Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Guide to Glorantha - A Kickstarter That Comes With It's Own Spreadsheet (to figure out supporter rewards)

It's not often that I look at a Kickstarter that is AMAZINGLY successful and still find myself scratching my head. The Guide to Glorantha is one of those rare projects. It's goal was an impressive one for an RPG project - $36,500. It currently sits at $155,943 with just under 800 backers, which means it averages nearly $200 per supporter. 8 days left in the Kickstarter too.

Can we all say a collective "Holy Shit!"

Now I know why Design Mechanism didn't get the rights to Glorantha when they got the rights to RuneQuest. It appears that the setting is where the money is.

I have Pavis and Big Rubble from Choasium during the RQ2 days and they were simply amazing. Better then what others were putting out back then and it was far from the standard fantasy world.

So, from a personal standpoint, I find this Kickstarter fascinating and I am sorely tempted to participate in it, but apparently you need to refer to a spreadsheet to figure out what the different levels of supoort give. No. Really, you need a spreadsheet! Look:

I think I'd need to support at $125 to get what I want in print and PDF. I put down at least that much for Dwimmermount, but I expected to get use out of that (not the vinyl play matts - WTF I wanted those when I game on G+ Hangouts I'll never understand). These I'll read and put on a shelf.

I guess I have 8 days left to decide if I want in on this.

I think if I had stuck with Glorantha over the years, I'd probably be in at $500. Thank God I didn't stick with it ;)


  1. Some of these numbers are weird: You can get all three PDFs for $47 by buying the $35 and $12 tiers. Why spend an extra $3?

    Similarly you can save $25 by buying TRADER and INITIATE rather than DAEMON (also why is DAEMON the same price as SHAMAN are there other rewards?)

    Also there are no appreciable price savings on some of the larger ones ($125 level = $100 level + $25 level).

    They've clearly well-funded themselves, but perhaps they could have funded even more by making their numbers a little more internally consistent? Or maybe "a lot of kickstarter funders are really bad at math" is a particularly devious (and successful) gambit?

    1. Edit: Their chart doesn't really match up with the descriptions of the backer levels. (see e.g.: the text description of the shaman level v. the chart description)

    2. You can only back once specific level, so there is no way you can get TRADER AND INITIATE. IF you could simultaneously back both of those levels, you would be getting the Atlas in printed form and as a PDF, and you would also get the printed Guide, all for $105. If you chose to back at DAEMON for $100, you would not get the PDF, just the two printed books, thus a savings of $5.

      There is no intended deception, and while the rewards may not be perfectly scalable to your taste, it is very difficult to offer many things in many different options without introducing the possibility of confusion.

      As for the savings, they start kicking in at the levels above $125.

    3. Stuart astutely observes: "Edit: Their chart doesn't really match up with the descriptions of the backer levels. (see e.g.: the text description of the shaman level v. the chart description)"

      If you read more of the information, especially the stretch goal information, you would see that the "Companion PDF" of materials was created through achieving various stretch goals. You would also see in the updates and other places in the information where I point out repeatedly that Kickstarter does not allow you to change any of the backer reward text after someone has backed that level. I would love to include the phrase "plus the Companion material achieved through stretch goals" to many of the reward levels, but as I have said, Kickstarter does not allow that.

    4. Stuart also comments "Some of these numbers are weird: You can get all three PDFs for $47 by buying the $35 and $12 tiers. Why spend an extra $3?".

      The "extra $3" came from the $50 backer level also getting a screensaver and desktop wallpaper pack of many of the best color pictures and maps from the guide". It was not offered as part of the $12 and $35 backer levels.

  2. There is a point where a game setting becomes so over detailed that it is totally inaccessible to the average gamer.

  3. I am very thankful I never got into Glorantha, or this would be yet another overpriced deluxe set of books I desperately want but don't need to spend money on.

  4. They have 11 people backing at $3,000 each. O_o

    ::eyes their backer list with envy::

  5. I'm really tempted, but the level awards I really want are a bit pricey (I'm a dead tree book sort of guy). I may just have to settle for the pdfs...hmm.

  6. $80 gets you two hardcover volumes of about 600 pages of content. You decide if that is pricey...

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Yeah, considering I got all of 90 pages for $40 with Starships & Spacemen, that doesn't seem like a bad deal at all.

    Oh well, at least I learned a less not to pledge for things unless they give some idea of the page count.


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