They Came From the Onyx Path! [Monday Meeting Notes]

Monday Meeting, News

So yeah! Right before the holidays, we’re starting our Kickstarter for They Came From Beneath the Sea!, our newest Storypath System game!

But Rich, why? Why start a KS so close to the holidays?

Well, our idea is to offer an Early Access PDF version of the game, with everything you need to get started, for backers to download – similar to the Early Access versions of Pugmire and Monarchies of Mau that we offered with their Kickstarters – and give folks a chance to play during the holidays.

So actually use that time when it’s hard to get folks focused on a Kickstarter, and then jump right back in on it when the holidays are over.

And, of course, your Kickstarter Concierge, Jaunty James Bell, will be on board with the KS to field your questions all during the holidays, too!

It really is a perfect “get-together” RPG, with the setting being a cinematic/TV based 1950s America (I’m guessing you’ll be able to expand that to any country if you can keep the genre in mind). Throw in the included Quip and Prop cards and you will be good to play!

Play, let us know what kind of fun you had, tell your friends, and come back to the Kickstarter to see how things are going after the hectic holidays!

Geist 2e illustration by Luis Sanz

But how did this whole idea get started? Well, as developer Matthew “The Gentleman Gamer” Dawkins recalls:

I first conceived of the idea for They Came from Beneath the Sea! around eight or nine years back. I was doing a Let’s Play of X-Com: Terror from the Deep on my YouTube channel, and that, combined with my long love of science fiction and 1950s and 1960s B-Movies put the seed in my head to start writing a game in which you played humans defending the Earth from aquatic menaces.

I ran a number of playtests back then and for a few years after, with a particularly serious focus on the horror at hand (as depicted in one of the illustrations I commissioned way back then, attached) and the hopelessness of the human situation, but it never quite clicked. The system (very GURPS-like, which is a system I still love) was too heavy-handed and the mood wasn’t right for me.

I went back to the drawing board. I tested some new home-made mechanics, getting a little experimental with the traditional TTRPG system mould. Something I really wanted to do was evoke the feel of being in a movie, where your character might utter a pithy line as they plunge their harpoon into a crab-man’s chest.

It was around this time I came up with Quips (one-liners you can come up with before the game or draw from decks of cards, not dissimilar to Cards Against Humanity) and Cinematics (allowing you to use meta powers to delete scenes, insert missing scenes, redirect damage to kill extras, and the like. As I went on, I found the innate humour of B-Movies constantly surfaced in every playtest. They Came From in its new guise was bubbling away.

Fast forward to 2016 in New Orleans and I’d been working for Onyx Path for a handful of years. I felt comfortable enough with my concept and had discussed it in brief with Rich Thomas, so I pitched the IP to him as a future Onyx Path property over an excellent dinner (all dinners in New Orleans are excellent).

We discussed the possibilities this game offered, to help players who struggled with improvisation (by using Quip cards RT: I don’t think we came up with the cards at that meeting, as Matthew and I bopped the idea around for a few weeks, at least), to facilitate humour but not dictate it (as nobody responds well to being told what’s funny), and to act as an exciting new game on the Onyx Path roster.

Two years later and the book is written, the art is rolling in, and our Kickstarter is about to launch. It’s been one hell of a journey, but it’s not over yet!

Here’s a link to the Actual Play and overall walkthrough of They Came From Beneath the Sea! that Matthew, the chap in the jaunty captain’s hat in the video, has created for your viewing pleasure:

M2 Signs of Sorcery illustration by Alex Shiekman

And related to holiday gaming, there’s a Teach Your Kids to Game Sale running on DTRPG RIGHT NOW! and Pugmire is our discounted contribution, so if by some crazy mischance in the order of the cosmos you’ve missed the magic of Pugmire so far…this is your chance!

Another very exciting thing happening this week is that our old friend and incredibly long-time Vampire developer Justin Achilli jumps into the Onyx Pathcast releasing this coming Friday with what promises to be his infamous blend of hilarity and thoughtful looks at game design.

From his time as the Sideburns Kid, fresh from Texas and helping develop RAGE, the card game, to his era-defining stint writing and developing first Vampire: the Masquerade, and then Vampire: The Requiem, and with plenty of stories of the madness that was White Wolf, Justin has seen it all and is here to tell you about it.

Justin may be the perfect antidote to gingerbread houses and peppermint candies! Coming Friday on your favorite podcast venue or direct from Podbean:

Changeling: The Lost 2e Jumpstart illustration by Tilen Javornik

Now, I mentioned the hectic holidays up above, and they are hectic here too! So this is probably the last fully-functioning MMN Blog of this year. We’ll get the last two of 2018 up in the following weeks, but our team is going to be in and out, so we’ll post what we have!

A bit of this, a bit of that, and we hope everybody has fun during the holidays playing in our:

Many Worlds, One Path!



This week, on Tuesday the 18th at 1pm EST we start the They Came From Beneath the Sea! (TCFBtS!) Kickstarter! It has some very different additions to the Storypath mechanics we’ll be explaining during the KS that take an excellent 50’s action and investigation genre game and turn it to 11!

Check out the teaser:

Hope to see you there back in the 50’s, fighting watery menaces and cracking wise!


As we find ways to enable our community to more easily play our games, the Onyx Dice Rolling App is now live! Our dev team has been doing updates since we launched based on the excellent use-case comments by our community, and this thing is both rolling and rocking!


You can now read our fiction from the comfort and convenience of your Kindle (from Amazon) and Nook (from Barnes & Noble).

If you enjoy these or any other of our books, please help us by writing reviews on the site of the sales venue you bought it from. Reviews really, really help us with getting folks interested in our amazing fiction!

Our selection includes these fiction books:


We’re working with Studio2 to get Pugmire out into stores, as well as to individuals through their online store. You can pick up the traditionally printed main book, the Screen, and the official Pugmire dice through our friends there!

And we’ve added Prince’s Gambit to our Studio2 catalog:


Looking for our Deluxe or Prestige Edition books? Try this link!

Here’s the link to the press release we put out about how Onyx Path is now selling through Indie Press Revolution:

And you can now order Pugmire: the book, the screen, and the dice!


This week, we’re offering the Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Storytellers Screen PDF, as well as the Pugmire and Monarchies of Mau Screen PDFs as well.

We’ll also have links to the original Scarred Lands Creature Collection and the Serpent Amphora 1: Serpent in the Fold adventure on Fantasy Grounds for your online gaming fun!


Start getting ready for our appearance at MidWinter NEXT MONTH in January in Milwaukee! So many demos, playtests, secret playtests, and Onyx Path Q&As you could plotz!

And now, the new project status updates!

DEVELOPMENT STATUS FROM FAST EDDY WEBB (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)

  • C20 Novel (Jackie Cassada) (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • M20 The Technocracy Reloaded (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • M20 Victorian Mage (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • City of the Towered Tombs (Cavaliers of Mars)
  • Mummy: The Curse 2nd Edition core rulebook (Mummy: The Curse 2nd Edition)
  • Geist2e Fiction Anthology (Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition)
  • Pirates of Pugmire (Realms of Pugmire)
  • Distant Worlds (Trinity Continuum: Aeon)
  • Dragon-Blooded Novella #1 (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Across the Eight Directions (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Exalted Essay Collection (Exalted)
  • Legendlore core book (Legendlore)
  • Creatures of the World Bestiary (Scion 2nd Edition)
  • Chicago Folio/Dossier (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition)
  • Let The Streets Run Red (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition)


  • Deviant: The Renegades (Deviant: The Renegades)
  • Witch-Queen of the Shadowed Citadel (Cavaliers of Mars)
  • Scion Companion: Mysteries of the World (Scion 2nd Edition)
  • Memento Mori: the GtSE 2e Companion (Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition)

Second Draft

  • Tales of Good Dogs – Pugmire Fiction Anthology (Pugmire)
  • Night Horrors: Nameless and Accursed (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)
  • Heirs to the Shogunate (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Scion Ready Made Characters (Scion 2nd Edition)
  • Scion Jumpstart (Scion 2nd Edition)


  • Hunter: the Vigil 2e core (Hunter: the Vigil 2nd Edition)
  • CofD Contagion Chronicle (Chronicles of Darkness)
  • Lunars: Fangs at the Gate (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • WoD Ghost Hunters (World of Darkness)
  • Oak, Ash, and Thorn: Changeling: The Lost 2nd Companion (Changeling: The Lost 2nd)
  • CofD Dark Eras 2 (Chronicles of Darkness)

Manuscript Approval:

  • Wr20 Book of Oblivion (Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Trinity Continuum: Aberrant core (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant)


  • Aeon Aexpansion (Trinity Continuum: Aeon)
  • Dystopia Rising: Evolution (Dystopia Rising: Evolution)
  • M20 Book of the Fallen (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Adventures for Curious Cats (Monarchies of Mau)
  • In Media Res (Trinity Continuum: Core)
  • Tales of Excellent Cats (Monarchies of Mau)
  • V5 Chicago By Night (Vampire: The Masquerade)
  • V5 Chicago By Night Screen (Vampire: The Masquerade)
  • Spilled Blood (Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition)
  • Night Horrors: Shunned by the Moon (Werewolf: The Forsaken 2nd Edition)

Post-Editing Development:

  • C20 Players’ Guide (Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Signs of Sorcery (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)



In Art Direction

  • Dystopia Rising: Evolution – Finals coming in.
  • The Realm 
  • Ex3 Monthly Stuff
  • Chicago By Night – Contracting next bits.
  • C20 Player’s Guide – Finals coming in.
  • Aeon Aexpansion
  • They Came From Beneath the Sea! – KS ready.
  • EX3 Lunars So far, so good.
  • Signs of Sorcery – Just need fulls to come in.
  • In Media Res Getting notes over to some fellas.
  • Hunter: The Vigil 2 KS art in progress.

Marketing Stuff

In Layout

  • Ex Novel 2 (Aaron Rosenberg) 
  • Geist 2e


  • Scion Hero – Page XXs and then Indexing.
  • Scion Origin – Page XXs and then Indexing.
  • CtL2 Jumpstart – Backer PDF going out.
  • M20: Gods and Monsters – Inputting Phil proofing notes.
  • Pugmire Roll of Good Dogs and Cats
  • Trinity Core – Waiting for errata from Backer PDF.
  • Trinity Aeon – Waiting for errata from Backer PDF.
  • Ex3 Dragon Blooded – Backer PDF going out.

At Press

  • Wraith 20th – New cover proof on the way. Everything else good to go though.
  • Wraith 20 Screen – Printing.
  • Scion Dice – At Studio2.
  • Lost 2e Screen – Shipping to shipper.
  • Scion Screen Shipping to shipper.
  • Changeling: The Lost 2e – Soon shipping from printer to shipper. PoD proof ordered.
  • Fetch Quest – Manufacturing starting.
  • Exalted 3rd Novel – PoD proof ordered.
  • PtC Tormented PoD proof ordered.


In 1904 the Wright brothers make the first controlled powered, heavier-than-air flight in the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Gaia no longer holds us in thrall.

  36 comments for “They Came From the Onyx Path! [Monday Meeting Notes]

  1. Phillip
    December 17, 2018 at 10:42 pm

    Cool HtV KS art. Maybe after they came from beneath the sea?

    • richt
      December 17, 2018 at 10:54 pm

      😀 Although when you think about it, you could pretty easily do a mash-up of the two games.

  2. Pale
    December 17, 2018 at 10:56 pm

    Do my eyes deceive me? I see an entry for a V5 Chicago By Night Screen?! Please don’t be a typo, please don’t be a typo!

    • Eddy Webb
      December 18, 2018 at 7:26 am

      It is not a typo.

  3. Nicolas Milioni Gravina Abdu
    December 17, 2018 at 11:09 pm

    Hey Rich,which kickstater do you think will come first,contagion chronicle or Hunter the Vigil?

    • richt
      December 18, 2018 at 12:01 am

      We’ll be able to answer that better in 2019.

      • Nicolas M.
        December 18, 2018 at 12:07 am

        Ok! I’ll wait 🙂

        • Nicolas
          December 18, 2018 at 12:08 am

          Oops,wrong emoji,it was meant to be a smiley face!

    • Austin G Loomis
      December 18, 2018 at 5:15 pm

      Based on their current positions in the development pipeline, I’d say Hunter is ahead — though it’s tied with Lunars, and Aberrant may get in front of them all.

  4. Guido Gerritzen
    December 17, 2018 at 11:39 pm

    Didn’t you plan a M20 The Technocracy Reloaded or
    M20 Victorian Mage Kickstarter?
    Are they still planned?

    Especially Victorian Age would be awesome.

    • richt
      December 18, 2018 at 12:02 am

      Of course they are still planned, as the book text gets completed, we’ll be in a position to announce any Kickstarters for them – thanks!

  5. Samuraimujuru
    December 17, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    “Ex3 Dragon Blooded – Backer PDF going out.”

    Super excited, also smeg. Question. Do you know whether the DB backerkit will charge for orders in the vicinity of the completion of the TCFBTS ks?

    • richt
      December 18, 2018 at 12:03 am

      That’s a James question, I think.

    • James
      December 18, 2018 at 5:34 am

      BackerKit charges credit cards in week 4 of our 6 week lock down process. We start that when we’re ready to ship the books and send the final PDF. Since we’re just at the backer pdf stage and still have to collect and correct errata, and the deluxe book may take more time to get right at the printer, it’ll be a while before we’re ready to start the lockdown countdown. So, They Came From will be finished the Kickstarter before DB:WFHW BackerKit charges cards, is my guess.

      • Samuraimujuru
        December 18, 2018 at 10:49 am

        Okay, brilliant! So since the backer PDF will maybe be finishing up collecting errata when TCFBTS it looks like we should be in the clear?

        Thanks for the reply! Much more comfortable getting a bit silly on the backer tier now.

  6. GenericMaleNPC01
    December 18, 2018 at 3:43 am

    What does “so far so good” mean in regards to Lunars?

    • Ian A. A. Watson
      December 18, 2018 at 5:13 am
      • GenericMaleNPC01
        December 18, 2018 at 6:35 am

        Very amusing.
        But i meant in regards to the production line.
        Snark doesn’t help anyone

        • Eddy Webb
          December 18, 2018 at 7:24 am

          All the information we can provide is provided above. It is going well.

        • Ian A. A. Watson
          December 18, 2018 at 11:45 am

          No snark intended. We have a wide audience; if someone says they don’t understand what an idiom means, I’ll take that at face value and operate under the assumption that they don’t know what that idiom means.

          Given the definition of the idiom, I didn’t think any further comment was necessary, because it seems pretty straightforward to me. It doesn’t change its meaning just because we’re talking about Lunars.

  7. GenericMaleNPC01
    December 18, 2018 at 3:48 am

    Also when does the dragonblooded backer pdf get sent out? My instincts tell me around Wednesday but felt i should get a more informed opinion.

    • James
      December 18, 2018 at 8:50 am

      Tomorrow (Wednesday) would be the earliest. The team and partners at Drivethru still have to do all of the behind-the-scenes stuff to set up the files and links and then get them over to me to set up for BackerKit delivery. So, still a little time needed to prepare everything…

      But, as soon as it’s set up and ready, I will press the launch button! Soon, I hope.

      • GenericMaleNPC01
        December 18, 2018 at 10:37 am

        Understood. Thanks

  8. Chazz
    December 18, 2018 at 7:30 am

    I’m so excited for the DB book coming out, and with perfect timing! The backer PDF for Solars came out when I reassembled my group and the final PDF came out on our first session of game.
    Now DB is coming out just as we’re about to start our DB game.
    Maybe I should insist on running Lunars…

    On another track, we’re released our episode covering Scion Origin this week:

  9. Troy
    December 18, 2018 at 8:14 am

    I don’t know how I’m supposed to read anything else when I just finished the Aeon Core book backer PDF, am working my way through the Trinity backer PDF, and now have the Dragonblooded backer PDF incoming. It’s a curse of riches!

  10. perverseness
    December 18, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    Post-Editing Development:
    Signs of Sorcery (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)

    Sweet Goober McClangClang! If you need to chain artists to their chairs, email me. I will get you intouch with home depot.

    It would be so awesome to see this PDF by the 29th, my birthday. I get the odds are vanishingly small but still, AWESOME!!!

    • December 18, 2018 at 4:13 pm

      Happy birthday! But no, we won’t have the PDF done in 11 days.

  11. George
    December 18, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    The Wraith20th at press is the core book or something else?

  12. rem
    December 18, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    I am SO hyped for TCFBTS, if it does well enough will there be a follow up for They Came From Beyond the Stars! for rubbery space monsters?

    Yes, I know that you could probably do space monsters easily with Beyond the Sea, but a space themed book would be awesome as well.

    • December 19, 2018 at 4:53 am

      That’s certainly my hope! Spread the Kickstarter far and wide, as we need it to be successful for other books of its kind to be planned.

    • December 20, 2018 at 8:50 am

      The hacks I’m hoping for are big bugs, a la the giant ants in Them!…

  13. Adam
    December 18, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    I was just curious what ‘page xx’s and indexing’ means on Scion. Is that working out page numbers and building the books’ indexes?

    • GenericMaleNPC01
      December 18, 2018 at 1:39 pm

      I believe they are placeholders for the page numbers, which get added at a later phase.
      It’s a similar thing with other books like WFHW

    • December 18, 2018 at 4:14 pm

      Yes, that means we’re working on page references and creating the index.

  14. Andrea Bertocci
    December 19, 2018 at 8:05 am

    When the Dragon Blooded Book will be sent to the backers? Do we have to expect it this week?

    • Troy
      December 19, 2018 at 11:12 am


Comments are closed.