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Is Chaosium going to support BRP anymore?


danbuter

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Slow they are and slow they have always been...save for Cuthulhu stuff, but I'm sure the economic slow/melt down is adding more glue to the gears :ohwell: too. I was wondering how the financial crisis was affecting them and smaller gaming companies like 'em. It's got to be a seriously scary time.

Cheers,

Sunwolfe

Present home-port: home-brew BRP/OQ SRD variant; past ports-of-call: SB '81, RQIII '84, BGB '08, RQIV(Mythras) '12,  MW '15, and OQ '17

BGB BRP: 0 edition: 20/420; .pdf edition: 06/11/08; 1st edition: 06/13/08

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One of Chaosium's major employees (who is also the primary editor)

has been very sick recently. Chaosium is a very small company with

a staff of five (or is it six now?). Losing one of the them is pretty

hard, especially since the core group are very close friends who have

been together for the entire ride just about. There was a news item

about it some time back, and Charlie explained that, at the time, and

I am sure it is still true today, the door will always be open for

the person in question should he decide to come back, and Chaosium

will not replace him until he decides to hang it up.

So, in other words, patience is the mantra right now. I am sure there

are other issues - the economy for example, and I know Jason and

other contributors have some things they need to iron out. But, all

the end user can do is wait.

-V

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On the Chaosium website there is a poll that is still active regarding what genre people would like to see expanded. It appears to three of these are neck and neck. Hopefully this poll is a sign that they are planning on expanding the system.

Does anyone know a Chaosium staff member? Like ENWorld to Wizards of the Coast, it would behoove them to have a liason here for official updates and notices (as well as quality and crowd control).

****************************************

But, when at the last the arm of Skarl shall cease to beat his drum, silence shall startle Pegana like thunder in a cave, and MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI shall cease to rest......Lord Dunsany

Responsible for: https://ancientvaults.wordpress.com/

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This is the reason it's a shame BRP isn't OGL. We'd have seen a ton of published stuff form 3rd parties by now if it was.

Please note that this is not the case. The OGL makes things easier for third party publishers because it's a no-royalty license, but chaosium's licensing policy does not hinder third party publishers in any way. I have published with MRQ OGL and plan to publish with it again, but the only reason why I am not publishing for BRP is that I do not have anything in the pipeline that goes along better with BRP rather than with MRQ. Had I anything sci-fi or the like ready for publishing you would see it available in a matter of weeks.

And I think the same is true for other independent writers.

Proud member of the Evil CompetitionTM

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Please note that this is not the case. The OGL makes things easier for third party publishers because it's a no-royalty license, but chaosium's licensing policy does not hinder third party publishers in any way. I have published with MRQ OGL and plan to publish with it again, but the only reason why I am not publishing for BRP is that I do not have anything in the pipeline that goes along better with BRP rather than with MRQ. Had I anything sci-fi or the like ready for publishing you would see it available in a matter of weeks.

And I think the same is true for other independent writers.

I was thinking about Delta Green last night, after I wrote what I wrote above. It's just a shame that there's no other setting outside of CoC for independent writers to latch onto.

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I was thinking about Delta Green last night, after I wrote what I wrote above. It's just a shame that there's no other setting outside of CoC for independent writers to latch onto.

This is true - but it's also an awkward conundrum. Bear in mind that Delta Green is NOT, despite appearances, a setting open to all - the Delta Green Partnership are very firm (and rightly so) about maintaining the integrity of their IP.

Creating an "open" BRP setting (or settings) sounds like a glorious idea, but what will make a difference to BRP is product on the shelves - which, bluntly, means doing something more co-ordinated and disciplined than the typical open on line fan collaboration based world creation exercise, and (to produce the actual product), more engagement with financial reality than must such projects can survive.

I think it CAN be done - and I think that the Chaosium BRP sample license isn't a bad basis for negotiation with Chaosium for an individual or group who already have substantial material and a robust plan of how to go forward.

Cheers,

Nick

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I must admit I do find myself a bit concerned about the lack of supplements actually hitting the shelves. It seems to be be falling into that old chaosium pattern of releasing a new product with a bit of a fanfare, then it slowing dying the death through lack of support. Nephilim, Elric, Stormbringer, Elfquest it seems to happen every time.....

EDIT: Nick, have you let Chaosium know that uncounted worlds is available, free publicity for the magazine, and from their point of view it shows that stuff is happening to support the game. I've ordered a print copy from Lulu ( likewise Hearts in Glorantha 1 and 2 ) will let you know what I think when I've had a read !

Edited by Agentorange
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I must admit I do find myself a bit concerned about the lack of supplements actually hitting the shelves. It seems to be be falling into that old chaosium pattern of releasing a new product with a bit of a fanfare, then it slowing dying the death through lack of support. Nephilim, Elric, Stormbringer, Elfquest it seems to happen every time.....

Bear in mind that Chaosium's level of support for previous games was a) dictated in part but what was financially viable and B) often concentrated in to bursts of activity. If you look at Elric! in the context of the three years or so it was an active product line, it did reasonably well, compared to similar RPG's from similar sized companies - and the line stopped being actively supported because it wasn't economically viable for Chaosium at the time...

What BRP needs is some third party support - which is why loosing Seraphim Guard and Dead World was such a shame.

EDIT: Nick, have you let Chaosium know that uncounted worlds is available, free publicity for the magazine, and from their point of view it shows that stuff is happening to support the game. I've ordered a print copy from Lulu ( likewise Hearts in Glorantha 1 and 2 ) will let you know what I think when I've had a read !

I did email Dustin before I went away at the beginning of last week, so they should know it's out and available, and I did include a copy of the PDF.

Need to crack on and get another issue or two out this year though, to get some momentum going.

Nick

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What BRP needs is some third party support - which is why loosing Seraphim Guard and Dead World was such a shame.

Absolutely true. Seraphim Guard is an active indie publisher and was the first to throw third party materials into the arena when RQ went OGL. Losing its support was really bad news for BRP. Let's hope someone else takes its place.

To prevent the question: Alephtar Games has other plans at the moment.

Proud member of the Evil CompetitionTM

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It is unfortunate that BRP hasn't been supported as well as it might. Rven though the BRP rules are very good, it will die as a system unless it has support and new supplements.

Sure, there are some PDF Monographs available, but when are we going to see them in shops? Who knows.

I know that Chaosium are a small company and that the current financial situation makes things difficult. If you compare them with Issaries/Moon Design then their output is similar, Chaosium's is actually slightly better if you count PDFs. However, if you compare them with their most natural rival, RQM has had 41 publications in under 2 1/2 years, so 16 publications per year, over 1 a month.

I've heard all the arguments before - Chaosium is a small company, they rely on freelancers to write things for them, they have to concentrate on CoC, money is tight, resources are tight and so on, ad nauseum. I've also heard the argument that if we want supplements, we should help and write things, but most of us don't have the time, talent or inclination to do so. I don't ask people to write Warehousing or Call Centre software, so why should I be expected to write roleplaying supplements?

It all seems to be a cop-out to me.

So, well done Jason, on getting BRP out and well done all those who have written for Monographs and fanzines, but not well done at all for Chaosium who should know better.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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It is unfortunate that BRP hasn't been supported as well as it might. Rven though the BRP rules are very good, it will die as a system unless it has support and new supplements.

Unfortunately this is already beginning to happen. There was quite some in-

terest in the new BRP over here when it was published, but this interest is

already fading away because the system is not very well supported. :(

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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I hope that somehow this turns around from the current state. Maybe a few story hours from regular groups would stimulate the system a bit-more sales would hopefully bring more support.

****************************************

But, when at the last the arm of Skarl shall cease to beat his drum, silence shall startle Pegana like thunder in a cave, and MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI shall cease to rest......Lord Dunsany

Responsible for: https://ancientvaults.wordpress.com/

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Again, GORE may be a solution here, even though some folks might feel its use is somehow dishonest. That's why Dan Proctor wrote it, after all: to enable would-be D100 authors to breathe life into a dying (or at least moribund) game system. If Chaosium CAN'T publish BRP support materials swiftly enough to promote continued sales and if there is no official OGL, GORE supplements via Lulu may be the best way for authors to go, if keeping the RPG system alive is the goal.

And despite solakss's protestations, he's actually a good game author based on what I've seen on these boards over the past 2 or so years. So are many of you. Our posts contain the makings of several good sci fi, fantasy, bestiary, and historical supplements. The products just need to be finished, edited, and made available to a (hopefully eager) gaming public. That's the miracle of the Internet revolution, publishing has become something an individual can do.

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Again, GORE may be a solution here, even though some folks might feel its use is somehow dishonest.

I can't understand that, although I have seen the arguments.

That's why Dan Proctor wrote it, after all: to enable would-be D100 authors to breathe life into a dying (or at least moribund) game system. If Chaosium CAN'T publish BRP support materials swiftly enough to promote continued sales and if there is no official OGL, GORE supplements via Lulu may be the best way for authors to go, if keeping the RPG system alive is the goal.

GORE is a good halfway house for those who cannot stomach Mongoose RQ but want some supplements to use. I prefer RQM, but there is some good stuff in GORE.

And despite solakss's protestations, he's actually a good game author based on what I've seen on these boards over the past 2 or so years. So are many of you. Our posts contain the makings of several good sci fi, fantasy, bestiary, and historical supplements. The products just need to be finished, edited, and made available to a (hopefully eager) gaming public. That's the miracle of the Internet revolution, publishing has become something an individual can do.

There's a big difference between knocking something up in half an hour for a forum and producing a fully-fledged supplement. It took me 3-4 months to write some things for Mythic Russia's Birchbark Chronicles (BBC1) and that didn't involve layout, artwork or editing. Most of us don't have the time to do that.

Also, there isn't much incentive to write things for BRP if nothing else is coming out. I don't much care for the licencing side of things, either. So, Chaosium will be stuck with a few supplements and RQM will be getting a lot of Third Party OGL supplements.

As long as Chaosium stick with the Monograph mentality, and struggle with bringing those out, I can't see things improving.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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I can't see why people have got hung up on the whole monograph program, why aren't they publishing it themselves instead?

The Chaosium licence is extremely friendly to small time publishers IMVHO, they just want product. Nothing else. If distribution is electronic, it only costs the publishers sales, and I think its only 100 sales and after that Chaosium has to buy from the publisher at cost.

So if a small publisher is using DrivethruRPG and/or Lulu to distribute they might make some beer money, which is about what they could expect to earn if Chaoisum published it as a monograph. Chaosium is doing nothing other than badging and distributing the monogrpahs - all the hard work, editing, and layout is being done by the monograph creators already, so they are almost there to publishing.

I suspect there might be a niche market for some ceative soul to offer editing and layout services to monograph authors and/or small e-publishers...

Adam Crossingham
Publisher & Editor-in-Chief | Sixtystone Press Limited

 

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(BTW, just heard from Charlie, we may be close on the print version of Ashes, to Ashes. Think we finally got the printer straightened out (knocks on wood)).

Short answer, Adam, is that with present company (Sixtystone) excepted, none of the other licensees make the slightest effort to solicit work from outside of their circle of immediate friends. I except Sixtystone because DH extended me an unsolicited invitation to send the next I do to you folks. Much appreciated. The licensees, uniformly, are putting out their own products.

Name a licensee product from the past five years that had any significant amount of "non-self" publishing involved (either the ringleader or his circle). I can't.

This isn't, in my experience, anything new or anything that is not commonplace in the publishing industry in general. The two primary criteria for selling a piece to the market are 1) prior name recognition as a proxy for anticipated sales or 2) a personal relationship with the editor.

I'm no exception. My first four things were published with "old" Pagan, because I knew several of the players (one from college). "New" Pagan, I've only met SG once, queries go unanswered, that's why I turned to Chaosium and monographs.

Setting aside monographs (and I'm not tight with the Chaosium guys personally), I've only had one publication (a short story recently) with someone I hadn't met previously. The monographs are getting published because Chaosium isn't publishing much itself, and hence, is willing to work with people "off the street." (And even then, I had met Dustin at a con a few years ago, started talking about Mortal Coils, and he invited me to submit something).

Next time I write something Cthulhoid, I will run it up Sixtystone's flagpole, because I know there is a chance that someone might salute it. I don't feel that way about any other licensee at the moment.

EDIT: In terms of self-publishing as a new licensee, you have to have some proficiency with layout (harder than it sounds IMO), and an outlet for sales. You are right on the money, though: there is a niche for a licensee to solicit work if the licensse is willing to provide spot layout, art and cartography assistance. Someone oughta fill it.

Edited by neorxnawang

I wrote all this junk and accept full credit or blame:

Mortal Coils:

http://index.rpg.net/display-entry.phtml?mainid=1216

Out of the Vault: http://index.rpg.net/display-entry.phtml?mainid=395

The Primal State:

http://www.sjgames.com/pyramid/sample.html?id=7056

Ashes, to Ashes (& soon, Dust to Dust):

http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/14/14290.phtml

Lost in the Lights (coming soon):

http://yog-sothoth.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=17334

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