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Created by MCDM Productions

Whether you’re a group of local heroes sent to investigate mysterious goings-on in the nearby haunted wood, or famous mercenaries plotting and scheming in the big city, the MCDM RPG makes building adventures and fighting monsters fun.

This project was funded with $4.5m in December 2023 by a community of 30k generous Backers who believe.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

You like us... You really like us!
3 months ago – Thu, Jan 11, 2024 at 05:09:19 PM

So, that was crazy.

Hey folks, Matt Colville here on behalf of MCDM. Last week the RPG Crowdfunder wrapped and the final numbers were basically insane. Over 30,000 of you pledged over $4.5m dollars to this crazy idea we have. That is more than anyone imagined. Our days of losing sleep wondering “is anyone interested in this?” are over! Now we have all NEW reasons to lose sleep! 😀

For context, no one has had this kind of success in this space without either A: being attached to an existing, known IP like Avatar: The Last Airbender, or B: by marrying their content to the 5E ruleset. It’s the kind of success that has people who haven’t been paying attention these last five years scratching their heads. Trying to ‘explain away’ what’s happening here. 

Well, I don’t think it’s that hard to explain. Folks want to get excited about something new. That’s…that’s normal. That should not be seen as weird, or something to ‘explain away.’ 

We took a lot of chances with this project and it seems like they’re all paying off. Our biggest funding day (outside the first three and last three days) was when we previewed the Human Ancestry write-up. Just humans? Just posting humans moved the needle in a major way? Yeah, actually it did! We were as surprised as you!

It’s not final, none of that text or layout or graphic design is final, but it represents our vision. A book, a ruleset, that takes nothing for granted. “What if humans were cool actually?” Is apparently a radical idea! 😀 And people seem to like our answers!

And if you liked that, we can’t wait to show you some of the stuff we’re planning for this game.

Back To Work

I think folks look at the success of this crowdfunder and expect us to take a victory lap or something. Well, this post is as close to that as we’re gonna get. We are all fizzing with excitement and ideas and knowing A: we have the power to execute on these ideas to the fullest and B: we have an audience (i.e. you) that want to see it, that are excited for it, makes a huge difference. We’ve only been back to work for about a week since the holiday break but the tone shift from November to now is massive. 

We still have limitations! We gotta get these books done in about 18 months, and fit them in about 800 pages. Lots of folks imagine this level of success means “they can take as long as they want.” Nope. That’s one reason we didn’t add more products to the pledge levels. We can’t grow the scope of the project, without pushing the deadline out, and we can’t go to the people and say “18 months” when we really mean “who knows how long it will take? Depends on how successful we are!” That is not kosher. 18 months is real, 800 pages is real, and now begins the hard work of making it happen.

That’s why no “victory lap.” We don’t get to relax and high-five each other until the rules are done, and people are playing them natively, outside the context of a playtest.

If we go to GenCon 2025 and see scores of tables full of people playing our game? Then we’ll take a victory lap. 😀 Because otherwise, what is there to celebrate? We had a great pitch? We raised a lot of cash? 

Well the money, the number of backers, these are just a means to an end. The end is: a great game people love, and play, and create new campaigns and worlds and heroes in. That’s the goal. That’s the only thing that matters to us. That’s why we spend so much time in testing. We want to get it right.

The Story So Far

The good news is…people are already playing the game! And they like it! Our goal was to get a playtest packet to the patrons before the end of 2023…and we did! That itself is a testament to our scheduling and production pipeline. The system works! 

They’ve had the packet now for a couple of weeks, we sent them a survey to fill out last week, and already a few hundred people have filled it out. And it’s sort of…breathtaking the responses we’re seeing.

Over 80% of respondents are answering every question within the 4 or 5 out of 5 scale. That means we’re on the right track. However! That doesn’t mean we’re done. There’s a lot of “I love this, but it would be nice if….” And we take that stuff seriously. We can SEE how even stuff we took for granted, and thought was final, would be improved if we pulled it apart and put it back together again in a different way. 

No spoilers, but we are already testing some big changes here internally based on this feedback. In other words “this is cool!” isn’t good enough for us. When we see folks saying “I like it but…” we focus on the “but.” Blimey.

IF all this works, if we find better ways to do these things based on tester feedback, then I think you’ll be surprised and happy at how fun the first backer packet is. How polished it is.

For context, the patrons don’t get all the tools to make real characters. Those systems aren’t all online yet. But our goal with the first backer packet is that you will be able to make a “real” character with it. 

We don’t want to show you stuff that isn’t fully cooked. You are paying for a polished, finished product. The patrons are paying to sit outside the sausage factory and watch us get covered in giblets trying to push pork slurry into meat tubes and, just like this metaphor, it is gross. And the patrons have to do a lot of work to play the game. They’re getting naked Google Docs, no layout, no onboarding. Just the rules. It’s way less info than they are used to getting, and they’re still making it work!

This is all to say; by the time you get the first Backer Packet in, we estimate, July? You’ll be getting a much more polished product. Still not final! But WAY closer to final. And we’re already hard at work.


We haven’t actually seen a lot of questions that aren’t already answered in the videos or the backerkit page. Most of the questions we see, the community answers on their own. That’s sort of amazing. But there are some new questions!

The Ajax Edition

There are a handful of “unclaimed” Ajax editionses. Folks who downgraded their pledge at the last minute before the campaign ended. This number will go up because some folks' payment methods didn’t go through. This happens every time we run a crowdfunding campaign; some folks' credit cards expire between backing and being charged. There are lots of reasons, and we want to give everyone time to sort that out, so probably March or April you may see a handful of Ajaxes in Backerkit. 


Lots of folks want to preorder the game now that the crowdfunder is closed. We want that too! But it takes a while to get everything set up for that in the store. We expect you’ll be able to preorder the game on Backerkit by the end of this month (January).

If You Have Any Other Questions…

Just email [email protected] and we’ll get back to you ASAP. We’ve seen a lot of people show up in our community Discord and ask Customer Service questions, but that’s not what the discord is for! 

Asking those questions anywhere else means A: we might not see it and B: you get a lot of other people trying to answer, even though they don’t know the question. So, if you SEE someone asking CustServe questions? By all means, tell them to email [email protected]

So…What’s Next?

Well the next big moment for you backers is the first Backer Packet later this year. But I doubt it’ll be radio silence between now and then.

I think what will probably happen is; sometime around March, you’ll start seeing some dope art from the art team. We have a lot of original visual design to develop. What do all these different Ancestries look like? As we figure these things out, we’ll share them with you. That’s something I’m personally HUGELY excited for. I don’t know when that will start happening, we have a lot of project management stuff to handle this month, so you’ll find out along with the rest of us!

So I suspect the next update will just be us showing off some visual design. Until then…

Peace! Out!

Human Update
4 months ago – Thu, Dec 28, 2023 at 12:45:02 PM

Hey folks! We hope you’re enjoying the holidays! We are MOSTLY trying to take it easy over the break but we actually love working on this stuff and sharing it with you. It’s exciting! 

When we first started planning this backerkit campaign we had a lot of ideas for what kinds of stuff we wanted to show off, and we knew we wouldn’t have time to get it all done by our launch date. So we ended up with art for the Revenant finished in time, but no text or design, and the text and design done for the Human entry, but no art.

Once the Backerkit campaign was clearly doing well (massive understatement) finishing these things for you folks to check out was a no brainer.

So here’s the last preview of the game! 😀 Obviously none of this is final. We might take an entirely different approach to how we present information in the finished game, but this absolutely represents what we like, and how we intend to go about it. 

It is fun to make this stuff, and we hope that comes across in the preview.

We’re sure there are folks who have their own ideas about What Humans Are About in their world or game, but we also have ideas! And we assume folks who have their own idiosyncratic ideas about different ancestries will homebrew their own. Just like we did when we all started worldbuilding as kids discovering the hobby for the first time. It’s fun to think about “what makes these people distinct and fun?” 

So we may change how we present these ideas, but it’s unlikely we’re going to throw out the ideas themselves. We like this take on humans! This is sort of our whole philosophy. We get inspired, that inspiration drives us to create, and the finished product appeals a lot to some people! But not everybody! That is just the bog-standard, normal creative process.

Maybe this will get folks to get a little more excited about playing a human? I mean, probably not, we’re all already playing humans and where’s the fun in that? But maybe! 😀

Pocket Kobold - Free STL
4 months ago – Wed, Dec 20, 2023 at 03:18:38 PM

Hi Everyone,

Every MCDM mini ever produced was made by the team at Trenchworx. Heading into the holiday season the team saw Nick's design for the Pocket Kobold and went ahead and built one IRL. When they shared it with us, we realized it was way too cool to keep to ourselves.

If you are a backer scroll to the bottom of this post for a download link that you can use on your home 3D printer. If you are not into the whole 3D printing thing, you can order a resin version directly from Trenchworx.

He comes in two flavors, standard and overclocked, both available on the Trenchworx store.

If you print out your own Pocket Kobold, we would love to see it! You can tag us on social media (@hellomcdm) or share it on our discord.

We also have a fresh Designing the Game video that James just uploaded to the MCDM YouTube Channel to keep you busy:

Thank you for all your amazing support,
The MCDM Team

Revenant Update
4 months ago – Fri, Dec 15, 2023 at 02:34:27 PM

Holy CRAP! No, that’s…that reaction is not sufficient. Frankly, no reaction is. How about…“Black gods!” 😀

Hey everyone, Matt Colville here. It’s sort of impossible to summarize the intense emotional rollercoaster we all went on (and are still on!) the last 8 days. We all went to bed on Wednesday the 6th hoping we’d wake up Thursday and know our fate. But no one, no one at MCDM, even the MOST optimistic folks (of whom I am not one!) never in a million years imagined there’d be this many people who believed in this game. Or were at least curious enough to back!

So Thursday and Friday were intense. Overwhelming. I’m still coming to grips with what this all means. We got a lot of cool ideas for the future, folks.

But the reality is, the crowdfunder is a success. The game isn’t done, and it’s gonna take a LOT of work to get there. But this is work we are excited to do. We’re champing at the bit! It’s only been a week but we’ve already had a ton of conversations about the VTT, about Convention Support. Even before we launched, we’d reached out to some of our creative partners and started contracting designers to begin the process of converting monsters from Flee, Mortals! to this new (still untitled!) RPG. 

Everyone at MCDM busted their ass just to get this campaign launched and this was after a year in which we finished and released Where Evil Lives, Flee, Mortals!, The Talent and The Illrigger Revised. A lot of people wondered openly “why crowdfund now? Why December?” Well there were a lot of reasons but the main one was; we couldn’t imagine a time when MCDM would have more heat than now.  Strike while the iron is hot, and December was as hot as it was going to get for us!

I figured I’d take the weekend off and just turn into a potato but by Saturday afternoon I was back at the keyboard, working. Mostly on what we’re about to share with you, but also the first draft of how Languages and Literacy might work, and I had an idea for a new Running the Game video. There’ll be time to rest later! 😀

I think the thing that astonishes me the most about all this, something I didn’t expect, is how incredibly well regulated the community–you folks–are! We knew folks would have TONS of questions, but what I didn’t anticipate was how the community self-organized to ANSWER the questions! 

This, I think, is a happy side-effect of the open development ethos. We’ve been talking about this game in livestreams all year, we’ve been posting the Warts And All dev diaries on our Patreon and the result is, yeah we had a FLOOD of new people (Hi!) with tons of questions, met by our existing patrons and testers happy to answer them! And then THOSE new people start answering the questions of the even NEWER people. The system works! 😀

Anyway none of this is the point, the real reason for this update is we got something to share! 

The preview spreads seem to be a big hit. So we made another one! And you might get another one in a couple weeks. As with all these previews, all of this is temp. The visual design may change, the text will almost certainly change, the abilities will absolutely change, these are just stubbed-in versions of how we currently think this will work.

Our goal with the Heroes book (and, as I think you know by now, we are subject to the Tyranny of the Page Count, aka Page Count von Glauer as the community have taken to calling it) is to include all the Universal Donor ancestries you’d expect in a Fantasy RPG. Elves (two different kinds), Dwarves, Humans, Polder (our version of Halflings). There’s a LOT of classic Fantasy ancestries we’d love to include and only 400 pages in the Heroes book.

But we also want to include a couple of ancestries that are more common in Capital, our Urban Fantasy setting, and the TIMESCAPE, our Space Fantasy setting. We think Revenants and Devils for Capital, and the Memonek and Proteans for the Timescape. No spoilers!

Well, here’s the Revenant preview! Maybe the idea of playing a DEAD hero is too weird for your game! We get it, not every ancestry is appropriate for every table. But it’s super cool

VERY cool art from our own Nick de Spain! Again, all this is temp. The layout is temp, the text is temp. The actual book could look COMPLETELY different. You probably have a lot of questions but right now, this is all we know! As you can see, we’re taking a different approach to presenting these ancestries. Getting away from the National Geographic/David Attenborough approach. Probably there’ll be like…a chart somewhere with stuff like average height and age and stuff, we’ll see. But we think it’s a better use of our time to hook people on these things so they read the write-up and want to play one of these, even if, like the dwarf entry, you already know what a dwarf is. 

Anyway the work continues! We hope you like this! Holy crap this is insane! 😀

As always, if you have any questions about the game you can come by our Discord, there is a ton of very active but surprisingly sane discussion happening there. If you have any questions about your pledge, you can email [email protected], but maybe give folks a little while to respond, we’re about to have a couple of big holidays and folks at MCDM have families to be with. 


Ajax Edition - Second Wave
4 months ago – Fri, Dec 08, 2023 at 02:00:56 PM

Hey Everyone,

Your amazing support has given us a roadmap where we spend the next two years working on this game. We underestimated how popular the Ajax Edition would be and were overwhelmed by the response yesterday. After speaking with our manufacturing partner late last evening we are confident that we will be able to produce a second wave of Ajax Editions for those who missed the first wave. The second wave will ship after the first wave because a human needs to pack each one of these and that takes time.

There will not be a third wave as we are unable to produce and deliver additional units.

We have added a wave 2 of Ajax to the pledge tiers here: Ajax Edition - Second Wave

The MCDM Team