Saturday, July 25, 2015

Kickstarter - Nystul's Infinite Dungeon Seeks to Become Infinite Weekly Content

When I first read The Wandering Wizard's latest update at the Infinite Dungeon Kickstarter, I was very surprised. It pretty much read like a true confession at first.
I got involved with Kickstarter because I liked the idea of a way to back an idea that might not find backing elsewhere, I had ideas that had no home and this seemed to be a good way to make them a reality. In the case of the "Infinite Dungeon" project I wanted to take my shot at creating a "Mega Dungeon" 
Somewhere along the way I lost this simple motivation and saw a chance to get "back into the business". A series of catastrophically bad business decisions later and I managed to fail to deliver on all three of the Kickstarters I started. 
A few of you have asked "why not just buckle down and do this"? An excellent question. In the case of the Infinite Dungeon it is in part because it had become something other than what i originally intended. The ashcan I sent out was a "Chapter Zero" of an intended series. So for an "Infinite Dungeon" it was a campaign guide and no actual dungeon. It was also the sort of campaign that was not just as series of dungeons, I had set the bar far too high. 
I also had medical issues and then jobs that ate of enough time that I had very few creative hours left. I know some of you have scoffed at this - I maybe could have produced significant material after hours at one point in my life. I can't do that now. I tried. So, to move forward on this and on other areas of my life i have gone back to freelancing and part time work. That is why I have a Patreon account. It is one source of revenue to keep me going while I write and design as close to full time as I can manage.
Starting next week I will be posting a Dungeon level every week - probably on Friday. The Dungeons can be used alone but will also thread together to be one big Dungeon - literally the "Infinite" Dungeon I originally intended. I will post these to RPG Now as "Pay What you Want" - I will keep anything collected in a special account. When there are enough out there - maybe every 12 or so - I will gather them together into a book, add some additional material and add art if there is money in the account to buy it. I will then republish the collections and again - anything collected goes into a special account.
If there is at any point enough in the account to publish physical copies I will do so.
If there is a volunteer among you that we can all be comfortable with I will give them access to the RPG Now account and the bank account. I will also publish updates here so you all know what is going on. 
The Infinite Dungeon will be relatively system agnostic but will need mechanics and notes added for various systems. I'm currently running 5th Edition D&D (because it is awesome) so that will be covered. What else would you like to see?
God bless anyone who volunteers to manage the monies. From what I've seen with Axes & Anvils, working with Mike is not fun.

Now, the golden comment was the following:
I'd like to see, in descending order of preference:
A) Everything I'm supposed to get from backing at $100
B) My $100 back
C) You in prison
D) Your crap plan using Pathfinder rules
To which Mike responded:
Pathfinder it is : )  
Now, my fear was that Mike was going to use this as "content" posts over on Patreon, but my fears might have been misplaced. From the Patreon Page:
Starting next Friday I will be posting a Dungeon a week. They can be used independently but will be designed so they can be threaded together into one big complex.

This is part of my attempt to make good on a long overdue Kickstarter obligation. One of the reasons I went back to full time design is to give me the freedom to do this. I am having to be very careful about  time management because of the nature of Patreon. The weirdness is this - Patreon is a big part of what will help me keep working but the Infinite Dungeon has been paid for by the Kickstarter.

My answer is this - I will not "charge" for the Infinite Dungeon posts (emphasis mine) Patron support is part of what allows me to do them but I wouldn't be comfortable accepting anything for them. If you find yourself liking them and you want to pitch in you will be able to download them from RPG Now and "Pay What You Want" - any monies collected through that avenue goes into a fund for buying art and eventually printing collections for the Kickstarter backers.

The map above is a player handout for the first Dungeon which will be posted next week. Could also be useful if you need a store map.

If there is interest I may start running the weekly Dungeons on Roll20 
Do I believe any of this will play out like Mike states? Not really. Does Mike believe it? Probably. And so the Infinite Nystul Sage continues..


  1. It takes something more than faith to support any of his projects.

  2. It says more about Kickstarter that it keeps letting him make projects. I wonder if it should make a limit of projects someone can have open at any one time.

    1. It has recently been one at a time. Rich Thomas at Onyx Path had to delay one by a few days and needed to get special dispensation to run more than one before closing the last out. He got the permission, having delivered on all theirs to date (with the very notable exception of Exalted 3e, which has seen constant updates and communication, but will likely be two years late after development hell).

  3. It's time to label this the Infinite Kickstarter, it never ends so that the project can't be considered "abandoned"

    1. There are other competitors for the position...Champions of Zed is trying to win the longest time to ship less than 200 items.

  4. Anybody have Mike's number? I'm interested in that bridge he's selling...

  5. Based solely on this, it seems this guy needs to just get a regular job and save money to pay back everyone who backed his Kickstarters and get out of the RPG business's altogether.

  6. Maybe Ken Whitman can manage Nystul's money for him.

  7. His replies to backers on his KS page are comedy gold....

  8. Note also how Mike fails to mention the work of all the folks that actually wrote Infinite Dungeon, book 1 - myself, the inestimable Ross Isaacs, Chris Harris, Owen Stephens, Jennifer B, with knock-down, drag-out incredible cartography by Alyssa Faden. He neglects to bring up that we all worked 16+ hour days while he pissed away the money from the Kickstarter. Then he has the gall to take credit for something that his contribution'd fit on a cocktail napkin.

    And he *quit* a day job to run his Patreon.


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