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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Kickstarter - Salt in Wounds Tabletop Setting (Tarrasque tastes like Chicken)

Yes, in the background that is dinner. Have a few kabobs ;)
Numerous readers sent me links to the Salt in Wounds Tabletop Setting for 5th Edition & Pathfinder Kickstarter. Most emails started with something akin to "Have you seen this shit?!?" followed by "its either a great concept or..." where "or" led to many other varied and sometimes colorful descriptors.

What is Salt in Wounds exactly?
Salt in Wounds is a fictional city; a detail-rich dark fantasy setting designed specifically for tabletop roleplaying games (although it can be enjoyed by anyone who appreciates intricate works of imagination). More specifically, Salt in Wounds is a city whose culture, economy, and existence is beholden to the reality of the giant, regenerating kaiju called the ‘Tarrasque’ which is imprisoned within the city center so it can be butchered over and over again. 
There are few monsters in role playing games more iconic than the Tarrasque: the ‘end game’ boss that’s been terrorizing high level characters (and delighting players) for decades. The Salt in Wounds setting takes the beast in an entirely new direction: as the perpetually slaughtered ‘natural’ resource that has been feeding the population & fueling economy of the sprawling metropolis of Salt in Wounds for the last two centuries.
Yep, Salt in Wounds is a city that has gone green... or something like it.

I love the art sampled above. Shit, I'd like a print of it. I just don't know if the project has much appeal to me.

Here's the scary thing. Its smashing through stretch goals that add content like a Tarrasque through a 1st level party.

As for Risks and challenges:
There’s always risks associated with supporting a Kickstarter campaign, but for this campaign the risks are minimal. 90% of the initial descriptive text has already been written/collected and much of it has been published on the weekly Salt in Wounds blog (that hasn’t missed a single scheduled update). There is still plenty to do: some rewrites/expansions, lots of game design, editing, and otherwise wrangling art and maps and so on. But J.M. Perkins has been publishing high quality supplements like this for years, and has run two previous kickstarters that delivered on time (for The Adequate Commoner and CHEMO: How I Learned to Kill via his brother’s account). We should point out that page counts are only a ROUGH ESTIMATES (subject to change given editing and stretch goals).
Personally, I'd be afraid of stretch goal content spinning out of control.

Now, something else that I noticed and I really don't know what it means, if anything, but there are currently 356 backers of this very unique setting with multiple stretch goals behind it, but there's only 16 comments on the KS page from 11 individuals including the project creator. The lack of activity just seems... odd. I mean, I had nearly half as many people email me about Salt in Wounds as are actively talking about the project on it's page.

15 comments:

  1. I apologize for being too lazy to find a link, but RPGnet had a long and pretty cool thread from many years ago playing with the same concept. I wonder if it was an inspiration.

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    1. https://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?261519-Necro-Staff-Pick-D-amp-Dish-The-city-built-around-the-tarrasque

      Not sure how I feel about it. It sounds pretty obviously based on it, and I wonder if he got permission of the contributors to use what they wrote. On the other hand, it needs serious refining and editing to be useable and there are plenty of ways he could change it to make it distinct.

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    2. In his FAQ, the author clearly indicates and links to the RPG.net source for the idea, and he also credited it squarely in the interview he did on RPG Academy. He concludes that while the idea comes from them, the city is firmly his creation.

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  2. Also, isn't Tarrasque explicitly not OGL and explicitly actually copyright WOTC?

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    1. Spell it with one r and it's the mythological monster from France. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarasque

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    2. Nope. The tarrasque appears to be in the 3.5 SRD:

      http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/tarrasque.htm

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  3. The Tarrasque is OGL.
    http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/tarrasque.htm

    That I'm willing to look up :)

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  4. So when Tarrasque gets fed up with being "butchered" do you get to fight him in a giant Pacific Rim styled Iron Golem?

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    1. Well... How else would you fight it? As tiny little adventurers? I forsee that going badly.

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    2. Well... How else would you fight it? As tiny little adventurers? I forsee that going badly.

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  5. Well as for Stretch Goals getting out of hand. I have my very own Kickstarter to look at for that. To many and too generous of stretch goals may seem appealing but are a great way to ensure that you are going to be working massive overtime to make sure you fulfill everything and will most likely end up having to eat extra costs. Not insurmountable, but definitely a harder climb.

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    1. Right, we've all seen promising Kickstarters fall victim to their own success. I posted an update recently about how I plan to avoid that.

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  6. The real worry is that they've only written most of the "descriptive text." The actual stats and "game design" have yet to be done. Add in a bunch of ambitious stretch goals and you could have no time for playtesting.

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    1. Hi Kevin, thanks for commenting. I thought you'd be interested to know that I've been doing ongoing game design and play testing with my patreon backers since early 2015. Thanks for commenting.

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  7. Hey, thanks for the write up Tenkar and all the comments. I think the issue of 'drowning in stretch goals' falling victim to my own succuss is totally a valid concern. I discussed this very issue on my recent legends of tabletop interview as well as my recent 'production schedule' project update. I'm happy to answer any questions you might have and thanks again for your interest in the project.

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