Rolling for Initiative is a weekly column by Scott Thorne, PhD, owner of Castle Perilous Games & Books in Carbondale, Illinois and instructor in marketing at Southeast Missouri State University.  This week, Thorne offers more comments on the Gen Con Magic: The Gathering theft as well as states some concerns about Disney Lorcana and D&D: Glory of the Giants.

That sure didn't take long.  It appears the Indianapolis Police Department have identified a pair of "strong persons of interest" in the theft at Gen Con of $300,000 of Magic the Gathering Cards.  In case you missed the story  (see "Grand Theft at Gen Con 2023"), two men walking through the exhibit hall at Gen Con apparently took the opportunity to grab a handy pallet jack, slide it under a pallet of boxes of Magic boosters, transfer the boxes to a four-wheeled cart, wheel the cart through the halls of the Indiana Convention Center, and load it into a vehicle with no questions asked.  Apparently, the two men the Indianapolis Metro Police Department are seeking are Thomas J.(TJ)  Dunbar and Andrew Pearson Giaume (see "'Magic' Card Heist"), both New York residents.  They had also published a small press board game in the past year, and splashed a whole lot of publicity photos across the Internet with their faces prominently displayed.  Given that the Magic: The Gathering thieves made no attempt to cover their faces in an area covered with security cameras and the theft appears a crime of opportunity, if they are guilty, I can only guess their game relies heavily on press-your-luck design rather than on heavy strategic design and planning.

Disney Lorcana streets this coming Friday, and lord knows there is a lot of interest in the game. I looked over the rules (see "'Disney Lorcana' Physical Product") and see that players Exert cards in order to use them, rather than tap or exhaust them.  I do like that the game’s design allows any Ink card to be placed in the Inkwell to put more cards into play.  This generally avoids the problem of not having enough resources early in the game to get cards out of the player’s hand and onto the table.

One major problem I see with gameplay is the lack of interaction between players.  Much like KeyForge, the focus is on each player taking actions, in the case of Lorcana, Questing to generate Lore, which a player can do all on their own.  Unless a player wants to do so, they could win the game by exerting cards each turn to accumulate Lore, not attacking the other player at all, unless they wish to hinder their opponent's gaining on Lore.  Assuming younger players are the target for Lorcana, I could see not wanting to encourage attacking and even when a player attacks another player’s characters, a defeated character is not defeated or destroyed but Banished from the game.

We have seen a decent amount of interest in the game, but I think most of it comes from people who want to buy the cards for the art not for the gameplay.  I think we will see a lot of interest in the game to start with and strong sales to start, but over the long term, Lorcana will appeal more to Disney fans than game players.

Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants appears to be suffering from the announcement of One D&D as we have seen soft pre-orders compared to previous Dungeons & Dragons creature books.  This close to the release date of Mordenkainen Presents Monsters of the Multiverse, we had over a dozen copies presold.  We have seen less than half of that for Bigby’s tome.  Our customers have said they are leery of investing in more 5E books, especially at the new $59.99 price point, when One D&D releases in 2024 and may make them obsolete.

Am I off base on Disney Lorcana and Bigby Presents Glory of the Giants?  Let me know at

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of