Adventures in Random Roleplay: Kickst-ARR!-ter Edition

Welcome back, dice fondlers! Rather than your usual barrage of random roleplaying games, I’m slightly deviating this week. Instead of talking about games that are already out, let’s talk about some of what’s coming for the roleplaying game community— and maybe some things that won’t ever exist without your support!

Your Critical Role in Future Gaming

Since I tipped my hand with that last sentence, let’s jump right in. Crowdfunding has been a boon to game designers looking to raise capital to get their game to publication, but they aren’t the only ones able to benefit. Crowdfunding has been an avenue for streaming shows to secure the equipment and studio space needed to improve the quality of their programming. Keep in mind, when I say crowdfunding, I’m not just talking about Kickstarter, but also options like Patreon memberships, and even Twitch subscriptions. Let’s start with the biggest shadow on the horizon – Critical Role.

If you’re the type of nerd that reads this article weekly, you’re almost certainly already know all about Critical Role. If you don’t, let me summarize. 

A Crowdfunding Success Story: Critical Role

On March 12, 2015, a group of self-described “nerdy ass voice actors” launched a streaming web show of themselves playing Dungeons and Dragons. Over the years, they’d successfully finished their first on-air campaign and begun a second – giving them a back catalog of over 160 episodes, each running 3-6 hours apiece. They’ve seen enough success that they’ve recently spun themselves off from the web channel Geek and Sundry into their own company. Their cast of voice actors (all professionals in the field) pulled strings where they could and launched a Kickstarter campaign to create animated episodes of their series. Their goal for an animated special was $750,000. They are now, as of this writing, at $7,315,000. As you can imagine, they had to extend their campaign goals a wee bit. Now, instead of funding a single animated special, the campaign has extended to a two-episode special, with a multiple-episode series in the stretch goals. Currently up to four episodes long, the stretch goal series would cover the Briarwood arc of Season 1, a fan favorite arc. The next two episodes will unlock at $7.5 million along with a final goal for the last two episodes.

To put their accomplishment into perspective, Critical Role’s Kickstarter campaign is currently the #9 most funded Kickstarter campaign of all-time. It even blew past the revival of Mystery Science Theater 3000 within the first 10 days of their campaign. As an aside, seeing Joe from MST3K congratulate them on their success and Joe talk about playing back in the day himself was definitely a heart-warming moment. By the way, you can contribute to the Critical Role Kickstarter here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/criticalrole/critical-role-the-legend-of-vox-machina-animated-s?ref=project_link

However, as amazing a landmark as Critical Role’s current success is, don’t let that dissuade you from giving time and attention to other extremely worthy creators – like the three I’m about to suggest below:

Welcome to Tikor: The Swordsfall RPG Setting and Art Book

First: Welcome to Tikor, The Swordsfall RPG Setting and Art Book. This entire project is breathtaking in its scope and design. Featuring gorgeous art, an extensive three-part plan for world/lore presentation, and a creative Afropunk science fantasy setting, all make supporting this project feel like the most obvious thing in the world. To sweeten the deal, this book is rules-system agnostic— it maps onto Dungeons and Dragons, FATE, or the game system of your choice with minimal effort.

With a modest $2,000 goal, Welcome to Tikor had been 600% funded within 24 hours, and is currently sitting just above $30,000. However, they have in-depth stretch goals all the way into the $120,000 range, amping up the volume and quality of their work with each goal. Not only do I recommend supporting them because they’re a worthwhile goal, but I really get the feeling that this is one you do not want to miss out on.

Support: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/swordsfall/welcome-to-tikor-the-swordsfall-rpg-setting-and-ar

Cut to the Chase

If you’ve been following my articles for any length of time, Cut to the Chase shouldn’t be a surprise entry. A short-form, two-person RPG with one player designated the Prey and the other designated the Hunter? Of course, I’m all about it. This project really stands to have some incredible potential with collaborative world-building, interesting scene-setting, and several clever pre-generated scenarios to get you inspired. With the low goal to reach of only $1,126 to reach, the thought that this project hasn’t been fully funded yet astounds me. Take my advice, and get onboard before you miss your chance.

Support: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cuttothechase/cut-to-the-chase

D&D 5e Supplemental: Witch+Craft (Kiki’s Delivery Service and Hayao Miyazaki)

Did I finally wake up all our anime fans in attendance? That’s right, this project focuses on adding a crafting system to Dungeons and Dragons 5E which allows for the creation of permanent items not as drawn out, irritating tasks to check off, but as a form of self-care for players and their characters both. Channeling the charming feel of Kiki’s, Witch+Craft adds crafting classes and even a special adventure specifically for crafters. This is one is definitely worth your time.

Support: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/astrolago/witch-craft-a-5e-supplemental

As an honorable mention, I want to point out Icarus: How Great Civilizations Fall. This Kickstarter by Hunters Books (the same folks that brought us “The ABCs of DND,” Outbreak: Undead, and Kids on Bikes) was to fund a GM-less collaborative roleplaying game about collapsing civilizations using a dice-stacking mechanic. Now, they’re fully funded, but when I tell you that keeping on eye on Kickstarter because you never know what amazing concepts you may find, this game is one of the prime examples. If you missed out on it the first time, I’d keep a close watch on it and jump in on their preorder as soon as its available. Mark my words, this one is going to be something extra special.

Follow:https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/huntersbooks/icarus-how-great-civilizations-fall/description


That’s all I have for you this week. If you enjoyed having recommendations for upcoming projects to support, let me know in the comment section below and I’ll make this a regular feature. Until next week my friends, make sure to…

STAY RANDOM!!!

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Written by: Jason A. Clark

Writer, Salesman, Cartographer of The Weird Realms In My Head

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