Early Warning

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Early Warning

Postby Mythmere » Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:28 pm

Once upon a time, Wizards of the Coast said they weren't working on 4e, and then announced the release of 4e two weeks later...... I don't want to spring changes on people, so I'm giving a heads up.

We've got a major development brewing, but it's not inked on a contract yet, so (a) this is just a general heads-up and (b) I will not give the names of the publisher(s).

(1) Likelihood of putting S&W into distribution (at brick and mortar stores) is just about at 99% probability right now.
(2) We will likely be working with a publisher, with ongoing support and new S&W products (not produced by us) also going into the mix.
(3) There will be advertising (internet, print, trade magazines, etc), there will be press releases, there will be an official "launch," etc. There will be sales through the publisher at conventions.

What does this mean for us here?
(1) We continue to hold the trademark; this is a licensing deal, not a sale.
(2) This website will continue at full steam, and there will, I think, even be a link to it on the publisher's site.
(3) I am very, very, very happy with this publisher. This deal is a partnership to boost the game, not just a profit-and-loss business transaction. Everyone will have a chance to meet the publisher and get comfortable, but as I said, that won't happen until the deal is done. This is just the early heads-up.
(4) The price of the rule book will likely double or more to the $22-$25 level. It's GOT to be that way - if people see a $10 rule book in a store they will instantly assume that it's crap. I will give people warning so that if anyone needs cheap rulebooks before this happens, there will be some time to buy them.
(5) The published version of the rule books has to have "something more" than the free pdf, or it spooks the hobby stores - who see free pdfs as competition. Most likely, I will add an appendix at the end with a couple of thief options and a couple of ranger options (I have heard on this board that younger players like rangers, so why not).
(6) Knockspell will still be run by us here, and won't go into brick and mortar stores ... most likely. I plan on advertising it on the net and in Kobold Quarterly, or other such places for direct sales at the publisher's online store.
(7) This doesn't entirely solve the problems with lulu, but lulu is definitely going to become the ass-end of the distribution process, if at all.

Once this deal is fully in place, there will actually be a fair amount of coordination for us to do - the release is planned for GenCon, so we'll suddenly have a headquarters at the convention.

I will have more details once we've inked a contract, which will probably be at least a week.
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Re: Early Warning

Postby Grim » Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:30 pm


Hot Damn!



The Outlook is Grim

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Re: Early Warning

Postby The Red Priest » Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:13 pm

Couldn't you do this before mid-July? Then I could march my S&W game participants at BabelCon over to a booth in the dealers' room, point and say, "See, the game we're playing is really, real."


Maybe I'll be able to convince my local NSFLGS to let me run a S&W demo game, since there'd be something in it for them. I tell ya, if you look there for a game that doesn't come from WoTC, Games Workshop or Fantasy Flight, you get this deer-in-the-headlights look from 'em.

/me crosses fingers, toes and eyes for the deal .. and for the deal to happen ahead of schedule. ;)
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Re: Early Warning

Postby bat » Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:12 pm

Great news, indeed. Congratulations. NOW can we call you "Hollywood" Finch?
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Re: Early Warning

Postby Mythmere » Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:15 pm

No, there's no WAY there will be any in stores by July. :D
Distribution works on a fairly slow schedule. I think the absolute earliest that dealers and stores would have these in hand will be October.

Plus - keep in mind this isn't finalized. But when it is finalized, thing may start moving fast, and I didn't want anyone to flip out. This is a chance for anyone with concerns to voice them.

I imagine the major concern is whether this will commercialize and "glut" the S&W market. The answer is no. All future rules-option-type material will be clearly labeled as optional. There will be more resources, but not splatbooks. Knockspell remains in my hands, and will keep its fanzine tone.
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Re: Early Warning

Postby Akrasia » Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:28 pm

This sounds great! Contrats, Matt. :mrgreen:
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Re: Early Warning

Postby RandallS » Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:42 pm

Mythmere wrote:What does this mean for us here?

The main thing I'm concerned with is will this put ANY new limitations on what fans can publish or do? I have nasty memories of TSR and their fan policies and their lawsuits over other publishers daring to publish compatible materials. For example, will a fan or other publishers product still be able to say "compatible with Swords & Wizardry" even if the official publisher objects to the product for some reason?
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Re: Early Warning

Postby Coleston » Wed Jun 10, 2009 5:03 pm

Matt and this publisher were kind enough to give BHP a "heads up" on this some time ago and I think Matt has done an excellent job explaining the simple implications of it.

While Matt doesn't need my blessing, I think this is a great thing for S&W and the OSR - so he has it anyway! :D
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Re: Early Warning

Postby Geordie Racer » Wed Jun 10, 2009 5:10 pm

Great news :D
prole art threat
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Re: Early Warning

Postby ragnorakk » Wed Jun 10, 2009 6:39 pm

That is really awesome news - congratulations!
I know my local game shop will stock it - can't wait to
walk in and see S&W!
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