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A project to publish a new, updated tabletop RPG and the Complete Comics for Michael T. Desing's Army Ants.
A project to publish a new, updated tabletop RPG and the Complete Comics for Michael T. Desing's Army Ants.
85 backers pledged $4,216 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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You’ve just stepped into a world populated by military ants who defend their hill and queen against unending threats to their security. This backyard harbors ladybugs who operate a massive intelligence network, spiders who dabble in sorcery, potato bugs who wield the martial arts and ancient mystical practices to defy the natural laws of the world; it has a wasp empire forcing its tyrannical grip upon all corners of the land; it has centipede overlords ruling over underground cities where gladiator pits set insect against insect; it has garter snakes of incredible wisdom hidden in its far reaches, primeval lizards prowling its lost wilds, ancient artifacts hidden in its distant ruins, and cybernetic anomalies that hard-wire innovative technologies into their carapaces to boost their natural abilities. It has fleas roaming the countryside, picking through the scraps of the unending war and forging mechanical oddities. It has mosquito mercenaries and a fallen fly kingdom. It has a trashcan city, a desolate sandbox, and a deadly fire pit. It has a deep well with hidden secrets. Its rain storms presage incredible floods, and its winter turns the backyard into a barren waste. It’s a crazy place.

February 16 News flash: The new MTDAA RPG will feature a new, full-color cover by all-time-great RPG artist JEFF DEE!

Over the course of several years, from 1995 to 2000, I published a series of comic stories featuring my characters, Michael T. Desing's Army Ants (MTDAA for short). At the same time, I started work on an RPG system to support the comic that I have ended up revising and releasing four times in the last decade and a half.

I'd love to go back, clean up all the art (over 400 pages), tighten up some of the narrative, and put together a cohesive, complete edition of the comics. At the same time, I'm revising and updating the core rules for the MTDAA RPG, putting together a unified and dynamic game system that represents the best of the world and game design that I've learned over the last two decades of writing, creating and publishing.

As of now, the comics are done, but the process of cleaning up the pages, making my edits, and scanning/tightening up the art is going to take some time. The RPG is in play testing for the key concepts, although many of these are variations on mechanics I've been tinkering with for some time, and much of the game background and setting material is already finished.

I have absolute confidence in being able to meet the deadlines that I've set, and in delivering a product that you'll be glad you purchased.

If you want to know more about me, swing by my blog and say hello.

Goals:

  • $1,000 (GOAL MET!) - Funded! Woohoo. I’ll be publishing a 400-page comic story and 128-page tabletop RPG rulebook. Both are formatted as 6”x9” trades.

Stretch Goals:

  • $2,000 (GOAL MET!) – Wow. Okay, then the comic goes to 420+ pages, including rare stories, and the RPG goes to 144 pages, including more creatures, and additional adventures. I will also release a free PDF version of the Player’s Guide (the first 48 pages of the rules) so that all of your friends can have a copy to get them started as well! While I’m at it, everyone in at the $25 level or higher also gets a set of snazzy MTDAA tattoos.
  • $3,000 (GOAL MET!) – Sweet! I guess we have to push the comic to 435+ pages with sketchbook pages and some of the essays I wrote as part of the original series. The game goes to 160 pages, including the campaign setting of the Back Yard. In addition, everyone in at the $25 level or higher gets a nifty Michael T. Desing’s Army Ants patch to sew to your favorite military (or non-military, if that's your thing) garment. All backers at $50+ will get a pad of MTDAA Character Sheets for the new game.

  • STILL LOCKED:
  • $5,000 (LOCKED) – Holy Snot! The comic now pushes over 450 pages with the original covers from the comic series reprinted as well. The game hits 200+ pages, as I include more art, more adventures, and more thorough profiles of the various allied and enemy forces the ants may face. In addition to all previous stretch goal rewards, all backers at $50+ will receive a 12"x18" glossy map of the Back Yard campaign setting. Also, the ants will march on. I will launch a MTDAA webcomic (with weekly updates) and a free MTDAA newsletter (with bi-weekly updates). Both will launch in June, 2013.
  • $7,000 (LOCKED) - we go totally crazy. One random backer at $50 or more will get THE ORIGINAL ART that Jeff Dee created. That’s right. I am loathe to give it away, but if the community gives me this much support, I will absolutely do it. If we hit this stretch goal, I will also re-publish both the 2nd and 3rd editions of the MTDAA RPG as FREE downloads, and I will publish conversions as appendices to the new game that will allow you to adapt material from this edition to either 2E or 3E. This way, you’ll be able to use the dice pool systems of 2E or 3E (each with a different approach to dice pools) or the progressive die system of the newest Legacy Edition.

The t-shirt design...

Future Expansion...

I plan to expand the game into other genres, including sci-fi and fantasy...

Risks and challenges

I expect few, if any, delays. I am the sole creator of all content (excepting the new RPG cover), and the vast majority of it is done. I have been publishing both print and pdf materials for some time, and I will likely use Lulu for the print editions. I have used their services several times, so I understand the deadlines involved and the touch points I need to hit along this project's development. It's going to be several months of work to put it all together.

I will use my blog to regularly update the community on the process of all aspects of this project, and I will send regular e-mail updates as well.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    CADET. You've contributed to the war effort! Thank you.

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    PRIVATE. You receive a PDF copy of the new edition of the MTDAA RPG: Legacy Edition.

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    CORPORAL. You receive a PDF copy of the MTDAA Complete Comics.

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    SERGEANT. You receive PDF copies of both the MTDAA Complete Comics, and the MTDAA RPG: Legacy Edition.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    2nd LIEUTENANT. You receive the Sergeant reward, and a print copy of the softcover edition of the MTDAA RPG: Legacy Edition.

    International customers will add $20.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    SQUAD LEADER. You get a 4-pack of one of the three books I'm offering: the Comics Volume 1, the Comics Volume 2, or the Legacy RPG. You can add this to any existing order (to get a set of games for your friends) or get multiple versions of this (if you want to sell the comics/games in your store). Message me with the books you choose. For example, if you want the Comics Volumes 1 and 2, select this option at $60 and send me a message that you want both comics.

    FYI, all books will have a cover price of $14.95 US.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    1st LIEUTENANT. You receive the Sergeant reward, and a print copy of the softcover edition of the MTDAA Complete Comics.

    International customers will add $20.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    CAPTAIN. You receive PDF and print copies of the softcover editions of both the MTDAA RPG: Legacy Edition and the MTDAA Complete Comics.

    International customers will add $30.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    JUNIOR WARRANT OFFICER. You receive PDF and print copies of the softcover editions of both the MTDAA RPG: Legacy Edition and the MTDAA Complete Comics. You also get a fancy new MTDAA t-shirt.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    MAJOR. You receive PDF and print copies of the softcover editions of both the MTDAA RPG: Legacy Edition and the MTDAA Complete Comics. You also get both a snazzy MTDAA lunch box and t-shirt!

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER. You receive PDF and print copies of the hardcover editions of both the MTDAA RPG: Legacy Edition and the MTDAA Complete Comics. You also get a MTDAA t-shirt.

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    LIEUTENANT COLONEL. You receive PDF and print copies of the hardcover editions of both the MTDAA RPG: Legacy Edition and the MTDAA Complete Comics. You also get a MTDAA t-shirt and a lunch box.

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    BRIGADIER. (for International Customers in lieu of the Lt. Colonel Reward- this is the same as that reward tier, only with International shipping included). You receive PDF and print copies of the hardcover editions of both the MTDAA RPG: Legacy Edition and the MTDAA Complete Comics. You also get a MTDAA t-shirt and a lunch box.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    COLONEL. You receive PDF and print copies of the hardcover editions of both the MTDAA RPG: Legacy Edition and the MTDAA Complete Comics. You get a MTDAA lunch box and a t-shirt. In addition, you receive an original page of comic art (on 11x14 Bristol Board) from the complete comics.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    GENERAL. You receive PDF copies of both books and signed, limited edition (1 of only 25) print copies of the hardcover editions of both the MTDAA RPG: Legacy Edition and the MTDAA Complete Comics. You also receive softcover copies of both books. In addition, you receive an original page of comic art (on 11x14 Bristol Board) from the complete comics. You'll get a nifty Army Ants t-shirt and a lunch box to show off to your friends. They will be so impressed.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    ONE MAN ARMY! You receive PDF copies of both books, and signed, limited edition (1 of only 25) print copies of the hardcover editions of both the MTDAA RPG: Legacy Edition and the MTDAA Complete Comics. You also receive softcover editions of both books. In addition, you receive all 8 original pages of comic art (on 11x14 Bristol Board) from my favorite MTDAA story, 'Slab Smash'. I may as well throw in a t-shirt and lunch box, too, since you are so kind!

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Funding period

- (30 days)