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Jason Tondro
225 followers -
I'm a Doctor of Comics.
I'm a Doctor of Comics.

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The next issue of PERIPHERAL CODE is out. This time, an Ars Magica adventure set in the port town of Barfleur. Also: rules for solo play, the second ring of the Founder Verditius, Magi of the Order, House Tremere's elite shield grogs, whaling magic, and more!

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We did a live play of Arthur Lives!, using #Fate Core, last night! Game starts 35 minutes in. Lasts two hours. 

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Some final thoughts on my project that launches tomorrow.
From +Jason Tondro
24 hours from the time this posts, the AL! Kickstarter will go live. (It's a little bit longer than that for me. I'm eating dinner as I write this. You can see my dining choice in the pic below.) That's exciting and scary; I've been working on this game, in one form or another, for almost thirty years, and there's now only two possible outcomes: either our project will make its goal, or it won't.
Either way, however, AL! will be out in the world. Even if we fail to hit our goal, every backer who pledged $5 or more will have received the entire 140,000+ word manuscript for AL! (And because, in this scenario, we did not make our goal, you actually paid nothing and got the ms for free!) You'll have all the paths, the new rules for magic and enchantment, dozens of adversaries and monsters, and campaigning advice to help you through your own AL! story. I hope you don't just read it, but also play it. And I hope it brings you some joy, as it has brought me joy to work on it over the years.
If we hit our goal, the story changes a little. In addition to having a fun game, you'll have a handsome book you can hold in your hands. It'll be easier to find the game, easier to play it, and easier to find others who want to join you. Every game designer lives for the stories told by those who have played their game, and there will be more of those stories if we have a published, printed, book. Moreover, my gaze turns to the possibility of Arthur Lives: Season Two.
About midway through the development of this game, I began to imagine it as a television series. This helped with organizing the game into distinct "seasons," each of which reflected a different phase in Arthur's myth and his career. The first phase, Season One, is about arrivals -- Arthur's, and those who knew him. It's about setting the scene: making a Round Table, founding Camelot, and answering some of the basic questions. How did this happen? What's going on? Season One also focuses on characters who appear very early, chronologically, in Arthur's life: his foster brother, Kay; his advisor, Merlin; his oldest half-sister Morgause, and her oldest son, Gawain; the first "best knights in the world": Balin the Savage and Pellinore; the Lady of the Lake who gave Arthur Excalibur, and the second Lady, the one who imprisoned Merlin forever. And, of course, Arthur and his queen, Guinevere.
Season Two would push the storyline ahead and expand the cast. We'd start with the other "Big Two" -- Lancelot and Morgana le Fay -- and include some of the characters vital to them, such as the third Lady of the Lake (the one who raised Lancelot "du Lac"), Lance's cousin Sir Lionel, and Elaine of Carbonek, mother of Lancelot's son Galahad. We'd also have the room to add more paths for character types like the Squire or the Hermit (a holy man or woman possessed of miraculous knowledge and other powers).
But the real spine of Season Two would be the antagonist. Arthur's tale moves through stages, and if the first stage is solidifying his control over Britain, the second stage is repelling an invasion from a foreign land -- in his case, the Saxons. Season Two of Arthur Lives! would introduce an enemy invader overwhelming in its power, one which homages the Saxons and Vikings of Arthur's original tale without copying them. These invaders, even if they are defeated, cannot easily be ignored, and the secretive nature of Arthur's return begins to break as Arthur and the other incarnations are forced to come out into the open to oppose an enemy both fantastic and merciless.
There's more that we could do. We haven't even gotten to the Holy Grail yet (Season Three) or the infighting and intrigue that follows, leading to Camelot's ultimate destruction and collapse (Season Four). I'm not here to build castles in the sky. Maybe there will never be any more Arthur Lives! than the manuscript you are all about to see. But you know: that's all I've really wanted. I have a lot of other books to write, and if I'm really lucky, a lot of other games to run. If the tales of King Arthur teach us anything, it's that sometimes, all you get is the One Brief Shining Moment. Maybe this is it, for us. Maybe from here, it's all nostalgia, looking backwards.
But maybe, just maybe, the Quest is yet to come.
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I'm excited to announce ARTHUR LIVES!, 2nd Edition, a Fate Core game of urban fantasy starring reincarnations from Arthurian legend in a cinematic present. Manuscript is written! Kickstarter launches 4/2. +Richard Bellingham and +Rob Wieland are writing adventures for us as stretch goals. Please check us out!
https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=371252379941440&id=366985850368093&substory_index=0

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Doctor Strange
Last night I and a handful of my AMST 1102: American Identities on Film students sat down to watch Doctor Strange . I had (mostly) taken care to avoid spoilers for this film, but I had seen one-sentence reviews from the Facebook brain trust and the most com...

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Doctor Strange
Last night I and a handful of my AMST 1102: American Identities on Film students sat down to watch Doctor Strange . I had (mostly) taken care to avoid spoilers for this film, but I had seen one-sentence reviews from the Facebook brain trust and the most com...

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Super Villain Handbook Deluxe Edition
This book is the end point of about two and a half years of work by many people, first and foremost Mike Lafferty, my friend and publisher at Fainting Goat, and Walt Robillard, who ran the successful Kickstart for the SVH and has been a constant cheerleader...

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Suicide Squad
This is where I begin by confessing that I have read very little of John Ostrander's classic, and extremely influential, Suicide Squad comic. I remember buying the first couple issues, with Deadshot and Captain Boomerang and Bronze Tiger and Enchantress and...
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