You’ve probably heard about D&D Encounters by now if you pay much attention to the events going on in the RPG world. D&D Encounters are Wizards latest attempt at reeling lapsed gamers back into the D&D world. They are seeking to do this with short 1.5 hour encounters, which are basically mini adventures or an extended version of what would traditionally be called an encounter.
Earlier this year Wizards began the program by having FLGS become involved in the program, much like with Friday Night Magic or RPGA events. Now it looks like they are looking to expand the support for D&D Encounters. How do I know this? If you’ve been visiting this blog lately then you may remember that I happen to run a gaming club in my city. This week I was approached and asked if we would be interested in running one of these D&D Encounters. In exchange we were offered the standard welcome kit and materials that an FLGS would get as well as $150 to use at our discretion. Being the corporate sellout that I am, I readily accepted. Gaming clubs don’t pay for themselves and when all our expenses are paid by donation it is nice to get a bag of gold every now and then.
We weren’t the only club to be offered this deal. Not by a long shot. Wizards seems to be methodically contacting any large gaming organizations they can find with this offer. This appears to be part of a larger push by Wizards to get people involved with D&D Encounters and despite my metaphorical streetwalker status, I wouldn’t take the deal if I didn’t think the program was any good. It gets people in the stores, makes for a convenient meet up, and of course introduces people to the hobby. Don’t take my word for it though, Ars Technica as plenty of nice things to say as well.
D&D Encounters are a good idea. They offer a weekly chunk of time, no longer than a movie, that anyone can drop into and enjoy themselves. No need for books, dice, or anything but yourself. I think that a lot of ex-gamers that left the hobby from losing a regular group or because they didn’t have enough time for 4-8 hours or role playing are going to drop by one of these games. It would also be a good way to get the next generation of role players interested. A program like this is good for the entire gaming community. I’ll know first hand soon whether it is as successful as I think it should be, at least in my area anyway.
Note: Wizards did not pay me anything to write this and, as far as I know, aren’t even aware that I occasionally write for Troll in the Corner.
[tags]D&D, Encounters, RPG, FLGS, marketing[/tags]