Kickstarter Campaign Reviews, Part II

This week it is time for part 2 of my kickstarter campaign reviews. These games successfully funded between the end of 2013 and latter part of 2014. Most are long complete but a few are still dribbling out rewards. The majority were well run but others experienced some rough patches. Let’s have a look.

The Strange

Monte Cook’s Cypher system based game of interdimensional exploration raised a massive $418,478 (over 6 times the desired goal) from 2,883 backers in November 2013. As you’d expect, this came with a huge list of stretch goals, the last of which arrived early last year.

The rest of the campaign also went well. The main product appeared exactly on time, communication was good, and there were no serious delays.

The one downside is personal. I’ve lost all interest in both the game system and setting. It looks pretty and packed with ideas, it is just that I’ve moved on.

Demon: the Descent Prestige Edition

Then in December 2013, 2,076 backers pledged $150,235 to create prestige editions of Demon; the Descent. Tripling the goal allowed the team to produce a lot of extra books from material on the children of demons to a fiction anthology to a detailed look at Seattle.

Demon itself is an awesome game and I’m really enjoying running it for my online group. The prestige edition received shiny textured cover with a nice silk bookmark. It arrived delayed only by two months. The stretch goals also arrived fairly quickly with decent editing and production values. Pretty good by kickstarter standards.


Now for a kickstarter that had some rough going. You’d think a time travel game would arrive early?

TimeWatch had a stupendous kickstarter raising 25 times its goal with $105,881 from 1,980 backers. As usual this meant many stretch goals and promises to keep.

There was a bad patch where the creator wasn’t very responsive and the book ended up being pushed further and further back.

Thankfully things have turned around. I received my limited edition book after almost a two year delay. The rest of the books have since appeared at a rapid clip. With Simon Rogers now helping with communications, we backers could feel assured that everything is back on track.

Mecha vs. Kaiju

One of the smallest kickstarters I backed, Mecha vs. Kaiju is a Fate based game that pits the PCs, pilots of giant robots, against equally giant monsters. It funded successfully with $4,600 (for a $3,500 goal) with only 135 backers.

The book was delayed as usual but communication was good and five months late I had my hard copy.

All in all a good game, which I played it at DunDraCon. The creator has gone on to publish several other books.

Deluxe Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition

And now for a really big game that led to a very big book.

The 20th Anniversary Edition of Mage: the Ascension raised $672,899 thanks to 3,926 backers, almost earning 10 times the original goal. This spawned a massive list of stretch goals for an already impressive product.

I expect to be following this kickstarter for years to come. When it funded in April 2014, the deluxe version was promised for spring 2015. As one might guess it took much longer than that, My copy arrived in March 2016 and I expect books (or pdfs at least) to trickle in for the rest of the decade.

This being Onyx Path, I can expect at least monthly updates on the progress of the various promised books and products. So far we’ve gotten a Quickstart, a book for Infernalism, epub versions of Penny Dreadful, and a practical guide to Magick.

That still leaves Truth Until Paradox 2, Gods, Monsters, and Other Familiar Strangers: An M20 Character Compendium, Book of Secrets, the M20 Art Book, Mage 20th Anniversary Edition Cookbook, and the Book of the Fallen.

A lot to look forward to.

Worlds in Peril

This Apocalypse World-based game expands the system to the world of super heroes. Though I don’t particularly like its mechanic of multiple playbooks (one for Origin and one for Role), it does bring fresh ideas to the Powered by the Apocalypse world.

The kickstarter itself raised $20,953 for a $6,000 goal from 730 backers in May 2014. Most of the extra money went toward art (appropriately for a comic inspired game). The final product got pushed back from October 2014 to the following May partly because of this. Thankfully we were kept entertained with many art and archetype previews.

Overall it was a good campaign. I used the game for a short “three shot” and definitely would consider using it again.

Urban Shadows

I recently finished a campaign of this Apocalypse World system game about supernatural factions within the modern world and played/run several great conventions games as well. So I can say the game itself is pretty good.

The kickstarter campaign while satisfying has been dragging a bit of late.

Urban Shadows earned $35,209 (for a $3,000 goal) from 1,076 backers in October 2014. While they promised the book right away, in fact it wasn’t until the next summer that I could finally consider the main project filled with the arrival of the final pdf.

The project has been slow with the stretch goals: extra archetypes and a supplement book called Dark Streets. The book and some of the archetypes finally arrived this spring and contains a number of pre-developed cities and advice for the game. That still leaves a few archetypes to look forward to, such as the Immortal (which I really want to have for my next game).