Bucking Broncos! [Monday Meeting Notes]
First, for those of you following what I never intended to be a saga: it turns out I have not just a cold or the flu, but bronchitis. The doctor has me on antibiotics, and I am actually feeling better. So, hopefully I only have to ride this bucking broncho for a while longer. Thanks to everybody who sent in “get well” messages!
The other bronco the gang here at Onyx Path have been riding for a couple of days, and was the subject of much of our meeting today.
(The official one. My meeting with Eddy was mostly talking about how David Tennant’s Doctor parsed with his Purple Man on Jessica Jones.)
I’m referring to the upset in our community after the Vampire and Mage interactive fiction Preludes were released last week by Asmodee under license from the new White Wolf Publishing. If you want to look it all up, the details are out there. For us, Matt McElroy and I have been talking with WWP about this issue since last week and expect to keep doing so for a while.
It has become clear, though, that some confusion and misapprehensions still exist as to Onyx Path’s relationship with the new White Wolf Publishing, as well as how we both relate to the original White Wolf that so many of you started out with.
So: we have the original White Wolf, founded by Stew Wieck and Mark Rein*Hagen. We worked hard and we played hard, and created a huge amount of games and supplements and elbowed ourselves into 2nd place in the RPG biz, but 1st place in dark hearts everywhere. I say “we” as I was there, with Stew for years before the partnership was created, and was part of the management team throughout.
Things got rough though as game and book stores start closing, and at the same time, the time our community would have spent on tabletop gaming gets chopped by the time folks are discovering computer MMOs. WW decides it needs to evolve into electronic gaming, which is hard to do when your revenue is dropping like a rock off a cliff, so WW gets a bunch of vikings drunk and we all wind up married the next morning.
In other, more sensible words, White Wolf made a deal to “merge” with CCP, an Icelandic computer game company with a successful space MMO called EVE. They begin work on the WoD MMO. Meanwhile, a bunch of us keep the tabletop gaming part of WW rolling.
But, eventually, the sucking black hole of need that was the WoD MMO demands every WWer be part of it, and until a bunch of us convince CCP that a 20th Anniversary Edition of Vampire: the Masquerade is a good idea, and they see the community reaction, there’s a very good chance that WW, as a publisher would not have lasted. But actually, the reaction is so strong that Eddy and I can convince CCP to let us do even more books!
The euphoria of which lasts the several weeks that end up with a huge bunch of layoffs of people I care about, and, fed up with the situation, I leave CCP and then start Onyx Path with a license agreement from CCP so that Onyx can do tabletop versions of the WW Intellectual Properties (WoD, nWoD called now Chronicles of Darkness, and Exalted). In effect, I’ve licensed the game lines I helped create.
So that’s nice. (I mean, it really is). But please note that we do not own nor control the WW IPs.
(I wanted to point out the timing up there, though, because it’s important to note that Onyx Path was not a junior company to CCP, and not spun off from CCP. Onyx Path has always been solely owned by me and our relationship with CCP was solely as licensee. We own Scion and the Trinity game lines outright as I bought them from them, and we are co-owners of the Scarred Lands, another purchase but this time with Nocturnal Media. We also are in creative partnerships that are effectively licenses with Pugmire and Cavaliers of Mars, two totally new games totally unconnected to any iteration of WW.)
(CCP really only wanted us to shepherd the WW IPs and good name and keep the community engaged until they could pull back the curtain and bring everybody to the WoD MMO. They didn’t actually want a lot of licenses because they wanted everyone to be working on the WoD MMO, not a bunch of difficult to manage tabletop RPGs. We did that for them, for a while at least.)
But, as Onyx Path rolls along for about four years of reviving, rejuvenating, and renovating, the WW IPs, CCP decides that they must pull back their efforts to focus on EVE, cancel the WoD MMO (and fire a bunch more people I care about), and finally they sell the WW IPs to a Swedish game company called Paradox.
Paradox revives the White Wolf Publishing name, and paw print, and through some level of corporate structuring, stick a company behind the name. (You’ll have to ask the new WWP some time how they are structured; I don’t know nor want to, honestly). They bring over a couple of their employees and those guys hire in a couple more folks. None of them is a creator or executive from the original White Wolf so it was not anyone at the new WWP who greenlit the previous computer games or books or, well anything, from the original WW days.
Their intention is licensing. Their intention is to get the WW IPs out there so that there is some sort of WW IP project in every medium.
Onyx Path has the license from the new WWP to create tabletop RPGs and accessories related to, and which assist in playing, tabletop RPGs for WoD, Chronicles of Darkness, and Exalted. We are one of their rapidly growing cadre of licensees. We make the sorts of things their license allows us to, and we go through an approval process with them. I can not ethically talk the numbers or details of the contracts, but our deal is a pretty typical license agreement.
What we, as a licensee, are not involved with, is how the new WWP grows their license portfolio. I mean, some of these deals are bound up in their own NDAs, and the rest WWP has no obligation to inform us about until they want to, or we hear about it like all of you. In the current situation, we had no idea of who was writing the Asmodee projects until they were released and all hell broke loose.
Our reality, and our community’s, is that the new WWP is actively working towards building media awareness of the WW IPs, currently focused on the World of Darkness. They are going to be as careful as they can to work with the sorts of licensees that can accurately bring the WoD setting to their medium, but ultimately the sheer potential size of what they intend has a really good chance to mean that there will be decisions made that will run the gamut of our community’s personal reactions from thrilled beyond belief to appalled beyond measure.
Our community will need to decide how to respond, or not, based on individual personal standards and conscience. If a project comes out bad, or amazing, how far do you go to support the next one? If the content offends you, do you avoid that writer, or that developer, or that company, or that IP in the future? If people are hired that you have issues with, do you skip that project, boycott anything connected to the new White Wolf, or send emails of protest? Any, or all, it’s your personal call.
So, to recap: Onyx Path is one of a growing set of licensees of the White Wolf IPs that are owned and controlled by the new White Wolf Publishing based in Sweden. Onyx Path does not have any say over projects created by other licensees or how the new WWP conducts its business.
Hope that clears a few things up, and as always if you have questions, please feel free to post them in the comments.
I’m working on the KS pages this week for sure as the antibiotics kick in. Things look good, and we are all for starting the KS in Feb/early March so long as the process of pulling the KS together cooperates. If so, then Monarchies of Mau KS would be next, after Gambit.
Looking for our Deluxe or Prestige Edition books? Here’s the link to the press release we put out about how Onyx Path is now selling through Indie Press Revolution: http://theonyxpath.com/press-release-onyx-path-limited-editions-now-available-through-indie-press-revolution/
You can now order wave 2 of our Deluxe and Prestige print overrun books, including Deluxe Mage 20th Anniversary, and Deluxe V20 Dark Ages!
From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: Doubting Souls (Hunter 1690-1695 Salem). Immigrants and tribes struggled to co-exist on the Eastern Seaboard in the ever-expanding Colonies. Violent clashes, supernatural beliefs, and demonic influences spelled disaster for Salem Village and its surrounding towns, while others fought werewolves and vampires on the frontier. With so much at risk, only god-fearing men and women were deemed innocent — and those were few indeed.
Available in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/204372/Dark-Eras-Doubting-Souls-Hunter-the-Vigil
From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: The Bowery Dogs (Werewolf 1969-1979 NYC). New York City in the 1970s. Crime. Drugs. Gang violence. Vast economic disparity. And werewolves. It’s a lean, ugly time to be alive, and the lone wolf doesn’t stand a chance out there. In the end, all you really have is family.
Available in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/203762/Dark-Eras-The-Bowery-Dogs-Werewolf-the-Forsaken
The Locker is open; the Chronicles of Darkness: Hurt Locker, that is! PDF and physical copy PoDs are now available on DTRPG! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/199275/Chronicles-of-Darkness-Hurt-Locker
Hurt Locker features:
- Treatment of violence in the Chronicles of Darkness. Lasting trauma, scene framing, and other tools for making your stories hurt.
- Many new player options, including Merits, supernatural knacks, and even new character types like psychic vampires and sleeper cell soldiers.
- Expanded equipment and equipment rules.
Hurt Locker requires the Chronicles of Darkness Rulebook or any other standalone Chronicles of Darkness rulebook such as Vampire: The Requiem, Werewolf: The Forsaken, or Beast: The Primordial to use.
Both the Beast: the Primordial http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/198773/Beast-The-Primordial-Condition-Cards & Promethean: the Created 2nd Edition Condition Cards http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/202619/Promethean-the-Created-2nd-Edition-Condition-Cards are now on sale on DTRPG in PDF and physical card PoD versions! Great for keeping track of the Conditions that are on your characters!
From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: Ruins of Empire (Mummy 1893-1924). Perhaps the quintessential era of the mummy in the minds of Westerners, this period saw the decline of the two greatest empires of the age: British and Ottoman. Walk with the Arisen as they bear witness to the death of the Victorian age, to pivotal mortal discoveries in Egypt, and to the horrors of the Great War.
Available in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG. http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/178801/Dark-Eras-Ruins-of-Empire-Mummy-the-Curse
From the massive Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras main book, we have pulled this single chapter, Dark Eras: The Sundered World (Werewolf and Mage 5500-5000 BCE). At the birth of civilization, in the shadow of the Fall, the Awakened stand as champions and protectors of the agricultural villages spread across the Balkans. In a world without a Gauntlet, where Shadow and flesh mingle, the steady taming of the world by humanity conflicts with the half-spirit children of Father Wolf.
Available in PDF and physical copy PoD versions on DTRPG. http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/202272/Dark-Eras-The-Sundered-World-Werewolf-the-Forsaken-Mage-the-Awakening
Night Horrors: Conquering Heroes for Beast: the Primordial is available now as an Advance PDF: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/202615/Night-Horrors-Conquering-Heroes
This book includes:
- An in-depth look at how Heroes hunt and what makes a Hero, with eleven new Heroes to drop into any chronicle.
- A brief look at why Beasts may antagonize one another, with seven new Beasts to drop into any chronicle.
- Rules for Insatiables, ancient creatures born of the Primordial Dream intent on hunting down Beasts to fill a hunger without end, featuring six examples ready to use in any chronicle.
The PDF and physical book PoD versions of Reap the Whirlwind, the Vampire: the Requiem 2nd Edition Jumpstart swirls into being on DTRPG! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/201127/Reap-the-Whirlwind-Revised-VtR-2e
You are a vampire, a junkie. Every night, you beg and you borrow and you steal just a little more life, just a few more sweet moments. But there’s a guy at the top. The Prince. He’s got everything. The money, the secrets, the blood.
Tonight, you’re going to take it from him. Tomorrow, there’ll be hell to pay.
This updated edition of Reap the Whirlwind features revisions to match the core rulebook for Vampire: the Requiem 2nd Edition. Text edits and rules clarifications have also been updated.
Reap the Whirlwind Revised includes:
- Rules for creating and playing vampires in the Chronicles of Darkness
- The first two levels of every clan Discipline, the dark powers of the dead
- A complete adventure by noted horror author Chuck Wendig
This new revised Reap the Whirlwind Revised includes an updated booklet, 7 condition cards, and the interactive Vampire: the Requiem 2nd Edition character sheet.
It is now the preordained time for Dawn of Heresies, the Mummy: the Curse novel written by internationally renowned author Brian Hodge to arise! Both PDF/electronic and physical book PoD versions are now available on DTRPG! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/198720/Dawn-of-Heresies
Rawhead and bloody bones
Steals naughty children from their homes,
Takes them to his dirty den
And they are never seen again.
So says the nursery rhyme that gives birth to Rawhead, the most fearsome entity to imperil the living since the infamous Roller. Once an obedient mummy by name of Benefre, a desperate bid by his cult fails in tragic fashion, and in so doing, sends him to the Devourerís waiting, corruptive maw. What remains of Benefreís ambitious soul rises again, impure and unholy, set to the execution of a scheme so baleful, it constitutes a heresy even among his own misbegotten kind.
All that stands between Rawhead and his terrible aim are a lone mummy, Kemsiyet, and what little remains of her cult following its destruction at Rawhead’s hands. Declan, her prized security aide, and Fiona, an Irish researcher only just recently inducted into the cult and its blood-soaked world, must fight both the odds and the clock in order to prevent a calamity the likes of which the world hasnít seen since the days of the mummies’ creation.
About the Author:
BRIAN HODGE is the acclaimed author of 11 novels, almost 125 short stories, and four full-length collections. His first collection, The Convulsion Factory, was ranked by critic Stanley Wiater among the 113 best books of modern horror. Heís currently wrapping up his fifth, The Immaculate Void. Among gamers, he is perhaps best known as the author of the first official Hellboy novel, On Earth as It Is in Hell.
Recent works include “The Weight of the Dead,” from Tor, and novelettes of cosmic horror in The Mammoth Book of Cthulhu and Children of Lovecraft. His oft-reprinted 2013 novella, “The Same Deep Waters as You” has recently been optioned by a London-based production studio for development for television. Brian lives in Colorado.
Open the V20 Dark Ages: Tome of Secrets now on DTRPG! Both PDF and physical book PoD versions are now available! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/197358/V20-Dark-Ages-Tome-of-Secrets
The Tome of Secrets is a treatment of numerous topics about Cainites and stranger things in the Dark Medieval World. It’s about peeling back the curtain, and digging a little deeper. Inside, you’ll find:
• Expanded treatment of Assamite Sorcery, Koldunic Sorcery, Necromancy, and Setite Sorcery
• A look at Cainite knightly orders, faith movements, and even human witchcraft
• Letters and diaries from all over the Dark Medieval World
Travel with us all the way to the Red Planet for the Cavaliers of Mars Jumpstart: A Festival of Blades, available in PDF and PoD on DTRPG! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/191678/A-Festival-of-Blades-A-Cavaliers-of-Mars-Jumpstart
Live, fight, and love on Mars, a world of red death and strange mystery, a world of savagery and romance.
- A complete adventure set in one of dying Mars’ greatest remaining cities.
- The innovative DEIMOS rules, for high-flying, swashbuckling adventure.
- Four pre-generated player characters, ready to get into the heart of the action.
Discussing GenCon plans. August 17th – 20th, Indianapolis. Every chance the booth will actually be 20? x 30? this year that we’ll be sharing with friends. We’re looking at new displays this year, like a back drop and magazine racks for the brochure(s).
In November, we’ll be at Game Hole Con in Madison, WI. More news as we have it, and here’s their website: https://www.gameholecon.com/
And now, the new project status updates!
First Draft (The first phase of a project that is about the work being done by writers, not dev prep)
- Exalted 3rd Novel by Matt Forbeck (Exalted 3rd Edition)
- Trinity Continuum Core Rulebook (The Trinity Continuum)
- Trinity Continuum: Aeon Rulebook (The Trinity Continuum)
- M20 Gods and Monsters (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
- M20 Cookbook (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
- M20 Book of the Fallen (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
- CtD C20 Jumpstart (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
- Ex Novel 2 (Aaron Rosenberg) (Exalted 3rd Edition)
- C20 Novel (Jackie Cassada) (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
- Pugmire Fiction Anthology (Pugmire)
- Pugmire Pan’s Guide for New Pioneers (Pugmire)
- Monarchies of Mau Early Access (Pugmire)
- Hunter: the Vigil 2e core (Hunter: the Vigil 2nd Edition)
- Scion: Origins (Scion 2nd Edition)
- Scion: Hero (Scion 2nd Edition)
- Kithbook Boggans (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
- VtR Half-Damned (Vampire: the Requiem 2nd Edition)
- WoD Ghost Hunters (World of Darkness)
- The Realm (Exalted 3rd Edition)
- Dragon-Blooded (Exalted 3rd Edition)
- BtP Beast Player’s Guide (Beast: the Primordial)
- Book of Freeholds (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
- V20 Dark Ages Jumpstart (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition)
- GtS Geist 2e core (Geist: the Sin-Eaters Second Edition)
- W20 Changing Ways (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition)
- Signs of Sorcery (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)
- SL Ring of Spiragos (Pathfinder – Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
- Ring of Spiragos (5e – Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
- SL Dagger of Spiragos (Pathfinder – Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
- Dagger of Spiragos (5e– Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
- Arms of the Chosen (Exalted 3rd Edition)
- Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition, featuring the Huntsmen Chronicle (Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition)
- BtP Building a Legend (Beast: the Primordial)
- V20 Beckett’s Jyhad Diary (Stretch Goal Content)
- W20 Song of Unmaking novel (Bridges) (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition)
- CtD C20 Anthology (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
- Wraith: the Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition
- CtL fiction anthology (Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition)
- VtR A Thousand Years of Night (Vampire: the Requiem 2nd Edition)
ART DIRECTION FROM MIRTHFUL MIKE:
In Art Direction
- Beckett’s Jyhad Diary – new stuff AD’d
- M20 Book of Secrets – AD’d
- W20 Pentex Employee Indoctrination Handbook
- V20 Dark Ages Companion – Gaydos finals rolling in… sketches from others rolling in.
- Dagger of Spiragos – AD’d
- VTR: Thousand Years of Night
- Cavaliers of Mars – Contracting.
- V20 Lore of the Bloodlines
- Prince’s Gambit – Kickstarter Prep.
- Dark Eras Companion – artist shenanigans.
- C20 – With Aileen
- Necropolis Rio – backer PDF out to Mummy KS backers last week, gathering errata.
- EX3 Tomb of Dreams Jumpstart – first proof.
- Ex 3 Screen – Shipping to fulfillment shippers.
- Ex 3 core book – Shipping to fulfillment shippers. Addresses being gathered from KS and assembled for shippers.
- Secrets of the Covenants – Updated and processing.
- Beckett Screen – Printer shipping to shipper.
- W20 Shattered Dreams – Shipping to fulfillment shippers.
- Shattered Dreams Screen – Printer shipping to shipper.
- Beast Conquering Heroes – Inputting errata and prepping for press.
- Mortal Remains: Beast- Red In Tooth and Claw – Gathered errata.
- Pugmire – Backer PDF out to backers.
- Wise and the Wicked PF & 5e – Out to backers.
- Dark Eras : Fallen Blossoms – Files uploaded and processing.
- Dark Eras: Beneath the Skin – Wrapping up the PoD prep.
TODAY’S REASON TO CELEBRATE: Happy Birthday, Joel Hodgson! MST3K Maestro and another creator who discovered the amazing reach of Kickstarter. Gamera is a friend to all children.