Kickstarter can be a mixed bag, especially when it comes to roleplaying games. Some Kickstarter projects launch, hit their funding levels, and deliver on the promises to backers without any issues. Sine Nomine and Khepera Publishing are two great examples of companies who do it right.
Then, there are the Kickstarters that encounter all kinds of problems. The Far West RPG, for one, is pretty much the standard-bearer for empty promises and a deadline for delivery that was back in December 2011 (yes, 2011, that’s not a typo). As of this writing, it’s still not finished, despite the creator posting more than 50 updated delivery dates over those four-and-a-half years.
Myself, I’ve had pretty good luck with backing projects on Kickstarter. That’s partly because I’m selective and careful about the projects that I back. There are some creators I will never back because I know their track record. And then there are others who I will back without any hesitation (e.g. Monte Cook, Dwarven Forge, and a few others).
The Conan RPG Kickstarter by Modiphius was a bit of a gamble for me. I was concerned that Modiphius was biting off more than it could chew, especially as it continues to pursue more licensed properties. And I don’t own any of their other games, so I couldn’t be sure I’d like what I received from them.
However, I was intrigued by the overall project, and the huge amount of digital stuff I would receive. For example, Modiphius included PDFs of all the Conan RPG materials that were put out by Mongoose from their last Conan RPG edition. So even if all I got was a PDF core book and all the old PDFs, I would be okay with the money I threw at it.
So far, things are looking pretty good for the project as a whole. Chris from Modiphius has been sending out updates at a decent pace, and the updates include the status of not just the current book but all the books in the line. So the backers can see what’s going on with the entire project.
In the meantime, Modiphius has been releasing the chapters of the core rule book as they are completed, ahead of the actual stated project delivery date. Not every piece of art is in place, but the text is there and I can read the rules and understand how everything fits together.
So far, Modiphius has released the following chapters to the backers:
- Chapter 1 – Getting Started
- Chapter 2 – Characters
- Chapter 3 – Skills and Talents
- Chapter 4 – Rules
- Chapter 5 – Action Scenes
- Chapter 6 – Equipment
- Chapter 7 – Sorcery
- Chapter 10 – Encounters
I’m not going to do a full review here, but I will say that I’m pretty happy with most of the system. There are some bits that I’m not entirely sure of, but I’ll see how they pan out in actual play before I start changing anything.
This project is really focused on getting a true Conan experience out of the game. Well-known Conan scholars are working on the books and making sure that it accurately reflects Howard’s original stories.
I will say that it really feels like a Conan game in my read-through. I’m really excited to give it a spin soon and see if that feeling translates well to the game-table.
So if you’re a gamer and a Conan fan, it’s definitely worth checking out.
What Kickstarters have you backed that you’re excited about? What other products by Modiphius do you play and what’s great about them? Tell me all about them in the comments.