To the one hundred-and-thirty-seventh Briefing and twelfth scheduled Briefing of 2022. Despite the mistitling of the forum version of the previous Briefing, this really is the December Briefing!
Dragonmeet and RMU
We were unbelievably fortunate with Dragonmeet. No train strikes were called for the 3rd December. The hardcover and the softcover proof copies did arrive in time and on the same day. Much relief that both were fine. We decided to take a chance – I ordered five hardcover copies to be sent to me in the hopes that they would arrive with me in time to take down to Dragonmeet. The next day I ordered another five copies to be printed and shipped to Colin. All of these were hardcover – despite a softcover proof having been ordered and indeed received by me, the DriveThru system bizarrely thought the book was still being checked by Lightning Source and would not allow me to order any additional softcover copies.
Thursday 1st December – still no sign of the ten new hardcovers. While preparing for a virtual parents’ evening, I receive a missed call on my mobile phone (or cellphone) from the States. Following the parents’ evening, there’s a voicemail and a followup email from Pete Fenlon with a request for an improved way of presenting the original Rolemaster credits and an explanation of who actually did what. It makes complete sense and I race a change request to Nick Morawitz for the pdf.
Friday 2nd December early morning, I receive emails from DriveThru that the hardcovers have shipped. Both sets. (Yes, I ordered them on consecutive days but they print and ship at the same time. Go figure.) From experience, this means they actually dispatched on the Thursday. I forward the tracking code to Colin; I watch my tracking code nervously as I am on premises at the University of Suffolk – will the delivery driver send the books over the side gate unceremoniously, leave them with a neighbour, or just decide to try to deliver another day. Colin’s set arrives without incident; mine are deposited at a pickup point at a nearby minimarket, I get a train back from Ipswich and collect the box with 30 minutes to spare before the minimarket would have closed. A corrected pdf is uploaded onto DriveThru in preparation for Saturday.
Saturday morning before 6am, I activate the RMU Core Law pdf for sale. (The preview did not activate – a checkbox got unchecked probably when I uploaded the corrected pdf – the preview is now live). Team Cambridge heads for London and Dragonmeet with six hardcovers and the only softcover in existence of RMU Core Law. John and Colin make their separate ways towards Dragonmeet with the rest of the stock. I have sold the first hardcover copy before John and Colin even arrive, let alone the trade hall opening to the public. Colin is with me for the morning session and is desperately trying to keep up with questions and comment on the forums, Twitter, Facebook and the Discord server. By 11am, all of the hardcovers have been sold and we are keeping a “Disappointed at Dragonmeet” email list of everyone who wanted to buy a copy but was too late. (Could we have printed more copies? Yes. Would they have arrived in time …?) The sole softcover was reserved for a fan who was prepared to escape his afternoon game just shy of 6pm (when the trade hall was to close) in order to allow us to use it as a display copy to all the folks who came by the stand between 11 and 6. He did get his copy. We will be in touch with everyone on the email list about their discounted hardcovers in due course
Dragonmeet was very busy this year and when we were not selling and talking RMU, we were selling the new and the old HARP and Shadow World books.
RMU Core Law is already a Gold seller on DriveThru which is incredibly pleasing. Thank you to everyone who has purchased a copy.
Points of Order
We have had some suggestions that we should run a Kickstarter in order to fund even more impressive artwork for RMU Core Law. No. Artwork is in the eye of the beholder – some people are quite content with the artwork in RMU Core Law, some like it, some would prefer other pieces. More critically, running a Kickstarter, commissioning artists, reworking the layout to incorporate the artwork will take months. I am much more interested in getting RMU Spell Law finished and published, RMU Treasure Law finished and published, HARP Subterfuge in print, and so forth, and I suspect most of you would prefer us to do this too.
Simultaneously some have considered the price point of 30 USD, discounted to 25 USD, for the pdf to be too high. If you could hop in a time machine and go back to 1995 and buy a physical copy of Rolemaster Standard Rules, the last true new edition of Rolemaster, it would cost 30 US dollars. Plug that number into a handy online inflation calculator for 2022 money, and that would morph into $58.66 at the time of writing for 2022 (and will probably be worse by the end of this year.) The reality is that all of the costs required to make a product have gone up but some publishers and fans forget this and the price points for new products get locked into the price points that made sense for products released years ago.
You will have noted that the print copies of RMU Core Law are not on sale at the moment. We are collating any errata (because something always gets through, so please post anything you find on the ICE forums) and will make the needful corrections to the pdf and the print masters such that these are available in January. And yes, there will be bundle deals on DriveThru.
Max has been incredibly busy and he has already prepared the ERA software for RMU and he has already prepared the ERA datasets for RMU Core Law and RMU Spell Law. Both of those will go live shortly.
Expect the pdf version of RMU Spell Law to release on DriveThru in the new year.
Until next time
As the next scheduled Briefing will be in the new year, all that remains for me to do is wish you a very Merry Christmas (or other holiday of your choice) and a happy new year.
Director, Iron Crown Enterprises Ltd