The last few months have been a hard time for a small business shipping internationally, like Necrotic Gnome. The norms of being able to handle orders and send packages to customers worldwide were shattered overnight when the pandemic hit. Warehouses shut down, shipping routes were closed, and even those elements of the international shipping apparatus which were still functioning became exponentially slower and more expensive.
Fortunately, it seems that the worst is over and the world is gradually reopening. Shipping between most countries is once more possible.
As the hand-sanitized dust settles, it seems like a good moment to write an update on where things stand with Necrotic Gnome.
The Plan, Early 2020
Ah, the halcyon days of February 2020, when folks naively made big plans! Our big plan here at Necrotic Gnome, as an EU-based company, was to increase the availability of our products in the US and to reduce shipping costs to customers over there. To that end, we partnered up with US-based company Exalted Funeral to produce the next wave of Old-School Essentials products (a 2nd printing of the Rules Tome, the Player's Rules Tome, and the Deluxe Referee's Screen).
We sent through an order to the manufacturer, they printed thousands of books and screens for us (all told, I believe it came to about 10,000 items!), and the resultant trove was shipped off to our European warehouse in the UK.
The next step: simply ship the majority of the new items on to Exalted Funeral in the US and unleash that tasty US-based shipping!
As you may be aware, that next "simple" step turned out to be not at all simple, once the global pandemic was under way. The new Old-School Essentials products arrived in the UK warehouse literally days before the pandemic hit. We didn't have time to arrange the onward shipping to the US before international shipping ceased and the warehouse itself shut down!
Our beautiful batch of 10,000 shiny new books / screens languished in the gloomy recesses of a warehouse for several dark months.
Fortunately, the world has adapted. Last week, a container of Old-School Essentials products left the UK on its way across the Atlantic to Exalted Funeral. Hurrah! Things are back on track at last.
As an aid to your visualisation, this is a shipping container:
The last I heard, the container is scheduled to arrive in the US around late July / early August, after which Exalted Funeral will send out the shiny new products to everyone who pre-ordered. (Thank you all so much for your patience with this in these extremely trying times!)
As the container is now safely under way and the goods are expected to arrive in a matter of weeks, the plans we made back in February (is that really 5 months ago now?) kick into action:
- The majority of Necrotic Gnome stock will soon be located in the US, in the capable hands of Exalted Funeral.
- Orders of print products within Europe are handled at necroticgnome.com.
- Orders of print products worldwide are handled at exaltedfuneral.com.
- Orders of PDFs (i.e. without any print products) are handled at necroticgnome.com. (PDFs also available at DriveThruRPG, of course.)
With regard to the upcoming sale at necroticgnome.com (July 9th to 12th), as we're no longer handling orders outside Europe at necroticgnome.com, the discounted prices will only be available to customers in Europe. People outside of Europe, fear not! Exalted Funeral also run their own sales once in a while and these may include Necrotic Gnome products. (I'd recommend signing up for the Exalted Funeral mailing list for notification on when they're running sales. The sign-up is at the bottom of exaltedfuneral.com.)
As you can perhaps imagine, aside from constant wrangling of warehouses and shipping companies, we've not been idle these last months. Exalted Funeral and I have been working on a very exciting big new project which is nearing completion. Once the shipping container has arrived safely in the US and the current batch of books is being sent out to everyone, we'll start serious work on bringing the new project to fruition. (In the meantime, we'll be announcing very soon what this new project is, so you'll know what you can look forward to.)
(Sorry to disappoint anyone who's been reading this hoping that the new project would be announced at the end!)
I want to thank everyone again for your patience and support during these very difficult last months. Without the support of fans, a small business such as Necrotic Gnome would be in serious jeopardy. It's only with your support that we've been able to weather this storm and will be able to continue producing fantastic content for your imaginations. Fight on!