Thursday, August 3, 2017

#RPGaDay 2017 Day 3: How Do You Find Out About New RPGs?

We start expanding our horizons with Day 3: How Do You Find Out About New RPGs?

There's no short answer for this.

Websites and Forums are so last decade.  If I wanted a solid lack of information and unjustified opinions, I'd look up Presidential politics on Twitter. 

Kickstarter has allowed some vaporware to gain a physical body, whereas in previous eras it would permanently sit on a company's catalog as "Coming Soon." 

The one nice thing I've discovered from Kickstarters is that, once you back a successful project, the creator will use old campaigns to promote new ones.   Pretty convenient, since there's a good chance that if you liked the original project, you'll like their next one.

But I'm old-school FLGS retail enough that I remember the black and white monthly pre-order books showing up every month.  You were lucky if the listings were in alphabetical order, much less the stock numbers being correct.  As a store manager, I reveled at the chance to hear about most of the new items before the average person.  Everything was sight-unseen. 

Nowadays, the gaming wholesalers are at least venturing into the early 21st century with online ordering and slick solicitations. 

Game Trade Magazine, the monthly solicitations from Alliance Distribution, is my usual choice to see what's coming out. 
Long, long ago, I was still working gaming retail when GTM first came out.  Some promotional articles, a few supplemental articles on games, and actual pictures of some of the products coming out in the next month.  Trust me, this was revolutionary back then. 

Nowadays, and over 200 issues later, I don't even try to grab a free copy from my FLGS.  Fun fact:  Once the hard copy of that month's issue hits stores, the pdf version of the next month becomes available on the website.   That's how I can compile the listings for my Apathy of New Releases monthly post as quick as I can.  True, it's not a complete listing, but I like to have a My Want List, My Money is No Object List, and an imaginary store order that lets me workout some skills otherwise long retired. 


  1. I find out about new stuff by reading YOUR blog. Not necessarily RPG stuff. I'm not really on the look out for RPGs. I have so many RPGs already and not enough time to play them. But you seem to have your finger on the pulse of the game industry and seem to have similar interests, so I'm always interested to see what you're sharing. And now I know your secret (Game Trade Magazine!)

  2. GAH! Viscount Eric Strikes again - I came here to see what you were posting for RPGaDay and clicked on the Game Trade Magazine link and what's the first thing I see: Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Card Game!? Dagnabbit! I did NOT need to see that! Now I'm going to have to ask my FLGS to get it in for me.

    1. Mwhahahaaha! If I only got kickbacks for referrals....

      There are better sources for long-range plans, but if it's in GTM, I give it a 90+% chance of getting fulfilled.

      Of course, that also includes the GW solicitations, which are hitting the shelves of the direct retailers about the same time they appear on the next pdf.

  3. I concur with Tim; I also read your blog for gaming related news. I have appreciated your Apathy posts so I can get some feel as to what is going to gather dust on a shelf or sell through fast.

    1. Thanks Phil! Gotta put my years as a Friendly Neighborhood Game Store Manager to use somehow.

      There are so many RPG books in the GTM that I basically have a "smell test." If I read through the descriptions and it's (a) from a third, maybe fourth or fifth party (b) got horrible artwork (c) got a concept only a Captain Sweatpants would love, it's not getting listed at all unless (d) it's under twenty bucks. Too many minis, rpg, and board game designers releasing questionable product for horrible prices, for a brick and mortar store to try to promote in the age of Amazon.

      Except Games Workshop. That stuff was an epidemic well before Meth, and half the stuff at the FLGS still doesn't have a coat of primer on it.