This feels to me like I'm sitting here in my AC Cobra watching the buggy whip salesmen fighting tooth and nail over the last of the dwindling market of buggy owners.
That AC Cobra? This here blog community. I understand the sentiment that something doesn't exist in the gaming world if it doesn't exist on a shelf in a brick and mortar store. But that is just not true any more.
I've learned more in the last year about playing rpgs than I had in my whole life prior. Part of that was because I was reading all the awesome stuff you've posted, part of it was me working to come up with something equally cool to give back to you. It wasn't because I bought all the key products put out by OSR designers.
I don't mean for this to be an anti-capitalist rant; if you want to package your cool blog stuff into something people can buy, fine. In fact the weakness of a blog is that cool things can be spread all over it, difficult to find, and in draft form. Editing and polishing can be essential for ideas.
The problem is when people start thinking unless their ideas have been packaged into a product and unless they have sold well, they are not valid, or useful, or not somehow real.
I'm reading your blogs. I'm using your ideas in my weekly game. I'm even posting in praise of those things that seem really interesting or game-changing to me. Your ideas are real for me without me having to pay for a pdf.
One bad aspect of focussing on products is people keeping things hush hush so that the product, when finally released, will make a bigger splash. "I'm working on a cool thing but I can't tell you anything about it." Lame. Why are you blogging about it if I can't know what it is until you finish it and sell it to me?
The worst case scenario for me is when someone has blogged about something, received the benefit of an attentive audience, received helpful comments (even if only in the sense that they are encouragement), and then after turning it into a product they yank it all off their blog so you have to buy it to read it. Man, that sucks.
I guess in a nutshell what I'm saying is when you put something on a blog you are in fact publishing. You can have an audience without needing an sku or a distribution company. And I think that's pretty damn cool. That was supposed to be the point of the Internet, right? So why then is everyone scrambling around trying to come up with the perfect OSR product when it's right under our noses?
Okay if you've made it this far (and in keeping with the spirit of this post I might add) here is my coin for the boatman:
Being difficult and costly to create, a few savvy wizards have learned to make golems one inside another, the outer layers made of the cheapest materials. Meant primarily as guardians, the idea was that least amount of resources would be spent in dealing with any individual threat. Usually of humanoid shape, when one layer is destroyed the next slightly smaller golem will step free as from a shell and continue assaulting intruders. The particular layers are varied, one know configuration follows:
- 1st layer: 1hd, 8ft tall, clay- impervious to electrical attacks
- 2nd: 2hd, 6ft, brass- impervious to fire, successful hits on it inflict 1d4 heat damage on attacker.
- 3rd: 4hd, 4ft, silver- impervious to acid, ray or beam attacks reflect back on attacker.
- 4th: 6hd, 2ft, lead- 1/2 damage from weapons. Successful hits on it must save of have the attacking weapon stuck in the soft lead.
- 5th: 8 hd, 1ft, gold- impervious to electrical, acid. 1/2 damage from weapons. Successful hit on it cause all creatures within 30ft to save versus charm or feel they should just leave the area.