Winter is Coming… And a change to how we game

Winter is coming… And it’s bringing a change to competitive  gaming.

From my point of view, things have recently really started due to the recent lawsuit by Judges of ‘Magic: The Gathering’ against Wizards of the Coast (WOTC), and Privateer Press’s (PP) recent announcement regarding their Press Ganger program.

A breakdown of the Wizards of the Coast ‘Magic: The Gathering’ case is Here.

Basically, Judges of their (WOTC) tournaments, feel they are treated as employees, and should be due recompense, due to WOTC controlling the Judge program, and are in overall control of the tournaments and Judges duties during those tournaments. WOTC, of course, feel differently.

And given Privateer press’s recent announcement regarding their winding down of their Press Ganger program, which can be found Here.

So the way I see things is on one hand we have a company who expect a group of loyal fans and supporters to act as employees and to run big tournaments, without them benefitting from the rights and entitlements of employees.*

And on the other hand, (it looks like at least to me), that we have a company, that’s (A) trying to avoid a similar situation with their Press Gangers, and (B)  partially using it as part of a cost cutting program. As they’re also planning on no longer releasing cards with their models, instead relying on digital downloads and a print on demand program.

So given what’s happening with these two game systems/ companies, what’s in store from other companies. 

I’m looking at Paizo’s Pathfinder Society and WOTC Dungeons & Dragons organised play, to see how things play out. Both rely on fans and volunteers to run and promote their systems. 

Are we entering a period of gaming where more and more game companies will be leaving it up to the game stores to promote and run their systems. Instead of their previous fan base/ volunteers. I’m aware some systems already have an organised play system in place with game stores, such as X-wing by Fantasy Flight Games and Friday Night Magic  by WOTC, as in my local meta. 

But what about others such as Privateer Press, who relied on their Press Gangers for promoting and organising tournaments (big and small), and who’ll now be leaving things up to the brick and mortar stores. 
It’ll be interesting to see how things develop further.
Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.

– from The Man Cave 

* I’m aware previously WOTC have rewarded judges and volunteers, with limited edition cards, playmats, and other such merchandise, for their contributions and effort during and after tournaments.

Advertisements

RPG Review – Dungeons & Dragons 5E Starter Set

I got a little package a while ago (at the time of finishing this article, a good while ago. Stupid real world matters interfering in my imaginary world), and I’m only getting around to writing about it now. 

image

Inside the packaging is the Starter Set for Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) 5th Edition. Fifth Edition has been out now for a couple of years, so it’s about time we took a look.

image

We have some nice artwork on the front of the box, something that for me really captures what comes to mind when I first think of D&D.
image

Inside the box we find a bag of dice, a number of pre-generated characters, an advert with a blank character sheet on the reverse side, a Starter Set Rulebook, and an adventure to play thru.

image

The meat and potatoes of the box is really the rule booklet and the adventure booklet.

The rule booklet is a condensed rule set taken from the Players Handbook for 5th Edition.

Inside we have a Disclaimer, a little funny blurb that fans have come to enjoys in the books of 5th Edition.

The Rulebook is broken up into a number of different chapters, to teach you the basics of what you need to run the adventure such as adventuring, combat, and spell casting. Littered thru the Rulebook is some nice art work to give you a feel for each chapter.

For the adventure, unfortunately, due to the usual culprits (life, work, etc) I’ve yet to run the full adventure. So I’ll just comment on my play experiences so far (which is to the town of Phandelver).
The adventure starts you off slow and easily. Your introduced to how combat works pretty early, and then it starts to scale up. During our first encounter/ chapter of the adventure my group had 3 or 4 oppertunites to Roleplay their characters, and more once they got to the town.

From all the reviews I had previously read, and from our 2 sessions so far it’s a good adventure, and I look forward to either continuing or starting again with a new group.

Now abit of the negative about the ‘Starter Box’. Don’t worry there’s only a couple, and to be honest they’re mostly nit picky.

This isn’t a beginners box, when I say this what I mean is that, to me, the box assumes either A. You’ve pressiously have played earlier editions of D&D, or B. You have previous experience with a RPG system.

The ‘Starter Box’, to me, has more of the feeling of ‘Here’s the rules to 5th Edition, now go have fun’. It doesn’t hold your hand as say other RPG beginner boxes would.

Although on the back of the box it looks like there’s maps/ handouts in the box, there isn’t any. All the locations are in the adventure book which usually only the DM (Dungeon Master) has access to. 

My main gripe with the Rulebook is to do with how spells are organised. In the Rulebook it lists what spells are available to your pre generated characters, the cleric and wizard, by class and level.

However, when you flip the page to find out what the spells do…

…The spells are organised in alphabetical order rather than by class or level. That’s my main gripe with this box.

All in all, What you get in the box far exceeds any gripes I might have, and for the price point and entry level requirement it’s very good. 

As a little side note, Dungeons and Dragons, although being out for decades, has recently and finally been added to the Toy Hall of Fame, so what are you waiting for.

Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.

– from The Man Cave