Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wizards of the Coast Print on Demand

The biggest news in the D&D corners of the Internet is Wizards of the Coast and OneBookShelf are now starting some Print on Demand services for classic D&D products.

This isn't terribly new, WotC had been providing some PoD services for some of their new D&D 5 materials.  What is new that we are seeing some classic products out now and should expect to see more each week.

I picked up a copy of The Shady Dragon Inn.  It was cheap, and I never owned a copy before. It is also something I can use in pretty much any version of the game I play.
I suppose in truth I should have grabbed something like The Secret of Bone Hill or Castle Amber; something I still have a physical copy of and can compare.   Actually I should get a new copy of the 3.5 Draconomicon.  My son used to take that with him to pre-school to read (and read and read) and my copy is really worn out.

This is the start of a new era for Wizards.  D&D can now be perpetually in-print.  This will also really kill the after-market book sales now.  Oh sure, collectors will still want good original copies, but there will be plenty that will want playable copies too.  I might pick up I10: Ravenloft II: The House on Gryphon Hill just so I don't wear my copy out anymore.

Imagine if all of the TSR and WotC back catalog was available for print on demand like this?  This could open up older versions of the game in ways never before possible.  Play a game at a convention and then hand a QR code on a card or send a link so people can get their own copies.
I do have a fear that this might hurt our local game stores though.


Fuzzy Skinner said...

In my case, this probably won't have any effect on local stores; none of the ones within driving distance of me have used books or products, and they haven't been anxious to pick up many of the premium reprints from a few years ago. (And even at the places that I have visited that keep a large stock of old RPG stuff - such as Half Price Books - there were many more core books and splatbooks than old modules.)

Hopefully, WOTC starts making some core books available in this fashion; I would love to have a brand-new Rules Cyclopedia, or some cheap 2e PHBs to give as gifts to my players!

Anonymous said...

Notice that the POD option for the Hollow World boxed set is only in softcover format. While it's completely understandable that you can't get boxed sets as POD, it's somewhat disappointing...and it will create a starker distinction between the original copies and these.