Monday, May 6, 2013

Gaming in the 'Verse: a Firefly RPG Preview Pre-Order - I Need To Know "Why Should I Pay $18 For a PDF Pre-Order?"

Want to spend 18 bucks on a PDF that won't be available for download until August 15th, 2013?

Want a PDF that apparently lacks Quickstart Rules, so you still have to wait even further to actually use the included adventures?

Want a preview of a game that won't be released until Winter 2013 (which just passed, so I think they mean 2014)?

Well, Gaming in the 'Verse will fill those needs for you! Pay now and wait over 3 months to see the good s- $18 for a PDF that is meant to sell a game in 2014. Wait, if it's meant to make future sales, why are we paying 18 bucks for it at all?

Lose the Marvel Heroic license and expect us to pre-order a PDF for 18 bucks that we won't see for 3 months? Seems like a money grab, but then I am a pessimist.

Hey, I love Firefly, but this seems seems less than honest, and reminds me of those D&D 3E preview books that made cash for Wizards and offered little in return.

From the blurb:

Gaming in the ‘Verse: Gen Con 2013 Exclusive is a Firefly RPG convention special that will debut at the Margaret Weis Productions booth during Gen Con: Indianapolis from August 15 through the 18th.

This PDF pre-order is for the digital, full-color version of this exclusive and will be available to fans worldwide. Gaming in the 'Verse will include preview material that will be expanded upon and published in the upcoming Firefly Role-Playing Game based on the popular Fox television series created by Joss Whedon.

* Sample Art and Full-Color Map Previews
* Select Chapter Previews
* "Wedding Planners" a playable Echoes of War adventure written by Margaret Weis
* "Shooting Fish" a playable Echoes of War adventure written by Andrew Peregrine
* "Serenity Crew" a collection of stand-alone characters compatible with the Echoes of War line
* Chinese pronunciation guide
* ...and more!

All game material provided in Gaming in the 'Verse: Gen Con 2013 Exclusive will employ the Cortex Plus mechanic. The estimated release for the Firefly RPG is Winter 2013.

Both stand-alone Echoes of War adventures and the Serenity Crew characters will be available separately on DriveThruRPG.com in digital.

On the Thursday of Gen Con (August 15, 2013), you'll receive an email from DriveThruRPG telling you that your purchase is ready for download. To make sure you don't miss the notice, head on over to your account settings on DriveThruRPG and modify accordingly to make sure you can receive emails from Margaret Weis Productions. If that option is not to your liking, tick your calendar to access your DriveThruRPG library on August 15th and download away!


  1. I think the year for the season is when it begins.. so Winter 2013 might be right..

  2. Hello:

    My name is Monica and I'm the brand manager for the new license. I'd like to help clear up any confusion.

    Both adventures, as stated in the product description, are *fully* playable. This means that yes, they *will* include Quickstart rules. You will not have to wait to play these adventures. If you like more crunch in your games, you may want to wait for the Firefly RPG corebook.

    Both adventures and the "Serenity Crew" release will be released separately as well. If you don't want to get the Exclusive, then you can still play in the 'Verse. Margaret's adventure, "Wedding Planners" will be released twice along with the "Serenity Crew" in both Cortex Classic and Cortex Plus. The reason why we're releasing that title in dual systems, is because we're helping older fans get acclimated to Cortex Plus. The rest of the line is Cortex Plus.

    The Firefly RPG preview will clearly highlight where the game development is headed and give fans a chance to participate in the discussion. We are not making it a requirement for fans to buy; the idea is to give a sneak peek and some easter eggs for the game that will be out Winter 2013.

    We projected Winter 2013 because that is when we'll likely be able to deliver. Winter, for us, begins late October and goes through December 31st. Once the corebook is done, we have to submit for Fox approval. So our target date cannot be specific because even when our part is finished, our partners will be involved with the process.

    As I mentioned earlier, when we announced the license in March we got to work right away. This was well before any of us knew anything about Marvel. I came on board to reflect new company goals; to get great games developed, polished, and released in a more timely fashion. The release schedule reflects that; we haven't announced everything yet.

    I'm available for questions if anyone has them and I encourage you to follow my design notes to keep up-to-date with the latest information. We are taking a more transparent tack with what's happening on the license and will communicate what's going on as we have more news to share.


  3. Then think of it as a Kickstarter...

  4. Monte Cook's Numenera is also currently offering a preorder for the PDF of the game which won't be released until August. I think some companies are trying this out as a new marketing idea. Will it work? I'm not sure.

  5. In the age of Kickstarters and people who actually back such things.....this doesn't seem odd to me at all. Not something I'd put money on, of course, but this seems honestly like less of a risk than just about 90% of the KS projects you report on.

    1. If it was a pre-order of the actual game, maybe I'd see it differently.

      It isn't. It's a marketing preview and apparently a Quickstart that they are asking $18 for in PDF.

      If the price was $10 it would be less offensive, but $18 for a PDF preview? and a pre-order at that?

      It's the combination of price and purpose that I find offensive. It's not like I can deduct the $18 of the price of the game. Besides, if the pre-order preview PDF is $18, how much ss the game PDF going to be? $30? 40?

  6. This strikes me the same way as paying to get into a beta test. The latest Star Wars game did the same thing.

    I wouldn't call it offensive. They're up front about what you're getting and it's not required. I consider it a gimmick, but it's not going to jack up the price of the final game. Nor does it sound like it's going to effect the release date of the full game. So in those regards I prefer it to other things they could be trying.

  7. Today, I have gotten approval to post the full Table of Contents for this 250+ page game book. Hope this sheds some light on what's in this game book!


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