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D&D 5E D&D Books Delayed By The Shipocalypse

The global shipping crisis continues to affect the tabletop gaming industry. After the Rules Expansion Gift Set was pushed from December to January due to production delays, WotC has announced that Fizban's Treasury of Dragons, and Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos will be delayed. Fizban is delayed a week, and Strixhaven is delayed 3 weeks.


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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
All this talk made me want to check my books for printing:

Monster Manual 1st printing USA
PHB 5th printing USA
DMG 12th printing USA
Xanathar's 1st, USA
Tasha's 1st, USA
The same with Ravnica and Theros. All of them are printed in the US.
 

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I guess the 1st priting is sold soon, (and the money for the costs is recovered) and after the publishers can allow themself printing in a cheaper zone, but slower sending.

But now there are other troubles not linked with the entertaiment industry but the global economy, and maybe these could be off-topic here to mention them.
 

I'd add that the question of whether or not the pandemic is to blame is a matter of definition. The pandemic is definitely the immediate cause, but you could also say that it only reveals the flaws that were there before. If you build a house of cards and someone bumps the table collapsing the whole thing, is the problem the bump or the fact that you built an unstable structure to begin with? Did the Vasa sink because it was hit with a strong wind, or because it was far too tall and narrow, and loaded with way too many cannons?
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I'd add that the question of whether or not the pandemic is to blame is a matter of definition. The pandemic is definitely the immediate cause, but you could also say that it only reveals the flaws that were there before. If you build a house of cards and someone bumps the table collapsing the whole thing, is the problem the bump or the fact that you built an unstable structure to begin with? Did the Vasa sink because it was hit with a strong wind, or because it was far too tall and narrow, and loaded with way too many cannons?
It’s not like one person designed the international infrastructure. These things evolve organically. Nobody built a house of cards.
 

It’s not like one person designed the international infrastructure. These things evolve organically. Nobody built a house of cards.
Sure, but we have collectively built a society that does two things that are relevant here:

1. Move a lot of production to Asia, where people have lower wages and usually lower safety standards, which translates to cheaper stuff. This makes us dependent on lots and lots of shipping.

2. We have several mechanisms in place that protect the rich and powerful from the consequences of their decisions. If a business sector is doing well, they make lots of money. When they don't do so well anymore, they get governmental subsidies or bailouts. And should a business actually be allowed to fail, it's rarely the people at the top who suffer from that. This creates a situation where risk-taking is rewarded and caution and robustness is discouraged.

These things may have happened organically, but they have done so in an environment formed by governmental and social attitudes.
 

It’s not like one person designed the international infrastructure. These things evolve organically. Nobody built a house of cards.
That's not entirely correct, imho, as someone who used to work at a shipping-specialized law firm, as a researcher.

People absolutely did build a house of cards and knew what they were doing. It didn't go without notice or discussion or warning. Specifically the house of cards is the increasing move to "just-in-time" supply chains, which potentially save money by reducing warehousing, distribution and other costs. They are hideously vulnerable to any kind of disruption and there was a lot of "this will end in tears" stuff like what, a decade or so ago.

Also, for anyone saying it isn't the pandemic causing this, in the sense of revealing existing issues, based on the shipping industry analysis I have available, I would say they strongly disagree. Suez didn't help but the idea that it is the main issue is not supported by shipping industry figures that I'm seeing.
 


Wardook

Explorer
Sure, but we have collectively built a society that does two things that are relevant here:

1. Move a lot of production to Asia, where people have lower wages and usually lower safety standards, which translates to cheaper stuff. This makes us dependent on lots and lots of shipping.

2. We have several mechanisms in place that protect the rich and powerful from the consequences of their decisions. If a business sector is doing well, they make lots of money. When they don't do so well anymore, they get governmental subsidies or bailouts. And should a business actually be allowed to fail, it's rarely the people at the top who suffer from that. This creates a situation where risk-taking is rewarded and caution and robustness is discouraged.

These things may have happened organically, but they have done so in an environment formed by governmental and social attitudes.
This all day long. In the US our children and grandchildren will pay the price of our greed in many ways.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I think Corona is a convienient excuse for alot of things. Do I have statistics or information to back that up, no but its just my opinion.

Covid-19 put a massive stress on a system that was not able to take massive stresses. We coudl say that it is a proximal cause, but not a root cause, of the issues.

I believe that. IIRC it wasnt stuck all that long, few days to a week?

Also, no, the overall issue isn't just one shipping lane being clogged.

For example, the US has a shipping imbalance with Asia. We buy more than we ship out. Which means that more containers come to us than we send back. Normally, that excess is manageable. However, with covid, there was a huge surge in consumer purchase for a lot of good made overseas, but our own manufacturing plummetted in the same time. End result - an astounding number of shipping containers on our shores, and few in Asian ports. Which makes it super-expensive to ship from there to here...

Overall, the world economy got very used to "just in time" delivery, and elimination of goods in stock. And this is fragile if you have surges of demand or interruptions in supply.
 

Covid-19 put a massive stress on a system that was not able to take massive stresses. We coudl say that it is a proximal cause, but not a root cause, of the issues.



Also, no, the overall issue isn't just one shipping lane being clogged.

For example, the US has a shipping imbalance with Asia. We buy more than we ship out. Which means that more containers come to us than we send back. Normally, that excess is manageable. However, with covid, there was a huge surge in consumer purchase for a lot of good made overseas, but our own manufacturing plummetted in the same time. End result - an astounding number of shipping containers on our shores, and few in Asian ports. Which makes it super-expensive to ship from there to here...

Overall, the world economy got very used to "just in time" delivery, and elimination of goods in stock. And this is fragile if you have surges of demand or interruptions in supply.

Apparently during the Trump administration a buy American policy was planned and nixed because they were afraid that what is occurring now would occur then. That is way too much power in the hands of a Totalarian state.

This Shipocalypse could just have as easily been triggered by climate change, a civil war in China, and embargo, a major natural disaster in China, and a ton more. Neoliberal's economic and social chickens are all coming home to roost.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Apparently during the Trump administration a buy American policy was planned and nixed because they were afraid that what is occurring now would occur then. That is way too much power in the hands of a Totalarian state.

Mod Note:
So, the politics? Don't go there, please. We can talk about the logistics without breaking board rules.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
It’s not like one person designed the international infrastructure. These things evolve organically. Nobody built a house of cards.

No single person built a house of cards. Many people had a hand in it over time. In the history of business, however, we can demonstrate that there was a goodly amount of short sighted greed involved that could (and in some cases was) avoided.
 


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