Onyx Path Publishing

Onyx Path Publishing is the current publisher for White Wolf's World of Darkness, Classic World of Darkness, and Exalted tabletop RPGs. We also publish our own lines, such as Scion, the Trinity Continuum, and Scarred Lands, and creator-owned properties like Cavaliers of Mars.

A quick note about the open development process for Lore of the Clans

I wanted to give folks a bit of an update on the status of open development for Lore of the Clans. Don’t worry — it’s not dead or anything (well, not any more dead than usual, ha ha vampire joke). However, originally I said I was planning to have open development wrapped up by the time Gen Con starts. For a variety of reasons, that’s not going to happen. Instead, I’m going to put up each Clan as it makes sense and leave it open for comments for a week, but I’ll be taking a break from the process over Gen Con. I think this will not only solve some logistical problems on my end, but I think it’ll help to focus on a few Clans at a time instead of all of us drowning in commentary. Further, it means that people won’t have to rush to catch it all before Gen Con, and attendees won’t miss anything. Besides, while I’m falling behind on my personal timetable (because I’m fucking insane — just ask Rich or Rose), from a production standpoint I’m actually a little ahead of schedule, so I’m going to use the extra time to better use.

Clan Assamite should be going up tomorrow!




Many thanks to everyone who voted, and commented on the last post and in the satellite discussions on our forums, rpg.net, SomethingAwful and 4Chan. And even the one person posting on Giant in the Playground (like the Eye, I’m always watching). It’s exciting to see how many people are taking an interest in the Fallen World Chronicle, and I look forward to talking to any of you who come to GenCon. Don’t be shy – I’ll have as much of the book as exists with me for you to leaf through.

To keep you updated on our progress – drafts are starting to roll in for both the Chronicle Book and the attendent fiction Anthology. We’ll see increasing amounts of mechanics in these blog posts – and the choice this week is between two things I have a draft for, so we’ll really start to dig into the details.

That’s this week, though. Last week’s choice ended up closer than I thought it would, but Mage Sight won out.

In a game about mysteries, Mage Sight represents searching for clues. It’s the mechanics of a Mage character’s insight into the world, and one of the ways a player’s choice of Path affects her character.

Mage Sight is now also tied up with the Supernal World — while the “Supernal Realms” have been described as other dimensions in the past, we’re going to be much clearer in this edition that the Supernal is everywhere. The Aether is in every thunderclap, every wire, and every time a human approaches the divine.

Mages call the world of magic they unveil with Mage Sight “The Supernal World”, and reserve “The Supernal Realms” for the experience of interacting with symbols devoid of Fallen Reality, something which only happens in Awakenings and, in theory, Ascension. The Fallen World lacks magic, but is a Lie. Under that Lie is the Supernal World, where the concrete and abstract mix. The abstract by itself is the Supernal Realms.

Mage Sight comes in three levels of awareness.

Peripheral Mage Sight is the default—the baseline awareness of the strange all Awakened have. It used to be called Unseen Senses, but as that continually caused confusion with the Supernatural Merit of the same name, we’re changing it. Every mage experiences her Periphery in a different way, linked to her Path and Nimbus. Many don’t experience it through literal sight, but as one of the other senses.

Under Peripheral Mage Sight, a mage can sense the presence of any supernatural effect that is not masked. Any form of concealment magic defeats it without a Clash of Wills, but any other power or ability alerts the mage. The mere presence of supernatural creatures doesn’t trigger it, only the use of powers—a ghost will go unnoticed as long as it stays in Twilight form, but as soon as it spends Essence or uses a Manifestation, mages in the vicinity know that something just happened. Mages sense the presence of continuing effects like magical wards or spiritual possession until the effect ends or they leave the area.

Active Mage Sight is the next level, the mage deliberately opening her senses to the Supernal World. By default, this allows a mage to perceive the symbols of everything relating to her Ruling Arcana, and any other Arcana she knows at a cost of 1 Mana each.

The experience is interpreted and filtered through the Mage’s soul into her mind as hallucinations and sensory effects – an Obrimos using his Mage Sight might see electricity glittering in the wall cables, see a halo of authority around the leaders of groups, and feel the burning, life-giving power in sunlight. The result is confusing or even overwhelming for new mages not used to it, and presents such an overload of information that it’s hard to make out details.

What active Mage Sight does do is make glaringly obvious what was only a feeling of something strange in Peripheral Sight, as long as it can be seen in the Arcana used. A Mage using her Sight can see the Nimbus of other mages when they cast spells, active spells (both those being cast and those already in effect – the old edition had only vulgar spells visible, but it’s all magic now), and the presence of supernatural entities and inactive items and Merits that are covered by the Arcana used, even if in Twilight. For example, Fate Sight will pick up on the presence of destinies and fate-cursed objects even if those curses haven’t triggered.

Concealment magic only works against active Mage Sight if it protects against the full battery of a mage’s senses — an invisibility spell that warps light will not mask a living human from a Thyrsus’ Life senses, but a vampire’s mental “ignore me” field, or a spell that uses Prime to hide its signature, will work. Even then, a Mage whose Sight includes the appropriate Arcanum for the concealment power (such as a Mastigos for the vampire or an Obrimos for the cloaked spell) gets a Clash of Wills roll.

The downside of Active Mage Sight is the distraction factor – it imposes a -2 dice penalty on attribute and skill rolls – and how wearing it is, requiring a willpower point per scene after the first if it’s kept up.

The next level is Focused Mage Sight, where the mage concentrates her awareness on a particular subject. The hallucinations and sensory artifacts deepen and become more obvious, which mages describe as seeing into the Supernal World. The Obrimos isn’t looking at the world interpreted through the Aether any more, he’s looking at the Aether in the shape of the world — the walls are straining, barely holding back the power coursing through the cables, strange mandalas are visible in the heart of the sun, and the leader is decked in chains of office.

Mana and other sources of magical power are now visible, and the Nimbus of other mages (as well as the mage using Mage Sight) are visible all the time. Supernatural powers including attainments are visible, where only their effects were if covered by the Arcana earlier (for example, a Fire Spirit using its Influence to start a fire will show up under Forces in Active Sight, and both Spirit and Forces in Focused Sight). Clash of Wills rolls to see through concealment effects of the Arcana involved now grant the rote quality to the mage’s roll.

Once focused, a mage can scrutinize the subject of his Sight for information, and spend Mana to assist the attempt. Mages have discovered that when Mana is released rather than used, it doesn’t simply vanish but dissipates along invisible lines and whorls like blood in water. A mage using Focused Mage Sight can spend Mana and watch the shapes it makes – shapes that magical runes are based on, and which can provide details about the phenomena at hand. Mechanically, Scrutiny is an instant dice roll, with Mana spent adding successes after the main roll is successful the same way weapons do for damage. This allows players to “bid for clues”, knowing that it won’t be a waste of time.

We’ll give Storytellers advice on how much information to give out in Scrutiny rolls, including a mechanic whereby if information is necessary for the plot to move forward, all but one point of Mana spent on Mage Sight is refunded at the end of the scene.

Focused Mage Sight increases the penalty for nonmagical dice pools to -3, and every Turn after the mage’s Gnosis in Turns requires a Willpower point, but going this deep into the Supernal World is dangerous. Every so often, mages catch sight of one of the Supernal’s inhabitants while Focusing – our Obrimos might see an Angel – and keeping Focused too long increases the risk of a hostile entity taking an interest. While a mage is focused, Supernal beings don’t need to be summoned into Fallen reality to use their powers on him, even if they still can’t physically touch him. Once you notice them, they notice you.

Next week, we’ll take a detailed look at one of two major sections of the magic system. Both have been semi-spoiled already, but we’ll show specifics, including things that we’ve danced around (what does constitute “safe” for a spell?) or not spoken about at all ([redacted]). Both are significant areas of change from the current edition.

If you choose Yantras we’ll look at all the ways magical style impacts the game – from High Speech to Dedicated Magical Tools, and more besides. Mages can cast spells by thought alone, but usually only do so in extremis.

If you choose Paradox we’ll look at how mages’ reach for power exceeds their grasp, how and where they push past what’s Wise, and what the consequences are for them and the Fallen World around them.

rattonic is the best real-life fae we know.

Hi everyone following Dark Ages and its development. I wanted to stop by  briefly, poking my head up from the final development pass, and share something I thought was super cool.

This is V20 Dark Ages’s answer to Koldunism. It’s one of the few truly unique additions to V20 Dark Ages. I felt it hit on some important thematic notes for the Tzimisce and the Dark Medieval World, and it embodies one of our design philosophies for this supplement:

New Rules, Old Rules

Part of our philosophy of bringing an authentic but not always accurate experience is offering some new angles and ideas in game rules. If you’re familiar with past iterations of Dark Ages, you’ll notice that some of the Disciplines have changed, and some of this, that, and the other thing might be a little different. We want to give you a little more bang for your buck and provide some fresh content to go along with the swaths of reprinted and recompiled material. If you prefer the new editions, that’s great. If you prefer the old editions, we’ve written this book to be highly compatible with old content. If you prefer the Vampire: the Dark Ages version of Superpowerus 5 over ours, use it.

Because of the Genius Loci ability acting as a pretty solid mirror for the old Way of Spirit, you could easily adapt these kraina as Revised Vampire the Masquerade Koldunic Sorcery Paths, or you could adapt them forward for use with V20 Dark Ages’s version.

Koldunic Sorcery has been presented by Renee Knipe. You might remember her from the Werewolf chapter of Dark Ages: Darkening Sky. She’s also offered up our Tzimisce clan writeup, our version of Vicissitude, the Gargoyles bloodline, and a number of other bits and pieces throughout the book.

This particular draft is in editing, so don’t worry about minor usage and typo stuff.

Asker Anonymous Asks:
I hope this isn't rude to ask, but I was wondering if at any point during Gencon you guys have a time for people proposing projects to you? In the comics industry people usually have portfolio times specifically, so I was curious if you did anything like that, if it was casual, or if during the convention you guys were usually too busy. Conventions are a whirlwind, especially Gencon, I wouldn't want to show up out of the blue and shove something in front of you. Have a great show regardless!
theonyxpath theonyxpath Said:

Art portfolios are a way of showing an art director what you’re capable of doing; then they hire you to do something specific that they determine. You generally don’t walk in with a specific sketch or finished piece in mind and expect them to use it. Writing works similarly.

There are a lot of very particular laws surrounding things like intellectual property. While we don’t mind casual conversation like “you know what would be cool? A book about the Nictuku,” a formal proposal is a lot more complicated and really not suitable for Gen Con.

That’s one reason that the Submission Guidelines on our site require, first and foremost, a disclosure form. If we don’t have a proper disclosure form, we don’t even look at a submission, usually.

If you have something to propose, the best way to go about it is to go through the process outlined at that link above.

old GenCon WW

Yes, that’s a shot of the ol’ White Wolf crew at Gen Con back in ’94 or ’95. I’m directly behind the head of the lady in the red shirt. Not the guys on either side- they were bad eggs, and you’d best steer clear of them. This might have been the year we did the original Pentex Board Meeting live performance, and/or the year Kathy and Aileen paid to have me arrested by the Klingons. Good times.

As you might guess by the way I’ve mentioned it a few times these last months, Gen Con is a big deal for us this year. Not only because this is the first year we are running and managing our own booth (previously we shared with DTRPG and the amazing Monte Cook), but because of the cultural connection to the twenty-some years I and our other contributors went as WW guys. My first Gen Con was the year I presented Stew Wieck with the cover I’d painted for White Wolf Magazine #8 (a full white wolf face snarling) that I had finished up painting in the delivery room while waiting for my first daughter to be born. Don’t worry, I put down the brush before my wife’s labor pains became unbearable (I would have lost an arm if I hadn’t). That was in 1987.

So what I’m saying is that there is a long and emotionally significant history there. For us, this year, the feeling is we want to acknowledge and learn from that history, and also build on it in ways that make sense for how we exist as a company creating tabletop RPGs in the year 2014. Onyx Path is extending and revitalizing the WW properties, and we are giving new life to Scion, the Trinity Continuum, and Scarred Lands. All projects familiar in their WW incarnations to the folks at the show. So in a lot of ways, we’re hoping that folks coming to the booth or to panels will be talking to us like we’re really continuing a conversation that started whenever it was that they picked up their favorite WW book.

What I’m saying is that we will have books and other things to sell (I mean, the booth’s not a lounge or anything like that), but that’s not the primary purpose of having the booth. We’ll have some handouts, the 2014-2015 Onyx Path Brochure, and some other sneak-peaks, but none of those are the primary purpose of the booth (although we think you’ll like them). This is a chance to have face to face time with everybody attending from our community, and that’s the primary benefit of having this booth; this destination or hub, even. So come on by!

You can talk to me about Onyx‘s plans and the olden days, you whippersnapper. Eddy Webb, Rose Bailey, Ian Watson, and Mirthful Mike Chaney will be actively running the booth, as well as volunteers from our online community. Matt McElroy will be just around the corner at DTRPG‘s booth, and fellow developers Matt McFarland, David Brookshaw, John Snead, and Colin Suleiman, have promised to stop by. We expect a whole bunch of writers and artists as well, and we’ll be setting up signing times that will be announced at the booth.

As in previous years, there will be panels that will take the info from the brochure and expand on it in ways we just don’t have room for in the booklet. This year though, we’re not trying to force Eddy, our developers and writers, and myself, to rush through a year’s worth of releases in an hour- we’ve got three panels on Saturday:

10am: SEM1459337: What’s Up With the New World of Darkness and Q&A @ Crowne Plaza Indianapolis – Downtown Union Station. You’ll want to hit this if you’re into nWoD, particularly since we have at least one major bit of news we’ll be revealing here that happened after the brochure went to press.

3pm: SEM1459343: What’s Up With the Trinity Continuum, Exalted, Scion, Scarred Lands & More! @ Crowne Plaza Indianapolis – Downtown Union Station. Anything not WoD related will be fair game to talk about here, including possibly some new non-WW games. Maybe.

4pm: SEM1459339: What’s Up With the Classic World of Darkness and Q&A @Crowne Plaza Indianapolis – Downtown Union Station. Not only where we’ll be going into much further detail on our plans to develop the lines that started it all, but where we hope you come to tell us what you want to see next.

Also, the 2014-2015 Onyx Path Brochure will be available at the booth on Thursday (if shipping works as planned), and on-line, so please feel free to load up with your questions for the panels. Get questions and comments from friends who can’t make it, too. We’ll be there to answer them all.

There are three additional panels that I’ll be on as an Industry Guest of Honor again this year that I’d love to see you at if the topics sound interesting to you. I’m not sure I’ll be able to carve out time again to do this next year, but these panels give us a chance to spread the word about Onyx Path to folks who usually don’t get involved with our stuff, and I also get a chance to talk with industry folks I normally miss in the craziness. So they’re a lot of fun to do, but cut hours out of my time spent at the booth.

Thursday at noon: SEM1465771 Art MattersWhy do hobby games have so much art in them? Novels don’t. Why do games need art to sell, and do they need art to be good games? ICC 210.

Thursday 3pm: SEM1465796 Return to the Castle of Gender Representation: Last year Industry Guests spoke about gender representation in gaming art. The seminar was packed and wonderful discussion ensued. What has changed in a year? ICC 211.

Friday 2pm: SEM1465789 How to Run a Successful Tabletop RPG Kickstarter: Kickstarter is one of the best ways to get your RPG created. We’ll look at the pitfalls to avoid along the way and the methods to create a fun, engaging, and ultimately successful KS. ICC 210.

If you are going, and want to attend some gaming sessions of our game lines, there are over 100 Onyx Path/White Wolf games being run this year, both tabletop and LARP. Over 40 by our good buddies from The Wrecking Crew and The Dead Gamer’s Society, and a lot more at all hours of all the days the con is running. We’ve got a list I’ll be linking to here in a day or so:

XXXPutting Link HereXXX

Which pretty much covers the skeleton of our Gen Con plans, and expresses what we hope will happen there. In the midst of getting many things printed, ordering those foam floor tiles (black, of course), and deciphering the byzantine paperwork needs of the convention companies’ bureaucracy, I’m going to squeeze in some family time in the next couple of weeks. So our old friend, co-creator of this blog, and one-time sole writer of it, Eddy Webb, will fill in here for the next two weeks. Don’t be too cruel to him.

Regardless of Gen Con, These Projects are Worked On:

- Book of the Deceived (MtC): In Editing. Full page art is coming in.

- Sothis Ascends (MtC): Some text was re-distributed and needs further writing, otherwise in redlines. Waiting for one writer to hand in his section.

- Cursed Necropolis: Rio (MtC): First drafts heading into redlines.

- Exalted 3rd Edition:  From Holden: “This week has focused on art notes to arrive this week and editing. Evocations are finished and moving to editing. Antagonists are receiving finishing touches”. Art notes = the descriptions of what needs to be illustrated created by the devs as guidance and inspiration for the artists. I should note that Exalted’s art notes require more detailed descriptions than a typical WoD description where you can say “like an alley in NY” and the artist will understand what is needed for the scene.

Both EX3 novels are being worked on, and notes went back on Matt Forbeck’s synopsis. The EX3 Music Suites are at a standstill right now until our composer gets through his full time job commitments. Intending to talk to all of these creators at Gen Con. The EX3 Fiction Anthology is being written, with the bulk of the stories currently under Dev review.

- V20 Anarchs Unbound: It is live on DTRPG in PDF, ePub, PoD and PDF/PoD combos. http://ift.tt/1mcXWfw New printer quote requests based on conversations with them and Mirthful Mike for Deluxe version were sent in and are being discussed.

- V20 Rites of the Blood: Advance PDF on sale at DTRPG. (Advance PDF designates a full PDF release, but one where we will take purchasers’ comments and fixes and tweak the files before the PDF and PoD are on sale together. Advance PDF purchasers get a discount link for purchasing the PoD version based on the cost of the PDF/PoD combo price.) We are assembling errata based on your input on this thread, and are looking to close it out this week: http://ift.tt/1mSS8fE

- V20 Dark Ages: In post-writing Development. David Hill has delivered some art notes. Full page art notes out to artist, artist for Clan Spreads working on them. Many blog posts here on his progress: http://ift.tt/1mSS8fI

- V20: Ghouls: In post writing development.

- V20 Red List: In final draft stage.

- The Making of the Art of Children of the Revolution: Creating PoD files to go with PDF for sale on DTRPG.

- V20 Lore of the Clans: Was Blood Diaries. Post first draft redlines. Open Development starting up with this blog: http://ift.tt/1mSS8fO

- Deluxe Werewolf 20th Anniversary Edition: Sent a final list to the European shipper of those backers still without their rewards and he is going through them one by one. Mike Lee has delivered several new chapters this week of the W20 “Houses of the Moon” novel for Bill to review. The White Howlers Tribe Book has art coming in, and the comic art from John Bridges is in progress.

- W20 Changing Breeds: Deluxes and Screens are finishing shipping.

W20 Book of the Wyrm- A Pentex Board Member nominee list was sent to backers, and the Surveys with ballots were sent out to backers last week. Work has begun on the new content for the book besides the Board Members, and then we’ll need to begin on the Pentex Employee Indoctrination Manual Stretch Goal project.

- W20: The Umbra: Ready for Editing.

Mage the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition-  Satyr Phil has handed all the text off to Bill. Bill is continuing his “second set of eyes” developer’s pass. The Book of Secrets and the “How Do You DO That?” book are being written. The M20 Quick Start PDF/PoD is now on sale (the PDF is free) here: http://ift.tt/1yoIQwa

Trinity Continuum: System Doc being assembled by Joltin’ Joe Carriker- I am reading new drafts of it right now, at least the combat section. He says system development is really hard and apologizes for the delay. The first new piece of art in YEARS has been commissioned. We’re doing some Gen Con things with that. Jumpin’ John Snead had to replace a writer for the Aeon core book, but says things are still coming together nicely.

- Scion: Sketch for Scion: Origins came in and WOW! Expect to see it and the new character’s art at Gen Con.

Demon: the Descent Prestige Edition: Talking with shipper, hope to get packaging tied down and the book shipping in the next few weeks.

- Demon: The Descent: Demon Seed Collection is in editing and art notes. DtD Seattle is in layout and being art directed. Heirs to Hell backers’ PDF went out to KS backers last week- we’ll be assembling the errata and getting the PDF and PoD versions ready to go on sale. Demon Translation Guide is being written. The Demon Fiction Anthology + Interfaces is in editing.

- DtD Players Guide: Flowers Of Hell: PDF is available now: http://ift.tt/1kcanrX. We’ll be assembling the errata this week to prepare the PDF and PoD on sale versions.

- DtD Storytellers’ Guide: Outline done, getting writers.

- nWoD: Dark Eras: The VtR section is benefiting from a focused dev pass, while the rest of the Eras are in editing.

- WtF: The Idigam Chronicle: In 2nd drafts. Stew Wilson is doing a remarkably regular Friday blog that focuses on specific topics for the book- lots of good discussion happening right now: http://ift.tt/1eaqsRZ

- WtF: The Idigam Fiction Antholgy: Being written.

- nMtA: The Fallen World Chronicle: Dave Brookshaw has started his blog about the next of the updated game lines. http://ift.tt/1mSS8fS Writing has started.

- nMtA: The Fallen World Fiction Antholgy: Being written.

- GtSE: Geist Ready Made Characters: In redlines.

- T-Shirts: W20 Tribe Symbol shirts are up, and V20 Clan Symbol shirts are on sale now, too!

Reason to Drink: GenCon forms. Part the deuce.

Vampire shirt ankh

We’ve recently added 18 new Vampire: The Masquerade symbol shirts to our RedBubble store, covering the 13 clans, the Caitiff, Camarilla, Sabbat, Anarchs, and Independents.