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Subject: Very tempted..but... rss

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Ste.
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I am very tempted to back this project: extremely nice component quality, Mapboard, cards, figures etc and , as far as i can see, a very immersive play! thumbsupthumbsup...but i have many doubts about the Arthurian cycle legends when i see the Monster miniatures ...surely i am not an Arthurian Literature Teacher, but i suppose that Monsters like Dullahan, Warped One, Wyrdchild are off topic...IMO, of course whistle
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Alex
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One of their updates made it pretty clear the theme was quite a loose fit. Maybe there will be elements here and there but I think they pretty well took their own direction with it.

Think it'll still be a really good game.
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Ignacio Da Riva
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The Dullahan is a creature from the Irish folklore. Probably Washington Irving took the legend about it as inspiration for "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and the headless horseman.
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Ralph Tricoche
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Doesn't have to be strict. It's not non-fiction. Its whatever works. I wouldn't care if they Cthulu in this (please don't) but its the gameplay, atmosphere....etc that matter.
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Luke Heineman
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I’m not versed or familiar with the lore but I read somewhere that the original King Arthur was a celt and Arthur of Camelot was written MUCH later, was loosely based on the legends. I think someone said the game is based more on the Celtic legends.
 
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Ren
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Read update #7 for more info on the lore and the source material used
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/awakenrealms/tainted-gr...
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Thaddeus MacTaggart
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falagar wrote:
I am very tempted to back this project: extremely nice component quality, Mapboard, cards, figures etc and , as far as i can see, a very immersive play! thumbsupthumbsup...but i have many doubts about the Arthurian cycle legends when i see the Monster miniatures ...surely i am not an Arthurian Literature Teacher, but i suppose that Monsters like Dullahan, Warped One, Wyrdchild are off topic...IMO, of course whistle

Celtic mythology - after all Arthur was a Celtic warrior.
For lore they mix books about Arthur with tales and myths from his time.
Not necessarily traceable to King Arthur books but appropriate for his time, place and culture.

Seems fitting to me.
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Nathan Stiles
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falagar wrote:
i suppose that Monsters like Dullahan, Warped One, Wyrdchild are off topic...IMO, of course whistle


The warped one and wyrd child seem to be extrapolations of the fey wild that Morgana delved into to learn magic. Since the heroes of the realm are gone (dead?), if they didn't extend the mythology this would be a very bland game. But, if it's not for you-- just don't back it.
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Jeff M
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Good game, theme innacurate-thumbsup
Bad game, theme spot on with legend-thumbsdown

I don't care how "accurate" to the cannon of Arthurian lore the game is as long as it's a good, entertaining game.
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Barry Duran
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I'm fully backing, but since the "accuracy"/"authenticity"/"legitimacy" doesn't matter to me, I haven't chimed in. That said, anyone know the reason to tie to Arthurian Lore? The creativity seems to be so that it wouldn't matter to tie it to that - a nice way of saying they seem to be so far off the lore, why bother to even bring it up? Maybe it makes sense once I read the story. I know alternate/re-imagined lore is AR's thing as with Lords of Hellas with mechy versions of the gods, but at least there the gods looked like what they were depicted in the lore ( just mechanized versions ). Here, it close to wholesale divergence, so the tie to Arthurian Lore seems unnecessary texture. So why bother?
 
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John B
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Wait a minute. You're coming to a prototype fantasy boardgame that let's you toy with fate anyway and look for historical accuracy?
Maybe I'm overstating, but that's part of the magic. The facts, myths, or legends, are the backdrop for another really creative adventure in the realm.
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Barry Duran
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TwoDeeSix wrote:
Wait a minute. You're coming to a prototype fantasy boardgame that let's you toy with fate anyway and look for historical accuracy?
Maybe I'm overstating, but that's part of the magic. The facts, myths, or legends, are the backdrop for another really creative adventure in the realm.

No, no, I agree completely - all bets are off and we encourage deviation and creativity, new interpretations. My question wasn't one of judging, but if the deviation from the lore departs far enough, it's not recognizable so why even bother to tie it to the lore. I concede, small point maybe not even worth talking about - I'm asking more if I'm missing something, is there something that juices the lore here by being "Arthurian". That's all, conversation, not making a criticism or point.
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Ethan Krindle
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It's worth noting that, to the best of my knowledge, there isn't really any such thing as "canonical" Arthur lore. Arthurian legend is more like a collection of stories that have been retold, modified and added to over the years, with some stories being partial updates to older non-Arthurian stories that were subsequently absorbed into the Arthurian universe. Guinevere and many of the knights do not appear in early versions of the stories, Excalibur was a re-theming of a Celtic legend about the Rainbow Blade (and in Le Morte D'Arthur, the closest thing we have to a "canon" Arthur collection, the sword itself isn't even the magical item - it's the scabbard it comes in), and the grail legend is possibly at least a partial re-theming of older stories about a cauldron that could resurrect the dead.

I'm going off of memory there, so if there are any actual Arthur scholars in the house, I would welcome any corrections.

But the point is, Arthurian legend is more akin to comic books and the way they've been re-telling and reinterpreting the same stories for decades. So a board game repurporsing a set of chivalric romance stories to suit its own dark fantasy setting is actually entirely in keeping with the kind of thing Arthurian legend has always been.
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Ethan Krindle
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gelaar wrote:

No, no, I agree completely - all bets are off and we encourage deviation and creativity, new interpretations. My question wasn't one of judging, but if the deviation from the lore departs far enough, it's not recognizable so why even bother to tie it to the lore. I concede, small point maybe not even worth talking about - I'm asking more if I'm missing something, is there something that juices the lore here by being "Arthurian". That's all, conversation, not making a criticism or point.


That's a fair point. From what I've seen of the game so far, I can offer two comments, though keep in mind this is coming from an onlooker who doesn't know any more than you do:
1) It has been hinted that the Arthurian elements will start to reveal themselves more as the characters explore, particularly once players reach the third campaign (which is set during the time of Arthur, if I recall correctly). However, according to the KS FAQ, the designers are deliberately steering away from the later chivalric interpretations of Arthur and shooting more for the earlier Celtic fantasy interpretations, so it's unlikely that the game will ever be "Arthurian" in the chivalric sense.
2) This is just my guess, but some of the descriptions of the ForeDwellers make me suspect that this may be one of those "what if Arthurian legends are actually our toned-down mythological retellings of an ancient battle with extradimensional alien beings" type of settings. In which case the ties to any familiar Arthurian setting may indeed be tenuous.
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Phil Schmidt
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Personally, I haven’t seen anything that makes me thing of Arthurian lore. I just see dark souls. Everything is grim old and decayed. Even the box art is a dark souls bonfire.

I love me some dark souls. I backed hoping the project as a whole is as heavily influenced as the art.
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Enon Sci
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skies wrote:
Personally, I haven’t seen anything that makes me thing of Arthurian lore. I just see dark souls. Everything is grim old and decayed. Even the box art is a dark souls bonfire.

I love me some dark souls. I backed hoping the project as a whole is as heavily influenced as the art.


In the Kickstarter updates they speak to the Arthurian lore. To quote:

Quote:
Now, with Tainted Grail there was a similar process, involving tons of books and other sources - from 15th-century compilation by sir Thomas Malory to works of modern historians and popculture.

So, why is that so far you are mostly seeing strange Dark Souls-like Menhirs, Celtic-looking heroes, grim-dark monsters and completely unfamiliar places?

Where are the stories that matter? The Fisher King who waits for someone to cure his affliction. The one question that has the power to unlock the Grail (yet it takes Parzival many years to realize this). The dolorous strike that turns the land of legend into a wasteland. Arthur’s rise, reign, and end at the battle of Cammlan. The trials and tragedies of his knights…

These were important and very inspiring. They are all in the game – though with some twists.



https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/awakenrealms/tainted-gr...
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Thomas M
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Personally, I like the unique take on the legends (otherwise, you would be spoiled on the story). AR addressed this topic in Update 7:

Tainted Grail and King Arthur
We asked Krzysztof Piskorski, co-author of the game and Awaken Realms Lead Writer, to provide a bit more insights into how and why he implemented legends we all know, to totally new, fresh grimdark version seen from very different perspectives.

Lets hear Krzysztof thoughts on it!

Let me start by saying that at Awaken Realms we do not take important themes lightly. Back when I was a member of a larger team working on “This War of Mine” Book of Scripts, we dug really deep into authentic, journalistic accounts of the Yugoslav wars and other modern conflicts. We even had a real, experienced journalist on our team. Now, with Tainted Grail there was a similar process, involving tons of books and other sources - from 15th-century compilation by sir Thomas Malory to works of modern historians and pop-culture.

So, why is that so far you are mostly seeing strange Dark Souls-like Menhirs, Celtic-looking heroes, grim-dark monsters and completely unfamiliar places?

Where are the stories that matter? The Fisher King who waits for someone to cure his affliction. The one question that has the power to unlock the Grail (yet it takes Parzival many years to realize this). The dolorous strike that turns the land of legend into a wasteland. Arthur’s rise, reign, and end at the battle of Cammlan. The trials and tragedies of his knights…

These were important and very inspiring. They are all in the game – though with some twists. But to explain why our vision of Arthurian theme is slightly different from the most usual depictions found in popular culture, we need to dive a bit into real history. Please, bear with me (and if you’re a real scholar or Arthurian buff, sorry for some simplifications; I want to keep this next part as brief as possible).

From warlord to a king in shining armor
History places the real Arthur somewhere in the sixth century AD. He was a skilled military commander, famous for defeating the Saxon invaders. However, he probably wasn’t a king. He most certainly wasn’t a christian. And many key parts of his legend were added much, much later.

The first, sparse account of Arthur’s deeds can be found in “Historia Brittonum” written around year 828. This story was expanded in the year 1138 by Welsh cleric, Geoffrey of Monmouth. It was this guy who added some ingredients that are really important to the story of Arthur – Merlin, Guinevere, Excalibur, Avalon…

Not long after, the legend was introduced to 12th-century French courts by poet Christian de Troyes, and became a real medieval hit. Naturally, it was no longer a story about a rough warlord. Arthur and his knights were updated to fit the times. Chivalrous, pure, brave (though not without faults), they became the Middle Age superheroes of popular culture. Their stories reached even the most distant parts of Europe. Case in point: not far from Wrocław, where Awaken Realms is based, there’s a 14th-century knight tower in Siedlęcin, full of Arthurian-themed frescoes.

This popularity culminated in the most known compilation of Arthurian tropes, “Le Morte d'Arthur”, written by sir Thomas Malory. Then, the interest in the legend gradually waned, only to explode again in 19th century, fuelled by romantic depictions of Medieval Europe.

For Tainted Grail, we wanted to cut off most of the later, medieval additions. Go to the roots. To the mist-covered, sparsely populated island of warring tribes, druids, cruel rituals, paganism and laws that remembered the Bronze age. We wanted to marry tropes of Arthurian legends with older myths – using some great stories from Celtic mythology (after all, Holy Grail most likely evolved from the Cerridwen’s cauldron) and the or Welsh, Irish and Scottish folklore.

But most of all, we wanted to do something evocative and unusual.

Because as important as real sources and myths were, I’d lie if I told you it was all about them. Everyone in the team also brought in tons of their favorite pop-cultural inspirations – video games, TV series, movies, comics, books, art. And I feel that's OK. For some, slapping an inspiration from a modern grimdark video game on top of a classic such as Arthurian legend is simply wrong. But myths became myths only because they resonated in people who listened to them. They played on some strings hidden deep within our psychology and culture; they seemed important and relevant. That's why I see nothing bad in grafting what resonates with us today onto the myths. There’s plenty of timeless dilemmas and topics in the Arthurian lore, but there are also parts that are… less exciting. In Tainted Grail, we do not shy away from replacing the latter with whatever really rocks us.

Putting the Grail in the Tainted Grail
I also wanted to avoid power fantasies, so instead of turning players into key figures of the lore, we have decided to present an ensemble of interesting, broken individuals who slowly step into the world of legends. From the run-down village with a dying Menhir, where their story begins, round table, Camelot or Lady of the Lake seem really distant…

But in time, every part of the legend finds its place in our game. Right at the start of “Fall of Avalon”, players will start meeting knights of the Round Table, the Lady of the Lake, and many more important lore figures.

Naturally, there’s a small twist to everything. Lady of the Lake is not what she seems (and there’s a new, tragic story behind her). Knights of the Round Table are naturally not the same men who followed Arthur 600 years earlier. In our game, as these original knights died, names such as “Lancelot” or “Percival” became honorary titles – every time a knight dies, the Round Table finds a worthy replacement.

As for Arthur himself, things are… more dark and complicated. But I will stop here, not to spoil things.

The same can be said for Guardian Menhirs. Some of you correctly point out that their look and design doesn’t match ran-down villages and primitive ringforts that usually surround them within the game. There’s a very good reason for that, that you will be able to unfold.

Before the game ends, players will peel back layers of old myths and discover many often surprising truths. And maybe – just maybe – they will also feel something a bit deeper. Because as much as I feel certain about robbing the Arthurian legends of plate armour, towering castles or chivalry, I would never dare to take away things that really matter: the power and mystery of the journey, the importance of committing to a quest, even if it is an impossible one, or the fact that a right question is more important than the a right answer …

That’s why, somewhere out there in the world of Tainted Grail, a tired and weary Fisher King is sitting by the overgrown moat of his castle, waiting for someone to say the correct words.

Maybe it will be you – even if it takes you a journey of 1000 years to get there.

Hope that those insights were interesting for you guys. We are extremely proud to be working with Krzysztof, as he is a good guarantee that Tainted Grail will not only be an awesome game and immersive story, but something deeper.
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Thomas M
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For me the key phrase is:

"For Tainted Grail, we wanted to cut off most of the later, medieval additions. Go to the roots. To the mist-covered, sparsely populated island of warring tribes, druids, cruel rituals, paganism and laws that remembered the Bronze age. We wanted to marry tropes of Arthurian legends with older myths – using some great stories from Celtic mythology (after all, Holy Grail most likely evolved from the Cerridwen’s cauldron) and the or Welsh, Irish and Scottish folklore.

But most of all, we wanted to do something evocative and unusual."
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Becq
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Basically, think of it as an "alternate reality" Arthurian world. With finger quotes around 'reality', of course.
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falagar wrote:
...but i have many doubts about the Arthurian cycle legends when i see the Monster miniatures ...surely i am not an Arthurian Literature Teacher, but i suppose that Monsters like Dullahan, Warped One, Wyrdchild are off topic...

Many posters have already clarified that the roots of many of Arthur's legends are originally Celtic myth. This is true.

However, many neglect to mention that the historical Arthur (as far as historians and archaeologists can agree) was likely a Romano-British noble/ warlord/ self-styled "emperor". This is important. It's why I'm an Arthurian enthusiast, not an all-Celtic-myth enthusiast.

Sure, the Celts are interesting as a people and they have a bountiful mythos... just like most other cultures in the world. Not "exceptional" there. The reason Arthurian myth is exceptional is because of the highly dramatic backdrop: The last warrior king of a civilization at its end, acting as the last futile bulwark against the ultimate disintegration of Roman Britain, a unique synthesis of 2 contrasting, dazzling cultures on 1 small island at the NE edge of the Known World. Despite being drastically retooled and retold in the Middle Ages, this resonant theme remains in the works' memory. The theme even shows up again in The Lord Of The Rings, the concept of "the long defeat" which is deep in the consciousness of the British author JRR Tolkien.

But King Arthur takes this 1 step further than Tolkien's imaginings. Whereas Aragorn is a descendant of a blessed race of godly men, Arthur is a synthesis of the supremely cultured and the supremely wild. It would be as if High King Aragorn is the son of Man and Orc, and that lineage plays heavily into his success and his purpose as a hero, rather than being a blot in his "blood" that he overcomes in order to become a hero (you see this "sin of lineage" crap quite a lot in many works). This holds true whether you think Arthur is, in addition to being inspired by Rome, also influenced by Celtic or Sarmatian upbringing. The Knight and the Dragon.

https://www.tor.com/2017/12/29/beyond-good-and-evil-the-comp...
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