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DIE RPG designers delay Kickstarter until 2022 to avoid shipping and material shortages

DIE another day.

Image credit: Stephanie Hans

The upcoming tabletop RPG adaptation of popular comic, DIE, has delayed its Kickstarter campaign until spring 2022, according to Rowan, Rook and Deckard. The UK-based design studio announced the new date on October 22nd, attributing the decision to the current shipping instability and worldwide paper shortage.

DIE, based on the award-winning comic from Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans, was originally announced late last month as a collaboration between Gillen, Hans and Rowan, Rook and Deckard as publisher. Gillen would be turning over the free-to-play version of the comic’s roleplaying game-based universe to Grant Howitt and Chris Taylor for what they told Dicebreaker was work on the “player-facing version” of the setting and rules.

Additionally, Maz Hamilton and the rest of the support staff of Rowan, Rook and Deckard were to helm the crowdfunding of a hardcover book in line with their previous publications, such as the ENnie Award-winning Heart: The City Beneath and Spire: The City Must Fall. It seems as though ongoing infrastructure problems threw a wrench into those plans.

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Rowan, Rook and Deckard said the two “big challenges” ahead of the initial date of November was a continued shortage of paper across the world - pretty important for printing books - and the fact that shipping anything requires more time, money and risk than normal. In fact, those figures are often higher than this time last year, and don’t show signs of abating in the near future.

“You can hopefully see why this is a difficult time for us. We really don’t want to embark on a project like this and have it go dramatically wrong for reasons outside of our control,” the post read. “To avoid fulfilling late, overcharging you, or running into unsustainable levels of debt from what will doubtlessly be our biggest ever Kickstarter, we’re delaying the launch.”

The post points towards an article published by Kickstarter’s Eric Steuer on October 6th that breaks down how exactly supply chain woes are affecting the running and fulfillment of projects hosted on the crowdfunding site. It also lays out some best practices for those about to launch: build in delays and over-communicate. For many, including Rowan, Rook and Deckard, forgoing a launch altogether until conditions improve is becoming the more appealing option.

Image credit: Stephanie Hans / Image Comics

When it does finally launch, DIE will provide everything a group needs to roleplay in the fantastical and deadly setting of the comic within a single sourcebook. Hans will be creating new illustrations for it, but much of the translation as done by Gillen during the writing of the series will either be refined or expanded.

Players will create personas, reflections of their fictional real-world characters as they exist in DIE’s polyhedral universe. Each different persona has dominion over one of the classic array of dice - d6, d8, d12, etc. - while only the Game Master wields the twenty-sided die. Their respective powers provide stark differences in abilities that can affect the world, NPCs or each other. Like the comic, DIE wants to create narrative space for getting weird, wacky or deep into the conflicting interpersonal feelings of the groups.

No hard date has yet been announced for DIE’s rescheduled Kickstarter campaign. Keep checking Dicebreaker for more information as it becomes available.

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