Friday, September 2, 2016

A deeper look at the DF Kickstarter

So I want to take a deeper look at the Dungeon Fantasy RPG Kickstarter campaign.

This is a special one for me. First, because it's GURPS Dungeon Fantasy, which has been a great source of gaming fun for me. Second, because some of my writing has informed the game, so I might get some more sales out of this.


The game needs $100,000 to fund. Seems steep, except SJG has experience with a Kickstarter gone too-huge (Ogre) and a solidly estimated smaller one they kept from over-promising on (Car Wars Arenas). Both ended well, but Ogre still has deliverables and some third-party elements sound like they didn't pan out. They went right for "enough money to be worth doing" instead of some minimum to get by.

That does mean the 500 or so people in on the Kickstarter so far need another 500-750 people to get this game out. Or for all of the $1986 put-me-in-the-game pledges to sell out plus a few hundred more people.

GM Screen

This is a $20 add-on. It's on 2mm chipboard, which is like the heavy Ogre counters from the Ogre boxed set. That's nice. $20 feels a little steep to me, but a solid physical screen with a 16-page book, okay, I can go $20 for that. I'm certain I'll use it.

Extra Boxed Set

A $50 add-on, you can get a second copy of the game. Nice to see them add that. I'm not sure if it's a hard limit - you may have two, thank you very much - or a soft lift - $50 each.


A $35 add-on for five books. Okay, $7 each. That works. It's clearly not $7 each - some would sell for more, such as the 128-page PDF.

(Also, you can pledge $36 and choose "No Reward" and then select the PDFs as an add-on at the end of the campaing. $50 + shipping, especially interational, is too much? Throw in $36, get the PDFs, and support the game.)

Other Add-Ons

As an author, I'm pretty happy - some of my material is included in the boxed set and as add-ons. I've got stuff at every level, too. I think only I have that distinction aside from Sean Punch.

They've put the DF PDFs and Pyramid issues as add-ons. The books are in tiers:

Classic - These are the books that are mostly mined for the boxed set books. They include DFM1 and DFM2, and I'm a co-author on DFM1.

Beginning - These are the books easiest to add to the boxed set. Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 3 is there, hurrah! Get the boxed set, add on some monsters please.

Expert - These are the books you'll need other GURPS books for and some adaptation to make them work. Dungeon Fantasy 12: Ninja and Dungeon Fantasy 15: Henchmen are there along with Dungeon Fantasy Denizens: Barbarians.

I'm very pleased with all of that - having material in the box, and having the support material explicitly discussed and showcased.

Like I said, we need a lot more people in on this to make it actually happen. I'm going to keep talking about the set. Not exclusively - I have a lot of other posts bubbling around in my head - but often. I just wanted to look at it a little as a supporter and as a author alike.


  1. I am going to go for the screen and pdfs along with my boxed set. The only thing I haven't got otherwise is barbarians, as I have only had one player opt to play one in my city campaign, and they have a copy. It is on my list...

    1. That's my plan. $50 + $20 for the screen +$35 for the PDF versions.
      I think it is a little weird that so many players seem to avoid the barbarian. Maybe its the connotation that he is a "muscley dumb brute" and a lot of people want to be the clever one that solves problems in clever ways.
      But, it's really fun just being a nigh invincible package of rage, axes, muscles, and shields that plows through the enemies sometimes. I think the PR workover that the Barbarian needs is some kinda focus on her utilitarian abilities, which are not completely lacking, but maybe a light should be shone on them?

    2. "I think it is a little weird that so many players seem to avoid the barbarian. Maybe its the connotation that he is a "muscley dumb brute" and a lot of people want to be the clever one that solves problems in clever ways."

      64 points sunk into completely unnecessary outdoorsy/survival skills is a very large chunk of your 250 to start... I know I'm happy with my Barbarian in Dennis' game, but that's because I was allowed to ditch those advantages and skills and sink them into more ST and Barbarian Power-Ups, making my Ogre Barbarian Wrestler very frightening... if she gets her hands on you. If she could hit anything with her ax/mace she'd be even slightly more scary.

    3. I've never had a game without a barbarian. We have or had Mo, Honus, Bjorn, and Raggi. Behind Wizard, it's the most popular template in terms of numbers played. Adding a lot of variety with Denizens: Barbarians only increased the likelihood of more coming.

  2. I've never purchased anything digitally before and I have like $300 of spending money in my wallet I haven't been spending on anything. It'd be hugely, uncharacteristically impulsive of me to pledge the maximum reward tier but maybe I should eat the experience penalty to get such phat loot!

  3. I'm also in at the $105 level. Game, PDFs, and screen.

    I already have all the current DF products so the higher levels that give me another copy of the same PDFs don't really appeal to me. I might add a Pyramid subscription or something if it looks like the Kickstarter is in danger of failing.

    The Kromm GenCon game appeals to me. Never been to GenCon, and this would be another great reason to go. But it's hard to predict life that far in advance, so I'd want to make sure it's transferable first.

    The premium I'd really like to see: rough copies of all the books in advance, under NDA. Like being a playtester, but with no obligation to actually playtest, since you're paying.

  4. If SJ Games wanted to down the line, they could perhaps release the Boxed set DF PDF parts that are just GURPS Lite for free. Depends how the text is written and how much actual DF rules flow into and out of it. But an updated GURPS Lite is not a ridiculous thing to do.


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