Let's take a trip back in time to the preview of D&D third edition. Wizards of the Coast, in order to build up momentum for the release, had these retailer conventions all across the country. The RPGA were supposed to provide DMs for the introductory module that got people familiar with the rules, and it was supposed to be a happening time. So, we got invited to the one in Atlanta, and all of the active employees at the time (5 of us) took a road trip to check it out.
We get there and it's freaking weird. I swear that all game store manager/owners come off the same assembly line. It was like a bunch of freaking clones. A nice representative from WoTC that we're just going to call "Lieutenant Fruitbooty" gave a big presentation showing off all the art and what have you. Anyways, once it was done everyone was ready to give it a shot. They handed out all these little gift packages with a shirt, dice, the intro module, and a few minis. Problem was, they got stiffed by the RPGA on judges, so it was shorthanded. I volunteer because I'm awesome, and the Lieutenant's like "Well, we'll see you get something out of it." (I got a signed first printing player's handbook by all the developers, a year's subscription to Dragon, and I was made a Level 2 Judge in the RPGA).
After all that nonsense, people pick up and leave. But there's tons of gift packages left, and my boss goes and asks the people if we can have them as promotions for the store, and they say take and be merry. So, everyone with free hands grabs a box of packages. The other retail folks think we're making off with stolen loot, and actually block the WotC people as we hustle out of the convention center, yelling "GO! GO! WE'LL HOLD THEM OFF!"
I've got like 13 of those freaking t-shirts, because I took even MORE when I went to our distributor (Zocchi before they went under) for a private expo for third edition.
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OK, that story wasn't too funny. But it was worth telling anyways.
IMPORTANT! Both Vampire: The Requiem and the World of Darkness sourcebooks are out, and I want to know who's read them and what they're about. I'm holding off for my games (Werewolf and Mage), but I want to know changes, story, what have you.