[The Rustbelt] taking pre-orders now!

I'm taking pre-orders for the Rustbelt first edition starting now. Hit up my crude store here for details and the PayPal button.

It costs $24 plus $2.77 shipping. It's 164 half-letter pages long (it's roughly the size of DitV, if you, like me, have no sense of what page numbers actually mean). Buying this preorder gets you the interior PDF now (just the print file, not designed for screen) -- or at least as fast as I can email it to you -- the book once they're printed, and a homemade bonus CD of Rustbelt-themed music just to say thank you for pre-ordering.

The following is the back cover text:
Life here is nasty, brutish, and short. The Rust slowly eats everything away. It wears a man down. Corrodes him. Changes him. Makes him do things he wouldn’t think himself capable of. If you had to, wouldn’t you?

It’s a hard world, and you gotta pay for what you want. Sometimes the price is so hideous it makes you think twice, but it might be your only chance. The Rust whispers in your ear, “C’mon, do the math.”

So, how much are you willing to pay? What are you willing to do? What are you willing to
become?

You gotta go a long way in the ‘Belt to find a good man.


THE RUSTBELT is a post-apocalyptic roleplaying game featuring:
- The Blood, Sweat, & Tears Engine: a flexible and easy-to-use resolution system in which your resolve matters more than your abilities.
- The Psyche System: personality mechanics that keep the characters psychologically and emotionally realistic and compelling – no matter how inhuman they turn out to be – without taking away the player’s control.
- Player-authored stories: your characters will be pushed against the wall until they’ve revealed all their most monstrous and most admirable qualities, but the decisions are always yours to make, and the prices yours to pay. The end result is a gritty, desperate tale in the vein of The Stand, The Road, or Mad Max.
- Customization support: full guidelines for adapting the game to other settings, as well as three examples to get you started.

"THE RUSTBELT is lean and mean. The laissez-faire, non-balanced character creation is excellent and totally appropriate; with the right Psyche traits, a one-legged stable boy could be the most dangerous guy in town. Fights are desperate, horrible affairs. I look forward to playing again.”
- Ron Edwards, designer of Sorcerer, Spione, and S/Lay w/Me

“The Psyche System is the most elegant model for human behavior I’ve ever seen in an RPG. And I have a master’s degree in psych.”
- Jonathan Davis

“Psyche did a really good job of fleshing out all the characters even during chargen. One character started off as ‘the Hulk as a mercenary in a Western’ and turned into an immigrant who tries to buy acceptance, without sacrificing any of the player’s original concept.”
- Josh W

...In closing, lemme state that I sincerely do need the money. Also, the game is awesome.

Thanks!
-Marshall

Comments

  • PDF Only option?
  • Marshall, are there any images of the cover, or any art previews from the book? It's hard to want to buy a book when I don't see at all what it looks like!
  • edited August 2010
    The system is so great I've pre-order it as soon as I saw the post.

    Hope your money problem will be fixed.

    EDIT : You're right Per Fischer, I hadn't thought about that, and I live in Europe, too. The order page doesn't mention "international", so it didn't come to my mind.
  • Sounds good to me! What about shipping to Europe?

    Per
  • edited August 2010
    Regarding shipping to Europe: from what I can gather from the USPS's documentation, it's gonna cost me the same amount to ship the book pretty much anywhere. And if it turns out I was wrong, then fuck it; it's too much work to do a bunch of different buttons for different shipping locations. I can live with eating a few bucks here and there :)

    Danny,
    You get the PDF now, and the book once it's printed. It's a package, if you do the preorder (if you buy it after preorders are closed, you only get the book).

    Hans,
    I had last-minute second thoughts about the cover, and the new one isn't finished yet. But I'll take some screens of the interior and post 'em up here in a minute!

    Thanks everyone for the interest, by the way! And if anyone else has got any questions, keep 'em comin'.
  • Ok, here's a few shots of some pages:

    image

    image

    image

    image
  • Oh, wait, Danny: did you mean "can I buy just the PDF by itself"? I might be confused.
  • Hot shit. That looks amazing.
    Posted By: Marshall BurnsOh, wait, Danny: did you mean "can I buy just the PDF by itself"? I might be confused.
    I would bet that's what he meant. That's at least something I'd like to know.
  • Thanks! You know what's really amazing? I did it with Microsoft Publisher. It was HELL, lemme tell ya! I wouldn't recommend that software with a ten foot pole :)

    I actually hadn't given much consideration to PDF-only sales, given that the PDF's not designed at all for screen reading, and 164 pages is a lot to print out. Ummm... lemme think about it? I know that's not a satisfying answer, but there's factors I gotta consider.
  • I bet if you ask around (here, Praxis, Forge Publishing forum?), someone can tell you how hard it is to take a publication file formatted for print and make it screen-friendly. I'm interested in that too. Although it may depend on the layout program, and you may be the only one using MS Pub. :)

    Separately, just curious: did you take all those photos? Spend a lot of time location scouting?

    I love the washed-out look, where some details are borderline-visible. Did you partially overexpose some shots with that in mind? Or are you just slick with the Photoshop?
  • Great - ordered!

    Per
  • edited August 2010
    Our group was two people short so I ran Rustbelt just now. It was a slow tale at first (new players to the system) but one learned how sweet it was to cooperate with the Rust so sweet apocalypse ensued.
  • edited August 2010
    Thanks, Per!
    Posted By: David Berg
    Separately, just curious: did you take all those photos? Spend a lot of time location scouting?

    I love the washed-out look, where some details are borderline-visible. Did you partially overexpose some shots with that in mind? Or are you just slick with the Photoshop?
    Yep, I took all the photos. (I did everything for this book except the editing.) They're all taken around my home town. I just rode around town on my bike one day and took a picture of everything that looked promising. I took them with a digital camera (sans any of the silly effects that come on digital cameras), then messed around with 'em in Macromedia Fireworks. I changed them to grayscale, then jacked up the contrast and tooled with the brightness a bit so that they approached black and white but didn't quite get there. There's a few where I did some other things, but that's mostly all I did.

    Wilmer,
    Awesome, I love it when players realize the scope of shit that their characters really are capable of. PCs in this game are fuckin' scary!
  • So, I've been thinking about PDF sales, and, while it bothers me that it's neither practical for home printing nor designed for screen friendliness, it's clearly to my advantage to sell PDFs while raising money for the print run -- they contribute revenue, and don't add to the number of copies that need to be printed. So, with that in mind, I'm offering PDF sales (with the bonus CD in mp3 format instead, since I can't just ship it when I ship you the book) during the pre-order period. I don't know whether PDF-only sales will continue after pre-orders; probably not.

    I've added the appropriate button to my store.
  • edited August 2010
    I may have missed this, chock it up to a baby/end of day/new to site, but what type of binding is the book (I see that its half-letter size)? Could you point to a picture of a similar book in the same format? Also, when does the preorder period end?
  • Posted By: Marshall BurnsSo, I've been thinking about PDF sales, and, while it bothers me that it's neither practical for home printing nor designed for screen friendliness, it's clearly to my advantage to sell PDFs while raising money for the print run -- they contribute revenue, and don't add to the number of copies that need to be printed. So, with that in mind, I'm offering PDF sales (with the bonus CD in mp3 format instead, since I can't just ship it when I ship you the book) during the pre-order period. I don't know whether PDF-only sales will continue after pre-orders; probably not.

    I've added the appropriate button to mystore.
    Solid. I like the fact you've got your online store on Angelfire, surely the rustbelt of the internet.
  • Marshall (there's two of us!),
    It's perfect binding. Dogs in the Vineyard is the same format, and very nearly the same page count as well. (I picked this format because it's what DitV and Burning Wheel use, and I like the way that they feel in my hand.)

    I don't have an exactly fixed date for the end of the preorders. Probably early September -- I realize that a lot of people's bank accounts are drained after GenCon, and I want to give them a chance to get in on this.
  • Posted By: Marshall BurnsRegarding shipping to Europe: from what I can gather from the USPS's documentation, it's gonna cost me the same amount to ship the book pretty much anywhere. And if it turns out I was wrong, then fuck it; it's too much work to do a bunch of different buttons for different shipping locations. I can live with eating a few bucks here and there :)
    Hey Marshall - speaking from experience here, I recommend you go down to a post office with a book (or a similarly sized book) and actually check on how much it'll be to ship international. I was just at the post office sending off Annalise, and the rates have gone up since last time I sent an international order. Annalise in it's bubble-envelope is 10oz, it costs ~$4 to send to Canada (and Mexico, i imagine), and ~$9 to send to the UK. 120 pages, perfectbound 9x7 landscape - a little thicker than Agon, but the same format, if that helps. Since it's 2.75 to ship domestic, I bet it's about the same rate as Rustbelt, and eating 6 bucks on each international sale may be something you want to address!
  • Posted By: ndpAnnalise in it's bubble-envelope is 10oz, it costs ~$4 to send to Canada (and Mexico, i imagine), and ~$9 to send to the UK.
    That's bizarre. That's how much the ashcan weighed, and it only cost like $4 to ship to the UK.

    See, this is what I mean. This shipping crap's too much work. I'll worry about it when it becomes a serious issue.
  • Cover's done! It took so long due to some absurd software and file format issues.

    I could do a fancy, side-by-side thing of the front and back covers with drop shadows and whatnot, but I'm tired of fucking with it, so here's the whole spread:

    image
  • I like it but the red text is kind of hard to read. Specifically "hope" on the cover and most of the text on the back cover. Could you, perhaps, put a solid color box under the text on the back cover?
  • Yeah, I know, that's data loss due to jpeg format. The PNG, 32M version is readable.
  • Ok folks, it's about time to wrap it up. I'm closing the preorders after this weekend, so if you want to preorder your copy of the Rustbelt, now's the time to jump on it!

    I want to say thanks to everyone that's bought it so far! Also, Europe rocks. For serious. The majority of this game's sales (both ashcan and this version) were to folks from Europe. So, thanks Europe!

    On another note: the back cover is going to be redesigned slightly, since Lulu needs to put a barcode on the damned thing. But the above image still should give you an idea of what it's gonna look like.
  • Jeez, sorry this took me so long. Crap kept happening, and there were some things I had to worry about that I didn't expect to have to worry about.

    But ANYWAYS...

    I just ordered my print run. When it gets here, I'll start mailin' people they copies! Hooray!
  • Awesome news. When will it be available to non pre-order people? Through you, or Lulu?
  • This game looks cool. But I am a lazy overworked family man and expect games to provide miracles with no effort from my side. How much do I need to read & prepare before playing?
  • Tim,
    As soon as I get the print run, it'll be available to everyone through me on my website. When I run out, it'll be through Lulu until I get ready to do another run.

    Matthijs,
    The book is pretty short (Dogs-size, give or take a few pages), and there's a cheat sheet for the trickiest part (the Psyche rules), so there's not that much reading you have to do first. Prep-wise, it's on par with Dogs or Sorcerer (the prep procedures are more like Sorcerer though -- i.e. more wide open, not so much steb-by-step). Most of the prep is done all together, and includes chargen, so it's not like doing your homework or anything. I've managed to successfully run the game immediately following a 30-minute prep session with one first-timer and another that had only played it once.
  • OKAY!

    Yesterday I shipped out all the books to folks who bought the preorder! I'll get a thingy set up to sell the remaining copies here pretty soon.

    Everyone who pre-ordered: first off, thank you! Second, check your email to see if you got a message from me telling you that I sent your copy. If not, please email me! I may have forgotten yours in the shuffle.
  • Ah, fark. Did I forget to pre-order?
  • Hmm, I guess so. I didn't get a Paypal notification from you. But don't worry, I'll have buy buttons up here shortly (hopefully tomorrow evening).
  • Got the game the day before yesterday. Read it and posted a review on my blog.

    Also, the CD was pretty good, not in any genre I'm familiar with but I'll keep it on in the background if we ever get into character generation for The Rustbelt.
  • edited November 2010
    Yes! Thanks for writing that review. Everyone, go read it! Also read the other reviews on his blog!
    Posted By: Wilhelmnot in any genre I'm familiar with
    Hey now, watch out! If spoken in certain tones of voice, them's fightin' words :)

    Oh, and there's now a buy button to buy the thing! I've got extra copies after the preorders, so you can buy one here. Yay!
  • No fighting intended. Just that I couldn't point at any other artist that even sounds remotely similar to what I heard. :-)
  • This looks very interesting, will the copies you have left come with the cd you mention in the first post, or were those just for the people who pre-ordered?

    Also will there be a pdf version available, at least for printing out character sheets and such?

    Is there a website or forum dedicated to Rustbelt anywhere?
  • edited November 2010
    Posted By: WilhelmNo fighting intended. Just that I couldn't point at any other artist that even sounds remotely similar to what I heard. :-)
    I recommend that you check out Tom Waits, and also Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and perhaps Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band (although his influence doesn't show as much on the Rustbelt songs as on my other stuff). My music isn't nearly as original as it sounds :)

    Hi Rune,
    The CD was pre-order only, although it'll be available for purchase on its own once I design a sleeve for it.

    I don't have a PDF version, because the layout is neither screen-friendly nor printer-friendly. I don't have PDFs for character sheets just yet; it's on the list. They'll be free to download, along with a couple reference sheets for damage and the Psyche rules, which can be tricky when you're not familiar with them. (Another thing that'll be free for download is a PDF with a glossary of slang and tips and advice about applying slang in play, and what it's good for, especially with regard to a game of this nature.)

    I don't have a website, but there is the Beyond the Wire Productions forum at the Forge (indie-rpgs.com/forge). I don't know how long that will stay open though, as the Forge is moving away from the designer forums thingies.
  • Thanks for your quick reply Marshall.

    I just ordered Rustbelt, as it looks very interesting, and post-apocalypse is a favorite setting-wise.
    I always find having a site or forum to go to for game related discussions helps me when I'm running a game, so I hope there will be something up for the game eventually, as well as having a place to put up those pdf's (character sheet, reference sheets aso).

    Read a few posts on your blog as well, and I must say I enjoyed your musings on Borderlands (a game I've played way to much).
  • Cool, thanks! I should be able to get that shipped off tomorrow.

    And, yes, Borderlands is still a hoot. (And Call of Duty Black Ops sucks!)
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