Saturday, November 15, 2014

How the Bloody Hell is THIS the Free Product of the Week at RPGNow?!?

Iron Age RPG, how much do I hate thee? I remember when you were just an annoying wee lad with a failed Indiegogo Campaign (well, "flexible funding" never really fails i guess) whose creators spent most of their time spamming The Tavern's comment section with links to their project.
Now they are selling their rules on RPGNow. More power to them. 

Here's the fucked up thing. The Free RPG Product of the Week for DriveThruRPG / RPGNow is the Iron Age FRP Basic Rules Booklet. How many mistakes do you see on the cover? 

Before we go further, this is not a "basic" version of the rules. You can not play the game with these rules, they are more like highlights and summaries. So, unless you plunk down $12.41 for the rules, this is pretty worthless.

Actually, I'm wrong. This is invaluable, as it will prevent anyone who spends 5 minutes reading it from loosing money on actually purchasing the full rules.

Look at the sample page below. The first two sentences have at least three grammatical mistakes. It's obvious that the author is not a native English speaker (as was obvious from the now defunct Indiegogo page and the spam comments on this side) which in and of itself isn't a horrible thing. Still, at the very least they should have used a native English speaker to proofread. Apparently that was too much of an effort. This shit makes the average Troll Lords release appear to be professionally edited.

Which leads me to another thought - does anyone at RPGNow bother to read this shit before labeling something "Free Product of the Week?" How about "The Pick of the Week?" Does any effort go into that? Just how the fuck did this train wreck get picked?

First person that posts a detailed proofread with corrections in the comments section gets a $5 RPGNow gift certificate from me. It's the least I can do for anyone that braves the whole product.

I will admit the cover looks cool. Maybe that's how they decided at OBS...


  1. Me reminds of the Last in Line (Dio) album cover. For eases of listening. Left-handed elves much cool also.

  2. I actually paid money for this about a year ago. The cover art and a very positive review are what lured me in. The review had some broken English but it sounded like a game I'd like to read at the least and maybe even try to play. Then I bought the book. The first thing I noticed is that the rules were written in the same broken English as the review. Son of a bitch the authors wrote a bogus review! Man I was pissed. Then I started to read the rules and see what an absolute mess they were. Horrible. There are multiple traits that sound the same and do very similar things. Stamina, Toughness, Muscle, Endurance, "Reduction"? and Protection all have something to do with how tough and hardy you are. You use numbers from one stat to derive some of the other stats so its tangled web of numbers that can't function on their own. Within a day of buying it, I had written a strongly worded letter to the RPGNow customer support. My RPGNow library is immense. Literally hundreds of items I've bought and paid for. Never once have I asked for a return even though some buyers remorse has obviously existed. But this case was different. I found the ruleset so horrible and the shill review so blatant and offensive that I pretty much demanded my money back. Thankfully, RPGNow was immediate in their compliance. They sent the refund within an hour. Made me thing they KNEW this was a stinking turd in their catalog. SO now I love RPGNow even more. I'm honestly very curious how this became the free product of the week. It's honestly not even worth that.

    1. Maybe they knowingly made this a free product to actively *demote* the paid-product....

    2. Interesting theory. Malicious, but certainly possible. Beings I think the RPGNow folks are good/legit, I have to think they'd simply remove it from their catalog before they'd actively undermine one of their "partners". Shrug, who knows?

  3. I am just revisiting the D&D genre after a multi-decade absence but this speaks very well of the RPGNow business ethic. At some point our time is worth more than our money. At least they didn't waste both!


  4. Man this gets free product pick of the week and not Blackmarsh?

  5. There's even a punctuation error ON THE COVER (that bizarrely placed semicolon) not to mention that the words of the title should be capitalized. Not a good start.

  6. Replies
    1. It's one thing to have typos and grammar errors in a blog post (which technically are living documents that often get much proofing and are a different form of media than other traditional forms) and another to be releasing a published product that is meant to have gone through at least a single proofing and editing phase before releasing. Especially when funds have been collected to release said product.

      Typos and errors happen in published products. That's why there's always errata. It happens to everyone from independents to the largest companies out there. It's a fact of life. They can easily be corrected in digital files, but it requires due diligence and effort to make sure that things are proofed and editing correctly, and even then things will slip through. But that's errata to fix things that are recognized as broken. When things aren't recognized as broken (such as the problems on the cover here) or not cared about (the interior text which is really mean to be a marketing tool for the main product) then that's when the failwhale appears.

  7. if you read it aloud in a Dan Aykroyd/Steve Martin Wild & Crazy Guy accent, it's comedy gold!


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