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Press (Survey) We really want YOUR opinion on this business idea

Boss Fight

Villager
Okay, my friend and I are thinking about starting a business around playing D&D. Basically, we're wondering if anyone would be interested in a subscription service similar to Netflix, but related to large scale mini's. If you don't mind answering 5 questions, please click the link to take our Google forms survey and help us out!


Thanks for your consideration.
 

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MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Interesting. My local game store has these tables of terrain that wargamers can borrow for setting up battles. I've always thought it would be cool if I could check out or rent a cool set of maps, minis, and terrain rather than buying expensive set pieces I may only use once.

But wouldn't these be heavy? I could see shipping costs making it hard to price this competitively.
 


Boss Fight

Villager
Great point about the weight MN. Our current plan involves 3D printing the mini's and terrain so we can go with light weight plastic and partially hollow pieces. We think it's important to get as much product as we can into the box to increase the value to subscribers.

We're just a couple guy's that love playing TTRPG's - not really business people - so if anyone has additional thoughts about this topic, it would be great to hear your input.
 

Blue Orange

Explorer
If you're going to rent minis, how are you going to get them back when people don't pay or decide to keep them?

Do you think you can compete with the print-your-own-minis people? What makes you stand out in a crowded market? Is there a source of 3D plans (I forget what they're called) that lets people do this themselves?
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
@Blue Orange I would think that when you order you agree that if you don't return you buy them. That's easy to admin and there is a lot of precedent for it. Don't make it punitive. Make it an upsell. If you love the minis, great, just keep them and we'll charge the difference. I believe that is what NetFlix used to do, before streaming, when they were actually shipping movie/game disks to rent.

For me they would compete with the print-your-own-minis people, because I looked into 3D printing and drew a line in the sand. I don't need yet another sub-hobby to my hobby. Maybe 3D printers will get to the point where they are inexpensive and convenient enough. But even if they were, I don't necessarily want a huge amount of clutter and I don't have time to paint etc.

Obviously if the minis and terrain are painted that would make them that much more attractive, but also that much more difficult to make profitable (the time to paint them, touch ups when they are returned with nicks and scratches).

I think the idea is interesting, but I'm not sure if the potential customer pool is big enough. If it is, then this is a scalable model, but it seems that you will need a lot of subscribers and renters to turn a profit. I would do a lot more market research before throwing too much money into it.

There are some business I'm aware off, including on in my area that provides TTRPG parties and private conventions. They'll arrange the space, the adventures, all terrain, catering, and DMs to run the games. It can be a 6-hour birthday game or a multiple-day private convention for you and your friends. I could see groups like this also rent terrain, space, etc. E.g., if you are a DM and would like to run a special game, you can order everything but the DM.

Have you tried to network with professional DMs in your areas or game stores? Before moving to large-scale shipping, can you find ways to partner with professional GMs who want to up the wow factor of the pay-to-play games they run? Same thing with streamers? I'm guessing most streamers get terrain for free as advertising. Not sure whether any would pay for it. As for game stores, ask if you can put up adds in the store to for providing terrain and minis for games. E.g., create some really cool terrain and mini sets, all painted, for some of the most popular adventure modules. Then offer to print it all and set it up at the game store for the DM. Again, not sure how many would pay for that and how much you'd have to share with the game store. But it is worth exploring.

It would be cool for example to have sets prepared for all the Candlekeep adventures.

For example, with my current campain, I've the party survives to the end battle, I'm seriously considering hiring someone to co-DM it for me, especially if they can bring top-end terrain and painted minis.

Anyway, good luck! Report back on how it goes.
 

Boss Fight

Villager
@Blue Orange we don't want to get into the business of selling mini's b/c there is already so much of that out there. But we did consider the that some folks might want to keep the figures or just not return them. Since it's a subscription, there would be a contingency fee for that circumstance. All mini's (and terrain - thanks @MNblockhead ) would be fully painted. The idea is to deliver an impressive mid to end level fight scenario to the gaming group at a fraction of the cost it would normally take to buy and paint the figures. You are correct that the figures would need to be DRM/IP free to be used commercially.

@MNblockhead we seem to have similar thoughts about mini's and tactical combat. These things are great to use at the table, but no one in our group wants to spend a lot of extra time/money buying and painting them up for just one or two uses. But if we could offer huge/gargantuan/colossal size mini's of enemies that were featured in all the popular campaigns, that might be a good starting point for a business. As to whether or not this is a scalable opportunity, that's exactly what we're exploring now :)

We haven't tried anything yet besides some brainstorming and basic business planning. Both of us have day jobs and kids so it's all been done in our spare time. That's one of the big reasons I really appreciate this conversation. It helps us realize some pitfalls and possibilities that we hadn't discussed.
 

Boss Fight

Villager
Thanks to the encouraging feedback received from the survey, we decided to move forward another step. Check out our initial website at BOSS FIGHT. Information about startup progress and product development will be posted in the blog section.
 

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