Blade Bind Kickstarter

Hi, I've mentioned Blade Bind a couple of times here, and the Kickstarter is finally up and running!

Rather than drop a standard marketing spiel, I thought I'd talk a bit about the sort of game Blade Bind is.

I tend to refer to it as a storygame because it's the sort of thing that might otherwise attract cries of "that's not a real RPG!" It's GMless and PvP-focussed in the same way as Fiasco or Eternal Contenders, and was inspired by Shinobigami in spirit at least, even though it's not a direct mechanical descendant.

Characters are known as the Chosen, those with strong motivations who have bound themselves to ancient supernatural Blades. They are defined loosely by their relationships, and firmly by their goals, but that's about it — they have no abilities or skills, classes or levels. There are two values that you do keep track of, though: Will, and Power.

Will is generated by your goals (known as Threads); the closer you are to succeeding, the more Will they are worth, and if they become impossible to achieve they are worth no Will. Power increases as the game progresses, as you tap the power of your Blade. You need Power in order to win duels and achieve goals, but if your Power ever becomes higher than your Will, you become Bladebound — your Blade takes control, fusing with you and using you to take vengeance on its own age-old enemy... which might just be wielded by your best friend or your boss (you discover whose Blade your Blade hates after setting up your own relationships and goals).

It's pretty intense, and plays out over three to six hours. The mechanised goals/Threads keep play pretty focussed, at least for the first couple of rounds, after which you are probably invested in the developing situation and have some ulterior motives to pursue.

I'm pretty pleased with the way it's come together, and working on a hyper-focussed game has been a breath of fresh air after years putting together a generic toolbox system. I'm mostly hoping to use the Kickstarter to crowdsource feedback so I can refine the game even further before the public release, so please take a look if it sounds like your sort of thing!

I'm also keen to answer questions or talk about it in general.

Comments

  • edited October 2016
    @Shiro
    I really like that you set your kick starter funding at a level where people can be assured your game will be published--this is what I plan to do with my kick starter. I need to look into your game a little more to see if it is for me :) but I did want to bump it to give it a little more visiblity :) Is the game finished? That is something I also highly respect; although, certainly not a necessity. For example, Blades in the Dark is definitely something worth waiting for--anyway, I wish you good luck :)
  • Thanks @Jeff_B_Slater! Mostly the goal is low because I'm going with at-cost production, so the actual printing and shipping costs aren't part of the Kickstarter funds. Backers at physical levels will have to pay separately for printing and shipping on DriveThruRPG.

    The game is all-but finished, and even if the Kickstarter wasn't successful (it's pretty close to funding) I'd be releasing it in a couple of months anyway. Writing and layout is done, apart from a few full-page illustrations I'm still working on. The main reason I'm running the Kicktarter is so I can crowdsource feedback to polish the final product. I'll send out the current pre-release PDF at the end of the campaign, and have a one-month review period. I'll then incorporate any feedback, and get the digital and print PDFs ready for Backers and then public release.
  • @Shiro
    So with the at-cost POD, is that price locked in (the pledge level for buyers) or could it change based on DTRPG pricing? And if it's locked in, how can you be assured that you wont' be paying the difference if the cost changes in the interim (have you made a deal with DTRPG)? I am very curious exactly how your approach works. Thanks :)
  • The pledge-levels are basically my profit margin (apart from KS fees), and they are locked in.

    When the print products are ready, I'll be sending Backers a code that lets them purchase the product from DriveThruRPG "at cost" - they pay DTRPG for just the printing and shipping costs, which both may vary depending on their location, and there's no extra margin on top of that.

    While I posted the current printing and shipping prices as estimated by DTRPG, there is always a chance prices might increase before the print version comes out. While unfortunate, it in no way affects the Kickstarter pledge amounts. And even if the prices do go up, Backers will still be paying the lowest production cost for their situation.

    It's the same approach used recently by Godbound and several other Kickstarters. I canvassed opinions, and the majority of people don't seem to mind making two separate payments because they get a better deal in the end. If I handled all the payments myself, I'd have to inflate the costs to make sure I covered myself in case of any production or shipping price hikes.

    Also, when I release the products to the public, they'll be at slightly higher price points than the KS Backers end up paying.

    I've tried to explain clearly on the project page how payments work, and have also gone into a bit more detail in at least one of the Updates. Still, if anyone discovers that they signed up for something without realising there would be extra costs, I'll be happy to issue refunds or work something out.
  • @Shiro
    I've tried to explain clearly on the project page how payments work, and have also gone into a bit more detail in at least one of the Updates. Still, if anyone discovers that they signed up for something without realising there would be extra costs, I'll be happy to issue refunds or work something out.
    I think you explained it; in fact I noticed that after writing my post and didn't even realize I accidentally still posted it :) Thanks for the thorough explanation though, it seems like an interesting option :)
  • I mentioned over in the February Releases thread that Blade Bind is now available to the public on DriveThruRPG, but figured I'd mention it in the actual Kickstarter thread in case anyone was subscribed or keeping an eye out.

    My first Kickstarter was a success, and I managed to deliver the rewards on time (well, the PDF was a week late, but that was because a Backer kindly offered to give it an editing pass). I'm very pleased at how it turned out, and I'm now working on a bunch of fresh new projects.
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