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cecil

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A member registered Feb 08, 2017 · View creator page →

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it very very much seems like patreon's biggest financial gap is that there are too many patrons pledging a dollar at a time to creators, like the folks who give 1 dollar a month to 35 creators are not as useful to them as 1 person who gives 35 dollars to a single creator. they hemorrhage fees and shit on those tiny patrons, which has severely limited their ability to make good on the 105m of invested venture and hobbles patreon by regulatory measures. in my opinion patreon will eventually make a move decidedly unfriendly to smaller creators and patrons. just something to look out for!

hey and hello y'all'ins. so this probably won't apply to most folks and a lot more just won't care and that's fine, but i thought i'd bring some attention to a recent SCOTUS ruling that has (or at least will) fundamentally changed the way copyright works in the states, which in turn likely means any other countries participating in the WIPO treaty and Berne conventions. to start, i'm not a lawyer and if you're dabblin' in the black legal arts and you can afford it, you should get a lawyer. you can also go to your local legal aid society for free/cheap help but they rarely do IP law stuffs, but its always worth a check.

at any rate, prior to march 4th basically all you had to do to own your IP is make the damn thing. that's still true, however, courtesy of Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com you now must have registered your copyright with the libary of congress before you can commence a lawsuit against some n'er do well. not only must you have registered your copyright, the LOC must have processed the application. this is a game changer, because it contradicts the literature of the copyright act as well as prior SCOTUS rulings. it also means that there will be heavy pressure on the registrar as it takes some 8 to 10 months to process an application already; it'll go up.  Jordan Franklin has a pretty good opinion piece you can read here, and she IS a lawyer. her point about is statute of limitations is on point, which i think is extremely relevant to the sort of re-discover-ability that RPGs tend to have.

so that's something to watch out for! again, i am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice, but i keep up with IP law pretty hard because i do art/game stuffs for other people a lot and sometimes you gotta know some legal stuff. if anyone has any questions i can try to answer as best and non-legally binding as i can, or point you to a better resource.

thought process and abstraction cannot have a registered copyright (or patent, sorta), no, but you can still get sued for copying an idea. the legal idea is substantial similarity, and in the US (or countries part of the WIPO treaty) you can get sued for it, however rare. you can get literally sued for anything, and if you don't show up you lose automatically. what's more; the OGL is a trade agreement, a contract, and agreeing to it's terms supersedes on-the-street copyright code. so if you're using the OGL you agree to not do shit you would normally be able to otherwise, like how you cannot claim compatibility using proper nouns and are limited on the reproduction of procedure, etc. what WotC does and does not choose to enforce has no bearing on how it actually works.

hi and hello! i'm cecil howe; been working full time making rpgs and rpg stuffs for a few years now as an illustrator and writer.

could i get a link to any VODs of this?

thanks a bunch!

That would be something pretty dependent on play style which is unique from table to table. As far common language game terms are defined 'strategy' has a pretty clear meaning at the table and in computer games. Likewise, I can see some utility in calling D&D a dice game, but it is nothing like another dice game I love which is cee-lo.

I don't think these terms are very useful for a lot of stuff, and as far as tabletop adventuring and role playing games go most would fit into all these categories or none. I like where you are at with aggregation though!

Something to consider for the starter tags leafo is looking for is that you don't necessarily want or need pin-point accuracy. You want your categories to be very broad and you want the tags that leafo adds to the suggestions to be just a smidgen more accurate than that. It's advantageous to creators to use terms that are common language and it can hurt you to use terms that are known in hyper specific circles or to game designing communities. If we want to work with Itch.io to bring a wider tabletop audience to the store for tabletop stuffs then we should be concerned about choosing tag terms that are known to that wider audience and easily recognizable.

And also keep in mind that tags are not set in stone; there would be the suggested ones and you can enter your own as well.

From a pure like, google search usefulness standpoint changing the category to tabletop games is going to be the best change, yeah. I don't make LARPs or live action games. My understanding is they take up a small percentage of an already small market but have a massive overlap with tabletop communities.

yeah this is the good stuffs i am talking about. i don't think we need a completely new way to sell physical goods, just some more back end to make the process clearer. just a few tweaks to existing things to bend what exists to what we need.

good points and lists! will say, there's not gunna be a need for many game specific tags, as a lot of those games don't allow 3rd party content. so like, unless SJG wants to port their entire store then we'll never need a gurps tag, same with d&d, shadowrun, dark eye, etc. but PbtA, FitD, OGL, etc though, definitely—these games are legal derivatives and standalone. in general though, game specific tags aren't really useful for independent creators unless they have a bevy of supplemental material pointing back to their core game. 

Ingram Spark has a company called Lightning Source that I am pretty sure has a backend API to do this. Another site uses it to fuel their print on demand program. I have no clue if it is an exclusive agreement, but it's worth checking out. Another company that might be able to provide this is http://www.chicagopressmen.com/ but I am not sure.

some more great tags comin' out of smart people's noggins in here. Alex McConnaughey brings up a really good point about live play games that should be considered, and maybe changing Physical Games to Tabletop Games isn't the smoothest move. I would definitely add "Live Action Games" to the category list, and use things like parlor, boffer, and what not as tags.

larp, and &c. are all super good tags to go under the RPG category also. campaign would definitely fit in the supplement section (See Wizard Fighter Thief's post) but I agree that one shot, no prep, and low prep are good tags also.

a good point;  for sure. could have the category just say RPG and then throw the supplement, core, etc into the tags

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Hey Leaf, this is @swordpeddler from twitter. First of all thanks a whole hell of a lot for putting some spotlight on this; right now independent creator-publishers in tabletop games have basically one central market to sell our wares and a lot of us are looking for other places to go. There has been a huge push to move to itch for about a year now. Something that would help us out a lot is these better tags, and I have some suggestions. The biggest one is I think you should change "Physical Games" to "Tabletop Games" as the broadest, top level category—I think physical games is a fine descriptor but as a colloquialism it is less known.

These are my sidebar suggestions to keep it as neat as possible; these categories are broad strokes of the kinds of games and game accessories made for tables:

Roll and Write: these are solo-play tabletop games, not strictly roll playing games in the same sense as D&D is. A good example is this gem: https://metalsnail.itch.io/hall-of-the-dwarven-king

Role Playing Game: this is where you'd drop your regular, full games or so. Knave is a full RPG, and is the type of game that'd drop in to this category: https://questingbeast.itch.io/knave, as would Nora Blakes Endless Waltzhttps://neithernora.itch.io/endless-waltz, this one about snakes: https://kiramagrann.itch.io/a-cozy-den, or even https://makebigthings.itch.io/damntheman.

RPG Supplement: this is a category for things like adventures and campaign settings that are compatible with other, full RPGS. Existing  examples of this would be https://olobosk.itch.io/the-will-of-rot, https://cone.itch.io/coldwinter, or https://swordfishislands.itch.io/hot-springs-island.

Board Game: this would be your print & play games that are not RPGs, things like: https://randyo.itch.io/scoundrels, https://rockmanor.itch.io/maximum-apocalypse, or https://adriannovell.itch.io/magos-y-tabernas-printnplay.

Card Game: this is print & play card games like: https://evilisa.itch.io/qwap, https://offcutgames.itch.io/complicated-board-game-the-card-game, and https://terriv.itch.io/pusherkings.

Utility Apps: things made to support tabletop games like https://cone.itch.io/hex-kit.

Zines:  tabletop zines are wildly popular, and you're going to see a bunch of them uploaded to itch around March, when the "Zinequest" Kickstarter Event starts to fulfill. This is going to be a popular category!


I think you'll find a lot of people will want game-specific tags, so there is a good place to start. A lot of independently produced tabletop material is made to be compatible with existing games, so you'll see people want tags like this: PbtA, OGL, OSR, FitD and Fate. Those may be greek, but a lot of people are going to get it trust me. Other popular tags to cover all of the proposed categories would be wargame, solo, adventure, source bookprint & playcampaign settingcore rules, system neutral, rules lightgmlessmaphex crawlsocial, one page, and 2-players. I am sure other users will come up with some more good ones.

In tabletop games, most of the time when you see genre it means the same thing as it does in the literary world; so instead of adventure as a genre like you have in digital games, we would want stuff like fantasy, sci fi, post apocalypse, western, crime, horror, investigative, pulp adventure and stuff like that. I bet we could rustle up a good primer somewhere on that!

As far as classification goes, I think most of the categories, tags, and genre will cover what folks traditionally expect out of sorting tabletop games. Maybe someone else has better suggestions.

And finally I think the biggest thing I would love to see to make selling tabletop games through itch is an upfront way of selling a physical book; I know we can use the rewards tool but something more front and center might be cool? I'd also love, if possible, to be able to add more than one thing to a cart via the widget. But that's a heavy ask!

Again, thank you so much for replying to me on twitter and stepping up, I know a lot of people are looking at itch now as an alternative to what little there is now.

I wouldn't use it for more than 1 session in your d&d game, two tops. It's meant to be like a slight aside in terms of mechanics and play. Anything more than that will get repetitive, but yes it can be played basically as a board game too and there is a guide to that in the book. Thanks!

I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get seeds or tend to the plants!

Played 3 games! On the final game I think I finally got it right; managed to make it to depth 4 with a bunch of vaults but no throne.  I don't know if the building dwarf needs a buff but I basically could only build things when I had enough gold to hire mercenaries., and I just skipped building anything but vaults anyways.

Could you clarify some rules? If I build a mine at dept three and use a mining dwarf to mine up some shiny stuff, does "For each Depth, reroll the dice" mean that I can use that dwarf to try to get gold three times, for like a max of 15 gold? Also, do mercenaries need to be hired in the order they'd be resolved? So say I didn't roll a cook, and didn't want to sacrifice a dwarf to re roll more dwarfs, do I need to hire that mercenary before I resolve dwarves 4, 5 and 6?

Thanks for making a neat game!

'bout to play the heck out of this, it's right up my alley! I found you a typo though, check out text block 11, where it says 'At the end of the game, gain points the Statues and Vaults you've built...'

Supposed to say 'gain points for the Stautes...' I imagine? At any rate this shit looks A+ and I am stoked to play.