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Pixel art comic evoking the early days of console and tabletop RPGs alike; 5 updates per week.
16 backers pledged $1,000 to help bring this project to life.

About

$1,000

16

Rumors of War is an interactive webcomic where the plot exists as an outline and the characters are chosen by the audience. In a sense, it represents an idealized sort of roleplaying game where the players choose the starting point and the game master chooses the end. What remains is the journey.

The world of Rumors of War is a land of myths and legends. Gods and monsters roam the earth, meddling in the affairs of mortals, and creating the shape of things to come. Magic is a real force, ready to answer the call of any whom would see the world bent to their vision -- whether for good or ill.

The Background:

From 2010 to 2011, I produced a free, daily webcomic called Rumors of War. I stopped when the comic became too costly to continue. The webcomic is online and you can go read it right now if you'd like. Here's a link:

http://rumorsofwarcomic.com/

The Dream:

I'd like to make another webcomic. This one will be more mobile- and print-friendly -- but ultimately free and will update at least five times a week, if not daily. I'm all set to run from March 2014 to February 2015.

  • Panel + Text updates 5 days a week for 52 weeks
  • 12 largely self-contained chapters (1 per month)
  • 5 protagonists chosen by 5 backers from a pool of characters generated by hand-rolling ability scores, choosing class, etc.
  • 5 antagonists chosen by 5 backers, from the same pool
  • 1 major villain chosen by 1 backer, from the same pool

The identities of characters chosen at each reward level -- protagonists, antagonists, and villain -- will be known only by myself and the backers doing the choosing, to be revealed through the events of the story.

In the case of the protagonists, this will be immediately.

If a character is chosen at more than one level, that character will undergo a character arc and likely a dramatic Reveal when they switch sides in the conflict.

Why Kickstarter?

I've produced a daily webcomic before -- but I know I could do a lot better with help. I have a day job that takes up a lot of my time, and I have a family to provide for -- with funding I can expand the project without also worrying about making rent.

Funding Goals:

The goal is to produce a free, daily webcomic that anyone with access to the Internet, be it by PC or mobile device, can enjoy: a complete (epic!) story that will unfold over twelve months. Backers pledging $100 or more will receive *color* print compilations after the comic's run, even if I have to print and bind the silly things by hand.

Stretch Goals:

I'll see about getting a cool graphic to represent the stretch goals.

  • $2,250 - Double Weekly Updates - I will double the number of weekly updates from five to ten.
  • $3,750 - Triple Weekly Updates - I will triple the number of weekly updates from five to fifteen.
  • $5,500 - Novel Adaptation - At the conclusion of the comic's run, I will write a novel adaptation, and I will make it available as a free ebook to all backers.
  • $7,500 - Rumors of War remake - I will remake the original comic using the new format, which will not only make it more mobile-friendly, but more print-friendly. That's TWO free webcomics.
  • $10,000 - eBook Duology - I will adapt the comic to produce an epic tale told in two books. I can incorporate more of the comic's content, and cut less.
  • $13,000 - Tabletop Roleplaying Game - I will produce a PDF version of the tabletop RPG the comic is based on, and make it available for free to all backers.
  • $16,500 - eBook Trilogy - I will expand the novelization to three books. Including previous goals, we're talking two webcomics and three ebooks.
  • $20,500 - PC Roleplaying Game - I will make an RPGMaker VX game (PC only) set in the Rumors of War universe available to all backers for free as a download.
  • $26,000 - Mystery Goal - Mystery goal is mysterious.

Risks and challenges

You can go to my website and see that I've made a daily webcomic before. I'm prepared to write the entire story before it launches in March 2014. In fact, I can provide the entire thing to a backup writer in the unlikely event of MY DEATH.

So the risks to you are minimal, though I will have to admit that I've experienced hosting problems in the past. The website code has broken on occasion, but it never took more than a couple days to fix before.

If we hit stretch goals like double/triple updates, that might not translate to 2/3 updates per day. It might be five updates one day, three another, and so forth. I will try to make them regular and consistent because I'm a perfectionist.

If we hit the novel stretch goals, you can rest assured I will start writing the books before the comic is completed. It's just that I might not know exactly how to finish them before the comic is over. Ebooks will be made available after the conclusion of the webcomic, allowing for a minimum of three months between books for edits/rewrites.

Rumors of War remake. The majority of the content is there -- in fact, I planned about five years in advance, though I only completed about 16 months' worth -- but will need to be rewritten for the new format. Anyone who gets in on the book reward level will also get these when they're compiled.

Print versions. This specific fundraiser will only cover production of the web format. I will need to hold separate fundraisers for producing print books, which will require at least one year after the comic's run to layout, print, and ship.

Compilations however, will NOT be dependent on the success of a future fundraiser. That would be lame. I will produce the compilations out of pocket if I have to, just to make sure they deliver on time.

Tabletop/PC RPGs. These are projects I have been working on for a while and are presently moving at a glacial pace because I lack the resources to devote to completing them. I've done all the hard parts, and what both of them need is playtesting.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Your support means a lot to me, I mean like, a LOT a lot. If a thousand people got together and each gave me a dollar, I would know that a thousand people wanted to see this project succeed. Which is why I will make each of my stretch rewards available to EVERYONE who pledges at least a dollar to the project.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Panel dedication. I will dedicate to you, or the person of your choice, one panel of the comic. If you don't want to choose a panel, I can always pick one for you.

    The message will be along the lines of, "this panel brought to you by, <insert name>! Many thanks!"

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    Pledge $12 or more About $12

    Digital compilations (includes above rewards). You'll receive a PDF compilation of the comic, collected quarterly and made available as a download. You can still read it online for free, but now you won't have to! Each compilation should be expected about month after the completion of the third chapter in each arc.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Video thank-you (plus previous rewards). I'll make a video thanking everyone by name who contributes $15 or more. I'll make it alphabetical so it's easier to find at which point in the video I thank you.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Suggestion box, plus previous rewards. If you pledge $20 or more, I'll keep an open line for you to throw ideas my way for the comic (e.g. if a protagonist dies, you suggest a way they might return, or a character to replace them).

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    Pledge $24 or more About $24

    Project t-shirt (includes previous reward levels)! In addition to the other stuff like the video thank-you and the panel dedication, you'll receive a t-shirt for supporting the Kickstarter project.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Select protagonist. (Includes previous reward levels.) The first five backers to pledge $25 or more will get to choose one of five protagonists from a pool of candidates I generate. There's no guarantee a character will survive the comic's run -- but that's part of the fun.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Catalogue of names! (Includes previous, non-limited rewards!) Your name will be added to a list of contributors which will persist for as long as the comic does -- maybe longer! I will also use your name as inspiration for future characters, magic items, and place names!

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Select antagonist. (Includes previous non-limited reward levels.) The first five backers to pledge $45 or more will get to choose one of the principal antagonists from a pool of candidates I generate. There is a very strong chance they will die at the hands of a protagonist, so choose wisely!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Project dice (includes previous, non-limited rewards). Everyone could use more dice! In addition to previous reward levels, you'll receive commemorative dice just for supporting the project. These will come in handy if we can make the RPG stretch goal.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Select villain. (Includes previous non-limited reward levels.) The first backer to pledge $60 or more will get to choose the comic's major villain from a pool of candidates I generate. The villain will present a danger to the success and livelihood of the heroes, and will be introduced about halfway through the comic. This character is VERY likely to die at the hands of the protagonists.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Heroes of another story. Up to five backers pledging $75 or more will choose characters to be removed from the character pool to serve as the heroes of a parallel story. This will not be another webcomic but will likely appear in the pages of a future, unspecified novelization. How the parallel story plays out will depend entirely on the characters chosen, and will be referenced in the main storyline.

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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    Mysterious stranger. One backer pledging $90 or more will select a character from the pool to function as a mysterious stranger or benefactor. Is this character a god in disguise? It is up to the backer to choose whether the character in question will serve as a force to help or hinder the protagonists.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Print collection (includes previous non-limited rewards)! You'll receive a printed compilation after the comic has completed its year-long run, whether it ends up being one book or twelve. The estimate is based on the year-long comic run plus up to one additional year for layout, print, and shipment of the *first* book.

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Funding period

- (30 days)