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

Seramus

Explorer
Or kept modest, and go on for a long, long time.
Yeah. I wouldn't blow most of it on a single season, or it will be really jarring going from one season to the next. Instead, rent a decent recording location and buy some nice cameras, but otherwise keep a modest level of production value and use the money to make several decent seasons of content.
 

Brodie

Explorer
The vast majority of his backers pledged at at a level that includes at least one physical item. The shipping cost I had to add for my copy of the book was $12. Taking that as a baseline, that's roughly $300k in shipping costs... At the very least.

However, he was only looking for $50k to fund publication (and some minis) and his stream... And he's gotten over $2,000,000. Even subtracting the rough estimate of shipping, publishing a book, and getting minis made, he's got quite a bit left to cover his stream. And maybe entice some of his well-known voice actor friends over for a cameo or two? ;)

Anyway, I'm really happy for Mr. Colville. When he announced he was doing a kickstarter, I thought "Well, count me in. I'm sure he'll reach his goal, even if just barely." I didn't think he'd become the most successful RPG kickstarter in history or make it into the Top 100 Kickstarters of All Time with really only one book. He must have had a lot of good karma built up. Bravo, Mr. Colville.
 

KahlessNestor

Explorer
Yeah. I wouldn't blow most of it on a single season, or it will be really jarring going from one season to the next. Instead, rent a decent recording location and buy some nice cameras, but otherwise keep a modest level of production value and use the money to make several decent seasons of content.
I believe he has all the equipment already. He went ten grand of his own money and they built a rig. What they needed was the space.
 

Corrosive

Adventurer
I don't think Matt Colville likes us very much.

https://www.mcdmproductions.com/news/2018/3/12/the-end-of-the-beginning

Matt Colville's blog said:
“On old forums where folks have been talking about D&D for 20 years, people are trying to reverse-engineer our success. None of them can fathom what’s going on. They’ve never heard of me. Is there really this much demand for a Strongholds & Followers book for 5th Edition? Have we all been doing this wrong the whole time?

I am a member of these forums. On some of them, I had tens of thousands of posts back in the late 90s and early 2000s. Back when that industry was my job. None of these people remember me, and why should they? They’re all newcomers from my point of view, and I’m a nobody from theirs.

Some people try to frame the discussion in terms of Streaming. “The Rise of the Streamer.” None of these people know who streams what, so they assume I am a popular streamer. Some of them know I’m not but in their minds, being on YouTube and being on Twitch is the same thing. I’m watching the birth of a new generation of Grognard.

I interject and try to explain. The success of the Kickstarter is the success of the YouTube channel. There’s no way to understand it otherwise. I don’t think they’re really interested in my opinion. What do I know? I’m no longer part of that world. I feel very little connection with folks in tabletop now. I realize to me, now, this hobby is something that happens at the table, but the community happens on twitch and youtube and reddit and twitter. Those are my native environments. I’m pretty sure most of the posters on these forums have no twitter account. They talk about twitter like it’s a sign of the downfall of western civilization. What would they have made of Elvis and his swiveling hips in the 1950s? Would they have been on the right side of history then?”
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
He kind of sees places like these as Old Man Yells at Cloud. He interacts through Reddit, Twitter, Twitch, and youtube. Dedicated forums are kind of an old school idea now.
I felt we were very supportive of his Kickstarter. I for one was cheering him on. Ah well, can't win 'em all!
 

Jester David

Adventurer
He's not wrong. I've been echoing his sentiments for the past year or so.
There's still a lot of people who assume we're the baseline D&D fanbase. We're representative of gamers. Who assume forums are relevant.

The only bit I raise an eyebrow at is:
Some people try to frame the discussion in terms of Streaming. “The Rise of the Streamer.” None of these people know who streams what, so they assume I am a popular streamer. Some of them know I’m not but in their minds, being on YouTube and being on Twitch is the same thing.
I think it's splitting hairs to distinguish between "YouTube Personality" and "Streaming".

Yeah, when having a discussion solely about live stream games, YouTube isn't as relevant.
However, many livestream games end up on YouTube. Geek and Sundry posts many of their games on that platform. The livestream Star Trek game I play in is hosted on Twitch and then archived on YouTube. There's a lot of overlap between the two sites.
So when discussing "streaming" and the effect on D&D of Web 2.0 (user created content rather than service created content), it's easiest to overlap the two. If only because "streamer" is the more commonly known descriptor. (Which Colville him self brought into the discussion by naming his Kickstarter "Strongholds & Streaming".)
 

pogre

Adventurer
I felt we were very supportive of his Kickstarter. I for one was cheering him on. Ah well, can't win 'em all!
I felt the same. I'm surprised he needed to take a shot at us old folks. I readily admit I am old and at a loss as to why twitter is popular, but one of my first observations on this thread was that it was easy to see why his youtube channel led to this success.

I am not contesting the idea that other media are more popular, but forums still have their role and serve an important part of the community. Or maybe I just like to think that, since it is where I interact on the internet with the game.
 

Jester David

Adventurer
Pretty consistently, yes. It's your favourite topic!
Probably. Next to crapping on the warlord, Star Trek Discovery, and the DC Cinematic Universe.


Maybe time for some ENWorld rebranding. Perhaps "Ye Olde Timey Morrus' Vintage Messages Forum."
;)
 

Corrosive

Adventurer
I for one know who streams what and I have a Twitter account. I'm not an old man screaming at the clouds like he's trying to portray us to be, nor am I an idiot unable to understand that his Kickstarter worked because of his YouTube following. That was uncalled for. I don't know where the hostility is coming from. I thought a load of us backed his Kickstarter? I did. He didn't seem to dislike us this much four weeks ago.
 

Jester David

Adventurer
I for one very much enjoy being constantly told how irrelevant I am. However, might I recommend you storm into some old people’s homes and explain their waning lifespans to them in exquisite detail? They need to hear it! ;)
You're the one that scoffed at the idea of a Discord server. ;)

To be serious for a moment, I do love this place. Otherwise I would have stopped coming here. And as someone who prefers writing at a controlled pace with editing, I favour forums. And as a long winded mo-fo I prefer blogs and forums to the microblog environment of Twitter.

This is a decent community that brings people together to talk about their passion. That's not irrelevant. That's important and special. And the liberal use of moderation makes this site significantly more friendly and accessible than a Chan site or reddit.com/r/rpg/

But that doesn't mean we are the "norm" of gamers. Honestly, we never were. But for a while there, in the mid-2000s, there was the assumption we were. WotC went into 4e really responding to message board complaints. But a fair number of posters here still seem to think that the feedback we're giving to UA and the thoughts on WotC's books are opinions shared by the majority of gamers.
We sometimes need that reality check that we're a suburb of a much larger city and there are lots of other communities out there.
 
I felt we were very supportive of his Kickstarter. I for one was cheering him on. Ah well, can't win 'em all!
I don't think he sees them as necessarily bad, but he kind of knows that these places are the places of crusty old grognards and that the newer people are on new social media
 

77IM

Explorer!!!
I don't know where the hostility is coming from. I thought a load of us backed his Kickstarter? I did. He didn't seem to dislike us this much four weeks ago.
Yeah, he comes off as kind of bitter for a guy who just made two million dollars. Sheesh.
 

wedgeski

Villager
It's Reddit and YouTube that have replaced traditional forums, not Twitter, though the latter is really good for interacting with WotC and your favourite creators.

I'm part of the decades-old crowd that MC talks about in the article linked above, and yet I've adopted Reddit as my default destination for online D&D talk. Similarly-experienced roleplayers around me have done the same... or have never been interested in online discussion of the game at all, despite being as passionate as myself or even more so. I still don't recognize this crusty stick-in-the-mud grognard stereotype, despite being told he exists for years and years.
 

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