Matt

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  1. Now Available: Dagger of Spiragos and Pugmire Sheets!Now available from DriveThruRPG in PDF: Dagger of Spiragos for Pathfinder and Dagger of Spiragos for 5e! The Titans’ Relics Must Be Destroyed! Artifacts from the fallen titan Spiragos have been recovered, and forces are at work that would see them used for ill. The Dagger of Spiragos and the Ring of Spiragos are now in the player characters’ hands — and they must do what they can to rid Scarn of the foul relics of the titans, whatever the cost! What Came Before Dagger of Spiragos is a sequel to the 2014 Gen Con Scarred Lands Special Preview adventure, Gauntlet of Spiragos (available for Pathfinder and for 5e). It is also the second adventure in the Spiragos Saga, with Ring of Spiragos, the dramatic finale, as the third and culminating title. In Gauntlet of Spiragos, the PCs traveled to the legendary Chasm of Flies, where they discovered a tribe of spider-eye goblins who possessed relics of their fallen master, Spiragos. Now, with those items in hand, the PCs travel to the city of Fangsfall, where they must seek aid in destroying the foul objects. But others wish to possess these items, too. If you want to know what the Scarred Lands setting is all about, please check out the full Scarred Lands Players Guide available for Pathfinder and for 5e. Also available as a free download: Pugmire Interactive Character Sheets! Onyx Path
  2. Chat is back up.
  3. I did some server updates and it must have removed some elements that chat needed to work. I am not sure how long it will take for me to finish.
  4. I am working on it.
  5. 24 Hour Notice: Dark Eras 2 Kickstarter! The Kickstarter for Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras 2 begins at noon Eastern Time tomorrow, just under 24 hours from now! Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras 2 starts out presenting a chapter for each of six historical eras; each of which features two Chronicles of Darkness game lines which include Vampire: The Requiem, Mage: The Awakening, Hunter: The Vigil, Changeling: The Lost, and more! The rules in this book are compatible with second edition Chronicles of Darkness. Each terrifying time period and location is examined through the supernatural creatures that dwell there. Hope to see you there! Onyx Path
  6. [Pugmire] Status Updates for Pugmire and Mau!Hello from lovely Ireland! After a somewhat chaotic couple of weeks getting myself and Murray Pug to Eire (including a cross-country drive from Atlanta to San Francisco), I have an update on all things Pugmire and Mau! PUGMIRE Shipping! The book, dice, cards, pins, and screen are all printed and are being shipped to our distribution warehouse, so last week the BackerKit was locked down. If all goes well, by this time next month many of you should already have your materials in hand. If you haven’t filled out your survey yet — there are 63 of you out there — we’d love to get your stuff to you! (If you’ve having problems with the BackerKit survey, comments here won’t be useful. Instead, click on Richard Thomas’ face in the upper-right and use the “Contact me” button.) Other Projects Writers are continuing to rewrite their stories for the Pugmire anthology. Pan’s Guide is back in the hands of Matthew Dawkins, who is addressing my comments before we have another chat about it. I’ve been listening to lines for the non-interactive audio drama, and it’s sounding pretty good! Earplay is getting the last round of audio polish. MONARCHIES OF MAU Kickstarter With the help of 1,970 of you, we raised $118,534 to make Monarchies of Mau into a reality! We’ll be able to make not only the Mau book, but dice, a Guide screen, pins, a Kickstarter-exclusive shirt, an adventure collection, a fiction anthology, a book of pre-generated cats and dogs, and another Earplay adventure! Rich and I need to sit down and start talking numbers now that the Pugmire campaign is close to shipping and the Mau campaign is finished. Budgets are less exciting, but still an important part of the process. Monarchies of Mau Book The next step is starting work on the core book. This time around I’m building a team to write it, instead of doing most of the writing myself. As such, I’m planning to spend this month writing a comprehensive outline, polishing the writer’s documents, hiring my team, and kicking things into gear. Again, this is less exciting “getting things made” phase of things, but writing should begin in earnest soon! AND MORE I’ll be at Gen Con next month! Some games of Pugmire and Mau will be run by the ever-impressive Wrecking Crew, and we’ll have some demos of both at the booth. For those that can make it, I hope to see you there (even if I’m pretty jet-lagged)! Onyx Path
  7. Now Available: To the Strongest and Nook Wave 2!Now available from DriveThruRPG in PDF and print: Dark Eras: To the Strongest, a setting for Mage: The Awakening. When Alexander heard from Anaxarchus of the infinite number of worlds, he wept, and when his friends asked him what was the matter, he replied, “Is it not a matter for tears that, when the number of worlds is infinite, I have not conquered one?” — Plutarch, Moralia In the rise and fall of Alexander the Great’s Empire, armies marched and cultures clashed. In the birth pangs of Hellenistic civilization, Awakened sorcerers all over the ancient world met, fought, and joined together. In the chaos of Alexander’s assassination and the wars that followed, Cults became Orders amid conflicts still burning in the present day. This is a single chapter from the larger work, Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras. Now available on its own in PDF and Softcover formats. Also available, Wave 2 of our fiction releases on the B&N Nook store:   Vampire: The Masquerade: Of Predators and Prey: The Hunters Hunted II Anthology Werewolf: The Apocalypse: The Poison Tree Werewolf: The Apocalypse: Songs of the Sun and Moon: Tales of the Changing Breeds Vampire: The Requiem: The Strix Chronicle Anthology Werewolf: The Forsaken: The Idigam Chronicle Anthology Mage: The Awakening: The Fallen World Chronicle Anthology   Onyx Path
  8. A Whisker Away! [Monday Meeting Notes] First off, please join me in wishing Bon Voyage to my good friend, convention roomie, and mad creator of Pugmire and Monarchies of Mau, Eddy Webb. Eddy will be moving this week to Ireland to fulfill a life-goal of living on the Emerald Isle, the land of at least some of his ancestors. (Since the largest part of my ancestors toiled in the coal mines in Wales…I’m not so interested in returning to the family homeland! Although a visit might be fun.) We have no idea if Eddy will ever come back to live in the good old USA, but he will certainly be visiting, and our working together isn’t stopping anytime soon! We planned the Monarchies of Mau Kickstarter so that Eddy would be able to see how it turns out and then ZOOM, right out the door to the airport. At least some of our meeting today was talking about timing our meetings with an eye towards the 5 hour time difference. Now our Monday Lunch Meeting will have to be the Monday Lunch/Dinner Meeting.     M20 Book of Secrets art by Michel Giorgi     Speaking of the Monarchies of Mau Kickstarter, and you knew I would, we’re a whisper of a whisker away from the 48 hour mark towards the end of the KS on Thursday. This is when things start to heat up and with that in mind, we’ve been saving a mess ‘o’ Stretch Goals for just this time. More info and the KS url is below in the BLURBS! But RichT, you cry out, why wouldn’t you put those cool Stretch Goals earlier in the KS? Maybe they would have driven more interest and pledging! Honestly, you might be right. But, that’s not what we saw in the Pugmire KS, nor in a bunch of the non-20th Anniversary or non-Dark Eras KSs. So we’re going for the timing that allows us to offer these interesting goals that are often the ones that need to have a bit of a bigger pledge amount to reach the goal.     V20 Beckett’s Jyhad Diary illustration by Michael Gaydos     Which brings us to how we handle Stretch Goals with a lot of our KSs that is a bit different than many KSs out there. Because our KSs have all been about advancing in some way a physical project – whether by making it fancier and deluxe, or getting the traditionally printed books into stores – the vast majority of our pledges are in return for a manufactured product. And so those pledges we tally up are mostly going towards printing and shipping the physical product rewards backers pledge for. Which means, we have to weigh the pledge amounts that trigger a Stretch Goal being achieved with the actual “extra” money we can put towards that goal. This was actually something we talked about in our Onyx Path meeting today, as well as shipping costs, and printer errors. Eddy and I talked shipping costs because with Pugmire being our first venture into Creator Owned projects, I try and include him in just about everything that up till now has been pretty much my sole oversight. And Pugmire is now a whisker away from when we need to pick a fulfillment shipper. Of course, shipping is like the hidden reef in the KS ocean, it’s the unseen peril that has sunk many a KS in terms of profitability. That’s why you see so many KS creators trying all different shipping cost methods, because it is just an uncontrollable expense that can anything from 50% of the manufacturing costs, to way more than what it costs to create the project! For Pugmire, Eddy and I made the call to do a bunch of Stretch Goals that plowed any extra money back into doing extra projects to expand the line, so I needed to be very careful on manufacturing and shipping costs or we’d actually lose money on a pretty successful KS. That would be bad.     M20 Book of Secrets art by Vince Locke       Also, besides the usual shipping to fulfill the backer rewards, Pugmire is the first project that we are printing extra books for to specifically get the game into retail stores through offering Pugmire to distributors. We have NO idea how that is going to work out, but it is pretty huge for Onyx Path and a precursor to us potentially working a lot more closely with retailers in the future. So, for any of you interested in us getting any of our projects into your local retailers, this is the project to keep your eyes on. Like we’ll be doing! Now printer errors came up because I was talking about the things after shipping that can really bog things down, like when a backer finds out that their long-awaited book has a printing error in it. This can be damage, but usually it’s something more like a book missing a chapter, or weird ink blotches obscuring text, or that funky little folded in page corner that actually opens up and the corner of the page is actually bigger than the rest of the page. I know why those things happen, and they are part of the “acceptable glitches” that are a part of every printing contract. Basically, acceptable so long as they don’t go over a certain percentage of the printed items, like 1 or 2%. But Mighty Matt McElroy pointed out that traditional printing isn’t the only arena with odd printing errors; the PoD printer has them too. Like this upside down interior DE Companion that he photographed and sent me:     Y’know, stuff happens.   BLURBS!   KICKSTARTER! 3 days to go, and we’re ramping up to the big 48 hour push! Please help us out by talking Monarchies of Mau up on social media and to your friends, especially your cat-loving friends. Don’t be shy, every mention helps! We’ve already shot past Stretch Goals for an exclusive t-shirt, an Intro adventure, the first three Mau stories in a fiction anthology, a book of character write-ups featuring the characters submitted by backers, and our second adventure goal – this time by Dennis Detwiller. And we’re almost topping over the next Stretch Goal for more short stories, including one by our very good friend the amazing Joe Carriker, with plenty more to come! If you get a chance, here’s the link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/200664283/monarchies-of-mau-fantasy-tabletop-rpg SPECIAL ALERT: Right now, as I write this, there are still 3 Mau Celebrity reward tier spots that allows you to get your cat or character mentioned in a Monarchies of Mau book! These kinds of reward tiers get snapped up fast in the last 48 hours! Also, there are still five Conspicuous Canine reward tier spots still open which gets your dog created and illustrated as an NPC in the world of Pugmire! Since one of our Stretch Goal rewards is the Roll of Good Dogs and Excellent Cats, they may even show up illustrated and statted-up in there! If you missed this in the Pugmire KS, now’s your chance!   ON SALE! ON AMAZON:   We’re delighted to announce the opening of our ebook store on Amazon! You can now read our fiction from the comfort and convenience of your Kindle. Our initial selection includes these fiction anthologies: Vampire: the Masquerade‘s Endless Ages, Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition‘s Rites of Renown: When Will You Rage 2, Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition‘s Truth Beyond Paradox, Chronicles of Darkness‘ God Machine Chronicle, Mummy: The Curse‘s Curse of the Blue Nile, and Beast: The Primordial‘s The Primordial Feast! And now you can get these books in the Barnes and Noble Nook store too! Vampire: The Masquerade: The Endless Ages Anthology Werewolf: The Apocalypse: Rites of Renown: When Will You Rage II Mage: The Ascension: Truth Beyond Paradox Chronicles of Darkness: The God-Machine Chronicle Anthology Mummy: The Curse: Curse of the Blue Nile Beast: The Primordial: The Primordial Feast Anthology   And this week, we’re releasing another six fiction books: Vampire: The Masquerade: Of Predators and Prey: The Hunters Hunted II Anthology Werewolf: The Apocalypse: The Poison Tree Werewolf: The Apocalypse: Songs of the Sun and Moon: Tales of the Changing Breeds Vampire: The Requiem: The Strix Chronicle Anthology Werewolf: The Forsaken: The Idigam Chronicle Anthology Mage: The Awakening: The Fallen World Chronicle Anthology       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! And Screens…so many Screens!     ON DRIVETHRURPG.COM: From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: To The Strongest (Mage Death of Alexander 330-320 BCE). In the rise and fall of Alexander the Great’s Empire, armies marched and cultures clashed. In the birth pangs of Hellenistic civilization, Awakened sorcerers all over the ancient world met, fought, and joined together. In the chaos of Alexander’s assassination and the wars that followed, Cults became Orders amid conflicts still burning in the present day. On sale in PDF and physical copy PoD versions Wednesday on DTRPG!   From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: Three Kingdoms of Darkness (Changeling and Geist China 220-280). Famine weakens the empire, and war splits it apart. It is an age of ambition and strife, where the hungry dead walk the earth in great numbers, and the Lost must rely on their own kingdoms. Warlords and commoners, ghost-speakers and orphans — who truly serves the Mandate of Heaven? On sale in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/211949/Dark-Eras-Three-Kingdoms-of-Darkness-Changeling-the-Lost-Geist-the-SinEaters     From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: The Wolf and the Raven (Werewolf and Geist Vikings 700-1100). The Viking expansion across Europe comes at a pivotal time in history, as new faiths rose to challenge the old and new ways threatened to sweep ancient tradition aside. The Forsaken sail with raiders and explorers, seeking new lands to claim and new spirits to conquer, while Sin-Eaters walk the battlefields bringing the honored dead to their final rewards. The world grows larger and more dangerous by the day, but there are great rewards for those brave enough to fight for them. On sale in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/210621/Dark-Eras-The-Wolf-and-the-Raven-Werewolf-the-Forsaken-Geist-the-SinEaters       Curated by Matthew McFarland, developer of Changeling: the Dreaming Twentieth Anniversary Edition and featuring authors such as Myranda Kalis, Wren Handman, and Peter Woodworth, this C20 Anthology of Dreams is on sale in electronic/PDF and physical copy PoD formats on DTRPG.com! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/209390/C20-Anthology-of-Dreams We dream, and we tell stories. We dream of love and the sort of person who might complete us. We dream of horror and wake breathless. We dream of magic, of flying through the air, or breathing underwater. We dream of fantastic vistas and amazing monsters. We dream, and then we wake, and we tell stories. Our dreams create the Kithain, the changelings. Our stories are sustenance.     Now on DTRPG, the EX3 Tomb of Dreams Jumpstart PDF/PoD jumps up for sale! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/208891/Tomb-of-Dreams-an-Exalted-3rd-Edition-Jumpstart Once, in the time before the gods forgot their names, when the world was flat and floated on a sea of chaos, there was an age of gleaming cities, untamed wilderness, enlightened devils, greedy spirits, and mighty heroes. This was the age of the Exalted, champions empowered by the highest of gods. Tomb of Dreams will jumpstart your group’s Exalted game—all you need to start playing Exalted Third Edition is this book, pencils, and 10-sided dice. Included here are the game’s core rules, five pregenerated characters, and a self-contained scenario that can start a new campaign or that Storytellers can use in an ongoing chronicle. And for groups that already have the Exalted Third Edition main rulebook, Tomb of Dreams will serve as an introduction for new players and a quick reference during play—anyone intimidated by that prodigious volume need only read Part 1 of this book to get started. What legends will they tell of your deeds?         Sailing out of the dark, the V20 Dark Ages Companion Advance PDF is now on sale on DriveThruRPG.com! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/211504/V20-Dark-Ages-Companion Travel the long roads and deep seas in search of power and experience danger, or tackle the wilderness to hunt monsters and face death. Settlements large and small dot the black expanse with the promise of sanctuary, life, and community. These bastions of civilization present cold comfort, when playing host to vampire warlords and sadistic Cainite faiths. Whether led by a Prince, a coordinated belief, or hounded by monsters from without and within — no domain is truly the same as another. Dark Ages Companion includes: • Domains scattered across the world, from small fiefdoms to massive cities. Bath, Bjarkarey, Constantinople, Rome, Mogadishu, and Mangaluru each receive coverage. • Apocrypha including plot hooks, new Paths, and mysteries to explore in your games. • A how-to guide on building a domain within your chronicle, including events and servants necessary to make a domain as functional or dysfunctional as you wish. • A study on warfare in the Dark Ages period, so combat in your chronicles can gain authenticity and lethality.         Bill Bridge’s new W20 novel, The Song of Unmaking, is on sale in PDF/ePub/PoD versions on DriveThruRPG.com: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/208366/W20-The-Song-of-Unmaking and in ebook form on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071VM2S3D/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1494441226&sr=1-1 ! The fabric of reality is cracking. Fissures appear in thin air, glowing with balefire. Something is scratching on the other side, pressing, beginning to break through…. The Wyrm’s corruption finds its way into the hearts of humans and Garou alike. Even an ultra-rational techno-cratic scientist can fall sway to its lies. Channeling his hate and resentment through the most sophisticated machine ever created, Basil Czajka has turned a tool designed to peer deep into the heart of the quantum universe into a nursery for the hatching of a horror — a creature whose birth cry is destined to unmake Gaia’s Song of Creation. The only ones standing in his way are One-Song, a broken-down old Theurge, and Lord Albrecht, whose heed-less anger might be the very weapon the enemy needs to crack the egg and free the Unmaker.     The Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras Companion has arrived in PDF and PoD physical book versions at DriveThruRPG.com! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/207879/Chronicles-of-Darkness-Dark-Eras-Companion The Dark Eras Companion presents eleven new Eras for the Chronicles of Darkness. Stretching from Ancient Rome and Egypt through the Black Death, the Thirty Years War, the Reconstruction, and the Russian Revolution, the Companion showcases even more of the secret history of this eldritch world. Included in each era are “snapshots” of the various supernatural creatures, including vampires, changelings, mummies, and demons. Also included are lists of inspirational media to help you put these Eras in context for your troupe. Open the Dark Eras Companion and take another look back in time.     V20 Lore of the Bloodlines awaits in PDF and physical book PoD versions on DriveThruRPG.com! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/207392/V20-Lore-of-the-Bloodlines Lore of the Bloodlines is a single volume (created via Kickstarter) that revisits some of the bloodlines in Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition, providing story hooks, character concepts, history, and bloodline-specific rules. The secrets of the Baali, Daughters of Cacophony, Gargoyles, Harbingers of Skulls, Kiasyd, Salubri, Samedi, and True Brujah are now yours. Lore of the Bloodlines includes: • The history, lore, and nightly practices of nine bloodlines, told from the perspective of the Kindred themselves. • New combo Disciplines, powers, Merits, Flaws, and other rules specific to each bloodline. • Revisions and updates of more classic Vampire: The Masquerade material to V20.             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) C20 Novel (Jackie Cassada) (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition) Hunter: the Vigil 2e core (Hunter: the Vigil 2nd Edition) The Realm (Exalted 3rd Edition) Dragon-Blooded (Exalted 3rd Edition) C20 Ready Made Characters (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)   Redlines Kithbook Boggans (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition) Ex Novel 2 (Aaron Rosenberg) (Exalted 3rd Edition) DtD Night Horrors: Enemy Action (Demon: the Descent)   Second Draft GtS Geist 2e core (Geist: the Sin-Eaters Second Edition) Trinity Continuum Core Rulebook (The Trinity Continuum) Scion: Origins (Scion 2nd Edition) Scion: Hero (Scion 2nd Edition) WoD Ghost Hunters (World of Darkness) Pugmire Fiction Anthology (Pugmire)   Development 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) Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition, featuring the Huntsmen Chronicle (Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition) M20 Cookbook (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition) Pugmire Pan’s Guide for New Pioneers (Pugmire)   WW Manuscript Approval: VtR Half-Damned (Vampire: the Requiem 2nd Edition) V20 Dark Ages Jumpstart (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition)     Editing: Wraith: the Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition Book of Freeholds (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition) BtP Beast Player’s Guide (Beast: the Primordial) W20 Changing Ways (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition)   Post-Editing Development: Arms of the Chosen (Exalted 3rd Edition)     Indexing: Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)     ART DIRECTION FROM MIRTHFUL MIKE: In Art Direction Beckett’s Jyhad Diary W20 Pentex Employee Indoctrination Handbook Cavaliers of Mars Wraith 20 W20Changing Ways Ex3 Monthly Stuff Storypath Brochure VDA Jumpstart Scion Origins C20 Jumpstart – AD’d and Contracted Ring of Spiragos Ex 3 Arms of the Chosen – Sketches coming in.   Marketing Stuff   In Layout M20 Art Book – In progress… Prince’s Gambit – New Cards out for playtesting Gen Con Stuff   Proofing CtL Huntsmen Chronicle Anthology M20 Book of Secrets – At WW for approval. VTR: Thousand Years of Night – At WW for approval.   At Press Beckett Screen – Shipped to shipper. Dark Eras: To the Strongest – PDF/PoD versions on sale this Wednesday on DTRPG. Pugmire – Printing. Pugmire Screen – Printing. Pugmire Cards & Dice – Printing/manufacturing. Wise and the Wicked PF & 5e – Printing. Dagger of Spiragos (5e) – Out to backers. Dagger of Spiragos (PF) – Out to backers. V20 Dark Ages Companion – PoD files uploaded and processing. BtP Building a Legend – Awaiting errata. Monarchies of Mau Early Access – PoD files uploaded and processing. Dark Eras: Requiem for Regina – PoD files uploaded and processing.       TODAY’S REASON TO CELEBRATE: In the US, June 14th is Flag Day. Some people think flags are symbols of the way we have divided the world. Others celebrate the country and ideals they symbolize. My friend Ben loves flags, real and fictional and those he designed himself. I always think of him when flags are mentioned, so cheers to the Big Belly! Onyx Path
  9. Fiction Friday: The Fallen World ChronicleThis week we take a trip back to the post-war period as a couple of mages get down to a little detective work in Eddy Webb’s Crimson Lips, from The Fallen World Chronicle for Mage: The Awakening 2nd Edition. They took Rick’s Buick, partially because it had an auxiliary heater, and mostly because Early didn’t have a car. Traffic in Detroit was usually bad in the winter, but for now the roads were clear and they were making good time. “Why does a mage need to live in a mansion?” Early asked, pulling his scarf down as the car warmed up. Rick winced a little at the word mage. “Can we have this conversation a little more discreetly?” he said, a cigarette between his fingers while he gripped the wheel. “Why? There a Guardian hidden in your heater I should know about? You got a Sleeper in the back seat that might run screaming into the night?” “It just bugs me.” “And that’s why I do it.” Rick smiled while he took a drag. “You’re an asshole.” “And you’re not answering my question. Why a mansion? If you can control reality, why do you also need to be rich?” “Not everyone thinks they should live on the streets, getting by on their wits and their magic alone.” Early grunted and wiped the fog off the windows. “World would be a better place if they did. That’s what Rosie thought, at least.” They pulled up to a closed iron gate in front of a well-plowed driveway that curled up to a big house on the hill. Some poor guard was standing by it, bundled up for an Arctic expedition. Rick rolled down the window and gave his name, and the guard moved his arm as much as he could to indicate they should go in. “That’s convenient,” Early said. “The Council are paying me to do a job. They made sure to put me on the guest list.” “Next you’ll be lining up to join an Order.” “No need to be vulgar.” Rick pulled up to the front door, and the two men got out. The front door was large enough to let the Buick in for a tune-up if they wanted. Over it was a stained-glass panel showing a knight in dark armor, helping out a woman tied to a tree. She didn’t have any clothes, but she did have some very convenient hair. Rick rang the bell and stomped on his cigarette before they were met by a butler named Wilkins. He took Rick’s hat and tried to take Early’s before whisking them down hallways that were two stories tall, and through a couple of French doors. On the other side was a man lying in a bed three times too big, and his pajamas looked almost as sharp as Early’s suit. The way he kept giggling and drooling on himself made Wilkins nervous, and with a quick “Mr. Francis Evans,” they were alone. Early walked around the bed, looking at the man. Mr. Evans watched back with wide eyes and a rictus grin stretching his face so wide it almost snapped. Rick looked at Mr. Evans himself, using his Mage Sight to see anything unusual, but his sight fell away same as with the others, like throwing a nickel down a wishing well. Frustrated, he looked at Early. “See anything?” The older mage walked back, absently pulling on his beard. “Not much. Mr. Francis Evans was a Mastigos of the Silver Ladder, and used to be quite a good Mind mage. He made a lot of money and a lot of friends investing in war bonds, which means everyone looks the other way when he goes off to see other men in hotel rooms.” “You said he was a Mastigos. Why the past tense?” Early knelt down to look into Mr. Evans’ eyes. Rick could see his hands shaking. “Because he ain’t a mage no more.” “You mean something took his magic?” “No, it’s more…” Early waved his hands vaguely, as if he could pluck the explanation from the air. “Magic is a fire inside of us, right? Something that we kindle with new knowledge. It’s not all lucky lottery tickets and convenient car crashes. It’s about finding things out, and using that knowledge to make ourselves stronger, and maybe make the world better.” He stood back up. “But that’s gone now. That desire, that drive to know and do, it’s just missing.” Rick nodded. That connected with what the Guardians had told him. He started searching the room, hoping that maybe there was something in the bedridden man’s effects that would tell them something new. He hated being Watson, but that was the role Fate assigned him, so he played along. “So you’ve seen this before?” “Nope.” Early reached behind Mr. Evans’ ear, and pulled out a penny. The bedridden man smiled at that, and drooled some more. “Penny!” Both men looked, surprised at the bedridden man’s outburst. He put a hand on Early’s suit and looked into his eyes. “Need penny!” Rick snorted, looking inside a shaving kit. “Man wants money even when he’s brain-dead.” “Told you no good comes from being rich.” Early handed Mr. Evans the penny, and the bedridden man snatched it hungrily. “Penny for your thoughts,” Early said, watching the man carefully for any tick, any insight. “Lips,” he said, as he carefully studied the penny in his hand. Rick closed the lid of the shaving kit and looked over. “Lips?” “That’s what the man said,” Early muttered, still watching the bedridden man. “I need more than that, Mr. Evans. A penny don’t go far these days, but it goes further than that.” “Crimson,” the man said. “Crimson lips. At the club.” His eyes grew sad, and he wiped at his chin, leaving a smear on the sleeve of his expensive pajamas. “Before the end.” “Great,” Rick said, opening a dresser drawer. “All we have to do is find out which club he went to. Maybe he has a matchbook or something.” Early stood up. “You read too many crime magazines. Look at his fingers. No nicotine stains. And there wasn’t a single ashtray on our way up here. Why would he have a matchbook? Just go ask one of the servants.” Rick closed the drawer. “Are you too good to talk to the servants?” “Nah, you’re just prettier than me.” Early handed Mr. Evans another penny, and the bedridden mage squealed with delight. “But I’ll come with you if you need help with the bigger words.” They found Wilkins in the study, dusting the books. At first, he claimed he didn’t know how his master got in his condition, and Mr. Evans certainly didn’t go out to nightclubs. But Rick ?ashed his movie-star smile. “Don’t worry. We know.” “Know, sir?” Wilkins asked. He sounded like he was trying on the English accent, but it didn’t fit him right. “He has a secret life,” Early said, looking at the books. “We won’t tell anyone,” Rick added. “We just want to know where he goes.” Wilkins looked at the feather duster in his hand. “I understand that Mr. Evans sometimes does… dangerous things. And I hate seeing him in this condition.” He looked back up at the two men. “Will you find out who did this to him?” Rick looked at Early, who nodded. “We’ll try,” Rick said to Wilkins. The butler nodded. “He sometimes goes to the El Dorado. I don’t know who he sees there, but once in a while he doesn’t come home until morning. He never says anything, but, well, one notices these things.” “Yes,” Early said dryly, pulling a book from the shelf. “One does.” Rick ignored him. “Did Mr. Evans talk about a woman in his life? One that might have worn lipstick?” “Certainly not!” Wilkins said. “Wouldn’t be proper being seen alone with a woman,” Early said. “Quite right,” Wilkins agreed, sailing past Early’s barb. Early turned to look at the butler for the first time. He had the open book in one hand, and a letter in the other. “Which means this love letter you got from ‘Dearest Jeanine’ probably belongs to you.” Wilkins snatched the letter from Early’s grasp. “If you are quite finished, I would ask you both to leave now.” Rick put his hands up in mock surrender. “We’re leaving. Thank you for your time.” Early tipped his hat at Wilkins, Rick took his back, and they walked back to the Buick. “What was the point of that, Early?” Rick asked as he drove back down the driveway. “He was helping us.” “Man had secrets,” Early said over his scarf. “Maybe some secrets should stay secret.” Early rubbed the fog off the windows again. “Nothing stays secret from me. That’s what you wanted, ain’t it? The man who asks all the questions? The one who can see everyone’s secrets?” Rick stopped at the gate and stole a glance at Early while it opened. “Can’t you just keep them to yourself once in a while?” Early ignored the question. Instead, he opened up the glove compartment. “You still got your gun in here?” “Sure,” Rick said. “I got papers for it, too.” Early closed the compartment again. “Good. I got a feeling we’ll need it.” What’s causing Evans’ illness? What connection does it have to the woman with the crimson lips? Find out in The Fallen World Chronicle, now available from DriveThruFiction in ebook and print. Onyx Path
  10. I am currently working on fixing it.
  11. Story Seed - RegretImage Source: http://mleth.deviantart.com/art/Landscape-592994056 My final goodbye. I couldn't say how I knew. Pain wasn't new to me. Nor was weariness. I'd been walking the Walk for so long I can hardly remember anything before I began it. But today was different, my old body was wearing thin. Pains that I usually dismissed or ignored, caused me to wince and stifle groans. And for the first time in many months I woke tired; weary to the bone and feeling that this was more than just a bad night's sleep. Looked up to the early morning sky, the moon rode low in the west, a gibbous egg shape belted in green and ragged along one edge where the the treeline broke the otherwise smooth shape. The stars shone in a blanket of deep blue that faded as I turned eastward. The horizon was already taking on the golden light of pre-dawn. I wondered for the ten thousandth time how it was that decades of walking the Path had seemingly brought me no closer to the end, or even a return to the beginning. For the first time I found myself thinking that the Wandering Walk might be a futile lie; a path to nowhere walked by those hoping to find meaning in what none were willing to admit was a meaningless journey to nowhere. Was that a pain in my heart or in my soul that stirred in my breast? I don't know which. I took my time to pack my meager belongings. My pack was light, but with time even a light pack becomes a heavy load. When at last I was ready I shrugged into my pack and found it heavy; the straps cut into my shoulders and the load seemed to drag me down. I grunted, settling the pack until I felt it sat as comfortably as it could. At last I could delay no longer. The first unimpeded rays of dawn light were already lancing across the landscape and casting long golden limned shadows. I set out at last, a twinge of pain etching every movement with acid. After an hour I reached for the cypher I had carried for so many years and pressed it to my skull just behind my ear. I felt the pain slide away. "Farewell my home," I said. I never felt it when my body collapsed to the ground. I never felt my body's passing. I never again set foot along the Wandering Walk. The datasphere has been my home ever since, and I feel neither pain nor want. I have learned the truth of many things, but the saddest truth of them all is this: I was almost at the end.Inspiration Strikes
  12. Now Available: V20 Dark Ages Companion!Now available as an advance PDF from DriveThruRPG: The V20 Dark Ages Companion! (Not to be confused with the recent Dark Eras Companion for Chronicles of Darkness.) Travel the long roads and deep seas in search of power and experience danger, or tackle the wilderness to hunt monsters and face death. Settlements large and small dot the black expanse with the promise of sanctuary, life, and community. These bastions of civilization present cold comfort, when playing host to vampire warlords and sadistic Cainite faiths. Whether led by a Prince, a coordinated belief, or hounded by monsters from without and within — no domain is truly the same as another. Dark Ages Companion includes: Domains scattered across the world, from small fiefdoms to massive cities. Bath, Bjarkarey, Constantinople, Rome, Mogadishu, and Mangaluru each receive coverage. Apocrypha including plot hooks, new Paths, and mysteries to explore in your games. A how-to guide on building a domain within your chronicle, including events and servants necessary to make a domain as functional or dysfunctional as you wish. A study on warfare in the Dark Ages period, so combat in your chronicles can gain authenticity and lethality.  
  13. The Elemental Aura (Dragon-Blooded, pt. 2) [Exalted]Hi, folks. Rose here, with the next Dragon-Blooded preview from Eric and Robert. This time, we dig into one of their unique mechanics, the Elemental Aura. The Elemental Aura A Dragon-Blooded can unlock the greatest heights of her power by entering into an Elemental Aura state, centering her Essence around a single element. Some Charms are powered up while the Dragon-Blooded is in their element’s Aura, while others—marked with the Aura keyword—can only be used in the Aura state. However, this power comes at a trade-off: if the Dragon-Blooded uses Charms from another element, her Aura state ends. There are a few helpful exceptions: the Balanced keyword marks Charms that won’t disrupt your Aura, and Charms that have multiple elemental aspects won’t end it as long as one of them matches. Currents Sweep to Sea Cost: 4m (+1a); Mins: Brawl 3, Essence 2; Type: Simple Keywords: Water Duration: Instant Prerequisite Charms: Water Dragon’s Coils The Dragon-Blooded’s reaches through water, shaping it into a flowing torrent that can constrict foes and drag them across the battlefield. As long as there is a source of water on the battlefield, such as a small pool, a cistern, a river, or a recent rainfall, the Dragon-Blooded may use this Charm to create a grasping limb or tendril of water, rolling a grapple gambit against an enemy at short range. If she wins control of the grapple, her foe is dragged into close range with her. In Water Aura, this Charm can be used to grapple enemies out to medium range. If there is no source of water to use, the Dragon-Blooded may expend a level of her anima instead. Blossom Hides Thorns Cost: 4m, 1wp, expend Wood Aura; Mins: Performance 5, Essence 3; Type: Simple Keywords: Aura (Wood) Duration: Instant Prerequisite Charms: Dance of Flashing Swords The Dragon-Blooded turns the strumming of her fingers on an erhu’s strings or the graceful steps of a dance into a facade for a deadly ambush, concluding her show with a truly breath-taking finale. In order to use this Charm, she must be in the middle of a performance. She rolls Manipulation + Performance against the Resolve of a single target. On a successful roll, the Dragon-Blooded, her allies, and her target roll Join Battle. Either the Exalt or one of her allies has the opportunity to make an unexpected attack against the target (Exalted, p. 203). As usual, if the attacker beats the target’s Join Battle, the attack is an ambush that bypasses defense completely; if not, it is only a surprise attack, inflicting -2 Defense. Dance of Flashing Swords can be acted reflexively together with this Charm to disguise the sneak attack as part of the performance. Its Willpower cost is waived. Earth Bears Witness Cost: 5m, 3i; Mins: Resistance 5, Essence 3; Type: Reflexive Keywords: Aura (Earth), Decisive-only, Perilous Duration: Instant Prerequisite Charms: Impervious Skin of Stone The Dragon-Blooded braces her body solidly against the ground, feeling the Earth’s Essence upholding her own. As she is struck, the force of the blow passes through her and into surrounding earth or stone-based objects. This subtracts her (Stamina/2) dice from the damage of a decisive attack, shunting it into the ground. The Storyteller may deem that this creates difficult terrain or destroys mundane objects. If there is a large source of stone or other earth-based substance within short range of the Exalt, she instead subtracts her full (Stamina) as it bears the force of the attack for her. The force of her enemy’s blow might smash a crater in the shape of her silhouette into a fortress’s walls or blast a stone monument from its pedestal. A second purchase of this Charm unlocks the following elemental variants. Wood: In Wood Aura, this Charm can shift decisive damage into wooden objects or living plants. It reduces damage by the Exalt’s full (Stamina) if she shifts it into a wooden structure or tree-sized plant. Water: In Water Aura, this Charm can shift decisive damages into any water, whether it is a pool or river, a jug of water poured out from a well, or a steady fall of rain. It reduces damage by the Exalt’s full (Stamina) if she shifts it into a nearby body of water or a large vessel, such as a cistern or a well. Portentous Comet Deflection Cost: 3m, 1wp (expend Fire Aura); Mins: Melee 5, Essence 3; Type: Reflexive Keywords: Aura (Fire), Clash, Decisive-only Duration: Instant Prerequisite Charms: Flame-Born Interception, Stoking Bonfire Style The Exalt sees with the eyes of fire, realizing the perfect path of a strike the moment before she suffers an attack. The Dragon-Blooded may reflexively use her combat action for the round to clash with a decisive attack. She cannot clash if she has already used her combat action this round. The Dragon-Blooded may expend her Aura state to clash without counting as her attack for the round. Mela’s Hungry Jaws Cost: 3m, 1wp; Mins: Stealth 5, Essence 4; Type: Simple Keywords: Aura (Air) Duration: One scene Prerequisites: Dragon Shroud Technique The Dragon-Blooded breathes in the very air from her victim’s lungs, strangling them without ever laying a hand on them or being seen. This Charm can only be used while in concealment, against an enemy within medium range of the Dragon-Blooded who is unaware of her. She steals his breath, causing him to begin to asphyxiate (Exalted, p. 232). Trivial opponents never receive a chance to hold their breath, even outside of combat. The Terrestrial cannot move while using this Charm to siphon her foe’s breath, but he must disengage to move away from her, regardless of the distance between them. A victim can only break free of Mela’s Hungry Jaws if he successfully finds the Dragon-Blooded with a (Perception + Awareness) roll or succeeds in withdrawing to extreme range. His allies can attempt to free him by attacking the Dragon-Blooded once they have found her. Even if the attack roll misses, this Charm still ends. The Dragon-Blooded may expend her Air Aura when she uses this Charm in order to affect every hostile character within medium range of her who is unaware of her presence.
  14. Nuts & Bolts #119 - RPG Blog Carnival - Supah Seekrit Last week, I discussed the fact that secrets in RPGs don't tend to remain secret by the very virtue of PCs tending to learn and uncover hidden knowledge or facts, though such knowledge may remain known by limited or few people by story's end. If you want to use some kind of secrets in your game you have decide what they are first. So, to that end, here's a breakdown of the big categories and some examples. Person A secret or hidden person can fit any number of potential stories. It may be a the last heir of a powerful lineage. A witness, hidden away to protect them before the trial of a criminal. A powerful wizard with the means to solve a problem the party has. Or even one or more members of a secret society. Secrets of this nature often resolve around people hidden for their own protection, or as a result of lost knowledge (such as birth records). The hidden person may be actively hiding, hidden without their knowledge, or even unaware that they are hidden at all! Example: The Last Archmage - Tal-zor the Fey Touched has not been seen in decades, but only he possesses the raw magical might to defeat a threat to the realm. The PCs must locate Tal-zor and convince him to return and save the kingdom. Place Secret places are either hidden on purpose or lost. Lost may be due to mishap, time, or other factors. These kinds of places could be secret lairs (villainous or heroic), lost temples or libraries, secret panic rooms, hidden labs, hard to reach or remote natural places (caves, groves, lakes, even planets), or even alternate dimensions or worlds (the Upside Down anybody?).  Unlike a hidden or secret person a location is (probably) not mobile, and (probably) not actively avoiding detection. There may be special skills or objects needed to find out open a secret location, and they may be protected by those who are aware of the secret. Example: The Planet of Ack-tum - What do you do with an object too powerful to be destroyed, but too dangerous to keep around? You hide it in the deepest, darkest, most remote and desolate system in the galaxy! Rumor has it that Ack-tum exists in a stable pocket within a trinary system of singularities. The PCs must track down not only the location, but the means to access Ack-tum to retrieve an alien artifact. Thing Secret things are like secret places, they are either being hidden, or have been lost. Rings of power, rare gems hidden in rubbish statues, holy relics, illicit substances, and segmented weapons. These things may be hidden in plain sight; a powerful rune weapon disguised under layers of grime in the back of a junk shop. Or they may be kept in a hidden location. Segmented items may be broken into parts that each function as a lesser item but only when joined with their other components reveal their true power. Example: The Will of Mr. Boddy - A millionaire has died, but his will is missing. With no heir and no will the state stands to take possession of the dead man's estate, unless the PCs can find Mr. Boddy's Last Will & testament. Skills & Knowledge Secrets in their purest form in some ways. A lost thing or place can be found in time even by accident, but secret knowledge is another thing entirely. Secret Seven Finger Kung-Fu, the lost magical techniques of flesh sculpting, the secret bloodlines of the last prophet, and the real assassin of the king. These kinds of secrets tend to survive by the will of a select few, or perish as those who know them perish. Hidden or secret knowledge may be lost among the stacks at a library, or hidden away in a secret place, or even held by a select few, or one person. Example: The Master of the Divine Steel Badger - The warlord Jang-Lu is crushing all who stand before him, sweeping across the empire with his army in an unstoppable wave of blood and death. The warlord and his army all practice Furious Tiger Kung-Fu which has proven superior to all other forms. Rumor has it that there is only one counter to the Furious Tiger style, that of the lost art of the Divine Steel Badger. The PCs must track down the secret techniques of this form. Is it hidden in a scroll in an old monastery, or does a master still practice the style in some remote location?
  15. Monarchies of Mau Kickstarter is live! The Monarchies of Mau Kickstarter is now live!