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[–] 6544271? 1 points 2 points (+3|-1) ago 

Not a bad survery; I left a couple things blank, so I wish there were room for comments so I could express myself. I guess here will do.

You talked about LARP - I explicitly don't have any particular interest in it, and didn't want my answers to negatively influence you in some way, so I left one regarding the price of going to an arranged event blank - I don't even really know what I would be willing to pay; since in reality I don't have any interest. :p

Besides that, I have no interest in professional game mastering either. I have no doubt the people that do that are generally very competent, and probably could provide a greater overall experience than I could (I GM my games most of the time), but at the same time, I would suddenly feel all this pressure on the game as well. As though I want to make sure I get my money's worth by not spending time chatting about other things unrelated to the game, or focusing harder on the adventure than I normally would, or other things of this nature. My groups in person have always been done with friends, and I think bringing in someone who's not only an outsider, but was literally paid to attend would detract from the social experience of just having a good time with friends.

Those are my thoughts. Hope my responses in the survey are helpful. I wish you guys all the best.

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[–] HeartbreakerPress [S] 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

I still haven't quite mastered SurveyMonkey, but sometimes it can be a bit wonky when it comes to flexibility for say, explanation fields, or so I think.

As for the paid aspect, I can see that POV but on the other hand having some skin in the game can mean people are more apt to not flake on you without notice. I can see how it might cut down on goofing off, but if goofing around is interfering with actual play, perhaps some focus is in order? Not to say that everything is srs bsns, but I think you get me.

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[–] 6568182? 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Yeah, I see what you mean; I don't typically feel as though my group's more relaxed nature made the game actually move so slowly it was ever an issue. And for people not showing up, I've never had a major issue with individual players being unreliable. And we also had enough players that we could continue even with one person missing, which we discussed beforehand and all accepted. If there's one person you just can't reliably get to attend at the same time as the rest, then it might be best to see if the timing of when you play is no good for them, or if they simply don't have much interest, or what the issue is. I mean life happens, and we all have to miss once in a while. If it's a serious thing that happens often, then it's time to just chat and see what the problem is.

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[–] omegletrollz 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Are you going to be sharing results with us? Please deliver, OP.

I see you're going for the dream of every GM - to get paid for playing, doing what we love so much we even choose to do it for free. Good luck! I've thought a lot about that but I don't think it will be easy. People heavily interested in RPG usually are pretty fast to find like-minded people to play with, especially in this day and age of Internet communication, be it tabletop or online. Also, paying for gaming is not something most of us would do, even more so routinely since we like to think of RPGs as a labor of love and coming together of friends. I feel your market would be more the casual people who have heard about "this cool game" their entire lives but know of no one to teach them to play - in which case they probably wouldn't be much of recurring customers (at least not every single week or month).

The LARP idea with costumes sounds promising though, really a step further - but on the other hand probably wouldn't attract the casuals very much... maybe if you first introduce them via tabletop? You could think of a voucher that gives 20% off for the costume for everyone that joins a tabletop session - if they like it they'd probably be up to trying "the next level" and since they're probably not coming back too many times for tabletop itself you might as well try to get them hooked on live-action instead :D

Anyway, just wanted to give my 2 cents on it since I've thought a little about such a model myself - hope it's of some value even though I could be super wrong! Good luck and post your results once you have'em please :)

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[–] HeartbreakerPress [S] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Damn right I will. OP will deliver, when I finally close the surveys up in about 4-5 weeks. Hell, I think I can finally include a previous survey I did a year or two back, since I'm on the silver plan. It was mostly just more stuff on player tastes, but more skewed towards genres and play styles.

I suspect you're right about the target market. It's more the casuals and people new to the hobby that are fucking stoked about the concept, I've found. Still, much like the S&M scene there's an ocean of subs players, but not a lot of doms DMs. I know from personal experience that it gets tiresome when you only get to DM and rarely get to play, so there is that as well. Plus I'm sure we all have some GM and player related horror stories; I'd like to hope that this sort of arrangement will help keep the assholes and psychos out, or at least gather them together into their own campaigns.

Re: LARP: You might be surprised about the costume thing. I went to my first LARP around 2 years ago now, out near Barrie with some friends. The biggest perk for all of us? Costumes were included in the ticket price, but bringing your own (approved) gear would carve a chunk of the ticket price off. The costs for renting better gear were reasonable: P2Win, lolol.

I think it'd be ideal for people without the time or money to make costumes and weapons. Hell, we actually had two walk-in players from a nearby campsite; can't exactly do that in a standard LARP, unless people have some spare gear.

For LARP, if I had the startup cash my plan was to have between 2 and 3 different games going a month. LARP is reasonably big in Canada (though not as much as Europe), but most LARPs I see in Ontario (Canada) are like, only a couple times a year. How can you build continuity and keep things fresh in your mind like that? I figure I'd do post-apocalypse/zombies, norse-influenced fantasy, [something]. The final weekend a regular social event and workshop; get some paid people to teach how to better RP, fitness/combat tips, socializing, and how to make and maintain your gear.

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[–] omegletrollz 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

I'd like to hope that this sort of arrangement will help keep the assholes and psychos out

You can certainly do that through the price tag. It's not a sure shot but it's a lot more likely psychos or lowlifes won't show up if you ask for a full-price value. Sure, you may still get an odd-shot but certainly a lot less likely than if you ask for a $5 "entrance fee".

between 2 and 3 different games going a month

That might be too much for people's attention and wallet. I'd say go with one per month, which is already a lot more than 1 per year. This way people will be likely to reserve the date and money "for the next LARP". I knew I would, but I probably wouldn't go every couple of weeks, or maybe not even every month. Once you pick up momentum and enough recurring people start with a new one per month, maybe even an "invite-only" for the habitués - that would be a lot of fun and probably hook them up good with that feeling of community :)

As far as genres go, you probably want to repeat the genres a lot, which would help you buy costumes and reduce your costs, since you can rent the same costumes, or at least accessories. You can also think of genre synergy: for example, Victorian style props would fit in with steampunk and even modern vampire stories. I imagine costumes are not cheap so no harm in planning for that - even if the props are the same the game itself can be vastly different. You could even consider a "bring a prop for us and get 50% off in your next session" - should help not only build an interesting and varied collection which the players can be proud of too plus help make sure this person is at least coming back for the very next event!

Anyway, I know nothing about this as a business model, just throwing ideas around and hoping some of them will stick! Best of luck!

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[–] Phivex 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Filled it out. A couple of notes,

  1. For the question "In your opinion, what would be the ideal length for an average tabletop RPG session?", you have the answer "More than 6 hours, please specify", but there is no textbox to specify a different number.
  2. On the last question on the first page, it may be helpful to have a textbox for users to explain why, one way or the other, they'd be interested in professional GM services.

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[–] HeartbreakerPress [S] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Well, shit. Unfortunately, I can't really change questions all that much, as the survey has already been given answers by people; significant changes like adding comment boxes would break the result, sadly.

I definitely wish I'd had the forethought for 2), though. Damn. Thanks for the input, though.

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[–] Phivex 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

No problem. Glad I was able to help!

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[–] HeartbreakerPress [S] 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

OP delivers.

Sorry for the delay, everyone. Had a busy week or so, then I had to edit out any emails at the ends of files. I'll be releasing the survey summaries of all the survey's I'd posted, rather than the detailed data I'm sure you were all craving, but this give the gist of it even if not all the text answers are listed.

Here's the link: http://www.mediafire.com/file/w98ud1eg47z2rag/2016_RPG_Survey_Summaries.zip

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[–] HeartbreakerPress [S] 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Figured I'd give you all an update. I will be closing the surveys on November 13th and I'll be posting the results by the 20th at latest. In other news, we hit our first professional milestone!

While I may have missed my desired Halloween deadline by a day, I want to present the first release from Heartbreaker Press: Red Dawn, by Virgil Clemens.

I have to say, I’m very pleased with how it turned out. The layout and typesetter (Simeon Cogswell) is very good and really made it shine. I’d have preferred some more artwork, but the budget didn’t quite allow for it. Print copies will be available by the end of the month, I hope. Just need to track down a missing source file from an artist, then I can check out some test copies.

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[–] HeartbreakerPress [S] 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Thanks for the comments, everyone. Been an exciting few days. That said, you guys are certainly a lot chattier than on reddit, which is a good thing. I'm sorry that I don't quite have the logic-gate thing for questions down just yet; they were a premium only feature, so I only had limited practice.

Long-term, the goal is for Heartbreaker Press to be a multi-pronged business: publishing, services (LARP and GM), merch, and digital game products. We plan to have a loyalty system to help cross-pollinate the platforms: Loyalty bonuses from vidya would have a discount on LARP or tabletop stuff, and vice versa, or exchanged for product.

An additional thing: we'll be including free digital copies of our RPG products when a physical copy is purchased. We also plan to make it so that buying a digital copy first will discount a purchase of a hardcopy, but that will need to be hashed out later on.