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  • #61
    Originally posted by Irked View Post
    I would love to see Neph return to the line, though I think that's probably pretty implausible, and would no doubt require some weird rejiggering of exactly what the Ex3 vision statement is.
    Moreover, last we heard, he has a rather time-consuming job in academic ethics and wouldn't be able to spare much time to do freelance rpg writing even if that were the case.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by Gonzo View Post
      I agree, RPG's are not like a nintendo 64 game. Once you buy a shitty super mario game as a kid you have no chance of reprogramming that piece of crap. But TTRPG's are alive and people domesticate them and mold them to their needs. Even the crappiest parts of Ex2 were played and hombrewed by fans.
      *looks at the massive Scroll of Errata for 2e*

      *shakes head slowly*

      No. You do not want to go that direction if you can avoid it. Homebrewers will always homebrew, but you very much want a solid platform for them to build up.

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      • #63
        Originally posted by Guancyto View Post
        Their 'grievances' are against something that's the industry standard, and has been for ages.

        Seriously, they're pissed about what has happened to every writer with a publisher, ever.

        It sounds fair and even-handed to say 'both sides have a point' but sometimes they really, really don't.
        Again, I cannot fairly reply to you as I do not wish to repeat hearsay. But lots of things that shouldn't be are "industry standards". Once it was industry standard that you should just suck up the possibility you'd lose a limb, y'know?

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        • #64
          Originally posted by Guancyto View Post
          Their 'grievances' are against something that's the industry standard, and has been for ages.

          Seriously, they're pissed about what has happened to every writer with a publisher, ever.

          It sounds fair and even-handed to say 'both sides have a point' but sometimes they really, really don't.
          Not in my experience. Every other writing job I have worked on has gotten me contracts well before things were drafted, least of all published, for example. And when it was per word, but word count required changing, I was paid for the words I wrote not the number they estimated. And if I needed a new contract because situations changed I got it. If something changed mid-cycle I got notified. Even when the publishing house itself went through major restructuring I still got paid, still got contracts, still got communicated with.

          Put it this way - a friend of mine edited a book that missed external deadlines so got canned. She still got paid. Her contract got reissued to reflect the changing circumstances and she got paid for the work she did.

          I had a short story in a collection and after I signed my contract the publishing house changed streams and dropped the book while still publishing in the area. I did not get paid but all rights reverted to me and I can shop the story around wherever I want and they will not use my work, nor the editors work, nor outlines for other collections, or research that we did. Because their contract does not allow it and that shit is unethical. You pay by the word then all you get is the words and you best have a contract to support that before you start clawing in drafts.

          And if you require the writers to do promotion/comms management, that ought to be reflected in the pay too. That is more of a wriggle point I will admit, in terms of promotion. Comms management is unique to rpgs I will admit but one hopes there are ... procedures for when your people are being stalked and harassed online, the way most businesses with internet facing comms should. That is a sore point for me I admit.

          Admin makes or breaks a company. I still write with the people I write with, that bit was not really an issue. Admin though? I rolled with a lot of shit that doesn't fly elsewhere and most of my work is in academics where we aren't even frigging paid for the writing bit unless we have tenure.

          Being paid late is pretty standard, I'll admit that.

          RPG standards are not in any way akin to regular publishing in my experience, and without serious trust in the people I work with, it is an experiment I am unlikely to delve into again. I am just too organised and admin-centric to deal with the shenanigans, and I don't have any loyalty to a gameline to bolster dealing with that level of stuff at work.


          ". ... for me, the transformative power of art is you are not above the material." -= Guillermo del Toro

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          • #65
            Originally posted by Hark View Post
            There isn't a thing that Neph did what was harmful to the game. Neph was just all about making sure that players had all of the tools to play with the setting at every level. This didn't jive with the popular opinion of everyone else writing for Exalted at the time he left. Neph literally pulled Exalted back from the brink of oblivion with his efforts
            Yeah, Neph was the real force behind RotSE and Glories. Some people in this thread are covering John and Holden in glory for saving Exalted; Neph deserves at least an equal share, there.

            Some people may not like the way he tackled Ex2, but he was dealing with the system as it was, not writing the system from the ground up. His work remains some of the most well-written and inspiring material Exalted has ever seen. Compare Infernals on any level to Ex3 and you will see the difference. His work is more evocative, more precise and clear, all with fewer words. I say this as someone who isn't even a big Infernals fan. If someone doesn't happen to like Ex2's direction, that's fine, but don't criticize an author for writing the game he was given.

            +++ OT +++
            It's fair to say John and Holden did a lot of work for Exalted. It's also fair to say that work was years ago, and their recent contributions (in the form of finished product) have been sparse at best. With that in mind, why they aren't writing anymore is self-evident.

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            • #66
              This talk about "Industry Standards" being an acceptable tactic and normalising dishonest business practices is why freelancers get taken advantage of so easily in all fields.

              For the uninitiated:

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6h3RJhoqgK8

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mj5IV23g-fE

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              • #67
                Originally posted by Aliasi View Post

                Again, I cannot fairly reply to you as I do not wish to repeat hearsay. But lots of things that shouldn't be are "industry standards". Once it was industry standard that you should just suck up the possibility you'd lose a limb, y'know?
                It stems from a really fundamental, basic failure to ask, for five years, "hey bossman, how exactly are we determining how much I get paid for this?"

                Originally posted by Lucy Darling View Post

                Not in my experience.

                *experience!*
                Hrm. I will admit that I was thinking of novel and short story writers rather than RPG writers. You write a steamer trunk full of unworkable copy and your editor mercifully cuts it down to a novel, you get paid for a novel, you know?

                Interesting that it isn't necessarily so elsewhere.

                (I guess I'm a little biased from having read the corebook leaks, where there was so much unworkable copy, rightly thrown into the fire, and going "wait, you wanted to get paid by the word for that? Uh, let me check the going rate on birdcage liner...")
                Last edited by Guancyto; 04-04-2017, 06:17 PM.

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by Totentanz View Post
                  It's also fair to say that work was years ago, and their recent contributions (in the form of finished product) have been sparse at best.
                  Wow, now that you mention it... yeah, Ex3 was written how many years ago? Three? four?

                  There was this interview with John, made by the exaltwich ST (sorry I don't know the guy's name), where he seemed to have a lot of stuff already planned. But I never saw any of that in any shape or form. Now I wonder if all that material is completely lost.


                  Join the Strife

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Hark View Post
                    There isn't a thing that Neph did what was harmful to the game. Neph was just all about making sure that players had all of the tools to play with the setting at every level. This didn't jive with the popular opinion of everyone else writing for Exalted at the time he left. Neph literally pulled Exalted back from the brink of oblivion with his efforts
                    While he may have done a lot of good stuff, I understand that he was also responsible for 2e Abyssals being so punishingly unfun.

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Anasurimbor View Post
                      While he may have done a lot of good stuff, I understand that he was also responsible for 2e Abyssals being so punishingly unfun.
                      Neph had a holistic view of Exalted, and expected each splat to have its own play experience. It's true he had a narrow vision of Abyssals, but that has to be evaluated within the context of him wanting each splat to provide something unique. On the old forums, he often went to pains to explain the Exalted were not intended to be the same, nor were they intended to be interchangeable.

                      It's also worth noting he was able to absorb criticism and critique about Abyssals and use that to become better as a writer. He didn't retreat onto unilateral communication media and play the victim.

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Guancyto View Post
                        It stems from a really fundamental, basic failure to ask, for five years, "hey bossman, how exactly are we determining how much I get paid for this?"


                        Hrm. I will admit that I was thinking of novel and short story writers rather than RPG writers. You write a steamer trunk full of unworkable copy and your editor mercifully cuts it down to a novel, you get paid for a novel, you know?

                        Interesting that it isn't necessarily so elsewhere.

                        (I guess I'm a little biased from having read the corebook leaks, where there was so much unworkable copy, rightly thrown into the fire, and going "wait, you wanted to get paid by the word for that? Uh, let me check the going rate on birdcage liner...")

                        Huh. Since I am talking from the point of view of novels, short stories, nonfic and so on (which is just stuff I have actual experience writing and publishing, not hearsay and imagination), I am here to tell you that you're ...a bit all over the place. Because novels aren't by the word for one thing - you write a novel you get paid for a novel, that's true. And the way it works currently is that all the work got frontloaded, so you're being paid after you do the work (at least at the beginning, for most people). Short stories are fuzzier - it is by the word but for a range, still mostly paid post-writing. And you just don't get in if the story sucks/doesn't meet the spec of the anthology (if your editor is any good anyway). If it needs editing it gets edited and you still get paid by the word. If you get contracted for work like this, hand some shit in past deadline, you might get a cut fee, you might not, your work might go through the wringer to get edited up, it might not, but if it is gonna get used you're gonna get paid. And you get a contract when you get signed on unless you've got a handshake deal. Nonfic depends on market - mags and newspaper have brutal brutal word counts and limits and will hack your stuff to pieces if necessary, longer form depends on market.

                        What doesn't happen is that you edit it, the cut stuff gets used elsewhere, and you don't get paid because it got cut and you got paid for the first 3000 not anything after. That's how you get sections that don't make sense. That's how you get references to bits that got cut elsewhere. That's how you get 'shit we didn't cover X in your write up can you add that in please' resulting in either everything being cut past the bone to fit word count, or writers not getting paid.

                        And it isn't so much 'determining how much' as, say, issuing a contract for the things you've agreed on because handshake deals don't suffice anymore. A contract isn't just about how much you get paid, it's things like other fees, protections, deadlines. Contingency plans, and so on.

                        Also talking from the POV of someone who has seen drafts, so the 'they haven't produced anything' is, to not put a finer point on it, bullshit. John and Holden were producing work, and we were planning stuff. It didn't make it to you, the consumer, but it was being made and being written. And some of it being shit is likely on the writer, which given the fact it is a team effort and you're reading drafts, that is unsurprising in the least. And the Devs are paid by the word that they have to work on which was part of throwing shit into the fire when it was bad, and wrangling writer ego/anxiety about it too.

                        (I mean, I am in the enviable position of having seen a bunch of the 'lost material' but hey, that's a perq of being mates with them, not about my writing)


                        ". ... for me, the transformative power of art is you are not above the material." -= Guillermo del Toro

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                        • #72
                          Huh. I guess the situation is more complex than I initially thought. Thank you, that was informative.

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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by Lucy Darling View Post

                            <snip>

                            Also talking from the POV of someone who has seen drafts, so the 'they haven't produced anything' is, to not put a finer point on it, bullshit. John and Holden were producing work, and we were planning stuff. It didn't make it to you, the consumer, but it was being made and being written. And some of it being shit is likely on the writer, which given the fact it is a team effort and you're reading drafts, that is unsurprising in the least. And the Devs are paid by the word that they have to work on which was part of throwing shit into the fire when it was bad, and wrangling writer ego/anxiety about it too.

                            (I mean, I am in the enviable position of having seen a bunch of the 'lost material' but hey, that's a perq of being mates with them, not about my writing)
                            I see a whole lot of blame-shifting here that doesn't parse. If John and Holden are writing AND deving, the only roadblock to production of that content is OPP. Fortunately, OPP has been doing a bang-up job on producing finished content of late. Additionally, the MMM have shown several Exalted projects languishing in 2nd Draft for some time now. Regardless of how much they wrote, it's pretty clear they weren't producing the necessary content to move the line forward at a quality level that satisfied OPP, where other writers/developers have shown themselves able to do that. We have a multitude of examples of OPP moving PDF-only products from development through layout and onto drivethru in a matter of weeks/months. Clearly that didn't happen.

                            In terms of blaming the writers, which mysterious writers get to shoulder the delays, if not John, Holden, and yourself? I doubt it's Minton and Vance, given that OPP just entrusted them with the line, and they have produced more content (in the form of a preview) than Exalted has seen in nearly a year.. If writers get paid when they produce, and they weren't producing, John and Holden had plenty of opportunity to reassign tasks to those who did produce.

                            I don't say this to rag on John, Holden, or yourself. However, as long as these conversations have been going on, your posts do some combination of attacking people for being upset, justify any and all possible problems, and shift blame to others. None of that really holds water at this point. There are too many months of silence, too much condescension when the silence breaks, and too much non-delivery.

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by Anasurimbor View Post
                              While he may have done a lot of good stuff, I understand that he was also responsible for 2e Abyssals being so punishingly unfun.
                              I suspect that Neph avoided writing Abyssals material. He was pretty open about writing to his mood, Infernals got cool stuff when he was feeling crazy, and he wrote Abyssals material when he was feeling suicidal. If you refer specifically to mirror charms, that was an experiment in providing appropriate charms while minimizing word count. It didn't make Abyssals any worse off than Solars, it was just a boring approach to writing.

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                              • #75
                                In my experience, many RPG companies pay writers by the published word, not for material that gets written but isn't published. John and Holden undoubtedly produced a lot of stuff. But as it was never published, they're not going to get paid for it. This, only paying for material that makes it to print, isn't terribly unusual in the RPG industry, and it's the way OPP has been doing things for many, many years.

                                Admittedly, there are a few other aspects of OPP's freelancer policies that can be considered a bit dickish and which aren't industry standards, but it's not like OPP hides this fact or anything. They're pretty upfront about how they pay freelancers and authors.

                                You want to work for a company. You're given a contract that says your boss can do X, and you know he can do X, and you've seen him do X to other people, and you decide to sign the contract which lets him do X to you, knowing full well that someday he's going to do X to you, I don't know see how it would be a huge shock when he eventually does, in fact, do X to you.

                                I'm not really on anyone's side in this whole debacle, but I think the lesson here is, if there's a contract that lets someone do something to you or your work that you don't want to see happen, do not sign the contract. And if you decide to sign it anyway knowing full well what will happen, then when it does happen, it's kind of on you to a certain extent.
                                Last edited by AnubisXy; 04-04-2017, 09:58 PM.

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