log in or register to remove this ad

 

Creating a game

DnD Warlord

Explorer
If I wanted to make my own RPG and sell it how hard is it? Not the mechanics (hard enough) not the fluff (still hard enough) but the actually selling it. Where do you find printing and editors? How do you spread word of it?
If I wanted to make my own retro clone d&d useing the old ogl is that easier or harder then a whole new fantasy system?
I figure you guys MUST have some expertise here.

I have made my own rules and even whole system mash ups before... but if I wanted to sell it could I??
 

log in or register to remove this ad

I would think it would be easier/'better' to use an OGL system. I think it works out a lot of the math quirks people don't think of if that makes sense. How many times have you seen someone's house rules, and while they correct one thing, they really break something else? YMMV
 


Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I have one about promoting a Kickstarter. And some occasional podcast episodes about the behind the scenes stuff of publishing.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I know nothing about this, just have questions.

When you say "and sell it", are you looking as self-publishing or trying to get one of the RPG publishers involved? I know some of them like Evil Hat work with a number of designers, but I think that might be the other way around - the hire designers to work on their properties.
 

DnD Warlord

Explorer
I know nothing about this, just have questions.

When you say "and sell it", are you looking as self-publishing or trying to get one of the RPG publishers involved? I know some of them like Evil Hat work with a number of designers, but I think that might be the other way around - the hire designers to work on their properties.
no idea...
I literally have spent years saying "Here is what I would do" and now wonder "Why don't I just do it?"
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
If you have specific questions, I'd be happy to try to answer. I might not know the answer (there are many people more informed than me), but I'll give it a go.
 

DnD Warlord

Explorer
If you have specific questions, I'd be happy to try to answer. I might not know the answer (there are many people more informed than me), but I'll give it a go.
I am mostly wondering if there is a company that 'everyone' goes through for printing hard copies of books? Is it like you need to pay to print X number to make it worth it?

I assume that you need to print like a thousand or more books to make it worth it, and that people who set up kickstarters use that as the basics of how to set goals.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I am mostly wondering if there is a company that 'everyone' goes through for printing hard copies of books?
No, there are lots of printing companies across the world. We use one in Lithuania; I know some use China, and there are companies in America. And elsewhere.
Is it like you need to pay to print X number to make it worth it?

I assume that you need to print like a thousand or more books to make it worth it, and that people who set up kickstarters use that as the basics of how to set goals.
All of them will give you a quote of the printing costs so you can work out whether it's worth it. Just email them. The costs do go down dramatically as you increase the volume, yes. It's much cheaper than print-on-demand, but PoD is also a (much less profitable) option.
 

Jd Smith1

Adventurer
No, there are lots of printing companies across the world. We use one in Lithuania; I know some use China, and there are companies in America. And elsewhere.

All of them will give you a quote of the printing costs so you can work out whether it's worth it. Just email them. The costs do go down dramatically as you increase the volume, yes. It's much cheaper than print-on-demand, but PoD is also a (much less profitable) option.

At least with PoD, you don't end up with stacks of books in your attic, as a ex-player of mine has since learned.
 

If I wanted to make my own RPG and sell it how hard is it? Not the mechanics (hard enough) not the fluff (still hard enough) but the actually selling it. Where do you find printing and editors? How do you spread word of it?
If I wanted to make my own retro clone d&d useing the old ogl is that easier or harder then a whole new fantasy system?
I figure you guys MUST have some expertise here.

I have made my own rules and even whole system mash ups before... but if I wanted to sell it could I??
If you're brave/foolish, you can self publish. If you're good and lucky, you might actually make a go of it that way.

Finding a publisher is a whole lot of convincing the publisher that your game is worth their staff time, money, and reputation. It can't hurt to ask for their submission guidelines first - Most will NOT accept a submission that is unsolicited, and most will want a short precis rather than a manuscript in the evealuation

If you find a publisher of any quality, they're going provide an editor, and probably also a layout guy and art director. That's why the publisher takes the lion's share... they take the bigger risk in terms of investment of time and money, and keeping the supporting talent on retainer and/or employed.

A good editor is well worth it for final quality.

If you self publish, and that's a better option now than any point prior, you've got to get the word out. Nobody buys what they never hear about...
... but the days of easy advertisement by paying TSR/Paizo for an advert in Dragon and getting worldwide ...

If you're going to try to make money at it, make a business plan, see if your local bank has a banker who is available to review it with you. If you're going to be your own point of sale, aslo get a legal consult from an attorney, looking for obligations and procedural requirements.
 

At least with PoD, you don't end up with stacks of books in your attic, as a ex-player of mine has since learned.
Better Games (Red Rahm and Conrad Hilmer) wound up with cases of Crimson Cutlass left-over... I don't know if they have any left, but I wouldn't be surprised. That dates back to the early 90's... If Red has any left, I'm certain he'd love to sell you a set. (He's also added them to Kindle in electronic

Note that if you operate as a business, you may wind up with inventory taxes, too...

And, of course, there are potential zoning restrictions and/or covenants which may prevent running a business from home.
 




I'm right in the thick of self-publishing at the moment. Have a PDF live on DriveThruRPG and had printed copies made to sell on Amazon and Etsy. I went the OGL route, using the 5e SRD. This method is much easier than building your own system from scratch and easier for your prospective audience too, as they don't have to learn a whole new system. As I'm using OGL I don't have access to WotC's premium toys like Ravenloft and beholders and mind flayers and such, but it gives me more flexibility to sell elsewhere and not just on DM's Guild.

So far I've done everything myself, from writing to illustrating to editing to marketing, and I'd be struggling if I didn't have a day job that pays the bills. At the moment it's more of a hobby and passion project but I'd like to think things are in place if it takes off.

The most difficult part for me so far has been the marketing side and getting eyes on my adventure. This is where I have the least experience and where the real challenge lies. I do have a second book coming out next month, so I might take the Kickstarter route as it'll be ready to print and it'll help gauge interest for numbers (as mentioned by @Morrus earlier).

Most of my time now is spent spreading the word, building communities here and on Reddit, reaching out to potential reviewers and YouTubers, and struggling with Amazon over how my listing looks. It's a big learning curve and there are a lot of walls to climb over, so start small and slowly grow your understanding and connections.
 

DnD Warlord

Explorer
I'm right in the thick of self-publishing at the moment. Have a PDF live on DriveThruRPG and had printed copies made to sell on Amazon and Etsy. I went the OGL route, using the 5e SRD. This method is much easier than building your own system from scratch and easier for your prospective audience too, as they don't have to learn a whole new system. As I'm using OGL I don't have access to WotC's premium toys like Ravenloft and beholders and mind flayers and such, but it gives me more flexibility to sell elsewhere and not just on DM's Guild.

So far I've done everything myself, from writing to illustrating to editing to marketing, and I'd be struggling if I didn't have a day job that pays the bills. At the moment it's more of a hobby and passion project but I'd like to think things are in place if it takes off.

The most difficult part for me so far has been the marketing side and getting eyes on my adventure. This is where I have the least experience and where the real challenge lies. I do have a second book coming out next month, so I might take the Kickstarter route as it'll be ready to print and it'll help gauge interest for numbers (as mentioned by @Morrus earlier).

Most of my time now is spent spreading the word, building communities here and on Reddit, reaching out to potential reviewers and YouTubers, and struggling with Amazon over how my listing looks. It's a big learning curve and there are a lot of walls to climb over, so start small and slowly grow your understanding and connections.
That is very insightful. Thank you. Also may I ask the name of your ogl company
 


Halloween Horror For 5E

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top