$33,351
pledged of $7,500pledged of $7,500 goal
507
backers
3days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, July 25 2019 6:59 AM UTC +00:00.

$33,351
pledged of $7,500pledged of $7,500 goal
507
backers
3days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, July 25 2019 6:59 AM UTC +00:00.

About

Update July 21 - even more stretch goal news, and The Legion of the Skull returns! All subscribers receive two stretch goals! First, a copy of "Cubicles of the Magician's Skull"! This booklet compiles the hilarious missives from the immortal sorcerer Skull who is our leader, publisher, and mascot! And secondly, a never-before-published Morlock story by James Enge! Additionally, backers at the Legion of the Skull level will receive a booklet of essays on sword-and-sorcery literature!

Tales From the Magician's Skull is a printed fantasy magazine dedicated to presenting all-new sword-and-sorcery fiction by the finest modern crafters in the genre. These stories are the real thing, crammed with sword-swinging action, dark sorceries, dread, and ferocious monsters -- and they hurtle forward at a headlong pace. 

Last year, we published issues #1 and #2 to great acclaim. The stories were well-received, and the fans demanded – more! MORE! We hear you, fans, and the Skull is prepared to grant your desire!

This Kickstarter launches issues #3 and #4, as well as subscriptions to future issues! 

Update, July 12: If you are new to this project, you may enjoy reading our project updates! They tell an ongoing saga, of which the best is yet to come! Start with Skull Scroll #1 and then read the rest of the updates from there....

Publication Schedule

Our goal is to publish Tales From The Magician’s Skull twice a year, with issues released in March and September each year. Issue #3 is complete and ready for printing, with a September release date. Issue #4 will release in March 2020, and others will follow bi-annually thereafter. Upon reaching issue #666, the Skull will travel to a higher plane and the magazine will end.

Subscriptions

Subscriptions are available at a 10% discount from single-issue pricing. Subscriptions are 4 issues in duration and are offered in print and PDF format. Just select the appropriate pledge level.

Print Format

With our first Kickstarter, we included a stretch goal to print the magazine on a luxurious textured, tan-colored paper stock that conjured memories of the pulp papers of years past. We love this format and will continue to print the magazine using this paper stock. It does mean a higher funding threshold, which we believe is worth it.

Interior illustration by Samuel Dillon
Interior illustration by Samuel Dillon

Issue #3

Issue #3 is brimming with 80 pages and contains 7 stories, each featuring a full page black-and-white illustration. When appropriate to the tale, maps to strange lands and martial arenas are included as well. Each story has been written, edited, illustrated, and laid out in classic pulp magazine format. A bonus section translates elements from each story - creatures, magic items, and more - into Dungeon Crawl Classics game terms. 

Issue #3 features fiction by James Enge, John C. Hocking, Howard Andrew Jones, Violette Malan, Joseph A. McCullough, Sarah Newton, and William King. The magazine is edited by Howard Andrew Jones and published by Joseph Goodman of Goodman Games, with layout by Lester B. Portly. An appendix by Terry Olson provides DCC RPG game statistics based on some of the stories.

Each story is lovingly illustrated by industry stalwarts, and issue #3 features art by Samuel Dillon, Justine Jones, Doug Kovacs, Brad McDevitt, Russ Nicholson, Stefan Poag, Matthew Ray, and Chuck Whelan. The cover is by the legendary Sanjulian.

Issue #4

We have already started recruiting stories for issue #4 but there is still more work to do. Our target release date is March 2020, and all will be complete by then!

Interior illustration by Samuel Dillon
Interior illustration by Samuel Dillon

Here are the stories in issue #3!

The Face That Fits His Mask, By William King

He could change in mid-spring, tear out the man's throat, feast on his bones, drink his blood. The beast of the change gibbered in the back of his mind, begging to be unleashed. His fingers splayed, his nails began to lengthen….

By That Much, By Joseph A. McCullough

“You claim not to know me, and that is probably best for you, but do me a last service. If you can, gather what remains of my body and give it a suitable place to rest.” 

Tyrant’s Bane, By John C. Hocking

Someone in the garb of a royal guardsman came out of the stairwell.  His blue armor was covered with blood and there was a fist-sized hole in his cuirass through which Benhus could see the wall behind him.  There was a sword in each hand and, as he advanced, the dead man lifted both weapons.

Five Deaths, By James Enge

The heavy stone door moved easily upon its hinges; Morlock pulled it open and stepped through cautiously. Lernaion was about to follow when there was a sudden bodiless screaming and the door slammed shut.

The Forger’s Art, By Violette Malan

His head wore a surprised look when it landed a few feet away. The body slumped to the ground, pumping out blood onto the grass. 

“Why do people always talk too much?” Parno wiped his sword clean on the dead stranger's tunic.

The Second Death of Hanuvar, By Howard Andrew Jones

Hanuvar twisted, parried a blow that would have caved in his skull, and lost his balance. He saw the pit yawning, and the flame more than twenty feet below.

The Wizard of Rememberance, By Sarah Newton

The memnovore towered over him, its mouth distending into a translucent sleeve of slime. Acid burned Suven’s flesh, and he screamed. In the demon’s larval embrace, he prayed for oblivion.

Table of contents page for #3
Table of contents page for #3

Maps 

This is a small detail, but we think it's important. The early issues of pulp literature occasionally included illustrated maps and diagrams to help the reader understand the fantastic places being explored by pulp heroes. 

Tales From the Magician's Skull does the same. Doug Kovacs, famous for his fantastically illustrated maps in the role-playing-game space, has provided illuminated maps to explain some of the stories' locations. 

The T-Shirt

"There is no greater honor than to wear my visage upon your frail husk," says the Skull. "And now you can achieve this honor with a mere 25 of your monetary units. Dollars, I believe they are called." Simply select the T-shirt pledge level if you only want a tee. If you want a tee in addition to the magazine, select the magazine pledge level you want and add +$30 (which is $25 T-shirt cost plus $5 shipping).

Back Issues

We still have copies of issues #1 and #2 available. Select the appropriate pledge level to purchase these back issues while they last!

 Shipping Costs 

Physical copies will be shipped as they are ready. When you make your pledge, shipping charges will be applied. They are as follows: 

  • USA: $5 per issue
  • Canada, UK, and EU: $10 per issue
  • New Zealand and Australia: $15 per issue
  • Rest of world: $20 per issue 
Interior illustration by Justine Jones
Interior illustration by Justine Jones

 Game Statistics for DCC RPG 

Goodman Games is the publisher of this magazine, and also the publisher of the Dungeon Crawl Classics Role Playing Game (a.k.a. DCC RPG). Tales From the Magician's Skull will include a short appendix at the end of each issue with DCC RPG game statistics for the monsters, non-player characters, and magic items that appear in the stories. The inimitable Terry Olson has provided the DCC RPG stats. 

A Closing Word From The Skull

Risks and challenges

Goodman Games has run more than a dozen Kickstarters and published hundreds of books. The main risk here is delays if we encounter any printing issues.

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    Legion of the Skull Subscription

    You have pledged yourself into service of the Magician’s Skull. You shall be called upon to carry word of his deeds to all you meet and stand ready to aid him in his hour of need. In return you’ll receive an official membership card mailed to your door, along with the occasional fictional tale narrated in a deathly rasp, and inaugural status as a member in the Legion of the Skull. Your name will be printed in the benefactors list of Tales From the Magician’s Skull #4, and you will be sent a secret membership pin. Whenever the skull announces a Secret Meeting of the Legion of the Skull, you’l be invited. Oh, and you also get a 4-issue print+PDF subscription!

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