Super Genius Games is taking patronage money to fund a Pathfinder-ized version of d20 Modern. They’re only at $8k of their $70k goal with a month to go.
Am I signing up? No. I would probably buy such a thing if it came out, depending. I love Pathfinder but was ambivalent about d20 Modern. If it was a better version, sure! But I don’t get how people are insisting on these patronage models. In this case, I worry…
1. What if the game is just bad? There’s good names behind it but there’s always a chance.
2. What if the game is never delivered? Or is colossally late? I am still a sad pre-buyer of Sinister Adventures’ Razor Coast, and if it wasn’t for Lou Agresta and unpaid volunteers chipping in, it would never see the light of day. The RPG landscape is littered with collapsed projects. My general policy is to NEVER preorder stuff unless it’s something like a major book from WotC or Paizo and I KNOW it’ll ship within about a month of when it’s supposed to. I let my Logue-mania from his Paizo work get me carried away for Razor Coast; I won’t do that again, I’ve been reminded.
I do subscribe to some of the Paizo lines, just because they have an unbroken track record of delivering quality on time. But no one else has that going for them.
In general, who pays for things sight unseen, before the thing is even developed? No one. It seems like a bit of an unrealistic business plan. It’s one thing to just take some pre-orders with “if you order real early you get to playtest or give input or whatever” – sure, you get the $$ early and give some access, that’s fine. But making it contingent – bad plan.
I know Open Design has been doing this – but I haven’t bought into any of those, either. In fact, there’s a couple of them I’d like to buy now (like Kingdom of Ghouls) but I can’t because of their closed patronage model – that’s throwing money away, and generally makes me grumpy and unwilling to buy in to such schemes on a personal level.
I’m glad people are innovating business models and all, and if they are working for people (or if they think they are) more power to them… But this is one consumer who’s not into it.