There and Back Again: An Anthology of Travel and Gaming
An anthology of how travel impacts tabletop role-playing games, featuring stars in the RPG industry.
Every RPG campaign involves aspects of travel.
Our Heroes (TM) journey to Mount Horror to dispose of the One McGuffin, trek across ice planets on mounts that smell bad on the inside and outside, or simply explore a single ancient and corrupt city.
It's part of what makes role-playing great, so we are celebrating that with a book by industry stars and gifted hobbyists alike.
There and Back Again is an anthology of essays about how travel impacts and inspires gaming. We're talking about world travel, domestic travel, travel for work, road trips, even just moving a lot. Any kind of itinerant experience can inform our games, and this book will exist to share ways of doing that.
We're going for a variety of kinds of essays, including:
- Adventures, campaign frameworks, and locations inspired by real-world sites people have visited.
- Rules and design notions based on the realities, wonders, trials, and tribulations of travel.
- Personal travel essays relating to gaming and gaming culture.
- Thoughts and experiences about gaming in different cultures.
- A couple of wild cards that don't fit into any particular category.
Because IP is expensive, all rules will be system-agnostic, allowing you to slot every last ounce of creativity you want into your own games seamlessly.
Although we are still looking for a handful of additional contributors, we have most of our authors already assembled. This includes a few folks you may have already heard of:
- Eddy Webb, tabletop RPG superstar and creator of the phenomenon game Pugmire.
- Mikey Mason, the guy who sings She Don't Like Firefly. The best gorram geek comic/musician in the whole 'verse.
- Lynn Hardy of Chaosium and Green Ronin fame, ENnie award-nominated editor with deep credits on games like Call of Cthulhu and Blue Rose.
- Dan Repperger. Host of Fear the Boot. Driving force behind Fear the Con. Fiction author and creator of Gnarl the Gnoll.
- Jack Norris a 20-year veteran of the RPG industry with a list of credits so long it would fill its own book, chief among them Tianxia and John Carter of Mars.
- John Houlihan, who has written rules, adventures, and fiction for Achtung! Cthulhu as well as broadcast, print, and web journalism.
- Linda Mercury, bestselling author of the Blood Wings series, and gamer geek goddess extraordinaire.
- Jason Durall, line editor at Modiphius games and author of Assault on the Mountains of Madness among countless other RPG supplements including Conan.
There are two Even Bigger Deals I'm working on getting in to headline, so stay tuned for those exciting announcements as things develop.
Meanwhile, we have a pretty good support team assembled.
- Artist Jeb Brack, creator of Studs Fedora and co-host of the There's a Problem With Your Face podcast, who will be doing final cover and internal art.
- Rachel Letofsky, a literary agent with CookeMcDermid (the agency that helped make Annihilation happen), offering her design and editing insights to the project from top to bottom.
- Jason Brick, bestselling author and editor of multiple anthologies, who has worked with Paizo, Steve Jackson Games, Modiphius and Green Ronin on award-nominated projects, will serve as the primary editor and manager of the anthology.
Every good Kickstarter has a plan from start to finish. We're lucky to have experienced KS veterans on the team to help everything go smoothly. Here's the basic timeline for everything:
- March 20: Campaign is live. Robust promotional support begins.
- March 25: Final decisions made for contributors, with updates to campaign made in real time
- March 20 - April 19: Campaign runs while contributors create outlines and initial drafts of their essays
- April 19: Campaign closes
- April 20-May 7: Essays written, art created, design and layout approved.
- May 14: Deadline for final versions of contributor essays
- May 28: Proof copies received
- June 10: Final layout approved
- June 20: Book finished and out to contributors
We are an experienced team of professional writers, so meeting deadlines is basically what we do. In the words of Friend Computer, "This mission will be very safe and lots of fun for everybody."
You can see the backer tiers over to the right, but here are some deeper details for each of the items.
- Name in Anthology -- This one is pretty straightforward. We will put your name (or somebody else's) on a thank-you page in the back of the anthology.
- Facebook Mention with Link -- A couple of times each week, we will reach out to all new backers on Facebook and thank them by name on the anthology page. If you respond to that tagged post, we will work with you to share a link of your choice (within reason) to promote, celebrate, or generally raise awareness of whatever you would like.
- Awesome Bookmark -- Three gorgeous, travel-and-rpg-themed bookmarks are already in production phases. We figure it's a fun way to give everybody something physical to remember the project by, plus (and you might not know this) you can use them to keep your place in books.
- Ebook Copy of Anthology -- Another really straightforward reward. You get a .pdf of the book. Although it will probably be finished before the print edition, we will be delivering the reward at the same time as the print copies go out.
- Print Copy of Anthology -- Your standard pre-order the book Kickstarter deal. We send you one (or more) copies of the finished anthology.
- Exclusive Adventure -- "Mischief at Half-Moon Hollow" is a fantasy adventure inspired by Jason's visits to the Batu Caves shrine in Kuala Lupur, Malaysia. It will include system-agnostic narrative description, plus notes for at least three systems that allow outside development. Those who back at the higher levels get this adventure delivered as a .pdf with printable resources to help the game run great. We will never publish "Mischief at Half-Moon Hollow" in any other format (or do some sneaky derivative piece).
In addition, we have a handful of limited rewards:
- Cartographer Cover Map -- We already have the basic concept of the cover. It will be similar to the banner here: dice and text over a map in the background. Which map is up for grabs. Want to make your campaign world forever famous on the front of a book by the likes of Eddy, Lynn, Jack, Linda, and all the rest? Be the first to bid at this level.
- Adventure Pregen Character -- That exclusive adventure will ship with six pregen characters (with both system-agnostic descriptions and stats for selected games). If you want to make one of them, you can...and the character drawing will be based on a photo of you or one of your friends.
- Participation in Web Adventure -- This summer, Jason Brick will run a session of "Mischief at Half-Moon Hollow" for six backers. We will use an online venue like Google Hangouts, Skype, or a gaming-specific option. The session will run four hours, and all attendees will receive one of the only print copies of the adventure ever to exist.
- Private Adventure Session -- Would you like a pro to run a game for your group? Back at this level, and Jason Brick will run "Mischief at Half-Moon Hollow" for your gaming group. If you live close to Portland, Oregon, he'll come to you or host at his place. If not, we'll use an online venue. Invite up to six people total for a gorram good evening. All attendees will receive the rest of the only print copies of the adventure to ever exist.
As you can see, we have some pretty epic stuff on offer for the people who help us make this happen. And even more if everybody helps us make it happen super-big...
Our $5,000 goal gives us the funds to pay our authors and give them contributor copies, get professional cover design and interior layout, do a little marketing, and handle overhead. We'd love to exceed that, and if we do we want to share the wealth with both our team and our backers.
$8,000: Upgrades for Everybody
When we reach this level of backing, all of the authors get a raise and we upgrade the interior art for the book by hiring Jeb to do individual plates for different sections.
$11,000: Companion Adventure Shenanigans
When we get here, the authors get a bigger raise, and all backers at the $20 or higher level get the companion adventure "Mischief at Half-Moon Hollow." Those who backed at a level to receive that adventure get a second exclusive adventure: "Wild Rides in Wild Places."
Got a question or comment? Message us right away. We'll also be compiling a FAQ as the questions pile up.
Risks and challenges
Two sets of challenges stand before this band of intrepid adventurers, between us and delivering the product to you.
Challenge One: There's a couple dozen of us. Any large group project has some chance of falling behind schedule, as the more people who get involved create greater risk of something stalling one piece of the machine.
Solution: We'll be doing much of our work during the campaign, so when we fund most of the work will boil down to few core team members. In Jason's last anthology, for instance, a stall with the cover designer meant delay in publication by a few months. Having the design ready to roll upon funding eliminates that roadblock.
Challenge Two: Life Intervenes. As with many Kickstarted projects, this is nobody's full-time job. It's possible that Jason, or Jeb, or Eddy, or Linda will get trapped under something heavy in the middle of our production cycle.
Solution: We're arranging pay for all members of the team, enough for them to devote dedicated cycles of their time toward completing the project on schedule. Just like with any other gig, these pros will respect their deadlines and we will deliver your books this summer.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)