Jul 062010
 

So, we kinda goofed up with our preorders when it came to planning our shipping strategy. This has been partly a case of inexperience on my part with things on this scale (IIRC the 1600+ preorders we got on Dresden Files was easily 4 or 5 times what we saw when Spirit of the Century launched), partly a case of asking more of the warehouse than they could handle (at least in the timeframe I had assumed was possible), and partly a case of life complications (medical and staffing issues) that layered on top of the other things at a time when there just wasn’t a schedule buffer to handle those sorts of issues.

I’ve talked about this pretty extensively over on The Dresden Files RPG website and on RPG.net, but over here at Deadly Fredly the goal with publishing posts is to pass along things that other folks can learn from. With that in mind I want to talk less about the things that went wrong so much as the anatomy of a preorder ship-out and the lessons available from the mistakes.

Let’s get down to it.

The Problem With Serving Everyone

So this is really the first time that Evil Hat has been in a position to offer strong preorder options via distribution and other means into the retailer/FLGS channel as well as direct to customers. Consider that if we weren’t selling strongly into retail prior to the product’s release, the folks who preordered directly from Evil Hat would not have the point of comparison of “dammit, this showed up in my local store a couple weeks before I got it!” Folks would simply be getting their stuff over the course of the past week and the next couple and it’d all be copacetic.  So one of the problems here is that in opening up multiple alternative ways for our customers to get our games, we’ve also created a ripe risk of problems when any one of those methods fails to execute on the same or similar schedule to all the others. In other words, if you fail to do anything other than a successful simultaneous release, someone — multiple someones, in fact — will come out the other side feeling shortchanged.

The root problem here is that the methods are intrinsically unequal, so achieving a simultaneous release is pretty tricky. Here’s a quick illustration using made-up numbers:

Suppose you have 2000 books that have been preordered. 1000 are via a distributor that sells to FLGSes, and 1000 are individual preorders you got through your web-store. That distributor in turn has, say, 100 FLGSes it’s going to ship to.  You wanna do things as simultaneously as you can, so you make sure your warehouse and the distributor both have the books in hand before you pull the trigger.

The trigger gets pulled and the shipping operation goes into full swing. The distributor ships stuff for a living, and on a massive scale. Day one they’ve got everything boxed up for those 100 destinations and all the labels printed up and scheduled with their shipping service of choice. Stuff gets picked up on day 2 and delivered pretty darn fast. The stores have those books on their shelves within a few days, they’re notifying their customers, and the customers end up with them in hand. Let’s say that all in all a week plus maybe a day or two extra has passed in this timespan, and that’s at the outside.

That’s the amount of time your warehouse — which is probably a smaller operation, or worse, you, personally — has to create ten times as many shipments, if you want to land at least somewhat close to “simultaneous”. In many — perhaps even most — cases, it just won’t play out like that. And every little delay that might come up — packing material not delivered on time, someone needing to run to the hospital a couple times in the first week, the warehouse head might need to be on the ground at Origins when the product is getting its first exposure to the public rather than back at the warehouse keeping things moving at maximum swiftness, etc — compounds the inequalities at play.

And that in short is how you get to our situation. The numbers are a little different, but the shape of the result is the same.

So How Do You “Fix” That?

Good question, and it’s one I’m not sure I can answer, but it is one I can explore.

Let’s first look at simple issues of breaking the timing model. We chose to tell our warehouse/shipping service and our distributors that they could start the shipping operation at the same time. We could have told our warehouse to get cracking a week or more in advance. But even doing that as quietly and as secretly as we could have managed, at some point people start shouting about how they’ve gotten the books.

A risk enters then not with the direct preorder folks but with the retailers/distributors.  Yes, on a per unit basis you just aren’t making as much off of a sale through the FLGS channel as you are with a direct sale. So maybe on a dollar per dollar basis sales into FLGSes are not as “important” as the ones you sell direct.

But to think that is to put blinders on your brain.  FLGSes aren’t just about selling (though that’s what keeps them afloat); they’re also about concentrating customers together in a common space. That’s a fancy way of saying that a FLGS isn’t just a store, it’s also a community. Communities promote your products and play your games. But the folks running them can be persnickety — you want to keep your relationship with them as positive as possible because if they decide they aren’t well supported by you, they’ll order fewer games from you (or will just stop ordering them entirely).

And on top of that, you should also realize that they’re one of the most cost-effective ways to advertise your product. A game on a shelf at a game store is like a mini-billboard; it reaches more eyeballs than the set belonging to the guy that buys the game. But it’s a billboard that pays you for the privilege of displaying your stuff. Yes, you could look at the steep discount you have to give in order to sell the book into retail as you paying for that, but a discounted sale is still a sale and in that regard a heck of a lot better than an unsold game sitting in a box.

All of this is a long-form way to say that if you want to bump your direct preorders ship-out timeframe earlier, you can, but you risk the standing of your other business relationships when you do so, and thus doing so may not be a good long-term play.

In Evil Hat’s specific case, in order to make the scale of the Dresden Files RPG release, we forged several new partnerships in distribution and retail. The earliest part of a partnership is often its most fragile (because there’s only so much trust that can develop in a short period of time), so that left me sensitive to how it would look if we shipped out to our direct customers well in advance of shipping to those business partners.

Okay, So If You Can’t Change The Timing, What Then?

With all of the primary junk discussed above looked at, it’s time to look at the secondary factors. Here’s where all the small lessons come into play, and I’ll try to riff on them quickly here, but I’m bound to miss some of the particulars. If you’ve got a notion that it looks like I haven’t covered, speak up.

Talk about your ideal scenario early and explicitly with all involved parties. I dropped the ball a bit here; I assumed my warehouse folks would be able to handle the load in no more than 2 weeks — a week longer than the ideally-simultaneous scenario I talked about at the top of this post, but with the added benefit of being even remotely realistic. If I’d talked this out earlier and with greater detail it might have emerged that 2 weeks wasn’t likely to be the outer limit, it was going to be more like the average. (As it is it looks like the shipping window on this is 3 weeks, due to wrap up at the end of this week, with the range running June 21st-July 9th. This is at least partly due to the other complicating factors I’ve hinted at above and elsewhere.) So maybe I could have worked out something that would’ve made better sense by talking with the warehouse and the distributors and, for that matter, the customers — all involved parties means all involved parties. More communication makes things better — who can figure!

Know your limitations. I should have run some scenarios past the warehouse in advance, with numbers, to see if I had things right. In my head it seemed to make good sense that with 1600 preorders and 5 business days, 320 preorders processed per day would be possible, especially if a little boost in staffing was in the cards (it was and is in current effect). But data often has to be massaged, so I’d’ve added a few days on the front of that — two to three — giving things a week and a half to play out. If I’d laid that out maybe it could have been done, maybe it couldn’t, but I would have known it sooner and been able to communicate about it and manage customer expectations better at least.

Make sure to look at the rest of your pipeline, too. My warehouse/fulfillment service is located in Gerlach, Nevada. It’s a very small town (with a population boom whenever Burning Man comes around), and out in the middle of a desert, so that means the pool of available labor is small when it needs to be temporarily boosted for a big shipping operation, and it also means that the “post office” is staffed by just one person and thus probably capped at about 50 outbound shipments per day (depending on complexity — international shipments are chock full of time-eating paperwork complexity, while domestic ones can probably be higher volume).

Try to ask yourself whether or not you’re using the right tools for the job. I might have been able to leverage the shipping power of a larger operation like one of the distributors to my advantage here, entering a short term or one-off contract with them to handle the preorder shipping. This one’s tricky in terms of how much lead time it requires, though. I would have had to know I needed to do this at least a month in advance of when shipping actually started, because I would have had to tell the printer to ship the preorder quantities to the appropriate distributor warehouse instead of to my own warehouse. Plus the contract would have to be all worked out already by/before that point. Arranging for that any later would have meant shipping the product to the distributor from the warehouse instead of the printer, which would mean incurring triple shipping charges (printer to warehouse to distributor to customer) instead of just double (printer to distributor to customer). And even then that would have to be done at least a couple weeks in advance of the ship date so the product would have time to reach distro.  Looking to the future, if Evil Hat’s due to have another large preorder like this one it may make sense to establish a secondary or primary shipping relationship with a distributor able to do fulfillment services (I know Alliance offers this and I’m told PSI does as well).

But “right tools” doesn’t just stop with the warehouse/fulfillment service you choose. You should also look at the methods you’re using.  The vast majority of  preorders got “free shipping” and I decided to splurge on using UPS for all of those. That may have been a good idea; see the comment above about Gerlach’s post office’s capacity — which I didn’t know about at the time — but also consider that the most affordable shipping method for us via the USPS, Media Mail, takes several weeks to reach its target and doesn’t come with a tracking option. But it’s possible that postal mail packages might have less up front processing in terms of the data entry necessary to generate a UPS label and tracking number. Given some foresight on this one we could have run some stopwatch testing here — how long to prep 10 media mail packages vs. how long to prep 10 UPS ones, for example.

Plan for things to go wrong. When you’ve got this many moving parts in one tight timeframe, it’s not that things may go wrong, it’s that things will go wrong. At least from where I’m standing I feel like I went into this thing blind for whatever reason to the possibility that Other Things Might Happen At The Same Time. I don’t know if I could have eliminated the impact of the things that did crop up, but I might have been able to at least alter the plan in a way that would mitigate the hit.

People will get disappointed. Know who you’ll disappoint in advance. Knowing who you’ll disappoint means you can get out in front of the disappiontment and, for example, offer low-cost apology benefits where you can (I’ve already said elsewhere I’ll send a free PDF of any Evil Hat product to someone who feels wronged by how the preorder has played out, though I haven’t trumpeted it as loud as I could), or at least work at managing expectations and hopefully turning some of that disappointment into happiness simply by virtue of not keeping folks in the dark.  The worst thing you can do when disappointment comes knocking is to hide your face and say nothing. It will suck more for you (believe me), but by taking it in the face and keeping people in the loop it will suck less for them.  Your customers and business partners outnumber you, so in the algebra of customer relations you’ll net a positive by owning it and addressing it as best as you can. Anxiety increases exponentially in a vacuum of information.

What Did I Miss?

I’m sure I’m leaving out an angle or topic of discussion in all of this, but over 2,000 words in I think I’m exceeding easy reading length and I know I’m starting to lose coherence. What questions or answers or analysis do you see in recent events surrounding the Dresden Files RPG preorder shipping situation?

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  33 Responses to “Some Lessons From Kinda Screwing Up”

  1. […] Some more perspective on the shipping situation over on Fred Hicks’ blog, Deadly Fredly: http://www.deadlyfredly.com/2010/07/some-lessons-from-kinda-screwing-up/ var a2a_config = a2a_config || {}; a2a_config.linkname="The Problem With Being A Small […]

  2. Lots to think (or fret) about here, Fred, and we’re all the better that you’ve shared on this topic. The scale of the DFRPG operation is actually quite startling when I stop to think about the amount of work being done by the number of hands available. Fortunately, I think the books themselves will generate a lot of forgiveness for delays in getting them. Put another way, they are worth the wait.

  3. I’m with Will.
    I’m not really stressing not having my books because I know EvilHat and crew have been busy lately. I know I’ll be giddy when they do show up. 🙂

  4. Thanks for sharing that Fred, I think the one angle you might have missed though is pushing this out to the pre-orderers, me being not a Twitterite or Blogophile I would have greatly appreciated an email that a delay was likely.
    I totally understand your FLGS preference etc but I only stumbled upon this by chance -> a short warning that delays might be on the cards would have been really appreciated.

    • Yeah, that’s a rough one. The problem with mass-mailings from our site is that a) our hosting provider might decide we’re spamming, so we have to be careful about that, and b) we gotta be careful about *over* messaging the customers too. I had been hoping that a post made at the top of the main website for the RPG would reach the most eyeballs in a way that wouldn’t commit Sins of Mass Emailing, but I’ll try to take that to heart for next time. Thanks!

  5. Totally understand that Fred, but with regard to spamming how do you handle the info emails (ticked the “Please inform me about new products” — I want to spend more money button)

    Anyway I am still really excited about receiving my DFRPG in a few weeks (international shipping 😉 honestly the international orders would have been best to set back as it is going to take 3 weeks or so for them to arrive anyway, no irony btw I really mean that)

    btw anyway I could add some stuff to my order – without delaying the order anymore?

    • If things are going as they should, those orders should be hitting the post office already or very soon. Changes are … pretty fraught right now. (The showrunners at the warehouse are managing remotely, from the hospital.)

  6. Ah was worth a try, to be bad for both of us, I don’t get the opportunity to spend money and you do not get the opportunity to reduce your working stock 😀

  7. I’ve been giving this some thought, and the only thing I think you could have done differently, given the tools you had available, would be to start shipping out the pre-orders before the distributors, but not so much in advance that you threaten the business relationship you have with those companies. Still, as much as the extra time turned into disappointment for many of us (my books are slated to come in tomorrow, according to UPS), you managed to communicate regularly with those of us who were getting antsy. Communication is key, and you hit it very well. At the same time, I noticed much of your communication was at RPG.net. It probably would have been a good idea for you to cut and paste some of that at your own DFRPG forums, where response from Evil Hat has been very limited by comparison.

    I think giving a free PDF of the books to the pre-orders was a pretty darn good idea, however, and went a long way toward keeping people from frothing at the mouth. I really hope nobody has taken you up on the offer of a free Evil Hat PDF by way of apology, as you’ve already gone above and beyond in this situation.

    • Yeah, in retrospect I probably could have afforded a few extra days of lead time. Too bad that I didn’t take myself up on that thought.

      And you’re absolutely right — I think I assumed the folks over at the DFRPG forums were already plugged into the blog post on the main game site, and I have been trying to link over to the RPG.net stuff when I could. Because RPG.net is more “out in the wild”, I think there’s more of a chance for the message to spiral out of control there, which is probably why it got the attention from me it did.

      As far as the free PDF stuff goes, honestly I never look at that stuff as lost sales. If anything it’s a bit of an advertising opportunity. But I’m wired weird about that stuff. 🙂

  8. Good analysis, as usual. Good dose of realism and forward-thinking about how to improve things, which I greatly appreciate. That said, and speaking as someone who has not in fact received her pre-ordered books yet, people need to learn to chill. While I’m eager to get my very own beautiful books, they’ll still be just as cool and just as fun to read whenever they arrive, AND I’ve had the (regularly updated) PDF since the very day I ordered. It’s not like I’m going to be missing out on anything.

    No, I don’t suggest relying on customers’ reasonableness as a business model… But still, you’d think people could grow up a bit.

  9. You have my sympathies and given the situation, I think you are doing about the best possible job of cleaning up the mess.

    One suggestion might have been to front-load the paperwork and processing. I’m not sure if this is possible, but could you have started the data entry to UPS and the creation of labels for the individual pre-orders ahead of time? So while you haven’t pulled the trigger you would still have your manifests and labels all ready, in numerical order, to be added to the completed package once the trigger does get pulled.

    When I do large shipping orders, I usually find it’s the massaging of the data that takes the most time and requires the most attention. It’s crucial to decide on an order from the beginning and stick to it, that way if you have any new people who come on board part way through the process, you can slot them in (communicating the order and its importance to them) without messing up the flow. So if you have the luxury of having the data ahead of time, you can take the time to prep everything in the correct order.

    Other than that, though, this fundamentally sounds like a resources issue and there isn’t a whole lot you can do about that except continue to grow more rich and powerful. 😛

  10. I get my updates through LiveJournal, which is why I am not concerned too much about when my package arrives. But then, I ordered a week or two into the pre-order, and since I thought things were being shipped in order, I did not expect mine right away.

    My communication preferences are not typical, however. Still, I am glad that you posted information in your blog and that it is linked to your LJ.

  11. I’m with Big Simon, Fred: I think any particularly negative riff that might have spun out from this has been utterly minimised by the communications you put out on the subject.

    Admittedly, I spend more time on the Hive of Scum and Villainy that is RPG.net than the other forums involved, but the difference between “Yep, sorry guys, there’s a problem; our bad. Here’s what’s going on…” and “We’re working on it,” or “*silence*” is gigantic.

    For one thing, it focused discussion on people noting that it was a bummer, but the reason it was a bummer was because they wanted in on The Awesome Thing you guys had made, rather than on being bummed itself.

    One possibility for future reference, although I’ve no idea whether it’d be sensible, would be to try tapping a few people over Twitter or something. Possibly an open call to pass around a provided link if people are asking questions, maybe? They could be pointed at a core post (localised for each forum as desired) where you explained the problems, and then when the subject of shipping cropped up elsewhere, they could refer people back to the original post with a link and a quick comment.

    RPG.net wrangling seems like something it could be worth distributing slightly, since it’s realistically Huge and Ornery, and would save you time for other things. From my perspective, being pointed at a post from The Guy Involved still qualifies as online face-time and contact on the subject; the core is that I might not have known about it without the direction.

    I guess this would let people be directed to face-time, rather than duplicating face-time.

    That said, my perspective might not be universal, but there we go.

  12. Interesting post! I’m commenting because it seems like the sort of thing that you could reshape a bit and then sell as an article to some Entepreneuring magazine, if you wanted to subtly advertise the Dresden Files RPG and also aid a whole different/new group of people.

  13. The books are definitely worth the wait…. I only wish that since I live in Henderson and the place I am getting them from is way on the other side of the valley, they hadn’t told me that they would have them a certain day… because I went there… and wasted gas and time… and got angry that I couldn’t take my beautiful books home with me. Also, since I work odd hours, when they ARE in stock, I am hoping it is on a day off so I wont have to wait until the following week after that to go retrieve them….

  14. Seems like you spent a lot of time writing this when my book is still not shipped. Not sure that’s the best use of your time (for any future lessons learned).

    • You should perhaps be clear, O Person Who Hides Behind An Obviously Bogus Email Address Because He Knows He’s Being Snide And Doesn’t Want To Be Accountable For That, that there is nothing I can do to make things run more smoothly. The warehouse is in control of that, and I — living over two thousand miles away from it — am not. So communicating with people about what’s going on is in fact exactly the best use of my time given the limits of what I can do with that time. I chose to do this instead of spend more time with my one-year-old daughter or get work done on unrelated things that I’m actually paid money to do (this is not one of them), so I’d appreciate some fucking respect and gratitude for that.

  15. Thanks for sharing. I’ll admit I’m one of those that feels kind of bummed given that my FLGS store had the books.

    I do understand the problem though, and the white-paper above is very interesting.

    I don’t want to request a PDF from you as that is money out of your pocket. Just get me the origins werwolf game (as I’ve mentioned on the other blog) and we’re even. 😉

  16. That said, my books got here today. Awesome and worth the wait!

  17. Maybe he thinks the books are in your living room, Fred, stacked up in ridiculously tall towers in all their full-color glory, around your couch and lazy chair and chez lounge where you are obviously hoarding the bulk of the Harry Dresden Wizardy Goodness™ and mounds of shipping labels you stingily apply to, at most, five packages a day. Because nobody ever relies on third party fulfillment houses or warehousing companies to ship products when they can do it on their own, sacrificing weeks inventorying, collating, boxing, stamping, and shipping thousands of products single-handedly while watching Three’s Company reruns on TVLand while guzzling copious amounts of Dr. Pepper and devouring bag upon bag of Cheetos.

    Come on, folks… between UPS and the warehouse, there were some snafus beyond the control of Fred and Evil Hat. He’s admitted there are things he could have done better, but most of this simply cannot be laid at his feet. So take your passive-aggressive alpha male bravado and direct it somewhere else, like whining about that godawful The Last Airbender movie released this past weekend or maybe even project some of that energy in a more creative direction and get a life.

    Geez.

  18. Thanks for all of the notice to the community, Fred. You’ve be constantly talking to us and letting us know about all that’s going on and, while frustrating, we know that our books are going to get here because you and yours have gone above and beyond what many/most publishers might do.

    Cheers to you all!

  19. My books arrived today and they are gorgeous! Thank you to everyone who put their hearts and souls into this project to turn a beautiful dream into a reality! Thank you, Fred, for your dedication in keeping the fans updated on both the good and the bad. It’s all too common these days for companies not to bother with such “fan-service” at all. That is one of the many small things about the folks at Evil Hat that keeps me coming back for more!

    Four years of waiting have finally been realized. Now to the play the darn thing!!!

  20. Guys can you stop raving about how great the books are, please mine aren’t here yet and I am getting mighty jealous 😉
    No, good to hear that they are worth the wait.

  21. Thanks for keeping us posted, Fred. It’s nice to see that the guys at Evil Hat understand our frustration. My experience has been a bit anti-climactic. I had assumed that placing my order within hours of it going live meant I would be one of the first to receive my pre-order, especially after seeing the tweet about how the first pre-orders should arrive while you’re at Origins. I actually ordered before I found out you were partnering with FLGS’s. Seeing the owners of my FLGS (Chicagoland Games – The Dice Dojo) come back with copies for the in store pre-orders when I hadn’t even received a tracking notice was kind of a sad panda moment. If I had known you were doing FLGS pre-orders, I would absolutely support the Dice Dojo. As it is, I was excited and ordered my books days earlier only to get them weeks later.

    I’m not upset, actually. My tracking information came through eventually and @dresdenfiles has been answering a few questions I toss that out on Twitter. The transparency has been wonderful. Small businesses and new business ventures have a learning curve. You took a few punches on this one but you’re learning from from them, you’re keeping your customers informed and it sounds like you’ve got a plan moving forward. That’s great.

    But my frustration isn’t over. This has nothing to do with Evil Hat, it’s just continued frustration in the whole process. UPS is to blame this time around.

    My tracking info was sent to me a week ago and, apparently, UPS either has a truck lost in the southwest desert or hired my grandmother as a driver. My package was picked up on July 2nd and has yet to arrive somewhere. Anywhere. It hasn’t even made it to a distribution center. I’m in Chicago, the warehouse is in Nevada. A tourist can drive from New York to Los Angeles in six days but a professional UPS driver can’t get a truck to distro in that time? Six days is a long time to have no updates on tracking info when shipping domestically. Even allowing two days for the holiday, it’s pretty damned frustrating. When I first got my tracking info, my books had been rescheduled* to be delivered on the 9th. That’s tomorrow. I’m hoping my books arrive but if they don’t, I don’t even know how I would complain to UPS. They usually tell me to check the tracking information when I have a question about a package.

    *Rhetorical questions: What does that even mean? Were they scheduled for an earlier delivery and they got bumped back? It’s the first time I had any info, why would they tell me they had changed it?

  22. It seem like some people on the net are picturing that Fred made a fort out of their books in his living room and isn’t sending them out of a combination of being capricious and cruel.

    I was a little pissed when I saw that I could have bought the book at my local game store and gotten it a week earlier and not payed shipping. But then again I had the PDF since April and no other company does any thing near that cool on an unreleased product.

  23. Geez, can I just apologize from the DF and DFRPG fandom for the dip above. Thank you Fred for all of the hard work, and I’m sorry to hear that some of the folks out in NV (right?) where having to deal with hospitalization.

    One note is that I’d like to second the comment about putting the info on the official DFRPG forum at Jim’s site. Especially given the holiday, I’ve just been occasionally refreshing there to see what is new, and just found this and other info via… hehe… I guess you might call it a form of crowd-sourcing. 🙂

    Anyway, thanks again for the hard work. Still looking forward to getting the books, but information does help the expectant folks feel better.

  24. Got my box today, via UPS. Eagerly unboxed the lovingly packed books and my jaw dropped!!
    It was missing the main rulebook “Dresden files, Vol 1, Your story”

    Please fix this quickly.
    The vol 2 is a nicely bound book, and glad I purchased it, but I did purchase both!
    Thanks
    Robyn

  25. Hey Fred,

    Just wanted to let you know that my books should be waiting for me when I get home from work tonight! I will definitely request that you sign my books this weekend at Dresdacon. Thank you for all of your hard work putting this book together along with a bunch of really quality events to test these books with. I look forward to thanking you in person on Saturday.

    You’re doing the best you can, and I think that “most” of us understand that and are grateful for it. In the meantime, you should definitely spend some time with your family before this weekend, you deserve it = )

  26. Hey, whaddayaknow? We got our books today, they’re gorgeous — funny how your eyes catches on different details in print and PDF — and well-worth the insignificant wait. Thank you, Evil Hat team, nice job!

  27. Well I really don’t mind having to wait, I still got the PDF because of my pre-order and the worst that happened is I had to push my game day back (horrible right) but thank you for updating us when it wasn’t really neccesary. A lot of companies would just let their costumers hanging in the wind because the money was already in their pocket but you guys seem to legit care :). Can’t wait to see the books soon, you guys did a great job!
    P.S. the dresden rpg has been reacting suprisingly well to this news.

  28. Hey, I just want to say that I picked the books up at Continuum (a small but very good con here in the UK) and I’ve got to say they are completely worth the wait! Well written; funny yet clear and give a great feel for the setting, the best new RPG I’ve read for a while. Thanks guys for such a great product! I hopes its a success for all concerned and it runs for many years…

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