Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The Business: Why Paizo & Most TRPG Publishers Should Be Allowed To Fail

Arch talks about Baizuo's latest stupidity.

Let me summarize the situation:

  • Tabletop RPGs--as a commercial interest--are, and have always been--a niche interest at best due to how Normies use games. (They use them to faciliate socializing, not to actually engage in the simulated activity.)
  • Tabletop RPGs--as a commercial interest--are, and have always been--a small business enterprise at best. D&D is the outlier here, and even then it is not enough to make tabletop RPGs like the brief fad they were in the early 1980s, hence why the Beach Wankers want to transition into Lifestyle Branding (same as Stupid British Toy Company).
  • Small business enterprises can be solid and successful for decades, given sound management, and this remains true today. Most tabletop RPG companies are not soundly managed, and those that make it tend to diversify into other tabletop games due to those being far more profitable (e.g. Steve Jackson Games, centered on Munchkin). Most RPG publishers, instead, have one near-collapse episode at the very least (e.g. Palladium Books) if they make it past the usual early period where most companies fail.
  • Baizuo is not soundly managed, is in thrall to the Death Cult, is headquartered in a Death Cult stronghold, and thus is being subjected to a coup by the more fanatical Death Cultists in the company.
  • Baizuo in particular is in a pickle due to (a) being too close to the Beach Wankers literally and metaphorically as well as (b) fucking up the entire current line of games.
  • The only viable path out, for Baizuo and most publishers, is to scale down to the level of Chris Gonnerman's Basic Fantasy: one-man operations, with no color interior art, using free game engines, giving away artless PDFs and selling POD at-cost or a minimal profit. Why? Because most purchases are by the actual hobbyists--the Game Masters that put in the work--and not the Normies who play RPGs as pastimes to facilitate socializing. If they refuse to reconfigure their business to cater to their actual customers, then let them burn.

Normies don't buy RPG stuff.

Normies don't work for their entertainment. That's why Normies rarely have hobbies; hobbies require work from participants while pastimes do not.

Tabletop RPGs require work, which is foisted off by Normies to the Game Master; he--and it's almost always a man--is the sole hobbyist in a group and thus it is he that puts in the work to make and keep the game going, while the Normies make up the bulk of the players who do nothing more than show up, Do The Thing, have a good time and then leave to do something else until next time.

Most publishers wrongly assume that they can make stuff Normies will buy by making it full color and put in lots of artwork as if they were selling coffee table artbooks, and then compound the error by not charging coffee table artbook prices. They don't, the Normies don't buy, and then we get Surprised Pikachu Faces when expectations don't meet reality.

And this is before we get Death Cult demands for Muh Diversities and shit.

It gets worse when that stuff is included, which is what we've seen happen with Baizuo and its tabletop RPGs, which obviously means that It's Not Real Social Justice so we get this coup attempt masquerading as a worker revolt.

So, what to do?


Second, remember that no matter who wins it's a Death Cult regime, so-

Third, pick a clean alternative, such as-


Or this:

And if you don't like this situation, consider that RPGs on PC or console in the West are just as afflicted as a category even if individual games and publishers are more or less pozzed. Japan has its issues, and is also under pressure from the Cult, but it's been a decent alternative so far.

Or you can roll your own, but that either confirms you as a Normie or as a Hobbyist because you will put in work if you make your own.

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