Special Episode Four: Save Against Fear

Onyx Pathcast

In which Eddy, Dixie, and Matthew throw together an emergency extra-long episode using listener questions and a game design panel from Save Against Fear!

* EMERGENCY EPISODE * Introductions from the panel * What’s the process when you start to design a game? * When do you reinvent the wheel or reskin something else? * The X-Card and other safety mechanisms * How do you merge theme and mechanics? * Handling feedback * Favorite mechanics * How would you design a game for players new to tabletop RPGs? * One thing that starting game designers should know * Imposter syndrome: “Shut up Stamford!” * Designing for disability and impairment * Instead of outro banter, we do an ad-hoc Q&A! * Questions from iceblade44: Sothic turns, relationship with vampires, and the Spilled Blood book * Apollo is unhelpful * Question from George Lemke: Can we get a Storypath deep dive? * Eddy has seen a lot of pictures of birds with arms * Question from Yoidan: What are our dream games? * Leave us your questions on the blog at theonyxpath.com!

Links: * Save Against Fear: https://www.thebodhanagroup.org/about-the-convention  * Retrostar: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/168254/Retrostar-Rulebook * Kids on Bikes: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/231938/Kids-on-Bikes-Core-Rulebook * Pugmire: https://realmsofpugmire.com * Project Biomodus: http://www.projectbiomodus.com/ * Onyx Pathcast blog: http://theonyxpath.com/category/projects/onyxpathcast/


Winter of Man: Part 2 of 6 [Realms of Pugmire]


“I think I packed too much,” Yosha said, wiping snowflakes out of her wrinkles.

“I told you nobody needs that many books,” Pan said as he stood up to push a branch aside. He let the branch go just as Yosha walked behind him, but she was rubbing her face and didn’t notice. Rex rushed over and caught it before it could smack into her. The powdery snow exploded all over her, though, undoing all the work she had done cleaning herself.

“Sorry, my lady,” Pan muttered.

Yosha started to speak, but suddenly her eyes went wide. “Watch out!” she barked, over and over. Rex drew his sword with a crackle of power while Pan nocked an arrow, and they both looked around, sniffing the air.

“More dogs coming,” Rex rumbled. “Nothing to worry about.”

“No, I agree with Yosha,” Pan said, as he crouched in the snow. “Something’s wrong.”

Picassa knelt down next to the terrified pug, stroking Yosha’s fur. “I hear nothing,” she murmured. “Are you sure…?”

There was a soft crunching sound in the snow. Rex turned fast, swinging his sword into a guard ...READ MORE

The Joining [Shunned by the Moon]

Werewolf: The Forsaken

Howl there!

Matthew Dawkins here, with another sneak peek at Shunned by the Moon for Werewolf: The Forsaken. Hosts are one of my favourite kinds of critters for Werewolf, if nothing else due to their utter ickiness. There’s something delightfully visceral about a body splitting open and a thousand tiny spiders spilling out, or a bundle of furious rats gnawing their way into someone’s abdomen…

Or maybe it’s just me?

Shunned by the Moon contains a handful of new Hosts, along with rules for their inhabitation of an unfortunate vessel. Here’s a sneak preview of the Joining and the Ukusgualu Lamprey Hosts, both by fantastic author Chris Allen.

The Joining

In its most primitive and base state, a Shard appears as an animal — a spider, rat, or other vermin, often grotesque or mutated in some way. To Join with a human, the Shard makes contact with its victim’s flesh. As an Instant action, it then invades their body.

This kills the human over several turns, after which the Shard takes control of the carcass. Claimed and non-human animals are spiritually incompatible with Shards; werewolves’ regeneration ...5 COMMENTS

Now Available: Cavaliers of Mars!

Cavaliers of Mars, Sales, Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf: The Apocalypse

Now available in PDF and print-on-demand via DriveThruRPG, and in traditional print via Studio 2: Cavaliers of Mars!

Return now to dying Mars in its last age of glory. A world of flashing swords and choking sands, of winking courtesans and lantern-lit canal cities. Mars, where romance and heartbreak are two sides of the same obsidian chit.

Where lost cities are buried in the dunes, and dry oceans stretch out between the last daring bastions of civilization. Where the First Martians, the monument-builders, are but a faded memory. And the Red Martians have become decadent and capricious in their last days.

Find yourself digging for someone else’s treasure in the lost tombs of Chiaro, or spitting defiance at the Roundhead priests of wild Ziggur, or dashing across the towered crypts of Vance with your long-lost lover. Lock steel with the Princess Invincible, even as your hand reaches towards your flintlaser for insurance.

Cavaliers of Mars includes:

A vibrant setting with cultures, careers, characters, and dozens of locations, all organized to get you right into the world of Mars! An all-new system combining your character’s motivations, history, and beliefs ...1 COMMENT

[They Came From Beneath The Sea] The Director’s Chair Preview

They Came From Beneath The Sea!

Ahoy there! Matthew here, with a blog post about our upcoming B-Movie sci-fi game, They Came From Beneath The Sea! This game is all about the thrills of the cinema, whether it be special effects, death-defying stunts, awful one-liners, or horrible monsters. They Came From has a rose-tinted view of the era in which it’s set, viewing the 1950s through a Happy Days meets Stepford Wives lens. There’s always a record playing on the jukebox, the guys all drive hotrods, and milkshakes only cost a silver dollar a piece.

Now the preamble is out of the way, I wanted to share a little bit of the chapter aimed at Directors (or GMs, Guides, Storyguides, or Storytellers, as they’re otherwise known). This part is called The Director’s Chair, and it handles different ways of framing your B-Movie extravaganza! Do excuse the page XX’s…

The Director’s Chair

While Directors come with many ambitions, they are as much of a player as the others at the table. Just like the players, who get to enhance their characters as they gain experience through play (see p. XX), ...READ MORE

And We Shall Know No Fear [Monday Meeting Notes]

Monday Meeting, News

Yes, we are back from a multi-convention weekend! That’s Eddy Webb and I, center to right, with a bunch of crazy maniacs (ie: game designers) at our Game Design Panel at Save Against Fear in Harrisburg. As always, it was a fantastic panel with questions ranging from when to alter an existing design or to go off on your own with something new, all the way to how to deal with Imposter Syndrome.

Since, this is a frighteningly common confidence smasher for game designers, I share with you the most useful answer from the panel: when the voice in your mind starts suggesting you are but an imposter and unworthy of being included as a true designer, give the voice a name, and an annoying voice. Once it is personified, you have the distance to try and deal with it. Try telling that person, the voice, to shut up if only because they have an annoying tone to their voice.

As always, we’re just game creators, and what worked for some of us might not work for you.




Scion: Hero illustration by ...15 COMMENTS

Fiction Friday: World of Darkness: Ghost Hunters part 2

World of Darkness

This week for Fiction Friday, we’re pleased to offer Part Two of Catherine Lundoff’s story for the upcoming World of Darkness: Ghost Hunters, “A Cry in the Night”. Catherine also wrote a story for the V20 Dark Ages anthology The Cainite Conspiracies, and we are thrilled to have her back for a new supplement. Missed part one? Catch up before you read part two!

He nodded and she shoved a CD into the car’s player as they drove away from the store. The park was deserted when they got there, not a jogger or a dog walker in sight. Bethany’s stomach twisted. What if that woman at the convenience store wasn’t nuts? Her feeling of dread got worse as they found a parking lot near the bend in the river where the woods started and Al pulled in.

She looked around, hoping to see campers or boaters or anyone who looked even halfway normal. Not a soul in sight, but there was one small bright spot. “Look,” Bethany pointed at a park sign. “We have to be out of here by 1 ...READ MORE

Episode 22: What You Can Get From RPGs

Onyx Pathcast

In which we discuss what we as individuals have gotten out of RPGs, and what other people can get from them.

* We now have a lost episode! * Dixie was an awkward child/teen/adult * RPGs helped her find “her people,” her aesthetic, and confidence * Eddy was a similarly awkward kid, and RPGs helped him, too * On being “not enough” for certain subcultures/communities * Surprise, Matthew was also awkward! * Another surprise, RPGs helped his confidence, too! * Speech therapy for all (three of us) * Vampire/character voices * Two digressions in quick succession * RPGs as therapy tools * The Wraith: The Oblivion curse * How RPGs can affect players and GMs * RPGs and trauma rules/The X-Card * Which Onyx Path games are the most emotionally heavy? * What does “fun” mean? * Learning real-world things via RPGs * We all love Britain * Eddy and Dixie are going to conventions * Stay tuned after the music for your new favorite ringtone

Links: * Windows 10 bug: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonevangelho/2018/10/06/microsoft-confirms-windows-10-update-mistake-was-your-data-lost/#472b15a9665b * Anthrax & Public Enemy – Bring the Noise: https://youtu.be/kl1hgXfX5-U * Nicholas Briggs Interview: https://inews.co.uk/culture/television/doctor-who-voice-of-the-daleks-nicholas-briggs-interview/ * iThrive: http://ithrivegames.org/ * Bodhana Group: https://www.thebodhanagroup.org/ * A Theory of Fun for Game Design by Raph Koster: https://www.theoryoffun.com/ * Save ...5 COMMENTS

Now Available: Prince’s Gambit!

Chronicles of Darkness, Sales, Vampire: The Masquerade

Now available in PDF and print-on-demand via DriveThruCards: Prince’s Gambit Card Game for Vampire: The Masquerade!

The night is young as you step into the VIP room of the hottest nightclub in town. You’re one of the leaders of the city’s vampire clans, and you’ve been summoned to meet with the Prince, along with your Machiavellian peers.

As each Primogen enters, the candles flicker as you stare into their eyes. The politics of the undead are always deadly, but there’s a heightened danger tonight. Because you know that at least one of the vampires staring back at you is a traitor, a member of the nefarious Sabbat.

The Prince demands that you work together on a series of intrigues. It’s a risk, but you’re already part of the deadly game. You have to see the Prince’s gambit through to the bitter end.

Prince’s Gambit is a casual card game where each player is a vampire called to the court of the vampiric Prince of the city. Players must cooperate to gain the favor of the Prince while deducing who among them are secretly the traitorous Sabbat infiltrators.

Designed ...3 COMMENTS

We’ve Given This A Lot of Thoth [Monday Meeting Notes]

Monday Meeting, News

Yes, I’d say the creation of the 2nd Edition of Scion has taken the most thought (and Thoth) of any of our projects to date.

From the years spent iterating the Storypath System that powers Scion, to the years and years we and the Scion community dissected and recombined the first edition rules and setting, to the extensive amount of care the writers and developer Neall Raemonn Price have put into improving first edition in every way they could.

Like the Netjer (Egyptian) pantheon pictured above, all the pantheons have been researched and re-researched and run past experts in the myths and cultures they represent. You don’t in any way need a doctorate to use and enjoy them in your game, but now they more accurately reflect our current understanding of the gods and their cohorts.

Neall goes into this in his interview with Eddy and Dixie on last Friday’s Onyx Pathcast, and it is well worth your time to check it out if you’re a Scion fan. He goes into his thinking on Scion, as well as some of the often torturous ...24 COMMENTS