Kickstarters & Stores & Whaaat? [Monday Meeting Notes]

So, we’re between Kickstarters now that the V5 Cults of the Blood Gods KS is over. And what a fantastic run that was! Over 500% funded and over 2500 backers that produced three additional V5 projects as Stretch Goals!

  •  Trail of Bone and Ashes – a collection of playable stories.
  •  Forbidden Faiths – expanded information and additional rules for cults.
  •  Faithful Undead – new SPCs and their cultish coteries, and LORESHEETS!

We were also able to fund TWO pay bonuses for the writers, whose text that we provided to backers really went a long way in ratcheting up everyone’s excitement. Which we feel really great about, as we do about all the fantastic commentary from backers.

All in all, it was just a delightful KS experience – a great way to start the new year.

Which brings us to the next Kickstarter we’re setting up right now, for Hunter: The Vigil 2nd Edition. (That’s the teaser graphic for the game up above.) After we set it up, we still need to get WW/Paradox‘s OK on the info presented, so we can’t really give a date yet.

If it isn’t obvious, this is a game set in the Chronicles of Darkness, and uses the CofD 2e rules set. (Not the Storypath System, though, which is Onyx Path‘s house system and not one we can freely mix in to WW-owned game lines).

Distant Worlds art by Seth Rutledge

One thing that came out of discussions during the Cults KS, and from meetings at MidWinter, is that as Onyx Path has evolved our business model during these past eight years, it’s not obvious why we do things as we do them.

A lot of stores that carry RPGs still aren’t aware that we are putting books into stores, and other than you fabulous folks who read this blog every week (You do read this blog every week, right? You should, most doctors I know recommend it), there are people out there in our community that also aren’t sure where and how to get our books.


Let’s start with Kickstarter and how and why we use a crowd-funding platform. We use it primarily at this point to create a up-front buzz, and garner up-front funds, so that we can print more books than backers have pledged for, and then put those books into stores. KS helps us with getting a rough idea of the kind of interest there is out there for a project, and we can use that info in estimating (guessing) the number of books we need available for stores.

We’re certainly still learning how to estimate. Pugmire and Monarchies of Mau both went back second print runs as we ran out of copies for retailers. Not immediately, and it’s a great problem to have, but even so. We’re keeping a close eye on V5 Chicago By Night, because that has the potential to shift a lot of our thinking on these numbers for stores. Maybe not. We’ll see.

During a Kickstarter campaign, we like to use Stretch Goals to create added “support products” for the game. Usually smaller books that add to the main idea of the KS’d project. Sometimes different sort of projects, like anthologies, or working with other companies so they can create these extra projects. That way, folks don’t just KS a single book, they help us with launching a bunch of connected projects.

We advertise all over, I talk about each KS here in the weeks – usually just over four – that it runs, and we have demo and designer streams on ours and others’ Twitch channels leading up to and during the KS. Even so, some folks miss the KS, which brings us to:


Backerkit is one of a bunch of venues that sprang up to help KS creators after the Kickstarter campaign was over. I like BK and what services they offer, but other KS creators use other ones. The advantage to any of them, though, is that they provide us with more tools to get backer rewards out, and help backers and those who missed the KS, upgrade or even get the KS’d project.

Since we put up each KS’d project’s BackerKit page about a month after the KS is over, and until the KS shipping process starts at least six months later you can go there and up your pledge or “pre-order” the project, BK serves as an easy and accessible ramp towards our release. But before the release to backers, we have another stage to the project:


Once all the layout is done; text is laid into the format and illustrations and design elements are laid in, and any approvals are OK’d, then we send out links to backers so they can download the Backer PDF.

Now, this is not the final PDF. We still want our backer community involved, so we also provide a link to a sheet where interested backers can post any errata that they find. This is an important fine-tuning point in the process, so we truly appreciate everyone who takes the time to review and send us notes about the PDF.

It’s up to the dev(s) whether or not they deem any notes as things that need to be corrected, but obvious errors are usually obviously errors once someone points them out, so errata feedback has proven to improve our projects over and over again.

We use these corrected PDF files to create Final PDFs, that backers can update in their DTRPG Library, and to create the PoD printing and traditional printing files. If a book of our has been KS’d to get into stores, then it is traditionally printed and bound. That’s really the point of most of our KSs at this point: get them traditionally printed on big turn-y printing presses and bindery machines.

Why? Because traditional printing prints a “print run”, hundreds or thousands of books are printed and bound in one “run”. This is far more cost effective than Print On Demand (PoD), which prints a book and binds it after you order it. Then prints another one and binds that for the next order.

Then, once the books are done being made, they move into:


This is one of the toughest and most expensive phases of doing a Kickstarter, and one I can and have gone into great detail on in terms of the challenges KS shipping presents, but for the purposes of this post, it’s a stage that leads to:


This is really the newest stage for us, and we continue to fine-tune our best practices. Simply put, our sales partners solicit orders from distributors and stores and then ship our books out to them. This happens after the KS Backer Reward shipments have been sent, but we don’t wait for every single shipping problem, like bad addresses or damaged shipments, to get resolved.

So, it’s usually the month after KS Backer Rewards ship. At the same time, we put the Final PDF and the PoD versions of the project live on DTRPG, for all those people in our community that can’t get to stores or prefer PDFs. And many stores do have online ordering of the traditionally printed versions, too.

This means that you can go to your Friendly Local Game Store, look for books we have KS’d on the shelves, and either pick them up there or ask your Retailer to order them for you. Please do, because they may not realize we have started to get projects into stores again.

Here’s that process in a line: KS => BackerKit => Backer PDFs errata => final files => Backer Rewards => On Sale in stores and PDF/PoDs at DTRPG.

Of course, we still create projects that we don’t KS and we don’t put into stores, so their process would be more this: Advance PDF on DTRPG => errata => final PDF and PoD at DTRPG.

Hope that all of the above helps folks find our projects out there in the gaming wilderness!

Dark Eras 2 art by Alex Sheikman


Still related to Kickstarters, though, we’re not done with them yet. We recently sent out the Backer PDFs for both Dark Eras 2 for Chronicles of Darkness, and They Came From Beneath the Sea! and reaction has been fantastic. Matthew, in particular, has been touched in his cold, dead, heart by the warm reception to the TCFBtS! Backer PDF as it has been his baby since he first pitched the idea to me several years ago.

In fact, we even saw Backers wearing They Came From Beneath the Sea! shirts at MidWinter just over a week ago.

At MidWinter, in case you missed it, we announced several new games I mentioned last week as well, including They Came From Beyond the Grave!, the next in the They Came From… series. This game will focus on the sort of 60s – 70s horror typified by Hammer Horror films, Roger Corman films, and the Dark Shadows TV show.

In fact, there is even a built-in, two time period, part of the game where you can also play in that pseudo Victorian or Edwardian era that those sorts of media loved to play around with. Flashbacks to an earlier life? Prologue for the 70s? Time travel? All possible with this.

We also announced Trinity Continuum: Assassins, a parallel setting for the Trinity Continuum core rulebook setting. This is really a great way to start to emphasize the strength of the Continuum concept in the Trinity Continuum. Sort of a dark mirror universe that can be separate from your core setting, or as connected as you want it to be. Stylish, deadly, and often amoral except for one thing – but expert killers nonetheless.

There was also an announcement for TC: Adventure!, which is the retooling of the original Pulp-genre game, although set about 10 years later in the 1930s. Most of my favorite pulp magazine adventures were set in that decade and into the 40s, so it made sense to me, plus, now players can find themselves with real opportunities to foil Nazis!

Although it was kind of lost amongst all the other hoopla, we are thrilled to be able to let Changeling: The Lost 2e fans know that we are also working on The Hedge for that gameline. As you might imagine, this book features an exploration of that most treacherous and terrifying barrier between our world and, well, a lot of really horrifying and/or beautiful things.

Finally, here’s a heads-up that the New Year brought a change and we have ended our Exalted 3rd monthly PDF releases so that we can create the remaining entries for both Hundred Devils Night Parade and Adversaries of the Righteous and get both those books finished and out on DTRPG in PDF and PoD versions.

Yugman’s Guide art by Bryan Syme

But fear not, true believer! We won’t let your craving for monthly PDF releases go unsatisfied! Instead we will be presenting sections of Yugman’s Guide to Ghelspad for Scarred Lands every other month, alternating with chapters of Vigil Watch. Two different ways to learn about the Scarred Lands setting.

So there you go! Hoping the info here was helpful as you travel with us on our Onyx Path. A sometimes confusing path as we grow, but it’s still:

Many Worlds, One Path!



Next on Kickstarter, we are looking at Hunter: The Vigil 2nd Edition for Chronicles of Darkness!

Onyx Path Media!

This Friday’s Onyx Pathcast is a deep dive into the riotous They Came From Beneath the Sea!! Check it out direct on Podbean, or your favorite podcast venue!

A bumper schedule on Twitch this week with Vampire, Chronicles of Darkness, Scion, Pugmire, Aberrant, Scarred Lands, Changeling: The Lost, Hunter: The Vigil, Changeling: The Dreaming, Mage: The Awakening, and even more Scarred Lands and Vampire besides!

As ever, subscribe to our channel over on

Our YouTube channel continues filling up with content, including the Onyx Path News! Do stay subscribed to to catch the news when it comes out live!

And here’s Occultists Anonymous‘ latest offerings:

Episode 74: A Lonely Road
The cabal performs some investigative magics in The Town, preparing to leave out on the Golden Road. The Golden Road provides dangers quickly enough…

Episode 75: Trials & Air Miles
The Rookery Cabal continues down the Golden Road after confronting the Minotaur. Further barriers stand before them that challenge more than just their bodies.

The Primogen launched a video handling V5 Cults of the Blood Gods right here: Do give him a subscribe!

Red Moon Roleplaying continue their actual play of Changeling: The Lost, V5 Cults of the Blood Gods, and close their chronicle of V5 Chicago by Night on their YouTube channel, Spotify, their website and everywhere else good podcasts might be found!

Please check any of these out and let us know if you find or produce any actual plays of our games!

Electronic Gaming!

As we find ways to enable our community to more easily play our games, the Onyx Dice Rolling App is 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 awesome! (Seriously, you need to roll 100 dice for Exalted? This app has you covered.)

On Amazon and Barnes & Noble!

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 from which you bought it. Reviews really, really help us get folks interested in our amazing fiction!

Our selection includes these latest fiction books:

Our Sales Partners!

We’re working with Studio2 to get Pugmire and Monarchies of Mau 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!

We’ve added Prince’s Gambit to our Studio2 catalog:

Now, we’ve added Changeling: The Lost 2nd Edition products to Studio2‘s store! See them here:

Scarred Lands (Pathfinder) books are also on sale at Studio2, and they have the 5e version, supplements, and dice as well!:

Scion 2e books and other products are available now at Studio2:

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

And you can order Pugmire, Monarchies of Mau, Cavaliers of Mars, and Changeling: The Lost 2e at the same link! And NOW Scion Origin and Scion Hero AND Trinity Continuum Core and Trinity Continuum: Aeon are available to order!

As always, you can find Onyx Path’s titles at!

On Sale This Week!

This Wednesday, we will be releasing Trinity Continuum: Aeon symbols all the Orders, Aeon, and the game logo – on shirts and other merchandise on our RedBubble store!


More conventions will be listed for 2020 in the weeks to come-

And now, the new project status updates!

DEVELOPMENT STATUS FROM 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)

  • Exalted Essay Collection (Exalted)
  • N!ternational Wrestling Entertainment (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant)
  • Contagion Chronicle Ready-Made Characters (Chronicles of Darkness)
  • Trinity Continuum: Adventure! core (Trinity Continuum: Adventure!)
  • Duke Rollo fiction (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant)
  • TC: Aberrant Jumpstart (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant)
  • RUST (Working Title) (Scarred Lands)
  • Under Alien Suns (Trinity Continuum: Aeon)
  • Mission Statements (Trinity Continuum: Aeon)
  • Adversaries of the Righteous (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Hundred Devil’s Night Parade (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Novas Worldwide (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant)


  • Kith and Kin (Changeling: The Lost 2e)
  • Dragon-Blooded Novella #2 (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Many-Faced Strangers – Lunars Companion (Exalted 3rd Edition)

Second Draft

  • M20 Victorian Mage (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Exigents (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Crucible of Legends (Exalted 3rd Edition)


  • Heirs to the Shogunate (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • TC: Aberrant Reference Screen (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant)
  • Monsters of the Deep (They Came From Beneath the Sea!)
  • Scion: Demigod (Scion 2nd Edition)
  • Tales of Aquatic Terror (They Came From Beneath the Sea!)
  • Across the Eight Directions (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Contagion Chronicle: Global Outbreaks (Chronicles of Darkness)
  • Contagion Chronicle Jumpstart (Chronicles of Darkness)

Manuscript Approval

  • Scion: Dragon (Scion 2nd Edition)
  • Masks of the Mythos (Scion 2nd Edition)
  • Trinity Continuum Jumpstart (Trinity Continuum Core)

Post-Approval Development

  • Scion LARP Rules (Scion)
  • Mummy: The Curse 2nd Edition core rulebook (Mummy: The Curse 2nd Edition)
  • Titanomachy (Scion 2nd Edition)
  • One Foot in the Grave Jumpstart (Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2e)
  • Player’s Guide to the Contagion Chronicle (Chronicles of Darkness)


  • Lunars: Fangs at the Gate (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Geist 2e Fiction Anthology (Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition)
  • Dragon-Blooded Novella #1 (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Legendlore core book (Legendlore)
  • Mythical Denizens (Creatures of the World Bestiary) (Scion 2nd Edition)
  • Pirates of Pugmire KS-Added Adventure (Realms of Pugmire)
  • Yugman’s Guide to Ghelspad (Scarred Lands)
  • Trinity Continuum: Aberrant core (Trinity Continuum: Aberrant)
  • Terra Firma (Trinity Continuum: Aeon)
  • Deviant: The Renegades (Deviant: The Renegades)
  • Lunars Novella (Rosenberg) (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Buried Bones: Creating in the Realms of Pugmire (Realms of Pugmire)

Post-Editing Development

  • TC: Aeon Ready-Made Characters (Trinity Continuum: Aeon)
  • Night Horrors: Nameless and Accursed (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)
  • City of the Towered Tombs (Cavaliers of Mars)
  • W20 Shattered Dreams Gift Cards (Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th)
  • TC: Aeon Jumpstart (Trinity Continuum: Aeon)
  • Vigil Watch (Scarred Lands)
  • Scion Companion: Mysteries of the World (Scion 2nd Edition)
  • Cults of the Blood Gods (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition)
  • Wraith20 Fiction Anthology (Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Hunter: The Vigil 2e core (Hunter: The Vigil 2nd Edition)
  • Let the Streets Run Red (Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition)
  • M20 The Technocracy Reloaded (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • WoD Ghost Hunters (World of Darkness)



In Art Direction

  • Trinity Continuum: Aberrant
  • Hunter: The Vigil 2e – All KS art is in.
  • Ex3 Lunars – Art is in.
  • TCfBtS!: Heroic Land Dwellers – LeBlanc working on finals.
  • Night Horrors: Nameless and Accursed – Finals should be in end of month, lining up layout artist.
  • Cults of the Blood God (KS)
  • Mummy 2
  • City of the Towered Tombs – Had to recontract this, moving along now.
  • Let the Streets Run Red
  • CtL Oak Ash and Thorn – Contracted.
  • Deviant
  • Vigil Watch – Contracted.
  • Legendlore (KS) – Starting to gather art needs for KS.
  • Technocracy Reloaded (KS) – Artwork for KS in progress.
  • Scion Companion – Working on art notes for that with Meredith.
  • TC: Aeon Terra Firma – Getting that rolling out.

In Layout

  • Trinity Continuum Aeon: Distant Worlds – Travis doing the layout on this.
  • Pirates of Pugmire – With Aileen.
  • Yugman’s Guide to Ghelspad
  • Scion Mythical Denizens – Headed to proofing.
  • Contagion Chronicle – Getting files together for Josh.


  • Dark Eras 2 – Backer PDF out to backers, errata coning in.
  • Trinity Continuum Aeon Jumpstart
  • They Came from Beneath the Sea! – Backer PDF out to backers, errata coming in.
  • VtR Spilled Blood – Josh finishing.
  • Chicago Folio – Inputting corrections.
  • Wraith20 Anthology – At WW.

At Press

  • V5: Chicago – Shipping to backers.
  • Geist 2e (Geist: The Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition) – Shipping to fulfillment shippers.
  • Geist 2e Screen – Being printed.
  • DR:E – Shipping to fulfillment shippers.
  • DRE Screen – Being printed.
  • DR:E Threat Guide – Helnau’s Guide to Wasteland Beasties
  • Memento Mori – Awaiting errata for input.

Today’s Reason to Celebrate!

Here in the US, today is the holiday celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday! History has underscored that MLK, Jr. was a human being, flawed like all humankind, but nevertheless he was a person trying to make the world better. And he paid the ultimate price so often paid by those who dream of such things.

35 thoughts on “Kickstarters & Stores & Whaaat? [Monday Meeting Notes]”

  1. I am admittedly somewhat saddened to see that there are only a small handful of 20th anniversary projects left, and not all are game relevant, it seems.

    I am not really a fan of 5th edition or CoD, and assume that there will be no 4e/Anniversary editions for the likes of KotE, MtR, HtR, or DtF. At least, I haven’t seen/heard news of such.

    WoD Ghost Hunters is the only one I’m not sure exactly what it is or for what edition.

    All the same, I am happy to see things going strong and things going (hopefully) smoothly. Keep up the good work!

    • WoD Ghost Hunters is definitely for World of Darkness, and is a “20th Anniversary” book. As we’ve let you folks in on before, it’s just not up to us to start on any other 20ths. Rich Bastards Guide was greenlit by Paradox, so we were glad to add that to the schedule, but like that, anything else must also be OK’d by them as owners of the IPs. Thanks!

  2. SO hard to watch Kith and Kin creeping slo-o-o-wly down the list. It’s the book I’m holding out for the most.

    You sure you couldn’t just drop everything else and focus exclusively on this single book? I’d super appreciate it!

  3. Happy to hear that the Gentleman game heart grew 2 sizes that day!
    I got TCFBTS! But didn’t read properly yet. Still the art is amazing and all the references to the 50s and movies is great. I could say my heart grew that day too, but it shrink back with my lack of time to read…
    Great to see SO MANY TC books in the line… with my physical copies around here (they arrived last week, thank you very much) my heart sure would grew, but stil didn’t because it went straight to the self side by side with the 1e books and the d20 versions (just under Scion 1e).

    • I’m assuming you read them in PDF form, because sitting on a shelf unread would be a sad fate for any of our games! You clearly need more time to read. Do you have a job you can quit, or family obligations you can throw to the wayside, in order to huddle up and read through TCFBtS!? I’m full of good advice today!

      • I have read it so many times… if it was printed would be a little worn by now… the good part is the printed still smell nice…
        Your advices are good… let me check if my boss don’t mind to keep me in the payroll while I read… I will probably need some time to go thru all the books In my list… better ask for a raise also…

  4. Is there going to be 20th Anniversary Editions for Mummy The Resurrection, Hunter The Reckoning and Demon The Fallen? I think we need them to fill out the rest of the games.

    • I strongly second this request !
      Hopefully Paradox allows for additional 20th Anniversary products. I’d guess their problem is that they have not yet defined what they want to do with a 5th Ed. of say … Mummy, so they don’t want a 20th Anniversary Edition to contradict anything they might plan. So not giving a green light to any 20th product gives them more options for their 5th Editions. Plus it might increase sales for the 5th Edition version of Mummy if noone was able to buy a 20th anniversary edition…

      • And just let me say to all of you asking about more 20ths that it is really awesome for us to hear that you want more of them. We gave each book our all, and while it’s frustrating not to be able to do more, it’s super you all liked them so much that you want more!

    • A few months back — when we hit the 20th anniversary — I made a Hunter20 symbol for people to use. Unfortunately that’s about as close as we’re going to get to a formal Hunter20 without Paradox approval.

  5. I’m sure that these “how we do it” posts can feel like repeats, but know that it’s really wonderful transparency that some of us (i.e. me!) appreciate. I also learn something new every time you post these, so thank you.

    • Sometimes even I can’t remember if I’ve covered something before, but in this case there’s enough newness to adding Retail versions that I think it’s worth breaking down what we’re doing now into separate steps so folks can follow. My hope is that folks “in the know” can link to this one somebody asks a question related to this on social media.

    • The versions we are doing for retail are almost exactly the same as the Prestige versions done for Beast or Demon or Mummy 1st, with, I think, the only difference is not including the cloth bookmarks. The same process is used for the covers.

    • “Coning” instead of “coming”? I know it’s an error of cataclysmic proportions, but do you think – somehow – you can live with it? 😉

  6. Hello,

    I know there is a lot of interest in more WOD 20th anniversary editions here (and I would love a hunter 20th edition and Demon 20th). Obviously it is Paradox’s call. Does expressing interest here, or elsewhere help you show interest to them and help your case, or does it just mean you have to explain you have no control over it over and over again? Similarly is us expressing our interest to Paradox useful to them and you, or just likely to annoy them? I want to show support for the idea, but don’t want to just add work to people who are probably already busy and heard the same thing a hundred times before.


    • Like I mentioned previously, we do really appreciate that folks want more 20s – that’s a great testament to the hard work and talent our creators have poured into their 20th Anniversary projects! It is a bit frustrating to then have to always tell folks that it’s Paradox’s call, but I don’t think it would be bad to let them know your interested in a very polite way. We don’t expect the crew over there to see all the comments here, and on our forums, and on our social media – so if you want to put forward your interest to them directly, politely, then that can only be helpful. Thanks for asking!


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