Are We Looking At A New RPG Kickstarter Record?

The current record for an RPG Kickstarter is John Wick's 7th Sea 2nd Edition, which made just over $1.3 million in about a month. Matt Colville looks like he might leave that in the dust with Strongholds & Streaming, however, having raised nearly half a million dollars in about 5 hours at the time of posting this, with a month to go!


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Strongholds & Streaming is a dual Kickstarter - first to produce a 128-page hardcover book about building strongholds and attracting followers for D&D 5th Edition; and then with stretch goals related to Colville's streaming channel.

You can build four stronghold types - keeps, towers, temples, and establishments; these roughly correlate to warriors, arcane casters, divine casters, and rogue-types. The stronghold improves your class abilities, and attracts followers.

Stretch goals include miniatures, more pages, an an adventure (so far - he's blown through all those on there right now already).

You can see this epic Kickstarter here. I've never seen an RPG Kickstarter blow up quite so fast in so short a time!

Matt Colville writes the Critical Role comic, and has worked on various tabletop gaming projects, including the recent Star Trek RPG. He has worked on various mass-combat and starship combat rulesets. In addition, he runs a big YouTube channel about tabletop RPGs (D&D especially).
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Russ Morrissey

Comments

hawkeyefan

Explorer
His comments don’t seem overly critical to me so much as just observations. I think plenty of us are and have been supportive of him, and Morrus in particular made a few positive threads about the project. I backed the project and am happy to have done so.

But if you look at the early pages of the threads, there are many people who had no idea who he is or why his project was taking off. They were unaware of his Youtube presence and the community he built there. According to Matt, that’s the primary reason for the success of the Kickstarter. He even popped in to explain that. Many people didn’t bother listening and conjectured other reasons for the success.

So I think he’s just pointing out the disconnect that can exist between forums like these and the community with which he is more actively engaged. He’s a bit critical, but based on many of the early comments in the threads, the criticism isn’t unwarranted. He’s also speaking about more than one forum, so I think it’s a mistake to read his comments as being exclusively about ENWorld.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Re “old” and “new” media — I cant speak for anyone else, but I certainly use both (like it’s a binary thing, which of course it’s not). I’ve sponsored a streamed live game for my own WOIN system for well over a year, I’ve made videos, done video interviews, even a cartoon series on YouTube. I’m an active Twitter user, though I confess I try to keep my social media down to just that and Facebook.

There’s no reason to segregate people — they can do more than one thing. One day websites as we know them will be gone; this community will take an entirely different form as we interact in Morrus’ Virtual Tavern; one day the stuff that’s new today will be gone; and it’ll all be new again. One day 5E will be but a distant memory. *Nothing* lasts forever, and that’s OK.

We all just do our best work as best we can in the ways we’re good at. I’d be a rubbish newsreader but I can compile information like it was a superpower!

All we can do is try to do good work, keep doing it, and hope there’s an audience for it.
 

darjr

I crit!
The idea to get a discord channel and a slack site is probably good ones, if anything so at least you have them vs someone else.
 

R_Chance

Explorer
Anyone older than me? (55 years old)

I'v been here since the founding by Eric Noah.

I also follow people on twitter, stay tuned to the 5e Unearthed Arcana reddit for new houserules, items, and classes.

Love Critical Role, although "streaming"? Nope. Cant be tied down that long...got things to do.

Converted CR from the youtube to a mp3 on my computer so I could listen while commuting to work, cutting grass, running 2 miles etc.

edit...Note: CR has a podcast now, so I'm good.

I'm 59. This is my second incarnation (or would that be disincarnation?) on this site thanks to a hard drive crash and a couple of, painful, years away from gaming. I prefer different media for different things. You tube for computer gaming information, podcasts for my political habit (I teach history and poly sci), this site for D&D etc. I like this site because people here, mostly, have manners. I get my D&D news fix and conversation hear and at Paizo. I didn't back his kickstarter because I already have my own stronghold / temple / guild system in place. I was happy to see it doing well. Even if he does come off sounding like some little elitist :)
 

Corrosive

Adventurer
It's not a question of us old timers gatekeeping. We're not doing that. He is. It's the opposite. It's when people like Colville are telling us that we're no longer part of the community. That's gatekeeping. He's a multimillionaire now and he's telling us we're not part of the D&D community. As far as I can make out, because nobody reognized him as he'd left 20 years ago, and he's pissed at us for that. We were supposed to genuflect at his gracious appearance here or something, and we didn't.

But well. He won $2,000,000. That makes him right. We're fired from the D&D community.
 

DM Dave1

Adventurer
It's not a question of us old timers gatekeeping. We're not doing that. He is. It's the opposite. It's when people like Colville are telling us that we're no longer part of the community. That's gatekeeping. He's a multimillionaire now and he's telling us we're not part of the D&D community. As far as I can make out, because nobody reognized him as he'd left 20 years ago, and he's pissed at us for that. We were supposed to genuflect at his gracious appearance here or something, and we didn't.

But well. He won $2,000,000. That makes him right. We're fired from the D&D community.
This is way overreacting to his blog post. Have you ever watched his YouTube posts? He’s trying to advance the game and bring more people into it. Any perceived disparaging remarks against forums are against jerks/ignorance in the forums, not against everyone who posts in the forums. Don’t take it personally if you are not a jerk. I mean, he posts in forums. Is he villifying himself? just stop. It reeks of jealousy. Be happy for what it really represents - a new level of popularity for a game we all enjoy.
 

Motorskills

Explorer
It's not a question of us old timers gatekeeping. We're not doing that. He is. It's the opposite. It's when people like Colville are telling us that we're no longer part of the community. That's gatekeeping. He's a multimillionaire now and he's telling us we're not part of the D&D community. As far as I can make out, because nobody reognized him as he'd left 20 years ago, and he's pissed at us for that. We were supposed to genuflect at his gracious appearance here or something, and we didn't.

But well. He won $2,000,000. That makes him right. We're fired from the D&D community.
This is way overreacting to his blog post. Have you ever watched his YouTube posts? He’s trying to advance the game and bring more people into it. Any perceived disparaging remarks against forums are against jerks/ignorance in the forums, not against everyone who posts in the forums. Don’t take it personally if you are not a jerk. I mean, he posts in forums. Is he villifying himself? just stop. It reeks of jealousy. Be happy for what it really represents - a new level of popularity for a game we all enjoy.
Yeah, exactly. To arrive at that conclusion from what Matt is promoting is just bizarre to my mind. Matt wants more people in the hobby (and he's doing a damned fine job of it).
 

KahlessNestor

Explorer
It's not a question of us old timers gatekeeping. We're not doing that. He is. It's the opposite. It's when people like Colville are telling us that we're no longer part of the community. That's gatekeeping. He's a multimillionaire now and he's telling us we're not part of the D&D community. As far as I can make out, because nobody reognized him as he'd left 20 years ago, and he's pissed at us for that. We were supposed to genuflect at his gracious appearance here or something, and we didn't.

But well. He won $2,000,000. That makes him right. We're fired from the D&D community.
Yeah, this just seems way ignorant of Matt and what he's doing. I took his comments this way, more or less:

The place things are happening the the D&D community are not in the old places (like forums), but in the new places (social media, YouTube, Twitch).

He wasn't saying good or bad, except to the extent that those in the old places don't recognize it (the "new grognards"). He acknowledges no longer really belonging to the old places and firmly entrenched in the new. He said nothing about anyone being "kicked out" of the community.

Honestly, this is the same discussion that went on with WOTC closed their D&D forums in favor of Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit, and we all migrated over here to ENWorld. It's just an acknowledgement of the changing times, not an excommunication.
 

CubicsRube

Explorer
As above. Way overreacting.

But i also wanted to point out that hes been building a aubscriber base for years and then went on to produce a kickstsrter that people went nuts for as the demand and the name was there. He didn't win anything.
 

Motorskills

Explorer
As above. Way overreacting.
What do you expect from someone called "Corrosive" ?

But I also wanted to point out that he's been building a subscriber base for years and then went on to produce a Kickstarter that people went nuts for as the demand and the name was there. He didn't win anything.
Yeah, that was a really ugly sentiment to express. Ignorance and malice in one neat package.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
It came out a bit wrong, that is all.

Am I talking about Matt or posters here? You tell me ;)
 
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baniel105

Villager
I'm not sure why people keep saying Matt made 2 million. It's not like all that's going into his pocket! There's going to be lots of expenses, what with the majority of backers paying for physical items. Not to say that there won't be a lot of profit left over, of course.
 

schnee

Villager
It's not a question of us old timers gatekeeping. We're not doing that. He is. It's the opposite. It's when people like Colville are telling us that we're no longer part of the community. That's gatekeeping. He's a multimillionaire now and he's telling us we're not part of the D&D community. As far as I can make out, because nobody reognized him as he'd left 20 years ago, and he's pissed at us for that. We were supposed to genuflect at his gracious appearance here or something, and we didn't.

But well. He won $2,000,000. That makes him right. We're fired from the D&D community.
Yeah, that's a little dramatic.

Look, he's absolutely right about one thing: his success was due to YouTube. 1000%. He got credibility as a designer with his DM advice series, he got more trust by not having ads, he proved his writing chops to new fans with his books, and he is a fantastic spokesman for the 'old school' gaming philosophy.

There are a bunch of other DM types on YouTube. His screen presence blows the rest of them out of the water, not to mention his ability to articulate complex stuff in an approachable and fun way. Absolutely none of that ever comes through in a text medium.

If it weren't for YouTube his Kickstarter wouldn't exist.

--

As far as there being 'Forums' people and 'Social Media' people, sure, some of us bridge the gap, but again, that's probably not the majority. And, when you look at the people who don't bridge that gap - the old forum guard vs the new social community, they are very, very different. Old graying white pulp fantasy / wargaming / ren-festers vs. younger comic / book series / movie / anime / cosplay / video game / theater / larp with very wide representation.

Even in EnWorld, which has a surprisingly liberal perspective compared to most gaming forums, I see regular outbursts of the 'get off my lawn, fantasy is about racism towards orcs and low strength female characters and that's that' variety. Just wait until MToF's 'Elves are gender-fluid' hits. Sit back and watch and see the difference. I bet money that the forum and social media responses will be completely different.

Watch the What Critical Role Means To Me video for a taste. I'd love to see if even EnWorld has that breadth of representation, but I sure wouldn't put any money on it.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
I'm not sure why people keep saying Matt made 2 million. It's not like all that's going into his pocket! There's going to be lots of expenses, what with the majority of backers paying for physical items. Not to say that there won't be a lot of profit left over, of course.
The same way Black Panther made $1.19 Billion. We know about expenses.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
Just from my own anecdotal experience, social media responses can get pretty ugly compared to places like this.
True any time I want to shut down discussion on you tube I just post a picture of myself. Smiling. That ends the discussion right quick.... or I get a temp ban.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Yeah, this reminds me of "generation" debates. Most stereotyping of "Generation X", "Millenials", etc. are rubbish (Adam Connover of "Adam Ruins Everything" did a great talk on this at Deep Shift. I think the same is true with "new" social media vs. "old" social media. To me, it seems, that the new social media and multimedia options and streaming have all made online communications more approachable and easier and/or more attractive for a wider base of people to partake. Facebook and Youtube apply to broad demographic. Twitch probably trends much younger, but that has less to do with it being streaming than it does with the content streamed. If/when Twitch starts to stream content with appeal to other demographics (sports events, golf, DIY, cooking, gardening, etc.), then it will be no more of a young-person's platform than You Tube, Netflix, or Hulu.

Moderated forums like ENWorld appeal to those who want to have more in-depth conversations. Those willing to take the time to read and respond in this format will always be fewer than those who want to mostly passively consume content while shooting off quick reactions. The thing is, forum users were always a small percentage of gamers overall and in the golden era of gaming forums, many users use them because they were the easiest place to look up information or get rules clarifications. That's not true any more. That doesn't mean that forums are obsolete, just that they can focus on what they do best and provide a platform for those who want more substantial conversation.

And, I agree with Morrus, a well-moderated forum tends to be far more civil than other platforms. I have to call out ENWorld as doing an especially good job in this regards. Strong opinions are tolerated but uncivil and bullying behavior is quickly nipped in the bud.
 

Shasarak

Villager
Look, he's absolutely right about one thing: his success was due to YouTube. 1000%. He got credibility as a designer with his DM advice series, he got more trust by not having ads, he proved his writing chops to new fans with his books, and he is a fantastic spokesman for the 'old school' gaming philosophy.
I think that it is quite fun to retroactively come up with reasons for the success of the kickstarter because who would have guessed that a book/mini/streaming combo would have done so well.
 

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