RPG Crowdfunding News – Cohors Cthulhu, A Life Well Lived, Mister Vampire, and more

This week’s article offers a sampling of TTRPG crowdfunding projects that end between October 19 and 29. My research pulls from Kickstarter, Backerkit, Crowdfundr, GameFound, GameOnTabletop, IndieGoGo, and more. Speaking of “more,” if you’re looking for third party Mörk Borg crowdfunding projects, while I don’t have any on this week’s list, there’s a website that has some upcoming options (here).

Cohors Cthulhu Tabletop Roleplaying Game.png

Cohors Cthulhu Tabletop Roleplaying Game from Modiphius
  • END DATE: Sun, October 29 2023 4:00 PM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Modiphius 2d20
  • PROJECT TYPE: Core rulebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: £125 + S/H for the PDF and print versions of the books, GM screen, dice, and more
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? Romans and barbarians battling the Mythos with magic and humanity’s dark gods. This game pits the great enemies of the past against the remnants of Atlantis, the Deep Ones, and the Great Old Ones. Yeah, that has potential. Using the same core system as Star Trek Adventures and Dune: Adventures in the Imperium, this TTRPG is set in the same world as Modiphius’ Achtung! Cthulhu 2d20. That connection allows you to tell stories and even experiment with time travel within this setting. Cohors Cthulhu comes as several books: a 218-page Player’s Guide, a 204-page Gamemaster’s Guide, and a 161-page Germania Adventures plus a PDF adventure and a fiction anthology. If this speaks to you, check out the campaign page for a link to the free quickstart and free novella to see if your gaming table is ready for Caesar versus Cthulhu.


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Vault 5e: A Life Well Lived from Cubicle 7
  • END DATE: Tue, October 24 2023 8:00 AM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition as well as the 5EC system, C7D20
  • PROJECT TYPE: Sourcebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: €35 + S/H for the PDF and print versions of the book plus character sheet pad
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? Cubicle 7 continues to build up their 5e and 5EC (5e compatible) library with A Life Well Lived. Created as a companion to their Uncharted Journeys sourcebook, A Life Well Lived considers the moments between dungeon crawls. More than considers, it makes an entire project of those moments. Need a richer backstory with long-term character goals and unresolved threads that the GM can pull on for your next encounter? Want to know what your character does when they’re healed up but not grinding out XP? For these situations and more, Cubicle 7 created an original Lifepath system, Downtime Activities, and Campcraft Activities through this book. As well, there are options for a patron (not the Warlock’s kind) and even retirement. If you’re looking to give more character to your character, this book may be for you.


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POLYHEDRAL: B-Sides & Late Nights from HTTPaladin
  • END DATE: Oct 27, 2023 at 2:59am EDT.
  • CROWDFUNDING ON: Backerkit
  • PROJECT TYPE: TTRPG book
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $50 + S/H for the PDF and print versions of the book
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? The idea behind this book is to pull back the curtain and meet the people who create TTRPGs. Not to talk about the games so much as to learn about who these creators are, how they got into this industry, and how they connect with gamers. The interview list ranges from industry insiders to indie darlings to famous gamers whose day job makes them, well, famous. 250 pages or more of gamers talking about why RPGs are special and why they’re called to sling dice. Since doing interviews is near and dear to my heart, this book speaks to me. Check out the Backerkit page for a list of who is involved.
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The Eye of Everywhere from Alan Tucker
  • END DATE: Wed, October 25 2023 11:00 AM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition and Pathfinder Second Edition
  • PROJECT TYPE: Sourcebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $29 for the PDFs of both books for PF2e
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? Do your characters want to jump from setting to setting going from fantasy to sci-fi and beyond? The Eye of Everywhere gives you a city with jealously guarded doorways between dimensions. If you can manage it, you can reached the farthest corners of the planes. Offered as a Gamemaster’s Guide and a Player’s Guide for 5e or PF2e, these books give you new classes, ancestries, and a setting that lets you stitch together all of the campaign worlds you’ve ever enjoyed. If this sounds familiar, this is the second attempt to fund this project; I covered the first GameFound campaign in May of last year. With this version of Kickstarter, you can check out the campaign page for a link to a free preview of the book.


Mister Vampire.png

Mister Vampire from Chamomile Has A Project
  • END DATE: Thu, October 19 2023 8:00 PM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): FATE
  • PROJECT TYPE: Core rulebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $25 + S/H for the PDF and print versions of the book
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? Because it’s a FATE TTRPG and it’s vampire-centric, I want to check this out. Mister Vampire makes you a creature of the night as you play supernatural politics among the cults of New Orleans. The game’s mechanics center of the political struggles of taking and holding power. You can feel elements of Vampire: The Masquerade with a greater focus on the machinations of power as opposed to the lost humanity of VtM. If you’re looking for a dark, horror, political FATE TTRPG to play vampires in, this may speak to you.


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Adventure In The Hundred Acre Wood, a Winnie The Pooh One-Shot for D&D from Jerry Joe Seltzer
  • END DATE: Oct 20, 2023 at 3:00am EDT.
  • CROWDFUNDING ON: Backerkit
  • SYSTEM(S): Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition
  • PROJECT TYPE: Adventure
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $4 for the PDF of the book
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? The idea of a Winne The Pooh TTRPG calls out to me. Until that is created, this adventure sounds fun. Set in the Hundred Acre Wood, you’ll play the marquee friends of Winnie as they deal with huney and bothers. In the United States of America, A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh is no longer copyright protected. Jerry Joe Seltzer has taken the opportunity to bring the Hundred Acre Wood to 5e. Designed as a 10-page adventure with pre-generated characters for Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, Rabbit, and Roo, you’ll get content for in-person as well as VTT assets for online play. If you’re a fan of 5e and Winnie The Pooh, give this a look because it looks fun!
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Incursion: A Conundrum role-playing game from JM Guillen
  • END DATE: Fri, October 20 2023 8:39 PM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): An original system
  • PROJECT TYPE: Core rulebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $65 + S/H for the PDF and print versions of the book as well as ebook novels, audiobooks, and more
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? Inside your character is a hidden technology that you’re only aware of when it’s turned on. When it is activated, you remember what you are, your cybernetic powers, and what you’re fighting against. This game combines espionage, madness, and outer darkness to give you something different. During your downtime, you’re normal, you forget this world. When you’re active, you have to save the world. With elements similar to DC’s H.E.R.O. Dial and Global Frequency, as well as original concepts, this world is based on JM Guillen’s writings of which you can get a sample via this campaign. You will find a world that needs a hero, and you’ve been selected for the task. If an original system and setting speak to you, check out this campaign.


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Eldritch Defenders from Falconian Productions
  • END DATE: Sat, October 28 2023 7:52 AM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Adversarial System
  • PROJECT TYPE: Core rulebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $15 for the PDF of the book
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? Eldritch Defenders is a courtroom procedural where you play as a lawyer arbitrating fairy pacts or litigating broken demonic bargains. Your lawyer works in a special legal branch dedicated to enforcing the rule of supernatural law. Sorta like a good version of Angel’s Wolfram & Hart, you interpret the law as it pertains to the denizens of the other planes. If the idea of playing as lawyers looking for loopholes in infernal deals speaks to your gaming table, this project might be for you.


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Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition Starter Box from EN Publishing
  • END DATE: Thu, October 12 2023 6:00 PM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition and other 5EC systems
  • PROJECT TYPE: Starter set
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: £30 + S/H for the PDF, VTT, and print boxed set
  • DISCLAIMER: EN World is a subsidiary of EN Publishing
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? This is the best way to jump into Advanced 5th Edition, but it ends tomorrow. Last call!

Egg Embry participates in the OneBookShelf Affiliate Program, Noble Knight Games’ Affiliate Program, and is an Amazon Associate. These programs provide advertising fees by linking to DriveThruRPG, Noble Knight Games, and Amazon.
 

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Lalato

Adventurer
Side topic... what happens to Crowdfunded products after fulfillment.

The vast majority become available for sale on the creator's website or through some third-party marketplace like DriveThruRPG. However, there is a small subset of projects that successfully fund and deliver... and then just... disappear. A few of these are physical books with no plan to make a PDF available. But I've seen a fair number now where the creator of the crowdfunding campaign has no interest in making the product available for sale beyond whoever backed the campaign.

The most recent example I encountered... the creator thought it too much of a hassle to even add it to a third-party site. Understandable from a small-time creator, I suppose. I've never used DtRPG from a publisher's point of view so no clue how much of a hassle it is.

In another example, the creator only planned on offering it as an add-on for future crowdfunding campaigns. That's a strategy of sorts. But the original campaign was funded by just over 200 people. Feels like intentionally limiting one's audience to go this route.

Many of these are from smaller publishers or very small creative teams. Are there any successfully fulfilled crowdfunding campaigns that were really big, but it's impossible to find the product after they shipped to campaign supporters?
 

Many of these are from smaller publishers or very small creative teams. Are there any successfully fulfilled crowdfunding campaigns that were really big, but it's impossible to find the product after they shipped to campaign supporters?
'Impossible' is a pretty big word, but Kobold Press is a decent example. The kickstarter pays for all the backers to get their copy, and a nice big print run, but once that print run is gone, it can be a long time before they get around to doing another one, and it can be real hard to lay your hands on stuff in the meantime.

I've seen a bunch of approaches to the problem, really. Some will add the product to sites like DTRPG, though they take a BIG cut of the sales price, and their POD product quality is much lower than what you'd get from a batch-printed book from a real printer. And DTRPG require a lot of work to get the files in a format they can print, apparently.

Some go mail-order only, printing up a big print run over and above what's required to fulfil for the backers, and stashing the books in someone's warehouse or garage and progressively shipping them out as the orders come in. Sometimes there's another later kickstarter to fund a reprint, with a few new bits and pieces as incentive. Good Society and Mutants and Masterminds have both done this in the last year or two,

Some partner with a games publisher, like Ghostfire or Hit Point Press. No idea what commercial arrangements are in place there.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
'Impossible' is a pretty big word, but Kobold Press is a decent example. The kickstarter pays for all the backers to get their copy, and a nice big print run, but once that print run is gone, it can be a long time before they get around to doing another one, and it can be real hard to lay your hands on stuff in the meantime.
Kobold Press keeps the PDFs around, though. I have seen -- but not backed -- projects that won't be available at all after the project ends. (I guess Reach of the Roach God accidentally became one of those, due to the falling out between the two creators.)
 

Lalato

Adventurer
Yeah. If the PDF is available that's one thing. I'm talking about projects where not even the PDF is available.

I recently reached out to one creator and they just offered to send me the PDF rather than make it more widely available elsewhere. Nice of them for sure, but I wasn't expecting that.
 

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