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Mortekai

121087-232x300.jpgBill returns with another Character Creation entry:

I’ve long been intrigued by the setting for Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition: Gaia’s warriors, protecting the planet from those who would deliberately despoil her for their own greedy ends. While the wolf pack inherent in W20 is the default, I’m more interested in creating a Fera or different type of Breed. W20 Changing Breeds allows me to explore several types of playable possibilities from the Ajaba to the Rokea, and includes legends, history, culture, Traits, new Merits and Flaws, and so much more.

To build a character, I’m going to use the character creation process beginning on page 112 of W20. Then, I’m going to apply options from Changing Breeds when needed.

Step One: Character Concept

For this step, I’m referring to Changing Breeds to mull over my options. I see crows in my daily life, and marvel at stories of them bringing shiny things to people’s homes in exchange for food. Since I have a personal fascination with crows, I select the Corax. The write-up begins on page 92. Aspects of the Corax that stand out to me are their immunity to silver and their tendency to be hired as spies and information gatherers. The Corax are weakened by gold, however, and can’t resist picking up a shiny object.

After reading the Corax Traits on page 94, I form a basic character concept. Keira likes dance music, jewelry, and going out most nights. She favors wearing black to compliment her dark hair and often dons sunglasses to hide her ink-black eyes, the mark of her breed, Homid. As a Homid, Keira was born human and that acts as her natural form. Keira wears a black trench coat and carries a large messenger bag over her shoulder. The coat has lots of extra hidden pockets and the bag is large enough to carry several items if needed.

Unlike other Breeds, the chatty Corax don’t belong to a tribe. Instead, they have associations that allow members to join or leave as they please. To mesh with Keira’s character concept, I opt to associate her with the Hermetic Order of Swift Light: the New York-based business arm of the Corax that finds information and things other Fera need. To pay bills, Kiera is a freelancer who buys and re-sells rare and unusual goods on the Internet. The money she makes covers rent, but also funds her Twinkie-corn chips-and-tequila habit, too. On the side, Kiera brokers additional information for her personal contacts and, for a price, she’ll pass on what she knows.

Step Two: Select Attributes

To assign my character’s Attributes, I refer to page 112 of W20. Since Kiera specializes in acquiring, selling, and negotiating, I prioritize her Mental Attributes and have seven dots to spend. She also, however, needs to be good at communication so Social Attributes will be secondary with five dots, and Physical Attributes will be last with three.

For my point spend, I decide to prioritize Wits in the Mental Attributes, give my Social Attributes an even spread, and spend more dots to up my Dexterity rating for Physical.

My starting character now has the following ratings which reflects the total including the free dot in each Attribute.

Mental Attributes: Intelligence 3, Wits 4, Perception 3

Social Attributes: Charisma 3, Manipulation 2, Appearance 3

Physical Attributes: Strength 1, Dexterity 3, Stamina 2

Step Three: Select Abilities

For this step, I’m referring to page 112 of W20. The number of dots I have for Abilities (Talents, Skills, and Knowledges) breaks down into 13 for primary, nine for secondary, and five for tertiary. I opt to put the most dots in Talents to help counter my lower rating in Physical Attributes and because those are useful Abilities to have. Skills will come in second with 9, and Knowledges will come in last with 5. Because Keira is a Corax, she is entitled to a free dot for Subterfuge (Talents), Athletics (Talents), and Enigmas (Knowledges) per page 407 of W20.

Talents

I have 13 points to spend. I’m giving one dot each to Athletics, Empathy, Expression, Intimidation, and Primal Urge; I’m allocating two dots each to Alertness, Brawl, Streetwise, and Subterfuge. When adding my free dots, my Talents are as follows: Athletics 2, Alertness 2, Brawl 2, Empathy 1, Expression 1, Intimidation 1, Primal Urge 1, Streetwise 2, and Subterfuge 3.

Skills

I have nine dots to allocate for appropriate Skills. I don’t have any free dots, so my Skills are as follows: Crafts 1, Drive 1, Melee 1, Larceny 2, Stealth 2, and Survival 2.

Knowledges

For Knowledges, I allocate five dots relevant to Kiera’s job and take advantage of the free dot in Enigmas. Her Knowledges are as follows: Computer 1, Enigmas 1, Investigation 1, Rituals 1, and Technology 2. When this book was originally written, phones weren’t the powerful tools they are today. The extra dot in Technology will help cover Keira’s reliance on cell phones, since she’ll likely be using her phone (or an anonymous ‘burner’ phone) for her business.

I like characters with a broad range of Abilities. They may not be sure-skilled at anything, but they have a chance to do more than highly specialized characters. I believe this gives them a better chance of survival; or, at least, to survive long enough to beef up those scores through spending experience points later.

Step Four: Select Advantages

For Advantages, I’ll refer to page 112 of W20. In this step, I’ll be selecting Backgrounds, Gifts, and Renown which give the Fera additional powers and abilities reflecting their dual natures as both human and supernatural creatures. These powers may or may not be supernatural themselves, but often — in the case of Gifts — relate to the supernatural. Renown is a measure of the Fera’s successes, and how much other members of her Breed are aware of those successes.

Backgrounds

Given the social nature of Corax and Keira’s role as a gatherer of information and finder of things, Allies, Contacts, and Resources seem like natural choices. I only have five dots to spend in Backgrounds, so Allies gets one dot, Contacts gets three, and Resources gets one.

Gifts

Gifts are supernatural blessings given to the Fera by Gaia and sometimes by the spirit of their Breed. Corax get to choose three from two different starting lists – one list for Homid breeds, the other for Corvids. There’s some overlap, but enough differences that choosing between the two gave me more than a moment’s pause. In the end I stuck with Homid, though a couple of the Corvid Gifts made me kind of jealous. For Keira’s Gifts, I selected Morse, Open Seal, and Spirit Speech found on page 99 of Changing Breeds.

With the Morse Gift, Keira can tap out a message in code on a hard surface, sending a clear message to the nearest Corax. The number of successes indicates how elaborate (or simple) that message can be. With extra effort, the message can instead be transmitted to the nearest Gaia shapeshifter of any Breed.

The Gift of Open Seal allows the user to open any closed or locked physical device. With extra effort, even magically locked devices can be opened.

Spirit Speech is a Gift that bestows understanding of spirit speech to the user. Spirits know a lot of secrets, so this may come in handy for Keira’s tasks as a runner/operative for the Hermetic Order of Swift Light.

Renown

The Renown system for Changing Breeds is on pp. 217-222. The were-ravens follow the same paths of Glory, Honor, and Wisdom the other Fera do — they just assign different value to the three terms that fall under Renown. Wisdom is most important of all to a Corax, and Glory least of all. Corax value actions that benefit others, especially other Corax. Selfless sacrifice is highly prized, but rash acts or rage are strongly discouraged. Being notorious rumormongers, Corax seem to hold a “what have you done for me lately?” kind of philosophy, with Renown being lost as easily as it is won thanks to a constant stream of rumor and innuendo. As a starting character, Keira has three points allocated to Wisdom, but zero in Glory and Honor.

Step Five: Finishing Touches

Finishing touches begins on page 112 of W20; I also refer to page 406 for specific rules. First, I need to record Rage. Corax don’t have auspice; their Rage at character creation is 1. Gnosis, which is based on their Breed, is 6, and their Willpower is 3.

Following this, I have 15 freebie points to spend.

I’m spending 5 of my freebie points to give Keira a second dot in Strength, just in case. I also want to acquire the Raven’s Gleaning Gift, so I spend seven points to acquire it. This Gift allows Keira to see value in random objects, but doesn’t indicate whether that is practical, monetary, or if it will fill some future need. Then, I’m spending one point to add one dot to my Backgrounds for a Mentor, which will hopefully be another Corax Keira can turn to for advice now and then. I spend the remaining two points to buy a seventh dot of Gnosis. If Keira plans to use any of her Gifts, she’ll need Gnosis to power them, and it seems harder to replace than it is to use.

My freebie points spend is as follows: Strength +1, adding Raven’s Gleaning as a Gift, adding Backgrounds (Mentor) 1, and bumping up Gnosis +1.

I didn’t choose any Merits for Keira. They are presented in the W20 book as optional, purchased with freebie points. I didn’t have that many freebie points to begin with but, more importantly, none of the Merits presented in W20 or in Changing Breeds didn’t enhance Kiera’s core concept.

That’s it: I now have a Corax that’s ready to play. Keira is ready to take on the Wyrm in her own way and do a little business on the side. Her ‘finding things’ career might be the easy way in to any chronicle, but she has to be careful: she isn’t built for combat, so she needs to pick her battles more selectively than the battle-ready Garou, the various Bastet, or a Gurahl.


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Mortekai

Wraith20-300x191.pngGreetings from beyond the veil, ghostly and ghastly types. Matthew Dawkins here.

Anyone who’s been tracking the development of Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition will be aware a certain curse afflicted the book repeatedly in the run up to its release. Thankfully (and tempting fate now) we seem to have bypassed the curse in errata phase, as that’s now complete. I thumb my nose at the curse, knowing it holds no power over me! What’s the worst that can happen?

At any rate, amended, removed, and added text is being worked on by Aileen, who’s handling any layout adjustments. I understand she’s getting through this at a fair click.

If you check out the Onyx Path Forums, you’ll see Wraith accumulated a decent amount of errata, fairly standard for a book its size. Some of the posts focused on grammatical corrections, others on content or system that held inconsistencies across chapters, and some — likely the most important of all — mentioned the absence of Lifesight, Deathsight, Heightened Senses, and Insubstantiality in the book. At the time these basic wraith abilities were omitted for space, but on discussion, we’ve decided to include them in the core book. We’ve been able to include them without seriously adjusting words, art, and layout around them (always an issue when inserting big blocks of text at this stage), so celebrations all around!

But here’s a thing I’ll give you right now. Some of you may already be running or playing Wraith without these abilities, so rather than wait for the errata’d book to reach you, here’s the text for each of these powers. Feel free to incorporate them into your game, and see you soon with an amended PDF!

 

Lifesight

Lifesight is the ability common to all wraiths to see the life force still extant within a living being. This manifests to a wraith’s eye as an aura, with the color and strength of the aura relating to the subject’s mood and health.

If a wraith wants to try reading the aura, the roll is Perception + Empathy, difficulty 5. The greater the number of successes, the deeper the wraith’s understanding of the target’s current health, mood, and state of mind. One success gets a general sense for how the mortal is feeling, while four is practically reading their mind.

 

Deathsight

Deathsight lets wraiths view the Oblivion within all things. Objects and individuals appear not as they are but as they will be, gaunt and decayed. However, wraiths can use Deathsight to measure the amount of Oblivion in something. This enables a wraith to spot weak points or determine how much health a living being has. To exercise Deathsight in this fashion and either Discern Weakness or Sense Health, the wraith rolls Perception + Awareness, difficulty 5. The number of successes indicates the detail the wraith is able to observe. One success might let a wraith know that a mortal is ill, while four successes pinpoints a yet-undiscovered tumor that’s sapping their life. A weak spot identified through Deathsight, be it on a building or a person, offers a -1 difficulty to hit.

 

Heightened Senses

Wraiths are unusually well attuned to the world. They hear more clearly, see more sharply and sense more accurately the state of the world around them than the living. That makes them good at overhearing whispers, noticing small details and otherwise picking up on things that a mere mortal would have missed. At Storyteller discretion, a wraith can roll Perception + Alertness (difficulty 5) to pick out a detail that otherwise might have escaped them.

Note that heightened senses can have a drawback. They can be overwhelmed by an excess of stimulus, causing the wraith severe discomfort (though no actual Corpus loss).

 

Insubstantiality

Perhaps the defining trait of a wraith’s existence, Insubstantiality is both a blessing and a curse. With a minimal expenditure of Corpus a wraith can walk through walls – or bullets, but without the help of Arcanoi the simplest touch into the Skinlands is beyond them.


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Mortekai

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Just today, Monday, we launched the Kickstarter campaign for Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition!

We’re really thrilled to be able to do this, as Geist has been a bit of a sore spot for us, and some of our community too, for years. First edition was the last of the new World of Darkness game settings to be created by the original White Wolf, during my time as WW creative director. It never got the releases and support it could have, mostly by the sheer unfortunate timing of when it arrived.

So gather ’round, kiddos, and Unca Rich will tell you a Geist story.

Despite the stellar sales of Changeling: The Lost, and excellent sales of Hunter: The Vigil, not to mention the Scion and Exalted lines, we received just absolutely abysmal pre-orders from the distribution chain for GtSE 1st Edition. We even had word that one buyer for the book trade hated it and wouldn’t order any supplements. Which was a significant percentage of our usual pre-orders. The entire company was transitioning in the years after the CCP merger, and developer Ethan Skemp, a rock of reliability, attention to detail, and excellent game design, got sick midway through finishing the book.

Basically, Geist was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

 

 

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Scion Hero art by Enzo Lopez

 

 

So the first edition was a fair bit jumbled, and hard to find. The only supplement we did was made a “blue book” nWoD release rather than a Geist one (we tricked you, book trade buyer!) and events rushed forward and everything game studio-wise was eased back as the WoD MMO became priority #1.

Geist first edition went up on DriveThru, and those who found it seemed to love the feeling of it, and have issues with the rules. As time went by, I read those messages, and felt pretty bad about the wounded thing we had published. It was, after all, a project I had greenlit, one of my babies, and while I was trying to keep an eye on things in WW‘s remaining game studio, I was also nostrils deep in the MMO.

When Eddy and I created the CCP Transmedia group after V20, one of the first projects on our very limited slate was a revised version of Geist first edition. Not a new edition, but a fixed-up one. I think it was Eddy who first called it Geist 1.1, and in April 2012 it was put up on DTRPG.

And a funny thing happened.

Sales happened.

Continuing healthy sales. Somebody was out there, and they sure seemed devoted to Geist. What a wonderful thing to discover about a game and setting that seemed like it was stillborn. But actually, once folks could get a cleaned up version, people kept buying it.

This realization coincided with the timing of creating the first Dark Eras book, and when backers were voting for which lines to appear in which Dark Eras there was pretty intense lobbying for Geist. Huh. More confirmation. If you haven’t yet, you can check out the Geist sections in both Dark Eras and the Dark Eras Companion volume here on DTRPG: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/4261/Onyx-Path-Publishing/subcategory/27199/Dark-Eras

The Dark Eras books were, in fact, the method we had to deliver new material, albeit historical, for all of the new World of Darkness lines as they transitioned into the Chronicles of Darkness and we moved forward with creating their second editions. (Which is a very, very, cleaned-up and simplified version of the tortuous transition, indeed. And a story for another times, kiddos.)

 

 

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Wraith20 Handbook for the Recently Deceased art by Michael Gaydos

 

 

Which, basically, brings us to this Kickstarter for Geist 2nd Edition. Spearheaded by the titanically talented Travis Stout and a fantastic team of writers, nurtured by Rose Bailey and Dixie Cochran, with stunning art that you can see represented on the KS page…this is truly the second chance for the “game of second chances”!

Now, we still don’t know what size audience we’ll have for this KS, nor how fast we’ll fund, or how many Stretch Goals we’ll achieve. (I was thinking about stopping mid-sentence and going into the next line, like I was caught off-guard by some sort of alarm, but honestly, I stopped with “achieve” and went and checked the KS hoping I could say the next paragraph right now).

And BOOM! as I was writing this little tale, the Geist 2e Kickstarter has funded in 9.75 hours! Thanks to everyone who contributed so far, and to all of you who will help us bring forth a new 2nd Edition version of this awesome game by pledging this next month! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/200664283/geist-the-sin-eaters-2nd-edition

Phew!

 

 

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Scion Hero art by Marco Gonzales

 

 

 

Meanwhile last Friday, our Onyx Pathcast featured Dixie, Eddy, and Matthew telling tales of the freelancer lifestyle and just what that means. Lots of creativity, lots of communication with the clients depending on you, lots of making sure you have another gig in the works. You can hear them on your preferred podcast service, or right here on PodBean: https://onyxpathcast.podbean.com/

This coming Friday, the Terrible Trio of Terror will be interviewing the terrific Danielle Lauzon, who has been just tearing up the place developing Vampire: The Requiem 2nd, a lot of brilliant work on Storypath generally, and the Trinity Continuum specifically, and she’s been a mover and shaker on the new releases for 7th Sea for John Wick Presents.

Finally, in other news, it’s the 4th of July holiday Wednesday here in the US, so a lot of us will be out of the office that day, although we will have our usual Wednesday “on sale alert”. Some of our shipping services also have a day or two off, so that’s throwing some pre-Gen Con plans off a tad, but we’re adjusting. Make sure you watch the musical 1776 (an inspiration for “Hamilton“), and keep your pets inside away from the loud noises for the holiday.

And with that, I’ve leave you with these fours words of wisdom muttered by John Adams on his deathbed:

Many Worlds, One Path!

 

 

BLURBS!

KICKSTARTER:

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The Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition Kickstarter began today (Monday) and already has funded as I write this. We want to be able to make a great looking hardcover edition, and get that into stores while giving backers first look at the complete text and other fun benefits: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/200664283/geist-the-sin-eaters-2nd-edition

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

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

Chapters include:

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

 

 

ELECTRONIC GAMING:

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

Here are the links for the Apple and Android versions:

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

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

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Three different screenshots, above.

 

 

ON AMAZON AND BARNES & NOBLE:

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

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

Our selection includes these fiction books:

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

 

 

 

OUR SALES PARTNERS:

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

DRIVETHRURPG.COM:

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Following up last week’s Sword and Sorcery Day, with the first-ever Amazon and Nook store releases of the epubs for the first edition Scarred Lands fiction Dead God TrilogyForsaken: Book One, Forsworn: Book Two, and Forbidden: Book Three!

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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)
  • 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)
  • Night Horrors: Nameless and Accursed (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)
  • Heirs to the Shogunate (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Witch-Queen of the Shadowed Citadel (Cavaliers of Mars)

 

Redlines

  • Deviant: The Renegades (Deviant: The Renegades)
  • Spilled Blood (Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition)
  • Wr20 Book of Oblivion (Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Changeling: The Lost 2nd Jumpstart (Changeling: The Lost 2nd)
  • Lunars: Fangs at the Gate (Exalted 3rd 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)
  • In Media Res (Trinity Continuum: Core)

 

Development

  • Signs of Sorcery (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)
  • Hunter: the Vigil 2e core (Hunter: the Vigil 2nd Edition)
  • Fetch Quest (Pugmire)
  • CofD Contagion Chronicle (Chronicles of Darkness)
  • Dystopia Rising: Evolution (Dystopia Rising: Evolution)

 

Manuscript Approval:

 

Editing:

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

 

Post-Editing Development:

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

 

Indexing:

  • Monarchies of Mau (Monarchies of Mau)

 

 

ART DIRECTION FROM MIRTHFUL MIKE:

In Art Direction

  • Ex3 Monthly Stuff
  • Trinity Continuum Workin’ on it… the priority.
  • Geist 2e
  • The Realm
  • M20 Gods and Monsters
  • Ex3 Dragon Blooded – More more sketches coming in.
  • Promethean Night Horrors: The Tormented – Sketches and finals almost all in.
  • VtR – Guide to the Night 
  • Dystopia Rising: Evolution – Eddy’s notes are approved… so getting Mark on fulls and Riley on splats.

 

Marketing Stuff

  • Posters and Displays

 

In Layout

  • Fetch Quest Playtest decks uploaded.
  • Scion Hero
  • Cavaliers of Mars Cards

 

Proofing

  • Scion Origin Onyx review finishes, comments sent to Neall and OK’d, now being input.
  • Changeling: the Lost 2 – Josh is working on the interior fixing.
  • Cavaliers of Mars Dropping in the Index and sending it over to Rose for a final once over.

 

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 Screen proof this week.
  • Cavaliers of Mars Screen Screen proof this week.
  • Wr20 Guide for Newly Departed – PoD proofs shipping.
  • Gen Con Buttons At press.
  • WoD and CofD reroll cards At press.
  • FQ and PG Gen Con cards At press.
  • Wraith 20 Screen Screen proof this week.
  • GenCon Brochure Printing.
  • Storypath Brochure Files sent to printer.
  • Wraith 20th PoD files uploaded.

 


TODAY’S REASON TO CELEBRATE: This space needs to stop being for memorials – last week we lost one of the most awarded and prolific speculative fantasy writers, ever: Harlan Ellison died in his sleep at the age of 84. Which is an amazingly inappropriate way for that angry young man to go out. A ruptured aorta while spewing invectives into the venal face of mediocrity, or a fiery bounce-back from a Molotov cocktail, maybe. But in his sleep? Well, you fought the good fight longer than most, Harlan, and you always had a keen eye and ear for irony (and a sailor’s mouth), so go in peace, you who whipped inspiration into so many of us. You earned it.


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Background-Geist-300x169.jpg

The Kickstarter for a prestige edition of Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition is now live!

In Geist: The Sin-Eaters, you play a person who died with a powerful burden on their soul — something they didn’t accomplish in life, or something they never found. On the other side of the veil, they made a bargain with a powerful being called a geist, which returned them to the world of the living and to their own body, at the cost of a permanent bond between them and the geist. Now your character stands as a medium, with one foot in the world of the living and one in the world of the dead.

Originally released in 2009, Geist: The Sin-Eaters was a sleeper hit for the Chronicles of Darkness, finally bringing “life” to the realm of ghosts and death. And now this game of second chances gets a second edition, with Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition, offering a revised and updated rules system and an expanded setting.

Come join us!


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Boggans-Front-232x300.jpgHere’s a look at what we put out over the course of the last month:

Also now available via our Indie Press Revolution store:

Available via Fantasy Grounds:

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

Merch

Kickstarter

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!

Tomorrow, we launch 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:


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In which Eddy, Dixie, and Matthew talk about the freelance life, both for Onyx Path and in general.

  • How to get into freelancing
  • The submission guidelines
  • Importance of tone in submissions
  • Matthew’s curveball: Networking and social media
  • The reality of emotions and personal conflict with clients
  • Dixie’s experience on great projects
  • Eddy’s experience on a difficult project
  • The importance of communication
  • Dealing with redlines and criticism
  • Eddy’s experience with redlines on Futurama: Game of Drones
  • Dixie’s experience with editing
  • Juggling work-life balance
  • Eddy’s cuts a promo on Matthew: Do you feel better about yourself after becoming a freelancer?

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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.


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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!


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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!


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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:


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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.


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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.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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:

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

Here are the links for the Apple and Android versions:

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

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

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Three different screenshots, above.

 

 

ON AMAZON AND BARNES & NOBLE:

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

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

Our selection includes these fiction books:

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

 

 

 

OUR SALES PARTNERS:

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

DRIVETHRURPG.COM:

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This 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.

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

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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.


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Mortekai

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


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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.


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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:


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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.


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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!

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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!

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

 

 

ELECTRONIC GAMING:

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

Here are the links for the Apple and Android versions:

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

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

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Three different screenshots, above.

 

 

ON AMAZON AND BARNES & NOBLE:

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

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

Our selection includes these fiction books:

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

 

 

 

OUR SALES PARTNERS:

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

DRIVETHRURPG.COM:

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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.


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Mortekai

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

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

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


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Mortekai

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

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

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

“Start wherever you want, Mister Pearce!”

“Tell us about the orgies!”

“Tell us about his wife!”

“Tell us about Thailand!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Co-founder.” He cut her off.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I don’t even.” Eric blinked twice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He nodded.

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

“You’ll forget it.”

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Pugmire_CityofPugmire_FBCover-300x111.jpEddy’s latest:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Mortekai

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

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

Kickstarter Update

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

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

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

Sales

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

Community Spotlight

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

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

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


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Mortekai

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

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

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

The Cryptocracy

Contagion as Social Entropy

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

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

What Is Contagion?

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

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

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

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

Where We Came From

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

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

What We Do

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vector: Authority

Who We Are

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interview with Fetch Quest Designer Eddy Webb

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

 

 

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Scion Hero Modern Greek Gods by Allen Morris

 

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

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

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

 

 

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Monarchies of Mau art by Steve Wood

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Many Worlds, One Path!

 

 

BLURBS!

KICKSTARTER:

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

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

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ELECTRONIC GAMING:

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

Here are the links for the Apple and Android versions:

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

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

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Three different screenshots, above.

 

 

ON AMAZON AND BARNES & NOBLE:

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

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

Our selection includes these fiction books:

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

 

 

 

OUR SALES PARTNERS:

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

DRIVETHRURPG.COM:

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

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CONVENTIONS!

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

From Fast Eddy Webb, we have these:

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

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

 

 


And now, the new project status updates!

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

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

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

 

Redlines

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

 

Second Draft

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

 

Development

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

 

WW Manuscript Approval:

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

 

Editing:

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

 

Post-Editing Development:

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

 

Indexing:

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

 

 

ART DIRECTION FROM MIRTHFUL MIKE:

In Art Direction

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

 

Marketing Stuff

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

 

In Layout

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

 

Proofing

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

 

At Press

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

 


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


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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

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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”.


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