Tim Shorts did a review of his Kickstarter experience. I figured why not join the band wagon:

Eldritch Skies did deliver although looking back I think it was somewhat late. I had honestly forgotten about it when I got it. I think it was one that had shipping cost issues after the fact but in general I’m satisfied with it.

Came in on time (or close enough that I didn’t notice) and had an extra bonus book. I’m very satisfied.

Earlier this week Jack at Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeoness released Devilmount. My comment on it was “This, more than any rant about how he’s ripped people off, shows how much Dwimmermount has trashed its author’s credability. Sad, but true.” I stand by that statement. I am of the opinion that the preview documents are all I’ll ever get. I’m just happy I didn’t go crazy and only went for the PDFs. I’m extremely unsatisfied.

I will give Tavis credit for all he’s done since James went AWOL. I won’t hold this one against Autarch, just James.

Late but we got it. Along the way we got regular updates and had much of the material for use in our games along the way. I’m satisfied.

I don’t remember if we had a timeline and there isn’t one mentioned but I’m happy with the progress (it went into layout in late January). I do wish we got more updates. I’m pretty impatient with this one because I really want it. Still, I’d say I’m satisfied.

Completed early. Kevin had it written (the day the Kickstarter closed we had the alpha draft already laid out). The campaign was to buy art. Easily the best Kickstarter I’ve joined or heard about. If Kevin does it again I’ll be in and probably in deeper in terms of upgrades. I only went for the PDF as it hit about the time ACK Player’s Companion was very late and Dwimmermount was going off the rails.

I am extremely satisfied.

I think this one is technically early and even if it isn’t it feels that way. We have the PDFs and those who got books are waiting for checking of the proofs. This is another case where I didn’t upgrade but will if Joseph does one in the future. He isn’t, however, doing one for the next book as he says he has been able to recover the seed money so he doesn’t need to do one. This is another extremely satisfied.

I am in for over $100 for the first time in a Kickstarter. I am taking the risk because I have loved Glorantha since RQ2 when I was in 8th grade. I also trust Rick as he has a track record in the industry. The fact that the core book of the set was already written and the Kickstarter was for art, editing, and production costs played a roll.

The deepest I’ve gone into a Kickstarter, just short of $300, is Deluxe Tunnels and Trolls. I’ve been playing it longer than any games save D&D and Gamma World (which I bought the same day to get the dice in the Gamma World box). Rick has been very on top of things already. I was willing to go all in on this one because: Rick has been in the game business longer than I’ve been playing, Liz and Mike have freelance careers with proven track records, Liz edited the best edition to date, and I just love the game.

So, of nine campaigns I’m satisfied with four, extremely satisfied with two, have given up completely on one, and waiting (but so far satisfied) on two recently ended one. Why have I done better than a lot of people seem to have done? I think I have two advantages:

1. Until recently I didn’t invest a lot. The two I have are people with long (10 year plus and 40 year plus) track records. It’s easy to forget you lost $10 in a bad Kickstarter than it is $100.

2. I have always figured that you’re waiting at least a year or six months past their planned release date, whichever comes second. That means only two have been “late” in my mind.

What advice would I give to keep people satisfied on RPG Kickstarters?

1. Have a rough draft at a minimum before asking for money. Although not listed because Kickstarter (they may not have been done on Kickstarter, actually) no longer shows them I did contribute to two or three (I honestly don’t remember) Reign supplements. Those were done entirely on spec and only released if the campaigns raised money. Spears of the Dawn and Guide to Glorantha had stuff I could see the day they funded. Knowing the product is ready creates confidence. You are asking people to buy on spec so do some written on spec first as an act of good faith.

2. Take your estimated date and add six months. If you are delayed you still look okay to us and if you’re early you move to the extremely satisfied column. Mr. Scott knew what he was doing.

3. Communicate regularly. You’ll notice two were very delayed (ACK’s Player’s Guide and Dwimmermount). One I’m satisfied with and the other even if I get it will have left a bad taste in my mouth. What’s the difference? Tavis had stuff in my email every week and more often than not a new bit of usable stuff was part of it. I know these are hobby businesses more often than not, and I’m willing to cut some slack if you give me something. Just having my money and promising the world is a short trip to “fuck off”. James has not only killed my interest in Dwimmermount. I’ve also lost interest in his new Thousand Suns products. It’s similar to my probably response if we finally get A Matter for Men. The time has passed, and I’ve moved on. At least David Gerrold doesn’t have my money.

2 thoughts on “Kickstarters

  1. Looks like you’ve had a fairly good run. I am curious as how the T&T turns out. It was one I planned on getting into, but funds and memory both failed me.

  2. I did. I’ll admit, I think a big part of it is I haven’t really gone out on a limb. Most of my entries were pdf only and small potatoes. I did get the Eldrich Skies and Champions of Zed hardback.

    That made the Glorantha and T&T ones a huge leap of faith. This August, when both of those will have been due, I might have a different spin. However, I do have faith in the Ricks based on their history.

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