Friday, December 30, 2022

How to Publish Your RPG

 If you ever plan to publish a print copy of an RPG, Indie Press Revolution has some tips for you.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

New Years Eve

 As usual , we will stay open for board and card gaming until midnight on New Year's Eve. We will have pie and the makings for ham and cheese sandwiches.We are running a Shadowrun game from 5:30 to 8:30 but the spots for it are all filled.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Pokemon Trades

 Due to the number of fakes floating around in the market, we are going to pass on taking in trades on an Pokemon cards that list for over $100. We do not have the market for them and do not want to spend the time and energy to make sure they are  not fake.

Monday, December 26, 2022

4 Reasons we Generally do Not Back Kickstarters

 While not as hot as it was about a year ago, Kickstarter is still used by a lot of independent companies in the gaming industry, primarily independent and small press publishers, to publish new releases.  Top tier publishers, such as Paizo, WOTC, Fantasy Flight, Konami, Bushyroad, etc., don't use Kickstarter or other crowdfunding sites to crowdfund new releases as their current cashflow is strong enough to not need to do so.  A number of these projects offer retailer levels designed to allow/entice retailers to participate in the Kickstarter, generally by offering multiple copies of the game at a discount from the planned MSRP, along with any stretch level goals.  Last year, Reaper Miniatures ran an incredibly successful Kickstarter with Vampire levels for consumers and Undertaker levels for stores.  We, and a lot of other stores, bought into that project, but for us, it was the exception, rather than the rule.  Here’s why:

1)  Crowded marketplace.  When I checked earlier today, there are 386 game projects listed on Kickstarter alone. While we have a strong customer base here, there is no way we, or most stores for that matter, have the market to absorb that quantity of new releases, must of which will fund in the next 30 days but not arrive for six months to a year after the backing period ends.  This leads to #2.

2)  Cash flow.  Just like publishers, retailers struggle with cash flow as well.  In the publisher's case, however,  they get the the money up front and they spend it to produce the product.  In the retailer’s case, if we fund a product, we front the money now, tying it up for several months until the product ships, removing cash from our accounts for six months or better, until we, and everyone else receive it, leading to #3.

3)  Lateness.  There is a better than average chance that the publisher will not meet their projected shipping date.  An analysis by Ethan Mollick of the Wharton School of Business of over 48,000 Kickstarter funded projects  found that over 75% of  publishers missed their release dates.  To cite one example, Steve Jackson Games, which has a great track record of meeting release dates for their Munchkin game and other non-Kickstarter releases, used Kickstarter to fund a designer's edition of Ogre. Funding for this ended in May of 2102, with a projected release date of November 2012.  It is now September 2013 and the 5500+ backers still have not received Ogre.   Lateness may work for consumers who have a passion for the project and will wait.  Stores don’t have that level of flexibility given the number of product we stock.   In a way, this leads to #4.

4)  Market saturation.  Aldo Ghiozzi of Impressions Game Distribution Services, who has worked with small press game publishers for a number of years, is one of the most knowledgeable people I know regarding the field of independent gaming distribution.  According to Ghiozzi, the average RPG release, either via Kickstarter or through distribution, will sell between 150-250 copies ( A year ago or so, Kickstarter had a halo effect whereby RPGs published through it might sell up to double the amount they would if sold straight into distribution.  This effect appears to have subsided though) with maybe another hundred sold direct through the company's website or at conventions.  A  boardgame from an independent publisher will sell about 600 to 700 copies, 1000 or more copies only if a runaway success pulling in over $300,000.  Ergo, if a company's RPG Kickstarter pulls 300 backers or a boardgame does 600, that pretty much saturates the expected market for that particular product.  Only in those few rare cases (Cards Against Humanity, FATE, 13th Age), could a store expect to sell more than the publisher already has.

5)  Discount.  In order to survive, retailers have to sell products for more than we pay for them. In order to justify buying a Kickstarter project for the shelf, we need to buy it at a deeper discount that offered to purchasers of a single copy.  Most Kickstarter creators, understandably cannot or will not do this, both to avoid annoying those backers paying full price and because to do so would cause them to lose money on the project, neither outcome desirable.

Friday, December 23, 2022

D&D Movie

 I see the newest D&D movie is scheduled to come out in March. I expect it to do OK the first weekend but then have a drastic falloff in attedance after that becuase, How do you make a D&D movie. D&D is   a  set of rules. This is the same problem Hasbro had when it greenlit a Battleship moive. Battleship is a game, there is no emotional involvement. You can make a My Little Pony or Transformers movie as you have characters that you can build a story around. You cannot build a story around a  set of rules.

Thursday, December 22, 2022


 Although we are open regular hours today, there will be no "Gaming with Gary" tonight due to the weather. Have not heard yet if the DM will show for Dungeons and Dragons.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Art Spiegelman

 Art Spiegelman, best known as the author of Maus, was interviewed about it and his other works on today's Morning edition. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

AD&D 2E Decks

 One of the more useful items TSR came out with for 2nd edtion AD&D were the boxes of cards for the various spell using classes. As the number of spells grew, it became handy for the plaeyrs to have cards listing the individual spells, componests, casting requirements (Though most people ignored them). If I remember correctly, TSR released 4 decks, one for wizards, one for clerics, one with magic items and one with psionic powers, likely the least used of the card sets. Strangely, despite demand, the company never did yelease a Deck of Many Things, save as an insert in an issue of either Dungeon or Dragon magazine.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Darkwing Duck

A letter from the writer of the new launch of Darkwing Duck:

I am the terror that flaps in the night!

I am the scribe who pulverizes puns!

I am the writer who dares to tackle your childhood nostalgia and bring it forth for you to share it with a new generation!

I am writing Darkwing Duck!

I’m so excited to have been asked to take on The Masked Mallard, especially with such GORGEOUS art by Carlo Lauro and I’m even more excited to share it with you. I was a child of the 1990s who watched the Darkwing Duck television series with my little sisters. The humor and the action had me hooked then and continue to hook me now. As a writer who has been lucky enough to write many of the Big Caped Crusaders in my comics career, this opportunity to poke LOVING fun at the genre with a character who takes it as seriously as the brooding-est of vigilantes was too delicious to resist.

As I said, I grew up with Darkwing in the 1990s and now, like Drake Mallard, I’m a parent myself and have to grapple (pun intended) with my superhero life and my life as a mom. This is a part of Darkwing that I wanted to explore more as I delved into this arc: Darkwing Duck as caped crusader AND dad. Gosalyn is as brilliant and feisty as they come, a combo that is every parent’s simultaneous dream and nightmare. The potential for fun and antics are ENDLESS!

This series is a perfect way to introduce a new generation to the character we all know and love while also keeping true to the essence of what we, the founding generation of St. Canard have always known and loved. I can promise you will see many of your favorite villains from Magavolt to Bushroot along with beloved sidekick, Launchpad and pillar of the community Herb Muddlefoot. And for you goth romantics out there, yes, Morgana Macawber still has Darkwing’s heart clutched in her cold, pale hands.

Join me for what I can promise will be a lot of laughs, a lot of action, and even a few inside jokes just for us. I may not have the ego of Darkwing - but I am confident you’ll have a great time!

Let’s get dangerous!
Amanda Deibert

Wednesday, December 7, 2022


 For those of you who like fast moving games and dice games. Suitable for 1 to 6 players, each player pulls a set of cards with different alignments of dice on them. The object is to roll dice, attempting to mach the numbers and patterns rolled with the alignment on the card. Matching a card clears it from the set in front of the player. The players have to remove all of the cards within 10 minutes in order to defuse the bomb. 

The game does have a phone app that provides a snarky timer with sound effects, but the game does not need the timer in order play. Great replay value and a great little game at $29.99