Friday, August 20, 2010

WotC To Produce Random Booster Packs of Actual RPG Books

Renton, WA--In a move long expected by industry insiders, gaming company Wizards of the Coast today announced they would be selling random booster packs of Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game books starting this fall.

Wizards, who recently announced that their upcoming Gamma World RPG will have randomized booster packs, decided to double down on their randomization strategy by ceasing standard distribution of rules and sourcebooks for the Dungeons & Dragons line, and instead will be packaging 2-3 rulebooks in an opaque sealed black wrapped with the simple D&D logo on it. A UPC code and price tag ($49.95) are to be the only other markings on the exterior wrapper.

"You might get a Player's Handbook and Monster Manual, you might get three copies of the Eberron Player's Guide--we want every pack of random RPG books to be a mystery," enthused Rand Gregoire, Wizards' Vice-President Of Continual Accessories.

"The thing to remember is that it's all optional--except for the stuff that's 'core'. Which is everything. But it's optional. Except when it isn't".


Above: Random contents of a sample WotC RPG Booster Pack

Gregoire added that books such as the Player's Handbook Races: Dragonborn would be rated as "Common" and in more packs; larger books such as the Dungeon Master's Guide would be marked as "Rare", and the Draconomicon 1 & 2 would be "Ultra-Rare".

"Hey, maybe you'll have a game with Player's Handbook 3, the Player's Strategy Guide, and Hammerfast. You'll never know what you get--we envision players gathering to play, then breaking open their booster packs to see what they have. Three copies of Underdark? Hope you like drow!" Gregoire exclaimed.

Some current fans aren't so sure it's a good idea.

"I love Wizards of the Coast, but I heard they're going to throw in a bunch of old Call of Cthulhu d20 and Wheel of Time RPG copies," said Jonas Gavalt, owner of the Smashing Knight Game Store of Saginaw, Michigan.

"I think if they're going to do it, it should at least be the same ruleset".

However, the plan's supporters far drown out the naysayers.

"Who cares what a bunch of antiquated dinosaurs think?" huffed Ray De Santos, RPGA-certified Dungeon Master and founder of WotCUberAlles.com. "This is the 21st century, baby. Deal with it. If you think about it, it gives the game an old-school vibe--I remember the original D&D had all sorts of random charts and crap, and even something called rolling for stats. This is no different".

If the RPG Booster Packs are successful, Gregoire projected that WotC might expand the practice to their dice packs.

"You might get some d6s, some d8s, some d12, who knows? You might even find an ultra-rare d20. The point is, within a dozen packs, and assuming you pool you resources with friends, you'll have just about everything you'll need to play".

--

Disclaimer: This isn't a specific dig at 4e or Gamma World. I just read about the booster packs that will be a part of Gamma World, and started wondering what would happen if a company did the same thing with their books. Have a great weekend!

32 comments:

Dane of War said...

This is possibly the greatest thing I have ever read in the history of the internet.

Zachary The First said...

...I'm guessing you approve then? Thanks!

Rob Lang said...

The military should do this with armaments. :)

Grendelwulf said...

They're kidding, right?

They are clearing house of surplus books and get $50 a pack? OMG!

It's a good deal if you don't own any of the books already.

"Three copies of Underdark? Hope you like drow!" --Rand Gregoire, Wizards' Vice-President Of Continual Accessories.

...and if you get some old manuals:

"Who cares what a bunch of antiquated dinosaurs think?" huffed Ray De Santos, RPGA-certified Dungeon Master and founder of WotCUberAlles.com. "This is the 21st century, baby. Deal with it."

What a pompous idiot! Antiquated? Actually, newer customers may be more upset than older ones.

Deal with it?

Hmm, let me think about it? I can burn $50 buying your dumb-ass "mystery" packs, or keep it and buy what I need to...

decisions...decisions...

Ciao!
GW

Zachary The First said...

Sounds like not everyone's on board!

Josh said...

What a great thing...for competing companies :p

Tenkar said...

I had to look at my calendar to make sure it wasn't April 1st ;)

drnuncheon said...

On the Gamma World random cards…everyone remembers what a success the random Changeling cards were for White Wolf! Practically put them on the map as a gaming company.

Zachary The First said...

@ Tenkar: I thought I had made it absurd enough...

N. Wright said...

You know, I have a feeling that people would still buy them.

Grendelwulf said...

I actually am looking forward to the Gamma World releases.

From the Hadron Collider to the Yeti-Coackroaches! You just shouldn't have an apocalypse without them. :)

I don't mind the random card packs; new games all have their idiosyncracies.

But "mystery" book packs?
I would think if they discounted multipacks of books & let the buyer see what they were getting, they would stand a better chance. Players might say, "Okay, lets get a pack of the 3 PHB, the DMG & Eberrons, etc)

I'm a sucker for a 20-30% sale, but a salesman holding something behind his back and saying, "Cross my palm with silver..."

No. I guess I'd make a lousy contestant for "Deal or No Deal."

Ciao!
GW

Anonymous said...

Grendel, they're not doing random book packs. Zach's being clever; it's a little bit like when he photographs an empty corner of a ballroom and pretends there weren't fifty full tables behind him.

Grendelwulf said...

D'oh!

Today was a bad day for me to start switching to decaf. . .

Ciao!
GW

Zachary The First said...

@Anonymous: ...lol...I bet I know who that is! :)

Honestly, I am just having some fun with it. I'd like to try the new Gamma World once.

Tenkar said...

@Zachary -we are talking WotC, aren't we? Heh

Richard Iorio II said...

You know what is sad? For a few seconds I thought this was real.

Wouldn't surprise me if it turns out to be true. :)

Carpe Guitarrem said...

LOL well played, sir. Well-played.

Jason said...

Genius. Absolutely genius. You, sir, are a comedy legend.

Snarls-at-Fleas said...

Another stupid joke about very optional random content. Hope WotC won't care about it and produce it anyway, 'cause I really like the idea.

Zachary The First said...

@Snarls: The random cards or RPG books? Either way, have fun!

I think you can rest easy. I somehow doubt WotC sets policy by what's written on this site. They're smarter than that. :)

Josh said...

Actually, WOTC is going to sell it's new books in random page packs.

Zachary The First said...

@josh: Trade you two page 41s for a page 18!

anarchist said...

They could save money by writing everything in Gygaxian prose. That way they'd only need one ruleset, and everyone would interpret it differently.

Zachary The First said...

@anarchist: then they could sell decoder rings! Collect all 12!

Stargazer said...

This is probably the funniest post I've read in quite some time! Well done, Zach!

Telecanter said...

Epic.

Good satire is good because it could almost . . . just . . . possibly . . . be true.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure this is a joke? It sounds like something I've come to expect from Wizards of the Coast.

Zachary The First said...

@Anonymous, Others: Yes. Let me repeat, it is a joke article! :)

Anonymous said...

The other anonymous comment wasn't me. I would have posted a picture of a cat!

pseckler13 said...

Well, now it anonymised me again. Whoops. ok, second try. (btw, glad to see I wasn't the only one who noticed your perfidy at GenCon..) It's always weird to see you slag the RPGA in these things. Is this sort of a veiled resentment against Erik Mona and Jason Bulmahn?

/still would have posted a cat...

Zachary The First said...

@pseckler: It must be a subconscious thing. I'll have to try to slag someone else next time. But never a cat! :)

Hey, I was happy to accept I was off there at peak hours. I think I even said as much. Just weird timing.

Shinobicow said...

shhh!!!! don't give wizards any ideas...