[Invisible Sun] $100 PDF

PeterAmthor

Truly Rural
Validated User
Many people who play Invisible Sun split the expense up between their group - and you can do the same for the PDFs. That will make it affordable for many who may be uni students or the like.
I keep seeing this particular bit as a big thing repeated by people. Never have I seen or heard of a group doing this, especially locally. Anytime I've seen a group request a game and the GM responds with "You buy it I'll run it" it quickly gets forgotten about.
 

Menchi

Active member
Validated User
I keep seeing this particular bit as a big thing repeated by people. Never have I seen or heard of a group doing this, especially locally. Anytime I've seen a group request a game and the GM responds with "You buy it I'll run it" it quickly gets forgotten about.
Most games are not such a big expense to procure though. There are a number of folk on the directed campaign forums who did exactly this due to the expense of the product.

Just because you haven't seen or heard doesn't mean it doesn't happen. Many players buy their own copies of Player Handbooks - this is a similar situation but instead it's investing in the game itself. I can't comment on how the ownership of the box works. Just commenting on the fact that some have chosen to do this as a method of getting a hold of it.

Conan
 

swammeyjoe

Registered User
Validated User
I feel like if there was a $40 version of the game with Core Rules and Setting Info (with a small number of cards) and then a bigger package with everything, maybe even slightly higher priced, no one would bat an eye. But because the buy-in is so so high it gets the negative reaction.

You can usually buy a core book + three or four supplements for that price. I'm not doubting that IS includes that much content, but for other games I can buy it piecemeal

Not saying I wouldn't buy it, I did roughly the same thing for Conan and WFRP 3e, but I'd have to love the setting or the game would need really innovative mechanics.
 

Menchi

Active member
Validated User
I feel like if there was a $40 version of the game with Core Rules and Setting Info (with a small number of cards) and then a bigger package with everything, maybe even slightly higher priced, no one would bat an eye. But because the buy-in is so so high it gets the negative reaction.

You can usually buy a core book + three or four supplements for that price. I'm not doubting that IS includes that much content, but for other games I can buy it piecemeal

Not saying I wouldn't buy it, I did roughly the same thing for Conan and WFRP 3e, but I'd have to love the setting or the game would need really innovative mechanics.
The problem lies in that there is no fat to remove in IS. All four books are required to play along with the cards. To break it down:

- The Key = Player rules. Creation, advancement, first session outline, faction powers, individual powers, character arc mechanics.
- The Way = Magic rules. How to use the various cards (Spell Deck, Magic Items, Consumables, One shot spells, Weaver aggregates, Vance magic cards and diagram.) How to use the maker's matrix to build magic items. How to create new magical orders. Secrets that let players bend and or break the rules. Long form magic. Cantrips.
- The Gate = GM rules. How to adjudicate the game, how to create scenarios, how to use the Sooth Cards.
- The Path = The setting in broad strokes.
- Weaver Aggregate Cards
- Vance Cards
- Maker's Matrix
- Vance diagram
- Goetic Guide for summoning.
- Sooth Deck
- Spell Deck
- Ephemeral Objects Deck
- Incantations Deck
- Objects of Power Deck

That would be the bare minimum you need to play. Could it be reduced down to a smaller pack? Not without fundamentally changing the game. I mean they could reduce the size of some of the decks. But that's not going to reduce the cost that much.

I appreciate it's not a price that suits everyone, but there's really no way they could produce a cheaper product and keep it as the game it is. Monte Cook even fought against going PDF because his vision was the game as an actual boxed set. I would agree that if you got the PDF you would be missing some of what makes the game so unique an experience - but it was a good move to release it in PDF format because it is a very fun game to play and creative groups will be able to make their own resources to replace bene and vex etc. :)

But yeah, unfortunately there wouldn't be a way to reduce it down to a "core book + setting" format. All these elements are the core game experience. (It's worth noting that the upcoming Book M supplement is adding an additional 200 cards on top of what's already been provided.)

Conan
 

AliasiSudonomo

Trying to be a bird
Validated User
Granted, it's also the sort of thing that the imp of the perverse in me wants to go "and why do you need all that when you could FATE it?", but as a fan of running Exalted in Exalted that's almost entirely that imp wanting to know how it feels. :D
 

wirecrossing

illegal jokes
Validated User
I have paid a lot for games over the years, but a hundred bucks for a bunch of PDFs is still too much for me.

It's a step too far. But then again, this game is not for me. It's for the people who will pay that money.
 

Alex_P

the cat respecter
Validated User
From looking at the previews, I'd say there definitely is "fat" that could be cut here — the books seem to repeat concepts several times and over-explain procedural stuff for the sake of creating some kind of mood (c.f. the quote I pasted earlier, half a page dedicated to superfluous faff about how to number the character creation steps) — but it would take a massive editing job and tone shift to do that. Which would actually be *more* expensive than releasing text and layout work you've already done as a PDF.

Honestly, it kinda sounds like your best bet for "I want this in a far smaller package, without paying $100" is something like "buy the more detailed setting book and use it with a different system that's not specifically built around using so many little cards and other play aids."
 

Argent

Anywhere... just not here
Validated User
Where's the line? A $50 game is beyond the reach of some. Should everything be free to be sure no one is excluded?
There is a difference between setting a price point where you can make a profit or at least not running a loss and intentionally creating a prestige product that is meant to be experienced by a smaller circle of people. I get the impression that Tetsubo is talking about the latter.
 

I. J. Betty

Registered User
Validated User
I don't get the objection to this at all. I really hope that Invisible Sun does well enough for MCG that the model is copied. This game doesn't sound like quite my cup of tea, but I would be ecstatic to see an exquisitely-crafted game filled with art, props, cards, books, and other widgets that was written for one of my niche interests. I would love to see more luxury products. If publishers are held to the kind of low prices that only pay off in bulk we'll never see stuff like this.
 

Menchi

Active member
Validated User
From looking at the previews, I'd say there definitely is "fat" that could be cut here — the books seem to repeat concepts several times and over-explain procedural stuff for the sake of creating some kind of mood (c.f. the quote I pasted earlier, half a page dedicated to superfluous faff about how to number the character creation steps) — but it would take a massive editing job and tone shift to do that. Which would actually be *more* expensive than releasing text and layout work you've already done as a PDF.

Honestly, it kinda sounds like your best bet for "I want this in a far smaller package, without paying $100" is something like "buy the more detailed setting book and use it with a different system that's not specifically built around using so many little cards and other play aids."
No, it really doesn't copy concepts. It introduces them and then expands on them. And the rules and mechanics are baked into the setting itself so the process of removing the rules to put the setting in another game would fundamentally alter the setting. You'd get something Invisible Sun like but it wouldn't be the same game.

Also the "more detailed" setting book won't make much sense without the core setting book and the rules because a lot of the setting is spread out across multiple books in sections that relate to that part of the setting. How magic works, how the orders are structured - it's not all in one book. The information is presented where it's needed. So players wanting to know about the basics of the orders have that information in the player book. Further exploration of the orders is in the core setting book, but doesn't repeat information from the player's book.

As for the "Faff" it's an outline of how the rest of the book outlays character creation which superficially shares some elements of Cypher, but it is it's own system and character creation process with a lot of world building involved for players - because in Invisible Sun the players have to "baked" into the setting as well. They create entire neighbourhoods and populate them, set out their initial character arc goals, and work out what the beginning scene it going to be by deciding what the group drive is that acts as a catalyst for the campaign.

So it may not be for you. Despite the unusual book layout, it's well indexed across all the books and supplements and the PDFs - making finding a particular rule a fairly straight forward affair.

Conan
 
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