[Fat Goblin Games] but Really [On Behalf of All 3PPers] -- Please Review our Books


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I've reviewed all three items that I've ever gotten as review copies and just recently I bought 4 pdfs specifically to review them since they mostly hadn't been touched by reviewers. One of the books even had a two star review from an account that was created simply to attack the product!

I am slow on getting my reviews out, but I think they're generally fair.


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I'll come clean - I've received free copies, some of which were specifically for reviews, and haven't always delivered. Sometimes, life gets in the way - which it did in a very big way for me. However, I'm hoping to be able to start reviewing products again in the very near future. I know I owe reviews to Rusted Iron Games and Flaming Crab Games, and I'm deeply sorry for taking so long with them.

I'm not too great at reviewing mechanics, though - I can talk at length about things I find cool, things that inspire stories, things that are unclear or convoluted, and things that jump out as clearly over- or under-powered, but not so much about the finer details of crunch. Is that an important aspect to a review, or is it something I could get away with not touching on so much? It's hard for me to really get a grip on mechanics without playing them, which I simply don't get the time to do.


I think what's most important is giving your honest feelings about the product - especially whether or not you'd use it, and whether or not you feel it's a good value. You don't have to crunch every number in the book, though it DOES help if you have a good sense for what's generally appropriate in terms of power.


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Alright. Challenge accepted. I don't know how much money I've spent on 3PPs at this point, but I know they've been getting more of my money collectively than Paizo has for a while (or frankly, anything else in my entertainment budget), and I have not reviewed a single thing. I'm gonna start making a dent in fixing that.


I have a question; I normally buy off of Paizo.com so that's where I post my reviews, especially since most of the information and alerts I get for third party material comes from being active on these boards alone.

Recently I started a blog that isn't pretty but I'm working on it and soon I'll be posting my older reviews on it. I don't normally buy from the sites but I do have material from DrivethruRPG/RPGNOW and d20pfsrd.com's store. So the question is, How important is it that reviews appear on both OBS and Paizo? Since I was going through the trouble of reposting old reviews I thought I may as well post them on DrivethruRPG.

Followup questions:

1) I'm almost done with two reviews which is the last of the reviews from products I've recieved review copies of. What doesn't have reviews that desperately needs one? This is speaking to potential consumers as well that are on the fence about a product, are weighing options between products, or don't know much about a prospective product.

2) What sellers should reviews appear in? I only recently noticed that there are products on DrivethruRPG that don't appear on Paizo. Does that happen elsewhere as well?

3) On OBS what exactly is a Featured Reviewer?

4) Other than on the Paizo forums where are developers active? I notice a lot of publishers frequent the boards but some are very very silent.


Drivethrurpg wouldn't let me post reviews for several products because I purchased on Pazio.


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1. Honestly, that's most 3pp books, Malwing. For Flaming Crab Games, Letters from the Flaming Crab: Culinary Magic and Haunted Places can both use reviews. The more sales we get in the first month, the more the writers of the books make and we want to pay them as close to a fair wage as possible.

2. Every possible seller. I'm only aware of sales figures for a few publishers but for every one of them, DriveThru/RPGNow sales account for the majority of their sales. Paizo and d20PFSRD are important but count for a smaller percentage of sales. But reviews help drive sales in all store fronts.

3. I'm not sure how to become a featured reviewer, actually.

4. I know some pay attention to the Giant in the Playground Forums. I imagine some are on ENWorld and RPG.net.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Dragoon, you can still post your review in the discussions section there, even though it won't be in the review section.


To answer Malwing's questions:

1) - leave this for others -

2) Most reviewers post reviews where they got the book from. It is quite a bit of work to post on your blog, rpgnow, d20pfsrd, and Paizo so most non-Endz just post one place.

3) A featured reviewer is a person who is on a list with Rpgnow and gets review copies through an automated system. They have many featured reviewers, but I have "lost" a lot of review copies that way and saw not a review. In the olden days... way back 6ish years ago (before PDG), I was a Featured Reviewer and if you took something to review it was expected you would publish a review we even had deadlines at a time. Endz is still a featured reviewer with them I think.

4) I am active on facebook more than here. Which is weird because before I took over 4WFG I did very little facebook.

And if you want anything of ours to review feel free to email me: gedakm@gmail.com


Insain Dragoon wrote:
Drivethrurpg wouldn't let me post reviews for several products because I purchased on Pazio.

Wait, so you can't post reviews on Drivethru unless you buy it from them? That may be a bust because most of my reviews are from products I got from Paizo.


That is correct you cannot post reviews at any of the OBS sites unless you get the product there.


Which is a huge shame because I just bought 1 pdf from Fat Goblin Games and 3 from Little Red on Paizo.


That's a shame.

@Purple Duck Games; I still have a few products from Purple Duck Games I haven't reviewed yet so I'm good for now. I was recommended Purple Mountain for a campaign I'm starting so I'll eventually going through all the ones on my M valley wishlist sooner or later.


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Insain Dragoon wrote:
Which is a huge shame because I just bought 1 pdf from Fat Goblin Games and 3 from Little Red on Paizo.

I suspect if you provided them with proof-of-purchase they would might comp you a copy from the OBS sites so you could leave a review there.

I know I would.


Malwing wrote:
I was recommended Purple Mountain for a campaign I'm starting so I'll eventually going through all the ones on my M valley wishlist sooner or later.

Purple Mountain is a guilty pleasure for me. They don't sell very well despite the reviews they have received but I wanted a megadungeon for Pathfinder and so we are building it, layer by layer.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Reviewer copy tip: get the 3pp to gift you a review copy through OBS (DrivethruRPG). That way you can review it there (even though you didn't "buy" it there, the site was the delivery method, so it counts for letting you review the product), and here on Paizo.com (since you can review it here without purchase).

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

Malwing wrote:
Insain Dragoon wrote:
Drivethrurpg wouldn't let me post reviews for several products because I purchased on Pazio.
Wait, so you can't post reviews on Drivethru unless you buy it from them? That may be a bust because most of my reviews are from products I got from Paizo.

If you post a review here on Paizo and want to post it on OBS as well, I would send you a coupon link for the product on OBS. I think other publishers probably would consider doing that as well. Even if you get the product free from OBS you can post a review.

Edit - answered before I finished reading the thread. Obviously others have considered the same solution.

Sovereign Court

Purple Duck Games wrote:

To answer Malwing's questions:

1) - leave this for others -

2) Most reviewers post reviews where they got the book from. It is quite a bit of work to post on your blog, rpgnow, d20pfsrd, and Paizo so most non-Endz just post one place.

3) A featured reviewer is a person who is on a list with Rpgnow and gets review copies through an automated system. They have many featured reviewers, but I have "lost" a lot of review copies that way and saw not a review. In the olden days... way back 6ish years ago (before PDG), I was a Featured Reviewer and if you took something to review it was expected you would publish a review we even had deadlines at a time. Endz is still a featured reviewer with them I think.

4) I am active on facebook more than here. Which is weird because before I took over 4WFG I did very little facebook.

And if you want anything of ours to review feel free to email me: gedakm@gmail.com

I do have that problem, as a reviewer. I've had to ask a few times for people to send me the product on OBS, and they seem to comply just about every time. I think most just send through OBS now to prevent confusion. I still have a number of products that I have bought solely through paizo that I might end up reviewing when time permits (into next year at this rate... :-/) but I am happy to do so.

Sovereign Court

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Just an update, I posted the following reviews to dtrpg.

Trio of Taverns, Holy Island, and Guide to Lycanthropy.

I should have more reviews very soon!


Lorathorn wrote:

Just an update, I posted the following reviews to dtrpg.

Trio of Taverns, Holy Island, and Guide to Lycanthropy.

I should have more reviews very soon!

Much appreciated.

All the best

Richard


I posted a thread about my new product Spooky Gardens Autumn Special and offered some review copies for anyone interested in doing a review. I didn't get any takers, so I thought I would post here as well so more people might see it. Also if anyone would like to review Deadly Gardens Volume 3: Scorpion Cactus, I would be happy to share some review copies of that product as well.


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I have to admit - I've been lurking in the background here for a while, just kind of soaking in the discussion.

I’m trying my hand at 3rd party publishing for the first time and I am very, very grateful that a path has been beaten down by those that have come before.

I’ve certainly made a few mistakes (already!), and likely would have fallen into numerous other traps were it not for posts like these, and reviews and discussions produced by the community at large.

It seems like there’s a pretty strong contingent of third party producers here, which – considering we’re all vying for a ‘piece of the market’ – makes the co-operation and knowledge sharing that much more heartening. After some rough interactions with certain community members in the past (mostly thanks to my own smart mouth) it is somewhat reassuring too.

I can only speak for myself, but what I want most out of reviews is constructive criticism. It’s a wonderful thought that you might receive shiny 5 star ratings, but in the end you can’t account for weaknesses that you aren’t aware of. There’s no vehicle to improve without honest review. Not too honest of course – some of us are small and fragile. But in all seriousness, I’d take a half-dozen constructive reviews over two dozen ‘glowing’ ones.

Aside from a few of the bigger outfits, who by their own virtues have carved themselves a following, I can’t imaging most small 3rd party publishers are really in it for the money. I’m certainly not. I did the math. Given all the hours of work (not to mention the stress and anxiety) I believe it would be more efficient, and I’d make more money, taking a job flipping burgers or mowing lawns. I can’t quit my day job to do this for a living.

What I want is to get my work out there. It would be nice to be successful, but the satisfaction of creating something of quality is what I’m chasing. I suspect most 3rd party publishers feel the same. We’re all gamers, we’re all storytellers, and we’re all supporters of products that make our hobby better. Reviews are the fuel that keeps us going, because it makes you feel that not only is your work out there, but that it’s being read – really read – by people just like you.

Now I’m as guilty as the next guy – I don’t think I’ve reviewed any 3rd party product I’ve bought. I really didn’t see the true value of it until I was on this side. Once I’m through my current trial by fire I plan to make the time to practice what I preach.

I did have some comments on a couple of things posted here;

@Ssalarn – Hit the nail on the head imho. That is exactly what I want from a review.

@Malwing – Some small publishers are only available on OBS – myself included. Why? Well I can tell you I didn’t do it for the ‘exclusive’ % margin. I did it because publishing is a big, scary world I was entering and the learning curve is massive. And the price for getting it badly wrong early is high. Starting with only one distributer means less to manage as I take my first steps. I did not know that OBS restricted reviews to products bought from their sites however. I echo the comments of a few other posters in suggesting reviewers source from there if there are multiple options to ensure the reviews get the widest circulation.

Anyway, sorry for the essay.

tl:dr – Thanks for making this thread, and thanks to those that are participating. This is critical issue for small 3rd party publishers.

P.S. – If anyone here has the time or inclination, I could do with a few reliable reviewers :) I'd also be up for a little quid pro quo with other 3rd party publishers.

Sovereign Court

Russ, I'll review your stuff.

Micah, I'm on board to review.


I'm open for new reviews also.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

Lorathorn and Oliver, I have sent download links from OBS for Deadly Gardens vol. 3 and Spooky Gardens Autumn Special. Thanks once again for your efforts in reviewing 3PP products guys. :)

Micah,
For your AP that you are Kickstarting, I don't know if you have freelancers lined up or plan to write the whole thing yourself, but I would be willing to contribute something, like a new monster. Send me a PM if you are interested.


Thanks for the replies - I'll send a few PMs


Micah Watt, Pyromaniac Press wrote:
Thanks for the replies - I'll send a few PMs

Anything I can do to help / pass on my own particular experiences / mistakes just PM me.

I've been going for 3 years now, BTW. I'm also in the UK so obviously some of my experiences relate to UKness.

All the best

Richard

Sovereign Court

Review posted for the Coldwood Codex 5th edition from Legendary Games.


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I known for a fact that every author at The Flying Pincushion (including myself) lives and dies by reviews. And while praise is nice, constructive criticism is a necessity. I just want to thank all the folks who have reviewed our works over the last couple years, Malwing and Endzie specifically get a huge thank you as they have weighed in with honest reviews on pretty much all our work (especially for Endzie, the man is in review beast mode these days).

So, if you buy a 3pp product, and have enough time to write even a short but insightful review, it pays to do so, in fact, many of us count on it.

Cheers,

Jeff Harris
Flying Pincushion Games co-owner


To echo everyone else here, a big thank you to everyone that devotes time to reviewing 3PP material. I may be a relative newcomer to this scene, but it's so reassuring to see an interconnected community where discussion and opinions are shared openly between designers and customers alike. You don't get that in most other design fields, and it shows. :)

To that end, if anyone would like to take a shot at my latest book, Path of Iron, that just came out, I am dying to hear some feedback. It's a pretty dense book rules-wise, and knowing what worked and what didn't is vital for going forward since at the moment I'm still in that "oh man what if everything is awful" stage when it comes to writing Pathfinder things.


Seginus wrote:

To echo everyone else here, a big thank you to everyone that devotes time to reviewing 3PP material. I may be a relative newcomer to this scene, but it's so reassuring to see an interconnected community where discussion and opinions are shared openly between designers and customers alike. You don't get that in most other design fields, and it shows. :)

To that end, if anyone would like to take a shot at my latest book, Path of Iron, that just came out, I am dying to hear some feedback. It's a pretty dense book rules-wise, and knowing what worked and what didn't is vital for going forward since at the moment I'm still in that "oh man what if everything is awful" stage when it comes to writing Pathfinder things.

I'm still reading it. I have nothing negative to report but it is a dense book so even if I just stop and think about an option and theorycraft it in my head, it takes qa long while.

Sovereign Court

Oh, and I hate to be a burden, but I have a question for those people for whom I've done reviews... do you want me to post to D20pfsrd? Some have note said, while others have asked and I have forgotten. I got some time in which to finally put reviews from Paizo to OBS, but I want to make sure to get those to D20PFSRD for those who want it.

While I would just do it automatically, D20pfsrd is a pain due to their word limit, and I usually just put a link in the review to somewhere else (sometimes my blog).

Please let me know, and I will be more than happy to take that extra effort.


Lorathorn wrote:

Oh, and I hate to be a burden, but I have a question for those people for whom I've done reviews... do you want me to post to D20pfsrd? Some have note said, while others have asked and I have forgotten. I got some time in which to finally put reviews from Paizo to OBS, but I want to make sure to get those to D20PFSRD for those who want it.

While I would just do it automatically, D20pfsrd is a pain due to their word limit, and I usually just put a link in the review to somewhere else (sometimes my blog).

Please let me know, and I will be more than happy to take that extra effort.

It certainly helps. At least in my case, the Open Gaming Store is one of my most consistent sites when it comes to monthly sales. Just giving the star review plus a link to the full review is certainly fine, but do know that 95% of people aren't going to check the link for a review. Including a brief synopsis (a few sentences) goes a long way.


Lorathorn wrote:

Oh, and I hate to be a burden, but I have a question for those people for whom I've done reviews... do you want me to post to D20pfsrd? Some have note said, while others have asked and I have forgotten. I got some time in which to finally put reviews from Paizo to OBS, but I want to make sure to get those to D20PFSRD for those who want it.

While I would just do it automatically, D20pfsrd is a pain due to their word limit, and I usually just put a link in the review to somewhere else (sometimes my blog).

Please let me know, and I will be more than happy to take that extra effort.

That's very kind of you, if you don't mind. It all helps.

All the best

Richard

Sovereign Court

Cool. It may be a while yet (a few days time) but I will make sure to start transferring and maybe truncating more of my reviews to d20pfsrd.


Well I broke 100 reviews recently but I have to ask: What's important to you in a product? Like what do you really need to know to decide whether or not to buy. I've been reviewing based on what's important to me but what information do others need to see?

Sovereign Court

If I may, the important thing is this: will I use it? I like to buy books with monsters and monster templates, archetypes, magic items, and lots of little things that will populate my campaigns (taverns, town descriptions, random encounter tables, etc).

If there is a book all about how to introduce genetic engineering into your game (or what have you), then I don't buy it unless that happens to fit into my campaign.

There are a few exceptions, but for the most part, I will buy something that is larger in size (like a campaign setting book) if I can either mine it for information and ideas, OR if there is something more specific and relevant to my needs within that book.

Also, an update. I put up reviews for the following books.

Bite Me! Werewolves
Dangerous Gardens Volume 3: Scorpion Cactus
Spooky Gardens Autumn Special


Double review whammy! Thanks Lorathorn. :)

Sovereign Court

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Review posted for Book of Heroic Races: Player Races 1 (5E)


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Wow --- you leave and get busy for a month or so and come back to 80+ additional thread comments.

Its nice to see discussion is ongoing and that my initial post wasn't a mere one-off.

Thank you all for commenting and contributing to our hobby, however you do.


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Yep, to echo Lucas. Thank you all for doing what ever it is you do for the hobby, keep doing it, cause mostly, that is how we do.

(quite aware that last bit is not exactly proper English, but it sounded right)

::goes back to editing future Flying Pincushion books:: Can't stop editing, clowns will eat me, can't stop editing, clowns will eat me, can't stop editing......

Dark Archive

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I am willing and able to offer a few reviews, though I admit that I don't know how good I would be at such. I would probably try to follow after that of a reviewer I respect, Endzeitgeist, and try to consider the product as they do.

I will admit now that I may miss imbalances of mechanics either as too weak or too strong, as my skill in recognizing such is still weak. I will do my best, and if I miss something or make a mistake I would be more then willing to update or edit my review accordingly.


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Don't worry about "how good" your review is - just share your honest thoughts about the product, and I think you'll naturally end up with a review worth posting. ^^


JonathonWilder wrote:
I am willing and able to offer a few reviews, though I admit that I don't know how good I would be at such. I would probably try to follow after that of a reviewer I respect, Endzeitgeist, and try to consider the product as they do.

To add to GM Rednal's comment -- ANYTHING more in-depth than mere stars (like, 1* is a totally fine review but PLEASE qualify why you thought it was only worth 1*!) would be great. Not everyone can or ever will do the kind of quality of review that Endzeitgeist does today -- but also keep in mind, during the days of his earliest of reviews he was likely just as uncertain, etc.

If you wanna see something fun -- go to Enzeitgeist's profile, under Reviews, then sort by "Oldest First" and you'll get these beautes...

Endzeitgeist wrote:

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Pathfinder Society Scenario #5: Mists of Mwangi (OGL/PFRPG) PDF
Paizo Inc.
Our Price: $3.99 Add to Cart
So much more than a society scenario
***** Endzeitgeist — Nov 3, 2008, 11:19 am

First, let me state that I was not that impressed with the scenarios 1-4, though I liked Silent Tide.
This one, however, is simply a blast. It could easily be adapted to CoC, Masque of the red Death or similar settings, as it succeeds in threading the thin line between fantasy and pulp horror.
Plus: Nick Logue delivers a great atmosphere.

Pathfinder Society Scenario #6: Black Waters (OGL) PDF
Paizo Inc.
Our Price: $3.99 Add to Cart
A gothic delve...
****( ) Endzeitgeist — Nov 3, 2008, 11:27 am

An aristocratic lady of dubious virtue, a lost child, dark hallways and the spirits of the dead.
However, the best thing about "Black Waters" are the emotions it may evoke when run properly.
My only quarrel with this scenario is, that it is a Pathfinder Society Scenario - One could have crafted a regular module from the ideas. I would have loved to see more details on the somewhat touching story.

Sovereign Court

Posted further reviews on OBS, and D20pfsrd. My Paizo and OBS reviews should all be concurrent (not counting pending reviews), and those who have requested D20pfsrd reviews have had those added. I wanted to check in also and see who does and does not have products on Amazon, so that I might post those as well.

Community & Digital Content Director

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Removed a few off-topic posts. If you want to discuss 3PP products for other RPG systems, you might want to take it to one of those subforums :)

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Lorathorn wrote:
Review posted for Book of Heroic Races: Player Races 1 (5E)

Let me just say thank you.

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