Gamebook store

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Serpents and mongooses

If you're interested in Dragon Warriors, you may have noticed that the former printer of the books, Mongoose, have been putting their stock up for auction on eBay, one copy of each title at a time, at a starting price of 99p. Far be it from me to keep eager fans from a bargain, but it is important to realize that buying the books that way not only deprives the creators of the game (me and Oliver) of our royalties, it also takes revenue from Fabled Lands LLP and, much more importantly, from Serpent King Games, who are the guys trying to make a go of the series. So if you want to see more DW books in future, enlightened self-interest suggests you probably should buy direct from the authorized publishers.


  1. Well said Dave, I back your comments. Not only are you not a charity but you have been more than generous anyway with what you have tolerated from others and given away yourself on the net in relation to your various products.

    Presume you can't block these sales then as you don't have full control of the copyright?

    I don't want to sound like a party pooper here, but if people like something enough then paying a little more to get what they want from the approved source(s) should be the automatic choice. Otherwise you risk putting the creators of the work out of business and as far as I'm concerned anyway, no more FL would be a disaster (I know the article relates to DW, but the principle is the same).

    It's the same story with music and the reason why I pay for downloads to support my favourite artists. I know times are hard and the easy option is sometimes just to cut corners to save pennies, but we need to remember times are equally hard for small businesses such as Fabled Lands LLP, so I think the least we can do is take heed of Dave's advice if we want long term benefits over and above a few quick wins.

    Sorry to go off on one a bit there, just my two pence on the matter.

  2. I always thought the plural of mongoose was mongeese.

  3. We do have copyright, Colin. But in law, if these are genuine secondhand copies then the royalty would have been paid and there would be no legal basis for preventing the purchaser from selling the copy on.

    I'm not sure how there can be so many secondhand copies in mint condition all in the hands of one entity. But let's assume there are, in which case I'm simply going to say that buying from Serpent King Games will help support future DW releases, and leave it at that.

    I certainly agree with you about making sure you pay for something in a way that rewards the original creator. That's why I never watch pirated movies - never have, never will.

    Hamza, you get your money's worth on this blog. Loads of role-playing and gamebook news, plus an English lesson thrown in for free :)

  4. Excellent title!. I guess the Serpent King beat the mongoose?
    I wish you luck with DW!

  5. That really bugs me! [And not just because I grabbed a copy of In From the Cold - should have waited for the Serpent King version!].

    The best thing Serpent King can do is incorporate all the errata updates in their new versions, because the ones Matthew Sprange is hawking on eBay have some errors in them.

    Serpent King Games:

    "Bug (and Mongoose) Free!"




  6. So is it Mongoose who are selling these copies on eBay, or is it Matthew Sprange as an individual? As they are mint copies, it seems unlikely any royalty was ever paid - in other words, if they're going straight from the printer to eBay then I think we should be able to put a stop to that. Functionally, from the point of view of the authors who are left out of pocket, the situation is no different from pirated copies.

  7. The one I saw being sold by Matthew Sprange ("In from the cold") has disappeared now. Interesting! All the others are now being sold by various online game stores on eBay.



  8. Hi Andy - that is interesting. I plan to contact eBay and ask them to verify that all copies of the MOP editions being sold are genuinely secondhand.