Adventure Post (Kickstarter)

So we caved. The Rat Hole recently joined Twitter ( @TheRatHoleDOTca ) and our first retweet was a post by Dark Realm Maps. Little did we know that would lead to our first CrowdFUNding Spotlight of 2019.

Dark Realm Maps, as is happens, is doing the map work for Adventure Post: A Path of Self-Learning. Just to be clear, “A Path of Self-Learning”, is the title of the adventure; not some buzzword-laden tagline. The Adventure Post game is being developed by Geek Collaborative Gaming and and is unique in so many great ways.

A common grievance in many parts of society is the postal service. Nobody sends anything through regular post anymore, except packages, bills, and junk mail. Well, Adventure Post is a series of 11 postcards (plus an initial welcome kit), physically mailed out each week. Each week’s mini-adventure will lead into a final confrontation, with the choices you make in the preceding weeks affecting the final battle.

Play-by-mail isn’t specifically a new concept, but even when the interwebz weren’t a thing yet it was more common to just play an established turn-based game (like chess) between penpals. Nowadays, you don’t need snail mail, email, or even a dedicated website. You play chess, and other games, remotely via text, app, and a dozen other ways. People rarely send letters, and even holiday or birthday cards are declining, so this is something special. It will be interesting to see you it shakes out, as I’ve sent postcards to people weeks apart, only for them to arrive together on the same day.

If you’re curious, they put out a free Holiday Teaser print-and-play to give people an idea of what to expect. It’s pretty barebones, with a simple map created in-house for example purposes only. It does, however, have a few pieces of creature art by Indi Marting, of Tortoise & Hare Creations, who will be doing the creature art for the first Adventure Post campaign.

For the full campaign, the cartography (or should that be card-ography) is being done by Dark Realm Maps, who’s amazing hand-drawn mapwork is what brings this Spotlight full circle to where I came in.

You can buy in at the purely digital level, in which case you’ll receive each week’s part as a PDF. At only $9 (USD) it’s an affordable price, with no shipping costs, so it’s ideal for the budget conscious backer, and international backers. While more affordable, it does take some of the fun out the project, so they added a $16 level (within 3 hours of it being suggested in the campaign comments) that includes just the postcards, without the welcome kit, saving about half on the shipping on top of the physical products. $28 gets you the postcards and a welcome kit with a branded pencil, four dice, a custom dice bag, a plastic pawn, and any stretch goals. $50 adds on a final print with everything consolidated onto a single map. There are also a few limited backer levels sprinkled in there.

Most of the of the stretch goals are upgrades to the welcome kits, but two exciting goals to me are the last two. The first is a custom laser-cut 2D miniature by Galaxy Gaming Gear. I’ve seen their work first hand and it’s beautiful. The second one is the final stretch goal of free shipping. That’s a massive savings for everyone if they unlock it. I dropped a $1 pledge just to see where the project went, and was probably going to go with the $9 level, but immediately upped to the $16 when they released it. But if the shipping cost gets covered, I’ll most certainly funnel that money back into the project and get the $28 level. The creators have been very clear that this project is a labour of love, not of profit, they just want everyone to get compensated fairly, and put out something unique, and I admire that.

You can back Adventure Post: A Path of Self-Learning on Kickstarter until January 29, 2019.

You can also join in on the conversation on their facebook group,