Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


Blue Rose: What you think is probably WRONG

Sometimes, no matter how clearly you think you're speaking, people are still going to look at you as if you're from another planet.

In our New Year's message, Pramas had this small comment on Blue Rose:

Our 2006 schedule is one of endings and beginnings. In the first quarter of the year, we are going to be putting out the final Thieves' World book (the Thieves' World Gazetteer, at print now), the final Blue Rose book (the World of Aldea, out next month), and the final chapter of the current Freeport saga (Crisis in Freeport, out in March).

With each ending though, there is a beginning. As Blue Rose finishes, the True20 Adventure Roleplaying game debuts. This is the system that was designed for Blue Rose and it is now getting its own core rulebook and several support products in 2006.

Now the inevitable questions pop up. Here are my answers.

1. Why are you killing Blue Rose?!
We're not "killing" Blue Rose. It was always conceived and designed as a three book game, as a small and self-contained line. We only ever announced three books for the line, we've never planned, announced, or even hinted that we would ever release anything other than a three book set. The books remain in print, we're continuing to sell them, we're continuing to use them to provide a gateway product for lovers of the romantic fantasy fiction genre to introduce them to roleplaying games. The product cannot achieve that objective if we add on book after book after book and endlessly expand the line: it was never intended to serve that purpose. This is the same reason we didn't release the book as a D20 supplement that required the D&D Player's Handbook: it is a self-contained game that is focused specifically on the emulation of the romantic fantasy genre.

2. But don't people want more? We've seen people using Blue Rose for all sorts of things besides playing in the world of Aldea!
It's true, traditional gamers have been very willing to embrace True20, the system that drives Blue Rose. However, releasing more and more books for Blue Rose both dilutes BR's effectiveness as an introductory product for non-roleplaying fans of romantic fantasy-style fiction (which is what it was designed for and the role we want it to continue to fill) while still not meeting the needs of traditional roleplaying fans who embraced the system but not the genre. Instead, the True20 Adventure Roleplaying line is the where you'll see us taking Blue Rose's system in all sorts of different directions.

3. If you're killing Blue Rose, it must have been a failure, right? You wouldn't kill it if it didn't suck.
We're not "killing" Blue Rose. It was our second best selling line in 2005, and the core book was our #2 SKU, behind only the Mutants & Masterminds rulebook. It won critical recognition, including three Silver ENnie awards last year (among them Best D20 Game) and an InQuest Gamer's Choice nomination. It is not going away. We did not announce that we were taking it off the market, we announced that we were releasing the last of the three planned books.

4. What kind of idiot kills their #2 SKU? You must be lying!
We're not "killing" Blue Rose. The books remain in print, we're continuing to sell them, we're continuing to use them to provide a gateway product for lovers of the romantic fantasy fiction genre to introduce them to roleplaying games. We can continue to sell this product in the same way we can (and do) continue to sell our D20 Character Record Folio, which has seen seven printings and is consistently in our top 10 SKUs every year (and is in the top five best selling SKUs in the history of our company).

5. And how many copies has it sold exactly? And what exactly is your profit margin? How are we supposed to believe you sold more than four copies unless you show us the numbers? If you were a real company, you'd HAVE to show us your numbers, you know.
Sorry man, I'm familiar with the folks who have invested in this company and you're not among them. If you're just another internet crank/curious competitor/armchair game designer you're just going to have to make due without that information. Things are tough all over. Of course, if you want to offer up your college grades, last corporate performance review, and recent tax filings so I can evaluate your credentials to satisfy my idle curiosity about your general levels of competence and success, we can certainly continue this line of conversation.


for this post

Blogger BeK Says:

Now that that's out of the way...

Why are you killing Thieves World? ;-)

Anonymous Dr John K Says:

Thanks for the explanations. So, really, why are you killing off your Blue Rose line?

Blogger Anthony Roberson Says:

Whenever I see a mention of Blue Rose, I always think of the song 'New Rose' by the Damned for some stupid reason...

Blogger Nikchick Says:

Well, New Rose is a pretty good song... ;)

Anonymous Anonymous Says:

Hi nikchick

I've seen some companies encourage fan-written adventures by holding a competition and publishing the best ones on the website. Any chance of GR running something like this to fill the dearth of BR adventures, with perhaps the winner's reward being a .pdf copy of 'The World of Aldea', for example?

Simon Collins


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