A Warning About Mage20th! [Monday Meeting Notes]


The above photos show the massive size of the Premium Color PoD version of M20. It is a monster.

Uh, I mean a comprehensive tome of magickal wonder.

(And not something that you could kill your pet with if you accidentally dropped it.)

We’re waiting for the Standard Color version to show up here at Onyx Path Mission Control, but meanwhile, I thought I’d show you this version. Hopefully, we can get M20 Kickstarter backer discount links out this week and get it on sale to the public soon after once the Standard version gets here.

Just as a comparison, here it is with M:tA Revised:


So why am I going on about this? Just bragging in some “mine is bigger than yours” sort of way?

No, not really. (Well, a little.)

Mostly, I want folks to be aware that this book is huge. That means it costs A LOT to print, and its weight would suggest it will cost a fair bit to ship. It’s gorgeous and an amazing testament to Mage: the Ascension and all of its fans, so please remember that when you look at the price on DTRPG. I’m trying to help you all avoid sticker shock.

I also strongly suggest that you choose a shipping option other than Media Mail when you order either of the PoD versions. Those boxes are just really a sleeve of cardboard, which might work fine for most normal sized books, but the weight of M20 means that it is more likely to smash up its corners when joggled even a bit in the truck. We don’t have any control over the packaging the PoD printer uses, so if the corners are a concern for you (and maybe if this is the copy you intend for actual play at the table then the corners aren’t a big thing for you), please look to the other shipping options offered when you order.

I’m also bringing this up because we have seen the size of a lot of our core books blow up in the past several years as our 20th Anniversary books and new editions of other core books have been being created with a certain extended idea of what needs to be in the books. There is something satisfying about seeing your favorite game line get a big, beautiful book. No doubt. And a lot of folks in our community like to have as many of the pieces of those game lines as we can get into that one volume. Also understandable.

Since we here at Onyx Path talk to you and have been focused on re-energizing these game lines, we’ve wanted to get you all excited about them again by giving you everything we could.

So, we now need to look at the results of that kind of thinking and consider how best to engage both our current audience, and potential new gamers. 700 page books filled with as much classic information and flavor as M20 provides, may just not be the best way to pull in new players. I mean, it certainly shows we are serious about the game lines and making beautiful books.

But maybe not so easy for a newbie to get into. Intimidating even.

Don’t worry, we’ll keep thinking about it. We’re full of ideas here.

Meanwhile, Eddy and I discussed his latest con playtest of Pugmire over the weekend, which as always, went really well with a lot of enthusiastic players. I’ve found that even folks who want to joke about sniffing butts and chasing cats get very quickly drawn into the world and the roleplaying and get into some serious, if fun, playing, really fast.

We also touched on V4 and what questions and method Eddy will be using to reach out to our VtM community once he is ready to start some conversations rolling. This led into a further conversation in our second meeting about how we should set up the backer feedback for the Exalted 3rd PDF errata. No finished solutions yet, but lots of good ideas. Like I said, we’re full of them.

Well, we’re full of something.

Next week, I’m hoping that I can convince Mirthful Mike to step in and do a fill in on the Monday Meeting Notes for me as I’ll be out the first half of the week with a family obligation. So be ready for a very different blog from him.


And now, the BLURBS!

Vampire 20th Anniversary Edition: The Dark Ages is NOW available in PDF and PoD versions at DriveThruRPG.com! This massive full color tome is part of the V20 line but does not require V20 to play and enjoy.





The Demon Translation Guide PDF and PoD versions are 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




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: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/153518/Pugmire-Gen-Con-Brochure


The sixth and final Pugmire poster for now, Spike Mutt, is on the loose now as a free PDF or $.99 physical poster, suitable for framing: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/150845/Spike-Mutt-Pugmire-Poster-6

The fifth Pugmire poster, Pan Dachshund, is ready now as a free PDF or $.99 physical poster, suitable for framing: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/150844/Pan-Dachshund-Pugmire-Poster-5

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!




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



And now, 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)
  • Dark Eras Expansions (nWod Dark Eras)
  • Pugmire Early Access
  • Dark Eras Companion (nWod Dark Eras)
  • 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)
  • Beast Ready Made Characters (Beast: the Primordial)
  • Beast Fiction Anthology (Beast: the Primordial)
  • Cavaliers of Mars



  • 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
  • WtF The Pack (Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition)


Second Draft

  • Arms of the Chosen (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Secrets of the Covenants (Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition)
  • The Realm (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Dragon-Blooded (Exalted 3rd Edition)



  • “Sardonyx” System Rules (Base rules set for Scion and the Trinity Continuum)
  • W20 Pentex Employee Indoctrination Handbook (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary 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)
  • M20 Anthology (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)



  • 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)
  • Demon Storytellers’ Guide (Demon: the Descent)
  • Promethean: the Created 2nd Edition, featuring the Firestorm Chronicle (Promethean: the Created)
  • Mage: the Awakening  2nd Edition, featuring the Fallen World Chronicle (Mage: the Awakening)


Post-Editing Development:

  • nWoD 2e core (New World of Darkness)





In Art Direction

  • V20 Ghouls Finals rolling in.
  • Dreams of Avarice – Sketches are good… Sam’s chugging along.
  • NWoD 2 – Leblanc working on the four fill in pcs.
  • Tal Me Rah – AD’d.
  • W20 Shattered Dreams – AD’d.
  • V20 Lore of the Clans – AD’d.
  • Pentex Employee Indoctrination Manual – Figuring it out. Holding off until I text is OK’d.
  • Demon STG –  Fulls AD’d. Sending out notes for halfs this week. I think I got enough artists to cover our bases.


In Layout

  • Beast: The Primordial– Hammer… hitting it. Got through all the stuff I’ve already done and moving on.
  • Lore of the Clans – roughing in the new stuff while art is in progress.
  • Beast KS Shirt – Should have that by Wednesday if all goes well.



  • M20 How Do You Do That ?!? – It’s with Phil.
  • Ex 3 Anthology – Awaiting updated text file.
  • Ex 3 core book – RichT here: Dev notes supposed to go to Maria tonight or Tuesday, she expects new proofs to us end of the week.


At Press

  • V20DA– Sent the Deluxe Interior, Cover, Endpages, and Screen off on Tuesday morning.
  • M20 Finally got the Standard through LS… so that should be on the way shortly.
  • M20 Screen– At the Printer.



  • Dark Eras – Holding pattern.
  • Wraith 20 – Yep… waiting on artnotes


TODAY’S REASON TO DRINK: The storm between two pauses.






79 responses to “A Warning About Mage20th! [Monday Meeting Notes]”

  1. Nick Pilon Avatar
    Nick Pilon

    The Curse of the Mummy has clearly struck Rio. 🙁

    1. richt Avatar

      Some pipelines are quicker than others.

  2. Jay Avatar

    How many pages is that M20? Not a backer of the M20 KS but just thinking for comparison to the eventual Ex3 KS deluxe version!

    1. AnatoleSerial Avatar

      Nearly 700.

      696 + covers, going by the backer PDF.

      I was going to put it on my book case, but now I am seriously considering on building a specific solution to this Tome. It is too big and dangerous to mingle with the rest of the books.

      1. Phaolan Avatar

        The Deluxe Edition version shall be even bigger, so yeah… There’s gonna be some seriously stressed shelves in the not-to-distant future.

        1. Cardul Avatar

          Shelves nothing! Ii am not sure that can be carried in anything short of its own bag.

          1. richt Avatar

            Maybe a Bag of Holding from that other game.

        2. richt Avatar

          Very likely, although some of that depends on the higher quality paper stock our traditional printers use.

      2. richt Avatar

        If you build it, send us pics!

  3. Unsilent Majority Avatar
    Unsilent Majority

    Any ideas when the next Kickstarter is going live?

    1. richt Avatar

      Sometime in September would be likely.

  4. Mr. Paint Avatar
    Mr. Paint

    Eagerly awaiting Demon STG and the Hurt Locker… And how many revision passes is Ex 3e core up to?

    1. richt Avatar

      The next will be the 8th. You can go back through my Monday Meeting Updates or on our Onyx Path forums to follow the progress and numbering.

  5. V Sainton Avatar
    V Sainton

    Good Lord!!
    What foul beast are you about to unleash upon my gaming shelf?!?!?! I may need to create a room just to hold this mighty and holy text.
    In all seriousness, M20 looks massive. It’s one thing to look at the pdf on my computer and another to look at it compared to a previous edition of Mage. I look forward to having it in my hands. And my groups are look forward to a fresh return to this classic game.

    1. richt Avatar

      Very glad to hear it!

  6. Erinys Avatar

    Holy moly that is a huge book!

    1. richt Avatar

      Yes, yes it is.

  7. ron Avatar

    has the book been tested for performance enhancing drugs?

    1. richt Avatar

      We tried but it beat up the doctors and made a run for it.

  8. WuseMajor Avatar

    Given the size of M20 and the advent of V:tM4, is it reasonable to assume that there might be a new edition of classic Mage in the offering in a year or two?

    1. Rob the Slob Avatar
      Rob the Slob

      No, it is not. (M20 *is* the new edition of Classic Mage, BTW.)

      1. richt Avatar

        It certainly is more of an actual new edition than V20 or W20, as we had the knowledge of what we could do from working on them.

    2. moogle001 Avatar

      I believe the answer to such questions for all the lines is “we shall see”. We shall see how VtM4 does. We shall see if there’s a desire for an overhaul of MtAs. We shall see how busy Onyx Path keeps itself.

      1. richt Avatar

        That’s really always the caveat.

    3. richt Avatar

      Further out than that, even if we roll consecutively with 4th Editions.

      1. Ian A. A. Watson Avatar
        Ian A. A. Watson

        Which we wouldn’t, necessarily. Mage Revised came out before Werewolf Revised, after all. There’s nothing saying we have to do them in order.

        1. Trippy Avatar

          It would be disappointing to me, as a Kickstarter backer, for people to start talking up a new Mage edition to supersede the actual new edition that I haven’t actually received yet.

          I do accept your own business needs though.

          1. richt Avatar

            I feel for you, and we’ve said we have only made plans for V4, but there’s nothing that can stop our incredibly creative community from speculating. That’s just the way it is.

  9. Jonathan Avatar

    I didn’t get a chance to back the M20 book but I’ll definitely keep an eye out for the public PDF release.

    Also, glad to see movement on the nWoD Core as well as the Mage and Promethean 2nd Editions. 😀

    1. richt Avatar

      Soon! And yes, this Fall will have a cornucopia of nWoD goodness!

  10. Vedic Avatar

    Great to see the movement on Mage and Promethean!

    1. richt Avatar

      I agree!

  11. Raging_Dragon Avatar

    I think a warning should be placed on the PoD for M20… I mean seriously, people who used media mail and going to be pretty cheesed when they get a badly banged up book in the mail.

    1. richt Avatar

      That was my thinking as well.

  12. Cardul Avatar

    I really hope that they do the full treatment with everything for Changeling 20.

    1. richt Avatar

      C20, like Wraith20 before it, is both an anniversary edition and the revised edition Changeling: the Dreaming never had, so it will have a lot of stuff in there.

  13. Trippy Avatar

    If there is one cosmological constant in the battle for reality, it’s that RPG books are getting fatter. However, don’t think that Mage 20th is alone – check out the 750+ page Traveller 5.1 edition, or the 1000+ pages in the Horror on the Orient Express boxset, or the gargantuan Guide to Glorantha (admittedly in two coffee table sized volumes).

    I would say that all of these things appeal to seasoned gamers though, as do Anniversary editions. Indeed, as a backer of a deluxe ‘Quintessence’ Edition the cost of postage/packaging is accounted for (I hope!) already. I’ll have to think about getting a separate POD book (how much shelf space do you think I have?!)

    If you’re comparing Mage Revised, then it ought to be noted that this had editing problems of it’s own. From memory it came in at 90,000 words and large sections of text had to be cut from the book – and it was heavily criticised because of it. Has Mage: The Ascension ever really been beginner friendly in any edition, I have to ask?

    With regards to V4, I am in two minds. The one thing that may swing it, besides being more concise, is the art direction for the spat pages and the return of the red rose on the cover. If you want to thin it down, I’d welcome a return to just the original 7 Camarilla Clans, but I’m not sure you’d do that. At this stage in the cycle, I’d be irritated if there was much conjecture about other new editions for other CWoD games for at least another couple of years.

    Anyway, I am really looking forward to M20 as a priority. How long till the backers get their deluxe editions?

    1. richt Avatar

      So, as long as we match your opinion of the art in the splats and put the red rose on the cover you are cool with whatever we do with V4? Awesome! If only everybody was as easy to please. No estimates on the M20 deluxe, but it’ll be months from now as we have the whole printing manufacturing process to go through.

      1. Trippy Avatar

        I’ll judge V4 on it’s own merits of course – and it will be made by comparison with V20 edition I currently own. However, the splat art being similar to the style used in 2nd Edition as well as the red rose will be the first things I will notice, to be sure.

  14. Anaximander Avatar

    Promethean and Mage battling TO THE DEATH to see which can get out first makes me happy. Can the Supernal overcome the Divine Fire? Will Disquiet put Mage to Sleep? Can’t wait to see!

    Also very, very, VERY happy to see Cavaliers of Mars join the list. Swashbuckle, Rose, swashbuckle!

    1. richt Avatar

      It’s going to be a super busy Fall for us, and a great one for releases for nWoD 2nd fans.

  15. Scutarii Avatar


    I was excited by the intro-document that was put out really early on with the brand new OPP site, was teased again by the dev blogs with some more setting info and have been keeping an ear to the ground for more info ever since

    1. richt Avatar

      Well, Rose has been super busy helping to keep Onyx rolling along, and could only keep working on Cavaliers when she could. We’ve tweaked a lot of our internal processes thanks to her efforts, and now she can devote more energy to her game.

  16. Malfeas Avatar

    Yes but can I play as a Pomeranian? This is the only question worth asking tbh

    1. richt Avatar

      Yes! As the rules for Pugmire currently stand, Eddy has left room for any breed to be playable.

  17. Simon Taylor Avatar
    Simon Taylor

    Can you give us a rough estimate on when Kickstarter backers are likely to see the PDF of Exalted 3e?

    1. richt Avatar

      Not really. Estimates on any stage of this project have been inaccurate and a mistake to give. But we are close now.

      1. kalysto727 Avatar

        I understand about not wanting to give estimates on dates as that’s been a can of worms in the past, but I was wondering if I could ask a few non-date dependent questions?

        Exalted moved from layout to proofing. What’s proofing and is it something that will have multiple passes like layout did? If so, would it be eight like layout was? Less? More?

        Also, what’s the next step after proofing?

        1. richt Avatar

          Proofing is the last stage of layout, basically. All the heavy layout work is done, but myself and the Devs are still reviewing the layout and sending back notes. CCP still needs to have a look at the proofs as well before we can send out backer PDFs.

          1. kalysto727 Avatar

            Thanks! One last question for now if you don’t mind:

            Historically, how long approximately (understanding there are always exceptions and things are case by case) has CCP taken to give approval on a book? Days, weeks or months?

            Like the song says, “The waiting is the hardest part.” But it’s good to know things are approaching the finish line.

          2. richt Avatar

            No telling in this case.

  18. Andreas Rayne Avatar
    Andreas Rayne

    Looks like I’m going to have to invest in some kind of servo-assisted gauntlet with a cushioned palm and fingers.

    If no such device exists perhaps my local Etherite can russel me something up.

    1. richt Avatar

      A friendly local Etherite would be a huge “help” for a lot of day to day problems.

  19. Nightchilde Avatar

    I don’t suppose you can give a ballpark of the cost for a PoD copy of M20 yet, huh? ;-/ Like…$80 or less maybe? Trying to budget here…:-D

    1. richt Avatar

      The Premium Color PoD of M20 will be more than $80. Check out the prices for the V20 and W20 books and then figure more than that.

      1. nightchilde Avatar

        The $80 number was pulled outta my butt anyway. 😛 I will probably get the least expensive POD version possible, mainly because I plan to actually use the book. I’ll likely, eventually, buy a 2nd, nicer quality copy for collectible purposes.

        1. nightchilde Avatar

          To clarify: I’m not bitching about the price. I fully expect to pay handsomely.

        2. richt Avatar

          Makes sense to me!

  20. nsmith Avatar

    I have ordered many of the Onyx Path books from Drivethru RPG and literally every single one has arrived damaged – you are correct, the media mail option is worthless for packaging.

    Are the more expensive UPS options better as far as packaging? Or do they still use the same worthless cardboard wrappers and just use a different carrier?

    1. richt Avatar

      I have gotten books undamaged, and I’ve received them in other kinds of boxes, but can’t specifically say which service did which.

      1. Brian Norris Avatar
        Brian Norris

        Oh, so it’s not going to be as big as it was implied to be on the Kickstarter comments section. Interesting…

        1. richt Avatar

          What are you basing your comment on? We haven’t gone into depth on the size of Wraith20, and certainly haven’t talked about it being as big as M20.

      2. V Sainton Avatar
        V Sainton

        I’ve had good luck thus far and none of my books have arrived damaged. But I tend to order in groups of 4+ books at a time which generally means a larger box.

    2. Austin Loomis Avatar
      Austin Loomis

      Whereas I’ve had excellent luck with my Onyx Path PODs. Maybe you’re getting all my bad karma on that score, in which case, I’m sorry.

      Then again, none of them have been as thick as that M20. The only thing I’ve ordered from DTRPG that was even close wasn’t an OPP product (the long-awaited Chuubo’s Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine, which was roughly as thick as The God-Machine Chronicle and The Strix Chronicle combined).

  21. Brian Norris Avatar
    Brian Norris

    Well, Wraith20 better be huge.

    1. richt Avatar

      Or what?

  22. Jacob Avatar

    That’s a very weird note about media rate…I assume that the choice to use cheap cardboard sleeves was made by the DRPG folks because I’ve certainly shipped things at the media rate in the past and packaging doesn’t matter (I’ve reused nice thick Amazon boxes for this). It’s the contents of the package afterall (along with the how soon do you want it there) that makes a difference as to whether or not it qualifies for the media rate.

    1. richt Avatar

      Again, the regular packaging might be just super for other smaller books, my warning is about M20 in particular. I don’t think DTRPG has any more ability to decide which packaging the PoD printer uses than we do.

  23. B Avatar

    Is the Deviant subtitle not yet announced because you’re keeping it a surprise this time or because you haven’t decided on it yet? I remember that when Beast was announced, it was announced as “Beast: The Primordial” right away.

    1. Dave Brookshaw Avatar
      Dave Brookshaw

      We’re keeping it a surprise. I can’t see it changing, but you never know. Demon’s actually did – we wrote it as one subtitle, and then changed it when “The Descent” seemed better.

      But we know what Deviant’s is supposed to be.

      1. Jason Inczauskis Avatar
        Jason Inczauskis

        What was the original subtitle going to be?

        1. Rob the Slob Avatar
          Rob the Slob

          The Trident

  24. Lance Avatar

    Oh gods, the day has come where there’s a TRPG corebook that’s actually THICKER then my arm.

    Well, at least now I’m relieved I apparently made the right choice of storing my other rulebooks on the bottom shelf of my bookcase…

  25. Andrew Thomas Avatar
    Andrew Thomas

    Nice to see that Beast is proceeding at a fairly even clip. Can hardly wait to have it in my Drive/hands.

  26. Erasculio Avatar

    Ok, I’m a bit worried about what kind of shipping the Kickstarter backers will get. I’ll use the international shipping, and I don’t remember having a choice about which shipping to use. It wouldn’t be exactly pleasant to get the Quintessence Edition with the lenticular cover half destroyed by Media Mail 😛

    1. richt Avatar

      The shipping I am talking about here only applies to the PoD versions, not the Deluxe. Totally different issues with that shipping, and our current KS shipper has been really good with their packaging.

      1. Erasculio Avatar

        Great, that’s a relief! Thanks, richt! 🙂

  27. Rodrigo Castelo Avatar
    Rodrigo Castelo

    There are no plans for WoD: Inferno 2nd? I’m happy with Demons Translation Guide, but the Possessed offers so much.

  28. […] Even Bigger Purple Book will magically enable me to run or play Mage any time soon — in fact, the projected size of the tome seems wildly impractical for any use that doesn’t involve it majestically perching on a […]