Sunday, September 27, 2009

Really wishing I could get back in the dungeon

Haven't been able to play in our campaign in over a year. For me it seems like just a weekend ago, but IRL stuff has kept me from organizing a session where our heroes can at least try to escape certain doom.

The calendar doesn't look like it offeres a free weekend until after the first of the new year, either.

Still, I've been trying recently to get some time to finish up organizing the game room in the new house and have been continuing to buy miniatures. I teach full time at one university, am a leave replacement for a class at another university in a different city that is an hour's drive each way, and I also run a non-profit theatre. Did I mention also being married? Not a lot of time left over for gaming.

I didn't get to buy any of the Player's Handbook Heroes set #2, and only last week managed to pick up two boosters from Legendary Evils. Buying minis is a lot harder than it used to be, and not just because I don't have time to shop for them. I normally bought 3 cases each release from, but they must have had some kind of falling out with WotC because they haven't updated with a new release for sale since Demonweb Pits.

I've also been hesitant to buy cases of the new packaging format for D&D Miniatures. I don't want to get a case of all the same visible ones. I don't use eBay anymore now that they force you to buy and sell using PayPal...a rant for another time, but I stopped using PayPal in protest when eBay bought the company because nobody wanted to use their stupid BidPay system and imposed all their Safe Harbor rules on every transaction you use PayPal for whether it was on eBay or not.

And them my FLGS closed, so the nearest place to buy minis retail is not in a town an hour and a half drive north of here. Other retail outlets that normally carry minis, like Barnes & Nobles and Books a Million aren't ordering the new sets because they still have so many of the old ones (Dungeons of Dread) sitting on their shelves.

Sooo, I guess I have to buy individual minis from Troll and Toad or something...which is frustrating because I rely on buying cases for building up a large stock of the commons...Sorry, I didn't meant for this to be a combination rant/depressed sob fest, but I miss my hobby!!!!

And, I'm a little worried that many of the things I'm complaining about are really indications that Hasbro is going to decide D&D isn't profitable enough to support and what little I do have and can get ahold of will go away.

Anyway, we have a show closing tonight at the theatre and Fall Break is coming up, the wife is going with my mother on a quilting trip to Houston and I might just get a 3-4 day run at organizing the basement, cataloging monsters and online shopping without guilt or interruption.

Fingers crossed, and I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Another Reason WotC Sucks

I've been unable to play in my world for over a year, IRL stuff has pushed hobby time far to the side. This morning I thought I would sit down and return to a few projects that bring me a lot of joy, including updating my monster manual by adding in source citations to the pages in Publisher.

Back when I started buying all the Monstrous Compendiums I didn't keep them in their original configuration, but alphabetized all the different compendiums in three big binders. Lots of them don't have the product number on the individual pages, including Aarakocra (you can guess how far I got before I was frustrated and angry enough to post a blog).

I used to rely quite heavily on RPGNow to purchase archival PDFs of discontinued TSR products. Even though they were very inexpensive, there were so many that I have not downloaded a complete set of everything.

Today I went there to buy the old compendiums for reference purposes as I do my citation project and discovered that there were no TSR or wotC products available at all. It was a vastly impoverished site without this core product line and so I did some digging.

Wotc does it again, in what looks like an attempt to be the only distributors of their material and to force people to only play the current edition of their game...they have forced anyone who was selling PDFs of archival game materials to cease and desist.

Read the thread at EnWorld here.

This is the electronic version of when WotC ordered Ral Partha not only to stop selling the liscenced TSR AD&D miniatures line, but to melt down all existing stock and destroy the molds.

Finding AD&D 2E materials just got infinitely harder and made piracy a lot more likely to occur. This is incredibly stupid on WotC and Hasbro's part. It hurts their image, increases resentment, and does nothing to increase 4E sales.

I don't play anything but 2E, but have been buying 4E stuff (while grumbling) so that I can convert to 2E, but why should I bother doing that when they are such pricks and especially now that they jumped Forgotten Realms stuff 100 years in the future and are making the game world so different that conversion is pretty much moot.

I hate those guys and their D&D insider we want all the marbles our way or the highway mentality.

It is a GAME people, you should find ways to help people want to play it, not make them have to play it.

After literaly hours of online keyword searches, I did find a good site which lists the contents of the individual TSR products, which is all I needed since I have the actual paper product sheets.

This will allow me to check which product had the monster I am trying to cite.

Man, stuff like this really makes me tip my hat to my wife, who is a librarian with an MLS and an information specialist.