Jump to content
  • entries
    195
  • comments
    0
  • views
    1,024

About this blog

News published by WhiteWolf and Onyx Path.

Entries in this blog

Mortekai

Front-232x300.jpgThis piece accompanies the Fall of Isireion era (69 BCE-30 BCE) in the Dark Eras Companion.

Her jaw snaps and groans like breaking green branches. There’s a face in her mouth. It disappears when she swallows. She spits and it smellsof raw meat and ancient dust. Nefersobk rolls the blue, withered corpse off the slab. Its head is gone.

She ate it.

“Send it down the river,” she says. “His worshippers will find it.” And I will find them, and him again. And again and again and again. But for now she’s as close to sated as she’ll ever be. The hole in her soul never goes away completely, but feasting makes it feel smaller: something to step over and ignore, for a time.

Besides, she plans to eat again, soon.

Her servants cart the “deathless” one’s body away as she reels, clutching the mortuary slab. Sekhem’s stronger than hashish or unmixed wine, but it doesn’t confuse her. It makes her brilliant, like a child seeing constellations in the stars for the first time. Out of nothing but sky, the gods dance. She’s the smartest woman in the world again.

Mortals dance, too, in Alexandria tonight: Laborers stagger drunk and full through the narrow streets, sometimes stalked by thieves, and sometimes stalking each other with wine-soaked aggression, ready to fight. Whenever people drink and kill they refresh the earth, too, opening each other with small knives and letting Shezmu’s red vintage drip out.

In red-roofed mansions, courtyards glow with fires where the well-to-do celebrate less enthusiastically, with plentiful food, watery wine, and nervous chatter. Today, Mark Antony made himself Osiris to Cleopatra’s Isis. Nefersobk lives in such a house but mostly alone, and in the dark. Her fires have died and she can see all the Fate-arrayed stars above. She sent her servants home, well-paid and discreet, and she has no slaves to stoke the flames at night. She passes her outer walls for the streets.

Divine titles aren’t blasphemous, as long as you can keep them. It has always been right for gods to rule the Black Land, and for men and women of power to be their bau-presences in this world. Unfortunately, even the gods obey political realities. The wealthy know this. Cleopatra’s father bought his way back to the throne with Roman money, so her divine ascension was never foreordained, but a business transaction. They called him the Flutist, the Bastard, the Debtor. She hears a loud, rich neighbor say the names tonight as she walks past his house (but he stays away from her dark, cursed house). She avoids firelight as she goes. People here have two basic responses to a woman walking alone at night and they both enrage her. She doesn’t want to kill anyone right now.

The Bastard debased coins to pay back Rome, so aristocrats hoard old and foreign money. Everybody knows it. That’s why thieves a cut above Alexandria’s street muggers will climb their walls tonight, with longer, sharper knives. Some of them are Nefersobk’s agents. They are not necessarily aware of the fact. The chain of influence, through bored scribes, bribed tax collectors, and hawkeyed nomads, is too complex to fully describe to anyone stupider than her — or even to her, when she hasn’t eaten enough to manifest her full brilliance — but in the end a list of names and houses reached a certain village at the edge of the desert, and its redheaded, mad natives saw an opportunity to get rich and perform certain rites for the glory of Sutek, who they call a forefather.

These Parangelía Seth are witches. Nefersobk is smart enough to keep her distance. She turns down a crooked alley. Tonight will be the first time she’s ever met them. The Arisen are not as intelligent. When Sybaris twitched, a great snake nailed to the world by Fate’s fallen stars, they came back. They woke up buried brethren and they’re all so excited by what they read out of the Sickness, of Azar’s return, of Cleopatra as Esit, the god-king’s vessel of rebirth. She notes that of course, Esit is nothing but a womb with a crown to the Deathless, who have always been unimaginative users of men and particularly, women.

She understands why: To enslave others, one must believe in his heart that every person has a natural owner. As the Arisen own they long to be owned, to be ruled again, and not merely influenced by cryptic Judges. They can’t imagine that the Black Land left them behind, gave its fertility to new owners: mortals, sorcerers who learned from old scrolls and omens in this magic-soaked land.

ARE YOU NOT OWNED AS WELL? The voice is not hers, but echoes from the hole in her soul, from the ever-hungry jaws under all worlds. And her mind chants: Not by choice.

Never by choice.


View the full article

Mortekai

In all the excitement over yesterday’s ss_21247c383ab8007ecf87a9e5da5a911157a54 releases I neglected to mention another avenue of play which has been enjoying new releases:

Scarred Lands material is being made available on Fantasy Grounds (FG/Steam)!

Fantasy Grounds already supported our new introductory adventure:

  • Gauntlet of Spiragos for 5e (FG/Steam)
  • Gauntlet of Spiragos for Pathfinder (FG/Steam)

And they’ve recently been adding support for classic d20-era products:

  • Shelzar: City of Sin for Pathfinder/3.5 (FG/Steam)
  • Blood Bayou for Pathfinder/3.5 (FG/Steam)
  • Echoes of the Past: The Slarecian Legacy for Pathfinder/3.5 (FG/Steam)

We’re looking forward to seeing more Fantasy Grounds Scarred Lands material!


View the full article

Mortekai

234188-211x300.pngToday we spotlight another of the Canis Minor releases: Character Creation with Oliver & Odie by Josh Wasta. Eddy talks about what he likes about this release.

Character Creation with Oliver & Odie is great, because people are always telling me how they want to play their dog in Pugmire. It’s great to hear, but it’s not something I gave explicit advice on. Josh took the opportunity of using Canis Minor to address that, giving two concrete examples of how to emulate the personalities of two different dogs and make them into Pugmire characters. Even his tagline of “playing not just A good dog but YOUR good dog” is wonderful. I can’t wait to see more Canis Minor products like these!

Character Creation with Oliver & Odie is pay what you want at DriveThruRPG.com.

Do you want to try your own hand at making Pugmire products? Then check out Canis Minor!


View the full article

Mortekai

Dagger-5e-232x300.jpgNow available print from DriveThruRPG: Dagger of Spiragos, the second part of the Spiragos Saga for Scarred Lands, in 5e OGL and Pathfinder:

The Titans’ Relics Must Be Destroyed! 

Artifacts from the fallen titan Spiragos have been recovered, and forces are at work that would see them used for ill. The Dagger of Spiragos and the Ring of Spiragos are now in the player characters’ hands — and they must do what they can to rid Scarn of the foul relics of the titans, whatever the cost!

What Came Before 

Dagger of Spiragos is a sequel to the 2014 Gen Con Scarred Lands Special Preview adventure, Gauntlet of Spiragos (available as a free download on DriveThruRPG. com and RPGnow.com). It is also the second adventure in the Spiragos Saga, with Ring of Spiragos, the dramatic finale, as the third and culminating title.

In Gauntlet of Spiragos, the PCs traveled to the legendary Chasm of Flies, where they discovered a tribe of spider-eye goblins who possessed relics of their fallen master, Spiragos. Now, with those items in hand, the PCs travel to the city of Fangsfall, where they must seek aid in destroying the foul objects.

But others wish to possess these items, too.

RingofSpiragos5eCover-232x300.jpgAlso available in PDF and print, the third and final part of the Spiragos Saga: the Ring of Spiragos in 5e OGL and Pathfinder:

Destroy the Relics — or Preserve Them?!

The player characters have recovered artifacts from the fallen titan Spiragos the Ambusher, but forces are at work that would see them stolen and used for evil ends. The titanshards must be destroyed, but first the means to do so must be found – and the heroes might learn that destroying the relics is not the only, nor the best option!

What Came Before

Ring of Spiragos is a sequel to the 2014 Gen Con Special Preview adventure Gauntlet of Spiragos (available as a free download on DriveThruRPG.com and RPGnow.com) and the second installment in the series, Dagger of Spiragos. It is the action-packed third and final adventure in the Spiragos Saga.

You can now get the entire Spiragos Saga — Gauntlet, Dagger, and Ring — bundled together: Spiragos Saga 5e Bundle and Spiragos Saga Pathfinder Bundle.

HDNP_Sussurus-232x300.jpgAlso available in PDF (whew, busy week): Hundred Devils Night Parade part 14: Lodestar and Susuruss:

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: Lodestar and Susurrus

The Lodestar and Susuruss will make fantastic additions to your Exalted game.

And Adversaries of the Righteous part 9: Fivefold Masks and Lies:

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: Fivefold Masks and Lies

Khuruga, the Esteemed Minister of Social Unrest, is a busy god, especially in this day and age. He has no time to see to his purview’s promotion, but his ambition demands continued advancement. Fortunately, he has children. Fivefold Masks and Lies is the latest of the chaotic god’s progeny, by way of a mortal supplicant, and they are a willing and eager servant of their divine father.

Kickstarter Update

Fetch-Quest-Video-Splash-300x169.jpgLast week we wrapped up the Fetch Quest deck-building card game Kickstarter!

  • We funded in 21 hours, and since raised $21,059 of our $6,000 goal, or 351%
  • We’ve got 488 backers
  • We’ve passed four stretch goals:
    • A Kickstarter backer T-shirt
    • Fetch Quest Booster Cards: 6 Pioneers from the Monarchies of Mau
    • Fetch Quest unlocked for Canis Minor community content. Create your own cards!

By this time next week, we’ll have launched the Kickstarter for Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition.

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

Community Spotlight

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

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

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


View the full article

Mortekai

210616-232x300.jpgHello, lovely Dreamers! Matthew Dawkins here to provide an intriguing extract from our upcoming Player’s Guide for Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition. Co-developers, Pete Woodworth and Luka Carroll selected this piece of Josh Harrison’s draft on the Siochain, which I hope you’ll enjoy. Please post your thoughts in the comments below, along with any questions about the book content, and I’ll ask Luka and Pete to check them out!

From Pete: Here’s a neat excerpt from our section on Siochain, the legendary changeling immortals who we’re covering in detail for the first time. It’s written by Josh Harrison, and yes, I’m ending it on a bit of a cliffhanger because I’m a jerk and want the players curious for more:

The Immortals

The Changeling Way allows Kithain to survive. Through the magic of this ancient rite, faerie cleverness flouts the cruelties of time and, in new contexts, stories bloom perennial. Yet for all its power, the Way is not without its cost. Glimmering but fragile, a changeling is a dream too clear to last. Bedlam and Banality take their prices in turn, and sooner or later, almost every changeling is Undone, one way or another.

Almost every changeling.

There are those who strive beyond, those who shun the cycle of rebirth in favor of a pristine immortality. These daring few wager their very selves to chase the dream impossible. From sacrifice to sacrifice, they work to become a living part of the Dreaming, an eternal narrative icon, and a symbol of harmony between worlds. To succeed, they must learn to bring their mortal and fae selves into perfect balance. Those who find the summit at journey’s end earn a Mantle: a blessing from the world of stories signifying their new role as Siochain, faerie immortals.

Rare and shrouded in rumors, the Siochain are living legends. The stories that swirl around these accomplished Kithain have only a few common traits. The Siochain are ageless, called to serve the Dreaming for all time. The Siochain step outside the normal cycle of the Changeling Way, transforming into a new type of faerie creature as part of their journeys. And, most mysteriously, the Siochain gather in secret councils to help shape the story of Kithain as a whole. Some believe that such a council originally devised the Changeling Way to share with the world, gifting others with a form of the immortality they’d earned themselves.

An aspirant to this legendary status soon discovers that all these things and more are true.

Most changelings still believe that the Siochain are a comforting legend, nothing more than an invention devised to patch an anxiety common to the Kithain. But some have turned to tales of the Siochain for hope in the face of the Autumn World’s wilting Glamour. Despite the new surge of interest in their dealings, the Siochain themselves remain resistant as ever to inquiry. Though some mingle with the Kithain, they stay elusive on the particulars of their status, and most Siochain communicate only through cryptic messages sent from secluded lairs and studies when they profess the truth of their transcendence.

Immortality does not provide the ultimate safety against the encroaching forces of fathomless shadow and despair. The Changeling Way gives a fae soul a mortal mask to use as a security blanket, keeping their tragic heart warm amidst the deepening Winter. The Siochain path, the immortals learn, transforms this safety net into a magnifying lens, making the changeling’s fae soul more vulnerable to the mortal world and not less. The secret lies not in protecting the self from Banality and its wailing counterpart, Bedlam, but in welcoming each in turn. Only wisdom won through a double disaster of the mundane and ordinary can kindle a light that will not fail in a changeling heart.

The Siochain represent important anchors for the Dreaming. They volunteer to bring true, archetypal Story into the world by the means of their Mantles. Though it earns them rare and special gifts, their sacrifice is ultimately selfless. They gain a lifetime without end, but that life must be spent in constant service to their kind. Fae immortals invest the time they earn, finding every possible way to help the power of narrative flow back into the Autumn World.

To do so, they must not only master the tropes of the Dreaming, but embrace the calm, predictable mundane. Siochain are the champions of the fantastic ordinary and the whimsical quotidian. They can find the treasure map in a bus route and the spreadsheet in a sigil. The Dreaming charges its immortals to cherish and celebrate both of their twinned selves, granting endless tomorrows only to those who keep their disparate aspects in perfect balance. Striving to achieve and maintain that balance defines every Siochain, from initiate seeker to legendary immortal.

Becoming Siochain

Any changeling may strive to become an icon and claim immortality, and indeed many motivations might drive a Kithain toward the path. Some desire a closer relationship to the Dreaming and a chance to understand its secrets. Others feel drawn to the perilous road by destiny. A few become the students of existing Siochain, by accident or design, as =immortals sometimes seek to pass on their gift and return to life as ordinary changelings. Most simply hear the legend of the Siochain and elect to dedicate themselves, as have the storied few, to the service of the Dreaming. Becoming one of the Siochain is a spiritual transformation, more like a sharpening of focus than transcendence or ascension.

Siochain are very much still changelings, after all, just existing with a slightly different perspective.

No matter how a changeling arrives to the quest, the first step is always the same. A revelation appears, calling the Kithain to wager their soul in glorious adventure. This revelation takes on characteristics from the more neglected of the changeling’s twin selves. If the seeker has embraced their fae side more, the message will be an inter-office memo or a mobile phone alert, a jagged bolt of normalcy interrupting a dream. If they are more comfortable in their mortal life, the revelation will be a watercolor streak of nonsense woven through their daily routine. Some push the interruption aside, and in so doing, miss their chance at something greater. But others grab hold of it and follow where it takes them, which leads to the first great revelation and officially begins their journey toward immortality: choosing a Mantle.


View the full article

Mortekai

Araya_Lost2e-300x208.jpg

It’s that time for a brief (riiight) look at just why we even have Monday Meeting Notes in order to have this blog. As we tighten up and re-purpose this and our other blogs, as you may have noticed these past few months, let me fill you in on just what this one, in particular, is all about.

Really, it’s an extension of the basic idea of starting the week off with a situation report that looks back at the last week to see what was accomplished, and looks forward to the coming week and what needs doin’. Full disclosure, I stole the idea from my head of Creative Services back in my TV days, and grafted it to the company-wide lunch meetings we had in the first months of White Wolf way back in the day.

Back then, I used the meeting to see if the production team had hit their goals from the meeting before, re-evaluate those goals based on why they were missed, and if they were met we set new ones at the meeting. They were individual goals, mostly, and such things as “Finish Mage splat character pencils”, or “Get half of Wraith laid out”, or “Get quotes from three different printers for the Aeon plastic book”.

By doing this during the meeting, the whole department was aware of both the challenges and the status of the various parts of the creation of the books. Sam needed Josh to finish those Mage splat drawings so he could get the initial layout done, for example. I’d also share the info I had learned during the previous Friday’s X-Meeting, which was the name for the WW weekly managers’ meeting. So long as the info was not top secret, I’d share it so that our team had the best information to base their decisions on.

It was a good system, and we had fewer left hands not knowing what the right hands were doing. I even heard rumors that the developer boyfriend of one of our designers would ask her for notes on the info to share with the devs at their meeting.

So naturally, I incorporated a Monday Lunch Meeting when I started Onyx Path. Putting the notes up in this blog was also based on a previous incarnation, this time with notes that started informal but turned into a formal weekly thing years later at WW after we had internet venues to post them to. With our belief in community and transparency, it just made sense to use this blog format to provide a regular reporting on how things stand at Onyx.

 

 

AaronRiley_TheyCameFromBeneaththeSea-223

They Came From Beneath the Sea! art by Aaron Riley

 

 

Plus, for me, this was the modern equivalent of Stan Lee’s Soapbox, a “column” that appeared in the news page of Marvel comics way back in the day that enabled the lead guy at Marvel to continue to talk right to the reader, even if he wasn’t working on every book like he had been.

Love him or hate him, Stan succeeded in making readers feel that there were actual people involved in the making of the comics. At least young Rich Thomas did as he pored over the new X-Men – isn’t that Wolverine from Hulk? – and all the other 20 and 25 cent comics.

As for the meeting itself, we’ve actually put together a pretty organized routine at this point. We start the meeting with any big-picture, company-wide news. Then, Eddy, Matthew, and Dixie go through the status of the upcoming projects they have oversight over, then Mirthful Mike goes over where the projects are in art direction and layout. We discuss all news about the projects, with special emphasis on any roadblocks they are having.

Then Mighty Matt McElroy goes over any Operations news – which is basically things like conventions, sales and sales venues, business opportunities, etc. If there’s anything not covered previously, like vacations or the like, we wrap up with that.

Using their reports, which are also written out and updated each week, I then update the project progress parts of this blog, and then pick through the jokes and banter to get to several topics that the gang discussed in more detail that I think you folks will be interested in.

Which is really a huge part of the point of this blog. Where once, Monday Lunch Meetings allowed our staff to be aware of what everybody was working on, now the Monday Meeting Notes blog is set up so all of you erudite blog readers can look right into what we’re up to, and how, each week.

 

 

Gaydos_Handbookrcentlydeceased-232x300.j

Cover art for Wraith20’s Handbook for the Recently Deceased by Michael Gaydos

 

 

 

And with that, here are a few highlights from the meeting today:

  • We’re excited to announce that we’re partnering with Fabricate, LLC to provide Scarred Lands adventures for Expedition!

Expedition is a light RPG using cards and a smartphone or tablet. Whether you’re new to the genre or a D&D veteran, whether you’re playing alone, with a group of friends, your spouse or with your kids – anyone can learn to play in less than 5 minutes! There are new quests and adventures every week, and the Expedition community can even create their own adventures and share them with others. With this new license, Scarred Lands-specific content will be available as booster cards and through the app. The team are really excited about this, so don’t be surprised if you see them posting in our Scarred Lands forums soon as well! If you want to learn more about Expedition, you can look them up here: https://expeditiongame.com/

 

  • Gen Con 2018 is only a month away, and we’ve been busy with new brochures (one with all of our lines, and one just for Storypath System games), pins, card hand-outs, signage, all that con stuff we do. We’ll be announcing at least one new license, new projects, and two separate “What’s Up With the Onyx Path?” panels (Thursday and Saturday) which will pretty much cover the same info although the panelists may differ. It’s an experiment to see if we can open up more time for everybody, not jamming folks in to one session. There’s also a freelancing panel and a developer boot-camp session for those creators wanting to get into the biz.

 

  • The Onyx Pathcast audience continues to grow, and last week the Trio of Terror interviewed writer and developer Steffie de Vaan and talked a lot about Promethean. This Friday’s Pathcast is all about freelancing in general, since they all do that, and freelancing for Onyx Path specifically. Plus, we’re making plans for some Onyx Pathcast broadcasting at/from Gen Con. More on that when we know more.

 

  • We went over the Fetch Quest Kickstarter a bit, just reaffirming that it did well for its audience, but didn’t break out into the larger card game audience. It would have been nice, but we funded and more than tripled that amount, so it will be great to have it in stores. Card games are still something that we’ll do when a cool idea comes our way, and we’ll continue demoing Fetch Quest and Prince’s Gambit, and see where that kind of exposure leads.

 

  • Next, we have prepped most of the material for the Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition Kickstarter, and are audaciously planning on putting it live on Monday, July 2nd at 12 noon EDT. We think that the audiences for this and Fetch Quest are significantly different, so there shouldn’t be much KS fatigue, and so we can run this before Gen Con. If, for some reason, we can’t make that happen, we’ll run it over Gen Con – but I’m trying to give our guys a break by letting them enjoy the con and any August vacations they so rightfully deserve without worrying about an ongoing Kickstarter.

 

So, like we end with every week, you know:

Many Worlds, One Path!

 

 

BLURBS!

KICKSTARTER:

Fetch-Quest-Logo-for-Blog-300x64.png

Thanks, everyone who backed Fetch Quest and helped us bring it to stores!

Next up, Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition Kickstarter…we’re aiming at starting this Kickstarter at 12 noon EDT on Monday July 2nd…if we can!

 

 

ELECTRONIC GAMING:

onyx_dice-300x146.png

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

Screenshot_20171102-122019-169x300.pngScreenshot_20171102-121920-169x300.pngScreenshot_20171102-121912-169x300.png

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:

Fiction-Wave-1-300x102.png

Fiction-Wave-2-300x102.png

Fiction-Wave-3-300x93.png

Amazon-Wave-4-300x100.png

Fiction-Wave-51-300x103.png

  • 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:

logo.png

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

 

 

iprlogo

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:

site-logo-redesignd-300x64.png

This Wednesday is a veritable Sword and Sorcery Day, with the DriveThruRPG releases of the PoD version of the Scarred Land‘s adventure the Dagger Of Spiragos, and the PDF and PoD versions of the third of the Scarred Lands adventures: the Ring of Spiragos!

Along with the Gauntlet of Spiragos, these three adventures provide an outstanding way to first get into the epic fantasy Scarred Lands setting – available in both 5e and Pathfinder versions.

DaggerofSpiragosPFCover-232x300.jpgRingofSpiragos5eCover-232x300.jpg

 

As if that wasn’t enough, it is the last Wednesday of the month – so here are our Monthly Exalted 3rd PDF downloads:

HDNP_Sussurus-232x300.jpg

For Hundred Devils Night Parade, we have Susurrus and Lodestar, and for Adversaries of the Righteous, we have Fivefold Mask & Lies.

 

 

 

 

 

CONVENTIONS!

Prep is seriously 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)
  • 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)
  • Changeling: The Lost 2nd Companion (Changeling: The Lost 2nd)
  • Changeling: The Lost 2nd Jumpstart (Changeling: The Lost 2nd)
  • Night Horrors: Nameless and Accursed (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)
  • Heirs to the Shogunate (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Witch-Queen of the Shadowed Citadel (Cavaliers of Mars)

 

Redlines

  • Deviant: The Renegades (Deviant: The Renegades)
  • Spilled Blood (Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition)
  • In Media Res (Trinity Continuum: Core)
  • Wr20 Book of Oblivion (Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition)

 

Second Draft

  • WoD Ghost Hunters (World of Darkness)
  • Tales of Good Dogs – Pugmire Fiction Anthology (Pugmire)
  • Night Horrors: Shunned by the Moon (Werewolf: The Forsaken 2nd Edition)
  • Dog and Cat Ready Made Characters (Monarchies of Mau)
  • Aeon Aexpansion (Trinity Continuum: Aeon)
  • C20 Players’ Guide (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)

 

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!)
  • CofD Contagion Chronicle (Chronicles of Darkness)
  • Dystopia Rising: Evolution (Dystopia Rising: Evolution)

 

Manuscript Approval:

 

Editing:

  • Guide to the Night (Vampire: The Requiem 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)
  • Night Horrors: The Tormented (Promethean: The Created 2nd 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 – Stuff is progressing…slowly, but progressing.
  • Trinity Continuum 
  • Geist 2e – KS artwork continues.
  • The Realm
  • M20 Gods and Monsters
  • Ex3 Dragon Blooded – More sketches coming in.
  • Promethean Night Horrors: The Tormented – Sketches and finals coming in.
  • VtR – Guide to the Night Sam is doing the fulls and cover.

 

Marketing Stuff

  • Posters and Displays
  • Gen Con Cards

 

In Layout

  • Fetch Quest Playtest decks uploaded.

 

Proofing

  • Scion Origin Onyx review.
  • Changeling: the Lost 2 – Josh is working on the interior fixing.
  • Storyteller System Brochure

 

At Press

  • V20 Beckett’s Jyhad Diary & Beckett Screen & V20 Dice – KS backer rewards shipping.
  • Scion Dice – At fulfillment shipper.
  • Monarchies of Mau In Indexing.
  • Monarchies of Mau Screen – Files sent to printer.
  • Cavaliers of Mars Screen – Files sent to printer.
  • Wr20 Guide for Newly Departed – PoD uploaded.
  • Gen Con Buttons At press.
  • WoD and CofD reroll cards At press.
  • FQ and PG Gen Con cards At press.
  • Wraith 20 Screen Files sent to printer.
  • GenCon Brochure Files sent to printer.

 


TODAY’S REASON TO CELEBRATE: Although the one-year anniversary of his passing was last week, here’s to the creative work and legacy of my friend, and co-founder of White Wolf, Stewart Wieck. A year? Really? Doesn’t seem real.


View the full article

Mortekai

In which Dixie and Matthew interview one of our newest developers, Steffie de Vaan!


View the full article

Mortekai

CtL2-Fake-Mockup-1-214x300.jpgIn today’s character creation installment, Bill Bodden dives into the upcoming Changeling: The Lost 2nd Edition for the Chronicles of Darkness.

After I read through Changeling: The Lost 2nd Edition, I was struck by how bleak the setting can be. You have a character that’s been held prisoner in another world, and a doppleganger has replaced them in ours. At the same time, the setting also presents a wealth of opportunities for gameplay, because your character can now build a life exactly the way they want it to be.

Changeling explores the potentially uncomfortable aspects of the being in the Faerie Realm along with the good and legendary ones. To me, it is both stark and hopeful.

Step One: Concept

After reading about the Elemental class of changelings, I was intrigued. These changelings are people who have been physically transformed by Fae magic to perform tasks that are otherwise impossible for them. To be clear, most changelings undergo some sort of change brought about by their masters — emotional, mental or physical — but the change for Elementals seems to be more dramatic than most. The more I considered it, the more I thought it would be cool to be one of these hyper-transformed changelings.

I settled on an unusual background: my character, Jack, was a reflecting pool, a human changed into living water. Over time, Jack learned to control his water shape during his captivity, and eventually flowed out and across his mistress’ estate to find the Hedge. Slowly but surely, Jack flowed through the Hedge, under it, and around it, until he was free on the other side.

Jack’s mistress molded him to perform a precise task for her: to impersonate water and remember all he heard or saw. What she didn’t know, however, is that Jack didn’t tell her everything. Now, he is protected from retribution by a substantial network of information and secrets, which he mostly uses to his advantage for blackmail and leverage. After all, who would think a gazing pool would be anything other than water? As the need arises, he may also use this store of knowledge to keep others safe from their former masters. Jack no longer remembers much about his life before he was taken to the Fae Realms, and he’s come to the realization that this may be for the best.

As part of my concept for Jack, I must also choose three Aspirations for my character. Aspirations are short-or-long term goals the character has, and once accomplished, the player earns a beat and may exchange it to improve their character at the end of a chronicle. Completed Aspirations are replaced by another such goal so that the character always has three in play at any given time. Jack’s Aspirations tie in with his personality; he’s lost track of what family and friends he had in this world, and instead has latched on to new characters to create his support network.

With that in mind, Jack’s starting Aspirations are: one, find allies, two, help others escape the Fae Realm, three, protect friends and allies from the Fae. The first is simple enough, but presumably once his relationships form in-game, Jack probably will move on to another goal. The second could be an ongoing goal, or it could refer to a specific friend, lover, or confidante that my character wants to help. The third could also be ongoing, but could easily fit a Storyteller’s goals. At the discretion of my Storyteller, my character might cycle through these initial goals and replace them with more relevant Aspirations that fit his chronicle.

Step Two: Attributes

In this step, I assign Attributes. Elemental changelings get +1 dot to any one of their resistance row of scores — Resolve, Stamina or Composure. Also, any time Jack is touching “his” element — water — he may take mundane actions from as far as 3 yards (meters) away. However, it seems no blessing comes without a curse. The curse on Elementals is that they risk Clarity damage with a dice pool equal to half their Wyrd (rounded up) whenever someone browbeats, coerces, or forces them to act against their will.

Since I’m new to the setting, it’s tough for me to strategize how to arrange my stats for maximum effect. I’m thinking mental skills will be important to resist the Fae Gentry’s wiles and schemes, and Social might also be useful to form alliances with other changelings for mutual protection. Physical stats are always necessary for the characters I build, but here I’m opting to rank that last.

Jack’s Attributes are now as follows: Intelligence 3, Wits 3, Resolve 2, Strength 2, Dexterity 3, Stamina 2, Presence 2, Manipulation 2, Composure 3. I put the bonus dot in Stamina: I have a feeling Jack’s going to need it.

Step Three: Skills

I opt to rank skill groups to match Jack’s Attributes: primary is Mental, secondary is Social, and tertiary is Physical. My 11 dots in in Mental skills are arranged as follows: one each to Academics, Computer, Crafts, Medicine, and Science, and two each to Investigation, Occult, and Politics. For Social skills, I choose one each in Empathy, Expression, Persuasion, Socialize and Streetwise, with two dots in Subterfuge for a total of seven. Lastly, I opt for one dot each allocated to Brawl, Stealth, Survival, and Weaponry for a total of four in Physical skills.

Step Four: Skill Specialties

For Jack’s three skill specialties, I’m going to boost my Physical skills to make his character more well-rounded and thematically capable. They are as follows: Brawl, Improvised Weapon, Subterfuge, Misdirection, and Stealth, Move Silently.

Step Five: Add Lost Template

To me, the C:tL 2E character template is unique when I compared this section to the other Chronicles of Darkness gamelines I was familiar with and, as such, I spent more time thinking about what choices I wanted to make during this step.

Seeming is the type of changeling your character was made into. My character, Jack, is an Elemental; other types of changelings include Ogres, Fairest, and Darklings. Kith is a refinement of my character’s Seeming, and grants him specialized abilities. My character’s Kith is Mirrorskin, which is essentially a shape changer, and meshes nicely with his role as a gatherer of secrets. Mirrorskin also directly ties into his backstory, and helped him escape. In addition to altering his shape, when Jack uses Stealth, a Mirrorskin counts three successes as if they were an exceptional success — equal to five or more successes.

Jack’s Wyrd is 1. I could buy an extra Wyrd by spending half my Merit points during character creation, but I decide not to because it’s too costly.

Regalia are symbols of the contracts the True Fae forged with the world when the earth was young. The favored Regalia of the Elementals is the sword.  Since the Elementals are often used as weapons, I feel the symbolism is highly appropriate. Jack’s secondary favored Regalia is the mirror, which symbolizes enhancing the senses and revealing secrets.

For Jack’s Court, I’m torn. Belonging to a Court may not seem wise for a changeling who’s trying to hide but, at the same time, a Court provides mutual protection, offers a few advantages, and like-minded characters to build relationships with. Advantages for joining a Court include access to the Court’s Contracts and invaluable contacts that’ll be great to further Jack’s Aspirations. After reviewing my options, I settled on the Spring Court. I like the idea of being part of a group, and Jack is sure to want to build friendships within the Spring Court.

Anchors

All changelings have Anchors, which are reminders of their former life to help ground them in reality. Often, a changeling’s Anchors can provide the motivation to escape. I choose Anchors that flesh Jack’s character out to give me a better sense of who he is.

For Needle, I choose Composer. Jack revels in the beauty of the word, even when others may not feel the same way. He can recover used Willpower by embracing the splendor of things that lack traditionally accepted definitions of beauty.

For Thread, I opt for Friendship. Having been alone, in service to his Mistress, Jack longs for human contact and connections. When Jack accepts disadvantageous or dangerous situations to help a friend, he can gain back previously used Willpower.

Jack’s Touchstone, his final anchor, is a new home. It’s small and modest, sandwiched between larger buildings downtown, and everything to him.

As a starting character, Jack has yet to discover his Frailties. Frailties are weaknesses, quirks, and obsessions that changelings — and the Fae themselves — have as a manifestation of the Wyrd inherent in Fae lands and its denizens. The more powerful a changeling, the more Frailties they are likely to possess.

Step Six: Add Merits

Jack has 10 points to spend on Merits. Because I’ve decided Jack joined a Court, he receives one dot of the mantle of his Court for free. Mantles convey status in Court, and also offer other benefits.

I decide to spend Jack’s Merit points on the following:

Hedge Sense (•) This Merit will help him find his way around the treacherous Hedge between the lands of humans and Fae.

Hollow (•••) A Hollow is a gap in the hedge, a hide-out of sorts, and Jack uses it to escape from Mundane pressures, and use it as a hiding place when the Fae or their Huntsmen come looking for him. Each dot can be spent on accoutrements within the Hollow, and I’ve chosen Luxury Goods, Phantom Phone Booth, and Size Matters. Luxury Goods allows Jack the chance to have any one item he needs at hand in his Hollow. Phantom Phone Booth gives him a phone that can call into the human world. Lastly, Size Matters gives Jack a larger space inside the Hollow, where he and his allies could fit comfortably.

Safe Place (•) Safe Place is tied to Jack’s Touchstone, his new home in the human world. It’s not much, and it’s not impregnable if attacked, but he’s had time to set up a trap or two, and stock it with supplies and weapons in case he needs them. As Jack grows in experience, his Safe Place will grow as well.

Stable Trod (•) A Stable Trod is a firm path through the Hedge. This path doesn’t move or disappear like other Hedge paths do.

Eidetic Memory (••) Jack’s training as a reflecting pool was to gather information and secrets for his Mistress. Being able to remember even the most minute details about these details is important, so this is a skill that was beaten into him. This is totally unlike me in real life, so having this Merit is appealing on a personal level.

Fast Reflexes (•) Jack is a water elemental, so having Fast Reflexes feels like a good fit.

Trained Observer (•) Jack’s time as an observer and intelligence-gatherer makes this Merit a no-brainer.

Step Seven: Determine Advantages

Size: 5
Health: Size + Stamina = 7
Speed: 5 + Strength + Dexterity = 10
Willpower: Resolve + Composure = 5
Maximum Clarity: Wits + Composure = 6
Initiative: Dexterity + Composure = 6
Defense: (Lower of Wits or Dexterity) + Athletics = 3

Jack’s Glamour pool has a maximum of 10

Contracts

Contracts are the bargains made by the Fae Nobles with the Wyrd when the world was still young. Contracts allow changeling characters to use a specific spell by paying its associated price by spending Glamour or, occasionally, a point of Willpower.

The six starting Contracts I’ve chosen for Jack — two Royal and four Common — are: Skinmask, The Walls Have Ears, Fae Cunning, Elemental Weapon, Gift of Warm Breath, and Gift of Warm Blood. I think it’s a good mix to give Jack some magic to use in combat, for defense, to heal, and to investigate.

Skinmask is a Royal Contract associated with the Mirror Regalia. It allows the wielder to assume the shape of a specific person, Fae, or Changeling after reciting three truths about that individual.

The Walls Have Ears is a Common Mirror Contract. It allows the user to speak a secret from his time in Arcadia aloud to an object, and have the object tell him a secret about itself in exchange. By using this Contract, Jack could learn things like the best way to utilize an object or find its weaknesses.

Fae Cunning is a Common Shield Contract that allows the user to avoid being struck by blows or weapons. Sometimes, an attack might even be redirected to a different target.

Elemental Weapon is a Common Sword Regalia Contract that allows the user to turn any element into a weapon; the character may choose to add extra damage, increase the range, or decrease any initiative penalty normally incurred during that combat round. The user may also mix and match the effects, depending on the number of successes rolled.

Gift of Warm Breath is a Common Spring Court contract allowing the user to heal Conditions, such as poison and fatigue, and bashing damage.

Gift of Warm Blood is a Royal Contract (Spring Court) permitting the user to create a healing salve that downgrades one wound per success from Aggravated to Lethal, and from Lethal to Bashing.

Now that Jack’s character has been fleshed out, he is ready to help other changelings escape the clutches of the Fae and seek his own happiness. I really enjoyed this process because, as I developed this changeling character, I felt myself being drawn into the setting. I’m more intrigued by Changeling: The Lost Second Edition now than when I first started; I hope to put together a game soon, so I can play Jack in a chronicle.

Changeling: The Lost 2nd Edition is available for preorder via BackerKit.


View the full article

Mortekai

Boggans-Front-232x300.jpgNow available in PDF and print from DriveThruRPG: Kithbook: Boggans for Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition!

Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest differences in life, and nowhere is this more evident than the boggan kith. Although they have preferred to let others glory in the spotlight, this industrious kith has worked its own subtle and patient magic over the centuries, drawing power from dreams of hearth and comfort and becoming no less than the bedrock of Kithain society. Even heroes need homes to return to, after all.

For the first time ever, the secrets and gossip of the boggan kith are being shared with outsiders. So pull your chair closer to the fire, take up a fresh cup of tea, and listen carefully, because the real truth about these unsung heroes is finally coming to light.

Kithbook: Boggans features:

  • A history of this unassuming yet vital kith, and how they’ve subtly shaped the Dreaming.
  • Insight into boggan nature combined with advice for bringing boggan characters to life.
  • Ready-made characters for quick play, and profiles of famous boggans past and present.
  • New Treasures, Merits, and Flaws for boggan characters.

Also now available via our Indie Press Revolution store:

Kickstarter Update

Fetch-Quest-Video-Splash-300x169.jpgLast week we launched the Fetch Quest deck-building card game Kickstarter! With fewer than 24 hours remaining:

  • We funded in 21 hours, and have since raised $19,661 of our $6,000 goal, or 328%
  • We’ve got 453 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 has four days remaining, 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:


View the full article

Mortekai

Following up on a previous Sudamérica preview, today we offer a look at the continent’s Psi Order, the Norça.

PsiNeonNorca-300x300.pngThere is a power that humanity has both wielded and been the victim of since the era of cave paintings, a power that can achieve far greater things than the mightiest expression of psionic power. It’s a power the Norça have mastered, the power of myth. Ever since the psi orders revealed themselves, the biokinetic order has been shrouded in mystery, allowing gossip to grow as well as nurturing some of their own. The result is a public perception that is one part misconception, one part fable, and the rest is up in the air. In Sudamérica, the Norça are heroes of legend, the strangers that emerge from the wild to defeat evil and protect nature, only to vanish without giving so much as their nickname. In the rest of the world, they are the shadows in the corner, the eyes that pierce the strictest privacy, and the things that replace friends and family with ill-minded duplicates. This contradictory view suits the Norça just fine, as it allows them to conduct their true mission with greater ease, and to subvert their enemies’ expectations as they wish.

“Norça” is the shortened form of Nova Força Nacional, or New National Force, and while the public automatically assume the “national” part refers to Brazil, or Sudamérica as a whole, shifters answer with sly smirks and winks when asked “which nation?” The definition of nation under Proxy Giuseppe del Fuego is wide, extending to the whole of humanity, and representing the relationship of pride, love, and influence people have with their place of birth and the land that supported their growth. For del Fuego, this means the entirety of Earth.

Myths are more powerful when they have a kernel of truth, and while many tales are gross exaggerations, the Norça perform surreptitious patrols in remote locations as they hunt for resource traffickers, poachers, petty tyrants, environmental despoilers, and of course Aberrants. Although most of their patrols are in Sudamérica, where they are welcomed and have actual jurisdiction, they deploy wherever a threat to Earth and humanity appears, especially if del Fuego trusts nobody else to deal with it.

Their air of romanticism extends inward. Del Fuego has always understood the power of narrative, and created one for his Order so that every Norça, psion and neutral alike, feels pride in their mission and knows they are part of something greater. The core of the Norça’s internal narrative combines del Fuego’s sincere environmentalism with the teachings of Otha Herzog. Every Norça knows they are part of a noetic whole, symbolized by the land. They consider themselves avatars of life that mark them as defenders, champions, and guides.

This belief borders on magical thinking, but noetic awareness confirms how deeply interconnected the universe is. The nature of biokinesis itself lets Norça members understand their own life cycle, and they extrapolate this to the natural world. Del Fuego’s words ring true with the shifters’ senses.

Although Proxy del Fuego cultivates mystery and romanticism, he’s perfectly capable of using cold reason to convince cynics and demolishes arguments through logic as well as his considerable charisma. He has embraced the name he received as Pai dos Norça, the Father of the Norça, but discourages the loyalty of his followers from growing into a cult of personality. He wants all Norça to be independent and autonomous even as they are aware of the family to which they belong. He enjoys nothing more than one of his subordinates, whatever their station, contradicting him and then convincing him to adopt an alternative course of action.

Del Fuego ensured that his powerful narrative of belonging was fractal in nature. There is power in the individual, which brings power to the family, then to the group, the psi order, the community, the nation, the planet, the entire species, and the universe. This creates a complex network of organic relationships between Norça cells, task forces, and departments. It is customary for Norça to address each other as brothers and sisters in whatever language they speak, only using ranks and titles with others, or to maintain a clear chain of command during crises.

Del Fuego expects excellence from all his Norça whether they are psions or neutrals, and wishes them all to keep testing and surpassing their limits. Psi order Norça is infamous because of the potential for espionage and heroics biokinesis provides, but they also contribute to security, bioresearch, and environmental protection. Once they had clearly established that the biokinetics were here to fight Aberrants, they devoted their time and resources to ally themselves with Sudamérican companies and governments and made certain their environmental agenda was an integral part of all such alliances.

The noetic expertise of Norça researchers helped companies like the Colombian firm BioSystems rise to the top of biotechnological development, and these companies return the favor by providing the materials and goods the Norça need. Rather than compete with Orgotek in the consumer goods market, Norça and their affiliates focus on infrastructure and biomodification using vegetable templates, and are a silent partner in many endeavors, including the construction of the Brasilia BioArcology.

Pharmacology and applied biochemistry are two more fields of interest to the Norça, as a more precise knowledge of substances and the dynamics of proteins help them fine tune their own psionic powers. This often puts them in contact with the Æsculapians, and they are happy to trade information they deem shareable.

The Trinity Continuum Core Rulebook and Trinity Continuum: Æon are available for preorder via BackerKit.


View the full article

Mortekai

Disconcerting-Illusion1-300x208.jpg

Fetch-Quest-Logo-for-Blog-300x64.png

With tails wagging and tongue’s lolling, we are racing towards the last days of the Fetch Quest Kickstarter campaign! If you haven’t yet checked it out, please take a look at this easy to learn, cooperative, deck-building card game for all ages. The KS page has reviews and how to play links, and as a backer you can download a print’n’play version of your own and start having fun right now! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/200664283/fetch-quest-a-deck-building-game-in-the-realms-of/description

And once you do, let us know what you think! Card games aren’t our usual thing, so the more feedback we get on the game or the way the Fetch Quest Kickstarter is set up, the better we can do the next ones!

 

 

KMJ_Lost-2e-114x300.jpg

Changeling: The Lost 2nd art by Ken Meyer, Jr

 

 

Here are a few more bite-sized treats selected from what we talked about in the Monday Meeting today:

  • Our sales partners at IPR‘s sale on prestige edition Chronicles of Darkness books (Demon: The Descent, Mummy: The Curse, Dark Eras, Beast: The Primordial) and their Screens ends June 24th. These are the remaining books from their respective Kickstarters, and are traditional printed and bound, with bookmarks and embossed and varnished covers printed over metallic paper. They’re gorgeous and on sale. http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Onyx-Path-Publishing/
  • Fantasy Grounds has added Shelzar: City of Sins from Scarred Lands to their online store, so that their Virtual Tabletop community can now explore the most wicked city in the Scarred Lands. We’re very happy that our SL presence in VTT is starting to build with our friends at Fantasy Grounds!
  • Our plans for Gen Con 2018 are rolling forward – just check out the projects Mirthful Mike is working on right now – and we’re going to be waving at Paizo again on our front, and across the aisle sideways at White Wolf this year. So we’ll have a ring-side seat at the explosion of gamers coming for V5 this year. Meanwhile, we’ll have our good friends from the Wrecking Crew demoing again this year outside the exhibit hall in their own room, and at least one demo table at our booth going at all times. Expect us to announce some pretty wild projects this year!
  • Lots of folks working on lots of exciting books – just peruse the First Draft part of the Progress Report below! We still have some very important core books to deliver, and then a smorgasbord of different projects of all game lines and sizes are on their way.
  • Last Friday’s Onyx Pathcast that featured an overview and behind-the-scenes of Vampire: The Requiem 2nd has garnered a ton of fantastic comments all over the place, and rightfully so considering the Terribly Terrific Trio (or the Terrifically Terrible Trio) were really firing on all cylinders with this one. If you want to hear more of these project or game-line oriented Pathcasts, then join the crowd and let us know! This Friday, at least two thirds of the gang will be interviewing the amazing up-and-coming writer and developer, Steffie de Vaan.

 

 

 

Leblanc_lost-2e-300x227.jpg

Changeling: The Lost 2nd art by Brian LeBlanc

 

 

And now, as a change of pace, and as sort of an illustration equivalent to the Developer/Writer viewpoints in last Friday’s Onyx Pathcast, I thought I’d do a bit of a walk-through showing the steps Mirthful Mike and I go through as an art director when one of us commissions an artist to create an illustration for one of our books.

The developer should have provided the art notes for the pieces they know they need. Some devs will write out very detailed, multi-page, descriptions that specify every aspect of what the piece should contain, others will give very brief descriptions and leave the decisions as to what looks good to the artist.

As an art director, I’m looking for a bit of a middle zone where the developer includes descriptions or reference links for accuracy – character appearance, the location, etc – and very specifically what they need to see happen in the illustration. If the point is to show a power being used, we do need to know what that power does. If the point is to show our cool protagonist in a run-down bar, then a brief description of what sort of attitude is being expressed is important.

In the end, we prefer to give the artist just enough info so that they can run with a piece and show off their abilities while still holding to the subject matter we hired them to illustrate. We also like to have a good idea of which pieces are going to which illustrator so that we can fine tune the notes based on how they are most comfortable working.

Some artists like having as much info as possible in addition to the art notes, like the whole text or at least their chapter, while others find all that reading too much to deal with while trying to get to grips with their specific assignments. No wrong answer there, and we try and work with them to allow them to make their best work.

For example, here’s a link to the art notes for the full page pieces for Wraith 20th that we sent to Ken Meyer, Jr. For this project, Ken was illustrating all the full-page pieces and they needed to contain the various player-character types. Since we’ve been hiring Ken for longer than any of us care to be reminded about, RichD was able to keep the info pretty minimal for the actual fulls, while stressing the overall specific feel of Wr20 (as opposed to any of our many other game lines Ken has done his beautiful illustrations for). Here’s a link to those art notes: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B57iDF62OjtPaV9ySDZ3QlZtbEJqdW8yb2V4ZFVRZDdjRGVZ

Here’s the specific full-page description (in case you don’t want to read the PDF of the full art notes):

Chapter Nine – Drama
Chanteur – Petite wraith with an electric violin and a headset mike, playing the violin like it’s a
weapon. Because it is.

As per our illustration process, Ken then sent in a sketch worked up in pencil and based on a series of emails with Mirthful Mike that went over any questions that Ken might have:

KMJ-Wr20-sketch_chanteur-227x300.jpg

Depending on the project, Mike may loop in the developer, me, or a licensing partner like White Wolf, for commentary and to see if the subject matter is being handled as needed. Most of the time, Mike handles this stage himself – particularly when you consider that different artists sketch with different kinds of completeness. Some artists like to create very tight sketches and then use the final stages to take that tight sketch into the finished medium. Others like to have less detailed sketches and work out the details in their finish.

So an art director gets to know how to “read” the sketches of their different artists and respond appropriately.

In this particular case, the communication worked the way we like it to, because here’s the fantastic final piece:

KMJ-Wr20-chanteur_desat-229x300.jpg

Now figure that we go through those steps, and often have redos or tweaks at each stage, for every piece of art you see in every book and project we make. An art director’s job is never done, especially when they are keeping an eye on all the styles and subject matters we have in all our projects which span:

Many Worlds, One Path!

 

 

BLURBS!

KICKSTARTER:

Fetch-Quest-Logo-for-Blog-300x64.png

Fetch Quest, the adventure card game set in the Realms of Pugmire is down to its last days and we’d love to have you join us!

And if you’ve already pledged, 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!

Fetch-Quest-Video-Splash-300x169.jpg

Next up, Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition Kickstarter…starting sooner than you might expect…

 

 

ELECTRONIC GAMING:

onyx_dice-300x146.png

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

Screenshot_20171102-122019-169x300.pngScreenshot_20171102-121920-169x300.pngScreenshot_20171102-121912-169x300.png

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:

Fiction-Wave-1-300x102.png

Fiction-Wave-2-300x102.png

Fiction-Wave-3-300x93.png

Amazon-Wave-4-300x100.png

Fiction-Wave-51-300x103.png

  • 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:

logo.png

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

 

 

iprlogo

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

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

 

 

DRIVETHRURPG.COM:

site-logo-redesignd-300x64.png

 

Boggans-Front-232x300.jpg

This Wednesday the PDF and physical book PoD versions of C20 Kithbook: Boggans go on sale on DTRPG.com!

Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest differences in life, and nowhere is this more evident than the boggan kith. Although they have preferred to let others glory in the spotlight, this industrious kith has worked its own subtle and patient magic over the centuries, drawing power from dreams of hearth and comfort and becoming no less than the bedrock of Kithain society. Even heroes need homes to return to, after all.

For the first time ever, the secrets and gossip of the boggan kith are being shared with outsiders. So pull your chair closer to the fire, take up a fresh cup of tea, and listen carefully, because the real truth about these unsung heroes is finally coming to light.

Kithbook: Boggans features:

• A history of this unassuming yet vital kith, and how they’ve subtly shaped the Dreaming.

• Insight into boggan nature combined with advice for bringing boggan characters to life.

• Ready-made characters for quick play, and profiles of famous boggans past and present.

• New Treasures, Merits, and Flaws for boggan characters.

 

 

 

 

 

CONVENTIONS!

Prep is seriously 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)
  • 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)
  • Changeling: The Lost 2nd Companion (Changeling: The Lost 2nd)
  • Changeling: The Lost 2nd Jumpstart (Changeling: The Lost 2nd)
  • Night Horrors: Nameless and Accursed (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)
  • Heirs to the Shogunate (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Witch-Queen of the Shadowed Citadel (Cavaliers of Mars)

 

Redlines

  • Deviant: The Renegades (Deviant: The Renegades)
  • Spilled Blood (Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition)
  • 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)
  • Aeon Aexpansion (Trinity Continuum: Aeon)

 

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!)
  • CofD Contagion Chronicle (Chronicles of Darkness)

 

Manuscript Approval:

  • Dystopia Rising: Evolution (Dystopia Rising: Evolution)

 

Editing:

  • Guide to the Night (Vampire: The Requiem 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)
  • Night Horrors: The Tormented (Promethean: The Created 2nd 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 – Stuff is progressing…
  • Trinity Continuum 
  • Geist 2e – KS artwork continues.
  • The Realm
  • M20 Gods and Monsters
  • Ex3 Dragon BloodedMore sketches coming in.
  • Promethean Night Horrors: The Tormented

 

Marketing Stuff

  • Posters and Displays
  • Gen Con Cards

 

In Layout

  • Fetch Quest Prepping new playtest decks for Gen Con.

 

Proofing

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

 

At Press

  • V20 Beckett’s Jyhad Diary & Beckett Screen & V20 Dice – At fulfillment shipper, prepping for KS ship-out.
  • Scion Dice – At fulfillment shipper.
  • Boggans – PDF and PoDs on sale this Wednesday.
  • Monarchies of Mau In Indexing.
  • Monarchies of Mau Screen Getting ready to send to press.
  • Cavaliers of Mars Screen Getting ready to send to press.
  • Wr20 Guide for Newly Departed – Creating PoD files.
  • Gen Con Buttons At press.
  • WoD and CofD reroll cards At press.
  • FQ and PG Gen Con cards At press.

 


TODAY’S REASON TO CELEBRATE: Today is the birthday of J. Michael Straczynski, 1954 – celebrated writer of comics and TV, specifically of Babylon 5. Fun fact: B5 was a real pioneer in structure for television with free-standing episodes that were part of story-arcs that worked as seasons that had specific season-long stories and finishes, and so it was a huge influence on the limited-series concept for our games. Specifically in pitching Orpheus back in the day, I referenced B5‘s use of structure.


View the full article

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


View the full article

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.


View the full article

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.


View the full article

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:


View the full article

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)


View the full article

Mortekai

Loblyko_FetchQuest-300x208.jpg

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!

 

 

AllenMorris_ScionHero-300x150.jpg

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.

 

 

SteveWood_MonarchiesofMau-300x191.jpg

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/

 

onyx_pathcast_final-curved-small-300x300

Many Worlds, One Path!

 

 

BLURBS!

KICKSTARTER:

Fetch-Quest-Logo-for-Blog-300x64.png

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!

Fetch-Quest-Video-Splash-300x169.jpg

 

 

 

ELECTRONIC GAMING:

onyx_dice-300x146.png

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

Screenshot_20171102-122019-169x300.pngScreenshot_20171102-121920-169x300.pngScreenshot_20171102-121912-169x300.png

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:

Fiction-Wave-1-300x102.png

Fiction-Wave-2-300x102.png

Fiction-Wave-3-300x93.png

Amazon-Wave-4-300x100.png

Fiction-Wave-51-300x103.png

  • 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:

logo.png

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

 

 

iprlogo

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:

site-logo-redesignd-300x64.png

 

V20-Clan-Toreador-Journal-220x300.jpg

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!

V20-True-Brujah-Bloodline-Journal-220x30

 

 

 

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.


View the full article

Mortekai

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

View the full article

Mortekai

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”.


View the full article

Mortekai

VTR-2-Cover-232x300.jpg

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!


View the full article

Mortekai

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:


View the full article

Mortekai

Ex3-Cover-232x300.jpg

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


View the full article

Mortekai

Precise-strike-300x235.jpg

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.)

 

 

Gaydos_HandbookfortheRecentlyDeceased-30

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.

 

 

McEvoy_MonarchiesofMau-300x200.jpg

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.

 

 

Leblanc_Boggans-167x300.png

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!

 

 

Nerma-1-214x300.png

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:

Fetch-Quest-Logo-for-Blog-300x64.png

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!

Fetch-Quest-Video-Splash-300x169.jpg

 

 

 

ELECTRONIC GAMING:

onyx_dice-300x146.png

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

Screenshot_20171102-122019-169x300.pngScreenshot_20171102-121920-169x300.pngScreenshot_20171102-121912-169x300.png

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:

Fiction-Wave-1-300x102.png

Fiction-Wave-2-300x102.png

Fiction-Wave-3-300x93.png

Amazon-Wave-4-300x100.png

Fiction-Wave-51-300x103.png

  • 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:

logo.png

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

 

 

iprlogo

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:

site-logo-redesignd-300x64.png

 

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

 

Ex3_BarrowHound-and-Devilstone-232x300.j

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!

 


View the full article

Mortekai
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!

View the full article

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.


View the full article

×