About this project
Many thanks to all of the backers, artists and others that made Cthulhu vs. The Vikings a success!!
Once this Kickstarter project ends, I will regularly update all backers using the Kickstarter site.
If you are interested in my other games and projects, you can find out more information at Sources and Methods Games.
Thanks again and see you in a few months (hopefully) with a new project!
If you are new to this site, scroll down to What is Cthulhu Vs The Vikings to start. If you are interested in the brand new Cthulhu Pack Add-on though, you are in the right place!
We know Cthulhu vs. The Vikings is cool but fans have been asking for weeks for a Vikings vs Cthulhu variant. Today we are here to oblige!
Our sculptor, Chris Adelhardt, has been hard at work creating a Cthulhu King.
This King, along with 12 additional Vikings, makes up the new Cthulhu Pack Add-on. To get this Add-on, all you have to do is add $10 to your pledge for the unpainted version and $20 to your pledge for the painted version. With it you can play the game as the Vikings surrounded by the minions of Cthulhu, the Deep Ones, or play the game as Cthulhu with his group of Deep Ones, cut off and surrounded by a large group of Viking heroes.
Best of all, for all pledges at $150 or above, the Cthulhu Pack Add-on comes absolutely free! That's right - free!
If you have been sitting on the fence about getting that beautiful handmade wooden chest or that gorgeous handwoven basket, or becoming a Viking or a Deep One in the comic, now is the time to make a move!
We have taken the ancient Viking game, Hnefatafl (or "King's Table"), and re-imagined it as a clash between Viking warriors and the minions of Cthulhu, the Deep Ones.
To tell the tale, we have written and illustrated a 32 page, full color comic and, to let you finish that story, we have created an all new game board and playing pieces so that you can play out the final battle.
But to get the comic printed and the game into your hands, we need your help!
Hnefatafl is, perhaps, the best known of the Tafl games played by the Vikings. It is a deep, strategic game with a fundamentally asymmetric design - players start out in different positions on the board, with different numbers of pieces, and with entirely different victory conditions. In many respects, it is unique among the games of antiquity.
Copies of this extraordinary game are difficult to find, however. Our goal is to create an exciting version of this ancient game, updated to appeal to the modern player.
Our version of the game begins with a small band of Vikings surrounded on all four sides by slavering Deep Ones. The goal of the Vikings is to escape and the goal of the Deep Ones is to capture the Viking leader. You can find out more about the sculptor, Chris Adelhardt, who is behind these remarkable pieces at the bottom of the page.
We have also gained permission to use the "Fetlar Rules", so-called because of their use in the Hnefatafl World Championships held each year in the town of Fetlar, Scotland.
While we thought the game was a pretty cool idea all by itself, we quickly realized that the battle needed a "backstory" -- why exactly, are the Vikings and the Deep Ones fighting?
Once we began looking into Viking history and art it did not take long before we started seeing "evidence" of conflict between the Lord of R'lyeh and the rulers of Asgard - tentacle-y faces in runestones and icons, tentacle-armed monsters fighting shirtless berserkers - all over Viking art.
Furthermore, the Viking sagas were full of battles against sea monsters and other fantastic creatures (such as the snippet taken from the Icelandic saga, The Life and Death of Cormac the Skald, that comes at the beginning of our video above).
These stories and this art forms the backdrop we used to write and illustrate the 32 page, full color comic book - Cthulhu vs. The Vikings, issue #1 - that was designed to accompany the game. You can see some samples of the art from the comic below and read more about the artist, Kris Brannock, and the writer, Sean McGrath, at the bottom of the page.
Cthulhu vs. the Vikings has a wide range of awards for every level of interest. If you are a comics guy and want to collect, you can do that. If you are a gamer and really just want the game, you can do that. If you want to do both with lots of add-ons and goodies, we've got that, too.
And if you want it all -- and I mean all (including boatloads of good karma) -- you can really make our and your dreams come true (just check out the $5000 level!).
$1 -- Access to Backers-only Update + Our Thanks!
Every little bit helps and we know that when you pledge a dollar all your friends on Kickstarter get to hear about it as well. We appreciate that and your support!
$10 -- The Comic (Only)
Pledging at this level will get you a copy of the 32 page, full-color comic (see images above for some samples taken from the comic) shipped to your home!
$15 -- 3D Print and Play
We are pretty excited about this because we think it is the first time a Kickstarter project has offered a 3D Print and Play option. Pledge at this level and you will get the rules, a file with the game board on it to print out on paper or cardstock and the .STL files for the three different types of pieces in our game. You can then print them out on your own 3D printer!
$25 -- The Game (Only)
At this level you get one copy of the game. It will come with a tan canvas playing board (see picture below) that will double as a carrying pouch when you are done playing the game. The pieces will be unpainted. All the Viking pieces will be one color plastic and all the Deep One pieces will be a different color plastic but we have not finalized the color scheme yet. If you want a specific base color for your pieces, see the color options in the Add-Ons section below.
(Why unpainted? We believe being able to paint and personalize your own set is a real feature of this game (Any Warhammer or other miniatures fanatic will understand this immediately, of course...). It also helps us keep the cost down and get the game out the door for just $25. If you want to paint your set yourself but don't know how, you can get our Painting and Finishing Guide (see the Add-Ons section below for details). Of course, if you want us to paint it for you, we will - again, just see the Add-Ons section below for details!)
$35 -- The Game And The Comic!
This is it! The basic package. You will get everything listed under the game and under the comic above plus a 2D Print and Play version of the game!
(For those of you unfamiliar with the term, Print and Play versions are usually digital files (often PDFs) that contain all the rules and pieces to play the game. You can print these out on your own printer. They are not as elaborate, of course, as the real game, but it allows you to learn the rules in advance of receiving your real copy.)
$45 -- The 2 Signature Edition (Game or Comic)
At this pledge level, you will get both the game (unpainted) and the comic but only one will be signed (Your choice). If you want both to be signed, there is another pledge level down below just for you!
In addition, if you pick the 2 signature game option, you can choose either the red or the tan canvas playing board. If you choose the 2 signature comic option you get a signed copy (for collecting) and another copy of the comic for reading!
$80 -- The 4 Signature Edition (Game and Comic)
For the serious collector! At this level you get all four signatures (artist, writer, sculptor, developer). and your choice of board and an extra copy of the comic to read.
Plus you will get (at no extra charge) the digital Painting and Finishing Guide and the 2D Print and Play version of the game. Most importantly, you will get a beautiful handmade, chainmail pouch clasp made by chainmailer Melissa Tackett of Chasing Chainmail fame.
$100 -- The 4 Signature Edition, Painted!
At this level you get everything in the 4 Signature Edition above + we will hand paint the pieces included in your set!
$150 -- The 4 Signature Edition, Painted, with All the Add-ons and an Extra Copy of the Game!
This is the works! We paint a copy, we give you a copy to paint (or give as a gift) complete with Painting and Finishing Guide and the 2D and 3D Print and Play, plus your choice of red or tan canvas boards and 2 copies of the comic with all of the signatures, plus an electronic copy of the comic plus the Pouch Clasp -- you get the picture -- it's a lot of stuff.
$200 -- Be a Viking! Be a Monster!
At this level, in addition to getting all of the stuff from the $100, 4 Signature Edition (painted) edition, our amazing artist, Kris Brannock, will use photos of your face to craft one of the faces of the Vikings/Deep Ones in the comic.
$350 -- Viking Basket/Cthulhu Basket Edition
What better way to carry your set of Viking warriors and slavering Deep Ones than in authentic Viking-style baskets! There aren't many Viking baskets left (they degrade pretty quickly, even in the cold of northern Europe) but the ones that have been found have been what is called a "one-rod, foundation coiled" basket. These baskets and the colors the Vikings liked to use have inspired the design of our baskets, made by the game's developer (and chief basket-maker!), Kris Wheaton.
There aren't any historically accurate Cthulhu-styled baskets, of course, so we have used the same style but have redesigned the Cthulhu basket with lots of tentacle-y goodness in mind!
Each basket will be one of a kind and entirely hand made. As a result each basket takes the better part of a month to make and we are offering only 5 of each type of basket. In addition to the basket, you will also receive the game and all of the other goodies mentioned in the reward sidebar.
$350 - Viking Chest Edition
Our sculptor, Chris Adelhardt, is also an expert carpenter. Using authentic Viking chests as his models, he has designed a replica wooden chest that is perfect for holding a copy of Cthulhu Vs. The Vikings.
Each chest will be hand made and comes with a hand painted set of pieces, your choice of red or tan canvas board, 2 copies of the comic and all of the other goodies listed in the reward sidebar.
$500 - Be the Jarl! Be the Angekok! With a Viking Chest!
At this level, in addition to everything mentioned in the Viking Chest Edition, your face gets featured as either the face of the Jarl (the leader of the Vikings and the father to our main character) or the Angekok, the leader of the Deep Ones.
$1000 - Hand Made Edition
This is for the gamer who wants something very special! Everything here - the board, the pieces, the chest to hold them in - is all hand made by our sculptor Chris Adelhardt. It is an extraordinary option for someone who is looking for a beautiful and unique version of this timeless game.
$5000 - Ultimate Backer Edition
Let's say you have $5000 dollars to throw at something like this. Not many people do but there are a few.
Why would you do it?
In the first place, it makes it virtually certain that this game will get made. If you love the idea of this game and this comic as much as we do, that's a good thing.
Second, and probably more important to you, we will make the experience of getting your copy of Cthulhu vs. The Vikings worth it.
We will fly you (from anywhere in the continental US) to where we live in Northwest Pennsylvania.
We will put you up for 2 nights in a beautiful cabin on the lake complete with a private beach. (If you are lucky, you will see the nesting bald eagles as they fly down the coast.)
We will take you out to the 3 B's restaurant for dinner where they bring bacon to you like some places bring chips or popcorn. We will then take you to exotic, interesting places, where we will drink and talk of games and comics and you will see things most humans never get to see.
We will teach you how to play Cthulhu vs the Vikings. You will learn deep strategies and the history and lore of the game from those who have crafted it with their own hands and through their own skills.
Our artist, Kris Brannock, will draw a one of a kind portrait of you. You will be as handsome or beautiful or as ugly or sinister as you desire. Wherever you live, your friends will weep in jealousy.
Before you leave, we will present you with a HAND MADE EDITION of the game and signed copies of the comics.
You will leave feeling respected and cherished like the uber-backer you are!
What are "add-ons"? Let's say, for example, you just want the game but really want the red board to go with it. All you have to do is click the $25 pledge button but when you get to the part where you pay, you put in $35 instead of $25 - just add the extra $10! You can send us a note about why but if you don't want to, don't worry, we will ask you after the campaign is over what exactly you want to spend the extra $10 on.
Here are the add-ons you can get and how much you need to add for each:
- $5 - Painting and Finishing Guide (digital copy). If this is your first time painting miniature game pieces, you probably want this. Our crack team of painters have put together a step by step guide to make the process easy for you and the results outstanding!
- $5 - 2D Print and Play. This gets a simple version of the game in your hands very quickly after the campaign is over. We will send you a digital file complete with a board, the pieces and the rules. All you will have to do is print them off and cut them out.
- $5 - Electronic copy of the comic. For those of you who can't wait or just want to save a few bucks, the digital copy of the comic is the way to go.
- $8 - Extra copies of the comic (each). If you are a collector, you know why you might want extra copies of the comic. They also make great gifts!
- $10 - Red mat with antique gold paint. The red mat is a thing of beauty (we know) but it costs extra to make.
- $10 - Chainmail Pouch Clasp. We are fortunate enough to have our very own chainmailer in town so we thought, "Why not take advantage of it?". The chainmail clasp is pictured above but is made of real chainmail links and leather cord.
- $10 - Pick your own base colors (up to two). We can print in a number of colors including red, green, purple, blue, yellow, orange, white, black, clear and translucent blue. Each set normally contains 2 colors that we pick (usually green and black). If you want to pick your own colors, this add-on gives you the chance.
- $15 - 3D Print and Play. This add-on is only appropriate for those with 3D printers (or access to them). We will only be giving out .STL files at this level so make sure that type file works with your printer.
- $22 - Extra copies of the game (unpainted).
- $30 - Hand painting each set of playing pieces. We will hand-paint the playing pieces for you, if you do not want to do it yourself. Each set will be different depending on the painter.
Cthulhu vs. The Vikings is too big a project to be done by one person. It took an entire team to bring this game and this story to you. Here they are in their own words:
Chris Adelhardt, Sculptor
"It started with play dough, and oil clays as a young boy. I was always making tiny creatures or doing something with my hands. To make a long story short, I pursued art through high school, and enjoyed working in most mediums. I didn't become a sculptor really, until college. I started as a painting major, but quickly realized I had more in common with the earthy, more open ceramic department. I was successful in my undergrad career in ceramics, getting work into national and local art shows, and I won many awards. To be honest, I didn't care about winning, I was more astonished that people liked my creepy art! Since college I have been teaching ceramics at the Erie Art Museum, and am continuing to create and show work."
Kris Brannock, Artist
"I didn't show any interest in drawing till around 6th or 7th grade when I discovered Sailor Moon and Japanese animation. It like it suddenly clicked, THAT'S what I want to do. I continued on that track, and after high school went to the Art Institute for animation. I didn't finish my degree as I began to feel wayward and lost, unsure of what I wanted to do with my life. After a bout of depression, I picked myself up and got my first PAYING art job as a Caricature Artist at Six Flags. It was great, and really pushed me to better my skill and technique. As much as I loved it, it didn't pay the bills so I bounced around some more, getting jobs in printing and graphic design and then started a Fiverr account to make pocket cash. That's how I met Kris and why I'm here today, working on my first big project!"
Sean McGrath, Writer
"I’ve been a fan of comic books for almost as long as I have memories. All my school notebooks’ margins were illuminated with doodles of superheroes. I had Underoos. Collected Megos. Watched Super Friends, The Shazam/ISIS Hour, The Bionic Woman and Six Million Dollar Man, Wonder Woman and Batman. And, you know, given all that, I put myself on the trajectory of “One day, I’m going to do that, make comics!” Then Real Life happened and the idea of being an artist or a writer didn’t seem worthy, somehow. Like it was something a kid would want to do, and not an adult. Then in 2005 ... Frater Mine popped out of my head.
At that time, independent comics were coming onto the scene strongly with the advent of PODs (print-on-demand printers), that could do a run of one comic book or 1,000...PODS made it possible for everyone who wanted to be in comics to do so. I was one of those people. I’ve put out a few titles such as Rise of the Pink Ninjas, A Goddess and Infinitesimal Situation at the Ultimate Piggly Wiggly. And I’m concurrently working on Cthulhu vs. The Vikings and getting a comic shop of my own, called The GeekERIE."
Jon D'Silva, Attorney
(Note: You don't often see attorneys mentioned as part of a Kickstarter team but we think he really deserves to be here. In the first place, Jon is an avid gamer who has supported the idea since we first discussed it over a beer last year. Second, and more important to backers, I think, having someone like Jon work with us to set up everything in advance in a creative way that also takes into account the particulars of crowdfunding really establishes the right conditions for getting the job done once we are funded. So, here in his own words, is Jon)
"I’m a life-long gamer and a professed and proud geek. I’m an attorney with MacDonald-Illig here in Erie, PA and I often deal with small businesses, start-ups, and entrepreneurs in my practice (intellectual property) but not many that have a direct bearing on my personal interests like the ideas that Kris presented to me. When I first met him we very quickly stumbled into our common love of gaming. He shared with me his ideas for developing games using local resources and artists to promote local small businesses. We also quickly identified where most of these types of endeavors fail. Good legal advice and support is one important area that start-ups often fail to consider when developing their business plans. That’s why I’m here: I want to see this succeed. I’m in it for the long haul and I hope that this is just the first of many projects on which you’ll see my name."
Kris Wheaton, Developer
"I first saw Hnefatafl almost 30 years ago during a trip through northern England. i spent some hard earned money on that game back in the day and it is still with me and still one of my favorite games. I use it in my classes and I think it has much to teach about both strategy and culture. It has always been a disappointment to me that it is not more popular. When I saw I had the chance to work with a very talented team to bring a game I loved to Kickstarter and then, to add 100% more Cthulhu to it with a kickass backstory - well, it was a chance I could not pass up."
Risks and challenges
This is my second Kickstarter project. My first project, Widget, a card game, shipped on time but I still learned quite a bit from that exercise.
As of right now, we have everything in place to begin production on the game and the comic once the campaign is over. The script and the design of the playing pieces and the game board is complete. We have created a number of prototypes (visible in the pictures above) and know exactly what we need to do to go into production. As for the comic, the artwork is underway and is awaiting successful completion of the campaign to complete the comic.
Our biggest risk is if we are too successful. We think we have built enough safeguards into our process such that we can get everything done and out the door by our estimated delivery dates. If we get swamped with backers, those estimates might become a bit ... squishy ... but that is a problem we will love to have to solve!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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