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Onyx Path: MIRTHFUL, LABOUR, DAY! [Monday Meeting Notes]


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We have Mirth: the above logo, created specifically to laugh about the very rumor I mentioned last week about Eddy’s Pugsteady taking over Onyx Path (and DTRPG, and WW) – thanks Impish Ian!

And also: we’re mirthful in celebration of Mirthful Mike’s birthday today!

We have Labour, or Labor: with today being Labor Day in the US where we celebrate workers everywhere – and ironically we have our usual Monday work meeting, but only Matthew is out for it! Hence the extra U.

But most of all, we’re celebrating five years of Pugmire with an entire month dedicated to the Pugmire game line! It’s Onyx Path’s 10th Anniversary Celebration this whole year, with September being the doggiest!

We’ve been talking about it being five years since Pugmire was published, but work began on it several years earlier.

Or as Eddy noted in a recent series of posts:

In fact, our first bit of professional marketing was a small brochure we handed out at GenCon in 2015. It’s an earlier version of what ended up being Chapter One in the core rulebook.

We weren’t even sure what the cover was going to look like at the time, although Rich had already designed the royal seal logo.


At this stage, I was still considering calling the Stray Calling “Pariah.”


I also hadn’t settled on “species” as the official delineation between playing groups.


Anyhow, if you’re interested and want to compare and contrast how the game’s evolved, you can still find a free PDF of it online! https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/153518/Pugmire-Gen-Con-Brochure

Eddy also talks a little bit about the game design choices he made then, and how those designs are now seen in other games.

Today for Pugmire month, I’ll talk a bit about design. Specifically, why experience points don’t exist in Pugmire, despite being an OGL-based game.

And there are two main reasons for it. One has strong design reasons, which I’ll get to momentary, but I want to tackle the other first because it’s a reason that surprisingly few designers admit to: Because I wanted to.

See, I kind of hate record-keeping. There are specific games where that can be fun — I’m getting ready to play in heavy dungeon crawl game where tracking encumbrance is important, for example.

But that’s only if there’s a group that’s particularly keen on that style of play, and (in recent times) if there’s a handy tool that calculates all that nonsense for me.

When I’m running a game, I don’t want to stop and figure out how many wolves you killed and how many tenths of a percent that gets you closer to going up in level. Which leads to the actual design portion of the reason.

D&D, like most games, has what designers call a core gameplay loop. It’s the main thing you do on a regular basis that propels the game forward.

You can see this more clearly in video games: Mario World‘s gameplay loop is “jump and punch above you or land on things below you.” Sonic is “jump and spin to destroy things.”

In D&D, that loop is: buy equipment and take powers to kill monsters to collect gold and experience to buy better equipment and get stronger powers to kill bigger monsters.

None of that is important in Pugmire. I wanted a game where “we run away from the scary monster” was a viable mechanical option. So the best way to cancel that gameplay loop was to entirely remove the rewards.

Now if you kill a monster, you don’t necessarily get bigger numbers. You can talk to it. Or run away from it. Or make friends with it. Whatever. What makes your numbers get bigger is having adventures, which is why levels go up after a story or so.

5e introduced milestone XP as an optional system, and that’s become the default assumption of gameplay. But I doubt someone at WotC was looking at Pugmire and going “Oh, we’ll nick that.” More likely we were both tapping into a larger shift in game interest.

Anyhow, there’s your game design commentary for today. More in future!

Thanks, Eddy!

Adversaries of the Righteous art by Gong Studios

At the same time Eddy was burning the midnight game-design oil, I was knee-deep in sketches of the various dogs of the world, some of which went on to become iconic characters. Next week, I’ll show you folks some of those, as well as talk about the play-testing moments where we knew we had something special with Pugmire!

Of course, most of you reading this already know that we’re doing other things to celebrate the Realms of Pugmire for its special month!

Our Onyx Pathcasters are running character creation and actual play episodes, as well as the character creation and play sessions on our Twitch and YouTube channels. It’s a lot of fun to hear Eddy actually play in the world he created!

Plus, there are the sales on Realms of Pugmire books all this month with IPR doing a 50% sale on physical products, and over on DTRPG, we’re selling PDFs at 10% of their normal pricing in celebration of our 10th year! (Details and links below in our Sales Partners section).

TC: Adventure! art by Durwin Talon

And THEN Tons of Monday Meeting Notes!

Actually…not really.

We whooshed through the meeting with everyone very focused on what they need to do this upcoming week. A couple of meetings were arranged, and we had some discussion of what our next DTRPG Pre-Order project should be.

Everything else was very efficiently reviewed and moved through, so it was a pretty short meeting as they tend to go. Hmmm. I wonder if the brevity of the meeting and Matthew being out could be in any way related?

Naaaah – pure coincidence, I’m positive!

I kid! I kid, because I care. About what, I have no idea…

Howls of the Apocalypse art by Ken Meyer, Jr

So there you go – a smattering of movie lines for you trivia experts out there. Meanwhile, I’m going to muse on this Labor Day about how it really doesn’t feel like work work making all these great games and books. By and large, we’re creating games with people we like, for a community we like, and suddenly we look up and it’s:




Coming next on crowdfunding… Scion: God!

Onyx Path Media!


This week:

Continuing the month of Pugmire, Dixie runs Eddy and Danielle though a one-shot Mau adventure!

As always, this Friday’s Onyx Pathcast will be on Podbean or your favorite podcast venue! https://onyxpathcast.podbean.com/

Onyx Path Media now has its own blog on Tuesdays! We’ll continue posting our highlight of the week here, but Tuesday will be the day to visit if you want to catch up on actual plays, interviews, deep dives, and other assorted Onyx Path media!

Please check out our attached media schedule for the impressive number of videos on our Twitch channel this week! In particular, keep those eyes open for our Storypath Showcase, where we give an excellent profile of our various Storypath games and how to play them!



The Unlucky Frog podcast recorded the Walking the Onyx Path panel from Tabletop Scotland a couple of weekends back, and it’s now live for you to listen to! Catch up on all the World Below, They Came From, Mage, Scion, and more news! https://unluckyfrog.podbean.com/e/tts-2022-seminars-walkthe-onyx-path/


The Onyx Path News goes live every single week to discuss recent and upcoming releases, dive into some of our most anticipated books, and answer questions from the audience. You can find it on our YouTube channel (click the bell to be informed when we go live!) but if you missed the last episode, here it is:  https://youtu.be/5D8c1kZndCk

Virtual Tabletop!


The Scion: Origin Compendium is now available on Roll20!


It’s native to Roll20, so not for use elsewhere, but perfect for starting your Roll20 Scion game – plus, the official Origin & Hero sheets are already available!

And the first of our official sheets designed for Roll20 are now available!


The first of our official sheets designed for Foundry VTTis now available!

Direct Link: https://foundryvtt.com

As they say: “Foundry Virtual Tabletop is a self-hosted roleplaying platform with support for hundreds of game systems with modern features and a developer-friendly API. Foundry VTT is a one-time purchase where your players connect for free using a web browser.”


More VTT offerings and projects will be arriving this year!

On DrivethruRPG, here is the main filter for all of our current VTT content:

A few highlights of our platform agnostic DTRPG content:

Our Sales Partners!


We’re working with Studio2 to provide our traditionally printed books out into your local game stores. Game stores can order via their usual distributors, and can also contact Studio2 directly. And individuals can check out our projects via the links below!


Looking for our Deluxe or Prestige Edition books, dice, and screens? Try this link! http://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Onyx-Path-Publishing/

Pugmire/Mau books and dice are 50% off at IPR this month:



As always, you can find Onyx Path’s titles in PDF and PoD versions at DriveThruRPG.com!

Select Pugmire/Mau PDFs are 90% off at DTRPG:


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).


Check out the Trinity Continuum: Aeon novellas Dawn and Meridian in the Kindle store!

On Sale This Week!


They strike from the shadows. But with style! The PDF and PoD versions of Trinity Continuum: Assassins close in for the kill this Weds on DTRPG!


Because dates for physical conventions are subject to change due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, we don’t yet have a list of upcoming physical conventions. Instead, keep an eye out here for more virtual conventions we’re going to be involved with!

Game Night With Onyx Path Publishing at Start.Playing are the last Fridays of the month!
Please spread the word about GMing games as much as
possible. Details on how list a game are at the bottom of the page in
the FAQ:


And now, the new project status updates!

Our full list of projects will be available monthly on our blog! Check out August’s full list report here:



Here are the projects that moved to the next stage of production:

Final Draft

Trinity Continuum – TC: Assassins VTT Adventure

  • Eddy: Matthew has murdered the first draft, leaving a lot of red(lines), so now this moves back to the writer to do the final draft!


Exalted – Pillars of Creation (was Exalted Essence Companion)

  • Dixie: This big stretch goal is moving along! Can’t wait for the Essence backers to see all the new content, including a ton of backer rewards!


They Came From – Tasty Bit – They Came from Beneath My Bed!

  • RichT: Really looking forward to hear how folks like this one, as I love when we take a game line’s basic set-up and tweak it! A lot of our team, and I’m guessing our audience, grew up reading the sorts of pre-teen scary story series that inspired this version of They Came From.


In Art Direction

  • Exalted Essence – Artwork commented on or signed off on.
  • CtL2e The Hedge – Working out the art buy.
  • MtAw Tome of the Pentacle – Working on the art buy.

In Layout

  • Ex3 Adversaries – This book is why I altered my layout schedule for the summer.


  • Scion Masks of Mythos – 2nd proof out today.
  • TC Proteus Nova Compendium


  • Scion Dragon

At Press

  • Scion Demigod – KS books at fulfillment shipper.
  • Scion Demigod Screen – Shipping to KS shipper.
  • Squeaks in the Deep Screen – Shipping to KS shipper.
  • Squeaks in the Deep – Shipping from printer to KS shipper.
  • Squeaks in the Deep Bookmarks – At KS shipper.
  • Hunter: The Vigil 2e KS books at fulfillment shipper.
  • HTV 2 Screen – Shipping to KS shipper.
  • Scarred Lands: Dead Man’s Rust – Shipping from printer to KS shipper.
  • TC: Novas Worldwide – Awaiting errata.
  • M20 Sorcerer – Errata being input.
  • Scion Players Guide: Saints and Monsters – Awaiting errata.
  • Scion Dragon – Errata-ing with KS backers.
  • MTC Book of Lasting Death – Leblanc has that piece in. I’ll have it to send over to Paradox in the morning.
  • TCFBTG CC Assets – I’m setting up the pages for this and Murder Lake’s this week.
  • CtL 2e Kith and Kin – Awaiting errata.
  • TC: Mission Statements Gathering errata.
  • Trinity Continuum: Assassins PDF and PoD versions on sale on DTRPG this Wednesday!

Today’s Reason to Celebrate!

Today is Mirthful Mike Chaney’s birthday! And not just any birthday, but his half-century mark! Mike is the engine that runs Onyx Path, the hand and the eye that brings all of our concepts and ideas into reality; into beautifully art directed and designed pixels and atoms. So please join us in celebrating all his labors here on Labor Day! Congrats, O Mirthful One!

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