Matt

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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. I am going to be making some site updates in the near future and would like to get some feedback from the community. If there is anything that you can think of that could improve the site please post it here.
  5. I am currently working on fixing it.
  6. 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
  7. 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.  
  8. 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.
  9. 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?
  10. Monarchies of Mau Kickstarter is live! The Monarchies of Mau Kickstarter is now live!
  11. 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: https://deluxe-v20-becketts.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders 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: https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Vampire20th       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!       Sailing out of the dark, the V20 Dark Ages Companion Advance PDF glides in this Wednesday on DriveThruRPG.com!       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 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 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.       Night Horrors: Conquering Heroes for Beast: the Primordial, PoD and PDF versions is now on sale on DTRPG.com! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/202615/Night-Horrors-Conquering-Heroes This book includes: An in-depth look at how Heroes hunt and what makes a Hero, with eleven new Heroes to drop into any chronicle. A brief look at why Beasts may antagonize one another, with seven new Beasts to drop into any chronicle. Rules for Insatiables, ancient creatures born of the Primordial Dream intent on hunting down Beasts to fill a hunger without end, featuring six examples ready to use in any chronicle.     From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: Beneath the Skin (Demon and Skinchangers 1486-1502 Aztec Empire). Ahuitzotl sits on the throne at the height of the Aztec Empire, overseeing his sorcerer-priests’ sacrifices and the endless flower wars his jaguar and eagle warriors carry out in his name to keep the altars well-supplied with victims. The gears of the Aztec Empire turn smoothly and inexorably, but not everything is what it pretends to be. Skinchangers take the shapes of animals to run the wilds or bring down human prey, the Unchained cobble together identities from stolen lives, and stranger things still lurk in the deserts and jungles beyond the walls of Tenochtitlan. On sale in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/206028/Dark-Eras-Beneath-the-Skin-Skinchangers-and-Demon-the-Descent   From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: Into the Cold (Demon: the Descent 1961 Berlin). East Germany erects a wall against its Western counterpart, turning West Berlin into an island within its own country. As the Cold War heats up, demons find themselves the targets of increasing human scrutiny, and begin to realize that the God-Machine’s plans didn’t end with the War. On sale now in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/206081/Dark-Eras-Into-the-Cold-Demon-the-Descent       Beasts are added to Hunter: the Vigil with Hunter: Tooth and Nail, coming atcha in PDF and physical book Pod versions on DriveThruRPG.com! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/204066/Hunter-Tooth-and-Nail Tooth and Nail is a bonus chapter/companion book to the previous released Hunter: Mortal Remains that explores antagonists inspired by the Beast: the Primordial RPG. Hunter: Tooth and Nail includes: Fiction and story hooks to bring these beasts of legend to your Hunter: The Vigil chronicle. New bestial Dread Powers. New Compacts and Conspiracies which hunt the monsters, but also sometimes hunt the zealous heroes that hunt as well.     CONVENTIONS! Discussing GenCon plans. August 17th – 20th, Indianapolis. Every chance the booth will actually be 20? x 30? this year that we’ll be sharing with friends. We’re looking at new displays this year, like a back drop and magazine racks for the brochure(s). In November, we’ll be at Game Hole Con in Madison, WI. More news as we have it, and here’s their website: https://www.gameholecon.com/     And now, the new project status updates!     DEVELOPMENT STATUS FROM ROLLICKING ROSE (projects in bold have changed status since last week): First Draft (The first phase of a project that is about the work being done by writers, not dev prep) Exalted 3rd Novel by Matt Forbeck (Exalted 3rd Edition) Trinity Continuum: Aeon Rulebook (The Trinity Continuum) M20 Gods and Monsters (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition) M20 Book of the Fallen (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition) Ex Novel 2 (Aaron Rosenberg) (Exalted 3rd Edition) C20 Novel (Jackie Cassada) (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition) 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.
  12. Story Seed - After the ApocalypseImage Source: http://www.deviantart.com/art/Matte-Painting-Scavage-680566342 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.
  13. 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!
  14. 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!
  15. 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.
  16. 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.  
  17. 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.
  18. When Will Bill Rage? [Monday Meeting Notes] Yep, this Wednesday we’ll be releasing my old friend Bill Bridges’ Werewolf novel, The Song of Unmaking! As a stretch goal from the W20 Kickstarter it took a long time to get here, but we think you’ll love what Bill has delivered. Nobody knows the Garou like their long-time developer and writer, and Bill’s familiarity with, and attention to, their mythic and epic sagas pays off big time with this novel. Plus, this is the first time we’re going to try and release a project for sale on both DriveThruRPG and Amazon at the same time, so no doubt hilarity will ensue! (Of course, this ties into our news from last week that we were opening a site on Amazon to sell Kindle versions of our fiction.)     Beast: Building a Legend illustration by Andrew Trabbold     We spent a lot of time in the meeting today discussing this year’s upcoming Onyx Path brochure, which promises to be the largest we’ve yet put out. I figure that since this is Gen Con‘s 50th Anniversary this year, and we’ll be sharing our booth with Nocturnal Media and the new White Wolf, that maybe a bigger, more packed brochure might be just the thing to hand out as we should see quite a lot of very different folks come by. There’s a lot of logistics to working out just what to highlight, even in a bigger brochure, and just how to arrange the sections for all the gamelines we create projects for. Like, if the WoD section has more pages than the Chronicles of Darkness section, we hear that we hate CofD, or that it is dying finally. Or vice versa. And who has time for damage control like that, really?     M20 Book of Secrets illustration by Jeff Holt     Speaking of cons, though: here’s a huge shout-out to all our friends and community going the the World of Darkness: Berlin con in Germany this week! I had really hoped to be able to go, but the amount of things I have to personally monitor and work on right now just kept growing and made it impossible to get away. Never fear, though, as two of our many Matts, Mighty Matt McElroy and Matthew “Gentleman Gamer” Dawkins, will be representing Onyx Path in Berlin. Both Matts are really looking forward to having a fun time at the con, hanging with White Wolf, Justin Achilli, By Night Studios, Mark Rein Hagen, and our translator friends, and talking to any of you who are attending, so make sure you say hi!     Beast: Building a Legend art by Luis Sanz     We actually switched up the order of our meetings today, so after we finished talking about the brochure, other Gen Con planning, and ran through our Production progress lists like every week, I had a second meeting just with Eddy Webb to discuss the Monarchies of Mau Kickstarter. We keep describing Monarchies of Mau as the companion game to Pugmire, rather than a supplement to it, and I think once you see the Mau Early Access PDF as a Kickstarter backer, you’ll understand why. The Cats have a rich, vibrant, and complex culture that is very different than that of the Pugmire dogs, but is just as compelling to play. The Monarchies are more of a number of loosely confederated noble houses that were convinced of the idea of working together as a result of the war with Pugmire, so players can explore intrigue and political maneuvering, as well as adventuring, if they want. And the Cats have Necromancers as one of their playable classes. Because cats like to play with dead things. If all goes well, we expect to launch the Monarchies of Mau Kickstarter at 12 noon Eastern US time next Tuesday the 16th!     Finally: here’s a special visual treat that I want to share because it is indicative of the ongoing interest in the World of Pugmire as folks are playing the game and being inspired by the world so much that they are creating articles, fiction, and art. I just happened to catch this excellent piece of character art being created over a stream last week and had to post it here for all of you. In particular, please note that while it is not in the art style we’ve been using in the RPGs, this is totally awesome as it goes a different way:   (c)2017 H. Kyoht Luterman     BLURBS!   KICKSTARTER! Thanks for all your suggestions about the Monarchies of Mau Kickstarter! If everything goes as expected, we plan on going live at 12 noon Eastern US time next Tuesday, the 16th! I’ll confirm this in next week’s blog, or give you the new date!   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 has two weeks to go, 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: https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Vampire20th       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!       Bill Bridge’s new W20 novel, The Song of Unmaking, will go on sale this Wednesday in PDF/ePub/PoD versions on DriveThruRPG.com, and in ebook form on Amazon!       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.       Night Horrors: Conquering Heroes for Beast: the Primordial, PoD and PDF versions is now on sale on DTRPG.com! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/202615/Night-Horrors-Conquering-Heroes This book includes: An in-depth look at how Heroes hunt and what makes a Hero, with eleven new Heroes to drop into any chronicle. A brief look at why Beasts may antagonize one another, with seven new Beasts to drop into any chronicle. Rules for Insatiables, ancient creatures born of the Primordial Dream intent on hunting down Beasts to fill a hunger without end, featuring six examples ready to use in any chronicle.     From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: Beneath the Skin (Demon and Skinchangers 1486-1502 Aztec Empire). Ahuitzotl sits on the throne at the height of the Aztec Empire, overseeing his sorcerer-priests’ sacrifices and the endless flower wars his jaguar and eagle warriors carry out in his name to keep the altars well-supplied with victims. The gears of the Aztec Empire turn smoothly and inexorably, but not everything is what it pretends to be. Skinchangers take the shapes of animals to run the wilds or bring down human prey, the Unchained cobble together identities from stolen lives, and stranger things still lurk in the deserts and jungles beyond the walls of Tenochtitlan. On sale in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/206028/Dark-Eras-Beneath-the-Skin-Skinchangers-and-Demon-the-Descent   From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: Into the Cold (Demon: the Descent 1961 Berlin). East Germany erects a wall against its Western counterpart, turning West Berlin into an island within its own country. As the Cold War heats up, demons find themselves the targets of increasing human scrutiny, and begin to realize that the God-Machine’s plans didn’t end with the War. On sale now in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/206081/Dark-Eras-Into-the-Cold-Demon-the-Descent       Beasts are added to Hunter: the Vigil with Hunter: Tooth and Nail, coming atcha in PDF and physical book Pod versions on DriveThruRPG.com! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/204066/Hunter-Tooth-and-Nail Tooth and Nail is a bonus chapter/companion book to the previous released Hunter: Mortal Remains that explores antagonists inspired by the Beast: the Primordial RPG. Hunter: Tooth and Nail includes: Fiction and story hooks to bring these beasts of legend to your Hunter: The Vigil chronicle. New bestial Dread Powers. New Compacts and Conspiracies which hunt the monsters, but also sometimes hunt the zealous heroes that hunt as well.       The Secrets of the Covenants for Vampire: the Requiem 2nd REVEALED this Wednesday on DTRPG! Physical copy PoD version coming to DTRPG: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/199280/Secrets-of-the-Covenants Vampires gather under many banners. But five have endured the tumult of Western history better than any other. The Carthian Movement. The Circle of the Crone. The Invictus. The Lancea et Sanctum. The Ordo Dracul. Each has its fierce devotees, its jealous rivals, and its relentless enemies. Now,for the first time, the covenants speak for themselves. This book includes: A variety of stories from each of the covenants, all told in their own words. Never-before revealed secrets, like the fate of the Prince of New Orleans. New blood sorcery, oaths, and other hidden powers of the covenants.       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/ Mighty Matt McElroy and Matt “Gentleman” Dawkins are attending the World of Darkness: Berlin convention this week from the 11th to the 14th in, uh, Berlin. They’ll be representing for Onyx Path and wandering the halls dispensing wisdom. If you are there, they’d love to talk with you, hand out a brochure, and talk WoD.         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) Monarchies of Mau Early Access (Pugmire) Hunter: the Vigil 2e core (Hunter: the Vigil 2nd Edition) DtD Night Horrors: Enemy Action (Demon: the Descent) The Realm (Exalted 3rd Edition) Dragon-Blooded (Exalted 3rd Edition)   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) SL Dagger of Spiragos (Pathfinder – Scarred Lands 2nd Edition) Dagger of Spiragos (5e– Scarred Lands 2nd Edition) Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition, featuring the Huntsmen Chronicle (Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition) Book of Freeholds (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition) BtP Beast Player’s Guide (Beast: the Primordial) M20 Cookbook (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition) VtR Half-Damned (Vampire: the Requiem 2nd Edition) Pugmire Pan’s Guide for New Pioneers (Pugmire) Arms of the Chosen (Exalted 3rd Edition)   Editing: Wraith: the Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition   Post-Editing Development:       Indexing:       ART DIRECTION FROM MIRTHFUL MIKE: In Art Direction Beckett’s Jyhad Diary – Sending all the art over to WW this week. W20 Pentex Employee Indoctrination Handbook – AD’d Cavaliers of Mars – AD’d(ish) and some finals for monsters coming in… Wraith 20 – AD’d W20 Changing Ways Ex3 Monthly Stuff – Sketches and finals incoming… Storypath Brochure VDA Jumpstart – Splats AD’d Scion Origins – AD’d the fulls … working on getting the rest going. C20 Jumpstart – Figuring out the buy… Ring of Spiragos – Sending notes out to Leblanc   Marketing Stuff   In Layout M20 Art Book – In progress… Monarchies of Mau EA – Working on interior layout and chasing down late art.   Proofing CtL Huntsmen Chronicle Anthology M20 Book of Secrets BtP Building a Legend – Yeah… that just happened VTR: Thousand Years of Night – Whaaaa…   At Press Beckett Screen – Shipped to shipper. Dark Eras: To the Strongest – PoD proof on the way. W20 Song of Unmaking – Goes on sale this Wednesday. EX3 Tomb of Dreams Jumpstart – PoD proof on the way. C20 Anthology – Inputting errata and prepping final print files. C20 – Out to backers, gathering errata. Pugmire – At Press Pugmire Screen – At Press Pugmire Cards & Dice – At Press 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 – Backer PDF out to backers this week.       TODAY’S REASON TO CELEBRATE: 1429 – Joan of Arc lifts the Siege of Orléans, turning the tide of the Hundred Years’ War.
  19. Story Seed - ShrineImage Source: http://jaikart.deviantart.com/art/The-Elder-Tree-560958156 The shrine was overgrown with growth. Roots and weather had damaged the statues and standing stones extensively. There was no sign of caretaker or inhabitants. Only the grotesque remains of the statues, now crippled and deformed by rooty growths, populated this place. Even unmoving they made for unnerving companions. Shala moved forward along the damaged stone path, careful picking the most stable footing. The wind sighed through the canyon's stone walls, sometimes whistling as it caught one of the old stone sounding tubes just right. The effect sounded like the moaning of the long dead. Shala shivered, her grip going white knuckled on the mace hanging from her wide belt. The wind also brought a strange scent. One of cinnamon and rose, and incense and some fruit that Shala could not identify. Shala rounded an open bend, skiriting wide the gnarled figures that may once have been saints or gods. The scent grew stronger. Peering up Shala at last laid her eys on the a great blooming tree, the last Tree of Ashsang. Once the Ashang grew in every city and every temple, a promise from the gods to the people. They smelled pleasant to all who beheld them, and bore fruit that were said to heal even the more grievous of maladies and filled the belly like a holiday feast. All that was before the Fall. Before the gods died, and with it their promise of protection and beneficence. Shala approached the tree, and saw that though it flowered it bore no fruit. With no fruit there could be no seed, and no hope of restoring the trees throughout the land. With no fruit there was no promise from the gods to the people. Shala regarded the tree, and contemplated how she could restore the promise, and in so doing, make the tree bear fruit once more. The prophecies had proclaimed and promised restoration, if only Shala could determine how to fulfill them.
  20. Gods of the Fall - Owning Your Dominion I seldom speak negatively about the works of the MCG crew. I truly enjoy the Cypher System on multiple levels, and have made it one of my small handful of go to systems. However there are always places where even the best game, best setting book, best supplement can miss the mark, for a lone reader, or a whole community. I think it's clear I love Gods of the Fall. As a setting it have really caught in the way that even Numenera didn't (and that's saying something). But if there's a fault to be found it's the limited support of dominion powers. There's not many in the book and they tend toward very broad (some may say generic) application. It's hard to fault this approach because the other end of the spectrum is an exhaustively comprehensive list that bloats the book with abilities and generally doesn't add a lot that players and GMs couldn't do with a little work. Unfortunately not all players and GMs feel empowered to expand the game with new abilities to fit their need and their game. This is nothing to be ashamed of, it can be scary trying to build a new ability or power, especially as GM, for fear that you may throw your game a curveball it cannot recover from. Earlier this week I posted about the answer: Improv Powers. Reader Tony Love pointed out that Improv Powers could help expand on a character's dominion in Gods of the Fall, and I agree wholeheartedly! In addition to helping to expand the utility of type and focus powers the "Modifying Abilities on the Fly" rules can be used to expand on Dominion Abilities. Even the simple Divine Aura could become a source of power within the purview of your Dominion. Let's consider what a difficult modification of the Divine Aura could do. Difficult is defined as "modifying an ability to do something within the spirit and general idea of the ability." For Divine Aura this would be minor influence over the purview of their dominion such as: Generating light equal to a torch - dominions of fire, light, sun, and possibly othersGenerating enough warmth/heat to warm the immediate area around the god - dominions of fire, fun, hearth, etcProviding an asset to attempts to calm an enraged lynch mob bent on vengeance - dominion of justice, law, order, etcProviding an asset to attempts to stir a gathering into a rowdy mob and inciting violence - dominion of chaos, war, vengeanceAs you can see showing your aura and making a difficult (level 4) roll can allow for some useful dominion themed uses of power that may not normally be in a character's repertoire. How about  formidable (level 7) uses of a divine aura? Formidable is defined as "modifying an ability to do something similar to the description or intent, but changing its nature". That's going to need a little more interpretation, so let's consider that we're probably going an order of magnitude beyond a difficult task.Generating a fiery aura sufficient to set items ablaze and deal minor environmental damage to those nearby - dominions of fire and sunCreating an area of health and beneficence that eases suffering and may aid in recover from injury and disease - dominions of health, hearth, life, etcProviding an asset (or two) to incite a peaceful man to violence - dominions of war, chaos, etcPacifying enemy combatants of level less than or equal to your tier - dominion of war, peace, power, etcThese abilities really start to show the god-like power that these characters can possess. Even at Tier 2 a character with a good roll and some effort may be able to occasionally "stunt" abilities of this level of power.  Lastly we have the "impossible" (I still prefer improbable) difficulty modifications (level 10). These are uses that "[modify] an ability to accomplish an effect that has nothing to do with its description or intent". At this level we're talking gods doing god things. This could literally be anything, though the farther (or is it further) from their purview the less power they will have. At this level we could have:A god of war single-handedly carving a path through an opposing army to slay the enemy general.A god of life raising the dead or curing even the most tenacious or deadly disease or poison.A god of the sun bringing day to the night, or causing night during the day.A god of chaos inciting civil war.A god of winter bringing summer to an early end, or breaking winter's hold months early. As you can see, these are some considerable effects. GMs always have the power to say no, but should be encouraged to allow players to use these rules, and instead of saying no they should instead offer a more reasonable (to their mind) option. RPGs are a "team sport" and working together with your players or GM is always the better option when it comes to use of these kinds of improvisational rules. More to the point though, by using these rules you can expand the Cypher System in such a way as to truly allow a game like Gods of the Fall to blossom. Better still, if a player uses the same improvisational ability multiple times without breaking the game they and the GM may just codify the ability into a Dominion, Type, or Focus power (as appropriate) with an easier use thereafter (after all, they did practice!). Empower yourself and your players and allow them to empower their gods to greatness. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
  21. [Pugmire] May Update!(Reposted from the Kickstarter) Greetings, nobledogs! I have some more updates, but first a quick bit of re-organization. As a second Kickstarter comes over the horizon (more on that below!), I felt it was best to divide this update by Kickstarter campaign. That way Rose can more easily post this information across campaigns, and everyone is informed (some of you more than once!) PUGMIRE KICKSTARTER Pugmire Core Rulebook We’re getting specifications from the printer, and tweaking things like the final cover. Exciting! (In a very technical and production-oriented way.) Related Stuff Dice, cards, and the screen are all proofed and off to their respective printers! Last month, a backer asked about the state of the wooden boxes. I admit I hadn’t been keeping track of that, but Rich was on the ball. He tells me they’re all done and ready to be shipped once the rest of the items are printed. This is why Onyx Path is such a great partner to work with. Fiction Anthology Jim is sending notes out to the authors now, so they should be diving into their second drafts. Pan’s Guide Revisions are in! Matthew’s done his development pass (where he incorporates the revisions, tweaks the text a little, and generally makes the whole thing more seamless). Right now it’s on my desk to review, and then we move into the next and more unusual phase of things. Earplay We’re at the home stretch! I have the second pass of audio edits on my desk to review as well. We’re also hard at work on the technology to get it into your ears. Odds are you’ll be listening and playing in the near future! MONARCHIES OF MAU KICKSTARTER We’re getting close to the launch! I don’t have an exact date, but right now it’s looking like later this month. We’ll certainly post an update here when we’re getting ready to launch, so all you good dogs can be clever cats and jump right on it! Monarchies of Mau Early Access Final art is trickling in, and we’re now discussing the visual direction of the book to strike the right balance of looking LIKE Pugmire without being IDENTICAL to Pugmire. We definitely want these books to feel like companions, but cats have their own style. AND MORE Things are incredibly busy for Pugsteady (i.e., me) these days. On top of all the amazing Pugmire/Mau stuff and my additional consulting and contract work, my family and I are in the process of moving overseas! If all goes as planned, once the Mau Kickstarter is over I should be living in Dublin, Ireland. This has been in the works for several months now, so the change shouldn’t impact the Pugmire train TOO much, but there’s a chance things might be a little hectic for the next couple of months. So, for all your patience and enthusiasm, all I can say is “Go raibh maith agaibh!”
  22. Fiction Friday: Of Predators and Prey: The Hunters Hunted II Anthology This week we look at Lest Monsters We Become by Jess Hartley, from Of Predators and Prey: The Hunters Hunted II Anthology. The Campfire was blazing by the time we drove past. Whoever named the place couldn’t have anticipated how ironic it would sound, when the country bar burned to the ground. “Keep driving,” I ordered. “Don’t slow down, don’t look at the fire, and for the love of God, no matter what happens, do not stop this car.” I swapped out the shotgun I’d been clenching in my fists for the camera I kept tucked in the glove box, and took a series of photos as we sped past the inferno. Most wouldn’t come out — I didn’t dare use flash, lest I tip us off as something other than disinterested passersby — but hopefully the flames themselves would provide enough illumination to glean something useful later on. Information is power. That was something Antoine had taught me, a long time ago. No weapons can protect you if you don’t know what’s coming. And those folks at The Campfire? My guess was none of them had any idea what was coming for them. Mercifully, from what I could see, the parking lot, and thus the bar, had been lightly populated. Only a few cars — some of them burning as brightly as the building — paid testament to the now dead (or worse) victims of this pack’s latest raid. A graffti-covered van confrmed my suspicions as to the group’s identity. They changed out vehicles like some folks changed socks, but always customized their current choice with the markings of their pack. Sometimes it was done in red spray paint, other times, in blood — The Unbroken were flexible like that. Self-centered, violent, inhuman monsters — but flexible. “Where are we going?” Jake had followed my orders, piloting us past the fire, but now that the ruined bar was in the rear-view, and a four-way stop crossroad up ahead of us, he didn’t know what to do. We’d only been partners for a month or so, but I’d seen this over and over. Jake was great at carrying through a plan, but when life threw him a curve ball, as it often did in the field, he tended to freeze up. It was going to get him killed one of these days. I didn’t intend to die beside him because of it. That was one of the drawbacks of working with a partner: You were limited by their weaknesses, hobbled by their handicaps. Chinks in their armor became holes in yours. And when dealing with vampires, any flaw can be a fatal one. I much preferred working alone. But desperate times require desperate measures, and I hadn’t been this desperate in a long, long while. When my path crossed with Jake’s, we recognized something in each other — a look, perhaps, or a bit of vocal inflection. Hunting left scars on the soul as well as the skin, and sometimes you can just tell when someone bears the same burden you do. So, in hopes that a change in process would change my luck, I took him under my proverbial wing. On a good night, he was a decent driver, and an extra set of eyes. On a bad night? Well, it hadn’t come to that, but in a pinch, the old adage about not having to outrun the bear, only your buddy? That applied just as well to vampires. And Jake wasn’t that fast. I thought for a moment before answering him. “Left. There’s an old water tower down that direction. It should be tall enough to see which way they head out when they leave the fire, and let us figure out where they’re going from here.” Without argument, Jake took the left turn. I didn’t wait for him to stop the car before I leapt out at the base of the tower. Time was running short for me, and if we didn’t get them tonight — well, I wasn’t sure I’d get another chance. I didn’t like those odds. Not in the slightest. I was halfway up the ladder before Jake could turn off the engine. The nightcold rungs were barely above freezing, but I climbed fast. My fingers didn’t have a chance to go numb before I reached the top of the ladder and hauled myself out onto the maintenance walkway that circled the tank. Although the sirens were too far away to hear, I could see the whole thing playing out from my perch. In the farthest distance, the lights of town sparkled innocent white. Nearer to me, beyond the city limit, the light faded, houses grew few and far between, and street lights quickly disappeared. The Campfire, far enough from town to avoid city liquor taxes and urban noise complaints, blazed orange-red against a backdrop of rural darkness. Panting and shaking, Jake finally hauled himself up the ladder to the walkway, clutching the railing as he made his way over to my side. “Jeezus, ya could’ve waited for me.” He wrapped his arms around his chest, sticking his hands into his armpits to warm them. I shrugged in answer. If Jake was going to survive, he was going to have to get faster and stronger. But no amount of me telling him that would bring about the change. I’d gotten it from Antoine, but I couldn’t give it to Jake. He’d find his own way to catch up… or die trying. As we watched, emergency lights approached from town, blinking blue and red as they sped toward the burning building. A single set of white headlights showed the leech pack fleeing the scene in the opposite direction. They turned off before the crossroad, heading for a dark place that moonlight showed to be a largish copse of trees in the middle of otherwise flat farmland. I pointed, just in case he hadn’t followed the pack’s progression. “There.” Jake squinted, and shook his head, unable to pick the lights out from that distance. “Trust me. They turned off on that secondary road.” I checked my watch. “Sunrise isn’t that far away. They’ll stop there to sleep away the day.” “Will the cops follow them?” I shook my head. “They got out before the cops got a bead on them, and they don’t leave behind witnesses. They’ll have killed almost everyone.” “Almost?” “Yeah.” I answered while watching the van’s red tail lights make for the forest. “If they follow their normal modus operandi, they’ve got some of the folks from the bar in the van. Five probably. One for each of them.” “Hostages?” I shook my head. Sometimes I forgot that not everyone had the experience with vampires that I had. It takes time, and that’s one thing that new hunters rarely get enough of. “Food… And troops to cover their trail. They’ll feed on them, then turn them and bury them somewhere along the way. If the cops do happen to follow up on anything more than a cursory investigation, they’ll find the pit, and possibly a bloodsucker or two. Either the police will put them down, thinking they’re high on bath salts, or they’ll tear the cops to bits. Either way, it’s usually enough to delay any further follow up, at least long enough for them to get away.” Jake nodded, as if he understood, but he really didn’t. He’d come into this life almost by accident, when the restaurant he worked at got taken over by one of the snooty vamps. One night he saw something he shouldn’t — the new owner taking a dinner break on one of the staff members. When the boss went after him to make sure he didn’t break the Masquerade, Jake defended himself with a bottle of cooking sherry. Luckily for him (if not for the vamp), the boss jumped him in the kitchen — discreet, but also home to the grill. And, while the glass didn’t hurt the leech, the fire sure did. Instead of a dead body and murder charge, Jake ended up staring at a pile of ash, and a new hunter was born. Well, he thought of himself as a hunter, at least. So far he’d mostly just been lucky. He’d taken out a couple of weak leeches, catching them during the day, or by using some mail-order anarchy recipes to sabotage their cars with do-it-yourself bombs. Good tactics for a fledgling or a loner. One-on-one, most folks don’t stand a chance against a vamp with their blood-borne speed, strength, and resilience. Add in the broad range of mind- and emotion-controlling powers, shape-shifting, and God only knows what else they’re capable of, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster if you try to fight fair. Guerilla tactics were pretty much a hunter’s best bet, and he’d taken to them like a duck to water. But, he didn’t really know what it was like at the heart of the situation — not yet, at least. He’d been dealing with stuff from a distance, and it wasn’t something you really got until you’d been through the worst of the aftermath yourself. Like everything else they touched, the carnage and destruction vampires left behind was worse than anything living people inflicted on each other. Mortal minds just don’t want to imagine the depths of depravity that leeches were capable of. That’s what made their “Masquerade” — hiding behind a thin mask of humanity, while carrying out their monstrous acts in the shadows — even possible. Even when directly confronted with them, we still didn’t want to believe. That’s why the bar fire would be labeled arson, or a horrible accident, by the media. People want to believe there was nothing out there hunting them. They insist on believing it. They are wrong. Read more about Jake and his partner in Of Predators and Prey: The Hunters Hunted II Anthology, now available in ebook and print from DriveThruFiction!
  23. Nuts & Bolts #117 - Hacking the Cypher System - Improv Powers You may not notice, and if you are a player and not a GM you can even be forgiven, but the core rules for the Cypher System has a section called "Modifying Abilities On The Fly" (CSR pg 226). It's in the "Optional Rules" part of the book and I think that's a shame in a way because I don't see this being embraced much in the games I play in or run, even when I expressly allow it for my players. These rules are in Numenera (pg 114, Modifying Abilities) and The Strange (pg. 354, Modifying Abilities), but seem oft overlooked. So what is this whole "Modifying Abilities On The Fly" thing? The idea is to give the GMs and players a little room to use the powers of their Type and Focus beyond the way they are written. It's difficult to plan for everything, and it's even more so to provide balanced options that cover all situations and uses easily. So when a character needs to weld two pieces of metal together but doesn't have a specific weld/glue/attach power they may be able to improvise something like a fire based onslaught into a welding torch for a scene. Trying to use such an ability "out of scope" isn't going to be easy, and so there are ability check difficulty suggestions. Using a fiery onslaught as a welding torch might be difficult (level 4), while using the same to jump higher may be formidable (level 7), and using it to achieve sustained flight would be impossible (level 10). Obviously (I hope) GMs are free to say no to outlandish attempts. Using telepathy to fly probably shouldn't even be possible as a level 10 "impossible" task. So what good is all this? Well, anybody who's played more than a few hours of RPGs has probably run into a case of "Can I do X?" where the request seems perfectly reasonable and within scope for the character, but isn't expressly allowed and adjudicated by the rules. GMs often have to think on their feet and make snap rulings, and these rules for modifying abilities can help make that process a little easier. It's also useful for the players, as it gives them guidance for just how far they can push their abilities above and beyond what is explicitly detailed in the book. So, next time you're at the table consider stretching beyond the book. If you are a player look for a unique way to use your normal powers. And if you are a GM consider allowing the players to use their abilities to achieve some of those wacky things they ask to do.
  24. Story Seed - Storm CenterImage Source: http://twpictures.deviantart.com/art/Landscape-Concept-574974463 The storm rotated around the two jagged towers. Some kind of white metal from a past age, they jutted upward like knives, stabbing at the sky. I pulled the oiled canvas cloak tighter around me, as another gust of wind brought a slashing fall of water droplets that stung like tiny darts. I trudged along the road, wondering if the tightly fitted slabs were built in the same age as the towers. An hour later the winds suddenly died out as I crossed into the eyes of the storm. I stared upward in awe, watching and wondering how the towers maintained the twin interlocked vortexes. I pulled my gaze away and looked across the plain to the towers again, they seemed barely closer; I guessed they were a good five or more miles off. The eyes of the storm must be a dozen miles across each, rotating around each other and around some point above the towers. I shook the rain from my cloak and started again for the towers. Another two hours later and I finally neared the ancient structures. Smaller, needle thin towers hundreds of feet high dotted the grounds around the towers. Like their larger brothers they seemed to be manufactured of a silvery white metal and even on inspection I could see no seam or join. I approached the taller of the two towers and wonder how many thousands of strides high it was. An unrelieved surface stared back. I wondered how many other nanos before me had stood here stymied by these strange relics of days gone bye. I smiled and removed the small flat pane of glass I'd paid so dearly for. Within the glass lights and symbols seemed held in stasis. I placed the object flat on the tower face and tentatively removed my hands. It hung there for a moment before sliding into the silvery metal as thought it were melting. I held my breath in anticipation and was relieved when a narrow seam formed an ideal rectangular outline. The rectangle became a depression as the metal seemed to sink into itself, finally revealing an opening. Grinning I stepped inside.
  25. Gods of the Fall - Another Approach to Cyphers Cyphers in Gods of the Fall are relatively unchanged from those we see in Numenera, The Strange, and other Cypher System games. The explanation of where they originate from is different but the core concept is the same: single use devices of fantastic power. In Gods of the Fall cyphers are explained as crystallized motes of divine energy, physical things that can be picked up, carried around, sold, traded, lost or stolen, and eventually used up, their physical form evaporating back into the aether as the divine energy is spent. But what if we took a different tack? The gods are dead and those that may yet become gods are only beginning their journey. Heaven (Elanehtar) is gone. Divine energy is at its least constrained. In prior times before the Fall there were dozens, possibly even hundreds, of gods, each brimming with divine energy. Elanehtar was whole and was itself a realm entirely divine. So in such a case why would free divine energy retain a static form? Why would cyphers stay in the same form and function until they were used? Heck, why would divine energy even solidify into any form at all? Why wouldn't all this energy just return to some kind of formless and pervasive state waiting for the right person, place, or thing to render it into the world? To put it plainly: Why even have cyphers be things, and why have those things be statically the same until used? It's all divine energy, and gods channel divine energy. Here's my proposal. The characters are gods, and cyphers are part of their divine abilities. They are not physical things (though the can be MADE physical). Each session you roll up new cyphers for each character (unless continuing directly from a prior session). These cyphers are power the character can use by channeling divine energy. If they want they can make one manifest and pass it off as a minor miracle, but otherwise these cyphers are internal to the character and their power. Whenever the character rests they replenish their cyphers, and can also re-roll any they still have if they want. Before you freak out about how this undermines some of your NPCs there's no reason that an evil god-to-be couldn't manifest and bestow cyphers to their followers or minions. It might even be possible for powerful soul sorcerers or bibliomancers to capture a young god and "milk" them daily for the cyphers that their divinity produces. Likewise slaying divinely empowered foes would offer people (NPC and PC) to capture the divine essence in cypher form for a short time after death. This spin on cyphers could either justify making the cypher limits a hard cap, or could make the soft cap threat of ravers even more damning. After all, if you go over your cypher limit you probably did so by making your cyphers manifest and not giving them away, or by taking the divine power of others (in manifest form) and hoarding it. Of course, if you take this approach it also means that the idea of cyphers as shard of Elanehtar is probably gone, and with it the idea of restoring that lost heaven once enough cyphers have been used up. It also makes divinely charged remnants of the prior gods and prior worlds more valuable because these are that much rarer and exceptional. The divine weapon of a dead god would potentially be a more precious artifact than an enchanted blade created in Corso. Not by virtue of ability (though very possibly) but because it represents a rare stable nexus of divinity. Then again, the way cyphers are written works pretty well too.