Living Dice will not sell 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons until 2009

Many bloggers, myself included, have Amazon Astore accounts that let us sell books through our sites. We get a percentage of each sale we generate. So, when I write a book review or link to a book , I use my Astore account number in the hopes of generating some income. Obviously, linking a popular book to my Astore makes good business sense. The more books I sell, the bigger the payout.

The impending release of 4th edition forces me to put personal values above the bottom line. Clearly, the sales of the three base books will be massive. I could link to it and potentially get a piece of the action. Instead, I am making a terrible business decision.

This terrible business decision is in the form of a pledge:

I will not link to the Amazon’s (or any other web-based seller’s) “4th Edition Dungeon and Dragons” sales page, for any reason, until January 2009.

My reason is simple. Amazon sells the gift set of all three books (Monster Manual, DMG and PHB) for $66.12. My local game shop, including a discount for pre-ordering, sells the same set for $95.00 (US).

Game shops are often financially shaky affairs, there are exceptions, but that has been my experience. Every person I link to a web-based seller is one less that will go to a local game store and spend their money.

This is the most eagerly anticipated game release of 2008. Encouraging people to shop locally helps the local game stores both financially and with increased customer traffic. After Christmas 2008, the surge from the initial release will have passed. At that point, I will once again link to the 4th Edition base books through an online seller where appropriate.

Is this anti-free market? Of course it is, I made a value judgement. I looked beyond the dollars and decided that a game store, which introduces younger players to my hobby and provides space for gaming deserves money more than a web-based seller.

I cannot force anyone to go to a game store instead of web-based seller. All I can do is take a personal stand to not facilitate online sales.

Will anyone else join me?

Trask, The Last Tyromancer



Trask is a long-time gamer, world traveler and history buff. He hopes that his scribblings will both inform and advance gaming as a hobby.