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Cam Banks
Works at Atlas Games
Attended University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand
Lives in Saint Paul, MN
4,522 followers
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Ginger Kiwi Game Designer and Family Guy
Introduction
Born in the mythical antipodean utopia of New Zealand, wisely regarded by scholars as the fountainhead of cultural excellence and the only place on Earth capable of filling in for Middle Earth, Narnia, and Ancient Greece, Cam Banks was lured away by the siren call of a life with meaning and purpose. Cam now lives a quiet, pastoral existence in the Twin Cities of Minnesota with his beautiful wife, their two sons, and a cat. He pays the bills by writing and editing role-playing games. In his free time, Cam likes to read and write fantasy fiction, watch movies and television with his wife, play video games with his oldest son, and allow his youngest son to chip away at his sanity.

Cam’s work has appeared in almost every one of over a dozen Dragonlance game sourcebooks published by Sovereign Press and Margaret Weis Productions, and twice in Dragon Magazine.
His work on the Bestiary of Krynn earned a silver ENnie Award in 2004 for Best Monster Supplement.

Following his work on Dragonlance, Cam has been involved in the design and editing of licensed roleplaying games based on Universal's Serenity and Battlestar Galactica, Dead Gentlemen's Demon Hunters, The CW's Supernatural and Smallville, TNT's Leverage, and Marvel Comics.

Cam's first short story, “Chain of Fools,” appears in the Dragonlance anthology Dragons of Time; Tracy Hickman Presents the Anvil of Time: The Sellsword (April 2008) is his first published novel.
Education
  • University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Relationship
Married
Work
Occupation
Game designer, writer, editor
Employment
  • Atlas Games
    RPG Director, 2013 - present
    Oversee & manage role playing game lines, including development & production.
  • Margaret Weis Productions
    Creative Director, 2007 - 2013
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Saint Paul, MN
Previously
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin - Auckland, New Zealand - State College, PA - North Shore, New Zealand - Lawrence, KS
Links
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Cam Banks

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I'm now on Patreon!

(cross-posted from my circles)

I've launched my own Patreon page now to fund my new direction in self-publishing and creator-owned game content. Patreon is a way to show folks my behind-the-scenes works in progress, release early previews and playtesting documents, post design blogs, and eventually publish new campaign settings, RPGs, and supplements for my favorite game systems.

Patreon is where I'm going to start writing and designing SWORDBRIDGE, my mannerpunk fantasy setting, and EIDOLON, which is my neoclassical fantasy setting for spirit-channeling super heroes. And those are just the first!

I would be tremendously grateful if you'd stop in and check out what I have going on there, and if you think others might be interested in it, please feel free to reshare the link!
Follow Cam Banks on Patreon: Read posts by Cam Banks on the world's largest platform enabling a new generation of creators and artists to live out their passions!
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Curse you and your direct access to my wallet, Banks!

Cam Banks

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UNKNOWN ARMIES BACKER KIT

Folks, I'm leaving this open a little longer because there are SOME PEOPLE who haven't answered their BackerKit emails for Unknown Armies 3.

You know who you are.

I would like your addresses and other info confirmed. Otherwise I will have to make a guess, and somebody else will get your stuff.

Somebody who doesn't deserve it the way you do.

Thank you.
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Hmm. Hope that wasn't me.

Cam Banks

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Today I'm going a shout-out to one of my personal favorite game designers in the broader community, +Benjamin Baugh. Benjamin is a straight-up genius, responsible for some of the most sublime hacks and twists of an established game system you can find. I first got to know his work with Arc Dream's Monsters and Other Childish Things but it was his supplementary book for that game, Dread Secrets of Candlewick Manor which really knocked my socks off.

You can follow Benjamin on G+ and revel in his occasional posts about life, gaming, and sundry relevancies, but you should also go out and grab some of his work, whether it's the Arc Dream stuff already mentioned, or Kerberos Club in one of its various incarnations, or the truly scary Don't Lose Your Mind.
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Yes, what they ^ said!

Cam Banks

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I am really proud of my friends +Fred Hicks & +Rob Donoghue & the many headed gaming beast they have created with so many talented people. We go back over twenty years and I've always felt they have leveraged great ideas with even greater people.

Now as Evil Hat undergoes another marvelous transformation in its business status, I feel that it's a useful thing for everyone involved in the complicated & interweaving tabletop gaming spheres to read this post & reflect on how we can all grow and foster our collective potential.
 
Evil Hat has gone through a number of changes over the years. We're going through a new one now. But to talk about that, perhaps we need some context. We—Rob Donoghue and I—established the company late in 2005, right on the heels of getting an offer from an old friend of mine to do an RPG based ...
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Cam Banks

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Setting Idea: Bloodgate!

Hundreds of years ago, the True King died, leaving behind no heirs - or so the scholars believed! After centuries of ruin and war, lands lost to evil and darkness, the blood of the True King has once again been awakened!

Gathering in the remote holdfast, priests of the lost gods cast a forbidden ritual that has stirred great powers of dominion and sovereignty in those who can now claim descent from the True King. Their challenge: take back the dominions, one at a time, on the other side of the mysterious Bloodgates that surround the holdfast.

Strike out against evil with supernatural and metahuman abilities! Form alliances with your cousins - or unseat petty tyrants who share your blood! Seize ancient artifacts of power to deliver justice for your people, or glory for yourself.

Draws on such influences as Earthdawn, Nine Princes of Amber, Highlander, Birthright, Stargate, and Destiny!

(Written by me and whoever else wants to take a shot)
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+Stras Acimovic Of course!

Cam Banks

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TWO HOURS TO GO.

Skyship's almost there, folks. Please reshare and let's push this one over the funding line! Only $1500 to get GLOOM DIGITAL to your computer experience (PC & MacOS and then onward to other platforms one hopes!)

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1894005741/gloom-digital-a-delightfully-miserable-pc-card-gam
In Gloom your goal is sad, but simple: Make your freakish family suffer the greatest tragedies possible.
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Cam Banks

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Some teasers from +Jonathan Tweet about one of my favorite Atlas Games properties.
 
When I wrote Over the Edge, the game system was set up so that often when you took an action, nothing would happen. It's the classic "roll to hit but miss" trope from 40 years ago. An author rarely has "nothing happen". Who has time for that? Especially in an RPG where a number of other people are waiting for their turn. Then I played Apocalypse World by +Vincent Baker. In the new Over the Edge, each roll of the dice matters, for good or bad, and the game plays a lot faster.
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waves mystery magic fingers

Cam Banks

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Family D&D Begins

Last night with my wife and two sons I sat down to start a new 5th edition D&D game, with the hope that my oldest gets to try it out properly with me before the kids at his new (and very cool & progressive) high school indoctrinate him into how the kids are playing it these days.

We made characters:
14yo made Melatonin, a wood elf bard with the entertainer background. He was caught with another elf's wife or something, serenading her, and in the ensuing scuffle got arrested and locked up. One Fulsom Prison Blues scenario later and he's now an exile with a ukulele and a harmonica.

10yo made Questlove, a tiefling ranger with the urchin background. A demon-blooded street kid who knows the city like the back of his hand.

My wife made Tuva, a dwarf fighter with the folk hero background, one of a proud mountain dwarf blacksmithing clan who stood up to the hill dwarf nobles who conquered them. She broke the slave chains with the axe she'd been working on, making her a hero before her own time.

The setting is something I've always loved to riff on: an ancient crumbling empire's easternmost frontier city, sprawling and ruined, now re-settled by a new populace of humans, elves, dwarves, and halflings looking to start anew. The city's on the westernmost end of a huge rift canyon, lined with more imperial ruins, dungeons, cliffside settlements, the Caves of Chaos, maybe the Lost City, massive waterfalls caused by the river tumbling into the rift.

I love boom towns, small beginnings, ancient ruins, etc. This is my take on what Gloranthan fans know as the Pavis and Big Rubble, or Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved Diamond Throne setting. In its original incarnation back when I was a teenager, this was the Earth Wound setting. Now it's Canyonquest.

If things go well, this bard, fighter, and ranger will go through heavily modified versions of many classic D&d modules from the old school with my own brand of epic adventure tossed into the mix. I'll update this collection with further exploits as they come to pass.
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I look forward to hearing the tale of their adventure in the Steading of the Rift Giant Chief. 

Cam Banks

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GREG IS KICKSTARTING STUFF.

I like Greg, I'm sure you all like Greg. Let's help Greg. He's been crowdfunding longer than almost any of us and does a good job of it. Look! Weird stuff from Greg!

Thank you.
 
So, I took 102,000+ words of unpublished, obscurely published, out-of-print, and pre-published material and put it all together into a single collection. Now I'm Kickstarting it.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gregstolze/thank-you-for-screaming

If you can spread the news on this it would help me out SO MUCH. Thanks in advance!

-G.
Get an early price break on a collection of short stories, mostly terrifying.
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Consarn it! This might be the first one I missed the linocut for.

Cam Banks

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Hey Unknown Armies 3 Backers in my Circles

Just a reminder to go and answer your BackerKit surveys. I sent out another update this AM but some folks might not be getting the emails.

SURVEYS CLOSE AUGUST 31st 2016.

PRE-ORDERING ENDS AUGUST 31st 2016.

Thank you!
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I missed the Kickstarter. 

Cam Banks

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I just want to throw out a quick note to say that +Dyson Logos is a really great guy from what I have seen of his work (cool maps!) and his conduct online and in geek spaces. My feed here on G+ is better for having his posts in it. Check him out!
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Dyson is good peeps. Truth.

Cam Banks

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Renaming Pillar of Fire Concepts

As an update, here's what I'm currently working with in terms of the Pilar of Fire houses (the ten clans/orgs/castes in society that the game starts you off in):

House of Atoms (Scientists)
House of Balances (Judges)
House of Chains (Agitators)
House of Coins (Merchants)
House of Crowns (Rulers, eliminated by the House of Chains uprising)
House of Cups (Counselors)
House of Hammers (Creators)
House of Masks (Whisperers)
House of Rods (Saviors)
House of Swords (Warbringers)
House of Trumpets (Speakers)

The Hospitaller archetype has been renamed the Savior, and the Revach soul (or void soul) has been renamed the Raqu soul, which is an Akkadian word for emptiness or void.

Now that I've made these changes the symbology is a lot more obvious and there's even a kind of Tarot sense to them, which retains the Hermetic flavor I wanted without being so appropriative.

(I may still play around with some of these - they're not final).
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These are all huge improvements, +Cam Banks.
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