It’s better to have old TSR D&D books “rescued” as scans from old paper books and turned into PDFs than not have them.
However, not every book is as good quality or as scannable as another. Print on demand might be a more attractive option than digital-only for some buyers too, but simply scanning a published book isn’t always enough to produce a file formatted correctly to send to printers.
As a result, some of the old TSR books that Wizards of the Coast and DriveThruRPG have been scanning and returning are getting mixed reviews.
Two recent examples are Poor Wizard’s Almanac and Poor Wizard’s Almanac III & Book of Facts.
As a quirk, Poor Wizard’s Alamanc II has already been through this treatment, was first added to DriveThruRPG four years ago, and was last updated in 2019.
These RPG supplements are set in D&D’s first setting Mystara and begin in the year 1010 AC. The following books advance the year by one.
Poor Wizard’s Alamanc II has been in the system long enough to have a print on demand version, has become an electrum best-seller and currently averages 4.5/5 stars.
In contrast, early reviews put Poor Wizard’s Almanac has 3/5 and a request for a Print on Demand option.
Poor Wizard’s Almanac III & Book of Facts does better, with 3.5/5 stars.
Here’s how the third book is described;
This is the third Almanac in the series and the first Using AD&D stats. It covers the year AC 1012 on the Thyatian calendar, and includes several new sections. Among these are sections on weather patterns and predictions, the Hollow World floating continents’ route and the resulting shadowfall, horoscopes, a list of the prominent NPCs converted to AD&D stats and information regarding new regions of Mystara.
The map included shows the New Alphatian Region, including Esterhold.
Based on book II, which was re-released first, print on demand copies are coming, and it’s just a matter of waiting.
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