Thursday, July 12, 2012

2 Cents for Raggi

I think it's safe to say that of the whole OSR I am least concerned with selling products.  My love of DIY is so strong I'm almost anti-commercial publishing.  But I have always admired your drive to make the best products you could and your energy and passion.  Now you've got this LotFP Grand Adventure Campaign going on with less than 20 days left to fund.  For whatever it's worth, here are my two cents:

1 Tell me, as a DM what these adventures are.  Some of the descriptions do better than others, but most give me no idea what I would be getting if I dropped a $20.  Jeff Rients' Broodmother Sky Fortress is a perfect example.  The original blurb is quirky, terse, and cocky.  Only when I had seen his video explaining what he was trying to do with giants in this adventure did I get interested, almost excited.  And even now, that video is hidden under the "Updates" tab.

Probably the worst I've seen is Anna Kreider's.  Don't get me wrong, it might be a fascinating adventure, but with a blurb that has language like:
"A desperate village looks to you to be their salvation. Beset by bandits and murderers, they have invoked legend and unleashed a horrible force upon the world - one terrible beyond mortal comprehension. Without your help, they will surely be consumed. But how can you save them if you, yourself, are dragged into insanity?"
I have to wonder who you think the audience for these are.  These aren't fantasy novels or solo adventures (as far as I know).  I'm not going to be saving anyone, I'll be running this thing for my players.  Why aren't you talking to me, the DM?  Here are some things I'm interested in knowing:
  • What genre of adventure is it?
  • What power level does it expect players to be?
  • How many sessions will it probably take to finish?
  • What kinds of terrain does it require-- desert, jungle, a big lake?
  • How much landscape does it require in my game world?
  • Is it a location I can use more than once or just a one-time twist ending thing?
  • Is it trying to do anything innovative as  far as adventure design goes?
2  If the most interesting thing about some of these is the celebrity that wrote them, flaunt those celebrities.  I knew the guy from Gwar was involved but I didn't know his name so I had to look through every adventure in the "About the Author" sections to figure out which was his.  I have never heard of Aeron Alfrey, but I saw in his section that he runs Monster Brains.  I know Monster Brains!  I became a whole lot more interested.  I'm assuming that his blog is why you even knew to ask him to be involved.  Why not make that connection more apparent?

Maybe Indiegogo constrains how much you can do with their pages, but man, can't you trumpet who these folks are and what their accomplishments are more prominently.  If they've got a well known blog maybe put an image of the banner somewhere on the front page.  Maybe blurbs of people hating on them.

Anyway, I wish you the best.  Keep on trucking.



  1. I'm forwarding this link to all the writers to get them to address point #1 if they haven't already.

    I'll get to work to better address point #2.

    Constructive (and dead-on) criticism is always appreciated. :)

    1. Maybe this is impossible to undo now, but I think it was also a mistake to give all the adventures the same artwork. It makes it harder to tell them apart. Even if you don't have any art for the adventures themselves yet, it would be much better to show some art from the stuff the author's done before.

  2. Yes, I hope my update has addressed #1. I don't think I can do anything about #2 though!

  3. My biggest problem with the entire endeavour is that there are approximately a bajillion different modules, all funding independently. I don't know which one(s) I want to fund, and if I fund the 'wrong' one, it might never get funded at all as everyone else was focused elsewhere.

    1. @Changling bob

      Telecanter beat me to it, but I would reiterate that there is no "wrong" one to fund. If point #1 was addressed on all the modules as proposed, this would at least allow the choice to be easier. Who cares what others are focused on, which one do you like? =]

  4. @Jim: Cool, I hope a bunch of these fund.

    @Kelvin: Yeah, I saw your blog post and, again, was interested by the extra detail you added.

    @Changling Bob: Yeah, having so many is part of the stunt I think. I guess just put money on the one(s) that interest you most and then, even if they don't make, Jim will have a sense of what folks are interested in.

  5. Personally I think its a bold experiment & very interesting. Telecanter makes some interesting points though. I'll be watching where this goes however

  6. I wish *ALL* of the authors would answer *ALL* of the questions in Telecanter's cent #1. Some of them still haven't done so at all. Most of them still haven't done so fully.

    And I wish *ALL* of the participants, not just the authors, would cooperate with Raggi addressing Telecanter's cent #2. In particular, I wish Satine Phoenix, who might quite possibly have more fans than all of the other participants combined, would come out of hiding and publicly promote her campaign.