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Thread: A Crazy Idea for the Guild

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  1. #1

    Post A Crazy Idea for the Guild

    So after reading Torq's thread about Thinking Big, I've let my mind wander. I know that hosting this site costs money, and I recall reading old threads wherein Arcana was asking for donations to pay for software (I think). More recently, there have been a couple comments regarding ways to harness the collective power of the Guild, Torq's thread being the most recent.

    Why doesn't the Guild enter the fantasy publishing field--at least as a publisher of pdfs?

    I realize that the pdf market is a tricky beast, but my own experience shows (as does Terrainmonkey's) that a small pdf with some decent maps and good production value can make a small (but real) amount of money. (I'm sure that those of us who roleplay are probably aware of Enworld's Burning Sky adventure arc as an example of a similar site entering the market.)

    I propose a pdf, or series of pdfs, or several different product lines of pdfs, that use maps and other materials from members of the Guild, gathered into a coherent format, and sold on RPGNow.com or any of the other sites out there there sell pdfs. It can be structured such that there is one "project manager" and several contributing cartographers/writers. Once on sale, the PM gets a small percentage of the profits, each contributor gets a small percentage, and the Guild (whose name is plastered across the front) gets a certain percentage. The Guild (who, I guess, I really mean Arcana) uses the money to pay for the site upkeep and hosting. Another advantage is that money now exists for the Guild to expand in other ways beyond merely just the forum site that we have now.

    Success (at least at the beginning) does not mean making a lot of money (which isn't realistic anyway). Success of this venture in my mind is measured by our ability to limit out-of-pocket expenses for administrators in keeping the site alive and running (and growing) while creating products that we ourselves would buy if we weren't involved in their creation whose production values we can be proud of.

    I have a lot more to say on this subject, but I'll stop now to hear what others think.

  2. #2
    Software Dev/Rep Redrobes's Avatar
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    Well, why not roll Torq's ThinkBig world into the mix and make pdf adventures within that world ? GamerPrinter was saying how we share this site with adventure writers and why not collaborate ? I wouldn't want the site to turn into some factory for it but right now theres no collaborative efforts going on at all and no avenue to pitch in with that. Even if it made no money at all I would think it worth looking into.

  3. #3

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    Redrobes - Couldn't agree more, but I do have one thought.

    There is a (perhaps small) market out there for maps-only products, and we (collectively) are really good at maps. I think that we should start at that level.

    Stretching the project into actual adventures removes us somewhat from our expertise and into a realm where it is (IMO) much harder to do it really well.

  4. #4

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    I'm still new here, but I'm going to offer my two cents anyway.

    I've wanted to get into a project similar to this for a long time. I think that while the focus should remain on the maps themselves, there is always room to flesh things out. I don't believe that fully realized adventures are necessarily the way to go, as you are then limiting yourself to a specific rules system. I do think that detailed descriptions of important places and people, including their histories and motivations, would be an inspiring source for any motivated DM.

    In short, the guild provides the fluff, and the DM supplies the crunch.

    I really hope all that made sense.

  5. #5
    Community Leader Gracious Donor ravells's Avatar
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    Excellent idea, Tim. Perhaps we should see how Torq's scheme goes? I don't mean to sound negative but it's just in my experience 'big' projects which are carried out by volunteers, usually start with a lot of enthusiasm and fire and then either get mired by a lot of discussion about how to do something (rather than going ahead and doing it) or people lose interest and drift away. Content high projects like these need a project manager with a really sharp vision and contributors who do not take offence if their content is edited by the PM.

  6. #6

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    If you're planning to do this. You should start small. I've worked on several projected based in virtual communities like this. And they all end premature because some members bail out. So if you start it make sure you can finish it alone or with somebody you know really good (in real life preferably). Then when you've ended some small projects with succes you can try bigger ones. People need to see result if you want to keep them on the project.

    If you're going to do this. I can do some adventure writing. But not alone, I need to work with some native speakers.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ravells View Post
    Excellent idea, Tim. Perhaps we should see how Torq's scheme goes? I don't mean to sound negative but it's just in my experience 'big' projects which are carried out by volunteers, usually start with a lot of enthusiasm and fire and then either get mired by a lot of discussion about how to do something (rather than going ahead and doing it) or people lose interest and drift away. Content high projects like these need a project manager with a really sharp vision and contributors who do not take offence if their content is edited by the PM.
    I have had a similar, albeit singular, experience with a community design project. As I saw it, there were two problems that seemed to crop up. The first is a question of maintaining enthusiasm in order to avoid key participant drop out.

    The second is a bit more difficult. The most enthusiastic members of a project also seem to have very strong ideas about what the project results look like. So, there can be a lot of potential for conflict between the key producers. In opinion, this is even worse than the slow attrition of the folks that are interested in the concept but not necessarily into producing a lot of results.

    I have some ideas about how to deal with both of these, but they're wholely untested.

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