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Hi, my player (yes, small town blues, not many gamers and those that do - do D&D) has just asked if our next game can be Runequest. Currently doing a short Harn game, and as we have never gamed RQ before, he thought the transition from one crunchy game to the other would work better. So I have the QuickStart, but would we be better of waiting for the Starter set (not sure how long a wait)? We can wait, as I have also been looking at Trudvang Chronicles.
 

Other question; with the QS, and only one player, he is going to have to play a core character and a couple of sidekicks. What characters would be the best choices?
Thanks 

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If you want to know what the RQ Starter set will be like, it will have the same quality of box as the Call of Cthulhu Starter set. Being a 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick box, it will be rather full of booklets

We will sell the PDFs at $14.99 when we start selling the printed set for $29.99. Same day.

This is SOME of the competition we are up against. Yes, that includes Call of Cthulhu. We've had some players of CoC who want to try our other games, and a fairly common question is "I liked the CoC S

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There’s a solo adventure in the Starter set, that could presumably be run as GM+Player instead with some modifications.

I’m running the Quickstart (well, will get back to it once everyone’s vaccinated), and an Earth type should have every chance to shine in it, so you may want to bring Yanioth at least. If you’re running the QuickStart as a one-off, she would likely be the best ”main”.

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26 minutes ago, Aprewett said:

So I have the QuickStart, but would we be better of waiting for the Starter set (not sure how long a wait)?

Yesterday, Jason mentioned on FB that the SS should be sent to the printer by the end of the week. So possibly available in (late) May, depending of COVID impacts. With pdf release the same day physical product is available.

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32 minutes ago, 7Tigers said:

Yesterday, Jason mentioned on FB that the SS should be sent to the printer by the end of the week. So possibly available in (late) May, depending of COVID impacts. With pdf release the same day physical product is available.

I am curious to know why it is deemed beneficial to time the PDF with the physical publication. Was it discussed? 

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7 minutes ago, DreadDomain said:

I am curious to know why it is deemed beneficial to time the PDF with the physical publication. Was it discussed? 

Bigger buzz / awareness for the D Day to attract new players?

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52 minutes ago, Aprewett said:

Hi, my player (yes, small town blues, not many gamers and those that do - do D&D) has just asked if our next game can be Runequest. Currently doing a short Harn game, and as we have never gamed RQ before, he thought the transition from one crunchy game to the other would work better. So I have the QuickStart, but would we be better of waiting for the Starter set (not sure how long a wait)? We can wait, as I have also been looking at Trudvang Chronicles.
 

Other question; with the QS, and only one player, he is going to have to play a core character and a couple of sidekicks. What characters would be the best choices?
Thanks 

If you want to stick to the Quickstart, the logical leader character would be Vasana, and from what was said at ImpCon2, she also stars in the upcoming solo adventure in the Starter box.

IIRC, the box was "almost at the printer", which may mean availability when Chaosium opens their warehouses. As it seems to be printed in Eastern Europe, the distribution center in Poland ought to receive it early while the two North American ones, the Down Under one and the Brexited one will involve overseas delays. I'm curious whether the European distribution will be delayed until most overseas distribution centers have it.

Having the physical components available probably is meant to get people playing with the full complement of game aids and material, which apparently comprise quite a bit of the content.

I am curious how these new Chaosium boxes for RuneQuest will turn out. Avalon Hill's offerings often sold quite a bit of packaged air, with a few exceptions. RQ2 Troll Pak contained (shorter versions of) the content of RQ3 Troll Pak, 60% of the Troll Cults Book from the Troll Cults Box, and the scenarios "Into the Troll Realms" and "Haunted Ruins" which were reprinted as standalone booklets by Avalon HIll (mercifully receiving a durable cardboard cover page, unlike the AH box contents).

My expectations are the amount of material and material production quality at least as for what RQ2 Trollpak delivered, only with the current standard of illustrations. But I challenge Chaosium to exceed these expectations...

Not getting nice hardcovers is a strange turn of policy. Packaging dice with a slipcase set is hard, so I see the point in doing a starter set in boxes. But a mix of a hardcover, maybe a solid cardboard-covered stapled booklet or two and some loose material in a cardboard "envelope" (perhaps a content-less hardcover) in a slipcase might be a bit classier than boxes.

 

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Box sets are fun, but here in the UK they often get Vat rated as Board Games which adds 20%, books (even rule books) are Vat exempt. I imagine that Brexit has made this several orders of magnitude more complicated too,

Broken Tower is heaps of fun and easily run with just one player as a couple of 'supporters', by way of exploring the rules why not give your player two or three characters to see how it all works. There is also Rattling Wind: https://www.chaosium.com/blogweareallus-download-the-rattling-wind-for-runequest-released-in-memory-of-greg-stafford/

but this is a bit tougher 

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16 minutes ago, Psullie said:

Box sets are fun, but here in the UK they often get Vat rated as Board Games which adds 20%, books (even rule books) are Vat exempt.

We have that here in Sweden too, although frequently stores treat them as books anyway (because they’re books in boxes), and I don’t think it’s been legally tested yet.

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28 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

We have that here in Sweden too, although frequently stores treat them as books anyway (because they’re books in boxes), and I don’t think it’s been legally tested yet.

Once you add dice or playing pieces it's a game. Perhaps that's the loophole...

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3 hours ago, 7Tigers said:

Yesterday, Jason mentioned on FB that the SS should be sent to the printer by the end of the week. So possibly available in (late) May, depending of COVID impacts. With pdf release the same day physical product is available.

That's a huge bummer for me, I hoped a PDF release much earlier, thanks for the info as I will be able to plan my games better now. Announcing the "proximity" of certain releases can be a double edged weapon, I understand they want to avoid public deadlines, but vaguely announcing can become a torture for fans, I've been anxiously waiting for the release since the Starter Set News post 😞. Not that they should care or anything, just wanted to share my feelings.

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1 hour ago, Psullie said:

Box sets are fun, but here in the UK they often get Vat rated as Board Games which adds 20%, books (even rule books) are Vat exempt.

France has (almost) the same problem: VAT on games is 20% as on books, it is 5.5% on books. And as soon it is in a box, it is not a book. If it is printed and boxed in EU, it will be the VAT of the originating country, so I don't what will be the rate.

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1 hour ago, Kloster said:

France has (almost) the same problem: VAT on games is 20% as on books, it is 5.5% on books. And as soon it is in a box, it is not a book. If it is printed and boxed in EU, it will be the VAT of the originating country, so I don't what will be the rate.

Poland has a 5% VAT rate for books, but as to whether a boxed set of books counts, I don't know. I don't see why not, it's no different to a slipcase really. Dust jacket, slipcase, box with lid, you could say it's a continuum. You could also say it's an "I know it when I see it" judgement. If the VAT rate used is Poland's, I guess Poland's definition applies.

I'm surprised that the place it's printed is relevant. I'd have thought it's where the company selling it (or the fulfillment company, if Chaosium have outsourced that to an EU company) is located for tax purposes.

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1 hour ago, PhilHibbs said:

I'm surprised that the place it's printed is relevant. I'd have thought it's where the company selling it (or the fulfillment company, if Chaosium have outsourced that to an EU company) is located for tax purposes.

As far as I remember, within EU, the location that counts is the one where the merchandise is that counts for VAT, but I may be wrong.

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5 hours ago, Joerg said:

If you want to stick to the Quickstart, the logical leader character would be Vasana, and from what was said at ImpCon2, she also stars in the upcoming solo adventure in the Starter box.

IIRC, the box was "almost at the printer", which may mean availability when Chaosium opens their warehouses. As it seems to be printed in Eastern Europe, the distribution center in Poland ought to receive it early while the two North American ones, the Down Under one and the Brexited one will involve overseas delays. I'm curious whether the European distribution will be delayed until most overseas distribution centers have it.

Having the physical components available probably is meant to get people playing with the full complement of game aids and material, which apparently comprise quite a bit of the content.

I am curious how these new Chaosium boxes for RuneQuest will turn out. Avalon Hill's offerings often sold quite a bit of packaged air, with a few exceptions. RQ2 Troll Pak contained (shorter versions of) the content of RQ3 Troll Pak, 60% of the Troll Cults Book from the Troll Cults Box, and the scenarios "Into the Troll Realms" and "Haunted Ruins" which were reprinted as standalone booklets by Avalon HIll (mercifully receiving a durable cardboard cover page, unlike the AH box contents).

My expectations are the amount of material and material production quality at least as for what RQ2 Trollpak delivered, only with the current standard of illustrations. But I challenge Chaosium to exceed these expectations...

Not getting nice hardcovers is a strange turn of policy. Packaging dice with a slipcase set is hard, so I see the point in doing a starter set in boxes. But a mix of a hardcover, maybe a solid cardboard-covered stapled booklet or two and some loose material in a cardboard "envelope" (perhaps a content-less hardcover) in a slipcase might be a bit classier than boxes.

If you want to know what the RQ Starter set will be like, it will have the same quality of box as the Call of Cthulhu Starter set. Being a 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick box, it will be rather full of booklets, maps, and such. The starter set is packaged in a box set because that is how most starter sets for RPGs are done. We aren't trying to appeal to veteran players who like a shelf full of hardcover books in slipcase sets. We are trying to appeal to new players who might have bought the D&D Starter set, or the Star Wars starter set, or the WFRP starter set, all of which are boxed. This isn't a strange turn in policy. Many gamers who are relatively new to roleplaying are very willing to try another game system IF they don't have to invest too much time or money in trying it AND get everything they need to give it a try. Thus a $29.99 starter set with everything they need to quickly get playing (including some dice), that teaches them the rules, and has a solo adventure so they don't even need a group to get started, is what THEY want. Expecting them to buy a $55 rulebook, etc. is often a hard pass for the "curious about the game". Yes, we have a quickstart, but that's not the same thing, and many feel it doesn't go far enough. It isn't a solo adventure, nor does it have 3 additional scenarios, or maps, dice, etc. We learned a lot from the Call of Cthulhu Starter set and are trying to replicate that for RQ. Should we have done the RQ starter set earlier, probably, but here is where we are.

I'm a bit surprised you would think we might repeat the same mistakes Avalon Hill made. Neil, Jeff, Mob, Jason, and I, like you, lived through all that and complained enough then and since. I'm surprised you aren't worried that we'll go back to using Dobyski to do art too...

Lastly, when it comes to distribution and sales, we don't want to sell any item until it is at least in our US, EU, and UK warehouses, if not in all 5 warehouses. The reason is very simple: We get way too many complaints and too much confusion if we do otherwise. Answering emails accusing us of "why are you abandoning the UK" or "why do Canadians have to get gouged for postage" are not fun to answer. PS: All distributors buy our books from our US warehouse. There is no "European distributors get first crack because they buy from our EU warehouse" situation. 

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6 minutes ago, Rick Meints said:

Being a 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick box, it will be rather full of booklets, maps, and such. The starter set is packaged in a box set because that is how most starter sets for RPGs are done.

I find it rather interesting to see the return of the boxed set.  That seemed to be the prevalent form through the mid-80s, and then seemed to be increasingly abandoned.  And now seems to have returned!  It certainly makes sense for a Starter Set.

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This is SOME of the competition we are up against. Yes, that includes Call of Cthulhu. We've had some players of CoC who want to try our other games, and a fairly common question is "I liked the CoC Stater set; do you have one of those for RQ/Pendragon/7th Sea?". Especially in our convention booths, we have lots of potential new customers ask about our games. They are often fairly new to RPGs, and have played maybe 1 or 2 other games, usually D&D or similar. They often started playing that game via that game's starter set. Retailers also really like Starter sets. They are designed to teach the game to total newcomers or relative newcomers.

Not wanting to just follow along with what other game companies have done, we researched what was in their stater sets to get a strong sense of what is typical, and then focused on how we can do that, while also making our starter sets stand out. Thus, we include a solo adventure that teaches the rules. Very few other starter sets have that. Our box is also a little taller than average, plus it is also slimmer. While a slimmer box may make you feel you aren't getting as much content as one of the thicker boxes, we're actually trying to make a point. Our box isn't half full of air, and it doesn't have a spacer that fills half the box so things don't rattle around. I was actually shocked when I opened the D&D starter set and found out that it was half empty, if not more than half empty. As a side not, shipping is not only done by weight, but also by volume. Who wants to pay extra to ship boxes half full of air. Lastly, for the long time fans, our new boxes are the same size as the classic Chaosium 1" boxes, but more durable. That's probably the last point I want to mention. Our boxes are seen as one of the most durable in the industry. The L5R box, for example, is way thinner and is much more prone to damage. Nobody likes getting a box with crushed corners.

IMG_3548.thumb.JPG.0ebfc3137269ef631cb37ade071f4e48.JPG

 

Edited by Rick Meints
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I did say that I can see the point in having a boxed starter set.

3 minutes ago, Rick Meints said:

I'm a bit surprised you would think we might repeat the same mistakes Avalon Hill made. Neil, Jeff, Mob, Jason, and I, like you, lived through all that and complained enough then and since. I'm surprised you aren't worried that we'll go back to using Dobyski to do art too.

I did say that I expect Chaosium to repeat AH, but to deliver at least RQ2 Trollpak value. And that I challenge you to exceed my expectations... 

But yes, planning regional supplements like Sartar or Esrolia as a box rather than a sourcebook does ring a few alarm bells. If printing boxes has become that cheap, then producing slipcases cannot be that expensive, and leaflets can be put into the slipcase. Using a harcover envelope would be a little nicer to look at and to use than the flimsy half-box of the GM screen, but that would be a luxury, and increase slipcase size. Other than that, the rulesbook + bestiary + screen-pack slipcase is a nice shelf item that looks great next to a coffee-table book on archaeology and the Guide slipcase.

We had a similar conversation when I mused about the delivery of The Smoking Ruin. Since this is a deviation from that high quality hardcover trend, I piped up once again, and look and behold, here we are with good additional information.

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7 minutes ago, Joerg said:

We had a similar conversation when I mused about the delivery of The Smoking Ruin. Since this is a deviation from that high quality hardcover trend, I piped up once again, and look and behold, here we are with good additional information.

I'm sorry, I merely thought you were confusing other people and spreading unfounded disinformation that was going to cause us problems down the road. 

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1 hour ago, Rick Meints said:

 I was actually shocked when I opened the D&D starter set and found out that it was half empty, if not more than half empty.

As the owner of the D&D starter set, I must say I am quite pleased that the box is so big, because the three rulebooks almost fit in. I use the box to carry them, I need to strap it  so that the cap does not fall but that's a minor annoyance. Actually the box may be the most valuable part of the starter set, far outlasting its content and still useful to a seasoned player. And the Deluxe edition Runequest third edition box stands fiercely at his side on the shelf. I wish it was bigger so as to hold both the RQ3 and the RQG rulebooks.

tl;dr: boxes are like monsters. BIGGER IS BETTER.

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I think it's interesting that we used to have lots of boxed sets (back when I got into the hobby anyway) and then they totally went out of fashion, but they've been creeping back. I don't really have a strong preference, but I guess a box is a nice thing to put stuff in (I mean that's literally what boxes are for beside all the feline functionality) that wouldn't really work that well as add-ons with books. 

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Beyond Starter sets I don't expect to see Chaosium doing many of our RPG supplements as boxed sets. Starter sets are a unique niche and now the momentum of tradition and expectations have set standards many companies don't want to deviate from. The bottom line is that boxed RPG sets have to carry a higher price tag. Starter sets are a bit of an exception because they are usually some sort of loss leader to entice new players to try your game, and then you make it up with ongoing sales of regularly priced and packaged products. There is a market for premium items, but you have to be careful not to confuse the high end market with the main market. It's similar to producing leatherette bindings along with regular bindings. There's a market for both, but if we just sold the book in higher cost leatherette we would be missing out on a lot of sales.

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1 hour ago, Rick Meints said:

There's a market for both, but if we just sold the book in higher cost leatherette we would be missing out on a lot of sales.

And I would imagine that at that point (the starter set) sales are more than bucks but are momentum. Sounds good.

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5 hours ago, Rick Meints said:

The bottom line is that boxed RPG sets have to carry a higher price tag. Starter sets are a bit of an exception because they are usually some sort of loss leader to entice new players to try your game, and then you make it up with ongoing sales of regularly priced and packaged products. There is a market for premium items, but you have to be careful not to confuse the high end market with the main market.

So now I'm torn. As a superfan, I want to own the starter set. But I don't want to cost Chaosium money on a loss-leader that is intended at new players.

So... premium starter set, with some trivial additional component that the completist will want and will pay a few quid extra for to make it a not-loss-leader? Of course that makes it two SKUs instead of one, with additional cost and complexity...

Edited by PhilHibbs
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8 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

So now I'm torn. As a superfan, I want to own the starter set. But I don't want to cost Chaosium money on a loss-leader that is intended at new players.

So... premium starter set, with some trivial additional component that the completist will want and will pay a few quid extra for to make it a not-loss-leader? Of course that makes it two SKUs instead of one, with additional cost and complexity...

Have no fear, Phil, when I said "usually some sort of loss leader" I meant that we make a lot less on them than we would on other products in the line. I didn't mean we lose money on every sale. We make a little money.

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On 3/11/2021 at 9:26 AM, PhilHibbs said:

So now I'm torn. As a superfan, I want to own the starter set.

Having had a peek, there's loads in there the old hands will want and as Rick just said they wont be loosing out on selling it to us old fans. Having seen bits of it I certainly intent buying it the second I can. 

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