Off the Beaten Path, City Excursions – Project Overview
A minimum of twenty single- or double-page city excursions to use as side quests or stand-alone adventures for your Fantasy RPG. There are over twenty-five pages of encounters to be found within cities and towns. As your players' characters travel through large settlements, they will come across gangs, sewer creatures, evil warlords, basement baddies, and more! These adventures are a great way to add additional encounters during travel or to handle an unexpected change in direction!
Two Options: designed as System Neutral or specifically for Swords & Wizardry.
Excursions started as a Patreon project – I created and delivered 5-6 adventures digitally to subscribers each month throughout 2017. This project prints all the adventures from the city theme in a single book.
Print on demand books will be saddle-stitched with a color exterior. Although the paper used for the project will be of premium quality, the interior of the book will be printed in black and white (as the original Patreon PDFs were). The approximate cost of the print on demand book (excluding shipping and taxes) will be less than $5 if the page count stays at or under 36 pages.
*Important Note for Physical Rewards: The base printing and shipping costs are the responsibility of the backer – when the project "fulfills" its rewards, backers will receive a discount coupon for the wholesale price of the book. Backers will pay the base print cost plus shipping to their location after the project has completed.*
The Kickstarter project reward cost pays for the cover art, upgraded maps, print proofs, editing, and fees.
Current Project Status / Daily Goals
This area will display the current project status:
Each day, the project will have one or more Daily Goals that will add another adventure, an upgraded map, or other content:
There are also project goals that will produce additional upgrades to the project:
Both sets of goals work together to give this project the maximum number of upgrades!
This project has a short, 10-day length – designed to get us from launch to completion quickly without a lot of wait time. Since most of the work is already done, we will use the time between the project's end and its fulfillment for map upgrades, add-on adventures, and print proof review(s).
Each day, the project will have one or more stretch goal rewards; if the goal is met, the bonus is added to the project. If we miss the goal, that bonus is skipped (but may be added to another daily stretch goal later that day or the next). Backer activity each day adds more content! This formula only works with short project time frames.
This project delivers the Excursions book in two formats: a System Neutral version with open stat blocks sections for GMs to fill in and a Swords & Wizardry version (OSRIC compatible).
At this time, there is no plan to produce a 5th edition D&D version of Mountain Excursions. This is mainly due to space requirements on each page. Of course, with a few minutes of prep, the System Neutral version can easily be adapted to any FRPG system, including 5th edition.
The book is filled with twenty or more one- to two-page adventures. No page flipping is required with two-page excursions as they are laid out in a full interior spread. Each adventure has simple and detailed backgrounds, encounter areas and stat blocks for foes. The sample city adventure, "Bird Attack!" is shown below.
Besides the cover and a few stretch goal rewards, the project will have no additional artwork within the book. One- and two-page adventures utilize all of the small amount of space for encounter details, monsters, and treasure. There is no room for interior artwork!
The cover art has been created by well-known comic book artist, Travis Hanson. You can see his cover work below.
Note that the final cover will include text on the back cover.
You can also see Travis's progression of the cover in the next two illustrations:
Note that Travis turned around the cover from sketch to full color in just a few days - no one in the industry works at his speed!
Excursions Observer – $1 or more lets you follow the project. You may upgrade from Observer to another reward any time before the project ends.
City Adventurer – $6 for either the System Neutral or Swords & Wizardry PDF. Delivered by DriveThruRPG.
City Explorer – $10 for either the System Neutral or Swords & Wizardry print on demand copy. These will be premium, saddle-stitched editions. *You as the backer are responsible for paying the base printing price and shipping for your reward*. Print and fulfillment by DriveThruRPG.
City Traveler - $10 for *both" System Neutral and Swords & Wizardry PDFs. Delivered by DriveThruRPG.
City Veteran – $14 for either the System Neutral or Swords & Wizardry print on demand copy and PDF. These will be premium, saddle-stitched editions. *You as the backer are responsible for paying the base printing price and shipping for your reward*. Print and fulfillment by DriveThruRPG.
City Conqueror – $18 for *both* the System Neutral and Swords & Wizardry print on demand copies. These will be premium, saddle-stitched editions. *You as the backer are responsible for paying the base printing price and shipping for your reward*. Print and fulfillment by DriveThruRPG.
City Castellan – $24 for *both* the System Neutral and Swords & Wizardry print on demand copies and PDFs. The print on demand books will be premium, saddle-stitched editions. *You as the backer are responsible for paying the base printing price and shipping for your reward*. Print and fulfillment by DriveThruRPG.
* All backers will receive all Water Excursions stretch goals (as daily goals) in PDF form. In the last two Excursions projects (Desert, Mountains), a total of ten were added/created. Note that backers of the Cities project only get the Water Excursions created by this project's stretch goals and not all those previously created in the past two projects.
Project Work at Launch and Completion
All twenty adventures were completed for Patreon and are ready for printing. As you can see by the image above, Travis has completed the cover. Stretch goals will add map upgrades by MonkeyBlood Design.
During the project, I will finish the adventure upgrades to Swords & Wizardry and work through any project stretch goals' additions as we go along.
Project Starts: Wednesday, July 10th
Project Ends: Friday, July 19th
Added Adventures, Written: July 19th
Added Adventures, Edited: July 21st (Note the 20 base adventures are already edited)
Upgraded Maps Completed: July 21st (several were under way at project launch)
Layout Completed: July 26th
Print Proof Ordered: July 29th (print proof turnaround is 3-4 weeks)
PDF Delivery: August
Delivery (assuming first print proof accepted): Mid-September
[later September delivery if a 2nd print proof is required to fix issues]
Project / Daily Goals
The book will be printed with a minimum of 20 adventures. However, project and special daily goals will increase that number! Additionally, upgraded maps and other options will be revealed for backer count and project total goals.
Initial Funding: $500 adds an extra City adventure to the book. ** GOAL MET! **
Double Funding: $1000 adds a second City adventure to the book. ** GOAL MET! **
Triple Funding: $1500 adds a third City adventure to the book. ** GOAL MET! **
Quadruple Funding: $2000 adds a fourth City adventure to the book.
Additional Goals after $2000 will be added as needed.
Backer involvement is important in our projects – blog posts and social media shares will help add to the rewards. Additionally, we enjoy putting out daily goals for best title name, monster suggestions, and treasure ideas too. We'll be adding even more daily goal targets this time around!
The daily goals are found in the tables near the top of this project's details.
Printing and Shipping
Both the base cost (wholesale) of the book and shipping will be paid by you, the backer, as an additional cost above and beyond the Kickstarter reward price. The KS project reward price covers artwork, map upgrades, editing, writing, KS fees, processing fees, and print proofs. Also, I've factored in a little extra for page count increase – just in case we go over 36 pages in total.
The wholesale price of the premium, saddle-stitched book is estimated to be around $5. Your total cost between KS project and DriveThruRPG fulfillment for a single printed book will be about $15 + shipping to your location.
Previous Excursions Project
In the last two years, I successfully launched and fulfilled the Forest, Desert, and Mountain themes (Off the Beaten Path, Forest Excursions; Off the Beaten Path, Desert Excursions; Off the Beaten Path, Mountain Excursions) here at Kickstarter. You can find the project details linked to the images below. When you fulfill your print order at DriveThruRPG for City Excursions, you can add on copies of the Forest, Desert, and/or Mountain Excursions at the same time.
Note that with this fourth project, we have completed even *more* prep work than before – the base 20 adventures are already edited, the map upgrades are under way, and three add-on adventures are almost fully written. Additionally, the expected 4-5 Water Excursions will be mostly written by project launch!
Future Excursions Projects
At the end of 2019 or early 2020, we will complete the multi-year Excursions project. We will bundle the entire group of Forest, Desert, Mountain, City and Water Excursions into a single, hardcover tome as a final project to wrap up the Excursions project. That book will be offered in S&W and 5E (we hope).
Thanks to Life of the Party illustrator Travis Hanson and Glynn Seal at MonkeyBlood Design for the hard work to help make this a fantastic project! Special thanks to Michael J. Gross, III for his editing work. A very special thanks to the Patreon backers who supported the monthly work to get us to this point!
Risks and challenges
I've already completed the first three "Off the Beaten Path" Excursions project (Forests, 2017; Deserts, 2018; and Mountains, 2019), and have had several other projects completed via Kickstarter. I've already completed the base 20 city adventures (writing, layout, and editing). Only the add-on maps and bonus Excursions add a slight risk to complete the project on time.
Printing is handled by RPGNow, reducing the risk of using a local or online printer.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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