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Tales PDF a great Idea
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Truckee Games
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2003 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Book vs. PDF
Not too many people except devoted fans are willing to lay out $30 for a compilation of mini-settings and adventures where only one or two of those mini-settings will interest them in the first place.

"Hrmm...this mini setting, Hearts of Steel, looks totally cool, as does this Psionic Horror setting, but I'm not interested in the other 3 (or 4) settings, and I am not going to pay $30 for two mini-settings."

Also consider that tons of potentially great mini-settings had to be turned away because the books were already 'sold out' of space for a year! If it's a good idea, why turn it away?

Economically for Shane, this is a real possibility of losing out big time. Us "raving pinnacle fanboy jackasses" will buy up a $30 book anyways, but the vast majority of gamers will probably take a pass and PEG would loose money on what he printed, and loose money on what he didn't print.

Also consider that he would go under in a hurry if he tried to print every great mini-setting as soft-bound book. It's not economically viable in this day and age of the game industry.

Also he would have to fight the distribution system, and retailers to get it on the shelf. Remember how long it took to get SW on the shelves...AFTER it had been printed?

None of this takes into account trying to fulfill international orders and the costs for gamers in other countries to pay for a book, ESPECIALLY if they paid a full $30 plus fees, tariffs, whatever for just a setting or two.

Remember, Shane has kids to feed and a wife to spoil, he doesn't have a 'day job', this is how he survives. He must do what's write by his company first and trying to do what's right by his fans second. Because if there is no company, there are no fans.

PDF's on the other hand (and I sincerely hope POD's are a viable choice for all) can be bought individually to the tastes of gamers, increase market visability, and get ALL those great settings out the door sooner, rather than later. Yes, I'd prefer an actual book too, but I would take lots of cool PDFs all year long than a few hardbound books every 4 months or so.

What to do with PDF's?
Well, if the POD option is not available, then there are few options:

* Print it out yourself, and suck up the cost of ink. 3-Hole punch it and put it in a binder.

* Print it out at work, and don't get caught. 3-hole punch it and put it in a binder.

* Go to a kinko's or other copy house, have them print it and bind it, usually for a minimal cost, especially considering the actual size of the mini-settings.

* Keep it on a lap top for reference during games. Print the relevant pages for players.


In summary
I like it. You may not.
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jblittlefield
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2003 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thwaak wrote:
Remember, Shane has kids to feed and a wife to spoil, he doesn't have a 'day job', this is how he survives. He must do what's write by his company first and trying to do what's right by his fans second. Because if there is no company, there are no fans.


<silly rant on>
Why does everybody always want to bring this one up? This is a no-brainer. I think we all understand *why* Shane makes the decisions that he does, and I don't think anyone takes issue with that - it doesn't mean we have to agree with them as consumers.

Like I said in an earlier post - I'm done with buying SW stuff (except for Deadlands: Reboot and 50F) - doesn't mean I won't buy something if it catches my eye - just that I won't spend $$$ simply to help keep PEG in business - that's Shane's problem, not mine. Other than DL:RB and 50F, none of the planned books hold any interest for me. I wish him all the luck in the world - but I have a family to feed as well and I'm very picky about what I buy. The bennie/hindrance of SW is its flexibility - it's too easy to create your own game worlds or modify existing ones. With well over 300 gaming titles on my shelf there's no need to shell out $30 for yet another world or $5 for an adventure. To me, a nice compilation would have been worth it. As always, just my $.02 and YMMV.
<silly rant off>

... we now return you to your regularly scheduled forum Wink
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Truckee Games
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2003 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jblittlefield wrote:

<silly rant on>
Why does everybody always want to bring this one up? This is a no-brainer. I think we all understand *why* Shane makes the decisions that he does, and I don't think anyone takes issue with that - it doesn't mean we have to agree with them as consumers.
<silly rant off>



<sillier rant on>
Why does everyone take point with this point? I'm just saying to keep in mind that we would all love if Shane catered exclusivly to our desires, but it can't be realtiy. You can take it or leave it...that's all. No one expects you to buy everything just to keep PEG afloat. What is expected is that more people will buy via the PDF option than the book option, and that's what keeps PEG afloat. Just a friendly reminder. Smile
<sillier rant off>]
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Balance
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2003 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find myself on both sides of the argument.

I prefer real books. I'll accept PDFs under several circumstances, and there are situations where I prefer them.

* Quick Starts and Demo materials, where I'd rather see production costs go to the final product, which is an example of...
* Disposable materials. Adventures I'll run once and dispose of.
* Errata and notes.
* 'Reference' Works. For example, GW's Codex books for WH40k would make excellent PDFs.

Also, I am strongly against buying new works purely because of the old ones. Admittedly, i own most of the Deadlands line, even some of the clinkers, but I based all purchases off reviews, 'want lists' and similar, and not off feeding Shane. I do consider reputation and my opinion of past works, of course, but I don't buy blindly.
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BluSponge
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2003 3:30 pm    Post subject: Hrmm... Reply with quote

I can't say I'm crazy about the idea of ST now being PDF only. I would have much prefered a hard copy. I'm even less crazy about having to pay for the book piecemeal.

That said, since I have no interest in doing a fantasy SW (aside from maybe one-shots), this means I don't have to put up with all the different fantasy variations that ST was bound to be full of. I can focus on what really interests me: pulp and swashbuckling.

OTOH, there is no telling what I'll be missing out on in some of these other "tales."

I hope Shane plans on providing short previews of each of these STs -- maybe a page or two -- to help us make up our minds what we want and what we don't. Likewise, I image there will be a huge demand on these forums for reviews of each individual file.

So I'll wait and see. Just because I don't like it now doesn't mean I won't love it later.

Tom
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Clint
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2003 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thing is, this whole line of discussion about cost is a bit pointless. I mean, the issue is based entirely off assumptions about price and content. Arguing against assumptions is as useless as trying to shovel air.

As far a format goes, to the best of my knowledge Savage Tales is going to consist of adventures and "mini-settings." I would rather have these in PDF format. I think the benefits of an adventure in PDF is self-evident.

As far as the mini-settings go, I don't want to have to deal with a book that is filled with something like 75%+ unrelated material to the game I am trying to run. I just want what I need.

To me, this is a win-win situation. Very Happy
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Truckee Games
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2003 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clint wrote:
The thing is, this whole line of discussion about cost is a bit pointless. I mean, the issue is based entirely off assumptions about price and content. Arguing against assumptions is as useless as trying to shovel air.


I'd have to disagree Clint. It's central to the point of going PDF. For 90% of gamers - cost is everything. Savage Tales was supposed to cost $30 for a series of mini-settings/adventures. The value is subjective because no one knows how much value they will get for that $30. You might run a campaign based on every setting provided, you might run one. You might not run any of them. $30 is a big price tag if you only use one or two of the settings.

PDF, while perhaps not as cool as having a book, allows you to pick and choose what settings you want - no wasted money.

But we agree on everything else. This for me is also win-win.
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cdude93
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2003 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can see arguments from both sides of the fence here, however I think one major drawback to having ST in a PDF format is the fact that it's not a tangible book a gamer can see on the shelf and say, "oh cool what's this" and check it out. Assuming he's in the loop, finds out what he wants to buy, gets his credit card and does so(remember, plenty of your target market is gonna be under 18 and unlikely to have one), then he has to print it out and go to kinkos to get it bound decently, or just throw it in a binder.

On the other hand, I don't see myself dropping $30 on a book of assorted settings. I can see plenty of others doing it, as I disagree that 90% of gamers' choice is price. If that were the case, games workshop would have sunk long ago. my .02

James
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Balance
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2003 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the point, from a marketing standpoint, is that the plan is that there's one 'regular' book that hopefully stays in print for quite a while (The SW Core).

Then we have 'big releases' like Evernight, 50 Fathoms, Weird Wars, etc. that are to be released when they are done.

Savage Tales, in either form, is intended to keep the momentum between the big releases. Shane's in a position, assuming my iew is correct, to consider the merits of small, regular product releases (PDFs) or regular quarterly larger releases.

There's pluses and minuses to each.
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Doc Otto
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2003 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How much does it typically cost to get a PDF printed and bound nicely at a Kinko's or Mailboxes Etc? Also, what's the quality on these jobs?
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jblittlefield
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2003 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doc Otto wrote:
How much does it typically cost to get a PDF printed and bound nicely at a Kinko's or Mailboxes Etc? Also, what's the quality on these jobs?


At Office Max:

1. 20# white paper, black spiral binding, black vinyl front/back covers, 32 pages double-sided, black and white laser print = $6.25

2. 20# white 3-hole punch, 32 pages double-sided, b/w laser print = $2.56

http://www.officemax.com/max/solutions/services/CopyMax/CopyMax.jsp?BV_UseBVCookie=yes&area=copy&expansionOID=-536891813
and click on the "Send Document" button (you can go through all the steps to get a price estimate without actually having to send the job)

Hope this helps Wink
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Balance
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2003 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice link, JB.
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fred the monkey
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2003 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doc Otto wrote:
How much does it typically cost to get a PDF printed and bound nicely at a Kinko's or Mailboxes Etc? Also, what's the quality on these jobs?


At the my local Kinko's (yours may vary), it would come out to something like this:
140 pages @ 7 cents per page = $9.80 (that's single-sided)
70 pages (double sided) @ 9 cents per = $6.30
Comb binding (one of the cheaper options) is $4 or $5.
Spiral binding, which is much more durable is a bit more, but I don't know how much exactly. Personally, I just take the pages home where I have a three hole punch and a bunch of binders.

There might be a fee for printing from disk, but I'm not sure about that.

If you want to get fancy, you can also get your covers laminated, which helps them last longer. You can also have them do this whole process (spiral binding and laminating) to any existing soft cover books you own. They cut the binding off and re-do the whole thing. Just the thing for your heavily used main books. I haven't done this, but I saw a whole bunch of books done this way at this year's GenCon.
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Doc Otto
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2003 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, all. This might warrant further investigation.
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jblittlefield
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2003 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Balance wrote:
Nice link, JB.


No problem - personally, I print and punch my PDFs at work for FREE Wink
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Count Zero
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2003 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think judgement should be reserved until we actually see the first "issue" of ST on RPGNow. Its hard to argue for or against a product you haven't even seen yet.
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jblittlefield
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2003 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Count Zero wrote:
I think judgement should be reserved until we actually see the first "issue" of ST on RPGNow. Its hard to argue for or against a product you haven't even seen yet.


I for one wasn't arguing one way or the other - just stating my preference. I'm sure whatever form ST takes it'll be an excellent product and well-worth the money Wink
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MadTinkerer
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2003 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh yeah, one other thing I'd like to point out as a Savage Tales writer: (Assuming I ever actually finish it,) It's a pay raise:

$.02*4000(maximum)=$80.

But

$100*1(minimum 8000 words)=$100!

Per-word it's a cut, but in absolute terms it's an increase. 2/3 of the price of 50 Fathoms, in fact. It's like getting 50F for $10!

jblittlefield wrote:
Like I said in an earlier post - I'm done with buying SW stuff (except for Deadlands: Reboot and 50F) - doesn't mean I won't buy something if it catches my eye - just that I won't spend $$$ simply to help keep PEG in business - that's Shane's problem, not mine.


Fortunately for Shane, he'll be recouping nearly every dollar he sends me eventually. Mostly via Neccesary Evil and DLRB. And Slipstream seems cool. As does Scairy Tales. Oh wait, that totals more than what I'm being paid... Laughing
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jblittlefield
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2003 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MadTinkerer wrote:
jblittlefield wrote:
Like I said in an earlier post - I'm done with buying SW stuff (except for Deadlands: Reboot and 50F) - doesn't mean I won't buy something if it catches my eye - just that I won't spend $$$ simply to help keep PEG in business - that's Shane's problem, not mine.


Fortunately for Shane, he'll be recouping nearly every dollar he sends me eventually. Mostly via Neccesary Evil and DLRB. And Slipstream seems cool. As does Scairy Tales. Oh wait, that totals more than what I'm being paid... Laughing


That's great - if you have a need for or an interest in the products you should buy as many as you can afford Wink

As for me, I'm a definite for DL: Reboot and 50F - after that I don't really see anything that catches my eye or my imagination - I'll wait for feedback as things are released though Wink
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nsolo
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2003 3:14 pm    Post subject: When will "Privateer's Bounty" be available? Reply with quote

Hi there! I have read the discussion (finally - I was on the road) about the pluses and minuses of PDF "Savage Tales" and I don't really care. The good thing about the PDF is that I don't have to wait a long time! And, along those lines. . . does anyone know if Privateer's Bounty will be available today?

Peter Hildreth
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