Sunday, February 7, 2016

Jaded Gamer Diary A third edition nope.

When do you need to make a special slipcase edition of a game?  Maybe after it's sold a certain amount of copies or achieved some sort of milestone I would think.  But how about releasing that as the basic regular release version?  Yeah that doesn't make sense to me either.  So when looking around for information about the upcoming third edition of Unknown Armies I came across a discussion taking place over at and got involved a bit.  Now my excitement for this new edition has me thinking it won't be on my shopping list anytime soon.

"Our goal is a three-volume set in a slipcase that's also a GM screen with a magnetic clasp (slipcase unwraps to serve as screen)."

A three book core set.  What is this Dungeons and Dragons?  Honestly I was never one to fall into the multi-core book way of thinking.  I always like having one core book to run the game and then some sourcebooks so you could add in whatever you wanted along the way.  But if you want to run the game you have to have all three according to what we are hearing.  As a player you may only need one  BUT you may  have to buy all three to get it.

"Can you play the game with only one book? Yes, as a player. As the GM? Nope. You need the whole set. I don't know if we'll sell books individually in print, much of that rests on how our Kickstarter goes. So sign up and harden some notches in anticipation!"

But don't worry it's the same as a single book?

"The three-volume-slipcase thing is essentially the same as a single book only we're splitting it into three separate volumes. It'll be sold as a single unit. We're exploring options such as selling the PDFs as separate units or perhaps printing additional player's books, but generally you would want to pick up the core set as a single thing."

More like 'generally Atlas Games would like you to shell out for the core set as a single thing' because I'm not sure why a player would need the other two books and the fold out slipcase/GM Screen. 

This led to me finally asking a question that was hinted at by a few other posters as well.   I just asked it outright: "Is there a rough idea as to how much this core slipcase is going to cost yet?"  To which the answer I received was:

"We haven't finalized a retail price or any KS pricing details yet. But I would say cheaper than a Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and Monster Manual all thrown together for D&D."

So all they are saying is that it will be less than a hundred and fifty bucks.  So one can simply assume that this means it will be expensive.  The higher the cost the less likely people are going to be buying it because I'm sorry this isn't Dungeons and Dragons and Unknown Armies has never been a huge seller.  Meaning less sales which goes back to something else said earlier in the whole thing.

"As with all of our games from now on, supplements and additional product will depend on how well the game performs in the market and how much value we think we can add with more books."

Now for those of us who like to buy into games that have a chance of additional support coming out in the future this is a bit disheartening.  Also the promises of support is one of the things that helps encourage high initial buy in costs.  Every company that has produced Dungeons and Dragons knows this. 

So currently my backing or support of the new edition is down to 'nope'.  Much like Kult I already have all the previous material and this one isn't promising anything that would make me want to buy another new version.  Hell the way they are doing things it's making me not want to.  If it was one core book at a decent price point then I would be in but alas it is not so.

1 comment:

  1. To me it's in line with a trend I've been seeing to have 'boutique' materials for various games. It's less about actually using the stuff to game and more about having the collectible item to show how big a fan you are.
    Dungeon Crawl Classics does a lot of that sort of stuff, variant covers on rules and modules, special inserts for folks willing to pay more, DCC jammies and whatnot.
    The reprint of OD&D in a real wooden box, the hardcover reprint of Runequest 2... both games that their purchasers are not likely to actually play.
    It's about making some cash off of good memories/reputations... like a plastic model kit of the car you drove in High School.