A Special Message to the OSR & Gaming Community

Kickstarters have been a staple in the OSR and Game Blogging community since well before I became a member. Crowdfunding has been used as a platform for countless bloggers and game devs to get everything from their latest module & supplements to their complete fantasy heartbreakers off the ground and into people’s hands. Even big name publishers have been using it as a tool to get new projects and new printings funded with quick investment capital.

There is, however, a downside that has been seen all too often in our community. It seems like much of the content at Tenkar’s Tavern over the years I’ve been following him has been a litany of failed and delayed Kickstarters. Sometimes life got in the way, other times dishonest folks took the money and ran. Even great companies with established track-records for success sometimes bite off more than they can chew, resulting in some pretty significant delays. The Skinny DM had an excellent article on the situation with Goodman Game’s DCC 4th printing Kickstarter which, despite my fondness for Goodman Games, I absolutely agree with.

So, why do I think you should back our Kickstarter?

A Proven Track Records – In 2016, Cirsova ran 3 successful Kickstarters – one for our first issue, one for our second issue, and one for our third and fourth issues. In all three cases, backers received their rewards almost immediately* after the money cleared through Kickstarter and Amazon Payments. There may have been one or two individual hiccups or items lost or damaged in the post, but I am confident that anyone you’d ask would say that we resolved all issues as quickly and satisfactorily as possible.

We Are Gamers – Before we started the magazine, Cirsova  was a gaming blog. We came out of the RPG Blog Alliance and the OSR community. Many of our contributors are fellow gamers, and the stories we all love and that shape our content are the same stories that shaped our games. Many of the stories we publish are the kind that could be run as a one-off adventure with nothing more than a couple of stat blocs; in fact, that’s almost an unspoken acceptance criteria!

We Exist to Support Writers – More than anything else, Cirsova exists as a Semi-Pro Market to support writers of exciting fiction. There are people out there still writing stories in the vein of Burroughs, Brackett, and Vance, but they need places to sell and publish their stories. Many of the big-name magazines and publishing houses are simply not interested in the kind of adventure fiction that inspired the games so beloved in the OSR. By supporting Cirsova, you allow us to stay open as a market for these writers and to continue paying in the $75-$100 range for short fiction.

Please consider checking out our Kickstarter. It costs only $1 to get both of our 2017 issues**, if you’re just curious. You have to admit, that’s hard to beat. We also offer softcover and hardcover editions of our magazine.

If you have a gamebook, module or other product coming out, or even if you just want to get word out about your blog, consider supporting us with some advertising space. In 2016, we had over a hundred subscribers and ended up selling over 500 copies of our magazine.

*:Needless to say, they received the winter issue when it came out, rather than in September when the money cleared and we sent the fall issue.

**:PDF and eBook.

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Dungeon Crusade

So, over at Tenkar’s Tavern, Erik was taking a dump on a Kickstarter project for a board game called Dungeon Crusade.

Now, admittedly, the text is a grammatical disaster, but holy shit, this board game looks crazy!  One of the problems with the presentation of the Kickstarter is that dude goes all out explaining all of the rules and nuances of the game, and it’s overwhelming as all get out.  But, oh, god, I’d love to play this game!

The biggest problems, besides presentation itself, is the goal,  the cost and lack of mid-range rewards.  I would love this game, but as a sad bastard with no friends, I find it hard to want to drop $100 to get a copy.  The $80,000 goal is pretty high, too.  A lot of super-well known kickstarters that are a big deal in the gaming community are half that on the high end.  With disasters such as the Doom that Came to Atlantic City, I can understand how reluctant anyone would be to invest in a board game.  But hell, this thing looks ready to go, based on the prototype, which is more than 90% of the gaming kickstarters out there can claim.

Bottom line: I’d like to play this game, I probably won’t spend $100 on it, I hope it funds, I hope the crazy rule set is written in some sort of sensible (and grammatically correct) fashion.  I am a professional technical writer and would totally donate my services to proof and edit the rules for a free copy.