Project image
)}
$9,719
pledged of 10.500 $pledged of 10.500 $ goal
146
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, June 26 2015 1:01 PM UTC +00:00
$9,719
pledged of 10.500 $pledged of 10.500 $ goal
146
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, June 26 2015 1:01 PM UTC +00:00

About

For information on the status of this deck and where to find the print-and-play rules, please visit:

http://www.culturlan.com/

Two years ago we started a journey of discovery in producing three decks of playing cards suffused with Celtic mythology. Now we are completing that set with our final deck suggestive of the wild, chthonic forces of nature as opposed to the stabilizing, societal forces represented in our second deck. In addition and unique to this Kickstarter campaign is an altogether new game, designed for use with our decks and capturing the heroic spirit of early society in Celtic Europe. 

  • Printing the 3rd and final deck in the Celtic Myth playing card series
  • Providing the rules and final game components to ARD RÍ, a competitive card game designed for 2 to 5 players in which players take on the role of ancient Gaelic warlords and vie amongst each other to become High King.

GAME REVIEW

GeekDad Review by Will James (7 June 2015).

THE CARDS

Each of our decks in this series contains imagery hand-drawn from the history and mythology of the Celts, presenting illuminations rich with symbolism. The first two decks in the series were printed and delivered to our Kickstarter backers last year (to whom we offer our deep gratitude). This final deck features vertically symmetrical (i.e. two-way) designs for the face-cards and back showcasing the more chaotic elemental forces of Celtic legend and cosmology.

To give you a sense of the detail contained in each deck, the image below showcases the King of Clubs (Spears) from each of our three decks: The first two (left to right) are from the previously printed decks, and the third is one of the cards which will be included in this deck (featuring the Femorian King, Balor).

For a look at all the court cards, continue reading below.
For a look at all the court cards, continue reading below.

Our cards are uncommon in that our artist, James Acken, has used his background as both a scholar and artist to draw these images, creating a detailed tapestry of symbolism throughout.

Evoking the highly involved symbolism of the Book Kells and other medieval artifacts, each Court card represents important figures from the Book of Invasions, Colloquy of the Ancients, and other medieval legends. In this image, Lugh and Balor, the embattled grandson and grandparent from the Second Battle of Magh Tuireadh, are shown in opposition to one another, Lugh with his unstoppable spear and Balor with his irresistibly poisonous gaze. As with the prior two we successfully Kickstarted, this deck will be printed by the United States Playing Card Company (USPCC) and will contain:  

  • a custom back,
  • 12 custom-designed Court Cards (Jacks, Queens, Kings),
  • 36 custom-designed pip cards (unique to the set, but common across it) ,
  • 4 custom-designed Aces (unique to the set, but common across it),
  • 2 custom-designed Jokers, and  
  • 1 info card concerning the company or a custom designed Cut Card (depending on if we break through the 12.5K Stretch Goal).
  • 1 info card detailing the symbolism of the card back and where one can go to find more information (www.culturlan.com). 

The tuck box featuring the card back, as well as the majority of the court cards, can be viewed below.

ABOUT THE PIPS

While the usual suits are recognizable in our deck, we present them as the four jewels of the Tuatha Dé Danann, magical items of immense power representing among other things martial prowess, wealth, abundance, and leadership.

All of the Spades are bisected by the Sword of Nuadha, also known as the Sword of Valor, which was said to help the bearer to defeat any opponent they faced in combat. It provided its bearer with the insight to discern order from the seeming chaos of battle.

The Diamond symbol surrounds the Lia Fáil, which is a stone in Ireland said to shout aloud when beneath the one meant to be the High King. Still standing in the heart of Ireland and comparable to the Stone of Scone of Scotland, the Lia Fáil represents the wealth and status inherent to the Celtic ideal of nobility and good rulership.

Hearts represent the Dadga's Cauldron embodying the principle of abundance. The cauldron throughout Celtic tradition is a symbol of poetic inspiration, brewing intoxicating pleasure from the viscera of human experience.

The Clubs are each pierced by the Spear of Lugh, as shown in the picture featured at the top of the project page. It was not only irresistible but the weapon of a true leader as no army could stand against the one who wielded it.

THE GAME

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ARD RÍ is a 2 to 5 player strategic competitive card game, designed for players ages 14 and up. Average game-play time is 30 to 60 minutes. 

In the game, players take on the role of ancient Gaelic warlords and compete among each other to collect the most wealth in order to force the other players to acknowledge them as the ARD RÍ (i.e. the High King).

There are two different types of cards in the game: 

  • Cattle cards, represented by the numbered cards and the Aces, and 
  • Warrior Cards, represented by the Court cards (i.e. Jacks, Queens, and Kings) 

Cattle cards are synonymous with wealth and are worth the number represented on the card. For example, a 10 is worth 10 cattle-points, and a 4 is worth 4 cattle-points. Aces each represent a Bull and are worth 15 cattle-points apiece. The different suits represent different types of cattle. Cattle cards are played face-up into a player’s gort (i.e. their cattle-field). This is the open area in front of each player. 

Warrior cards are ranked such that Kings will defeat Queens and Jacks in battle, and Queens will defeat Jacks. When cards of equal rank battle, both are killed. Warrior Cards are initially played face-down into a player’s Roundhouse, which is the open area adjacent to a player's gort. When they have proven themselves in Raiding or Defense, warriors are turned face-up and are considered "Proven". Proven warriors provide the player who controls them with additional benefits (though they also come with additional restrictions).

Play progresses through the seasons of the year, with each season providing players with the opportunity to engage in specified actions. For instance, Cattle are added to a player’s wealth in Spring, with Warriors flocking to banners in the Summer. Wealth is acquired from the wilds during the harvest time of Autumn, with the Harvest Feast of Samhain occurring at the end of that season. At the Harvest Feast, players are required to feed those Warriors they wish to remain under their banner. Winter is a time of hunting, raiding, and politicking, when fortunes can change in a heartbeat. 

Play continues until one player accumulates enough wealth or warriors to force the issue and cause the others to acknowledge them as High King. 

The game comes with three editions:

  • a Children's Edition (designed for children ages 5 to 13), 
  • the Basic game (described above), & 
  • an Advanced Edition which features special powers for each of the figures displayed on the Jacks, Queens, & Kings - drawn directly from the mythology.

Please note that while 1 deck can support a 2-player game, we recommend 2 decks for games of 3 to 4 players, and 3 decks for 5-player games.

THE TUCK

For our third deck, we are offering our packing in Classical Gaelic, the common ancestor of Irish and Scottish Gaelic.
For our third deck, we are offering our packing in Classical Gaelic, the common ancestor of Irish and Scottish Gaelic.

THE CARD BACK

THE COURT CARDS

In the emblem of the diamond is the silhouette of the Lia Fáil.
In the emblem of the diamond is the silhouette of the Lia Fáil.
The spear of Lugh is at the heart of the suit of clubs.
The spear of Lugh is at the heart of the suit of clubs.
Hearts are based on the cauldron of the Daghda, a cauldron that shows up in Welsh mythology as a cauldron of poetic inspiration.
Hearts are based on the cauldron of the Daghda, a cauldron that shows up in Welsh mythology as a cauldron of poetic inspiration.
Spades are based on the Sword of Nuadha.
Spades are based on the Sword of Nuadha.

ABOUT THE SYMBOLISM

The early cultures of Europe conceived reality as being more than what it seemed. Appearances were inherently deceiving because super-normal powers could appear human, animal, and any combination thereof. Giants were not always enormous, hulking monsters but could appear as a normal human being or an insignificant animal. This is why the ogre in the original Puss in Boots could turn into a mouse and be eaten by the eponymous hero. 

Nevertheless, the clever and resourceful could look past appearances and see the reality behind them by reading the unobtrusive clues. These clues form a vocabulary of symbols associated with the powers behind them: the swans associated with Manannán mac Lír, the battle, madness and death associated with the Neamhain, or the golden, youthful beauty associated with the Bodhbh Dearg. Each image on the cards is constructed by assembling such symbols and depicting them with the clarity and realism expected by modern audiences. The lover of Celtic myth, returning to such collections as Jeffrey Gantz’s Early Irish Myths and Sagas or Tales of the Elders of Ireland by Ann Dooley and Harry Roe, will find the characters more familiar and recognizable having studied our cards. 

In addition, all of the images reflect the material culture of the medieval and classical Celts, incorporating La Tène and Hallstatt designs with that of the Book of Kells and Tara Brooch among many others. Our goal is to reconnect with the artistic inspiration of the Celts from the long past and extrapolate it into our time, remaining true to the original muse while bringing it into our modern world. 

ADD-ONS

ADDITIONAL DECKS ($12):

Please add $12 for each additional deck you'd like us to include with your pledge rewards. You will be able to specify which deck you'd like mailed to you (the asymmetrical, the original symmetrical design, or our newest deck) at the end of the campaign.

Canadians: Please include an additional $3 per deck for S&H.

All other international locations: please include an additional $6 per deck for S&H.

Asymmetrical Deck
Asymmetrical Deck
Original Symmetrical Deck
Original Symmetrical Deck

STRIPPER DECKS ($15): Please add $15 for each stripper deck you'd like us to include with your pledge rewards.  

Canadians: Please include an additional $3 per deck for S&H. 

All other international locations: please include an additional $6 per deck for S&H.

CHALLENGE COINS ($12):

The two sides of the Challenge Coin
The two sides of the Challenge Coin

Each coin is 1.75" with an antique silver finish and a reeded edge (note please that the metal is NOT silver; it has a finish designed to make it appear similar to antique silver). The designs and text are raised. 

Additional items which incorporate the history and mythology of the Celts are available on our website.

PLEDGE LEVELS

STRETCH REWARDS

$17,500. A cut card included with the deck, featuring custom artwork on both sides of the card. Limited edition (Quantity limited to the print run associated with this Kickstarter project). Provided to all backers receiving a deck.

$22,500. Videos of game-play, rules clarification, and stories about the mythology posted to our website, based on requests by backers.

$27,500. App provided to all backers to serve as a reference for the Celtic figures and their related powers in the advanced version of the game.

$35,000. Deluxe version of downloadable rules which includes in-line graphics and unique artwork. Provided to all backers.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

James Acken, Ph.D., is both a professional illustrator with a focus on design as well as a trained medievalist with a focus on early poetic culture in Northern Europe. He brings more than seven years’ experience researching and teaching mythology, history and related subjects at the university level. The combination of his academic background with his artistry provides him with the ability to produce images that are deeply informed by myth and long-established traditions of storytelling.

ABOUT THE GAME DESIGNERS

Ard Rí has been designed by three members of the Cultúrlán team and refined by an army of play-testers, to whom we owe a deep debt and are profoundly grateful. 

The three members of the Cultúrlán team are James Acken, Jay Henry, and Todd Silverstein. All three have been gaming addicts from an early age and can still often be found playing games or "discussing" rules while desperately searching for supporting evidence of their interpretation on BoardGameGeek and other sites.

ABOUT THE COMPANY

We at Cultúrlán seek to re-contextualize historic practices and beliefs in an effort to make them more accessible. Through a combination of free market tools, academic expertise, and innovative creativity, we attempt to blur the boundaries between education and entertainment, offering highly functional products and services informed with a deeply knowledgeable aesthetic.

www.culturlan.com

Risks and challenges

We've previously successfully funded and printed a playing card project through Kickstarter and we have a very good handle on the process. Additionally, we are working with great people at the USPCC Custom Division to print these decks. To top things off, the game has been playtested extensively and almost all of the card artwork is finished; we are simply waiting on the funds to go to print.

All of that said, there is always the chance of an unexpected delay.

We will work hard to ensure no delays occur, but should we at any point believe we are behind schedule, we promise to advise you of the issue and what we are doing to resolve it. We also promise to stay in contact with you at least once per week until project rewards are shipped. And if the project is funded, rewards WILL be shipped.

We take the trust you place in us quite seriously, and we will work hard to ensure you never have cause to regret your decision to back us. We will do our utmost to be responsive to emails and comments. But there's no need to take our word for it. We encourage you to read the comments, updates, and reviews of our other projects here on Kickstarter, as well as reviews of our products and company on sites such as Amazon.

Feel free to email us with any questions, comments, or concerns you have either here on Kickstarter or at <info@culturlan.com>.

Thanks for your support.

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    EARLY BIRD

    Includes one deck + a print-and-play PDF containing the rules to ARD RÍ.

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    an Deic sin fhéin

    Receive the final symmetrical deck in the Celtic Myth playing card series + a PDF containing the rules to ARD RÍ.

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    "BRIDGE SET" - BOTH SYMMETRICAL DECKS

    Receive both Symmetrical decks in the Celtic Myth playing card series + a print-and-play PDF containing the rules to ARD RÍ.

    NOTE: Our decks are Poker-sized, and are therefore 1/4" wider than standard Bridge-sized cards.

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    ALL THREE DECKS

    Receive both Symmetrical decks and the one Asymmetrical deck in the Celtic Myth playing card series + a print-and-play PDF containing the rules to ARD RÍ.

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    UNCUT SHEET

    Receive one uncut sheet of the Symmetrical Deck. *Please note that S&H is not included in this pledge level.

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    TWO UNCUT SHEETS

    Receive one uncut sheet of each of the two Symmetrical Decks in the Celtic Myth Series. *Please note that S&H is not included in this pledge level.

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    ONE BRICK

    Receive a full brick (12 decks) of the final symmetrical deck in the Celtic Myth playing card series + a print-and-play PDF containing the rules to ARD RÍ.

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    MIXED BRICK

    Receive a mixed brick of all three decks in the Celtic Myth playing card series (4 of each deck) + a print-and-play PDF containing the rules to ARD RÍ.

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    ONE BRICK (STRIPPER DECKS)

    Receive a full brick (12 decks) of Stripper decks of the final symmetrical deck in the Celtic Myth playing card series + a print-and-play PDF containing the rules to ARD RÍ.

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    BENEFACTOR

    Receive a special thank-you recognition in the official rules release of ARD RÍ (both the original Gaelic-heavy and Anglicized versions), 4 bricks of each deck to share with friends and family, and an uncut sheet of each deck as well. You will also guarantee the "App" stretch reward will be released and provided for free to all backers.

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Funding period

- (31 days)