Reaper Kickstarter Or OSR Manifesto?

In an interesting move that’s almost a political statement, the Reaper minis kickstarter that’s going crazy ($2.5M, 13,590 backers) is giving away a Swords & Wizardry PDF with the big set of rewards now.

The weird thing about that is that the Swords & Wizardry PDF is already available for free.  So this is less a giveaway and more a promotion.  And it’s likely to be a successful promotion; I don’t know how many people have downloaded Swords & Wizardry ever but I think another 13,500 is a very significant percentage of that number.

I think it’s interesting that a minis company would push something like that basically for no real business benefit (they are selling Pathfinder branded minis, so some giveaway there wouldn’t have been as much of a surprise – or heck, it’s 3e/4e that have pushed miniature use in general a lot more than earlier D&D did, but the financial give-back from any OSR promotion is likely to be in the “maybe it’ll buy a latte” range).  I know some of it’s just personal interest, here in central/north Texas there’s a lot of OSR going on, but one can’t help but reflect during the D&D Next playtest what the implications of a lot of new blood getting their hands on the old rules might mean.  Positive things I hope; Next is starting to bloat during playtest from Basic to 4e very quickly, perhaps people will get a taste of a more stripped down ruleset and realize they don’t need all those layers of rules for fun.

My verdict – ballsy, interesting, good on you guys!

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8 responses to “Reaper Kickstarter Or OSR Manifesto?

  1. I think that a lot of the people who are contributing to the kickstarter have experience with OSR, but a lot of them it will be brand new. Some people would have never played it if they weren’t encouraged by Reapers. I’m in Austin, where there are a lot of people who are into retro gaming. I also grew up in Denton, where the reaper factory is, and I can tell you that there’s an audience there for old schoolers too.

  2. Uh, hmm, maybe they’re just running out of stuff. The 3 million dollar reward is… Some guy’s novel in PDF? Really? Bah! At least the S&W was an addon to a real minis reward, that’s just kinda lame.

  3. Alarian DarkWind

    Yea, I was really underwhelmed with the 3 million dollar award. I was figuring that amount to be a big milestone award and it was the least exciting award since it started.

  4. They aren’t giving away a free PDF. They are giving away the -complete- rule set which is a $10 PDF.

  5. Also Swords & Wizardy is based on 0e which originally used the Chainmail rules for combat. Those who have never seen the Chainmail book can see the image here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Chainmail_3rd_edition.jpg. If you don’t want to look the image reads “Chainmail rules for medieval miniatures”. 0e was very miniature based.

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