Monday, October 3, 2016

Prop Spellbook Kickstarter

Steven E. Metze has an interesting Kickstarter up for a prop tome and accompanying LARP rules. The books are quite impressive, with fully illustrated interiors and hand-bound leather covers. Take a look at the campaign video for a peek at what's available. You can see the spellbook has a nice heft, the binding is solidly constructed, and there's a nice look at the interior text and illustrations.

One thing I want to draw particular attention to is just how successful the Kickstarter already is. It's blown well past the original goal of $3000 and is currently at $22,000 at the time I'm writing this. Anyone familiar with Mythos-based Kickstarters, and their abysmal track record, would recognize this as a danger sign. Far too many projects, most notably the notorious Masks of Nyarlathotep Prop Set, collapsed because they were too successful.  The original rather modest goals were well within the capability of the creators to fulfill, but as the sheer number of patrons soared it became increasingly difficult to meet the pledge promises.

With those concerns in mind, and my natural leeriness of Kickstarters, I asked Mr. Metze how he planned to handle the success of his project. Under it's original target he was looking at producing roughly 30 hand-bound books by the end of January, but at this point the project requires blocking, binding, packing, and shipping at least 140 books within the same time frame. I found his answers very reassuring.
Right now I have 18 people (15 with prior bookbinding experience, 3 'interns' as it were) plus me lined up to work on book binding. I also noted that shipping costs may have been part of the reason for other Kickstarter issues. Shipping costs have been factored separately now (I don't know if that is a change to kickstarter or not) and I'm aiming mostly at flat rate box shipping, so I think that minimizes that risk as well.

The fact that Mr. Metze has already anticipated these issues bodes well for the project overall. That,combined with his real-world management and logistics experience, alleviates the concerns I had about the possible implosion of the Kickstarter.

Please don't think I'm being overly negative about the project. Quite the opposite. The spellbook is a beautiful piece of work that accomplishes the holy grail of tomecraft- a period-appropriate binding with a fully illustrated, artistically unified interior. That is a major achievement that Mr. Metze should be congratulated for. More importantly, he's demonstrated an awareness of issues that have dogged similar prop projects and planned ahead to avoid them.

1 comment:

Zero Mostel said...

Well, at least he is giving the font away for free. I am always a sucker for freebies and fonts. Aside from that. it looks good and I wish him well.