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Everything posted by Sean Cassidy

  1. Sean rode the Carousel, , sitting astride his favourite steed, the one with that looked like a nightmare with a unicorn horn, its mane, hooves, and eyes lacquered a fiery orange. Wistful melancholy etched his fine features as he held onto the pole with both hands, his eyes closed, letting the rollicking music washing over him as his mount reared up and down as the Carousel spun round and round. He had helped his dad, some, in refurbishing the Carousel several years back. Mostly just wiring the lighting and screwing in light bulbs. He knew he is dad once had expectations, aspirations that his son would join him in his contracting business. Once, Sean had wanted nothing more. He liked building things, putting things together to make something better, grander. But even before puberty had sent his development careening in different directions, Sean's dreams had going in different directions as well. He certainly still liked electrical work, but his interest in landscaping and house renovations waned in favour of software programming, computer assembly, and cobbling together gadgets and devices. His father had never faulted him his interests, and was even proud of his eccentric son and designing and programming a full, indie video game - two, in fact, though Jack Cassidy didn't know his son had completed his second with the tremendous help of his developing electokinetic prowess. Still, Sean could help but feel a bit of regret, a sense that he was abandoning his dad in a way. Both Teagan and Laurelei had help their father too, but Teagan had gone off, joining the army with the goal to become a Ranger, and while Laurie was still searching for what she wanted to do, it had always been clear she would be joining Jack in the contracting business, eventually to take it over. Sean's goals had been to make it big enough in the video game industry to let his parents retire early, with enough so they could enjoy their time, while not himself falling into the same miasma of greed and short-sightedness that the AAA game studios and publishers seemed stuck in. It seemed like that would be a long-shot now... When he caught the text from Marissa, Sean felt like Lilly had just kicked him in the sternum. He could hardly breathe while at the same time, the urge to vomit was almost overwhelming. One hand slipped from the pole, the back of his wrist going to his mouth, as though the physical motion itself could keep everything from coming up. He didn't even bother pulling out his phone to send his reply, barely restraining himself from yanking on the flow of electrons coursing through the Carousel to bring it to a sudden halt. Instead, he swung one leg up and over the carven saddle and timing it well, jumped off the nightmare unicorn when it rode low with an unexpected show of grace he would have been proud of if he hadn't been so distressed and scampered away from the Carousel. With a genetic sword of Damocles hanging over his head, potential doom weighing on him from Not-Cody, from storming Site B, from the idea that there wasn't actually a solution for him there, still in a way, it hadn't felt entirely real to him, it felt almost like one of his roleplaying games. Yeah, bad stuff had happened, but they had always pulled through. He hadn't been burned in a way, like Devin had been. Sean might have been forced to face his mortality like someone his age should never have to, but there wasn't a visceral immediacy to it. Not like finding out Charlie was dead and Sophie missing, and in all likelihood, it was Not-Cody's doing. If Charlie wasn't his best friend, he was still a good one. He had helped out Charlie, filling in for part in a play at the last minute when the girl dropped out. Charlie had been in the first D&D game he'd ever run, and been in practically every game and campaign he'd run since. The idea that he wouldn't be there anymore, was gone, seared deep. Other than his grandfather, Sean hadn't lost anyone that close to him, definitely not someone his own age. Sophie. She was missing, possibly dead, too. They had been friends once. She'd been the first girl he had ever asked out. He didn't think anyone besides the two of them knew. She'd turned him down. Hard. Cruelly, even. That had hurt. Bad. Bad enough that he hadn't even considered really asking another girl out. Not until Kat, anyway. He had hated her, too, for a while, if not to the degree he held for Courtney, but it had faded quickly, an emotional scar, instead of a psychic wound he kept picking at, and he had never wished her harm. Dead. but maybe not dead. Maybe a chance to save her from the monster Cody had become. Sean had started towards his sister and parents, to warn them, to send them home, to whatever safety home could offer, but redirected himself to the parking lot at a pace just short of a jog. He didn't know what the plan was now, if they were going to try to hunt Cody down now or not. With Devin able to blip around and take them along, they might be going as soon as they gathered and he wanted the go-bag he had stashed in his Grand Cherokee. <<<To: Laurie>>> [From: Sean] <Pack up. Get Mom and Dad and get home. Now.> Sean sent to his sister as his sneakers skidded on gravel, one arm over his chest as he hustled towards his SUV. <<<To: Sean>>> [From: Laurie] <What's going on?! I thought 'stuff' was happening when it was dark.> Even through text, Sean caught a hint of his sister's worry. <<<To: Laurie>>> [From: Sean] <Not-Cody hit us first. He - No, IT - got Charlie and Sophie.> Sean debated for only an instant to before telling his sister the truth, glad he had had the foresight to voodoo her phone. Okay, it hadn't really been foresight, she'd just wanted unlimited data, text, and phone, with a zero dollar phone bill. <Who knows who else it might go after. Tell the 'rents it's something like what happened at Marias.> <<<To: Sean>>> [From: Laurie] <Love you.> Short, trite, even, but the sentiment came through. <You guys stay safe. Okay, safe as you can while doing what you guys have to do. I'll look after our parents. You better come back, bro, or I'll kick your ass. And I can do it, shorty.> Laurie stared down at her phone, willing Sean and the rest of the Fellowship success in taking down the fucker who was working for the Dark, or was a part of now, or whatever. Then she shoved her phone in a pocket, squared her shoulders, then turned towards her parents, hands balled into fists and eyes hard with determination. Watch. Study. Analyze. Act now. Breakdown later. She looked over Champion's Field. Was the news out already? Were people rushing around, was there a subliminal panic growing the crowd. She saw the Sheriff, but he strode in the same brisk lope he always did. "Mom, Dad, we gotta go," Laurie said with a firmness she had never directed at her parents before. She waggled her fingers in a way suggesting something ephemeral and then started bagging stuff up, throwing other things in the cooler. Work economically. No need to rush. A few minutes now will save more later. "Some stuff, voodoo stuff, is happening. Stuff like at the hospital Sean told us about. You understand?" Jack's hand tightened on the tongs he was holding, his knuckles going white. Carolyn stared at her youngest child, who was an inch taller than she was now, and looked to have some growth left to her yet, then slowly nodded. "We don't like it, but we understand. Enough, at least, hon. What does Sean want us to do?"
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  3. Sean watched Kat's slight form disappear into the crowd, then stood up from the picnic and helped starting putting the leftover food away, in plastic wrap and plastic containers as he replied to Autumn's text with a thought. He bounced another back after her response then gave Laurie a nod. "I wrapped the food up, you get to haul it to the car, Laurie," he informed her with a smirk. "I'm getting ice cream." "Get me one?" the taller Cassidy pleaded. "The peach one?" "Who said I'd be coming right back?" Sean countered with a wave as he started sauntering over to the Wilcoxson booth. "It might be melting before I swing by again, then I'd have to eat the other one I paid for." Laurie blew a raspberry and Sean laughed as he turned around and headed off to get his ice cream and Autumn's tea. He slowed his pace as he was passing by the Finglemans - he recognized them, having been over to Sophia's place before when they used to be friends - when he caught sight of Devin there with who he presumed was 'Ellie.' He glanced at her covertly, wondering if he could see any similarities between her and Jase. From where he was, he couldn't really tell, other than she was tall. Of course! New girl in Shelly, likely an alien, and she's nearly six feet tall. There's a higher percentage of girls taller than average in town than there's red heads. Sean snorted to himself and continued on his way. It wasn't that being short for a guy - average for a girl - really bothered him that much. The ones who had teased him the most about his height were his sisters and friends. Puberty had given him other attributes to worry about and with the help of Dr. Cook, his therapist, and other specialists, he was finally starting to accept them, in his own way. It totally sucked they were killing him. Sean caught a text zipping by from Autumn's phone and idly read it though it wasn't meant for him. Then he tripped over nothing when he read the words. Scrambling back to his feet and brushing himself off, people would presume his pink cheeks were for embarrassment for his fall, not what he was reading. His flush deepened when replies continued bouncing back and forth between her and Jase and he couldn't prevent his curiosity from peeking. It wasn't like they were the worse texts he had peeked ever peeked on, not even close. Way more dick pics than he ever expected or was comfortable with. But they were between one of his best friends and his best friend's girlfriend, and that made feel it extra explicit. He stopped, he had to stop. And he did! Totally coincidental that when he stopped peeking, texts between Autumn and Jase also stopped. Sean got to the Wilcoxson Booth beside the Carousel, flush fading with his good fortune at finding only one person ahead of him. Wilcoxson had been making ice cream in Montana since 1912 and it was so good. Even better, the person ahead of him, a tallish, older fellow with a broad brimmed hat and a drawl from Texas didn't dither about his choice. "Miss," the fellow said politely, doffing his hat to Sean as he stepped aside. Sean just nodded back, keeping his face neutral as he refrained from correcting the guy. It was a battle rarely worth fighting, and even less now to him with the fight the Fellowship had ahead. He stepped up to the counter and ordered the Mountain Berry Ice Cream in a waffle cone he'd been yearning for and Autumn's blackberry ice tea. Matilda - horrible name for a pretty blonde in her early twenties, she'd crossed out the name on her name-tag with a sharpie and wrote 'Tilly' under it - handed him his order then nodded at him and gave him a wave. She'd been working at the Wilcoxson booth since he had spent some time with his dad fixing the place up a few years ago and had gotten ice cream pretty much every time he'd been there. "There you go, Sean. No charge." "What? Why?" Sean said, raising his head from taking a lick from his ice cream. Y'know, to make sure there wasn't anything wrong with it. Tilly nodded over his head. "Texan feller before you laid down a hundred dollar bill. Said I ain't have change for a hundred. Said he weren't expecting none, just to let it cover the next orders 'til it runs out. Now, don't go be telling every one, Sean, just let it go and be fair." "I won't," Sean assured her. Sean hustled off to the parking lot, giving the Texan a less neutral nod of acknowledgment in pass, who tipped his hat towards him, the crinkling about his eyes the only shift in his expression of laconic geniality. Sean's brisk pace made his scuffed red sneakers kick up loose gravel in the parking lot, as he looked down rows of parked cars until he caught sight of Autumn's red hair. Licking the ice cream - a delicious mix of blueberry, huckleberry, and bilberry - around the rim of the waffle cone, so any melt would take longer before getting to his fingers, he quirked a brow in surprise that no one else was there. The buxom boy silently held up the cardboard cup to the other redhead, multi-hued eyes wincing at the spine-tingly cold crawling down his throat from the bite of ice cream he had taken. "Coooold," he rasped, taking several deep breaths as the cold faded. "Blackberry ice tea, as requested." "Nice," Autumn nodded, smiling appreciatively as she took the cup. "Thanks. I owe ya." Swallowing a mouthful of the tart, slightly sweet beverage, the outdoorsy teen considered the rather more curvaceous tech-wizard thoughtfully. She knew of Sean - no one who'd lived in tiny, rural Shelly for very long could avoid hearing about him - but it wasn't as though they'd ever had a real conversation. There'd never, she realized, been a reason to before. "Did you see the smol one on the way here? I was expecting her first, honestly." The freckled redhead smiled a little and took another sip as she opened the rear passenger side door of the Jeep. "I thought she'd be here, or already here and gone too," Sean admitted, considering Autumn right back. Yeah, Jase had opened up, or at the very least, started asserting himself since the end of summer. But what was it about Autumn that had broken right through to him? He shrugged and hoped his face wasn't reddening again when he recalled their private texts. "She probably just got distracted by something shiny. Or someone. Also, er, 'shiny'." Fucking Courtney! He gave a contrite smile. "Okay, that might be a bit mean. I like her, but man, does her mind bounce around. She'll show up, I'm sure. Or you can pass me her bracelet and I'll make sure she gets it." "Sorry," Autumn grinned in an almost-apology, setting her drink on the ground to lean inside and grunting softly as she reached under the seat. "Limit of one per customer. She can get her own. Personal accountability, and all that." Her voice was muffled by the bench seat of the Jeep and the miscellaneous dog toys, cooler bags, and plaid flannel blankets scattered throughout. She hummed quietly, shimmying a little and all but crawling through to the back of the vehicle before pausing with a loud "Ha!" of triumph. Backing out, her cheeks flushed and hair dishevelled, the energetic young woman thrust an open metal lockbox in Sean's direction as she beamed at him. "Take your pick. You're the first, so it's only fair." There was a momentary pause, a trickle of berry-colored ice cream welling up at the rim of the crisp cone; Sean hadn't been there over the weekend. He probably didn't know what he was getting, or why he was getting them from her. The smile on her lips faded. "Did, ah, anyone tell you what these are, out of curiosity?" Sean hadn't been staring at Autumn's ass as she climbed half in the Jeep. But he had noted it with purely academic interest. He wanted to see what Jase saw in her, and as they hadn't ever hung out or anything, he couldn't help but notice the physical first. Sean collected the ice cream starting to run down the cone along with a bit of cone with a bite. He shook his head, then leaned forward to look in the box, fingering the bracelets with his free hand. There was a tingle to them, something reacting to his Shine, like the artifacts he had seen in Helena. "Jase gave me an update on the training session yesterday - along with a light excoriation for not being there - but didn't mention the bracelets," Sean admitted as pulled out one of the not-copper bands to give it a closer look. The swirling patterns on them were so faded to be almost indiscernible, felt more easily than seen. He arched a brow at Autumn. "These like the thing Devin got, er, on the 'Otherside'?" "Mmm." Autumn nodded, the box shifting slightly as she leaned over to retrieve the tea he'd brought her; the circular bands of oddly weathered metal chimed softly, the faintly musical sound muted by the cloth in which they'd been wrapped. "Probably? Honestly, I'm not sure," she admitted as another, clearer note sang out from her pocket like a bell of cool glass. Recognition flickered across her bronze-flecked features, eyes widening slightly as the smile that had vanished suddenly reappeared- along with a subtle brightening of the pink suffusing her cheeks. Without actually talking to her, or being able to read her expression or body language, would Jason know what she'd meant by the invitation to go for a walk, or would he just assume she meant an actual walk walk? Her fingers were practically twitching with the urge to just hand the lockbox over to Sean while she checked her phone, but... No. If she was going to do this, she'd have to take it seriously. Texts could wait for a second, even if they were from him. "They're supposed to be 'protections for warriors,' but we don't really know much about them. TLDR version: they're old, and we don't know who made them, or whether anyone else had them before, or how they're supposed to work. Cass has decided they bond to one person and lock everyone else out of using them, since Devin's nearly killed her, but..." She shrugged, a gesture that simultaneously suggested a lack of practical knowledge and a lack of confidence in the claim. "We don't know. We'll have to test that later, I guess." She paused for a moment, wondering how much Sean knew about the whole Teulu thing, and whether she should mention her grandfather... and then remembered the group text, copper brows knitting together. Probably better not to say anything else, just in case. Grandpa always said being smart didn't mean you had any sense. "Anyway, they seem to respond to Shine, so... maybe tuning, like to a person, activates it. Could also explain what happened with Devin's, if Cassie just tried using her powers or whatever." Nudging the lid carefully closed with her thumb, Autumn set the lockbox on the back seat as Sean turned the not-quite-copper band over in his hand, the worn etching catching the late afternoon sun. Sean focused on the band of metal in his hand, studiously avoiding the pulse coming from Autumn's phone that was practically begging him to look at the message it portended. Nope! Not now, not with Autumn standing right here. The band wasn't a machine, it didn't contain any ancient, super advanced tech he could fathom, not as he and his voodoo senses understood it. It just felt... alive in some fashion to his basic awareness of Shine. Was it brighter than it should be under the afternoon sun? "Maybe we should've swiped one of those psionically active arrowheads when we were at the Montana Historical Society Museum, after all," Sean admitted, glancing up from the band to flash Autumn a wry grin. "We might've figured out how to test things like this. Though a felony for convenience's sake could be asking a bit much." Sean's two-toned turquoise and jade eyes went back to the band. Then without further consideration and some finagling with his ice cream cone, he slipped the band over his slim wrist. He stared at it expectantly. Nothing. No pulse, vibration, mental or audible tone, anything to suggest it was 'activated.' Just warmed by the sun and the ambient temperature while in the metal lockbox. "Huh." He twisted his wrist one way, then other, eyeing the patterns on the band again. "That's it then. Would have been convenient if it had told me all about itself, or given me a pop menu with its stats at least." Sean closed his eyes for a moment, picturing his brief foray to the Historical Society Museum. "Wished I had paid more attention when we were at the Museum, but with some research we should be able to determine a rough estimate of how old they are. At least to tell if they are pre or post Clovis era." Autumn nodded in response, very deliberately not grabbing at her phone as she took a slow, appreciative drink from the cup Sean had brought. It seemed strange that she'd gone on a day-trip with him, spent at least as much time in his company recently as some of the others, and still knew painfully little about the petite young man. But... "Tomorrow, maybe." There was a wealth of subtext contained within that final pair of syllables despite the superficially casual tone: hope, fear, resignation, and uncertainty, and all of it was writ plain in the curve of her smile, the subtle shift of her feet in the dirt, and the squaring of her shoulders as the Girl Scout exhaled. Yeah. Tomorrow. "Thanks again for the tea, Sean. See you later?" "Yup. Later." Autumn could see all she was feeling mirrored in the other youth, in the sharpness of his nod, the tentativeness in returning her smile with his own, the tenseness of his shoulders. There was perhaps less hope and more determination in the tightness about his eyes. Sean tilted his ice cream cone towards the tea in Autumn's hand in a sort of salute. "And no problem 'bout the tea. Grab me a coffee sometime." Sean turned, intending to amble his way to the Carousel, licking at his cone and suddenly, it was like he was in slow motion. He made a noise, not a grunt of pain, a softer exhalation, as a... a sensation, akin to whacking your funny bone (Yes, Sean knows it's not actually a bone) hard, except it didn't hurt. And instead of going up from his elbow, it went down from his fingertips. His fingers twitched. He tried to stop it, tried to catch it, but only made it worse, and watched as he lost his grip on his ice cream cone. Maybe, if he had just let it fall, if he had been built like a boy rather than a very well developed girl, it would have landed on the ground. Instead, ice cream practically exploded across his chest, the white and black of his hoodie painted with pale lavender. His shoulders slumped as he stared down at himself. "Fuck me," he muttered, in disgusted resignation. Gingerly, he plucked the slider between the thumb and forefinger of his right hand and unzipped his hoodie and shrugged out of it. Revealing he was wearing a femininely cut, dark grey shirt, the modest scoop neck offering up a discrete amount of cleavage. Autumn could see red blooming across Sean's face as spun the hoodie to roll it up in a ball, but his attention on was his left hand. The red didn't seem like embarrassment, but barely subdued fury, as though his hand had betrayed him. First the lemonade, then tripping over nothing. Now this! "What the fuck is happening?" "Whoa, hey. Hang on a sec." The decidedly less-developed redhead reached back, set her drink on the floorboard without glancing at it, and came up alongside him. "You okay?" Concern replaced conviction in her wide, clear eyes as they studied Sean's delicate, feminine features. Why do guys always get the prettiest eyelashes? she wondered distantly, a part of her grousing inwardly about the seeming unfairness of it all even as she scrutinized the angry scarlet flush burning beneath his skin. Was he just pissed he ruined the hoodie? Mad that he lost the ice cream? 'Cause that'd ruin anybody's day, honestly. All she had were guesses, though the shock and exasperation of his last question gave her pause. "C'mere." It wasn't quite mom-voice, and it wasn't quite Marissa's signature hauteur, either, but there was a firmness in Autumn's tone that brooked no argument and left no room to decline as a hand on his elbow turned him back toward the Jeep. "We always keep stuff for emergencies, because..." She gave him a little smile over her shoulder and waved a hand vaguely, expansively at the interior before climbing in. "Dogs. Paper towels, Tide pens, that kinda stuff." After a few moments of rummaging and muffled curses as she leaned over the back seat into the rear of the vehicle, Autumn re-emerged, napkins and stain-removing travel wipes in hand and with a slightly crumpled green flannel over her arm. "Here," she insisted, giving him a chance to clean up the worst of the purple smears on his jacket while she shook out the oversized button-down shirt. Although even if it did stain it wouldn't look terrible tie-dyed, she decided privately. Not really his aesthetic, though. "Just bring it back tonight, yeah?" "I will. Thanks for this," Sean said, dealing with the worse of the mess with the napkins and stain-removal wipes. He nodded at the flannel Autumn held in her hand. "And for that." He held up his hoodie, giving a grunt at the result, then folded it up and held it between his knees. He took the proffered shirt and slipped it on, rolling up the sleeves before buttoning it up. The colour in his cheeks softened to a diffuse pink as he noticed Autumn's gaze unconsciously drift downwards for an instant. With girls and women who know about him, about his condition, even if only in a general way, they usually treated him in one of two ways. As just another one of the girls, or as some perverted spy trying to sneak his way into sacred feminine spaces. The former was way better than the latter in his experience, but holy shit, girls could be so frank and explicit in what they talked about. "Just been clumsy all day. Getting all my ones outta way before tonight, yeah?" Sean explained, though not convincingly. Still, from the stubborn set of his jaw, Autumn knew Sean wasn't going to explain more. "'Til tonight." He gave her a nod, tucked his hoodie under his arm, then ran a hand through his red hair. "Think I'm gonna take a last ride on the Carousel. Later Autumn." His tone left the meaning of 'last' ambiguous, even to himself, as he turned around and ambled off towards his Grand Cherokee to drop off his hoodie. It could have meant that he wouldn't ever have a chance to ride the Carousel again, through death or injury. Or that it would be behind him at this transitioning point between adolescence and adulthood. Or a number of other inferences he wasn't introspective enough to dwell on. He could dwell on them on another day. Or not.
  4. Type: Features Author: Shelly Mazzanoble and Greg Tito Subtitle: Dragon Talk Banner: Text: It’s 2021 and we’re back in action! Greg & Shelly get us up to date one the latest D&D news! Later, we welcome back Jeremy Crawford for another look at targeting! Our special interview this week is #1 New York Times bestselling author and illustrator, Tony Diterlizz Dragon Talk is executively produced by Greg Tito, Shelly Mazzanoble & Wizards of The Coast. Show production by Lisa Carr & Ryan Marth of Siren Sound. Podcast recording, editing, mixing and mastering by Ryan Marth & Siren Sound. Dragon Talk: Tony Diterlizzi Dragon Talk - 01/06/2020 By Greg Tito, Shelly Mazzanoble SEE MORE PODCASTS Podcast/Notes Here’s a guide to when each segment on the podcast begins: 00:00: Intro and News with Greg Tito and Shelly Mazzanoble 09:25: Sage Advice 38:36: Interview 1:46:54: Outro Stay Informed More Ways to Tune-In: Subscribe to the Dragon Talk podcast on iTunes, on Spotify, or wherever you get podcasts. More Ways to Play: Learn more about the Adventurers League here. More Ways to Become Involved: Find out more about the Guild Adept program here. If you’re interested in submitting your artwork to be considered for use with D&D, send five images to artdrop@wizards.com. Podcast Guests tony diterlizzi Tony DiTerlizzi, #1 New York Times bestselling author and illustrator, has been creating children’s books for over twenty years. From fanciful picture books like The Spider & The Fly, to chapter books like The Search for Wondola, DiTerlizzi imbues his stories with rich imagination. With Holly Black, he created the middle-grade series, The Spiderwick Chronicles, which has sold 20 million copies, been adapted into a feature film, and translated in over thirty countries. The Norman Rockwell museum’s retrospective, “Never Abandon Imagination”, featured artwork from the beginning of DiTerlizzi’s career as a contributing artist for Dungeons & Dragons and broke attendance records. He has been featured in Time Magazine, USA Today, CNN, PBS, NPR, BBC, and The Today Show. Twitter: @tonyditerlizzi Instagram: @diterlizzi Facebook: TonyDiterlizzi Website: diterlizzi.com Your Podcast Hosts Greg Tito Greg Tito has had weird and long career as an Off Broadway stage manager, a playwright, a theater carpenter, a secretary, an RPG designer, a games journalist, and now a PR/Marketing person. He has loved Dungeons & Dragons ever since 1985 when he found an old copy of the AD&D Dungeon Master’s Guide on his brother’s bookshelf and he honed that love of fantasy storytelling in the dark streets of Sasserine by way of the Upper West Side gaming group he joined in 2004. He moved his family (wife + two young kids) to Seattle in 2015 to work on D&D and he’s never looked back. Twitter: @Gregtito Shelly Mazzanoble Shelly Mazzanoble will always play a magic-user. There. She said it. Enough pretending to want to break out of her comfort zone. She’s a magic-user. She’s also the brand lead for Avalon Hill and loves talking about that one time she played Diplomacy and SOMEONE (okay, it was Ben Petrisor) stabbed her in the back and took over her beloved Russia. If you enjoy tales of sorcery, board game upheavals, and reasons her 3 year-old is crying (HINT: She tried to make him eat a Nutella crepe), find Shelly on Twitter and Facebook. Facebook: shellymazzanoblewriter Twitter: @shellymoo Publication date: 01/06/2020 Tags: Features Podcast Texture banner: Show Black text:
  5. A super-nice logo whipped up by Impish Ian Watson leads us off into 2021! For why we have an Onyx Path 9 as our lead-in, check out the Reason To Celebrate! at the end of this blog! Because this is the first Monday Meeting Notes blog in 2021, it’s a bit like Janus: a bit of looking back and a bit of gazing forward. Very Sad News Our first bit dealing with the hell-year of 2020, is something I hoped I’d never have to write about. I’ve talked through most of 2020 about the effects of the pandemic on our creators. Well, last week, all of us at Onyx Path were saddened and shocked to hear that decades-long White Wolf creator Jackie Cassada had died of Covid-19. Jackie and her partner Nicky Rea were the sort of writers that developers love working with: creative, conscientious, and kind. They were hired for book after book in the old White Wolf days, and I was lucky to be able to work with them when I was doing the art direction for Changeling: the Dreaming and D20 Ravenloft and they were developing those lines. They were a delight, and as many have said, just so nice – even when we had to work out a solution to something we disagreed on. When Onyx Path started rolling along, one of the best parts of coming back to WoD with the 20th Anniversary projects was being able to work again with past colleagues, and it was a true pleasure to do so with Jacky and Nicky. Those lines for us, and all of the World of Darkness, would simply not be the same without their contributions. Because Nicky has also contracted the virus, but seems to be recovering, yet still has massive hospital and other bills due to what they have been through, Satyr Phil Brucato has established a GoFundMe campaign to lend whatever financial support folks can: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-author-and-widow-nicky-rea In addition, Onyx Path is working with Bundle of Holding to run a C20 sale designed to assist Nicky. We are working with our partners, as well as Bundle of Holding, to send all of our proceeds from the sale her way. We’ll post links when they are available. In any case, I urge you to consider donating to assist Nicky and in memory of Jackie: two creators who were instrumental in the creation of the game worlds from which so many of us have derived so much enjoyment, inspiration, and wonder. And Below This, Our Regular News: Just to continue looking back at 2020, Impish Ian Watson compiled a listing of our releases in 2020 and put them together in a blog here, for the full version: http://theonyxpath.com/release-retrospective-2020/ For a few highlights, we ran 7 successful Kickstarters: V5 Cults of the Blood Gods, Hunter: The Vigil 2e, M20 Technocracy Reloaded, Legendlore, They Came From Beyond the Grave!, Scion: Demigod 2e, WoD20 Ghost Hunters, and Dead Man’s Rust for Scarred Lands. During the year, we released at least a project for sale each Wednesday, and very often two or more, which means we’ve been offering “something” from Onyx Path every Wednesday for years – I think at least five – which seems like a record in the TTRPG biz. Or something! Meanwhile, dozens of creative folks in our community created a sum total of 105 projects they put up on our community content sites. The Slarecian Vault (Scarred Lands) had 37, Canis Minor (Realms of Pugmire) had 11, and the Storypath Nexus had 3 Dystopia Rising: Evolution projects, 33 Scion projects, 5 They Came From…! projects, and 26 Trinity Continuum projects put up for everyone to enjoy! So, really a huge mix of projects – something for everybody! Children of the Blood art by Ken Meyer, Jr For a bit of looking back AND a bit of peering forward, you can check out my conversation with our Onyx Pathcast crew that was posted last Friday, right there on January 1st, fittingly enough! Matthew says he had a fair bit of a tussle getting the sound to come together – Eddy was booming when he was on, I was a wee little voice – but I think, from what I’ve heard so far, that he did an excellent job making everyone’s voice at about the same level. If you do have any problem hearing any of my responses or meandering anecdotes, please do ask for clarification in the Comments section below this blog. BTW: the “What Is Time?” question in this week’s MMN title came from Dixie while we were trying to figure out what books released in 2020 and were stumbling all over the place trying to remember. I think it is a good look at things in both directions, but check it out yourself anywhere you can download Podcasts! Children of the Blood art by Michael Gaydos Looking Into 2021 (A Bit) As I mentioned last week, we’re starting 2021’s Kickstarter run with a dual KS for Scion: Masks of the Mythos, which brings the Cthulhu Mythos into Scion if you need a dash of eldritch inimical beings outside of humanity’s ken that we were not meant to know of, and Scion: Dragon, to add another powerful protagonist (and frankly, antagonist) faction to your Scion games. I mean, you know: dragons! We’ll be starting that dual KS (you can pledge for one of them or both) as early in January as we can (not this week), and will let you know the actual date as soon as we get the OK from Kickstarter! A section of Scion: Masks of the Mythos art by Victor Lezza Finally, here’s another of our annual traditions – the New Year’s Resolutions from our MMN crew! Dixie: This year, I’m reprioritizing how I work to get things running more smoothly through our systems and into people’s hands. I started at the end of 2020 by getting my new office all set up, and it’s already helping me mentally! I also plan to do more writing (and stick to my deadlines a little better) and would like to work on at least one personal project, like most of my colleagues have. In fun news: I’d also like to play more games, both streamed and not, with friends and colleagues. Games over the computer have been a huge help through 2020, and I’d like to keep them up even once things start opening back up and conventions resume. Matthew: My new year’s resolution is to make more time to read novels while juggling writing, family, and the myriad of TV shows, roleplaying games, and video games with which I otherwise engage! Reading is a vital part of gaining inspiration for creative work, but it’s also something I truly enjoy and haven’t done enough of in the last year. LisaT: This year I absolutely resolve not to wait until the end of the year to input all of the w9 & w8’s into the spreadsheet for the taxes! Eddy: Last year I resolved to clear up the clutter in my work process so I have more time to focus on projects. That… uh… did not go as planned, so I’m going to try again now that 2020’s headless corpse is lying in a ditch. Ian: Last year I mentioned I was excited to get a lot of releases out for the core and Æon; with a half-dozen solid releases, I’m really happy with what we accomplished. This year I’m looking forward to expanding the Trinity Continuum into new territory: Anima‘s 2084, Adventure!‘s jump forward to the 1930s, and the Shadow world of Assassins. The Trinity Continuum was already pretty big in its original incarnation, but we’re going bigger than ever, and I’m thrilled to take you with us. Deviant art by Luis Sanz Mike: I have a few resolutions for the year: Regular communication with our freelance designers. Something a little more formalized as the run and gun style of thing when it was just Josh and me only works with two people. Come up with some more creative merch ideas for Redbubble besides slapping art on shirts or a coffee cup. I would love to see us do some cute Pugmire or Mau related merch… something fun instead of everything grimdark. Let the designers make all the corrections on projects instead of just doing it myself. That way they learn to not repeat the same mistakes. RichT: Gonna go with a cliche to start off, but I’ve gotta get back to getting fit. I’m pretty sure I said this in last year’s resolutions, but 2020 really slammed me: not enough exercise, too much soda, and no open gyms for bad weather days. It’s been brutal. For 2021 work, it’s time to buckle down and make sure we’re all moving forward with our projects at a deadline hitting speed, and I’m resolving to bring some old-school production thinking into making that happen. Plus, I resolve to reveal to you all at least two currently secret projects with one being a hitherto unannounced new TTRPG. There ya go, let’s see how we do this time next year. But for this year, please do keep letting us know what you need us to create, how we’re doing, and what you’re doing with our: Many Worlds, One Path! BLURBS! Kickstarter! Next Kickstarter in early January 2021 will be a double feature for Scion: Dragon and Scion: Masks of the Mythos! Onyx Path Media! This week: Dixie, Matthew, and Eddy take a deep dive into Scion: Dragon and its upcoming Kickstarter! As always, this Friday’s Onyx Pathcast will be on Podbean or your favorite podcast venue! https://onyxpathcast.podbean.com/ A new year with new media, starting with 2020’s greatest hits on our YouTube channel! Mage: Technocracy Reloaded Actual Play: https://youtu.be/hHG5fBCFlTE Exalted Essence Actual Play: https://youtu.be/9iR2hvXoapQ Hunter: The Vigil Actual Play: https://youtu.be/8dqdt6sy6Ws They Came from Beyond the Grave! Trailer: https://youtu.be/mWTla3xEmGA They Came from Beyond the Grave! Actual Play: https://youtu.be/qLEFXntIa3g For anyone new to our media section, you can find us running and playing games over on twitch.tv/theonyxpath pretty much every day of the week! Plus, if you’d like your games hosted there, just get in touch with Matthew Dawkins using the contact link on matthewdawkins.com. This week on Twitch, expect to see these games and streams running: Scarred Lands – A Family Affair Hunter: The Vigil – Stuffed Frostlands of Fenrilik – Behind the Screen Contagion Chronicle – Vorpal Tales Changeling: The Dreaming – The Last Faerie Tale Mage: The Awakening – Occultists Anonymous Scarred Lands – Purge of the Serpentholds Hunter: The Vigil – Devil’s Luck Gaming Get watching for some fantastic insight into how to run these wonderful games and subscribe to us on Twitch, over at twitch.tv/theonyxpath Come take a look at our YouTube channel, youtube.com/user/theonyxpath, where you can find a whole load of videos of actual plays, dissections of our games, and more, including: Changeling: The Dreaming – The Last Faerie Tale – E27 – https://youtu.be/vL96mhbWxHs Vampire: The Masquerade – Boston by Night – Game 11 – https://youtu.be/eZjkeHzr4sM Changeling: The Dreaming – The Last Faerie Tale – E28 – https://youtu.be/aV3brWa5oHo Scarred Lands – Dead Man’s Rust – Fight in the Shade – MEATGRINDER – https://youtu.be/6IYXr3IXWS8 Scarred Lands – Frostlands of Fenrilik – One Shot – https://youtu.be/QSi3sZQvc_s Subscribe to our channel and click the bell icon if you want to be notified whenever new news videos and uploads come online! Over on Red Moon Roleplaying, Matthew Dawkins and Klara Herbøl conclude their Dead Man’s Rust campaign with Craig and Hjalmar of RMR! This game has been a huge amount of fun to play. Check out episode four right here (https://youtu.be/rWPqbrUAkrA) and give them a subscribe. Systematic Understanding of Everything is a fantastic Exalted Explainer Podcast by Exalted Dev Monica Speca and Exalted Writer Chazz Kellner. You should check it out, because it remains among the best Exalted shows out there. Their most recent episodes are available over on https://www.exaltcast.com/, with their newest the following: Kicks that split mountains, hand signals that seduce spirits, words that incite riots. How does it work? Monica and Chazz explain the basic systems of Exalted and then use them as we investigate why the Dragon-Blooded are so interested in a corner of the Tarpan Wastes. https://www.exaltcast.com/2020/12/14/myriad-laws-of-creation-basic-exalted-mechanics/ Our very own Chris Allen continues his wonderful chronicle of Werewolf: The Forsaken over on the Paleo Gaming Twitch channel! Please add a follow to their stream and give them your support: https://www.twitch.tv/paleo_gaming Occultists Anonymous continue their wonderful Mage: The Awakening chronicle right here: Episode 153: Stars Align The cabal’s investigation into the mysteries of the 5 Grimoires is interrupted by an armed paramilitary force. Aggressive negotiations ensue. https://youtu.be/b4J0p4FOBfM Episode 152: Pyramid Scheme The cabal begin the careful investigation of the Sleepwalker, Taylor, and this Council he belongs to. Are they related to the Grimoires? Foe or friend? https://youtu.be/P914DrrxWWw Back to Exalted, and the Story Told Podcast continue their Fall of Jiara Dragon-Blooded chronicle right here: https://thestorytold.libsyn.com/fall-of-jiara-34 After the party, the Dragon-Blooded reconvene to compare notes and learn what Tepet Sanzo uncovered during his infiltration. Please check these out and let us know if you find or produce any actual plays of our games! We’d love to feature you! Electronic Gaming! As we find ways to enable our community to more easily play our games, the Onyx Dice Rolling App is live! Our dev team has been doing updates since we launched based on the excellent use-case comments by our community, and this thing is awesome! (Seriously, you need to roll 100 dice for Exalted? This app has you covered.) We’re told that the App Dev is currently creating an updated version for the latest devices, so keep an eye open for those! The App was also pulled down from the Apple store in order to make some required updates – it’ll be back there soon! Virtual TableTop! Two Virtual Tabletop adventures: the Gauntlet of Spiragos and the Dagger of Spiragos for Scarred Lands on Astral TableTop and DriveThruRPG! Scars of the Divine War, which ended less than 200 years ago, have still not healed. One such scar is the Chasm of Flies, a rent in the earth created when the titan Spiragos the Ambusher was smote down by one of the young gods, Vangal the Ravager. Now, the Chasm is inhabited by spider-eye goblins and their spider allies, but it is also thought to be the resting place of powerful artifacts from that elder age. Astral TableTop is the easiest way to play any tabletop RPG online, free. Astral already supports popular systems like D&D and Pathfinder, and Astral can support virtually any tabletop roleplaying game. Get started quickly with built-in support for most popular game systems. Whether you’re brand new to TTRPGs or a veteran tabletop gamer, Astral‘s ease-of-use and built in automation is designed to streamline gameplay. Astral is browser-based and uses the latest technology to streamline your storytelling experience. Connect with your party online and run your campaigns however you like. Astral offers tools optimized for phone, tablet, and desktop devices, no installation required. Build epic battlemaps using Astral‘s enormous collection of scenery, props, and tokens or upload your own. Pro users gain access to over 12,000+ assets and fresh new packs every month. Add weather, visual effects, triggers, and so much more with easy-to-use tools Build your own adventure, or choose from pre-generated game kits like Gauntlet of Spiragos and Dagger of Spiragos. Create character sheets, craft maps, or just jump right in to connect with your friends and start your adventures! On Amazon and Barnes & Noble! You can now read our fiction from the comfort and convenience of your Kindle (from Amazon) and Nook (from Barnes & Noble). If you enjoy these or any other of our books, please help us by writing reviews on the site of the sales venue from which you bought it. Reviews really, really help us get folks interested in our amazing fiction! Our selection includes these latest fiction books: Our Sales Partners! We’re working with Studio2 to provide our traditionally printed books out into your local game stores. Game stores can order via their usual distributors, and can also contact Studio2 directly. And individuals can check out our projects via the links below! You can pick up the traditionally printed Pugmire and Monarchies of Mau main books, screens, and the official dice through our friends there! https://studio2publishing.com/search?q=pugmire Now, we’ve added Chronicles of Darkness books such as Changeling: The Lost Second Edition products to Studio2‘s store! See them here: https://studio2publishing.com/collections/all-products/changeling-the-lost Scion 2e books and other products are available now at Studio2: https://studio2publishing.com/blogs/new-releases/scion-second-edition-book-one-origin-now-available-at-your-local-retailer-or-online Our Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition books are also available from Studio2 in the US: https://studio2publishing.com/products/vampire-the-masquerade-chicago-by-night-sourcebook Looking for our Deluxe or Prestige Edition books? Try this link! http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Onyx-Path-Publishing/ And you can order Pugmire, Monarchies of Mau, Cavaliers of Mars, and Changeling: The Lost 2e at the same link! And now Scion Origin and Scion Hero and Trinity Continuum Core and Trinity Continuum: Aeon are available to order As always, you can find Onyx Path’s titles at DriveThruRPG.com! The next big sale at DTRPG will be the New Year, New Game Sale starting tomorrow with core books, player guides and jumpstarts included. Plus a big Scarred Lands bundle focused on the VTT elements. On Sale This Week! This Wednesday take A Quantum Leap as we present the PDF and PoD versions of this Trinity Continuum Core Jumpstart on DTRPG! “Potential is everywhere. You can’t really see it, but you can feel it. And all you really need to do is reach out, grab that potential in your hand, and bend it to your will. Nothing goes wrong if you just use your potential. I know it sounds easy. I can’t really tell you how to do it. But when you do, you’ll just know.” — Janeka Spencer, Neptune Foundation first responder This jumpstart has everything you need to start playing an adventure in Trinity Continuum, including: All the rules you need from Trinity Continuum A full adventure, “A Quantum Leap,” ready to run Five ready-made characters for players to pick up and play Conventions! Though dates for physical conventions are subject to change due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, here’s what’s left of our current list of upcoming conventions (and really, we’re just waiting for this last one to be cancelled even though it’s Nov/Dec). Instead, keep an eye out here for more virtual conventions we’re going to be involved with! Gehenna Gaming is planning a second Virtual Horror Convention in mid-February and Onyx Path will be there and sponsoring sessions! More news as we have it! And now, the new project status updates! Development Status from Eddy Webb! (Projects in bold have changed status since last week.): First Draft (The first phase of a project that is about the work being done by writers, not dev prep.) Exalted Essay Collection (Exalted) No Gods, No Masters (Scion 2nd Edition) TC: Aeon Novella: Dawn (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) Once and Future (Scion 2nd Edition) Tome of the Pentacle (Mage: the Awakening 2e) They Came From [Classified]! Jumpstart (They Came From…!) Realms of Magic and Mystery (was Terra Incognita) (Scion 2nd Edition) The Hedge (Changeling: The Lost 2nd Edition) Redlines Dragon-Blooded Novella #2 (Exalted 3rd Edition) They Came From Beneath the Sea! Jumpstart (They Came From…!) They Came From [Classified]! (They Came From…!) Second Draft Many-Faced Strangers – Lunars Companion (Exalted 3rd Edition) Wild Hunt (Scion 2nd Edition) Monsters From the Crypt! (They Came From…!) TC: Aeon Novella: Meridian (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) They Came From Camp Murder Lake! (They Came From…!) Tales of Depravity! (They Came From…!) Proteus Nova Compendium (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Development TC: Aberrant Reference Screen (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Contagion Chronicle: Global Outbreaks (Chronicles of Darkness) Exigents (Exalted 3rd Edition) Kith and Kin (Changeling: The Lost 2e) Adversaries of the Righteous (Exalted 3rd Edition) Saints and Monsters (Scion 2nd Edition) Trinity Continuum: Anima They Came From Beyond the Grave! Jumpstart (They Came From…!) Manuscript Approval Crucible of Legends (Exalted 3rd Edition) Trinity Continuum: Adventure! core (Trinity Continuum: Adventure!) Assassins (Trinity Continuum Core) Exalted Essence Edition (Exalted 3rd Edition) Across the Eight Directions (Exalted 3rd Edition) Post-Approval Development Contagion Chronicle Ready-Made Characters (Chronicles of Darkness) The Devoted Companion (Deviant: The Renegades) Editing Lunars Novella (Rosenberg) (Exalted 3rd Edition) Mummy: The Curse 2nd Edition core rulebook (Mummy: The Curse 2nd Edition) Player’s Guide to the Contagion Chronicle (Chronicles of Darkness) The Book of Lasting Death (Mummy: The Curse 2e) Dearly Bleak – Novella (Deviant: The Renegades) N!ternational Wrestling Entertainment (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Under Alien Skies (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) Dead Man’s Rust (Scarred Lands) V5 Trails of Ash and Bone (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition) M20 Victorian Mage (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition) Mission Statements (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) The Clades Companion (Deviant: The Renegades) V5 Children of the Blood (was The Faithful Undead) (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition) M20 Technocracy Operative’s Dossier (Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary) Yugman’s Appendix: People of Ghelspad (Scarred Lands) V5 Forbidden Religions (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition) CtL2e Novella Collection: Hollow Courts (Changeling: The Lost 2e) Heroes in a World of Horror! (They Came From…!) Dystopia Rising: Evolution Fiction Anthology (Dystopia Rising: Evolution) Squeaks In The Deep (Realms of Pugmire) Prometheus Unbound (was Psi Orders) (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) Legacies of Earth (Legendlore) Hundred Devil’s Night Parade (Exalted 3rd Edition) Novas Worldwide (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Scion Fiction Anthology (Scion 2nd Edition) M20 Rich Bastard’s Guide To Magick (Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary) Post-Editing Development Cults of the Blood Gods (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition) Hunter: The Vigil 2e core (Hunter: The Vigil 2nd Edition) Deviant: The Renegades (Deviant: The Renegades) Legendlore core book (Legendlore) Masks of the Mythos (Scion 2nd Edition) They Came From Beyond the Grave! (They Came From!) Scion: Demigod (Scion 2nd Edition) TC: Aberrant Jumpstart (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) LARP Rules (Scion 2nd Edition) Scion: Dragon (Scion 2nd Edition) Peoples of the Crossroads Continent Indexing Art Direction from Mike Chaney! In Art Direction WoD Ghost Hunters (KS) Hunter: The Vigil 2e – Art buy in progress – tweaking last of notes. Legendlore Scion: Dragon (KS) – Ready for the KS. Masks of the Mythos (KS) – Ready for the KS. Scion: Demigod – Art buy in progress. They Came From Beyond the Grave! TC: Adventure! (KS) – Contracting KS artwork. Contagion Chronicle Jumpstart (Chronicles of Darkness) – LeBlanc is on it. M20 Victorian (KS) – Splats in. Fulls almost all done. TC: Under Alien Skies – Most final art in – chasing down stragglers. Heirs to the Shogunate – Sketches coming in and over to devs, poking them. Dead Man’s Rust (SL KS) Children of the Blood – Getting art ready to send to Paradox for approvals. M20 Technocracy Jumpstart – Art in progress. Exalted Essence V5 Trail of Ash and Bone – Sending out remaining art notes. V5 Forbidden Religions TC Mission Statements – Artnotes in. TC Aberrant N!We M20 Technocracy Dossier/Companion In Layout Vigil Watch M20 Technocracy Reloaded Monsters of the Deep – Giving to Josh. Mummy 2 TC Aberrant Jumpstart Proofing Yugman’s Guide Support Decks (Scarred Lands) Aberrant – Prepping PoD and trad print files. Geist: One Foot In the Grave Tales of Aquatic Terror – PDF out to KS backers for errata. Deviant – Backer PDF going to backers for errata. Yugman’s Guide to Ghelspad Compiled TC: Aberrant Screen At Press Contagion Chronicle – KS fulfillment shipping finishing up. Lunars Wall Scroll Map – At KS fulfiller. Lunars Screen and Booklet – At KS fulfiller. Lunars: Fangs at the Gate – At KS fulfiller. PDF and PoD on sale at DTRPG. V5 Cults of the Blood Gods – Prepping for press. PoD proofs on the way. Cavaliers of Mars: City of the Towered Tombs – PoD prepping. TC Core Jumpstart – PDF and PoD versions on sale this Weds on DTRPG. Today’s Reason to Celebrate! Here we are with just what that logo is all about: it’s because we just passed our ninth anniversary of the founding of Onyx Path! Which means we are now in our tenth year of doing business! Wow, has time gone by just crazy-fast! Thanks for coming along on the trip, so far, and here’s to even greater projects and fun to come!
  6. In which Matthew, Dixie, and Eddy speak with Onyx Path Creative Director Rich Thomas about the year just gone and the year to come! The arrival of Rich Thomas Onyx Path Redbubble sales are going well! They Came from Beyond the Grave! is lost in time People are pleased to receive Dark Eras 2, Contagion Chronicle, and They Came from Beneath the Sea! The fun of writing art notes Rich’s own campaign setting The exciting upcoming Peoples of the Crossroads Continent Inktober and Nanowrimo Our Greatest Triumphs and Greatest Disappointments of 2020 The Disappearance of Eddy Webb Our next Kickstarter! – Masks of the Mythos and Scion: Dragon! LINKS: Onyx Path Redbubble: https://www.redbubble.com/people/theonyxpath/shop They Came from Beyond the Grave! Backerkit: https://they-came-from-beyond-the-grave.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders Dark Eras 2: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/300515/Chronicles-of-Darkness-Dark-Eras-2 The Contagion Chronicle: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/318347/Chronicles-of-Darkness-The-Contagion-Chronicle They Came from Beneath the Sea!: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/300642/They-Came-From-Beneath-the-Sea Dixie’s Cyberpunk Streams: https://www.twitch.tv/vorpaltales Reginald / Arthur Pewty: https://youtu.be/bwurFNKTQHsw We Didn’t Start the Fire: https://youtu.be/eFTLKWw542g Onyx Path YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheOnyxPath Onyx Path Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/theonyxpath Onyx Path Discord: https://discord.gg/5uckcBk
  7. Like I mentioned in last week’s MMN blog, this week our crew are taking a break and hoping to see 2020 getting smaller in the rear view mirror after we burst through to 2021. We all know that there’s a whole lotta stuff that can still wreck 2021, but that New Year optimism just can’t be denied. It’s a conditioned reflex and this New Years, we’re just going to go along with it! Because of that, though, this week’s MMN blog – the last in 2020 – is wee small. We’re between Kickstarters with Dead Man’s Rust ending last week at 200% funded and with some very “value added” Stretch Goals for VTT gaming aids and a couple of expanded location books. Not a huge KS for us, but a very sweet way to end our KS run this year. Plus, our affable Kickstarter Concierge, James Bell, gets to celebrate the holidays this year without juggling a running KS. Which is one of the reasons why we scheduled our KSs this year as we did. Next, we’ll be running a dual Scion: Dragon and Scion: Masks of the Mythos KS as early in January as we can make happen! The KS will indeed be set up so that you can pledge for both at once or either separately, as some folks have already asked. The Teach Your Kids to Game Sale is still going on over at DTRPG: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/rpg_teachkids.php?manufacturers_id=4261 For us that means Realms of Pugmire PDFs. The sale runs all week. If you haven’t checked out the Onyx Pathcast that went up Xmas Day, it’s a Hobbit movie #3 watch and riff-along with Dixie, Eddy, and Matthew, and quite a hoot! Our commenters run the gamut of Tolkien knowledge, so hearing their responses to scenes can range from a sly reference to a LOTR footnote, all the way to complete confusion as to why the movie just dropped a bear on the battle! Well worth a listen – I couldn’t stopped laughing along with them! This Friday’s Pathcast starts off 2021 with a look back on 2020 Onyx Path-style, as the Trio interviews, well, me. As usual, I have no idea how well I answered their questions or if it’s a good show, plus we lost Eddy due to technical issues mid-way through, but the Trio seemed to like it afterwards, so I hope you do too. And with that, let’s wrap up this last MMN blog of the year noting that when we get back it will be after Onyx Path‘s 9th Anniversary this week and so we’ll be in our tenth year of business. It really does not feel like that long! Time really must fly when you’re having fun, and we’re so glad you folks have chosen to share that fun with us! 2021 promises to be a year of fantastic projects, both for those game lines you already enjoy, and for new ones you’re going to be amazed by! We played a lot of catch-up while 2020 pelted us, and 2021 is going to reap the benefit of that – as will we all as Onyx Path explodes forth into: Many Worlds, One Path! BLURBS! Kickstarter! Next Kickstarter in early January 2021 will be a double feature for Scion: Dragon and Scion: Masks of the Mythos! Onyx Path Media! I put this version of the Onyx Pathcast Terrific Trio of Terror because we haven’t used it in 2020, I don’t think! This week: Dixie, Matthew, and Eddy (for a chunk of it) will be interviewing Rich Thomas and laying into him with the HARD questions, the BRUTAL truths, about Onyx Path in 2020! As always, this Friday’s Onyx Pathcast will be on Podbean or your favorite podcast venue! https://onyxpathcast.podbean.com/ For anyone new to our media section, you can find us running and playing games over on twitch.tv/theonyxpath pretty much every day of the week! Plus, if you’d like your games hosted there, just get in touch with Matthew Dawkins using the contact link on matthewdawkins.com. This week on Twitch, expect to see these games and streams running on our abbreviated holiday schedule: Please check these out and let us know if you find or produce any actual plays of our games! We’d love to feature you! Electronic Gaming! As we find ways to enable our community to more easily play our games, the Onyx Dice Rolling App is live! Our dev team has been doing updates since we launched based on the excellent use-case comments by our community, and this thing is awesome! (Seriously, you need to roll 100 dice for Exalted? This app has you covered.) We’re told that the App Dev is currently creating an updated version for the latest devices, so keep an eye open for those! The App was also pulled down from the Apple store in order to make some required updates – it’ll be back there soon! Virtual TableTop! Two Virtual Tabletop adventures: the Gauntlet of Spiragos and the Dagger of Spiragos for Scarred Lands on Astral TableTop and DriveThruRPG! Scars of the Divine War, which ended less than 200 years ago, have still not healed. One such scar is the Chasm of Flies, a rent in the earth created when the titan Spiragos the Ambusher was smote down by one of the young gods, Vangal the Ravager. Now, the Chasm is inhabited by spider-eye goblins and their spider allies, but it is also thought to be the resting place of powerful artifacts from that elder age. Astral TableTop is the easiest way to play any tabletop RPG online, free. Astral already supports popular systems like D&D and Pathfinder, and Astral can support virtually any tabletop roleplaying game. Get started quickly with built-in support for most popular game systems. Whether you’re brand new to TTRPGs or a veteran tabletop gamer, Astral‘s ease-of-use and built in automation is designed to streamline gameplay. Astral is browser-based and uses the latest technology to streamline your storytelling experience. Connect with your party online and run your campaigns however you like. Astral offers tools optimized for phone, tablet, and desktop devices, no installation required. Build epic battlemaps using Astral‘s enormous collection of scenery, props, and tokens or upload your own. Pro users gain access to over 12,000+ assets and fresh new packs every month. Add weather, visual effects, triggers, and so much more with easy-to-use tools Build your own adventure, or choose from pre-generated game kits like Gauntlet of Spiragos and Dagger of Spiragos. Create character sheets, craft maps, or just jump right in to connect with your friends and start your adventures! On Amazon and Barnes & Noble! You can now read our fiction from the comfort and convenience of your Kindle (from Amazon) and Nook (from Barnes & Noble). If you enjoy these or any other of our books, please help us by writing reviews on the site of the sales venue from which you bought it. Reviews really, really help us get folks interested in our amazing fiction! Our selection includes these latest fiction books: Our Sales Partners! We’re working with Studio2 to provide our traditionally printed books out into your local game stores. Game stores can order via their usual distributors, and can also contact Studio2 directly. And individuals can check out our projects via the links below! You can pick up the traditionally printed Pugmire and Monarchies of Mau main books, screens, and the official dice through our friends there! https://studio2publishing.com/search?q=pugmire Now, we’ve added Chronicles of Darkness books such as Changeling: The Lost Second Edition products to Studio2‘s store! See them here: https://studio2publishing.com/collections/all-products/changeling-the-lost Scion 2e books and other products are available now at Studio2: https://studio2publishing.com/blogs/new-releases/scion-second-edition-book-one-origin-now-available-at-your-local-retailer-or-online Our Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition books are also available from Studio2 in the US: https://studio2publishing.com/products/vampire-the-masquerade-chicago-by-night-sourcebook Looking for our Deluxe or Prestige Edition books? Try this link! http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Onyx-Path-Publishing/ And you can order Pugmire, Monarchies of Mau, Cavaliers of Mars, and Changeling: The Lost 2e at the same link! And now Scion Origin and Scion Hero and Trinity Continuum Core and Trinity Continuum: Aeon are available to order As always, you can find Onyx Path’s titles at DriveThruRPG.com! Teach Your Kid to Game Sale is on now at DTRPG: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/rpg_teachkids.php?manufacturers_id=4261 We have a handful of Pugmire PDFs included in the sale. The next big sale at DTRPG will be the New Year, New Game sale next month (year)! All of our core books and Jumpstarts will be on sale! On Sale This Week! This week we present the last PDF installment of Vigil Watch: #6 – Lokil on DTRPG! Plus, keep an eye out at our RedBubble stores for fantastic art prints featuring the staggering art of Scarred Lands! Ghelspad Expanded! Ghelspad is a massive and diverse land. Once a paradise, this continent is now scarred by the ravages of the Titanswar. In the wake of divine bloodshed, and beset on all sides by titanspawn, the people of Ghelspad survive and thrive on this befouled continent. Vigil Watch explores six different locations across Ghelspad. From the bloody shores of the Toe Islands in the east to the Sweltering Plains of the west, Vigil Watch provides an in-depth look at a variety of locales and cultures. Vigil Watch Part Six details the Library of Lokil, home to one of the greatest collections of lore and dangerous secrets in the Scarred Lands! Conventions! Though dates for physical conventions are subject to change due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, here’s what’s left of our current list of upcoming conventions (and really, we’re just waiting for this last one to be cancelled even though it’s Nov/Dec). Instead, keep an eye out here for more virtual conventions we’re going to be involved with! Gehenna Gaming is planning a second Virtual Horror Convention in mid-February and Onyx Path will be there and sponsoring sessions! More news as we have it! And now, the new project status updates! NOTE FROM RICH: No Updates here this week, folks! Check us out next week as we enter 2021 with a bang! Development Status from Eddy Webb! (Projects in bold have changed status since last week.): First Draft (The first phase of a project that is about the work being done by writers, not dev prep.) Exalted Essay Collection (Exalted) No Gods, No Masters (Scion 2nd Edition) TC: Aeon Novella: Dawn (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) Once and Future (Scion 2nd Edition) Tome of the Pentacle (Mage: the Awakening 2e) They Came From [Classified]! (They Came From…!) They Came From [Classified]! Jumpstart (They Came From…!) Realms of Magic and Mystery (was Terra Incognita) (Scion 2nd Edition) The Hedge (Changeling: The Lost 2nd Edition) Proteus Nova Compendium (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Redlines Dragon-Blooded Novella #2 (Exalted 3rd Edition) They Came From Beneath the Sea! Jumpstart (They Came From…!) Second Draft Many-Faced Strangers – Lunars Companion (Exalted 3rd Edition) Wild Hunt (Scion 2nd Edition) Monsters From the Crypt! (They Came From…!) TC: Aeon Novella: Meridian (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) They Came From Camp Murder Lake! (They Came From…!) Tales of Depravity! (They Came From…!) Development TC: Aberrant Reference Screen (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Contagion Chronicle: Global Outbreaks (Chronicles of Darkness) Exigents (Exalted 3rd Edition) Kith and Kin (Changeling: The Lost 2e) Adversaries of the Righteous (Exalted 3rd Edition) Saints and Monsters (Scion 2nd Edition) Trinity Continuum: Anima They Came From Beyond the Grave! Jumpstart (They Came From…!) Manuscript Approval Crucible of Legends (Exalted 3rd Edition) Trinity Continuum: Adventure! core (Trinity Continuum: Adventure!) Assassins (Trinity Continuum Core) Scion Fiction Anthology (Scion 2nd Edition) Exalted Essence Edition (Exalted 3rd Edition) Across the Eight Directions (Exalted 3rd Edition) Post-Approval Development Contagion Chronicle Ready-Made Characters (Chronicles of Darkness) M20 Rich Bastard’s Guide To Magick (Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary) The Devoted Companion (Deviant: The Renegades) Editing Lunars Novella (Rosenberg) (Exalted 3rd Edition) Mummy: The Curse 2nd Edition core rulebook (Mummy: The Curse 2nd Edition) Player’s Guide to the Contagion Chronicle (Chronicles of Darkness) The Book of Lasting Death (Mummy: The Curse 2e) Dearly Bleak – Novella (Deviant: The Renegades) N!ternational Wrestling Entertainment (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Under Alien Skies (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) Dead Man’s Rust (Scarred Lands) V5 Trails of Ash and Bone (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition) M20 Victorian Mage (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition) Mission Statements (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) The Clades Companion (Deviant: The Renegades) V5 Children of the Blood (was The Faithful Undead) (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition) M20 Technocracy Operative’s Dossier (Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary) Yugman’s Appendix: People of Ghelspad (Scarred Lands) V5 Forbidden Religions (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition) CtL2e Novella Collection: Hollow Courts (Changeling: The Lost 2e) Heroes in a World of Horror! (They Came From…!) Dystopia Rising: Evolution Fiction Anthology (Dystopia Rising: Evolution) Squeaks In The Deep (Realms of Pugmire) Prometheus Unbound (was Psi Orders) (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) Legacies of Earth (Legendlore) Hundred Devil’s Night Parade (Exalted 3rd Edition) Novas Worldwide (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Post-Editing Development Cults of the Blood Gods (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition) Hunter: The Vigil 2e core (Hunter: The Vigil 2nd Edition) Deviant: The Renegades (Deviant: The Renegades) Legendlore core book (Legendlore) Masks of the Mythos (Scion 2nd Edition) They Came From Beyond the Grave! (They Came From!) Scion: Demigod (Scion 2nd Edition) TC: Aberrant Jumpstart (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) LARP Rules (Scion 2nd Edition) Scion: Dragon (Scion 2nd Edition) Peoples of the Crossroads Continent Indexing TC: Aberrant (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Art Direction from Mike Chaney! In Art Direction WoD Ghost Hunters (KS) Hunter: The Vigil 2e – Art buy in progress. Mummy 2 – AD’d. Almost all sketches are in. Legendlore – Art buy figured out. Scion: Dragon (KS) – Ready for the KS. Masks of the Mythos (KS) – Ready for the KS. Scion: Demigod – Art buy in progress. They Came From Beyond the Grave! TC: Adventure! (KS) – Contracting KS artwork. Contagion Chronicle Jumpstart (Chronicles of Darkness) – LeBlanc is on it. M20 Victorian (KS) – Splats in. Fulls and scenes in progress – getting some art ready for Paradox approval. TC: Under Alien Skies – Most final art in. Heirs to the Shogunate – Sketches coming in and over to devs, poking them. Dead Man’s Rust (SL KS) Children of the Blood – Only waiting on one artist to send in art. M20 Technocracy Jumpstart – Art in progress. Exalted Essence V5 Trail of Ash and Bone – Finishing getting art assigned. V5 Forbidden Religions – Got art notes. TC Mission Statements – Art buy figured out. TC Aberrant N!We – Art buy in progress. TC Aberrant Jumpstart – Art buy figured out. M20 Technocracy Dossier/Companion In Layout Vigil Watch M20 Technocracy Reloaded – Going over Josh’s proof. Monsters of the Deep Proofing Yugman’s Guide Support Decks (Scarred Lands) Aberrant – Indexing. Geist: One Foot In the Grave – Hunting down some assets for Travis. Tales of Aquatic Terror – PDF out to KS backers for errata. Deviant – Approved by Paradox. Yugman’s Guide to Ghelspad Compiled TC: Aberrant Screen At Press TCFBTS Screen and Booklet – KS shipping wrapping up. They Came from Beneath the Sea! – KS shipping wrapping up . Pirates of Pugmire – KS shipping wrapping up . Pirates of Pugmire Screen – KS shipping wrapping up . Dark Eras 2 – KS shipping wrapping up . Dark Eras 2 Screen and booklet – KS shipping wrapping up . Contagion Chronicle – KS fulfillment shipping started. Lunars Wall Scroll Map – At KS fulfiller. Lunars Screen and Booklet – At KS fulfiller. Lunars: Fangs at the Gate – At KS fulfiller. PDF and PoD on sale at DTRPG. V5 Cults of the Blood Gods – Prepping for press. PoD proofs on the way. Cavaliers of Mars: City of the Towered Tombs – PoD prepping. TC Core Jumpstart – PoD proofs on the way. Today’s Reason to Celebrate! Almost there. We’re going to celebrate the end of this year like never before, folks! Thanks for being with us through this decade-long year! You’re one of the reasons we kept going and made the best of things. See you next year!
  8. MCG gets Teri-fied, the 2020 Holiday Gift is live, the Heroes of the Cypher System Kickstarter is closing in on … Cypher Chronicles, vol. 45-2020 The post Cypher Chronicles, vol. 45-2020 appeared first on Monte Cook Games.
  9. The question was obvious in Kat's tone and look. Sean shot his parents a covert glance, considering how to circumspectly answer, when the parental Cassidys gave him the perfect opportunity. He wasn't sure if it was coincidence or if they they had picked up on something or if it was something else. "Laurie, your turn to keep on eye on the grill," Jack Cassidy called out. He finished the rest of his beer with a single pull then nodded at Sean as he plonked the bottle in the small blue bin they had brought for the purpose. "Sean, take care of the baked goods we still have on sale for the Carousel fund." It was a knock on his son's masculinity or lack thereof that Jack asked him to look after the baking while his younger, yet taller, sister took care of the grill. Sean had made or help make most of the pies and pastries while Laurie needed more experience with the grill. "Your mother and I are going to take a spin on the Carousel before people slow down on the food and it gets even more crowded and the lines get longer." Laurie stood up to man the grill while Sean shifted seats on the picnic table to he was sitting next to the side table they had set up to display the baked goods. When Jack and Carolyn Cassidy had wondered off hand-in-hand, Sean turned back to the others, though his heterochromatic eyes were directed at Kat. "They know about me and figured it out about Jason. They know there are others - and probably have some suspicions about who - but I haven't told them. Don't feel it's my place. Up to you guys if you want them to know. And I haven't told them about what happening tonight. I'll tell them some when its over. Laurie will if we don't come back." Fire flared with a hiss at the grill, Laurie's lips a tight line, not liking Sean's assertion any better hearing it a second time. "How about you guys?" "Not anything in particular," Sean said, giving his hoodie a small tug as it began to stick to his back slightly, sun and rising warmth starting to make his sweat slightly through his layers. "Just enjoying the sun and the company, y'know, before..." He shrugged a slender shoulder. A grin spread across his fine, feminine features. "Despite everything, I'm practically vibrating out of my skin waiting for tomorrow. I might be, I dunno, two, three years ahead of schedule--" Sean waggled the fingers of one hand, "thanks to my Voodoo, but I still can't wait for ReGenesis to drop tomorrow." Sean frowned faintly when Devin made his exit, as he exchanged a pair of pies for several bills. He couldn't read thoughts or emotions, but he could sense the electric impulses dancing through nervous systems and the various parts of the brain. He was still deciphering what they sometimes meant, but could see something similar in Devin and his parents, mostly his mother. It wasn't animosity, not quite distrust. Even if he hadn't told his mom everything Devin had done to him, and even if he was well on his way to forgiving the exasperating, arrogant, gymn-ass, maybe even considering him a friend - of sorts - his mom still considered Devin very suspect. Sean couldn't quite tell what Devin thought about his parents. Sean arched a brow as Cade mused aloud. Whatever reconciliation he might have going on with Devin barely extended to his glamorous, devilish twin as yet. Still, he couldn't help feel a slight pang of envy. Another one of his disparate friends who had formed a relationship that was based on something other than friendship - or only friendship, at least. "Then don't keep her waiting, man," Sean said. He couldn't tell where Marissa was, but he could tell where her phone was, and that was practically the same thing. "You can do better, but I get it." "Pfft! As if!" Laurie scoffed, having reclaimed her seat at the picnic table. Sean snorted in rebuttal. "Go surprise her before she answers." He pointed off to the side. "She's that way."
  10. Everyone can be a hero in our Heroes of the Cypher System Kickstarter! With the arrival of Godforsaken, we’re delivering … Cypher Chronicles, vol.43-2020 The post Cypher Chronicles, vol.43-2020 appeared first on Monte Cook Games.
  11. Lots of fun things happened on Halloween a few days ago – I hope you and yours enjoyed a good Trick and/or Treat! For us, that day also marked the end of the Deluxe 20th Anniversary WoD: Ghost Hunters Kickstarter! Which was pretty sweet, all told. We surpassed our estimate for pledges and burned through a thematically appropriate (and SPOOKY!) 13 Stretch Goals! Once again, thanks to all of you who pledged and participated and spread the word! We could not do it without you! Sometime this month, we hope to Kickstart our next project: Dead Man’s Rust for the Scarred Lands 5e setting. This is a mega-adventure that is based around an ominous (and SPOOKY!) affliction that threatens many of the inhabitants of Ghelspad! More on this when we have a firm date for the KS’s start. As I mentioned before here on the MMN blog, we decided on putting Dead Man’s Rust‘s KS in here many weeks ago in response to the uncertainty of the elections here in the US. Now, on election-eve, and with little greater clarity as to how things will go, I’m glad we made that call on the Kickstarter. Let the Streets Run Red art by Ken Meyer Jr One other bit of good news in Kickstarter-land, which can be SPOOKY! all by itself, is that our four KSs that were delayed because of the effects of Covid have now started shipping out. The new Creature Collection 5e for Scarred Lands (a gorgeous and SPOOKY! book) finished shipping a few weeks ago, and They Came From Beneath the Sea! (SPOOKY! seas) is finishing right now, to be followed this week by Dark Eras 2 (SPOOKY! through time), and then Pirates of Pugmire (Yarr! SPOOKY!? OK, enough.). Whew! So glad our printers and fulfillers were able to get all the pieces together at last. Thanks to all of our backers who were so understanding of the challenges they faced due to the changes brought on to both the printing and shipping businesses due to the pandemic. V5 Cults of the Blood Gods art by Alejandro Colucci So What Else Is Going On That’s Not KS-Related? Well, there’s the election tomorrow, so we discussed that. In general, we’re assuming that Tuesday and probably Wednesday are going to be a wash for our creators. It’s going to be pretty distracting even if you aren’t invested in the situation, and most of our crew truly care about the issues that are playing out tomorrow (and maybe longer). With that, we optimistically set up some meetings later in the week. While all that is going on, we are reviewing the responses we’ve received so far to our Onyx Path Customer Survey 2020 edition. If you haven’t heard of it, we’re asking our community to fill out a pretty brief survey that we hope will express your interests and give us some good ideas as we start to prep for our 2021 Summit. Here’s the link: https://forms.gle/k6J1UMV3h5fCx3FD9 Just from the over 500 responses we’ve received so far, there are a few notes I’d like to share. This is in no way meant to make anybody feel bad who responded, we just want to be sure that people are informed about a few things. Regular readers of this blog may already be aware of these things, but please do pass them on if you see the chance: 1- We did not publish the Deluxe V20 book. Eddy and I were on the team at CCP who did create the book and get it printed and out, but it was CCP during their ownership that published that first “love letter to the fans”. Also, the Deluxe V20 book itself was not Kickstarted. Onyx Path‘s very first Kickstarter project was for the V20 Companion and started our long tradition of Kickstarting 20th Anniversary Editions, but the main book was offered on pre-order without a KS. 2- To the person who was so pissed off that we asked them what country they were living in, in an optional survey that you don’t even need to answer every question on, that they answered every question with FU! (except they wrote it out), here’s hoping you feel a lot better after that cathartic moment. Glad we could help! 3- Big one here, folks: We do not own the World of Darkness, Chronicles of Darkness, or Exalted, game lines. We pitch our ideas to Paradox, who does own them, and they give us approval or not on those ideas for projects. We literally can not legally publish a project they have not agreed to. We don’t hate your favorite game line because we haven’t published anything recently for it, seriously. 4- Another along the same lines: We did not create Vampire 5th Edition, nor the Camarilla or Anarchs books. Onyx Path didn’t have a thing to do with those books, even if there are some freelancers hired in common by our company and Paradox. The 5th Edition setting and rules decisions were made by the Paradox White Wolf team. We have created several books for that game line that we think are pretty damn good, but we work with their set-up for how the TTRPG books need to be. It’s their property after all. 4.5- As you might tell from the points above, we are a licensee of Paradox, whose license allows us to create projects based in their Intellectual Properties. As a licensee, we have no say on what other licenses are arranged by Paradox for their IPs. We don’t have inside info on them, and we don’t get to add our two cents into their business decisions as to what other kinds of projects are licensed. Let the Streets Run Red art by Ken Meyer Jr A few responses told us not to do X, and X was something we had no connection to, so I thought it would help if I laid out the info above. We know that the ownership changes over the years combined with some books being licenses and others being made inside Paradox has been hard to keep track of. It’s not like the old White Wolf days, certainly. Besides that, if you haven’t yet filled out the Survey, and have a spare five minutes, we would really appreciate your sending it in and helping us get some info on just what we can do to create the sorts of game books and experiences your enjoy. Thanks! Finally, everybody, please take care in the next few days, and we’ll see you back at our: Many Worlds, One Path! Blurbs! Kickstarter! Coming up next: Dead Man’s Rust for Scarred Lands Onyx Path Media! This week: Trinity Continuum Core Actual Play, part 3 with Eddy amping up the complications and paranoia for Matthew and Dixie! As always, this Friday’s Onyx Pathcast will be on Podbean or your favorite podcast venue! https://onyxpathcast.podbean.com/ It’s a new week for Onyx Path Media, with a lot of exciting shows coming up on our Twitch channel! Please do check us out and give us a follow. For anyone new to our media section, you can find us running and playing games over on twitch.tv/theonyxpath pretty much every day of the week! Plus, if you’d like your games hosted there, just get in touch with Matthew Dawkins using the contact link on matthewdawkins.com. This week on Twitch, expect to see these games and streams running: Scarred Lands – A Family Affair Scarred Lands – Frostlands of Fenrilik – Vorpal Tales Contagion Chronicle – No Time for Reality Pugmire – How the Pirates Stole Yuletyme Changeling: The Dreaming – The Last Faerie Tale Mage: The Awakening – Occultists Anonymous Scarred Lands – Purge of the Serpentholds Vampire: The Masquerade – Boston by Night – FINALE V5 – Cults of the Blood Gods – Thy Kindred Come Hunter: Unbound Anomalies – Devil’s Luck Gaming Get watching for some fantastic insight into how to run these wonderful games and subscribe to us on Twitch, over at twitch.tv/theonyxpath Come take a look at our YouTube channel, youtube.com/user/theonyxpath, where you can find a whole load of videos of actual plays, dissections of our games, and more, including: Changeling: The Dreaming – The Last Faerie Tale – E19 – https://youtu.be/cI1WzXT3mU4 Onyx Path News – https://youtu.be/5SK-K-yS0NY Vampire: The Masquerade – Boston by Night – Game 3 – https://youtu.be/-qSXPwiLAVg They Came from Beyond the Grave! – Vorpal Tales – Episode 3 – https://youtu.be/7vyr6i3V35o Scion: Demigod – Strange Days – Episode 2 – https://youtu.be/qJN0_aVDiW8 Scarred Lands – Purge of the Serpentholds – S1E21 – https://youtu.be/4pUm2PbMa7o Deviant: The Renegades – A Cautionary Tale – Episode 7 – https://youtu.be/OM5oXcU2DR4 Subscribe to our channel and click the bell icon if you want to be notified whenever new news videos and uploads come online! Strange Assembly wrote up a review of V5 Let the Streets Run Red over on their website: https://www.strangeassembly.com/2020/review-let-the-streets-run-red-vampire-the-masquerade And Charles Phipps did the same on Book Nest! Please give his review a read: http://booknest.eu/reviews/charles/2080-letthestreetsrunred Systematic Understanding of Everything is a fantastic Exalted Explainer Podcast by Exalted Dev Monica Speca and Exalted Writer Chazz Kellner. You should check it out, because frankly, it’s brilliant. Their most recent episodes are available over on https://www.exaltcast.com/, with their newest covering the Seat of the Scarlet Empire. https://www.exaltcast.com/2020/11/02/seat-of-the-scarlet-empire-the-blessed-isle/ Occultists Anonymous continue their wonderful Mage: The Awakening chronicle right here: Episode 139: Sleeper, Asleep Atratus leads her Ebon Phoenix initiates, Wyrd the Seer, and Network into a Sleeper’s soul to undo some of the damage done by her rampant use of magic. https://youtu.be/je6rAArfwf8 Episode 140: Checklist Acquired Songbird researches the trials of the Seraphim he had summoned. Wyrd the Seer and Atratus study what it means to be Wise. https://youtu.be/BfPR30HFjdg More Exalted with The Story Told RPG Podcast‘s Dragon-Blooded actual play, the Fall of Jiara! If you’ve not checked them out before, give them a listen from episode one. If you’re happy to dive right in here: https://thestorytold.libsyn.com/fall-of-jiara-29 Did you watch Red Moon Roleplaying‘s V5 Cults of the Blood Gods chronicle, The Family? It’s appearing in print in the upcoming Trails of Ash and Bone, but before then, give their actual play a listen: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLP3vIEdQUkMH2xf05UFbTgjfrBDg3biBl Please check these out and let us know if you find or produce any actual plays of our games! We’d love to feature you! Electronic Gaming! As we find ways to enable our community to more easily play our games, the Onyx Dice Rolling App is live! Our dev team has been doing updates since we launched based on the excellent use-case comments by our community, and this thing is awesome! (Seriously, you need to roll 100 dice for Exalted? This app has you covered.) We’re told that the App Dev is currently creating an updated version for the latest devices, so keep an eye open for those! The App was also pulled down from the Apple store in order to make some required updates – it’ll be back there soon! Virtual TableTop! Introducing a Virtual Tabletop adventure: the Gauntlet of Spiragos for Scarred Lands on Astral TableTop! Scars of the Divine War, which ended less than 200 years ago, have still not healed. One such scar is the Chasm of Flies, a rent in the earth created when the titan Spiragos the Ambusher was smote down by one of the young gods, Vangal the Ravager. Now, the Chasm is inhabited by spider-eye goblins and their spider allies, but it is also thought to be the resting place of powerful artifacts from that elder age. Gauntlet of Spiragos is a Scarred Lands adventure designed for 1st level characters, although it can be easily modified for characters of up to 5th level. Astral TableTop is the easiest way to play any tabletop RPG online, free. Astral already supports popular systems like D&D and Pathfinder, and Astral can support virtually any tabletop roleplaying game. Get started quickly with built-in support for most popular game systems. Whether you’re brand new to TTRPGs or a veteran tabletop gamer, Astral‘s ease-of-use and built in automation is designed to streamline gameplay. Astral is browser-based and uses the latest technology to streamline your storytelling experience. Connect with your party online and run your campaigns however you like. Astral offers tools optimized for phone, tablet, and desktop devices, no installation required. Build epic battlemaps using Astral‘s enormous collection of scenery, props, and tokens or upload your own. Pro users gain access to over 12,000+ assets and fresh new packs every month. Add weather, visual effects, triggers, and so much more with easy-to-use tools Build your own adventure, or choose from pre-generated game kits like Gauntlet of Spiragos. Create character sheets, craft maps, or just jump right in to connect with your friends and start your adventures! On Amazon and Barnes & Noble! You can now read our fiction from the comfort and convenience of your Kindle (from Amazon) and Nook (from Barnes & Noble). If you enjoy these or any other of our books, please help us by writing reviews on the site of the sales venue from which you bought it. Reviews really, really help us get folks interested in our amazing fiction! Our selection includes these latest fiction books: Our Sales Partners! We’re working with Studio2 to provide our traditionally printed books out into your local game stores. Game stores can order via their usual distributors, and can also contact Studio2 directly. And individuals can check out our projects via the links below! You can pick up the traditionally printed Pugmire and Monarchies of Mau main books, screens, and the official dice through our friends there! https://studio2publishing.com/search?q=pugmire Now, we’ve added Chronicles of Darkness books such as Changeling: The Lost Second Edition products to Studio2‘s store! See them here: https://studio2publishing.com/collections/all-products/changeling-the-lost Scion 2e books and other products are available now at Studio2: https://studio2publishing.com/blogs/new-releases/scion-second-edition-book-one-origin-now-available-at-your-local-retailer-or-online Our Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition books are also available from Studio2 in the US: https://studio2publishing.com/products/vampire-the-masquerade-chicago-by-night-sourcebook Looking for our Deluxe or Prestige Edition books? Try this link! http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Onyx-Path-Publishing/ And you can order Pugmire, Monarchies of Mau, Cavaliers of Mars, and Changeling: The Lost 2e at the same link! And now Scion Origin and Scion Hero and Trinity Continuum Core and Trinity Continuum: Aeon are available to order As always, you can find Onyx Path’s titles at DriveThruRPG.com! On Sale This Week! TC: Aberrant Elites Mask This Wednesday we are offering all sorts of amusing and distracting merch-y items over on our RedBubble store! Like TC: Aberrant symbols! Because isn’t it a good time to be amused and distracted?! Conventions! Though dates for physical conventions are subject to change due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, here’s what’s left of our current list of upcoming conventions (and really, we’re just waiting for this last one to be cancelled even though it’s Nov/Dec). Instead, keep an eye out here for more virtual conventions we’re going to be involved with: PAX Unplugged has confirmed that they are cancelling the con for this year. We’ll be playing games at GameHole Con – the virtual edition – from Nov 5th to Nov 8th! Here’s a link to the con, and the events…pay no attention to the info about the venue and all that detritus from the earlier plan for their usual live convention: https://bit.ly/37lEEaF And now, the new project status updates! Development Status from Eddy Webb! (Projects in bold have changed status since last week.): First Draft (The first phase of a project that is about the work being done by writers, not dev prep.) Exalted Essay Collection (Exalted) No Gods, No Masters (Scion 2nd Edition) TC: Aeon Novella: Dawn (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) TC: Aeon Novella: Meridian (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) Once and Future (Scion 2nd Edition) They Came From Beneath the Sea! Jumpstart (They Came From…!) They Came From Beyond the Grave! Jumpstart (They Came From…!) Tome of the Pentacle (Mage: the Awakening 2e) They Came From Camp Murder Lake! (They Came From…!) They Came From [Classified]! (They Came From…!) They Came From [Classified]! Jumpstart (They Came From…!) Realms of Magic and Mystery (was Terra Incognita) (Scion 2nd Edition) Redlines Dragon-Blooded Novella #2 (Exalted 3rd Edition) Tales of Depravity! (They Came From…!) Monsters From the Crypt! (They Came From…!) Second Draft Many-Faced Strangers – Lunars Companion (Exalted 3rd Edition) Wild Hunt (Scion 2nd Edition) Squeaks In The Deep (Realms of Pugmire) Trinity Continuum: Anima Scion Fiction Anthology (Scion 2nd Edition) Development TC: Aberrant Reference Screen (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Across the Eight Directions (Exalted 3rd Edition) Contagion Chronicle: Global Outbreaks (Chronicles of Darkness) Exigents (Exalted 3rd Edition) Assassins (Trinity Continuum Core) Kith and Kin (Changeling: The Lost 2e) Trinity Continuum: Adventure! core (Trinity Continuum: Adventure!) M20 Rich Bastard’s Guide To Magick (Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary) Adversaries of the Righteous (Exalted 3rd Edition) Novas Worldwide (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) The Devoted Companion (Deviant: The Renegades) Exalted Essence Edition (Exalted 3rd Edition) Heroes in a World of Horror! (They Came From…!) Saints and Monsters (Scion 2nd Edition) Manuscript Approval Crucible of Legends (Exalted 3rd Edition) Dystopia Rising: Evolution Fiction Anthology (Dystopia Rising: Evolution) Prometheus Unbound (was Psi Orders) (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) Legacies of Earth (Legendlore) Post-Approval Development Contagion Chronicle Ready-Made Characters (Chronicles of Darkness) Hundred Devil’s Night Parade (Exalted 3rd Edition) Editing Lunars Novella (Rosenberg) (Exalted 3rd Edition) Mummy: The Curse 2nd Edition core rulebook (Mummy: The Curse 2nd Edition) Player’s Guide to the Contagion Chronicle (Chronicles of Darkness) TC: Aberrant Jumpstart (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) LARP Rules (Scion 2nd Edition) The Book of Lasting Death (Mummy: The Curse 2e) Scion: Dragon (Scion 2nd Edition) Dearly Bleak – Novella (Deviant: The Renegades) N!ternational Wrestling Entertainment (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Under Alien Skies (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) Dead Man’s Rust (Scarred Lands) V5 Trails of Ash and Bone (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition) M20 Victorian Mage (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition) Mission Statements (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) The Clades Companion (Deviant: The Renegades) V5 Children of the Blood (was The Faithful Undead) (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition) Peoples of the Crossroads Continent M20 Technocracy Operative’s Dossier (Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary) Yugman’s Appendix: People of Ghelspad (Scarred Lands) V5 Forbidden Religions (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition) CtL 2e Novella Collection: Hollow Courts (Changeling: The Lost 2e) Post-Editing Development W20 Shattered Dreams Gift Cards (Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th) Cults of the Blood Gods (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition) Hunter: The Vigil 2e core (Hunter: The Vigil 2nd Edition) Deviant: The Renegades (Deviant: The Renegades) Legendlore core book (Legendlore) Masks of the Mythos (Scion 2nd Edition) They Came From Beyond the Grave! (They Came From!) Scion: Demigod (Scion 2nd Edition) Indexing Art Direction from Mike Chaney! In Art Direction WoD Ghost Hunters (KS) Hunter: The Vigil 2e Mummy 2 – Need to AD just 10 more pieces. Legendlore Scion: Dragon (KS) – Art for KS in progress. Masks of the Mythos (KS) – Ready for the KS. Scion: Demigod (KS) They Came From Beyond the Grave! TC: Adventure! (KS) Contagion Chronicle Jumpstart (Chronicles of Darkness) – Awaiting artnotes. Monsters of the Deep – Monsters all AD’d. Art still arting. M20 Victorian (KS) – ADing rolling. TC: Under Alien Skies – ADed. Sketches coming in. Heirs to the Shogunate – ADed. Boom. Dead Man’s Rust (SL KS) – KS art AD’d. Cover art in. Children of the Blood – ADing. In Layout Yugman’s Guide to Ghelspad Vigil Watch M20 Technocracy Reloaded – In layout realized needed some more art: contracted. Deviant – Symbols and page designs being created. Geist: One Foot In the Grave – Travis is on it. Tales of Aquatic Terror – Ready for Travis layout. Proofing Cavaliers of Mars: City of the Towered Tombs – Backer PDF out for errata. Yugman’s Guide Support Decks (Scarred Lands) Aberrant – Waiting for a couple of pieces of art due in by Friday. Backer PDF out for errata. V5 Cults of the Blood Gods – In 2nd proof. At Press TCFBTS Screen and Booklet – KS shipping getting started. They Came from Beneath the Sea! – KS shipping getting started . Pirates of Pugmire – KS shipping getting started . Pirates of Pugmire Screen – KS shipping getting started. Dark Eras 2 – KS shipping getting started . Dark Eras 2 Screen and booklet – KS shipping getting started. Contagion Chronicle – Printing. Lunars Wall Scroll Map – At KS fulfiller. Lunars Screen and Booklet – At KS fulfiller. Lunars: Fangs at the Gate – Deluxe printing. PDF and PoD on sale at DTRPG. TC Aeon Terra Firma – PoD proofs ordered. V5 Let the Streets Run Red – PoD proofs ordered. Trinity Core Jumpstart – PDF files uploaded. Today’s Reason to Celebrate! As we stand on the cusp of change and potential upheaval throughout the US and inevitably beyond, let’s celebrate our friends and those who we can celebrate and/or commiserate with. Friends who have your back through thick or thin, and also friends who might not go that far, but who make you feel better anyway! And take care, all of youse.
  12. LaTia Jacquise Joins Monte Cook Games as Community Relations Coordinator Monte Cook Games, LLC, the company behind the popular and … MCG Welcomes LaTia Jacquise The post MCG Welcomes LaTia Jacquise appeared first on Monte Cook Games.
  13. Type: Features Author: Shelly Mazzanoble and Greg Tito Subtitle: Dragon Talk Banner: Text: With so much D&D news, it would be impossible to list it all here. Listen to our opening news segment to hear Greg and Shelly break it all down! It’s an extra scary, double dose of Chris Perkins this week on Dragon Talk! First, Greg and Shelly get you up to date with the latest D&D news! Afterwards, Chris makes his first appearance to give us a Lore You Should Know on Barovia. Later, he returns for a special interview on Curse of Strahd Revamped! Dragon Talk is executively produced by Greg Tito, Shelly Mazzanoble & Wizards of the Coast. Show production by Lisa Carr & Ryan Marth of Siren Sound. Podcast recording, editing, mixing and mastering by Ryan Marth & Siren Sound. Dragon Talk: Chris Perkins, LYSK on Barovia Dragon Talk - 10/21/2020 By Greg Tito, Shelly Mazzanoble SEE MORE PODCASTS Podcast/Notes Here’s a guide to when each segment on the podcast begins: 00:00: Intro and news with Greg Tito and Shelly Mazzanoble 15:51: Lore You Should Know 34:06: Interview with Chris Perkins 1:25:48: Outro Stay Informed More Ways to Tune-In: Subscribe to the Dragon Talk podcast on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you get podcasts. More Ways to Play: Learn more about the Adventurers League here. More Ways to Become Involved: Find out more about the Guild Adept program here. If you’re interested in submitting your artwork to be considered for use with D&D, send five images to artdrop@wizards.com. Podcast Guests Chris Perkins Chris Perkins is a mind flayer. He works on Dungeons & Dragons and eats the brains of people smarter than him. Twitter: @ChrisPerkinsDnD Your Podcast Hosts Greg Tito Greg Tito has had weird and long career as an Off Broadway stage manager, a playwright, a theater carpenter, a secretary, an RPG designer, a games journalist, and now a PR/Marketing person. He has loved Dungeons & Dragons ever since 1985 when he found an old copy of the AD&D Dungeon Master’s Guide on his brother’s bookshelf and he honed that love of fantasy storytelling in the dark streets of Sasserine by way of the Upper West Side gaming group he joined in 2004. He moved his family (wife + two young kids) to Seattle in 2015 to work on D&D and he’s never looked back. Twitter: @Gregtito Shelly Mazzanoble Shelly Mazzanoble will always play a magic-user. There. She said it. Enough pretending to want to break out of her comfort zone. She’s a magic-user. She’s also the brand lead for Avalon Hill and loves talking about that one time she played Diplomacy and SOMEONE (okay, it was Ben Petrisor) stabbed her in the back and took over her beloved Russia. If you enjoy tales of sorcery, board game upheavals, and reasons her 3 year-old is crying (HINT: She tried to make him eat a Nutella crepe), find Shelly on Twitter and Facebook. Facebook: shellymazzanoblewriter Twitter: @shellymoo Publication date: 10/22/2020 Tags: Features Podcast Texture banner: Show Black text:
  14. Sean rolled his expressive, two-toned eyes in exasperation. He wasn't sure if Devin muddled up his words on purpose to be funny or actually did it by accident. Knowing for sure would probably be worse, and likely no less exasperating. He shook his head, and gave Kat a wide, genuine smile in greeting. "Kat. Great to see you here." He arched a questioning brow at Devin. "If you want to be involved in our hobbies, you should come around to gaming night." He blinked. D'oh! Did I just invite Devin to gaming?! Well, it at least meant he was thinking beyond the final showdown of final destiny with Not-Cody tonight, even if gaming nights had been spotty at best, lately. "Baby steps, brah," Devin said. "One bit of nerdery at a time." "He does have a point though," Sean said, sidling up beside Kat, lips curving coyly at he glanced at his sister. "'Bout the double-date thing." "He does?!" Laurie exclaimed, just as Devin said, "I do?" "Yeah, I asked Kat to Homecoming. She said yes." Sean sounded nonchalant, but his eyes gleamed. Kat looked surprised for a moment as Sean made the declaration then beamed widely. There was barely an instant of surprise in Devin's face before an enthusiastic, "Dude!" and a fist bump, which Sean returned after a brief hesitation of unexpectedness. "Get!" Laurie slammed the heels of her palms against her short brother's shoulders, nearly knocking him out of his scuffed red sneakers. "Out!" Slam! "Are you serious?" "Ow..." Sean muttered, rubbing his shoulders. "Yes, I'm serious. Even your poor freak of a brother can find a date to Homecoming." "I would say... exotique, rather," Kat added. "And as Sean has been showing me around Shelly, I figure this is one thing more to show me. Homecoming, we did not have its like in France." Laurie's face scrunched up. "I didn't mean it like th-" "No, no, it's okay," Sean continued, playing up the drama. "I just thought, since all I've suffered, the least you could do is, while me and Kat go, you could take Devin-" "NO! Absolutely not! I-" "Sorry, Red! I'm already taking Cassie to Homecoming." Devin considered for a rare moment. "Though, there's totally some cray inside that girl. If I ask the right way, she mi-" Hands on her slim hips, Laurie turned her grey-eyed glare from her brother to the boy Jauntsen. "Finish that thought, Jauntsen, and I'll jaunt you into a lake of fire. And I already have a date, thank-you!" Her glare returned to her brother. "I can't believe you're trying to pull the freak card. Now." Sean smirked, pressing a hand to his chest. "You wound me. I would never. But it should work for me, some time, at least. But really, you didn't let me finish. I just meant you could bring Devin over to mom and dad, y'know, provide a bit of distraction when I tell mom 'bout Kat and Homecoming." Sean looked over at Devin and Kat. "We have plenty to share, without Teagan here." "Oh!" Baleful regard eased, then relented. "Oh, that's fine. I guess." She gave Devin a sidelong glance. "If you're hungry." "I could eat," Devin agreed, not at all opposed to being in company of three redheads - four, if you counted Mrs. Cassidy. "Fine!" Laurie didn't quite scowl, roughly hooking her arm with Devin's and leading him to the Cassidy table. "I could eat too, and would like to meet your parents," Kat agreed. More graciously, Sean lead Kat after Laurie and Devin. "Just wait 'til I tell you Marissa's plans for you, Sean," Laurie shot back over her shoulder. "Wait. What?" Laurie stuck out her tongue but said no more. Sean and Laurie introduced their guests to their parents, though Devin was known to them already, if not officially. Jack Cassidy was easygoing as he kept to the grill, even towards Devin. If his gaze sharpened a bit, there wasn't the cinematic Dad Vibe of 'hurt my little girl, and I will end you!'. Carolyn was more scrutinizing. Devin had hardly been kind to her younger children. But that seemed to have been changing of late. She had idle suspicions as to why, seeing him here, now, with her son and daughter. "I am so glad to finally meet you, Catherine. Sean has talked quite highly of you," Carolyn said warmly. Experienced with Jason, so some degree, instead of acting instinctively, she asked. "Would you mind if I give you hug?" Kat dithered for moment, before nodding her accent. "That would be okay. And Kat is fine." Carolyn gave the slight girl a firm embrace. Devin grinned brazenly, holding out his arms. Carolyn Cassidy was quite fine for her age. "I'd be fine with a hug, too, Mrs. Cassidy." Carolyn eyes were cool as she regarded him. Jack's gaze was a mite more warning than they had been. After a long moment, she sighed with more exasperation than her son and nodded. "Laurie has said you've been working hard on mending your ways, and that is quite commendable, Devin." She gave him a hug, if a good deal more lightly and brief than the one Kat had gotten, then took a step back, collecting some paper plates. "Now, what would y'all like? We have some salads and grilled veggies for sides, we have water, lemonade and some sodas in the cooler, and what kind of sausages do you favor, we have a variety?" Both Laurie and Sean gave Devin pointed looks, which yelled at him not say anything that could be construed as dirty or sexual in response to their mother asking him about sausages. Assembling plates, Laurie waited patiently for her mother to take a sip of her lemonade before casually mentioning that Sean was taking Kat to Homecoming. Carolyn choked on her drink in surprise, and Devin found out where Laurie learned to glare. Laurie seemed inordinately proud of herself. Sean sighed. "That's wonderful, hon. I'm happy for the both of you," Carolyn said, restraining herself from gushing. Sean had his tight group of friends, and though she readily understood his reasons, she had feared Sean might end up too insular, hiding behind his electronics, rather than even attempting to socialize some. "I certainly hope you'll take some pictures." "We so totally will," Laurie promised. <Dude. I've never gone to any dances or Homecoming. Think you can give me some pointers on how to dress?> Sean thought at Devin's phone, his expression bland even if his face reddened as Carolyn and Laurie bantered about Homecoming. It kind of killed him to have to ask Devin for advice. <Certain accommodations notwithstanding, you have a certain style and it's not like I can ask Jase. Or Cade. Don't think jeans will cut it.>
  15. Hi all, Matthew Dawkins here! It’s been a real joy for me to see people creating community content for They Came from Beneath the Sea!, and it’s easy to do, with the template all set up for you to download from the Storypath Nexus. I wanted to throw a little spotlight over to some of the excellent work by one of our prolific, talented creators, Travis Legge. He’s released more than one product for Beneath the Sea!, but this one is a new kind of threat a lot of you will know from alien invasion movies of the 1950s all the way through to the X-Files, at which point this particular antagonist felt a little bit over-exposed: The Grays. Travis has presented the Grays in their mould as “People of Earth, we come in peace”, while secretly harbouring aims of invasion. He’s written a couple of very useable story hooks to go along with them (which you can base an entire adventure around), and really displayed a great level of competency when it comes to the Storypath System, as he presents their special abilities such as being able to drop cows from flying saucers (with the Deadly, Piercing, and Shockwave tags) through to ray guns that convey Enhancements to the Grays, and alien language that conveys a Complication to understand them (unless of course you utilise the Bad Dubbing Cinematic from the core book). Please take a look and create an antagonist yourself! It’s easy to do, and you make money on every sale.
  16. "Eee-yeaaah..." Sean hedged, juggling the extra Fresca back into his satchel as he looked up at the other two. "I was gonna tell her today, y'know, after this. Ain't your fault, man." He gestured around Champion's Field with his drink in one hand, bun and sausage in the other. "I was gonna tell you, Laurie, honest." Sean couldn't really blame Devin. It was getting hard to remember who knew what, and what you could tell to whom, and what you didn't mind others knowing. And as much as he might still be leery of the interest Laurie was showing in Devin - Devin interest in Laurie was less of concern, since he showed the same interest in practically every female in Shelly, and probably out of it too - there was far worse that Laurie could have making a mistake with. And through all that was happening, even Sean had to admit Devin had really stepped up his game. "Tell me what?" Laurie reiterated, folding her arms huffily, eyes hard on both her brother and Devin. "Mhmphmer," Sean mumbled around a bite of sausage to give himself a bit of time. Picking up on his mistress' irritation, Rascal when to butt Sean in the butt, who just managed to scoot out of the way at the last moment, almost dropping his drink. He glared at the goat. Devin looked like he wanted to give him a high five. "Msstsrd." Sean took a sip of Fresca to help put down his last bit of sausage, then quickly finished the rest of it, then his Fresca, wiping his hands on his pants. He casually looked around to make sure no one seemed to be eavesdropping on them. "Okay, the Cliff Notes. Cody got infected with an evil... thing, entity --- Remember that episode of TNG, with the Skin of Evil? Anthropomorphic evil, abandoned on a planet?" "Yes..." Laurie admitted dubiously, giving Devin a slightly self-conscious glance. "Okay, something like, but in a dimension next to ours. But able to reach into ours at certain points and time. That got inside Cody and now Cody ain't Cody anymore. The Big Bad. At least one of them. He's on the Other Side. If he gets on this Side, stuff gets bad, like super bad, super pandemic bad, maybe zombie apocalypse bad. People acting on their worse impulses is just the start. So, we're going to stop him. Tonight." Sean gave his sister a pointed look, trying to impress on her the seriousness of what he was trying to convey. Laurie didn't seem to be buying it at first, then she shifted her weight, considering what her brother could do. What Jase could do. What Devin, of all people, could do. "Okay... right. But like, there has to be somebody else who can go do that, right? I mean, I know you guys can do all these incredible things, but you're all still in high school for fuck's sake." Sean shook his head, a bit reluctantly. "They can't get to Not-Cody, not where they can stop him before it's too late." He nodded towards Devin. "With our help, Devin can get us there, and together, Voltroning our powers, we can stop Not-Cody." Laurie shivered, hugging herself tighter. This was insane. "This is insane. You all kn - why didn't you tell me before?" "I was still trying to figure out how to tell you that we're to the land of Upside-Down Thunder to face off against an entity of unmitigated and seemingly immortal evil, and we might not win." And we might die. The last part might not have been said, but Laurie heard it. She'd seen her brother scared before, but he'd always toughed it out before, fought his way through it. But he was struggling now, and didn't want to show it. She didn't stop hugging herself, but she straightened her shoulders and stood up tall, giving Sean and Devin a determined nod. "Okay. Okay," she repeated. She took a deep breath, unfolding her arms, her hands balling into fists. She nodded again. "You guys gotta go what you gotta do. So, what do I do? How do I help?" "If we don't come back, you get mom and dad out of Shelly, Laurie," Sean said with somber seriousness, sending shivers of scare sweat sliding down Laurie's spine. Sean looked over at Devin. "That about cover it?"
  17. In partnership with our friends from Indie Press Revolution, get 50% off prestige edition books and screens from Chronicles of Darkness, while supplies last, or until Halloween! Sale includes: Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras Dark Eras ST Screen Changeling: The Lost 2nd Edition Changeling 2e ST Screen Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition Geist 2e ST Screen Beast: The Primordial
  18. Out and About Shelly Sean dropped Jason off then started heading for Champion's Field to meet up with his parents and sister, when his Jeep chimed, indicating it was hungry. Not surprising he'd gone to Great Falls and back twice this weekend. He huffed and switched lanes to stop off at the gas station to fill up rather than heading to The Carousel directly. He loved his Trailblazer, no doubt, with its height and capabilities on and off road, but he still regretted being outbid on the Tesla. With his powers, he was sure he could keep an electric vehicle running indefinitely - well, almost, he would get tired eventually rather than having to gas up his vehicle. He'd been looking at electric conversion kits, but they were pricy and he didn't have the savings after buying his Grand Cherokee. He believed he could do the conversion himself, with help, but he would still need a garage and the right tools. Sean pulled in to Simons Petroleum and hopped out of his vehicle. He sauntered around it, reached up and unscrewed the cap to the gas tank and stuck the nozzle of pump inside. He frowned at the pump for a moment when it asked him to preauthorize an amount. It would be so easy to spoof the system, to make it think he'd payed when he hadn't, but he resisted the urge. He tapped his debit card on the reader then pulled the trigger to let the gas start filling the tank. Tapping his foot in time with the music coming from his car, Sean grew aware at being stared at. Sean glanced over between the pumps to see two men looking at him as they spoke, standing by a F-250 even more jacked up than his Grand Cherokee. The younger of the two was Jared, a member of the Shelly High Football team, the older, presumably his father. The fireflies of bioelectric impulses danced inside them both, showing a rising agitation, but not so much Sean thought violence was imminent. He shifted so his back was mostly towards them, but was still able to keep them in his peripheral vision. "In my day, boys had the decency to look and dress like boys and play football and girls to look and dress like girls and be cheerleaders. None of this tranny shit or identifying as this or that from one day to the next, making mock of God's plan for 'em." Jared the Elder was speaking to his son, but was being loud enough to make sure Sean heard him. Sean's shoulders tightened even as he sighed. It felt like a year ago since he made that silly bet with Laurie. A bet he was pretty sure he'd lose, a bet he'd made to force himself through his own hang-ups to see what something felt like. He'd known he would get comments, but he hadn't thought it would be this big of a deal, didn't think it would alter the opinions people already had about him. He feigned not hearing them, as he pulled the trigger a few more times to make sure the tank was full, then settled the pump in its cradle and completed the transaction. "You hear that, titboy?" Jared the Younger called out, taking a step towards the feminine boy. "You'll get your comeuppance. You ain't had no right dressing up and pretending you're a cheerleader, even if your sister is on the football team, travesty as that is." Sean could barely make out Jared mutter something about Lilly before he raised his voice again. "You're making The Coyotes a laughing stock." Sean just stared at the rangy jock. You're doing that on your own, bud, he thought, but no one else around was laughing. The attendant was looking on through the window of his kiosk. "I'm sorry, just because I was wearing the uniform, you think everyone thought I was a cheerleader?" Sean's sweet voice was full of scorn. "Did any of you see me on the field cheering? Or even stand next to another cheerleader?" "It don't matter none. You ain't earned that uniform. And none claiming to be a boy would be caught dead in it." Sean barely bit back the laugh. Earned? Right. Yeah, skill made the team, football or cheerleader, but especially among the cheerleaders under Courtney's reign, it was nearly as often made by nepotism and sycophancy. "Sorry I confused you, Jared." He spared a scathing glance for his father just before climbing up into the Jeep. "And in my dad, we're smart enough not to smoke when we pumping gas." The ashy cigarette dropped from Jared the Elder's mouth as Sean drove away. He slammed the steering wheel with the palm of his hand, furious at himself for taking the bait, furious that others were making a big deal out of something he thought so small in the grand scheme of things, even if privately, it had been a big deal to him. Furious that he and his friends were facing a goddamned monster on these goddamned people's behalf. He made a sharp turn away from the direction of Champion's field, needing time to cool off. He didn't want to die. He had bloody super powers, and it felt like death was waiting for him everyway he turned. Cody and the entity that was inside him, or part of him, tonight. His own genetic abnormalities in an uncertain amount of months time if he didn't find a longshot answer at Site B, where he might also end up getting killed trying to infiltrate. Or even something as mundane as turning into another glossed over hate crime statistic, which could happen pretty much anytime, practically anywhere. Sean drove down Shelly's main street and had the almost overwhelming urge to just... keep driving. He'd seen so little of the world. In a few months, he could see some portion of it, more than Montana and a few hospitals in some of the bigger cities around the US. He could get by, as long as he could find an ATM or had access to the internet. Cryptocurrency was practically made for someone like him. Everyone else in the Fellowship was pairing off, but there was no one for him. They might have been his friends, but nothing more to the freak, despite Jase's assurances earlier in the day. He glanced in the rearview mirror and angrily scrubbed away a tear he hadn't felt on his cheek. But they were his friends, and he still had family here, and that was the tether that stopped him from abandoning Shelly altogether and just continuing down the highway. He turned and drove home. In the barn, he stopped to wash his face in cool water, then checked in on his Matrix Trio, getting the updates on ReGenesis. Everything looked like it was checking out, the last bugs exterminated, Steam page and the direct site ready to go. He hit a key, a physical key for added poignancy, and started the countdown for release tomorrow morning. Then he found his cat, Turing, and coaxed him from his dresser. Turing had been none to pleased with him since he experimented with what he could do with electromanipulative control on the grey cat. But Turing magnanimously relented to his touch and let Sean pet him for a while. Calmed by the near silent purring, Sean picked Turing up on his shoulder and carried him into the main house. Just in case he didn't come back tonight. Then he got back in his car and drove to Champion's Field, parking next to his dad's truck, a spot miraculously still open on the gravel lot. Sean collected his nearly ever-present satchel and slung it crosswise over his shoulder as he slid out from his vehicle. Squinting against the noonday sun, he looked over Champion's Field, finding his parents among the scattered trees by the picnic area with the other families, more or less in the same spot they claimed every year. Just like most of the other families who usually attended each Labor Day, in an unwritten but still understood accord. The buxom boy strolled over to his parents, hands stuffed in the pockets of his white hoodie with its spreading tree graphic. His father gave him a nod and pointed at the grill with a pair of tongs, assuring him that he'd have to take his turn cooking. His mom turned from placing a half dozen muffins in a paper bag and accepting a few bills in return, giving her middle child a motherly smile. "There you are, hon." Carolyn swept a lock of strawberry-blond hair behind her ear in a mirror of her youngest daughter as she looked over her shoulder to where she'd last seen Jason. "Everything okay? I thought you'd show up with Jason - oh!" Carolyn's brows rose in surprise at finding Jason in a close and public embrace with the Keane girl. Her lips creased with a private smile, pleased for the boy who had spent so much time at their place. She hoped her own son found someone someday, even if it didn't last, and regardless where his inclinations lied. She and Jack had discussed talking with Sean about it, but had decided to leave it alone for now. Sean followed his mother's glance then looked away, gemstone eyes darkening with a hint of envy. Instead he prepared himself a Polish sausage on a bun with all the trimmings and grabbed a canned drink. After an instant of consideration, he took another can and stuffed it in his satchel. He tended to go through the first can quick. "I'm fine. Jase just wanted to get his car and then I had to gas up, then check on something back home. It's all good." Carolyn gave Sean a sharp look, well aware that wasn't the whole of it, but deciding not to call him on it. "Okay... If there's anything you think we should know, about, well, you know, please, Sean, don't keep us in the dark." Sean hid a shiver under his hoodie, looking for an excuse to leave before he inadvertently revealed more than he would prefer. He saw Laurie and Devin talking a ways off and nodded towards them. "I won't, I promise. There's Laurie. She texted me when we were out. I should go, um, apologize." Drink and sausage in hand, Sean hustled over to his taller sister and the even taller Devin. "Hey, guys. Hope I ain't interrupting, just have to escape the 'rents for a bit." He shuffled his drink into the crook of his arm and fished out the other can from his satchel, offering it to Devin first, though he held it out somewhere between Devin and Laurie. "Want a Fresca?"
  19. Champion's Field, after Noonish Rascal scampered about, alternately munching on a pair of cored apples Laurie had given him as a treat, and flinging them about while her dad showed how to grill, starting her out with bratwurst, kielbasa, and other varieties of sausage. Jack Cassidy manipulate fork and tongs like a maestro's baton, taking the occasional sip of a local microbrew stout and giving his youngest daughter laconic instruction. Carolyn got out the buns and condiments and a pair of jugs of pink lemonade, lemonade ice cubes thunking against the plastic before setting out a wide selection of baked she and her son had made leading up to Labor Day, pies, cookies, muffins, and breads. Some to eat, some to give away, some to sell, the proceeds split with the fund that maintained The Carousel. Carolyn stretched, fists knuckling the small of her back and noticed someone she'd only seen rarely in passing at Shelly High when she was there for a PTA meeting. Jason's father. Garreth, yes, that was it. She had to admit to herself, she hadn't thought particularly highly of him. But now, he was clear eyed, clean shaven, and wore a clean shirt - it made for a surpassing improvement. He noticed her attention and tipped his bottle her way, giving her a nod. Carolyn brushed strawberry blond hair from her face and nodded back. Then on a whim, she picked up a pie, strode over to where he was minding his own grill by his lonesome, a pleasant smile creasing her pleasant features. "It's nice to see you out and about," and sober and clean, went unsaid, though understood. It wasn't unkind, Carolyn had a suspicion to what had encouraged Jason's father to apparently change his ways. "Garreth Bannon, and joining the rest of Shelly at The Carousel this year. I'm Carolyn, Sean's mother. Just wanted to introduce myself and say you have a fine young man in Jason and it's been our pleasure to have him visit over the years." "Gar," the elder Bannon corrected, his nervousness easing somewhat, allowing himself a faint smile and nodding his greeting. "I wish I could take credit for the man Jase has become, but... " He shrugged self-deprecatingly, but there wasn't the bitterness there would have been even just a few days ago. "Gotta thank you folks for having him over so much and your boy being a friend to mine ever since we moved to Shelly." Carolyn laughed lightly. "That goes both ways, I think." She gestured at the grill. "Jason has always been helpful in the kitchen, but I didn't know if you brought more than meat to eat, so I thought I'd bring over a pie, cherry and blueberry." She set it to side of the grill, and waved her hand over it. "There's a little bit more in there, punching up the flavor while mellowing the sweetness. Jason has been fond of it... once Sean worked out the kinks in the recipe." "Thanks kindly, Mrs. Cassidy." Carolyn waggled a finger. "If you insist on Gar, I have to insist on Carolyn. Perhaps someday, we can have both Bannons over for dinner. Considering, we have heard so little about you."
  20. Champion's Field, The Carousel - Before Noon Jack and Carolyn Cassidy strode through Champion's Field, their fingers interlaced with easy camaraderie, giving off the vibe of a pair of high school sweethearts who had made it through the hump of time and experience to find their affection had grown deeper without having to show it with feigned or overabundant PDA. They hadn't been high school sweethearts, though they had known each other in high school. Rather, they had gotten together when Carolyn was in college and Jack had been finishing his carpentry apprenticeship, after a messy falling out with a mutual loved one they hadn't talked about since that time. The sky was clear, the sun was bright, early morning chill already long faded with the promise of greater warmth throughout the day. Jack wore a Billings Bulls cap with a deeply curved brim to keep the sun off his head, sandy blond hair buzzed short ever since he started balding. Carolyn let her hair hang loose, once as rich a red as her son's and youngest daughter's, now faded to a strawberry blond with sun and age. They had a quiet sense of pride about the Carousel as they idly wandered the grounds with no concrete destination or path in mind. Jack had donated labour and materials to built several of the food stalls, designed for easy set-up and take down, and for the siding that protected The Carousel during the off season. And Carolyn had donated time with managing the finances for one of Toole County's non-profits that organized funds to maintain the restored the classic 1936 Carousel. The Carousel hadn't been their dream, but they were glad to have helped make it come true. It helped alleviate their concern for their odd son and all they had he revealed to them. There was something going on with him, they could tell, but not precisely what. Sean was a private sort, and they had generally left him to his own devices as much as he could. Lately, they had noticed a change in Sean, an easing acceptance to his condition, rather than the discomfiture, dissatisfaction, and resignation that he used to vacillate between, even if there was an edge to that acceptance they couldn't quite define. Jack exchanged nods or a few words with various students and ex-students he had hired to work with him during the summers over the years. One, who had graduated three years ago tried to hand him a resume, which Jack refused with a good natured laugh. Salt of the earth he might be, but even he usually only accepted resumes online and had a standard form to fill out. He did arrange an on the job interview in a few days time for him though. He'd been getting more work of late and could use more all year help with his general contracting business. Carolyn chatted with several friends she saw in passing, a few who were also reasonable parents on the PTA. Laurelai, her hair a deeper red than her mother's, her face less freckled, stalked ahead of her parents wearing her football jersey and a leash wrapped around her left hand, an irritated energetic bounce to her steps. Sean had taken off to Great Falls with Jason this morning before she had the chance to tag along, and Teagan had cancelled - Again! - saying she couldn't make it off base. And she knew the Fellowship had something going on today or tonight - she'd been practicing her observational skills - but not what. Laurie's spritely mahogany and white pygmy goat Rascal pranced along at his mistress' side with cheerful mischievousness, snagging bites of lavender cotton candy whenever Laurie let her arm swing low. A few wisps of it clung to the side of his mouth, which only served to draw even more attention than his adorableness already did and which Rascal accepted as his due. The youngest Cassidy sibling stopped to speak with the Heath sisters for a while, finding out that Lilly had returned, and making a mental note as to why Sean hadn't mentioned it. When she jogged to catch up to her parents, she got interrupted by Ryan Andersen. He was a guy in her grade, about her height, but if anything, even skinnier. And it seemed like he had never shaved yet, wisps of blond hair as fine as the cotton candy in her hand curling around his lips and chin. He was kinda awkward, kinda obliviously entitled, but not really a bad guy, even if any girl with at least a modicum of good looks knew he had a tendency to stare. "Oh! Hey! Hey! Laurie?" He called out as he rushed from between a pair stalls as he saw her passing by. "Yes, Ryan?" "Hi." Social greeting completed to his satisfaction, Ryan immediately proceeded to what was really concerning him. "ReGenesis looks awesome. Can you get a game key for it from your brother and give it to me?" "I probably can," Laurie admitted with an exasperated roll of her eyes. "But Sean isn't giving out game keys to anyone, not even reviewers, and especially not anyone who claims to be an influencer or who boasts about his five hundred subscribers on YouTube." Laurie gave him a pointed look. Ryan blinked, Teflon to her snark. "Jim Fines got a test copy, only because Sean is friends with him online." "So.... yes?" "No." "Oh." Ryan blinked again, then nodded. "That's okay. I'll just pirate it when they break the protection." Laurie's lips curved in a private smirk. She seen Sean's coding, even if she couldn't make any sense of that. "You do that, bud. He calls his game data protection and encryption Keelhaul. Make sure you read the user agreement. Later, Ryan." Laurie skipped adroitly around Ryan and Rascal gave him a headbutt to the knee which nearly buckled the fifteen year old to the ground, sticking his tongue out at him as he trotted after his mistress. As Laurie caught up to her parents, the Keanes were arriving to Champion's Field. Jack gave Ian a nod in greeting as the Cassidys ambled over. Jack and Ian were acquaintances, Jack having been hired by Ian or on his clients' behalf to fix up property for living or flipping. The Cassidy women waved. "It's been a while, Ian," Jack said. "You and your ladies need any help unloading?"
  21. Now available in advance PDF from DriveThruRPG: Terra Firma for Trinity Continuum: Æon! Bleeding Edge Dangers and Ancient Mysteries! Terra Firma expands the setting of Trinity Continuum: Æon by revealing some of the many wonders and secrets found on Earth and Luna, while also providing Storytellers with the material they require to set exciting campaigns on either of these two worlds. Terra Firma requires both the Trinity Continuum Core Rulebook and Trinity Continuum: Æon to play. Inside, you will find: Further information about 10 nations previously discussed in Trinity Continuum: Æon, including a detailed look at an important city in each nation. Details on threats facing Earth, including revolutionary movements, dangerous cults, and criminal gangs. An exploration of some of the strange, and often deadly, mysteries found on Earth and Luna — from the ancient and terrible Gorgon Karst caves beneath eastern Europe to the bizarre Hadley Rille Anomaly on Luna. New technologies used on Earth, examples of the many strange and powerful relics of the Nova Age, as well as new Edges and Paths specifically for the inhabitants of Earth and Luna. Merch Also available: posters and art prints of the Trinity Continuum: Æon cover art! Kickstarter Update The Kickstarter for Scion 2nd Edition Book 3: Demigod is halfway through! We funded to 100% in 75 minutes, 200% in less than 12 hours! We’re currently at 313% of our $35,000 goal, or $109,625, thanks to our 1758 backers (just inches away from the next stretch goal), and we’ve hit several stretch goals: Scion: Demigod Reference Screen Scion: Demigod Companion: New Boons, new creatures, new Guides, new followers Backer T-shirt Did you miss one of our previous Kickstarters? The following Kickstarted products are still open for preorders via BackerKit: Trinity Continuum: Trinity Continuum: Aberrant Legendlore: Legendlore Vampire: The Masquerade: Cults of the Blood Gods Mage: The Ascension: Technocracy Reloaded Chronicles of Darkness: The Contagion Chronicle Chronicles of Darkness: Deviant: The Renegades Chronicles of Darkness: Hunter: The Vigil 2nd Edition Chronicles of Darkness: Mummy: The Curse 2nd Edition Community Spotlight The following community-created content for Scarred Lands has been added to the Slarecian Vault in the last week: Your product could be here! Have you considered creating your own to sell? The following community-created content for Realms of Pugmire has been added to Canis Minor in the last week: Your product could be here! Have you considered creating your own to sell? The following community-created content for Storypath has been added to the Storypath Nexus in the last week: Scion: Divine Garage Your product could be here! Have you considered creating your own to sell?
  22. At this writing, the Scion: Demigod 2e Kickstarter is almost at the half-way point and we’re over 300% funded and have over 1700 backers. Not bad at all for half-way! Of course, we’re also in the slow-down period for a bit coming up, so keep an eye out for the previews, actual plays, and interviews we have scheduled to keep everyone entertained until pledging picks up again! Fun fact: the joint Kickstarter for Scion: Origin and Scion: Hero launched in September, 2016 – four years ago! Also, as of this writing, we have attained Stretch Goals including unlocking the Reference Screen, KS backer exclusive T Shirt discount, and are building up the Scion: Demigod Companion with sections on new Boons, creatures, Guides, and followers – and are headed towards the next goal of a section on Solo Play! Stretch Goals are something we continue to tinker with, and we’ve found that doing an overflow book like many of the Companions is really ideal. Backers get access to even more info about the game they pledged for, and we can create goal thresholds that are chapter-sized and therefore priced to such amounts that are achievable more quickly. Which makes the fun of surpassing an amount and achieving a Stretch Goal regular things backers can look forward to. But we still also look at other possible goals if the KS can support them with the pledges. Pay bumps for creators is a personal favorite of mine, and some of our crew like Jumpstarts or Fiction, too. And sometimes ideas for Stretch Goal rewards come at us from backers or other sources. We’re always open to hearing ideas. Terra Firma art by Sam Denmark What we do try to stay away from these days are Stretch Goal rewards that involve adding new material to the book being KS’d, as we’ve seen that derail getting that main reward out to backers by months and months. I’m also extremely leery of rewards that involve working with another company, at this point. It’s a question of expectation by our backers. We pretty much always phrase the reward to say that the reward means that we’ll work with the other company to create whatever it is they are creating. Then we do that, and after we do, the company, for all sorts of reasons, doesn’t deliver. We did our part, but folks feel like they simply didn’t get the reward that they were looking forward to. We don’t want that to be anybody’s takeaway from one of our KSs, so I’m avoiding those sorts of rewards for now. Just today, we received word that Paradox is good with the preview of the WoD Ghost Hunters Kickstarter we sent over, so that’ll be our next one! This is for the 20th Anniversary WoD books, so expect a cool Deluxe book all about investigating the paranormal in the World of Darkness. This book would go with the V20, W20, M20, C20, and especially the Wraith20 game lines. TC: Aberrant art by Jeff Rebner Some Things We Discussed at the Meeting Today: (For what it’s worth as an inside look at the meeting, most of the topics I usually put here as having been discussed during the meeting come from the first part of the meeting where general company issues are brought up and discussed. After that we review the status of the projects that fall under each in-house developer’s supervision and note any concerns based on how the in-house devs have seen things happen with their projects all last week.) We discussed some Covid-19 repercussions, which are ongoing, including our relationship with Paradox and the WW IPs as Paradox was also slammed by the situations around Covid. Approvals seem to be back on track, at least. We are still trying to help our printers deliver the various projects that need to get shipped out to KS backers, but we are seeing several of our KS ship outs being dragged out. Don’t worry, James will certainly let backers know if any of these challenges causes us to miss any estimated dates. In terms of our creators, we have been trying to help everyone keep working on our projects and get through all these upheavals, We had thankfully very few freelances diagnosed with Covid-19, but even if an individual wasn’t themselves affected, we have folks whose friends and relatives were, and people just ground down by it all. It’s very hard to put all that aside and work out compelling writing and get it on the page. Very few writers write in an iron tower that shuts out the real world. In fact, I’d say that creators need input to have creative output, and if all the input is fraught with existential despair and peril then they are going to have a really hard time turning that into some words about a made-up game world. Some folks can do just that – their creative output is what they use to block the nastiness of the real world out. Most others, though, and I mean most, have needed a helping hand here and there during all this. Some bailed on assignments, some worked with their devs, and some devs also had issues and worked with our in-house devs. Let the Streets Run Red art by Ken Meyer, Jr We did big meetings to talk through things like our “Town Halls” – we have another scheduled for early October – and we had design and productivity meetings and courses by folks like Eddy and Danielle. We hoped these helped, and we’ve seen a lot of our freelancers respond positively to these efforts, so…. Finally, we talked about the latest sale over at Indie Press Revolution – IPR – our sales partners that handle our Deluxe Kickstarter press overruns. And much, much, more, actually! This month we have a sale on Exalted 3rd Edition. The big book itself! The EX3 sale is now live at IPR:https://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Deals-and-Specials/ And tomorrow morning around 9am CST the Scarred Lands Players Guide PDF will be free for 24 hrs:https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/197803/Scarred-Lands-Players-Guide-OGL-5e That’s it for this week – have a great one, and I’ll be back next week talkin’ atcha about our: Many Worlds, One Path! Blurbs! Kickstarter! Scion: Demigod Second Edition blew through 300% funding last week, and is devouring all sorts of Stretch Goals! Currently headed for the inclusion of a solo-play set of rules in the Demigod Companion book! Check it out if you haven’t already: Our Next Kickstarter: World of Darkness: Ghost Hunters for the 20 Anniversary Editions! Onyx Path Media! This week: The folks at Bonus Experience podcast join the Trio for discussion and digression(s)! Bonus Experience consists of Monica and Rai, two queer freelancers who talk with authority about the RPG industry. They looking behind the screen, at the play experience, and the finer details of running and writing games. The podcast updates every other Monday. As always, this Friday’s Onyx Pathcast will be on Podbean or your favorite podcast venue! https://onyxpathcast.podbean.com/ A Bunch of Gamers gets top billing this week due to their new, fantastic interview with developer Neall Raemonn Price regarding the currently on Kickstarter Scion: Demigod! Check it out and enjoy: https://youtu.be/8TzYDKYQzXw Two Scion: Demigod videos coming this week, including Vorpal Tales running Scion: Demigod and a Behind the Screen video on Scion too! Tune in on Twitch to watch live! For anyone new to our media section, you can find us running and playing games over on twitch.tv/theonyxpath pretty much every day of the week! Plus, if you’d like your games hosted there, just get in touch with Matthew Dawkins using the contact link on matthewdawkins.com. Please give our Twitch channel a follow, as you can find a huge number of videos of all kinds of games being run! This week on Twitch, expect to see these games and streams running: Scarred Lands – A Family Affair Technocracy Reloaded – Vorpal Tales Scion – Behind the Screen Scion: Demigod – Vorpal Tales Danielle’s RPG Development Workshop Hunter: The Vigil – Cold Cases Forsaken Spaces Changeling: The Dreaming – The Last Faerie Tale Mage: The Awakening – Occultists Anonymous Vampire: The Masquerade – Boston by Night Hunter: Unbound Anomalies – Devil’s Luck Gaming Get watching for some fantastic insight into how to run these wonderful games and subscribe to us on Twitch, over at twitch.tv/theonyxpath Come take a look at our YouTube channel, youtube.com/user/theonyxpath, where you can find a whole load of videos of actual plays, dissections of our games, and more, including: Changeling: The Dreaming – The Last Faerie Tale – E12 – https://youtu.be/NYI_zgcQqEw Scarred Lands – Purge of the Serpentholds – S1E15 – https://youtu.be/YdE0czNeYGE Hunter: The Vigil – Uptown Shadows Episode 4 – https://youtu.be/2qdLBpMu0lE Realms of Pugmire – Paws and Claws S2E15 – https://youtu.be/7bc5HZxAkFg Hunter: The Vigil – Uptown Shadows FINALE – https://youtu.be/8yKW18X1m9k Subscribe to our channel and click the bell icon if you want to be notified whenever new news videos and uploads come online! Tom Murr continues with his amazing They Came from Beneath the Sea! audio drama over on his YouTube channel! If you’ve not checked out his playlist, here it is: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDwUZRXJBlcnfjjsQE88RkZ6q5M5v9cGv Systematic Understanding of Everything is a new Exalted Explainer Podcast by Exalted Dev Monica Speca and Exalted Writer Chazz Kellner that is breaking down Creation in 45 minute chunks in preparation for Exalted Essence. Their most recent episodes are available over on https://www.exaltcast.com/, with their newest covering the stunning terrifying Abyssals! The Story Told Podcast continues their Fall of Jiara Exalted chronicle, and you can find their newest episode right here: https://thestorytold.libsyn.com/fall-of-jiara-26 Here’s the Keeper of the Archive covering Scion: Origin and Scion: Hero over on YouTube for your viewing pleasure! https://youtu.be/q2qUE0pJID4 Vorpal Tales assembled their playlist of They Came from Beyond the Grave! actual play episodes, and you can find all six of the episodes of this series right here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9fUj4KdqE4BTnVZv9pZUkSk7GpwnyKXG Please check these out and let us know if you find or produce any actual plays of our games! We’d love to feature you! Electronic Gaming! As we find ways to enable our community to more easily play our games, the Onyx Dice Rolling App is live! Our dev team has been doing updates since we launched based on the excellent use-case comments by our community, and this thing is awesome! (Seriously, you need to roll 100 dice for Exalted? This app has you covered.) We’re told that the App Dev is currently creating an updated version for the latest devices, so keep an eye open for those! Virtual TableTop! Introducing a Virtual Tabletop adventure: the Gauntlet of Spiragos for Scarred Lands on Astral TableTop! Scars of the Divine War, which ended less than 200 years ago, have still not healed. One such scar is the Chasm of Flies, a rent in the earth created when the titan Spiragos the Ambusher was smote down by one of the young gods, Vangal the Ravager. Now, the Chasm is inhabited by spider-eye goblins and their spider allies, but it is also thought to be the resting place of powerful artifacts from that elder age. Gauntlet of Spiragos is a Scarred Lands adventure designed for 1st level characters, although it can be easily modified for characters of up to 5th level. Astral TableTop is the easiest way to play any tabletop RPG online, free. Astral already supports popular systems like D&D and Pathfinder, and Astral can support virtually any tabletop roleplaying game. Get started quickly with built-in support for most popular game systems. Whether you’re brand new to TTRPGs or a veteran tabletop gamer, Astral‘s ease-of-use and built in automation is designed to streamline gameplay. Astral is browser-based and uses the latest technology to streamline your storytelling experience. Connect with your party online and run your campaigns however you like. Astral offers tools optimized for phone, tablet, and desktop devices, no installation required. Build epic battlemaps using Astral‘s enormous collection of scenery, props, and tokens or upload your own. Pro users gain access to over 12,000+ assets and fresh new packs every month. Add weather, visual effects, triggers, and so much more with easy-to-use tools Build your own adventure, or choose from pre-generated game kits like Gauntlet of Spiragos. Create character sheets, craft maps, or just jump right in to connect with your friends and start your adventures! On Amazon and Barnes & Noble! You can now read our fiction from the comfort and convenience of your Kindle (from Amazon) and Nook (from Barnes & Noble). If you enjoy these or any other of our books, please help us by writing reviews on the site of the sales venue from which you bought it. Reviews really, really help us get folks interested in our amazing fiction! Our selection includes these latest fiction books: Our Sales Partners! We’re working with Studio2 to provide our traditionally printed books out into your local game stores. Game stores can order via their usual distributors, and can also contact Studio2 directly. And individuals can check out our projects via the links below! You can pick up the traditionally printed Pugmire and Monarchies of Mau main books, screens, and the official dice through our friends there! https://studio2publishing.com/search?q=pugmire Now, we’ve added Chronicles of Darkness books such as Changeling: The Lost Second Edition products to Studio2‘s store! See them here: https://studio2publishing.com/collections/all-products/changeling-the-lost Scion 2e books and other products are available now at Studio2: https://studio2publishing.com/blogs/new-releases/scion-second-edition-book-one-origin-now-available-at-your-local-retailer-or-online Our Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition books are also available from Studio2 in the US: https://studio2publishing.com/products/vampire-the-masquerade-chicago-by-night-sourcebook Looking for our Deluxe or Prestige Edition books? Try this link! http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Onyx-Path-Publishing/ And you can order Pugmire, Monarchies of Mau, Cavaliers of Mars, and Changeling: The Lost 2e at the same link! And now Scion Origin and Scion Hero and Trinity Continuum Core and Trinity Continuum: Aeon are available to order The EX3 sale is now live at IPR: https://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Deals-and-Specials/ As always, you can find Onyx Path’s titles at DriveThruRPG.com! Tomorrow morning around 9am CST the Scarred Lands Players Guide PDF will be free for 24 hrs:https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/197803/Scarred-Lands-Players-Guide-OGL-5e On Sale This Week! This Wednesday we are blasting off and landing back on good old Terra Firma for Trinity Continuum: Aeon! Check out the Advance PDF on DTRPG! Terra Firma expands the setting of Trinity Continuum: Æon by revealing some of the many wonders and secrets found on Earth and Luna, while also providing Storytellers with the material they require to set exciting campaigns on either of these two worlds. Terra Firma requires both the Trinity Continuum Core Rulebook and Trinity Continuum: Æon to play. Inside, you will find: • Further information about 10 nations previously discussed in Trinity Continuum: Æon, including a detailed look at an important city in each nations. • Details on threats facing Earth, including revolutionary movements, dangerous cults, and criminal gangs. • An exploration of some of the strange, and often deadly, mysteries found on Earth and Luna — from the ancient and terrible Gorgon Karst caves beneath eastern Europe to the bizarre Hadley Rille Anomaly on Luna. • New technologies used on Earth, examples of the many strange and powerful relics of the Nova Age, as well as new Edges and Paths specifically for the inhabitants of Earth and Luna. Conventions! Though dates for physical conventions are subject to change due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, here’s what’s left of our current list of upcoming conventions (and really, we’re just waiting for this last one to be cancelled even though it’s Nov/Dec). Instead, keep an eye out here for more virtual conventions we’re going to be involved with: PAX Unplugged: https://unplugged.paxsite.com/ We’re still waiting on word for this one, as a TTRPG publisher we weren’t included in the companies contacted for PAX‘s virtual con replacing their usual electronic gaming con(s). And now, the new project status updates! Development Status from Eddy Webb! (Projects in bold have changed status since last week.): First Draft (The first phase of a project that is about the work being done by writers, not dev prep.) Exalted Essay Collection (Exalted) No Gods, No Masters (Scion 2nd Edition) Scion Fiction Anthology (Scion 2nd Edition) TC: Aeon Novella: Dawn (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) TC: Aeon Novella: Meridian (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) Legacies of Earth (Legendlore) Once and Future (Scion 2nd Edition) They Came From Beneath the Sea! Jumpstart (They Came From…!) They Came From Beyond the Grave! Jumpstart (They Came From…!) Tales of Depravity! (They Came From…!) Heroes in a World of Horror! (They Came From…!) Tome of the Pentacle (Mage: the Awakening 2e) Redlines Dragon-Blooded Novella #2 (Exalted 3rd Edition) Squeaks In The Deep (Realms of Pugmire) Trinity Continuum: Anima Prometheus Unbound (was Psi Orders) (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) Second Draft Many-Faced Strangers – Lunars Companion (Exalted 3rd Edition) Hundred Devil’s Night Parade (Exalted 3rd Edition) Exalted Essence Edition (Exalted 3rd Edition) Saints and Monsters (Scion 2nd Edition) M20 Technocracy Operative’s Dossier (Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary) Wild Hunt (Scion 2nd Edition) The Devoted Companion (Deviant: The Renegades) Development TC: Aberrant Reference Screen (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Across the Eight Directions (Exalted 3rd Edition) Contagion Chronicle: Global Outbreaks (Chronicles of Darkness) Exigents (Exalted 3rd Edition) Assassins (Trinity Continuum Core) Kith and Kin (Changeling: The Lost 2e) V5 Forbidden Religions (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition) Trinity Continuum: Adventure! core (Trinity Continuum: Adventure!) M20 Rich Bastard’s Guide To Magick (Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary) CtL 2e Novella Collection: Hollow Courts (Changeling: The Lost 2e) Adversaries of the Righteous (Exalted 3rd Edition) Novas Worldwide (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Manuscript Approval Crucible of Legends (Exalted 3rd Edition) Dystopia Rising: Evolution Fiction Anthology (Dystopia Rising: Evolution) Post-Approval Development M20 Victorian Mage (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition) Mission Statements (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) Contagion Chronicle Ready-Made Characters (Chronicles of Darkness) The Clades Companion (Deviant: The Renegades) V5 Children of the Blood (was The Faithful Undead) (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition) Editing Lunars Novella (Rosenberg) (Exalted 3rd Edition) Mummy: The Curse 2nd Edition core rulebook (Mummy: The Curse 2nd Edition) Player’s Guide to the Contagion Chronicle (Chronicles of Darkness) TC: Aberrant Jumpstart (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) LARP Rules (Scion 2nd Edition) The Book of Lasting Death (Mummy: The Curse 2e) Scion: Dragon (Scion 2nd Edition) Scion: Demigod (Scion 2nd Edition) Dearly Bleak – Novella (Deviant: The Renegades) N!ternational Wrestling Entertainment (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Under Alien Skies (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) Dead Man’s Rust (Scarred Lands) V5 Trails of Ash and Bone (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition) Post-Editing Development W20 Shattered Dreams Gift Cards (Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th) Cults of the Blood Gods (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition) Hunter: The Vigil 2e core (Hunter: The Vigil 2nd Edition) Trinity Continuum: Aberrant core (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Deviant: The Renegades (Deviant: The Renegades) Legendlore core book (Legendlore) One Foot in the Grave Jumpstart (Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2e) Masks of the Mythos (Scion 2nd Edition) They Came From Beyond the Grave! (They Came From!) Heirs to the Shogunate (Exalted 3rd Edition) Indexing Art Direction from Mike Chaney! In Art Direction Tales of Aquatic Terror – AD’d. WoD Ghost Hunters (KS) – KS page to Paradox for approval. Hunter: The Vigil 2e Mummy 2 Deviant – AD’d. Legendlore Technocracy Reloaded – AD’d. Cults of the Blood God – Artists chugging along. Scion: Dragon (KS) Masks of the Mythos (KS) Scion: Demigod (KS) They Came From Beyond the Grave! (KS) TC: Adventure! (KS) Geist: One Foot In the Grave – Artists are working. Contagion Chronicle Jumpstart (Chronicles of Darkness) – Breakdown brokedown. Monsters of the Deep In Layout Yugman’s Guide to Ghelspad Vigil Watch Trinity Core Jumpstart Aberrant – 7 out of 12 sections laid out. Art still coming in. Proofing Cavaliers of Mars: City of the Towered Tombs Yugman’s Guide Support Decks (Scarred Lands) TC Aeon Terra Firma – Sent back to Josh, looking good. V5 Let the Streets Run Red – Hopefully going to WW this week. At Press TCFBTS Screen and Booklet – Files at press. They Came from Beneath the Sea! – Shipping from printer to KS fulfiller. Pirates of Pugmire – Shipping from printer to KS fulfiller. Pirates of Pugmire Screen – Files at press. Dark Eras 2 – Files printing. Dark Eras 2 Screen and booklet – Files at press. Contagion Chronicle – Press prep, PoD files uploaded and ordered. Contagion Chronicle Screen and Booklet – Files at press. Lunars Wall Scroll Map – Shipping to KS fulfiller from printer. Lunars Screen and Booklet – Files at press. Lunars: Fangs at the Gate – Prepping files for PoD and press. Scarred Lands Creature Collection – Shipping from printer to KS fulfiller. Sunken Bones – Pugmire pirate adventure – Closing errata. Titanomachy – Errata collecting from Advance PDF. Today’s Reason to Celebrate! In two days it will be the 9th anniversary of the release of Vampire: 20th Anniversary Edition at the Grand Masquerade in New Orleans! Soooo much has happened since then! V20 led to renewed interest in TTRPGs at WW, which led to Eddy and I doing those in-house, which led to me thinking I could be happy with my own TTRPG company, which led to Onyx Path Publishing!
  23. So, yes, it’s Labor Day here in the US, a national holiday. Many companies would therefore give today off to their employees, but since every day is a holiday here at Onyx Path, we had our usual Monday Meeting today, and work continues apace. Of course, the second part of our MMN Blog title today comes from the fact that the Scion: Demigod 2e Kickstarter has been just crashing through the Stretch Goals after funding in 75 minutes! We’re all really thrilled and grateful to all of our backers for showing such fantastic support! Putting the two together, I thought that a change of pace today that showed how some labor was done to create the elements for Scion: Demigod might be appropriate. And since I did some of that labor, I figure it’s on me to step up today and delve into the creation process for one of our latest Scion pantheon symbols. This one is for the Apu, the Incan pantheon. It’s usually after the writing is pretty well finalized, but not necessarily developed, that I’ll ask the project developer for notes on whichever part of the project needs a symbol. In the case of Scion, our writing and dev teams do such a deep dive into the pantheons that I could get overwhelmed just reading through the text, so in addition to letting me read that, I also ask for any ideas they might have for symbols and elements appropriate to the pantheon. Sometimes I get easily usable ideas, and other times the needs of a visual project mean that I have to dig a bit deeper myself. In the case of the Apu, my notes scrawled on my note pad included: “golden sun disc (with link)”, “stepped pyramid”, “stone and gold”, “order/stability”, “Cusco”, “black and white llamas”. I was good to go with the golden sun disc, and checked to see if any of the previous Scion symbols I designed went down that same visual direction. None did, so using that big hit of gold as the centerpiece became the start for the symbol. I originally considered using the foliage motif similar to what I did for the Aztec pantheon symbol as a background and surrounding next for the gold disc, but that did seem too close to other symbols and for me it just didn’t feel Incan enough. Which is a big part of what makes these Scion symbols work, they have to feel appropriate to the pantheon. Which means we’re in the realm of the subjective, as what feels right to me may not feel right to you. But that’s the chance you take, because these are Scion symbols and they have to touch us, mean something to us, at least a bit, or we’re missing the point of the setting/game. All the raw data in the world about what should be included doesn’t help if most people aren’t connecting with that symbol. That led me to hit the books. Yes, actual books. If I know what I want, finding 1500 images that I can use as reference for that thing is a snap with a Google search, but if I’m still looking for visuals that connect with me, then online searching just doesn’t work for me as well as paging through books about a culture. I don’t know what’s on the next page, which is the point. One of the things I picked up on, was how striking the textiles still are in areas we’d consider Incan. Which started a whole different idea about how the color could and should work for this symbol. Bird feathers as decoration, and returning to one of the writer’s suggestions, the Incan knotted rope language called quipu. I had wanted to use it but didn’t have a way to keep the ropes and knots legible in the symbol, but with a bright textile background holding everything together, I could bring the quipu back into play. Here’s my rough ideas page, the Apu symbol at top right representing the first pass, and the one lower left coming after I did more research: From the rough sketch, where I’m looking at what elements can be arranged in what pattern, and where I’m thinking about but not putting down the color yet, I’ll draw out the various elements on bristol board in ink – usually with technical pens rather than anything that would give a varying line. We just need an even line. A lot of time, if I know I want an image the same on both sides, or top and bottom, then I’ll just draw the one side and copy/flip/combine in Photoshop after scanning. The knotted ropes are on a separate page, as they required the whole sheet so I could draw them with enough detail. Like I mentioned, these drawings get scanned in, and are really used as raw materials to copy and paste from when I start to make the whole symbol in Photoshop. Each element in the design gets its own layer, and that layer is set to Multiply in the layer menu. That way, the darkest lines stay dark, but anything in a layer “under” our line art shows through. This will become clearer when you see how the color goes in, but here’s just the line art all piled on top of each other: At this point, it’s time to get color in there, and in this specific symbol, it’s also time to get the patterning into the Incan textile. Some of the colors only show up when the overall color is on there, so don’t worry if it seems like some of the symbols aren’t there. They are on layers that I did different layer types, like Multiply from before: I also used the same colors for the fringe along the bottom and just drew those in loosely knowing the overall color would fall in between the other colors. Each instance of the bird symbol is on its own layer so that I could play around with size, position, layer effects, and color. I was going more for energy with the positioning and a certain lack of perfect positioning to replicate the hand-crafted nature of the textile. Next, here it is with the red overall color. I spent a lot of time playing with the color controls to get the red I wanted, and then tweaked almost all of the little bird symbols to have their colors work with the red: While some of the birds are now showing up, you can see a few blank spots in there. Don’t worry, those won’t show up once the other item layers get colored in. This was good, but the thing was, it didn’t feel like fabric to me. And that’s what I wanted to really play up – the texture of the textile! I could have scanned in a cloth texture, or found one online, but in this case I went with combining layer effects and filters. I’d tell you what I did if I could remember, but here’s what it looked like without the red layer behind it: I’m going to jump ahead here, and give you a step by step look at the big gold disk as it’s layers are painted in, but just assume that whatever I tell you about the disk, I already did in sort of the same sequence for the knotted ropes and the feathered headdress. I also started thickening the line stroke around objects to give them more heft and set them visually into the whole symbol. More on that later. So here’s the first color for the disk, a dark golden brown: Here’s where it really gets fun and painterly. The next layer is just yellow, with the Photoshop brush set on soft-round and at something like 25% transparency. With the lines already setting up the shapes, I just zoomed in and put yellow in keeping the brightest areas towards where the light was supposed to be hitting the disk (more from below than the traditional light from above): Looking at it at this point, it didn’t pop enough. So I copied the yellow layer and set it to Multiply or the like and the doubled up yellow hit what I was looking for. It didn’t show up much when I was putting these sequential layer graphics together, but it’s that sort of subtle coloring that gives it the 3D look we need: And here goes the last highlight on the gold, which was a lot closer to white to really get a bit of sparkle, plus I also created a shadow effect in two layers so that the disk would feel more like it is on top of the other elements. We want that gold disk to be the big popping thing from this graphic, and it needs to be strong to outshine the colors of the textile: You can also see that I made the outer edge line much thicker than the others inside the symbol, so we’d have a strong edge to it so it could stand out on the page like the previous Scion symbols. Although, to be faaaair, I did reduce that thickness where the knotted ropes break out of the bottom. The ropes were being engulfed by the outline visually, plus, there’s a whole “language will be free” sort of thing going on there. Hope you enjoyed this little look at the labor (or labour, as Matthew, James, and Ian would say) behind one of these pieces. It really is a labor of love, though, and it is so great when folks really respond to them. Because this blog was so art heavy, here are your usual pieces of art from upcoming projects all together at the end! V5 Let the Streets Run Red art by Sam Araya Terra Firma art by Gregor Pedrycz Hope you don’t mind the extra art here, but they really do illustrate our Many Worlds, One Path! Blurbs! Kickstarter! Scion Demigod Second Edition funded last week in 75 minutes and is headed strongly to 300% funding, having blown through all sorts of Stretch Goals! Check it out if you haven’t already: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/200664283/scion-demigod-book-3-for-the-scion-second-edition-rpg Onyx Path Media! This week: The Titanically Talented Trio of Terrible Terrificness discuss Stumbles, Errors, and How To Avoid Them! They’ll be looking at all sorts of fumbles and bumbles they and others have made while putting together game books! As always, this Friday’s Onyx Pathcast will be on Podbean or your favorite podcast venue! https://onyxpathcast.podbean.com/ The Story Told RPG Podcast gets top billing this week due to their excellent, in-depth interview with developer Neall Raemonn Price regarding the currently on Kickstarter Scion: Demigod! Check it out and learn some of the ins and outs of Scion: https://thestorytold.libsyn.com/episode-61-scion-demigod-interview-with-neall-price We’ve got lots of Scion: Demigod actual plays coming in the next few weeks, with the first starting this week by Vorpal Tales! Keep watching this section for more Scion: Demigod games! For anyone new to our media section, you can find us running and playing games over on twitch.tv/theonyxpath pretty much every day of the week! Plus, if you’d like your games hosted there, just get in touch with Matthew Dawkins using the contact link on matthewdawkins.com. Please give our Twitch channel a follow, as you can find a huge number of videos of all kinds of games being run! This week on Twitch, expect to see these games and streams running: Scarred Lands – A Family Affair Technocracy Reloaded – Vorpal Tales Scion: Demigod – Vorpal Tales Danielle’s RPG Development Workshop Hunter: The Vigil – Cold Cases Forsaken Spaces Changeling: The Dreaming – The Last Faerie Tale Mage: The Awakening – Occultists Anonymous Vampire: The Masquerade – Boston by Night Chronicles of Darkness – Tooth and Claw Deviant: The Renegades – A Cautionary Tale Get watching for some fantastic insight into how to run these wonderful games and subscribe to us on Twitch, over at twitch.tv/theonyxpath Come take a look at our YouTube channel, youtube.com/user/theonyxpath, where you can find a whole load of videos of actual plays, dissections of our games, and more, including: Changeling: The Dreaming – The Last Faerie Tale – E11 – https://youtu.be/Vxqy6JgB9wk Scarred Lands – Surprise Meatgrinder! – https://youtu.be/iqiIEsvIslE Scarred Lands – Purge of the Serpentholds – S1E14 – https://youtu.be/Ie-rITGhaAs Hunter: The Vigil – Uptown Shadows Episode 4 – https://youtu.be/2qdLBpMu0lE Realms of Pugmire – Paws and Claws S2E14 – https://youtu.be/ZcSdsNK-VI0 Subscribe to our channel and click the bell icon if you want to be notified whenever new news videos and uploads come online! Tom Murr continues with his amazing They Came from Beneath the Sea! audio drama over on his YouTube channel! Radio ReScience Episode 2: Military Entanglement, can be found right here: https://youtu.be/qiTprIriV7Y And Episode 3: Spycraft is here: https://youtu.be/qqS5rM3GA5A Systematic Understanding of Everything is a new Exalted Explainer Podcast by Exalted Dev Monica Speca and Exalted Writer Chazz Kellner that is breaking down Creation in 45 minute chunks in preparation for Exalted Essence. Their most recent episodes are available over on https://www.exaltcast.com/, with their newest covering the stunning terrifying Abyssals! The Story Told Podcast continues their Fall of Jiara Exalted chronicle, and you can find their newest episode right here: https://thestorytold.libsyn.com/fall-of-jiara-25 Our good friend The Primogen concluded his Changeling: The Lost actual play a couple of months ago, and has kindly assembled a useful playlist of every single episode. Go give his excellent tale, Littlebrook Reunion, a watch: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2GEMzqGEGIg6pT79zt-FyFYoPjzn8YM5 GMS Magazine produced a review of Dystopia Rising: Evolution over on their channel! https://youtu.be/Q0Ih1KkUhS0 Here’s a blast from the past: last year, Tabletop Spotlight reviewed Monarchies of Mau for us. If you’re interested in some in-depth views of this corner of the Realms of Pugmire, please give their video a watch: https://youtu.be/gV48x2eQMU4 Vorpal Tales assembled their playlist of They Came from Beyond the Grave! actual play episodes as well, and you can find all six of the episodes of this series right here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9fUj4KdqE4BTnVZv9pZUkSk7GpwnyKXG Please check these out and let us know if you find or produce any actual plays of our games! We’d love to feature you! Electronic Gaming! As we find ways to enable our community to more easily play our games, the Onyx Dice Rolling App is live! Our dev team has been doing updates since we launched based on the excellent use-case comments by our community, and this thing is awesome! (Seriously, you need to roll 100 dice for Exalted? This app has you covered.) We’re told that the App Dev is currently creating an updated version for the latest devices, so keep an eye open for those! Virtual TableTop! Introducing a Virtual Tabletop adventure: the Gauntlet of Spiragos for Scarred Lands on Astral TableTop! Scars of the Divine War, which ended less than 200 years ago, have still not healed. One such scar is the Chasm of Flies, a rent in the earth created when the titan Spiragos the Ambusher was smote down by one of the young gods, Vangal the Ravager. Now, the Chasm is inhabited by spider-eye goblins and their spider allies, but it is also thought to be the resting place of powerful artifacts from that elder age. Gauntlet of Spiragos is a Scarred Lands adventure designed for 1st level characters, although it can be easily modified for characters of up to 5th level. Astral TableTop is the easiest way to play any tabletop RPG online, free. Astral already supports popular systems like D&D and Pathfinder, and Astral can support virtually any tabletop roleplaying game. Get started quickly with built-in support for most popular game systems. Whether you’re brand new to TTRPGs or a veteran tabletop gamer, Astral‘s ease-of-use and built in automation is designed to streamline gameplay. Astral is browser-based and uses the latest technology to streamline your storytelling experience. Connect with your party online and run your campaigns however you like. Astral offers tools optimized for phone, tablet, and desktop devices, no installation required. Build epic battlemaps using Astral‘s enormous collection of scenery, props, and tokens or upload your own. Pro users gain access to over 12,000+ assets and fresh new packs every month. Add weather, visual effects, triggers, and so much more with easy-to-use tools Build your own adventure, or choose from pre-generated game kits like Gauntlet of Spiragos. Create character sheets, craft maps, or just jump right in to connect with your friends and start your adventures! On Amazon and Barnes & Noble! You can now read our fiction from the comfort and convenience of your Kindle (from Amazon) and Nook (from Barnes & Noble). If you enjoy these or any other of our books, please help us by writing reviews on the site of the sales venue from which you bought it. Reviews really, really help us get folks interested in our amazing fiction! Our selection includes these latest fiction books: Our Sales Partners! We’re working with Studio2 to provide our traditionally printed books out into your local game stores. Game stores can order via their usual distributors, and can also contact Studio2 directly. And individuals can check out our projects via the links below! You can pick up the traditionally printed Pugmire and Monarchies of Mau main books, screens, and the official dice through our friends there! https://studio2publishing.com/search?q=pugmire Now, we’ve added Chronicles of Darkness books such as Changeling: The Lost Second Edition products to Studio2‘s store! See them here: https://studio2publishing.com/collections/all-products/changeling-the-lost Scion 2e books and other products are available now at Studio2: https://studio2publishing.com/blogs/new-releases/scion-second-edition-book-one-origin-now-available-at-your-local-retailer-or-online Our Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition books are also available from Studio2 in the US: https://studio2publishing.com/products/vampire-the-masquerade-chicago-by-night-sourcebook Looking for our Deluxe or Prestige Edition books? Try this link! http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Onyx-Path-Publishing/ And you can order Pugmire, Monarchies of Mau, Cavaliers of Mars, and Changeling: The Lost 2e at the same link! And now Scion Origin and Scion Hero and Trinity Continuum Core and Trinity Continuum: Aeon are available to order As always, you can find Onyx Path’s titles at DriveThruRPG.com! On Sale This Week! This Wednesday, the PDF and physical card PoD versions of three decks of magic Items for use in Scarred Lands go on sale on DTRPG! Conventions! Though dates for physical conventions are subject to change due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, here’s what’s left of our current list of upcoming conventions (and really, we’re just waiting for this last one to be cancelled even though it’s Nov/Dec). Instead, keep an eye out here for more virtual conventions we’re going to be involved with: PAX Unplugged: https://unplugged.paxsite.com/ We’re still waiting on word for this one, as a TTRPG publisher we weren’t included in the companies contacted for PAX‘s virtual con replacing their usual electronic gaming con(s). And now, the new project status updates! Development Status from Eddy Webb! (Projects in bold have changed status since last week.): First Draft (The first phase of a project that is about the work being done by writers, not dev prep.) Exalted Essay Collection (Exalted) The Devoted Companion (Deviant: The Renegades) Prometheus Unbound (was Psi Orders) (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) No Gods, No Masters (Scion 2nd Edition) Scion Fiction Anthology (Scion 2nd Edition) TC: Aeon Novella: Dawn (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) TC: Aeon Novella: Meridian (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) Legacies of Earth (Legendlore) Redlines Dragon-Blooded Novella #2 (Exalted 3rd Edition) CtL 2e Novella Collection: Hollow Courts (Changeling: The Lost 2e) Squeaks In The Deep (Realms of Pugmire) Trinity Continuum: Anima Second Draft Many-Faced Strangers – Lunars Companion (Exalted 3rd Edition) Hundred Devil’s Night Parade (Exalted 3rd Edition) Novas Worldwide (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Exalted Essence Edition (Exalted 3rd Edition) Saints and Monsters (Scion 2nd Edition) M20 Technocracy Operative’s Dossier (Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary) Wild Hunt (Scion 2nd Edition) Adversaries of the Righteous (Exalted 3rd Edition) Development TC: Aberrant Reference Screen (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Across the Eight Directions (Exalted 3rd Edition) Contagion Chronicle: Global Outbreaks (Chronicles of Darkness) Exigents (Exalted 3rd Edition) Assassins (Trinity Continuum Core) Kith and Kin (Changeling: The Lost 2e) V5 Forbidden Religions (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition) Trinity Continuum: Adventure! core (Trinity Continuum: Adventure!) M20 Rich Bastard’s Guide To Magick (Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary) Manuscript Approval Crucible of Legends (Exalted 3rd Edition) Dystopia Rising: Evolution Fiction Anthology (Dystopia Rising: Evolution) Contagion Chronicle Ready-Made Characters (Chronicles of Darkness) The Clades Companion (Deviant: The Renegades) V5 Children of the Blood (was The Faithful Undead) (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition) Post-Approval Development M20 Victorian Mage (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition) Mission Statements (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) Editing Lunars Novella (Rosenberg) (Exalted 3rd Edition) Mummy: The Curse 2nd Edition core rulebook (Mummy: The Curse 2nd Edition) Player’s Guide to the Contagion Chronicle (Chronicles of Darkness) TC: Aberrant Jumpstart (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) LARP Rules (Scion 2nd Edition) The Book of Lasting Death (Mummy: The Curse 2e) Scion: Dragon (Scion 2nd Edition) Scion: Demigod (Scion 2nd Edition) Dearly Bleak – Novella (Deviant: The Renegades) N!ternational Wrestling Entertainment (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Under Alien Skies (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) Dead Man’s Rust (Scarred Lands) V5 Trails of Ash and Bone (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition) Post-Editing Development W20 Shattered Dreams Gift Cards (Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th) Cults of the Blood Gods (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition) Hunter: The Vigil 2e core (Hunter: The Vigil 2nd Edition) Trinity Continuum: Aberrant core (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Deviant: The Renegades (Deviant: The Renegades) Legendlore core book (Legendlore) One Foot in the Grave Jumpstart (Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2e) Masks of the Mythos (Scion 2nd Edition) They Came From Beyond the Grave! (They Came From!) Heirs to the Shogunate (Exalted 3rd Edition) Indexing Art Direction from Mike Chaney! In Art Direction Tales of Aquatic Terror – AD’d. WoD Ghost Hunters (KS) – KS page to Paradox for approval. Hunter: The Vigil 2e Mummy 2 Deviant – AD’d. Legendlore Technocracy Reloaded – AD’d. Cults of the Blood God – Artists chugging along. Scion: Dragon (KS) Masks of the Mythos (KS) – Fulls recontracted. Scion: Demigod (KS) They Came From Beyond the Grave! (KS) TC: Adventure! (KS) Geist: One Foot In the Grave – Artists are working. Contagion Chronicle Jumpstart (Chronicles of Darkness) – Breakdown brokedown. In Layout Yugman’s Guide to Ghelspad Vigil Watch Trinity Core Jumpstart Aberrant – Layout done with the power section. Art still coming in. Proofing Cavaliers of Mars: City of the Towered Tombs Yugman’s Guide Support Decks (Scarred Lands) TC Aeon Terra Firma – Sent back to Josh, looking good. V5 Let the Streets Run Red – 2nd proof out this week. At Press TCFBTS Screen and Booklet – Files at press. They Came from Beneath the Sea! – Shipping from printer to KS fulfiller. Pirates of Pugmire – Shipping from printer to KS fulfiller. Pirates of Pugmire Screen – Files at press. Dark Eras 2 – Files printing. Dark Eras 2 Screen and booklet – Files at press. Contagion Chronicle – Press prep, PoD files uploaded and ordered. Contagion Chronicle Screen and Booklet – Files at press. Lunars Wall Scroll Map – Shipping to KS fulfiller from printer. Lunars Screen and Booklet – Files at press. Lunars: Fangs at the Gate – Prepping files for PoD and press. Scarred Lands Creature Collection – Shipping from printer to KS fulfiller. Sunken Bones – Pugmire pirate adventure – Errata collecting from Backer PDF. Titanomachy – Errata collecting from Advance PDF. Magic Item Decks 1-3 (Scarred Lands) – PDF and PoD card versions on sale at DTRPG and DriveThruCards this Wednesday! Today’s Reason to Celebrate! Labor Day! Traditional end of Summer and start of the school year holiday in the US. Except, of course, now the school year starts before Labor Day and anyway, everybody is in virtual school, and Get Off My Lawn!
  24. Act 1 - End of Day: Sean This must be how a god feels, Sean thought as he slipped free from the bonds of the flesh to inhabit the digital landscape of ReGenesis directly, where he was able to create and destroy with but a thought. Where he was able to be anything he could imagine. He had swum through the streams and rivers of cyberspace before, no need of a computer as an interface, but that had been like using top of the line VR. Over the last week though, he’d learned how to Enter The Matrix, a universe that could be contained inside something smaller than a fingernail, yet was near as infinite as reality itself. It was a place he could go that even Devin couldn’t jaunt off too, and it felt like total liberation. It had also scared the complete crap out of Laurie when she’d come into the Barn to ask him about some books Jase had suggested and she’d found her beautiful, busty brother comatose in the engulfing embrace of his computer chair, his pale face illuminated in a patina of colours by the soft glow of his array of monitors. He wasn’t dead, she’d been sure, still able to detect he was breathing, but he hadn’t roused when she’d roughly hauled him to the couch over her shoulder, when she’d shook him, given him a slap, or even threw a glass of water at his face. Laurie had been about to call Jason to ask what she should do when Sean had returned to himself with a deep breath, a brief sense of disorientation and finding his face, hair, and shirt wet. There followed frantic - and at times too loud - questions and explanations. That was when he found out when he was in cyberspace, he had absolutely no sense of his body. He was still tethered to it - when he stepped out of cyberspace, he went directly back to his body, regardless of where it was, but otherwise, couldn’t tell what was happening to it. It was more than a touch of frightening, and meant he’d have to be really careful when being a Ghost in the Machine while out in the field. It also percolated an idea that in case of a worse case scenario at Site B, he might have a last ditch escape plan from his failing genetics. It wouldn’t be ideal, if it even worked, but it might still be life. Of a sort. Finishing his video game would also give him a sense of continuation, if the solution he hoped to find at Site B proved to be a failure. Before the onset of the weird and his electrokinetic abilities, he figured he had at least two more years of development time. He didn’t have a publisher or executives mucking stuff up, or other creatives redirecting progress, but he was still only one guy, regardless of how skilled a programmer he was. With digital voodoo, Sean had at first believed he could get the time to under a year. But now, with the growth and expansion of his powers, especially with all the mundane work he’d already done, he was pushing for release next week, since he was only going digital download. It went beyond the vast and delicate control he had when jumping into cyberspace. With practically supernatural coding skills, he managed to program semi-autonomous proxies or agents that could act without his direct oversight. Figuring that out naturally led to the idea that when he was completely in cyberspace, and thus, essentially just a digital construct himself, why he couldn’t make copies of himself? He could… after a fashion. The copies didn’t have his full capabilities, but they were close, similar to the semi-autonomous agents he could create but with a semblance of his personality and psionic technokinetic mojo. Working on Regenesis was turning out to be about the best training he could get for most aspects of his psionic array of powers. It also meant he’d gone from a one man game developer, to a team - admittedly of variable size, since it took distinct neotic effort to create the copies and proxies. But he could trust them implicitly, and they worked the way he wanted them to, without the distractions and biases inherent to meatbag programmers. The video game was basically done at this point, Sean’s flock of digital minions running quality control now, looking for bugs and fixing them, which he’d look over after they reported back to him. At the moment, he was working on social media for Intersectional Games - his game studio - and the Steam page, preparing for release day, and tweaking the algorithm, so that ReGenesis would get noticed a little better through all the trash. It was an ongoing battle, the Steam algorithm seeming to have some manner of perverse sentience. It didn’t, he was sure, but it sure seemed that way. Over the last week or so, Sean had noticed an odd… irregularity, first on Steam, but then on other sites he frequented online. At first, he chalked it up to bad code, propagated when linked back to his Steam page. But the irregularities weren’t random. He found a sort of pattern to them, something almost akin to Morse code, like someone hiding a message in the code of a program, a message that they definitely didn’t want just anyone finding. When Sean really turned his attention to the regular irregularities and tracked down the source to a kernel in the hidden messages section of the comment thread on his Steam page, it wasn’t what he expected. “Todd Asper?!” It wasn’t talking, it wasn’t texting, but it was digital communication, that seemed to include both, along with emojis, gifs, and code itself. “It’s about time, Titboy.” The insult seemed instinctive rather than intentional, as were the gifs of overly generous, bouncing cleavage - there was a distinct sense of desperation in Todd’s ‘voice’. “I’ve been trying to get your attention for almost a week now. I need your help.” “My help.” Sean’s tone was a flat as the blank faced emoji was… well, blank. He could recognize Todd’s digital signature now. And was considering scrubbing it from the internet with extreme prejudice. “It was you who skimmed my place. And at Crossroads?” He was more doubtful about the latter. When he Ghosted, he was considerably stronger than he’d been at Crossroads, but this Todd wasn’t the electronic juggernaut he’d contended with there. “You don’t seem to have the same oomph.” “Yeah, yeah, that was me at your place. Surprisingly little porn, by the way. And at Crossroads.” There was something like an envious grumble coming through Todd's evident desperation. “They plugged me into a… a thing, to overclock me. I shoulda had you…” “Uh-huh, right. So, Cerebro?” “Sort of? Except it’s more like electric amphetamines. A boost, a rush, no subtlety or fine control. And not pleasant. Anyway, that’s why I need your help. I made a deal, except it’s not what I thought and now I can’t leave.” “That seems like a you problem, Todd.” “Well, if the assholes here get their way, it’ll turn into a you problem, Cassidy, and problems for you and all your friends. Look, I’m sneaking online here and I’m not sure how long I have. The shit they’re doing here at Site B… I don’t want to be the next experiment. I saw what you guys did at Crossroads - I didn’t tell them all of it. I want out.” Sean was about to write Todd off. If he’d gotten himself into a bad situation due to his own actions, that was on him. But the mention of Site B changed the dynamics a lot. He needed Site B, and learning all he could would only help his - their - chances of success. “Site B, hmm? Tell me what you can - especially about their security and defences - and I’ll see if I can talk my friends around to help your sorry ass.” “You are so full of shit, Cassidy,” Todd retorted. Even online, Sean wasn’t the best dissembler and Todd could sense the eagerness in the freak hacker and electrokinetic. “But if it’ll help… think about all the stuff you’ve heard about Roswell and Area 51, and just believe me, it’s worse and crazier than that. They…” Todd began ‘talking’ very fast, only the electronic medium allowing Sean to keep up with the information being spewed at him. Sean could barely get a word or question in edgewise before Todd was off at a desperate gallop once again. At least the medium also let Todd add pictures and video - even if they were jumbled at times in his haste - and let Sean save them to show the others. Todd suddenly stopped, given the sense of looking over his shoulder, before ‘saying’, “Help me Oboobi Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.” Then he was gone, as suddenly as though the plug had been pulled, which Sean supposed it was, and Todd clearly didn’t have an UPS. Sean scrubbed any traces of Todd or himself from where they had communicated, then stepped back into his body. He stood up, knuckled his back, stretched, ran a hand through his rich red hair, then began pacing, considering what to do about Todd and Site B, only paying cursory attention when his proxies Neo, Trinity, and Morpheous pinged him to report on their activities and progress with polishing up ReGenesis for release. When there was a knock at his door, thinking of Site B/Crossroads death squads, Sean practically jumped out of his enviously smooth and fair skin - there were side benefits of apparently subconsciously manipulating the electromagnetic spectrum, such as never having to worry about sunburn or UV-based melanoma, or even developing freckles. Visible rings of lethal photons began to congeal into existence when Jason poked his head in. Sean let the nascent incandescent chakrams disperse in a soft flash of prismatic light, a hand went to his chest as he caught his breath. “Surprise?” Jason drawled. “Get a phone for fucks sake, so you can call or text,” Sean complained for not the first time. Worry about Death squads abated, Sean offered his taller friend a grin - though to be fair, all his friends except Kat were taller. “So, how did training day go?” Jason updated him on the antics of the Fellowship - and Courtney - that day, and in turn, Sean shared what he’d learned about his own abilities. But when Jason mentioned going to talk with the Project, Sean sucked in an audible breath. “I think I have to talk with them too, dude,” Sean said, thoughts on why he had to go to Site B high in his mind, but unable to voice them yet, even to one of his, if not his closest, friend. “I was just in contact with Todd - he’s like me, I think, like how Tawny is like you. He’s trapped at Site B, and wants out. I learned some things. It might end up being a ‘Kitty’ type situation, except y’know, people.” “Hmm.” Jason mused aloud - more for Sean’s benefit, the digital wizard knew, than out of some mannerism that was automatic to him - as he stared blankly out of the loft’s large open window. “Ms Giles has already said that she can’t talk to us about Site B - yet. Not until she gets permission from her higher-ups and Branch 9. Going in there and asking about it before she’s ready to talk could be a wasted effort - and besides, you need to get your head into the game for tomorrow evening.” “Tomorrow evening?” Sean blinked, then understanding dawned as Jason glanced his way with a calm expression. “Ohh, shit. We’re going in tomorrow evening?” “There is no point in delaying further.” Jason shrugged. “The longer we take to confront what Cody has become, the worse we make things. It’s why you coming today would have been a good idea.” “I know…” Sean reluctantly conceded “I just figured I could practice my schtick as well here and-” “And the dark spirit and the tree aren’t likely to have computers or machines for you to subvert. It will be a battle such as at the climax of one of your GM’d adventures, the disparate heroes working together in direct confrontation with a foe.” Jason’s tone was mildly critical. “Today would have helped you to figure out your best placement in such a fight.” He shrugged slightly, head cocked to one side as he regarded Sean. “It is done now. As your friend, I urge you not to miss any more team activities - or I will have to come and fetch you.” “To drag me there kicking and screaming, huh?” Sean smirked, then blinked as Jason slowly nodded. “If that is your preferred manner of travel.” the eerily composed youth said… and then smiled very faintly. Sean was pretty sure that this was a Jason idea of a joke - but then, like all Jason jokes, there was a kernel of truth in the deadpan delivery. “Right. Got it.” Sean muttered, smiling a little as he shook his head. Jason nodded again, then turned to go. “Don’t forget to pick me up early tomorrow.” he said as he reached the door, looking back at Sean. “There’s more to fill you in on, but time is short at the moment. We can do it on the drive.” And with that he was gone, the tread of his boots on the stairs making as usual less noise than they should as he headed down.
  25. Kat scampered to the bottom of the stairs and already had the front door open before Sean was even half way down, taking the steps at a more sedate, decorous pace. Practically buzzing with impatience to begin devouring the pizza, Kat huffed in good natured annoyance at how long it took Sean to join her, even though it was less than a minute. "Oh, hey, Ralph," Sean said when he looked up to meet the pale eyes of the lanky delivery guy nearly as tall as Cade as he handed over his share. "Hey, Sean," Ralph replied with a grin, blond brows rising faintly as he gaze flitted between the two red heads, one svelte, the other voluptuous. "You two know each other?" Kat asked with a curious tilt to her head. "A bit," Sean admitted. "Ralph knew my older sister Teagan and I built him a PC." "And I've delivered pizzas to The Barn often enough on gaming nights," Ralph added, grin widening as he held up the cash he'd collected from Kat and Sean. "They usually tipped pretty good, like tonight. Gonna be a good shift. Miss." He nodded at Kat. Then nodded at Sean. "Sean." Kat arched her brows at Sean as she led him to the kitchen. Sean shrugged. "He used to be a bit of dick to me. After Teag 'talked' with him, he turned out to be decent enough guy. Absolutely terrible at first-person shooters, though." Kat bustled about the kitchen, grabbing plates and such. Sean would have offered to help, but it was his first time here, and it was easier to let Kat do everything and just stay out of the way, so he took a seat on a stool at the island. "Are we eating here, or upstairs or...?" "Whatever works for you," she replied, "if we go upstairs we can keep check on the operating system installation. We'd just need to get the plates back here once we're done. I'd hate to pile up dishes in my room." After a brief shrug, she opened the cardboard box and glared at it. "I'm still amazed at the size of these. Twice as big as French pizzas. We might need to bring the box with us if we eat upstairs." She added, after comparing with the size of her plate. She tilted her head and turned to her friend, an eyebrow sky high. Sean's lips quirked into a small smirk at Kat's disbelief at the size of American pizzas. "Well, this is Big Sky Country, and everything is bigger in the United States. The cars, political strife, the people... " Despite herself, Kat's eyes darted downward from Sean's face for an instant and a faint pinkness rose tinted Sean's cheeks. "... especially the food. It's why we have an obesity problem. We don't serve those tiny, fancy meals like in high-end French restaurants or Taco Bell. Not unless you pay a real lot." Kat's other eyebrow followed the first. She might not have been that familiar with American fast food chains, but she was well aware that fancy and Taco Bell didn't belong in the same sentence. "Taco Bell?" "Let me tell you about the grand potential future of Demolition Man as we grab some plates, eat some pizza, and update a new PC," Sean proposed, using his DM Storyteller voice, panning a hand in front of them to paint a scene as Kat collected some plates and a knife, then started leading them back towards the stairs. "In a false Utopian Future, they'd forgotten what real crime was and when it came back, they needed a cop who know what it was to fight it. So, they got Sylvester Stallone..." And up the stairs they went, their hands full with plates, pizza, and drinks. "Wait, are you gonna spoil me a movie I didn't watch yet ?" She asked as she pushed her room's door with her foot. The scent of pizza was omnipresent in her mind, making it hard to focus on anything else seriously. "God I'm hungry!" They entered the room and dumped dinner material on her desk, careful not to push anything off it as much of the space was occupied by... cables, keyboard, mouse, microphone, external DAC, screen, that short of things. The rush building a PC had provided them with now cooled down, and Sean couldn't help but notice only now Kat's most recent painting, still leaning against her easel, brown balls of fur fooling around a dark but space-like background, punctuated by what looked like shining celestial bodies. In the dim and late sunset light, the whole image gave off a strange vibe, mixture of joy and sadness, brought together by strong motion. "The movie's been out for over twenty-five years. The embargo on spoilers is way over. 'Sides, it's an action flick - spoilers don't really matter that much," Sean said with a chuckle. "It's still a fun movie." Eating pizza in Kat's room and idle chatting with her about what other pop cultural touchstone movies she might have missed, and listening to movies she suggested, Sean's multihued eyes kept drifting to a painting. A new one, he supposed, still on the easel. He painted as well, but mainly miniatures for gaming and the occasional prop or costume piece for Halloween. He didn't do stuff on canvas, really, other than a few attempts a while back with oils, trying to emulate Bob Ross. There had been 'much room for improvement', his happy little trees looking sad. Kat's painting was very good, very evocative, especially illuminated by the setting sun. Sean casually plucked up an olive that had fallen from his slice of pizza onto the projected shelf of his bosom, then glanced over at Kat, nodding towards her painting. "Space squirrels, hmm? I like it," he said with a grin, waggling the fingers of his free hand. "You do it by hand, or try it using your mental voodoo?"
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