Sunday, March 2, 2014

Release Date for Next Leaked?

This morning Mathew L Martin on En World discovered a tantalizing series of pre-order pages available on Barnes and Noble's website.

D&D Starter Set Screen Capture
The first pre-order available is for the Dungeons and Dragons Starter set. The set is being sold for the incredibly reasonable price of $17.99 on Barnes and Noble, with a suggested retail price of $19.99; with a release date scheduled for July 15, 2014. If this leak can be believed then it looks like the initial buy in for the new edition will be incredibly reasonable. 

The question now centers around the Starter Set. Is it going to be a  boxed set as I hoped for when I wrote Thoughts on Dungeons and Dragons Next Launch Date back in December or will it be something more similar to what we've gotten with the recent Encounters publications of Murder at Balder's Gate and Legacy of the Crystal Shard (two soft pamphlets and a Dungeon Master's Screen)? 

Hard to say at this point in time. 

 D&D Player's Handbook Screen Cap
The second screen cap is of the Player's Handbook pre-order page. This one is much more disconcerting because of the retail price point. While Barnes and Noble is offering it for the reasonable price of $37.96 the suggested retail price is $49.99. If that price turns out to be the standard then a complete set of the Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and Monster Manual will run you around a $150.00 if you buy each of them at your Friendly Local Gaming Store - or say, GenCon - or $113.88 if you buy them from Barnes and Noble. 

Guess which one I'll be buying from. 

It should be noted that the release date to the general public will be August 19, 2014, two days after Gen Con ends. So if you're going to Gen Con this year, you've got a chance to purchase the Player's Handbook before anyone else - aren't you lucky?

The Name

As a final note on the new edition it is absolutely wonderful to write that they have dropped the stupid Next appellation and are now simply calling it Dungeons and Dragons. Thank you Wizards of the Coast for giving us a game title that doesn't sound like it was a joke on a bathroom stall!

30 comments:

  1. $39 is a LOT to pay for a PHB. I don't know that I'm gonna fork that over.

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    1. If you order it through B&N it's still less that the 4ed PH, but that base price is too damned high.

      Some of us have families to support.

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    2. Along with that is the reality that a lot of stuff competes within my life for bits of time and resources. This is more than I wanted to allocate to D&D and would make sense only if I was gonna play a LOT. I don't know that I am. So it's tough to be a quasi-player at $150 buy-in.

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    3. That's why I think that I'll probably be picking up the Starter set to see how the whole thing is shaking out before I drop that big dime on it.

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    4. With so many free retroclones of REAL D&D, why in hell's name would I pay WOTC even a penny?

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    5. That's something only you can answer Dave. Personally, I like where the new edition was going during the playtest and I'd like to pick it up just to see how it finally turned out.

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  2. Mentioned this over at Tenkars Tavern, $50.00 in 2014 is about the same as $15.00 in 1979, that puts the books at the same price level AD&D was.

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    1. Yeah, well I've always been able to justify a $20 purchase, but when you're talking about a $50 price tag that brings on more talk. I have to take my wife out to dinner, and - gasp - talk to her! My god, man, do you realize what you're asking me to do?

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    2. Go to a movie instead, less talking.

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    3. Sadly, that's not the case with my wife. She's always asking questions.

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    4. But since I can STILL buy AD&D for less than 20 dollars in the form of OSRIC, why would that ridiculous "inflation" argument sway me?

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    5. I don't buy the inflation argument.

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  3. Yes, but the buy in for a DM, if we're speculating correctly will be $115 to $150. Now if I was just a player, a $50 buy in isn't so bad. But DMing, on the other hand, for me, that's too steep, limited gaming budget and all. If they have digital versions for it, at a more reasonable price, then I'm in. I saw that price point, and my heart actually sank a bit. If I can score the core three at Amazon or some place like that for $30 to $35 each, then I'll seriously reconsider buying print. But $50 a pop, nope, can't do it.

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    1. I think that these prices are pretty close to legit at this point, though it wouldn't surprise me if it turned out that someone was trolling us.

      That said, I'm buying all of them online. I don't have a FLGS anymore so I don't have to feel guilty about not supporting one. Even if I did though, $150 is just asking too much for a guy with a family to support.

      Shit, that's two weeks worth of groceries for the three of us.

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  4. "the reasonable price of $37.96"

    LMAO. Heheh. Heh. *Wipes tears from eyes*. Whew. I needed that.

    Thank goodness I don't play this game.

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    1. I know you're being funny, but for a modern hardback rpg book you're looking at around $50.00. Numenera ($59.99), Dark Heresy ($60), 13th Age ($44.95), and Shadowrun 5th ed ($59.99).

      Hell, even OSR hardback rpgs aren't cheep. Sword and Wizardry Complete is going to run you $40.00, Adventurer Conqueror King is $40.00, Stars Without Numbers is $39.99 (and comes in black and white), Torchbearer is $35.00, and Lamentations of the Flame Princess is around $30.00 (depending on when you check the exchange rates it may be more or less).

      So with that view of how much other current Hardback RPGs go for, getting the book for $37.96 isn't a bad price. I'm just not willing to pay $50.00 for a damned role-playing game. For me this hobby is supposed to be a cheep diversion to expend my creative energies. When companies expect me to pay the equivalent of two weeks worth of food for my family just to have the core books they've lost their fucking minds.

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    2. *cheap, not cheep.

      That's what I get for trusting google's spell checker.

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    3. Generally speaking the price of RPGs has become far too high for me. There was a time when I purchased games I was interested in and their supplements without hesitation and I was never a wealthy sort and I can assure you (and I'm still not by any means).

      Now, I purchase the pdf if I am interested in the game enough to play or run it and get the physical book only if I think it's awesome. The last physical RPG books I bought were the DC Adventures Universe book (which wasn't cheap but also serves the purpose of being an excellent archive of DC Comics pre-nu52), the Marvel Heroic RPG (I have every single supplement - on pdf) and Champions Complete (which I purchased not too long ago and may sell - it's not as cool as just continuing to play 4th Edition).

      I refuse to touch Fantasy Flight Games' Star Wars RPG. They put the greed in Greedo. I gotta buy custom dice and two or three hardcover before I get Jedi? You guys do know you're making a Star Wars game right? Bleh.

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    4. "Generally speaking the price of RPGs has become far too high for me."

      Too true for mere words to express.

      By and large this hobby is steadily pushing itself out of the realm of readily accessable and into the dead end realm of the "collector's market." That move nearly killed the comic book industry, and they had a hell of a lot larger market presence than rpgs.

      "I refuse to touch Fantasy Flight Games' Star Wars RPG. They put the greed in Greedo. I gotta buy custom dice and two or three hardcover before I get Jedi? You guys do know you're making a Star Wars game right?"

      The last one I really got into was the d6 system years ago. Though I have been eying the saga system as a couple of my players are really into it.

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    5. “By and large this hobby is steadily pushing itself out of the realm of readily accessable and into the dead end realm of the ‘collector's market.’”

      Putting aside whether the collectors’ market is really a dead-end...

      The big difference is that there is free RPG stuff available that is arguably on par with anything the professionals are putting out. And lots of it. I often wonder how the hobby would survive without the industry. Would it retract to the size of the text adventure hobby? It also looks like we have plenty of semi-pros willing to fill in any of the market the big boys leave unattended.

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    6. "It also looks like we have plenty of semi-pros willing to fill in any of the market the big boys leave unattended."

      We absolutely do; but there has to be an introduction to the hobby or it dies with us. I'm not saying that it has to be Wizards or Paizo but there has to be some way to introduce new blood in or it will fade away.

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    7. The only reason I’m interested in Next is because there’s a hint that they understand that bringing more people into the hobby will make them more money than the myopic tactics Wizards has used with the D&D brand to date. I’ve been saying for a long time that a good introductory product with the D&D brand could do an order of magnitude more to expand the hobby than anything else.

      But, that isn’t required. I’ve been successfully recruiting. I’ve seen other people and games without the D&D brand recruiting. I’ve seen those recruits become recruiters themselves. And that’s with the D&D brand actively working against trying to recruit the types of players I try to recruit.

      We will do better with them as allies, but we’ll survive without them too.

      (And to give Wizards some props, they have actually made one of my favorite recruitment tools available again in a decent form at a reasonable price. Even though the myopic point-of-view says it is competing with themselves.)

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    8. Robert, I'm so glad you've been commenting on this whole thing. You, sir, rock.

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  5. "When companies expect me to pay the equivalent of two weeks worth of food for my family just to have the core books they've lost their fucking minds."

    That's it right there Charles. Now, granted, as a player, $50 is doable. But to DM the game, $150 puts it out of the budget, period. Electronic versions, if reasonable are good, and the online market will have to be where I go. My FLGS, which I love, charges full retail for everything, and I can't justify paying full retail for, well, pretty much anything. I'm not a target customer of theirs anyway because I don't play Magic or Pathfinder.

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    1. I don't play Magic or Pathfinder either, but I do want to play this game.

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  6. “Starter” suggests that it won’t serve as a stand-alone game even if you just want to stick to the basics. That’s the message the title sends to customers no matter what the contents actually are. That isn’t in the spirit of what they said they were going to do, and it isn’t—IMHO—good for the hobby. (And since I’m only interested in Next for how it may serve the hobby, that’s what matters to me.) Although, to be fair, that’s all based on the name of a leaked title.

    I think $150 can be perfectly reasonable. There’s a lot of entertainment potential in an RPG. Especially if there is a good basic version of the game available as well. I also think there’s a reasonable chance that they go the route where the PHB is the bulk of the game, so the DMG and MM might be significantly less expensive. Chances are I’m not buying it anyway...

    I never complained about the “Next” moniker because I never expected that to be the final name. It pisses me off, however, every time they don’t include some kind of clear edition identification in the titles. I don’t care about any of the excuses, it causes unnecessary confusion with no pay-off.

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    1. To me "Starter" is no different than "Beginner" so I'm not currently having an issue with that terminology at this time and I'm hopeful that it's actually worth buying. I strongly feel that it is important for any edition of Dungeons and Dragons - or any game really - to be viable in this modern world that it must have a cheap buy-in option that will allow players to come to the hobby.

      "I think $150 can be perfectly reasonable . . ."

      It is if you don't have a family to support or you have a really fantastic job with cheap overhead. That's not the case for many of us.

      "It pisses me off, however, every time they don’t include some kind of clear edition identification in the titles."

      You know, I don't think that Wizards of the Coast can win on that issue. If they number it then you have people bitching about how the game isn't really a third, fourth, or fifth edition of the original game . . .

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  7. For the most part Robert, I agree with you. But I have to side with Charles on $150 being unreasonable. Now, what you said about the bulk of the game being in the PHB, and then releases of the DMG and MM at cheaper prices, then I'm in 100%. I have no desire for "starter" anything when it comes to a game I've been playing since the early 80's, but I do see why they want to release something with a starter title to entice new blood into the hobby. Whether or not it hurts the hobby, I have no clue. I really, really want to play and run this game, but from my perspective, I just can't take a $150 plunge. Of course, this could all be complete speculation on all of our parts, and all the information we've been given is totally bogus, and we could all be completely surprised by Wizards when this all shakes out. Who knows? But, it is fun discussing it.

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    1. " I have no desire for "starter" anything when it comes to a game I've been playing since the early 80's, but I do see why they want to release something with a starter title to entice new blood into the hobby"

      Personally I want the starter. I don't have the time anymore to devote hours to learning a new game system and having an easy introduction to the hobby is right up my alley.

      #twoyearolds

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  8. “It is if you don't have a family to support or you have a really fantastic job with cheap overhead. That's not the case for many of us.”

    I certainly can’t tell you that it is worth the price to you, but I’m not convinced that a person with a family and not a fantastic job can’t save up for it. Plenty of people in that situation are happy to spend that much money on a game console. Plenty of people in that situation have an electric guitar and an amp that will cost much more. And an RPG has similar entertainment potential.

    But I doubt that I’ll find the “full game” worth my money at any price, so... shrug I can’t really argue that it isn’t too expensive. ^_^

    “You know, I don't think that Wizards of the Coast can win on that issue.”

    shrug The people who are going to ding them for it not being “real” D&D (myself potentially included) are going to be bitching about that in any case. That’s not a reason for not doing it.

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