RPG Crowdfunding News – HELL NIGHT, Drakul's Game, AEON, and more

This week, I look at some of the RPG crowdfunding projects that end during the month of January (17th to the 28th). This list includes D&D offerings, a DCC adventure, and several products that use original systems. Before we dive into the new projects, I want to take a moment to welcome you to 2022 and to talk about the changing face of tabletop RPG crowdfunding.

HELL NIGHT.jpeg

In 2021, the largest option for crowdfunding is Kickstarter, and, despite their announced changes, is likely to stay so. However, GameOnTabletop, GameFound, and IndieGoGo run some RPG projects and have their own fanbases, which are likely to grow this year. However, there may be a new trend on the horizon for 2022: In-house crowdfunding. We’re seeing the first of these with Gallant Knight Games’ GallantFunding (on which I’ll share an interview with Alan Bahr shortly). At a larger scale, Hasbro, owners of Wizards of the Coast and D&D, have HasbroPulse where they already crowdfund certain toys and games. It’s not inconceivable for them to use their platform to crowdfund a new D&D supplement as an opportunity to do direct sales or make their recent HeroQuest board game into an RPG (since they own the rights and Chaosium has changed the name of their HeroQuest RPG). Not to say that they will create a HeroQuest RPG (they are more likely to license the job out), but as an illustration of the possibility of in-house crowdfunding, it is intriguing. Throughout 2022, I’ll look for the RPG crowdfunding trends including watching to see if in-house funding is the next phase of crowdfunding.

HELL NIGHT from Gavriel Quiroga
  • END DATE: Sat, January 22 2022 7:27 AM EST.
  • SYSTEM(S): An original system
  • PROJECT TYPE: Core rulebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $26 + $6 S/H in the US for the PDF and print versions of the book
  • ADDITIONAL REPORTING: I interviewed Gavriel at d20 Radio about this project
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? Doom bikers are charging from Hell to rid the world of rogue demons. Inspired by 1980s metal band posters, this RPG is an over-the-top demonic road war across the highways and byways. Offering up black comedy, ultra violence, and a world in which demon factions fight on Earth to rescue Hell from Heavenly invasion (that’s a narrow view of the plot), expect blood, guts, and demonic rites. The RPG is inspired by the artwork and feel of posters from the past which allows the rulebook to house great art and double as an artbook. After reading the campaign page and interviewing Gavriel Quiroga, creator of WARPLAND and NEUROCITY, this project feels like his vision of gaming fully realized. If you’re looking for a brutal night of demon fights, this RPG may be right for your table.

Ida's Guide to Worlds Beyond our Own: Drakul's Game! from Balatro
  • END DATE: Wed, January 26 2022 8:30 PM EST.
  • SYSTEM(S): Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition
  • PROJECT TYPE: Sourcebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $100 + $5 S/H in the US for the PDF and printer versions of the deluxe hardcover with a handwritten note and PDF copies of the materials on a rook chess piece USB drive
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? This book is one part adventure and one part sourcebook. Based on the “Lore Reimagined” TikTok series, this 5e project offers lore (obviously), variant ancestries, new subclasses, and spells. In the other section of the book, you get an occult assassin/kill or be killed adventure for levels 8 to 16. It’s neat to see a book that offers higher level adventures without also sharing a lower level foundation, leaving you free to bring in existing characters for a campaign. If you’re looking for content and an adventure, this book may be worth a look.

AEON: Ancient Greece Volume 2 - "Deeper into the Labyrinth" from Sharktopus Games
  • END DATE: Sun, January 23 2022 1:59 AM EST.
  • SYSTEM(S): Dungeon Crawl Classics
  • PROJECT TYPE: RPG zine
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $10 + $5 S/H in the US for the PDF and print versions of the zine
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? In this Greek-themed DCC adventure, you’ll enter the Labyrinth of Minos and face Daedalus and his minions. As a level 1 adventure, expect traps, puzzles, rules to evoke the Olympian gods, new wizard patron gods, and monsters. This RPG zine is the sequel to AEON: Ancient Greece Volume 1, picking up where the first volume ended. Yet, this adventure is advertised as a standalone option, so don’t feel you have to have the original to enjoy this. In this 62-page behemoth of a zine, you’ll have everything you’ll need for a proper Greek DCC adventure.

Eldendale: Love and Luck from Brittani
  • END DATE: Sun, January 16 2022 3:30 PM EST.
  • SYSTEM(S): Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition
  • PROJECT TYPE: Adventure module
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $8 for all of the PDFs
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? This project offers two one-shot adventures. One involves an Incubus and Succubus roaming from town-to-town corrupting the locals. Yet, they always return to the town of Eldendale. It’s your job to figure out why and defeat them. In the other one-shot, you’ll go to a town of sprites and test your luck. They’re not quite the normal pitches for adventures, which may intrigue some of you looking for unique adventure options.

Ghost Club RPG from Andrew Dowell
  • END DATE: Mon, January 17 2022 6:52 AM EST.
  • SYSTEM(S): An original system
  • PROJECT TYPE: Core rulebook
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: £8 for the PDFs of the game book, player’s guidebook, maps, and more
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? Your character is seeing things in the shadows, ghosts, wisps, poltergeists, and more, and you’re ready to stop them. In this rules lite RPG, you’ll investigate haunted houses, find the history and clues about a specific ghost’s origins, then summon the evil spirit for a showdown. The campaign page evokes Stranger Things, Ghostbusters, Twin Peaks, and Gravity Falls as inspiration and that feels about right with the description. In this 120-page rulebook, you’ll learn about their dice pool system with its property damage rules and attribute bonuses. If you’re interested in a rules lite RPG about combating ghosts, this might speak to you.

The Goblins Beyond the Hill from Black Cube Games
  • END DATE: Sat, January 22 2022 8:36 AM EST.
  • SYSTEM(S): Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition
  • PROJECT TYPE: Adventure module
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: €2 for the PDF of the adventure and maps
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? You start out captured by goblin raiders. That’s the setup, which may intrigue or dissuade some players. However, before it’s over, you’ll get free and be asked to investigate and stop the raids. A pretty straight forward option, but a 5e adventure for level 1 which includes two maps for €2 isn’t a terrible buy.

For Honor and For Glory! from Orion Scott Kroulek, MA
  • END DATE: Fri, January 28 2022 3:59 PM EST.
  • SYSTEM(S): An original system
  • PROJECT TYPE: Core rulebooks
  • MOST POPULAR PLEDGE: $10 for the PDFs of both books
  • WHY SPOTLIGHT THIS CAMPAIGN? This fantasy RPG looks to reinvent simulationist combat and magic. Different weapons have different effects with different armors and situations. The combat and magic damage are not dice rolls so much as base amounts of damage that scale with the greater degree of your successful roll. The campaign will generate two books, the Player’s Guide and the Chronicler’s Guide. This is an ambitious project and if you’re interested, the campaign page has a link to their beta web page of the game.

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

Sir Brennen

Legend
Regarding in-house crowdfunding, Pinnacle Entertainment Group did this last fall with their new edition of Super Powers Companion for Savage Worlds. It had a few hiccups as their first one but was pretty successful. They seem to be taking a mixed approach, as they had a Kickstarter for another product (Holler: an Appalachian Apocalypse) almost immediately after. Perhaps they weren't ready to setup another in-house crowdfunder so quickly.
 

Regarding in-house crowdfunding, Pinnacle Entertainment Group did this last fall with their new edition of Super Powers Companion for Savage Worlds. It had a few hiccups as their first one but was pretty successful. They seem to be taking a mixed approach, as they had a Kickstarter for another product (Holler: an Appalachian Apocalypse) almost immediately after. Perhaps they weren't ready to setup another in-house crowdfunder so quickly.
Good call out. That is worth mentioning. Thank you for the link! :)
 

Sometimes I worry that some of the companies doing kickstarter after kickstarter are struggling and use funds from the new Kickstarter to fulfill the last Kickstarter. Kind of how ponzi schemes use the new investors to pay off the older investors.

Just a worry, but I keep backing things so I can't be that worried.
 

Sir Brennen

Legend
Sometimes I worry that some of the companies doing kickstarter after kickstarter are struggling and use funds from the new Kickstarter to fulfill the last Kickstarter. Kind of how ponzi schemes use the new investors to pay off the older investors.

Just a worry, but I keep backing things so I can't be that worried.
I've seen it explained that it's often a tool to gauge interest, and make sure the cost of an initial print run is covered. After that it's easier to do reprints as demand dictates. But I suppose it really depends on the company's size and experience. For some it may simply be necessary to create any product, as the KS and subsequent sales may be enough to cover that physical product (and pay people), but not enough to cover creating another physical product without another KS.
 

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
I will be interested in hearing more about in-house crowdfunding platforms... 2022 will be an interesting year in the evolution of crowdfunding.
 

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