Happy Friday adventurers! I thought in today’s post that I would share an interesting article by a popular DM’s Guild Adventure Writer, Jeff C. Stevens. In this article, it provides a deeper insight into what goes into creating adventures and how rating the product on websites actually does matter. Give it a read!
You have a special power to wield in adventure creation!
As an RPG adventure writer, I yearn to know what people think of my writing and storytelling. Yes, sales tell me that people think it looks good, or perhaps the blurb about the adventure caught their attention and convinced them to make the purchase. Don’t get me wrong; sales are fantastic! By selling product I can add to my creation budget – and there is a lot to fit into that small budget. Sales allow me to spend more on custom maps, colorful art, and fancy layouts. Without sales, I couldn’t continue to write. Putting together a nice adventure takes time and money. Many of us RPG adventure writers do this as a hobby with the fantastic idea of doing it for a living! Sites like the Dungeon Masters Guild and DriveThruRPG have given us the ability to share our stories with you. Even so, it’s hard to make a living writing adventures.
What we really love to see are ratings and reviews of our products. These are the ‘cherry on top’ for us writers. Especially the good reviews! No, we don’t like the bad reviews, but we understand they are necessary to help us, as writers, hone our skills and better our future products. We must learn to accept criticism and grow with each piece of feedback we receive. Sometimes it isn’t easy. It’s tough to read a poor review after spending weeks writing, money on art, and time away from family. But it is something we need! And it is something the product needs. Your review or rating tells potential customers this particular item is worth purchasing.
A 5-star rating implies, “Why haven’t you added this to your cart yet?” A 4-star rating implies the item is a ‘good buy’. 3-stars – it’s usable but may need a little work. 2-star and (gulp) 1-star basically tell the potential customer ‘don’t buy it – it needs work’ (but, keep in mind that you may still be able to use something out of it). Though I do ask, if you believe the product needs considerable work, that you please contact the writer first. Many of us mention a way you can contact us in our adventures. Please give us a chance to make corrections before you leave a 1 or 2-star review.
Something else to consider: we are not the big adventure writing houses that put out hardback books and have a team of editors, illustrators, cartographers, and layout design artists. As I mentioned, we are the hobby enthusiasts who want to create and share our stories with fellow gamers. Most of us will produce adventures that do not live up to the beautiful modules or PDFs you may buy from the big guys, so please don’t be too harsh on us if it doesn’t look as wonderful as their products. We try. But do you know how long it takes a 45-year-old non-tech guy to learn how to use graphic software? Uh…still learning! I recently downloaded a trial version of InDesign. I started the program, took a quick look around the tool bar, and then I closed the program. InDesign is a fantastic product, but it would take me too long to learn how to use it effectively. I’ve learned how to use just a little bit of Photoshop, but just enough to create enticing covers using stock art and commissioned art.
So, if you have ever purchased, or are about to purchase, an RPG adventure, I beseech you to go back and leave a review of the product on the product page, or rate it accordingly. This is just one way you can help support the adventure writers that you enjoy, and give back to the gaming community. And know, that when you do leave feedback, we listen. And if you happen to leave great feedback, well, imagine someone jumping around and singing, “They liked my adventure, they liked my adventure!” We don’t ask for a lot. A few words are really all that is needed. But, if you want to tell us about something fantastic that occurred while playing the adventure – WE WILL LISTEN! I love to hear these stories. You have no idea how much I would love to be that ‘fly-on-the-wall’ and watch my adventures played out.
The same applies to the fantastic RPG bloggers, podcasters, and vloggers you follow. Don’t forget to leave reviews for them! They, too, put a lot of time and money into what they do.
Thank you for listening to my plea! Now – go play some RPGs!