In searching for a copy of 4th Edition Talislanta, our sweetie and I made the journey to four different gamer-friendly locations. This was my first jaunt to local places, so I was also kind of looking for “the” place, you know, the store where I would be spending my time and money…
It’s not that I’m a big Talislanta fiend or anything, although I loved their “No Elves” advertising campaign. It’s become kind of a joke in our household, though, with both my husband and I fighting over who will get and read a copy of it first…
The first location I had called earlier in the week, and they were “expecting a copy” so I had high hopes. It’s a very large hobby shop with an emphasis on board games and card games, with a small miniatures aisle and some anime stuff. The gentlemen behind the counter (one older, one younger) were engaged in fairly animated conversation with some of the customers…mostly about CCGs, but I could forgive them that. The game I was looking for wasn’t in, and I got the impression that the RPG side of things was handled by other employees. Their RPG selection was fairly extensive, although the prices weren’t any bargain. They did have a good collection of used games at a reasonable mark-down… but nothing that really sparked my interest. They had the three tiers of shelves, with a lot of White Wolf up on top, where I would have been hard pressed to look through it if I had been interested…but I wasn’t, so no big loss. [laugh] I expect I’ll be back, especially if I get a job in the area.
The second location was mostly an Anime Haven. Lots of videos, figures, and CDs. Atmosphere was not hostile, but we were never asked if we could be helped, and I had a strong feeling that it was kind of a “regulars” place. Lots of people, some watching television. I suppose I’ll be back because of my interest in the products, but not for their customer service. RPG selection was laughable.
We were on our way to a third place that I’d received a flyer for when we passed a place claiming to be “owned by,” “run by,” and “for” gamers. I investigated: it took a few minutes to determine that they actually had RPGs: it was like a convenience store for CCGers, complete with restaurant-style booths in backs populated by little boys.
“Hi, can I help you?”
“I’m looking for a copy of 4th Edition Talislanta.”
“Um…what set is that from?”
“Do you know what game it’s from?”
“Is it a card or a game?”
“Is it like a game-game, or a…?”
“Oh. Well, I’m just watching the store. If it’s a book, it’ll be on that case… if it’s a game, it’ll be over there on that case.”
They had 3eD&D, Star Wars, and a smattering of Shadowrun. Um, needless to say, no such luck there. I had that strange feeling, listening to the background noise, that I was speaking a language ALMOST but not quite the same… where I could recognize a lot of the terms, but not the context.
The fourth place, however, did what I hoped. I was greeted, I was told that a woman had bought their last copy, I was told they were looking to hold more roleplaying sessions (as opposed to tournaments and stuff) in their store, and I was encouraged to look around. I ended up buying a figurine there and giving them my information (alas, they didn’t recognize my name) for future reference. Their gaming selection wasn’t as extensive as the first store’s, but they’ll order things, and overall it was a much more comfortable place.
It’s a beginning, I guess.