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Messages - Winterblight

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1
I consider most of my stuff on DriveThru to be of a hobbyist standard, not professionally published, so I’m definitely not an authority on sales for the bigger players. Hell, I’m still trying to figure out how DriveThru’s crappy publishing interface works, but I think there are definitely ways to game the system if you are savvy enough. I’ve also read somewhere that they are cracking down on folks gaming the system.

There are some things to keep in mind:

Badges: Copper =50+ sales, Silver =100+ etc.  Badges are important. They are important as they show how popular something is, and some folks like to buy stuff other people are obviously buying. From some of my own stuff through a third party publisher 100 City Encounters and 100 Wilderness Encounters are good examples. As soon as they earned their Copper Medals, sales temporally increased 3 times what they had been. 

Ratings & Reviews: Sometime after 100 City Encounters earned its Copper Medal and after sales fell back to normal, someone posted a glowing review and a five star rating. Sales spike enough to carry it over to its Silver Medal, with another small spike in sales. It now sells constantly and should easily reach its Electrum or Gold, or whatever comes next.

Publisher Points: The more you sell the more publisher points you earn. You can do various things with them such as advertise on DriveThru and submit a product for Deal of the Day. Having spoken to other publishers, Deal of the Day not only gives you additional sales of the product, but is often followed by a spike in your back catalogue.

Visibility: All the above feeds into where you products are seen. Best seller page, medal best seller pages, Deal of the day on the front page, new products page, advertising etc. If you get enough momentum, it’s a feedback loop and if you are savvy enough, even without breaking any rules, you can use it to your advantage.

One example of activity that I though was a bit ‘suspicious’ was for a product I uploaded as community content. It started well, became one of my best earners. Suddenly sales skyrocketed, but my income from it didn’t seem to match the volume of sales. When I looked into it, the community content owner had put it in a sale and as soon as it hit the Copper Medal, removed it from the sale. Now imagine doing that with something that would naturally sell very well anyway. Suddenly you are earning medals, publisher points, probably a few ratings and reviews, and your visibly increases until it’s almost a constant for a good period of time.  So if you were to add underhand dealings such as shill accounts and ratings and reviews, you could definitely influence your number of sales.

As a publisher, it’s the sheer amount of content you are up against. I uploaded one product, came back a day later to upload another and there were 149 new products since my last visit. There is probably a good reason why most things sell less than 50 copies.

2
News and Adverts / WinterBlight's Challenge - The River Of Frozen Souls
« on: January 14, 2021, 11:50:52 am »
The River Of Frozen Souls has shattered. As the remnants of this once mighty frozen fortress drifts south on the Sea Of Broken Blades, it carries with it the Anvil of Ice, a powerful artefact capable of bringing eternal winter to the world. Will this winter be your last?

The River Of Frozen Souls is a generic adventure set in the frozen north that can be used in almost any fantasy setting. This product includes the following:

•   Adventure Background
•   Plot Synopsis
•   Three Chapters Detailing The Adventure
•   Travel hazards And Encounter Tables
•   17 Dungeon Location Maps
•   Dungeon Creation Rules
•   Dungeon Dressing Tables




WinterBlight's Other Products:

High Swamps Of Thunder Maug - Swampy setting location for almost any fantasy setting
The Hammered Hobgoblin - Location setting for almost any fantasy game
Betrayal At Tarsus Mor - An adventure for low-level characters
Godsfall - Forge Of The Heavens - A fantasy adventure with a Sci Fi twist
Blind Man's Alley - A City Location
100 Coastal Encounters - Adventure hooks washed up by the tide for almost any fantasy game
Hermitage & Winch House - PWYW Floor Plans
Unfinished Temple - PWYW Floor Plans

My Other Stuff On DriveThru:

The Witch's Daughter - A low magic adventure for any medieval style campaign
100 City Encounters - 5 Star Silver Seller - Adventure hooks for almost any fantasy game
100 Wilderness Encounters - Adventure hooks for almost any fantasy game
100 Desert Encounters - Adventure hooks for almost any fantasy game






3


Fetid swamps, dank ruins, unique creatures and an ancient order of assassins. It is little wonder that in the Thunder Maug, death awaits the unwary.

Infinite Worlds are detailed locations that can be used in almost any fantasy setting. The High Swamps of Thunder Maug includes the following:

•   In-character Intro
•   Detailed location descriptions
•   Unique flora and fauna
•   Dungeon maps
•   Map of the Thunder Maug
•   Adventure hooks
•   Short history
•   Travel hazards and encounter tables

WinterBlight's Other Products:

The Hammered Hobgoblin - Location setting for almost any fantasy game
Betrayal At Tarsus Mor - An adventure for low-level characters
Godsfall - Forge Of The Heavens - A fantasy adventure with a Sci Fi twist
Blind Man's Alley - A City Location
100 Coastal Encounters - Adventure hooks washed up by the tide for almost any fantasy game
Hermitage & Winch House - PWYW Floor Plans
Unfinished Temple - PWYW Floor Plans

My Other Stuff On DriveThru:

The Witch's Daughter - A low magic adventure for any medieval style campaign
100 City Encounters - 5 Star Silver Seller - Adventure hooks for almost any fantasy game
100 Wilderness Encounters - Adventure hooks for almost any fantasy game
100 Desert Encounters - Adventure hooks for almost any fantasy game

4
News and Adverts / WinterBlight's Challenge - The Hammered Hobgoblin
« on: January 13, 2021, 04:04:43 am »




A hobgoblin shrine, a murdered monk, and an adventurer’s retirement plan. The Hammered Hobgoblin is a tavern with a bloody history – a history anyone could get caught up in for the want of a cold beer and a warm bed.

This location can be dropped into almost any fantasy setting. The Hammered Hobgoblin includes the following:

A short background
Location description
Location maps – Gamemaster and Player versions
Adventure hooks
Location poster map of the Hammered Hills
Location poster map of the Hammered Hobgoblin



WinterBlight's Other Products:

Betrayal At Tarsus Mor - An adventure for low-level characters
Godsfall - Forge Of The Heavens - A fantasy adventure with a Sci Fi twist
Blind Man's Alley - A City Location
100 Coastal Encounters - Adventure hooks washed up by the tide for almost any fantasy game
Hermitage & Winch House - PWYW Floor Plans
Unfinished Temple - PWYW Floor Plans

My Other Stuff On DriveThru:

The Witch's Daughter - A low magic adventure for any medieval style campaign
100 City Encounters - 5 Star Silver Seller - Adventure hooks for almost any fantasy game
100 Wilderness Encounters - Adventure hooks for almost any fantasy game
100 Desert Encounters - Adventure hooks for almost any fantasy game

5
Now:

1. How do you handle players who suffer "analysis paralysis" when faced with choices?

I try not to give the players too many choices to start with. I might have dozens of encounters and situations ready to go, but the players don’t need to know every option open to them all at once.

Another thing I try to do at the beginning of each session is a recap of what happened in the last session and provide/remind the players of some loose ends they might have forgotten they were chasing up.

I like to mine my character’s backgrounds for ideas I think might interest them, then use hooks that the players are more likely to follow.


2. How do you handle when the party decides to set-up a tavern when the BBEG is preparing to burn the town?

If the party want to build a tavern, that’s on them. If the town gets burnt down, it’s likely their tavern is burnt down with it. Burning of the town shouldn’t’ be a complete surprise, however, they should have had a chance to figure out that something like that might be coming. Then, they might not build a tavern, they might try and prevent the attack, or they may help defend the town if they have built a tavern. Also, the tavern can then become the focus of defending the town. Tavern owners also hear all the town rumours, which should lead to further adventure.

One scene I’ve presented to different groups of players that have decided to open a tavern is that of another adventuring party arriving to meet their employer who proceeds to pass a large bag of gold across the table having hired them for some exciting quest.


3. Should I be giving each character multiple choices per scene OR present the choices to the party as a whole?

Present them to the party as a whole, but as above, add some hooks that an individual character might be more likely to bite at. Once one characters show an interest, I find the others will quickly follow.

4. In your adventure premise do you tell the players secret events going on or do you keep it to yourself?

Rumours are how I would present secret info to my players. Some of it will be false, some will have a modicum of truth. Rarely will I just hand over information that is better found by adventuring. If the characters are hired to do something, they might learn a little secret stuff up front, such as “we want you to kill the count – he’s a vampire. Everyone else who knows is dead”
The employer turns up dead the next evening with two holes in his neck.


5. Of what value are "conflicted factions" (NPC groups at odds with each other) in your setting?

Factions have been pivotal in my last few games. Having the player characters make enemies, allies and contacts with different factions more or less ends up generating additional adventure without me even having to come up with it. I tend to use favours as a currency when dealing with factions. Agreeing to do favours and being owed favours can lead to all manner of interesting consequences.

6. Say you have a Murderhobo® and a Diplomancer™ in the party. Do you allow them to dominate combat/social scenes in order to move forward or is that bad for the group?

It depends on the style of game you are playing. In my games, there are consequences to murder hoboing. Again, I find that if one player is proactive, the others tend to follow suit. None of my players tend to hog the limelight. In both cases, if there is dominant player, the party can be split, allowing each character to do their own thing. For example at a ball, the Diplomancer might be seen to hog the limelight – just what the thief wanted as he goes off and snoops around. In a dungeon, the murderhobo might cause such a ruckus that the rest of the group can leave him to it as they do their own thing.

6
I write adventures for fun, and occasionally profit. One thing I’ve realised is that it’s impossible to keep everyone happy, even myself sometimes.

Writing modules for a specific IP is a different beast from writing something that might be run at a convention and is different from writing something for your own table. I’ve tried the different act structures and story pyramids and flow charts and in all honesty, I find most of that shit just gets in the way of me writing something I want to write.

Now, I like to look at it from my personal likes as a GM and a Player. As a GM I want something interesting to read, but that something interesting shouldn’t swallow up what might otherwise be a decent concept for an adventure. As a Player I want my actions and choices to impact on how the adventure unfolds, but I also know I need to have a little buy in from the get go.

As an example of what I mean. In Godsfall: Forge of the Heavens the characters have to gather a number of holy relics before assembling them at a specific place and time. From the Players point of view, they have a choice of how they go about acquiring the relics and in what order. Sealing the relics creates enemies, convincing the guardians their relics are part of a holy quest might create allies. The order determines which enemies the player characters might have dogging their tails or what allies they might have along for the ride. Pissing off the most powerful faction from the get go might make things more difficult than if they do that part last. Stealing the largest relic from the get go might create problems all of its own.

From a GM’s point of view, I got a bit a mileage out of this. I’ve ran this for two different groups, one as a fantasy adventure, but also as an adventure for my sci fi group, from the point of view of the characters visiting the planet searching for a lost crewmate and getting involved in local events.

7
Our group did a stint with rotating GMs. The new GM continued on with the events the player characters had already been involved with and had helped shape, but a few issues crept into the game. The most disruptive was he created some new house rules and did away with some RAW. This caused quite a bit of confusion as some of the players actively used those rules. What was just as annoying was when it became my turn again, I went back to RAW.

8
I moved from playing SotDL to Zweihander. My group were not as enthused about D20 rules. I was gifted Zweihander and we gave it a try. We have been playing it now for over a year now. The rules appear balanced and D100 seems to suit my group better. The book does have serious bloat that gets in the way with regards to reading and finding rules, especially at the gaming table. I know there is a revised version, but can't comment on that. Once our campaign is over we will be moving to another system. My overall thoughts is that it is a decent system, but just another edition of Warhammer for all intents and purposes.

9
News and Adverts / Godsfall - Forge Of The Heavens
« on: July 21, 2020, 04:16:32 pm »
[ATTACH=CONFIG]4695[/ATTACH]


WinterBlight's Challenge Presents - Godsfall: Forge Of The Heavens


For thousands of years, the gods have fallen from the skies, their blazing flame-wreathed chariots proclaiming their divinity to the world. As sure as the sun rises, war follows each new arrival, the new gods competing with the old, each rewarding their faithful with powerful gifts created in the Forge of the Heavens.

Throughout Godsfall's history, pantheons have risen and fallen, and the land has become blighted by fanatical cults dedicated to its many dying religions. Everything changes, however, with the arrival of Strache, the god of Light and Thunder. Shortly after her arrival Strache is assassinated, not by another god, but seemingly by a mortal, a sorceress named Zirrit.

Somehow able to wield the most powerful gifts from the Forge of the Heavens, Zirrit declares the age of gods to have ended. Such declarations, however, do not go unanswered in a land aflame with zeal such as Godsfall. As the clouds of war gather, they promise a battle worthy of the end of times. The player characters find themselves caught up in events when they are hired to steal some of the most significant religious artefacts in all of Godsfall and bring them together on the Altar of Strache to stop the slaughter before it begins.

Can the player characters stay in front of the religious fanatics they have already stolen from as they search for the other artefacts they need to complete their task?


This mid level adventure uses the Old-School Essentials third party license, the NPC use stat blocks compatible with Old-School Essentials, but the adventure is generic enough that it can be used in almost any fantasy game.

WinterBlight's Other Products:

Betrayal At Tarsus Mor - An adventure for low-level characters
Blind Man's Alley - A City Location
100 Coastal Encounters - Adventure hooks washed up by the tide for almost any fantasy game
Hermitage & Winch House - PWYW Floor Plans
Unfinished Temple - PWYW Floor Plans

My Other Stuff On DriveThru:

The Witch's Daughter - A low magic adventure for any medieval style campaign
100 City Encounters - 5 Star Silver Seller - Adventure hooks for almost any fantasy game
100 Wilderness Encounters - Adventure hooks for almost any fantasy game
100 Desert Encounters - Adventure hooks for almost any fantasy game

10
Ive a few recently delivered games on my shelf:

High Valor
Mythras
Abstract Dungeon
Magic World and Advanced Sorcery

That should keep me going for a bit

11
Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion / Gardening and D&D
« on: April 15, 2020, 03:24:07 pm »
For a D&D class, my garden would definitely be a Magic User. I put things in the ground and weird shit grows out of it. Sometimes it feels like someone has rolled on a random D20 table to see what appears, but its probably down to the fact that I rarely label anything and then forget what I planted where! I spend a lot of time in the garden and for some reason I'm obsessed with composting.

12
I like to see an introductory adventure in the core rules, especially if it showcases the setting, or is just a fun method of allowing the group to test the rules. The OP refers to Shadowrun - First Run or Food Fight as its become known. While this little encounter could be placed in any modern setting with guns, it allowed the players to have some real fun getting to know the rules and allowed the GM to describe the various hilarious results of a gun battle in a supermarket. I've played this many times with new groups, and its definitely not a waste of space.

An introductory adventure shouldn't spread itself too thin, but should demonstrate game's premise or main themes, introduce an iconic location and perhaps some of the main antagonists. I like to see NPC stats along with a few helpful page references.

13
I love rolling dice. As my groups GM I don't think I could even consider an rpg that doesn't want me to roll dice.

14
Great looking map. I wouldn't worry about where mountains are positioned, as long as when you add the rivers they flow from the uplands to seas and lakes. The landmass names are a little hard  to read. I normally don't add text to a map until everything else is finished. Great Job.

15
News and Adverts / Kickstarter - Overkill D20
« on: February 20, 2020, 01:35:06 pm »
If any of you are into wacky dice, or just want to see the look on your GM's face, check out the Overkill dice. This one is run by Bob Whitely of QT Games, a good friend of mine.

Overkill Kickstarter

[ATTACH=CONFIG]4166[/ATTACH]

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