Supporting the Industry

May 13, 2009

If like me you love having the latest RPG book, all glossy and pristine, when it first comes out, Pre-Orders of a new book that interests you may be something that your interested in. Pre-ordering a product means that you get first shot at the game, it means you help the people writting it and you get to show them a commitment to how much the book means to you as a gamer. The problem is when that all falls flat on its face due to the publishers not being on the ball and generally not making their end of the deal.

In the last year I signed up for 3 pre-orders of games. So far over 6 months later (9 months in one case) I have only recieved 1 of these pre-ordered games. One of them is still in printing hell, one is in my sticky mitts and I love it and the final one is already on the shelves in local stores but no copies for those that pre-ordered. Why is this? Why setup a pre-order system, get people to back you and your ideas and then let them down like that?

These experiances have pretty much put me off pre-orders, along with buying an RPG on the day it comes out due to some companies re-printing the first release with added errata within months of release.

If your a game company, consider your loyal customers please. Make an effort to keep those that help you in the early days of design and purchase happy. If not, then you might just find that some of your fan base moves away to something else.


Printing RPG’s by POD

March 15, 2009

After designing your RPG how do you get printed copies to sell to the masses? Well the current trends in the RPG market for small companies usually revolve around POD (thats Print On Demand) services. POD basically means that you have a printer print only as many books as you need at a time from 1 to say 500 books at a go. The printing costs per book are higher than with a traditional printer but the lower print runs means that you have no initial outlay that could cost thousands of pounds.

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Every good book needs…..

March 7, 2009

As the title says, every good RPG book, no matter if its a core rulebook or supplement, needs to include several things to be user friendly. Without certain items in a book, it makes life difficult for the reader and that is a boundry to getting people reading and playing your games

  1. Indexes……. a good, full index.  Without it your book is useless at the game table for reference.
  2. Table of Contents….. full and concise. Let the reader know what to expect, make them salivate over what is to come.
  3. Adventure seeds….. give the GM’s something to get them started, give them some enthusiasm.
  4. Clean, easy to copy character sheet….. Next to a core rulebook, this is the most essential item for the players. Make it clean to allow for better copying.
  5. Summary of CharGen…… Make the users life easy, dont try and make simple tasks difficult.
  6. Stat level meanings…. “STR 2 means you can lift a house”, etc. Give them a basis on which to build.
  7. Rule examples…… See point 5. Make sure they understand what you mean in the rules.

Those are my main concerns whenever I see a new book. Without them it just seems that the game is making itself more difficult to understand or play. Make life easier for the reader and your game is more likely to be played, enjoyed and hopefully bought by others.