What is the Onyx Path?
Q: What is the Onyx Path?
A. Onyx Path Publishing is a company founded in January 2012 by White Wolf Creative Director Rich Thomas. Following October 2011’s layoffs at CCP, CCP/White Wolf was no longer in a good position to do publishing in addition to the main business of making computer games. As a result, Rich founded Onyx Path Publishing to handle this business.
Onyx Path Publishing (OPP) has three main focuses at the moment:
- Phase I: We are the licensed publisher for White Wolf’s tabletop RPG settings: the Chronicles of Darkness, the Classic World of Darkness, and Exalted.
- Phase II: We publish our own tabletop RPG settings: Scion and the Trinity Continuum. Both were once White Wolf properties, but OPP now owns them outright. We co-own the Scarred Lands with Nocturnal Media.
- Phase III: We publish creator-owned properties: Rose Bailey’s Cavaliers of Mars and Eddy Webb’s Pugmire will be the first, with more to come.
Q. What about Mind’s Eye Theatre, or Vampire: The Eternal Struggle?
A. Our license allows us to publish White Wolf tabletop RPGs and novels only. This does not include the live-action MET rules. At the time of this writing, MET has been licensed to By Night Studios.
Q: Can I get your books in stores?
A. Since mid-2010, White Wolf/Onyx Path have transitioned out of the traditional publishing industry. With traditional publishing, finished files would go to the printer, a print run would be ordered, the print run would be shipped to a warehouse, the warehouse would ship to distributors, and distributors would ship to retailers. Sadly, the traditional print industry isn’t doing so well these days. For a number of different reasons it’s more beneficial for us to do things differently.
Onyx Path has been working on a retailer program to support game stores via print offerings. If you’re interested in joining this program, please fill out our Retailer Beta Program Application Form.
Q: I don’t want a PDF. Can I get a book in print?
A. Certainly! All our new releases are available in print from DriveThruRPG, and a growing number of older White Wolf books, too. We have over 1200 books available in print now, in a variety of formats previously unavailable. Some books have an option between softcover and hardcover, some have an option between black-and-white and full color. More improvements are on the way.
Buying a print-on-demand book is as easy as buying a book on Amazon, and can arrive at your front door in a matter of a couple of weeks or less.
Q: What are the chances of me being able to get a certain book in print?
A. The entire White Wolf back catalog — or at least as much as is feasible — will eventually be made available in print. It’s not a matter of “if,” but “when.”
Q: A new book is available in PDF. When will it be available in print?
A. Our current model goes as follows: We release an “advance PDF.” Our fans report any errors they find. We collect these and update our files. From these files we create a final release PDF and the printer files. We request a proof to ensure the book looks as it should. If everything’s okay, the final PDF is uploaded and the PoD option enabled. The entire process takes typically takes between two to six weeks.
Q: Why is a Kickstarter necessary?
A. It isn’t. All our Kickstarters thus far, and all our planned future Kickstarters, are for deluxe editions only. The outcome of a deluxe Kickstarter does not affect the standard PDF and print release of that book. Kickstarters, however, may affect future releases: e.g. the W20 Kickstarter passed a number of stretch goals which added several Werewolf novels and additional Werewolf supplements to the release schedule. If you want to see more books for your favorite line, backing a Kickstarter is a good way to do that, and get a fancy rulebook to boot.
Q: I missed a Kickstarter. Can I still get the deluxe edition?
A. Unfortunately, odds are against it. While we may have a few extra copies, these few generally go to replacing copies damaged in shipping, or as very limited prize giveaways at conventions. The deluxe editions are intended to be limited releases.
The regular edition of the products will still be available on DriveThruRPG in PDF and print format. If you desperately want a deluxe edition, they occasionally pop up on the secondary market, such as auction sites like eBay, albeit at pretty inflated prices.
Q: I missed a Kickstarter. Will I still be able to get the book?
A. All our Kickstarters are for traditional print runs of deluxe products. We don’t run Kickstarters to make a book, just to make a deluxe edition. All the products we Kickstart will be made available on DriveThruRPG in PDF and print-on-demand format.
Q: Is [upcoming book] going to have a Kickstarter?
A: Check out our release schedule. Every planned Kickstarter project is labelled. While many of our projects are, not all of them will be.
Q: Will you make T-shirts? Do you have posters? Can you give us dice as a Kickstarter stretch goal reward?
A: As a digital company, we don’t really have contacts in the merch industry anymore. Kickstarter editions are the only things we have which aren’t PDF/PoD right now. Even if we were to make something, we don’t have the warehouse space to store it in.
If we do something like this at all, it would probably be the subject of its own Kickstarter. In today’s market it’s not really feasible for us to do otherwise. Things could always change, but for the present, physical merchandise isn’t very probable.
We have opened a RedBubble store for shirts, which are created on-demand, and DriveThruRPG has recently (summer 2014) opened the ability to print posters.