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Reaper Dungeon Dwellers Roleplaying Game: Enthusiasm and Commentary!


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Last Bones campaign had close to 10k backers. Majority of them already had some sort of an RPG system.

 

I understand why Reaper needs to do it as WOTC has been weird with their IPs. Same as I understand why Reaper is trying to become more US based with their manufacturing.

 

I just wonder what number of backers for physical books campaign might be considered a success. 1k seems to be achievable. Not sure if 2k will be. Hope I am way underestimating the numbers.

 

Apologies if I sound pessimistic I am just trying to wrap my head around the world situation and our hobby perspective within it. 

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i agree with your assessment @Minsky07

I was about to say 3k not 1$ backers would be a smashing success. I'm not sure how much overstock of the books reaper plans on purchasing for retail sales. The price break between hundreds and thousands of copies of books is substantial, the price break between 1.5k and 3k is probably not as much.

I'd say its already not a failure nor disappointment. I'm not sure what Reaper would consider disappointing. If they have 30 minis lined up, I think that shows us Ron's top end expectations (maybe 250k$?)  

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Right now there are about 650 backers buying the books in hardcover or digital.  The digital-only backers are undoubtedly subsidizing the physical copies, as each additional digital copy costs Reaper basically nothing.  I don't know all that much about the economics of book publishing, but I suspect Reaper can easily afford to break even or take a slight loss on the books, since their main business is miniatures.  And it they manage to cover the initial costs to add these new minis through the money raised, I suspect it is likely to be a net benefit to the company anyway regardless of how the books do.  I think in the long run Dungeon Dwellers might be sort of a break-even side project for Reaper that helps sell more minis.

 

That said, I hope I am wrong and this hits big, because Dungeon Dwellers looks like a great system with an even better campaign setting.  I think we will see about 1,300 backers, give or take a few dozen, but I hope we somehow end up with 5,000 or more instead.

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26 minutes ago, GoldenPiggy said:

 I suspect Reaper can easily afford to break even or take a slight loss on the books, since their main business is miniatures.

They won't take a loss, printing books isn't as expensive as the price of books implies. The biggest variable is what they're paying their team to make the art/layouts/text/etc. and that's a one time cost plus maybe royalty fees. And you're right about the eBooks, they'll make a very large profit off of those.

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1 hour ago, GoldenPiggy said:

but I suspect Reaper can easily afford to break even or take a slight loss on the books, since their main business is miniatures. 

The real problem is that Reaper doesn't have that great of a track record of supporting their games after the initial release.  They're a great miniatures company that has released some great games, but they're a terrible games publisher in terms of supporting their games after that. 

I think Mr Wolf's work on DD is excellent from what I've seen so far, but how long until DD is nothing more than a link on the webstore trying to sell the remaining stock of books like Warlord is? 

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Scatter terrain would be nice, but not sure it fits into this kickstrter campaign. Do we have any examples of the art? I can only reference izzys art style from reapers prior art book, but no clue of others. I haven't followed kickstarter projects in a while.

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16 hours ago, Minsky07 said:

Does it still count as prophecy if it happened hours prior 😉

Obvi no, but I’m quite sure the minis will become irresistible. 

2 hours ago, pcktlnt said:

Scatter terrain would be nice, but not sure it fits into this kickstrter campaign. Do we have any examples of the art? I can only reference izzys art style from reapers prior art book, but no clue of others. I haven't followed kickstarter projects in a while.

Scatter terrain is a great idea. 

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9 hours ago, Becca said:

They won't take a loss, printing books isn't as expensive as the price of books implies. The biggest variable is what they're paying their team to make the art/layouts/text/etc. and that's a one time cost plus maybe royalty fees. And you're right about the eBooks, they'll make a very large profit off of those.

 

It is in precisely those initial costs that I was talking about (though, looking back, I could have been clearer).  They may not sell quite enough to cover those one-time costs, and every hardcover book they need to deliver increases costs by a slight but not insignificant amount.  The e-book sales don't really raise those costs at all, just help offset the sunk costs of the design.  It is a substantially different calculation with the miniatures.

 

 

9 hours ago, kristof65 said:

The real problem is that Reaper doesn't have that great of a track record of supporting their games after the initial release.  They're a great miniatures company that has released some great games, but they're a terrible games publisher in terms of supporting their games after that. 

I think Mr Wolf's work on DD is excellent from what I've seen so far, but how long until DD is nothing more than a link on the webstore trying to sell the remaining stock of books like Warlord is? 

 

Yeah, I'm concerned about this too.  Especially if it something close to breaking even in the Kickstarter; why put more money into developing something that doesn't sell well?  On the other hand, there is a cheap way around this: encourage players to develop and share content, since it costs Reaper very little to host such content.  That is not as good as full support, but it may keep the game at least somewhat fresh even without much support.  This is, after all, a fairly vibrant community.

 

 

8 hours ago, Minsky07 said:

I think that what DD does is firewall Reaper against any 5e mishaps. Particularly when it comes to campaign settings that are kind of already established within their miniatures.

 

I was thinking this too.  Any monsters or character types that appear in the Dungeon Dweller game are fairly safe to produce miniatures, and once the game is established it becomes more difficult for another company to claim copyright infringement for similar creatures.

 

 

4 hours ago, pcktlnt said:

Scatter terrain would be nice, but not sure it fits into this kickstarter campaign.

1 hour ago, Adrift said:

Scatter terrain is a great idea. 

 

I love scatter terrain, but it is probably best to make it an add-on if they introduce it at all.  The miniatures so far feel more like starter miniatures, so the collector's box pledge is kind of an all-in-one starter set (and a gateway drug into buying more miniatures).  Throwing terrain in there changes the nature of it; scatter terrain is very much an optional kind of thing for miniature gaming.  Maybe toss in a chest and a pile of gold as objective markers.  Personally, I think it is better if they hold off on terrain altogether, but if they add any as an add-on I will probably buy it.

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1 hour ago, GoldenPiggy said:

 

 

 

Yeah, I'm concerned about this too.  Especially if it something close to breaking even in the Kickstarter; why put more money into developing something that doesn't sell well?  On the other hand, there is a cheap way around this: encourage players to develop and share content, since it costs Reaper very little to host such content.  That is not as good as full support, but it may keep the game at least somewhat fresh even without much support.  This is, after all, a fairly vibrant community.

 

 

Player development is basically how we got Warlord 2.0.

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18 hours ago, kristof65 said:

The real problem is that Reaper doesn't have that great of a track record of supporting their games after the initial release.  They're a great miniatures company that has released some great games, but they're a terrible games publisher in terms of supporting their games after that. 

I think Mr Wolf's work on DD is excellent from what I've seen so far, but how long until DD is nothing more than a link on the webstore trying to sell the remaining stock of books like Warlord is? 

 

Well, the big difference between miniature wargames and RPG's, is that wargame support includes playtesting to make sure units are balanced. And the more units you already have, the more playtesting you need to do against them when you have a new unit. Unless you're GW, of course. 😄

 

With a crunchy RPG, you want the playtesting done with the core rules and rule expansions. Adventures, just run some friends through the adventure. You can sporadically then release adventures, whose playtesting can be done on Discord with volunteers, or, in the case of Reaper, guys around the office after work on Friday night. And, at least in ye olden days, GM's don't need adventures to run an RPG. Reaper has the advantage that they already have a name that attracts customers, and that it's a generic fantasy adventure, so attracts those outside of DD.

 

More importantly, DD adventures can be used to sell more Reaper product. Free PDF of the adventure, now go buy the Reaper miniatures for it, and here's a tutorial to paint them, go buy the Reaper paints or paint kit. And, of course, the mini's and paint kit packaging can promote DD. Just scan the QR code on the back for your free DD PDF stuff. FREE STUFF. 😛

 

Even if it were heavily supported, DD faces the same problem any generic fantasy RPG has. Why bother playing it when my gaming group already has 5e and all the other generic fantasy RPG's already out there? D&D has more brand name recognition than any other RPG, and you can buy a starter set or Player's Handbook for $20. D&D also has far more material than any RPG could ever have. Now who's up for a game of Drakar och Demoner? 😄

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5 hours ago, ced1106 said:

Even if it were heavily supported, DD faces the same problem any generic fantasy RPG has. Why bother playing it when my gaming group already has 5e and all the other generic fantasy RPG's already out there?

 

The only reason to play it would be if it is better.  Is there a niche of gamers who want to play something like the old D&D with more modern rules?  Sure, but it is not clear how big a group that is.  Is Dungeon Dwellers a better game for that niche than other available options?  That, of course, is the tricky question.  Is there a backlash against WOTC that Reaper can capitalize on?  There just might be...

 

At any rate, I'm excited, and I will be giving it a try.

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5 hours ago, ced1106 said:

Well, the big difference between miniature wargames and RPG's, is that wargame support includes playtesting to make sure units are balanced. And the more units you already have, the more playtesting you need to do against them when you have a new unit. Unless you're GW, of course. 😄

While true, this isn't my primary complaint about Reaper's support of their mini games.  For example, in Warlord, there are several units you can field of 5-9 models.  For many of these units, there were no more than 2-3 variant sculpts. Who really wants to field a unit of 9 models with only three variant sculpts? It was acceptable in the 90s, but not by the time Warlord 2 was released.  Between the core Warlord 2 book and Savage North, Reaper still had a lot of room to continue to support the game just by releasing more miniatures - and miniatures are their core business. 

 

5 hours ago, ced1106 said:

Even if it were heavily supported, DD faces the same problem any generic fantasy RPG has. Why bother playing it when my gaming group already has 5e and all the other generic fantasy RPG's already out there? D&D has more brand name recognition than any other RPG, and you can buy a starter set or Player's Handbook for $20. D&D also has far more material than any RPG could ever have. Now who's up for a game of Drakar och Demoner? 😄

And this is really the heart of my concern here - they're launching into what I see as a saturated market, and IMO, Reaper doesn't really have a track record of being persistent enough in marketing their games to gain a decent foothold in the market. 

Anyway, I've stated my perspective here, I'll let the rest of you go on being enthusiastic about it. 

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By offering a different experience, simpler mechanics, etc.

It's an uphill battle but we want to own what we create and that means taking the game system in new directions such as our spell point system.

I have no interest in writing for 5e. That market is absolutely saturated. OSR it entrenched in 40+ year old designs. And yet both extremes have something to offer. DDRPG bridges old school and new school offering the old school feel and peril with intuitive, consistent mechanics.

Yeah, it's a struggle. There are easier roads to travel but we believe we're on the right one. It's the game I would have given my 12 year old self so many, many years ago.

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