The Saving Throw returns this week for its first column in November, and it has been exactly eleven months since the Saving Throw began. Yes, it's only one month away from the one-year anniversary, though it hardly seems like almost a year.
This week, we have a contest entry from our Sound Test curator, RedBeastMage, and a new class from Nostrum. Also, there is news on the two biggest online PDF stores merging and an update on Palladium's situation. Since this column is already chock full of stuff, might as well keep the intro short, so onto to the column!
Gaming Tip of the Week
"Extraplanar travel is not for the faint of heart."
On October 27, 2006, RPGNow and DriveThruRPG, the two leaders in the sale of PDF roleplaying products, announced they are merging into a single company called OneBookShelf. Currently, the combined company intends to continue to maintain the RPGNow and DriveThru sites until a new integrated site is developed to replace them. In the meantime, products carried exclusively by only one of the companies will now be available on both sites.
Explaining DriveThruRPG's decision to merge, Steve Wieck said, "Our goal from day one has been to offer consumers their choice of any roleplaying game ever published available for instant download 24/7 world-wide. We will be able to meet that goal sooner by combining forces with RPGNow." The companies are merging on an equal basis, with all owners and employees staying with the new combined company. OneBookShelf has also formed partnerships with RPGnet and EN World to operate download stores in connection with these sites, and is in discussion to form partnerships with others as well in an effort reach every corner of the RPG community.
In April, Palladium Books announced that it was facing a "Crisis of Treachery" and facing significant financial difficulties, the company appealed to its fans for help. A further update in June showed that the company's situation was improving. Palladium has released further details, stating that the overwhelming support from its fans may result in the company being on solid financial footing by Summer 2007; its original projection was for recovery by Summer 2009.
The company's recovery is still not guaranteed, and it faces significant challenges in the days ahead. The company lacks money to reprint many of its key titles in time for the important Christmas season. While Palladium has many promising opportunities in front of it, many of those are long-term commitments that will not pay off for two to four years. Even their traditional book sale business typically take more than four months to produce income, so the company is again in need of a cash infusion to sustain its recovery. Palladium is again appealing to its fans for help by spreading the word, buying Palladium products, visiting Palladium at conventions, and keeping the hope alive; these may allow Palladium to maintain its recovery into 2007.