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Hey Trolls: a module query

Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 5:47 am
by Joe Mac
Having bought several modules now -- and planning to buy lots more -- I've got some observations:

The slim size is great; the greatest modules ever written, after all, were 8-24 pages, plus maps. All the meat and no tedious fluff, as it should be.
The content has been of very good quality, too, but you guys know that already.

The only thing that's bugging me: why no separate covers with the maps printed on the inside, to stand up in front o' my face on the table? That's how my brain demands that a module function, and it's much too late for re-training.
Does this have to do with stocking in stores -- that the buyer theoretically needs to be able to thumb through it before buying?

I recall snapping up all those shrink-wrapped AD&D modules as soon as they hit the shelves, without needing to see the inside. They had me with the cover art and descriptive blurb -- just as now, when I buy everything on-line, based solely on a brief description.

...Just a thought.

Re: Hey Trolls: a module query

Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 5:58 am
by gideon_thorne
Joe Mac wrote:
Does this have to do with stocking in stores -- that the buyer theoretically needs to be able to thumb through it before buying?

From what I understand it has to do with that, and a couple of other factors having to do with shelf display. It's a number of things to do with the market that Steve enumerated to me once, but I forgot the details. 8)
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Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 10:51 am
by miller6
I agree that the maps should be on the inside of the covers because the focus should be functionality. Shrink wrap 'em and the "perusing" becomes a non-issue. Any chance of seeing shrink wrapped mods in the future?

Brian Miller
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Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 2:21 am
by Rhuvein
I'll guess that cost might be a factor as well. But if it doesn't drive the price up too much, I'd like to see maps on the inside cover and shrink-wrapping too.

But, if not, I have no problem at all with the current product.

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Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 2:25 am
by serleran
Modules should be able to be flipped through. The general consumer wants an idea of what they are getting, and the "blurb" on the back does not cover it. In light of TLG rarely (if ever) offering previews or enhancements, this method os crucial to the successful sale to those who are not already interested in buying. People, like many here, who would buy it anyway... don't need it "open format."

Otherwise, if maps can be put along the inner cover without detracting from game play.... a problem with some types of modules... and price is not extraordinant, I'd say: go for it.

Shrinkwrap: no.

Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 4:34 am
by miller6
serleran wrote:
Modules should be able to be flipped through. The general consumer wants an idea of what they are getting, and the "blurb" on the back does not cover it. In light of TLG rarely (if ever) offering previews or enhancements, this method os crucial to the successful sale to those who are not already interested in buying. People, like many here, who would buy it anyway... don't need it "open format."

Otherwise, if maps can be put along the inner cover without detracting from game play.... a problem with some types of modules... and price is not extraordinant, I'd say: go for it.

Shrinkwrap: no.

Strictly from a sales viewpoint, I see it the other way around. If a person can flip through a mod they may decide it's not that spectacular or compatible for their specific campaign whereas otherwise they might have bought it on the blurb and cover alone. I know I did in the past...but now that I can flip through 'em I'm more likely to pass on anything that doesn't thrill me right off the bat. I don't know if marketing studies support my assertion, but it makes sense to me.

As for the shrinkwrap...the collectors want it too...but that's not really my thing since I use mine till they fall apart. lol.

Brian Miller
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Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 11:12 am
by Ghul
Count me among those who prefer to see a shrinkwrapped product, cover unattached, with maps on the inside; cover being tri-fold when necessary. Maps should be blue and white or (2nd choice) black and white.

--Ghul

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 8:43 pm
by Dristram
For me, I pretty much buy everything put out by the setting/system I like. So shrinkwrapped won't hinder my purchasing of the product. I would like to see separate covers with the maps on the inside as well.

Posted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:26 pm
by cleaverthepit
Seperating the cover from a module is not a problem on the printing end.

Moving it through retailers is difficult (though I think Joe Goodman has managed it). Getting a customer to buy it is problematic - they do not get to read the material.

In any respect, we can start taking direct orders for detached covers I guess.

Davis

Posted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 3:58 pm
by maasenstodt
I'd certainly prefer seperated covers. After all, it provides many more options for the size and scope of the maps or whatnot that is printed on their back side.

As far as sales go, I think the Trolls have represented themselves with their modules well enough that I have no qualms about purchasing their products sight unseen. Short of a real downturn in quality, I'll likely continue to purchase whatever C&C material sees release.

Posted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 5:43 pm
by Treebore
I don't need it separate, all I want you guys to do is put the main maps I am likely to spend a lot of time using on the inside of the cover. That is what Goodman tries to do, but something map heavy like "Palace of Sahdows" is still going to have a lot of maps inside, but Goodman keeps them all together, like a booklet.

That way if I want my cover separate from the adventure I open the module, carefully undbend the staples with my staple remover, take off the cover, then rebend the staples back down. I also scan any other maps so I can easily print them out later while I have the staples opened up.

Posted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 6:08 pm
by Julian Grimm
I'm pretty happy with the mods as is. However, in Mortality of the Green it would have been nice if the Darkenfold map was made to be removable or a download of it was available. It's too handy a map to have to leave in the mod.

Other than that I'd say keep them as they are.
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Posted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 1:16 pm
by Joe Mac
cleaverthepit wrote:
Seperating the cover from a module is not a problem on the printing end.

Moving it through retailers is difficult (though I think Joe Goodman has managed it). Getting a customer to buy it is problematic - they do not get to read the material.

In any respect, we can start taking direct orders for detached covers I guess.

Davis

Thanks, Davis. Just having the maps on the insides of the front/back covers would save a lot of page-fumbling with my sausage-like fingers...and the option to order them directly with the covers detached (thus saving said sausages from messing with staples) would make me a happy old gamer.

Posted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 2:04 am
by Ghul
Another thing I would prefer to see is a separate illustration section. This could come in the form of a middle section for stapled books, or a separate booklet if the shrinkwrap route is ever taken.

TLG has modules with some excellent interior art by Bradley, Walton and others; however, it's not always easy for the DM to show the players these pictures being interspersed throughout the text as they are.

With an all art section of the module, it would be much easier to show the players the illustration that sometimes goes with the encounter.

Just another couple of coppers from your friendly neighborhood Ghul.

--Ghul