I’m sure all of you are by now aware of the new offering of PDFs of prior editions of Dungeons & Dragons over at dndclassics.com. However, I’m not sure how many of you had an opportunity to take advantage of WotC’s last offering that ended around 2007. Personally, while I was generally disappointed by the scan quality of those older releases, they were priced properly at $5 each. This new offering doubles the price of most AD&D and OD&D releases at $10 (baring those that were cheaper when released, which is mostly adventures and of lesser interest to me); even if the scans are perfect and incredibly high resolution, they’re not worth that, when hard copies of many of the books are often only slightly more than that. I’m not even willing to purchase one to compare quality; I would have if they were $5, and I would be willing to replace a number of the PDFs I do have if the quality was significantly improved. Finally, two stores offered the PDFs during the last offering: Paizo and Drive-Thru RPG (called RPGNow back then, I believe). This time, the PDFs are only offered through dndclassics.com, which is run by Drive-Thru RPG. I have heard repeatedly that if someone bought a PDF years ago that is amongst the current offering, they can download the new version for free. So on top of gouging for PDFs now, they are also screwing over a significant number of people who just happened to buy from the other store. There is very little that I can imagine to prevent a credit being given to people who bought from Paizo, as Paizo almost certainly had to make sales information available to WotC, which I would think would include the ability to verify order numbers and the like. If they did not, then they could easily have been able to lie to WotC over how many PDFs were sold, thus pocketing all the profits on the sales. Therefore, WotC should have access to what was ordered before, or have a way to verify what was ordered before, and issue credits. Not doing this means that either WotC doesn’t care about their customer base (a definite possibility) or Paizo is refusing to assist with the information to spite D&D, which is to a degree against their own interests, considering how many people might want to convert old D&D adventures and settings to Pathfinder for their own use.
Overall, I’m incredibly disappointed and not a little bit angry over how this has gone.