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sndwurks

Keeping the Story Team

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I do like the idea of E-books myself. One big change I've seen on the gaming market with this is GamesWorkshop, who now provided the codex for the fantasy setting (age of sigmar now) for free online, instead of charging 30 or so dollars for it in the shops.

 

They are also charging 80$ for a single medium-sized character model, and it is something FFG can't exactly pull off with the L5R RPG. 

 

Indeed. I wasn't at all saying FFG should behave in anyway like them. The point was to demonstrate how companies are turning to EBook platform. :)

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So if Magic isn't paying their judges a living wage, and that's to judge in a game where there's a professional scene worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in prizes per year, there's no way FFG will be able to do the same for their Flight Crew. Although if they manage to square the circle and find a way to do so, good for them!

 

 

I very much doubt that it's going to be a living wage, but the fact that they're referred to as independent contractors suggests that it will at least be a wage (as in, actual dollars, not product). Good on FFG for doing that. I don't know the specific amount, though I do guess it will be pretty low. And it will certainly be very low for what independent contractors generally make in other fields (given that such rates should help offset all the fringe benefits earned by actual employees that independent contractors don't enjoy).

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I can't add much to what Gaffa said except for a data point: the rate for L5R RPG freelancers as of fourth edition was two cents a word.

 

Jesus, that's what I got on my very first project for them 15 years ago, and I pushed into a better rate pretty aggressively after that. It sucks they're paying even less today. :/

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Hello,

Adding my two cents (a word) to the discussion, I would like to give two facts gathered by the non-professionnal that I am but who do speak volumes.

 

  1. I remember reading about Shawn Carman, who was the Lead Writer for a long while mainly during Fourth Edition, and he  said that his main job was being a teacher, an actual  one not in a metaphoric sense. Being the Lead Writer for L5R was only a secondary job that his love of the game helped him perform.We can reason that even one of the  highest ranking members in the salary hierarchy, even the top one when it came to Story, did not make enough money to live off his job as a writer for L5R.
  2. I recently met on my workplace a member of the editing team of Casus Belli, a French magazine about roleplaying games founded in 1980. This person told me quite frankly that every author of the magazine, despite being the most prominent one in France on the subject, was not able to live with what they get paid for their articles, they all have jobs aside.

 

It may be hard for some to pay 50-70 (insert national currency) but keep in mind that those who write the books you love, if they only get paid with for those jobs, would not even be able to buy books at all. They all made a choice to do something they love for a pay that is quite low. I also make a choice when I buy a RPG book, the choice of not buying something else, because I love the game, and also to support the company producing it.

Please consider those pieces of information when you see the price tag on RPG book you love.

Edited by Mirumoto Kuroniten

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I can't add much to what Gaffa said except for a data point: the rate for L5R RPG freelancers as of fourth edition was two cents a word.

 

Jesus, that's what I got on my very first project for them 15 years ago, and I pushed into a better rate pretty aggressively after that. It sucks they're paying even less today. :/

 

 

I will... confirm that, yes, this is what I was paid.  I will also confirm that I originally thought that I was volunteering my time when I wrote for Masters of the Courts, way back when in 3rd Ed as my first project, so receiving the check in the first place was kind of a nice surprise.

 

Alright, so brass tacks here:  AEG thrived in part off of the raw loyalty of its fanbase, who were at times willing to donate time and talents in side-projects and spare time for their hobby, on a level that most RPG fandoms have never been willing to reach.  It permitted the company to enable a great many things in terms of storyline that have never been possible in games of comparable sizes, or even in much larger, fully staffed franchises in some cases.  But that loyalty was a real thing and continues to exist to this day to some extent, so there are a few things that are undoubtedly true:

 

1) those of us who signed on as either 2 cent/word freelancers, or as unpaid volunteer staff with the Story Team generally did so knowing that this would be the case and accepting this.  We were willing to do so, and I hold no ill will with Zinzer and co over my paychecks.  It was a side hobby, writing I would do in my off hours.  I have a regular job, and my livelihood did not depend on m writing in this case.  We were loyal to the franchise and frequently we've remained loyal.  A lot of us were chomping at the bit for the chance to participate.  Paychecks were icing on the cake, and really that never changed in all the years I wrote for them.  So, let's uh... be civil about that, shall we?  John wasn't twisting any of our arms.  We were decently ok with those smaller checks.  

 

2) 2 cents/word is low as far as the average goes these days.  I believe the going rate's somewhere around 4-5 cents in the gaming industry for entry level positions, with Paizo topping the charts around 7 cents for an introductory pay.  This means that, whatever writing is being done at FFG will probably be handled differently than AEG did.  This may mean fewer writers, and may mean different standards and expectations, so be prepared for that.  Whether this puts a bit of a damper on how much fiction we get, hard to say.  

 

3) I think it's important that the brand both consider the importance of semi-regular fiction writing to the fan-base, but at the same time also be fiscally responsible in setting up whatever it does.  So, I'm hoping that FFG will 'do the right thing' on this one, so to speak.  What that is?  Well, I'm not the business type.

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Seconding what Sukishi said: I'm not bitter about what I got paid. I came on board via the "contest" for IH2, with the Togashi Dynasty chapter; before I submitted my proposal, I emailed Shawn Carman to ask about the technical side of things (because Novelist Brain immediately wondered about rights and obligations and whether there was pay or not -- they may have been calling it a "contest," but from my perspective it should more properly be termed an open call for submissions). He apologized to me regarding the pay, correctly guessing that it was way below what I'm used to, but the idea of writing for the game really excited me, which is why I went ahead. Would I be pleased if the number had been higher? Sure. But the fan aspect is real, and I don't think it's a negative thing.

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*nods* agreed, though I think going forward, a way that is closer to industry standards, and a ... I guess I'd call it a "happy middle ground" is probably best, one fitting with FFG's mode of operation.  What that is... well, we've got the better of 2 years, as do they.  I think that's time to figure things out.

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