Sunday, November 21, 2021

WHY I PUBLISHED... #2: The Butchery of Agnes Gooder!

'allo all!

On October 25 we made 10 new releases available from ; eight for sale, and two freebies to entice purchase.
Packing and shipping from that initial avalanche of orders is DONE! But while there are other duties, I'm going to take a few minutes every day or five to explain why I decided to publish the items I did, and I will do so in order from what I expected to be the most generally acceptable to what I expect to be the most controversial.
Now coming in at #2: The Butchery of Agnes Gooder!
So late last year, I was thinking of how the catalogs I'd pass out at conventions were a good way to hook people. Product descriptions, a good piece of art to hook people in, I think it's one of the few promotional ideas I've had that was just gold star quality... (developed because I hated the constant banter of trying to hook interest and sum up the game to random passersby... carnival barker plus flyer is more my speed in that environment) But all our 2020 conventions were canceled, and 2021 was not looking good either at the time (we ended up not traveling internationally for the conventions that did happen), so I had the idea of doing a freebie thing to encourage more direct orders.
The idea was an A3 page folded to A5 size, to easily add to orders and not add to the postage weight. On one side of the page would be "cover" art, product information and general boilerplate stuff. On the other side would be an A3-sized adventure (which would dictate what the art would be).
So I made an open call for pitches, and ended up getting four or five of them submitted. But of course the first one was going to cost a whole lot more money than budgeted... because this fuckin' guy had an idea that would require TWO folded sheets, and two additional pieces of art, because there was a sort of paper doll thing going on with it. So clever, so good, so greenlit.
It's definitely in the deep end of the LotFP pool as far as content. And not everyone who likes LotFP likes the nasty stuff. Because contrary to what you may have heard, we do release a good amount of material that works with general audiences. And now people after the easier stuff is going to get some hardcore LotFP that they didn't ask for.
And I started stressing about it ten months before it was released:
The thing about LotFP, a big problem, actually, has to do with the question "Is this a good idea?" I imagine most other publishers don't stress too much about this. I think they're able to separate "Does this appeal to me personally?" and "Will this sell well/is this a good idea for my business?" and separate their personal taste from their professional activities.
Me? "Does this appeal to me personally" is all there is. What is the bloody point of going through all the hassle of running a business, of living with the chaos and constant uncertainty that comes with being a small-time operator in the "culture industry," if not to trust myself and be me in choosing projects and how they are presented?
So... the intended cheap freebie that's just had its art cost tripled and printing cost more than doubled (the second sheet requires special folding), that'll piss off some unknown number of my most valuable customers to boot... the concept appealed to me, so fuck it, it happens.
Sorry to all you Glynn Seal fans who only wanted a completely inoffensive book of maps. 😛
So much of this business is just saying "fuck it" and leaping into the void with blind faith that there's a soft landing at the bottom. The entire industry is a bad idea to begin with... "Hey, let's codify and sell ways for people to play pretend with each other! You know, things people can already do without outside help!" was iffy enough as it is as the basis for an industry, but almost 50 years later adding on "... even though there are already a million choices out there, many of them available for free!" So yeah, "is this a good idea to release?" really doesn't even have a rational basis to even be asked because if I was so worried about good ideas I'd be selling insurance or something instead of ever doing this in the first place. So fuck it.
Anyhow, to me personally (I do remember my ex-wife telling me to never follow the golden rule because I'm so weird that following it would only offend everyone else) the thing shouldn't actually be offensive to anyone who was a fan of NCIS or Silent Witness. But RPG people are bizarre.
And the cover art pictured here was not part of the original idea... but it needed a cover, and considering what the inside art pieces are, I decided to take the idea from Deicide's Once Upon the Cross cover art since it would apply very well here.
The back cover format we'll be using for these things is an adaptation of the Grindcrusher compilation cover art. That thing was so valuable to me when I was just starting to get into death metal and grindcore in 1992. It's been released with a variety of different color schemes for the cover, but the one we used here is the same as the cassette copy I had back in the day.
The other promo freebie concepts that were accepted will be released in the months and (hopefully not too many) years to come. Buy from the EU webstore so I run out of copies of this one and have to move on to the next!
WHY I PUBLISHED #1 soon! You should be able to figure out which one it is.