Some Interesting Looking Characters Here. [Monday Meeting Notes]


Our Onyx Path Monday Meeting crashed and burned today because only three of us could get together on Skype due to their recent issues. And one of us kept having to rejoin. We’ll be rescheduling.

So, while Eddy and I were still able to talk earlier (oddly enough about his computer and Skype woes wrecking his productivity last week), I have little to pass on to you this week, except something I kind of touched on last week, and which was brought to mind by the screen proofs you can see in the pic above.

I was looking at the art sides of the V20 Dark Ages and Mage20 Storyteller Screen proofs, and I thought “Those are some interesting characters there”. Not that my experience with selling game books to our audience tells me that we need identification characters for our mostly white, male, middle-class audience. Nor, the question of whether there are enough people of color and non-male characters represented there. Just that I’d like to know more about these characters.

Look, I’m not making a Statement with a capital S, just a statement that what I’m looking for in our games are cool characters that can inspire a wide range of players in the creation of their own characters and stories. If in our representations we can show characters that look like they have a wide range of stories behind their visuals, and the hints of those stories appeal to that wide range of players, then that’s a good thing. If seeing a character that you can identify with encourages you to play, whether that is because of their story or because they look like you, or because they look like how you want to look, then we’ve done good work.

And even though we at Onyx Path do work on how to be more inclusive, and always have, it’s gratifying when someone else picks up on the way that comes through in the actual projects. For example, last week we were glad to get the link for this Paste article:

We don’t do it for praise, although that’s nice of course, but like I said above: because it’s a good thing to include more people in this hobby of ours.

Sermon, off.

Eddy and I did also talk about Pugmire today as he just managed to get some work in on the Early Access materials after he solved his computer woes. We went into some detail on the history of the dogs after the founding of the city of Pugmire. In particular Eddy and I went over the idea of a dog vs cat war that occurred in the past as their two territories and interests came into conflict. Is it more useful to have had that war closer in time to the PCs, or further? Did their parents fight in that war, or their grandparents?

Both options are valid, but as I mentioned to Eddy, I feel like a war that took place a bit further back gives a wider range of possibilities for stories as the conflict becomes less of the moment and more historical for the new puppies looking to make their marks on the world. We can have more of a Cold War situation without the need to avenge your dad’s death in a battle. A hot war kind of mandates a lot more of a hostile mood towards cats in Pugmire than we might want. As always, Eddy is going to make the call on that, but that’s how we bat ideas around.

Eddy pointed out that this whole war thing also plays well with our idea that Pugmire will be operating on several levels: kids will have no problem with playing out cats vs dogs, just because cats vs dogs is something kids “get”. Older players will be able to see the ramifications of such a conflict, and understand why some dogs might get fanatical against the “Calico Menace” and why others might be willing to trade their freedom for security. And other such storylines that a broader knowledge of how the world works, and its history, will provide a deeper meaning to.

We also talked about getting set for Midwinter Con in Milwaukee. It’ll be our first year really exhibiting there as both he and I have been Guests of Honor before, but not with a booth and a bunch of demos and all that. So, a new kind of experience there that we hope will give us a chance to usher a few more gamers along The Path.

Finally, as you’ll see below in the Blurbs!, we have Mage20 ready to go on sale in both PDF and PoD versions on Weds! Backer PoD discounts links tomorrow and the Deluxe printer files (both Deluxes) out to the printer this week!


It was more of an ordeal than it should of been, and Special K thanKs to Matt, Meredith, and the big man himself, Steve Wieck, at DriveThruRPG for staying on the PoD printers until a resolution could be found!



And now, the BLURBS!

Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition PDF as well as Standard and Premium Print on Demand physical book editions will go on sale this coming Wednesday, September the 23rd on DTRPG!

M20 Front



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




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:


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:

The fifth Pugmire poster, Pan Dachshund, is ready now as a free PDF or $.99 physical poster, suitable for framing:

The fourth Pugmire poster, Jack Rat-Terrier, is on-sale now 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:

The second poster, Princess Yosha Pug, is available now:

And the first poster, Sister Picassa Collie, is here:

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:

Dread Names, Red List



We’re finalizing plans for a big Onyx Path presence at Mid Winter Con again this year this January in Milwaukee. Big blurb when that is all worked out.

I’ll be at Ovino in Milan, Italy signing Magic the Gathering cards on October 2-4, so any of our community in the area that wants to stop by and say “Ciao”, I’d love to see you. More thoughts on that convention next week.



And now, the 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)
  • Pugmire Early Access
  • Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition
  • Beast Ready Made Characters (Beast: the Primordial)
  • Beast Fiction Anthology (Beast: the Primordial)
  • Cavaliers of Mars
  • Signs of Sorcery (Mage: the Awakening Second 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
  • WtF The Pack (Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition)
  • VtM Lore of the Bloodlines (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • WtA Kinfolk (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Dark Eras Companion (nWod Dark Eras)
  • V20 Ready Made Characters (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary 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)



  • StoryPath System Rules (Base rules set for Scion and the Trinity Continuum)
  • 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)
  • Dark Eras Expansions (nWod Dark Eras)



  • 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)
  • W20 Pentex Employee Indoctrination Handbook (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition)


Post-Editing Development:




In Art Direction

  • V20 Ghouls – All artwork approved.
  • Tal Me Rah – Sketches are still coming in.
  • W20 Shattered Dreams – Almost all the finals are in. Need to do KS graphics and banners this week. Still trying to get it going live this month.
  • V20 Lore of the Clans – Gaydos working on halfs.
  • Pentex Employee Indoctrination Manual – Holding off until new text is in.
  • Demon STG –  Sketches incoming, cover is in and going to CCP for approval.
  • Mage: the Awakening Second – AD’d and contracted.
  • Promethean: the Created Second – Gonna start ADing that out this week at some point.


In Layout

  • Lore of the Clans – working on that this week.
  • Dreams of Avarice – A little more than half way.
  • NWoD 2 – Working on it…making good progress. Making minor format and design tweaks as I go.
  • Beast: The Primordial – Working on corrections.



  • M20 How Do You Do That ?!? – It’s still with Phil.
  • Ex 3 Anthology – Awaiting updated text file.
  • Ex 3 core book – RichT here: Waiting on the Page XX page numbers from the Devs, Maria to input them throughout the 700 pg book, and we can submit the whole corrected PDF to CCP.


At Press

  • V20DA Rolling along. Screen is as well.
  • M20 – The Standard PoD version finally checked out!
  • M20 Screen– At the Printer.


Special- projects on hold until an external factor is resolved

  • Dark Eras
  • Wraith 20  
  • Pentex Employee Indoctrination Manual


TODAY’S REASON TO DRINK: On Weds, when M20 goes live. Finally! Let’s drinK!

47 thoughts on “Some Interesting Looking Characters Here. [Monday Meeting Notes]”

  1. Hmm, I thought my Skype problems were caused by talking to people using shady VPNs in China. Maybe it’s just Skype.

    Also, Find “XX” Replace with “69” and pat yourselves on the back!

  2. The level of ‘inclusion-ness’ was decently high even in old White Wolf days, and Onyx Path seems to have cranked it up to the level of, well… of me not really NOTICING that you’re making an effort, if that makes sense?

    Yeah, some of that (okay, a LOT of that?) is me, I know. However, the additions and expansions in, say, V20DA, M20, and other ‘core’ books recently appear both admirable AND effortless in terms of anyone on your side crowing self-congratulatory ‘lookie-how-inclusive-WE-can-be’ nonsense. Thanks for that, and know that some of us DO appreciate how much work goes into making it look easy.

    • Very glad to hear it. I think there is an important value in calling out some things if they actually let folks know that they specifically are valued and wanted in our hobby, but generally, yes, I prefer to let the projects work as examples rather than lectures.

  3. It may have been answered before, but what are the external factors for those last three? I’m excited for Dark Eras, but it seems to have been sitting in that spot for a while now.

    • I believe it’s: Dark Eras has been delayed due to the large amount of extra content that got added during the Kickstarter and Wraith is being held up by the developer’s day job responsibilities getting a lot heavier than initially expected.

    • Dark Eras is actually coming together really well. The Extra Content is just waiting on, like, two files, and then I can assemble everything, cross the i’s and dot the t’s, and get it into editing.

      The Companion is in redlines/in revision now (mostly in revision, I think), so that seems to be moving ahead on schedule. So the “holding pattern” is technically true, but it’s making steady progress.

  4. Special K thanKs! Love that. Here’s to magick with a K! It’s so wonderful that Steve Wieck’s venture (DriveThruRPG) will now finally be birthing the labour of love that is M20! As I think about how far Mage has come, I also marvel at how true it has stayed to Steve’s original structure and vision for the game… 4 main factions, 9 spheres, 9 (+1!) traditions, 5 conventions, a storytelling game of consensual magick!

    • Very much appreciate your enthusiasm! Thanks! (Just an FYI, Steve’s brother Stewart was the lead developer of the original Mage. No worries, they are both very creative guys!)

  5. Last week you mentioned that you were emailing Phil about the status of the proofing of How did you do that. Can you share any details?

  6. Well done on getting the Mage20 POD up and running. You are right, one of the major appeals of the game is the vast diversity of really interesting, unique characters that can be created – there is some good ones in the various Tradition/Convention books too. I think it helps that the magick system, which is central to the game is freeform and you can create a very personalised world view for the character because of it.

    With the POD ready to run, could you also outline what happens next with the Kickstarter Deluxe editions.

    I have been assisting with a local game club’s recruitment drive for female gamers (yes, I’m a guy – but I was asked to help run games!) in Palmerston North (NZ). It made the local paper as one of the new players was a journo. My current game is Call of Cthulhu, which is well received and will last out for a few weeks, but there was a lot of interest (like, a sign up sheet of 15+ players!) to run World of Darkness games. I could run Vampire, but if I have my Mage game before the end of the year, I’d prefer to play that as I have more story ideas for it. Hence, knowing rough delivery estimates helps me plan.

    ….And obviously, is very much appreciated!!

    • Roughly: Once we send the files to the printer, they have to create their proof for us to review. This usually includes a placement proof that is not color accurate, and a selection of pages throughout the book that are proofed for color accuracy. We either signed off or request fixes. Could take several passes. Then they make the plate for the interior pages and endpapers and print them. They also make emboss plates for the cover emboss that is stamped into the leatherette. Once the interior is printed, folded, and cut to size, they will gild the page edges in gold. This step usually takes a month on its own. Once the gilding dries they will combines all the parts as well as the silk bookmarks and glue together the book.

  7. Yaaay finally get to get my Magicks on!

    …now to figure out what kind of game I’d like to run: a Traditions game, a Technocrat game, or a Disparates games…

      • Is that really better, though? I am forced to take some factors into account that make me question if this is really such a good thing. I can only feel a massive increase like this helped the delays along (for a book theoretically set to launch in October 2013). I would much prefer to have had a playable game two years ago and build up over time.

        Additionally, my biggest problem with old Exalted (still one of my favorite games) was that it was too big, bloated, and overall unwieldy for many runners and players. If the introduction to the game is 700 pages, that will hardly be helped however much the system has been improved.

        Lastly I have to think about logistics. A 700 page book will be expensive, and therefore a much higher investment for people to figure out if they are even interested. And RPG books are by design things we transport and flip through time and time again to check for rules. Given the physical size of the thing how sure can we be that it will hold together for very long?

        Basically I don’t know if bigger is inherently better, considering all the other factors that go into a game.

        • I don’t think the decision was to make a 700 page book. Rather, a bunch of little decisions were made – or the execution of the project turned out a certain way – that added up to a lot of pages. They could revisit all of those decisions, but that would only lengthen the wait. Instead they’re including a lot of material for us.

          If you look back at 2nd ed’s core book, you can probably find some rambling sections and say, “Don’t include stuff like this.” Then again you can also find abilities that had 5 or 6 Charms. You can find combat and social systems that were complex but not in a rewarding way that offered great non-charm options.

          At some level I guess you have to trust that the people making this aren’t idiots. They’re including stuff that ought to be published in the core, not stuff they were too lazy or incompetent to cut.

        • As a backer I like as much product as I can get. I see your point, though. Maybe in the future Onyx Path will produce a player’s cut of the rules that only has material the player needs to create a character and understand the basics of the game. I’d buy one.

  8. Thanks for the updates on Exalted 3.

    Any news on the Anathema reward? I’m guessing the aim is to have it live the same time as the core book goes on sale as a .pdf at Drivethru? Are we still looking good on that front?

    • Last I heard they were still working on it, and I know they said their intention was to have it ready near the release of EX3. Just to reiterate from previous posts, they are an entirely independent group and while we like Anathema, it’s not our project. Thanks!

  9. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: There are a lot of projects I’m super excited about! Now the challenge is finding the time to run all the games…

    • The Mighty Dave Brookshaw has mentioned it previously, and my guess is that now the core book is sorted on the writing side, he’s able to get started on it.

      From my understanding, a lot of it is going to be weird things from the Mage milieu that either didn’t get much attention before, or which are in need of revision with the new edition. More detailed familiars, the perfected materials, more on sites of Supernal-related overlap and weirdness. That sort of thing. At least some of it is stuff that was written with an eye towards the rulebook, but which there wasn’t quite enough room for.

    • One thing you’ll see once Mike’s finished with 2nd ed and it’s released, is that Mage makes it very clear the majority of Mysteries mages obsess over aren’t Supernal in origin – mages don’t assume everything’s to do with their own powers.

      Signs is about the exceptions that prove the rule: a big book of Mysteries that *are* Supernal.

      Mage Sight, the Supernal World, and Supernal Entities
      Yantras and Rituals
      Imbued Items, Enhanced Items, Other Crafting, and the perfected Materials
      Grimoires, Daimononika, Soul Stones, and an expanded system for requisitioning things from your Order
      Hallows, Supernal Mysteries, Emanation Realms, Mythic Beings, Ananke, and Ochemata
      The Awakening itself as a Mystery – theories on causing, detecting, and interfering, and rules for playing through one with an existing character.

  10. Indeed, apart from the Euthanatos, who looks a little cliché, I believe that all of the characters presented above (both mages and vampires) would make for cool PCs or NPCs!

    BTW, congratulations for both thinking about diversity while creating characters while also not making it your only consideration.

    It is a fine line to tread, one where it looks to me like Onyx Path has been very effetive on walking.

    • Hmmm… I love the Euthanatos dude, but your comment did give a good chuckle: Out of the 9 characters, there is ONE modern white male, and you think he looks cliched! I guess you’re right…

      • I see two “white” guys, communist punk dude (is this the Euthanatos? Is that cliché? In my time cliché Euthanatos was goth or emo.) and Renaissance Fair Spear Dude.

        Actually communist dude could be many lighter shade of skin ethnicity… Though spear dude looks definitely “white” and blond anglo/norse kind of deal.


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