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The Kickstarter Report: An Interview with Jordan Callarman (‘Goobles & Goblins RPG’)

With the release of the newest edition of Dungeons & Dragons and the success of Paizo’s Pathfinder roleplaying games, RPGs are becoming quite popular again; however, these games can be very difficult to teach to young children, as they involve quite a bit of math and have whole bookstore sections dedicated to their vast amount of rules. Longtime RPG player Jordan Callarman seeks to change all that with the launch of his new Kickstarter project, Goobles & Goblins, an RPG designed for children and adults to play together. Fanboy Comics Senior Contributor Jason Enright sat down with Callarman to discuss his RPG and the decision to fund his project through Kickstarter.

Jason Enright, Fanboy Comics Senior Contributor: What inspired you to create this Kickstarter project?

Jordan Callarman: I made up the game as a way to entertain my 9-year-old sister while I was home for the holidays. We had been hanging out, watching TV, and playing video games all day, and I wanted to engage with her in a different way. I’d been wanting to introduce her to roleplaying games for a while, but I didn’t want to intimidate her with too many rules or complications. So, we sat down at the table with a six-sided die and some paper and pencils and just started playing. My improvised rules worked surprisingly well, allowing me to create and adapt the game on the fly. We had a lot of fun together! When she finished her adventure, she thought that was it, and then I told her that you can keep playing a game like this forever. The look on her face was awesome . . . I think that idea kinda blew her mind. And, the game stuck with me. I wanted other gamers to be able to have that kind of fun when they introduced young players to roleplaying games, so I started working. The result is Goobles & Goblins!

JE: I’ve seen lots of roleplaying games but not as many that are designed with kids in mind as the primary audience. Why was it important to you to make an RPG for kids?

JC: Playing make believe is a part of growing up, and kids are natural roleplayers. It’s a way to learn about yourself (“Okay, I’m a hundred-foot-tall dinosaur!”), collaborate with others (“If you’re a dinosaur, I want to be a mermaid. And, we’re at the bottom of the ocean!”), and develop imagination (“Hmm, okay, then I’m in my dinosaur submarine that I built myself. I’m Professor Dinosaur.”). I wanted to design a game specifically for kids, because I think that there is a lot of fun mental stretching that can be accomplished when adults engage in this kind of imaginative play with kids. Roleplaying is a kind of interactive fantasy that’s very different from the experience of watching a movie or reading a book, or even playing a video game, but it can also be a way to work through moral issues and navigate tricky situations in the relative safety of the game world. Plus, it’s a blast! It’s your own personal version of The NeverEnding Story!

JE: What are some of the rewards and tiers for your project?

JC: Well, the game book itself is available as a PDF or as a physical copy, and that’s the main reward. I also have a custom Goobles & Goblins die for the game, a t-shirt I designed that features the goblins, and a deluxe pack where I create and run a 2-hour adventure for your young players via Skype. The most popular reward so far has been a bundle that includes the PDF, the physical book, and a custom die . . . I think it might be because I named it the Fun Pack. Who doesn’t like a Fun Pack?

JE: You are pretty close to being funded. What sort of stretch goals are there going to be?

JC: I’m really excited about the stretch goals for the project! The first one is an adventure for the game, which I hope will help give people a feel for some of the fun things they can do when running Goobles & Goblins. The other stretch goals include guides to monsters, magical items, and an in-depth look at Glythe, the world of Goobles & Goblins, all of which are resources that I hope will enrich the game experience for people.

JE: Do you think Kickstarter is a game changer in allowing smaller projects to acquire funding?

JC: Absolutely! It only takes a brief glance through the countless pages of projects on the site to see just how many unique ideas are out there getting funding. I know Kickstarter has changed and grown a lot, but I feel like it provides an amazing platform for people with an idea they’re passionate about to reach out to their “people.” I think it’s especially friendly to people who have never done anything like this before (such as myself). Personally, I’ve had a great time getting my project up and running!

JE: Okay, pitch time! Why should we back your Kickstarter campaign?

JC: If you’re a roleplaying gamer who wants to introduce the hobby to your child or another special kid in your life, then Goobles & Goblins is made for you. It’s a game system that young players can really internalize and own. I’ve also had success with it as a rules-lite RPG for adult gamers. And, it has goobles! What are goobles exactly? That’s up to your players! I know . . . very mysterious. Check out our Kickstarter page to learn more!

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Jason Enright, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor


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