Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Marketplace GMs on Elthos Mythos Machine

I had a problem with the business model of the Elthos RPG Mythos Machine that for a long time stumped me. But I think I, with the help of my friend C.D. (I don't know if he would wish to be named here, so ... C.D. will do) have licked it.

The setup is this. I want to create a platform that offers an RPG Framework for Settings creators. I want them to be able to create their own Worlds as RPGs, and offer them to others to buy at a price they set, and with my platform getting a modest commission of 12%. Purchasers can obtain a copy through the Mythos Machine, and play the World with their friends, modifying the things of that World however they wish. To this end I created a Worlds Marketplace.

When you first create an account on the Mythos Machine you come in as a Player. This allows you to create Characters in the Worlds that GMs have made available. Presumably you've been invited by one of your friends to play a character in their World. They sent you a link to the Mythos Machine, you create a free account, find their World, and begin creating your Character there. You select the class and race you want to play, depending on what your GM has made available to players as part of their world, purchase your character's armors, weapons, equipment with the money your character starts out with, and select your skills, and maybe you add some background information about your Character, their personality, traits, etc, and perhaps add an image to represent them... and voila, you're ready to play. The Mythos Machine handles all the math of figuring out things like your Armor Class and Attack Level and so forth according to the Elthos RPG rules. The rules are available on DriveThruRPG or on the Website. And so, you can now play in your friend's World. You can even keep an ongoing history of your Character's adventures through the Mythos Machine.

One day you decide you want to run a Campaign. Before I changed the business model this week it was the case that you needed to upgrade to a Basic GM. This gives you the ability to create your own World in the Mythos Machine. You can create as many of your own Races, Classes, Weapons, Armors, Cultures, Places and Campaigns as you wish. It's a very expansive system. This costs a measly $2.99 / month. You can also as Basic GM purchase Worlds from the Worlds Marketplace. So you create a World and it's great. You and your friends have a blast, and now you have a new idea for another World... totally different than the last one.

At this point you might want to upgrade to Premium GM. This allows you to create as many Worlds as you wish. It also allows you to create Shared Worlds that you can work on with other GMs whom you invite to that World. It also allows you to create "Packaged Worlds" which can be sold in the Worlds Marketplace at a price you set. So lets say you have some cool World ideas, and you think other GMs would like to take them for a spin. You spent a few weeks slinging your ideas together, set a price of $5, and then let your friends know it's up on the Marketplace. They buy it, and tell some of their friends, and so you wind up making, oh, who knows, let's say you sell 20 of them and make $100. Over time, maybe word gets out that you have a cool world there, and you sell 100. Who knows? Anyway, as Premium GM you can set up shop and sell your Worlds, as many as you like, for whatever price you think their worth (minimum price is $3 to cover Stripe Transaction fees, and prevent that all-sucking race to the bottom that happens with PWYW systems).

So the problem was that there was no way for GMs to purchase Worlds unless they joined as Basic GMs. It seems like a inhibiting factor, right? So the solution: Marketplace GMs. This tier is also free, except it allows you to purchase Worlds from the Worlds Marketplace and play them with your friends. You can create new places, and adventures in these worlds, but you can not add or modify the Things (Weapons, Armors, etc) within it. So it's pretty much a very basic setup for GMs to try out the system without having to sign up for the subscription service. I think this works out well. Premium GMs can offer their Worlds, and Marketplace GMs can purchase them at the base cost without a subscription fee.

That's all been programmed and is current in test at https://test.mm.elthos.com

What do you think of this solution?

Also, please feel free to give it a spin and let me know how it works for ya. You can copy a final draft of the Elthos RPG Rules book from the website once you've created an account on the Mythos Machine.  Thanks!

Ok, that's the story. Have fun. :)

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