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No More D&D PDFs, Wizards of the Coast Sues 8 File Sharers 501

An anonymous reader writes "On April 6th, Wizards of the Coast took all of their PDF products offline, including those sold at third-party websites like From the RPGNow front page: 'Wizards of the Coast has instructed us to suspend all sales and downloads of Wizards of the Coast titles. Unfortunately, this includes offering download access to previously purchased Wizards of the Coast titles.' Wizards of the Coast also posted a press release to their website that states they are suing eight file sharers for 'copyright infringement,' and WotC_Trevor posted a short explanation about the cessation of PDF sales to the EN World Forums."
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No More D&D PDFs, Wizards of the Coast Sues 8 File Sharers

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  • Hubris (Score:5, Informative)

    by SirGarlon ( 845873 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @10:43AM (#27503413)

    Back when Wizards of the Coast took over D&D, one of the striking things then-Vice President Ryan Dancey said was that TSR (the former publisher) has obviously not listened to customers and had lost relevancy for that reason.

    Now, Ryan Dancey is no longer at WotC, and WotC is not listening to customers, and what do you know? WotC is losing relevancy. People are going to buy the products they want, in the format they want, from the retailer they want, and you can never make them buy something different. It's as simple as that.

    Fortunately the 3.x rules are open source [] so D&D can never die, in spite of WotC's seemingly intentional efforts to run their business into the ground. It just can't be called D&D for trademark reasons.

  • by furby076 ( 1461805 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @10:47AM (#27503485) Homepage
    I don't know if Wotc did but it would be smart for them to do it and smarter for the bookstores to sell it (gauranteed sales). I doubt Wotc did - WoTC is not in the habit of buying their products. More then likely it is someone who wanted to do the same thing as you.

    You may want to try ebay, amazon, borders, etc. Doing a quick search on amazon dungeons and dragons 3.5 []

    There are no shortages of books. You can also get it cheaper online.
  • Re:D&D is dead (Score:4, Informative)

    by evilkasper ( 1292798 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @10:48AM (#27503507)
    Odd I know a lot of people who enjoy 4e, then again I heard the same thing when they went to 3.5. I heard the same thing when D&D was no longer owned by TSR, etc etc. Point is it's different and still around. The neat thing is you don't have to upgrade to 4e if you don't want to. Hell if you liked the first incarnation of D&D you could still play that.
  • by Sandbags ( 964742 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @11:25AM (#27504039) Journal

    Your failure to back up your downloaded software is not their problem...

    If you break/scratch your physical copy, would they have any responsibility? Why should they waste the bandwidth without charging you?

    If you want a better piece of software though, talk to Wonko... Excel 2007 active spreadsheet and database for DnD4e. includes everything! (about 30 days behind release schedule). It can be found at enworld,, and a few other places. I'd link, but I'm blocked from that here at the office... Google for "Wonko 4e" Current version is something like 1.47.h.2.

    Oh, and you don't have to "resubscribe" if you are still a subscriber... You CAN redownload it while still a member. The software is not FREE, it's leased while under contract... If youre not paying monthly, you're not supposed to use it (though they're nice enough not to lock it on you if you're not paying) It's SAAS... just offline.

  • Re:D&D is dead (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jaysyn ( 203771 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @11:27AM (#27504089) Homepage Journal
  • Re:[Don't] Profit! (Score:3, Informative)

    by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @11:35AM (#27504221) Journal

    Or you could just go with Fudge. The core edition is completely free, and available in PDF and plain text.

  • Re:Hubris (Score:3, Informative)

    by SirGarlon ( 845873 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @11:56AM (#27504625)

    It's only the rules that are open source, not adventures and campaign setting material. So, for example, the Forgotten Realms (most popular RPG setting of all time) is WotC's intellectual property and under their total control.

    However, WotC cannot stop other companies making D&D-like games, settings, adventures, and products for 3.x rules -- as long as they're not called "D&D". Several companies are still doing that. Which makes WotC's move to take themselves out of the 3.x market especially stupid. In the hopes of driving more players to 4E, they're ceding the 3.x legacy market to their competitors.

  • Re:[Don't] Profit! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Chyeld ( 713439 ) <> on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @12:14PM (#27504905)

    Minor note: The Cyclopedia is actually not 2nd edition AD&D, it's a republishing of the alternative line they had going when AD&D came out.

    It was originally meant to be the 'intro to D&D' rules which would transition to AD&D but ended up being it's own separate line entirely. Prior to being released as the Cyclopedia, it was called the Box Sets as unlike AD&D, the Box sets were sold as paired Player and Dungeon Master guides based on level ranges.

    • Basic Set - Levels 1-3
    • Expert Set - Levels 4-14
    • Companion Set - Levels 15-25
    • Master Set - Levels 26-36 (max 'mortal' level)
    • Immortals - literally playing gods
  • Re:[Don't] Profit! (Score:3, Informative)

    by digitig ( 1056110 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @12:17PM (#27504951)

    First: Those books are no longer in print and WotC is not losing a dime if they get copied.

    Yes they are, at least as they see it (which is what's going to drive their business decisions). If players can't get hold of the 3.5 material it forces them to buy the shiny new version 4 material -- and everyone who wants to join them in games, so it pushes people who already have 3.5 to buy 4. Or go play some other RPG, of course, but I expect WotC discount that possibility.

  • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @12:33PM (#27505181) Journal

    Are you kidding? TSR were a litigious bunch themselves, probably the very worst of the gaming companies in their time. I remember people having to distribute their own modules on BBSs having to do strategic name changes out of fear of being sued into the ground.

  • Re:[Don't] Profit! (Score:3, Informative)

    by DragonWriter ( 970822 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @01:11PM (#27505711)

    Minor note: The Cyclopedia is actually not 2nd edition AD&D, it's a republishing of the alternative line they had going when AD&D came out.

    The "alternative line" had a name: "Dungeons & Dragons", as distinct from "Advanced Dungeons and Dragons".

  • Re:[Don't] Profit! (Score:4, Informative)

    by MaineCoon ( 12585 ) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @04:11PM (#27508689) Homepage

    Savage Worlds (by Pinnacle Entertainment Group) is even more flexible and adaptable, easier to learn, and in my experience offers more roleplaying and more combat options.

    It has many good things going for it, including many 3rd party publishers jumping on board:

    * Core rulebook is $10 small-format full color book, has rules for nearly any situation, and these rules all follow the same core concepts. Also includes basic equip and monsters for several generic settings (its easy to make more).
    * Easy to learn, yet offers a lot of depth and variety
    * Easy to GM
    * Combat can be tactical w/ minis, or not, at your discretion; it goes fast even if there are lots of combatants.
    * Pinnacle sells all of their products as PDF as well; the Settings books are offered in Full and Player Only versions, and have site licenses granting permission to print copies for your players
    * Lots of 3rd party publishers are jumping on board Savage Worlds; the next Cthulhu RPG will be Savage
    * Lots of homebrew settings available, and it's pretty easy to make one

  • White Wolf (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @06:50PM (#27511147)

    Didn't see this posted elsewhere, so I thought I'd let people know...

    White Wolf is reacting to the WotC announcement by offering discounted PDFs at and even a free download of the Exalted 2nd Edition core rulebook (which I've always preferred to D&D anyway). Great setting that's definitely worth a look for those that haven't had a chance prior. Plus, it's a free $35 book. Can't beat that!

  • Re:[Don't] Profit! (Score:3, Informative)

    by JosKarith ( 757063 ) on Thursday April 09, 2009 @07:21AM (#27516163)
    Why do people insist on calling Intellectual Property Infringement piracy? Even those who fight against RIAA/MPAA/Whatevaa use the term. Renaming something you dislike is a blatant first shot in the battle ans we just let them gEt away with it. It's like PETA and "Sea Kittens".

    At least they didn't rename IPI to B4by R4ping or the like...

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"