Here’s the Windup, and the Pitch! [Monday Meeting Notes]

Monday Meeting, News


Mage: the Awakening 2nd Edition full page illustration by Andrew Trabbold


In our meeting today, we were without Eddy, who, like a large number of people I know, is at GDC in San Francisco. Nonetheless, we somehow soldiered on. (Oh Eddy, just so you know, we made the change that Pugmire is about voles now).

We are settling up an overall Gen Con strategy, reviewing possible Kickstarters for the next year, and what sort of prank, if any, to pull on April 1.

And then, as we do each week, we ran through both Ramblin’ Rose’s list of where projects are in writing, development, and editing and indexing, and Mirthful Mike’s run down of where projects are in art direction, layout, proofing, and printing.

Since I promised two weeks ago in the blog comments to explain each stage starting with the pitch (because it’s PITCH SEASON!), and going all the way through with getting the projects up for all of you, here’s the process we use. But first, this piece of art, because I also promised to show more of our astonishing art from our projects.



Promethean: the Created 2nd Edition full page artwork by Sam Araya


First, the Pitch!

So Pitch Season is the time of year where we ask all our developers to submit pitches for new projects for their game lines and for anything they’d like us to publish. There is a standard practice where we give a dev who pitched an idea first crack at developing that project, but that isn’t always the case. After much trial and error, we now have the pitches sent directly to Ramblin’ Rose, who assembles them for review by myself, Rose, and one or two other folks who know the game lines in question.

We’ll also often open up Pitch Season to our amazing writers once the dev pitches are in, particularly those writers who have delivered ideas that really make us sit up and notice their thinking.

Regardless of source, I take all the ideas and look at how we want our game lines to grow, how various projects could come out in around the same time and play off each other, and what ideas build on previous projects or jump into all new directions. I try and mix a bit of familiarity with expanding our range in terms of what kind of experience readers and players will get, as I start pulling the pitches into a framework of releases.

Once I have a line-up of releases, we run them past the line developer of that game in order to get their feedback and ideas. Sometimes we combine several ideas that make sense as one book, other times we swap one idea for a similar one more suited for the developer.

At this point, I’ll create a run down that gives the short reasons for why each project is needed and cool, and submit that to our license owners; at this time the new White Wolf Publishing. We haven’t actually done this for new projects yet, so fingers crossed for this first “schedule” approval.


CofD Dark Eras, Neolithic Mage full page painting by Brian LeBlanc.

CofD Dark Eras, Neolithic Mage full page painting by Brian LeBlanc.


Writin’ Time!

First, please be aware that these are general statements of process, and each developer has quirks as to how they do their job. Some might get their whole writing team together and then do the outline with each part already assigned to those writers, others might write the outline as a way to show prospective writers what they need. Or some combination of all that.

Outline: This is the stage that sets up the expectations of the developer as to what the project contains. It should firm up word count based on the project line-up and description, and establish the subject and number of chapters and how much of that word count each chapter contains. This is also where, depending on the project, developers may include a project “bible” that describes the tone, themes, and details, of the project. This stage may also be one of the approval stages for the gang at WWP.

Since only the dev is working on the outline at this point, we don’t include this on our weekly updates listing.

First Draft: We do include this phase and all the rest, because now the project is being worked on by our phenomenal cadre of freelance writers around the world. This is the stage where the writers, armed with the outline and their particular part of the project, put down the first words that will eventually be submitted to the developer for review. We call it the First Draft, but most writers do many versions before submitting them to the dev.

Redlines: This is when the developer reviews the First Draft and notes changes both to be sure the text is saying what they want it to, as well as making sure that it says what it says well. Although every developer is different, most feel very strongly about well written prose and this is when they will correct grammar, and spelling, and all that. So named because of the days when actual red ink was used on paper for the corrections.

Second Draft: After having received, and in most cases discussed, their Redlines, this is when the writers will firm up their drafts based on the notes as well as their own tweaks.

Development: Surprisingly, this is the stage when the developer will take all the finished sections, usually by different writers, and make sure that they still read like one coherent project. Do they contradict each other in bad ways, or are they both saying the same thing in different chapters? Neither is something we want. Part of this is also formatting, like having a quote in front of every chapter not just some of them, as well as making sure that the text has the proper format built in for the layout designer to drop into the game line design template. The finished, yet unedited text is also a place where we may submit for approvals to WWP.

Editing/Art Notes: These are together because, ideally, in the time that the editor is catching misspellings, grammar mistakes, and even game line inconsistencies (if they are familiar with the game), the art director should have hired illustrators and sent out art notes based on the art notes from the developer. We’d like the artists to be sending sketches to the art director and working with them to create the finished illustrations by the time the edited text is ready. That way both text and the art that will fit within it are both ready for layout at the same time.

We have found that this is the best time to have the art approved by WWP as well, so we aren’t trying to get new art for an almost finished book later on.

Post Editing Development: Well, if the editor is going to find things that need correcting, it is the developer’s job to input those corrections. Sometimes, the editor also finds bigger problems with the text. Either way, this is when the dev makes the calls on what needs changing and how best to do that. After they are done, the text is handed over for layout.


V20 Ghouls full page art by Mark Kelley.

V20 Ghouls full page art by Mark Kelley.


Layout: Text is ready, art is ready, and by this point we almost always have the design elements and InDesign layout format for the project ready. So, the borders, fonts, sidebar design, opening chapter page design, etc., are all set into the layout file and the text is flowed in. If done right, the text formatting is “read” by InDesign and changes the text to match those formats. This gives us chapter and sections titles and headers at the right size and font, and the italics and bolds where they belong.

Art is then set in, and text is moved to accommodate it, as well as any sidebars and charts. Sometimes the graphic designer creates discrete sections in different fonts or on parchment, or whatever, as called out in the text. Most of the time those “To Production” call-outs are deleted by the designer. Once everything is basically in its place, the designer creates the first proof PDF for the developer to review.

Proofing: This is not actually a sequential thing that ends here. For all of our books, we do the first proof so that the developer can be sure that the layout process has not changed or wrecked how the project text and visuals are supposed to work. Although fortunately, most of the time, this is another chance to catch things like comma placement and the like. The marked up PDF is returned to the layout designer, and corrections are made and another PDF proof is made.

Usually, we have caught what we needed with the second proof and move on to getting the PDF out for approvals with WWP and then to backers if it is for a Kickstarter project, or on sale at DTRPG as an Advance PDF.

Buuuut. Some projects are either so complex, or so important, or have a seriously messed up section, that they require multiple PDFs beyond the two for proofing. So far Vampire: the Requiem first edition still hold the record at 18 proofs. We really never want to do that again.

We have, however, added the “community proof” phase, where we ask for input from our Kickstarter backers or Advance PDF purchasers on errata they might have found. It adds to the production time, but thousands of pairs of eyes beyond our own, as described above, really can fine-tune and catch issues that we missed from being too close to the material for so long. So that errata list is reviewed by the developer and given to the graphic designer for one more set of fixes and then they set up the final PDF files, the PoD printing files, and the traditional printing files as needed.

Indexing: Except for indexing! If a book requires one, we need to be completely finished with proofing so the page count won’t throw off the page numbers in the index. We learned this the hard way. We usually have this update listed with the writing phases, since it’s still all about words (worms, Roxanne!).

To Press: This means the project files have been put together and we have sent them out of house: to a printer (either traditional or PoD), or as a PDF on DTRPG, or for use on a website or whatever.

Phew! So that’s the overview of how we go from ideas to a project you can have. And because it is an overview, let me know if you have specific questions or want more detail on some stages. I might not get to all of them in the comments this week, but it’ll let me know if I should devote a whole blog to that phase.



GM’s Day Sale at has 2 days left!

Get all kinds of Onyx Path PDFs on sale at craaaaazy prices! V20 Red List, V20 Children of the Revolution, and the Aberrant Storytellers’ Guide are just three of the possibilities!



The Demon Storyteller Guide has dropped its cover and is on sale as a PDF and a physical copy PoD on DTRPG!

The Demon Storyteller’s Guide includes:

  • Expanded information on angels, including a look at how Incarnations apply to them
  • A extensive look at the spy genre and its permutations and how they apply to Demon
  • Three “setting hacks,” including an examination of Demon in the Bronze Age

Demon STG Front


Dreams of Avarice has risen from the sands and PDF and PoD versions are on sale now!

Dreams of Avarice is a personal manifesto penned by the Arisen called the Heretic. This in-character richly illustrated 6? x 9? volume exposes secrets and hypocrisies that underlie the world of Mummy: the Curse.

Dreams of Avarice



The Chronicles of Darkness Core Rulebook looms out of the shadows, and is now on sale with PDF and PoD versions on DTRPG:

Chronicles of Darkness RPG rulebook contains:

  • A guide to creating characters to explore a world of modern horror, from hopes and fears to psychic powers.
  • Dramatic rules for investigation, social manipulation, and bone-crunching violence.
  • Over a dozen monsters straight out of weird fiction and urban legend… plus complete rules for creating your own.
  • The God-Machine Chronicle, a massive collection of sample characters and techgnostic adventures.
  • Formerly titled nWoD Core Rulebook 2nd Edition.

CofD Front Screen Res


The Pugmire Early Access book is for sale in both PDF and PoD formats! Check out the beta-rules for our family-friendly fantasy game of uplifted dogs exploring a world they never made! Lord of the Rings meets Planet of the Apes, but with dogs!




Condition Card PDFs and physical card PoDs for both Chronicles of Darkness and Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition are now up dealt up at DTCards!

CofD CardsWtF 2 Cards



Gen Con 2016 planning has started. We booked our rooms in record time, so we are sure of a place to sleep to recharge our tired Onyx brains!

Here are some cons Fast Eddy Webb will be attending! Talk to him about V20 and Pugmire and Sherlock Holmes and Oxford Commas:


And now, the new project status updates!

DEVELOPMENT STATUS FROM ROLLICKING ROSE (projects in bold have changed status since last week):

First Draft (The first phase of a project that is about the work being done by writers, not dev prep)

  • M20 Book of Secrets (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Exalted 3rd Novel by Matt Forbeck (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • CtL fiction anthology (Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition)
  • Ring of Spiragos (Scarred Lands)
  • VtM Endless Ages fiction anthology (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • BtP Building a Legend (Beast: the Primordial)
  • Scarred Lands Player’s Guide 5E: Ghelspad (Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
  • Trinity Continuum Core Rulebook (The Trinity Continuum)
  • DA V20 Dark Ages Companion (Vampire 20th Dark Ages)
  • Trinity Continuum: Aeon Rulebook (The Trinity Continuum)
  • M20 Gods and Monsters (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)


  • Wraith: the Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition
  • Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition
  • Dagger of Spiragos – Pathfinder Version (Scarred Lands)
  • EX3 Quickstart (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Scarred Lands The Wise and the Wicked  (Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)

Second Draft

  • Arms of the Chosen (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • The Realm (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Dragon-Blooded (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Signs of Sorcery (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)
  • Cavaliers of Mars
  • Night Horrors: Conquering Heroes (Beast: the Primordial)


  • W20 Changing Ways (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • V20 Lore of the Bloodlines (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Beast Ready Made Characters (Beast: the Primordial)
  • Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition, featuring the Huntsmen Chronicle (Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition)
  • W20 Pentex Employee Indoctrination Handbook (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • CofD Hurt Locker (Chronicles of Darkness)
  • DA Tome of Secrets (Vampire 20th Dark Ages)
  • Scion: Alpha (Scion 2nd Edition)


  • W20 Shattered Dreams (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Shattered Dreams in-book stretch goals (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • W20 Kinfolk (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Beckett’s Jyhad Diary (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Mummy Fiction Anthology (Mummy: the Curse)

Post-Editing Development:

  • Scarred Lands Player’s Guide: Ghelspad (Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)


  • Beast: the Primordial Core Book (Beast: the Primordial)



In Art Direction

  • W20 Shattered Dreams – Trying to get the remaining artwork in for expansions.
  • Promethean: the Created Second 
  • Scarred Lands PG
  • Dark Eras Companion
  • Secrets of the Covenants – Art coming in.. slowly.
  • Necropolis Rio – Cover contracted
  • W20 Kinfolk – Art underway
  • V20 Ready Made Characters – Got sketches in and going over those Monday.
  • EX3 Backer Charms – Assembling art notes.


In Layout

  • Mage: the Awakening Second – In progress.
  • V20 Black Hand – Wrapping up the Cover and then it should be going out for approval.
  • V20 Ghouls In progress
  • WtF2 The Pack In Progress.
  • Beast – Prepping final download and Print on Demand files.



  • Ex 3 core book – From RichT: Indexing is half-way there.
  • Dark Eras – At WWP for approval.
  • Beast Anthology – At WWP for approval.


At Press

  • M20 Deluxe Edition – starting shipping this week
  • Beast Screen – proofs approved, being printed
  • Lore of the Clans LtD Edition – proofs approved, being printed
  • Lore of the Clans Screen – proofs approved, being printed


Special- projects on hold in the art and production area until an external factor is resolved

  • Wraith 20 – Can’t go further until art notes come in, still being developed by Rich Dansky.
  • Pentex Employee Indoctrination Manual – Some added and amended text needs to come in.


TODAY’S REASON TO DRINK: Top o’ the mornin’ and faith and begorra! A drink for all those harmless snakes driven from their homes!

  111 comments for “Here’s the Windup, and the Pitch! [Monday Meeting Notes]

  1. Romero
    March 14, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    Will we see PDF copies of V20 ghoul and Black Hand on drive thru rpg prior to print?

    • richt
      March 14, 2016 at 11:29 pm

      Sure, they are both non-Kickstarter books, so they’d be done as Advance PDFs.

    • Ian A. A. Watson
      March 15, 2016 at 12:10 am

      Four years in and we have yet to do a book that hasn’t been available as a PDF on DriveThru.

  2. nikink
    March 15, 2016 at 12:13 am

    I do love these ‘how the magic is made’ posts. 🙂

    • richt
      March 15, 2016 at 6:34 am

      Cool. Glad it worked for you!

  3. Rain
    March 15, 2016 at 12:15 am

    Has it been revealed what the next Kickstarter is slated as?

    • richt
      March 15, 2016 at 6:33 am

      Not yet, no. What would you like it to be?

      • Victor J Kinzer
        March 15, 2016 at 8:28 am

        Honestly the last couple months have had so much gaming kickstarter both from opp and others I could use a little bit of a break.

        • richt
          March 15, 2016 at 8:59 am

          The beginning of 2016 really exploded with RPG KSs, didn’t it?

          • Victor J Kinzer
            March 15, 2016 at 1:25 pm

            No kidding, and other games as well. Joking Hazard and the final expansion for Heroes of the Multiverse were ridiculous. I’ve pledged on 4 game kickstarters in the last month, and someone else from my family pledged on another one. It’s been awesome, but I really need to not Kickstart any games for a while.

          • richt
            March 15, 2016 at 2:32 pm

            It’s called Kickstarter Fatigue. I’m with you there. If you really enjoy KS as a venue for cool stuff, try cycling into other types of KS’d projects besides games. I do that. Lots of artists and musicians that could use a pledge to get their project going.

          • Victor J Kinzer
            March 16, 2016 at 2:08 pm

            I am actually pledged on a 6 episode animated series about historic women. I need to stop Kickstarter shopping I guess I should say. You are spot on about the general kickstarter fatigue.

          • richt
            March 16, 2016 at 2:44 pm

            I did a large handful of RPGs and then one for episodes of RiffTrax since it was for a reunion show, and I had pledged the MST3K one and figured it was only fair to pledge to both creative groups.

      • Jack "The Hat"
        March 15, 2016 at 10:29 am

        Jyhad Diary!!! (every exclamation point necessary)

      • Vasilios
        March 15, 2016 at 11:26 am

        How about something CofD I think on average we only get a ks or 2 a year if that.

        • richt
          March 15, 2016 at 11:56 am

          We’re certainly looking at more options for CofD now that we have more freedom with the brand.

          And, because it bears saying in general, let me repeat that I don’t plan KSs based on how much love I have for a game line or that particular book, I plan them based on whether what we wanted to do with the book would benefit from a KS. The Deluxe books, which have been mostly 20th Anniversary cWoD books, have cover treatments that we simply could not front the cash for. So we have done a bunch of those on KS. Since at most we can do 12 KSs a year, one a month, and there is no way any of us could run that many, we’ve been limited by the medium to start with 20ths and fill in from there.

          Now, we are looking at more “event” KSs like Dark Eras that include a high degree of interaction with our backers, as well as needed Deluxe or Prestige format projects here and there.

          • Vasilios
            March 15, 2016 at 12:42 pm

            Well I never assumed it was favoritism. But now that you mention it.
            Really though. I totally get the 20th editions are getting super special awesome chocolat dipped editions and yeah that needs a ks. Just like I think the 2nd ed cofd books could benefit for something a little more flashy.

            What I love is that every new ks you do brings more to the table. The book plates for pugmire getting signed. I do want this on deviant. I just can’t get down to gencon to get a book signed.

      • JAS
        March 15, 2016 at 12:00 pm

        It would be cool to see something like what Evil Hat just did for their Fate More ks, but for the Chronicles of Darkness line: funding traditional print runs of already developed books. I’m not sure if OPP’s licensing and arrangements with DriveThru would allow that, but I think a lot of people might appreciate an opportunity to get a better quality core book and help the games they love get a presence in game stores.

        • richt
          March 15, 2016 at 12:36 pm

          Actually already on the possibilities list. Not tricky with DTRPG but tricky to figure out how to structure the KS. The cost of trad printing leaves out the idea of any of these core books simply being Stretch Goals.

          • Vasilios
            March 15, 2016 at 12:46 pm

            Couldn’t you just list it as like “contribute this much and get a physical copy of one book of your choice” then add to that. I’m not sure everybody would be down for their contribution going to cores they have no interest in.

            Are stretch goals reasonable enough to do things. Like alt art and gilded edges?

          • richt
            March 15, 2016 at 2:35 pm

            We run the risk of not having enough per individual volume for printing if folks can segregate their pledges. We need to set it up so that the end result is that the focus of the KS is printed for sure if the goal is met, whether that is one book or several.

          • Vasilios
            March 15, 2016 at 5:13 pm

            Well like if the goal was set at xx to get all books at a I store print edition. But people could pledge say the price for one book and get the one book that they want out of it. Sorta like how you did the scarred lands ks

          • Ferdinand
            March 16, 2016 at 5:43 am

            Well, probably a KS like this just doesn’t need that many Stretch Goals.
            Having a book in the quality of the V:tR 1st incl. copper foil and UV spots would probably suffice for most of us.
            I’d really like the heavy old screens that used the same thickness like a book cover …
            Then you could add dice and silk bands …
            But of course you need to do the calculation.
            To help with the decision you could create a poll on your website if this is really something people want.

          • richt
            March 16, 2016 at 2:50 pm

            In a lot of ways, the KS is the poll. If we set it up so it works for us, but we don’t fund, then that’s a great indication that our approach, at least, is off. Of course, we haven’t failed to fund yet, but we would like to put some more experimental projects up on KS and see what the reaction is.

      • CyberDiva
        March 18, 2016 at 12:51 am

        Kuei-Jin. Please please Kuei-Jin Kickstarter. I absolutely loooove the Kuei-Jin and wanna see a 20th for it. After all, such a beautiful piece of work deserves the best!

  4. March 15, 2016 at 12:31 am

    Would love to see a more permanent deal for dice for each gameline with the guys you worked with for the Changeling dice. Would be even better if you could make sets with those amazing pouches from when you sold em in game stores. Also would love to see the Zippos return.

    • richt
      March 15, 2016 at 6:33 am

      Awesome! One thing at a time though, OK?

      • March 16, 2016 at 3:24 pm

        Yeah definitely. I guess I got ahead of myself in the excitement of you guys being reactivated and whatnot. Was thinking along the lines of possibilities for the next 2 years.

  5. Second Chances
    March 15, 2016 at 1:04 am

    Holy crap! Beast and Dark Eras at WWP for approvals? Mummy Fiction Anthology moving wayyyyyyy up? Art for Mage and Promethean? Is this a down payment on next Christmas?

    • richt
      March 15, 2016 at 6:32 am

      Told you guys the log-jam was breaking up. Going to be a good couple-three months coming up of releases!

  6. Enokh
    March 15, 2016 at 1:49 am

    What an amazing post! Love seeing the details on how this all works.

    And, of course, I’m excited to see things moving steadily along.

    Good work all around.

    • richt
      March 15, 2016 at 6:31 am

      Thanks, glad you liked it!

  7. Terence
    March 15, 2016 at 2:14 am

    Excellent looks like V20 Ghouls and Black Hand will be coming in within the month, excellent.

    • richt
      March 15, 2016 at 6:30 am

      Really depends on how the approvals go, but V20 Black Hand certainly could be.

  8. An Fhuiseog
    March 15, 2016 at 4:39 am

    Pugmire was obviously a vole based game that used a dog aesthetic to appeal to the masses, this was an unspoken truth that all knew during the kickstarter. We all knew this change was inevitable

    • richt
      March 15, 2016 at 6:28 am

      Yep, had to happen.

      • Qufur am Heru
        March 15, 2016 at 12:17 pm

        After the successful kickstarter I expect – after all the stretch-goals have been finished – the following sourcebooks:
        > felidae – how to find and battle them
        > voles – the empire below our feet
        > troublesome treefriends – a guide to arboreal insights about pee


  9. theduck
    March 15, 2016 at 5:00 am

    I don’t think I’ve seen this anywhere (so apologies if I’ve missed it), is Dark Eras going to be released separately to Dark Eras Companion. Or will they be released at the same time?

    • richt
      March 15, 2016 at 6:28 am

      Dark Eras will be released first. Thanks!

      • theduck
        March 15, 2016 at 9:45 am

        Excellent news, ta.

        Now I need to look up which chapters are in there again!

  10. Andy
    March 15, 2016 at 5:29 am

    My group has just started out on Exalted, and we’re enjoying the new system so far. It’s a little disappointing to see that the corrected book is only half way through indexing after it’s been in the ‘indexing’ state for a couple of months now. I know it’s a big book, but I’m pretty sure other Onyx Path/WW books get their indexes somewhat quicker…

    • richt
      March 15, 2016 at 6:27 am

      You, of course, have the right to feel how you feel, but no, for a book as big and complex as this the Index is one of the few things about this project that is happening in a reasonable time-frame. We were looking for an indexer for months, the PDF wasn’t even OK’d by all involved until sometime in February.

      • Chazz
        March 15, 2016 at 7:49 am

        Not impatience but curiosity, when did the book end up in the indexers hands?

        • richt
          March 15, 2016 at 7:54 am

          2-3 weeks ago; whenever I noted that the PDF was actual final.

          • ThomasM
            March 15, 2016 at 10:04 am

            The indexing has moved along rather swiftly from my perspective. Its eerily smooth after all the bumps in the road this project hit, but exactly what you all deserve after all that.:)

          • richt
            March 15, 2016 at 10:51 am

            No jinxies!

          • Andy
            March 15, 2016 at 10:28 am

            If it’s only been a couple of weeks, that’s not too bad. And I would certainly prefer that the index be done right than the book being released too quickly. The first reference to indexing was back on 25th January, but perhaps that isn’t a fair timeframe if there wasn’t actually anyone assigned to it then.

            I think we’re just keen because we’ve seen similarly large (or larger) books, like M20, come and go while Ex3 is being done and now we’re actually playing the game we’re really feeling the struggles of navigating the book to look things up without slowing the pace of a session.

          • richt
            March 15, 2016 at 10:52 am

            Exactly, we want this done right and usable for all of you who are waiting. Thanks!

  11. Troy Lenze
    March 15, 2016 at 6:06 am

    That is some sweet art.

    • richt
      March 15, 2016 at 6:27 am

      I agree!

  12. Wimplesnoop
    March 15, 2016 at 7:10 am

    EX3 Backer Charms – Assembling art notes.

    Won’t putting art on the backer Charms delay them by several months?

    • richt
      March 15, 2016 at 7:35 am

      No, they aren’t delayed at all.

  13. Neall Price
    March 15, 2016 at 7:24 am

    Outlines: they take way longer than you’d think.

    • Dave Brookshaw
      March 15, 2016 at 8:54 am

      Waaaaaaay longer

      • ThomasM
        March 15, 2016 at 10:06 am

        How long do they tend to take? I’m curious both about core books and supplements. Thanks for your time.

        • Neall
          March 15, 2016 at 12:00 pm

          Right now, Scion – dual corebooks – is taking about three weeks, although a lot of that is going back to the World Bible and making little changes as I think of them. The outline is going to be at least 7k when I’m done. The Bible, by contrast, is sitting at around 20k.

        • March 16, 2016 at 10:53 am

          Core books definitely take longer. Supplements, since a lot of the ground work is already laid and a lot of times there’s a formula you’re following, at least in part, are a lot quicker. If I actually had a day to dedicate to it, I could knock out a Player’s Guide outline inside a day.

          • richt
            March 16, 2016 at 2:48 pm

            And this is Black Hat Matt, folks, who you may consider an authority on game book outlines. Not only has he done eleventy-billion of them, but I often point to Matt’s outlines as examples of how they should be done.

          • Victor J Kinzer
            March 17, 2016 at 12:37 am

            So I ask this in large part because I’m working on some private game projects that may or may not ever see the light of day, but would there be any way to share an outline of a book that has recently come out? I’m very curious about the level of detail that actually goes into a book outline. I assume you wouldn’t want to share a full outline for a book that’s still in the pipeline.

  14. Ned
    March 15, 2016 at 7:37 am

    These meeting notes are always a model of communication to dedicated fans. Thanks for them Rich and Crew. Also, more art = firin’ up mah pinterest!

  15. James Walker
    March 15, 2016 at 7:38 am

    Do the Ex3 backer charms need significant art/layout/indexing? Or because they are likely much shorter (50 pages?) then the core means it’ll take a week or two.

    • richt
      March 15, 2016 at 7:52 am

      We need the cover and a handful of interior pieces.

  16. Chazz
    March 15, 2016 at 7:53 am

    So many exciting projects! My only problem now is too many games to play! I too shall be starting an Exalted game shortly and I’m planning to run a number ofone-three shots from Dark Eras.

    • richt
      March 15, 2016 at 7:55 am

      Hardly the worst situation to be in. 🙂

  17. Kilnard
    March 15, 2016 at 8:00 am

    This was everything I was hoping it would be! Thanks so much. Just one question though, can a project be in two places at once? Looking at you Beast, sitting smug in Indexing AND Layout. Looking forward to reading the Beast Anthology to my newborn. That should stimulate his mental growth right?

    • richt
      March 15, 2016 at 9:00 am

      While the Index is getting wrapped up, Mirthful Mike is getting the files ready so the index can just be dropped in. And you do what you think best as a parent…:)

  18. BryanC
    March 15, 2016 at 8:15 am

    Impressive artwork all around. I love how foreboding the prommie in the graveyard looks, saddled with some unsavory task. As for the massive alien-faced humanoid squatting by the fire? That’s when my PC back peddles the hell outta there. And if I were a writer with a pitch in mind? While not the freshest idea, I could see a conversion to second edition rules for marginal Mummy and the ghastly Geister being practical.

  19. WHW
    March 15, 2016 at 8:42 am

    The “runes” art captures difference between a Mage and Sleepers perfectly. Alone in the crowd, Mage is the only one wielding symbols of truth and power, looking straight ahead of them, towards the reader; everyone else, all the Sleepers, are slumbering around, avoiding the camera, and all looking on their feet, not being able to see the truth right next to them. Mage is also the only one positioned on the background of clear, heavenly sky; everyone else are in front of looming buildings. On the other hand, thought, Mage is trapped between them…

    • Dave Brookshaw
      March 15, 2016 at 1:59 pm

      That’s pretty much what I was going for in my Art Note request to Mike, yes, and I’m jazzed the tone of it went through to Andy Trabbold.

      It’s the chapter-opening art for the Introduction.

  20. Perverseness
    March 15, 2016 at 9:11 am

    Rich, have y’all ever considered partnerships with any of the software groups in the industry. Roll20 & Lone Wolf Development come to mind. I know there are files for Lone wolf’s character software but I would love to see campaign files for RealmWorks for Ex3.

    • richt
      March 15, 2016 at 10:45 am

      As the recent Mage game over Roll20 might have hinted, we are trying to get more involved with both them and Other online gaming sites.

  21. Perverseness
    March 15, 2016 at 9:16 am

    Also, as OPP wholly owns The properties in the TC, when you do a KS (Soon please, yes – YEAS) would you consider possibly partnering with IDW or Boom to produce a comic as a stretch goal? Not just for Aberrant but for the whole line to really layout that timey-wimey nature of it all

    • richt
      March 15, 2016 at 10:46 am

      We would love to work with a comic company, but wanting to do something and pulling such deals together are two different things.

      • Victor J Kinzer
        March 15, 2016 at 1:30 pm

        To be honest I’d love to see OPP doing some of the big meta plot planning stuff with the properties you own and licensing out for that. Having an ongoing comic that develops the Trinity Aeon Verse as the games are released would be phenomenally exciting. Most game comics I’ve seen have been ok, but haven’t’ committed to long term plot development. I know optioning a Netflix series is probably out of scope for OPP’s bandwidth, but it would still be exciting to see you go with some other options that could scale later on.

        • richt
          March 15, 2016 at 2:17 pm

          Oh, we have plans for other media for our properties. But the issue with Netflix and other licenses isn’t our interest, it’s those other companies’. As fans of a game, you and we are obviously really into the potential, but even a pitch that would excite all of us can fall flat out there. WW shopped around Exalted and nWoD back in the day and barely got any interest through the same channels they always used that got other lines licensed.

          • Victor J Kinzer
            March 16, 2016 at 2:12 pm

            That doesn’t really surprise me all that much unfortunately. I hate to think about what it would take to push into something like comics on your own. I imagine even the indie comic pipeline is pretty difficult to break into.

          • richt
            March 16, 2016 at 2:42 pm

            Yes, exactly. We are massively interested in comics, being huge fans, but it is basically and fully setting up an entirely new company to create them as something that will continue and be successful. Hence, a one-shot from Zub for Ex3 coming out of the Kickstarter, because there were divertible funds to create it and no need to create a continuing series (although such a series is a cool idea and still could happen down the line).

          • Victor J Kinzer
            March 17, 2016 at 12:39 am

            Speaking of experimental kickstarters. I could see a kickstarter to gather funds to get a small indie comic going. Even if it was only distributed via more online avenues since fighting into the pipeline is difficult. I would certainly back an effort like that.

          • Perverseness
            March 18, 2016 at 10:32 am

            With the YESing and this and such. Would love to see the creator of Oglaf do a 3 time per week exalted comic. That would be Awesome & hysterical & sexy & awesome

  22. March 15, 2016 at 9:39 am

    had a couple of thoughts on this process recently.

    1. Doubling the time of Community proofing.
    I often feel like I barely have had time to get into the book before this phase is over. This is just a life thing, balancing full time job and getting through the product. Also we only hold our games every other week so when someone asks for feedback that’s 1-2 weeks, I often don’t even have time to run the game. Note: I know of at least 1 issue in the pdf of ChroD (broken link)

    2. indexing
    I feel ever frustrated with the indexes (and often lack thereof… ) thank the tech gods (myself? because that’s programmers) for pdfs. At our last game I wanted to look up character healing because I couldn’t remember how a character could use medicine to recover, or how long it took lethal damage to heal on its own. So what’s Healing under? H right? maybe? well I found a section in the pdf (because I couldn’t find it in the paper book) Injury and Healing, so it’ll be under I right? see where I’m going with this? would love to also community review what’s in the indexes

    • richt
      March 15, 2016 at 10:50 am

      The length of time we leave an errata thread up is based on the project and the activity on the thread. If your personal time frame doesn’t match up on a particular book, while I really appreciate your desire to help, it just isn’t the book you can help on. Similarly, our indexes are about 1000% more effective than the old WW’s, and even then there are always going to be some listings that aren’t in there.

  23. stylanski
    March 15, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Great art for Mage and Promethean, love the whole dark and gritty feel going on. Hope we can see more of it in Requiem’s 2e supplements too!

    • richt
      March 15, 2016 at 10:51 am

      Glad you like them! More to come next week-

  24. UnsilentMajority
    March 15, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Is there a place where one can log complaints about Onyx Path products?

    I know the forums generally discourage any negativity of OP products, as do pretty much any social media sites or forums affiliated with Onyx Path. And I’d rather not ask these questions on Kickstarter, since I’m not sure that would be the appropriate place.

    So is there a direct line to OP or even a place where issues can be discussed where someone(or people) is unsatisfied with something?


    • richt
      March 15, 2016 at 10:42 am

      We don’t discourage negativity about our products, just look all over the forums and people are discussing issues they have with this or that, we discourage attacks on our creators and fellow posters. You can say, as many do, that you don’t like things without attacking or insulting the efforts of our teams or Onyx Path itself. You can say those things right here.

      • UnsilentMajority
        March 15, 2016 at 2:09 pm

        Fair enough, Rich.

        But this is not about “attacking” fellow posters, forum users, yourself(which I would never do), or “attacking” OP staff.

        What if someone was generally unhappy about specific writers and/or Onyx Path staff?

        Can we report what we dislike about their work, etc. without it coming across as an attack?

        I’m, like, 100% positive I can discuss the things I dislike about a creator(s) without hurling insults about them.

        • richt
          March 15, 2016 at 2:30 pm

          I dunno, it really is more about the why, as in why are you both unhappy with a particular writer and why would you feel it important to express that? For example, you might read a passage and you can tell that the writer didn’t do their research and it is liable to harm the game if we say there are NASA astronauts in 1900. If you say that passage was a lazy effort, then you are assuming you know something you actually don’t, and that assumption is that the writer was lazy and didn’t do their research. But, maybe the writer was describing a mind-set or even a costume as being like a NASA astronaut as an aside to modern readers, and the developer or the editor folded the section in to the regular text without realizing the writer’s intent.

          However, if you question the passage, as in “this makes no sense to me, how is this possible?”, then you open up a discussion about the work. Or, if this is a pattern that you have noticed, you can say something like “I don’t enjoy this person’s work because of examples like this, they take me out of the setting and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I feel cheated when it seems like basic facts aren’t researched”.

          So yes, there is a line, but criticism of the work is by and large something we encourage, with criticism of the writer being a tougher call that depends on wording and context.

  25. Jack "The Hat"
    March 15, 2016 at 10:36 am

    I’m hoping Beckett’s Jyhad Diary gets Kickstarted. I’m guessing it’s going to be Book of Nod like, as an in-game artifact.

    • Neall
      March 15, 2016 at 12:03 pm

      Sort of. The majority of the text is separated into flashpoints – setting elements Beckett interacts with. 75 percent of those chapters are meant to be in-character, with the artifact trappings that implies. The other 25 percent is straight talk about integrating the flashpoint and plot into your home game. There’s also an appendix about addressing metaplot as a whole and using metaplot elements and signature characters in your home game without overpowering your own plotlines.

  26. Full Time GM
    March 15, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Cool art; I hope that the pieces from Mage and Promethean 2nd Editions are indicative of the overall designs in those games because they are great. Also continuing to be excited for Beast and for Exalted 3rd Edition’s release.

  27. Nicolas Milioni
    March 15, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    What are those cool runes on the Mage Artwork?

    • Ian A. A. Watson
      March 15, 2016 at 7:51 pm

      A lot of symbols used in both editions of Mage (and in Promethean, and Wraith, and…) are derived from alchemy symbols.

      In this case, it appears to be gold/Sun on the left side, Earth on the right side, and Antimony above the head. I don’t know if Andrew had something specific in mind (artists often do).

      • Nicolas Milioni
        March 15, 2016 at 9:26 pm

        maybe the mage is doing a elemental spell and runes are yantras

  28. NateD
    March 15, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    DAT ARTWORK. I am *so* happy you’ve added more art! 😀 😀 😀

    …any chance of getting any art (that’s in yet?) for the Dark Eras Companion? I only ask because a) I wrote on it, b) I’m apparently shameless, and c) I can’t wait any longer to see the undoubtedly-totally-sweet art that it gets. 😉

    • richt
      March 15, 2016 at 11:38 pm

      I’m sure we’ll get there with that art too-

      • NateD
        March 17, 2016 at 4:22 am

        I’ll wait (im)patiently, then. 😉

  29. March 16, 2016 at 1:07 am

    Earlier someone asked about the next KS and from your reply it looks like you were taking votes/requests. I want to throw one out there for Scion. Even if the new mechanics are still in the playtest phase, can’t artwork and setting/lore get underway as well?

    • Tim Flannigan
      March 16, 2016 at 3:23 am

      Yes, please! I really want some Scion Goodness! I would certainly pledge for that.

    • Ian A. A. Watson
      March 16, 2016 at 5:46 am

      Neall’s still working on the outline for the first two Scion books. I think we want to get a lot further along than that before we do a Kickstarter.

    • richt
      March 16, 2016 at 2:51 pm

      Scion’s Kickstarter is on the list already. It really makes no sense for us to launch a new game line without a KS.

  30. jason
    March 16, 2016 at 11:02 am

    I am also looking foward to W20 Kinfolk which is coming down the pipeline slowly. And am glad that more M20 books are coming down the pipe as well. Also this is a VERY detailed notes which describe how it works behind the scenes and the possible delays behind them, as some of those processes listed can be long.

    • richt
      March 16, 2016 at 2:46 pm

      And believe it or not, this is a really abbreviated version of each of those stages. 🙂

  31. Dani
    March 16, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Consider this another vote for Beckett’s Jyhad Diary to receive the KS treatment. If it looks anything like the Requiem clan-books, I’ll be over the fricking moon. I love Vampire metaplot.

    • richt
      March 16, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      I think Neall mentions the contents earlier in this blog, but yes, it will look cool-

  32. Anthony Damiani
    March 17, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    What’s the status of the non-core Exalted supplements? Arms of the Chosen has been sitting at Second Draft for more than a year, and The Realm and Dragonblooded have both been there for several months. Is there a policy of not doing development-phase work on supplements until Ex3-core ships (indexes and all)? Is that just… how long Exalted books are going to take, now, perhaps because of bottlenecks in the production process?

    • richt
      March 17, 2016 at 7:56 pm

      Those are their statuses as far as reported by the Devs. There were several periods where the Devs needed to concentrate on working on the proofs for EX3, which left the other projects slowed until that phase was done. I know there were multiple times when changes to EX3 informed changes to the next books. We certainly have no “don’t work on X, until Y is done” policy, the work flow is determined by the creative team.

  33. Jason Gignac
    March 21, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Sorry, not a regular, so I’m probably asking a stupid question… The Wraith and Changeling 20th anniversary editions – it looks like they had their Kickstarters two years ago. Can we still buy into them, since it looks like they’re still in redlines? I didn’t know y’all existed, and both these games are formative experiences of my childhood, so I REALLY REALLY hope I didn’t miss them out of ignorance :/

    • richt
      March 21, 2016 at 12:01 pm

      Hi Jason! Usually, with our Deluxe Kickstarters, there is no way that we can accept pledges after the KS is done. Right now though, the situation may be changing and as I explore Backerkit for post-KS activities, we might have options to allow non-backers to “Pre-order” Wraith 20th and Changeling 20th. Keep an eye out on my Monday Meeting Notes blog here and should we be able, I WILL be talking about it! Thanks!

      • Jason Gignac
        March 21, 2016 at 2:40 pm

        *crosses fingers, offers his firstborn as a sacrifice* Well. Maybe not my firstborn. But I will, personally, seriously, bake you all a large box of cookies and mail it the office, if I can get in. *sends bribery fey*

  34. March 26, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    I wonder why there are no V20 source books detailing major cities and the NPC’s within them. A sandbox book (since that seems to the rage at the moment) like LotC but with Sabbat and cam controlled cities. Which details the in universe history of said city, the court/controlling faction and major NPCs, interesting locations and current plots, events and ideas for storylines. In the 90s seems every major RPG line had these kinds of sourse books D&D, shadowrun, vtm, etc and seemed to do well. And reading the forums people are craving for this kind of support book when I bring up the topic. I’d suggest this be something to discuss going forward as I and I know others would back this in a heartbeat.

    • Matthew Dawkins
      March 27, 2016 at 5:50 am

      Traditionally, the “by Night” sourcebooks for Vampire never sold particularly well. That’s not to say a project of this type won’t be considered, and something of this ilk will definitely be in the V20 Dark Ages Companion, but in the meantime Damnation City is a fantastic resource for Masquerade and Requiem both.

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