Friday, November 4, 2011

Spellcraft & Swordplay updates

Gotta say, folks, I'm a little disappointed.  I had a ton of people claiming they couldn't wait to see S&S in print from DTRPG, and I went through a lot of hoops to get it there.  It went live in late-mid October...and I haven't sold a single print copy of either the core book or MM.

Anyone taken a look and decided not to buy?  If so, why? I'm interested to hear what we can do to drive sales.  I realize it's a tough economy and yet another fantasy game may not be what people are looking for right now--those two things, in fact, are pretty serious hurdles to overcome.

S&S has sold fairly steady in the PDF arena; I'd like to garner some more hardcopy sales if I can.

So I'll try this.  What makes S&S different from OSRIC, Labyrinth Lord, Swords & Wizardry, LotFP, or even, for that matter, Castles & Crusades?

Based on what fans have told me, what makes Spellcraft & Swordplay stand out from the rest is the fact that it is quite distinctly pulp in form and feel.  This was not a conscious decision by me when I put the game together--indeed, few conscious decisions were made as to direction.  S&S kind of wrote itself.  The story behind that is on my website; read it if you like. But after having read over my proofing copies, I've gotta say that I agree. It is quite pulp. A lot of the design decisions from S&S are very, very similar to the Age of Conan "hacks" for OD&D that I threw out there awhile back. The game is gritty, fast-playing, freeform, and lends itself very well to a game that would feature in the worlds of Robert E. Howard, Fritz Lieber, Lin Carter, or other similar pulp swords-and-sorcery works.

We had a rather positive review lately on another blog: Adventures and Shopping, and over at The Other Side Blog, Tim Brannan has posted a whole bunch of popular literary figures with S&S stats, and a few hints as to the contents of his forthcoming sourcebook!

I also think our mass combat system and ship-to-ship combat system are pretty sleek, as are our thug rules.

Certainly there's a lot to S&S that you could mine for use in other games, but I think at its core, O.R.C.S.™* is really worth taking a look at.

Elf Lair was going pretty strong when we first came out back in '08, and unfortunately I was forced to go on hiatus due to grad school.  I guess it's possible, or even probable, that people are skeptical about the company and games being back.

I'd like to reassure you that they are indeed back.  I just got the manuscript in hand for our second sourcebook, Tim Brannan's Eldritch Witchery, and it promises to be very sweet.  I've lined up an artist for Twelve Parsecs, and I am working on several adventure modules which will be released as time permits and I get the art budget for them. I'm squirreling away money from other freelance writing gigs into Elf Lair's coffers so I have a financial base on which to work, and we're going to make a go of this.

Our forums are still live, though conversation there has been dead for some time.  I'd encourage anyone who enjoys the game to head over there and check them out as well at http://elflairgames.proboards.com/

You can also follow us on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/elflairgames/

Finally, you can help by spreading the word!  Get other people to follow the blog and the facebook page. Send them to our website, and for Pete's Sake, get 'em to DTRPG!  If you like the game, review it and let me know where the review can be found!

*Oldschool Roleplaying Core System™ - our house system.

5 comments:

  1. You had a lot of momentum going when you released S&S, momentum that was naturally lost when you shut up shop. Getting that momentum happening again won't be easy, especially given that in the time since a great number of old school games have hit the shelf that you now need to compete with for people's attention. This may prove a tougher challenge than your initial release.

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  2. I bought one of the older versions of M.M. and S.S. through Lulu. They had free shipping and I wanted a paper back. Didn't know about the newer editions at the time. Like them even if they might be considered older, but then I am older. :-)

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  3. Not to worry, Dano. If you have both S&S and MM, you have all the information currently contained in the DTRPG editions--you may want to download the Thug Rules for completion's sake. Those are available at the Lulu store for free.

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