Of Wizards, Miniatures, and Robert Downey Jr.

Posted by Labyrinthian in , , , ,

“Never mind, they are intent on running the concept behind a roleplaying game into the ground, then peeing on it, then stomping on it, then running off squealing.” -mxyzplk

Yes, another quote. This particular one comes from mxyzplk the writer of Geek RelatedLike me, he has taken exception to WotC's recent move to introduce a collectible card game element to D&D.   

After reading his article I picked up on another piece of news, D&D miniatures are being discontinued.

From WotC:

D&D RPG Product Release Updates

Despite the best laid plans, sometimes we make changes to the D&D product release schedule. Usually this happens well before we’ve communicated our plans, but sometimes we must make changes to schedules that have already been announced. That happens to be the case we have here.
We have made the decision to depart from prepainted plastic miniatures sets. Lords of Madness stands as the final release under that model. We will continue to release special collector’s sets (such as the Beholder Collector’s Set we released last fall), as well as make use of plastic figures in other product offerings. Check out the Wrath of Ashardalon board game next month for the latest example of this. Moving forward, we will continue to explore more options for players to represent characters and monsters on the tabletop, including Monster Vault and other D&D products that feature monster and character tokens.
The Heroes of Shadow product, originally scheduled for March and presented in digest-sized, paperback format, is moving to April to accommodate a change to hardcover format. Additionally, three D&D RPG products have been removed from the 2011 release schedule—Class Compendium: Heroes of Sword and Spell, Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Emporium, and Hero Builder’s Handbook. While this means fewer books, we plan to deliver just as much great content for players this year through other formats, including board games, accessories, and digital offerings. I’ll keep you up-to-date on the latest releases each month as we go along.
Finally, I wanted to let you know that we’re making a change to the way we handle D&D Insider content. Subscriber data informs us that the vast majority of you consume our articles individually, when they are posted, as opposed to downloading the monthly compilations. So, starting this month, we’re just providing the articles. There won’t be any more monthly downloadable compilations. This is not a reduction in content, just a clarification of presentation and putting the emphasis where the majority of you are using it. Corrections and updates to articles which used to appear only in the compilations will now be made to the individual articles a few weeks after the original posting.

In addition to the end of the miniatures, three books have been canceled and there will be no more monthly compilations of Dragon or Dungeon on D&D Insider.  Personally, I don't care about the books (I wasn't going to buy them) or the monthly compilations (I don't have D&D Insider), but I did love those miniatures.  

Many other people are also bemoaning the loss of these miniatures:

Product changes at WotC: no more Minis
WotC to Discontinue Plastic Minis
R.I.P. D&D Minis 2003-2010
News: Tales of WotC Woe

The bottom line is that many us of don't have the artistic ability to paint our own miniatures, so despite great companies like the late Ral Partha, Reaper, and Dark Sword have made many amazing works of art over the years, the majority of us have never been able to fully enjoy a painted miniature.
That is until 2003 when WotC launched one of their greatest products ever, D&D Miniatures. They were plastic which some disliked, but I was actually a fan of. The plastic, besides being much cheaper, was more likely to bend than break and were easily bent back. If one did break, a cheap replacement could always be found. They were pre-painted and looked great, which meant you could enjoy them right out of the box. There were such a wide variety of them available that you could almost certainly find whatever you were looking for.

It sucks to have WotC launching stupid products like these fortune cards, but discontinuing a quality product like their miniatures. So it seems that mxyzplk's concerns have been validated...

WotC has gone full retard.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at Wednesday, January 19, 2011 and is filed under , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


My daughter actually loves playing with my minis. I am going to miss this line of minis too. I can't paint for shit.

January 19, 2011 at 12:03 PM

Hey man, thanks for the shout out! In fact, as more and more info is coming out, it sounds like the cards are just part of the impending death of D&D.

Collectible cards coming out, minis being cancelled, and most of the 4e books being cancelled as well, with the "content being repurposed." Sounds to me like they're eyeing the Magic/MtG Online cash cow and are going to sell D&D's organs and use "the brand" to do something that bears little resemblance to a real RPG.

January 19, 2011 at 11:08 PM

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