The Last 60 Hours and the 5e Catch-22
We're down to the final 2-1/2 days of The Blight Kickstarter, and we've not only funded recently but have been smashing through stretch goals.
We're now over $85,000 and seriously eyeing that $100,000 stretch goal where The Blight suddenly becomes a 5e print product! But here's the rub:
There are a lot of 5e fans that are still not ready to commit to a print version of the book until they're sure that there will be a print version of the book, and there can't be a print version of the book until there are enough 5e fans that are committed.
So that's our Catch-22. And I don't think that the 5e fans that are on the fence have unreasonable concerns. I mean, unless you'd like another version of the print book just as much and would be content with a 5e pdf, then that's a lot of money to invest in the possibility of hitting the goal. I fully understand.
But this is the point where we really need you to step up so we can get there. And if at the end of the campaign it appears that we are coming up short, then by all means reduce your pledge accordingly. You can do that at any time prior to when the Kickstarter ends. But we really need you right now so that other 5e fans can see the trending as well.
Remember, this product was written before 5e was released. So we didn't originally have the option of writing/releasing it as a 5e book and had never intended to make such a massively huge and expensive book as a test-case of the 5e market. But the overwhelming demand of 5e fans feeling slighted or disappointed that we had not included them in The Blight showed us what you wanted and made us put our money where our mouth is. So we committed early on to doing a 5e conversion of The Blight and including it's pdf in the campaign. Doing this is not free. At 550,000+ words that is A LOT of paid editing and conversion work that we can't back out of once it has been contracted. And FGG is not a massive company that can just thousands of dollars here or thousands of dollars there on a whim without the risk of it hurting our bottom line very badly.
We have mentioned previously in our comments that even though the KS funding goal for this project was $75,000, even from the start, before adding the additional expenses we really needed about $78,000 to reach the break-even mark for the costs associated with producing this book; we just thought that $75,000 was already so high and didn't want to cause any fans or potential backers to be dispirited by the daunting level of the goal and left it at $75,000 as a result. That means that $78,000 was the first time that Richard Pett actually sees any direct payment for the writing of The Blight since we entered into a royalties deal with him. With the addition of the 5e conversion expenses, we're probably realistically just now reaching the level of profitability where Richard and FGG make any money on the book. That's why we had to make the 5e print stretch goal so high, because it adds to substantially to the cost of the project.
Right now we've got 62 backers sitting at the $1 pledge level. I suspect that a very significant portion (if not virtually the entire group) are 5e fans who are waiting to see if the $100,000 goal is reached. If those 62 fans increased their pledge to the $135 print copy level, that would push our funding up over $93,000. We've got 148 backers at the pdf-only level. Some percentage of them (maybe half?) are likely 5e fans waiting to see if we reach $100,000 before committing to the print version. If between a third and a half of them increase their pledge to the $135 print copy level, we're already over $100,000. And none of that includes the myriad add-ons and stretch goals that are available to the 5e fans as well. Plus the already-a-print version-for 5e of the Monster Book that becomes available as soon as we hit the $92,000 stretch goal.
I think you can see where I'm going with this. And I'm primarily addressing our 5e fans here, that great horde of fanatic gamers whose faces and names are only now beginning to come into focus as FGG takes these early tentative steps into a market that officially only opened yesterday. We love you guys, and we want to make the books that you like. Just like we do for our long-standing PF and S&W fans. We have committed and made the investment in you. We don't want to trick you, and we don't want to cheat you. If the $100,000 goal isn't going to be met then we want you to reduce your pledges so that you don't get stuck with a product that you don't want. FGG is all about our customers, and once you've been on board with us a little while or have had a chance to talk to some of our current customers you'll see that. But we are asking a favor of you. We've committed; we're all in here. The Blight 5e is happening whether in pdf or pdf and print. What we're asking is that you take a chance on us as well and make the leap. We need you to make it to the golden $100,000 goal. We need you to pledge for the $135 level. We need you to buy any add-ons that look interesting to you. We need you to spread the word to all those 5e fans out there that we don't know yet and don't know who Frog God Games or Necromancer Games are. We need your help, and now is the time to do it if we're going to make it.
We sincerely thank you for all that you've already done and the faith that you and all our existing fans have already placed in us. We're just asking you to help us get over this last hurdle and make this book a 5e print reality.