Kickstarter or Die

Kickstarter is an ecosystem of funding, creativity and merchandise. It is a distinctive storefront just like any other where customers spend their hard-earned dollars on goods, usually intellectual property-focused goods.

And that’s where we depart any comparisons between Kickstarter and say, Amazon’s bookstore. Kickstarter is the reverse of Amazon: projects are funded ahead of time from backers, and then produced and delivered.

On my personal account, I’ve backed 22 projects. 23 if you include my Griffon Lore Games account. These are projects were I made a determination of what I wanted vs. the risk of help funding the project and whipped out the credit card, putting my money where my mouth is.

(we won’t talk about what I’ve spent on Amazon, heh, heh, heh (sob))

And they’ve all delivered, or are going to deliver. Every single one. And I’ve been super happy with most of them; there is only one project where I did not like the results, and another project that I found annoyingly super late.

So as a backer you will find me an enthusiastic supporter of Kickstarter. My experience with crowdfunding has been overwhelmingly positive.

But that’s only part of the reason Christophe and I are turning to Kickstarter for Griffon Lore Games’s Curse of the Lost Memories. As a designers, writers and producers, crowdfunding has a lot going for it:

Community: This is our number one reason to go with Kickstarter. Once someone funds it, Kickstarter has an update and commentary system to engage with your customers. That other campaigns don’t use this built-in community to provide weekly updates, foster backer-to-backer discussion, solicit feedback and engagement is maddening. During the campaign the project has the benefits of getting everything right before it ends. After the campaign, the community is brought together for a common purpose. It’s glorious.

Delivery Street Cred: Delivering a backed provides product delivery street cred for your product beyond what a successful, traditionally funded marketing campaign can provide.

Successful funding interjects more than cash, it interjects lifeblood via backers voting with their dollars.

Delivering a quality product increases your street cred.

Delivering a quality product on time is Maximum Kickstarter Street Cred.

Delayed Gratification: I don’t see this talked about hardly at all, but its super-duper-mega-relevant. Kickstarter is one great big delayed gratification mechanism. It is the opposite of rampant abject consumerism. Crowdfunding takes many of the things wrong with materialism in modern culture and tosses them into the wood chipper. Backers watch the video, read the story, look at the rewards, visit the websites, asks questions, then fund a project—and wait. That’s amazing. Don’t take my word for the superior world of delayed gratification. Hearken ye to the interweb tubes and read about all the positive results from resisting instant temptation for an often superior, worthwhile and enriching experience.

Christophe and I are absolutely confident we can deliver a product that is on-par, or superior, to any role-playing product coming out of the big names today. And crowdfunding is the way to do it.

What’s your take on Kickstarter? Comment below.

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Hard Fantasy and the DM

Brandon Sanderson writes some excellent fantasy and to paraphrase him, hard fantasy is more about what you can’t do with magic than what you can. A DM that subscribes to the tenants of hard fantasy has a rather large narrative tool in the DM Toolbox. By defining restrictions and limits, a DMs campaign world actually becomes more fantastic, not less!

So what is Hard Fantasy? From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core:

Hard fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy literature that strives to present stories set in (and often centered on) a rational and knowable world. Hard fantasy is similar to hard science fiction, from which it draws its name, in that both aim to build their respective worlds in a rigorous and logical manner.

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The hard aspect of hard fantasy can refer to different elements. It can refer to a consistent history and folk lore, as we see from Lord of the Rings, well-defined magic systems as seen in Mistborn or The Name of the Wind, and is sometimes even applied to A Song of Ice and Fire for its political system, though the latter only defines limits of magic the main characters learn.

Here at Griffon Lore Games (which, right now is Anthony and Christophe, ha ha) we are big fans of hard fantasy well beyond a descriptive, logical definition of how magic works. A hard fantasy word to us is indeed:

Motivational: NPCs have motivations both covert and overt.

Political: The fantasy world has movers and shakers, those that fight the status quo and those that try to preserve it.

Historical: The current world can be explained by describing what has come before.

Villainous: The bad guys are not the bad guys in their own story, and on the off-chance they recognize they are the bad guys, they have distinctive motivations for being so.

Magical: The story doesn’t drive the magical system where horrific miracles happen because suddenly it’s the middle of the book and the hero needs a low point. The magical system codifies the story, not the other way around.

Mythical: All people have a creation myth, and the magical and historical items and people within the world have lore that defines them, even if the lore isn’t accurate.

Divine: Especially with RPGs, the divine impacts the people and the people impact the gods. Especially with hard fantasy, what the gods can’t do is just, if not more, interesting and useful to a DM than what a god can do.

Geographical: The fantasy world has distinctive, descriptive geography that shapes all the other hard fantasy attributes.

Now, if you’re into RPGs and the above sounds like a bullet-list for world building—now you get it! It’s not just tough encounters and hard win conditions. It is the whole package. It’s gritty, it’s rich, it make sense and sometimes you can win the battle but lose the war. It’s a fantasy world that breathes. Curse of the Lost Memories is hard fantasy and the campaign world presented in the overall adventure path, Chronicles of the Celestial Chains, is so hard fantasy you can bounce a rock off it. FROM ORBIT.

I’ve got a lot more to say about hard fantasy. We’ve got examples we’re going to talk about later. I’ll even go so far as to truck out RPG products that are hard fantasy and were successful, and RPG products that played fast and loose and were not.

Be sure to bookmark our website or follow us. This is going to get good!

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Hello 2018!

Wow!

I’m taking a break from video production for the Kickstarter to say hello!

We’re making steady progress after launching our Facebook Page. Be sure to Like and Follow the page. While Facebook isn’t the best place to stay informed (Facebook arbitrarily decides when and where to show updates to pages), it’s a good place to meet other Griffon Lore Games enthusiasts.

So let’s talk about updates. Where’s the best place to get information about Griffon Lore Games happenings? We’ll my friends, we got you covered:

This website. The website kinda kicks ass, doesn’t it? We’re using WordPress and WordPress has a ton of reader friendly features:

Subscribe to the website via WordPress. Over on the right, just input your email address and press Subscribe. You’ll get all the blog posts in email.

Add the website via an RSS reader. Just add “https://www.griffonloregames.com/updates/” as the feed.

Our YouTube Channel. Subscribe to the channel for video updates. We’re video-friendly, so be sure to subscribe to our channel via YouTube even if you watch the videos from this website.

Our Facebook page. Facebook is convenient. However, it’s hit or miss if Facebook shows you the update unless you go to the page directly. Adding the website to an RSS Reader or, visiting on a regular basis or signing up for blog updates is always the better bet!

Our Kickstarter! When the Kickstarter is live, pledging any amount will get you project updates. We’ll cross-post them here, too, but Kickstarter also has a comment page for campaigns that we will be using religiously.

Our email newsletter: Once a month we’ll send out a summary of content and products.

Okay, that’a a lot of places to get information and interact with us, ha.

This blog will not be a place to only pimp our products. You’ll be getting articles about D&D, Pathfinder, RPGs and the occasional video game. This website is our community owned exclusively by us and for our customers. It’s not a social media platform that tells your when and what to think by restricting or obfuscating information based on algorithms that don’t have your interests as a priority. Given enough interest, we’ll have a forum, independently run and moderated with your interests in mind.

Hold on to yer butts, we’re just getting started!

 

In Progress And Next Steps

This website is still in draft form! We’ve given the URL out to a few people. For those of you with access to it, here’s what we are in the progress of doing:

Website
  • We’re going to change “About” page to “Team” and start linking to our partners (cartography, artists, graphic designers, etc.)
  • Branded hero banner for the first page
Facebook
  • Branded header banner
  • FB launch
Newsletter
  • Mailchimp signup
Written Content Production
  • This is always going full-steam ahead. We’ll always be running ahead of everything with written content production. It’s the content Christophe and I are producing.

Question of the Day: When are you launching the Kickstarter?

The answer is—when we have a suitable number of followers and interest. The best way to launch a Kickstarter is to launch one whereby backers are standing by to back and thus making “fully-funded” a matter of timing rather a matter of ongoing Kickstarter campaign execution. We have some exciting and awesome stretch goals. We’d rather be spending more time campaigning the stretch goals than trying to obtain some grandiose funding target.

Here at Griffon Lore Games, we’re enthusiastic believers of crowed funding, having funding many things ourselves. We’re big fans of letting people vote with their wallet, as that is what we do when we participate in Kickstarter campaigns as backers.

As always, let us know your thoughts or questions.

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Curse of the Lost Memories

We are announcing our new adventure: Curse of the Lost Memories!

Curse of the Lost Memories is the first volume of Chronicles of the Celestial Chains adventure path. It is set in hard fantasy setting, a ruthless environment with successful villains, detailed political setting, and tough consequences for our heroes’ mistakes.

The player characters have memories that are seemingly not their own—visions of the past that don’t feel like visions, some lingering while others vanishing as if hiding from something dark. The external threat coming from the local moors is only part of fight the PCs find themselves in. This isn’t simply a mission for the local Viscount to clean out a moor of monsters. This is a war for their very identities and they must stand together or perish all.

The 100+ page adventure is setting agnostic, but with original locations and written for both Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition as well as the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. The module will take characters from level 1 to level 4 and brings them through four narrative acts of a story arc, yielding 12-15 sessions of play.

Curse of the Lost Memories is a uniquely DM-friendly module that encourages role-playing even when players don’t normally do so. The inhabitants of the land the PCs interact with fleshed out with their own motivations for the DM to use or modify, every location mapped carefully to provide a rich background of detail that when the DM starts to wing it, he or she has a solid foundation. The encounters are challenging and impactful, and many will leave players with a sense of accomplishment and sense of heroic wonder that will linger with them until the next play session.

Curse of the Lost Memories and the campaign world it is not an MMO on paper with a formulaic progression. It’s table-top D&D with 100+ pages of pure campaign role-playing goodness that walks the fine line of giving the DM directions to take the adventure to its conclusion and support when the adventure goes off the rails.

WE WILL LAUNCH ON KICKSTARTER SOON!

We want to deliver you a high-quality product with encounter maps, area cartography, pre-generated PCs, interior artwork and well-tested encounters in a bold, engaging style. Offered both as a hardcover and PDFs, Curse of the Lost Memories is the first mega-module in an adventure path taking the player characters from levels 1 to 20.

Please let us know if you have any questions! 🙂

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