Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mystery Men! Update

My intentions are to sell Mystery Men! as a free PDF and in book form as cheaply as I can manage, i.e. I'm not going to make money on this deal. The idea is to have an affordable, rules-lite comic book hero game that jibes with the good old fashioned fantasy rules we all love. Now, every set of rules looks better with some art, and since no gratis art has been forthcoming I've been talking with an artist who can provide eight pieces of character art at a reasonable price - I'm thinking maybe five heroes and three villains. Anyhow - this means I'm going to need to go the patronage route for this book to raise the money. Kickstarter is a website that makes this possible, and given their policies I would need to pull in approximately $220 to make this project go.

My problem is this: Since I'm not really making any money on the deal, I don't have much to offer patrons outside of putting their name in the book. I mean - the PDF is free and the book is print-on-demand. I thought about purchasing copies of the book at cost and distributing them to the higher-level patrons, but with the additional cost of buying the books and paying for postage, I would have to add another $200 to the total I need to raise.

My question to the readership is - Do you think acknowledgment is enough to get people to drop $10 or $20 to make this happen? My thinking is: Silver Age Patronage for $10 gets your name in the book as a silver sponsor, and a $20 Golden Age Patronage gets your name in the book as a gold sponsor and I insert your name somewhere in the sandbox that will accompany the rules - like the hero team's HQ is located in the Smith Building, where Smith is the name of the first Golden Age Patron we get. The other idea I had was to let Golden Age Patrons vote on which public domain heroes to include in the book.

I look forward to hearing people's ideas on this - I'd love to make this project a good one.

I'm going to go for it. My intentions are as follows:

Silver Age Patrons: 10$, and you get:
- Acknowledgment as a Silver Age Patron in the game
- An electronic copy of a golden age comic book that includes a preview copy of a piece of artwork and a note of thanks from me

Golden Age Patrons: 20$, and you get:
- Acknowledgment as a Golden Age Patron in the game (bigger font than silver age)
- An electronic copy of a golden age comic book that includes a preview copy of a piece of artwork and a note of thanks from me
- A voice in which golden age heroes and villains are included in the game (and thus drawn by the artist)
- Your name included in the sample setting, for example as the editor of the Daily Ray, owner of radio station WEGG, chief of police, etc. Assignment of names will, in the grand tradition of old school role-playing games, determined randomly.

Any extra money garnered will go toward commissioning additional art for the game. I have to submit the idea to Kickstarter for approval, and if I get it we'll have a limited time, probably 30 days, to raise the money. If Kickstarter goes for it, I'll put a link to the project on this blog. If not, I'll probably attempt to do the patronage thing myself using Paypal.


  1. I don't think people could ask for anything more, considering the comparatively modest sums you're asking for. Obviously with the naming conventions perhaps if it was the "Joshua Smith" building for instance might make it a bit more special (my thinking being that Smith is a reasonably common surname and maybe two sponsors are called Smith).

    Depending on how soon you'll be looking for funds - once I've sorted out my own financial situation - I'd like to think I could spring for a Golden Age Patronage.

  2. Good point on Smith - and I guess I would really be screwed if the first Golden Age Patron was named Baxter ...

  3. I can't speak for anyone else, but I'd probably be willing to go for that.

  4. Hey,count me in,
    What do i have to do?

  5. When I get things set up on Kickstarter, I'll post the relevant info here. They've approved it, I just need to put it together and submit it. I'll try to put it together this weekend.


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