Back to: Invaders from Mars | Forward to: Interdependency

A message from our sponsors

The Laundry RPG is now available from Cubicle 7 games.

Fluff the Plush Cthulhu says, "buy it now, minion, or you will be eaten last!"

In case you're new here, that's the role playing game based on my Laundry novels — which are available via the links here (US editions) and here (UK editions).

50 Comments

1:

Waiting for my pre-order to arrive, hopefully in time for Christmas.

2:

Yes, I'm waiting for my pre-ordered book, too. All the strikes and stuff in Finland seems to have delayed it, though.

I have the PDF, but running a game is too difficult without a proper book.

3:

'that's the role playing game based on my Laundry novels'

I am so disappointed. For a moment, I thought you were announcing the launch of the Laundry rocket-propelled grenade!

4:

Okay, I know what's going onto my "ooh, yes please" list. Looks like fun!

5:

Shouldn't the thread be titled 'A message from our Dread Overlord'? Just sayin...
Anyway, already ordered.

6:

Any plans for an MMO version of the RPG? (Still waiting for the distributed Open Source MMO platform from Halting State..)

7:

An MMO version? Ahahahaha ...

(Do you know how much it costs to produce an MMO? Put it this way: there'll be an MMO around the same time there's a blockbuster Hollywood movie of the books.)

8:

I pity the guy who had to write playable rules for Combat Epistemology.

9:

unless someone modified an existing free to play game?
there are some MMOs being created by small studios. Mortal online for instance,

10:

The order page doesn't work properly in Opera - it's fine in Firefox and Safari, so some quirk of Opera, I suppose. I've told Cubicle 7.

11:

About the MMO thing....

Whilst at the 2005 Worldcon in Glasgow I went to a rather interesting presented by a chap by the name of David Cake (if memory serves, though his name was definitely Cake cos it made me laugh thinking of Terry Pratchett's character). There was a comparison ongoing of the cost involved in setting up MMORPG games, going from the age of EverQuest to World of Warcraft.

Now, EverQuest in its day cost s good few million dollars to kick start. WOrld Of Warcraft cos about 15 times the amount of money to get rolling. That was a time difference of less than 10 years between them. So starting a new MMO game today could pretty reasonably have the budget of a major hollywood blockbuster movie. So we could be talking 40 plus million dollars. A not insignificant amount of money and a huge risk for any software developer to take in the wake of the all conquering World Of Warcraft.

Anyway, old style RPGs tend to be better as there are no limits to what you can do. Any computer game is limited to what the programmer has decided you should be allowed to do. Their only real advantage to my mind is that no-one can argue with the GM.

12:

Wow, thats so cool its frosty.

13:

My preorder arrived in Sunnyvale, California earlier this week.

14:

Excellent, my credit card needed a bit of a workout... I'll get this even though it's years sine I've RPG'd.

I can't resist adding, because it struck as a raher Laundryish bit of news, the links I'm seeing being drawn on some mailing lists between

(1) the Glastonbury Thorn being vandalised, and
(2) the Heir to the Throne being attacked the next day.

I've no doubt that even know Bob is investigating the conspiracy behind these.

15:

Excuse Me. Who did not mention My website?

The rest of you, obey your Dread Lord.

16:

I picked it up on the release day here in Canada. Awesome RPG, very well written, but crappy art for the most part. I get a feeling that the artists doing the character portraits didn't read the novels or something. Two sweet adventures in the back, one of them featuring a certain sea-side village and BLUE HADES. ^_~

17:

Anything new from Charlie in these?

18:

Aside from in-story reasons (i.e., that the Laundryverse isn't *quite* the world of the Cthulhu Mythos) is there a reason that this wasn't done as a Call of Cthulhu supplement? (Aside from the fact that Chaosium always seems to be hovering on the edge of bankruptcy).

19:

(a) The Chaosium didn't ask me; Cubicle 7 did the heavy lifting. And (b) Cubicle 7 started by licensing the CoC ruleset ... then gutted it, replacing large chunks in order to get a proper Laundry feel (complete with added civil service bureaucracy). The result is something that wouldn't fit within the regular CoC framework without huge amounts of tailoring.

20:

Iaian Aitken @ 11:

the budget of a major hollywood blockbuster movie. So we could be talking 40 plus million dollars.

$40 million is a high end budget for a non-blockbuster movie these days. Expect to pay at least 4-5 times that for a blockbuster. Production of the most recent huge movie, "Avatar" cost at least $280 million, but that does not include the R&D costs for the new production technologies that were created specifically for this movie, probably somewhere between $50 and $100 million more. By comparison, production for the last "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie cost around $300 million1 2

1. None of these figures include marketing costs, which can be another $50 or $100 million easily.
2. You'd think a movie based on a theme park ride would be pretty cheap, wouldn't you?

21:

Got mine this week in the mail. My Steve Jobs statuette also came. It's been a good week.

22:

The Glastonbury Holy Thorn (or more properly one of the Holy Thorns - the 'original' in the Abbey died a decade or more ago) which was vandalised was on Werryall Hill. The whole crown was sawed off in the dead of night, leaving the tree nothing more than two bare trunks.

More interestingly, this Thorn is on the land of the ex-Mayor of Glastonbury, Edward James. The vandalism happened on the same day Mr James was arrested on suspicion of fraud as a diretcor of the collapsed currency exchange business, Crown Currency Exchange.

The plot thickens. Or perhaps just coincidence, and a disturbed person seeing the official cutting of the thorn sprig at the church that day (to send to the Queen for Xmas) decided to re-enact te events...

23:

Got mine last week; very happy with it and lots of fun:)

24:

I'm hoping for a Laundry-logoed polo shirt that I can wear to work.

25:

I have my copy. It looks very pretty. I've been very much enjoying the setting and all the little glimpses of life at the laundry. The point of this post is of course to say thank you to our benevolent overlord for making it possible (and not to gloat horribly...well not much anyway).

26:

My group enjoyed the sample adventure "Footnote". Currently running "Greys"

27:

May I please have a dispensation to wait until I see if I can ge a copy from my mate who runs a games shop before placing a mail order?

28:

@ 22
Wierd!

29:

Bought it (The PDF) and am currently running it for my group :).

Seems to work fairly well, a few little bugs in there but no more than you'd expect of a first edition RPG.

Quite faithful to the books IMHO. Interested to know whether PLUTO KOBOLD are a spoiler?

30:

I thought I wanted to be eaten last, but this Jack Chick tract* changed my mind!

*text presumably by somebody else

31:

I got my copy last week and only held off reading it because I hadn't finished The Fuller Memorandum. Now that I've done that, I can safely plumb the depths of the game. My local group wouldn't be interested, but I'm making tentative plans to run it as a one-shot or mini-series online.

32:

I've worked on MMOs. $40 million is relatively cheap for an MMO now. Anyone looking to be in the same league as World of Warcraft is looking at $100+ million development costs. World of Warcraft itself has spent... well, it's a hell of a lot more than $100 million on development so far. Marketing can easily add up to another 50-100 million dollars.

@andy f: Most of the cost is game-specific content, so using an existing game engine doesn't help much.

33:

On the other hand, World of Warcraft is a very nice little earner.

Latest upgrade? 3.3 million copies in 24 hours.

And that's to people quite a few iterations into the game now. If we assume those people stay subscribed for a year, then that's about £100 each copy. (Blizzard make their real money off the monthly subs.)

So about £300m. And that ignores those of us who've been subscribers for the last 6 years, and those who bought a day or two late. It wouldn't surprise me at all to hear of a half billion quid a year income.

WoW is the 800 pound gorilla - I'm not sure there's space in the ecosystem for another one at that scale.

34:

ITYM "spawnsors". HTH. HAND.

35:

I received my pre-ordered copy last week. I've only been able to page through it, (as I'm on vacation and need to prepare for the D&D campaign I run this Sunday), but I'm quite delighted by what I've read. I'm glad to hear that it's a self-contained rule-system, since I don't own any of the main CoC products.

I'm looking forward to receiving the rest of the Laundry RPG products. Since I've pre-ordered them, they come as awesome and random surprises in the mail.

36:

I want this game so very, very much! I don't think the budget can sustain the price, though, atm. :(

37:

Demoed it at dragonmeet. It ran very well.
But i wouldnt recommend letting any one play a looney personality type in any game you wanted to last longer than a single session.

Still the 'sight' of him being dragged backwards by his team mates whilst most of shropshire vanished into the massive sink hole he had just created as he yell "Yeah top that Crowley!" almost made up for it.

Shame we didn't have time for the resulting audit... But it was only a one day con, and that would probably have lasted weeks

I'll probably running it at Conquest in derby in the new year.

38:

The game not the audit that is...

39:

Got my copy Saturday or Friday. Mind you, I had the PDF weeks ago, and it's been lurking on my iPad ever since. Still, it is nice to have the dead matter version. Probably safer, too.

40:

You're right - there isn't room for another MMO of WoW's size (or a twentieth its size, even). That unfortunately hasn't stopped anyone from trying. Developers saw the billions of dollars WoW made, and thought they could cash in on it, ignoring the fact that they were competing with a game that already had the majority of the players for that sort of game, and was in the position of greatly outspending any competition. Companies were set up to take on Blizzard, resulting in a string of very costly failures, with the game studios usually going down in flames.
MMOs are inherently expensive, though, so it's a difficult tightrope walk to make MMOs that are big enough to attract, but cheap enough to be paid for and maintained with, a relatively small subscriber base (i.e. hundreds of thousands of players).

41:

I am the envy of a certain set of my friends, having sent out a mass email upon receipt of the dead tree version. It was a great self-present to have that box show up and think, "What the devil is this?"

42:

"Good luck, Mr. Gorsky"

43:

My copy should be at my Friendly Local Gaming Store right now and I'm going to pick it up this afternoon. (Black Bag Jobs should be arriving soon too.)

44:

Also it's a thick enough book that when you threaten tom drop it on a players head they worry, but if you say that about your iPad then kind of know you aren't serious.

On a related note after charlies reference to scrivener on the mac-air thread, I downloaded the trial copy and it is perfect for writing RPG adventures. You can have all your notes on there but get it to print out player hand outs separately by having only those included in the compile. Plue it has spaced to stopper all your character sheets and location notes..
Well worth it (especially as I got it half price having completed nanowrimo.)

45:

It took a few days, but now it's shown up on Barnes and Noble, so my copy's on the way. I'm looking forward to seeing it. Maybe I can even talk my players into a Laundry campaign when I start the next cycle in 2012.

46:

So I looked it up on Barnes & Noble, which reported one new copy, list price $39.99 available for $182.42. Somebody's pushing the hell out of supply and demand, I'd say.

47:

My pre-order copy finally arrived, too late to send as the Christmas present it was intended as. Not terribly happy about that (or the bent corners from poor packaging).

48:

I don't know what up with that. I got it at a discount from cover price, and direct from B&N. Supposedly it's going to be dropped off tomorrow. Yet when I go back to their site now, I see a price a few dollars higher than the one you cite. Could that have not stocked very deeply and been caught be rapid sales that burned through their stock? Or could their Web site be maintained by the clueless?

49:

Not bad, I'm not a big fan of the game engine, but it's good fun to read and enjoy.

I'm of the opinion that you could do the Laundry books as a kick-ass BBC series-first season could do The Atrocity Archives (Episodes 1-8) and The Concrete Jungle (Episodes 9-13). Second season would be Jennifer Morgue (Episodes 1-9), PIMPF (Episode 10-11), and Down On The Farm (12-13). Season 3 would be the Fuller Memorandum (Episodes 1-10) and Overtime (Episodes 11-13).

Not sure who to cast, but I cannot see anybody other than Patrick Stuart being Angelton...

50:

This is probably going to seem perverse, but having read the book over, I find myself envisioning the campaign I'd want to run with it. It would be set during the opening phase of CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN, the lead up time of several months, and the player characters would be a group of . . . well . . . low end superbeings. Not equivalents of Superman, the Hulk, Wonder Woman, or Dr. Strange, but definitely powers and abilities beyond those of mortal men. The chapter on magical gadgets and the one on spells give a good scale of power levels for this, after all.

Of course, the ongoing paradox would be that public displays of abilities would help to bring the full apocalypse closer. So the supers with some fraction of a clue would be fighting not only the daikaiju and the mad geniuses, but the excessively public wannabe superheroes.

Or maybe I just have a childish desire to re-create Fantastic Four #1.

Specials

Merchandise

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on December 12, 2010 2:25 PM.

Invaders from Mars was the previous entry in this blog.

Interdependency is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Search this blog

Propaganda