Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Happy Birthday "2" Dungeonteller!

[Update: The Dungeonteller giveaway has ended. If you scored your free copies, congrats and enjoy -- and let me know how you liked the game.  -- Doug]

Dungeonteller Fantasy RPG is two years old this week and to celebrate, you can pick up the core rulebook, the monster book, and the full-length Venture Hold adventure today for the low price of zero. Zip. Nada. Come grab the anyone-can-play, easy-on-the-eyes RPG that I wrote for young gamers and their game-curious parents. Offer ends tomorrow AM, so hurry to these links:
Dungeonteller Fantasy RPG
Dungeonteller Monster Book
Venture Hold: A Dungeonteller Adventure

Saturday, June 18, 2016

[Rock Opera '79 RPG] Into the Red Zone

I've been finishing up Rock Opera '79, the RPG of rock rebellion. And working on my dice-stacking chops. Twenty. Nine. Dice. Catch 'em in the right light, and they glow like the telltales on your big brother's equalizer. This game shall rock.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Cheapskates are Out There

This provocative article about cheapskate RPG buyers has been making the rounds lately and everyone's got an opinion. Including me, I guess. Here's how I see it.

Not an RPG enthusiast.
The cheapskate RPG buyer is a real creature. The one who goes on about how something is too expensive, when what he really means is that he would rather not pay for it. They text you and say things like, "Before I spend FIVE DOLLARS [on your 64-page full color game PDF with original art on every page], can you guarantee there are no typos and that the rules are extensively playtested? Why exactly should I buy this book?" I just get to a point in the back-and-forth where I tell them, "No one's ever found a typo in my work and I'd love to have your business, but I think we should break up because you're too flirty, baby."

I am fortunate not to have to sweat five dollars on a latte or on a PDF that looks interesting, but if I were that hard up, I wouldn't be spending it on RPGs. I would be spending it on booze and lottery tickets. If you're really strapped for cash, just buy a few used D&D hardcovers and stick with them as your rule system forever. Or find a free rules set. The Frugal GM compiles some of the best free or super-cheap stuff out there. The underlying reason why RPGs are a shitty retail category to start with is that you can play them for years without buying anything new. The real frugal types are the ones you don't hear from because they are making do with what they've got or taking the DIY route. God bless them for it.

Given the cheapskates and the buy-nothings, small-time game publishers can't expect to produce for such a niche market and make anything close to a living by it. The audience just isn't there. No one is owed a living through any entrepreneurial venture, including small-press publishing. Especially since you can publish with virtually zero overhead costs if you do print-on-demand of PDF. The only thing you need to pay for is artwork, and frankly most small publishers use public domain artwork or tacky PhotoShop collages, or like me, make do with their own artistic ability.

Fair pricing? If I tallied up the hundreds of hours I spent making Dungeonteller and wanted a modest return of $10/hr over a several-year-period of sales, I would have to price the PDF at $20 or more. My actual price for the whole game on Drivethrurpg is just $5 because that's where my desire for compensation meets my desire to actually have a substantial number of people play the game. People who buy my books are getting a goddam bargain and I'm okay with that as long as I get some love, some honest reviews of my work, and no one acting like they're being fleeced for something that I worked on for three years.