The View From The Plateau… I Can See My House! [Monday Meeting Notes]

Monday Meeting, News


Yep, sittin’ here atop this plateau and looking around.

Sure it’s a metaphorical plateau for Onyx Path as a whole, but we are also specifically in a plateau state with the Pugmire Kickstarter. We’re at that part of the Kickstarter where pledges come in slow, people change their minds on what they are pledging, and some people actually drop their pledges (crazy, I know!).

The thing is, this happens with every single one of our Kickstarters to one extent or the other. And if what the delightful Fred Hicks posted about what Evil Hat‘s Kickstarters are like is accurate, and I see no reason to second-guess Fred’s conclusions, then they too have seen this same pattern.

Fred even mentioned an idea that I have played with, based on the data that we have a few big days at the beginning where 25-35% of pledges come in, and a couple of days at the end with another 20-30%. So why not do a five day KS and get all the good parts together?

Well, just like Fred posted, it’s my belief that the plateau stage is when you are getting the word out to folks you didn’t reach with the first couple of days of explosive excitement all around. We need the longer, slower period to create the big boom at the end. And for new games like Pugmire we have a couple of methods to take advantage of the plateau period.

As intrinsic as they have become to tabletop RPG Kickstarters, Stretch Goals are actually a method that really isn’t part of the Kickstarter process that the tabletop RPG KS creators added, in part to keep the KS interesting during the plateau period. At Onyx Path, we also use the allocation of the Stretch Goal funds to help build up the game line they are a part of.

Big But Necessary Digression: so folks understand the finances behind a Stretch Goal amount, let’s first look at the fact that the vast majority of pledges after the Funding Goal is met are those of folks pledging for Reward Tiers that feature physical rewards that need to be printed and shipped just like the pledges before the Funding Goal was met. So the money that comes in is not free money for us to use and abuse in any way we feel like. Most of it goes towards fulfilling the backers’ Rewards. 10% of it is gone off the top to Kickstarter fees. And because this is, ya know, a business, we actually have to pay taxes on that money so a portion (a whopping chunk really) goes to the taxman.

If we can repurpose 10% of any given Stretch Goal amount towards those cool rewards that we put with the SGs, we are doing well. Again, not free money.

We also like to put out contests to the backers during the Plateau periods so that we can have a bit of fun together as a community. These can be free-standing like the Pugmire art contest, intrinsic to the project like the voting for the eras in Dark Eras, or Achievements which we’ve run for the full KS for such KSs as Lore of the Clans and Changeling 20th. All there to provide a bit more fun back and forth beyond the monetary Stretch Goals.

And then, there are interviews, actual play videos, blogcasts, and other outreach methods we use to bring in more backers during the “slow” period. Publicity is good to expand the reach and get the word out to folks that might not have heard already, and the plateau is a perfect time to do that for us. You might also note that our encouraging messages about telling your friends ramp up during this time as well. We can reach out OK, but the real reach belongs to our current backers.

Now the bigger Onyx Path plateau could be a cool place to rest a bit in our climb, but it’s really far too busy and noisy here. In this case, I feel like we are more like at a climbing stage camp where we test and try out some new equipment, and get on with this ascent. We’ve had a couple of creative teams waiting here for us, and they are rarin’ to go! (Check out Impish Ian Watson’s recent Trinity Continuum blog posts to see what that team has been up to!)

I’ll just stretch this metaphor a tad bit more. Bear with me.

On a climb like this, we are beholden to all of those whose trails, maps, and even equipment we at Onyx Path were able to use to get to this plateau. I didn’t agree with every decision made at White Wolf back in the day, and certainly did more than my fair share of shouting and stomping out of presidents’ and other managers’ offices, but for good or ill those decisions got us to this point.

And the work, well, the work done by our creative teams of writers and developers and artists and designers and editors and art directors created every bit of these worlds that we’ve all spent such huge parts of our lives deeply immersed in. To the waist, to the neck, and some deeply over the head. Were there missteps? Of course, show me any such massive concentration of talent and egos where that hasn’t happened.

But the glories, the sheer volume of enthralling stories and storytelling that provided the springboard for uncountable Chronicles and adventures, just completely outweigh any such mistakes, at least in my opinion.

So when we speak of such times, and everybody does, let’s try and remember that we couldn’t be here making the 20th Anniversary Editions (or the One World of Darkness) without all the creative efforts through all those editions. That we couldn’t be making Chronicles of Darkness games without all the nWoD work that dared to reimagine darkness. And that EX3 builds on all the ideas in both earlier editions that enthralled and captivated players for years in games around the world.

We’re certainly mindful of the amazing worlds created for Scarred Lands and Trinity and Scion that we are building on and reimagining here at Onyx Path, and we’ve only just gotten started with what we can do with them. Because we surely could not be doing it without them.

Enough plateau introspection.

It must be the thinner air; time to get climbing again!







I really just love this illustration by Pat Loboyko, and so I’m leaving it up this week: it’s the Pugmire Kickstarter! Pledge to enable us to create a beautiful full color, hardcover, 180+ page, 7″ x 10″ core rulebook that we can also get into game stores. We’re at over 1000% and doing lots of great stuff with this Kickstarter including both a fiction anthology and turning at least one of those stories into an audio drama.

Backers can download the Pugmire Early Access PDF and get playing right away on the basic version of the game so check it out:

And here is a very in-depth interview that Pugmire creator Eddy Webb had with The Gentleman Gamer where Eddy also answers all sorts of questions about Pugmire, Sherlock Holmes, his work with EarPlay, and Vampire:

And here is a video about how to make a character in Pugmire from super-fan Tercio2002:




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

CofD Front Screen Res


We will be offering the Pugmire Early Access book for sale this Wednesday in both PDF and PoD formats! Backers will still get the PDF for free and a discount on the PoD versions until the Kickstarter is over!



Gauntlet of Spiragos is a 5E D&D adventure for the Scarred Lands and is now available free as a PDF. Just like the Pathfinder version of Gauntlet of Spiragos, this one will eventually have a physical copy Print on Demand version as well.

Spiragos 5E


Condition Card PDFs for both Chronicles of Darkness and Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition are now up dealt up at DTRPG, with PoD cards soon to come!

CofD CardsWtF 2 Cards



The Demon Storyteller Guide has dropped its cover and is on sale as an Advance PDF on DTRPG!

Keep an eye out on Wednesday to see if the God-Machine has allowed our PoD proofs to get through to us this week!

Demon STG Front




If you are into the Pugmire KS, here are also six Pugmire posters available as free PDFs or $.99 physical posters, suitable for framing:

Start spreading the Code of Man!




Gen Con 2016 planning has started.

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)


  • Mummy Fiction Anthology (Mummy: the Curse)
  • Wraith: the Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition
  • Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition
  • Night Horrors: Conquering Heroes (Beast: the Primordial)
  • Dagger of Spiragos (Scarred Lands)
  • EX3 Quickstart (Exalted 3rd 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


  • 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)
  • Beckett’s Jyhad Diary (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary 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)


  • Dark Eras Companion (Chronicles of Darkness Dark Eras)
  • WtF The Pack (Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition)
  • V20 Ready Made Characters (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary 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)

Post-Editing Development:

  • V20 Ghouls (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Scarred Lands Player’s Guide: Ghelspad (Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
  • EX3 Backer Charms (Exalted 3rd Edition)


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



In Art Direction

  • V20 Ghouls
  • W20 Shattered Dreams 
  • Promethean: the Created Second 
  • Scarred Lands PG
  • Dark Eras Companion
  • The Pack
  • Secrets of the Covenants
  • Necropolis Rio
  • W20 Kinfolk
  • V20 Ready Made Characters


In Layout

  • Mage: the Awakening Second
  • V20 Black Hand
  • Dark Eras 



  • Ex 3 core book – From RichT: Maria adding bookmarks to PDF, prepping printer files, and we’re getting an index for it.


At Press

  • Pugmire Early Access
  • M20 Deluxe Edition
  • Chronicles of Darkness Cards
  • Gauntlet of Spiragos 5e
  • Forsaken 2 Condition Cards 
  • Demon Storyteller’s Guide
  • Beast Screen 
  • Truth Beyond Paradox 
  • Lore of the Clans LtD Edition
  • Lore of the Clans Screen
  • Dreams of Avarice


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: Time to willingly run the GenCon Exhibitor hotel room booking gauntlet. I WILL have a drink after that…

  41 comments for “The View From The Plateau… I Can See My House! [Monday Meeting Notes]

  1. Nick
    February 22, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    I am sorry if this is a failure to properly research on my part, but where exactly can Dreams of Avarice be found? I know the pdf was released to backers and errata collected, but cannot find it on DriveThruRPG or DriveThruFiction.

    • richt
      February 22, 2016 at 11:54 pm

      Right down there in Mirthful Mike’s section.

  2. Kevin Mckinney
    February 22, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    I thought Dark Eras was out of layout?

    • richt
      February 22, 2016 at 11:53 pm

      Once books are proofed they need to get the notes entered into the layout files. So back into Layout.

  3. Andrew McGraw
    February 22, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    Rich, dude. You put the Scion Alpha in Development the very moment I renewed interest in the Ragnarok supplement!


    Seriously though, I’m looking forward to Eric’s Thundermaker (ucwatididthar) being a genuinely effective character option.

    • richt
      February 22, 2016 at 11:55 pm

      Look in the mirror. Can you see me looking out? Woooooooooooo. Scary.

      • Andrew McGraw
        February 23, 2016 at 12:18 am

        If I turn off the lights, look in the mirror and whisper your name three times, will you burst out and turn me into a Freelancer?

        • Arcane
          February 23, 2016 at 12:31 am

          Don’t do it man, you know not what you’re getting into!

          Plus, you know, I want more jobs.

        • richt
          February 23, 2016 at 11:35 am

          That power has always been within yoooooouuuuu…..

          (Write and submit that work, rinse and repeat)

          • Andrew McGraw
            February 23, 2016 at 2:40 pm

            No, no, I meant would you turn me into, say, Robert Vance or Eric Minton. (Not sure which one I would prefer…)

  4. atamajakki
    February 22, 2016 at 11:50 pm


    • Second Chances
      February 23, 2016 at 12:11 am

      Squee! So excited!!!!!!!!!

      • Almacov
        February 23, 2016 at 12:54 am

        Looking forward to seeing the results of your Doubting Souls expansion. =)

        There have been so many great ideas thrown at this book that I’m nearly salivating at the thought of poring through it all.

  5. Michael Stein
    February 23, 2016 at 12:23 am

    On the topic Kickstarter perceptions, it flabbergasts me that the public at large still hasn’t internalized the fact that most beneficiaries don’t have nearly the amount a Kickstarter closes at to actually use. They just see 500000+ and cry foul when the godhead fails to descend to them.

    Have you ever looked at some of the other crowd funding platforms like Pozzible where beneficiaries have to spell out the proposed budget for funds. Nothing too fancy or in depth just a Very visible pie graph on the campaign page. I find I goes a long way grounding perceptions.

    • richt
      February 23, 2016 at 11:34 am

      I continue to look at other possible crowd-source options, but having built up a large following on Kickstarter, it will take the right combination of project and platform to make a move to any crowd sourcing platform a good deal for us. I’ll check into Pozzible and see how it works, thanks.

  6. Xenesis
    February 23, 2016 at 12:27 am

    Hopefully the Demon STG will go on print this week. Feels like you’ve been waiting for the PoD proofs for ages.

    • Bunyip
      February 23, 2016 at 4:19 am

      If only there was an Incept to speed up the publication process!

    • richt
      February 23, 2016 at 11:30 am

      Pretty sure I mentioned it, but with the first proofs I found one error we had to fix, so this is the second interminable round of waiting for the PoD proofs to arrive.

      • Xenesis
        February 23, 2016 at 6:38 pm

        Ah, that makes more sense. Might have missed it in the last lot of meeting notes.

  7. Anaximander
    February 23, 2016 at 12:37 am

    So. So. Close. On. So. So. Much!

    • richt
      February 23, 2016 at 11:29 am

      Tell me about it!

  8. Frank
    February 23, 2016 at 1:17 am

    If I could spare a few millions, I’d nationalize and unionize all of you good folks. You are a treasure of humankind and deserve decent wages and a stable living. Thanks for doing what you do!

    • richt
      February 23, 2016 at 11:28 am

      You are welcome!

    • February 23, 2016 at 12:55 pm

      I second that.

  9. Menace
    February 23, 2016 at 1:31 am

    Heh I keep visiting this page like 20 times per day in the hopes that Mage2ED has come out. Well, it looks like i still need to wait. Not like i blame you or anything, but the anticipation is killing me.

    Question: After it’s out of Layout, are there any additional stages before the advance pdf gets published ?

    • Ian A. A. Watson
      February 23, 2016 at 2:33 am

      No need to check back constantly. New releases are Wednesdays.

      • Menace
        February 23, 2016 at 3:03 am

        Welp. Good to know.

    • richt
      February 23, 2016 at 11:27 am

      There’s Layout, Proofing, Layout, Proofing, Approval from WWP, any Layout we need to do based on that, and then we put up the Advance PDF. Times for those stages can vary quite a bit, but the initial layout tends to take the longest.

      • Menace
        February 24, 2016 at 12:59 am

        Thanks ! Looks like there’s still waiting time but now I’m less sitting on nails.

  10. Masika
    February 23, 2016 at 7:11 am

    Wow, nice to see that Dark ages companion. I’m not sure, but i don’t remember to see any anouncement about that. I hope it means that VDA20 will have further development!

    • richt
      February 23, 2016 at 11:24 am

      It’s not part of the Kickstarter, but a separate book with more V20 Dark Ages expansion. Thanks!

    • February 25, 2016 at 4:53 am

      Hello there!
      This is one I’m developing. As the name implies, it’ll be a companion piece to V20 Dark Ages, providing more Clan apocrypha, several sample domains, a create-your-own-domain guide, a streamlined combat system, a flurry of antagonists, and importantly, be hanging with plot hooks. I want to put a book that’s swimming in utility in your hands, and that’s what I aim for this book to be.

  11. Chris
    February 23, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Did Dark Eras voting prevent the plateau from occurring?

    • richt
      February 23, 2016 at 4:32 pm

      Not really: for two weeks, the Feb the 5th to the 19th, people pledged $13K, if I’m reading the dashboard right. Out of $128K pledged total. So 10%, and 250 backers pledged during that time, out of 2030 backers total. But the engagement was high and we all had fun, so for us it was good use of that time.

  12. Notin
    February 23, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    Keep it up with Exalted EX3 please!

  13. Michal
    February 24, 2016 at 6:06 am

    Great that will be a next book for V20 Dark Ages. Can you write something more about what will be in this book?
    And one question about very old kickstarter:
    I didnt find on schedulde list the Bill Bridges novel for Werewolf W20. It was a strechgoal 4 years ago. Whats the status of this book? We should forgot?

    • richt
      February 24, 2016 at 9:17 am

      Bill tells me that he is still working on it.

    • February 25, 2016 at 6:24 am

      See my comment above regarding V20 Dark Ages Companion content.

  14. Phaolan
    February 24, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    Something that I know – and I know that YOU know too, Richt – is that the better anyone is at doing a job, the higher the expectations of the NEXT job are. So, know that the fact that we (including yours truly) demand ever better, ever faster, ever greater work from you only reflects on how well y’all have done before.

    …That means, uh, that our demands are really YOUR dang fault? Yeah, let’s go with that left-hand compliment. As a south-paw myself, I’ve always found those the BEST kind! 🙂

    • richt
      February 24, 2016 at 1:07 pm

      Thanks! Very cool, and also understood. Was this in reference to something in my post?

  15. SpruceStripedGoose
    February 24, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    I was wondering when you move something into the next stage of development on the list, like would something move to “second draft” on the list when just the first bit of text hits that stage or when all of it is in “second draft”.

    For example What Fire Has Wrought is in “second draft” on the list, but the devs and writers are still talking about redlines being done right now. Im guessing this is them going back over some parts while the majority of the book has already moved on?

Comments are closed.