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Pen & Paper Roleplaying Central => Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion => Topic started by: Thondor on January 10, 2021, 06:37:05 PM

Title: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Thondor on January 10, 2021, 06:37:05 PM
Some folks here may know that I run a small indie RPG marketplace. I also have an enduring affection for FLGS. My masters thesis involve visiting just over 50 game and comic stores in the Greater Toronto Area.

A lot of Canadian retailers are again under lockdowns, so for all of January, 20% all sales (both Print&PDF, and PDF only) from the CDG Marketplace (https://composedreamgames.com/marketplace) go to support a Canadian FLGS of the customers choosing on checkout. If no particular store is selected then it is distributed among retailers who have purchased from us in the past.
 
I hope some of you will use this to support your FLGS, and if you aren’t in Canada (which is most of you I am sure), that you come up with your own innovative ways to support your local store. I’d love to hear about what you are doing.

If you happen to be a publisher, and you are interested in getting you titles up on the CDG Marketplace,  please get in touch! We expect to have numerous titles added throughout the month.

I just added The Halls of Arden Vul (https://composedreamgames.com/marketplace/arden-vul), at close to 1200 pages, it is likely the largest OSR megadungeon ever created!

I’d appreciate your thoughts, and questions! I'd be happy to talk about the titles available and any other relevant matters.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: JeffB on January 10, 2021, 08:54:09 PM
Yeah.....This came up on DF forums awhile back. I'm not a big fan of the vast majority of LGS I've experienced.

(what I posted over there)

Quote from: JeffB
Haven't had a decent LGS around for 20+ years.

One had a good selection but owner and I had some words after an incident in his store with his pets going after my at the time infant child . Owner was not too happy when I told him I'd be punting his pets like a football if anything happened (child was nowhere near the pets and in an infant carrier and about 6 months old, so it' not like the child egged them on).

A few have been comic stores masquerading as a game store- Pokemon, MTG etc.

One place had every book shrink-wrapped as soon as it came in the store. No way to look through a book to see if it's something you'd want. Asking the owner to open something up in order to see if I wanted to buy it was met with alot of passive aggressive comments.

A couple were just typical gamer funk smells and customers/workers who made you feel uncomfortable with their awkwardness the minute you walked into the store. God forbid I bring in my girlfriend/wife with me on those trips.

Had one place left to be run by young people who were too busy playing MTG or Warhammer 40K with their friends in the store to get up and check you out.

I have no sympathies for most of these places (or any other poorly run retail business) I've been glad to/hope to see these types of establishments go. Most of them are run by hobbyists who have no business acumen whatsoever. Why the hell would I pay full retail for bad service, and other "unpleasant features".

One cool place about 2 hours way from me- I go there when we head to the shore/beach in summertime. That's it.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: JeffB on January 10, 2021, 08:58:32 PM
I should add, In nearly every way, my  family prefers to shop local small business, as I grew up working in my family business.  Especially with the plandemic and so many local businesses hurting.  Gaming books are the only purchases I make online exclusively.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Philotomy Jurament on January 10, 2021, 09:04:27 PM
I'm fully behind supporting small and local businesses. Unfortunately, today's local games stores simply don't offer much that I'm interested in. The exception to that is board games, but all the game stores around me are dominated by RPGs I'm not interested in, comics (which I'm not interested in), collectible card games (which I'm not interested in), and games like WH40K (while I enjoy miniatures wargaming, WH40K isn't my preferred genre and it's expensive as hell).

This is probably more "on me" and my tastes than on the game stores. I'm out of step with the general market, and that is what it is. But it means that local game stores don't get much business from me, even though I'm sympathetic to the idea of supporting them.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Ratman_tf on January 10, 2021, 10:07:05 PM
I'd like to sneak in a quick mention for one of my FLGS, which had a fire happen in the building. (Not sure about the details yet)
I'll be tossing them a few bucks, and if anyone here feels like chipping in, it would be greatly appreciated.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/mob-games-fire-fund?utm_campaign=p_lico+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer

https://www.facebook.com/groups/NWwargamers/permalink/3824916200864404
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Semaj Khan on January 10, 2021, 10:27:05 PM
I like my FLGS, which is called Game Goblins. I haven't had a bad experience there yet.

They are well stocked, and if they don't have something you want, it's probably because it's been selling well.

The staff I have met are extremely well versed in the products on the shelves, with helpful advice across the board. They even call me by name whenever I walk in. I like that.

Their main areas seem to be MtG, which they keep behind the counter, WH40K and AoS which is amply represented... other miniature systems are there as well. The RPG section is a little small and is dominated by 5E.

The play area is pretty good sized, and a main attraction for me.

On Sundays, one assistant manager named Chris holds classes teaching various wargames to new players. That's where I learned to play WH40K.

Now, they charge full retail for their books and all are shrink wrapped... some of these books are also in my neighborhood Target and not wrapped, on top of being cheaper. Many of the books are also on Amazon for lower prices. Sometimes I buy at GG, sometimes I buy off of Amazon. It depends.

So yeah, I like my FLGS just fine and recommend it to anyone in the Little Rock area.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Eirikrautha on January 10, 2021, 10:32:25 PM
Yeah.....This came up on DF forums awhile back. I'm not a big fan of the vast majority of LGS I've experienced.

(what I posted over there)

Quote from: JeffB
Haven't had a decent LGS around for 20+ years.

One had a good selection but owner and I had some words after an incident in his store with his pets going after my at the time infant child . Owner was not too happy when I told him I'd be punting his pets like a football if anything happened (child was nowhere near the pets and in an infant carrier and about 6 months old, so it' not like the child egged them on).

A few have been comic stores masquerading as a game store- Pokemon, MTG etc.

One place had every book shrink-wrapped as soon as it came in the store. No way to look through a book to see if it's something you'd want. Asking the owner to open something up in order to see if I wanted to buy it was met with alot of passive aggressive comments.

A couple were just typical gamer funk smells and customers/workers who made you feel uncomfortable with their awkwardness the minute you walked into the store. God forbid I bring in my girlfriend/wife with me on those trips.

Had one place left to be run by young people who were too busy playing MTG or Warhammer 40K with their friends in the store to get up and check you out.

I have no sympathies for most of these places (or any other poorly run retail business) I've been glad to/hope to see these types of establishments go. Most of them are run by hobbyists who have no business acumen whatsoever. Why the hell would I pay full retail for bad service, and other "unpleasant features".

One cool place about 2 hours way from me- I go there when we head to the shore/beach in summertime. That's it.
We had one really good one about 45 minutes from me.  But, while lots of people played there, they didn't buy very much.  So the store closed in 4-5 years.  Every other one around (2-3 on average) for the last two dozen years have been everything that makes the stereotypical RPG community vile (including being ultra-woke), along with mostly surviving on CCGs.  So, yeah... YMMV...
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Thondor on January 10, 2021, 10:36:41 PM
Yeah.....This came up on DF forums awhile back. I'm not a big fan of the vast majority of LGS I've experienced.

(what I posted over there)

There is certainly a wide range of stores; in my thesis I identified some "clusters" of store types: Comic Focussed, Gaming Store, Gift and Games, Miniature Wargame store, The Card Gaming Shop, The Diverse Store, and The Comic Store. This was before board game cafe really took off.

The one's we are really interested in as RPG aficionado's are Gaming Store and the Diverse Store, most other shops have a single shelf of RPG books at best.

LGS do vary in quality. Their are some really fantastic ones out there. As a gross generalization -- based on my retail geography background -- Canadian retailers have been less disrupted by online sales than retailers in the USA, and this helps them to be willing to stock rarer items. There are ~ 20 retailers who have ordered books from our marketplace semi-regularly.



 
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Thondor on January 10, 2021, 10:56:39 PM
I'm fully behind supporting small and local businesses. Unfortunately, today's local games stores simply don't offer much that I'm interested in. The exception to that is board games, but all the game stores around me are dominated by RPGs I'm not interested in, comics (which I'm not interested in), collectible card games (which I'm not interested in), and games like WH40K (while I enjoy miniatures wargaming, WH40K isn't my preferred genre and it's expensive as hell).

This is probably more "on me" and my tastes than on the game stores. I'm out of step with the general market, and that is what it is. But it means that local game stores don't get much business from me, even though I'm sympathetic to the idea of supporting them.

Out of curiosity what kind of titles are you interested in these days? Mostly OSR stuff? I ask because we're regularly reaching out to publishers. Autarch (ACKS) will likely be working with us for their new products for instance.

One of the purposes of the marketplace is to try and get titles that retailers might have trouble getting in otherwise. We have a ship to store option normally as well that helps expose stores to what people in their area may be interested in.

 
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Thondor on January 10, 2021, 11:00:30 PM
We had one really good one about 45 minutes from me.  But, while lots of people played there, they didn't buy very much.  So the store closed in 4-5 years.  Every other one around (2-3 on average) for the last two dozen years have been everything that makes the stereotypical RPG community vile (including being ultra-woke), along with mostly surviving on CCGs.  So, yeah... YMMV...

I run events at stores, and make an extra effort to do so while traveling.

Unfortunately a lot of stores do survive mostly on CCGs . . .
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Charon's Little Helper on January 10, 2021, 11:30:16 PM
We had one really good one about 45 minutes from me.  But, while lots of people played there, they didn't buy very much.  So the store closed in 4-5 years.  Every other one around (2-3 on average) for the last two dozen years have been everything that makes the stereotypical RPG community vile (including being ultra-woke), along with mostly surviving on CCGs.  So, yeah... YMMV...

I run events at stores, and make an extra effort to do so while traveling.

Unfortunately a lot of stores do survive mostly on CCGs . . .

Even if they're not a store's focus, there is basically no reason NOT to stock the most popular CCGs. They take up about 3 sq ft and have a great turnaround. Actually having books of singles is a much bigger investment (primarily in the time/effort to track). But if a store is having trouble surviving, it'd be worth the effort. Singles have a stupid high margin, even knowing that you'll never sell the bulk of them. And simply having singles to browse will bring in a heck of a lot more CCG players to buy packs.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Eirikrautha on January 10, 2021, 11:31:35 PM
We had one really good one about 45 minutes from me.  But, while lots of people played there, they didn't buy very much.  So the store closed in 4-5 years.  Every other one around (2-3 on average) for the last two dozen years have been everything that makes the stereotypical RPG community vile (including being ultra-woke), along with mostly surviving on CCGs.  So, yeah... YMMV...

I run events at stores, and make an extra effort to do so while traveling.

Unfortunately a lot of stores do survive mostly on CCGs . . .

Even if they're not a store's focus, there is basically no reason NOT to stock the most popular CCGs. They take up about 3 sq ft and have a great turnaround. Actually having books of singles is a much bigger investment (primarily in the time/effort to track).
There's a difference between stocking them and surviving on them.  The focus difference changes the response and priorities of the store...
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Philotomy Jurament on January 11, 2021, 12:14:13 AM
Out of curiosity what kind of titles are you interested in these days?

I'd be interested in stuff for OSRIC (e.g., XRP's "Advanced Adventures" line), and I'd also look at Swords & Wizardry and Labyrinth Lord supplements. And I think highly of the material for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea.

When I was growing up, my favorite game stores sold the big games of the day, but also had used and out-of-print material, new and used novels, lots of Avalon Hill wargames and other boardgames and miniature wargames, magazine racks that included things like Heavy Metal and Strategy & Tactics, miniatures (both for D&D and for various historical wargames), et cetera. I'm not expecting modern game stores to carry that exact mix of stuff, obviously, but it's a point of difference between then and now. That is, when I'd walk in one of those stores, I was interested in almost everything they carried -- or, at least, there was something for me in each section. That's not really true, these days, but if I found a store that had a big used/out-of-print section, and that carried a variety of "OSR" RPG material, and wargames/board-games, and novels, and stuff interesting to historical wargamers...well, I'd frequent that shop!

But like I said, I recognize that my gaming interests are no longer mainstream, so I understand why there are very few shops that seem to cater to my particular set of tastes.

Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Mishihari on January 11, 2021, 04:39:30 AM
I prefer to shop locally and have been trying to be generous since the pandemic started.  But if I'm going to buy something at a LGS I need to 1)  Be able to look through it in the shop, and 2)  get it while I'm there.  Plastic-wrapped books are a problem, as is the statement "we can order it for you."  I can order it for myself, thanks, and get it faster and cheaper that way.  This is something of a pet peeve.  I expect it's tough to judge stocking levels properly on RPGs, but if my experience at a LGS is inferior to buying online, I'll just buy it over the internet.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Spinachcat on January 11, 2021, 04:46:55 AM
I prefer to support designers via Kickstarter.

The only LGS that interest me have game events. The best idea I've seen in years is the boardgame cafe where its a combo game store / gaming space / coffee shop.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Thondor on January 11, 2021, 11:07:23 AM
Out of curiosity what kind of titles are you interested in these days?

I'd be interested in stuff for OSRIC (e.g., XRP's "Advanced Adventures" line), and I'd also look at Swords & Wizardry and Labyrinth Lord supplements. And I think highly of the material for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea.

I do carry the whole XRP Advanced Advenutres line (https://composedreamgames.com/marketplace/Expeditious-Retreat-Press) in PDF (the latest three Advanced Adventures should be up later today). They're also listed as if $CAD and $USD is par, as Joseph Browning has generously decided to pass on the savings from the lower fees on my site to the consumer.
(Arden Vul is $109 CAD, flip the toggle at the top and it is ~$85 USD.)

I'll look into AS&SH. And maybe I'll reach out to Goblinoid Games too.

When I was growing up, my favorite game stores sold the big games of the day, but also had used and out-of-print material, new and used novels, lots of Avalon Hill wargames and other boardgames and miniature wargames, magazine racks that included things like Heavy Metal and Strategy & Tactics, miniatures (both for D&D and for various historical wargames), et cetera. I'm not expecting modern game stores to carry that exact mix of stuff, obviously, but it's a point of difference between then and now. That is, when I'd walk in one of those stores, I was interested in almost everything they carried -- or, at least, there was something for me in each section. That's not really true, these days, but if I found a store that had a big used/out-of-print section, and that carried a variety of "OSR" RPG material, and wargames/board-games, and novels, and stuff interesting to historical wargamers...well, I'd frequent that shop!

But like I said, I recognize that my gaming interests are no longer mainstream, so I understand why there are very few shops that seem to cater to my particular set of tastes.

Fandom II here in Ottawa still has this sort of mix, and used to carry XRPs AA line.  Same for Comic Warehouse in Brampton, and The Game Shelf in Thunder Bay. Hairy Tarantula in Toronto was similar but I haven't been their since they moved locations.
Red Dragon Games in Ottawa (Orleans) seemed to be heading in a similar direction and are actually a new store it's been open for maybe 3 years.
All but one of these are on our list of stores that have got titles from us with some frequency. There are probably others that are less top of mind at the moment as well.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: HappyDaze on January 11, 2021, 11:13:13 AM
My local game store is CoolStuffInc, and I don't really feel compelled to support them as they've done a heck of a job killing off local competition by undercutting them while staying afloat on their online sales. Beyond that, there's really no browsing for RPGs--you used to have to go to an onsite computer and "order" something to be brought out from the warehouse in the back. They moved the warehouse, so now you pretty much just order it online and wait a few days for delivery...and if doing that, Amazon is often better.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Thondor on January 11, 2021, 11:23:40 AM
I prefer to shop locally and have been trying to be generous since the pandemic started.  But if I'm going to buy something at a LGS I need to 1)  Be able to look through it in the shop, and 2)  get it while I'm there.  Plastic-wrapped books are a problem, as is the statement "we can order it for you."  I can order it for myself, thanks, and get it faster and cheaper that way.  This is something of a pet peeve.  I expect it's tough to judge stocking levels properly on RPGs, but if my experience at a LGS is inferior to buying online, I'll just buy it over the internet.

Being able to browse is critical, I agree. I've never seen the plastic wrap issue at anything but places with only a few books.

It's worth it to me to ask a store to order something in if they are clearly trying to keep in a wide variety of stock in (heck maybe they'll get in a few copies and someone else can enjoy it too.)

I prefer to support designers via Kickstarter.

The only LGS that interest me have game events. The best idea I've seen in years is the boardgame cafe where its a combo game store / gaming space / coffee shop.
Fair. Sometimes you miss that all important kickstarter though. The CDG Marketplace takes 10% after transaction fees, which is as close as you can get to kickstarter's rates (5% + transaction fees) that I am aware of.

I haven't seen many boardgame café fully leverage the game store part, and get in a significant amount of RPG material -- many do have a weekly RPG night.

A couple Boardgame cafe have gotten in some of the GMless story-games like The Quite Year (https://composedreamgames.com/markeplace/the-quiet-year) and Hope Inhumanity (https://composedreamgames.com/marketplace/hope-inhumanity) repeatedly.

My local game store is CoolStuffInc, and I don't really feel compelled to support them as they've done a heck of a job killing off local competition by undercutting them while staying afloat on their online sales. Beyond that, there's really no browsing for RPGs--you used to have to go to an onsite computer and "order" something to be brought out from the warehouse in the back. They moved the warehouse, so now you pretty much just order it online and wait a few days for delivery...and if doing that, Amazon is often better.

This seems slightly odd to me. I've found a couple stores that have a "warehouse vibe" but these let you into the warehouse to browse.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: HappyDaze on January 11, 2021, 11:30:32 AM
This seems slightly odd to me. I've found a couple stores that have a "warehouse vibe" but these let you into the warehouse to browse.
Customer area up front is for CCGs and board games, or occasionally a few other bits (X-wing game, a D&D5e new release might temporarily have a few copies up front, etc.), but it's not a place to look over for a hidden gem.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Thondor on January 11, 2021, 11:44:31 AM
This seems slightly odd to me. I've found a couple stores that have a "warehouse vibe" but these let you into the warehouse to browse.
Customer area up front is for CCGs and board games, or occasionally a few other bits (X-wing game, a D&D5e new release might temporarily have a few copies up front, etc.), but it's not a place to look over for a hidden gem.
I wonder if all their locations are like that?
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Charon's Little Helper on January 11, 2021, 12:42:21 PM
I prefer to support designers via Kickstarter.

The only LGS that interest me have game events. The best idea I've seen in years is the boardgame cafe where its a combo game store / gaming space / coffee shop.

I haven't been (party because I barely drink - my wife even less so as she gets bright red and blotchy) but my city has a boardgame bar which is a combo of game store / gaming space / booze. (Which isn't that different from the several arcade/bars in my town.)

I think part of them coming out now isn't that people were too stupid to come up with the idea, it's that there are now enough adults with disposable income who grew up as nerds. They can't get as into it as they did as children, but they have $ to spend now to play occasionally.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Shawn Driscoll on January 11, 2021, 01:32:54 PM
Some folks here may know that I run a small indie RPG marketplace. I also have an enduring affection for FLGS. My masters thesis involve visiting just over 50 game and comic stores in the Greater Toronto Area.

A lot of Canadian retailers are again under lockdowns, so for all of January, 20% all sales (both Print&PDF, and PDF only) from the CDG Marketplace (https://composedreamgames.com/marketplace) go to support a Canadian FLGS of the customers choosing on checkout. If no particular store is selected then it is distributed among retailers who have purchased from us in the past.
 
I hope some of you will use this to support your FLGS, and if you aren’t in Canada (which is most of you I am sure), that you come up with your own innovative ways to support your local store. I’d love to hear about what you are doing.

If you happen to be a publisher, and you are interested in getting you titles up on the CDG Marketplace,  please get in touch! We expect to have numerous titles added throughout the month.

I just added The Halls of Arden Vul (https://composedreamgames.com/marketplace/arden-vul), at close to 1200 pages, it is likely the largest OSR megadungeon ever created!

I’d appreciate your thoughts, and questions! I'd be happy to talk about the titles available and any other relevant matters.
I don't fund Democrats.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: KingCheops on January 11, 2021, 01:51:36 PM
I like to shop at my local stores but for the FLGS they're multi-hobby places where the owners are more into things I'm not (primarily MtG -- except comics at the one place).  My buddy who runs a GW focused Miniatures store pretty much requires us to order everything ahead of time which is awkward.

Basically what happens is they're not often knowledgeable about the things I'm interested in or have the stock for me to impulse buy.  I understand the economics of them having to take a chance on stuff they don't know will sell but it kind of negates some of the reasons for shopping in person.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Semaj Khan on January 11, 2021, 01:54:10 PM
I don't fund Democrats.

Spews coffee...

I hear ya, Lima Charlie.

Forgot to add: Game Goblins here in LR is also a micro-brewery. This slipped my mind since I really don't drink anymore and have never sampled their wares. :)
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: SHARK on January 11, 2021, 02:22:35 PM
Some folks here may know that I run a small indie RPG marketplace. I also have an enduring affection for FLGS. My masters thesis involve visiting just over 50 game and comic stores in the Greater Toronto Area.

A lot of Canadian retailers are again under lockdowns, so for all of January, 20% all sales (both Print&PDF, and PDF only) from the CDG Marketplace (https://composedreamgames.com/marketplace) go to support a Canadian FLGS of the customers choosing on checkout. If no particular store is selected then it is distributed among retailers who have purchased from us in the past.
 
I hope some of you will use this to support your FLGS, and if you aren’t in Canada (which is most of you I am sure), that you come up with your own innovative ways to support your local store. I’d love to hear about what you are doing.

If you happen to be a publisher, and you are interested in getting you titles up on the CDG Marketplace,  please get in touch! We expect to have numerous titles added throughout the month.

I just added The Halls of Arden Vul (https://composedreamgames.com/marketplace/arden-vul), at close to 1200 pages, it is likely the largest OSR megadungeon ever created!

I’d appreciate your thoughts, and questions! I'd be happy to talk about the titles available and any other relevant matters.
I don't fund Democrats.

Greetings!

Savage, Shawn! ;D

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Thondor on January 11, 2021, 02:27:56 PM
I don't fund Democrats.

And just who are you referring too? I'm pretty conservative for a Canadian, which is one of the reasons I like this place.
Our politics up here don't really match up to yours regardless.

And just to be clear - I don't care what a publisher or designers politics are. If you want to be on the marketplace you are welcome.

Basically what happens is they're not often knowledgeable about the things I'm interested in or have the stock for me to impulse buy.  I understand the economics of them having to take a chance on stuff they don't know will sell but it kind of negates some of the reasons for shopping in person.
Stores that do have a staff member who works really hard to get in a wide variety of RPG titles are rare (and it is hard).
One of the goals is to make it easier for retailers here to get in a wider variety of titles.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Philotomy Jurament on January 11, 2021, 05:04:53 PM
I do carry the whole XRP Advanced Advenutres line (https://composedreamgames.com/marketplace/Expeditious-Retreat-Press) in PDF (the latest three Advanced Adventures should be up later today). They're also listed as if $CAD and $USD is par, as Joseph Browning has generously decided to pass on the savings from the lower fees on my site to the consumer.
(Arden Vul is $109 CAD, flip the toggle at the top and it is ~$85 USD.)

I'll look into AS&SH. And maybe I'll reach out to Goblinoid Games too.

Cool.

FWIW, I think the difficulty I run into is that pretty much every RPG I play is out of print, so I'm really only interested in adventures and supplements for "clone" games that are reasonably compatible with those systems (or out-of-print material, much of which I already own). AS&SH is an exception, since it's in print. I like it because it's well written and I like the art and "tone" of game, and I like the setting (Hyperborea), and I like the subclasses it presents. Also, the adventure modules are usually quite good, too.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: hedgehobbit on January 11, 2021, 06:55:49 PM
Being able to browse is critical, I agree. I've never seen the plastic wrap issue at anything but places with only a few books.
You can't browse board games or video games, so I don't see why browsing RPGs should be different. Besides, it's fairly easy to download just about any RPG book and look through it before deciding to buy.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Thondor on January 12, 2021, 09:25:27 AM
Figured I'd share some info on a sampling of the titles that folks around here might find interesting:

Like 5e D&D but looking for rules for a modern setting? Check out Resistance: EARTH (http://composedreamgames.com/marketplace/Resistance-Earth) by Sword’s Edge Publishing.

Fans of Planescape may be interested in Sig: Manual of the Primes (http://composedreamgames.com/marketplace/Sig-manual-of-the-primes), for it’s planar nexus setting, or even for it’s easy to run Spark based rules. (by Genesis of Legend Publishing)

Cyberpunk? Check out The Veil (http://composedreamgames.com/marketplace/the-veil) (Samjoko Publishing), or Headspace (http://composedreamgames.com/marketplace/headspace) (Green Hat Design). The Veil is a more extensive volume for more general Cyberpunk fun, while Headspace focusses on the premise of your characters sharing a technological mind-link. Both are Powered by the Apocalypse engine.

Superheroes? Simple Superheroes (http://composedreamgames.com/marketplace/simple-superheroes-0) from Compose Dream Games could be your jam if you love the freedom of defining your own powers and appreciate rulings vs rules within a solid framework.

Intrigued by Japanese Folklore? Check out Fox Magic (http://composedreamgames.com/marketplace/fox-magic), from Fool’s Moon Entertainment, where you get to play a kitsune of Japanese Legend.

OSR fan? The Pod Caverns of the Sinister Shroom (http://composedreamgames.com/marketplace/Pod-Caverns-of-the-Sinister-Shroom) is one of many of XPRs excellent adventures. If you are more interested in new monsters, pick up their Malevolent & Benign (http://composedreamgames.com/marketplace/Malevolent-and-Benign).

Do you remember Fighting Fantasy and Choose Your Own Adventure books with fondness? Pick up one of Chris Challice’s Choose Your Own FATE (https://composedreamgames.com/marketplace/index.php?route=product/category&path=60_74) books, for some excellent solo-play fun.

Are detailed planning and careful execution your style? Then have a look at Killshot (http://composedreamgames.com/marketplace/killshot) where you play assassins setting up the perfect hit, from Broken Ruler Games.

Many other titles are available, to see more RPG titles and support some local retailers head over to composedreamgames.com/marketplace (http://composedreamgames.com/marketplace)


Happy to answer questions about any of the above titles, or others of interest.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Theory of Games on January 12, 2021, 12:06:56 PM
I miss my old FLGS that closed years ago, leaving local ttrpg fans to deal with a shop that's a MtG shrine. That and the owner doesn't want ttrpgs played in his shop "because we don't buy stuff". Our reply? Stock product other than D&D5e, PF2e and Starfinder. I brought up PbtA games and the staff just shrugged like I asked for Vibranium.

So Noble Knight Games is my new friend.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: HappyDaze on January 12, 2021, 01:35:14 PM
I brought up PbtA games and the staff just shrugged like I asked for Vibranium.
They have Vibranium in stock?
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: sureshot on January 13, 2021, 11:16:33 PM
That and the owner doesn't want ttrpgs played in his shop "because we don't buy stuff". Our reply? Stock product other than D&D5e, PF2e and Starfinder. I brought up PbtA games and the staff just shrugged like I asked for Vibranium.

I can kind of understand why he just carries the popular stuff because it sells. Lesser known or worse obscure rpgs just sit on shelves gathering dust in many rpg stores. It is a business after all and not a library. Especially with the Drivethrurpg and Amazon it's a recipe for financial suicide imo. Even my FLGs downsized much of their stock about five years ago because most of it was not selling. They had a big sale took a loss and made some money on the discounted product. They still sell other rpgs beyond the ones you listed above maybe a handful.

Still the owner while within his right especially if your not paying anything to play games to ask you to leave. Even if I think he is a major fucking asshole. One in my are allows Tabletop rpgs to be played though depending on the size of the group 3-5$ per person per session. If I owned a store I would order any rpg a client was interested in except the buyer would have to leave at least 30-50% deposit on the product. Absolutely non-negotiable I'm not a charity nor a library. If the same person keeps buying and returning product on a regular basis that person can go elsewhere to buy.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: rocksfalleverybodydies on January 14, 2021, 12:42:42 AM
Thondor, nice to see some Canadian initiatives on keeping the LGS concept alive.
To be honest, the last time I was a major frequenter in a LGS store in T.O. was Grey Legion when it was still around.
It had a massive collection of old Revell model kits in the basement for some inexplicable reason.
It was strange things like this that gave these stores character.  They just seemed more charming back then.

Used to be going into a LGS was kind of a thrill as you never knew what you would stumble on in the back used shelves and sometimes find something really unique and rare.  Now with eBay etc. it's hard to find anything surprising and unexpected anymore.

One thing that would definitely interest me is if LGS's tapped into the Kickstarter market and bought things in bulk so as a Canadian I could save on some of the outlandish shipping costs charged.  That would get me back in the stores.

Honestly, other than Hairy T and a few others, I didn't really think the Ontario LGS scene was doing that well anymore for RPG's as most of the stores diversified into comics and MTG stuff like Silver Snail did and relegated the RPG stuff to a shelf in the corner.  I would buy stuff from a store that was owned by a friend in the beaches but it didn't last too long unfortunately due to the rental rates being as they are there.

I'll certainly check out what you have in your CDG Marketplace catalogue and see if anything strikes my interest to help support you though.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Rob Necronomicon on January 14, 2021, 08:15:06 AM
I'm  like Spinachat. I like to support people on KS too...

However, I stopped buying dead tree stuff years ago and now I only buy pdfs. Which means dealing wit the dreaded drivethru behemoth. Where possible I try to buy from the creators themselves (if they have a website).


Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: HappyDaze on January 14, 2021, 08:58:42 AM
That and the owner doesn't want ttrpgs played in his shop "because we don't buy stuff". Our reply? Stock product other than D&D5e, PF2e and Starfinder. I brought up PbtA games and the staff just shrugged like I asked for Vibranium.

I can kind of understand why he just carries the popular stuff because it sells. Lesser known or worse obscure rpgs just sit on shelves gathering dust in many rpg stores. It is a business after all and not a library. Especially with the Drivethrurpg and Amazon it's a recipe for financial suicide imo. Even my FLGs downsized much of their stock about five years ago because most of it was not selling. They had a big sale took a loss and made some money on the discounted product. They still sell other rpgs beyond the ones you listed above maybe a handful.

Still the owner while within his right especially if your not paying anything to play games to ask you to leave. Even if I think he is a major fucking asshole. One in my are allows Tabletop rpgs to be played though depending on the size of the group 3-5$ per person per session. If I owned a store I would order any rpg a client was interested in except the buyer would have to leave at least 30-50% deposit on the product. Absolutely non-negotiable I'm not a charity nor a library. If the same person keeps buying and returning product on a regular basis that person can go elsewhere to buy.
A store I used to buy from would give me 15% off if I paid in full when preordering a game. I went with them every time even when I could get a slightly better deal from Amazon. The store may not have made quite as much money off of me, but they knew I'd run demos of anything they asked and my group would always buy from their snacks & drinks for in-store games. As a side benefit, they always gave me first crack at any defective products that came in (like an L5R book with the pages bound upside down) that they would sell for 25% of cover price. Good people, I miss them.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Thondor on January 14, 2021, 11:06:08 AM
Thondor, nice to see some Canadian initiatives on keeping the LGS concept alive.
To be honest, the last time I was a major frequenter in a LGS store in T.O. was Grey Legion when it was still around.
It had a massive collection of old Revell model kits in the basement for some inexplicable reason.
It was strange things like this that gave these stores character.  They just seemed more charming back then.

Used to be going into a LGS was kind of a thrill as you never knew what you would stumble on in the back used shelves and sometimes find something really unique and rare.  Now with eBay etc. it's hard to find anything surprising and unexpected anymore.

I made it to Grey Region a few times before it closed (what was that 2009?), I think I picked up either 1e MM2 or a 2e Montrous Compedium binder from them that year.

There still are some stores that you can wander into and get that feeling, but is more about seeing so much cool stuff in one place.

One thing that would definitely interest me is if LGS's tapped into the Kickstarter market and bought things in bulk so as a Canadian I could save on some of the outlandish shipping costs charged.  That would get me back in the stores.

Honestly, other than Hairy T and a few others, I didn't really think the Ontario LGS scene was doing that well anymore for RPG's as most of the stores diversified into comics and MTG stuff like Silver Snail did and relegated the RPG stuff to a shelf in the corner.  I would buy stuff from a store that was owned by a friend in the beaches but it didn't last too long unfortunately due to the rental rates being as they are there.

I'll certainly check out what you have in your CDG Marketplace catalogue and see if anything strikes my interest to help support you though.

I've been talking to some publishers about helping fulfill their Kickstarters on the Canadian side, and taking on extra books to help move into retailers. It's an exciting prospect.

I think a lot of people blame stores for not getting in more RPG material, without realizing how much just isn't in traditional distribution at all. Up here there are some gems that will literally go to conventions across the border and bring back books, or pay hefting shipping from IPR, but it isn't a surprise that many stores do not do that.

There usually seems to be at least 1 store in a major city that works at keeping a wider selection of RPGs. In Edmonton, Warp One is like that. Ottawa Fandom II, with a couple others fairly close (Red Dragon Comics & Games seems to be heading in this direction, and one of the Comic Book Shoppe locations has had good selection.)

You mentioned Hairy T, but I'd add 401 Games, and perhaps The Sword & Board in Toronto. Comic Warehouse out in Brampton. 

Lot's of other good stores that I didn't mention, and others that I am not aware of I am sure.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Brad on January 14, 2021, 11:11:55 AM
There were two gaming stores in town, one which closed because they pretty much refused to have anything in stock and always reverted to the old "we can order it for you" shtick. A buddy of mine asked them how long it would take to get a particular boardgame, they said a couple weeks, he found it on Amazon next-day for like 20% cheaper, so what would be the point in even ordering from them? A physical store with no stock would be better closing up and just setting up some sort of website, honestly. Pointless.

The other gaming store has 5th edition D&D and that's it. I no longer play 5th edition, and even if I did I have almost all the books except the ones that came out in the past year. When I asked about other games, the staff looked at me as if I was speaking martian; they didn't even know other RPGs existed.

So, yeah. Fuck the FLGS, they don't even have the F part of their name because for the most part the people working there are more interested in watching anime and playing warhammer than being bothered with any questions. Never seen a more unhelpful group of store clerks in my life.

Another thing...I have thousands of RPG books, and my wife told me I should probably start selling stuff before buying anything else because we're running out of room. I agree. Plus, anything I do buy is all OSR crap I have to get off KS or Drivethru, and the gaming store won't sell that stuff, so again fuck 'em.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Steven Mitchell on January 14, 2021, 02:35:16 PM
I walk into my FLGS 2-4 times a year to see if they've got around to supporting me.  They never have.  So I don't see why I should support them.  (Beyond regularly checking to see if things have changed, which is a kind of small support they get because they are friendly.)   They've been around for some time.  The store is never empty.  Probably they are supporting some people and the favor is returned.  Plus, I might be kind of difficult to support.  So no animosity or expectations on my part, but by the same token I feel absolutely zero need to help them out merely because they are a game store that is both friendly and local. 

If the only fishing you do is with a cane pole and worms in a pond then you don't need the bass pro shop.  No reasonable person would even suggest that because you fish and they run a shop that caters to fisherman that you should give them your patronage somehow, if they don't sell anything that you want.  It's only gamers that try to create this idea that gamers are some kind of special case that all need to look out for one another no matter what their particular interests and circumstances.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Eirikrautha on January 14, 2021, 02:52:58 PM
It's only gamers that try to create this idea that gamers are some kind of special case that all need to look out for one another no matter what their particular interests and circumstances.

Well, that's the genesis of some of the best and worst in our hobby.  When RPGs were less popular (and those of us who played them were looked at as "weird"), there was both an affirmation and encouragement from the insular nature of the community.  We did need to look out for the other members of the hobby.  Unfortunately, it's this same behavior that led to gamers not immediately exiling the toxic groups that infiltrated the hobby (of which SJWs are just the most prominent today).  So while it worked as a survival mechanism when the hobby was small, it's proven to be a vector of infection and disease now that we've gotten large enough that we can't say no to the people who really deserve negation...
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: GameDaddy on January 14, 2021, 03:14:47 PM
I walk into my FLGS 2-4 times a year to see if they've got around to supporting me.

This. Exactly this. I'm like, You have a used or old school gaming section? No. ....Oh Well. ...Byyye!

This started back in the day though, more than forty years ago now. Super happy to see new D&D books and supplements. Super happy to see games from a wide variety of publishers in a gaming store. Would drop hundreds of dollars in spending sprees several times a year at such stores. About 1980, 1981 I stop seeing regular D&D products my my FLGS, and much less wargames. Now all I can buy is AD&D. Pretty soon I stop seeing other games, and only see TSR products, except in the venerable gaming stores, whose owners know that having different games and supplements appeals to the long tail.

Then the big companies go bankrupt, wondering why their new games don't sell, when they refuse to even support their older games. Who wants to buy something that won't be supported in the future?...

Then 2000 rolls around and there is a Renaissance in gaming. Once again the game stores are loaded with all manner of d20 product, supplements ... plus even other games makes a great comeback, then the game companies do exactly the same thing, and stop supporting 3e, and stop supporting a wide diversity of products in the gaming stores. Behind the scenes the distributors that are controlling the game market, showing favor to large companies and sending out drop shipments of huge quantities of trashy and low quality product, as well as eurotrash games, all the while ignoring the long tail and refusing to stock games from small independent game designers. Then bang! Amazon and eBay picks up the long tail and snatches it, making it easy to sell used old school games and indy games online via mail order, and all of a sudden the game companies find the retail stores can't stay open because they don't have any customers. Well duh... you ran them all off, what did you expect?   

 
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: SHARK on January 14, 2021, 03:22:39 PM
Greetings!

Hmmm...game stores aren't special snowflakes unbeholden to the necessities of running a good business that is plugged in well to the community they serve. I can think of a number of game stores that I have been a regular patron of. In most cases, each such game store had been in business for ten years or more. Some are large and spacious--while others have been small, and cave-like. *Laughing* They have all offered excellent and diverse selection of products, from a large variety of RPG books, to dice, accessories, terrain, miniatures, as well as books on history, board games, model building, paints, and so on. Most also provided tables and game nights, and featured demos and that kind of thing. All of them always have well-paid, knowledgeable, and friendly staff working there, at all times. The game stores are managed well, most often by a single private owner that is dedicated to the hobby, running a good business, and being approachable and innovative. From what I have seen, if such businesses are managed in such a positive and professional manner, they succeed. Those that fail to do so, go down the drain and disappear.

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Charon's Little Helper on January 14, 2021, 03:25:44 PM
If the only fishing you do is with a cane pole and worms in a pond then you don't need the bass pro shop.  No reasonable person would even suggest that because you fish and they run a shop that caters to fisherman that you should give them your patronage somehow, if they don't sell anything that you want.  It's only gamers that try to create this idea that gamers are some kind of special case that all need to look out for one another no matter what their particular interests and circumstances.

I think that the idea is at least somewhat because of the gamers who use their FLGS as a nexus to meet other gamers. Especially the gamers who will consistently game IN their FLGS and only rarely buy anything but a pop. (Which is the reason that some FLGSs don't bother with playing space anymore.)

Though I will say - some people DO have that same vibe towards local businesses generally. I don't, but many people do.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Brad on January 14, 2021, 03:46:31 PM
I think that the idea is at least somewhat because of the gamers who use their FLGS as a nexus to meet other gamers. Especially the gamers who will consistently game IN their FLGS and only rarely buy anything but a pop. (Which is the reason that some FLGSs don't bother with playing space anymore.)

Though I will say - some people DO have that same vibe towards local businesses generally. I don't, but many people do.

The gaming store I mentioned in my previous post had an area for gaming that I regularly used to play. And I tried to buy everything I possibly could to support the store, but when they refused to actually stock anything I'm remotely interested in, even after making it explicit that I would buy a ton of stuff as long as it's of a rather broad category, I didn't shed many tears when they went out of business. Part of the problem (probably a major part) is that most people who run gaming stores have fuck all idea of how to conduct a business. Most lack simple financial skills vital to ensure cash flow and keep the business running; they won't do things like just accept the fact that they will NOT make any money for a year or two if they're remotely interested in being open, and thus won't buy stock or even do crap like turn the fucking heat on in the dead of winter (not making up that last part).
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Steven Mitchell on January 14, 2021, 03:51:54 PM

I think that the idea is at least somewhat because of the gamers who use their FLGS as a nexus to meet other gamers. Especially the gamers who will consistently game IN their FLGS and only rarely buy anything but a pop. (Which is the reason that some FLGSs don't bother with playing space anymore.)

Though I will say - some people DO have that same vibe towards local businesses generally. I don't, but many people do.

Sure.  I get that.  It's not a completely mercenary calculation for most people.  However, there has to be some value before you can start talking about relative value.  "A means to find players" has some value.  Might be practically negligible for person A and extremely important for person B, which is where the relative value part starts.   Plus, avoiding hassle is its own kind of value. 

"Friendly and Local" works on the margins. Establish that I can get value from the visit, then I'm likely to toss in an extra visit when the value isn't maybe strictly my best option.  I'm paying for track record and future satisfaction--of other sales that will be good options later.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Charon's Little Helper on January 14, 2021, 05:02:18 PM
I think that the idea is at least somewhat because of the gamers who use their FLGS as a nexus to meet other gamers. Especially the gamers who will consistently game IN their FLGS and only rarely buy anything but a pop. (Which is the reason that some FLGSs don't bother with playing space anymore.)

Though I will say - some people DO have that same vibe towards local businesses generally. I don't, but many people do.

The gaming store I mentioned in my previous post had an area for gaming that I regularly used to play. And I tried to buy everything I possibly could to support the store, but when they refused to actually stock anything I'm remotely interested in, even after making it explicit that I would buy a ton of stuff as long as it's of a rather broad category, I didn't shed many tears when they went out of business.

Oh - sure. You aren't going to buy stuff that you aren't interested in. I was more explaining where the general sentiment came from (and it's a reasonable one) than I am pushing hard for it myself.

Part of the problem (probably a major part) is that most people who run gaming stores have fuck all idea of how to conduct a business. Most lack simple financial skills vital to ensure cash flow and keep the business running; they won't do things like just accept the fact that they will NOT make any money for a year or two if they're remotely interested in being open, and thus won't buy stock or even do crap like turn the fucking heat on in the dead of winter (not making up that last part).

Definitely. Most game stores are run by hobbyists who like the idea of gaming all the time instead of working a real job.

Which you'd think would open the door for someone who knows how to run a business to do really well, but the hobbyists don't have to be that successful to stay in business, as they generally do all the labor, so for many as long as they can pay the rent and survive, they'll keep going. It's hard to compete with passionate hobbyists.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: myleftnut on January 15, 2021, 01:35:48 AM
I order from a local FLGS because they give me a 20% discount on anything not in stock.  They are the only respectful store in town as far as I’m concerned so I support them.  We have game store market saturation where I live.  Some other stores have employee so douchee I don’t buy shit from them.

Anyone else experience this?  Seems the game store employee twat ratio is higher than other businesses. 
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Mishihari on January 15, 2021, 04:11:06 AM
Part of the problem (probably a major part) is that most people who run gaming stores have fuck all idea of how to conduct a business. Most lack simple financial skills vital to ensure cash flow and keep the business running; they won't do things like just accept the fact that they will NOT make any money for a year or two if they're remotely interested in being open, and thus won't buy stock or even do crap like turn the fucking heat on in the dead of winter (not making up that last part).

I wonder if there's a more causal mechanism.  Maybe people who do know how to make money see that having a game store is not a good way to do it.  There are easier and surer ways to make money.  I have business skills, but I wouldn't consider opening a game store unless that was my dream (which it isn't).
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Marchand on January 15, 2021, 05:02:19 AM
I remember dropping into a place called Games Paradise or something in Sydney, back when I had a job where I travelled a lot in Asia-Pac. It was a great store with a fantastic range of stock (OSR stuff etc.). Except for the older lady working there, who downloaded to me how much she hated it because the customers were all weirdos. I guess because I was between meetings and wearing a suit, she thought I wasn't "one of them". Can't remember if I bought anything on that occasion although I definitely did at some time.

Anyway, bricks and mortar retail was in plenty of trouble (by no means just games stores) before COVID, although COVID has accelerated it.

I think the discussion about supporting LGSs, F or not, is moot (not denying stores could benefit from a few extra dollars to get them over this recession). They will eventually have to find a viable business model.

I'll throw this out as a contrarian view - we could be on the brink of the golden age for the FLGS. They will be able to ride a wave of more mainstream acceptance of gaming, and cheaper city centre commercial real estate as downtowns progressively become a place we go to socialise rather than shop and work.

That's so long as the SJWs don't fuck it all up by scaring off the punters, of course.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: sureshot on January 15, 2021, 08:25:33 AM
Part of the problem (probably a major part) is that most people who run gaming stores have fuck all idea of how to conduct a business. Most lack simple financial skills vital to ensure cash flow and keep the business running; they won't do things like just accept the fact that they will NOT make any money for a year or two if they're remotely interested in being open, and thus won't buy stock or even do crap like turn the fucking heat on in the dead of winter (not making up that last part).

Second though I will also say that gamers are part of the problem as well in that they think a store can carry lots of product even if it just sits on their shelves gathering dust and not being sold. It's all well for them to say "they should carry more stuff than the popular stuff" when it's not the gamers own money being spent. One can damn well bet if they owned and they would be spending their own money they would likely do the same imo.

Store owners need to be run by those who have an idea towards making money and making their clients happy. While also not losing money. Gamers can't expect a store owner to take a financial loss for them because they are and their buddies want to play obscure and unknown rpg XYZ either. Expect the owner to buy the rpg and possibly play that rpg on a rainy day. It's easy to point the finger at the store owners when many gamers either have high expectations simply for buying product or equally clueless about how a store should be run .
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Razor 007 on January 15, 2021, 09:39:27 PM
I understand that stores can only afford to stock what sells.  A store can't afford to be a museum.

However, it gets old having to pay full retail for every single item.  Every item is cheaper online.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Charon's Little Helper on January 15, 2021, 10:05:04 PM
I understand that stores can only afford to stock what sells.  A store can't afford to be a museum.

However, it gets old having to pay full retail for every single item.  Every item is cheaper online.

Yeah, I don't think that a lot of game stores realize that they're competing with online shopping. Some people will buy from them anyway to support the local FLGS, but many won't.

In college there was a shop that has a yearly membership fee to get 15% off everything. They didn't make as much per item, but that's assuming that they didn't have more turnaround due to lower prices and being semi-competitive with online shopping.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: David Johansen on January 15, 2021, 11:16:24 PM
Well, I've been running a game store for nine years.  If there's any mistakes left to make I haven't found them :D

I strongly believe the future of gaming retail is in house print on demand and 3d printing.  Imagine being able to have everything, ever, in stock, all the time.  Just push a button and wait five minutes.  Sadly, the infrastructure doesn't really exist on the publishing end of things.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Thondor on January 16, 2021, 03:48:44 PM
Well, I've been running a game store for nine years.  If there's any mistakes left to make I haven't found them :D

I strongly believe the future of gaming retail is in house print on demand and 3d printing.  Imagine being able to have everything, ever, in stock, all the time.  Just push a button and wait five minutes.  Sadly, the infrastructure doesn't really exist on the publishing end of things.

There's certainly something to that idea.

I'm working to integrate with a POD service sometime this year, and I do want to find someway to make that a viable resource for FLGS. They'd still be getting shipped from somewhere of course. Policy wise, I still don't know what that looks like though.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Garry G on January 16, 2021, 06:42:36 PM
I need to get back to my FLGS when it's open again. I really dropped off after having kids and that's a shame as the owner always remembers me and has given me great discounts over the years just because.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: sureshot on January 16, 2021, 08:29:32 PM
The only saving grace with my FLGS was the used section then the new owners came in and priced most of the desired stuff out of existence. I could understand say a 1E Oriental adventures in mint to very good condition selling for 40$. When it's a beaten up copy tied together with yellowed scotch tape they can go to hell.I don't care if the OSR has taken off I might as well buy a copy from Drivethrurpg or a seller from Amazon for that price in that condition. As well the Frecnh co-owner suddenly developed a national conscience and wants a certain percentage of the used material to be in French. Unless it's D&D that material lasts even longer on the used shelves. Most French gamers tend to buy in English simply because one core book can be 50-60$ more than the English one. As well their online site sucks balls as everything seems to be temporary unavailable with their useless suppliers. I do not want them to go under. They sure as hell ain't helping themselves to stay in business.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Arnwolf666 on January 17, 2021, 09:59:53 AM
The big problem my LGS has is lots of people go their to play. But few of them spend money there.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: sureshot on January 17, 2021, 10:39:19 AM
The big problem my LGS has is lots of people go their to play. But few of them spend money there.

Exactly a LGS is a business not library of personal home gaming room. My advice if you want to give it to tje owner is to have him charge a fee to those who play regularly 5$ per person for a four man group and 3$ to 5+ gaming group per session or they can pay a lump sum ahead of time.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: finarvyn on January 17, 2021, 11:45:43 AM
The big problem my LGS has is lots of people go there to play. But few of them spend money there.
I have two nice game stores near me, but one of them is a lot friendlier than the other.

The "bad one" is run by really nice people, but their policies are bad for business. If you want to play a game at their store they have excellent back rooms you can go to (maybe a half dozen separate rooms with doors and walls and such) and they charge something like $5 per person to play there. One bad thing is that they only let you eat (overpriced) snacks that they sell and can't bring in anything from the outside. I understand that, but it's sometimes frustrating if you only drink half of your water and want to bring it back the next time ... you need to buy a new one. Another is that they demand that any rulebooks you use have to be bought from their store, so I could spend $100 there on board games but if I want to play 5E at the store I need to have bought the 5E player's handbook from them. One guy ran a demo of a Conan board game and it was so neat that I bought a copy, and later I found out that he got in trouble because some of the stuff he was using was from a kickstart instead of from the store so he was told not to run demos any more if he couldn't follow the rules. I thought that was so unfair because the demo did lead me to buy a copy of the game, and I would have bought the KS stuff if they had been able to stock it. This same store used to have a thriving Savage Worlds group who ran all sorts of games, but the "buy it here" policy drove them all away. Again, these are really nice folks who have no idea how to run a game store. :(
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: David Johansen on January 17, 2021, 11:55:03 AM
Well, in store gaming has mostly been a mistake, I spend too much time gaming and not doing things I need to be doing.  Worse still, it's generally not what I need to be running to make money.  There was too much competition to charge for table space.  You just can't make a dollar at it when everyone else is giving it away for free.  Nine years and I still can't get a stable Rolemaster group going, what a waste!  ;)
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Brad on January 18, 2021, 10:14:30 AM
One guy ran a demo of a Conan board game and it was so neat that I bought a copy, and later I found out that he got in trouble because some of the stuff he was using was from a kickstart instead of from the store so he was told not to run demos any more if he couldn't follow the rules.

If true, this is probably one of the dumbest things I've heard of a store doing. Please, don't run games at our store that results in direct sales if you use something literally unattainable from the store itself.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Zalman on January 18, 2021, 10:29:57 AM
No FLGS anywhere near me; I sure do miss hanging out and browsing among the books and dice.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Charon's Little Helper on January 18, 2021, 11:12:19 AM
One guy ran a demo of a Conan board game and it was so neat that I bought a copy, and later I found out that he got in trouble because some of the stuff he was using was from a kickstart instead of from the store so he was told not to run demos any more if he couldn't follow the rules.

If true, this is probably one of the dumbest things I've heard of a store doing. Please, don't run games at our store that results in direct sales if you use something literally unattainable from the store itself.

Especially in combination with the fee to play.

I can understand the fee (though I think that varies by city - likely not viable in the cities where people are likely to have game space at home) but once you have the nerds paying to come hang out at your store, let nature take its course and they'll buy a decent chunk of stuff.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: HappyDaze on January 18, 2021, 11:22:31 AM
One guy ran a demo of a Conan board game and it was so neat that I bought a copy, and later I found out that he got in trouble because some of the stuff he was using was from a kickstart instead of from the store so he was told not to run demos any more if he couldn't follow the rules.

If true, this is probably one of the dumbest things I've heard of a store doing. Please, don't run games at our store that results in direct sales if you use something literally unattainable from the store itself.

Especially in combination with the fee to play.

I can understand the fee (though I think that varies by city - likely not viable in the cities where people are likely to have game space at home) but once you have the nerds paying to come hang out at your store, let nature take its course and they'll buy a decent chunk of stuff.
I've seen a place that had pay to play, but every purchase (books, minis, snacks, etc.) included credit toward this. If you wanted to play in store, regular buying habits made it essentially free. If you didn't,  it was a freebie you could ignore (it wasn't transferable though except on gift purchases, so use it or lose it). Worked well enough for that store for over 10 years.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: David Johansen on January 18, 2021, 02:39:40 PM
The biggest store around here has a $100 / year membership fee that you have to buy to get a 20% discount and free table use.
 Otherwise tables are $10.  Personally that only makes it worthwhile to the big spenders.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Steven Mitchell on January 18, 2021, 03:50:07 PM
I sometimes wonder if the money in it would be in a store not even catering to gamers in particular.  That is, instead selling access to comfortable meeting spaces of various sizes that would work for gaming but would also work for any other gathering of, say, 5 to 20 people.  Set up something like that, you'll get book clubs, crafters, etc.

I've looked into the option of running a "mini-con" at times.  Wouldn't be more than 30 people.  The problem I run into is that there is home size that I can handle--about 13-15 tops.  Then there are typical meeting spaces, which typically starts at around 50+ people size and is usually closer to the 75-150 range.  Those are for company Christmas parties, wedding receptions, etc., and also come with a lot of other services that really drive the costs up.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: HappyDaze on January 18, 2021, 04:00:35 PM
When I first moved to Florida,  I rented a "vacation house" in a community of the same. They had a clubhouse with four rooms that could be reserved by tenants (at minimal cost on weekdays and more on weekends)for things like parties. These were good for gaming, but the clubhouse locked up at 10pm, so we had to cut our games a little short (and couldn't start them earlier as people had to work during the day). It was a small benefit I reluctantly  gave up after I had a house built and left that community.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Charon's Little Helper on January 18, 2021, 08:46:11 PM
The biggest store around here has a $100 / year membership fee that you have to buy to get a 20% discount and free table use.
 Otherwise tables are $10.  Personally that only makes it worthwhile to the big spenders.

Yeah, that seems REALLY high. Ignoring the table fee, you'd have to spend more than $500/yr to make that worthwhile, which is mostly just super hardcore MtG players and people building out a new high-end 40k army.

Might be worth it for one person in your gaming group to do and then have them purchase everything for the group and get reimbursed - but the store would then miss out on a bunch of impulse purchases from the rest of the friends.

I know that a place like Barnes & Nobles doesn't have a membership for the $20 it brings in NEARLY as much as the commitment it brings. It makes those members feel like they should be buying all of their books from B&N - when they otherwise likely would have spread their purchases around to different stores, and maybe even purchase more books. Basically it's just enough $ to make them feel committed to the store.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Panjumanju on January 24, 2021, 05:09:41 PM
The FLGS' I have known have been both understocked and dusty. Even so, how do we expect to get new people into the hobby without brick and motor representation? YouTube videos? I say local stores need our support, not to be reminded they need to compete or die.

//Panjumanju
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: sureshot on January 24, 2021, 08:06:45 PM
Having worked in the book industry for 15 years or so they do need to learn to compete or die.

Many Fantasy and Science Fiction series are no longer available in print and only in E-book. David Drake Lord of the Isles series out of print. I think the Crystal Singer series by Anne Mccaffrey also the same. Sad to say with the discounts online they need to either change, adapt or die as Amazon is killing the brick and mortar stores. Simply existing and being a LGS is unfortunately not enough anymore. So they either carry only profitable rpgs. Switch over to order in store or switch over to more profitable source of revenue of like Magic the Gathering.

One could see it in the section that carried magazines. Slowly yet at first 25% of stock went over to online only distribution. When I was let go it was 50%. It's no longer a matter of choice more a changing book and print industry. As much a I want oi support my FLGS I can't justify spending the 50+$ a core book and even a sourcebook  costs anymore.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: KingCheops on January 24, 2021, 08:12:59 PM
As much a I want oi support my FLGS I can't justify spending the 50+$ a core book and even a sourcebook  costs anymore.

Some of that is changing consumer preferences.  We've had threads about this and it's mostly crusty old bastards on here but the general public is not cool with black and white, 2-3 column, poorly typeset, cheaply printed rulebooks anymore.  Customers are demanding big beautiful full color glossy artistically illuminated texts.  Maybe that's gotten to the point where things will change because wages haven't kept up with production costs on those but that's probably part of the pains the industry's going through right now.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Thondor on January 25, 2021, 02:26:15 PM
The FLGS' I have known have been both understocked and dusty. Even so, how do we expect to get new people into the hobby without brick and motor representation? YouTube videos? I say local stores need our support, not to be reminded they need to compete or die.

//Panjumanju

I'm glad this thread has generated so much discussion. Not every game store is going to be an RPG game store. But I am certainly encouraging FLGS in Canada to carry more books, and many seem eager to do so.


As much a I want oi support my FLGS I can't justify spending the 50+$ a core book and even a sourcebook  costs anymore.

Some of that is changing consumer preferences.  We've had threads about this and it's mostly crusty old bastards on here but the general public is not cool with black and white, 2-3 column, poorly typeset, cheaply printed rulebooks anymore.  Customers are demanding big beautiful full color glossy artistically illuminated texts.  Maybe that's gotten to the point where things will change because wages haven't kept up with production costs on those but that's probably part of the pains the industry's going through right now.

I'm not entirely convinced on this. I think good mechanics and solid reputation matter a lot. Black and white interior books are among my best sellers (both direct and to FLGS.) Mind you that doesn't necessarily mean they are "poorly laid out," . . . my own Simple Superheros #0 layout isn't all that great though.

 
 
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Thondor on January 25, 2021, 02:32:06 PM
I figured I should add that there is just 1 week left in the CDG Marketplace (https://composedreamgames.com/marketplace)'s support your FLGS initiative.

I have been doing some "unboxing" videos of the titles from our publishers. Sharing the latest and the playlist below. This is a new thing for us, so feedback appreciated. We'll keep improving as we go I am sure (auto-focus seems to be an issue in the latest one).



Unboxing RPGs Playlist (https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5sx-HHDKgg1oseNYQByGBUDYKgThjd47)


Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: sureshot on January 25, 2021, 07:05:48 PM
Some of that is changing consumer preferences.  We've had threads about this and it's mostly crusty old bastards on here but the general public is not cool with black and white, 2-3 column, poorly typeset, cheaply printed rulebooks anymore.  Customers are demanding big beautiful full color glossy artistically illuminated texts.  Maybe that's gotten to the point where things will change because wages haven't kept up with production costs on those but that's probably part of the pains the industry's going through right now.

I have bought my share of full colour hardcover with good production values. I just can't personally justify spending that kind of money anymore. I'm getting married and the apartment rent I am moving into is almost double than the one I am in now. Somewhat of a necessity as the current one I am in living in works well for single buy not a couple. Made worse that the Canadian dollar is just not as strong as the US dollar. If it's a choice between 20$ PDF or 15-20$ savings on Amazon vs the local FLGS its the first rather than the second.

B&W rpgs can sell though they have to have some decent production values. Not something along the lines of Palladium products much better. 
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: KingCheops on January 25, 2021, 08:51:44 PM
Made worse that the Canadian dollar is just not as strong as the US dollar.

Ugh quoted for truth.  One of my favorite parts of SDCC 2011 was being able to buy at US sticker price and get a discount on top of that.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Thondor on January 25, 2021, 10:03:39 PM
Made worse that the Canadian dollar is just not as strong as the US dollar.

Ugh quoted for truth.  One of my favorite parts of SDCC 2011 was being able to buy at US sticker price and get a discount on top of that.

A good number of our titles are priced as if $CAD = $USD, so that is something to consider. Our cut is low enough that a good number of our publishers pass on savings this way.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: hedgehobbit on January 25, 2021, 10:18:11 PM
Even so, how do we expect to get new people into the hobby without brick and motor representation?
The same way I and thousands of others did, by playing at your friends house with your friends. I live in a city of 3 million people but I can count on one hand the number of places that you can play D&D in public. I don't see how brick and mortar stores can represent a significant percentage of new players.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: sureshot on January 26, 2021, 08:29:23 AM
The same way I and thousands of others did, by playing at your friends house with your friends. I live in a city of 3 million people but I can count on one hand the number of places that you can play D&D in public. I don't see how brick and mortar stores can represent a significant percentage of new players.

Seconded simply not enough LGS to make a difference. I first played D&D not buying go to one I saw someone off in a corner at my high school reading the 1E PHB. The art really drew me in. Not to mention and maybe it's a sad state of affairs of our culture most are taught or simply go online to order everything and anything. If I decide to purchase the 5E PHB at 3 am in the morning I can go on Amazon and have it delivered to me door with Prime the next day. As opposed to waiting to the weekend or Thursday or Friday night to go to the LGS.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: finarvyn on January 26, 2021, 08:44:05 AM
One guy ran a demo of a Conan board game and it was so neat that I bought a copy, and later I found out that he got in trouble because some of the stuff he was using was from a kickstart instead of from the store so he was told not to run demos any more if he couldn't follow the rules.

If true, this is probably one of the dumbest things I've heard of a store doing. Please, don't run games at our store that results in direct sales if you use something literally unattainable from the store itself.

Especially in combination with the fee to play.

I can understand the fee (though I think that varies by city - likely not viable in the cities where people are likely to have game space at home) but once you have the nerds paying to come hang out at your store, let nature take its course and they'll buy a decent chunk of stuff.
I've seen a place that had pay to play, but every purchase (books, minis, snacks, etc.) included credit toward this. If you wanted to play in store, regular buying habits made it essentially free. If you didn't,  it was a freebie you could ignore (it wasn't transferable though except on gift purchases, so use it or lose it). Worked well enough for that store for over 10 years.
I mentioned two game stores near me. The other one has a policy much like this -- it costs $5 to play at an Adventurer's League table, but right away they deposit $5 credit into your account so that when you buy stuff that credit can come right off a purchase. Essentially, folks who buy stuff get to play for free.
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Thondor on January 29, 2021, 10:53:21 PM
Last couple of days of our Support Your FLGS initiative. If something is of interest, we encourage you to pick it up this weekend!

I also want to say that I appreciate the publishers who have participated! We'll find more ways to continue working with local game stores in the future.

(https://scontent.fybz1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-0/p180x540/144393147_3497023960403540_641357975773996958_o.jpg?_nc_cat=111&ccb=2&_nc_sid=730e14&_nc_ohc=OHsAVZD36HYAX92zytL&_nc_ht=scontent.fybz1-1.fna&tp=6&oh=6f3745d166e9e761b73536b240797933&oe=603A480F) (https://composedreamgames.com/marketplace)
Title: Re: Support Your FLGS
Post by: Thondor on February 21, 2021, 09:23:51 PM
Just an update to say:
Ship to Store returns! With our January promotion ended, you can once again use our ship to store option to have RPG books delivered at discounted shipping to your local Canadian game store. Your friendly local retailer receives a 10% credit on all ship-to-store sales, and gets to see RPG products they may not have otherwise. This option is visible on check-out and lists the current stores we work with in your province. (We're always looking to add more too!)

In addition, for a short time, you can designate any Canadian FLGS to receive a 5% affiliate bonus on all sales (including PDF sales).

I hope folks will continue to discuss FLGS and suggest ways to support them in this thread.

Meanwhile, I’ve provided some details for FLGS and potential publishers over in this thread in the News & Adverts (https://www.therpgsite.com/news-and-adverts/compose-dream-games-rpg-marketplace-canada-and-beyond/) forum, and plan to add product details their semi-regularly.