Monday, September 16, 2013

Melior Via's Accursed RPG Kickstarter

This past Friday saw a great evil descend upon our land… That evil being Melior Via’s Accursed Kickstarter, here to spread monsters and mayhem throughout our tabletops! And for those who are unfamiliar with this game: it’s a dark fantasy setting for Savage Worlds where the players play as humans who have been transformed into monsters via a witch’s curse. There are quite a few different comparisons out there for the setting and here’s mine: Rippers meets Warhammer Fantasy. But enough of the vague descriptions, what about the details?

Instead of dropping straight into the game mechanics/details for this article, let’s touch on the Kickstarter, the ‘playtest’ Player’s Guide, and what you can get for your money.

The Kickstarter, as of this writing in the middle of Sunday night, is sitting just shy of $8,800 – just $1,200 off of their primary goal. So, it’s pretty much certain that it’ll complete and get to working on the stretch goals. Speaking of stretch goals, if you are worried that they may only be for backers of certain levels or for people who toss in additional money – fear not, they have a mixture of goals that add additional improvements to the rule books, in addition to extra works that can be added separately (or come with certain tiers).

The "playtest" Player’s Guide is something I feel needs talking about not just  for potential backers but for people thinking about running a Kickstarter, as this is one of the better playtest materials I have gotten from an ongoing Kickstarter. The layout appears to be done, the backgrounds are in, there is some hyperlinking, the PDF is multi-layered (so you can turn off what you don’t want), and it is playable. Sound complete? It feels pretty darn close to it. The major element missing, of course, is the bulk of the artwork – which is what the Kickstarter here is for. Having a Player’s Guide that is this far along should be a confidence builder for backers. Potential kickstarter creators – please take note of that.

For the last bit here we’ve got the "bang for the buck" – what’ll it cost you to get the books? The PDF portion is simple enough -- $10 gets you the Player’s Guide and $20 gets you the full PDF with all the GM spoilery bits. From there it’s slightly more complicated -- $30 is the base tier for the print copy, but how this Kickstarter does it is a bit different from what you may be used to. Essentially, the print copies will be done as Print on Demand through DriveThruRPG and the $30 covers the base costs of that, but there are two more additional fees on top of that – binding/production and shipping. What this means is that a backer will get to choose the type and quality of the binding/printing they want, and then the shipping. I’m not certain how well this will work but it will be interesting to see.

[Editor's Note: It looks like Kickstarters for vouchers for final products, rather than the books themselves, are becoming a thing for tabletop gaming Kickstarters. Mostly, this is a good enough method for battling the always increasing costs of shipping (which of late have increased once or twice on a lot of Kickstarter projects before they could get to fulfillment. Will this catch on with the audience of Kickstarter projects? It looks like only time will tell. At the moment it looks like a good method for publishers to fulfill their projects without losing what little money is made on the projects.]