inception. With its large library of titles, Caliber Comics became one of the top independent comic publishers in the 1990s and helped launch the comic careers of some of the top artists and writers in the industry today. The company was newly re-established in 2013, and continues to be a hub for comic fans young and old alike with its ongoing graphic novel releases. Properties include Deadworld, Legendlore, OZ, The Searchers, Vietnam Journal, Raven Chronicles, Shepherd, and many more!

On the web: http://www.calibercomics.com

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V5Core-232x300.jpgFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Onyx Path Publishing To Publish Chicago By Night

Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition

August 2nd, 2018 — Rich Thomas, founder and Creative Director of Onyx Path Publishing, announced the company’s first supplement for the newly-launched Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition corebook will be Chicago By Night.

“It is thrilling to me to write on and develop a book that both hails back to Vampire: The Masquerade’s origins, but also ushers in the newest edition,” said Matthew Dawkins, the developer for Chicago By Night and contributor to Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition published by White Wolf Entertainment. “If you’re a Lasombra player, this is the place to get the clan info!”

Chicago By Night expands, refreshes, and offers detailed information on one of Vampire: The Masquerade’s signature cities. The supplement will include everything players and Storytellers will need or want to tie this iconic location into their chronicle. Highlights of the V5 supplement geared for players and Storytellers will include:

  • Clan Lasombra profile with Obtenebration rules. Playable for the first time in the V5 line!
  • Loresheets to help players incorporate Vampire’s deep metaplot into character backgrounds.
  • Urban legends, maps, characters, coteries, story hooks, and a complete scenario for Storytellers.
  • Updated and new metaplot explaining the hierarchy of Kindred in Chicago and ways to incorporate characters.

“The original Chicago By Night was the book that took all the innovative and inspiring ideas from the first Vampire: The Masquerade books and crystallized them into a society of vampires. It demonstrated how these fascinating Clans actually functioned to a real city, and was the blueprint and font for everything that came after,” said Rich Thomas, CEO of Onyx Path Publishing. “We’re thrilled to be able to create the V5 edition of Chicago By Night, and are designing it with the same eye towards taking all the threads of ideas in V5 and weaving them into the dark tapestry that is Chicago.”

“In the end of 2015, we talked with Onyx Path about not only working on the previous iterations of World of Darkness but being a key partner in our new 5th Edition line of books, so it is with great pleasure we see this announcements and we look forward to many more great products and years of cooperation with Onyx Path and their great team”, says Tobias Sjögren, CEO of White Wolf Entertainment.

The manuscript for Chicago By Night is currently being written and developed using the new Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition rules. A Kickstarter is planned for a prestige edition of this supplement and is expected to launch sometime late 2018. Standard digital and print editions will be released following fulfillment of the Kickstarter.

 

About Onyx Path Publishing: Founded in 2012, Onyx Path Publishing is a Pennsylvania-based company dedicated to the development of exemplary, immersive worlds. Working with a group of amazingly talented creators, we explore print, electronic and other forms of media distribution to make our products available to our fans. With over 25 years of publishing experience from which to draw, we are industry professionals who love the art of the game and plan to continue making meaningful, innovative contributions in the years to come.

On the web: www.theonyxpath.com
Twitter: @theonyxpath
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheOnyxPath
Press Contact: Monica Valentinelli
Email Address: theonyxpath@gmail.com

 

About White Wolf Entertainment

White Wolf Entertainment is a licensing company focused on creating the best participatory brands in the world. Since its original entry into the roleplaying game market in 1991, White Wolf’s World of Darkness has grown to be one of the most recognized and successful brands in the hobby game space with collective book sales in excess of 10 million copies during this time. White Wolf’s World of Darkness brands, which include Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Wraith: The Oblivion, and Orpheus, as well as other universes such as Exalted and Chronicles of Darkness, have been licensed for television series, video games, interactive media events, and a myriad of merchandise and other entertainment products.

On the web: www.white-wolf.com
Twitter: @wwpublishing
Facebook: www.facebook.com/whitewolfpublishing
Press contact: press@white-wolf.com

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OPP-2018-Brochure-Download-232x300.jpgNow available in PDF from DriveThruRPG: the Onyx Path 2018-2019 Publishing Brochure!

Dare To Walk The Onyx Path

This brochure contains:

  • An intro letter from Rich Thomas, founder of Onyx Path Publishing, that describes the Onyx Path business model and how the company is re-energizing the WW game lines.
  • A look at the Onyx Path Publishing projects by game line.
  • Art previews from upcoming books
  • … and more!

There’s some really exciting stuff in here. What are you most looking forward to?

246766-235x300.jpgAlso available in PDF: the latest Storypath System Preview!

The evolution of the Storypath system is tied to our work on the Trinity Continuum, a world of hope, heroism, and peril, and Scion, a world where the children of the old gods walk the earth.

Early on, we found that both new editions of these games had similar system needs, because their characters are larger-than-life and fight in epic battles on a grand scale. We knew we needed a system that could accommodate everyday citizens on the street, superheroes soaring above skyscrapers, and gods of the sun and sky, but we also wanted rules to help facilitate the connection between the player-characters, their organizations (Allegiances for Trinity and Pantheons for Scion), and their values.

To move forward, however, we needed to take a step back, because the first editions of the Trinity Continuum and Scion used custom variants of the Storyteller System which powered Vampire: The Masquerade and other classic White Wolf games. Despite the differences between those variants, however, at its core the Storyteller System was designed chiefly as a horror game for creatures that could be effectively fought by human opponents. In other words, the Storyteller System is great for vampires, but it didn’t excel at portraying superheroes…or gods! To us, this meant that the stories of these action-adventure games were hindered by their original systems.

The Storypath System was designed as a new set of rules, inspired by the legacy of the Storyteller and Storytelling Systems, in addition to other story-centric rules. The Storypath System keeps the focus on narrative, story-built play, and action-adventure. It also draws inspiration from a number of other influences that focus on a cinematic high-octane action and storytelling, as well, to create a streamlined experience for epic stories.

Within these pages, you’ll find a preview of the rules and examples for both Scion and the Trinity Continuum. We hope you enjoy the new Storypath System and are inspired to roll the dice and tell great stories!

How great is that new logo? Outside of Scion and the Trinity Continuum, Storypath is also the system behind the upcoming They Came From Beneath The Sea!Dystopia Rising: Evolution, and more.


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HandbookforRecentlyDeceased_Cover-200x30Lots of great stuff this month as we ramp up for Gen Con:

Merch

  • Mage: The Ascension: Akashic Brotherhood (journal)
  • Mage: The Ascension: Celestial Chorus (journal)
  • Mage: The Ascension: Cult of Ecstasy (journal)
  • Mage: The Ascension: Dreamspeakers (journal)
  • Mage: The Ascension: Euthanatos (journal)
  • Mage: The Ascension: Order of Hermes (journal)
  • Mage: The Ascension: Sons of Ether (journal)
  • Mage: The Ascension: Verbena (journal)
  • Mage: The Ascension: Virtual Adepts (journal)

Community Spotlight

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

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

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


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Ex3-Cover-232x300.jpgHey y’all, it’s Eric and Vance here. This time, we’re previewing Lunars: Fangs at the Gate with a selection of Lunar Charms. This selection is aimed at showing off their shapeshifting, their core concept as divine apex predators, and the warrior-trickster-witch themes of Lunar Castes. Enjoy!

Heart-Drinking Allure

Cost: —; Mins: Appearance 3, Essence 1
Type: Permanent
Keywords: None
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisite Charms: None

The Lunar need not shed blood to taste of her lover’s heart. When she performs a sacred hunt to take the shape of a human that has a Major or Defining Tie of love or lust toward her (or her current shape), she may conclude it with a voluntary act of physical intimacy — a passionate embrace, a kiss, sex — instead of killing him.

Herd-Reinforcement Stance

Cost: 4m (+1wp); Mins: Charisma 4, Essence 2
Type: Supplemental
Keywords: None
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Herd-Strengthening Invocation

The Lunar embodies the archetypal Other, set apart from society yet defining it through her presence. When she makes an influence roll whose targets all belong to the same culture, she treats each target as having a Minor Principle reflecting one of that culture’s customs. Not only can this penalize their Resolve, but it can also be leveraged when using an instill roll to strengthen an existing Intimacy, when using a persuade roll to determine what level of task targets will perform, or similar purposes. The Lunar must be aware of the custom she invokes, letting her either appeal to it overtly or subtly phrase her arguments to prey on it.

If the Lunar has a Defining Tie towards the society whose custom she invokes, she may pay an additional Willpower to instead treat the custom as a Major Principle. Outcasts, dissidents, or any culture members whose personal Intimacies conflict with the custom still only treat it as Minor.

Flowing Body Evasion

Cost: 5m (+1wp); Mins: Dexterity 5, Essence 3
Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Perilous, Uniform
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Sensing the Deadly Flow

In the moment that she is attacked, the Lunar’s body becomes fluid and malleable. Her flesh yields to the passage of blades and arrows without suffering injury, can compress itself to take shelter between even the tiniest gaps between falling boulders, and can seep through pools of acid or lava unharmed. She may dodge even an undodgeable attack as long as she is aware of it. If the attack roll beats her Evasion, she may pay one Willpower to subtract successes equal to her Evasion (against that attack) from the damage roll. As long as the Lunar takes no damage from the attack, she is considered to have successfully dodged it.

Alternatively, the Lunar may use this Charm, paying its Willpower surcharge, to perfectly dodge a source of uncountable damage. If the damage is recurring, the Willpower surcharge is waived on subsequent rounds in the same scene.

Swift Killer Style

Cost: 3m, 2i; Mins: Dexterity 3, Essence 2
Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Perilous, Protean, Uniform
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Predator Grace Technique

The Lunar is a frenetic blur of violence, letting the momentum of her blows impel her across the battlefield. To use this Charm, she must move into close range with an enemy and attack him on the same turn. If the attack succeeds, she may reflexively move one range band in any direction, vertically or horizontally. This doesn’t count as her movement for the turn.

Protean: In animal shapes capable of flight, the Lunar may instead ascend two range bands upward. In aquatic animal shapes, she may instead descend two range bands down into a body of water.

Memory-Drinking Meditation

Cost: 1m; Mins: Intelligence 3, Essence 1
Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Stackable
Duration: Indefinite
Prerequisite Charms: None

The Lunar tastes the minds of her prey through their heart’s blood. When she completes a sacred hunt to take a human’s shape, she takes on one of her target’s Ties to an individual character, gaining it herself at the Minor level. She must be aware of the Tie beforehand, either through a successful read intentions roll or as an inference from observing her target’s behavior.

As long as she is in the target’s shape, she has access to all his memories that relate to the adopted Tie. The Storyteller may choose to reveal specific information related to the victim’s memories to the Lunar when it becomes relevant, and the Lunar may introduce facts (Exalted, p. 237) as though these memories were a relevant Lore background. This Charm ends if the Lunar’s adopted Tie is completely eroded.

The Lunar may stack multiple activations of this Charm to retain the memories of multiple victims, or a single victim’s memories of multiple Ties.

Devil-Pleasing Chiminage

Cost: 5m, 1wp; Mins: Intelligence 4, Essence 2
Type: Simple
Keywords: None
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Ardent Prayers Fulfilled

The Lunar bears secret wisdom of the ways of Heaven and Hell, and knows how best to appease their otherworldly denizens. She makes an (Intelligence + [Lore or Occult]) roll to introduce a fact regarding the existence of something that will make an especially pleasing offering to a spirit or raksha, without needing any specific Lore background. The roll is made against a difficulty of (the entity’s Essence + 2), although the Storyteller may lower this if the Lunar describes an offering that will require notable effort to recover. The offering must be specific and unique — if she attempts to court a river god, she could not introduce a fact that he desires apples, but could declare that the first apple of spring that grows on a specific tree would be efficacious.

Once the Lunar has introduced this fact, she or someone else must still undertake any efforts necessary to secure the offering. It counts as exceptional equipment (Exalted, p. 580) on a bargain roll with that entity made by whoever offers it, and also counts as a Major Intimacy supporting that influence. If the Lunar or the Solar mate conveys the offering, it counts as a Defining Intimacy and also increases the cost to resist by one Willpower. The offering’s benefit can only apply to a single roll.

Uncertain Sky Ambiguity

Cost: 6m; Mins: Manipulation 3, Essence 1
Type: Simple
Keywords: Mute
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Tale-Spinning Mastery

There are no certainties in the company of tricksters. The Lunar makes a special (Manipulation + [Presence or Socialize]) instill roll with (higher of Essence or 3) bonus dice, sowing disbelief through implication and innuendo. Success causes her targets to doubt whether a specific fact is true: A traveler waiting to meet a companion might question whether he’s waiting at the correct teahouse; a merchant might second-guess the value of a good; the victim of a pickpocketing might doubt whether he had the stolen item with him all along. This uncertainty can be leveraged with social influence as though it were a Major Intimacy for the rest of the scene.

A character presented with direct evidence that the fact is true may shake off this influence without spending Willpower. Likewise, a character with an Intimacy encompassing belief in the fact the Lunar seeks to cast into doubt may treat the roll as unacceptable influence. A soldier with a Tie of loyalty towards his commander might be made to question whether he heard her orders correctly, but not whether he serves her.

Echo-Drinking Awareness

Cost: 5m, 1wp; Mins: Perception 3, Essence 2
Type: Simple
Keywords: Protean
Duration: One day
Prerequisite Charms: Heightened Sense Method

The Lunar subtly shifts her vocal chords and inner ears, perceiving the world through ultrasonic vibrations. She is able to “see” everything out to long range through echolocation, visualizing a black-and-white image of everything within that range even in zero visibility. Her echolocation is capable of penetrating through walls and similar obstructions, so long as they aren’t airtight. Characters can still conceal themselves from the Lunar with Stealth, but she adds an automatic success on rolls to detect hidden characters by echolocation.

If the Lunar has Sense-Sharpening Change active enhancing her hearing, its benefits also apply to rolls that would normally be vision-based.

Protean: In animal shapes with the Echolocation Merit, the Lunar instead doubles 9s on all echolocation-based rolls, including Join Battle rolls.

Steel Paw Style

Cost: —; Mins: Stamina 2, Essence 1
Type: Permanent
Keywords: None
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisite Charms: None

Standing firm as she interposes her weapon between herself and the world, the Lunar becomes an unshakable aegis. When she blocks an attack using a medium or heavy weapon, an unarmed attack, or a natural weapon, she may use Stamina in place of Dexterity to calculate her Parry.

Adder Fang Method

Cost: 3m; Mins: Stamina 3, Essence 1
Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Decisive-only, Protean, Totemic (Wits)
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Scorpion and Toad Absolution

The Lunar reshapes her anatomy to create toxic skin glands or venom ducts, lacing her attack with deadly potency. She envenoms a decisive attack with a poison that has Damage 2i/round (B in Crash), Duration (Stamina) rounds, and a –2 penalty. Alternatively, the Lunar may substitute the poison or venom of any animal form she possesses. Normally, this can only enhance unarmed or other natural attacks, but the Lunar may envenom a weapon with a suitable stunt.

Protean: In animal shapes that are venomous or poisonous, this Charm may instead increase the duration of a single dose by (Essence).

Totemic: A Lunar whose spirit shape is venomous or poisonous may learn this as a Wits Charm.

Stalking Nightmare Hunter

Cost: 10m, 1wp; Mins: Strength 4, Essence 2
Type: Simple
Keywords: None
Duration: One dream
Prerequisite Charms: Terrifying Predator Consumption

Once the Lunar has marked her quarry, he may flee to the ends of Creation yet still never be free of her. In his dreams, she is there, lurking in the places he dares not look or pursuing him with monstrous inevitability. Upon using this Charm, the Lunar chooses a human with a Major or Defining Tie of fear towards her or one of her shapes that she has either damaged with a decisive attack or successfully threatened within the last week. The next time that character sleeps, she hunts him through his dreams in whatever of her forms terrifies him the most, rolling (Strength + combat Ability) against his Resolve, taking his form on a success. Successfully claiming a character’s shape in a dream-hunt prevents him from regaining Willpower from that night’s sleep.

This Charm can’t be used against the same character more than once per story.

Magpie’s Nest Resourcefulness

Cost: 3m, 1wp; Mins: Wits 2, Essence 1
Type: Simple
Keywords: None
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Squirrel’s Cunning Technique

The Lunar has a knack for anticipating exactly what’s needed in any situation she might encounter. Upon using this Charm, she reveals that she’s had a mundane item that could be concealed upon her person all along. She makes a (Wits + Ability) roll at a difficulty of the item’s Resources rating, using an Ability that reflects how she procured the item: for example, Bureaucracy if she bought it while passing through a market, an applicable Craft if she built it over downtime, Larceny if she stole it, and so on. If successful, she produces the item, and it counts as exceptional equipment (Exalted, p. 580) for an applicable task. On a failed roll, she still produces the item, but it is deficient in some way determined by the Storyteller: It might impose a ?1 penalty, fall apart at the end of the scene, or similar.

If the Lunar succeeds on a Craft roll with this Charm, she gains crafting points as though she’d completed a basic project (Exalted, p. 240).

This Charm can only be used once per scene.


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Araya-Geist-chapter-01-232x300.jpg

Yes, this is the week we go to Gen Con. It is also the last day of the Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition Kickstarter, so act now before time runs out for death. Uh, I have no idea where that line of thought took me.

Anyway, back to Gen Con. Months of preparation to be sure we get the right people to the right events, demos, and booth time, with the right combination of books and stuff to amuse and entice folks into getting more involved with Onyx Path and our many fascinating worlds.

It has, in fact, been a year since we launched our “Many Worlds, One Path” motto for Gen Con 2017, and it is still as evocative of what we’re all about. Maybe more so.

We’ve certainly talked a lot about Gen Con over the years on this blog. It’s big; it exerts a crazy amount of gravitational pull on our hobby and business. But compared to previous years, I’ve actually pulled back on talking about it so much. Part of that is our continuing investigation of other conventions and a changing strategy for them overall, and part of it is that our team has become so experienced with Gen Con that we’re able to do the things we want to do there more easily.

We’ve also developed a few strategies for using Gen Con as sort of a jumping off point to get info out to our community, whether you attend or not. Just about everything we’re doing in Indy at the con is mirrored by something going on on our site or with our sales partners. Some examples:

Traditionally, we unveil and hand out at Gen Con our yearly Onyx Path Brochure that contains announcements for upcoming books and projects. In recent years, we’ve also released a separate Storypath Brochure, to explain the system and the give details on the game lines powered by it. Yes, we’re doing that again this year, but we’re also releasing both brochures as PDFs on Wednesday on DTRPG. That way, our community, whether attending Gen Con or not, can all get in on the discussions that explode after folks get their hands on the brochures.

Tied to that, we are doing TWO “What’s Up With Onyx Path?” panels, one on Thursday at 1pm and one on Saturday at 11am. Part of this is our feeling that we have enough game lines that it’ll take two sessions to get through all of them (!), but we’re also aware that folks like to come to the sessions with questions about things they’ve read in the brochures, and the on-line discussions that happen after they are in their hands. If you can’t get to Gen Con but want us to consider a question or two, go ahead and post it here in the Comments section – please label it as being for the Gen Con panels.

(Full disclosure: I’m only able to attend all of the Thursday session and the first half of the Saturday one. We only have limited control of when our sessions are scheduled for, unfortunately.)

We’re going to be recording those two panels to put up later (we also have a How to Freelance for Onyx Path and a Game writing/Design Bootcamp, and might record one or both of those), either as individual or edited together versions depending on the quality.

 

 

SteveEllis_ScionHero-300x279.jpg

Scion: Hero art by Steve Ellis

 

 

We’re going to be using our booth for several purposes. It’s #501 and right next to a bank of doors at the end near Paizo.

The first is to demo all sorts of our games, particularly new ones like Fetch Quest and They Came From Beneath the Sea!, and you’ll be able to play with and talk to the creators, like Eddy Webb and Matthew Dawkins. As always, we also have a whole room where our demoing friends, The Wrecking Crew, will be playing non-stop throughout the con. I mean, they might have some times they’re sleeping, but don’t worry about that. All of them, and especially one, are Legendary in their love of demoing our games!

We are also planning on selling our latest projects and books at the booth, with some very sweet discounts for our Kickstarter overruns. Much like the examples above, we haven’t forgotten the folks who couldn’t make it, as there is a huge sale until 8/31 of Werewolf 20 and Mage 20 Deluxe projects which will happen at Indie Press Revolution, one of our favorite sales partners, that everyone can participate in at their online store. https://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Deals-and-Specials/

Our favorite Trio of Titanic Talent That’s Terrific and Terrifying will also be using the booth and environs to create special Gen Con Onyx Pathcast episodes that we’re expecting to go into further detail on topics from the panels and offer ad hoc interviews with many of our favorite creators, designers, writers, you name it. Folks at the booth can see Dixie, Eddy, and Matthew in action, and you can expect those episodes to go up on our PodBean site or your favorite podcast venue pretty quickly. We want timeliness for these special episodes!

Before we get to those episodes, we’ll have an episode this Friday about Conventions (well, that’s timely) and last week the Trio discussed in great detail the connections between video games and tabletop RPGs. They all come to the topic from different directions and experiences and that makes for fascinating listening.

 

 

 

DR-Poster-194x300.jpg

Dystopia Rising: Evolution art by Mark Kelly

 

 

Inevitably, the booth will be a place for business discussions and meetings too, and because of that not all of us may be available to talk all the time. I’ve got a full raft of meetings with individuals coming to pitch me new game or licensing ideas, which doesn’t even count our existing friends and partners and their ideas, or Magic fans that want me to sign some cards. So, please be sure that while we really want to talk with everybody who stops in, we might be pulled away for that pesky business stuff. Please come by again if you miss us the first time!

There’s also the fact that we’re right next to the White Wolf booth and while you may not have heard this news, they are premiering the physical copies of the 5th Edition of Vampire: The Masquerade at the con.

So, it may be a crazy madhouse as folks stand in line to get their copies. We really have no idea what will happen with that, but are hoping for the best and prepared to wave and hand out our brochures to the folks waiting!

Since at least one of the announcements we’re making has to do with those guys over there across the aisle, please bear with us if any of us suddenly pop over there and have one of those heads together, speak out of the side of the mouths, discussions.

 

 

MarcoGonzales_ScionHero2-225x300.jpg

Scion: Hero art by Marco Gonzales

 

 

Basically, we’re looking forward to seeing you there if you can make it, and we’ve set things up so that everybody can participate during and after via social media and the Onyx Pathcast. Once the announcements start hitting, you’ll appreciate why we did decide to use this motto last year:

Many Worlds, One Path!

 

 

BLURBS!

KICKSTARTER:

Background-Geist-300x169.jpg

Less than ONE DAY LEFT for the Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition Kickstarter and we’ve achieved fourteen Stretch Goals so far, and the last day can sometimes be crazy for our Kickstarters. Thanks to all of our backers out there spreading the word! We are in good shape to be able to make a great looking hardcover edition, and get that into stores, even while we’re giving backers first look at the complete text and other fun benefits: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/200664283/geist-the-sin-eaters-2nd-edition

Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition includes all the rules you need to play as one of the Bound: Five Burdens reflecting the cause that pulled you back from the grave, five krewe Archetypes for building your own mystery religion, and the Haunts, Keys, and Ceremonies that provide the Bound with their macabre powers.

It also includes the Chronicle of the Dead, featuring the Sin-Eaters’ struggle against the all-consuming Underworld and a variety of terrifying threats. In addition, for the first time in the Chronicles of Darkness line, ghosts are presented as playable characters.

Chapters include:

  • The Quick and the Dead: the five Burdens (the reason a Sin-Eater comes back from the dead and what draws a particular geist to them) and krewe Archetypes (the common cause that draws a krewe of Sin-Eaters together).
  • The Road Back: On death and coming back, and why Bound make the Bargain, including possible consequences.
  • One Foot in the Grave: Character creation, with sections on both geist and krewe creation, Anchors, Merits, Synergy, Plasm, Abilities, Haunts, Keys, Ceremonies, and Mementos.
  • Old Laws: the core Chronicles of Darkness rules, with special rules for playing Sin-Eaters, as well as information on subsystems for krewes, ghosts, and the Underworld, including Avernian Gates.
  • Antagonists: villains for your Geist chronicle, including Reapers, Eaters of the Dead, necromancers, enemy Bound, and Kerberoi.
  • The Quiet Places: Setting information and story hooks for playing your Geist chronicle in specific times and places in history., from 16th-century Brazil to modern-day Edinburgh, Scotland to Mobile, Alabama in 1910, as well as information on Dominions.
  • Ghost Stories: Storyteller advice and information for running a Geist chronicle, including designing Remembrances, how to set theme and mood, story seeds, and various ways to play out the end of a game.
  • Appendix: The Absent: This Appendix details the Absent, playable ghosts, including Memories, new Merits, and a collection of possible ghost characters to expand on and use in your chronicle.
  • Appendix: Conditions and Tilts: Geist-specific Conditions and Tilts, including ephemeral Influence Conditions and Manifestation Conditions for ghosts, as well as Haunt Conditions and Tilts.

 

NEXT KICKSTARTER: Dystopia Rising: Evolution!

 

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).

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)

 

 

 

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

SPECIAL W20 and M20 SALE! Huge savings on our Deluxe printing overruns until 8/31!

https://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Deals-and-Specials/

 

 

DRIVETHRURPG.COM:

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This Wednesday, we will release the PDFs for our two new brochures: the yearly Onyx Path Brochure and this year’s Storypath Brochure!

 

 

 

CONVENTIONS!

This is the week of  Gen Con 2018, so look for us at booth #501! See above for more thoughts and news about the con!

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)
  • Trinity Continuum: Aberrant core (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant)
  • Tales of Excellent Cats (Monarchies of Mau)
  • Scion Companion: Mysteries of the World (Scion 2nd Edition)
  • City of the Towered Tombs (Cavaliers of Mars)
  • Night Horrors: Nameless and Accursed (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)
  • Heirs to the Shogunate (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Witch-Queen of the Shadowed Citadel (Cavaliers of Mars)

 

Redlines

  • Deviant: The Renegades (Deviant: The Renegades)
  • Spilled Blood (Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition)
  • Wr20 Book of Oblivion (Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Lunars: Fangs at the Gate (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Adventures for Curious Cats (Monarchies of Mau)
  • CofD Dark Eras 2 (Chronicles of Darkness)
  • Changeling: The Lost 2nd Companion (Changeling: The Lost 2nd)

 

Second Draft

  • WoD Ghost Hunters (World of Darkness)
  • Tales of Good Dogs – Pugmire Fiction Anthology (Pugmire)
  • Aeon Aexpansion (Trinity Continuum: Aeon)
  • C20 Players’ Guide (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • In Media Res (Trinity Continuum: Core)
  • Changeling: The Lost 2nd Jumpstart (Changeling: The Lost 2nd)

 

Development

  • Signs of Sorcery (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)
  • Hunter: the Vigil 2e core (Hunter: the Vigil 2nd Edition)
  • Fetch Quest (Pugmire)
  • CofD Contagion Chronicle (Chronicles of Darkness)
  • Dystopia Rising: Evolution (Dystopia Rising: Evolution)
  • Night Horrors: Shunned by the Moon (Werewolf: The Forsaken 2nd Edition)

 

Manuscript Approval:

  • Dog and Cat Ready Made Characters (Monarchies of Mau) (With Eddy)

 

Editing:

  • They Came From Beneath the Sea! Rulebook (TCFBtS!)

 

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

 

Indexing:

 

 

ART DIRECTION FROM MIRTHFUL MIKE:

In Art Direction

  • Ex3 Monthly Stuff – gonna try out a new artist on some of the NPCs.
  • Trinity Continuum 
  • Geist 2e – Waiting for KS to end before getting rest of art.
  • The Realm
  • M20 Gods and Monsters 
  • Ex3 Dragon Blooded
  • VtR – Guide to the Night – Sketches coming in.
  • Dystopia Rising: Evolution – KS art contracted.

 

Marketing Stuff

 

In Layout

  • Fetch Quest  contracting additional art post Gen Con.
  • Cav cards
  • Scarred Lands Trilogy Novels – Converting to PDF and PoD.
  • Promethean Night Horrors: The Tormented – KT doing layout.

 

Proofing

  • Scion Hero 

 

At Press

  • Scion Dice – At fulfillment shipper.
  • Monarchies of Mau At printer.
  • Monarchies of Mau Screen Printing.
  • Cavaliers of Mars Screen Printing.
  • Wraith 20 Screen Printing.
  • Wraith 20th PDF/PoD on sale to public after GenCon, Deluxe files getting ready for printer.
  • Scion Origin Backer PDF out, gathering errata.
  • Cavaliers of Mars Printing.
  • Changeling: The Lost 2e Errata gathering.
  • Gen Con and Storypath Brochure – Go live on Wednesday

 


TODAY’S REASON TO CELEBRATE: It’s finally here: Gen Con 2018!


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Mortekai

In which the Terrible Trio talk about video games, how they’ve influenced RPGs, the overlap between both, and some of our history with both.

* Our first video game consoles

* Puzzle design in text adventures close to tabletop RPGs

* British game censorship

* Connecting to the characters on the screen

* A little history on the tensions between tabletop gamers and video gamers

* Where to send your hate mail (Eddy gets it wrong)

* Using video game language to attract people to tabletop RPGs

* What have we taken from video games and incorporated into our tabletop RPG experiences?

* Narrative choice into Chronicles of Darkness design

* Illusion of choice

* We all get fake Twitter names

* Eddy takes a controversial stance on Planescape Torment

* Dixie shifts the discussion to Bloodlines as a good example of blurring tabletop and video games

* Turning something from a video game into a tabletop RPG

* Matthew gets a cease-and-desist and realizes he’s obsessed with water

* Which of the Onyx Path games would make the best video games?

* Dixie talks about MMOs, because the other two forgot

* Matthew snuck into an exclusive DC comics party

* Saints Row 4 as Demon the Descent

* Wrestling reference! The WWE RPG and the make-a-wrestling mode in WWE video games

* At the last minute Matthew mentions the Street Fighter RPG

LINKS:
We mention a LOT of games, so we’re just listing the ones we talk about in detail.

* Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy game: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/1g84m0sXpnNCv84GpN2PLZG/the-game-30th-anniversary-edition

* Metal Gear: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metal_Gear_%28video_game%29

* D&D 4th Edition: http://drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/44/Wizards-of-the-Coast/subcategory/9730_9739/Dungeons–Dragons-4e

* Mass Effect franchise: https://www.masseffect.com/

* Fable franchise: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fable_(video_game_series)

* Elder Scrolls franchise: https://elderscrolls.bethesda.net/en

* Bioshock: http://www.bioshockgame.com/site/us/

* Planescape Torment: https://www.gog.com/game/planescape_torment_enhanced_edition

* Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines: https://www.gog.com/game/vampire_the_masquerade_bloodlines

* Saints Row 4: https://www.saintsrow.com/about


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Mortekai

This week is the chapter fiction which opens In the Cold, a Demon: The Descent-focused chapter for Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras.

DE_IntotheCold-232x300.jpgHans turned away from the window and put on his greatcoat. The snow and darkness would increase his chances of success. The snow crunched under his boots in rhythm with his breathing. Soon he was only a few blocks away from Checkpoint Charlie. One of his colleagues exchanged information with the West at that checkpoint, but Hans hadn’t heard from her in weeks. Perhaps she had merely gone to ground.

Hans wouldn’t cross at Checkpoint Charlie, though. Too much traffic. Too many soldiers. Too much risk of being seen. False identities he had, but not the luxury of multiple passports.

A figure emerged from the snow, and only Hans’ self-control kept him from leaping in surprise.

“Sir, your papers?” the figure asked.

“Good evening, comrade,” Hans said, withdrawing his identification from his left pocket and holding it out. His other hand remained firmly planted in the pocket. “Urgent house call.”

The figure stepped into the pool of light from the streetlamp above. He was a young man dressed in the uniform of the Volkspolizei — the regular police. The VoPo gave the papers a preemptory glance and returned them to Hans. He smiled. “Seems to be in good order, doctor.”

Hans murmured a response and continued walking, fighting down the urge to look over his shoulder.

Hans entered an apartment building and ascended the stairs. The third apartment on the second floor was unlocked and empty. Hans went to the window. The nearer barbed wire fence stood directly underneath. He leapt from the window to the ground below. He picked himself up from the snow and watched the sweeping beams of the searchlights for a few minutes. Once he was satisfied he had identified the pattern, Hans ran through the snow toward the Wall on the far side.

Ten meters. Hans slipped off his greatcoat as he ran. The black curls of the barbed wire fence looked like the shadows of thorny bushes in wintertime. The searchlight would return all too soon. He threw the coat over the fence and clambered over. The tower guard spotted him just as he reached the top. A siren blared, but Hans was already on the other side. He collapsed into a heap behind a black sedan, panting from the exertion. The guards could no longer reach him.

“Herr Blutig, I presume,” said a voice from inside the vehicle. The window rolled down to reveal a young man in a broad-brimmed hat. “Can I offer you a cigarette?”

Hans stood up. That was one of the signs. “I don’t smoke, but let me buy you a drink.”

The man shook his head in response to the countersign. “And I’m afraid I don’t drink. Shall we go for a ride?”

Hans didn’t answer, but he slipped into the car’s passenger seat.

“What news brings you to West Berlin, Herr Blutig? Paranoids seldom risk the death strip so openly.”

“According to my colleague in Moscow, a representative from an American corporation recently met privately with First Secretary Khrushchev. No one knows what they discussed, but the company’s name is Black Sun Cosmocartography.”

“I’m missing something, I think.”

“Are you so new to the business?” Hans asked. He didn’t wait for a reply. “Black Sun is also a contractor that works with NASA. When Kennedy announced on TV earlier this year that the United States would soon place a man on the moon, a Black Sun representative was standing behind him.”

“What is on the moon that is so valuable to them?”

“I don’t know. We need to bring this to the rest of the Agency,” Hans said as the key turned in the lock and the man in the hat pushed the door of the apartment open. A small, electrically lit Christmas tree provided the only illumination in the darkened living room.

“It will wait until morning.”

Hans entered, shaking his head. “I must speak to them tonight. We may have been followed.”

The door slammed behind them, and Hans whirled. He found himself looking down the barrel of Agent’s pistol. Its silencer gleamed red and green in the glow of the Christmas lights.

“I’m afraid I can’t let you return to East Germany, Herr Blutig.” He almost looked apologetic. “You know far too much to be allowed to fall into the hands of the Enemy’s operatives.”

Hans opened his mouth to respond a fraction of a second before the bullet passed through his skull.

Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras is available in PDF and print-on-demand via DriveThruRPG. The Into the Cold chapter is also available separately in PDF and print-on-demand: Dark Eras: Into the Cold.


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