Dropping by Quarterstaff Games this morning to pick something up, I decided to make a premeditated impulse purchase of Goodman Games’ Dungeon Alphabet. I spotted it on the store’s new arrivals table some weeks ago, but put off buying it, thinking I’d get it as part of a larger purchase later. Sadly, the sole copy in the store had sold and the distributor didn’t list any in their warehouse, so I put in an order on the off-chance the book restocks or Goodman reprints it.
I don’t have a lot of background in the traditional dungeonbash role-playing game, mostly due to missing out on that phase in the typical role-player’s life cycle. It’s something I want to explore, though, because I certainly find myself enjoying its descendants in entities like Pathfinder and Descent: Journeys in the Dark. Having a book designed as an idea mine, with the option of randomly choosing elements when indecision strikes, appeals immensely. And the $10 price point sealed the deal, making it a very acceptable impulse buy.
Admittedly, I could just buy the PDF version. At forty-eight pages, it would hardly be a trial to print out the PDF version of The Dungeon Alphabet, but it’s a very attractive book, particularly at that price. Furthermore, I’ve been lax in voting with my dollars at the local game store of late — and it’s showing: the shelf space given to RPGs has steadily shrunk over the last year as product just hasn’t moved.
The twist, unfortunately, is all the role-playing stuff I want at the moment — namely, Dungeon Alphabet, Conspiracy X‘s Extraterrestrial Sourcebook and The Unexplained — aren’t available for various reasons.1
1 And in the case of The Extraterrestrial Sourcebook, I find myself doubting it will ever grace the game store shelf, given Eden Studios’ rocky road of late.