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.