EDIT (8/8/2011): Death Mesa is no longer available for purchase online. You may, however, download 18" x 12" files and make your own personal copy of Death Mesa. You are only authorized to make 1 personal copy, and you cannot sell your copy to another person. I have provided a tutorial teaching how to use these 18" x 12" files with an online printing service to make yourself a high quality of Death Mesa. It is easy and should take little time and effort on your part.
The much anticipated POD version of Death Mesa is now available online! You can order your print of Death Mesa today. The cost at the moment is $8.99 + shipping. For an explanation of the cost structure or the shipping costs, see below. But in terms of good news, I have been able to significantly drop the price on international shipping. Also, I didn't want to make you pay $3.00+ for a printed version of the guidebook, so you will have to grab the Death Mesa Guidebook online. I will work on a simpler black and white player aid/quick reference that you can easily print off and have during games. The guidebook is not quite practical to store around with you, or pass around with other players.
About Death Mesa. BANG! is an excellent western-themed card game. However, many BANG! fans have lamented the element of player elimination. After all, it can be pretty boring waiting around 15-45 minutes for a game to end. Death Mesa creates a solution to this problem by having eliminated players remain in the game as ghosts, which are able to impact the game's outcome, help their team mates, and even succeed in their roles. Ghosts have no life points, no distance constraints, cannot die, and also draw from a specialized deck of cards called the Dead Men's Deck. Cards from this deck allow the ghosts to possess the living, bequeath items from their will, inspire or weaken others, reveal information on cards in player's hands, warn of impending doom, and so forth. Ghosts however, can spoil each other's plans. With a strong thematic background, Death Mesa should add to the fun of BANG! and draw new fans to it who could not stand the player elimination.
Death Mesa's Cost Structure. As I have repeatedly expressed in my posts, I am making no money off of Death Mesa. I have simply wanted to make it easier for BANG! fans to enjoy a high quality version of this unofficial expansion. My solution was to find a POD (Printer on Demand) that would allow people to order a print of Death Mesa online. That way neither the player nor myself would have to go to Kinko's to print off the free cardsheets (or use an inkjet printer at home). This could take a lot of time, the ink from a home printer is much more likely to smear, and the cardsheets from plaincards.com are not that cheap. Thus, the costs for Death Mesa are simply the POD's costs of processing and production. Let me provide some proof of this for the $8.99 fee for Death Mesa. First, the POD sets the following price for one printing of a 54-card deck: $6.75. See the image below.
Then, for items placed in the Publisher's Warehouse, they also have costs for processing and packaging. They communicate this on their website, and say it will cost around $2.00. See the image below.
So a flat $2.00 processing fee would make it $8.75. However, the site just said they would probably ask that amount. For this order, they asked for $0.24 more. In my e-mail correspondence, I was told (as is captured in this image):
This should explain as best as possible why the cost of Death Mesa is at $8.99 and how I am not making money off of this expansion. On the other hand, it has cost me a lot of personal time and money to make it available to others.
Shipping Costs. When I originally explored using a POD to make copies of Death Mesa for BANG! fans, I was shocked by the international shipping costs. There is a large group of BANG! fans in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and I wanted to make the expansion available to them. I was quite disappointed when I saw shipping costs for PODs ranging from $40-$110 (€27,16-€74,69) to ship to European countries. However, I have worked with the POD to significantly drop the shipping costs. In the United States, shipping is $6.50. As far as I can tell, all international shipping (including Canada) is $15.50 (€10,57). This is far better than the prices I was getting initially. I will try to see if I can cut international shipping costs more, but that may not be possible.
One Death Mesa fan (Stefan) from Finland has already ordered a copy and this was his response:
Martin you are amazing. Everything worked fine. I just ordered a Deck with shipping costs. 24USD total with Paypal. Great work. I am looking forward to get the deck soon. Juhu!One good way to save costs on local or international shipping is to order multiple copies for a group of people. It costs the same amount to ship 7 decks as it takes to ship 1! After 7, the shipping to Slovakia went up from $15.50 to $25.50 (€17.40). After that, the shipping costs from 8 to 32 decks were the same at this price ($25.50). I can't imagine anyone ordering over that, so I will stop the stats there. In terms of ordering multiple decks for a group, it will be easiest for friends living in the same area that do not have to ship again once they get the package. Reshipping might be worthwhile anyway, so I will leave that up to you.
For the Future. Now that Death Mesa can be ordered online, I want to get out translations of Death Mesa into other languages. The most pressing would be Spanish and Czech translations, although German and Portuguese are important too. While I have had offers from people to translate the expansion in the past, little came of these offers. I will be making some slight tweeks to the Death Mesa rules this coming week, and after that I will release a text file for people to download. This file will include both card names, descriptions, and the guidebook's info. If any people are interested in translating, I ask them to download that file and then e-mail me their translation. That way multiple languages will be able to order Death Mesa online.