The Great Big Head of Jeff Talanian

The great big head

That is the great big head of Jeff Talanian on my TV. Designer, author, one time Gary Gygax collaborator and all-around good guy Jeff was also helpful to me. I was able to locate the box company I used for Whisper and Venom on his recommendation. He has a short time left on his new Kicckstarter (here) that I know will be delivered better than promised. You should back it by clicking here now. When you get back I want to tell a story about the great big head and its belated advice.

Ok, the story…

Most box companies are leery of new publishers and/or small print runs. While they never tell you no outright, they will send you a quote that, to be generous, is interestingly priced (my favorite quote was $18 per box). While I was about 4 months out from Whisper & Venom’s Kickstarter I attended TotalCon. Good Con but it was more diversity of interests than I was used to, which was reflected in the vendor hall. My purchases were limited a Frank Mentzer module from Eldritch, a knitted Cthulu ski mask and a my copy of AS&SH. While making the purchase I inquired about who made the boxes and without hesitation he told me it was Marion Paperbox.

This was a huge favor to me. I asked if he regretted the choice and he said no, he loved box sets.

Fast forward to 2014. After having shipped over 120 boxes I was in my living room packing the last 30 Pathfinder sets. At this point I was exhausted and just barely covering my Kickstarter costs thanks to shipping. While packing I listen to podcasts and watch narrowly focused YouTube videos. That day Jeff was a guest on the Mythwits show (link), which on my 50″ HD TV enlarged his head beholder style.

After an interesting first half they discuss the economics of games. I was able to pay attention regardless of the three days on next to no sleep of fulfillment.

When asked if he would do a boxed set again the giant head of Jeff Talanian said, “I love the box set format but the logistic and costs s of assembling and shipping, particularly international shipping, is prohibitive.”

Sitting boxing up sets for expensive international shipping I listened to that great big head contradict himself with those words.

And wept :)

Just kidding. He is correct about it all but I would (and am doing) it the same way again. I just felt psychological dissonance at that moment. It was awesome.

His Kickstarter will be great, you really should support it. If you don’t have AS&SH already you should get a copy, since he is obviously not making more of them.

:)

Zach

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