Kickstarters Thread

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TristramEvans

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Shameless bit of promotion for a friend and fellow Kubert alumni who did the art...
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/159628170/the-arcanum-30th-anniversary-edition-0

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Anyone play this one back in the 80s?
 

yojimbouk

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Well, I like Khepera's Atlantis: The Second Age which is a derivative of Arcanum but I don't have any nostalgia for the original game. It probably only made it into select stores in London in the 80s, certainly I hadn't heard of it until the late 2000s. In the UK if it wasn't produced by TSR or Games Workshop, you didn't see other companies games until the very late 80s when boxed sets went out of fashion and RPGs were printed as books.

I think I will pass, although K. David Ladage has produced some good stuff for Steve Jackson Games, as I said, I'm happy with Khepera's game. I wish the campaign well, though.
 

Skywalker

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What happened to the previously funded KS for exactly the same product by exactly the same KS creator?

This is the explanation:
Wait... Didn't You Do This Already?
Yes and no. I ran a Kickstarter campaign some time ago for this book. I asked for far too little and it succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. Then things went south. I had two artists filch me out of a couple thousand dollars. I let my eyes get too wide and started envisioning things far outside the scope of the project -- that I laid out money for. Then all things went to hell as the scope of the project's text started to get violated. Weeks turned into months. Months into a year and more.

I realized I needed to make my backers whole again . So I took out a small loan and used my income tax refund to refund every dollar that had been donated to that last attempt. Then, outside of a pressure caused by my desire to get a product out for 90+ backers, I started working on the material when I could. It is now done.


Some editing remains. Some artwork needs to be put in. But it is fundamentally done. All it needs now is you: pledge and help make a dream come true.
 

Endless Flight

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I'm not into publishing books, but don't you usually pay your artists after you get the product?
 

TristramEvans

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I'm not into publishing books, but don't you usually pay your artists after you get the product?

Many artists require an upfront percentage or retainer's fee. And honestly, the ratio of getting screwed by artists vs the other way around is so vastly skewed towards the latter, that I can't say there's anything wrong with that.
 

Baulderstone

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Many artists require an upfront percentage or retainer's fee. And honestly, the ratio of getting screwed by artists vs the other way around is so vastly skewed towards the latter, that I can't say there's anything wrong with that.

I'm guessing your average illustrator on a game has a track record of delivering commissions. The average person putting a book together for a Kickstarter might not have any history of paying people for commissions.
 

CRKrueger

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Oooo, tempting. I still have the First Edition though. The second edition too, now that I think about it.
 

The Butcher

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It's live! Link.

I have never even played it — only mined for ideas — but it seems the new edition will be bursting at the seams with interesting tools to play with.

I might be tempted to let go of my peeve against class-and-level games for SF.
 

Baulderstone

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I'm in at the PDF level for now. I might up it to a hardcopy before this ends. The ship combat and psychic rules are significant improvements.

I get your peeve, Butcher. I didn't even look at SWN for years. A traveller clone using B/X D&D just didn't seemed like something from the shallow end of the OSR pool. And I say that as someone that really likes B/X. I downloaded the free version and it sat in my hard drive ignored for a long time. As the list of expansions kept growing and people kept talking about it, I eventually opened the the thing and was really impressed. Crawford has a good instinct for just focusing on things that actually matter in play.
 

Necrozius

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My go-to for sci-fi sandbox or idea generators. A hard copy would be nice but currently I only print out the pages that I need.

It would prefer a system-agnostic version of the book with only the generator tools rather than the complete game itself.

Definitely backing this at the PDF level at least.
 

Endless Flight

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I downloaded the free version years ago and never really gave it a good shake. Maybe I should go back and look it over again.
 

Apparition

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Backed for the premium color hardcover. I can't wait. This will be easier to get people into science-fiction tabletop gaming than Traveller, IMO, since most tabletop gamers are already at least vaguely familiar with Dungeons & Dragons.
 

Endless Flight

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I agree. People seemed to be upset about all the d20 games on the market years ago, as if the every RPG would be OGL eventually. It's a way to get some people to branch out in other genres besides D&D without having to totally learn new systems. I just wish Wizards would do something else with 5e, like a new version of d20 Modern. It'll never happen though.
 

The Butcher

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I admit 90% of my peeve with SWN is less about disliking SWN and more about liking Traveller, and wanting to see Traveller get some love at my gaming table.

But sometimes SWN does seem more approachable for my players and a more versatile scaffold for an enterprising GM.

I've entertained using it (or bits of it) for Eclipse Phase, Shadowrun, hell, for Rifts even.
 

K_Peterson

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I'm on the fence. I'm a fan of a lot of material that Sine Nomine has released, and I've backed a couple of their Kickstarters. I wanted to like SWN years ago, but I found it to be rather boring compared with some of their other releases. Boring classes; the mechanics didn't really grab me. I found Other Dust to be a hell of a lot more interesting and evocative than SWN.
 

Baulderstone

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I agree. People seemed to be upset about all the d20 games on the market years ago, as if the every RPG would be OGL eventually. It's a way to get some people to branch out in other genres besides D&D without having to totally learn new systems. I just wish Wizards would do something else with 5e, like a new version of d20 Modern. It'll never happen though.

I think there genuinely was a problem with games going D20 fifteen years ago. At the time, Deadlands, Fading Suns, Unknown Armies, and Stormbringer were all among my favorite games, and all of them had D20 products released, drawing resources away from theses games I loved. Even worse, both Deadlands and Fading Suns started putting out dual-stat books. As D20 had monstrously long, complicated stat blocks, it was an enormous waste of page space if you wanted to use the original system. None of these D20 lines worked out, and they all dragged the original games to their deaths within a year or so. I felt entirely justified in being upset at what was happening in the gaming scene at the time, and I was someone that ran 3E.

The OSR boom hasn't been the same kind of extinction level event for game lines that 3rd Edition was. In fact, it has coincided with an era when many older systems have sprung back to life through a combination of Kickstarter and and PDF and POD availability. It also has the advantage of being built on earlier editions of D&D. Systems like OD&D and B/X are very easy to tinker with, even for a casual GM. I find that means third-party OSR products are more likely to be useful than third-party 3E products, which could often break it's more delicate system.

On the other hand, 3E was a crunchy, tightly wound system full of cascade effects. Even professional designers often floundered when modifying it. It also had a much more pronounced zero-to-hero curve. HIgh level character are demi-gods with an enormous amount of exception-based powers to juggle. With B/X a high-level fighter might have HP of around 50. That's impressive, but still a character that needs to be careful.

It's easier to convert B/X to sci-fi game and still have something close to a gritty feel, even if it D&D is always going to be too abstract for some tastes.

I admit 90% of my peeve with SWN is less about disliking SWN and more about liking Traveller, and wanting to see Traveller get some love at my gaming table.

But sometimes SWN does seem more approachable for my players and a more versatile scaffold for an enterprising GM.

If you are a GM that likes Traveller with a group that likes it, I don't there would be much benefit to switching to SWN as a system. It would still be worth getting for the setting and plot generators though.

If you are a Traveller GM who switches to SWN because it is the only way to lure players into a sci-fi game, keep one thing in mind. As SWN uses the same skill scale as Traveller, it is pretty easy to port entire subsystems over from Traveller. For example, PCs almost entirely interface with the Traveller ship combat system through skill checks. It makes it pretty painless to bolt the Traveller ship rules onto the side of SWN. You can import a lot of Traveller into the game that way.[/QUOTE]
 
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Endless Flight

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I think there genuinely was a problem with games going D20 fifteen years ago. At the time, Deadlands, Fading Suns, Unknown Armies, and Stormbringer were all among my favorite games, and all of them had D20 products released, drawing resources away from theses games I loved. Even worse, both Deadlands and Fading Suns started putting out dual-stat books. As D20 had monstrously long, complicated stat blocks, it was an enormous waste of page space if you wanted to use the original system. None of these D20 lines worked out, and they all dragged the original games to their deaths within a year or so. I felt entirely justified in being upset at what was happening in the gaming scene at the time, and I was someone that ran 3E.

I could see someone being upset if they thought the original system was being replaced by d20. My only question would be...in that era of RPGs (2000-2008) would many things other than d20 sell? Would those products you listed have made it if they didn't push OGL products out the door?
 

Baulderstone

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I'm on the fence. I'm a fan of a lot of material that Sine Nomine has released, and I've backed a couple of their Kickstarters. I wanted to like SWN years ago, but I found it to be rather boring compared with some of their other releases. Boring classes; the mechanics didn't really grab me. I found Other Dust to be a hell of a lot more interesting and evocative than SWN.

Other Dust is clearly an evolution from SWN. There is a lot more character customization in the new edition, which might make you happy.

As for finding the setting boring, I think the core book was a little more restrained in setting detail than some of the supplements in order to make it more useful as a toolkit. The supplements seemed freer in giving more color to the setting. For example, Darkness Visible added a lot of flavor by detailing to ongoing war between descendents of the Perimeter agency and users of maltech. Even Other Dust itself can be seen as a supplement for the setting.

I could see someone being upset if they thought the original system was being replaced by d20. My only question would be...in that era of RPGs (2000-2008) would many things other than d20 sell? Would those products you listed have made it if they didn't push OGL products out the door?

That is a difficult question to answer. Most of these D20 versions were rush jobs that hit the market so quickly after the release of 3E that they barely could have been playtested. The quick release means they couldn't possibly have been a reaction to a slump caused by 3E. Instead, they were all attempts to ride the wave of success. Fading Suns and Deadlands both still had strong fan bases, and a lot of them were upset about the D20 versions and dual-statting. Because the games began to abandon the players before the players had a chance to abandon them, it is hard to say how it would have gone if they had just stuck to their own systems.
 

Endless Flight

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I took a look at Other Dust. I didn't like the setting although I suppose it could be stripped out. If I'm being honest with myself, I guess I'd rather just play an updated Gamma World or a clone.
 

K_Peterson

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Other Dust is clearly an evolution from SWN. There is a lot more character customization in the new edition, which might make you happy.
Are they expanding the number of classes in the new edition? In the last, I remember there being 3: Soldier, Tech, and Psychic.
 

Baulderstone

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Are they expanding the number of classes in the new edition? In the last, I remember there being 3: Soldier, Tech, and Psychic.

There is a fourth class called Adventurer, which is a lot more customizable. All the classes have more ways to customize them as well. Here is link to the last beta version if you want to take a look.
 

Apparition

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Well, the Kickstarter campaign surely is off to a roaring start. Less than 24 hours in, and it's about to pass the $50k mark.

I agree. People seemed to be upset about all the d20 games on the market years ago, as if the every RPG would be OGL eventually. It's a way to get some people to branch out in other genres besides D&D without having to totally learn new systems. I just wish Wizards would do something else with 5e, like a new version of d20 Modern. It'll never happen though.

A new d20 Modern would be great. Like you said though, it'll never happen.
 

Baulderstone

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Well, the Kickstarter campaign surely is off to a roaring start. Less than 24 hours in, and it's about to pass the $50k mark.

Sweet! I look forward to receiving my extreme gratitude once we cross that line.

A new d20 Modern would be great. Like you said though, it'll never happen.

WotC is kind of in a box where any RPG that isn't as successful as D&D is going to be a failure by their metrics. That's probably not going to happen, so they can't put out any other RPGs that succeed.
 

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SWN is a fun game on its own. The 3 classes work out nicely in play. It won't replace Traveller for me, but I could see running Fading Suns via SWN.

However, SWN's powerhouse strength is its toolcase of goodies for any other sci-fi game. I bought Silent Legions (Sine Nomine's horror RPG) with no intention of running the game and only stealing bits left and right.
 

The Butcher

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There is a fourth class called Adventurer, which is a lot more customizable. All the classes have more ways to customize them as well. Here is link to the last beta version if you want to take a look.

This is interesting, especially how he expanded upon Backgrounds with random rolls. Not quite a lifepath but sort of halfway there.

SWN is a fun game on its own. The 3 classes work out nicely in play. It won't replace Traveller for me, but I could see running Fading Suns via SWN.

I've long thought of an Eclipse Phase conversion, and I still want to use large chunks of it for an OSR D&D-powered Rifts (when/if Savage Rifts disappoints).

However, SWN's powerhouse strength is its toolcase of goodies for any other sci-fi game. I bought Silent Legions (Sine Nomine's horror RPG) with no intention of running the game and only stealing bits left and right.

Same here! I buy Crawford's stuff first and figure out if I'll play it later. SL is a goldmine of randomly generated ideas for CoC and even WoD/CoD games.
 

Necrozius

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However, SWN's powerhouse strength is its toolcase of goodies for any other sci-fi game. I bought Silent Legions (Sine Nomine's horror RPG) with no intention of running the game and only stealing bits left and right.

Ditto! Since I don't ever intend on using the actual game system, I just backed the PDF version and printed out the generators that I wanted for my GM Binder +3
 

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I don't know how I feel about the added complexity. It isn't much, but I really admired the elegant purity of the original rules.

For instance, most of the psychic disciplines used to fit entirely on one page, now they have all kinds of questionable branches and bells and whistles.

I will say though, I am very pleased to see he remembered rules for surprise this time, and ditched descending AC. :p
 

Baulderstone

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I don't know how I feel about the added complexity. It isn't much, but I really admired the elegant purity of the original rules.

For instance, most of the psychic disciplines used to fit entirely on one page, now they have all kinds of questionable branches and bells and whistles.

I will say though, I am very pleased to see he remembered rules for surprise this time, and ditched descending AC. :p

I have mixed feelings myself about some of the changes. The good thing is that I have a copy if 1st Edition and I can mix and match as needed. For example, I can see some campaigns calling for the finely differentiated skills of 1E while other games call for the loose skills of 2E.

As for AC, I have reached the point where I can convert between the systems in my head without thinking, so I am happy either way. Ascending is more accessible, so it is probably the right choice.

As someone that uses both, it makes me very happy that when they made 3E, they made sure that AC started at 10 and went up. There are no numerical overlaps between the systems. Even with all the variants out there using one or the other, I can just look at the AC on a stat block and instantly know how it is meant to be read.
 

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His SWN was pretty stellar as a GM aid. If I was in the market for more SWN, and did kickstarters, I'd jump in gladly.
 

noman

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Sine Nomine had me at, well, Sine Nomine. But 'Backwards Compatible' really sealed the deal.
 

Apparition

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Yeah, I held off buying the last couple Stars Without Number books once I heard a revised edition was in the works, to be on the safe side. Now I know that it is backwards compatible, time to buy them.
 

Spinachcat

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Kevin Crawford is a good dude. Here's an exchange from the Comments page:

Timothy Lam 2 days ago
God damn it Kevin, how do you manage to have such creative ideas for your games but remain completely level-headed about the business side of things?

Kevin Crawford 6-time creator 2 days ago
@Timonthy I checked the RPG Publisher Charop Boards before I started, and found out that putting all my points into Art was a noob trap. You actually get better DPS (dollars per stuff) if you class into Boring Accountant at third level and sub-specialize in Project Management.
 

Spinachcat

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I am tempted by the Galactic Overmind level. The math makes sense. $175 for SWN 1e entire's game line in one book plus SWN 2e core book with free shipping.
 
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