News / Endzeitgeist
Something a little offbeat today.
We've talked a bit before (see here, and here, for instance) about how much reviews matter to us -- as writers, as editors, as a publisher, for sales, for personal confidence, to improve our writing, our art, our layouts etc. So let me just repeat that:
Reviews Matter -- Please Do Them!
But overall, it really does help us to know what you like that we do, and what we should do differently. Without any kind of reviews, from as simple as a Star Rating, to the minimum of "I liked this book, you might too" to the kinds of deep and detailed (and incredible) reviews that we get from Endzeitgeist on our products (support his Patreon here), one of the only other metrics we have is just sales numbers.
But sales numbers can lie -- so Book X sold 500 units, and Book Y sold 250, does that mean Book X is twice as good? Or is it that Book X came out at just the right moment? That it coincided with something going on? Maybe its that Book X was a $1 book while Book Y was a $20 book (in which case, we likely made a much better profit on the 250 we sold at $20 than 500 at $1).
Regardless though, there's something else we could use all of your help with:
Talk About Our Stuff!
We exist in a world of the 'semantic web' / "Web 3.0" and are trying to hock our wares in the world of "social media" and -- look, I could drop a dozen more marketing buzzwords from the plethora of articles we've read and shared among ourselves (many of which are filled with misunderstandings, because "that's not what Web 3.0 means!" should be coming off a number of your lips hopefully by now) -- but one thing is always very clear.
In the modern world of especially social media, the most powerful of tools is getting people to talk about your products. For large companies, for major and widely distributed materials like film and television, that discussion and sharing doesn't even need to be "positive" because a film can stand to be hate-watched or posting how much YOU hate X will likely draw our a strong defender of X that LOVES it.
We exist in a much, much smaller niche industry. And its one where very few sales make up the entirety of our sales. I consider myself fairly successful, for a freelance writer of third party support products for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game (and other things), and even my BEST SELLING product has been downloaded maybe a few thousand times (with most selling well under one thousand, sometimes under one hundred!).
We're all going to be doing exactly this for the big companies starting today and running, likely, long after this weekend because its San Diego Comic Con and what every company there NEEDS us to do is notice, to care, to "talk about," and not just hit Like but Share that video, that poster, that article, etc. all about the latest and greatest coming out of Big Media.
And while Gen Con is "our" big convention, both of them highlight "how this all works."
So, what can you do to help "talk" about us?
Join our online communities on Facebook!
Fat Goblin Games -- Our Main Company Page
Shadows over Vathak -- Our Horror-themed Setting for Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Steampunk Musha -- Our East Asian/Steampunk Mashup Setting for Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Castle Falkenstein -- Our group for fans of Castle Falkenstein, new and old.
vs. M Engine -- Our group for vs. M Engine, which supports vs. Ghosts, vs. Stranger Stuff, vs. Moon Men, and others.
Secondly, and more importantly really -- "talk about us."
When you see someone ask "How would you do X?" and you always like to fall back on the Call to Arms: X book's idea, tell them! Share a link! Tag us!
When you see a post saying "What are your favorite 3PP?" -- I assure you, we all take a moment to scan and see if WE get listed, and we try to like and share and engage with those people because that comment matters so much to us!
And thank you for your time and "talking"
First and foremost -- did you know Fat Goblin Games is running their Fat Goblin Hoarde's Hoard Bundle (read all about why we are doing it in this link), of over 250+ books for only $30 on DriveThruRPG.com and RPGNow.com RIGHT NOW?
But it only lasts until November 13th! SO GET YOUR COPY TODAY!
As always, this bundle represents Our Past, but you can also be part of Our Future by joining the Goblin Army Patreon!
Shadows over Vathak
Shadows over Vathak: Player's Guide is officially "off to the printers" -- or rather, The Fattest Goblin has finalized an exclusive cover for the print version of the book (after doing one last update of the text, pushing the book up to 451 pages!), meant to mimic the style of the primary holy text of the Church of the One True God, The Codex Seprenious.
With these last steps being done for The Player's Guide, our attention moves on to the Shadows over Vathak: GameMaster's Guide and its companion book, Horrors of Vathak -- which will be one-part bestiary, one-part expanded rules (especially in relation to monsters, haunts, and the like). But as I begin the design set up the outline and work to finalize the pieces included are the specific either rules OR even bits of lore that you, our Shadows over Vathak fans, would expect/demand/like to know? Feedback on our Shadows over Vathak Facebook page will be the best way to "let us know" though replying to this blog or posting on our main page also would work, be it with a post or with a private message.
vs. Moon Men
We also have news on vs. Moon Men (available now in PDF)! The Fattest of Goblins has finished that book for print, and so both it and Shadows over Vathak: Player's Guide will be available Print-on-Demand by the end of the month!
I've talked and previewed a very little of vs. Moon Men before, but writer Jason Owen Black is going to be doing one of the RPG.net Q&As with Dan Davenport, the Hardboiled GMShoe. He'll be chatting with Dan and anyone else that shows up on Thursday, Nov. 17th, 2016 at 7 pm CST - 9 pm CST. You can join that RPG.net chat room anytime here: http://tinyurl.com/rpgnetchat Or you can join Jason's Public Facebook event here!
Jason also wrote a short adventure for our vs. Ghosts line, so if you're fan of vs. M Engine games and want to see what his work is like before you buy vs. Moon Men, you can pick up his The Talking Board adventure for only $1!
Life will kick you when you’re down.
Two years ago Fat Goblin Games was dying. A series of bad choices, bad partners, and bad business practices were crippling our company. I was burnt out doing freelance, felt stupid for not seeing what was going on with the company, and then my family started to fall apart.
We lost our home and needed to move in with relatives, my marriage was strained, and my kids were sacrificing. I had to make choices and they needed to be smart ones. I needed to rebuild a business that would be successful, needed to work with people I trusted, and needed to grow the business in new directions.
And that’s what we did. With the help of people like Troy Daniels and Lucus Palosaari, we put together teams of amazing freelancers and game designers. We increased the quality of our books, relaunched entire product lines, and pushed in new directions. We revitalized Fat Goblin Games into what I had always hoped it would be.
Last month, my family moved into a new house. Fat Goblin Games has had a competitive release schedule and strong reviews for our products (thank you in particular to Endzeitgeist for recognizing our “shift” in his reviews of our products). We push boundaries and tried new things and we are grateful for that success. It has been a blessing, one we owe to our fans and customers.
Our Past — The Goblin Hoarde’s Hoard Bundle
We like crazy sales at Fat Goblin Games, and have done some unique promotions. But it was Owen KC Stephens of Rogue Genius Games who attempted the “mega bundle” before we even had the guts (his OwenGeniusBundle of course!). But the more we talked about it, and the more we discussed, we realized a bundle of all our past products at an incredible price could be the real “thank you” to our fans they deserve, and a way to make some new friends.
So, here we are: The Hoarde’s Hoard Bundle!
This bundle includes EVERY PDF we have released before 2016. Every one of them that are still available, including a ton from our partners at Abandoned Arts and Tricky Owlbear Publishing. We are going to give you “Our Past” that you made possible: 293 books with over 3,000 pages of content for just $30. (see the full list of titles by checking out this link!)
We hope you like it, tell your friends about it, and then come back to check out all our current and future stuff.
Our Present & Our Future — The Goblin Army Patreon
But we don’t want to just celebrate our Past and our Present, we want to welcome you to our Future.
It’s a reality of the tabletop RPG “industry” that it is hard to make money. There’s a reason we have endless Kickstarters and always ongoing discussions of what a fair wage for freelance writers is or what it should cost for RPG art. We not only want to make a living, for ourselves and for our freelancers, “doing this” -- we NEED to.
There is also the idea of the 1,000 True Fans. You can find many think-pieces about it, but the simple idea is that if you can convince an small but dedicated army of fans to be willing to invest in you and your creative endeavors, you can be remarkably successful. For our industry, we don’t need even 1,000 (though that would be amazing!), even 100 True Fans would make a world of difference to the products we can and do produce. And so, this along with so many other things, have lead us to try something a little different: Our Goblin Army Fan Club Patreon!
| Welcome to the Fat Goblin Games' — Goblin Army Fan Club!
This patreon is for die-hard Fat Goblin Games fans who want to see — and get involved with —the madness of creating awesome roleplaying games. We want this to be something that completely absorbs you in all things Fat Goblin Games.
By becoming a member of our Goblin Army (as a patron to Fat Goblin Games), you allow us to be able to dedicate to our Goblin Hoarde (the writers, editors, artists, and developers of FGG) the resources needed to:
There are other perks to being in the Goblin Army as well: regular Q&A chats (which can be about anything), sharing of in-house resources (style guides for Pathfinder & 5e development, templates for book styles, etc.), drawing your likeness (or that of your loved ones) into products, and a whole lot more!
So, if you are a fan of Fat Goblin Games and ready to join the Goblin Army— WE WANT YOU!
You can read more about the Goblin Army and the Freelance Bootcamp HERE!
Rick Hershey, Owner Fat Goblin Games (aka The Fattest Goblin of Them All)
Tonight, Thursday July 28th, 2016, at 7 pm Central time till roughly 9 pm Central, I've been invited to participate in an RPG.net Q&A session -- which you can link any time to the chatroom here: http://tinyurl.com/rpgnetchat or if you're finding this out after the fact, read the collected chat here on The Hardboiled GMShow's Office.
What follows is a "brief" introduction to me that I'll pull from for that chatroom....
YOU MISSED THE CHAT? Don't Fret -- read the transcript here: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com/2016/07/28/qa-lucus-palosaari-vs-ghosts/
Lucus Palosaari -- Tabletop RPG Writer, Editor, Developer, and Designer
"My name is Lucus Palosaari, and I'm a game designer" sounds like the kind of thing you'd start off by saying at a meeting with the word "Anonymous" in its name, but here it's just a statement of what and who I really am.
I should likely follow this up with all the normal qualifiers I need to blurt out when I am introducing myself to someone -- I specifically am a freelance writer of tabletop RPGs <insert a comment about "Do you know what D&D is? Like that, but not that one">, that is fortunate enough to work as an Editor and Project Manager for Fat Goblin Games.
My first published piece was "Weapons of Renown," an article in the now defunct Open Gaming Monthly #5 magazine from d20pfsrd.com Publishing. "Weapons of Renown" was a brief article, ~2,200 words or so, written in support of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and it was all about weapons having mundane bonuses for being well known, on a five-tiered system from "Named Weapon" to "Deeded Weapon" to "Renowned Weapon" to "Legendary Weapons" to "Weapon of Lore." and granting them gave various benefits.That was released August 8th, 2013, just about 3 years ago.
My first real publication was Call to Arms: Axes & Picks with Fat Goblin Games and was my rebooting of the Call to Arms line in support of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game by Paizo Publishing. CtA: Axes & Picks had an awesome review, that highlighted its flaws but also happily came after Endzeitgeist got to "know my work" and so its humbling to go back and read it and have him even note my growth since then.
That standalone book was released October 6th, 2013, but I had started writing it back when I had turned in my draft to OGM in the summer of '13. Like so many in writers, I had really been "writing" RPG stuff for quite awhile with hopes and plans to self-publish a book with a friend called The Artisan's Workshop. The books not likely to come out, but I spent nights and weekends and downtime etc working on that book and learning about the "biz" and its made me a much better freelancer today in this industry as it exists.
Since that time, I've worked my charms on the Fattest Goblin Himself, Rick Hershey, and found myself as one of the main editors of Fat Goblin Games (with The Janitor as my counter-part, Troy Daniels), and I've had a chance to work on many different projects as lead or writer, such as:
- Line Developer on the Call to Arms series
- Developer on FGG's revision of our racial lines (with Troy, whom no leads them).
- Writing team manager of The Shadows over Vathak - Player's Guide (which should be released soon)
- Designer on our all-new, in-house Bastard System tabletop roleplaying game
- Project Manager on the Steampunk Musha line
- ... and most recently, co-author and developer of our vs. M Engine lines, with our first book vs. Ghosts!
Now, trying to promote vs. Ghosts was the impetuous to getting the chance for the Q&A, but I am able and willing to discuss any of my projects for Fat Goblin Games or otherwise. I also like to get all deep and philosophical about things related to the tabletop RPG industry in general. I've also had the chance to work with Flaming Crab Games on a few projects in their Letters of the Flaming Crab line and I can talk about that a bit too.