Jump to content


HERO Member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Markdoc

  1. Oh come now, I have always been the meekest and mildest of men Anyway, nice to see all the comments - Old Man contacted me and mentioned this thread, so I thought I would post. I wasn't actually banned back in the day, but Simon did give me a warning about making rude comments in a political thread during the last US presidential elections. I didn't think the comment was terribly out of line, to be honest, but these are Simon's boards, and I appreciated the effort he goes to in maintaining them, so rather than giving offence I said I'd bow out during the elections and come back when things were quieter. That was actually the plan buuut ... you know how these things go. By the time the election was over, I had a new job in a new country, and I was busy with all kinds of stuff (work, and being a tourist, mostly). Then there came another international move, and then we bought an old house that we are doing up, and I was active on other sites .... basically, I kept meaning to drop in, but never got around to it. I'm still gaming regularly and carrying on much as before: hope everything is cool with you guys. cheers, Mark
  2. A couple of points. One of the nice things about Hero is it's not either/or. A character with "Archeology 15-" can exist in the same game as a character with "Mediterranean History, 12-, Etruscan Archeology 12-, Bronze Age Cultures 11-". The first is a knowledgeable generalist, the second a specialist. What type you play depends on the game, your group, their playstyle, and your preferences. Secondly, while as GM, I would be happy with either presentation, I have long used "Professional Skill Modifiers" that function the same way as "Linguist" or "Jack of all trades". They give a -1 to the purchase cost for related skills (basically, it is kind of the "Unified power limitation for skills". That's there so that the skill monkeys who want lots of skills don't get spanked so hard by the cost. Additionally, I have put together for quick games cheap packages with a list of skills and (occasionally) talents and just say "If you want to be an X, just pick 10 points from this list". None of these suggestions to changing skill use are restrictive: a player who wants can design more precisely, but a limited range of choices can be a very good starting point for a new player. cheers, Mark
  3. If they have pay per view AND it's legal to purchase convention delegate votes they could have a ticker running allowing people to bid in on a vote by SMS for their favoured candidate. You know, the more I think about it, that's a perfect match for today's GOP. Decide the candidate by direct purchase! Let the market decide! cheers, Mark
  4. I think you mean, "What about when this becomes a sexbot"? I'm not seeing any tasks for "sexy-looking robot" that are ahead of that in the development process. regards, Mark
  5. In fact, if we loop back to what we were saying earlier about "presentation" these two viewpoints are entirely compatible. Hero system has a basic skill list - but nothing says you need to use any or all of those skills in your game (and in fact in many heroic level games, certain skills are - by default - off the table, because they don't fit the genre). All of these skills are built off the basic mechanism: buy 8- for 1 point, 11- for 2 points, or 9+CHA/5 for 3 points. (Personally, I would like to tweak those numbers, but that's another issue). which you can use to define any skill as broadly or narrowly as you like. There is also the weapon/vehicle FAM rules, and I agree with Vondy that they are an anomaly that adds about zero utility to the game. As it stands, you can spend 20 points on being a superb driver, and not know how to drive a vehicle. So it's entirely possible for a fan publication (or for that matter an official Hero publication) to both be entirely compatible with the core rules, and use a short thematic-based skill list. In my "quick-play" Fantasy Hero mod. I simply let the players choose a 10 point skill package representing their background and called it good: that worked just fine. In the same vein, a GM (or module writer) can say "Here's how we are going to handle skills" and as long as the core mechanism is respected, the outcome will still be entirely Hero-compatible. cheers, Mark Edit: Vondy said basically about the same thing.
  6. A simpler route, which I OK'ed as GM, was to simply use END as written, so that reduced END affected your loss of LTE. My wife's character bought reduced END on her running to get a Conan/Aragorn type who could jog trot all day. While it came up rarely, it was a pleasure for her when it did. I didn't find this to be unbalancing, since in combat situations, it functions like regular reduced END and LTE pops up rarely in most sessions. Cheers, Mark
  7. This is an interesting approach (and is probably good enough for most use) but it shows how hard it is to get a good fit. I agree that an average person should be able to manage more than 2 hours without collapsing But the proposed fix means that Joan the Elder can just about qualify for US Marine Recon: they have to cover 8 miles with a 23 kg pack. She'd be a bit slower than the pace they would like (4 MPH), but she can do 18 miles with that load - which is more than double the distance demanded of potential recruits - and probably about 72x as much as a fit elderly person could reasonably be expected to manage. The problem here is highlighted in the first quoted paragraph. For a normal, being exhausted after two hours brisk walking is clearly too low - but drop the speed just a touch and now they can go all day. A normal who buys up their REC by 1 (for a whole 2 points) could now do that Marine Recon. qualifying run I mentioned, having the stamina to meet both the weight requirement and the speed requirement. 2 points is not a big investment to meet that standard. So the problem is that there is a very fine tipping point in the rules between "too harsh" and "Not harsh enough". For me, the LTE rules on movement + encumbrance work OK, since PCs are almost inevitably superior to normals anyway, and you can reconcile the first example above by simply noting that a normal carrying a load can avoid the LTE penalties by moving a bit slower (which they would anyway) or interspersing periods of brisk walking and slower walking, meaning they can still average near 3 MPH without tiring. I recognise that's not a perfect solution, just a 'good enough' approximation for me. The fact that even for heroic types it can get harsh at the higher end of speed and encumbrance is a feature, rather than a bug, for me. If we wanted a better approximation I would look less at speed, and more at encumbrance - carrying heavy loads really does slow people down and the heavier the load is, the more drastic the effect. To use the example of Jane Heroic above, she's carrying 48 kg (108 lbs for you USA'ians). That's about 25% more than British paratroopers and Royal Marines carried on their famous Falklands Yomp, and she's moving about 50% faster than they did. In operation Resolute Strike in Afghanistan, the US paratroopers carried loads nearly as heavy as Jane's (when you include their weapons and armour) - but some of them had to be medivac'ed due to exhaustion and collapse even during the first day, and movement had to restricted to only a few miles at a time to avoid soldiers collapsing. The failure of Resolute Strike to meet all its objectives was squarely placed on the fact that the paratroopers were expected to move carrying weights that sometimes exceeded 100 lbs ... and they could not sustain that (there's both a DoD report and a book (Making the Soldier Decisive on Future Battlefields) that covers this in detail). So the suggested figures put her out at the very extreme end (or actually a fair bit beyond) what real humans are capable of (though that might not matter for more cinematic heroes). What is striking is that the British paras could move for several days - albeit at a pace of about 3 kph (1.8 MPH) with 36 kg (80 lb) packs, while the US paras (who I don't doubt are every bit as fit and motivated) were slowed to a crawl by 45 kg (100 lbs). Part of that is certainly temperature (it was lot hotter in Afghanistan) but you can find other examples as well - as you approach your lifting capacity, in real life your ability to move drops off dramatically. I haven't run the numbers, but you could perhaps add a penalty for higher percentage encumbrance - =1 at 25-49%, +2 at 50-74 and +3 at 75%+. cheers, Mark
  8. I was thinking more of the fact that most of the levy were buried without armour, though the fact that fragments of iron rings were found with the skeletons suggested that some of them were wearing armor when killed. So the fact that it isn't in the mass graves doesn't mean that it wasn't used. cheers, Mark
  9. Funny, I was thinking about the mass of unarmoured dead at Visby, when I was writing my earlier post, but because I was in hurry didn't note it cheers, Mark
  10. Yeah, it's one reason I said Monte Cook games was a better comparison than FFG. I chose Green Ronin because of M&M obviously. Both make the point - which is that neither Superheroes nor generic rules are an apparent hindrance to sales. cheers, Mark
  11. Not really - there are a few deceased games that looked slick but didn't promote themselves and there are plenty of indiegames that actively promote themselves but don't look slick. FATE, for example has similar design style to 6E Hero system (heck they even both have the whole gorillas and biplanes thing going) which is good enough, but not slick. Presentation and proselytising are both aspects of getting people to want a thing, but they are different ways or, perhaps more accurately, different stages of the process. cheers, Mark
  12. That's all true ... which is why the warriors at Tollenses were shooting flint arrows at each other, while their contemporaries in Assyria or Mycenae* were wearing heavy armour, building seige weapons and shooting bronze-tipped arrows at each other. By that stage - around 1200 BC - there were already armies with large numbers of armoured troops in the mediterranean era. They weren't - as far as we can tell - the bulk of the army, but neither were they rare, or all nobility, apparently numbering in the hundreds if not thousands in the Assyrian armies that were destroying the Hittite empire around the time this battle happened. Edit: this should not be taken to mean that none of the warriors at Tollenses werewearing metal armour - bronze armours are found in burials of the Urnfield culture, which stretched across central Europe at this time. It's just that this far north, armour was probably much rarer than in the mediterranean cultures. Such valuable armour is unlikely to have been left on the battlefield. cheers, Mark *This is a reconstruction of the so-called Dendra armour, known to us from one complete set, several parts for other sets and some illustrations - all dating from 1-2 centuries before the battle at Tollenses. You can read some notes and se ethe photos done by some reconstructors here. I'd take much of what they write with a grain of salt, since a lot of it is speculation, but the armours depicted are all based on real remains.
  13. I think that what Tasha meant is that if you are not a major player, you won't see the kind of funding that TSR had in the old days, though to be honest, even that is underestimating the real market considerably. To put it in perspective, TSR back in 1996 - the year of peak sales - had fewer than 100 full time employees (not all on RPGs, though), compared to Pathfinder today, which has a bit over 40. Add in the more than 300 WoTC guys (again not all, nor mostly, on RPGs, but still) and their version of D&D, and there seem to be about the same number or more people employed full time on D&D at big gaming companies than there were in the old days. So there are decent-sized companies with full time employees putting out regular product .... for D&D. Plus ça change .. Given the diversity of the market (and what we can see of sales figures) D&D is still the 800lb gorilla, but its sales actually appear to be a significantly smaller % share of the market than they were in the mid 90's, even though they now appear to be larger in nominal dollar terms. We are really just guessing when it comes to market share, but for the sake of understanding this, it's not terribly relevant if the rest of the market is 30% or (my guess) 50%. Because what has really changed is the number of people in that space. When I started gaming in the early 80's there were - literally - fewer than a dozen gaming companies publishing material. By the mid-90's, that had grown many-fold. Exactly how many, I don't know, but Steve Jackson estimated more than 50. But I just did a quick google search and stopped counting RPG publishing companies after 300 ... Lucius is right - everybody and his brother's dog is in the vineyard, publishing RPGs, these days. To thrive in this space, a company has to be able to offer something that people really want to buy, because one thing is unmistakably clear, which is that the market is far more competitive than it used to be. But you know what? In this space, there are 'not D&D' companies that are thriving, so it can be done. To take a random example off the top of my head, Fantasy Flight Games has (according to their company profile) between 50 and 200 employees and booked 41 million USD in sales in 2014 (that's the last year of sales before they were acquired). They do more than RPGs, but they have a regular release schedule for their RPG line over recent and coming months (and they produce gorgeous books ... drool). So ... there are actually also companies with full time jobs putting out regular releases in the 'not D&D' space as well. As an aside, that's why I don't buy the "shrinking market" argument: once you actually start looking at the individual players who are successful you realise how much product they are moving and how much money they are making. It's a lot ... If all that's true - and it really does seem to be, because otherwise the numbers are impossible to explain - then there is clearly space for companies to thrive in today's RPG market. So, I ask again - why not Hero? I asked three times, and didn't get an answer, so here's my guess If we look at a publisher that is not games + RPGs, but are focused on RPGs, like Green Ronin or Monte Cook Games, you get a more direct comparison to Hero. Both started as single person companies: now Green Ronin has 12 employees, Monte Cook has 8. Both are apparently doing well, with comments about increasing sales - both appear intermittently on IcV2's top 5 sales, which tracks the sales of physical product via shops, confirming the sales talk from the companies. These companies (and they are not unique) are yet more counter-arguments to the 'shrinking market' shtick: there were damn few gaming companies other than TSR and WoTC employing more than a 2-3 people 20 years ago. Now there are quite a lot. So let's look at what they have in common. First off, slick production. Their websites look good, their product looks good. I don't care for their gaming systems, but I kind of want to buy their stuff anyway, for the same reasons I buy art books. Second, multiple products. This allows them (I believe) a broader customer base and a staggered release schedule for different products (which means a continuous revenue stream). I'm pretty sure the same people are not playing "No Thank You, Evil!" and The Strange. There is probably a fine line between too many products and not enough, but they seem to be straddling it comfortably. Third, they actively market their games and themselves, both with physical product and online. Fourth, both lay heavy focus on their gaming worlds, not their gaming system. Nobody bought Numenera because they desperately wanted a game with a dice pool mechanic, or Dragon Age because they wanted another SAGA-system style game. No, they bough the books (in large quantities for the latter) because they wanted to play in those game worlds. Thereafter they diverge - Monte Cook has their own lines and concentrates on that, apart from some side work for D&D. Green Ronin has a number of well-known licenced brands (which appear to be among their best sellers) as well as their own lines. That suggests that there is not just one way to be successful. Now there's one thing about the gaming market which has always been an issue (other markets, like software, have the same problem) which is that you are selling a non-consumable product. Once the customer has bought your product they don't need to buy it again. Your only revenue stream is either upgrades (new editions) or add-ons (modules, adventures, figures, etc). You can see this effect in sales figures. When Green Ronin brought out the M&M RPG, for example, it swiftly pushed up into the top 5 by sales ... but then disappeared (remember these are only sales through brick and mortar gaming stores - online sales are still apparently OK) once the people who wanted the game had actually bought it. You can see this effect with almost all the games, where new editions provoke a spike in sales, which then subside. Why do I bring this up? Because Hero games has one product: the Hero rules system, and produces relatively few add-ons (Genre books, modules). That, just by itself, puts them into a difficult place. Add to that the problem I mentioned before: that the rules are presented in a form that is not accessible to starting GMs and players, plus the fact that visually the books just don't compare to those from the more successful companies (thus giving the noobie GM even less reason to even pick it up and open it. Last of all, there is no compelling setting to encourage people to even try. Almost all of the people I know who play Hero system were introduced to somebody who was already playing it - there is no easy entry path. To take one example, I really liked the concept of Tuala Morn. I'm a sucker for larger than life Celtic heroes (Just thinking about it, I feel like I'd like to run that kind of game, now). But in terms of production values, it was - honestly? - pretty horrible. You had to actually want the book in advance to pick it up and buy it (Note: I bought it anyway). In terms of content it was a good, solid Celtic legend-based RPG setting, though I have to admit I was hoping for something more epic. I felt like I wanted this and I got this. Not terrible, by any definition. Just not something that said from the first page "Oh god, I want to play this" Without an easy entry path and the visceral pull of "You want to play this game" from the outset, the current situation does not surprise me - in fact, it seems more or less inevitable. Buuut ... there is a patch of light, The fact that Hero games is still here and we are discussing this at all is, to my mind because the game system itself is incredibly robust - probably the best simulationist rule set we have. So I think there *is* a bigger market for it ... if it were marketed and packaged to make entry to the system easier. I am pretty sure that presenting it in the same style as it's been the last decade or so is not going to change anything. cheers, Mark
  14. it could be. But Egyptian royal troops were actually pretty well armoured by the New Kingdom era (actually ahead of their contemporaries in equally hot places in neighbouring countries). It might be because Egyptian society was highly conservative in a lot of things, or because they used a lot of Nubian mercenaries, who came from regions without ready access to the ores needed to copper or bronze arrowheads (the Egyptians used a lot of copper weapons, also for a longer period than their neighbours). Or it might simply be that flint was cheaper and Egypt had a big, expensive army to maintain, so they were looking for minor savings ... we don't really know. cheers, Mark
  15. Agreed. A while back, I wrote up one of my old Fantasy Hero campaigns: Adventures, maps, backgrounds, equipment, NPCs, GMs notes, etc and made it available to GMs. Essentially it was an adventure path before that concept was formalised: a pick-up-and-run series of adventures designed to take PCs from 100 points to 250+ points over the course of a couple of years's regular play. There was clearly interest. I know a few GMs on these boards used it, and I distributed more than 350 copies, even though marketing was restricted to having it on my website or on a few of the fan websites that sprang up (ie: essentially nothing. The GMs who asked for it, found it themselves). If even a quarter of those GMs actually ended up running the game, that translated to several hundred Hero system players. And given the comments I got back from GMs who did run the game, a significant number of them were new to Hero system and so were most of their players. The catch, of course, is that I was giving it away for free: I have no idea how many people would have paid for it. Given the amount of work required, I am pretty sure it would not have been commercially worthwhile even if they all had paid for it. So to echo what Christopher says, if we want this sort of material to be available, we need to make it ourselves cheers, Mark
  16. Flint is OK if you are shooting at unarmoured targets, but shoot it at a bronze breastplate or even very hard wood, and it goes 'poof'. You can make it sharp (sharper than bronze, in fact), but it's very brittle. And it's light - far lighter than bronze - which reduces penetrating ability against harder armors (and also limits its use in heavier bows). Last of all, it's brittleness means that flint weapons were often one-use only: whereas metal arrowheads can be (and we know, were) scavenged and reused. So mass production isn't the problem - there are mass production sites for flints all across Northern Europe where the stuff was literally dug out by the ton, shaped and then carried off for trading (though of course, large scale casting in bronze is still easier, if a lot more resource-intensive). Danish flints, for example were traded in large numbers hundreds of kilometers from their origin. The problem is simply that flint isn't great for war arrows where your target might have decent armour. So in a bronze-age culture with plenty of resources, the flint* war arrow went out of style very quickly. They are found on ancient battlefields in the mediterranean, but by the time of Troy, war arrows were bronze headed (Homer specifically notes this, for what it's worth). People did not stop using flint - you can find Greek scythes with flint teeth and flint scrapers dating back to 200 BC or so (though by that point only poor rustics used them), but flint arrows had stopped being used on battlefields in Greece a thousand years before that. Egypt is a bit of an exception. In Egypt flint arrowheads continued to be used for a few centuries alongside bronze ones, and historians have been arguing about why for decades. Everywhere else, not so much. cheers, Mark *not just flint: pre-bronze age, obsidian and bone were also used, and in Greece and Italy, obsidian arrowheads outlasted flint ones by a few centuries.
  17. It's a good point, but the -1 default limitation means that you are not actually making any rules changes, just bundling together PD and ED at the same price as in the core rules. cheers, Mark
  18. This doesn’t seem like a great idea, at first glance. Not only do you have the fact that energy attacks can (and usually do) occur in Fantasy games, but these can be magical or mundane in nature. It seems a bit odd that mundane fire works against PD but magical fire works against ED. But for me, the bigger problem is game design/balance. Mental attacks like command spells or possession were designed with mental DEF in mind, not ED. So that is not to say you can’t do “magic defence” – just that ED seems like a poor fit. There seems to be two unrelated things in the original idea. First that ED is many cases is a neglected stat., which many people don’t buy up. Second is the idea of magic defence. Problem 1 can simply be solved by houseruling that the game uses DEF, which costs 2 points per point of DEF and protects against both energy and physical damage. You can, if you wish buy DEF vs only physical or only energy with a limitation of -1. I actually used this approach in my ‘simple Hero’ skin for the game. It requires no changes to the system, and has the advantage that players will typically only have one defence number they need to keep track of (which is why I did it), since armour, by default, also has DEF. Problem 2 can be solved at the magic simulation level in multiple ways, depending on the way you want it to work. If you want D&D style saving throws against magical attacks, the simplest solution I have found is “requires a skill vs skill roll, -3/4” based on the assumption that the target resists with a CHA-based roll appropriate to the spell type (for example, EGO vs mental attacks, CON vs attacks that target bodily function, DEX vs targetted attacks, etc). If you want a universal magical defence, you can require magic to take AVAD, or simply define magic as an AVAD attack at a -0 penalty and then define what the defence will be. etc. You'd need to build your magic system to fit, but then, as things stand, you have to do that anyway. Cheers, Mark
  19. You can answer all these questions by pointing out that there are now multiple RPGs specifically addressing Superhero gaming, some of which are doing pretty well. M&M, for example has had new releases nearly every month for the last few years, and has active 3rd party support. If you check out Amazon, M&M books are outselling Hero system books by huge margins. Personally, I don't care for the game, but it seems to doing pretty well. Bash!, Icons, Savage Worlds Superheroes, etc. The market, as a whole, seems to be pretty robust, in fact. That suggests it's not a market size problem. Just that the market is divided among multiple vendors. Which brings me back to my original question - and I guess yours too. The supers RPG market is active and maybe even growing. Hero does not seem to catching that wave. Why? Cheers, Mark
  20. Yup. This is why anecdotal stories mean nothing on the grand scale of things. While living in Copenhagen, two new gaming stores opened and I started playing far more RPGs than I had done for years. Does this mean that the RPG market was expanding? No. It means that two new gaming stores opened and I started playing far more RPGs than I had done for years. Just this, and nothing more. cheers, Mark
  21. With regard to population growth, the US population has not doubled in the last 20 years, so that's not an issue here. It has grown by about 15%. How much has the market grown? Well, as noted WoTC market analysis (the only one I am aware of) suggested about 25-30 million USD in 2000. Today we have the hard floor of around 25 million in direct sales through retailers - so total market would need to include online sales. For some companies, online sales are pretty much 100% of volume (Evil Hat games, which produces Fate actually shares their breakdown, falls into this category). We know a lot of the product from big manufacturers moves through online channels as well: the latest D&D releases hit the best seller category - not in roleplaying, but in all books - on Amazon. Some comments from Paizo suggest around 50% of their sales are through online channels. If that's true the total market is around 50 million - meaning that the market has grown about twice as fast as the population. If it's lower - say 20% - then it's grown somewhat less. If it's zero - meaning nobody buys any RPG stuff online, then yes, the market has shrunk significantly. But I don't think anyone really believes that more than 80% of all roleplaying books and miniatures, etc are sold through physical game shops today. So our best guess remains what I commented above - the market is growing around the same speed as the population or maybe somewhat faster. Other indicators point in the same direction. The hard sales figures IcV2 tracks have been growing slowly, year on year for the last 19 years. Over the period, attendance at thinks like Gencon have bene climbing, Back in the mid-90's attendance at Gencon was 25-30,000. Last year it was over 60,000. Gencon's about more than just tabletop RPGs, but then that was true in the mid-90's also. Inflation is a little harder to deal with: there has been about 54% inflation over the last 20 years, but production and distribution costs have changed dramatically too over that period. Amazon had just started, RPG-drivethru did not exist ... etc, etc.. It's hard to know how much, but if the reduction is greater than inflation, then the market size (on a per dollar basis) has not changed at all, and may even have grown in inflation-adjusted terms. That's not at all impossible - the owner of Total Strategy Games talked about developing his business and estimated that the cost of setting up his business and starting to deliver customer products today was about 5000 GBP down from his estimated 35,000 GBP back in the days when all marketing and distribution had to be physical. We know that distribution and marketing costs have fallen significantly ... we just don't know how much. 20%? 50%? 90%? So I thought about inflation, of course, but without knowing far more about distribution costs, which are even more obscure than sales figures, trying to analyse it would just be piling guesses on top of already poor data. So - just to be clear - I am not stating that the tabletop RPG market is growing. I think it is (slowly), but there is way too much uncertainty to be any kind of sure. But we can be sure that anecdotal evidence about game stores closing aside*, there is little to no data suggesting that the market is getting smaller. As far as I can tell, all the hard numbers we can actually gather - even if not conclusive - suggest that it is getting bigger and more diverse. Without question, there are some midsize game companies that are flourishing, that simply did not exist a decade or two ago. So to come back to my original question (or to rephrase it) what are they doing right? cheers, Mark *this one always annoys me. Yeah, local game stores are getting fewer. So are local PC stores. Is anyone seriously suggesting that people are using computers less? What's happened is that as computer use has mainstreamed, the the hobbyist build-your-own mindset has become an ever smaller minority (and much of it has moved online anyway, along with the rest of the market) and with the introduction of phones/tablets, the market has become more diverse. As an indicator of market size, the closing of local stores is about as informative as haruspicy.
  22. I don't think anybody has a clear idea of the true size of the tabletop gaming market: companies by and large do not divulge their sales figures and there's no central clearing house for sales data. But that said, I am sceptical that the market is actually shrinking, as so many people claim. IcV2, which tracks gaming sales figures claim that it's been growing (albeit slowly) for about the last 5 years. In 1996, TSR (who was the big kid on the block) reported total revenue of around 40 million at their peak (that was including fiction, card games and licensing). In 2000 WotC (who was the big kid on the block by that stage) actually did a fairly large customer survey which estimated the US market for RPGs at around 25-30 million dollars (as an interesting aside, they also found that about 20% of D&D players were women, laying the rest the idea that hardly any women play FRPGs). Newer figures are harder to come by, though one of the 4e design team said that their market was 25-30 million dollars, and in a 2012 filing Paizo (which owns about half of the D&D space, as far as trackable sales figures goes was sitting at 11.2 million dollars. Put all that together and it says that the US market for DRPGs has been pretty much consistently around 30 million dollars for the last 20 years. IcV2 puts the 2015 number at 25 million USD and growing fast - but that's just sales via gaming shops: they don't track alternative sales channels like online, so that 25 million is pretty much guaranteed to be a minimum. So the tabletop RPG market might not be exploding, but it does not seem to be getting any smaller either. My best guess is that it is actually growing slowly. The market as a whole now contains far more different tabletop RPG games than it did in the past. Most of those games don't flourish (perhaps deservedly so, in many cases) but there are plenty of viable small publishers now - far more than there were 20 years ago. So if Hero is struggling in a market that hasn't changed significantly in size in 20 years (worst case scenario) or is growing slowly (best case scenario) that suggests it's about Hero, not the market. Now it could be simply competition: there's a lot of small publishers out there and from what we read, most of them struggle to grow their own marketshare. But I think it's worth considering if there is more to it than just that. If there is - and if non-D&D companies like FFG, Privateer Press, or Green Ronin can make a decent living out of it, I think it's worth asking why. cheers, Mark
  23. Thanks for the kind words, guys. I hope after this, they can root the network out entirely. cheers, Mark
  24. Sigh. Three bombs have been let off in Brussels - at least one apparently by a suicide bomber. It's not confirmed yet, but suspected to be associates of the terrorist organiser captured last week, getting in an attack in case they have been compromised. So far, at least 21 dead, and dozens injured. This hits close to home, since the metro explosion was literally the next station down from us, on a line we use routinely (we were there yesterday, for example) and I travel through the airport hall where the other explosions were on a regular basis. cheers, Mark
  25. Well, in our games, we left them fodder and hobbled them ... but they usually got eaten. I took some flack from the GM, when after a while, I stated insisting that we walked on our adventures, because I was sick of buying new horses to feed to the monsters Then after a while we started flying or teleporting everywhere and it became a non-issue (again, apart from the GM, who hated the fact that overland travel adventures were now off the menu). cheers, Mark
  • Create New...