Friday, January 21, 2011

Gen Con 2011 - Ghosts of Albion

So Gen Con 2011 is only like 194 days away!  Where did the time go!!

I am going. I am going to run some games.
Here is my issue though.

Should I run Ghosts of Albion?

Every year I go I run Ghosts of Albion, I provide everything people need to play including sheets, a printed rule book and dice.  AND I let people keep the cheat sheets, character sheets and dice.  I do this on my own dime because I care for this game a lot.

But it seems I am the only one.

Look I don't want to get snarky here, but I run this game all the time I promote it, I make sure that people leave the game feeling like they had a great time.  Not to brag, but I get people telling me it was the best game of the whole Con for them.  I work hard on it.

Is it too much to ask then that the publisher actually you know, have books to sell?

I am not asking for free books. I just want the book that has been done for YEARS (that I still have not been paid for) to be out.

This year it is weighing on me.
I want to run Ghosts, but the joy is getting sucked out of me every time I have to say "no, you can't buy it yet. No I don't know when."  It is very discouraging.

So.  Anyone out there want to play Ghosts of Albion at Gen Con this year?
Should I run something new?


Tim Knight said...

It almost feels a shame to run it "out of obligation"; aren't you endanger of falling out of love with your own baby? There is already hints of that in your article.

Perhaps it would be better to take a break from Ghosts and run something else, then perhaps by next year Eden might have gotten round to publishing it and you'd have two years worth of stored creative anticipation to capitalize on.

But what do I know? Just my two cents

5stonegames said...

Grain of salt as I do not go to cons for various reasons (can't afford them, don't want to buy anything, mild disinterest, hate crowds ) and wouldn't run GOA of I could go ...

Like the system lots, disinterested in the setting (and yes have seen the media)

Whatever the situations its not your job to single handedly promote Edens near vaporware.

Its a great game but they are abusing you by not paying you for work done or not supporting your promotion efforts.

Yes I know economic troubles all that but there are limits to what even the most loyal supporter should put up with.

You should not be buying dice, doing all the work and not even getting a decent atta-boy or a clear notion on when you have product to sell. Its just not fair.

Now I love Eden Studios games but they need to have a little more professionalism. finish one thing, onto another.

And don't except the "We have PDF's" excuse either. People don't go to a con to buy PDF's of some game they played. They go to buy stuff, not "files"

If they want to be a PDF only company, thats fine but they'll have to take the consequences for that. Otherwise before they decide to add Hack/Slash or yet another AFMBE book and incur those costs, they should finish what they promised years ago.

OK whew, rant over

Now Tim, if you decide not to run this year, do write them a polite "why" letter. They will need to know.

Heck if they don't read your blog, if you haven't drop Alex or George an E-Mail and let them know whats going on . Maybe at that point they can work something out.

5stonegames said...

A bit of an extra as I don't want to be a hypocrite , my professionalism isn't all that either . My production is glacial and I don't fault Eden here for that.

I have heard the story and stuff happens.

OTOH I only work one thing at a time, have no freelancers, few fans :( no assistance and owe no one money.

No one is paying money out of pocket or alas waiting in anything either.

NO matter what, I wish them the very best over there at Eden. Its been a rough couple of years for them.

Anonymous said...


Played in your "Ghosts" game last year at Gencon and, frankly, got turned on to the game because of you. Had already purchased the rules the year before, but had done nothing with it.

Your running of the game really helped sell me on the Cinematic Unisystem game, and I hope you know that I really appreciated your patience and (almost) gleeful exposition of the scenario.

Long story short... I'd be disappointed if you decided NOT to run another scenario for this year's Gencon... But I'll still seek you out and play whatever you're running.

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

Were I going, I would like to play GOA, just to give it a try. As I'm not, you're free to disregard this completely. It's not really an actual vote; I'm just trying to give you a larger sample size o help you make your decision.

Pun Isaac said...

I'm going to agree with some of the things that have been mentioned. As great as your games sound, you should probably take a break, because you don't want to have more negative feelings associated with a project you love.

If I was attending Gencon, I'd love to play in any game you ran. However I live in Ohio and only have money for one con a year and Origins is what I choose (especially since I now live in Columbus and attend classes right by the convention center).

Timothy S. Brannan said...

Thanks all. You have made some really great points.

@5Stone: Thanks for the support! I understand what you are saying and a lot of it is very true. Though I do buy the dice because it is something I like to do. I like the idea of people pulling out their "Ghost Die" to use.

@Anonymous: Thanks so much! I appreciate hearing these things.

@All: thanks. I have to decide today I think.

I do have one other factor to think about. My kids want me to run a D&D game too. which has nothing to do with my current or future feelings about whether I run Ghosts, save for time.

Tyler said...

I totally understand wanting to avoid burnout, but it's pretty clear Ghosts of Albion is your baby. You wouldn't have supported it on your own for so long if it weren't.

If I were at Gen Con, I'd sign up for a game. And if it were me in your position, I'd probably stubbornly bull through, counting on my feelings changing over the next eight months.

Take that for what it's worth.

Rhonin84 said...


I know the story very well and I of course know you as well! GenCon should be fun for you, you are paying for your time there and you are putting in a lot of extra's that most would not. I offer you this compromise, run a ghosts game, one game slot maybe a bit longer but one game only. (Sean Connery voice if you get the reference.)

Then you can do whatever else you might want to do for yourself, friends and family. You have missed out on a lot the last few years because of your dedication and Eden's lack there of.

So go to GenCon run your game and then let your hair down and have some fun with the rest of us! Heck with as many kids as we are going to have down there this year we will have enough gaming opportunities.


Sean said...

Not being able to print GOA makes Eden look like poor business-people. Bad but forgivable. Not paying the author - anything - that's unforgivable.

When Mark MacKinnon (of Guardians of Order) ran into financial trouble, he sold his baby, BESM3, to make sure that the fans got the product and the contributors got paid. That must have hurt. I'm not sure it was the best move, but it was a class thing to do.

I think you're going to have to put Eden behind you, Tim. They were some guys that you trusted and they dicked you around, but that was years ago. They shouldn't factor into your thinking anymore. The question today is, do you want to run this game, or do you want to do something else?

Jason L Blair said...

My advice, for whatever it's worth:

If you're running it because you love it, run it.

If you're running it to promote the game, run it.

If you're running it to promote your work, run it.

If you're running it in hopes of building groundswell support so that Eden prioritizes its physical printing and one or more of the above also apply, run it.

If the above but none of the first three apply, don't run it.