About this project
Questions? Make sure to check the project FAQ!
Play Harry Dresden and his friends as they take on the cases from the bestselling Dresden Files novels in the ultimate what-if scenario—what if Harry was on the scene with allies who weren’t there in the original story?
What’s This Game?
The Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game (or DFCO) is a game where the players work together to solve cases from the bestselling Dresden Files novels in the ultimate what-if scenario! Play Harry, Murphy, Susan, Michael, and the Alphas in the first five novels, or take on Side Jobs in a random scenario generator based on the short story collection of the same name.
Play your hand, clear the board, and beat the odds in the final showdown at the end of the book. Use teamwork, strategy, and a wee bit of luck to win the day.
And yes, expansions are a possibility—but we need to get this thing funded before we can talk about those!
What’s Cool About It?
DFCO is hotter than pyrofuego and cooler than Mab in a snit. Who doesn’t want to be Harry… or Karrin…Michael…we could go on, but you get the picture. The game has plenty of in-jokes and references for Dresden fans (like the unreliable range of the Blue Beetle), but it’s accessible to people who haven’t read the books.
This is a tightly tuned, strategic, cooperative game that feels intense, vital, and a little bit risky (thanks to dice and other factors) throughout play. At 30 minutes per session, gameplay is fast-paced and down to the wire. You can learn how to play further down this page (cleverly hidden under the "HOW TO PLAY" header).
And all of this awesomeness is set off by the original novel covers and gorgeous box art by Chris McGrath, plus dynamic card art by Tyler Walpole. It's a feast for any Dresden fan, and a visual treat for folks new to the series!
What Even Is Kickstarter?
Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform. A company (that's us here at Evil Hat) puts up a project (that's the game) and asks fans (that's you) to contribute money towards making the project happen. You reserve a copy of the game and will get it before anyone else does—and along the way, you help us make sure it's the best possible Dresden Files game it can be!
If we’re going to do a Dresden game, we’re going to do it right. We’ve already poured a lot of resources into this game, and Kickstarter will allow us to go bigger and better than we could by going straight to retail. Here, we’ll cover manufacturing costs, help set print runs based on demand, boost our already hefty art budget, bring stretch goals to light, and more.
What's inside, once again, in text form:
- 1 game board
- Five 12-card player decks (Harry, Susan, Murphy, Michael, and Billy & Georgia; 60 total cards)
- Five 13-card book decks (Storm Front, Fool Moon, Grave Peril, Summer Knight, Death Masks; 65 total cards)
- One 30-card Side Jobs random scenario deck
- 13 Fate point counters (2mm chipboard, i.e., thick sturdy board game quality cardboard tokens)
- 24 one-Clue counters (2mm chipboard)
- 24 one-Hit counters (2mm chipboard)
- 8 five-Clue counters (2mm chipboard)
- 8 five-Hit counters (2mm chipboard)
- 8 Fate Dice (all translucent acrylic, 4 of them Purple/Blue and 4 of them Orange, like Bob's eyelights)
- 1 rule book (16 pages)
- Dividers, foam blocks, and card tray insert to organize your components and decks.
Card Size: The cards are 63mm x 88mm, aka "standard European poker card sized", similar to but not exactly the American poker card size of 2.5in x 3.5in.
In this game, players take on the role of Harry Dresden and his allies, investigating cases and taking on foes from the books. To accomplish this, you'll share a common pool of action points (called Fate points), and each player must choose between taking an action or generating Fate points each turn. Solve more cases than there are foes left standing to win!
Or, take just 12 minutes to learn the game with this video:
(Video not displaying for you? Head on over to YouTube!)
In short, each player plays a character from the novels (one of them is always Harry), taking on a shuffled scenario deck based on one of the books in the series. Using a combination of cards, dice, and teamwork, players attack foes, investigate cases, take advantages, and overcome obstacles to make sure they have the best possible odds for a win in the final showdown at the end of the book! Like any good cooperative game, it's hard to win (no fun if there's no challenge!), but always rewarding to play, and scales smoothly from one to five players.
The Dice Tower interviews game designer Eric B. Vogel at the GAMA Trade Show (video link):
There's also an overview of the game with designer Eric Vogel and BoardGameGeek's W. Eric Martin (video link):
Some friends of Evil Hat play a 4-player game using the prototype. Entire session of play, right here!
And here's our project manager Sean Nittner playing a solitaire game using the 1-player variant rules.
Publisher Fred Hicks lives in Maryland and occasionally does demos at local stores & elsewhere. Designer Eric Vogel lives in northern California and frequents Endgame Oakland's board game nights. Keep an eye out and you may get a chance to demo! One good place to keep an eye out is this thread on Board Game Geek (and the News section for the game in general, there): https://boardgamegeek.com/article/22374749
Stretch goals? You betcha.
THE CIRCLE OF ESSENTIALS
$48,000: FUND THE GAME (DONE!)
Our initial funding goal! It's our magic number—our summoning spell for the game. And like any spell, we had to put some real concentration and expertise into it. We looked at our projected costs for manufacture of 5000 copies of the game, plus royalty payments to Jim Butcher & Eric Vogel, and arrived at this total. (Since we're billing our shipping through Backerkit after the campaign closes, we're able to keep this magic number lower than it would be otherwise, reducing our initial funding goal by over 25%!)
$64,000: BOOST OUR ART BUDGET (DONE!)
We've invested our own money (over $20k) in this project before coming to Kickstarter; we're not looking to have you cover those costs. But we still have a ways to go before we can really have the size of art budget this game needs to truly shine. While we've created all the art we need for the player hero decks, the book decks currently rely heavily on reuse. When we fund this stretch goal, we’ll have the art budget we need to create unique Foe, Case, Advantage, and Obstacle illustrations for each book deck, rather than using the same four images for all of our book decks. That's 20 more pieces of art for the game! Plus, a funded goal means we can pay Tyler Walpole to make more art for the game!
$72,000: ART BOOST II: FOE-LECTRIC BOOGALOO (DONE!)
Once we hit our first art booster stretch, it's just a short trip to the one we really want to hit: using a common background image to make sure we don't add months to the delivery date (and keep the costs managed), we'll create a unique piece of monster/villain art for every Foe card in the game (aside from the Side Jobs, which is more generic anyway due to its randomized nature) — expanding our prior stretch goal from 20 to 36 more pieces of art (including a total of 21 individual foe illustrations in the core game).
$102,000: EXPANSION 1: FAN FAVORITES (DONE!)
Our first expansion stretch goal is titled Fan Favorites. Add just $10 to your shipping pledge to get a copy of this expansion, which includes player decks for Thomas Raith and Waldo Butters, and book decks for Blood Rites and Dead Beat. Get the details over at Update #2!
$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. Get the details over at Update #3!
$162,000: EXPANSION 3: WARDENS ATTACK (DONE!)
Our third and final expansion stretch goal, completing the circle of essentials, is titled Wardens Attack. Once funded, you can add just $10 to your pledge to get a copy of this expansion, which includes player decks for Carlos Ramirez and Anastasia Luccio, and book decks for Small Favor and Turn Coat. Get the details at yon Update #4!
THE CIRCLE OF GRATITUDE
This one's all about reducing shipping costs for everyone, and picking up a few digital and physical free exclusive benefits along the way!
There are ten stars to achieve in all, spaced roughly $20k or so apart from each other. Each star will reduce the shipping rate for everyone by $1, so when we hit the tenth star domestic shipping will be free, and international shipping will be reduced by a full $10.
There are also four stones. Each stone contains an extra special exclusive benefit, some digital, some physical. We'll detail all of the benefits below, though some may not yet be revealed.
All digital rewards unlocked will be included in the download folder available through Update #1.
$180,000 ★ (DONE)
STONE: ACHIEVEMENTS CHECKLIST
Designer Eric Vogel has gone through the game's design and come up with a series of achievements for you to strive for in your gameplay as an added challenge. Now it's not just about winning; it's about hitting those goals, too. Use it to track how you're doing taking on some of the trickiest and most thematic elements of gameplay. We'll include this in the downloads folder when you unlock the first star in the circle.
Box and game board art in full resolution will be added to the digital downloads folder.
$222,000 ★★★ (DONE)
Current book challenge art in full resolution will be added to the digital downloads folder.
$243,000 ★★★★ (DONE)
STONE: VARY HARRY, VERILY - EXCLUSIVE VARIANT CARDS
Harry's deck must be played every game, but it doesn't have to be the same every time! When this goal funds, we'll include two variant cards for Harry's deck with every backer copy of the game. These cards will replace one of his Overcome and one of his Take Advantage cards. Listen to the Whispers of Lasciel to optimize your hand, at a cost. Mock the vampires with a Cheesy Costume to Take a crucial Advantage while they're reeling from the insult. PLUS, Harry's card art in full resolution will be added to the digital downloads folder. (Details)
$264,000 ★★★★★ (DONE)
STONE: INFECT SUSAN'S DECK - EXCLUSIVE VARIANT CARDS
Infect Susan's deck with three variant Attack cards, shipping with every backer copy of the core game! These cards will replace her current Attack cards whenever you're looking to have her "vamp out." They'll make her attacks more potent, but more risky—after all, when she really goes full black-eyed-and-toothy, someone's gotta be there to help her calm down. Design and playtesting is underway, and we'll get into the details once we've validated the gameplay mechanic, but rest assured, it'll have "teeth". In addition, Susan's card art in full resolution will be added to the digital downloads folder.
$285,000 ★★★★★ ★ (DONE)
Karrin's card art in full resolution will be added to the digital downloads folder.
$315,000 ★★★★★ ★★ (DONE)
STONE: World's Fieriest - A Multiversal Cross-Over!
A new playable hero deck based on the Sentinels of the Multiverse hero Ra, God of the Sun (in a more urban fantasy oriented incarnation) will be sent with every backer copy of the game. The deck will be designed by Fred Hicks with Eric Vogel's supervision, featuring Sentinels-style art by Brian "d20 Monkey" Patterson. Big thanks to our friends at Greater Than Games for loaning us their god — sometimes one fire-slinging magical hero just isn't enough! (Details)
$336,000 ★★★★★ ★★★ (DONE)
Michael's card art in full resolution will be added to the digital downloads folder.
$357,000 ★★★★★ ★★★★ (DONE)
STONE: BIG DOG!A new playable hero deck featuring MOUSE will be sent with every backer copy of the game. PLUS, Billy & Georgia's card art in full resolution will be added to the digital downloads folder. It's a canine extravaganza! (Details)
$375,000 ★★★★★★ ★★★★ (DONE)
FOURTH STONE: PEACE TALKS PREVIEW!!!
When we fund to this level, we'll unlock our final bit of gratitude, a BIG thank-you straight from Jim — an exclusive, backers-only preview of the first chapter of Peace Talks, the next novel of the Dresden Files. We'll share this exclusive look at chapter 1 with you right after the campaign concludes in mid-May. (Details)
Curious about the backer count based stretches? Check out the update that covers it all.
Want to know about the app and the stuff that unlocked for our backers in the app because we hit $450k? Check out the update right after that one.
Shipping! Uh... Molly/Carlos! Harry/Murphy! Nicodem—wha?
Oh, the OTHER kind of shipping. Got it.
Here's what's true in all circumstances:
- We're shipping a hefty little game box here, likely to weigh in a bit over 3 pounds (~1.5kg). We're pricing it at $39.99, but we've dropped off the $0.99 for this campaign. Plus, Kickstarter doesn't do pennies.
- We're not billing the shipping during the KS campaign. This lets us focus on making sure the actual game and follow-on goals gets funded, rather than funding a whole bunch of shipping and only part of an actual game. (So please don't pre-increase your pledge for shipping. Defeats the point!)
- We'll definitely offer add-ons in BackerKit from our existing catalog, and there may be cause for you to add more things into your shipping box before this campaign is done.
There are pieces-parts to all this, so let's get into the details.
Domestic Shipping Costs
For our domestic shipping we were going to be charging a flat $10 fee, but since we hit that $375k goal, domestic shipping in the USA is free. Actual shipping costs will fluctuate for us, but once you add in packing material and handling fees from our shipping partner, we're giving everyone a small, if variable, discount on the shipping. Enjoy!
International Shipping Costs
Shipping internationally is nasty. The building is on fire, and it's not our fault! But never fear: we work with Harry, and Harry knows fire.
If you're interested in the obstacles we're overcoming to make this all work, read on.
If you just want to learn what the current rate is for your location, skip the paragraphs below and jump to the "International Shipping Rates - Current Status" section below this one.
We've got a game here that's somewhere between 3 and 4 pounds in weight. If you ask the US Post Office what it costs to ship a 3-4 pound game abroad, the answer is around $50. And that's in April 2016! By the time this game ships next year, it's entirely possible—even likely—that the rates will be higher.
(We know. We know! It's nuts. But that's what the baseline looks like. Have a look at BackerKit's shipping cost calculator to get familiar with this—skip street address, but put in Fort Wayne, IN, 46809 for the rest, that's where we usually ship from. Pick parcel as the type, and give 3 pound 1 ounce as the package weight. You'll find that's the same as 4 pounds, as far as international rates go, and... well, yeah. Ugly.)
Naturally when faced with costs that steep, we have to look for other options. We'll continue to investigate and refine our shipping strategy over the course of the campaign, from now until we're ready to launch the BackerKit, to make sure we offer the best rate we can find that will still ensure a high success rate in terms of games arriving in good shape and good time. :)
See further below to get a read on what our current rates look like! These may improve, or they might hold steady; we won't let them get worse on you, so if you're up for paying the rate indicated, there's no "gotcha" coming later on.
Or, you could wait: Assuming we hit our initial funding goal, we’ll print the game in sufficient quantities for gamestore distribution, and that includes overseas distribution where possible. You may fare better simply backing at the PARANET PREVIEWER level and waiting until the game's release. We hope you'll back us in some capacity, of course!
International Shipping Rates - Current Status
LAST UPDATED: 14 April 2016.
In all cases: If you add more games into your shipment, it will increase the shipping fee stated below by $10 per additional game (less in some lighter-weight cases).
For countries in the EU, we'll be shipping from within the EU (via UK-based shipping partner GamesQuest) so that should dodge some of the usual concerns about VAT and customs fees. We're taking care of importing the games to GamesQuest specifically to make things as EU-friendly as we can.
Canada: [Updated May 18th] We'll ship to Canada by partnering with Starlit Citadel. Our charge will be $5 (was $15 before the $375k goal's discount) to ship the game to Canada — might mean we'll eat a few dollars, but that's on us to reduce. :)
UK: Right now our best general international option for shipping is with UK-based GamesQuest, so we should be able to give a very favorable rate within the UK. Right now we're pricing this at a $5 shipping fee (was $15 before the $375k goal's discount) based on current GBP to USD conversion rates, 2kg+ shipments in the UK, and with a modest buffer for other assorted fees getting the games to the UK in the first place. If we can knock that down a few dollars we will, but we also want to make sure we're not accidentally significantly undercharging. :)
Elsewhere: There's some fluctuation here. If things settle down and even out we may be able to reduce these rates, but again, we need to make sure we're not giving away the farm.
- Greece, Malta, and Cyprus appear to have the steepest cost within the EU. Right now we're pricing this at $20 (formerly $30 before stretch discount) to ship.
- Other countries in the EU have a lower average cost. We're pricing this at $10 (formerly $20 before stretch discount) to ship, based on that average, current currency conversion rates, and other factors.
- All other international destinations including non-EU countries in Europe, as well as Australia, Central & South America, Japan, and elsewhere, will have a $20 (formerly $30 before stretch discount) shipping fee.
Again, please do not add your shipping fee to your pledge at this time. We will bill you for that a few months later, after the campaign is over. Since these numbers are not fixed in place yet, it doesn't make sense to do that for you... and because shipping fees added to the campaign during its funding phase would undermine the actual funding goals of the campaign, it doesn't make sense for us either. :)
We will use BackerKit, a service separate from Kickstarter that helps Kickstarter campaigns gather data, take additional payments, and run a tight-as-possible shipping operation. It'll also let us offer you the option to add more items to your order after the campaign is over, in case you missed anything!
We'll first spin this up a few weeks AFTER this Kickstarter campaign concludes (giving time for Kickstarter's own payment processing to settle out). You'll be emailed a "survey" link that will also give you the opportunity to make some updates to your pledge, purchase add-on items, and—importantly, for this campaign—pay for shipping. We will give you a heads-up before we send the survey so that you can watch for it. More details on that when the time is right.
For our funding to work properly here, it's important that you DON'T pay for your shipping in advance. Our funding targets are based on our costs WITHOUT shipping included. We can't spend shipping money on producing the game, and vice versa. :) So please wait until the time is right!
Add-Ons That Will Be Available Through BackerKit
We'll be offering add-ons for sure. Extra copies of the game, other funded items if we end up stretching for them, and a selection of items from our existing catalog.
Domestic backers will continue to pay nothing (formerly $10 before stretch discount) to ship their packages regardless of the items ordered.
International backers should expect an additional weight charge of $10 per non-lightweight add-on item included in your shipment. See the international shipping section for details.
At present the list is as follows.
- Dresden Files Cooperative Card Game (DFCO): $39 each.
- DFCO Expansion: Fan Favorites (Thomas & Butters): $10 each.
- DFCO Expansion: Helping Hands (Molly & Sanya): $10 each.
- DFCO Expansion: Wardens Attack (Carlos & Luccio): $10 each.
- Dresden Files Roleplaying Game: Your Story: $50.
- Dresden Files Roleplaying Game: Our World: $40.
- Dresden Files Roleplaying Game: Paranet Papers: $50.
- Fate Dice: Winter Knight set: $18
- Any other of our Fate Dice sets: $15
- Race to Adventure board game: $30.
- Race to Adventure: Dinocalypse expansion pack: $10.
- Zeppelin Attack card game: $20.
- Zeppelin Attack: Doomsday Weapons expansion: $10.
- Don't Turn Your Back board game: $40.
If there's an item from our catalog that's missing from the above list that you know you're going to want, let us know! We can add more items from our catalog, for sure.
If you know you want some of these add-ons, please feel free to add that amount to your pledge now, to help us hit our goals. (Because these games are already paid for in terms of their production, we can claim the majority of add-on revenue for the actual funding of this project.) And thanks!
- Game Design, Video Creation: Eric B. Vogel
Customer Support, Creative Direction, Graphic Design, Layout, Product Manufacture Coordination: Fred Hicks
Box & Book Cover Art: Christian McGrath
Card Art: Tyler Walpole
Editing: Karen Twelves
Business Development: Chris Hanrahan
Marketing: Carrie Harris, Tom Lommel
Project Management: Sean Nittner, Chris Ruggiero
Legal Services: Justin Jacobson
Brain in a Jar: Rob Donoghue
Voice of the Hat: Paul Tevis
- Voice of Harry Dresden: Jim Butcher
©2016 Evil Hat Productions, LLC and Jim Butcher. Based upon the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher and licensed to Evil Hat Productions. Evil Hat Productions and the Evil Hat logo are trademarks owned by Evil Hat Productions, LLC. All rights reserved.
Risks and challenges
Evil Hat is an experienced game publisher. We've produced multiple printed roleplaying games in a variety of physical formats, as well as three board games and multiple sets of dice over the past 9+ years. We also have deep experience running Kickstarter campaigns; this one is our ninth. When we say we'll deliver a game and on time, we mean it.
Evil Hat's experience puts us in a fine position to take on the risks and challenges that arise. As with any project, experience tells us a few problems and bugaboos WILL arise.
Here's what we anticipate as potential problems.
STRETCH GOALS: Our first stretch goal affects the timeline for delivery, because funding it means we'll need more time to execute on all of the art. That said, we've already added that time into the estimated delivery date for the reward tiers. If that first stretch doesn't fund, we'll be able to deliver sooner—but we're hoping it does. :)
DISTANCE: The game will be manufactured in China. Physical manufacture can always introduce complications, particularly when it comes time to ship items in bulk. The slow boat from China is a real thing! That said, we've manufactured multiple things with our chosen manufacturer, Grand Prix International, before, and we believe we have a solid handle on the time impacts here.
SCHEDULE: There's always a chance we'll be asking the printer to print the game right when their schedule gets busy—or we could end up running into Chinese New Year. While this may bump our timeframe, it will likely only be by a few weeks. If we've done our math right, there should be padding to absorb that.
MANUFACTURE: Problems can happen during the manufacturing process. Prototypes and proofs don't turn out like you'd expect. Materials and stock thought to be readily available might take longer to procure. File revisions might require a second round of prototyping. These issues, too, can create delays.
SHIPPING: Packages get lost. We'll work with you to send replacements. Our shipper may take longer than expected. We won't put the products on sale until they've shipped out all backer copies. Shipping costs can end up higher than expected. We'll absorb the overage.
FINANCES: Thanks to the success of the Dresden Files RPG and Fate Core, Evil Hat is—for the game industry—a perhaps atypically solvent game company. We've already spent tens of thousands to get this game to this point, and our bank account continues to look healthy. If an unexpected cost arises, we've got the cushion to take the hit.
If YOU can think of a risk or challenge we haven't mentioned here, please write in and ask. We love to answer questions, and we do our best to provide an unparalleled customer service experience whenever possible.
We intend to impress you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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