Saturday, January 29, 2011

Publishing Lesson Learned:

"You cannot help people who are more concerned with stopping dedicated volunteer reviewers from getting free pdfs, than selling their products, making better products, and/or marketing their products."

I thought the lunacy of people trying to stop piracy was bad, The RIAA could not do it,so I am damn sure WotC cannot do it, much less micropress publishers like myself.

These folks volunteer their time to review more than a product a week. People need to stop complaining about them, and thank them. Even if they give you a bad review, even if its someone else's product they are reviewing.

What do you think?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rite Rant: I am sick of people complaining about reviewers

Rant Warning

If you send out one PDF review copy to a blog and you get one purchase from that review you have covered your cost of giving away a copy (this is assuming the blogger would have bought a copy of your product).

If you get 2 purchases then you have seen an increase above your potential sales numbers. You also might not see a sale that day, it may go into the cart or into a wishlist for a later purchase.

Lets take one day of DrivethruRpg's featured reviewers yesterday: there were 11 new products released, yesterday was a slow day, that means one single reviewer has 330 products a month to choose from. If you don't beleive me go look at Megan Robertson's List of reviews, she is a workhorse and featured reviewer, and no one pays her to review products. If I could pay her I would and that's another reason I started my own magazine so I could pay people like her to do reviews of products (and not just mine).

I am so sick of people complaining about OBS featured reviewers, I have been doing this for nearly 4 years, release a PDF every week and its still difficult to get a review, UNLESS I WORK FOR IT. I talk to the reviewers, I contact them via email, I privately discuss their review and what I can do to improve my product, I visit their blog and comment on things besides my products. I send them advance copies of special works before other reviewers have access to them. I also actively ask for a review.

I even ask for a review of products via my social network contacts.

End Rant.

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Saving Throw: Partial

Illustration by Joe Calkins

One of the big things I have been doing while designing 101 8th Level Spells is playing around with partial effects (something that happens even if you make a successful saving throw). A good example of an existing spell that does this is cause fear. It’s a great piece of design, since Shaken is a condition that still allows you to do something while still causing a penalty for 1 round (though you can break this by having two cause fear spells hit one target which causes you to become panicked for one round but that’s only because Shaken stacks). So this became my design philosophy

"Include partial effects, but these partial effects have to allow a character to act and these partial effects can only last for 1 round."

Ability Damage, Ability Drain (1 point) Bleed, Blinded, Broken, Dazzled (really its too weak though) Deafened, Energy Drain ( rather 1 temporary negative level), Entangled, Exhausted, Fatigued, Flat-footed, Grappled, Prone, Shaken, Sickened, and Staggered

Confused is on the borderline along with Nauseated, because one only gives you a potential chance to act and the other only allows you a move action, so I often avoid them both.

There is also one unnamed condition in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, that I like to call Tormented (based on the symbol of pain) a –4 circumstance penalty on attack rolls, skill checks, and ability checks. This could easily become a –1 or -2 circumstance penalty on attack rolls, skill checks, and ability checks for one round.

Another one I am thinking about now is the effects of a bestow curse for 1 round we will have to see.

You have to be careful though so you don’t create a “Push [insert spell name] to win” with the caster spamming the spell every round to keep the monster under its thumb. Also while a wizard might not loose a lot when staggered a high level fighter does since he can’t make a full attack action. So I decided to use a nice piece of design found in Frightful Presence.

“After 1 round a subject that succeeded on the saving throw is immune to the [insert partial effect name] of that same caster's [insert spell name] for 24 hours.”

What do you think?

Steve Russell

Rite Publishing