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Author Topic: Publishing advice for a campaign setting  (Read 178 times)

Jsykes

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Publishing advice for a campaign setting
« on: September 04, 2020, 06:36:22 AM »
My daughter and I have been playing a game called Delvers in the Underchasm in our “Little Known World “ for a while now and we have generated a lot of Lore. We have a continent with a fully developed major city and many small towns and villages. We have tons of NPC’s and an extensive rogues gallery. There are ruins, an enchanted forest and, of course, a deep dungeon to delve. We have also come up with a history of the Little Known World. Our world is a traditional RPG fantasy setting. We feel our setting is unique because it is filled with lots of humor. It is specifically designed for Delvers of the Underchasm. Many of the races and organizations come directly from the rules. Our setting has a strong emphasis on role-playing as all rules-lite games should.

We would like to share our Lore on DriveThru RPG, to give Delvers of the Underchasm some support, but we are having a hard time figuring out where to start and how to divide it up. Do we write a sourcebook covering the whole setting? Do we write up the city, the forest, the dungeon, etc. as stand alones? or do we write adventures and slowly introduce the Little Known World from there?

We were wondering if you could give us some guidance based on your experience as a game designer.

I have been playing RPG’s since the late ‘70’s and I introduced my daughter to them when she was in elementary school. I have never tried my hand at writing this kind of material before but both of us have a lot of experience writing in other fields. I am a teacher and my daughter is in theater; writing and directing children’s plays.

If you have a minute could you please give us some advice?

Anthony Pacheco

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Re: Publishing advice for a campaign setting
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2020, 07:36:38 PM »
Good question. And I wished I asked this last year.

Campaign settings are a tough sell without an audience right now. So, build an audience.

1) Create a newsletter. Start gathering names

2) Form a brand

3) Release modules under your brand, either out of pocket or crowdfund. They should be small, like 32 pages at the max. Make them modular, but include information for running in your campaign setting

4) Keep building your newsletter

5) When your newsletter has 2,000 names, you can successfully crowdfund a campaign setting under the brand you made in step 2

Make sense?
Our modular adventure brand: Tales of Lothmar

Shop hard fantasy for 5E and Pathfindfer: Griffon Lore Games

Jsykes

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Re: Publishing advice for a campaign setting
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2020, 06:40:55 AM »
Thanks for the response and the links Anthony!


I have a starting place now and that’s what I was looking for.


Do you have any suggestions on how to collect email addresses for my newsletter to create a fan base?


Also, do you have a newsletter I can subscribe to?

Anthony Pacheco

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Re: Publishing advice for a campaign setting
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2020, 06:36:30 PM »
So let me back up for a bit (beep, beep, beep, beep).

The idea is to organically add to the newsletter list. So, the newsletter list is an amalgamation of:
  • People who sign up to your list directly
  • Your website customers who "opt-in" to email
  • People who manually sign up at a convention (to get a freebie)
These are all "opt-in" folks.

Then you have a customer segment that, due to privacy rules, you can't email unless it pertains to their tasks on why they're on that list, to begin with. So that is:
  • Your crowdfund customers
  • DriveThru RPG customers
  • Social Media followers
  • YouTube subscribers
In the game of "what's the best list," that would-be customers, so technically, you could have 1,000 customers on your newsletter and 1,000 customers in various other places, and that's good enough. But you still want those people on your newsletter list because that list and your website are the only things you have direct control over. The Twitter/Facebook/Google+ era of collecting interested customers is over.

To answer your question, the best way to organically (i.e., email names not paid for) grow your email list is to produce content consistently. For example, RPG Pundit. He delivers books regularly, does live-streaming, has a popular forum, has a YouTube channel, etc. He's achieved "critical mass" via content production and has an extensive blacklist. He doesn't need a newsletter (and if he has one, I'm not on it). So, when I'm beating the newsletter drum, I'm hitting the Content Creation Drum, in which a modern (2020) newsletter is a way to put some math around your brand. You could skip it for YouTube, or use YouTube and a newsletter, etc. But 2,000 opt-in peeps on a newsletter is a great crowdfund pool of backers. And the way to get THAT is to have a catalog of products. And the way to get THAT is to focus on small projects.

ANYWAY, I am redoing our newsletter signup page for both our websites. Once I have the new links, I will reply here.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2020, 09:59:39 PM by Anthony Pacheco »
Our modular adventure brand: Tales of Lothmar

Shop hard fantasy for 5E and Pathfindfer: Griffon Lore Games

Anthony Pacheco

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Re: Publishing advice for a campaign setting
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2020, 07:09:10 PM »
Also, do you have a newsletter I can subscribe to?

I've added a signup form at the bottom of every page (including the home page) at https://www.griffonloregames.com.

Thanks!
Our modular adventure brand: Tales of Lothmar

Shop hard fantasy for 5E and Pathfindfer: Griffon Lore Games

Jsykes

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Re: Publishing advice for a campaign setting
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2020, 08:56:42 PM »
Thanks Anthony! I’m putting the finishing touches on some modules right now to start my brand. With your advice I have some direction.

Nobby-W

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Re: Publishing advice for a campaign setting
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2020, 11:08:02 AM »
I think there's something to be said for drip-feeding your setting across a series of adventure modules, rather than trying to publish a big book of lore.  It's likely to be more interesting as lore filled in as background to the adventure rather than just a big brain dump.  Also, I think that if you publish it bit-by-bit, folks are going to see hints of a wider world, and it will leave them hungry for more to a greater or lesser extent.



My imaginary component makes my complex.  This also means I'm allowed to eat quiche.

Jsykes

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Re: Publishing advice for a campaign setting
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2020, 01:06:40 PM »
Thanks Nobby-W. I have something to go on now and I’m really psyched about it!