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Old 10-27-2009, 10:58 AM   #51
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Default Re: GURPS Does It The Hard Way!

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Originally Posted by opposedToGravity View Post
i dont agree. apparently world books sell. apparently DF sells or it would have been cancelled long ago. apparently banestorm sells or it would not have been published for 4th edition.
DF - not a world book, not an adventure book, therefore doesn't fall under the discussion.

Banestorm, a world book, but nobody claimed world books dont' sell.
They claim (With a lot of actual data behind them) that ADVENTURES don't sell.

Say 2000 copies of Banestorm sold, and about half of those are running actual games in Banestorm, straight out of the book, and are interested in adventures. (pretty DAMN big set of assumptions there, but run with me a minute for the sake of example).

Wildly guessing here, but perhaps 30% of games are in Megalos, 30% are in Kaithness, 30% are in Cardiel, and 10% "other".

Already you're down to 300 possible sales for an adventure in Megalos. Or in Kaithness. Or in Cardeil. Only 100 possible sales for an adventure anywhere else, and I highly doubt all 100 gamers are running in the same area.

Already we're looking at the author getting Not Damn Much for his work.

But, unfortunately it doesn't stop there.

Out of the 300 GMs running campaigns in Kaithness, how many are going to want an adventure about a dungeon crawl through a haunted elvish ruin in Harkwood? It's not like all 300 GMs will be running dungeon-crawly games. Nor will all 300 GMs be interested in a mercantile trading scenario, nor courtly intrigue, nor a gathering of bards, nor many other adventure-worthy situations, even assuming he can find a way to drag his PCs all over Kaithness to wherever the adventure happens to be set.

D&D, you have a very very very good chance that 90% or more of players want a dungeon crawl, and often you can just jamn a dungeon crawl in almost anywhere without doing a lot of violence to the landscape. Even if you can't, you can usually haul the PCs across the country with nothing but a rumour of treasure and a big sign saying "Adventure This Way, Or We Go Play X-Box Today". You don't have the luxury of that sort of assumption with ANY GURPS campaign setting.

EDIT: And vitally, with D&D, you have a MUCH BIGGER population to draw on. If there's only 100 000 groups out there in the entire world looking for adventures, I'll be mildly surprised. But even if there were only 100 000, that's 3000 possible sales for something "in Kaithness", and say 90% can use a dungeon crawl, so that's 2700 sales. Even if only a third of groups are likely in the right tier of play to use your adventure, that's still 900 sales, more than Singapore Sling has ever sold!
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Old 10-27-2009, 11:01 AM   #52
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Default Re: GURPS Does It The Hard Way!

Well said. Well said indeed.

I wonder if we can summon Paul (who, you know, actually does this stuff for a living) to comment?
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Old 10-27-2009, 11:06 AM   #53
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Default Re: GURPS Does It The Hard Way!

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Originally Posted by opposedToGravity View Post
why is there no support for adventures for these worlds?
Because they don't sell.

Banestorm, in its various incarnations, has sold well enough to justify new editions, but has Tredroy? Harkwood? GURPS Fantasy Adventures? Has Abydos gone to the top of the charts? Nope. THS still gets attention, but have the three or four published TS adventures sold enormously well? Nope. Are issues of Pyramid containing adventures or e23 products with specific scenario material flying off the virtual shelves? Nope. If they did, it'd be Polyhymnia, Collegio Januari, Tower of Octavius, Abydos, and Metro of Madness in e23's top 20, not toolkit books like DF and Spaceships. What sells is that "GM support" material you're complaining about, rules and high-level settings books. When people vote with their dollars, that's what they choose. Certainly, you don't have to like it, and I'm not about to try to convince you that you shouldn't want adventures, but there are valid reasons why you're not getting them.
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Old 10-27-2009, 11:21 AM   #54
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Default Re: GURPS Does It The Hard Way!

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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
DF - not a world book, not an adventure book, therefore doesn't fall under the discussion.

Banestorm, a world book, but nobody claimed world books dont' sell.
They claim (With a lot of actual data behind them) that ADVENTURES don't sell.

Say 2000 copies of Banestorm sold, and about half of those are running actual games in Banestorm, straight out of the book, and are interested in adventures. (pretty DAMN big set of assumptions there, but run with me a minute for the sake of example).

Wildly guessing here, but perhaps 30% of games are in Megalos, 30% are in Kaithness, 30% are in Cardiel, and 10% "other".

Already you're down to 300 possible sales for an adventure in Megalos. Or in Kaithness. Or in Cardeil. Only 100 possible sales for an adventure anywhere else, and I highly doubt all 100 gamers are running in the same area.

Already we're looking at the author getting Not Damn Much for his work.

But, unfortunately it doesn't stop there.

Out of the 300 GMs running campaigns in Kaithness, how many are going to want an adventure about a dungeon crawl through a haunted elvish ruin in Harkwood? It's not like all 300 GMs will be running dungeon-crawly games. Nor will all 300 GMs be interested in a mercantile trading scenario, nor courtly intrigue, nor a gathering of bards, nor many other adventure-worthy situations, even assuming he can find a way to drag his PCs all over Kaithness to wherever the adventure happens to be set.

D&D, you have a very very very good chance that 90% or more of players want a dungeon crawl, and often you can just jamn a dungeon crawl in almost anywhere without doing a lot of violence to the landscape. Even if you can't, you can usually haul the PCs across the country with nothing but a rumour of treasure and a big sign saying "Adventure This Way, Or We Go Play X-Box Today". You don't have the luxury of that sort of assumption with ANY GURPS campaign setting.

EDIT: And vitally, with D&D, you have a MUCH BIGGER population to draw on. If there's only 100 000 groups out there in the entire world looking for adventures, I'll be mildly surprised. But even if there were only 100 000, that's 3000 possible sales for something "in Kaithness", and say 90% can use a dungeon crawl, so that's 2700 sales. Even if only a third of groups are likely in the right tier of play to use your adventure, that's still 900 sales, more than Singapore Sling has ever sold!
first, dungeon fantasy falls into this category. you may call it whatever you want, it is another thing that offers GMs to play something if they are willing to do all the actual gaming related stuff themselves.
as can be seen from this thread and from the recent DF thread, people complain about lack of ready to use material in DF.
Even if it is not technically a world book, it is something better. it offers the creation of generic fantasy scenarios that may be introduced into existing campaigns (and please spare me the "all campaigns are so different" argument, i will address it later. what works for other companies -like the generic pathfinder series, which became a world in the end- should work for SJG, too).

your other argument concerning Banestorm is very far fetched. how many bigger worlds are there where a campaign can be run in any region and still there are scenarios available. and still people buy them?
what about the good old "your travels take you to XYL where ...." approach just for funs sake? or are Gurps players generally too narrow minded to let some little inconsistency slip just so they could play and save their GM some effort?

and your argument about dungeon crawls? gurps players usually dont want them? isnt there a whole Gurps line devoted to crawls? DF?
and what about scenarios that come with a healthy mix? some intrigue, puzzles and a dungeon crawl in between? impossible? dont think so.
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Old 10-27-2009, 11:30 AM   #55
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Default Re: GURPS Does It The Hard Way!

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Because they don't sell.

Banestorm, in its various incarnations, has sold well enough to justify new editions, but has Tredroy? Harkwood? GURPS Fantasy Adventures? Has Abydos gone to the top of the charts? Nope. THS still gets attention, but have the three or four published TS adventures sold enormously well? Nope. Are issues of Pyramid containing adventures or e23 products with specific scenario material flying off the virtual shelves? Nope. If they did, it'd be Polyhymnia, Collegio Januari, Tower of Octavius, Abydos, and Metro of Madness in e23's top 20, not toolkit books like DF and Spaceships. What sells is that "GM support" material you're complaining about, rules and high-level settings books. When people vote with their dollars, that's what they choose. Certainly, you don't have to like it, and I'm not about to try to convince you that you shouldn't want adventures, but there are valid reasons why you're not getting them.
Banestorm justified a new edition. why stop there? why not throw some little scenarios on the marked? maybe for free? some 10 page pdfs? very narrow centered plots? maybe SJG could do some wiki like portal where players publish their own material for free? have the it guy set it up and see where it leads. dont think this costs much.

THS adventures... i know the one which runs like the computer game Doom and it sucks. it is a generic sci-fi horror adventure, not a transhuman space adventure.
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Old 10-27-2009, 12:46 PM   #56
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Default Re: GURPS Does It The Hard Way!

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Originally Posted by opposedToGravity View Post
Banestorm justified a new edition. why stop there?
Because nobody wants to write the stuff you're talking about. The publisher can't conjure this stuff out of nowhere. It needs authors.

(And why not have staff write stuff and put it up for free? Partly because they're a small business operating on a shoestring and they simply can't afford to do much of that. And partly because they've already done that to very little effect. There were a bunch of free Pyramid samples in the old incarnation. The fact that it's the old incarnation should tell you how well that went.)

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Originally Posted by opposedToGravity View Post
maybe SJG could do some wiki like portal where players publish their own material for free?
People are already free to do this on their own, pretty much (that is, write up their own GURPSy stuff and put it up on their own web pages, within certain limits). They've got a pretty liberal on-line policy.

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Originally Posted by opposedToGravity View Post
THS adventures... i know the one which runs like the computer game Doom and it sucks.
This may be part of the problem: you don't actually know what's available. There are at least two other THS adventures available via e23. At any rate, the point remains that there are things that people are asking for, but there aren't many because people simply aren't buying them. There was also a sizable body of of adventure material, for many genres, in the old Pyramid. But having adventures didn't save Pyramid at the time, and it's not making the current version hit the top of the sales charts either. Again: it's not available because people aren't writing it, and they aren't writing it because, when they do, nobody's buying it.
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Old 10-27-2009, 01:35 PM   #57
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Default Re: GURPS Does It The Hard Way!

I know Paul hasn't shown up yet, but Turhan's Bey Company writes books for GURPS so he's talking from a position of knowledge. He's not just making this stuff up. And, off handedly, he's mentioned stuff so well thought out that it's given me ideas for entire campaigns.

Some consumers, like myself, don't care a pair of fetid dingo's kidneys for the DF line, and would never look at DF adventures. A lot of the DF people don't care a pair of FDKs for THS stuff. The die-hard Mysteries people are looking at both sets like they're crazy.

It's supply and demand. The supply of writers is in demand for other projects that sell better.

You want adventures. Okay, so when I publish my adventure for the Eliminators ariving in Super San Diego and how the Super population has to react and deal with them, you'll buy it . . . because it's an adventure? Or are you looking for something a bit more specific?

Or how about the flash-point of the civil war for the Frontier Sector? Or the opening of the MegaAmusement Park in Las Vegas that's a sanctuary for the world's population of secret supers? Or traveling, on tour, with a teen-idol pop-singer who needs protection since a crime syndicate want to kidnap her because her previous manager never paid them what he said he would? You're looking for all of that, right?
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Old 10-27-2009, 01:41 PM   #58
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Default Re: GURPS Does It The Hard Way!

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I think the people who want scenarios have already got through to SJ Games. If you look at the wish list you will see that 'adventures' is right at the top. The company is already persuaded, and they are just waiting for a qualified writer to volunteer to write.

So what you have to do is persuade the qualified writers to put their spare time into writing for SJ Games, and into writing adventures rather than anything else. And the big problem that you face here is that SJ Games pays writers a commission on sales. The sad fact is that adventures sell less than the settings they are set in. And settings sell less than genres. And genre books sell less than rules.

...And these extra sales might be enough to justify SJ Games bearing the cost of playtesting, editing, and production of a series of PDFs that don't sell very well. But that isn't enough to attract a writer to the low-rent end of the market. Because the writers don't get paid for making it rain in other buckets.

And this is the HUGE problem.

Writers have no vested interest in producing 'lost leaders', things that may actually aid further sales of the core products because there is no personal benefit. I can totally understand this. This is a problem with the structure of small companies. The problem with freelancers is that they have absolutely no loyalty to one particular concern (Again, understandable. They dont get sick pay or pension or health benefits and theyre the first to suffer in bad times).

But I could absolutely guarantee healthier sales if settings were supported by scenario packs. And I dont mean piddling about with a 10 page freebie, or insisting that the scenario ties in with outmoded adventure ideas such as interdimensional law enforcement. (Theres too much of that in my opinion).

No. Its got to be done properly. Just throwing down another setting book that has a short adventure in the back of it (that probably involves interdimensional law enforcement), and thinking that it is sufficient isnt going to get anyone anywhere.

The idea, also, that Gurps enables people to use supplements meant for other games is really weak. Gurps, surely, should be able to exist without being propped up by other companies product. And you know, world building is really easy, its the dreary time consuming mechanics that put people off. Conversion is NOT fun. I dont believe anyone who says it is.

No. Gurps needs a few archetypal campaign supplements. How does a prospective GM get to know how the system works if he never sees how adventures are organised, or how NPCs have their points spent? Or what fun features are possible with the Gurps combat system? Or what magical constructs can exist within a coherent fantasy world?

The books need to be high quality, with new setting relevant art, and the setting should be creative and unique. It certainly wouldnt matter to me if it were fanatsy or sci fi, or, even, horror based. It just needs to be well done, and entertaining.

As long as it ticks all the boxes, it could be the biggest seller ever. I dont know why people say scenarios dont sell. Lacklustre ones certainly dont. It just has to be a quality product. Its not mysterious. Its fairly obvious.
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Old 10-27-2009, 01:46 PM   #59
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Default Re: GURPS Does It The Hard Way!

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Originally Posted by Mark Skarr View Post
I know Paul hasn't shown up yet, but Turhan's Bey Company writes books for GURPS so he's talking from a position of knowledge. He's not just making this stuff up. And, off handedly, he's mentioned stuff so well thought out that it's given me ideas for entire campaigns.

Some consumers, like myself, don't care a pair of fetid dingo's kidneys for the DF line, and would never look at DF adventures. A lot of the DF people don't care a pair of FDKs for THS stuff. The die-hard Mysteries people are looking at both sets like they're crazy.

It's supply and demand. The supply of writers is in demand for other projects that sell better.

You want adventures. Okay, so when I publish my adventure for the Eliminators ariving in Super San Diego and how the Super population has to react and deal with them, you'll buy it . . . because it's an adventure? Or are you looking for something a bit more specific?

Or how about the flash-point of the civil war for the Frontier Sector? Or the opening of the MegaAmusement Park in Las Vegas that's a sanctuary for the world's population of secret supers? Or traveling, on tour, with a teen-idol pop-singer who needs protection since a crime syndicate want to kidnap her because her previous manager never paid them what he said he would? You're looking for all of that, right?
Why not? Those things might not sell but i'd imagine they'd find an audience somewhere. Perhaps this is a problem that could be solved with fans publishing free resources (perhaps to this very forum, which seems to get quite a few "are there GURPS adventures?" questions)
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Old 10-27-2009, 01:49 PM   #60
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Default Re: GURPS Does It The Hard Way!

I dont know about sales in RPG, but in the computer world, Software sells Hardware and its been that way for quite sometime. Is it possible that the analogy here is that More Adventures/Modules might sell more Core Books?

As to the specificity of the module, some topics are specifc, as long as you stay genre general you'll probably be allright. For example, Zombie town USA was a zombie Module and could be a Car wars Module as well. The union of the 2 is pretty slim.

A Fantasy Module? Those are pretty popular.
Supers? Tough to gague strength, But not impossible.
SciFi? Too General, you'll almost HAVE to pick a setting for this one.
A Zombie Module? Less so, but still has its fans.
An Espionage Module like Operation Endgame? Fewer But still not bad.

Spleen Eating cockraoches bent on World domination through the misuse of pronouns and tripping of circuit breakers via hair dryers? Thats going to be a pretty slim one.

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