Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Another Year Gone

It's been a while since I've posted, and this seems as good a time as any, so here goes.

 Looking back, it has been a pretty awesome year for Adventures in Oz: Fantasy Roleplaying Beyond the Yellow Brick Road.

Oz the Great and Powerful started the year off with a fairly strong sales boost, particularly over at Amazon.com. Although it's not an RPG specific site, it's a very good barometer of general interest.

The game was the subject of not one, but two podcasts at the Ruthless Diastema and I wound up doing 2 vidcasts with Pete Figtree (one solo and one as part of a roundtable discussion with some other really cool publishers and designers), the man behind Ruthless Diastema. This also led to a guest spot on the Indie Talks podcast that was also quite fun.

Somewhere in between all of that, I decided to experiment with Pay What You Want pricing. While the initial rush was actually pretty nice, activity rather quickly faded to the looky-loos. It's still nice to see when someone feels kind enough to buy it in print or pay more than a token price.

The biggest news of all came latest in the year. The Bundle of Holding. While Allen Varney had been trying to get Wil Wheaton's attention on the project for a while, he finally succeeded with his Family Friendly Bundle of games, featuring AiO. The Bundle of Holding is currently doing a series of "reruns" of early bundles, before the site had achieved its current audience. For the next day or so, he's offering up the original Bundle of Holding, which is a collection of novels whose authors worked in the gaming industry (including Allen Varney). Once that's done, I'm sure he'll have something else cool for you.

The real down side to everything has been the day job. It's made money tighter, and life more stressful than it really should be. Which is probably the big thing holding up Deadly Desert. Many people have described the original game as "joyful" and "full of love." But it's getting harder to find that "happy place" for that sort of writing.

I wanted to have The Wizard's Magic Bag out by now, but my layout person is having some personal issues that have delayed things.

I've got another project in the works, but it's still in the early stages.

See you next year!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What a Long Strange Trip it's Been

This last week has been one of the most exciting weeks in pretty much ever for me. The Bundle of Holding reached heights I never would have expected. That sort of thing happens when Wil Wheaton sends his Flying Monkeys after you. I would have spent the whole weekend staring at my screen clicking Refresh, but the page auto-updates.

There is a new Bundle of Holding up now, with an Asian theme. A couple of the games are actually from Japan amd translated into English, and one is even designed to teach you Korean as you play.

In other Christmas news, designer Kris Newton has brought back The 12 Doors of Christmas, a hilarious kinda-photocomic with "bonus material" following each entry for use in your Pathfinder compatible campaigns.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

All Bundled Up

This week, The Bundle of Holding is offering a collection of family friendly and introductory RPGs. Naturally, Adventures in Oz: Fantasy Roleplaying Beyond the Yellow Brick Road is there. It's Pay What You Want for a sleigh full of games to play (minimum $4.95) and if you beat the average price ($12.47 as I write this) you'll get the entire set! AiO is one of the bonus titles, so be sure to aim high.

A portion of the proceeds from the sales will be donated to some really cool children's charities: Save the Children and the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

They've also implemented gifting, so you can choose to give a Bundle to a friend. The gift code you receive on purchase is not tied to any given Bundle, so you can even save it for another Bundle of Holding at another time.

In other news, The Wizard's Magic Bag is proceeding, but slowly. The writing is done and it has gone on to layout, which is taking time. Beyond the Deadly Desert has gotten some progress over the last month, but it is not complete. It is a big project and frankly, writing up setting is one of my least favorite parts of this project. But I have fans to please, so I will keep at it until it is done.

Now for a little bit of "Where are they now?" for contributors to Adventures in Oz: Fantasy Roleplaying Beyond the Yellow Brick Road.

Amanda Webb, who provided a few illustrations for AiO, launched a webcomic, The Ascendants at http://legendsofaukera.com/.

Kris Newton, the writer of "The Jaded City of Oz", AiO's sample adventure, has come out with his own RPG. Feed: The Vampire Mythos RPG. He ran a Kickstarter for it last month, and was able to release it the day after the Kickstarter closed. While there are those who say that it seems like a fast turnaround for a Kickstarter, I'm inclined to think that he was a little closer to the ransom model than a proper Kickstarter.
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