RPG Crowdfunding News – Grayshade, Alchemistresses, Libations, and more

This week, I look at RPG crowdfunding projects that end between July 4 and August 14. Last week, I shared several non-Kickstarter RPG campaigns, however, that seemed to exhaust the field for the moment, resulting in this article being all Kickstarter.

Before I jump into this week’s RPG sampling, there’s crowdfunding news. First, Backerkit announced their plan to join crowdfunding. If you’ve backed enough Kickstarter campaigns, you’ve likely used Backerkit for paying shipping or ordering some extras. With this move, they’re formally moving from crowdfunding support to crowdfunding, which makes them the first large scale, well positioned entry into the field after the first wave of Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. How much they can disrupt crowdfunding is up for debate, but it does add to the options of the aforementioned, GameFound, and GameOnTabletop, among others. Unrelated, the most prominent crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter, announced a new Community Advisory Council which includes Philip Reed, a frequently featured creator in this column. Philip’s positions as CEO of Steve Jackson Games and one of the most prolific RPG creators on Kickstarter make him an ideal voice to advise the company. Here’s hoping Kickstarter takes his wisdom to heart.

Grayshade - Dark Fantasy Novels and RPG.jpg

Grayshade - Dark Fantasy Novels and RPG from Alligator Alley Entertainment and Atthis Arts
  • END DATE: Fri, July 15 2022 11:59 PM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition
  • PROJECT TYPE: Sourcebook and prose novel
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $1 for the Grayshade prose ebook
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? This campaign brings new books for the existing The Gray Assassin fantasy series and adds a 5e tabletop RPG adaptation. Based on the The Gray Assassin Trilogy by Gregory A. Wilson, the RPG is designed by Aaron Rosenberg and Rich Lescouflair and it lets you explore the dark alleys and darker alliances of a city in which the Just God has an order of assassins. Merchants and religions compete with the government in this undeclared street war for the hearts and coins of the people. This is nowhere in Alligator Alley Entertainment and Atthis Arts’ pitch, but I read into this world and campaign, seeing it as Rich Oligarch Landlords and Exporters versus Godly Assassin Merchant Eliminators. That’s the acronym for a good R.O.L.E.[playing] G.A.M.E. and a better reason than many for a party to meet at a tavern, pick a side, and start murderhoboing. I’m focused on the RPG side of this, so let me give the novels their due. Gregory A. Wilson’s books sound engaging, taking standard fantasy tropes and finding new angles to tells stories from. There’s something at the core of his concept that piques my interest. If you need a sinister, back alley, tavern-and-terror 5e setting with literary support, this campaign reads like an excellent RPG setup.

Mysteries of the Multiverse for MCC RPG from Dragon Peak Publishing
  • END DATE: Tue, July 5 2022 11:00 AM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Mutant Crawl Classics and Dungeon Crawl Classics
  • PROJECT TYPE: Adventure module
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $12 + $5 S/H in the US for the PDF and print versions of the book
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? 48 pages of adventure for your Mutant Crawl Classics campaign is always a treat for MCC fans. Why? MCC doesn’t get the same amount of love as its fantasy cousin, Dungeon Crawl Classics (DCC). Most campaigns are either DCC only or DCC with MCC tacked on to expand the product’s reach. Therefore, getting a solo MCC option is something of a treat. But what puts it over for me are four words, words that are likely to inspire any MCC fan: “mutagenic mustaches” and “tech toupees.” I’m not being trite when I say this, if MCC is your jam, those are the kinds of ideas that play well at the gaming table, and you owe it to yourself to check out this product.

Alchemistresses from Soft Chaos
  • END DATE: Fri, July 29 2022 10:00 AM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): An original system
  • PROJECT TYPE: Core rulebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: CA$70 + S/H for PDF and print versions of the book, art postcards, stickers, and game components
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? This complete RPG is an interesting option, a collaborative storytelling game in which you play a resurrected Magical Girl, your story told over the course of twelve sessions depicting a season of an anime. Since you’ve been reincarnated, you have memories of your power as well as the life you’re currently living as a high schooler, time to get in touch with your past self to prepare for your future. In another life, you were the Mistress of an element and you retain some of those memories. At the same time, high school is happening, so expect dramatic hi-jinx. It’s an original system which means that along with options for characters and combat, there’s the freedom to offer something original: A reincarnation based memory mechanic. If anime, reincarnation, and high school sounds fun to play through, this might be a winner.

P!LLS FVLL of GODS | A CY_BORG zine /made with AI/ from Paweł Kicman
  • END DATE: Mon, June 27 2022 9:59 AM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): CY_BORG
  • PROJECT TYPE: RPG zine
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: €7 for the PDF of the zine
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? Do you need 32 pages of weapons, NPCs, maps, and more for your CY_BORG game? Need a pill for your CY_BORG character, one that lets them see the gods? How about cvlts to fight with? All of those will make for great gaming session, but this project offers something more: art and content generated via AI. This isn’t the first tabletop RPG product to make use of AI, but it’s the first to push the AI envelop of what’s possible. Coming out at a time when rumors abound about Google AIs being our new, beloved overlords, this product takes the very subject matter that CY_BORG warns us about, ignores the warning, and reduces human involvement to make great cyberpunk content. If you want to play the AI revolution, to stand at the precipice of its inauguration, this is the supplement to check out.

Marlo's Mire & Hot Springs Island: RPG Hexcrawl Adventures from Swordfish Islands
  • END DATE: Mon, July 4 2022 12:00 PM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): System neutral
  • PROJECT TYPE: Sourcebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $25 + $5 S/H in the US for the PDF and softcover versions of the book
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? Some GMs are looking for this: 48 pages of island and sea based fantasy adventures, all system neutral. Set on a booming trade island, this setting features a powerful wizard with a reputation, salvageable shipwrecks, embezzlement, quirky flavor, a dozen adventures, hex maps, four to be precise, and a pair of mapped locations on the island. If you’re looking for regular combat, it’s there. If you’re looking for something more political in which your party can take a side, it’s there as well. If you need more sea in your campaign, this book offers intrigue enough to drown the party.

Libations from Kiersten Bell
  • END DATE: Thu, July 14 2022 12:01 PM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): System neutral
  • PROJECT TYPE: Sourcebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $60 + S/H for the PDF and print copy of the book and the print cards
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? This is a book about drinks. 1,000 drinks, each with a piece of microfiction meant to prompt an adventure, encounter, magic item, history, or anything else the reader takes from it. Over 200 pages of fantasy drinks, each one accompanied by some microfiction, or you can pick up the decks of cards and pull a drink at random. As many adventures start at a tavern, this expands the menu until an adventure generates itself. If you want more atmosphere in your tavern adventure kickoffs, this book offers unique support that may enhance the call to adventure.

Loot Hunters - First Coin (€1) from XploringMap
  • END DATE: Sun, August 14 2022 6:47 AM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): System neutral
  • PROJECT TYPE: Sourcebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: €1 for the PDF of the book
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? This and the next review are single Euro/single dollar RPG projects. These projects offer a good deal of content for the right price. Loot Hunters – First Coin offers system neutral fantasy adventures, maps, lore, rumors, tables, and loot, all with an old school, black and white presentation. If you’re in the mood for some short, cheap fantasy content, it’s worth checking out, especially for the maps because everyone needs a dungeon map. Well, every fantasy campaign does, at any rate.

Sinister Sacrament: Cultist Quick-adventures for D&D 5e - $1 from Luna Publishing
  • END DATE: Sun, July 17 2022 11:59 PM EDT.
  • SYSTEM(S): Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition
  • PROJECT TYPE: Adventure module
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $1 for the PDF
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? Be forewarned, this is a dollar and it’s a lot of bang for the buck. Five mini adventures, each featuring cults. Designed for 2nd to 18th level characters, these adventures feature different cults, each one unique and guaranteed to make the adventures feel less cookie cutter. With maps, unique monsters, and some cults that deserve what your party is going to dish out, this is a lot of good at a price point that can’t be argued with.

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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Egg Embry

Egg Embry




The Grayshade one sounds interesting, although I cannot get over the fact that it is actually R.O.L.E.G.A.M.E and not R.O.L.E.P.L.A.Y.;)
Thank you for that catch. I have got to own that, that was my miss. I thought I was being clever and nope. Thank you for saying something. "Fixed" now. :)
 




I wonder how much success BackerKit will have. They are well placed in terms of name recognition. Most seasoned Kickstarter users would have likely used BackerKit for at least 1 Kickstarter project.

However, even with that, there is always inertia. People don’t want to have to change what they’re doing for no real benefit. Yes, there is the blockchain thing, but many people either won’t know about that, or care if they do. So for many people the “do nothing” option and not change may be the default option they go for.
 

Crimson Terrain

Explorer
Publisher
I wonder how much success BackerKit will have. They are well placed in terms of name recognition. Most seasoned Kickstarter users would have likely used BackerKit for at least 1 Kickstarter project.

However, even with that, there is always inertia. People don’t want to have to change what they’re doing for no real benefit. Yes, there is the blockchain thing, but many people either won’t know about that, or care if they do. So for many people the “do nothing” option and not change may be the default option they go for.
It's largely been my observation with the other projects so far (and by surveying my own small audience) that platform hesitancy isn't as much of an issue as we might expect. This behavior certainly exists but those who expressed this hesitation to me also said they got over it relatively quickly as they liked what I was making or recognized Backerkit. Creators with desirable projects will attract backers. All you have to do is look at the projects that have launched recently and that have already been funded to see some examples of this. It may be more difficult for newer creators without an existing audience to just dive in, but with enough time spent getting people interested before attempting to launch (lead generation, which really everyone should do a lot more of as it is, myself included) I think anyone can be successful.

As to the benefit, I think what Backerkit is working on doing (providing better tools and support for creators) will create a positive and more enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Granted, I am of course somewhat biased being involved so early in all of this, but I honestly think what I have said is true and no one held a gun (metaphorical or otherwise) to my head to get me to say any of this lol. It's all still quite early so anything could happen between now and when it's being used (or not) by a wider range of people in general of course. At the very least it will be nice to have more competition out there to help drive this crowdfunding concept forward.

After Edit: Just as a general Disclaimer, I am a very new (to publishing) and small publisher (It's literally just me) with a small audience of amazing supporters.
 
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jaycrockett

Explorer
Since every interaction I have had with backerkit has resulted in my receiving product, it somehow feels more reliable to me than kickstarter. I know that is just a trick of the fulfillment process, but psychologically I have no problem working with backerkit, they feel like a known quantity.
 

Since every interaction I have had with backerkit has resulted in my receiving product, it somehow feels more reliable to me than kickstarter. I know that is just a trick of the fulfillment process, but psychologically I have no problem working with backerkit, they feel like a known quantity.
That's a really good point. For many, they're starting from a position of solid customer service, coming out of the gate with a good track record.
 

Since every interaction I have had with backerkit has resulted in my receiving product, it somehow feels more reliable to me than kickstarter. I know that is just a trick of the fulfillment process, but psychologically I have no problem working with backerkit, they feel like a known quantity.
That's why I thought it seemed like a logical experiment for Backerkit. I'd have a lot less anxiety over using a crowdfunded Backerkit project.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I wonder how much success BackerKit will have. They are well placed in terms of name recognition. Most seasoned Kickstarter users would have likely used BackerKit for at least 1 Kickstarter project.

However, even with that, there is always inertia. People don’t want to have to change what they’re doing for no real benefit. Yes, there is the blockchain thing, but many people either won’t know about that, or care if they do. So for many people the “do nothing” option and not change may be the default option they go for.
I think inertia may be more of an issue for creators than consumers, though if Bakerkit helps creators launch projects for less money without sacrificing too much in terms of getting their product in front of more eyes, then may they should do all right. From the consumer side, I don't think inertia matters. I've backed 95 projects on Kickstarter in the seven years I've been using it. But it isn't like a social-networking platform that I'm logging into regularly. I learn about most of the projects I back through forums like ENWorld and YouTube.

I've never backed anything on Indiegogo, but that is because I've never come accross a project that I was interested in that used that platform. Some creators I buy stuff from do use Indiegogo, but usually for small adventure modules, which I'm not that interested in. Their larger, more expensive projects are still run on Kickstarter. But if Kobold Press, Monte Cook, Goodman Games, Frog God Games, etc. were to start using Indiegogo for their bigger projects that I'm interested in, I would used Indiegogo. I don't care if it is Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or the creators own website. I buy the things I want from where I can get them.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I saw you mention the Backerkit announcement and just wanted to put it out there that I am running a campaign creating printable tabletop terrain and vtt assets with a companion adventure book "The Crimson Spire." It's one of the first projects launched on the new platform. Ends July 7th.

https://www.backerkit.com/c/crimson-terrain/azalea-s-bottomless-bag-of-maps
@Crimson Terrain I'm interested in backing your project a my first foray into Backerkits new crowdfunding platform, and of course to to add to my hoard to VTT assets. But I'm unclear what the VTT deliverable are. I'm not really interested in the print-cut-play as I'm not running in-person games these days. Will all VTT terrain pieces be individual image files? For many of the dungeon dressing items, in many/most VTTs they would want them as "tiles" not tokens. Will any of them be preconfigured as tiles for VTTs like Foundry?
 





Crimson Terrain

Explorer
Publisher
@Crimson Terrain I'm interested in backing your project a my first foray into Backerkits new crowdfunding platform, and of course to to add to my hoard to VTT assets. But I'm unclear what the VTT deliverable are. I'm not really interested in the print-cut-play as I'm not running in-person games these days. Will all VTT terrain pieces be individual image files? For many of the dungeon dressing items, in many/most VTTs they would want them as "tiles" not tokens. Will any of them be preconfigured as tiles for VTTs like Foundry?
Somehow I missed your question. My apologies for the late response. For VTT assets I'm doing a couple of things. I'm putting together custom asset packs that dungeon draft folks can use for creating their own maps, I'm making about 40 Encounter Maps, and I'm putting together Prefabs for use in foundry and similar VTT tools. There will be terrain pieces as isolated images as well. I hope that answers your question. If not feel free to reach out here (feel free to send a message or just reply here) or on the campaign page. Thanks.
 

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