After the deluge of miniatures Kickstarters this summer, it's nice to see role-playing attempting to traverse the wilderness. RPGs are a tougher sell in a Kickstarter than miniatures. The pledge doesn't just want their product with a few basic freebies and free shipping. Oh no, they wanted their minis for nothing, and a few more for free. With RPGs, the core product is more a labor of love, so offering additional side pledges and stretch makes the deadline for the initial project so much harder to complete. It's so much easier to offer a pack of skeletons at a buck over cost or a band of bugbears for an extra $20, than a sourcebook, character creation software, or mission folio, and maintain an even level of quality.
Of course if you don't start with deluded notions, like FASA did with their Victorian Sci-Fi game, success is much easier. Case in point with the World of Synnibarr Kickstarter.
Some of you just fainted, I'll give others a few moments to collect themselves from laughing hysterically.
At least in this part of Pennsylvania, Synnibarr was always a joke. It was a monstrous book, full of multi-genre combinations that, at least at a casual glance, looked to be a stat-cruncher/munchkin's wet dream. I swear there were bionic psychic laser dragons, or something similar to it. It felt like GURPS gone bad, or it Rifts hadn't kept their multi-genre machinations in different regions of the world/dimensions.
Oh, that book, it made a large print bible look like a program for a elementary school winter concert. I know one copy sat on the shelf at Dreamscape during my reign. I'm thinking I offered a few extra discounts on that one to move it out during one of the after Christmas sales. Or perhaps, it's still lurking in the bins and boxes, waiting for a victim.
The worst insult to the game was Bogglecon game auctions. I'm pretty sure Ron from Game Trader brought up a couple copies of it every con, and most copies were relegated to the $1 minimum bid. I'm thinking over a copy or two has circulated in the current Mepacon auction cycle with similar results.
Anywho, the creator of the game is looking to republish the book, and has gone through a hefty ammount of playtesting and mathematical analysis. If the words "mathematical analysis" hasn't made you go run off screaming, this might be a game for you.
The different pledge levels are allowing for different quality prints of the books, including pdf, and a few supplements of questionable size. They may even be separate spinoffs from sections of the old book. Of course the highest level bids involve Synnibarr convention/personal game offers (airfare extra).
The stretch goals offer more weapons, more cybernetics, more blood magic spells, adding to the page count, but offset by the cheaper price per page of the larger job.
The good news for the hardcore fans (and there were at least 96 of them left), the basic kickstarter has funded itself. It this can find an audience, I may had to take a good hard look at putting Burning Plastic through the same rigors.
Republishing the World of Synnibarr for Kickstarter info.