Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Lowbrow & Inappropriate


I'll be posting about my awesome Gary Con IX experience later today (or tonight), but this just happened, so it takes precedence.

Yesterday, I was sent an email from One Book Shelf.  OBS includes DriveThruRPG, RPGNow, DMs Guild, etc.

Just before leaving for the Lake Geneva RPG convention, I released a new title via PDF on DriveThruRPG/RPGNow.  It's called Play your Character like a Fucking Boss, which is sort of a companion piece to How to Game Master like a Fucking Boss, except its advice is for those on the other side of the screen.

Cutting to the chase, OBS has received complaints about the title.  The majority of Kort'thalis Publishing's titles are behind the "adults only" wall because I click the box for mature content.  That's what I did for the GMing book.  However, I did not designate the Player book "adult" because there's nothing besides course language that might be offensive or inappropriate for children.

Below is the email I received from OBS...


Hello XXXXXXX,

Over the weekend we received two complaints about your title "Play Your Character Like a Fucking Boss". The first complaint said that they felt the use of profanity in the title cheapened the presentation and made it seem "low brow". The second complaint was that the title was inappropriate for children and that children might be browsing the site.

I would like to make it 100% clear that we at OBS/Drivethru/RPGNow do not consider your title to be inappropriate for our site. In general, people don't get into role-playing or browsing our site till about 12 and so we consider anything PG-13 to be appropriate for our general audience and that does not have to be filtered out for people. I have already responded to the people complaining that we felt your product is appropriate under our current standards.

That being said, I also told them I would pass along their complaints to you the publisher. If I was in your position I would not want to be ignorant that complaints of this nature exist if they do exist. If you have any questions about his please let me know.

Thank you,

-- 
Chris Tang
RPG Publisher Services



While I take those complaints seriously and it is not my intention to offend anyone, I do not plan on clicking the adult content box for Play your Character like a Fucking Boss because that would have a negative impact on visibility.  Adult products, in my experience, are the second class citizens of OBS.  Obviously, less visibility means less sales.

Regarding the "low brow" complaint, I think I'm going to take that as a compliment.  As a "low brow" fan, that's the kind of aesthetic I'm going for.  Understandably, it limits my audience, but then going against the grain with a provocative title expands my audience.  Maybe it's a wash, but I need to stay true to myself.

I'm interested in reading your opinion.  Feel free to comment with anything you have to say on the matter.


Venger As'Nas Satanis
High Priest of Kort'thalis Publishing


p.s.  My latest Kickstarter Trinity of Awesome Returns has about two days left to back it.

p.p.s.  I put X's over the letters of my name because he didn't use my pseudonym.  Everything else was copy/pasted without editing.