Wednesday, January 23, 2013

D&D Classics

At GenCon last year, Wizards of the Coast announced that they'd be doing digital versions of old books, again.  In addition to the print versions of some of their core books.

There was a lot of rumor and speculation, especially given their purge of a few years ago.

I should explain the purge for those of you who don't know about it.

Wizards of the Coast had been selling their PDFs via DriveThruRPG/RPGNow.  Then they decided to stop doing so.  That's not a big deal - there are dozens of publishers who stop making their products available.  But WotC went that extra mile, and had all of their products purged from DriveThru's servers.

Normally, if I lose a license or stop selling a product, it stays on DriveThru's servers. People who have already purchased it can still download it, but no-one can buy it anymore.  Wizards went that extra step.  If you hadn't saved a local copy, you lost access to your stuff.

It angered a lot of people and (arguably) caused a significant surge in interest for the Old School Renaissance.

So at GenCon, when they announced their digital initiative, people were curious what format it'd take.  We all hoped it'd be through DTRPG again, because DriveThru has a good thing going.  But I don't know that anyone believed it would be.  Because PDFs are too easy to share and sharing is piracy.

I received an e-mail last night from DriveThru. is now open for business.  Not only that, but if you lost product in the Purge, it's back.  You don't need to re-buy it. Had they not done this, I would not have mentioned that it was for sale.  In fact, I would not have spent any money on Wizards of the Coast product.  Other than to suggest that you steer clear.

I'll be honest: There is nothing to prevent another Purge. Other than the customer outcry. But I think that it'd be a very bad move.

Price-wise ... you can find many of these books at lower prices in decent shape on eBay or Half-Price Books. But if you're low on shelf space or have a garage full of games waiting to be unpacked and brought inside ...

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