You continue to kill me with how cool this game sounds. I will surely be un-dead by the time it releases, and thus be an NPC.
Hopefully not. After this high-level playtest, I'm finalizing the content that will appear in the first book and then reviewing my options for release. Most likely this will be POD. Either through Lulu or DriveThruRPG or something.
There are only a few things that "feel weird" about the game now. And those are more along the lines of tweaking numbers here and there, as opposed to wholesale rewrites or trying to reconceptualize how a rule should work.
Gameplay is predictable and repeatable. But I do need to make sure the rule descriptions clearly cover the broader use cases. Hence the whole thing needs one more fairly significant run through. Unfortunately, I'm my own editor. Lol.
The goal is to have it in layout for the month of December. It will be the three book split discussed earlier.
This will be the player's book. Which is essentially the "alpha" that some have been reading and hopefully playing. There will probably be something along the lines of 4-6 months before the Hanging Judge's book is released. And then another 6-8 months before the spells are complete.
There are enough spells in DCC to get a Polymath to 8th level or so. I've verified that. And the Theorist isn't going to be released until the spellbook is. So TATG will exist as a low magic, high action, atmospheric romp until such time.
These will be books on par with the size of the old B/X rulebooks. The layout will be good. But the overall product will look very much like EARLY D&D products. Lotsa text. Lotsa charts. Maybe a dozen pieces of black and white art.
I don't have the cashola to do one of these swank rpgs with thousands of dollars of art with two page spreads of full color art. And honestly, would you all want to fork out $50 for a game that's a supplement to another game that costs $50?
While some may say "yes", early forays into the market suggest I'll sell enough to maybe make the following books something besides a vanity project. And I believe I'm tracking towards the right price point -- somewhere at or just above $20 a book. I'd like to go lower. But we'll see. I need to keep the "supplement" status of this product in mind. There's definitely a "cover charge" involved.
TATG seems to be a book that's garnered a lot of interest. And people enjoy playing it. It's resonated well with hardcore old school gamers, the younger crowd, inexperienced gamers and first time gamers. But it's a lot like Paranoia in its appeal. Meaning it seems to be a game people dust off around Halloween or when the mood strikes them. That's a little disappointing. But it allows me reassess how much I want to invest into the product line overall.
I wish I would've had more of an opportunity for a continuous campaign playtest. Mostly it's been focused on convention-style games, due to the nature of groups and chances I've personally received to get the game going. I think it will translate better than I currently imagine to campaign-style play. But even still.
There's a reason people typically play Call of Cthulhu every once in a while and go on long campaigns with some flavor of D&D. D&D struck some visceral chord in the collective human consciousness. I'd hoped TATG might do the same, but it appears that it instead hits the same sort of vein (see what I did there?) that games like CoC, World of Darkness, Chill and other games have before it.
That's probably more due to the subject matter than anything else. It's kind of locked into this meme -- on purpose. I think it does just enough to break out of the "expected" game experience from other games in a similar genre. But the gravitational pull of those tropes still hampers its viability as "game of choice" -- which almost always is D&D.
It has emerged with some gamers above games like CoC as the "game of choice for when I want to play this sort of roleplaying". I think it's validating that some players are preferring it to, say, CoC, ToC and others. But still that seems to be the corner of the bookshelf where it will reside even though it is a VERY different play experience from CoC (beyond the 0-Level funnel of course).
The hope is that TATG will be laid out and released in some form early next year.
And it will very much be like DCC RPG...
except THIS GAME will go up...