NY Times: D&D as a Literary Tutorial

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“Though Mr. Díaz never became a fantasy writer, he attributes his literary success, in part, to his ‘early years profoundly embedded and invested in fantastic narratives.’ From D&D, he said, he ‘learned a lot of important essentials about storytelling, about giving the reader enough room to play.’

And, he said, he was typically his group’s Dungeon Master, the game’s quasi-narrator, rules referee and fate giver.

The Dungeon Master must create a believable world with a back story, adventures the players might encounter and options for plot twists. That requires skills as varied as a theater director, researcher and psychologist — all traits integral to writing. (Mr. Díaz said his boyhood gaming group was ‘more like an improv group with some dice.’)

Great New York Times article on the way playing Dungeon & Dragons honed storytelling skills for many authors — click here to read the whole thing.

The Final Stretch

We are in the final stretch! February 2 is the last day to back the Kickstarter campaign for Ares Magazine.

It has been an exciting month! We’re encouraged by the response we have gotten so far and look forward to getting started with production. We’ve received a large number of story submissions—more than enough to fill several issues—ranging from horror and fantasy to hard science fiction. We’re also considering future game ideas, with settings on past and future Earth as well as worlds beyond the solar system.

Remember, the Kickstarter offers a variety of pledge levels, many of which are subscription-based, extending substantial savings over cover price. There is also a fiction-only subscriptions plus many Canadian-only pledge levels, in which the price of shipping is less than that required for other international backers.

The Kickstarter also offers various pledge levels featuring add-ons, some of which will only be available for Kickstarter backers. For example, a limited number of pledges of $750 or more will get a pledger’s caricature on a playing piece in War of the Worlds, the game included in the first issue.

If you haven’t backed us yet, now’s your chance!

Pledges We Won’t Haze

We want to provide our customers with a range of products to best suit their tastes, so we’ve unlocked various new pledge levels on our Kickstarter campaign.

The bulk of the new pledge levels are subscription-based, offering substantial savings over the cover price. For example, the ITHACAN gives pledgers six issues of quality science fiction wrapped around a unique board game for $120, which is $60 off the cover price. The ATHENIAN was designed with collectors in mind: two copies of the first six issues for $235, a $125 savings off the cover price.

We also unlocked fiction-only subscriptions plus many Canadian-only pledge levels, in which the price of shipping is less than that required for other international backers.

Our Kickstarter campaign also offers various pledge levels featuring add-ons, some of which will only be available for Kickstarter backers. For example, a limited number of pledges of $750 or more will get a pledger’s caricature on a playing piece in War of the Worlds, the game included in the first issue. One backer became our Superhero after pledging $1000, securing his caricature on the Superhero game piece.

Head over to our Kickstarter now and pick the pledge level that best fits you!

We Have Spent Many Years Before the Mast(head)

Many of our Facebook followers, KickStarter Backers, and inquisitive visitors have asked who we are. It’s a fair question. We’ve done a pretty good job describing what we’re trying to do, but haven’t spent much time talking about who we are. We worked up a draft of what the imprint of Ares Magazine will look like. As long as we were at it, we added some previous jobs some of Ares staff have held and a few fun facts about some of us. That should provide you with a bit of an introduction.

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We’re Under Attack!

False alarm. It isn’t us. It’s the British…in the 1880’s.

War of the Worlds

War of the Worlds is a new game from Bill Banks’ and is scheduled to print as the in-magazine game for the premier issue of Ares Magazine.

War of the Worlds is a two-player game of the conquest of Earth and the survival of humanity! The military forces of Queen Victoria gather to repel an attack by the diabolical Martian forces under the command of the evil Martian overlord.

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The Martians have huge, mechanical tripod walkers, flying saucers, death rays, missile bases, and giant monsters at their disposal. They can also elicit help from sympathetic (read gullible) human proxies.

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The humans rely on conventional infantry, cavalry, and artillery, and perhaps a hero, for their main defense. Fortunately, the human player may get assistance from a mad scientist who can field an Infernal Machine that the Martians won’t find amusing.

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The Martians have a choice of five different victory conditions. Part of the challenge for the human player is to determine the Martian overlord’s true objectives so they can be best thwarted.

Play Time: 60 Minutes

Ages: 12 and Up

Solitaire Suitability: Low

The Final Countdown

Our KickStarter launch begins in four days.

Tick…tick…tick…

We decided to remind the Universe to mind the calendar. As long as we were going to do that, we might as well give everyone a peek at some bits of the first issue. We made another movie. It’s more of a commercial, really.

Watch it. We know how much you love commercials.

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