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.

DIRTY SECRETSHappy Tuesday!

I just got finished handing off essential documents for V20 Dark Ages over to Mike for layout and art direction. Boy are my arms tired. But my next development project right now is V20 Black Hand. Not settled on the name yet. I’m thinking, “Dark Conspiracy: V20 Guide to the Tal’Mahe’Ra”. We’ll see.

Anyway, I don’t have the time to do a full open development process here. We’re on a tighter deadline than some other books, and I have a pretty good idea of what I want to see. I may share some drafts down the line, but in the mean time, I wanted to pull back the curtain a bit on the early parts of the process for me.

This is two documents. The first was my pitch outline. I talked to writers, then we had a bunch of email conversations, requests for sections, that sort of thing. Afterwards, I gave them all assignments. They’re not 100% final, since I’m still in the process of sending out contracts. But this is basically what the book will look like. You’re missing some context, so bear with me. I literally have over 1,000 emails pertaining to this outline. I doubt anyone would want me to post all of those.

This is a super exciting book for me, because I have some CWoD veterans, some new writers, some super awesome indie game designers, and some people who have been working with me on the revived Dark Ages line. This is a group of people who have shaped and been shaped by this book.

Here’s our preliminary outline.

Here’s the final assignments that morphed out of it and the surrounding discussion.

labor

That’s right, we’re working today while most of the USA has off. So you know, we have had a sequence of meetings on Monday for the past couple of years; almost as long as Onyx Path has been around. We start with the traditional Monday lunch meeting that in one form or another I’ve been doing since coming to WW in ’92, but in this case Eddy and I have been having a Monday lunch meeting for quite a while. Then I added a meeting with our Onyx Path gang, after we actually got…an Onyx Path gang. Mirthful Mike, Rollickin’ Rose, Ian “Dr.” Watson, Lovely Lisa, a couple of folks who join in once in a while, and now Eddy is sitting in too. Pretty full attendance on a national holiday, so you know our merry band both love what they do, and are workaholics!

In our earlier meeting, Eddy and I talked about the difficult struggle our classic World of Darkness developers and writers have when looking to update a classic Tribe, or Clan, or what have you, from what might be a questionable depiction in the earlier books without stripping away the part of that group that people really relate to and have enjoyed for years. Eddy’s recent posts on the independent clans demonstrate that the initial writing still requires a lot of fan feedback and the writing team working to find the core cool elements that make sense even if there are other aspects that no longer do. See what I mean here: http://ift.tt/1A12f5g

We also talked a bit about DragonCon, which took place in Atlanta this weekend, and which was once sort of White Wolf‘s “home con”. A bunch of our friends were there, a bunch were at PAX out on the West Coast, and so we’ve seen a lot of things posted about all the fun they are having and the cool stuff that’s going on. For us, we agreed, we’re still recovering our equilibrium from Gen Con, so not hitting a con this weekend made more sense. And for those of you who missed Gen Con, both the Onyx Path 2014-2015 brochure and the Scarred Lands adventure “Gauntlet of Spiragos” that we sneak-peeked at Gen Con are still free on DTRPG, and we are working to get the V20, Scion, and Trinity posters up there too, as well as the Onyx Path t-shirt up on our Redbubble store.

Speaking of the brochure, and just for fun, I thought I’d explain a few of our thoughts on some of the listed highlights of this coming year and why we picked them:

The 20th Anniversary celebration editions: Mage20 is already a thing that we’re in editing on and the art is almost all in. The KS was fantastic and gave us lots of books to work on in the year ahead. Will Wraith20 be a crazy thing too? It was never as popular, after all, and never got a Revised edition. Interestingly enough, I think it might actually be something many folks in our community have only heard of and are curious about, and Rich Dansky is really in effect creating a 3rd edition. And the community that love Wraith, reaaaallly love Wraith. So, it’s a bit of a gamble, but with Rich at the helm, I think it will be worth the trip. And as that starts being written, we step forward just past the brochure and add Changeling the Dreaming 20th to next Fall. Wr20 and C20 are two very different game lines, but share the need for a 3rd edition, so we’re looking at how Rich handles things with Wr20. No definite developer or group of devs yet,but I have had a passel of folks express interest. It should be no surprise, but these x20 Editions are key to our efforts to bring the classic World of Darkness back to our longest running group of fans.

Exalted Third Edition: Is this going to be the year we get the line started? God, I hope so. We’re so close on getting all the text to editing, and the devs are already working on the next books and have set the stage for more, handled with more speed because so much of the groundwork was lain with the main book. So our roll-out of books in the brochure follows our expected release order as we’ve been talking about for over a year now. EX3 is the start of what we intend to be the rejuvenation of the final third section of the WW game lines.

New World of Darkness 2nd Editions: For the books currently being worked on and the Promethean and Changeling the Lost second editions, not much is different with our thinking than if they had just been the listed Chronicle books. The success of Blood & Smoke: the Strix Chronicle already indicated the direction we would go in making them single volume books that were essentially 2nd Editions, but not in name. And now in name as well. Doing two second editions a year is a big deal, but I truly think it is so important to revise these game lines in view of years of play and lessons learned, as well as to include the default Chronicles so folks new to the lines can get started right in and learn as they play.

Beast: The Primordial: While 2014 was slated for a multi-line book for new World of Darkness with the Dark Eras project, we needed a new new game line for 2015 to keep us fresh. We felt like we’d gone as far in a “sci-fi” direction with Demon: The Descent as we could comfortably go without losing the focus of what nWoD is thematically, despite some cool ideas that were pitched, but too far into the fantastic would put us into the same loss of tone situation. The remaining “classic” monsters were also getting a bit thin, with Creature of the Black Lagoon or Mr Hyde or Invisible Man ideas floating around, but not sticking. Beast’s pitch brings a lot of those ideas together, and looks at the dark underpinnings of those stories and says: “Play that!”

Classic World of Darkness books: Werewolf20 has been doing well, and so we looked at a book that reimagines a WtA classic with W20 Umbra; a book that would appeal to both Werewolf fans as well as our surprisingly numerous Changing Breeds fans by detailing several wars between them in W20 Shattered Dreams; and then tighten the focus on a book that would enrich all werewolf players with W20 Changing Ways. Mage20 is still running on the strength of the Kickstarter rewards, but we still wanted to surprise fans with M20 Victorian Mage, since that wasn’t part of the Kickstarter. Sometimes, you need a fun surprise to shake up expectations. Finally, but by no means the least, I wanted to get some strong and interesting books out for Vampire20. I feel like we had a weaker start to the V20 line because so many of those books had been planned out and approved before we even split from CCP. With V20 Ghouls and V20 Lore of the Clans, we have the chance to really expand on the material we first presented in V20, but with fewer constraints stemming from it being our first x20 book. With V20 The Black Hand, we are kind of taking a risk, but we think a good one, because while Dirty Secrets was a polarizing book back in the WW days, it had some fantastic elements that helped define the Vampire experience. And then with V20 Beckett’s Jyhad Diary, we have a chance to really dive deep into the events both from Masquerade and into the whole V20 time period. Still not strictly a “metaplot” book, but one that could be used that way, and just dripping with story ideas for any Chronicle.

New World of Darkness books: You’d think that just doing Beast, and revving up the 2nd Editions would be enough, butour ongoing nWoD gamelines still require a few books a year or folks worry. Vampire the Requiem 2nd Edition gets a book on Elders with A Thousand Years of Night, and a book on the Half Damned to kind of extend the edges of our current vampire experience, and we slide in Hurt Locker to deepen the combat options presented in World of Darkness 2nd Edition (GMC). We’re looking very hard at just what should come next after a new edition, which wasn’t how the nWoD schedule was expected to roll out as we wrote up the brochure, so we may still tweak the releases to further support the needs of 2nd Editions.

Scion and Trinity: We were only able to get some teaser ads into the brochure, because of the difficulties pinning down the new dice pool system for these two gamelines. Yet they are very important to us as Onyx Path‘s wholly owned worlds. The things we could do with them is something that gets our crew giggling, so once we get past settling on the system, we’ll be playing around a lot with them.

Scarred Lands: Another awesome classic WW setting, that we are working with Nocturnal Media on. Because this is a d20 fantasy setting at heart, there are so many places we can take this game-design, system, and audience-wise that we can’t do with the CCP-licensed WW settings.

Pugmire and Cavaliers of Mars: Being able to explore totally new games is something we really want to do, but the demands of cWod, nWoD and Ex3, are vast and all-consuming. Yet progress continues on these very different projects, which like Scarred Lands, we hope will be interesting to very different folks than who traditionally followed WW, but which will also be tried out by our long-time audience as well.

Hey - look up there on the right! Yes, we have a mailing list for Onyx Path News and Announcements! We will email you this blog every week, plus alerts for upcoming and running Kickstarters, PDF and PoD releases, and other news and announcements. Sign up and start getting those little email gifts of knowledge and love!

And finally, hey – look down here below these very words! The Updates:

DEVELOPMENT STATUS FROM ROLLICKING ROSE

First Draft (The first phase of a project that is about the work being done by writers, not dev prep)

  • PtC Firestorm Chronicle
  • BtP Beast Core
  • WtA BotW Employee Indoctrination Handbook
  • WtF Idigam Anthology
  • MtAw 2e
  • MtAw Fallen World Anthology
  • MtAs How do you DO that?
  • MtAs Book of Secrets
  • MtC Rio
  • VtR Secrets of the Covenants
  • Wraith20

Redlines

  • VtM Lore of the Clans
  • MtC Sothis Ascends
  • VtM Red List

Second Draft

  • PtC Firestorm Anthology
  • WtA Book of the Wyrm Stretch Goals for Added Content In the Book
  • V20 Ghouls
  • WtF 2e

Development

  • WoD Dark Eras Vampire
  • Ex3 core- Antagonists chapter has been finalized. Compiling the second half of art notes, and doing what should be the final edits to the Charms chapter based on internal playtesting.

Editing

  • MtC Book of the Deceived
  • M20 Core
  • WoD Dark Eras
  • W20 White Howlers (except for comic)

Development (post-editing)

  • Dark Ages
  • WtA Umbra

ART DIRECTION FROM MIRTHFUL MIKE

  • White Howlers - Need to ping Bridges again to see how the comic is coming along.
  • Book of the Deceived - Sam’s fulls are in and approved. I have the art notes and art buy worked out, just need to find the right artists for it.
  • DtD Seattle - Errata from Dev?
  • DtD Demonseed collection - Interior done, just needs cover and logo and then proofing.
  • DtD Interface - Errata from Dev?
  • Book of the Wyrm 20 - Cathy’s portraits are in and approved. Stew is preparing the new text docs. He has a ton of edits, so he’s supplying new layout docs. Need to talk to Acevedo about the corporate stock art stuff for the strip down the side of the cover.
  • DAV20 - Art Directed. Now we wait until a month from now for art to start rolling in. In the mean time, I’m going to be starting on page designs. Have a really cool idea in mind for the cover. It is really, really, really cool. Starting Kickstarter page and video.
  • Anarchs Unbound - Still tweaking cover but otherwise at press. Rethinking some of the cover stickers regarding their size. Screen is ready to go whenever.
  • T-Shirts - Going to resend around the fera, lost tribes, and wyrm thing shirts. If we can get those okayed, we can get those up before the end of the month.
  • Umbra - AD’d. Sending fulls to Borja. I think this type of thing would suit his style. Sketches rolling in slowly.
  • Art O’ The Changin’ Breeds - Planning to start on this and get it rolling. I have some really cool ideas on simplifying the process and making something a little more deluxerish. Yes, that’s a word now.
  • VTR II – Prepping a pdf so Rose can find all the references to the B&S title and swap it out for the new title.
  • EX3- Not Mike, but the first 91 pieces are reviewed, reference material is getting assembled, and we’re looking at how many Mel Uran might want to do.

REASON TO DRINK: I labored, I drank.

cyborglovesong:

Velma is having none of your vampire shit today.

(via thefrogman)

The mysterious masters of illusion: the Ravnos!

Next up for Lore of the Clans are the Ravnos, written by Ree Soesbee. Here’s the link to the Google Doc:

Clan Ravnos Google Doc

Two notes:

1) I’m aware of a few instances of the word “gypsy” within the document. There were some tense discussions about the validity of the word in the Gangrel open development, and I have a direction I want to go with that. There’s no need to have that conversation again here.

2) Ree is short in the mechanics section, and would love some feedback on what to include there. As always, I have some ideas of what to do, but we both want to know what you think. I’ll close comments on this one on Friday, September 5th. I’ll put a big note on the document when I close it so it’s clear.

A few things to keep in mind, as always:

Keep calm and carry on: This is a preliminary draft. Things will likely change between this draft and the final book. If you see something weird or that you don’t agree with, don’t freak out. Just comment on the concerning area, and I’ll look into it. Certainly don’t give the writer shit for it or claim they don’t know what they’re talking about. There’s a possibility that we have something else in mind and it’s just not coming through.

Comments only: Everyone (except me) is restricted to comments only. Don’t bother editing the document, unless it’s because the text is unclear (see below). Don’t resolve someone else’s comments or mine, but feel free to discuss whatever makes sense. Please keep it civil, though, even if you disagree. If the conversation is going off-course, I’ll shut it down.

Substance over style: I’m focusing purely on the content, not punctuation or grammar. That kind of refinement of the material will happen in a later draft. Don’t worry too much about commenting on those concerns, unless such an error makes the material confusing to understand.

Cards close to my chest: Because I don’t want to bias the discussion, I’m keeping my thoughts on how I want to redline this chapter to myself. I’ll certainly answer questions and help steer conversation away from unproductive avenues, but in general I want to see what you think, not tell you what I think.

(Pan)Demonic

MageAwakeningLogo

Hello once again!

Legacies is currently ranked in first place on last week’s poll, with roughly two-thirds of the vote. Unfortunately, we’ve hit a particularly busy time behind the scenes, with multiple books requiring sustained attention, so I don’t have time to take the couple of hours necessary to explain the new Legacy mechanics for you. I’ll get to it as soon as I can.

We had a pretty good run of weekly updates, and I want to keep the ball rolling. Fortunately, this kind of crunch time has been prepared for: Previous blogs haven’t covered everything about their topics, and we have lots more examples to show you.

The first draft of the Acanthus Path writeup from the new edition seemed to go down a treat, and the other Paths were by far the most-requested spoiler at GenCon. The next Path in alphabetical order would be the Mastigos, so I’ve put it up on Google Drive.

Before you read, I must stress once again that these are first drafts. We tinkered a bit with the Path formatting since we showed you the Acanthus, and added the Art notes for the signiature characters. We have three more passes at this material – once by me in redlines, then a second go at it by the writer, then me again – before the book goes to editorial and art direction. It can and will change between this draft and the finished corebook.

The author of Mastigos, like all the Paths, was “Mage Freelancing Quarterback” Malcolm Sheppard.

And here’s the link.

Link to Mastigos Preview

But wait! That’s not all!

We’ve got to the point (now you know about the Paradox and Yantras systems) that I can happily show you spells. As we’re having a Mastigos-themed blog, here’s a Mind spell.

Terrorize (Mind ••••)
Practice: Unraveling
Primary Spell Factor: Duration
Suggested Rote Skills: Intimidation, Expression, Medicine

The mage’s generates an overwhelming sense of fear and dread in her victim, draining his strength and will to live. The victim may resist this spell’s effect with his Resolve. The victim suffers from the Insensate Tilt for the duration of the spell, or until resolved by being attacked.

+ 1 Reach The mage inflicts the Broken Condition instead.

They’re creepy and they’re kooky — the Giovanni Clan!

I’m back! Gen Con was busier than I expected, and then there was a lot of post-Gen Con catchup work to do. But now things are back on track for Lore of the Clans.

Today is Clan Giovanni, written by Christopher Wilde. Here’s the link to the Google Doc:

Clan Giovanni Google Doc

Chris is a thousand words under in the mechanics section, and is a thousand words over in the history section (which will have to be cut down). However, when we talked it over, he said he actually wants to get some feedback via open development on what to consider for the missing wordcount. As always, I have some ideas of what to do, but we both want to know what you think. I’ll close comments on this one on Wednesday, September 3rd. I’ll put a big note on the document when I close it so it’s clear.

A few things to keep in mind, as always:

Keep calm and carry on: This is a preliminary draft. Things will likely change between this draft and the final book. If you see something weird or that you don’t agree with, don’t freak out. Just comment on the concerning area, and I’ll look into it. Certainly don’t give the writer shit for it or claim they don’t know what they’re talking about. There’s a possibility that we have something else in mind and it’s just not coming through.

Comments only: Everyone (except me) is restricted to comments only. Don’t bother editing the document, unless it’s because the text is unclear (see below). Don’t resolve someone else’s comments or mine, but feel free to discuss whatever makes sense. Please keep it civil, though, even if you disagree. If the conversation is going off-course, I’ll ask to shut it down.

Substance over style: I’m focusing purely on the content, not punctuation or grammar. That kind of refinement of the material will happen in a later draft. Don’t worry too much about commenting on those concerns, unless something makes the material confusing to understand.

Cards close to my chest: Because I don’t want to bias the discussion, I’m keeping my thoughts on how I want to redline this chapter to myself. I’ll certainly answer questions and help steer conversation away from unproductive avenues, but in general I want to see what you think, not tell you what I think.

scrawlingchaos:

Storytellers Guide?  I think you mean

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