Fat Goblin Games is a multi-talented publisher with systems of their own like Difference Engine, support for other games such as Mike Pondsmith’s Castle Falkenstein, maps and art.
The company was founded in 2011 by Rick Hershey, an industry veteran with 20 or so years experience. However, it wasn’t until 2013 that Fat Goblin really began to push for market awareness and ramp up production.
Who is Fat Goblin?
I spoke to Rick Hershey and asked him about Fat Goblin’s set-up.
I own and operate Fat Goblin Games and primarily handle all the art design/production, as well as administrative duties, marketing, etc. Sometimes I write or edit, but it is a rare occurrence (mostly due to my busy schedule). Our writing and game design team is headed by our two Project Managers (PMs), Lucus Palosaari and Troy Daniels, who take the ideas and concepts of the books we want to develop and works with our writing teams to project completion. They help manage and direct the company with daily decisions, and honestly, we would never get anything done without them. We then have the “Goblin Hoarde” which is what we affectionately call our pool of freelance writers. They work on an assortment of titles, game systems, and various projects and many of them have been working with us for years.
What’s important to Fat Goblin Games?
As a publisher, making quality games that are both fun and engaging, as well as affordable, to use at your game table. As a game designer, unique and simple rules that fit the experience of the type of game you are playing. As an artist, I want to have unique and visually appealing books, that feel like high-end productions. And hopefully, all those combined create beautiful and useful books to gamers.
According to Rick, at the time this Spotlight goes live, Fat Goblin Games will have released 1348 products. That’s a combination of stock art, game products and visual aids. I found this set of Castle Falkenstein cards on YouTube.
Art in the virtual tabletop world
The maps and art Fat Goblin Games sells is the right mix to put them in an exciting and developing position in the marketplace. A few years ago only fellow indie publishers might have been interested in buying the stock material, but now with virtual tabletops, there are GMs and gaming groups interested in new backgrounds for their online games or maybe even overlay art for Twitch.
I asked Rick what he thought about the growth of virtual tabletops like Astral?
I completely understand their growth and popularity with today’s gamers, it’s a natural technological progression. We actually have a partnership with Monster Grin who sell tokens on the most popular virtual sites using our art for creature and NPC, that gamers can buy and use in their virtual games.
Then there’s the issue of the cost of art. It can be too expensive for some players, even for some indie publishers despite offers from Fat Goblin Games and other stock art creators. At the same time, many artists barely make fair wages given how time-consuming good art is. Once again, I asked Hershey about this.
Art will always be the most expensive component of book production, regardless of its cost. My feelings when it comes to art has always been that an artist should charge whatever they think they are worth, and publishers should pay whatever they feel the value of the art is worth. A good publisher should have a budget and know what they can afford. . . and sometimes they are going to get a good deal, sometimes they are going to pay a lot for the quality they want. As for stock art, publishers are spoiled and it is way too cheap.
The latest Fat Goblin Games products
You can buy Fat Goblin Games products over at DriveThruRPG, and their five most recent products are;
- Steampunk Musha: The Classes of Rosuto-Shima (Pathfinder and other systems)
- Publisher’s Choice – Fantasy Backgrounds
- DIY Monster Manual (OSR)
- US Marshals: A Shared Storytelling Game Of Justice In The American Wild West (A rules-light RPG)
- Rick Hershey Art Rates 2019-20 (this is a free product that sets out Rick’s prices for the year)
Isn’t that a diverse collection!
The last question I put to Rick Hershey of Fat Goblin Games was about the future. Just how more diverse is this range going to get?
Our major push in the coming year or so is going to be support for our home system, The Difference Engine. You’ll see a wide variety of interesting new setting books coming out that will tackle some genre material you’ve never imagined. . . and we are very excited about these projects. We’ll also see new material for the vs.M Engine releases, like vs. Stranger Stuff: Season 2. We’ve also recently started support for the TinyD6 Engine from Gallant Knight Games, with a license from them, and are really enjoying working on a few projects to support that great system. Beyond that, expect to see support for Pathfinder Roleplaying Games Second Edition, 5th Edition Fantasy, and various other systems we’ve supported over the years. . . but our main focus this next year will definitely be more experimental and indie style design spaces.
Follow Fat Goblin Games
- Fat Goblin Games’ Patreon
- Fat Goblin Games on Facebook
- Fat Goblin Games on Twitter
- Fat Goblin Games on YouTube
- Fat Goblin Games on DriveThruRPG
Check out the comments below to see what other Geek Natives think.