Dungeon Crawl Classics Questions/Opinions
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Post Posted: Sat May 10, 2008 10:36 am 
 

Badmike wrote:My verdict: DISASTER.


I have the same feeling Mike.  Goodman games is one of only a few companies that I looked forward to seeing new products from.  Now I dont really think there is anything to look forward to anymore.  I am not surprised that they are going with 4E though.  Even with all of the complaining by gamers about 4E, the majority of gamers that played 3E will still convert to the new edition so that is where the money will be.  I dont think they will be as successful as they were with 3rd edition but they will most likely survive.

Wizards of the Coast however may not.  What kind of message does that send to the gaming community that your company may not be attending the largest gaming convention?  That would be like Marvel Comics saying that they wont have a mega-booth at the San Diego Comicon.  It just doesnt make any sense at all.  If the rumor is true, there is no telling what consequences they could be facing.  Hasbro might see WotC as a declining part of their conglomerate.  They might end up selling Wizards to another company, dissolve it entirely, sell the D&D license to someone else.  Scary possibilities....but if any of them ever do happen it might be a good thing in the long run for D&D.


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Post Posted: Sat May 10, 2008 10:42 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:Or he could simply set up an independant company to put out 4E D&D modules. So you have 'Goodman Games 4E' as an independant entity, or something completely unassociated... 'Twisted Pickle Publishing' perhaps. No reason why he could not own and run both. No conflict or interest either. Probably cost him a few hundred dollars in paperwork and he's good to go. End of problem.


From what I understand (again my limited knowledge available from what I read online like everyone else) Wotc wouldn't allow such shenanigans, and they would be in a position to enforce this through withholding of licensing. Since they are the final arbiters of who does and doesn't get to publish 4E products, they could decide that a company doing this, while perfectly legal and following all the rules (wink wink), is diluting the market for 4E and thus gets their license pulled.  

Again, from what is being said, I think Wotc wants far more market control than they had under the OGL.   Basically you either play under their rules, or you don't get to play in their sandbox.  From what I've seen so far out of Goodman, I doubt they have much interest in continuing their DCC old style line, and will whole heartedly switch over to 4E. I would bet dollars to doughnuts you never see them publish anything 3/3.5 specific ever again.  Remember this is the same company that one year grudgingly printed 70 copies of a special release 1st edition module thinking they would be stuck with dozens at the end of the 2006 convention; I don't think people who buy the items for the nostalgia value alone really matter to them in the scheme of things.

From what I can read between the lines in the podcast, I think the only thing Joe is really trying to push is the stipulation that all product with the D&D logo has to be GONE by a certain date.  Goodman probably wants to modify that condition by either pushing the date farther back (say, a year instead of six months), or work out a specific agreement where they can still dump backstock after the cut off date.  Otherwise I think they are going to go full guns into 4E.

I have no doubt that if companies can't update old product to the new rules, the online community will have conversions posted so as to make anything available to the current D&D version.

ShaneG.


I don't think that's the item of interest.  Of course there will be conversions. To me (looking at the items as possible collectibles) would Goodman reissue say DCC#49 with the same cover except now converted to 4E, and with a blurb on said cover saying (SECOND PRINT NOW COMPATIBLE WITH 4TH EDITION!). I'll go out ona  limb and say no.  I think for all intents and purposes the "old style" DCC line is dead, as evidenced by the "new look" covers posted on the web site.  In truth, this is just a good marketing strategy for Goodman. What modules of Goodman were "classic" enough to convert to 4E when you can just have someone write another?  I say they get rid of all their old stock with a massive sale, and look ahead, with perhaps ocassional "nostalgia themed" modules for conventions and such.

But I could be completely wrong.  That's just the vibe I'm getting now.  Anyway you look at it, it's a good time to complete your pre-4E Goodman games collection with the sales that will soon be coming.  I would especially look at getting the later releases that might have smaller print runs than a lot of the earlier printings.

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Post Posted: Sat May 10, 2008 10:46 am 
 

Kingofpain89 wrote:
I have the same feeling Mike.  Goodman games is one of only a few companies that I looked forward to seeing new products from.  Now I dont really think there is anything to look forward to anymore.  I am not surprised that they are going with 4E though.  Even with all of the complaining by gamers about 4E, the majority of gamers that played 3E will still convert to the new edition so that is where the money will be.  I dont think they will be as successful as they were with 3rd edition but they will most likely survive.

Wizards of the Coast however may not.  What kind of message does that send to the gaming community that your company may not be attending the largest gaming convention?  That would be like Marvel Comics saying that they wont have a mega-booth at the San Diego Comicon.  It just doesnt make any sense at all.  If the rumor is true, there is no telling what consequences they could be facing.  Hasbro might see WotC as a declining part of their conglomerate.  They might end up selling Wizards to another company, dissolve it entirely, sell the D&D license to someone else.  Scary possibilities....but if any of them ever do happen it might be a good thing in the long run for D&D.


My gut feeling is they aren't this stupid.  Hasbro may be calling the shots but WOTC has to be in the background whispering SOMETHING in their ear.  I know if I was Necromancer, Mongoose, Green Ronin, Goodman, etc, any company switching over their entire line to 4E, it would be a kick in the crotch to not have Wotc attend Gencon.  Of course their entire strategy could be to make it so hard for 3rd party publishers to publish 4E that they will opt out anyway. Who knows.

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Post Posted: Sat May 10, 2008 12:31 pm 
 

Well I guess we have about a month till we see what will come about.

So was this the trend with 2nd edition, when 3rd was announced, did certain settings become more valuable?

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Post Posted: Sat May 10, 2008 12:58 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:Has the entire industry gone bonkers?  Good Lord.

Well, yeah.  It happened in 1990, it happened in 2000, and it's happening now.

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Post Posted: Sat May 10, 2008 9:27 pm 
 

deimos3428 wrote:Well, yeah.  It happened in 1990, it happened in 2000, and it's happening now.


The Once A Decade insanity!!!!

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Post Posted: Sat May 10, 2008 9:35 pm 
 

Plaag wrote:Well I guess we have about a month till we see what will come about.

So was this the trend with 2nd edition, when 3rd was announced, did certain settings become more valuable?

ShaneG.


From what I remember, no. But #1 there weren't the amount of professional 3rd party items there are today, and #2 the print runs of stuff back then was so immense it would dwarf anything of Goodman's DCCC run.

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Post Posted: Sat May 10, 2008 10:02 pm 
 

My comments about Goodman have little to do with 4th edition and a lot to do with bad artwork.

Specifically...the bad artwork that we older gamers consider "classic."

As 3rd edition showed..."classic" artwork on the cover tended to indicate that the content would likely be at least of useable quality.

By comparison, the more slick and professional the cover artwork, the more ify the contents inside the cover.

In short, the new covers look stupid.  Stupid.

What's inside might still be good...but the covers do not bode well.


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Post Posted: Mon May 12, 2008 9:57 pm 
 

Those new covers are terrible. The new covers for 4e D&D are worse. I'm set to support Paizo in their Pathfinder 3.75 edition. I've been a subscriber to the Pathfinder adventure paths so far, and really do like the content and quality so far.

I also love the DCC line, too. The plots, maps, and encounters are easy to port into Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, and the other game of choice for me to run would be Castles & Crusades - so they'll be collectible AND useful for me for many years to come... now just gotta finish off the collection!

  

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Post Posted: Tue May 13, 2008 12:05 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:Or he could simply set up an independant company to put out 4E D&D modules. So you have 'Goodman Games 4E' as an independant entity, or something completely unassociated... 'Twisted Pickle Publishing' perhaps. No reason why he could not own and run both. No conflict or interest either. Probably cost him a few hundred dollars in paperwork and he's good to go. End of problem.


ummnnnnn   yup..........
Hire a coporate lawyer to do the legal mumbo jumbo paperwork and to check the legalities with the wicked witches lawyers at WotCo and go fer it........


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Post Posted: Tue May 13, 2008 1:06 am 
 

You see...the thing is...these are supposed to be Dungeon Crawl Classics.

So, what you got when you bought one was a pretty straightforward old school hack and slash in a well-considered setting.

The artwork was a tip-off that you could expect old school material inside.  The whole point was that you could expect 1st edition action with the higher tech approach of 3.5.

It was classic.  Classic.

The new covers...and three modules in a row by the same author intended for first level characters...(?)...they are not classic.

The new covers indicate a change of heart by Goodman.  There is no other way to interpret it.    They indicate a change of market.

If Step One is to dump the established market...then...mission accomplished...?  

Goodman has traditionally been a smart company.  I can only conclude they are reacting to something I cannot see.

Paizo is looking more and more like the company most likely to emerge as the new leader of the RPG genre...with the Pathfinder RPG as the lead game.

I really do hope WOTC gets its game together.  They seem to be making decisions out of fear...reacting to the market rather than trying to lead it...and that is not good.


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Post Posted: Tue May 13, 2008 3:19 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:The new covers...and three modules in a row by the same author intended for first level characters...(?)...they are not classic.

The new covers indicate a change of heart by Goodman.  There is no other way to interpret it.    They indicate a change of market.

If Step One is to dump the established market...then...mission accomplished...?  

Goodman has traditionally been a smart company.  I can only conclude they are reacting to something I cannot see.

Paizo is looking more and more like the company most likely to emerge as the new leader of the RPG genre...with the Pathfinder RPG as the lead game.

I really do hope WOTC gets its game together.  They seem to be making decisions out of fear...reacting to the market rather than trying to lead it...and that is not good.


Goodman and the rest were presented with the "Either/Or" dilemma.  Goodman Games has just decided that it's way lies with 4E, not making old school grognards happy with retro covers and nostalgic dungeon crawls. They basically have a fork in the road, and they've chosen one direction. Whether it leads to success or failure for them waits to be seen.

And honestly, Goodman games has done a lot right, but I sometimes get the impression they rather stumbled on their present course instead of careful planning, and hit the motherlode with the nostalgia crowd. I have the feeling they have never really embraced the entire "old school" philosophy whole heartedly, and sometimes appear confused that the entire line was so successful. Remember the Gencon 2006 fiasco where they thought printing 70 copies of a 1st edtiion revamp of one of their modules was going to lead to them taking dozens back home after the convention???  Perhaps they settled on making simplistic type dungeons, and using classic old style illustrators like Otus, Roslof and Dee, because they were CHEAP, and didn't cost much to publish? Wasn't at one time Otus getting like $200 a module cover???  Anyone looking inside a DCC module has noticed the way, way below subpar interior artwork by no names. Perhaps the entire DCCC line was a fluke that somehow flourished, and Goodman and company figure 4E is a chance to "retire" that style and do it up "right" like a "real" game company would.

I'm entirely speculating here so I may be way, way off. However, the entire LOOK of the new Goodman modules is such a shock, and so off what they have done previously, I'm grasping for any explanation that might make sense..... 8O

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Post Posted: Tue May 13, 2008 3:24 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:Paizo is looking more and more like the company most likely to emerge as the new leader of the RPG genre...with the Pathfinder RPG as the lead game.

I really do hope WOTC gets its game together.  They seem to be making decisions out of fear...reacting to the market rather than trying to lead it...and that is not good.


Oh, forgot to comment on this.  The Pathfinder series, while not the game I play, looks REALLY nice. I came upon the first book in the series and got it cheap; a good read. And I'm still meaning to buy the Wolfgang Baur Stone Giant adventure he wrote for the series (love anything Baur does!).   

I find myself really rooting for them; if they play their cards right, and don't screw it up, the Paizo Pathfinder series and gaming system might be a real winner for them.  At this point I'm going to support them just to spite WOTC and their Machiavellian machinations....

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Post Posted: Tue May 13, 2008 12:34 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:At this point I'm going to support them just to spite WOTC and their Machiavellian machinations....
Mike B.


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Post Posted: Tue May 13, 2008 4:48 pm 
 

benjoshua wrote:
Mike makes more marvelous musings 'midst misadventuring mistakes. My my!  :P


:roll:  :lol:

Oh and it was 60 of those GenCon DCCs and forgot the number of the 2nd print run they did for that after the hoopla.

I'm not going to judge a module by the cover though..so shall check these out.

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Post Posted: Wed May 14, 2008 3:23 am 
 

Hi guys,

I don't post a lot here, as you regulars can attest, but I do kind of peek my nose in to see what the vibe is from time to time.  
I think you know that I am a straight shooter with my posts and that I don't spin information to make it more favorable.  

Badmike wrote:<<snip>>
And honestly, Goodman games has done a lot right...I have the feeling they have never really embraced the entire "old school" philosophy whole heartedly...

<<separations added for emphasis>>

Remember the Gencon 2006 fiasco where they thought printing 70 copies of a 1st edtiion revamp of one of their modules was going to lead to them taking dozens back home after the convention???  


Perhaps they settled on making simplistic type dungeons, and using classic old style illustrators like Otus, Roslof and Dee, because they were CHEAP, and didn't cost much to publish? Wasn't at one time Otus getting like $200 a module cover???  Anyone looking inside a DCC module has noticed the way, way below subpar interior artwork by no names.

<<snip>>

I'm entirely speculating here so I may be way, way off. However, the entire LOOK of the new Goodman modules is such a shock, and so off what they have done previously, I'm grasping for any explanation that might make sense.....

Mike B.



I also think that Goodman Games has done a lot of things right, even given the context of this forum.  But their business, their DCC product line, has always been about putting out adventures that are going to get played, first and foremost.  The collecting of the DCC's happened because there was some attraction to the product, the print runs were fairly small, the prices were affordable, whatever the reason.  But my point is that Goodman Games' core business was producing DCC's for gamers that wanted to play them, not just collect them.  

I also think that their 'embracing the entire "old school" philosophy whole heartedly' was less than full and complete.  There were certainly examples in the DCC line that were more old school in flavor and philosophy than others, but when you opened them up, they were often populated with monsters and NPC combos that smacked of new school design sensibilities.  And the focus on encounter level and proper balance for the 3.5 gaming crowd is decidedly not old school in design philosophy.

Now don't get me wrong - I'm not turning my back on Goodman Games or the DCC line.  Ha - not hardly!  But I do think a lot more could have been done as the DCC product line rolled out over the last 3 or 4 years to have more fully embraced the entire "old school" philosophy.  But, who knows if the product line would have been as successful as it was had that been done.  

****
Hasen't the bad 2006 Gen Con experience with the very limited print run of the 1E Iron Crypt of the Heretics been exercised with the second printing of that very same 1E conversion adventure and the very well done Saga of the Witch Queen that was released at Gen Con 2007?   :)

I know that my opinion may be viewed as biased, since I was involved in the release of both of those DCC conversions.  Heck, I am biased.   :roll:
But really, can't the Iron Crypt hatchet be burried?   :wink:

****
I'm pretty sure that Erol Otis isn't getting $200 for cover illos in this day and age.   :roll:   Not sure about the others, though.  

I truly think that the price point and the underlying cost factors were a  intentional design decision made by Goodman Games.  Not because they were too cheap to do something different, but because the goal was to publish more modular, cost-effective adventures than WotC was turning out in the 3.0 and then 3.5 eras.  Of course, that is purely my speculation - I don't have any inside skinny on what Joesph decides.  

****

Yeah, I agree with you that the look of the new DCCs is decidedly different than the DCCs released to date.  I'm not too crazy about it myself.  But to borrow a quote from a favorite old movie:

"Now now Mr. Scott, young minds, fresh ideas" (or some such)
-- James T Kirk

Funny thing is though, no one knows what new game stuff will be selling a year from now and what won't be selling.  For companies like Goodman Games, it's a really big guessing game at this point.



  

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Post Posted: Wed May 14, 2008 9:46 am 
 

tacojohn4547 wrote:Hi guys,

I don't post a lot here, as you regulars can attest, but I do kind of peek my nose in to see what the vibe is from time to time.  
I think you know that I am a straight shooter with my posts and that I don't spin information to make it more favorable.  


Always enjoy the insight of your posts, John!!!


I also think that Goodman Games has done a lot of things right, even given the context of this forum.  But their business, their DCC product line, has always been about putting out adventures that are going to get played, first and foremost.  The collecting of the DCC's happened because there was some attraction to the product, the print runs were fairly small, the prices were affordable, whatever the reason.  But my point is that Goodman Games' core business was producing DCC's for gamers that wanted to play them, not just collect them.
 

I agree. Certainly people like myself are a very, very niche part of their customer base, people who basically buy and collect the product for it's old school look and tone.

I also think that their 'embracing the entire "old school" philosophy whole heartedly' was less than full and complete.  There were certainly examples in the DCC line that were more old school in flavor and philosophy than others, but when you opened them up, they were often populated with monsters and NPC combos that smacked of new school design sensibilities.  And the focus on encounter level and proper balance for the 3.5 gaming crowd is decidedly not old school in design philosophy.


I agree.  But I noticed that in contrast to a lot of 3E stuff on the market, Goodman games items were much easier to convert to a old school format (1st or 2nd ed) than, say, a Necromancer product.  Mostly because their adventures were usually pretty basica and linear and didn't go in for a lot of bells and whistles.  

Now don't get me wrong - I'm not turning my back on Goodman Games or the DCC line.  Ha - not hardly!  But I do think a lot more could have been done as the DCC product line rolled out over the last 3 or 4 years to have more fully embraced the entire "old school" philosophy.  But, who knows if the product line would have been as successful as it was had that been done.  


I honestly think it would have been MORE successful.  You can't convince me that small side printings of, say, DCC's #1-#8 in 1st edition format wouldn't have completely sold out. Yes, completely sold out.  I don't think we are talking full scale changeover, just a wink and a nod to the old school gamer that is still out there and has PLENTY of money in their "old age" to indulge themselves.  Goodman games was in a unique position in the 3E market to benefit, with their use of Otus, Dee and Roslof as artists, and their basic philosophy, and I feel they may look into the past and realize they did drop the ball on inticing this segment of gaming to spend more money on their product.

Hasen't the bad 2006 Gen Con experience with the very limited print run of the 1E Iron Crypt of the Heretics been exercised with the second printing of that very same 1E conversion adventure and the very well done Saga of the Witch Queen that was released at Gen Con 2007?   :)

I know that my opinion may be viewed as biased, since I was involved in the release of both of those DCC conversions.  Heck, I am biased.   :roll:
But really, can't the Iron Crypt hatchet be burried?   :wink:


I don't have any negatives with that, since Goodman did the right thing (by printing copies of the item later).  But I do use that entire experience as an example of how Goodman simply had no clue what kind of market there was out there and no idea how to reach it, despite having all the pieces in place to do so. And I'm biased also  :wink:   But my bias is that I want to see more specific old school items out there, and I think Goodman was in a prime position to do so, and even profit from it.

I'm pretty sure that Erol Otis isn't getting $200 for cover illos in this day and age.   :roll:   Not sure about the others, though.  


I know Otus wasn't getting much more than that when he started, because it was discussed on an earlier thread.  $400?  $500? Whatever the amount I remember thinking it was awfully puny, since I had Roslof do a drawing for me for about the same amount.  The point was that Goodman wasn't just using old school artists because guys like me love the nostalgia, he was doing it because the old guys were CHEAP.

I truly think that the price point and the underlying cost factors were a  intentional design decision made by Goodman Games.  Not because they were too cheap to do something different, but because the goal was to publish more modular, cost-effective adventures than WotC was turning out in the 3.0 and then 3.5 eras.  Of course, that is purely my speculation - I don't have any inside skinny on what Joesph decides.  


I think you are right.  And I think it really worked for them.

Yeah, I agree with you that the look of the new DCCs is decidedly different than the DCCs released to date.  I'm not too crazy about it myself.  But to borrow a quote from a favorite old movie:

"Now now Mr. Scott, young minds, fresh ideas" (or some such)
-- James T Kirk

Funny thing is though, no one knows what new game stuff will be selling a year from now and what won't be selling.  For companies like Goodman Games, it's a really big guessing game at this point.


As I speculated, I think Goodman Games are taking a leap on this one and throwing behind whole heartedly into 4E. They have decided the way to go is newer, faster, more modern, etc.  What can you say they are now just like 90% of companies out there putting out stuff and trying to catch that elusive "younger" market.  My disappointment comes when I see thousands of potential money makers called "old school gamers" who are once again overlooked in favor of a quick fast buck.  I realize it's just the way of business, but who are the ones out there spending thousands of dollars for Tamos or Ghost Towers or Fazzlewoods or Bottle Citys? There is definitely a niche market out there ripe to be exploited, and it could make some smaller publisher (like Goodman) a nice tidy pile of money.  

IMO, Goodman was really the only company out there (besides Kenzer, who so half-assed the entire Hackmaster concept they made Goodman Games look positively committed) that stood to benefit from this segment of gamers.  It's too bad they never embraced the old school philosophy just a bit harder.  I do complement them for stuff like the 1st edition Iron Crypt and Saga of the Witch Queen; that's two more 1st edition modules than WOTC has managed to give us since the changeover!

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Post Posted: Wed May 14, 2008 11:05 am 
 

Not bashing Goodman Games....no no no!

Just sad about what the new DCC covers say about Goodman, the market and myself as a customer.

I don't think anyone is bashing Goodman anymore about the GenCon special edition mixup.  It was just a good example of midjudging the market...so it gets brought up over and over.

I don't think it is accurate to say that Goodman is jumping into 4th edition whole hog.  They have a game called Eldritch they are trying to launch.

It is difficult, at this point, to estimate the potential for Eldritch, or how it might play.  So far my analysis is that the artwork supporting the game is inadequate and the price is double what it should be.  (There is a subtle difference between "unprofessional" or "classic" art and "bad" art.  The concept art for Eldritch is bad.)  The price point is important because it is important to get players to try out a game.


"But I have watched the dragons come, fire-eyed, across the world."

  


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Post Posted: Wed May 14, 2008 12:24 pm 
 

Cool beans, guys.  Thanks for keeping the welcome mat out and the porchlight on for me.  :)  

BTW, I don't know how many of the regulars here visit the Goodman Games boards or how frequently you may visit Joseph's site, but there are a couple of threads in the DCC forum that hint at a 'new' product that will be of interest to the Acaeum community.  Pieceing together the two seemingly unrelated threads would take a bit of detective work, unless of course one was privy to more details than what scant detail has been posted. ;)

Linky #1 (look for the thread etitled Campaign Report: DCC#1 Rat King):
http://www.goodman-games.com/forum.htm

Linky #2 (look for the thread entitled Time for a new C&C DCC):
http://www.goodman-games.com/forum.htm



  


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Post Posted: Wed May 14, 2008 4:30 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:Quote:
 I'm pretty sure that Erol Otis isn't getting $200 for cover illos in this day and age.      Not sure about the others, though.  

I know Otus wasn't getting much more than that when he started, because it was discussed on an earlier thread.  $400?  $500? Whatever the amount I remember thinking it was awfully puny, since I had Roslof do a drawing for me for about the same amount.  The point was that Goodman wasn't just using old school artists because guys like me love the nostalgia, he was doing it because the old guys were CHEAP.

I don't know how much Otus was or is getting payed, but I can offer some insight on how much IS payed. Not much. I was offered $200 to do the cover of The Temple of the Frog for Zeitgeist Games in 2006. I couldn't imagine Otus getting more than $500 today for a cover. Small press just doesn't have lots of money to spend. Though I think $500 is pretty good for 10 to 20 hours of work.

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