How much does it cost to make a RPG book? ( TTRPG ) Or more precisely, how much it costs to ‘print’ an RPG book depends on a few factors.

How much time, expertise, where it is printed, quality of delivery, labour, marketing, and logistics are a few factors.

cost to make a RPG book

For a concise answer on how much it may cost to write and create a TTRPG book. You will need to factor in a number of variables.

You can jump to the quick answer here – how much does it cost to make an RPG book – short answer. ( Rough Prices )

This article has been created to answer and break down ‘some’ of the extensive variables and factors that will affect the cost of making and printing your TTRPG.

It should be noted that all these numbers are hypothetical. Companies, agencies, and freelancers will charge according to their own rates. These rates and tariffs can vary over the course of time and the numbers in this post are hypothetical.

Price to create an RPG book!

The ‘how much’ of creating a TTRPG has a lot of – ‘it depends’ when considering the budgets. But, knowing what some of ‘it depends on’ will help with the pricing and budget.

Much like creating a board game, or even a prototype, creating a TTRPG will require dedication to complete it. But not necessarily a deep pocket. There are a couple of ways to create a TTRPG at a lower cost mentioned in this post.

It should also be noted here that making a TTRPG and publishing a TTRPG book are 2 different sceneries to consider when working on your budget.

Like this article – how much does it cost to make a board game – Creating a TTRPG ( RPG) book can be an elaborate long-haul. A long-haul that may catch you out in both time required to complete it and the potential money required to get it to print.

Here is a bit about my background in design, print, and board games.

Dragon Graphic Divider

How much does it cost to make an RPG book? What do I know!?

Before creating this website, I have worked for numerous years in both print and illustration. I have worked as a Creative Director/designer working ‘in-house’ on magazines and booklets.

I have worked with authors creating illustrations for books in varying genres ( mostly history/fiction and horror/science fiction) and I have also sent full-colour rule books and artwork off to print on a commercial level.

This post is a ‘rough guide’ on potential costing when creating a RPG book.

Although some of the costing and variables are based on ‘past’ experience. The figures in this post are purely formulaic. It is a case of second-guessing third-party fees, but I have tried to go with some authentic numbers. Not strictly real numbers, as this would need to be collected in a case-by-case scenario from various sources.

It is true that I am not a veteran RPG writer. But I have worked in both print and creating some artwork for RPG books. And the TT gaming industry is a lively and inspiring industry.


TTRPG artwork

I’m by no stretch of the imagination god’s gift to all things RPG. But I do have experience in print and working with game creators and authors.

Here are some samples of my illustration work from my blog. If you require any artwork for your TTRPG. It may be of interest.

cost to make a RPG book - artwork

It should be noted that much of this information is based on:-

Jump Menu | Rough Price guide to making a TTRPG

How much does it cost to create an RPG book ( TTRPG ) – short answer

The cost to create an RPG ( TTRPG ) on your own can be practically £0 – hypothetically. That is if you do all the art yourself, write it, test it, create a website, market it… but then you would still need to pay to print it.

If you were to create a book with a small professional team. You could be looking anywhere between £500 – £10,000+ approximate depending on who you hire.

“Time, expertise, and skills cost money.”

If you work with a small team of hobbyists or friends that offers their time for free. You may be able to also create your book for free or at a low cost.

Again, costs will differ if you use a mix of freelancers too.

These are ‘all’ hypothetical. And you should get some quotes and figures first before embarking on creating RPG.

How much does it cost to print a TTRPG in the UK – Short Answer

When considering the price of how much it costs to print and create TTRPG, you will need to consider where and by whom the book is printed.

You may be able to find a print-on-demand service, or if you are lucky, a publisher that prints your indie TTRPG. If the publisher feels that your TTRPG is an asset to them, they may take your RPG book and print it.

If you self-publish your TTRPG book, you may be looking at an upfront cost of = £100 – £1000 +.


cost to make a RPG book

Factors that will affect how much it will cost to make a RPG book (TTRPG)

There are factors that will influence the question of ‘How much does it cost to make a RPG book?’ I have made observations ( opinions ) when speaking to RPG creators at UK board game conventions.

There are those who are making an indie TTRPG as a passion project with friends and other co-creators.

These individuals are trying to create and launch their own RPG book because they want to. Hobby purists.

And there are those with aspirations to try and turn a profit with their TTRPG book and see it from a commercial standpoint.

But seeing beyond this generalization. I want to draw your attention to the objective differences between these groups. This is important to consider as their approaches to the project budget will – more often than not, be vastly different.

Dragon Graphic Divider

Price Groups | creating an RPG

  1. ) Is passion first group ( creative hobbyists ). They want to make an RPG book and keep it low-key.
  2. ) This is an individual that is creating a TTRPG. They may be making it for the love of it or because they have bold ambitions for it later on.
  3. ) And the 3rd group may be going straight in at the commercial side of creating a TTRPG. ( RPG Book )

These are the 3 main groups I have focused on for the topic of budging around creating an RPG.

In other words. Passion Creators, Individual Hobbyists, and Commercial RPG creators.

1) Passion Creator Groups – “The Hobbyists” | TTRPG ( RPG)

When working with or speaking to this group of creators, I have noticed some common yet subtle differences in their approach to creating a TTRPG.

And in my opinion, I would certainly say their outlook towards a project budget ( if there is a budget) is very different from the commercial group.

The ‘passion creators’ the hobbyists or however else you wish to label this group, could be described as being bohemian or generally speaking, very creative.

Group of passion creators for TTRPG

With passion creators banding together to create an indie TTRPG. Typically, It is creativity at the fore.

They don’t mind keeping it low-key and creating an RPG book for the love of all things RPG.

The passion creators are also generally more willing to take bolder creative risks and experiment than their pure commercially minded counterparts.

For the passion creators, It doesn’t have to be a business venture in the long run. They just want to make the best TTRPG book they can. They may all chip in varying levels to create the book.

It should also be noted that this group may also be willing to work for free. And offer an extensive amount of time on their TTRPG for free.

This is an important piece of budgeting information to consider.

Why? Let me explain!

Cost to make a TTRPG | People selling time, skills, and expertise for free

When considering how much it costs to make, create or print an RPG book, you need to consider time, skills, and expertise as part of a commodity. Or budget.

But there is a catch to pricing skills and expertise.

Creativity when seen as a ‘commodity’ are not always easy to commoditise! The main reason being is that they are not tangible items or objects. Instead, you are exchanging money for knowledge, skill, and talent.

An RPG book project (TTRPG) may be put together by an individual or group of creatives.

The passion creators may consist of artists, game creators, writers or just general board game fanatics that have banded together.

They may be friends, associates, or family members. They may or may not be professionals in their field.

For the sake of this scenario, hypothetically speaking, I’m going to say that they have given their time and expertise for free to create the TTRPG.

Time, expertise, and skills cost money.

This is true for experienced professional freelancers being hired to work on a book such as TTRPG. Now, if you take all that time that is required and bill it as free.

It all suddenly becomes a much lower investment RPG book to create. But most skilled freelancers or professionals would sell their time for free. Especially if they are outside your friendship group.

Now, If all those hours were to be billed at a particular rate suddenly the RPG book costs a lot more to create and print.

A scenario showing how hiring or outsourcing can cost money | Cost for RPG book

Basically, hiring professionals that know their business, costs money. Here is a potential breakdown of why and how creating an RPG book could cost money.

The Scenario.

A small TTRPG. A budding author has written ‘most’ of the text and play-tested their TTRPG in a small group. ( here are some ideas of where you can potentially find some playtesters )

But they need some additional services to bring their TTRPG to life. Here is a hypothetical cost table.

Role In Project Rates & Time Cost
Freelance Editor 1£20 – 10 hours ( £10 phr)£200.00
Freelance Artist 1*Flat Fee£2000.00
Freelance Proof Reader 3£22 – 10 hrs£220.00
Cover Artist 4£2000.00 Flat fee £2000.00
Budget Total = £4420.00
Budget Table Scenario for Creating a TTRPG book
cost to make a RPG book - price table

2) Passion Creator TTRPG Budget Scenario | Individual

Another TTRPG budget scenario is for an individual passion creator.

When considering how much it costs to make an RPG book, an individual will have to pay close attention to the budget.

The same can also be said for the price should they decide to self-publish their TTRPG.

cost to make a RPG book alone

Pricing Criteria | Individual TTRPG creator

In all likelihood, the cost for the individual passion creator has not factored their time as part of the budget. As they have taken the pure – ‘do it yourself path’ and perhaps as a hobbyist, they are not concerned about the hours used for the project.

They might just love what they do!

For the sake of this case and scenario. I’m going the say that the individual has decided to charge themselves £0.00 for their time.

To self-publish their TTRPG, they could be looking to spend anything from £100 – £1000, depending on where and who prints their RPG book / TTRPG.

From a pricing standpoint. The do-it-yourself path can be a good starting block from a financial perspective. This is another avenue to consider when researching ‘how much does it cost to make a RPG book’.

3) Commercial Venture | Cost factors TTRPG

I have already mentioned the potential cost differences to make an RPG book from a group of indie creators as a passion project, vs the individual. From most angles, there is a cost to make an RPG book. Be it time or money.

cost to make a RPG book

The indie creators, in short, may be willing to offer their time, knowledge, and skills at low cost or for free.

They love what they do! It’s a passion hobby, it’s not about making money or selling lots of copies.

They are going to do what they are going to do because they love what it is that they do! The book just needs to be out there.

But, when considering, how much it cost to make an RPG book, Or how much will cost to create a Table Top Role Playing Game book.

The RPG creator with commercial expansion and growth in mind, are likely to invest more financially.

Shifting lots of copies in a competitive market can be expensive.

Theoretical price break down for commercial group | Cost to make an RPG book

Theoretical price break down for commercial group | Cost to make an RPG book

For the sake of this scenario, let’s say the commercial TTRPG creator decides to create 2000 books with the intention to sell even more later on. A big commercial venture!

Creation costs are likely to be heavier.

They want to compete. They may want to create varying different designs and pick the best one. Create an abundance of artwork, edit the story and add a lot of polish to the TTRPG and work on the cover art and consider its value.

The commercial tender may also invest more in marketing. Production costs may be more costly too. And then there is shipping!

But as this topic concentrates on the creation budget for RPG book – those topics are a different slice of the total budgeting cake.

You may find these posts interesting

The commercial creator may be looking at anything from £400 – £10,000+ to create and publish their book. Depending on what, who, where, and how many.

Budget Table | Company creates a TTRPG

cost to make a RPG book

This table gives an example of how a budget may be broken down from a company’s perspective.

Very small company – TTRPG Project | 2000 + books + first book

Role In Project Rates & Time Cost
Freelance Writer 1£20 – 10 hours ( £10 phr)£200.00
Cover Artist 1*Flat Fee £2500£2500.00
2nd Writer £22 – 100 hrs£2200.00
Book Designer£800.00 Flat fee £800.00
Illustrator £900.00£900.00
Budget Total =£6600
Budget Table Scenario for Creating a TTRPG book

That is another loose example of a small company creating an RPG book. This group may also set aside a budget for freelancers, writers, and game testers also.

Ways professional TTRPG creators may budget for their books

The commercial TTRPG creators may accrue money from grants, crowdfunding, and pre-existing company accounts. And have more money to experiment and hire additional services.

As companies expand, they may also hire full-time employees to create books.

Now swap out rates and fees and replace them with £20,000 – £40,000 k salaries. Budgets can then expand.

Using freelancers in the beginning from a commercial perspective is cost-effective. But, as time goes on, more time and resources may be needed to create more RPG’s.

Summary | The main differences in cost between all the groups to create a TTRPG book

The significant difference in the costs between the 3 groups of TTRPG are as follows:-

  • Time, skill, and services range from ‘Free’ to low cost, to no cost.
  • The total do-it-yourself may be lower cost.
  • Companies or groups with deeper pockets can throw more at the TTRPG.

And a combination of thereof. There are many factors when considering what it will cost to make an RPG book or TTRPG.

Keep in mind that this is a summary of my experience and opinions. The groups mentioned in this post can differ and be a mix and match.

Why is it expensive to make an RPG book? ( TTRPG )

It may be expensive to make a TTRPG? Because in all likelihood, you are paying a professional for their time, skills, and expertise.

In exchange for money, you may hire freelance artists, designers, and writers to help create a shelf-competing TTRPG. The expensive aspect of it can come from hiring multiple freelancers or skilled professionals to fulfill this task.

It also costs money to print anything. Be it in print or manufacture for a board game or a RPG book.

To summerise, this is a list from earlier costing that can be broken down to make a RPG book.

This can be broken down in groups. Observing these groups at arm’s lengths can make it more apparent why it can be expensive to make a TTRPG.

  1. )The passion creators, hobbyists, or any other label you wish to use. May sell their time for free.
  2. )The individual creating the whole book are likely to be less concerned about time budgets they won’t bill themselves ( theoretically )
  3. ) A small TTRPG start-up may invest some money in freelancers for the creation stages.
  4. ) Lastly, the established company may have more cash to play with and commission more services to create a TTRPG. Or even a series of TTRPG’s.

How much does it cost to create an RPG book!? | word of warning!

Remember not to take foolish financial risks! Don’t squander all your life savings. Even more so if this is money from your personal savings for a hobby or fan game.

You don’t need to. And shouldn’t need to.

Before investing all of your private income, consider alternative methods for raising money such as crowdfunding or creative grants. Many board game creators take this path to start with.

If you are going to make a good TTRPG book to sell, you are likely to need the money to do so.

Another thing to consider when creating an RPG with your budget is that a too-low budget can affect the quality of the final product.

By shipping a half-baked idea, all you are doing wasting the money you have already invested in the core of the book creation! And even if you are doing most of this for free. You don’t want to feel as if you have wasted your time either.

If you don’t have the money.

Consider if you can get a grant or look at Kickstarter or both!

These are just ideas…

I’m sure there are ideas based on telephone conversations I’ve had with clients. If you are serious about the budget for TTRPG you could also see financial advice or speak to the accountant. This post only covers the potential cost breakdown.

*This post is for tips only. Dragon Bone Games cannot be held responsible for financial loss wither accidental to you as an individual, whether self-employed, a limited company, or as part of a larger company.

Seek further financial advice from professional money advisers. Always practice caution when spending your money of ventures such as this!

How much does it cost to make a RPG book? | Large commercial venture

Those with a commercial goal from the outset are potentially more willing to exchange money for experience and skill. If they believe there to be a return on investment.

Or in other words, time for money.

This excludes licensing artwork. And, neither does it factor in the publishing cost – the cost to print the RPG book.

how much does it coast to make a TTRPG

If you are also a creator of board games you may be interested in these posts:-

Why is there a price difference in potential cost?

The short answer is because of the time and skill in exchange for money.

Those that have created the RPG book as a passion project and offered their skills for free. Most likely, will not need to concern themselves with the time/money budget.

Also when considering the differences. The author which has created their game by themselves without the help of others, won’t need to charge for their time and concern themselves with the freelancer budget. Or, hiring people.

The TTRPG creator with a more commercial standing may need to factor in hiring Freelancers, Full-time employees etc etc.

* Remember this only considers the cost of the RPG book ‘creation’ not the publishing

Remember throughout this post that I have tried to separate the cost of creating and publishing TTRPG.

The creation stages of making a TTRPG can be such a wild card that a certain level of explanation is required. The publishing stage theoretically should be more straightforward from a costing standpoint.

For the ‘free time’ creators, this may only get you as far as putting the artwork together. You will still need to find a way to print.

Other board game companies and authors use platforms such as Kickstarter to launch their TTRPG’s games and raise funds… then there is the marketing, print, and logistics too.

How much does it cost to make an RPG book on your own? ( Factors )

A cost-effective way of creating and publishing an RPG book is by creating the RPG book yourself.

Once you have created the book, you can either approach a publisher with your book or self-publish.

As with creating and pricing a board game prototype, you will still need to factor prices for creating a RPG book if you take the do-it-yourself route. Below is a short list of pricing elements factors.

  • * Time to create the book / Write / Playtest
  • Copywriting / editing
  • Licensing or commissioning artwork
  • Creating 5 books

Excluded variables for creating an RPG book on your own.

  • Creating additional mockups
  • Printing in bulk
  • Marketing
  • Logistics

Consider some of the factors mentioned here. Here is a breakdown of what it may cost you to create a book on your own.

Your own time is free

Assuming that you don’t charge yourself for your own time. Your own time and expertise are not a commodity that you charge for when creating your RPG book.

* = £0.00

Proof Reading and Copywriting

Let’s not assume that you are a proofreader by profession. Writer’s rates can vary drastically from charging per word to charging per hour. It depends on the editor and writer.

For the sake of this scenario, let’s work with a number. The freelance writer charges £18 per hour and it takes 20 hours ( approx to write 20 hrs ) = £360

Licensing artwork for your RPG book

Assuming that you decide to license artwork, some of this can be found for free. If you decide to go for something a bit more unique and contact an artist directly about licensing artwork.

Hypothetically the artist grants you a license to use a piece of their artwork for the cover for the sum of £500. ( Remember all hypothetical )

Printing 5 copies of RPG book

To add to the cost, let’s say you decide to create 5 hard-back books. 80 + pages, with a dust jacket from an online UK book printer. A rough guide price to print your hard copies is £97.00 With these hard copies you can then play test, take photos of the RPG book etc.

A stage is similar to prototype printing. ( you can find more on UK board game printers here )

The total cost to print create and print your RPG books ( On your own )

Based on the theoretical costs above. You now have some variables of what it may cost you to make a RPG book on your own. But do remember, situations can arise that require you to spend more money!

Keep something spare just in case!

Case price example to create your own book | Self-Publish

The Sum for creating your own RPG book:-

  • Time = £0.00
  • Proofreading & Editing = £360
  • License artwork directly (non-open source ) = £500
  • 5 hard copies of your RPG book = £97.00
  • Total for all that is mentioned above = £957.00
Variable / Item Rates & Time – Self-Publish
Time ( own time etc )£0
Proofreading & Editing£360.00
License artwork directly (non-open source ) £500.00
5 hard copies of your RPG book £97.00
Total for all that is mentioned above = £957.00
Budget Table Example – Self-publish

Methods for saving money on creating and publishing an RPG book ( TTRPG )

This section would deserve an article in itself. When answering how much it costs to make a RPG book, it is likely that at some stage that you would be interested in saving money. That would be an article of suggestions and ideas for another time.


For the short and sharp answer on methods to save money on both publishing and creating a book. It could be ‘where’ you get your book printed. Some companies get their books printed overseas in large quantities. While smaller runs are easier and sometimes more cost-effective to do it locally.

And the ‘who’, ‘what’ and ‘when’ will affect the will either save money or increase the cost of creating your RPG book.

It should also be noted that hiring a team of freelancers does not guarantee a book that will sell millions of copies nor will it save you money!

Neither does creating the whole TTRPG for free.

Cost and budgets for your RPG book | Marketing price exclusion

The budget for marketing your RPG book has been left out of this post. The reason being is that money for marketing alone can vary drastically and is another variable. To keep the post focused on how much it costs to create an RPG, this again would almost deserve some ideas in another article.

If I was to also discuss an open-ended topic around how much it cost to market an RPG book. I could easily add another 5000 words. It is also like asking how long is a piece of string. It depends on how much you want to throw at it.

But, if you are considering creating your own TTRPG book with the intent to sell it. Then you should also factor in some money for effective marketing.

RPG fans need to see what you are buying! There is little point from a commercial standpoint in creating a book for commercial purposes for it not to sell.

Example of somebody that has created their own TTRPG

When concerning the topic of cost, or how much it costs to create an RPG book, this is a first-hand example from a team I know!

The RPG book or TTRPG book shown here was created by a small team called Oathsworn. They are the writers, game creators and TTRPG authors.

Oathsworn created the anthropomorphic TTRPG Burrows & Badgers. They also create their own range of miniatures too – Burrows & Badgers miniatures.

If you are interested in seeing how spin casting works, you can view this post here – Spin Casting Process – UK.

Burrows and Badgers Animal Miniatures

Or if you would like to see the Burrows & Badger miniatures, why not take a look.

How much does it cost to create an RPG book | Summary

How much does it cost to make an RPG book, the conclusive answer of what it costs to create an RPG book.

To create an RPG book to be sold, it will most likely cost somewhere in the region of £1000 – £10,000+ if you pay a team and/or work with freelancers.

With that type of budget in mind, it is also assumed that you are intending to create a RPG book to be sold at a retail level.

A short-hand answer of what may affect the cost to create a TTRPG are :-

  • Co-creators offer their time for free to create the book on not for free.
  • licensing artwork for the book.
  • Commissioning artists & designers, ( look at how much the original cover art for HeroQuest may have cost)
  • Working with writers, editing, and proofreaders
  • Marketing
  • The size, length, and amount of writing and artwork in the book
  • Where the book is printed

In order to print your book, you may be looking at prices between £1000 for short order or perhaps £10 – £25 for a print-on-demand service per unit. In GDP.

The price depends on how many, where, and by who – which company. These are all factors that will affect the cost to print the book.

Theoretically, you could ‘create’ ( excluding the print ) your book on your own for £100 or less but it might be quite basic!

The take away on costs to print your book and investing in creating something awesome

You now know what it could cost you create and to print your TTRPG book. Although these figures are conjecture, and these are approximate prices hopefully this will offer a rough guide price for you to start thinking on. You will need to take the action to find the actual costing’s yourself. These are all only guess numbers after all and not formal prices. I would have to be a mind reader to know the real costs of 3rd parties.

And if I did know their prices and tariffs, publishing their budgets without their consent is bad form and bad manners!

*Use the prices as a rough guide. But I’m afraid to get accurate figures you will need to reach out and get some quotes if you are considering printing or working with freelancers.

Be cautious with your spending on the setup. Money can easily run away if you don’t watch the expenditure. Also, remember not to scrimp too much if you want to make something that somebody would want t part money for.

Start small. Aim big.

Other things around making a game

You may also find these interesting. Where can I get my board game manufactured in the UK or how do you start a fan game first!

All the best with your venture.

Other Helpful links around creating games

Other links

Thank you for reading – Dragon Bone Games – cost to make a RPG book