Saturday, December 28, 2019

Counter Culture: Beginner Boxed Sets

As I stocked RPGs for the Holiday Season in our store, I gleefully ordered as many Beginner Boxed Sets as I could and realized how lucky that we have so many of these products in 2019.

For years, the industry had all but abandoned the Boxed Set and I get it, a Publisher has to make money, but these days we have Beginner Sets for Pathfinder 1, Starfinder, DnD 5, Mongoose Traveller, Call of Cthulhu, Warhammer Fantasy Role Play, Star Wars, Legend of the Five Rings, Cyberpunk Red, Numenera, and Star Trek. 

And I'm really glad these products are in the market both as a Retailer and as a Customer. I especially love that Wizards of the Coast uses them to bring new Players into the Market with the Starter Box and the Essentials Box and use synergy to bring in Players who enjoy Stranger Things and Rick and Morty.

Looking back, I really have to give some love to Green Ronin for using Boxed Sets for their Dragon Age RPG using the Adventure Game Engine. I know we had a Red Box Starter for DnD 4, but in my opinion, having another publisher go that route with a high profile intellectual property was a big risk that paid off and showed other publishers it could still be done. And I don't want to leave the Pathfinder Beginner Box out in the cold. Paizo made some excellent decisions with the contents of that product and streamlined Pathfinder for Players and Dungeon Masters alike.

It's a good time to be a gamer, we're cool all of a sudden and we have some wonderful tools to share our love of a game with others who will, hopefully, love them too.

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