Its a month since we announced and WOW

Last month, at Gen-Con, we announced that Onyx Path Publishing has the license to publish new White Wolf tabletop products in the nWoD, cWoD, and Exalted game-lines. Since we’ve been doing exactly that since January and set up the schedule that has been available since late July, you can see that Onyx already has made an impact on new WW products coming out. It’s an aggressive schedule for one full-time employee, your truly, and a host of amazing creative people around the globe, but I think it’s really the minimum we need to be creating to let the WW community know that we’re serious about paper RPGs and gaming in general. That’s why we also announced that we’ll be creating products for new and original settings such as Russell Bailey’s Cavaliers of Mars and for Scion and the Trinity Continuum (Aeon/Trinity, Aberrant, and Adventure!)- the latter two having been bought outright from CCP. You see, Onyx and I intend to be in this wacky business for, well, for as far as I can see into the future and it’s important that you folks know about that commitment. I started my love affair with this unique artform of tabletop RPGs back when we were waiting for the Blackmoor supplement to D&D 1 to come out and have been creating the art and worlds for RPGs professionally for over 20 years. I don’t think there’s another artform (that’s right, I said it again) that allows for so much combined creativity from it’s creators and players. This is something to cherish.

So with that, what the hell have we been doing since mid-August, you might ask?

A lot of the time was spent talking to people who were excited to hear the news about Onyx: creative folk who want to throw their hats in the ring to work on our products, interviewers from around the world, printers and salesmen who want to pitch their company, and most especially fans of the various game-lines who are thrilled, or scared, or confused, about the future of their favorite games. Another huge chunk of effort has been devoted to working with the current teams that are set up to create nWoD, cWoD and Exalted 3rd Edition books: now that the schedule and the news about Onyx are out there, we’re working full-steam to get caught up to the proposed release dates. The thing is, right now, we’re going to miss most of them. That’s just the straight truth right now. Sometimes that’s because of hiccups in the process we go through to create a book, but sometimes we’re making a judgment call on quality. Onyx is set up in such a way that we can delay in order to get the best possible quality, be it writing, editing, layout, art, or even shipping for some products- as opposed to the publication treadmill that WW was on for much of its history. Also, I want you folks to know when and why we make those calls, and this website is where that info will be posted.

Another very fun part of things for me this last month has been talking to folks about Trinity and Scion and what we can do to bring those amazing settings back to life. Publication-wise, that is. The games themselves haven’t really been dead, just look at the discussions on the Scion WW forums, so long as folks have been engaged and enjoying them. But now I’m talking with some great folks about the first steps towards new editions of those lines, and so far even these first steps have been very exciting and fruitful. Obviously, more on that as things develop.

Yet another big chunk of time has been devoted to Kickstarters- the publication model we’ve been experimenting with since early this year. We really had to go back to square one with how to make each phase of the process work according to the logic of Kickstarters and what they’re set up for, and there has been an enormous amount of learning just how we can work with the community to enable these Deluxe editions. The odd thing is, we’ve been more transparent about how our books get created with these Kickstarters than we ever were back with WW- everything from Justin posting the text for an entire book for review, to Updating the backers as soon as I have real info as to each step, to me publicly voicing my concern over shipping rates- and while some folks are enjoying the view inside the workings, others seem to be enraged by the decisions, false-starts, and downright mistakes we’re revealing. Fortunately, I continue to get direct emails, tweets, and FB messages thanking us and generally being supportive of what we’re trying to do. As both Justin and I have said before, we didn’t start with our first Kickstarter to make “big bucks”- nobody Kickstarting in RPGs had made enough to cover one of our print runs IIRC- we did it because it was the only way economically that a Deluxe edition was going to happen- and a lot of V20 buyers wanted V20 Companion to match their deluxe V20. So, this month was spent on getting V20 Companion shipped via a shipper who also was learning their way for some of the specific shipping issues the KS raised despite their long experience shipping, getting Children of the Revolution laid out (my job doing all the layout- I should hand it off but it’s so much fun), and banging my head against the issue of how to ship Werewolf the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition out to folks outside the US for less than $50 shipping for such a heavy book. (Thanks to friends outside the US, I think we have some better possibilities in place).

And then there is the paperwork and other stuff involved with running a company by yourself. Freelancers need their checks, and so do shippers and printers, and my business partners like CCP and DriveThru all need attention. I won’t go into detail here, because most of the time it’s all “number bugs” running around on spreadsheets, but it takes up unexpected chunks of time that could be spent moving projects forward- but that’s the biz and I knew that when I started down The Onyx Path. Another part of the whole business thing is Marketing- we have used social media mostly in order to get the word out, but now that it is and there are projects that are being worked on, I’m starting serious meetings about how to really advance our message to the next level. Which is kind of Marketing-speak right there for getting the word out better about all the cool things we’re doing.

So for now, I’m going to try and use this particular space for my own personal blog spot to talk about what we’re up to and why, and try to be more regular about it than once a month. For more timely and project-specific updates I heartily recommend checking out the Monday Lunch Meeting Notes (even if like this week when they’re out on Tuesday or Wednesday) on the WWBlogs here: http://whitewolfblogs.com/blog/category/monday-meeting/ as well as the Onyx Path Facebook page and Twitter feed. The WW Blogs are also where the devs post about the projects they are working on and your comments are always appreciated.

So that’s it for now, thanks for reading this, and I’ll see you on The Onyx Path!

  21 comments for “Its a month since we announced and WOW

  1. badmojojojo
    September 17, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Hi Rich,
    thanks for this blogpost update. All I can say is that you are doing an outstanding job, you are handling alot of things and now more than ever you should take good care of yourself. Id recommend a nice relaxing full body massage, or meditate with some nice calming music. You are a one man army but you have all of us to support you as loyal and avid consumers. Good job and worry not, we understand how busy you are :-)

  2. September 17, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Thanks for the update Rich.

  3. Pete
    September 17, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Cool! You guys have some big shoes to fill… though hah, I guess many of them are yours to begin with anyways.

  4. HaroldoNVU
    September 17, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    I’m very happy with how things are turning out. I seriously hope the company prosper. Also, I’ve never book or read games like Exalted, Trinity or Scion but I’m really looking forward to the new editions as a possible entry point for me. Especially in the case of Exalted.

  5. Ajay Pollarine
    September 17, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Trinity…

    You have my attention sir.

  6. Odd_Canuck
    September 17, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    First off, thanks for the update it is most appreciated. I would strongly suggest updating the schedule now that you know slipping is almost certain. We all know the fan reaction if you have something highly anticipated and having it pushed back at the last minute… especially repeatedly.

    If you have a chance, doing a bit on the company plans for translation to other languages would be nice, I’m running across people asking about it every few weeks.

  7. Murder-of-Crows
    September 17, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Okay, I admit, I was one of the enraged people mentioned above. I am not anymore. If back in the first half of the year it had been clear that the publishing side of WW would move to its own company, I would probably have been a lot more understanding. Well, too late to change that.

    All that remains to say is: good luck in making Onyx Path Publishing a success! I am definitely going to be a returning customer.

  8. September 17, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    hi guys.
    i’m an italian player and i love the work you guys are doing with the v20. i brouth v20 companion on drivethrustuff and i absolutely love it. i didn’t pleage to kickstarter just becouse of the language (and internation shippment, but i know you cant do much about it)
    i preorder my phisical copy of v20 as soon it was avaiable in my language (italian) and i plan to buy every book that will be translated, even if i alredy own them in pdf. cant wait for cotr and hunter hunted 2.
    keep up the good work and sorry for my poor english.

  9. Charles dunne
    September 17, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Aberrant? I am paying attention! And I do have one question, re Trinity, which concerns a “proper” release of the Asia Ascendant book. It’s already out there but goldarnit actually having a “real” one in my hands…I dunno, that’d be great.

  10. Torakhan
    September 17, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    I really do appreciate the openness that you guys have tried to be committed to. Thank you for that. )

    One of the challenging points will be getting people to immediately associate “Onyx Path Publishing” with “White Wolf”, and informing the old fans who you are, so that when you show up at, say, Gen Con, or other conventions under the name “Onyx Path Publishing”, rather than the IP of “White Wolf”, people will know who you are and what to expect from you. Word-of-Mouth, promotional events, and really pushing to make sure that products have the identifier mark/name in them so that there’s that conscious/sub-conscious recognition.

  11. Phil
    September 18, 2012 at 4:06 am

    I’ve said it in a variety of places, but I’ll reiterate: I am really happy with the way things are going. The Kickstarters have become a priority of mine, causing me to hold off from other things as I budget, and I’ve been really impressed with the quality. It’s cool to see you guys taking the freedom that is available to you and capitalizing on it for the benefit of the fans.

    I *love* the openness, btw. I’ve always been a nerd about the backstage stuff (“process stories” as they’re called in the political media). The internet is encouraging everyone to join Twitter and social media and get out there and “be personal.” But frankly, most people don’t do it or don’t seem genuine about it. WW/TOP is essentially the only group I can think of that has really taken to the open-source culture of the net with the kind of gusto and honesty that makes “end users” invested in the process. I was not buying nearly as many products until I got involved in V20. But open development, the quality of work and the attitude with which you (all) approach it all has definitely punched up my loyalty to you guys several notches and made the whole experience much more enjoyable for me. I guess getting an iPad also made me way more willing to purchase PDFs – and living abroad that’s definitely the most cost effective way to keep up with you guys. But all-in-all, I think it’s the general approach that has made me as invested as I now am.

    So yeah, thanks again and congrats.

  12. Martijn
    September 18, 2012 at 4:17 am

    Bring on W20…
    Ship the whole lot to a European distributor and put it on Kickstarter and TAKE… MY… MONEY ! :)

  13. September 18, 2012 at 6:08 am

    Post by Rich Thomas, “Its a month since we announced and WOW”: http://t.co/XJIFIhdP. #V20 #W20 http://t.co/U0EM7asC

  14. Dustin Cooper
    September 18, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    I am very happy now that there is one website I can go to for all my WoD & White Wolf info! Thanks!

  15. Jordan Millward
    September 18, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Cheers for the update, and if there’s anything we can do to help out, you know the fans will be here, ready and waiting to do what we can!

  16. Zensu
    September 19, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    No mention of Mummy? I’m about to start a new campaign and was really hoping to know more by now… :(

  17. dave_barrett2006
    September 19, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Rich, I feel like I pestered you a lot about the V20 companion. I’m sorry for that, I know you’re working hard. You and all the crew @ the Onyx Path deserve a major congratulations; you have my thanks, and those of nearly every gamer I know, for resurrecting the games we’ve enjoyed for so many years. I have been a rabid fan of the Trinity-verse since its creation, and I will happily do anything I can to further it’s rebirth, just tell me how to help. Now GET ON WITH IT, AND TAKE OUR MONEY FOR W20!!! My wife’s driving me NUTS!

  18. Daniel
    September 26, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Good to hear.

    Take my money, bring on the Werewolf.

    Please, for the love of all that is holy, FIX SCION! I love the setting but the rules are broken. I would love to have a good version of Scion that is playable.

    I am excited to see what the future holds for Trinity.

    Cheers and looking forward to being very much poorer in the future (with sweet, sweet werewolf power in my hands).

  19. Manfred
    September 27, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Yes, a new edition of Scion would be awesome. I just fished out my copy of Scion: Hero, and the idea and concept is just so great and the execution so poor. If there ever was a game that deserved a second edition, Scion is it.
    And even if I never get to play them, I will most definitely check out both the new Mummy and Demon game. They were my favorites from oWod :-)
    I just hope that the UK Amazon will have them available, seeing as the shipping cost from the States is very prohibitive.

    • IanW
      September 27, 2012 at 8:56 pm

      We’ve been out of the traditional print industry for two years, so Amazon doesn’t stock our newer products.

      We’ve been operating on a PDF/Print on demand scheme. Our printers have offices in the UK, which makes shipping fairly reasonable.

  20. Mr. Bear
    October 3, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    I was browsing through Kickstarter and stumbled across the deluxe W:tA offering. I am so absolutely thrilled that I did; not only am I going to get a gorgeous, awesome book, but it shows that my most favorite of all games is not dead. I wasn’t aware of The Onyx Path before, but now I am and I’m definitely looking forward to future offerings! Thank you for taking on an old but excellent product and giving it some new life. ???

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