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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
     
    J-H's Avatar

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    Default Publishing a campaign on Drivethrurpg

    If this is not the correct forum, please move this topic. It seems like it fits here better than in what I would summarize as the "arts and crafts" forum.

    My 5th Edition Castlevania campaign is going really well, and I have almost everything prepped all the way to the end. Running from level 3 to the end of level 12, it's over 100 pages long (Word, Arial 12, single spaced, including enemy stat blocks). I've already got maps for most areas, a handout, and numerous custom-created statblocks. Feedback from my (experienced) players are that I've done some things that they've thought about doing but never figured out how, like a rotating room, a battle in the middle of a giant ghost waltz, and a non-linear maze area.

    Obviously I'd have to file the serial #s off by renaming it from Castlevania to a Transylvanian Castle and change any other names that might properly belong to Konami or any other TM holders.

    It'd probably take me another 10-20 hours to add additional notes for other DMs, including how to adapt it for a larger or smaller party (I have a party of 6), or for other campaign settings, edit it, and reformat and consolidate monsters & custom items into their own appendices. At the end of that time, I'd still be looking at a big Word document, plus maps made in Excel.

    Is that something that would probably sell at Drivethrurpg or someplace similar, or is the expectation for a lot of fancy graphics and 2-column formatting like you'd see in a WOTC book?

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    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: Publishing a campaign on Drivethrurpg

    You can give it a shot, if nothing else.

    Two-column formatting should be relatively easy to pull off; it's a standard option in Word, after all.

    As for graphics, try looking for public domain works. Look CAREFULLY, because you don't want to accidentally grab something under a non-commercial license, but you MIGHT be able to find famous paintings and the like to illustrate where you need to... Hackmaster uses The Accolade in the section about Honor, to good effect.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Publishing a campaign on Drivethrurpg

    Publishing it on DriveThru (or elsewhere) means you have to use the OGL and can't use material from other than the SRD. If you publish on DMsGuild then you can use most anything from WotC (except artwork) but you give up a lot of rights (like being able to distribute it anywhere else, forever). Or you can distribute it for free using eh Wizards Fan Content Policy, but then you can not charge for it.

    Those are the 3 main ways/outlets/criteria you can use, depends on what your objective is.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Publishing a campaign on Drivethrurpg

    There's plenty of indie stuff as well as glossy professional works - but while I'd expect it to sell, think "occasional pizza money" and not "rent".
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
    -- ChubbyRain

    Current Design Project: Legacy, a game of masters and apprentices for two players and a GM.

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    Default Re: Publishing a campaign on Drivethrurpg

    My experience with publishing is that you don't need to be glossy, but it does need to look professional, especially if it's a larger adventure. People are willing to drop a few dollars on a ten-page adventure that's not very fancy, but the larger it gets the more they want it to be a professional work. This is equally true on either Drivethru or on DM's Guild. Itch.io is much more forgiving of works that don't look professional, but usually Itch sales are just going to be enough to get the money together to turn a popular product into something more glossy.

    In your case, a few public-domain images might be nice; careful text formatting is probably very important, and setting up some proper heading bookmarks and integrating the word and excel into a single well-constructed PDF would be a good plan. But I would say go for it!
    If you like my ideas, why not take a peek at my Patreon? New RPGs and campaigns on a constant drip!

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    Default Re: Publishing a campaign on Drivethrurpg

    Thank you everyone.

    In addition to the campaign itself and the maps, I am planning to include:
    -Bestiary section (I have quite a few custom monsters)
    -Items (ditto)
    -Explanation of what power level the items are targeted for, and a chart showing how many items by type and strength for armor & weapons
    -Adapting it for different party sizes
    -Setting notes (set in Europe vs. Eberron, etc.).
    -Advice on short/long rests, and monster intelligence
    -Music suggestions
    -Suggested tactics for level bosses
    -Campaign log from when it was actually run, so that a DM can see how at least one other party tackled the adventure.

    Is this all typically included, or am I going above and beyond?
    Am I missing anything important?

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    Grod_The_Giant's Avatar

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    Default Re: Publishing a campaign on Drivethrurpg

    I would use DMs Guild instead of DriveThruRPG. They take a bigger cut, but (in my experience) you'll sell more of a 5e-specific product there. And perhaps more importantly, there's a huge selection of free art resources that you can use for a product published there.

    Quote Originally Posted by J-H View Post
    Is this all typically included, or am I going above and beyond?
    Am I missing anything important?
    Definitely above and beyond, which is awesome.

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    There's plenty of indie stuff as well as glossy professional works - but while I'd expect it to sell, think "occasional pizza money" and not "rent".
    That's been my experience with my books.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    J-H's Avatar

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    Default Re: Publishing a campaign on Drivethrurpg

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    I would use DMs Guild instead of DriveThruRPG. They take a bigger cut, but (in my experience) you'll sell more of a 5e-specific product there. And perhaps more importantly, there's a huge selection of free art resources that you can use for a product published there.
    Thank you!
    What % more sales would you guess for DMG vs DTR?
    I looked at DMG first, but it specified that the adventures had to be set in FR, Eberron, etc.... where the default setting for mine is "Mid 1400s-ish Europe but D&D magic and items exist," as it's heavily Castlevania in nature. I have a couple of paragraphs about adapting it to other settings, but if I make it default FR then I have to change a bunch of the safe areas that have crosses marked on the doors, the mithril crucifix, and a bunch of other items to line up with... I dunno, Lathander or something.

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    Grod_The_Giant's Avatar

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    Default Re: Publishing a campaign on Drivethrurpg

    DMs Guild gives you fifty percent; DriveThruRPG gives you seventy if you only sell through them.

    STaRS (and STaRS Lite)
    A non-narrativeist, generic rules-light system, by me. Now officially released!

    Grod's Guide to Greatness
    A big book of player options for 5e, by me

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Grod's Law: You cannot and should not balance bad mechanics by making them annoying to use
    Giants and Graveyards: My collected 3.5 class fixes and more.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Titan in the Playground
     
    J-H's Avatar

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    Default Re: Publishing a campaign on Drivethrurpg

    Yes, and that's one of the reasons DTR is more attractive... but how are sales #s between the 2 platforms?

    I know I heard of DMG first.

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Publishing a campaign on Drivethrurpg

    Sales numbers between DMsG and RPGNow? Can't compare really. They are both actually operated by the same company. And at one point in time DMsG products would show up on DT searches. Not sure if that is still the case though.

    If this is your first "thing" you will probably get better sales on DMsG because you have a focused market and less random content to compete with. But, your sales are going to be very minor (like 20 copies) on either UNLESS you advertise. You need to get reviews, blogs and social media hype if you want more than that. Until you build a following, it will be hard to make any type of sales number, no matter how good your content/product is.

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    BardGirl

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    Default Re: Publishing a campaign on Drivethrurpg

    Quote Originally Posted by LordEntrails View Post
    unless you advertise.
    Sharing an exciting campaign log on forums might be good advertising. J-H mentioned that he already made one.
    English is my second language, but I will be more than happy to explain myself in Danish.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Publishing a campaign on Drivethrurpg

    For purely selfish reasons i would encourage you to post your campaign journal.

    Not for anything related to selling more of your content but because I love reading campaign journals.

    On a related note i'd say that if you are trying to just get your content out there and aren't expecting to make a pile of money use the one that gives you the smaller % but has a higher chance for you to sell more copies.

    But if your objective is to make some extra cash go with drive thru at least you'll make an extra 20% off each sale.

    It does seem like you've put a lot of time and effort into this project and i hope it works out for you. wherever you do decide to sell it i'm sure it will be well received as it sounds like it would be fun to play.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Publishing a campaign on Drivethrurpg

    Quote Originally Posted by Incorrect View Post
    Sharing an exciting campaign log on forums might be good advertising. J-H mentioned that he already made one.
    I have it, it's in the 5e forum. I'll probably clean it up and re-post after I'm done.

    Is the expectation that everything is in 1 PDF, or can they be distributed as multiple PDFs? It seems to me that it'd be easier for someone to manage if the bestiary appendix is a separate file from the main document so that both can be open at one time.

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