Grand Tribunal America 2010: Mythic Tahoe

Greetings! I'm writing to let those interested know that the American Ars Magica convention is confirmed for 2010. It will be held Friday, August 20 through Sunday, August 22 in Mythic Tahoe at The Village at Squaw Valley. More details and registration will be up soon at the website, The committee hopes to see many of you there, so please save the date!

I reckon I'm in for that one.

Can't you have one of these tribunals at Durenmar? sigh

Hey, you arrange it and I'll get there too.

If it is in Durenmar I might even convince my girlfriend to come along. For the forest, since she doesn't care about the dragons and stuff (poor innocent creature...)


Just one question (for now): if you have any "special rate" arrangement for lodgings, how much will the 3 days / 2 nights lodgings set back our home-covenant finances?

I believe the negotiated rate is $130 a night. They are suites with a king bed, a fold-out queen bed, and full kitchen, so $260 would provide lodgings both nights for as many as four people.

Of course, but it's only every 33 years. :wink:

Dammit, man! Couldn't this migrate out to Indianapolis and, you know, coincide with Gencon? :smiley:

Atlas is there, lots of other games are there, lots of gamers are there, and you'd fairly have your tables knocked over with people wanting to try out a few one-shot ArM games. I see them on a lot of other boards:

"I'd love to play Ars Magica, but I can never find a table."
"If only I could get my group to try it."

I ran "And not to Yield" there last year. It was well received with almost every role filled. I might run it again, I'm kicking around trying a table or two from ToME. I'm pretty sure those tables will fill before preregistration is even near closing. Ars is my best love, but I also like Cthuhlutech, Conan, Wings of War, OGL /Pathfinder, and maybe some 4E with the right GM. And why miss the chance to try out Mouse Guard, or get in a little Unknown Armies, perhaps even a shot at Grimm? Then there's all the new stuff being demo'd in the dealer room.

Seriously... Gencon's a great opportunity to grow the audience for the game... why miss it? I realize this might be previously established, but dang... This game is fantastic. The magic system is the best. The storytelling aspects are finally being recognized (and incorporated, to some small extent, if I read the latest DMG 2 for 4E correctly). It's a game where XP does grow power levels, but not in a crazy sense. I really believe it's one of the better games out there and more people would play it if they got the exposure...why not give that exposure at Gencon?

(That, and I'll admit, I can't hit two conventions in a single month, and given the choice between an Ars convention and the Great Grand-daddy of them All, well, Gencon wins. Grand Tribunal at Gencon would just be fitting.)

These points were brought up in dicussion. Not to re-hash all of that discussion, but the short version is that the feeling of beeing our own crew rather than lost in the noise (especially at Gencon) was the better path simply because most of the past attendees were multi-system gamers and we would lose focus and a sense of community. There were other points on both sides. It was well-balanced but ultimately, the people who were tagged with organizing felt that the additional organizational chores for the small convention were outweighed by the benifits. Further questions can be referred to this years' con chair.

For those that are on the bubble oabout this, consider that this weekend could be part of a vacation trip to one of the most beautiful parts in the USA could make the trip worthwhile. I'm going to be there -- sailing and hiking during the week and then reconnecting with friends over the weekend.

Just a thought.


It's not impossible that some future year we will arrange for the con to exist as a satellite to Gencon... It mostly depends on who is available to set it up and run it. Right now we've got a lot of people in California who are willing to help make it happen, so California has gotten the nod the last few years. Both Chicago and Minneapolis have been proposed for the future, though.

Being that I am the current con-chair, anyone who does have specific questions about this year's location, please feel more than welcome to email me at We have just finalized the contract and expect to have the website updated with all the important information before the month's out. Keep and eye out!

All the best,

Hi everyone! I am happy to announce that registration for the Grand Tribunal America convention is open! The web site is and the cost is only $25 if you sign up before June. Information for making reservations at the hotel is posted as well. Hope to see you there!

Also, if you would like to run a game, please write to Toshi, Besides the acclaim and the feeling of great power it gives one to GM, you get tickets for our raffle of fabulous prizes. Currently, this includes a rare misprinted copy of City & Guild with Ancient Magic hidden inside!

Hello all! The convention chair has asked that I coordinate sotryguides for the this year's get-together in Tahoe. For those interested in running a session or two at this years convention, please contact me through private message.

The schedule is basically set up in 4-hour game blocks. If your session is likely to run long, we can certainly accomodate it.

Please be aware that if you wish to run a LARP session, they will be welcome but please design it such that you can run it with less than 20 people as past participants have wanted to participate in a variety of sessions.

The committee (and chair in particular) has done a spectacular job this year. All the attendees are going to have a truly fantastic time.


We're slowly accumulating an incredible haul of prizes for this year's con, and I just have to brag about it. We currently have more books to give away than we have registered attendees, and that's not counting all the other stuff like CDs, dice, objects d'art, Arcane Connections, and other fantasy medieval swag that's accumulating in the prize chest (and seriously, it doesn't all fit! I'm going to need a bigger chest!). Also, we're giving away extra sigils to everyone who brings a donation, so there will undoubtedly be even more great stuff.

Today it is exactly ONE MONTH until the convention. I'm incredibly excited about it, so I have to babble on about it some more. Here's a few additional details about the magical splendor that awaits the lucky attendees this year:

  • Adventure. There are lots of exciting games planned (though we can probably fit a couple more into the schedule if any attendees are thinking they'd like to run something). We have a live-action ice-breaker game in which magi compete in a House Merinita Mystery Cult tournament (written by John Post and me). Our esteemed praeco is running a Hibernian adventure where the main characters are all apprentices. There is at least one game that takes place in the Magic Realm, and also the sequel to last year's thrilling Hermetic murder mystery. And, I've just learned, we will be running an official playtest of an upcoming Ars Magica publication, though I can't say more until the players are protected by the Parma Charta (NDA). :slight_smile:

  • Hermetic culture and lore. Everyone attending will receive one voting sigil (basically a raffle ticket, though it is also part of the game shuffler) and will use it wisely. Everyone who runs a game, contributes to the raffle, or wins Verticus's famous Verditius item crafting contest, wins additional sigils, too. We have souvenir booklets for everyone that include a special welcome from the line editor and contact information for our sodales. There will be discussion panels with authors and playtesters about some of the inner mysteries of the game, and through our magic box that casts Summoning the Distant Image, you can meet the players and authors at the distant U.K. event as well.

  • Enchanted items. Our treasure trove of fabulous prizes includes a veritable Hermetic library of books, including a few collector's items mentioned above and one amazingly rare prize generously contributed by John and Michelle from Atlas. We have several pieces of original artwork from some of the line's most recognizable illustrators. There are card games, T-shirts, mysterious artifacts, and other charms. Honestly, there are so many prizes that I suspect more than half of them will go unclaimed.

  • Mythic Places. Lake Tahoe is breathtakingly beautiful, and the Redcaps are arranging brief sightseeing excursions to one or two of the area's legendary locales. Sign up and let us know your itinerary and we'll help you arrange a memorable Northern California outing. The hotel itself is situated inside what must be a Magic aura, a valley surrounded by mountain peaks, and a village with restaurants, shopping, and an Irish pub-- that is, a Hibernian public house. (There's even miniature golf, oddly enough.)

The website is still See you there!

Awww sounds fun.! :frowning: I'm sorry I have to miss it...

I just received the first set of artwork pieces that we're putting in the prize raffle. Among the treasures unearthed so far are Grey Thornberry's cover illustrations from The Sundered Eagle: The Theban Tribunal and Rival Magic -- and oh my goodness, you are not going to believe how amazing that latter one is until you see it. Words simply cannot capture its awesomeness! :slight_smile:

Less than a week to go! The con officially opens next Friday at 6:00, and goes through Sunday-- even all night Sunday for those who are staying over. I personally expect to participate in more Ars Magica games than I have played the whole rest of the year! :slight_smile:

Here is a list of some of the fine games that are scheduled this weekend.

Carceres et Dracones: It is 1260 AD, and powerful magi of the Order gather by invitation at a hidden Alpine covenant to participate in an unusual tournament known as "The Great Game." Led by the shadowy "Game Masters," these sublime wizards from all over Mythic Europe have come together to compete in telling a grand story in which they each play a role, and perhaps earn a place within the organizers' exalted ranks. This year's theme: The Apocalypse of St. John.

Tabletop Games
The Jupiter Stone : A competitive adventure for up to six players. Roles will include a magus, companion, and various non-Hermetic entities, who have gathered for various reasons at the Jupiter Stone, an ancient monolith near the Danube River. Why are they gathered here? What do they have in common? And what is the real portent of the Jupiter Stone?

The Secret Masters of Ars Magica: Up to six players get to officially playtest an upcoming Ars Magica release! But the details must remain hidden until everyone signs Non-Disclosure Agreements. Participants play advanced characters from Magi of Hermes and storyguiding is troupe-style, switching from player to player. Playtest comments will be noted and delivered to the line editor after the game.

A Long Night in Barcelona: A routine visit to Barcelona covenant goes awry when murder disrupts everything. Someone has killed one of the Jerbiton magi, and then another is killed! Who and why? And how can they be stopped?

Only the Strong: Every seven years or so, the magi Tytali of the Rhine Tribunal hold a contest to see which of them has the best apprentice. Queens of vis are often wagered on the outcome. The players will play the part of the competing apprentices. Your first task is to survive, and for that you may need some help. But you also want to win.

An Ancient Fellowship : Hermetic magi are the most powerful wizards in recorded history. True, there were wizards before them who were even more powerful-- if we believe the stories. And there are groups of non-magi that give the Order pause (if only just). But there is a group of magic-users older than the Order. They have been watching. Learning. Lying in wait...

The Storyteller’s Workbench : This will be a session built around trying out and developing tools and aids for players and storyguides. Story hooks will be discussed and reviewed, one-shot adventures will be conceived and outlined, and a set of character concepts will be compiled. Bring your creativity and a fast (but neat) pen. All participants get copies of the work by Sunday noon!

Other Games
The Bounty of Atlas: Besides Ars Magica, Atlas Games also produces many fine board and card games, including Grand Tribunal and Ren Faire. Why don't we try some of them out?

The King Who Was Not Satisfied: A short story is contained in a stack of sealed and numbered envelopes in your welcome packet. As you open them in order, you will discover part of a scavenger hunt. Do as each clue requires and then open the next envelope until you have all the items and can solve the riddle. The first few magi who make it to the end will win a prize.