March 2013

Kickstarter, Freeport, and Real Costs

My friends at Green Ronin are currently running a Kickstarter to fund a new Pathfinder-compatible edition of Freeport: The City of Adventure. They are into the last week of the Kickstarter project, and they are just under $10,000 away from their $50,000 goal. Ronin head Chris Pramas just made a very interesting post about their Kickstarter campaign.

When Kickstarter first launched, I hoped it would be a service that could help publishers be more transparent about their costs, including the often invisible fixed costs that running a publisher entails. This has turned out to be true only in very specific situations. Instead, many Kickstarter campaigns have moved to a model of setting a low “base goal” that satisfy’s Kickstarter’s requirements but does not actually fully fund the project, and stretch goals that push the dollar total higher to fully-fund the actual project. I’m not placing a value judgement on this (I’m working on a Kickstarter campaign that does the same thing), but it’s nice to see this level of transparency from Pramas and Green Ronin.

Their new Freeport book is ambitious, and Green Ronin is up-front about that. Instead of starting at a small book and building more into it with stretch goals, they’ve outlined exactly what they want to do, and they’re either going to do that book or not.

I’ve enjoyed both previous versions of Freeport, but have never actually played or ran a game of it. A new Pathfinder-compatible edition makes that more likely to happen, and it could well be the version of Freeport. That’s something that is well-worth having.

Take Your One Shot!

I’ve been on an unintentional hiatus from blogging, but intend to get back on track. Here’s a start: One Shot, by Tracy Barnett of Exploding Rogue has just been released! You can grab the PDF and Soundtrack together.

Tracy funded One Shot via Kickstarter last year and brought me on board to handle the graphic design. One Shot is a 24-page RPG for one player (“The Shooter”) and one GM (“The Forces”)—very different from most of the things I’ve spent the last 10+ years working on! It’s laser-focused on the concept of vengeance and the sacrifices that one must make to obtain it.

Oneshot cover

Leah Huete’s photography in this book deserves extra praise—photographs as RPG art has often been half-baked. Her work is a full, delicious, evocative meal. If One Shot were a typical 160 or 300 page RPG, using photographs as every piece of art would probably be cost-and-time prohibitive, but in this case it works perfectly.

If you want to check out the text of One Shot before buying the PDF, you can read the entire game here.