Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Necromancer/Goodman Back-and-Forth

You know... it's difficult for me to say anything, because Goodman Games put out my book, and they are putting out the Dungeon Alphabet and they have their 1e modules and they continue to support various things of interest to the OSR.

I had a rather large rant/response to the whole deal, but... it's just not my place to say it.

What I will say is the online reaction is exactly why these people don't bother to ever really say anything about the business side of things. It's not like they were using a lot of words to say not much at all like that Leeds fellow after the pdf fiasco, but they are both being treated like shit out there in onlineland.

Thanks, everyone. You've made it extremely easy for the people that know things to not bother telling the rest of us about it.

Why would they? If they told you what time it was you'd yell at them for being so high and mighty as to own a watch without even worrying about whether they were actually reporting the correct time.


  1. Good post. This is why I don't get involved in these things. I read the posts themselves on Grognardia, but I didn't read the comments to those posts on purpose because I would rather live in my happy world about these things.

  2. I have not been following this, though I read Joe Goodman's initial post. Any chance of the cliff notes?

  3. Not to be a jackass about it, but I have no problem with people telling us about the things they know. But in Goodman's case, it was accompanied by the "unless you know more than I do, STFU" preemptive strike, as well as the "because I'm Joe Goodman" posturing. You want to tell us why things are the way you say they are? Fine - but include more facts and less "because I say so" rhetoric. If you ask me, Goodman's post deserved nothing but derision and parody.

    Facts talk, BS walks. Sorry, but I'm too old and used to the rhetoric to be baffled by Goodman's BS.

  4. I don't know if I can give an accurate assessment without adding my own interpretation.

    Basically... Necromancer Games suggests that 4e isn't doing so well and retailers aren't very much behind it, reinforcing their decision not to support it.

    Goodman Games suggests that 4e is doing just fine (just not as good as 3e did at the beginning) and retailers are delighted, using their own business data as a basis for this opinion.

    Message boards and blogs explode taking them both to task for daring to give opinions "from on high" without releasing specific proprietary business info for the unwashed masses to examine and people treat one or both as if they have no clue what they're talking about.

  5. I see; well, I suppose that is the nature of this hobby on the internet, and the various cults of personality that blog culture seems to engender.

  6. I just did not appreciate the talking down tone Goodman's post took. I know he's got a lot of valuable information that I would love to know just don't be contemptuous. With all that information, experience and research he forgot the most important thing, the people who are reading it are his customers, don't piss us off.

  7. I don't buy 4e products. I own some 3e products but wish I didn't.
    I don't care if 4e is doing better than 3e or vice-versa... but if I did care, I'd be more inclined to listen to someone who hires artists and writers to produce rpg stuff which is then sold in stores.
    If someone from Goodman Games or Necromancer Games has an opinion about 4e, it's probably based on a more informed perception than someone who just lurks on RPG messageboards and reads blogs(like myself).
    DON'T ask me how the RPG market is doing these days --- I don't have a clue. The most recent thing I bought was 'Carcosa.'

  8. Well, it has been mentioned that there is a disconnect between all ends of the conversation. Nothing is surprising.

    Fans spend silly amount of time on the web twisting and turning utterances about that disconnect. Nothing is surprising.

  9. Jim,

    Normally I'd agree with you on this one ... people ask for info/help/opinions, and then they piss all over it when they hear something back that they don't like.

    I'm a securities analyst and I've dealt with this from the big portfolio managers, as well as the small investors when I used to write for The Motley Fool. Bottom line -- people behave like children when their precious views of the world are challenged.

    HOWEVER ... as it concerns this one post, Goodman was a complete and total ass. "Unless you've done what I claim to have done, shut up" just isn't going to cut it.

    And for a guy who claims to know this market so very well to make such a colossal miscalculation? After all, if you're going to be a successful RPG publisher, you need to know your ultimate audience. And if this cat really knows his audience, he'd know better than to be *that* pompous with his post.

    I like information getting out. I appreciate people who leverage their position to highlight or distribute interesting bits of information. But I can tell you that if I tried that sort of nonsense ("I've been a med-tech analyst for 12 years, so unless you've been doing this for 13 years, just shut up"), all I'd hear is a series of "clicks" from phones hanging up and clients crossing through my name on their trading sheets.


  10. "You've made it extremely easy for the people that know things to not bother telling the rest of us about it."

    The post wasn't about informing the rest of us. It was pure spin, pure damage control. An attempt to mold public opinion in a way that favors his bottom line. This is why it was full of pompus rhetoric and had a dearth of facts or logic.

    It reminded me of WotC's BS marketing regarding 4e. How it's awesome and all other editions are shit and no one could possibly have fun playing them.