Friday, July 27, 2012

Just a quick one

First of all, the Christmas in July sale I mentioned in my last post does not end today, but instead continues until Sunday. So you still have a couple of days to save 25% on Adventures in Oz Fantasy Roleplaying Beyond the Yellow Brick Road.

Also, July 27 (today) is Gary Gygax's Birthday. He would be 74 years old today. For those who missed it the first time around, here's Gary's signature character Gord the Rogue statted for AiO.

This weekend is also the Winkie Convention in Asilomar, California. Good luck and Ozzy fun to all who are able to attend this weekend. I wish I could be there.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It's Christmas In July!

DriveThruRPG and RPGNow are having a Christmas in July sale this week. From now until Friday, you can get a whole bunch of cool stuff, including Adventures in Oz: Fantasy Roleplaying Beyond the Yellow Brick Road, for 25% off. Lulu is currently offering 20% off on their site with the coupon code SILVER.

I also got a very lovely Christmas in July Gift in the form of a new review (5 stars!). You can read it here, here or here.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Long Tail

I don't know if you've noticed that the blog has been getting a bit more irregular over the last month or two. There's a reason for that. A couple reasons, really.

The big one is that Adventures in Oz: Fantasy Roleplaying Beyond the Yellow Brick Road has entered "Long Tail Mode." The initial rush to check out the new shiny is over. Now it's just a few sales a month. A check once or twice a year. And my efforts to promote the game via this blog are not changing that trend.

Does this mean that I'm giving up? Not on your life. This blog has been a part of my life for the last four years. The game itself has been a viable product for 2. That's not something you just quit.

It does mean that I'm going to have to re-strategize a few things. While I had hoped that profits from AiO would feed the rest of my publishing enterprise, it looks like I'm going to have to get more creative than that. I'm currently contemplating a crowdfunding drive to bring AiO into stores. What I do next will likely hinge on the success or failure of that project. I don't think I could give up publishing and blogging (it's in my blood now), but it will determine the shape that future projects will take.

While I'm not quitting the blog, I will be slowing down some. Other projects are commandeering my time and brainspace with non-Oz stuff. And also, after four years of pretty regular updates, it's getting harder and harder to find something that I haven't blogged about. So one thing I did over the weekend was add LinkWithin to the blog, so you can see potentially related posts from the last four years. And don't forget to check out the tag list over on the side to see what I have said about certain topics of potential interest.

Don't forget, I do listen to my fans. If you want to get in touch with me about anything, feel free to leave a comment on the blog, put something on the Facebook page, or drop me an email at

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Can't We All Just Get Along?

This one's a little ranty, but in a good way.

As I'm touring through the RPG scene, I see a lot of people looking for a game to try with their kids. And I'd love to recommend Adventures in Oz: Fantasy Roleplaying Beyond the Yellow Brick Road, but as they go into detail, I realize that AiO isn't the game for them. Because they explain that they've already taught their kid how to play a boardgame, and watched the youngster play video games. And so, they're now looking for some game to provide the "next step" towards roleplaying.

I find this incredibly irritating. Because there are two different parts to a roleplaying game: The roleplaying and the game. These parents are trying to start with a game and then add roleplaying. I can understand at least some of why they do it. By focusing on the game aspect, a new player can still have fun with the game elements even if the roleplaying doesn't really take off. And also, it's often how the parent learned to play. Remember that D&D spent some time as a revolutionary miniatures wargame before it was acknowledged as the father of RPGs.

And they're really selling their kids short. Because if there's one thing that kids can do even better than grownups, it's imagine. And that's the heart of roleplaying right there: Imagining that you are someone else, in some other place. So instead of starting with a game and treating roleplaying as optional, why not make it the core of the experience?

And one of the other downsides of this "game first, roleplaying second" view is that it tends to emphasize combat. Sample scenarios are often just a gridded battlemat with some terrain on it, some "bad guys" and just enough backstory to justify why we shouldn't feel bad when the bad guys fall down and don't get back up. And is that really what we want to be teaching our kids?

Why not teach our kids to be creative problem-solvers? Let's teach them more than how to choose the best weapon. Let's teach them that weapons aren't the only way to solve problems. If you're doing this in the games you run for your kids, whatever rule system you use, more power to you! I just happen to think that AiO supports imaginative play very well.
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