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The Campaign: Adaptability

January 11, 2021 by Tim

Sometimes no matter how clearly you lay the breadcrumbs…

I am finally in the process of putting together the campaign to try and get some books printed. I’ll have a lot more details in the next couple of weeks, but I can finally show you what we’re aiming to make here.

 

Because I do a bunch of different series here, and at difference release cadences, it made the most sense to split things up into a few different book series. This way each series as a clear, cohesive style and goal.

Ever since I put together my very first books seventeen years ago, I have maintained a philosophy that, as much as possible, I wanted my printed works to be more than simply the website comics thrown into a binder. If I’m going to ask people to purchase copies of comics I’ve already given them for free, I want to justify it by making those books something special. As definitive an edition as possible. That holds true with these releases as well.

I’ll touch more on what that means in terms of content and remasters for each of these books in a future update, but rest assured I have put a lot of effort into these volumes.

At this stage, as I’m hammering out final details in regards to setting up the campaign to actually get these printed, there are some elements I’m going to need to make decisions on. One of those right now is whether to print these books in softcover or hardcover. I can make positive arguments for both, however I thought the best place to start would be with a quick poll, just in case there was a prevailing opinion amongst interested-customers one way or the other.

There’s not a huge difference in cost, probably about five dollars, and I’ll be offering a bundle price for people that buy all three books regardless, but I’d still like to see if people have a preference. As much as I would love to simply say “I’ll offer both options”, the way the economy of scale works for printing books, doing that essentially splits the run size, so it’s not something I can commit to without any earthly clue how many we’d be printing total. So I’d like to go in with the plan to just do one or the other.


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James Kite
1 month ago

I would go HC, because HC tends to be more durable.

Plus I would be looking at one of each

Kenju
Kenju
1 month ago
Reply to  James Kite

Agreed, still salty as hell that The Official Works of Monster Hunter World was only printed with a SC for the English print -.- Not only is the SC crap, the binding is cheaper than anything I’ve ever seen in my life and falls apart every time you read it.

Really really *really* lost any interest in soft covers because of that experience even though I know there ARE good soft cover volumes out there.

Digi
Digi
1 month ago

Hardcover. However what would it look like without the dustcover? I would honestly prefer a hc without the dustcover and the art directly printed onto it.

GooeyWizard
GooeyWizard
1 month ago
Reply to  Digi

Definitely this. I don’t like dustcovers, they get torn easily, so I prefer the artwork printed on the cover of a hardcover book.

SCIENCE!!
SCIENCE!!
1 month ago

HC. And as a fellow DM, I felt that comic deep in mah soul.

foducool
foducool
1 month ago

best DM skill is to just wing it lmao

Vicente Sampedro Burgos
Vicente Sampedro Burgos
1 month ago

I’ve been there, suffered the players derailing the campaign I spent weeks preparing, I had a lot of fun killing them as revenge =D

nealithi
nealithi
1 month ago

How is that fun?
I usually have to find some excuse to keep the lemmings from slaughtering themselves.
Sorry. I did not mean to insult lemming survival instincts. I meant “Noble adventurers”

James Kite
1 month ago
Reply to  nealithi

Lemmings have perfectly acceptable survival instincts…unless there is a Disney film crew near by. 😶

Nobody
Nobody
1 month ago

It isn’t vengeance but letting the story unfold. While they are off doing their own thing you let the plot progress unhindered. Then they have to deal with the fire after it becomes a raging inferno instead of a small one. Also makes it seem like a living world.

In this case dark elf spys sabotaging the city defenses allowing an army to easily take over the city while the party is busy with the necrobaker.

Stuart Wells
Stuart Wells
1 month ago

Shipping to Australia is what kills me trying to buy KS webcomic books, would be tempted to get all the books if the shipping costs was decent.

no thanks nintendo
no thanks nintendo
1 month ago

“I can make positive arguments for both”

Interesting. I can’t think of a single positive argument for softcover.

Mike
Mike
1 month ago

Well here’s one. We’re in the midst of a global pandemic and to some folks, every dollar matters.
Here’s another – I feel SC lends itself more to smaller volumes, which these will be (at least compared to the Cad-comic omnibus Tim released a while back)

Eldest Gruff
1 month ago

Here’s another. Personally, I just always like the look and feel of softcover. I *get* that I’m *supposed* to like hardcover, but it makes it big and bulky and uncomfortable to hold for long sessions. And comfort when reading is the #1 most important thing to me; as I generally take care of my books.

Kenju
Kenju
1 month ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

As I said in another comment, The Complete Works of Monster Hunter World killed any and all desire to ever get a soft cover again, because between how bad the cover was, how weak the binding was, and just the sheer lack of any quality, I don’t trust them anymore. Soft cover books are literally just a waste of money in my eyes now the experience was so bad. I get that not every soft cover is like that or will be like that, but when you’ve been bitten THAT hard in the ass it’s really hard to regain any… Read more »

Zeshin
Zeshin
1 month ago

Softcover is easier to hold one-handed, have more flexible bindings for easier reading of page interiors, and are significantly more lightweight, making for casual on-the-go anywhere reading. I sometimes like to read softercover books while I’m eating, walking around the house, sitting on the pot or lying back on the couch/bed, they’re simply easier to handle and open for reading. Hardcover books feel very substantial so I always feel like I need to give them the white glove treatment when handling, they’re also heavier and consequently more cumbersome to carry about and more difficult to negotiate with for one handed… Read more »

Jacob Keller
Jacob Keller
1 month ago

Hardcover or not, I really like the art work on the cover of the Players Campaign/Console Wars book. Cant wait for this kickstarter to launch so i can give you more of my money, Tim!!!

Chris
Chris
1 month ago

I would go HC. I think the majority who will buy those books will want them not only to read but to treasure and present. For this a HC is much better suited.

Kenju
Kenju
1 month ago

…okay show of hands, and be honest, how many people here would actually prefer a campaign centered around a ‘Necrobaker’ possibly using human bones as an ingredient than shapeshifting dark elves infiltrating anything? I mean, seriously that is probably one of the most original and interesting ideas I’ve heard in ages ^^

Eldest Gruff
1 month ago
Reply to  Kenju

I’d far prefer to fight against the NecroBaker and his unbread army than some silly dark elves.

Umbrella
Umbrella
1 month ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

The key will be preventing him from unleashing the power of the Necronomnomnomicon

Timmeh
Timmeh
1 month ago
Reply to  Umbrella

I understood that reference!

Dr.Cynic
Dr.Cynic
1 month ago

Had a game where we were trying to rescue a person who was part of a rebel faction. I was a few drinks in and I was told that the person in question was going by R. Pierre. MY drunk mind immediately thought Robespierre and jumped to the conclusion of a suicidal rebel and turned a stealth spec op into Payday 2 with the homies, minigun included. We won, but we’re barred from 2 planets and are the premier action icons for the next few years. All in all, still got paid…. after we robbed the client and kept the… Read more »

Unvoiced_Apollo
Unvoiced_Apollo
1 month ago
Reply to  Dr.Cynic

I remember trying to absorb a bit of magic from the Plane of Magic like our vampire wizard frenemy did, forgetting that the only reason he could is because he was undead.

Thank goodness I was wan eldritch knight proficient in con saves XD.

Verdiekus
Verdiekus
1 month ago

Yes! I miss the campaign.

Jacob
1 month ago

And sometimes, you follow the GM’s breadcrumbs which could very well lead you to your end. A friend and I did a pickup Shadowrun 3rd ed group at a convention using textbook pre constructed characters, where no one else knew each other (to our knowledge). The pitch was simple, hostage rescue from a large warehouse. For those familiar, the layout was the map from Counterstrike CS_Assault. We geared up, made a plan, and attempted to breach the building from multiple sides. Out of a group of 8, only 3 of us were left alive after the first few rounds of… Read more »

Sebastian
Sebastian
1 month ago

By playing with rule zero the group created this problem by themselves.
https://theludite.com/2019/02/25/chasing-the-dragon-part-1/

Me-me
Me-me
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim

Edit: Disclaimer: I did not read the article before I wrote this. Counterpoint: If the world is non-static, what’s the point of exploring it? You always find whatever you’re looking for, so there’s never any wondering about what *might* be.There are no accidental discoveries, just the forseeable end to the quest you chose to exist. Personally, the necro-baker aspect of D&D is my least favourite part. Players rewriting the world based on their expectations aren’t playing a game with friends, they’re making up a story with their pal solipsism. I appreciate the ability to direct your character to do anything,… Read more »

Reso
Reso
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim

“…that’s ARISEN around the table”

I see what you did there.

nealithi
nealithi
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim

Tangents are normal. There are entire memes built around players having wrong ideas. Like attacking a gazebo thinking it is an obscure monster type. To describing the burning town with the slavering hordes of demons and a stray cat. With the players petting the cat. Players try things or move in ways they they want. That is why an RPG is different than say Candy Land. That is why in video games I think Sandbox games like Fallout and Cyberpunk 2077 come the closest to the RPG experience. Because there is tons more than the one main quest. As to… Read more »

Kenju
Kenju
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim

Of course there is also the option of spinning the pastries into part of the dark elves plot lol

I am not disagreeing with anything you say here just to be clear, I actually love the way you mentioned just how careful 3 has to be since a DMPC can very easily and very quickly turn into a ‘Train Conductor’ so to speak.

Can’t wait to see where this adventure leads the group, so far all of them have been really memorable, though the battle with 1’s father will always stand out as the best in my book 🙂

Sebastian
Sebastian
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim

I never wanted to say anybody what’s the right.
I just wanted to point out how the problems of the comic occur from rule zero and what other flaws it has.
If you are fine with that, you should play it.

In contradiction it feels for me more that you are telling me that your description is the “right” style of ttrpgs.
For me it’s just a fraction of the possible space.

Me-me
Me-me
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim

Look, I mostly agree on all points. I once drew up a budget for the fort my players had been awarded, because they would have rather balanced income and expenses than explored the countryside, and I have no issue with that. Fort Management Sim was a fun couple of sessions, and I was able to adjust interested NPC’s actions to adapt to their sticking around rather than adventuring. That is not, at all, what I have issue with. And now, having read the article, I’m mostly on your side of that debate, also, with the game’s flexibility of being able… Read more »

Sebastian
Sebastian
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim

You are describing to me the typical DnD(-like) style. That’s to me ONE way of playing TTRPG’s, but not the only one. How about that? It’s totally fine if it’s your preferred. IMO the article series makes a good point of some problems of it. Are you familiar with games like Fiasco or Annalise? They are TTRPGs too, but are having a total different approach. This are systems which help you to create a certain narrative. And they are not like boardgames. I haven’t played DnD by myself, but it’s german copy The dark eye (TDE) for years. In my… Read more »

Unagiman
Unagiman
1 month ago
Reply to  Sebastian

This strip doesn’t really have anything to do with “rule zero”. Even if you play a pre-written adventure module there’s going to be moments where you have to improvise. In my experience if you find tabletop D&D stagnant, boring and limiting, that’s because you’re playing with either an inexperienced or uncreative DM. I’m familiar with more narrative-focused games, but the good DMs I’ve played with read over your back story and fit the narrative points into your campaign. Was your character experimented on by an evil wizard? You can be sure you’ll end up finding more of his work. Did… Read more »

Sebastian
Sebastian
1 month ago
Reply to  Unagiman

You are right, rule zero is a different problem.
Above I linked the correct article for the DM-problem.

What you describe has for me nothing to do with DnD itself. With it’s rules.
You good DM is a good narrator and organizer. Which he can be without the rules.

Taken by the rules DnD is mostly a physics simulation.
I do understand why people “play” DnD ignoring the rules and making much more out of it.
But for me this is a different game.

Merendel
Merendel
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim

I think that writer has a view of the rules that is fundamentally different than what you or I would have. He explicitly views the rules as constraining the play. They are the walls that define the box we get to play in. I view them as the scaffolding we build the game around as we go. Things generally go the most smoothly when building along with that scaffolding but there’s plenty of room to build the odd extension on to the side as needed. Likewise sometimes there’s just that odd bit that’s in the way of your overall design… Read more »

Sebastian
Sebastian
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim

You all are right, I linked the wrong article. Rule zero is a different topic.
Here is the appropriate one:
https://theludite.com/2019/03/03/chasing-the-dragon-part-4/
This describes the DM-problems which DnD(-likes) could have for people.
How about that?

The joke of the comic is routed in a deeper problem of DnD.
With that I don’t want to deny the joy you are having with DnD.
Just showing that there are different perspectives and even different ways to play ttrpgs.

nealithi
nealithi
1 month ago
Reply to  Sebastian

So I skimmed this article. Sorry a more in-depth reading will need either more coffee or perhaps vodka. Because the way it describes the DM and the adventure. Does not even need me at the table. The DM is handling ALL of it. All my choices, all my actions, to how my character was made. Guess what, I ran into a DM and group like that and they Hated me. It was a small convention and 3rd edition had just come out. I rolled up a smart fighter. Someone that had old military gear and taken on being an adventurer.… Read more »

Merendel
Merendel
1 month ago
Reply to  Sebastian

Thats not really a rule 0 problem. In no way are they changeing the rules of the game in the name of fun (at least not visibly in this strip) What they are doing is ignoring the DM’s carefully constructed breadcrumbs and running off after a trail of pie crumbs the DM carelessly scattered with a throw away comment. Believe it or not many many groups will chaseing off after the darndest things that had no relation to the main plot while playing all the rules as writen. The mark of a great DM is one that can just roll… Read more »

Sebastian
Sebastian
1 month ago
Reply to  Merendel

You are right, it’s not about. I linked above the correct article for the DM problem.

Timeghost
Timeghost
1 month ago

I laughed way too hard at this strip.

Doodm4n
Doodm4n
1 month ago

“No plan survives contact with the enemy” – Helmuth von Moltke

I love this qoute, well paraphrase and it fits with anything…. Including when dealing with your players.

Unvoiced_Apollo
Unvoiced_Apollo
1 month ago

So reminds me of our games…though we directly cause the derailment instead of simply picking made up clues. Nothing like having to force our DM to create a court case after two characters assault an arch mage checking to make sure we weren’t cursed with lycanthropy.

Zeshin
Zeshin
1 month ago

This may sound strange, but I prefer softcover for comics and hardcover for more substantial artbooks. Softcover makes it easier to carry around for casual on-the-go reading anywhere, not only because it’s lighter to carry but the flexible cover and bindings make it easier to open and spread out regardless of where you are. Eating dinner, lying back on the couch, sitting on the pot, walking around the house, I just find softcover to be better for comics reading. Hardcover gets more of the white glove treatment from me because they feel heftier and more substantial, they’ve got more weight… Read more »

Leon
Leon
1 month ago

……….Cake eating pie?

Doodm4n
Doodm4n
1 month ago

When shared on Facebook, it shows the books not the actual comic. Was going to ping on to a few of my former DMs….

Man of the West
Man of the West
1 month ago

DM problems

John Surber
John Surber
1 month ago

Out of curiosity; will there be a Console Wars book as well? That’s been one of my favorites.

Daniel Sørensen
Daniel Sørensen
1 month ago

Hardcover all the way.
Especially, since the CAD v.1 collection is also in hardcover. Now I know the dimensions won’t be the same, but having both in hardcover would give a better consistency on the bookshelf.
I also hope, that once we have enough of a series, that you do consider offering a bookcase for them, if that is something people want. But that’s waaaaaaaaaay down the line.
All in all. HC is what I associate with special editions.

Unagiman
Unagiman
1 month ago

I’m always thankful that I got into D&D with friends at the age where people were eager to let you tell a story. The one time I had a player get upset was when he walked into the offices of a theocracy and said “hey we would love to help you out with those rebels who are trying to overthrow the king”. Even after it was unearthed that the rebels were in fact backed by the priesthood in an attempt to unseat a particularly effective/willful king he was still upset that the priest he talked to politely told him to… Read more »

Hunter
Hunter
1 month ago

My friend’s very first time as a GM was using the ole Warhammer Fantasy roleplay system. He devised a simple plot where the forces of Chaos were marching on the city the players were in. Things went off the rails quickly. The players decided they needed horses. But they didn’t have money to buy even one horse. So they decided to steal the horses. How did they do it? By setting fire to a nearby building in order to distract everyone. The fire spread and engulfed half the city. Not once did the players address the fact that the forces… Read more »

Halosty
Halosty
1 month ago
Reply to  Hunter

Were the *true* forces of chaos banging at the gate… or sitting at the table? I think we all know the answer to that.

Hunter
Hunter
1 month ago
Reply to  Halosty

There’s been some games where our collateral damage count would make Abaddon look embarrassed and tell us to maybe tone it back a bit.

J.D.
J.D.
1 month ago

I wonder if Tim is going to do a page about adobe flash finally dieing. I mean how is adobe going to get people to unintentionally install Mcafee now? 🙂

Rhapsody
Rhapsody
1 month ago

Mmmm. Necropastries.

Humsterr
Humsterr
1 month ago

If I were that DM I would’ve just decided that dark elves do not like pastry and that is the one feature that may help adventurers to recognise them. And most of bar’s patrons are already dark elves.

Mael
Mael
1 month ago

SC/HC would imho depend on the price of the book itself. If the book is expensive, I would like to see HC, as it is an investment and I would like to see it last a while. If it is inexpensive (less than 20 bucks) a HC would be overkill imho and would just artificially make it expensive.