Friday, May 12, 2017

Dreams of Aerie Update

So here we are, just a few short weeks before the Kickstarter launches.  For now, it is set for June 14th 2017, barring any unforeseen obstacles.  I'll post the link as soon as I have it.
Where are we with this project?
The book is fully written and all the deck plans are complete.  Editing  has already started, as well as a pre-edit proofing "out of house."  My present occupation right now is setting up the kickstarter.  Math and accounting have already been figured out.  The video presentation is ready.  One artist, Joe Garcia, has committed to handle internal illustrations. Cover art is being negotiated--I expect resolution in the coming days.  Work will be starting in earnest on the Kickstarter page itself in the coming days.
I'll be taking a short break early June at North Texas RPG Con, where I'll be running a part of Dreams of Aeries to eager gamers, twice.  There is still one seat available for each of these two sessions. Click here for these events.
Dreams of Aeries is both a mega-adventure and a stand-alone setting.  Because it takes place on a flying circus, it is relatively easy to set in any other fantasy world.  As with other Calidar titles, it is meant as system-neutral:   game statistics are streamlined and adaptable to game mechanics of most RPG games.



Components:  At 124 pages, Dreams of Aerie may actually gain extra pages, depending on stretch goals.  It is intended for use with up to 6 poster maps (3 labelled maps for referees, plus an optional 3 unlabelled maps for players.)  These loose-leaf sheets are printed 12"x18" and folded once to be mailed in cardboard sleeves (separately from the books.)  Kickstarter tiers determine which maps are included with the backers' books; any of these maps can be purchased separately if need be.  They display the flying circus's three decks.  The three labelled maps are reproduced inside the book, as two-page spreads, with specific sections inserted in the text where most needed.
Game Aids:  PDF guidelines to help convert game statistics (NPCs and monsters) will be bundled with the books, whether the latter are in digital or printed format.  Player handouts and game aids will also be attached in the same manner, so referees can print them.  For players: the PDF document provides pre-gens, rumors, and background story elements.  For referees: it lists a flow chart of suggested events, compilations of NPC and monster statistics, a comprehensive index of NPCs (their jobs, work locations, home addresses, any secret society affiliations, friends, family members, and where in the book to find all their information.)  These game mastering tools are indispensable for such a complex, expansive, and non-linear adventure.
Discounts:  Since new backers are expected to join this new Kickstarter event, discounts would be useful for them to obtain previous titles and the two promotional booklets (only available to Kickstarter participants.)  I'm working with DTRPG to set up special discounts to enable easy access to these titles.  This should enable backers to place orders soon after the Kickstarter session ends (if and whenever they wish to do so), rather than paying upfront and waiting for me to mail them months later.  These should target the following books (in print):
  • CAL1 In Stranger Skies
  • CC1 Beyond the Skies
  • CST1 Under the Great Vault   (exclusively available to Kickstarter backers)
  • CST2 Skies of Fury                (exclusively available to Kickstarter backers)

Add Ons:  The two existing poster maps (The Great Caldera and the Kingdom of Meryath) will be listed among "Add Ons" on the Kickstarter page, along with additional copies of Dreams of Aerie's poster maps.  Full resolution digital files for these 12"x18" poster maps will only be available to backers at Admiral level; as a side note--I've lowered the Admiral tier's tag to $150, from $250 in the past years.
Shipping:  US mailing is included with US backer pledges.  As regards international shipping, thanks to the relatively low exchange rate for the British Pound, print and mailing costs are nearly equal to those in the US.  This is good news because, if it holds true at the time of Kickstarter, then there may be either no extra fee or a minimal one for backers outside the US.  Delivery time will still be an inconvenience, especially for some of you in Western Canada or Australia in particular.  Beware of custom fees, which may be demanded in certain countries (I'm looking at you, Germany!  I'm sure there are others.)  This may be the case for backers at Admiral level, because their pledge requires me to autograph their books personally and mail them through the US Post Office.  This is the reason I pick up most of the mailing costs at this pledge level.  Certainly lowering its tag to $150 makes this pledge level more worthwhile.
What is Dreams of Aerie?  If you don't know yet, watch the video, or follow the links below for a better feel:

Thank you for your time.  I you wish to help with the Kickstarter project, do feel free to share with friends this article and other posts about Dreams of Aerie. Feedback and suggestions are, of course, welcome here.