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Matt

Beast-Within-Redux-200x300.jpgToday we go a little further back. The Beast Within Revised dates back to December 2000, but Onyx Path recently recreated it for ebook formats. This story is Gherbod Fleming’s The Inquiry.

[From the interview of Archon Theo Bell, Clan Brujah, on 14 November 1999, conducted by Justicar Mme. Guil, Clan Toreador.]

MG: And so, in your estimation, Archon Bell, at the point at which you lured Prince Vitel to the warehouse, he remained unaware of your harmful intent toward him?

TB: Do you think he’d have got in that car if he’d thought I was gonna blow his [expletive deleted] head off?

MG: I’m interested in your opinion, Archon. [pause; rattling of cellophane] I’d prefer that you didn’t smoke in here.

TB: [barely audible muttering.]

MG: Excuse me, Archon?

TB: Yes. In my estimation, he remained unaware. Hell, we spent weeks briefing him and the others, telling them that the Sabbat could bust through any night. Which was true. And the scenario we constructed for Vitel was credible. When they did attack a week later, they came along the same routes I told him they were using that night.

MG: But you knew he was in communication with the enemy. Shouldn’t he have known that the assault was not happening that night?

TB: From everything that Pieterzoon and Colchester had scraped together, we thought his communication with the Sabbat was sporadic. We hoped he didn’t know the exact details of whatever attack was coming.

MG: You “thought” his communications were sporadic. You “hoped” he didn’t know?

TB: Look. That whole operation in Baltimore was built on hope and speculation. If anybody had bothered to tell us that there was a plan underway to take New York, it would’ve helped. As it was, I say we were damn lucky that the plan Pieterzoon and I came up with dovetailed with what was already going down in New York.

MG: I believe had your plan not coincided with our wishes, Lucinde would have guided you in a more convenient direction. As it was, your actions bore out our predictions to a signifcant degree, so you were left to operate independently. But we were, I believe, discussing Marcus Vitel.

TB: Right. And you’re interested in my lowly opinion. Well, it seemed most likely to me that the Sabbat high command wasn’t going to keep Vitel completely informed. If your spy gets bagged and spills his guts, you’re screwed.

MG: You seem to accept this theoretical Sabbat policy of parceling information on a need-to-know basis more whole-heartedly than our own similar practice — at least as far as you are concerned. Would not our New York gambit have been threatened had a combatant such as yourself been aware of every detail and captured?

TB: Different situation, lady.

MG: That would be “Madame,” or “Justicar,” thank you.

TB: Hmph.

MG: Let us skip ahead, Archon. Once you were in the warehouse — you and your driver, the prince and his retainer—your frst interaction there with Vitel was…

TB: I shot him in the face.

MG: Indeed. Before or after extracting a confession?

TB: This wasn’t no interrogation. It was a hit. We already knew what we needed to know. We were there to take him out of the picture, not ask questions.

MG: And Mr. Pieterzoon concurred with your assessment?

TB: Yeah.

MG: And Lucinde?

TB: Couldn’t tell you for sure. But since you’re so interested in my opinion, I assumed Pieterzoon was keeping her informed. I don’t think she would’ve had it any other way. Look. We were trying to hold Baltimore till the last second and pull off a screened withdrawal to another city. If you folks are unhappy about how we did it, then just have Pascek give me my pink slip, and I’ll be on my way.

MG: I am merely attempting to ascertain the facts.

TB: Bullshit. We were cut loose, and I bet that for every justicar who hoped we’d pull it off, there was another hoping we’d fall on our ass. And now that we did pull it off, you’re gonna second guess me to death because you, or somebody, can’t stand for the credit to go to Pascek or Lucinde or who-the-hell-ever.

MG: Archon Bell, I am not unaware of this and other services you have rendered the Camarilla, but I will not be addressed in that tone. [pause] Now, in your experience, the shot you fred at Prince Vitel — that would have incapacitated many Kindred?

TB: I gave him a burst, four shots, of dragons breath — that’s white phosphorus incendiary rounds — square in the face. Many…hell, most Kindred that’s gonna take their head clean off. At the very least he should have been incapacitated for a long [expletive deleted] time.

MG: But he was not.

TB: No. Not for long.

MG: What other force did you bring to bear against him?

TB: Besides me, we had thirteen ghouls plus Pieterzoon with sub-machineguns, and four more of my people, Kindred, three with side arms, the other with a sword.

MG: I see. And your losses?

TB: Eleven ghouls dead, one Kindred destroyed, another completely fucked up, and the rest of us banged around pretty good.

MG: From just Vitel and his retainer?

TB: No. That’s just from Vitel. Lydia blew the ghoul’s [expletive deleted] head off right after I shot the prince the frst time.

MG: [pause] I see. [pause] Was that the type of encounter you were expecting, Archon Bell?

TB: [derisive laughter] No. Not exactly.

Read the rest of the inquiry into Theo Bell’s encounter with the creature calling itself Prince Marcus Vitel in The Beast Within Revised, available now in ebook and print formats from DriveThruFiction.


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Matt

202615-232x300.jpgNow available in PDF and print on demand from DriveThruRPG: Night Horrors: Conquering Heroes!

Sure, you can do what you want, feed from the locals, and go back to hiding in your lair when you’re done. 

You may think you’re safe there, it sure feels safe. 

But, you aren’t the only thing connected to the Primordial Dream, and no lair is safe from what lurks beyond. 

Don’t fool yourself.

— Naomi Walker, Ugalla

A Night Horrors Sourcebook for Beast: The Primordial

This book includes: 

  • An in-depth look at how Heroes hunt and what makes a Hero, with eleven new Heroes to drop into any chronicle.
  • A brief look at why Beasts may antagonize one another, with seven new Beasts to drop into any chronicle.
  • Rules for Insatiables, ancient creatures born of the Primordial Dream intent on hunting down Beasts to fill a hunger without end, featuring six examples ready to use in any chronicle.

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Matt

Princes-Gambit-Logo-Screen-V2-300x240.jp24 hours remain on the Prince’s Gambit Kickstarter for a Vampire: The Masquerade card game!

Prince’s Gambit is a casual card game where each player is a vampire called to the court of the vampiric Prince of the city. Players must cooperate to gain the favor of the Prince while deducing who among them are secretly the traitorous Sabbat infiltrators.

Designed by long-time Vampire: The Masquerade tabletop RPG developer Justin Achilli, Prince’s Gambit is a fast-paced social deduction game set within the world of Vampire, but which requires no special knowledge to play. Neophytes and experienced fans of Vampire both can jump right in.

Prince’s Gambit is our first card game: hopefully, the first of many.  As of this writing, we’re at 563% of our goal, with nearly 1350 backers, and we’ve passed seven stretch goals!


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Matt
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Autarkis Grudge from Prince’s Gambit by Michael Gaydos

 

Yes, we’re getting all crazy here at the end (or at least the end on Thursday) of the Prince’s Gambit casual card game Kickstarter, and we’re thrilled with how well it has gone so far! As I mentioned at the start, this is a very different kind of KS if only because it is a card game, and we’ve never done one of them on KS before!

So seeing how this KS compares and contrasts to our Deluxe KSs has been fascinating and we haven’t yet seen the end. The price point being so much lower ($19 plus shipping for the deck), shipping being estimated until we add it after the KS in BackerKit, it not being like VtES or other familiar cards games from the original WW days; all of these and more have provided interesting responses and data that we know we’ll be able to use in the future.

The Kickstarter is over on Thursday- so pop in if you can – it’s a really fun game and you can even watch Eddy and Justin and friends play through it at this link: https://youtu.be/4eZT40BlavE

 

 

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Beckett’s Jyhad Diary illustration by Sam Araya

 

 

We’ve been asked about this, so I was thinking it would be helpful to let you folks in on how Onyx Path has evolved these past five years, and particularly in terms of how we’ve improved our internal processes. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but maybe not with quite this emphasis on what happens behind the scenes.

For example, before our Office Manager, LisaT, was hired, I was the person getting in the freelance creator pay sheets as submitted by the art director and all our developers. Then it would take me a solid day to go through the sheets, find errors or other questions that needed answering, and get replies and write out all the checks. As you might imagine, trying to keep those two dozen+ payments straight and accurate every couple of weeks took up a lot of my bandwidth, but I stayed on top of it as best I could and made sure that even if I rolled late I always got the checks out.

Now, we have LisaT, who was hired specifically to make sure we didn’t let any freelancer linger unpaid as we grew and had more and more creators contracted, and the payments are happening much more smoothly even as their number every couple of weeks has greatly grown.

Similarly, Rollickin’ Rose Bailey was brought on to help our developers manage and complete their projects as we revitalized the Chronicles of Darkness lines with 2nd Editions and reactivated the WoD lines with the 20th Anniversary Editions. That’s a lot of lines just there, nevermind Exalted, Scion, Scarred Lands, Trinity Continuum, and Pugmire and Cavaliers of Mars.

We could only grow as we needed to because Rose stepped up, and even with her there helping on the development, writing, and editing side, I realized we needed another Onyx Path staff member in there connecting that work with finished books and projects getting into the right sales venues, and we were lucky to get Mighty Matt McElroy to come onboard late last year.

 

 

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V20 Dark Ages Companion art by Felipe Gaona

 

 

One of the very first things we three did together was to reconfigure our freelance writer pay rates by removing the 5 cents a word pay rate cap that had been in place for over a decade as a legacy of the original WW days. We could do that because we had grown as we needed to during the first five years, even if it was a clunky and inelegant growth process.

For developers, we scrapped the old model, also a holdover from old WW, of paying by the word, and instituted a single amount by project. Bonus amounts are now added for such things as if it’s a core book or we know we’ll need the developers to contribute to the Kickstarter.

For any of our freelancers, we also have created several different payment options, in terms of method of pay and the timing of when folks are paid.

We could make these changes, now that we can afford them, because of the oversight LisaT, Rollickin’ Rose and Mighty Matt can give to making sure these process changes actually work as intended. Which is, primarily, as an increase in the financial reward in working on these amazing projects.

Make no mistake, I’m not saying these changes will let our freelancers quit their day jobs, as we are still trying to make things work in the tabletop RPG biz mostly. But we have slowly built up the business so we’re at the point that we can replace legacy processes that I brought into Onyx Path from old WW (because I knew how all the pieces worked, and could be managed by a one or two man company).

BUT: even with all the above in place, if you have been unpaid for work you have completed for us under contract, I absolutely want you to know you can contact me directly at richt@theonyxpath.com. We have a great team, but mistakes happen, so I’m here to help.

 

 

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M20 Book of Secrets art by Ken Meyer, Jr.

 

 

Another thing our great team here was able to do is to put together a plan to get more Exalted 3rd material flowing again!

We’ve got the first batches of releases to be released as monthly mini-releases in progress, as noted in the Project Progress list below, and a couple of tasty excerpts from upcoming books.

This week, our EX3 devs, Robert Vance and Eric Minton, have provided an excerpt from Arms of the Chosen. I give you: Gnomon, the Starmetal Wrackstaff Artifact: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7FqViticwNuam9lbVJBWFhJM2s/view?usp=sharing

Enjoy!

 

 

 

BLURBS!

KICKSTARTER!

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The Prince’s Gambit casual vampire card game Kickstarter is entering it’s final nights! We’re almost at the Stretch Goal for adding new art and then come the Assamites, and we’re hoping the 48 hour push gets us even to more cool rewards! So please check it out: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/200664283/princes-gambit-casual-vampire-card-game .

Designed by long-time Vampire: the Masquerade tabletop RPG developer Justin Achilli, Prince’s Gambit is a fast-paced social deduction game set within the world of Vampire, but which requires no special knowledge to play. Players must cooperate to gain the favor of the Prince while deducing who among them are secretly the traitorous Sabbat infiltrators.

Next, the Monarchies of Mau KS is scheduled to come after Gambit.

 

ON SALE!

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

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Night Horrors: Conquering Heroes for Beast: the Primordial, PoD and PDF versions going on sale Wednesday!

This book includes: 

  • An in-depth look at how Heroes hunt and what makes a Hero, with eleven new Heroes to drop into any chronicle.
  • A brief look at why Beasts may antagonize one another, with seven new Beasts to drop into any chronicle.
  • Rules for Insatiables, ancient creatures born of the Primordial Dream intent on hunting down Beasts to fill a hunger without end, featuring six examples ready to use in any chronicle.

 

 

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From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: Beneath the Skin (Demon and Skinchangers 1486-1502 Aztec Empire). Ahuitzotl sits on the throne at the height of the Aztec Empire, overseeing his sorcerer-priests’ sacrifices and the endless flower wars his jaguar and eagle warriors carry out in his name to keep the altars well-supplied with victims. The gears of the Aztec Empire turn smoothly and inexorably, but not everything is what it pretends to be. Skinchangers take the shapes of animals to run the wilds or bring down human prey, the Unchained cobble together identities from stolen lives, and stranger things still lurk in the deserts and jungles beyond the walls of Tenochtitlan.

On sale in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/206028/Dark-Eras-Beneath-the-Skin-Skinchangers-and-Demon-the-Descent

 

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From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: Into the Cold (Demon: the Descent 1961 Berlin). East Germany erects a wall against its Western counterpart, turning West Berlin into an island within its own country. As the Cold War heats up, demons find themselves the targets of increasing human scrutiny, and begin to realize that the God-Machine’s plans didn’t end with the War.

On sale now in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/206081/Dark-Eras-Into-the-Cold-Demon-the-Descent

 

 

 

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The splendor and horror of Rio is unwrapped! Cursed Necropolis: Rio for Mummy: the Curse is on sale in PDF and PoD versions: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/205257/Cursed-Necropolis-Rio

Beneath the splendor of Rio de Janeiro seethes a hotbed of occult activity. Over a score of mummies keep their tombs in Rio, their presence seeping into the soil and stones and souls of the city. Over all this reigns the infamous Teshra-Gemet, the pretender Pharaoh.

The city of Rio births marvels both bright and dark… and you never know which kind you have until it’s too late.

Cursed Necropolis: Rio contains:

  • The secrets and schemes of Rio’s Arisen.
  • New Utterances, from the perception usurping Horse and Rider to the cleansing fire of Baal’s Due.
  • “The Serpent’s Tooth,” an all-new adventure to introduce players to the conflicts and power plays of Rio de Janeiro.

 

 

 

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Beasts are added to Hunter: the Vigil with Hunter: Tooth and Nail, coming atcha in PDF and physical book Pod versions on DriveThruRPG.com! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/204066/Hunter-Tooth-and-Nail

Tooth and Nail is a bonus chapter/companion book to the previous released Hunter: Mortal Remains that explores antagonists inspired by the Beast: the Primordial RPG.

Hunter: Tooth and Nail includes:

  • Fiction and story hooks to bring these beasts of legend to your Hunter: The Vigil chronicle.
  • New bestial Dread Powers.
  • New Compacts and Conspiracies which hunt the monsters, but also sometimes hunt the zealous heroes that hunt as well.

 

 

 

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The Secrets of the Covenants for Vampire: the Requiem 2nd REVEALED this Wednesday on DTRPG! Physical copy PoD version coming to DTRPG: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/199280/Secrets-of-the-Covenants

Vampires gather under many banners. But five have endured the tumult of Western history better than any other. The Carthian Movement. The Circle of the Crone. The Invictus. The Lancea et Sanctum. The Ordo Dracul. Each has its fierce devotees, its jealous rivals, and its relentless enemies. Now,for the first time, the covenants speak for themselves.
This book includes:
  • A variety of stories from each of the covenants, all told in their own words.
  • Never-before revealed secrets, like the fate of the Prince of New Orleans.
  • New blood sorcery, oaths, and other hidden powers of the covenants.

 

 

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From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: Fallen Blossoms (Hunter 1640-1660 Japan). Japan is moving into the Edo Period. New laws and new ways of thinking wash over the land, and with a new order come new threats to humanity. Take a look at the Vigil in a time where samurai transition from warlords to bureaucrats, Japan massively and lethally rejects outside influence, and when Edo rapidly grows into a world power.

Continuing our individual Dark Eras chapters, we offer you Dark Eras: Fallen Blossoms on in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/205483/Dark-Eras-Fallen-Blossoms-Hunter-the-Vigil

 

 

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From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: Doubting Souls (Hunter 1690-1695 Salem). Immigrants and tribes struggled to co-exist on the Eastern Seaboard in the ever-expanding Colonies. Violent clashes, supernatural beliefs, and demonic influences spelled disaster for Salem Village and its surrounding towns, while others fought werewolves and vampires on the frontier. With so much at risk, only god-fearing men and women were deemed innocent — and those were few indeed.

Available in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/204372/Dark-Eras-Doubting-Souls-Hunter-the-Vigil

 

 

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From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: The Bowery Dogs (Werewolf 1969-1979 NYC). New York City in the 1970s. Crime. Drugs. Gang violence. Vast economic disparity. And werewolves. It’s a lean, ugly time to be alive, and the lone wolf doesn’t stand a chance out there. In the end, all you really have is family.

Available in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/203762/Dark-Eras-The-Bowery-Dogs-Werewolf-the-Forsaken

 

 

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The Locker is open; the Chronicles of Darkness: Hurt Locker, that is! PDF and physical copy PoDs are now available on DTRPG! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/199275/Chronicles-of-Darkness-Hurt-Locker

Hurt Locker features:

  • Treatment of violence in the Chronicles of Darkness. Lasting trauma, scene framing, and other tools for making your stories hurt.
  • Many new player options, including Merits, supernatural knacks, and even new character types like psychic vampires and sleeper cell soldiers.
  • Expanded equipment and equipment rules.

Hurt Locker requires the Chronicles of Darkness Rulebook or any other standalone Chronicles of Darkness rulebook such as Vampire: The Requiem, Werewolf: The Forsaken, or Beast: The Primordial to use.

 

 

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From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: Ruins of Empire (Mummy 1893-1924). Perhaps the quintessential era of the mummy in the minds of Westerners, this period saw the decline of the two greatest empires of the age: British and Ottoman. Walk with the Arisen as they bear witness to the death of the Victorian age, to pivotal mortal discoveries in Egypt, and to the horrors of the Great War.

Available in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG. http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/178801/Dark-Eras-Ruins-of-Empire-Mummy-the-Curse

 

 

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From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: The Sundered World (Werewolf and Mage 5500-5000 BCE). At the birth of civilization, in the shadow of the Fall, the Awakened stand as champions and protectors of the agricultural villages spread across the Balkans. In a world without a Gauntlet, where Shadow and flesh mingle, the steady taming of the world by humanity conflicts with the half-spirit children of Father Wolf.

Available in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG. http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/202272/Dark-Eras-The-Sundered-World-Werewolf-the-Forsaken-Mage-the-Awakening

 

 

 

CONVENTIONS!

Discussing GenCon plans. August 17th – 20th, Indianapolis. Every chance the booth will actually be 20? x 30? this year that we’ll be sharing with friends. We’re looking at new displays this year, like a back drop and magazine racks for the brochure(s).

In November, we’ll be at Game Hole Con in Madison, WI. More news as we have it, and here’s their website: https://www.gameholecon.com/

 

 

 

 


And now, the new project status updates!

 

 

DEVELOPMENT STATUS FROM ROLLICKING ROSE (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)

  • Exalted 3rd Novel by Matt Forbeck (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Trinity Continuum: Aeon Rulebook (The Trinity Continuum)
  • M20 Gods and Monsters (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • M20 Book of the Fallen (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Ex Novel 2 (Aaron Rosenberg) (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • C20 Novel (Jackie Cassada) (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Pugmire Fiction Anthology (Pugmire)
  • Monarchies of Mau Early Access (Pugmire)
  • Hunter: the Vigil 2e core (Hunter: the Vigil 2nd Edition)
  • DtD Night Horrors: Enemy Action (Demon: the Descent)
  • The Realm (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Dragon-Blooded (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Arms of the Chosen (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • We were going to list Adversaries of the Righteous (EX3 Antagonists) and Hundred Devils Night Parade (EX3 Bestiary) here but since we’re doing monthly small releases with them, we figured that would just get annoying and confusing. So this week, they go here, but after that they just exist.

 

Redlines

  • Kithbook Boggans (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)

 

Second Draft

  • V20 Dark Ages Jumpstart (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • GtS Geist 2e core (Geist: the Sin-Eaters Second Edition)
  • Pugmire Pan’s Guide for New Pioneers (Pugmire)
  • Trinity Continuum Core Rulebook (The Trinity Continuum)
  • Scion: Origins (Scion 2nd Edition)
  • Scion: Hero (Scion 2nd Edition)
  • WoD Ghost Hunters (World of Darkness)

 

Development

  • W20 Changing Ways (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Signs of Sorcery (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)
  • SL Ring of Spiragos (Pathfinder – Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
  • Ring of Spiragos (5e – Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
  • SL Dagger of Spiragos (Pathfinder – Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
  • Dagger of Spiragos (5e– Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
  • Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition, featuring the Huntsmen Chronicle (Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition)
  • Book of Freeholds (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • BtP Beast Player’s Guide (Beast: the Primordial)
  • M20 Cookbook (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • CtD C20 Jumpstart (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • VtR Half-Damned (Vampire: the Requiem 2nd Edition)

 

Editing:

  • Wraith: the Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition
  • BtP Building a Legend (Beast: the Primordial)

 

Post-Editing Development:

 

Indexing:

 

 

 

ART DIRECTION FROM MIRTHFUL MIKE:

In Art Direction

  • Beckett’s Jyhad Diary – Waiting on the remainder of the art.
  • W20 Pentex Employee Indoctrination Handbook – AD’d
  • Dagger of Spiragos  
  • VTR: Thousand Years of Night Contracted
  • Cavaliers of Mars – AD’d(ish)
  • Monarchies of Mau Early Access – Sketches incoming. Got McEvoy’s finished piece in.
  • BtP Building a Legend – AD’d
  • Wraith 20 – AD’d
  • W20 Changing Ways
  • Ex3 Monthly Stuff – AD’d

 

Marketing Stuff

 

In Layout

  • Prince’s Gambit 
  • M20 Book of Secrets – Layout in progress.
  • Pugmire Screen – Doing up the front.
  • Pugmire Cards – Done, waiting for format from printer.
  • Pugmire – Prepping files for press.
  • M20 Art Book Still in the queue…

 

Proofing

  • C20  2nd proof.
  • V20 Dark Ages Companion – Sending to WW for approval.
  • CtL Huntsmen Chronicle Anthology – At WW for approval.
  • M20 Book of Secrets

 

At Press

  • Ex 3 Scree– Shipping almost completed.
  • Ex 3 core book – Shipping almost completed along with map and bookmarks.
  • W20 Shattered Dreams – Shipping almost completed.
  • Shattered Dreams Screen – Shipping almost completed.
  • Beckett Screen – Shipped to shipper.
  • Beast Conquering Heroes – PDF and PoD going on sale this week on DTRPG.
  • Dark Eras: To the Strongest – PoD proof on the way.
  • Dark Eras: Beneath the Skin – PDF and physical book PoD on sale!
  • Dark Eras: Into the Cold – PDF and physical book PoD on sale!
  • V20 Lore of the Bloodlines – PoD proof ordered.
  • Dark Eras Companion – Files uploaded and processing.
  • W20 Song of Unmaking – Inputting errata.
  • EX3 Tomb of Dreams Jumpstart – PDF out to backers.
  • C20 Anthology – Out to backers, gathering errata.

 

 

 


TODAY’S REASON TO CELEBRATE: US Tax day! Celebrate through your tears if you are from the US! Celebrate not paying our taxes if you are not!


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Matt

107693-231x300.jpgThis week Control requests all units file in for Processing, as transcribed in the opening pages of Convention Book: N.W.O.:

Day 1 – Installation #417

As the soldiers lead him to his fate, Frank Burlingame’s first thought is that the Technocracy needs to stop embracing tired science fiction clichés.

They have him bound and immobile, yet somehow floating with them through corridors of chrome, soft blue light emanating from the spaces between panels. No windows, no smells in the perfectly sterilized air.

He can’t identify the cause of his paralysis — even his head won’t turn — but his mystical sense has no such restrictions. He feels a void in the ebbs and weaves of the Primal Essence, as though the magic suffusing all Creation were simply, impossibly not present, and he allows himself a smile.

They need a prison made of Primium to contain me. At least they’re affording me the proper respect.

His journey ends in a small, windowless room, with a single chair adorned with tubes and needles. The soldiers place him in it without ceremony and leave. He hears the surge of machinery in motion, feels something pierce him, though there is no accompanying pain.

Am I drugged? Are they in my mind already? How could they, through the Primium?

His breathing picks up with the floating plunge of an adrenaline dump. He closes his eyes, wills the feeling back.

No. They will not witness my fear.

He starts a meditation exercise, the one Eiko taught him—

—and then he remembers how she died, the cauterized bits of her sizzling in the heat of the Brazilian sun.

As if timed to the recollection, a blinding spotlight floods the room. Frank hears footsteps approach, and the outline of a man interrupts the light. He can’t make out the features. Of course, they would arrange things that way.

“Hello,” the figure says. “The quicker you cooperate, the easier this will be.” Something familiar in the voice, but the reverberation in here makes it hard to place. An old enemy? He must have a score of them among the Technocrats’ most elite divisions by now. He imagines a dartboard with his face on it, hanging on a break room wall somewhere. “Seriously?” Frank asks, trying for disaffection, derision. “Christ, you people need a better shtick.”

The figure’s head tilts, and Frank suppresses a grin. Point for me.

“I’m not sure I understand,” the figure says in a flat, bored tone of voice.

“Of course you don’t. That’s the problem with you people. For all your knowledge, you don’t understand a thing.”

The figure folds his arms across his chest, a slight shift of his silhouette in the light. “Perhaps you might educate me.”

“Sure. The ultra-smooth, metallic everything has been done to death. I could name you 10 movies and video games doing the same thing. Doesn’t look imposing or menacing anymore, just that your interior decorator died when Futurism was in vogue.”

Frank pauses now, waits for a response. Nothing. At least this guy learned something in Bad Cop school, whoever he is.

Frank continues. “And this room? The spotlight? This chair? Your threat that’s trying not to sound like a threat? You’re telling me you’re going to torture me. Now I’m prepared. I’m ready to hurt, willing to hurt, and give you nothing. You’ve already failed.”

The figure remains silent for a moment before responding. “Are you willing to die?”

Frank feels his heart rate climb, and controls it with a long, slow breath. “If I must, yes.” Got to find a distraction, throw him off. “But that would piss your handlers off quite a bit, I imagine.”

The jibe doesn’t land. The figure sweeps his hand, as if to wipe away the thought. “Maybe. This can only end one of two ways, so either we’ll know soon, or we’ll never know.” He paces out of view, and Frank can hear his footsteps echoing behind the chair.

Heh. Another tactic straight out of Interrogation 101 — remind the subject of your control whenever you’re stumbling. Frank doesn’t know whether he should be grateful to the Fates or pity the poor fool for his transparency.

“I suppose we should start with the basics,” the figure says, and Frank knows he’s extremely close. A hand latches to the back of the chair. “Tell me who you are.”

What is this?

Frank weighs his answer. “They didn’t tell you when they brought me in?”

“You no longer have the freedom to ask questions here, I’m afraid. Who are you?”

A core of doubt works into Frank’s gut, worms its way through his central nervous system. This isn’t right. The way they assaulted the chantry, they must have had extensive files on its layout, personnel, and defenses. He’d been in their custody before; they don’t send interrogators to do a clerk’s job.

“I’m not buying it,” Frank announces.

“Buying what? I asked you a question, and you are to answer.”

“This is a farce. You already know who I am.”

“I asked you a question, and you are—”

“No. Fuck you. You tell me what you want to know, and we’ll—”

Pain, sudden and consuming, floods every last inch of him that can feel. His limbs. His genitals. Every follicle of hair. The rest of the sentence comes out as an inarticulate cry, the only outward sign of his experience. His unique shackles, whatever they are, make thrashing impossible.

The pain abates as quickly as it started. Frank guesses they must have installed a neural interface, to tell his brain to make him hurt as you might command a well-trained dog. The figure returns to the blinding spotlight, closer now, bearing down on him.

“Frank, I asked you a question. Tell me who you are.”

“You just said my name, you sick fuck, so what—”

More pain. Frank screams, channeling anger into the sound, the only thing he can think of to keep sane.

It stops, leaving a dull ache behind in his muscles. The figure watches him, still as death.

“Tell me who you are, Frank, and we don’t have to do this anymore.”

“I don’t understand,” Frank says, hating himself for how much it comes out sounding like a plea.

“Funny,” the figure says. “Just a bit ago you were accusing me of that. Maybe I can educate you.” He walks into the spotlight’s beam, looking for a moment like an angel on heavenly ascent.

The light shuts off, replaced by lambent panel glow. Frank’s eyes adjust, and he sees that he’s the victim of another cliché. His interrogator is everything he expected — nondescript, medium-height, plain gray business suit, and mirrorshades.

He did not expect to recognize the agent’s face, but he does. “You… I get it now. You planted the bomb.”

The agent nods.

“Damn you, Mason. We made you one of our own.”

The agent smirks. “I’m returning the favor. That’s the least I can do, after all the carnage.” He puts his hands in his pockets. “Now. Tell me who you are.”

Who is Frank Burlingame and what does Agent Mason want? Find out in Convention Book: N.W.O. for Mage: The Ascension Revised Edition, now available in PDF and print from DriveThruRPG.


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Matt

DE_BeneaththeSkin-232x300.jpgNow available in PDF and print from DriveThruRPG: Dark Eras: Beneath the Skin and Dark Eras: Into the Cold!

Dark Eras: Beneath the Skin, a setting for Skinchangers and Demon: The Descent:

There is a face beneath this mask, but it isn’t me. I’m no more that face than I am the muscles beneath it, or the bones beneath that.

—Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

Ahuitzotl sits on the throne at the height of the Aztec Empire, overseeing his sorcerer-priests’ sacrifices and the endless flower wars his jaguar and eagle warriors carry out in his name to keep the altars well-supplied with victims. The gears of the Aztec Empire turn smoothly and inexorably, but not everything is what it pretends to be. Skinchangers take the shapes of animals to run the wilds or bring down human prey, the Unchained cobble together identities from stolen lives, and stranger things still lurk in the deserts and jungles beyond the walls of Tenochtitlan.

DE_IntotheCold-232x300.jpgDark Eras: Into the Cold, a setting for Demon: The Descent:

“A wall is a hell of a lot better than a war.”

— John F. Kennedy upon hearing about the construction of the Berlin Wall

East Germany erects a wall against its Western counterpart, turning West Berlin into an island within its own country. As the Cold War heats up, demons find themselves the targets of increasing human scrutiny, and begin to realize that the God-Machine’s plans didn’t end with the War.


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Matt

Changeling: The Lost core book coverHi, folks, Rose here. ^_^ Today, I’d like to share more about the fundamentals of the Changeling setting through an excerpt from Chapter 2, covering the Hedge and the beings who live there.

Without further ado….

The Hedge

The Hedge is always around the edges of the mundane world. In the lonely places, where yours is the only breath stirring the air; in the uncanny places, where fear quickens your step; in the liminal places, where you hang in the balance between here and there. An abandoned office park, weedy grass breaking through broken asphalt; a graveyard, Spanish moss hanging from the low branch of a tree; a cold beach at dawn, succulents dangling over the lip of a sandy cliff. It doesn’t always rip you away from the world, briars catching you and tugging you into some dark hollow of Hobgoblins and malevolent Fae. Sometimes a fairy glen is lovely and mild, with soft places to tread, or lay down your head.

Traversing the Hedge

The Hedge shapes itself according to need, presence, and the available terrain. There are some constants. Its paths are always labyrinthine and confusing. Time passes according to different stars, and the land beneath you to according to different earths. The character of the obstructions that you encounter there will vary according to what you carry with you into it. Including, and especially, what you are carrying in your heart. The thoughts, desires, or memories that shape you will skew the landscape you navigate. The Hedge will collaborate with your mind to deceive you.

Objects you carry into the Hedge may continue to work, but modern devices will become temperamental and whimsical. A flashlight may throw light, but as a lantern or a candle or a cold flame cradled in your palm. A phone might make contact, but to the person you last told a secret or with your voice translated into a forgotten tongue. An object may choose to obey the letter of the law rather than the spirit, or interpret your actions as metaphoric desires. A lit path may glow with a sudden beam of sunshine, or become alight with flame. A sword might become a serpent in your hand, poised to strike the warrior as well as the adversary.

Once

Sweet wisteria and jasmine vines wrap around an archway to a part of the garden you don’t quite remember. It’s dusk, and the park is closing, but you aren’t quite ready to leave. It couldn’t hurt to have a look, maybe sit a moment on the bit of stone glittering just past the archway. The statue next to it is curious, though. Lifelike, but so modern in dress, with a startlingly expressive face. You could almost swear it shifted slightly to glare at you. The scent of flowers is so heavy and distracting that you didn’t notice yourself walking closer. The statue keeps seeming to shift along the other side of the arch. Facing towards you, then away. Angry, then sad. Hands loose, then fisting. You’re almost close enough to touch it through a spray of flowers when you hear your name being called behind you. As you turn to look, a stone hand wraps around your wrist and pulls sharply.

You stretch out on the steps that lead down to the river that divides your city, and watch the seaweed bob and wave just under the surface of the water. It looks, for just a moment, like hair billowing in the current. You fancifully imagine mermaids and sirens, and elementary school daydreams of fishtails and seashell bras. But, was that an eye blinking at you? The face is obscured by silty water and long algal threads suspended in it. Surely that smooth arc was a stone, the eye a bottle glass pebble floating over it. Even so, you crawl closer to the waterline, which helpfully rises towards you. The seaweed drifts between your fingers expectantly, like softly clasping hands.

You’re sure you’ve hiked this way before, you should have hit the trailhead by now. Of course, trails are a little easier to track in daylight, and night came on so fast. Maybe you stepped off somewhere along the way. Your watch stopped hours ago, that must have been how you so thoroughly lost track of time. The headlamp battery held out for a few hours of darkness, but now all you have is the strands of moonlight filtering through branches so thick they’ve clasped over your head. There’s a rushing, grinding sound ahead, and hopefully it’s the service road, not the sea. The rocky hillside begins to slide underneath you, sending you stumbling down too fast. As you duck to avoid a spiderweb as wide across as your arm, everything goes quiet. No water, no road hum, just a bassoon purr close enough to heat the back of your neck. In the distance, you hear a horn.

Three handfuls of dirt, a stolen grave-flower, a torn hymnal; words you knew from a voice in your dreams. As you threw each into the fire, a door cracked open in your mind. When you spoke, you could hear the wind howling in your skull, rattling your windows. The lights went out, the fire went out, and there was a rustling at your threshold. When you opened the door, the air was filled with ozone, and something rushed past you, riding on the wind. The downed power lines formed a golden spiral, and in the center was a living spark that beckoned to you. The air was heavy as you walked between the cables. Tightening around you until you gasped. When you opened your mouth, the spark leapt in, and burrowed under your skin. A way was opened before you of light and scorched earth with no trace of shadow.

When you first walked into the Hedge, it didn’t resist in the same way it would when you tried to leave. Walking forward, across even the sketch of a path was easier than trying to place where your feet had just been behind you. It’s never easy, exactly, to move through a space where your perception of reality is constantly working against you. Most mortals don’t intend to enter the Hedge. They stumble in, through misadventure or deception, and never find their way back out.

Now

Why would it let you go?

When you first escaped, each step that took you back home bled the soles of your feet and raked at your skin. Each thorn tore a bit of you away. Hopefully you made it through with enough of yourself still intact. When you return (for reasons practical or sentimental), you feel that pain all over again. The parts of you that tore away, trying to find the parts of you that escaped. And that ache in your soul is the least dangerous thing to be found in the Hedge.

Your keeper, for example, and all the hunters and hobgoblins they have to hand.

[REDACTED: DREAMING ROADS]

Dwelling Betwixt and Between

You came to the Hedge by accident or guile, less immigrants to Arcadia than its captives. But the Hedge has natives, too. Hobgoblins are made of the very stuff of Arcadia, but have identities more fixed than that would suggest. They live lives of interest to themselves and their families, and have goals which you might help or hinder — as they might for you. Ghosts are what remains when there’s nothing left of a person but a feeling or a memory. When something that’s been torn off of your soul goes unclaimed too long. Not everything that dies in the Hedge comes back as a vengeful spirit, but to die in the Hedge is to immerse your final emotions in a wood shaped by thought and desire. Many do come back, and have a variety of feelings about having died. Much as you would.

Goblin markets sit somewhere squarely between tourist trap, devil’s haunt, and county fair. What you might find there rather depends on the regional specialties, the frequency of appearance, and the esoteric qualities of the land upon which it stands. Pottery cups glazed with the ash of burnt hedgewood, which give you terrifying visions if you over-steep your tea? Strings of bottle glass beads, which turn black in treacherous water? Booklets of single-use paper banishment charms? Very nice roasted corn with crispy cricket flour? You can find lots of things at a goblin market.

Once

You both served as footmen to a prince of wolves. Throwing yourself over roots that his carriage not be jostled. Sweeping aside dishes flung from his table. Cleaning the long white hair from his many fine suits. Brushing out and delicately trimming the mane he was so vain about. She was turned out for having dirty gloves. You tried to escape after her, but were caught by a lazy hound that had run too slow to catch her as she tried to clear the border of his lands.

You worked hand in hand with goblin maids, sewing and mending the skins of her dancing dolls. He fashioned wax heads, each one a replica of one of her living heads. She liked her dolls to match her face whenever she thought to change it. Your hands brushed twice, and he made a new head that looked a little like you. She had him put to death the next day. Or at least, staged a false trial so persuasive that he winked at you when you tried to take the blame.

You kept the giant bees from which she harvested a silvery wax. The statuettes she made were miniature and lovely, and writhed convincingly when subjected to flame. Your Keeper quite liked them. After a steady rhythm of alluding to other lives, you thought perhaps she might help you escape. She betrayed the plan to your mistress, and she shrugged slightly as you were beaten before the court. Someone collected the wax for her after that.

You were your keeper’s shining jewel, the most lovely of his bird wives, with a cloak made of the very heavens. The goblin who carried your train learned somehow of your real name, and taunted you with the knowledge night after night. Threatening to tell you, and break the spell that hid you from your witch king when he had fallen into a mood. Threatening to never tell you, and let you die with the knowledge that he could have freed you, but wouldn’t.

You were a treasured, if unwilling pet. They were just as unwilling, but less prestigious an object for your keeper to possess. You hated each other a bit, and tried to see each other when no one else would meet your eyes. It was dangerous for them to be too familiar with you, though. Lest they gain too much of your mutual owner’s attention. Most erred on the side of deference, paid to the air slightly to your left. As though nothing was there, but the nothing that was there was also a dangerous monster who should be attended to without quite acknowledging.

Now

But they don’t have to be nice to you now. Now you need something from them, and they get to set the rules by which you receive it. Not every Hobgoblin means you particular harm, but neither do they all wish you luck and fortune on your journeys. If you can find a way to tell them apart, you have quite a few friends and co-travellers who would love to know the trick. Some resent having been expected to be subservient to a creature that’s not even from Arcadia. (That’s you.) And they want someone to take that anger out on. Some sympathize with having been an object to someone else’s whim, and having found the strength of desire to flee. Perhaps you can continue to help each other.

Mara Starcatcher wants a hundred first kisses, and a child’s drawing of a family. In exchange she’ll tell you where your first love has gone, and when they will next think of you. For an actual child, she’ll tell you the words that will shatter their heart.

Toru wants to put his wife’s ghost to rest, or at least help her settle into her new identity as a spirit. If you can find her and bring her home, he’ll tell you where he picked the apple flowers that soothed away the confusion that brought you to his doorstep.

Nutmeg caught you fair and square, and she’ll drain the marrow from your bones if you can’t come up with a riddle she’s never heard before. Maybe she’ll do it anyway.

Most goblins are more interested in managing their own affairs than yours, but an opportunity for a nasty trick is hard to pass up. Contracts are always a little dangerous, but goblin contracts are more like predatory loans. In the moment, they can be powerful and helpful, protecting you when you desperately need the strength they can provide. The costs are higher than you imagined, but in the moment, need is greater than caution.


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Matt

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Another fine piece of art from the Prince’s Gambit card set by Mark Kelly. This time, of course, it’s the Sabbat, which makes a lot of sense since part of the game is to figure out who among those playing is the Sabbat infiltrator or infiltrators. There’s more info down below in the BLURBS! section about the Prince’s Gambit Kickstarter, if you want to check it out.

Speaking of Kickstarters, somebody asked me what kinds of KSs I have backed and what compels me to back them. Which was a very different sort of question than I usually get asked, so thanks! So, for me, I’ll back if the project is for a property I’m interested in, or if the KS is for something that couldn’t get made any other way. Sometimes those two coincide.

So, I just got in the giant, and I mean in dimensions, Judges’ Guild book by Goodman Games that reprints a mess o’ JG material at that “tabloid” size they published in back when I started out with D&D, and I just received my Unknown Armies books, from Atlas Games, that I backed because amazingly I never had a UA book in my game collection.

Outside the industry, I absolutely had to back the MST3K revival KS, which might have fit into the next category, but honestly, I never thought it would fail.

But, in that second category, I backed MASHed, RPing in the Korean War by Mark Plemmons, which despite it having a perfect jewel of a triage system driving the operating room tension that was key to MASH, is the sort of ultra-focused game that might not have been made without KS.

Similarly, but outside RPGs, I backed Chris Moeller’s KS that he ran several years ago to fund the creation of the third graphic novel in his Iron Empires series after the mainstream comic book publishers wouldn’t touch it.

And sometimes, if the KS is just so chock full of Stretch Goal stuff then I just have to pledge, even though I don’t “need” more stuff. The sculpts for the Rising Sun game were one of those things that were too cool, and in such quantity, that I couldn’t say no.

 

 

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V20 Dark Ages Companion art by Felipe Gaona

 

 

Our meetings today were mostly about process and getting things done. First Eddy and I went through a lot of the efforts he is going through setting up his schedule and his move to Ireland. Then we had our Onyx staff meeting, and that was also about all the projects we are working on, the differences between our properties and our licensed ones, and whether anyone expects us to respond to every comment Tweeted about us.

(The answer is no, we have work to do).

 

 

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Changeling 20th Hollystrike art by Melissa Uran

 

 

Mirthful Mike Chaney asked me to remind everyone that we are still looking for artists, and frankly we always will be! If you are interested, you can email your interest and examples of your best work to him at: onyxpathart@gmail.com

Now, here’s the important part.

We want any of you who are considering sending some samples to Mirthful Mike to know that you have just as good a chance to get work with us, and to continue to work with us, as any other artist, regardless of gender, race, creed, or anything about the person you are. We’re interested in awesome illustrations, and if you can do that, and deliver them on deadline, then that’s what matters to us.

And let me stress, because we want you to hear us, if you’ve been unable to break into illustration because of any of those factors, we want you to know that we want you here working with us.

Some people will ask why I felt the need to stress that.

Well, because it’s important for aspiring artists who’ve had the door slammed in their faces because of who they are to know that the door we have opened isn’t just open, but that we’re waving them in because we want to see what kind of artwork they can do.

Then it is up to the artwork to convince us to hire the artist.

There are other ways to phrase this, and other ways to try and get more diversity into this thing of ours. This is what we are doing right now, and how we are phrasing it.

 

BLURBS!

KICKSTARTER!

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The Prince’s Gambit casual vampire card game Kickstarter continues to roll with over 1100 backers! We’re almost at the Stretch Goal for adding the Independent Clan Ravnos and then more new art, with more cool rewards yet to come. So please check it out: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/200664283/princes-gambit-casual-vampire-card-game !

Designed by long-time Vampire: the Masquerade tabletop RPG developer Justin Achilli, Prince’s Gambit is a fast-paced social deduction game set within the world of Vampire, but which requires no special knowledge to play. Players must cooperate to gain the favor of the Prince while deducing who among them are secretly the traitorous Sabbat infiltrators.

Next, the Monarchies of Mau KS is scheduled come after Gambit.

 

ON SALE!

 

 

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

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

 

 

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From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: Beneath the Skin (Demon and Skinchangers 1486-1502 Aztec Empire). Ahuitzotl sits on the throne at the height of the Aztec Empire, overseeing his sorcerer-priests’ sacrifices and the endless flower wars his jaguar and eagle warriors carry out in his name to keep the altars well-supplied with victims. The gears of the Aztec Empire turn smoothly and inexorably, but not everything is what it pretends to be. Skinchangers take the shapes of animals to run the wilds or bring down human prey, the Unchained cobble together identities from stolen lives, and stranger things still lurk in the deserts and jungles beyond the walls of Tenochtitlan.

Available Wednesday in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG!

 

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From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: Into the Cold (Demon: the Descent 1961 Berlin). East Germany erects a wall against its Western counterpart, turning West Berlin into an island within its own country. As the Cold War heats up, demons find themselves the targets of increasing human scrutiny, and begin to realize that the God-Machine’s plans didn’t end with the War.

Available Wednesday in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG!

 

 

 

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The splendor and horror of Rio is unwrapped! Cursed Necropolis: Rio for Mummy: the Curse is on sale in PDF and PoD versions: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/205257/Cursed-Necropolis-Rio

Beneath the splendor of Rio de Janeiro seethes a hotbed of occult activity. Over a score of mummies keep their tombs in Rio, their presence seeping into the soil and stones and souls of the city. Over all this reigns the infamous Teshra-Gemet, the pretender Pharaoh.

The city of Rio births marvels both bright and dark… and you never know which kind you have until it’s too late.

Cursed Necropolis: Rio contains:

  • The secrets and schemes of Rio’s Arisen.
  • New Utterances, from the perception usurping Horse and Rider to the cleansing fire of Baal’s Due.
  • “The Serpent’s Tooth,” an all-new adventure to introduce players to the conflicts and power plays of Rio de Janeiro.

 

 

 

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Beasts are added to Hunter: the Vigil with Hunter: Tooth and Nail, coming atcha in PDF and physical book Pod versions on DriveThruRPG.com! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/204066/Hunter-Tooth-and-Nail

Tooth and Nail is a bonus chapter/companion book to the previous released Hunter: Mortal Remains that explores antagonists inspired by the Beast: the Primordial RPG.

Hunter: Tooth and Nail includes:

  • Fiction and story hooks to bring these beasts of legend to your Hunter: The Vigil chronicle.
  • New bestial Dread Powers.
  • New Compacts and Conspiracies which hunt the monsters, but also sometimes hunt the zealous heroes that hunt as well.

 

 

 

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The Secrets of the Covenants for Vampire: the Requiem 2nd REVEALED this Wednesday on DTRPG! Physical copy PoD version coming to DTRPG: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/199280/Secrets-of-the-Covenants

Vampires gather under many banners. But five have endured the tumult of Western history better than any other. The Carthian Movement. The Circle of the Crone. The Invictus. The Lancea et Sanctum. The Ordo Dracul. Each has its fierce devotees, its jealous rivals, and its relentless enemies. Now,for the first time, the covenants speak for themselves.
This book includes:
  • A variety of stories from each of the covenants, all told in their own words.
  • Never-before revealed secrets, like the fate of the Prince of New Orleans.
  • New blood sorcery, oaths, and other hidden powers of the covenants.

 

 

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From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: Fallen Blossoms (Hunter 1640-1660 Japan). Japan is moving into the Edo Period. New laws and new ways of thinking wash over the land, and with a new order come new threats to humanity. Take a look at the Vigil in a time where samurai transition from warlords to bureaucrats, Japan massively and lethally rejects outside influence, and when Edo rapidly grows into a world power.

Continuing our individual Dark Eras chapters, we offer you Dark Eras: Fallen Blossoms on in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/205483/Dark-Eras-Fallen-Blossoms-Hunter-the-Vigil

 

 

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From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: Doubting Souls (Hunter 1690-1695 Salem). Immigrants and tribes struggled to co-exist on the Eastern Seaboard in the ever-expanding Colonies. Violent clashes, supernatural beliefs, and demonic influences spelled disaster for Salem Village and its surrounding towns, while others fought werewolves and vampires on the frontier. With so much at risk, only god-fearing men and women were deemed innocent — and those were few indeed.

Available in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/204372/Dark-Eras-Doubting-Souls-Hunter-the-Vigil

 

 

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From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: The Bowery Dogs (Werewolf 1969-1979 NYC). New York City in the 1970s. Crime. Drugs. Gang violence. Vast economic disparity. And werewolves. It’s a lean, ugly time to be alive, and the lone wolf doesn’t stand a chance out there. In the end, all you really have is family.

Available in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/203762/Dark-Eras-The-Bowery-Dogs-Werewolf-the-Forsaken

 

 

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The Locker is open; the Chronicles of Darkness: Hurt Locker, that is! PDF and physical copy PoDs are now available on DTRPG! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/199275/Chronicles-of-Darkness-Hurt-Locker

Hurt Locker features:

  • Treatment of violence in the Chronicles of Darkness. Lasting trauma, scene framing, and other tools for making your stories hurt.
  • Many new player options, including Merits, supernatural knacks, and even new character types like psychic vampires and sleeper cell soldiers.
  • Expanded equipment and equipment rules.

Hurt Locker requires the Chronicles of Darkness Rulebook or any other standalone Chronicles of Darkness rulebook such as Vampire: The Requiem, Werewolf: The Forsaken, or Beast: The Primordial to use.

 

 

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From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: Ruins of Empire (Mummy 1893-1924). Perhaps the quintessential era of the mummy in the minds of Westerners, this period saw the decline of the two greatest empires of the age: British and Ottoman. Walk with the Arisen as they bear witness to the death of the Victorian age, to pivotal mortal discoveries in Egypt, and to the horrors of the Great War.

Available in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG. http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/178801/Dark-Eras-Ruins-of-Empire-Mummy-the-Curse

 

 

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From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: The Sundered World (Werewolf and Mage 5500-5000 BCE). At the birth of civilization, in the shadow of the Fall, the Awakened stand as champions and protectors of the agricultural villages spread across the Balkans. In a world without a Gauntlet, where Shadow and flesh mingle, the steady taming of the world by humanity conflicts with the half-spirit children of Father Wolf.

Available in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG. http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/202272/Dark-Eras-The-Sundered-World-Werewolf-the-Forsaken-Mage-the-Awakening

 

 

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Night Horrors: Conquering Heroes for Beast: the Primordial is available now as an Advance PDF: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/202615/Night-Horrors-Conquering-Heroes

This book includes: 

  • An in-depth look at how Heroes hunt and what makes a Hero, with eleven new Heroes to drop into any chronicle.
  • A brief look at why Beasts may antagonize one another, with seven new Beasts to drop into any chronicle.
  • Rules for Insatiables, ancient creatures born of the Primordial Dream intent on hunting down Beasts to fill a hunger without end, featuring six examples ready to use in any chronicle.

 

 

 

CONVENTIONS!

Discussing GenCon plans. August 17th – 20th, Indianapolis. Every chance the booth will actually be 20? x 30? this year that we’ll be sharing with friends. We’re looking at new displays this year, like a back drop and magazine racks for the brochure(s).

In November, we’ll be at Game Hole Con in Madison, WI. More news as we have it, and here’s their website: https://www.gameholecon.com/

 

 

 

 


And now, the new project status updates!

 

 

DEVELOPMENT STATUS FROM ROLLICKING ROSE (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)

  • Exalted 3rd Novel by Matt Forbeck (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Trinity Continuum: Aeon Rulebook (The Trinity Continuum)
  • M20 Gods and Monsters (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • M20 Book of the Fallen (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Ex Novel 2 (Aaron Rosenberg) (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • C20 Novel (Jackie Cassada) (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Pugmire Fiction Anthology (Pugmire)
  • Monarchies of Mau Early Access (Pugmire)
  • Hunter: the Vigil 2e core (Hunter: the Vigil 2nd Edition)
  • DtD Night Horrors: Enemy Action (Demon: the Descent)
  • The Realm (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Dragon-Blooded (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Arms of the Chosen (Exalted 3rd Edition)

 

Redlines

  • Kithbook Boggans (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)

 

Second Draft

  • V20 Dark Ages Jumpstart (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • GtS Geist 2e core (Geist: the Sin-Eaters Second Edition)
  • Pugmire Pan’s Guide for New Pioneers (Pugmire)
  • Trinity Continuum Core Rulebook (The Trinity Continuum)
  • Scion: Origins (Scion 2nd Edition)
  • Scion: Hero (Scion 2nd Edition)
  • WoD Ghost Hunters (World of Darkness)

 

Development

  • W20 Changing Ways (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Signs of Sorcery (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)
  • SL Ring of Spiragos (Pathfinder – Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
  • Ring of Spiragos (5e – Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
  • SL Dagger of Spiragos (Pathfinder – Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
  • Dagger of Spiragos (5e– Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
  • Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition, featuring the Huntsmen Chronicle (Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition)
  • Book of Freeholds (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • BtP Beast Player’s Guide (Beast: the Primordial)
  • M20 Cookbook (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • CtD C20 Jumpstart (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • VtR Half-Damned (Vampire: the Requiem 2nd Edition)

 

Editing:

  • Wraith: the Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition
  • BtP Building a Legend (Beast: the Primordial)

 

Post-Editing Development:

 

Indexing:

 

 

 

ART DIRECTION FROM MIRTHFUL MIKE:

In Art Direction

  • Beckett’s Jyhad Diary – Waiting on the remainder of the art.
  • W20 Pentex Employee Indoctrination Handbook – AD’d
  • Dagger of Spiragos  – Waiting on maps.
  • VTR: Thousand Years of Night Contracted
  • Cavaliers of Mars – AD’d(ish)
  • Monarchies of Mau Early Access – Sketches incoming.
  • BtP Building a Legend – AD’d
  • Wraith 20 – AD’d
  • W20 Changing Ways

 

Marketing Stuff

 

In Layout

  • Prince’s Gambit 
  • M20 Book of Secrets – Layout in progress.
  • Pugmire Screen – Working on it.
  • Pugmire Cards – Wrapping up.
  • Pugmire – Prepping files for press.
  • M20 Art Book Still in the queue…

 

Proofing

  • C20  Aileen inputting notes from 1st proof and making tweaks before doing 2nd proof.
  • V20 Dark Ages Companion – Getting 2nd proof ready.
  • CtL Huntsmen Chronicle Anthology – Inputting corrections from 1st proof.

 

At Press

  • Ex 3 Scree– Shipping almost completed.
  • Ex 3 core book – Shipping almost completed along with map and bookmarks.
  • W20 Shattered Dreams – Shipping almost completed.
  • Shattered Dreams Screen – Shipping almost completed.
  • Beckett Screen – Shipped to shipper.
  • Beast Conquering Heroes – PoD proof on the way.
  • Dark Eras: To the Strongest – PoD proof on the way.
  • Dark Eras: Beneath the Skin – PDF and physical book PoD on sale Wednesday!
  • Dark Eras: Into the Cold – PDF and physical book PoD on sale Wednesday!
  • V20 Lore of the Bloodlines – PoD file uploaded. Need to order proof when ready.
  • Dark Eras Companion – PDF out to backers, gathering errata.
  • W20 Song of Unmaking – PDF out to backers, errata gathered.
  • EX3 Tomb of Dreams Jumpstart – PDF out to backers this week, gathering errata.
  • C20 Anthology – PDF going out to C20 Kickstarter backers this week.

 

 

 


TODAY’S REASON TO CELEBRATE: The weather has allowed me to enjoy a jog around the park. First real run in months, and to be honest, only was able to stop and start. So 2/3s jog and 1/3 walk. But still, it’s a start!


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Matt

170167-200x300.jpgToday we look at part of the Translator’s Preface of Dreams of Avarice, an artifact book for Mummy: The Curse written by Malcolm Sheppard.

The groups had weird profles: multi-ethnic, but never members of the usual channels for foreign fghters. No Qurans, but no alternative literature either. They weren’t anarchists, communists, Ba’athist revivalists, local monarchists, or anything else that fit our early conflict models. They had money, but never too much cash in one spot, and that meant they had steady incomes. Yet the biggest anomaly sat far outside my area of expertise. Sometimes the usual people took them out with bombs, rockets, and guns, but sometimes they died after weirder events like meteor strikes and earthquakes. That’s why it turned into a No-Name Gang affair.

Whoever turned these people’s homes into graves paid special attention to texts. I found burned, shredded, and buried pages. In each case, the content was the same, but written in various languages, with the broken-telephone artifacts that accompany translations. They were parts of a broken Rosetta Stone. I could almost taste the original language, and called it “Pre-Archaic Egyptian,” though of course… in a way, every word of that name is a lie.

After three years I collected half a complete text and a few interesting artifacts. I’m not an archeologist but then again, not all of these were ancient. One of them featured hieroglyphs etched in stainless steel. Some of them did things. Miracles. Curses. The Gang told me not to touch them. Evidently, there’s a whole protocol for the stranger things operations uncover, especially in the Middle East, Africa, and anywhere else, warfighters tread along the paths of ancient migrations. Sometimes we recovered “active artifacts” that used to be tucked in museums and other collections before unrest swept them away. Sometimes we caused that unrest on purpose, to spirit things away in our briefcases.

Despite the resources available, the Gang left me to my own devices; and SOCOM practiced so much compartmentalization that it was easy to plead need to know when, well, only I needed to know. We weren’t the only paranormal researchers with ranks and badges, but the history of US work in this field has been a continuous fuckup. Stargate. Midnight. The Earth First Battalion. Task forces and research groups. Various Ominous Acronyms. They were either walking jokes or security threats. We were autonomous, slippery, evidence-focused and, ironically enough, vulnerable because of our virtues.

I wanted to master the Pre-Archaic language. I could give you plenty of reasons, like I did the bosses. We could use it to track and lure these cults. We could better identify active artifacts. Mostly though, I just wanted to know the language for myself. Languages are beautiful. They’re like people in the way they take on their parents’ characteristics, age into their prime and eventually enter senescence, overwhelmed by social contamination. I sensed Pre-Archaic grandeur in its Afro-Asiatic descendants’ confdence and gaze toward eternity. I fell in love with it.

So imagine the Gang: trained operators rocking the Fertile Crescent and various ‘Stans in active mode, directing our own missions, packing not only the finest heat tax dollars can buy, but a variety of active artifacts seized from these cults. What could possibly go wrong? Oh, let me tell you.

We attached ourselves to an anonymous group of Acronym Agency types. They were handing out battery powered routers and protest manuals in Cairo. You know when. They weren’t supposed to be there, so they could hardly object to a few spare hands to help them out and take a stroll around the Valley of the Kings just down the river. We put down near a cluster of minor tombs and thanks to the political situation, dealt with nothing worse than a few security guards on the cheap, for bags of US dollars, flash-bangs, and zip ties. Our last op had provided the GPS coordinates. We arrived to a freshly dug and shored up site. We schlepped in, and when sand gave way to red stone I looked on the walls, and saw pure Pre-Archaic, with its confident circles, suns, and scorpions.

We were professional, too quiet to sense, but of course, that didn’t matter. The Heretic tells me they could smell the Sekhem in our unconventional gear. That made sense. I had a night vision lens on one eye, and an amulet that let me see “life force” on the other. That’s what Sekhem is: the stuff of life made of memories, urges, and the million selves of consciousness; cell mitosis; love, and everything else life does. I’m going to leave it untranslated beyond that. I’m not qualifed to find another word that describes its occult complexities.

So, they were ready for us. That almost didn’t help. Without training, people with more bravery than sense default to human wave attacks. This wasn’t your average tomb — it was the size of a small theater — but even then, running at three operators and packing heat in a confined space is the closest you can get to suicide without pulling the trigger yourself. They had knives. It was ridiculous, but they kept coming, with intent to kill. What else could we do?

There was a woman with them. She was beautiful, at first. She raised her hands and changed. I remember a blue-gray corpse and a pair of blazing falcon’s wings. I had a seizure of some kind. It was like every time I’d imagined that angel in my grandmother’s church coming to life invading my head, or when I looked at the stars in the vast black canopy of night and felt small, pathetic, and afraid. I tasted copper and salt. I was crying, and I’d bitten my own hand to keep from screaming.

The Heretic saved me, but not the others. I could barely see straight. Everything had migraine halos, including the husks of Rick and Guang. It looked like something had burned them out from the inside. They were dried dead insects, magnifed to grotesque size. I saw that and floated away from my body. I only felt it sway to the rhythm of his steps as he carried me. I heard the Heretic trade words with the woman, the horror. It sounded like a clash of battle hymns. His song won and his last word was a thunderclap, accompanied by a sharp white light.

One of the first things I remember when I came to by the Nile was him rummaging through my gear, tossing active artifacts into the dust like they were garbage. Later, the Heretic said he’d followed us by the Sekhem in them. He had a boat moored on the shore, too, and I laughed hysterically at the mundanity of it. I imagined that thunderous voice haggling in Arabic with a local over the price, or standing by, tapping his feet as the boat’s owner topped off the gas. I thought back to our chopper. We left it on the ground at the Valley of the Kings with its pilots. They were probably dead now. I was in shock, I realize now. My laughter turned to screams, and the Heretic whispered in my ear.

Learn more about our Translator, and the Heretic himself, in Dreams of Avarice, now available in PDF and print on DriveThruFiction.


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Matt

Greetings, fellow Cainites!

The title of this blog is the kind of question to make fellow writer and developer Neall Raemonn Price disturbingly euphoric. He has an odd fetish for those three-eyed soul-sucking demonspawn learned vampires know as “Salubri.”

Well, V20 Dark Ages Companion is coming soon, so I thought I’d post to the blog about it.

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Illustration by Pat McEvoy for V20 Dark Ages Companion

As covered in previous posts, V20 Dark Ages Companion profiles several domains around the known world, including a couple largely unaffected by the War of Princes, rise of the Inquisition, or fall of the Salubri. In Mangaluru, on the west coast of the country we now call India, the War of Princes’ tendrils fall short of plunging a domain into war. The Long Night persists, and the Salubri rule in concert with the Danava and Ravnos, each of them preying on different castes of kine.

V20 Dark Ages Companion allows us as writers, and you as Storytellers and players, to explore new realms and play chronicles of Vampire: The Dark Ages in different styles to the typical feudal, mediaeval setup of Europe. While we represent domains including Bath (in the British Isles), Bjarkarey (in Scandinavia), and Rome (location fairly obvious), we also go farther afield with the domains of Constantinople, and Mogadishu (in Somalia). And then we have Mangaluru, which is the greatest distance travelled in a Dark Ages book to date. The distance between Mangaluru and the European continent made us ask questions, such as “how would the hierarchy of such a domain be set up?” “how would they treat the kine differently?” “what would be their perspective of the vampire arrivals from their west?” and importantly, “how have recent insurrections and wars affected this relatively remote domain?”

What if the Salubri never fell? We ask this question in the Apocrypha of V20 Dark Ages. We demonstrate a scenario where this is indeed the case with Mangaluru. I explore a similar theme with a sidebar in V20 Dark Ages Tome of Secrets, regarding the Tzimisce. What if the Tzimisce Koldün put ancestral rivalries and blood-borne jealousies aside and banded together against the nascent Tremere? Would we see a different Vienna come the Final Nights? Would we see a different Sabbat and Camarilla?

Dark Ages is a ripe setting for playing out these “What If?” scenarios. Allow your players to set off a series of events not in keeping with the established canon, and alter your own game to fit. Upcoming V20 books such as the Dark Ages Companion and Beckett’s Jyhad Diary are perfect for making subtle or major tweaks to the rich lore of Vampire: The Masquerade. Doing so in the course of a chronicle empowers the players, and makes them feel like they have a genuine impact on the setting.

As per demand from my last blog on V20 Dark Ages Companion, I include below an extract from the Domain of Mangaluru chapter (by Neall Raemonn Price), and extracts from the Apocrypha of Clan Malkavian (by Susann Hessen) and the rituals of Clan Tremere (by Malcolm Sheppard):

A Land of Legend

As told by Malsang of the Nagaraja

The people’s flesh is hot. The spices, you see? Can you not taste the pepper amidst the copper, so like sun-warmed blood even on the most rain-soaked evening? Ahh, those are the only delights left to me. The night is still beautiful, but how I wish I could see the green of the trees once more, how the rain must cause the light of the sun to shatter into a thousand colors. What some call our curse abates in this place, for the land’s blessings are manifold. The sage Parshurama himself reclaimed this land from the sea and built the temple where the Danava now dwell. The sea has blessed us further. Spice has been the blood of Mangaluru, literally and metaphorically. It pools in their livelihood and in their meat. The people pole down the rivers Gurupuru and Netravati, walk through the rolling hills to come here and ply their wares. When the Empire of Rome was late a Republic, that elder of theirs, Pliny, spoke of fearing our pirates. Even then proud Roma refused to face our sailors on equal seas. Lasombra, Ventrue, and Malkavian from Rome, Brujah from Carthage, each sent their childer to our shores, foreign leather planting into the sands over red clay. The Greeks recognized us as one of the greatest fonts of pepper in the entire world, and what their swords could not take their coins bought instead. The Byzars of New Rome come here now, Greek as ever, as do Persians, Muslims, Jews, and Christians.

The triumvirs have been here as long as Mangaluru, and Mangaluru has always been here. How not? The Salubri and the Danava have been close since Saulot received his revelations within the city of Golconda. They and the Ravnos are all enemies of the hated asuratizzaya to the east, driving deep the alliance between the three lines of the Blood. Danava and Salubri have always ruled this land, and the jati of the Ravnos have been their strong sword
arms. They rule with sorcery and legend, demanding blood as payment and giving health as the best of kings. The Children of Danu are not like the Ventrue, lurking under the grand castle of the Premysls, or the Toreador in their fine courts. They garb themselves as holy men, calling themselves Brahmins when they deem to do so at all, and slumber amidst the temple of Mangaladevi, greatest of the Kerala temples. The Kshatriya Unicorns rise in the palaces of kings, existing among the people, hiding in plain sight but watching over them in secret, waiting, protecting.

The Seat of Kings

The Salubri have named themselves rulers since Kulashekara Alupendra, king of the Alupas, made the city his capital. The Alupas were always second to the Chalukyas of Badami, the Rashrakutas, the Calukyas of Kalyani, and the Hoysalas — whichever dynasty held the imperial throne, the Alupas were quick to bend the knee, and so remained favored signatories. The Shepherds attached themselves to Alupendra’s court, ensuring their pawns and angers-on remained strong and in good health. They made sure the king’s political enemies and those traders who faltered in their profits made their way to Mangaladevi, to pray for holy deliverance. They found it: sacrificed and consumed to fuel the Sadhana of the deva Danava. Those blood sorcerers, in turn, protected the prophets from all enemies. Both hold the Ravnos, commoners in status if not in caste, under their taloned thumbs, much to their chagrin. We came much later, and only the insistence of the Salubri that the city was welcome to all was our salvation. Common vampires coming to Mangaluru must bring a mortal with them as tribute, one whom they will not miss. If they fail in this, they must procure one from outside the city, for many of the lesser mortal traders who come to Mangaluru fall under scrutiny as soon as they step off their ships. The Salubri judge their impact on the city, the Danava scry their karma, and if the trader suffers under the weight of his sins, Ravnos take him in the night. The majority of these sacrifices go to the Danava, the smallest remainder to we, and by our combined patronage Mangaluru remains safe by blood sorcery. We make more of it
than the Danava, clearly — not blood, nor meat, nor soul is wasted by we — but their magics are empowered by their gods, so clearly the sacrifices seem worthwhile. They are the only mortals who perish at the fangs of vampires within the city, though — an unholy murder, performed without sanction, will only result in the swiftest and most terrible vengeance. The travelers and traders taken are relatively few in number, while the residential people of the city and dedicated herds keep safe Mangaluru’s Cainites.

Peace and prosperity guide the night’s activities. Divinatory magics allow the Salubri to guide foreign vampires to auspicious victims, enriching the capability of the city to support a Cainite population. Even a Trembling One visiting the city (and there are many) can expect an ironic smile and warm welcome from a Salubri. And why not smile, for are they not victorious? What the Hellenic Cainites deemed Elysium rules over the city entire. The combined power of Sadhana and Valeren find any who seek to break the peace before the thought even occurs to them. The Shepherds are open about their challenge, telling every Tremere neonate who comes to take a message back to their chantries: Mangaluru is a refuge, one the Tremere may assault if they dare. The Children of Saulot are there, and they are waiting.

The Coronati

For each deadly sin, there is a Malkavian who represents it. The very sin of sloth is called dejection in some Orthodox writings, and one who suffers from depression will certainly be judged slothful rather than ill. When a neonate emerges and finds his new mind inextricably tied to one of these sins, he will regard himself as wicked or cursed. While other vampires will see in him the mark of Malkav, they too will consider him stained with wickedness, not illness. Kine are less merciful yet — knowing nothing of the curses of Caine, they will see sin without reason.

This state is a mixed blessing. Most Cassandras of any notable station come from these ranks — they are the ones who most readily accept the premises of their surroundings, and they are the ones who seem most rational. Some believe such Seers only descend from those Malkavians among the Coronati — Malkav’s childer who sucked vitae from the earth surrounding where Malkav was once struck down by Set — in order to preserve him and spread his madness. But these Coronati childer are the sinful, and theirs is scorn to reap. Among Cainites, the Coronati childer are often compared with the Nosferatu. Their minds are not sick, but twisted and warped into unholy patterns. Their souls carry the ugliness inside that the Nosferatu carry openly.
Sin and pain stain their souls, whether they suffer uncontrollable bouts of rage or megalomania, or obsessively arrange their possessions just so. They manipulate the madness in others, spreading insanity like a plague.

Even those whose predilections do not run towards true sin will face the same stigma among vampires — if a Childe of Malkav does not display the touch of true madness, then her peers consider her one of the sinful.

Wield the Spear of Damnation (Level Three Ritual)

This ritual recalls the legend of Caine itself, dedicating a weapon to satisfy a vampire’s nature just as the Dark Father cursed himself, when he raised a sharp stone against his brother. The Tremere writes Genesis 4:10 (“And he said, ‘What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.’”) upon an edged weapon in purported angelic script, during a meditative trance. This requires one hour. From that moment forward, half the lethal damage inflicted by the weapon (rounded up) converts to blood points, filling the wielder’s pool. This persists until the weapon has harvested the caster’s Thaumaturgy + ritual successes in blood points. Blood so harvested doesn’t inflict extra damage (it comes straight from blood shed by the wound), but is of the target’s type. Lupine blood remains doubly potent, and other blood types have their signature effects.


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Matt

Rio-Front-232x300.jpgNow available from DriveThruRPG in PDF and print: Cursed Necropolis: Rio for Mummy: The Curse!

I’ve never sailed the Amazon, I’ve never reached Brazil, But the Don and Magdalena, they can go there when they will! Unless I go to Rio, these wonders to behold Oh, I’d love to roll to Rio, some day before I’m old!

— Rudyard Kipling, Just So Stories

The Marvelous City

Beneath the splendor of Rio de Janeiro seethes a hotbed of occult activity. Over a score of mummies keep their tombs in Rio, their presence seeping into the soil and stones and souls of the city. Over all this reigns the infamous Teshra-Gemet, the pretender Pharaoh.

The city of Rio births marvels both bright and dark… and you never know which kind you have until it’s too late.

Cursed Necropolis: Rio contains:

  • The secrets and schemes of Rio’s Arisen.
  • New Utterances, from the perception usurping Horse and Rider to the cleansing fire of Baal’s Due.
  • “The Serpent’s Tooth,” an all-new adventure to introduce players to the conflicts and power plays of Rio de Janeiro.

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Matt

Changeling: The Lost RulebookHi, folks. Rose here. ^_^

A question came up on the forums about how the Seasonal Courts work when they’re in and out of power. I thought it’d be cool to have a look at one of the full Court writeups from Chapter 1. The Courts were written by Changeling‘s original creator, Ethan Skemp, who’s rejoining us for this book!

Click here for the preview!

(Please link this blog post if you want to share the preview, rather than linking the Google doc directly.)

Other Court models are also in the core book. Every setting in Chapter 6 has its own Courts, each of which has its own Mantle. There are rules for making your own Bargains, Mantles, and Crowns in Chapter 7.


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Matt

Intrigue-Cards-Side-by-Side-300x150.png

How Intriguing!

I know, bad joke. (More on that later). But excellent Intrigue cards from the Prince’s Gambit social-deduction card game, pictured above. Our Kickstarter is just finishing up its first two weeks and we’re already 400% funded and have reached over 1000 backers!

That last factoid is actually really significant, as it’s a milestone I love to see with our KSs. I think in comic book publishing that’s called the Golden Thousand, and applies to a creator who can rely on that many fans, at least, picking up and talking about their latest work. Get that amount, they say, and you have enough voices out there to spread the word about every project you publish.

And in general, it is just fantastic that 1000 people are excited about our little card game!

 

 

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Illustration by Pat McEvoy for V20 Dark Ages Companion

 

 

Thanks to all of you that joined us for our AMA last week on Reddit. Mostly about Prince’s Gambit, the questions were fired at us fast and furiously and were all over the place. It was great- thanks to all of you and all of the various Onyx Path creators who dropped in from that afternoon all into the night and even the next morning!

Now what was I going to say about bad jokes?

Oh yes, I remember. One person’s bad joke is another’s laugh-riot. Humor just works like that. It, like all art, is subjective.

In fact, I’d say that humor is even more subjective than horror, and that much harder to successfully use well in roleplaying games. So generally, I tell our developers to try and avoid writing the Funny.  Let the situation and characters dictate whether a situation might have humor in it, but let the players decide just where in that subjective humor zone  they want to land.

Eddy and I had a similar conversation about the humor in Pugmire, and we decided to dial it up just a notch, but not to undermine the fantasy adventure basis of the world, nor the essentially pathos of dogs awaiting their masters’ return. But ultimately, we know we’re not stopping the sniffing each other’s butts jokes that are almost always part of the first reaction to the game.

 

 

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Fortune Markers for Pugmire by Jeff Laubenstein

 

 

Which brings us to our April Fool’s joke project this year.

Every year, we try and come up with something amusing. Just that, just amusing. Not big laugh, not change your life. And absolutely not something that freaks anybody out as sometimes happened back in olden White Wolf days. We get enough in the freak out department with just everyday business as usual. (More on that later).

So this year, it’s an homage to Chuck Tingle and his projects. (Google him).

And no, the humor is not for everyone. It was not designed to be. Nor is the over-the-top nature of the humor a threat to anything you hold dear. It’s not for sale, so if you get it and don’t get the joke, then you’ve lost nothing. It didn’t come out of our regular production efforts, so no projects were delayed for it. It is only official Scion lore if you want it to be.

It’s a joke, which I don’t say as a put-down to anyone who didn’t get it, or as an excuse. It’s a joke because jokes are subjective. Jokes are the things that look at life at an angle, that at their best can contain unpleasant truths that can’t be told any other way. For the record, I’m pretty sure our little effort this 4/1 is not the best that jokes can be, but it made us and a bunch of other people laugh.

Which is a win any day of the week.

For anybody that didn’t get the joke, got it but didn’t think it was funny, or was offended: No worries, we’ll be doing another something next year, and we’ll try and get you laughing with that one.

 

 

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V20 Beckett’s Jyhad Diary illustration by Sam Araya

 

 

One more thing this week: I’ve been talking a bit about how we’ve been working on “shoring up our infrastructure”. I’m sure it is obvious by now that that also meant that we are getting some projects and entire lines moving forward as we need them to. There are a lot of approaches that we are using, and sometimes after using a bunch of them, we see no choice but to change the team.

Some of you have expressed concern for your favorite project, or line, or developer(s) after we’ve made these changes, and I understand that. Change is scary. We invest a lot of ourselves in our favorite creators of our favorite games (and media in general), and it sometimes feels like we’ve lost out on something if they move on. Please rest assured that we at Onyx have been there, and know how you feel, and are doing everything we can to make the changes needed as non-disruptive as possible.

I will say that we don’t make these sorts of changes casually. We don’t make changes to projects merely for the sake of doing so, particularly if the project or line has already been shown, even a bit, to our community. We take that very seriously. We always pay for publishable work that is handed in to us when we require it. And unless a creator’s actions are actively harming Onyx Path, we generally would like them to continue doing something with us, just not the thing that wasn’t working out.

It is my preference that Onyx Path‘s representatives don’t go into the details of how and why we’ve made those changes, but on the ultimate result by announcing to you all how a project or line will be moving forward and with whom. There are many, many, reasons why these sorts of things turn out like they do, and rarely are there villains of the piece. Like I’ve said before, more often, due to where we are with what we need and where a creator is in their lives, there’s no longer a good fit.

Again, I’m keeping this all kind of general and broad-sweeping rather than getting into examples, and while I know that’s not as entertaining, in this case I’m erring on the side of treating people like I’d like to be treated.

And there I go from jokes to some pretty serious stuff, hope none of you got whip-lash.

 

BLURBS!

KICKSTARTER!

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The Prince’s Gambit casual vampire card game Kickstarter continues to roll with over 1000 backers! We’ve been passing alternating Stretch Goals for adding the Independent Clans and new art at a rapid clip since then, with more cool rewards yet to come. So please check it out: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/200664283/princes-gambit-casual-vampire-card-game !

Designed by long-time Vampire: the Masquerade tabletop RPG developer Justin Achilli, Prince’s Gambit is a fast-paced social deduction game set within the world of Vampire, but which requires no special knowledge to play. Players must cooperate to gain the favor of the Prince while deducing who among them are secretly the traitorous Sabbat infiltrators.

Next, the Monarchies of Mau KS is scheduled come after Gambit.

 

ON SALE!

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

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The splendor and horror of Rio is unwrapped this Wednesday! Cursed Necropolis: Rio for Mummy: the Curse goes on sale in PDF and PoD versions.

Beneath the splendor of Rio de Janeiro seethes a hotbed of occult activity. Over a score of mummies keep their tombs in Rio, their presence seeping into the soil and stones and souls of the city. Over all this reigns the infamous Teshra-Gemet, the pretender Pharaoh.

The city of Rio births marvels both bright and dark… and you never know which kind you have until it’s too late.

Cursed Necropolis: Rio contains:

  • The secrets and schemes of Rio’s Arisen.
  • New Utterances, from the perception usurping Horse and Rider to the cleansing fire of Baal’s Due.
  • “The Serpent’s Tooth,” an all-new adventure to introduce players to the conflicts and power plays of Rio de Janeiro.

 

 

 

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Beasts are added to Hunter: the Vigil with Hunter: Tooth and Nail, coming atcha in PDF and physical book Pod versions on DriveThruRPG.com! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/204066/Hunter-Tooth-and-Nail

Tooth and Nail is a bonus chapter/companion book to the previous released Hunter: Mortal Remains that explores antagonists inspired by the Beast: the Primordial RPG.

Hunter: Tooth and Nail includes:

  • Fiction and story hooks to bring these beasts of legend to your Hunter: The Vigil chronicle.
  • New bestial Dread Powers.
  • New Compacts and Conspiracies which hunt the monsters, but also sometimes hunt the zealous heroes that hunt as well.

 

 

 

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The Secrets of the Covenants for Vampire: the Requiem 2nd REVEALED this Wednesday on DTRPG! Physical copy PoD version coming to DTRPG: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/199280/Secrets-of-the-Covenants

Vampires gather under many banners. But five have endured the tumult of Western history better than any other. The Carthian Movement. The Circle of the Crone. The Invictus. The Lancea et Sanctum. The Ordo Dracul. Each has its fierce devotees, its jealous rivals, and its relentless enemies. Now,for the first time, the covenants speak for themselves.
This book includes:
  • A variety of stories from each of the covenants, all told in their own words.
  • Never-before revealed secrets, like the fate of the Prince of New Orleans.
  • New blood sorcery, oaths, and other hidden powers of the covenants.

 

 

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From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: Fallen Blossoms (Hunter 1640-1660 Japan). Japan is moving into the Edo Period. New laws and new ways of thinking wash over the land, and with a new order come new threats to humanity. Take a look at the Vigil in a time where samurai transition from warlords to bureaucrats, Japan massively and lethally rejects outside influence, and when Edo rapidly grows into a world power.

Continuing our individual Dark Eras chapters, we offer you Dark Eras: Fallen Blossoms on in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/205483/Dark-Eras-Fallen-Blossoms-Hunter-the-Vigil

 

 

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From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: Doubting Souls (Hunter 1690-1695 Salem). Immigrants and tribes struggled to co-exist on the Eastern Seaboard in the ever-expanding Colonies. Violent clashes, supernatural beliefs, and demonic influences spelled disaster for Salem Village and its surrounding towns, while others fought werewolves and vampires on the frontier. With so much at risk, only god-fearing men and women were deemed innocent — and those were few indeed.

Available in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/204372/Dark-Eras-Doubting-Souls-Hunter-the-Vigil

 

 

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From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: The Bowery Dogs (Werewolf 1969-1979 NYC). New York City in the 1970s. Crime. Drugs. Gang violence. Vast economic disparity. And werewolves. It’s a lean, ugly time to be alive, and the lone wolf doesn’t stand a chance out there. In the end, all you really have is family.

Available in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/203762/Dark-Eras-The-Bowery-Dogs-Werewolf-the-Forsaken

 

 

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The Locker is open; the Chronicles of Darkness: Hurt Locker, that is! PDF and physical copy PoDs are now available on DTRPG! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/199275/Chronicles-of-Darkness-Hurt-Locker

Hurt Locker features:

  • Treatment of violence in the Chronicles of Darkness. Lasting trauma, scene framing, and other tools for making your stories hurt.
  • Many new player options, including Merits, supernatural knacks, and even new character types like psychic vampires and sleeper cell soldiers.
  • Expanded equipment and equipment rules.

Hurt Locker requires the Chronicles of Darkness Rulebook or any other standalone Chronicles of Darkness rulebook such as Vampire: The Requiem, Werewolf: The Forsaken, or Beast: The Primordial to use.

 

 

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From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: Ruins of Empire (Mummy 1893-1924). Perhaps the quintessential era of the mummy in the minds of Westerners, this period saw the decline of the two greatest empires of the age: British and Ottoman. Walk with the Arisen as they bear witness to the death of the Victorian age, to pivotal mortal discoveries in Egypt, and to the horrors of the Great War.

Available in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG. http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/178801/Dark-Eras-Ruins-of-Empire-Mummy-the-Curse

 

 

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From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: The Sundered World (Werewolf and Mage 5500-5000 BCE). At the birth of civilization, in the shadow of the Fall, the Awakened stand as champions and protectors of the agricultural villages spread across the Balkans. In a world without a Gauntlet, where Shadow and flesh mingle, the steady taming of the world by humanity conflicts with the half-spirit children of Father Wolf.

Available in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG. http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/202272/Dark-Eras-The-Sundered-World-Werewolf-the-Forsaken-Mage-the-Awakening

 

 

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Night Horrors: Conquering Heroes for Beast: the Primordial is available now as an Advance PDF: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/202615/Night-Horrors-Conquering-Heroes

This book includes: 

  • An in-depth look at how Heroes hunt and what makes a Hero, with eleven new Heroes to drop into any chronicle.
  • A brief look at why Beasts may antagonize one another, with seven new Beasts to drop into any chronicle.
  • Rules for Insatiables, ancient creatures born of the Primordial Dream intent on hunting down Beasts to fill a hunger without end, featuring six examples ready to use in any chronicle.

 

 

 

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Open the V20 Dark Ages: Tome of Secrets now on DTRPG! Both PDF and physical book PoD versions are now available! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/197358/V20-Dark-Ages-Tome-of-Secrets

The Tome of Secrets is a treatment of numerous topics about Cainites and stranger things in the Dark Medieval World. It’s about peeling back the curtain, and digging a little deeper. Inside, you’ll find:

• Expanded treatment of Assamite Sorcery, Koldunic Sorcery, Necromancy, and Setite Sorcery

• A look at Cainite knightly orders, faith movements, and even human witchcraft

• Letters and diaries from all over the Dark Medieval World

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONVENTIONS!

Discussing GenCon plans. August 17th – 20th, Indianapolis. Every chance the booth will actually be 20? x 30? this year that we’ll be sharing with friends. We’re looking at new displays this year, like a back drop and magazine racks for the brochure(s).

In November, we’ll be at Game Hole Con in Madison, WI. More news as we have it, and here’s their website: https://www.gameholecon.com/

 

 

 

 


And now, the new project status updates!

 

 

DEVELOPMENT STATUS FROM ROLLICKING ROSE (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)

  • Exalted 3rd Novel by Matt Forbeck (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Trinity Continuum: Aeon Rulebook (The Trinity Continuum)
  • M20 Gods and Monsters (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • M20 Book of the Fallen (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Ex Novel 2 (Aaron Rosenberg) (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • C20 Novel (Jackie Cassada) (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Pugmire Fiction Anthology (Pugmire)
  • Monarchies of Mau Early Access (Pugmire)
  • Hunter: the Vigil 2e core (Hunter: the Vigil 2nd Edition)
  • DtD Night Horrors: Enemy Action (Demon: the Descent)
  • The Realm (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Dragon-Blooded (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Arms of the Chosen (Exalted 3rd Edition)

 

Redlines

  • Kithbook Boggans (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)

 

Second Draft

  • V20 Dark Ages Jumpstart (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • GtS Geist 2e core (Geist: the Sin-Eaters Second Edition)
  • CtD C20 Jumpstart (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Pugmire Pan’s Guide for New Pioneers (Pugmire)
  • VtR Half-Damned (Vampire: the Requiem 2nd Edition)
  • Trinity Continuum Core Rulebook (The Trinity Continuum)
  • Scion: Origins (Scion 2nd Edition)
  • Scion: Hero (Scion 2nd Edition)
  • WoD Ghost Hunters (World of Darkness)

 

Development

  • W20 Changing Ways (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Signs of Sorcery (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)
  • SL Ring of Spiragos (Pathfinder – Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
  • Ring of Spiragos (5e – Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
  • SL Dagger of Spiragos (Pathfinder – Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
  • Dagger of Spiragos (5e– Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
  • Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition, featuring the Huntsmen Chronicle (Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition)
  • Book of Freeholds (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • BtP Beast Player’s Guide (Beast: the Primordial)
  • M20 Cookbook (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)

 

Editing:

  • Wraith: the Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition
  • BtP Building a Legend (Beast: the Primordial)

 

Post-Editing Development:

  • CtL fiction anthology (Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition)

 

Indexing:

 

 

 

ART DIRECTION FROM MIRTHFUL MIKE:

In Art Direction

  • Beckett’s Jyhad Diary – Got almost all the artwork in.
  • W20 Pentex Employee Indoctrination Handbook – Ellis is on it.
  • Dagger of Spiragos  – Leblanc’s art is in, waiting on maps.
  • VTR: Thousand Years of Night Contracted
  • Cavaliers of Mars – AD’d(ish)
  • Monarchies of Mau Early Access – Contracted
  • BtP Building a Legend – Contracted
  • Wraith 20 – Sending out notes to some of the old guard artists… then figuring out who from the new roster to get.
  • W20 Changing Ways – Getting that contracted this week. Got a couple of artists lined up… just need to line up a couple more.

 

Marketing Stuff

 

In Layout

  • Prince’s Gambit 
  • M20 Book of Secrets – Layout in progress.
  • Pugmire Screen – Got specs…working on it once I have the book ready to go to press
  • Pugmire Cards – Working on these. Just have the shepherd set and another tiny set.
  • Pugmire – Prepping files for press.
  • M20 Art Book
  • C20 Anthology – Try and carve out some time to knock this together.

 

Proofing

  • C20  Aileen inputting notes from 1st proof
  • V20 Dark Ages Companion Second proof.

 

At Press

  • Ex 3 Scree– Shipping almost completed.
  • Ex 3 core book – Shipping almost completed along with map and bookmarks.
  • W20 Shattered Dreams – Shipping almost completed.
  • Shattered Dreams Screen – Shipping almost completed.
  • Beckett Screen – Shipped to shipper.
  • Beast Conquering Heroes – PoD proof on the way.
  • Dark Eras: Beneath the Skin – PoD proof being reviewed.
  • Dark Eras: Out of the Cold – PoD proof being reviewed.
  • Necropolis Rio – On sale in PDF and PoD versions this week.
  • V20 Lore of the Bloodlines – PDF out to backers, gathering errata
  • Dark Eras Companion – PDF out to backers, gathering errata.
  • W20 Song of Unmaking – PDF out to backers, gathering errata.
  • EX3 Tomb of Dreams Jumpstart – PDF going out to backers this week.

 

 

 


TODAY’S REASON TO CELEBRATE: April Fool’s was a couple of days ago, and now we can believe everything everybody tells us!


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Matt

208683-200x300.jpgHey, buckaroos. As part of our tradition of openness, we’re giving you a look behind the scenes at how a game comes together. Early in the production process, Scion 2nd Edition was going in a very different direction, a direction which had to be scrapped at the last minute and at great expense. A sample of some of the tie-in fiction from that early incarnation of Scion 2nd Edition, Frost Giant Butt Warriors, has been placed on DriveThru for your reading, uh, pleasure. Although we’ve found no author name attached to this, we fired Neall just in case.

Eric Donner just can’t seem to catch a break. Once a monster hunter at the top of his game, a string of bad luck has sent Eric scrounging around Asgard. Things go from bad to worse when Ice Giants invade the realm of the gods, a new breed of warrior that specializes in hot, gay, anal poundings the Æsir fear. Little do they know Eric is no stranger to this kind of combat….

Note that this is labeled as an Adult item, so you’ll need to have your account set to view Adult items in your account options.


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Matt

Changeling: The Lost RulebookHi, folks! As mentioned on the forums, I’m picking up development on Changeling: The Lost, Second Edition. I’ll be joined by frequent Chronicles of Darkness writer Meghan Fitzgerald.

Today, I’d like to preview Goblin Contracts and Goblin Debt they encourage you to rack up. As the team was discussing how to implement them in the new edition, we decided that we wanted to do something that relates the costs of these Contracts directly to the roles hobgoblins play in the Hedge, and that plays with the boundaries between different types of faerie creatures.

Click here for the preview.

In addition to these systems and powers for player characters, Chapter 5 will feature guidelines on building hobgoblins, as well as several examples. For now, I’ll just say that reading the draft had me cackling with both glee and fear.


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Matt

Tooth-and-Nail-Front-232x300.jpgThings were a little slower than anticipated this month as DriveThru dealt with their system disconnect with their printing company, but we still managed to keep things interesting:

Game Books

Merch


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Matt

114261-231x300.jpgToday we take a look at Here Goes Everything, the introductory fiction from The Hunters Hunted II.

My own involvement in events unfolding on our doorstep occurred a few days before Christmas last year. Another headline you’ll probably remember: “CHRISTMAS CHAOS!” No one knew the exact reason why riots broke out across the city on those cold December nights. The media speculated they arose from the economic problems facing the people, compounded by the almost obligatory consumerist frenzy of the holiday season. I saw them with my own eyes, though I wish to God I hadn’t.

I was heading back from a party that night. I’d drunk enough to mean I couldn’t drive home, but not enough to impair me beyond reasonable action, so I took the subway most of the way back across town. I was coming out of the station… I still remember the moment, all too vividly. The cold wind, the rain on the verge of turning to snow, the sound of crying and screaming, and the wild sound of feet rushing past on the streets around me. And then they came around the corner.…

The papers made it out that there were dozens of people in the gangs of “rioters.” There were just five in the group that found me, but they were far from rioters. Blood-splattered, fingers extended as though they were claws, reddened eyes, and extended canines… fangs.…

Do I need to spell it out for you? Do I need to state exactly what, rather than who stood before me on that street corner?

This is the point where I pray that you will carry on reading. This is the point where I hope that it’s all been worth a damn. This is where you either believe me enough to carry on, or you cast aside what I have to say and move on with your life. Here’s hoping.

If you’re still reading, thank you. Those two simple words can’t express just how much I appreciate your leap of faith right now. I know how insane it sounds. I know how unbelievable it is. I know — I was there and felt it all in those few seconds as I stared into those hungry eyes that looked back at me. I did what any rational human being would do in my position: run like all hell.

I ran all the way back home, losing them a couple of blocks before I got there. And I don’t really think I lost them. I think something else seized their attention, someone they surprised, but who was too paralyzed by fear to run. That didn’t stop me from going straight inside, locking and barricading the doors and windows, turning out the lights, and hiding in a corner with a baseball bat for the rest of the night. It was mid-morning when I finally summoned enough courage to open the door and check outside.

I must have picked up the phone a good half a dozen times, deciding whether or not to call the police and report what I’d seen. In the end, I couldn’t do it. What the hell would I have told them? “Hi, officer, I’d like to report, um, vampires.” I knew if I’d got some smartass ringing through to me with that, I would have a sarcastic reply ready and waiting for them about April 1st being a few months away. I had no proof, nothing but my word to go on. No one was going to believe me on my say-so alone. I couldn’t sit by and do nothing, though. I had to make people believe.

Found out what our author does with his terrible knowledge in The Hunters Hunted II, now available in PDF and print from DriveThruRPG.


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Matt

Tooth-and-Nail-Front-232x300.jpgNow available in PDF and print-on-demand from DriveThruRPG: Hunter: Tooth and Nail

The Stuff of Nightmares

These monsters are the stuff of the primordial, collective subconscious. They’re born of nightmare, and grown through legends of dragons, sphinxes, leviathans, and darker things still.

Some take up the Vigil to do battle against the greatest of monsters.

Will You Slay The Dragons?

Tooth and Nail is a bonus chapter/companion book to the previous released Hunter: Mortal Remains that explores antagonists inspired by the Beast: The Primordial RPG.

Hunter: Tooth and Nail includes:

  • Fiction and story hooks to bring these beasts of legend to your Hunter: The Vigil chronicle.
  • New bestial Dread Powers.
  • New Compacts and Conspiracies which hunt the monsters, but also sometimes hunt the zealous heroes that hunt as well.

This book was made possible by the backers of the Beast: The Primordial Kickstarter.

We’ve also got new shirts with the new organizations depicted herein:


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Matt
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Repel the Crusade for Prince’s Gambit by Andrew Trabbold

 

 

Kind of feel like our vampiric character pictured above in the Prince’s Gambit Intrigue deck. Crawlin’ through some tough times to get here. But HERE is quite excellent actually.

First, our first foray into Kickstarting a card game is going gangbusters, with our Prince’s Gambit KS funding goal met in the first few hours, and our backers jumping our pledge totals past several Stretch Goals that add to the deck already. There have also been some great ideas talked about for game rules variants: everything from adding rules for Anarchs and the Inconnu to rules for fewer or more players.

Because backers can download the card PDFs and rulebook, we’ve also been getting folks telling us how much fun they’ve been having maneuvering through the Intrigues and trying to discover who’s Sabbat. Which is always so great to hear! You never know if players will enjoy the game as much as you did creating it.

If you haven’t checked it out, please do, and if you like it: spread the word. With this being our first card game, we don’t have as much of a voice in card games circles, so any help letting folks know could be huge for the game!

Also, like I mentioned last week: we’ll be holding an Ask Me (Us) Anything on Reddit this Wednesday the 29th starting around 12 noon EDT. Various developers and Onyx Path folks will be on throughout the day, and Justin Achilli will pop on in the evening after he gets done his day job to talk about Prince’s Gambit. So if you want all the inside info, that’s the place to go next week!

Just want to emphasize that this is not just for Prince’s Gambit, so we’ll answer about anything!

If you can’t make it, feel free to leave any questions you’d like us to ask during the AMA session right here in the comments.

 

 

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Elemental Resonance for M20: Book of Secrets by Michael Gorgi

 

For those who have asked: we are doing something very special for April Fool’s Day. The only thing I can say, quoting Eddy Webb, is that “On Saturday, discover the latest reason why we fired Neall!”

 

 

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Faka from the EX3 Jumpstart: The Tomb of Dreams by Melissa Uran

 

 

Which leads us nicely into a decently big chunk of information for folks concerned about Exalted 3rd Edition as a continuing game line. For weeks I’ve been mentioning that we’ve been working very diligently on putting together a plan for how we’re going to handle EX3‘s releases.

(Seriously, this is a long one).

First off, I’m incredibly happy to announce that Eric Minton and Robert Vance have agreed to become the new developers for Exalted 3rd Edition. Eric and Robert have been all over EX3 in various capacities since writing began, and their involvement and love of Exalted goes further back than that.

(I’m not even sure why I’m introducing them, actually, since our long-time community knows these guys so well).

With their help, we have put together a schedule for releases that starts with getting the Exalted 3rd Jumpstart: Tomb of Dreams out to backers as soon as we can get the finished layout approved by the new White Wolf.

Next, they are finishing up Arms of the Chosen, and we expect to have the Advance PDF ready in three months.

They are also in the process of assigning the remaining writing that needs to be done on the Dragon Blooded and The Realm books. Most of the writing for both books has been completed, so once they get used to our process for hiring writers and contracting and all that, we can nail down expectations on when the text will be done. Which is really important, because we won’t be Kickstarting Dragon Blooded until the text is completely finished.

After a lot of discussion, and a fair bit of soul-searching, we’ve decided that the next two books will be Exigents and Lunars. We love a lot of the books proposed on previous schedules, and think they would really expand and enrich EX3, but we have to start getting our Exalted community the projects they need to play NOW (or close to NOW), rather than multiple years from now.

But even with Eric and Robert revved up and excited to deliver the projects I mention above, we can’t deliver these projects backwards through time. And these new devs need to learn their new jobs.

The remaining Kickstarter Rewards will be coming out in the months to come, with Matt Forbeck telling us that his novel’s finished drafts are on their way, and Aaron Rosenberg hammering away at his novel. The EX3 Essays book is being outlined and writers are being contacted, and composer James Semple has all but one of the Exalted character themes finished. He then has to create the “adventure themes” part of the EX3 Music Suites, but needed to figure out the the character themes so he could include parts of them in the adventure themes.

I’m not a musician, so I’ll have to take his word on the process.

So what we have planned are two projects that we are going to start releasing in April. That’s right, in order to provide our community with playable material now and not waiting until the Arms of the Chosen Advance PDF is released three months from now, we’re going to be releasing a section of each book each month as PDFs.

The first book, EX3: Antagonists, will feature both individual NPCs as well as antagonist groups. Each section will be smaller than a chapter, and we’ll be combining them all together as a PDF and PoD book after we have made a good number of them available monthly.

The second book will be the EX3 Bestiary, and will features creatures of all power levels. Some will be creatures the writers of the core had to hold back on, and others will be new and determined by what gaps we see from the core book that this project can fill. We’ll release these in monthly sections that we’ll combine at some point into a book, as well.

Rather than adding projects to the new devs’ already intimidating plate, both these books will be spearheaded by writers familiar with EX3, and reviewed by Eric and Robert. (Also, both books need to be approved by the new White Wolf Publishing before we officially can go ahead with them.)

Finally, our new devs will be making themselves regularly available on the Onyx Path Exalted forum, and will be releasing excerpts and development notes and text on a regular basis. In fact, here is an excerpt from Arms of the Chosen, and in April we’ll have a look at the Dragon Blooded charms:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/15xddoahzedtkwu/Arms%20of%20the%20Chosen%20Preview.docx?dl=0

Obviously, this whole message hasn’t delved into the nitty-gritty of what brought us here, and we really don’t intend to. Instead, we are celebrating a new team of creators, as well as the monumental work that John Morke and Holden Shearer were able to accomplish through some incredibly grueling times for them personally. What glories the future holds!

 

 

BLURBS!

KICKSTARTER!

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The Prince’s Gambit casual vampire card game Kickstarter went live last Thursday and funded in about 3 hours! We’ve been passing alternating Stretch Goals for adding the Independent Clans and new art at a rapid clip since then, with more cool rewards yet to come. So please check it out: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/200664283/princes-gambit-casual-vampire-card-game and don’t forget to join us for our Ask Me (Us) Anything on Reddit this Wednesday the 29th starting around 12 noon EDT. Various developers and Onyx Path folks will be on throughout the day, and Justin Achilli will pop on in the evening after he gets done his day job to talk about Prince’s Gambit. So if you want all the inside info, that’s the place to go!

Designed by long-time Vampire: the Masquerade tabletop RPG developer Justin Achilli, Prince’s Gambit is a fast-paced social deduction game set within the world of Vampire, but which requires no special knowledge to play. Players must cooperate to gain the favor of the Prince while deducing who among them are secretly the traitorous Sabbat infiltrators.

Next, the Monarchies of Mau KS is scheduled come after Gambit.

 

ON SALE!

 

 

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

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

 

 

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Beasts are added to Hunter: the Vigil with Tooth and Nail, coming atcha in PDF and physical book Pod versions this Wednesday on DriveThruRPG.com! In conjunction with HtV: Tooth and Nail going on sale, we will also be releasing new TShirts on our RedBubble site featuring the new symbols from the book!

 

 

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The Secrets of the Covenants for Vampire: the Requiem 2nd REVEALED this Wednesday on DTRPG! Physical copy PoD version coming to DTRPG: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/199280/Secrets-of-the-Covenants

Vampires gather under many banners. But five have endured the tumult of Western history better than any other. The Carthian Movement. The Circle of the Crone. The Invictus. The Lancea et Sanctum. The Ordo Dracul. Each has its fierce devotees, its jealous rivals, and its relentless enemies. Now,for the first time, the covenants speak for themselves.
This book includes:
  • A variety of stories from each of the covenants, all told in their own words.
  • Never-before revealed secrets, like the fate of the Prince of New Orleans.
  • New blood sorcery, oaths, and other hidden powers of the covenants.

 

 

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From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: Fallen Blossoms (Hunter 1640-1660 Japan). Japan is moving into the Edo Period. New laws and new ways of thinking wash over the land, and with a new order come new threats to humanity. Take a look at the Vigil in a time where samurai transition from warlords to bureaucrats, Japan massively and lethally rejects outside influence, and when Edo rapidly grows into a world power.

Continuing our individual Dark Eras chapters, we offer you Dark Eras: Fallen Blossoms on in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/205483/Dark-Eras-Fallen-Blossoms-Hunter-the-Vigil

 

 

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From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: Doubting Souls (Hunter 1690-1695 Salem). Immigrants and tribes struggled to co-exist on the Eastern Seaboard in the ever-expanding Colonies. Violent clashes, supernatural beliefs, and demonic influences spelled disaster for Salem Village and its surrounding towns, while others fought werewolves and vampires on the frontier. With so much at risk, only god-fearing men and women were deemed innocent — and those were few indeed.

Available in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/204372/Dark-Eras-Doubting-Souls-Hunter-the-Vigil

 

 

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From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: The Bowery Dogs (Werewolf 1969-1979 NYC). New York City in the 1970s. Crime. Drugs. Gang violence. Vast economic disparity. And werewolves. It’s a lean, ugly time to be alive, and the lone wolf doesn’t stand a chance out there. In the end, all you really have is family.

Available in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/203762/Dark-Eras-The-Bowery-Dogs-Werewolf-the-Forsaken

 

 

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The Locker is open; the Chronicles of Darkness: Hurt Locker, that is! PDF and physical copy PoDs are now available on DTRPG! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/199275/Chronicles-of-Darkness-Hurt-Locker

Hurt Locker features:

  • Treatment of violence in the Chronicles of Darkness. Lasting trauma, scene framing, and other tools for making your stories hurt.
  • Many new player options, including Merits, supernatural knacks, and even new character types like psychic vampires and sleeper cell soldiers.
  • Expanded equipment and equipment rules.

Hurt Locker requires the Chronicles of Darkness Rulebook or any other standalone Chronicles of Darkness rulebook such as Vampire: The Requiem, Werewolf: The Forsaken, or Beast: The Primordial to use.

 

 

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From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: Ruins of Empire (Mummy 1893-1924). Perhaps the quintessential era of the mummy in the minds of Westerners, this period saw the decline of the two greatest empires of the age: British and Ottoman. Walk with the Arisen as they bear witness to the death of the Victorian age, to pivotal mortal discoveries in Egypt, and to the horrors of the Great War.

Available in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG. http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/178801/Dark-Eras-Ruins-of-Empire-Mummy-the-Curse

 

 

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From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: The Sundered World (Werewolf and Mage 5500-5000 BCE). At the birth of civilization, in the shadow of the Fall, the Awakened stand as champions and protectors of the agricultural villages spread across the Balkans. In a world without a Gauntlet, where Shadow and flesh mingle, the steady taming of the world by humanity conflicts with the half-spirit children of Father Wolf.

Available in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG. http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/202272/Dark-Eras-The-Sundered-World-Werewolf-the-Forsaken-Mage-the-Awakening

 

 

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Night Horrors: Conquering Heroes for Beast: the Primordial is available now as an Advance PDF: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/202615/Night-Horrors-Conquering-Heroes

This book includes: 

  • An in-depth look at how Heroes hunt and what makes a Hero, with eleven new Heroes to drop into any chronicle.
  • A brief look at why Beasts may antagonize one another, with seven new Beasts to drop into any chronicle.
  • Rules for Insatiables, ancient creatures born of the Primordial Dream intent on hunting down Beasts to fill a hunger without end, featuring six examples ready to use in any chronicle.

 

 

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The PDF and physical book PoD versions of Reap the Whirlwind, the Vampire: the Requiem 2nd Edition Jumpstart swirls into being on DTRPG! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/201127/Reap-the-Whirlwind-Revised-VtR-2e

You are a vampire, a junkie. Every night, you beg and you borrow and you steal just a little more life, just a few more sweet moments. But there’s a guy at the top. The Prince. He’s got everything. The money, the secrets, the blood.

Tonight, you’re going to take it from him. Tomorrow, there’ll be hell to pay.

This updated edition of Reap the Whirlwind features revisions to match the core rulebook for Vampire: the Requiem 2nd Edition. Text edits and rules clarifications have also been updated.

Reap the Whirlwind Revised includes:

  • Rules for creating and playing vampires in the Chronicles of Darkness
  • The first two levels of every clan Discipline, the dark powers of the dead
  • A complete adventure by noted horror author Chuck Wendig

This new revised Reap the Whirlwind Revised includes an updated booklet, 7 condition cards, and the interactive Vampire: the Requiem 2nd Edition character sheet.

 

 

 

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Open the V20 Dark Ages: Tome of Secrets now on DTRPG! Both PDF and physical book PoD versions are now available! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/197358/V20-Dark-Ages-Tome-of-Secrets

The Tome of Secrets is a treatment of numerous topics about Cainites and stranger things in the Dark Medieval World. It’s about peeling back the curtain, and digging a little deeper. Inside, you’ll find:

• Expanded treatment of Assamite Sorcery, Koldunic Sorcery, Necromancy, and Setite Sorcery

• A look at Cainite knightly orders, faith movements, and even human witchcraft

• Letters and diaries from all over the Dark Medieval World

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONVENTIONS!

Discussing GenCon plans. August 17th – 20th, Indianapolis. Every chance the booth will actually be 20? x 30? this year that we’ll be sharing with friends. We’re looking at new displays this year, like a back drop and magazine racks for the brochure(s).

In November, we’ll be at Game Hole Con in Madison, WI. More news as we have it, and here’s their website: https://www.gameholecon.com/

 

 

 

 


And now, the new project status updates!

 

 

DEVELOPMENT STATUS FROM ROLLICKING ROSE (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)

  • Exalted 3rd Novel by Matt Forbeck (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Trinity Continuum: Aeon Rulebook (The Trinity Continuum)
  • M20 Gods and Monsters (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • M20 Book of the Fallen (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • M20 Cookbook (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Ex Novel 2 (Aaron Rosenberg) (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • C20 Novel (Jackie Cassada) (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Pugmire Fiction Anthology (Pugmire)
  • Monarchies of Mau Early Access (Pugmire)
  • Hunter: the Vigil 2e core (Hunter: the Vigil 2nd Edition)
  • DtD Night Horrors: Enemy Action (Demon: the Descent)

 

Redlines

  • Scion: Origins (Scion 2nd Edition)
  • Scion: Hero (Scion 2nd Edition)
  • Kithbook Boggans (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • WoD Ghost Hunters (World of Darkness)

 

Second Draft

  • The Realm (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Dragon-Blooded (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • V20 Dark Ages Jumpstart (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • GtS Geist 2e core (Geist: the Sin-Eaters Second Edition)
  • CtD C20 Jumpstart (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Pugmire Pan’s Guide for New Pioneers (Pugmire)
  • VtR Half-Damned (Vampire: the Requiem 2nd Edition)
  • Trinity Continuum Core Rulebook (The Trinity Continuum)

 

Development

  • W20 Changing Ways (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Signs of Sorcery (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)
  • SL Ring of Spiragos (Pathfinder – Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
  • Ring of Spiragos (5e – Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
  • SL Dagger of Spiragos (Pathfinder – Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
  • Dagger of Spiragos (5e– Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
  • Arms of the Chosen (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition, featuring the Huntsmen Chronicle (Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition)
  • Book of Freeholds (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • BtP Beast Player’s Guide (Beast: the Primordial)

 

Editing:

  • CtD C20 Anthology (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Wraith: the Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition
  • BtP Building a Legend (Beast: the Primordial)

 

Post-Editing Development:

  • CtL fiction anthology (Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition)

 

Indexing:

 

 

 

ART DIRECTION FROM MIRTHFUL MIKE:

In Art Direction

  • Beckett’s Jyhad Diary – new stuff AD’dGot some sketches from Sam, finals from Tucker, and a couple more finals from Mark.
  • W20 Pentex Employee Indoctrination Handbook – Ellis is on it.
  • Dagger of Spiragos  – Finals in progress… and maps are progressing.
  • VTR: Thousand Years of Night Contracted
  • Cavaliers of Mars – AD’d(ish)
  • Monarchies of Mau Early Access – 
  • BtP Building a Legend – Sending out notes to artists…
  • Wraith 20 – Notes out to KMJ… pinging some of the the old Wraith roster.
  • M20 Art Book
  • W20 Changing Ways – Need to read through the notes and figure out my art buy.

 

Marketing Stuff

 

In Layout

  • Prince’s Gambit – Making the remainder of graphics this week.
  • M20 Book of Secrets – Layout in progress. Some art shenanigans fixed… others getting recontracted.
  • Pugmire Screen – Awaiting new specs from Printer.
  • Pugmire Cards – Working on these. There are quite a few.
  • Pugmire – Dropping in index, updating PDFs, and prepping files for press.
  • April Fool’s thing
  • V20 Dark Ages Companion Recontracting two halfs. Layout is about a third of the way done.

 

Proofing

  • EX3 Tomb of Dreams Jumpstart – going to WW for approval.
  • C20  First proof

 

At Press

  • Ex 3 Scree– Shipping almost completed.
  • Ex 3 core book – Shipping almost completed along with map and bookmarks.
  • W20 Shattered Dreams – Shipping almost completed.
  • Shattered Dreams Screen – Shipping almost completed.
  • Beckett Screen – Shipped to shipper.
  • Beast Conquering Heroes – PoD proof on the way.
  • Mortal Remains: Beast- Tooth and Claw – PDF and PoD on sale this Wednesday.
  • Dark Eras: Beneath the Skin – PoD proof being reviewed.
  • Dark Eras: Out of the Cold – PoD proof being reviewed.
  • Necropolis Rio – PoD proof on the way.
  • V20 Lore of the Bloodlines – PDF out to backers, gathering errata
  • Dark Eras Companion – PDF out to backers, gathering errata.
  • W20 Song of Unmaking – Backer PDF going out to W20 KS backers this week.

 

 

 


TODAY’S REASON TO CELEBRATE: I always heard that “March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb”. Except, now I hear that in the folklore of my wife’s almost-Amish people, their saying reverses the lion and the lamb. Which makes no sense to me. Does your culture have a saying for how March changes in the course of the month? Love to hear it, and meanwhile, Spring is on its way!


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Matt

DtD-Visualization-194x300.pngToday we take a preview of Enemy Action, the opening fiction from Demon: The Descent:

Ms. Book and Kyle stood at the police cordon, looking at the wreckage strewn across the clearing. Book spoke briefly to an officer, then jerked her head, signaling Kyle as she strolled nonchalantly back to the car.

“What’s going on?” Kyle asked.

“They are still claiming a light aircraft crashed in the park,” she said, tapping at her emergency phone.

“But..?”

She raised a single finger. Quiet. Then dialed Mr. Knight. The other demon gave the correct recognition sign in Swahili. Kyle stared at his feet as he listened. He made out “Cougar Mountain,” in among the foreign language.

Ms. Book locked the phone’s screen and returned it to her jacket.

“What is that? It’s not an aircraft,” he asked again.

“It is the remains of an angel.”

“A … dead?”

She remembered to shake her head. “Not dead. Fallen. The police haven’t found a pilot and they won’t — what’s lying out there is everything that came away when he Fell.” She thought for a moment, then added, “Like a cocoon.”

They reached the car and she unlocked it.

“Did … Did that happen to you?” he blurted, instantly regretting it.

She paused, blank-faced.

“Yes.”

“What was it like?” he asked quietly, unsure whether the question would anger her. He watched her carefully, knowing that if she took offense it would never show. Not until she took action.

She stood perfectly still for the longest three seconds of Kyle’s life.

“It was like dying.”

* * *

“Why now? What made him Fall?”

Ms. Book tapped the steering wheel. She still hadn’t started the car.

“He will have been sent on a mission, which he came to disagree with. Everyone’s Fall is different, unique to them.”

Kyle nodded, thinking. Book braced herself for the inevitable follow-up.

“What made you Fall?”

“ … Get down.”

Kyle didn’t hesitate. He slid down in the car’s passenger seat, twisting to kneel in the foot well. Ms. Book did the same, but leaned forward to press the button on the dash controlling the wing mirrors.

Slowly, patiently, she tilted the wing mirror left and right, until she got a good view of what was going on behind the car. Another vehicle, a black sedan, had pulled up to the cordon.

He risked peeking up from behind his seat to take a look. The three men who had emerged from the car looked like FBI — dark suits and sunglasses, wearing ID badges around their necks.

His infection scar throbbed, the black veins pulsing, and he knew that they weren’t FBI.

“Angels,” he whispered.

“They’re here to find the Fallen,” she replied.

“What do we do?”

“I’m no match for three loyalists, not in the open surrounded by witnesses. We wait for them to go and we hope Mr. Knight finds our new counterpart before they do.”

* * *

He heard the door open and close. Footsteps — a single person, approaching his bed.

The curtain was drawn back, revealing a female human dressed in some kind of uniform. A medical technician.

“Good afternoon.”

He knew things. Who he was supposed to be. Arran White. He concentrated on the sounds she was making and realized he understood. Not by interpreting her communication’s meaning through divine understanding, but by simply … speaking English.

“Where am I?”

“You’re in a hospital. In Renton. You were hit by a car, do you remember?”

“I … Yes. I was knocked down.”

She consulted the machines beside his bed, noting down what they told her on a clipboard.

“The thing we can’t figure out,” she said, cheerfully, “is why you were naked out there? Did something happen to you last night?”

PAIN.

He pushed it out of his mind, swallowing, and realized he hadn’t said anything. The woman was looking oddly at him, clearly expecting something.

“I don’t remember,” he said, trying to sound convincing. She took another step closer, and another, until she was right next
to him. Close enough to smell her. She put a hand on his arm, the pressure making him uncomfortably aware of the IV, and smiled a fraction too warmly a fraction too late.

She leaned in. Her hand gripped his arm tightly. Too tight. She whispered, “Are you sure about that, brother?”

He caught the glint of metal within her eyes. “Wait! Please — this isn’t necessary!” He begged.

“Everything is necessary,” she replied.

“I didn’t mean it! I didn’t mean to Fall!”

“And yet you did. But what falls must rise.”

Her grip tightened, metal-hard, and the glint in her eyes flashed. He heard something — a high frequency burst, above the range of human hearing.

Calling for help.

If reason failed, he would have to defend himself. With his free hand, he yanked the IV from his arm. Throwing his weight away from her, he dragged her off balance before she could let go. He lunged back into her, driving the needle as hard as he could into her left eye.

Pulling it free, he stabbed again into her throat. She collapsed backward, clattering into the machinery. Her hands desperately pressed against her ruined eye and the blood streaming from her windpipe. He struggled free of the sheets, swinging himself around and kicking her.

Without looking, he reached out with instinct, calling for a weapon — anything he could use. For a dreadful moment nothing happened, but he knew it should and felt panic turn to determined purpose. His fingers closed around the metal of the IV stand. He snapped the pole free of the base with a fluid movement. It came free leaving a sharp twist of metal at the end. Putting the tip of the makeshift spear to the nurse’s heart, he leaned forward and rolled off the bed, all his weight going onto the stand, forcing it into her.

Looking down at the dying woman, he felt something change inside himself. A realization. He had killed without being ordered to do so. By his free will, another life had ended, and the Machine would not punish him for it.

As he pulled the stand clear, her eyes changed color. Not a cover identity, then. Possession. Which meant whoever she’d really been was still in the room, invisible and intangible. Or on the way to find another host.

Hurrying to the door, he checked no one was coming and set off through the hospital at a half-run, following the signs for a fire exit. He reached an emergency door and pushed at the bar, exiting out into a cold, concrete stairwell. He sensed something below him on the stairs and ducked. Three rapid gunshots rang out. Concrete chips hit his back — exposed in the hospital gown — as he clutched his spear and inched forward to try to get a view of his assailant. He saw two figures — both male, one wearing a suit, one dressed as an orderly — wrestling over a discarded pistol. Although they were throwing punches hard enough to make craters in the walls and using any advantage to smack one another into hard surfaces, the fight was in complete silence.

He slowly advanced down the stairs as the suited man got the upper hand, finally snapping his opponent’s neck.

He raised his spear, and the other held his hands up, palms out.

“Wait!”

He stopped, allowing the other to continue speaking. The suited man backed away, to the fire door behind him.

“I’m like you,” said the suited man.

“Like me how?”

“I served. Then I Fell.”

PAIN.

“You’re … ”

“Unchained. Like you.” The man — the demon — picked the pistol up off the floor and examined it, quickly.

“You are nothing like me — ”

A deep bass rumble emanated from somewhere above them and deeper into the hospital.

“My name is Mr. Knight,” said the demon, “and that was the sound of angels regrouping. This one will find a new body sooner rather than later.”

Mr. Knight gestured at the exit door with the pistol.

“One time offer. Come or stay.”

Demon: The Descent is available in PDF and print from DriveThruRPG.


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Matt

shirt-vtr-bruja-277x300.jpgUnfortunately, Rich didn’t get the proofs he was waiting for in time to have any new books on sale this week. Fortunately, that means we get to further fill out our shirt selection!

These bloodlines go all the way back to the first edition Vampire: The Requiem rulebook.

Enjoy!

Although it uses Masquerade rather than Requiem, we encourage you to check out our Kickstarter for the Prince’s Gambit, which has just hit its second stretch goal since we started it yesterday at noon. The Prince’s Gambit is a social deduction card game where you each play a Camarilla member of one of the city’s clans, vying for the prince’s favor by completing Intrigues, while the Sabbat infiltrators among you secretly try to tear everything down.


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Matt

Princes-Gambit-Logo-Screen-V2-300x240.jpThe Prince’s Gambit Kickstarter is now live!

Prince’s Gambit is a casual card game where each play is a vampire called to the court of the vampiric Prince of the city. Players must cooperate to gain the favor of the Prince while deducing who among them are secretly the traitorous Sabbat infiltrators.

Designed by long-time Vampire: The Masquerade tabletop RPG developer Justin Achilli, Prince’s Gambit is a fast-paced social deduction game set within the world of Vampire, but which requires no special knowledge to play. Neophytes and experienced fans of Vampire both can jump right in.


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Matt

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Tomorrow! Tuesday, March 21st at 12 noon Eastern US time!

The Kickstarter for Prince’s Gambit goes live!

This is a description from the KS page:

Designed by long-time Vampire: the Masquerade tabletop RPG developer Justin Achilli, Prince’s Gambit is a fast-paced social deduction game set within the world of Vampire: the Masquerade, but which requires no special knowledge to play. Players must cooperate to gain the favor of the Prince while deducing who among them are secretly the traitorous Sabbat infiltrators.

And here’s a link to our Prince’s Gambit Example of Play video, hosted by Justin Achilli himself, with a special guest appearance by our own Eddy Webb. It’s about 10 minutes long, but goes through the important set-up and highlights how a typical game plays: https://youtu.be/b9SSpeli5JE 

I mentioned last week that this is a pretty big Kickstarter for us as it is for our first non-book sort of project. We’ve studied a lot of other card game Kickstarters and tried to adapt what seemed to work for them into the parameters of Prince’s Gambit.

It is also the first time we are structuring the pledges so that shipping amounts are added after the KS is over. We’re hoping this can enable much more accurate costs, particularly for our international backers. It’s only after having put together a handful of other KSs using BackerKit (as our platform for after a KS campaign is over) that I feel comfortable with handling shipping through the BackerKit interface.

The good news for anybody in our community that is interested in our other game lines, is that we’re very much looking at this first foray into card game Kickstarters as a massive learning experience for the whole team. We have every intent of applying what we learn doing this to further card game KSs in the future. That means pricing, pledges, what sort of Stretch Goals get folks excited, do the same press groups get interested, how fast (if at all) do we hit the funding amount, you name it!

Speaking of what gets folks excited, we’ll be holding an Ask Me (Us) Anything on Reddit next Wednesday the 29th starting around 12 noon EDT. Various developers and Onyx Path folks will be on throughout the day, and Justin Achilli will pop on in the evening after he gets done his day job to talk about Prince’s Gambit. So if you want all the inside info, that’s the place to go next week! I might even be on there answering important, secret, stuff if I can figure out the razzin-frazzin’ scrolling of the threads!

 

 

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Lore of the Bloodlines illustration by Ken Meyer, Jr

 

 

Following up from last week’s MMN blog, our friends at DriveThruRPG have resolved our clogged physical book Pod creation process and I’ve ordered PoD proofs of a half-dozen projects (see the project progress updates below in the BLURBS! section). Some of them are already on their way here to Onyx home base as I write this. Now, will any of them get here in time to go on sale this week? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Mighty Matt McElroy, our Operations Head-Honcho, just got back from the GAMA trade show in Vegas, and the word is that lots of folks want to talk with Onyx Path for all kinds of business deals!

Always nice to hear, and I’m really glad Matt got a chance to touch base with our friends from the new White Wolf Publishing, Jason and Dhaunae, and the guys from Indy Press Revolution (IPR) and Q-Workshop. We’ve really enjoyed working with them so far, and it sounds like big things are afoot for the future.

Meanwhile, Impish Ian Watson, lord of all things Trinity Continuum, hosted an Onyx Path Q&A at CAiNE in Canada that looked a bit quiet for a few worrisome minutes but then all the folks whose games had run late poured in and lots of great questioning and answering, too, ensued!

 

 

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Tattoo Totem for Mage20 Book of Secrets by Preston Stone

 

Just to recap a few questions from this last week:

#1 We don’t have any current plans to create LARP rules for Chronicles of Darkness because, a) we actually don’t have the LARP license, just tabletop RPG, and b) it is the new White Wolf‘s call on whether any other WW settings get LARP rules. If they decide they want to, and we can help, we’d be glad to.

#2 Yes, we do know how concerned you are about the Exalted 3rd release schedule, and we are too. As I noted late last year or early in January, we are working on a new plan for a couple of our lines, and a couple of specific books, and EX3 is at the top of the list for serious changes to how we’ve been doing things up until now. I also know that actions and delivery speak loader than words, and you will be seeing things actually happen in the next couple of weeks.

#3 Yes, we are still planning the Trinity Continuum Kickstarter for this year. We’re just cagey about which month.

#4 Is Dark Eras Companion‘s PDF ever going to go to backers, you ask? Sometime this week!

 

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Dark Eras Companion art by Vince Locke

 

Hopefully, I’ll see a bunch of you tomorrow as the Prince’s Gambit KS goes live at 12 noon!

 

 

BLURBS!

KICKSTARTER!

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Unless we’re attacked by Sabbat infiltrators, we will be going live with our Kickstarter for Justin Achilli’s Prince’s Gambit casual Vampire card game on Tuesday, March 21st at 12 noon Eastern US time!

Designed by long-time Vampire: the Masquerade tabletop RPG developer Justin Achilli, Prince’s Gambit is a fast-paced social deduction game set within the world of Vampire, but which requires no special knowledge to play. Players must cooperate to gain the favor of the Prince while deducing who among them are secretly the traitorous Sabbat infiltrators.

Next, the Monarchies of Mau KS is scheduled come after Gambit.

 

ON SALE!

 

 

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

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

 

 

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The Secrets of the Covenants for Vampire: the Requiem 2nd REVEALED this Wednesday on DTRPG! Physical copy PoD version coming to DTRPG: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/199280/Secrets-of-the-Covenants

Vampires gather under many banners. But five have endured the tumult of Western history better than any other. The Carthian Movement. The Circle of the Crone. The Invictus. The Lancea et Sanctum. The Ordo Dracul. Each has its fierce devotees, its jealous rivals, and its relentless enemies. Now,for the first time, the covenants speak for themselves.
This book includes:
  • A variety of stories from each of the covenants, all told in their own words.
  • Never-before revealed secrets, like the fate of the Prince of New Orleans.
  • New blood sorcery, oaths, and other hidden powers of the covenants.

 

 

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From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: Fallen Blossoms (Hunter 1640-1660 Japan). Japan is moving into the Edo Period. New laws and new ways of thinking wash over the land, and with a new order come new threats to humanity. Take a look at the Vigil in a time where samurai transition from warlords to bureaucrats, Japan massively and lethally rejects outside influence, and when Edo rapidly grows into a world power.

Continuing our individual Dark Eras chapters, we offer you Dark Eras: Fallen Blossoms on in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/205483/Dark-Eras-Fallen-Blossoms-Hunter-the-Vigil

 

 

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From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: Doubting Souls (Hunter 1690-1695 Salem). Immigrants and tribes struggled to co-exist on the Eastern Seaboard in the ever-expanding Colonies. Violent clashes, supernatural beliefs, and demonic influences spelled disaster for Salem Village and its surrounding towns, while others fought werewolves and vampires on the frontier. With so much at risk, only god-fearing men and women were deemed innocent — and those were few indeed.

Available in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/204372/Dark-Eras-Doubting-Souls-Hunter-the-Vigil

 

 

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From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: The Bowery Dogs (Werewolf 1969-1979 NYC). New York City in the 1970s. Crime. Drugs. Gang violence. Vast economic disparity. And werewolves. It’s a lean, ugly time to be alive, and the lone wolf doesn’t stand a chance out there. In the end, all you really have is family.

Available in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/203762/Dark-Eras-The-Bowery-Dogs-Werewolf-the-Forsaken

 

 

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The Locker is open; the Chronicles of Darkness: Hurt Locker, that is! PDF and physical copy PoDs are now available on DTRPG! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/199275/Chronicles-of-Darkness-Hurt-Locker

Hurt Locker features:

  • Treatment of violence in the Chronicles of Darkness. Lasting trauma, scene framing, and other tools for making your stories hurt.
  • Many new player options, including Merits, supernatural knacks, and even new character types like psychic vampires and sleeper cell soldiers.
  • Expanded equipment and equipment rules.

Hurt Locker requires the Chronicles of Darkness Rulebook or any other standalone Chronicles of Darkness rulebook such as Vampire: The Requiem, Werewolf: The Forsaken, or Beast: The Primordial to use.

 

 

 

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Both the Beast: the Primordial http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/198773/Beast-The-Primordial-Condition-Cards & Promethean: the Created 2nd Edition Condition Cards http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/202619/Promethean-the-Created-2nd-Edition-Condition-Cards are now on sale on DTRPG in PDF and physical card PoD versions! Great for keeping track of the Conditions that are on your characters!

 

 

 

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From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: Ruins of Empire (Mummy 1893-1924). Perhaps the quintessential era of the mummy in the minds of Westerners, this period saw the decline of the two greatest empires of the age: British and Ottoman. Walk with the Arisen as they bear witness to the death of the Victorian age, to pivotal mortal discoveries in Egypt, and to the horrors of the Great War.

Available in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG. http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/178801/Dark-Eras-Ruins-of-Empire-Mummy-the-Curse

 

 

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From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: The Sundered World (Werewolf and Mage 5500-5000 BCE). At the birth of civilization, in the shadow of the Fall, the Awakened stand as champions and protectors of the agricultural villages spread across the Balkans. In a world without a Gauntlet, where Shadow and flesh mingle, the steady taming of the world by humanity conflicts with the half-spirit children of Father Wolf.

Available in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG. http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/202272/Dark-Eras-The-Sundered-World-Werewolf-the-Forsaken-Mage-the-Awakening

 

 

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Night Horrors: Conquering Heroes for Beast: the Primordial is available now as an Advance PDF: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/202615/Night-Horrors-Conquering-Heroes

This book includes: 

  • An in-depth look at how Heroes hunt and what makes a Hero, with eleven new Heroes to drop into any chronicle.
  • A brief look at why Beasts may antagonize one another, with seven new Beasts to drop into any chronicle.
  • Rules for Insatiables, ancient creatures born of the Primordial Dream intent on hunting down Beasts to fill a hunger without end, featuring six examples ready to use in any chronicle.

 

 

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The PDF and physical book PoD versions of Reap the Whirlwind, the Vampire: the Requiem 2nd Edition Jumpstart swirls into being on DTRPG! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/201127/Reap-the-Whirlwind-Revised-VtR-2e

You are a vampire, a junkie. Every night, you beg and you borrow and you steal just a little more life, just a few more sweet moments. But there’s a guy at the top. The Prince. He’s got everything. The money, the secrets, the blood.

Tonight, you’re going to take it from him. Tomorrow, there’ll be hell to pay.

This updated edition of Reap the Whirlwind features revisions to match the core rulebook for Vampire: the Requiem 2nd Edition. Text edits and rules clarifications have also been updated.

Reap the Whirlwind Revised includes:

  • Rules for creating and playing vampires in the Chronicles of Darkness
  • The first two levels of every clan Discipline, the dark powers of the dead
  • A complete adventure by noted horror author Chuck Wendig

This new revised Reap the Whirlwind Revised includes an updated booklet, 7 condition cards, and the interactive Vampire: the Requiem 2nd Edition character sheet.

 

 

 

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Open the V20 Dark Ages: Tome of Secrets now on DTRPG! Both PDF and physical book PoD versions are now available! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/197358/V20-Dark-Ages-Tome-of-Secrets

The Tome of Secrets is a treatment of numerous topics about Cainites and stranger things in the Dark Medieval World. It’s about peeling back the curtain, and digging a little deeper. Inside, you’ll find:

• Expanded treatment of Assamite Sorcery, Koldunic Sorcery, Necromancy, and Setite Sorcery

• A look at Cainite knightly orders, faith movements, and even human witchcraft

• Letters and diaries from all over the Dark Medieval World

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONVENTIONS!

Discussing GenCon plans. August 17th – 20th, Indianapolis. Every chance the booth will actually be 20? x 30? this year that we’ll be sharing with friends. We’re looking at new displays this year, like a back drop and magazine racks for the brochure(s).

In November, we’ll be at Game Hole Con in Madison, WI. More news as we have it, and here’s their website: https://www.gameholecon.com/

 

 

 

 


And now, the new project status updates!

 

 

DEVELOPMENT STATUS FROM ROLLICKING ROSE (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)

  • Exalted 3rd Novel by Matt Forbeck (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Trinity Continuum: Aeon Rulebook (The Trinity Continuum)
  • M20 Gods and Monsters (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • M20 Book of the Fallen (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • M20 Cookbook (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Ex Novel 2 (Aaron Rosenberg) (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • C20 Novel (Jackie Cassada) (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Pugmire Fiction Anthology (Pugmire)
  • Monarchies of Mau Early Access (Pugmire)
  • Hunter: the Vigil 2e core (Hunter: the Vigil 2nd Edition)

 

Redlines

  • Scion: Origins (Scion 2nd Edition)
  • Scion: Hero (Scion 2nd Edition)
  • Kithbook Boggans (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • WoD Ghost Hunters (World of Darkness)
  • Trinity Continuum Core Rulebook (The Trinity Continuum)

 

Second Draft

  • The Realm (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Dragon-Blooded (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • V20 Dark Ages Jumpstart (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • GtS Geist 2e core (Geist: the Sin-Eaters Second Edition)
  • CtD C20 Jumpstart (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Pugmire Pan’s Guide for New Pioneers (Pugmire)
  • VtR Half-Damned (Vampire: the Requiem 2nd Edition)

 

Development

  • W20 Changing Ways (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Signs of Sorcery (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)
  • SL Ring of Spiragos (Pathfinder – Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
  • Ring of Spiragos (5e – Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
  • SL Dagger of Spiragos (Pathfinder – Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
  • Dagger of Spiragos (5e– Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
  • Arms of the Chosen (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition, featuring the Huntsmen Chronicle (Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition)
  • Book of Freeholds (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • BtP Beast Player’s Guide (Beast: the Primordial)

 

Editing:

  • CtD C20 Anthology (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Wraith: the Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition
  • M20 Art Book (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • BtP Building a Legend (Beast: the Primordial)

 

Post-Editing Development:

  • CtL fiction anthology (Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition)

 

Indexing:

  • Pugmire

 

 

 

ART DIRECTION FROM MIRTHFUL MIKE:

In Art Direction

  • Beckett’s Jyhad Diary – new stuff AD’d
  • W20 Pentex Employee Indoctrination Handbook
  • V20 Dark Ages Companion Artist shenanigans.
  • Dagger of Spiragos  – Finals in progress… and maps are progressing.
  • VTR: Thousand Years of Night Contracted
  • Cavaliers of Mars – AD’d(ish)
  • Monarchies of Mau Early Access – Pat’s in.
  • BtP Building a Legend – Sending out notes to artists…
  • April Fool’s thing – Leblanc should be cranking out the cover for the (REDACTED) thing this week.
  • Wraith 20 – Notes out to KMJ…

 

Marketing Stuff

 

In Layout

  • Prince’s Gambit – Making the remainder of graphics this week.
  • C20  With Aileen
  • M20 Book of Secrets – Layout in progress.
  • 1000 Years of Night
  • Pugmire Screen – Awaiting specs from Printer.
  • Pugmire Cards – Working on these.

 

Proofing

  • EX3 Tomb of Dreams Jumpstart – first proof.
  • W20 Song of Unmaking – Out to WW for approval

 

At Press

  • Ex 3 Scree– Shipping.
  • Ex 3 core book – Shipping along with map and bookmarks.
  • W20 Shattered Dreams – Shipping.
  • Shattered Dreams Screen – Shipping.
  • Beckett Screen – Shipped to shipper.
  • Beast Conquering Heroes – PoD proof ordered.
  • Mortal Remains: Beast- Red In Tooth and Claw – PoD proof ordered.
  • Dark Eras: Beneath the Skin – PoD proof ordered.
  • Dark Eras: Out of the Cold – PoD proof ordered.
  • Necropolis Rio – PoD proof ordered.
  • V20 Lore of the Bloodlines – PDF out to backers, gathering errata
  • Dark Eras Companion – Backer PDF going out to Dark Eras KS backers this week.

 

 

 


TODAY’S REASON TO CELEBRATE: Today, let’s celebrate the constant effort put out by the team at DriveThruRPG.com. Our friends over there are always juggling the needs of hundreds of publishers and tens of thousands of customers and manage to do so with some of the friendliest customer service around. Even their CEO, Steve Wieck, will crack a smile if his programming dictates it. Specifically, thanks to them for coming at the stalled PoDs problem so fast and with all hands on deck!


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Matt

108003-200x300.jpgToday’s slice is a look at Road Gospel by Chuck Wendig, as featured in The God-Machine Chronicle AnthologyRoad Gospel originally appeared in World of Darkness: Midnight Roads.

Under the light of her crooked lamp, I could see that Mom didn’t look so good. Sitting there in the ratty recliner, I knew she was old, but she wasn’t that old. In the pale light of the poorly lit house, her skin almost looked translucent. The way it hung off her in places, sags of skin unanchored to muscle or bone.

“You sick?” I asked her. “Be straight with me, Mom.”

She waved it off, held out a plate of macaroons. I took one, but noticed that she wasn’t looking at me. Her eyes were searching over my shoulder.

The window. She was looking out the front window.

“It’s night, Mom. What do you think you’re gonna see out that window?”

“Nothing.” She said it too fast. Too sharp and short. Brittle hands tightened.

“You sure? Someone been bothering you?” Not that I knew who such a someone could even be, given that the town appeared to have very few people left in it. I hadn’t seen a moving car all day, and what few people I’d seen weren’t outside for long –— hurrying into their homes, heads down, same haunted shoulder-droop of the minister.

“Eat a cookie,” she said.

I ate a cookie. Stale. Shit.

“Mom,” I said, mouth full of too-dry crumbs, “I just want to tell you that, shit, I’m real sorry about —”

The house lit up like the FBI was outside pointing its ?oodlights into the place. And the ground rumbled with the sound of a grumbling engine. My ears constricted with the shrill keening of tires squealing. And then, laughing. Cackling, even. Someone was outside, bright-ass headlights pointing inside the house.

“This what you’ve been worried about?” I asked.

Mom said nothing, just sank deep into the chair. The woman was shaking.

“Fuck this,” I said, and limped my way down the hall to my old room. As it had always been, my bedroom was a monument to my childhood: baseball trophies, posters of bikini-clad models faded from where the sun came in during the day, models of Hess trucks on a dust-caked bookshelf. Over to the bed I went, reached under, and felt around until I found what I needed.

Louisville slugger. Good thing my parents kept my room like a memorial tomb.

I marched up past Mom and out the door.

Into the lights.

I had to shield my eyes, those headlights were so bright. I could make out a shape just past them — a car, some hot rod like a Mustang or a Camaro from 30 or 40 years back. I held up that bat like I was about to break bad on that beautiful car, screamed at them, told them to leave my poor mother alone. They didn’t move, and I could hear that cackling from inside the car, though in a way it sounded a million miles off, too. Something was wrong here. Something I didn’t understand, not yet.

So I took a step forward, raised the bat with every intention of bashing open one of those headlights —

But the car jacked it into reverse with a shriek of rubber on road.

And then it gunned it back down the street. The chorus of hoots and cackles fading with red brake lights that looked more than a little like a pair of mean eyes.

“I got rid of them,” I said to Mom when I got back inside. I leaned the bat up against the table. “Sent those vandals packing.”

“Vandals,” she repeated. “Yeah, vandals.”

“What’d they do to you? Smash up the mailbox? Break up the fence around the garden?”

Mom, though, she didn’t answer. Just cowered in on herself and wept a little bit.

More shame for me: I can’t bear my mother crying. And not in the way where I seek to comfort her. It’s that way with me and any woman. She cries, I have to go. Feel like a caged animal as soon as those tears start to fall.

So, I did just that. Got in my car in search of a drink.

As I said, more shame for me.

* * *

There, but for the grace of God, go I. Drunk. Driving. Dumb.

I wasn’t so drunk I don’t remember the drive, but drunk enough to think that I could speed over that bridge without a care in the world. Bits of rotten wood disappeared into the darkness beneath the onslaught of my tires. I also thought a turn was a straightaway, but somehow I took the curve even though my brain didn’t see ft to carry that information to my hands. Almost felt like the road carried me where it wanted to go. Heck. Maybe that’s what happened.

Back at the house, I sobered up real fast.

Mom was sitting in her chair still, jaw slack. Not dead, but weak. Wanted me to wet her lips with a washcloth, so I did.

I noticed some things. A few spots of blood on the collar of her robe. A couple more on the back cushion of the chair. I asked her what happened.

“Vandals,” she whispered. “It was them vandals.”

Somewhere, far off in the distance, I heard the pop of gravel under tires, and mad cackling over a roaring engine. I felt my heart cinch up. I took Mom into bed, and crashed out on the couch. Sleep didn’t come.

* * *

Next day, I went to Kenny’s house, see if he still lived there. He did. Not long after I knocked, he opened up the door a crack to see who it was. Etched into the frame, up and down the wood, were all kinds of weird symbols. Burned into the wood, by the looks of it. “I thought you might come back,” he said.

Kenny’s house was a museum left for the spiders and dust mites. Bunch of Route 66 paraphernalia hanging on the walls, some of it pretty rusted. Had a bunch of car parts — chrome hubcaps, some side and rear mirrors and weird hood ornaments from cars I’d never seen before. Maps, too, hanging everywhere, marked up in red pen. Strangest of all were the mason jars of different types of stone and gravel sitting on a few bookshelves.

I reached out and grabbed a fstful of his shirt. Pulled him close.

“Start talking. Tell me what’s going on around here.”

He told me. I wish he hadn’t.

But you already know the story. Highway dies. Town follows suit. All the creatures of decay settle in for a meal. All the scavengers, hungry for blood.

Except, Kenny — excuse me, Kenneth — told me that I was wrong about one thing.

“The highway isn’t dead,” he explained. “Make no mistake, it’s dying. Drying up like a snake baking in the sun. But there lurks a little life left in the road. And you can help me stir that life anew.”

Took a deep breath. Then I told him I’d help him. Of course, then I fgured he was just talking in metaphors. Turns out that wasn’t the case.

Found out more about the Road Gospel, and 18 other stories, in The God-Machine Chronicle Anthology, available in ebook and print from DriveThruFiction.


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Matt

shirt-vtm-toreanti-277x300.jpgDue to popular demand, we’re now offering antitribu shirts for Vampire: The Masquerade in our RedBubble store!

Those Lore of the Clans backers among you who have received your advance copies of Lore of the Bloodlines, a friendly reminder that all the featured bloodlines have shirts available too:


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