RPGs, Podcasting: Paul Tevis and Ransoming

Now it all comes together…

In my first podcast roundup, I praised Paul Tevis’ “Have Games, Will Travel: For a Few Games More.” I went on to ask questions of Greg Stolze and Dennis Detwiller about their successes with the ransom model for funding . Now, Paul Tevis has ransomed four episodes of his show, and in episode 20, he reflects on the experience.

I think it’d be fair to describe his reaction as “ambivalent.” He doesn’t regret having done it, but then he’s one who’d much rather go ahead and try something than sit around and be wistful about it. On the most basic level, it worked, in that he recorded the episodes, people paid for them, he released them, and there’s been discussion on some gaming forums about it.

But he also finds that it reduced his creator’s satisfaction in some ways. He thrives on immediacy, the ability to have an idea, act on it, put the results out, and see what the world thinks. His podcast is generally about what he’s up to right now, with thoughts on games and conversations of that day, that week; the ransoming schedule slowed all that down. He’s also uncertain about how the methodology affects his relationship with his audience, and the boundary between sensible use of a good resource and exploiting something that deforms the way he approaches his creation.

It’s an immensely thoughtful discussion, and I strongly recommend it to folks curious about alternative funding, publishing, and distributing. He isn’t saying that it all sucks or anything like that, just dealing with his own concerns, and suggesting by implication questions others should ask themselves.


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