Off the Beaten Path, Desert Excursions - Project Overview
A minimum of twenty single or double page desert excursions to use as side quests or stand-alone adventures for your Fantasy RPG. There are over twenty-six pages of encounters found within dry deserts and desolate locales. As your player's characters travel through the arid wasteland, they will come across burial chambers, deserted villages, sunken towers, troublesome oases, and more! These adventures are a great way to add additional encounters during travel, or to handle an unexpected change in direction!
Excursions started as Patreon project - I created and delivered 5-6 adventures digitally to subscribers each month throughout 2017. This project prints all the adventures from the desert theme in a single book.
Printed books will be saddle-stitched with a color exterior. Although the paper used for the project will be a premium quality, the interior of the book will be printed in black and white (as the original Patreon PDFs were).
*Important Note for Physical Rewards: The base printing and shipping cost 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 a Daily Goal that will add more adventures, upgrade maps or other content:
There are also project goals that 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, eleven day length, designed to get us from launch to completion quickly without all the wait time. Since most of the work is already done, we'll use the time between project end and 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 the Swords & Wizardry version (OSRIC compatible).
At this time, there is no plan to produce a 5th edition D&D version of Desert 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.
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 Travis Hanson, a well known comic book artist. You can see his cover work below.
Excursions Observer - $1 or more lets you follow the project. You may upgrade from Observer to another reward any time before the project ends.
Desert Adventurer - $6 for either the System Neutral or Swords & Wizardry PDF. Delivered by RPGNow.
Desert Explorer - $9 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 RPGNow.
Desert Veteran - $13 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 RPGNow.
Desert 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 RPGNow.
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'll finish the adventure upgrades to Swords & Wizardry, and work through any project stretch goals additions as we go along.
Project Starts: February 9th
Project Ends: February 19th
Added Adventures, Written: February 25th
Added Adventures, Edited: March 2nd
Upgraded Maps Completed: March 19th
Print Proof Ordered: March 23rd (print proof turnaround is 3-4 weeks)
Delivery (assuming first print proof accepted): End of April
[May delivery if a 2nd print proof 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 adventure to the book. *GOAL MET!*
Five Blog Posts: If links to five different blog posts are posted in the comments section (and the blogs reference this Kickstarter project), we'll upgrade a map.
Double Funding: $1000 - Travis Hanson B&W Comic scene in the book, using the main characters of the cover in one of the adventures!
Day 1 - 25 Backers or $225: we upgrade one map. *GOAL MET!*
Day 1 - 55 Backers or $500: I add another adventure. *GOAL MET!*
Day 2 - 90 Backers or $850: map upgrade. *not met*
Day 3 - 90 Backers or $850: map upgrade. *not met*
Day 4 - 90 Backers or $850: map upgrade. *not met*
Day 4 - Best Adventure Title - I pick the best adventure title submitted in the comments section under Update #2 - a map is upgraded and the title may be used in one of the adventure additions. *GOAL MET!*
Day 5 - 90 Backers or $850: map upgrade. *not met*
Day 5 - Refer Five Friends. If five new backers join the project today and mention a backer that referred them in the comments section under Update #3, I will add another adventure to the book! [the new backer has to mention the referring friend's name in the comments under the Feb 13th update.] *not met*
Day 6 - 90 Backers or $850: map upgrade. *not met*
Day 6 - Best Monster Idea. Submit your best monster name or concept for an additional adventure foe, must be desert based (of course). Add your idea under the comments in the Update #4 (Day 6) thread. Also, keep it clean. At the end of the day, I'll choose one (or two) winners. *GOAL MET!*
Day 7 - 90 Backers or $850: map upgrade. *GOAL MET!*
Day 7 - Best Desert Treasure Idea - Submit an interesting and unique treasure idea to be added to one of the additional adventures for the book! Try to submit a treasure with a distinct desert feel. The best idea(s) will be chosen on day 8. Add your ideas to the Update #5 (Day 7) thread. *GOAL MET!*
Day 8 - 100 Backers or $100: Add 2 new adventures for the new themed Excursions (see below) - PDF only. *not met*
Day 8 - New Excursion Theme for PDF! - Submit your idea for an Excursion theme in the comments section of the Update #5 (Day 8) thread. If someone has already submitted the theme, support it my adding your vote. The theme with the highest votes wins! I will create a separate Excursions PDF with this new theme. These adventures will not get printed in the book but will be for all backers. The only four themes that cannot be suggested are Forest, Desert, Mountains and Cities (these are already written for previous and upcoming Excursions). *GOAL MET!*
Day 9 - 100 Backers or $1000: Add 2 new adventures for the new themed Excursions (see below) - PDF only. *GOAL MET!*
Day 10 - 120 Backers AND $1050 - Add 1 more adventure to the new themed Excursions (see below) - PDF only. *GOAL MET!*
LAST DAY - 130 Backers AND $1200 - Add 1 more adventure to the new themed Excursions (see below) - PDF only.
Note: We will be tracking at 10 Backers and $50 increases the rest of the day. Also, a special reward at $1500...
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 $6. Your total cost between KS project and RPGNow fulfillment for a printed book will be $15 + shipping to your country.
Why the increase from the last Excursions project to this one? Well, I made very little on the first Excursions book and I'm hoping to do better than break-even this time. Art and maps aren't inexpensive - I added a little more overhead into the project to make sure I could maximize the upgrades, to make the best book I can!
Previous Excursions Project
Last year, I successfully launched and fulfilled the Forest theme (Off the Beaten Path, Forest Excursions) here at Kickstarter. You can find the project details here. When you fulfill your print order at RPGNow for Desert Excursions, you can add on copies of the Forest Excursions at the same time.
Thanks to Travis Hanson and Glynn Seal at MonkeyBlood Design for the hard work to help make this a fantastic project! Special thanks to Michael Gross 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 "Off the Beaten Path" Excursions project (Forests) in 2017, and have had several other projects completed in Kickstarter. I've already completed the base 20 desert adventures (written, 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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