Posts Tagged ‘DMs Guild’

A new episode of Table Top Babble is now available!

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James Introcaso talks writing adventures on the DMs Guild with best-selling game designers Tony Petrecca, M.T. Black, and Jeff C. Stevens.

Tony Petrecca’s Adventures

M.T. Black’s Adventures

Jeff C. Stevens’ Adventures

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If you like what you’re reading please follow me on Twitter, like World Builder Blog on Facebook, check out my podcasts, find my products on the DMs Guild, tell your friends about the blog, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

My final episode of my podcast, The Round Table, is up on The Tome Show’s website.


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James Introcaso and Topher Kohan sit down with James Floyd Kelly, Jay Africa, and Joe Lastowksi to discuss DMs Guild print on demand products and the Fighter and Monk Unearthed Arcana articles. This podcast was recorded on December 18, 2016.


Open Gaming Store Pick of the Episode: Hyper Corps 2099 5e


DMs Guild Pick of the Episode: Something Smells Fishy


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Don’t Split the Podcast Network

James Floyd Kelly

Jay Africa


If you like what you’re reading please follow me on Twitter, like World Builder Blog on Facebook, check out my podcasts, find my products on the DMs Guild, tell your friends about the blog, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

I could not be happier! My very first D&D Adventurers League adventure, DDAL05-05 A Dish Best Served Cold, is now available for purchase on the DMs Guild! Here’s a quick description of the module:

Stagwick’s long-standing peace with giant-kind is threatened as a patrol of Blood Riders spark a feud with a local tribe of giants.

With word of strange activity coming from the Ice Spires, Good King Hartwick can’t be too careful.

Can you quench the giants’ thirst for revenge?

A Two-Hour Adventure for 5th-10th Level Characters

This two-hour adventure represents many hours of work on my end and countless hours from others. The Adventurers League Admins are incredible at what they do and the adventure would not be where it is without the amazing feedback from playtesters.

Speaking of playtesting, an encounter was removed from the adventure for time during the playtesting feedback phase. These adventures need to fit to time for conventions and game stores, but if you’re playing it at home and want to throw another encounter into the mix, here’s how!

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And while you’re at it, pick up Travis Woodall’s awesome Deluxe Digital Map Pack for the adventure!

Added Encounter for DDAL05-05: A Dish Best Served Cold (SPOILERS AHEAD)

1. Add the following text to the “General Features” section of “Part 2. Abandoned Camp.”

Terrain. Eight-inch deep snow covers the ground. Medium and smaller creatures who move more than half their speed must succeed on a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw or fall prone at the end of their turn, suffering the debris-covered ground.

Climate and Weather. Snow falls rapidly from the sky, whipping around in all directions as the wind howls. Wisdom (Perception) checks that involve vision or hearing and ranged attacks against targets more than 30 feet away are made at disadvantage.

2. Add the following text after the read aloud text in “Part 2. Abandoned Camp.”

The abominable yeti that Scövja and Burleigh were hunting is hiding in this area. The smell of the bodies signaled an easy meal to the creature. More corpses were once on the ground here, but the yeti ate those. A successful DC 15 Wisdom (Survival) check determines there were once more corpses in the snow.

The monster hid by the tent when it heard the characters approaching, lying down to look like an enormous snowdrift. A successful Wisdom (Perception) check against the yeti’s Dexterity (Stealth) check spots the creature. If a character approaches within 40 feet of the yeti, the monster stands and attacks. The yeti fights until it is reduced to 30 hit points, then flees.

3. Add the following sidebar to “Part 2. Abandoned Camp.”

Adjusting the Encounter

Here are recommendations for adjusting this combat encounter. These are not cumulative.

  • Very weak party: Replace the abominable yeti with three yetis
  • Weak party: Replace the abominable yeti with two young remorhazes
  • Strong party: Replace the abominable yeti with a remorhaz
  • Very strong party: Add one yeti

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you buy the adventure, let me know what you think. Leave a rating on the DMs Guild and please help spread the word if you enjoy it!

That’s it for this week. This post was months in the making!

If you like what you’re reading please follow me on Twitter, like World Builder Blog on Facebook, check out my podcasts, find my products on the DMs Guild, tell your friends about the blog, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

Here’s an update I promised a few months ago when I wrote my first post about how my DMs Guild products were fairing. That article generated a lot of interest and questions about how the DMs Guild works and how my pay what you want products were faring since. I figured this was a good time to once again lift the curtain and share my sales information with you.

If you want to find out why many of my products are pay what you want, read that previous post. The TL;DR version is that it’s material I first released on the blog before the DMs Guild or fifth edition Open Gaming License was in effect. I promised that material would always be available for free and I intend to keep that promise.

The Numbers

First here’s a look at the total number of times my DMs Guild products have been purchased including free and paid downloads.

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Here’s just the paid downloads.

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Note: Tarokka Expansion is a paid product only and a recent release. Greater & Elder Elementals began as pay what you want and is now a free product.

It’s no surprise (especially if you read the previous post) that most people choose to pay nothing for the product given the choice. You can see just how huge the difference is on the charts. You can also see that people who do pay for my products generally pay less than $2 no matter the content or size of the product.

Best Seller Metals

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In my last post I wrote about best seller metals on the DMs Guild and I now have a little more information about that after conferring with some other people who sell products on the DMs Guild. (Thanks, David Gibson!) The metals are based on the number of paid sales a product has. As best I can tell, products achieve medals after making around the following number of sales:

  • Copper. 50 paid sales
  • Silver. 100 paid sales
  • Electrum. 260 paid sales
  • Gold. 525 paid sales
  • Platinum. I have yet to achieve this metal, but I’d guess somewhere around 1050 paid sales or more

Don’t freak if your product has the number of sales it needs to achieve a metal, but hasn’t received it yet. It seems the DMs Guild takes a day or so to update metals and sales rankings for products.

At the moment I have metals for 15 New Backgrounds (Gold), 50 New Magic Items (Gold), 20 New Traps (Silver), and Catastrophic Dragons (Copper).

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What Does Well?

As you can see from my sales, the platinum best sellers above, and the list of the 40 current top sellers products that are good for both dungeon masters and players sell best. New classes, archetypes, races, and feats do very well. My own top sellers are magic items and backgrounds. Products that speed up play, like spell cards, cheat sheets, lists of names, and maps, also sell.

The occasional adventure (usually if it’s written by someone with a little name recognition) gets up there but there are many well written adventures on the guild that get outsold by the stuff that’s good for players and DMs.

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Not shown on the list above are the Adventurers League adventures that also do very well. Of the 30 gold best sellers on the DMs Guild, 17 are Adventurers League adventures. It definitely pays to have the support of organized play.

What Do People Pay For?

My own experience is really interesting as far as what people pay for. 50 New Magic Items is far and away my top purchased products. It’s got almost 400 more than the next best seller, 15 New Backgrounds. Yet 50 New Magic Items only has 17 more paid sales and actually made $40 less in total sales than 15 New Backgrounds. I can’t say why my top seller isn’t my top money-maker. Maybe it’s because people think it takes less effort to design 50 magic items than it does 15 backgrounds, but that’s not true (and these products are both more than just what’s in the title). 50 New Magic Items is 29 pages and 16,208 words and people who paid for it paid $1.08 on average. 15 New Backgrounds is 19 pages and 12,494 words and people who paid for it paid $1.18 on average.

After that people paid for 20 New Traps, probably because the Dungeon Master’s Guide is so light on traps. People paid $0.82 on average for the 8 page, 4,492 word product.

As you can see, even with two gold best sellers, I’ve made less than $1000 total. My work on the DMs Guild has garnered me way less than $0.01 a word. A lot of this is work I had ready to go on this blog that I had done for free, so I’m happy to have anything for it but just remember that you’re not going to break the bank with pay what you want products on the site.

What Does Wizards of the Coast Like?

There is one other factor I want to talk about related to Wizards of the Coast. Every other month they highlight a few DMs Guild’s product in their Unearthed Arcana Dungeon Master’s Guild Preview. These articles seem to give people a nice boost in sales. The D&D team appears to like highlighting very creative, out-of-the-box products in these articles, like Blood Magic and Darker Gifts. So get out there, get creative, and get writing!

If you like what you’re reading please follow me on Twitter, check out my podcasts, find my products on the DMs Guild, tell your friends about the blog, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

My Tarokka deck needs something to do.

It’s not that I don’t love the purchase. It’s a wonderful item with a lot of great art. Worth every penny. But I feel like I can make it worth more.

As I mentioned in my one-shot Strahd post, I’m not currently playing Curse of Strahd. Even if I were, I’d want to make expanded use of the Tarokka deck. It’s great for readings, but wouldn’t it be awesome if it could be used for random encounters, treasure tables, and more? It totally can.

Tarokkas and Random Tables

Whether you’re playing Curse of Strahd or not, you can draw cards from your Tarokka deck instead of rolling dice on a random table for encounters, treasure, and more. I’ve made it super easy for you and myself by writing out the numbers on a table below.

I’m aware that other than the d6 column, these cards don’t perfectly correspond to the same probability as a throw of an actual die. If this were a saving throw, ability check, attack or damage roll, I wouldn’t allow it. For a DM’s random table this is close enough. It’s as good as it’s going to get without adding extra cards to the deck!

Making players draw these cards themselves for treasure and encounters is especially fun. It adds a moment of drama at the table as you whip out the cards and ask them to draw. Psychologically it also shifts the onus of the result on the player as the others watch, hoping for a good result.

Check out the table below, or grab it in the link below as a PDF or from the Free Game Resources section of this site.

Tarokka Deck as Dice

Tarokka Deck as DiceA Little Preview

This post is actually a little preview of an upcoming DMs Guild product I’m working on. It’s a recurring encounter for Curse of Strahd that involves a magic Tarokka deck. To learn more about this side trek, you’ll have to wait for next week and watch my game with Chris Perkins during…

Roll20CON

If you haven’t heard about Roll20CON yet, the info is below!

The free, online-only celebration of the Roll20 Community will take place on June 3rd, 2016 for just 24 hours – but you can start preparing, listing, and joining games now! From 12AM – 11:59PM Pacific time, there will be games galore played on my favorite virtual table. You’ll want to join in the action and get to try some of the Plus and Pro subscription features for free. That’s right. Dynamic Lighting (and tons of other awesome features) will be free during Roll20CON.

During the convention, some of your favorite streamers, publishers, podcasters, and I will be live on Twitch helping raise money for Cybersmile, the international non-profit supporting victims of cyberbullying.

If you haven’t seen the schedule for Roll20CON check it out below. You’ll notice I’m running two games during the 24-hour live stream with some of the biggest names in Dungeons and Dragons including my good friend Rudy Basso of the Tome Show’s D&D V&G podcast and Have Spellbook, Will Travel, Nadja Otikor of Misscliks D&D Prophecy, Greg Bilsland of Wizards of the Coast and member of the Dungeons and Dragons team, and, oh yeah, Chris Freakin’ Perkins, a Wizards of the Coast D&D employee who needs no introduction.

Needless to say I am thrilled about this and nervous. I’d love your support and love on game day. So if you’re around at 5AM or 2PM Pacific time on June 3, 2016, check out Twitch and watch us play D&D!

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If you like what you’re reading please follow me on Twitter, check out my podcasts, find my products on the DMs Guild, tell your friends about the blog, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

A new episode of my podcast, The Round Table, is up on The Tome Show’s website.


I sit down with Adventurers League admin, Greg Marks, to discuss the Con Created Content program, the search for more female designers, future D&D storylines, payment for AL adventure designers, and his upcoming products and projects. This podcast was recorded on May 18, 2016.




Links:

If you like what you’re reading please follow me on Twitter, check out my other podcasts, Have Spellbook, Will Travel and Gamer to Gamer, find my products on the DMs Guild, tell your friends, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

A new episode of my podcast, The Round Table, is up on The Tome Show’s website.


I sit down with Alex BassoRudy Basso, and Greg Blair to discuss Rob Letterman being named director of the Dungeons and Dragons movie and the end of Sword Coast Legends studio N-Space. Then it’s a second panel discussion with Richard ZayasMike SheaNeal Powell, and Shawn Merwin about making money in the RPG Business. This podcast was recorded on March 8 and 31, 2016.


Noble Knight Pick of the Episode: Dungeons of Dread



DMs Guild Pick of the Episode: Names for Tendays


Please rate and review The Tome Show on iTunes. It takes 30 seconds and helps us a bunch!

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If you like what you’re reading please follow me on Twitter, check out my other podcasts, Bonus Action and Gamer to Gamer, find my products on the DMs Guild, tell your friends, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

A new episode of my podcast, The Round Table, is up on The Tome Show’s website.


I sit down with Bill Webb and Matt Finch of Frog God Games to discuss their new online tabletop RPG store – Tabletop Library. This new store aims to specialize in third party 5th Edition D&D products! This podcast was recorded on March 13, 2016.






Please rate and review The Tome Show on iTunes! It helps us a bunch.


If you like what you’re reading please follow me on Twitter, check out my other podcasts, Bonus Action and Gamer to Gamer, find my products on the DMs Guild, tell your friends, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

My latest Pay What You Want product is up on the DMs Guild! Get Arachnids, Wraiths, & Zombies now to grab the following creatures originally created on this blog.

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While you’re checking it out, feel free to also grab my other Pay What You Want products. Archons, Catastrophic Dragons, and Greater & Elder Elementals all update Dungeons and Dragons monsters of previous edition for fifth edition rules while 15 New Backgrounds gives you a bunch of new backgrounds as the title suggests plus a module for group backgrounds the whole party can share and a handful of new equipment including bombs! 20 New Traps gives you a bunch of new and updated classics to throw at your PCs. Finally 50 New Magic Items gives you just that plus 100 common rarity weapon properties, 100 common rarity wondrous items, and 100 cursed item properties.

Take a look and if you wish download for free. This is material I pledged when I created would always be available for free and I plan to stick to that promise. I’m always open to feedback, so leave me a comment, start a discussion on a product page, or leave me a review. Honestly at this point in my RPG career a free download with a good review are worth far more to me than cash.

If you like what you’re reading please follow me on Twitter, check out my podcasts, find my products on the DMs Guild, tell your friends about the blog, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

It’s brag time. My DMs Guild products are doing well. Right now I have one Silver Best Seller, 15 New Backgrounds, and three Copper Best Sellers, 20 New Traps, 50 New Magic Items, and Catastrophic Dragons. Thanks to everyone who has downloaded these products and my others, Archons and Greater & Elder Elementals! If you’ve downloaded any of these products please leave me some feedback in the form of a review or discussion. Even just giving a product the number of stars you think it deserves without leaving a long review is very helpful.

How Good is a Best Seller?

Some of you are probably wondering, what does it even mean to be a Copper or Silver best seller? Well, I can tell you that the DMs Guild has five levels of best seller – Copper, Silver, Electrum, Gold, and Platinum. No exact numbers are given for the required sales to reach each best seller level. I am not sure why. It may be as the DMs Guild becomes more (or less) popular those numbers change because OneBookShelf wants to always have some best sellers on the list, but not so many that every single PDF becomes one so the name has no meaning. I have no proof that’s what is happening. I’m just throwing an idea out there that makes sense to my marketing brain.

UPDATE: After speaking with the amazing David Gibson, he said he believes that the best seller medals come from paid download numbers only. He has a lot of awesome products on the DMs Guild and RPGNow for cheap. They’re wonderful. Check them out. He thinks Copper is around 50 sales, Silver is around 100, Electrum is 250, Gold is 500, and Platinum is 1000. If I make it to any of those numbers, I’ll let ya know!

I know that somewhere around 370 downloads 15 New Backgrounds20 New Traps, 50 New Magic Items, and Catastrophic Dragons became Copper. Somewhere around 740 downloads 15 New Backgrounds became Silver. If 15 New Backgrounds makes it to Electrum, I’ll let you know what it took. At the time of writing this post, that PDF has 1300 downloads and there are 46 Copper, 49 Silver, 17 Electrum, 2 Gold, and 2 Platinum total best sellers on the DMs Guild.

In addition 15 New Backgrounds has been on the top 20 of the DMs Guild list since it launched on January 22, hovering mostly around the number 15 spot. I think most people would call my work on the DMs Guild a success even if the numbers are pretty modest.

Pay What You Want

I imagine one reason my products are doing well and climbing the charts is that they can be downloaded for free. In fact I know it. Look at the total numbers of downloads all my products have had. These numbers include free downloads.

Total downloads as of 5:19PM Eastern 2/22

Total downloads as of 5:19PM Eastern on 2/22

Now here’s the list with all the free downloads taken away.

Total paid downloads as of 5:19PM Eastern on 2/22.

Total paid downloads as of 5:19PM Eastern on 2/22

So you can see a big difference. In the case of 15 New Backgrounds over 1000 people have downloaded this sucker for free. I can’t even get them to leave a review. This probably isn’t a surprise to most of you. So why have I offered these products as Pay What You Want PDFs? A lot of folks might say I’m not valuing my work. I assure you that’s not it. Each product has hours of writing, design, editing, and layout associated with it which I’ve done myself. I would love to earn a little scratch from these beyond what I’ve made, which is less than $300 total.

So all of that said why would I put out all of these products as Pay What You Want?

  1. I’m keeping a promise. The DMs Guild and Open Gaming License are young, only a bit older than a month. I’ve been creating content on this blog for two years. All of the content I am offering on the DMs Guild, with the exception of Greater & Elder Elementals, were available as free PDFs on this website, some for more than a year. Why were they free? There was no OGL at the time and I wanted to make fifth edition Dungeons and Dragons content. I had no credits to my name. I needed feedback on my work from a large community and without the safety net of the OGL I wasn’t sure I could charge for something without a cease and desist. I had no idea how it all worked and no idea if my stuff was any good. I put it out there for free, listened to feedback, and promised readers of this blog that the content in the PDFs available on the Free Game Resources section of this site would always be available for free… even if I moved it somewhere else. The DMs Guild’s terms of service do not allow me to keep the crappier, less laid out, less edited, un-arted versions of the content on this site for free and better PDFs on the DMs Guild that I can charge for, so I decided Pay What You Want was the way to go.
  2. I’m trying to get noticed! You might read the above point and think, “So why post anything on the DMs Guild at all?” I won’t lie. It’d be a dream come true to do some design work with Wizards of the Coast. After it launched the D&D team made it clear when the DMs Guild launched that it was now THE way to get their attention. I wanted to get products on there quickly while the competition was light. There was a whole supply of my own design work on this site that wasn’t part of the upcoming Exploration Age Campaign Guide I could use. Again, I wanted to keep my promise to readers so I made it free. The combination of wanting to get noticed and keeping my promise to you readers really drove the decision to put products on the DMs Guild and make them available as Pay What You Want.
  3. My layout skills are whack. I have put a lot of time into these PDFs, but if I’m being honest the layout and public domain art do make them feel a little amateur. I’m not skilled in these areas and since I knew I wanted the products to remain free, I kept it free for me to produce rather than hiring an artist and a print designer to do the layout. I’d never make the money back if I hired them.

As for the future, not all my DMs Guild releases will be Pay What You Want. Anything already created for this blog which I decide to release on their site will be available as Pay What You Want for the reasons above. If I make something totally new and put it up there, I’ll probably charge for it. Looking at the modest sales numbers, the 50% profit share, and the fact that any DMs Guild product is limited to being sold only on that site, I’m not sure how many products I’ll be posting there in the future, but at least a few more may make their way there… especially if I can eventually put Eberron material up there! Don’t get me wrong, the DMs Guild is a great thing, but it’s not right for what I want to move forward with.

As many of you know from a previous blog post, I’m moving forward with my own world of Exploration Age. After that, I’d love to tackle making Enora the Bound Sky a reality.

Upcoming for the Blog

I also need to announce some changes here at World Builder Blog. Over the last two years I’ve worked very hard to make sure this blog was updated twice a week with longer posts like this one every Tuesday and Thursday. Starting next week the blog will only update with these longer posts once a week on Wednesdays.

I’ve been spending so much time blogging and podcasting that it helped me get some other RPG design jobs to which I want to dedicate time. More information on those as they develop! I also want to dedicate time to putting out the Exploration Age Campaign Guide and making it the best it can be. I can only do so much in a week, but never fear. This blog will continue to update regularly, though less frequently than it did. Thank you all so much for reading over the years. Let’s keep making awesome stuff together. You rock.

If you like what you’re reading please follow me on Twitter, check out my podcasts, find my products on the DMs Guild, tell your friends about the blog, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!