[generic] What are you backing?

Legends of Omeria
Fifth Edition Starter Set


This Fifth Edition compatible starter set gives you everything you need to start playing the world's most popular tabletop and virtual RPG!

We've been working on this quietly for the last few months but now the cat's out of the bag!

DMDave, Cze & Peku, and Wilson from Paper Forge are creating a Fifth Edition compatible starter set available in both digital and physical formats.
Omeria not yet live. I may be too broke by the time they go live. Beowulf wins this funding round this month. :)

Posted by Jerry D. Grayson
Jun 7, 2020

Hello everyone,
I just wanted to let anyone that may be interested in the new project I’m launching Wednesday, June 10th, 2020.

Terra Oblivion

A sample of the book is linked below.
Please do me a favor and spread the word, share the links, and boost the signal of this project. I can only continue to do these little projects with your help.
Thank you for your generosity
My God! The artwork of Steven Sanders is so epic, and correct me if I am wrong, this is the best artwork in a Jerry D. Grayson product till date.

And with a well known easy dice pool d6 game engine, what is not to love.

The only unfortunate baggage that has been attached to Jerry Grayson's wonderful game is his artist, Steven Sanders.

Several of the original backers of the art book are rightly upset that they did not receive their Kickstarter rewards from Steven Sanders, especially now seeing his contribution of those same notable pieces of art to the new project, Terra Oblivion (under a Creative Commons license).

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The Guvnor
Staff member
The Black Hack Second Edition Classic Monsters ook project is now live on Kickstarter. Classic Monsters is designed to support and enhance your Black Hack games. It features over 200 monsters, drawn from B/X and First Edition sources of the The World's Most Popular Fantasy Role Playing Game, all converted for use with The Black Hack. There is also a limited number of premium rewards that include the Kickstarter Exclusive cloth/foil cover main rule book from the last campaign.

Check out the project page here:

So I mentioned being tempted but was resisting the Dice Macabre Kickstarter by Q-Workshop.


Well, now that they announced the option to get extra 5d6 and also freely offered everyone a bonus d20 added to the standard polyhedral set. Hence, I can have the necessary 2d20 and 6d6 dice needed for Modiphius' Conan and also have the full polyhedral set with that bonus d20 usable for D&D5e (Advantage/Disadvantage d20 pair). The skull motif is perfectly thematic for both these games.

The question is why am I still purchasing plastic dice in an age of social distancing?


A liking for the publisher and the artifact.
I used to support many Kickstarters just to help the creative teams, especially, by black authors. Some disappointed me terribly, though. One in particularity took $100 and never delivered. But still, it is good to help creatives. That industry is very unstable for those not at the top. Even the top companies are not truly profitable (looking at how Asmodee got Fantasy Flight Games to close their in-house RPG department making Star Wars and L5R).
This turned into quite a reply and bare in mind that I am not an economist and I don't run an RPG publishing house. This is just my understanding of the how these things work.

That industry is very unstable for those not at the top. Even the top companies are not truly profitable (looking at how Asmodee got Fantasy Flight Games to close their in-house RPG department making Star Wars and L5R).
It was ever thus. I suspect the fundamental problem is that there is a high gearing ratio between players and buyers. If you want to run a game as it is written the only person who needs to buy anything is the GM. If your game has a player's handbook type product then maybe another player in the group will buy that so everyone isn't bashing on the GM's copy. Certainly the only person likely to be buying adventure modules or setting books is the GM.

Thus you have to add not just new players but new groups with new GMs in order to sell more product. In fact you can get an estimate for the maximum number of potential customers for a new product by taking your best estimate of the number of players and dividing by 6. Of course you aren't going to sell that much. I don't know what the rule-of-thumb would be but I would guess maybe 10% of that sixth.

Worse still these are development intensive products with lots of I.P. in them. That's expensive to create even if you do pay your writers peanuts. (Which is generally what happens) Then you have to print them which is a big up-front cost. Not only print them but these days people expect them to be lovely glossy hardback books with full colour throughout. It all adds expense which people then complain about because while they like their expensive colour artwork they don't necessarily like paying for it.

Because printing is such a capital intensive process publishers are going to size their initial print run to what they know they can sell. (Or at least fervently hope they can sell) And that's generally as far as it goes. There will not be a second print run unless you're WotC with their massive customer base and even then there's not guarantee.

I think PDF and PoD publishing are two of the best things which have happened to the hobby in recent years. They allow publishers to make available their long tail products without having to make the massive investment in printing followed by the considerable expense in storing all that product until it is eventually sold maybe 10 years later. Maybe never. It also allows players to get their hands on that thing from years ago with ease whereas in the past they would have been reduced to scouring convention auctions and bring'n'buys. Or the bottom shelves or bins under the bottom shelves at their local game shop.

So while obviously RPG publishes must be turning a profit I agree that it's a precarious profit. It only takes a few, often one, miss-fire where a product doesn't recoup its development costs to bury a company. And without impugning the professionalism of all but the largest companies, most publishers are run more like a hobby than a business with the owners absorbing considerable expense (often in time) to keep their baby running.

For the biggest companies there's the issue of opportunity cost. Does the profit generated justify the cost of development when that development money could go into developing something else with a higher profit margin. I suspect that's what happened at Asmodee. They saw a better return on investment developing other products.

Bringing this back round to Kickstarter and the like, the RPG hobby has operated on good-will and largesse from its inception and continuous to do so. Thus I think you should treat backing projects like investors are advised to treat shares: Invest only what you can afford to lose. (Loss here might be a product which never delivers or it may be one which delivers rubbish)
Speaking of Kickstarter, has anyone used the emoticons to express happiness, blankness or unhappiness? Not sure if Kickstarter will use the unhappiness feedback to blacklist creators. I rather give those people another chance than ruin their future prospects. There was a Kickstasrter from a Manchester group that failed to deliver on the first run, so went back for another Kickstarter funding round to use the new funds to deliver both old and new projects (and yes, they finally did deliver). The natives guys, I just supported them because of BLM.

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Staff member
I’ve used the emoticons, as I think it gives the creators a better feel for how their project is being received by backers. I’ve changed them dependent upon the project’s progress. IndieGoGo uses something similar.

Only had a couple of complete failures on KS.

City of Mist was one that had to raise funds for the completion of the stretch goals in the first Kickstarter. After an initial misfire on the comms for their second Kickstarter, they took a more humble and transparent approach with their backers which has paid off. Decent comms, decent products and the trust is rebuilt.

There’s at least one indie publisher I won’t back now. They’ve multiple mismanaged products. When the books arrive, they’re good, but their comms can’t be believed and there’s always an excuse. Their stuff is worth buying if it is released.

I think feedback is beneficial. KS already listens to backers when companies/individuals have a record of slow or failed delivery.
I am one of those people who judges books by content and also covers (hence, my Michael Whelan art covers for many childhood fantasy and SF books).

So this Kickstarter "Jiangshi: Blood in the Banquet Hall," with cover art by Kwanchai Moriya, was a definite buy in. Enjoy!