Funded! This project was successfully funded on March 21, 2010.

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A collaborative project between designers, illustrators, and patrons to prove the power of self-publishing in the niche market of roleplaying games.

One of the problems facing the small-press, indie roleplaying game industry—and in particular, the illustrators who want to work in it—is that it is a very niche industry, with traditionally small print runs and low margins. As such, it is very difficult for publishers to pay illustrators a decent rate. Many illustrators are faced with the choice of either underselling their illustrations by 50% or more, or simply moving on to less interesting work. As you might imagine, a lot of illustrators, given the choice, would love to be working within the fantasy, sci-fi, and comic book genres—but they can make more money working with more standard fare. As a further result, many small-press roleplaying books suffer from a lack of quality art, which impacts the fans of the genre.

The Patrons of the Monstrous Arts project will use a fantasy roleplaying “monster manual” as a test case for patronage funding of the publisher’s art budget: Dedicated fans make an early commitment to the work, specifically by funding the art budget to increase the number and quality of illustrations the work will contain. The patrons benefit from a final work that has more original, high-quality illustrations than a typical small publisher can afford; the publisher benefits from a better-looking final product; and last but certainly not least, the illustrator benefits from a more reasonable rate for his work.

The barriers between creatives and their fans are lower than ever. The patronage project may be the final piece of the puzzle for independent game designers looking to break free from the traditional publishing and distribution model. The game designer creates the written work, illustrated from an art budget funded by the most dedicated fans, uploads the finished PDF to an electronic vendor or print-on-demand service, and the end customer orders the book, one copy at a time, delivered directly to his door. This is a remarkable difference from the old-guard publishing model, where a monolithic game company with a huge budget and a huge staff prints tens of thousands of dead-tree books and ships them all across the world to sit on bookstore shelves, until they finally reach the end of their life in the cluttered remainder bins of small hobby stores.

The final work will be a roleplaying game supplement for the Trailblazer RPG, published by Bad Axe Games.

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45
Backers
$2,322
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  • Pledge $10 or more
    You selected

    4 backers

    As a patron at this level, you will receive a copy of the electronic (PDF) version of the final work, in addition to showing your support and solidarity with small-press game publishers, illustrators, and like-minded fans. Your name will be listed in the credits of the book along with other patrons (if desired).

  • Pledge $25 or more
    You selected

    18 backers

    As a patron at this level, you will receive a copy of the PDF, as well as a personally signed copy of the final printed work. Your name will be listed in the credits of the book along with other patrons (if desired). Because you're getting a printed copy as a reward, this is basically a pre-order of the book.

  • Pledge $50 or more
    You selected

    9 backers

    You will receive a PDF copy of the book in addition to a personally signed copy of the final printed work. In addition, these patrons may specify one monster (chosen from the list of monsters in the System Reference Document) to ensure that your favorite monster is illustrated. Your name will appear as a patron on that page, in that specific monster's entry, as well as in the credits of the book (if desired). (This reward is offered on a first come basis, so we will work with you to find an alternate monster for you to sponsor, if necessary.)

  • Pledge $75 or more
    You selected

    10 backers

    You will receive a copy of the PDF as well as a signed copy of the final printed work. In addition, patrons at this level can work with the game designers and the illustrator to create a unique, personalized NPC, monster, or templated monster. (Certain editorial controls enforced: Pun-Pun need not apply.) Our game designers will work with you to polish up your NPC or monster entry, ensure that it is balanced and ready to play, and help you choose a name for your creation. Your name will be listed in the credits in a place of honor as the designer of your own personal monster.

  • Pledge $150 or more
    You selected

    3 backers All gone!

    As one of only three patrons at this level, you'll receive everything listed in the $75 entry, but your printed copy of the book will be one of the first "proof copies" hot off the presses. A keepsake, to be sure, but this also means you'll have your copy in hand before it is available in general release. Who knows? We might even screw up and have to make some changes, making your Proof copy a unique collector's item!

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Funding period

- (60 days)