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Semi-Transparent spell graphics printed on clear plastic to create fantastic overlays for Tabletop Roleplaying Games.
Semi-Transparent spell graphics printed on clear plastic to create fantastic overlays for Tabletop Roleplaying Games.
319 backers pledged $20,436 to help bring this project to life.

RPG Spell Effects 2.0 - Small Updates Micro Campaign, Refunds, Spell Minis

Posted by Arcknight (Creator)
3 likes

Let me start by saying that we're still committed to making everything that we promised in this campaign. The large majority of all backers opted for the 5E Wizard pack, with increasingly less backers receiving Clerics, Druids, Bards, and PFS/PFN Wizards.

These 6 packs have been completed for some time now, and most backers have been shipped and fulfilled.

MANY additional packs are still on our list, but most of them have less than a handful of backers, or even 1 or 0 backers. We unlocked stretch goals based on the total value of the campaign, unaware of how many people truly wanted many of these tertiary packs. Once we began making the packs, we really felt that the spell text and extra touches we began adding really increased the value each pack, but also increased the amount of work involved, making it more time consuming and costly to make each pack.

For this reason, we have been offering refunds and offering to convert anyone who wishes to drop unfinished items for finished items. This will continue to be an option and we'd love to close out as many accounts as possible.

Roleplaying Spell Effects 2.0 - Cheaper and Pre-Cut

That being said, a rather simple adjustment to our "main pack" came to light based off feedback from numerous sources. We've decided to push forward with a micro campaign to modify the 5E Wizard 4-page pack into a "5E Generic" pack that may cater to most if not all 5E players, and many other RPG tabletop fans as well.

Our 2 goals were to make the pack Cheaper (4 pages down to 3, and at a set price), and make them Pre-Cut.

The concept is to simply cram as many different spell shapes onto 3 pages as possible. Since these are all simple and logical shapes (Squares, Circles, Lines, Cones, of various sizes) while it literally caters to 5E with it's spell graphic selection and spell text, the same shapes work for MOST rpgs (ignoring the text on one side).

With only 3 pages, in a single generic set, we're opting to create the 3 dies needed to die-cut these 3 pages.

I believe this new 3-Page pack may be more in line with what a lot of people wanted from the RPG Spell Effects campaign in the first place. For anyone still waiting on product, we will happily convert you to this new campaign if you'd prefer. It has only a single item listing for $30 (3 pages @ $10 a page).

If you're curious about the new campaign and would like to leave feedback, here is the working link for you to check it out;

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/arcknight/213977892?ref=17vd2l&token=e8db4aaf

Spell Minis

The Spell Minis pack from this campaign is the largest item from our remaining items. It's already been designed and drafted, and Philip has been working on the art assets in his spare time.

I don't have a real estimate, but wanted to let you know it's "next" and underway.

5E Bard photos, shipments, news

Posted by Arcknight (Creator)
2 likes

We have 5E Bard photos to show you guys! They're shipping daily, but the warehouse is a bit backed up because of the holidays.

5E Bard - Front
5E Bard - Front
5E Bard Rear
5E Bard Rear
Music and Bardic Inspiration Tokens
Music and Bardic Inspiration Tokens
Leos Magic Hut
Leos Magic Hut

Next Up! - Object Sheets

When Philip Has a moment, the next things he'll be finishing up are the single page tokens that he can do somewhat quickly:5E Generic tokens pagePF Generic tokens pageSpell Slot Tokens
Then he'll move on to the object sheets:BoatsModern CarsRoom Furnishing Pages
The next spell pack will be the 5E Paladin

Refunds + Closing out the campaign continues

When this campaign was new, Backerkit and ship station didn't have a proper way to "Split Shipping", and Stamps.com was still a thing. After split shipments became a possibility, a lot of the old records were damaged or inaccurately report a pledge to be fulfilled when only 1 portion of it has shipped.Over the last few days, I went through the 240ish backers from this campaign, and double checked whether they have any pending items, and if they did, put them on a secondary list so I can make sure I re-check them manually when each new item is finished.We also took the opportunity to send out about 50 emails to people, asking if they wanted to convert their pledge to items that are immediately available, or refund their account.We're going to proceed down the list of Classes and Spell Schools and Editions all the asme, but there's really no reason for you guys to 'wait' without goodies in your hands now. You can convert your pledge or close out your account, and when the items are finally finished, you'll get updates here and if you want them, of course they'll be easy to acquire. Since we're the manufacturer, the plan is to always keep all items available forever.

Recap of 2018

All things considered, 2018 has been a ROUGH year. The warehouse moved TWICE, our print facility moved as well causing a several month blackout in production. Philip got married, and THEN had a baby. Even now, Philip is commuting from Las Vegas to California EVERY few days, while they figure out whats next for their family and final home situation. We replaced our old busted printer, with a newer busted printer, and had to go down the list of random repairs, leaks, and god-knows what else.But, through it all, we're still here. And, theres a pretty nice light at the end of the tunnel to boot - all of that stuff is behind us! We should be looking at a pretty incredible 2019 if we can bounce back and seize the momentum.Thank you for your continued support in all it's forms, which includes the incredible amount of patience and understanding you guys have shown our little company.

The 5E Bard is in production.

Posted by Arcknight (Creator)
3 likes

Delays continue, but there's light at the end of the tunnel.

The 5E Bard is in production, while another half dozen are laid out and awaiting Philip's attention to art-up and finalize.

Philip just recently had a baby, on top of his move to Las Vegas, and his primary business working him over 60-80 hours a week. But, at least this week there was some progress and when things ease up he hopes to continue completing these packs.

The 5E Bard changed a little from it's design notes, dropping it's Rangefinder and adding a few custom graphics for a magical Tiny Hut, Bardic Inspiration Tokens, and a few other goodies.

I'll update with photos when I get them in hand.

Production Update - Unable to Print Currently

Posted by Arcknight (Creator)
2 likes

Status of Printer - Moved to Las Vegas but not yet operational

Last week we found out that power has been established for the new printer in Las Vegas, so I flew out to visit Philip and we spent monday - thursday together.

Here's the update of what happened, there was progress all around but it sure doesn't feel like it in the big picture.

1> Power was installed to the printer (yay!). But we cant start it because we need to drill holes in the wall, and run the chiller cables.

2> Chiller running! 3 internal cables are mysteriously missing, so we search for them, find 1/3 cables but not the rest. We rip the cables out of the old printer and get them installed.

3> The electrician has put a security lock on the power box for the printer's room... so there goes an evening of progress.

4> Everything has power, except the main computer terminal, which is connected through an uninterrupted power supply. We have 2x, but both of them have been unplugged/drained for a month+ during relocation. Neither will feed power. We believe after waiting 8+ hours to recharge their internal batteries, they should be live. We wait almost 4 hours Thusday night, they still won't come on, so we call it for the week.

Phil isn't available during the weekend, but is back to it Monday and by then I'm back in the warehouse in Texas. BUT, I'm flying BACK to Las Vegas October 1st - 5th.

5> It's Monday, Philip tried to run the machine again, still no power. He believes something is wired wrong, and the electrician is coming out tomorrow (Tuesday) to see if he can figure that out.

So, as we hit a stall each day, how did we make use of our time?

1> we drafted and created the framework for the Spell Minis (a very sought after set!). We've completely laid it out, and philip has about 60% of it's art from existing spell effects, doodads and graphics he's made in the past. He'll make the other 40% and then this pack will have an art showcase. We pitched this idea as "spell minis" in the past, things that are like our Flat Plastic Miniatures - they print and are are die-cut, but instead of being traditional characters they are graphics of effects, doodads, buff placers, and other status conditions that we think might be useful or convenient to be "standing".

Basics like a Holy Weapon or a Wall of Fire are certainly in there, along with spell portals, all sorts of conceptual buff markers, elemental runes, etc. Now you can say you're casting explosive runes or Bigby's Hand, and literally place down a fiery rune marker, or a giant hand marker on the table. Also if you want to "Hold Person" you could use that same hand marker next to an enemy to show that he's paralyzed, etc etc.

2> we laid out the doodad sheet for the "Boats" objects page. Another page in the concept / works for ages we never got to. Basically we're taking the Ship from our maps set, retooling the art down to the size of a smaller ship, alongside a smaller cruiser and a rowboat, and filled the rest of the space with ropes, oars, cannons, gangplank, a shark, and some "blasted holes" you can place on the ships which will overlay a flooding hull.

3> We laid out the "Modern Cars" doodads / objects page. Just a plethora of cars, motorcycles, trucks, busses, and a helicopter. B-sides are car variations, or destroyed versions of the cars.

Modern Cars
Modern Cars

4> "Room" Objects. Fantasy Furniture Overlays.

This one is interesting. We pitched it as a way to "furnish" rooms instantly with a transparent furniture overlay. We wanted to re-produce a version of our Cobblestone City map set with 3x3 and 4x4 and 3x4 "rooms" and pair that with this sheet - so you could modulate which furnishings the rooms had. However, we also wanted this sheet to stand on it's own, and be able to furnish "other" things too - like the existing map set, or even other sizes of room.

We came up with a system of right-trapezoidal pieces with "half" of a room's furnishings. By using these as-is in a smaller room, it fills a smaller 3x3 or 3x4 room with the basics. By pairing any 2 of these, you fill much larger rooms and areas.

It's coming together quite well, and isn't fully fleshed out, but they're very effective!

Fantasy Room Object Furnishings
Fantasy Room Object Furnishings

General Production Update - Lots of ups and downs

Posted by Arcknight (Creator)
3 likes

Where are the Spell Effects?

First i'd like to re-iterate that the 5E Wizard, 5E Cleric, 5E Druid, PF Wizard, PFS Wizard (round and jagged versions) have been in stock for a long time. While we promised and are creating packs for every class and every edition, and the list of packs is quite long - the bulk of orders are all finished and shipped.

Some of you have been waiting ages for product, especially if your interest was in Spell School packs Vs Class Packs. In these cases, we recommended backers switch to the Wizard pack, since the class packs have been more successful in general and you're able to use them immediately. We modified a number of orders, but I'm sure there are more. If you weren't aware this was an option, surely you should message us if you're interested in this change. 

The holdup right now is production related.

The 5E Bard, 5E Paladin, 5E Sorcerer, 5E Necromancy, 5E Illusion and a few others are finished and awaiting print. They need a final round of corrections, then have print tests, and those tests tell us how to correct the art / coloring. Then the batch prints. 

Production is heavily bogged down by 2 compounding problems, 1> the printer is damaged and continuously breaking down. We're in an endless repair cycle and 'something' is eluding us. To compensate we've changed the way were printing to accommodate the machine, which affects the speed and reliability of printing. Never before have we not been able to fix the machine by replacing the obvious parts that wear down, but in this case we've replaced all of them, multiple times, and "something else" is wrong - something we're not sure can ever be fixed.

Ironically, Philip believes that the current printing problem does NOT affect the Spell Effects themselves - but since 90% of our business is the production of Flat Plastic Miniatures, Object overlays, and other transparent items - you can imagine that when the printer is having issues everything is affected. Namely - instead of printing new spell effects, Philip is repairing / replacing the printer for the 50th time and lucky if he's getting me a few hundred sheets.

2> The production facility that we partner with is moving. It's been happening in stages, which has made their day to day operations wacky to say the least, and the "bulk move" will begin soon - and how long the actual moving and resetting of all machinery will take is largely up in the air. "In the next 30 days" or "In the next 60 days" is mentioned a lot, but I also know they're now paying rent at their new facility and they have a forced move-out date at their current location. This means that soon, everything is temporarily shutting down.

New Machinery

We're not entirely blinded by the current machine's problems. In fact, we have 2 other (newer) copies of the machine. Arcknight has purchased one itself, which is at our warehouse in Texas. And our production partner has a second much newer version awaiting to be set up after the move. On paper, this is GREAT NEWS! We're going potentially from 1 unreliable machine, to 2 reliable machines AND a backup unreliable machine, woooo. And of course the 'plan' is for me to just produce everything myself whenever I want it.

Everything has hurdles however. For them, the move is a major hurdle, which is triggered from overwhelming success that requires a bigger everything - which also means they're strapped for time in every direction. After the move we're hoping things go well and the new machine gets set up, and everything is wonderful forever. Of course, this machine is not THEIR priority, it's one of many machines and not entirely critical. I have no real say in how quickly it gets up and running, and of course any number of things can go wrong in a huge move.

For us, our Texas warehouse does not have appropriate power; its not clean AND it's not the correct 3 phase, so even if we get a power converter, a weak feed could cause damage to the new printer. So we're ALSO moving. I'm currently paying rent at a second new Texas warehouse for Arcknight, and all of our machinery is moving on the 20th of June. This new location WILL have correct 3-phase power, and many other perks - but none of it is ready. 3-phase power has been run from the street to the warehouse strip, but we have to have it drawn to our unit. Then, we can begin to set up, troubleshoot, and address a slew of problems with power, cooling and printing - not an easy process - but at the end of this road we're hoping to have an even more reliable version of our printer and completely in-house.

Refunding Dormant Orders

This is kickstarter, and in general, I'd say the audience has been overwhelmingly patient and kind. The "real question" seems to be 'will we ever get this stuff?' Yes. You will all get all the stuff. Arcknight is not going anywhere and the overall business is strong. We love these spell effects, we want to make them, and they're a big part of our future.

However, if you're tired of waiting, we completely understand. We've mentioned in the comments that we can refund / convert any orders that are outstanding. You can instead get products from our website. We can send you payment through Paypal, etc.

Digital Items

A LOT of the emails / comments we get are about the digital copies of the spell effect items. Frankly, the situation sucks. Conceptually, this isn't so hard to tackle - we take existing spell effects in print, we break the shapes into artboards, we export and name the files. Whats so hard about that!? I agree with you. Which is why I've attempted to outsource this work over 5 times now, and I can't say much other than "this project is cursed". No less than 5 times I've hired and trained someone to help me do this work, wasted significant hours getting them up to speed, paid them - of course - and had them walk away from the project before ever getting started. The most recent one was an illustrator veteran being paid a frankly absurd amount just to 'get it done' although being incredibly easy work for them.

This is the kind of work that can so easily be done over the internet, every perspective employee wants to do the work from home. I believe this is a trap and a mistake, since the job is so fluid and easy to accomplish, they languish in their duties and take advantage of the situation until it collapses, then disappear.

Overall, we call this type of work 'Art Debt'. The artwork / file processing / renaming / catalog building and other grunt work that endlessly marches forward. In hindsight, I always say 'well, I should have just done it myself!' but there's always more, and in the big picture I cannot possibly do this myself without other things suffering - which is why it needs to be outsourced.

I'm very frustrated by the lack of progress on this, but the choice is always the same, find someone new and start the process over, which puts me further behind. So we're still looking for 'that candidate' who knows Adobe Illustrator, can work quickly and independently on a relatively easy task. Artboard manipulation, exporting, renaming. Anyone with illustrator experience COULD do it. I need to find someone reliable I can pay well to do it quickly and with minimal training.