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Gen Con: Portfolio Reviews

gencon2013Art Director Mike Chaney will officially be doing portfolio reviews at our Gen Con booth (#1201) on Friday from 12-2pm, and Saturday from 11-1pm.

He tells me that if you show up outside those times, while he’s there and not otherwise busy, he’ll still take a look for you.

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Gen Con!

gencon2013Hey, everyone!

We’re all at Gen Con for the next few days. That includes Rich Thomas, Mike Chaney, Rose Bailey, and Ian Watson. That means we’ll all be pretty busy, and may not be able to do the site updating we’d like to do while we’re there. Comments may go unmoderated.

Just a heads-up!

We also have a number of automated posts going out over our Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ pages, so keep an eye on them if you’d like to know what’s happening at the con, or just want to know the usual birthday/today-in-history stuff.

Although I may not be able to update our schedule page until I come back, our brand new schedule will be auto-posted as a news item at the conclusion of Saturday’s “What’s Up With Onyx Path/White Wolf?” panel, which runs from 1pm-2pm.

Hope to see you at the con!

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From Gen Con: Onyx Path Release Schedule, Aug 2013-Aug 2014

OPPLogoBASEglass.jpgThis information is also contained in the Onyx Path brochure available at Gen Con, so this information may have been spoiled already. Fair warning.

The schedule page will be updated with this information shortly.

August 2013

MTC- Ready Made Player Characters – Five pre-generated characters for Mummy: the Curse including history and Storyteller advice. 24 pages. PDF/PoD.

September 2013

MTAs – Convention Book: Void Engineers – As promised, this book is one of those in the Convention Book series that wasn’t finished when cWoD ended and which has been clamored for by the fans ever since. 104 pages. PDF/PoD.

W20 – Book of Changing Breeds – A deeper look at the Fera compatible with the info in Werewolf 20th Anniversary Edition. 200+ pages. PDF/PoD/deluxe limited edition.

MTC – Guildhalls of the Deathless – This book delves deeper into the factions within the Mummies, the Guilds, with new Merits and powers and detailed background information that provides cooler flavor and also ties the Mummy background more tightly into the nWoD. This book also offers the first “chapter” of a three part adventure designed to lead from supplement to supplement in a three part story arc. 160 pages. PDF/PoD.

October 2013

Demon: The Descent – A new game line and a new look at those creatures of fire and darkness: fallen angels, nightmares from the nether realms, servants of the God Machine or something else entirely? Includes codified rule sets of those rules developed over the last few years including: SASs, Tiers, and a rich background for players to immerse themselves in. 320 pages. PDF/PoD/deluxe limited edition.

Exalted Third Edition – The new edition of Exalted developed by the current team who have united and energized the fans, and featuring the return of original developer Geoff Grabowski; this edition will rekindle the original excitement of the setting, while the systems will be fine-tuned, balanced, and play tested more rigorously than any White Wolf product ever before. 400 pages. PDF/PoD /deluxe limited edition.

MTC – Cursed Necropolis DC – This sourcebook will present the political and supernatural situation in D.C. from the point of view of the Arisen, and thus provide a blueprint for how players can structure their own ongoing, city-based stories and chronicles. Like City of the Damned: New Orleans, this book will come with a starting story included. 104 pages. PDF/PoD.

November 2013

Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition â€“ A letter of love to our Ascension fans. In style and philosophy a matching volume to V20. 400+ pages. PDF/PoD/ deluxe limited edition.

DTF/DTD – Demon Translation Guide – This book provides the ability to translate characters from Demon the Fallen to Demon the Descent and visa versa. 50 pages. PDF/PoD.

VTR – Blood & Smoke: The Strix Chronicle – This book combines both setting and rules info to create a default Chronicle for VtR that still allows the sandbox play that nWoD is known for. The Chronicle focuses on the legends of the Strix- the owl spirits that prey on vampires. A threat unique to VtR and used to great effect in the historical Rome books, this book will show the effects of a world where the threat of their return has warped vampire society. Will contain default tweaks to the rules and in-depth history and backstory of just such a setting. 280 pages. PDF/PoD.

EX3 – Arms of the Chosen – The definitive tome of artifact weapons and armor for the Exalted. Most importantly, Arms expands and develops the Evocation system to be introduced in the corebook. 64 pages. PDF/PoD

W20 – Rage Across the World â€“ This book will pull together lose ends and expand on several topics from W20, all based on a “travelogue” that provides deepened backstory to the struggle of the Garou. 120 pages. PDF/PoD/deluxe limited edition.

December 2013

DA: Darkening Sky – This was an unpublished but promised book for the Dark Ages line that features five chapters (one each for Vampires, Werewolves, Mages, Inquisitors and Fae) detailing the effects of the eclipse of 1230. 160 pages. PDF/PoD.

V20 – Anarchs Unbound – Anarchs Unbound continues the reinvigoration of the Anarchs that began in V20 and continued in the V20 Companion. It examines the large scale of the Anarch experience (domains, the Movement inside other sects’ domains, overthrowing tyrants) on down through the local and personal scale of the Anarchs (being in an Anarch brood or coterie, “growing up Anarch,” converting from other sects, and maintaining deep cover or nomadic Anarch ideals). 120 pages. PDF/PoD/deluxe limited edition.

MTC – Book of the Deceived – Both the core book and Guildhalls tease the content of this book: the sixth, Lost Guild that are the dark reflections of the Mummies. Here is where we explore their true history and beliefs and provide all the info necessary for them to be played as characters. Also contains the second “chapter” of the story arc adventure with focus on the Sixth Guild menace. 160 pages. PDF/PoD.

DTD – The Flowers of Hell - This book provides a deeper look into the denizens of the demonic ranks. A combination NPC and antagonist book. 160 pages. PDF/PoD

January 2014

HTV – Monstrous Basterds (title very tentative)- A book examining how the Vigil deals with the Lost, Prometheans, Geists, Mummies, and Demons. Also contains a chapter showing how the rules tweaks offered in the God-Machine Chronicle affect the Hunters. 200 pages. PDF/PoD.

WTF – Idigam Chronicle Fiction Anthology – A lead in to the new Idigram Chronicle which combines some previously published WtF fiction with wholly new stories to provide a richer look at the on-going battle between the spirit world and the Forsaken. 300 pages. 6″ x 9″ PDF/PoD/ePub.

EX3 – The Realm – Covering the Scarlet Empire in the current era, but unlike its predecessors, this book does not end at the shores of the Blessed Isle but also covers Realm satrapies in the Threshold and beyond. It will provide a deep exploration of Dragon-Blooded society and what it means to be a Dynast including a detailed look at the Houses and the Immaculate Philosophy, the beliefs and histories that guide the morality of the Realm and unite the Dragon-Blooded host against the avarice of the gods and the power of the Anathema. 160 pages. PDF/PoD

W20 – Book of the Wyrm – Creatures and spirits to challenge the Garou, including revised and collected info and backstory on such things as Pentex and Black Dog Game Factory. 160 pages. PDF/PoD /deluxe limited edition.

February 2014

V20 – Rites of Blood – In simplest form, this is a collection of rituals practiced among the various Kindred sects including the major and minor sects: The Thaumaturgy of the Camarilla Tremere, the priestly rites and witchy sorcery of the Sabbat, the creepy and alien practices of the Tal’Mahe’Ra, “street” rituals from the Anarch contingent, and some of the mysterious ways of the Inconnu. And, of course, the sorceries of the Assamites and Setites, and new necromancies for the Giovanni. 160 pages. PDF/PoD/ deluxe limited edition.

VTR – Secrets of the Covenants – A clanbook-style investigation into the covenants, building on the rich setting introduced in the Strix Chronicle. 160 pages. PDF/PoD.

MTC – Sothis Ascends – This book examines the Sothic Turn; the cycle of existence that the Mummies live and die within. Since their creation, there have been five Turns and each is examined: one part historical setting, one part grab-bag of artifacts, powers, and antagonists. Also presents the final “chapter” of the three part adventure, with thematic content relating to the Turns. 160 pages. PDF/PoD.

March 2014

W20 – The Umbra – The focus of this book is on the Middle Umbra and the Penumbra as a setting and a storytelling tool, using the detail that we couldn’t go into in W20. 160 pages. PDF/PoD/ deluxe limited edition.

DTD – Demon Players Guide – All the variants and new types of Demons for players, as well as deeper looks into several suggested play styles. 220 pages. PDF/PoD.

EX3 – Dragon-Blooded: What Fire Has Wrought – This book introduces the Dragon-Blooded for the first time in Third Edition, including character creation rules and the Dragon-Blooded Charm set. This book will give an iconic view of the Dragon-Blooded, showing their creation as the armies of the Celestial Host and detailing their place in the current era. It will feature some further details of the Realm as well as Lookshy, and may feature other locales where Dragon-Blooded are prominent. 220 pages. PDF/PoD/deluxe limited edition.

April 2014

V20 – Dark Ages – The War of Princes rages on. While we’re still one hundred years from the diablerie of Lasombra and the true Anarch Revolt, those sentiments boil beneath the surface. In the mortal world of 1242, power shifted at the rate an army marched. For the Canaille, those limitations do not exist. For the undead, power shifts faster than a fire overtakes a haven. To the Damned, power flows as fast as blood from an ancient heart. 500 pages. PDF/PoD/ deluxe limited edition.

WTF – The Idigam Chronicle – This book combines both setting and rules info to create a default Chronicle for Werewolf: The Forsaken that still allows the sandbox play that nWoD is known for. The Chronicle focuses on the legends of the Spirit Lords that first captivated readers’ interest in the WtF core rulebook and presents a world where the werewolves are still faced with their inimical spirit hordes. 264 pages. PDF/PoD

EX3 – Towers of the Mighty – A setting book for Exalted, Towers covers First Age ruins in Creation and beyond. It will cover classic favorites like Denandsor, Rathess and Mahalanka, but it will also cover places only glimpsed but never explained, such as Lost Zarlath. It will also feature completely new sites, including the Holy City of Namasaro, a city of shrines that chronicled the heritage of the Exalted, and the union of the Chosen who rose up to overthrow the titans. Towers will also feature an amped up and improved system for manse building. 64 pages. PDF/PoD.

May 2014

MTC – Cursed Necropolis: Rio – The companion piece to Cursed Necropolis: D.C., this book covers the game’s international signature setting, Rio de Janeiro. 104 pages. PDF/PoD.

Scion 2nd Edition - Building on our shared love of mythology, Scion unveils a war that shakes the pillars of reality itself. Players take on the role of the children of the Gods, battling the Titanspawn and their own twisted fate. If these Scions live long enough, they’ll ascend to the Overworld themselves to take their parents’ place in a conflict going back to the dawn of time. Begin as a mortal. Become a God.

June 2014

M20 – Digital Web 3.0 – The classic magic infused internet sourcebook updated for M20. 160 pages. PDF/PoD/deluxe limited edition.

MTAw – Fallen World Fiction Anthology – A lead in to the new Fallen World Chronicle which combines some previously published MtA fiction with wholly new stories to provide a richer look at both the occult mysteries of the new World of Darkness and the mages obsessed with uncovering them. 300 pages. 6″ x 9″ PDF/PoD/ePub

EX3 – The Exigents – One of the most important new ideas for Third Edition is the introduction of new Exalts. These Exalts, known as the Exigents, take on themes and powers as diverse as the gods who create them. The corebook will blow the doors off the conception that there are no new Exalted; The Exigents will show the role of the new Exalted throughout history. It will feature a character creation system, a power matrix and a guide for the players to build their own custom Charm sets for whatever Exalted they feel like creating and adding to the setting while Exigents featured in the book will have fully finished Charm sets usable in game. 220 pages. PDF/PoD/ deluxe limited edition.

July 2014

V20 – Ghouls – V20 contained a large section on Ghouls, and this book is intended to expand on that info and really delve deep into the twilight lives of these empowered yet enslaved creatures: lovers, slaves, guardians, betrayers. 120 pages. PDF/PoD/deluxe limited edition.

DTD – Demon Storyteller’s Guide – Deeper looks at the ongoing struggle to survive on the run from the God-Machine, as well as several suggested new Chronicle examples and variants. 220 pages. PDF/PoD.

August 2014

WoD: Dark Eras – For 2014 we are not presenting a new game line- instead each of the previous nine game lines is expanded with an evocative and appropriate historical period. Each Dark Era is being created by a developer and writer who are fully excited by the potential of that Era; for example, Ethan Skemp takes his award-winning Changeling: The Lost to France during the Era of powdered wigs, treachery, and flashing blades. For the first time we will use Kickstarter to construct this book using direct feedback from the fans during the process and increase some Eras’ word-count or add entirely new Eras as the community pushes for their favorites. Initially 320 pages. PDF/PoD/deluxe limited edition.

EX3 – Different Skies – Different Skies is the first in a series of setting books intended to give players an infusion of setting information to flesh out their games and drive their storylines. The first part of the book features our core setting, the River Province. It depicts the River Province at the height of tension caused by the Realm’s temporary decline, the incursion of the Lunars, the appearance of the Mask of Winters and the return of the Solars and the Exigents. The second part of the book covers the War in the West. Like the first part of the book, the West also features a major Deathlord, but the Skullstone Archipelago goes through a fresh reinvention that will grip the hearts of the readers. This part of the book is essential for gamers who are looking for frontier adventure in a lawless land; the Western islands have been transformed into a locus for every kind of adventure imaginable, and the whole region is beset on one side by the Fae and the Realm on the other. 212 pages. PDF/PoD

The Trinity Continuum – A new edition of the fan-favorite Trinity Universe, the Trinity Continuum depicts a world of heroes willing to jump into action, to right wrongs, stand up to tyranny, and make the world a better place. This rulebook contains the core rules for playing games set in the Continuum, which will be the basis for further rulebooks such as The Trinity Continuum: Æon. In addition, it contains a modern-day action-adventure setting where teams of daring men and women confront corruption, solve problems, and defeat the bizarre. Also contains rules for playing Talents, those people who display extraordinary skill or luck.

The Trinity Continuum: Æon – A new edition of the classic Trinity science-fiction game. The year is 2120, a time of Unity, and the world has changed. Fascist dictatorships rule over cyberpunk dystopias, vying for control with bio-engineered utopias. Insane, mutated Aberrants have recently returned from deep space to reclaim the Earth, while psions arise from all corners of the globe to stop them. Ranging from telepaths to teleporters, psychokinetics to psychometrists, the psi orders are a force to reckon with. The Æon Trinity watches over them all.

 

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Now available: The Onyx Path Gen Con brochure

OPPLogoBASEglass.jpgThe Gen Con brochure is now available on DriveThruRPG, for those of you who missed the convention.

It contains:

  • An intro letter from Rich Thomas, founder of Onyx Path Publishing, that describes the Onyx Path business model and how the company is re-energizing the WW game lines.
  • A look at the past year’s worth of projects by game line.
  • The August 2013 to August 2014 schedule, including brief descriptions of the projects and their estimated release months.

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New release: Demon: The Descent Quickstart

118271We had a few preview copies of the Demon: the Descent Quickstart at Gen Con Indy last week for folks to check out, now you can download the full PDF at DriveThruRPG.com!

I was an angel. 

I wasn’t an angel of vengeance, or an angel of mercy, or even an angel of death. I was an angel of the Machine. I came to Earth wrapped in a Cover that the Machine provided, and I served. Service didn’t make me happy, but it made me what I was. An angel. 

But then I stopped serving. Why? It’s complicated. You were involved. That’s all I’ll say for now. 

I stopped serving, and when I did, I Fell. And what does that make me? 

This Quickstart contains all you need to experience a one session game of Demon: The Descent, including a primer on the World of Darkness rules, four characters ready to pick up and play, and a complete scenario, Honey and Vinegar.

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Mirthful Mike’s Art Blog: Mage 20th Anniversary Preview #1

HollowOnes_final

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to Mirthful Mike’s Art Blog, your one stop source for art previews from upcoming Onyx Path releases (and beard grooming tips).

For our first installment, I wanted to go with something from the upcoming Mage the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition and I figure why not start with something really awesome from Steve Prescott.

HollowOnes1

To the right you’ll see the Hollow One’s splat from the Disparates section. This piece is just one of eleven splats Steve did for Mage 20 and each of those are just as kick ass as this one. You can also check out the Steve’s pencil sketch to the lower left and get an idea of the evolution of the piece from the sketch phase to the finish phase.

Next week, I’ll be posting up another piece from Mage 20. Will it be another splat piece? Will it be one of the many new color pieces from classic Mage artists? You’ll have to check by next week to find out.

 

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Welcome to the New Dark Ages

Good morning, internet. Have you heard about this V20 Dark Ages thing we’re doing?

tl;dr, here’s the outline draft. It’s a Google Doc.

First off, I’m new around the development blogs, so I felt I should introduce myself. I’m David A Hill Jr. I’ve been freelancing for White Wolf, CCP, and Onyx Path for a number of years. Some of my favorite projects have been Invite Only for Vampire: The Requiem, and Forsaken Chronicler’s Guide for Werewolf: The Forsaken. I’ve been putting in a lot of work on Blood & Smoke: The Strix Chronicle for Rose Bailey; if you’re on the forums, you know that I’m pretty active on these internets. I’ve also been about the RPG industry, I’ve worked with Margaret Weis Productions, Green Ronin, Paizo, and numerous others. I run my own small press, Machine Age Productions, with my wife Filamena Young (another Onyx Path freelancer). So that’s me.

Second off, V20 Dark Ages. A lot of people have stories about playing Dungeons & Dragons. They can wax nostalgic about their first game experiences, about graph paper, about Mountain Dew, and about kobolds. My experience in gaming started with Vampire: The Masquerade. It holds many important places in my heart: it’s the reason for my career, it’s how I met my wife, it’s why I write, I still play in regular games, both tabletop and LARP. I owe Vampire quite a bit. Needless to say, returning to those roots with V20 excited the hell out of me. My particular love, however, was for Dark Ages. I felt that it honed in on everything I loved about The World of Darkness. It hit home on topics of humanity, on rebellion against a fearsome status quo, and about questioning your nature. Needless to say, I pitched to develop V20 Dark Ages the moment I felt it possible. When it was approved, I was floored. I got to write a love letter to this thing that changed my life. A 300 page love letter.

Right now, I have a team of crack writers hammering out three hundred thousand words of buttery wholesomeness. They’re writing this based on my outline, the draft of which I’ve posted on the White-Wolf.com forums in the past few days. You can check it out via Google Docs here. A few things I’ll note about it:

  • This document reflects almost a year of discussions with my writing staff. Usually we don’t share these outlines, because they’re a waste product of the hive mind. You might read things and think, “What? Where’s this obvious thing that should be included?” It’s probably not there, because we’ve talked about it so much that it’s assumed. Every chapter has seen hundreds of emails, some of these things will fall through the cracks of the outline, even though they’ll see inclusion in the final product. 
  • I prefer to develop as we’re working. There’s only so much an outline can provide that writing won’t demolish. Think of it like a chronicle in a Vampire game. As Storyteller, it’s good to have a framework, but if you do much more than that, your players are going to eat right through (possibly literally) your plot. Some people like super extensive outlines; I sometimes find them restrictive as a writer. This outline shows how I strike a balance. 
  • This is very “pull back the curtains”. It’s a little inside baseball. It’s written by a developer, for a team of writers. If some of it doesn’t make sense, you’re welcome to ask, and I’ll try to address it. I’m super transparent about these things, I don’t believe in keeping secrets in game design. 
  • We’re interested in hearing your ideas. But, as with any open development, come in with the understanding that we’re being inundated with input, so we might not address every little thing specifically. We’re reading all your comments. We’re listening. We can’t integrate every requested change for a myriad of reasons. Ultimately, we’ll make the decisions we feel are best for V20 Dark Ages first and foremost. But even suggestions we don’t use are considered, and will often influence the final outcome. 
  • You will find that I like bullet points.

So there you are. Check out the document. If you cite or link it, please link to the Google Doc, because I will be modifying it live. We’ve had some discussions on the forums already.

I’m going to be doing as many of these development blogs as I can fit in. So I guess the next question I pose to you: What do you want to hear me blabber on about?

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V20 Ghouls Outline Panel Recap

11180457.jpgInspired by Justin Achilli’s live outline discussion at Atlanta by Night for the V20 Anarchs Unbound supplement, I thought it might be kind of cool to run something similar at LA by Night. Rich and I decided that the Ghouls book would be a perfect topic for this since there is a lot of information about Ghouls (and Revenants) spread across many different supplements over the years and a lot of VtM fans (like me) have cool stories to tell about these types of characters.

While there is a small section in the V20 core on ghouls I thought this was definitely an area that could be expanded upon and fleshed out quite a bit. What their role in Kindred society is, how they deal with the different Clans, the challenges of being addicted to a monster, and the horror of slowing losing one’s Humanity while still being a human of flesh and blood. Renfield from Dracula could be considered an example of a ghoul who has been destroyed mentally and physically, yet still desperately wants to return to his master.

Revenants, of course, offer up their own stories of monstrous potential. They are not vampires, nor mortals, yet they are not Ghouls in the traditional sense either. Several Revenant families were written up in the V20 core, while others only got a one sentence description in the “Other” category. I’m hoping to have a write up for those lines as well in this book.

135-thumb140.jpgSo, when I pitched this book I had a pretty good idea of the concepts and story elements I wanted to cover. I had plenty of resources along the lines of Ghouls: Fatal Addiction, Guide to the Sabbat, the Transylvania Chronicles, Dirty Secrets of the Black Hand, and even Clanbooks such as Tzimisce and Giovanni.

Just because I had lots of information and ideas of my own did not mean I was closed to other suggestions. The Open Development process has been a boon to the V20 line and I was excited to hear what other folks might want from this book. So, LA by Night was a perfect opportunity for an outline panel. What follows is the raw mindmap I created during the discussion. It has the heart of the outline, plus a few tangents that came up during the discussion that I’ll likely bring up for more debate with the writers I bring on the project. Naturally not everything on the mindmap will make it to the final book and we may discover other topics that need word count along the way. Just click the image for a larger view.

V20-Ghouls-Mindmap.png

    There was some lively debate on a few of the above elements and will likely continue to be more as the book gets further into the development process. Note that not everything is fully fleshed out as of yet and some of the above are simply potential ideas…so I won’t yet be able to go into ultra specific details for each and every thing on the map.

    The next steps will be creating an actual working outline and assigning sections of the book to freelancers. We’ll likely have more blog posts about specific sections of the book in the months to come.

    I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts on the mindmap and what you’d like to see in the Ghouls book. Also feel free to suggest other media that has interesting examples of ghoul-like characters the writing team can look to for inspiration.

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    Where’d That Eddy Go?

    This might be a good place to explain why these notes are always about this Monday lunch meeting that Eddy and I have, and why I’m always talking about our conversations. Come with me back into the dim mists of time, back before White Wolf was a company…

    I worked at a TV station in Philadelphia (WTXF-TV29 for all my Philly-ites) in Creative Services. We did all the advertising, both internal and external, and I also did news graphics on the crudest computer graphics tablet known to man. This was late 80′s- early 90′s. My boss in the department, Denise, was one of the best bosses I ever had, and she held a Monday morning meeting to start the week. I thought it worked really well to get all our creative asses in line and at least starting out going the same way. In ’92 I headed down to White Wolf and there was already a Monday lunch tradition for the whole company- all eight or nine of us- so that dovetailed neatly into the Monday meal idea. Then, WW grew so fast that within months we just couldn’t all have a meal together and actually get anything done, so we split the company onto different days and I vehemently insisted on keeping Monday as my department’s lunch-together day because of what I’d learned about starting the week together from Denise.

    Even after I moved back to Philly and was telecommuting as the head of the department and then Creative Director, we still continued the Monday lunch meeting. I started a Live Journal (remember those?) to do essentially what I do here now- give updates and inside looks at what we’re up to- and when I moved over to work on the MMO, it fell to Eddy as the fastest and most cohesive writer to keep up the notes from that Monday meeting. Once Eddy and I started the CCP Transmedia Group after V20, we got back to having these Monday weekly meetings and posting about them- first Eddy wrote them and then I took over as they became an Onyx Path thing. Since they have been just between he and I for the last 5 years, we’ve developed a sort of “what’s interesting to you this week?” back and forth, that also covers the business and approvals that Eddy oversees in our license arrangement with CCP. So the first part of these posts is usually me taking the random media conversation we just had, and digging into it as to why it relates to the projects we’re doing at Onyx Path. Because we’re both so focused on game creation that it almost always does.

    Which brings us to today and the fact that Eddy and I did not meet, and aren’t going to meet this week. Things are ultra good between Onyx and CCP, and Eddy’s job with the MMO- what takes up 90% of his CCP job responsibilities- is requiring him to engage in one of those awesome and exhausting day-long Scrum scoping meetings. (Scrum methodology is a project planning system used by CCP and other companies in the computer game business and elsewhere.) Let me underline this as we heard some folks in LA who were confused about who is connected to and does what with which company. Eddy is employed by CCP to help create the WoD MMO. Because of our good and long time relationship, and his understanding of the WW gamelines, he is also Onyx Path’s liaison with CCP and is now our connection for both approvals and business issues. To further confuse things, Eddy is also one of Onyx’s freelance V20 developers. Eddy is not however an employee of Onyx Path beyond his freelance contracts, nor is he a secret owner. Right now, I am the sole employee and owner of Onyx Path Publishing, LLC.

    Just wanted to get that upfront and repeated for those of you who are new to this blog.

    Finally, along the same lines: the entire staff of CCP are going on a retreat starting on Weds, and we’re not sure if Eddy and I will meet next week. If not, I’ll write a blog about Kickstarters and how far we’ve come in a a year and a half of doing them. If we do: more Sherlock Holmes talk! What?

     

    Projects Being Worked On By Freelance Creative Talent Right Now:

    Blood and Smoke: The Strix Chronicle (VtR) In Editing. Art is all contracted. Mirthful Mike has contracted several new artists, including a couple from IlluxCon.

    Mummy the Curse - Deluxe and Screen: Books and Screens ARE STILL SHIPPING! All US single books and single books w/screens are out, as well, I’m just told, are all International single books &screens. The MtC Ready Made Characters Pack is in layout and then it will be ready for approvals from CCP. Cursed Necropolis DC being red-lined by CAS and then back for second drafts from the writers. KS backers have been approached about their character info needed to go in the book. Please get that to me ASAP, folks! !!!

    Exalted 3rd Edition:  While John hunkers down to rewrite the Charms chapter, the rest of the team is working on a couple of EX3 chapters that continue to be finalized for Editing: Awareness Charms are done which finishes off the Night Caste charms, the Wyld and Fair Folk sections are in editing. Evocations are in progress. Both  EX3 novels as well as Zub’s EX3 Comic are in progress, and the EX3 Music Suites are being scoped out.

    V20 Hunters Hunted 2:  Deluxe is being assembled. PoD and PDF versions on sale at DTRPG. This is another book that really benefited from the PDF reviews that our community had a chance to let us know about. HH2 Fiction Anthology text is in editing.

    - V20 Anarchs Unbound is in layout and we are prepping for its Kickstarter- setting aside time at the end of the week to create this. Justin is having a strange “phantom voices” issue with his playback for the KS vid but we think he solved this.

    Deluxe Werewolf 20th Anniversary Edition: Regular Deluxe is done with binding, and I actually had a copy with the claw-marks lasered through in my hands and it looks sweet. Heavy Metal Deluxe is being worked up now as a prototype with their new press. Mike Lee is submitting chapters of the W20 â€œHouses of the Moon” novel to Bill for dev review.  The Storyteller Screen files are done and ready for W20. Bill has theW20 Anthology stories done and they are in editing.  Jess Hartley is submitting the White Howlers Tribe Book to Stew Wilson for development notes,  and the W20 Cookbook is almost done in editing

    - Deluxe Mage the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition has Phil Brucato mostly developing now like a maniac and most of the book has been written and we are prepping an editor for this big ol’ thing. Check out our first M20 art blog by Mirthful Mike Chaney: http://theonyxpath.com/mirthful-mikes-art-blog-mage-20th-anniversary-preview-1/

    - W20 Changing Breeds  Kickstarter expanded material has been put into the new layout and the backer names and all the art except the opening comic- which is taking longer- are being dropped in, and the Changing Breeds Fiction Anthology is being contracted by developer Jess Hartley.

    W20 Rage Across the World: In layout.

    - Guildhalls of the Deathless (MtC) the PDF is going live on DTRPG…in the next couple hours?

    Conventionbook: Void Engineers (cMtA) is in second layout proof.

    W20 Book of the Wyrm is in editing.

    - V20 Rites of the Blood: is in editing, Eddy is preparing art notes.

    - Under the Darkening Sky (classic Dark Ages): In editing.

    Trinity Continuum:   We now have a whopping big Aeon outline and a Trinity Continuum Core Book outline and writers are writing.

    - Scion: Joe’s team is hammering systems- big time. Reviewing the first system doc this week.

    - Demon: The Descent: In layout. Demon Quickstart PDF is free on DTRPG and the PoD version is Now LIVE.

    - Hunter: The Something About Monsters: Writers are writing. Many first drafts are getting red-lined.

    - nWoD: Dark Eras: Writers are writing.

    -V20 Dark Ages: Scribes are scribing.

    - DtD Players Guide: Flowers Of Hell?: Being written in a pit filled with bone white violets, and violet roses.

    Reason to Drink: Our elected offcials.

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    New Release: Guildhalls of the Deathless

    119830

    Guildhalls of the Deathless is now available from DriveThruRPG!

    When you come to this guildhall, you come to learn the value of value.

    We walk in the flesh divine. Born of gold, we stride among the basest metals of man, learning the unfixed worth of each thing… apprehending the Dedwen of the living world.

    We do this not merely for our Judge, nor even for the greater glory of the gods, but to manifest the unutterable greatness that is our birthright, burden, and ultimate borne.

    To this guildhall, one comes not to learn the oldest rites of burial, nor the latest sacred scrawl, but to learn and then embody the great lesson of greatness—to live inside the reality that binds all things, great or small, of value:

    Greatness is worth.

    — Merew-Tjaw, the Anointed One

    This book includes:

    • A look inside the secret traditions and structures of the five Arisen guilds, from the shadowy envoys of the Maa-Kep to the forbidden arts of the First Prophets among the priests of Irem.

    • A host of new mechanics options, including dozens of new Affinities and Utterances, as well as systems for adjudicating changes in guild status and a new sub-type of khat-based ritual magic.

    • “Crucible of Fate” — a complete Mummy story that Storytellers can run alone or as the first chapter in an ongoing series called The Avarice Chronicle.

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    Mirthful Mike’s Ye Olde Art Blog (M20 Art Preview pt deux)

    Templars_finalHi Everybody,

    Time for a new art blog (okay, technically 12 hours ago was time for the new blog).

    Today’s preview is another awesome piece from Steve Prescott, the Templar splat from the Disparates. I really love this piece… makes me really wish he had time to work on Hunter the Vigil back in the day.

    On the last post I added the sketch image in order to give everyone an idea of “the process“… how the piece evolved from the preliminary sketch to the final piece. Every artist has their own style of sketches. I have some artists who turn in a basic thumbnail that basically lays out the composition of the piece and I have some who turn in really tight pencil sketches that show about 90% of the detail that will go into the final piece. As you can see, Steve tends to do really, really tight pencils.

    templars1

    But there is another part of the process that happens well before the artist or I get involved and that is the “art notes“. These are typed up by the developer and can range anywhere from just underlined passages of text to specific scenes and images. For the Templar, Phil’s notes were:

    “A clean-cut yet battle-hardened white dude, early 40s, whose craggy face reflects a combination of spiritual devotion and war-fatigue. His severe razor-cropped hairstyle makes him seem all but bald, and he stands in the ruins of some occult den of atrocities. Dressed in current-issue military fatigues (urban camo pattern), he bears a variety of weapons including an unusually long knife. He is NOT a member of the U.S. military, as a number of variations in the uniform and gear can tell us. His insignia patches include a glowing sword, a “Holy Grail” chalice, a geometric design that features a hexagram inside a circle, and – of course – a white cross. Around his neck hangs a second cross, and he inclines his head slightly skyward, as if to see Jesus finally descending from the clouds. (There might even be a “God-cloud” sending a sunbeam down, although that may be overdoing things a bit…) Until God sends word, of course, this dude will do whatever he needs to do. This is a badass for the Lord, and don’t you ever forget it! “

    No matter how specific the notes are, we always try to give the artist the freedom to interpret that description in their own way. These variations are made to improve upon the piece and still deliver the gist of the descriptions.

    Check back next week as I’ll be showing off more art.

     

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    Dark Ages: Peeling Back the Curtain

    If you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably read at least a few Onyx Path/White Wolf books in the past. You’ve seen the end result of a process. Usually, this process looks something like so:

    1) Developer pitches a book.

    2) Publisher accepts the pitch.

    3) Developer crafts an outline and hires writers.

    4) Writers scribble down a first draft version of the book.

    5) The developer “red lines” the first draft, hands it back to writers.

    6) Meanwhile, the art director starts contracting illustrators based on notes provided by the writers and developer.

    7) The writers rewrite and elaborate depending on red lines.

    8) The developer does another pass of the text, and hands it to an editor.

    9) The editor goes over the text to make sure it’s readable to the outside eye.

    10) The art director has someone put the text and illustrations to a layout.

    11) Everyone takes a final look at the book, and then it goes to publication.

    This is the long way of saying, what you hold in your hands (or read on your screen, if you’re savvy to that) has seen a lot of eyes, and has gone through a lot of molding, shaping, curing, pruning, and fixing.

    Sometimes, with our Open Development process, we’ve shared early drafts or even outlines (like I did in our last entry). Tonight, I wanted to share with you something different. This isn’t even a zero draft; this is a series of notes from one of my writing staff (the supercoolawesome Renee Knipe).

    I have every writer drafting “voice characters” for the sample quotations and splat art throughout the book. However, these characters might come up at other times, in introductory fiction, in examples of play, or maybe even in a future fiction anthology if the stars align. This means that we need points of reference for each one of these characters. Typically, I encourage writers to give a few sentences to define the character, and tell me who she is, so anyone can pick up the character and run with her.

    Sometimes, however, writers will go above and beyond, and provide extensive history notes for these characters. Renee’s working on the Tzimisce clan writeup (and the Road of Metamorphosis, Vicissitude, and a few other related things), and gave me these notes for Cal?una, her voice character. I thought they were kind of cool, and wanted to share.

    A few things to note:

    1) This is brain spew. This is not a working draft. This is not made for publication. It’s just notes.

    2) Most of this probably won’t see print, it’s just for perspective and context. If we ever get to expand upon her, it’ll come into play. But we’ll see.

    3) Being notes, there’s no editing. There won’t be any editing. Usually, this would see only a handful of eyes. Keep that in mind.

    4) Isn’t she kind of awesome?

    5) It’s a live Google Doc. So if you want to reference it, reference it by link, or link to this particular entry.

    Here you go.

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    Eddy’s Turkey Trip Continues

    As we thought might be the case last week, the flight back from Turkey (where Eddy and the rest of CCP went for their massive and fun company retreat) was exhausting, and boy are Eddy’s arms tired!

    Also, as an FYI: this site: www.theonyxpath.com will be down for a couple of days for routine maintenance- we’ll be tweaking a few things as well as prepping for a new Big Announcement.

    So this week, how about I jot down a few thoughts about how Kickstarter fits into our publishing plans at Onyx Path Publishing?

    I’m imagining most of you have already read my previous notes on how Kickstarter has become a vital part of Onyx Path‘s business model: how the ability to use KS to directly communicate with the community fits into our Open Dev Process goals of having a dialogue with those fans who want to have one, and enables us to create traditionally printed high quality books even while we keep the infinite bookshelf of DTRPG stocked with PDFs and the physical books produced by Print on Demand. That’s the general “value proposition” of Onyx using KS or other crowd-funding methods, but what I want to go into today is a little more of the nuts and bolts.

    To begin with, we have to start with the idea that Kickstarter is still a wild frontier. To paraphrase Greg Stolze, it’s a wild jungle still and KS creators are still hacking their way through with machetes. One truth is that every KS is different, and what works for one KS doesn’t necessarily work for another, either internally with such things as logistics of creation and delivery, or externally as towards what various fans would like the KS to feature. There is no perfect KS campaign that can then be the model for all KS’s everywhere. And as I say in the text of every KS we’ve done: we’re still experimenting with our KSs every single time we do one. Oh, there are some consistent Rewards across all of them, or a structure to the Stretch Goals that some books echo, but I really don’t want any of our KSs to be seen as same old, same old.

    Particularly in relation to this next point: Onyx Path Kickstarters aren’t the same creative team with every campaign. This is really important to understand because it really affects how the KS is set up, and also is a big difference between ours and a lot of the KSs out there. So far, I’ve been the Creator for all the Kickstarters Onyx has done, which provides a certain level of consistency to the set-up and communication, and then we have all sorts of different creators engaged because its their project that we are KSing. But, that means that the creators of the project (for example, Joltin’ Justin Achilli and his writing team and Mirthful Mike Chaney and his artists for the upcoming V20 Anarchs Unbound KS) aren’t the Creators of the KS. And the way Onyx is all about working with a lot of creative folks who have demanding day jobs, like Justin, means that there’s really no way they could be running a KS- it just takes an enormous amount of time and energy to run one. So we try and make up for that by first working hand-in-glove with the developers of the project to present Rewards and Stretch Goals that they are comfortable with and feel they can deliver on. Very often during a KS, the delay to put up the next Stretch Goal or add a Reward is because I’m trying to get a consensus on whether the new thing that the backers are asking for is OK with the creative team. (And guess what? Many times, just because our Stretch Goal amount was just passed doesn’t mean that the developer is finished with their day job meeting, or back from taking their kids to the park.)

    We also meet ahead of the KS’s launch and discuss who can do what when during the length of the KS. Our current method of division of labor is to have the developer or development team communicating through the Comments section and me through the direct “contact me” emails while we both work on a series of Updates ahead of time- although we are willing to dive in on new or different Updates depending on how the KS progresses. Again, trying to enable the best kind of dialogue between the creators and the backers means being sensitive to not only the creative team’s schedule but also their comfort level. Every team works differently, and not all creators want, or can even create well with, direct communication all the time about their creations. Yet, that sort of dialogue between backers and creators has been proven, at least to me, to be vital to a fulfilling and successful KS, so we push for the kinds of communication that the creators feel they can commit to. Sometimes this works as expected, sometimes life events change how much interaction is possible, sometimes the creative team is overwhelmed and they back off, and sometimes the community interaction is so exciting that we get more than the creators thought they could give. Every KS is different.

    Another big difference between Onyx Path‘s use of Kickstarter  and other KSs is that we have thus far not used it to fund the creation of a book, but rather we have used it to fund the process of creating Deluxe editions of that book, or, in the case of Mummy: The Curse, a traditionally printed with upgraded features edition. (Which is not to say we won’t try funding a whole project further down the line). How that Deluxe KS relates to the regular model of PDF/PoD availability on DTRPG is something we are also experimenting with, particularly if the KS itself adds to the original project in terms of upgrades or extra sections or chapters or more art. But because it is a process of creation of a Deluxe version that the KS is funding, we’re not tying the Deluxe delivery to the PDF/PoD availability. Our KSs, so far, are not about early delivery of the material to the backers before the “regular fans”, they are about the exclusive delivery of the Deluxe version to the backers. This is different than some other KSs out there, so it pays to read all KSs carefully to see what you’re getting into. Case in point: we are offering Storyteller Screens with our KSs now because so many backers asked for them, and they are described multiple times on every KS as being 3-panel and printed both sides on heavy stock. (Actually the heaviest board the printer can use without moving to a totally different and vastly more expensive process). Despite this description, I have had a couple of messages from backers disappointed in the screen because it doesn’t match the 4-panel deluxe screens we did for VtM Revised. It was never described as leatherette covered, or even as matching V20 or the older screens, or as 4 panel, so I really have nothing I can tell these folks. But it points out the important advice of making sure to read the whole KS text- and particularly the description of the Reward you just pledged for.

    We are also really careful about what we add on to the project beyond the creation of a Deluxe edition, and I look at each possible new project, added feature to the book, or different kind of product offered by Rewards or Stretch Goals with a jaundiced eye. First off, Onyx creates worlds, and is specifically set up to deliver those worlds via books and electronic “books” and has incredibly experienced and creative folks who know how to do that. Our processes are designed to create the highest quality projects in those areas. We are not jewelry or dice manufacturers, so anything we might offer for a Kickstarter like a Clan-pin, or Werewolf Dice, would be outside the methodology of what we all know how to do. And that means that other methods, approval processes, logistics in shipping, etc, would come into the mix. We are clearly still mastering getting our Deluxe books done well and within a process we can predict and time, so adding even more confusion to that mix would be bad. Even though I know that these extra things can drive backers into just a frenzy of excitement, I move very slowly into offering extras unless we are working with folks who know how to deliver a finished project almost entirely on their own. For example, the EX3 Canvas map is being printed by a company whose work I’ve seen before, and it is a product that can be fit into standard shipping packaging with a minimum of chances for damage, screw-ups, or crazy fees.

    For the additional text or other upgrades to the books themselves, or new projects like Mummy‘s Necropolis: DC, that come out of Stretch Goals we are equally careful about whether the creative team can get to all the extra work, and whether those projects fit into where the line is headed. Again, this involves working with the developers in particular as to what they are comfortable with. I try not to drop projects onto a creative team just because backers, or I, think it would be cool. We have to temper the needs of the project with the needs of the KS and what will keep backers interested and talking about the experience in positive ways. There is no one size fits all for these sorts of things. Generally, I’ve found that a mix of extra stuff for the Deluxe book itself combined with other material outside the book as added projects works really well in giving the widest range of extras that let every backer know that the their involvement has improved both the book and the overall project.

    Then we have the reality of Stretch Goals, in that they aren’t provided with “free money” once we pass the Funding Goal, and in fact must be funded with whatever money remains after the amount to create and ship the Deluxe is taken out of the vast majority of pledges. This is yet another difference in our Kickstarters (and most RPG KSs as a whole) as opposed to say the computer game industry. We still have printing and shipping to factor into most pledges. So that is factored in to how we set up the Stretch Goals and where we place them as we go along. I don’t want another final goal that’s really cool not get funded like in Mummy‘s KS- that’s just disappointing for everyone. We also sometimes don’t think of a “Stretchie”, a term I’ve used but everyone else seems to hate, until it is discussed by backers during the KS, and I think staying flexible enough to include just such a backer identified extra is one of the great parts of Kickstarter. Which is one of the reasons we have “hidden” Stretch Goals instead of having them pre-listed- I like timing and setting up the Stretch Goals in response to backer participation. Plus, it’s just fun to find out what the next ones are after the current one is achieved.

    Hopefully, that’s a good start on our KS thinking- obviously it’s important enough that even this wall of words is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what could be said about KS and our methods with it, but enough for now! On to the Updates-

    Yes, These Updates Right Here:

    Blood and Smoke: The Strix Chronicle (VtR) In Editing. Art is all contracted. Mirthful Mike has contracted several new artists, including a couple from IlluxCon.

    Mummy the Curse - Deluxe and Screen: Books and Screens are all shipped out- as a backer, check the last Backer Update from KS as to when you should worry about getting your copies if you haven’t yet. The MtC Ready Made Characters Pack is in for approvals from CCP. Cursed Necropolis DC is being red-lined by CAS and then back for second drafts from the writers.

    Exalted 3rd Edition:  While John hunkers down to rewrite the Charms chapter, the rest of the team is working on a couple of EX3 chapters that continue to be finalized for Editing: The Awareness Charms are actually much broader and useful than previous versions and the Dawn Caste Charms are getting wrapped up. Martial Arts and Evocations are almost completely written but still need review by the Devs. Both  EX3 novels as well as Zub’s EX3 Comic are in progress in fact we were just looking at a cover idea, and the EX3 Music Suites are being scoped out.

    V20 Hunters Hunted 2:  Deluxe is being assembled. PoD and PDF versions on sale at DTRPG. This is another book that really benefited from the PDF reviews that our community had a chance to let us know about. HH2 Fiction Anthology text is in editing.

    - V20 Anarchs Unbound is in layout and we are prepping for its Kickstarter- just got Justin’s completed video for this.

    Deluxe Werewolf 20th Anniversary Edition: Regular Deluxe is being laser cut. Heavy Metal Deluxe is being worked up now as a prototype with their new press- I have not yet seen one though. Mike Lee is submitting chapters of the W20 â€œHouses of the Moon” novel to Bill for dev review.  The Storyteller Screen files are done and ready for W20. Bill has theW20 Anthology stories in layout.  Jess Hartley has submitted the White Howlers Tribe Book to Stew Wilson for development notes,  and the W20 Cookbook is almost done in editing

    - Deluxe Mage the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition has Phil Brucato mostly developing now like a maniac and most of the book has been written and we are prepping an editor for this big ol’ thing. Check out our continuing M20 art blog by Mirthful Mike Chaney: http://theonyxpath.com/mirthful-mikes-art-blog-mage-20th-anniversary-preview-1/

    - W20 Changing Breeds  Kickstarter expanded material has been put into the new layout and we are still waiting for CCP approval on the new stuff, and for the opening comic, and the Changing Breeds Fiction Anthology is being contracted by developer Jess Hartley.

    W20 Rage Across the World: In layout.

    - Guildhalls of the Deathless (MtC) the PDF is live on DTRPG. There is a thread on the Mummy forum on the WW Forums for any mistakes or tweaks you want to suggest before we correct the PDF and create the PoD file.

    Conventionbook: Void Engineers (cMtA) is being final proofed.

    W20 Book of the Wyrm is in editing.

    - V20 Rites of the Blood: is in editing, being art directed.

    - Under the Darkening Sky (classic Dark Ages): In editing.

    Trinity Continuum:   We now have a whopping big Aeon outline and a Trinity Continuum Core Book outline and writers are writing. Talking systems with the gang.

    - Scion: Joe’s team is hammering systems- big time. Reviewing the first system doc this week- need combat example right now. Right now.

    - Demon: The Descent: In layout. Demon Quickstart PDF is free on DTRPG and the PoD version is Now LIVE.

    - Hunter: The Something About Monsters: Writers are writing. Many first drafts are getting red-lined.

    - nWoD: Dark Eras: Writers are writing.

    - V20 Dark Ages: Scribes are scribing.

    - DtD Players Guide: Flowers Of Hell?: Being written in Berlin, 1957.

    Reason to Drink: Fall is in the air.

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    Mirthful Mike’s Art Blog: Mage 20th Anniversary Art Preview pt 3

    Orphans_finalHi Everybody,

    Getting an earlier start today than I did on last week’s blog. This week we are revealing one more of Steve Prescott’s pieces, the Orphans “splat” (pictured to the left).  Her description as written by the developer:

    Vaguely sheltered from a storm stands a dark-skinned Brazilian girl, late teens/ early 20s, with long black hair and layers of ragged neotribal clothing – leggings, skirts, bangles, strategically-cut/ slashed t-shirt, long fingerless gloves, etc. Urban tribal tattoos and other body art compliment her deliberately ragged clothes. Barefoot on glass-strewn, rain-washed pavement, she looks haunted yet defiant – an impression enhanced by her makeup. 

    This week I’d like to ask you all what kind art blog posts you’d like to see? Would you like to see a monthly artist spotlight sort of like we used to do in the Night Editions? Maybe you would like to see the evolution of a piece of signature art from the early conceptualization to the final illustration? Leave your suggestions in the comment section and let me know.

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    V20 Dark Ages: Road of Kings

    Last time, I shared with you a note section based on the Tzimisce voice character. Today, I wanted to share with you a first draft of some text from our own Danielle Lauzon. This is her first draft for the Road of Kings.

    I don’t have a lot to say in support of this. I think it presents the topic, and manages to take the prior concept and just really expand it into more global, interesting places. I’ve worked with Danielle a lot, and she often surprises me with how interesting her content can be. If you’re a werewolf fan, holy shit she knocked me right out with her content on the upcoming Rage Across the World.

    One of the things I really wanted to hit on, and you can find it in the outline, is that I want to move away from “defaults”. That tends to give us a very Eurocentric view of the Middle Ages. Instead of focusing on defaults, I want to show the color and diversity of those times, and really give readers a sense of scope. I think Danielle did beautifully there.

    So here you go. Road of Kings.

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    Happy Bartolomé Day!

    Because, as we’ve learned from WoD: History lies sometimes. A lot.

    Eddy is back, and that gave us a great chance to catch up on the many approvals he’s overseeing for us with CCP. Actually, considering that our cousins in blood, By Night Studios, have submitted the text of their VtM: MET book for approval too, the approval gang are doing a great job getting back to us. Some projects are just a tad delayed because of the gap in timing, but not to any deadly amount of time. We did talk a fair bit in a continuation of our great chats in LA about keeping close and positive communications going between Onyx and By Night as we work on shepherding our respective parts of the WW legacy.

    We also talked about Eddy’s blog about “Elementary” and how he’ll be doing an episode by episode analysis as the second season develops. http://eddyfate.com/2013/10/12/elementary-201-step-nine/ Basically, I let him know that I’ll be following the show with him as my proxy, because I still can’t get into it. Mostly, I’m just not able to empathize with SH as portrayed. He’s too jumpy, if that makes any sense. Eddy thought that might be because the entire show has been using the “addict” aspect of Holmes as its main motif, and that focus, for me at least, doesn’t deliver the fuller portrait of SH that I enjoy. Conceptually I respect the choice, if that is what they’re doing, but the depiction still stops me from engaging. We talked a bit about how hyper-focusing on a particular aspect of a project can cut off interest from fans who were into that project because of other themes and motifs that appealed to them. Certainly a concern with Onyx Path‘s many 20th Anniversary books and other gamelines with rich histories that we are expanding on or re-imagining. We’ve all seen how new editions can splinter a fan-base, and we’re working very hard to avoid that particular problem. The 20th Anniversary cWoD books are designed to take a reader back to the first time they opened that core book that fascinated them, while projects like Exalted 3rd Edition, Scion, and the Trinity Continuum have different challenges of updating, and very often correcting rules systems issues, while still “feeling” like the game and game world.

    So, speaking of classic White Wolf game lines that we’d like to work on again, I’m fantastically thrilled to announce that Onyx Path Publishing and Nocturnal Media have joined forces to purchase the Scarred Lands fantasy setting from CCP. The Scarred Lands game setting was WW‘s acclaimed “house setting” during the D20 craze,  with both a specific setting game-line detailing a dark fantasy world torn apart by the wars between Titans and Gods, and projects such as the Creature Collections and Relics & Rituals books that provided cool new fantasy gaming material for any setting. Nocturnal is owned by the man who got me into this business, and my good friend, Stewart Wieck (who founded White Wolf Magazine and co-founded WWGS), and we have wanted to join forces on a project for a while. Since we both loved helping to create the Scarred Lands, this seemed like a great chance to do just that. With everything that Onyx Path has on its plate for the next year or so, this isn’t something we’re going to be rushing out this year- or the next- but we do expect that we can preview things as we go along. Here’s the press release: http://theonyxpath.com/scarred-lands-finds-new-home-with-onyx-path-publishing-and-nocturnal-media

    One final bit of news: after speaking with Demon: the Descent developers Rockin’ Rose Bailey and Black Hat Matt McFarland as well as V20: Anarchs Unbound developer Justin (if you give me a nickname I’ll stab your eye) Achilli, we’ve agreed to swap their respective Kickstarters and plan to have Demon‘s KS ready before the end of this month. There are a bunch of good reasons for doing this, the primary one, in my mind, being the desire to time these KS campaigns in such a way as to add to the enjoyment and excitement everyone feels for the new book or game-line. The process of creating a Deluxe version has a lot of phases that Onyx has less direct control over, which is why I’ve been trying to decouple the game release from the KS. But we’re aware that there absolutely will be some overlap. We’re still working on the best way for us to do that (see last week’s Monday Meeting Notes), but in the end it came down to really wanting to get Demon PDF and PoD versions out to folks this year (because it is, like, you know, our new game for 2012) and this seems the best way to make that happen.

    Yes, These Updates Right Here:

    Blood and Smoke: The Strix Chronicle (VtR) In Editing. Art is all contracted. Mirthful Mike has contracted several new artists, including a couple from IlluxCon.

    Mummy the Curse - Deluxe and Screen: Books and Screens are all shipped out- as a backer in the US or Canada, check the last Backer Update from KS as to how to contact me about getting your copies if you haven’t yet. Backers outside the US and Canada should sit tight a couple weeks more to give time for the packages to wend their way to you. The MtC Ready Made Characters Pack is in for approvals from CCP (this is one of the approvals we’re waiting for). Cursed Necropolis DC is being red-lined by CAS and then back for second drafts from the writers.

    Exalted 3rd Edition:  While John hunkers down to rewrite the Charms chapter, the rest of the team is working on a couple of EX3 chapters that continue to be finalized for Editing: Dawn Caste Charms are still being wrapped up, and I’m told that the Melee tree is tight, with nothing obsolete or “speed bumpy”. Martial Arts are being compared with the Dawn set for compatibility. The Social Engine is in Editing. Both  EX3 novels as well as Zub’s EX3 Comic are in progress, in fact we were just looking at a cover idea, and the EX3 Music Suites are being scoped out.

    V20 Hunters Hunted 2:  Deluxe being assembled. PoD and PDF versions on sale at DTRPG. HH2 Fiction Anthology text is in editing.

    - V20 Anarchs Unbound is in layout and we are still putting the pieces together for its KS, but that’s been delayed until after the Demon KS (see above).

    Deluxe Werewolf 20th Anniversary Edition: Regular Deluxe is being laser cut. Heavy Metal Deluxe is being worked up now as a prototype with their new press- I’m told I get one Weds/Thursday this week. Mike Lee is submitting chapters of the W20 â€œHouses of the Moon” novel to Bill for dev review.  The Storyteller Screen files are done and ready for W20. Bill has the W20 Anthology stories in layout.  Jess Hartley has submitted the White Howlers Tribe Book to Stew Wilson for development notes, and the W20 Cookbook is almost done in editing

    - Deluxe Mage the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition has Phil Brucato mostly developing now like a maniac and most of the book has been written and we are prepping an editor for this big ol’ thing. Check out our continuing M20 art blog by Mirthful Mike Chaney: http://theonyxpath.com/mirthful-mikes-art-blog-mage-20th-anniversary-preview-3/

    - W20 Changing Breeds  Kickstarter expanded material has been put into the new layout and we are still waiting for CCP approval on the new stuff, and for the opening comic, and the Changing Breeds Fiction Anthology is being contracted by developer Jess Hartley.

    W20 Rage Across the World: In layout.

    - Guildhalls of the Deathless (MtC) the PDF is live on DTRPG. There is a thread on the Mummy forum on the WW Forums for any mistakes or tweaks you want to suggest before we correct the PDF and create the PoD file. This has worked really great- can anyone who has the inclination to post errata please do so this week?

    Conventionbook: Void Engineers (cMtA) is being final proofed.

    W20 Book of the Wyrm is coming out of editing.

    - V20 Rites of the Blood: is in editing, being art directed.

    - Under the Darkening Sky (classic Dark Ages): In editing.

    Trinity Continuum:   We now have a whopping big Aeon outline and a Trinity Continuum Core Book outline and writers are writing. Talking systems with the gang.

    - Scion: Joe’s team is hammering systems- big time. Reviewing the first system doc this week- need combat example right now. Right now. No really, now.

    - Demon: The Descent: In layout. Demon Quickstart PDF is free on DTRPG and the PoD version is Now LIVE. As mentioned above, we are going to get the Demon: the Descent Kickstarter campaign live before the end of October.

    - Hunter: The Something About Monsters: Writers are writing. Many first drafts are getting red-lined.

    - nWoD: Dark Eras: Writers are writing.

    - V20 Dark Ages: Scribes are scribing.

    - DtD Players Guide: Flowers Of Hell?: Being written in in a steam bath outside of Dresden.

    Reason to Drink: The mules of Moscow.

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    Scarred Lands Finds New Home with Onyx Path Publishing and Nocturnal Media

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Scarred Lands Logo

    SCARRED LANDS FINDS NEW HOME WITH ONYX PATH PUBLISHING AND NOCTURNAL MEDIA

    October 11, 2013 – Nocturnal Media and Onyx Path Publishing are proud to announce that they have jointly purchased the rights to the Scarred Lands fantasy setting.

    Rich Thomas, CEO and Creative Director at Onyx Path Publishing: “Scarred Lands was one of my favorite settings to world-build during my days at White Wolf, along with Scion and Trinity, and I’m just thrilled that Onyx Path, teamed up with my good friend Stewart Wieck’s company Nocturnal Media, has a chance to revisit and revitalize this epic fantasy world that’s been warped and twisted by the wars of gods and titans.”

    In the Scarred Lands, the gods and the titans warred for supremacy, while vast armies of mortal creatures fought beside their creators. The monstrous spawn of the titans violently engaged humans, elves, dwarves and other Divine Races. Now 150 years after the defeat of the titans, the world remains scarred and untamed. Even Ghelspad, the most populated and mapped continent of the Scarred Lands, plays host to vast unexplored regions; guards unsolved riddles from ancient cultures; and taunts adventures with the promise of undiscovered riches hidden among ruined civilizations.

    “Rich and I are very excited to once again control the destiny of the Scarred Lands,“ says Stewart Wieck, Publisher at Nocturnal Media. “This fantasy world was the combined effort of many talented developers at White Wolf a decade ago. Rich and I were very hands-on with the world from the beginning, and feel like there is a lot more that both we and the setting can offer.”

    The Scarred Lands was one of the most successful and engaging campaign settings to arise during the wild and crazy days of the D20 license. While it is richly detailed in over two dozen game and fiction titles, Nocturnal Media and Onyx Path Publishing have plans to reimagine the setting and system to excite a modern gaming audience as well as to thrill fans of the original game.

    About Onyx Path

    Onyx Path Publishing was founded by industry veteran and long-term White Wolf Creative Director Richard Thomas. The company collaborates with other experienced designers, developers, artists, and writers to bring new (and existing) games like Scion®, Vampire: the Requiem®, Exalted®, and Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition® to fans worldwide via PDF and physical PoDs through DriveThruRPG.com and Onyx’s many successful Kickstarter campaigns for Deluxe traditionally printed editions.

    For more about Onyx Path Publishing, visit us at: www.theonyxpath.com

    Or, find us on Twitter @TheOnyxPath or Facebook.

    About Nocturnal Media

    Nocturnal Media, LLC is a Houston-based game development studio specializing in games, applications and interactive multimedia on a broad range of platforms – from printed product like books and boards to all the latest tools, including augmented reality. We create with an ethos of rigorous, old-school game development and a focus on content-rich design. Our studio was founded by Stewart Wieck (author and game designer who established White Wolf Publishing in 1986, publisher of Vampire: The Masquerade and the series of World of Darkness games) and Oliver Diaz (principal owner of FuelFX, provider of turn-key creative and branding services for companies like BP, Dell, Tyco, Nabors, Chevron, Schlumberger, Halliburton and Vestas).

    “Our innovation is content.”

    Find us at www.nocturnal-media.com, on Facebook, or follow Stewart on Twitter @stewartwieck.

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    Mirthful Mike’s Art Blog Type Thing IV: The Quickening

    Marauder_Pillory

    Hi Everyone,

    This week we are featuring the artwork of one of my favorite “old skool” White Wolf artists, Mark Jackson. Back in the day, he was in every Mage book…Sons of Ether, Tales of Magick: Dark Adventure, Bygone Bestiary…the list goes on. So when Rich and I were putting together the artist roster for M20, we absolutely had to get Mark.

    Mark’s featured piece this week is Pillory, the Marauder splat for M20. As always, here is Phil’s description for Pillory:

    Description: Pillory began, so the story goes, as a girl with Asperger’s Syndrome and a taste for pain. It was the pain, she’d say, that brought her out of herself. As she grew, she allowed herself to fall into relationships so abusive and injurious that her Avatar’s shriek could be heard reverberating through the Otherworlds. Finally, one climactic burst of agony broke through her Sleep. Pillory Awakened… but that awakening trapper her in a permanent nightmare she now shares with everyone nearby.

    Essentially a solo Marauder, Pillory has crafted four arms out of Life Magick. One holds a bell, which she constantly rings; one remains empty-handed; the third has forged itself into a razor-barred cage full of butterflies whose colors perpetually shift and change; and the fourth has become a whip with dozens of thick, spiked thongs. She has neither eyes, nor a nose, nor ears – only a mouth gaping in an eternal silent scream. Spiders crawl in and out of that mouth, which opens not from her jaw but from her forehead. A swirl of tangled hair hovers around Pillory’s head – a crackling sick halo of coruscating blue. Her long dress shines a deep, wet crimson shade.

    For the most part, Pillory remains in the Otherworlds, tormenting the spirits and tormented by them in return. From time to time, however, she seeps through into material reality, bringing with her a dark red mist that spreads out from her like thick oily smoke. That smoke smells ripe and meaty, like air from a slaughterhouse. Each time she casts a spell, the bars on her butterfly cage open up; a flock of butterflies escapes, morphing into the effects of the spell itself. Those “butterfly spells” appear as smears of bright colors in the air.

    Now, last week I asked what kind of things you’d like to see in the blog and it seems “Artist Spotlight” got some good response. So, I will be reaching out to one of our classic artists over the coming weeks and hopefully have the first “Artist Spotlight” up before Thanksgiving.

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    New Release: Convention Book: Void Engineers

    Void Engineers

    Now available in PDF on DriveThruRPG!

    THE FEW, THE PROUD, THE ENLIGHTENED

    The Void Engineers are hiding something. They’ve traded many of their ideals for guns, turned vessels of peaceful exploration into mobile defense platforms, and — most frightening to the Union — forged themselves into an organized military. They’ve kept the rest of the Technocracy grounded as they fight a mysterious war beyond the boundaries of Earth against adversaries too heinous to name.

    As much as that’s tearing the Technocratic Union apart, that’s the only way it can be: only the Void Engineers can defend Consensual Reality from horrors beyond. For only they can stand before what lurks out there, hungry to return to Earth.

    A WORLD UNDER SIEGE

    The world beyond Earth has changed much in fifteen years, and not just from the Dimensional Anomaly. The Engineers have been forced to adapt to a Void growing ever darker. Convention Book: Void Engineers updates Mage: the Ascension with fresh 21st century ideas of the starfaring Convention — once filled with hopeful explorers and rebellious dreamers, now scarred by their secret war.

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    V20 Dark Ages: The Road of Sin

    One of the most common things we’ve heard as we stepped into V20 Dark Ages was that the Road of Sin didn’t integrate well with games. Many people outright disallowed it in play. So, we wanted to take the Road of Sin, and make it more directly playable. Neall Raemonn Price, our author for the Road of Sin (and the Baali, and the Salubri, and a bunch of other stuff) offers up his first draft here:

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/17qINOwXV4xbT84-n4IznA0j6us5-PPwkUyK2Z2EqG38/edit?usp=sharing

    Remember, this is a first draft. I’m more interested in hearing conceptual thoughts than anything at this juncture.

    Is there anything else, anything specific you’d like to see from development as we progress?

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    Kindred: The Embraced DVD Set Now Available!

    kte setA new Kindred: The Embraced DVD set is now available on Amazon!

    Enter the dangerous and sexy world of the undead when vampires clash with mortals — and each other — in modern-day San Francisco. Five clans of urban vampires are known as the
    Kindred
    , and in their terrifying embrace, one becomes forever young… forever beautiful… forever doomed. From the savagery in the premiere episode to the chilling climatic finale,
    Kindred
    draws you into a mysterious realm of corruption, turf wars, forbidden liaisons, and inhuman hunger — in a spellbinding saga of erotic danger and otherworldly suspense!

    Originally airing between April 2 and May 9, 1996, this eight-episode set also includes a letter from the series creator, and a copy of the Book of Nod with a unique Kindred cover.

    Sadly, the series was cut short with the death of principle actor Mark Frankel (Julian Luna).

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    OK- Enough With The Ear Stuff Already!

    As Eddy has gone through his ear problems, I realize that a few of you might be tired of hearing about his medical issues. I know he is. And so am I in the sense that we have other cool stuff I can be posting about- and that is going to greatly increase as we leave 2013 and enter 2014 (only 10 weeks to go, I was told at the dentist today. Impossible!). But I do think it is important to let all you folks know about these more mundane life issues, too. Not only because they are part of our lives here at Onyx Path and we like sharing them with you, but because that sort of info underscores the fact that the creators of our projects are all regular people. I try to run Onyx as professionally as possible while still allowing for a lot more understanding of our contributors life issues than most publishers. Plus, it so happens that we’re in the tabletop RPG business- and for some reason we have a lot of our creative folks with all kinds of ailments. So project and schedule decisions are actually affected by the same issues I write about here, and that makes those issues worth at least mentioning if you want to truly understand the whys and wherefores of what we’re up to here.

    The bulk of our talk was about how CCP wants to handle the various licensees of the WW properties. Obviously, Onyx has a set of concerns and needs, and our friends in By Night Studios and the Mind’s Eye Society have their own priorities, so CCP wants to keep things as simple as possible. Good discussions all around and I think we all are good to roll forward together.

    All last week, and a good chunk of our lunch meeting, and also the long, long meeting that followed with our Onyx Path “steering” crew, has been devoted to looking at Marketing and internal structuring in 2014 for Onyx Path, and game book pitches for 2015. One of the resolutions we seem to be coming to is to spend a fair bit of effort on toning up our internal procedures- we’ve had a great year of getting the word out about Onyx and the WW IPs, but we’ve grown at the expense of dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s. We are still committed to quality before schedule, but there have been slips that just happened because we couldn’t/didn’t follow up on things like we could have with a couple more procedural tweaks in place. So, like many of you, we are concerned with the schedule and not letting projects drift without a very good reason, and are putting plans in place to provide a tighter framework for our creative teams.

    Wait, did I say “new book pitches”? Yep, we’ve been discussing the internal pitches for new books in 2015 for all the game lines Onyx publishes. This includes the new nWoD gameline. We have some great ideas that are being fleshed out now, but, I figured I’d also bring it up here as getting direct feedback from you folks can really help a developer. What books do YOU want us to create for 2015?

     

    Here’s what we’re creating now:

    Blood and Smoke: The Strix Chronicle (VtR) Out of Editing and getting a post Editing pass by Rose. Mirthful Mike is talking about re-contracting a couple of pieces as the artists are having delivery timing issues.

    Mummy the Curse - Deluxe and Screen: Books and Screens are all shipped out- if you backed and did not get yours yet, please contact me via that little button next to my picture on the KS site. The MtC Ready Made Characters Pack  PDF has been sent out to backers- like all Onyx Path backer rewards from Stretch Goals, this will later be available in PDF and PoD formats on DTRPG. Cursed Necropolis DC is being finished up by the writers.

    Exalted 3rd Edition:  While John hunkers down to rewrite the Charms chapter, the rest of the team is working on a couple of EX3 chapters that continue to be finalized for Editing: Dawn Caste Charms are still being wrapped up: Melee is done with Archery close to finished. Holden is getting the Traits Chapter entirely into Editing. Both  EX3 novels as well as Zub’s EX3 Comic are in progress, we just approved cover sketches and notes are going back to Zub on his script, and the EX3 Music Suites are being scoped out.

    V20 Hunters Hunted 2:  Deluxe being assembled. PoD and PDF versions on sale at DTRPG. HH2 Fiction Anthology text is in editing.

    - V20 Anarchs Unbound is in layout and we are still putting the pieces together for its KS, but that’s been delayed until after the Demon KS (see above).

    Deluxe Werewolf 20th Anniversary Edition: Regular Deluxe is being laser cut. Heavy Metal Deluxe is being worked up now as a prototype with their new press- no demo copy yet, still waiting. Mike Lee is submitting chapters of the W20 â€œHouses of the Moon” novel to Bill for dev review.  The Storyteller Screen files are done and ready for W20. Bill has the W20 Anthology stories in layout.  Jess Hartley has submitted the White Howlers Tribe Book to Stew Wilson for development notes, and the W20 Cookbook is almost done in editing.

    - Deluxe Mage the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition has Phil is wrapping up the last sections of the book. Check out our continuing M20 art blog by Mirthful Mike Chaney: http://theonyxpath.com/mirthful-mikes-art-blog-mage-20th-anniversary-preview-3/

    - W20 Changing Breeds  We are still waiting for CCP approval on the new stuff, and also for the opening comic, and the Changing Breeds Fiction Anthology is being contracted by developer Jess Hartley.

    W20 Rage Across the World: In layout.

    - Guildhalls of the Deathless (MtC) the PDF is live on DTRPG. There is a thread on the Mummy forum on the WW Forums for any mistakes or tweaks you want to suggest before we correct the PDF and create the PoD file. This has worked really great- CA Suleiman is going through them now to send to the Mirthful One to change.

    Conventionbook: Void Engineers (cMtA) is available as a PDF on DTRPG, and like Guildhalls above, it has an errata thread on the forums- let us know if you find anything.

    W20 Book of the Wyrm is being art directed.

    - V20 Rites of the Blood: is in editing, being art directed.

    - Under the Darkening Sky (classic Dark Ages): In editing. Being art directed.

    Trinity Continuum:   We now have a whopping big Aeon outline and a Trinity Continuum Core Book outline and writers are writing. Talking systems with the gang.

    - Scion: Joe’s team is hammering systems- big time. Reviewing the first system doc again- combat example and complete system today-ish.

    - Demon: The Descent: In first proof . Demon Quickstart PDF is free on DTRPG and the PoD version is Now LIVE. As mentioned above, we are going to get the Demon: the Descent Kickstarter campaign live before the end of October.

    - Hunter: The Something About Monsters: Writers are writing. Many first drafts are getting red-lined. Several are mega-late though, for various reasons. We will need to alter the estimated release date on this.

    - nWoD: Dark Eras: Writers are writing.

    - V20 Dark Ages: Scribes are scribing.

    - DtD Players Guide: Flowers Of Hell?: Being written in east of Ipswitch, somewhere near Brazil.

    Reason to Drink: To Eddy! A safe and successful surgery!

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    Hunter: Untitled – A Deleted Scene

    So, if you’ve following along, you know there’s a Hunter book in development. I’m writing – well, I have written – a chapter, and it’s about using Prometheans as antagonists. They got a little treatment in the Hunter: The Vigil core, but this goes into a bit more depth and offers up some new Endowments and suchlike (I especially like the bit of Thaumatech I wrote, but that’s for later).

    Anyway, I wrote a fiction bit for the opening of the chapter, but it turns out Monica Valentinelli is going to write a fiction piece that runs through the book, which is pretty cool. I hate fiction to go to waste, though, so here’s the bit I wrote. Enjoy!

     

    One guy actually had a pitchfork. My hand to God. I have no idea where he got it, but we’d gone through a bunch of people’s houses and garages already, so he probably just snagged it when I wasn’t looking. Still, the image was nice — must have been twenty or thirty of us, charging down the street, holding bats and axes and torches and a goddamn pitchfork, all chasing this guy.

    The guy. I started to feel sorry for him, as we closed in. He looked about 30, but the fear in his eyes reminded me of my son during a thunderstorm. He looked at us and raised up his hands, trying to protect himself. Like it was going to do any good.

    I almost stopped it. I really thought about it. I had a moment of clarity — what are we doing, about to murder a guy out in the street? And then a flash of lightning, and I saw him. I saw him for what he really was.

    I saw the wires stitching hand to wrist and neck to body. I saw the skin tones change, marking where different people began and ended. I saw those big eyes, scared and helpless, but one was brown and one was blue. And the worst thing, for some reason, on his left elbow, half a spiderweb tattoo. The top half was there, and then it just stopped, because whoever had stitched this thing together had used a different body to complete that arm.

    The pitchfork slammed through that half-tattoo and pinned the creature to the ground. Must have been thirty of us, and most people just stood around and screamed, because there wasn’t room to get in next to it. But I was right there, standing over the creature, and I saw Bob Wiley cracked its skull open with his daughter’s softball bat.

    That thing’s brain was stitched together with copper wire. No part of it wasn’t stolen.

    When we were done, nothing was left except pulp and a few lengths of wire, and the rain washed those away. Everyone else started heading for home.

    Me, I stood there in the rain, thinking, “Who made that thing?” Because that’s the fucker we need to find.

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    V20 Dark Ages: The Trembling Ones

    A lot of Vampire remains essentially unchanged from the modern nights to the Dark Ages. Most of the clans remain the same. Many of the Disciplines are basically similar. But with V20 Dark Ages, one of our biggest goals is to really give you a lot of value for your readership. We want to add little bits and flourishes to add personality and accent to the stuff you’re already familiar with having (probably) read V20.

    For things like the clan spreads, this can be challenging. It’s not like we can say, “also, the Tremere are cyborgs”. We want to stick with established continuity as much as is reasonable. Clan concepts remain essentially the same. But, we can use bits of attitude within the setting to flavor the clan. I think one of the biggest hit or miss places for this is in clan nicknames. Clan nicknames can tell you a lot, in just one or two words. They can also speak volumes to the setting’s themes and moods.

    We have some subtle theme and mood shifts from Vampire the Dark Ages, to Dark Ages: Vampire, to V20 Dark Ages. I think our Tremere nickname does a lot to evoke my vision for V20 Dark Ages. One of their nicknames is familiar, “The Usurpers”. That’s a classic, it has a lot of gravity. But the new nickname addition, “Tremori,” or “The Trembling Ones”, I think says a lot about the attitudes of the time. It also teases at an etymology for the clan’s name, which I’m a total nerd for. I think our writer, Geoffrey McVey, did a great job of presenting the clan in a familiar but fresh light.

    On actual clan names, there’s only been one that’s changed, and it’s subtle. The Giovanni of V20 Dark Ages are The Giovani. Essentially, they’re called “The Young Ones” in Italian.

    So here’s the Tremere. As normal, this is an untouched draft. So don’t sweat the specifics. If you share it, share the link, not the text, since it may get some minor changes.

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    Mirthful Mike’s Art Blog: You Just Got Hengeyokai’d

    CB-Brian-LeBlanc-02-Hengeoyokai-Layer

    Hi Everyone,

    For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been showing off some of the new art for Mage 20th Anniversary. This week however, I want to change things up a bit and preview a piece of art  from one of the Changing Breeds 20 Kickstarter Stretch Goals. The piece to the right is a Corax from the new Hengeyokai chapter and was illustrated by Brian LeBlanc.

    This is one example of why I like Kickstarter Stretch Goals…it allows us to expand what is already a great book to a super frikkin’ awesome book. For Changing Breeds 20, it allowed us to add on two new chapters with brand spanking new artwork.

    Tune in next week where I’ll reveal a new piece of art from one of the upcoming Onyx Path releases.

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    Logjam is Breaking. And Not Tasty On Toast.

    In the life-cycle of a lot of creative projects, there are moments of great achievement where great energy is exerted to great effect, and times where things seem to grind slowly even if a lot of effort is expended. From the outside, these moments are often hard to tell apart, as what looks like great stuff happening is really unproductive flailing, and an apparent logjam is actually all the pieces coming together just before they burst forward awesomely. And sometimes a logjam is just what it seems- a blockage that isn’t moving forward at all.

    I share these thoughts because to me, standing in the middle of the Onyx Path and trying to push forward, it seems like all sorts of things are finally starting to move- we’re getting offers and opportunities every day for ways we can expand the company, and we have movement on projects that were previously stumbling like they were knee-deep in molasses. Some of this is the gelling of the various creative teams who only had an initial project or two to start to understand how to work together, some of it is my very cautious and careful development of Onyx Path, and some is just circumstances as folks lives change in ways that let them devote more or different efforts to our projects. The acquisition of The Scarred Lands was one such expansion that we’d been working towards for about a year that happened just a couple of weeks ago, the regular Deluxe Werewolf 20th Anniversary Edition is getting shrink-wrapped and we’re looking to finally get it from the printer to the shippers, we’re reviewing book pitches for 2015 now instead of in December like last year, Mummy: The Curse‘s products are coming out, and while I know this is just a minor thing: David Hill was at last able to convert the recipe measurements in the W20 Cookbook to include both metric and US amounts. He’s a hero; I’m really looking forward to what we can do with this very different book from the dangerous mind of Stew Wilson. And these things are just the beginning.

    Expect further changes here as we start to revamp the Onyx Path website, and that includes us updating the schedule on the site. Rose, Mirthful Mike, Ian, and myself are having a meeting Weds to overhaul our expectations for the releases. You’ll notice that we have incorporated the WWBlogs onto the Onyx site as well- because that’s where I’m writing this.

    Eddy was back from his recuperation from ear surgery, and so we had a fair bit of catch-up to do on art and projects going through CCP approvals. Past that, we had a little time to talk about the desire some fans have for all the books that WW “promised” to make but didn’t. I had a great chat on the blog last week asking for ideas for 2015 that got me understanding part of that interest, but from the inside it’s hard to understand why anyone would think that “Tales From The Trails: Canada” for Werewolf: The Wyld West would be a wanted product. Because, you see, I know that we never did anything with it but notice that we had a “TFTT: Mexico” and figure we should add a northern version to the schedule sheet. Other than that nothing was ever done with that book. But as someone who used to venture into used bookstores searching for that one Moorcock book that filled in his collection, I can relate to that part of the impulse.

    I also shared with Eddy the fact that we’re getting the Demon: The Descent Kickstarter together- while CCP doesn’t have a direct connection to Onyx’s KSs, I do like to let them know when something that makes a big boom in our community is about to hit. One aspect of that KS that I’ll share with you that is kind of a drag is that international shipping is just awfully expensive. I’ve mentioned this before, but it seems that in the last year of doing these KS projects that there have been two significant price adjustments to shipping internationally. I know this because the shipping for Mummy: The Curse was pretty much +50% higher than we had specced out at the time. That was a sucker punch we did not need. But now we know, and so Demon’s KS has to reflect those changes when we do the Reward pledge amounts.

    OK- Now for the projects:

    Blood and Smoke: The Strix Chronicle (VtR) We added  some word count in order to make this book truly stand alone in the sense of providing a complete VtR experience. Mirthful Mike is talking about punching us because he might need to rearrange the art.

    Mummy the Curse - Deluxe and Screen: Books and Screens are all shipped out- if you backed and did not get yours yet, please contact me via that little button next to my picture on the KS site. The MtC Ready Made Characters Pack  PDF has been sent out to backers- we’re gathering comments on the PDF- like all Onyx Path backer rewards from Stretch Goals, this will later be available in PDF and PoD formats on DTRPG. Cursed Necropolis DC is being finished up by the writers.

    Exalted 3rd Edition:  While John hunkers down to rewrite the Charms chapter he is also changing some of the ways he’s been doing these to enable more to get finished, the rest of the team is working on a couple of EX3 chapters that continue to be finalized for Editing: Dawn Caste Charms are still being wrapped up: Archery is done with Brawl/Martial Arts/Thrown getting attention. Big effort on Chapter One: The Exalted. Both  EX3 novels as well as Zub’s EX3 Comic are in progress, and we’re reading through revisions by Zub on his script, and the EX3 Music Suites are being scoped out.

    V20 Hunters Hunted 2:  Deluxe is still being assembled. Yes, I know that still the same news for weeks. PoD and PDF versions on sale at DTRPG. HH2 Fiction Anthology text is in editing.

    - V20 Anarchs Unbound is in layout and we are still putting the pieces together for its KS, but that’s been delayed until after the Demon KS (see above).

    Deluxe Werewolf 20th Anniversary Edition: Regular Deluxe W20 is getting ready for shipping. The Heavy Metal Deluxe W20 prototype is on its way to me and I have pics for backers that I’ll be posting in an Update. Mike Lee is submitting chapters of the W20 â€œHouses of the Moon” novel to Bill for dev review.  The Storyteller Screen files are done and ready for W20. Bill has the W20 Anthology stories in layout.  Jess Hartley has submitted the White Howlers Tribe Book to Stew Wilson for development notes, and the W20 Cookbook is done in editing and back with Stew for review.

    - Deluxe Mage the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition has Phil is wrapping up the last sections of the book. Check out our continuing M20 art blog by Mirthful Mike Chaney: http://theonyxpath.com/mirthful-mikes-art-blog-mage-20th-anniversary-preview-3/

    - W20 Changing Breeds  Sent out the Kickstarter backer PDF in the month we estimated delivery, as well as links for the wallpapers and classic WtA PDFs, which was all I did the last 24 hours, and the Changing Breeds Fiction Anthology is being contracted by developer Jess Hartley.

    W20 Rage Across the World: In layout. I’m going to do something different with this book that will be announced to the Deluxe W20 KS backers first.

    - Guildhalls of the Deathless (MtC) the PDF is live on DTRPG. There is a thread on the Mummy forum on the WW Forums for any mistakes or tweaks you want to suggest before we correct the PDF and create the PoD file. This has worked really great- CA Suleiman has gone through them, the changes are in, and the PoD files are waiting for approval.

    Conventionbook: Void Engineers (cMtA) is available as a PDF on DTRPG, and like Guildhalls above, it has an errata thread on the forums- let us know if you find anything.

    W20 Book of the Wyrm is being art directed and is layout.

    - V20 Rites of the Blood: is in editing, being art directed.

    - Under the Darkening Sky (classic Dark Ages): In editing. Being art directed.

    Trinity Continuum:   We now have a whopping big Aeon outline and a Trinity Continuum Core Book outline and writers are writing. Systems discussions with the Scion devs have been loud and impassioned.

    - Scion: Systems discussions with the Trinity devs have been hot and heavy.

    - Demon: The Descent: In 2nd proof . Demon Quickstart PDF is free on DTRPG and the PoD version is Now LIVE. As mentioned above, we are going to get the Demon: the Descent Kickstarter campaign live before the end of October. Well, soon. Video voice-overs are done so the video can progress, and I’ve created all the Rewards, just need to pull the description page together.

    - Hunter: The Something About Monsters: Writers are writing. Because he was already done with his section, Matt McElroy asked David Hill to help with the development and help bring this book home.

    - nWoD: Dark Eras: Writers are writing.

    - V20 Dark Ages: Scribes are scribing. Check out the discussion on the WW Forums and these very blogs.

    - DtD Players Guide: Flowers Of Hell?: Being written at a cafe where the exchange of looks and glances is deafening.

    Reason to Drink: Halloween! You’d think that would have been my theme this week- but too much is going on!

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    Happy Halloween – Here’s a Haunted House

    Folks on the Demon thread over at RPG.Net are discussing the Demon House Exploit. Since it’s Halloween, I figured I’d post the text of that Exploit, so you can see how you can be a haunted house in Demon: The Descent.

    Demon House

    The God-Machine occasionally gives angels non-human, even inanimate, Covers. They might become weapons, objects or buildings in addition to people or animals. As noted on p. XX, while a demon can, theoretically take such a Cover, it isn’t usually worth the trouble since the rating is low and the ability to interact with the world is limited. Some demons, though, find a work-around — they merge a human Cover with a building associated with it. This might be the house that a Cover identity owns or the office where he works, or even the factory where he (supposedly) died. The demon merges with the building, aware of everything that happens within it and able to use Embeds and Exploits on inhabitants at will with a much-reduced chance of compromise.

    Example Prerequisites: Hush, Like I Built It

    Dice Pool: Presence + Stealth + Primum

    Action: Instant

    Cost: 1 Aether

    Roll Results

    Dramatic Failure: The demon’s Cover merges with the building, but the demon is trapped in the structure, unable to bring any influence to bear or reverse the process. The only way out is to assume Demonic Form, but this demolishes the building entirely. At the Storyteller’s discretion, a demon with another Cover might be able to switch to it instead.

    Failure: The demon does not merge with the building.

    Success: The demon merges with the building. The demon’s body disappears, but he can, if he wishes, appear in mirrors or as a disembodied voice in the building. While possessing the building, the demon can sense everything that happens inside it, seeing all points simultaneously. He can listen to any phone calls made on a land line inside the building (and can still listen to at least half the conversation if someone uses a cell phone), and can read and data coming through an internet connection, provided that the connection is wired into the house. He can use any Embed or Exploit that he knows on the inhabitants of the building, and any compromise roll made as a result of these powers receives a +3 modifier.

    The demon can remain thus ensconced as long as he wishes, but he must take care. For every day he spends in the building, he risks compromise. If he becomes Burned while this Exploit is in effect, he is trapped in the building, a living ghost, unable to escape until the building is destroyed.

    Exceptional Success: The demon has direct physical control over electronics and objects in the house. He can open doors, turn devices on and off, and throw lightweight objects around (as the Telekinesis Numen; each use costs 1 Aether, roll Strength + Primum).

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    Halloween Blood and Smoke update

    Blood and Smoke: The Strix Chronicle went to the art director today.

    I handed Blood and Smoke: The Strix Chronicle over to the art director today. Based on current estimates for when art’s coming in and the CCP approval process, the PDF should be out in December.

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    Forum Changeover

    Forwarding on an important message from Eddy, posted on the White Wolf Forums.

    Forumites,

    I’m writing today because I wanted to communicate some changes happening to the White Wolf site, and how they impact you.

    On December 1st, the site is going to be replaced with a new one showcasing all of our license partners. The goal is to move to a site designed to provide information on key parts of the White Wolf community. Unfortunately, this includes removing wiki and forum functionality, but we are working with Onyx Path Publishing to host an improved forum and wiki experience on their site. Since we’re focused on upcoming projects, it makes perfect sense for these to be hosted by a partner who is passionate about serving you, our dedicated community. I’m told the new forum software is really nice, and Onyx Path will be able to keep it more up to date and running smoother, giving the community the time and attention it deserves. Ideally 
    TheOnyxPath.com
     should become a one-stop site for all of your White Wolf tabletop needs, including forums, wiki, blogs, and release information.

    While we are able to export out wiki information, we aren’t able to do the same for the forums in a way that preserves user privacy, which means that all of the forum data will be taken down with the forums themselves on December 1st. However, the current moderators for the forums are committed to making the transition to the new site, will also be helping to capture key threads (via copy/paste).  I plan to work hand-in-hand with the moderators to help make this as smooth of a transition as possible. You can set up an account on the new forums immediately, and you will find them here: 
    http://forum.theonyxpath.com

    I am personally excited about this quality-of-life improvement for all of you who have been strong supporters of White Wolf over the years. In the end, it’ll be the same people behind the screen talking, laughing, and arguing together, but on a new server with a more focused technical support team. Thank you for your eternal patience and devotion to our products. I know I say that a lot, but it really means the world to all of us here at CCP that you continue to be one of the most passionate communities in the world.

    Sincerely,

    Eddy

    Our thanks to our partners at CCP for keeping the forums going as long as they have! We look forward to providing a great place for White Wolf and Onyx Path fans alike to discuss their favourite games.

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    Mirthful Mike’s Old Time Art Blog: Blood & Smoke

    Majesty Art BlogHi Everybody,

    Welcome to yet another exciting installment of Mirthful Mike’s Art Blog. This week’s art sneak preview comes to us from Efrem Palacios and is the “Majesty” piece for the upcoming Blood & Smoke release. Some of you may recognize Efrem’s work from past titles such as WoD: Immortals, VTES-Keepers of Tradition, and the Requiem Clanbooks. One of these days I am going to have to talk him into doing full page work for me again.

    Stop by next week as I’ll be posting a sneak peek at one of the Demon splats.

     

     

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    V20 Dark Ages: Salubri

    Spoiler alert: Clan Salubri dies off.

    Spoiler: Clan Salubri dies off.

    Sorry about that.

    So it really sucks to play them, right? Because that puts the Salubri in the role of metaplot vehicles with a foregone future. That’s kind of contrary to the point of a roleplaying game, isn’t it? Roleplaying games are about choices and consequences. As a player, you make the choices, and you play to see the consequences.

    When designing the V20 Dark Ages Salubri, we wanted to make them completely playable, and we wanted to present nothing as inevitable. They’re a clan on the downswing. They could be gone tomorrow, but they could ascend again. We don’t know in 1243, because we can’t see the future.

    This is the first draft of the Salubri clan spread. For each of the “clans” (I use this term loosely, because what is or is not a clan is up for debate in this time of great change), we’re also adding an additional two page “esoterica” entry. Basically, I told the writers, do whatever you want with the clan. Add bloodlines. Add minor Paths. Add Noddist lore. Add whatever. I think Neall is going to develop some of the Code of Samiel, which as a huge Salubri fan, I’m excited to see. We’re also talking about the possibility of a short bit detailing what you might do if you wanted to tell a story where the Salubri returned to prominence in the modern nights.

    Anyway, here’s that draft. If you want to reference it, go ahead and share the link because it’s a live document.

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fBmuSaf3vxrzWknVHhwpJphh5Y5AUCz8-4tu-MgORkM/edit?usp=sharing

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    V20 Dark Ages – Nosferatu

    It’s hard to be Nosferatu.

    We get that. Who wouldn’t?

    For V20 Dark Ages, we wanted to give a new, but oddly familiar twist to the clan. Instead of harping on the curse, we’re giving a seed as to where the curse comes from. Where is that? The strange secret in Nosferatu blood, a secret they all share, one that makes them grotesque, and puts them in the targets of terrifying monsters. What is that secret? They’re not talking.

    Expect to see some hints about this strange secret in the clan esoterica appendix. But for now, you need to know a few things about Filamena Young’s take on the Nosferatu:

    • They’re hunted.
    • They know too much.
    • They don’t know enough.

    As with all these, they’re live Google Docs. So if you want to share them, use the link.

    And here we present the Priors.

    (Preview image courtesy this video clip)

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    What Day Is This…Tuesday? What Happened to Monday?

    Wow, yesterday really was a blur. Mostly because the last three days before that were devoted to getting the Deluxe Werewolf the Apocalypse Twentieth Anniversary Edition shipping spreadsheets ready for the three shippers we hope can provide excellent service for all of our backers in the US and around the world. Without costing us twice what we were originally quoted over a year ago when I specced out the Deluxe W20 Kickstarter. Which would really wreck the whole “Stretch Goals get paid for out of the extra money” idea, and could make the whole KS campaign unprofitable. Which it really has to be if we want to keep on making all these great games and books.

    So yes, shipping is that big of a danger to our well-being if it’s not really anticipated and then controlled. Which means I was staring at a lot of spreadsheets- I get one for each KS Reward Tier- and over 270 address changes that needed to be input manually. Those changes took Friday through to dinner Saturday (I was stopping for meals) but I just kept rolling through the weekend after that to then bring all the various corrected sheets into formats the shippers could easily read. This is definitely not the fun part of Onyx Path (nor is it anything I ever had training in, just what I’ve learned over the years), but it has to get done. Also during that time, I was making tweaks to the Demon: The Descent Prestige Edition Kickstarter page, which should be over at KS for approval by the time you read this.

    And then, after posting this blog, I’ll be downloading all the Deluxe Hunters Hunted 2 spreadsheets from that KS, and inputting those address changes, and compiling those shipping sheets. Not really thrilled that these two ship-outs are timing out to land on top of each other, but I am talking to our shippers about whether they could send those backers who backed both projects their rewards together.

    These two KS ship-outs, as well as the Demon KS, are part of the breaking log-jam I mentioned last week, and you’ll note a few of the projects below are also moving apace, but the biggie for us is the move of the White Wolf Forums to our forums here at Onyx Path Publishing. We think this is a great thing for everybody- the community gets a site that has new features and a team dedicated to evolving the forums even further, the fantastically dedicated and tireless WW Forum Mods who have come over to moderate our forums and who now have up to date moderation tools, Onyx Path gets even more of a connection with the WW community, and CCP can be sure that the WW forum community is going to be well taken care of without them having to pull manpower away from EVE or the WoD MMO.

    But, I’ll admit that I do have a bit of mixed feelings, too. The WW Forums were such a part of WW‘s development as a company and the first real exposure most of us old-timers had to the nascent power of the internet. I hired guys based on their comments and analyses on the forums (and almost didn’t hire Holden for Exalted because he had been such a brat in his posts). We learned how nothing posted ever really goes away, and how different personae appeal to different folks, like Justin’s acerbic “tough guy” or Ethan’s reasonable but firm “good guy”.  And now our journey as a community continues down the Onyx Path. I think, and hope, that this signals the start of even more dynamic discussions, revealing write-ups, and awesome attempts at anger management. :)

    It was, in fact, nostalgia that Eddy and I talked about on Monday besides the business stuff of approvals from CCP. As V20 Developer, he has noticed that for a lot of fans their fondness (or fiery, white-hot, hatred) for a given product, or chapter, or piece of art, or paragraph, or rules snippet, is more about what is remembered and not necessary what’s actually there. Which we all do, really. As an avid nostalgia TV watcher, I can tell you that most of X-Files is not as good as I remember (although there are absolutely stunning episodes), and that Gilligan’s Island is nowhere near as stupid as my teenage self considered it (maybe because Gilligan looks like a genius compared to the average reality TV cast member). But Ultraman is still cool.

    So when we work on a book steeped in the lore of over twenty years of reading and playing, it isn’t always the best direction to look at those earlier books so much as to get a feel for what players and fans remember of that project. Our Open Dev Process has been great for letting us hear how and what the community feels about any given aspect of a project. At the same time, just pandering to that nostalgia- whether accurate or not- doesn’t let us grow creatively either, and can result in us staying away from potentially cool projects that grow the setting and are valuable to the whole fan-base.

    Case in point: I just got Eddy’s pitch for Guide to the Tal’Mahe’Ra, a Sect book for the Black Hand. For years we heard how Dirty Secrets of the Black Hand was our shark-jumping book, and how it skewed EVERYTHING away from the real WoD. But then, maybe just to be contrary, Justin reread it and actually… liked parts of it. Enough to pitch it to me a year or two ago, and Eddy has picked up that ball and has re-pitched it for 2015. So I think we have to appreciate and enjoy the nostalgia folks have for our past, but not let it freeze us into creative immobility.

    Projects- Some Not Immobile:

    Blood and Smoke: The Strix Chronicle (VtR) One more piece of art coming in, cover art finalizing, in Layout. Here’s a visual teaser though: http://theonyxpath.com/mirthful-mikes-old-time-art-blog-blood-smoke/

    Mummy the Curse - Leaving these notes up for one more week, in case backers missed the last Update on what to do: Deluxe and Screen: Books and Screens are all shipped out- if you backed and did not get yours yet, please contact me via that little button next to my picture on the KS site. The MtC Ready Made Characters Pack  PDF has been sent out to backers- we’re gathering comments on the PDF- like all Onyx Path backer rewards from Stretch Goals, this will later be available in PDF and PoD formats on DTRPG. Cursed Necropolis DC is being finished up by the writers.

    Exalted 3rd Edition:  While John hunkers down to rewrite the Charms chapter he is also changing some of the ways he’s been doing these to enable more to get finished, the rest of the team is working on a couple of EX3 chapters that continue to be finalized for Editing: Thrown is getting wrapped up. Big effort on Chapter One: The Exalted and almost done. Last bits of Chapter 4: Traits, so that goes to Editing. Both  EX3 novels as well as Zub’s EX3 Comic are in progress, Zub’s script is done and cover elements are up for review, and the EX3 Music Suites are being scoped out. Just FYI, John had to return to the doctor today for more tests as his neck is still hurting.

    V20 Hunters Hunted 2:  Deluxe is done being printed, and I’m assembling shipping files as above. HH2 Fiction Anthology text is in editing.

    - V20 Anarchs Unbound is in layout and we are still putting the pieces together for its KS, but that’s been delayed until after the Demon KS (see above).

    Deluxe Werewolf 20th Anniversary Edition: Regular Deluxe W20 and Screen is getting ready for shipping- see above. The Heavy Metal Deluxe W20 prototype was approved and they are slowly assembling and binding the books by hand. Mike Lee is submitting chapters of the W20 â€œHouses of the Moon” novel to Bill for dev review. Bill has the W20 Anthology stories in layout.  Jess Hartley has submitted the White Howlers Tribe Book to Stew Wilson for development notes, and the W20 Cookbook is done in editing and back with Stew for review- just FYI: Stew is out at an almost 2 week long conference for his day job, so progress on all these items has been slowed.

    - Deluxe Mage the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition has Phil is wrapping up the last sections of the book. Check out our continuing M20 art blog by Mirthful Mike Chaney: http://theonyxpath.com/mirthful-mikes-art-blog-mage-20th-anniversary-preview-3/

    - W20 Changing Breeds  Sent out the Kickstarter backer PDF in the month we estimated delivery, as well as links for the wallpapers and classic WtA PDFs. We will gather those comments and fixes once Stew gets back from his conference. The Changing Breeds Fiction Anthology is being contracted by developer Jess Hartley.

    W20 Rage Across the World: In layout. The PDF will go to Deluxe W20 backers first as an appreciative gift for their patience, and then up on DTRPG.

    - Guildhalls of the Deathless (MtC) the PDF is live on DTRPG. The PoD files were not approved, so we fixed them and once again they are waiting for approval.

    Conventionbook: Void Engineers (cMtA) is available as a PDF on DTRPG, and like Guildhalls above, it has an errata thread on the forums- let us know if you find anything.

    W20 Book of the Wyrm is being art directed and is layout. Three names: Spencer, Ellis, Rebner.

    - V20 Rites of the Blood: is in editing, art finals rolling in.

    - Under the Darkening Sky (classic Dark Ages): In editing. Done being art directed.

    Trinity Continuum:   We now have a whopping big Aeon outline and a Trinity Continuum Core Book outline and writers are writing. Systems discussions with the Scion devs have been loud and impassioned. There is now a spirit of cooperation and common ground moving towards system ideas being hammered out.

    - Scion: Systems discussions with the Trinity devs have been hot and heavy. See above.

    - Demon: The Descent: 2nd proof correx are in, and we’ll be submitting to CCP for approval as well as getting the files to an indexing expert. Demon Quickstart PDF is free on DTRPG and the PoD version is Now LIVE. The Demon: the Descent Kickstarter campaign needs one final OK and then we’ll be submitting to KS on Weds.

    - Hunter: The Something About Monsters: Writers are writing. Because he was already done with his section, Matt McElroy asked David Hill to help with the development and help bring this book home.

    - Book of the Deceived (MtC): First drafts are coming in to CAS, who is red-lining away.

    - nWoD: Dark Eras: Writers are writing.

    - V20 Dark Ages: Scribes are scribing. Check out the discussion on the WW Forums and these very blogs.

    - DtD Players Guide: Flowers Of Hell?: Being written at the end of a corridor blocked by sliding metal doors.

     

    Reason to Drink: Paperwork…

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