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The Animals Are Taking Over!

Once Upon a Time Third Edition lets you tell fairy tales of daring knights, dazzling royal courts, and adventure on the high seas. The basic game and its expansions include a wide variety of characters to populate your creations. But there’s a popular group of heroes in folklore who are ready to take center stage…the animals!

Animal Tales is the new expansion for Once Upon a Time, and it’s filled with characters, story elements, and endings that put the furred and feathered in the spotlight. Now players can introduce a wise Owl to counsel their characters, or a tiny Bug who humbles the regal Lion. Descriptive terms like Disguised as an Animal and Man-Eating can turn any human character into a fearsome beast.

Follow the tracks to your Friendly Local Gaming Store or online retailer to add more tails to your tales!

Help Patrick bring Nyambe to Uganda!

We were delighted to receive an email last week from Ben Parkinson at the Chrysalis Youth Empowerment Network. He told us about Patrick Aikonia, a 14-year-old roleplaying game enthusiast in Kampala, Uganda.

Patrick has been running Pathfinder and other RPGs for kids in the slums of Kampala and a rural village named Koro in Northern Uganda, as part of a project to help kids take hold of the entertainment, education, and empowerment potential that roleplaying games offer in areas that don't always provide enough of those things.

Patrick's new project is to write and run a LARP adventure for the kids in Koro based on Nyambe, our classic RPG set in Mythical Africa. He feels that both the 3.0 OGL system and the setting will be highly accessible to his gamers, and has been hard at work writing his adventure of school holidays.

Nyambe writer Christopher Dolunt and the Atlas Games staff are teaming up to send a package of materials to support Patrick's efforts and his love of RPGs. But there's a way gamers can support him directly in this project. He's trying to raise about $400 to cover costs of transportation, food, and activities for the Koro gamers between now and May 8th. Anything extra will go directly to Patrick's project.

You can read more and see pictures of Patrick and his band of adventurers on the project website. To make a donation, visit his crowdfunding page.


Out-of-print Ars Magica classics enter the digital library

We’ve opened the Ars Magica vaults to resurrect some classic books as PDFs. Order of Hermes, Tales of the Dark Ages, and Faeries are throwbacks to Ars Magica Second Edition, but their great characters, scenarios, and setting information can be easily adapted to your group’s later-edition sagas.

First published by Lion Rampant in 1990, Order of Hermes Second Edition defined and expanded the world of Ars Magica. It includes materials that were spread out into several books when adapted for Fifth Edition. You’ll find detailed descriptions of all 13 Houses, 13 Tribunals, and the complete Code of Hermes. It also contains loads of details about the lives and habits of magi, and story seeds for development.

Tales of the Dark Ages supplies your group with four classic adventures, ranging from political intrigue and gory horror. It even features an adventure written by Atlas Games founder John Nephew, because it was the first book Atlas Games ever published!

Faeries First Edition describes the reflected world that lies beneath Mythic Europe. It’s filled with the Tuatha de Danaan, pixies, centaurs, and other creatures that inhabit the lands of Arcadia. Faeries also gives Storyguides some excellent ideas for how to incorporate the fae folk into a saga.

Summon these digital treasures to fill your magical library today at e23.com!

Unknown Armies: Understanding the Backer Levels

As we approach the final hours of the Unknown Armies Third Edition Kickstarter, I thought we might use this occasion to summarize what folks are going to actually get with their pledges, since so much content has been unlocked.

The Ponies

The Pony levels occupy the lower third of the tier ladder. These levels give you PDF and EPUB versions of Book One: Play, with variations. If we unlock the Godwalker novel from Greg Stolze, all the Ponies get that, too.
  • Digital Sparkle Pony adds Book Two: Run, Book Three: Reveal, Book Four: Expose, and Book Five: Mine all as PDF and EPUB, and all the Campaign Starter Kits and the PDF Reference Companion.
  • Super Digital Pony adds the two Crazy Packs to all of that content.
  • Real Live Pony and Real Live Random Pony don’t include all of that additional stuff, but they do include a print copy of Book One: Play, and Real Live Random Pony includes dice.

The Checkers

The Checker levels start with a base reward of all three print books (loose, no slip case) and all the digital books (Book One thru Book Five, the Campaign Starter Kits, the PDF Reference Companion) plus the UA soundtrack cycles from James Semple.
  • Stacked levels means they include Crazy Packs.
  • Stones levels means they include dice.

The Chargers

The Charger levels start with a base reward of a Deluxe Set (that’s the three hardcovers with a GM screen slipcase) and all the digital books (Book One thru Five, the Campaign Starter Kits, the PDF Reference Companion) plus the UA soundtrack cycles.
  • Stacked levels means they include Crazy Packs.
  • Stones levels means they include dice.
  • The Adept level takes all of the above and adds a handmade postcard.
  • The Avatar level takes all of the above and includes your photo or a photo of an object you like or a place you like in the game, somewhere.
  • The Patron is the Avatar level but it switches out the postcard for being a patron of content in Book Five.

The Merchants

The Merchant levels are only for retailers who can verify that they are actually retail sellers. The baseline is two sets of loose hardcover books and extra copies of Book One, with the Charged Merchant including Deluxe Sets instead of loose hardcovers and the Ascended Merchant being all of that plus your store’s logo or photo in the game somewhere.

The Medium Well Done Level

This is the $999 level that throws in a ton of print and PDF content and bonus goodies and doesn’t require any additional shopping costs, plus one of two unique predictive boards handmade by Greg.

Add-Ons


If you want to custom-build your own reward, you can use a combo of any of the above reward tiers and one or more add-ons, which include more print copies, more dice, and so on. You can increase your pledge within Kickstarter to cover the cost of the add-on, but there’s no button to push or place to list which add-ons you want until we get around to migrating everything over to BackerKit.


So there you have it! Probably the best deal if you’re just wanting to go digital or you don’t want to pay for much shipping is the $55 Super Digital Sparkle Pony. Otherwise, we think the best deal for print is the $160 Stacked Charger with Stones, but even the $125 Charger level gets you all the printed stuff and all the digital stuff, so that’s a pretty nice place to park your pledge.

Unknown Armies: Illustrating the Occult Underground

This is the latest in our series of guest blogs by Unknown Armies collaborators and contributors. Today's blog is by UA3 contributing photographer and artist BenoĆ®t Felten.

When I first heard that UA3 would be partially illustrated with photographic material, I got really excited and started experimenting with some ideas. Reading the books, particularly book 3, I'd have all these cool ideas, but not all of them were practical to set up. Still, there were a number of things I wanted to try. One was to illustrate some freaky stuff, the other was to illustrate obsession. I first focused on the latter, and one of the first photos I came up with was this one:



I thought this was a good illustration of, in Greg Stolze's words, "doing it wrong."

I really like photography, and I think I'm quite good at it, but I'm not a graphic artist and my photoshop skills are pedestrian at best. So I tried to experiment with things I could get a good grasp on, and played around with tools that are not designed to do what I used them for. I did a series of portrait shots specifically for UA and I was trying to find a way of making them look creepy. For this next shot I used the tool that is so decried in photoshop because it's used to slim down models on magazine covers. As you can see that's not exactly what I did with it.



Finally, I tried to think of outdoor scenes that might look atmospheric and would work for the game. Things that would evoke the underside of urban life. I went through my photos in various places in the world and this one of Bangkok seemed perfect. It's one of those shots that seems to tell a story, but not one you can readily figure out. A great analogy for what Unknown Armies does best, I think.