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    Canonfire :: View topic - The Rising Cost of D&D
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    The Rising Cost of D&D
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    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 28, 2007
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    From: Montevideo, Minnesota, US

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    Sat May 31, 2008 11:36 am  
    The Rising Cost of D&D

    Keep on the Shadowfell, softbound 64 pages, 29.95. That is about 47 cents a page. Most likely B&W art, and definently softbound. And I thought I was crazy for buying a hardcover $30.00 D&D book.

    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=products/dndacc/217187400

    For $5.00 more you can get a Players Handbook, hardcover, page count 320. That's 9 cents a page, plus hardcover and I'm sure colored art. The DMG same price, 224 pages, MM same price 288 pages.

    Sigh! Crazy people at WOTC!
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    Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
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    Sat May 31, 2008 8:33 pm  

    Hiya.

    Yeah, kinda nutty. However, my thoughts are that WotC 'blinders' are starting to slip with regards to 4e. I frequent about a half-dozen RPG forums...and one thing is blatantly obvious; people are primarily "leery" about where 4e takes the game.

    I'm guessing that they saw this and decided that a lot of people are willing to 'give it a try before they buy it' (fairly common stance I've seen), so those folks might be willing to buy a sample module with some 'quick start' rules in it. ...enter "Keep on the Shadowfell" or whatever it's called...

    My guess on this? WotC is hedging their bets; they aren't sure if 4e is gonna 'take' on the current 3.x folks...and from the looks of it, I'd say at least half the current 3.x guys will stick with 3.x. So, WotC ups the price of Keep on the Shadowfell to attempt to compensate for the folks that will buy it, not like the way 4e is going, and go back to their 3e.
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    Sun Jun 01, 2008 2:49 am  

    Denakhan said:
    Quote:
    Hiya.


    Hiya back at ya:

    Has the increasing price changed your D&D spending habits at all? I pretty much had stopped buying things when the announced 4th edition mainly because the idea of another edition left me really "blah". But even prior to that, I was getting a bit picker about what I did purchase. I do have a large collection of 3.0/3.5 books, but I did let a few (maybe 5-8) slip through the cracks. Some were intentional (like Ghostwalk), others I would have eventually purchased but never got around to it.

    I'm anticipating that the PH, DMG, and MM will go up to $40.00, ($35.00 for certain) after the first or second print run. I also think the accessory (splatbooks) whatever you prefer to call them will be the same. I did some quick checking and the new Forgotten Realms books are at $40.00, though I don't know the page count for them.

    I think the module cost is just crazy. I can comfortably spend up to $12.00 for a 64 page module, but that is about my limit. Anything more than that and I start feeling like I'm being foolish about my spending habits.

    I'm looking at some 3.0/3.5 modules right now and......

    The Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil (3.0) was priced as $29.95 U.S. It was close to 200 pages, over that if you add in the map booklet. The adventure was published in 2001. About 7 cents a page.

    Then we have Bastion of Broken Souls, which came out in 2002, 48 pages, and costs 9.95, which comes to almost 5 cents a page.

    In 2006 we have Dragondown Grotto, which is 16 pages and two poster maps included, cost 14.95, not figuring in the posters that is .93 cents a page, I have no idea on how to figure the worth of the posters, but apparently they figured they were worth an aweful lot.

    In 2006 we have Red Hand of Doom, softbound with a actual spine, colored pages, poster map, 126 pages long, cost $24.95. Without including the poster, that's 19 cents a page.

    And then we jump up to what I said in the original post, 64 pages, for 47 cents each. I got these numbers from the WOTC site, though Enworld states that the Shadowfell module for 4th edition is 96 pages.

    Does anyone have any idea what guidlines are used to price these products?

    I haven't bought miniatures for a couple of years now, but my understanding is they increased the cost twice since they came out and have reduced each box by 2 or 3 miniatures. It looks like the new starter set is 14.95, and includes the following:

    5 exclusive, nonrandom, fully painted, plastic miniatures
    Full-color game stat cards
    Rulebook
    2 double-sided, full-color battle maps
    20-sided die
    Damage counters

    Interesting, this says non-random miniatures. I'm thinking this is about the same price as when they started but I'm wondering about the miniature content count. Are we getting less or the same number of miniatures in the box. What about the regular miniature packs?

    Anyway, I realize it is my choice to spend or not to, so that isn't really the issue. I never realized how much I was spending until I stopped. I also noticed a huge drop in ink for my printer as well. I'm just wondering if others have changed their D&D spending habits because of rising costs in products by WOTC?
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    Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods


    Last edited by EileenProphetofIstus on Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Sun Jun 01, 2008 5:04 am  

    I'm not keen on the harcover adventures at all, even things like Expedition to Greyhawk Ruins. That should have beena perfect-bound softcover. They really don't need to be in full color either, which means you don't need the same paper quality. That all adds up to a much lower production cost. The harcover format adds too much to the base cost of what is in effect a transitory product. I'll use an adventure, and then move on to another one, whereas Core books I will use all of the time so I want a hardcover format for them.
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    Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:02 pm  

    Hiya.

    EileenProphetofIstus wrote:
    Denakhan said:
    Hiya back at ya:

    Has the increasing price changed your D&D spending habits at all?


    Nope. I never spent much on (A)D&D stuff since....2nd edition? And even that wasn't much. The things I bought for 3e from WotC are:

    3.0 PHB
    Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (hardback)

    ...uh, yeah. That's it. :)

    Now I *did* buy some other stuff that was from other companies (primarily Kenzer & Co.'s Kingdoms of Kalamar stuff; not all, but enough). I picked up a few 'offshoot' d20 games (Everquest, World of Warcraft, and Conan D20), but I never really liked how 3.x was 'geared'. *shrug* The system itself seems solid enough on the surface, but something about it just seemed too 'video-game' to me....but now that I've seen 4e, I can honestly say I'd *happily* play 3.5e (3.x has nothing one the video-game feel as far as 4e is concerned!).

    So...no. It's not gonna change my spending habits. I'm still not going to be buying any WotC stuff. :)[/i]
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    Mon Jun 02, 2008 8:25 pm  

    4th edition totally changed my spending habits. I was pretty bent out of shape for awhile about it. I stopped buying the 3.5 products because it was kinda like "Why bother" type of feeling. I was pretty discouraged with the parent company. I have a large collection already though.

    I purchased about everything with 1st edition which included Greyhawk, a lot of world neutral stuff, and the original Dragonlance modules. I also started collecting Dragon Magazine as well. Eventually, I came into a position where there was no one to play with and I was miserebly broke, so I ended up selling everything (except the Dragon magazines.) I did pick up the 2nd edition core three books but used them very little. Eventually I really got into Top Secret/S.I.

    When they announced 3rd edition, I thought "Now this would be a good time to get back into things". I pulled out the three 2nd edition books I had and used them until 3.0 saw print, then converted over.

    With 1st edition, I had already developed my strong taste of what Greyhawk and D&D should be like, so when I went with 3.0 I did make a few changes in the rules. I was very picky about what 3.0/3.5 material went into Greyhawk and couldn't for the life of me, get one player to understand this. He would role up whatever he saw in Dragon, a new book, whatever and get upset with me when I would say "NO"! I tried explaining why but it was like pounding your head on the wall.

    I understand what your saying about video game feeling of 3.0. I felt that as well. Now I don't play video games so perhaps more acurately, I should call it a power creep. I hated the advancement and prestige classes. I was ok with feats, but really disliked these other two things. I found the rules playable but my ability to memorize them became more difficult, probably due to age on my part. As a teen I could absorb things like a sponge if I was interested in it. Wish I could have said that about my schoolwork.

    With all the 3.5 books I bought I watched the prices go up and the rules inflate even more (at least that is the way it seemed to me). I prefer a 1st edition feeling for Greyhawk so I kinda watch what I add in rather closely.

    One of my complaints about 4th edition was that I had already purchased a lot of 3.5 material and that I hadn't even gotten around to using it. Why on earth would I consider rebuying the game because the rules changed. Now that I have trained myself to not buy the latest thing, I see how much it was costing me.

    Much of me wishes I had done what you did. Buy the basic books, a couple of good accessories, and stopped there. Oh well, live and learn. There is one thing I learned however. NEVER SELL YOUR D&D COLLECTION AGAIN. By the way, I did go back and find most of the modules I owned and re-purchased them. Honestly, a good part of me wishes I still played 1st edition. I still could, but like I said, I got all of these other books and after playing those rules and getting use to them, I'm probably better keeping 1st edition a happy memory.
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    Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
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    Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:46 pm  

    I have always found roleplaying to be a cheap hobby. Here in about a week when I pick up the 3 core books for 4e, it will cost about the same as both my wife and I gassing up our cars on the same day - which make them pretty reasonably priced to me.
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:12 am  

    OleOneEye wrote:
    I have always found roleplaying to be a cheap hobby. Here in about a week when I pick up the 3 core books for 4e, it will cost about the same as both my wife and I gassing up our cars on the same day - which make them pretty reasonably priced to me.


    It depends upon how you look at things. If you look at it from the approach your speaking of, I agree. The books you have last for many, many years and when compared to other types of entertainment, you really can't beat it. If your going away for the weekend, say the lake, or perhaps a amusement park, for example, you figure in cost, food, tickets, and everything else, yes it is cheap that way. Very much so.

    I was looking at it from the point of view that much of the material was sitting on the shelf unused once purchased. If one spends say $100-$150 a month on average towards gaming (books, ink for the printer, miniatures) that sort of thing, on a month by month basis it adds up. When you stop spending that kind of money, suddenly the money left over is rather noticeable.

    It depends upon how much one spends. I know that there are some folks who buy just a couple of books a year (beyond the first three). They don't invest in modules, print out maps, buy other hardcover books, etc. Other people spend a fortune compared to someone like me.
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    Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
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    Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:22 am  

    EileenProphetofIstus wrote:
    I was looking at it from the point of view that much of the material was sitting on the shelf unused once purchased. If one spends say $100-$150 a month on average towards gaming (books, ink for the printer, miniatures) that sort of thing, on a month by month basis it adds up. When you stop spending that kind of money, suddenly the money left over is rather noticeable.


    Jimmeny! You pick up a lot of stuff. I am not sure how I would use that much stuff, nor where I would store it. Over the course of 2 decades of gaming, I doubt I've dropped $5,000 on the hobby.
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:49 am  

    Old One Eye wrote:
    Quote:
    Jimmeny! You pick up a lot of stuff. I am not sure how I would use that much stuff, nor where I would store it. Over the course of 2 decades of gaming, I doubt I've dropped $5,000 on the hobby.


    Yes, I kind of over indulge at times. It is difficult to say exactly how much had been spent on a monthly basis. I probably averaged 1 hardcover book a month or maybe a couple of modules at a time. The ink cost was a lot of this expense though. I'm not very proficient at making maps. When I figured this cost, I was also taking into consideration that every 3-4 months I would go to the gaming store in St. Paul and spend about $100-200 more on various things (mostly repurchasing modules from earlier editions).

    I have heard other people say they have purchased far more than I. Whether they are certain of their numbers or not I can't say. For me, one book would be $30.00, so if you throw in a module or a box of miniatures, it could easily get pushed up to close to $50.00 a month. I'd say I was spending about $40-60 a month on ink (black & color) primarily for printing maps, plus I would print anything I wrote along with printing out copies of topics from Canonfire. Anyway, that adds up to be about $90-110 a month right there. Then add in another $100-200 every 3-4 months at the gaming store for all the sorts of things I can't find where I live, plus buying things for the daughter's game, and it does come out to be about $50-75 more a month when you average it out. Total cost I'd say: about $150 a month. This was one of the reasons why I wouldn't consider switching editions.

    Now that 3.5 has come to an end, I suspect I will eventually pick up the remaining missing modules and a few of the books I skipped out on (there are a few I won't buy at all). It won't be anytime soon, but eventually. I'm still missing a few of the older Greyhawk modules as well, such as Patriots of Ulek, one of the Falcon Master modules I think is still missing, the series related to Howl of the North I think it was called. Pretty much what happened right before the Greyhawk Wars, also the Greyhawk Wars boxed set I don't have either. Last winter I did manage to find the elusive Greyhawk Ruins module, something I had always wanted but could never find. Other than very slight cover wear, it was in perfect condition. The price was very agreeable as well.
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    Tue Jun 03, 2008 2:56 pm  
    Big $$$ spent on 3.5

    Over the past 20 years, I have acquired most of the products of TSR/WOTC. I have nearly all of Ravenloft, Al Quadim, Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk campaing world products. I have alot of 1st and 2nd edition modules. I have sold off most of the rule books for 1st, 2nd, 2nd revised and basic D&D. I have most every book and module for 3rd Edition and 3.5 Edition. As each new edition came out, I would step-up and buy the new products. After my spending spree for the 3.5 Edition was completed, I read about D&D 4th Edition. At this point I said no more. I probably have spent thousands of $$$ on D&D. Now, they have all-new 4th edition for people to buy. I quit. For the forseeable long-term future, I will be living and playing in D&D 3.5.
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    Wed Jun 04, 2008 7:48 am  

    I have a strong feeling that 4e will be designed so that it will be fairly necessary to purchase modules rather than designing one's own, we'll see . While there have been many modules for all previous editions, I have never felt that I had to buy a module in order to run a campaign.
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    Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:03 am  

    Quote:
    I have a strong feeling that 4e will be designed so that it will be fairly necessary to purchase modules rather than designing one's own, we'll see . While there have been many modules for all previous editions, I have never felt that I had to buy a module in order to run a campaign.


    Having seen the game, I'd say no more than any other edition. If anything encounter design is easier.

    Now if the same could be said of characters. In previous editions being able to play a monster gave you a bit of a leg up, but in 4E, if you play a monster, you're sacrificing power - I don't think this is a bad thing, per se, but its worth noting.

    Sadly, I think the DDI route will be worth more in the end than all the books except for the core 3, and even then I think the second version over the first, namely because it should include psionics (or the third, whichever does - but then I like Psionics).

    Just my two cents.
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    Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:05 am  

    Back in my day we'd pay $4.95 for an 8 page module and be thankful for the privilege!

    Happy

    Joe
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    Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:25 am  

    Thulcondar wrote:
    Back in my day we'd pay $4.95 for an 8 page module and be thankful for the privilege!

    Happy

    Joe
    http://greyhawkgrognard.blogspot.com


    Yeah, and walk uphill BOTH WAYS to our local gaming store to get it. Sorry, someone had to say it.
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    Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:27 am  

    Last post - LOL.

    My spending has definitely taken a dive for 4e. I was certainly being the DnD fan that I am that I would be at least the three book set, then see how much I like it. For 3e I could buy stuff fast enough. My change in attitude has two root causes:

    - Like Eileen I have a very large library of 3.0/3.5 books. I liked that edition the most out of all - it had it flaws - but it was creating at providing building blocks for us creative types to indluge our world and character creation skills. I am more than a little shy about buying up big on 4th edition books, when I forked out a lot of money on the previous edition. Hasbro no doubt will have a similar marketing ploy to maximise sales of 4e products. e.g. In 3e prestige classes made a lot of sales for splat books - in 4e you need paragon paths and quite frankly, a whole lot more options for just about everything, than is provided in the players handbook. Choices have vanished. I am really ticked of the I have to wait another year to get bards and druids, who feature heavily IMC. And they may not even create a monk...sorry I'm starting to vent. Save that for another thread. To sum up - I dropped a load of cash on 3.0/3.5 and I am very unlikely to do that on 4e when I know without any doubt 5e will come along in a few years. This has to affect a large number of dnd fans. Wizards will be hoping the new edition is good enough to convince thos people to pay up again. Some will, but it wont be the success that 3e was.

    - Second reason is I am a bit 50-50 on the rule changes. I definitely like about half of them, but unfortunately didn't like the other half. With 3e it was more like 90-10. Half of 4e seems like change for the sake of it. I am hoping that it will grow on me more. It looks more playable, but has lost of lot of the creativity I liked from 3e (e.g. magic item creation, feats have lost their interest because of class powers etc).

    I dont want to play a game where the rules change every few years. I really dont like that. Revised sure. But highly incompatible - no thanks.

    I cant help but think how much 4e reminds me of Warhammer. Discrete powers with no building blocks.
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    Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:48 pm  

    Shocked

    Damn I thought I had been bad with my library! Laughing

    I started with old AD&D with original covers (efreet etc.) and then had the red box etc. etc. Started playing when the original Fiend Folio was brand new back in 1981. OUCH! 10 years old then.

    I had craploads of 2nd edition materials (sold them hung on to cool stuff like Return to the Tomb of Horrors just for a reprint of the original module!)

    3.0/3.5 I have tons of crap, including OGL stuff from Necromancer games and Green Ronin etc. Not to mention d20 modern and Star Wars, EQ RPG.

    Man then 4e. Frickin' 3.5 is only out for a short 5 yrs., and I am supposed to can and burn my whole library in favor of the new system?! Heck NO! Mad

    I boycotted 4e for a while then compromised and bought only the core in the slipcase, and still bargained for it. I was not going to pay $105.00!

    Then looked at all my collection and really looked at stuff and the love and the detail and all my adventures collecting. 4e didn't stand a chance at getting that royal treatment. I shucked out the bucks for 3.5 and man I am sticking with it. 4e just doesn't merit the worth of paying more than the initial costs, even then just the player's handbook unless you wanna try to DM it.

    Too much cool stuff goin' on in 3.0/3.5 to abandon ship and you gotta think even if they do replace it with newer stuff it will likely take on another shape altogether. You may hate the new stuff! Exclamation

    Pathfinder RPG core book will be around 50 bucks like the Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved, I will gladly buy it though. Wink

    Getting married into fatherhood and not renting a room anymore really put the kabosh on my spending habits. I am lucky to have game pawns on my mat every tues. night rather than minis. That is a rediculous expense right there that 4e practically demands. Mad 15 bucks used to buy you a cool accesory for D&D now it might buy you a nice dinner.

    So I will spend only to fill holes in my 3.0/3.5 collection if that.

    My two electrums. Laughing

    Jim Laughing
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    Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:08 am  

    There is definitely a huge price creep for D&D books recently.

    Which is a shame because I think the quality has dropped. There is already several sets of errata information for the 4e PHB, DMG, and MM which have been out for less than a year. And since the second edition 'complete' books the theory for publishing from TSR and WotC was to bury us under globs of trivial splatů

    I mean, if I want to play the reformed badboy done good I don't need a 'kit' or 'character archtype' (those are 2nd edition things) to tell me how to roleplay my character's personality. 3rd edition was replaced by 4th edition because there was finally so many rules, feats, spells, classes, and such that nobody could figure out how to play the game anymore and games became long nights of players arguing with each other on why/why not something could be done. 4th edition is going right into the same route right off the blocks.

    Of course WotC is in the business to make money, but really, couldn't they give us a nice simple, solid set of rules and then leave the things alone and turn to cranking out awesome worlds and really well crafted modules. Sure less money but a much better service to the customers.

    Now that, combined with the growing prices, are all why I don't like buying D&D books anymore. But your original thought was on the rising costs of the books. I give you one reason: Piracy.

    Gamer Geeks are also usually Computer Geeks and a lot of them are turning to P2P sights to steal copies of the books rather than buy them so WotC has to raise prices to continue to make a profit from those who by the books because of all the people who don't.
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    Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:53 pm  

    I got back into the game with 3.x. I preferred it to 1e because I can create a character that was unique. In 1e my fighter was the same as my friend's fighter, etc as so on. Unfortunately I did not have any money to spend at that time whereas when 3.x came around I did. I bought a good amount of the 3.x collection and even though I hate spending $30.00/ HC book, every year I spend a fortune preparing for hunting and fishing season. If you like the hobby you will spend the money. With that I was not about to go through it again with 4e. 3.5 is a complete system and I prefer the feel of this game system over the others so I will stick with it. I only wish Greyhawk was expanded in the 3.5 system. As I am sure the rest of you do.
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    Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:25 pm  

    I've had no real problem with the prices of the books or modules for 4e. I just wouldn't buy more than one at once. The modules are of decent quality, with the folder, two books, and one or more poster maps included. They've been sitting at $24.95, which I feel is probably about the top of what I'd be willing to pay. 4e is an incredibly easy system to create adventures in, so paying more wouldn't be worth the maps and new monsters and such.
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    Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:19 pm  

    i never bought fourth edition books and refuse to from what i read on the boards its not D&D any more il stick with my first edition and osric stuff
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    Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:15 pm  
    The Rising Cost of D&D

    Since my original posting on this subject, which was in June of 2008, I have not spent 1 cent on D&D 4th Edition. I have purchased some items for 3.5 and under, but nothing on 4.0.

    My two coppers worth........... Smile
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    Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:13 pm  

    Me, I confess I've spent quite a bit on 4E - probably easily over $300 - possibly more than I spent in the 3E period, and certainly I've gotten far more play out of the 4E books than the 3E books.
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    Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:23 pm  

    Joseph Bloch wrote an excellent blog entry on D&D pricing. Basically, he discovered that, accounting for inflation, D&D's prices are just about the same as they've always been.

    Yes, D&D costs more than it used to. So does a loaf of bread and a gallon of gas. But I bet your salary is higher than it was in 1979, too.

    And I believe Keep on the Shadowfell has color art.
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    Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:13 pm  

    I skipped over 3.0/3.5 entirely (well, I played NWN and ToEE, but I don't really count those). I'm thankful that I did. I had played WoW for years. I picked up the 4th edition starter box set, then got the PHB about 3 months later. I stopped playing Wow in Feb of 2010 and haven't looked back.

    I felt that D&D had never gotten clerics/healing right, and I think they finally did in 4th. I LOVE it that magic-users (see, 1st ed.) can actually do more than 1 spell before having to resort to melee basic attacks.

    I have bought a LOT of 4th edition stuff, and still have more to go, but I'm a lore-hound. Also, I don't think I've bought anything new except Psionic Power and now the Heroes of Shadow thing. Everything else has been EBay and discount stores. It's just hard to pay full price $29.95 for a book from my local gamestore when I can buy from Amazon for $395 + shipping.
    Paladin

    Joined: Sep 07, 2011
    Posts: 833
    From: Houston Texas

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    Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:53 pm  
    Just a thought

    Like all of you, I have spent enough to have purchased my first house over again thru the years hehe, but that isnt the problem. The collective problem is we no longer feel we are getting full value for our entertainment "dollar".
    We instead get revamped regurgitated work. Like hollywood, they have trouble producing new fresh ideas.
    Its fortuate that forums like this are fresh wells from which we can all drink,
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 52


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    Tue May 15, 2012 4:15 pm  
    The Rising Cost of D&D

    As I predicted, D&D 5th edition will be out shortly; all new books to buy AGAIN! I'm so glad I stopped at 3.5............... Neutral
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