It’s our first stakeholder newsletter giving information to our contributors and playtesters. If you’d rather read it in .pdf, you can download it here.
Hello everyone and welcome (finally) to our first stakeholder newsletter. We’ve got a lot of pots on the stove right now, and we are trying not to burn anything, but it is exhilarating to see this project gaining momentum. We added a couple writers and several artists to the venture: we’d like to welcome Rich, Juan, Jeremy, Justin, and Clint. Thanks for coming aboard!
While all the contributors to the project are involved with gaming out of love for the hobby, we recognize that time spent making art or writing comes with opportunity costs, and that is why we are working on ensuring a good model to monetize our creative efforts, so, in the end, we have more time and energy to create more and better material. So to that end, and to help everyone know what’s going on with the parts of the venture they aren’t personally working on, here is our stakeholder newsletter.
We have put a new web page up where we’ll be posting all manner of RPG and geeky things.
There are really two reasons we felt that RPGlore.net was necessary. First each of our projects was going to be pretty narrowly focused, but our interests are not; and second, we have a suspicion that we need to develop a mass of content before we are going to draw any web traffic to our project pages off organic searches. This is very important with our business model of having growth pay for itself and having all profits returned to contributors.
We are asking everyone to contribute freely to the website with whatever geekiness amuses them. Bob is going to be serving as Editor-in-Chief for the site, so he’ll gatekeep any articles that are likely to get us sued or bombed and help you with proof reading. (And I’ll try avoiding talking about myself in third all the time).
Articles on absolutely anything RPG related are great. I know some of you have RPG blogs of your own and if you’d like to submit material you’ve already published on your own site after changing it up a bit, that would be just fine, and it will earn you shares as long as long it is different enough that google isn’t dinging us for duplicate content. You are also more than welcome to include links to your personal sites.
We would really like to see articles exploring historical topics for use in RPGs, DM help articles, and fun player focused articles about better role playing and making characters who feel like actual people—but like I said before, anything is good.
We’d like to do reviews of movies, music, RPGs, and computer games with RPG geek appeal. These should be about 600 words to give a good discussion of the good and bad. We want to keep the tone mostly positive, so even if you review a movie or game that is bad, say it is bad without being a complete dick about it.
Have something about geek culture you’d like to discuss? Well, I think that would make for an excellent article. Send it in, again let’s keep the tone mostly positive, even when talking about problems, let’s been solution focused.
Kip will be restarting his series of Ǻrth based stories which will appear in the magazine as a serial. We’d love to feature other people’s work as well. About 3,000 words is a good amount to serve as a chapter or installment of your story.
If we get a collection of short stories, we could publish them together. Books could be available through Amazon.com and their distribution channels as well as at DrivethruFiction. The new distribution deals for us publishing actually give us a good amount of revenue share of these books, even when sold through the least profitable channels. This could serve to be a good way to ‘double-dip’ on the earnings from that writing.
RPGlore.net will have a limited amount of advertising on the website, and we’ll be running a Patreon [patreon.com/RPGloreNet] page to supplement revenue from sales of the print and .pdf versions of the magazines. Standard share rates apply.
You can follow us at the following places:
Twitter: @CailoreDM (Kip only)
@DungeonCrawlerQ (Kip & Bob)
The Dungeon Crawler page doesn’t have enough likes to get our own handle, so please like it to help us out.
Dungeon Crawler Quarterly
Dungeon Crawler Quarterly is going to be print and electronic magazine in the old style of fantasy adventure magazines from the 70s and 80s—where content was king and gamers shared fun, and inventive material with other players and the art was so bad it made us all think we could be successful artists. As you may have guessed by the name, we are looking to do the magazine quarterly.
The electronic version of the magazine will have material that isn’t suitable for print due to media or size but will also have links and fun stuff that while interesting, wouldn’t translate well into a print format periodical. The electronic magazine will share web space with RPGlore.net, but it has its own URL www.dungeoncrawlerquarterly.com
The ‘print’ version will be available for download or print on demand at RPGnow.com and DriveThroughRPG.com.
Kip is going to be rolling out portions of the Traveler’s Guide to Auctorus in the pages of the print version as well as some other setting information such as prestige classes and deities. Bob is looking to do DMing assistance articles and some more generalized OSR stuff. We would love to have anyone else contribute any other fantasy RPG content they like to the magazine as well. We’ll help you edit content and find artists for written work, and if you are an artist, we’ll match your spot art up with good articles.
We’d really like to have at least one short adventure in each issue for any ‘old school’ system: D&D (BECMI), AD&D, AD&D 2e, OSRIC, OGL 3.5. But we could open those games up to include non-Gygaxian games if there is interest.
As with all our other products, you will earn shares for your contribution, items appearing in both electronic and print will earn shares in both places.
What on Ǻrth?
We’ve paused rolling out the Atlas of Ǻrth at cailore.com while we finish up our dominion rules. After some thought, it seems like it would be best if the redesign goes according to the rules we are setting forth in the new rule book (see below). So, we’ll start up again once we release those rules for playtesting.
If you are interested in helping to design a corner of the world, please let us know, and we could carve you out a portion of the world you could be in charge of. I now some Game Masters enjoy making adventures more than world building, while others are just the opposite, we’d love to make sure that everyone can contribute in their strongest and most enjoyable way possible.
We finally have sales coming in from all our distribution channels, and that feels pretty fantastic.
A1 Lairs of Lawlessness
We have released our first adventure on DriveThruRPG and Amazon. We haven’t done any advertising yet, but we received some positive feedback, and we’ve made a couple hundred dollars in revenue already, despite our lack of publicity. I’m cautiously optimistic that we can actually do pretty well with this project.
The adventure turned out to be pretty massive at about 80,000 words. It takes a party from 1st to 7th level using OGL 3.5 rules. If someone who is adept at 5e and fluent in the limitations of OGL 5 would like to do a translation of the adventure to OGL 5, that might be worth doing.
OGL 3.5 GM Screen
We tried an experiment with an OGL 3.5 GM screen with Cailore Fantasy art on the outside and made it available on RPGNow. Kip also had it printed to see what the quality was like. It is actually very nice, and I would recommend their full cover card printing. The included tables were rushed since we were just looking to see how the print would turn out, but they were usable, clear and probably nicer than the first professional DM screen I ever bought. We made the inserts available as “pay what you want” and sold 40 of them to see how the pricing goes: one purchaser gave us 10 cents, of which RPGnow kept 3 cents, so 40 screens netted 7 cents. It looks like “pay what you want” might be useful for giving stuff away for free in order to get brand recognition and generate those “purchaser also bought” links on websites—we definitely don’t want to put anything super valuable out there with that purchase option.
We have since removed the screen from RPGnow, but are going to do a redesign and add more panels. What do you think would be useful to go on the screen, both for GMs and players of OGL 3.5 games?
Kip is looking to do a play test on Lairs of Lawlessness using Fantasy Grounds. He has the mega-deluxe version of Fantasy Grounds, you all you will need to join is the free version, which you can download from their site. If you are interested in joining, there are character creation guidelines at Cailore.com. He wants to play two Sundays a month at noon to two Mountain Time for two hours a time. Most of us haven’t used Fantasy Grounds, so it will be a learning experience while we get started, but we should learn a lot and have fun.
Science Fiction RPG
We are looking at trying to create a Sci-Fi game from whole cloth, and we’ll be wanting a lot of people involved in the creation process. Let us know if this is something you are interested in.
How about organized crime? Or disorganized crime? One of the first games I played besides D&D was Gangbusters and I still have fond memories of it. Anyone interested in bringing 1920s crime into 2020?
Cailore Fantasy on Fantasy Grounds and Roll20
One of the things we are hoping to learn in the Fantasy Grounds playtest is how big of a pain in the ass it would be to release our adventures for use with Fantasy Grounds and Roll20. Do we have adventure authors do it themselves, or do we need to have specialized people do conversions for us? We’ll also need to explore just how much money we could make off those efforts.
Once the domain and mass combat rules are functional, we’ll be trying a turn-based online version where people can join in from around the world to compete against one another.
How to Help
OK, so what to do to help the project move ahead and make some money in the process.
If you would like to add an OGL adventure, send Kip or me an email, and we’ll send you an outline format to get you started. Once you are done with your adventure, send me the file, and we’ll help you edit it. If you need help with maps or art, we can hook you up. Remember everyone who contributes to making your adventure market ready also earns shares of that product, so even you will be sharing the profit, but many hands certainly make for better products.
Spot art and product covers are important, and maps are absolutely indispensable. If you can help us with any of these, please let us know. Of course, you can be both an artist and a writer—I can’t be, but you could. Once some of the new writers decide what they want to work on, we will set up a page about what specific art is needed.
Help us playtest our new things, it helps build a community of contributors, helps us all know what is going on in the world, and it is a lot of fun. And you also earn shares, yeah baby, making money for playing.
Spread the News
Our biggest hurdle starting this project will be getting the word out to people. If you know other creative people who might be interested in joining us, please let them know.
We will also need help spreading the word about new products as they come out. Since all of our stakeholders earn something from every sale, this is the best method of supporting the program and yourself. Links to our websites at this point are particularly valuable for building our visibility online.
Contributions we Need
- Someone who can make promo videos that don’t suck. When we post products for sale we need a preview video to go with it, we’d like them to be snazzier and I couldn’t do as well as Kip did.
- We always need art. Simple spot art helps us break up text and help build mood throughout the product (like this simple but awesome book from Jeremy). We will accept absolutely any spot art you send our way, because we need A LOT of it. For spot art, it is easiest for us if it is uncolored, because we can then color it to suit where it will be used, or we can easily use it in non-color publications. Less ‘generic’ art is good colored, especially if you are shooting for something we can use on the front or back color, or will be used to represent a particular character.
- Kingdom and war theme art: we are currently working on our dominion and mass combat rules. This is going to be a full-color hardback, so we’ll need a lot of art with armies, castles, communities, siege engines and other miscellanea of war.
- Orcs and wilderness: Kip is working on an adventure spin-off from Lairs of Lawlessness where the party must hunt down a particular bloodline of orcs across the expanse of the Orkmark. We’ll need a variety of orc pictures for that as well as the sweeping plains of the Orkmark, some tribal barbarianesque orc holy sites would be good too.
- Anyone know how to make extensions for Fantasy Grounds? We’d really like a calendar extension to put the Nordkalander into games without having to alter the program database by hand.
- OGL 5 conversions of our OGL 3.5 rules and adventures.
- Adventures, lots of OGL adventures!
We need to set up discussion board or forum where everyone can interact on a regular basis to move projects forward. If you have any ideas what would work best, please let us know. I’ll explore a few things and see what we can implement.
Statement of Shares
Whenever we publish a product which you have earned shares, you will receive a statement of shares letting you know. At the end of each calendar quarter, we’ll send out a report on all shares and earnings, along with earnings per share. We will then send out payments via PayPal.
Kip is offering shares to everyone who had played in the game world of Ǻrth throughout any of the iterations, so if you have contact information for any of those old players, please send them to us.
Talk to you all soon, and good luck on your individual projects. Roll initiative!