Now that we've crossed the $2,100 milestone, the second adventure has passed the "Modest" funding level and is on its way to the "Sensible" funding level. Past that is the "Deluxe" funding level, where (if it presses that boundary at all) it can eventually burst into two, er, modestly sensible ones. And I've thrown versions of these terms around a bit, but here's the post where I explain them.
The Sensible level is on display in the Risus mega-module, A Kringle in Time. At the Sensible level, the emphasis is on the writing (with bonus asides on GMing the adventure, adjusting it, things like that, plus some fun bonus sidebars just to make it a cracking and festive read), but there are also a fair number of maps (not insanely detailed maps, but they provide all the adventure requires plus a little extra for atmo) and a small stack of player handouts, the GM cribsheet, and so on. The details of what the Sensible level produces will vary according to the needs of the adventure, but since Kringle is designed as (approximately, give-or-take PC insanity or GM wizardry) a five-night adventure, it provides a very clear example of what the Sensible level can look like in Risus context. Essentially, had this Kickstarter gone to right to $1,000 and stopped, the result would be that I'd make a single-nighter at the Sensible level, so ... one-fifth of a Kringle, at that level of "production value" (grading on the local curve with a gleam in our eye and a giggle in our heart).
The Modest level is simply one-half the Sensible level. At that level, we're looking at a one-nighter of the sort you'd find in a gaming magazine (back in the days of gaming magazines). Handouts would be unlikely (or few and simple), there's most likely a single, kind of bare-bonesy map, the writing has few GMing asides, and the adventure design is much more likely to be strongly linear (since less-linear design requires more writing to explore the facets that account for player creativity). Some examples in my own work of this level would include Pawnshop (available as a freebie on the Pyramid magazine site), and Cray Canyon Cold Snap (one of the creakiest and oldest Cumberland free PDFs; I really need to give that thing a new edition, especially since I've now spent a lot of time in the real mining-towns the fictional "Brown Creek" is based on!) Had the Kickstarter met its basic ($500) goal, that would have been enough to create a one-nighter at the Modest level (which is a level I really enjoy working at, BTW ... constrained design keeps me on my toes).
The Deluxe level is half-again the Sensible level. So, you take Kringle as a starting point, and now instead of a general map of Jerusalem you have a street-by-street map with extra details the GM can build more stuff around ... and instead of X handouts and a cheat-sheet you get X2 handouts, a cheat-sheet and even more GM-and-player helpers ... and more possible asides get explored, and the adventure's locations are explored in layers beyond what the adventure requires (making the adventure double as a miniature grab-bag sourcebook with lots of "stealable" parts you can port to your other adventures), and so on ... so it's the Sensible level, plussed-out with goodies. Had the Kickstarter halted at $1,500, that would have set us on course for a single-nighter, Deluxe. As it is, we get a Deluxe single-nighter (which I'm ridiculously stoked to make; that kind of freedom to pack an adventure with extras is very kid-in-a-candy store for me), and more ...
We're now at the "Modest Plus" level for the second adventure, edging along toward "Sensible" (milestone at $2,600). A good example of "Modest Plus" from my prior work would probably be Stopping at the Beast, from the Star Trek Narrator's Toolkit (LUG) ... a magazine-scale one-nighter but with (in that case) lots of "plus" in the form of GMing guidance for new GMs.
So anyway, hopefully this dull little essay will have shed some light on the terms I've been throwing around. The short version is: a one-nighter Risus adventure PDF requires approximately a $900 budget, soup to nuts (which works out to $1,000 of Kickstarter support, more or less, after the fees and the whatnots) ... but that can be dialed down to half for something still nutritious-and-lean, or dialed up to half-again for something festooned with bacon, decorated with burning sparklers, and delivered by dancing girls.
Obviously, the above holds true for Risus and it holds true more-or-less for all of Cumberland Games & Diversions. It probably holds for a lot of other small and/or independent RPG outfits, as well, but translates poorly to the shinier core of the regular gaming industry ... At Cumberland, there's an unspoken guarantee (well, it was unspoken) that the budget on any book or booklet is at least 50% budgeted to the writing and game-design. The remaining budget gets parceled out to the other "departments" of RPG-making (editorial/testing, production/layout, and illustration/cartography). In the mainline RPG industry, the illustration budget often takes the lead, because the market has shifted strongly toward full-color, non-stick figure art (shifted from the imaginary 80s in my head, where all games were illustrated with Risus stick-figures). If you've read this far, you're probably okay with the art-budget taking a back-seat to the writing budget. Me too :)