Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG Limited-Edition Wizard Cover Comes With Art Folios!

Maybe, just maybe, the fine folks over at Goodman Games read this blog on occasion (actually, I know Harley does). So maybe someone read one of my many post saying that the art in the DCC RPG main book and modules was good enough for them to be selling prints.

Well, they aren't offering prints but they are giving away art folios.

Yep, for free. But there is a catch.

The Brad McDevitt art folio is a print version, and it's only available with the DCC RPG Limited Edition Wizard Cover Version that ships in December. To get it, you need to preorder from Goodman Games by November 30, 2012.

The second art folio is available to all purchases from the Goodman Games webstore from now until the end of the year. This is a Peter Mullen art folio. It's in PDF format only.

So, if you pick up the new DCC RPG LE, you get both folios. Yep, I just accounted for 60 bucks plus shipping of my recent overtime - of course, I sent it to a funeral home by mistake (thanks paypal!) but I've already sent an email to Goodman Games to sort that out...

Why send flowers when Paypal will let you send the DCC RPG to a Funeral Home...

The TSR Reprints Keep on Coming - AD&D 2e Hits in May 2013

I just caught this on Joe the Lawyer's blog - AD&D 2e is being reprinted in May of 2013. I don't think this is "new" news, but it's certainly worth mentioning.

You really can't blame WotC for pushing earlier edition reprints like they are going out of style - they have very little RPG related income coming in between now and the release of 5e based on new products and they need to fill the gap anyway they can.

As a bit (alright, huge bit) of a grognard, I'm very happy with the reprints they are putting forth. My 2e books, much like Joe states on his blog, have the worst binding of any RPG books I own, with the possible exception of Unearthed Arcana for 1e.

I still remember taking a walk out to "Discount Books" in Jackson Heights to grab my copy of the Player's Handbook for  AD&D 2e the day it released. Needless to say, it wasn't discounted. ;)

I want ToEE to be reprinted, as I ran that so many times it is literally beat to all hell...

Rebooting a Campaign - With Benefits?

Rebooting may not be the right word. Let's say, ending one campaign and starting a new one, with a continuing core of old players and some new blood.

How do you reward those that have been there from the beginning without "shorting" those that are new to the group?

I was thinking same world, different area, move the timeline down - so either a political / family / historical connection or two or a passed down family heirloom for those that had played the first campaign.

I'm not totally sold on either, but I would want to reward those that have stuck with the group from the beginning.

This is all assuming that I do a reboot / restart / new start of the campaign. I might just pick up where it left off, but as that is getting further and further back in time as we playtest A&A (and we've missed 2 weeks to hangover / work on my end) I think it would be simpler and fairer to the now expanded group to start anew when we get back to playing a regular campaign.

How have you / would you handle this type of situation?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fighting the Internal Clock - or How I'll Stay Awake to DM Tomorrow Night's A&A Game

When the DM is on a Caffeine Rush the Players Better be Extra Careful...

I've been waking just before 3 am the past week to get to work by 4 am - and the previous week I was waking just before 4 am to get there by 5 am.

Things to note:

1 - I am not a morning person by nature. I like to sleep in until 9 or 10 if given the chance.

2 - Our Saturday night game doesn't kick off until about 930 pm, and we don't hit our stride until about 10. We've had sessions where I didn't get to log out of G+ Hangouts until after 4am

3 - I've therefore been waking at a time I've been known to still be gaming, or after game chatting.

4 - It's barely 930 pm right now and I'm doing a bit of the "junkie nod" at my computer desk. If I don't stay in motion or active, my head will probably hit the keys ;)

Tomorrow will be a night of very caffeinated tea and a 5 hour energy or two (spaced well apart).

I wonder if my players' PCs will be at further risk with my future caffeine rush ;)

(as a side note - I have to be AT work at 240 am on Monday morning - so up at 145 or so. I wonder if I should even bother going to sleep)

A Kickstarter About a Transvestite Latina Chef - Soraya Sobreidad"s "FIERCE" Cooking Show! - Yep, Speaks For Itself

Don't ask me how I stumbled across Soraya Sobreidad"s "FIERCE" Cooking Show! it was on my home page in Kickstarter as it is nearby geographically.

It has nothing to do with RPGs, unless you play World of Darkness or Apocalypse World, in which case it should fit right in.

The video for the Kickstarter is like watching a train wreck, but more like one of those animated gifs that just repeat and repeat and repeat. You can skip to about 7:45 on the Kickstarter video if you want to get to the "meat" of the matter. Or just watch the Youtube clip - it's better produced and shorter.

I really don't know what else to say. Oh, I almost forgot - Fierce! (there must be a use of this word in the transvestite subculture that I don't know about - not that I should!)

If nothing else, there is one hell of an NPC for a modern world setting that you could steal from this.

Oh, btw - 1 backer, 75 bucks out of 8K - and 30 hours to go to fund. Maybe a rambling 12 minute long video is not the way to showcase a Kickstarter? Because really, the subject matter should sell itself ;)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Butt Kicking For Goodness! Assorted Kickstarter (and Indiegogo) Updates Through 11/8/12

When you have your fingers in many Kickstarter Pies, you tend to get many updates.

Oh, and for those that have been asking - the current overtime due to Hurricane Sandy will not be used to fund further Kickstarters. Alright, some of it may be used that way, but I'm sure my wife has other plans for most of it ;)

Spears of the Dawn

Funded earlier tonight

Your unstinting generosity comes through once again as I hit the $10,000 stretch goal that will fund color art for The House of Bone and Amber. Thanks to your effort, publishers are soon to have over sixty pieces of African-flavored b/w art for use in their own projects, plus the color illustrations from The House of Bone and Amber. You've made it obvious to any observers that there is indeed a market for this kind of gaming, and there's room for independent publishers who want to put out something to satisfy that demand.

So what now?

Now the payments are being processed and Amazon and Kickstarter are taking their cuts. Once I get the final information, I'll send out the beta PDF, which includes more art that's come in since the alpha and corrections supplied by you eagle-eyed alpha readers. I would expect this to happen in about two weeks.

Once that's provided, I continue to receive art from my talented colleagues while I finish doing the rewrite and layout of The House of Bone and Amber and arrange for the color work to be done on it. The current schedule is for a March 2013 release, whereupon backers will all get the final PDFs of both products and print backers will get their POD copies dispatched by the keen professionals at OneBookshelf. The art and InDesign templates will then be bundled together and put up on DTRPG/RPGNow for free download. I would prefer to get this all put to bed before March, and I would not be surprised if I was able to do so, but the March deadline was set to include time to handle the inevitable problems that crop up in production. ( someone who knows how to plan ahead and make an accurate delivery estimate)

You have my thanks once again for the great generosity you've shown. This is the first Kickstarter I've run myself, and you've made it quite the success. Once you all have what you've so munificently paid for, I look forward to using this model for bringing out other material for your gaming delectation. Until then, may you find good use for Spears of the Dawn.

Axes and Anvils

Big 'ol Update
Update #30 · Nov. 08, 2012 ·

I know many of you are chomping at the bit to get your hands on the rules - I assure you that everything possible is being done to make sure that you not only get a great first product but a great product line. That took some doing and stretched our resources a bit. No problem. Challenge accepted. Let me catch you up on where we are -

Nystul's Infinite Dungeon: The first Castle Nystul product and the one that spawned A&A. It is ahead of A&A in the queue. Great news! The text version of Vol 1 has gone to backers and is in art / layout! The way is clear for A&A. (see, now I don't need to add the Nystul's Infinite Dungeon update ;)

A&A Extras: Lots of goodness coming! Wait until you hear these drinking songs!

I have fiddled a bit overlong with locking down the design of the game. That's because it matters so much to me because it matters so much to all of you. I want to deliver with a vengeance. Still - time is an issue. At any of the larger companies i have worked the dev time would have been like 6 months longer but I promised November so I have to let go : )

Someone asked if she would be able to give the book as a gift. Maybe. There is a lot to be done to do this right.

Here is what my plan is - I'm going to get you all playing in November. Many will be able to play with me online (finally figured out how to do it!). I'll get at least a draft to you by Christmas - the only delay being getting all the awesome art Jeff wants to do will take him some time but that shouldn't stop you from playing. He is really excited about this project and i want to give him room to run.

Addressing the gift giving issue - I think what I will do is get the multipath book done in time to be a Christmas Present to you guys. I'll set it up as a free download and for those of you who need a physical gift we will figure out a way to get you a copy to wrap.

I have been spending a lot of time figuring out the Living Campaign component. I don't have a lot of time to get that right. I'm going to be contacting the Lords soon about being able to contribute maybe more than they hoped : )

Dwarf Con - The Con YOU made possible! I'm currently running a membership drive - the first 50 to register for a Weekend Membership will only be charged $25! Simply write "Thanksgiving Special" in the special instructions field of the web form! That's half off the door price! It's also an Early Bird so you still get a free TShirt! I will also enter those first 50 in a drawing for an upgrade to VIP! I'll go one better for you - until Thanksgiving if you decide you want to come as a VIP enter "Backer" in the comments field and I'll give you $20 off!

Cairn: Another project is launching this weekend. We are doing this in part to cover costs (the laundry list of stuff I'm putting together and a con are an expensive proposition!) It's different because it will be a 5 day window and when it is done we will be delivering in 9 days or less. (this will be interesting to see how it plays out) A two week blitz! We did that because our first priority is A&A and the last thing we needed was anything standing in our way clogging up the works.Cairn is a great little one off and will make a great Christmas gift!

Thanks again for your support, patience and enthusiasm! I can't wait to start playing with some of you and meeting a few of you at cons!


Dwarven Adventurers Box Set (is anyone surprised that I supported this at a very nice level?)


October Shipments have been mailed. Remember that if you had any add-ons that require your order to ship at a later date then it will ship later.

Character Cards arrived and we are very pleased! :D

We are tentatively planning to have the rest of the cast dwarves & troll in our hands mid-late November (We hope before Thanksgiving). And from there it is just mailing them all out!

Bard & Druidess + Her Familiar!

When a $1k project raises over $135k, I'm willing to wait 2 months extra ;)
Re-Creating my Melnibonean Art from Deities & Demigods!

New: Empire of the Petal Throne Art Kickstarter!
Update #61 - For backers only (I doubt Jeff minds me sharing this)· Nov. 07, 2012 ·

My next Kickstarter art project has launched!

This time around, I'm re-visiting the drawings I did for M.A.R. Barker's Legions of the Petal Throne painting Guide article way back in Dragon Magazine #6. These were my first professionally published drawings, ever! Stretch goals include drawings of ALL of the underworld creatures, which were never depicted in the original Empire of the Petal Throne RPG from TSR! Check it out:


-Jeff Dee

Starships & Spacement 2nd Edition

Goblinoid Games posted an announcement 3 days ago
Hi all! Just a quick update.

I got a UPS ship notice today for the books! However, I’m not yet sure if it is for the whole order or just part of it (for example, just the hard covers or just the perfect bound books or everything). But I’ll keep everyone updated. I should be able to start shipping some orders within a week. (this had an October delivery estimate - so for a Kickstarter / Indiegogo project this might even be considered "early" ;)

All the best,

wow - no spoiled fruit in this bunch - go figure ;)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My Upcoming Labyrinth Lord Session (and most other gaming) is on Indefinite Hold

My current work schedule, due to the destruction wrought by Hurricane Sandy to the Outer Boroughs of NYC, has pretty much put all my gaming (with the exception of my regular Saturday Night Game) to a screeching halt.

Working from 4am to 4pm (and potentially later) there is no way I can participate in a week night game session, let alone run one. At the moment, I still have weekends off, but that's subject to change with little notice, so even my regular group may be left high and dry one Saturday night.

Ah well, in theory it gives me lots of time to think up stuff ;)

Scourge of the Demon Wolf in Hand (S&W Adventure and Sourcebook)

It's funny how things work out.

I ordered Scourge of the Demon Wolf in print from Lulu last week. I've always enjoyed Rob Conley's work, and I figured even if I don't have a chance to use it right away, it should be a good read.

Then last night, Rob emailed me and asked if I would like a copy of, you guessed it, Scourge of the Demon Wolf. It's like getting a chance to open your Christmas presents early. I asked for a PDF copy from Rob, so it would be "work portable" and readable during some free time, and Rob promptly obliged. I didn't get much of a chance to look at it last night, as Mister Sandman comes early when your 12 hour day starts at 4 am, but what little look I had at the PDF was impressive.

Got home today to find my Lulu package with a print copy of Scourge of the Demon Wolf and I'm even more impressed. Rob opted for a higher end, almost glossy paper and it really shows of the artwork - page 30 is frickin' awesome! I want my players to stumble across this:

Hopefully I'll be able to find some time over the weekend to give this a good read and review. Work needs to slow down and shorten it's days back to normal ;)

BTW, Rob has Scourge of the Demon Wolf bundled with the Majestic Wilderlands, his take on Judges Guild's Wilderlands setting for just 12 bucks at RPGNow

Most of Us Have a "Favored Class" - What is Yours?

Back in my early days of playing, when a fighter (or any of the subclasses) had less than 18/51 Strength, it wasn't considered viable. Yep, for my first few years of teenage gaming, that's how we saw things.  I played mostly fighter classes initially, but then branched out to the alternate Bard from Dragon #56 and the Illusionist class after it got buffed by the Unearthed Arcana.

Upon my return to gaming, I found myself playing Clerics, both in Castles & Crusades and the D&D Next Playtest. Needless to say, I played them as very martial minded clerics.

In truth though, my preferred class is probably DM ;)

Do you have a favored class or class type in D&D styled games?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Reviewing a Train Wreck - Classes and Races: Dinosaurs (for Pathfinder)

All THIS can be yours for a mere $2.99
It isn't often that I review a product that, going in, I know is going to be Attack of the Killer Tomatoes type of bad.

Meaning, it's so bad, it's actually fun to review. That's pretty bad.

So, let me get right to it. See the cover art up above? Thats as good as it gets. No, I'm not kidding although I wish I was.

Maybe you really don't believe me. If you look at your calendar, it's November 6th, not April 1st - trust me when I say to you - this is no joke.

Still, you need more evidence. Maybe there were survivors of this train wreck. Maybe there is something redeemable after all.

Lets move in for a closer look. Hey, look at the cute dino!
The Saurischian are a race descended from the predators of the past. They value tribal cooperation and the thrill of the hunt.
Physical Description: Slender and fast, the Saurischian vary from 90 to 150 pounds. They range in height from 4 to 6 feet. Their skin tends to have some sort of spot or stripe that tend to run in families.
Their tails are long and slender and not useful for holding things. (My God! There is so much useful description here!). This is followed by the Pathfinder Stat block info. Hey, they are familiar with Rapiers! (why that is, I have no idea)
Yep, that's all you get for the description of one of the two races, except for the pic. What, you want to see the pic? Don't say I didn't warn you...

Does he even have opposable thumbs to hold a Rapier? Does he wear clothes? A belt?
Also, I'm pretty sure you need more than the following when using the OGL, but I could be wrong (I suspect the author is wrong):

Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
System Reference Document. Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, based on material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.
Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook. Copyright 2009, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.
The Book of Experimental Might. Copyright 2008, Monte J. Cook. All rights reserved.
Tome of Horrors. Copyright 2002, Necromancer Games, Inc.; Authors: Scott Greene, with Clark Peterson, Erica Balsley, Kevin Baase, Casey Christofferson, Lance Hawvermale, Travis Hawvermale, Patrick Lawinger, and Bill Webb; Based on original content from TSR.

Get it while you can, before it get's pulled.

Or rather, don't get it. For $2.99, it's the equivalent of burning 3 one dollar bills...

Butt Kicking For Goodness! Assorted Kickstarter (and Indiegogo) Updates Through 11/6/12

I think I like the "Butt Kicking For Goodness!" line from Baldur's Gate for this ongoing series of posts. Let me know if you think it fits or not, and if not, what your suggestion would be for the title of the series.

Alright, without further ado, and in no particular order:

Swords & Wizardry: The Actual 1st Edition Roleplaying Rules

Delayed shipping, delayed invoices

Update #34 · Nov. 05, 2012 · 16 comments  

We have made an egregious error in our cover art due date. There's no way to beat around the bush. Our original art order went out with a November 15th due date which should have read November 1st and no one caught it. Imagine our surprise when November rolled around and no cover art came in, only to find out the mistake was ours. We therefore apologize for the delay in getting the book out to you. (even with the delay, it's no where near as late as the majoritiy of Kickstarters run. Still, that's one HELL of a fuck up!).The book went to the printers today but they cannot print until we receive the cover art. The printers need about 3-4 weeks to turn it around to us and then we need another week to get the packages in your hands. Therefore, we are expecting a delivery date just before Christmas. We will make every attempt to get the books in your hands by the 25th of December. These initial packages will not include the Monster Book. The art deadline on the Monster Book is December 1st due to the additional art we added. Therefore we expect the Monster Book Pledges and those that include the Monster Book to be delivered after the New Year.

As soon as we have the cover art we will post images and the progress report here. As for the invoices, we have delayed these as well to investigate different shipping options since 20% of the Rappan Athuk packages were damaged by the post office. We believe we have found a solution with double boxing the books. This has slightly increased the shipping by $2 but should ensure the books arrive in pristine condition. On top of that we had to give mama frog a few days off - we've been working her to death. Therefore the surveys should be going out by the 15th of the month.

In light of the recent news we have decided to add 2 more dice for free to all the pledges that have dice or those that have added them on. We will now include a D% and a D3 to the set. All 10 of the dice will be packed in a spring top cube case as well. We hope this can make up for the delay in the delivery.


tremulus: a storytelling game of lovecraftian horror

Sean Preston
Tuesday Nov 6, 7:32am EST
Hello All!

You'll find the latest iteration of tremulus at the following link:
no link for YOU ;)  (Gotta love a game that give you an updated PDF every two week so)

1. You'll want to grab the changelog there
2. You'll note we put in version numbers now.
3. You'll want to DL the revised playbook package.

If you've got any questions, please join our tremulus forum, and post them there. We have an active, helpful, and friendly community growing!




backers only - project name redacted

November Update

Update #15 - For backers only · Nov. 05, 2012 · comment   (last update via Kickstarter was way too long ago) 

Hi all!

I'm very glad to say the last piece of art is finished (and amazing), the last tweaks to the rules completed, and as of today, XXXXXXXX is in layout.  XXXX XXXXXXX will be working xxx magic over the next few weeks to produce the final pdf and print version of XXX.  I'm as eager as anyone else to see what xxx does with it, but I've told xxx to take the time xxx feels she needs to do it right. I appreciate everyone's patience, but I want to assure all that the extra time taken on the art and editing thus far has been well worth it.

Names - you will all be credited as backers of course, but if any of you want a different name listed than the one I have through Kickstarter, please email me and let me know so I can change it.

Some of you have no doubt noticed my presence on the web is not what it used to be.  As some of you know, I joined XXXXXXX program in XXXXXX assisting with XXXXXXX.  As a consequence, my internet time is severely curtailed.  Its best to contact me by email directly - XXXXXXX@XXXX - rather than through Kickstarter, if you have a message.  I'm usually able to go through my email every two or three days.  My new duties haven't had much bearing on XXX however, as it has largely been in the hands of others to complete, but I do apologize for not being on top of timely updates for those who've been wondering where the project stood.

While XXXX works on the layout, I'll be putting together the pdf of XXXXXXXX and doing some work on the cover.  Will update again when there's more news. (I still have no idea from this update when the project will be ready - it's already late, it's only going to get later)

Oh, lastly, It's been pointed out to me that the XXXXX development forum is down since (I think) yesterday.  I don't know why that is but I assume it is just temporary.  That forum has largely served its purpose anyway, but if it turns out to be permanently down, I'll look into some other forum options.



Reaper Miniatures Bones: An Evolution Of Gaming Miniatures

First Shipment to begin this week!

Update #77 · Nov. 06, 2012 · 50 comments  

We’ve finish casting all of the 1000s of Sophie models and we have received the ball caps and T-shirts from our vendor so this week we will be starting the shipping of these items, including shippable Crown Jewel rewards. Things will be showing up at your doorstep soon!

We are on schedule still to start shipping everything else next March. (woot!)

We’ve added the ability to add special characters to your address. If you need to make changes to your address like using cyrillic, please go back to the Post Kickstarter Reaper Pledge Manager and make sure your mailing address is correct. For your security and protection your original log-in tokens are expiring, so when you log-in again you will get a new log-in link sent to the email address you have on record with us.

The PDF downloads are now available at the Post Kickstarter Reaper pledge manager. If you log back into the RMP your success page will now have the download links for you.

and finally, it’s not the greatest picture as we didn’t take it, but you’ll get the idea.


King For a Day

Page 259
Update #29 · Oct. 31, 2012 · comment  

Well. I almost got there.

I am leaving for 3 weeks in Vietnam and will get back to writing when I get home.

In the meantime, I'm going to send PDFs to people who asked to help review.

Thanks again for all your patience. Jon Hunt is working on one of the NPC pieces of art and if he gets it done in the next 24 hours, I will post another update.

Thanks again for everyone's patience. (I am resigned to the idea that this will happen when it happens if it happens while I still remember what it's about)


Other "Backers Only" Updates - Summarized and scrubbed.

A - Yep, the author has picked up speed. It's late and will still be later still, but not as late as we had projected when we projected how late it would be. So, the initial estimate was too short, the revised estimate was too long and the current estimate may be just right - at least until the next update.

B - It's late but getting there. Shipping's a biatch, so if you pledged for print at one of the lower levels for multiple products, they'll all ship at the end when the last product is ready - nothing to see here. consistently good quality and consistently horrible timeliness

Any updates you may want me to add in future postings can be emailed to erikATtrubluniteDOTnet.

If it's backers only, you can scrub or I will at your request.

I have a shitload more to add, but this will be an endless post if I do it tonight ;)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Cool Kickstarter, Annoyingly Confusing Pledge Levels - Shadows of Esteren

I'm on a Kickstarter kick. I'll freely admit that.

Why is it? Because much of the coolest stuff going on in our hobby is happening on Kickstarter (and Indiegogo to a lesser extent).

Case in point: Shadows of Esteren - a medieval roleplaying game with horrific and gothic influence. Holy shit but if it actually hits those sweet points this game could be a killer!

Actually, it probably hits those sweet points, as this is the second Kickstarter for the game (the first wrapped up in the end of July, and I was way too invested back then in way too many Kickstarters). The first Kickstarter raised over $55k against a goal of $3k. This one? $35k against $3k with 21 days to go.

Yep, it's funded and will fund more before it warps, probably more than the first round.

My issue with the Kickstarter is not the product, but the needlessly confusing Pledge Levels.

Here's an example:

I'm sure it looked really good in the concept phase, but when you drop a dozen or so of these on the page...

Still, it looks like a cool game. You can actually get the PDF of Book 0 at the Studio2 website for $5 before committing to the Kickstarter.

Managing Time in My Game Sessions

I'm really horrible at managing time in the game sessions that I run.

Usually, we wind up BS'ing for the first 30 minutes or so, game for 3 to 4 hours, and then BS at the end for 5 minutes to an hour - which is all fine and dandy until your new work schedule has you getting up at 3 am. Starting a game session at 930 PM and staying up to past 2 am just isn't a feasible as it was a few weeks ago (even when you have off the following day).

So, I need to manage the time better.

A 3 hour session, with a 30 minute BS session up from, 2 / 2:15 of game play followed by 15-30 minutes wrap up would probably work well.

Only problem is getting everyone on the same page - gamers are like cats, nearly impossible to herd properly ;)

Sometimes Shaking the Tree Drops Fruit - Indiegogo Updates in My Mailbox

Yep, I got some Indiegogo project updates in my mailbox this morning. Two were in relation to projects I supported during the LotFP Insane Multi-Project promotion this past summer, and the other was for Angels, Daemons and Beings Between for the DCC RPG.

The updates were nice to get, and in neither case am I worried about the projects completing. It does appear that Raggi does read the Tavern on occasion:

Good news, bad news. 
Bad news first: Everything isn’t going quite as smoothly as hoped with all the projects and the timing, so looks like we’re going to be a bit late on delivery (one of those unfortunately common occurrences with crowdfunding). (emphasis mine)
The good news is that Jeff has turned in the text for Broodmother so work is moving forward! WOOOO!
Is crowdfunding a bad thing? Hell no! It's bringing games to out table that might not get seen otherwise.

Somebody just needs to keep on top of those that take our money to fund their projects. Kinda like how my parents had to get on my ass in High School to do my homework and reports in a timely manner and not wait to the last evening of vacation to work on that 10 page paper.

I'll be working on an addendum post to yesterday's overdue Kickstarters thanks to the comments and emails I've received from my readers. Maybe tonight. Maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

An Interesting (and mostly written) Kickstarter - Maelorum, an Epic Gamebook

I never did play the Fighting Fantasy books much. I knew of them, but they never really crossed my path. TSR Endless Quest Books? God yes, and I'm embarrassed to admit to that ;)

I did have a MERP solo book that was put out by ICE, that had a pretty tight story and a character with HP and dice that had to be rolled and all that. Played that sucker to death. Also played some Tunnels & Trolls solos back in the day.

Where am I going with all of this?

Solo books were fun. Hugely fun when well written.

I'm willing to bet that Maelorum is well written. Actually, lets take that back a step and remark on the fact that we have a gaming Kickstarter that is seeking funding not for some unwritten project, but for a written project with some amazing artwork that needs the final tweaks - editing, playtesting, formatting.

See, this is where a project should be when it seeks crowd sourced funding. Not in the "here's my notes on index cards" stage, nor the "hey, I got this fucking cool idea! Why don't you give me money so I can write it" style of putting together a project, but the "I've spent 10 years working on this, it's written, the art is done and I just need funding for the final push" type of project.

Maelorum is a rarity among Kickstarters, not just because the grunt work is already done, but it's looking to take "gamebook" style roleplaying to a new level. I like that. It hits my nostalgia tickle point.

There's another thing I need to mention - the POV dungeon art is on the money, at least the samples shown. They could be wrapped up as visual aids for dungeon adventures, kinda like a Tomb of Horrors or Barrowmaze illustration book. They look that good to me.

Alright, I'll be supporting this one, as much for the story as the art.

It looks damn good. It may have even followed my suggestions from my previous post - such as have the writing and art done or nearly so ;)

The Responsibilities of a Kickstarter Project Manager / Publisher / Writer - From an Annoyed Customer

Revising today's Overdue Kickstarter List got me thinking - it seems some folks think that Kickstarter is there to raise money for them and their "customers" don't need to be satisfied in a timely manner, because they've "already paid" and there are no refunds with Kickstarter. This works if you never plan to publish anything ever again, because with social media, we will be sure to tell your future customers how we've been treated. We will tell them until your ears bleed. And then we will tell them again.

Do yourself a favor, and try to follow the suggestions below:

1 - If you are funding an RPG game or supplement, make sure it is 99% written before you ask for a single cent. Outlines, scribbles, wish lists and Magic 8 Balls do not count. Your biggest issue in hitting your "estimated release / ship date" will be actually writing the project. If it's done up front, your main hurdle is behind you. For board games, have a working prototype. For computer games, have a fucking title for your game, not just a placeholder.

2 - Communicate - If you can't communicate with your backers at least every other week, and preferably every week, don't bother with crowd sourced funding. Communication takes the sting out of things like lateness and makes your backers feel like you really care about them, even if you really don't. In all seriousness, if you keep your backers in the loop, they will be less likely to complain about your lateness. If you are afraid your backers might bite, there's less chance of that happening if you communicate frequently.

2a - Fuck Forums - I don't like forums. Actually, I hate most of them. Don't force me to sign up for yet another forum just so I can find updates for a project I backed. Update me via Kickstarter once a week. It's easy enough. I'm sure you used it while pushing you're projects funding. Use it when your project is late too. Because, like I said, I hate forums.

3 - Make realistic completion / shipping estimates - Estimate the time you think you would need under ideal circumstances, then double it for unseen illnesses, flakey artists, European Vacations, natural disasters, writer's block and Murphy's Law. After doubling, add at least two months to the new estimate. You'll probably still be late, but by following suggestion #2 your backers might not be too upset.

4 - Shipping costs - include this in the actual funding levels. Adding it after the project completes is total bullshit. Most projects do this. Others try to keep their "funding levels" artificially low, and then hit you on the back end. Like I said above, bullshit.

I'm sure there are others...

Updated 11/4 - Here's The "Where The F' Are They?" List of Overdue RPG Kickstarters I've Supported

The below list is of RPG Related Kickstarters that were estimated to ship (I am using the ship date for the physical item, not the PDF if there is one) November 2012 or earlier.  I was going to add Indiegogo projects to the list, but they are so few (and this list got so long) I'll summarize as follows: LotFP stuff that I supported over the summer has not shipped, but Indiegogo doesn't force an estimated shipping date . Barrowmaze II shipped on time!

Colors for Actual Ship Date are as follows:

Red: Hasn't shipped and is (or will be based on new estimates) significantly overdue. This includes projects that have been shipping in dribs and drabs for months. If all backers dont have what they pledged for, it's in red.

Orange: Late but shipped, or recently missed a shipping date and hasn't shipped

Green: Shipped on time. Holy Shit!

DungeonMorph Dice
Goal: $5,000     Total: $20,620     Funded: May 22, 2011
Estimated Ship Date: July, 2011     Actual Ship Date: December, 2011

Adventurer Conqueror King System
Goal: $4,000     Total: $11,648     Funded: August 6, 2011
Estimated Ship Date: November, 2011     Actual Ship Date: April, 2012

Far West
Goal: $5,000     Total: $49,324     Funded: August 25, 2011
Estimated Ship Date: December, 2011     Actual Ship Date: Not Shipped (and has missed interim ship dates)

Far West - last update 10/19 (over 2 weeks ago)- updates approximately monthly -  First the main / lead artist flaked out in the middle of the job (and claimed to have finished work he hadn't completed), then Gareth got sick, "Far West" as a title will now be cropping up in unrelated media, making marketing a pain I suspect - and no new ship date. If this hits ONLY the one year late mark, I'll be impressed.

C&C Classic Monsters
Goal: $4,000     Total: $9,108     Funded: December 2, 2011
Estimated Ship Date: January, 2012     Actual Ship Date: May, 2012

Quantum Roleplaying Game
Goal: $13,000     Total: $47,747     Funded: December 30, 2011
Estimated Ship Date: April, 2012     Actual Ship Date: Not Yet Shipped

Quantum RPG - last update 10/30 - recent updates have been for the new setting book for the as yet unreleased RPG - I don't care how you spin it, but kicking off a new Kickstarter without releasing the final product of the first annoys me. Invest more into something I don't yet have? Boggles the mind. Even better, the second Kickstarter failed ($7,751 out of $30,000 raised - it failed on 10/18). Gee, think it failed because no one has the first Kickstarter in hand yet? To be honest, I'm no longer excited about this project. I suspect when it ships it's going straight to the bookshelf.

Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea
Goal: $6,000     Total: $13,216     Funded: January 15, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: April, 2012     Actual Ship date: July, 2012 and still ongoing completed I believe

Adventurer Conqueror King System Player's Companion
Goal:: $4,000     Total: $20,622     Funded: March 16, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: July, 2012     Actual Ship Date: Not Yet Shipped  

ACKS Player's Companion - last Update 10/9 - Updates approximately monthly. No ship date, but feedback from early release PDF has been applied and the contents revised - Updates average one per month at this stage. This one is getting long in the tooth.

Story Forge
Goal: $12,000    Total: $21,736     Funded: March 20, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: July, 2012     Actual Ship Date: July, 2012

Goal: $10,000     Total: $48,756     Funded: April 14, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: August 2012     Actual Ship Date: Not Yet Shipped (New Estimate Spring / Fall 2013)

Dwimmermount - Last Update 11/2 - Updates Weekly. Absolutely the best thing Travis (and James) have done is give weekly updates. In the Way Way Back, where updates were few and rumors were many, folks were getting might uppity, and with good reason. There was certainly a loss of some goodwill during the Way Way Back Times, and Travis is putting the effort in now, but things would have been so much simpler if updates had been weekly from the start, especially with the wide margin the ship date is being missed by.  BTW, the Progress Graph is annoying and tells me little except to remind me of how late this project already is.

King For a Day
Goal: $800     Total: $4,844     Funded: May 1, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: September 2012     Actual Ship Date: Not Yet Shipped (new estimate - December 2012) 

King For a Day - Last update 10/31 - Updates Approximately twice a month. I'm somewhat doubtful of the December 12 ship date, but I'm willing to be surprised 

Artisan Dice
Goal: $300     Total: $91,542     Funded: April 7, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: April, 2012     Actual Ship date: May, 2012 and still ongoing completed now I do believe - this suffered from overwhelming response. If you are going to be late, let it be because you have too many customers ;)

Adventures Dark & Deep
Goal: $2,500     Total: $7,459     Funded: April 15, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: July, 2012     Actual Ship Date: Shipped September, 2012 - I was only in at the PDF level, but congrats for hitting the ship date ;)

Myth & Magic Player's Guide
Goal: $5,000     Total: $24,076     Funded: May 7, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: August 2012     Actual Ship Date: Not Yet Shipped

Myth & Magic Player's Guide - Last update on 9/29 was in relation to it's sister project. PDF released to the wild, no hard copies yet. Last update related to this project was 9/21, about 6 weeks ago. Not the way to remain in contact with your customers

Appendix N
Goal: $1,000     Total: $18,893     Funded: July2, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: July, 2012     Actual Ship Date: Not Yet Shipped (New Estimate Late September  November 2012)

Appendix N - Last Update 10/22 - Updates more than once a week - Brave Halfling is like your cousin who is always late to appointments - whether it's a Kickstarter or a pre-order, the quality has so far been excellent, the timeliness has been poor. PDF versions of the releases look to be on time or close to it going forward - physical products is going to be a wait n see in my opinion.

Nystul's Infinite Dungeon
Goal: $2,000     Total: $16,017     Funded: June 3, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: September 2012 (New Estimate October November 2012 for PDF)
Nystul's Infinite Dungeon - Weekly updates - Last update 10/17 - Estimate for physical delivery is November 2012. greatly expanded offering from initial description.

Dwarven Adventurers Boxed Set
Goal: $1,250     Total: $136,487     Funded: July 25, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: September 2012 (New Estimate November 2012)

Dwarven Adventurers - last update 10/31 - blew away it's goal and added so many miniatures to the set that missing the estimated ship goal was a given before the funding even completed. If you are going to ship late, this is the reason. Weekly Updates

CHAMPIONS OF ZED: Zero Edition Dungeoneering

Goal: $4,600     Total: $8,077     Funded: June 16, 2012
Estimated Ship Date: August, 2012     Actual Ship Date: Not Shipped

Champions of Zed - last update 9/10 - once this project started running late, the updates stopped. Maybe there is info at the forums, but is it too much to ask for an update via Kickstarter every two weeks? Last update nearly 2 months ago. Someone remind me why I backed this project...

Tabletop Forge
Goal: $5,000     Total: $44,413     Funded: July 9, 2012
Estimated Release Date: August, 2012      Actual Release Date: Not Yet Released

Tabletop Forge - Updates approximately every 2 weeks - last update 10/29. Its software. Software doesn't play nice. Updated software looks to be a huge improvement. Hopefully I'll have a chance to use it next Saturday

Race To Adventure
Goal: $40,000     Total: $52,117     Funded: July 24, 2012
Estimated Release Date: Dec, 2012     Actual Release Date: Early 2013 (New Estimate)

Race To Adventure - Updates about once a month - Board Game - Blame the delays on European vacations. No, really -"wouldn't you know it, August turns out to be a time when a lot of folks in our field are off on a vacation. But we're not talking about GenCon here -- we're talking about Europe, where we're going to be having the game manufactured. This sort of nations-wide month long vacation is super, uh, foreign to USA-based folks like us, so we simply had no idea it was coming."

Goal: $10,000     Total: $23,580     Funded: August 9, 2012
Estimated Release Date: Oct, 2012     Actual Release Date: Not Yet Released (New Estimate - Nov, 2012)

Fantastiqa - Updates monthly - Last Update 9/29. guess they got hit by the same European Vacation ;)

Not yet overdue:

Axes and Anvils (Due this month)

Swords & Wizardry: The Actual 1st Edition Roleplaying Rules (Due this month)

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