Jaws & Son of Jaws [Monday Meeting Notes]

3-Makara final

Shark Week! So here’s our Beast: the Primordial sig character and her horror from the depths.

With the Beast Kickstarter having ended very nicely last week, but having had some controversy during its run, we performed a bit of a post-mortem on the campaign today. Our usual Onyx Path crew was joined by developer Black Hat Matt McFarland to review the highs and lows of the Beast Kickstarter and to look for ways we could improve for the next time.

To recap, very briefly, we started this Kickstarter with posting the full text to the book that was, we said, “90% finished”. We funded quickly, and started getting responses of confusion and dismay on several other RPG sites. When we looked into these posted concerns about Beast, we realized a couple of things. One, the outraged proportion of the posts was way off from previous new game releases, and two, even posters who liked Beast seemed unsure of some of our intentions with the project. So very publicly, Matt started to revise the text with an eye towards better expressing how we had wanted the game to read. This angered a different group of folks, mostly backers who liked the text as it was. And then finally, as the last revisions went up, we had a crowd who stated that we had not changed things enough to suit their needs.

Now, I say these things in pretty gentle terms, but make no mistake. There were a large number of comments on other sites that were just nasty and simply unnecessary. It was a feeding frenzy in the shark tank.

So we have that aspect of the KS, and then we have the pledges and amounts and number of cool Stretch Goals passed. How did the Beast Kickstarter actually do? As we looked at those today, we’re hard-pressed to establish whether the forum outrage affected the KS in a negative way. We know the controversy drained us creatively, with both Matt and Rose having to limit their exposure to the accusations and misinterpretations that were being flung about. But our backer numbers were at the level of our successful cWoD supplements, and our pledge amounts overtopped Mummy.

And the thing is, we expected lower buy-in and a lower pledge amount because we knew going in that Beast was a very new game that was trying to take some risks with an added crossover aspect (which not all players want), an attempt to subvert expectations as to what it means to be the Beast and what it means to be the Hero (which we knew would bug some folks), and with fewer nWoD tropes (like no social splats).

So to get the buy-in we got to this new thing is actually really gratifying.

As for our response, and the decision to revise the text, we are generally pleased with how we handled that. I’m very proud of Matt and the team for how they handled the situation. Matt took responsibility and offered the revisions as soon as we determined that there was a disconnect between what we considered to be almost finished text and people’s responses to that text. His work not only made the revision more clearly what we were intending, but he also added depth to the existing ideas that simply make it a better game. None of us went on the attack, or ignored the concerns folks raised.

Is there a downside? Yes there is, and one I personally feel pretty bad about: those supporters who had committed to the game based on the original text and who felt left adrift by the revised text. For us, you see, revising text like that is merely part of a process we’ve done behind the curtain for years and years. It makes sense to alter the writing to fine-tune what you intend to say. But to some backers, being given a ring-side seat to how a manuscript evolves until it is published is not a good experience. They see sections get changed or dropped that they really liked in the original. The language really touched them (like it is supposed to), and changing that language removes something fundamental that they responded to. I understand that and regret any changes that ripped away something folks loved.

At the same time, this is our project and it must be the game we had intended. If we can dare to revise it after we’ve displayed it and found it wanting, then I see this as part of a continuum of transparency and openness that ties in with our use of the Open Dev Process and our Advance and Backer PDFs. I do want to be sure that we didn’t set folks up to perceive the original text as something sacrosanct. When I call something 90% done, I know, as does our crew, that the last 10% of finishing up the text is often the hardest 10%. But that phrase might make it sound like the text is almost perfect, rather than ready for the last batch of fine-tuning that pulls the book together. We’re not going to stop linking to as much of the text as we can, but I will be stressing in the description of that text more about the nature of what almost finished means to us.

Some areas to improve on not related to these afore-mentioned areas are getting more interviews up during the KS (which enable us to explain the game in more details and in a different venue), gathering the various social media answers into a single post or blog that we can point folks to, and to keep an eye on the diminished interest in the upper reward tiers. Except for Consulting Dev, which I added another reward slot to near the end. Could just have been the nature of Beast being an original kind of supernatural PC  and so those upper level rewards aren’t all that great for backers.

There was some feeling that the overall on-line community is far more likely to take an open slate like Beast (new concept with deliberately twisted up themes), read into it their pet ideological conflict, and go berserk with outrage this year than any other point in history. So, we’re looking at other KSs (other folks’ as well as upcoming Onyx KSs) and seeing how their audience responds to judge if Beast was just an aberration.

For those of you who pledged, thanks so much for your support and comments!



And now, the BLURBS!

The Demon Translation Guide Advance PDF is 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 fourth Pugmire poster, Jack Rat-Terrier, will be available Weds as a free PDF or $.99 physical poster, suitable for framing!

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



Arising from the dead is a newly re-laid out version of the classic Vampire: the Masquerade fiction anthology, The Beast Within. This was the anthology that started them all, and now freshly redesigned for our standard 6″ x 9″ fiction PoD size! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/152000/Beast-Within-Revised

Beast Within Redux



Coming out this Wednesday, the Avarice Chronicle: the Collected Edition (combining the adventures from the three Mummy: the Curse supplements) will be available in PDF and PoD versions at DriveThruRPG.com!

Avarice Chronicle



Convention News: Our friends at Gamerati are running a Game Day on July 25th, the Saturday before Gen Con, in Eau Claire, WI. I’m told there is one nWoD session scheduled already, but they would love it if anybody in our community wants to run other WW or Onyx Path games. So check it out if you want to doing some playing and give them a yell if you want to do some Storytelling: http://gamerati.com/gamedays/


And now, new project status updates!:


DEVELOPMENT STATUS FROM ROLLICKING ROSE (Projects in bold have changed listings)


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)
  • M20 Anthology (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Pugmire Gen Con Materials (Be a Good Dog.)
  • CtL anthology (Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition)
  • The Realm (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Dragon-Blooded (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Dark Eras Expansions (nWod Dark Eras)
  • Pugmire Early Access
  • Dark Eras Companion (nWod Dark Eras)
  • WtF The Pack (Werewolf: the Forasken 2nd Edition)
  • 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)



  • 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


Second Draft

  • Arms of the Chosen (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Secrets of the Covenants (Vampire: The Requiem 2nd 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)- In Open Development
  • VtM Lore of the Clans Expansions (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition)



  • Promethean: the Created 2nd Edition, featuring the Firestorm Chronicle (Promethean: the Created)
  • “Sardonyx” System Rules (Base rules set for Scion and the Trinity Continuum) In Open Development
  • W20 Shattered Dreams (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition) 
  • nWoD 2e core (New World of Darkness)
  • Mage: the Awakening  2nd Edition, featuring the Fallen World Chronicle (Mage: the Awakening) – In Open Development
  • Demon Storytellers’ Guide (Demon: the Descent)
  • W20 Pentex Employee Indoctrination Handbook (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 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)


Development (post-editing)





In Art Direction

  • Dreams of Avarice – Art Directed.
  • NWoD 2 – Sending art over to Eddy this week for approvals.
  • V20 Ghouls – Almost art directed. Mainly just trying to get a couple more artists on board and then that is done.
  • Tal Me Rah – Fulls contracted, hunting for some artists for the halfs.


In Layout

  • Gen Con Stuff – Prince’s Gambit Playtest Materials. Yeah, that’s right. All the other stuff went out on Friday.
  • Beast – Working on the layout graphic elements. 
  • M20 How Do You Do That – In progress.


In Proofing

  • M20 – Phil is working on the errata.
  • M20 Screen – Still proofing with Phil.
  • Ex 3 Anthology – Awaiting updated text file.


At Press (on Drivethru… or whatever)

  • OPP Gen Con Staff Shirt – Proof version should be here Wednesday.
  • Demon Translation Guide – PDF up, errata being pulled together.
  • VDA20 – PoD and final download was uploaded last Tuesday.
  • The Avarice Chronicle – Going on sale in PDF and PoD versions on Weds.



  • Dark Eras – Holding pattern.
  • Wraith 20 Yep… waiting on artnotes.
  • V20 Lore of the Clans – Holding pattern for appendices.
  • Exalted 3rd Edition – RT here: 4th Layout Proof PDFs Devs comments sent back to Maria, she is smashing her way through those changes, but no overt progress to announce.


Other Stuff


REASON TO DRINK: Da duh. Da duh. Da duh. Da da, da da, da da, da da, da da, da da, da da, dyuuuuuung!

58 thoughts on “Jaws & Son of Jaws [Monday Meeting Notes]”

  1. There certainly was some trouble with that one but the backing sped up by the end when Matt’s new stuff came out. I’m a proud backer but I’m eager to see other stuff move up in project development.

    Just wanted to ask, “Tal Me Rah – Fulls contracted, hunting for some artists for the halfs.”

    I’m imagining halfs means half-pages, is that right? If not, then what?

  2. Up front qualifier (no sarcasm) – I’m a huge fan of Matt’s and the OP gang as I was a fan of the WW gang…and I’ve got a bookcase and a half worth of product to support that statement. If this is indeed the version of the product that you wanted, then congrats on knocking it out and on a successful project.

    But my own downside…this is the first KS that I’ve ever dropped out of.

    I can only speak for myself, but here’s why I had to bow out.

    I pledged within minutes of the opening of the KS, eager for the project, and vocally praised and supported Beast along with many others for almost the entire first half of the project.

    I was blindsided…like hitting a brick wall…when the news of sweeping revisions dropped in the KS comments/updates. I was one of many who was spending all my time with a positive community on the KS comments. Not having read or even heard about any of the negative comments on other sites, I had no idea that there was any unrest.

    I was still cautiously optimistic in my posts after the announcement of revisions. I figured that we were probably talking mechanical revisions…tweaks to the rules system. I’ve seen this all the time in game development…rules prove too weak or overpowering or don’t play well with other rules.

    But when I read the first revisions, again I was blindsided. We weren’t talking about mechanical changes, we were talking about a major, sweeping changes in the concept of the game as initially presented.

    It would have been no less jarring for me to have pledged for a new Star Wars RPG and mid-way through the creators say, “We’re changing the text so that you’ll be able to play Vulcans and Klingons…and just wait until you see those Borg ships!” ‘Cause, that ain’t Star Wars.

    So if you are interested in a customer’s feedback and constructive criticism…I understand that tweaks and revisions are to be expected in this kind of project, but I personally would prefer that the core concept is nailed down before it is put in front of me to decide if I want to buy/pledge.

    I really am glad that the creative team ended up with something they are more happy with…and that the KS was so successful.

    For myself, I won’t have the cool polished version of Beast on my shelves, but I still have the “90% complete” rough draft for reference in games I want to run with the initial concept.

    So bright side, I guess.


    [Ending qualifier – I realize that not everyone will agree with this viewpoint. That’s great…we’re all special snowflakes. But don’t feel the need to jump on and defend anyone from my opinion as I’m not attacking anyone.

    This is simply a recap of why this KS went south for me, personally…for OP to do with as they will.]

    • And like I mentioned in the blog, I’m sorry that the end product wasn’t something you liked. I am glad that you had he opportunity to make that call before you would up having backed something you didn’t actually like.

  3. I think the biggest concern I have is that Beast has many things that seem very concrete, especially the Dark Mother. This seems to differ from Vampire, Werewolf, and Mage 2e, or maybe the Dark Mother is like the God Machine? what is the Dark Mother? give ~6 options…

    I’m also a little worried that Beasts are too guided… it’s my job to teach humanity a lesson? says who? maybe it’s some wording issues it’s not that the beast thinks that so much as the person that chooses to let the horror in tends to “want to teach humanity a lesson” because of their past (though that feels angsty, and I kind of don’t want Beasts to be the Emo Monsters).

    It was still unclear to me whether the horror replaces the person or whether it’s like a vampire’s Beast. Does the person get the horror’s memory of past lives (’cause that’d be cool)?

    Honestly I thought both revisions are good, just further tweaking to make me feel like my character doesn’t know too much and that I’m in the drivers seat.

    • So, Dark Mother- not written as an absolute. Certainly no more than Father Wolf or Caine from VtM. Matt has pretty much stated, and back that up with the revised texts, that the “lesson” nature of the Beasts is something that can come through their being in touch with the Primordial Dream, or through an older Beast who imparts that message. No Beast has to follow through on that, it was added explicitly into the revised text specifically because we thought folks would read into the original text and find that motive and run with it. They didn’t so it was brought forward, but no Beast has to be a teacher of hard lessons.

      • I think that the Dark Mother thing could be resolved by saying something to the effect of “Many beasts believe that the Dark Mother is their progenitor, no one knows who or what she is, and some even believe that she still exists”

        As far as Lessons, I don’t *hate* them, I think I’m just feeling that as worded they take control away from me for my character. Some wording that allows my character to walk away from handing them out, or perhaps some clarity that beasts teaching lessons aren’t really a part of their decision but rather a side effect of their existence and nature. It just felt like someone said “you shall go out and educate humanity”. I would rather have it be either a conscious decision for my character to follow that path (like Lancea et Sanctum), or simply have it be like “what’s the meaning of a beasts life” (like this is why the Dark Mother birthed beasts, and you can say screw that, but your very existence causes it to be so). Currently I’ve read it as neither, Beasts must teach lessons, and they might suck at it. Basically I want to ensure my characters have “free will” in this context (as much as a werewolf can turn from the guardian role).

        • As to the “teacher” element, I assumed it was just the general party line of Beast society, and you’re free to take or leave it.

          As a parallel, most of the Diamond orders of Mages want to replicate Atlantis, whereas the Free Council wants to focus more on modern society. The party line with mages is “Atlantis Good.” Free Council instead says, “Atlantis Meh. Regular People Good.”

    • Personally, I was excited about the Dark Mother being mostly a sure thing, I miss having a metaplot. I know that’s an unpopular opinion, but having a few solid facts, even if the characters don’t know them, even if the ST ignores them, can be useful. It provides a little more inspiration, something to riff off of. The way I see it, if the mechanics of a game are “crunch”, and the story parts are “fluff”, then metaplot is “chewy”. And I’d like something to chew now and then.

  4. One unfortunate effect of the nature of discussion online is that when a hot button gets pressed and a lot of responses come out, some of them can be very heated. That’s not just unfortunate in the obvious manner, but because I think it contributes to a splintering of discussion. MidnightBlue above mentions being blindsided because s/he was participating in a heavily positive forum. I find myself on the opposite side of the fence, with criticisms of Beast I feel strongly about, but now feeling like I have said what piece I can, been heard to the extent that I will be heard, and the remaining forums of discussion are unconstructive and pointless to participate in, because they have largely split on the matter. Either they are inappropriate for me to crash because I’d be shitting on people just trying to have fun being Grendels (I find myself keeping participation in Beast threads restricted to straight answers as to what the text says, rather than analysis or any kind of opinion) or they are meaningless to say anything more on because they’ve already chewed on the text, rejected it and there’s no substantial discussion left because there’s nothing new to say. That situation feels frustrating.

    There are often tendencies when these discussions start moving fast to mentally think about a discussion between “sides,” perhaps distinguishing a few prolific or notable voices on each “side,” but losing nuance. It becomes easy to forget that both “sides” are just collections of people with their own views, priorities, and reasons for coming to their conclusions. I certainly saw members of both “sides” lose track of the distinctions during the discussion of Beast and begin to ascribe the positions of a “side” to its “members,” when those perceived positions were a mishmash of statements and opinions made by several people who probably didn’t quite agree with one another, except on the broad level of whether they felt comfortable with Beast.

    I can only speak for myself, because I’m not my “side” either, and I sympathize with you guys dealing with the most heated comments I’ve seen. But when I participated in the discussion of Beast (and ultimately bowed out, feeling mostly dissatisfied), I participated because Onyx Path Publishing in general, the New World of Darkness teams in particular, and Matt, Rose and all the writers on Beast in specific are all generally sources of products and writing I enjoy and respect. I felt responsible to share my voice because I want to continue to see products out of Onyx Path I’m comfortable with and enjoy, and when an unusual shift comes along, honest feedback is important. I’m not here to say “huh, Beast, what a shitty book, right?” Beast itself is less important than the thought applied to the resulting discussion, because creative writing is always an ongoing process.

    I guess what I mean to say is that I hope that, as you guys recover from the heated arguments that ranged from thoughtful points to dismissive vitriol, you continue to keep an eye on productive discussion where it can be found, even if it has to be found next to vitriol. And I expect to see some good things to continue to come out of the writers I mentioned above.

    Looking forward to Promethean and Mage 2e, guys. And hey, Beast fans, have fun with your Grendels. Seriously, game on.

    • Well said.

      I think what bothers me most from a lot of comments that I’ve seen since the revisions is the praise to OP for “listening to the criticism and reacting accordingly.”

      This strikes a nerve with me because:

      1. The devs have said that they made revisions to more accurately represent what they had intended…not to appease criticism.

      2. That praise for reactionary revision implies that those of us who liked the original concept were “wrong” about or “inconsequential” to this project. That our opinions didn’t matter as much as those that were criticizing the project.

      As you said, these were simply multiple opinions, not right or wrong comments stating fact.

      • Yes, and bear in mind that we also had people rage-quit the Kickstarter and any future Onyx Path projects because we “gave in to the critics”. So at every stage we were damned by somebody no matter what we did, even while we were straight-up telling folks the situation. But seriously, try not to take it personally. It was not a contest or a war, despite what some very few people in either group wanted it to be for their own reasons. Most folks just want Beast to be something they can get excited about.

        • Heh…I can’t be bothered by rage-quitters and mean/nasty folks on forums. Life is just too darned short.

          But as time and money are not an endless supply for me, I do have to weigh my consumer purchases with ever increasing scrutiny. This is why I personally backed out. The end result was not what I was looking for.

          But I’m sure I’ll be watching your next Kickstarters to come. Though I will be a bit more cautious in regards to the initial draft and I’ll probably do a LOT more probing with concern for what the book/game is meant to be about before latching on too tight.

    • Good points, yes. We did question whether Beast was caught in a deteriorating situation of internet communication in general – the need to pick sides and rip apart the other folks, things like that- that we see all across social media. We’re keeping an eye on it to see if it was just the nature of the project that triggered these sorts of comments, or if it was a result of internet conversation and etiquette changing.

  5. Regardless of whether or not I like Beast I have gained a great deal of respect for the crew for their response. they didn’t retreat to a dark corner and angrily lash out against criticism, they instead went back in and reread what was there with some new eyes and decided they wanted to make changes.

  6. Backed it early, and have no regrets here.

    Honestly i’m glad you guys set it up as you did. being able to read the whole thing was what really set me on wanting in.

    Also I wish people could be less vicious in comments. i’m so sorry you had to endure that. 🙁

    • [quote]Also I wish people could be less vicious in comments. i’m so sorry you had to endure that.[/quote]


      Even though this didn’t go the way I would have liked, I never felt the need to be mean or hateful to the powers that be. I just wasn’t their audience this time around.

      Can’t please everyone, as they say…and trying tends to water-down the content.

  7. I would like to thank the devs for the parience and their desire to do right by their concept and the future players. I stuck with the KS despite being still on the fence about some of the revisions, but even if I have to mix the final version with the first 90% draft to get a game I like, that will be fine.
    A lesson I take from this event is that for the foreseeable future I will stay the hell away from any and all discussion sites and forums involving RPGs. I did this for some time before the KS and frankly some of the veiled and not so veiled accusations thrown around have killed any and all good will I might have had towards online discussions regarding RPGs.
    I salute the writers for weathering this and wish them (and Onyx Path in general) the best.

    • “A lesson I take from this event is that for the foreseeable future I will stay the hell away from any and all discussion sites and forums involving RPGs.”

      Sadly, I have to agree with this…

      • I think that would be sad, to the extent that a couple of bad threads with a couple of nasty posters, aren’t the vast majority of interesting discussions to be had on most RPG forums including our own.

    • Thanks much and try not to let the tone of those couple of online discussions ruin the rest of the involvement you can have with the community we have. There’s a lot of good folks and discussions on our forums as well as other places.

  8. I am a big fan of crossover games so BEAST is a dream come true for me.
    With this project you’ve proven again that my trust in Onyx Path is justified.
    Do not let yourselves be crushed by comments on the web – hater will always hate.
    It was a just and responsible move to see the issues communicated and react accordingly.
    You are a great bunch of developers and I’m looking forward to play BEAST in the future.

  9. I have no issues with changes in Beast and I had no issues with how Beast originally was. I’m not going to go into discussing the nature of revisions – that has been done to death. Everything is fine, as far as I’m concerned.

    However, one thing I wanted to say is that I have a suspicion that people who were passionately hating on Beast never had any intention of actually buying into KS nor ever playing the game. The backer numbers not changing significantly during all the revisions certainly support this notion. I think (note – think; this isn’t a conclusive transcontinental social study) they just found a lot to use as ammo. Beast being such a departure from the norm, it’s not a huge surprise that anyone looking for ammo could find a lot of it.

    This is not to say that the game isn’t better for all the revisions it received. I certainly agree that some depth was gained. I just feel that Matt and everyone else was needlessly dragged through mud on the pretense of “maybe buying in” with no intention of doing so regardless of their issues being addressed or not. This is a pretty common occurrence on the Internet, unfortunately.

    Now, ill intent wasn’t necessarily a driving force for everyone who took issue with Beast. I just think they could’ve taken a breather and asked themselves – am I actually interested in this game at all? A bit of honest introspection would produce a “no” as an answer for many, I’d say. But participating in a crowded online shouting match is a pretty intoxicating activity (I say this with a lot of first hand experience gained over the years, unfortunately) so honest introspection isn’t usually compatible.

    • Pretty much agreed here. Just want to underline that we didn’t make the changes based on the stated concerns of the most virulent posters. I actually went through the threads to find concerns from the folks who liked the original in order to determine that we needed to revise the text a bit to get it speaking more clearly in the tone and info we had originally intended. After all, we’ve been attacked before for our games, we know about that.

      • You know, this is one area where I’d really like to get a glimpse behind the curtains with all the hyped “transparency.”

        For the most part, the transparency that I’ve seen borders on the sausage and laws metaphor…nothing I really want to look at too closely.

        But this one issue has me curious.

        I read your all’s Monday Meetings newsletters every week and I know that you converse with each other on product proposals a lot and then you playtest the hell out of those proposals.

        So I’m really curious how such a fundamental difference in a concept from what was intended made it through all of those processes. Usually, I’d think if it was discovered that a concept wasn’t clear, then you’d go back and make rules corrections/clarifications or you’d add additional concept examples and flavor text in an effort to highlight what was originally intended or sought out.

        But we didn’t see that with Beast. We saw a complete core concept overhaul, not added examples, FAQs, and clarifications to emphasis what was already there.

        Again, the qualifier, this is not snide or sarcastic. I’m seriously curious how that went through so many hands and discussions and have what ended up in the preview link to be so fundamentally different from what was intended.

        That’s a transparency post I’d enjoy reading. (Again, I’m serious.)

      • I’m pretty sure any well-intentioned observer of the Beast kickstarter would have to agree that this is exactly what happened. And it’s really remarkable how Onyx Path managed to weed through the horrible muck in order to find legitimate concerns.

        And that’s just part of the reason why I long stopped second-guessing any opportunity to support anything that came out of White Wolf / Onyx Path labs. Sometimes I like a product more, sometimes I like it less (though, really, nWoD seems to be incapable of misses). But there’s not a book on my shelves that I ever regretted getting.

        So you folks just do your thing and I’ll throw my money at you whenever I’m able to, and wear my WW/OP fan badge with pride.

  10. Beast – Hmm. Initial idea was interesting, but the original document was odd and the revisions just didn’t grab me (Not that the original did) hence I didn’t back. It seems there’s a lot of absolute truth bundled into it whereas the other nWoD lines are a lot more open and full of mystery; Beast on the other hand seemed to explicitly say Beasts know the Dark Mother is an absolute truth and thus it felt like they were stomping all over the other splats. If they’d merely been another type of supernatural, with origin “myths” rather than seemingly “truths” (They might not be, but when I was reading it they seemed to be presented as …) I’d have likely backed and just used it as source material. As is … I’ll continue waiting for Ex3! 🙂 Go-go Maria!

    • I really don’t read it that way. Certainly not in the revisions. That the Beasts- in character- speak strongly about Mother Wolf just means that there are a lot of Beasts who buy into that myth. No one has seen her in modern times any more than the other supernatural progenitors. But if that’s your take after reading through the linked manuscripts, then I’m glad we gave you a chance to read through and realize it didn’t work for you. Thanks.

  11. What is the next Kickstarter going to be.

    And will there be a Tribebook for the Werewolf Tribes like there was a Clanbook for the Vampire Clans. And anything for the Bunynip and Croatan tribes.

    And for Vampire, anything to update some of the old supplements, such as Chicago by Night.

  12. It did hurt to see some of the revisions, I have to say. And it didn’t please me to hear some of the significant changes.

    But I understand why they came about, and I appreciate that you were and are still thinking about those who felt like me. It’s impossible to make everyone happy, but you tried to be consistent, you were critical of your own work, you tried to address valid complaints, and you did your best to make a quality product that fit within your vision.

    In between all of that, being showered with less polite opinions, and having to deal with the blow on your creativity, I think you handled things very well. So thanks Matt, thanks Rose and Rich, and thanks the rest of the people working on Beast for truly having the consumers in mind, for trying to be faithful to your creation, and for responding patiently and responsibly to the controvery.

    Congratulations again for the success on the Kickstarter, and I look forward to seeing the final product.

    • Thanks. I still hope that once you see the project in its finished form you’ll see how most of what you liked about the first version is still possible for you during play.

      • I think for me the big issue is latching on wholeheartedly to what was initially presented to me. Something just connected and spoke to me…my own Homecoming perhaps?

        But then that was snatched away, though lip-service was paid to trying to keep aspects of that alive in the new version…it just wasn’t Band-Aid enough for my tastes.

        If I’d never seen the initial draft as our attempt to Kickstart a deluxe book and the revised concept had been presented upfront, then I likely would have been a backer.

        You can’t miss what you’ve never seen, right?

        But that’s not the reality of this situation. I do know what could have been and the new version just doesn’t do it for me in comparison. (Just a matter of personal taste.) Of course there are those on the other side of the fence that are quite happy, so this lone opinion doesn’t take away from that success.


      • Oh, I entirely believe that most of what I liked will still be possible in the final version.

        I’ve gone over the revisions with a critical eye; while I may think some details I was fond of were dilluted, and maybe there was some loss of concepts I liked, most of what drew me in is intact in substance, and even points that were thinned out are still present.

        And I think that’s owed to the team knowing what critique to listen to, and to the fact they listen to honest feedback to begin with. Sure, maybe there’s one or two little things I feel a keen loss of, but maybe that loss allowed the writers to expand the game a little more in different ways, minimize troublesome elements and unintentional subtext, and offer a wider perspective faithful to the ideal concept of Beast The Primordial.

        Am I /entirely/ happy with the revisions? No, but I’m satisfied with how they turned out overall.

  13. Regarding Beast: I fell in love with the original draft and the previews leading up to Beast, but the revisions are a thing of beauty and I’ll probably use the game as-is.

    I had a different question though. The Avarice Chronicle Collected Edition: If I already have Guildhalls of the Deathless, Book of the Deceived, and Sothis Ascends, would there be any reason for me to get the Collected Edition? Specifically: New art; developer notes “in the margins”; any sort of expanded content that might have been cut for word count but will appear in the book?

    Thanks, and y’all are awesome!

    • The sections were tidied up to move all three parts of the Chronicle into a single book, but it’s the utility of having them in that single PDF or book that is the value here, I think. Plus, although this doesn’t apply to you, it’s an easier way to get into Mummy if you are interested in just the core book and starting to play.

      • Fantastic, thanks! I’ll probably get the PDF for the utility you mentioned, but if it had come with some “bonus features” I would have sprung for the full book.

        Plus I really, really like Mummy.

  14. Okay, I was gonna wait for the backer comments to say anything but this seems like the place. First off, I’m stoaked for beast, gimme all dat nWoD. I’m always excited for new stuff, especially things that expand and add to nwods modular cross game format. In game cities are more real when the vamp, changeling, werewolf, etc presence is fleshed out. So beast is cool. I don’t read the text before the book is in my hand with kickstarters, it takes away from that sense of delight I feel when the book shows up. If that puts me in the minority of the “revision war” so be it. Normally my criticisms have been “guys, add stretch goals/reward teirs with dice, cmon”. Not a big deal. I can imagine the logistics that might make things problematic. That changeling character stretch goal was flat bullshit though. The distance was huge for an underwhelming payout. Personally I’d have rather seen that as a writer pay increase. I get why you wanted to add another template to the premade group, its part of beasts dynamic to keep the little cousin in the family, cool, but not as one of the final big distance goals. That’s my beef, please keep making the premade characters. They have an important place in introducing people to the game and helping clarify character creation. But no more 5k characters.

    • With all due respect, before you come into my house and call a decision I made bullshit, you should get your facts straight. It was a three thousand dollar goal, not $5K. It was not during the last 48 hours of the KS, when we do big pushes, but in the days leading up to that. Our big push was the two halves of Building a Legend. Further, do you have the numbers on what it takes to create an additional template for a project like that? Do you have the numbers in front of you that inform you on how much of that $3K is actually money we can use to create the goal reward? One of the interesting things about this KS was how much of the pledging was for the physical book. That means that pretty much all of the pledges to get us to that Stretch Goal were earmarked for making and shipping those physical books. What little is left will be put towards the more difficult job of writing up a character that exemplifies the crossover potential of Beast and in a simple enough fashion to make it ready to play. That takes time and effort beyond just firing off a regular NPC, and that extra effort costs us.

      Now you may have not liked this particular Stretch Goal. That’s fair, and we don’t expect or plan for every backer to like every Stretch Goal. Certainly, folks seemed to enjoy the voting aspect of the goal, which was intended by us. But we plan carefully how to insure that our Stretch Goals are able to cover the costs of making the extra projects that are the rewards for those goals. We will set those numbers based on our knowledge of what it takes to create them, because we want to be in a position to do more of these in the future. Rather than, y’know, have a financial failure of a KS because we gave away so many rewards that the KS did not actually bring in the money to pay for.

      • Yeah, not a fan of the voting as it’s been used in the KS I’ve followed/backed.

        It’s what left me cold at the end of Dark Eras. Again…too many missed opportunities left on the cutting room floor.

        I wouldn’t mind voting if it was presented in this way:

        “We are going to produce all of these options at some point, but you can vote to see which options get completed first.”

        That way, the vote is just about priority and not about what will never see the light of day.

        Again, just one opinion.

  15. I have a question about Changeling the Dreaming 20th anniversary edition. Because CtD never received a REVISED edition, will there be much needed improvements to the game and setting? I’d like to suggest adding game mechanics for a powerful and meaningful Faerie Market/Goblin Market which can effect huge magic. Examples I’d like to point to are: Neil Gaiman’s Books of Magic issue 3 with Charles Vess art, Stardust by Neil Gaiman, Something Wicked This Way Comes etc

    • We DO expect more changes because of that very reason, much like Wraith 20, but as for specific changes or additions, we’ll be talking about that stuff more in the future. Thanks!

  16. I am so glad the Beast Kickstarter easily passed the $100.000 in the end, because the game deserves it. Beast ideas cross my mind all the time. Just moments ago I had this idea of Eve sleeping under that strange tree and the Dark Mother springing forth from her first nightmare …

  17. I must admit that at first I was in the “hate” camp, but I recently (yesterday) realized that this game was simply not for me as of now. I realized that the main thread in my interest for an Onyx Path game is the human nature of the monster. As such, Beast, Mummy and Demon have all been off the table for me and that’s fine. No hard feelings.

    I can only keep playing the other game lines and have a more distant look at the next. Here’s to Beast’s success!

  18. I try not to say anything online that I wouldn’t say to someone’s face. And there’s not much that I wouldn’t say to someone’s face.

    So I’ll say it, without care or regard: I’ll never venture to the rpgnet forums ever again. The constant bitching and complaining about ___________[fill in whatever social or ideological crap you want to whine and cry about, here, Tumblr, Twitter, or otherwise] was infuriating. For a number of reasons.”You don’t see how this story relates to abuse and rape?! What’s wrong with YOU?!?!?!?!” etc. etc. etc.

    It’s a game. That’s all it is. Play it. Or don’t.

    I felt bad for Matt, and annoyed for OP in general. Either way, the OP forums are likely the only place I’ll look for info/discussion on WoD ideas.

  19. I _love_ the concepts behind beast and happily backed it day one.

    I didn’t read the tone/etc that others brought up, but if you guys feel the opportunity was there for clarification and to move forward with a rocking product? No complaints from me.

  20. I was on the fence about backing Beast when the KS began. I took a look at the initial draft and it started to grow on me, fairly quickly. Eventually I decided to pledge, but when I turned up Pandoras little box had opened up its net application again, and I was faced with confusion. Confusion about what was happening, why it was happening, and what would be changing. Granted, some of that confusion seemed synthetic or about emotive reaction, but more importantly i found a sense of confusion about where the game was going, what kind of beast it actually was, and despite further reading of discussion including Matt, this sense did not lift but instead steadily increased. This was the deciding factor. For me, it felt that Beast needed more time in the oven, it reminded me of issues understanding and using CtD 1st edition. Better to wait until the creases are all identified and smoothed over, even if it means waiting for a while, even for a 2nd edition. I had the impression everyone was overworked and this was taking a toll.

  21. I play Beast with the revised draft. The idea of “lessons” was a great thing for my players : they loved the teaching thing, the nightmares and the cruelty and horror mixed with it.

    And they said: “you know, without the “lessons” to give, we will just play monsters without purpose, just feeding… with our fears. But we need more things to do to play many times.”

    I think you need to play the game with actual players. To see them teaching things about our fears in game. It’s a truly great gaming experience. Not just read it alone, go to the internet and say : “ooh that’s not a good idea. “

  22. Question for NWoD 2 : can you list the changes ? New art? All the God Machine Chronicle ? Estimate page count?

    Question for Promethean 2 or Mage 2 : any news with these games?


  23. The whole revision of Beast kinda mirrors the refinments that took place already with Vampire, Werewolf, and the other 2nd Edition gamelines. For me this re-examining and clarification of artistic and mechanical intent was clear in the revised previews and, speaking as someone who though the orignial text was fine as is, made the game better for it.

    My favorite of these refinements was what ended up happening with the Incarnate Inheritance. Giving the players several routes to reach this mythical end game was a nice touch and by adding a way to fall from such a state adds a well needed incentive to be careful as one of the Incarnate Beasts.

  24. I backed before the revisions and I kept my backing after. I loved the concept from day 1, and it has to be my favorite game since Promethean (despite my love of Vigil and DtD). The revisions only tightened things up, and while I like some of the original thematics better, they are options within the setting.

    Notably, said revisions have helped some people in my game group come around to the game conceptually, which is a major victory in my mind.

    Continue to be awesome.

  25. “There was some feeling that the overall on-line community is far more likely to take an open slate like Beast (new concept with deliberately twisted up themes), read into it their pet ideological conflict, and go berserk with outrage this year than any other point in history.”

    Bingo. Very tired of this climate now, to be honest.


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