Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Blog Necromancy

This blog is once again available for perusal.

I will not be blogging here, nor fixing all those pictures that disappeared in the Great Purge of '17.

This blog is available again just for historical purposes.

Queries to this blog will be neither read nor answered.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Adventures in Gaming is Closed...

As promised, the Adventures in Gaming blog is now closed, but remains as a historical document, so to speak. Similarly, the Adventure Games Publishing catablog will remain, though the company is closed.

You can find my new game blog at:

Monday, March 8, 2010

Adventure Games Publishing is Closed

It is with great regret that I announce the closure of Adventure Games Publishing. Print product sales end immediately. PDF products remain available on the AGP DriveThruRPG site through the end of March, then migrate to either the Judges Guild or Troll Lord Games sites on DriveThruRPG (those of you who already purchased them will continue to be able to download them). After that date, Judges Guild and/or Troll Lord Games might continue to make print versions of these products available or not; that is their call, not mine. As all the details about the transfer of properties are still being worked out, please do not inquire after them about these items for several weeks after the transfer.

The decision to close AGP was neither easy nor quick; it has been brewing in my mind for a long time. It is the end result of far more mistakes being made than successess being earned. At one point a good friend, who knew of my work on Comics & Games Retailer, asked me point blank why I did not take the very good advice I dished out in that magazine. I still do not know why myself.

The closure is, essentially, the final result of ever fewer sales on each new product, both print and PDF, such that at this point, I'll end up paying people to take my next product. 100 Street Vendors of the City State, barring a handful of sales of Noble Knight Games, sold a grand total of three print copies. Yes, you read that right, three copies. The PDF sales were not much better, a grand total of 13 copies sold as compared to 15 copies being taken free by reviewers (and many, many thanks to the two of you who have actually posted reviews!)

As though the dreadful sales on what I considered to be my best, most tied-in work of the Wilderlands was not enough, this is also tax time, and looking over the results of the prior year was most educational. The end result, even after pinching every penny and keeping all expenses down to the bare minimum, was a grand total net income such that I earned a total of less than $2 per hour for all my work on AGP in 2009. Were this simply a sideline to a full-time job, that would truly be a nice result. As this is supposed to be my "day job," that result is, as we call it, a "reason to quit."

And so we are done. A few things:

If you wonder why I don't keep print sales open for the remainder of the month, it is due to the simple fact that at this point, even if I get good sales, all my profits from said sales could all too easily be wiped out on the purchase of the ink to print that last book (as ink for my printer runs $100 per cartridge). So any final sales of print products could be counterproductive rather than profitable, and there is no way to know until the final book is printed.

I still have a box and a half or so filled with copies of XXXI and 2008 Wilderlands Jam, as well as two HUGE boxes of Campaign Map 18: Southern Reaches. Rather than simply destroy them, one of these days I'll eventually get those to Bob Bledsaw at Judges Guild; he will sell them as he sees fit. As all other booklets are either sold out or were only printed on order, that is the last remaining stocks from AGP (no wondrous warehouse finds to be hand a decade or three down the road).

Adventure Games Publishing is unlikely to return; I plan to altogether put it in my past, and put my past behind me. Eventually, six months, a year, or two years (or more) down the road, depending on how long it takes the burns and wounds to heal and be forgotten, I will return to writing, likely as a hobby (writing for Fight On! perhaps), then later, maybe, for other publishing... But first I need to return my hobby where it belongs, to that place in my heart where it is a hobby.

This blog, Adventures in Gaming, is also going to close. It is too tied in with AGP in my heart for me to continue forward with it. A month or three from now, I will return to blogging, but elsewhere. For those interested in following whatever shall follow, I will certainly post here to let them know where they can find me.

Adventures in Gaming and the Adventure Games Publishing Catablog will remain up; I have no plans to take them down. Let them remain as historical artifacts.

I could get into the whole "what's going on with the Adventure Game Industry and how it applies to AGP," but frankly... I really don't care anymore. It seems the Adventure Game Industry has had enough of me, and I have finally had enough of it... and so it is time to move on.

Finally, many thanks go out to:

My wife, for being unbelievably, incredibly supportive;
My mother, for being there when we needed her;
Bob Bledsaw (may he rest in peace) and Bob Bledsaw Jr, for so very much I cannot say;
Steve Chenault, Peter Bradley, and the other good folks at Troll Lord Games;
Noble Knight Games and Chimera Hobbies, for taking a chance on my products;
My subscribers, for putting so much (sadly, misplaced) faith in me;
All who purchased by products;
Reviewers who understood;
My fans, many of whom are also good friends.

To all, good gaming!


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Won the battle, lost the war kind of day...

In an otherwise really, really sucky day (I'll spare you the details), a bit of goodness: while window-shopping at the thrift shop (which will be the title of a book I write, someday, remember I got first dibs) I found a copy of Outdoor Survival for $2.50, which fits my budget, such as it is. The outside of the box was in terrible shape, so I hoped merely that all the pieces were inside... and not only was everything there, it was all in minty shape, complete with un-punched counters!

I do believe my next classic D&D campaign will be set in that classic realm...

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!