We’re Absolute Beginners…[Monday Meeting Notes]

…And We’re Absolutely Sane.

Although it has been crazy here this last week.

The Deluxe Changeling Kickstarter is ending tomorrow and not only have we added Deluxe C20 Dice as an Add-on, but we are giving a shot at an Ultra-Deluxe version of the C20 cover designed to look like the stained glass effect I always wanted for Changeling. Pledges and messages of interest in the Ultra-Deluxe are flying fast and furious right now as we race to see if we can get commitments for 200 copies of the UDE before the KS is over!


Plus, our shared Scarred Lands Kickstarter has been funded and now is popping along at a good pace through a bunch of Stretch Goals that activate characters from the classic d20 The Wise & The Wicked to be transformed into Pathfinder and 5E versions. If that sentence made sense to you, you need to check out the Scarred Lands KS! And if it didn’t, but you might like what many consider one of the best fantasy settings out there, or just want us to get more of our Onyx Path game books into stores, then you should check it out too!

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See the BLURBS! below for links.

And then, there’s MidWinter convention at the end of this week! So much fun! In honor of the pins we’ll be giving away as well as the Early Access version of Pugmire that Fast Eddy Webb will be demoing there, I thought this week to show you folks a step by step look at my process for creating the Breed and Calling symbols in Pugmire. (You can skip down if such a thing is not of interest, but really, how could you not be fascinated by a grown man showing how he gets to create symbols for an uplifted doggy society for a living?) Come by our booth there if you are at the con or in the City of Milwaukee. We’d love to see ya.



I always start with the text.

First, to get an overall feel of the setting, and then to get a specific idea of the groups that need symbols. What sort of imagery is appropriate? What works culturally, thematically, and aesthetically? In the case of Pugmire, I knew a pseudo heraldic look worked right culturally, as well as lending itself to the bright colors I think will be appealing to kids as well as adults. Not too fancy, but with a unique kind of symbolism that would differentiate the society the Dogs have created from our real-world medieval symbolism.

I’ve found that these days, having done so many, that I can sit with a print out of the text and just scrawl ideas in the margins. Some might call these thumbnail sketches, but I wouldn’t dignify them with that appellation.


As you can see, I hit pretty quickly on the idea of making the Callings (classes) in a shield shape, and the Breeds (races) in a circle. You might also be able to see how I’ll often compile lists of adjectives or objects that can define the choice of symbolism. From there I did a bunch of tighter sketches:


You can see me playing around with the various choices of symbols. At one point, based on a partially-remembered conversation with Eddy, I thought both magic-using Callings (the Artisans and the Shepherds) had their blood activated to do magic, so the drop of blood was used several times. Without the cultural context, that might be grim, but for this use it was a symbol of the power of Man that could enable their magic. Oh, it winds up that I remembered wrong, anyway. Bones, though, are very much a positive symbol of success and victory (rather than of warning and death) in Pugmire, and their symbols reflect that.

Now here is the sheet I sent Eddy for comment:

Pugmire symbols001

It was here that Eddy pointed out that I completely misread the blood drop thing. Which is actually really cool, because we’re fleshing out this culture as we develop the graphics, which might just be seen as window-dressing, But in world-building, these sorts of things begin to demand answers from the creators, and those answers help build the setting.

With the developer’s OK, I then drew up the various parts of the symbols I would need to scan into Photoshop. I only draw one half of most symmetrical objects, as I’ve learned from hard experience that PShop is more accurate than my eye/hand coordination in making two halves match. My scanner isn’t extra large, so I had to scan the art in two passes at 600dpi b&w.


Next, I’m going to demonstrate the process of how I take these pieces of line art and turn them into the color symbols we’re looking for on the shield for the Strays Calling. First, I had come up with a shield template in PShop that would contain all the shield symbols:


This is in multiple layers so that I could place the symbols and the background color between the metal of the shield interior and the highlights.


You can see that I took the half star and copied it, flipped the copy, and combined them before placing the star in the tree. I deleted anything outside the tree, leaving the interior white. Next I put in the leaves.


The leaves are basically a flat green, with a darker green outline to give just a bit of depth. Depth was something that I wanted for all of these symbols, as I thought it looked more interesting, and sort of suggested that these symbols could actually exist as a real thing somewhere in Pugmire.

Potentially not interesting, but really indicative of my creative process, I was pretty well stuck without a direction for these until the idea of including depth hit me. And it hit me one night at dinner at our local Outback when I looked across the dining room and saw a crest of one of the Australian territories mounted on the wall. It was heraldic, but in 3D like it was carved and painted. “Aha!”, I yelled, “that’s it!” Restaurant staff love it when you do that and then whip out your phone to take a pic of their wall.

In the course of doing these, I created depth in a variety of ways. I used the bevel/emboss layer style tool, I hand painted to make things look volumetric, and I used drop shadows like in the bg of this one. Sometimes all those methods and more.


Here, I colored the tree brown and then hit that layer with a bevel/emboss style with a hard chisel effect that gave it some nice texturing not unlike bark.


And the gold star was also made with the bevel/emboss style pushed to create the interior star shape.

Here are the full range of the shields and buttons:


Hope you’ve enjoyed this little look into my process, and here’s a reminder that we’ll have the buttons as actual pin-backed buttons at MidWinter!








The Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Kickstarter IS DOWN TO ITS LAST DAY! As pointed out above, we now are offering C20 Deluxe Dice Sets as Add-ons because the Dice Stretch Goal was passed! We have upcoming Stretch Goals to get a sequel novel to the Immortal Eyes fiction trilogy written by Jackie Cassada, and to add a further Chimeric section to Changeling 20th itself!

Most importantly, we are pushing to get commitments for 200 or more Ultra-Deluxe C20s featuring a stained glass style cover.

And here is an interview C20 developer Black Hat Matt McFarland and I did for FlamesRising: http://www.flamesrising.com/talking-c20-with-onyx-path/



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In the heady days of the D20 explosion, White Wolf created our own fantasy setting featuring a world devastated by the brutal war between gods and ancient titans. The Scarred Lands will return as this Kickstarter for the new edition of Scarred Lands Players Guide was funded last week! Hosted on KS by our partner, Nocturnal Media, this Kickstarter is not only for a new edition but for a print run to get Pathfinder AND 5E editions into stores!



The Tales From the Age of Sorrows Exalted 3rd fiction anthology goes on sale this Wednesday on DTRPG in PDF/ePub/Mobi and PoD versions!



The Demon Storyteller Guide has dropped its cover and is on sale as an Advance PDF on DTRPG! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/170165/Demon-Storytellers-Guide

Demon STG Front


V20 Lore of the Clans in PDF and PoD versions now on sale at DTRPG!



M20 How Do You DO That? is now available at DTRPG in PDF and PoD versions!

Pages from M20 How Do You DO That (Final Download)




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: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/153518/Pugmire-Gen-Con-Brochure


There are also six Pugmire posters available as free PDFs or $.99 physical posters, suitable for framing:

Start spreading the Code of Man!





THIS IS THE WEEK! We’re one of the Contributing Sponsors at Midwinter Con this year this January in Milwaukee! We are so looking forward to catching up with all our friends at the Con and showing off our newest projects. This is the first year we are in the dealers hall, so come by and say hi! RichT, Fast Eddy Webb, and Newlywed Neall Raemonn Price will be there at our booth as well as running demo games of Scion and Pugmire. There will be panels for What’s Up With Onyx Path?, WoD 20th Anniversary Games and a Pugmire/Scion/StoryPath System one. In the meantime, check out the show here: http://www.midwintergamingconvention.com/ SEE YOU THERE!




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)
  • Scion: Alpha (Scion 2nd Edition Playtest Alpha Slice)
  • Ring of Spiragos (Scarred Lands)
  • Ex Backer Charms (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • DA Tome of Secrets (Vampire 20th Dark Ages)


  • Mummy Fiction Anthology (Mummy: the Curse)
  • Wraith: the Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition
  • V20 Ready Made Characters (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Cavaliers of Mars
  • Signs of Sorcery (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)
  • Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition
  • Night Horrors: Conquering Heroes (Beast: the Primordial)
  • Shattered Dreams in-book stretch goals (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Dagger of Spiragos (Scarred Lands)
  • EX3 Quickstart (Exalted 3rd Edition)

Second Draft

  • Arms of the Chosen (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • The Realm (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Dragon-Blooded (Exalted 3rd Edition)
  • Beckett’s Jyhad Diary (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition)


  • StoryPath System Rules (Base rules set for Scion and the Trinity Continuum)
  • W20 Changing Ways (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • VtM Lore of the Bloodlines (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • W20 Shattered Dreams (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Beast Ready Made Characters (Beast: the Primordial)
  • Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition, featuring the Huntsmen Chronicle (Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition)
  • WtA Kinfolk (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition)


  • W20 Pentex Employee Indoctrination Handbook (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Dark Eras Companion (Chronicles of Darkness Dark Eras)
  • WtF The Pack (Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition)
  • CofD Hurt Locker (Chronicles of Darkness)

Post-Editing Development:

  • V20 Ghouls (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Secrets of the Covenants (Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition)
  • Scarred Lands Player’s Guide: Ghelspad (Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)




In Art Direction

  • V20 Ghouls – Awaiting text.
  • W20 Shattered Dreams – Awaiting artnotes for Ch. 5. Doing up the KS shirt this week. Got sidetracked by Mid Winter stuff last week.
  • Promethean: the Created Second – Ron art rolling in… once all in I’ll send it over for approval.
  • Scarred Lands PG – Wrangling last bit of art out of artists and recontracting some.
  • Dark Eras – Art in progress. Got sketches in from a couple of artists already.
  • Dark Eras Companion Still sorting through that buy.
  • The Pack – Contracting about done.


In Layout

  • Guide to the Black Hand – Working on it. 
  • Chronicles of Darkness Condition Cards – After the errata pass is done on CofD core.
  • Beast Screen – Off for approvals at Paradox.
  • Mage: the Awakening Second – Awaiting approved text… working on some design tweaks for the interior.
  • Pugmire Early Access – Waiting on the last of the art to come in… but layout is complete.
  • Beast Anthology –  Knocking that out this week.




  • Beast: The Primordial – Indexing.
  • Ex 3 core book – From RichT: Notated PDF sent to Maria, she has to finish another project today and will dive into the correx Tues/Weds.
  • Truth Beyond Paradox – Still proofing with Phil.


At Press

  • M20 – Deluxes printing (Screen is finished and awaiting book).
  • M20 How Do You Do That ?!? – Hopefully available this week.
  • Chronicles of Darkness – Should be entering in errata this week.
  • Demon STG – Errata collecting.
  • Dreams of Avarice – Errata collecting.


Special- projects on hold in the art and production area until an external factor is resolved

  • Wraith 20 – Can’t go further until art notes come in, still being developed by Rich Dansky.
  • Pentex Employee Indoctrination Manual – Some added and amended text needs to come in.


TODAY’S REASON TO DRINK: Ziggy has left the building.




50 thoughts on “We’re Absolute Beginners…[Monday Meeting Notes]”

  1. M20 How Do You Do That ?!? – Hopefully available this week.

    The fact that this has been the blurb for two weeks now and a week after I received my physical copy fills me with mirth…..

  2. I will admit that my attention to Scion has been modest at best up to this point but I noticed that the StoryPath System is a separate book from Scion Alpha. Does this mean there will be a core rulebook and then Scion and Trinity will be additional books (similar to CofD core and then the various game lines such as Vampire, Werewolf, etc that build from that core)?

    As for the rest of the books: keep ’em commin’!

    • Scion Origins and the Trinity Continuum core books will be self-contained. Scion Alpha isn’t a book, it’s a playtest document. Thanks!

    • The “Storypath System” entry listed above is not a book. It’s simply showing our progress in getting the new system nailed down.

      • …which means, I presume, that once it leaves the Editing stage it will drop off the schedule entirely while Scion: Origin and Trinity Continuum will show up as First Drafts shortly thereafter?

        • The Scion Alpha playtest will also inform the basic StoryPath rules, so some tweaking may occur, but yes, that’s basically right.

          • Will the Alpha be available for download in the not-too-distant future? I’ve been wanting to do a playtest since the first Storypath teaser.

          • We’ll be better able to answer that after we run it through some paces at MidWinter. I’m pretty sure that getting it out there is something Neall is interested in doing in some capacity.

  3. Those shields and bottons are looking gorgeous and inspiring. Two curiosities: the Fettlers are Scottish and the Companions are English? hehehe

    also, something really unimportant caught my attention: what are those numbers near the shield sketches?

    Me and my gaming group are so hyped about Pugmire, we’re looking forward to it =D

    • Great to hear! Silly but good point, actually. I included those bg parts of the buttons to further illustrate that things mean different things in Pugmire and crosses don’t have the same symbolic meaning. What they mean, we’ll touch on another time. The numbers, if they are the ones I think you mean, are me establishing how many Breeds and Callings there are so I know how many to do. Sorry, no really anything more exotic-meaning to them. 🙂

    • I’m running a CofD Innocents game now, actually, which is about to morph into a Changeling game. It was a surprisingly easy conversion. I gave my players the option to skip the “what have you forgotten” question but they all answered anyway; otherwise it works right out of the box.

  4. As ever, my dog-obsessed wife is super excited about Pugmire! These shields and crests look great and only raising already high expectations!

  5. Any news on the stretch goal side projects from the Wraith kickstarter? The short story anthology, Book of Oblivion, Handbook for the Recently Deceased?

    • Not being worked on until the text is all in Editing. Then we’ll move RichD to those, or be able to give the text to a different developer so they know what Wr20 is all about. Thanks!

    • The methods of the Mirthful One are mysterious. I believe he was emphasizing it because he wants it done so he can get the book out as soon as possible. But maybe it was undelined so he’ll remember where it is in the process. Do not gaze too deeply into the abyss that is the Mirthful One’s reasoning.

      • I think it was because he had it listed as waiting for ‘updated’ text for several weeks even after DaveB handed the updated text in.

  6. Since it’s being developed after the Paradox acquisition, will Changeling: the Dreaming 20th’s plot developments be considered for the upcoming One World of Darkness?

    Paradox has stated that they are incorporating the new plot in By Night’s upcoming Werewolf book, so I’m curious if it’s also true for Changeling 20.

    • The X20 books have always existed in a chimerical metaplot-agnostic dreamland, while the BNS books have intentionally made the decision to move the metaplot forward. Two different approaches.

      WWP has not, to the best of my knowledge, approached us about making any changes to Changeling to reflect their future intent.

      • Thank you so much for the reply.

        Does this decision also stand true for the Immortal Eyes sequel novel? Or is that still to be decided?

        • There is no “decision”, Onyx Path is working with the new White Wolf Publishing via the approval process at this time. Every project we make goes through the approval process with WWP, and we incorporate their notes and answer their questions. Right now, we are all in a transitional period where WWP is gathering information and getting their ducks in a row for their One World By Night. We’re working with them with the 20th Anniversary Editions and any other way they like, and I imagine By Night is doing much the same.

  7. Any chance of getting Dark Eras in the Next couple of months? My friends are foaming at the mouth for the chance to play some of those settings.

  8. Hey, Rich, will you guys be doing an update on 20th Anniversary edition things you’ll still be planning on doing even after recent news? Because the Bunyip tribebook akin to the White Howlers one is still something I’d love to see, especially from Onyx Path. Or is there a limit to how far you’ll be allowed to take 20th Anniversary Edition or even share what the general roadmap will be in regards to it?

    • We’re still planning on doing all of them. The only thing that we have stepped back from is the idea of doing 4th Editions. As for far future plans? “Reply is hazy. Try again.”

      • I don’t have any idea how viable this is, but I was wondering if you guys have (or even could) considered renaming your 20th anniversary line to something else like maybe “legacy edition” considering at some point that 20th anniversary tag stops being 20th anniversary

        Just curious 🙂

  9. So I’m curious, and maybe I just need to wait to put the comment on next week’s Meeting notes, but is Black Hand going to be getting a Deluxe Kickstarter? It’s been in layout since late October, so I sort of figured if it was going to have a kickstarter we’d probably be getting closer to that. I have really been looking forward to seeing that text as the original was one of my favorite lore books.

      • Thanks for the confirmation. While I’m sad I won’t be able to pick up a traditionally printed copy of those books I am looking forward to them hitting Drive Thru RPG. I would be curious if any of the texts for the other 4 oWoD game lines that are maybe kickstarters on the timeline are fated for direct to POD at this point. I especially want to throw money at Deluxe editions of Victorian Mage and Technocracy Reloaded. (I know I know they aren’t exactly around the corner)


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