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Everything posted by Sean Cassidy

  1. Sean pushed off from leaning against his car, giving Kat an apologetic shrug. "I think this is cooler. Like one of those flameless lighters. More efficient, all the heat without the flame" Sean nodded down the length of the strip mall towards Sulli's Electronics at the end, then shifted to Kat's side so the cigarette smoke wouldn't blow in his face. He glanced casually about as they started walking, making sure nobody was paying undue attention to them. "So, it looks like you can do something like Jase, just in a different way. Instead of making flame directly, you might have to agitate molecules to combust." He pointed at the cig dangling from her lips. "And make flame that way." They reached Sulli's and stood a bit away from the door to let Kat finish her cigarette before heading in. A frown appeared on Kat's features as she asked, "Isn't it what Jason is doing ? If I heard correctly," she puffed, "he uses telekinesis, right ? So he'd be agitating the molecules to heat them up. What I did didn't feel like... telekinesis. One moment, the air was cool, and a moment after, it was hot. It almost felt like I had an energy reservoir and I tapped in it to allow the combustion. Took me a while to figure it out..." She rubbed the back of her head, before adding, "Thinking about it, if I had tried too hard, I might have burnt the cigarette to ash." She drew a last time on her cigarette before stubbing it out against the floor, her eyes scanning her surroundings to stop on a public trash. She got rid of the butt and nodded at her friend, who opened the door of the shop. There was an electric chime as the door opened. Sean waved Kat ahead and followed her in to Sulli's Electronics and Computers with a sense of familiarity. The shop was probably the place he had visited most often outside of Shelly and had that aura of welcoming clutter that the best mom and pop stores held, despite it being neat and tidy. Behind the counter at the back the facing the door was a somewhat short man, only two or three inches taller than Sean, somewhere between stocky and rotund, who had probably crested forty years of age. He looked away from the monitor he was looking and seeing Sean, he smiled, crows feet at the corners of his grey eyes creasing his smooth face. "Oh! Sean, good afternoon," he called out cheerily. "What brings you out today? I wasn't waiting on a build from you to put out on commission was I?" "No, not this time, Sulli," Sean replied, with a relaxed ease Kat noticed was rare from Sean. "But I am looking at putting together a gaming rig." He put a slender hand on Kat's slight shoulder. "This is Kat, a new friend and student at Shelly High. She heard I had a thing for computers and decided she needed a new setup. And you're the best for parts, Sulli, so I brought her here." "Sean's too kind," Sullivan said, offering Kat a boyish grin that belied his age. "I'm just diligent and a little compulsively thorough when looking for suppliers. Pleased to meet you, Kat. What do you need?" After greeting the man back, Kat pursed her lips into something close to a cute pout while she thought about what she exactly wanted. If she picked her components carefully, she might get an even better rig than the one she left in France, and for a better price. "I'm looking for at least 4 GB of video memory, a solid processor, 16 GB of RAM, and a soundcard decent enough for music recording. For that last thing, I really don't know if I can get that integrated to a computer or if it has to be external, but I need it either way." As she spoke she raised a finger for each demand, waving her hand when specifying how important the sound card was to her. "I never really liked how my recordings sounded with a laptop, so I wanna make sure I get something nice." With an amused smirk, Sullivan began taking short notes, then his eyes met with the petite redhead's as he asked : "Do you have any... brand preferences ?" Kat shook her head. "I don't really know better than both of you would," she replied, "I'm open to suggestions." "Well, if you're willing to trust us, I'm sure we can get you everything you'd like, and under budget," Sulli with a smile as he began pulling up his inventory on the computer. "Especially with the employee discount, hmm?" Sean said with a grin, arching a brow. "I suppose if I don't, you'll just coincidentally buy the same components, Sean?" Sulli replied with an exasperated tone, but his pale blue eyes twinkled. Sean nodded. "Fine then. Let's start with what I have on sale and clearance and go from there. It was almost like another language, as Sean and Sullivan debating the merits and specs of various brands of components, versus what Kat needed, and what she wanted. Sean was clearly in his element, but made the effort to explain to the more petite redhead what he was talking about. "You could get a better soundcard, but overall, you'll probably be better of with an external DAC," Sean said. "Especially for recording. You'll also want to invest in a good mic or two - that'll help a lot and save you time in sound editing. And baffling for wherever you end up recording - that'll stop echoes. I learned that the hard way." So in his element, Sean completely shut down a guy who had seen the two attractive redheads and tried to mansplain computer builds before Sullivan could intervene. The guy looked to be in his twenties, some sort of tech-bro. He'd given Kat a look that suggested he thought she was cute, but too young, before turning his attention to Sean, or more often, his chest, as he tried to impress him with his knowledge of video games and computers. It didn't take long before Sean had him retreating out of the store with his tail between his legs. In less than an hour, Kat had all the components for a PC, with better specs than she had asked for, and under the budget she had set for herself, giving her leeway to get a new microphone. The components made a surprisingly compact pack, fitting inside a box easily handled by either Kat or Sean. Thankfully, Sean already had a spare computer case, so Kat didn't need to a new one. "Thanks, Sulli," Sean chimed as Kat paid. "And just so you know, I'll probably have Regenesis done sooner than later. Been making amazing progress lately" Kat put her wallet away, and box of unconstructed computer held protectively in her arms, sidled up to Sean, mouth spread wide in pleasure. "Ready to head back and put your new PC together?"
  2. 2019 - Monday, Labor Day morning, on the road “Yeah, that seems good.” Jason mused, taking a swallow of Coke. “Perhaps we can persuade the Aeon people to share that communications tech with us.” He smiled in his usual wry fashion. “At least the stuff they were handing out to Etienne and their other agents - that not-quite-a-phone we found of his.” “I wonder if they work on the same basic principles as the weird radio from the trailer,” Sean added, flicking on the turn signal and shifting lanes with a quick glance in the mirror for the upcoming off ramp to Great Falls. “But what I really want…” There was a lustful burr to the shapely boy’s dulcet voice, “... is some of that holography tech. Gaming night and video games would be so sweet.” As the music changed to a minimalist composition of soft percussion and what sounded like singularly drops of something into some manner of liquid, Sean went off on a tangent about the progress he was making on his video game. Jason let his friend babble on, long familiar with how Sean’s particular brand of genius benefitted from jumping from one topic to another. With greater understanding of his own abilities and how they manipulated software, the coding on FBG (Fallout-But-Good, codename), was taking an exponential leap forward, in efficiency especially. He could get more using less memory, which drastically eased rendering and loading times, and would mitigate crashes and errors - also helped by him not being a lazy coder. “... do away with zoning, and don’t even need to use cinematic cutscenes anymore. I can get it all done using the game engine, just zooming and playing with the camera angles to get the best shots,” Sean explained, sounding almost giddy, as he wove through Great Falls on the familiar route to Sullivan’s Computers & Electronics. Sean had a great deal of respect for what the gaming industry had accomplished, but believed now, imagination and innovation had taken a backseat thanks to the executives and sales folk for the sake of the investors. Games from the biggest publishers were coming out nearly half finished - if that in some cases - and riddled with bugs. He was just one person, he couldn’t write, code, and test as fast as they could, or at least, he shouldn’t have been able too. On the other hand, he didn’t have stakeholders to answer to and publisher executives medling to squeeze every bit of money from the game at the expense of the game and the players. And he now had an insight into the digital world they just didn’t have. He could see a game forming that could be a turning point in the industry, one that could rank in the greatest and most influential game lists for years. One of those games that remained pristine and flawless in nostalgic eyes. “... and picture that in 3D holography, yeah?” Sean finished as he parked in the lot of the small srip mall. “I can,” Jase replied, forming the scene in his mind palace. “Evocative. But do you believe you’ll have the time to work on this with all that is happening with Proteus and Crossroads?” “You still make time for your flowers, Jase. I can make time for this,” Sean countered, his forearms on the steering wheel as he stared out the windshield thoughtfully. “I’m still looking at what comes after Proteus and Crossroads, Cody and Kline and all that stuff. Making video games might be a small thing in the grand scheme of things, but it’s a dream that isn’t lost me with everything that’s going on with us. A dream that has actually grown with it instead.” “I get it, Sean.” Jason looked over at his friend with his inscrutable gaze, and enigmatic grin. “Just wanted to know how important it was to you.” Sean rolled his eyes with familiar exasperation, but grinned. Jason had changed since summer, but then again, they’ve all had. Still, Sean was about the most used to him. “You could’ve just said that, man,” Sean groused. “But then, where would have been my fun?” Jason said, the bare curve of his lips deepening faintly, verdigris eyes glinting. The boys exited the Jeep, Jason with economical grace, Sean with more of a hop, due to his modest height. A pair of women, two or three years older than the Shellites leaving a yoga studio gave Jason a casual glance of interest, the blonde giving a shudder when she noticed his eyes. When their attention slid over Sean, who was straightening his hoodie and was once again considering the graphic on it being a little too on point, the blonde scowled, while the snorted a giggle, something sounding like ‘udders’ drifting over to the boys on the air. The hoodie was loose, but not shapeless, and regardless, Sean’s curves were much too pronounced to hide. He didn’t even try anymore. He just shot the girls an arched brow, then led Jason into Sullivan’s. “Hey, Sean!” the pudgy Sulli called in friendly greeting to one of his best customers, and occasional subcontractor for computer builds. “And friend,” Sulli added somewhat more neutrally when he noticed the lanky boy who was clearly accompanying Sean, guessing he wouldn’t have much time to geek out to pop culture and electronics with the intersexed youth. “What can I do you guys for?” “Phone shopping.” Sean told his tech-savvy friend with a grin. “My man Jase here has decided to join the 21st century and leave behind smoke signals and semaphore.” A slight bit of ribbing at Jason’s expense - Sean knew his friend was far from incompetent with technology, circuitry, electronics, computers and the like: he simply didn’t share Sean’s fascination with them to the same degree. Jason merely smiled at the good-natured teasing, his cold eyes crinkling a little at the corners as Sean went on. “I’m his spirit guide on this quest.” “Well, if Sean’s your guide, I’m guessing Android?” Sully smiled at Sean as he got his keys and moved along to the phone display cases. He gave Jase a professional shopkeeper’s appraisal. “What’s your budget look like?” “Money is no obstacle, within reason.” Jason responded calmly as he moved to examine some of the sleek-looking phones. 2013 - March, Weekend, Cassidy Home Sean busied himself with washing the lettuce as a quiet argument went on behind him. Outside, the grill was heating up as the family took advantage of an unseasonably warm early Spring day to properly cook steaks and burgers. Inside the kitchen, things were also heating up. “He bit that boy, and Mr Polanski. They both needed stitches.” Mom said with low, worried severity. “He was defending Sean, Mom.” Teagan said with a dismissive snort. “Mr Polanski lets Chet and his cronies do whatever - either because he’s blind or because he doesn’t care. Jason stepped up, you know what I’m saying?” “Alan’s mother said he still has bruises on his neck and has woken up with nightmares several times.” Carolyn fretted. “You can’t tell me that’s a normal scuffle between boys.” “Good. Alan should keep his hands to himself!” “Teagan Cassidy!” “What?! It’s true, mom. Chet and his friends are little shi- bullies.” Teagan moderated her words, if not her tone. “I don’t care if Sean’s friend gives them all screaming night terrors. Hell, I’ll hug him when I see him.” Sean’s older sister was fiercely protective of her little brother, and it showed. “Heh. He might bite you.” Laurie giggled. “Oh, don’t even joke.” Carolyn said severely. “What if he has serious problems?” “He does, mom.” Sean turned around, facing his sisters and mother, his father at the far end of the kitchen staying out of the discussion. “He’s got no mother, no siblings, his dad is a drunk. He acts like he doesn’t expect any kindness from anyone, but he always sits with me, and talks with me about all sorts of stuff. He’s super smart, just quiet. And he’s not mean at all.” “Tell that to Mr Polanski.” “That was an accident. Jase said he thought it was Chet.” “Oh, so he thought he was biting into a boy’s artery. That makes it so much better.” Carolyn’s tone was heavy with irony as she turned to her husband. “Jack, talk to your children please?” Sean’s dad looked up from the marinade he was mixing, considering his wife, then looking at Sean. “Our son invited his friend to our cookout.” he said in a level tone. “I see nothing wrong with that. Whatever you heard from other moms doesn’t count for much, Carolyn. I trust Teagan and Sean when they say those boys are bullies. Maybe Jason does have issues - but denying him our son’s friendship won’t help with that.” Carolyn let out a small sigh. “I know, I know. I’m just worried about-” “Trust Sean, sweetheart. He knows good eggs from bad.” Jack looked round as the front doorbell rang. “Speaking of…” “I’ve got it.” Sean dried his hands off on a dishtowel and scampered to the door. Opening it he saw Jason on the porch, a plastic container under one arm and with his satchel slung around his narrow shoulders. He gave Sean a tiny smile as the redheaded boy greeted him. “Heya Jase. What’s in the box?” “A gift.” Jason said enigmatically. Sean chuckled and swung the door wider, letting his friend in and leading him to the kitchen. “How’d you get down here? Dad give you a ride?” “My father’s sleeping. I walked.” Jason said as he followed Sean into the large family kitchen, noting the surprise on everyone’s face as his words registered. “You walked?” Carolyn sounded mildly aghast. “That’s..” “Three and a half miles, roughly.” Jason supplied helpfully as he put the blue plastic container on the table at one end. “These are for you, Mrs Cassidy.” “But that’s dangerous!” Carolyn said concernedly. “I’m careful.” Was all Jason replied, with a slight shrug. Teagan came round the table and popped off the lid from the container. “Oh hey, brownies.” “My first batch.” Jason told her with a smile. Teagan shot her mom a meaningful look, then turned and leaned over, giving Jason a hug. Sean saw his stoic friend’s eyes widen a little in surprise, swivelling towards Sean as though seeking answers for this strange behaviour. “Uh. Thanks. But they’re only brownies.” Teagan giggled, giving the skinny boy a slight squeeze, then released him. “No, that was for protecting Sean.” She hesitated, then gave him a kiss on the forehead, making him blink. “That was for the brownies.” “Say, these look good.” Jack peered into the container. Carolyn came forward then, shooing away her husband’s reaching hand. “Off, you. Jason said they were for me. Right, Jason?” she asked him as she put the lid back on the container and moved it to the fridge. “That’s right. And whoever you choose to share them with” he asserted with a faint smile. Carolyn came back over, giving him a slightly awkward one armed hug. “Thank you, sweetie. We’ll share them after dinner.” “If we’ve got any room.” Laurie grinned. Jason glanced around at the various tasks the family were doing, contributing to the meal, and frowned a little in consideration. “Can I help?” he asked. Jack and Carolyn exchanged a glance, and Sean smiled as he saw his mom’s expression. Whatever doubts she had about Jason or his issues, his mom had a huge heart. And it had gone out to his friend. “Sure. Ever grilled before?” Jack asked, getting off the stool he was seated on and bringing over a tray of steaks to set beside the bowl of dry marinade. “I need someone to coat these thoroughly. You up for that?” “I have seen it done.” Jason replied as he clambered up onto the stool and rolled up the sleeves of his sweater.
  3. 2019 - Monday, Labor Day morning, around 7 am There had been a mist hanging low over the fields an hour or two earlier, when he’d first sat down on the porch seat with his satchel and a cup of coffee, watching the rising sun and smiling slightly to himself as it turned the sky a vivid red-gold with hints of rose. Now the mist had been burned away, the sky taking on a richer blue as the sun ascended, and the cup was cold and empty at his side. An observer would have not seen the youth move since he’d set the empty mug down, instead resting his hands on his thighs with his gaze turned inwards, so perfectly still he seemed to withdraw from the present. In truth he was meditating on the energies of Radiance, or Shine, feeling the tickle of it from the tall grass in front of the house, the occasional brighter sense of his father asleep upstairs in the house, the rich glow that permeated himself. The weekend had come with revelations, and the slow-moving moments of quiet reflection allowed him to re-examine them all. Including the shimmer from the bracelet around his left wrist where Autumn had fastened it yesterday before his duel with Devin, like a sign of courtly favor from a maiden on the arm of her knight. He'd studied it intently, trying to determine what it was made of but, lacking spectroscopic equipment or similar tools, could do little but guess. It was too light in hue to be copper, too lightweight to be gold or brass. He wondered if perhaps it was some otherworldly alloy - given it's origin that was possible. It would remain, by necessity, a mystery for now. The other bracelets Autumn was safeguarding would be handed out tonight before battle was joined. Perhaps, after the fight against the Tree was done, there would be time for proper study. The sound of an engine - not the growl of his own Charger, but the whisper-like purr of a car made for more modern sensibilities, intruded on his reverie. Jase turned his head, seeing Sean’s Trailhawk rolling up the dirt track to come to a stop in front of the farmhouse, and raised a hand in greeting as he stood, gathering his satchel and loping down from the porch. His friend smiled at him and waved him round to the passenger side, grinning as the door clicked open and the lanky teen slid into the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Some ambient flute and string music Sean was experimenting with for his current design project filled the car unobtrusively, and a bag of snacks and drinks was tucked down just behind and between the front seats. “Jason Bannon, getting a phone!” Sean’s smile was wide as he glanced at the naturally composed features of his friend. Girlish lips twisted in a smirk. “Anyone else, I’d say it has to be a girl behind such a radical move. For you? God knows. Something nefarious, probably.” “Perhaps it is also a girl - or a boy.” Jason replied softly, one corner of his mouth quirking as the edges of his eyes crinkled, though he didn’t look at his friend, instead regarding Trailhawk’s interior curiously as Sean turned the Jeep around and started back down the track. “Many things may be true at the same time, after all.” “Philosophy before eight am. Great.” Sean mock-grumped, side-eying the inscrutable one. “So is it a girl?” “Perhaps I just feel the need to be able to connect.” Jason returned Sean’s gaze with one of his own fathomless stares, though he was still smiling a little. “Secrets and philosophy before eight am.” Sean pouted, though he smiled as well. There seemed something… relaxed about Jase this morning. More so than his usual unflappable calm. Has to be a girl. Or else he’s developed that bio-plague he’s always ‘joking’ about… “Are you going to tell me at all?” “Perhaps.” Jase sighed as he got comfortable in the plush seat, playing with the reclining controls. He glanced sideways at Sean, lips curving in another sly smile. “Nice car, this.” “I like it.” Sean radiated self-satisfaction, possessiveness and delight in having his own vehicle filling the jacked up SUV in a way his modest stature couldn’t. He turned onto I-15 and headed towards Great Falls, his slender fingers drumming on the steering wheel. “And there was never a chance I’d snag the Tesla. ‘Sides, no way this baby is getting stuck in a Montana winter, unlike that roadster or some other cars I can care to think of…” He flashed his friend a quick, teasing grin. If the Grand Cherokee wasn’t as pristine as Jase’s restored classic muscle car, and wasn’t the latest model, it still had decades of motorive advancement on the Charger. Sure, the interior was kind of worn and it could stand to be repainted after Sara had helped him - okay, he had helped her, at little - with the obvious repairs, but it had most of the modern conveniences, like heated seats, and rearview camera - admittedly, after-market - that Sean had wanted. Most of. He hadn’t been looking for something that could off-road like a beast, but now that he had it, he rather enjoyed it, even if he needed the running board to be able to climb inside it. Jase smiled slightly, shrugging one shoulder even as he let his slender fingers play over the upholstery on the inside of the door, making a tactile connection to add to his other sensory impressions. “If my car gets stuck in the snow, I’ll move it.” It was a great day for driving, the sky was clear but the sun wasn’t glaring, and the wind was light or non-existent. After having to beg or deal for rides or cycle around town on the same bike since he was eleven, Sean loved driving, and took whatever opportunity he could to do so, despite having had Little Bigfoot hardly more than a week. “I know I just got her, but I have looked a bit at what it would take to convert her to electric.” The shapely boy glanced over his shoulder, then shifted into the left-hand lane and picked up speed to pass a languorous landboat going ten under the speed limit, the 5.7L Hemi V8 rising from a whisper into a powerful purr. “It’s pricey, especially for the specs I’m looking at, but considering...” Sean snapped his fingers and an actual actinic spark crackled, “... certain considerations, there would be some great advantages. But I’ll have to finish Regenesis or Annwn will need to go viral before I can afford it.” Jason nodded occasionally as his friend spoke, his sly smile widening just a bit. “Her, hmm?” “Pshaw!” Sean scoffed with a roll of expressive, exasperated, exotically hued eyes. “Appearances to the contrary, I ain’t into riding dudes.” He gave the steering wheel a slap. “Little Bigfoot is simply a big girl.” “So, phone?” He arched an angled brow at his friend, changing the subject “You looking for some ancient Nokia flip phone that can barely find the internet and takes a thousand years to type a text, or something more current, like, from the last decade?” 2012 - November, Morning, Shelly Elementary “We have a new student joining us today, children,” Mrs. Durham said in her gentle, infinitely patient voice. “I’d like you all to say hello to Jason Bannon, who has just moved to Shelly with his father.” Next to Helen Durham’s stocky, solid form stood a slight figure with a mop of brown and downcast eyes dressed in well-worn, oversized clothing. Helen was going to place a comforting hand on the new boy’s shoulder, but she could sense the taut tension in the boy and caught the sudden, watchful intensity in his eyes whenever someone invaded his personal space, and so relented. There was a chorus of obliging Hi’s and Hello’s of various enthusiasm, and a few waves. Sean was one of the ones who waved. In the last few months, he’d had a big growth spurt, and now he was one of the tallest kids in grade four. Unfortunately, despite his vivid red hair cut short, he still looked more girlish than boyish, though his parents promised that he’d start filling out soon. Some of the other kids were starting to tease him about it. It didn’t help that most of the other taller kids in his grade were also girls, like Sara Hutchins, who at least could boast being more solidly built than he was. “There’s an open desk next, Sean. Why don’t you take it, Jason? Sean is a smart boy, and he can show you where we are in the lessons for today?” The skinny figure in the oversized clothing cast one glance at the teacher, then moved without a word towards the empty desk. The rest of the fourth grade class regarded him with the curiosity due to all new things as he passed several rows in a head-down slouch. Todd Asper, from the row behind Sean, snickered. “Watch out he doesn’t think you’re a girl and fall in love, Cassidy.” “Todd Asper! Am I going to have to move you up here again to stop you whispering?” Mrs Durham’s voice rose a little. “Eyes on your book, please. The only people who should be talking are Sean and Jason right now. And if your quiz results aren’t better than last week, Mr Asper, you will be moved to the front of the class for the rest of the school year.” Amidst a chorus of ‘oooh’ from the other kids directed at the luckless Todd, the Bannon kid slid into the seat next to Sean’s, setting a worn-looking leather satchel on ground after extracting a dogeared, second-hand copy of the textbook, a couple of pencils and a notebook from it’s recesses. Sean studied the new kid for a moment as he got situated, finding him odd somehow, beyond the oversized army-surplus clothes and the dire need of a haircut or, failing that, a comb. He was skinny, sure, but his features even lacked the residual childish softness of a normal ten or eleven year old’s, seeming severe and drawn by comparison. Even his mouth was severe - a straight line with no expressiveness to it, as if he never smiled or laughed. His ethnicity was likewise enigmatic - sharp cheekbones and narrow eyes, olive skin and dark hair. “Hey. I’m Sean, but I guess you already figured that out.” Sean essayed a greeting as he leaned over, meaning to break the ice with the apparently shy kid. He wasn’t sure if it was the greeting or the movement, but Jason lifted his head from contemplating his desk then, turning and meeting the effeminate boy’s eyes. Sean had been about to offer his hand, but paused. There was nothing shy in the stare currently scrutinising him. Wariness, perhaps. Watchfulness, definitely. But no nervousness, no shyness, no ‘oh hey someone’s being cool to me’ relief. It was strange, an effect heightened by the icy pale green of Jason Bannon’s eyes. They were reflective, giving nothing away except, as the stare continued, mild interest and curiosity. “You have central heterochromia. Oddly vivid colours.” Was perhaps the strangest introduction one fourth grader ever made to another. It was, however, the first words any student in Shelly Elementary had ever heard Jason say. The accent was also hard to place - American but at the same time not - possessing a sharp precision as if every word was considered for a microsecond before being spoken. The angular features tilted slightly, a flicker of something behind the green eyes indicating a remembrance of correct behaviour. “And I’m Jason.” “Pleased to meetcha.” Sean offered his hand, feeling the bony slender fingers grip it, shake once, then release. “And you know what heterochromia is.” He stated rather than asked, regarding Jason in an assessing manner for a moment as the skinny boy shrugged non-committedly. “Well, let’s get you caught up.”
  4. "Hello there !" Kat's soft voice rang through the kitchen. She was all jeans, blouse and booties, her leather jacket under her left arm, and a discreet layer of make-up adorned her smiling features. She waved at Sean before scooting over the fridge, grabbing the orange juice and pouring herself a large glass. "Sorry for taking so long, I only realized it was 2PM when I, uh, heard your car." She rubbed the back of her head, then swallowed a large amount of her OJ. Tess glanced at the petite redhead, curiosity and mild amusement in her eyes. "When should we expect you to come back? This evening ?" She asked, hiding a mischievous grin behind a sip on her coffee. Still ashamed about the evening before, Kat first looked at her feet, then glanced at Sean, asking for help. "Hey there yourself, Kat," Sean replied, raising his mug of coffee in a greeting salute to the svelte French girl. Sean finished his coffee with a couple of quick sips then slipped off the kitchen stool. He reclaimed his plastic bag and tucked it a bit awkwardly under his arm, his turquoise and jade eyes flicking between Kat and her father's girlfriend. He got the sense there was something going on between them, though didn't know enough to even guess at what. "Weeeell, we're only going to Great Falls to pick up a few things. An hour there, an hour at most to shop, and an hour back, we should be back by five, six at the latest," Sean answered Tess, with a slight bit of hesitancy. "A few hours afterwards to put it all together and run a few tests, we should have it done by this evening." His uncanny gaze shifted back to Kat. "Is that alright? If you have something to do with the family this evening, I can put it all together at home and drop it off tomorrow morning, Kat. No probs." Tess shook her head negatively, hmm-ing over her mouthful of coffee. She swallowed and replied, "It's alright. I was teasing the little damsel over here about last evening, when she arrived two hours late for dinner. Take your time, but please Kat, this time, text me when you're on the way back from Great Falls, a'ight ?" The smaller teen rubbed the back of her head. "Yeah, I'll try not to forget this time..." She finished the rest of her OJ, then turned to her curvaceous friend. "Let's go? Laters, Tess!" "If she does, I won't," Sean assured the dark-haired beauty Kat's dad was dating, giving her a small, two fingered wave. "Later." Sean lead Kat outside to his SUV, unlocking the doors with a thought rather than the fob in his hand. He put the plastic bag of parts behind the driver's seat, then climbed up behind the wheel. Kat climbed up into the passenger seat with more athletic grace than Sean had. Sean brought the Grand Cherokee to life, put it onto gear, and carefully manoeuvred out of his parking spot on the side of the street, since someone had decided to park right behind him instead of using practically anywhere on the rest of the block. Starting on the way to Great Falls, he arched an amused brow at his passenger. "Damsel, hmm? What were you doing last night that you were a damsel? in some sort of distress, I presume, and who saved you?" "Ugh..." The petite redhead sighed. "I was having a great time with Courtney, and at one point, I just... lost track of time, I guess..." The delicate pink coloring her cheeks told there was more to it, but she didn't go on the details, except... "Oh, yeah, right. At first, we were talking about telepathy. She made me a deal: she'll share her insights on... stuff, 'cause she was part of the Project, right? So she maybe trained her abilities a different way than you did, et caetera, but in exchange for her help, I'd get her in the group training session, including the one on Sunday... Would that be... possible ?" "Ask Jason," Sean said a touch sharply, turning his attention fully on the road. "I'm doing something else, tomorrow." He hadn't made definite plans, but he suddenly decided what he was doing tomorrow, so it wasn't really a lie. He could even claim it as a personal training session. Despite himself, noticing Kat's soft blush, he couldn't help but wonder what Kat meant by a great time with Courtney, and why'd she lose track of time. "I'm sure Jase will take your reasoning into consideration, and see the logic in allowing Courtney to attend." His lovely tone turned grudging, his lips pursed in something dangerously close to a pout. "If you want, I'll ask Jason myself on your behalf." The French girl took a moment to compose herself, cherry-red lips still haunting her thoughts. "I'd ask him myself, but I don't have his number..." She'd sensed her friend's change of attitude more than she'd noticed it, as her telepathy was more and more becoming a part of herself rather than a tool. She glanced at Sean, wondering. "Is there... something? Between you and Courtney? I mean... she didn't seem to like you much..." Her curiosity was piqued. "If I'm out of bounds, sorry for asking, but if I'm ever to throw a party some day, it could help to know who hates who. I've had my lot of drama back in France," she added, a hint of weariness seeping through her soft tone. Kat saw Sean's hands tighten on the wheel, his abundant chest rise and fall as he took several deep, calming breaths. His silence was telling, as were the pings of emotion Kat couldn't help but catch radiating off him. "It's... It's okay, you're new here, to the dynamics of Shelly High," Sean said coolly. Kat could tell the coldness wasn't meant for her, just the history. "Yes, there is 'something' between me and Courtney. It's because of her everyone at school found out I was growing these!" Sean arched his back, making the very obvious even more obvious. Not like I could've kept them secret for much longer. "She didn't like me much before, she hated me after, and her and her goons just got worse as time went on. And I haven't grown to like her any over that time either." Getting on I-15, and passing the outskirts of Shelly, Sean gave Kat a level glance when he had a moment. "Look, I have no right to say or even suggest who you want to be friends with, Kat. Just be careful with her. Just because she's part of the weird too, doesn't mean you can trust Courtney. She's always been about herself and her own gratification first and foremost. I haven't seen anything to change that." Sean clearly had emotional wounds, and while they were scarring, they were still tender. Sean's mouth tightened into a thin line. "I'll still call Jase for you and make the request on your behalf, if you want, though." The petite redhead glanced at her friend in realization. She would have never guessed. Teens can be utterly cruel. Still, Sean offering to call Jason and ask if Courtney could join the training session meant something. She offered an apologetic smile to the driver. "I'm sorry they gave you hell." She meant it. The car remained devoid of conversation for a minute, then Kat broke the silence. "You could call him now and put him on speakers. How's that sound ?" "Sure, that's fine," Sean said, only having to feign a little bit of the cheeriness, before shifting the pitch of his voice to make a hands-free call. "Call. Jason. Home." <Did you say Call Jason Home?> "Yes." <Calling Jason Home.> As the phone dialed, Sean returned Kat's apologetic smile with a wry grin. "And thanks, but you don't have anything to be sorry for. You weren't there or involved." "Gar," came a gruff voice through the speakers. "Hello, Mr. Bannon. It's Sean. Is Jason there?" "Gar," Jason's father reiterated for his son's strange, feminine friend. "Jason's out." Pause. "He'll be back this evening. Six. Seven." "Thanks, Mis - er, Gar. I'll try back around then." There was a click as Gar hung up, then a softer blip as Sean's smartphone ended the connection. Sean gave Kat a one-armed shrug. "Guess, we'll call back." Wanting to shift the talk about from Courtney and almost anything Courtney adjacent, Sean switched to something Tess had mention. "So, Tess mentioned you paint and draw? I do a bit too, but mostly work digitally and with animation myself. I've made one game and am almost done another."
  5. "Heh, yeah. We could have Interdimensional Cable for real," Sean chuckled as he threw the pop cans in the garbage. "Aiming a bit high with a Danger Room. The holography stuff didn't look that good. But for video games and gaming? Sweeeet." Instead of bringing the dishes back to the house, Sean set them into the deep, multipurpose sink in the small bathroom in the barn. Adding an actual kitchen to the barn was all that was really needed to make the barn into an actual viable apartment, but with everything going on, it was only a 'would be nice' rather than any sort of imminent priority. He washed his hands than rejoined Cade. "You have a pair of gloves we can use, or do we need to head out and get something?" "I have something in my Jeep," Cade assured his voluptuous friend as he removed the magazine from the gun and emptied the chamber. "Back in a minute." While Cade went out to his vehicle, Sean awkwardly cradled the large firearm in his arms, the gym bag with the ammunition slung over his shoulder and headed over to the former stall that he used as his workshop. At least it was out of easy sight. Cade returned and found Sean in the ordered clutter of his workshop, sifting through a rack full of drawers of various sizes. On the table to Sean's side was what appeared to be a drone in some percentage of assembly or disassembly. "Will these work?" Sean glanced quickly over his shoulder and nodded at the pair of black, half-finger gloves in Cade's hands. "Those look perfect." Sean spun around, one hand cupping something or several somethings very small. He pointed by jutting his chin. "Next stall, over." The two of moved to the other stall, which tended to change purpose with whatever Sean seemed to be interested in at the moment. Currently, it seemed to be passing for as a sewing room. Skeins of thread, yards of cloth, various bits of various grades of foam and other assortments were held in cubbies. There was a sewing machine that looked way more complicated than Cade was expecting. In one corner, there was a hunched-shouldered... something without a face perched on a stand. "Didn't know you were so into fashion, Sean," Cade said with an amused smirk. Sean scoffed, but there was a slight pinkness to his cheeks as he ran his free hand through his rich red hair. "I make my Halloween costumes here and, uh, I've been trying my hand with alterations, so stuff fits better." Sean set the things he had been holding in his hand on the table next to the sewing machine. They were roughly the size of a grain of rice, one half of each one transparent, the other half holding what Cade assumed was some sort of microchip. "Half of this stuff is mom's anyway, we share the room." "What are you going as this year?" Cade asked, pointing at the thing on the stand. "Not done yet, bud, not gonna say just now," Sean unanswered with a grin. "Put the gloves on, gotta see how they fit, so I can determine the best place to put in the RFID tag." Cade slipped on the gloves, then held them up to display to Sean, twisting them front to back to front again. "Trigger hand?" Sean asked. Cade waggled the fingers of his right hand, and Sean grabbed it brusquely with both of his deft, delicate hands, kneading various points with his thumbs, looking for the best place to insert the chip where it wouldn't irritated Cade and was unlikely to get broken. He tapped at the space between thumb and forefinger. "Here, I think. People who've actually inserted chips like these under the skin usually putting them in the webbing between thumb and forefinger. Okay, you can take them off, now." Sean claimed the right hand glove and sat on a stool, giving the glove a closer inspection, studying the seams more than anything. He turned them inside out and nodded in satisfaction, and reached for a tool, a seam ripper. With practiced motions, he undid several stitches. "Made a lot of mistakes at first," Sean admitted, setting aside the seam ripper then sorting through the various types of RFID tags he had assembled. "I'm surprised you already have those things on hand," Cade commented. "Eh, I've been toying around with putting an electronic lock on The Barn and making fobs to unlock the place. Then started considering what I could with them and my drones..." Sean made his selection then reached for some super glue. "Glue?" "Glue. Much easier than trying to sew in a tiny pocket for the tag than restitching the seams. Glue's good enough to keep the tag in place." With one hand, he held the small hole he had made in the glove open, then carefully, placed the tag inside. He pinched the fabric over the tag, letting the glue set. He could feel the nub of plastic, but only just. Cade, or anyone else wouldn't even notice it unless they knew to look for it and where. A few small stitches by hand, and the glove was done. Then he repeated the process with the other glove. At Cade's questioning look, Sean just said, "Back up. In case the main one gets damaged." Done with the gloves, he handed them to Cade, then spun around on the stool to stare intently at the firearm, his eyes nearly aglow with psionic power. He could have programmed the tags and the gun the mundane way, of course, he had the hardware and software to do it, but psionic technokinesis made things so much easier and more efficient. Sean let out a breath and nodded, giving Cade a thumbs up. "Gun set to read only those tags and the receiver has been disabled, so remote access - by 'normal' means anyway - shouldn't be possible. Give it a test." Safety conscious, Cade made sure the chamber was still empty, and inserted an empty magazine. Stock braced against his shoulder, gun up in a firing position as he aimed at the far wall, Cade pulled the trigger. Click.
  6. In which Dixie, Eddy, and Matthew continue with their Scion: Origin story! What have we been up to? Editing, new laptop, and They Came from Beyond the Grave! Musical interlude and the Rich Bastard’s Guide to Magick! Music for roleplaying games (farty horns, of course) Who can’t play the recorder? Who plays the recorder for Lucifer? The best kind of palate cleanser. Scion: Origin continues! Cliffhangers in the sewer. LINKS: Scion Origin: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/246765/Scion-Second-Edition-Book-One-Origin Onyx Path Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/theonyxpath Onyx Path Discord: https://discord.gg/5uckcBk
  7. The Ninth World comes to Fifth Edition! They say there have been eight worlds before ours. Eight times the people of this planet, over vast millennia, built their civilizations, reaching heights we cannot even fully imagine now. The post Beneath the Monolith appeared first on Monte Cook Games.
  8. Now available in PDF and print from DriveThruRPG: Yugman’s Guide to Ghelspad, Part 3! Pay Heed to the Wisdom of Yugman the Sage A century and a half after the Divine War, the titans lay defeated and scattered across Scarn and beyond. As the people of Ghelspad work to build a new world on the war-torn remnants of a fallen paradise, new heroes rise, and new threats emerge. Yugman the Sage brings an overview of these new heroes and villains, as well as the tools they use to rise to power. A Land Where Legends Walk Drawing enthusiastically on Greek mythology, the revised and re-imagined Scarred Lands nonetheless retains its place as a modern fantasy RPG setting. This is a world shaped by gods and monsters, and only the greatest of heroes can expect to be counted among them. The most populous continent of Scarn, Ghelspad, plays host to vast unexplored regions, hides unsolved riddles from ancient cultures, and taunts adventures with the promise of undiscovered riches hidden among the ruins of older civilizations. Yet the myths of the Scarred Lands are relatively recent events. The effects of the Titanswar still ripple through the world, and the heroines and villains of many of these stories are part of living memory, if not still alive themselves. Also available from DriveThruRPG: The full manuscript for the upcoming Legendlore! This is not a complete PDF, this a preview of the draft text from the upcoming Legendlore RPG! The Legendlore Kickstarter starts on Tuesday, June the 2nd at 2pm EDT! Grab your friends and escape to another world! You’ve found an enchanted portal — a transition point — between worlds. The portal, called a Crossing, takes you to a world you thought only existed in novels and films: a magical land where dragons roam the skies, orcs and hobgoblins terrorize weary travelers, and unicorns prance through the forest. It is a world where humans join other peoples such as elves, trolls, dwarves, changelings, and the dreaded creatures who steal the night. It is a world of fantasy — of imagination. It is the Realm. It is Legendlore. Drawn from The Realm and Legendlore comics, the Legendlore RPG will whisk characters from our world to a magical fantasy realm filled with dragons, orcs, unicorns, and hobgoblins. With over 60 comics published covering three volume runs, The Realm and Legendlore combined became one of Caliber Comics‘ most critically acclaimed series. In the Legendlore RPG, players can choose to play as themselves or create a new character employing the 5th Edition OGL Fantasy Rules System. Tired of being stuck at home? Are you ready for a magical adventure? Here’s your chance to find a Crossing and have some adventure in The Realm! Sales A Light Extinguished (the Scion jumpstart) and The Secret of Vinsen’s Tomb (the Pugmire jumpstart) are both part of the massive Shelter in Play bundle, supporting Child’s Play and Extra Life. Kickstarter Update Our Technocracy Reloaded Kickstarter for Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition ends tomorrow! We hit our $35,000 goal in just 45 minutes! We’re currently at $182,860, or 522% of our original goal, thanks to our 2,231 backers. Wow! We’ve hit a bunch of stretch goals already, including: Technocracy Reloaded ST Screen Technocracy Player’s Companion: Constructs and Symposiums Expanded, Digital Web 3.0.2, Technomancer’s Toybox 20: Q Division, Unlikely Allies III, Mission Briefings Technocratic Union PDF bundle Backer T-shirt Technocracy Digital Wallpaper Mage20 Cookbook PDF added to rewards Art of Mage20 PDF added to rewards Art budget increase Technocracy Reloaded Jumpstart Technocracy Reloaded Novella Technocracy Reloaded Novella 2.0 Technocracy Reloaded Novella 3.0 Truth Beyond Paradox PDF added to rewards Legendlore returns on Tuesday next week! Did you miss one of our previous Kickstarters? The following Kickstarted products are still open for preorders via BackerKit: Scarred Lands: Creature Collection 5e They Came from Beneath the Sea!: They Came from Beneath the Sea! rulebook Trinity Continuum: Trinity Continuum: Aberrant Realms of Pugmire: Pirates of Pugmire Exalted: Lunars: Fangs at the Gate Chronicles of Darkness: Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras 2 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: Your product could be here! Have you considered creating your own to sell?
  9. We peek behind the scenes to find out what each person on the team is working on, we celebrate the beginning of the Kickstarter fulfillment of Voices of the Datasphere, we lament the cancellation of Gen Con 2020, but take solace in the creation of Gen Con Online, and we leave you with some really fantastic recommendations—all in this issue of Cypher Chronicles! You can get Cypher Chronicles, and other MCG news, delivered right to your inbox! Enter your email address and click the Subscribe button in the right-hand column, and you’ll never miss a post. The post Cypher Chronicles, vol. 19-2020 appeared first on Monte Cook Games.
  10. Featured Text: June 18-20, 2020: Help a good cause at the most star-studded D&D event ever! CTA: Event Details Featured Background Image: Side to Display Text: Right Start Date: 05/22/2020, 08:15 AM PDT End date: 06/12/2020, 07:15 PM PDT URLs to exclude: dndlive2020 articles/events/ddlive-attendee-info articles/events/dndlive-groups-guests articles/events/dndlive-partners Visit till show again: 0 Days till show again: 0 Percent Rate: 100 Show to new users only: Delay to Open: 2
  11. This week’s actual play spotlight is on a fantastic game not hosted on our YouTube or Twitch sites, instead being a podcast run by the fine folks at the Story Told Podcast. The Fall of Jiara is a Dragon-Blooded actual play using the rules for Exalted 3rd Edition, and does an amazing job of delving into Dragon-Blooded powers and culture, while examining the wider world of Exalted. The Story Told have so far published 23 episodes of this epic tale, but you can find them all here and find a new story to listen to. You can buy Dragon-Blooded from several locations not limited to the below: Studio 2 and Indie Press Revolution (Deluxe Edition) DriveThruRPG (Print on Demand and PDF)
  12. Type: Unearthed Arcana Author: Jeremy Crawford, Ben Petrisor, Dan Dillon, Taymoor Rehman Subtitle: Unearthed Arcana 2020 Banner: Text: Three subclasses reappear today in Unearthed Arcana, each with a new form. After studying your feedback on the Revived, Noble Genie, and Archivist subclasses, we’ve crafted new versions for your consideration: the Phantom, the Genie, and the Order of Scribes. You can find them in the PDF below. A survey is also available on the previous installment of Unearthed Arcana, which presented various psionic options. Please follow the survey link to let us know what you think about them! This Is Playtest Content The material in Unearthed Arcana is presented for playtesting and to spark your imagination. These game mechanics are in draft form, usable in your D&D campaign but not refined by final game development. They are not officially part of the game. For these reasons, material in this column is not legal in D&D Adventurers League events. Material/Survey Publication date: 05/12/2020 Tags: Unearthed Arcana external_urls: External url: https://media.wizards.com/2020/dnd/downloads/UA2020_SubclassesRevisited_0512.pdf External url description: Unearthed Arcana: Subclasses Revisited External url: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5563104/D-D-UA-Survey-49-Psionic-Options-Revisited External url description: Survey: Psionic Options Revisited Texture banner: Show Black text:
  13. May 5, 2020 — Rich Thomas, founder and creative director of Onyx Path Publishing announced that Trinity Continuum: Anima will be the next tabletop RPG supplement in the Trinity Continuum line. Both will employ the Storypath system. 2084. After the Aberrant War of the 2060s, there was The Crash, plunging parts of the world into a dystopian cyberpunk future. Cities were built up after the horrors of The Crash, but people still flock to fantasy entertainment to forget the troubles of the world outside, using a brain implant known as “Glass.” The number one fantasy MMORPG — Terra Surge — uses Glass to make the most immersive and exciting gaming experience available on the market, but top players end up missing or dead under mysterious circumstances. Players like you. In Trinity Continuum: Anima, characters try to get by while staving off attacks from enemies both physical and virtual. Anima gives players the chance to enter both the dangerous world of corporate espionage, while also delving deep into the virtual world’s mysteries. Between the two exist a myriad of deadly secrets meant to be left buried. “I’m really excited to be developing Anima for the Trinity Continuum. I’ve been a fan of the cyberpunk genre for most of my life, and I worked for six years on two MMOs,” said Trinity Continuum: Anima developer Eddy Webb. “This is also the first time that the Trinity Continuum has taken on two genres at once, so I can’t wait to see how the writing team blends both the cyberpunk and LitRPG genres.” The Trinity Continuum: Anima book will require the Trinity Continuum Core rule book for gameplay and will be designed using the Storypath System. The Storypath System is also the engine that powers Onyx Path’s Scion 2nd Edition and Trinity Continuum RPGs. Both digital and print editions of Trinity Continuum: Anima are planned for the new game following the success of a future Kickstarter. The hardcover edition of Trinity Continuum: Anima will be available in retail distribution after Kickstarter backers have their books.
  14. Sean sat at the table once more, eyeing the assault rifle. "Not much to do left, except to set you up with a responder tag so you can actually use the damned thing. Unless you want to go with deactivating that system entirely." He took a sip of his Pepsi, his nose scrunching up as it had gotten warm with they'd tested the taser rounds and Cade recovered. He gestured with the nearly empty can at the firearm and the magazines sitting on the table next to them. "Not much to check on the rest of the ammo. Bullets that go through things and people and other bullets that go through things and people better." Sean stood back up and started collecting the plates and empty cans, arching a brow up at his much taller friend. "I don't want to say it's aliens... but. It's aliens." He felt a little bad not revealing everything, but Cass had given some cover with her meeting at school. "You heard what Cass was saying. They must've gotten their hands on some sort of advanced or alien tech, and reversed engineered some of it to help them make stuff like this, that sweet, so sweet, holography tech at we saw at - or rather under - the hospital, the radio from the trailer and who knows what else. Totally aliens." Sean nodded back to one of the converted stalls of the renovated barn he used as a workshop. "Let's see what we can do to get you set up with your new Halo Assault Rifle. Also, maybe pack it back into the gym back, in case someone else drops by unexpectedly, hmm?"
  15. Inspired by dinosaurs and lush, digital islands, we return from break at MCG with links and pictures to delight and amaze! Read on for MCG news, updates, and recommendations. You can get Cypher Chronicles, and other MCG news, delivered right to your inbox! The post Cypher Chronicles, vol. 16-2020 appeared first on Monte Cook Games.
  16. Instinctively, Sean moved forward to catch his collapsing friend, immediately regretting the decision, but too late to get out of the way. Cade had more than a foot on him and probably like a hundred pounds and while Sean was many things, strong wasn't one of them. Sean grunted managing to cushion Cade at his own expense, air escaping his lungs, as he was pinned to the ground by Cade's spasming mass on top of him. I am so glad he is unconscious right now, Sean thought as he squirmed out from under Cade, who finally went still. Sean checked on his friend, to make sure he was still breathing and that his pulse felt okay - which was about the limit of his first aid skills. Then he brushed himself off and straightened his shirt, looking around to make sure no one else saw what happened. Cade groaned and slowly opened his eyes, to find Sean leaning over to look down at him, a glass of water in one hand and a small bottle of Advil in the other. "You've been out for 'bout five minutes, dude," Sean said, proffering the water and pills to Cade. A wry grin curved one side of his mouth. ""So, would now be a bad time to tell you I can make myself or someone else immune to electrical discharges? I mean, if I had, we wouldn't have found out how effect the tase rounds were. Probably." Cade sat up, bracing himself on an elbow, giving Sean a long, nonplussed look. He shook a couple of Advil into his hand, threw them in his mouth, then took the glass of water and gulped it down. He looked at Sean again, his expression level. Sean's grin began to waver. "You're despicable..." Cade said with a fair Daffy Duck impression.
  17. "It's not exactly Borderlands tech - not counting the whole digitizing stuff," Sean agreed, pointing at the high-tech firearm with the crust of his second slice of pizza. "But it's not that far off. I'm a little surprised they didn't make inputs for multiple magazines, or a special magazine that hold multiple kinds of rounds and a selector, so they don't have to switch magazines entirely to get the ammo they want. Can really see why they went with RFID, for their needs, instead of something like biometrics. Far more practical and elegant a solution for them." Sean stood up and pattered around the gaming table to put the rest of his pizza in the fridge. Two pieces was about his limit in one meal, but he'd probably snack on another piece later, and besides, cold pizza was just about as good as hot. He walked back to the table and set his elbows on it, resting his jaw on his fists as he eyed the gun once more. "As for restricting its access... I already switched the frequency the tag is operating on. I can beef up the encryption and make a trigger chip we can put into a glove or ring or something for you to wear. I can't guarantee someone couldn't shut the thing off remotely - this is Shadowrun territory and they have at least one guy over there sort of like me when it comes to cyber voodoo - but I can make it a lot harder. To make it complete proof against a remote kill order, I'd have to strip out the tag and electrical components entirely. But then it would usable by anyone picking it up." Sean reached forward and claimed one of the magazines, and extracted one of the taser rounds. Holding it up between a thumb and forefinger, he gave the round a closer, cursory examination. It was really well crafted, definitely not something someone could make at home, at least, not without a fantastic workshop and a damned good 3D printer. "Testing a taser round shouldn't be hard." Sean shot Cade an impish grin a casually tossed the towering athlete the bullet. Cade instinctively caught the bullet, then flinched, hastily holding his drink away from him, then frowned at his height-challenged friend, who snickered. "Not gonna do it inside, dude. But I don't particularly want to be tased and while I could call Laurie, she's taller, stronger, and faster than me, and I still have to live with her. So you're up, Cade." Sean tossed his head, nodding towards the door. "Outside, other side of the barn so they can't see from the house. We don't actually need the gun, I can trigger the round, so you're spared that at least."
  18. "Just a minute! Coming!" came Sean's high voice through the door of the converted barn. He blinked his eyes and pulled himself out of the phantasmagoria of cyberspace, where he'd been working on his game without having to relay on the clunky interface of a keyboard to write code. When you could translate the thoughts and ideas in your head directly into (virtual) reality, it made designing and programming a video game so easy, so easy in fact, that the options available to you could be bewildering if you didn't constrain yourself. It also made losing track of time a definite rather than a possibility. Sean spun around in his chair and hopped out, rushing towards the front door as he saved his progress and powered down the dedicated, isolated server he developed his games on with a thought. Sean had initially tried not to rely on his growing psionic powers too much, but, well... with the ease and convenience they lent to his interests and hobbies... He didn't even feel guilty anymore. Sean opened the door and waved Cade in, standing up on his toes and inhaling deeply as the pizzas passed by his face, the Triforce on his green shirt distorting. "Smells good. Didn't realize how much time's past, nor how hungry I am." The buxom boy got a couple of plates and set them on the gaming table he and his dad had made, the cover hiding the sunken area holding the grid map, terrain, and miniatures from their last gaming session, a few assorted dice still sitting in the shallow trough ringing the table. They each claimed a few pieces and started eating. After a while and sating his initial hunger, Sean waved an impatient hand. "Okay, let's see this thing and see if I can figure anything out about it." Sean might not have been familiar with shooting guns, but he was familiar enough with their mechanical components and design, having done some research so he could add verisimilitude to the firearms in Regenesis and to the modding and crafting subsystems. Had to have those in open world RPGs now, and he liked them too, and tried to add multiple mechanical functions to each skill in the game, to make different play styles viable. It the high-tech weapon had electrical or computerized components, well then, he could have a 'discussion' with them and learn a great deal more.
  19. Indie Press Revolution is now offering 25% off the bundle price on select items in our store, through to May 24th or while supplies last! Scarred Lands Player’s Guide 5e + Wise & Wicked bundle Scion 2e: Origin + Scion 2e: Hero bundle Cavaliers of Mars Rulebook + Screen bundle V20 Lore of the Clans Deluxe + Screen bundle V20 Beckett’s Jyhad Diary Deluxe + Screen bundle Wraith20 Deluxe + Screen bundle Changeling20 Deluxe + Screen bundle Exalted 3e Deluxe + Screen bundle Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras Prestige + Screen bundle IPR’s part of the Grand Exalted Sale also continues, with 20% off individual Exalted releases for the rest of April!
  20. (Sometimes, even I have trouble thinking up a general fun title. No real reason, just not connecting to that part of my brain today. Maybe, it’s something to do with that symbol above…) This week our Monday Meeting crew were still talking about the impact of the Corona Virus (go figure), and generally letting off steam over the situation. We’re all trying to be responsible and self-isolate, wear masks and such, and social distance. So far, we’ve all been fortunate not to have been stricken ill, or to have lost loved ones. There have been some effects across our various creative teams, but we’re doing what we can to help out. Our first developer “Town Hall” was so successful that we’re doing another set in a couple of weeks – just so our creators know they have a place to ask questions, vent, and really just to be connected and listened to. For our core Onyx Path team, there’s been some self-care put together, with Eddy taking a couple of days off at the end of last week just to get a break from maneuvering in the virus situation, and this week Matthew needs extra time, so Eddy and Dixie are interviewing some of the Gehenna Gaming gang for the Onyx Pathcast. Which is a change they are flexible enough to make happen. Lunars art by Gunship Revolution Meanwhile, Behind the Facade of This Innocent Looking Bookstore… We sent the M20 Technocracy Reloaded Kickstarter over to WW for review. Once they give the OK, we’ll set a date – hopefully soon. They have their own issues with the pandemic over in Sweden, but right now are still approving what we send, so more hopes that everything remains good over there. EDIT: Actually, as I was finishing up this blog, they got back to us with the OK! So the M20 Technocracy Reloaded Kickstarter will come online on Tuesday, April the 28th, at 2pm Eastern US time! Related to that, Travis Legge is starting a Twitter game for M20 Technocracy Reloaded – as he says: That’s a very stellar cast of players, so this promises to be a real treat – while at the same time providing an in-depth look at the new book. Plus, before that specific Actual Play series arrives, we have our usual great list of programs for many, many of our game settings being played which you can find below in the Blurbs! During our meeting, we received word that DriveThruCards is back to being able to print PoD cards, which is great! Coincidentally, just before we heard that news, Eddy let us know that he heard that the Expedition card game is back in stock on the Expedition store! Since our own Scarred Lands is the theme of one of the supplements and allows players to add in SL creatures, treasure, and adventures, that’s great news and yet another option for a fun diversion. You can get the cards via DTRPG as well, and I also hear they have online way for multi-player quests, so that’s even better these days! Helnau’s Guide to Wasteland Beasties art by Michele Giorgi Finally, here’s the news about our latest sale of physical books from our friends at Indie Press Revolution! Exalted 3rd Edition and Dragon Blooded Deluxe Edition books and screens are 20% off all April (while supplies last). Select Onyx Path books with Storyteller Screens are 25% off April 20 through May 24. Scion Book 1 and 2 (Origin and Hero) are available together for 25% off April 20 through May 24. Check out the specific book and screen sale bundles here: https://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Deals-and-Specials/ That’s it for this week, so please all take care of yourselves, and we’ll see you soon in one of our: Many Worlds, One Path! Blurbs! Kickstarter! The M20 Technocracy Reloaded Kickstarter will start at 2pm Eastern US time on Tuesday, April the 28! Onyx Path Media! This week features an in-depth interview with the folks from Gehenna Gaming. Who are they, what are they up to, and how did they do such a great job running their Virtual Horror Con? As always, this Friday’s Onyx Pathcast will be on Podbean or your favorite podcast venue! https://onyxpathcast.podbean.com/ Tune in to our games this week on Twitch! There’s a lot of games coming up, including: V5, Scion, Pugmire, the fantastic and new Storytellers with Coffee chat, Changeling: The Lost, Changeling: The Dreaming, Mage: The Awakening, Scarred Lands, Dark Eras Werewolf: The Forsaken, Chronicles of Darkness, and a new Deviant: The Renegades game! This week you should look out for the new Chronicles of Darkness game, Tooth and Claw. You can subscribe to our channel over on twitch.tv/theonyxpath to catch up with any episodes you missed! 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: Trinity Continuum – Aberrant: Community Service: https://youtu.be/oY9gGocsTtU Changeling: The Lost – Littlebrook Reunion: https://youtu.be/1OiLEtvunkM and https://youtu.be/M9qJVeyvxmY Vampire: The Masquerade: Blood City – Chicago by Night: https://youtu.be/deky_yW-0Ho Do subscribe to our channel and click the bell icon if you want to be notified whenever new news videos and uploads come online! Have you checked out the Botch Pit‘s gaming transcripts? Have a look on their clean, beautiful website, and check this one out for a Chronicles of Darkness game: http://thebotchpit.com/new-england-by-night-season-1-session-01-im-not-making-anyone-a-supernatural-yet-transcript/ More new Occultists Anonymous for all you Mage: The Awakening fans: Episode 98: Looking Back Atratus speaks with a Supernal Being with a single purpose: Determine what caused the death of her twin brother, Gabe. The ghost of Gabe and the rest of the cabal support as Atratus resolves the last anchor to her past. https://youtu.be/hGxqIjQTa0U Episode 99: Looking Forward While the cabal speaks back through a scrying spell, they learn more about Gabe’s college experience and the notorious Specter Aviation. Plans are made for retribution and then the cabal begins planning searching for the last grimoire.https://youtu.be/Cjo5vaoDvtM Here’s the Story Told Podcast where recently they’ve interviewed our developers about Exalted Essence and the great houses of Exalted 3rd Edition: https://thestorytold.libsyn.com/ Did you miss that Garblag Games have commenced a new series of Mage: The Ascension? Here’s where you can find the first episode: https://youtu.be/yN47_NjYxtA Roll the Role continue with their Scarred Lands Gauntlet of Spiragos actual play! Roll the Role is a fantastic show, so please do give them a look: https://www.twitch.tv/rolltherole And the wonderfully named Scabby Rooster continue their actual play of Scion, right here on their Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/scabbyrooster One of Matthew’s personal favourites, Devil’s Luck Gaming, continues their Werewolf: The Forsaken chronicle over here: https://www.twitch.tv/DevilsLuckGaming Please do give them a follow! 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.) Update: the devs are working on the updates for the roller in both Android and iOS; here is the rundown from them: 1) Redo the UI for system for Android. It will look the same as the current design. My goal is to have something ready by Saturday to send out to the Facebook users, asking them if this fixes the issues. This will be a beta type thing. This will break several of the fancy dice. 2) If the above worked out and the android users give all the clear, we’ll redo the graphics system to fix the fancy dice that got broken. We’ll do another Android beta through Facebook. This might take up to two weeks, as my schedule allows. 3) If everything worked well, we’ll release to Android for real at that point. 4) Port all of the existing stuff to iOS and release on that. 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 get Pugmire and Monarchies of Mau out into stores, as well as to individuals through their online store. You can pick up the traditionally printed main book, the screen, and the official Pugmire dice through our friends there! https://studio2publishing.com/search?q=pugmire We’ve added Prince’s Gambit to our Studio2 catalog: https://studio2publishing.com/products/prince-s-gambit-card-game Now, we’ve added Changeling: The Lost Second Edition products to Studio2‘s store! See them here: https://studio2publishing.com/collections/all-products/changeling-the-lost Scarred Lands (Pathfinder) books are also on sale at Studio2, and they have the 5e version, supplements, and dice as well!: https://studio2publishing.com/collections/scarred-lands 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 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! Deluxe Exalted 3rd Edition continues its fantastic sale at IPR, soon to be joined by Game-Line Bundles! Check them out! As always, you can find Onyx Path’s titles at DriveThruRPG.com! On Sale This Week! This week the Helnau’s Guide to Wasteland Beasties for Dystopia Rising: Evolution will be available in PDF and PoD versions on DriveThruRPG on Wednesday! Traveling across the wasteland and dealing with all manner of beasties isn’t an easy job, but someone’s got to do it. Using their wits, their strength, and a whole lot of luck, they manage to tame, kill, and drive off creatures that threaten areas of newly built civilization. Some highlights of Helnau’s Guide to Wasteland Beasties include: • Details on some of the terrain and mutated animals you will find in the post-apocalyptic wasteland. • Rules for presenting six distinct creatures in your series, and also for customizing your own. • Stories about Helnau and her beast-hunting crew as they travel across deserts, through forests, and deal with some of the worst the wastelands have to offer. This Wednesday also features the debut of Distant Worlds for Trinity Continuum: Aeon in PDF and PoD versions on DTRPG! Distant Worlds expands the setting of Trinity Continuum: Aeon with new worlds, new alien mysteries, and rules for playing actual aliens, the secretive telepathic Qin. Distant Worlds requires both Trinity Continuum: Aeon and the Trinity Continuum Corebook to play. Inside, you will find: Further information about the eight extrasolar worlds described in Trinity Continuum: Aeon, including new dangers and new opportunities for adventure. Detailed write-ups of 10 new planets, including one that is home to a recently contacted intelligent alien species. New technologies for interstellar travel and colonization, as well as a wealth of new devices created by aliens, and new Edges and Paths specifically for interstellar explorers and settlers. The secrets of humanity’s alien allies, the mysterious Qin. This section includes descriptions of four Qin interstellar colonies as well as rules for creating and playing Qin characters and for designing and using custom-made Qin biosuits. Conventions! Though dates are subject to change due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, here’s our current list of upcoming conventions: UKGames Expo: https://www.ukgamesexpo.co.uk/ GenCon: https://www.gencon.com/ Tabletop Scotland: https://tabletopscotland.co.uk/ Gamehole Con: https://www.gameholecon.com/ PAX Unplugged: https://unplugged.paxsite.com/ 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) Under Alien Suns (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) Mission Statements (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) Adversaries of the Righteous (Exalted 3rd Edition) The Clades Companion (Deviant: The Renegades) The Devoted Companion (Deviant: The Renegades) Saints and Monsters (Scion 2nd Edition) M20 Rich Bastard’s Guide To Magick (Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary) Wild Hunt (Scion 2nd Edition) Dead Man’s Rust (Scarred Lands) V5 The Faithful Undead (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition) V5 Trails of Ash and Bone (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition) V5 Forbidden Religions (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition) Redlines Dragon-Blooded Novella #2 (Exalted 3rd Edition) Hundred Devil’s Night Parade (Exalted 3rd Edition) Trinity Continuum: Adventure! core (Trinity Continuum: Adventure!) Contagion Chronicle Ready-Made Characters (Chronicles of Darkness) Novas Worldwide (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Exalted Essence Edition (Exalted 3rd Edition) Second Draft Exigents (Exalted 3rd Edition) Many-Faced Strangers – Lunars Companion (Exalted 3rd Edition) Kith and Kin (Changeling: The Lost 2e) Assassins (Trinity Continuum Core) The Book of Endless Death (Mummy: The Curse 2e) N!ternational Wrestling Entertainment (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Development TC: Aberrant Reference Screen (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Across the Eight Directions (Exalted 3rd Edition) Contagion Chronicle: Global Outbreaks (Chronicles of Darkness) M20 Victorian Mage (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition) They Came From Beyond the Grave! (They Came From!) Crucible of Legends (Exalted 3rd Edition) Manuscript Approval Post-Approval Development Scion: Demigod (Scion 2nd Edition) Scion: Dragon (Scion 2nd Edition) Editing Terra Firma (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) Lunars Novella (Rosenberg) (Exalted 3rd Edition) Buried Bones: Creating in the Realms of Pugmire (Realms of Pugmire) Mummy: The Curse 2nd Edition core rulebook (Mummy: The Curse 2nd Edition) Player’s Guide to the Contagion Chronicle (Chronicles of Darkness) Contagion Chronicle Jumpstart (Chronicles of Darkness) TC: Aberrant Jumpstart (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Trinity Continuum Jumpstart (Trinity Continuum) Masks of the Mythos (Scion 2nd Edition) LARP Rules (Scion 2nd Edition) One Foot in the Grave Jumpstart (Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2e) Heirs to the Shogunate (Exalted 3rd Edition) Post-Editing Development City of the Towered Tombs (Cavaliers of Mars) 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) Monsters of the Deep (They Came From Beneath the Sea!) Legendlore core book (Legendlore) Titanomachy (Scion 2nd Edition) Pirates of Pugmire KS-Added Adventure (Realms of Pugmire) Tales of Aquatic Terror (They Came From Beneath the Sea!) Indexing Art Direction from Mike Chaney! In Art Direction Scion Titanomachy – Wrapping up contracting. Tales of Aquatic Terror – Contracted. TC Aeon Terra Firma – One artist was delayed by Covid in Italy, but their art is coming in. V5 Let the Streets Run Red – Tweaking some art re: WW art approvals. Cavaliers of Mars: City of the Towered Tombs WoD Ghost Hunters Aberrant – Contacting and contracting. Pugmire Adventure Hunter: The Vigil 2e Mummy 2 Deviant – Rolling along. Legendlore – Kickstarter on hiatus. Technocracy Reloaded (KS) – Awaiting approval. Cults of the Blood God – Rolling along. In Layout Yugman’s Guide to Ghelspad Vigil Watch Duke Rollo Book Proofing Trinity Aeon Jumpstart Pirates of Pugmire TCFBTS Heroic Land Dwellers – Inputting proofing comments. Lunars: Fangs at the Gate – Getting ready to send to WW/Paradox. Scion Companion – Tweaking art re: proofing notes. Contagion Chronicle At Press TC Distant Worlds – PDF and PoD versions on sale Weds! Night Horrors : Nameless and Accursed – Prepping PoD files. Dark Eras 2 – PoD proof shipping. VtR Spilled Blood – PoD proof shipping. DR:E Helnau’s Guide to Wasteland Beasties – PDF and PoD versions on sale Weds! TCFBTS Screen and Booklet They Came from Beneath the Sea! Geist 2e Anthology – PoD proof coming. C:tL 2e Oak, Ash, & Thorn – Page XXing. Today’s Reason to Celebrate! 20 years ago today, White Wolf launched the New Bremen DigiChat environment. A persistent online setting with hundreds of people online at any given time, it was an early success in playing RPGs with others over the Internet. As Impish Ian Watson sez: “It was fun in the sense that it was all the wildest WoD stories in one place. When, during V20 development, Vampire players talked about some of their favourite memories happening when they botched? That was NB every day. It was frankly ridiculous and I burned out pretty hard, but I look back on it fondly.”
  21. Sean had slapped Devin's pointing finger away from his face, giving his former bully a scowl, but in his two-toned eyes, there had been a reluctant sympathy. There was more had wanted to say, but not to everyone - not to anyone, really - especially not now when there was more to discuss. But it might help Devin. Devin had felt his phone vibrate. The top-heavy teen hid a reticent squirm under retrieving a pair of clementines from his cooler bag and packing away the remnants of his lunch before. He had something he could add to the discussion about the thing at Site B, but he agreed with Autumn that it would just be a distraction from the Cody situation. He just didn't agree for the same reasons. He wasn't as good a dissembler as, say, the Jauntsens, and he was afraid if he started to talk about what Dr. Cook had told him, it would inevitably lead to why he had to go to Site B, and he certainly didn't want to make it about him. There was so much danger to go around, not only to him, but to the rest of the Fellowship, and possibly their loved ones too, it felt entirely conceited. Sean narrowed his eyes in thought, trying to puzzle out the pieces. Cody had always been a shit to him, so he found it hard to feel much sympathy for the monster he had apparently become in actuality. Though he supposed it they could pull him back from the Dark, it would be a genuine victory over it, and it might even weaken the Dark, if it fed, was strengthened, but the misery it inflicted and urged others to perpetrate. "We're going to have to circle back to these Aliens and Site B later - if these aliens are so scared that we would develop psionic powers that they put some sort of shield over the entire planet, why didn't they just destroy the life-bearing capability of the planet instead? Or the planet itself? If they can do one, they should be able to do the other." Sean waved the thought away with a shake of his hand, and started peeling his clementine before he continued on the tangent, as intriguing and irritating it was. He nodded at Charlie and Autumn, and tried not to think if what he was going to ask might be a possible solution to his own problems. "But, if destroying this, skull-spirit-entity-thing does release it or the Dark's hold on Cody... Charlie, Autumn, do you guys think if you linked your respective powers, you might be able to, er, restore him to something like Cody Classic? I know, it's thinking ahead, but if there is a chance to do something like that, it'll change how we go in to engage him."
  22. Sean shot Marissa a scowl. He'd was trying to put Kat at ease, at least he wasn't talking about something as inane in the grand scheme of things, as bloody Homecoming and the school play. Okay, that might be a little unfair. He understood the value of holding onto normal things, mundane things, in a world that had gone as topsy-turvy and downright scary as theirs had become. And if he didn't care as much about Homecoming or the school play as others, well, he had been working on his video an awful lot lately. He wanted something to leave behind in case he didn't make it through all this, something more than just memories. He knew it for a grandiose sentiment, especially when he didn't really believe he would die... At least, not from the Dark. That at least would be a... better death, to go down fighting, rather than falling apart. Probably would hurt a lot more, be a lot more messy. Either way, it was game over, man. Souring his own mood, the intersexed young man's brows rose in surprise at Devin, and Cass trying to console, to comfort, him. Devin was many, many things, but never unsure, never afraid. Or at least, if he ever was, he never let anyone see it. He was now, and it made Sean feel awkward. Devin had been trying to change, was changing, but Sean couldn't forget all the bullying at his hands, even as he made his own concerted effort to get over it, to leave it behind. "It's dangerous to go alone," Sean said with surprisingly resolute firmness, quoting one of his favourite video game series, "... so this time, you won't. I don't have a sword to give you - I can manipulate photons, but haven't worked out the details for a lightsaber. Yet." A brief grin danced across the delicate boy's face. "But I'll go with you, as will Jase, and Cass, all of us. We'll be the sword and cut the Dark to pieces." Sean spoke with a forthrightness, a declarative authority his friends rarely heard unless he was DMing, or talking about computers or video games. Jason arched a brow and Sean shrugged a shoulder. "I was going to add some junk about 'safeguarding the realms of men' and 'bringing light to the darkness', but it seemed a bit much, y'know, a little cliched." Sean's smiled faded as he grew more serious. "As for getting to the Other Side, there might be another way to get there, or help with the transition. Your particular voodoo might make you vulnerable, Devin." Sean pointed at the copper-looking dimensional anchor about his wrist. "But the only other time some of us were yoinked over there, was at the Trailer. If the Dark can - or could - pull us over anywhere, why there? I've been studying the weird-as-fuck-radio from there, and so far, all I can tell is that has ridiculously long range, and can apparently receive and transmit on just about any frequency. And the trailer, it has a Faraday Cage, or something akin to it, and from what Cook said, it belonged to Kline. The same Kline with deep access to Site B, where they were doing something big, and the Dark whammied them. My thought it, the Dark sent a signal, the radio picked it up, and interacting with what we took for a faraday cage, pulled a smaller version, or a slightly different version of what it pulled at the hospital. If we can figure it out, figure out the right signal, we might be able to do that ourselves, open our own door to the Dark. Or, at minimum, make it easier for you, Devin, give you a previously travelled path to follow." Sean panned his odd eyes around the group, his friends, and potential friends, given time and opportunity. "We have someone who can go anywhere, someone who can see anywhere, someone who can be just about anything. One who can manipulate kinetic energy and the movement of molecules, one who can manipulate the electromagnetic spectrum and pretty much anything that uses electricity, and one who can manipulate life itself. And now, someone we don't even know what they can do yet." Sean made a small gesture as though poking at something with something small and pointy held between his thumb and forefinger. "Boop! Why shouldn't we be able to poke a hole in the membrane of reality? We've been doing the impossible for weeks, now."
  23. Type: Unearthed Arcana Author: Jeremy Crawford and Dan Dillon, with Ben Petrisor, Taymoor Rehman, and F. Wesley Schneider Subtitle: Unearthed Arcana 2020 Banner: Text: Shine with the power of the mind in this installment of Unearthed Arcana! Today we revisit several psi-themed options that we released in the past few months. Studying your feedback on those options, we’ve crafted this new collection of subclasses, spells, and feats, found in the PDF below. We’ll release a survey soon so that you can let us know what you think of today’s playtest content. A survey is also available on the previous installment of Unearthed Arcana, which presented spells and magic tattoos. Please follow the survey link to let us know what you think about them! This Is Playtest Content The material in Unearthed Arcana is presented for playtesting and to spark your imagination. These game mechanics are in draft form, usable in your D&D campaign but not refined by final game design. They are not officially part of the game. For these reasons, material in this column is not legal in D&D Adventurers League events. Material/Survey Publication date: 04/14/2020 Tags: Unearthed Arcana external_urls: External url: https://media.wizards.com/2020/dnd/downloads/UA2020_PsionicOptions.pdf External url description: Unearthed Arcana: Psionic Options Revisited External url: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5535817/D-D-UA-Survey-48-Spells-and-Magic-Tattoos External url description: Survey: Spells and Magic Tattoos Texture banner: Show Black text:
  24. The two other red-heads of the Fellowship were unmistakable as they headed towards the bleachers from the far end of the field, walking side by side. One was so tiny and slim, she might have been an escapee from the elementary school next door, while the other was only a few inches taller, but with a figure that was anything but child-like. From a distance, Sean and Kat did have the illusion of familial connection, their hair shades of red not far apart, and a somewhat similar cast to the shape of their faces. But they way the moved with each other, they way their personal spaces interacted, gave away that they weren't related. Even at a distance, most people at school could recognize it was Sean and Laurie, or Devin and Jauntsen, or most of the other siblings at Shelly High, just by the way their carried themselves with the other. One of the guys on the field yelled out a laughing comment towards the two red-heads, but it seemed Sean didn't hear it or was completely ignoring it until he casually flashed him a middle finger without even bothering to look in the boy's direction. His friends on the field laughed at his expense, not getting a reaction from what was usually an easy target. His parents had been up late, Sean had seen the light on in their bedroom from the barn. He had wondered what they had said to each other about what he'd told them, and was still wondering about it in the morning, still worried if he had made the right decision to tell them. To distract himself, he'd thrown himself into joking with his friends and talking about more mundane matters, and his Sherpa duties in regards to Kat. Sean glanced at Kat from the corner of his eye as they scaled the bleachers towards his friends. The smaller teen had been unusually uncommunicative this morning, her eyes and attention flitting almost manically about as always, but there was no attention, no thought behind her gaze, her mind travelling elsewhere. He was no expert, but he did paint models and minis, and had noted the light feminine coating of make-up adorning Kat that she'd been devoid of since he'd met her, that still didn't conceal the dark circles under her eyes or the slight haggardness to her features. He'd also noticed the better fit to her jeans, hinting more of her slim, but far from child-like figure, and he idly wondered if she had had the clothes already or had somehow found time to go shopping. He hadn't brought it up with her terse, tense mood. Getting her to talk at all had been like pulling teeth, almost as bad as trying to get Jase to say anything when he was in a mood. Sean had broken through her introversion a little during art class, when he'd started talking about a few new monster designs he had added to his game, and that had lead to talk about music and they both found out they played with keyboards and synthesizers. Kat had been distracted, but it was something. "Sorry we're running a bit late, Cass," Sean apologized, sitting on the bleachers with his back to the field. "Got held up after Art. Kat had to sign up for and pay for supplies for the term, and got assigned a few extra projects to make up for the ones she missed." Sean gave Cade a surreptitious nod, saying he hadn't said anything about what he'd called him about and wouldn't, and did passably well on not letting his eyes linger on the appreciative display to Cade's side. Even if he was growing more accepting of his appearance - despite all the trouble it had caused him and was causing him - he couldn't see himself ever wearing something that low cut. Must be cool though when it's hot and humid... For a moment, did picture himself in something similar, then snorted at the mental image as he dug out a ham sandwich and a bottle of Pepsi from his cooler bag. Besides being sent home before he got within a hundred yards of the school, he'd simply fall out. He took a sip of his drink, the cola a bit slushy from the light freezing he'd given it to keep it cold. "What's up? We didn't miss anything, did we?"
  25. This week we’re releasing the core rulebook for Dystopia Rising: Evolution into both stores (the traditionally printed version) and on DriveThruRPG with the PDF and physical book PoD versions. When Mighty Matt McElroy brought up the idea of talking to the DR folks, the only thing I knew about Dystopia Rising was that a fair number of people I knew with good gaming taste enjoyed getting dressed up in Mad Max style gear and heading out to its live action events. I did see a ton of DR players at several Mid Winter Conventions leading up to sitting down with Michael and Ashley, so I had an inkling of the setting, at least. Talking with them, and subsequently taking a deep dive into the already existing material made me impressed by what they had accomplished, and pretty sure that we could create an evocative TTRPG version. My big concern with any new game is whether we’ll be retreading ground we’re already covering, and while we had touched on post-apocalyptic milieus, we had not yet gone all in. The chance to work with a post-apocalyptic setting, and then to adapt the Storypath System, which was just in its infancy when we decided to use it, combined for a very exciting project on both the setting and system levels. The final result, which you’ll be able to get on Wednesday, delivers both those things, and combines them, in ways we had only hoped to achieve when we first decided to make the game. Eddy, as developer, was able to take the base Storypath System and, as we had hoped with the System, tweak it and add in elements like scavenging/building rules to better portray the setting. Scion Companion art by Andrea Payne So, the question has come up as to whether this post-apocalyptic opus is appropriate to offer right now. Certainly, a lot of folks are feeling like they are living in a plague movie right now, and I’d certainly understand not wanting to be reminded of that. One of my thoughts about DR:E since first reading Eddy’s text, is how the setting demonstrates the adaptability of humanity in the face of seismic changes to civilization and society. DR:E isn’t set during the fall of society, but after humanity (in a wider definition of that term) has begun rebuilding. Which in its own way is a positive message that we can use in challenging times, like now. Plus, there a a lot of different zombies to fight! Along the same lines, as the rebuilding of communities is very important in the game, so are the live-action communities that have been built have been the key to DR’s success all these years. We like art imitating life imitating art, so in the interest of the tabletopDR:E‘s community we’ll be opening its Community Content site next month. Now, as a bit of an aside, we’re not sure how many stores are actually going to be able to order this, get it, and then sell it. If they have an online store component, and you’ve been buying from them that way, please let them know that their store can get copies from Studio2 and IPR. And if you don’t have a store option right now, you too can direct order. They Came From Beneath the Sea! art by Brian LeBlanc How Are We Doing? A question we share with old friends, co-workers, family far more now, and with good cause. We asked our developers, in two “town hall” group meetings last week, this very thing. Mostly, our creators are doing okay, with varying degrees of focus from day to day (hour to hour?) on their projects. So far, two of our creators have been diagnosed with Covid 19, and so far they are doing okay. We also fielded some concerned questions as to the state of Onyx Path these days. So far, so good. Like I’ve mentioned these last few weeks, our variety of sales channels have helped us, and we’re still rolling along with our projects even while being responsive to the challenges in the lives of our creators. And in this taxing time, it is also tax time. In terms of the work that we’re not just still doing but are really excited about, here’s an interview with Dixie, Neall Raemonn Price, and Monica Speca talking about Exalted Essence, a pretty innovative and important project that they continue to pull together. Lots of new details from the book in this interview: http://thestorytold.libsyn.com/exalted-essence-dev-team-interview Let The Streets Run Red art by Michael Gaydos Finally, as a personal example of finding ways to find the fun while being shut-in, this Easter I created an Easter Bunny scenario for the Gloomhaven boardgame for my kids, and their characters chased him through maps of the city streets, dodging the Easter Eggs he was blocking their way with. Each egg they picked up corresponded to a plastic egg with prizes inside I was hiding under the game table! It was fun, plus I got an even better appreciation for how the designers set up and balanced Gloomhaven. Which I’ll consider as we review our own games, but it’s worth noting that info came through a diversion. Sometimes that’s what we need; we need to come at things indirectly. Even moreso when under stress. Here’s hoping we’re providing you folks with a similar break, and a similar chance to explore new ideas…not to mention our: Many Worlds, One Path! Blurbs! Kickstarter! We’ve cancelled the Legendlore Kickstarter for the time being. While we wait for that happy day, here’s a fantastic Legendlore interview with developer Steffie de Vaan, hosted over at High Level Games! https://www.highlevelgames.ca/blog/legendlore-rpg-from-onyx-path-publishing-an-interview-with-steffie-de-vaan We’ll get Legendlore back on KS as soon as we can, and meanwhile we are building the M20 Technocracy Reloaded Kickstarter! Onyx Path Media! This Friday is the Onyx Pathcast‘s 100th full episode! Huge congrats to Dixie Cochran, Eddy Webb, and Matthew Dawkins! Here’s to another 100! This week, the Terrific Trio present a brand-new episode of Scion Actual Play! So if you’ve ever wondered how Scion plays – this is your chance to hear it in all its glory! As always, this Friday’s Onyx Pathcast will be on Podbean or your favorite podcast venue! https://onyxpathcast.podbean.com/ As we mentioned last week, Virtual Horror Con took place raising lots of money for charity! If you haven’t already, do check out their website https://www.gehennagaming.com/, and if you missed some of their actual plays of our games, please check them out here: CofD Mortals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdPfkI0FLFk Trinity Continuum: Æon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7masQukyjQ Mage: The Awakening 2nd Edition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13UtpbAFAfk And here’s Gehenna Gaming’s Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/gehennagaming If you’re self-isolating or locked down, you can always tune in to our games this week. A few of our usual hosts are having breaks due to the situation in the world right now, but we’ve got plenty coming over the next few days, including V5, Scion, Pugmire, Changeling: The Lost, Changeling: The Dreaming, Mage: The Awakening, Scarred Lands, and a Dark ErasWerewolf: The Forsaken chronicle! There are also several shows not yet on the schedule that are revving up to fill in for those who need a break right now, so please check out our Twitch channel during the week and keep an eye on Onyx Path social media for announcements of new programming! This week you should really check out the new Scion game we’ve got going on our channel. You can subscribe to our channel over on twitch.tv/theonyxpath to catch up with any episodes you missed! 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: Trinity Continuum – Aberrant: Community Service: https://youtu.be/51-Y_Diaefg Changeling: The Lost – Littlebrook Reunion: https://youtu.be/uysogPwNFOM Vampire: The Masquerade: Blood City – Chicago by Night: https://youtu.be/MKoMRxi9x0w And still more Trinity Continuum – Aberrant: Community Service: https://youtu.be/5SXY7Q-Z80M Do subscribe to our channel and click the bell icon if you want to be notified whenever new news videos and uploads come online! Have you checked out the Botch Pit‘s gaming transcripts? Have a look on their clean, beautiful website, and check this one out for a Chronicles of Darkness game: http://thebotchpit.com/new-england-by-night-season-1-session-01-im-not-making-anyone-a-supernatural-yet-transcript/ http://thebotchpit.com/new-england-by-night-season-1-session-01-im-not-making-anyone-a-supernatural-yet-transcript/ More new Occultists Anonymous for all you Mage: The Awakening fans: Episode 96: Other Mages With the dark gift of a vampire’s patronage looming over their heads, the cabal seek out the names and identities of mages they think are appropriate sacrifices to the vampires’ bloodlust.https://youtu.be/3m0-va-JvdM Episode 97: Short Straight The cabal gathers together their collected grimoires in one place, checking for further magical resonance and consult the ghost of a dead mage for further information.https://youtu.be/fjG2wPalY-s Here’s the Story Told Podcast with an excellent interview with Dixie Cochran, Neall Raemonn Price, and Monica Speca on the subject of Exalted Essence: http://thestorytold.libsyn.com/exalted-essence-dev-team-interview Garblag Games have commenced a new series of Mage: The Ascension, which has got off to a rocking start right here: https://youtu.be/yN47_NjYxtA And if you loved V5 Chicago by Night, tune in to Junie von Esch’s channel to watch her group play through some Vampire: https://www.twitch.tv/junie_von_esch Roll the Role continue with their Scarred Lands Gauntlet of Spiragos actual play! Roll the Role is a fantastic show, so please do give them a look: https://www.twitch.tv/rolltherole And the bizarrely named Scabby Rooster continue their actual play of Scion, right here on their Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/scabbyrooster One of Matthew’s personal favourites, Devil’s Luck Gaming, continues their Werewolf: The Forsaken chronicle over here: https://www.twitch.tv/DevilsLuckGaming Please do give them a follow! 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.) Update: the devs are working on the updates for the roller in both Android and iOS; here is the rundown from them: 1) Redo the UI for system for Android. It will look the same as the current design. My goal is to have something ready by Saturday to send out to the Facebook users, asking them if this fixes the issues. This will be a beta type thing. This will break several of the fancy dice. 2) If the above worked out and the android users give all the clear, we’ll redo the graphics system to fix the fancy dice that got broken. We’ll do another Android beta through Facebook. This might take up to two weeks, as my schedule allows. 3) If everything worked well, we’ll release to Android for real at that point. 4) Port all of the existing stuff to iOS and release on that. 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 get Pugmire and Monarchies of Mau out into stores, as well as to individuals through their online store. You can pick up the traditionally printed main book, the screen, and the official Pugmire dice through our friends there! https://studio2publishing.com/search?q=pugmire We’ve added Prince’s Gambit to our Studio2 catalog: https://studio2publishing.com/products/prince-s-gambit-card-game Now, we’ve added Changeling: The Lost Second Edition products to Studio2‘s store! See them here: https://studio2publishing.com/collections/all-products/changeling-the-lost Scarred Lands (Pathfinder) books are also on sale at Studio2, and they have the 5e version, supplements, and dice as well!: https://studio2publishing.com/collections/scarred-lands 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 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! Deluxe Exalted 3rd Edition continues its fantastic sale at IPR, soon to be joined by Game-Line Bundles! Check them out! As always, you can find Onyx Path’s titles at DriveThruRPG.com! On Sale This Week! This week the Dystopia Rising: Evolution core book will be available in PDF and PoD versions on DriveThruRPG on Wednesday, and the physical traditionally printed books will be available in stores via Studio2 and IPR! No one knows how long it’s been since the world was blasted with nuclear radiation and became infested with the undead. The survivors of the Fall were the first strain of deviation of the human condition and were able to make it through the rapidly spreading epidemic. Finding a community of decent size in this world is rare; finding one that has any concept of equality or morality is rarer still. Oh, and people have the unnerving ability to come back from the dead, regrown from the very virus that destroyed the world. Some highlights of Dystopia Rising: Evolutioninclude: Rules for creating characters for 24 different Strains, variations on humanity that survived the Fall. Details on the powers of faith and psionics. Advice on running action-adventure stories, webs of personal intrigue, and procedural investigations. Dozens of antagonists, including a variety of zombies and raiders to use in your series. Welcome to the Evolution! We’re also offering the Dystopia Rising: Evolution Gaming Screen on Weds! Conventions! Though dates are subject to change due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, here’s our current list of upcoming conventions: UKGames Expo: https://www.ukgamesexpo.co.uk/ GenCon: https://www.gencon.com/ Tabletop Scotland: https://tabletopscotland.co.uk/ Gamehole Con: https://www.gameholecon.com/ PAX Unplugged: https://unplugged.paxsite.com/ 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) Under Alien Suns (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) Mission Statements (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) Adversaries of the Righteous (Exalted 3rd Edition) The Clades Companion (Deviant: The Renegades) The Devoted Companion (Deviant: The Renegades) Saints and Monsters (Scion 2nd Edition) M20 Rich Bastard’s Guide To Magick (Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary) Wild Hunt (Scion 2nd Edition) Dead Man’s Rust (Scarred Lands) V5 The Faithful Undead (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition) V5 Trails of Ash and Bone (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition) V5 Forbidden Religions (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition) Redlines Dragon-Blooded Novella #2 (Exalted 3rd Edition) Hundred Devil’s Night Parade (Exalted 3rd Edition) Trinity Continuum: Adventure! core (Trinity Continuum: Adventure!) Contagion Chronicle Ready-Made Characters (Chronicles of Darkness) Novas Worldwide (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Exalted Essence Edition (Exalted 3rd Edition) Second Draft Exigents (Exalted 3rd Edition) Crucible of Legends (Exalted 3rd Edition) Many-Faced Strangers – Lunars Companion (Exalted 3rd Edition) Kith and Kin (Changeling: The Lost 2e) Assassins (Trinity Continuum Core) The Book of Endless Death (Mummy: The Curse 2e) N!ternational Wrestling Entertainment (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Development Heirs to the Shogunate (Exalted 3rd Edition) TC: Aberrant Reference Screen (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Across the Eight Directions (Exalted 3rd Edition) Contagion Chronicle: Global Outbreaks (Chronicles of Darkness) M20 Victorian Mage (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition) They Came From Beyond the Grave! (They Came From!) Manuscript Approval Scion: Dragon (Scion 2nd Edition) Post-Approval Development Scion: Demigod (Scion 2nd Edition) Editing Terra Firma (Trinity Continuum: Aeon) Lunars Novella (Rosenberg) (Exalted 3rd Edition) Buried Bones: Creating in the Realms of Pugmire (Realms of Pugmire) Mummy: The Curse 2nd Edition core rulebook (Mummy: The Curse 2nd Edition) Player’s Guide to the Contagion Chronicle (Chronicles of Darkness) Contagion Chronicle Jumpstart (Chronicles of Darkness) TC: Aberrant Jumpstart (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant) Trinity Continuum Jumpstart (Trinity Continuum) Masks of the Mythos (Scion 2nd Edition) LARP Rules (Scion 2nd Edition) One Foot in the Grave Jumpstart (Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2e) Post-Editing Development City of the Towered Tombs (Cavaliers of Mars) 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) Monsters of the Deep (They Came From Beneath the Sea!) Legendlore core book (Legendlore) Titanomachy (Scion 2nd Edition) Pirates of Pugmire KS-Added Adventure (Realms of Pugmire) Tales of Aquatic Terror (They Came From Beneath the Sea!) Indexing Art Direction from Mike Chaney! In Art Direction Scion Titanomachy – Wrapping up contracting. Tales of Aquatic Terror – Contracted. TC Aeon Terra Firma – Most of the art is in, maybe all of it. V5 Let the Streets Run Red – Tweaking some art re: WW art approvals. Cavaliers of Mars: City of the Towered Tombs WoD Ghost Hunters Aberrant – Contacting and contracting – wrapping up half-pagers and portraits. Pugmire Adventure Hunter: The Vigil 2e Mummy 2 Deviant – Rolling along. Legendlore – Kickstarter on hiatus. Technocracy Reloaded (KS) – Art and graphics ready to go. Cults of the Blood God – Rolling along. In Layout Yugman’s Guide to Ghelspad Contagion Chronicle Vigil Watch Duke Rollo Book Proofing Trinity Aeon Jumpstart Pirates of Pugmire TCFBTS Heroic Land Dwellers – Inputting proofing comments. Lunars: Fangs at the Gate – Awaiting 2nd proof notes. Scion Companion – Tweaking art re: proofing notes. At Press TC Distant Worlds Night Horrors : Nameless and Accursed – Awaiting Errata. Dark Eras 2 – PoD proof shipping. VtR Spilled Blood – PoD proof shipping. Dystopia Rising: Evolution – On Sale this Wednesday! DR:E Screen & Booklet – On Sale this Wednesday! DR:E Helnau’s Guide to Wasteland Beasties Geist 2e Screen TCFBTS Screen and Booklet They Came from Beneath the Sea! – Reviewing Indexing. Geist 2e Anthology – PoD proof ordered. C:tL 2e Oak, Ash, & Thorn – Awaiting Errata. Today’s Reason to Celebrate! Happy Birthday! to the 5th Doctor: in 1951 Peter Davison was born. He’s looking at me right now from my 2020 Doctor Who calendar, as April is the month he appears in this year. Must have been a tough assignment following Tom Baker after the 4th Doctor had been burned into people’s minds for 8 years. Yet, for many, Davison’s Doctor is Their Doctor, which is the way it should be – so kudos to him for creating another version and era of the classic character!
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