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Someone wrote on reddit (paraphrasing) "@MonteJCook's Invisible Sun has a $99 PDF. That's ridiculous. No PDF is worth that much."

They're wrong. Let me tell you why you're not paying enough for your RPGs.

P.S. Sorry for picking on you, Monte.

#ttrpg #rpg #rpgwork #gamedesign
For starters, let's set aside "it's 80 different digital components" and arguments like that. One file or a dozen, $99 is still a reasonable price for a complete game system.
First, let's think about how we typically consume games. Unless it's the big one (cough dnd), it's a pretty safe bet that there is one copy of the rulebook per table.

Someone sees a neat system and says "hey, I'll pick this up, the group would love it" and they go from there.
Maybe additional copies of the game get purchased by the table, but honestly probably not, since once characters are made, one typically doesn't need to do extensive rulebook reading.
So we're looking at $99 spread across four or five people. That's super reasonable.
PLUS, we have need to think about how we play games. There are some things where we pay once and get a finite experience. Think rollercoasters, theatre, concerts.
That's not the case for (most) RPGs. Once you get the rulebook, you've got access to virtually unlimited amounts of play time. Very quickly, when we look at it from a price-per-hours-per-player the cost of a game trends towards zero.
In that sense, RPGs are like video games and my Dragonlance novels.

(Go Huma go)
"Okay, but why care?" you might ask.
You should care because of this sad truth - there is virtually no money in producing RPGs. This industry is a terrible way to earn a living. Are there exceptions? Sure, but the general rule trends toward poverty.
The average writer earns less than 10 cents a word. Look at the tremendous controversy when @DungeonCommandr posted that statement saying that QTPoC wouldn't accept less than seven cents a word for writing.
What was one of the most common refrains?

"I'm a published writer, a veteran of this hobby, and I've never made seven cents a word."

How much is seven cents a word? I'll put it into perspective.
I recently finished a Masters program. My final project was designing an AI that could determine whether an infectious disease was capable of spreading throughout a hospital, given an infected patient and a record of activity in the hospital.
It took years to complete, In the end, I turned in more than 70,000 words between the paper and programming.

If that was an RPG, I'd have made $4,900 at market rates.

It's shameful.
Want to guess how much RPG editors make? It's less than writers.

The general mood of RPG-producing twitter tends toward poverty. This is an incredibly difficult industry in which to make a living. It's heartbreaking.
Full stop, the smart choice for talented people is to take their abilities elsewhere so they can afford food and a roof.
If we want a healthy, robust RPG industry that can provide for things such as a livable wage for the people, we need to be ready to pay for it.
I don't mean "livable wage" in a political, full communism yesterday sense. I mean creatives need to eat, and they can't live in a box under the freeway

If I see one more established, respected RPG producer start a gofundme because their bank put them in overdraft, I'm gonna cry
A willingness to pay more means that this industry will professionalize. If we want to have a thriving, vibrant, creative RPG industry, we need to be ready to pay a price that allows the creative talent that we know exists to thrive in this space.
Our hobby was rocked by a horrendous #metoo scandal just the other month. I won't rehash names because we all know the parties involved (except you, Zak, I'm calling you out).
Professionalization of this industry means more money for important business structures like actual HR departments. HR departments that won't tolerate harassment and take action against the perpetrators.
We're all here because we love this hobby. We enjoy playing these games.

We owe it to ourselves to make sure that this industry is sustainable. That it doesn't just chew up and discard the designers, writers, and artists that make the games we love.
Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

In conclusion, please pay your creators more.

Fite me.
Holy shit. This blew up. Support these creators: @swordpeddler @BradJMurray @DastrdlyDave @machineiv @Magnusthi
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