13 April 2024

The thrill of "the Find"

I had a refreshing experience recently at Vienna Games Convention - the thrill of 'the find' - something I'd largely missed in this always-on cornucopia we all live in these days. On the way there I was asking myself 'is there anything under the sun that you would actually be looking for' and apart from stumbling over some classic early D&D modules as a general category, the only thing that came to mind that I had sought but not found easily online recently was 'The Plane Above' from 4e.

And lo.
When I saw them on the stack, I was wondering what would be a reasonable price - and when the guy shrugged and said 'tenner' for Plane Above and the Manual of the Planes, the hardest bit was keeping my poker face. He had Plane Below too but it was not one I had been looking for before.

I was looking for Plane Above because as an Astral guide it has suddenly popped back into focus with Spelljammer 5e's new treatment of the realm between planetary systems - was phlogiston with pretty much nothing there - now is the Astral which is stuffed full of adventure. The astral skiffs and clippers in Plane Above had been something frequently mentioned by others in discussions online of Spelljammer so that was a gap in my visibility.
The Manual of the Planes I wanted just to get the baseline for the World Tree cosmology of 4e which was substantially different from the Great Wheel of AD&D that I lived and breathed.
After initially getting the first two, I wandered around a bit, crewed the RPGVienna desk and let 'do I really want the Planes Below' bubble in my mind before arriving at 'yes, I'll kick myself for not having the set' and snaffled it up too on my way out.
All this is something I missed for ages. The last time I got this kind of 'hell, yeah' feeling was walking into my FLGS and spotting Veins of the Earth just sitting on the shelf. Keeping an eye on the kickstarters does mean that I have taken a view on much of what could possibly be there before I ever walk through the door. The surprise factor gets crushed, which is a first world problem, to be sure, but I do recall the time of significantly narrower pipelines of stuff, of what few bits being available on a bookstores small RPG section being the 'take it or leave it' limit.

Mostly I am hugely amused that the only thing I could think of that I was looking for - was found!

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