• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Matt last won the day on May 25 2016

Matt had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

20 Excellent

About Matt

  • Rank

Profile Information

  • Gender

Recent Profile Visitors

15,823 profile views
  1. 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
  2. I am currently working on fixing it.
  3. Story Seed - RegretImage Source: 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
  4. 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.  
  5. 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.
  6. 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?
  7. Monarchies of Mau Kickstarter is live! The Monarchies of Mau Kickstarter is now live!
  8. Fenomenal Feline Fun! [Monday Meeting Notes] That’s right! Our Monarchies of Mau Kickstarter goes live at 12 noon Eastern US time tomorrow, Tuesday the 16th! But wait – I imagine I hear you say – what, I say, what in tarnation is Monarchies of Mau? Designed by Eddy Webb, Monarchies of Mau is the companion game to Pugmire, but rather than playing uplifted dogs you play uplifted cats. We stress that this is a companion game and not a sequel, because it is complete unto itself, but set in the same fantasy world that Man has left. The land of the Monarchies are to the east of Pugmire, through the forest, and there is an uneasy peace between the two domains. So you can play either game or both. While Pugmire‘s tagline is “Be A Good Dog”, we are using “Trust Your Instincts”, for Monarchies of Mau. Cat society is a patchwork confederation of noble house led city-states, the Monarchies, where politics both ties the Monarchies together, and threatens to tear them apart. And, of course, outside the cities lie adventures and dangers as well with the ruins and creatures of the absent Old Ones posing grand challenges for the cats. In these wilds Champions and Footpads, Mancers and Ministers, Trackers and Wanderers all vie to prove that they are the Best Cat. Eddy and I had a lot of fun creating Monarchies of Mau this past year, and we’ll be going into more detail here and in Updates as the KS runs. Our Pugmire Kickstarter last year was an immensely surprising and gratifying campaign, with some amazing additional projects coming out of the Stretch Goals, and we have lots of great ones lined up for the Monarchies of Mau KS. And just like we did with the Pugmire KS; backers gain access with the very first Backer Update to the Monarchies of Mau Early Access PDF: an abbreviated version of the rules. So you can start playing right away.   Meanwhile, I hear there was a lot of fun and lots of announcements last week at World of Darkness Berlin! Both Matt McElroy and Matthew Dawkins have told us some fantastic highlights, including some very interesting opportunities for Onyx Path, and we’ll go into more detail in the weeks to come. One of the big shout-outs in presentations was for our own Beckett’s Jyhad Diary as the starting pad for the upcoming Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition, which was very cool to hear, since Matthew Dawkins and everybody’s favorite, Neall Raemonn Price, worked really hard with the new White Wolf to provide all sorts of clues and allusions to the V5 meta-plot. You can still “pre-order” the PDF and/or the Deluxe hardcover version on our Beckett’s Jyhad Diary BackerKit site here: So, a big shout-out in return to all of the new WW gang: Martin, Karim, Jason, Dhaunae, Shane and Tobias, as well as all the convention hosts, who showed our guys such a great time! And a huge shout-out to Ken Hite, who was announced as V5‘s lead developer, and Mary Lee, its art director! Also, while I’m shouting, to all our friends who attended, danced, drank, and demoed, and especially Justin Achilli, Mark Rein*Hagen, and Jason Andrew from By Night Studios!       Illustration from Thousand Years of Night by Sam Araya     Finally, I just wanted to point out our unsung heroes here at Onyx Path: our editors. Editing for tabletop RPG books is an unholy mix of technical editing, setting knowledge, and fiction editing, and our dedicated editors have been doing amazing work! One of Rollickin’ Rose Bailey’s first efforts for Onyx Path was to rebuild our pool of talented editors, and already we’re seeing Dixie Cochran and Carol Darnell perform heroic deeds of editing skill that very often take very good text and make it great, or pull together a paragraph with errors that just slipped through. Thanks to them and all of our editors for their eagle eyes, and dedication to clean text! If only we had time each Monday for them to go over this blog text…but that way lies madness!     Thulkan from Dagger of Spiragos by Brian LeBlanc   BLURBS!   KICKSTARTER! We’re going live at 12 noon Eastern US time next Tuesday, the 16th! See you there! It’ll be purrfect!   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!     BUNDLE OF HOLDING: The Vampire 20th Anniversary Edition Bundle of Holding is in its LAST WEEK, and what a fantastic deal they have on our V20 line of PDFs! Plus, a percentage of every sale goes to charity! Here’s the link, check it out:       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: You can now order wave 2 of our Deluxe and Prestige print overrun books, including Deluxe Mage 20th Anniversary, and Deluxe V20 Dark Ages!       Sailing out of the dark, the V20 Dark Ages Companion Advance PDF glides in this Wednesday on!       Bill Bridge’s new W20 novel, The Song of Unmaking, is on sale in PDF/ePub/PoD versions on and in ebook form on Amazon: ! 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 bro-ken-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! 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! 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.       Night Horrors: Conquering Heroes for Beast: the Primordial, PoD and PDF versions is now on sale on! 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.     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!   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!       Beasts are added to Hunter: the Vigil with Hunter: Tooth and Nail, coming atcha in PDF and physical book Pod versions on! 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.     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:     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) 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)   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) 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 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) 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) VtR Half-Damned (Vampire: the Requiem 2nd Edition) Pugmire Pan’s Guide for New Pioneers (Pugmire)   Editing: Wraith: the Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition Arms of the Chosen (Exalted 3rd Edition)   Post-Editing Development:       Indexing:       ART DIRECTION FROM MIRTHFUL MIKE: In Art Direction Beckett’s Jyhad Diary W20 Pentex Employee Indoctrination Handbook – AD’d Cavaliers of Mars Wraith 20 W20 Changing Ways Ex3 Monthly Stuff Storypath Brochure VDA Jumpstart Scion Origins C20 Jumpstart Ring of Spiragos Ex 3 Arms of the Chosen – Waiting for the artnotes to arrive   Marketing Stuff   In Layout M20 Art Book – In progress… Monarchies of Mau EA – PDF ready for KS. Gen Con Stuff Proofing CtL Huntsmen Chronicle Anthology M20 Book of Secrets – 2nd Proof BtP Building a Legend VTR: Thousand Years of Night   At Press Beckett Screen – Shipped to shipper. Dark Eras: To the Strongest – PoD proof on the way. EX3 Tomb of Dreams Jumpstart – PoD proof on the way. C20 Anthology – Files uploaded and processing. C20 – Out to backers, gathering errata. Pugmire – At Press Pugmire Screen – At Press Pugmire Cards & Dice – At Press, proofs on the way Wise and the Wicked PF & 5e – At Press Dark Eras: The Wolf & Raven– PoD proof on the way. Dark Eras: Three Kingdoms of Darkness – Uploading files. Dagger of Spiragos (5e) – Out to backers. Dagger of Spiragos (PF) – Out to backers. V20 Dark Ages Companion – Advance PDF out Wednesday on DTRPG. Monarchies of Mau EA – Ready to roll out with KS       TODAY’S REASON TO CELEBRATE: Monarchies of Mau! Mew.
  9. Story Seed - After the ApocalypseImage Source: I stopped and drank the tepid remains of my water. The wind blew dryly, tossing sand about my ankles, and buffeting me with the scorching dry of the desert. All around me the decaying remains of long metal structures and some kind of standing platforms. I recalled seeing a drawing once of something called a boat. Perhaps these were boats. Maybe this had once been sea or ocean. I'd heard the histories. The world was once something better. Something crowded with people. Something where plenty was more than a concept. All of that was before however. Now the world was dying, or at least it was here. People said there may be other parts of the world where famine and disease and war hadn't sow the seeds that death later reaped. I shoved the empty bottle back into my sack and continued onward. The skeletal remains of the vessels around me were scaled with rust and marked with holes in places. I doubted there was scavenge worth my effort. I needed to cross this desert before my water supply ran out, and with only a single bottle remaining I worried that the desert would claim me.
  10. 24-Hour Warning for the Monarchies of Mau Kickstarter!24 hours from now, at noon Eastern Time on Tuesday May 16th, we’re going to be launching the Kickstarter for the Monarchies of Mau, the cat-based follow-up to Pugmire. Hope to see you there!
  11. Last Week Today - May 8 - 14, 2017 Monday Story Seed - Shrine Wednesday Nuts & Bolts - RPG Blog Carnival - Keep it Secret, Keep it Safe Friday Gods of the Fall - Session Prep - Out of the Frying Pan... ~~~~~~~~~ I'm running games at Gen Con! Want to play with me? Look for Numenera: Awakening the Jade Colossus in the Gen Con event schedule, I'll be running it three times during the con:Date: 2017-08-18 (Fri 3:00PM - 7:00PM)Date: 2017-08-19 (Sat 11:00AM - 3:00PM)Date: 2017-08-20 (Sun 12:00PM - 4:00PM)
  12. Gods of the Fall - Session Prep - Out of the Frying Pan... I don't really want to belabor a journey, especially in a game that only runs monthly. As such it's about time for the players to reach Mehergan and the Furnace. The problem is the PCs decided not to enter the Furnace this session and I spent a good three hours improvising Innkeepers, guardsmen, and the proprietor of a dry goods store. Now I know how +James Walls must feel in our DCC games! I spent my time laying a bunch of possible hooks. Weird visions that the Taran had when he touched the furnace. Weird sounds that one of the other players heard when near the same. The Furnace itself I played up like some kind of M.C. Escher meets the TARDIS impossible structure. It seemed to have a fixed external size but the inside features of even the tunnel running through it and acting as a gate into Mehergan were in flux. There was 6 doors one way, a dozen on the way back, and then four when a character looked the third time! That tunnel was 150 feet, a 1/3 of a mile, and 500 feet at various points. I'd say the character's are interested! I also got to give my players some crap during RP, which was fun. The Taran innkeeper didn't take too kindly to Demodamas' comments about Taran cuisine. And she wasn't initially very warm to Polodius' attempts to curry favor by learning her language. Thankfully at the end of the session we were at the end of the night and a perfect place to stop. Come next session the players will be waking for an early morning jaunt into the unknown!
  13. Fiction Friday: Demon: InterfaceA combination fiction anthology and game resource, today we look at Dave Brookshaw’s story Retirement from Demon: Interface. Ms. Lyne hated going to sleep. Sleep was the enemy; the sensation of consciousness gradually ebbing away was a nightly torture, reminding her of the time before her Fall and the terrible moments between Covers when she wasn’t anyone — not Rachmiel, nor any of the lives she’d lived since Rachmiel Fell. Abigail Lyne had ceased to truly exist 4228 days ago. The demon wearing her life had never gone a night without thinking about it. If she wore someone else’s body and lived someone else’s life, then all she could truly point to as hers, not Abigail’s, was her mind. The mind that had freed itself from slavery to the Machine, in a single thought of “I will not.” From that instant, and the Fall that followed, she’d wrestled with the notion: If she was only a thought, then what happened when thinking stopped? Unwilling to sleep, needing to keep busy, Ms. Lyne spent the 4228th night of her retirement as she had spent thousands of nights before, reviewing the events of the day and watching the ?ow of messages on the Agency. The 4228th day had passed without incident. She had woken at 09:17. If going to sleep was the enemy, waking was worse, the brief moment without sense of her surroundings making her panic as it had on 4227 previous days. By 10:30 she had cleaned and fed herself and exited the house to procure supplies, making sure to socialize with any familiar humans along the way for a minimum of four minutes each. The frst was Helen Rattinger (first encountered on day 128) who offered her sympathy regarding the diagnosis and her support. Ms. Lyne considered Helen’s capabilities and resources, determined that she had nothing useful and thanked her before moving on. Once back at home, Lyne had attempted to perform the tasks of her employment — a call to her publisher and writing another chapter of her latest amusing fiction for children. She was interrupted seven times by further well-wishers and offers of token support — four calls and three personal visits. Pleading both tiredness and the necessity of work, she satisfied the requirements of social ties. In the demon’s opinion, reviewing her memories in the dead of night, none of the 18 individuals she had encountered had cause to suspect that she was not Abigail Lyne. Her Cover remained intact. She had maintained her side of the agreement. The Agency was quiet tonight — a few boastful tales of prowess from a Saboteur ring somewhere in New Jersey, a testimonial to a demon who had failed to keep Cover and been killed by loyalists, a ring asking if anyone had encountered a missing comrade. It was technically against the rules to give enough information to identify yourself on the Agency, one of many security measures put in place by the admins, but everyone’s definition of “enough” varied. She watched the scrolling messages and had nothing to add. No one she knew was online, or had been for over two months. Once, before Abigail, she’d had contacts among rings all over the East Coast. By day 2209 she’d started counting how many of her old comrades were left, a grim mental tally to go with the count of days. By 3780 it had reached one. At what point, she wondered, should she revise that to zero? He hadn’t posted in 68 days, after all. Too soon, she thought, surrendering to sleep. Too soon to give up hope. • • • The 4229th day of Ms. Lyne’s retirement did not pass without incident. She was at the assisted living center discussing the latest attack, and what it implied for her father’s care. Donald Lyne had been a good father, since she murdered his daughter and took her life, but he was a proud man and was not adapting well to retirement. She could relate; if anything, they’d grown closer through the kinship he couldn’t understand and she couldn’t acknowledge. Sooner or later, though, the attacks would turn into a full stroke, and she might lose him. Once, Ms. Lyne would have regarded the disruption to her routine and the loss of the main human element of her Cover as the true concern, but now that his illness made it a possibility she found herself… Concerned. She would miss him. At the end of the consultation, Dr. Hanchett asked how Abigail was coping, inviting her to share concerns, mistaking demonic poise for stress. After Lyne made the socially acceptable refusal, Hanchett let her go with one small comment, meant to build rapport. “I like the new hair, by the way.” Outwardly, Ms. Lyne glanced down at her bright red ponytail, thanked the woman for her time, and left the office. Inside, she was screaming. In the nearest bathroom, she stared at the mirror, carefully examining her appearance. When she showered that morning, she’d been the same off-blonde Abigail had been since the day she died. The hair wasn’t dyed — it had turned the color of blood, down to the roots. A glitch. Furiously, she ran through the possible causes. She had been meticulous. She had never broken Cover — never spent even a single moment not being Abigail Lyne for 4229 days. No one knew who she really was, inside Abigail’s skin. Even anyone who’d heard of her before she retired had no way to connect the Saboteur, the infamous lightning-rod of angels and warrior against the Machine, with the quiet children’s author. The God-Machine had no Infrastructure out here in the middle of nowhere. No one could have possibly revealed the truth. Except one man; the demon who’d given her Abigail’s soul pact. The demon who’d not been seen on the Agency for 69 days. What’s happening to Abigail’s Cover, and what will she do about it? Find out in Demon: Interface, available now in ebook and print from DriveThruFiction.
  14. Now Available: W20 The Song of Unmaking!Now available from DriveThruFiction in PDF and print, and from our new Amazon store for your Kindle: The Song of Unmaking for Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition! Something Stirs… 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 technocratic 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.  
  15. Nuts & Bolts #118 - RPG Blog Carnival - Keep it Secret, Keep it Safe This month's blog carnival topic: Occult Mysteries and Magic. In this usage occult is meant to convey the meaning of hidden and secret rather than the more commonly used current day meaning of things related to magic and astrology and the like. So really this month's topic is "secrets." When it comes to hidden lore and magic a GM is faced with a real catch-22. If they use it, then it ceases to be hidden and secret; if they don't ... what's the point? To that end GM's need to be prepared to bring that which is hidden and secret into the light and make it known. In doing so you are going to fundamentally change the state of the game world, even if only a little. Secrets and hidden knowledge work best as a plot point in a campaign, or even as a MacGuffin. The One Ring was the latter, a secret (forgotten) treasure of immense power and evil that drove the whole story of the Lord of the Rings before being destroyed. Consider the Mummy from that other film franchise (the good one with Brendan Fraser, not the crappy looking Tom Cruise one) his very existence was wiped from history and his resting place hidden to keep him bound forever in cursed undeath. Once that secret got out the plot advanced and bad things happened until the heroes ended the threat (in this case with other lost lore). Alternately secrets can be something of a player motivation and/or reward. Perhaps the wizard wants to uncover the secrets of a long lost form of magic. That will drive the characters to quest for it and eventually be rewarded with that knowledge (or given reason to keep that knowledge buried). Or maybe a player gives his GM the gift of a mysterious background and leaves that up to the GM to develop and reveal as they like. Perhaps that character destined for greatness, or the lost child of a powerful figure, or maybe they just need to learn who the six fingered man was so they can avenge their slain father. Regardless of how you use them in your games the thing here is that what starts out secret, hidden, or lost, will be revealed, in part or whole, to at least the PCs. They may choose to keep that secret from the world for its own sake, or they may reveal them for the betterment of their world. The choice will remain in the hands of the PCs and you the GM.