We had a great time debuting our products at the North Texas RPG Con in June, 2017. Our Dungeonesque Red Box was on sale. Frank Mentzer stopped by and endorsed our products and was kind enough to pose for a photo. Thanks for your support Frank!

Stan Shinn (Rogue Comet founder) is on the left, and Frank is holding a copy of Dungeonesque on the right. Read Frank’s incomparable RPG bio to see some of the things he’s done.

Red & White Box Update; New Chronicles RPG Kit Live

Two new updates I wanted to share with you!

Chronicles RPG Kit

First up, we just launched a new Kickstarter called Chronicles RPG Kit. Inspired by Kickstarter’s make/100 initiative, I’m sharing a few tools that I’ve been using at my home games with great success. The Chronicles RPG Kit is a series of system-neutral, old-school booklets with tools to help you run well organized, dynamic roleplaying games. I’m particularly excited to share Malloy’s Almanac, which is a cool booklet I’ve been using in prototype form for many months to run dynamic, no-prep games. I love it!

Backers are capped at 100, so get them while you can!

Red & White Box Printer Proofs

A few days ago I got the proofs for the Red & White Boxes. Thought I’d share the pictures below of what that looks like. The printouts on the left are to verify the layout. The printouts on the right are to verify the colors. It all looks great and I OK’d for the print run.

We’re on track to ship in late February or (more likely) March. I’ll continue to keep you posted!

— Stan Shinn

Kickstarter Tabletop Games Top $100 Million; Roll20 Tops 2 Million

The market for Tabletop games is booming! This in from ICV2:

Backers pledged $113 million to tabletop game projects in 2016 according to numbers released by the company. That represents a 28% growth rate over last year’s $88.9 million in pledges (see “Tabletop Games Pass Video Games on Kickstarter”). Tabletop games projects had a 55% success rate on Kickstarter.

And as was the case last year, tabletop games drew far more support than video games, with $29 million in video game projects bringing the total for all games to $142 million on 6,970 games projects, 2,589 of them successful. (Source)

On a related note, Roll20.net hit 2 Million Users.  That’s a lot of online roleplaying gamers.  What a great time to be a roleplayer!

 

Dungeonesque Lulu Print Samples

We received the print samples from Lulu, and they look great! Indiegogo print backers, you can feel free to order copies from the lulu.com links I sent. Scroll down to see how the print versions look. I particularly like the Spiral Bound option — I used the GM’s Guide bestiary at a game, and the Spiral Bound option worked great at the table! Love how it folded over 🙂

We’re waiting on print samples from DriveThruRPG before we send out print codes to Indiegogo print backers. I’ll be sending out PDF copies to Kickstarter Box Set backers soon. Print copies for the Kickstarter Box Set backers will ship when the boxes ship which is still many weeks away.

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Player’s Guide Cover

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Player’s Guide Interior

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GM’s Guide Cover

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GM’s Guide Interior

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Spiral Bound Interior

Miniatures and More at The War Store

Rogue Comet is proud to recommend TheWarStore.com as a premier retailer carrying a large range of miniatures and other wargaming and RPG supplies. They also carry discounted RPG and board game products — check them out!

New Printing Options for Dungeonesque Indiegogo Print Backers

Wanted to give you an update on printing and final delivery of the project. Quick summary is that although I still don’t have final resolution on the DriveThruRPG print cover issue, I have other very good news. I’ve set up a Lulu print-at-cost option for our Print backers which provides even more flexibility! Read on for details.

All backers can check the Dropbox folder I sent in the Backerkit survey to get the latest PDFs which have fixed all known errata. Can’t find the Dropbox folder or the Backerkit survey email? Simply login here to get your Backerkit rewards: https://dungeonesque-red-box-rpg.backerkit.com/. (If you still can’t figure it out, no worries. Just email us at info@roguecomet.com and we’ll get you the files.)

If you’re a Print backer, you’ll be getting a Backerkit survey email which has a private Lulu.com URL where you can order print-at-cost copies of the Dungeonesque GM’s Guide and Players’ Guide. These come in two versions: stapled booklets or coil-bound (also known as Spiral Bound). Lulu.com copies will be available for a limited time — probably about two months — before I decommission the URLs, so get them while they’re hot!

Many folks are using Dungeonesque now in their home games, so I’m releasing these print URLs to backers now, even though my proof copies have not yet arrived. I’ve done a lot of printing through Lulu.com through the years, so I don’t expect there to be issues, but to be on the safe side, I’d recommend you not order copies until about two weeks from now after I’ve seen the proofs and send out an update confirming how the proof copies look. But, if you don’t mind being on the bleeding edge of new products, you’re welcome to go ahead and order some of the books. Unlike DriveThruRPG, these aren’t single-use codes, you can order as many of these copies as you like for now (again, for about two months).

Lulu often runs specials. They have a coupon code right now — OCTSAVE30 — which gives you 30% off  books and is good through Oct. 10th I believe. No worries though if you wait — they often have coupon codes so they’ll come up again over the next couple of months.

I believe Lulu.com might be better for some European backers since I believe they have better shipping and distribution options for many countries than DriveThruRPG.

Back to the DriveThruRPG issue: I finally found a software method to identify the pesky print-saturation issue on the cover that has given DriveThruRPG hiccups, so now I can address the issue scientifically vs. the trial-and-error method I was using before. Probably another two weeks to get DriveThruRPG printing approved and have the print-at-cost codes to backers. I will give you another update in about two weeks on this.

Also, in about two weeks when we have the final announcements for the print codes, we’ll also be releasing a DIY (Do It Yourself) kit with templates to do you own custom covers for printing at home or through private printings at Lulu.com.

Whew! So happy we’re close to having all this wrapped up and in your hands. Thanks for your support! I’ll give you another update in about two weeks when we should have final proofs in from Lulu, and print-at-cost codes from DriveThruRPG.

— Stan

Product Updates, RPG Freelance Opportunities, and a New Universal RPG Survey

Here’s a quick progress update on products we’re working on, plus some exciting news about work opportunities at Rogue Comet, and feedback we’d like to get on an upcoming Universal RPG system we’re working on.

New Kickstarter: Barrowmaze Complete for 5e

Barrowmaze author Greg Gillespie and Rogue Comet have partnered to bring you Barrowmaze Complete for 5e! This classic megadungeon gives you nearly 300 pages with over 600 rooms of old-school dungeon awesomeness to use in your D&D 5e games. The art is simply amazing and includes a cover by TSR alumnus Erol Otus. I’ve run these adventures for years and I highly recommend them! This is about 10 classic modules worth of content, packaged into one volume.

Learn more about the Barrowmaze Complete for 5e Kickstarter.

Universal RPG Game Survey

We’re in the early stages of designing a new, universal RPG system that would support multiple genres such as Sci Fi, Modern, Horror, and Fantasy.

Take this quick survey to give us feedback on 10 RPG questions: https://goo.gl/forms/PrDi1Uy2BIgdS77r2

Your feedback will help us design this upcoming RPG 😃

Doing Freelance Work for Rogue Comet

Interested in doing freelance work for us? Rogue Comet is rapidly expanding and is always on the lookout for new talent. Please fill out this form below and we’ll keep your information on file for potential future work.

https://goo.gl/forms/1DLSSIlv6FSWUhhb2

IndieGoGo Red Box RPG Update: Delivery Latest and New Freebie

Work is still progressing. We’ll release a new set of Red Box RPG PDFs in the next few days which corrects a few errata.

We are still working to resolve the ‘print saturation’ issue we’re having with the covers printing through DriveThruRPG — either the large red or large black print areas are causing problems. We’ll be doing another round of Photoshop and InDesign tweaks and hopefully we’ll have this resolved soon.

We’re really bummed about these delays caused by unanticipated heightened art requirements at DriveThruRPG, so I’d like to do something to make up for this.

Over the next 2 months I’ll be creating a new three-part 5e adventure that will form a mini-campaign for 12+ hours of play. I’ll give your this free adventure as a gift in appreciation for your patience. It will be an adaptation of some material Michael Prescott has produced, combined with material I’m designing myself. I hope you enjoy it!

Thanks for your support 🙂

Dungeonesque Red & White Box Sets Kickstarter Update

Work is still progressing. We’ll release a new set of Red Box RPG PDFs in the next few days which corrects a few errata. We’re also starting layout on the White Box PDF set.

We are still waiting to get a firm date from the box manufacturer, but we still expect to have the boxes in and box sets shipped before the end of the year.

We are also working on the digital stretch goals products and should be able to deliver those in the next few weeks.

Closer to ship date we will have a pledge manager set up to allow folks to add on any additional items they like before the products ship.

Adventure Location Cards Update

In a day or two Kickstarter will finally release the funds from the Kickstarter to us. We’re lining up artists and writers to work on the over 300 cards we’ll be producing.

We will have a pledge manager available for folks to add more cards to their order but we won’t send this out until closer to the ship date. Why are we waiting? Well, I can’t make promises, but we’re prototyping another RPG card concept, and if it’s ready in time, we might add this additional product to the pledge manager. So stay tuned — the pledge manager email will go out but it will be a few more months, closer to the ship date.

 

Help Us Design a New Universal RPG System

We’re in the early stages of designing a new, universal RPG system that would support multiple genres such as Sci Fi, Modern, Horror, and Fantasy.

Take this quick survey to give us feedback on 8 RPG questions: https://goo.gl/forms/PrDi1Uy2BIgdS77r2

Your feedback will help us design this upcoming RPG 🙂

Dungeonesque Progress Update

Hi folks! Here’s the latest on the Dungeonesque progress.

I’ve got two different Dungeonesque crowdfunding campaigns that are in various states of delivery. The quick summary is that the PDFs of Red Box GM’s Guide and Player’s Guide will go out to backers around Aug. 10th and that the Red Box GM’s Guide and Player’s Guide are both around 60 Pages. More details below!

PDFs of Red Box GM’s Guide and Player’s Guide Deliver Around Aug. 10th

Dungeonesque Red & White Box Sets Kickstarter backers and Dungeonesque Red Box RPG Indieogogo backers will get the PDFs of the Red Box GM’s Guide and Player’s Guide along with the form-fillable character sheet PDF next week (around Aug. 10th, give or take a day or two). There’s a lot of overlap between backers, and  we decided it made most logistical sense to roll everything out at the same time.  We will provide more updates on other deliverables such as the White Box PDFs and physical products at that time.

Red Box GM’s Guide and Player’s Guide Are Both Around 60 Pages

As we’ve moved into final layout after four iterations of playtest versions of the documents, we had to wrestle with a one big question: should the Indiegogo version of the Dungeonesque Red Box books be the same, or different than the Kickstarter version that ships with physical boxes?

In our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, we committed to using DriveThruRPG to print the booklets, which has a 44 page limit for saddle-stitched booklets. In our Box Set Kickstarter, we can go up to 60 pages for the saddle-stitched booklets, since we’ll be doing a traditional print run. However, we’ve gotten feedback time and again that folks don’t want to be short-changed on content. Also, logistically we really wanted to keep the content between these two editions as similar as possible.

To this end, we did some test printing to see how perfect bound fared versus saddle-stitched binding. We printed out an earlier booklet we had ready of similar size and printed through DriveThruRPG as both saddle-stitched and perfect binding. (FYI, we tried to print out the actual Dungeonesque Red Box RPG books but  DriveThruRPG’s printer (LightningSource) had some issues with the color saturation on the covers which we could not quickly resolve, so we decided to use an adventure module for print test purposes).

Here’s the picture of the two versions opened up. As you can see, both lay very flat. Being able to lay flat was a big goal for this product.

Perfect vs. Saddle-stitch Binding

Perfect vs. Saddle-stitch Binding (Click to Enlarge)

Can you tell which one is perfect bound and which is saddle-stitch? Hard to tell isn’t it? The top booklet is saddle-stitched, and the bottom one is perfect bound.

So after these print tests, we’ve decided that both the Dungeonesque Red & White Box Sets Kickstarter backers and Dungeonesque Red Box RPG Indieogogo backers will have the exact same content. Both versions will be around 60 pages per book. The solo adventure will be included in the Player’s Guide and not be broken out as a separate book.

Kickstarter and  Indieogogo  Physical Books Will Have Different Binding Types

The only difference between the physical versions of the Kickstarter and  Indieogogo Dungeonesque booklets will be binding: The Indiegogo backers who ordered print versions will get print-on-demand codes for a perfect-bound version (which is actually cheaper than saddle-stitch), whereas Kickstarter backers who ordered print versions will get saddle-stitched version which has staples.

The picture below shows the difference between the two binding types using our ‘Adventures in Varria’ module as a sample.

Perfect vs. Saddle-stitch Binding

Perfect vs. Saddle-stitch Binding (Click to Enlarge)

But both versions will have the same interior content.

Let me know if you have questions! Drop me an email at info@roguecomet.com.

 

 

Update on Dungeonesque Red Box PDFs

Layout is taking a lot longer than I expected, so the final PDFs for the Indiegogo backers are going to spill into next week. Sorry for the delay folks! In the meantime, wanted to let you know we’re still hard at work on this project. Here’s a preview of a form-fillable Character Sheet that we’re almost done with. Final products are going to be very, very cool. Thanks again for your support!

Dungeonesque Character Sheet

Dungeonesque Character Sheet

Dungeonesque Red & White Box Sets Interview in RPGnet Newsletter #60

Rogue Comet’s latest Kickstarter was spotlighted today in RPG.net’s RPGnet Newsletter #60 July 5, 2016.  Here is an excerpt from the newsletter:

rpgnetlogo2010Kickstarter Spotlight

Many gamers started out their RPG careers with a box set, be it the legendary Brown Box of Original Dungeons & Dragons’ fame or Paizo’s Beginner Box forPathfinder. (In fact, one of yr. humble editor’s earliest RPG purchases was the Dragonlance Fith Age Saga System box set from TSR.) Indeed, Wizards of the Coast has called back to the old Brown Box (and Red Box, White Box, etc.) with its recent D&D Starter Set for Fifth Edition.

New RPG publisher Rogue Comet is seeking to jump into this market with its Dungeonesque Red & White Box Sets, through which it is presenting an edited version of Fifth Edition in a traditional boxed booklet format (along with PDF options, of course). Producing two different types of box sets for a newly-developed game system is an ambitious project for a new RPG publisher, particularly given the competing products from established heavyweights like WoTC and Paizo. To their credit, Rogue Comet is candid about the challenges that come along with this sort of production, even including the fact that the Kickstarter is potentially a money-loser for them. (As of this writing, their Kickstarter has far surpassed its funding goal, so hopefully that won’t be an issue.)

The Newsletter reached out to Rogue Comet with some questions about this ambitious approach to launching a new RPG line and received a very quick and thorough response from Stan Shinn of Rogue Comet, a long-time RPG gamer and professional digital and print design specialist. We’ve edited some of Mr. Shinn’s answers (and some of our questions) for length.

Newsletter: Is your primary goal here to provide a nostalgia product for existing gamers, or an outreach project for them to use with new gamers, or somewhere in between?

Rogue Comet: The product targets both old and new gamers, but has the side effect of providing a great shot of nostalgia!

If you look at the Mentzer Red Box, it did an amazing job of teaching folks who’d never heard of roleplaying how to play the game.

In the Dungonesque RPG, I do spend time on giving folks an introduction to roleplaying (for example, we have a solo adventure which I think you’ll find great fun). However, people learn differently in today’s world than they did back in the 80s. In Dungeonesque I’m assuming that if you really want a lot of tutorials on roleplaying that you’ll pick it up by playing games or watching Youtube. So I tend to be brief and to the point with the rules, acknowledging that most of my customers will be veteran gamemasters.

So is the booklets and boxes format just for nostalgia? Surprisingly, no. The starting point for me was the ergonomics of what game format many people want during the game. Our box sets were designed for function, but have the added benefit of invoking nostalgia for those original box set games. For me, there’s something special about opening up a box set and pulling out slim booklets to run [a] game.

Newsletter: Why did you choose 5E for this quasi-OSR project instead of using the already-streamlined BD&D or similar ruleset?

Rogue Comet: I love the old D&D games! I started playing the White Box D&D version back in 1978, and I’ve played all the versions of D&D at some point. In the last decade I’ve also enjoyed playing retroclones like Swords & Wizardry White Box.

The early D&D games are great fun, but I really appreciate the innovations of recent years like Ascending Armor Class and Advantage as well as the story mechanics that 5th Edition D&D introduced such as Backgrounds and Inspiration. I started playing 5th Edition D&D the first weekend it was in beta (back when they called it ëD&D Next’) and it is my favorite edition of them all!

For me, some flavor of D&D 5e is the game I most want to play. I’m making the Dungeonesque products because I want the 5e rules and adventures optimized for old-school play.

Newsletter: Along those lines, how have you streamlined the 5E rules?

Rogue Comet: There were a few frustrations I had at my game table I wanted to solve.

The 5e Dungeon Master’s Guide is 320 pages. An amazing book, but the content was a mix of things you’d use in between games, things you might never use, and some content you’d want to reference during the game. Pausing an RPG game I’m running to wade through 320 pages took too much time. I wanted something optimized for in-game use. The Dungeonesque Gamemaster’s Guide will be under 50 pages, and the content is laser-focused on tools you can quickly reference and use during the game.

Another issue is cost. I know a lot of gamemasters are like me, where you end up buying most of the game books for your players. This is one of the things I’ve always loved about Savage Worlds — you can buy their basic gamebook for around $10, cheap enough to buy several copies without breaking the bank. Likewise, I’ve designed the Dungeonesque Player’s Guide to be inexpensive (buy several and hand them out like candy!) and approachable (simple, short booklets give you all you need to play).

Compatibility is also very important to me. You can mix and match Dungeonesque products at the same table with D&D 5e products. The rules are the same and they all work together.

Overall, the Dungeonesque Red & White Box Sets represent an interesting fusion of the advantages of modern game design, crowd-funding, and direct-to-consumer sales in the form of a product that is explicitly designed to help bring new RPG players into the hobby. Rogue Comet’s campaign runs through July 20.

Dungeonesque Red & White Box Sets (5e RPG) Kickstarter Now Live!

Check out the Kickstarter which just went live!

Wait, wasn’t there already a crowdfund project for Red Box?

Yep. To test the market for interest, we ran a prior IndieGoGo campaign that ended in March to raise money to develop the content for the Dungeonesque Red Box RPG. That crowdfunding project was for PDFs and print-at-cost booklets only, but not boxes or traditional book print runs.

We successfully raised money for that first phase of the product, but customers have been asking for two things: a physical box set, and a White Box digest version of the same content. This new Kickstarter raises money to develop the box set versions with a new White Box format.

A development budget and a manufacturing budget are two different things. Box sets are not cheap to make! We appreciate our backers of the Dungeonesque Red Box RPG IndieGoGo, and to show our gratitude we’ve contacted those backers and are giving them a monetary credit in case they want to upgrade and get products from this new Kickstarter.

(By the way, Fred Hicks from Evil Hat (the folks who created the Fate RPG), wrote a great article about the need for follow-up crowdfunding for physical products).

Backers of our IndieGoGo Dungeonesque Red Box RPG project that ended in March are already slated to get the PDF and print-at-cost versions of the Red Box books, but if backers want to upgrade or get any of the products in this new Kickstarter they’ll get a money credit (either $5 or $10 depending on which level you pledged). Just deduct that amount from your pledge level (for example, if you wanted one of the $50 physical box sets, just pledge $40; we’ll take note that you’ve got this credit from the first campaign).

If you haven’t already, take a look at our newest Kickstarter! We’re continuing our march towards optimizing 5e for old-school play!

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