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Æternal Legends: Community Support

Æternal Legends needs your help.

Partly because it's a modern fantasy game, partly because of the way we've produced it, we're not attached to any scene. We won't get trad fantasy gamers looking at us because we're not trad fantasy, and we won't get hardline indie kids looking at us because I didn't do everything from writing to art to layout with two sticks and a bucket of wet snow. There's no zeitgeist—mecha games are enjoying a resurgence thanks partly to the Transformers movie, while the past couple of years have seen a range of pirate games to tie in with Mr. Depp pretending to be Keef.

We don't have that. We're standing on our own merits. That's not the strongest position we could be in. On the other hand, it's the only one we can be in without feeling like we sold out. Hence, I have some things to ask of you.

If you're interested in the game but haven't bought it:

Please talk about it. Ask on RPG.net or story-games or the Forge. Other people who post there who own the game will answer your questions. Hell, if you post to RPG.net I can guarantee that I'll answer your questions within 24 hours barring extraneous circumstances (like being out of the country). It doesn't matter if it looks like nobody else is talking about the game. If you don't ask, you don't know.

If you see other people asking about Æternal Legends, that's cool. Jump in! Ask other questions. If they're asking the sort of thing that we covered in the extensive previews, or the 21-page slice of Chapter 3, or the post-release design notes, then maybe you can answer their questions. Hell, if you live in Edinburgh then head to Black Lion Games and check out what the book looks and feels like in person. (Hell, you get change from fifteen quid! How many RPGs offer a fully comprehensive core rulebook for that amount these days?) Give it a read and see if it's the kind of game you could run. Even if it doesn't suit you personally, please talk about it to people who might be interested.

If you've bought Æternal Legends:

Thank you.

I mean that. You've supported an independently-produced roleplaying game where everyone has either been paid their standard fee or is receiving royalties. We didn't try to keep costs down by asking people to do things as a favour, even when they offered. Everyone got paid, and everyone got due credit. mobunited focuses on ethical business practices like a laser.

Please don't stop talking about the game.

I'm just one person. For all I try, I can't sell the game by myself. If you see a thread talking about the game, post some ideas. Ask questions—there are no questions that I will not answer. Show people that there's more than just me playing the game. Post Actual Play reports, tell me when you're using the R2R system for things that we never dreamed of. Recommend the game to others who might like it. Speculate about what could happen. Link people to our previews and our Lulu or IPR storefront. Perhaps most importantly: tell me when you don't like something.

Whether you post to RPG forums or not, consider writing a review for RPG.net or RPGnow or another gaming site. You don't have to have played the game—if the only reviews were playtest reviews, RPG.net would have a tenth the number that it does. Likewise, it doesn't matter if you're working for Mob United Media, or you've worked on a project with me for White Wolf or whatever. Because of how the Mobworkx like of games is set up, the only people with any "inside information" who could influence the review are the people who worked on the game. If you're not listed in the credits, you're good to review.

I'm asking for reviews a lot—some of you have had me go on about this before, and please don't take this as me trying to pressure you again—but we've had a couple fall through, and there really and truly is nothing better than getting an RPG.net review to get people thinking about your game.

I don't want you to praise Æternal Legends if you don't think the game deserves it. While I may be asking people to spam forums a bit more than they normally would, I don't want you to lie. Above everything else, I want you to be honest.

Regardless:

The part that really sucks is that I can't offer you anything in return. I can't make you feel included, I can't make you part of an official "deign community", and I can't give you the warm fuzzies when you suggest Æternal Legends as the game for genres from grim'n'gritty stone-age games to mecha combat.

By boosting the game, you've got my personal gratitude. You're supporting a RPG publisher that's doing the right thing by writers, artists, developers, and everyone else. By talking about the game and about the system—hell, by getting a bit "spamaholic" on some forums—you're showing that you place value on properly compensated labour.

I'm begging here, and I hate doing that. Like I said, I don't have any social rewards to give. But I believe in this game. I believe that too few indie publishers are truly ethical in their compensation of labour, and I believe that we can change that in a small way. But I can't do that alone. For all that I try to stir up interest on forums, I'm still the creator of the game. I'm still the shill posting PR for his own game. The more other people talk about Æternal Legends, the better it's prospects will be. The only thing that truly damns the game is silence.

Thanks for listening.

Comments

( 13 informants — We want information! )
eyebeams
Dec. 4th, 2007 11:44 am (UTC)
The thing that gets me is that I've sent about a dozen review copies and I even have a review on email from someone who wrote it, emailed it to me but never actually *sent* it anywhere public, so I can't do anything with it.

Unfortunately freelancing deadlines have kind of subdued promo for me lately, so some of the fault is my own.

have you PMed the folks who've said they bought it over on RPGNet? maybe they can get the word out.
digitalraven
Dec. 4th, 2007 02:14 pm (UTC)
I take it nobody's responded to followups of the review copies?

I know how things go with freelancing deadlines. I'm currently drowning in them myself; if it weren't for my day job I wouldn't be as active as I am.

I need to PM the RPG.net folks and see what they say.
barkman
Dec. 4th, 2007 04:21 pm (UTC)
Hey Malcolm, I'm guessing you never got a chance to send that link you talked about at Phantasm?


eyebeams
Dec. 4th, 2007 08:01 pm (UTC)
Oh Christ, Bark. I took sick the day after and totally forgot. Email me at mobunitedmedia AT gmail dot come and I'll make sure you get a PDF.
ninja_jay
Dec. 4th, 2007 01:34 pm (UTC)
I've just bought myself a copy for Capitalismas, I shall read it, play it, and spread the word far and wide... If i like it ;)
digitalraven
Dec. 4th, 2007 02:15 pm (UTC)
Of course. And if you hate it, post a 1/1 review to RPG.net and argue with me in the forum thread!
joexnz
Dec. 4th, 2007 10:05 pm (UTC)
you'll be getting round to replying to my email about Conpulsion 2008 soon then?
digitalraven
Dec. 4th, 2007 10:22 pm (UTC)
I needed to reply? D'oh.
(Anonymous)
Dec. 5th, 2007 12:35 am (UTC)
Black Lion you say?
You might want to encourage the staff at BLG to plug it more - I've been in two Saturdays in a row and neither seen the book nor heard it mentioned.

falcon_flame
digitalraven
Dec. 5th, 2007 07:32 am (UTC)
Re: Black Lion you say?
It went on sale the Saturday before last, and was in the new release area at least until the Saturday just gone.

All the copies there are signed as well.
the_seraph
Dec. 5th, 2007 05:00 pm (UTC)
I've got a review in to both RPG.net and FlamesRising. However, neither have popped up visibly yet.
digitalraven
Dec. 5th, 2007 06:12 pm (UTC)
That's fantastic. Thanks for the update.
mythicfox
Dec. 20th, 2007 12:03 pm (UTC)
I've only recently gotten a chance to get a copy of the book, but I'm definitely enjoying it and will be writing up a review for the net sometime in the near future. The only complaint I have about the book is that the damage tracking system is kinda complicated and would have benefitted from a second example.
( 13 informants — We want information! )

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