For those who object to random packaging but haven't bothered to read the linked press release:
Additionally, WizKids plans to release additional Pathfinder Battles Encounter Packs, which will feature visible non-random assortments of selected repainted or resculpted figures from the full sets. Product details for these later sets will be released shortly.
A little earlier today, GameMastery Map subscribers received an e-mail indicating that the next two GameMastery Map products, Map Pack: Magic Academy and Flip-Mat: Haunted Dungeon will be offered in PDF form as well as in the traditional print form. The e-mail indicates that this is "experimental," and comments:
E-mail from Paizo wrote:
Many customers have asked Paizo to offer PDF editions of our GameMastery Maps products, and we've always said that we're worried that a significant number of gamers choosing the PDF edition exclusively could hurt our ability to continue producing printed maps.
After this test period, we'll revisit our plans regarding future GameMastery Map PDFs, and keep subscribers updated.
Please feel free to give us your thoughts on the matter on our messageboards.
Well, okay! Here are my thoughts: I will be sticking with the physical products. A PDF that I print myself at home cannot hold a candle in quality to the physical materials that Paizo produces. I certainly cannot duplicate at home the coating Paizo uses to allow wet-erase, dry-erase, and permanent markers to work on the Flip-Mats and newer Map Packs. I want high-quality products that I can place on my gaming table. The current product model works great for me.
Now, what I would love is for my subscription, or really any purchase of a GameMaster Map product, to include a set of 1/4 scale JPG or PNG images that I could plug into a word processor and or paint program and use to make notes for myself about monster starting positions, etc. I could take PDF maps and turn them into such a thing easily enough, but I'm not about to purchase a PDF separately for $8.99 just to have this functionality (I'll scan the maps myself instead).
So, if there are people out there who would truly benefit from the PDF versions, fine … I wish both them and Paizo luck with it. But I deeply wish for the survival of the GameMastery Map line in printed form, because that's how I use them at my gaming table.
What I mean is, how are they packaged? There are a couple of relevant considerations:
Are they polybagged?
Are they paper wrapped?
Is the mailing label/address affixed to the magazine itself, or on the polybag/wrapper?
Part of this question is motivated by the fact that I like to keep my magazines in good shape, and in the past I've had magazine subscriptions where they got mangled in the mail.
Part of this question is motivated by the fact that I have young children and, as much as I like the content of Dungeon & Dragon magazines, I don't necessarily want my young children seeing some of the cover art when they go with their mom to collect the mail in the afternoons before I get home.