Follow up Castles & Crusades Unboxing (Now with Moving Pictures!)

 

The above video and this post are a follow up to a post I wrote titled: Castles & Crusades Unboxing. It was particularly about the shipping and the conditions of the Castles & Crusades books when I received them.
I am going to take some time here to clarify my thoughts and opinion on a couple of other issues I had with the Castles & Crusades books that I did not bring up in the video due to time.

PRINTING

I am not particularly upset that all the Castles & Crusades books are printed in black and white. I just was not expecting that and felt others might like to know this as well. It seems like most modern day produced RPG books are in color. I own several modern day RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons, Mutants & Masterminds, DC Adventures, MouseGuard and Dresden Files. They are all in color. I just had the expectation that Castles & Crusades would also be in color.

When I go to used book stores seeking out older RPGs I fully expect them all to cost more and be in black and white. I have paid a pretty penny for some older pre-made adventures. Sometimes you stumble into a used book store or a garage sale that has RPG books for sale very cheap, but that seems to be getting more and more rare.

My comment was not a slam on the art in the books themselves. Just that I expected the books to be in color and for me it was a surprise to find it was all in black and white.

 

PDF

To me, it seems ridiculous, that in this day an age PDF downloads (or any electronically form for that matter) are not an option (or should I say affordable option?) to those buying books from RPG companies. There seems to be a divide between RPG companies that offer PDF downloads at a reduced price and those who may not even offer them at all. In the case of Castles and Crusades you can get the PDF copies of the books for just a bit under retail cost of the actual books.

I personally am far more likely to invest in a new RPG if I have the option to buy the books and the PDFs of those books at a reduced price. It’s also better for my gaming group because I am far less anal retentive about my RPG books in their hands when they are eating over them and spilling things on the gaming table because I know I have a PDF backup of the game.

For me the reason that I ended up buying Castles and Crusades as the direct result of a couple of friends who said the game is worth it. I believe my friends that this game is going to be great. But if I had just read a couple of good reviews and went over to the Troll Lord Games website and saw the overpriced PDFs I never would have bought the game.

It seems like my experience has been that most companies offering PDF copies of gaming books sell them for between five and ten dollars. To me this is a perfectly acceptable cost to someone who is also buying the books at the same time.

Now one may argue that PDFs are not the best format for gamers to download their books in. This may be the case, but until that perfect format comes around you should still offer the PDFs. Every modern day Operating system can handle them and will for quite some time. Hell, offering any kind of digital option for gamers would be nice. Text, PDF, ePub, just give us something so we don’t have to worry so much about our physical copies!
Just like I said in the video. With all the fuss my original post made regarding Castles and Crusades I am excited to play this game and give it a sold review here on Stargazer’s World.

9 thoughts on “Follow up Castles & Crusades Unboxing (Now with Moving Pictures!)”

  1. I've had a roughly similar problem with books I ordered from Troll & Toad. Two out of the three books were in a condition below what they were listed on the site. I emailed them and they sent me two other copies that were in better shape, without me shipping back the damaged books. And were talking used books here. Now that's customer service!

    Personally, I feel like Troll Lord should replace your Monster book since it is cleary defective. If they care about their customers, the sould also replace your Player book. As for the Castle Keeper's Handbook, well, if the glued pages hold, I don't believe you have a problem, so that's should be OK.

  2. Since I commented on the first unboxing. Figured I comment again. Wow, those were some big mistakes putting those books together. I don't blame you for being displeased. You should be. But I would like to give a word of warning for any body considering picking up C&C. I decided to save a couple dollars and got the digest sized books. Don't do that. I'm pretty sure that they just reduced the original layout to one quarter size. The font is really tiny to point of being nearly unreadable.
    That being said, I do really like the game itself.
    My recent post Kingmaker- The Attack of Owlbear-zilla

    1. You should e-mail me some pictures. I would like to SEE what you're seeing. With that said, it is starting to sound like I am not the only person who is experiencing issues with Troll Lord books. I really did hope I was the only one. Unfortunately that does not seem to be the case.

      I am glad to hear the game its self is solid. Still looking forward to playing it. I will just have to do it from my PDF copy.
      My recent post Roof Top Gig

  3. Thanks for the props man. I appreciate that.

    Sponsorship by Pepsi? Please. I am a drummer. If anyone is going to sponsor me it better be some company like Zildjian.
    My recent post Roof Top Gig

  4. While the shipping condition of your book was bad really sux. And I’m sure if you contacted the trolls they would make it right. Your criticism of the book being black and white really means you don’t understand the books are created to emulate the feel of first edition AD&D.

    I find your post kind of weird. Your friends told you about a great game. So you reviewed the physical book. Not the game. You know about the saying about books and their covers.

    1. Ronin Gamer, I appreciate your comment. Like I said in the video it is people like you who make me excited to play this game. That make me feel like all my problems with this product will pay off in the end.

      I addressed your comment about Troll Lord Games making it right in my video.

      The reason I have not reviewed the actual game yet is because I am currently active in GMing another game. It would be unjust of me to review a game that I can not give my full attention to. When I do start playing C&C it will get a proper review. I will just have to use the full priced PDFs I bought because at least one of my books is unreadable.

      As for it being weird to that I am reviewing just the physical product and not the game its self… I am not the only person who does unboxing reviews. Plenty of other RPG bloggers do the same thing I do including those who write this site. If you have such a problem with my review why have you only waited till now to comment? Why have you never left a comment like this on any of my other unboxing reviews?

  5. Youseph,

    Hey, just stumbled across your video. I wish your original comments had made it more clear that the interior of the M&T book was miscut. This book was not printed by the TLG print shop. This book was manufactured by Walsworth, one of the premier yearbook publishers and they are very good. That said, occasionally misfeeds happen. I would guess around 1 in 700 or so as I’ve seen two other books in this print run that have had that problem.

    That is clearly defective. I will get you a replacement copy in the mail in the next few days.

    As for the CKG, what you are looking at is inline glueing, its a very, very stout way of manufacturing the book and generally has a better life cycle than anything other than sewn or smtyhe sewn. If that falls apart, let me know.

    Thanks for the comments and criticism.

    NOTE: The DIGEST books are a novelty item wherein the copies are shrunk down. The print is SMALL, very small. They have been so popular that our design guy Peter has offered to go back over and reformat the books at a more readable size. All that said, we can’t keep them in stock, font size or not. ;) So Chuck if you want to swap out for another copy let me know.

    Steve

    1. Steve,

      Though I do appreciate you wanting to replace my M&T books, you are only addressing one of the several issues I brought up in my posts and video.

      In the end I truly hope all the issues brought up (from printing, construction, and shipping) will be fully addressed in the near future for gamers who purchase your product.

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