Wearing the Cape: the Kickstarter.

Cover Flight

Coming soon, to a Kickstarter page near you!

I have been telling everyone that, once Team-Ups and Masterminds was behind me, I would be focusing on Wearing the Cape: The Roleplaying Game to drive the project through to completion.

So now the good news.

Although the Kickstarter campaign will not be launching in December as planned, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Here’s why; unlike most Kickstarter projects, when this Kickstarter campaign launches (hopefully in January), the primary product to be funded will already be finished. What this means is that Wearing the Cape: The Roleplaying Game will already be fully produced as a downloadable set of game rules. That’s right, it will be an ebook, fully laid out and with all the art, ready to read, enjoy, and play.

I realize this is not the “traditional” way a game is produced by crowd-funding; I decided to take this route because I had no idea if I could actually do it. Yes, I have years of roleplaying game experience. Yes, I found a great open-source game system, readily adaptable to the task of bringing the heroes and world of the books to life. Yes, I have five years now of self-publishing experience.

But a roleplaying game? Designed, produced, indie-published without the backing of an established game company? I had no idea if I could do it, or how long it would take, and I have seen too many Kickstarter campaigns that promised everything and a set delivery date, then folded years later promises unmet. I wasn’t going to do that.

So I wrote a draft of the game, solicited playtesters, found the artist. Found another artist. Found a third artist. Got help with the graphics and layout (lots of help). Went through two rounds of playtesting, with veteran Fate players and novices. Sought and received the input of two seasoned writers of Fate System games. Payed the art and development costs as I went. Found a small press willing to do the full print run of the quality gamebook at a reasonable price.

As a result, I will be able to promise everyone who decides to back this dream project two things: 1.) the week the Kickstarter campaign ends, they will be receiving their tickets to download the full copy of the finished game, and 2.) the instant the campaign ends, the small publisher will receive their money and commence printing of a fully prepared book.

In short, the purpose of the Kickstarter will be to fund the printing and distribution of several hundred quality hardback edition of the gamebook.

But that’s not all the Kickstarter is going to be about; like most Kickstarter campaigns, this one is going to have room to grow.

First, I’ve found a dice company able to stamp high-quality custom dice; as a Stretch Goal Add-On, Wearing the Cape fans who want custom dice to play their game with will get them as part of a deluxe package.

wtc-dice(Don’t panic; the game will be perfectly playable with standard Fate Dice or  6-sided dice.)

Second, Kickstarter campaigns form communities of enthusiastic people with lots of input to give, and I’m going to take full advantage of that. I have decided to produce, as a second Stretch Goal Add-On, Wearing the Cape: Barlow’s Guide to Superhumans.

Barlow’s Guide will be a sourcebook. The core game only has room for around 30 pages of background for the Post-Event World, and only the Sentinels—as seen at the beginning of Wearing the Cape—are fully written up. Most of the campaign background only deals with The Event and it’s aftermath in the US. So Wearing the Cape: Barlow’s Guide to Superhumans will go far beyond that. The sourcebook will hugely widen the background, to include experiences of The Event in other countries and describe how many parts of the world dealt with superhumans over the 10 years between The Event and the beginning of the series. Wearing the Cape fans will be polled for places and capes they would like to see in the sourcebook.

Also, there will be a limited number of pledge slots for fans who want to put their own cape characters into the official Post-Event World! They will need to pay extra for the excellent character art that will portray their personally designed heroes  (I have gained the commitment of the artist who did the cover art for Team-Ups and Crossovers for the individual pieces).

Throughout the 35-day campaign, I will be publishing Kickstarter updates tracking the ideas and work to go into Wearing the Cape: Barlow’s Guide to Superhuman—which will also be released as an ebook within 3 months of the end of the Kickstarter.

Will there be anything else? I’m not sure, but if the campaign does as well as I hope then I am considering adding a third Stretch Goal Add-On: a special hardback edition of Wearing the Cape, re-edited and with interior art pages.

What will all this look like? That’s still a bit up in the air, but I’ve roughed it out like this.

Wearing the Cape: The Roleplaying Game (PDF): $19.

Wearing the Cape: The Roleplaying Game (hardcopy): $59. (PDF copy and US/Canada shipping included.)

Hardcopy with Dice: $75.

Wearing the Cape: Barlow’s Guide to Superhumans (PDF): $19.

Wearing the Cape: Barlow’s Guide to Superhumans (hardcopy): $49. (PDF copy and US/Canada shipping included.)

Wearing the Cape, Special Edition (ebook): $9.

Wearing the Cape, Special Edition (paperback): $19. (Includes ebook)

Wearing the Cape, Special Edition (hardback): $30. (Includes ebook)

A Barlow’s Guide entry for your hero: $200 (Includes WtC:RPG hardcopy, PDFs for WtC:RPG and WtC:BGtS, and a print of your hero.

And if all goes well, backers will be receiving their e-copies of WtC:RPG in February. Thoughts, anyone?


35 thoughts on “Wearing the Cape: the Kickstarter.

  1. Can’t wait to give my $250! I do have a question: have you contacted Wayne Douglas Barlowe about working on the Guide? Because A) He’s an amazing artist and even just a cover would be the absolute tits, and B) I can’t help but think it’d be a good touch to ask his blessing before putting out a Barlow’s Guide. I mean it is his name, after all.

  2. Looking good! One question – as a person of limited imagination, I find it quite hard to write my own adventures. I’m having a great time DMing the adventure that comes with the 5E starter kit, though. Do you anticipate publishing any pre-written adventures for people to play through?

    1. You might want to check out The Covetous Poet’s Adventure Creator and Solo GM Guidebook, available as a PDF for $10 at DriveThruRPG (http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/129909/The-Covetous-Poets-Adventure-Creator-and-Solo-GM-Guidebook). The basic rules don’t include genre packs for mysteries, spies, or superheroes, but those are available elsewhere for free:

      mystery: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1IaD6Vx0mZJNVdVTFdnQXFYV0U/view
      spy: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1IaD6Vx0mZJNUpJdHV5UVhwSHM/view
      superhero: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1IaD6Vx0mZJRFFWSkI5b1dEaTg/view

  3. I’ve really been looking forward to this one.

    Got to put my budget in order to see how much I can spend XD

  4. Great to hear, I’ve been excited to see this project come to fruition. I’m definitely curious to see how granular your particular flavor of FATE is; I know your background is in GURPS and I would love to see more detailed capabilities and hard numbers attached to the powers than I have seen in previous FATE games.

  5. Sounds good. 🙂 I know you are a VERY busy man lately but wanted to submit a request. I;ve started reading your new Crossovers book and i’m really enjoying. What I was requesting if you could ( maybe on your facebook page….dunno ) give us a character guide. Maybe a pic of the character, their names, and brief story, group affiliate, ect. Time between books makes you forget who’s who. Even with the Big Easy book. I’ve not read it so I have no clue who those characters are. I did just order it. 🙂 I know that’s a lot to ask but it would help us…your humble fans and readers fully embrace the world you’ve created. A go-to guide. THANKS!

    1. Putting an expanded list of characters on the wearingthecape.com site is definitely a future project. Meanwhile there’s one at the back of Small Town Heroes that covers everyone not exclusive to the last two books.

  6. One other question. Have you ever thought to submit your characters for a movie or animated series? They would go over big! An animated series like on NETFLIX of your first book. An adult themed series. Not watered down for kids but true to your books. THANKS! 🙂

  7. I think you’ve got a good plan here. A complete, ready-to-go download at the end of the campaign helps fight the reluctance some people will have for funding someone’s first project.

  8. I can’t wait to see the rules to immortalize my superhero character, that I created and have been role playing since the early 90’s! #250.00 Lol

  9. Looking good. Really looking forward to this. A suggestion. Add a level that allows both of the books to be gained together, at least the pdf’s. Still, getting them both at 15 dollars each (pdf) sounds good if they are not bundled.

    1. Unfortunately, since Wearing the Cape: Barlow’s Guide to Superhumans will be a Stretch Goal, I can’t make it part of a basic pledge level. The base price might be $19 (haven’t worked that out yet), but that’s about the going rate these days.

  10. So, is there any chance that a person who pledges $250 might get their character have a cameo or reference in the books? If not, perhaps a different pledge tier.

  11. Excited to hear that your ready to go. Put me down for a pdf, and I hope Barlow’s blows up beyaond your wildest dreams. Do you have further stretch goals in mind?

      1. Most of these are more like add ons than stretch goals, but here are a few suggestions:

        As Barlow’s is supposed to have a list of all known superheroes, another add on could be for non-breakthrough people and groups (even super-groups like The Ascendancy if they aren’t covered in Barlow’s) in the world. Alex Chandler, Representative Shankman, Andrew, Doctor Beth, CHR, Fathers Graff and Nolan, Humanity First, Director Kayle, Mrs Lori, et cetera.

        Someone else mentioned pre-written adventures, and those are often popular. They don’t need to be long, even micro-adventures that can be run in a single session. Even just some pre-built bad guys that won’t appear in the novels.

        Possibly something with the Future Files, where we could read about various scenarios that were prevented by actions in the present.

        Art. I know I enjoy buying prints of artwork depicting the various characters. Maybe 8×10 for individual characters, and 11×14 for team shots.

    1. I’m going to talk all about it here in the next day or two (maybe tonight), but I made the announcement on the Wearing the Cape facebook page yesterday; the official launch date will be February 1st. It will run until March 2nd, 32 days.

  12. Please consider adding some buffer time to your timeline in which the funds will be processed and only after that you get the money. (if I remember correctly about 2 weeks)

    Also please consider adding some time between getting the PDF out and sending it to the printer. Because sometimes the backers still find a mistake or two and so you could get some feedback in before something is eternalized on paper.

    1. There will undoubtedly be some small delays there, but not much; my main concern is to not have the months of delay which I have seen with other Kickstarter projects.

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