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Old 10-27-2011, 09:49 PM   #31
PK
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Default Re: Social Engineering

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Reviewed the Preview page, nice bit on different senses and aliens but it appears this does not cover animals or spirit negations from the TOC and index.
No, those are in there. It's important to realize that the TOC only shows what we call A-HEADs, B-HEADs, and C-HEADs -- but the headers in GURPS books go all the way down to E-HEADs. So if something is under enough subheadings, it doesn't appear in the TOC.

Social Engineering does include a discussion of Empathy vs. Indomitable (or being an animal, plant, or spirit), and it does go into Exotic Traits that an alien race might have. The book's focus is definitely on human/human interaction, but other contexts are covered as well.
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:50 PM   #32
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Thanks for the interesting look into your business model.

I hope Social Engineering sells the many, many copies needed to make a print run worthwhile, if only because I think Social Engineering really ought to be sold in stores alongside Martial Arts and Tactical Shooting, even though I'm a PDF-only buyer nowadays.
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:50 PM   #33
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Default Re: Social Engineering

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I'd have thought you'd attribute those costs to the softback itself, and release the softback when sales figures show that a softback could pay for itself.
Sales figures for a PDF tell us bupkis about how well a book will sell in shops. The PDF and book markets aren't closely correlated. Something can sell like mad in PDF and then rot on shelves. We have to make sure that rot is accounted for in our planning.

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I suppose the model you actually use makes sense if you're a bit lacking in cash reserves
On a company-wide level, we have cash reserves. They are not, for the most part, allocated to gambling on GURPS books. So from a GURPS point of view, the cash reserves are close enough to zero that yes, our model makes sense. SJ Games mostly subscribes to the philosophy that each operating unit, product line, and individual product has to be independently profitable, if possible, with minimal slushing between them. It's a harsh model, but one that minimizes risk (yes, at the cost of earning less when a bet pays off).
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:05 PM   #34
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Default Re: Social Engineering

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No, those are in there. It's important to realize that the TOC only shows what we call A-HEADs, B-HEADs, and C-HEADs -- but the headers in GURPS books go all the way down to E-HEADs. So if something is under enough subheadings, it doesn't appear in the TOC.

Social Engineering does include a discussion of Empathy vs. Indomitable (or being an animal, plant, or spirit), and it does go into Exotic Traits that an alien race might have. The book's focus is definitely on human/human interaction, but other contexts are covered as well.
Thank you very much for that info!
Soon as I can work out the finances I am buying it, that tidbit just means more willing to skimp a few other things :)
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:42 PM   #35
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Default Re: Social Engineering

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Not quite. A PDF's profit is what pays the startup cost for a softback. Until a PDF pays off its own production costs, earns the writer a royalty, and builds up a surplus sufficient to cover printing, shipping, distribution, and retail advertising, there's little chance that we'll consider a softback. If a PDF's production costs are extremely high, then its sales have to be a lot stronger to show the necessary profit.

I find it funny that one market segment - people that would be willing to buy softbacks but won't buy PDFs - have to wait on those willing to buy PDFs to buy enough that a softback can be printed. I like books and dislike PDFs so I don't get to contribute to any metric that would help in getting a title on paper. I am not saying that it is an unreasonable business decision but it does seem to have a bit of Catch-22 in it.
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:49 PM   #36
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Sales figures for a PDF tell us bupkis about how well a book will sell in shops. The PDF and book markets aren't closely correlated. Something can sell like mad in PDF and then rot on shelves. We have to make sure that rot is accounted for in our planning.
The inability to determine likely book sales based on PDF sales was the missing factor - I had taken that as a given, when it seems it isn't at all. If you could get a decent estimate for a print book's sales given it's PDF sales, then you might be able to release the dead-tree book prior to the PDF book selling enough to completely pay for it and still have some certainty at recouping those costs. But if you can't determine likely book sales, then you won't be able to do that.

I find it interesting that there's little correlation there, though. I kinda wish I could see a full dataset and see if I could fit it to a regression model, but that's something I find highly unlikely, seeing as you don't usually release sales data for dead-tree format. If PDF sales isn't a strong factor in dead-tree sales, I wonder what are strong factors?
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:50 PM   #37
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I think the Expanded Reaction Tables are worth the price alone. Specific results for things like Seduction, Confrontation with Authority, and Recreation. Nice.

The Mind of the Mob section makes me want to play out the classic "One riot, one Ranger" scenario. Assuming I did this right, he'd get a +1 for Callous, and a +1 for Displays of Strength (the sawed off double, of course), +1 for Penetrating Voice. With a crowd of 15, it'd be a straight roll of his Intimidation versus the average Will of the lynch mob. He could probably handle, assuming he has Intimidation of 15, up to about 25 by himself. He might use Cutting Out to scare off a few individuals, which would probably warrant a penalty for the mob's Will roll to intimidate the crowd, and reduce the numbers.

It's also a neat touch to include the stats of the mob as a multi-hex "monster," as was done in Horror. We can then find out if the mob disperses from his Intimidation attempt, or how many shots it takes to "break it up" with gunfire!
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:11 PM   #38
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Default Re: Social Engineering

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The Mind of the Mob section makes me want to play out the classic "One riot, one Ranger" scenario. Assuming I did this right, he'd get a +1 for Callous, and a +1 for Displays of Strength (the sawed off double, of course), +1 for Penetrating Voice.
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:34 PM   #39
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The Mind of the Mob section makes me want to play out the classic "One riot, one Ranger" scenario. Assuming I did this right, he'd get a +1 for Callous, and a +1 for Displays of Strength (the sawed off double, of course), +1 for Penetrating Voice. With a crowd of 15, it'd be a straight roll of his Intimidation versus the average Will of the lynch mob. He could probably handle, assuming he has Intimidation of 15, up to about 25 by himself. He might use Cutting Out to scare off a few individuals, which would probably warrant a penalty for the mob's Will roll to intimidate the crowd, and reduce the numbers.
The method of analysis seems sound. I might allow +2 for the shotgun. Objectively it's going to do a lot worse damage than any ordinary display of strength. And I've read that those barrels seem as wide as a subway tunnel when you're staring into them.

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Old 10-28-2011, 12:26 AM   #40
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And I've read that those barrels seem as wide as a subway tunnel when you're staring into them.
Certainly true. Great book. Well done!
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