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I was just thinking, while doing a quick response to the poll I opened up today, about the whole FAQ business. Personally, I do not have any serious issues with them, though apparently others (at least on this forum) have had some - apparently enough to render some them most hostile to this ruleset change, and some of that group to the point that they will not even consider touching the upcoming update, regardless of it's final quality.

That got me thinking of advertising. If a particular marketing strategy is not pandering particularly well to certain segments of the target audience, it would not be unwise resorting to other procedures. But what other methods could they use? While I was thinking on this matter, I went over to The Anorak Zone, a Doctor Who ezboard forum that covers both the new and old versions of that science fiction series as well as other cult television shows. While looking through that particular forum I remembered a particularly interesting event that occurred in the last few weeks before the first story of the new series aired and which corresponded to the aforementioned line of thought I had about SR4's advertising.

The event in question was the leaking of the first episode of the new series onto the internet. Apparently, someone in BBC got their hands on it and set up a BitTorrent stream of it. Although it turned out to be a conventional leak, some had thought that was a type of viral advertising. Those proponents of the theory said that the BBC was using the internet to promote the new series by having this leak occur. As it turned out, the leak may have done the show some good - the first episode garnered 10.5 million people watching it, which is quite a high figure for British television as I understand it.

So now I get to the point of this mini-essay; if this can work for a television show, then could it work for a pen and paper role playing game? Say, if some "beta" copy of the SR4 BBB of mysterious origin appeared (in PDF format, natch) on Kazza or Ares, or a quick search on Google would reveal a Torrent of it for one to look over. It could have it's benefits...if the tome were of a high quality, then it would sway 'tweeners among the old timers and encourage new blood to enter the shadows. It would also allow for GMs to get used to the system, and we could make up some intelligent comments on the matter (as opposed to the language and posturing that has been used in conversation on the subject by the various parties involved up to this point in this particular forum).

On the other hand, it could also act as a double-edged sword. Should the text have any glaring problems or serious pre-release issues, this would reinforce the position of the naysayers and could dissuade new players and gamemasters. In addition, posting a leaked copy of a PnP game is admittedly not going to have the same effect as posting a TV show. When the Doctor Who program was leaked, anyone with the appropriate video player and codecs could see it, allowing for the local crowds to get worked up and for international clamor for the program to appear in their prospective areas where it would not normally would. While the same thing could happen with SR4 if were leaked, it is highly unlikely as PnP games do not have the same breadth of audience that television programs do. They would also be laying the cards of a potentially good hand down on the table during the turn as opposed to waiting to do so later on at more proper point in the hand, to (sort of) use a Texas Hold'em analogy.

Anyway, that's my thought. Feel free to comment, if you wish.

I'm wondering if they are considering releasing the core rules mechanic as a SRD type doc - open game liscense type thing. Wizards, and a few others have done so successfully.
The release of a chapter would work. (say combat)

The release of the entire book would have people just work from the PDF. The idea only works if you’re left wanting more

If the release was any kind of beta version it would probably have holes, even if the final version fixed these then as you stated, the nay sayers would just have more ammunition

Crimsondude 2.0
Is this what you have in mind?
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