Why I hate this place, Part 2
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Post Posted: Sun May 08, 2011 10:57 pm 
 

Way leads on to way, and other such hogwash.  

Innocently, while browsing the 'completion' thread, I saw a cat that had done a continuation of the G-series, and was still available via Lulu.  How can you not want to have a differential take/continuation, etc for the G-series?  Who didn't get a natural ass-whupping when peeking in the dining room with all the giants staring at them, like morons, back in the day?  Add it to the cart.

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/g ... on/6520290

And since I'm using a coupon, I should probably just pick up G5 now, too.  For efficiencies sake; shipping cost.  Why, I'd be foolish not to buy it!

And look down there, there's this other OSRIC adventure

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/b ... wed/left/4

Good look.  Nice feel.  Former Dungeon contributor...what's a $11 flier on an unknown?  I've spend dumber money before.  And the surprises are always worth it!

And then you look at other similar items...and get sidetracked by another author also doing the retro feel, but he's also got a 3.5 urban faux-adventure path concept...huh.  Nice art.  Concept for some of them seem interesting.  And I've got that coupon, after all...

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/t ... rs/3785530

I hate this place.  For a free site it sure is expensive.

Sunrunner44 - poor with green money, rich with blue-mapped cardboard stock maps.

  


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Post Posted: Sun May 08, 2011 11:35 pm 
 

Just to add to your woes ... I find the following to be quite good ...

http://www.lulu.com/browse/search.php?fListingClass=0&fSearch=johnny+rook+games

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Post Posted: Mon May 09, 2011 1:01 am 
 

WereSteve wrote:Just to add to your woes ... I find the following to be quite good ...

http://www.lulu.com/browse/search.php?fListingClass=0&fSearch=johnny+rook+games

Steve


Ah...dang it!


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Post Posted: Mon May 09, 2011 9:10 am 
 

You probably don't want me to post a list of all the OSRIC adventures then, right?


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Post Posted: Mon May 09, 2011 8:21 pm 
 

And I just got through the first two issues of Fight On!  Almost ready to order more...but I am also getting an issue or two of No Quarter, and am backlogged a few months of Kobold...and maybe Level Up.

And I maybe found a few old misfiled Dungeon magazine and had to re-read those, too.  They're really pretty good, in retro-read.

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Post Posted: Mon May 09, 2011 9:41 pm 
 

sunrunner44 wrote:Innocently, while browsing the 'completion' thread, I saw a cat that had done a continuation of the G-series, and was still available via Lulu...


Sorry Mate... but, Welcome :)


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Post Posted: Mon May 09, 2011 10:46 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:Ah...dang it!


Sounds like another victim ...  :twisted:


Last edited by WereSteve on Tue May 10, 2011 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Posted: Mon May 09, 2011 11:08 pm 
 

Don't forget the issues of Knockspell too:  

http://stores.lulu.com/mythmere

:D


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Post Posted: Tue May 10, 2011 1:46 am 
 

Watch out for the continuation of the G-Series. There are about four different versions of G4, each with very little difference, and no clear indication of why there are different editions of it. The author is a member here, so I'd ask which G4 is currently the real one, and which are spinoffs.

These would be a good candidate for a 'supermodule' printing with quality aretwork, maps and typesetting. If a printing of Mad Archmage is a success, then maybe that paves the way for established publishing houses to pick up small press works and bring them to print with the quality and experience needed to have them succeed in print.

On the whole, Lulu product is poor quality because there is no editing or quality control. They literally print whatever the author wants them to, and very few authors have the experience or inclination to polish their works, or the professional detachment to be able to see the flaws in their little  achievements. That is why established publishing houses will always offer better quality product over solo author with lap top and mate with pencil.

So, buyer beware. Lastly, never pay full price for anything. There is hardly ever a time when Lulu aren't offering at least 20% discount. You have to be really desperate if you pay the author's asking price for something.


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Post Posted: Tue May 10, 2011 9:31 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:On the whole, Lulu product is poor quality because there is no editing or quality control. They literally print whatever the author wants them to, and very few authors have the experience or inclination to polish their works, or the professional detachment to be able to see the flaws in their little  achievements. That is why established publishing houses will always offer better quality product over solo author with lap top and mate with pencil.

So, buyer beware. Lastly, never pay full price for anything. There is hardly ever a time when Lulu aren't offering at least 20% discount. You have to be really desperate if you pay the author's asking price for something.


This is a poor maxim, Mongoose and Troll Lord Games are both established publishing houses and known for their woeful editing. There are stellar examples like SJ Games and other companies have varying reputations. Likewise some OSR publishers do a superb job, others are just OK, and others are pretty bad.

In short ask around find out the publisher's reputation. As for myself I could have done a better job of managing the edits of Majestic Wilderlands, I probably only deserve a C at best for that. I will gladly compare Blackmarsh against anything the established publishing companies put out.

  

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Post Posted: Tue May 10, 2011 10:18 am 
 

Fair point. I have no experience of Mongoose stuff, wouldn't touch it with... I have found typos in TLGs stuff, some quite annoyingly obvious that even a basic skim read would throw up. But what TLG get right is their presentation and typesetting. What I find with most small press guy on a sofa type offerings is that the product fail in so many different ways. Poor typesetting, poor editing, bad mapwork (although maybe the best a mate can do from a sofa with a laptop), bad artwork, poor cropping, poor typesetting, lack of alignment, justification and centring, the list goes on.

The problem is, with Lulu you have know way of knowing how sh!te or not what you're buying is, and you have no comeback because no author is gonna say, "Hey, I know my stuff looks like crap, but I just don't understand what the difference is between my stuff and the professional stuff. The words are in the right order, so it's as good as Goodman Games and that's why it's priced accordingly."

There is no way of encouraging authors on Lulu to be honest about their work or right to get your money back if what Lulu sell you is sh!te. ANd more often than not, it's gonna be sh!te (in comparison to what you pay for it) because if it was actually really worth publishing and selling to the public, a publisher would already have done it. Other than the odd publisher that is now using POD as a revenue stream (FGG etc.) ninety-odd percent of the rest is stuff that should be given away free because it's only hobbyist quality.

Occasionally you get something like the G-Series that should be picked up by a publishing house and remarketted, like GG did with LotFP's Esoteric Creature Creator, and that process alone is a learning process that can push an author into self publishing professionally, as it did with Edward Raggi. Problem is, most authors don't understand, don't care' or just don't get it. Lulu panders to them and proffits accordingly, but there is a reason they conduct their store like a discount bargain basement shop with permanent sales and discount vouchers, and that's because what they sell is bargain basement quality [email protected] for the most part.


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Post Posted: Tue May 10, 2011 12:34 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:... What I find with most small press guy on a sofa type offerings is that the product fail in so many different ways. Poor typesetting, poor editing, bad mapwork (although maybe the best a mate can do from a sofa with a laptop), bad artwork, poor cropping, poor typesetting, lack of alignment, justification and centring, the list goes on.


Sure, there many products out there on lulu that are of pretty bad quality.

mbassoc2003 wrote:The problem is, with Lulu you have know way of knowing how sh!te or not what you're buying is....


This sound like the heart of the issue. Is the fact that they don't have previews and/or lulu doesn't have reviews? On Lulu the author can setup a preview and I think it would be foolish not too. I tried to make mine for Majestic Wilderlands as representative of the product as I could rather than just blindly putting out the first 10 pages.

Also there is RPGNow with their print on demand they do have reviews in addition to previews.



mbassoc2003 wrote:There is no way of encouraging authors on Lulu to be honest about their work or right to get your money back if what Lulu sell you is sh!te.


All I can say to this is that word of mouth on the forums and blogs is currently the driver for OSR sales, at least for me and the people I work closely with. If you don't get it, you are not going to have many sales.


mbassoc2003 wrote:ANd more often than not, it's gonna be sh!te (in comparison to what you pay for it) because if it was actually really worth publishing and selling to the public, a publisher would already have done it.


This one I got to call you on, especially on this forum. Gygax, Avalon Hill, and Dungeon & Dragons, a classic case of a missed opportunity by an established publisher.

mbassoc2003 wrote:Occasionally you get something like the G-Series that should be picked up by a publishing house and remarketted, like GG did with LotFP's Esoteric Creature Creator, and that process alone is a learning process that can push an author into self publishing professionally, as it did with Edward Raggi. Problem is, most authors don't understand, don't care' or just don't get it. Lulu panders to them and proffits accordingly, but there is a reason they conduct their store like a discount bargain basement shop with permanent sales and discount vouchers, and that's because what they sell is bargain basement quality [email protected] for the most part.


The thing is that the tide of technology has create a situation where there is very little difference in the raw capabilities of a Wizards of the Coast and a kid working out of his apartment. It used to be clear cut, there was just no way a single guy could create a book the quality that a publisher could.

But that not true now, the price of industry software has dropped to the point where a determined individual can buy it, and the internet has made it incredibly easy to find skilled people that you can pay to do the things you can't. And the latest is that you have places like Lulu, Amazon, and RPGNow where you can sell large quantities of books for no capital thanks to Print on Demand.

Don't get me wrong, you have valid complaints and it only going to get worse. My feeling is that increasingly we will rely on word of mouth and trusted sources to guide our purchases reserving "buy on sight" to only a few authors/companies that we trust.

First time authors that are serious need to realize this and send out free products to these sources  to be reviewed and analyzed.

  

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Post Posted: Tue May 10, 2011 12:48 pm 
 

What Lulu needs is a section where buyers can leave undoctored feedback about a product they have bought. You only let buyers leave feedback and you attach it to their ID so it's not anonymous, and hopefully that would deter lying or badmouthing without substance, but at lease buyers could see what other buyers think about something.

RPGNow does this, although for the most part they bias their 'inhous' reviewers or author associated reviews, so you have to take it with a pinch of salt.

Personally, I've never bought something from Lulu that I have truely felt was worth the purchase price. Occasionally there are PDFs that are worth the investment, but those are on the whole substantially cheaper. The problem is authors don't care about producing quality anymore. They just bang out any old sh!te because anyone can do it. And let's face it, most of us can produce work equal to or better than the majority of that on Lulu, so why throw money after other people's garbage?

Those who do produce good quality work inevitably come to the fore, because publishers need good quality product to remain in business and need to scout talent wherever they can find it. If they can't get noticed by a reputable publisher, they're not worthy anyway, either through lack of talent, or lack of interest in doing a good job. On those grounds, they aren't worth buying product from in the first place.

As a buyer, I'm more than happy to throw hundreds of dollars at product from up and coming authors, so I make a point of looking at new works and emerging authors. But for the most part, these authors have the same gaps in their understanding of their market, and they know they are destined to fail, and they know why. They just don't have the desire or the drive to make the changes needed to stand out and progress their works.

The thing is that the tide of technology has create a situation where there is very little difference in the raw capabilities of a Wizards of the Coast and a kid working out of his apartment.


I would have to dispute this. A publisher has at their disposal the ability to write, illustrate, edit, present, typeset and publish a product, and the ability to stand back and objectively view that product in terms of quality, price point and placement in a market that they, on the whole, have a good understanding of.

Timmy The Gamer has all the same tools, but the odds are very low that he has a group of friends that can fulfill all the above functions to the same degree of quality, and I have only ever come across one or two individuals who can stand back, objectively criticize their own product, correct it's flaws, and then correctly place their product in the market.

It is that gap, and more importantly, the sheer ignorance that that gap exists by self professed authors, that creates this torrent of mediocre drivel. They honestly believe their product are worthy of publication in the format they choose to present to the world.

First time authors that are serious need to realize this and send out free products to these sources  to be reviewed and analyzed.


FWIW, there is a company called Black Swan or some such, publishing works on RPGNow. I have no idea who they are or where they are from, but they see the difference. Sooner or later they are going to publish something spectacular.


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Post Posted: Tue May 10, 2011 7:17 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:FWIW, there is a company called Black Swan or some such, publishing works on RPGNow. I have no idea who they are or where they are from, but they see the difference. Sooner or later they are going to publish something spectacular.


I don't see a Black Swan.  Who are thinking of?  I'm always interested in checking out something worthwhile.


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Post Posted: Tue May 10, 2011 8:13 pm 
 

TheHistorian wrote:You probably don't want me to post a list of all the OSRIC adventures then, right?


I would love to see one. :)  If you have the list handy or have a link, please let me know.


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Post Posted: Tue May 10, 2011 9:26 pm 
 

So, uh, I might have just bought one (or perhaps it was two) Johnny Rook adventures to try them out.  As several people have noted, you can't be 100% on blind Lulu, but the production values look nice and that's a good sign.

Sunrunner44 - poor impulse control, sucker for a pretty face.

PS - I'm down with 'always buy with discount' there as well.  But now I'm out of coupons.  Plus the stack is now approaching, Lord help me, 4 linear feet, and that's after I chewed through my recent Pathfinder modules and some of the FGG stuff I was chomping at the proverbial bit to go through.  I'm backlogged on some hardcovers which can be heavy going in areas.

  

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Post Posted: Wed May 11, 2011 1:50 am 
 

TheHistorian wrote:
I don't see a Black Swan.  Who are thinking of?  I'm always interested in checking out something worthwhile.

My bad. Raging Swan Press.


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Post Posted: Wed May 11, 2011 7:55 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:Those who do produce good quality work inevitably come to the fore, because publishers need good quality product to remain in business and need to scout talent wherever they can find it. If they can't get noticed by a reputable publisher, they're not worthy anyway, either through lack of talent, or lack of interest in doing a good job.


Stands to reason, based on the immutable & sacred principles of capitalism. That's why I only play Hasbro's 4E. Pathfinder? -a bunch of hippie loser socialists with their abominable shared OGL! Shared, so that any prole of low breeding can use it! Same goes for all those small press items of the past. Why look for musty old copies of Starstone or Palace of the Vampire Queen? If they were any good, the magic of the marketplace would have kept them in print.

  

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Post Posted: Wed May 11, 2011 8:24 am 
 

:lol:


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Post Posted: Wed May 11, 2011 12:04 pm 
 

smarmy1 wrote:
I would love to see one. :)  If you have the list handy or have a link, please let me know.


Well, the wikipedia entry is quite good:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OSRIC

Kudos to whomever has been maintaining it.

There is also modern 1E material that isn't included in that list, but that I keep in my list of "new" 1E/OSRIC stuff.  I doubt any of them are news around here, but I'll note them.  Some of these may very well be OSRIC instead of 1E, but I don't really bother to distinguish.

BLACK BLADE PUBLISHING - DCC7: Secret Of Smuggler's Cove
CERBERUS ART - CP1: Ruins Of Tenkuhran
CHAOTIC HENCHMEN - F1: Fane Of Poisoned Prophecies
DIE CAST GAMES - TSR1: Insidious
DUNGEONS DEEP DESIGNS - GWA1: Cabal King
GOODMAN GAMES -- DCC12.5: Iron Crypt Of The Heretics
GOODMAN GAMES -- DCC: Saga Of The Witch Queen
GOODMAN GAMES -- DCC: Saga Of The Rat King
GOODMAN GAMES -- DCC: Golden Auroch / Tower Of The Black Pearl
GOODMAN GAMES -- DCC36: Talons Of The Horned King
PACESETTER GAMES - S1: Haunted House Of Clendil
PIED PIPER PUBLISHING - CAS1: Cairn Of The Skeleton King
PIED PIPER PUBLISHING - CAS2: Tower Of Blood
PIED PIPER PUBLISHING - DD2: Dark Druids
PIED PIPER PUBLISHING - ERK1: El Raja Key's Arcane Treasury
PIED PIPER PUBLISHING - LGC1: Living Room
PIED PIPER PUBLISHING - LGC2: Daemonic & Arcane
PIED PIPER PUBLISHING - LGC3: Stalk
PIED PIPER PUBLISHING - RJK1: Bottle City
PINHAMMER ADVENTURES - G4: Sanctum Of The Stone Giant Lord
PINHAMMER ADVENTURES - G5: Curse Of The Cloud Giant Queen
PINHAMMER ADVENTURES - G6: Forge Of The Fomorian Smith Lord
PINHAMMER ADVENTURES - G7: Giants In The Deep
PINHAMMER ADVENTURES - G8: Manor Of The Mountain Giant King
PINHAMMER ADVENTURES - G9: Secret Of The Swamp Giant Steward
PINHAMMER ADVENTURES - I15: Assasins Of Abu-Dala
PINHAMMER ADVENTURES - Hell House
PINHAMMER ADVENTURES - Man Eater
PINHAMMER ADVENTURES - Outpost Of The Ogre Overlord

Those are all adventures (except some PPP supplements that I include for completeness).  I have, but haven't read, all the adventures, so if you want to know about where to find something or print quality or whatever, I can help with that.  I haven't bought most of the rules/supplement material though, as most of it seems less good.  I've bought the ones that seem a little less amateurish, and it's a mixed bag as usual.

So combining those two lists equals everything I have heard about.  If anyone knows of other material, I'd love to learn!


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