Deities! is an epic folk-rock album about love and heartbreak set in the world of Dungeons and Dragons.
What in Garl Glittergold’s name is this?!
Deities! is an album. A folky pop album. Kind of like Fleet Foxes meets Sufjan meets the Decemberists. Meets dork. It's all written, but hasn't been recorded yet. So that's what this Kickstarter is for -- to get in the studio and record it.
Here's what it sounds like: http://chrislittler.bandcamp.com/track/oh-yeenoghu
Who is Yeenoghu? He's the Demon Prince of the Abyss. And he is going to come to your town and steal your womenfolk if you don't protect yourself.
This album would be pretty different from anything you've ever heard before. Each song is a story about my experiences with love, all told in the language of Dungeons & Dragons. So, basically, it’s forty-plus minutes of emotional angst paired with words like “manticore”, “Asmodeus”, and “halberd.” It's so buried in there in a way that if you put it on for a friend, they probably wouldn't realize all the awesome references to mythical creatures and ancient Gods until a few songs in.
Do you need to know Dungeons & Dragons to enjoy this album? No. No more than you need to know Illinois history to enjoy Illinoise. It's all in there, but it isn't necessary to have a history of tabletop gaming. It's just the cream in a cup of strong coffee.
The album is entirely written. It's been workshopped and performed both here and in Los Angeles. Now it's time to record it. That's where you come in.
And it's not just the music, either. It's the art. I mean, just look at this:
So what’s all my hard-earned gold going towards?
Everything! It's Kickstarting the whole Deities! idea.
There's rehearsal, studio time, and pressing the album, but also paying the many wonderful New York-based artists – musicians, videographers, producers, and, yes, even a watercolorist - who have committed to realizing this project with me. I know $10,000 is a lot of money. But I believe you should either go big or not at all. All I know is if I heard someone else was doing this, I'd be pissed if they didn't make the best damn Dungeons & Dragons love song album they could. So that's the goal.
That image above? It was made just for this campaign. Jasmine Wigandt is a crazy talented artist, and she's agreed to make all the materials attached to this project. It's going to be beautiful!
Hmm. Okay, but how many songs are there?
12 in total. I'm not sure if they're all going to end up on there, and I'm still working on the song order, but right now it looks like:
- Oh, Yeenoghu!
- Sleep Charm
- Prophetic Heart
- Orb of Seeing
- Hold Onto Us
- God of Greed
- Ritual Song
When will the album be released?
It's looking like February 2012 at the latest. Just in time for St. Cuthbert's Day.
Why so long? Because I take the same approach to recording as you would draconic whispers emanating from behind a heavy iron door. You take your time and consult with the wizard. And I got a lot of wizards in my life.
But just because that date seems far off doesn't mean you won't be getting your Deities! fix. I'll be sending out concert performances, new songs, and footage of my time in the studio to keep you and your kin satisfied. That is, if you pledge...
Can I see you perform/ask you questions/bestow upon you a magic ring?
Of course! Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get back to you as soon as humanly possible.
This thing will only happen if you help.
In twenty years, when people tell the story of "that guy who made that beautiful folky album about a tabletop board game", it will start with your pledge. And yes, I'm aware there are other people out there making songs about Dungeons & Dragons, but that's not really what this is about. This is about me. This is all from my heart. It's not something that anyone but me could create.
Here's a song about moving to Los Angeles with a girl for all the wrong reasons: http://chrislittler.bandcamp.com/track/hold-onto-us
I'm making this because it's something that I'd buy if someone else made it. I hope you feel the same way. Please help me make this thing happen.
Thank you for listening.
Glad you asked. An estimated 20 million people have played since the game was created back in 1974, according to BBC news. And that's not even counting the millions too afraid to admit it.
If you haven't taken the plunge yet, chances are a friend of yours has. If your inquiries fail, and you're looking to start a group, you must start here:
Wizards of the Coast will provide you with everything you need to make a game happen. But they can only provide the raw materials. 99% of the game is up to your imagination.
It's worth the money. Take it from a guy so obsessed with it he wrote an entire album.
It’s simple. If you pledge 20 bucks, I’ll roll a 20-sided die and give you one of the following, on top of already owning the album:
[1-4] --- No Reward (but you still own the album!)
[4-10] --- A signed letter of thanks.
[11-12] --- A signed page of Deities! lyrics
[13-15] --- A handcrafted Deities! pick
[16-18] --- A signed Deities! poster
 --- An invitation to the listening party (NYC only)
 --- An invitation to sing on the album (NYC only)
Your fate will be in the hands of a higher power, but they all ought to make you feel lawful-good.
I usually don't let people see behind the DM screen, but... okay.
If you pledge 8 bucks, I'll roll an 8-sided die and give you a code to download one of the following in an iPod friendly format:
 --- Oh, Yeenoghu!
 --- Sleep Charm
 --- God of Greed
 --- Shapeshifter
 --- Orb of Seeing
 --- Ritual Song
 --- Constitution
 --- Moradin
Glad you asked! I couldn't have put any of this together without the help of my good friends and former college roommates Zack Akers and Kenny Lewis. Those guys are working with crazy high Wisdom modifiers. Go to zackakers.com and give him money to make your movies.
Many thanks also to the lovely Bethany Reis, Susan Calvillo, Leigh Jones, and Emma Koenig for being there on the shoots and not treating me like a total nerdball.
Ryan Rogalski gets +10 to his friendship bonus for helping put together the Deities! website. Go to ryanrogalski.com to see how the Brooklyn Fox runs.
And the same to Jasmine Wigandt for her astonishing watercolors. You can see more of her stuff at littlesketchbook.com.
I'd give a thousand gold to Alison Grasso for her amazing photo skills if I had it, but right now she'll have to accept me buying her drinks. Go to alisongrasso.com to see her stuff.
But most of all, thanks to Mark Venker, Mark Scheppe, Gene Wulff, Mike Ford, and the guy who got us all hooked in the first place -- Logang Oebel. Thank you for bringing me to your dad's friend's apartment all those years ago for pizza and math. This one's for you!
Exactly what it sounds like. I'll tailor a show for just you and your friends, provided you live in New York City, or are willing to pay for a day's journey to your homestead.
Just make sure you provide a meat-shield to protect me while I perform my wicked lute solo. I hate getting interrupted by the sharp end of a battle axe.
Whatever you want it to. I'm just as comfortable teaching newbies as I am rolling with the diehards. Make the pledge, I'll have my familiar set up a time with your familiar and we'll go from there.
Rest easy, stranger. I would never turn down your coinage, however strange and cumbersome.
Send me a message explaining your situation when you make your pledge. I guarantee we'll find a way to make it work. If Torog truly conspires against us, I'll give you your money back.
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Pledge $8 or moreYou selected
THE D-8 SPECIAL: I’ll roll an 8-sided die and, based on the results, you’ll get one full length performance video of a song from the album in an iPod friendly format.
Pledge $20 or moreYou selected
THE D-20 SPECIAL: the above, plus a digital copy of the album two weeks before the album is released, and -- to make things interesting -- your fate will be decided by a 20-sided die, just like in Dungeons and Dragons. (See table to the left.)
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
MIMIC: All the above, plus I’ll have my animal companion deliver to your homestead a signed CD version of the original demo with a handwritten lyrics booklet. (Shipping included in price, US and Canada only.)
Pledge $85 or moreYou selected
WHAT ABOUT MY HIRELINGS?: All the above, plus the peg-legged halfling bodyguards travelling with you get to partake in the fun, too. I’ll personally mail a letter to five people of your choosing to let them know that they work for you now, along with the code to download the Deities! album for free! (US and Canada only.)
Pledge $150 or moreYou selected
2 backers Limited (148 left of 150)
SPHERE OF ANNIHILATION, CONVENIENT 2D VERSION: All the above, plus I’ll send you a signed limited-edition vinyl of the album in the mail two weeks before it's released. (Shipping included in price, US and Canada only.)
Pledge $200 or moreYou selected
WISH GRANTED: Why leave anything to chance? No more die rolls. You get everything listed. Every video, the demo, the vinyl and the early digital download. (Does not include D19 and D20 rewards.) (Shipping included in price, US and Canada only.)
Pledge $300 or moreYou selected
2 backers Limited (28 left of 30)
BOOK OF INFINITE SPELLS: The above, plus I’ll send you an original watercolor painting of your chosen Dungeons and Dragons deity, expertly crafted by Jasmine Wigandt.
Pledge $400 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (15 left of 15)
CORRELLON’S CHOICE: The above, plus a Skype conversation and/or dinner with me, plus you'll have to make a difficult decision. Do you want to sing with me on the album or attend the private listening party? (NYC and LA only.)
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)
HELM OF MANY THANKS: The above, plus you can come hang out with me and the band when we record this thing (please bring bagels) and I’ll give you a special thanks on the album sleeve. And yes, it can be your character’s name. In fact, it should be.
Pledge $800 or moreYou selected
2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)
THE BARD SPECIAL: The above, plus I’ll perform a private show for you and your friends. (See FAQ for details.)
Pledge $1,250 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)
THE DUNGEON MASTER: The above, plus you'll be listed as a Producer on the album sleeve, meaning you'll be up on stage when this thing wins a Grammy. (In Best New Nerd Folk) On top of that, I’ll be your Dungeon Master for an afternoon. As long as you provide the pizza and Mountain Dew. (See FAQ for details.)
Pledge $2,500 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)
CAMPAIGN NECESSITY: The above, plus you will have produced the album and played a huge part in Kickstarting the whole Deities venture. I'll run creative decisions by you, pack your pipe with only the finest hobbit's herb, invite you on tour - whatever you want. But first I’ll meet with you, shake your hand, and welcome you to the team. Now let's kill that goddamn Spider Queen!
- (26 days)