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ASH LAW
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Advice needed

So I'm writing a game, and want some advice. I want to include a gay man, a trans woman, and a gay woman as powerful NPCs, but at the same time being trans/cis/gay/straight/bi/etc in the setting is seen as no big deal.

These are NPCs akin in power to a modern world leader...the PCs are probably never going to meet them, but the PCs will have definitely have strong opinions about these NPCs and their world is shaped by these powerful people. So just like we don't care if the person who delivers our pizza is gay or straight or cis or trans or bi, our president or prime-minister's personal life and history is something that comes up in conversations.

I need a way to identify these characters as being gay or trans, without fetishizing their gender or sexuality, nor being offensive, nor being so subtle that it passes over the heads of the readers, nor being too in-your-face, nor making those aspects of their story the central aspect of those NPCs' stories. I also can't talk about secondary characters related to these NPCs (defining those is up to the players and GM). I also don't want to talk specifically about the NPC's sex lives (because the game is not about that), nor can I talk in any detail about their pasts.

NPC1 The gay man ('The Night Lord') is a sort of bacchanalian 'lord of misrule and wine and orgies', and is associated with black cats, so I can do art of him on a throne surrounded with semi-naked guys, grapes, goblets of wine, cats, etc. His 'thing' is that some see him as a demonic wicked warlord, but to others he's a super-cool Zaphod Beeblebrox style party dude who is all about freedom. So I think I'm fine with just doing 'he's gay' via the art.

NPC2 The trans woman ('The Enchantress') is all about magic and transformation and new life, and is associated with spring. Her I can do art for that features some sort of indication of magic and butterflies (transformation/spring) and flowers (new life/spring), but how do you do art that says 'trans woman'? Her deal is that she's a fair ruler but leans too much on magic to solve problems and most of the problems in her kingdom are caused by too much leniency with the use of magic--to some she's a protector and leader, to others she's a decadent chaos-worshiper.

NPC3 The gay woman ('The Ecclesiarch') is a pope-queen type of figure. She's sort of chief-worshiper of the gods of light, and is associated with harvests and gold. To some she's a fair ruler who through her strength and leadership protects them from evil, to others she's an uptight inquisition-leading killjoy. Her realm is sort of medieval-rome-meets-ancient-sparta and has a lot of female warrior-clerics who fight in battle with their wives at their sides.

(There are 5 other equally important powerful NPCs. The Red Prince is your basic horned-god woodland-dwelling rangers-and-druids leader of the hunt (and is likely _very straight). The Everseer is a bodiless psychic (and their gender and sexuality are something that they've left behind), a leader of psychics and monks. The Alchemist is a wizard/scientist type, she's all dangerous experiments and progress-at-any-cost-whoops-I-made-a-monster (and she's straight). The Undying Queen is an undead ruler trying to preserve the fading remnants of a golden age of civilization (and is asexual, and mummified). The Trickster is a shape-changer (their gender and sexuality is fluid), who rules over a semi-nomadic culture of cattle-herders.)_

The other five NPCs' stories are not as tied to their gender or sexuality as the first three.
. The Ecclesiarch's story is tied into a sort of 'spartan' culture with female warrior-clerics defending male farmers, with the warrior-clerics often forming all-woman families and wives fighting alongside each other. That she is herself a gay woman makes her an exemplar of this culture.
. The Enchantress attracts a lot of trans people to her realm as she's given her followers the magic to correct their gender (among other things they can do with magic) as she once did, so her story and that of her followers and her kingdom is in some ways tied to her gender and history.
. The Night Lord, well, I thought that a gay morally-ambiguous demigod Zaphod Beeblebrox was just too cool a character not to write.

Oh, and I have at most a single page to talk about each NPC, and that has to include details about their kingdom, an overview of who they are and what they are like, their allies, their enemies, and how adventurers might relate to them either as patrons or as enemies. I do get a full page color piece of art for each of these NPC in the Alphonse Mucha style.

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I know a lot of kicksnarkers backed this project, so I'm sharing this here too.
This is to let you know that I’m calling quits on the Reliquary and wrapping up the project. (update here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1857811795/the-reliquary/posts/1858995)

Please contact Chris McFann / RKDN directly for a full refund as soon as possible. I haven’t received any of the money from the Kickstarter, and Chris has assured me that the funds remain untouched in an account of his.

It has been many years since this Kickstarter funded (coming up on five), and despite repeated assurances to me from Chris / RKDN Studios over the years, it doesn’t look as if any of us are closer to seeing the 13th Age compatible book in print—or of seeing the promised conversions to Pathfinder and Savage Worlds.

This makes me very sad. The book is a work of love for me, with many hundreds of hours put into it on my end. I wouldn’t take this step if I thought there was still any hope that RKDN will complete their end of our agreement and deliver on the project as promised.

Unfortunately, I don’t know the best way to reach Chris at this point. I don’t know how regularly he logs into Kickstarter anymore. His RKDN Studios imprint seems to be inactive, and I no longer have a working phone number for him. The last e-mail from him that I received was from chrismcfann@gmail.com, but he hasn’t responded to my emails over the last month to that address. In the past, he’s also used chrismcfann@mac.com and chrismcfann@me.com.

Here’s the full story of what happened…

2012-2013 – The Kickstarter years

Back in 2012 a Kickstarter called ‘The Bestiary of the Curiously Odd’ by RKDN Studios caught my eye. I offered my services for free to help that project’s creator/artist, Chris McFann, convert this game supplement to the 13th Age RPG system. I finished the writing for Chris’ 'BotCO' project in late 2012 / early 2013.

Seeing as he had successfully run a Kickstarter, and I had an idea for a magic item supplement for 13th Age, I contacted Chris / RKDN about helping me with the Reliquary. The deal Chris and I struck was that I would do the writing; Chris would handle all the art duties and run the project, put out regular updates, deal with printing and shipping, etc. In addition, I’d pay him $1000 up front.

Chris suggested we also do versions of the book for Pathfinder and Savage Worlds, and said that he would line up people to do that conversion work. We agreed to split any post-cost profits (if any) once the project was complete and shipped.

I paid Chris $1000 and he launched the project on Kickstarter. Personally, I just wanted to get a cool book into people’s hands, so paying Chris to make the dream happen seemed worth it. I guess you could say I backed the Reliquary at the $1000 level.

The Kickstarter gained a lot of stretch goals that I was uncomfortable with, but Chris assured me that he’d handle fulfilling them. When the Kickstarter completed Chris received the funds, which he assures me remain untouched.

I finished writing the main part of the Reliquary soon after the Kickstarter funded—if I recall that was early 2013. Chris assured me that he would have art and layout done for all three systems, and the books would be ready to ship by December 2013 (much later than he'd originally promised, but still not out of the realms of acceptability).

2014 – The Reliquary expands, while art delays continue

By 2014 the art still hadn’t materialized, so I took the opportunity to expand the Reliquary. (When I’m left to my own devices, I tend to keep writing and designing new things, and I figured that it would be added value for you for waiting so patiently.) I folded in most of the stretch goal writing to the main book, added more items, and added new races and feats to the book. Chris promised me a ‘done’ date of August 2014.

A publisher paid for me to attend GenCon that year, where I told folks that any day the art would be coming through, and that 2014 was the year the Reliquary would ship. I was very confident, because Chris had said that “any day now” the art would be ready and the book could go to print.

Shortly after GenCon 2014 I had a heart attack followed by poor cardiac health that took out of the loop for most things. I concentrated on getting my health right while Chris forged ahead with the Reliquary.

2015 – My first attempt at wrapping things up

By 2015 the art hadn’t been completed, nor had the conversions to other systems happened, so I asked Chris to cancel the project and refund backers’ money. I told him I was concerned that during the long delays in completing the art, printing and shipping costs had risen, so we wouldn’t have the funds to fulfil the project and get the various physical rewards done. Chris reassured me that he had relationships with printers that would keep costs low, and that he’d printed comparable books before so not to worry.

Chris also told me that the art had indeed been completed, and that he was just having computer issues sending it to me. He said that the Reliquary was very close to going to the printers. Assured that everything was close to shipping, I chose to hold my tongue—after all, it would be a shame to cancel everything when in mere weeks our backers could have a physical copy of the Reliquary in their hands.

My heart problems continued to keep me laid out. (Today I’m still learning to live within the limitations of my new health status.) When I could work, I did, on paying projects that I had already committed to so I could pay my bills. As I mentioned above, my agreement with Chris was that neither of us would take any money from this project until all backers received exactly what they had pledged toward—so I wasn’t going to take any funds out of the Reliquary to pay myself. Chris kept the money in his account—untouched, or so I’m assured by him, and I have no reason to believe otherwise.

Once again, a publisher generously paid for me to attend GenCon. I headed off to GenCon 2015 confident, based on Chris’ assurances, that the 13th Age version would be at the printers by the time I got back, and the system conversions done quickly after that. Unfortunately travelling to GenCon caused my health to crash, so I couldn’t really keep on top of Chris’ progress with the Reliquary as I would have liked.

I repeatedly contacted Chris throughout the rest of the year and he kept assuring me that various things were at the printers for test prints and that I should wait to hear back from him.

2016 – Second attempt to call it a day

At the start of 2016 I was able to get in touch with Chris again (communication with him had become increasingly difficult throughout the project, he apologized for his ongoing computer issues to which he assured me now had a solution) and once again asked Chris to cancel the project and to refund our backers. I felt that the project had gone on too long without result. Chris responded by starting to send the missing artwork at the rate of a handful a week, sometimes as many as one or two a day, and assuring me that no Kickstarter funds had been spent and that we were very close to getting things printed.

Unfortunately, much of the artwork was not at the level that I was expecting, so many of the pieces I had to fix or redo. To avoid any further delays, I created many of the missing pieces myself ex nihilo, learning to mimic Chris’ style so that the art had a coherent look. I called in favors with friends and colleagues to help complete various bits of needed art when it was outside of my capabilities.

Around that time I decided to at least get the PDF of the 13th Age version ready myself. I did layout for the PDF, and sent it out to backers. Chris said that he’d get the people he had lined up for the Pathfinder and Savage Worlds conversion to start work on that, and that once it was done he’d get all the books laid out for print and printed. I told him that there had been enough delays already and that he should layout, print, and ship the 13th Age version immediately. Then, he should do likewise for the other versions as soon as they were complete. Chris agreed, and said he’d still be handling stretch goals.

Thinking that the project was still salvageable, I told Chris that I would take over his responsibility for updating backers, and told the backers that I would start posting regular updates. I shouldn’t have made that promise, and I apologize—my continuing health issues meant that I had to swiftly pass responsibility for that back to Chris.

That year a publisher once more offered to send me to GenCon because I’d been nominated for another ENnie, but at that point my health wouldn’t allow me to travel (and frankly it felt wrong to attend with the Reliquary still outstanding).

I realized last year that we needed help if we were ever going to get this project to completion, and contacted a company that I felt could handle layout and conversion work. I desperately wanted to get the book into your hands, so felt it best to hand it off lock-stock-and-barrel to somebody else to make that happen.

As a prelude to the other company handling things, Chris signed over the copyright on the art he’d done for the project to me, and we signed a contract between us that detailed who owned what, and who was responsible for what. Chris once again assured me that all the Kickstarter funds were intact and untouched (aside from the $1000 I’d paid him to do all the art, manage the project, deal with printers etc).

Ultimately, the deal with the company didn't go through, for reasons I will not recount save to say that on balance it may have been the best for both parties (and that I remain a big fan of theirs).

2017 – I’m finally putting my foot down

February 2017 rolled around, and I once again asked Chris to refund you, the backers. Chris told me that he’d already printed up art to send to certain backers, and that as soon as he had a PDF from me he could send it to the printers. I resent him the PDF I’d sent him previously, in July 2016.

I last managed to get contact with Chris/RKDN four weeks ago, when he assured me that the fully laid-out file would be completely ready within days. Since then I’ve been trying to contact him but have received no response.

Since the Reliquary launched, I’ve written ten books for various publishers. I’ve written more than forty 50,000 word adventures, and won a slew of awards. I am currently working on yet more books and a couple of new RPGs. However, the Reliquary, my labor of love, still isn’t in print. (Neither is RKDN’s 'Bestiary of the Curiously Odd', the project that convinced me to partner with Chris in the first place—Chris assures me that project is at the printers, or will be so any day now.)

What now?

As I own the copyright on the Reliquary and associated art, and as I’m unable to contact Chris, and as I feel that if I do nothing this will just keep dragging on—I’m pulling the plug.

I know you are disappointed and upset. I am too. I may, once the dust has settled and I have time and space to think about things, properly teach myself layout and do a print version of the 13th Age Reliquary on my own. I might find people who are expert enough with multiple systems that I can do versions for other games. However, that isn’t something I’m going to say will happen for sure, nor am I willing to hazard a guess as to when that might happen if it does.

I’ve learned a lot from this experience: look before you leap, have your ducks in a row before pulling the trigger, trust but confirm, and so on. I’ve learnt how to be a passable artist, though I’m still no pro. I’m starting to learn about layout for PDF and print. I’ve learned things I wish I knew a long time ago (like set a limit for your pagecount and wordcount at the start, and stick to it no matter how many cool ideas you have).

I just wish the lessons hadn’t been mixed with other, more painful lessons.

You should contact Chris McFann for a full refund as soon as possible. I haven’t received any of the money from the Kickstarter, but Chris has always assured me that the funds remain untouched in an account of his.

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Public
This is to let you know that I’m calling quits on the Reliquary and wrapping up the project. (update here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1857811795/the-reliquary/posts/1858995)

Please contact Chris McFann / RKDN directly for a full refund as soon as possible. I haven’t received any of the money from the Kickstarter, and Chris has assured me that the funds remain untouched in an account of his.

It has been many years since this Kickstarter funded (coming up on five), and despite repeated assurances to me from Chris / RKDN Studios over the years, it doesn’t look as if any of us are closer to seeing the 13th Age compatible book in print—or of seeing the promised conversions to Pathfinder and Savage Worlds.

This makes me very sad. The book is a work of love for me, with many hundreds of hours put into it on my end. I wouldn’t take this step if I thought there was still any hope that RKDN will complete their end of our agreement and deliver on the project as promised.

Unfortunately, I don’t know the best way to reach Chris at this point. I don’t know how regularly he logs into Kickstarter anymore. His RKDN Studios imprint seems to be inactive, and I no longer have a working phone number for him. The last e-mail from him that I received was from chrismcfann@gmail.com, but he hasn’t responded to my emails over the last month to that address. In the past, he’s also used chrismcfann@mac.com and chrismcfann@me.com.

Here’s the full story of what happened…

2012-2013 – The Kickstarter years

Back in 2012 a Kickstarter called ‘The Bestiary of the Curiously Odd’ by RKDN Studios caught my eye. I offered my services for free to help that project’s creator/artist, Chris McFann, convert this game supplement to the 13th Age RPG system. I finished the writing for Chris’ 'BotCO' project in late 2012 / early 2013.

Seeing as he had successfully run a Kickstarter, and I had an idea for a magic item supplement for 13th Age, I contacted Chris / RKDN about helping me with the Reliquary. The deal Chris and I struck was that I would do the writing; Chris would handle all the art duties and run the project, put out regular updates, deal with printing and shipping, etc. In addition, I’d pay him $1000 up front.

Chris suggested we also do versions of the book for Pathfinder and Savage Worlds, and said that he would line up people to do that conversion work. We agreed to split any post-cost profits (if any) once the project was complete and shipped.

I paid Chris $1000 and he launched the project on Kickstarter. Personally, I just wanted to get a cool book into people’s hands, so paying Chris to make the dream happen seemed worth it. I guess you could say I backed the Reliquary at the $1000 level.

The Kickstarter gained a lot of stretch goals that I was uncomfortable with, but Chris assured me that he’d handle fulfilling them. When the Kickstarter completed Chris received the funds, which he assures me remain untouched.

I finished writing the main part of the Reliquary soon after the Kickstarter funded—if I recall that was early 2013. Chris assured me that he would have art and layout done for all three systems, and the books would be ready to ship by December 2013 (much later than he'd originally promised, but still not out of the realms of acceptability).

2014 – The Reliquary expands, while art delays continue

By 2014 the art still hadn’t materialized, so I took the opportunity to expand the Reliquary. (When I’m left to my own devices, I tend to keep writing and designing new things, and I figured that it would be added value for you for waiting so patiently.) I folded in most of the stretch goal writing to the main book, added more items, and added new races and feats to the book. Chris promised me a ‘done’ date of August 2014.

A publisher paid for me to attend GenCon that year, where I told folks that any day the art would be coming through, and that 2014 was the year the Reliquary would ship. I was very confident, because Chris had said that “any day now” the art would be ready and the book could go to print.

Shortly after GenCon 2014 I had a heart attack followed by poor cardiac health that took out of the loop for most things. I concentrated on getting my health right while Chris forged ahead with the Reliquary.

2015 – My first attempt at wrapping things up

By 2015 the art hadn’t been completed, nor had the conversions to other systems happened, so I asked Chris to cancel the project and refund backers’ money. I told him I was concerned that during the long delays in completing the art, printing and shipping costs had risen, so we wouldn’t have the funds to fulfil the project and get the various physical rewards done. Chris reassured me that he had relationships with printers that would keep costs low, and that he’d printed comparable books before so not to worry.

Chris also told me that the art had indeed been completed, and that he was just having computer issues sending it to me. He said that the Reliquary was very close to going to the printers. Assured that everything was close to shipping, I chose to hold my tongue—after all, it would be a shame to cancel everything when in mere weeks our backers could have a physical copy of the Reliquary in their hands.

My heart problems continued to keep me laid out. (Today I’m still learning to live within the limitations of my new health status.) When I could work, I did, on paying projects that I had already committed to so I could pay my bills. As I mentioned above, my agreement with Chris was that neither of us would take any money from this project until all backers received exactly what they had pledged toward—so I wasn’t going to take any funds out of the Reliquary to pay myself. Chris kept the money in his account—untouched, or so I’m assured by him, and I have no reason to believe otherwise.

Once again, a publisher generously paid for me to attend GenCon. I headed off to GenCon 2015 confident, based on Chris’ assurances, that the 13th Age version would be at the printers by the time I got back, and the system conversions done quickly after that. Unfortunately travelling to GenCon caused my health to crash, so I couldn’t really keep on top of Chris’ progress with the Reliquary as I would have liked.

I repeatedly contacted Chris throughout the rest of the year and he kept assuring me that various things were at the printers for test prints and that I should wait to hear back from him.

2016 – Second attempt to call it a day

At the start of 2016 I was able to get in touch with Chris again (communication with him had become increasingly difficult throughout the project, he apologized for his ongoing computer issues to which he assured me now had a solution) and once again asked Chris to cancel the project and to refund our backers. I felt that the project had gone on too long without result. Chris responded by starting to send the missing artwork at the rate of a handful a week, sometimes as many as one or two a day, and assuring me that no Kickstarter funds had been spent and that we were very close to getting things printed.

Unfortunately, much of the artwork was not at the level that I was expecting, so many of the pieces I had to fix or redo. To avoid any further delays, I created many of the missing pieces myself ex nihilo, learning to mimic Chris’ style so that the art had a coherent look. I called in favors with friends and colleagues to help complete various bits of needed art when it was outside of my capabilities.

Around that time I decided to at least get the PDF of the 13th Age version ready myself. I did layout for the PDF, and sent it out to backers. Chris said that he’d get the people he had lined up for the Pathfinder and Savage Worlds conversion to start work on that, and that once it was done he’d get all the books laid out for print and printed. I told him that there had been enough delays already and that he should layout, print, and ship the 13th Age version immediately. Then, he should do likewise for the other versions as soon as they were complete. Chris agreed, and said he’d still be handling stretch goals.

Thinking that the project was still salvageable, I told Chris that I would take over his responsibility for updating backers, and told the backers that I would start posting regular updates. I shouldn’t have made that promise, and I apologize—my continuing health issues meant that I had to swiftly pass responsibility for that back to Chris.

That year a publisher once more offered to send me to GenCon because I’d been nominated for another ENnie, but at that point my health wouldn’t allow me to travel (and frankly it felt wrong to attend with the Reliquary still outstanding).

I realized last year that we needed help if we were ever going to get this project to completion, and contacted a company that I felt could handle layout and conversion work. I desperately wanted to get the book into your hands, so felt it best to hand it off lock-stock-and-barrel to somebody else to make that happen.

As a prelude to the other company handling things, Chris signed over the copyright on the art he’d done for the project to me, and we signed a contract between us that detailed who owned what, and who was responsible for what. Chris once again assured me that all the Kickstarter funds were intact and untouched (aside from the $1000 I’d paid him to do all the art, manage the project, deal with printers etc).

Ultimately, the deal with the company didn't go through, for reasons I will not recount save to say that on balance it may have been the best for both parties (and that I remain a big fan of theirs).

2017 – I’m finally putting my foot down

February 2017 rolled around, and I once again asked Chris to refund you, the backers. Chris told me that he’d already printed up art to send to certain backers, and that as soon as he had a PDF from me he could send it to the printers. I resent him the PDF I’d sent him previously, in July 2016.

I last managed to get contact with Chris/RKDN four weeks ago, when he assured me that the fully laid-out file would be completely ready within days. Since then I’ve been trying to contact him but have received no response.

Since the Reliquary launched, I’ve written ten books for various publishers. I’ve written more than forty 50,000 word adventures, and won a slew of awards. I am currently working on yet more books and a couple of new RPGs. However, the Reliquary, my labor of love, still isn’t in print. (Neither is RKDN’s 'Bestiary of the Curiously Odd', the project that convinced me to partner with Chris in the first place—Chris assures me that project is at the printers, or will be so any day now.)

What now?

As I own the copyright on the Reliquary and associated art, and as I’m unable to contact Chris, and as I feel that if I do nothing this will just keep dragging on—I’m pulling the plug.

I know you are disappointed and upset. I am too. I may, once the dust has settled and I have time and space to think about things, properly teach myself layout and do a print version of the 13th Age Reliquary on my own. I might find people who are expert enough with multiple systems that I can do versions for other games. However, that isn’t something I’m going to say will happen for sure, nor am I willing to hazard a guess as to when that might happen if it does.

I’ve learned a lot from this experience: look before you leap, have your ducks in a row before pulling the trigger, trust but confirm, and so on. I’ve learnt how to be a passable artist, though I’m still no pro. I’m starting to learn about layout for PDF and print. I’ve learned things I wish I knew a long time ago (like set a limit for your pagecount and wordcount at the start, and stick to it no matter how many cool ideas you have).

I just wish the lessons hadn’t been mixed with other, more painful lessons.

You should contact Chris McFann for a full refund as soon as possible. I haven’t received any of the money from the Kickstarter, but Chris has always assured me that the funds remain untouched in an account of his.

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Fast food mascots as icons...

Ronald McDonald regenerates when killed, horror movie monster style, but the Burger King’s immortality is dependent on serial reincarnation. That’s why the latter tends to disappear from the public eye for a couple of decades every now and then; when Ronald loses a fight in their eternal struggle for dominion over all fast food, he’s fine in like a week, but when the King goes down, he needs to wait for his reincarnation to grow up.

(Though this would seem to give Ronald an insurmountable advantage, it’s less decisive than you’d think, because Ronald is actually kind of terrible in a fight. The knowledge that he only needs to win once makes him sloppy.)

The Colonel is older than Ronald, and even the King, but his reach is bound by the fact that he can’t affect the material world on his own - he’s strictly limited by the capabilities of his current corporeal host. Like all elder ghosts, however, he can cast a mean curse, so it’s best to tread carefully in his court.

Wendy’s a tough one to pin down. Once a mere figurehead empress, she’s taken a more active hand in the politics of the Fast Food Wars since her father’s mysterious disappearance scarcely a decade past. Nobody’s quite sure what her deal is; to all appearances, she’s a perfectly ordinary fourteen-year-old girl - but she’s been fourteen for a long, long time.

The Taco Bell Chihuahua is gone. In her hubris, she challenged the Colonel to single combat, who unhinged his jaw like a snake and swallowed her whole. Nobody’s quite prepared to say she’s dead, since the powers of the Fast Food Wars have been known to come back from worse, but it’s been fifteen years now, and few expect her return.

The Five are a sinister cabal who eschew personal names and identities, being known only by their collective title. The secret to their power is that they’re actually a telepathic hive-mind; though their members are technically mortal, the collective itself can recover from individual losses as long as at least one of them survives.

Despite its icy clime, the Dairy Queen’s kingdom flows with milk and honey. Her subjects are well-fed and happy and want for nothing - but there’s always something brittle about their smiles. In truth, beneath her jolly facade, their glorious sorcerer-queen’s heart is as cold as her realm: all shall love her and despair.

The Caesar is an anomaly in the Fast Food Wars: a mortal who contends with gods. What he lacks in personal prowess, he makes up for with his vast armies and spy networks. The title is non-hereditary; the current Caesar ascended to the throne in the traditional fashion: by literally stabbing his predecessor in the back.

Jack be nimble, Jack be quick - though the Fast Food Wars’ fields are bestrode by giants, all know to fear the Giant-Slayer. Cursed by the Old Gods to the form of a child’s toy for some forgotten jape, Jack rules still from his castle in the clouds. A wildcard in the Wars, he’s as likely to decimate his own realm in a fit of pique as he is to march against others.

It has latterly been revealed that the previous Caesar survived his assassination, making his way in secret to the frozen lands, where he became vassal - and, some whisper, consort - to the Dairy Queen. The mark of his successor’s poisoned spear remains upon him, staining his skin a sickly ocher, and for this he’s known as Orange Julius.

from: http://prokopetz.tumblr.com/post/154763827727/random-headcanon-ronald-mcdonald-regenerates-when


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Fast food mascots as icons...

Ronald McDonald regenerates when killed, horror movie monster style, but the Burger King’s immortality is dependent on serial reincarnation. That’s why the latter tends to disappear from the public eye for a couple of decades every now and then; when Ronald loses a fight in their eternal struggle for dominion over all fast food, he’s fine in like a week, but when the King goes down, he needs to wait for his reincarnation to grow up.

(Though this would seem to give Ronald an insurmountable advantage, it’s less decisive than you’d think, because Ronald is actually kind of terrible in a fight. The knowledge that he only needs to win once makes him sloppy.)

The Colonel is older than Ronald, and even the King, but his reach is bound by the fact that he can’t affect the material world on his own - he’s strictly limited by the capabilities of his current corporeal host. Like all elder ghosts, however, he can cast a mean curse, so it’s best to tread carefully in his court.

Wendy’s a tough one to pin down. Once a mere figurehead empress, she’s taken a more active hand in the politics of the Fast Food Wars since her father’s mysterious disappearance scarcely a decade past. Nobody’s quite sure what her deal is; to all appearances, she’s a perfectly ordinary fourteen-year-old girl - but she’s been fourteen for a long, long time.

The Taco Bell Chihuahua is gone. In her hubris, she challenged the Colonel to single combat, who unhinged his jaw like a snake and swallowed her whole. Nobody’s quite prepared to say she’s dead, since the powers of the Fast Food Wars have been known to come back from worse, but it’s been fifteen years now, and few expect her return.

The Five are a sinister cabal who eschew personal names and identities, being known only by their collective title. The secret to their power is that they’re actually a telepathic hive-mind; though their members are technically mortal, the collective itself can recover from individual losses as long as at least one of them survives.

Despite its icy clime, the Dairy Queen’s kingdom flows with milk and honey. Her subjects are well-fed and happy and want for nothing - but there’s always something brittle about their smiles. In truth, beneath her jolly facade, their glorious sorcerer-queen’s heart is as cold as her realm: all shall love her and despair.

The Caesar is an anomaly in the Fast Food Wars: a mortal who contends with gods. What he lacks in personal prowess, he makes up for with his vast armies and spy networks. The title is non-hereditary; the current Caesar ascended to the throne in the traditional fashion: by literally stabbing his predecessor in the back.

Jack be nimble, Jack be quick - though the Fast Food Wars’ fields are bestrode by giants, all know to fear the Giant-Slayer. Cursed by the Old Gods to the form of a child’s toy for some forgotten jape, Jack rules still from his castle in the clouds. A wildcard in the Wars, he’s as likely to decimate his own realm in a fit of pique as he is to march against others.

It has latterly been revealed that the previous Caesar survived his assassination, making his way in secret to the frozen lands, where he became vassal - and, some whisper, consort - to the Dairy Queen. The mark of his successor’s poisoned spear remains upon him, staining his skin a sickly ocher, and for this he’s known as Orange Julius.

from: http://prokopetz.tumblr.com/post/154763827727/random-headcanon-ronald-mcdonald-regenerates-when


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Want a tiefling whose heritage is influenced by a particular sin? Lots of good tiefling stuff coming up.
I'm super excited to announce that +13th Age's own +ASH LAW has generously provided Escalation! fanzine with an article focused on tieflings. If you enjoy these often misunderstood, infernal-touched individuals, then you're in for a treat.

Prompt for Monday.

'Fusion hero'

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There is a new +13th Age fanzine, called Escalation! And they need your help:
http://www.thepiazza.org.uk/bb/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=17562

If you can create 13th Age content, please consider letting them have some of your work. If you are a fan...or if you know any fans, please pass on their call for submissions.
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So the feeling seems to be that folks want to restart this?

OK, prompt for Monday (yes, I know its Tuesday).
Patriotic tortoise vs patriotic hare.

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My son is out from a surgery. Nothing major but they had to put him under. He's now at the "Go to the parp?" stage where he thinks he's fine.
http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/09/party.html
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