Friday, September 25, 2020

Fund My Kickstarter to Make "DREAMS, DRAGONS, AND DREAD WOLVES" Criticism Book a Reality!

CASSANDRA: The Inquisition! You're not planning to write a book about us, are you?

Hello, fellow Thedosians!

After over three years of writing this blog of criticism and exploration of Dragon Age, I'm excited and humbled to announce that I'm Kickstarting a full-length nonfiction criticism book on Dragon Age, called Dreams, Dragons, and Dread Wolves. I'm so excited I'm a mess. I'm speaking Qunlat and elven to strangers. I give weird looks to mirrors. You get the idea.

But it's happening at last. Dreams, Dragons, and Dread Wolves will offer an array of in-depth analyses, critiques and explorations of Dragon Age: Inquisition, its companions and advisors, and its villain/antihero Solas. The book will also include my predictions and theories for Dragon Age 4 after the revelations of the DAI DLCs ("The Descent," "Jaws of Hakkon," and "Trespasser"), as well as those of Tevinter Nights and the tempting teasers released by the BioWare team. And all in a collectible hardcover book.

My hope is that this is a must for fans of Dragon Age, and if the project is funded, would be completely unique as the world's only independent and comprehensive literary and critical analysis on Thedas in print.

The Project in a Nutshell

After falling in love with Dragon Age, what I've always really wanted was to create a book of criticism that wasn't like anything else out there on gaming or RPGs, that offered critiques of this gorgeous series that treated the writing and worldbuilding with respect—and that analyzed them on a formal, even literary level. Or at least, that was my goal. I haven't always succeeded—I still feel like I should have written more, covered more characters. But I have made headway in the past 3-4 years, with more than 110 blog posts and ridiculous walls of text. And it's been a blast.

I love the world of Thedas, so this book is something I've dreamed of creating. Coming this close to realizing that goal, I can't tell you what it means to me. Now let's take a look at the project in a nutshell:

  • GOALS: $12,500 to fund an eBook and limited collectible print run of a special hardcover edition that offers a complete, in-depth and entertaining critical analysis of the world, characters, romances, and quests in DRAGON AGE INQUISITION.
  • STRETCH GOALS: $20,000 will expand the book by adding a FULL section of chapters on DRAGON AGE ORIGINS characters, romances and story. $27,500 in stretch funding will add another FULL section of chapters on DRAGON AGE II characters, romances, and story. $35,000 will add a section of detailed analyses and discussions of ALL Game DLCs. $40,000 will add a section of analyses on ALL DRAGON AGE NOVELS, MOVIES AND COMICS. There's plenty more content I can add from there (including timelines, quest analyses per game that include ALL quests, etc.), so let's see how it goes!
  • EBOOK: All formats
  • HARDCOVER PRINT RUN (EMBOSSED COLLECTIBLE): 250/500/1000/2000/more copies (possible via stretch goals, depending on demand).
  • PAGES: Approximately 450 (although this will be more if stretch goals are met)
  • KICKSTARTER FUNDING TARGET: $12,500 or above for hardcover print run at cost; $25,000 or higher to cover writing, editing and additional fees, as well as higher print runs (and print extras such as higher page counts, flocked pages, and more.
  • REWARDS AND GOODIES: I will be editing these as the project moves along, and hope to be able to add more rewards and goodies to come. 
  • KICKSTARTER LINK: Find and fund my project at

    And thanks for whatever you can contribute! And no pressure -- if you can't support me right now, I hope you'll share where you can with other Dragon Age and gaming friends. 

The Details

The book is written by me, and is a heavily expanded version of my posts and analyses right here on "Dumped, Drunk and Dalish." But the book isn't just going to be some kind of rehash of previous blog posts—instead, what I'm doing here is to take every single Inquisition-focused blog post I made about the larger history of the game, its companions, heroes, villains, advisors, and NPCs, as well as peoples including spirits, demons, the Evanuris, Tevinter, the Qunari, the Chantry, and beyond—and I'll be expanding, updating, and re-ordering those elements into chapters and themes that move us through the backstory of Dragon Age Inquisition chronologically, as well as by emotion and approach. 

Story, Companion, Romance, and Loyalty Quest Analyses

The book will include character analyses from those you've seen here, on The Iron Bull, to Solas, Cullen, Cole, and many more, to those not yet posted to my blog, on key figures from Leliana, Josephine, Dorian, Blackwall, Varric, and Vivienne, to Krem, Celene, Briala,  and dozens of other major characters across Dragon Age Inquisition.

I'll also be including an analysis of the main story plot from beginning to end (and major Inquisitor quests), Companion analyses (including all loyalty quests), and detailed analysis and discussion of all game romances—from Solas, Cullen, Sera, Josie, Cassandra, Blackwall, Dorian, and The Iron Bull, to Adoribull, to the quiet flirtations of Blackwall and Josephine, of Maryden and her three different potential suitors (Krem, Cole, and Zither) and of Scout Harding to a smitten Inquisitor. I also take a look at unromanceable characters and their relationships, like Varric's complex relationship with Bianca, or Vivienne's secret tenderness for Bastien.

From old to new, all of these chapters will move fluidly one after the other, section by section, and each chapter will bring a new exploration and perspective. I'll also be including discussion of Companions with high Disapproval of our Inquisitors, and how those Disapprovals can change the game.

Right now in semfinal draft form, it's about 115 chapters organized across seven sections. 

Promo Decisions

As far as where this work fits into the fandom world of Dragon Age, I want to be blunt and transparent, and to note how supportive BioWare and so many team members have been when it comes to my blog, and how grateful I am to them all. So many writers, devs, and artists (and more) have always been kind, accessible, and interactive, and I can't thank them enough.

For this reason and so many more, from a big-picture standpoint, I've done everything I can here to plan and create something that's legal nonfiction criticism and discussion, and wholly unique (I hope). AND... separate.

That's why I'm attempting to fund my book without asking for my acquaintances and friends at BioWare to share it, because I don't want to put them in any position to feel conflicted, and because I worry that even if they did support my project, such shares or likes might constitute some kind of endorsement, or put them in a position of having to feel used by me as some kind of conduit. They're good and generous people who work way too hard, and I don't want to make their lives more difficult in any way.

Ultimately, while this book is a real culmination for me, just know that it won't end my blog or my love for this universe. Dreams, Dragons, and Dread Wolves simply gives me a different way to criticize, discuss, and celebrate the world BioWare has given us.

Thanks for Supporting!

I know these are tough times for everyone. We're all battling our own Breach in the sky right now, so just know that I'd be truly privileged simply to fund the eBook and smallest print run. However, it would be amazing to achieve stretch goals, so that I can get the project to the point where I can guarantee a larger print run, to offer content on ALL games, and earn some income to cover the years this project has taken me to prepare. But fingers crossed!

Please note that the book is currently primarily focused on the main game world and Inquisition, but I will add commensurate (huge) sections and chapters on Origins, Dragon Age II, the DLCs, novels, movies and more, as stretch goals are achieved.

More on this in the next few weeks—and thanks! Please stay safe out there, okay?


  1. So excited about this. I really want to see this happen.

  2. I was planning on pledging for the hardcover edition but then saw that I need a credit card... Which I don't have :( It sucks that Kickstarter doesn't support PayPal yet.
    But congratulations on reaching base funding anyway!!


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