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Wednesday, 23 February 2005
Guessing at Troll Psychology
Now Playing: Castles & Crusades!
If anyone missed the first (and at this point only) entry on the prior blog entry, there is big mojo good news.

Castle Zagyg, unless it's a typo (not unheard of in Troll-screed), is slated for a late March release.

Whoa, Nellie. The bull is out of the gate. Castle Zagyg, as pretty much any reader of this modest blog knows, is probably the most anticipated product in the old-school D&D community. It is the original dungeon.

And it is written for Castles & Crusades.

I had been wondering why TLG said that their CZ previews would be released biweekly, when the production date was set for GenCon. That's a lot of free supplements. Now I understand.

I believe I've got an inkling of something else, too. We've seen a minor split of opinion between Steve and Davis in recent days, with Steve focusing on new product - a limited-rules pdf, maintaining production of the CCPHB, etc. Davis, on the other hand, seems to have supported a program that's less draining on cash flow - a pdf of the CCPHB while the company conserves its supply of the print product.

Davis is on the net more than Steve, and is seeing the community's ambivalent reaction to typos and other production-value matters in the PHB. We supporters of the game are hammering on the quality content and the price point, but it would be nicer if we could do that without having to prepare readers for typos.

Now I understand that the Trolls had a major product far closer to roll-out than anyone realized. Both Steve and Davis's opinions were stemming from their inside knowledge that CZ was going to ship well before GenCon.

The release of CZ means a high up-front cost - the print run is probably much larger than the run for the PHB, because it will be bought by lots of d20 or 1/2E grognards who might not buy C&C. Big money for another "I'm all in" product.

Davis is watching another "bet the company" release going out two months after the first one. "let's go with the PHB pdf and let our cash flow develop enough to fund the second print run safely," he thinks.

Steve, on the other hand, sees market momentum - TLG has hit the sweet spot on timing. Just as the first product's wave it at the high point, the second major product is coming out. How do you ride the wave? Make damn sure that there's a PHB next to Castle Zagyg on the shelf. For that, you need a print product, and supplies are running out. "We must," he thinks to himself, "make sure that we hit this wave the right way. When you've got the demand, you've got to have product available."

Davis notes that coming out with a second CCPHB printing, with associated costs, may mean that they can't even afford to go to McDonalds to argue about it - at least until the money starts coming back. A second printing means that the "bet the company" aspect of C&C increases proportionately.

What should they do?

Posted by mythmere at 9:18 AM CST
Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink

Wednesday, 23 February 2005 - 10:20 AM CST

Name: Kravell

I think we'd have to know the hard facts on how many PHB have actually been sold and how long it took.

I'd personally rather see a PDF PHB with errors fixed and missing text added in (missing spells, 2 handed weapons, starting spells in spellbooks etc.) than a rushed hard copy PHB.

I think that the best way to support Castle Zagyg is to have the PDF ready with errors fixed and quality improved. I'm not sure a hardcopy printing of the PHB would be ready in time. Maybe offer some freebies on the site or a rule lite version (cleric, figher, rogue, wizard and some spells up to 3rd or 4th level) to support play with Castle Zagyg.

If a month or two goes by and things are going strong than release the hardcopy 2nd printing of the PHB with much fanfare and touting how it is THE system for running Castle Zagyg. And that errors and ommissions have been cleaned up and fixed.

Wednesday, 23 February 2005 - 10:21 AM CST

Name: Kravell

Sorry about the multiple posts. Don't know what caused it.

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