Saturday, June 30, 2012

I Brought Home a Zombie

I went back to my local gaming store to get a 30-sider and a new comic.  As usual, no 30-sider.  No biggie, someone on-line just got my order...again.  But, comics they aren't lacking.  I have been into comics since they started charging fifty cents.  So that will give you a few decades of years I haven't even cracked open one.  This summer I've been wanted to get back in them.  Just read some good old comics, find some new ones I've never heard of.  At the book store there are sooooo many I had no idea which ones were good, which ones sucked.  I thought about going for my safe bet, with Fantastic Four, but I wanted something different.  I browsed and then I hit the Zs.  There it was.  I knew that was the one I was getting today.

Never heard of the comic before, but I got it now.  Read the first part and felt like I should have made a tent out of blankets in the living room, turned off all the lights and read it by flashlight.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Question

There are a ton of great games being played on Google+ these days.  I keep seeing games I want to play in.  Which game or games offered on Google+ would you most want to play in?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fantasy Warrior, Real Warrior

I'm a huge fan of Spartacus with Andy Whitfield playing the lead.  Last Spetember he passed away from non-Hodgkin lymphoma.  They are producing a documentary on his battle with cancer called Be Here Now and its being funded through Kickstarter.  It's already gone over its $200,000 goal.  I intend to put money towards it. 

I know lately there has been some negative bullshit going on again.  Something I won't indulge in.  I think we forget sometimes that gaming, while a fantastic hobby and makes life more fun, is way down the ladder of importance. 

If you are a fan, you know all about Spartacus and how fantastic that first season was.  If you're so inclined, take a look at the Kickstarter.  While its not a mega dungeon or a adventure toolkit, to me its important to get involved with something like this.  If only to remind me to do as the title of the film demands, Be Here Now.  I forget that way too often.

Fantasy Warrior
Real Warrior

Monday, June 25, 2012

Game Night Resumes

New player tonight.  Elf.



What kind of equipment can I get.

Don't worry about it.

Session starts.

So you are all dead.


Fog.  Always foggy when your dead.

God shows up.  God of Dead.  Shitty gig.

Plug a hole.  Undead are leaking out.

Party is the plug.

Black book is making hole.

Can have one item

Boog...I want my halberd.

Grim...I want my wait

Tavi...I want my lute

Grim...I want my wait

Elf...I want my familiar


March down tunnel.

Always tunnels when your dead.

 Into undead land.

Boog charge and kill them all.

Grim...No wait...damn.

Boog wait.  Boog say me your master march.

March.  March.

Fight lightning axes.


Kill kill kill.

March. March.

Look.  The book.

Boog...that not right book.  March.

Magic items.

Tavi...Oh no my hands a mace.


Elf scouts area.

Finds real book.

Familiar dies when it peeks at bodak.

Elf sad.

March.  March.

Boog charge and kill them all.

Grim...No wait...damn.

Kill. Kill.


Meet old PC who stole bad book.

GM ends game. wait...damn.

End Session.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

New Reviews

New reviews of The Manor...and they're positive reviews at that.

First, is Socalcanuck from The Dungeon Workshop blog said.  ... I quickly flipped through to see what it was like. I didn't like it at all. I LOVED IT!  When you get done with the review check out the rest of his blog.  Another OSR gamer. 

The latest review comes from Danjou's Hand from his Tabletop Diversions blog.  He takes a very interesting take on The Manor.  He talks about how it is solo friendly.  Never even thought about it.  Give it a read its interesting and has some links to some interesting products if your interested into solo gaming.

Thanks to these two and the other reviews.  They are all linked on The Manor page. 

The second issue of The Manor is slow but sure.  I'm hoping to have it done by the beginning of July.  After the holiday.

Sleestak Sunday

And you thought the pylons were just for glowing crystal tables.  Silly boy.  Grab a tuba and come along.  Just turn the pyramid at the top if you're the last one out.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Developing an Idea

It takes me longer these days to get an idea to come to fruition.  Most of the time the idea comes in as bits and pieces.  I know I have something interesting, but its not all there yet.  I'm not sure if its because I'm older, my energy is divided amongst too many things or I have an intense job that depletes me of my mental strength.  I'm sure its a combo of them all.  Or maybe I just know now that there is more to the idea and I need to wait.  When I was younger I would go ahead with a half baked notion.

I've been writing for the second issue of The Manor and one part has been giving me a problem.  I've written it over eight times.  Still not liking it.

Today, Ivy and I go out to the grocery store she loves.  I like it because it has big ass tables I can spread my crap all over, put on my iPod and go to work.  I kept it simple today, no Nook, no cell phone and no laptop.  I took the maps I was working with and just a tablet with the seed of an idea on it and a pen.  Old school writing time!

After dicking around watching people trying to by beer with no ID card and arguing with the cashier even though there is a big ass sign reading 'No ID, No Alcohol' I got to work.  And as I was writing up a typical monster description a simple sentence I wrote, something unrelated to everything else I had thought of, tied the concept together and gave it a new depth and made it more playable.  Now I have what I want to do with it.  And of course instead of writing it I'm here writing a blog.

I've written for many years with a wide range of success and failures.  I was just reading over at Telecanter's Receding Rules about his discovery of things.  How he likes to single things out and make them work.  I know what he's talking about.  I do it with my writing.  I do it with reading other people's works.  Apparently I do it at the grocery store watching people get mad because they aren't getting their beer. 

Back to work for me.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Question

What gaming product not yet released are you most looking forward to?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

AD&D (Ants, Dungeons & Dad)

James over at Dreams of Mythic Fantasy posted about the passing of his father.  It's a great homage to his father.  If you haven't read it yet, please take the time to do so.  It got me to thinking of my father and a post I wrote a few years back.  It still makes me chuckle because I remember it well.

This one goes out to James.

Original Post
 There has been a lot of talk about fathers on the blogosphere and that got me to thinking of my dad (he passed away in November of '97) and my gaming times with him. He was there when I first started gaming and didn't know what to think of it, but never discouraged me. I got him to sit down and play a few times. I was still figuring out the rules and he pointed out some of the inconsistencies and helped me rethink parts of the game. He was a funny guy so we had a lot of fun.

The memory that keeps me laughing is the collision of his purchase of a new home and my desire to build my own dungeon. During a weekend I measured every room and hallway, counter, cabinet and piece of furniture. It was the first map that the squares equal 1' so could get the measurements exact and the first time I took the outside of the dungeon into consideration. I showed him the map and he asked what I was going to do with it and I told him I was going to make a dungeon.

That night I cracked open the monster manual and DMs Guide and started filling his small home with lots of creatures. Did it make sense? Ha. No. Not even a little. His whole house I believe measured 40' long and 20' wide and I had a dozen different monster types living there. The next day we sat down and I ran him through my freshly made dungeon. He encountered giant snakes outside and there was one encounter with giant ants inside. He killed them quickly because he said he didn't want ants in his house.

The next weekend I visited he jokingly said I wasn't allowed to use his house as a dungeon any more. He said after that weekend he had a bunch of snakes in his basement and ants in the kitchen. So he blamed me and my dungeon. He told me to make a dungeon of the lady's house next door. He didn't like her anyhow.

It's a good thing I didn't tell my dad about the basilisk in his bathroom.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

End Game

End game.  It's one of the more difficult aspects of RPGs to get right.  A few possible reasons why:
  1. Failure to Climax.  Most games don't reach the End Game.  They fizzle out along the way.  So GMs don't get a lot of practice ending a game. 
  2. Lack of Planning.  How many times have you, as a GM, painstakingly planned the beginning of a campaign?  How many times have you planned the end game ahead of time?  Do you know what to plan for?  Probably not.  This is a often a problem with the sandbox game (see below).
  3. Sandbox style almost works against an end game.  Because of the free world roam , do what you want style, its very difficult to plan far ahead.  But, sandbox does not mean there is shouldn't be a structure to the game and the events.  You may come up with a awesome conclusion and the players decide to go back to the tavern to stinky drunk and give all the wenches a bounce.  While not a bad way to end an evening maybe not the most exciting campaign exit.
  4. Developing enemies over time.  When PCs encounter and enemy, they kill them.  Why release them so they can screw them over later?  You can build to a big boss, but there is something ultimately more satisfying having an enemy encounter through out the game before you drop the hammer on him.  
  5. Campaign Scope is a rarely discussed topic and I think one that could help develop an End Game.  This is as easy as developing characters on a special mission that doesn't have to be of epic proportions.  Not every campaign has to be Lord of the Rings in epicness.  It's perfectly cool to have two slubs whose whole purpose is to infiltrate the enemy kingdom and steal away their secret weapon.  A finite series of events in time and space.  
  6. Character Power gets to the point where the GM needs to throw ridiculous critters at them.  While the now 10th level party is constructing their Fortress of the Giant Cod Piece those bands of orcs and ogres and trolls are no threat.  Even the occasional dragon is a minor annoyance.  This is where a GM really needs to have his chops concerning politics and religion to make the game interesting.  But often times more effort is put into digging another level of a mega dungeon or stating out the beholder titan dragon god. 
Now are their more reasons?  Absolutely.  Are there ways to end a game with a party of 300th level characters in a sandbox style game with no arch enemy where the GM failed to plan it out?  I'm sure you can.  Everyone has their own style, strengths and weaknesses.  As a GM its important to have some sort of plan for your campaign.  Its important to have an overlying story going on that allows players the freedom, but are still effected by the events.  Without some sort of structure to the game the campaign soon degrades into a bunch of dudes looking at one another with pizza stained shirts and caffeine  headaches saying "What do you wanna do next?" 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sleestak Father's Day

The sleestak don't care that's its Father's Day Marshal.  Stay in the light or your ass is theirs.    Happy Father's Day and here's your fricking tie.

So Free RPG Day was yesterday and I've seen a bunch of posts of who got what.  Now while I'm thankful for a local (some what local I have to drive 35 minutes) gaming store to participate they tend to find a way to screw it up.  At least this year there was no dickhead behind the counter.  Actually the guy was pretty cool and helpful.  He even looked for the 6d commemorative die, but he couldn't find any.

We are permitted to pick one item.  One.  Despite the fact each year they have a bunch of them left over.  Unless you are a member then you get to pick two.  Fair enough.  I can see allowing members a little extra.  While the guy behind the counter was a good guy he wasn't a gamer and wouldn't know an AD&D Player's Handbook from one of the eighteen 4th edition PHBs.

One of my goals after scoring a couple free items was to pick up the DDC core rulebook.  They didn't have any.  They had one copy for the day.  You're participating in Free RPG Day, but you don't carry the newest and most interesting things so people can buy them?  This is what irks me about the place.  It is more about the comic books there.  Which is cool.  I've been reading so much about comics lately I decided to pick up one of those fat books of comics.  But, its RPG Day, maybe order a few extra. 

Mulling over the big, fat comics I decided on the Fantastic Four.  They were my favorite comic when I was a kid and The Thing my favorite superhero.  Don't get me started on those crap movies they made.  They made Dr. Doom boring.  Anyway, I go the Marvel Masterworks version because it was in color.  The Essential was all in black and white.  If I'm reading a comic I want it in all its gaudy colors.

So when I got home from my trip I order DCC online.  As much as I would like to support the store and have tried to they make it very difficult for me.  And there are so many options online so and they have what I want so they get the money.  I also order the Peter Mullen box from Brave Halfling Publishing to store all the zines I've been collecting lately.  One of my brilliant readers suggested it.

As far as Free RPG Day I did get two items.  But I'm sending them out to unaware readers of mine who couldn't attend or they have no local store that participates.  Because sometimes its just cool to get random gifts.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Question

Tomorrow is Free RPG Day.  What do you plan to get? 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Attack of the Zines

Add caption
 A week or so ago I received a couple of very cool zines in the mail  First off is Wizards, Mutants, and Lazer Pistols.  I will admit at first I was a bit suspect.  I'm one of those who dislikes sci-fi in my fantasy.  But perfectly fine if there is fantasy in sci-fi.  But after a little time I knew I was going to get it because with a title like that and cover art that I love.

When it came in the mail I was surprised it was a full sized magazine.  I was expect the half fold thing.  Nope.  Big and brave with neon yellow cover.  Stapled at the edge.  Two column layout, easy to read with style.

The first article is a class, The Animator.  I think it can be easily adapted into a campaign.  An artist who can animate things, please, needs to be in your campaign and yours.  The Beneath the Ruin is a good adventure that also can be adapted in a campaign.  When I read these adventures that's what I'm looking for.  Can I squeeze this into that forest over yonder since I haven't full developed it.  You can with this.  The third section is the Web Walker and good addition to throw at players.  I think it has a good creep effect.  And lastly, an unexpected bit of fun, Module Mania.  A fill in the blank/crossword puzzle that tests your knowledge of the old modules of long ago.

If you get a chance, plop down some spending cash to pick this one up.  I liked it a lot and I think it fits perfect in the OSR zine scene.

Crawl was the second zine I got.  This one is dedicated to Goodman Games, Dungeon Crawl Classics.  First off, this zine is what got me to go to the store this weekend and purchase the core rules for DDC.  I really like the excitement it brings to the game.  While there is a lot in there I may not get the gist of because I don't have the core rules I plan on rereading it once I do.

The one con about the zine for me is the spacing of the sentences is crammed and dark.  Maybe its my old eyes, but the font and spacing were hard to read at some points.  The content was great.  It has to be to get me to get the rules.

The set up is like a typical zine, half fold staple in the middle, single column format.  Great old school pencil drawn art.  I like the rough sketches they capture the feel of the game and the zine.

Over all both these zines are useful and fun to read and I plan on getting future issues.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Strategy for Free RPG Day

Free RPG Day is nearly upon us.  While it may not stack up against free comic book day, it's the one that counts for me.  And about four years ago, was a large factor in my return to gaming.  Hold your boos until the end of the post.

So after mapping the gaming the store, checking the weather then selecting the proper footwear and clothing it time to get your people.  Yes, people.  Hopefully, non-gamers.  Why?  This answer is two-fold.  One, if they aren't gamers then you can tell them which free stuff you want.  Maybe get a little something extra you weren't expecting.  At the gaming shop I go to you can select one item.  If you are a member you get to select two.  I'm not a member because the gamer guy up there is a dick.  The second fold in this answer is, if they aren't a gamer maybe they will be after checking out all the different stuff offered and there are enough quick starts to get someone interested.

I plan on taking Ivy.  That way I can get two items.  While I love getting the commemorative d6, the store keeps them and hands them out to the special customers.  Which I can understand, but I'll still try to get one.  Plus they are only getting four per box.  I think in years past they got 6.

My choices will be to get Goodman Games Quickstart for DCC.  And while I'm at the store I plan on picking up the big fat rulebook.  Then I'll either get the Harn map or one of the several Pathfinder adventures.  While I've never played Pathfinder I like reading their stuff.

So plan your Free RPG Day accordingly.  Plan ahead.  You're less likely to pull a muscle or come way with a nasty scratch from the dice display.  So let's be careful out there.

Monday, June 11, 2012

GM Games Blog Open

Yeah, it finally happened.  I did a second blog.  I thought it was getting a little crowded here so I put all the goodies over on GM Games.  I've got the subscription button up for The Manor.  You'll get updates of the different things I'm working on and when they are for sale, you can go there and shop away.

Like all things, I plan on just having a good time with it.  Those who join the GM Games I plan on doing a couple giveaways and just fun and goofy stuff.  Who knows.  

Gothridge Manor will remain my blog for general yapping about RPGs, superheroes, movies, campaigns, occasionally music and when Ivy hijacks my blog, probably food, couponing or some sort of bodily function.

GM Games, join and you'll have a better day because of it.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

New Computer or Where the Hell Are All My Product Codes?

I got my new computer on Friday.  It's got an I7 processor, 10 gig of RAM, 1.5 terabyte harddrive, Blu-Ray Player, and a 1 gig Vid Card.  But the best thing about it is its quiet.  The recent computers I've had sound like one of those Everglade fan boats.  Loud.  This one I can't even tell that its running.  Now Ivy wants one.

With a new computer comes a little game I like to play called, Where the hell are all my product codes.  Absolutely love this game.  In the past the main reason I got a new computer because my old one took a dirt nap.  And guess where all those codes are at?  At least this time I was able to get some of the codes from the old computer, but the rest I had to scramble to websites I forgot about and passwords I had no chance of remembering.  But I got skype running, Fantasy Grounds going (but not completely up dated), my Xara program, GURPS character assist, and iTunes.  There is still a lot of work to be done, but I happy with the results so far.

With my new computer I plopped down a few c-notes for MS Professional Office to get Publisher.  I thought about waiting for the new version release later this fall, but that's later this fall and I need it now.  I think it will be a huge help with the projects I've got boiling in the stew.

Because of this computer switch I fell behind a little on a couple of things I promised for other people.  I apologize and plan on hitting your projects next.  I hope I didn't inconvenience anyone. 

Meanwhile, I am gearing up for Free RPG Day this Saturday.  I hope it will go better than last year.  Ivy has the day off so that means I'll get a second item.  I'm planning on picking up a new copy of DCC.  I've heard so much about it, playtested it and bought the fan zine so Goodman Games has hit from every side.  Might as well and get it. 

Off to search my other computer for a few more files.

Sleestak Sunday

When peace finally came to the Lost Land, they got together and formed a band.

Fantastic picture by Anthony Owsley.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Wind Map

This has got to be one of the cooler maps I've seen in a long time. You can put your cursor over any part of the map and it will tell you the wind speed of that exact location. And it just looks very cool. Enjoy.
Wind Map

This is a static picture of the Wind Map.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Okay, I'm In Again

My first backed project was Dwimmermount.

A few days ago I backed Barrowmaze 2.

And tonight I threw $30 bucks into the Appendix N Adventure Toolkit. And I don't even have the rulebook for DCC. Guess I need to remedy that soon. Thanks James Mal for sucking me in. If Ivy gets mad at me I'm blaming you.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Subscriptions to The Manor

I've been working on issue #2 of The Manor and assisting in some editing other zines while contemplating where to go with it.  I plan on offering a 6 issue subscription to all print buyers.  I'm trying to think of a way to do it for PDFs and have a few possibilities.  Anyone who has a brilliantly simple idea on how to do this please let me know. 

I say 6 issue subscription because I can't commit to a monthly schedule, but a 6 issue schedule is very doable.  So you may get one 7 weeks apart and the next one 3 weeks. 

The price for subscribing would be you would buy 5 get the 6th free.  Ivy would like that, it's almost a coupon. 

So US scripts would be $17.50Canada scripts would be $20.  And other worldly scripts would com in at $22.50.  If I do a script for PDF it would be $12.50.  Those who I ask to contribute automatically get a freebie and wouldn't count against their total.  Of course.  Duh. 

I'll be developing the subscription page over the weekend.  And should have another update about issue #2 then.  Have a great night.

Kicking Campaigns into the Next Stage

Both games I am in, one I GM AD&D and the other I play in is Weird Adventures.  Both have hit shifts in the game.  With the Weird Adventures games our group has solved the first mystery and will be moving on to the next.  We've established our characters and we've learned about the system and setting so I think our next mystery will have us working together in a whole other level. 

The AD&D game has taken a strange turn.  The players have fallen into a 'pit'.  Where they all find themselves in a different realm.  This game has been one where the realm they are in shifts the focus of the game.  Where most of the time its the level of the characters that shift it from dungeon delving to establishing an stronghold or kingdom. 

This is act 3 for my players.  While I had the beginning realm fairly well mapped out and set up and the second part fairly setup, this third part was totally unexpected and it's got my juices flowing of what I present to them.  A change of scenery can be a good thing.  Especially for a GM. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I'm Now a 7th Level Dead Guy

Cast of Characters
Boog - once a half-orc, now a full orc once a 7th level fighter, now a 6th level paladin - Rob
Grim - halfling 7th level thief - Brian
Corum - human 6th level cleric - Ken
Tavi - human 5th level bard - Josh (who played intermittently over the cell phone)
GM - me

The players proceeded deeper into the Catacombs of the Death God, Homikas.  With nearly a million in silver in their bag of holding they head south.  South, because the newly created champion of the dead, Boog, feels that is the was out.

The session picked up as three heavily  skeleton warriors rushed the party.  Boog set his halberd and tore off a large section of the first charging undead.  Twisting it around and sending it into a pit that divided the hallway.  The second and third skeletal warriors moved fast.  They cleared the pit with ease crashing their heavy mace into and already wounded Tavi and Boog. 

The battle continued with Boog thrashing off balance, his wounds had taken their toll as he tried to fend off the much faster opponent.  Tavi fell under the barrage of massive blows.  It was the skill of the thief that whittle away at one of the skeletal warriors and a mighty blow from Corum that shattered another.  Corum's strike so true and powerful left his arm weak and unusable afterwards.

Despite their many wounds the party moved on.  Corum did what healing he could.  South.  The came scross a door that lead south and found a room full of corpses stripped of flesh laying in four inches of water.  Corum spoke to one of the bodies and it kept screaming about the water before it collapsed lifeless again.  They decided not to go this way.

They searched a room, Grim having a sense for all things hidden, found a secret door.  He crawled through to find a large golem cover in magical runes.  They planned on how to approach the battle, but Boog being Boog rushed the golem and sliced through its metal hide cause several of the runes illumination to fade.  But the golem proven too strong for Boog and it pounded him close to death.  If it had not been for the Shield of Sacrifice he wore Boog's demise would have been premature. 

Grim with his quickness and smallness weaved through the hallway and managed to use a healing ointment on Boog to revive him and head through the door to the south.  As they entered the room they came across a mirror and Boog was immediately entranced by it.  He walked toward the mirror seeking something.  The urge that what he'd been looking for was just within his grasp.

Grim attempted to break the mirror drawing his magic sword, but the usually fleet of foot halfling stumbled upon the raised dais and fell headlong into the mirror knocking himself out.  In this time, Boog stepped in front of the mirror to fall within an pit.

Corum managed to get by the golem, but as he entered the room he to was entranced by the magic of the mirror.  But Tavi used his song to neutralize the mirror's effect.  It also kept the golem pacified as he also slipped into the room.  Tavi though, upon entering was bewitched by the mirror and he plunged into the pit.  With no healing, no companions, no exits out of the room as the golem waited by the door, Corum jumped into the pit.

After an indeterminate amount of time.  The player awoke in a dark, featureless land.  Ground fog swirled around them as they stood.  Grim asked, "Boog, do you still feel your god's presence?"

Boog stiffened.  "Ah oh.  He a lot closer than Boog like."

Session end.

The adventure I've been running the players through the past few session is Barrowmaze with many enhancements.  

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sleestak Sunday: A Revelation Purge

On Saturday, June 3rd, 2012 the image of the holy father Salshess appeared on the curbside wall on South Main Street in the middle of downtown Folksburg, PA.  At first, no one noticed.  South Main Street is the heart of the other side of the tracks.  It wasn't until one of the initiates, a Henry William, doing his weekly pilgrimage to hand out fliers to those stuck in the poverty of mind and body, found the amazing image.  He fell to his knees and wept. 

No long after a balding red haired man known around town as Gummy, attempted to rob Henry thinking him another drunk.  Gummy stumbled closer and squinted his eyes.  The meth haze still had its tendrils around his senses.  He blinked and reached down to Henry's back pocket hoping to find at least five bucks.  He yanked the wallet out with a wet coughing laugh.  He couldn't see the numbers, but there were three paper monies within.  He thought of what to buy.  Maybe even Samantha would let him in if he had money.  Then he caught a glimpse of a flash or a glint of something.  His blurry eyes caught the image of Salshess and his lungs refused to take air.

Gummy grabbed a street sign to balance himself as he struggled to breath.  Pressure built in his stomach.  The pain was almost unbearable.  He wanted to scream, but no air would leave or enter.  His body trembled violently as the pain rose from his stomach into his chest.  His father died of a heart attack in front of him when he was eight years old.  The scene flashed in front of him sixteen times.  Each time his mind's eye got closer to his father's bulging eyes and red face.

When the pain rose to his throat Gummy was on the verge of passing out.  Then the release erupted from his mouth.  Foul green toxins sprayed onto the sidewalk.  Tumors, blacken bits of tissue and hardened pustuals floated in the foul pool.

When Gummy finally took a breath and opened his eyes, he could see.  He could hear.  And he could feel his mind work like it had never had before.  His entire memory became assessable to him.  That first breath was cool and welcoming.  The stress his body felt a moment before left him.  And there on the wall, miraculously upon the stone, was Salshess.

When Henry rose and saw the red haired man standing there staring at the image he offered the man a steady hand.  "What is your name brother?" 

Gummy blinked and shook his head.  The words came to him clear and without obstacle.  His name had been lost for years behind different nicknames.  He never cared what he was called as long as there was a rock, bag, line or bottle with it.  Now it seemed a pleasure to say it.  A pleasure to be recognized for himself.  "Keith."  He smiled. "Keith.  My father named me after his father."

Saturday, June 2, 2012

May Numbers for GM Games

Crunching the numbers for the cost and sales for my little gaming neck of the woods.  Here is the following breakdown in sales for May.

The Manor sold 44 in print and 40 in PDF.  Knowledge Illuminates sold 5 PDF copies.

Cost of Making a Print Zine

Each zine costs 30 cents to make.  This includes an estimate of paper, card stock, ink and envelopes.  My envelopes were the highest cost at 20 cents each, but have since found some that are at 5 cents each.  Postage for the USA is 65 cents, cost to Canada is $1.30 and to the outside world I plop three creepy butterflies on costing $1.95.  I could reduce my costs slightly by going into the post office and doing each one individually, but it takes too much time and I always mess it up.  Then there are the Paypal fees, they take 40 cents from my US orders, 46 cents from the Canadian orders and 48 cents from my European orders.

Those three things are the immediate expenditures.  So here is the break down by region.
US Orders - Price $3.50 - Cost $1.35 - Profit $2.15
Canadian Orders - Price $4.00 - Cost $2.06 - Profit $1.94
European Orders - Price $4.50 - Cost $2.73 - Profit - $1.77

Here are the total sales by region.
US - 36 ($77.40)
CA - 1 ($1.94)
EU - 6 ($10.62)
Mis - 1 ($3.60) - a Matt Jackson special here.
Total - $93.56

Cost of a PDF Zine

This section is very easy because it don't matter one lick where you live.  One price for all.  And I only sell the the PDF on RPGNow and all its subsidiaries.  I am under the non-exclusive contract so they get 35% of the take and I get the remaining 65%.

Since I sold 40 in PDF at $2.50 a pop it makes the math easy.  I made $65 from the PDF version.  Oh, and throw in 5 copies of Knowledge Illuminates at $3.25, bringing the PDF total to 68.25

So combined it looks like I made $161.81.  Not shabby.  No retirement, but that will get me a pizza or two and allow me to buy a few other things people are writing out there.  But hold on one second.  The costs to produce the zine continues.  Now these costs are purely at my discretion where the ones above are almost inescapable.

Contributors Copies (or CC)
I think its good practice to send out anyone who contributed a print copy of the zine.  Or any product for that matter.  PDFs are fine, but really, a print copy should be the way to go.  I sent out copies to the artists and others who assisted with the zine, copies to my gaming group and of course one to my mom.  So when I call her she can say she got it and tell me its very good even though she doesn't understand it.  I also sent out  copies to a couple reviewers.  I sent 11 CCs.  The total cost of those 11 to send was $8.20.

Artist Costs
The OSR has a wealth of excellent artists who will to help out with your project.  The prices vary from "I'll just take a copy" on up.  I won't go into too much detail in this one because these guys were very generous, but I did want to send them something because without their help the zine isn't nearly as good.  And hey, artists like pizzas too.

Start Up Costs
Purchasing the start up gear is always going to set you back.  Plus, much of what you buy in not going to be used in the first issue, its for down the road.  So when I buy 250 red card stock covers and only send out 55 copies and I have 5 sitting that means I have 190 red card stock so it should be good for a couple of issues.  Of course I will be doing different colors so that cost will continue until the second time around.    Long arm staplers aren't cheap.  I got mine for about $30.  And buying the extra ink cartridges for printing.  Oh and I bought that cool stamper thingy.

So after all the start up costs, postage, production costs and fees I made -$108.70.  Yep, over a hundred dollars in the hole.  But no worries.  I have enough card stock for the next two issues (different colors), enough paper for a while, ink is stocked and stapler only needs purchased once I hope.  So the next issue I should peek my head out of the hole.

I want to thank everyone who ordered and hope you stick around for the second issue.  I've got some kick ass maps from Matt Jackson that will feature a cool adventure.  And if there is room, another installment of the ever strange Rural PA.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Offical Stamp of Approval

Last weekend, in between crashing my computer and causing electronic mayhem in general, I got a catalog from Staple with a few deals on office stuff.  One deal was for a stamper I could customize.  Not one to pass up on getting something unnecessary I messed around with the program and go a cool stamper for GM Games.

I think its pretty kick ass even though all it does is place an address on an envelope.  But now I am a legit business because this stamper makes me official.  So the next time you get an issue of The Manor, not only will you be getting the creepy butterfly but the official stamp of approval.

Anyone who is geeky as me here is the link to Staples to customize your own cool stamper.  The ladies love them.