Retro-Gen-Con Time Machine [Monday Meeting Notes]

Monday Meeting

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Today was a good four hours of pretty much mostly Gen Con prep. It’s like this now, with two weeks until a bunch of us get on a plane to Indianapolis and Gen Con 2015. Not a lot of it is interesting nor fun for you our loyal Monday Meeting Notes blog reader. So, here are some very brief sketches of various…moments…from Gen Cons past that I promise are more amusing than the last four hours of meetingness.

That photo above is from Gen-Con 1991. The year Vampire: the Masquerade‘s first edition came out. (Next year will be 25 years…hmmm…makes ya think). You can see me to the right holding onto what I assume was a mailing tube protecting one of our pieces of art. Travis William’s back is to you, and you can just see Wes Harris. We, and a bunch of the other early WW gang, set up that tent-like canopy made of PVC piping, duct tape, and shroud-like cloth over our booth. It was supported by four columns and slowly torqued about during the con, causing us to brace the whole thing with stacks of product to prevent it from collapsing on us and our burgeoning fan-base. It did actually collapse that Sunday, and we tossed the pieces on our way out.

To me, this was the year right before the perfect storm that propelled WW through the ranks of RPG publishers. Our booth was all about attitude and trying something because we could (and couldn’t afford anything else). Just a year or two earlier we had to pretty much force folks to take copies of White Wolf Magazine, and this was the year people just kept coming for Vampire. We and our booth might not have emanated professionalism, but the books were game-changing. Just look at how happy a young and enthusiastic Ken Cliffe was in this shot from that year:

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Next, we have some pics from the booth at Gen-Con 1993. This was the year that the line for the big purple book of Mage: the Ascension first edition started at our booth and snaked around the hall. We also released the Minds Eye Theatre boxed set that you can see all stacked up with the loquacious Ben Monk ready and willing to help customers next to Satyr Phil Brucato (but before he was Satyr). In the next photo, Mr Sam Chupp and one of his many pairs of wonderful and colorful shorts:

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By this point, we had adopted the mantra that we “worked hard and played hard”. By which we meant that we started having our own Gen Con party, and crashed all the rest. All. The rest.

Here is Stew Wieck after a fun evening of being staked during our Pentex Board Meeting event chatting away with Charles Ryan (internationally known Tintin fan) as if he was never in torpor. IIRC we all arrived at that party fresh from the event, blood splatters and all. The old guard just loved us for things like that.

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And for things like this:

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No, I’m not exposing myself to our crew. I had shoved another game company’s flyer down the front of my pants and the character on the front was peeking out through my fly. He wanted to be in the picture too. “Games for Mature Minds” was our motto, but not BY mature minds.

These sorts of shenanigans are why exhibiting at Gen Con every year is still something that is important to us, though. They are the shared building blocks – story after story after story – that are part of the DNA of our projects and Onyx Path itself. It’s why I might go on a tad this time of the year about our preparations and events.

I’m sharing these early moments, along with sharing our current plans, and we’ll be sharing as much of Gen Con in our social media and here on the website as we can. Back then, Gen Con was really the only direct contact we had with our fans. It was where we actually could talk with folks face to face. There were bulletin boards online, but the instantaneous and direct communication we enjoy today was still at least a decade in the future. Now, even if you can’t go, we’ll be trying to bring some of the fun to you here.

One more story. No photos of this though, which is probably for the best.

To enjoy Gen Con, we first had to get there. When we were only a handful of employees, we flew. But by the time of these photos, we had too many folks working at WW to do that, so we drove to Milwaukee from Atlanta in rented vans and trucks. It was an adventure, and to this day the only reason I can think of why we survived those trips was that we were meant to attend the con. A higher (maybe lower?) power had to be pulling some strings.

The trip in question, Justin Achilli (you knew I had to get a Justin story in here) had made a vow to eat a Pecan Cheese Log at every rest stop we made. I recall that he was intending to wash them back with grain alcohol, but don’t hold me to that part.

In any event, we left that first stop, and Justin, who was in a different one of the three vans than I, had purchased his first Log and was talking mightily about how he was going to chomp into it and no one could stop him.

We all headed out again, and drove off into the night. Now bear in mind, there was no rhyme nor reason to our progress. Sometimes one van was in front, sometimes one would drop back and be unseen for hours. It all depended on who was driving and what other nonsense was going on in that vehicle.

But we were tooling along just fine down the dark highway when all of a sudden Justin’s van, which had been meandering along behind us, shot past us like a rocket.

Just as we were all wondering what was going on, a light and small object flew towards our windshield through our headlights, and with an explosive concussion splattered all over the passenger side. We had been Pecan Cheese Rolled by Justin, who had discovered that such Logs were awful to eat, but quite aerodynamic.

This was the first shot in a mobile food fight that lasted all the way to our stop near Chicago. Doritos and fritos, cheese logs and hot dogs, and all variety of sodas were flung at high speeds on America’s highways by idiots.

Again, I do not know how we didn’t die, so don’t you try this at home.

To bring us back to 2015, here’s a shot of two of the banners we’ll have at our booth this year:

Vertical banners 2015small

 

 

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And now, the BLURBS!

The Demon Translation Guide Advance PDF is on sale now! We take fiendish delight in presenting this devilish guide to transferring your Demon: the Fallen and Demon: the Descent characters from one setting to the other: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/151502/Demon-Translation-Guide

DTranslationCover

 

The fifth Pugmire poster, Pan Dachshund, will be on sale on Wednesday.

The fourth Pugmire poster, Jack Rat-Terrier, is on-sale now as a free PDF or $.99 physical poster, suitable for framing: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/150944/Jack-RatTerrier-Pugmire-Poster-4

The third Pugmire poster, Sgt. Leo Bulldog, is available NOW as a free PDF or $.99 physical poster, suitable for framing: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/150843/Sgt-Leo-Bulldog-Pugmire-Poster-3

The second poster, Princess Yosha Pug, is available now: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/149750/Princess-Yosha-Pug-Pugmire-Poster-2

And the first poster, Sister Picassa Collie, is here: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/148516/Sister-Picassa-Collie-Pugmire-Poster-1

Start spreading the Code of Man!

poster4smallERposter5SMALLestposter5SMALLERposter3SMALLsmallerPUGposter1small

 

 

Dread Names, Red List for V20 is now on sale! This collection of the most dangerous Kindred ever called Anathema is available in both PDF and hardcover PoD versions: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/150381/V20-Dread-Names-Red-List

Dread Names, Red List

 

 

W20 fans can howl for the first new Werewolf the Apocalypse novel in decades! The Poison Tree novel by Mike Lee (long-time White Wolf writer and developer, and internationally famous Warhammer author) now available in PDF, ePub, and PoD versions! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/150855/W20-The-Poison-Tree

Poison Tree Cover

 

 

Arising from the dead is a newly re-laid out version of the classic Vampire: the Masquerade fiction anthology, The Beast Within. This was the anthology that started them all, and now freshly redesigned for our standard 6″ x 9″ fiction PoD size! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/152000/Beast-Within-Revised

Beast Within Redux

 

 

The Avarice Chronicle: the Collected Edition (combining the adventures from the three Mummy: the Curse supplements) is now available in PDF and PoD versions at DriveThruRPG.com: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/151566/The-Avarice-Chronicle–Collected-Edition

Avarice Chronicle

 

 

Convention News: Our friends at Gamerati are running a Game Day on July 25th, the Saturday before Gen Con, in Eau Claire, WI. I’m told there is one nWoD session scheduled already, but they would love it if anybody in our community wants to run other WW or Onyx Path games. So check it out if you want to doing some playing and give them a yell if you want to do some Storytelling: http://gamerati.com/gamedays/

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And now, new project status updates!:

 

DEVELOPMENT STATUS FROM ROLLICKING ROSE (Projects in bold have changed listings)

 

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)
  • M20 Anthology (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Pugmire Gen Con Materials (Be a Good Dog.)
  • CtL anthology (Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition)
  • The Realm (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Dragon-Blooded (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Dark Eras Expansions (nWod Dark Eras)
  • Pugmire Early Access
  • Dark Eras Companion (nWod Dark Eras)
  • WtF The Pack (Werewolf: the Forasken 2nd Edition)
  • VtM Lore of the Bloodlines (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • WtA Kinfolk (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition
  • V20 Ready Made Characters (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition)

 

Redlines

  • Mummy Fiction Anthology (Mummy: the Curse)
  • Wraith: the Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition
  • Cursed Necropolis: Rio (Mummy: the Curse)
  • Beckett’s Jyhad Diary (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition, featuring the Huntsmen Chronicle (Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition)- In Open Development

 

Second Draft

  • Arms of the Chosen (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Secrets of the Covenants (Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition)
  • Scarred Lands Player’s Guide: Ghelspad (Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
  • W20 Changing Ways (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • nWoD Hurt Locker (World of Darkness 2nd Edition)- In Open Development
  • VtM Lore of the Clans Expansions (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition)

 

Development

  • Promethean: the Created 2nd Edition, featuring the Firestorm Chronicle (Promethean: the Created)
  • “Sardonyx” System Rules (Base rules set for Scion and the Trinity Continuum) In Open Development
  • nWoD 2e core (New World of Darkness)
  • Mage: the Awakening  2nd Edition, featuring the Fallen World Chronicle (Mage: the Awakening) – In Open Development
  • Demon Storytellers’ Guide (Demon: the Descent)
  • W20 Pentex Employee Indoctrination Handbook (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition)

 

Editing

  • V20 Ghouls (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • V20 Black Hand: Guide to the Tal’Mahe’Ra (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • W20 Shattered Dreams (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition) 

 

Development (post-editing)

 

 

ART DIRECTION FROM MIRTHFUL MIKE

 

In Art Direction

  • Dreams of Avarice – AD’d.
  • NWoD 2 – Trying to get the last four halfs in.
  • V20 Ghouls – AD’d.
  • Tal Me Rah – Fulls contracted, working out some shenanigans and figuring out the rest of the buy.
  • W20 Shattered DreamsTalking to Ron Spencer about doing the fulls and working out the art buy.

 

In Layout

  • Beast – Working on the layout graphic elements.
  • M20 How Do You Do That – In progress.

 

In Proofing

  • M20 – Inputting errata later in the week…
  • M20 Screen – Still proofing with Phil.
  • Ex 3 Anthology – Awaiting updated text file.

 

At Press (on Drivethru… or whatever)

  • OPP Gen Con Staff Shirt – Proof came in and looks good. Now the race to have them at the show.
  • Demon Translation Guide – Outputting PoD PDF on Monday and uploading.
  • VDA20 – PoD proof ordered.

 

Special

  • Dark Eras – Holding pattern.
  • Wraith 20 Yep… waiting on artnotes.
  • V20 Lore of the Clans – Holding pattern for appendices.
  • Exalted 3rd Edition – RT here: 5th Layout Proof PDFs Devs comments sent back to Maria, we should have some spreads to share with backers this week as we move into the fine-tuning part of layout. I’ll be noting things like the text being to tight to the side of a sidebar, or whether a chart is in the right place on the page.

 

Other Stuff

 

REASON TO DRINK: Pecan Cheese Logs: Nature’s Gorilla.

 

  43 comments for “Retro-Gen-Con Time Machine [Monday Meeting Notes]

  1. Sean
    July 13, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    Aren’t gorillas nature’s…

    Eh. Never mind.

    • Chazz
      July 14, 2015 at 6:26 am

      That’s what I thought, but we can just go with the other thing.

      • richt
        July 14, 2015 at 9:19 am

        Probably a good idea.

    • richt
      July 14, 2015 at 9:19 am

      It’s another thing Justin would say – you just have to roll with it.

  2. WuseMajor
    July 14, 2015 at 12:30 am

    While I’m sad that we’ll unlikely get Exalted backer pdfs before Gen Con, I’m excited to see sample layouts.

    • richt
      July 14, 2015 at 9:18 am

      If Gen Con was it’s usual time in August, a lot more things would have been finalized before the con. Amazing how a few weeks makes so much difference.

  3. Nocte ex Mortis
    July 14, 2015 at 1:05 am

    As Daschunds are proof that dynamite comes in small, elongated packages, I’m gonna have to get that poster.

    • richt
      July 14, 2015 at 9:16 am

      Pan is a cool character, indeed. Plus it’s a striking piece of art by Jon Hodgson.

  4. Derek
    July 14, 2015 at 3:29 am

    I was at those GenCons! Back when I was young and good-looking.

    • richt
      July 14, 2015 at 9:15 am

      I just like to quote Doc Holiday: I’m in my prime [cough].

  5. Andrew McGraw
    July 14, 2015 at 3:42 am

    MAD MAX: SILLY ROAD

    Also Yay Exalted! Bring on the pretty pages!

    • richt
      July 14, 2015 at 9:13 am

      A very silly road, indeed. Thanks!

  6. PostmodernJerk
    July 14, 2015 at 4:27 am

    Fifth layout pass, oh my. Sure as hell will be the prettiest layout in the history of publishing.

    One would think that more than three iterations of the same task means someone is either screwing up or screwing with us.

    • richt
      July 14, 2015 at 9:12 am

      Layout is always about redoing parts of the layout as the whole thing comes together. That’s x10000000 for layout and design that is essentially starting from scratch visually. In fact, because we do want the book to still absolutely feel like Exalted, Maria’s job is even more complicated and back and forth as we adjust what elements still work and how with the new design.

  7. icarr757
    July 14, 2015 at 5:39 am

    Call me crazy, but if layout is at the point of working to correct minutia such as
    “…things like the text being to tight to the side of a sidebar, or whether a chart is in the right place on the page.” Would that not be the perfect time to turn it out to backers to go over with a fine toothed comb? Are we not going to allow backers to help edit the pdf like with other OP kickstarters and withold release of anything until the document is perfect?

    • Dawngreeter
      July 14, 2015 at 6:24 am

      I’m pretty sure these are technical details that OP people are professionally capable of sorting out. Readers can help a lot with things like spelling errors, Page XX references and the like, but having a group of amateurs provide online feedback on graphics and table placing, margin width, etc. is just a recipe for disaster.

      • richt
        July 14, 2015 at 9:09 am

        It’s just not that stage yet, but yep, that’s pretty much true.

    • richt
      July 14, 2015 at 9:08 am

      Appreciate your interest, but no. What I’m doing now is still based on a vision for what the final book needs to look like, not errata. Backers will have their chance to comment, fear not True Believer!

  8. Jim Fisher
    July 14, 2015 at 8:06 am

    Came for a Justin story. Left satisfied. 5/5 stars, would read again.

    • richt
      July 14, 2015 at 9:03 am

      My work here is done. 🙂

    • July 14, 2015 at 10:22 am

      I’ll have to see if I still have the picture of Justin doing the Ass-Chicken Dance.

      • richt
        July 14, 2015 at 10:26 am

        yesssssssssss.

      • Jim Fisher
        July 15, 2015 at 5:06 pm

        Yes, please. Bring that to GenCon if you can, as that sounds hilarious.

  9. Bob
    July 14, 2015 at 8:09 am

    In some of the Vampire: The Masquerade sourcebooks there were quite a few rules for artifacts, such as the Concoction of Vitality and the Phylactery of Recorded Memory. Will there be rules for them, or to update them to V20.

    • richt
      July 14, 2015 at 9:02 am

      Maybe. They should be pretty compatible still, for the time being.

  10. Unsilent Majority
    July 14, 2015 at 10:18 am

    As some have said, I am beginning to fear for Wraith 20. The PDF is due in July, and the writer has yet to send out any art notes. And it’s been that way for a long time.

    The last KS update was over a month ago, and the book was 50% complete at the start of the KS(November) and we really haven’t heard much since. I’m know it’s coming. Just wondering if we know just how much is left of the writing process?

    Because then we have the art, the layout, etc. etc. which will add months more to the process.

    • richt
      July 14, 2015 at 10:31 am

      I don’t know that fearing for the project is quite the right place to be, but certainly you feel as you need to feel. Right now, I’m working on an update for Wr20 backers containing some of the finished material, and letting folks know that things are running late. RichD is pulling each section together as it comes in as a final draft, but we don’t have everything in as finals yet. Add to that a couple more writer replacements as things happen in their lives, and that bogs down getting the in finished writing even more. But RichD is on top of it, and this isn’t his first go-around.

      • Unsilent Majority
        July 14, 2015 at 1:55 pm

        Fear was definitely a poor word choice, I think. Maybe I should’ve said fear for the release date?

        Regardless, thanks for the reply.

  11. Matt Tansek
    July 14, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Hey, glad to see the new banners! Had a devil of a time trying to find you guys at last year’s GenCon.

    • richt
      July 14, 2015 at 1:15 pm

      Our main banner this year stretches all the way across the back of the booth, unlike last year. And our logo is muuuuch bigger. We live and learn. So I hope you’ll have no trouble this year.

  12. Brendan W
    July 14, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    I’m looking forward to GenCon once again this year, and this post has only increased that feeling. The only downside is that I wasn’t quick on the draw with my game signups, so I feel like I’m missing out on part of the experience. C’est la vie

    • richt
      July 14, 2015 at 1:58 pm

      You should pop in before the games you want and see if you can get in. Sometimes they have extra spots and/or cancellations and no-shows. Stop by the booth and say hi!

  13. Tambov
    July 14, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    Why are Jack and Pan in half-plate?

    • richt
      July 14, 2015 at 2:24 pm

      They’re not. They are in leather.

  14. An Fhuiseog
    July 14, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    I’ve been wondering, currently you lot are in a core heavy period, i.e. most of the NWoD are getting 2nd editions and the OWoD are getting 20th anniversary editions, Sardonyx being worked into Scion and Trinity, Exalted, e.t.c.

    At some point this will be cleared, so do you see this shift from developing lines to supporting lines as being a major change in Onyx Path’s work flow? Is it a less taxing workflow? (Based on your experience)

    Just idly curious.

    • richt
      July 14, 2015 at 4:56 pm

      Thanks for noticing! Not sure about there being a time when things are cleared, but we are certainly in a period of many beginnings. Which are tough whether they are brand new games or re-imaginings and relaunches. I think the nWoD second editions will ease down as we won’t be doing third editions any time soon, so we can try other kinds of projects with nWoD. That will be nice as there are some cool ideas we haven’t been able to get to because of wanting to get everybody up and running with the 2nd editions. The 20ths are already modeling the idea of core plus a line, so that’s sort of a sequential thing, and I expect Exalted to follow that typical path of the core being the killer, but also the basis for a lot of decisions the supplements just need to expand on rather than create from whole-cloth.

      Then there’s Scion and Trinity, which promise to be more like the umbrella brands like nWoD or cWoD and contain multiple core books. So we’ve got a fair bit of that same style of publishing coming up. Good thing we love this thing of ours!

      • An Fhuiseog
        July 15, 2015 at 4:51 pm

        RichT, thank you for taking the time on that comprehensive answer.

  15. PookaKnight
    July 14, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    I love the banner with the original five World of Darkness games together again at last!

  16. Erinys
    July 15, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    RichT and Devs, thank you for sharing the Exalted page spreads! It is so great to see these. I can’t read them but they look nice.

    I have a request:

    Would you please consider sharing progress updates about the Wiki? It has been years since it was taken down, with a promise that the data would be restored, but even though we’ve been asking about it there has been no further word of whether it will ever be restored, let alone when. It’s very frustrating and some players have concluded that at OPP you changed your minds and decided never to restore it, or that CCP banned you from restoring it or deleted the data before you could save it. I do not think you lied about your initial plans to fix it, but after so long I worry that restoring the Wiki has been cancelled entirely!

    The wiki was a vital, critical resource for a lot of Exalted games, storing custom charms, NPC info, setting info, and more. Having to pick at an incomplete xerox of its corpse on Web Archive reall shuts down a lot of things. We are still playing this game and we really depended on that resource! It’s very disheartening to have no responses at all about it all this time.

    • Erinys
      July 15, 2015 at 2:06 pm

      Uh, I’m talking about the Exalted Wiki, sorry I wasn’t clear.

    • Ian A. A. Watson
      July 15, 2015 at 8:37 pm

      The data still exists. It was not deleted. No one banned us from restoring it.

      The restoration process has proved more challenging than originally planned, and it’s a relatively low priority. While I do return to poke at it from time to time, the combination of its complexity and low priority mean it ends up on the backburner more often than not.

      “It’s very disheartening to have no responses at all about it all this time.”

      I don’t discuss it much because I have given the exact same answer multiple times before. Getting the Wiki back online has been a frustrating enough task without having people request the same answer from me repeatedly.

      • Erinys
        July 16, 2015 at 1:03 am

        I have truly never seen any word about it before now, so I greatly appreciate your response and explanation! And I apologize for asking for something that was apparently answered somewhere else.

  17. reseru
    July 15, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    I’m glad to see Dreams of Avarice on its way, but those other Mummy KS goals are taking a really long time. It’s been like three years hasn’t it?

Comments are closed.