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TheForgotten
So I was in my local comic book shop (that has a very limited game selection) and what did I see but a new game Anima. Attractive layout, flip through randomly find the magic chapter, glance at a page, well this looks like it might be interesting. It's been nearly half a decade since I picked up a new game system (last one was warhammer FRP), primarily because of lack of exposure to new games in my area (they just don't make it to store shelves anywhere within 100 miles). Ok, why not, I'm sold how much is this game? $60 ?!?! On second thought never mind.

Most FLGS's have stopped carrying RPG's (even one store within 100 feet of a college campus that I stopped in recently). Seems like, while everyone is blaming either MMO's or online piracy for the decline in RPG sales we are overlooking a couple of things:

1. Games are too expensive. The $15 D&D splat book I bought in 1992 should cost about $22 in 2007 dollars (last year the calculator I used has data for). Street magic retails for $34.99. Simple economics higher price = lower demand. Can you afford an extra $10 over what the inflation adjusted cost should be, probably, will it result in less demand for games, definately.

2. There is no good way to find new games. There is really no equivalent today of being able to walk into your FLGS and find a new game on the recent releases shelf.

3. We killed metaplot! And there was much rejoicing, then sales fell off the cliff.

4. Games today are boring. I don't mean this of all games but many of todays rulebooks read like design docs for an MMO. Every action needs a procedure call to carry out (D&D 4 I'm looking at you). Magic systems have been heavily influenced by MMO's, balanced to be a mundane part of the world with every action taken under the system mechanically described (as opposed to earlier more freeform systems).

I know most of these don't apply to shadowrun under the current company holding the license. Just venting a bit, and finding it interesting that games now seem to be priced taking Amazon discounting into account.
Ancient History
QUOTE (TheForgotten @ Mar 1 2009, 04:46 AM) *
1. Games are too expensive. The $15 D&D splat book I bought in 1992 should cost about $22 in 2007 dollars (last year the calculator I used has data for). Street magic retails for $34.99. Simple economics higher price = lower demand. Can you afford an extra $10 over what the inflation adjusted cost should be, probably, will it result in less demand for games, definately.

The industry has shrunk and standards have gone up (generally speaking). While I too dream of the days when every sourcebook was $20 or less, I also like the stack of shiny, hardbound tomes on my shelf full of pretty (full color) pictures on glossy paper.

QUOTE
2. There is no good way to find new games. There is really no equivalent today of being able to walk into your FLGS and find a new game on the recent releases shelf.

I too reminisce about the days when the FLGS was the center of the hobby - but no more. Today, the internet is king, long live the internet retailers. There is more gaming crap out there than you can shake a stick at; if you can't find it is because you aren't looking.

QUOTE
3. We killed metaplot! And there was much rejoicing, then sales fell off the cliff.

Whattaya mean "we," pale face? Shadowrun still enjoys a rich metaplot - and hell, GURPS never really had one and it's still kickin'.

QUOTE
4. Games today are boring. I don't mean this of all games but many of todays rulebooks read like design docs for an MMO. Every action needs a procedure call to carry out (D&D 4 I'm looking at you). Magic systems have been heavily influenced by MMO's, balanced to be a mundane part of the world with every action taken under the system mechanically described (as opposed to earlier more freeform systems).

D&D4 is not the dipstick I'd measure all of gaming by, and your comment about magic systems is patently untrue.
Thadeus Bearpaw
QUOTE (TheForgotten @ Feb 28 2009, 09:46 PM) *
So I was in my local comic book shop (that has a very limited game selection) and what did I see but a new game Anima. Attractive layout, flip through randomly find the magic chapter, glance at a page, well this looks like it might be interesting. It's been nearly half a decade since I picked up a new game system (last one was warhammer FRP), primarily because of lack of exposure to new games in my area (they just don't make it to store shelves anywhere within 100 miles). Ok, why not, I'm sold how much is this game? $60 ?!?! On second thought never mind.

Most FLGS's have stopped carrying RPG's (even one store within 100 feet of a college campus that I stopped in recently). Seems like, while everyone is blaming either MMO's or online piracy for the decline in RPG sales we are overlooking a couple of things:

1. Games are too expensive. The $15 D&D splat book I bought in 1992 should cost about $22 in 2007 dollars (last year the calculator I used has data for). Street magic retails for $34.99. Simple economics higher price = lower demand. Can you afford an extra $10 over what the inflation adjusted cost should be, probably, will it result in less demand for games, definately.

2. There is no good way to find new games. There is really no equivalent today of being able to walk into your FLGS and find a new game on the recent releases shelf.

3. We killed metaplot! And there was much rejoicing, then sales fell off the cliff.

4. Games today are boring. I don't mean this of all games but many of todays rulebooks read like design docs for an MMO. Every action needs a procedure call to carry out (D&D 4 I'm looking at you). Magic systems have been heavily influenced by MMO's, balanced to be a mundane part of the world with every action taken under the system mechanically described (as opposed to earlier more freeform systems).

I know most of these don't apply to shadowrun under the current company holding the license. Just venting a bit, and finding it interesting that games now seem to be priced taking Amazon discounting into account.


My FLGS carries well over a dozen RPGs. The increase in books has been fairly consistent with inflation, though they are expensive I don't argue this. The newest games I've read recently which is Dark Heresy and Cthulhutech were both interesting and I hope to run those games at some point. Perhaps in your area there has been a decline? I still have a group of six players, with three who have expressed in playing or are wanting to play. We started up Warhammer 40k recently. There's really no shortage of gaming either in my community or my group. There's three other groups I'm aware of who plays games and I believe two others who have dissolved in the last 6 months (I live a College town so tha's not surprising). Also the local FLGs I mentioned above still hosts tournmanets for CCGs, TTWGs, and RPGs. I don't think the state of gaming is necesarilly bad. I think it's been flooded with people who previously wouldn't be considered gamers and the market is changing to allow for this influx of new people. Shadworun still sells very well, White Wolf still sells well, Games-worshop and Privateer Press are still turning great profits and magic is still going strong. So if you don't like the new games coming than that's fine and I respect your opinion but I don't think it's indicative of the general state of gaming.
Thadeus Bearpaw
QUOTE (Ancient History @ Feb 28 2009, 09:54 PM) *
The industry has shrunk and standards have gone up (generally speaking). While I too dream of the days when every sourcebook was $20 or less, I also like the stack of shiny, hardbound tomes on my shelf full of pretty (full color) pictures on glossy paper.

D&D4 is not the dipstick I'd measure all of gaming by, and your comment about magic systems is patently untrue.


I agree complete AH, newer books look well nicer than my older books and that'd also explain the upswing in prices (I didn't consider material in my first post and I should have).
BnF95
QUOTE (Thadeus Bearpaw @ Mar 1 2009, 12:25 PM) *
I agree complete AH, newer books look well nicer than my older books and that'd also explain the upswing in prices (I didn't consider material in my first post and I should have).

On the other hand, while they may look nicer I notice that the binding goes a lot faster, and the spine often breaks quickly.
Browncoatone
QUOTE
I notice that the binding goes a lot faster, and the spine often breaks quickly.


I often wondered if that was by design- that is, intentional.
Cain
QUOTE
The industry has shrunk and standards have gone up (generally speaking). While I too dream of the days when every sourcebook was $20 or less, I also like the stack of shiny, hardbound tomes on my shelf full of pretty (full color) pictures on glossy paper.

I need to point out that this isn't exactly true. Savage Worlds' core book is trade-paperback sized, is chock-full of full-color illustrations on glossy paper, is as complete as any comparable core book, and costs under $10. They're reprinting sourcebooks in the same format, for the same price. In Shadowrun terms, if you can deal with the odd size, you could have Street Magic released, with more art and in full color, at less than 1/3 it's current cover price.
Ancient History
I've got my issues with Savage Worlds, which we won't go into (much), and yes their Explorer's Edition is attractively priced at $9.99 - which is about commensurate with the price some mass-market paperbacks are climbing toward. I would not call it "comparable" though (and yes, this is my kink talking) because Savage Worlds is a system, not a setting. I'm also not privy to Pinnacle's numbers but I wouldn't be surprised if they cut the price on core rulebook to sell more units and make it up later (additional caveat: I may be completely talking out of my ass on that one).
Adam
Generally, in the case of books like Savage Worlds Explorers Edition, the Mutants and Masterminds Pocket Player's Guide, and other such books -- the cost of the writing, editing, and art has already been absorbed by the original print run, which can help keep the price lower than that book would be if it were all new content.
Cain
QUOTE (Ancient History @ Feb 28 2009, 09:29 PM) *
I've got my issues with Savage Worlds, which we won't go into (much), and yes their Explorer's Edition is attractively priced at $9.99 - which is about commensurate with the price some mass-market paperbacks are climbing toward. I would not call it "comparable" though (and yes, this is my kink talking) because Savage Worlds is a system, not a setting. I'm also not privy to Pinnacle's numbers but I wouldn't be surprised if they cut the price on core rulebook to sell more units and make it up later (additional caveat: I may be completely talking out of my ass on that one).

The Necessary Evil: Explorer's Edition trade paperback reprints close to 200 pages of material, full color, and sells for $15 at my FLGS. I wouldn't say that it looks like they cut initial costs to make it up later, at that price. So, we have $25 for a system and setting, full color on all pages, for about half of what the SR4 core book sells for.
QUOTE
Generally, in the case of books like Savage Worlds Explorers Edition, the Mutants and Masterminds Pocket Player's Guide, and other such books -- the cost of the writing, editing, and art has already been absorbed by the original print run, which can help keep the price lower than that book would be if it were all new content.

That begs the question of why not do it for things like the recent reprint of Street Magic. Call it a "deluxe hardcover edition" and the general release. I'm sure no one here would complain if they could get their books at 1/3 the cost.
Anythingforenoughnuyen
I always feel a bit awkward when the subject of FLGS comes up. There are several gaming stores around where I live, and none of them are what I would describe as friendly. They do not even really meet basic professional business standards. I am not talking about service with a smile. I am talking about people who react in a shitty way if you ask them to pause their various conversations with hangers on to ring up your purchase. Or fail to place orders after taking down your information. Or fail to notify you when your order has come in. Or fail to notify you if there is going to be a delay in your order. And then react with a shitty attitude if you enquire as to what the situation with your order is (as though calling to enquire as to such is an irrational waste of their time). I am talking about people who react in a shitty way if you ask them if a book is in stalk (I have even had them say no, and, not trusting them, checked myself and found the book on the shelves). I do not have the best on-line etiquette, but I am generally courteous to people in a professional or personal setting. Yet I have ended up making all of my recent gaming purchases on line because the people who work at my “F?LGS just suck. My question is, do I just live in a poor area attitude wise, or does anyone else out there find there Local Gaming Store lacking?

AFE nuyen.gif
Cardul
QUOTE (Anythingforenoughnuyen @ Mar 1 2009, 05:41 AM) *
I always feel a bit awkward when the subject of FLGS comes up. There are several gaming stores around where I live, and none of them are what I would describe as friendly. They do not even really meet basic professional business standards. I am not talking about service with a smile. I am talking about people who react in a shitty way if you ask them to pause their various conversations with hangers on to ring up your purchase. Or fail to place orders after taking down your information. Or fail to notify you when your order has come in. Or fail to notify you if there is going to be a delay in your order. And then react with a shitty attitude if you enquire as to what the situation with your order is (as though calling to enquire as to such is an irrational waste of their time). I am talking about people who react in a shitty way if you ask them if a book is in stalk (I have even had them say no, and, not trusting them, checked myself and found the book on the shelves). I do not have the best on-line etiquette, but I am generally courteous to people in a professional or personal setting. Yet I have ended up making all of my recent gaming purchases on line because the people who work at my “F?LGS just suck. My question is, do I just live in a poor area attitude wise, or does anyone else out there find there Local Gaming Store lacking?

AFE nuyen.gif



OK...we have two game stores in my area. One...well, my group avoid it like the plague. Last time I was in there, I had about 200 dollars worth of miniatures to purchase, and was getting ready to head to the cash register, when the "clerk"(who had been following me around, hovering nearby, watching me intently like he thought I was going to try and steal something) started to actually criticize what I was getting ready to buy. So, I put the stuff back on the shelf, and left. I went to the other store, and I have made all my purchases from there since.

The other store: We have table set aside for us for battletech and RPGs..it is OUR table. I know that I, personally, of the group probably spend 200 or so a month on game books, magic cards, and snacks. I know our other players drop money on large amounts of comics, magic cards, books, manga, etc. We are talking 7 players who, collectively, continually spend more money in that store a month then the 40K and Warmachine players do, since we are contantly buying something, and those other guys, when they have the stuff they need, they do not keep purchasing it. I think that is part of why we get the red-carpet, but, still..that means they are making a sound business decision.

In all honesty, AFE, I think it is just a bad area.
Then again, I will freely admit to the OP, that the only thing that has kept me so far from buying Dreams of the First Age for Exalted is its 60 dollar price tag...if it were 10 dollars cheaper, then I might actually seriously consider it. I really do think there is a point where a game's prices put it where it beyond palatable. The Battletech Core books are actually pushing that point for me...if not for the fact that they really are so BIG..I might not consider the 50 dollar price tag on TacOps. If a Shadowrun sourcebook were 50 dollars...I would expect something big, with colour art, and really kick-ass art, with fiction of more then a single page, and that I could use to club unruly players into submission with...you know..like TacOps wink.gif But, I do not think we will ever see a book costing 50+ dollars for Shadowrun...
Method
You also have to consider that for $50-60 a kid can go buy a FPS or RPG style game for Xbox or Playstation and get instant gratification without having to spend all that time reading rules, preping a game, finding players, generating characters etc.


Ryu
Yes. I don´t think that the problem is cost, I think the problem is appreciation of worth.
BlueMax
Times and tastes change.
1. I don't think this is a good forum for socioeconomic debate, so I won't go into relative pricing over the years: I will simply disagree.
2. Finding new games when I was a kid meant going to the FLGS and singing up for new games. People were always willing to let others have a taste of their candy. Now, I live in an area where the FLGS don't provide game space. [Take gun, aim at foot, fire, repeat if you have not caught on]. However, it should be noted that gaming no longer has the same "critical mass". When I was in junior high/middle school, there were a dozen groups on a campus fo 700 students. I doubt you will find that sort of ratio too often now.
3. The metaplot still has its hands all over everything, I strongly disagree. From my experience, the metaplot sold fiction. It did not sell gaming. Most groups of any value had their "own thing" going and if lucky it meshed with the metaplot. Metaplot was good for some card games. The players weren't involved in the story so someone may as well be.. ( This could be said for some miniatures games too)
4. Ha! If you have a moment, look up the RPG greats from the 80's. Seriously, look them up. Tons of them get HUGE money to design the back ends to MMOs. So this particular slitch is a "full circle" slitch. Chase one's own tail. The talent goes where the money flows.

(5) Everything is priced factoring a discount now. Its so they can fool you with "20% off!" "50% OFF!" signs. Determine an items true value and only pay that. Ignore what they ask, display or push.
Wesley Street
@TheForgotten

Some of what you've described is true of all niche entertainment markets. Comics are a lot more expensive now than the 75-cent issues of Justice League International that I read as a kid. But inflation, better quality paper (I swear those things were printed on toilet tissue), and different business models have resulted in a 400% price increase over the past 25 years. Nintendo games from the 80s? Remember how much those cost compared to the $50-60 Xbox 360 games of today? But, again, they're not even the same thing: Mario bopping the same enemies in the same place each time in a side-scroller doesn't compare to driving through a fully immersible, near life-like digital city with your friends.

RPGs from a few decades ago were a lot cheaper. But it was also a different market: production costs were cheaper, everyone and his cousin were creating his own RPG system, and there was a lot more product out there to compete against. But take off the rose-tinted glasses and there was also a lot more complete and utter garbage out there. Market forces have since weeded them out. So while there are fewer games, the ones that are published are of much, much better quality. Or are at least more refined. I too prefer nice hardback tomes on my bookshelf to paperbacks that bend under their own weight. Binding issues aside, naturally. I prefer to read hardback books and will pay more for the experience and convenience rather than saving a few bucks for the cheap pocket sized paperback.

I wouldn't compare D&D to the rest of the RPGs on the market. Full disclosure: I enjoy D&D but not so much for the RP aspect of it (as there isn't really one... you gain XP by killing the baddies and that's pretty much it) but rather for the tactics and generalized monster-squishery. Players don't have to be "in character" and feel like they're ruining the game. D&D is a different beast. And I wouldn't say that D&D is more like an MMORPG but rather that D&D launched the MMORPGs and has now caught up to them. I think D&D was always going to be what it has turned into whether WoW existed or not.

The Internet is how I find out about new games. And find new players. The FLGS, in that regard, doesn't fill that role anymore. It's still a resource but it isn't the be-all and end-all of the gamer's world. My FLGSes do carry RPGs and are typically willing to order ones that they don't if you request it. Sadly, we had a local store that recently closed that had a gigantic back-stock of old, out of print material (reasonably priced) that I could only find (rarely) on eBay.

QUOTE (Browncoatone @ Mar 1 2009, 12:13 AM) *
I often wondered if that was by design- that is, intentional.

I'm going to take off my tinfoil hat here and say that I haven't run into this problem but I'm also fanatically careful with my possessions.
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Ancient History @ Feb 28 2009, 10:54 PM) *
The industry has shrunk and standards have gone up (generally speaking). While I too dream of the days when every sourcebook was $20 or less, I also like the stack of shiny, hardbound tomes on my shelf full of pretty (full color) pictures on glossy paper.

Admittedly neither full colour nor glossy, but my impression was that a market that once supported books like the Paranormal Animals books, the Street Samurai Catalogue, or the Denver Boxed Set no longer does. That sounds like standards dropping to me, unless "generally speaking" is much less general than it sounds like.

~J
imperialus
QUOTE (BnF95 @ Feb 28 2009, 10:02 PM) *
On the other hand, while they may look nicer I notice that the binding goes a lot faster, and the spine often breaks quickly.


Really? Wow... If you're referring to Shadowrun you must be having a run of bad luck. I've never had a Catalyst book break on me. I remember the days when there was a joke running around that FASA actually stood for "Fall Apart Sourcebooks Always". My buddy and I probably could have opened a bookbinding business with all the experience FASA gave us piecing books back together with packing tape and Elmers school glue.

I think RPG's are doing OK. I think 4E's problems might be bigger than Wizards is letting on, and the recession isn't helping, luxury items like RPG's are one of the first things I suspect that people would cut back on but like other posters have mentioned, online retailers are still doing quite well.

My FLGS is still doing pretty well. They diversified into online stuff a few years ago, aiming at the collectors market and generally kept with trends adding a wide variety of Eurogames to their stock and staying diverse in general. Basically the same thing they did when Magic took off back in the 90's. Because the store doubles as a warehouse for their online stuff (in fact it is a converted warehouse) they have the luxury of being able to keep the cost of their shelf space low and can afford to stock a lot of variety.
Dumori
My FLGS aint too local for me. I have to make a day trip to go to it... due to my lack of personal transport. However it has good stock and nice people. They are very opinionated but in a good way. Stock is always a problem round here but in used to hunting for books and such. Again there almost next door to my local good quality book/comic store. One or the other will have what i want in or be able to order it me. Though my major problem is finding a group. My last one fell away due to most of the player going to uni.
Zen Shooter01
The complaint that RPGs are too expensive keeps cropping up, and it's never been true. It's the opposite of true.

If you buy SR4, AUG, ARS, SM, and U for $35 each, plus one setting book at $25, plus sales tax of 7%, you've spent $214. You now have plenty of material to run Shadowrun for at least a year without spending another nickel. Presume that means 48 game sessions, at five hours per session. So you've just spent $1.12 per hour at the table - not including time reading the books, preparing the game, or talking about the game. Presume there are five people in the gaming group, and the cost per manhour of entertainment drops to 22 cents. Suppose you buy two copies of each book - per manhour cost, 44 cents.

Take five people out drinking, out to the movies, out to dinner, out to Origins, it's going to cost a lot more than 44 cents per person per hour. Very few entertainments are cheaper than RPGs.

Then in the second year, it gets even cheaper, because you already own the core books.

Synner667
QUOTE (Zen Shooter01 @ Mar 1 2009, 08:34 PM) *
The complaint that RPGs are too expensive keeps cropping up, and it's never been true. It's the opposite of true.

If you buy SR4, AUG, ARS, SM, and U for $35 each, plus one setting book at $25, plus sales tax of 7%, you've spent $214. You now have plenty of material to run Shadowrun for at least a year without spending another nickel. Presume that means 48 game sessions, at five hours per session. So you've just spent $1.12 per hour at the table - not including time reading the books, preparing the game, or talking about the game. Presume there are five people in the gaming group, and the cost per manhour of entertainment drops to 22 cents. Suppose you buy two copies of each book - per manhour cost, 44 cents.

Take five people out drinking, out to the movies, out to dinner, out to Origins, it's going to cost a lot more than 44 cents per person per hour. Very few entertainments are cheaper than RPGs.

Then in the second year, it gets even cheaper, because you already own the core books.

Hi,
Just thought I'd chip in.

1) Crap service from a shop is a problem with the shop - nothing to do with roleplaying as a hobby.

2) I think the fact that 5 separate rulebooks are considered "core rulebooks" to play SR4 is outrageous. If it's expected that the SR4 rulebook is no longer sufficient to play the game then it no longer costs $35 to start - it actually costs $200+. And you think that's ok ??
It's an outrageous case of money grabbing. So yes, it is about cost. Trying to justify it by saying it's a tiny cost over a period of time is ludicrous - it's still having to plunk down $200 for the game to work.
Trying to justify it by saying they're not compulsary, means they're not "core rulebooks" and the SR4 rulebook is all you need on it's own - you can't have it both ways. Are they "core" or not ??
If I have 50 to spend, and the choice is SR not being usable for that price [because I "need" to buy all the corebooks to play, and can afford to buy SR4 and 1 other] or spending that money on GURPS, HERO, World of Darkness, CP2020, Dark Heresy, FUZION [which is free], even [god forbid] D&D for their core rulebooks - SR doesn't even get a look in.
TheForgotten
QUOTE (Ancient History @ Mar 1 2009, 03:54 AM) *
The industry has shrunk and standards have gone up (generally speaking). While I too dream of the days when every sourcebook was $20 or less, I also like the stack of shiny, hardbound tomes on my shelf full of pretty (full color) pictures on glossy paper.


Screw collectors items, give me games that people will actually play. Why on earth should I pay an extra $10 for a hardcover edition of "Random White Wolf WOD book with B&W interior illos." Most books just aren't interesting/useful enough to justify it.

QUOTE
I too reminisce about the days when the FLGS was the center of the hobby - but no more. Today, the internet is king, long live the internet retailers. There is more gaming crap out there than you can shake a stick at; if you can't find it is because you aren't looking.


Looking at the overall decline of gaming, I would say that I'm not the only one having problems finding stuff. Hell most gamers don't even hear about new games unless they get a mention on RPG.net. Locally the only thing I can find are WOD and D&D. Available variety, for most people, is worse then the early 90's before the WOD games.

QUOTE
Whattaya mean "we," pale face? Shadowrun still enjoys a rich metaplot - and hell, GURPS never really had one and it's still kickin'.


Two printed releases a year, primarily reprinting anthologies of material from the 90's (brought up to a new edition), isn't exactly what I'd call a living game system. Hell I remember the days when 8 releases a year was just about mandatory for a game not to fall of the radar. A lot of games have fallen off the radar.

QUOTE
D&D4 is not the dipstick I'd measure all of gaming by, and your comment about magic systems is patently untrue.


Um, how many Illusion spells do we need that give a -1/success to opponents rolls.
TheForgotten
QUOTE (Wesley Street @ Mar 1 2009, 05:40 PM) *
@TheForgotten

Some of what you've described is true of all niche entertainment markets. Comics are a lot more expensive now than the 75-cent issues of Justice League International that I read as a kid. But inflation, better quality paper (I swear those things were printed on toilet tissue), and different business models have resulted in a 400% price increase over the past 25 years. Nintendo games from the 80s? Remember how much those cost compared to the $50-60 Xbox 360 games of today? But, again, they're not even the same thing: Mario bopping the same enemies in the same place each time in a side-scroller doesn't compare to driving through a fully immersible, near life-like digital city with your friends.


A $40 ROM from 1994 would, inflation adjusted, cost a bit of $55 in 2007 dollars. So there's been a $5 increase over inflation. (Though this might be an apples and oranges comparison, ROMs had a higher hardware cost).

QUOTE
RPGs from a few decades ago were a lot cheaper. But it was also a different market: production costs were cheaper, everyone and his cousin were creating his own RPG system, and there was a lot more product out there to compete against. But take off the rose-tinted glasses and there was also a lot more complete and utter garbage out there. Market forces have since weeded them out. So while there are fewer games, the ones that are published are of much, much better quality. Or are at least more refined. I too prefer nice hardback tomes on my bookshelf to paperbacks that bend under their own weight. Binding issues aside, naturally. I prefer to read hardback books and will pay more for the experience and convenience rather than saving a few bucks for the cheap pocket sized paperback.


Given the choice between collectors items that will sit on my shelf and games that people will actually play, I'll take the game that's going to spend some time off the shelf.

QUOTE
I wouldn't compare D&D to the rest of the RPGs on the market. Full disclosure: I enjoy D&D but not so much for the RP aspect of it (as there isn't really one... you gain XP by killing the baddies and that's pretty much it) but rather for the tactics and generalized monster-squishery. Players don't have to be "in character" and feel like they're ruining the game. D&D is a different beast. And I wouldn't say that D&D is more like an MMORPG but rather that D&D launched the MMORPGs and has now caught up to them. I think D&D was always going to be what it has turned into whether WoW existed or not.


D&D is unlikely to continue in publication past Q4, 2009. Sales of 4th edition have been horrible.


QUOTE
The Internet is how I find out about new games. And find new players. The FLGS, in that regard, doesn't fill that role anymore. It's still a resource but it isn't the be-all and end-all of the gamer's world. My FLGSes do carry RPGs and are typically willing to order ones that they don't if you request it. Sadly, we had a local store that recently closed that had a gigantic back-stock of old, out of print material (reasonably priced) that I could only find (rarely) on eBay.


The last new RPG to be released to become a major game with Exalted in 2001 (40K is well on it's way, though I'm not sure a RPG version of the Warhammer qualifies as new).

I think the bottom line is that the PnP RPG industry has somehow thought that they where exempt from the demand curve. That better product would justify higher prices. The sad fact is higher price = less sales = less players. A specialty item every now and then might be on a different point of the Price/Demand curve. The bottom line though is that the current price of games is likely inefficient with demand. Higher prices = less sales = less overall profits.


Demonseed Elite
QUOTE (TheForgotten @ Mar 1 2009, 04:53 PM) *
Hell I remember the days when 8 releases a year was just about mandatory for a game not to fall of the radar. A lot of games have fallen off the radar.


Hell, the industry has fallen off the radar. Which is the root of most of the problems you are citing; it's just so small of a niche industry that there isn't a lot of support for it, whether from brick-and-mortar stores or online sources. There's also not a lot of money in it because it's so small, which limits releases and what you can do with those releases.
Tiger Eyes
QUOTE (Synner667 @ Mar 1 2009, 05:09 PM) *
2) I think the fact that 5 separate rulebooks are considered "core rulebooks" to play SR4 is outrageous. If it's expected that the SR4 rulebook is no longer sufficient to play the game then it no longer costs $35 to start - it actually costs $200+. And you think that's ok ??
It's an outrageous case of money grabbing. So yes, it is about cost. Trying to justify it by saying it's a tiny cost over a period of time is ludicrous - it's still having to plunk down $200 for the game to work.
Trying to justify it by saying they're not compulsary, means they're not "core rulebooks" and the SR4 rulebook is all you need on it's own - you can't have it both ways. Are they "core" or not ??
If I have �50 to spend, and the choice is SR not being usable for that price [because I "need" to buy all the corebooks to play, and can afford to buy SR4 and 1 other] or spending that money on GURPS, HERO, World of Darkness, CP2020, Dark Heresy, FUZION [which is free], even [god forbid] D&D for their core rulebooks - SR doesn't even get a look in.


I'd like to point out that you can play a great game of Shadowrun with nothing but SR4. My group did for quite some time (as did everyone else who picked up the game when SR4 came out and before the next Core book came out). We found the rules quite easy, the gear/magic/qualities/matrix/etc options more than adequate (except the darn Narcoject. I miss my Narcoject), and all in one book. And there are numerous other gamers out there who play Shadowrun with nothing but SR4, and have a marvelous time. I know, I was privileged to speak to many of them at GenCon.

I'd also like to point out that if Shadowrun were to produce nothing but the basic SR4 book, how long would the game be viable? Fans want additional material to the game. Some complain that there aren't 12 new releases a year--how many people on dumpshock have said, "Where is XYZ? When will you print ABC?" So your statement that it is "outrageous case of money grabbing" is way off, IMO. If Catalyst didn't produce more books, the SR game would die. That CGL has produced core rule books - Arsenal, etc - as well as fluff books, caters to fans and keeps the universe alive. "Money grabbing?" No. Unless by "Money Grabbing" you mean, not abandoning the game and keeping products coming for fans. Would you buy a comic book series that only printed the first comic, then stopped because they didn't want to ask fans to spend any more money???

Can someone plunk down $35 to pick up SR4 and play a full campaign? Yes.

Do the core books add more depth, interest, options, and possiblities to the game? Yes.

Will CGL continue to produce more products? Yes.
hobgoblin
maybe im to old-school for my own good, vut i have yet to figure out whats so great about cthulhutech...
Draco18s
Money Grubbing:
verb, To require players/users/fans to plunk down more money than expected. See Also: EA Games

Or in layman's terms:
Spore sucked because we didn't get a game. We got a toolbox and a note saying "the game comes in 5 installation based expansion packs due to be released over the next two years." It'd be like the SR4 BBB containing only the rules. No equipment, no setting, no little stories, no ShadowTalk, no examples of how the rules work. It'd be like the Spawn of Fashan.
Matsci
QUOTE (hobgoblin @ Mar 1 2009, 03:25 PM) *
maybe im to old-school for my own good, vut i have yet to figure out whats so great about cthulhutech...


It's an interesting Premisis, but it can be hard to run games in.
Cain
QUOTE
Can someone plunk down $35 to pick up SR4 and play a full campaign? Yes.

Do the core books add more depth, interest, options, and possiblities to the game? Yes.

Will CGL continue to produce more products? Yes.

All well and good; but again: why should we pay $35 for a main book, plus $25 a setting, when we can pay just $10 for the core book and $15 per setting?
BlueMax
QUOTE (Cain @ Mar 1 2009, 04:05 PM) *
All well and good; but again: why should we pay $35 for a main book, plus $25 a setting, when we can pay just $10 for the core book and $15 per setting?


If you perceive the $35 book as fulfilling that value, you buy it. It really doesn't get too much deeper.

Call me kooky but I like a market to have many options. That's not to say I like change simply for the sake of change but I like variation amongst my choices.

More and more , I am becoming that old guy who plays the old system and rants about how the new kids just don't get it. Back in my day the old men played Crimson Cutlass. Now we play other stuff. I have found a method of identifying the outlay games: They are not run at conventions. (I mean the multitude of conventions, even a dead game gets run at Origins, Dragon Con and Lake Geneva Con)
Demonseed Elite
QUOTE (Cain @ Mar 1 2009, 07:05 PM) *
All well and good; but again: why should we pay $35 for a main book, plus $25 a setting, when we can pay just $10 for the core book and $15 per setting?


I'm just wondering how a pricing plan like that would work. I mean, as was said above, reduced prices for re-run prints are possibly feasible, assuming you've paid off the production costs with the first run, but other than that, I'm not seeing it.
kzt
QUOTE (Demonseed Elite @ Mar 1 2009, 05:50 PM) *
I'm just wondering how a pricing plan like that would work. I mean, as was said above, reduced prices for re-run prints are possibly feasible, assuming you've paid off the production costs with the first run, but other than that, I'm not seeing it.

I know someone who does his heavy printing in China. Nice quality at hugely less than US prices. The lead time is a pretty serious obstacle, as it's got a shipping time of months.
Cain
You print the first run or two using hardbound. Call them the "Deluxe Limited Edition" or what have you.

Then, you release the cheap line. Savage Worlds calls it the "Explorer's Edition", so something like that would work.

The die-hard fans would line up in droves to buy the Deluxe edition. Just look at how fast the leatherette copies of the SR$ BBB went. At comparable prices to most other gaming books, casual gamers will pick it up as well.

When the cheap line emerges, suddenly not only will mildly interested gamers take a chance on the line, but the die-hard fans may even buy extra copies to complete their collection.
Freejack
A poorly run LGS will reflect on the RPG market. I lucked into a real hobby shop vs the craft stores and found that there were quite a few games still being published along with old favorites. Prior to that though, all my old haunts had closed or reverted to Magic: The Gathering type card game matches. The comic book shops had only comic books and collector cards (like M:tG or Pokemon). Hobby Town is where I bought my first new game book since I'd stopped playing 12 years prior (Paranoia XP). Now I know of several really good ones in the Denver area but they certainly aren't in main traffic areas or malls any more.

I've been using Yelp to bring some of the local gaming stores up into more mainstream viewing and received a few compliments from folk who didn't realize gaming was still going on.

I don't feel the prices so hard, probably because I'm an older guy and the kids have moved out. With the additional discretionary spending money, I can have three copies of the core book and two each of the supplements for the guys who don't have a copy and I have the PDFs since I generally bring a laptop to my games.

My wife gets more in a twist because I've spent $200 on Wings of War in the past month than $200 on the second printing of Street Magic, Feral Cities, CthulhuTech and Vade Mecum, and Deadlands Reloaded in the same time period (not to mention a couple more bricks of 6 siders and a couple of T-Shirts from the con).

She does put up with a lot smile.gif

I realize the core book is all you need to run Shadowrun. I know of several local groups that stuck with SR3 because there weren't any extra books though. One of the GMs is just now getting into SR4 in part because I've been keeping the local meetup group apprised of all the SR4 books that are out and that are coming this year.

In reviewing the recent con, no Shadowrun games were played (at least not officially). I know of two and maybe three that were run at last years and I plan on running a few at the upcoming Tacticon. So that'll keep Shadowrun in peoples minds smile.gif (I'm also planning on a couple of Wings of War games too biggrin.gif ).

I like all the new books and especially the Missions. It makes it easier for me to run 4 games a month (thank you guys yet again smile.gif ).

Carl
InfinityzeN
For the person complaining about Magic Systems being more and more MMO like, check out Ars Magica. You don't get any more un-MMO-like then that game. Totally different power levels between magic users, semi-users, and mundanes, Mages are truly epic world benders, etc. Also it is my second fav RPG (after SR).

*Edit: And they give the core rules for 4th edition away in PDF format for FREE!*
toturi
QUOTE (hobgoblin @ Mar 2 2009, 07:25 AM) *
maybe im to old-school for my own good, vut i have yet to figure out whats so great about cthulhutech...

The initial premise was good. I bought the core book and Vade Mecum based on what I read in the books. Then I found out it is not a "class"-less game like Shadowrun, and that classism was built into the canon setting. An example was that in canon (although not in RAW until they errata) a Tager or a Para-psychic cannot also be a mecha pilot. Which would be like the writers coming here and stating that in canon, Adepts do not rig. It was just too jarring for me.
TheForgotten
QUOTE (InfinityzeN @ Mar 2 2009, 04:12 AM) *
For the person complaining about Magic Systems being more and more MMO like, check out Ars Magica. You don't get any more un-MMO-like then that game. Totally different power levels between magic users, semi-users, and mundanes, Mages are truly epic world benders, etc. Also it is my second fav RPG (after SR).

*Edit: And they give the core rules for 4th edition away in PDF format for FREE!*


Yep, and I have almost every book published for the fifth edition. What happened to Atlas with the 4th edition is one of the reasons we don't see cheap digital downloads. Atlas put their core book out there for free and the retailers basically went "dead game, they're trying to cut us out, dump product and don't reorder."

Though I have to wonder if in the years since the retail channel might not have disintegrated to the point where trying for bulk digital downloads won't kill your game.

Actually who's got the rights to Earthdawn. With D&D 4th in the crapper this might be a good time to start repackaging the old material into PDF's and selling it for something liek $5 a book. Only problem of course is that PDF based games suffer HORRIBLY from lack of public awareness. If you can get 100,000 downloads at $5 a pop you're going to be doing better the well the rest of the business. Getting 100,000 people to hear about your game, now that's the hard part.
kanislatrans
ok, just throwing in my two cents in the too expensive debate:

Exhibit A- Seattle Sourcebook- released 1990- cover price -$18.00

Exhibit B-Feral Cities-released 2009-cover price-$24.99

difference in price- 6.99 increased 50%

Exhibit C- 16 oz soda at theater- 1990- $1.00

Exhibit D-16 oz soda at theater-2009 -$2.99

difference in price $1.99 increased 200%

its called inflation...and over all, it seems to me that printed material is a little behind the curve.

I don't have any problem with shelling out my hard earned cash for a product the I enjoy. 35 bucks? hell, when I was a drinkin' man I used to spend that much getting ready to go out and party! grinbig.gif

Adam
QUOTE (TheForgotten @ Mar 1 2009, 11:45 PM) *
Actually who's got the rights to Earthdawn. With D&D 4th in the crapper this might be a good time to start repackaging the old material into PDF's and selling it for something liek $5 a book. Only problem of course is that PDF based games suffer HORRIBLY from lack of public awareness. If you can get 100,000 downloads at $5 a pop you're going to be doing better the well the rest of the business. Getting 100,000 people to hear about your game, now that's the hard part.


You just did an amazing job proving your own point, since Earthdawn material -- both backstock and new stuff -- is available in PDF from Red Brick.

Nobody in the hobby game industry is doing anywhere close to 100,000 units of a single PDF book.
HappyDaze
QUOTE
Exhibit A- Seattle Sourcebook- released 1990- cover price -$18.00

Mine shows a cover price of $15.00 (US, we did tend to screw those Canadians...).

QUOTE
Exhibit C- 16 oz soda at theater- 1990- $1.00

Exhibit D-16 oz soda at theater-2009 -$2.99

Those prices are so low compared to what I've seen that I have to ask where these are coming from.
Cain
I'm far too lazy to calculate the inflation rate, but let's just say that gaming material exceeds it substantially. Some of it can be explained by production values: glossy paper, full-color art, that sort of thing-- but some of it doesn't have an easy explanation.
Draco18s
QUOTE (kanislatrans @ Mar 2 2009, 12:04 AM) *
ok, just throwing in my two cents in the too expensive debate:

Exhibit A- Seattle Sourcebook- released 1990- cover price -$18.00

Exhibit B-Feral Cities-released 2009-cover price-$24.99

difference in price- 6.99 increased 50%


*Cough*

$6.99 out of 18 isn't 50%, it's 38.8%

Unless you mean that the cover price was $15.
TheForgotten
QUOTE (kanislatrans @ Mar 2 2009, 05:04 AM) *
ok, just throwing in my two cents in the too expensive debate:

Exhibit A- Seattle Sourcebook- released 1990- cover price -$18.00

Exhibit B-Feral Cities-released 2009-cover price-$24.99

its called inflation...and over all, it seems to me that printed material is a little behind the curve.

I don't have any problem with shelling out my hard earned cash for a product the I enjoy. 35 bucks? hell, when I was a drinkin' man I used to spend that much getting ready to go out and party! grinbig.gif


Actually Seattle sourcebook was $15 at time of publication http://www.xs4all.nl/~gurth/shadowrun/7200.html it was also 174 pages, including 4 color pages and came with a fold out map. According to the inflation calculator http://www.westegg.com/inflation/ you are correct in that Feral Cities is about inflation adjusted the right price. Which TBH is correct, if I saw the book for 24.99 in store I'd be tempted to buy it. Of course NAN 1 in 1991 cost $12 which adjusts to 18.05. Shit Amazon has that book for $16.05. That's less then the PDF. That book may be coming in my next Amazon Order smile.gif. Note that I complained about books cost $35, not this one. Proof that catalyst gets it, now does anyone else.
TheForgotten
QUOTE (Adam @ Mar 2 2009, 05:28 AM) *
You just did an amazing job proving your own point, since Earthdawn material -- both backstock and new stuff -- is available in PDF from Red Brick.

Nobody in the hobby game industry is doing anywhere close to 100,000 units of a single PDF book.


Seems like my point is being made exactly. People haven't heard about Red Brick, don't know about it, their game isn't in stores, there is no exposure, even folks that likely have an interest in Earthdawn (i.e. the SR community) are in the main unaware that the game has been reintroduced. A demand curve states that the higher the price the less demand for a product. When price goes above a certain amount every dollar increase causes more then a dollar in lost revenue. Gaming went beyond that point sometime around 2003. Those new Earthdawn books are retailing at $44 a pop. How the hell is a kid saving his lunch money suppose to afford them? They're collectors items that will rarely get played, and aren't making it into the retail channel for just that reason.

Could a quality product being sold for $5 move 100,000 units. Maybe, the problem is marketing it. Nobody hears about PDF books, nobody knows about PDF books, unless their is a hard copy version, nobody knows anyone who plays any PDF only games. Hell with the decline of the FLGS and the aging of the gamer demographic just finding a group can be difficult, which is probably why we have so many books met to sit on a shelf and look pretty.
HappyDaze
QUOTE
Those new Earthdawn books are retailing at $44 a pop. How the hell is a kid saving his lunch money suppose to afford them?

And yet the Dark Heresy rulebook now sells for $60.00 US and seems to be doing pretty well.
GreyBrother
Don't the booksellers in the US and Canada sell PDFs and eBooks too? Or do the FLGS handle it quite stepmotherly and don it as something "internet only"?
Cause, i know that in Europe there are some booksellers (regular books and RPGs) whom go like "We want a piece of the eBook Cake too and please before Amazon grabs it all."

QUOTE (HappyDaze @ Mar 2 2009, 08:17 AM) *
And yet the Dark Heresy rulebook now sells for $60.00 US and seems to be doing pretty well.

Look at the target group. Isn't wargaming much more expensive than tabletop gaming? Suppose those guys do have the monetary power to buy a book this expensive.
toturi
QUOTE (HappyDaze @ Mar 2 2009, 03:17 PM) *
And yet the Dark Heresy rulebook now sells for $60.00 US and seems to be doing pretty well.

Dark Heresy targets the large pool of Warhammer gamers and cannibalises mostly the existing Warhammer gamer groups. And mini gaming is much more expensive than RPGing.
Chrysalis

I was going to answer point-by-point, but some really do need answering. Yes roleplaying games are getting more expensive, but so is the market getting smaller. People are moving onto computer games, movies, coffee shops, etc. A friend I know who would have been an avowed roleplayer ten years ago and is a WoW addict. No interest on moving over with the dinosaurs, especially as she has a social circle among her players.

Social circles change, markets change. Personally, I live in one of the most expensive countries in the European Union. Here, the BBB retails at 40-45 euros. I have spent about 200 euros in buying six books of SR4.

As for RPGs patterning MMOs, it is just a sign of the times. It used to be RPGs were used in patterning games and now when if you are any good at gaming designing you have most likely moved on to game designing for a company that has a yearly income calculated in the millions of dollars and can afford to pay a market competitive salary.

In conclusion I wished to say that with the entertainment society moving closer to instant gratification. People do not want to wade through a book, but want to start the gratification now. They want the fun now.
kanislatrans
QUOTE (HappyDaze @ Mar 2 2009, 12:31 AM) *
Mine shows a cover price of $15.00 (US, we did tend to screw those Canadians...).


Those prices are so low compared to what I've seen that I have to ask where these are coming from.



ISBN#1-555560-111-1($18.00) back cover of my copy.

soda prices ...Coudersport Theater, Coudersport Pa...its a small town so the prices may vary from larger venues. grinbig.gif grinbig.gif


The inflation rate for the years of 1990-to 2009 averages to 2.80% per year(inflationdata.com)

@ Draco18s- thanks for the correction, ,math isn't really my forte. grinbig.gif grinbig.gif
Point being, everything costs more today.

Even with not haveing a gaming store close by, my area has seen a jump in gamers over the last several years. I am seeing more and more interest in gaming as people get bored with evercrack and WoW and start looking for something that doesn't cost them a pint of blood a month just to be entertained.

As gamers, maybe we just need to focus on the positive side of things and advertised the good stuff. Throw together Meet and Greet nites at a locel coffee or club.(or your moms basement. grinbig.gif ) start local internet chats and stuff. \
if we stop looking at what is wrong, and start looking at what is right, we can help improve the situation and move things in a direction that we can all agree on.

*kanis steps away from the pulpit* grinbig.gif


Wesley Street
QUOTE (TheForgotten @ Mar 1 2009, 05:40 PM) *
D&D is unlikely to continue in publication past Q4, 2009. Sales of 4th edition have been horrible.


The grand-daddy of them all is going to just up and quit? ohplease.gif I doubt it.

All this complaining about price. If price range were truly an issue no books would sell. And yet these publishers are still in business. Even with the economy in recession there are still certain sectors that are seeing growth; health care (people still get sick), booze and cigarettes (people still get their drink and smoke on), and "cheap" entertainment (ie video games). If people are still willing to shell out $50 for a video game and play it for a few weeks, why wouldn't they pay $30 for a book-based game and play it for a few years? People like to whine about costs going up but compared to Broadway plays, resort vacations, and yachting it's still a very cheap form of entertainment. Not as cheap as it was in the '80s but still cheap. Don't want the fancy hardback? Buy the PDFs. Problem solved. But the days of the cheaply bound paperback are gone, gone, gone.

All you need to play SR4 is the SR4 book. I did it for a year and my group was perfectly content.

I don't think we need to hold hands and sing "Kumbaya" but the situation isn't as dire as the Chicken Littles make it sound. Finding a group to play with or players is relatively simple if you put a little effort into it. Unfortunately the FLGS no longer provide that service but that's their mistake. The FLGS isn't the be-all, end-all of gaming.
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