Episode 47

by Brian on October 19, 2009

Chris and Brian return with a new episode to match the new show website.  Discussion covers various industry trends and rants, the recent EndGame minicon, Brian’s SotC game “With the Band“, GM prep revisited and a review of MWP’s Supernatural rpg.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen October 20, 2009 at 1:18 pm

Thanks for the shout-out! Would love to play another adventure of I’m With the Band. =)

Dave (aka Nev the Deranged) October 20, 2009 at 5:41 pm

Ooh, the new site is so pretty! Nice job, guys.

Clyde L. Rhoer October 20, 2009 at 10:57 pm

Hey Guys,

Glad to hear a new episode. You’re the only source of industry talk anymore.

Chris, I’m not sure you’re analyzing WoTC’s decisions with their digital initiative, from their perspective. If they make $10 a book, which we both know is likely a generous if…, then D+D insider shared amongst a group is like selling 12 books a year to that group. If they make $3 a book, that’s like selling 40 books to that group.

Now I think the question is can they keep selling subscriptions if they cannibalize the local meeting places? My bet is not without reducing their market, especially since they never got their “table” product off the ground. However, can they make more money with a smaller market? That one I’m not as sure about.

Steve Mortimer October 21, 2009 at 2:21 am

Hey guys, awesome show thanks, good to hear you back.

Got a couple of things you might be interested in:

First up is Eclipse Phase (http://www.eclipsephase.com/), which is not only an awesome Sci Fi RPG set firmly in the Transhumanist genre but is extremely interesting from an industry point of view as the PDF version of the game has been released under the Creative Commons license which makes it free and legal to download. (check the torrents sites, some are even seeded by the publisher).

Second is Cubicle 7 (http://www.cubicle-7.com/) a UK based company you may recognise as the folks behind Starblazer Adventures, well they’ve recently been announcing a whole load of partnership deals to publish various cool Indie stuff over here as well as new material for their various licensed games. Also they’ve been posting some Previews from the upcoming Dr Who – Adventures in Time and Space RPG.

Brian October 21, 2009 at 7:04 am

Thanks for the comments everyone!

Steve: actually, I have a shiny new copy of Eclipse Phases on the reading list, along with several Cubicle 7 books, incl. Star Blazer Adventures and the new edition of Victoriana.

Too many games – not enough time 😉

We’re glad folks like the new web site. Adam Jury (Catalyst Game Labs) did a great job and deserves mad kudos. Did we mention it’s the same Adam Jury what did design for SR4 – 20th edition and Eclipse Phase … ?

Steve Mortimer October 21, 2009 at 8:16 am

Brian: Good to hear that you’ve got a copy on the list, I’d clear a reasonable amount of time to go through EP, its got some pretty awesome setting in it. The system is a D% based one, which is kind of unusual in the current climate, but seems to account nicely for swapping around modifiers.

The setting is where it’s at though, there is a lot of stuff there and the ability to switch bodies and resleeve (a-la Richard Morgans Takashi Kovacs series) almost at will is awesome.

As for Victoriana, there is good stuff lined up for that game, I know they’ve just brought out Faces in the Smoke which gives adventures and introduction to various secret societies and factions. Also very cool.

If you want to chat about the C7 stuff I’d really recommend you drop a line to Angus at C7, he’s always happy to talk about their games, plans for the company etc.

Bruce Harlick October 21, 2009 at 9:38 am

First, I think you owe *me* a Shadowrun game too, Brian. We should make that happen.

Second, I don’t think DDI cuts into sales of books like the DMG2, which was one Chris called out. There’s pretty much nothing from the DMG2 that made it into the Character Builder; it was full of DM tools and information and some setting stuff. I can’t see the DDI sub replacing books like that. It does remove the need for books like the AV series and even the Power series as there tends to be little flavor in those books and a lot of mechanics.

Cam Banks October 21, 2009 at 1:09 pm

Hey folks,

Many thanks for reviewing and discussing Supernatural on this episode! I’m glad you liked the book and that the game hits the right notes of license property and intro game, since those aren’t always the easiest things to get right.

As you say, we’ve had fairly light support in the past for some of our lines, but we’re on a roll with Supernatural. The adventures book is about to go to press, and I’m in full-on editing mode with Guide to the Hunted right now. Never a dull moment!

Matt Steele October 21, 2009 at 5:08 pm

Great show guys. Thanks for the shout-out regarding my Dead of Winter Horror Invitational. Two attendees are sharing a room and playing in games together all weekend. They promised that one of them wouldn’t leave alive. So, I’ve got that going for me. One note: The event runs through Sunday night. Not everyone is staying for the *final* session, but many are.

Brian – Looking forward to seeing you there. You gotta run I’m with the Band again. Sinyster is totally there. Could you have 2 campaigns going?!

Chis – Sorry you can’t make it. If most of the attendees survive the weekend, I’ll make it an annual event. 😉

Clyde L. Rhoer October 21, 2009 at 8:37 pm

Hey Bruce,

You’re absolutely right. The subscription isn’t likely to cut into core books. The question is; do the core books bring in enough income that game stores encourage the use of their spaces for D+D, or do they push something else on their D+D nights? Especially considering how easy it is to get the core books at 30%, and shipped free? This isn’t the question Chris raised, but it’s the one I heard anyway.

Clyde L. Rhoer October 21, 2009 at 8:40 pm

Sorry that should say, “30% off, and shipped free.” If I knew where to get them at 30% I’d have to open my own store.

Chris Hanrahan October 21, 2009 at 10:32 pm

As usual, I chose a poor example for my DDI discussion. Agreed, many of the core books wont see as significant of a hit, as some others like the Powers books. I do know that D&D book sales have suffered a hit, as far up the chain as WotC. Many people are speculating that DDI is a significant contribution towards this decline. Who knows, we all could be wrong. But, i will say this: If WoTC makes dramatic changes to DDIs fee structure pretty soon, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Clyde L. Rhoer October 22, 2009 at 12:54 am

Really? They just raised it to $10 a month, didn’t they? I let my subscription lapse, as I was just curious about how the digital stuff functioned, and the quality level. You think they’ll go cheaper so quickly, or you think they’ll go more expensive?

Adam October 22, 2009 at 7:12 am

If it’s proving convenient for groups to share accounts, WotC should roll out a “Group” subscription rate for those groups that want to share an account and are honest enough to pay for it. It won’t fix the cheapskates, but they won’t be leaving as much money on the table.

Brian October 24, 2009 at 1:46 pm

I think a group subscription rate would make some sense – especially if they really embraced the software as a service model and added some handy group features to the app – reminders, calendaring, etc.

Todd Zircher October 27, 2009 at 7:16 pm

Good show! The steam punk comment struck a funny bone for some odd reason. Clink on my name/link to see what idle minds have been up to. :-)


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