Crowdfunding Campaign Galore | December Roundup

Published on 2 January 2024


Velkommen! I'm Jon de Nor and this is Goblin Points - a podcast covering MCDM, the MCDM community, and whatever else MCDM related.

December has been a Goxomoc of a month! The crowdfunder launched, and went completely gangbusters; and the play test packet for patrons went out before the year's end.


Let's start off with the RPG - and let's just say there's a lot. With the crowdfunder launching, there's been a whole lot of info that's dropped.


Let's talk crowdfunder.

This is without a doubt MCDM's biggest crowdfunder campaign. At the time of recording it's almost at 3.9 million dollars from nearly 24,000 backers. That beats Flee, Mortals! at just over two million dollars ($2,084,117); Kingdoms & Warfare at almost 1.4 million ($1,372,685); and Strongholds & Followers at just over 2.1 million ($2,121,465).

Hardcover books availability

After the campaign ends, it'll still be possible to preorder the hardcover books from the pledge manager on Backer Kit. If you're not able to get in now, there will be plenty of time to pre-order the physical copies before release.

Ajax edition

The most expensive tier, the Ajax Edition, which had 999 available spots, sold out in a little over an hour after the launch of the crowdfunder. Surprised by the popularity, MCDM secured a second wave of Ajax Editions from the manufacturer.

The 875 spots for the second wave also sold out quickly. And there won't be a third wave, as it's frankly too much work. Someone has to pack all those boxes, and there's only so many hours in a day.

Virtual tabletop

The stretch goal for a virtual tabletop was reached during the first day of the campaign. That means MCDM is going to spend resources developing their own VTT and accompanying digital tools like character sheet, online compendium and monster editor.

They have been very clear: this only means they'll spend time and money on a VTT, but they won't guarantee that one will surface. They do however already have a partner working on it, and they showed a couple of screenshots from a working prototype. Whether it comes to fruition, only time will tell.

They want to build their own custom virtual tabletop. That way purchases can transfer across from the shop to the VTT, removing the need to purchase content multiple times. It also ensures everything works correctly, and the way they want, and users of the VTT will not have to jump through hoops or do any setup for it to work with the RPG.

James and Matt said that they want to create a marketplace for stuff people make for the RPG. The license will not limit creators to only publish on the MCDM marketplace, but will allow creators to publish the stuff they make on any marketplace they may wish.

Existing VTTs will still be able to support the RPG. How they go about doing that depends on the VTT: they all have idiosyncratic ways of implementing rules, and who does the work of implementing them. James didn't rule out the possibility of partnering or working with other VTTs to enable support for the RPG.

Vasloria box set

The second stretch goal of the campaign was to start production on a box set containing setting details for Vasloria. Vasloria is fantasy medieval Europe, so it mostly makes the same assumptions as one would make in the Forgotten Realms setting in D&D.

As an example of stuff to be included in the set is a booklet with details about the Vasloria region; a book on the territory of Aendrim; adventures set in Aendrim; maps; and other handouts.

The reaching of the stretch goal is, once again, not a guarantee that the box set will be published, only that resources will be spent to work on it. And once again, only time will tell if that work ends in a product release.


During the campaign there has also been a few updates. There is now preview pages for the Revenant (think undead) and Human ancestries.


The biggest update, however, might be that MCDM is partnering with Trenchworx, whom they have a long working relationship with, to produce a whole line of minis for the RPG. Trenchworx has announced their MCDM miniatures line and it's now available for purchase in their shop. They are also providing STL files for those that want to 3D print minis.

As a boon to backers of the crowdfunder, the STL file for the Pocket Kobold, shown in the previews, were included for free.

This is going to be a lasting partnership according to a response to a comment on the announcement. Asked "Wait wait wait. Trenchworx is going to "support the upcoming MCDM RPG"?! Like, long term, we might have minis for a ton of MCDM monsters, not just Kickstarters?", the official MCDM account answered "It does mean that."

What's next?

So, what's next?

James and Matt have the impression that the core design of the game is in good shape, and is moving their main focus to the next thing: character creation and character progression.


But, to get started on that, literacy and language needs a prototype first. Literacy and languages determines not only which languages you know, but also how well you know them.

Imagine you find an old book from some ancient civilization. How well you know that language impacts how much information you're able to gleam from the book. It might tell you how to make a fantastical weapon of great power, but are you able to read the required steps to make it work, and are you able to interpret them correctly?

Crafting and research

Crafting and research also needs a prototype.

Once you find out how to make something, you'll be able to spend downtime crafting it. Simpler items might only take a short while, but more complex things, like a flying castle, might take a long time. You might level up multiple times while working on a single thing.


The official name is still not known. Matt has hinted it might be announced before the crowdfunder ends, but they're not really in a hurry to announce. They like it to be right, rather than rushed.

The temporary name of The MCDM RPG still works even when the proper name is announced: Searching for the MCDM RPG should still point you in the right direction.


Matt said that at some point there will probably be some work done on a unifying setting guide, with details on Orden and how the setting works. Currently the lore is spread all throughout MCDM's products, but there's going to be a need to have all that information in a single place.

Forwardporting S&F, K&W, FM and WEL

Speaking of multiple MCDM products. It's not a given that there's going to be a port of MCDM's previous products to the new RPG, but rules from those products may be included piecemeal in new products - they might not be bundled into system themed books like Strongholds & Followers, and Kingdoms & Warfare.

James mentioned specifically that the organization rules would fit very well with Capital, with the political intrigue and scheming gameplay of the city. The warfare rules would probably fit better with Vasloria, the medieval Europe setting.

Flee, Mortals! is a replacement for the D&D 5e Monster Manual, but no such replacement is needed here. One of the two core rulebooks is literally called Monsters, which will evolve the Flee, Mortals! design for the MCDM RPG. James has already started contacting people regarding work on porting monsters from Flee, Mortals! to the RPG.

Matt has said that Where Evil Lives will not be ported directly. The RPG has a higher focus on movement and Where Evil Lives is not optimized for that. Porting it directly would lead to boring encounters.

Core books

The Monsters book

Speaking of the Monsters book. It will probably include encounter building tools and, James hopes, tools for building your own monsters. Some things will not make it over from Flee, Mortals! though, such as villain parties. While great, they are scrapped in favor of more stat blocks for each monster, and monsters that MCDM see as core to the setting.

The Heroes book

The core rulebook is called Heroes, and contains all the rules needed to play the game. This includes character creation, and all the bit and bobs needed to create a complete hero; core rules; supernatural items; and some advice on how to run the game.

No "Director's book"

There will not be a Director specific book. MCDM feels that Directors will rely on other sources for how to run their games: they'll learn by playing with other directors; by reading, listening, or watching directors talk about their experiences; or by watching actual plays.


MCDM re-iterated that the intended open license will allow third parties to create adventures for the RPG. They've said that an open license is crucial for a vibrant community, and the health and longevity of the RPG.

MCDM also wants to do long pre-written adventures, but may start out with some smaller adventures, good for teaching the RPG to new people. They may reuse adventures developed for testing and upgrade them to full adventures. The adventures do currently lean heavily into what's being tested, but they are designed to introduce new people to the RPG.

Exploration rules

The RPG is not about exploring the wilderness, or hex crawling. Rules for diseases, starvation or other survival rules are not part of the core game.

Solo play

The same goes for solo play, or 1-v-1 games. The game is not about that and it's difficult to balance for both groups of character and a single character.

The optimal number of players will probably be five to six, excluding the Director. James has also tested with games with three players and seven players, which also worked fine.

Travelling rules

There will be some text indicating how far you can travel in a day, but there's not going to be detailed rules for managing resources. You won't need to make sure you rest a sufficient amount, or else you'll not be able to travel as far the next day.

Rules included when needed

Single adventures might however focus on themes that needs rules for exploration, travel, or solo play. In those cases the adventure will include those rules.

Character levels

At level one, characters are already heroes, and at max level, ten, they are basically demigods. Every level is a significant step up in power, so that a level ten hero is at the same power level as someone at level 20 in D&D for example. With limiting it to ten levels, the intention is that heroes will be able to reach max level during a campaign, instead of petering out two thirds of the way to max level.

Dice scaling

There have been some questions on how the dice scale up with levels. One way to power up abilities is to use d8s. That's in addition the characteristic scores also increasing the bonuses they give to abilities.

Character customization

When it comes to character customization, the goal is to strike a balance between having meaningful choices in the design of the character, but not to overwhelm new players. In addition to subclasses, the goal is that every level let's you make a decision: a different ability or feature that distinguishes your hero from an other player's hero.

A hero is a combination of the class, the kit, the ancestry, the upbringing (how they were raised), and a career/past (what they did before becoming a hero).

Multi classing

Multi classing is not going to be part of the RPG. Instead, the customization, and tweaking allowed by multi classing in other systems is covered by choices during character creation and when leveling up.

By using the right kit, having the right upbringing and choosing the correct past you can create a Tactician that acts much like a Shadow. You won't be able to do exactly what a Shadow does, using Shadow class abilities etc., but you can still sneak, hide, use a cloak and dagger and be a shadowy operative.

James has said that they are actively making sure that each class has their own niche, which other classes don't encroach too much on.


There will be subclasses though. When you get to choose your subclass is still uncertain. It will depend on the class, but James also wants it to be after level one, most likely level two. The thinking is that you've got enough choices to make when creating a level one hero.


James mentioned some of the ancestries that might show up in the RPG. All of these will not necessarily be part of the core rules, but may show up in future products. The ancestries are Dwarves; High Elves and Wode Elves; Humans; Memoneks; Orcs; Proteans; some kind of dragon folk with a possible name of Wyrmwights; and Revenant (undead).


Let's talk about kits. A kit is the loadout of equipment the hero is using and the training they have with that equipment. The Shining Armor kit imitates a knight in shining armor: you'll be using a big weapon and wearing a lot of metal armor. The Cloak and Dagger kit imitates the classic assassin: you're wearing a big, dark cloak to hide in the shadows while wielding one or multiple daggers.

Kits are an important part of character customization and not only dictates what equipment your hero is using, but also how you play. Kits grant bonuses to your stats: extra health, farther melee reach, longer distances to ranged attacks, more movement speed.

There might also be some rules regarding which heroes can use which kits. There might be limitations based on ancestry, size, or having the right Title.

Patreon update

There are some kits included in the crowdfunder preview, but they are already outdated. In an update on Patreon, James outlines the changes they've made to kits since that first iteration.


Titles are a bit like feats, but you have to do something to earn them. Some Titles are low level Titles, which can be picked upon character creation, but others have strict criteria that need to be met before the Title is earned. If you become a local hero by saving the children from the cave trolls, or join a company of knights vowed to defeat all evil, you might receive a Title.

Some Titles may grant access to certain groups or locations, while other Titles may grant abilities.

Matt imagines that there will be specific titles for heroes that have died, and come back. They've learned something on the other side, and now have some new ability they can use.

Supernatural weapons

The way to upgrade your kit is to obtain better equipment; and that means supernatural weapons. The crowdfunder campaign included an example of a supernatural weapon: the Quintessence Blade. The bonuses from the blade are added on top of the bonuses from your kit.

The example also shows how a weapon becomes stronger as the hero using it levels up. It's expected that heroes keep the supernatural items they find to the end of their career, and that the weapons become more powerful as the hero becomes more powerful.

You don't have to find all those new weapons and armor; with the crafting system, you'll be able to make better armor or weapons for yourself.

Utility abilities

There will be utility abilities that can be used outside of combat. These might for example be granted by your titles, past or background. There hasn't been much talk of these yet, since combat has been receiving the most focus.

There isn't a concept of rituals, instead the RPG leverages the crafting system for powerful abilities that take time to summon. Teleporting to anywhere in the world, shifting planes or resurrecting someone requires supernatural items which take time to craft.


When a hero is damaged to zero health, they become unstable. They are not out of the fight, they're still able to act, but at a price: using an action drains their health. Once they reach negative half their health, they die outright.

By the time the heroes are second or third level they will have access to supernatural items that allow them to bring others back from the dead.

Heroic heroes

A lot of people have been asking whether it'll be possible to play morally questionable characters in a heroic RPG. James said that some heroes are not necessarily always infallibly good. Some heroes are like Superman, while other are more like Deadpool. They're both heroes, but with very different motivations.

The adventures from MCDM and the text in the rulebooks will assume that the characters are good people, and want to help people who are in need.

Monster rating

Monsters have a level indicating how powerful they are. Currently there isn't any math for calculating monster level, but James' intention is that monster levels should correspond to player levels: four level one monsters is a good encounter for four level one heroes.


Negotiation happens when the heroes enter into crucial bartering with powerful people. This isn't trying to gain entrance through a guard, it's not haggling over a price, it's when you need local lord to lend you their military forces, or you want the Goblin chieftain to not join the coming battle on the enemy's side.

Negotiation balances interest and patience; how inclined someone is to help you, and how long they'll entertain your offers. If you make an argument that mentions one of an NPC's motivations, their interest increases. If you mention a pitfall, something the NPC does not like hearing mentioned, their interest decreases. If you make a good argument, but don't mention the NPC's motivations or pitfalls, you make a roll. Roll well and the NPC is swayed by your argument.

Each time you make an argument not mentioning a motivation, the NPC's patience decreases. The goal is to get the NPC as interested as possible before their patience runs out.

The interest of the NPC determines how willing are they to meet your demands. The higher the interest, the more willing they are to give help. Very high interest makes them not only help you - they might even throw in something extra. Very low interest at the end of the negotiation however, makes them decline your request, and the NPC might even actively sabotage you.

The rules will include a template for different starting conditions of negotiations, depending on the disposition of the NPC towards the heroes. That way the director will have something to jump off of when it comes to setting values for patience and interest.


The RPG uses squares as it's single unit of length. The size of a square is ultimately decided by the Director. The rules will recommend that a square is five by five feet, which makes the rules make sense. A lot of battle maps, existing and future ones, are also designed with that assumption. The rules also mention that something like one or two meters, or a one yard, may work as well.


MCDM doesn't have a team to do translations as of yet, but they'd love to be able to translate the rules later.

There has been some talk about translations in the community. Matt mentioned months ago that they might be open to third parties translating the RPG. And there is a community effort, started by LUZ_TAK on the Discord, to translate the Patreon packet to Spanish.


At the start of the crowdfunding campaign, MCDM announced that long time patrons will receive PDFs of the Heroes and Monsters books for free. The requirement is that you've been a patron for five consecutive months prior to the release. They don't know when the RPG will be done, so it's hard to say proactively when the five month cut-off will be, so this is basically a reward exclusive to long running patrons, and not an "easier" or "cheaper" way to get the RPG.

To paraphrase Matt: Patrons are paying to see the game be made, warts and all, and they get access to early, rough versions of the rules. Backers of the crowdfunder are paying for polish. Backers should not join the Patreon only to discover a janky version of the RPG, only to get upset.

Playtest packets

Patrons received a play test packet on the 26th of December. The packet includes some pre-generated characters, the core rules, an adventure to run, and the needed monster stat blocks.

Backers of the crowdfunding campaign will probably see a packet in the middle of 2024. If you're in now, you wont have to wait for 2025 to play the game.


In one of the Patreon updates this month, they showed off first draft for the monster stat block designs. With a lot of visual guidance, the blocks are looking very good so far. They are included in the play test packet for patrons.


People are curious about the classes, but the fact is that only a few have prototypes which can be used in testing, and most of the others are only ideas. So what's told about the classes is very much not any guarantee of how they might turn out. The classes to be included in the Heroes book haven't even been decided for certain yet.

The Tactician

The first class being worked on is the Tactician. The goal is to figure out what the first 3 levels will look like, and what subclasses will look like.

The Fury

The Fury is back! It was never really gone, but it changed name to the Reaver for a while to avoid confusion about the name of the class being Fury, and it's heroic resource also being named Fury. "The Fury has a lot of Fury". The heroic resource is now called Rage instead.

The Operator

The Operator uses a mech, called a Frame, in their heroic deeds. Operators are not common in Orden, and if they end up in the core rules (very unlikely), there'll probably be language about them not being common and coordinating with the director if you want to play one. Matt suggested people in Vasloria might call it a "clockwork knight", while people in Capital would just say "woah" and continue their life.

The Operator manages Power as their heroic resource. Power doesn't increase or decrease, but is allocated to different parts of the Frame to best suit the situation. Power to the legs for faster running, power to the arms for heavier lifting, power to the head for better scanning of the environment.

According to James, the Operator may not be a core class, but it will be made - to quote him: "It's too dope not to"

The Troubadour

The Troubadour is currently looking a bit swashbuckler-y, but their main focus is going to be singing and playing songs. While singing and playing songs, they grant buffs to allies or debuffs to enemies.

Homebrew classes

There's also focus on making homebrewing classes easy. They're trying to make sure leveling doesn't present too many options. Too many options is cool when you're a player, but it's super tedious if you're trying to homebrew. MCDM is trying to strike a balance.

Illrigger revised

Moving on to something apart from the RPG.

I did say in the previous episode that MCDM was done with 5e content, only to be contradicted when they released the revised Illrigger. This new version is, according to MCDM, less weird and more in line with other 5E class designs. There's also two new sub classes. The redesign has been done by Sadie Lowry.

The old version will still be available for those who want it, and already use it. The revised Illrigger is available for free to all who purchased the original version, including those that got it through Patreon.


There's currently a bundle on the MCDM shop and DriveThruRPG for all of Arcadia, all 30 issues, for $30. That's the steal of the century. Links in the episode description.

From the community

Here are some highlight creations from the MCDM community the last month.

Illrigger magic items

Reddit user Pigpenjord shared magic items flavored specifically for the Illrigger.

Retainers for the Timescape

Reddit user Colonel17 is at it again with new retainers from the Timescape; this time it's the Court of Decay, the Celestial Court, The World Below, and Axiom.

Cetus Beastheart companion

How about the Loch Ness monster as a pet companion? Reddit user FathomlessSeer have the stat block for you.

Flee Mortals CR calculator

Flee Mortals introduced alternative rules for calculating CR and building encounters. Reddit user Gavinwadz has made a calculator to help you with the math.

Wyverns and Leviathans

HarmonicHewell from the Discord has put together a minigame for ship combat for D&D 5e. It has a World War 2 inspired aesthetic with leviathans on the sea, being attacked by wyverns in the sky.

Racial Reworks

On the Discord, Roy Sauce has reworked a bunch of the races in D&D 5e with the intention of making each of them more distinct and give them more fun interactions.

The Iconoclast

erant91 on Discord has made a custom class specializing in spell slinging. They specialize in using cantrips, and can cast multiple cantrips on their turn.

To Capital (Parody Tribute Song)

Landwaker on YouTube has created a song about The Chain of Acheron coming to Capital.

Links to all these creations can be found in the episode description.

From around the web

Sometimes MCDM shows up outside of our community. I've included some of those occurrences in the list of links in the episode description.


Also, if you head to you can now read transcripts of all the episodes. The site is rather simple, but it does the job for now.

If you have anything that should be included next time, send me an e-mail at [email protected].

Until next time. Snakkes.