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Miskatonic Repository (DMs' Guild equivalent) coming from Chaosium

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#1 PoC

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 10:50 AM

Posted to Chaosium's blog yesterday:
 

call-of-cthulhu-miskatonic-repository-logo.jpg
 

Introducing the Miskatonic Repository - a new way for creators to publish and distribute their own original Call of Cthulhu content including scenarios, settings, spells and more!
 
Here's how it works - you create content, format it to our design template, and then upload the PDF to the site. Your work becomes part of the Miskatonic Repository content on DriveThruRPG – able to be accessed by the community and, optionally, providing a financial return to you.
 
Easy creation process
 
Chaosium has created easy-to-use style templates (in both MS Word and Adobe InDesign) and free Art Packs specifically created for the Miskatonic Repository to help you create your own content. You can create or source your own art and graphics as well.
 
Selling your work
 
Creators can make money from their published community content, or make it freely available – it is entirely up to you. (If you're familiar with the existing community content for D&D, the Miskatonic Repository follows the same model in terms of revenue split and general rules).
 
A launching site for new talent
 
Todd Gardiner, Chaosium's director of organized play said, "The Miskatonic Repository is an excellent way for budding Call of Cthulhu writers to unleash the terrors that lurk within them. As Organized Play grows in the Chaosium player community we're really looking forward to seeing what products people self-start and release through the Community Content Program. It will be a launching site for writing talent we can use for collaboration in our ongoing OP efforts, and a place we'll be watching keenly for potential writers in our Call of Cthulhu line."


Source: https://www.chaosium...onic-repository


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#2 PoC

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 09:15 AM

Six Chaosium art packs should be available for you to use and there will be five new Call of Cthulhu scenarios ready when it goes live.

 

Chaosium have also stated that entries into the Miskatonic Repository will be for Call of Cthulhu 7th edition only, whereas the DMs' Guild also accepts submissions for prior editions of D&D.


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#3 carpocratian

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 09:28 AM

It's going to be interesting to see how they handle ongoing rights to the materials.  If you are effectively signing all rights over to them, I would view that as a pretty big issue.



#4 PoC

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 10:53 AM

Chaosium have said that the Miskatonic Repository will generally follow the DMs’ Guild rules.

https://support.dmsg...ral-Information

Which would mean that content submitted by authors can also be used by other authors in their own submissions.

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#5 wharfedalehome

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 12:05 PM

This approach by Chaosium sounds like a good idea to me. I assume it's meant to be an indirect replacement for the Monographs. If it allows fringe ideas and concepts, new talent and other Cthulhu related oddities to thrive I think it will be very interesting. If it really is meant as an updated Monograph approach then it's also clever approach by Chaosium. It means they get fan participation, which is always healthy, with minimal oversight and involvement by the company, which probably benefits everybody. Fans can spread their Cthulhoid wings and the company can focus on its core activities. My only, minor, concern is that of money. I hope the focus is more fan inspired than commercially driven, but that's just a personal preference. Whatever the direction, I expect it will be both exciting and immersive.



#6 PoC

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 12:11 PM

Stygian Fox already has a work-for-hire project in process for Miskatonic Repository so it looks like it will be a mix. It would be nice to replace the old Monograph system.

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#7 MOB

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Posted 19 December 2017 - 07:32 AM

It's going to be interesting to see how they handle ongoing rights to the materials.  If you are effectively signing all rights over to them, I would view that as a pretty big issue.

 

The authors retain the copyright of their original creations.

 

My only, minor, concern is that of money. I hope the focus is more fan inspired than commercially driven, but that's just a personal preference. Whatever the direction, I expect it will be both exciting and immersive.

 

Miskatonic Repository creators can set any price they wish for their content, or make it free, or "pay what you want" - entirely up to them. 



#8 PoC

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 09:23 AM

The Miskatonic Repository is now live on DriveThruRPG.

 

Chaosium blog post: https://www.chaosium...sitory-is-live/

 

  • Revenue split is: 50% Creator, 30% DriveThruRPG, 20% Chaosium (you set the price).
  • You cannot use rules from Call of Cthulhu 1st-6th editions.
  • No fiction, no software, nothing that's been crowd funded.
  • No "extreme" adult content. CoC (in general) is considered akin to PG-13 by Chaosium.
  • You own the copyright to the material you create.

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#9 MOB

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 12:35 AM

The Miskatonic Repository is now live on DriveThruRPG.

Chaosium blog post: https://www.chaosium...sitory-is-live/

  • Revenue split is: 50% Creator, 30% DriveThruRPG, 20% Chaosium (you set the price).
  • You cannot use rules from Call of Cthulhu 1st-6th editions.
  • No fiction, no software, nothing that's been crowd funded.
  • No "extreme" adult content. CoC (in general) is considered akin to PG-13 by Chaosium.
  • You own the copyright to the material you create.

Here are direct links to the Miskatonic Repository content guidelines on DTRPG's Support site:

Miskatonic Repository Content Guidelines

Additional MR Guidelines (writing guide, technical tips, use of art)

General Guidelines for DTRPG's community content & FAQ

#10 Culpra

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 12:49 AM

I have mixed feelings concerning the revenue split, and the prohibition of using other rules than 7th edition.

I understand the decision from a commercial stand point and fully respect their right to do so, but am i alone in this?

#11 MrHandy

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 01:40 AM

You're not alone. I'm a 6th edition guy, and I don't even have the 7th edition rulebooks yet. Not being allowed to use earlier editions precludes me from putting anything in the Repository. I also think they're taking a rather steep cut just for hosting the material.


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#12 tjgreenway

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 03:04 AM

On the flip side, if there are folks who aren't acquainted with 7E who wish to contribute, this could be a great opportunity for inter-community relations to be solidified - I'd certainly be happy to assist with updating anything written to 7E.

Ever the optimist here!

#13 MOB

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 11:36 AM

I have mixed feelings concerning the revenue split, and the prohibition of using other rules than 7th edition.

I understand the decision from a commercial stand point and fully respect their right to do so, but am i alone in this?


You're not alone. I'm a 6th edition guy, and I don't even have the 7th edition rulebooks yet. Not being allowed to use earlier editions precludes me from putting anything in the Repository.


Yes, if you have something for a previous edition that you'd like to feature in the Miskatonic Repository, it has to be updated to the current rules. The 7th Edition Conversion Guidelines (from the Keeper Rulebook) available at DTRPG as free download.

I also think they're taking a rather steep cut just for hosting the material.


This is DTRPG's standard revenue split for their community content programs. The DM's Guild, Traveller's Aid Society etc are the same.

#14 Culpra

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 04:30 PM

On the flip side, if there are folks who aren't acquainted with 7E who wish to contribute, this could be a great opportunity for inter-community relations to be solidified - I'd certainly be happy to assist with updating anything written to 7E.

Ever the optimist here!


Be careful. I might take up your offer mercilessly 😂

#15 MrHandy

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 04:58 PM

Thank you! I am planning to get the 7th edition rules eventually anyway, especially now that Alone Against the Dark has been republished and converted to 7E. It will probably be some time before I can write anything new, as I don't have much free time. For the last couple of months I've been working on a scenario for Devil's Swamp as a guest author (for which the main author is converting it from 6E to 7E), and that's taken up what time I've had.


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#16 numtini

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Posted 24 December 2017 - 12:24 AM

I also think they're taking a rather steep cut just for hosting the material.

 

I'm a romance author selling primarily on Amazon. 30% is pretty standard for retailers on ebooks. Amazon, kobo, and Ibooks are 30%, Nook is 40%. It's not just "hosting." They are processing payments, handling customer service, providing long term archiving of customer libraries, handling the royalty split and payments, tax reporting (provided you sell enough, you'll get a 1099--and you'll need to pay tax on earnings as a business, including Schedule SE self employment tax and Schedule C business tax as a sole prorietor). Most importantly, they provide a retail face that gamers know, which means you're going to have customers actually find your work and trust the site enough to stick in their personal and credit card information. For an indie or "self-publisher" having access to major retailers has been a complete game changer. 

 

On the 20% that Chaosium gets, that's the same as the DM Guild. The other similar program I can think of is Kindle Worlds, which allows paid fan-fic, and that's a 30 to retailer, 35% to the owner of the IP, and 35% to the author. On one side, you could argue that Lovecraft's portion of the game IP is out of copyright and there are OGL d100 rules that you could use, and then you'd get the full 70% royalty. On the other side, Chaosium is providing a lot of support in the form of art, which for some of us is the thing we'd probably be paying for. And it provides license for mythos properties in the game that aren't from Lovecraft (Dark Young, the term Byakhee). The most important thing though is they provide publicity and a central access point, which as with DriveThru, means you're actually going to sell something, where if you stick a paypal button on your website, you're unlikely to do.

Of interest to me is it allows easier distribution of free materials than the fan license, which precluded DTRPG, which was going to put a pretty harsh limit on how many peoples' eyes touched your product. (As I said above.)


Edited by numtini, 24 December 2017 - 12:24 AM.


#17 Judgetrev

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Posted 24 December 2017 - 12:10 PM

I think the Repository is an amazing idea!

I am a creative person, but I am horrible at the business side of anything. I get 50% and I don't have to do anything except write and format? Let's go!

I can see the day when I drop big fat stacks of Miskatonic Repository provided cash into my wife's lap.

"Go buy yourself something nice, I am heading downstairs to work on my silly hobby....."

Oh what a day that will be.

Heh

#18 yronimoswhateley

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Posted 25 December 2017 - 01:30 PM

I think it sounds fair and like a great idea - whether it was intended as a replacement for the monographs or not (I suspect that was at least a small part of it), it does sound like a big improvement over the old monograph system in terms of practicality and efficiency. 

 

I wonder if we'll see a Miskatonic Repository-based revival of the old Halloween scenario collections?  Those always seemed (in theory, if not always in practice) like a great way to get some great new scenarios and other content from amateur talent; sure, they could be a mixed bag, but I found it fun and rewarding to find the real treats mixed in among the occasional tricks....

 

EDITED TO ADD: 

 

For those worried about the 7th Edition requirement, the 7th Edition conversions generally shouldn't be too difficult.  A year or two ago I compared the 5th Edition and 7th Edition versions of "The Haunting", for example, and mechanically they were almost identical (a handful of NPC/monster stats like STR, INT, etc. being multiplied by 5 were the only real mechanical difference, besides perhaps one or two renamed spells or skills).  I'd say that well over 95% of the changes between editions for "The Haunting" were the complete rewriting of descriptions and instructions, some additional tutorial information, and the addition of a game-play example - these were generally editorial changes that had little or nothing to do with the changes in the game mechanics, changes that technically didn't need to be made.  Each scenario is, of course, different, but I would be surprised if the 7th Edition conversion for other scenarios required much heavy lifting. 

 

Aside from those stats and the occasional skill or spell, I don't think there were too many other changes that directly affected older scenarios:  some new rules (like chase rules, luck,etc.) can be thought of as optional rules that could be written into new scenarios if desired, and most others simply don't pertain to scenario writing.  What's left over are any references to the resistance table, changes to poison, any home-brewed difficulty and bonus mechanics that can be removed and replaced by a simple reference to 7e difficulty rules, and a few minor things like that (I suspect how often you include such things in your scenario writing will determine how much attention you would need to pay to these aspects of 7th Edition rules during your conversion).


Edited by yronimoswhateley, 25 December 2017 - 02:21 PM.

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#19 MrHandy

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 02:29 AM

The Miskatonic Repository is great, and it does allow authors to get their work in front of an audience when they otherwise might not have been able to do so. It's much better than the monograph system, As rough as it is to only get half of the proceeds, it's preferable by far to just getting a flat $250.


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#20 JeffErwin

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Posted 26 December 2017 - 04:14 AM

I'm working on something for this right now...





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