Caverns Deep and Darkhollow should have been two campaigns

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kodiakbear
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Re: Caverns Deep and DREADHOLLOW should have been two campaigns

Post by kodiakbear » Sun Jan 26, 2020 10:37 pm

Just a reminder the set was and is called DREADHOLLOW FOREST



DF has always liked to add encounters that are not the exact same as the main theme of the KS.

KS1 Chamber of Sorrows (sure just a different paint job)
KS2 Lava (sure just a different paint job)
KS3 Sewers
KS4 Mountains
KS5 Burrows & Shrine & Marble (sure just a different paint job)
KS6 Forest, Crystal & Ice & Underdoom (sure mostly just different paint jobs)

But I do see a progression with the encounter model of more sub themes

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Re: Caverns Deep and Darkhollow should have been two campaigns

Post by period3 » Sun Jan 26, 2020 3:00 pm

I wish they had been separate, but maybe for a different reason. DH just didn't feel complete enough for me to buy into. No 4" pieces, a limited number of tiles (and so little variation), lack of transitions, and last minute additions.
I mean it looks great as a 1.5x2' encounter, but at, say, 3'x3' I think I'd start to notice repetitiveness and stuff like the banks issue would bother me.

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Re: Caverns Deep and Darkhollow should have been two campaigns

Post by lostpict » Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:20 pm

I think there is lots of room for Architectural based KS. As examples, a set of Dwarven styled elements to build Moria on top of the existing KS1, KS4, ad KS5 sets. Elvin architecture for high elves. Sylvan elves dwellings leveraging the KS6 DH and KS7. Orky and goblin villages set above ground using KS6 DH and KS7 or KS2 and KS6 below ground. But the largest untapped opportunities are more human architectural sets beyond the KS3 CBS. I would love temples, arenas, stables, barracks, and trades such as breweries, barns, armories, banks, markets, magic shops, schools, fishmongers, butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers...
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Re: Caverns Deep and Darkhollow should have been two campaigns

Post by Gargs454 » Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:04 pm

I definitely agree that there are limits as to the types of terrain genres they have left to do. Especially since outdoor terrain is often easily covered with the "negative space" builds. I could envision some smaller scope future KSers for terrain types they already have. For instance, I could see a KS1 style KS for dungeons that offer a different wall type from the current DoD and KS1 -- something along the lines of the Shrine of Sysuul add on. This would enable DMs in particular to vary their dungeon types while still leaving a lot of the floors and such still usable on the new KS. You'd largely be looking at new walls, doors, and perhaps some bling accessory (both led and not). Possibly new stairs or bridge to vary the current designs, but all in all you'd be looking at a fairly small in scope new dungeon type. Caverns might be a bit more difficult to vary though. Especially with them already having ice and hellscape. I could maybe see mine carts/rails being added at some point though.

Cities as mentioned could definitely see some new sculpts as well. I could envision more dock spaces, larger boats (maybe), and just different styles of buildings/sewers/streets. If the mentioned hills in KS7 do well, I could see them placing more "hilly" terrain in both caverns and cities. Streets built on hills for instance, or at least "ramps" in the form of streets to connects upper and lower sections of the city. Caverns scream for uneven terrain like that. I could maybe envision an expansion to burrows to include more straight up dirt tunnels and the like, but of course that depends on how well burrows are doing in general -- and from a gaming standpoint, I think it still suffers potentially from the "Yeah, its cool and all, but how often am I going to be using this?" I see burrows as even more limited in that regard than hellscape or ice or underdark, etc.

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Re: Caverns Deep and Darkhollow should have been two campaigns

Post by zenako » Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:18 pm

Well, they are running low on interesting terrain types. There are some they have not tackled, but those (Desert, plains, farmland, etc. do not give a lot of sculpting options where DF can make a difference. They could go for some different types of green space - evergreens, tropical, palm trees (maybe as a small desert oasis pack), or emphasize seasons for their current DH design style. I know that was one of the things that attracted me to back the Monster Terrain KS, was getting trees with a variety of colors to break up patterns and to have some ability to reflect seasonal differences.

It seems they are pretty committed to Terrain Trays tech for larger bodies of water, but perhaps smaller streams that are entirely within a portion of a 3x3 tile with a variety of flow paths and a variety of bank conditions would be of some interest. Add-ons could be things like small bridges or a dam (or a beaver dam) to create bodies of water. There are options, but most of them will end up being more limited in demand.

For example, consider the generic straight wall tile for Caverns or Dungeons. They know they will be making literally tons of those tp support the demand since they are core building blocks for any dungeon or cavern. Same thing with some style of corner and floor. It is with the special or bling pieces where they have to be careful to not blow their budget out of the water.

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Re: Caverns Deep and Darkhollow should have been two campaigns

Post by pacarat » Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:58 am

Some random thoughts/observation...

How many more themes/genres/arenas/whatever can DF reasonably put on the table over the next several years, without “duplication”?

Above ground started with DHF, and the upcoming Wildlands is mostly unknown as far as scope/range (obviously a few teasers have been published).

I see caverns and dungeon being saturated.

Still could use some more town/village/rural.

Castles is probably one and done.

Scifi would be a candidate, given all the relatively new SW, etc. gaming releases the past couple of years.

Target audience (RPG, skirmish wargames, etc.) is also a consideration.

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Re: Caverns Deep and Darkhollow should have been two campaigns

Post by AnimeSensei » Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:32 am

I also wish they had been separate.

I think part of the issue now is DF (while still a small company) has grown too big to possibly allow many smaller kickstarters and still operate. They may have grown to the point that smaller kickstarters are not a sustainable model for the company. That does make me worried if a kickstarter flops, as it carries the potential of severely hurting the company long-term.
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Re: Caverns Deep and Darkhollow should have been two campaigns

Post by Gargs454 » Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:13 am

arsthein wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 6:59 am
but I'm guessing that DF uses this "bonus settings" in large kickstarters as a test for future lines. I believe that even they didn't expect such a success with Erinthor and DH, which probably have taken them to make the decision to go for outdoors in KS7.

Lot's of assumptions, I know, but it would make a lot of sense to me if this was the train of thought during recent projects.
Pretty much what I was going to post. I also got the impression (though obviously just a guess) that Burrows did not do all that well in the KS phase (I recall a survey being sent out that spent a lot of time asking about burrows). By adding DH as a "smaller" section of a larger KS they may well have gotten some of the "whales" to still spend all in while also gauging a bit to see if there would be enough interest in a wilderness type setting for a KS.

It's pretty clear that DF has a business plan that does rely quite a bit on the KS model at the moment. Given that, it would likely be disastrous if they had kept DH out of KS6 to save entirely for a purely wilderness-themed KS7 only to find that customers really were not all that interested in wilderness type setting for their DF. If that KS were to flop, it could likely be very hard financially on DF. (Again, I'm making a lot of guesses and assumptions here) So adding DH to CD became a risk-reward analysis. It lowered the risk of a wilderness themed KS because if DH flopped then they could shift gears for KS7. At the same time, it might well have lowered the overall reward as Law mentions by causing some people to ultimately spend less on both CD and DH. The ceiling may have been lowered, but the floor was probably raised if that makes sense.

Now the question becomes how feasible is it to simply do a higher quantity of KS'ers but having each of those KS'ers be "small" like the Hellscape one. Certainly I think for a lot of us, we would love the idea of a small KS, but can they turn them around quick enough to make do on the resulting smaller overall total of sales in each KS? I suspect that many of us would be hesitant to say pledge for a KS while still waiting for two other KS orders to arrive, just as an example.

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Re: Caverns Deep and Darkhollow should have been two campaigns

Post by hunter_something » Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:02 am

I too wish that Dreadhollow had been its own KS. From my perspective as a customer, I would have flipped DH & Hellscape. But the reason for that is selfish & born of hindsight: I regret not getting any DH and I suspect I want a little too hard on Hellscape.

I would get, I'm sure, MUCH more use out of DH - I could see having something prepped in DH for pretty much every session. Hellscape is very very cool, but also fairly limited in use cases.

I agree with Arsthein that the bonus setting feel like test balloons. My hope is that wildlands will repack & improve upon the current DH offerings, letting me get in the mix at a decent price and with the ability to make some more organic overall forms (I'm looking at you, banks and escarpments!)

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Re: Caverns Deep and Darkhollow should have been two campaigns

Post by arsthein » Sun Jan 26, 2020 6:59 am

I, in a vacuum, agree wholeheartedly on Law's premise, but I'm guessing that DF uses this "bonus settings" in large kickstarters as a test for future lines. I believe that even they didn't expect such a success with Erinthor and DH, which probably have taken them to make the decision to go for outdoors in KS7.

I guess Sewers didn't go so well, sad, since I love them and was the only product aside from minis and accesories that I took from CBS, but what has been released, I think, has not enough variety and the building blocks are kind of fiddly and could be improved upon.

I think, too, that Hellscape was planned to go with KS6, but they saw (thankfully) that going that big would be insane, and decided to test DH instead. To tell the truth, I think that is smart thinking ahead of time. Probably, as Law states, that means some cash lost in the short term, but some valuable and advantageous intel gained for the long term.

Lot's of assumptions, I know, but it would make a lot of sense to me if this was the train of thought during recent projects.

My 2 cents,

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