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Mortekai

In which Eddy, Dixie, and Matthew talk about their experiences with Vampire the Requiem, and talk about some of the design decisions that went into it.

  • We totally plan these episodes (not really)
  • We each talk about our experience with Requiem
  • The differences between Masquerade and Requiem, and between first and second edition
  • The social dynamics of Requiem
  • Planescape and the X/Y/Z axis
  • The science of number of choices
  • Eddy gets academic, but it doesn’t last
  • Dixie talks about how second edition mechanics makes you feel like you’re struggling to not be a monster
  • The focus on relationships, and ghouls in particular
  • Breaking points
  • The role of noir and the detective tradition in Requiem
  • 19-2, the Wire, and the influence of police drama
  • Matthew breaks down the power design, and how it avoids redundancy
  • Eddy asks Matthew and Dixie what their favorite clan and covenant combinations

You can pick up Vampire the Requiem at DriveThruRPG: http://drivethrurpg.com/product/123898/Vampire-The-Requiem-2nd-Edition


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Mortekai

131419-231x300.jpg“The Startup” is the introductory fiction to Flowers of Hell: The Demon Players Guide for Demon: The Descent.

The press swarmed all around the courthouse, slowing exit. Hundreds of people ?ocked, all eyes on Eric as he left the courthouse doors. He practically danced between the rows of reporters. His grin grew with each step down the courthouse stairs. He mugged for every camera, and posed for gaudy cellphone pictures.

The press exploded. They fought over his limited periphery, climbing, shoving cameras, and thrusting microphones over one another, like beetles on a corpse.

“Start wherever you want, Mister Pearce!”

“Tell us about the orgies!”

“Tell us about his wife!”

“Tell us about Thailand!”

“What does it feel like to win the case?”

Eric smiled, and held a hand up to pause the crowd. “What does it feel like to win the case? I’ll tell you what it’s like.”

He stopped, and motioned up to the courthouse. His practiced, exaggerated gesture made the crowd look back to the building, even though they knew what they’d see.

“See these steps? When I walked down these stairs, I felt like Rocky running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It’s been a hard path. But I have accomplished. I have achieved. Ms. Jergens here is my Mickey. I’ve got the eye of the tiger.”

He stepped down once more, and merged back into the press. The suited blonde woman beside him forcibly escorted him to a car, and shoved him in before he could answer more questions. She closed the door behind them.

As the car pulled away, Eric grabbed a brown sack from the seat back pouch. Jergens rolled her eyes. “You realize that Apollo Creed won at the end, right?”

Eric slid a mirror, a razor, and a cellophane bag of white powder from the sack. “Whatever. People like the drama of it. Throw in a movie reference, and they eat out of your palm.”

Jergens checked her cellphone, and spoke ?atly. “There could still be appeals. You don’t just steal a billion dollar company from its founder—“

“Co-founder.” He cut her off.

“Co-founder. Anyway, don’t write any big checks just yet.” She sighed and typed on her phone. “Also? It was ‘Gonna Fly Now.’”

He inhaled a line of powder. “What in the hell are you talking about?”

“He ran up the steps to ‘Gonna Fly Now.’ ‘Eye of the Tiger’ didn’t even happen until the third movie.” She put the phone away, and removed a digital recorder. “Now, let’s start the version that goes in the book.”


“Damien and I started YouMe in the garage. We were like the Jobs and Gates of social media. The idea was, we wanted to give college students a virtual meat market where they could narrow down a hookup by specific criteria. I know you could have benefited from that in school. We all could—”

The car thudded to a halt. Jergens and Eric slammed forward. In the confusion, Eric tossed his cocaine all over the both of them.

“What in the ever-loving fuck, Nate?” He snapped up to the driver.

“Sorry, sir. But there’s a man standing in front of the car.” The driver recovered his lost cap while the car idled.

“Fucking hit him. I don’t care. I’ve got a shareholder meeting to go to.”

Jergens raised an eyebrow. “You do realize that the IPO is still not approved with the settlement, right? We can’t go public until next week. You don’t have shareholders.”

“Fine. Potential shareholder meeting.” Eric huffed, and opened the door. “I’m going to get this fucker out of the way. He doesn’t know who he’s interrupting.”

“Mister Pearce…Eric. As your attorney, I strongly advise against—”

Eric slammed the door behind him, and marched forth to confront the man. The man turned to face him. He was a tall, blonde man. He had a haircut that belonged on television, and a suit that belonged in a courtroom, probably because he just left the televised courtroom. He stood tall, but shaky, unstable.

“Damien? What in the hell are you doing here? How did you know where we’d be driving?”

“I wanted to congratulate you on a well-fought trial.” Damien bowed mockingly. “We couldn’t talk in the courtroom, you were too busy fellating the press afterwards, so I needed to get you alone. Get over yourself. I knew you’d be here, because you had your silly ‘shareholder meeting’ to attend.”

“I don’t even.” Eric blinked twice.

“Eric. Your suit is covered in blow. Dust yourself off. You don’t want it to go like this, do you?”

Jergens stepped out of the car and made her way to Eric’s side. “You don’t want to be here. You can’t risk being seen with him.”

Eric brushed off his suit. “It? What’s it, Damien? Are you going to shoot me?”

Damien shook his head. “Worse. Long story short, I put two and two together. Well, and I found your diary. It’s like you wanted to be found out.”

Eric’s eyes went wide. “Shut up.” He slid a hand into the breast of his suit, drew a pistol, and leveled it at Damien.

Jergens went for the gun, Eric put his other hand up to hold her back. “Eric! Put that away!”

Damien shook his head and tisked. “I don’t care, Eric. Shoot me. You’ve already taken everything away from me. It’s my turn to take something away from you.”

Eric shook his head and put both hands to the pistol’s grip. “I swear to fucking Christ, Damien. Walk away. You don’t want to do this.”

“You’d know about not wanting to do things, wouldn’t you?” Damien smiled. “Didn’t want to start YouMe. You didn’t even know me. You were given a job, and you had no choice. But eventually, you stopped coding for It, and you started coding for yourself. You started to care. And that’s what you’ll tell everyone. You just cared so much. That excuses everything, doesn’t it?”

“Shut. Up.” Eric stepped slowly toward Damien.

“Get back in the car, Eric. Just ignore him. He’s trying to take you down with him.” Jergens tugged on Eric’s shoulder, but Eric was a statue.

“Tell her, Eric.” Damien said, looking between the two. “You have client privilege, right? Just tell her. Tell her about the Machine. Tell her about your duties, and when you began to question.”

Eric fired, blowing a hole in Damien’s chest. Damien winced, then grinned. Jergens gasped and put a hand to her mouth. “Tell her, Eric. How you’re a Fallen fucking angel.”

Eric fired again. “How YouMe was part of some great plan to mind control the populace.” Damien gestured dramatically, mockingly, to the sky.

Eric fired again. Damien knelt over, grasping at three bleeding wounds. Jergens wept, and shook her head. “Why you went public.”

Eric fired again. “Tell her you’re a fucking demon.” Damien shouted out those final words as he fell to the side.

Eric fired three more times, all three into a corpse. He stopped, ears ringing, his hand numb from the recoil. He snapped to attention. Shadows from
the streetlights warped, and started groping out, reaching for something. Eric grabbed Jergen’s wrist. “Lisa. We have to get out of here. Now!”

Lisa Jergens followed, her body went with him, while her words protested. “Damn it, Eric. You can’t ?ee the scene. You’re just making it worse.”

“In about thirty seconds, there won’t be a scene to ?ee from. Get in the car, I’ll explain later.” He shoved Lisa into the car, much like she’d done for him earlier. He waved the driver to start. “Hit the road, Nate. Fast.”


“Not later, Eric. Now. I’m your attorney, and I’m your friend. I think I’m not being unreasonable when I say I deserve to know why you just made me an accomplice to murder!” Lisa’s voice broke slightly, but she stared Eric in the face.

Eric sighed, shrugged, then shot out a response. “Fine. The long and short of it? Damien was right. I’m a de— a Fallen angel. I’m in hiding. Now, thanks to him, my cover’s blown. Did you see those shadows back there? Those were angels. And they’re not going to stop until they find me.”

Lisa watched his face for signs of sarcasm. He sat, stoic. “You’re not shitting me, are you?”

Eric shook his head. Lisa bit her lower lip, and a tear welled up at the corner of either eye.

“We’ll be fine. I have a safe place. They won’t be able to find us.” He pulled out a phone, and tapped the screen a few times. “Nate. Go to where the GPS tells you. Don’t stop for anything.”

“Wait just a second, Eric. A safe place? Are you advocating we go on the lam? I don’t even have packed clothes. I can’t run from the cops in these heels.”

He shook his head. “It’s not like that. Just a safe place. Off the grid. We’ll regroup, I’ll seed some misinformation, and we’ll be back to safety. I’ve done this a dozen times before.”

“A dozen?” She paused. “And how many of these times were you on international cable news? You can’t just make this disappear, Eric.”

Nate stopped the car. Eric opened the door. “We’re here. Follow me.”

Lisa looked around. “Already? How are we—“

“Just get out. Please. I don’t have time to explain.” Lisa glanced up at Nate, but he looked dazed, unsure of where he was. She took a deep breath, and got out of the car.

The shadows closed in rapidly. They swarmed, blanketing the city streets in darkness. The passers-by looked around in confusion. Eric held Lisa’s hand, and rushed into an old apartment complex.

“Your hiding place is a shit apartment on East Harlem?” She argued, but followed along.

“Not really.” He pulled a key, and opened what appeared to be a janitor’s closet. “Come on in.” He put a hand to the small of her back to guide her in before him.

As she stepped through the door, reality bent to take her elsewhere. In a split second, she no longer existed in the hallway of a shit apartment complex
in East Harlem.


The space had no proper walls; it was a rough oval lined with stacks of computer towers, books, computer monitors, fling cabinets and shop equipment in no discernible order. Generic textbooks comprised a makeshift ?oor, and the “walls” extended up as far as the eye could see. They walked in through a walk-in freezer door.

Eric ri?ed through a file cabinet. Lisa looked around, touching and examining the mass of junk for a full five minutes before speaking. “What is this
place? Where are we?”

“Where we are, that’s impossible to answer. We’re somewhere. Out of space. Out of time. It’s my hiding spot. Best I can tell, this is where a bunch of lost knowledge and discovery ends up. It’s difficult to explain. Look around. I’ve got some work to do.”

Eric continued fussing with the files. Lisa examined the books. “You’re not kidding. This says ‘Tesla’ — like, the Tesla?”

Eric nodded. “I tried labeling them. But it’s dynamic, cycling. You can only find certain things twice, and never reliably.”

Lisa booted up an old green and gold CRT monitor. “This is an incomplete love letter. Terrible grammar and punctuation.”

“Feelings are more important than syntax.” He pulled a folder from the cabinet, and ?ipped through its contents.

“Why didn’t he finish it?” She navigated through nonsensical menus and folders in the hard drive.

“He did. That’s just one of the first drafts.” Eric laid out a series of photographs along the ?oor. Each featured the same, thirty-something redheaded woman.

“How do you know? I thought you said you can’t find anything twice.” She stepped away from the computer and looked over the photos.

“I know what’s in here. I know it intimately. But I only know what’s right here, right now. Things shift in and out of existence. That’s the long version. The short version is, I know it because I wrote it.” He stood, and looked with her at the photos.

“I’ve seen her. She was one of the shareholders, right?” Lisa said, with a curious hand at her chin.

“Yeah. One of the potential shareholders. Do you think you could like her if she was like me?” Eric looked to Lisa.

Lisa raised an eyebrow. “What do you mean?”

Eric shook his head. “Nothing. It’s nothing.”

Lisa shook her head and went back to the computer. She opened it up and began typing, navigating. “What are we going to do? We can’t go back if they’re hunting for you. You’re everywhere. Your schedule’s a matter of public record. I’m… willing to go with you if we’re going somewhere else.”

“Yeah?” Eric watched her. “That was my biggest worry. I can give up the money. I can give up the stupid company. Not you. I can’t do this alone.”

She glanced back at him, then returned her attention to the computer. “This is fucked. You realize that, right, Eric? Utterly fucked. I’ll go with you. I’ll help you, because I don’t really think I have a choice. I’m in this deep. So I’ll go. But this came on so fast, I don’t know if I can promise what you want from me.”

He sighed. “I don’t need promises. I just need you to bear with me. Eric’s going to die. You’re going to pin everything on him. He has a will—”

“Whoa! Wait.” She stood, turned, and glared at him. “You don’t get to pull that shit. Suicide? No way, Eric. I get explanations. I deserve explanations. I think I’m taking this pretty fucking well, don’t you think?”

“It’s not really worth explaining it, because you won’t remember when this is all over.”

She slowly approached, tears coming back to her eyes. “I won’t remember? What in the fuck, Eric? What in the fuck? I’m here, aren’t I? Is this some sort of emotional blackmail? What do you want from me?” She bit her lower lip and looked to him, pleading.

Eric took a deep breath. “Like I said. Bear with me. Eric is going to die. I’m not. I’m going to become someone else. But since I’m taking over that new identity, you’re going to forget that I was ever Eric. You worked for Eric, but he died in an altercation with Damien. But I promise you, I’ll come back to you. You just won’t know any different.”

She winced, and reached up to touch his cheek. “You really mean this, don’t you?”

He nodded.

“And this whole angel thing?” She said, her voice cracking.

“You’ll forget it.”

She stood and contemplated that. “You know, I don’t love you or anything like that, right?”

He shrugged. “You’re oversimplifying it. We’ll see where things go next time.”

She turned away from him. “Can I remember? Can you make that happen?”

“It’s not safe.” He said, shaking his head.

“I don’t care. You don’t get to do that. You don’t get to put me in danger, throw my life into disarray, open my eyes to all this, then take it all away. That’s bullshit.”

“Fine.” He shrugged. “You’ll remember. It won’t be safe, but you’ll remember. It’s only fair.”


“So, as you see, YouMe stands to gain at least 18% per quarter for the foreseeable future. Your money is in good hands. As long as we remain a culture of voyeurs and exhibitionists, free access to private information will remain profitable. I hope to see you all at the first quarterly assessment presentation.”

The shareholders stood, and offered Lisa a round of applause. She smiled. She shook hands. She accepted blank envelopes. Slowly, surely, the shareholders fled out of the board room.

At last, the room was empty, save for Lisa, and a thirty-something redheaded woman. The woman stood and approached Lisa.

“I’m glad to have you at the meeting.” Lisa said to the woman.

“I’m glad to be here. I wanted to stick around, because I know you’re looking for clients. I’m proud to be a shareholder, but I’m also in the market for an attorney.” She took Lisa’s hand and shook.

“I—” Lisa paused, and released the woman’s hand. Blood ?owed from her nose. “Excuse me. I’m sorry.” She grabbed tissues, and pressed them to her face.

“I know you were previously Eric Pearce’s personal attorney, and he spoke highly of you.” The woman continued, and handed Lisa more tissues.

Lisa looked to the woman, and covered her mouth and nose with the tissue. “What do I call you? Eric?”

The woman approached, and offered a hand to Lisa. “Courtney. Courtney’s fine.”

“Damn it. You weren’t lying, were you?” Lisa motioned Courtney’s hand away, stepped forward, and pulled her into a tight hug. “What in the Hell are we supposed to do?”

“First off, we’re not going to mention Hell.” Courtney laughed and pulled away just enough to look Lisa in the eyes. “We just go on. We start from here, and we figure it out day by day. Just like anyone else.”

Lisa’s lower lip quivered. She put a hand to Courtney’s cheek, caressing it as blood rolled from her eyes down her own cheeks. “Is this going to stop?” she said, wiping her face.

Courtney nodded, and put a tissue up to dab Lisa’s cheek clean. “Coffee. We should start with coffee.”

Flowers of Hell: The Demon Players Guide is available in PDF and print from DriveThruRPG.


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Mortekai

Pugmire_CityofPugmire_FBCover-300x111.jpEddy’s latest:

In September 2017, my pug Murray passed away. He was the inspiration for Seneschal Murra Pug, and one of the pets that acted as the initial inspiration for Pugmire as a whole. The night he passed away, this small fiction piece came to mind, full-formed. It’s sad, and I still tear up to read it, but it’s something that shows just what kind of depth Pugmire can have.


Yosha knocked hesitantly on the thick oak door to her uncle’s office. She heard a deep “Come in, come in,” and pushed the door open.

Behind his desk, Seneschal Murra, Prince of Pugmire, shuffled papers from one part of his desk to the other. Yosha noticed his fur was getting grayer every day. At this point, it was more gray than black. She wondered if he would end up being completely gray at some point.

“You sent for me, Uncle Murra?” Yosha sat in the chair across from him, paws folded in her lap.

“I just need you to sign some papers, niece. A mere formality.” He flipped through the stack, and carefully extracted one. He adjusted the glasses on what passed for a nose, nodded to himself, and then handed it to her.

Yosha carefully took it from him. Her eyes grew wide as she read the first few lines. “But uncle… this is your will.”

“Yes, my child. I am not a young dog, you know, and I have to make certain… allowances… for when my time comes.”

Yosha set the paper down. “But you’re a strong dog, uncle. I’m sure you’ll live for many years yet.”

The elderly dog took his glasses off and set them aside. “Sweet Yosha, I sometimes forget how young you are. To you, everyone will live forever. But I know that I won’t. Every day my legs hurt a little more, and my cough gets a little worse.”

“But…” She shoved the paper away, suddenly. “I don’t want to think about you dying!” Her eyes brimmed with tears.

Murra stood up, walked over to the young puppy, and knelt beside her. She could hear the soft pop from his joints as he did. “There is a way you can make sure I live forever, you know.”

She wipes the tears away with a paw. “What’s that?”

He smiled, and patted her head. “Remember me. Tell everyone about my life, good and bad. If I leave just one happy story behind, then I’ll always live.” He poked her in the chest. “Right here.”

Crying, she leapt out of the chair to wrap her arms around Murra’s neck. “You’ll always be a happy story to me, uncle. Always.”

Murra hugged her back, so she couldn’t see the tears in his own eyes.


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Mortekai

V20-True-Brujah-Bloodline-Journal-220x30Now available from our RedBubble store: Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition Bloodline Journals! You loved last week’s Clan journals, so we’re following those up with some of the most popular Bloodlines, using Mark Kelly’s depictions from Lore of the Bloodlines!

But that’s not all! We’ve also added Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition Tribe Journals:

Kickstarter Update

Fetch-Quest-Video-Splash-300x169.jpgLast week we launched the Fetch Quest deck-building card game Kickstarter! With 7 days remaining:

  • We funded in 21 hours, and have since raised $17,016 of our $6,000 goal, or 284%
  • We’ve got 381 backers
  • We’ve passed three stretch goals:
    • A Kickstarter backer T-shirt
    • Fetch Quest Booster Cards: 6 Pioneers from the Monarchies of Mau

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

Sales

Our Chronicles of Darkness Sale via Indie Press Revolution continues, with 40% off the following Chronicles of Darkness items from previous Kickstarter campaigns:

Community Spotlight

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

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

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


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Mortekai

Gaydos_HurtLocker-240x300.jpg

Matthew Dawkins here once again! In the first episode of the Onyx Pathcast we discussed the Contagion Chronicle. That discussion included coverage of the Cryptocracy: one of the “splats” in that upcoming book. The splats in Contagion are classified as the Sworn and the False, with the Cryptocrats as a proud member of the former.

Meghan Fitzgerald wrote all the player options for this game, due to my desiring consistency and connectivity across the Sworn, as well as knowing how Meghan excels at this kind of writing. We took a different approach to writing this book, with my assigning Meghan the task of writing the splats before any of the other writers were hired on. I wanted the Sworn detailed so every writer who came on later had a firm base from which to work for the remainder of the book. I think it’s worked out pretty well.

Today is not the day I unveil all the Contagion Chronicle’s secrets, but as we discussed part of the Cryptocracy in the podcast, here is the full splat in written form for your reading pleasure and speculation! Continue to listen to the podcast and check on this blog for previews and discussion of our upcoming games.

The Cryptocracy

Contagion as Social Entropy

There’s nothing insignificant about mere mortals. And that isn’t a compliment. It’s a warning.

They always look surprised to find someone like me schmoozing with the street performers and neighborhood graffiti crews, in my $600 suit and Chanel perfume. But who better to let sample my blood than those to whom society turns a blind eye? They’re the perfect carriers for the preventive cure — the key to immunizing the population against their own brutal instincts is a virus of our own. Pacification through hijacking the grassroots message, spread through our very own song of silence. Look, if the Cacophony works for us, surely it’ll work for a bunch of gullible kine.

What Is Contagion?

Look around you. World leaders hold each other hostage, poised to rain nuclear death down on all of us — human or not — in a fit of pique. People wear their hatred for each other on their sleeves, proud to be selfish warmongers as they close their borders, arm their citizens, and wave their dicks around. They watch the planet tear itself apart and pretend everything is fine. Sometimes we get self-absorbed, too, and we stop paying much attention to what the mortals are doing. That bites us in the ass, every time. The Contagion is what happens when humanity slides too far down the spiral into atrocity and unrest.

It’s only logical. Blood spills, society breaks down, the world gets sick. Then the effects make everything worse and throw us all into this maddening feedback loop that threatens to dismantle civilization altogether. Once humanity gets its collective shit back together, the outbreak subsides and we can all get back to our nightly bloodsucking, or obsessing over esoterica, or whatever it is we normally do — at least, until it all happens again.

What we stand to lose: Stability. Comfort. All the progress we’ve made since the first human being woke up in a cave in the middle of the night, terrified of the dark. Some say things were better for us then, when the shadows were deeper and harder to banish, but that’s just nostalgia talking. Make no mistake: Anarchy hurts us as much as it hurts them.

What we stand to gain: Control. A safety net. Moving beyond “good enough” so that maybe, someday, humanity doesn’t need handholding to keep a civilization going for more than a few years without killing each other en masse. I mean, we won’t pretend to be Mother Theresa, here. But at least we’ve got some perspective.

Where We Came From

The first time a Cryptocracy convened to rein in humanity’s worst impulses was during the outbreak that occurred in the flaming wreckage of Carthage, in 146 BC. The Contagion spread out from that final slaughter, all across the Roman Republic and the lands of its allies, and then even to those of its foes as they continued their conquest. A small faction within the vampiric Camarilla made tentative alliances with demons, sorcerers, and other shadow sects to curb the rampant human brutality and the illness’ symptoms. They kept a close eye on the Machine’s activity in the centuries that followed. Even after the vampires’ grand covenant collapsed, this faction monitored signs of the Contagion’s return and maneuvered behind the scenes to keep mortals from regressing too far into barbaric behavior.

We have persisted since then, growing to span the globe. Not every outbreak we’ve seen coincides neatly with a period of widespread chaos, but that’s to be expected — the factors that govern reality falling ill as a reflection of human folly are impossibly complex, and even we still don’t understand them all. Our numbers have swelled over the last century or so; between nuclear anxiety, global terrorism, biological warfare, and increasingly polarized populations, a lot of us worry about what comes next. What do you think will happen to the laws of physics and magic after World War III? Let’s not find out.

What We Do

The health of reality is in humanity’s hands, but let’s face it: They need our help. They can’t even tell what’s happening, much less tame their own instincts for solipsism and mob mentality. We nudge them in the right direction from the shadows, where we’ve always operated so well.

We wield the broadest influence possible without discovery. To that end, we accumulate worldly wealth and power, subtly controlling human institutions to steer them away from infected Infrastructure and unwise decisions. We protect the innocent from the Contagion’s ravages no matter what, autonomy be damned. What’s more important, the free will of a few human beings or the survival of civilization as we know it? No contest. We can’t be too obvious, though; we’ve seen how they react to us without the Contagion. Revealing ourselves would be counterproductive at best, so direct mind control and intervention are last resorts.

Some of us encourage cooperative behaviors and circumstances that foster harmony among humans, and others get rid of threats to stability by any means necessary. Between us, we quietly remove troublesome elements before they get out of hand. We have mystical avenues as well as mundane ones, always on the lookout for new ways to monitor and sway groups without their knowledge. We recruit experts in dreamwalking, astral travel, and hijacking healthy parts of the God-Machine for our own use. We study entropy, fate, causality, consequence, and patterns of ruination so we can halt or redirect those forces as we see fit. Humans generate them through their heinous acts, causing their own insidious cycles of societal breakdown. By manipulating these forces directly, we can interrupt those cycles long enough to take control.

Some accuse us of hypocrisy. We, a bunch of inhuman, flawed, struggling, violent shadow-dwellers, are supposed to know better than all of humanity? Pot calling the kettle black, much? Who are we to place ourselves in positions of power and judgment? But we know we’re no heroes. We’re not morally offended; we have no high horse to sit on. We just see and know so much more. We’re obviously not immune to greed and corruption either, but we’re a couple hundred supernatural beings in a city’s underbelly. There are billions of them. Frankly, it’s only natural for us to guide humanity in these matters.

How we organize: Our secret network of surveillance and communications connects us globally and keeps us in the know. We call it Caliber, a play on ECHELON, the massive intel program the Five Eyes nations use. Whether or not ours taps into theirs is nobody’s business but ours.

Despite Caliber, our hierarchies — called bureaus — are regional and local, for now. A given bureau might organize itself like a Freemason Lodge, an intelligence agency, or a corporation.

We value our diversity because each of us has fingers in different kinds of pies, and varied ways to interact with all the manifold levels of human society. We need that to make sure no stray terrorist or troublemaker escapes our notice.

Among the Sworn: The other Sworn look to us when humans get in their way, or they need information about the mundane world only we can learn. Sometimes we come into conflict with the Ship of Theseus, but nothing’s wrong with progress — we like progress! It’s only when they take it too far that we have to rein them in, too.

We get ourselves in trouble when: we get too heavy-handed, hide too many secrets from each other, or argue among ourselves about what’s best for everyone. We may not be morally offended on the whole, but we do have strong opinions — along with curses, magical limitations, and mystical behavioral urges — and they often conflict. If we let that compromise us, or we nudge humanity too blatantly, we tip our hand. We deal harshly with anyone who exposes us.

When the Contagion is in remission: We continue lurking behind the scenes, taking precautionary measures to keep humanity’s natural entropic urges in line. We explore new ways to spread our influence, plant the seeds of philosophies we want to encourage in the population’s subconscious and dreams, and insert ourselves into human institutions as fixtures they can’t easily dislodge in times of crisis.

Vector: Authority

Who We Are

  • The Invictus tycoon who donates large sums to handpicked politicians, and tanks companies with dangerous agendas through leverage and an army of ghouls
  • The Guardian of the Veil who maintains and monitors Caliber with magic, and knows how to disseminate the right information to the right people at the right times
  • The Ugallu who manipulates the media to remove troublemakers and rival conspiracies by exposing their transgressions to the world — with a few original tweaks, if necessary
  • The Winter Courtier who walks in dreams to convince the right people that doing what we want was all their idea in the first place, through oneiromancy
  • The Maa-Kep Internal Affairs officer who can always find evidence to convict those who don’t follow the rules…or those who make them, if they’re rules we don’t like

Nicknames: Cryptocrats, agents, the Majestic, Men in Black (derogatory)


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This time, I’m not going to fling my highfalutin verbiage at you praising Fetch Quest, our newest and ongoing Kickstarter campaign. I’m going to let these folks do it!

Our very first link is from Geek City USA and takes you to their How To Play vid:

Next, our old friends at Geek & Sundry gave us a nice wag of the tail:

https://geekandsundry.com/scratch-your-pugmire-itch-with-fetch-quest/

Egg Embry called out Fetch Quest in a post about All-Ages Games Kickstarters on the Tessera Guild website:

4 All-Ages Games Kickstarters You Should Back – No Thank You, Evil!, Scales & Tales, Ratmen Temple, and Fetch Quest

We’re third in their list, I think, so go ahead and scroll down!

Professor Thorgi gave Fetch Quest the spotlight on his YouTube show, Kick It:

And our latest is an interview with creator Eddy Webb on FlamesRising:

Interview with Fetch Quest Designer Eddy Webb

Hope you’ll check out these multi-media plaudits for Eddy’s wee little card game set in the Realms of Pugmire. It’s really great to see so many folks express interest and spread the word about it. We hope you can too!

 

 

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Scion Hero Modern Greek Gods by Allen Morris

 

We added an additional step to our standard book creation process for Scion Origin, as we’re now doing a read-through with all of the Onyx Path Monday Meeting crew. This is so that we have a range of reactions to judge how the book reads the first time through, as well as to get the impressions of the non-game designers.

I’ve read through it enough times to start missing things, since I’ve seen the material in multiple configurations and am mentally filling in gaps based on those earlier readings.

Knowing this, and figuring that there are several folks in the approval queue who might be in the same boat, I asked our Monday Meeters to give it a look-see. Because it’s THE first of the Storypath powered books to come out, we’re taking the time to get Scion Origin as tight as possible before sending out the Backer PDFs.

 

 

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Monarchies of Mau art by Steve Wood

 

 

If you haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet, my interview with Dixie and Matthew on the Onyx Pathcast went live on Friday, and listening to it over the weekend, I was actually surprised at how much ground we covered. Early days at White Wolf and freelancing art for Magic: the Gathering, and even back to my TV graphics-guy days, right through to CCP and Onyx Path‘s origins and what the future holds.

Both of them had some fun questions, and a couple of tough ones, that let me go into more details than maybe anybody wants to hear about. Like what I’m looking for in game pitches and why a couple of them worked, my continuing hatred of “Predator’s Taint”, and a whole bunch of questions from these Comments and elsewhere.

If you want any follow-up on the responses, please jump right in and ask in the Comments for this post!

Matthew even had a word association test thingee that I stumbled through. And no, if you already listened, my response of “Jackass” to one person’s name was more with an exasperated sigh than with any ill feelings. 🙂 For Matthew, I never did get out the word I immediately thought of, which was “posh”, because all my mind went to was “prat”…which is a totally different word and not what came to mind first. It just stuck there waiting to be said, and I really didn’t want to mess up UK slang.

It was a lot of fun, they were both delightful, although I did miss Eddy as we’ve done the interview thing so many times together. Even though we kidded about him still being tied up in the cupboard, it was really that we wanted interviewers that hadn’t heard all my stories before so their questions would come from genuine interest. Which was precisely why he recused himself.

Hope you folks enjoy it too – I just can’t ever tell if anything I’m saying is actually of interest to folks. I mean, I know I find it interesting, just not if anyone else will!

This week, they’re doing a look at Vampire: The Requiem, which should be fascinating, so check it out on PodBean here, or anywhere you download your podcasts: https://onyxpathcast.podbean.com/

 

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Many Worlds, One Path!

 

 

BLURBS!

KICKSTARTER:

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Fetch Quest, the adventure card game set in the Realms of Pugmire funded in under a day, and now we’re over 250% funded and have added a group of six cats from the Monarchies of Mau to the game as alternative adventurers via Stretch Goals!

This is definitely a game that needs to be spread by word of mouth, so please let your friends and family know about this game of good dogs (and cats!) out to fetch what Man has left behind!

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ELECTRONIC GAMING:

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

Here are the links for the Apple and Android versions:

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

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

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Three different screenshots, above.

 

 

ON AMAZON AND BARNES & NOBLE:

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

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

Right now, and until the 24th of June, IPR is holding a 40% sale on the Chronicles of Darkness prestige edition core books we have remaining!

 

 

DRIVETHRURPG.COM:

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Last week, we released the V20 Clan Journals for our store on RedBubble, so naturally expect to find the  V20 Bloodlines Journals as well as W20 Tribe Journals there on Wednesday! These journals are blank pages bound together into a book, with our fantastic Clan, Bloodline, and Tribe art and symbols combined for the beautiful covers!

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CONVENTIONS!

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

From Fast Eddy Webb, we have these:

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

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

 

 


And now, the new project status updates!

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

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

  • M20 Book of the Fallen (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • C20 Novel (Jackie Cassada) (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • M20 The Technocracy Reloaded (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • M20 Victorian Mage (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • CofD Dark Eras 2 (Chronicles of Darkness)
  • Aeon Aexpansion (Trinity Continuum: Aeon)
  • Trinity Continuum: Aberrant core (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant)
  • Lunars: Fangs at the Gate (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Tales of Excellent Cats (Monarchies of Mau)
  • Adventures for Curious Cats (Monarchies of Mau)
  • Scion Companion: Mysteries of the World (Scion 2nd Edition)
  • City of the Towered Tombs (Cavaliers of Mars)

 

Redlines

  • Deviant: The Renegades (Deviant: The Renegades)
  • Spilled Blood (Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition)
  • Night Horrors: Shunned by the Moon (Werewolf: The Forsaken 2nd Edition)
  • In Media Res (Trinity Continuum: Core)
  • Wr20 Book of Oblivion (Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • C20 Players’ Guide (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Dog and Cat Ready Made Characters (Monarchies of Mau)

 

Second Draft

  • WoD Ghost Hunters (World of Darkness)
  • Tales of Good Dogs – Pugmire Fiction Anthology (Pugmire)

 

Development

  • Signs of Sorcery (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)
  • Hunter: the Vigil 2e core (Hunter: the Vigil 2nd Edition)
  • Fetch Quest (Pugmire)
  • They Came From Beneath the Sea! Rulebook (TCFBtS!)
  • Dystopia Rising: Evolution (Dystopia Rising: Evolution)
  • CofD Contagion Chronicle (Chronicles of Darkness)

 

WW Manuscript Approval:

  • Guide to the Night (Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition)

 

Editing:

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

 

Post-Editing Development:

  • Scion: Hero (Scion 2nd Edition)
  • Trinity Continuum Core Rulebook (The Trinity Continuum)
  • Trinity Continuum: Aeon Rulebook (The Trinity Continuum)
  • Ex Novel 2 (Aaron Rosenberg) (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Exalted 3rd Novel by Matt Forbeck (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • GtS Geist 2e core (Geist: the Sin-Eaters Second Edition)
  • M20 Gods and Monsters (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)

 

Indexing:

  • Wraith 20
  • Cavaliers of Mars
  • Monarchies of Mau (Monarchies of Mau)

 

 

ART DIRECTION FROM MIRTHFUL MIKE:

In Art Direction

  • Ex3 Monthly Stuff
  • Scion Hero – A LOT OF ART in this book.
  • Trinity Continuum 
  • Geist 2e – KS artwork continues.
  • The Realm
  • M20 Gods and Monsters
  • Ex3 Dragon BloodedSketches coming in for the massive 2nd wave of art.
  • Promethean Night Horrors: The TormentedArt notes and contracts are out to the various artists.

 

Marketing Stuff

  • Storyteller System Brochure
  • Posters and Displays
  • Gen Con Cards

 

In Layout

  • Fetch Quest Mau Pioneer cards out for playtesting.
  • Cavaliers of Mars Screen

 

Proofing

  • Scion Origin Onyx review.
  • Changeling: the Lost 2 Corrections to Josh.
  • Wraith 20 Screen At WW.

 

At Press

  • V20 Beckett’s Jyhad Diary & Beckett Screen & V20 Dice – At fulfillment shipper, prepping for KS ship-out.
  • Prince’s Gambit – Shipping from fulfillment shipper.
  • Scion Dice – At fulfillment shipper.
  • Boggans – PoD proofs ordered.
  • Monarchies of Mau In Indexing.
  • Monarchies of Mau Screen Getting ready to send to press.
  • Wr20 Guide for Newly Departed – Gathering errata from backers.

 


TODAY’S REASON TO CELEBRATE: Not so much a celebration in a whoo way, but more of an appreciation for the work, the attitude, and the way he impacted the world. Here’s to eating something new in memory of Anthony Bourdain.


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In which Matthew and Dixie interview the boss, Rich Thomas. And Eddy gets put into a cupboard. Again.

  • Eddy gets kidnapped into the cupboard again
  • Matthew and Dixie talk to the boss, Rich Thomas!
  • Rich talks about his time as art director (among many titles) in the early days of White Wolf Publishing
  • Rich’s work as an artist in Vampire: The Masquerade, as well as one of the first 49 on Magic: The Gathering
  • Working on television graphics in Philadelphia and meeting his wife, Lisa
  • CCP, the World of Darkness MMO, and the formation of Onyx Path Publishing
  • The build up to the new World of Darkness/Chronicles of Darkness. Did the Chronicles of Darkness “kill” White Wolf?
  • Creative highlights that Onyx Path has hit: W20 Ultra-Deluxe covers, Pugmire and worldbuilding, bringing back original creators, and second edition Chronicles of Darkness games
  • How does Rich handle when a game loses a key figure midway through the development cycle?
  • Richard Dansky, Wraith 20th, and the integrated nature of the game design community
  • Matthew unleashes the emergency questions!
  • Cavaliers of Mars, Pugmire, and They Came From Beneath The Sea!
  • Humor in RPGs
  • Your questions! Did we ask yours?
  • The Salubri are the worst
  • Rich talks about playing in Eddy’s V20 game
  • V5 products from Onyx Path being discussed
  • Gangster Pitbulls!
  • Rich is into the experiences and stories, not the design
  • “White Wolf is not dead”
  • Which of us is the favorite?
  • Time for rapid fire word association!
  • Matthew breaks Eddy out of the cupboard
  • We talk about our convention schedule for the rest of the year

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Front6-232x300.jpgThe fiction for Cavaliers of Mars‘ chapter 4, “Luck,” by Audrey Whitman.

My name is Étienne, and I’m the unluckiest man on Mars. Wait, let me go back.

Six weeks ago, I found a scale the size of a dinner plate. When I tried to hide it in some machinery, I found another one. Just as I picked that one up, Issac (my boss’s son, and too intense for my own good) walked by. And he wanted to go tell Ms. Turhan himself, right now. Now, I was more than happy to give him all the credit, but he dragged me along, too.

So, I found myself explaining to the Captain how these aren’t even the first scales I’ve seen, and yes, probably I could point the locations out on a map. I mean, I made those maps. Next thing I know I’m dangling in a rope harness above the central block. Well, the block that’s at the center of our maps at least — I think we’re actually southwest of the true center of the complex. But I’m swaying there in the stillness, shining a penny-light down the midline, looking for a hidden cul de sac my sounding says should be there. Unfortunately, I find it.

Two miserable tugs on my leash and down I go, slowly spinning as the rope twists. And I wince almost before I hear the snap. The water I splash into is slimy with algae, but fresh enough, and takes my fall without much complaint. It is, however, absolutely devoid of fish. So I sigh, and wonder what they’ll tell my mother when they can’t recover the body. I walk down the bank of the canal, and try to cheer myself up by composing my obituary, but I feel this terrible ache in my ears and teeth and the soles of my feet. Perhaps nothing will get a chance to eat me, and the tunnel will collapse instead. It’s less exciting than being devoured by a monster, but maybe it’s more respectable to be crushed by stones instead of sharp teeth.

That happy thought lasts just until I round the next corner, when I see something that might be a Pale Martian, all dour and wide in the face, but attached to a body twice as long as the cargo ship I rode to get from Chiaro to Vance. It opens its mouth and flicks a tongue as long as my arm. Then it cocks its head, and my eardrums shake like they’re going to pop out of my skull again.

I fell, I guess. There was a lot of blood in my corneas when I came to, floating in the canal a mile or so from where I landed. Issac picked me up once I made it to an emergency beacon, and asked me what I saw. So I told him (and then the Captain) the whole awful story, but all they wanted to know is how soon I can go back, and what I think it said.

I’m not quite sure, but I think the answer to both questions is “no”.


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In our latest installment of our character creation series, Bill Bodden builds a Nosferatu character for Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition.

I find vampires to be fascinating creatures. Legends and stories about them have developed independently across the globe, and the shape and form of these legends is as varied as the cultures from which they sprang. Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition has its own setting conventions that tap into the lush fabric of vampiric lore to create something unique within the Chronicles of Darkness, and I’ve enjoyed playing the game.

To start building my character, I refer to page 79 of Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition rulebook, and focus who he is as a human before applying the Kindred template.

Step One: Character Concept

Most players either come to the table with a specific concept already in mind, or they allow the concept to evolve organically during the act of character creation itself. I had only a few preconceptions in mind, so the organic route will work for me this time.

My basic concept is that of a lonely musician. Geoffrey Groves moved to a new city pursuing a pay-the-bills job, and hasn’t made many friends yet. He plays the guitar for fun, and has honed his talent over the years with diligent practice. When the weather’s nice, he often plays his guitar at night outdoors by the waterfront or in a nearby park. His sire will first encounter him during one of his performances.

I make a note of that detail for my character’s background and focus on Aspirations next. Aspirations are short-term goals that earn the character Beats and, by extension, Experience to grow the character’s skills and abilities. Aspirations provide the Storyteller with great ways to draw characters deeper into their own stories and to create stronger ties to clan, covenant, and coterie. As the chronicle continues, players accomplish (or abandon) Aspirations and develop new ones.

Geoff’s Aspirations were relatively easy for me to grasp. Though he’s a musician, he’s lonely and performs music to connect with other people. Thus, as a Kindred, his first Aspiration would be to become accepted by his clan or coterie. Second, he moved to pursue a job, so financial concerns occupy his mind. His second Aspiration would be to increase his financial security. Third, music is important to him. Performing at a concert before mortal critics and fans might be too risky for a vampire — but he can always impress other Kindred with his talents. So, his final and third Aspiration will be to perform in Elysium.

Step Two: Select Attributes

To best fit Geoff’s character, I am selecting Social as primary, Mental as secondary, and Physical as my tertiary Attribute. I now have five dots to spend in Social, four in Mental, and three in Physical. The basic rules give every character a default one dot in each Attribute, so anything I add will build on that.

For his Social Attributes, I decide Presence is key for a performing musician, so two of my five dots go there, plus two more for Composure to help Geoffrey keep his cool as a performer, leaving only one bonus dot for Manipulation.

Wits is a handy Mental Attribute for any character to have, so two of my four dots go there. That leaves one each for Intelligence and Resolve, and I’m fine with that split. Lastly, I decide to evenly distribute his Physical attributes and give them one dot each.

Geoffrey’s final Attributes are as follows: Intelligence 2, Wits 3, Resolve 2, Strength 2, Dexterity 2, Stamina 2, Presence 3, Manipulation 2, Composure 3.

Step Three: Select Skills

Primary, secondary and tertiary Skill groups get 11, seven, and four dots respectively. Since I’m imagining Geoffrey is a lonely-but-talented guy, I’m going to assume Social is not his top skill group, so that will get seven points, while Mental will earn the top spot with 11 dots, and Physical 4. Skills can be found on page 164, if you’d like to read up on their descriptions.

In the past, Geoffrey probably spent some time at a university, and I imagine he had a day job before he was Embraced. I decide to evenly distribute one dot per each Mental Skill, and then take the three dots leftover to Academics, Computer, and Occult. Part of the reason why I’m building Geoffrey’s character this way, is because I’m thinking about what types of actions he’ll take in a chronicle. Geoffrey’s more likely to use Mental Skills than the other two groups, and the penalty for being unskilled in a Mental Skill is -3 die; the penalty is only -1 die for the unskilled use of Physical and Social skills.

Geoffrey’s Social Skills get seven dots. This is tricky! I’ve hobbled myself a little here, because to be an accomplished musician, I decide Geoffrey will need more than one dot in Expression. I opt for three dots in Expression; if he’s a talented musician to impress centuries-old Kindred, he’d better be pretty good. Since there are eight Skills in the Social group, I decide to drop three and assign one dot to the rest. Dropping Animal Ken is an easy choice, and Intimidation and Subterfuge aren’t part of Geoffrey’s skillset right now, so I leave those two out. That leaves me with Empathy 1, Expression 3, Persuasion 1, Socialize 1, and Streetwise 1.

Geoffrey is not a physically apt character, and I see no real reason to significantly alter that when deciding how to spend points on his Physical Skills. Still, I want him to have some capabilities before applying the Kindred template, so I assign one dot each to Brawl, Drive, Stealth, and Survival.

Geoffrey’s Skills now look like this: Academics 2, Crafts 1, Computer 2, Investigation 1, Medicine 1, Occult 2, Politics 1, Science 1, Brawl 1, Drive 1, Stealth 1, Survival 1, Empathy 1, Expression 3, Persuasion 1, Socialize 1, Streetwise 1.

Step Four: Skill Specialties

Geoff needs three Skill Specialties that speak to his talents. Expression: Guitar is an obvious choice, but what else? I’m opting for Computer: Recording for the second, and Academics: Songwriting for the third.

Step Five: Add Kindred Template

Choose a Clan

The first thing I must do is select one of the Clans, first described on page 13. Instead of selecting the Daeva Clan, which would be a great fit for a musician, I choose the Nosferatu because I feel Geoffrey’s character will be more challenging to play. Often, the Nosferatu can’t get close to their victims the way a beautiful, seductive vampire could. They don’t need to be ugly to be repellent; perhaps Geoffrey smells bad – like dead fish or vomit. He may have an unpleasant aura about him that makes people uncomfortable or frightened. I also feel that the theme of the Nosferatu-as-outcast is universally felt, and that feeling can induce conflict or be gut-wrenching in the right scene.

Select a Covenant

Since Geoffrey will actively seek companionship within the circles he travels in, I decide to focus on his sire and what she wants. A member of the Invictus would be most concerned with earning boons, so that would be a natural choice for her. Would she insist that Geoff follow her lead, or would she allow him room to grow and to make his own choices? At the start, it’d make sense that the Invictus would also be Geoffrey’s Covenant, and I can explore his relationship to other Kindred in a chronicle.

I really like the Covenants presented in Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition. They cover a lot of bases that reflect human organizations, and they also offer lots of great opportunities for rivalries and open conflict to enhance an ongoing chronicle. Information on the Covenants can be found starting on page 31.

Choose Masks and Dirges

Geoffrey’s Mask is the face he wears in public. Jester would be appropriate, though perhaps not literally. I decide Courtesan would be a better fit for his Mask, underlining his need to perform for the enjoyment of others.

Since Geoffrey’s spent years perfecting his musical talent, I opt for Perfectionist for his Dirge, which reflects who he is when interacting with other Kindred behind closed doors. Thus, I go with Courtesan for Mask, and Perfectionist for Dirge.

Choose a Touchstone

Geoff’s Touchstone is his acoustic, six-string guitar. If his guitar were to be damaged or destroyed, Geoff may be in a world of trouble, as it’s his main connection to his former human self. For a more challenging Touchstone, I would opt for a music teacher that helped him learn guitar, but I settle on the musical instrument.

Select Disciplines

I like each of the Nosferatu Clan’s default Disciplines and can’t decide, so I’m going with a single dot in Nightmare, Obfuscate, and Vigor. I intend that, long-term, Geoff would work to get better at these Disciplines, spending his experience points to add dots, particularly in Nightmare and Obfuscate. Disciplines can be found starting on page 125.

Determine Blood Potency

Blood Potency for a starting character is one, and I see no reason why Geoff should have more.

Step Six: Merits

I have ten dots to spend on Merits. The list of Merits begins on page 109.

Haven is a must: Geoff needs someplace quiet and safe to practice guitar, and to keep out of the reach of other Kindred until he’s stronger. He must also choose Safe Place Merit as a prerequisite for having Haven. I put two dots in both for a total of four. I’m also choosing the Fame Merit at one dot; what’s the point of being a musician in demand if no one knows about you? Likewise, choosing the Inspiring Merit could help explain Geoff’s Fame rating. Mentor would be another likely choice, since Geoff will need a lot of advice and guidance from his sire to learn what it means to be a Kindred. One dot in Mentor fills that niche, with an easy option to expand if Geoff’s sire turns out to be attentive. That’s seven dots of Merits so far.

Though the Invictus does offer Covenant-specific Merits called Oaths that Geoffrey could take (see page 116), I decide to skip adding them for now. Those Oaths are fuel for further expansion, and I think they’re a good goal depending upon what relationships he develops over the course of a chronicle. As Geoff meets other Kindred, he may decide the Invictus is not right for him, too, which could lead to some very interesting plot threads down the road.

To round out the Merits, I choose Clan Status at one dot, Unsettling Gaze, a Nosferatu-specific Merit, is one dot, and Contacts (Bar Owner) also at one dot — Geoff needs a place to practice in front of an audience, and maybe feed a little while he’s at it.

Merits are as follows: Haven 2, Safe Place 2, Fame 1, Inspiring 1, Mentor 1, Clan Status 1, Unsettling Gaze 1, Contacts (Bar Owner) 1.

Step Seven: Determine Advantages

Willpower = Resolve + Composure. Geoff’s Resolve is 2 and his Composure is 3, giving him a Willpower of 5.

Humanity automatically starts at 7 dots, but it’s easy to lose and difficult to regain. Geoff will have to watch that.

Defense = the least of Wits or Dexterity, plus Athletics. Geoffrey has Wits 3, Dexterity 2, and Athletics 0, so he’s stuck with a 2 Defense for now.

Size is automatically 5, which reflects most humans.

Health = Size + Stamina + Resilience. Geoff has a Size of 5, Stamina of 2, and doesn’t know the Resilience Discipline, so his Health score is 7.

Speed = Size (5) + Strength (2) + Dexterity (2) +1 for Geoff’s dot in the Vigor Discipline for a grand total of 10.

Geoff’s Initiative Modifier is his Dexterity and Composure ratings added, which gives him +5 to add to any initiative rolls he needs to make.

Finishing Touches

Now I have a fully fleshed out character, and I’m ready to play. For a finishing touch, I’m going to give some thought to my sire. What is her backstory? Why did she Embrace my character? I am leaning toward a Nosferatu who was impressed by the beauty of Geoff’s music, but who noticed his loneliness. She decided his talent could be a part of her unlife, too, and together they might acquire small boons by entertaining other Kindred with his music.

With that in mind, I’ll turn to my Storyteller to work out Geoffrey’s backstory and sire further. We’ll figure out how my concept fits into the chronicle, and fine tune his introduction in the game. After that, Geoffrey Groves is ready to play!


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journal-v20-assamites-300x189.jpgNow available from our RedBubble store: Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition Clan Journals! The Pugmire, Monarchies of Mau, and Exalted hardcover journals we’ve made have been doing quite well; apparently you really like your journals! So we’ve created a new series of journals for the clans from Vampire:

Kickstarter Update

Fetch-Quest-Video-Splash-300x169.jpgLast week we launched the Fetch Quest deck-building card game Kickstarter! With 28 days remaining:

  • We funded in 21 hours, and have since raised $16,536 of our $6,000 goal, or 276%
  • We’ve got 366 backers
  • We’ve passed three stretch goals:
    • A Kickstarter backer T-shirt
    • Fetch Quest Booster Cards: 6 Pioneers from the Monarchies of Mau

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

Sales

Our Chronicles of Darkness Sale via Indie Press Revolution continues, with 40% off the following Chronicles of Darkness items from previous Kickstarter campaigns:

Community Spotlight

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

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

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


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A note from Eric and Vance:

Hey there, Exalted fans! We’re here to talk about how (and where) things are going with Exalted Third Edition.

First off, the Dragon-Blooded Kickstarter was a smashing success thanks to the passion of its backers. At $331,392, it’s one of Onyx Path’s all-time largest Kickstarters, despite being a supplement rather than a core book. Needless to say, that’s far beyond our wildest expectations! Thanks to all of your efforts, more Kickstarters for deluxe editions of other splatbooks seem very likely. We’re enormously appreciative of your trust and efforts in making this possible, and we’re looking forward to the next one.

In the wake of the Dragon-Blooded Kickstarter, we’re working on Heirs to the Shogunate, the companion volume to What Fire Has Wrought. Compiled from unique reward tier purchases and stretch goals unlocked during the Kickstarter, it’ll cover a wide range of material: Realm cadet houses, guides for secondary school games, Lookshy, Prasad, the mysterious Forest Witches and possible paths to the Realm Civil War. It’s also going to feature custom Charms and artifacts requested by backers, and we can tell you that they’ve got some absolutely awesome ideas. We’re just finishing up the Heirs outline, and we hope to start working on it later this year.

Right now most of our attention is dedicated to Lunars: Fangs at the Gate. We’re aiming to present a clear, coherent vision of Lunars that makes them an essential, irreplaceable part of Exalted’s setting. They are the divine monsters that Luna unleashed against the enemies of the gods, shapeshifting tricksters and world-walking witches, sacred beast-god guardians and terrifying horrors that stalk the night. Driven to the edges of the world by the Dragon-Blooded Shogunate and its successor, the Realm, the Lunars have fought tooth and nail to tear down the world-spanning empire that seeks their blood — and they are winning.

Lunars: Fangs at the Gate lays out the Silver Pact, the mutual aid society that protects young Lunars from the Wyld Hunt and which organizes the centuries-long war against the Realm, detailing prominent elders within the Pact — including both familiar faces like Ma-Ha-Suchi and Leviathan, and brand new characters — as well as Lunar dominions under the Pact’s control, fully detailed settings ready to use in a player character’s background or as adventure locations for the Storyteller. And of course, it has all the mechanical support needed to play a Lunar. It provides comprehensive rules for Lunar shapeshifting, and a better-than-ever set of Lunar Charms, with new features like the Protean keyword, which grants you upgraded effects while in certain animal forms. There’s also a variety of Martial Arts styles both new and old, such as Centipede style and Swaying Grass Dance style; new sorcerous initiations and spells; a panoply of moonsilver artifacts with Evocations; and stats for a menagerie’s worth of animals to shapeshift into.

We’re officially announcing another book we have in the works, Across the Eight Directions, a setting book that’s a spiritual successor to the first-edition favorite, Scavenger Sons. This will be a hefty volume of setting material that spans the entirety of the Threshold. It’ll encompass over 40 distinct locales and peoples, each surrounded by a constellation of more neighboring locales that provide context and texture, making it clear that these places exist as part of the fabric of a living, breathing world. Some trace back to the Exalted First Edition core book, like Nexus and the Varang Confederacy; others have appeared in later editions or in the Third Edition core book, like Ysyr and Volivat; and still others will appear in Across the Eight Directions for the very first time, like the raksha-ruled city of Amaryllis and the eerie Lost Isles of Aiun.

And, while it’s still far out on the horizon, we can finally announce the full title of the Exigents book. It’s Exigents: Out of the Ashes, and it’ll give you everything you need to play characters like Strawmaiden Janest, create your own Exigent, or even create a new type of Exalted, like the mind-devouring Hearteaters, the haunted Umbral Exalted, and the reality-warping Dream-Souled.

If you’d like to be a part of creating this next wave of Exalted material for Exalted Third Edition, we have a process for that! Go to the Submissions Guidelines page and follow the instructions there on submitting a text sample, along with a disclosure form. If it’s been at least a year since you last submitted and you think your work has improved or would fit any of these projects, feel free to submit again with your most recent text sample.

We hope you’re as excited by this rundown of what’s up in Exalted Third Edition development as we’ve been getting to work on it. Take care, and feel free to leave questions both here and on the Onyx Path forums!

Eric & Vance


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A comment in the comments section, of all things, basically asked why every time they look here lately there’s dogs all over the place. The art samples have dogs in them, the Kickstarter news is about the dog card game. Dogs, dogs, dogs!

Part of that is, of course, coincidence or a coming together of multiple projects for a line with three Kickstarters and a bunch of projects which came out of those KS Stretch Goals. And it helps that Eddy Webb is the kind of developer who pushes to get projects finished as close to estimate, and sometimes earlier, as possible.

So, woof, woof, woof go the dogs.

In a week or so, maybe it’ll seem like only WoD books are mentioned, or CofD, or Exalted. And so on. It’s all pretty much coincidence as to how books of a particular setting come out together, as we have projects from all of our “worlds” going at all times at different stages of creation, and a lot depends on which projects you’re waiting for.

This also applies to Kickstarter news when you don’t back Kickstarters, or Onyx Pathcast news when you don’t listen to podcasts, or convention info and our plans for FangCon 2019 when you can’t get to the convention.

So for this blog, I try to mix the things I mention and art I put up to give a bit of a taste of as many game worlds and activities we’re doing as I can so that I’m touching on something, I hope, that is relevant to YOU. But, if coincidence gives me mostly Exalted stuff that week, I’m mostly going to be relaying that, with a mix of other things if I have other things on my radar to share.

No Marketing department, no professional writer here – just your dear old Uncle Rich and whatever we’ve discussed during the Monday Meeting.

(Which reminds me, not only is last week’s Onyx Pathcast a great inside look at the way we conceive, create, and publish our projects, but this Friday yours truly is grilled by Dixie and Matthew for a very special episode. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry. You’ll learn secrets of the early days of White Wolf right into Onyx Path.)

 

 

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Wraith 20th Handbook of the Recently Deceased art by Michael Gaydos

 

Which means, it’s time for some quick topic hits:

In a similar conversation to the one above, there was a poster that remarked how the first mention of Pugmire made him wonder just what Onyx Path was turning into. Then, he dug into the background of Pugmire and realized there was a lot more to it than a funny animal TTRPG.

My response must be that we aren’t turning into anything different than we’ve always been on track to be: a publisher who creates amazing and engaging worlds for folks to explore. And that the poster was dead-on right to identify that one of the threads that combine all of our projects is that there are depths built into our worlds that reward players who look into them.

Some of that is a heritage from old White Wolf we’ve been fortunate to bring to the fore, and use as models for what works and what doesn’t, and part of the depth is built in by our amazing creative teams who know they can do that kind of game and world building with us.

 

 

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Monarchies of Mau art by Pat McEvoy

 

 

We’ve been having other great conversations on our Onyx Path Publishing Discussion Group on Facebook, which you might be able to get to through this link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/419273928504341/ I haven’t had a chance to join in to the discussions yet, but hope to very soon.

 

 

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Boggans art by Brian LeBlanc

 

 

I haven’t been able to jump in because these last couple of months have been a combination of working up and with contracts for new projects and licenses, putting in pitches for projects, and getting Changing 20th, Prince’s Gambit, and soon, V20 Beckett’s Jyhad Diary Kickstarter rewards out to backers. It’s a bit of an endurance challenge, so I’m lucky to have maxed out Fortitude.

Plus, I’m trying to keep up the communication with backers for the Scarred Lands Kickstarter that the late Stewart Wieck had started for our two companies, while representatives for his company, Nocturnal Media, work to get the KS fulfilled and shipped. So, four KSs shipping around a month from each other.

The flip-side is…we’re getting out four KSs’ rewards to our backers!

 

 

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Nerma Fetch Quest Stretch Goal card.

 

 

Finally, I think I might have mentioned this before, but one of my working methods when creating a new setting, or establishing an overall art “look” for a project, is to take what Allen Moore calls a “high altitude pass” and gather all sorts of reference material and sift through it without trying to force any sort of viewpoint over it.

For visuals, this is very often seeing what registers as “right”. What feels like the sort of feeling we want the setting to give players. Although we can pull huge amounts of story from an illustration (picture=1K words), very often a far more lasting impression comes from the viewer’s emotional reaction. I’ve been doing this pass for Aberrant for about 3 months now, and we’re getting to the decision point on creating an artist list, and actually further back for when I did the initial designs for all four Trinity Continuum main books.

Right now though, I’m reading through a collection of 1950’s EC Weird Science comics in preparation for establishing the art for They Came From Beneath the Sea!. Developer Matthew Dawkins and I already have a strong idea overall based on the films of the time and some TV, but in a lot of ways looking at illustration when thinking about kinds of illustrations is actually more directly what I need.

Not going to go too far into the history of EC right now, although I could and it is a fascinating tale of the rise and fall of a publisher, but suffice to say that their comics were a gigantic influence on both the comics that came after, and on the generation of creators who wrote science fiction in all media (including TTRPGs) for decades to come.

So I get to read comics collections as part of my job. It is tough. But it’s what ya gotta do in order to explore:

Many Worlds, One Path!

 

 

BLURBS!

KICKSTARTER:

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Fetch Quest, the adventure card game set in the Realms of Pugmire went live last Tuesday, May 22 and funded in under a day, and now we’re over 250% funded and have added a group of six cats from the Monarchies of Mau to the game as alternative adventurers via Stretch Goals!

This is definitely a game that needs to be spread by word of mouth, so please let your friends and family know about this game of good dogs (and cats!) out to fetch what Man has left behind!

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ELECTRONIC GAMING:

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

Here are the links for the Apple and Android versions:

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

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

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Three different screenshots, above.

 

 

ON AMAZON AND BARNES & NOBLE:

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

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

 

 

 

DRIVETHRURPG.COM:

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This week, we’ll be releasing a cornucopia of merchandise and other items on Wednesday!

 

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This is our monthly release week for our ongoing series of PDF releases for Exalted 3rd Edition, and we have the Barrow Hound and Devilstone for Hundred Devil’s Night Parade www.drivethrurpg.com/product/242687, and Iron Siaka for Adversaries of the Righteous http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/242686 on DTRPG.com!

 

 

 

CONVENTIONS!

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

From Fast Eddy Webb, we have these:

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

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

 

 


And now, the new project status updates!

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

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

  • M20 Book of the Fallen (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • C20 Novel (Jackie Cassada) (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • M20 The Technocracy Reloaded (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • M20 Victorian Mage (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • CofD Dark Eras 2 (Chronicles of Darkness)
  • Aeon Aexpansion (Trinity Continuum: Aeon)
  • Trinity Continuum: Aberrant core (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant)
  • Lunars: Fangs at the Gate (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Tales of Excellent Cats (Monarchies of Mau)
  • Dog and Cat Ready Made Characters (Monarchies of Mau)
  • Adventures for Curious Cats (Monarchies of Mau)
  • Scion Companion: Mysteries of the World (Scion 2nd Edition)

 

Redlines

  • Deviant: The Renegades (Deviant: The Renegades)
  • Spilled Blood (Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition)
  • Night Horrors: Shunned by the Moon (Werewolf: The Forsaken 2nd Edition)
  • In Media Res (Trinity Continuum: Core)
  • Wr20 Book of Oblivion (Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • C20 Players’ Guide (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)

 

Second Draft

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

 

Development

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

 

WW Manuscript Approval:

  • Guide to the Night (Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition)

 

Editing:

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

 

Post-Editing Development:

  • Scion: Hero (Scion 2nd Edition)
  • Trinity Continuum Core Rulebook (The Trinity Continuum)
  • Trinity Continuum: Aeon Rulebook (The Trinity Continuum)
  • Ex Novel 2 (Aaron Rosenberg) (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Exalted 3rd Novel by Matt Forbeck (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • GtS Geist 2e core (Geist: the Sin-Eaters Second Edition)
  • M20 Gods and Monsters (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)

 

Indexing:

  • Wraith 20
  • Cavaliers of Mars

 

 

ART DIRECTION FROM MIRTHFUL MIKE:

In Art Direction

  • Ex3 Monthly Stuff
  • Scion Hero Last art notes and contracts sent.
  • Trinity Continuum 
  • Geist 2e
  • The Realm
  • M20 Gods and Monsters
  • Ex3 Dragon Blooded – Wave 2 art in progress
  • Promethean Night Horrors: The Tormented – Sending out Artnotes and Contracts.

 

Marketing Stuff

  • Storyteller System Brochure
  • Posters and Displays
  • Gen Con Cards

 

In Layout

  • Wraith 20 Screen I’ll pull this together this week.
  • Fetch Quest Putting together the Mau Pioneer card previews.
  • EX3 Dragon Blooded Firming up layout and tweaking some backgrounds.

 

Proofing

  • Scion Origin PDF almost ready for in-Onyx review.
  • Changeling: the Lost 2 Meghan has the proof.

 

At Press

  • V20 Beckett’s Jyhad Diary & Beckett Screen & V20 Dice – At fulfillment shipper, prepping for KS ship-out. Shipping addresses to be locked down on Wednesday.
  • Scarred Land PGs & Wise and the Wicked PF & 5e – Shipping from fulfillment shipper. PDF and PoD physical book versions on sale at DTRPG.
  • Prince’s Gambit – Shipping from fulfillment shipper.
  • Scion Dice – At fulfillment shipper.
  • Cavaliers of Mars Errata input on Backer PDF, now to Indexing.
  • Boggans – PoD files uploading.
  • Monarchies of Mau Errata gathering on Backer PDF.
  • Wr20 Guide for Newly Departed – Backer PDF should go out to backers this week.

 


TODAY’S REASON TO CELEBRATE: In 1783 the Montgolfier brothers publicly demonstrate their montgolfière (hot air balloon). A year later in 1784, Élisabeth Thible becomes the first woman to fly in an untethered hot air balloon. Her flight covers four kilometres in 45 minutes, and reached 1,500 metres altitude (estimated). In the future, people of all genders are able to fly in balloons and zeppelins to work and to visit friends, at least if any pulp setting ever can be believed!

 


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In which Eddy, Dixie, and Matthew discuss the process of making a product for Onyx Path, from initial pitch to final printed product.

  • Pitches – what is the book intended to do? What’s the value to the reader?
  • Cold pitches vs pitches from a known quantity
  • Pugmire pitch as an example
  • Outlines and hiring the freelance project developer
  • What traits do we look for in a developer?
  • Steffie de Vaan as an example of a great new developer
  • Then we contract writers
  • Some writers are unsuitable, but that’s not the same as “bad”
  • Matthew interrupts to say he never interrupts
  • We often assume a writer is specialized, when that may not be the case
  • Then on to team planning, research, and first drafts
  • Collaboration is often key during the first draft stage
  • Matthew uses the Contagion Chronicle as an example
  • The first draft is not literally the first thing you write – there’s an amount of polish needed
  • Eddy uses Dystopia Rising as an example of redlines, and how work on that project differs from Contagion Chronicle
  • Lexicon can be a real pain in the ass
  • Redlines as a teaching tool for writers
  • Then the final drafts go off to development
  • Dixie talks about the editing process, and the kinds of things she edits for
  • We sing the praises of the Chicago Manual of Style
  • Dixie confesses to Googling style questions, while Matthew talks a bit about American vs British English
  • You can’t turn editor brain off
  • The one-sided conversation between the editor and developer, but that’s changing
  • Style evolves, however, as Dixie mentions on the 20th anniversary books
  • Meanwhile, art notes and layout
  • The errata phase, because we’re not perfect
  • Finally, indexing and printer proofs!
  • Why we take the time to make sure the book is as good as it can be
  • Matthew explains how he got his Twitter handle
  • Eddy tries to wrap things up, but Matthew steals the mic to issue a challenge to Dixie
  • Next episode, we interview the boss, Rich Thomas!

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Mortekai
Truth Beyond Paradox

Truth Beyond Paradox

A look at “A Secret Palace” by J. F. High, from Truth Beyond Paradox, a Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition anthology, available in ebook and print from DriveThruFiction.

“We just can’t bear to lose our secrets,” said Sam. “We don’t care how ugly they are. They’re our secrets.”

Blue sat on her own folded legs, chin cupped in one palm, rocking back and forth in time with the clack-clack, clack-clack of the train on its tracks. Sam held her other hand across the linoleum table.

They had not bothered with their assigned seats. Sam led Blue, their fingers entwined, directly to the observation car when they boarded. The car was lined with sticky booths and unobstructed windows: a great tourist greenhouse. Neither of them looked at the other. They watched the back doors of the back doors of the city rushing behind them; forgotten junkyards over?owing with rotten, rusted piles of once-proud Sunday-drive family cars, parking lots soaked in layers of crusted graffiti; Casper’s parking lot, no, Dead Juan’s parking lot, no, Killer’s parking lot, no, this parking lot belongs to Sinner and his boys, put your faith in Jesus, praise God!

Blue’s eyes lit up with every passing garbage bag. She read every piece of stilted tag. Sam stole glances at her when he thought she wasn’t looking.

“There are no secrets,” she murmured, but loud enough for Sam to hear.

“What does that mean?” asked Sam. He slid his fingertips gently over her knuckles, reading them like cast runes. “We all have secrets. Every house has its dirty, shameful mess. We’ve all got our basements full of our dead grandfather’s dust-ridden train sets and model airplanes. We’ve all got our attics full of mirrors covered in sheets, and photos full of black-and-white family members. No one would remember their names if not for the cursive scrawled on the back.” Sam laughed. “Even cursive is a dead language now.”

Blue’s gaze drifted along deserted, crumbling lumber yards and dingy back alleys.

“Everyone… everything is screaming to be heard,” said Blue, disentangling her hand from his. “Everyone is singing a song. Everything wants its attention, its due diligence. There aren’t any secrets, baby. Everyone wants to be heard. Everyone wants to be special.”

• • •

The day Sam had met Blue, she was dancing naked in the children’s fountain in the park. Blue gyred around a concrete totem pole, twin fish with tails high and mouths pointed toward the earth, sharing a single eye. Sam watched her, bundled up in seven thousand coats and scarves and hats, envious and awed by her naked body. In the distance, someone shouted and lights ?ashed once. A threatening burst of red and blue lit up Salmon’s blocky, divine eye. Water sprayed down from his tail fins. Blue’s feet spun her heavenward. She tiptoed on water droplets and pirouetted toward the stars. Sam ran to her, yelling a warning and reaching for her feet. Blue screamed and laughed and fell, throwing her arms around Sam. In that instant, Sam gave Blue his heart alongside one of his coats from amongst the legions. Sam stole her into the trails behind the park, Blue laughing like a madwoman, Sam laughing, infected.

Blue, Sam learned, loved the water. She danced in fountains, bathed in rivers, and dove into lakes whenever the opportunity arose. Sam’s favorite trackside secret was a stretch of coastline south of the city interspersed here and there with crab-shacks and fishing piers. The coast was dotted with little parks where young families brought their fat strollers, where older couples married, and remarried, and remarried again, brought their dogs to shit. Blue had jumped at Sam’s invitation to visit this place.

• • •

“That’s true,” Sam began. He thought carefully about what Blue said. Sometimes her words just happened to ?ow like poetry. Sometimes they were riddles and puzzles and Sam felt like he was standing before a locked door and being tested before he might be allowed inside.

“But I don’t know if that changes what I’m saying. Look,” Sam gestured out the window. The train slithered past crumbling one-way streets. “Every city has its forgotten trash and secrets; its filth-strewn underground. There are streets. We could drive there. They’re all piled up and packed with the sentimental garbage and essential ugliness that we can’t part with. But there’s no paved road that’s going to guide you to the secret heart of it all.”

Blue’s fingers toyed with her lips, and her eyes appeared smoky. “Who talks like this?” she said, laughing quietly.

Sam was not offended, he repeated in his head. He was not offended.

“Look there,” Sam said. Starbucks headquarters – resplendent in red brick, artificially aged –appeared from behind an unfinished bridge project. Atop the central tower, their green mermaid sneaked a peek over the ledge, a mischievous glint in her eyes. “Behind the beauty of every tower-filled skyline are the railroad tracks. We’re making our way through the sewage pit, but if we lift our eyes everything is beautiful. The city is ashamed of this, but the fear of loss is more painful than the sting of shame.”

The train dove beneath a bridge, its piercing squeals reverberating off of the concrete above. Sam sat up in his seat, excited, and gestured out the window. He said, “Underneath the bridges, with concrete latticework for a roof, we can hide from the perilous sunshine. Where else are we going to put our gravel pits and our parking lots? Where else will we hide from the cops, get drunk and fuck our brains out? Where else do we abandon old, tumbling wooden buildings with remnants of glass in the windows still left to throw rocks through?” Sam looked back to Blue, his eyes spirited, hers alert. “We aren’t just full of our secrets. We don’t just love our secrets. We are our secrets. We are composed of our secrets. Our secrets are our true stories – not the ones we made up and dressed in neon lights and plate-glass towers to string along Main Street. Not the ones we so casually plaster in view of foreigners and tourists so that they might marvel in our beauty. Our unforgettable skylines, our arenas named after the richest companies willing to sink their money into them, our yacht clubs and bank towers and sushi restaurants are not real!” Sam slammed his fist onto the table.

Blue jumped and gasped in her seat. His words tugged her close.

Sam said:“They are the mask we wear to the masquerade. But we’re still real from beneath and behind. We’re still real from the train’s-eye view.”

Blue leaned forward in her seat, her lips slack, her eyes stormy. The city was beginning to fade into tree-filled neighborhoods broken by wandering streams.

“You should write these things down,” Blue urged him. “Because then you could look carefully at what you’re saying.”

Sam had thought it was going to be a compliment, but he knew what Blue meant. He freed his hand from hers and wiped the dampness on his thigh. “I’m going to get something to drink.”

Blue dropped back into her seat, watching him as he walked away.

Continue Sam and Blue’s story in Truth Beyond Paradox, available in ebook and print from DriveThruFiction.


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Mortekai

C20-BookofFreeholds1-232x300.jpgHere’s what we’ve been doing over the last month:

Game Books

Community Spotlight

We opened the Slarecian Vault, our community content portal for Scarred Lands material! The following content for Scarred Lands has been added to the Slarecian Vault in the last week:

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


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Mortekai

Pugmire-CoreSmall-210x300.jpgThe latest from Eddy:

Related to the last post about articulating the tone of Pugmire, I remembered an old blog post I made way back when I first announced Pugmire in the ancient days of 2014. I got a lot of people assuming the announcement was some kind of joke — often enough that a few months later, I wrote a blog about it. Here you can see some of the elements I built on in the previous post to my writers.


One question I get regularly is whether Pugmire is a joke. Given that I’ve been responsible for some pranks in the past when I worked with White Wolf, it’s somewhat of a fair question. The short answer is obviously “it isn’t,” but there are nuances to the question that are more complex beyond the obvious “this is a real game that is being made.”

For example, it isn’t a typical Onyx Path game on the surface. It’s not using pools of d10s, it isn’t gritty and dark, and it’s not geared to an adult audience. Over the years I’ve gotten pretty good at working on those kinds of games, and I’m happy to keep doing so, but part of the reason for developing Pugmire is that I wanted to try something different. That’s one of the great points of working with Onyx Path over White Wolf for me — Rich is able and willing to try new ideas that wouldn’t fit in the original company’s structure or business plan, and I have ownership over this thing I created to boot. Given that this game doesn’t fit an established mold, I can see why some folks would assume it’s a joke.

Similarly, the game does have humor in it, but I maintain that it isn’t a funny game. We as players laugh at the idea that there’s a religious tenet of “Be A Good Dog,” but the characters in the world take it very seriously. It’s somewhat like the humor in Paranoia, although over the years its parody meta-humor has bled into the game itself. Again, if some folks see funny bits, it’s easy to mistake that the whole game is a joke.

One of the trickiest parts as I work on the game is allowing humor without making the game “funny.” So far I’ve been using the term “light-hearted” to explain the nuance, but it’s something that you really only get once you dive in. Some of the playtest groups are nice enough to post quotes or anecdotes on social media so I can read them, and most of those posts are gags. I take that as encouraging — people are excited and having fun with the game, even at this early stage. When I’ve run the game myself the level of humor changes depending on the group, but there’s always at least some laughs. The reason why it isn’t a joke, and why I’m adamant on that point, is because a “funny game” can really only be funny. A light-hearted game, however, can include more depth and options.

This ties in the concept of mourning.

Wait, what? Give me a moment to explain.

One of the images I keep in my mind is something Rich mentioned during one of our many chats about the game: the dog who mourns the passing of their owner by lying down outside their room or their bed. That’s the overall tone of how dogs feel about the loss of Man. In fact, the very first version of the game was much darker. It was closer to the so-called “normal Onyx Path game” in ethos, and that elegiac tone was a central focus. In one of my first playtests, some of the players at the end remarked at how the game can be “dark as shit.” So, paradoxically, I feel it’s very important to keep that so-called “Onyx Path flavor” in the game, even though the surface of the game obscures it. But if I wrote the game to be nothing but gags and jokes, it would be hard to get to that spectrum of emotion.

Is it a “serious” game? Hell no. It’s a game where you play dogs wielding magic and swords to rescue iPads from ancient ruins. I not only accept that, but I want to make that a feature. I don’t know about other people’s gaming groups, but mine generally tend to joke around during the session anyhow, so it’s nice to write a game that leans into that. But it’s also a game that addresses dealing with loss, ethics and religious dogma, casual racism, and nationalism. None of that is necessary to play and enjoy the game, but it’s there if you want to dig into it.

Is Pugmire a joke? No. Because it can be so much more.


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Mortekai

Ex3_BarrowHound-and-Devilstone-232x300.jNow available in PDF from DriveThruRPG, Hundred Devils Night Parade part 13: Barrow Hound and Devil Stone! Wow, 13 means we’ve been doing these PDFs for over a year now!

From the frozen North to the burning South, and all directions in between, there are creatures that stalk Creation. Demons, spirits, monsters and even creatures who live alongside mankind are in every region.

In this collection you will find new foes, encounter old enemies, and learn the secrets of these denizens of Exalted 3rd Edition’s wondrous world.

Hundred Devils Night Parade: Barrow Hound and Devilstone

The menacing Barrow Hound and the monstrous Devil Stone are fantastic additions to your Exalted game.

Also available in PDF: Adversaries of the Righteous part 8: Iron Siaka!

From the bustling streets of Nexus to the savage western seas, Creation is ripe with threats to mortals and Chosen alike. Crooked traders, vile occultists, and even zealous protectors of the Realm can be found in every city, satrapy, and region waiting for unsuspecting targets or standing their ground as they prepare for the inevitable.

In this collection you will meet new foes, encounter old enemies, and learn the inner workings of several different factions and societies dedicated to criminal activity, nefarious plotting, and more.

Adversaries of the Righteous: Iron Siaka

Little Mackerel grew up in Auspicious Haven, one of the Blessed Isle’s prominent western harbors.  Exalted by Venus, the Sidereal is now an iron-wrought shark, rather than a little mackerel. She remembers what it’s like to be overlooked and unimportant, though, and earnestly protects Creation’s small folk. Sometimes that means adjudicating disputes and advocating for compromise. Most times, it means bludgeoning threats with her mace-like chuí. Iron Siaka takes primal pleasure in combat, though she tells herself she would happily hang up her weapon if peace and harmony reigned.

Kickstarter Update

Fetch-Quest-Video-Splash-300x169.jpgLast week we launched the Fetch Quest deck-building card game Kickstarter! With 28 days remaining:

  • We funded in 21 hours, and have since raised $15,319 of our $6,000 goal, or 255%
  • We’ve got 335 backers
  • We’ve passed two stretch goals:
    • A Kickstarter backer T-shirt
    • Fetch Quest Booster Cards: 3 Pioneers from the Monarchies of Mau

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

Sales

Our Chronicles of Darkness Sale via Indie Press Revolution continues, with 40% off the following Chronicles of Darkness items from previous Kickstarter campaigns:

DriveThruRPG’s May D&D sale has hours remaining, with discounts on tons of great Pugmire and Scarred Lands material from Onyx Path!

Community Spotlight

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

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

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


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Mortekai

WtF2-cover-234x300.jpgMatthew Dawkins here, to talk a little about the upcoming Werewolf: The Forsaken book I’m developing called Shunned by the Moon.

Shunned by the Moon is a Night Horrors book. Steadily, we appear to be releasing a new Night Horrors book for each and every Chronicles of Darkness line and this pleases me a great deal. The intention is to provide a grab-bag of interesting antagonists and supporting characters for anyone’s chronicle, whether to populate a cast or inspire compelling plots tied into the mythology of each game line. My writers in this case are hard at work creating a gang of horrifying bastards for Werewolf.

We’re currently deep into redlines, but things are already shaping up to sound fun and disturbing in equal measure. Just looking at some of the developing concepts, we’ve got everything from a fallen Pure Totem (how does something fall so far that even the Pure won’t accept it?) to several new, horrifying Idigam. There’s a set of new hosts waiting to spill out of 2nd edition’s body, from locusts to frogs, through to coverage of the Pure’s signature Gifts and hunting methods, and some characters from those loveliest of Father Wolf’s tribes. We even have Bale Hounds, examples of some wicked spirit-ridden, and a new breed of critter called the Geryo that can tie into the Contagion Chronicle and Beast: The Primordial, or stand alone as its own antagonist. More on that in a future blog post. To cap all that off, we have Ghost Wolves and even some mortal threats to the poor Forsaken.

One of the reasons I love Werewolf: The Forsaken is the same as my reason for loving comicbook heroes. Heroes are defined and strengthened by their cast of villains. Batman is great because he has the Joker, Catwoman, Scarecrow, and Two-Face. Spider-Man is great because he has Venom, Doc Ock, Mysterio, and the Lizard. So it goes. Werewolf is great, to me, because it has the best plethora of antagonists of any Chronicles of Darkness line.

We have the Pure, Bale Hounds, unruly spirits, the spirit-ridden, hosts, Idigam, hunters (let’s not forget them!), each other (Forsaken don’t always get along), and the Geryo (again, more on them in a future blog). No wonder werewolves are so damn angry. It seems the world’s monsters all hate them.

Bestiaries, Monster Manuals, Creature Collections, and Night Horrors books are some of my favourite RPG sourcebooks, simply due to the range of stories waiting to emerge from their pages. Rich antagonists with accompanying art always draw my eye and start my imagination going. I’m pleased to say my writing team on Shunned by the Moon – a book of creatures abandoned by Luna, or that turned their back on her – shares this enthusiasm for villains of many shades lighting the fuse for exciting chronicles.

Despite this, I’m aware Werewolf doesn’t necessarily grab a group of players as easily as games like Vampire: The Requiem or Changeling: The Lost. The concept of playing an oftentimes savage creature forms a disconnect for some prospective players. With this in mind, I’m having one of the writers on this book write a chapter that hopefully acts a cross between an enthusiastic essay about the game’s many strengths and avenues of play, and as an elevator pitch any Storyteller can read to themselves or provide to an intrigued player, to really clamp the game’s claws onto some new prey. It will accompany the range of monsters and bad apples present in this book to push you in the direction of fresh chronicles and new approaches to Werewolf: The Forsaken.

Early days though they may be right now, I’m very excited to unveil more of this book in the future. I would love to see some of your comments below on what it is about Werewolf: The Forsaken that inspires you or even what barrier to entry you face with this game. Perhaps my writers and I can push you through the Gauntlet and into a chronicle of hunting, slashing, and biting.


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Mortekai

Dog-Bandit-300x208.jpg

This is a card illustration from Fetch Quest, our family-friendly game of exploring the Realms of Pugmire. Fetch Quest‘s Kickstarter funded in less than a day, and one of the reasons we are running the KS is to enable us to have the coinage to add even more new card art, like this one.

You’ll also note that we’re calling it “family -friendly”, to suggest that all ages could enjoy and understand the game. Rather than say that it’s just for kids, because, you know, it’s not.

We’re also making sure to say that the game is set in the Realms of Pugmire as opposed to just pushing Pugmire itself. There’s a logical reason, which is that we don’t know where all the Quests and their missions might take place in the setting. In the Kingdom of Pugmire is a bit different than in the wilds outside the kingdom, after all.

But we also want to use Stretch Goals to expand the game to include the cats from the Monarchies of Mau, and maybe even other uplifted animal explorers. Collectively, Mau and the other areas of the setting go together with the Kingdom of Pugmire to be collectively called the Realms of Pugmire.

You’ll continue to see us (Onyx Path and Pugsteady) release and license other projects under the Realms of Pugmire banner as we get more and more cool projects arranged for and created.

 

 

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Monarchies of Mau‘s Aeris von Angora illustration by Shen Fei.

 

 

Last Friday’s Onyx Pathcast weekly release featured a fascinating behind-the-scenes interview with Trinity Continuum poobah and Bloodlines fanatic Ian A. A. Watson, and this week please check out the Terrific Trio of Eddy Webb, Dixie Cochran, and Matthew Dawkins bantering as usual while covering the general subject of the steps we go through to create our projects. The Production Process in the lingo.

If you ever wanted to hear how we make our games entertainingly explained step by step, and who hasn’t really?, download the Onyx Pathcast podcast on Friday at noon-ish from your favorite podcast provider or straight from Podbean, here: https://onyxpathcast.podbean.com/

Also, let the gang know who you’d like to hear them interview – you can relay your choice(s) right here in the comments, and we’ll see who they can arrange to talk with.

 

 

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Dragon-Blooded illustration by Priscilla Kim

 

 

Finally, I ran across an interesting take on the side-benefits of Community Content sites, like our own Canis Minor for Pugmire, and Slarecian Vault for Scarred Lands, besides the overt one of allowing creators in our community to be able to publish, and get paid for, their own projects set in these worlds.

When you put up your own project, you’re essentially putting out a paid audition piece if you’re interested in actually doing official work for the company. We’re definitely looking at our Community Content creators to see if they have what we need in our freelancers. You might just see some of those names in official projects pretty soon, if you haven’t already.

It’s not guaranteed, of course, but in the various tips and tricks folks use to get professional work, Community Content is a new arrow in the quiver. Plus, because both Scarred Lands and Pugmire use the D&D5e ruleset as a base, you’re not only just auditioning for us, but for any 5e publisher out there, and there are a lot of them.

 

 

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EX3‘s Iron Siaka illustrated by Melissa Uran.

 

 

So there you go. Hope you are all well, and enjoying all the different ways we prove that we’re roaring into the future with:

Many Worlds, One Path!

 

 

BLURBS!

KICKSTARTER:

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Fetch Quest, the adventure card game set in the Realms of Pugmire went live last Tuesday, May 22 and funded in under a day, and now we’re over 250% funded and are working on Stretch Goals that add a group of cats from the Monarchies of Mau to the game as alternative adventurers.

This is definitely a game that needs to be spread by word of mouth, so please let your friends and family know about this game of good dogs (and cats!) out to fetch what Man has left behind!

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ELECTRONIC GAMING:

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

Here are the links for the Apple and Android versions:

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

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

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Three different screenshots, above.

 

 

ON AMAZON AND BARNES & NOBLE:

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

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

 

 

 

DRIVETHRURPG.COM:

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This is our monthly release week for our ongoing series of PDF releases for Exalted 3rd Edition, and we have the Barrow Hound and Devilstone for Hundred Devil’s Night Parade, and Iron Siaka for Adversaries of the Righteous. This Wednesday on DTRPG.com!

 

 

 

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For the first time since it was originally published, we now have the Champions of the Scarred Lands fiction anthology as a physical book, available as a PoD on DTRPG: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/3317/Champions-of-the-Scarred-Lands

 

 

 

CONVENTIONS!

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

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

From Fast Eddy Webb, we have these:

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

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

 

 


And now, the new project status updates!

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

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

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

 

Redlines

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

 

Second Draft

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

 

Development

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

 

WW Manuscript Approval:

 

Editing:

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

 

Post-Editing Development:

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

 

Indexing:

  • Wraith 20 – Matthew checking final layout, then to Indexing.

 

 

ART DIRECTION FROM MIRTHFUL MIKE:

In Art Direction

  • Ex3 Monthly Stuff
  • Scion Hero Last art notes and contracts being sent.
  • Trinity Continuum 
  • Geist 2e
  • The Realm
  • M20 Gods and Monsters
  • Ex3 Dragon Blooded – Wave 2 art in progress
  • Promethean Night Horrors: The Tormented – Vince is doing the fulls. Leblanc is gonna do the cover.

 

Marketing Stuff

 

In Layout

  • Wraith 20 Screen I’ll pull this together now that the errata is done.
  • Fetch Quest Will make any changes/adds after KS.
  • EX3 Dragon Blooded Firming up layout and tweaking some backgrounds.

 

Proofing

  • Scion Origin PDF almost ready for in-Onyx review.
  • Changeling: the Lost 2 Meghan has the proof.
  • Wr20 Guide for Newly Departed – Art should be in this week.

 

At Press

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

 


TODAY’S REASON TO CELEBRATE: Memorial Day is today in the US. Although we at Onyx Path don’t have it off, as evidenced by our usual Monday Meeting and Blog today, we still give thanks to those who paid the ultimate price for their service.


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In which we interview Ian A. A. Watson, Creative Lead for the Trinity Continuum and Community Manager for Onyx Path!

  • Ian talks about his history with the Trinity Continuum pitch, through the CCP merger, and into the creation of Onyx Path
    • Ian’s love for the Trinity line goes back to 1997
  • Rabbit holes and why we love what we love
  • The dynamics of the Trinity design team, and how awesome Danielle Lauzon is
    • How the Storypath system came to be
    • How we reframe Storypath between Trinity and They Came
  • Reexamining how we do the development process, and how we are trying new things for Aberrant
  • Ian talks about his Community Manager role
  • What’s exciting about this new version of Trinity
    • Aegis! Anima! (Maybe)
  • Also, Assassin’s Creed
  • We answer some forum questions (did yours get answered? Listen to find out!)
  • Trinity as a pop culture toolbox
  • We talk about fonts! Fonts are cool!
  • Aberrant‘s diversity
  • Ian’s contributions to Vampire: Bloodlines
  • Trinity Backerkit: https://trinity-continuum-aeon-rpg.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders
  • Special bonus at the end!

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God-Machine Chronicle Anthology

This section, found at the front of the God-Machine Chronicle Anthology, features the story Voice of the Angel. It dates back all the way to the original World of Darkess Rulebook in 2004. At the time, it was just one of a number of different stories and plot hooks to use, but it caught the imagination of fans and freelancers alike. This slowly built up until it became the foundation of the new edition of the Chronicles of Darkness.

From the Testament of Marco Singe, the so-called “Pain Prophet” of New Delhi.

When I was 12, my father beat me after hearing what I had done with another boy. It was as I lay on the cellar ?oor, feeling the blood on my back become sticky and cold, that the angel first spoke to me. She filled the air with the scent of metal and surrounded me with a circle of blue ?ame, and I was frightened.

“Don’t be afraid,” she told me. “I have come to speak to you, and through you. At the command of the god-machine you shall hear my words and know them to be true.” Her voice was like the notes of a ?ute and their vibrations calmed my fear. And that was how I learned the secret history of the world.

The god-machine built our world as a resting place for its First Children, whom men called angels or Ancient Ones. After a time, the ancients desired servants to dwell with them, servants who walked upright and had pleasing shapes, and who could speak. They sent the proper prayer-signals to the god-machine and were granted leave to do so. First the Ancient Ones took the beasts of the field and granted them the knowledge to speak and walk. But these animals retained their wildness and did not make good servants. They grew wicked and violent, and were cast into the wilderness. They were the Second Children, whom men called demons.

So the Ancients called new servants into being and commanded them to spread across the face of the Earth. And these were the Third Children, called mankind. And mankind served the ancients in peace and contentment. Mankind knew not death then. Those whose bodies became worn and aged were sent to sleep in the shadow of the Earth and returned after a time restored to health and youth.

The Ancients commanded their servants to build a great city, a city so vast that a child setting out to walk its length would be an old man before reaching the other side. Calling on the power of the god-machine, the Ancient Ones raised their city into the dome of the sky, fixing it at the place where the orbit of the moon crossed the orbit of the sun. And in the city they placed a third of mankind to serve them as vassals and slaves.

In the city of the Ancients, man lived closer to the First Children than ever before. And some of the men began to wonder, “Why do the Ancients spend their days in rest while we must toil without relief? Why do the Ancients enjoy the pleasures of this city when it is our labor that built it?” And so resentment rose among the Third Children. They made the proper calculations and sent the prayer-signals to the coordinates of the god-machine, saying, “We are your children, too. It is not right that we be enslaved. Will you not look on us with favor?”

And they received this answer: “What rises must fall. What has fallen may rise again.”

The men of the city debated for seven years. Finally, they decided that it was the will of the god-machine that they raise themselves from slavery. Determined to kill the Ancients and take their place as the favored of the god-machine, the men of the city plotted carefully. When the time came, they fell upon the Ancient Ones in their sleep, murdering them with their own weapons and devices in a single night of betrayal.

The streets of the celestial city ran red with blood. A great cry rose up from the Earth, and the mountains shook and the skies were filled with storms. The Ancients struck back at their servants, but too late. Just eight of the Ancient Ones survived. As they ?ed, they cried out, “We are undone, our time is over, but while our time was long and joyous, yours shall be short and painful.” And they became known as the Furies.

The first Fury was named Silence, and ?ed to the center of the Sun. It cursed mankind to forget the art of speaking to and receiving the signals of the god-machine.

The second Fury was named Death, and ?ed to the hidden side of the moon. It cursed mankind to forget the way back from the shadow of the Earth.

The third Fury was named Torment, and ?ed to the star Venus. It cursed mankind to be split into two beings, wyff-man and wo-man, each imperfect and forever seeking its opposite.

The fourth Fury was named Fear, and ?ed beneath the highest mountain on the Earth. It cursed mankind to be hated and dreaded by all the beasts and birds and fish and all creatures everywhere.

Of the other four surviving Ancient Ones nothing here can be said, for they chose to withhold their curses until such time as they saw ft.

And then the city of the Ancients shook to its foundations. The men marveled at what happened but could not stop it. The city was loosened from the moorings that held it to the firmament. The men cried out in horror, rushing to ?ee the city before it crashed to earth. Some set upon the roads of light that the Ancients had built, and became lost among the stars. Some reached the silver-sailed boats and descended safely. But many were trapped within the city, and screamed their last as it fell. And when the city crashed and sank beneath the waves, the world shook, the sun hid its face and everywhere people were afraid.

And here the angel paused, regarding me with a hundred eyes. “Fear not these words I speak to you. For the news I bear is this: The god-machine has not turned its eye from your home. What has fallen may rise again. The Third Children shall have their chance to achieve what they once desired. But the way will not be easy. The First Children are set in judgment over you, and the Second Children seek to trap you. It is their workings that take your world through its turnings.”

The angel then bade me to warn mankind of the hidden forces that seek to thwart the destiny of the Third Children. Their handiwork appears again and again throughout history. Regard the mighty Sphinx of Egypt. Recent studies of the water erosion on its rocky surface indicate that the monument dates back to the days when the Sahara was green and lush. Far older than the pyramids it guards, the Sphinx comes from a time close to the fall of the Ancients. The Second Children roamed freely through the world then, greater than man in power and knowledge. The demons shaped primitive man into a civilization that revered them as gods. But their hubris was against the will of the god-machine, and they failed. The great civilizations of Egypt, Sumer and Babylonia rose later from the dim memories of that failure, revering gods with the forms and features of beasts.

The Egyptians called the proto-kingdoms that preceded them the “first time,” or the Age of Osiris. They considered it the source of all wisdom and knowledge. The pyramids and surrounding structures, built to mirror the locations of the constellation of Orion and other celestial objects (with the Nile representing the Milky Way), was essentially a vast time machine used to teach the pharaohs how to “swim upstream” against time and return to the Osirian age. By understanding the layout of these structures, the pharaoh of any era could visualize the location of a secret chamber that would grant him access to a bygone age. Somewhere beneath the Sphinx, that chamber awaits discovery. The cults of the Second Children protect the Sphinx from a distance, inhibiting attempts to uncover it completely, preventing further exploration of its tunnels. When their own servants discern its location, the Second Children will enter the chamber and attempt to recreate the world that slipped from their grasp so long ago.

I asked about the four Furies who withheld their curses on the night of the murder. “Some of them dwell beneath the earth,” the angel told me, “And wait for the permutations of the god-machine before they unleash their wrath.” One of them, upon ?eeing from the Celestial City, came to rest in what is now the continent of Australia. Touching down in the desert, this Ancient was certain it would remain hidden from man, and so it laid itself down to rest and heal its wounds.

But the Ancient One did not realize how widespread the tribes of mankind had become. No sooner did the Ancient close its eyes than natives of that land crept close to gaze upon the being that had fallen from the sky. They were a people skilled in reading dreams, and their magicians peered into the mind of the sleeping Ancient. They saw that this visitor held a deep and bitter hatred for mankind, and they saw the awful curse it prepared to unleash.

The people grew afraid. They had no weapons mighty enough, no warriors powerful enough to slay one of the Ancients. All they had were songs and stories. And so they whispered and sang in low voices until they had woven a careful dream that deepened the Ancient One’s slumber, stilling its anger and quieting its thirst for vengeance. And the magicians covered the angel with soil, piling it higher and higher. When they were done they changed the mound to stone, calling it Ula-ru.

And the Ancient One, hearing the stories and dream-songs of the natives, was pleased. It made a pact with them, agreeing to stay its wrath and share with them stories of how they and their world were created. But if the people stopped telling the stories and stopped singing the dream-songs, the Ancient would awaken and unleash its curse. So today the aboriginal Anangu people continue the songs and rituals laid down by their ancestors. Ula-ru remains a place of great power, where spirits gather and strange energy ?ows. The government of Australia has ceded management of the surrounding land to the Anangu rather than try to deal with reports of lights in the sky, ?uctuating magnetic fields and unusual animals.

Of all the people of the earth, it was those who came to dwell on the South American continent who carried with them the greatest knowledge of their time in the city of the Ancients. Their journey from the fallen city to what would become their home took many generations, and some understanding was lost. But they remembered much and built mighty civilizations, rediscovering and developing the arts of writing, mathematics, astronomy and farming. The children of this group became the Xi, and their children the Mayans, Incans, Toltecs and Aztecs. As their various tribes, city-states and empires rose and fell, secrets of the Ancients were spread and understanding became more refined.

Yet that knowledge would be their downfall. At the bottom of the world, one of the Ancients watched. It saw that the elite among the cultures of the sun were close to mastering the Star Rites, the rituals of becoming which opened holes in time and changed men to gods. “It is not right for the Third Children to become Luminous Ones,” the Ancient said, and begged permission of the god-machine to deliver its curse. The god-machine transmitted: “You may speak your curse, but let it be but a whisper, for I desire that secrets be only hidden, not destroyed.” So the Ancient took the name Strife and sent its voice far across the world to a ship in the south Atlantic, where a pilot dozed at the wheel.

“Steer south,” the Ancient One whispered. “Steer south.” Half-awake, the sailor turned the wheel and the course of an entire ?eet of ships was altered. Shortly after, a storm hit, and the ships were battered. They were blown south to the isle of Cozumel. From there, the ?eet’s commander Hernando Cortez led his soldiers to the mainland and the eventual conquest of the Aztec nation. The fall of the Aztecs, sooner than might otherwise have happened, allowed a rush of European colonization that doomed the native cultures.

But not all was lost. Despite the best efforts of the conquerors, some of the ancient traditions of Mesoamerica were secretly preserved by the conquered and are honored today by their descendants. The 20 calendars of the Maya, the Incan Skulls of Wisdom, Toltec maps of the Black Sun — for those who are diligent and wise, the formulas to step outside time can be pieced together.

I asked the angel if mankind will ever hear the voice of the god-machine again, or if it is truly lost to us.

The angel explained that with the discovery of the electromagnetic spectrum, mankind took its first halting step toward communication with the god-machine. For electromagnetic waves are the shadow of the voice of the god-machine. They are the edge of something that can only be fully understood in more than three dimensions. The Mayan high priests called them the branches of ceiba, or the tree of life. In 1870 — more than 20 years before Marconi demonstrated his famous wireless — British inventor and scientist David Hughes crafted a device capable of sending and receiving wireless electromagnetic messages. He did not reveal his invention to the world, however, because he believed he’d stumbled upon something more important than the invention itself. When he first turned on the receiver, before activating the transmitter, signals were already being sent.

Hughes was a mathematician and musician. To his keen ears it seemed clear that the sounds he heard were not random, but some kind of encoded pattern. He spent seven years trying to interpret what he heard. Hughes made little progress until he showed a curious friend a diagram he’d made to represent the pattern of signals he’d studied. To the surprise of both men, Hughes’ friend had seen the pattern before — at the British Museum of Natural History. The next day, Hughes visited the museum. He saw an exhibit of stone carvings taken from Mayan temples dating back to the first centuries of the common era.

After several more years and copious correspondence with experts around the world, Hughes was convinced that he could translate at least part of the message that awaited him when he first activated his machine. He confided to his friends and colleagues that he would soon have a spectacular announcement to make. But he died three days before the event. Following the directives of his recently re-written will, his attorney removed all references to the mysterious signals from Hughes’ notes and records. Aside from the comments and testimonies of those who knew Hughes, the only extant reference left is among the final pages of his diary:

“Long and painful hours, months, years, have brought me to this. But a small fraction of a greater whole, made finally clear to my understanding. And yet these few words, I cannot bear to hear. Let them reach no other ears. Let what is fallen remain fallen.”

In the century since his death, some of Hughes notes have come to light. In the early 1950s, a group of amateur short-wave radio operators claimed that Hughes had not only decoded the signals but had left diagrams of a machine that would reply to the code. Though no one could locate the signals Hughes described, instructions for building Hughes’ “responders” were widely circulated, and hundreds of the machines are believed to have been built since. They continually transmit automated sequences of numbers, words, tones, music and other sounds, much to the consternation of governments and commercial broadcasters worldwide. Also known as “numbers stations,” the devices transmit today, and can be heard on conventional short-wave receivers. According to Hughes’ apocryphal statements, their intended recipient is “the ruler of Mictlan, the Mayan Tartarus.” What Hughes believed would happen when the proper signal was received is not known.

What of the Second Children, I asked the angel. Do they ever make their presence known to mankind?

“Their in?uence is widespread and insidious,” the angel said.

As the premier political power on the American continents, the United States acquired much of the secret knowledge that had been plundered by Europeans in South America. Its capitol city was laid out according to geometric principles of Aztec cities such as Tenochtitlan, as interpreted by European freemason architects. The lines of the streets are oriented to channel energy from the Earth. Numbered and lettered boulevards allow power to be ritualistically directed for various purposes. The result has allowed a country of farmers and immigrants to grow into the most powerful nation on the Earth.

In 1898, a cabal of government officials, wealthy industrialists and media moguls triggered the Spanish-American War as a way to gain in?uence over Cuba and possess certain pre-Columbian artifacts located there. The most notable of these was a fragment of one of the Black Sun Maps of the Toltecs. America’s secret government was capable of translating a part of the map, which enabled it to contact and entreat with one of the Second Children, a demon who agreed to perform certain services in exchange for blood sacrifice.

But for the most valuable service of all — complete translation of the map fragment — America’s patron demanded tribute on a scale beyond the capacity of its clients to provide. So the secrets of the Black Sun remained unspoken for decades. Then, as the 20th century approached its mid-point, the requisite “knife of ?ame” revealed its presence at last. The enigma of atomic fire was unlocked and the word’s first nuclear device was created. On 16 July, 1945, the weapon was tested in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Its purpose was ritualistically sanctified with the chant, “I am become death, destroyer of worlds.” Weeks later, the detonations in Japan satisfied the demonic contract, and in exchange the meaning of the Black Sun Map fragment was revealed.

“And what was the secret of the map?” I asked the angel.

“To the Toltec people, it was a warning,” she said. “But in modern times, it has became an irresistible lure.”

On May 25, 1961, U.S. President John Kennedy declared before Congress an imperative for the nation to achieve a successful landing on the moon before the end of the decade. What was not announced publicly was the true reason for the project. The elite faction operating behind America’s corridors of power now had a translated version of the Toltec Map fragment, which revealed a detailed topography of the lunar surface. Most importantly, it contained an atlas of the moon’s so-called “dark side,” as well as a comprehensive description of what lay entombed there.

The American Apollo missions were so named to curry favor with the various sun deities who were in fact aliases for the Second Children. Publicly, it was Apollo 11 that first put man on the moon. But in fact, American astronauts began exploring the lunar surface as early as the 1968 Apollo 8 mission. Apollo 10 confirmed the location of what the Toltecs called “the crypt of the butter?y.” By Apollo 15, the outer vault was cracked, and it was 1972’s Apollo 17 — the final manned lunar mission to date — that brought back what classified documents referred to as “Packet Theta.”

The angel has warned me that the relic brought back from its receptacle on the moon has the potential to be much more devastating than any atomic weapon. What was retrieved was the skeletal form of one of the Ancient Ones. Specifically, the very being that pronounced the curse of mortality upon humanity. As the portal through which death itself entered our universe, it was changed into a thing neither dead nor alive. Those who learn to control it, as its current jailers seek to do, will exert ultimate power over the tides of life and death.

With each passing day, dark forces come closer to gaining that power. Those who seek must unify and stand against them. Our world needs warriors of light, defenders of life, seekers of truth to thwart their wishes. The god-machine waits. The angel has shown me how. I can teach you. We are fallen, but we might rise again.


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As part of our continuing Character Creation series, Bill returns to discuss Pugmire.

Pugmire-Dog-Face-logo-e1453758282317-300I love the concept of creating an anthropomorphic dog in a post-apocalyptic, D&D-like setting, and am looking forward to the chance to play Pugmire. Since I wrote part of the Pan’s Guide For New Pioneers, I was already familiar with the rules, but I wanted to create a character for my upcoming game.

Step One: Choose a Calling

First order of business: what kind of job does my dog have? Pages 41-53 of the Pugmire Core Rulebook describe the Callings—think character classes from D&D—and gives six examples of character types for each. Since I often play fighter types, I opt to build a mage this time and choose the Artisan Class. To be an Artisan is to unlock the secrets of the Old Ones through masterwork relics. Then, once a dog finds their focus, they use that knowledge to create miraculous effects.

Step Two: Choose a Breed

If you’ve spent time with dogs like I have, you probably have a favorite breed (or two). I love Dachshunds—especially the way their foreheads wrinkle up when they’re concerned about something. I also love Corgis, Pugs, Great Danes, Black Labs, Rottweilers, Pitties… Come to think of it I just like dogs, so settling on “a” breed is a challenge. In the end, I decided to pick Corgi, because friends of mine have a pair I adore. Corgis are in the Herder group of dogs and gain a +2 bonus to their Wisdom. Breeds are discussed on pp. 54-61.

Step Three: Choose a Background

Backgrounds in Pugmire, found on pp. 62-63, are an interesting way to add a few skills and a cool backstory. While my dog is interested in the arcane, I don’t want his background to be scholarly or magical in nature. So, I opt for Merchant: that background gives him a few practical skills, some nice equipment, and potential access to a different set of contacts than he would normally have as an Artisan.

Step Four: Assign Ability Scores and Designate Primary Scores

Instead of rolling dice, Pugmire uses an assigned value system for Ability Scores found on pp. 63-66. Players have 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, and 8 to assign to their six Abilities.

As an Artisan, my dog will need to emphasize Intelligence and Charisma as these are his Primary Ability scores. I therefore put my 15 into Intelligence. However, knowing that Artisans aren’t very tough, I opt to give Constitution the second-highest score of 14. This will give him +2 Stamina points and better chances to save against health-related threats. Giving him a Charisma of 13 is a good fit for his Calling. Wrapping things up, I assigned 12 to Dexterity (+1 to Dexterity saving throws), 10 to Strength (no bonus), and 10 to Wisdom (8 +2 from the Herder bonus, for a total of 10). My dog is both intelligent and agile and, thanks to his Breed group, his Wisdom score is not as much of a concern as it’d be if I only had 8.

Step Five: Calculate Ability Modifiers, Choose Skills and Tricks

I’ve already mentioned some of my dog’s Ability Modifiers: +2 to both Intelligence and Constitution; +1 to Charisma and Dexterity, and no bonuses for Strength or Wisdom.

Skills in Pugmire are nicely broken up to make them less intimidating. You choose two Skills from a group customized for your Calling, and you get extra Skills depending on your Background. For Artisans, I’ll choose two from the list on page 43: Handle Animal, Heal, Know Arcana, Know Culture, Know History, Know Nature, Know Religion, Notice, Perform Search, and Sense Motive. Being an Artisan means my dog should be familiar with the arcane, so Know Arcana seems like a no-brainer. I also want my dog to be able to support the other players, so Heal and Notice are two other great options for me. Since I can only pick two total, I’m going with Know Arcana and Heal. Even if there’s a Shepherd from the Church of Man in the party, it never hurts to have extra healing power—life in the wilds can be dangerous! As a Merchant, my dog is also entitled to Bluff and Sense Motive as extra skills per the Merchant Background on page 63. My Skills are: Know Arcana, Heal, Bluff, and Sense Motive.

Tricks provide extra abilities and/or powers, and new Tricks can be earned with experience. Artisans (p. 53) earn the following First Tricks as starting characters: Simple Weapon Aptitude and Light Armor Aptitude. Dogs also gain a Trick as beginning characters based on their Breed (p. 57), so I get Keen Observer for that, which gives my dog advantage in all Wisdom checks relating to sight, hearing, or smell. I also gain the Odds and Ends Trick for my Background (p. 63).

Odds and Ends gives my character an advantage to Wisdom checks when I need to find out if I have exactly what a potential client or customer needs. I may also spend fortune to declare a new, non-player character is my former customer, and I trade with them on friendly—or at least non-hostile—terms. I really like how advantage gives my character an edge without breaking the game. It still all boils down to luck, but since I can choose the better of two die rolls, this could help my dog avoid failing in a crucial moment.

My dog also gains either Encouragement or Focus Magic as a Trick for my Artisan Calling. Focus Magic seems like another obvious choice, so that’s what I select. Choosing Focus Magic gives my dog three basic spells to start with—Elemental Ray, Mage Paw, and Smell Magic—for free, plus I can choose two other first-level spells. Magic Missile and Shield seem like good choices: Magic Missile give me a ranged attack AND a magical attack, and Shield gives a +5 bonus to Armor Class. Both will prove useful in town or in the wilderness.

Proficiency Bonus reflects how my dog’s knowledge and experience grows over time. At first-level, all dogs gain a +2 Proficiency Bonus.

Step Six: Choose Equipment

Beginning level characters gain equipment packages tied to both their Calling and Background. Players are then prompted to make additional choices, depending upon the item listed.

For my Artisan Calling, I get a rucksack containing a simple weapon of my choice (quarterstaff, p. 81), a suit of light armor of my choice (leather armor, p. 69), a masterwork artisan focus, a bottle of ink, a pen, some sheets of parchment, and small collection of books.

My dog acquired his masterwork artisan focus in an unusual way. During a trip outside the capital city of Pugmire, my character found a small cylindrical object half-buried in mud by the side of the road. After he dug it out, he noticed a small button-like protrusion on top and lightning bolts stamped into the sides. Over time, this relic became my dog’s reliable focus.

Next, I’ll add a set of scales, a fine set of clothes, and some plastic coins from my Merchant Background to round out my starting equipment. In Pugmire, the money characters have is listed in their Backgrounds. The dogs of Pugmire mine plastic from great deposits and mint them into coins used as currency. They might have a few, some, or many plastic coins in a purse, and cash only becomes an issue when it is important to the story.

Step Seven: Calculate Defense, Initiative, and Speed

Per page 83, my dog’s Defense is equal to his armor plus his Dexterity bonus. Leather armor confers an 11 Defense and my Dexterity bonus is one, bringing my total to 12.

Initiative is equal to my dog’s Dexterity modifier; in my case, that’s +1. Any time I roll Dexterity for Initiative, I’d add a one.

My dog’s Speed is 30 feet per turn; 40 feet if he drops to all fours and runs.

Step Eight: Choose Personality Traits

To add personality traits, starting players can refer to pages 83-84 and roll a six-sided die to obtain them. I have opted to flesh out my character by using those tables.

My dog’s Ideal, the concept that drives the dog, is to find the secrets of the old ones. As an Artisan, that makes a great deal of sense, since Artisans are the ones most likely to deal with artifacts from the Time of Man. He is inspired by his Bond to the group’s leader, which I decide refers to the leader of his adventuring party. It’s a great way to create a relationship with another character and add interesting touches to allow for greater roleplaying opportunities. My character’s Flaw is that no matter what he does, he can’t seem to keep his anger in check. I imagine this is either a result of some betrayal, or because he didn’t learn any anger management skills in his youth.

Step Nine: Name and Story

Tralfaz Corgi was the third child of a prosperous merchant family. One day, while moving a wagonload of goods from Houndton to Pugmire, Tralfaz stumbled over a small object, half-buried in the muddy roadside. It was a cylindrical object with lightning bolts stamped into its sides. Tralfaz found that, after keeping the strange object in his pocket for a time, it would warm to the touch of his paw. He became obsessed with learning the ways of the artisans, masters of ancient lore who deciphered the workings of artifacts from the days of Man many ages ago.

Tralfaz’s father realized his son wouldn’t be learning the family business after all. With a sigh, he enrolled him in classes to become an artisan. Tralfaz studied diligently under his tutor, learning many secrets, until his teacher (while packing his bags to stay one step ahead of the Inquisitors) proclaimed Tralfaz was ready to set out on his own.

Now I have a fully fleshed-out character, ready to seek adventure and glory in the world of Pugmire. Time to be a good dog!

If you enjoy Pugmire, keep an eye on the Fetch Quest card game, currently on Kickstarter!


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Mortekai

3317-201x300.jpgNow available in print-on-demand for the first time from DriveThruFiction, the classic Scarred Lands anthology Champions of the Scarred Lands!

A Time of New Legends

The ancient races of the world known as Scarn still remember a time of relative peace, when they were ruled by titans and the land was whole.  Now those times are gone. Over a hundred years ago, the race of young gods overthrew the titans in a bloody war.  Their battles shattered mountains, blighted forests and decimated the inhabitants of Scarn.  The world that survived is now known as the Scarred Lands.  The gods are victorious, the titans have been imprisoned and the people caught between have slowly rebuilt their civilizations.

The Perfect Introduction to a Devastated World

The first Scarred Lands anthology tells the stories of the heroes and villains who have left the greates mark on the new world.  It collects tales of King Virduk of Calastia, the Incarnate, Barconius the holy knight of Corean and more.  Enter this fantastic world in its time of new legends.

Kickstarter Update

Fetch-Quest-Video-Splash-300x169.jpgYesterday we launched the Fetch Quest deck-building card game Kickstarter! With 28 days remaining:

  • We funded in 21 hours, and have since raised $9,202 of our $6,000 goal, or 153%
  • We’ve got 184 backers
  • We’ve passed one stretch goal:
    • A Kickstarter backer T-shirt

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

Sales

We’ve just launched a Chronicles of Darkness Sale via Indie Press Revolution, with 40% off the following Chronicles of Darkness items from previous Kickstarter campaigns:

DriveThruRPG’s May D&D sale has just over a week remaining, with discounts on tons of great Pugmire and Scarred Lands material from Onyx Path!

Community Spotlight

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

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

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

White Wolf has just announced that Werewolf: The Apocalypse will be added to the Vault in June!


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Mortekai

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

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

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

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

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

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

The themes in this era are:

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

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

The mood for this era is:

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


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Mortekai

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The Kickstarter for Fetch Quest is now live!

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

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

Are you ready to fetch what has been left behind?


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