Monday, November 4, 2013

Dragon Kings

Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation! Today I am joined by Timothy Brian Brown who has come over to talk to us about his latest role playing setting Dragon Kings.  Thank you for joining us today Timothy!

Thanks for the interview! I really appreciate it.

Dragon Kings looks like it is more than “just another” role playing setting.   Could you tell us about the project and what sets it apart from other fantasy role playing settings?
Dragon Kings is a new role-playing setting that I’m creating in fiction, art, and also music all at the same time. It’s a fantasy world I’m presenting that can be used with any game system; we’re creating rules supplements for Pathfinder and Savage Worlds, and plan to also do them for 13th Age and FATE as stretch goals. The music presents a progressive rock epic story following one hero that also serves to introduce the listener to the setting.
Beyond the cover art D&D and Heavy Metal don’t sound like they go together, what makes you want to bring these together?  When did you start creating music for your settings?  
On the contrary, I’m getting a good response to the music and a lot of enthusiastic people who embrace the metal style to convey the fantasy setting. I’ve always been fascinated by the music’s ability to convey a story and wanted to do that very thing for a role-playing setting. Dragon Kings is my first venture into such a union.

What made you decide to release Dragon kings as “System Agnostic?”  As a veteran in the industry this seems like a project you could just take to Wizards of the Coast or Paizo and have them release it.
I can’t speak to what other companies might release, but I would rather have complete control over the project than turn it over to someone else. I’m primarily interested in creating a great new setting, and I want people to be able to enjoy it with their favorite game systems.

Your campaign quotes you as saying Dragon Kings is the “spiritual successor” to Dark Sun, is it safe to say you like dark and gritty settings? Places with major issues and problems for the players to get involved with?  
Dragon Kings shares key themes with some of my previous game work, especially with regard to dangerous settings, genuine consequences for wielding great power, and compelling player character races that call for serious role-playing. A setting where survival itself is often difficult enhances the story’s immediacy.

Dark Sun came out way back in 1991 with the 4th edition version coming out in 2010.  Are we not going to see a D&D next version?  With over 20 years of Dark Sun what made you want to release a successor now?  Are you done with Dark Sun?
I’ve base the games we’re supporting on customer demand, and so far there’s not been much call for a D&D Next version, though that could change. Doing Dragon Kings now is a function of bringing all the pieces together at a time when I can devote my efforts to it, which is now.

I see some congratulations are in order, not only have you reached your initial goal, but you’ve also received some extra funding for the Black Fortress Falls song Trilogy.  A question I have with the stretch goals, is why is the Fate PDF rules supplement nearly $30,000 more than the 13th Age one?  Is 13th Age just an easier or more familiar system to create a supplement for?  
Not at all, they are merely separated by several other stretch goals.

Speaking of money, one of my biggest bugaboos for Kickstarter projects is the budget.  Knowing the creator has created a budget and has broken it down to share with possible backers is a key item to me as it shows the creators have a plan for the money.  Is there any particular reason you decided not to post this information?  Where is the $29,000 slated to go?  Are you planning to only print what is ordered or are you going to be buying a set number for later retail sales?  

The money raised on the Kickstarter will go to rounding out the art, laying out the products, and getting them manufactured. We will print additional copies to broaden the audience with post-KS sales, retail and convention sales.

How did you discover Kickstarter?

I’ve known about Kickstarter for some time, and followed several campaigns closely, starting with the Noir setting for Savage Worlds.
A key part of successful Kickstarters is backer participation and how to convert a potential backer into a full backer.   How are you engaging your backers?  What kinds of things do you have planned for updates to give notice to those who just hit the “remind me” button and surf on?  Interviews?  Videos?  Stories from the project?

We are sharing content and FAQ through the Updates system every week, and pointing people to all our social media where they can find other interviews, song samples, and additional content.
What kind of media attention have you received with your project?  How are you spreading the word?  Facebook?  Twitter?  Google+? Youtube?  Advertising?  Are you using Kicktraq to track your progress?  

We have all the social media outlets you’ve mentioned here, and anyone can connect to them by going to Our social media outreach has been very successful.

Do you have any tips/advice would you give to anyone looking to start a Kickstarter?

Know what all your costs are going to be in advance and prepare yourself to answer an avalanche of questions.
Thank you for spending your time with us!  Do you have any final thoughts for our readers?

It’s my pleasure, thanks for the opportunity!

Thanks again and I hope to hear good things from your Kickstarter!

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