Zed Lopez

Kickstarts and Other Crowdfunds

Some current Kickstarters of interest:

At almost half a million bucks, it doesn’t need any more publicity, but the Call of Cthulhu 7th edition kickstarter is in its last day.

Greg Stolze’s novel Sinner made its funding with 3 days to spare. Stolze is a monster of creativity and $5 for an ebook of a Stolze novel sounds like a sound investment to me.

A kickstarter whose future remains uncertain with $12,000 to go in 5 days is Radio Free Albemuth, a film adaptation of a Philip K. Dick novel that isn’t trying to use the source material as a touching off point for an action movie. I remain a little disappointed I missed the screening at Renovation. And I remain more than a little concerned that they’re declining to say what the “digital download” offered in the pledges means, implying it could mean not a download at all but a code to use a DRM-ed streaming solution that won’t work with any computer in my house.

A way cool bonus for all backers is the Left Coast role-playing game of phildickian weirdness, which I previously blogged about. (I’m generously credited under “editors and advisors” for the feedback I offered on previous drafts.)

Another already highly successful RPG kickstarter is for The Chuubo’s Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine by one of the RPG world’s mad geniuses, Jenna Moran, author of Nobilis. But it’d be nice to see it hit more stretch goals.

And Alan Moore is finally associated with a movie he won’t disclaim. Well, at least probably not soon. With Moore, it’s probably best not to try to make predictions. I will probably fail to resist this mighty Wizard of Northampton t-shirt (not its official name.)

Not a kickstarter, but there are 3 days left to get the Bundle of Holding, a large stack of fiction intersecting the RPG world. Exceeding the current average ($14 would do it as of this writing) gets you 9 books, fully four of which were things I’d already planned to get to – the aforementioned Greg Stolze’s Switchflipped, Robin Laws’ New Tales of the Yellow Sign, which talks back to Robert Chambers’ The King in Yellow, which includes the stories that cemented Hastur’s and Carcosa’s places in the Cthulhu Mythos, and, more substantially, contributes the trope of the work of literature that can drive the reader mad. I’ve been reading these recently; despite actually being 19th century works, their tone is very modern, very unlike Lovecraft’s affected pseudo-19th century voice. The text is available on Gutenberg and elsewhere. The Repairer of Reputations:

In the city of New York the summer of 1899 was signalized by the dismantling of the Elevated Railroads. The summer of 1900 will live in the memories of New York people for many a cycle; the Dodge Statue was removed in that year. In the following winter began that agitation for the repeal of the laws prohibiting suicide which bore its final fruit in the month of April, 1920, when the first Government Lethal Chamber was opened on Washington Square.

Oops, I digressed. I was talking about the Bundle of Holding. It also includes Matt Forbeck’s Dangerous Games: How to Play, a wonderfully indulgent murder mystery set at the ginormous gaming convention GenCon. I’ve already read this one, and it was fun. “They killed Allen Varney! You bastards!”

The last of the books I’d already been specifically interested in was John Tynes’ Delta Green: Strange Authorities, set in the espionage meets aliens meets Cthulhu Mythos meets conspiracies RPG campaign setting Delta Green. (I’m playing in a sporadically meeting DG campaign now.)

Finally, not a kickstarter, Chris Chinn punches cancer in the face. He’s had a lot of very smart things to say about RPGs and social justice for a long time, and was recently diagnosed with cancer, fortuitously treatable:

Through the greatest Mercy of God, I must have rolled some exploding luck die on a saving throw, because, 2 weeks ago a combined study was released on the New England Journal of Medicine which gives a 97% cure rate with this particular chemo mix. If they had caught it earlier and tried to treat, I’d be facing a much harder path with complications and less guarantees, and well, if it got caught later I’d be dead. I like to imagine I’ve spent every single Fate point, Luck point, or dropped 100 points in character creation to “Flip off Cancer once in your lifetime” advantage.

For obvious reasons, I’m reminded of Jim Henley’s 20 by 20 Room, another indispensible RPG blog where Jim blogs about mortality disguised as blogging about RPGs. Save vs. Death:

I got cancer, and it has me thinking about dice mechanics. […] Here’s what that means, as an inevitably simplistic gloss on five-year survival rates for Stage II Tongue SCC: roll a D8. On anything but a 1, I’m alive in five years.

Geeks. Gotta love ‘em.