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Collectively Owned Game Store Seeks Indie RPG's of Note

Started by mogunus, May 12, 2010, 04:34:01 PM

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Hello! I volunteer at my local collectively-owned, volunteer run game store (no, really, here's our website: and I'm trying to put together a section of print copies of some "notable" indie RPG's, along with a weekly "indie RPG one-shot" night, at which I'll run these games.

I know that we want to stock some titles by Ron Edwards (definitely Sorcerer and Spione), Dogs in the Vineyard, kill puppies for satan, the Burning Wheel, and Shock: Social Science fiction.

The problem is, there doesn't seem to be any good way to get bulk prices on these games for a retailer. And by "bulk," we're talking three to four copies of each game, maybe only two (we're a small retailer). The indie rpgs un-store has a "retailer portal coming soon," but until that gets worked out, what do people recommend I do to purchase these games? The problem being that I can't just use the unstore price four times, because that makes no sense, financially, given the store's budget and how we'd have to mark them up to break even.

We want to sell the games for a reasonable price, such that buying them in the store and not online makes financial sense for people, make a decent profit, and make sure that game authors get a fair price for a bulk order of their work. So, if at all possible, I'd like some advice on how to do this, and recommendations for some top-tier indie games that I should include in our section.

I'm sorry for posting in "Publishing," I know this is off-topic, but there doesn't really seem to be a forum where it is on-topic.


The thing to do meanwhile is contact those publishers directly. Their contact info should be on the unstore, or maybe they'll jump into this thread.

For lumpley games: drop me a line at lumpley at the gmail. I'll send you a link to my retailers' page for my games, no problem.


Paul Czege


Half Meme Press extends a 50% discount on the cover price of My Life with Master, plus shipping/handling, to brick & mortar retailers. Details here. If you require less expensive media mail shipping, I can do that as well. Email paul ++aatt++ halfmeme ++ddoott++ com

My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans


James R.


If they're carried by Indie Press Revolution, they give a discount to brick and mortar stores.   They have a page on their website explaining the policy here:

Eero Tuovinen

I've done the indie retail thing for a few years. The basic answer to the conundrum is that it's going to be a pain in the ass, comparatively; you'll need to contact each designer separately, get them to agree to a retail discount and arrange for payment. My tip here is that you'll save yourself headache with larger numbers of product if you don't negotiate the details: just look at the cover price the guy's selling the game for, ask him if he's willing to do X% reduction, and if not, pass on the title. It's attractive to haggle on something like this, but in reality it's just not worth the bother again and again; the investment you do on any single game is minuscule, but the overall expense is significant, so you need to be the party that sets the contract - let the designer take it or leave it.

You can use IPR to cut down on the leg-work, as many feasible indie games are available there. Nowadays many are not, though, so you'll still have to get them one by one. For concrete recommendations on what to get, you might wish to look at our Finnish webstore; those are all indie titles I've hand-picked myself.

A basic economic problem with doing indie games retail is that the lack of a distributor step in the system means that both the designer and retailer are stuck handling relatively small details. The designer can get by quite nicely without getting the privilege to sell three copies of his game at a large discount, and the retailer doesn't need that one title to support the other two hundred he's fronting, either. From this viewpoint the single most important part of the process is to keep it simple and as automated as you can. Form-letter stuff, almost.
Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.

Ron Edwards


First, I want to say hello and thanks for being a retailer who's interested in carrying independent RPGs. I want this thread to help you as much possible. I'll be in touch as soon as I can regarding my own games.

I thought I'd clarify a few things from the moderator perspective.

1. When you can't decide which forum, or if any forum, to post on, then you should contact me. Send me an email or if you've posted enough here (3 times), the private message system is activated for you.

I'll tell you whether your topic is simply not for the Forge, or show you how to make it relevant to one of the forums.

2. This particular thread, now that it's publicly posted, must be interpreted as showing at least some willingness for other publishers to contact your store. I hope that's OK by you. Other publishers, please use the contact information at the Worlds Apart website for that purpose.

Best, Ron


Indie publishers contacting the store is great! That is part of the intended message of this thread: the store would like to be informed of and take a look at your (published) rpg. I'll be updating the website soon with a page about how best to contact us for this purpose.

In the future, after I have some people showing up to indie rpg night with regularity, I'm hoping some game authors might want to run a sample game in their system. Sort of an "author demo night."

I want to thank everyone here for their responses, they've been fantastically helpful, and I'm well on my way to putting together a nice selection for the store. Initially my budget is limited, but I think these games will really catch on in the store community.


Euro's list looks very nice.  I'd also try contacting some of the 'larger' small press groups like Evil Hat, Burning Wheel, Adamant Entertainment, and Pelegrane Press directly to work something out.  Cubicle 7 and at least some of Evil Hat's catalog are distributed through regular channels.  I know Cubicle 7 is not a small press company being in the Rebelion group but they handle a lot of nice small press title (that may have not wanted to deal with the business side of things).