10/26/2018

Medieval Demographics Made Scarce

One of the side-effects of shutting the Blue Room and original Cumberland sites down is seeing how much email their demise has generated, and seeing which of those old URLs are bringing the most people here.

On that latter point, the #3 biggest road in is Risus: The Anything RPG, but the Risus folk are pretty well set; the game is doing just fine and Risusiverse is an excellent nerve-center for the fandom. Risus still has a bright future, and in terms of new readers (and IOR members) it's been accelerating.

The second-biggest hit is the Big List of RPG Plots but that got immediately restored right here on Rolltop Indigo and remains available in PDF. No problem for fans of that.

But the #1 page, by this metric, and by a large margin, is the one for Medieval Demographics Made Easy, one of my oldest articles, which still gets a lot of action in some circles, and (judging by all the email) was popular with a lot of gamers who never just printed it out, because boy howdy they are letting me know, both indirectly (through all those hits) and directly (with emails ranging from the sad and puzzled to the angry and entitled) that they were kind of expecting that article to be there and now it's not.

And for them, there's no consolation just yet. But, there will be. And I'm going to do a little experiment with it, since it feels like a unique opportunity.

Nothing complicated. I'm making a nice PDF version (arguably, that's long overdue), and it'll be annotated and everything, and I'll really do it up proper. It'll probably weigh in at 4-6 pages soaking wet, but it'll be made with care (I've already started). And it'll be free, of course.

The experiment is that I'm just going to send it to wander the Internet on its own. It won't be published at DriveThru / RPGNow. It won't be hosted on any site I control, either. It'll just be found wherever people feel it should continue to exist. If you'd like to be part of giving it a continued life online, please let me know so I can include you [UPDATE: the experiment is now underway, so if you'd like to take part, hit the Googles and find a copy! From now on, the file's continued existence is down to the fickle whims of the wild Internet.]

I'm not releasing it into the public domain or anything like that. It's just, after the initial work of creating it and providing it, I'm letting it fall backward into the crowd, to see if it can't surf. It'll be a self-contained little article-capsule, complete with all the legal info and such anyone might need to understand what to do and not-do with it.

So that's on the way soon. I might finish it tonight; I might finish it sometime in the next few days, but I'll get that out there. And by this time next year, Googling around may just find it, here and there, or not. Time will tell.

Yes, I'll Do A New High-Res Chamlek Map, Too.

On the earlier point - the general reaction to the death of the sites - I'd be remiss if I didn't link to the beautiful sentiments posted by P.D. Magnus on the matter. And thanks to everyone who's emailed and PM'ed and so on. Believe me, I don't like seeing it happen either. But I'll keep blogging here, and for as long as it can be, my inbox will be open.

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Update: I finalized the PDF and sent it out into the world (with thanks to the volunteers!) so with a little luck, Google will start finding it easily very soon. Keep an eye peeled!