Later this February Autarch is planning to launch the Kickstarter for Domains at War, our comprehensive rules for all aspects of waging war in a fantasy world. Planning the rewards for a Kickstarter campaign is one of the trickiest parts because as soon the campaign goes live and someone claims a reward, the text can't be changed. To help work out any kinks in the phrasing of the rewards, and make sure that we're offering all the kinds of things backers would want in exchange for their support, I'm hoping to get feedback on the proposed rewards. The pledge levels for each reward are still being worked out, this being its own kind of tricky.
With the caveat that these are not yet final - and will hopefully be improved by your input - here's what we're thinking of offering Domains at War backers:
LEGIONARY: Complete Text. As soon as you pledge, you’ll be able to download the manuscripts of Domains at War: Campaigns and Domains at War: Battles as Word files. If you’re curious about D@W this is a good place to start! If you like what you see, you can upgrade to get the more polished versions by increasing your pledge, or if you forget to do so before funding closes you can apply your pledge amount as a discount towards buying D@W from us when it’s available in general release.
SIGNIFIER: Basic PDFs. You’ll get fully illustrated, laid-out, and bookmarked electronic versions of both Domains at War books, Campaigns and Battles, which you’ll be able to download from the Autarch server or through your account at DriveThruRPG. You’ll also get all the rewards of a Legionary, and if you later decide you want D@W in print you can apply your pledge amount as a discount towards buying the softcover books from us when they’re available in general release.
DECURION: Complete PDF Set. You’ll get electronic versions of the Domains at War hexmap, counters, reference sheets, and army trackers, customized for printing in full color or black and white, as well as the PDFs of the D@W: Campaigns and D@W: Battles books and all the other rewards of a Signifier. If you later decide you want the complete D@W set in print you can apply your pledge amount as a discount towards buying it from us when it’s available in general release.
CENTURION: Basic Softcover Books. You’ll get D@W: Campaigns and D@W: Battles as perfectbound softcover books. They’ll have full color covers and B&W interiors, and are expected to be 96 and 88 pages respectively. You’ll also get all the electronic rewards listed above.
PRIMUS PILUS: Complete D@W Set. You’ll get a 4’ x 3’ glossy paper hexmap and 90 cardstock counters, both in full color, in addition to the D@W softcover books and all the other rewards listed above.
TRIBUNE: Army Trackers. You’ll get two vinyl play aids, one for each side of your battle or campaign, in addition to the complete D@W set and all the other rewards listed above. Both sides of the tracker have vinyl sleeves you can insert your army lists and reference sheets into, and then write on with wipe-erase markers to record changes in play. The trackers come with a number of pre-printed sheets we found useful in playtesting, plus electronic templates that make it easy to create your own custom sheets.
LEGATE: Wipe-Erase Hex Map. You’ll get the 4’ x 3’ hex map for D@W battles printed as a vinyl banner, allowing you to use wipe-erase markers to set up terrain, track dynamic battlefield conditions like walls of fire or stinking clouds, track fortification values, etc. You also gey all the rewards listed above – the army trackers, counters, paper map, both softcover books, and all electronic rewards. Choose this level if you want the deluxe D@W set!
MAGISTER MILITUM: Art Visionary. Describe an image that Domains at War evokes for you and our artists Ryan Browning and Conor Nolan will create an illustration to your specifications, which will be included in the Campaigns or Battles book. (We’ll work with you to make sure it’s harrmonious with our collective vision of the D@W style). You'll also get all the rewards listed above, including the deluxe D@W set and all electronic files.
IMPERATOR: Original Artwork. You specify the illustration. Everyone will see it in the D@W book. You’ll own the original full page artwork on archival Bristol paper, mounted and ready for framing. You'll also get all the rewards listed above, including the deluxe D@W set and all electronic files.
CAESAR: Online Game. We’ll play Domains at War via G+ hangout with you, up to three of your friends, and one of our artists. You’ll get all the rewards listed above, including the deluxe D@W set, with the added bonus that your original artwork will depict a scene from the game you played! We’ll make a video record of this game; it’s your choice whether this video is shared as a tutorial to help others learn D@W, or kept private as a memento for you and your fellow players. Either way, we’ll commemorate your game in the D@W books - for example, by opening a chapter with an epigram attributed to your commander, or including details of your battle as an example of play.
AUGUSTUS: In-Person Game. We’ll play Domains at War together in the location of your choice! This might mean bringing you to Durham, where you can play with D@W designer Alex Macris and visit Autarch headquarters; to NYC, where you and developer Tavis Allison will wage war across the Sultan gaming table at the Brooklyn Strategist; or having us come to you to play with your gaming group. In any case, you’ll get all the rewards listed above, including an additional game recorded via G+ hangout, an illustration based on your game, commemoration in the D@W books, and the deluxe D@W set.
In addition to reviewing the above text for clarity and goodness, here are some specific questions I'd love to get feedback on:
All backers will be acknowledged in the finished books according to reward level, as we've done with ACKS and the Player's Companion. Should this be called out specifically, or can it be assumed to be part of the standard KS reward by now?
Another thing that's traditionally been part of even our most basic Kickstarter reward levels is the ability to help develop the project and make sure it meets your needs as a gamer. For Domains at War, this work has already been done with the assistance of many of our fans and backers of the original Adventurer Conqueror King system. With D@W, we're in the happy position of having everything pretty much ready to ship as soon as we have funding for illustration, layout, and printing/PDF formatting. The thing we're inviting D@W backers to help perfect is the Auran Empire Campaign Setting, since in addition to being a gazetteer of the fantasy world that's the default setting for ACKS, it's also an exemplary setup for playing D@W:Campaigns. Should this be mentioned in the first reward level or discussed in the main text?
Thanks for your help; we're very excited about Domains at War and couldn't do it without you!