Monday Meeting



I’m busy putting the finishing touches on the Deluxe Mage 20th Anniversary Kickstarter page, and since we absolutely need to submit this to KS week, I’m going to try and keep this brief.

Talked with Eddy, and we mostly focused on reviewing the state of our approval processes- things are good, we have a good rhythm right now of getting things to the Approval Board and them responding in a timely manner. Which is especially important now with the new T-shirt initiative looking to be a flood of shirt designs headed their way.

Talked a bit about the Onyx Path Writer All-Call being spearheaded by Black Hat Matt MacFarland. We’re looking for writers who love to write RPGs, folks who can do both setting and rules writing, newbies or seasoned professionals. If you think you have what it takes, check it out here: and then this follow-up:

Now speaking of Kickstarters, which Eddy and I did as well, I did want to touch on a couple of things that have come up this last week. There were lots of folks sending me congratulation emails about the finished Deluxe Anarchs Unbound KS that we wrapped up last Friday, but there were also some who hoped I didn’t feel bad because AU was a bad Kickstarter. Well, fear not! I don’t feel bad about it because it wasn’t bad at all. I’m focused on whether the KS hits funding and thereby allows us to create the book’s Deluxe version, which AU did. We get to bring another beautiful book into the world- that’s the bottom line. Without Kickstarter, we would not be able to do so. (Now if we ever do a KS where the goal is to get a game book- not a deluxe version of that book- created, completed, or published, then my emphasis will no doubt shift).

Now, I love when the Kickstarter can be a fun experience for everybody, particularly when we can change or add to the book in some way, and if these can snowball into an exciting series of cool Stretch Goals, then so much the better. So again, I’m glad that we had a few AU Stretch Goals passed: an additional physical bit for the book with the bookmark, and additional bit of content with the extra Anarch Free State write-up, and then the special Anarchs Unbound t-shirt that will inaugurate our t-shirt store on RedBubble. At the end of the day, getting to do any extra stuff for a very focused book like Anarchs Unbound is pretty much all a bonus after funding is reached.

Which brings me to my final point: every Kickstarter is different. Anarchs Unbound is a supplement that features a group that aren’t necessarily going to be of interest to the majority of V20 fans. A Kickstarter for this sort of book needs to be, and simply will be, different than one for a new line core book such as Demon, or one of our 20th Anniversary books like Mage20. And much different than a Kickstarter for bags of miniatures, or an RPG that will only be created if the KS funds, or frankly, any other KS. They are all different and what we can do with any given KS is not the same from one to the next. And of course, as we keep saying, we’re still learning with each one we do.

And here’s the voodoo, that we do, so well:

– Blood and Smoke: The Strix Chronicle (VtR) Both the PoD and the PDF are available on sale on DTRPG! B&S Screen PDF has been approved and the B&S Condition Cards are on sale at DTRPG, too.

– Mummy the Curse – Cursed Necropolis DC is in editing. We actually had an editor have to drop off this, so this editor is a new editor.

– Exalted 3rd Edition:  While John hunkers down to rewrite the Charms chapter he is also changing some of the ways he’s been doing these to enable more to get finished, the rest of the team is working on a couple of EX3 chapters that continue to be finalized for Editing. On the Charms: Medicine Charms are now complete, as are Investigation Charms. Some touch-ups are being done to Larceny (the first Charmset handled post-Gencon) to bring them in line with the more polished Investigation ones, before we move into Bureaucracy later in the week. The remaining Abilities, for those keeping score, are Bureaucracy, Lore, Occult, and Craft. Light at the end of the tunnel is starting to appear! Meanwhile, the Merits are still undergoing a final set of touch-ups– they were the first wordcount laid down for this entire project and as such, some of their original projections don’t quite line up with the rest of the book any more, since they touch on -every- part of the system, from combat to basic action resolution to backstory to Survival’s familiars to finance to equipment. Now that everything else is in place, they needed a bit of work to bring them up to date so they can go to the editor.

Zub’s EX3 Comic is about halfway finished being illustrated and both  EX3 novels are being worked on. Starting to get one of the EX3 Music Suites to a finished state, the Dragon Blooded theme.

– V20 Hunters Hunted 2:  US/Canadian missing packages being gone through case by case. International packages being re-sent this week. Of Predators and Prey: The HH2 Fiction Anthology PDF/electronic and physical book PoD versions are on sale at DTRPG: 

– V20 Anarchs Unbound – funded successfully, and three Stretch Goals achieved. Waiting for Amazon Payments to finish in about two weeks and then some fun for our AU backers including first shot at AU t-shirts featuring Smilin’ Jack himself.

– Deluxe Werewolf 20th Anniversary Edition: As with HH2, US/Canadian missing packages being gone through case by case. International packages being re-sent this week. The Heavy Metal Deluxe W20 is slowly being assembled- the current delay being a glitch on the W20 disc on the spine that’s being fixed by the printer. Mike Lee has a new batch of chapters of the W20 “Houses of the Moon” novel for Bill to review. Jess Hartley has the White Howlers Tribe Book in red-lining. W20 Wyld West patch writing is in editing and is being art directed.

– Mage the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition has Phil on the very last sections of the book. Finishing the Deluxe M20 Kickstarter KS page, the KS video is being created with Phil’s dramatic voiceover, and we hope to submit to KS before the end of this week.

– W20 Changing Breeds  PDF and PoD versions are on sale at DTRPG! Deluxe files are with the printer- proofs were shown to backers and are back with the printer. The Changing Breeds Fiction Anthology is in progress with only two more second drafts needing revisions.

– W20 Book of the Wyrm is in layout. A couple of additional art pieces still coming in including a Ron Spencer full page piece! One of our artists was in a car wreck, and so we may need to reassign.

– V20 Rites of the Blood: is ready for layout, but layout is not yet ready for it, art finals rolling in.

– Dark Ages: Darkening Sky (classic Dark Ages): PDF is available on DTRPG. Physical book PoD waiting for proofing approval..

– Trinity Continuum: New System ideas continue being hammered out. Most of the Aeon setting material is in. Logo discussion has started. We’re looking at starting some preliminary blog posts.

 Scion: New Systems discussion continue. Both Scion and the TC above are now moving into active mode for 2014. Contracts and art notes out for the Scion: Origins cover.

– Demon: The Descent: We delivered the Demon PDF to KS backers before the end of December, and the backer PDF has been updated and the PoD version is awaiting PoD approval (I sent for the PoD proofs). Now to create the traditional printing files. The Demon: Ready Made Characters set is in editing and the artist is working. Demon Seed Collection is in first drafts.

– Hunter: Mortal Remains: Art coming in and going in for approval to CCP, and is in layout.

– Book of the Deceived (MtC): Redlines.

– nWoD: Dark Eras: Writers are writing.

– V20 Dark Ages: Scribes are scribing 2nd Drafts. David Hill has recently moved to a new country and is still acclimating, more info once he is settled in.

– DtD Players Guide: Flowers Of Hell?: In editing and being art directed.

– V20: Ghouls: First drafts coming into to the developer for redlines.

– V20 Red List: In final draft stage.

– The Making of the Art of Children of the Revolution: Out to backers who pledged for it. Creating PoD files to go with PDF for sale on DTRPG.

– W20: The Umbra: First drafts being written.

– WtF: The Idigam Chronicle: First drafts being written.

– GtSE: Geist Ready Made Characters: Being written. Just thought we’d throw this in.


Reason to Drink: To Harold Ramis: RIP.


  47 comments for “Ascending….

  1. Bill
    February 24, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    Is it “Under the Darkening Sky”? All I can find on DTRPG is “Dark Ages: Darkening Sky”.

  2. richt
    February 24, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    That’s it! (Fixed title in blog).

    • Bill
      February 28, 2014 at 7:18 am

      Cool. That’s one I’m definitely grabbing.

  3. Kyle
    February 25, 2014 at 12:24 am

    I’m finding as time has gone on, Mage, which was the worst experience for me growing up (due to immature gamers with a fairly open power system) has become more and more enticing. To the point that I am seriously thinking about backing it.

    • richt
      February 25, 2014 at 7:51 am

      Well, sometimes the game is at the mercy of the players.

      • Kyle
        February 25, 2014 at 11:18 am

        You are absolutely correct. I came to this realization during college (about 10 years ago) and have been trying to get people to understand that ever since.

        I’ve come to the point where I have a game I want to run and am hoping to use Mage20 to play through it.

    • Mechalith
      February 25, 2014 at 9:53 am

      Every Mage game I’ve ever run has turned into a giant clusterfuck for one reason or another. I’m still going to get M20 though, even if I only ever get to use it as NPC fuel.

  4. Chazz
    February 25, 2014 at 12:25 am

    With all the talk of writer submissions, do you guys take submissions for editors?

    • richt
      February 25, 2014 at 7:51 am

      Yes- you can submit the same way and will be redirected to Rose.

  5. Shaoken
    February 25, 2014 at 12:54 am

    I know you’re getting sick of me asking this, but I was an Australian Backer for both WtA 20 and HHII, I got W20 at the start of Jan but no site or sound or HHII. Should I be worried or just relax for another two weeks and then start panicking?

    • richt
      February 25, 2014 at 7:50 am

      Another round of international shipping has been happening since last week. You have time before panicking.

  6. Unsilent Majority
    February 25, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Hunter the Reckoning shirts with some Glen Fabry artwork or Hunter the Vigil shirts, please!

    I’ll buy one for every day of the week.

  7. Jay
    February 25, 2014 at 8:40 am

    Hi Rich

    I saw on the Writer Call that the suggested submissions by for nWoD, cWoD and GMC specifically. Just wondered if the same would stand for Exalted? (Long time WW/OP fan and I’d jump at the chance to write, just pondered the Exalted element?)

    Thought I’d ask as per Chazz querying the editor positions. If a note was attached specifically indicating an interest in Exalted would that be passed over to Holden etc?


    • Rose Bailey
      February 25, 2014 at 4:36 pm

      You can make Exalted submissions right now and we’ll file them, but that team probably won’t be reviewing submissions immediately.

      As for editors, I largely don’t divide those by line. You can submit your resume and mention specific lines, but if I hire you, it could be for anything.

      • Yiodan
        February 25, 2014 at 7:44 pm

        Hi Rose.

        Do you have a “corporate” style job description for the editor position?

        • Yiodan
          February 27, 2014 at 1:15 pm

          I guess not. 🙂

      • Jay
        February 26, 2014 at 8:12 am

        Rose – Thanks for the reply and good to know. I went along with a cWoD submission (Though already wondering if I should’ve submitted something different…) and added a cover note about my interests.

  8. icarr757
    February 25, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Here is to hoping the M20 rough manuscript will go up with the kickstarter. I think that was a inspired idea for the demon Ks!

    Time to get out the marshmellows and asbestos cause there might be some flame around here soon!

    Also, imagine the if you will, possible reprocussions if the stars aligned just right, and Op was to ship Ex3 and M20 at the same time… Rpg nerds world wide might have to call out of work for DAYS! There might be a shortage of funions and Mountain Dew like never before seen! Beware the power you wield Rich T…

    • richt
      February 26, 2014 at 4:51 pm

      It’s a great idea to post the most complete text of the project. I think it has really worked out well for us with previous projects.

      We’re not doing that with Mage 20th.

      First, see above the “all Kickstarters are different” commentary. Secondly, yes, of course we’ll be providing excerpts during the KS.

      Then, explanation-wise, let’s look at the stage the text is at. Right now, Phil and cohorts are done pretty much all of the writing, although you always find something that was missed like a credit block, or legal text, or that sort of stuff. But, the thing is, Phil was concerned because he did do most of the writing himself, and it’s just bad practice to develop your own writing- particularly for a book this size.

      Luckily, and with serendipity, it so happens that Bill Bridges- exMage developer and all around one of the most experienced developers I know- was open to doing a developer pass on the text. In general, to put another set of experienced eyes on it. So that’s a stage where large swathes of the text may be reworked between the two of them for the betterment of the book, and so publishing the pre-Bill material would just cause issues. There are strong reasons why we have developers for all of our lines, and why we don’t publish raw text from the writer, and so none of us feel comfortable with releasing the text until Bill and Phil do what they need to.

  9. Quinn Y
    February 25, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    The Mage 20th Anniversary edition logo looks beautiful. I can’t wait!

    • Torakhan
      February 26, 2014 at 1:04 am

      Agreed! You don’t notice it in the small version, but looking at the 600×600 version, the texture of the crackled gold is a really nice effect! This will look damned sexy on a shirt, IMO. 🙂

    • richt
      February 26, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      Cool! You like the first Stretch Goal then!

      • Torakhan
        February 26, 2014 at 11:44 pm

        Spoiler! 😉
        Muah-hah-hah. Now… will it be a black shirt, or deep purple? 😉
        I just hope the printing process has enough detail to show that texture… but even if it doesn’t, I think it’ll still look great. 😀

  10. Blue Fox
    February 25, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    I just hope you guys really have learned that the cheapest shipper is cheapest for a reason and ensure that Mage the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition won’t turn into 18months waiting game and Mage the Descent Edition for the backers.

    • Torakhan
      February 26, 2014 at 1:00 am

      While 2-3 months is still a long time to be in transit, shipping didn’t actually begin until the last week of November for some, and into mid-December for others (and lots of folks all over received their books in a timely fashion.) Even though that’s still a fuggly amount of time, it’s not 18 months of shipping (the final pieces of W20 weren’t even submitted until mid-September. if I recall correctly) so it certainly couldn’t have been shipped until they were in/edited/laid-out/sent to printers/proofed, approved/printed/gilded/assembled/bound/shipped to shippers.
      As has been stated, a lot of things were learned from the early KickStarters, and the turn-around on the ones since have gotten faster because of the lessons learned and new choices made (stretch-goals that create additional documents/books instead of adding new stuff to the books being KickStarted is one of those.)

    • richt
      February 26, 2014 at 4:25 pm

      Straight up: none of the shippers I have used are the cheapest. I chose them not for their rock bottom price but for their understanding of the tabletop RPG business and track record with KSs- all of which were sterling when I reviewed them. I divided the shipping in order to get most of the international shipments sent out from a European based shipper in order that the shipping costs did not cripple the project, which they would have if we shipped from the US. As posted before, there were three shipping price increases in the year from when the W20 KS was run until the books shipped.

      The lesson learned that can be applied to the M20 KS is to use reputable shipping companies that exist purely to ship in the best manner possible, and educate them about the needs of our tabletop RPG business. Which is what we’re doing with all of our future KS ship-outs.

      • Torakhan
        February 26, 2014 at 11:50 pm

        How does a shipper’s requirements change when it is in regards to a gaming book as opposed to another product?

        I would think that whether it was gaming books, text books, or photo albums, a shipper should handle them the same way (Take the shipping list, include product, protect it, box it, label it, scan it, ship it.) Am I wrong?

        Is it just to make sure they don’t accidentally stick Chick Tracks in with the orders? 😉

  11. Wednesdayisfishsticks
    February 25, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    “GtSE: Geist Ready Made Characters: Being written. Just thought we’d throw this in.”

    Neat! That would complete a a full set 🙂 Thanks for throwing in that last bit.

    • richt
      February 26, 2014 at 4:17 pm

      No problem. It was Matt McElroy’s idea. He thinks there’s a lot of love for Geist out there, so we want to add a few projects for folks who hung in there through a bumpy start to the line.

      • ThomasM
        February 27, 2014 at 8:58 pm

        Rich, you and Matt (and all the creators involved) are giving us Geist lovers a wonderful gift. Knowing that we had something in Dark Eras was exciting, but this is something I’ve wanted for four years. Thank you very much!

        • Calrabjohns
          March 1, 2014 at 3:35 pm

          Sweet 🙂

  12. jason
    February 25, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    any way we can see the m20 kick starter page before it goes up as a taste ? And I love mage. Im backing it fo shizzle my nizzle.

  13. jason
    February 25, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    any way we can look at the mage kick starter page before it goes up, like a taste or a sample before it goes live ?

    • richt
      February 26, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      Not really, no. Time, the essence of.

  14. February 25, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    “[T]he backer PDF [of DtD] has been updated and the PoD version is awaiting PoD approval (I sent for the PoD proofs).”

    Will the coupons for the GMC PoDs go out then, or not until the deluxe editions are ready to ship?

    • richt
      February 26, 2014 at 4:14 pm

      As per the Updates to backers, the intent is to send all the PDF and PoD discount links together. Thanks!

  15. Jonathan
    February 26, 2014 at 7:20 am

    That second-to-last item is the best news I’ve gotten all month. Now I definitely can’t wait for July to get here.

    • richt
      February 26, 2014 at 4:13 pm

      Glad to bear the good news!

  16. Nick Pilon
    February 26, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    So, is Mummy actually cursed?

    • richt
      February 27, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      It is certainly having a fair amount of ups and downs, but really, these are the sorts of things that used to happen all the time with our game creation. It’s just that we’re doing the whole transparency thing, so you get ring-side seats now.

  17. Bentley C.
    February 27, 2014 at 5:38 am

    Can we expect the usual 24 hour warning before the Mage KS goes live, or should I just skip sleeping until it is live?


    I can’t wait for the KS to begin, I plan on throwing as much money as I can at this KS. I look forward to many awesome reward levels, and hopefully tons of stretch goals!

    • Hope B
      February 27, 2014 at 10:32 am

      I’m hoping for a 24 hour announcement too. Traveling sucks when things are happening on the interwebz.

    • richt
      February 27, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      There will be some kind of warning, depends on how long it takes for approvals.

    • IanW
      February 28, 2014 at 10:40 pm

      We have always done a 24 hour warning.

  18. richt
    February 28, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Hey folks- the Deluxe Mage 20th Anniversary Edition Kickstarter goes live Monday, March 3rd, at 12 noon EST! See you there!

    • GregN
      March 1, 2014 at 7:12 pm


  19. Bentley C.
    March 1, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Woohoo, I have to remember to sleep tonight, then skip sleep sunday night. 11 am CST I’ll be clicking pledge buttons…

    I haven’t decided if I’m pledging twice, too many things I’d love to have when it comes to Mage.

Comments are closed.