Dark Eras Kickstarter Update: 1,000 Backers and Hunter Stretch Goals

World of Darkness Dark Eras

Popping in briefly to mention that we’ve reached a new milestone on the Dark Eras Kickstarter–over 1,000 backers! We’re now enhancing this World of Darkness supplement with expanded content that fans can vote on.

Hunter: the Vigil is featured in the next two stretch goals, with a “Doubting Souls” chapter expansion written by yours truly as the second one. Matt, my developer, and I have been talking about careful ways to enhance our chapter to incorporate relevant tribes from the period and surrounding areas should fans vote for that option.

Up next, you can vote on one of three options for our $77,500 stretch goal:

Hunter: the Vigil – The Book of Judges (the Middle East, ~11th century BCE)
Werewolf: the Forsaken – Forsaken by Rome (the Roman Frontier, 1st century CE)
Demon: the Descent – After the Fall of Constantinople (1453 CE)

After that, at $82,500, is your chance to decide on expansion for one of three existing chapters. Requiem for Regina adds new monsters, while Into the Cold and Doubting Souls add new peoples. These additions will be 10k each, slightly under half as long as the chapter they extend.

Vampire: the Requiem – Requiem for Regina: The Changeling Courts of London
Demon: the Descent – Into the Cold: America’s stigmatic spies
Hunter: the Vigil – Doubting Souls: Native American hunters

Thanks for your support!

First Squees for 2015

Fire She-Ra Avatar

Sitting here with Enya blasting through Pandora nursing a “Oh ye stars… Why does my diet go to hell on deadline again?” stomach. As it is now 2015, a new set of squees is now needed. Woo!

1.) I organized my beads and chainmaille links. This is VERY IMPORTANT, as I have designs I bought beads for but couldn’t remember where all the pieces went.

2.) Medieval pet names. How cool.

3.) The holidays are over and my house is back to normal. Yay!

4.) Trying to set up recurring evenings of beadness and have a few months scheduled already. Forced social human interaction you say? Yikes! Er… Good!

5.) Have planned my convention appearances for 2015. I’ll be doing more of them.

6.) 13 Essential Summer Reads in 1852 gives a historical look during the time period. I believe that reading history is important, even if it makes me uncomfortable.

7.) Fire Mountain Gems, a bead supplier, posted an article about the eras of jewelry. From a designer’s perspective, this is really awesome.

8.) Pen PR0N!!! The seven-year pen from Seltzer. Yes, it writes very smooth.

9.) Four words: homemade chocolate chip cookies.

10.) Learning that yes, using a spatula to stir cookie dough is way better than a wooden spoon. Rock. Star.

11.) Re-obfuscating my hair. This makes me happy.

12.) Prepping for a writer’s retreat. Very excited!

13.) LEGO Doctor Who. Need I say more?

14.) I never get sick of watching The Avengers. So impressed with the connected plots that weave in and out of the movies and the S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show.

15.) Put in an order from JetPens.com for this calligraphy pen. Here’s the awesome part about this pen: the colors BLEND.

16.) Managed to clean our place before we left for California, so came back to a fresh pad. After one load of laundry, I’m totally caught up on maintenance-type crap. Woo!

17.) Starting to get some reviews for my latest project. Geist: Ready Made Characters. Glad fans are digging them!

18.) Two unannounced projects are moving forward, I’m getting caught up on other projects, and I’m making progress on my own stuff, too.

19.) Combat boots have been acquired. I’ve been looking for over a year, ever since my old ones got irreparably damaged on a trip. Opted to go with a convertible pair of Doc Marten’s and I’m really anxious to break them in.

20.) I mentioned earlier that I was starting to Couch to 5K program. Due to the pressure on my joints, I wasn’t ready for the speeds I was aiming for. I’ve since modified the program, but I’m keeping up with it despite my achilles tendon acting up. Really anxious to build some endurance and continue on the health train. It feels great to get my heart pumping again!

21.) A squee for Phil Reed and Sam Mitschke from Steve Jackson Games. They’ve been promoted!!! YAY!!! Well-deserved.

22.) Another squee for discovering Joseph Bruchac, a Native American author. Really powerful stuff.

23.) Happy that Constantine is getting some rave reviews. It’s a GREAT show and I’m thrilled for the cast and the team that put this together.

24.) Threw a holiday party to see some friends I haven’t seen for a while. Pretty excited about that! And, we’re keeping the good times going. Huzzah!

25.) Made my New Year’s Resolutions and am diving into the pile. So grateful for my co-writers and editors to be able to do what I do. Thanks for seeing 2014 through and cheers for a BIG 2015!

26.) We funded the Dark Eras Kickstarter in one day! I have a chapter in this supplement called “Doubting Souls” for Hunter: the Vigil.

27.) Fans are great. Fan feedback is what keeps me going! There’s been loads of it lately, and that’s keep me going.

28.) I don’t know if you’ve seen that Creative Process illustration that’s been floating around, but I managed to track down the artist who’s selling a print of it. Neat!

29.) I love it when art and history come together. This prize-winning animation lets you fly through 17th London. SO COOL!

30.) I’m ALMOST through Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. Yay!

31.) Yes, I do have a room for GenCon. In fact, I’m coming back to the Writer’s Symposium! Huzzah!


    Mood: Go, Go Gadget
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: It’s winter. I lost track.
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Butt in chair. LOTS of writing.
    In My Ears: Coffee pot.
    Game Last Played: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
    Book Last Read: All the work-related things.
    Movie Last Viewed: Pacific Rim
    Latest Artistic Project: Beading!
    Latest Fiction/Comic Release: Last Man Zombie Standing.
    Latest Game Release: Things Don’t Go Smooth
    What I’m Working On: Primarily tie-in games work, original comics, and novels.

Join Us for a #DarkEras Twitter Chat Tonight!

Dark Eras Cover

On Wednesday, February 4th Onyx Path Publishing will be hosting a Twitter chat for fans to discuss the World of Darkness: Dark Eras supplement that is currently funding at Kickstarter.com.

Starting at 8:00 p.m. EST, tune in to the #DarkEras hashtag and connect with the writers and developers who worked on this book. You can either follow the hashtag or stay up to date through the Onyx Path Twitter account at @theonyxpath.

Onyx Path is taking questions ahead of the chat, too. If you would like to be part of this discussion, visit Rich’s Darkness, Now with More Eras post and add your thoughts about this supplement and the Dark Eras Kickstarter in the comments!

Angel’s Fred and Post-Traumatic Stress

Spike and Giles... Together at Last

I’m in the middle of a re-watch for Whedon’s Angel, and I’m now on the last season where our plucky crew has taken the bait and are manning Wolfram and Hart. There’s a lot of great nuggets to draw inspiration from both as a writer and a fan of Whedon’s work, in particular the fact that this series, despite being on the air from 1999 to 2004, is still relevant and innovative for 2015. (And the show’s been off the air for more than a decade, so in my mind it’s safe to discuss it without fear of spoilers.)

While Fred (Winifred Burkle’s) character arc ends terribly and tragically, there is something remarkable about her introduction. Her evolution as a character deals with overcoming her traumatic and terrible situation after being sucked into a hell dimension. Py’lea introduced a tough topic, human slavery, which was something that the writers could address because their owners were demons. Breaking down Fred’s story is interesting, because she’s an escaped slave who finds coping mechanisms to deal with what she’s experienced, to survive.

What I was very interested in, is what happened to her when she returned to L.A. She didn’t magically “get better” and rush into her parent’s arms, the writers enhanced her character by allowing her to show a range of emotions, some of which were caused by post-traumatic stress. To me, this is brilliant writing because her character arc doesn’t keep progressing linearly until she’s totally moved on and one hundred percent better. She has bouts where she tries something new to get past the hurt, but then regresses before dealing with that specific issues. Each problem is different from the last, and she doesn’t necessarily move forward for each action. For example, she tries to go to Caritas, and the place is attacked. But, instead of cowering in a corner, she eventually stands up and grabs a crossbow. She has a sense of survival and that echoes through the way she deals with her trauma.

Her need to survive is something that is part of her nature, and that’s what pulls her through all of her bad experiences. Not because she’s physically stronger, but because she’s strong-willed and this is who she is. Her desire for self-preservation is what distinguishes her and sets her apart from the way other victims are often portrayed in television and other forms of media. When bad things happen to real people? We don’t give up and stand aside for someone else to save us, and Fred’s character reflects that truth.

Despite being enslaved, Fred escapes and finds a way to survive though she’s stuck in a demon world. Despite finding out the truth that she’d been betrayed by a mentor, she doesn’t freeze up with fear and let her professor victimize her again. She wants to do something about it, and that desire to channel her anger by turning the tables on him, a natural reaction, is the source of an argument between her and then-boyfriend Gunn, who wound up removing her free will to protect her from the consequences of her terrible choice. There are other, subtle clues written into her character as well in the way that Fred’s represented by Amy Acker, too, that brings deeper aspects forth. Like how jumpy she is, the way she walks and hunches her shoulders, her outbursts and clenched fists. It’s brilliant all around, and there’s even a slight shift in her character after Angel’s spell to remove all memories of Connor, too.

I’m hoping that by sharing these types of examples with you, you’ll be inspired to take a closer look at some of your favorite characters for inspiration either to appreciate them or learn from them. Lastly, if you’re not familiar with it, here’s how the NIMH defines post-traumatic disorder.

    Mood: I’d like winter to be over now. Thanks!
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: I’m so over-caffeinated I need to cut it out today completely.
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: A walk. Remarkably. In the cold.
    In My Ears: Coffee is percolating, but I’m resisting it!
    Game Last Played: Ni-No Kuni Wrath of the White Witch
    Book Last Read: The History of Magic by Eliphas Levi
    Movie Last Viewed: Sabotage
    Latest Artistic Project: Ch-ch-ch-ch-chainmaille!
    Latest Fiction/Comic Release: Last Man Zombie Standing.
    Latest Game Release: Things Don’t Go Smooth
    What I’m Working On: Primarily tie-in games work, original comics, and novels.

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