Happy Holidays to all of y’all who celebrate!
Like I mentioned last week, this is a very brief, special episode of the Monday Meeting Notes, as the Christmas holiday lands right on our usual Monday Meeting day – and even an old Scrooge like me isn’t asking anybody to meet!
But before the gang left, they sent me their holiday greetings and best wishes for all of you in the form of the gifts they’d like you to have. Some are small treats, some are more game-useful, so it’s really a stocking-ful of prezzies.
Without further ado:
OUR GIFT LIST, FROM ONYX PATH TO YOU!
From Impish Ian Watson:
I wish for all our fans to have a safe and happy holiday season, with lots of delicious food, friends, and festivities. Party safe!
From Lovely LisaT:
My gift is time – time to relax and spend with loved ones, maybe even time to play some games!
A Special Teaser Treat from Danielle:
I hope you all have a great holiday, and I leave you with this At the Gates teaser:
Vodalak, the Absolute Zero
A powerful blizzard blinds the world. Once the white-out recedes enough to see again, the presence of a cyclopean ice pillar demands to be acknowledged: The pillar emanates a dreadful aura where cruelty joins hatred. An echoing like muffled thunder precedes a scream like a choked lament. The ice explodes and shatters in all directions. Where it once stood, a horrible warlock, gaunt and distorted by resentment, floats midair. Rime dots his long pale beard, while a horned crown of frozen iron fuses with his very own frostbitten flesh. After a moment spent examining those beneath him, judging them worthy of his spiteful disdain, the entity snaps his gnarled fingers, and cold devastation follows.
Hateful Vodalak wishes nothing more than to wallow in bitter solitude, something he’d gladly reduce the world to a frozen wasteland for.
Effects: Encased in ice armor, Vodalak’s allies gain one additional Injury box and the Ice tag on all their attacks. Combat Tricks against them require 1 additional hit, while they need only 2 hits to purchase the Critical Trick against enemies subjected to the Petrification status effect. Vodalak imposes the Extreme Temperature (Cold) and Extreme Weather area effects on the scene. Additionally, antagonists who don’t take a physical action during their turn suffer a Moderate Complication, gaining the Petrification status effect if not purchased off.
Outburst Tags: Brutal, Ice
A note from Travis:
I wish everyone a safe and gentle holiday. I wish you time to gather with those you love, time away from those who don’t love you, and a peaceful, pleasant season. Stay warm (or cool if you’re in the global south) and out of trouble. Unless, of course, it’s good trouble.
Travis also provided these Twitch graphics for what’s on our Twitch this coming week – there’s not a lot, but that figures, really, with all the holidays, and we do want you all to know about the stuff that is happening:
Here’s another Special Teaser Treat, this time from Eddy:
To celebrate Rich starting to show the art for the upcoming Threats & Curs, here’s a complete, pre-editing version of one of the amazing enemies that will be in the book: The Ratcatcher!
(OL 5; Enemy)
Most dogs think the Ratcatcher’s nothing but a legend. They’re the lucky ones. Those who’ve seen him know he’s both real and more dreadful than any myth or tale can convey.
Nobody knows the Ratcatcher’s origin. He could have been a victim of some vile experiments that forcibly altered the shape of his body. It’s equally possible that his insatiable appetite for the pain of rodents is born of nothing but cruelty. He may not be able to speak but it’s possible he could communicate his origin and his goals, given the opportunity. It’s just that nobody who sees him ever stays to ask questions. The blood-slick edge of his cleaver has that effect.
More than once the Ratcatcher’s preyed on a neighborhood so intensively the residents rally and gather to hunt him out. They’ve never succeeded — he’s always a step ahead, almost as if someone’s warning or guiding him. As if there was a hidden paw making sure he survived to kill again.
Description: The Ratcatcher’s a hulking, broad shouldered figure, vaguely dog-like in shape but far too huge, dressed in a tattered coat made of the hides of mice and rats. The smell of poorly tanned hides precedes him, as does the sound of a heavy blade scraping along the flagstones or sewer tunnels beneath his feet.
Tactics: The Ratcatcher skulks the city of Pugmire’s alleys and sewers, going wherever the vermin congregate and keeping their numbers in check. He sets traps and keeps his heavy-bladed cleaver sharp for when he needs to finish the job. He’s not all that discriminating though: if it’s caught in one of his traps, it’s a “rat” and he deals with it accordingly. He’s equally unaffected by threats and pleading, and if he’s capable of conversation he never makes the effort.
Defense: 17 (natural armor, hide coat)
Stamina Points: 54
Speed: 30 ft.
Experience Bonus: +3
Attributes: Agility +0, Might +4, Vitality +0, Cunning +2, Intellect –1, Presence +0
Attack: Cleave (+7 melee, 3d6 + 4 edged), crossbow (+3 ranged 150/600, 1d8 stabbing +2d6 poison)
Morale: +3; at 14 or fewer stamina points or when he takes 20 points or more of damage from a single attack
Tricks: Darkvision; immune to the Blind, Repelled, and Scared conditions, as well as poison damage
• Fade Away: When the Ratcatcher enters a patch of complete darkness at least 5 feet wide, he can step through it to another patch of complete darkness up to 30 feet away. He often uses this ability to draw his foes close to one of his traps.
• Hack and Slash: If the Ratcatcher’s cleave attack reduces an opponent to 0 stamina, he can take a supplemental action to make a second cleave attack on an opponent within reach.
• Home Turf: The Ratcatcher never gets lost underground.
• Rodents’ Nemesis: The Ratcatcher has a boon on all attacks against rodents, and deals an additional 1d6 damage to them on successful attacks.In case you missed the art last time:
• Rat in a Trap: The Ratcatcher has at least one trap set up in any area he regularly traverses, all of which require a Cunning (Notice) check, difficulty 14, to spot and an Agility (Steal) check, difficulty 14, to disarm. Choose from:
Hidden Blade: Characters who don’t spot the trap are attacked by a hidden blade (spring-loaded or swinging). The Guide makes a +5 attack roll; if it meets or beats the target’s defense, they take 2d8 edged damage.
Pit: Characters who don’t spot the trap must succeed on an Agility test (difficulty 14) or fall into this ten-foot-deep pit. It’s lined with slime and sewer muck, imposing a hindrance on the victim’s Vitality (Traverse) checks, difficulty 14, to escape.
Snare: Characters who don’t spot the trap must succeed on an Agility test (difficulty 14) or be caught in a snare and Immobilized.
From Mirthful Mike, himself, this thought:
I wish a happy and festive holiday season to all our fans… and extra snacks and snuggles to all their beloved pets.
Matthew Dawkins has a few things to share:
I wish for everyone who doesn’t have family or friends around to get online, go to Start Playing or our Discord, and say you’d be up for a game! It doesn’t matter whether it’s tomorrow, in a few days, or on Christmas Day itself: if you’re lonely or in the company of stress this Christmas, get yourself playing an RPG, a board game, or video game with people, even if you don’t know them well. This is a great time to have some fun with new friends.And for gifts for the fans there are two gaming concepts we’re calling “white elephants” for the Onyx Pathcast, but I happen to think are rather good! And soon you’ll be able to incorporate them into your existing games or play with them yourselves. Make sure you listen to last week’s Onyx Pathcast for the lowdown!
In fact, here’s a Dropbox link that Danielle provided to most of the ideas from the White Elephant event on the Pathcast:
Matthew also dropped this screenshot into our Monday Meeting Discord this morning:
Yep, that’s real and it’s actually in the LA Times crossword puzzle! Merry Xmas, indeed – what a nice gift!
With a gift like that Scion reference, and because of the holidays, it seems only right to send a couple of stocking-stuffers to all of you who read and play and discuss our games! So, please enjoy these free PDFs, from us to you:
Exalted 3rd Edition:
Scion Second Edition Book One: Origin
And finally, just my very best wishes for happy, healthy, and safe, times for all of you until we talk again next year on Jan 2! (That’s a Tuesday.)
2024 is going to be Onyx Path entering our 13th year of doing business in this wacky corner of the publishing and entertainment industry, and while that is strangely appropriate, it also amazing that our small group of friends and co-workers are still here doing what we love.
Which I’m going to chalk up to their talent and to all of your support and enthusiasm these previous 12 years of: