The Last Time This Year I Talk About Chronicles of Darkness! [Monday Meeting Notes]

Monday Meeting, News

CofD Front Screen Res

On Dec 12th, we announced that we were changing the nWoD brand title to Chronicles of Darkness. Which was not really that long ago, when you think about it.

I (and the rest of the Onyx Path crew) have talked a fair bit about this change, from the initial announcement through to an AMA we did, and in this Monday Meeting Notes blog:

Mostly we’ve explained the reasoning and how this change in title won’t affect the game lines everybody loves.

So today I’m going to talk a little bit about just what we mean by the title Chronicles of Darkness.

At heart, WW games have used the word Chronicle like other games use campaign; to denote a series of play sessions that together represent an ongoing setting. Some people’s Vampire: the Masquerade Chronicles have been running for almost 25 years, other folks play through one Chronicle and move right into another.

My point being, that when we came up with Chronicles of Darkness as an umbrella title we were thinking of all the Chronicles out there after over a decade of everyone playing and how they are all part of Chronicles of Darkness. A vast tapestry that weaves together all your stories about all the vampires and werewolves and mummies and other horrible creatures we all have so much fun with.

Using Chronicles also allows us to thematically tie into the featured Chronicles of each of the 2nd Editions of the game lines, like The God-Machine Chronicle for the CofD core book, and The Strix Chronicle for Vampire: the Requiem, and The Idigam Chronicle for Werewolf: the Forsaken. With more to come.

These are example Chronicles featured within the core books of the game lines that are designed to provide players with a default storyline should they choose or need to use it. Sometimes it is just easier to grok the rules and setting if you have an example there of how those things can be combined.

So a little background on the thinking behind that, and it’s a little long, so I understand if you skip to the Blurbs! below:

When nWoD first came out, we at the original White Wolf were trying to push the game lines into being more about the game; we encouraged players to use the rules and setting more as a toolbox to tell the players’ stories and not our stories. We thought, at the time at least, that this sandbox model would enable players to scale new heights of storytelling splendor.

And for some folks that total openness has worked that way. Which is awesome and very gratifying.

But for others, for a variety of reasons including time constraints, interests in creation tending more towards setting or rules but not both, and the enjoyment of having one backdrop of a story that they can all be a part of, getting into nWoD was a chore.

The thinking was that we’d include the a Chronicle section in each of the 2nd Editions we so very clearly needed to be creating after over 8 years, at the time, of discovering what worked and what didn’t about nWoD. When it came time to pitch our yearly slate of projects to CCP, who at the time owned all the WW properties and was in the process of trying to create the WoDMMO, I included the 2nd Editions.

They rejected them. Or I should say, they rejected the idea of the 2nd Editions at that time, but really liked the Chronicles idea. They preferred that we do 2nd Editions later, but we at Onyx Path felt that time was of the essence and that there were already enough people out there convinced that “White Wolf was dead”.

Therefore, I decided that we’d create a “Chronicle Book” for each line, and pack it with the rules changes we wanted to do for the 2nd Editions. That idea, CCP had no problems with. This was not the ideal situation, but it satisfied our license holder while allowing us to present the upgrade to the games and the default Chronicles I felt we needed to revitalize the nWoD games.

In the course of us launching the Chronicles Books, CCP cancelled the WoDMMO and told us that we could now call them 2nd Editions, which we all knew would reach more people because every tabletop RPG gamer intrinsically understands what a 2nd Edition is. It’s in our bones, our cultural knowledge. For folks who read this blog back then, or our social media, we had been in the process of steadily educating them about just what a Chronicle Book was. But if you hadn’t been following us, what the hell was a Chronicle Book?

So we started the changes to retitle the books as 2nd Editions.

And then Paradox Interactive bought all the White Wolf properties, including the name, from CCP.

Within a month we started discussing another change, to Chronicles of Darkness, and we were ready for the Dec 12th announcement.

A couple of years of us trading titles, but we’re done now, a good decision was made, and once we get Chronicles of Darkness in place everywhere, most of the branding confusion will be past. Hopefully, this blog also will alleviate confusion as to just what we mean by the Chronicles part of the title too, and folks can look forward to a new year full of 2nd Editions with anticipation and not dread and fear.

One more thing about Chronicles of Darkness! Thanks so much to everyone who contributed to the 12 Days of Onyx Condition Cards Contest! Your responses were amazing in both quality and quantity. Congrats to the writers of the 12 winning cards, and anyone can download the PDF version here:

Talk to you all next year!




Starting today, check out the Mage: the Ascension 2nd Edition Bundle of Holding! One week left to get classic 2nd Edition Mage PDFs but you want to jump in there soon before the prices rise as more legendary titles are added to the Bundle! A percentage of all sales goes to a very worthy charity to start the New Year!





The Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Kickstarter has 2 WEEKS to go! We’ve added sections on How To Create Your Own Kith, two more bookmarks, and Kith from two international CtD books to the Main book! We’ve unlocked a new Reward Tier that will offer signed prints by Tony DiTerlizzi and a special Sound Board of C20 sounds and music! A C20 fiction anthology, and a How To Manage Your Freehold PDF, and more – we’re just getting started! Next up: C20 Deluxe Dice!



V20 Lore of the Clans in PDF and PoD versions now on sale at DTRPG! Red (blood) and green (marble) for the holidays!



M20 How Do You DO That? is coming to DTRPG in PDF and PoD versions this week!

Pages from M20 How Do You DO That (Final Download)


Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition PDF & Standard and Premium PoD physical book editions are NOW AVAILABLE on DTRPG!

M20 Front



The Pugmire Pamphlet we had available at Gen Con is now ready for PDF download. Read about the world of Pugmire from the enthusiastic and optimistic pen of Princess Yosha Pug, as well as notes from the gruff and worldly hunter Pan Daschund:


There are also six Pugmire posters available as free PDFs or $.99 physical posters, suitable for framing:

Start spreading the Code of Man!





2 WEEKS TO GO! We’re one of the Contributing Sponsors at Midwinter Con this year this January in Milwaukee! RichT, Fast Eddy Webb, and Newlywed Neall Raemonn Price will be there at our booth as well as running demo games of Scion and Pugmire. Right now we are planning panels for What’s Up With Onyx Path?, WoD 20th Anniversary Games and a Pugmire/Scion/StoryPath System one. In the meantime, check out the show here:




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 anthology (Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition)
  • Night Horrors: Conquering Heroes (Beast: the Primordial)
  • Scion: Alpha (Scion 2nd Edition Playtest Alpha Slice)
  • Dagger of Spiragos (Scarred Lands)
  • EX3 Quickstart (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Shattered Dreams in-book stretch goals (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Ring of Spiragos (Scarred Lands)
  • Ex Backer Charms (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • DA Tome of Secrets (Vampire 20th Dark Ages)


  • Mummy Fiction Anthology (Mummy: the Curse)
  • Wraith: the Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition
  • Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition, featuring the Huntsmen Chronicle (Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition)
  • V20 Ready Made Characters (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Cavaliers of Mars
  • Signs of Sorcery (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)
  • Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition

Second Draft

  • Arms of the Chosen (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • The Realm (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Dragon-Blooded (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • WtF The Pack (Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition)
  • Beckett’s Jyhad Diary (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • WtA Kinfolk (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition)


  • StoryPath System Rules (Base rules set for Scion and the Trinity Continuum)
  • W20 Changing Ways (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • CofD Hurt Locker (Chronicles of Darkness)
  • VtM Lore of the Bloodlines (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • W20 Shattered Dreams (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Beast Ready Made Characters (Beast: the Primordial)


  • W20 Pentex Employee Indoctrination Handbook (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Dark Eras Expansions (Chronicles of Darkness Dark Eras)
  • Beast Fiction Anthology (Beast: the Primordial)
  • Dark Eras Companion (Chronicles of Darkness Dark Eras)

Post-Editing Development:

  • V20 Ghouls (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Secrets of the Covenants (Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition)
  • Scarred Lands Player’s Guide: Ghelspad (Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)




In Art Direction

  • V20 Ghouls – Awaiting text.
  • W20 Shattered Dreams – Awaiting artnotes for Ch. 5.
  • Promethean: the Created Second – Pinging Ron to see where the splats are…
  • Scarred Lands PG – finals rolling in.
  • Dark Eras – Artnotes mailed out to artists. Art is working.
  • Dark Eras Companion Still sorting through that buy.
  • The Pack – Contracting.


In Layout

  • Guide to the Black Hand – Working on it. 
  • Chronicles of Darkness Condition Cards – After the errata pass is done on CofD core.
  • Beast Screen – Awaiting feedback but almost done.
  • Mage: the Awakening Second – Once updated text is in, this will move into the layout queue.




  • Beast: The Primordial – At Paradox for Approval.
  • Demon STG –  At Paradox for Approval.
  • Ex 3 core book – From RichT: Still reviewing Dev notes and adding my own art/design/backer names notes to the proofing PDF. Art corrections finishing up.
  • Dreams of Avarice – At Paradox for approval.
  • Truth Beyond Paradox – Proofing with Phil.
  • Pugmire Early Access – Eddy is proofing the first round of the interior.


At Press

  • M20 – Deluxes printing (Screen is finished and awaiting book).
  • M20 How Do You Do That ?!? – Hopefully available this week.
  • Chronicles of Darkness – Available in PDF format and should be entering in errata in the next week or so.
  • Ex 3 Anthology –  PoD files uploaded. PDF and Epub files updated.


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: Happy Holidays to all! Here comes the second round with New Year’s Eve! Drink well, don’t drive. Don’t drink, drive well. Talk to you next year!

  35 comments for “The Last Time This Year I Talk About Chronicles of Darkness! [Monday Meeting Notes]

  1. atamajakki
    December 28, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    Dreams of Avarice and Demon STG in for approval? It’s a Christmas miracle!

    • Mr. Paint
      December 28, 2015 at 10:14 pm

      Or would be, if Paradox would hurry up and approve the thing.

  2. Vedic
    December 28, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    I hope you and everyone at Onyx Path had a great holiday. By the way, are there any plans to release Werewolf the Forsaken condition cards?

    • richt
      December 28, 2015 at 10:16 pm

      Thanks! We’d like to, yes.

  3. Tiresias
    December 28, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    It’s been an exciting year for OPP, and I’m looking forward to the next one.

    Do you know if Ex Backer Charms… Backers are going to get previews of the charms they requested? I’d like to lord spoilers over people for a bit to see what it feels like.

    • richt
      December 28, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      As much as I appreciate that, we’ll have to see how the process works through.

  4. Jonathan
    December 28, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    It sounds like the Paradox purchase worked out for everyone concerned in the end.

    Hope you guys (and gals) at OPP had a great holiday and have a good New Year’s. I’ll be around for next year, too. 😀

    • richt
      December 28, 2015 at 10:18 pm

      So far, so good! See you then!

  5. Brennen
    December 28, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    Hey How Is The EX3 Music Going?

    • richt
      December 28, 2015 at 10:18 pm

      Being worked on, I expect a status report next week. Thanks!

      • Brennen
        December 28, 2015 at 10:21 pm

        wOOt ^^

  6. December 28, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    I feel like the name change is going to confuse a lot of people who are coming back to WoD.

    I also wish the Chronicles of Darkness corebook was more complete. I really love a lot of the changes, but there are still lots of little things that require going back and forth with other books. For instance, the Gifts article mentioned the Soulless and Enervated conditions being in the CofD book, but they aren’t; they’re in God-Machine Chronicle’s rules update. Plus all the mentions of “Fate” still, and the differences between the core book and the chronicle books…

    I really love CofD but I really wish there was more oversight in terms of layout.

    • richt
      December 28, 2015 at 10:22 pm

      We’re doing all that we can to make the transition obvious. The change was necessary and beneficial to the likelihood of an ongoing series of game lines.

      The mentions are actually errata and why we do an errata pass with Advance PDFs. The things that go into a book, or the order they are presented is not part of layout, those decisions are the developers’.

    • wyrdhamster
      December 29, 2015 at 6:45 am

      I think that Fate thing eat about enough place that Soul Loss SHOULD be put in the CoD corebook in it’s place. Developers will have back about 2 pages I see of various Fate references and they could go for the Soul Loss that is needed in main corebook. 🙂

      • richt
        December 29, 2015 at 10:14 am

        I’m sure Rose will make the decision based on what she thinks needs to be in the book.

  7. Dwight
    December 28, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    Happy holidays OP! So How do you do that? For reals this week? Do it for Lemmy!

  8. Robert Jordan
    December 28, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    Any word on if we’ll get an Ultra Deluxe version for Changeling 20? I noticed Wraith never got one so I’m nervous Changeling won’t either.

    • richt
      December 28, 2015 at 10:55 pm

      As I stated on the Kickstarter, it depends on the printers coming up with a way to do the stained glass. If they can’t, then we won’t do an Ultra Deluxe.

  9. Atavist
    December 29, 2015 at 12:31 am

    The Pack is contracting for art, woo!

  10. reseru
    December 29, 2015 at 2:00 am

    I feel like Mage and Promethean (Dark Eras being an interesting circumstance) were really held up by their artwork getting started and going through its process.

    The Pack for Werewolf, however, is in redlines yet its artnotes have gone out.

    Is this intentional, hoping to correct the issue that I may or may not correctly be seeing? In the future does OPP intend to get an earlier start on its products’ artwork?

    • Bunyip
      December 29, 2015 at 4:55 am

      As noted last week, The Pack was waiting on my final draft. That was submitted, Stew and I tossed some final improvements back and forth, and as far as I know the whole manuscript is now off to editing.

      I’m obviously biased, but the back and forth with Stew produced some amazing results. Can’t wait for you all to see this book!

      (May have to twist Stew’s arm to have an excerpt or two for the blog.)


    • richt
      December 29, 2015 at 10:10 am

      To my recollection, they were not held up by art. Mirthful Mike can often do the lay out while late art is coming in, but he can’t get art without art notes, and if those are late or need changes, then the whole process of buying art can sometimes be delayed.

      • reseru
        December 30, 2015 at 2:53 am

        I see.

        Thanks for the answers, guys! 🙂

  11. Hawthorn
    December 29, 2015 at 3:28 am

    My my Richard…trying to tempt me back to following Onyx Path more closely I see.

    Demon ST Guide and Dreams of Avarice at approvals.

    Truth Beyond Paradox II at proofs

    Guide to the Black Hand in layout

    Promethean 2nd Ed on final art

    V20DA Tome of Secrets on first drafts.

    The mind boggles.

    Actually, it does. I have questions. Hopefully interesting ones. I’ll let you judge.

    1) The approvals with Paradox seem to be taking a bit longer then with CCP. Then again I remember when you first started CCP approves and they took a couple of weeks. By the end I was impressed how you managed to get them down to about 48 hours. Are you hoping for this time reduction to occur with Paradox over time? Is it the case that you feel Paradox has a more considerate eye for your products then CCP did? Hence the longer times? Or is purely a a matter of getting the process ironed out in the new relationship?

    2) Did Mr Hill managed to recruit the same writer (lovely lady whom I’m ashamed to say I have forgotten the name of now) for the Koldunic section as he had on the core V20DA book? I ask because I found her work most engaging and was hoping for a continuation of consistency and quality in the work done on the V20DA line.

    3) Did I just imagine that V20DA was getting a Companion book as well as Tome of Secrets? I swear I saw it announced somewhere but for the life of me I can’t find it now. Tell me Rich, am I going mad? Are all the books I think you are producing just fever dreams bouncing around in this skull of mine?

    Many Thanks,


    • richt
      December 29, 2015 at 10:13 am

      1) we are all learning a new process and it is more clunky now than it will be once we are used to it. That being said, two weeks is not an unreasonable amount of time for approvals, particularly during the holiday season. 2) no idea. Glad you liked her work. 3) yes, there is also a Companion book scheduled for V20DA.

  12. Tristan
    December 29, 2015 at 10:21 am

    It’s so exciting to see VDA Tome of Secrets on the roster!

  13. Kamikazegerbil
    December 29, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    So I’m really late to the show in regards to Beast and have only just properly looked into what it is about. Am I right in thinking once it clears the approval stage it will be made available to kickstarter backers for a week or two before it’s up for general sale?

    Was in the Mummy Kickstarter but can’t remember what point we got the PDFs at.

  14. crawlkill
    December 30, 2015 at 2:41 am

    it’s very weird as an entertainment news addict to think of people being confused by changes like this. then again, when I try to wrap my head around how comic book canons and reboots and stuff interact, I find it completely impossible, and no one seems able to explain it to me, so maybe there are some things that only make easy sense if you’re there when they happen.

  15. Chris
    December 30, 2015 at 11:18 am

    Will you go into some detail behind the scenes on the Dark Eras Kickstater when that book is ready? Mainly I’m just really interested in the pros/cons or lessons learned of Dark Eras voting vs Beast’s stretch goal unlocking & community engagement mechanisms and the impact they have had on end product.

    Personally, I was a big fan of DE’s voting mechanism and was engaged early on vs waiting to see how the product develops through stretch goals. But I also can see that the approach may be especially difficult on the development team because the variety of options offered and the ultimate splitting of the product into a DE main book and DE Companion. But in my personal experience I backed Dark Eras a good two weeks sooner than I did on Lore of the Clans (only other OPP book I backed).

    Has the Achievement system used on Lore of the Clans, Shattered Dreams, and now Changeling 20th been useful in getting the fans evolved sooner than the funding levels-based system that was used on Beast?

    Of course this might all fall under the banner of “rather not discuss” which is totally your right as an owner and developer. Thanks for being as transparent as you have been, I appreciate it.

    • richt
      December 30, 2015 at 2:49 pm

      Hey Chris- not at all, glad to talk about it.

      Dark Eras was designed from the beginning to be a KS where the backers got a say in which Eras we would add. We thought we’d do more with the existing Eras, though, and expand some based on backer interest. That went by the wayside as it was obvious that most folks wanted more and more Eras. We really didn’t expect we would burn through as many Stretch Goals and add so many Eras, but we did and so we just had to overflow into the Companion. Truth is, we might even have been better off doing a trilogy, but at that point in the KS we were all pretty exhausted and the brain power necessary for proposing breaking the books into three was just not available. As you say, Dark Eras was a lot of work to manage, but the end result is I think one of the most fun KSs we’ve done.

      Beast, on the other hand, was not a fun experience for us and has taught us several very valuable lessons in how we will handle our responses to criticism in the future. When you are a creator that is getting castigated for the work you have done and who feels a respect and obligation to our community, it is very hard not to buy into even the most vehement criticism. You want your baby to be embraced by the people you created it for. It is really hard to be aware of all the reasons that folks could be posting, and even harder to discern motives. By that point, as a creator, you may already be convinced that despite your years of experience you miscommunicated this time. In the end, Matt was amazing in finding the valuable comments that could get the project focused the way he intended, but Beast was a huge learning experience that left us totally drained at the end.

      Achievements were just getting fun with Lore, and never really caught on with Shattered. Although we love the posts like the music lists and used them in C20. C20’s Achievements are rocking! We’re loving the posts and the enthusiasm we’re seeing is exactly what we hoped Achievements would create. They are not intended as a replacement for Stretch Goals but as an alternate fun path towards some extras that doesn’t rely on funding.

      Hope those answers work for you!

      • Victor J Kinzer
        December 31, 2015 at 9:21 am

        Rich, thanks for posting this. I was one of the people who actually liked the original Beast writeup more than what Matt wrote up the second time, but I’m still fairly excited to see what’s coming when Beast arrives. I haven’t dived into the PDF yet because it takes a lot of effort for me to read that much content on a backlit screen for fun when I work in IT during the day.

        I’ve been fairly stoked about how the achieves have been going on Changeling. I just hope we’re able to crack that map of Concordia.

  16. Major
    December 30, 2015 at 11:25 am

    Uhg. Snow effect making reading this both painfully jerky and difficult to see. Someone slap the site admin please.

  17. January 2, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    I just noticed that Cursed Necropolis: Rio has apparently fallen through the cracks; it’s not listed under post-editing development, but neither has it moved on into art direction and all that follows. What’s its status, please?

    • richt
      January 3, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      We cancelled it.

      Just kidding, it’s in Pre-art direction. No worries!

Comments are closed.