Waxin’ Kickstarter / Shadow Of The Demon Lord Commission



Sitting at the top of this post is the latest map I have done.  It is a commission for young Robert J. Schwalb.  If you don’t know who Schwalberto is you are totally lying to yourself because his name is probably in the credits of at least one rpg book on your shelf.  He’s had is softy powdery fingers on 3.5th, 4th, and 5th editions of the world’s most bitched about role playing game, as well as had his hands all over some great shit like A Song Of Fire and Ice table top affair, and lots of shit.  I think the only thing he likes more than role playing games is dick jokes, his cats, and maybe his wife.  Needless to say, he is a very creative man and also someone who I hold in a close circle of none nerd friends.  We’re going to get back to stroking his ego in a second, lets talk about this map first.


This map is completely hand drawn.  All of those little fucking trees, all the stippling and dots and lines and everything is all done by hand and I actually only used one sized pen for this whole thing.  The bordering and key and such were all done separately and then added in later in my main squeeze GIMP.  There were a few of the keyed hexes I wasn’t in love with that I drew in the margins, then swapped out in GIMP.  At the end of the day I really love how this map came out and despite all the fucking tree doodling I had a good time doing it all.  A few things would be done differently in the future.  Next time I am going to do the border and key and embellishments with the map all on one page.  There is just too much headache involved with collaging all that shit together and it makes for some unsightly lines if you aren’t careful.  Anyways, when you commission a map from me then you get some art, goddammit.

Like I said, this map was commissioned from me by Schwalberto for his upcoming game Shadow Of The Demon Lord.   Specifically; Schwalb ran a tight-ship kickstarter and ended up with a shit of ton of extras being tacked on to the game and gave me some dollars to make a map for one of the PDFs.  (For those of you following the game, this map is for a hex crawl unlocked through like getting a couple metal bands to give a shout out about the game or something,)


Kickstarter has become the premiere platform for getting your steam punk furry cthullu game into the hands of people who want it.  I feel like a new rpg seeps quietly into the world via kickstarter once or twice a week and most are successfully funded.  Not all are successfully seen through and there seems to be a trend of reward fulfillment taking years to accomplish.

Schwalb did not fuck around with kickstarter.  He started working on his game a couple of years ago.  Spent a year or so on writing the game, then a year play testing.  And I don’t mean that he just played it a few times in his basement (I played it a few times in his basement) but he hammered out game after game after game, and then after he announced the game he took that fucker on the road and hammered out demonstration after demonstration.  He squeezed out every broken morsel and bug from the game before taking it to kickstarter.  He lined up artists and layout and editing and started quoting print prices and basically planning for the game to be sale ready on kickstarter day one.  Needless to say, the game was done and ready to go before the kickstarter launched.  Currently the book is in layout and should be out to backers on schedule.

I remember that he told us, the play-testers and bartenders, his goal was 30,000 dollars and none of us thought that was unreasonable and generally felt he would end his month of kickstartery with 30,000 and some change.  But what happened is that Schwalb had whispered sweet nothings of this game in to the ears of thousands of people who were ready on day one to douse him in a veritable deluge of cash.  People love the game.  He funded in like six hours I think.  He finished the campaign at 140,000 and some change and had no catching up to do on his game.  Game was done.

Since then he has been steadily cranking out the stretch material, and everything is ahead of schedule for release and working on some stuff for other people too.

That is how you run a fucking kickstarter.  I will write some more about the actual game soon; I basically wanted to show the map off and talk about how you kickstart.