Onyx Path Does a Reddit AMA, Talks Changeling, Gives Excerpts!

Yesterday Onyx Path Publishing did a Q&A on Reddit and talked the new Changeling and even provided excerpts!

Read the full AMA here! If you want to get right to the excerpts, I’ve highlighted them below in GREEN.

Hello everyone, we’re back! We’re Onyx Path Publishing.
Among our projects:
Phase I: We’re the licensed publishers for White Wolf tabletop RPGs: World of Darkness, Chronicles of Darkness, Exalted
Phase II: We own the rights to the Trinity Continuum (Æon, Aberrant, Adventure!), Scion, and co-own the rights to the Scarred Lands with Nocturnal Media
Phase III: We publish creator-owned ventures like the upcoming Rose Bailey’s Cavaliers of Mars and Eddy Webb’s Pugmire

Right now we’re in the middle of a Kickstarter for a Deluxe Edition of Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition, our 18th Kickstarter to date. We’ve passed 450% funding with 23 days to go!
We also recently announced in conjunction with the new White Wolf[3] that we’re rebranding the “new World of Darkness” as “Chronicles of Darkness.”

Included in the AMA were:

  • Rich Thomas, OPP founder and WW creative director/art director for 20+ years
  • Rose Bailey, Development Producer, Cavaliers of Mars creator, Vampire: The Requiem developer, Chronicles of Darkness developer and coordinator
  • Ian Watson, Community Manager, Trinity Continuum Lead Developer
  • “Black Hat” Matt McFarland, Developer on Changeling20, Promethean 2e, and more Matt could only be here for an hour. Sorry, all!
  • Dave Brookshaw, Mage: The Awakening developer, upcoming Deviant: The ??? developer
  • Matt McElroy, Fiction managing editor
  • Monica Valentinelli, Hunter: The Vigil developer
  • Neall Raemonn Price, Storypath system developer, Scion developer
  • Eddy Webb, Vampire: The Masquerade developer, Pugmire developer

General Questions

MadTruman: I’m eager to hear anything about the Changeling the Dreaming timeline and how it will advance to set up story lines accessible to motleys and oath circles in 2016 and beyond. Will there be a High King, for example.

“Black Hat” Matt McFarland: The metaplot – including the disappearance of High King David – gets addressed and expanded. I’m not quite ready to go into a great deal of detail just yet, but making sure that the game is accessible to new motleys and that the content is updated for the current year is important to us.
As for why I’m not going into detail about it: I’m in the midst of redlining the book, but I’m not all the way through it yet, and I have to do a lot of cross-checking with older books to make sure we’re not, like, utterly contradicting something that came before. So it’s slower going, and it means I’m being deliberately reticent about such details.

AystynZ: C20: What is Unleashing?

Matt McFarland: In Dark Ages Fae, Unleashing was a way to use magic that sacrificed control for power. In CtD20, it works kinda the same way; you Unleash an Art rather than focusing it through a cantrip. (Expect a KS update on this sometime next week or the week after.)

CtD20: We’re going to see material, thanks to Kickstarter milestones achieved, for creating kiths. Will this be storied in some way? For example, might we see a kithain analog to Vampire Caitiff and where they may fit into the social dynamic of the courts and long-running kiths?

Matt McFarland: Don’t know yet! That section isn’t written, and I haven’t started to talk with the authors about the best way to implement it. Very exciting! New design space for CtD! :)

BikerMouseFromMars: what is the current state of scion 2? Is there somewhere an RSS feed, Mail list or something like that about it?

Rose Bailey: After designing the core Storypath system which underlies the entire game, we’re currently writing the Scion 2 Alpha, a test of core power systems and some initial pantheons. If you’re at Midwinter, you may be able to get into a playtest!
Currently, the best source of information is the forum (particularly the Ask Neall thread), but dev blogs are a-comin’!

ecbremmer: I get all the emails and such but im still a little confused about the plan for the Trinity continuum. Do you anticipate 3 different kickstarters one for each game or are you working on more of an omnibus concept? My friends and I have played the same Aberrant game for almost 10 years off and on and are very excited for its return… in any form.

Ian Watson: The Trinity Continuum rulebook and Trinity Continuum: Æon will release simultaneously, likely via the same Kickstarter. Aberrant will follow about a year later, and Adventure! about a year after that. So yes, separate Kickstarters.

ChaosByDesign: What’s the current status of CofD Awakening? Also, I’m curious: how have the political structures of the Consilium and Cabals changed in the rewrite?

Dave Brookshaw:The Art’s all in, and I’ve been de-“World of Darkness”ing it, so it’s about ready to be laid out.
The first supplement for Awakening 2e is currently in redlines, and I’ll do some blogs about it once the corebook is out.

As for Consilium and Cabals – most of the “local government” aspects of Consilium have been pushed up to Convocation, which has about as much time spent on it in the core as Consilium does rather than being relegated to the Silver Ladder book like in 1e. We’ve also decoupled Order Caucuses – the individual “units” of each Order – from Consilia, so that they often cover more than one Consilium each. This was in aid of making it possible to run the Orders as described in their books without having every city inhabited by 120+ mages.
Cabals are pretty much unchanged.

daigotsumax: Beast: The Primordial question. First of all, thank you so much for Beast – I feel in love with the game the way I hadn’t since Promethean. Can you name a new feature or two which will appear in future expansions, be it mechanical or setting related? Thanks!

Matt McFarland: There’s something big and hungry coming in the Night Horrors book, but I’m not developing that one, so I’ll just leave it at that for the moment. :)
For the Player’s Guide, the content isn’t finalized yet. The obvious stuff (new Atavisms & Nightmares), sure, but I’m thinking about whether there are any new Families I’d like to try and include.

sacheverell_: And another one for Promethean: the Created. What’s the state of second edition? Are there any new features, mechanical or setting related, that you’re particularly proud of to see in the book? Thanks!

Matt McFarland: Second Edition is done with editing, currently getting art and layout.
I’m really happy with the changes we made to the Pilgrimage, milestone creation, Refinement progression, and the addition of Roles. Actually I just really love the whole book, and I wish I’d had another 20K words so I could’ve put more stuff in.

sacheverell_: Regarding Mage 2.0 for CoD: The various Mage Armor spells in original NWoD added to a character’s armor rating, but that rating was essentially another form of defense originally. With defense and armor separated now, how will those spells be affected? Some are still armor, others defense, etc?

Dave Brookshaw: The ten Mage Armors all do different things – most have a trick you can spend Mana on. To take two examples, Matter Armor adds your Matter as straight-up general Armor Rating and makes you immune to Armor Piercing. Time Armor adds to your Defense, allows you to use Defense against Firearms, and if you successfully Dodge an attack you can spend a Mana to lower your attacker’s initiative.

SarahRP: Hello! So happy you’re doing this- how have the selkies changed for C20?

Matt McFarland: Here’s an excerpt:

Sailors and dreams of lost loves and broken hearts and all of those who have lost a loved one to the sea gave birth to the selkie. The sea gives and the sea takes away. Anyone who has lived along the coast can attest to the wonders the sea gives to us: delicious seafood, beautiful shells, the delights of swimming and sailing. But the sea is fickle, and where one day it gives us pleasure, the next it drowns a loved one or sends terrible waves that destroy homes and property. Those who truly love the sea describe an inexorable pull that pulls them back just as surely as the undertow pulls under the unwary swimmer.

PappaDanger: Guys, are you going to do anything with/change the pooka flaw? It’s a bit hard to play on a curve and poorly worded/clunky. I fully understand the spirit of the flaw, but in application I think it fails. I’ve seen too many times as a player and an ST where people love the idea of pooka but the playing of one is just too much of a chore.

Matt McFarland: Here’s the pooka frailty as it stands now in C20:

Untruths: Perhaps the greatest con the pooka have pulled is making everyone believe that they never tell the truth. Under most circumstances a pooka can speak the truth as long as its mixed with lies, half-truths, and exaggerations. The trouble comes when a pooka is asked a direct question. A pooka who is asked a direct question must answer with a falsehood. If he wishes to answer truthfully he must make a Willpower roll (difficulty 8) and spend a point of Willpower.

Now, we’re playtesting, so we’ll see how it works in play.

Dave Brookshaw

Dave Brookshaw: Hello! I’m Dave Brookshaw, Developer for Mage: The Awakening and Deviant: The Xxxxxxxxx

brianjshepherd: The last news we have on Awakening 2E is that it was going through final edits and art in August. Is there any update to when we can expect to have a book in our hands?

Dave Brookshaw: Art’s all in, now. “Final” edits turned out to not be entirely final, as I’ve just finished changing references to “the World of Darkness” in the text and making sure the rules match up to the new CofD corebook.

23_sided: “Atlantis” was a very, er, controversial topic in the first Awakening rules. For those of us who have just now found out there will be an Awakening 2nd edition, how will that be handled?
It’s in layout, basically.

Dave Brookshaw: In much the same way it’s been handled in the game line, as opposed to the way it was handled in the 1e corebook.

If you’re new to the 2e march, I suggest the extensive Open Development blogs: [This site] has a list of them. [This one] [i]s the one you want.

Miagardener: Love your work, Dave! For Awakening, what 2E amendments are you particularly proud of/excited about?

Dave Brookshaw: The magic system. All of it, from the Spell Factors to the dice bonuses for style to the new Paradox system. All intended to push Awakening to be the best system for its own setting it can be under Storytelling, shedding legacy Ascensionisms where they didn’t have a purpose.

Rose Bailey

Rose Bailey: Hi, I’m Rose Bailey. OP Development producer, Cavaliers of Mars creator, Vampire: The Requiem developer, Chronicles of Darkness (formerly New World of Darkness) developer and coordinator, general willful termagent.

BigCW: Hi Rose, just wanted to say you are awesome, thank you for all your work :)
(just felt bad that no one had asked any questions yet so, erm… favourite drink?)

Rose Bailey: Thanks. Gin and tonic with rosemary simple syrup.

Monica Valentinelli

Monica Valentinelli: Hi, I’m Monica Valentinelli. I’m the Hunter the Vigil 2nd Edition Slasher Chronicle developer and a consultant for Onyx Path. I’ve also written and edited for a couple of April Fool’s releases, including Gothic Icons, as well as multiple game lines including Geist the Sin-Eaters, Hunter the Vigil 1st edition, Vampire the Masquerade 20th anniversary edition, etc. Happy to be here!

sacheverell_: Hi there! Had a quick question about Hunter, specifically on slashers. There was a splat on slashers for Hunter NWoD, are there any plans to update that for CoD/2.0? Not sure if they really need updating, but so much else has been revised for 2.0, I couldn’t help but ask. 😀

Monica Valentinelli: Since the Hunter 2E corebook will be a chronicle book that draws inspiration primarily from Hunter 1E rulebook and Hunter: Slashers 1E, I’m reviewing all the material including the slashers splat (e.g. Chapter Two/Three in that supplement). Right now, it’s on the table since hunters turning into slashers is a very real possibility in this story, but I haven’t made a determination yet as to the specifics.
If you’re interested in following along, I’m going to be using OpenDev on the Onyx Path website to get feedback on ideas, starting with the compacts and conspiracies.

miagardener: Hi Monica! What are you looking forward to during your development of Hunter?

Monica Valentinelli: Besides getting it done? 😉 I’m pretty passionate about putting the text into the context of the chronicle and a global perspective. The outline will definitely be the most fun. Hah!

Tyrjala: I need me some Geist. You going to work on some Geist soon? Plz Geist.
Geist is my favorite game line and I’m super hype for a 2nd edition, just real sas it’s so far away :(

Monica Valentinelli: I’m one of the writers for the Geist Roanoke chapter in Dark Eras II. The chapter title is “Forboding Lands”, and it covers the 1580s.

Aspel: What have you written for Geist, and what do you feel are the problems with the first edition of that game line? If a second edition were to get the greenlight, what kind of things would you like to see in it (as a developer or a player)?
Also, is there anything you can tell us about Hunter 2e yet? Do you plan on keeping the core Compacts and Conspiracies in the Slasher Chronicle, or will we see some changes in them? Can we expect better “Create your own” rules for orgs and Endowments? Will we see the same Slashers, or are they likely to get redone (personally, I’m not a fan of their mechanics)?

Also, if I’m understanding correctly, you’re going to be doing an open call for writers specifically for Hunter? When can we expect to see that, and what would you be looking for? Is it better to try to update old things or bring something new to the table? Would you want to see monsters, or groups?

Really looking forward to hearing more from you in the coming months. Hunter is probably my favourite gameline; even if you ignore the actual Vigil, it provides so much for both mortal characters and supernaturals, and I’m super glad to see Dread Powers, monster creation, and Professional Training becoming a thing for everyone.
Of course, that does beg the question of what Hunter will have, since so much of it has been plundered to make 2e better.

Monica Valentinelli: Phew! Awesome to see some love for both gamelines.

“What have you written for Geist, and what do you feel are the problems with the first edition of that game line? If a second edition were to get the greenlight, what kind of things would you like to see in it (as a developer or a player)?”
I edited the Ready Made Characters, and I was one of the writers for Dark Eras II. Our Geist chapter is called “Forboding Lands” and addresses Geist in the late 1580s. We take a look at the Roanoke Colony, but we’ve also addressed some other possibilities such as adventuring on the high seas, too.

Personally, I’d like to see Geist addressed from other cultural perspectives as I feel this is where the game could be very interesting. I feel the corebook has a lot of potential that could be enhanced for a second edition. We explored this some for our Roanoke chapter, but I think a broader approach could add some nuances that might be fun to explore. I’d also like to see different ways and suggestions for the player-characters to work together, maybe even form the nascent beginnings of larger groups beyond that of a krewe. But, that’s just me. :-)

I’m using OpenDev to vet some ideas, and the first post will go live next week. Every decision that I make is to enhance gameplay as opposed to giving Hunter a simple update, since Hunter came out 8-9 years ago and this is a chronicle book. Thus, changes will occur in context of both, but I’m also looking at streamlining aspects (such as Tactics) as well as thinking about ways to present the material so it’s easier to use and adapt for your own systems. I’m a huge fan of the first edition, and definitely want to build off the plug-and-play foundation that’s present in the corebook. In terms of the Slashers themselves, I want to balance new and existing material, so it’s not a rehash. Since slashers are a focal point for this story, I’m going to look at them with closer scrutiny.

I am going to conduct an Open Call for Hunter 2E, and the details for what will be required will be provided in that post. Right now, I’m focused on developing the setting and proposing options through OpenDev before I provide my wishlist of wants and needs. It’s on hold right now, and I don’t have clarity as to when that Open Call will be.
“Of course, that does beg the question of what Hunter will have, since so much of it has been plundered to make 2e better.”

The Chronicles of Darkness rulebook does provide a foundation of rules for Hunter, but the CoD employs the God Machine Chronicle and emphasizes mortals as opposed to hunters. Hunters already know that monsters exist, and the Vigil is upheld accordingly. (Second Edition incorporates the Slasher Chronicle in addition to rules such as Tactics.) Even Tier One hunters are different from mortals who are out of their depth, and that’s something we’ll be focusing on to ensure that that’s clear. So, I do feel they’re different, even though hunters are still mortal, for these reasons and more.

brandoford96: Do you simply mean awareness, knowledge, and training, or will Hunters, particularly the lower Tiers, actually possess some supernatural template or abilities?

Monica Valentinelli: The former. Awareness, knowledge, and training as well as an exploration as to what the Vigil means. Supernatural templates and abilities aren’t going to be added, as that would fundamentally change the core concept of the game which is something we do not want to do. With that said, however, I am looking at ways to streamline/enhance Endowments for Tier 3.

~~~

Check out the C20 Kickstarter HERE!

All images used in this article belong to The Onyx Path and/or White Wolf.

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About Part Time Rogue 70 Articles
Sam Swicegood is a freelance writer, marketing consultant, and actor based in Cincinnati, OH. He is a member of multiple Parlor and Boffer LARP organizations and is an accomplished blogger and podcaster.

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