Share this project


Share this project

Play Harry Dresden & his friends in this tense, strategic co-op card game from Evil Hat, based on Jim Butcher's NYT bestselling novels!
Play Harry Dresden & his friends in this tense, strategic co-op card game from Evil Hat, based on Jim Butcher's NYT bestselling novels!
8,616 backers pledged $549,486 to help bring this project to life.

You — What? How? I Just Can't Even... WOW!

Posted by Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions (Creator)

So, I wake up today and I'm flabbergasted. (Flabberghasted? Hm, no. But I am visited by a Flabberghast! Sounds like some kind of Nevernever threat. Spooooky.) 

  • We've broken $100k in 33 hours of campaign-time!
  • You hit the Expansion #1 Fan Favorites stretch goal at $102k while I was getting the kids ready for school!
  • You are so, so enthusiastic while I am still so, so sleepy! (Yaaawn...Well, at least that's one of us with a ton of energy right now.)

No Excuses This Time, Hicks

Yeah, that's fair. I'm awake. I'm awake! I promise.

You Were Pretty Confusing About The Expansion Pricing, Fred

I didn't mean to be! But I should've been clearer, it's true.

An expansion for DFCO contains 2 player decks, 2 book decks, and some additional Side Jobs cards. That's a single thing. That single thing is priced at $10

(It's not $10 per deck within the expansion despite my apparent best efforts to make it look like that might be the case — holy smokes, that would just be horribly overpriced!)

And now that the Fan Favorites expansion has been funded, all you need to do to make sure you'll get it is add $10 to your current pledge level, as described on the last update

After the campaign is over, when we launch the BackerKit a few months from now, we'll give you the opportunity to explicitly select the expansion, but you don't need to do that now. Allocating the funds with your pledge will sure help us reach our goals, though!

How Come The Expansion Isn't Free?

It's a separate product with a separate price. We're extending the product line, and we need to do that sustainably, which means we can't take actions that will undercut the price of the game and its expansions for retailers. 

As a game company we absolutely need to keep our retailer relations healthy; they're our lifeblood outside of crowdfunding, constituting a significant majority of our company-sustaining income. It's smart business and it's smart for the future of the Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game. 

Plus, giving away real products with real prices for free could run into some serious contractual problems with our license for the Dresden Files. 

So, we've got a lot of motive to play this smart, as much fun as it would be to do this for free. For now we're gonna run the campaign that makes for the best, most stable & well-deployed product launch possible. A strong entry into retail will serve the game, the designer, Jim Butcher, us, and, ultimately, you better as it will increase the chances we'll eventually be able, in later months & years, to do more for this game than the Kickstarter alone enables. The books will keep coming, and we'd like the game to keep coming too if at all possible!

All the Same, Aren't You Asking For Too Much?

Well, let's look at this first $100k.

$10-12k's set aside for payment processing fees (3-5%) and Kickstarter's cut (5%) and setting up BackerKit (1-2%).

$25k or so is set up for the combined designer & author royalties.

Art budget (especially with the extensions and all you funded yesterday), including licensing existing works, etc, gets us up into the $20k-or-so range as I recall.

So let's say out of that $100k, $60k is pretty easily quickly spent already. That leaves us with $40k to produce, manufacture, and deploy two new products to fulfillment centers, before we can start shipping those things to you. 

Not to mention, the more backers we pick up, the greater the likelihood we'll need to increase the size of our print run of the core game at the very least, so we need to pad in some $ in our goals to account for the increase in capacity of manufacture. We're starting at a minimum print run of 5000 units per product. With over 2400 backers, almost entirely focused on shippables, nearly half of that minimum run is already claimed, and it would be sheer folly for us to hit distribution with only a couple thousand copies available. So we've gotta increase our manufacturing costs to accommodate.

So, with an eye on making sure we don't harm Evil Hat in the process, so the company can actually be there to get your games to you (and make new ones), I think our pricing is pretty much on point. If you disagree, that's fine! But I've got the checkbook and the bank account and so I've gotta make these decisions, even if it makes a few people unhappy. :)

Well Jeez, Will We Be Getting Anything For Free Here?

The digital print & play files? 

Free hugs next time you see me?


Well, here's the thing. The current "circle" you see on our campaign front page, with all the stretch goals, is what I like to think of as the circle of essentials. (In fact I'm gonna label it as such when I update it after posting this update.) Before we launched, we weren't sure we were gonna hit all of the goals on that circle, so it's the only circle shown; the only one we felt certain of. After yesterday's performance... well, it sure looks a lot more likely we'll complete the circle, and summon the full product line (fingers crossed that's not a statement full of hubris). Still, for the health of the product line it made and continues to make sense to focus on those essentials first, before we get to some extra fun stuff.

We definitely have some extra fun stuff ahead. Some added benefits for everyone. Maybe even a few more cards or even full decks. But that's in a second circle of goals (the "circle of gratitude") which we'll get into then, after the first one is complete.

If you're not willing to back simply on the potential for us getting to that second circle, hey, I get it. You don't have to! But maybe consider "starring" the Kickstarter and coming back when there's 48 hours left to see where we're at, if you're more oriented on getting second-circle stuff instead of the more essential (to us) first-circle stuff we're currently working on.

Speaking of that first circle, I've updated the graphic.

Hunka burnin' hunka!
Hunka burnin' hunka!





I See A New Stretch Goal! Speak Of It Now, Mortal, Lest Ye Vex Us!

Ack! You're — my apologies, Winter Lady. I had no idea you were a backer. Let me get right to that.

Our next stretch goal at $132,000 is the Helping Hands Expansion!

With new book decks Proven Guilty and White Night, you'll get even more variation in your options for play. As a pair of decks, these ones are particularly interesting in the Showdown, where you'll only get to spend Fate and roll for either Cases (in Proven Guilty) or Foes (in White Night). If you want to defeat your Foes or clear your Cases, you'll need to do so before you get to the respective Showdowns. And that's just the added challenge of the Showdowns for this deck — each one has its own new challenges, obstacles, and card interactions to give a different texture of play, as every scenario deck does.

But, you're probably most excited about the new character decks. And these ones are great! Both have an interesting relationship to the core game's Michael Carpenter deck.

Sanya's deck has a Hand of Hope Stunt that pulls a case close and adds clues to it — a kind of inverse of Michael's Stunt that knocks a foe far away and adds hits. It's that moment in the novel when Sanya shows up, helps an injured Harry get up on his feet, and says something Russian and profound that triggers a breakthrough on the case. And as the Knight of Hope, Sanya'sTalent offers a simple but powerful benefit of increased Fate Point payouts when discarding for fate, helping everyone on the team breathe just a bit easier.

Molly Carpenter's deck, meanwhile, mirrors her dad's in another way: like Michael's Talent, hers must be "readied" by a discard before it can be used. On a subsequent turn, you can flip the readied card back over to alter one of the dice you roll when you play a card. About half of Molly's cards involve a dice roll of one kind or another, so this is a powerful engine for optimizing your plays. But perhaps even more potent is her stunt, which lets you copy another player's currently-unused stunt! Need to double up on Harry's foe-finisher or Karrin's fate-harvester? Maybe summon an extra (if illusory) pack of werewolves to chew on injured foes, or get your Toe-Moss on to play the top card of your deck? Grasshopper is here to to help. Whatever your team can do, she can do — the power of a Talented Holomancer

Speaking from personal experience, both decks are a ton of fun to play and add exciting new options and strategies as you take on your scenario of choice.

What's Next?

After this stretch goal? Jeez, can't we get to that later? I bet you've detected a pattern, though... and don't worry, one of the characters in the next one knows how to make this look good.

Some of you have asked if we can preview the expansion content in more detail. Right now that's tricky. The art for the expansions is currently underway, and with the rights being murky for some of the placeholder art we've used in our prototyping, we're reluctant to put a preview in front of you right now. Rather than invest a bunch of time in going in and stripping out the placeholder art, we're figuring on sharing the more detailed preview with you once we've got the art for each expansion in. That may mean some of this will come to you in updates after the campaign is over, but hey, that'll also make sure we're checking in with y'all regularly and getting you updates on the whole thing's progress, so that's a kind of win. What's the line Harry uses with Molly? Ah, right — patience, Grasshopper.

And that's it for today's update. We've cleared a ton of goals already, coming so far so very, very fast. We've got our feet planted and just two more components to complete before the circle of essentials is complete. And who knows, maybe we'll clear both of those in super-short order! I sure hope that's the case. I have things... such wonderful things... to show you yet.

Thanks so much for your support. We simply wouldn't be making this all happen without your help. Team Dresden is awesome. Parkour!

I said, PARKOUR!
I said, PARKOUR!
Sheryl Olszewski, Robert Huss, and 42 more people like this update.


Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions 13-time creator

      Kristina - Parse it this way "You can add just $10 to your pledge assuming that what you've pledged for is one that ships, and isn't the $10 digital-only non-shipping pledge"

    2. Kristina Pry on

      "$132,000: EXPANSION 2: HELPING HANDS (DONE!)
      Our second expansion stretch goal is titled Helping Hands. You can add just $10 to your shipping pledge to get a copy of this expansion, which includes player decks for Sanya and Molly Carpenter, and book decks for Proven Guilty and White Night"

      Is that a typo and shipping doesn't belong in there, or is there actually a way to add the $10 to the shipping pledge?

    3. Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions 13-time creator

      "Looking forward to getting this on our shelves!!" — We can't wait either!

    4. Chris Sanderson

      "Is there a way to add on expansion decks at the retailer level or is this something we'll need to wait for regular distribution for?" - Yes! Just add $5 to your reward tier for each expansion unit you want to order."

      Yeap that sold me. Looking forward to getting this on our shelves!!

    5. J.R. Riedel on

      Thanks for clarifying!

    6. Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions 13-time creator

      @J.R. Riedel - I think I answered that on the campaign page but it's a LOT of text so might be hard to find. I already added the schedule padding into the delivery dates for the project! If we hadn't hit the art expanding stretch goals, we probably could've delivered the game (with its heavy reuse of art) by Christmas of this year. For once, I'm glad we're gonna be missing Christmas. :)

    7. Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions 13-time creator

      @Randy Lander - "Is there a way to add on expansion decks at the retailer level or is this something we'll need to wait for regular distribution for?" - Yes! Just add $5 to your reward tier for each expansion unit you want to order. You'll be given the option in backerkit to allocate those funds to the specific ones, once we're go for launching that.

    8. J.R. Riedel on

      I'm surprised this hasn't been asked yet, or perhaps I simply didn't see it, will the expansions have any impact on the delivery date? Will we get things before they hit retail?

      It doesn't make a whole lot of difference to me, but I'm seeing a lot of complaints around that in a few other projects I backed.

      And it looks like I need to add another $10 shortly! :)

    9. Randy Lander on

      I've backed at the retailer level and I know at least two, quite possibly all, of my customers will also want the expansions. Is there a way to add on expansion decks at the retailer level or is this something we'll need to wait for regular distribution for?

    10. Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions 13-time creator

      I prefer the phrase Jeff Tidball used to describe me once, with great accuracy: "pathologically transparent."

    11. Andrew Suarez on

      Ow... ow... my arm really hurts... fine, I am all in. Pledged at the $69 level.

      By the way, thanks for all the information, Fred, as an accountant, I am always interested in the numbers behind things. You are being remarkably candid about everything.

    12. Bernardo A. Gonzalez on

      Thanks Fred / Eric. I'm all in. Take care

    13. Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions 13-time creator

      Not at all rude, I understand the nature of enthusiasm. :)

      More cards in the book deck would break some of the intricate interdependencies of the cards.

      Some sort of carry-forward benefit between books would, similarly, probably hurt the game by shifting it too much towards easier. (I could see a few ways to houserule something lightweight, tho, like the group earning a 'reroll token' when they beat a book; they can spend an accumulated reroll token on a later book to reroll one toss of the dice. But even that might be too kind!)

      Playtesting wise, our three expansions were developed and playtested alongside the core game so it's overall pretty tight. Eric is also... not wired to let something out of the lab unless it really *really* passes muster.

    14. Eric B Vogel on

      Which reminds me, I need to get some thank you gifts for my marathon playtesters.

    15. Eric B Vogel on

      Yes, all the planned expansions for this KS were playtested along with the base game. This game was playtested A LOT. I did some 12 hour playtesting sessions that I planned like a series of experiements to allow me systematically assess game balance. On the subject of game balance, that is why the book decks do not have extra cards. These books decks are so finely balanced that I wasn't able to do that without spoiling the balance (I tried it, believe me). I found in playtesting that the game was fun when it was close, and not when it was easy or impossible. So that was my priority, ensuring a close game every time. Even the randomized order of the 12 book cards creates quite a bit of game-to-game strategic variance within any given book.

    16. Bernardo A. Gonzalez on

      Thanks Fred. I'm not trying to be disruptive or offensive. I hear what you say on the Book decks, my suggestion, was to add more cards to a book so that not all the cards in a particular book are used (however, to be honest, i'm not a designer, so I might be totally out of my depth). On the play testing, my concern is if that expansions usually do not have the same level of scrutiny that core games. I've backed a bunch of games at Kickstarter, and to be honest, many of them did require a second level of verification (again, out of my depth :) ). On the Campaign mode, is there, for example, something that can transcend from one game to another (maybe a little bit of deck building ala Pathfinder Adventure Card Game)? Again, sorry if I came across as rude or anything, not my intention

    17. Missing avatar


      Campaign mode is just where you play the book decks through in order, repeating each one until you win it if necessary. So you play a game with Storm Front, if you win you go on to Fool Moon, if you lose you replay that one, and so on. I don't think there are any extra rules to it beyond that.

      @Bernardo, I'm not involved, so I can't be sure, but from a couple of comments Fred and Eric have made around the internet, it sounds like they playtested these initial expansions along with the base game, so the gameplay should be balanced with them too.

      And I think most of your other questions can be answered by watching the demonstration of play and reading the pdf of the rulebook. :)

    18. Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions 13-time creator

      Book decks - All the cards from a book deck are in play when you set up a scenario. Our testing has shown that the many many different ways the cards can end up on the board provides all the necessary variation the game needs.

    19. Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions 13-time creator

      Playtesting - All of the game is extensively playtested. What you're seeing right now in the Update #1 is the results of 20 or more iterative prototypes and hundreds of game sessions. Any variants or freebies will get playtested for a couple months at least, using our established internal processes. If we think there's any potential breaking edge case, we'll make sure to call it out.

    20. Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions 13-time creator

      Climax in the gameplay - Not sure how the "Showdown" phase doesn't qualify, and the Showdown is definitely in the video(s).

    21. Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions 13-time creator

      Campaign mode - It's already mentioned in the rules, but it's no more complicated than doing the books in order, and not moving on to the next book in sequence until you've played a game where you beat the prior one. One of my playtests did this; 4 players, 4 hours, we played 9 total times and got through 4 books.

    22. Kaarchin on

      Molly \o/

      And what? Campaign mode? Where have you seen that Bernardo? That's interesting.

    23. Bernardo A. Gonzalez on

      Thanks for the update. Once concern (maybe small). Seeing the video, the game mechanics seem to be tight with strong focus on tension. One problem, in my experience, with Kickstarter is that sometimes, with the idea to entice more backers, expansions/promos start flying around, and this tend to 'break' the game. What kind of play test are you guys doing to try to mitigate this? In addition, you said there is a campaign mode? Can you expand on this? Third, one thing that lacked on the video is a climax on the gameplay, from what I saw, (a bug monster, or a big case, or something), are you guys planning to build this into the game? Lastly (for now :)), I saw that all 'book' cards are used to build the board, is this by design? or is there are more 'book' cards and only a subset are use to build the board? this can add further variability to the game. I understand that there are cards that depend on others, that's fine, the composition of a single board can be build following some rules (if this card is added then add this other, or shuffle only a subset of cards etc...). TO be honest, I love the books (you got me with 'Dresden Files'. I'm hoping the game is balanced and as good as it can get. Thanks in advance.

    24. James Louis Friery on

      My money's on Justine for the next expansion pack. She makes anything look good

    25. J.R. Riedel on

      I wish more campaigns would charge for unlocked expansions as opposed giving them away. Its why so many of them run into trouble!

      I'm kicking up my pledge for the first expansion now. I expect to kick it up for the second tomorrow ;)

    26. Derek Rauch on

      Gotta make it to Sonya and Molly :)

    27. Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions 13-time creator

      As covered in the above update, tho not by name, it's MSRP for the reasons given. We'll find other ways for thanking folks once we get to the second circle that don't involve undermining retail price.

    28. Leo Lalande on

      Yup, I've done the same as many others and just increased my pledge to $69 for all expansions now. This campaign achieving all of those expansion stretch goals is practically a certainty.

      I am curious to know what the MSRPs are on the base game and the expansions. Are we, as backers paying MSRP on this stuff, or are we getting a preferential "thanks for being a backer" price?

    29. Chris McKee on

      $69 it is. Was just going to up it $10 each time, but why wait. Thanks for the great work! My friends and I are just about to start our second Dresden rpg soon and have had a great time with the game. Looking forward to the next circle...

    30. Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions 13-time creator

      Inasmuch as the stuff I'm talking about will have a cost that you won't be individually charged for: fits the definition of free.

      I get where you're coming from, but neither will I accept that I misspoke.

    31. Missing avatar

      Bernd Lindenberger

      It sounds a little strange to me, when a kickstarter creator tells me something about gettings things for free.
      Backers pay the full price about a year ahead ( at least - most projects are notorious late) to
      help start production.
      So getting some extra cards or a bonus as a strech goal is more a compensation for this than getting anything for free.

    32. Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions 13-time creator

      Max is three, as seen in the comments further below. :)

    33. Dylan Baldanza

      Can I just know the max amount of possible expansions during the campaign so I can up my pledge to $39+($10×That) and in advance just say "I would like one of everything, please?"

      This game is just fantastic and I'm anxiously awaiting it already.

    34. Craig McCallum on

      Ok you got me - in for all of the expansions (hey, I need to make paying for shipping more worthwhile somehow - that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it).

      Thanks for the breakdown on where all that first $100k goes... It's interesting to know if nothing else.

    35. Sarah Reed

      Thanks so much for explaining the expansions and that there will be 3. I've increased my pledge to include all three to hopefully help us get there faster!

    36. Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions 13-time creator

      Oh gods, Linda! Take care of yourself first!

    37. Linda Alcorn-Burg on

      I'm so happy, so very very happy. I do not regret waiting to get my medications in order to back this kickstarter. I'll just borrow meds money from my savings.

    38. Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions 13-time creator

      anoo - I love you, man.

    39. Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions 13-time creator

      Jesse Pudewell got it right in the main comments stream. Reproducing that comment here:

      If you want just the game - 39 bucks.
      If you want the game + Fan Favorites - 49 bucks.
      If you want the game + Fan Favorites + Helping Hands (provided HH is unlocked) - 59 bucks.
      If you want the game + All 3 Expansions (provided all are unlocked) - 69 bucks.

    40. Ryan (attacker of darkness) on

      You don't get to buy this game by sending in bottle caps. :-p

    41. Carol Brady on

      You mean people are actually asking why they have to pledge more to get the expansions? Sheesh. Games like this don't grow on trees. I'm so happy to support Evil Hat and the production of MOAR DRESDEN!!!!

    42. anoo

      Free hugs?! Ok, I'm in, but I don't want to hear any "cut it out dude, people are watching!" or "no more, that's really awkward." Seriously though, count me in for the expansions, I know this stuff ain't free to print, or cheap to organize (much less conceive and create!). Good luck!

    43. Bryn on

      So, just to be 100% clear, if we want both the Thomas/Butters expansion AND the Sanya/Molly expansion, we need to pledge +$20, right? (Thanks!!)

    44. Missing avatar

      Andrew Brannan on

      So, ~2,500 backers adding $10 to their pledges each time you announce an expansion = ~$25,000 to the pledged total each time you announce one. With only $30,000 in gap between expansion stretch goals, those will likely get knocked out in short order, even if not everyone goes in for each expansions.

      I'm just sayin' you'd best prep a lot of stretch goals.