Those of you champing at the bit to get a copy of the Core Book will be pleased to hear that the final few bits and pieces are coming together nicely. We've had tentative conversations speculating about what kind of business it might do.
When I published my novels I knew how badly they would do. I am a very harsh reader and rarely read any novels unless they really grab my attention. I am apt to view my own work in the same light. Sure it's a good novel, I might think, but there are thousands of good novels that don't sell well.
But a game?
The scope of a game is different. If you're Harry Potter you can sell yourself to millions of people world wide, no role playing game will ever outsell you not even a Harry Potter RPG. But if you are an unknown but pretty decent novel you could go through a print run of 600 copies 550 of which will get remaindered and no one will ever know who the hell you were.
RPGs are far more narrow band. If an RPG is decent it will shift a few units no matter what. Or at least that's the way it seems. Of course if you write a rubbish RPG it fares about as well as the unknown decent novel. But there is some kind of meritocracy in the world of the RPG. Good stuff makes a mark, bad stuff makes a different kind of mark. The community is communicative and keen.
It's a world I understand. While I'd never really be able to sell a novel to someone without resorting to "it might give you an idea for an RPG session" I can tell every role player who ever lived that they need to look at No Dice.
In the latest podcast (#5 up this weekend) Justin talks about the appraisal of D&D 4e which states that it's a game that does an epic job of removing all the RP. Well No Dice is almost the polar opposite it's a Role Play tool that hacks the game down to a minimum.
Thus if people want to mix their game complexity with some RP fun it might be best to buy both. One's a game, the other supports you in Role Play, together they might just make beautiful musics... or they might just make a terrible hideous carnage filled mess.
The point is valid. I have always looked on No Dice as an addendum to crunchier systems because if I want crunch I can easily get myself stocked up. If I want to examine parts of the RP experience that don't involve crunch there's limited resource available. And what is there isn't terribly well organised.
So I'm keeping my phylanges crossed that people see things the way the No Dice Crew do. I guess we'll find out come June 1st and thereafter.
My own personal ambition that we've done something really good is when we sell around 1000 copies of the printed book. My target to know it wasn't a complete waste of time and energy is at a more conservative 50 copies.
There's a hell of a lot of legroom inbetween for stuff to evolve.