I am likely going to regret setting a =gasp= date on the release of something related to Tenra Bansho, being (ahem) 7 years into a “2-year” project. But only a few things left to do (contact the license-holders to make sure all is ready to go forward; prep some catch copy; take pictures; finish video) before the Kickstarter for Tenra goes live. Aiming for next Monday. This will let me start the kickstarter before GenCon, have it continue through GenCon, and still go through JGC (Japan Game Convention, “The GenCon of Japan” http://www.arclight.co.jp/jgc/ ), and complete early next month.
Here’s the details of the book: There will be two books, a full-color Setting book and a black-and-white Rules book, sold together as a set. The books are going to be American comic/trade paperback size, and will come together in a cardboard sleeve/holder. To play Tenra, at its core you only need about 4 pages of rules and another 4 pages of setting, so don’t let the next details throw you: But the books total about 690 pages total (240 in the setting book, 450 in the rule book). There’s over 320 pieces of distinct art throughout the two books, which includes 33 full color comic intro and 11 full-page rules explanations in manga form. Most of the weight of the book comes from all the art and extras. The books cover all the original text from the Tenra Bansho rulebook (save one 5 page section which will be translated later for a future download, and a reworked scenario), and also include a lot of rules data, revisions, explanations and clarifications from the major Tenra supplement “Tenjo Tenge”. There is also some additional data (in the form of character archetypes) from the six extremely rare mail-order pocket supplements for the game. In other words, this one book combines about (in the current exchange rate) $145 worth of material (just the core book alone today runs almost exactly $50.00), all condensed, collated, and reorganized to make more sense and order than even in the original book.
Luke Crane, as I’ve mentioned about a hundred times, did the layout. If you don’t know him, check out the Mouseguard or Burning Empires RPGs. He’s a layout and design genius, and really made the game gorgeous. Seriously, I’m in shock as I flip through the print PDF on my iPad, the thing is one of the most beautiful games I’ve ever seen!
Note that the following numbers below may change before the Kickstarter goes live!
My starting Kickstarter level is pretty high, close to $9,000. This will still put me in the hole initially, but will pay for almost half of one 2,000 copy print run of the book if funded.
The starting level for the two-book set will be about $55. This is the Kickstarter price, and not the MSRP (which will likely be more, depending on how much money raised initially, how many copies can be printed, etc).
There’s a crapload of extras, mostly in the form of additional downloadable content, including:
* Getting access cheaply to planned DLC coming later this year, including four rare character types/archetypes, and rules for mass combat wars.
* A “director’s cut” PDF/book that basically has tons of “popup details” about the background of the game, deep cultural info, vignettes about the book and its translation, a stupid-expansive glossary, rules changes that happened and why, and so on.
* An extra sample setting, which mixes Tenra Bansho and Final Fantasy into a wonderful cocktail.
* 16mm Japanese kanji dice sets
* One of 50 rare Furoshiki wrapping cloths (90cm x 90cm) in five gorgeous styles, imported directly from the crafters.
* PC Screen backgrounds, iPad/iPhone backgrounds, etc.
Again, there’s still some stuff in the air, and hoping there’s going to be no stops or stalls with contacting FEAR or approving the final data. But the dominos are all lined up, the first one’s been flicked, and they’ve started tumbling. If there’s no hangups, the last domino will hit the Kickstarter Go-Live button in one week!