Friday, February 19, 2010

Brief Mid-Late February Update

So what have I been up to lately? Hmmm...

100 Street Vendors of the City State is still shipping to subscribers... verrrry slowly, I'm afraid. Shipping depends on my current sales otherwise, which even with the AGP Econopocalypse Sale Mark II, have been remarkably slow. Glacially slow. Such that frankly, my publishing schedule looks like it will be based more on the speed I can ship out subscriber's copies of the previous book than my ability to write the next book...

Speaking of which, I'm currently working on Wilderlands Journal #1, the "All-Wilderlands, Each-And-Every-Page" successor to Adventure Games Journal. I have gotten a slew of great suggestions from fans for articles, and it is slowly coming together.

I'm running a modified Moldvay/Cook B/X Dungeons & Dragons game now on a weekly basis. The current campaign is going to port over to Castles & Crusades, as the kludged-together skill system I tried out for B/X really doesn't work that well. However, as not everyone is going to be able to make the game every session, on "off-nights" when we have too few players to run the ongoing C&C campaign, I'll run a series of B/X one-shot dungeon adventures. Unfortunately, due to my limited time available online, I won't be keeping a campaign blog, though I will try to give you all a bit of info on how the games go...

The campaign is set in the Wilderlands of High Adventure. The game started in the City State of the Invincible Overlord. The adventure thus far has been exploring the Dungeons of the Dragon Lords beneath the Palisade Ruins outside the City State, a megadungeon of my own creation. Yes, eventually it will be published, though due to the limitations of my publishing methods, likely a level at a time... and when I get to it. As it is currently a "living megadungeon" in my campaign, I don't want to reveal too much of it too quickly!

I've also been busy building a new game club for the local area, the Iola Adventure Game Club. Tuesday night is Role-Playing Game Night (currently the C&C/D&D game), Wednesday night is Board & Card Game Night (mostly Munchkin, thus far, but will certainly branch out), and soon we will start up with Magic: The Gathering on Thursday night. Why start up a club, you ask? Well, I had been playing in a regular campaign in Stevens Point, but with our finances being in the doldrums, driving out to SP every week became a financial drain... and being stuck in Iola with no gaming was jsut not an option. So I sought out other players in the local area, thinking it was going to be difficult to find gamers in the middle of a very lightly populated county.

Surprisingly, I've found that there are a lot of gamers out there... when you look! All that's really missing is structure to bring them all together. So together with some of the first gamers in the group, we've put together a regular schedule and site for all games... and more and more gamers are joining every week. Many have only played a few times, or haven't played in years, or are completely new to gaming, but were always interested. What was simply missing to bring them all together was that structure of a club, which, when you read all the old tales of how the hobby got started, is the way it all started in the first place...

So that's about it for now, really. Working on some AGP stuff, running some D&D and C&C, hanging with my gaming buddies, and spending quality time with the love of my life (watching a lot of Akira Kurosawa and Kaiju films, mostly).

Oh, and of course, as always these days, still looking for a day job (which by this point feels like a dragon hunt). Were it not for the state of the economy, I'd say things were going quite well... but then, we are learning to "right-size" our expectations in many ways, not just merely for AGP.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

AGP Econopocalypse Sale Mark II

To say that sales of late have dropped off a cliff would be a gross understatement. It would be more accurate to say that they dropped off a cliff, were stabbed by a thousand knives, blown up, thrown in a shredder, stomped on by rampaging elephants, and then dumped down a drain... sort of like the rest of the economy.

So, to get things moving again, I'm doing what I said I would never again do... offering an amazing sale, Econopocalypse Sale Mark II! Every Adventure Games Publishing PDF is half off, save for the latest (100 Street Vendors) which is not on sale, and the first, Adventure Games Journal #1, which is on sale at the positively STUPID price of merely $1.00! Yes, $1.00!

Click here to take part in
Econopocalypse Sale Mark II
at DriveThruRPG!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Quest for the Paper Cutter

Hey folks,

A number of you have asked why I don't trim the right-hand edge of the booklets. Simple answer to that is that I do not have a paper cutter. I have checked with local printers, and the best price I could get on bringing in my books for them to trim is insanely high ($1.00 per booklet!) As I live in a small village in the middle of nowhere, there's not much competition to drive this price down...

So the only way for me to be able to trim the booklets is to buy a paper cutter. Unfortunately, with a booklet, you can only trim it when it is folded, as the rippling of the pages only happens when the book is trimmed. So the page count of the trim on the booklets is effectively doubled, i.e., a 24-page booklet of 6 sheets of paper actually counts as 12 sheets for trimming purposes. Most hand paper trimmers you can find in Staples and Office Max handle a maximum of 15 sheets at a time, and with 64-page booklets, I need a paper cutter that can handle 32 pages at a time. Unfortunately, from 15 pages, the next jump up is a heavy-duty industrial-grade guillotine paper cutter (apparently, paper cutters have not caught up with home-press technology). A paper cutter of this sort costs between $100 and $150 (not counting shipping), and that's on eBay, where you pays your money and you takes your chances. So a paper cutter would be a $200 expense when, right now when my wife and I are unemployed, every penny counts just to pay the rent and utilities.

As I've already sold or auctioned off all of my game collection that I can without cutting into the materials I use in design work, and every penny from sales is needed to either pay for printing and shipping subscriber products or for things like food and rent, I'm at an impasse. I want to trim these booklets, and my customers want trimmed booklets, so the only way I'm going to be able to get one of these paper cutters is by asking for donations.

I can't provide anything material in return for these donations; what I can do is include a line thanking those who donate toward the paper cutter in each booklet going forward. The line will read:

"Many thanks to [Names] for their generous donations toward the paper cutter that trimmed this book. Think of them as you easily flip through the pages of this volume."

If you wish to make a donation, you can send a Paypal payment to jamesagp1 at gmail dot com. Please be sure to note that it is a donation toward the Quest for the Paper Cutter.

You can also send a donation in check or money order form to: Adventure Games Publishing, Quest for the Paper Cutter, PO Box 185, Iola, WI 54945

Money donated toward the paper cutter will not be used for any other purpose. I will close this request for donations once we have reached $200, which should be sufficient to buy a paper cutter on eBay.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Reviewers for AGP Products

I'm looking around for a few more good reviewers for AGP products. If you know anyone who does good, honest reviews, send them this way.