The Deal Available Now On DriveThruCards

Are you ready to play the most intense game of poker in your life? That’s been the response so far to our very first larp, The Deal, and now is your chance to get in on the action.

After a successful Kickstarter earlier this year, Broken Ruler Games is pleased to announce The Deal, a live-action roleplaying game about blackmail and confrontation during a high stakes game of poker, is now available to the gaming public. You can download the rules for free on The Deal‘s page as well as purchase print-and-play and/or print-on-demand cards from DriveThruCards.

This game is the third in our line of Fragments mini-games and one shots. You can discover more on our Fragments page, including Duel and By The General’s Hand.

What Is The Tower?

This past weekend, we launched a new Kickstarter. Quietly and with very little fuss. Why? Well… this one’s a little different. It’s not a game you’ll be able to buy online or find in any stores and it will only be available through the 21-day window of this campaign. Oh, and you won’t be able to play it until I’m dead.

The Kickstarter campaign for The Tower, an unfortunate game that you can’t play until I’m dead.

While most of the posts made on this website represent our various product lines and more publicly consumable games, this one’s far too personal. And it’s difficult to explain so perhaps let’s cut straight to a passage from the Kickstarter itself.

Some ideas are a hard sell. They may have an important message you want to share with the world but there’s something about the idea that’s controversial or risky. Particularly when it comes to making a game about a terrible event that will spiral out of control in ways we never imagined until it becomes a part of modern life. You know you may never be able to share it but it never truly goes away. Until you see a sign and the opportunity suddenly presents itself. 

The Tower is a mature tabletop roleplaying game about a terrifying moment that changes the lives of the people involved. And you won’t be able to play it until I’m dead. In the spirit of Break Kickstarter, this campaign will provide you with a password-protected PDF of the finished game by the promised delivery date. The password will only be provided by me in the event of my death by natural or accidental causes. 

From The Tower’s Kickstarter page

In the first 48 hours of this campaign, we’re already approaching 300% funding. Due to the nature of this unique publication (it will technically be available through BRG but not outside of this Kickstarter), there were no plans to even include any mention of it on this website. Yet as this thing starts to catch on with a few curious backers so early into the campaign, that may change. For now, if you’ve ever been interested in any of my work as a tabletop game design and can appreciate what one backer generously referred to as “performance art,” everything you can know can be found on The Tower’s Kickstarter page.

It’s Time To Make A Deal

Who says poker and LARPs don’t go together?

Today’s the day! Our 4th Kickstarter campaign went live early this morning and The Deal is ready to place your bets. As our very first live-action roleplaying game, this game quickly proved to be more than a simple idea that deserved a little extra attention that only Kickstarter can provide.

If you haven’t heard of the premise yet, think of a stage production if written by Quentin Tarantino. The Deal is about four strangers at a high-stakes poker game as they discover one of them is blackmailing the others. By combining the game with regular poker cards, this game can be played seamlessly at a table for larp-ers both new and familiar. We’re really excited about this game and hope you’ll take a moment to check it out. (Plus it’ll be the cheapest way to buy a copy as the price will increase between 20%-30% when the final version is released on DriveThruCards.

Check out The Deal right here on brokenrulergames.net and learn about other games in the Fragments line. And, of course, you can find The Deal on Kickstarter until June 17th.

Countdown to The Deal’s Kickstarter

The button has been clicked and The Deal‘s Kickstarter page is currently under review. It won’t be long now until our third Kickstarter campaign is under way. Oh yeah, in case we never mentioned it before… we’re doing a Kickstarter for a larp!

The Deal is a “poker larp” from Broken Ruler Games. Here, you can see a preview of the cover and some of the cards.

The Deal is a live-action roleplaying game of poker where you play one of four characters caught up in a web of blackmail, deception, and confrontation during a high-stakes game of poker. Playtested at BreakoutCon in Toronto this past year, this Kickstarter will have a small goal of $600 CDN within 21 days and you can back this game for as little as $1 with the biggest stretch goal just a mere $20 to unlock The Loaded Deck, a complete deck of standard playing cards in the same design as the game’s cards that creates a more advanced level of play. (The Loaded Deck will be exclusive to the Kickstarter, btw!) When published, it will be sold through DriveThruCards and all cards are designed to work with existing poker decks to create a seamless and immersive experience. In other words… it’s really fucking fun. (Oh yes, there’s lots of content warnings and this game is intended for mature players.)

You can check out a preview of The Deal on Kickstarter before it officially launches or learn more about the game in our Fragments line. And remember to talk about this game with #PokerLarpIsAThing

UPDATE: The date has been set! The Deal will launch on Tuesday, May 28th and run for 21 days.

Measuring Success in 2018

Ah, isn’t this how we all imagine RPG publishing?

Hello again, Broken Ones. What’s this? Two new posts in a single week. Since we’re not launching anything new this month, you might be wondering what kind of madness this is. Fear not, for this is but another chapter in my ongoing tradition of sharing our sales results for the year. Why? To help those who are also trying to break into the industry or simply want to feel better (or worse?) about their own results.

For those of you interested in the inner workings of indie RPG publishing, it’s time for another instalment of Measuring Success, my ongoing financial presentations for Broken Ruler Games. Rather than go quarterly or bi-annually, I’ve decided to keep things simple and go with annual presentations for the near future due to my very busy workload. And because of that very busy workload and in the interest of expanding on the meaning behind the numbers, I’ve decided to forego most of the writing for this year’s presentation and instead record my take on 2018’s results.

So here goes. Below are the Broken Ruler Games sales results for 2018, including quantities sold by product type, gross and net sales.

PRODUCTSALESGROSS $NET $
Killshot: The Director’s Cut40$223.39$138.26
PDF39$203.40$132.21
Hardcover B&W0$0.00$0.00
Hardcover B&W + PDF1$19.99$6.05




Killshot: An Assassin’s Journal9$0.00$0.00
PDF9$0.00$0.00
Softcover B&W0$0.00$0.00




Killshot: Direction1$5.00$3.25
PDF1$5.00$3.25
Softcover B&W0





Killshot Files #036$3.95$2.57
PDF36$3.95$2.57




Killshot Files #112$22.91$14.89
PDF12$22.91$14.89




Killshot Files #211$36.27$23.58
PDF11$36.27$23.58




Ironbound138$1.40$0.91
PDF (PWYW)65$1.40$0.91
Blessed and the Damned73$0.00$0.00




ScreenPlay643$138.84$77.06
PDF639$103.60$67.34
Softcover POD4$35.24$9.72




Dial M for Monster626$21.90$14.24
PDF626$21.90$14.24
Softcover POD0





Fragments619$57.00$37.05
Duel (PDF)619$0.00$0.00
By The General’s Hand (PDF)38$57.00$37.05




High Plains Samurai: Legends1800$91.50$22.56
PDF1793$0.00$0.00
Softcover B&W4$39.41$10.33
Softcover CMYK3$52.09$12.23




High Plains Samurai RPG34$435.00$273.29
PDF31$330.00$214.50
Softcover B&W3$105.00$58.79




TOTAL3980$1,073.43$631.24




Killshot Directors Kit (Bundle)9

The Ultimate ScreenPlay Bundle 9

IPR Sales$276.01
IGDN Convention Sales$315.85
TOTAL$591.86
ALL SALES COMBINED 2018$1,223.10

It’s important to note we participated in two charity bundles this year (the Puerto Rico Charity Bundle and ConTessa), which skews the sales to dollars ratio as we obviously didn’t actually make any money off those products.

And here is BRG’s overall results since I launched this company in 2012 with the past three years provided in detail. The total includes everything since day one.

PRODUCT2015-162016-172018TOTAL
Killshot: The Director’s Cut$140.08$75.42$138.26$1,688.43
Killshot: An Assassin’s Journal$5.95$0.00$0.00$22.64
Killshot: Direction$4.18$0.00$3.25$20.43
Killshot Files #0$3.98$2.90$2.97$9.85
Killshot Files #1$11.67$4.81$14.89$112.85
Killshot Files #2$33.47$12.27$23.58$130.21
ScreenPlay: The Rehearsal Edition$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00
Ironbound$37.72$5.25$0.91$43.88
ScreenPlay$260.01$111.44$77.06$448.51
Dial M for Monster$0.00$40.08$14.24$54.32
High Plains Samurai$0.00$0.00$295.85$295.85
Fragments$0.00$0.00$37.05$37.05
Killshot Directors Kit (Bundle)



TOTAL$497.06$252.17$608.06$2,864.02

Those annual totals have been divided up to showcase how they accounted for the overall percentage of BRG’s product lines and total earnings. For example, the total sales for Killshot equaled 8.19% of its overall earnings since the product was launched.

PRODUCT2015-162016-172018
Killshot 8.30%4.47%8.19%
ScreenPlay57.97%24.85%17.18%
Ironbound85.96%11.96%2.07%
Dial M for Monster
73.78%26.22%
High Plains Samurai

100.00%
Fragments

100.00%
TOTAL17.36%8.80%21.23%

Now for the analysis paralysis and this is where I’m going to save all of us the trouble of reading through my various thoughts on these numbers and record them for you. Feel free to scroll along as you listen (I tried to keep myself to a reasonable duration) and ask any questions you may have in the comments below.

A War Game To Write Home About…

By The General's HandWhat do generals tell their families back home about the atrocities of war? What fears and bravado do they share with their spouses, children, friends from childhood? What truths lie behind the fog of war?

Our second Fragments mini-game, By The General’s Hand, is now available on DriveThruRPG and RPGNow. Inspired by an episode of the Gaming & BS podcast, this is a 2-player game about a fictional war played out using handwritten letters sent home to loved ones. Each letter contains an update on how the war is progressing with dice rolls used to determine either side’s victories, defeats, and setbacks encoded within the letters. Players are encouraged to handwrite their letters and reveal the impact of war on these dedicated soldiers and the worlds they affect as they answer questions with each corresponding letter.

It’s only $1.50 USD for a PDF of By The General’s Hand and we’d love to hear the results of your wars. A great game to play between other games to help pass the time with a tactile approach to war simulations.

Measuring Success: The First Quarter of 2018

What the…?!! We’re already one quarter of the way through 2018? Wow, that was fast. Which means it’s time for the quarterly update on BRG sales for the first 25% of the year.

Let’s start by offering up the actual sales numbers, with 99% of them coming from OneBookShelf sites (DriveThruRPG and RPGNow) and the rest from BreakoutCon this past month.

Product Total Sold Gross Sales Earnings
Killshot: The Director’s Cut 8 $20.90 $13.59
PDF 8    
Hardcover B&W 0    
Hardcover B&W + PDF 0    
Killshot: An Assassin’s Journal 2 $0.00 $0.00
PDF 2    
Softcover B&W 0    
Killshot: Direction 0 $0.00 $0.00
PDF 0    
Softcover B&W 0    
Killshot Files #0 11 $0.00 $0.00
PDF (Free) 11    
Killshot Files #1 4 $5.96 $3.87
PDF 4    
Killshot Files #2 3 $6.82 $4.43
PDF 3    
Ironbound 38 $1.40 $0.91
PWYW 17    
Blessed and the Damned 21    
ScreenPlay 4 $56.52 $47.31
PDF 3    
Softcover POD 3    
Softcover POD + PDF 0    
Dial M for Monster 1 $0.00 $0.00
PDF 1    
Softcover POD 0    
Fragments 402 $0.00 $0.00
Duel (PDF) 402    
High Plains Samurai: Legends 472 $90.00 $62.55
PDF 470    
Softcover B&W + PDF 3    
Softcover CMYK + PDF 1    
TOTAL 952 $181.60 $132.66
Killshot Directors Kit (Bundle) 2  

Launching T-Shirts Into The Crowd…

HPS_Legends_cover_web_850x1200_Jan2018There’s a vast difference between the total number of sales and the money we earned as a result of those downloads. It’s a difference I expected for one reason: freebies. There were two new releases launched this quarter, HPS Legends and Duel. Both of them are free PDFs (with Legends available in paid softcover copies through a variety of sites). While Duel was always intended to be a free PDF (it’s only 8 pages long), there was some internal debate on Legends‘ price. The deciding factor was building an audience. Because BRG used to be part of the Mystical Throne Entertainment family, those sales were part of MTE’s data and were not guaranteed to port over to ours. As a result, the decision was made to make Legends free to help build up an audience for BRG (as well as HPS) and because it was created as a kind of stretch goal from the Kickstarter. That’s why this section is called “Launching T-shirts…” because that’s exactly what this first quarter was all about. Just without the t-shirts. Or the canons that killed Ned Flanders’ wife.

The numbers for both new products are very encouraging as both earned over 400 downloads a piece, primarily in the month of March. There were even a couple of softcover sales for Legends online. As both products were the central focus of this first quarter, mission accomplished. The true measurement of their success will reveal itself by next quarter.

Screenshot 2018-03-20 07.25.11

Speaking of free stuff, this quarter also saw the release of the official High Plains Samurai website (highplainssamurai.com). Beyond your typical setting-based website with basic rules, setting overview, and purchase links, the site features a weekly blog post called the Atlas of the One Land. If you haven’t checked it out yet, have a peak and learn about new locations, characters, even gargantuan monsters that wander across the Wastes. Data on the first two weeks of operation have been right on cue. To quote the Gauntlet podcast, this site is giving me life right now.

Add on the few sales for our older products, especially Killshot, and these numbers were very much what I was expecting. Q2 will be light with the launch of our second Fragments mini-game, By The General’s Hand, before the latter half of 2018 brings the full glory of HPS to the masses. Expect something about it on the site soon or you can learn more by signing up for the Broken Newsletter to the right side of this page (or on the bottom if you’re on a mobile). So, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a core rulebook to finish.