Featured Commandos

This might be a little too “inside baseball” for many, but bear with me.

One Book Shelf owns both Drive-Thru RPG and RPG Now – the two primary sources of RPG e-product. As a publisher, one gets a certain number of “Publisher Promotion Points” based (I believe) on one’s sales. One can spend PPP on various services, one of which is the Feature Product Message which is a kind of in-site advertisement.

I ran a message for Starship Commandos on its release. It has cycled through all its impressions on both the front page/homepage and the category page. The click-through rates were very interesting.

The Drive-Thru RPG homepage click-through percentage was 68.28%, while the same on RPG Now was 0.32%. That’s a pretty stark difference and I have no idea what it means, but it surely means something. Here’s the thing: category pages were also starkly different from the DTRPG homepage. The category page at DTRPG had a 0.24% click-through while the same at RPG Now had one of 0.08%.

Again, I have no idea how to interpret this, but that click-through at DTRPG is insane. I don’t know how many sales come from which source, however no matter where the sales are coming from the turnover is a bit sad – of the 1,719 clicks I’ve only sold 23.

So, am I doing one thing right and another thing wrong? Some kind of gremlin in the reporting system? Complete anomaly that means nothing?

I haven’t a clue . . . which is part of my problem as I try to sell stuff. I’m about as good at marketing as I am at water polo (hint: I don’t play water polo).

Starship Commandos at Drive-Thru RPG (where it’s most popular!)

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Updating the Sword’s Edge

So much time with so little said, but that is because I have been working.

Honest.

With the start of a new course right around the corner, I haven’t wasted the two months I took off from my MA program. Starship Commandos is right around the corner and a few months after that will be an updated version of the Sword’s Edge System, now just titled Sword’s Edge RPG. I had started to update Sword Noir and then realized I really should update the core before I did the variants. Sword’s Edge is the core of both Sword Noir and Kiss My Axe, so they will be updated after Sword’s Edge is out. Since I will be studying at the time, that work will go slower, but it will get done.

For now, I have a cover for Sword’s Edge and soon will have a first draft version that will be shared around to a preview audience.

I have been quiet here, but busy elsewhere.

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Designated Marksman for Starship Commandos

Starship Commandos should be out soon. It is in the final stages of layout right now. It’s going to be 6X9 or digest size. Right now, we’re looking at 47 pages, which means it may be possible to put out a very thin book. I have to look at the cost per copy to see what the price might be, but the PDF will be out first.

image by algol

To give you an idea, here’s the character that’s presented in the book. It’s different than what has been presented before because the game uses the mechanics from Riggers. The way Riggers runs is pretty much perfect for Starship Commandos.

So here is Sgt. Sara Cooper, the designated marksman for the 121 Marine Special Armour and Tactics squad.

Sgt. Cara Cooper, Designated Marksman

Concept
Scout d8

Traits
Physical d10; Mental d12; Social d20

Training
Stealth d8, Awareness d10, Marksmanship d10, Athletics d12, Survival d12, Tracking d12

Harness
J25S Long-Range Reconnaissance
Stealth d6; Long-Range Sensors d8; Indirect Fire Support d10

Flaws
Disconnected, Unconventional

Pivot
Never the Innocent (Cooper will not target non-combatants, Ever)

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Gen Con Tips

I always collect a bunch of tips in my Gen Con posts, but then forget about them by the time Gen Con comes around. Here, I’m going to collect the tips and publish it on the Monday before Gen Con 2016. See, I’m writing the intro paragraph on Thursday, 6 Aug 2015 as I begin working on my Gen Con 2015 roundup. Planning!

For your arrival at Gen Con reserve space on Go Express (the $10 ride from Airport to hotels) in advance. The flights in on the day before the con are all looking to use the bus, and people with reservations were given priority. Do it on the website, though there is a small desk at the ground transportation centre (ground floor) that services Go Express as well as some other shuttles and the representative there might be able to help.

The Go Express shuttle service

There’s a food place under the escalators at the Indianapolis Convention Center which I believe is “Crossroads” that has an area to sit and WiFi. A couple of times I grabbed a single slice of pizza and checked my email there. If your hotel doesn’t have WiFi, this place is a saviour. It has been for me a few times.

Convention Center Floor Plans

Gen Con 2015 was the first time I heard about the Quiet Room, a place to just go and decompress for a little bit. It’s a great idea, and there were people napping, reading, or just sitting with their eyes closed and enjoying being out of the crowds and noise. It’s okay for babies if they are quiet, but in general, if the baby is being fussy, the monitors would ask the parent to please take the child elsewhere. There are other childcare facilities in the convention centre, and the quiet room was not for that purpose. If you need a place to chill, check the program for the location of the quiet room and take advantage of it.

 

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Sword Noir Rising

This weekend I’ve had a couple of moments in between preparing for a move in early August. It’s mostly been in the morning along with my coffee, so it’s been pretty productive. At this point, I’ve completed updating the mechanics section in Sword Noir, and I’m delving into the GM section. This will give me a chance to discuss explicitly the sharing of narrative control I use in my games. I was much more clear in Kiss My Axe about how I run Sword’s Edge System – as it became known – and this will give me a chance to do so in Sword Noir.

by Ed Northcott

I am also thinking about removing Everthorn as part of the core book and publish it separately along with the different adventures written for it – the intro adventure in Sword Noir, the Kheufer Scrolls, and Crossing the Millers. Given how abstract Sword Noir is, the setting and series of adventures might sell better separately. It wouldn’t be system neutral, but I think it could be an excellent resource for any RPG.

This won’t be appearing any time soon, because I believe that very soon my quiet moments are going to be fewer and farther between. That said, I’ve finished a freelance assignment, have put Starship Commandos in for layout, and am updating Sword Noir, so I’ve been pretty productive on my break from my MA program.

On a side note, updating Sword Noir has reminded me that I actually really like the system. I think I’m going to get back into running it after leaving it for about five years.

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Christmas in July

SEP is participating in DTRPG/RPG Now’s “Christmas in July” sale, so my PDF RPG products are available at 25% off. If you have been thinking about grabbing something, now might be the time.

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Ottawa Game Publishers Podcast

Three other local designers and I were sitting down for drinks and it all got recorded. We’re going to see if there is interest in yet another podcast, this time about game design and publishing. The first episode is available on the Accidental Survivors feed. If this turns out to be fun or there is some actual interest in this, it might become a regular occurrence and then it’ll find it’s own home. For now, since the Accidental Survivors have kind of folded, it seemed like an okay idea to release it there.

You can find the episode here.

Lots of Accidental Survivors episodes here.

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