• FINAL DAYS! -- The Awfully Cheerful Engine on Kickstarter! An action comedy RPG inspired by cheerful tabletop games of the 80s! With a foreword by Sandy 'Ghostbusters' Petersen, and VTT support!
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Recent content by JLowder

  1. J

    Owen KC Stephens' Tabletop RPG Truths

    The discussion is about a lot more than pay and raising the problems is not "complaining." It's warning people about landmines that may not be obvious--the kind of thing that helped you make an informed decision. It's saying things aloud that others in the industry might have observed but might...
  2. J

    Owen KC Stephens' Tabletop RPG Truths

    Most RPG designers have degrees or advanced degrees they could monetize. Many have worked in other industries where they were successful and did make more money, even significantly more. You seem to view everything through the lens of pay. You were right to bail on writing for the tabletop...
  3. J

    Owen KC Stephens' Tabletop RPG Truths

    TTRPG game design is not a public service job, though it has some things in common with a public service job given online accessibility. Owen is highlighting the mismatches between the perception of a TTRPG job and the realities of the industry--which are significant, even within the ranks of...
  4. J

    Owen KC Stephens' Tabletop RPG Truths

    All the larger and mid-sized companies and many of the small and indie houses deal with creators all over the world. (Chaosium has line editors in the US, UK, Germany, Australia, with creative contributors even more scattered.) Some issues, such as healthcare, are major problems for American...
  5. J

    Owen KC Stephens' Tabletop RPG Truths

    Great point. That is a serious concern, especially if all parties do not buy into the process or if the organization does not have a clear code of conduct, which would help guide resolution for some issues. The current model for these types of GriefComs are organizations such as SFWA and HWA...
  6. J

    Owen KC Stephens' Tabletop RPG Truths

    I have been pushing for GAMA to recreate itself as an industry organization not just a manufacturer and retailer organization for fifteen or twenty years, so they would include creators in the voting membership. Recast like that, with a code of conduct for all members and a grievance committee...
  7. J

    Owen KC Stephens' Tabletop RPG Truths

    Fan culture is more toxic than the cultures you encounter in most other professions. There are exceptions, politics and education being the most obvious. (The most credible death threat I ever received was connected to a university teaching gig, not my work in publishing.) But lots of people...
  8. J

    Owen KC Stephens' Tabletop RPG Truths

    Most of the things you have suggested are already in play, in various forms, using the tools available. Many established companies and pros use Kickstarter and other crowdfunding operations as a preorder system, to muster existing fans and help fund projects, since "just in time" ordering and...
  9. J

    Owen KC Stephens' Tabletop RPG Truths

    General word rates for the industry are fairly easy to find. They generally range, for bigger publishers, from a couple cents per word up to the SFWA and HWA professional rates of 8 cents/word. The latter is rare and based more on the fiction model for publishing, not the RPG model, which...
  10. J

    Owen KC Stephens' Tabletop RPG Truths

    There are some ways in. Kickstarters are one. How much you raised with the campaign is not the primary metric here, though. Once you deliver the promised product, the Kickstarter becomes an audition set--especially if you delivered on time (hugely important) and the backers are happy with the...
  11. J

    Owen KC Stephens' Tabletop RPG Truths

    Sure. Not with every post they make, though. And not necessarily in the way you demand. Posting about the harsh truths of an industry can certainly be part of looking out for those who are starting out. You're likely not seeing the "legs up" because you are not in the industry or not looking...
  12. J

    Owen KC Stephens' Tabletop RPG Truths

    All posts by every game designer or [insert your profession here] do not have to be recruitment copy for their industry. That's how unrealistic opinions of an industry or profession are born and fostered. And making public statements that reveal the harsh truths can be a way of helping inspire...
  13. J

    Owen KC Stephens' Tabletop RPG Truths

    The vast majority of people who work in RPGs (or fiction or comics), as side gigs or as careers, are well aware that they could make much better money elsewhere. At one time or another, they probably have, when the freelance creative work was slow or they were between company jobs. (As I...
  14. J

    D&D General I'm reading the Forgotten Realms Novels- #127 The Wizardwar by Elaine Cunningham (Counselors & Kings 3)

    eBay is a good starting place. The site bookfinder.com is a good used book search aggregator. You can sometimes find good deals there. As the Realms series stretches on, many of the titles will become harder to find. The TSR books in the late 80s and early 90s went through multiple printings...
  15. J

    TSR Ed Greenwood Sold The Forgotten Realms For $5,000

    Great stuff. Stellar work, as always, Ben.
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