Monday, May 29, 2017

Kickstarter - Blood & Bones: Tabletop/PC Role-playing Game (Uhm - yeah...)

Boy, is this awkward. The creator emailed me in the hopes that I'd cover his Blood & Bones Kickstarter, and I am - but I don't think its the coverage that he desired.

First, the good stuff. The Kickstarter page is pretty much free of grammatical and spelling mistakes. Pledge levels can fund the Kickstarter. Sometimes I think both are uncommon these days. The email inquiry was polite enough. Shit. This isn't easy.

Okay, here are the issues I see:

#1 - $50k goal from an unknown creator. Not just First Created but it appears, Zero Backed. No resume of prior projects or sample of prior work. Again, asking 50k.

#2 - Its a project many years in the making. Yes, we are talking classic Heartbreaker.

#3 - Monies are going towards living expenses (paying himself for the work) While I do understand time is money, there is no break down as to where the money is going .

#4 - Novels are also involved. To advertise the game. Need I say more?

#5 - No discussion of the rules on the KS page aside from a need for an app to play. Watch the video and you'll see the NEED for an app

#6 - Pledge levels included different levels for each of the three core rulebooks. No mention of add ons.

#7 - Mentions electronic versions of the rules in the video. No PDF level to back. Unless the backer levels are for PDFs. Doesn't say physical products.

#8 - Video mentions hiring folks to work on the project.

#9 - Money is needed to playtest. Shouldn't playtest of some sort have happened BEFORE asking for 50k?

#10 - Risks & Challenges - Apparently, Number One is "making a lot of money from this game" - Need I say more?

Yeah, I know. Harsh.

Kickstarter is not some sore of virtual cash machine where you put up a project and $50k spits out. It doesn't work that way. Especially not now with burned and angry backers lurking on every KS page.

Do you need 50k to bring this project to life? You certainly haven't spelled out the expenses to justify it. How are books shipping? Not POD obviously, as they are binders. Have you taken into account the cost of shipping? How about international shipping, which may be more than you've actually charged for the book? Are you handling fulfillment? An outside company? What about art expenses? Why are we expected to pay your bills when you have no proven record, either in the hobby or on Kickstarter.

My advice?

Rework your funding numbers. Lower you goal by AT LEAST 90%. Have some sample art. Show some sample writing from the rulebooks. Figure out your potential shipping costs! I can't stress shipping enough. Its the most common way for Kickstarter success to lead to Kickstarter distress.


  1. It might have helped for him to ask you for advice BEFORE starting the Kickstarter.

    1. I really should start a fairly priced Kickstarter Consulting Service...

    2. A lot of creators could benefit from that.

    3. That's actually not a bad idea. Charge something like $50 to go over KS for new creators.

  2. "While I do understand time is money..."

    Time at your JOB is money. Time at your HOBBY is not.

    I would never, under any circumstances, back a Kickstarter where ANY of the money was going toward living expenses or paying the creator to write it. Write the ten thousandth unnecessary D&D clone first (if you must) and THEN ask for money.

  3. He's trying to kickstart what....Excel? He seems like a nice enough guy but he has no idea of what he can, and cannot, accomplish with a kickstarter.

  4. By the looks of the character sheet this game would be better named Fractals and Fibonacci

    Lets see. First off a binder instead of a rulebook so pages can be added after updates are released. So if three pages are added to a chapter right after page 76 I'd get pages 76a, 76b and 76c to add to my binder just before page 77. All of this supposing all edits occur at the end of the chapter. I'm concerned that if a paragraph gets edited and grows or shrinks the page font will adjust accordingly and I'll get a new page 73 to replace the old page 73 that has a slightly smaller font and margin so all text could fit after the edit. Green? YES! Practical? Heck no!

    Added to this there are the 24 attributes, with 6 senses, 30 abilities, compound abilities with three attributes or senses with "plenty of room to add more to the list" (I guess by means of those "green updates"), and the digital "mobile" version will add even more. This guy takes the term "exponential" to a whole new level (exponentially fast btw!).

    This guy needs a market study from an OSR guru like yourself. I'm not very confident a game of this complexity is "mainstream" or in high demand nowadays. More likely to flop on sales just out of sheer complexity alone.


Tenkar's Tavern is supported by various affiliate programs, including Amazon, RPGNow,
and Humble Bundle as well as Patreon. Your patronage is appreciated and helps keep the
lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

Blogs of Inspiration & Erudition