Memorial Monday Meandering [Monday Meeting Notes]

Monday Meeting, News

W20 Kinfolk illustrated by Chris Bivins

W20 Kinfolk illustration by Chris Bivins


Right now, I’m writing this on our US holiday of Memorial Day, which is supposed to be a day we honor those who have given their lives in service to their country. (Not to be confused with Veterans Day, where we honor the living who have and continue to risk those lives.)

Here in the US this long holiday weekend is also considered by many as the start of Summertime.

It’s a holiday, and we’ve still had our weekly Onyx Path Meetings, and I’m writing this blog, because that’s what we do. No rest for the wicked.

I’m actually pointing this out not as a cheap ploy for pity, “Aw, you poor Onyx Path team. You have to work on a holiday…”, but to illustrate the nature of how we do what we do. Back in the day, at White Wolf, I was famous (infamous) for completely not noticing that we had a national holiday. I’d expect the full-time crew to be in the office, and make plans like they would be, only to be reminded that ...26 COMMENTS

Hunter: The Vigil 2nd Edition Open Call and Thoughts on Hiring

Hunter: The Vigil, Open Development

Hunter: The Vigil logo

Hunter: The Vigil logo

Hello! Today, I want to talk about the Hunter: The Vigil Second Edition, and run through some of the decisions I’ll be weighing as I review candidates. I want to share with you what my thought processes are, too, so you understand some of the responsibilities I have as the developer for this game line.

First and foremost, I want to remind you that Onyx Path Publishing has always opened the door to freelancers. The instructions for the Submission Guidelines are available here, and I will be reviewing works based off of your ability to follow directions and internalize the content listed here:

Second, please understand that contacting my personal accounts through Twitter, Facebook, and my e-mail will not help you get hired. In fact, I will ignore your requests and wind up blocking you. The Open Call process is in place for a reason, and the writers who follow that methodology automatically “level up” in my eyes. If you can’t follow instructions, or if you can’t respect boundaries before I hire you, then that tells me ...30 COMMENTS


Promethean: The Created


Screencap from The Shaggy Dog (1959, dir. Charles Barton)

So, Transmutations. The “kewl powerz” of the Promethean set. Let’s talk about them.

In Promethean‘s first edition, Transmutations worked more or less like the powers in other White Wolf games; they had a linear progression (though you could buy them out of sequence for an additional experience cost), and they covered a lot of the bases: aura sight, some mild shapeshifting, combat power here, stealth power there. Most of the powers worked pretty well in-theme, with a few weird outliers, not that I’m ever going to complain about something weird in Promethean.

For the second edition, though, we wanted to mix things up a bit. We wanted to earn the name “Transmutation.” As such, here are my notes from the outline:

Principles of Transmutations Transmutations are all about change. They change the Promethean’s mind, soul, body, Azoth, whatever or they change the world around her. If you’re changing a living thing, you’re pumping it full of Azoth. If that changes its body, it should run the risk of doing lethal damage if you get it wrong. If ...39 COMMENTS

Now Available: Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras!

Changeling: The Lost, Chronicles of Darkness, Demon: The Descent, Geist: The Sin-Eaters, Hunter: The Vigil, Mage: The Awakening, Mummy: The Curse, Promethean: The Created, Sales, Vampire: The Requiem, Werewolf: The Forsaken

Front Cover

Now available in PDF and print from DriveThruRPG: Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras!

Darkness Is Always With Us

We have shared the world with monsters for millennia.In the time of Alexander the God-King, mages fought their secret wars. In Elizabeth’s London, vampires built their own empire brick by bloody brick. Before the founding of America, hunters fought enemies within and without. And in the Cold War, as the clock ticked towards Armageddon, we could have been damned by fallen angels.

Secrets Revealed

Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras reveals the world throughout its long and storied past. Through sixteen eras, you’ll learn the secret history of the world, from the flame-lit tales of the Neolithic to the drug-fueled rebellion of the 1970s. Delve into the past, and learn that the Chronicles of Darkness began long before the modern nights.

Dark Eras includes historical settings for Chronicles of Darkness game lines

Dark Eras includes 16 sections, at least one for each game line, including:

Chronicles of Darkness: Beneath the Skin (Skinchangers, 1486-1502) Vampire: The Requiem: Requiem for Regina (1593) Werewolf: The Forsaken: The Sundered World (5500-5000 BCE), The Wolf and the Raven (700-1100), The Bowery Dogs (1969-1979) Mage: The Awakening: The Sundered ...4 COMMENTS

Something, Something: Pun About May [Monday Meeting Notes]

Monday Meeting, News

Front Cover

For some reason, today feels like catch-all day. This month has been crazy and fulfilling in terms of releases, both for sale and to backers of our many Kickstarters, and now we end it with putting the Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras on sale in both PDF and PoD versions!

Once again, this is a biiiig book. Totally my fault as I just couldn’t resist adding too many of the Dark Eras voted in by backers of the Kickstarter. The thing is, the sequel book, the Dark Eras Companion, is going to be pretty much as big! So we’d have had to have done three books coming out of the KS, and maybe we should have, but my head was about adding value for the original book with extra Eras, and then a cool and meaty overflow book. Singular.

So it was a failure of mental flexibility, I’m afraid. I try to leave room in our plans for the unexpected, and this time I didn’t run with the concept as far as I could have.

Nevertheless, and despite my self-perceived flaws, there are going to ...51 COMMENTS


Promethean: The Created

Steve Martin, appearance on The Muppet Show

Steve Martin, appearance on The Muppet Show

One of my favorite bits of Promethean is the Ramble. In case you don’t know, the Ramble is simply the tale of a Promethean’s Pilgrimage, a story summing up their experiences on the road to the New Dawn. I’ve been taken with the idea of Prometheans exchanging letters, constantly relating their Rambles to a disparate throng that maybe only comes together once every few years – it was precisely this idea that fueled The Epistolary Chronicle (which appeared in the Mage Chronicler’s Guide).

The chapter openers for Promethean, like Beast, are going to feature two styles of fiction: One, a connected story of a throng (written by Jose R. Garcia, who also contributed a story to the Firestorm Chronicle Anthology), and two, on the facing page, part of a Ramble.

One thing that we’ve tried to do with Promethean Second Edition is really dig in to the potential diversity of these characters. Part of that meant adding in the Extempore and the Unfleshed as fully playable options, and collecting all 9 of the original Refinements (and adding a 10th!) into the book, but ...21 COMMENTS

Now Available: The Pack Merch

Sales, Werewolf: The Forsaken


Now available from our RedBubble store:

Lodge: Eaters of the Dead (shirts, mugs) Lodge: Lodge of Garm (shirts, mugs) Lodge: Temple of Apollo (shirts, mugs) Lodge: The Screaming Moon (shirts, mugs) Lodge: Thousand Steel Teeth (shirts, mugs) Art: Big Bad Wolf (phones) Art: Big Bad Wolf duotone (phones) Art: Garage Rumble (shirts, phones) Art: Thailand (shirts, phones) Art: The Pack Cover (shirts, phones) Art: The Pack Cover w/logo (shirts)

What’s all this about? The recent release of the advance PDF of The Pack for Werewolf: The Forsaken! Have you checked it out yet?


GenCon Inside(r) Poop [Monday Meeting Notes]

Monday Meeting, News

Secrets of the Covenants art by Mark Kelly

Secrets of the Covenants art by Mark Kelly


For the past three years, I’ve been thrilled to be a Gen Con Industry Insider and sit on panels and spread the awareness of just what Onyx Path Publishing is, have a give and take with the audience, and meet other industry folks I wouldn’t have had a chance to.

I’m particularly thrilled that the Gender Representation in RPG Art panel was my best attended and most lively panel each year. But three to five more panels wedged in to Onyx‘s already jam-packed schedule at the con just looked like too much for this year, so I didn’t submit myself for the 2016 honor.

But a bunch of Onyx Path folks did, and so Eddy Webb and Monica Valentinelli will be Insiding this year: yay!

What’s weird, though, is that this year there is overall, I think, one more female Insider than male going to be on panels and some people are freaked out about it.

More women on panels than men? Who could live in such a world?

As long-time readers of this blog probably realize, I’m ...45 COMMENTS

Pantheons [Scion Second Edition Open Development]

Open Development, Scion

The Twelve Olympians plus eight other gods. Loggia di Psiche, 1518–19, by Raphael and his school, at the Villa Farnesina

The Twelve Olympians plus eight other gods. Loggia di Psiche, 1518–19, by Raphael and his school, at the Villa Farnesina

If you need to sum up Scion in a single sentence, it’s this: “Who you are is very much tied to who you are to other people”.

Even more than politicians, the Gods know the power of a good narrative – and good public relations. No God is an island, no Hero exists without someone setting her story in motion. You are bound and defined by your relationships. It’s in the name of the game: being a scion of something means you’re from a greater parent, which right there defines your identity by someone or something else. Or, to use a convenient phrase, it serves to start defining your Legend.

Most of the Gods in Scion belong to the pantheons, Gods who have a shared narrative – a shared Fate. By extension, Heroes and Demigods belong to their ranks as well (and no few Legendary associates and, yes, even a select few Titans, like Helios). In the prior edition, the pantheons were largely bloodlines, ...77 COMMENTS

Now Available: The Pack

Sales, Werewolf: The Forsaken

The Pack

Now available as an advance PDF from DriveThruRPG: The Pack.

The wolf must hunt, but it cannot hunt alone. Your hunts need the talents and instincts of other werewolves to slaughter the most dangerous prey. Your hunting grounds and families need the watching eyes of those with the blood of the Wolf of the spirit of the Moon. Your pack needs grounding in the world, humans who provide their contacts, expertise, and support. A pack is not a pack without a totem, a warden in the world of Spirit that watches over the entire pack.

A pack is family and gang and club and cult, but some werewolves go further. Tragedy drives werewolves apart, leaving the Wolf-Blooded to hold the pack together and herd the surviving Uratha in service to the Siskur-Dah. A pack cannot hunt without knowledge of the broader  supernatural world, so accepts a mystic into their ranks. Packs form protectorates & fragile alliances, cemented in rituals of honor or arranged marriage. A packmate joins a Lodge, a mystery-cult that teaches dangerous secrets that empower their whole pack on the hunt.

Alone ...7 COMMENTS