Sunday, June 16, 2013

Positive Notes

Aside from some dodgy LGS shenanigans detailed last post, I think Free RPG Day was a spectacular success!

Thousands of people got Better Than Any Man in their hands with no hassles, the "state of the art" in terms of the LotFP approach to magic, to monsters, to traps, to strange situations. It's out there in the world and gets to work its magic on peoples' games and imaginations.

It's the #1 hot item at Noble Knight, ahead of even Paizo's adventure (!!), but it looks like it's only #1 because the Star Wars thing sold out already. Still, I'll take the #1 spot no matter what the reason. It signifies interest and that's what the release was supposed to generate.

And the emails and reactions are already starting to come in as people look it over and make first impressions, and then actually read the darn thing. Getting "I haven't gamed in forever, but it looks like LotFP is going to bring me back" emails is a thing, believe it or not.

That the adventure is finally out there being out is a huge relief. It went to the printer months ago, and with everything else I pretty much get to release it immediately when it's finished and start getting the "It's great!/It sucks!" responses right away. This one? I had to wait. How do filmmakers and musicians who need to wait many months or years after wrapping a project up to get public feedback deal with it?

It's also a big relief that the project that began as Insect Shrine of Goblin Hill back in 2008 is finally OUT THE GODDAMN DOOR. I almost cursed Better Than Any Man by putting the Insect Shrine material in there, to the point where I was much later than I needed to be in getting it done. But it got done. argh.

So the next things out will be the new Rules & Magic hardcover, Vincent Baker's Seclusium in hardcover, Kenneth Hite's Qelong in living soft cover, and Adventure Number Ten. All are at the printer now.

Fun times ahead, people. Fun times ahead.

(comments can be left here)

LotFP's Better Than Any Man BANNED!

So yesterday was Free RPG Day, and we've had reports of stores keeping LotFP's offering, Better Than Any Man, behind the counter so you had to ask to get it.

No problem there, I can understand how a store's staff don't want to keep a look out to make sure little Timmy doesn't start looking through the thing explicitly marked (and created...) to not be suitable for children.

Also stores warning people that the adventure was not your usual fare, which is fine as well (make sure nobody who would be offended walks off with one if you can help it...), but some hadn't read the adventure too closely and at least one customer was warned that the adventure was all about killing children. (It isn't.)

There were also reports of stores not carrying it at all, with one quote "This is a family store. We don't carry R-rated games like that." Fair enough, businesses should have 100% control over their stock to maintain whatever image they see fit.

And then there was this.

Anyway, long story short - the owner told me (proudly) that he was boycotting LOTFP and Free RPG Day from now on because of the content of the adventure.

Reasons given were:

1.) "This is the kind of shit that got 'our' hobby boiled alive back in the 80's' and I don't want to support anything that could cause an industry-wide witch hunt."


2.) "I don't want to risk parents getting their hands on the adventure and garnering a bunch of bad press for the store."

 Oh, and James - FYI. To hear him tell it, he plans on cornering you at the next convention you both attend to personally tell you how you're ruining the industry.

Ah yes, the awful 80s, when this hobby was in a total crisis and in danger of extinction because people who knew nothing about it talked about it lots and lots and lots and lots in newspapers and on TV.

Anyway, I remarked on G+ that I indeed expected this sort of thing, and would be disappointed if they didn't happen.

I say that for two reasons:

First, it's silly. Silly silly silly for people to get truly upset by fictional nonsense, like the world is going to change because an RPG adventure has a picture of a boobie, that the world is going to go crazy because there's a child-sculpting wizard. I'm a fan of silliness.

Yet it isn't so silly, is it? People who want to suppress ideas are the really the dangerous people in this world, and my including content like this in part an effort to expose these Gatekeepers of Imagination as the fools and would-be fascists that they are. I feel like I'm on the side of Truth and Justice and Freedom to have these people against me, and as a creative type I have a duty to fight this fight. Ludicrous as that may sound. Guys like Lenny Bruce and George Carlin were before my time, but I remember the PMRC and Congressional Hearings and D&D getting crucified in the media (SUICIDE! SATANISM!) and in the 90s oh no Mortal Kombat showing blood on home consoles was the worst thing ever... it's no good to appease these people. I may be working in an utterly insignificant field culturally, but still, standing up to this sort of pressure is not only the right thing to do, it feels naughty because the respectable people hate it. And it's fun to be naughty, and that fun would go away if people were all reasonable and shit about this sort of thing.

Second reason: It's great publicity. Thus the sensationalistic post title.

The solution to all this is really very simple. If you don't like what I do, if you really really don't like what I do and you want to see something else to make your hobby a better place, here is the solution:

You do that something else. You make it happen.

I'll keep doing what I want to do.

And then we can leave each other alone, and we'll both be happy. Unless you're an asshole.

(you can comment on this post here)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Free RPG Day is TODAY!

Free RPG Day is Today. LotFP is giving away a 96 page adventure through Free RPG Day.

What does that mean for you as fan of LotFP?

First, check the Free RPG Day Retailer Locator to see if there is a participating location near you. There are locations in Australia (16 of them), Austria (1), Canada (63), Costa Rica (1), the Czech Republic (1), Denmark (1), Germany (6), Ireland (1), Italy (3), Mexico (1), the Netherlands (1), Thailand (1), The UK (19), and the USA (282), so no excuses not to at least check.

Second, go to a participating store on Free RPG Day. During opening hours preferably.

Third, BUY SOMETHING WHILE YOU'RE THERE. Buying something by LotFP would be preferable, but chances are if you're reading this you already have everything available. But it doesn't have to be something big. Some dice, some cheap back issues if it's also a comic book store, something at the very least if you don't like spending big bucks. Remember, it costs stores money to participate, and they do this to get asses in the door. Don't be an asshole and take free stuff without at least a token measure of support.

But if you have more to spend and they have stuff you want, by all means buy it!

When you pick up your copy of Better Than Any Man, talk to the people working at the store about it. "Ah, I came here just to pick this up, because Lamentations rules!" "Man, I can't believe LotFP is giving this massive thing away for free." "Lamentations is my favorite publisher right about now."

Substitute your own small talk of course, but the idea is to let the people at the store know that this LotFP thing is on the minds of their customers AND THE GAMING UNIVERSE AT LARGE! MWAHAHAHAH!

If there isn't a store near you, internet vendors usually have copies of the Free RPG Day stuff, and I'll have some copies up on the webstore for cheap after July 1.

But get to your game store if you can, because actual people getting LotFP stuff from other actual people is going to be better publicity, and that's what Free RPG Day is all about for a publisher.

And don't worry about "Well if I grab a copy that means someone unfamiliar with the game won't get a chance to be introduced to it." Actual expressed interest down at the game store is worth a little bit more than potential interest if (and that's a big if) some new person doesn't piss themselves and go blind after reading the adventure.

(leave and read comments here)

Better Than Any Man Discussion and Reviews

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Geeky & Genki

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