This is Part 3 of an article series on self-publishing in the RPG industry. Also see Part 1 and Part 2.
Do Reviews Help or Hinder?
The effects of reviews on sales can be hard to quantify, especially when there isn’t a lot of consistency in sales in the first place. When sales are all over the place, it’s effectively impossible to determine whether a review has benefited or harmed them.
This is Part 2 of an article series on self publishing in the RPG industry. Also see Part 1 and Part 3.
Setting the Price
Price is a tricky one. There is a temptation – which I fell into – of undercutting the competition, but in the long run, this really doesn’t help anyone. OneBookShelf (OBS) tend to say don’t sell for under $1 (although $0.99 can help sales and makes little realistic difference). If the supplement includes artwork, especially artwork which you are unlikely to be able to reuse but costs money to buy, this can mean that a higher selling price is necessary.
So, Brian asked me to write a post on some of my own experiences with self-publishing RPG supplements, which I’ve been doing for about three years, although my first and second supplements were five months apart! All but one week since the second supplement was published has had a new one released every week (although some were art packs, not written), and recently two have been published weekly. This post wound up being rather longer than I expected, so it’s been split into three parts.
Part 1:How I Started Self-Publishing, How to Know What Will Succeed and Art & Layout
Quite a while ago now I produced half a dozen blog posts in support of Ken Wickham’s Aioskoru world setting. Things than kind of went off the boil a bit and I didn’t do much more beyond describe NPCs, three settlements and some adventures based around a ship full of orcs.
So recently Ken emailed me and said that he had bundled up a lot of his Aioskoru material from his blog and posted it on RPGnow. He had kept the format simple so that it was easy for him to update but he was putting it our there. He has had over 200 downloads of the material he has produced which hopefully means that the setting may get more supporters and continue to grow and develop.
I have been doing a bit of homebrew rules writing this week and I have taken bits and bobs of other games and mashed them all together to get a set of rules that did a particular job. It isn’t rolemaster so doesn’t belong here but bits of rolemaster ended up in what I was doing.
Now if you take bits of different games you get different mechanics and different ways of doing the same thing. In rolemaster particularly RM2 if you look at how skills work you you get different ways of doing things in the same game!
In the next session I want to send my party to a haunted house. This is a really good opportunity to put into practice my resolution of piling on more atmospheric description (see last weeks post)
What I was hoping is that I could ask the readers here for more tips and your experiences of running a haunted house session. I am planning on the final showdown to be a zombies attacking from the grounds, breaking in through the doors, windows etc and slowly forcing the party up the stairs to the top of the house.
I have been through the adventure notes today adding post-it notes to scenes and locations with little added comments about sounds, smells and little visual ‘clips’ such as dust swirling in a vortex as a door slams shut.
These serve no purpose at all except to remind me to be more descriptive, not great long tracts of prose to be read out just little details to drop into the scene. I am hoping to bring scenes to life a little more, to make the sessions are little more atmospheric and engage more of the characters senses through the players’ imagination.
This is how I want to work the experience system. I am going to treat Skills, Stats and Magic in three different posts, not because there are different rules but because the way I envision them being handled is slightly different.
As characters get there cultural background ranks and their 1st level development points to spend. The standard rule is still in place saying you cannot buy more than 2 ranks in a skill unless it is starred like a language skill or moving in armour. So a first level character entering play will have no more than 2 ranks in their primary weapon. Their total skill will be made up of Skill + Stat Bonus + Professional Bonus.
Articles and discussion on Roleplaying in general and various settings including Shadow World, Forgotten Realms and Aioskoru. We talk about pen and paper roleplaying as well as play by post. We have a strong interest in Rolemaster but also play and love other games