Domains at War Kickstarter Reward Levels

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Tavis
Joined: 2011-07-01 15:40
Domains at War Kickstarter Reward Levels

I posted the proposed reward levels for the Domains at War kickstarter in the Autarch blog earlier, looking for feedback - to make it easier to do so via the forums, here's the text of that post!

 

Later this February Autarch is planning to launch the Kickstarter for Domains at War, our comprehensive rules for all aspects of waging war in a fantasy world. Planning the rewards for a Kickstarter campaign is one of the trickiest parts because as soon the campaign goes live and someone claims a reward, the text can't be changed. To help work out any kinks in the phrasing of the rewards, and make sure that we're offering all the kinds of things backers would want in exchange for their support, I'm hoping to get feedback on the proposed rewards. The pledge levels for each reward are still being worked out, this being its own kind of tricky.

With the caveat that these are not yet final - and will hopefully be improved by your input - here's what we're thinking of offering Domains at War backers:

LEGIONARY: Complete Text. As soon as you pledge, you’ll be able to download the manuscripts of Domains at War: Campaigns and Domains at War: Battles as Word files. If you’re curious about D@W this is a good place to start! If you like what you see, you can upgrade to get the more polished versions by increasing your pledge, or if you forget to do so before funding closes you can apply your pledge amount as a discount towards buying D@W from us when it’s available in general release.

SIGNIFIER: Basic PDFs. You’ll get fully illustrated, laid-out, and bookmarked electronic versions of both Domains at War books, Campaigns and Battles, which you’ll be able to download from the Autarch server or through your account at DriveThruRPG. You’ll also get all the rewards of a Legionary, and if you later decide you want D@W in print you can apply your pledge amount as a discount towards buying the softcover books from us when they’re available in general release.

DECURION: Complete PDF Set. You’ll get electronic versions of the Domains at War hexmap, counters, reference sheets, and army trackers, customized for printing in full color or black and white, as well as the PDFs of the D@W: Campaigns and D@W: Battles books and all the other rewards of a Signifier. If you later decide you want the complete D@W set in print you can apply your pledge amount as a discount towards buying it from us when it’s available in general release.

CENTURION: Basic Softcover Books. You’ll get D@W: Campaigns and D@W: Battles as perfectbound softcover books. They’ll have full color covers and B&W interiors, and are expected to be 96 and 88 pages respectively. You’ll also get all the electronic rewards listed above.

PRIMUS PILUS: Complete D@W Set. You’ll get a 4’ x 3’ glossy paper hexmap and 90 cardstock counters, both in full color, in addition to the D@W softcover books and all the other rewards listed above.

TRIBUNE: Army Trackers. You’ll get two vinyl play aids, one for each side of your battle or campaign, in addition to the complete D@W set and all the other rewards listed above. Both sides of the tracker have vinyl sleeves you can insert your army lists and reference sheets into, and then write on with wipe-erase markers to record changes in play. The trackers come with a number of pre-printed sheets we found useful in playtesting, plus electronic templates that make it easy to create your own custom sheets.

LEGATE: Wipe-Erase Hex Map. You’ll get the 4’ x 3’ hex map for D@W battles printed as a vinyl banner, allowing you to use wipe-erase markers to set up terrain, track dynamic battlefield conditions like walls of fire or stinking clouds, track fortification values, etc. You also gey all the rewards listed above – the army trackers, counters, paper map, both softcover books, and all electronic rewards. Choose this level if you want the deluxe D@W set!

MAGISTER MILITUM: Art Visionary. Describe an image that Domains at War evokes for you and our artists Ryan Browning and Conor Nolan will create an illustration to your specifications, which will be included in the Campaigns or Battles book. (We’ll work with you to make sure it’s harrmonious with our collective vision of the D@W style). You'll also get all the rewards listed above, including the deluxe D@W set and all electronic files.

IMPERATOR: Original Artwork. You specify the illustration. Everyone will see it in the D@W book. You’ll own the original full page artwork on archival Bristol paper, mounted and ready for framing. You'll also get all the rewards listed above, including the deluxe D@W set and all electronic files.

CAESAR: Online Game. We’ll play Domains at War via G+ hangout with you, up to three of your friends, and one of our artists. You’ll get all the rewards listed above, including the deluxe D@W set, with the added bonus that your original artwork will depict a scene from the game you played! We’ll make a video record of this game; it’s your choice whether this video is shared as a tutorial to help others learn D@W, or kept private as a memento for you and your fellow players. Either way, we’ll commemorate your game in the D@W books - for example, by opening a chapter with an epigram attributed to your commander, or including details of your battle as an example of play.

AUGUSTUS: In-Person Game. We’ll play Domains at War together in the location of your choice! This might mean bringing you to Durham, where you can play with D@W designer Alex Macris and visit Autarch headquarters;  to NYC, where you and developer Tavis Allison will wage war across the Sultan gaming table at the Brooklyn Strategist; or having us come to you to play with your gaming group. In any case, you’ll get all the rewards listed above, including an additional game recorded via G+ hangout, an illustration based on your game, commemoration in the D@W books, and the deluxe D@W set. 

---

In addition to reviewing the above text for clarity and goodness, here are some specific questions I'd love to get feedback on:

All backers will be acknowledged in the finished books according to reward level, as we've done with ACKS and the Player's Companion. Should this be called out specifically, or can it be assumed to be part of the standard KS reward by now?

Another thing that's traditionally been part of even our most basic Kickstarter reward levels is the ability to help develop the project and make sure it meets your needs as a gamer. For Domains at War, this work has already been done with the assistance of many of our fans and backers of the original Adventurer Conqueror King system. With D@W, we're in the happy position of having everything pretty much ready to ship as soon as we have funding for illustration, layout, and printing/PDF formatting. The thing we're inviting D@W backers to help perfect is the Auran Empire Campaign Setting, since in addition to being a gazetteer of the fantasy world that's the default setting for ACKS, it's also an exemplary setup for playing D@W:Campaigns. Should this be mentioned in the first reward level or discussed in the main text?

Thanks for your help; we're very excited about Domains at War and couldn't do it without you!

 
Thomas Weigel
Thomas Weigel's picture
Joined: 2012-06-20 11:57

I'm pretty much aimed right at Decurion, so I can't say with certainty whether the rest is sufficient, but up to Decurion seems right to me. I might re-word "Complete Text" under Legionary to "Text Only," as the word "complete" may stop people from reading down to later rewards.

Tavis wrote:
All backers will be acknowledged in the finished books according to reward level, as we've done with ACKS and the Player's Companion. Should this be called out specifically, or can it be assumed to be part of the standard KS reward by now?

I would call it out unless you expect exactly the same crowd to fund this one. There are always newbies.

Tavis wrote:
The thing we're inviting D@W backers to help perfect is the Auran Empire Campaign Setting, since in addition to being a gazetteer of the fantasy world that's the default setting for ACKS, it's also an exemplary setup for playing D@W:Campaigns. Should this be mentioned in the first reward level or discussed in the main text?

Reward level. Given how much you have to convey, the main text is going to be pretty busy already.

I may have some bias, however, since I don't watch the videos or find them useful, which means the text organization matters more to me.

Tavis
Joined: 2011-07-01 15:40

OK, I'll take a stab at fitting that into the "Text Only" reward (good point) and repost that one.

golan2072
Patreon SupporterPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2012-01-14 14:14

I think I'll go for the Centurion level. Any chance for PayPal backing options (as I prefer not to use my credit card right now)?

James C. Bennett
Player's Companion BackerDomains At War BackerSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2012-01-17 20:17

I'll second everything that Thomas said, including being aimed at the Decurion level. Legate, however, is very, very tempting.

Tavis
Joined: 2011-07-01 15:40

Pre-ordering through Game Salute might be the safest way to use PayPal - every time we do it ourselves there's a risk of it falling through the cracks. We might need to work out a better system for it though to allow people to add extras after the KS closes.

sulldawga
Patreon SupporterPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War BackerSinister Stone of Sakkara Backer
Joined: 2012-05-17 22:22

Make everything as clear as possible. Assume the reader is either new to ACKS or is a little leery of supporting you guys after the Dwimmer delays, and give them no reason to doubt you.

Can you expand on how "helping to perfect the Auran Empire campaign setting" benefits the supporter? Do we get a preview version to read/download? Is this anything like how the Open Design guys do it, or something different?

Dave the Centurion (or Primus Pilus, depending on how the pricing shakes out)

Tavis
Joined: 2011-07-01 15:40

I've been an Open Design patron and definitely find Wolfgang's approach inspirational. Our version isn't as formalized - we haven't used surveys in the past, although you can see us asking for opinions in the forums like whether the Auran Empire should be one book or two - but the idea is similar and will involve sharing drafts and previews for feedback.

Beedo
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Joined: 2011-07-12 13:55

I know this is fairly nerdy, but I think the most exciting bit about the whole deal is the sneak peek at the Auran Empire setting and getting a chance to discuss the gazetteer in advance.

I'd probably be pledging for the soft cover books anyway (centurion, I guess) but that clinches it.

CharlesDM
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Patreon SupporterPlayer's Companion ContributorDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara ContributorLairs And Encounters Contributor
Joined: 2012-03-01 22:31

Will there be “add-ons” to add-on/purchase specific components?

Regarding CEASAR and AUGUSTUS, I know D@W is focused on domain-level conflict, but what reward game will be played outside the context of a domain-level campaign? Will D@W include scenarios for learning how to play before implementing into one’s game?

If so, might CEASAR or AUGUSTUS include an Autarch-crafted custom scenario (ideally to be included in D@W)?

Tavis
Joined: 2011-07-01 15:40

Yes, there will be options to add books (ACKS core and the Player's Companion), the counters and map, the vinyl map, and the army tracker, both by adding to the pledge and after the campaign closes.

D@W: Battles has basic and advanced introductory scenarios. We felt that setting up a scenario for D@W: Campaigns required so much explanation of the campaign background - the supply centers and markets, high-level characters' stats and strongholds, etc that it made sense to do this as part of the Auran Empire book which'll present that kind of info.

Crafting a scenario might be a good high-level reward, but it'd probably be a PDF extra. We really want to avoid delays in shipping this one, so that things which won't get underway until funding closes are best not put into the main text where they could hold up layout, printing, etc.

Agamon
Domains At War BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2012-08-09 16:30

So D@W is going to double as a gazetteer of AE? Is that instead of a separate release?

The reward levels look good to me. I've read some confusing KS levels, this is not an example of that.

Tavis
Joined: 2011-07-01 15:40

No, Domains at War and the Auran Empire are separate releases. The relationships between D@W and AE are:

  1. AE will present the kind of detailed setting backdrop that goes into using D@W: Campaigns. You won't need the AE book to use D@W: Campaigns though; you'd naturally build up this backdrop through play by the point you get to PCs leading armies, or you could create it from scratch using the worldbuilding section of ACKS.
  2. D@W backers will get previews of AE to help make sure it does satisfy their need for a campaign setting ready to use in D@W play.
Beedo
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Patreon SupporterLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2011-07-12 13:55

It sounds to me like backers will be able to play test and discuss a draft version of the Auran Empire, but the actual book and PDF will be a future Kickstarter.

golan2072
Patreon SupporterPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2012-01-14 14:14

If I back by PayPal, would I still get to read the playtest drafts like in Kickstarter or just get the final product?

Tavis
Joined: 2011-07-01 15:40

The only thing that we can't give PayPal backers is access to the Kickstarter updates. (Everyone can read the public ones, but backers are notified when they come out and have access to backers-only ones). Since I've often used backer-only updates to provide notification of new drafts (since this often involves reminding people how to access them), it's harder to keep people informed outside the system. 

golan2072
Patreon SupporterPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2012-01-14 14:14

No problem with that. I'll just check the drafts often.

Beastman
Joined: 2011-11-11 08:23

mmmh. no hardcover option? i love hardcovers...

Tavis
Joined: 2011-07-01 15:40

There's been a lot of requests for a hardcover. We want the softcovers to be the main event - in this case we think they're more useful in play at the table - so we're thinking about doing the HC as a special deal, signed by Alex and maybe with some deluxe printing options we haven't had the chance to indulge before now.

Jerzy
Joined: 2013-01-31 15:47

Please remember to include shipping costs (preferably not too expensive :) for international backers. The recent Fate RPG kickstarter embedded those costs right into their reward levels.

Jerzy
Joined: 2013-01-31 15:47

Also, it would be nice to have the option of getting the wipe-erase map separately, perhaps with the PRIMUS PILUS and above.

Tavis
Joined: 2011-07-01 15:40

Yes, the wipe-erase map will be available separately with any reward level. Shipping is a big headache, I'll look at how Fate Core handled it - learning from Evil Hat has always been a good strategy :)

Beragon
Sinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2012-02-26 22:57

I'm interested in the Centurion or Primus Pilus level. The books themselves are the most important thing for me, followed by easy access to the "pieces" (a printable hex map, counters, etc.), followed by pdfs of the books. The rewards look good to me. The only suggestion I have is: if it is possible to provide any images/examples of listed rewards, then do so... a picture really is worth 1,000 words.

Malo Monkey
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Patreon SupporterDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2012-06-24 16:54

I'm likely a Legate or Centurion.

I'd explicitly mention the backers acknowledgment for the simple fact that it may curtail you being asked that question many times over the course of the KS.

I take it that hardcover copies are off the table even as a higher tier reward?

Tavis
Joined: 2011-07-01 15:40

We've asked McNaughton & Gunn for a quote on hardcovers, just waiting for them to get back. There are some other options out there to do them as well but McN&G has been good to us so far and I'd like to stay loyal if possible.

For people who are interested in the hardcovers - would you want them to be in addition to the softcovers (following the usual logic that a higher level reward gets all the lower level stuff as well), or would it be instead of softcover?

Hjorimir
Joined: 2012-11-12 03:52

I'd want the HC instead of the SC. I don't really need multiple copies of the book at the table.

Tom Hudson
Adventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War BackerSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2011-07-24 18:35

I'd expect HC instead of SC, although I found that when I was waiting for the PC HC I really missed the proof SC like we got for the Core book (since I *do* more when I have a book in front of me instead of a PDF).

Beastman
Joined: 2011-11-11 08:23

i'd want a HC instead of a SC, too.

moorcrys
Patreon SupporterPlayer's Companion ContributorDwimmermount ContributorDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara ContributorLairs And Encounters Contributor
Joined: 2012-02-22 22:34

Same on just the hardcover.

Jard
Patreon SupporterDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara ContributorLairs And Encounters Contributor
Joined: 2012-07-11 23:23

I'll chime in to say I don't have a preference of SC vs. HC. I'm fine with either.

Ludanto
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Domains At War BackerSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2012-04-30 11:52

I do like hardcovers, but I'll acquiesce to your wisdom regarding softcover usability. That said, if I got a hardcover, I'd have no use for a softcover as well. As it stands, I suspect I'll pledge at PRIMUS PILUS, or maybe a step or two higher, depending on the price.

I keep checking the status of this. As the internet memes say, "TAKE MY MONEY!"

Tavis
Joined: 2011-07-01 15:40

Thanks for the feedback, guys. I'm working on figuring out how to have the map and counters done, it's outside my experience to date.

Maticore
Dwimmermount BackerDomains At War Contributor
Joined: 2012-04-16 15:29

I will always choose hardcover, because in ten years I still want to be able to use this book. Perfect bound softcovers simply won't survive.

Tavis
Joined: 2011-07-01 15:40

Thanks for the info about shipping! Still not ready to take your money, but here's some teasers from the Kickstarter page under construction. 

AJClark
Joined: 2012-03-08 20:34

Any chance this will be presented as a boxed set similar to Greyhawk Wars if the Kickstarter does well enough?

Tavis
Joined: 2011-07-01 15:40

I saw some printer/manufacturing options for boxes, so that is something we could pursue. What we're thinking about right now for the Complete Set is a portfolio like the Orcs of Thar gazetteer where the books, counters, and maps fit inside the pockets of a shrink-wrapped folder.

Brandonshire
Dwimmermount BackerDomains At War BackerSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters Backer
Joined: 2012-04-12 09:35

I'm probably just way out of the loop here, but the hex map... is it just a blank hex map or is it the outdoor map that was talked about a bit recently in the Dwimmermount G+ community? (I'm assuming it is an actual map, because blank vinyl hex mats are already pretty readily available, but I just wanted to check)

Tavis
Joined: 2011-07-01 15:40

 

The vinyl hex map is made for D@W and has 2" hexes and the 4' x 3' expanse the Battles rules assume. I didn't see any existing wipe-erase hex battlemats with these specs, but would be glad to learn about one if it existed!

The map from the Dwimmermount project is Rob Conley's adaptation of the original outdoor map that was recommended for use in OD&D. It might be useful in D@W: Campaigns if you wanted a generic wilderness region with the recommended 6-mile hex scale, with pre-generated terrain but the opportunity to draw in your own settlements and strongholds for use in tracing supply lines as armies maneuver. I hadn't planned to make it part of the D@W Kickstarter but it might make a good stretch goal.

Chris
Joined: 2011-08-03 02:10

I'm probably just way out of the loop here, but the hex map... is it just a blank hex map or is it the outdoor map that was talked about a bit recently in the Dwimmermount G+ community? (I'm assuming it is an actual map, because blank vinyl hex mats are already pretty readily available, but I just wanted to check)


-Brandonshire

Sorry to butt in late here, but I just wanted to say that the D@W battlemap will be a 2" hexmap that has a grid of 24x18 hexes. Although the hexes are "empty", it does look "pretty" with some nice high resolution grass textures done in watercolor AND the grass texture geomorphically fits to the edge of other D@W battlemaps. As the head map-and-counter monkey for D@W, I thought I would toot about that. Sample below:

http://studiogreengoat.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/hagerty_illustration_...