Million Dollar TTRPG Kickstarter Club

Avatar Legends leads the pack in an exclusive club -- Kickstarters for tabletop roleplaying game products which have broken the $1M barrier! It is currently the most successful TTRPG Kickstarter in history with a funding total of nearly $10M, and over 80,000 backers.

22 TTRPG campaigns have ever achieved $1M; 8 TTRPG campaigns have done so without offering miniatures, and only 7 which aren't D&D-related. I myself nearly did it, but fell slightly short with a mere $950,000!

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This list comprises Kickstarters specifically for tabletop roleplaying games or supplements which have exceeded $1M. It does not include Kickstarters for miniatures, software, dice, or other accessories.
  • The first TTRPG Kickstarter to break $1M was 7th Sea: Second Edition (2016) by John Wick.
  • The first to break $2M was Strongholds & Streaming (2018) by Matt Colville.
  • The first to break $9M was Avatar Legends (2021) from Magpie Games.
  • The first to break $1M on its first day was Avatar Legends (2021) from Magpie Games.
  • The first (and so far only) to break $1M without physical merch addons (minis, dice, shirts, pins, etc.) is Coyote & Crow the Roleplaying Game (2021) from Connor Alexander.
  • Most entries are Hit Point Press with 3 campaigns over $1M and contributor on two more; and Matt Colville with 3 campaigns over $1M.
  • Ghostfire Gaming has one million-dollar campaign of their own, and is listed as contributor to three others; Hit Point Press has three million-dollar campaigns, and is listed as a contributor on two more.
In the 12 years since Kickstarter's creation in 2009 until the start of 2021, 4 TTRPG projects beat the $1M mark. In the months since March 2021, until the time of writing, a further 18 projects have done so.

$1M+ TTRPG Kickstarters: The Official TTRPG $1M Kickstarter Club

#​
KickstarterCreatorDate EndedBackersAmountFirst Day**Average Pledge
1​
Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying GameMagpie GamesSeptember 202181,549$9,533,258$1,150,566 (12%)$117
2​
Steinhardt's Guide to the Eldritch Hunt: A 5e Supplement^⁺MonkeyDMAugust 202219,723$2,692,698$411,135 (15%)$137
3​
Fool's Gold: Into the Bellowing Wilds^*⁺Hit Point PressNovember 202116,929$2,479,888$349,884 (14%)$147
4​
Strongholds & Streaming^*⁺Matt ColvilleMarch 201828,918$2,121,465$591,556 (28%)$73
5​
Tanares RPG - 5e^*⁺Dragori GamesOctober 20219,403$2,100,242$993,228 (47%)$223
6​
Old Gods of Appalachia Roleplaying GameMonte Cook GamesMay 202215,061$2,097,715$679,748 (32%)$139
7​
"Flee, Mortals!" - The MCDM Monster Book for 5e^*⁺Matt ColvilleMay 202227,009$2,084,117$788,976 (38%)$77
8​
The One Ring Roleplaying Game, Second EditionFree LeagueMarch 202116,591$2,025,288$521,908 (26%)$122
9​
Heliana's Guide to Monster Hunting^⁺Loot Tavern (Hit Point Press)July 202118,082$1,845,422$259,382 (14%)$102
10​
BLADE RUNNER - The Roleplaying GameFree LeagueMay 202215,323$1,673,567$833,263$109
11​
The Seeker's Guide to Twisted Taverns^⁺Eldermancy (Ghostfire Gaming)March 202117,921$1,650,076$211,563 (13%)$92
12​
Mothership Sci-Fi Horror RPG 1st Edition Boxed SetAlan GerdingDecember 202115,699$1,405,569$529,134 (38%)$90
13​
Kingdoms, Warfare & More Minis!^*Matt ColvilleNovember 201919,033$1,372,685$594,330 (43%)$72
14Grim Hollow: The Monster Grimoire^*⁺Ghostfire GamingMay 202115,530$1,348,160$258,640 (19%)$87
15​
7th Sea: Second EditionJohn WickMarch 201611,483$1,316,813$286,290 (22%)$115
16
The Deck of Many Animated Spells, Tarot and More for 5eHit Point PressJune 20209,871$1,310,509$218,381 (16%)$133
17Dungeons of Drakkenheim^*⁺Dungeon Dudes (Ghostfire Gaming)August 202113,376$1,279,240$370,638 (29%)$96
18Auroboros: Coils of the Serpent^*⁺Warchief GamingMay 202110,218$1,260,863$493,947 (39%)$123
19The Griffon's Saddlebag: Book 2^⁺Griffin Macaulay (Hit Point Press)April 202211,710$1,237,197$297,192 (24%)$106
20​
Coyote & Crow the Roleplaying GameConnor AlexanderApril 202116,269$1,073,453$106,515 (10%)$66
21​
Sebastian Crowe's Guide to Drakkenheim^*⁺Dungeon Dudes (Ghostfire Gaming)September 20228,963$1,025,330$422,376 (41%)$114
22Humblewood Campaign Setting for 5e^*⁺Hit Point PressApril 201914,604$1,001,085$58,985 (6%)$69
^D&D
*Includes miniatures
⁺Includes other non-digital merchandise (dice, bags, pins, shirts, coins, etc.)
**First day figures represent first calendar day, not first 24 hours, and are taken from Kicktraq's daily funding stats

Some unusual patterns can be seen above. Most Kickstarters follow the traditional 'U' shaped curved, with a large portion of the funding taking place in the first few and last few days of the campaign, and comparatively slower progress in the middle.
  • Tanares RPG did nearly $1M in its first day, but then support dropped off for the remaining month. This was due to a high-value giveaway to first-day backers.​
  • Humblewood started off slow and then got a big boost in the last 4 days. It's not clear what caused that, but an aggressive final marketing push is a good candidate--they have multiple marketing entries in their collaborators list.​
A Kickstarter which does well will tend to mean later campaigns also do well, as those backers are notified when new Kickstarters by the same creator are launched. Including Ghostfire Gaming (which is involved with 3 campaigns), the list of 17 creators includes 4 who have 2 or more entries.

The average pledge level for a million-dollar campaign is about $100. This is usually reached by including add-ons and merchandizing.
 
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Russ Morrissey

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RealAlHazred

Frumious Flumph
I suspect Avatar hit at just the right time: pandemic issues still have people in a TTRPG buying mood, the TV show still has a lot of legs with the fandom, and the presentation makes it look like a gorgeous product.
 




Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Yeah, that early bird free dragon mini reward made for a pretty big drop. It did it's job, I guess!

Common wisdom is that early bird reads make for a good launch, but put off later backers who feel they are missing out and undervalued. That's why I don't use them (but then I've not made a million dollars in one day, so who am I to talk?)

Screen Shot 2021-09-04 at 12.20.27 AM.png
 

Jadeite

Explorer
A large number of backers for Tanares are in for the minis and the boardgame expansion. While some of the others offered minis as well in the past, it's really significant this time.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
View attachment 143192
View attachment 143193

There's not much in it for the first day, but the drop off seems sharper (note that 3rd day is today, so it will be higher by the end of the day).
So this is how that curve is currently looking.

Screen Shot 2021-09-06 at 4.06.14 PM.png


It looks to me like that free dragon mini front loaded this campaign for a really strong launch, but that effect only lasted a day or so.
 




CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I suspect that without that first day free dragon mini, it would be a more typical pattern. That frontloaded it massively.
Yep, a free dragon sculpture for all folks who pledged $75 or more on Day 1 really hit the stratosphere. I guess it's a great way to ensure that (1) your project reaches its funding goal quickly, so you aren't waiting on tenterhooks to find out if you are even going to get a green-light; and (2) the numbers stabilize early and stay fairly predictable throughout the course of the campaign so it's less risky to get orders in to the printers early. Seems like both of these would be great if your project has high shipping costs and long fabrication lead-times (which I'm guessing that this one does, since it's books and minis and board games, all at once.)

But if you're trying to get as much funding and as many backers as possible, the "stretch goal" model would probably be the better way to go. Offer that dragon sculpture to everyone who pledged $75 or more, but only if the Kickstarter hits $X (where X is sufficiently high enough to absorb the extra cost of all those dragon minis without negatively impacting the project delivery.) Sure, you might end up with having to deliver a million dragons, but you'd also have a million pledges of $75 or more to make it happen.
 
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