Tower Of Blood - Any New Updates? Shipping Times?
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Post Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 2:49 pm 
 

grodog wrote:I'll talk to Rob about it more.  He's losing interest in the sponsorship model, I think, but if you guys are still good with that concept, I'll see what we can work out.


I'm definitely good with that, and willing to put my money where my mouth is.


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Post Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 5:56 pm 
 

Like the man says, the problem is printing the map. Not the accompanying docs. The map is both large and in colour. It can't be done in BW, and whilst a reduction to half size is possible, it would detract from the overall impact of the thing and still cost about 60% of the cost ofa larger print.

I'd suggest a single limited edition print run of a dozen or so copies at $500 a pop. No digital copies at all. Those willing to pay put their names forward and a draw is made from a hat.

There won't be too many willing to pony up $500, but it's a sure fire investment for those who do, and it also preserves the reletive value if Mike's original.

I bet you won't have any problem shifting those 12 copies at $500 a piece though. :wink:


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Post Posted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 1:42 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:I'd suggest a single limited edition print run of a dozen or so copies at $500 a pop. No digital copies at all. Those willing to pay put their names forward and a draw is made from a hat.


the idea is nice, the price definitely not... with 500USD times 12 you could cover much more than 12 copies...
if you want to produce smtg between the unique version and the limited edition, i'd suggest to rob to print it manually (maybe the large map could be printed with a plotter in any copy-center) and sell them as manuscript... he'd earn more with less efforts! :wink:


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Post Posted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 6:11 am 
 

grodog wrote:Yes, but none immediately good, unfortunately:  my work schedule's had me travelling a lot, and we've had some personal issues to deal with (we had another miscarriage, our third for the year).

That's very sorry to hear. I hope for the best in the future.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 9:38 am 
 

Either sponsorship or limited print run get my vote.

i have absolutely no idea how much it would cost to do, and although $500 raises an eyebrow, my name's ready for the hat.

I think any CD version would work for intital sales but then the piracy issue can straight in and boot-leg copies all over the place...  :(


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Post Posted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 1:00 pm 
 

I have little or no interest in electronic products.  I'd only pick one up if the price was very low (ie sub $10).  

As far as a physical product goes, $50-$100+ doesn't sound unreasonable for a mass produced quality item.  Even $500 wouldn't be out of the question if the print run was small enough.

I have no idea how much it costs to produce a large full color map, but the book itself should be comparatively cheap if the glossy pages and full color interior art are left out (as they should be).


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Post Posted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 5:53 pm 
 

I'm not tracking on this discussion.

Why would Bottle City be so much more expensive to print?

Why would someone pay $500 for it?  

Electronic publications should be $10 or less....or at least in that neighborhood.

What about a map supporting an electronic version?

Mark   8)


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Post Posted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 9:10 pm 
 

grodog wrote:I'll talk to Rob about it more.  He's losing interest in the sponsorship model, I think, but if you guys are still good with that concept, I'll see what we can work out.


What's wrong with the sponsorship model? Not enough sponsors?


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Post Posted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 9:48 pm 
 

clangador wrote:What's wrong with the sponsorship model? Not enough sponsors?


Actually, no :D  The number of folks who have supported Rob's projects has been very heartening, and growing.  I can't speak for Rob's full thought process, but I think he wants PPP to be able to stand more firmly on its own two feet, so some of these new projects he's working on (The Living Room, for example) are ways to test those waters.  Both Cairn of the Skeleton King and Tower of Blood are substantial investments of money, time, and energy to bring to production; I think there will continue to be projects like that released each year, but PPP doesn't have the manpower to sustain that level of activity for every project, which is another reason to try to find other product models, too.  So, Rob's basically testing the waters away from sponsorship for a little while to see if some of these other approaches will work out in the market or not.

All that said, I know that Rob and I would both prefer to release Bottle City as a print project.  So, do please continue to discuss your thoughts on its format---whether here, Knights'n'Knaves, the PPP boards, Dragonsfoot, etc.:  your input and thoughts are very important to helping PPP to release products that you guys want and care about.


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Post Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 1:04 pm 
 

MShipley88 wrote:I'm not tracking on this discussion.

Why would Bottle City be so much more expensive to print?

Why would someone pay $500 for it?  

Electronic publications should be $10 or less....or at least in that neighborhood.

What about a map supporting an electronic version?

Mark   8)

The map itself is extremely large which takes a lithograph print out of the realms of what regular printers can handle and onto specialised machinery. That's where 70-80% of the production cost is going to be. And a large scale lazer colour copy is just not a professional product unless you're desparate.

I'm sure there are plenty of people who would enter a $500 interest in a strictly limited run of one of the most famous dungeon levels of all time, and I for one don't care how much proffit RJK makes on it. Once he's set his price and printed and signed a dozen copies, he has a moral obligation not to reprint. So $500 at even 20 copies would be fair return on his product.

Improv would keep the exclusivity of owning the original without having to worry about depreciation, those who bought would have something extremely rare that will hold its value against any of the rares, and those who didn't but would be no worse off than they are now.

A CD issue is a really bad idea. There is no way of ensuring it isn't copied and distributed, and once you release an electronic file you can never control or stem the propogation. Don't do it. You'll lose any potential money there is in the priduct.


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Post Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 1:20 pm 
 

Like it seems others here also feel, I would not be interested in a CD issue, and RJK would be ill advised to issue one with the chance of immediate piracy.  I'd rather see the Bottled City level stay bottled than be released digitally.

  

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Post Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 4:42 pm 
 

How much does it cost to produce it? $500 a pop is VERY steep. For that money, I'd go for a handful of rare stuff over a speculation investment. Ours is a limited collecting market for items over $250 or so.


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Post Posted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 11:49 pm 
 

NetRodent wrote:I have little or no interest in electronic products.  I'd only pick one up if the price was very low (ie sub $10).  

As far as a physical product goes, $50-$100+ doesn't sound unreasonable for a mass produced quality item.  Even $500 wouldn't be out of the question if the print run was small enough.

I have no idea how much it costs to produce a large full color map, but the book itself should be comparatively cheap if the glossy pages and full color interior art are left out (as they should be).


While I appreciate Rob's desire to get out a lot of the original Greyhawk into the hands of gamers/collectors, I would have to say that a $500 printing of anything would immediately put me off any Kuntz/PPP published products forever, no matter what the future price or availability.  Once again while I realize the market would probably support a limited printing at an extremely high price, without any further reprinting of the product in a cheaper edition I would assume he was not interested in casual fans, gamers and collectors and is merely catering to a very few uber collectors who can afford to buy into the equivalent of a vanity printing.  I buy items (even limited edition items) with the aim of reading and/or using the item in actual game play.  Making such an "exclusive" item that is really not even meant of use but instead destined for a mylar protected existence in a iron safe somewhere actually leaves a bad taste in my mouth, much the same way DCC's incredibly bone-headed move of short-printng 12.5 1st edition did at the time it happened (and if that had not been eventually reprinted, I would have indeed both never purchased a DCC product and avidly encouraged anyone else I ran into to boycott them likewise).  I'll apply the same logic to any ludicrously priced limited edition with no chance of a cheaper printing that won't make it into my hands (hell, I would love to actually RUN this adventure for my original gaming group!)    
  (Plus, I agree with Deadlord that I would much rather buy say two copies of Dragon #1 with it's very established investment/collector's value than an item that will probably never be available on the "common" market and whose "true" value will probably never be determined.)  
   This being said, why not a limited issue of a more reasonable $50-$100 price range in the realm of 100-200 copies.  For example items like World's Largest Dungeon, Ptolus, and Rappan Athuk boxed set seem to sell quite well for $100 or so in limited qualities (I think the print of the Rappan boxed set has already sold out at 1000 copies). It would allow those of us that are interested in just reading the item to be allowed to get ahold of it, while still maintaining quite a bit of collector's value.  
 I have supported Rob's endeavors up to this point mainly to encourage the effort leading to items like the Bottle City level eventually being printed and making it's way into my hands.  Frankly, there is nothing exceptional about Carin of the Skeleton King and (I assume) Tower of Blood except for the name on the module.  If either had been written by Fromo Skubly there would little interest from myself and surely many others.  I see little reason to support efforts like these if the "common" man is going to be shut out of the real items of interest (Castle Greyhawk Levels) and tossed a bone every year or so of a limited "sponsored" item that is frankly the same quality of many concurrently published products from companies like Necromancer, DCC, WOTC, etc.  
  Please don't take this as an attack, just constructive criticism that I have been holding in for quite some time.  I guess the short version is that I'll choose not to support Rob's publishing efforts on any scale if a tiered system of elitism takes hold at PPP where only those with deep pocketbooks can benefit with products of historical significance.

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 12:45 am 
 

It really boils down to this: If he is looking to possibly make quick money, make it a $500 item. If he is looking to establish a customer/fan base, make it a $15 item.
The trend I've seen lately is for game legends to go for the big bucks. Understandable (I guess), but a shame.


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Post Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 1:10 am 
 

Badmike wrote:While I appreciate Rob's desire to get out a lot of the original Greyhawk into the hands of gamers/collectors ... [big snip] ... where only those with deep pocketbooks can benefit with products of historical significance.

Well said, Mike (I chopped your message down to a small quote-box even though I agreed with the entire thing). You described my main reason for not ever getting that excited about Cairn: I knew that the exact same adventure, if published as "Biff Buffington's Cairn of the Skeleton King," would have sold about seven copies. Perhaps I'm not being fair to RJK and the others who worked hard to make a good product ... but I can't help how I felt.

As for $500, though ... all due respect, but that's way beyond the pale. That's just a siege action aimed at the wallets of those of us who aren't uber-collectors. My support for these sorts of projects would also disappear forever.

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Post Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 1:39 am 
 

grodog wrote:and we've had some personal issues to deal with

Wow, I guess I never read the first page of this thread until just now. I'm very sorry to hear your news. I've been in that place you're in right now; it blows.

You're probably sick of silver linings and "hang in there," but I'll add one more: hang in there.

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Post Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 8:55 am 
 

Thanks for your continued kind thoughts and support for Heather and I folks, we do appreciate it.

I spoke to Rob briefly last night, but we should have a chance to do some more in-depth discussions around these issues tonight.  I'll let you know where things stand as soon as I'm able.  

FWIW, though, I doubt that Rob's going to go the route of the $500 'artificial' collectible---he knows that while the Acaeum fans and collectors have deep pockets, that they're the exception to the norm of the standard fanbase, and that it's the broader base of the common fans who will make or break PPP in the long run.  

Xaxaxe, you (and anyone else), can buy a standard version of Cairn of the Skeleton King for $14.95 + $4 shipping (as long as copies last, of course; there are only about 40 or so left).  Details @ http://www.pied-piper-publishing.com/in ... leton_king

Also, I'm not sure that I understand your point about Biffington's CotSK, Xaxaxe:  Rob did write it, not Biffington, so you lost me on that one??


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Post Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 10:48 am 
 

grodog wrote:Also, I'm not sure that I understand your point about Biffington's CotSK, Xaxaxe:  Rob did write it, not Biffington, so you lost me on that one??


RJK is a brand name in the RPG industry and therefore his name will move D&D modules off the shelves faster than Biff Buffington or any other unknown author even if the content were verbatim.  It's the same in any business where celebrity authors or pitchmen/women create more brand awareness and sell more of a product than an "unknown."

  

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Post Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 11:15 am 
 

grodog wrote:
FWIW, though, I doubt that Rob's going to go the route of the $500 'artificial' collectible---he knows that while the Acaeum fans and collectors have deep pockets, that they're the exception to the norm of the standard fanbase, and that it's the broader base of the common fans who will make or break PPP in the long run.  


This is quite a relief to hear.  Too often lately I have heard rumblings in the RPG industry concerning the "instant collectible", a marketing ploy that all but destroyed comic book collecting for about 15 years (only recently has it shown signs of resurgence).  The collectibility of such created items is suspect, and the greed, avariciousness and "got to have it any any cost" mentality that permeates these endeavors is very short sighted, IMO.  While certainly limited edition printings are in this vein, at least at this time the availability has been open to ALL collectors both due to price of the item and numbers of items available (the 12.5 1st situation was rectified the way it should have been with a later printing).  I can see placing a premium price or extremely limited printing on a item as a way of raising capital; however, this should always be followed by a later, cheaper printing that can easily be distinguished from the earlier presumably more valuable limited edition.  It doesn't do anyone in this hobby any good to have the hoarding mentality take over to such an extent that documents of historical significance are sealed away in mylar encased containers never to be revealed.

Mike B.


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Post Posted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 1:26 pm 
 

grodog wrote:Also, I'm not sure that I understand your point about Biffington's CotSK, Xaxaxe:  Rob did write it, not Biffington, so you lost me on that one??

Pretty much what Mike B. said a couple of posts above — leery of paying for the brand name.

grodog wrote:Xaxaxe, you (and anyone else), can buy a standard version of Cairn of the Skeleton King for $14.95 + $4 shipping

It was a featured item for awhile at NobleKnight, too, and I was thisclose to pulling the trigger before some other stuff came up.

I'll probably get one, soon-ish ... at this point, curiousity is taking over. :)

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