#RPG – Postmortem Studios November Update

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It’s November, and about time for another update, as we Brits look forward to setting shit on fire and blowing things up.

I’m trying to get my PATREON up to over $200 a month. This is primarily to support my work on YOUTUBE, but also supports my blogging and other work. You get access to periodic exclusive content, you can request video topics,  you can get discounts on apparel and books.

As for me, my endless wrangles with the Department of Work and Pensions seem to have come to a (positive) end, which takes off a lot of pressure and allows me to take more risks and invest more in my work in order to get out of that situation, as well as to farm out more work to others.

There will be plenty of openings as we move towards the end of the year and into the new year, for writers (Gor and D6 familiarity a bonus) and for artists (send me your links and portfolios!).

The Darkzel Scholarship will be coming up soon, my regular fundraiser to help out young, impoverished or otherwise hard-up artists. So keep an eye out for that. The fundraiser runs for three months and entries are welcome up to a month after. This year we’ll be returning to the format of providing a lump, ‘prize’, sum to one lucky applicant.

Postmortem Studios will have its own, censorship-free site next year for direct sales, insulating me from issues on existing sales sites – provided everything goes well – and I hope to be able to provide a safe haven for other, censored RPG and nerd-media writers there too.

Nanowrimo? Not sure, maybe, if I do it’ll be short stories.

While I have you, remember that my new Twitter accounts are @mort_post and @grimasaur, and given that G+ is going the way of the dodo, a MeWe account too. See you there!

Anyway, fire away with any questions or suggestions and I’ll try to get cracking!

#RPG – Roll Up! Roll Up! Welcome to The Carnival of Grimness!

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Genties, Ladymen and children of all genders!

Cast your functioning sensory organs in something approximating this direction and gaze in awe and wonder at the cavalcade of entertainment and dysfunction on show!

Step this way, and for the low, low fee of your attention you will find diversions most deviant, entertainments most exciting and writings most wicked. We practically (but not actually) guarantee your satisfaction and amusement!

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Behold, the hall of Social Media! What distractions and horrors may lie inside these darkened halls?

Perhaps you seek the cheap thrill of voyeurism to be found in the unblinking gaze of Madam Narcissist!

Will you test your mettle and your patience in the Blue Bird Arena?

Perhaps one of our fabulous freaks, Bookface will entertain you with his mind reading tricks, targeted advertising and most diverting groups?

There are new attractions too, wild and untamed creatures from the furthest reaches of the internet, untouched by Amazon or Google. Dare you risk the Tent of Bulbs, it’s burlesque titillations or its house of games?

Try your luck against the Honest Interlocutor to see if you have the gift of the Gab, win yourself a stuffed frog.

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Away from the hoi polloi are the caravans, offering delectations to our more discerning visitors.

If you are of a more cerebral nature, our players will entertain you with dice-based diversions or play out stories for your entertainment. There are books too, but the odds are you already Reddit…

Perhaps marvellous mechanisms will better meet your motivation, in which case sign up for a ride on our Steem-powered rollercoaster? It rises and falls with the speed and terror of a cryptocurrency’s value!

Finally, at the centre of our little circus, you will find the Astounding Arena of Audiovisual Announcement, where your eyes and ears will be tickled by recordings from The Great Beardini!

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Don’t forget to visit our concession stands on your way out.

Here you can buy your own versions of our games and books.

Apparel to clad your fragile bodies and protect them from the elements.

Boards, cards, dice and devices to distract you from your imminent mortality.

Not to mention other, miscellaneous junk and tat we’re trying to get shot of.

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Finally, can I perhaps tempt you with a season ticket?

For as little as a single of your Earth dollars, you can gain access to the carnival and the ringmaster as much as you may care to spend your time here, not to mention getting plenty of discounts on our other diversions.

We accept Many, Forms of Currency.

Failing that, please leave a tip in the jar on your way out.

And failing that… well… the trolls always need to be fed.

#AprilTTRPGmaker How do you get your work out there?

blackandwhite301_largeThis is the big, huge, massive problem in the current day and age. Making your work is all well and good but getting it out there and getting people to buy it is a massive hurdle. RPGs were ahead of the curve in getting electronic books out there – but using the PDF format, which is convenient from the perspective of the designer (the same files are used for printing) but possibly shrinking the potential audience by being less compatible with e-readers, which don’t tend to support the format or the same rich layout.

The bigger problem though, is simply being noticed. Part of the reason we have so many crowdfunded efforts is that these attract attention and loyal customers who can act as ‘boosters’, raising a game or supplement’s awareness level. Even so, the massive amounts of ‘noise’ relative to your signal make it hard to draw eyes to your products.

  • Nobody likes spam.
  • Facebook curates people’s feeds for them, to the point where many will never see your advertisement or posts.
  • Social media dominates people’s reading/clicking habits now, RSS feeds and visiting individual sites does not.
  • Patreon/Makersupport helps create ‘superfans’ the same way crowdfunding does, but you need to make them aware of you first.

I try to have a good body of work up, a presence on all the main (and alternative) social media and so on to have a good digital ‘footprint’, a Youtube channel, and as much personal engagement as I can manage. As an independent creative it’s – unfortunately – as much about people making a connection with me as it is about the work.

That’s all you can really do, try to keep plugging away. Draw people to you however you can and not just endlessly spam product. Show who you are and where the work comes from too.

Controvery, which I’ve never actually sought but has found me anyway, is a two-edged sword. On the one hand it raises your profile and will help people learn about you, on the other you’ll often be misrepresented or conjured into someone’s go-to bogeyman. You’ll gain a lot of interested people, but you’ll likely lose a lot too.

These days of course, anything and everything is controversial and ‘terrible’ to one side or another, so it’s important to gather the skills to deal with the vitriol. There is, unfortunately, nothing so good as experience for teaching that.

It’s my Birthday, so do something nice for me :)

The other nice thing you can do, of course, is to donate to the Darkzel Scholarship fund.

Does Postmortem Spam You Enough?

I’m a touch curious chaps and chapettes. Being British and all, I find it very difficult to pimp my wares without getting horribly self-concious. So I’d love to know if you think I blither on about my stuff enough, or not. If you feel like being difficult and not fitting the poll, comment on this post.

Infrno

Infrno is a Beta of a web-based RPG playing application/social site (isn’t everything these days?) which I’ve been signed up to for a while but hadn’t really gotten to grips with until this weekend.

We decided to keep things simple and went for a game of Dragon Warriors, playing through the first adventure in the main book, using the ‘whiteboard’ for maps and the webcam and audio to give the thing a proper test.

First the pluses:

  • Infrno is very easy to use and set up. Not necessarily always intuitive or simple but, in my experience, far more simple and intuitive than all the other, rival options that are out there at the moment.
  • Anyone with a web browser can use it.
  • The social side allows you to keep game notes etc on the site as well as characters, storing them in the cloud whether for your online or offline games. This makes life a lot easier.
  • The whiteboard isn’t complicated and its simplicity makes it extremely usable. You just have to drop images down onto there if you want to use them so making tokens, maps etc is a piece of piss. I never normally bother with them but it’s easy enough with this that I might more often.
  • It’s not wedded to any single system, so it’s open to all kinds of play, all kinds of games. It would be easy, EASY, even to play board games or war games over the interface if you created CGI tokens and that’s something I hope the Infrno guys look into doing with the blessing of various companies.
Now the minuses:
  • The in-site audio wasn’t great, we ended up switching to Ventrilo. We weren’t on the best of connections – one player was in rural Wales connecting via bean-tins and string and the site is in beta, but still that’s a problem. You can always conference in Skype or whatever until this gets fixed though.
  • We suffered the occasional random drop-out from the game, this wasn’t too much of an issue though as they were able to get right back in.
  • The whiteboard took a long time to load for some players.
  • There were pretty heavy, periodic, lag spikes.
  • The dice roller utility is not robust enough for many games.
  • The generic characters sheets are great, but huge and bewildering and unwieldy when trying to enter characters, especially if you’re doing pregens.
That said we had a good time and a successful game, playing online does always seem to be slower than playing in person though. We’re going to keep playing our Dragon Warriors game, at least for a while and I hope to use Infrno to run demos. Even with the Beta-period drawbacks and issues I think Infrno is a serious contender for a system neutral method of online play and of all the ones I’ve tried I like it the best. Get on there and look me up or find me on my company profile, let’s play!