Posts Tagged ‘DragonQuest’

Beyond ‘Wilderness’

February 1, 2012

The ‘Wilderness’ adventure fundraiser has made the basic goal, but I’m really hoping to get to twice that level, in which case I’ll be producing a larger (32 page minimum) adventure. If you’re still thinking about contributing, there’s a week to go, and your support would be greatly appreciated.

I’m thinking about taking a bit of the money from the fundraiser and creating a publishing house to produce DragonQuest material (and other stuff, too). I’ve revised the Antherwyck House name I used on the original Poor Brendan’s Almanac when I first put that together (though I’m not absolutely committed to that name). For now, I’ve also used the name on the revised Water Works I’ve been working on.

We could buy a domain or two, get hosting somewhere, form an LLC, and start making a line of DQ stuff available. With online distributors around and POD for people who want to buy hardcopies, there’s not much that would require labor, other than producing new material. With Poor Brendan’s Almanac, The Water Works, and the Wilderness adventure, we’d have three items in our catalog to start out. It’s not a huge inventory, but it would be more than a single adventure, so we’d have some presence from the outset.

Although there haven’t been thousands of people flocking to support ‘Wilderness,’ there are enough supporters that we’ve been able to meet a modest crowd-source goal. That shows that we do have an audience, and if we build on that base, it might be possible to expand things.

It’s looking a ways ahead at this point, but would another fundraiser to gather general support for starting a new DQ-oriented publisher make sense? Something to think about.


The Wilderness in Microscope

December 23, 2011

I’m thinking about running an online Microscope game to set some of the backstory and history for the “Wilderness of A—”

I’ve been interested in Microscope since Thor pointed it out to me a few months ago. I bought a copy of it, but I haven’t had a chance to try playing it yet.

It struck me, a couple days ago, that I might be able to do an online Microscope game with specific focus on the backstory for the adventure I’m working on. So, I’m going to invite all the current contributors to participate in a world-building game.

I’m not sure if this will work well, or not, but in any case, I think it will help generate some ideas, even if I end up changing and revising things significantly from the game as it plays out. And it will be a chance to play a game of Microscope, as well. I’ll email the contributors about this shortly. If you’d like to get in on this, sign up as a contributor to the “Wilderness” fundraiser.

My previous posts on: Microscope|More Microscope

Microscope site

Bonus for Holidays

December 20, 2011

The fundraiser for the DQ adventure has already gone more than halfway towards it initial goal, with 51 days remaining. The ‘hot start’ target to get the entire base goal by the 15th wasn’t reached, but that was a long shot anyhow

I mentioned on the dq-rules list that I hoped to still have a holiday piece for those who have contributed.

What I’m thinking of doing is gathering together and formalizing the Rank Point system I have used a few times to start off new campaigns or one-shots for conventions where I didn’t want to be stuck with beginning characters. Since “The Wilderness of A—” is going to be designed for mid-level characters, and people may not have existing campaigns, I think it would be good to have a framework for quickly giving players a way to assemble characters with more experience than beginning characters would have.

You could certainly do something like this by just dumping 8000 XP (or whatever amount you’d like) on everyone and letting them go to town. But this would be a quicker, shorthand version. Of course, it would be possible to abuse the system, but in more instances, I think it could be used to quickly get a new character, or group of characters pulled together.

My thinking is that there may be some gaming groups getting together over the holidays, and this could be tested out by a few different groups. The refined version will then be included in the final version of “The Wilderness of A—”

If you want to take a look at a preliminary version of this, before I clean it up, I’ve included it below the cut…

Working Title: Wilderness

November 28, 2011

I’m getting ready to start the adventure fundraiser project. The working title for the adventure is Wilderness. Naming rights are open to discussion and/or sponsorship.

Right now, my plan is to start the campaign on December 1st and run it through the end of February. That’s a little longer than ideal, but I think it allows more time to reach people who might be interested in it and try to recruit them to contribute.

I’m planning to use IndieGoGo to handle the fundraising. This means a couple things for the project. Most importantly, unlike Kickstarter, all contributions are collected. If the project doesn’t reach its goal in Kickstarter, no one gets charged. But with IndieGoGo, if you pledge X dollars, you are charged X dollars immediately, and, after the fees are taken out, the rest goes to fund the project right away. I’ve also been given to understand that it is easier for non-US contributors to participate through IndieGoGo, as opposed to other crowd funding platforms.

The upside for this is that, as long as there is some contribution, the adventure is going to be produced. It may only be minimally funded, in which case, it’s going to be smaller in scale. But I’m going to take the advice of Mark Shocklee about setting a range of goals.

The base goal is probably going to be $750. For that, the project will be a minimum 16-page adventure. If support reaches $1500, it will be a minimum 32-page adventure.

There is also an opportunity to have an art component. If support reaches $3000, I will have a custom piece of cover art commissioned from Timothy Truman (the artist who did the cover art for Enchanted Wood; I’ve been in brief contact with him, and it looks like it would be possible to commission him for a piece). That might also end up being a separate crowd funding project, rather than rolling it into the adventure fundraiser. I’ve also contacted another artist to see about rates for some interior art. I was going to see about contacting John Garcia (who did many of the interior drawings for the DQ rulebook), but unfortunately he passed away a few years ago.

I’d like to have some art in the adventure even if we only raise a moderate amount of funds. So I will assign roughly 20% of the money raised to go toward illustrations and artwork. This will probably mean hiring younger, lesser-known artists for a pittance (and I am not happy at having to do that), but I am realistic about the money that will be available, and I hope that I will be able to find a couple people who might be willing to do some fun work for a fraction of what they would normally charge. The other option would be to find some existing art that would be appropriate that we might be able to license to use.

If you have any leads or ideas about the art side, let me know.

Three DQ Adventure Kickstarter Ideas

November 4, 2011

So… I started talking about the idea in August, and now, all of a sudden, it’s November.  I haven’t been able to spend time on this the way I would like, which is the whole point of the Kickstarter (or IndieGoGo, or whatever) venture; to be able to make some financial space in order to be able to spend some time on the idea.

There wasn’t a whole lot of immediate and overwhelming support clamoring for the thing, either.  Frankly, that’s understandable.  Some guy mouthing about an adventure he’s gonna write for a long-forgotten RPG isn’t going to ring off the charts.  I like to think I’ve contributed a few things to the DragonQuest community, but that’s no big thing; I’m not an established game writer/designer.

I’ve been struggling to come up with some nice capsule descriptions of the adventure ideas I’ve been thinking about for this project, but to get a nice, tight, SPI-style intro in just a couple lines is hard.  And these are still pretty open-ended ideas.  So instead, what I’m going to do is give you the unfiltered ramble.  After all, these aren’t completed ideas, yet.  I have some pieces in mind that I’m interested in incorporating, and it’s better to put those ideas out there and see if they resonate with anyone else to move toward a project that can muster some support and interest.

The Earth Works

During the wars around the Return of Mador, nearly half a century ago, forces allied with Mador set up magical production and research facilities to provide enchanted materials for use by their forces. Sometimes, these were places that had been homes to scholars of magic. Clues found in the treasures collected from The Water Works point to the existence of another Works, this one dedicated to Earth Magics.

This would obviously be a sequel to the Water Works, but could certainly function as a free standing adventure on its own equally well. Probably this adventure would serve to introduce a few new Earth Magics spells or items of interest.

If this would be successful, this would also likely set up a following adventure or two, the Gas Works and the Fire Works (and perhaps even, the Clock Works)

The Wilderness of A—–

An old adventurer was rewarded by the local king for heroic services with the title of Baron and a grant of land off in the wilderness beyond the borders of the Kingdom. Some years later, he felt his adventuring career was at a close, and he settled in his lands and invited settlers to come and join him. The land has prospered to some extent, but it suffers from being too distant and unconnected to the Kingdom. A couple years ago, the Baron decided to construct a road through the Wilderness of A—– to connect to the Kingdom more directly.

But now, problems have arisen. Workers are disappearing and other unsettling events are keeping the road from being completed. The Baron’s people have sought to hire adventurers to travel with the surveying parties and work gangs to protect them from whatever is causing the problems and to help settle the wilderness so that the road can be completed.

This would include a map of some of the region. Not as extensive as the Frontiers of Alusia, obviously, but perhaps twice the area of the Overland Map from the Camp of Alla-Akabar and considerably more detailed. This could possibly be an adventure that would feature a new college of magic: the College of Sun Magics.

Obviously names need to be filled in here, but there are several potential naming rights opportunities for Kickstarter contributors. I see this one as perhaps something like The Enchanted Wood, with an overall arc to the adventure, and a series of capsule adventures and encounters that the GM can use for a mini-campaign of several adventures. There are also potential hooks in the new Barony that might be useful leads for further adventures.

The Coven of X—–

The general premise for this would be a power struggle going on in a coven of witches (College of Witchcraft) which the characters become caught up in. There would be an opportunity to use this with a PC witch, but probably more likely as a group of hired help serving one faction or another.

Just what is going on as a backdrop to this needs to be determined. One idea I have is that the Coven is centered in a city, and an opposing army is gathering nearby. Some of the witches are connected to the current power structure of the city, but others might have competing loyalties (though probably not overtly).

Obviously this would be an opportunity to spend some more time wit the College of Witchcraft. This would likely be far more of a character intrigue than any sort of dungeon crawl, but there would need to be locations and things going on with this, as well. Getting the PCs into the story might be a bit more difficult, but there are interesting possibilities in this.

I am, of course, very interested in any feedback about any of these ideas. I’m happy to discuss these further, and I will continue to refine these for the kickstarter kickoff (whenever that turns out to be). If there seems to be particular acclaim for one or another, rather than a divided interest among all three, that’s probably helpful in moving things along.

I’ll post about this on the DQ boards in a while, as well, so hopefully there can be some further discussion about the ideas. Even if you don’t think you’d contribute, but you have some ideas about the adventure concepts, I’m glad to hear what you think, even if it’s just to vote on which of these you think is most interesting.

More Q&A for DQ Kickstarter Adventure

August 25, 2011

I’ve gotten a few other questions about this project, so I have some more answers about this idea.

One of the questions was whether setting the goal at the end of September would allow enough time to pull together enough support. My thinking was that I would reach most of the likely supporters just in the DQ groups, and that, in that case, it wouldn’t take much time to see whether or not there was enough support for the project. But it’s a fair question; do others of you also think that’s too short a timeline? Would it make sense to open it up through to December, and make it a 2012 project?

It was also suggested that it should be possible to contribute a smaller amount than the lowest premium level. That was my intent, as well, but I guess I didn’t state that explicitly. As with Kickstarter projects, you can contribute any amount. The premiums I outlined are a list of proposed rewards or opportunities at various levels of contribution, but if you only want to contribute $1 just to get your name in the credits, that would be fine. But only contributors at the premium levels would get advance copies; a $5 contribution would help fund the project, but wouldn’t get a copy of it until it was released for general distribution.

A couple people asked about proposed page count. I would expect it to be at least twice the size of “The Water Works,” which is 10 pages (plus the title page) without any internal artwork other than the map on the last page. So, roughly 24 pages for the adventure. If there are new rules introduced in the adventure (new college of magic, new skills, etc.) that would be in addition to that base page count.

Those figures are also for page count without art. For “Poor Brendan’s Almanac,” I used all clip art and freely usable material for the illustrations. I could certainly do that again with this project. Art is also expensive to commission, so I don’t have expectations to have a lot of custom art in the adventure. But I think there was usually not much in the way of additional art in the various SPI adventures, so this would probably be along those lines, as well. There would, of course, also be maps and diagrams as part of the adventure. I already have a volunteer to help with cartography.

Thanks for the feedback, and keep asking questions.

Preliminary Corwdsource DQ Adventure Proposal

August 19, 2011

I am thinking about writing and producing a new DQ adventure, and I am looking at crowdsourcing models as a way to gauge interest and to generate enough support to make it worth doing. There’s no market for a traditionally produced adventure for DQ, but I think if I can crowdsource some support for it in advance, I can take the time to work on this. This is a draft proposal for comment and discussion.

If you are already familiar with Kickstarter, then you’ll understand the premise of this project. Basically, I’m looking to fund the creation of a new DragonQuest adventure. I’m going to see if I can get enough pledges to let me take the time to work on this project. If there is enough support, I will take the time to write and produce this adventure and have it completed by the end of the year.

In short, the Kickstarter model lets a creator get support for a project from aggregating a number of supporters who would like to see the project carried out. Rather than relying on a single patron, a bunch of people agree to contribute a small amount for a project to be carried out, assuming that enough other contributors also agree to help out.

Pledging to contribute doesn’t cost anything until the goal is met. If the creator’s goal isn’t met, no one contributes anything. Pledging only means that you are agreeing to contribute to the project if enough other people to also pledge to contribute. If the pledges fall short of the goal, then no funds change hands, and nothing happens. (If that turns out to be the case, I may revise the proposal, or I may just set it aside.)

If you are interested, you can pledge to contribute towards the production of the adventure. I’m not looking to match my freelance rates for what I do, but I am going to put time and effort into this.

Basic level pledges will get you an electronic copy of the adventure when it is completed. I plan to eventually make it freely available, but that will not be until some time (maybe 6 months or a year) after the supporters get copies. So contributors will get to have the adventure before it is otherwise available.

But there are also higher levels of support and involvement. If you want to contribute at a higher level, you can have some involvement in the design and configuration of the adventure. Contributors at higher levels can help select the NPCs, the setting for the adventure, and other elements. These premiums can also help make the adventure fit better with a supporter’s existing campaign. Higher contributions also make it more likely that the project will meet its goal and be able to be completed.

The goal is to get at least $1500 in pledges by September 30. If the goal is reached, then all pledges will be due, and work will begin on the adventure to be completed by the end of the year. However, if the goal is not reached, then no pledges will be collected, and the project will be dropped.

If you aren’t already familiar with my work in DragonQuest, I’m the author of the “Poor Brendan’s Almanac” supplement and the adventure “The Water Works.”

Premium contribution levels and benefits are as follows:

All paid pledges will be listed in the credits of the adventure.

Mercenary Level
$20 – Basic level pledge. Receive an electronic copy of the adventure at least 6 months before it is open to free distribution.

$50 – Print pledge. Receive an electronic copy as with Basic level, plus receive a hardcopy printed version of the adventure. (Non US residents will have to pay an extra postage premium).

$100 – Playtester pledge. Receive a copy of the draft adventure before final publication for review and/or playtest before the final version is released. Playtesters can provide feedback about the adventure to help improve the final release version. Those who provide feedback will be credited as playtesters in the final adventure credits.

Adventurer Level
Adventurer level supporters will get all of the premiums offered to Mercenary level supporters (printed hardcopy, etc.), as well as the particular premium selected. They will also receive one review/playtest copy of the adventure before even the supporter release and can provide feedback and commentary before the adventure is finalized.

$150 – NPC – Use an NPC from my campaign. An NPC in the adventure will be an NPC (or could even be a PC) from the contributor’s campaign world. (3 available)

$200 – Adventurer – Treasure Supporter. A specialty treasure to be selected in collaboration with the contributor for purposes of their own campaign will be incorporated into the adventure. (2 available)

$250 – Use part of my campaign world. Adventure setting will include places and features from the contributor’s campaign world. (2 available)

$250 – Adept – Magic College Supporter. The contributor’s choice of a College of Magic will be incorporated into the adventure in a significant fashion. This may include any college from the basic DragonQuest rules, Arcane Wisdom, or Poor Brendan’s Almanac.

Hero Level
Hero level supporters will get all of the premiums offered to Mercenary level supporters (printed hardcopy, etc.), as well as the particular premium selected. They will also receive one review/playtest copy of the adventure as the Adventurer level supporters.

$350 – New Skill Underwriter. Rules for a new skill will be developed for introduction and use in the adventure.

$500 – Magus – New Magic College Underwriter. Rules for a new college of magic will be developed for use in the adventure

$750 – Hero – Choose the adventure outline.