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Sean K. Reynolds talks RPG salaries, puts his on record.

Even pretty good increases in the number of new players only affects total sales to a certain degree. If you want to play a new sport, you usually have to buy some equipment. If you want to learn a new craft, you usually have to buy supplies and tools. If you want to play a new video game, you usually have to purchase a copy of it (or some other form of access). Not all players have to buy ttrpg books to get into the hobby, though. In fact, an awful lot of them don't, or only make one or two purchases (ex. a player's handbook). Most ttrpg books sell to GMs, who only make up a certain percentage of the total hobbyists.
That is an excellent point. My last F2F campaign ran for 19 years, and generated very few sales from the group; nearly all the purchases were by me, and I am not an avid collector in any sense of the word.

Since shifting online, I now have two campaigns, each of five players. None of those ten have made any RPG purchases for the campaign they are in. I purchased two books through Roll20. That's it. All the adventures are from free sources o the Net (not piracy). Likewise, the maps are drawn from Pinterest.
 

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Myrdin Potter

Adventurer
If it takes UBI to support RPG development (which I hate to discuss more as it is very political), then the industry is in a very sorry state.

The core audience being the GM with players only buying the core rules (and a splat book or two) makes it harder as most newer developers write adventures or GM facing materials. Each player does not need the module, so in a group of 5 players and 1 GM you only make one sale.

And there are so many adventures published now that the market is really saturated.
 

You know, a positive step in this entire process would be a serious attempt to poll RPG buyers to ascertain both financial resources and ROG hobby budgets. If you had an idea of the depths of the 'cash lake', it would shed a lot of light on the viability of options.

Earlier in this thread you rejected any quantitative measure of urbanization, citing disbelief in any method of generating statistics. But now you're proposing trying to get complex numbers from an internet poll? I don't get it.

I look forward to your collective Kickstarter of "Payments & Properties"

I get that this is a joke, but "Payments and Properties" is seriously a much better selling game than "Dungeons and Dragons". Did you know that Monopoly is a bigger division of Hasbro than WotC (including D&D and MtG combined)?
 

Earlier in this thread you rejected any quantitative measure of urbanization, citing disbelief in any method of generating statistics. But now you're proposing trying to get complex numbers from an internet poll? I don't get it.

I did not reject any quantitative measure of urbanization. I simply pointed out that there were no unbiased sources known to me.

Direct-use statistical analysis is fine, because the collectors have a viable interest in accuracy.

I'll give you an example: burglaries impact homeowners insurance rates, and developers' interest in given areas. Therefore, most, if not all, police departments in the USA are careful not to report burglaries at a rate which would disturb either insurance adjusters or developers. (Because that would upset the City Council).

However, for the department's own database, every burglary would be accurately accounted for, as that is essential to operations.

Before you trust a database, you must first ascertain who built it, and why.

So a industry member attempting to ascertain their given market will strive for accuracy.

An agency compiling data to justify their existence, promote their agenda, or to campaign for an expanded budget will make the numbers dance, sing, and posture.

Rare is the agency, private or government, which reports a diminished need for their services or funding. Unless it is part of a quid pro arrangement with higher-higher.
 

The core audience being the GM with players only buying the core rules (and a splat book or two) makes it harder as most newer developers write adventures or GM facing materials. Each player does not need the module, so in a group of 5 players and 1 GM you only make one sale.

And there are so many adventures published now that the market is really saturated.
And a lot of those adventures are free, or pay-what-you-want. And with pdfs, there's no reduction of inventory through sales.
 

Ulfgeir

Hero
Yes, but you're not typical. :) Most career fields are very 'mediocre' by your x10 standard.

Hell, I work as an inhouse IT-technician. For the past 3 years at a large consulting-company (in IT, in Gothenburg), and before that 11 years for a small municipality (and they paid more than the city I live in does). Let's put it this way, my salary (before taxes) has since I started as a technician gone up with a bit more than 1/3rd.. That is over 14 years. By the time I retire in another 15+ years it might have gone to x2 of what I started with. That x10 does not really exist here. A miniscule few overpaid managerial person at big companies or severly overpaid football-players might rake in that kind of cash. but we are talking about such small amount of persons that it statistically is 0.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I did not reject any quantitative measure of urbanization. I simply pointed out that there were no unbiased sources known to me.
No evidence in existence can provide can meet the "nothing in the universe is purely objective" standard you hold it to.
 
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No evidence in existence can provide can meet the "nothing in the universe is purely objective" standard you hold it to.

I never said that.

But, having spent my entire working life literally working with, training in, and teaching about, evidence, I can assure you with complete confidence that there are literal mountains of purely objective evidence.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
No evidence in existence can provide can meet the "nothing in the universe is purely objective" standard you hold it to.

Objective evidence is the stuff that tells me what I know to be true.

Subjective evidence is the stuff that tells you what you want to be true.

Q.E. .....D?
 

TheSword

Legend
When it comes to tabletop rpgs, at least, I'm not sure that the potential customer base is really that much larger than we are already seeing. No matter how many different types of rpgs you are able to put in front of potential customers, and how closely you can match that with some of their existing interests, in the end the very nature of playing tttrpgs will most likely keep it a niche hobby.
People might say the same about board games, but there is another high end luxury board game out every month charging £60+

Never underestimate humankind’s capacity to want things, and ingenuity in providing things for other people to want!
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
I'll give you an example: burglaries impact homeowners insurance rates, and developers' interest in given areas. Therefore, most, if not all, police departments in the USA are careful not to report burglaries at a rate which would disturb either insurance adjusters or developers. (Because that would upset the City Council).
But, having spent my entire working life literally working with, training in, and teaching about, evidence, I can assure you with complete confidence that there are literal mountains of purely objective evidence.
Admittedly, I have to wonder why anyone should trust "objective" evidence collected by the same law enforcement that also freely lies about crime statistics?
 

Myrdin Potter

Adventurer
Morrus already tried a Twitter poll on what (I answered it).

I can look at drivethru and dmsguild and get a quick sense of what creators think is the right price to sell their product. I guess it would not be a terrible task to compile price per page and color vs. B&W and see what it comes out to, if someone really cared.

I tend to be willing to pay more for quirky but interesting to me products and more for developers that I have a fair amount of respect for their skill (Kevin Crawford is the best example - I just spent $80 for an offset print version of Stars without Number).

Generally, $4.99 to $9.99 for PDF modules. $19.99 for a printed adventure and $30 to $50 for a book about the size of the standard WoTC ones. There are so many cheaper sources of PDF - Bundle of Holding and Humble Bundle - that it is easy to get a lot of material at a real cheap price.

I have more material than I could ever run at this point and have dramatically scaled back.
 

TheSword

Legend
Earlier in this thread you rejected any quantitative measure of urbanization, citing disbelief in any method of generating statistics. But now you're proposing trying to get complex numbers from an internet poll? I don't get it.



I get that this is a joke, but "Payments and Properties" is seriously a much better selling game than "Dungeons and Dragons". Did you know that Monopoly is a bigger division of Hasbro than WotC (including D&D and MtG combined)?
It may be a bigger division, but last I heard WOC alone makes 35% more profit than every other game and toy Hasbro makes combined. Maybe they should consider scaling down their monopoly division 😂
 

Admittedly, I have to wonder why anyone should trust "objective" evidence collected by the same law enforcement that also freely lies about crime statistics?
Its not lying in any sense.

The beauty of the various database reporting systems in place, is that they are purely voluntary, and there is no penalty of any sort regarding the information provided or withheld, or even for refusing to participate. Each agency (of the 56,000-odd agencies involved) will choose its own interpretation of the parameters. There are, after all, 50 separate legal codes involved, each with wholly different terms and definitions for given crimes, so the data is going to be subjectively combined at the finished level in any case.

In court, on the other hand, criminal penalties abound for anything other than the facts. Of course, what facts are to be reported is the prerogative of the court, at the prompting of the prosecuting agency, not the police.

In short, it is an issue of venue. There are databases built for image, and there are databases for hard data. You'll find the same at every level of government and especially the military.
 



People might say the same about board games, but there is another high end luxury board game out every month charging £60+

Never underestimate humankind’s capacity to want things, and ingenuity in providing things for other people to want!

Board games are a different market, though, with different dynamics, for a lot of different reasons. They also have a larger customer base, and are stocked in more brick-and-mortar stores than non-D&D ttrpgs. Board games are things that you can play in a few hours (or a long evening) and finish, so it is easier to put together a group of friends and talk them into playing them. It is a much harder to convince a given group of people to try out a new rpg on a Friday night if the group isn't made up of rpg players. A lot of people can be talked into boardgames, though (even the complex ones) because that is something they grew up playing.
 
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Board games are a different market, though, with different dynamics, for a lot of different reasons. They also have a larger customer base, and are stocked in more brick-and-mortar stores than non-D&D ttrpgs. Board games are things that you can play in a few hours (or a long evening) and finish, so it is easier to put together a group of friends and talk them into playing them. It is a much harder to convince a given group of people to try out a new rpg on a Friday night if the group isn't made up of rpg players. A lot of people can be talked into boardgames, though (even the complex ones) because that is something they grew up playing.
Good points.
 


It does for a lot of people. It is hard to qualify data for a nation of 300 million. For example, in dense urban areas and states with a crippling tax burden, such as California, the cost of housing will erode salaries faster than inflation.

Elsewhere in the nation, salaries are doing well.

For example, I retired in my 50s, debt- and mortgage-free, and own a lake-front home on sizeable acreage, all from a job that only requires a high school diploma.

Pay is not the critical issue, but rather, the cost of living. I live in a state with no state income tax, a healthy economy, and decent (for the most part) leadership.
Thje census data implies quite strongly otherwise, on average and mean income. The CPI is raising faster than the mean and average income per the census' preferred "CPI-U-RS" - on both measures, the decrease is evident. Using other measures of the CPI, the mean is WELL below the CPI (~8%), while the median has gone up a a strong bit faster (~8% more) this tends to indicate losses at the upper end and/or gains at the low end; we know, however, that the wealthiest have had some pretty good gains in the last decade...

AEIR 2000-2020 CPI increase 150.3% {1}
BLS CPI increase Jan 2000 to Jan 2020 152.83% {2}
Mean Income 2000 2000US$57,045 {3} 2020 2020US$83,691 {4} 146.71%
Median income 2000 2000US$42,148, {3} 2020 2020US$67,521 {4} 160.2 %
2020 US Adjusted Dollars per Census {4} 2000 median 2020US$63292 2020 median 2020US$59640, 2000 mean 2020US$86120 2020 mean 2020US$83691


{1} Cost of Living Calculator: What is Your Dollar Worth Today?
{2} CPI Inflation Calculator
{3} https://www.census.gov/prod/2001pubs/p60-213.pdf
{4} Income and Poverty in the United States: 2020
 

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