New ruleset for Paranoia

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Postby Weet-R-BIX » Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:04 am

MongooseCharlie wrote:Well if you buy black missions you get most of the old books for free as pdfs on the bonus DVD so pretty good deal right there!
Old books? As in the Mongoose titles that have been published?
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Postby msprange » Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:13 am

Weet-R-BIX wrote: Old books? As in the Mongoose titles that have been published?
That is correct!
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Postby Danforth » Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:21 am

I would guess the close timing of the announcement was an unfortunate consequence of the (now seemingly sorted with the US-based partner) printing delays...

IIRC, there was a big gap after Alpha Complex Nights... printing issues, or whatever, delayed the next four books (Big Book of Bots, The Thin Green Line, Alpha Complex Nights 2 and the Mandatory Mission Pack) which in turn pushed back War on [Insert Noun].

Now put yourself in Matthew's position for a moment.
You've commissioned all these books from Gareth, he's written them and you've paid him for them.
They've been announced some time ago, and noticeably delayed.
You know the 25th anniversary edition is coming up which will almost, but not quite, be compatible with these books.

Do you scrap them all, losing money and effort?

Do you pull staff off other jobs to put in more money and effort, to fit the books to the new edition?

I would guess at this point, releasing them for a short time was the best possible trade-off between preserving money/effort already spent, and putting a lot more in. In an ideal world of infinite resources, sure, option 2.

Actually, that would probably be the second-best ideal-world solution, charting just below "the books were never delayed and there was nearly a one-year gap between the last supplements and the new edition!"

Of course, I don't speak for the company. And I may be regarded by some readers as sucking up to Mongoose by daring to think as positively as possible :) But what the hey, I'm a "glass is half-full" kind of guy.

My constructive commentary credentials established, then, I think Mongoose should definitely have done one thing differently: they should have promoted the new edition more effectively on the Mongoose site itself, especially the Paranoia page. Many fans follow the developer's blog and the publisher's blog, so will have has fair warning of the new edition, but as we've seen from this thread, many other fans don't, and this has come as a big surprise to them.

I suspect an accountant would tell me that an early announcement of the new edition would impact on current edition sales, and that's probably true, but so do fans who perceive they've been misled. I still think this down to spiralling circumstances as noted above, rather than Mongoose making a bad call, but however it started, I think it was a mistake.

I can appreciate the call on the recent supplements though. Retrofitting all those books for a new edition which has three sublines would be a real tricky job to cost, let alone staff. I think it's an unfortunate conjunction of circumstances that Matt and Mongoose handled pretty well, all things considered.
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Postby Weet-R-BIX » Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:07 am

Thanks for the quick reply Matt. I wonder if I can press the point to ask if I need to purchase the last eight books if I were going to purchase the limited edition with the DVD?

Is the limited edition book going to be a Mongoose direct purchase only? I only ask that as I like to support my local hobby stores whenever possible.

Thanks
Cheers
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Postby msprange » Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:18 am

Weet-R-BIX wrote:Thanks for the quick reply Matt. I wonder if I can press the point to ask if I need to purchase the last eight books if I were going to purchase the limited edition with the DVD?

Is the limited edition book going to be a Mongoose direct purchase only? I only ask that as I like to support my local hobby stores whenever possible.
The last eight books will be PDFs on the Black Missions disc, so it all depends whether you want hard copies or not :)

As for retailers, yes, Black Missions will be going to them but, judging from our experiences with Baron Munchausen, they will disappear _very_ quickly - we expect our warehosue to be empty of them after the first _day_ of sale, so there will be no restocks.
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Postby PrinceYyrkoon » Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:23 pm

Ok. Short (subdued) announcement is due to printing delays? Er, right.

I visit the site often, I post on these forums, I buy Mongoose books, (hundreds of pounds worth, I may say), and I didnt see any announcements about a new edition until very recently. In fact, I just bought a copy of WMD the other week! Why isnt an annoucement like this on the front page of the website? You can quite happily, even now, navigate around the Paranoia products without even noticing that theres a new edition.

Why arent the current supplements at a reduced price, if they are about to be given away free with the new (limited) edition? What, so only the guys lucky enough to get their hands on a copy have a right to this? Everyone else has to pay full price for them? Is it the case that the cost of buying these supplements is more than the cost of this new limited edition with its free pdfs?

And what if you dont manage to pick up a copy of the 'limited' new edition? You want it for all those nice pdfs of supplements, but there arent enough books to satify demand. Great.

You know, we like the stuff you guys produce, but sometimes, its despite the shambolic arrangements that this company often pursues.

Im not keen on hearing another 'printing' excuse neither!

Grr!
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Postby msprange » Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:11 pm

PrinceYyrkoon wrote: Why arent the current supplements at a reduced price, if they are about to be given away free with the new (limited) edition? What, so only the guys lucky enough to get their hands on a copy have a right to this? Everyone else has to pay full price for them? Is it the case that the cost of buying these supplements is more than the cost of this new limited edition with its free pdfs?

And what if you dont manage to pick up a copy of the 'limited' new edition? You want it for all those nice pdfs of supplements, but there arent enough books to satify demand. Great.
I'll see if I can answer some of these. . .

We never discount our own books - to do so would mean undercutting retailers, and we have promised never to do that.

Anyone can get their hands on the Black Missions edition at the moment - preorder it from us, and you are guaranteed a copy.

The PDFs of the older books are available on Drivethru now, for less than print versions, and will continue to be offered for as long as we produce Paranoia.

Hope that helps!
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Postby PrinceYyrkoon » Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:28 pm

msprange wrote:
PrinceYyrkoon wrote: Why arent the current supplements at a reduced price, if they are about to be given away free with the new (limited) edition? What, so only the guys lucky enough to get their hands on a copy have a right to this? Everyone else has to pay full price for them? Is it the case that the cost of buying these supplements is more than the cost of this new limited edition with its free pdfs?

And what if you dont manage to pick up a copy of the 'limited' new edition? You want it for all those nice pdfs of supplements, but there arent enough books to satify demand. Great.
I'll see if I can answer some of these. . .

We never discount our own books - to do so would mean undercutting retailers, and we have promised never to do that.

Anyone can get their hands on the Black Missions edition at the moment - preorder it from us, and you are guaranteed a copy.

The PDFs of the older books are available on Drivethru now, for less than print versions, and will continue to be offered for as long as we produce Paranoia.

Hope that helps!
Ok, ok, thanks for the reply. I'll preorder as long as you promise, in future, to make sure customers and traders know whats coming a good deal in advance, ok?

Now, how do I preorder this book then?
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Postby Weet-R-BIX » Fri Jun 12, 2009 9:24 pm

msprange wrote:
Weet-R-BIX wrote:Thanks for the quick reply Matt. I wonder if I can press the point to ask if I need to purchase the last eight books if I were going to purchase the limited edition with the DVD?

Is the limited edition book going to be a Mongoose direct purchase only? I only ask that as I like to support my local hobby stores whenever possible.
The last eight books will be PDFs on the Black Missions disc, so it all depends whether you want hard copies or not :)

As for retailers, yes, Black Missions will be going to them but, judging from our experiences with Baron Munchausen, they will disappear _very_ quickly - we expect our warehosue to be empty of them after the first _day_ of sale, so there will be no restocks.
Therein lies the rub. I'd love hard copies of the complete run. I have everything up to the last eight books on the Paranoia web page.

However buying them will cost me more than double the cost of the new book, so if War on [Insert Noun], Mandatory Mission Pack, Alpha Complex Nights 2, The Thin Green Line, Big Book of Bots, Alpha Complex Nights, STUFF 2: The Gray Subnets, and Paranoia Flashbacks II are all on the DVD, I think my money would be better spent on the new book, especially given the changes you are making in the line.

Given the foreshortened availability of these books, there appears to be only one sensible thing to do. If there had been more upfront promotion about the new book and exactly what will accompany it on the DVD, there might be less confusion amongst your customers.

As I said earlier, I've been happy to support Mongoose and the Paranoia line, in spite of frequent obvious typos in the books. I would like to know that every effort will be put forward to make the new line of books more complete and error free. I really hate paying for a book, then having to proof read it as well...

My confidence in the Paranoia line has been undermined by the actions of it's own publishers, by changing the line and suspending sales of the previous books so abruptly. It's down to Mongoose to make things right.
Cheers
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Postby PrinceYyrkoon » Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:15 pm

Weet-R-BIX wrote:
msprange wrote:
Weet-R-BIX wrote:Thanks for the quick reply Matt. I wonder if I can press the point to ask if I need to purchase the last eight books if I were going to purchase the limited edition with the DVD?

Is the limited edition book going to be a Mongoose direct purchase only? I only ask that as I like to support my local hobby stores whenever possible.
The last eight books will be PDFs on the Black Missions disc, so it all depends whether you want hard copies or not :)

As for retailers, yes, Black Missions will be going to them but, judging from our experiences with Baron Munchausen, they will disappear _very_ quickly - we expect our warehosue to be empty of them after the first _day_ of sale, so there will be no restocks.
Therein lies the rub. I'd love hard copies of the complete run. I have everything up to the last eight books on the Paranoia web page.

However buying them will cost me more than double the cost of the new book, so if War on [Insert Noun], Mandatory Mission Pack, Alpha Complex Nights 2, The Thin Green Line, Big Book of Bots, Alpha Complex Nights, STUFF 2: The Gray Subnets, and Paranoia Flashbacks II are all on the DVD, I think my money would be better spent on the new book, especially given the changes you are making in the line.

Given the foreshortened availability of these books, there appears to be only one sensible thing to do. If there had been more upfront promotion about the new book and exactly what will accompany it on the DVD, there might be less confusion amongst your customers.

As I said earlier, I've been happy to support Mongoose and the Paranoia line, in spite of frequent obvious typos in the books. I would like to know that every effort will be put forward to make the new line of books more complete and error free. I really hate paying for a book, then having to proof read it as well...

My confidence in the Paranoia line has been undermined by the actions of it's own publishers, by changing the line and suspending sales of the previous books so abruptly. It's down to Mongoose to make things right.
Yes, seconded.
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Postby lastbesthope » Sat Jun 13, 2009 9:57 pm

Can anyone give me a list of the Mongoose Paranoia products that AREN'T included on the Bonus DVD...

It would be a help.

Thanks

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Postby Allen Varney » Sun Jun 14, 2009 2:02 am

The Mongoose PARANOIA books not included on the 25th Anniversary Black Missions CD are Flashbacks 1 and 2, STUFF 1 and 2, and The Little RED Book.
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Postby Danforth » Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:22 am

And of course the current rulebook isn't on the disc :)

Completists note the Little RED Book is a tiny-point-size, A5-ish reprint of the Player's section of the rulebook. Can be safely handed out to potential or new players, without revealing spoilery secrets like the rules.
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Postby Danforth » Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:57 am

PrinceYyrkoon wrote:Ok. Short (subdued) announcement is due to printing delays? Er, right.
If that was in reply to my post, I said the short timing of the announcement might have been printing delay related, not the subdued nature...
PrinceYyrkoon wrote:I visit the site often, I post on these forums, I buy Mongoose books, (hundreds of pounds worth, I may say), and I didnt see any announcements about a new edition until very recently. [...] You can quite happily, even now, navigate around the Paranoia products without even noticing that theres a new edition.
...which I agree should have been louder. Even now, as you say, it's not all that clear.

Matthew, if you're still reading: currently DriveThruRPG says it's pulling the Paranoia PDF range at the end of the month. Which doesn't square with:
msprange wrote:The PDFs of the older books are available on Drivethru now, for less than print versions, and will continue to be offered for as long as we produce Paranoia.
Change of plan, or are they in error?

I'm on a bit of a space-reduction, digital-versions kick at the moment, so I'm thinking of preordering Black Missions and buying the PDFs of the books that aren't on the DVD - but I can't pay out for that lot in one month, so if Flashbacks 1/2 and Stuff 1/2 were available to buy after June that would be great.
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Postby msprange » Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:21 am

Danforth wrote:
Change of plan, or are they in error?
They are in error, and have been informed.
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Postby PrinceYyrkoon » Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:46 am

Danforth wrote:
PrinceYyrkoon wrote:Ok. Short (subdued) announcement is due to printing delays? Er, right.
If that was in reply to my post, I said the short timing of the announcement might have been printing delay related, not the subdued nature...
PrinceYyrkoon wrote:I visit the site often, I post on these forums, I buy Mongoose books, (hundreds of pounds worth, I may say), and I didnt see any announcements about a new edition until very recently. [...] You can quite happily, even now, navigate around the Paranoia products without even noticing that theres a new edition.
...which I agree should have been louder. Even now, as you say, it's not all that clear.

Matthew, if you're still reading: currently DriveThruRPG says it's pulling the Paranoia PDF range at the end of the month. Which doesn't square with:
msprange wrote:The PDFs of the older books are available on Drivethru now, for less than print versions, and will continue to be offered for as long as we produce Paranoia.
Change of plan, or are they in error?

I'm on a bit of a space-reduction, digital-versions kick at the moment, so I'm thinking of preordering Black Missions and buying the PDFs of the books that aren't on the DVD - but I can't pay out for that lot in one month, so if Flashbacks 1/2 and Stuff 1/2 were available to buy after June that would be great.
Yes, sorry Danforth, I wasnt that clear about replying to what you said. I suppose I meant that problems with printers wasnt really a viable excuse for the lateness of either books or announcements. I think Mongoose seem to have had an inordinate amount of problems with printers, which occurs to me fairly strange. There are plenty of printers out there, if theres one that cant deliver, produces faulty prototypes, or is problematic in any way, change printers, its a buyers market in that respect. Im surprised the printers that Mongoose have used have been able to call so many shots, produce so many faulty bindings, quote a price for colour that is too high to continue commissioning colour books, dictate the page count of hardbacks, etc., etc.. Outrageous. Im sure its not that difficult to find a decent printer that will do a good job, at a competitive cost.

Anyway, back to Paranoia.

I have around half of the total Paranoia products available. Do I try to gather up all the others before they disappear? Do I wait for them to appear on eBay at a reduced cost? Do I buy into the new edition before the ink is fully dried on the edition I have fairly recently shelled out for?

If the new edition is fully compatible with the old one, I dont really need it. I dont think I want to shell out 30 quid for a repackaged ruleset that contains basically, the same rules as the ones I already own. And Im willing to bet that those supplements will reappear at a discounted cost soon enough. No, I dont think I will buy the new edition. Too much money, I cant justify to myself the outlay. To reiterate, the rules are pretty much the same, (i.e., they werent broke anyway), and I think most of the current supplements will be available at a reduced price pretty soon.

This will leave me more expendable income to buy Conan and Runequest supplements, so Im not anti-Mongoose in any way, Im just not thrilled at the way theyve handled this new edition of Paranoia. So I probably wont be buying anymore Paranoia products.
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Postby Danforth » Tue Jun 16, 2009 1:12 pm

msprange wrote:
Danforth wrote:Change of plan, or are they in error?
They are in error, and have been informed.
Great! I'm sure they can make up some sort of joke about Computer errors or misinformation or commie mutant traitors in order to laugh off their mistake. It's a Paranoia thing :)
PrinceYyrkoon wrote: I suppose I meant that problems with printers wasnt really a viable excuse for the lateness of either books or announcements. I think Mongoose seem to have had an inordinate amount of problems with printers...
They do seem to have been cursed by the Gods of Movable Type. I guess small companies (on a publisher scale, that is; they're pretty huge for a hobby games company) have a tougher time extricating themselves from one setup to start another...
PrinceYyrkoon wrote:Im willing to bet that those supplements will reappear at a discounted cost soon enough.
Personally I'm not so sure. Again considering the position of a smallish company, I'd expect them to sell the remaining physical copies of every book but not print any more. The RPG market is small and the market for reprints of out-of-date supplements is, well, possibly just you and me :) The last State of the Mongoose, IIRC, said Paranoia supplements had a particularly low "attach rate" compared to the strong sales of the core book.

Actually, I expect that partly informed the new "sublines" approach of the new version.

I never tried to collect the whole set of books for the XP line, I just cherry-picked about half a dozen books and was happy to see my favourite-ever RPG back in action. I don't actually collect any other RPGs. For all those reasons, the Black Missions book really appeals to me, as I get to see all this material I otherwise wouldn't (at a bargain-bundle price commensurate with not having it streamed into the new sublines) and I get to support the continuation of the game.

Also, and I will keep hammering on about this, the Baron Munchausen hardback was lovely, so I have high hopes for the aesthetics of the new edition :) Matthew, any chance of some preview pages?
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Postby PrinceYyrkoon » Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:12 pm

Yup, Danforth, I do appreciate the fact that it came back into print, but, you know, back in the eighties, I had a copy of the rulebook and Acute Paranoia, and thats all I ever needed. We were happy in those halcyon days...Stupidly, of course, like a few others I suppose, I got rid of my books, thinking that I'd never get to play again. And here we are, 2009, Mongoose having done 3 (with upgrades) versions of the rules already.

I know why this is. It is as you say, the rulebook sellls, but the supplements don't seem to. In fact, I would venture to suggest that, in order to make Paranoia more viable, cool and noughties, I would say that Mr Holloways art has done its job, but is at odds with Mongooses attempt to make the game darker, less humour driven. I think we will see less and less of Jims art on future releases, IMHO of course.

Im fairly confident that lots of traders will have these out of date supplements for quite some time, as you say, the demand wasnt high for them in the first place, and Im willing to bet theres a few piles of stock here and there.
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Postby lastbesthope » Tue Jun 16, 2009 6:34 pm

Danforth wrote:And of course the current rulebook isn't on the disc :)
Nor is the mandatory bonus fun card game.

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Postby Allen Varney » Tue Jun 16, 2009 6:43 pm

PrinceYyrkoon wrote:In fact, I would venture to suggest that, in order to make Paranoia more viable, cool and noughties, I would say that Mr Holloways art has done its job, but is at odds with Mongooses attempt to make the game darker, less humour driven. I think we will see less and less of Jims art on future releases, IMHO of course.
At no point has the current PARANOIA edition been "less humor-driven." Humor is the entire point of the game. PARANOIA has always been, and remains, the leading humor RPG.

The current edition does return to the West End 1984 original edition's darkly satiric humor rather than wacky parody. But humor remains the driving force.

As for Jim Holloway, he remains, of course, the One True PARANOIA Artist. But he works in many styles on many projects, and is currently embroiled with a new project, an unnamed art book. You can follow Jim's status on the Jim Holloway Art news page. (And look around the site for a sampling of the huge output from Jim's storied career.)
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