This Thing is HugeThe first thing I noticed, upon looking at where I stand with the Campaign Book, is just how big a project this is. The Campaign Book alone is looking like it'll come in at around 200-300 pages (and these are full size pages, not the mini A5 pages of Old-School Essentials!). I also had notes detailing plans to publish anywhere from 3-8 new adventures as part of the Dolmenwood Kickstarter. And that's not to mention the plan to offer a B/X and a 5e version of everything!
It's a really huge project.
My first Kickstarter, Old-School Essentials, was also huge, and stretched the limits of my project management capabilities. So for the Dolmenwood Kickstarter I've decided to take a step back and strip out some of the less essential parts of the plan. I want to get this book published, and I want to get it published within a feasible time frame.
B/X Only at First
The biggest decision I've made, with regard to simplifying the project a little, is to delay the 5e version of the book (and the 5e versions of the new adventures). The conversion from B/X to 5e alone could easily be 6 months' work. My feeling now is that it'd be smoother to finalise everything with the B/X version first, get that published, then move on to the 5e version.
This means that the Campaign Book Kickstarter will just be for the B/X version. I'll either run a separate Kickstarter later on for the 5e version or may simply publish it without crowdfunding.
So my revamped plan is as follows (all open to change still, of course!):
- Kickstarter launch: Around Spring 2020. (Though the real launch date is, of course, "when it's ready".)
- Main reward: The Dolmenwood Campaign Book (B/X version). Current projections put it at around 200-300 pages A4. Full colour art (more about this below). Creamy paper. High quality sewn-binding hardcover.
- Extras: Certain pledge levels will also include a package of print extras (current working title: "the Dolmenwood Folio"). Initially this will consist of three adventures (Winter's Daughter, The Fungus that Came to Blackeswell, plus a secret, as yet unannounced adventure). More stuff will be added to the package as stretch goals are unlocked.
- Stretch goals: Physical upgrades to the book (e.g. ribbon markers, printed endpapers, etc.). Free digital rewards (e.g. a player's intro to Dolmenwood, pre-gen characters for Dolmenwood, etc.). Additional print rewards for the Folio (see above -- e.g. poster maps, print versions of digital rewards, etc.).
- Old-School Essentials tie-in: I'm thinking of offering pledge levels that include a special edition of the Old-School Essentials Rules Tome. This would be the same content as the standard Rules Tome, but would come with a special, limited edition cover. (Probably black leatherette.)
- Pledge manager: I plan to use BackerKit to run an add-on store following the Kickstarter. You'll be able to add on extra copies of all the books in the Kickstarter, plus anything from the Old-School Essentials product line
Now that I have a project plan that feels more feasible to me, the next step is simply to finish writing this book! I think the writing is probably about 75% complete, as things stand. It'll still take quite a few months to finish everything up. (And that's once I've finished everything for Old-School Essentials, of course!)
In the meantime, however, I've already started commissioning art for the book! I'm in discussion with various artists, but I can reveal that the following people are involved at this stage:
- Pauliina Hannuniemi: Pauliina is working on a series of full-page illustrations which will act as chapter headings in the book. A couple of these pieces are already complete. See below. https://pauhami.bigcartel.com/
- Mish Scott: Mish will be working on spot illustrations of various scenes and characters. Expect moss dwarves, fungi, and talking animals galore! https://www.mishscott.co.uk/
- Arlin Ortiz: Arlin will be working on a series of maps of the settlements in Dolmenwood. The plan is for each town or village to have a map showing the general feeling of the place, the layout, and the location of the most important buildings. https://arlinortiz.com/map-collection
- Chris Hüth: Chris is working on some decorative, black & white elements such as borders and little quirky icons to break up the layout. http://www.chrishuth.com/
I'm super excited to have them all involved!
Here's a layout mockup featuring one of Pauliina's chapter heading illustrations. The text and layout is just rough / placeholder, but you can get the idea of what I'm going for with these.
The image depicts the unseason of Colligwyld, where the forest is overrun by giant, spongy fungus which melt into a rainbow-coloured sludge after a few weeks.
Here's another of Pauliina's chapter heading illustrations, this time depicting a pivotal moment in the history of Dolmenwood, where the forest's wicked fairy ruler, the Cold Prince, was exiled.