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Role Playing (Games) Games

WotC Releases Old Dungeons & Dragons Catalog As PDFs 224

jjohn writes "Wizards of the Coasts, holders of the TSR catalog, have released rulebooks and modules for most editions of Dungeons and Dragons through a partnership with The web site,, may be a little overloaded right now. Most module PDFs are $4.99 USD." The article points out that these are all fresh scans of the old books. It's also worth noting that the decision to make these PDFs available reverses WotC's 2009 decision to stop all PDF sales because of piracy fears. The only reference to this in the article is a quote from the D&D publishing and licensing director: "We don't want them to go to torrent sites. Why not give them a legal route?"
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WotC Releases Old Dungeons & Dragons Catalog As PDFs

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  • by tilante ( 2547392 ) on Tuesday January 22, 2013 @05:28PM (#42661409)

    Quark or Pagemaker files? You do realize that a lot of this dates back to the '70s and '80s, right? I doubt any of it before the late '80s was done with any sort of desktop publishing software. They may have been using professional publishing software, like And, of course, until writable CD drives became reasonably affordable in the mid-90s, they were probably storing any files they were creating on floppies, then later on Zip drives. Chances are good that all the early stuff only existed in dead-tree format before they started scanning it.

    At a guess, I'd say that all the original D&D, the first two versions of Basic D&D, and most of the first edition AD&D materials would be in that boat.

    I just downloaded the free one they have, though, and the scan is very clean - clean enough that I'm sure they've gone to the trouble of cleaning it up. They've also OCR'ed it at the least, since I can do text searches in it. The module in question is B1, "In Search of the Unknown", with a copyright date of 1981.

    Oh... and they are watermarking the PDFs, with the purchaser's name and the order number at the bottom of every page.

  • Re:Saving Throw (Score:5, Informative)

    by damnbunni ( 1215350 ) on Wednesday January 23, 2013 @03:14AM (#42666585) Journal

    Um, no. Abandonware is illegal. Flat-out, no questions asked.

    Just because you can't get it commercially doesn't mean it's legal to pass around.

    Abandonware proponents like to claim this, but it's just something they made up to make themselves feel better.

    They get away with passing stuff around as long as no one -cares- or if they're in a country it's difficult to enforce copyright in.

    But it's not legal.

"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?" "FIFTEEN!! YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"