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Author Topic: Novel/supplement.  (Read 3205 times)
Seth M. Drebitko
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« on: September 10, 2005, 12:36:48 PM »

I was wondering if any one has heard of some one writing a novel to support a game setting and then in the back of the novel adding source material for the rpg. Now I think this could do wonders for promotion because you might have people reading the novel that have never heard of the role-playing game based on this great book they are reading. One flaw I find in this method is those who might not want to carry around a book and their supplement but most do not seem to be opposed to the idea.

What I figured might work would be to have the novel, after that give some fluff on what has happened in the rest of the setting during the heroes journey, then some nifty game add ons.

So any feed back on better ways to do this maybe examples of people who have would be allot of help.
Regards, Seth
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jdagna
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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2005, 03:18:12 PM »

The Ragnarok manga series (published here in the US by TokyoPop which you can find at http://www.tokyopop.com) did something kind of like what you're talking about.  At the end of each volume you can find stats for all the main characters and some of the key enemies they fought in that volume.  The problem is that they were written to look like D20 System stats by someone who clearly knows nothing about D20 and I can't imagine them being useful.  The english translation line editor had hoped to get a D20-compatible Ragnarok RPG out (I actually put a bid in to work on it), but the company ultimately decided to reject the project.
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Justin Dagna
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Keith Senkowski
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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2005, 04:08:16 PM »

Seth,

I know that there is a novel with game shit in the back for Obsidian.  You can check it out here

Keith
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Conspiracy of Shadows: Revised Edition
Everything about the game, from the mechanics, to the artwork, to the layout just screams creepy, creepy, creepy at me. I love it.
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Polaris
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« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2005, 08:10:22 PM »

I was wondering if any one has heard of some one writing a novel to support a game setting and then in the back of the novel adding source material for the rpg. Now I think this could do wonders for promotion because you might have people reading the novel that have never heard of the role-playing game based on this great book they are reading. One flaw I find in this method is those who might not want to carry around a book and their supplement but most do not seem to be opposed to the idea.

What I figured might work would be to have the novel, after that give some fluff on what has happened in the rest of the setting during the heroes journey, then some nifty game add ons.

So any feed back on better ways to do this maybe examples of people who have would be allot of help.
Regards, Seth


Greetings,

This is not too unlike what ComStar is planning with the game worlds we are publishing.  CSM started as a fiction publisher, and expanded into games.  The intent has always been to include character sheets of some of the main characters, and any other relevent material in the back of novels that relate to game worlds.

This would not be "instead of" regular sourcebooks, but rather in addition to.

William
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Seth M. Drebitko
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« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2005, 11:14:56 PM »

Thanks for the response, I figured mostly that having a novel that doubled as your source material would help market the game, as book stores are more liley to buy novels for purchase instead of gaming material.
Regards Seth.
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daMoose_Neo
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« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2005, 05:56:42 PM »

I'm doing something similar, I suppose...
Final Twilight isn't just based around a story, it is entirely based ON the story. Card casting abilities ingame mimic the instory science behind magic, cards are based right off the characters and events of the story (all the Major Character cards, for example, are all the Major Characters of the story, you can follow the one particular battle on the cards Disarm and Jolt, Vigilant Mage offers some insight into the lead mage from the story, Evanesence is one scene in particular that hasn't shown up yet, but will...)

Whats working for me is pimping the story to non-gamers, especially that its provided for free on the website. I have people at work totally engrossed in whats happening, and when they start playing its awesome because I hear all sorts of "NOW I get why this card does that, or why Mark felt that way when that happened...", because the game and the story fit almost seamlessly together. Its a killer marketing tool, one I wish I could utilize a little more.
In that vein and some encouragement, I'm pulling together a proposal for the next set's story, Entropy, for a comic/graphic novel treatment. Have my artist picked, know my story inside and out, just need to finish this proposal and hope the editor who ends up with it in his lap is as interested as all of the folks online. (Though it helps when the story is picked for several online recognitions right out of the gate...)
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Nate Petersen / daMoose
Neo Productions Unlimited! Publisher of Final Twilight card game, Imp Game RPG, and more titles to come!
Andrew Morris
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« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2005, 07:40:08 PM »

If you're going to use a novel to promote an RPG, the first two things that pop into my mind are:

1) Edit, edit, edt.  Sentence fragments, typos, and mispellings are tolerable (barely) in an RPG text because, for the most part, readers aren't reading every word from start to finish. They'll skip around, read the portions that contain rules and anything else that grabs their attention. Also,  confusing text can be made clearer using charts in a rulebook, but that doesn't work in a novel. And when I say edit, I don't mean have a few friends look at. That's fine in addition to editing, but you want as many pairs of trained eyes on your work as possible. Depending on the size of your novel, you might find a few folks on the Forge who are willing to donate their time for nothing more than a mention in the book, along with a free copy.

2) You need talent as a writer, not just as a designer. If the novel reads like fanfic, you're probably doing more harm than good in helping promote your game.
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Seth M. Drebitko
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« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2005, 11:48:58 PM »

 I would have to agree with you Andrew that a novel needs allot more work in the clarity, and grammar department. Luckily I studied writing before jumping into the rpg end of things and find more often than not that my rpg ideas tend to be spawned from what’s going on in the story lines I have plotted out. 
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LloydBrown
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« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2005, 01:33:41 AM »

Novels and RPG books are two distinct markets. 

TSR and WotC have done extensive research on exactly that question.  The overlap between the two markets is less than the overlap between CCGs players and roleplayers.  It can have some benefit, but it really creates a new market rather than supporting the old one. 

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Lloyd Brown
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Josh Roby
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« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2005, 10:03:24 AM »

...as book stores are more liley to buy novels for purchase instead of gaming material.

You might want to heavily scrutinize this assumption, Seth.  It's like saying I'm more likely to be appointed to Vice President than I am to be elected President of the Free World.
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Judd
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« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2005, 10:11:15 AM »

Novels set in gaming worlds bother me.  A novel brings things to a close, and gamer-readers tend to think of those events as the important events in the world.

But in a game world that shouldn't be so.  The important events in the world should happen at my gaming table, dammit.

A book of short stories works for me, there can be conflicts but they are more a glimpse into the world and the kind of conflicts within.

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Clay
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« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2005, 06:08:04 AM »

My experience with game-inspired fiction is that it tends to be crap.  Even in the hands of a very capable author it's crap.  For somebody who isn't already a very skilled writer, the result will be painful to read and will definitely hurt your product.  People who read that novel first will remember it and keep clear of anything else with your label on it.

Very skilled authors have tried it.  Tom Clancy's Red Storm Rising was this exactly.  Tom Clancy knows what he's doing. The book was still pretty bad.  If his name wasn't already established as a best seller, you would never have seen this book on store shelves. 

If you want to make this viable, your challenge will be to write better than Tom Clancy.  It's possible, it's just not likely.  If you could do that I'm pretty sure that you'd be doing it full time.
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Clay Dowling
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Andrew Morris
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« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2005, 06:39:41 AM »

Novels set in gaming worlds bother me. A novel brings things to a close, and gamer-readers tend to think of those events as the important events in the world.

But in a game world that shouldn't be so. The important events in the world should happen at my gaming table, dammit.

A book of short stories works for me, there can be conflicts but they are more a glimpse into the world and the kind of conflicts within.

Judd, I can't say that I agree with you. I hear what you are saying, but gamers (in my experience) will just toss anything that doesn't mesh with their vision. Take the recent World of Darkness stuff. Even before they ended the oWoD and created the nWoD, they had the line of novels. I know plenty of players who read them, said, "This is crap," and went on playing their games as they had, without the elements revealed in the books. On the other hand.

You can always crucify Elminster, after all.

Besides, who says that the books define the "important" events? Going back to WoD as an example, most of the good games I played in that world dealt with the interactions of the low-level PCs, not the world-shaking events and the big baddies. It depends on what you consider important, I suppose.
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Seth M. Drebitko
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« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2005, 05:06:42 PM »

First I would like to say sorry for not posting much on my own thread my computer connection has been horrid.

As far as the books go I don't assume that they will get into book stores on the fact that they are novels with some source material stuffed in the back, I am going off the fact that a normal book store stocks more novels than gaming related books, so a better chance is all.

As far as the game world steering the players I feel it will steer them no more than a normal source book detailing an event in the setting. Most people whom I have talked to and gamed with use setting books more as plot hook devices, and what if scenarios, which is what I would like the setting books to be more like.

road runner seems to be lagging again which means I must go before I losemy connection, regards seth.

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Bardsandsages
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« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2005, 05:27:00 PM »

url]http://www.bardsandsages.com/september[/url]


http://www.bardsandsages.com/september


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