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MachinaMandala

RQG Fanzine When?

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What we need is something in the spirit of RQ Adventures - scenario stuff in the spirit of Judges Guild, but Gloranthan in intention and spirit (if not necessarily in all the details).

If it is meant to be a fanzine, then production quality needn't be full color, watermark graphics background professional layout. I would be fine with a layout that replicates Griffin Mountain - legible, playable, and something that can be put out every four months or so.

Unless there is a hefty Patreon behind that project, there is no way that such a fanzine can afford a somewhat professional color cover.

Does a fanzine like this have to have a dead trees edition? Providing an A3 print pdf in addition to a human legible pdf might be the more reasonable way to go. Unless you have FLGS who are willing to have a fanzine taking up their shelf space, there is little reason to have an actual print run. Distributing print fanzines to single readers creates a significant overhead both in cost and effort.

Compared to back in the middle 90ies when we had half a dozen fanzines in print, the distribution channels have changed. DTRPG and Amazon handle print distribution (for a significant portion of the price), and web space for uploads has become cheaper.

There is Hearts in Glorantha, as professional as we can hope for outside of a Wyrm's Footnotes with a more regular pace, but I prefer getting the official RQG support over getting that magazine from the limited production capacity at Chaosium.

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4 hours ago, prinz.slasar said:

That would be awesome. There are many highquality fanzines back in the days, but for newbies like me they are hard to get.

God I know. I'd sacrifice at LEAST three captured victims for Drastic Resolutions: Chaos. Though a surprising amount of fanzines seem to be floating around the internet, I've never seen that one in any shape or form. (and its one I want desperately) Dorastor: Land of Doom was without the book that turned my interest in RQ from "wow this is such a cool game" to "OhmygodIlovethisgame".

6 minutes ago, tedopon said:

Chaosium's policy on fan material is harsh. 

Is it? I've not read over it too closely.

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35 minutes ago, Madrona said:

Dorastor: Land of Doom was without the book that turned my interest in RQ from "wow this is such a cool game" to "OhmygodIlovethisgame".

Cults of Terror blew my teenage mind back in the 80s.

It's hard to imagine anything nowadays having the same effect with everyone growing up on Game of Thrones and such.

Edited by simonh

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The Chaosium fan policy requires a fan license for publications, which is available at extremely reasonable terms:

https://www.chaosium.com/fan-material-policy/

https://www.chaosium.com/small-publisher-limited-license/

The cap of 2000 $ gross revenue in the Small Publisher Limited License is a problem if you go for a printed product. For comparison, 90ies fanzines like Tradetalk or RQ Adventures had "print" runs (actually two-sided A3 photocopies on normal paper, with slightly heavier paper for the cover pages) of several hundred copies, and reproduction cost plus postage easily exceeded 5$ for international service. If any net profit was made from these activities, it went into the "war chests" of conventions, but more likely some money was bound up in unsold copies stored in some dry corner in private houses or a rented storage.

Tradetalk started out as a membership-benefit for non-German speaking members of Chaos Society, aka Deutsche RuneQuest Gesellschaft e.V., following the German language zine Free INT. No idea whether such a concept might be allowable under small publisher license, but luckily Chaosium does employ a lawyer (though not currently in that function). This kind of fan organisation exists in Germany and in Finland. "e.V." (registered club/organisation) is a German ilegal construct for non-profit organisations (an older form of this construct which cannot be regostered any more but may continue also allowed some commercial activity, e.g. soccer clubs).

 

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The conditions have changed slightly since I last read it. 

IIRC, the yearly cap was 1000 just a few months ago. 2000 is more reasonable. There is no indication of what exceeding the cap would entail.

I would be willing to contribute as a collective toward a commercial license. 

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2 hours ago, tedopon said:

Chaosium's policy on fan material is harsh. 

Is it? For free stuff, it is remarkably lenient and fair.

With the Miskatonic Repository going well, there is talk of something similar for RuneQuest/Glorantha, that would be the perfect vehicle for a Fanzine.

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Yeah, for free stuff it's great, but I'm not doing layout for free and I'd be surprised to find anyone else who would.

It would also be nice to be able to pay artists something. I don't care about making any money for written content, but I feel that layout and art folks should get something for their work.

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5 hours ago, tedopon said:

Chaosium's policy on fan material is harsh. 

I would love to know what specific parts of the policy make it "harsh".

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2 hours ago, tedopon said:

Yeah, for free stuff it's great, but I'm not doing layout for free and I'd be surprised to find anyone else who would.

It would also be nice to be able to pay artists something. I don't care about making any money for written content, but I feel that layout and art folks should get something for their work.

Should I infer from that statement that you feel Chaosium charges too much in royalties for a commercial license? Is it something else?

Side note: I am slightly biased when it comes to fanzines. I did the layout for Tales of the Reaching Moon 14-20, plus a number of other publications, including some map drawing, and even authoring a few articles. I got paid a grand total of $0 for all that. I did get a free copy or two of each publication though. I was quite happy with that arrangement.

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3 hours ago, tedopon said:

Yeah, for free stuff it's great, but I'm not doing layout for free and I'd be surprised to find anyone else who would.

It would also be nice to be able to pay artists something. I don't care about making any money for written content, but I feel that layout and art folks should get something for their work.

If people are being paid to do a job then what you're talking about is a professional publication which really is outside the scope of a fanzine. Proper commercial licensing terms are really a different thing.

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1 hour ago, Rick Meints said:

Side note: I am slightly biased when it comes to fanzines. I did the layout for Tales of the Reaching Moon 14-20, plus a number of other publications, including some map drawing, and even authoring a few articles. I got paid a grand total of $0 for all that. I did get a free copy or two of each publication though. I was quite happy with that arrangement.

Yeah, I always received a copy of the fanzine, whenver I wrote for Tales of the Reaching Moon or Tradetalk. That was always enough for me.

Edited by soltakss
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My experience over the last five or ten years is that artists don't do work for free...and I would not want them to, either. 

I also don't know any folks who would spend time doing layout for free.

I will happily donate time and resources to writing and editing. 

I already explained in the above post why I thought the agreement was harsh. It was set at 1000 within the last year. I had conversations with a handful of people on this forum about it both through this forum and at conventions. 

I don't live in some fantasy world where I think gaming zines turn into piles of gold, but I don't want to work on something where artists and graphic designers aren't getting paid.

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1 hour ago, tedopon said:

My experience over the last five or ten years is that artists don't do work for free...and I would not want them to, either. 

I also don't know any folks who would spend time doing layout for free.

Getting art for a fanzine in the original sense was always a struggle.

In those old days of photocopying as main production method, layout was done in text processors - I did issues 2 - 7 of the German Free INT on my trusty Atari ST, editing, layout, typing, and some of the writing (until I ended up also producing most of the content of #7, which burst my already generous time allotment for that).

Doing a less amateurish layout like Rick did for the later issues of Tales requires first and foremost better software. The amount of time you spend manually overriding your text processor can be quite high, so getting more professional software for the job might save a little of the overhead once you have a reusable page structure.

 

1 hour ago, tedopon said:

I already explained in the above post why I thought the agreement was harsh. It was set at 1000 within the last year. I had conversations with a handful of people on this forum about it both through this forum and at conventions. 

I don't live in some fantasy world where I think gaming zines turn into piles of gold, but I don't want to work on something where artists and graphic designers aren't getting paid.

I too think that art and professional graphic design should be paid. I wonder whether that standard still can be called fanzine, though. I suggested earlier a patreon for color covers and for a set of graphic headers and foot spaces to be reused  in multiple issues.

Anything else would be an at least semi-professional magazine, even with volunteered texts IMO. But then I haven't done any work on fanzines for more than a decade. With the advent of personal websites and blogs, I felt that printed fanzines were dying out.

 

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I always smile when I see mentions of relative remuneration for artists and writers. Glorantha has always been a wordy world, and certainly isn't alone in that. And while that is changing, it still treats words as holding a greater and more persistent truth than art. Art, as wonderful as it can be, can be viewed as being too imposing upon the interpretations of the viewer, too potentially jarring. Idiosyncratic rather than universal. Art's the sidekick; the augment.

And yet who gets paid?

It's a weird world we live in. 😉

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17 hours ago, MachinaMandala said:

So, is anyone planning to start a fanzine for RQG?

That would be awesome, the more the merrier I say! :)

(there now begins a general exhalation to anyone considering it)

When I started Hearts in Glorantha ten years ago*, we had Zin Letters ( as small but excellently produced fanzine by the Finish Kalikos Society) and the online One Rule (which was a lot more fanish and had more rapid production values). Gradually over the years, they both dropped away and now ten years on* HiG is all on its ownsome, which isn't half as much fun :(

Read the Fan Licensing section on the Chaosium website. Work out what works for you in both a time and money sense. It doesn't have to be a printed magazine, with even semipro layout standards. You can start by doing a website with pdfs. Which is what I effectively did, the pdf downloads of my scenarios I ran at conventions, plus the articles I published on the old Ring of HeroQuest Narrators/MoLaD website were the predecessors of HiG and Gloranthan Adventures. If you want to go down the printed route check out the tutorials and help at both Lulu.com and Drivethrurpg.com.  Have a chat with MOB (mob@chaosium.com) who is in charge of licensing and was highly supportive of me when I restarted HiG after its five-year hiatus as was Jeff Richard during the early years (before he just became so gawdarn busy).  

Just DO IT!!! :)

*HiG is ten this July! Come say happy birthday at Continuum if you are there!

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5 hours ago, Pentallion said:

Hearts in Glorantha 6 just came out with RQ:G material.

Actually, it was RuneQuest Classic (or 2 for us Grognards), but the difference is minimal :)  I wanted to do something for that version of the rules to celebrate it being available again, do something in the spirit of the original presentation of Glorantha (which frankly was a lot more gonzo than it is today) before we all get obsessed by RuneQuest Glorantha. I've got another RO Classic adventure lined up for HiG #7 and possibly HiG#8 before I ride off into the sunset on this one :) 

Hearts in Glorantha has always had a smidgen of RuneQuest material. In the initial five issues (2008-2012) which was during Mongoose's iteration of RQ it was all sort of RQ3ish (I wasn't stringent in getting out my rulebooks and checking stuff), because initially Mongoose wasn't supportive of us using their Second Age setting (the response I got when I politely enquired was "you can use the rules, but we want to keep Glorantha to ourselves") . Then later when Jeff Richard pointed out that we could because their license didn't allow them to say that fan publishers couldn't publish Second Age material, there was zero desire from either myself or the group of regular contributors. John Ossoway (of Cthulhu Rising and Savage North fame) did the scenario Happiness is Dragonewt Shaped that you can find in Hearts in Glorantha issues 1-5 Volume 1 Collected.  John always had plans for a sequel so maybe if I can persuade him we could revisit this scenario for RQ:G as well as any new material he produces. 

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7 hours ago, Rick Meints said:

I would love to know what specific parts of the policy make it "harsh".

Me too, I've been happily working within it and putting out publications (7 issues of HiG , 2 Gloranthan Adventures, and one 'special' The Book of Glorious Joy) for the last ten years :) 

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