- So, What Is This Thing?
Here’s the short version: Owen KC Stephens (Rogue Genius Games) is creating 52 products to be released one PDF a week every week throughout 2020. Each product will be released for four different rules systems (Pathfinder 1st edition, Pathfinder 2nd edition, Starfinder, and 5e)—that’s 208 total PDFs for one low price.
All the products in a given month will be thematically linked. At the end of each month those linked products will be compiled into a print book (one for each of the 4 game systems). If you’ve preordered the PDFs, you can buy the print books at 50% off.
- How Big Are the 52 Products?
Each month there will be one lynchpin product, and all the other releases that month will be shorter subjects related to the lynchpin theme.
The lynchpin products will be no smaller than 8 pages (in January, April, July, and October), 16 pages (in February, May, August, and November), or 32 pages (in March, June, September, and December). The supporting products will be shorter, ranging from 4 to 6 pages.
- Isn’t This Impossible?
Not at all! In fact, I’ve done this and more in the past.
For 4 years I oversaw the production of a product a week, every week, without fail for Super Genius and then Rogue Genius Games, while at the same time doing full-time freelance for other companies and sometimes holding down a separate 40-hour-a-week job. During that same period I also spent a month producing an encounter every weekday for Dungeon-A-Day.com.
For more than a year I developed a 32-page Player Companion every month without fail for Paizo while also working for Green Ronin and running Rogue Genius Games.
My track record speaks for itself.
- Can I Just Buy the One Product I Want?
Yes—eventually. Individual PDFs and the collected volumes will go on sale to the general public in 2021.
None of the new products created for 52-in-52 will be available for general purchase until the whole project is fulfilled. Beginning in 2021, the products will be released for sale individually (also at a rate of one product per week). So backers of this program will get their products a year earlier than everyone else, and at a significant savings.
- Okay... Why Are You Doing This?
This is an experiment. Independent tabletop game creators are struggling to make ends meet. Crowdfunding has helped some, but comes with many risks and questions—backers are never certain that a project is happening until it funds, and even then they aren’t sure the creator will meet the delivery date; creators are always having to guess the proper mix of products to drive interest, and greater success often leads them to add in more products which increase the difficulty of delivering on their initial promises.
I know I can fulfill the basic promise of 52-in-52. I’ve done it before—four years in a row. That drops the risk factor for both the backers and me to as close to zero as you can get.
I believe there is a massive, excited, vibrant tabletop-game-playing community willing to support game makers if we give them what they want. So by offering 52 products—in 4 game systems—all for a single low price, I hope to connect with a huge audience who see the value they’ll be getting. Perhaps not every one of the 52 products will be exactly what an individual backer wants—but for one deeply discounted price they’re getting a whole lot of good material from a reliable source, and getting it a year before the general public can.
It’s a risk for me, but it’s one I believe is worth taking.
- Do You Have a List of All the Products?
Of course I do! I also have release dates, and covers (though final titles and covers may change prior to release). Remember, each one of these entries will be produced in versions for 4 different game systems.
Master Class: Runecaster (January 3) – A new magic-using class that focuses on runes rather than spells.
Sword of Kings (January 10) – A blade that grows with the character, and in time can build nations.
Rune Magic (January 17) – A new form of magic beyond just spells.
Soul Sword (January 24) – Light, dark, the sword matches whatever is in your soul.
Runeblades (January 31) – Weapons of legend, with multiple systems for adding them to your campaign, and keeping them relevant at all levels.
Gadget Crossbows (February 7) They do more than just fire bolts!
Mystic Knick Knacks (February 14) There’s minor, but fun and useful.
Mishap Magic Items (February 21) Sometimes when things go wrong, the end result is more interesting than what you had planned.
Master Class: Artificer (February 28) – A new class that focuses on making and modifying things, which can focus on multiple colleges of artifice, not all of which depend on magic.
The Adventure Academy (March 6) – Rules for having characters that balance adventure with schoolwork, while getting better at both.
Prosthetic Weapon Arms (March 13) For characters who Do have something up their sleeve.
Ridiculously Large Weapons (March 20) They may seem oversized, but they always impress.
Armored Aces (March 27) Personal mecha rules, for a single character to focus on or as the basis of an entire campaign.
101 Minor Daily Annoyances (April 3rd) Sometimes it’s the little things that can make an adventure memorable.
Jackhole Generator—People You Won’t Like (April 10th) When the GM needs help making someone memorable, and annoying.
Double Down: It Could Be Worse (April 17th)—Rules to Get PCs Out of the Frying Pan (At the Cost of Going into the Fire.
Critical Mediocrity Deck (April 24th) Random results for when you roll a natural 10 or 11. They won’t change the course of history, but they do change things up a bit.
Master Class: Cantripothurge (May 1st) A new class that focuses on cantrips, including boosting cantrip power as they gain levels.
Casting Circles: Rituals for Whole Party (May 8th) Magic rituals you need the whole aprty to perform.
Dream Magic (May 15th) From Nod to Kadath, there are secrets in the realms of dreams.
Blood Magic (May 22nd) The power is in the blood.
Cinematic Magic (May 29th) Rules to make magic more interesting, with spell point systems, magic skill rolls, and options to overcast as great risk and cost.
Master Class: Eldmage (June 5th) An old-school spellcaster that focuses on a very few, very powerful spell castings a day.
Tomes and Study: Libraries and Research (June 12th) Rules for storing and gathering knowledge.
Potion Miscibility Table (June 19th) What happens when you mix potions and serums of healing and spider climb? Spider healing?
ArchMagic—Campaign Capstone Spells (June 26th) Spells one level higher than the rules normally go. Wish is fine... but it’s only the beginning.
Hijinks!—Lists of Silly Problems and Sillier Solutions (July 3rd) Not everything is a fight to the death.
Ruh Roh—Talking Animal Playable Ancestries (July 10th) Do you want a talking dog or squirrel PC? Because this is how you get talking animals PCs.
Five-Member Band—Musical Adventure Options (July 17th) How do you go adventuring with music and musicians as your focus?
BONK— Nonlethal Conflict Resolution Rules (July 24th) You want conflict in your game, and consequences, but don’t always want the stakes to be lethal? We got you covered.
TSM!—Teenagers Solving Mysteries Micro-Campaign (July 31th) Everything you need to run a TSM campaign!
Dwarven Stouts and Hafling Battle Cheese (August 7th) Delicious, but also useful!
So You Bought A Tavern: Fun and Easy Rules for PC-Owned Businesses (August 15th) Make PC businesses impactful, without making them take up all your game time.
Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep: Household Magic (August 22nd) People say their prayers at night for a reason.
The Little Hamlet of Villago (August 29th) It seems to peaceful on the surface, but it serves as both base of operation and source of adventure (yes, even in Starfinder, where the Villago is a “Little Hamlet” class mobile station).
Scars, Brands, and Lingering Wounds (September 4th) Sometimes reminders of past injuries can also be motivations.
Warbands!—Simple Stat Blocks for Encounters with Military Units (September 11th) When you want the PCs to take on whole units of guards and squads of goblins without changing the game much, this is what you use.
Darnitt’s Straw Tower—Sorcerous Strongholds (September 16th) Magic makes fortifications better.
Siege Machines (September 23rd) When you want to breach the wall, smash the port, and crush the door.
Into the Breach—Mass Combat Rules (September 30th) Great heroes should be able to change the course of entire wars. Now, they can.
Marked with an Unholy Sign—Birthmarks, Sigils, and Tattoos (October 2nd) You are marked, but that mark is also a source of power.
A Gift & A Curse (October 9th) Some gifts bring nearly as many problems as they solve.
Playable Ancestries: Headless—Cranially Challenged Player Ancestries (October 16th) Headless PCs? Yep, headless PCs.
Sidbhatra’s Guide to Horns and Tails (October 23rd) The young Oracle of Ankhara has begun to catalog when otherwise hornless species begin to show signs of... corruption.
Hellblood Magic (October 30th) You can access the power in the blood of hell, whether because it flows in your own veins, or by summoning fiends and cutting them to access their energies.
Spirits of the Wild (November 6th) Wondrous, wild, unpredictable, these are the things in the dark places where parents tell their children not to go. But not all children should listen...
Titan Knights (November 13th) Sometimes, you need BIG heroes, to deal with BIG problems.
Advisor Companions (November 20th) Not mere familiar, these talking, sometimes wisecracking companions are here to advise, teach, and shake their heads in disappointment at you.
Magic Girls Campaign Guide (November 27th) There are powers that come to teens in themed groupings, and are used to face off against evils no one can otherwise oppose.
Riddlewands (December 4th) Why just shoot a fireball when you can gain a clue to the riddle of any encounter?
Destiny Be Darned!—Magical Mulligans (December 11th) Sometimes the entire campaign needs a do-over. But that doesn’t have to come from outside the campaign’s continuity.
Playable Ancestries: Sphinx (December 18th) Wise, mysterious, clawed... everything you need for Sphinx PCs.
Sidbhatra’s Big Book of Riddles and Puzzles (December 25th) Riddles and puzzles are common parts of adventure fiction, but often annoying or unsatisfying for tabletop RPGs. This fixes that.