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Numenera 2: The Kickstarter Is Live!

It's always an event when Monte Cook Games launches a Kickstarter. As a company, they have mastered the art of crowdfunding, with several well-executed, extremely successful Kickstarters under their belt - the original Numenera in 2012 raised over half a million dollars, and in total the company has run 11 high-profile, slick campaigns. The latest promises to be more of the same - Numenera 2: Discovery & Destiny has launched!

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This Kickstarter, five years after the original Numenera, is for two books entitled Discovery and Destiny. The first, Numenera Discovery, is, in their own words "a revision of the original Numenera corebook. Next summer, we will allow the original corebook to go out of print, and Numenera Discovery will take its place." However, MCG does go out of its way to point out that "Numenera Discovery is not a new edition".

The second book, Numenera Destiny, encompasses empire and community building. "You can make the world a better place. Help a community defend itself from abhumans or the iron wind. Create centers of learning or trade. Innovate, build, and protect. Manage an entire community and help it prosper and grow—or simply create a cool base or vehicle for your adventuring group."

The Kickstarter is certain to do well. I predict it funds in under an hour, and breaks the half-million barrier again. It's not a cheap one, though - it's for two books, and they cost $60 each in print; and if you want the full PDF set plus all the PDF stretch goals, it'll set you back a cool $100. MCG experimented - successfully! with it's Invisible Sun Kickstarter last year ($197 was the lowest pledge) and showed that expensive Kickstarters can work perfectly well.

As I said above, MCG Kickstarters are always an event. They're one of the companies to watch when they run a Kickstarter, because they invariably do it spectacularly. I think it's fair to say that these guys are experts at this!

Find the Kickstarter right here!

MCG's previous Kickstarters, which started annually and then become twice/year in 2015, include:

That's a total of $2,943,243. Not counting the current one, of course!
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Russ Morrissey

Comments

TrickyUK

Explorer
There's no option for Core Books in print plus everything else (including stretch goals) in PDF. Not sold on a 32 page softback as must have exclusive. For that reason, I'm out (at the moment, but monitoring stretch goals).

Tried to do some quick maths:

Numenera corebook $60 (plus shipping from US to UK)+ $20 for PDF (on MCG web store). Can be bought in UK for less than £40 (online with free shipping) in UK + £15 for PDF (DriveThru RPG).

Supplement (Into the Outside; 160 pages) $40 (plus shipping) + $15 for PDF (MCG web store). Can be bought in UK for less than £30 (online with free shipping) + £11 for PDF (DriveThru RPG).

So for 2 core books and 1 supplement, I would expect to spend £150 (approx.) for print and PDF, including shipping, in UK if I wait for retail release. To get the same from the Kickstarter at the moment I would have to spend $280 (All the Books in Print Pledge) + shipping to UK. Admittedly, I also get a '32-page exclusive glimmer' in print and PDF (worth $20?). $280 equates to £207 according to xe.com today (19 Sep 17).

I reckon 1 more 160-page supplement (from stretch goals) will make the All the Book in Print pledge value for money in the UK, give or take a few £s, and depending on shipping costs.

This is frustrating for me as I was so looking forward to this Kickstarter - have all existing Numenera products. If their track record is anything to go by, we will see more stretch goals, so this may still become something I back.

**EDIT/UPDATE (after hitting 2nd stretch goal)**
Misread the pledge level cost. With the Player's Guide now added I would think that the cost to buy at online retail in UK would be around £165; still not enough justify $280 + shipping just yet.

Also, to be fair, I should add that buying in the UK may not provide the core rulebooks slip case (which looks nice) and the preview PDF, which is probably similar to existing glimmers ($5).
 
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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
If it keeps up at this rate ($140K+ already), it might beat 7th Sea's record. The second RPG Kickstarter to hit a million dollars?
 



doctheweasel

Explorer
If it keeps up at this rate ($140K+ already), it might beat 7th Sea's record. The second RPG Kickstarter to hit a million dollars?
It will be interesting to see how it plays out from a "what makes a Kickstarter successful" perspective.

I'm curious how much of 7th Sea's success was excitement and how much was the great deal it was (Print Core Book + ALL the pdfs for $60). Discovery/Destiny definitely has the excitement, but the pdf only option is $100 and getting that and both books in print is more than $200. The KS's comment section already has people asking for an "all pdfs and both print books" option.

I certainly have been considering how far in I want to go on this one, whereas with 7th Sea it was an easy choice. It will be worth monitoring this KS to see if something like that will even makes a difference in the long term.

That said, I'm hoping it is very successful.
 

EthanSental

Adventurer
The 7th seas kick starter value has been amazing and went so smooth..Ashly the gold bar standard for a large Kickstarter.

ill keep an eye on this one even if I haven't played the system before.
 


Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Quarter of a million in under 24 hours.

Kicktraq is currently projecting $4M, but that estimate will go down after the first few days (Kickstarters typically make most of their funds in the first few days and the last few days, with the long middle period being much lower).
 

Wystan

Explorer
They also set this as a VERY long campaign - as a backer of almost all of their prior Kickstarter campaigns I was at the start one of the vocal commentators asking for a "Core in Print + all the PDFs" for $160-$180. The answer seems to be that they feel we should pay the equivalent of 2 pledge levels (basically double paying for all of the PDFs of the core books in KS vernacular) and go for $220 (Note that the Core Books add-on (same price as the pledge level - also known as FULL RETAIL) does not include the PDFs or the KS exclusive book... so there's that)
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
That campaign length is interesting. I’d be interested to learn the reasoning behind that.

My thought is always have a month and a day. Ensures it hits everybody’s payday.


Sent from my iPhone using EN World
 


TrickyUK

Explorer
Quarter of a million in under 24 hours.

Kicktraq is currently projecting $4M, but that estimate will go down after the first few days (Kickstarters typically make most of their funds in the first few days and the last few days, with the long middle period being much lower).
It is interesting in that the number of backers has dropped significantly on day 2 (so far). This makes me wonder whether the first day represented a cohort of the fan base more than anything else. I've seen comments that say not revealing all the stretch goals is making people hold back on pledges. Seen this on other projects too and I am in the same boat - if the number of books included reaches a good amount, then (for me) it's worth backing, but right now it isn't clear what I am buying into. This is based on the All the Books in Print pledge implying that there are a lot more books lined up as stretch goals.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
It is interesting in that the number of backers has dropped significantly on day 2 (so far). This makes me wonder whether the first day represented a cohort of the fan base more than anything else.
Pretty standard. Kickstarter campaigns are inverted bell-curve, with a really long flat low bit in the middle.

For example, here's the last KS I ran. Not nearly the same scale, obviously, but the pattern is pretty standard.

Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 21.08.29.png
 

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TrickyUK

Explorer
I agree that the pattern (big first day, then a drop) is standard, but this feels different to MCG's previous RPG Kickstarters (Numenera and The Strange). The drop is pledges is still there, but nowhere near as steep.





I also looked at backers rather than pledges as the pledge levels are different, but the trend is the same.

This suggests a slightly different behaviour from (potential) backers and looks similar to the fan effect seen in movie releases. I guess it could also be that a lot of people have noticed the end date and decided that there is plenty of time before making a pledge. Which, again, makes me think that not showing all (or at least more of) the stretch goals early on could have a negative impact. I suspect that once people know more about the stretch goals, they will up their pledges.

[On a side note, what happens if a stretch goal is reached and then pledges are reduced significantly? Does the stretch goal get pulled?]

I'm going to keep watching this one, almost like a social experiment, as I am interested in whether MCG can continue its very successful track record with Kickstarter projects (beyond simply being funded) with what seems to be a slightly different approach.
 
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Aephix

First Post
They also set this as a VERY long campaign - as a backer of almost all of their prior Kickstarter campaigns I was at the start one of the vocal commentators asking for a "Core in Print + all the PDFs" for $160-$180. The answer seems to be that they feel we should pay the equivalent of 2 pledge levels (basically double paying for all of the PDFs of the core books in KS vernacular) and go for $220 (Note that the Core Books add-on (same price as the pledge level - also known as FULL RETAIL) does not include the PDFs or the KS exclusive book... so there's that)
Has anyone at MCG actually said that or are we assuming that based on their lack of a response (I haven't seen anything from them on the comments on the KS to address it, although they maybe said something during the KS Live thing they did last night).
 

Aephix

First Post
The last purely Numenera KS campaign they ran (for Into the Ninth World) had about 3300 backers for sourcebooks (so we can assume most were already Numenera supporters), so it is probably a fairly safe bet that we'll have at least the same amount on this campaign (maybe more since this is for core rules which might bring in new players). The previous campaign had almost 1/2 the folks go for the "All the Books" package and about a 1/3 go for the "All the Ebooks", with the remainder on the other various pledges. The current campaign is at about 1/3 "All the Books", 1/3 "Core in Print", and 10% "All the Ebooks". I'm willing to bet that if they added a Core+PDF pledge, it would probably get almost half the pledges.
 

Wystan

Explorer
Has anyone at MCG actually said that or are we assuming that based on their lack of a response (I haven't seen anything from them on the comments on the KS to address it, although they maybe said something during the KS Live thing they did last night).
Monte Cook Games 11-time creator Superbacker 2 days ago
'@' bill: We're super happy that we can offer the PDF with the hardcover as a bonus to backers. But we can't back that cost out of the value of other rewards. We expect $100 to become a fabulous value for all the PDFs, and we think the corebook set is going to knock your socks off at $120. But we can't do that with the funding we'd generate if we gave you all the PDFs for an upcharge of just $40 or $60.
If you're worried that any of these elements won't be a great value based on what you know so far, by all means back at the level you're comfortable with! Just keep an eye on things, because (especially given the great start you've made for us!) I think you'll be excited by how things go!
--Charles

Straight from the KS - Important Line "[HI]But we can't do that with the funding we'd generate if we gave you all the PDFs for an upcharge of just $40 or $60.[/HI]" Also known as "No we don't want your extra $40-60"???
 
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Wystan

Explorer
The last purely Numenera KS campaign they ran (for Into the Ninth World) had about 3300 backers for sourcebooks (so we can assume most were already Numenera supporters), so it is probably a fairly safe bet that we'll have at least the same amount on this campaign (maybe more since this is for core rules which might bring in new players). The previous campaign had almost 1/2 the folks go for the "All the Books" package and about a 1/3 go for the "All the Ebooks", with the remainder on the other various pledges. The current campaign is at about 1/3 "All the Books", 1/3 "Core in Print", and 10% "All the Ebooks". I'm willing to bet that if they added a Core+PDF pledge, it would probably get almost half the pledges.
That is exactly the level I want - but their response is basically - "No"...
 

Aephix

First Post
Monte Cook Games 11-time creator Superbacker 2 days ago...

Straight from the KS - Important Line "[HI]But we can't do that with the funding we'd generate if we gave you all the PDFs for an upcharge of just $40 or $60.[/HI]" Also known as "No we don't want your extra $40-60"???
Thanks for digging that up...it was in a cluster of about 10 comments that I had completely overlooked when I had scrolled thru. Its unfortunate that they feel that way, but I'm really doubting (at this point) that the campaign will reach a sufficient level where the $100 level will be worth it if you are planning on getting the core books in print, especially if the folks who are backing at the D+D in Print or All the Ebooks tiers aren't pledging the additional amount to add to the campaign total. Going off the "Into the Ninth World" KS, if we get about the same number of backers, backing in roughly the same ratio they have been thus far, the campaign will reach 560-600k. Given that most of the stretch goals have been about 50k apart, thats about 5 stretch goals beyond the current Slaves of the Machine God book, and given MCG's history, its likely that at least one of those probably won't be a book, but either another enhancement of existing books or some multimedia thing (like music or a video or something). So four future books + Slaves + Building Tomorrow at an average PDF price of 14.99 (89.94), plus the players guide (7.99) = 97.93. If they manage to go past that point, it the value of adding the two packages together is worth it, but again, its harder to reach that point without folks backing at that level to begin with.

[Updated 10/2/17]: As of the current stretch goal (Priests of the Aeon), the retail value of the PDF's beyond the core books is 55.96 (Priests + Slaves + Building Tomorrow + Player's Guide). The Ruin Deck PDF will increase it to 62.95 and Bestiary 3 will increase it to 80.94.
 
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