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How do you feel about stretch goals?

JThursby

Adventurer
Do you guys remember the Order of the Stick kickstarter that set a backer record in it's time? It kept on adding more stretch goals the more backer money was added, and it ended up delaying everything (including the comic itself) by years. Ever since I've been skeptical of Kickstarters that show signs of run-away scope expansion. In general I run most of my games on VTTs now, so stretch goals that provide VTT-ready assets are what will appeal to me. I could care less for physical knick knacks, and things like minis are usually a gamble between decent quality and subpar so I don't seek them out.
 

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edosan

Adventurer
I tend to be skeptical of stretch goals because what seems to happen is either (1) the publisher already has that stuff done and is holding out to incite more FOMO (In which case are they just going to delete all that stuff? No, they'll put it in the next expansion I'll be paying for) or (2) they don't have it ready now and has to scramble out a bunch of possibly untested material that they did not plan on to meet a new deadline (Or for physical upgrades it means it's going to take longer for me to get my grubby paws on that book)

Several of the Kickstarters I've signed up for lately have taken the "we're not doing stretch goals, we're just giving you the whole package up front" which I appreciate more.

Do you guys remember the Order of the Stick kickstarter that set a backer record in it's time? It kept on adding more stretch goals the more backer money was added, and it ended up delaying everything (including the comic itself) by years.

Unfortunately, too many Kickstarters are plagued by not understanding how long it takes to produce things like upgrades as the scope of the project increases. Even little things like adding a ribbon to a book takes time.
 
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Depends a bit on the nature of the stretch goals: I like stretch goals that add adventures to a new system, increase the budget for illustrations, or make the physical book nicer (though I rarely back for physical stuff these days); I don't really care for stuff outside the core product (unless it's really nice dice, then I sometimes get tempted).

Side note: sometimes there's also stretch goals that increase the rates contributors get - it was never something that influenced my decision to back something too much, but it's still nice if people involved get a bit more.
 

Davies

Legend
There has been at least one occasion where a stretch goal, introduced late in the campaign, made me abandon the whole thing out of concern that the creators had developed impossible expectations. As that particular Kickstarter has yet to release much of what it promised in its stretch goals BEFORE the one that made me back out, I think this was a wise decision.
 

I back a decent amount of stuff on Kickstarter, and I really, really, really don't care about little doodads. I spend enough time agonizing over where to put various nerdy tchochkes I bought years ago and packed away during moves. For me, more of those are just more problems.

I also don't care very much about ribbons, different covers, that sort of thing. If I'm pledging for a physical book I just want the book.

What I do really love in a stretch goal, though, is more content of any kind. I'm good with that being more art or text in the main book, or additional material as PDFs. Or a map (again, don't care if its physical).

I get that stretch goals can muck up a campaign pretty quickly, and I truly hate it when backers get entitled and whiny about them. No matter how many people remind them that stretch goals are a treat, they'll show up in the comments griping away. That said, I think when stretch goals are feasible for TTRPG creators, they really do amp up the enthusiasm, and satisfy those backers who see Kickstarter as some sort of combined team- and spectator-sport. I'm one of those dummies who checks in on campaigns I like, but not enough to back, just to see if they've hit the next goal. Some will surely disagree but even if those goals are as simple as "two more monsters" or "a half-page of story seeds" I think they still go a long way.

(Oh and VTT support is awesome, but that market is so fractured it's hard to tell how much of a plus that is for the overall audience. Even some tokens, though, are appreciated.)
 


Generally speaking, the more stretch goals, the less likely I am to back a Kickstarter. Especially when they have all sorts of stuff that goes beyond just designing and printing a book, like miniatures, a smartphone app, breakfast cereal, etc.

There has been at least one occasion where a stretch goal, introduced late in the campaign, made me abandon the whole thing out of concern that the creators had developed impossible expectations. As that particular Kickstarter has yet to release much of what it promised in its stretch goals BEFORE the one that made me back out, I think this was a wise decision.

Tons of expansions and conversions to other systems makes me leery, too. People always seem to underestimate the effort that goes into that. It's like, just worry about putting it out for one system, with a clearly defined scope.

Really, I pretty much use the Marmoreal Tomb as a "don't do this" baseline for what not to do.

Now, one sort of stretch goal I do like is when they have things like "this person will design a monster/magic item/thingie."
 

When I back kickstarters, especially from small and independent creators, I want them to be able to focus on Making the Thing rather than the project management of coordinating and shipping all the various stretch goals. In some cases the stretch goals add meaningfully to the core project, like paying the creators more or adding more people, which I think is great.

Stretch goals that just add more stuff not only possibly delay the project but seem like aimless consumerism. I don't want a plushie I don't even want a collector's edition; just Make the Thing.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Personally, I don't care that much about swag--t shirts, buttons, etc. I do like things like extra books, minis, and things I can use.

When I am pledging for game products, which is the overwhelming majority of my use of kickstarter, this is my position as well. Extra game materials - expanded setting, extra rules sections, adventures - are all welcome. Improvements to core game materials (like, if your game uses minis as tokens, and your stretch goal is having them pre-painted instead of grey plastic) is fine. It it enhances the game experience, I'll probably find it positive.
 

R_J_K75

Legend
I like stretch goals that add value or compliment the base product in a meaningful way.

I don't care for T-Shirts, or other such things.
I backed the Grim Hollow - The Monster Grimoire book and was able to download the beta pdfs. IDK if it was a stretch goal or just an add on that they gave out, but it came with a pdf for Grim Hollow Lairs. It's pretty useful and gives lairs (of about 20-25 creatures in the OG book) and are about 3–4-page short adventures. I didn't even notice it until I was looking for something quick to run and came across it in my downloads. This is the stuff I care about. I had an adventure that I could easily drop in anywhere, read and prepped in about 15 minutes, and I almost never use pre-made adventures/scenarios.
 

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