Cosmoverse Races Kickstarter?

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Cosmoverse Races Kickstarter?

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:55 pm

So, I have this idea for a book on the core races of the Cosmoverse. Especially the races/species unique to the Cosmoverse, as opposed to the classic races that I have taken for a spin. This would need to involve a Kickstarter, so it's really up to you as to whether this ever comes to pass (unless I magically get filthy rich).

Eventually, I'd like to do one even for the classics, since I've done my own take on them, would include plenty of lore and a timeline, special racial gear and loads of other goodies. And it would be helpful to have all the info in one place on your favorite race! Anyone like this idea?

The thing is, there's just way too much information, especially on certain races, than could ever fit into the Foundations Core Rulebook. As such, a book or books on core races would be a lot of fun to have, and very useful. I think the books WotC did, which had some good and some meh content inside, were too expensive for what you got, but regardless of your thoughts on theirs, I'd be aiming to make these beautiful and also meaty (and cheaper than their books). One complaint I heard from a couple people (I know, that's not many) is that they took content previously published (i.e. Dragon Magazine and D&D). As is always the case, some hated theirs and some loved them.

What do you think about individual books per race (starting with the unique ones) or the idea of one or two books with maybe 6 or 8 races in great detail with loads of art? I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. Thanks!
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Re: Cosmoverse Races Kickstarter?

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:25 pm

I would want the book to be enjoyable by fans of QT Games fiction - lots of fun and informative stuff to read. I would also want the book to double as a regular setting book, with tons of content to help players make the best characters they can and get lots of cool goodies. I'm really only interested in making a book that would make you drool when you look at it, so a lot of money would go into art, but it will be very meaty on setting content as well.

Orynii would be the first race, followed by maybe either the xeelotians or nehi.

Maybe you aren't a fan yet of the orynii or haven't even heard of them. They are a very odd race, but when I think about them I get giddy. There are so many cool features to this race, really amazing stuff. I think it's one of the most creative PC races out there and am delighted to work on that one first! If you haven't fallen in love with them yet from previous Cosmothea PbP games, tabletop games or from our fiction, you will be when you get your hands on this book. Can't wait!!!

Here's what I'm thinking regarding how the Kickstarter might work . . .

I would shell out some serious bucks on my own first (not easy to swing and I've already shelled out thousands on creatures). If funded, the money would go toward commissioning artwork to supplement what I already have, and for editing and associated publishing expenses (sadly, there are several).

I would write most of the book before the Kickstarter begins. Then, I would run a Kickstarter just for that one race book. I would make the funding goal as dirt cheap as I possibly can realistically do without compromising on quality. Mind you, I'm not new to game design or setting design, am a professional writer and commercial artist and only use professionals for everything, so editing isn't cheap, and neither is art, just to name 2.

With a low funding goal, I would make bare bones Stretch Goals. One of the Stretch Goals would expand one or more race entries. The other Stretch Goals would be for adding additional race entries (with certain tiers being allowed to vote on which race(s) come after the orynii and maybe some other things, like whether to put multiple races in a single book, or put out 1 book per race.

Whatever you guys want. This book is as much for you as for me. I may even include a reward where the backer can have their character illustrated and named for the book, perhaps with stats. Still mulling over the inclusion of rules. If I had any, it would be the Cosmothea Blended-Genre RPG as it was born to support the setting, but I'm not sure if I would also provide setting neutral information (at least for things like talents).

Depending on funding, here's the sort of goodies I'd be looking to include:
Psychology and religions (how they think and what they tend to believe in/worldviews)
Varying customs across the worlds
variations within the species
Racial talents (there's just too many to put in the core rulebook, but I won't go nuts with them)
Suggestions on creating characters of said race, naming, good combos, archetypes, genre blending, etc.
Gear, vessels, tech and magic items as appropriate to the species
Timeline
Homeworld information and lore
Info on their presence among various types of genres and cultures
Rumors and adventure and quest ideas focused on the race

Page count isn't set yet. I'll know more as I dig in further. For comparison, the WotC books were 32 pages each. In AD&D, they had much bigger books devoted to each race and were jammed full of goodies. It has been too long since I've read any of them, so I can't off the cuff comment on their quality. Like everything else WotC/TSR has done, some products were excellent and others were not.

Currently, I have several projects ahead of this one. As interest is shown in our various upcoming products, one may push ahead of another. Again, it's all in your hands and subject to your feedback. I appreciate in advance anyone who tosses in their two cents! Cheers!
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Re: Cosmoverse Races Kickstarter?

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:08 pm

Some races go together really well, with a lot of shared histories and interesting things going on between them. For this reason, a 2 race book, at least for those races, wouldn't be a bad idea. So, 1, 2 races or more. Let's talk more about it in the coming months!

A couple interesting racebook combos:
Gnomes and Elves - several novels worth of lore about their wars and their fallen homeworld of Prax. These two races helped shape the entire Cosmoverse. Ironically, the other major combo below also has some very interesting overlaps, but they just aren't on the surface - they run deep, but are less "public".

Klatu and Taager - again, the amount of overlap and content on these two races is staggering. You really can't talk about one without talking about the other. Well, you can, but not as effectively. I could still do a great sourcebook on each separately, but if I went deep enough, it would be ideal for them to be in the same book. These races have more in common than any other core race, even though running them is night and day, with very different talent sets and philosophies.
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Re: Cosmoverse Races Kickstarter?

Unread postby warp9 » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:02 pm

Good luck with the Cosmoverse races Kickstarter! It will be interesting to see how things go with this idea.
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Re: Cosmoverse Races Kickstarter?

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Fri Apr 15, 2016 11:44 pm

Thanks my friend. It will be awhile yet before I run one for the races, but I was trying to see if there was interest and also am very excited about it, so I talked about it. I sure hope it works out and I'm able to generate enough interest, because we've got some really neat races to unveil!

But first, I have to finish some fiction projects based on the Cosmoverse.

I'm working hard to finish up The Shadow Reaper. It's coming along really nice, but that's my main thing currently. For this book or series of books, however, I want something that is as much an art and fun reading book as it is a source book for the Cosmoverse. I want people to get a kick out of it who aren't even into games. I think I can accomplish that with what I have proposed, but as always, getting people to take a chance on something new isn't easy—just getting people to find out about something and take the time to learn enough to realize they'd love it isn't easy.

Until I get more interest, I need to stick with smaller projects. Just getting people to join a forum is really hard and it's free! I get hundreds of visitors every day, but few create an account. It's a bit of catch-22. You sort of need a decent number of fans to get a lot of fans, but to get a decent number of fans you need to already have a decent number, heh. Something like that. Fortunately, when I get more on the market, each product helps sell the others as more and more people find out. Best of luck with your own projects, btw!

Well, thanks so much for stopping by and for your good wishes. Have an amazing weekend my friend. Cheers!

(I'm off to bed and have to get up early.)
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Re: Cosmoverse Races Kickstarter?

Unread postby warp9 » Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:03 am

Bob Whitely wrote:Thanks my friend. It will be awhile yet before I run one for the races, but I was trying to see if there was interest and also am very excited about it, so I talked about it.

I'm glad to see that you keep following your dreams with such enthusiasm. :)


Bob Whitely wrote:But first, I have to finish some fiction projects based on the Cosmoverse.

That will also be good.

Bob Whitely wrote:I'm working hard to finish up The Shadow Reaper. It's coming along really nice, but that's my main thing currently. For this book or series of books, however, I want something that is as much an art and fun reading book as it is a source book for the Cosmoverse. I want people to get a kick out of it who aren't even into games. I think I can accomplish that with what I have proposed, but as always, getting people to take a chance on something new isn't easy—just getting people to find out about something and take the time to learn enough to realize they'd love it isn't easy.

That sounds like a good idea. If it has enough art in it, is it going to be more like a graphic novel?

I know that the people who made the Talislanta setting did a Kickstarter for one of those. . . .

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/18 ... escription

Bob Whitely wrote:Well, thanks so much for stopping by and for your good wishes. Have an amazing weekend my friend. Cheers!

You are very welcome. Always glad to stop by and say "hi." 8-)
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Re: Cosmoverse Races Kickstarter?

Unread postby Bob Whitely » Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:54 pm

Thanks for your comments, Rob, and thanks for sharing that link. Sorry I missed that Kickstarter. There are so many. It's hard to keep track of them all, even when I visit Kickstarter promo sites.

I actually used to do a couple pages of comic book art for some of my board games to introduce the game background. Tom Wham was also doing that and made a number of cool games for TSR back in the day. I stopped doing comic book art for my games though, because I was annoyed (perhaps I should have been flattered?) because I submitted 3 of my board games to TSR and they came back and said that my games looked a lot like Tom Wham games and if they wanted cartoony games, they'd "ask Tom Wham to make them". That seemed really cliquish to me, but whatever.

They did work with me on one of my games for possible publication for over a year. My game was really fancy and big and 3D and they were trying to get me to make it cheaper to produce, so I kept revising it. Finally they turned me down, but it was an exciting time for awhile there. Back then, their board games weren't doing as well as they are now and were a minor aspect of the company, of course they are doing much better now as WotC Hasbro, so they have a lot more money to toss around.

As for Tom Wham, I really liked some of his quite a bit, and he was definitely an inspiration, but I liked some of mine just as much, if not more. I've designed well over two dozen games, including card games over the past nearly 4 decades. The creme of the crop I hope to get on Kickstarter one day. Time is uber limited, however, and board games need a chunk of change, just like rpgs, so I'm holding off a bit longer before I try that. I also have Onji Mojo, a card game based on our unique magic system that I hope to get on the market sooner rather than later.

As for a races book, while I think a graphic novel is a very cool idea and I'd love to have one done at some point for the Cosmoverse, I'm talking more about a setting book with all you think of in a setting book, plus possibly some short fiction here, but a good amount of art, some full color paintings, some sketches, but plenty of it. And since you can find these races on numerous Cosmoverse worlds, they won't be cookie cutter on every world, but have variation, so I could easily fill up a 144+ page book with art and words describing that variation, but I'm not famous. I'm not Monte Cook, so I will have to do a smaller book, which is really a shame. Even so, I'm very excited and believe it will be something people would want (they may not realize it, however, and that's part of the challenge).

People were tossing money at Cook hand over fist - way, way, way more money than he was asking for or needed. To think how many creative people out there could have seen their dreams come true! Instead they struggle to reveal and publish cool projects for lack of visibility and a pro name. I'm not jealous per se. I'm happy for Cook that he's able to do lots of fun stuff. Obviously, I'd love to do cool stuff too, and am, just at a snail's pace largely due to lack of funding. I have to admit though, I don't look for Kickstarters like that to back. I usually look for the underdogs on Kickstarter, and if what they are doing shows much promise, I tend to back them instead.

The Kickstarter for the races book(s) would have a Stretch Goal option to beef up each race's entry to include more art and info to cover the various worlds more indepth, but that will be an option, not built in. I have to keep the funding goal as small as possible, and then try to shoot for Stretch Goals to make this work at this point in my career. I could really use a break. I've been slowed so far down as to almost not be moving for long stretches as a creator. As a result, I've designed tons of games, written piles of stories and haven't done anything with them (well, except for Arcane Synthesis and now The Shadow Reaper— and should have the Cosmoverse World Tour out later this year). I'm also climbing the walls wanting to put out a big book on the gods of the Cosmoverse! (and a huge pile of other projects that are in the works). One thing at a time though.

Thanks again for your time and comments my friend. Take care!
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