Landmen come in waves from time to time.
Each time they come they pay more as the time for real production nears
The terms are not bad, but they are not great
Optimum is Bonus of $5000/acre [$1000/acre per year] and 20% royalty with minimum deductions
Check Barnett shale on the Internet and find out what Texans pay Texans; theyare sad because typical royalty offers went down from 25% to 20%
Barnett is not as valuable as Marcellus if only because the transportation cost from Texas to the Northeast markets is not incurred
And Appalachia offers, depending upon what you put in your lease, not only Marcellus but also the Utica, the Upper Devonian [Ohio] shale and, believe it or not recovery from the Onandaga limestone by horizontal drilling and fracking.
Go figure. As long as the Appalachian folks accept less, that is what they get.
On the other hand, maybe there is 100 years of drilling in all these shales in Appalachia. Can you wait a while. How soon will they actually drill in your area?