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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 54 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: No Press RPG Anthology  (Read 23727 times)

Posts: 1359

Conventions Forum Moderator, First Thoughts Pest

« on: October 14, 2003, 09:03:29 PM »

Hi All,

This thread is spun off from the Small Press RPG Anthology thread.

No Press is now the official "publishing imprint" for this venture.
The actual title of the book will be something like:
The No Press RPG Anthology Volume 1: Sparks from the Fire (or Hammer or something)

The Specs:
It shall be created for final output as printed and bound matter:
8.5 x 11 (to keep it simple, though i'd rather do an odd size...)
4c cover, black and white interiors.
Page count to be determined, but what's a good target? 128 pages?

It shall be laid out and funded by me.
I will expect volunteers for editing and other duties like promotion and actually writing the frickin' games.

It shall collect and non-exclusively publish ultra-light, micro- and short-form rpgs designed and developed on the Forge and similar venues. The rpgs should be of a format/length that they would not otherwise see print unless included in such an anthology. Authors are free to reprint their work as they see fit.

Money: Each contributor gets one share of the volume for his contribution. Profit from each sale is divided amoung the "shares".  Shipping and printing costs are subtracted from the money earned for each sale before dividing profit (hence profit vs cost).

For Example:
If the book retails for $20 USD, costs $3 USD to print and ship, and contains 6 rpgs then each contributor would earn: 20-3= 17. 17/6= $2.83 per sale per contri.

To start, I will take care of the money end and disburse funds to contributors. I will start a NoPress paypal account when the time comes.

What we need now are contributions. We need to hear from authors.
Jon, I think you're game for this. Help me by soliciting authors for their games/contributions.

Submissions: pdf format only. 8.5 x 11 layout.
If the game has a special design/layout please set it up as such -- so i can print it exactly as you have it.
If the game has no particular design (it's just text) it will be formatted into the anthology style (to be determined right here).

Art: We'll need artwork, so any provided is cool. However, I will ensure that each piece has at least one pen and ink illustration that accompanies its front page.

Time frame: let's get rolling and have volume 1 out by Origins.

I love this stuff!

What am I forgetting?
Who's on board?
What am I forgetting again?


Posts: 370

Aidan Grey

« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2003, 09:19:55 PM »

I heartily offer editing/layout/number-cruching skills as necessary and needed. Just to make it clear that I think this is a fabulous idea and am thoroughly committed to seeing it happen. You tell me what I can do to help, and I'll find a way to do it. Go NPP!

I also wanted to say that I think that "Sparks from the Forge" is utterly cool. If the plan is to do a continuing series (as Volume One implies) then I vote that "Sparks from the Forge" is a subtitle, and each volume would have some other unique title. Or, SftF is the title, and there are multiple volumes. Have I mentioned that I really like this phrase? ;)


Aidan Grey

Crux Live the Abnatural

Posts: 187

« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2003, 09:33:21 PM »

I think this is a fantastic idea, but I suspect my primary contribution to such a work would be in the kibitzing arena.  I can sort of draw, so perhaps I can do something there.

As I understand blacksmithing, the thing that's providing heat is the hearth or forge, and then there's the anvil for hammering and bending, and then a quenching tub or something like that.

It seems to me that if this is a collection of things then a primary name which reflects a crafted or made thing or collection of things might be best, with 'Works from the Forge' or 'Sparks from the Forge' as a subtitle.

Shaped Metal: Works from the Forge?  Tempered Steel: Works from the Forge?

Like I said, kibitzing.  =)

Dana Johnson
Note that I'm heavily medicated and something of a flake.  Please take anything I say with a grain of salt.

Posts: 1359

Conventions Forum Moderator, First Thoughts Pest

« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2003, 09:36:40 PM »


I too really like the title "Sparks from the Forge."

However, let me say it once and for all: We can't use The Forge in the title treatment.

Correct me if I am wrong, Ron.

Hence my, "Sparks from the Hammer or Fire or Kiln or Lighter" idea (which i handily stole from someone else. Please step forward for your acclaimation, please)

Actually, seeing the Forge logo is an implication of heat and sparks generated from the impact of the hammer, metal and anvil, I don't see this as such a bad thing.


Rich Forest

Posts: 226

« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2003, 12:41:48 AM »


I'll volunteer to work on editing.  Editing is what I can best contribute to supporting indie game projects, and I'd like to help make this anthology happen.  I'm sure I'm not the only editor around here, but I'll gladly be responsible for editing the entire compilation or working with others on the edit.


Posts: 5574

« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2003, 04:51:48 AM »

Hey Luke, an absolutely fantastic idea that's been around for awhile and I'm really thrilled to see someone take ownership of it.  

One thing I'd suggest, however, is to use Cost Recovery Accounting for the project rather than the method you use in your example.  That's basically a fancy way of saying no contributor gets paid a dime until you recover all of your sunk costs for the publication.  You can't use this method with the IRS, but for a project like this I strongly recommend it.

Basically what it does is lower your break even volume.

In your example if you printed 500 copies at $3 you'd have spent $1500 on printing.  If you only keep the cost of each book and pay the rest out you'd have to sell all 500 copies before you recovered your cost.  If you only sold 200, you'd be out $900 while the 6 contibutors were sitting on $500+ in profit apiece.  This would seriously jeopardize your ability (and willingness I expect) to foot the bill for volume 2.

Better, IMO, is to keep the full cost of the first 75 books sold to yourself which would equal $1500 in revenue, and then start distributing revenue above that to the contributors.  

Since you want to do print rather than a PDF, Clinton's Bookshelf is out as a fulfillment option.  I would build in a $1-$2 a book cost to be paid to whoever is doing the fulfillment (including you if its you).  Its one thing to volunteer art or editing because once the job is done its done.  But fulfillment is an on going effort (annoying at best, royal pain at worst) that needs to be done right and done promptly or the whole project suffers.  A nominal compensation for the trouble of fulfillment I think is in order.

Suggestion #3 would be for someone to donate the web space and maintenance to advertise and describe the book, with descriptions of the games and testimonials and downloadable goodies (character sheets and game aids) and such.  And then actively encourage all Forge members (contributors or not) to prominantly link to the site from their own web pages.


Posts: 36

« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2003, 04:54:30 AM »

I'm interested.

I can do a little photo editing/idea churning. I have a game that's nearly done that might fit the bill.

Writing wise, I don't have much left to do on the game, but I'd like to get some playtesting done.

What are the explicit deadlines involved here?

Edit (Ralph's post crossed mine): I have some webspace I could offer as well.

<>< Jason Sims, just some guy from Hypebomb.com

IndieNetgaming: where RPG Theory becomes Actual Play
Matt Machell

Posts: 477

« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2003, 05:06:22 AM »

I'll lend a hand editing, and possibly contribute a game too.


EDIT: Oh, and I can help with web stuff too, obviously.


Posts: 869

« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2003, 05:39:01 AM »

Well! I'll dust off Pollies and polish it up.  Cool.  

I can also provide proof-reading services.

Thanks, Luke!
Jonathan Walton

Posts: 1309

« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2003, 05:46:12 AM »

I'm with Ralph on making sure we break even.  Also, you might want to think about RPGmall, in case you want to farm out distribution so we don't have to deal with it personally.  A POD anthology that we could also sell as a PDF might get people from both markets.  Easier to break even, that way, as the PDF sales would also finance each print run.

As for the title, Ron did say that we could acknowledge that these were all "games from the Forge," so I don't see why "Sparks from the Forge" would be any different, if we kept it as a subtitle.  But I'll let Ron clarify that.

My suggestions:
-- Tinderbox: Sparks from the Forge
-- [whatever Hephaestus' son's name was]: Sparks from the Forge


Posts: 384

« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2003, 06:34:35 AM »

I think this is a great idea (glad I chose to come back today) and I could contribute a game or two (EODL or my Iron chef: Songs of Distant Spheres).

Also have plenty of webspace.   I am not the world's best editor so I will disqualify myself in that regard.  

One question from the previous thread and in this one about branding:

No one owns the Indie-game brand as far as I know and I think the project has enough stamina to stand alone without the FORGE brand.

However, I would say it may be possible to work the word Forge or a derivitive in there that would make everyone happy.

For Instance:

Unchained Forges:
Anthology of Independant Role Playing Games, Volume (X)

that way those who know may get an idea that these games were indeed influenced by the indie movement over here on these Forums, and those who don't will at least know what the book is about.

Just my 2 lunars

[Edit: grammar]


Jack Aidley

Posts: 488

« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2003, 07:17:58 AM »

May I put in hearty request that it be released in .pdf format as well. The chances of getting a copy via my local gaming would seem slim, and the prospect of paying shipping costs from America doesn't delight me. But printing out and binding a .pdf; that I can do.

- Jack Aidley, Great Ork Gods, Iron Game Chef (Fantasy): Chanter
Jonathan Walton

Posts: 1309

« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2003, 08:43:11 AM »

One more thing: I'd suggest something Promethan-sounding for the name, since Prometheus, after all, took a spark from the gods' forge and brought it to humanity.

Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Posts: 16490

« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2003, 08:59:04 AM »

Hi there,

Point #1: the single most destructive discussion topic I have seen in any proposed project of this sort is the title. Take it from me: if you get all into some big discussion of the perfect title, the thing will not happen. Just let it go. Contribute something concrete.

Point #2: "Sparks from the Forge," or anything Luke wants, is great for additional cover text. But it can't be a sub-title either. Everyone look in the mirror; say: "Not in the title. Not in a sub-title. Not in a sub-sub kind-of title." Let that go too.

I really don't want to have to deal with any more discussion about this absolutely trivial and project-threatening topic.


Posts: 20

« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2003, 09:32:18 AM »

I can be cajoled into contributing small lightweight game text to the collection. I have one game I've started on and some small "one-page" indie games in my head.  

Contact me with writer's specs -- how many words a piece, how many pieces, that sort of thing, and I'll see what I can do for you.  Leaving me a message here on the board is fine.

- Em
http://www.evilkitten.org/foolhill -- personal blog
http://www.evilkitten.org/spiritof76 -- writing blog
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