No Time To Cat Nap! [Monday Meeting Notes]

We are creeping into the second half of our The Curious Cats of Mau crowdfunding campaign on BackerKit, and as we know almost always happens, the pace of backing has slowed down.

BUT, let’s not sleep on this and lay around in a sun beam! Let’s get the word out and let folks know that it’s happening so that we can add some really fun material to this second edition/Realms of Pugmire version of Mau!

And, in fact, everyone’s support so far has actually enabled our kitties to achieve three Stretch Goals so far – an Exclusive Backer T-Shirt, Digital Wallpaper, and Redbubble Pet Designs: Curious Cats designs on pet merchandise, including pet mats, pet blankets, and pet bandanas, that will be hosted on our Redbubble store!

Speaking of BackerKit, The Curious Cats of Mau will be the first of our crowdfunding efforts that include a brand-new feature called Overtime Mode!

From their message to us:

Overtime Mode extends your campaign past its original end time to give backers a final chance to make their pledge and adds an exciting twist to the end of your campaign. How long will it extend? That’s entirely up to your backers: Your campaign will keep going for an additional 10 minutes as long as pledges keep coming in – a chain of back-to-back pledges we call the Backer Train. The campaign will end only when the Backer Train stops after a period of 10 minutes passing without any pledges. 

We have no idea whatsoever if this will be something folks use, but since we always have prospective backers messaging us in the minutes and hours after a crowdfunding campaign ends because they forgot or got the timezone wrong or just heard about the campaign – we figure, why not give it a go?

Last week, Pugmire‘s very own Eddy Webb contributed some thoughts about play styles and tone for Realms of Pugmire and The Curious Cats of Mau that you might find interesting. Especially if you haven’t played in the world because at first glance it seems like it might be just a “silly” game:

There are lots of ways to run just about any tabletop game. Small changes to the rules and setting can have an additive effect on creating a particular mood or style, which either emphasize certain parts of the game’s setting or wildly change it from its original intentions. But sometimes it can be a bit unclear what changes are useful for what styles, or even how those changes might modify things. 

Both the original edition of Pugmire and the upcoming edition Realms of Pugmire have advice on how to “hack” a game into a different shape. But I thought I’d use Realms of Pugmire (which you can still pre-order!) as a good example of what kinds of chronicle styles you can get for the game, and what kinds of changes will help bring those styles around.


Silly chronicles are more than just light-hearted games. They’re explicitly comedic, and intentionally funny with low-stakes consequences for player actions. Realms of Pugmire starts off as light-hearted, but here are a few ways you can amp things up to be explicitly silly.

  • Shorter Game Sessions: In my experience, players work their way past the gags and jokes about 1 to 2 hours in. So cut the session down to that length. Comedic television shows tend to be shorter as well, so the short, punchy length can reinforce to players that you’re here for a laugh before things get too deep.
  • Funny Fortune: A new rule could be that players will always get a Fortune if the entire table breaks out in laughter at a joke (or groan audibly at a terrible pun). This will encourage players to keep the punchlines rolling, because everyone loves getting a reward for doing something that contributes to the game.
  • No Death: You can even take death off the table entirely. Simply ignore any reference to dying, and assume instead that anyone with zero stamina points is just knocked out. It’s a simple change, but it does have knock-on effects to consider. For example, the shepherd spell “Spare the Dying” isn’t as useful when death isn’t an option, so you might want to rework it to be a simple healing spell that grants 1d4 stamina points, or something similar, to solve the problem.


On the other hand, you can go the other direction and make things a bit darker and grittier. The original pitch for the game was called “Fall of Pugmire,” and you can channel that Gothic, elegiac feel if you want.

  • No Rucksack Test: In Realms of Pugmire, players can make a Cunning test to see if characters pack something in their rucksack that isn’t listed on their character sheet. By getting rid of that test, characters have only what they have, which means that every item counts. 
  • Tougher Enemies: The enemies in the book are calibrated to be a challenging fight for equivalent character levels, but characters will generally win those fights. Using enemies that are a level or two higher than normal, as well as not using any characters with the Minion tag, can give characters tougher combats that require them to use every resource available.
  • Political Animals: While Curious Cats of Mau will have more focus on intrigue, it’s still intentionally shoved a bit into the background, making it something groups can opt into if they like. You can make that more of the focus of the game, putting characters as the focus of several intrigues. Muddy the waters between “good” and “bad” dogs and cats. Push the monarchies closer to all-out war between the city-states or the kingdom of Pugmire. Make it feel like everything can fall apart with a hasty word or an errant punch.


Epic is all about bigger-than-life storytelling, where everything feels like a legend in the making. Realms of Pugmire already draws on this epic fantasy tradition on some level, but you can really emphasize it with a few simple tweaks.

  • Minions and Legendary Enemies: Emphasize both minions and legendary characters for epic-style play. Mobs of creatures defending a powerful warlord or a conniving necromancer are exactly the kinds of characters players love to hate. Speaking of which…
  • Returning Enemies: Find ways to bring old enemies back. Maybe the characters keep running into Rondo Border-Collie, the Rat King, or Kibu the Red. Then add some more levels to them each time they return. Seeing old enemies come back more powerful than before definitely feels epic. (And remember those legendary rules!)
  • Starting Artifacts: Give each player an artifact they can improve, right out of the gate. Attach a story to each: “This is my mother’s battleaxe” or “I stole this cloak from a noble’s castle the night she died.” Then, allow the character to improve the item every two levels, without spending an improvement. For those curious cats, instead give them a “family secret power” they can improve in the same way.
TCF The Cyclops’s Cave art by Larry Blamire

No Naps During the Monday Meeting!

At least so anybody can tell over Discord

As we reconnect our printer to retailer train to get our current books into stores, our very first is Trinity Continuum: Adventure! which premieres at the Studio2 booth at the GAMA convention this week. TC: Adventure! is just the first of our books that will be showing up in retail stores this year, and we’re really happy that we’re making that happen once again!

And if you can’t get to GAMA, fear not: just head over to your local store and see if they have it. They can order it for you from their favorite distributor, from Studio2, or from IPR (our other sales partner) Also at GAMA, we’ll have reps and handouts for your edification!

Many Faced Strangers art by Digital Art Chefs

All this last month, we’ve been following the ongoing Storypath Nexus Game Jam, and now here’s Travis with a wrap-up of the festivities and a look at how things turned out:

The Storypath Nexus Game Jam has wrapped up! We had a total of 12 qualified entrants, which was awesome to see! The winners are:

Judge Winner: New Beginners for Trinity Continuum by Mateus Luz
Popular Winner: A New Calling – Fluid for Scion by Nicolas Milioni–Fluid?affiliate_id=13&src=TheOnyxPath
Grand Prize: Begin Again for Trinity Continuum by Ryan Wheeldon

Congratulations to the winners! Your prizes shall be distributed in the coming days! 

I had a blast seeing the entries roll in and I am thrilled with the sheer creativity on display with all the entries. I highly recommend picking up the winning entries if you’ve not yet already done so. Furthermore, there’s much to love in the remaining entries, which include:

Fresh Ink for Scion Zachery Naldrett
Mission Generator: Random Tables for Trinity Continuum Awkward GM Corbin
Mnemosyne and Lethe: A Taste for Scion by Pablo Vazquez,Coyote Crow,Nicolas M. Gravina
On Fable Street for Scion T.J. Wilson
Psiads in 2028 for Trinity Continuum by Travis Legge
Scion: Dawn of the Radiance for Scion by The Wiz and Empyrean
The Bedwetters Foundation for Trinity Continuum by Alain Giorla
The Unremembered of Lost Shores for Scion by Liam Conway

Thanks again to all who participated either by creating, purchasing, or voting! If you had a project in the works but didn’t get it out in time, I highly encourage you to wrap it up and put it out there!  If you missed the Jam or are just now hearing about the Storypath Nexus, this is a perfect time to start creating! The basics can be found here along with links to the content guidelines and FAQ! We want to see your work!

It’s really heartening to look at the quality of the work being done by our community: Congrats to one and all!

This week’s Pathcast is finally what we intended the last time we tried to do it but were forced to redo because of extremely unexpected technical issues. I had a great time talking with Dixie and Danielle, and yes, we did cover some upcoming news/games things. I finally got to answer some questions from y’all, as well, and we got into some serious thoughts about the creative process, zen-states, and a lot of talk about art.

I mean, a lot. Hey, you interview a publisher who started out as an illustrator, graphic designer, and art director…art is going to be something I’m going to gravitate towards! 🙂

Now last Friday’s Pathcast was a strange one that was some sort of actual play that was started mid-play? Looking into it.

TCF The Cyclops’s Cave art by Brian LeBlanc

Along with the strangeness of these events, I’ve seen folks talking about Onyx Path running an ARG – and from my definition of just what ARGs are, that’s just not something we do. Eddy and I created a department at CCP called CCP Transmedia about 15 years ago, and we not only studied all the current ARGs, we also put together some possible ones. Never got to make them, but we certainly know what ARGs are. So whatever folks think we might be doing, an ARG ain’t it unless the definition has shifted so far that I’m not recognizing it any more!

Finally: Anybody who sent Danielle a manuscript entitled Curseborne, can you contact us?

What do we always say? Oh yeah:

Many Worlds, One Path!



The Curious Cats of Mau
for Realms of Pugmire

MEOW! We funded in just under 48 hours! And three Stretch Goals (Exclusive Backer T-Shirt, Digital Wallpaper, and Redbubble Pet Designs) achieved already!

Onyx Path Media!

This week: Danielle and Dixie check in with Rich Thomas about all things Onyx Path!

As always, this Friday’s Onyx Pathcast will be on Podbean or your favorite podcast venue!

Please check out our attached media schedule for the videos on our Twitch channel this week! In particular, keep those eyes open for our Storypath Showcase, where we give an excellent profile of our various Storypath games and how to play them!


Red Moon Roleplaying conclude their superb Curious Cats of Mau actual play as run by the amazing Eddy Webb! Start with Episode One right here:

The Onyx Path News discusses recent and upcoming releases! You can find it on our YouTube channel (click the bell to be informed when we go live!) but if you missed the last episode, here it is:

Virtual Tabletop!

The Monsters of the Deep Compendium with all of the monsters added to the They Came From Beneath the Sea! Compendium core, including Tokens for VTT play, will be on Roll20 and DTRPG this Weds!

They Came From Beneath the Sea! on Roll20 VTT!

The Scion: Origin and Scion Hero Compendiums are now available on Roll20!

Scion is just the start! They Came From Beneath the Sea! and other
Onyx Path RPGs are in development for Roll20 virtual tabletop!

The first of our official Scion sheets designed for Foundry VTT are
now available!

Looking for more virtual tabletop resources? We have a selection of
Tokens, Encounters, and more available now at DriveThruRPG!

Our Sales Partners!

We’re working with Studio2 to provide our traditionally printed books out into your local game stores. Game stores can order via their usual distributors, and can also contact Studio2 directly. And individuals can check out our projects via the links below!

Looking for our Deluxe or Prestige Edition books, dice, and screens? Try this link!

We have some CofD Screens on discount on IPR:

As always, you can find Onyx Path’s titles in PDF and PoD versions at!

The massive GM’s Day Sale is running right now at DriveThruRPG. Most of our PDF catalog will be on sale, plus a special spotlight on the They Came From Beneath the Sea! PDF+Roll20 bundle deal!

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).

Check out Melody Through the Mirrorshade Lens and Facets of Truth, as well as Trinity Continuum: Terat and The Hollow Courts on Kindle in the Kindle store!

On Sale This Week!

The VTT Monsters of the Deep Compendium with all of the monsters added to the They Came From Beneath the Sea! core Compendium will be on Roll20 and DTRPG this Weds, including Tokens for VTT play!


As we are slowly returning to attending conventions in person after avoiding them during the COVID-19 outbreak, keep an eye out here for more physical and virtual conventions we’re going to be involved with!

We will be repped at the upcoming GAMA Expo in March by both Studio 2 and Indie Press Revolution. We expect that there will be some…interesting…handouts for retailers at the Expo!

Matthew and Eddy and a few of our other Onyx Path creators will be attending and even running games at UK Games Expo in May.

Game Night With Onyx Path Publishing at StartPlaying will be the last Friday of every month! Come play some of our games, especially any edition of Realms of Pugmire! (But any of our game lines are welcome all day long!)

Here’s a link to give anyone $10 credit to play games on Start.Playing:

Please spread the word about GMing games as much as
possible. Details on how list a game are at the bottom of the page in
the FAQ:

Project Status Updates!

Our full list of projects will be available monthly on our blog! Check out February’s full list report here:


Here are the projects that moved to the next stage of production:


The World Below – Enter the Dungeon Jumpstart

  • Matthew: It appears Kim Godwin has done sterling work on this book, including providing a lexicon of alien symbols! So if you like terrifying subterranean puzzles, this jumpstart will be for you!


Scion – Rock Gods and Side Quests

  • Matthew: Rock out with your Gods out, because Rock Gods enters development! We’re really pushing into new areas for Scion with this book. I’ll tease some content from it on the blog soon, so you can get a feel for what’s up!

Manuscript Approval

Tasty Bit – Scion Dragon Lair #1 (March)

  • Danielle: Coyote Crow wrote a really neat little spooky dragon lair, and I’m excited to get it moving.


Exalted – Abyssals

  • Danielle: Abyssals has made its way through the reaping errata, and is now off to editing.

Post-Editing Development

At the Gates – At the Gates Ashcan

  • Danielle: Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! This turned around so fast I could barely blink before it came back to me. I can’t wait for it to go live.


In Art Direction

  • Ex3 Sidereals – Final revisions in from DAC and Gong.
  • Ex Essence Tomb of Memory (Jumpstart) – Art is in.
  • The World Below – As it’s been a bit since I’ve gone over the notes… going over those and then getting Jon and crew going.
  • TCF Cyclops Cave and Classified Jumpstarts – We’ll have Cyclops JS assets in by end of March.
  • M20 Faces of Magick – Working on contracting the portraits.
  • M20 Victorian Weird Wonders and Revolutionary Magic – Trying to get the fulls in by end of March so we can move forward on it.
  • M20 Victorian Bizarre Tales and Unusual Characters – Trying to get KMJ to do the portraits.
  • SCION No Gods, No Masters – Contracted.
  • TC With Great Power – Nudging this forward.
  • Curious Cats (KS) – Crowdfunding Continueth!
  • At The Gates (KS) – Notes with Maria. Mel is in for the full and splats. Getting some more DAC and Gong guys on the rest of the art.
  • Branch Riders (KS) – Notes with Maria. Gong will be on this one.

In Layout

  • Ex Essence Charm Cards
  • DTR Clade Companion – Going to Pauline this week.
  • M20 Victorian Jumpstart 
  • Squeaks in the Deep Companion
  • Classified and Cyclops Screens– Once I can get around to dealing with the cards and prepping the books for PoD, this is my next thing.
  • CofD Contagion Chronicles RMCs
  • TCF Classified and Cyclops Cards – I’m wrapping up the 200 mini cards…


  • TC Aether – Out to KS backers… errata ends on Thursday.
  • CtL 2e The Hedge – At Paradox for approval.


  • Ex 3 Exigents

At Press

  • Reprints:
  • Scion Origin – Fixing a couple of things with the printer.
  • TC Core – Fixing those couple of things i missed and getting it exported out.
  • TC Aeon – Working on corrections and tweaking out anything that would get flagged in Pre Press.
  • W20 Apocalyptic Record – Shipping finishing to backers.
  • W20 Apocalyptic Record Screen & Booklet – Shipping finishing to backers.
  • Exalted Essence – At Press. Reviewing corrections and confirming some of the details of the limited.
  • Ex Essence Screen – At Studio 2.
  • Ex3 Exigents – Indexing.
  • TC Anima Terra Surge Screen
  • TC Anima
  • M20 Lore of the Traditions – Printing.
  • They Came From CLASSIFIED! – Time to get the PoD process rolling on this book.
  • They Came From the Cyclops Cave! – See above on the mini-cards… and then I can get the PoD process rolling on this.
  • SCION God 2e – Backer PDF out to backers for errata.
  • Ex3 Many-Faced Strangers – PoD Files uploaded.
  • Roll20 VTT Monsters of the Deep Compendium for They Came From Beneath the Sea! live Weds on the Roll20 and DTRPG sites!

Today’s Reason to Celebrate!

I hear that today is International GMs’ Day! Congrats and Thanks to all you GMs, DMs, Storytellers, Storyguides, etc. who pull our games together and provide so much fun for so many!







4 responses to “No Time To Cat Nap! [Monday Meeting Notes]”

  1. Nicolas Avatar

    RichT, do you think Scion: Rock Gods might get a crowdfunding? I’d love to back it

    1. richt Avatar

      Dunno yet, we’ll review as the material gets closer. Right now, we just don’t have room for another campaign in 2024, but you never know. That’s why we don’t announce the year’s crowdfunders but hold off. Things do shift in this business.

  2. Nicolas Avatar

    Also,I’m so happy I won the popularity award

    1. richt Avatar

      And I’m happy you’re happy! And popular, too!