Jul 25



It's a thing. However we want to frame it your book only finds its audience if you put it physically in their hands.


I'm in the home stretch of a couple of sleeping pills so you'll have to interpret my dream braon


I refuse to learn marketing sensibly. Sensible marketing is objectively evil. I know my target audience and they're not the kind of people that enthusiastic bs will satisfy.


That Cyanide & Happiness kickstarter is tricking people into making viral marketing. We need to steal the nugget of fun from that and accept that the work must be done if anyone wants to eat. From a practical standpoint I won't buy your book if I don't know you wrote a book.


There must be something beyond a bespoke slogging void your guts every time. Build readers, maintain dignity. How?


Marketfrorg ponders this conundrum…

This is potentially a discussion very relevant to my interests, but I'm not sure how to answer.

Jul 25

Feel like bespoken slog-a-slog is propably the least soul-less method of marketing and promotion. I say because the grossness surrounding the last ttrpg adjacent creator that was full-ass in the marketing and self-promotion thing. Besides the best marketing advice I think I seen for small hobby/industries like rpgs is be a fucking human.


I am not a full-time creator. I'm small potatoes with ugly content.

The thing is being human doesn't get rewarded. Shit like what zweihander pulled gets rewarded. Soon I'll be doing the troika dance for other people's games and I owe it to them to make a go of it.


Ethical marketing is rough



Jul 25

What did zweihander do? Ads?

@Ian W Dominated all known gaming spaces in the universe and shilled like a beast.

At least that's how it came across. ; )

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Although I'm sure zweihander was successful, the marketing strategy was bollocks. It definitely doesn't have anywhere near the traction it had. Too much 'hardsell'.


I think the trick is know your audience and keep the comms open. A good example is the way Sean McCoy markets Mothership. It's all super positive and fans are engaged, hungry for more content.

I do see the Melsonian brand gaining ground while on my digital travels. Slowly, but it is happening.

That's a result of slowly figuring out what we're doing. Sean has all that community stuff, we're... not community people. Although Sean has been a huge help in the financial back end, he knows his stuff.

We honestly need a community manager some day soon. You can't fake it

Jul 25Edited: Jul 25

@Daniel Sell I know of the Melsonian website (obvs) and the Discord. Where else are people talking Troika! and the like?

I'm assuming it comes up on reddit on occasion? Twitter? And there's a MeWe fan-group.


Perhaps you just need to keep doing what you do, but with a wider net?

Sounds like youre going to need some intense irony-boy shit to navigate this space. A #TroikaSellsOut multimedia campaign.


>Offer twitter users some paltry prize if they post video/photo of themselves prostrate and begging for said prize. More hashtags is more chances to win!

>Stage things with twitch streamers and youtube personalities where they hyper-enthusiastically (or maybe unenthusiastically, like a hostage) read some over-the-top horrible marketing language you wrote that isn't even accurate or meaningful or relevant.

>Fuck it--kickstart your marketing campaign budget. Make them pay to be subjected to advertising.

>Start asking leading, bad-faith questions in unrelated public places: Mercer posts about whatever all his white friends are doing and you're responding like "Is this the stream where you permanently switch from 5e to Troika!?" Wizards posts some Magic: The Gathering art and you're like "Is this art from the Troika!, the incredible roleplaying game that all your friends are playing?" Somewhere else, "Is Troika! the most important role-playing game ever?" / "Will Troika! restore the public's faith in role-playing games?" / "Will any game be able to sell more copies than Troika!?"

>Generally be as awful as possible, but with a wink so everyone knows you're cool.


Oh shit, nevermind, this is literally just normal marketing.

Jul 25

Do whatever it is that swordsfall is doing. Spam about swag with your art. Sell shirts and stickers and snap-back hats. Kickstart an official Troika! comic book.

Jul 25

Is it obvious i have a low opinion of him?

Jul 25

Mostly because he's done all of that with only a setting book.

I'd actually buy Troika stickers.

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Jul 25

Not to keep slagging swordsfall, but he did tap into the "folks build identities around their interests." He sort of pushes a bit of a Swordsfall as aesthetic, almost lifestyle,

And I just want to buy games and shit.

At the same time, I think Troika has more than enough personality to support that kind of game-as-identity shit.

Jul 25

TBH I'd probably drop Troika if Dan went that route as cool as the art and game and implied setting are. But I'm like one dude.

I get that. I think success for Troika is going to see that happen regardless, because that's kind of just what success looks like under late capitalism. So maybe the question becomes: how do we allow people to identify with the product without manipulating them into that kind of relation. And what I meant before is that Troika kind of has that secret sauce already: it's weird and mostly non-threatening, which is what a lot of people want to be and do.

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Gonna ramble some marketing thoughts the will most likely be neither correct, coherent, or helpful. I do marketing stuff at my day job but I don't claim to have any expertise.

Word of Mouth: The best way for something to spread. Figuring out how to encourage it can be hard. But people will talk about what they love. The more people have a good experience with a game the more they will share it. So doing what you can to get more people playing is probably the key. Running games. Hiring others to run games. DCC has Road Crews I think, they go to game stores and run DCC just to get people excited about it.

Traditional way of getting attention: Advertisements. Pay for ads in the spaces you expect your target audience to be looking. This is generally the most honest and expensive form of marketing. The trick it choosing the right avenue. That can be hard in the internet age, especially with media/entertainment products. The RPG market seems like a small market, but with D&D's 5e boom it seems like there should be new potential customers trickling down to the "underground" RPG scene. Targeting digital ads through google is probably the best way right now. Unless you know of a website/publication/etc that you can buy ad space from that you know your target audience frequents.


Tastemakers: Get your products in the hands of a tastemaker. A celebrity of some kind or a respected person your target audience will listen to. It's hard to do this. Folks with big platforms are usually being hit up with requests all the time and also don't want to alienate their fanbase with an endorsement they don't believe in. Best case is you get lucky and your word of mouth with reach tastemakers.


Luck and timing are huge factors. Right place, right time is rarely on purpose. You can really just focus of making your product something that will catch folk's attention if it happens to be in the right place at the right time. What I would do if I had a budget: Figure out what conventions I'd want my game played at. Pay people I know would run a good game to go to those cons and run it. Print up some special merch, something fun, souvenir-like, something that others will say, "cool! where'd you get that?" And have the GMs give those to the players. Giving away free stuff that's not just regular promo material build goodwill and excitement. The other thing I would do if film a session, edit it down heavily. Don't worry about showcasing mechanics, just try to showcase the fun of playing. Add in fun animations/music/overlays/etc. Use genuinely funny charismatic people. Edit the heck out of it. Try to make it 1o minutes or less, 5 even. It would get attention because that kind of actual play editing is rarely done. Essentially a bite sized commercial disguised as actual play.


TLDR: you need $$$

Tastemakers are the worst. But yea, I think you're making good points.


I've been especially interested in the last one. Getting some kind of organised play would be amazing, but I have a few problems:


1- Money isn't impossible but it's tight and needs to work hard and reliably or else I and a few others will be screwed

2- For me to not risk wasting money I have to know what I'm doing with it. I know nothing about con games. My experience of rpg cons is 100% behind a trade stand.

3- I need to find a way to make nice things quicker. I considered making some con only adventures on the cheap but then realised my biggest bottleneck is time. Which kinda screws everything

4- Need more bodies. Everyone on board is working like a dog already so any effort needs to be shipped in


These aren't excuses, just things I need to deal with somehow. It's a side effect of me being a marketer because i'm a publisher, and being publisher because i'm a writer who hates publishers. So now i'm in a situation where I can barely find time to write. Gotta grow grow grow so I do what I'm actually competent at rather than keep learning new and horrible things

I have a pretty limited skillset and even more limited experience, but: if you have some moderately specific ideas that mostly need grunt-work implementation, I'm a fast learner with a creative writing degree and a long history of taking blunt notes and making aggressive revisions. I'm sure you have access to better people, but I am incredibly cute.

@Daniel Sell Anyone who positions themselves as a tastemaker is usually the worst. But actual tastemakers can be anyone with wide influence. Respected reviewers for example. But thats also part of word of mouth, word of mouth is really the goal of all advertising because it helps build community around the product/brand.


There's so many people interested in D&D right now that there must be a way to get them hooked on more interesting stuff like Troika.


I think organized play that's very intentionally welcoming to newbies would be great. I don't know how to do it though.

Getting back to the original post:

What is this Cyanide and Happiness kickstarter thing? And what is your target audience?

New Posts
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  • I'm an ENnie Award Winning Illustrator (Dan makes me say this, I don't even want to) who has provided illustrations and maps for various RPG weirdo products like Troika, Fever Swamp, Crypts of Indormancy, The Undercroft, B/X Essentials, various Dolmenwood products (Wormskin, The Weird That Befell Drigbolton), Echoes From Fomalhaut and a few others. I have a Troika chapbook entitled 'Fronds of Benevolence' that I wrote and drew coming out with Melsonian Arts Council soon and have plans to write more stuff in future including a 90s FPS themed supplement for Stay Frosty (think Quake/Doom in tabletop RPG form). You can see my portfolio and buy shit here: www.andrewwalter.co.uk https://andrewwalter.bigcartel.com/