The Fun Shall Be Had On Wednesdays ONLY

I was skimming through the gaming blogs tonight, and I came across this post by Dungeon’s Master about the WotC Encounters “events”. I quote two salient bits here, for those who don’t want to read the whole thing:

I was contacted by Wizards and asked to clarify and correct some details I recently posted in my D&D Encounters articles and the follow-up comments; specifically details about playing on nights other than Wednesday. I was asked to post a correction and clear up any confusion my comments might have caused.


Wizards wants to be very clear that they are “committed to our program’s structure, and we do not want stores to think it’s OK to run on nights other than Wednesdays.” Wednesday is the mandatory day to run D&D Encounters. Wizard does periodically check to ensure that stores run D&D Encounters sessions on Wednesdays. If they discover that a store is not compliant, it can lead to punitive action (such as pulling the program from the store).

Okay, seriously? This is just raising all kinds of red flags.

First is the obvious; Wizards is saying that stores can’t run their precious “Encounters” event on any day other than Wednesday? And if they defy the all-mighty Renton Gestapo, “punitive action” will be taken? Sweet Reason! Are they afraid that their Twitter boosts will be out of synch with what’s happening in the stores? Will players somehow find the magic cumquat and gain an unfair advantage if they play on a Thursday or (GASP!) a Friday? Egads! Someone might actually fight the Dawn Titan in one store on The Proper Day, and then go to another deviant store on The Wrong Day, and fight the encounter with Forbidden Knowledge!!! And where would the fun be in that? It might make the encounter… *gulp*… unbalanced…

But what’s even more chilling is that WotC is seemingly monitoring gaming blogs and making sure that The Official Line is being properly disseminated. It should be pointed out that Dungeon’s Master is an obsequious 4E slobbering love-fest*, so WotC is possibly more likely to pay attention to that blog than others who have a less “tow the company line” philosophy, the mere fact that they have people on staff who take the time to reach out to make it clear that Wednesday Shall be the Day of the Fun, and Thursday is Right Out is just mystifying to me.

* From another recent post on the same blog: Before proceeding I must admit that my gaming experience is limited. My introduction to D&D (and RPGs) was in 2009 shortly after 4e launched. My gaming knowledge and experience has grown considerably in the past two years, but I come to the hobby without preconception of previous editions or the baggage that often accompanies it. 

Written by 

Wargamer and RPG'er since the 1970's, author of Adventures Dark and Deep, Castle of the Mad Archmage, and other things, and proprietor of the Greyhawk Grognard blog.

16 thoughts on “The Fun Shall Be Had On Wednesdays ONLY

  1. I'm going to have to side with Wizards on this one.

    They're putting money and energy into steering not-hardcore gamers into the local game stores for organized events (how effective this is might be debatable, but as I understand it that's the basic idea), and it completely misses the point if you have to be plugged in to your local game store's schedule to do it.

    It's really giving Wizards and gamers the finger if the games are advertised as happening on Wednesdays (as Wizards does from their site) and someone shows up and get "sorry, we do that on Mondays!" from the local store.

  2. @LotFP: Really… I mean, really? It's perfectly okay for a gaming company to dictate when is okay and when is not okay for EVERY ENCOUNTERS PLAYER to play their game? It's slightly worrying to know that, for all the non-hardcore gamers that are drawn into stores by this program, you agree that it's acceptable to be willing to take an enormous shit on every single gamer who is unavailable on the almighty Holy Day.

    Do we really need the regulation of our free time in an already niche hobby? Do you genuinely feel that the policy benefits anyone at all? The only reasoning you offer seems to be that it undermines WotC's effort to have gamers find 'pre-arranged' play.

    Silly me, I thought that D&D was a social game, that the social aspect of the hobby was as much a part as this sack of polyhedrals that I carry around. Boy was I wrong. Thanks for showing me The Way Is Wednesday, WotC!

  3. I have to agree with Raggi. As long as they're saying: "D&D Encounters ™ on Wednesdays only," and not "No D&D on other nights," they are not really being dicks. Their program, their advertising, their call.

  4. I'm very much bummed about WotC not allowing stores to run Encounters on nights other than Wednesday, as I have a conflict on Wednesday and my store was thinking about running it on Tuesday in the future (in part so I could run it).

    However, I ultimately don't think it's regulation run amok or anything. My FLGS has Living Forgotten Realms on other days, and DMs are welcome to run their own games on other nights, too. It's just this one program, which WotC provides lots of advertising for, that has a restriction.

    I'm sure that D&D Encounters was inspired in part by the success of Friday Night Magic, which benefits from everyone knowing when it's available at any store. I don't like the rigidness of the policy, but I understand the philosophy.

  5. But I thought all Hasbro board games were supposed to be played on Friday Family Game Nights, not Wednesdays?

    Kids – it's not Friday night yet – put that Clue game away NOW before Hasbro sues us!


  6. This might explain why my recent inquiry into the possibility of running old-school D&D at a local game shop was met with outright hostility. "We ONLY do D&D Encounters, and ONLY on Wednesdays," I was told. I was pretty confused.

  7. On one hand I have to concur with Princess Jim. It'd be like seeing an ad for half price big macs, only to be told by the Mac's down the street that 'they' weren't doing that.

    Notice how I compared Wot-see to McDonald's there?

  8. Someone should ask them if they can run on more than Wednesday nights. Does wotC have a problem if you run on Monday Wednesday AND Friday?

  9. Personally, I wish they would move Encounters to some other night besides Wednesday. That's the night I have my C&C game, and to be honest it gets crowded with 4E zombies in there, making all sorts of noise 😉

    But like Zak said, that's the night we can recruit people for the old school! That's what I try to do, at least.

  10. Over reaction. A company provides a service (free materials for DMs and free promotion for stores) – in an attempt to get new gamers playing the game we all love. But, it does come with a few stipulation – namely, run it on Wednesdays so that we can advertise that people looking for a D&D game can find it at their local FLGS on THAT night. No one is shitting on anyone…

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