As many of you know, I've a vested interest in Slumbering Tsar, Greg Vaughan's half-million word mega-adventure on the rise of Orcus. After all, it was an interview on this very blog that helped re-invigorate interest in this magnum opus. Well, I'm happy to say it's finally here -- happy even if Vaughan's adventures have slain more of my characters than any other authors'. For real. It's also no longer news that Necromancer games has risen from the grave as Frog God Games -- insert big cheer! -- or that they're publishing Slumbering Tsar. Finally, my fellow RPGAggression reviewer, Endzeitgeist, has a full and detailed review of Tsar planned. He's less biased than me and more thorough, so I'm going to leave that review to him. Instead, let's take a moment to talk about how Frog God circumvented the challenge of publishing a 500,000 word adventure -- a challenge that daunted even the publishing might of Paizo and the old Necromancer Games combined.
The short answer is: subscription model + installments. Frog God offers the Slumbering Tsar saga in 14 installments. You can buy installments for a few dollars each PDF, or you can subscribe to the whole thing and receive a hard cover at the end of your subscription - a deeply discounted hardcover. Actually, Frog God offers us at least three different options: Premium (Subscription + discounted Hardcover), PDF only subscription, and PDFs + Hardcover, no Subscription.
It's a great little publishing model, in my opinion, filled with options. The most attractive option (Premium) offers the publisher the security and benefits of pre-orders without denying the customer (us!) an immediate product for our hard earned dollars.
I'm off to order now. I am so going to make Greg Vaughan sign my hardcover at least once for every character of mine his adventures have killed.
I hope his book is long enough.
Look for a full review of Slumbering Tsar at RPG Aggression from master-reviewer Endzeitgeist!