What I'm Backing on Kickstarter:

What I'm Backing on Kickstarter:
Codex Egyptium

Monday, October 6, 2014

When Gremlins Attack: 5th Edition's Monster Manual

Well, I think the Gremlins have had enough of being excluded in any official D&D product.  The last time I saw these critters in prints was back in 2nd Edition AD&D.  Like many creatures initially, they were nowhere to be found in 3rd Edition and I doubt they were in 4th Edition.  Necromancer Games gave us the Gremlin in their Tome of Horrors books (don't ask me which one) which may have appeased these mischievous spirits but NO MORE.  I think not being put in the 5th Edition Monster Manual when the Flumph had was the last straw.

Today I received my second Monster Manual from Amazon.  You see, there was a glue problems (as in excessive) that resulting in a few pages being stuck together.  Not a huge deal I suppose but two pages in particular refused to be separated and, upon examination, a good chuck of the corner of one the two pages was missing (torn off).  Being somewhat 'book proud', I decided to try out the return and exchange feature which Amazon provides...

Wait... what?  Yes.  I bought these off Amazon.  I really do like supporting my local game store and often do.  I can't begin to calculate how much I have spent at the store over the years but at $58.00 a book (plus taxes), that 50% off offer from Amazon was hard to pass up.  While I like 5th Edition, it is unlikely that I will ever run a game.  I will play and I am happy that WOTC went the direction they did with the rules but Castles & Crusades meets my needs quite nicely.  At almost $60 per book for something I may consult or use only once in a while, I don't feel guilty about getting the best bang for my buck.

At any rate, the first book came promptly and I received it last Wednesday.  I put in the order for an exchange that same night and it shipped at the end of the week.  I arrive home to find the package and what could best be described as a printing disaster.

Frankly I don't know how this got through.  I figure with the quantities they were mass printing that errors can happen.  However, product control seems to be UTTER CRAP.  I can understand the little hiccup with the first copy I received.  The second was completely unwarranted in my opinion.  I tried to capture the glory of the disaster.  Forgive the bad lighting:

Now, the thing is the gutter near the top of all these pages at the start of the book is uncut and the pages are not separated.  The pages were misaligned when it was assembled.  The bottom of these pages are cut well beyond where they were supposed to be cut -- almost cutting the bottom page numbers so were talking at least a good 1/4 inch off.  Pages in the back of the book suffer similar problems.  Not visible in these pictures are the terrible paste job on the black sheet to the cover -- off center and crooked.

So... I go back to Amazon and because this is the second time this happens to me with this specific book, they will not automatically exchange this.  They present to me two options:

Either I accept a full Refund and I keep it and get refunded 30% back of the purchase price.

I'm not happy about this.  I suppose I could have gotten the refund and then turn around and try ordering it again (because $29 plus taxes is way better than $58 plus taxes).  Fortunately, I hadn't had a chance to return my first defective copy.  It's not a perfect solution but, what the hell.  I am returning the second copy and holding the first.  A defective copy is a defective copy and in both cases, it was a manufacturing issue.  With a hobby knife, I separate the two pages and survey the actual 'unseen' damage.  The good news is that no text or art was actually harmed.  Unfortunately, there is still some stickiness to the glue that didn't already screw up the page.  And there is that tear.  I take a good look and decide where I am going to make my 'cuts'.  I take some scissors and completely cut out the corner from two pages -- a clean 45 degree angel removing the torn part and excess glue.  It looks kind of weird but in some ways, since the art and text were not touched, I'll count myself lucky.  Even more fortunate?  They refunded me 50% and not 30%.

$14.70 for the new Monster Manual with a couple of page corners cut out?  I guess I can live with that...


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