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Kickstarter and Pathfinder


Compatible Products from Other Publishers

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

To quote from a song, "there's something happening here... what it is, ain't exactly clear."

I just did a search on Kickstarter for "pathfinder". Results:

Red Dragon Inn - 117% funded, 4 days to go
Ultimate Psionics - 669% funded, *31 days to go*!
Unnamed Pathfinder e-module - 102% funded, 7 days to go
Kaldan Campaign Setting - 151% funded, 10 days to go
Obsidian Apocalypse Campaign Templates - 231% funded, complete
Pure Steam - Pathfinder Compatible RPG Setting - 139% funded, complete
Adventures in Awesfur - 7% funded, 16 days to go
Journeys to the West: A Pathfinder RPG Voyage - 367% funded, complete
The Terah Project: Steampunk for Pathfinder Role-Playing - 188% funded, complete
Free RPG Day Shadowsfall Adventure for Pathfinder RPG - 172% funded, complete
It Came from the Stars: Bringing the Weird to Pathfinder RPG - 114% funded, complete
Free RPG Day NeoExodus Adventure for Pathfinder RPG - 111% funded, complete

Other projects of note that didn't come up on the first page:

Rappan Athuk megadungeon - almost 1000% funded at nearly $250k
Pathfinder Online Technology Demo - 615% funded at $307k
The Gamers: Hands of Fate - 110% funded at $355k with 32 hours to go

All told, there's well over a million dollars worth of money that gamers have pledged to Pathfinder-related Kickstarters.

Edit: it strikes me that the joke was too distracting from the topic. Removed. But I'd love to hear speculation (humorous and not) on what Kickstarter will mean to Pathfinder in the future...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Not to mention the ones already completed, like Reaper's Bones kickstarter.

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

I can think of at least a few more not up there, like The Mask of Death by the same folks who did The Gamers: Hands of Fate - 550ish% funded, complete, as well as DungeonADay.com, and Steampunk Musha.

It's pretty crazy how well Kickstarters have been doing, although they're still at like a 50% success rate.


Other succesful kickstarters I backed were

Gaming Paper - Citadel of Pain
Gaming Paper -Fractured Phylactery
LPJr Design - Origins of Man
Sneak Attack Press - Alternate Objectives
Open Design - Midgard Adventure Anthology
EDIT:

And on Indiegogo:

Rite Publishing - Martial Arts Guidebook

All funded!

Cheliax

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

There's also the The Bleeding Hollow Kickstarter which funded at just over 900%.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber

Hmm, maybe it's time they rise the prices of their books abit. Lot's of expendable income there.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Hopefully it will continue to provide a place for more esoteric projects, rather than a glut of generic books and sourcebooks. The kickstarter projects I've followed and/or supported lead me to be optimistic about that.


There's also Companions of the Firmament, which was a small scale one (only needed 1k for funding, and finished just under 5k), but still one I'm looking forward to the end result of.


Well I don't know about any other 3PPs, but we at LPJ Design are going to use Kickstarter for all out future Free RPG Day products. What you can do with kickstarter and now with RPGNow / DriveThru RPG letting you promote your kickstarter in their emails you can send out to customers, I don't really see this stopping.


I don't know what Kickstarter will mean for pathfinder specifically, but I think that the obvious enthusiasm and willingness to fork out cash for Pathfinder stuff that doesn't exist yet says a lot.

I can see the world of gaming continuing to evolve to respond to the demand, and I see Paizo leading the supply.

I think that Paizo will lead in the accomplishing the following:

1. Enhance the way that games are organized and played online

2. Work to further unify the RPG gaming community (do right what Sean Connors did wrong on indiegogo with the "Dragon's Horde" if you're familiar)

That's all I can really think of. Bottom line, Paizo will respond to the demand... we'll have to wait and see how.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jeremy Smith wrote:
It's pretty crazy how well Kickstarters have been doing, although they're still at like a 50% success rate.

I think people may have missed the point of what I was identifying.

Of the currently extant Kickstarters that have "pathfinder" in their description, one looks like it might not make it.

I didn't list a LOT of previous (successful and unsuccessful) projects because there isn't time for me to transcribe all that data while I eat lunch. There were at least 5-6 pages of them!

But it really does look like, at least right now, Pathfinder projects have a very strong likelihood of being funded; much more so than the average. Hence my song quote. I think there's a ground-swell of enthusiasm that I lay at the competent feet of Jason Bulmahn most specifically (because he has yet to produce a book that doesn't absolutely captivate me), but all of the amazing folks at Paizo for having not just created a compelling d20-based system and setting, but for having the organization, discipline and industry savvy to get to market and attract people to their game.

To answer my own question about what Kickstarter means for Pathfinder, let me speculate a bit: I think Paizo should seriously consider taking some small number of books per year and putting them up as Kickstarters.

Personally, I think the best candidates would be: hardcover adventure path reprints (with stretch goal bonuses like follow-on adventures); bonus adventure paths and perhaps Golarion-based setting gazetteers like Dragon Empires (with stretch goal bonuses like more content, hardcover, adventures, etc).

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hmm... interesting that this got moved to a different messageboard. I guess with everyone responding to the stuff about other products, and not my question about what people think this could mean for PATHFINDER, that makes sense, but it's still a shame my original point got derailed...

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

Well, something to consider about Paizo using this - Kickstarter is really meant to be more of funding things that you'd otherwise not be able to pay for, and alternatively, to make sure there's enough interest to warrant doing it. I'm not sure Paizo would need to do such a thing, given their success and subscription model.

Also keep in mind that Kickstarter takes 10% of all pledges, so why pay a premium surcharge more often than you need to?


Jeremy Smith wrote:

Well, something to consider about Paizo using this - Kickstarter is really meant to be more of funding things that you'd otherwise not be able to pay for, and alternatively, to make sure there's enough interest to warrant doing it. I'm not sure Paizo would need to do such a thing, given their success and subscription model.

Also keep in mind that Kickstarter takes 10% of all pledges, so why pay a premium surcharge more often than you need to?

Exactly, it's hard to see what it means for Paizo because I don't see Paizo using the format really.

Paizo, to me, seems to have a very strong growth-minded business plan, and, speculating, has more than enough capital to back it all up. They also have a foundation in their understanding and comprehension of the gaming community, quality of products, and ability to move into and expand their product as they see necessary. Paizo will know a long time before they're destined to fail, because it's all in the numbers.

In regards to "risk", business which rely upon sales generally like to use the subscription model to be able to project their sales. I can't say what % of their earning is made off of subscriptions vs online orders plus re-sellers, but I think between the subscription model and the threads they open up upon announcing a product, they can get a feel for how interested people will be in their projects (even though I doubt they'd shelve a concept at that point, but try harder next time).

Anyway, so en fin? I don't think that the Kickstarter platform will be used by Paizo, but I do see two benefits from it:

1. Paizo will learn what kinds of things 3pp's are doing that they can try to do better to earn that business.

2. 3pp's and no-names will be able to come out with better material, which will in turn force Paizo to continue to compete for the #1 spot in the d20 world, and not let what happened to D&D happen to them.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
ajs wrote:

Hmm... interesting that this got moved to a different messageboard. I guess with everyone responding to the stuff about other products, and not my question about what people think this could mean for PATHFINDER, that makes sense, but it's still a shame my original point got derailed...

Pathfinder is bigger than paizo (thanks to their PF Combatibility License). At least in my case, that was the reason for misunderstanding you.

I don't think kickstarter is going to mean much to Paizo, at least in the short term, because their business is not in need of the things kickstarter sells (and it's worth remembering that using kickstarter costs a significant amount for the larger projects). I could see them using it for the "far out" riskier projects, but when I asked about it a while back it didn't seem to be on their radar.

I would dearly love to see an Absolom boxed set (for example). With monstrous amounts of maps, handouts, standalone booklets, etcetera. That's the kind of thing I could see them utilizing crowd funding to produce (or a production of most/all flipmaps needed for an AP). The kind of project far outside their usual products, difficult to predict the demand for and where its even more difficult to predict the price sensitivity. It's also useful if it's easy to structure it in such a way so that the big hitters get value for high pledges without it costing substantially more to produce (or at least ensuring a healthy profit margin).

Silver Crusade

I'm going to use Kickstarter. A very wise man who advised Jeremy advised that I needed an audience. Instead of needing money, I need to get people interested before starting. That's what I'm doing. :)

I've two audiences with this kickstart, here for the Pathfinder adventure; and DAZ's forums for the kobold 3D figure.
:)

Taldor

Our Kickstarter project really wouldn't happen without this path to funding. There's a lot of polish that I just don't have the skill to do myself, and I don't want to ask people I know to do the polishing it needs for free. I would much rather do my work for free and pay the people who will it awesome. When it's all said and done, we'll have a product that is simply making money with promotional costs being the only additional costs. If all goes well, we'll have the revenue to fund the next project without having to do Kickstarter.


I really like that project Mike, I am just not that keen on the setting used.

I'll be interested to see what you guys are going to come up with though as I think it might well set the new bar for whats possible; I find the notion of an e-module fascinating and hope you guys do well and create a more 'mainstream' offering.


GM Elton wrote:

I'm going to use Kickstarter. A very wise man who advised Jeremy advised that I needed an audience. Instead of needing money, I need to get people interested before starting. That's what I'm doing. :)

I've two audiences with this kickstart, here for the Pathfinder adventure; and DAZ's forums for the kobold 3D figure.
:)

yes this man is very wise indeed, but understand he stole his wisdom from other wiser men.


Mike Bohlmann wrote:
Our Kickstarter project really wouldn't happen without this path to funding. There's a lot of polish that I just don't have the skill to do myself, and I don't want to ask people I know to do the polishing it needs for free. I would much rather do my work for free and pay the people who will it awesome. When it's all said and done, we'll have a product that is simply making money with promotional costs being the only additional costs. If all goes well, we'll have the revenue to fund the next project without having to do Kickstarter.

This comment kind of scares me a little. I think (completely my opinion here) if you have a project that could not come to being with out kickstarter, you might want to think over the project you are doing. I think any project you submit as a kickstarter should work as a NON-kickstarered project. If you project ONLY works because of kickstarter you might create a "false sense of business success" due to have a incredibly successful kickstaretr and when you do you next product no one, beyond your donors purchases it. Now this isn't an issue for Reaper of Monte Cook, but most of us are not them. Just something to think about the next time anyone attempt a kickstarter.

Taldor

LMPjr007 wrote:
This comment kind of scares me a little. I think (completely my opinion here) if you have a project that could not come to being with out kickstarter, you might want to think over the project you are doing. I think any project you submit as a kickstarter should work as a NON-kickstarered project. If you project ONLY works because of kickstarter you might create a "false sense of business success" due to have a incredibly successful kickstaretr and when you do you next product no one, beyond your donors purchases it. Now this isn't an issue for Reaper of Monte Cook, but most of us are not them. Just something to think about the next time anyone attempt a kickstarter.

There's Kickstarter success and business success. Kickstarter is a reduction of risk. Sure, I could fund the work with credit, but that's a big risk (one my wife wouldn't appreciate;). So if a Kickstarter succeeds, a project can move forward with much less financial risk. The business success is mostly independent of that. There will obviously be some momentum from a successful Kickstarter project, but the balance for the product is zero after the work is completed. If sales are zero after that, there is no business success.

Part of my goal here is to push the envelope in the industry. If this style of e-module takes off but this particular product line doesn't, I'll consider it a pretty good win. If it doesn't also sell, that's a separate issue for bySwarm Inc.

Taldor

Shifty wrote:

I really like that project Mike, I am just not that keen on the setting used.

I'll be interested to see what you guys are going to come up with though as I think it might well set the new bar for whats possible; I find the notion of an e-module fascinating and hope you guys do well and create a more 'mainstream' offering.

It does use some setting specific content elements, but that's because we didn't want to make just another fantasy setting with dwarves, elves, gnomes, etc.

We are interested in licensing our technical work for other publishers to do similar products. Even if we don't do traditional Tolkien-style material, the technology can make it to other products.


Mike Bohlmann wrote:
There's Kickstarter success and business success. Kickstarter is a reduction of risk. Sure, I could fund the work with credit, but that's a big risk (one my wife wouldn't appreciate;). So if a Kickstarter succeeds, a project can move forward with much less financial risk. The business success is mostly independent of that. There will obviously be some momentum from a successful Kickstarter project, but the balance for the product is zero after the work is completed. If sales are zero after that, there is no business success.

I agree there is a difference between kickstarter success and business success. The real problem is for those that DON"T understand there is a difference and will fault their failure on kickstarter or the business market or both.

Quote:
Part of my goal here is to push the envelope in the industry. If this style of e-module takes off but this particular product line doesn't, I'll consider it a pretty good win. If it doesn't also sell, that's a separate issue for bySwarm Inc.

I always think it is good to push the market in different directions, but the basic fundamentals of the market don't change. The real problem is that people think they can change 1+1=2 to 1+1=less than 2 as the new fundamental. It is possible to have 1+1-less than 2 sometimes (High Shcool chemistry less: 1 ounce of water with 1 ounce of alcohol equals less that 2 due to the molecules of water and the alcohol having enough space between each other that the can slide inbetween each other) but as an exception NOT as the rule.


I'm hoping this is funded since it is the first from Michigan:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/191486433/adventures-in-awesfur-legenda ry-adventures-trilogy?ref=home_location

If you can let's try to support these projects. :)

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I’m glad someone mentioned ‘The Bleeding Hollow.’ It was our first foray into the Kickstarter phenomenon, and it went absolutely bananas. Funding at over 900%, it showed off our work to a much greater audience and was very well received.

That, I think, is the magnificence of Kickstarter. The amazing reach your project gets is why you see so many companies coming on board – especially as a third party publisher. Our adventure sold 10 to 20 times or more what we’d sell if it were published the traditional route and left hidden in a dark recess on Paizo.com with no exposure.

Other sites like DriveThruRPG.com have great tools to help you promote your products, and we sell there 3:1 compared to Paizo.com. So the reach of the Kickstarter is a very powerful tool indeed. I think that a lot of major companies are seeing this as well.

To me at least, I feel that the Kickstarter should be for those companies that are trying to make a project, and they know they could not do it on their own. After all, this is supposed to be about artistic endeavors, not just pure capitalism right? Unfortunately, I think more and more major companies are digging in to Kickstarter and making a serious cash grab at the expense of the masses – literally. That isn’t really going to stop either, as the folks at Kickstarter are making a cool 10% (roughly) on your project.

I’m seeing more and more companies producing things on Kickstarter that are pretty cool, but the prices are becoming outrageous. Most gamers don’t have tons of cash to shell out (except for Reaper minis… damn them for taking all of my money!). The power of Kickstarter is about the masses, so you shouldn’t need to gouge them. It should be less about sales, and more about creation and rewarding those that help you along the way. In our ‘Bleeding Hollow’ Kickstarter, we put up some great rewards for those who helped us, and the response was amazing.


Without kickstarter, alot of things wouldn't have gotten made. With kickstarter I expect we will see alot of new and exciting things for pathfinders. Lets face it, paizo has developed a rabidly loyal fanbase, that likes giving them money, but they have also created a world, a brand, and a very popular game system. Combine that with a very generous ogl, and fairly frequent freelancing withing 3pp authors, paizo isnt just building a brand, they have built a community.

There is a lot of power in that community, buying power anyway. Look at the jumps that happened in the bones kickstarter when it was announced on paizo's main page. It was not insignificant. And because of that we will see alot of cool new options for minis much faster, and some that we might not have ever seen that we can use for pathfinder.

Paizo itself will probably see limited use for kickstarter. It would be specific things like that technology demo for goblin works. For the most part paizo doesn't need to kickstart their standard products, they know how to handle that. But there are plenty of smaller companies supporting pathfinder that could use the assistance kickstarter offers. And while some things might go south because kickstarting is always a gamble, i think we will see a far larger portion of cool stuff we couldnt have otherwise gotten.

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

TPK Games wrote:
Other sites like DriveThruRPG.com have great tools to help you promote your products, and we sell there 3:1 compared to Paizo.com. So the reach of the Kickstarter is a very powerful tool indeed. I think that a lot of major companies are seeing this as well.

This is interesting. We see the opposite. Anything PFRPG-related - far more sales at the Paizo site than at RPGNow or DriveThruRPG.


Jeremy Smith wrote:
TPK Games wrote:
Other sites like DriveThruRPG.com have great tools to help you promote your products, and we sell there 3:1 compared to Paizo.com. So the reach of the Kickstarter is a very powerful tool indeed. I think that a lot of major companies are seeing this as well.
This is interesting. We see the opposite. Anything PFRPG-related - far more sales at the Paizo site than at RPGNow or DriveThruRPG.

Mines about even.


Rite Publishing wrote:
Jeremy Smith wrote:
TPK Games wrote:
Other sites like DriveThruRPG.com have great tools to help you promote your products, and we sell there 3:1 compared to Paizo.com. So the reach of the Kickstarter is a very powerful tool indeed. I think that a lot of major companies are seeing this as well.
This is interesting. We see the opposite. Anything PFRPG-related - far more sales at the Paizo site than at RPGNow or DriveThruRPG.
Mines about even.

Ours are 75% RPG Now / 25% Paizo. We have tried just about everything to get more sales here but it does seem to be happening.


Jeremy Smith wrote:
TPK Games wrote:
Other sites like DriveThruRPG.com have great tools to help you promote your products, and we sell there 3:1 compared to Paizo.com. So the reach of the Kickstarter is a very powerful tool indeed. I think that a lot of major companies are seeing this as well.
This is interesting. We see the opposite. Anything PFRPG-related - far more sales at the Paizo site than at RPGNow or DriveThruRPG.
Rite Publishing wrote:
Mines about even.
LMPjr007 wrote:
Ours are 75% RPG Now / 25% Paizo. We have tried just about everything to get more sales here but it does seem to be happening.

I think Paizo lack of Pay Pal option might be a problem to some 3PP and potential buyers.

(I know PayPal as a "Simili-Credit-Card" option, but it is apparently not available everywhere/to everyone.)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

LMPjr007 wrote:
Rite Publishing wrote:
Jeremy Smith wrote:
TPK Games wrote:
Other sites like DriveThruRPG.com have great tools to help you promote your products, and we sell there 3:1 compared to Paizo.com. So the reach of the Kickstarter is a very powerful tool indeed. I think that a lot of major companies are seeing this as well.
This is interesting. We see the opposite. Anything PFRPG-related - far more sales at the Paizo site than at RPGNow or DriveThruRPG.
Mines about even.
Ours are 75% RPG Now / 25% Paizo. We have tried just about everything to get more sales here but it does seem to be happening.

I wonder if part of it is because you had a relatively strong presence on RPG Now before Paizo even started selling PDFs?

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Vic Wertz wrote:
I wonder if part of it is because you had a relatively strong presence on RPG Now before Paizo even started selling PDFs?

PM Sent.


Vic Wertz wrote:
I wonder if part of it is because you had a relatively strong presence on RPG Now before Paizo even started selling PDFs?

I am sure that is part of it, but we have released some product here at Paizo first then a week later at RPGNow and still the 75% / 25% split. While there is cross over of customers, I think those you are loyal to Paizo buy their Pathfinder and 3PP products here, while others, buy at RPGNow. I also believe people who feel certain 3PP are more "official" Pathfinder than others and with that they purchase their accordingly, especially the newer customers.


DTRPG takes paypal, pure and simple. Plus they run constant sales, and from a reviewers point of view, you can't post reviews for product there unless you get it from them. So buying a book there lets you post a review there and here.

And as far as the impact Kickstarter has had on gaming purchases, it is impossible to ignore what that site has done to the landscape of publishing for the little guy. The problem there though is getting enough attention to succeed, as no one wants a failed Kickstarter project, that just adds a serious black eye to a publisher. Granted, if you're the right group of people you can come back from that, like a certain group of Geniuses recently proved.


KTFish7 wrote:
And as far as the impact Kickstarter has had on gaming purchases, it is impossible to ignore what that site has done to the landscape of publishing for the little guy. The problem there though is getting enough attention to succeed, as no one wants a failed Kickstarter project, that just adds a serious black eye to a publisher. Granted, if you're the right group of people you can come back from that, like a certain group of Geniuses recently proved.

I don't know if I would call it a "black eye". My first 2 kickstarters both failed, and my last three have all been successful. I think it is more about understand what kickstarter IS and what it ISN'T. In addition have built a base of fans and followers on your previous work makes it easier for you to be a success.

But the real proof will be not in the amount of people that have successful kickstarter projects, it is in the quality of the final released product. There are several people who have missed their deadlines on the products they promised and have had little to no contact with the donors. I think this is the greatest problem that kickstarter needs to fix, because if they don't this will pull down their reputation and kill them as a company.

Publisher, Dreamscarred Press

I think Louis's point about communication is a critical one.

While I haven't backed many Kickstarters, the ones where I get regular updates are the ones I'll go back and support again. The ones where I hear something maybe once a month? I most likely won't be supporting those companies again.

And that's why I've taken the "minimum one update a week" approach. Until the project is done, your backers deserve at least an update a week. At least, that's my opinion. Less frequently than that and folks start to wonder if the project is ever going to get done. And while updates with tangible progress are great (previews, etc.), communication is the critical part.

Just some thoughts on communication. Kickstarter is about being involved in the development process - I want to know how development is going. If that's not going to happen, I'll just wait for the product to be done and spend my money then.


Amen regarding regular updates, especially once the kickstarter is done! I've supported some projects that are awfully quiet and have no appropriate forums to get information on the progress - which sucks.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Jeremy Smith wrote:
This is interesting. We see the opposite. Anything PFRPG-related - far more sales at the Paizo site than at RPGNow or DriveThruRPG.

As a consumer I prefer as few portals as I can manage. One-stop-shopping is a preference to me in the digital world.

Think of it this way: I want to get all my groceries at the grocery store. I don't want to have to find out that stores that carry Pepsi don't carry Kraft products and stores that carry Coke do. If I want Pepsi products and Kraft products, I'd have to make two trips. No thanks.

I can accept different product types being at different stores. Paizo.com is where I get RPG product. I go somewhere else for accessories for my car. I'm okay with that. But I don't really feel like shopping around. Paizo.com is good enough for me, and if someone makes me go somewhere else for their product, I'm less inclined to buy it.

Another example: almost everything I want for video games is available on Steam. I resent having to buy Mass Effect 3 via Origin. I don't want my games in two different portals. That is inconvenient to me, and I guarantee that I will not buy anything I'm not utterly committed to owning via non-Steam portals. EA will lose sales with me. By not having to share their profit with Valve, they've alienated me as a customer and I guarantee they will have less overall income.

So anyway, there's an explanation from one consumer why things may be the way they are.

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