Next Bonus Goal?

We’re tantalizingly close to the $6500 bonus goal which will let us publish the first supplement to ACKS, Domains of War, which has rules for armies and mass combat that are integrated with the core rules you’ve already downloaded the draft of, right? (v16 is the latest.)
Weigh in on what the next bonus goal should be devoted to:

  1. commissioning Ryan to do an alternate cover, as has been suggested in forum discussions here & at Story Games?
  2. creating a quick-start guide that can be given to new players, distributed at conventions and game stores, and used for events like Free RPG Day - something along the lines of what Michael Shorten did for Swords & Wizardry.
  3. something else?
    I like #1 not because I dislike the original cover - quite the opposite - but because encouraging Ryan to do more painting is always a good thing in my book. However, I think #2 is probably better for the growth of the game overall.
    Another option is to add “describe what Ryan should paint for a new cover” as a one-of-a-kind donation level, with the pledge set to cover the cost of Ryan’s time to do so.

My selfishness makes me want to go for something else - more stuff! - but #2 is probably the best bet.

What kind of more stuff? The S&W quickstart has a really sweet sample adventure, so it wouldn’t entirely be a re-hash of existing stuff, but knowing what else folks want is always a plus even if not for this bonus goal.

If you’re just looking at the Borderlands region in the core rulebook - a big fold-out hexmap of the area, maybe with existing trade routes on it.

I don’t know exactly what I mean by more stuff, but since I’m already getting the rules in the rulebook (with my backer benefits), a quickstart isn’t especially useful to me - it’s useful to people who haven’t already bought in. So my selfishness makes that idea seem kind of “blah”. On a purely greedy level, I’d prefer have to have something entirely new. The quickstart would need to have something very cool in it that wasn’t already in the rulebook for me to feel it was worth getting. That said, I understand the importance of a quickstart in terms of getting the word out, so my better nature supports that idea.
If I was going to go with “more stuff”, I’d go for more player stuff. (I am a class-tweaking junkie.) I think somebody mentioned a Player’s Guide or Companion or something like that in the works?

Yes, there’s a Player’s Companion in the works. It has more classes, quick-start kits for the classes, and rules for custom-built classes.

I was mulling over how easy/hard it would be to take the core adventuring rules and turn them into a set of LBB books. I am thinking this is the same as #2, since the reason I am liking the little books is that that they are easy to pass around at the table.
Otherwise, something like Village of Hommlet would be neat- a starting location/village fully fleshed out. But then again, a big hex map of the borderlands, ala the Wilderlands of High Fantasy is pretty compelling…

How about a five foot by eight foot mural?

Hey Tavis / Alex, I had a few random thoughts on what I’d like to see upcoming that’s ACKS related. (Okay - apologies that only some of these are on-topic. My on-topic response is to go with the quick start guide and sample adventure - it’s tried and true.)
One thing would be guidelines on ACKS in different eras. D&D campaigns tend to be anachronistic/timeless, but some folks try to place their campaigns in periods that model Earth history - the ancient world, Imperial Rome, dark ages, medieval, Renaissance, pre-modern. General guidelines on how to tweak the economics assumptions and rules, equipment lists, changes to hirelings, and perhaps new/different proficiencies and classes. Could be a simple PDF supplement.
I’d like to see an economic stat block - a new way of defining cities, towns, maybe entire nations. Maybe we’ll see that in the write-ups of the Auran Empire or Borderlands. It’d be fun to go back and work up stats for Greyhawk.
Regarding art - I’d love to see something like the Arnold/Conan pose at the end of the move of Conan the Barbarian show up somewhere. "Honor and fear were heaped upon his name and, in time, he became a king by his own hand… " Every time I hear the name Adventurer, Conqueror, King it brings to mind Conan of Aquilonia. The current cover is fairly pulp, as is some of the visionary art you’ve previewed.
Someone mentioned putting the campaign specific classes in a campaign section - I like keeping the class section the core four, plus elf and dwarf, and putting the new stuff in a campaign section. Keeps the core section a bit more old school and pulp. ACKS is a game trying to bridge a couple of different worlds of gamers.
I really like the new descriptions for arcane magic and explanations for why a mage might have a big library but a limited spell book.
The direction the cleric “path” is starting to take - providing a reason to grow the congregation growth as part of the class path - is perfect. Most real-world religious practices involve worship ceremonies, dance, music, rites and rituals, group prayer - lots of people all together doing something. If you’re still envisioning the rules around the cleric path, I’d try to work in the ability to craft items of power or expedite the casting of rituals during large gatherings of believers. Perhaps there’s an experience bump or bonus factor if the consecration of clerical items happens in conjunction with such a festival (the story reason is that the deity is focused on the worship proceedings, manifests more power there, or is otherwise willing to lend more direct aid to the cleric during these times).

I see the Sine Nomine guys working toward something that looks like an city statblock with the tag system in Stars without Number. I think I remember Alex saying he wasn’t a fan, and I only skimmed it, but I think that tags (like descriptors for ability score modifiers) are a good way to summarize whatever underpinning we come up with - it’d be awesome to say that Nyrond was a grasping, mercantile, injust city while Fax and Badwall were both only mercantile.
Over at EN World I’ve been talking about third party support; the different eras idea is definitely one I’d rather see someone whose passion this is (could it be you, Beedo?) run with than attempt myself.

Naturally I’m big in favor of an alternate cover, since the current one screams “cheesy gamer art” to me.

How about a Trade app - you input the load and the demand modifiers etc, and it rolls up how much GP you made ?

So, is there going to be a 3rd bonus goal? :slight_smile:
I’m mostly joking, but the odds look really good on the second bonus goal. If there’s a rush of pledges right at the end of the month, you might end up comfortably over the second target. Way to go, guys–that’s really great.

We’d need to:
a) have bonus goal #3 be something we can deliver without a ton of extra effort - an app is a great idea & something we discussed but I’d want to tackle that on its own, not as something we’re committed to delivering quickly
b) set it up ahead of time, because we’ll be at Gen Con & super busy right at the end of the campaign
c) ideally have it fulfill something y’all want, the way the Borderlands hex maps that we chose for #2 are what Jedo was asking for above
I will think on this - the odds on goal #2 do look good!

I wonder if we can raise 350 dollars in the last minute.

Congratulations and well done to the ACKS team for an amazing job. An incredible achievement.

So close to $12k

Well done to all the team :slight_smile:

Hear, hear. Mad props to the ACKS team!

A grand huzzah to all the backers!