The average Kickstarter campaign request tracked by Geek Native is usually around £7,000. You can see that data in the weekly Kickstarter heat analysis. This week the average campaign target was £16,906, and one of the big projects pushing that figure up is Copernia, a 5e campaign setting. Tom Connell and East Coast Trolls acknowledge their costs, and while the project is ambitious, it’s changed my mind.
I’ll walk you quickly through my research, as you might have a similar journey to mind. Firstly, though, here’s the pitch for the $162,000 targeted Kickstarter project.
My gut reaction was that Copernia had been created by a group with no strong ties to the Kickstarter community or even tabletop gaming but who had heard of Kickstarter as a miracle cure. That was wrong. Then I worried about the group’s ethos, and I’m now reassured; East Cost Trolls seem nice.
In fact, the East Coast Trolls website has a blogs code of conduct published for all to see, and that’s now something I’m considering. Although I won’t be banning innuendo.
Copernia is expensive because, in addition to high-quality hardbacks, complete with plenty of art (well over 100 illustrations), East Coast Trolls want to include professional voice actors to record key snippets and quotes for the game.
We don’t actually learn much about the macro world of Copernia, except that it’s a high fantasy created through the detailed world-building techniques made famous by Tolkien himself.
We do get examples that bring the setting to life, such as the new magic and accompanying classes of Primordial Mages and the Kaliratsa Class, aka the Witches of Copernia, who have Con as their primary stat.
You may choose to play a Friar, a holy man dedicated to the powerful over deity Eurielle. The friars have three orders: the Shaudaoul, the caretakers; the Neoilair, the travelers; and the Kādalairu, the avengers. These three subclasses each have original skills, feats, as well as druidic, bardic, and clerical inspired spells. Your path may lead you away from the monastic life as you decide to dedicate yourself as a true holy warrior. The Heilaturs are the Knights of Eurielle and a new Background and Oath for Paladins.
I had said I worried about the ethos of East Coast Trolls, so I had better explain. The Kickstarter emphasises that the publisher is family-friendly (what does that mean?), and the content is not watered down.
My concern is that “family-friendly” is often morphed through a toxic synonym-antonym machine of extreme religious views or gatekeeping. “Family-friendly” is one of those phrases that sound inclusive, wise and empathic can be used in the inverse.
For example, are young people without families part of East Coast Trolls’ intended audience? I suspect so, thankfully, as Tom Connell and team make it clear that young people are exactly the intended audience. Like Geek Native, they want to get more people into roleplaying games.
As I said, I’ve been reassured by the Kickstarter, my mind changed now, and although I’ve never met them, I imagine the whole East Coast Trolls team would be people I’d take out for a pint. However, and back to families, you don’t need offspring or young people to have a family either. Infertile couples are families, tight-knit friends are families if that’s how they see themselves, and there are plenty of other inclusive definitions.
East Coast Trolls may prohibit innuendo from their user-generated content, but there’s plenty of romance and skin on display in their art. Although it leans to the heteronormal as much as most fantasy Kickstarters tend to. LGBTQI+ people have families too.
In terms of pledges, and now let’s tackle how the ambitious $162,000 project plans to hit the target, you can get forum access and a name mention at $5.
The adventure Oakhaven adventures is the first of the books to unlock as a reward. The digital (epub, ebook or PDF) is available at $20, coming with the previous perks and all unlocked digital stretch goals.
At $40, the Copernia campaign world is added to the growing pile of rewards. And here’s the rub; $40 for a campaign setting and anthology is adventures, with all digital stretch goals, is good value. For backers, Copernia is not expensive.
It’s a leap, although not a huge one, to the next tier. $75 adds in the standard edition of the hardcover of Oakhaven. Your name will appear in print, in that book, as well.
Then, at $120, the rewards are incredibly long, with everything listed so far included and the standard hardcover edition of Copernia adding its significant presence.
There are higher tiers, some offering multiple copies for retailers and groups. Then, at $999, the leather-bound collectors’ editions of both books are added and signed.
There’s even a $9,999 tier if you are wealthy and need 16 digital copies of the same set of adventures plus other rewards.
The estimated delivery for most of the project is December 2021.
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