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Old 02-02-2015, 02:45 PM   #11
johndallman
 
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Default Re: Reprinting GURPS 4E books?

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Originally Posted by Nymdok View Post
Of that list, the lack of Powers is the one that alarms me the most. Personally, I consider it more core than either High Tech, Magic, or Martial Arts.
I have those books in both paper and PDF, and I find the PDF most useful for Powers. I think this is because I normally use it in character design (or while deciding what to spend experience points on, which is a periodic return to character design), but not during play, which is when paper is most useful.

Magic, High-Tech and Martial Arts, by contrast, see use in play, Magic most of all, because one constantly has to look up spell details that don't show up in a GCA grimoire.
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Old 02-02-2015, 02:55 PM   #12
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: Reprinting GURPS 4E books?

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Originally Posted by Nymdok View Post
Of that list, the lack of Powers is the one that alarms me the most. Personally, I consider it more core than either high tech, Magic, or Martial Arts.

Note this is not to impugn the utility of those books in anyway. I would simply guess that Powers is of more use to more people than the others.
Yes. GURPS Powers can more than any other be said to be the 3rd core book. Even though it's completely irrelevant for many campaigns.
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Old 02-02-2015, 02:56 PM   #13
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: Reprinting GURPS 4E books?

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Yes, yes, and yes. We've heard the arguments for paper and against PDF. We appreciate that they're valid. However, GURPS sales do not support the labor and expense of regular reprints, while PDF sales are strong enough to keep the line afloat, so PDF it is.
One benefit of printed versions is visibility in shops. People go in, look at what's on the shelves, they see little or no GURPS and so they reach the natural conclusion that GURPS is dead.
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Old 02-02-2015, 03:30 PM   #14
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Default Re: Reprinting GURPS 4E books?

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If the problem is PDF as a format...well, that's where GURPS lives these days.
That's increasingly where the entire RPG industry is headed. For that matter in 20 years it'll probably be difficult to find something resembling a new pulp paperback novel (which is the market ebooks are currently eating alive).

Used to be my game shop had shelves lining the walls of RPG books which had constant turnover. Now there might be a single shelf with the "big names" and the rest of the previous space taken over by board games, card games or even something totally unrelated like figurines or yet more comic shelving. One used bookstore has stopped buying RPGs in general and the shelf is slowly being taken over by graphics novels. (The only thing left are junk-quality D20 adventures from the mid-2000s.)

Of the two dedicated gaming stores in my town one has a tiny shelf of Pathfinder and D&D and the rest of the store is T-shirts and general "nerd stuff." The other has a larger variety of RPGs, and get new stock from time to time, but old stock rarely ever moves and GURPS 3rd Ed. has more shelf space than 4th Ed. and both together have maybe six inches. (The second store is more of a board and card game store, but with a healthy stock of RPGs.)
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Old 02-02-2015, 05:17 PM   #15
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Default Re: Reprinting GURPS 4E books?

I'm very glad I picked up a shelf copy of Magic and Ultra Tech a couple of years ago.
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Old 02-02-2015, 05:53 PM   #16
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Default Re: Reprinting GURPS 4E books?

My hardcopy books seem to exist solely for reading in the bathroom these days, and I think that's pure habit - I read on my tablet everywhere else.

Actually, correction: I'm about to lend out my nice shiny hardcover of GURPS Zombies to a zombie fanatic friend, but if she likes it I suspect she'd put a priority on the PDF over a hardcover anyways; she has negative amounts of shelf space and is trying to reduce physical books in her library.
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Old 02-02-2015, 06:20 PM   #17
David Johansen
 
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Default Re: Reprinting GURPS 4E books?

Few rpgs manage to compete in the board game dominated field these days. Partially it's complexity and prep time. Partially it's toy value. And partially it's the difficulty of building a decent group that actually shows up.

Ironically, the supplement creep that kept the industry going in the nineties is now a hindrance to the success of games. Especially if key, core elements are deliberately left out of the core to force the purchase of companions. People look at a game like GURPS and say "too many books."

Likewise, the edition mill no longer works in the favor of publishers. With the internet, edition wars have become massively divisive things that can actually drive people looking to try a game system away.

Big omnibus editions are great for the diminishing existing fanbase but largely drive away potential new customers.

A new business model is needed for print rpgs to survive. Whether the hobby can survive the death and decline of the wider industry remains to be seen.

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Old 02-03-2015, 12:42 AM   #18
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Default Re: Reprinting GURPS 4E books?

Yes I started treating my copy of martial arts a lot more carefully, when i found out how much it would cost to replace it.

Still even if SJGames doesn't go directly to POD, POD is becoming more and more ubiquitous so that going to 3rd party will not be an issue. I've used Lulu quite happily for this in the past for other stuff.

While I prefer physical copies of stuff to PDF I think dead tree is on the way out, and thus so are FLGS and physical shelves acting as advertising space.

However that said I do think that as the pdfs become the standard isolated internet stores like e23 are less fit for purpose. As drivethru etc are now the department stores / Amazon of the RPG pdf market.

It's kind of an example of earlier adopter syndrome. e23 was IIRC one of the first proper places where you get RPGs in PDF and was thus ahead of the game when it came to offering stuff electronically, and it still is a really good store for buying stuff I already know about. But it hasn't rally kept up with changes in the market.

So I think you'll just hear "I can't see GURPS at Drivethru is it dead?" rather than "I can't see GURPS hardbacks on the FLGS shelf, is it dead?"

Ultimately the business choices behind e23 are what they are, I don't know if the decision is to try and directly compete or to actively keep separate to maintain market placement (or just to recoup cost of e23 development) or something else entirely. But I think the comparison to Amazon is fitting.
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Old 02-03-2015, 03:34 AM   #19
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Default Re: Reprinting GURPS 4E books?

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Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
One benefit of printed versions is visibility in shops. People go in, look at what's on the shelves, they see little or no GURPS and so they reach the natural conclusion that GURPS is dead.
If they assume that they might want to check their assumptions. Lots of systems are still actively played twenty years after they went out of print. And very few game stores can afford to stock every system which is still in print because stock and shelf space cost money.
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Old 02-03-2015, 04:19 AM   #20
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Default Re: Reprinting GURPS 4E books?

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If they assume that they might want to check their assumptions. Lots of systems are still actively played twenty years after they went out of print. And very few game stores can afford to stock every system which is still in print because stock and shelf space cost money.
Thing is we're not wanting them to check their assumptions, we want them to buy GURPS books.

If they are assuming that (however wrong) it's the assumption we have to accept and sell around

Don't get me wrong, you're absolutely right, but being right here is secondary to getting more people buying more GURPS products.

Also as brick and mortar dies out, and is replaced by on line stores, that lack shelf space excuse stops being relevant.
basically unless you already know about GURPS how right now as a potential customer do you come across it?
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