Things I learned from the Exalted Kickstarter

Exalted 3rd edition is out after many years, and seems better than 2nd edition.  Yet, after all this time I find that I still don’t have the book I kickstarted, which, according the the kickstarter, was the whole point of it (it was stated they didn’t need funding for development).  I reported awhile back that this was on my fucked kickstarter list, and it still is.

From the 3E PDF, the writing is superfluous, inefficient and overblown.  The system, while not as crazy as 2E, is as complex as ever, this time with some strange abstractions layered over the top of the WW storyteller system (which should have been abandoned in the first place). People may play this game, but as stated by the new head of White Wolf:

…while the monumental classic-WW-style books generally sell poorly and are more read than played. If future editions … are actively used rather than collected we have done our job.

Monumental. Did I mention it’s ….600+ pages. It’s not 2009 anymore.  Why would any RPG book need to be this large? The 5E PHB is half that, even the all-encompassing, rather wordy at times Runequest 6 only 450 pages. So what did I learn for the future:

  1. Never back an RPG that doesn’t send you an immediate PDF of the rules.
    •  No one needs money to do development on a new RPG system.
    • People do this in their free time (Black Hack, Godbound, Zwiehander) and are successful.
    •  Any COMPANY doing this will be able to support their developers during the development process, long, long long before they ask us for money (Feng Shui 2, Dungeon Crawl Classics).
    • I expect to Kickstart PRINTING of an RPG, never development.
    • This was just ignorance and stupidity on everyone’s parts that backed Exalted 3E.  Remember how long ago this kickstarter was, we were young then, and dumb.
  2. Never back another White Wolf / Onyx Path Kickstarter.
    •  This goes without saying
  3. Ask for kickstarter money back at the first missed deadline.
    • Don’t meet deadlines that you yourselves have set?
  4. Ask for kickstarter money back if the creator is openly stating that they are facing severe health problems. (people finding out on the side is a different matter)
  5. Be very wary of new RPG system re-development Kickstarters.
  6.  Don’t back anything that will fucking suck to GM, and Exalted, in all it’s editions is a game that’s great as a player, but it’s horrible to GM, not just the learning, but the playing.  This took awhile to discover for myself.

    These guys (the second tier signature Solars) are still cooler than the 3E ones, sadly.