04. Research, research, and more research.

As Aim for the Head is my first project like this, and while I have played in a number of different RPGs I have not read any campaign setting before so therefore I am not 100% sure of what people are looking for when they buy a campaign setting. This has lead me to a do a lot of research.  First off as I was unsure if I was going to create my own rule set or use one that already existed I had to find out which rule sets might be close to what I am looking. So I spent a bit of time talking to gamers and browsing the net, Once I had it narrowed down to 3 or 4 core rule sets, I got my hands on the books and read my heart out.

Once I had read them all it was an easy choice to go with the Savage Worlds Explorers Edition rule set. Now that I had the rule set I still had a large number of questions.

  • How many pages should it be,
  • How many pre-generated characters is a good number,
  • How many quest/ missions should there be,
  • What other things need to be included (new skills and attributes)
  • How the book should be laid out.

In general what I needed to answer was, what makes a gamer sit back and say wow this book has everything I need plus more and it’s in an easy to follow order. This book was worth the money I paid for it. One thing I understand with our hobby and the way people’s finances are today they can’t just go out and spend $50 – $70 on every book with a nice cover they want to know they are getting value for money, that to one or two books they buy are a price they are willing to pay and are value for the price.

Take a look at the Savage Worlds Explorers Edition rule set, its price tag is $9.99 USD that is a great price for a rule set that is so flexible, and that’s something I want to aim for while I probable wont be able to match the same price point because, Well I’m a one man operation and I can’t afford to produce the number of books needed to be able to get them a low enough price to be able to sell the for $9.99 USD and still make ends meet, but I am going to do my best without cutting back on both content value or production quality,

Anyway getting back on track I have been reading a few campaign settings to get an idea of what people are after, the include:

Rippers – by Pinnacle
The Fantasy Companion – by Pinnacle
Realms of Cthulhu – By Reality Blurs
Eberron – Wizards of the Coast.
Don’t Rest your Head – Evil Hat

So after reading these I now have a fair idea of what needs to be included in the book, I have written up a table of contents in what I believe is a logical order for things to run in and I have started to populate the chapters based on each heading.  This is good as it is another way to keep my thoughts in order, although I don’t have to write each chapter in order, if something dawns on me I can flick through to that chapter and update it. Once completed I can find the heading I was previously working on and continue from there.

Anyway that is enough of a rant from me, if any one wants to post what it is that they look for when deciding what book to by please do so as I would be interested to see the different things people think are needed to make a good RPG book.

Till next time,
Cheers Ray

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