Medieval Horror Tabletop RPG Shadows of Esteren Enters 4th Kickstarter
Shadows of Esteren, a medieval horror tabletop RPG described as a cross between Ravenloft, Game of Thrones and Call of Cthulhu, has started a fourth Kickstarter campaign to fund a new supplement.
Since summer of 2012, the medieval horror tabletop RPG Shadows of Esteren has raised over $250,000 across three Kickstarter campaigns. Now, a fourth campaign to fund a new supplement titled "The Monastery of Tuath" has already exceeded its goal and raised $70,000 with 42 days left to go.
Shadows of Esteren's inspiration is largely drawn from Celtic culture and mythology, and the game has been described by its creators as "somewhere between Ravenloft, Game of Thrones and Call of Cthulhu." Esteren has been met with critical acclaim, winning three ENnie Awards in 2013, including two gold ones for best interior art and best production values. Taking a look through the starter kit, which has been made available for free on DrivethruRPG right here, you can see why.
First released in French in 2010, then translated into English in 2012, Shadows of Esteren is being built into a cross-media project. The team has already produced two original soundtracks, with a third in the works, and the rulebooks offer musical suggestions to accompany certain scenes. Further, a Broken Sword-inspired point-and-click video game is in the works.
I have a special place in my heart for the medieval horror genre and look forward to trying out the starter kit with my gaming group. While I'm accustomed to running D&D campaigns in that genre, the Shadows of Esteren ruleset seems far better equipped to handle this style of campaign.
4th Kickstarter. 4th. Fourth.
As in, they have raised money in three previous Kickstarter campaigns, yet they are still using the service. Whatever happened to Kickstarter being used to, you know, kickstart an idea, and letting a company continue from there? What exactly are they doing with their money that they are not able to keep the company funded with a quarter of a million dollars in previous Kickstarters, whatever money they've made from sales, and traditional means of financing? Sorry for the rant, but it's a pet peeve to see people turn what is ostensibly supposed to be something to get a start-up going into a permanent cash cow for their business.
It certainly seems interesting... had I a group to do this with in real life, I'd consider getting all five books.
Thunderous does make a good point, though I don't think Kickstarter is simply just used for start-ups anymore. What about companies that already exist and are funded using it to get ideas they've wanted to do off the ground? In a way it's used to see if people are interested in a product before its developed, and it has been used this way quite a bit.
Alright, this is straight bullshit.
I'm all for using Kickstarter in order to get an idea off the ground (also known as kickstarting it), but once the gam has been released and you're using kickstarter to fund expansions? No, that is wrong. Now that the main game had been made and was being sold, its time to invest your own damn money instead of peddling for it.
For fuck's sake, I hate it when people abuse a good thing.
4 kickstarters seems rather excessive...OTOH, they let you have the starter kit for free.
What's with the Kickstarter hate?
This is a niche tabletop RPG with physical items that have an upfront cost to make.
I doubt they make enough in profits to fund the next expansion all by themselves.
Hello everyone! I am Clovis, Shadows of Esteren's head translator.
First, I would like to give my thanks to Rhykker for posting this article about our new Kickstarter... and with such a positive opinion on it too! It's very heartwarming to get such a good reception.
Now, I would like to react to what has been mentioned in the previous posts, and which basically boils down to: "A fourth Kickstarter for a single game? Come on, this is bullshit."
Let me say that I completely understand your reaction, because I personally know of Kickstarter projects that are nothing short of thinly-veiled scams, and I see how hypocritical it can seem of us to do four Kickstarters in a row. However, I assure you that we are in no way doing this because we want to milk as much cash as possible. I could give you a big list of reasons, but the long and short of it is simply that otherwise, we could not afford to make a proper English release.
Agate Éditions is still a small company, and we must therefore work with small means, as VanBasten said. As passionate as we are about Shadows of Esteren, we cannot make a living out of it as things are, and all the members of the team have to work on the game in addition to their day-to-day work or studies. Kickstarter is a means for us to distribute the product quickly and easily; it's a simple interface through which we can interact with fans of the game almost directly.
Why do we make Kickstarters? Because it allows us to provide things that people enjoy. Without the Kickstarters (and the Ulules, which is the French version of Kickstarter), we would never have been able to release Limited Editions, gaming tiles, miniatures, etc. This is a means for us to keep our dream fully alive and to have people be part of the journey, so to speak!
I hope that you'll understand our position. At any rate, if you have any questions or reactions, feel free to share them; we will do our best to provide satisfactory answers.
And finally (wow, this has become a long post, hasn't it?), thank you very much to the people from The Escapist who chose to back Shadows of Esteren, and once more, thanks to Rhykker for spreading the news!