You’ll have seen a Kickstarter for a new RPG, I’d wager, especially a D&D 5e came like Hammerdog Games’ Denoa: World of Adventure. I think you should check out the pitch for Denoa anyway. You may hate it. It’s bold and ambitious, but it’s only asking for $5,000.
What’s going on? There’s an app coming. There’s official play. There are capsules you can buy with real money to open during the game and receive an in-character perk. True story. Is it pay to win? Hammerdog thought you’d ask, they say no and there’s a video addressing that.
First up, the impressive 4 minute+ video pitch.
A core part of the pitch is the concept of a divided world is new to 5e. I admit; I’ve seen hundreds of Kickstarter pitches in the last 12 months alone, and I don’t remember anything like this. On the other hand, my regular weekly RPG is set in a divided world, so I’m not convinced other groups aren’t also in this area.
The promise to deliver an app and a game based on only $5,000 seems impossible unless Hammerdog is willing to top up the project with their own funds. I am convinced they are. However, the raw rules and app are basic compared to the fully realised ambition of the Kickstarter.
Then there’s the pay to win claims. Hammerdog don’t think this is the case. The lore capsules and others are designed to be limited and have minimal game influence. I suspect that’ll dampened player enthusiasm for casual capsules. Still, I don’t think I’ve ever played in a convention game where a token donation to charity didn’t allow for a reroll. Surely the organised play lore capsules are similar?
And, yes, I admit, the idea of a collective of gamers unlocking and solving a mystery together is kinda cool (I’m an Ingress player) provided it can be made sense of in in-character terms.
Here’s Danny O’Neill’s rebuttal to the pay-to-win in 5e claims.
Chronicles of Denoa pledges
A pledge of $US10 gets you the app, the PDF of the Player’s Guide and a character sheet. If enough players sign up, then you’ll get music too.
$25 will get you the above plus a fun pack (of capsules) and a miniature.
The first pledge tier which will get you the DM Tool Kit costs $40. It’s worth noting that the DM Tool Kit grows as the campaign grows; it’s pretty light otherwise.
The hikes in cost get pretty steep after this. $60 gets you the hardcover edition and PDFs. $100 gets you that, a mini screen, music and printed inserts.
Hammerdog and Denoa online
The Kickstarter links to the World Anvil homepage, but I’ve found the Denoa page here. Content is now appearing on it, which is reassuring. As I said; I’m convinced this is a long-term project from Hammerdog.
Not heard of Hammerdog before? Well, weirdly, they’re blocking all search engines from accessing their website through their Robots.txt script, and that surely doesn’t help.
Thank you to Geek Native's Patreon supporters who made this article possible.