Jade Hare (or the "coveted cover")
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 1:16 pm 
 

I going to throw in a copper, not that I have any idea what TSR's printing operation was in the mid-eighties. I did however work a few years at a print shop that printed for several small publishing companies. That cover is a four color job, and the original art would have had to been sent out to a lab for the color separation at that time. Four plates would have had to been made for the press. Could have been a 4-color press, but most likely two runs through a 2-color.

What I'm getting at is there's some time in getting this thing ready to print. We ran test printings on big jobs of at least 50 to make sure color-tone was correct, but then is was right to printing with color in the wells. Set-up is the big cost here after that 10,000 wouldn't cost much more than 1000 in one consecutive run. So maybe they ran the test and decided to skip it? However those test printings would have then had to be trimmed on a cutter, folded in a folder, and packaged. Hmmmm……You'd think they would have just thrown them away if they decided to skip it?  

Mike


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Post Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 3:35 pm 
 

Well one of the other things I considered was that if they only printed a few and for whatever reason they decided to go with coverless mods, they certainly wouldn't have shrinked the few covered ones that they had. Most covered Hares I've seen are shrinked, which now seems VERY shady.


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Post Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 3:40 pm 
 

My copy is also shrinked, and appears to be professionally done.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 4:45 pm 
 

You can go to kinkos and get something professionally shrinked. But I am not saying that happened to the those of you that have a shrink copy.

But I am gonna stick to my supposition that the covers were printed at some point. No way they spent money to just run some prepress samples. Like Invinceble illustrates, it is quite costly to get to that point and you have already spent the money...you might as well print the covers. No, I think the covers were printed. But they were lost, damaged, forgotten or never used and dumped.

There is an element of strangeness here. Why in the hell would they shrink something that was never gonna see a sales counter? No way they do that. You would shrink them if they had a loose cover, though...

There could have been an error at the printing firm...


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

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Post Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 6:18 pm 
 

One thing I have noticed is that the three I have seen come up for bid in the last few years have been from the Seattle area (Close to Wizards of the Coast head office). I also have one which I received from this area.

Where have other people seen them go up for sale?

If there is enough of a patern it may show that the covered versions may be pre-press items which were never sent out to the general public.

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Post Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 7:34 pm 
 

I saw one amongst a HUGE lot a couple of months ago, which went for $6,600. There were a total of 22 boxes of D&D Stuff in that auction.
The seller was in South Texas and I posted a thread on this forum about how I had received a second chance offer after the auction and that I believed it was a E-Mail scam. That was later proven to be true. The second chance offer was a total scam.

But I think that the Auction was not a scam, though it also had some questionable happenings and problems as well. It seems that the wife of the seller put in her own bin early in the auction so as to raise the bid price and was caught red-handed doing so. Shilling did not end the auction for some reason though. I think that the seller rejected her bid and spanked her in private for being a bad girl and E-Bay sanctioned that the auction went forward from there with an explanation to all bidders. I was unfazed and continued to bid, until the bids got way over my head.....

  

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Post Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:47 pm 
 

The recent questions raised on the Jade Hare cover have my brain puzzling all day.  When there is a bit of a mystery, I try to don my best Sherlock Holmes hat. . . or to remember Mr. Spock's "When you eliminate the impossilbe whatever remains, however unlikely, must be the truth"

So, with that in mind - the facts about the Jade Hare cover are:

- It is a Dragonmaster adventure
- It was made in 1992
- The cover is very "sparse" and there is almost no information on the back - which means absolutely NO PRODUCT SUMMARY - To my knowledge this has never been done by TSR on a module since the early days - but at least they filled those with "advertising" for their other products.
- The price is only $3.95?  $3.95!!!! Nothing TSR ever made cost as little as $3.95!!!!
- Almost no "covered" Jade Hare are around.  Apparently, they were originally shrinked.
- The Jade Hare's sent out for free had no covers.
- It is a tiny eight page module - TSR hadn't printed an 8-page module since the  early days.
-CGOULD mentioned earlier that the 3 covered ones were all from around Seattle - I PM'ed Maxwell who I noticed is in Tacoma, Washington.  Guess what - he got it from a friend who worked at WOTC - the managers were giving away free stuff to employees and just leaving it on the table for whoever wanted to pick it up.

I see only one likely scenario.

Someone at TSR gets the bright idea to make The Jade Hare - a Dragonmaster module.  As the Acaeum mentions, this was apparently done to establish the Dragonmaster copyright - but presumably, there was some idea that "Dragonmaster" would actually be a product line TSR would make.  Perhaps, Dragonmaster would be a series of short quick adventures that were inexpensive and easy to use - that would put them in the D&D category (as opposed to the AD&D) and the $3.95 price and 8 page booklet would fall in line.  Whatever the intent, Jade Hare is published and initial copies are reviewed.  It is determined that they are "substandard" or perhaps the whole Dragonmaster concept is substandard or is put on the back burner indefinitely.  The module covers are pre-production - which is why they have no back cover synopsis.  The lack of any description really seems odd - no one produces a product with absolutely no information about what it is.  TSR may have had problems, but they always described some basics about the item.  I went to the current auction which has several pics - and noticed something very odd - there is no UPC code.  I just grabbed about 40 TSR items from my shelves from all different eras - every single one contains a UPC code.  TSR would not issue a product without a UPC code as that is how many retail stores would sell it.  I simply can't believe this was anything but a pre-production cover.

Printing costs aside - TSR made dozens of items - cost may not have been a factor.  Let's assume that the printing company in use did most (if not all) of TSR's modules/books/accessories.  I am sure there were deals in place - you don't rip off your main client.  In any case. . .

Dragonmaster is shelved, the product is a waste and even at $3.95 it probably wouldn't sell.  Further, there is no product line to support it.

Now, either TSR went ahead and had already printed the booklets and had them lying around or they figured "what the heck" let's run off some copies of this module that hasn't been released.  In either case, it was viewed as a little "tidbit" to give away as a freebie.  Good cutomers were rewarded with an 8 page previously unprinted module and something was salvaged from the entire enterprise.

That's my best working theory.


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Post Posted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 4:05 am 
 

I have to go with that.


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Post Posted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 11:16 am 
 

Me too.


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Post Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2005 6:57 am 
 

for those that missed this in the Intro post..

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My Name is Tim and I'm a 29 year old collector from Georgia. I have a only recently decided to turn my gaming "stuff" into a collection. Have about 3 bookcases full of stuff. My favorite item is my rarest one so far, I didn't even know it was rare until I visited The Acaeum, that is my copy of the "Jade Hare" coverless with a cover letter from TSR saying they were sorry about shipping my free adventure late!

___________________________________
Oh... a scan of that would be nice, do you know why you were sent the Jade hare at all??

Brette:)
____________________________________

It was part of the Big Black box version of D&D (the landscape one). It had a certificate you could fill out to get a "free adventure". I think it was a marketing thing, I remember getting a mail order hobby shop catalog with the adventure. The letter is on a yellow parchementt type paper with a color D&D logo on the top. It starts off with "we didn't forget about you...". I'll scan it in and upload it to my site tonight for anyone who would like a peek.


http://www.arielarchives.com/Brett/jade.GIF

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