What is the Onyx Path?
Q: What is the Onyx Path?
A. Onyx Path Publishing is a company founded in January 2012 by White Wolf Creative Director Rich Thomas. Following October 2011’s layoffs at CCP, CCP/White Wolf was no longer in a good position to do publishing in addition to the main business of making computer games. As a result, Rich founded Onyx Path Publishing to handle this business.
Onyx Path Publishing (OPP) has three main focuses at the moment:
- Phase I: We are the licensed publisher for White Wolf’s tabletop RPG settings: the Chronicles of Darkness, the World of Darkness, and Exalted.
- Phase II: We publish our own tabletop RPG settings: the Scarred Lands, Scion, and the Trinity Continuum. All three were once White Wolf properties, but OPP now owns them outright. We also own new property They Came From Beneath The Sea!
- Phase III: We publish creator-owned properties: Rose Bailey’s Cavaliers of Mars and Eddy Webb’s Pugmire will be the first, with more to come. We also license Eschaton Media’s Dystopia Rising setting to publish the new edition of their tabletop RPG, Dystopia Rising: Evolution.
Q. What about Mind’s Eye Theatre, or Vampire: The Eternal Struggle?
A. Our license allows us to publish White Wolf tabletop RPGs and novels only. This does not include the live-action MET rules. At the time of this writing, MET has been licensed to By Night Studios.
Q: Can I get your books in stores?
A. Since mid-2010, White Wolf/Onyx Path have transitioned out of the traditional publishing industry. With traditional publishing, finished files would go to the printer, a print run would be ordered, the print run would be shipped to a warehouse, the warehouse would ship to distributors, and distributors would ship to retailers. Sadly, the traditional print industry isn’t doing so well these days. For a number of different reasons it’s more beneficial for us to do things differently.
Now we’re primarily a digital release company. We release our books on PDF and print-on-demand via our partners at OneBookShelf, owners of DriveThruRPG, RPGNow, and other affiliated sites.
Onyx Path has been working on a retailer program to support game stores via print offerings. If you’re interested in joining this program, please fill out our Retailer Beta Program Application Form. Additionally, a small amount of stock of Deluxe and Prestige editions from our Kickstarters are being made available to retailers via our partners at Indie Press Revolution.
With some recent Kickstarters for non-White Wolf properties, part of the goal of the Kickstarter was to enable a print run for distribution to physical game stores.
Q: I don’t want a PDF. Can I get a book in print?
A. Certainly! All our new releases are available in print from DriveThruRPG, and a growing number of older White Wolf books, too. We have over 1200 books available in print now, in a variety of formats previously unavailable. Some books have an option between softcover and hardcover, some have an option between black-and-white and full color. More improvements are on the way.
Buying a print-on-demand book is as easy as buying a book on Amazon, and can arrive at your front door in a matter of a couple of weeks or less.
Q: What are the chances of me being able to get a certain book in print?
A. The entire White Wolf back catalog — or at least as much as is feasible — will eventually be made available in print. It’s not a matter of “if,” but “when.” For more recent releases, as long as a book is above a certain minimum pagecount, we generally make them available in print.
Q: A new book is available in PDF. When will it be available in print?
A. Our current model typically goes as follows: We release an “advance PDF.” Our fans report any errors they find. We collect these and update our files. From these files we create a final release PDF and the printer files. We request a proof to ensure the book looks as it should. If everything’s okay, the final PDF is uploaded and the PoD option enabled. The entire process takes typically takes between four to eight weeks, depending on the size and complexity of the book.
Q: Why is a Kickstarter necessary?
A. It isn’t. All our White Wolf licensed Kickstarters thus far, and all similar planned future Kickstarters, are for deluxe or prestige editions only. The outcome of a deluxe Kickstarter does not affect the standard PDF and print release of that book. Kickstarters, however, may affect future releases: e.g. the W20 Kickstarter passed a number of stretch goals which added several Werewolf novels and additional Werewolf supplements to the release schedule. If you want to see more books for your favorite line, backing a Kickstarter is a good way to do that, and get a fancy rulebook to boot.
Non-White Wolf Kickstarters, such as those for Scarred Lands and Pugmire, may rely on the KS for a traditional print run for distribution. Onyx Path is still a fairly new small company, and some projects unfortunately cannot rely on the +25-year White Wolf legacy. However, the above holds true: regardless of the outcome of the Kickstarter, the key product should still be available via PDF and print-on-demand.
Q: I missed a Kickstarter. Can I still get the deluxe or prestige edition?
A. The deluxe and prestige editions are intended to be limited releases, so the bulk of the copies made are sent to backers. However, if we end up with extra stock after all shipping is completed, we make them available via our partners at Indie Press Revolution. You can purchase directly from them online, or you can ask your preferred affiliated retailer to include a book as part of their IPR order.
The regular edition of the products will still be available on DriveThruRPG in PDF and print format.
Q: I missed a Kickstarter. Will I still be able to get the (non-deluxe) book?
A. Any Kickstarter we run for a simple (i.e. non-deluxe and non-prestige) traditional print run is largely intended to build up stock for distribution to a physical game store. Stock can be purchased either by retailers or by interested individuals from our partners at Indie Press Revolution or Studio2. It’s always a good idea to ask your local store first, though!
Q: Is [upcoming book] going to have a Kickstarter?
A: Check out our release schedule. Most planned Kickstarter projects are labelled. While many of our projects are Kickstarted, not all of them will be.
Q: Will you make T-shirts? Do you have posters? Can you give us dice as a Kickstarter stretch goal reward?
A: As a digital company, we don’t really have contacts in the merch industry anymore. Kickstarter editions are the only things we have which aren’t PDF/PoD right now. Even if we were to make something, we don’t have the warehouse space to store it in.
We have opened a RedBubble store for shirts, which are created on-demand, and DriveThruRPG has recently (summer 2014) opened the ability to print posters. We’re trying out custom dice with a few of our Kickstarters, but they’re not widely available (yet?). Otherwise, we have an excellent dice rolling app called Onyx Dice for iOS and Android mobile devices.