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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Noble Knight is Selling CURRENT POD Releases at Over 100% Mark Up

+Rob Conley mentioned this at Bat in the Attic earlier today and I'm doing what I can to spread the word.

Noble Knight is selling currently available Print on Demand books at over 100% mark up. While it is certainly legal, it is something the RPG Community should be made aware of. Don't be taken advantage.

Rob's Scourge of the Demon Wolf is $14.99 for the Print plus PDF at RPGNow.

How much does Noble Knight want for the same book in Print only? $35 ($30 for a VG+ copy)

And here's the kicker - they claim it isn't in print.

Of course its in print - its f'n Print on Demand!

But its not just Rob's stuff. Venger Satanis has even a huger mark up.

Venger's The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence is $14 for the Print plus PDF at RPGNow.

How much is it at Noble Knight? 50 Bucks. Oh, and apparently not in print either. More BS.


Revelry in Torth? $11 Print and PDF at RPGNow. $25 at Noble Knight.

Liberation of the Demon Slayer? $12 in Print and PDF at RPGNow. $25 at Noble Knight.

This is all I checked. If there is a need I'll dig deeper but this goes to show its not a one off mistake but a deliberate and huge markup to catch their customers unaware. Remember, these products are Print on Demand and available as such. They are most certainly NOT out of print.

Edit - Noble Knight games has posted contact info in the comments if there are future pricing issues that rise to the level of notification: (608)-758-9901 or sales@nobleknight.com

Extra Edit: No caffeine makes Tenkar a Grumpy Dwarf - I was grumpier than usual, and more than KNG deserved. They have promised to address such issues going forward. I promise try and be less Grumpy.



I've included affiliate links for RPGNow for the above products. Purchases made through The Tavern's affiliate links got to support The Tavern.

31 comments:

  1. I do really enjoy Noble Knight's reduction in price on all of the actually out-of-print products but, yeah, you should check to see if the item is PoD/available elsewhere.

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  2. I have a feeling that this isn't meant to "catch people unaware". This is Noble Knight we're talking about, the nice folks who Ken sold materials to that were meant for one of his Kickstarters, who swallowed the loss and got those items out to backers.

    More likely a far less sinister back story to this.

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  3. I have contacted them several times about insanely marked up prices. Each time they claim they are letting someone know and then nothing changed. Degenesis Rebirth (used) currently is listed at 80 bucks more than a brand new one. They had Petty Gods for sale too, also at an outrageous price, despite it being cheap on Lulu.


    Noble Knight is the only company I won't buy anything from at this point, due to their pricing practices. Shady as hell.

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    1. Disregard on Degenesis Rebirth, just checked and they finally did drop the price.

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    2. Kinda sorta. Since they still include their original asking price as a "Price Reduced/Was/You Save", and listing it as out of print, it gives people not in the know the impression it's actually a rarity and they're getting a fabulous deal ("Why?!? $100 off? MINE!!").

      Really ticks me off as this was, from the beginning, intended to be an At Cost PoD community project. Now someone's making a profit off it, however small that profit may be.

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. Still on ebay at $125 as "buy it now"

      http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Big-Dragon-Games-RPG-Petty-Gods-Revised-Expanded-SC-NM-/152603394397?hash=item2387df015d

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  4. It is the buy it now price that is so high. I get the point of an auction, but for the buy it now price to be more than POD price AND claiming it isn't in print, not good.
    Either the person responsible for posting these doesn't know about POD through ignorance or not being an RPG fan; or the worst, a deliberate attempt to catch the unwary.
    I don't have either of those POD products, but another POD product I have does not have any indication of it being POD.
    However, a quick Google search for the names has the top link as RPGNow for one and DriveThruRPG for the other. In the business of selling online, you'd think they'd do a quick search to see what their market is.
    At minimum, it just looks really bad/tacky.
    Hopefully, they admit their fault and fix it and don't just blame it on an unnamed incompetent employee.

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  5. In my experience Noble Knight lives up to its name. They have always been fair and just in their dealings with me and any complaints I have had over the years have been handled properly (and were minor in the first place). These items are not currently in print. They are print on demand, which actually IS an entirely different thing in the publishing world. PoD has its own issues and flaws:I have bought PoD products that came from the printer with binding errors, missing pages, reversed sections, and/or upside down pages. That has happened in around 10% (your experience may vary) of my purchases and while most of these were corrected fairly easily it still meant time wasted while they reprinted and reshipped my product. Noble Knight's business model seems predicated on making sure things are right and making extra sure that they take care of anything that isn't right. Thus the assumption is that they have actual copies in stock that are correctly printed, assembled, and bound. This eliminates a lot of the PoD risks that, while rare, can and do still happen. Is it worth the cost? Not for me since none of these products look all that interesting, but the final call is up to the individual buyer.

    Boilerplate: I am not an employee of nor affiliated with Noble Knight though I have been a customer of theirs in the past. I have worked in publishing, but that has no influence on my opinions here. The rule is and always should be caveat emptor: "let the buyer beware". Do your research, set your price and standards, and don't get gulled.

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    1. "These items are not currently in print. They are print on demand, which actually IS an entirely different thing in the publishing world."

      FYI, every single one of my softcover RPG books is print-on-demand. Kort'thalis Publishing doesn't have any other kind of print-version outlet.

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    2. And also very small. When you grade hundreds of items each week it's probably the indies where all the mistakes accumulate simply because they probably rarely show up twice. I bet they have a rather exact pricing guide for all things TSR D&D and printed at higher volumes because those rares probably bring in the money for them.

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  6. I'm a frequent customer, and I also live an hour away from their location and have been their to buy in person many a time. I've always been treated well. I feel like this is probably just an honest mistake on their part, and if someone called them on it they would fix it. Either way, someone should call them on it.

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  7. Thanks for getting the word out Erik.

    @Thomas, I ordered several products from Noble Knight except for one issue had no trouble with them. The one issue was that I order a particular product with a specific cover and they sent me another one. Since there was only one available and I wanted the gaming material I didn't bother with a stink.

    I am highlighting this because Nobles Knights has flaws as well as strengths. If they wanted a sterling reputation they need to show pictures of the actual products and not pull pricing crap.

    Given my spot check and Erik further check of other available OSR products this is an issue that Noble Knight will need to address or risk damage to their reputation. If I found Scourge slightly higher than I would not have mentioned it but a 100% mark up on an available products deserves some serious mocking and criticism.

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  8. A similar thing happened with Petty Gods and the excuse was they could not find any information about it so assumed it was a rare product. As more and more individuals put out POD products, people like Noble Knight Will have to do better about researching the books they're selling. In most cases, if they just did a search at OBS or Lulu.com, that would actually clarify things.

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  9. Hello,

    Good afternoon and I hope you are all doing well. I was very lucky in that a Facebook friend alerted me to this post so I could investigate further. Here at Noble Knight Games, we strive to not only offer Out of Print or In Print items, but at fair prices as well. As soon as I read this I took the information to our head cataloger to review and in some instances, change prices (which was done). What we discovered was that pricing in some cases was not fair on our end and we did remedy that.

    The other thing we discovered was that RPGNow is running a sale on those PoD items mentioned. While we can't match those at this time, our pricing was changed to reflect retail prices.

    In the future, we would love it if you guys would let us know when you spot these sorts of inconsistencies in pricing. I can personally look into it for you and make sure it gets corrected. Also, many of our prices are negotiable on items, so shoot me an email and I'll see what I can work out for you! You can reach me directly to address comments and concerns either by phone or email.(608)-758-9901 or sales@nobleknight.com

    If I can be of further assistance please let me know and have a wonderful day!

    Best Regards,
    Naomi Houser
    Customer Service Associate
    Noble Knight Games

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    1. Without sale pricing (not sure what sale is going on at RPGNOW) LotDS would be $20 and SotDW would still be $15 in print w/o PDF.

      I know that NKG does a large volume of buying and selling. I assume before making a purchase that a quick check is made. I found all 4 items in this articles, listed as POD at RPGNow in less than 5 minutes. Way less, as they were all the first link returned by google (all at RPGNow)

      I acknowledge that NKG has done some solid support for the RPG community in the past (absorbing Ken Whitman's fiasco in Traveller Ships the most notable) which made today's discoveries all the more surprising. Finding one mistake would have been not all remarkable. Four in the first four POD products in stock that I looked? That was shocking. Judging from some of the comments, this isnt a first instance with strange pricing of OSR POD and I hope NKG can come to up with an in house procedure to prevent such issues in the future.

      I appreciate the contact info as I am sure the community at large does too.

      I apologize if my tone was... antagonistic (which might even be too polite a characterization) ... there are times I should not post prior to caffeine.

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    2. No trouble at all! We have to wait for the system to post the updated prices, but we have been in contact with Rob about how he would like us to proceed with these listings going forward. We do strive to have the best prices out there, but with over 600,000 unique listings, these price changes can get missed. This is why we appreciate the community keeping us honest. Without you guys, we don't have a business. :)

      -Naomi

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    3. I will be contacting you shortly, Naomi, about selling Kort'thalis Publishing books directly from me (the author and publisher).

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    4. That would be the MOST fantastic, Venger!! I look forward to your email. :)

      -Naomi

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  10. Thanks Naomi,

    I was just getting ready to post that I found the tone of Erik's piece way out of line compared to the amazing integrity that I've found with Noble Knight Games for years and years. I honestly put them at the high level of customer service and trying to do the right thing.

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  11. I mean these were the guys that when they found out Ken sold them Traveler Ships and KODT books that were supposed to go out to backers for the KickStarter ... they shipped them for FREE ... THEY covered the shipping and they didn't charge for the items that they had paid Ken for. Worked directly with Jolly and me to make sure they went out. A company that does that ... is not going to screw over customers on purpose in my opinion and my history with the company.

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  12. I used to work for Aaron and from my experience that guy is not trying to cheat people out of their money. He's a respectable guy but he's also running a business, he's got a comprehensive cataloging system but it's also such a huge library of titles that not everything is always 100% accurate. I know! I've sorted those books!

    Perhaps if you or Rob would have contacted Noble Knight through their email, right on their webpage, then Aaron or somebody who works for him could have fixed this before you decided to bilk some drama out of the misunderstanding for your blog.

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    1. Sorry but a 100% markup in multiple instances was way out of line. I am always willing to talk things out but if you look you will see many of out of stock items for OSR publishers were recent, Noble Knight profited by this and needs to own up to it. To their credit they responded promptly and correctly to me and I assume others and we worked it out. But it doesn't change the fact it is a huge mistake in the first place.

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  13. As fan of both Tenkar's and NK, (And Impact! for that matter) I want to say second what Impact! said. While I agree with what Tenkar said that tone seemed a bit harsh/quick for me. I am glad NK came here and posted a clarification/explanation.

    I think and thank Tenkar for his work in "policing" (pun intended) the OSR and gaming community as a while. I think he may have gotten a bit ahead of himself (tone wise) I am glad he is keeping an eye out and believe that this situation needed to be discussed.

    Also, I am glad Noble Night is living up it is well deserved and hard earned reputation. My somewhat limited interaction with them has always been top notch.

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    1. Frankly, lately this "policing" has gone astray a bit. Maybe there isn't much requiring policing. I appreciate heads up about rogue Kickstarters but besides the blatant known repeat offenders most of it is just for laughs, really.

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  14. As an overseas customer I wanted to say Noble Knights shipping to New Zealand is very reasonable. More so than Amazon and drive thru's. So even with the markup they might be cheaper for me.

    I had an issue with my order. Right book, wrong system. Noble Knight sent a replacement free of charge via courier. Left on a Thursday here on a Tuesday. I was exceptionally impressed. It was Naomi (the same as the above) who organized this.

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    1. You are very welcome! That's what I am here for. :)

      -Naomi

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  15. My first question on this debacle is, what is the difference between charging $70.00 for a Keep on the Borderlands module if you can print it out for 10 bucks with PoD due to WotC making them available? Obviously the paper will be different the maps will probably be different unless they are printing the blue colored maps on the interior flaps, but for all intents and purposes its the same exact content. Where do we draw the line? Where do we say okay this is a reprint and this is an original and the value in the original is = to X. Of course value on items like this is truly determined by how much the buyer is willing to pay. As an avid golden age and silver age comic book collector, I have scored quite a few treasures for a hell of a lot cheaper then Overstreet set the price point at. To be honest, most of my collection would not even be possible had I paid overstreet prices. I kind of feel the same way about RPG stuff, I buy it because I intend to read and use it not stick it on a shelf and speculate what I think it will be worth one day purchasing different copies of the same product to try to one day make a buck off another gamer.

    I am not devaluing the choices others make. Collections are all done for different reasons and my choices revolve on use not so much for nostalgia. The only reason I would think a currently available product would be worth more in original form over PoD is due to edition differences perhaps? But even that is very subjective. Unless some official entity comes out that makes an assigned value by impartial auction experts I do not honestly buy that any of these more recent editions to the RPG fold are worth anything more than the price point their original authors or teams of authors set. It is just like someone throwing up the temple of existential evil on ebay for 300 bucks. Why?? Justify where this price point is coming from. Low print runs of a mediocre product do not dictate worth (not saying the hackmaster ToEE is a mediocre product just using it as a name example) being increased unless something truly amazing came out of it. My two cents anyway.

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    1. Oh, and Nobleknight has never been anything but fair in dealings with me. when they made mistakes they fixed them for free with shipping covered as well. Every trade I have made with them has been fair, I can only think of one goof up and I barely had to ask for them to fix it and they were all over it! I am quite sure it was just oversight on their part. Pretty hard to check every single product for fluctuating changes in price as often as Amazon and Ebay dork with pricing.

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    2. POD B2 would not have a separate cover for one thing, which is the charm of the originals to many. Additionally, the removal covers simplify the play experience, as the DM can read map and text concurrently.

      Which is a large reason i like POD with PDF - so i can print out what i need at the table

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    3. I would say the difference is some people are more into collecting older products and would like to own the original printing of a TSR product. I own many TSR products because I bought them 20 or 30 years ago when they came out. Now I would like to buy the POD reprints so that I can keep my originals in good shape on the shelf. And the price point issue is up to what the market will bear.

      On a side note, a month ago I stopped at two different stores of a major used book store chain. I was surprised to see them selling POD editions of many old TSR products at much higher prices than what they go for on RPGNow. They seemed to be selling at the prices of what the original print products sell for there. I laughed but hope no one was taken in by this.

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