About this project
Also Available: Once Upon a Time in Camelot
The acclaimed card game Once Upon a Time is getting dressed up with Hal Foster artwork! See Update #7 for details.
You can read a two excellent essays about Prince Valiant® The Storytelling Game and King Arthur Pendragon in these excerpts from Family Games: The 100 Best and Hobby Games: The 100 Best published by Green Ronin Publishing. (With permission from the authors and publisher. See this update for links to discount coupons for these two great books edited by James Lowder.)
- Prince Valiant® The Storytelling Game (essay by Robin Laws)
- King Arthur Pendragon (essay by Shannon Appelcline)
The first ten Prince Valiant® comic strips by Hal Foster are available as a free PDF from Fantagraphics Books. This is early work and before Prince Val makes his way to Camelot, but it's fun to see the start of his many adventures.
Outstanding for both beginners and experienced players, Prince Valiant® The Storytelling Game is a roleplaying game set in the Arthurian world of Hal Foster’s masterpiece comic strip. The game is by world-renowned game designer Greg Stafford (Runequest, King Arthur Pendragon). Like the majority of Greg’s games, the original edition of this game released in 1989 was published by Chaosium, Inc.
This storytelling game features deliberately simple mechanics to make it more accessible to younger players. The ease of play allows players to cooperate and enjoy the social activity of collectively creating a story, a pastime made easier as players take turns as the Storyteller.
Hal Foster’s comic strip has been praised for its art, story, historicity, and humanity. Prince Valiant and the other characters are brought to life through Foster’s storytelling and stunning artwork. Greg Stafford vividly communicates the wonder and adventure of Prince Valiant® in this new edition of his storytelling game, and players of the game find themselves continuing the traditions of the oral storytellers of old.
The new Prince Valiant® The Storytelling Game is a significant improvement over the original B&W softcover. The new edition is hardcover and notably, Hal Foster’s amazing artwork will appear in color. The entire rulebook will be full color! We’re adding an insane number of Foster’s amazing illustrations.
The text is also being updated. Though the game is already designed to be accessible to a wide variety of players, it nevertheless contains some portions that will be modernized.
Prince Valiant® The Storytelling Game is set in the same Arthurian era as the Prince Valiant® comic strip. It’s roughly around the time of the fall of Rome and the Saxon invasions of Britain, though castles and armor are depicted as they appeared at the height of the Middle Ages. While the game is grounded in an historical time when a morality different than ours was prevalent, Hal Foster’s characters are more modern than medieval. So while the world is violent and lawless, many of the inhabitants are more enlightened and possess modern sensibilities, just as your characters might.
All contests and challenges in Prince Valiant® The Storytelling Game are resolved by flipping (or “throwing”) a number of coins. Each result of a ‘head’ counts toward a successful resolution. Many actions require only head for a success, but more difficult or opposed actions will require several heads. Throwing all heads is a complete success and benefits with a bonus +1 head, while throwing all tails is always a failure. The number of tails is never significant.
A character’s Brawn or Presence (the game’s sole attributes) determines the number of coins thrown. You will often add the value of any of the 14 skills (of the Basic Game), such as Archery, Hunting or Riding.
We’ll offer more details about the game system, like extended opposed resolution and mass combat, in project updates. We’ll also discuss Advanced Character Generation that adds occupations and a number of additional skills like Disguise, Lore and Stealth to the game.
The first Prince Valiant® strip by writer, artist and creator Hal Foster was published on February 13, 1937. It has remained in continuous publication ever since. Though called a comic strip, Prince Valiant® is not cartooning; it has none of the conventions like word balloons or sound effects that are associated with conventional comics. Indeed, it is more a work of fine illustration.
Foster died in 1982, but talented successors have continued the amazing legacy of the comic strip. It is currently written by Mark Schultz and illustrated by Thomas Yeates. You can see the most recent page of the continuing weekly strip on Comics Kingdom and sign up for a membership to see past pages (free for seven days!).
The founder of the heralded game company Chaosium, Inc. and one of the most decorated game designers of all time, Greg Stafford feels his masterpiece is the Arthurian roleplaying game King Arthur Pendragon. The Prince Valiant® comic strip is one of the most central influences on that game, and Greg pays homage to it with Prince Valiant® The Storytelling Game, a game purposefully designed to introduce new players to roleplaying games. In his game, Greg has found expression for the most essential storytelling aspects of roleplaying games.
There are a few extra items included in some pledge levels that you may choose to add a la carte to your pledge amount. Many of these combinations are covered in the various pledge options, but you may find it easier to put together your own reward package.
Please note that you may only add a physical item to a pledge level that includes a physical reward so that shipping is included. For example, you may add a PDF of Prince Valiant® The Storytelling Game to a pledge for Prince Valiant® Coins, but not vice versa as otherwise the shipping for the coins will not be included and your fulfillment process will become more difficult (though not impossible — we can always fix it!).
Similarly, you may only add books to a pledge level that includes a book, so you cannot add a printed Prince Valiant® The Storytelling Game to a pledge for the Path of Chivalry. Do it the other way around. Thanks!
Here's a description of each of these Add-Ons:
With the help of hundreds of amazing supporters, we relaunched Storypath Cards earlier this year. The five decks from that project are still available for pre-order. We offered a sixth deck called the Path of Shadows in our recent project for the Hellywood RPG and that is also available for pre-order.
In keeping with the theme of Prince Valiant® The Storytelling Game we’re offering a new deck, Path of Chivalry. This game already holds cooperative storytelling in high regard, and granting more to players through the use of Storypath Cards seems to make perfect sense.
Prince Valiant® The Storytelling Game uses coins for its resolution system, but we understand that some experienced gamers just must! have! their! dice! You may use these d6 for King Arthur Pendragon or you may use them as a d2 for Prince Valiant® The Storytelling Game. These blue custom dice comes in sets of 6d6, and feature the arms of King Arthur (three gold crowns) in the place of a “6”.
How many coins or dice do you need for Prince Valiant® The Storytelling Game? Coin throws are often a small number of coins, especially for beginning characters, but advanced characters will require more. For instance, Knights of the Round Table throw 14 coins in combat.
This full-color pad includes character sheets for Prince Valiant® The Storytelling Game. Some are pre-printed with many different coat of arms options while others are blank for a coat of arms of your own design. There are also several pages of Storyteller Certificates that are rewards to players that can be used to invoke various Special Effects like “Knock an Opponent Senseless”.
Here's the current version of the character sheet:
These gold-colored metal coins are the size of a US quarter (25mm) and they are emblazoned with Prince Valiant’s head on one side and mounted Val (from the game comic strip and game logo) for the tails side. Sure, any coins can be used to play Prince Valiant® The Storytelling Game, but none are better than these! They come in sets of ten.
How many coins do you need for Prince Valiant® The Storytelling Game? Coin throws are often a small number of coins, especially for beginning characters, but advanced characters will require more. For instance, Knights of the Round Table throw 14 coins in combat.
The goal of this project is to fund an amazing new edition of Prince Valiant® The Storytelling Game, but the an updated edition of King Arthur Pendragon (Edition 5.2) will go to press while this project is live and so a printed version of that book is also offered as a reward. Pledges that include this book as a reward will count toward the stretch goals and allow us to produce an even more amazing new edition of Prince Valiant® The Storytelling Game.
KAP Edition 5.2 is a complete facelift from the prior edition as it features artwork by Jaime García Mendoza that first appeared in the Spanish translation of Edition 5.1. This edition features exhaustive corrections to the text, but it is essentially the same game as the recent edition. Both the PDF and printed editions of the game are available as rewards.
IMPORTANT: Current owners of KAP Edition 5.1 PDF on DTRPG will receive Edition 5.2 as a free update on DTRPG. As a result, any backer who pledges for KAP Edition 5.2 will receive the PDF of Edition 5.1 within a month of the conclusion of this project. That will be upgraded to Edition 5.2 when it’s available.
All shipping costs are automatically added to each pledge level. There is no additional shipping for add-ons of the same category. That is, there is one flat rate for all the coins, dice and cards rewards that ship together and another flat shipping charge for any pledge level that includes books plus any other add-ons, including more books. Those rates are shown below.
Prince Valiant® The Storytelling Game contains twenty “Episodes” in the back of the rulebook. These are 1-2 page adventure scenarios that provide all the information needed to tell a story for your characters. The situation, scenes, characters and goals are all described.
After this project achieves its funding goal, every additional $2500 of funding will add an additional Episode to the rulebook. Not just that, but these Episodes will be written by some of the best game designers creating today.
Here are the additions thus far:
- $7500 = Rick Meints (Chaosium, Inc.)
- $10,000 = Kenneth Hite (Trail of Cthulhu, Night’s Black Agents)
- $12,500 = Cam Banks (Marvel Heroic Roleplaying)
- $15,000 = Monica Valentinelli (Firefly)
- $17,500 = John Nephew (Atlas Games)
- $20,000 = Chris Pramas (Green Ronin Publishing)
- $22,500 = John Wick (7th Sea)
- $25,000 = Robin Laws (Feng Shui, Hillfolk)
- $27,500 = Nicole Lindroos (Green Ronin Publishing)
- $30,000 = John Harper (Blades in the Dark)
- $32,000 = BJ Hensley (Playground Adventures)
- $35,000 = Ed Greenwood (Forgotten Realms)
- $37,500 = Shannon Appelcline (Designers & Dragons)
- $40,000 = MULTIPLE AUTHORS! Indie RPG Designers: Meguey Baker (Psi*Run), Emily Care Boss (Shooting the Moon), Julia Ellingboe (Steal Away Jordan), Bret Gillan (The Final Girl), Jerry D. Grayson (HELLAS), Sage LaTorra (Dungeon World) Dev Purkayastha (The Dance and the Dawn), Epidiah Ravachol (Dread, Worlds Without Master) and Laura Simpson (Companions' Tale).
- $42,500 = James Lowder (novelist & editor)
- $45,00 = Jeff Grubb (lots of TSR, including Marvel Super-Heroes)
- $47,500 = Chris Klug (DragonQuest, James Bond RPG)
- $50,000 = MULTIPLE AUTHORS! White Wolf Alumni: Justin Achilli (Vampire: The Masquerade), Bill Bridges (Werewolf: The Apocalypse), Phil Brucato (Mage: The Ascension), Richard Dansky (Wraith: The Oblivion), Will Hindmarch (Vampire: The Masquerade), Ethan Skemp (Werewolf: The Apocalypse). And my partner in creating the entire World of Darkness, Mark Rein•Hagen.
- $52,500 = Jeff Barber (Blue Planet, Midnight)
- $55,000 — Steve Sechi (Talislanta)
** 1000 Total Backers unlock them all! **
- $57,500 — Lester Smith (Dark Conspiracy)
- $60,000 — MULTIPLE AUTHORS! King Arthur Pendragon Authors: David Larkins (Book of Feasts), Roderick Robertson (Path of Chivalry), Robert Schroeder (Book of Sires), Malcolm Wolter (Book of Records), and of course Greg Stafford!
© 2016 King Features Syndicate, Inc.
™ Hearst Holdings, Inc.
Risks and challenges
From now thru publication, this is probably the most straight-forward Kickstarter project I've yet posted. I have a digital text file, scanned artwork, fulfillment arrangements from other projects, and pretty much everything else already in place. Frankly, the toughest remaining part of this project is deciding what artwork *not* to use...!
Still, problems and delays can arise, especially when printing overseas. So while the project could potentially run late, there's virtually no chance of not fulfilling the project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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