Arthur Lives! is a roleplaying game of supernatural adventure, conspiratorial intrigue, and occult mystery using the Fate Core system. Heroes and villains from Arthurian myth have been reincarnated, coming back to life in the cinematic present. At first, these individuals don’t remember their former lives, but as they begin to recognize each other, old feuds and tragic affairs resurface. Why has the King returned now? Does some unseen danger threaten? And if the answer is yes, will these legendary heroes be able to put their old grievances aside long enough to oppose it?
The 1st edition of the game was published in 2009 by Vigilance Press and used the True20 system. This new 2nd edition is a ground-up redesign of the game, capitalizing on Fate's narrative style of play. It includes:
Character creation for knights, damosels, magicians, and kings, allowing you to create modern reincarnations of (almost) every character from Arthurian myth.
Detailed character creation advice for ten specific Arthurian incarnations, from the famous (Arthur, Guinevere, and Merlin) to the infamous (Balin, the Knight with Two Swords, or Nimue).
Enchantment, a complete magic system with 15 different magical talents, from Binding to Weather Control.
Magical treasures and "echoes" of Arthurian objects like the Sword in the Stone and Excalibur, Gawaine's legendary horse Gringolet, or even Camelot itself.
A large bestiary of dozens of fantasy creatures from across the Faerie Veil, supernatural denizens of our world, rival incarnations, mundane threats, and even angels and demons, all to challenge your characters.
Detailed GM advice for running Arthur Lives! campaigns, including the secret history that explains why all this is happening now. (Hint: it's got to do with Nazis, John Dee, and William Ashbless.)
Jason Tondro, aka Doctor Comics, is the author of The Deluxe Super Villain Handbook and The Great Game for Fainting Goat, a contributor to Stark City, and the author of the True20 edition of Arthur Lives! He has a PhD in Literature from the University of California Riverside, and is the author of Superheroes of the Round Table: Comics Connections to Medieval and Renaissance Literature, where he got to write about Mage and Camelot 3000, among many other things. Jason is the writer of AL! 2nd edition. He gets to teach Arthurian lit and comics every year, and is basically the luckiest guy in the world.
Michael Kucharski is a classically trained artist and fan favorite whose gaming work includes the Amber Diceless RPG and its spiritual successor Lords of Gossamer and Shadow, and much work for Palladium over the years. Michael's work will introduce each chapter of Arthur Lives!
Dan Smith describes himself as "the former 90s art nuisance." He illustrated In Nomine for Steve Jackson Games, along with many books in the GURPS line. Dan is bringing his bold, energetic style to the Arthur Lives! adversaries chapter.
Jon Gibbons is the artist and co-creator of Extreme Earth, a dystopian superhero setting, and The After, a post-apocalyptic western. Jon will be illustrating several of the Paths and sample incarnations.
Dionysia Jones is the lead artist on Tianxia, published by Vigilance Press. She provided the cover to Arthur Lives! and contributed character designs for several of the incarnations featured in the book.
One of our stretch goals is an adventure anthology written by the best minds in the business. Here they are!
Richard Bellingham is a long-time Fate author and a contributor to many Fate projects; he created The Secrets of Cats and the SF/fantasy epic Knights of Invasion, in which a feudal fantasy world is invaded by high-tech aliens.
Chuck Rice is the creator of AZ: After Zombies and the author of many, many RPG products, including Blood & Fists for d20 and its sequels. He demonstrated his Arthurian chops with Legends of Excalibur, a d20 adaptation of Arthurian myth.
Walt Robillard is a prodigious podcaster and the brains behind SUPERS!, the Comic Book RPG. He has written adventures for many game systems, including ICONS, White Star, and Savage Worlds.
Rob Wieland is another established Fate creator, and is the author of another Arthurian Fate game: Camelot Trigger. He's also written Save Game and Kaiju Incorporated: the RPG, and contributed to many other projects.
The book is written, and is almost 150,000 words. The basic funding goal for this Kickstarter is to pay for layout and writing, and get the book out there to you, the fans and players. If you back the book at $5 or more, you'll get the raw text for Arthur Lives! 2nd Edition immediately, and you can start playing it right away.
- Our first stretch goals add art from Michael Kucharski and Dan Smith, bringing the book to about 250 pages.
- At $10,250, Jason will write Drakes on a Plane, an introductory adventure designed to bring a group of PCs together and awaken some of them to their true nature as incarnations of Arthurian myth.
- A couple of the stretch goals add play aides: a custom character sheet for Fate Core and AL!, and a handout that illustrates the complicated relationships between the major characters.
- At $13,000, the folks at Norse Foundry will produce a set of official Fate dice for Arthur Lives! These are handsome metal dice in Arthur's colors: antique gold, with red + and - signs.
- At $19,000, we unlock the Special Edition, a highest-quality "Director's Cut" of Arthur Lives! which will include handwritten notes from the author on every page, as well as all kinds of other goodies like concept art and other stretch goals.
- Our adventure anthology authors join the Round Table at $24,500: Richard Bellingham, Rob Wieland, Chuck Rice, and Walt Robillard, and Jason will write a second adventure to add to that anthology.
- Our final goal is a fiction anthology of tales of modern knights, magicians and damsels exploiting the world of Arthur Lives!
Every backer who contributes $5 or more gets the raw text for Arthur Lives! 2nd Edition, and can start playing right away. No waiting!
Your further support for the project gets you the PDF ($20) or hardback edition + PDF edition ($50) of Arthur Lives! 2nd Edition. Books are being printed on demand through DriveThruRPG, and you will pay their shipping costs when you redeem your reward.
As stretch goals unlock, we'll be able to offer PDFs and paperback editions of Drakes on a Plane, the adventure anthology, and other goodies.
We have some exciting and limited reward tiers for fans of our amazing artists -- Michael Kucharski and Dan Smith -- and for those who would like to have some input on the game itself.
At $150 and $200 you can get one of the few remaining signed & numbered prints of Michael's Excalibur and Arthur of the Britons. At $250, Dan will draw your character. And at $450, you can tell Jason which Arthurian character he needs to add to the book with special rules and roleplaying advice -- and we'll illustrate that character according to your description.
All of these special reward tiers include everything at the $50 level, so you're also getting the hardback edition, a PDF edition, and PDFs of any stretch goals we reach.
While every tier has been carefully constructed to maximize what we can offer, sometimes there is that odd bit of kit you absolutely must add to your pledge. As the campaign rolls on, we hope to unlock more of these to offer to you.
- Additional PDF - $20 USD: Need an additional digital copy of the completed book for some one at the table? Add this to your pledge.
- Additional Printed Copy - $50 USD: Sometimes you want an extra copy of the book at the table or to send as a gift. Add this to your pledge for an additional printed copy (You pay the shipping).
Risks and challenges
You don't need to worry about the book going unfinished. It's already written. Even a $5 pledge will get you a copy of this raw text. The artists are all pros and their illustrations are already coming in. But we want to take Arthur Lives! to the next level (a printed book) and maybe the next level after that: a special edition with enough Arthurian goodies in it to keep you questing for years.
Fainting Goat has a track record going back years, and has put out many RPG books, both through Kickstarter and traditional publication methods. They're the publishers of Stark City, The Great Game, Improbable Tales, and the Deluxe Super Villain Handbook.
HAZARD Studios is running the Kickstarter, and they have a long history of success. In particular, they ran the Super Villain Handbook Kickstarter, which was a rousing success that hit every stretch goal we could come up with. HAZARD publishes SUPERS, the Comic Book RPG, and with their partner Zenith Comics they've published the superhero comic Heroic.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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