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Sunday, October 9, 2011

(Rant) Rethinking the games I support

Lately, I've been buying products for games that are published by basically one-man companies. Part of this is that I think some of these games are just plain better than those published by WotC. However, I'm getting frustrated.

It seems many games come out with the base rules. Following this, there's lots of chatter from the writer and his supporters. There will likely be a few pdf's released. Maybe, and I mean maybe, there will be a print supplement.

It is driving me crazy! I like to buy supplements for games I like. Especially a setting book, monster books, and even an adventure or two. And getting other people to play a game can be difficult, as many players see that the game has no supplements, they consider it to be "dead", even if it is still in print.

While I realize many publishers are just guys doing this in their spare time, I also see companies like Hero Games (which is only two or three people) pumping out books every month. And those books are well done and worth having for that system.

While some games have tons of pdf support (BFRPG and BASH! are good examples), there just isn't any print support. It feels like lots of promises are made early, and then everything just becomes vaporware. I really, really hope when D&D 5e is released, that it is a great game. I'd love to have good quality supplements available on a regular basis.


Matt Finch said...

This is one of the reasons I'm working with Frog God -- I can't put out anything like a product per month for Swords & Wizardry, but I think we're actually coming out with something on the order of 1.5 per month since that partnership started.

The only exception there is WhiteBox, where I agreed with a lot of the people on the message boards that I'd basically stay out of it in order not to endanger the DIY feel of it.

If I don't see a lot of fan-created material for WB, I might eventually reverse that, but with WB I've got a current commitment NOT to publish. :)

FWIW, I'm close to deciding that I should do a couple of short WB modules, but very conflicted as to whether to do those in a really rough OD&D type approach or whether to recognize the fact that lots of WB players aren't playing to reproduce the production values of OD&D, just the rules.

migellito said...

My viewpoint is actually the reverse. When games come out with supplements, add-ons, etc, that's one thing that will DEFINITELY keep me from buying it. Adventures? Awesome! But when I pay good money for a game, I want it finished and complete. I can't afford, and will NOT pay for, what the corporations have somehow convinced people is 'support,' but instead amounts to an explosion of splat books.

Dan said...

You're not really on the list I was thinking about. You've managed to get books published, even before Frog God. I actually think you're one of the best one-man operations in gaming. :)

Dan said...

Yeah, I'm not really interested in buying new rules, either. I was thinking stuff more like a setting book or things like Champions Powers book for Hero. They just provide things for use with the regular rules, without adding new rules themselves.

Dan said...

Also, you really need to have a talk with Frog God about their covers. They are nowhere near as good as the Mullen ones you use.

Matt Finch said...

Dan, I'm going to talk with Bill about the cover of the One Night Stands and Saturday Night Special series (ie, the unlinked free-standing adventures). I think the covers don't work as generics. I'll also talk to him about maybe using Pete Mullen, but the bottom line is that the covers have to appeal to the PF players as well as the old schoolers -- if we have to use different covers for the PF and S&W modules then the cost savings are essentially gone, which means that those modules become a lot more expensive. So there's a business issue involved in the FGG modules.