Apr 25, 2013

The Sights and Sounds of D&D

As I ramp back up to writing this blog on a regular weekly basis, here's a few other news items I meant to comment on a while ago.

In recent months, while many players eagerly await the release of "D&D Next", Wizards of the Coast has found numerous other ways to keep our interest in D&D going, including releases guaranteed to appease our eyes and ears.

Recently Wizards has released a number of classic novels in audio book format on Audible.com. Previously only a select number of books (mostly those from the most well known Wizards authors like R. A. Salvatore or Margaret Wies and Tracy Hickman) were released in audio book format, and even then, mostly in abridged format. Now, thanks to the last releases, all in unabridged format, D&D fans can fill their ears with the works of the above mentioned authors, as well as many other books set in the D&D worlds of Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, Dark Sun, Eberron, Ravenloft, and more.

Just check out the D&D book page on Audible.com for more information.

Around the same time that I heard about the Audible releases, I was even more pleasantly surprised to learn that after years of NOT releasing any products in PDF format, that D&D in all it's various editions was back on the digital market. In the past, Wizards had it's entire back catalog of product as well as new 4e releases available for purchase, but after rampant pirating, Wizards pulled all product of the virtual shelves, citing a need for better DRM tools. 

The recent re-releases, on a dedicated RPGnow site called Dungeons and Dragons Classics all feature Watermark technology, so while there are no limits to how many machines the document can be on, or printing restrictions, the watermark does at least identify the purchaser, and therefore someone who is liable should the document be shared illegally.

With prices ranging from $4.99 (for Basic and 1e) up to $17.99 (for more recent 4e products), this is a great way to get access to an old sourcebook or module without having to pay collector prices.

Apr 19, 2013

Dwarven Forge Kickstarter

As I've mentioned once or twice before, I'm a big fan of the Dwarven Forge terrain. Unfortunately, like many, the cost of Dwarven Forge is typically outside my budget, limiting my collection to a few basic sets.

That's why, when I heard of Dwarven Forge's Kickstarter project I had to check it out and ended up backing the project in the first day.

Like any Kickstarter project, there are a number of backer levels, from as little as $1 all the way up to $3500, but the $120 level is the minimum level needed to earn the various stretch goals that continue to be unlocked every few days.

Originally the project was looking to raise $50K, a goal reached in just the first few hours of the first day of backing. Now with about 10 days left to go, the project has raised almost $800K, unlocking all manner of stretch goals. Originally the stretch goals were additional pieces (more walls, floors, doors, etc), but after listening to the backers on the Kickstarter forum, they started adding unique pieces and optional add-ons.

With the current stretch goals, the $120 level contains about 125 pieces (higher levels offer an even greater piece per cost value), all of which are compatible with existing Dwarven Forge products. The equivalent set on the Dwarven Forge website runs $109 for 41 pieces. Clearly the best value for a Dwarven Forge set ever offered. Hopefully, based on the success of this project, Dwarven Forge will run future Kickstarter projects for their caverns style or sci-fi sets.

If you haven't checked out the project yet, click on the link above for product details and maybe consider backing this worthwhile project.

UPDATE: Since the original post, the KS campaign has passed the $1 million mark, unlocking even more bonus pieces, and some exciting add-ons, including accessories and large floor tiles. With just 5 days left, it's certainly worth looking at before the campaign ends!