Those who read this blog know that I am usually a staunch defender of Wizards of the Coast. While others were complaining about Wizard's release of a 4th edition of D&D, I defended the idea. Since that time, I have become very excited about 4th edition and am in the process of putting together a campaign for my regular gaming group to play when we finish our current Eberron campaign.
I am eagerly awaiting the new Red Box, the Essentials product line (which is reaching out to "recession" gamers and new games), and even the controversial Gamma World. Many are concerned about the "collectible" nature of some the power cards in GW, but after seeing the Gamma World presentation at Gen Con I am excited at the prospect.
What I am not excited about is Wizards' next "Encounters" campaign -- KEEP ON THE BORDERLANDS.
Let me rephrase that.
I think that the Encounters "D&D Play" events are good for gaming in general, and good for local retailers. Having weekly single encounter adventures that are run at local game stores is wonderful and promotes the hobby. Never making those products available to the gaming community at large is an insult.
I'm sorry, but I don't have 2-4 hours on a Wednesday night to go to my local game store to play D&D -- let alone the afternoon. I am an MBA student, work full-time, and have two-and-a-half year old twin daughters. I game at home. My obligations at home, those lovely little girls who I adore more than anything, prevent me from gaming "away" from home.
I have been playing D&D for over 20 years and some of my fondest memories of D&D where when I was in high school. I didn't have a large gaming group yet and would spend my time running "solos" -- I would take multiple characters I rolled up through published adventures. The adventure I most frequently solo'd? KEEP ON THE BORDERLANDS.
It is likely my favorite adventure of all time. I would love to buy a copy. But I can't, nor can I go to the store and play the "Encounters." What I will be able to do is read other gamers share their experience playing the adventure with deep envy.
By making this highly desirable product available to some gamers -- those who have spare time during the week -- and not to others, Wizards is flipping a big bird in my direction and I don't appreciate it.
If they ever make any of their Encounters adventures for sale to the general public, I will be overjoyed. I'm willing to give a 6-month exclusivity period to stores even, but until then I know that I and gamers like me are not high on Wizards list. It's too bad, since I have purchased one of every book they have published over the past decade -- sometimes more than one.
Yes...that includes all of the fiction as well.
Hook a supporter up please!