EGG / Stephen Marsh manuscript
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Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 7:17 pm 
 

harami2000 wrote:
Ethesis wrote:Paul pretty much has it right. I had finally decided to just get rid of everything and give up on every seeing it published and was going to give some of it away and throw the rest of it out when a good friend suggested that I trust "storm beard" and I'm glad I did.

"Storm beard"... *chuckles*.
Strange how these things work out...

Greetings, Stephen!

Thank you for all your work and much appreciated for taking the time to visit this "pocket universe".
Am sure there's a question or five lurking for you here! :P

Best wishes,
David.


Oh, and did you ever get paid for those ideas/contributions of yours which were "butchered" in their presented forms in Blackmoor, Eldritch and the Strategic Review? Hrr.....


Paid?!  What is that?

I was supposed to get paid when it all promoted my book on the Elemental Planes in '82 or so.

That never happened.

I wouldn't use the term butchered, they were edited to fit current needs.  

You need to remember that Gary Gygax was a shining star of good grammer, logical construction, proper spelling and intelligent layout.

(Last time I said that someone thought I was being sarcastic.  I"m not.  He was head and shoulders above everyone else in the industry and often working with handwritten notes that were barely legible. ).

Tim Kask, who is often seen as an evil butcher, came to Gary as someone who could help with the editing load.

Law S. was someone who really could and did.  Everyone liked Law, Tom Moldvay and Zeb Cook.  They made a great team.


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Stephen

  


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Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 7:26 pm 
 

harami2000 wrote:
Ethesis wrote:...

"2-3 years unanswered questions from TSR... Eventually I wrote Gary at home. Seems he never had received any of my letters.... As I'm back in contact with Gary..."

I


I and Gary wrote each other a lot about the planes of reality, unencumbered by other discussions, from about '74 on, resulting in the full blown outer planes system and such.  Much of what I did with the elemental planes was fill in gaps.

The idea was that they should be distinctive, real feeling, textured things.

Hope that helps.


Ethesis wrote:I'm mailing Paul my orange cover copy of Palace of the Porno Princess (ok, bad joke) and some misc. stuff one keeps around for 1E players and my first printing Player's Handbook.

Good grief, no another orange B3. Seems like Paul's stocking up on those from the old timers... ;)

(Are signatures optional on the other items? :))


Only the PH is signed, and that is an original signature from the 70s.  The extra copy stuff is all unsigned, the orange princess is not signed, etc.

I guess one could hit the Col. up for a signature now, or get Paul to sign things or .... (I'm not sure what the question means).

There are only about 2-3 "free" (that is for sale) B3s left that I know of.  The prices got some attention from old timers, all of whom are divided on whether they should sell them or hold them another ten years.  You know how that goes.

I'm kind of divided myself.


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Stephen

  


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Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 7:44 pm 
 

Last post, then I'm off to the storage unit, I've already missed getting to the post office by responding ;)

The City of the Revenaunt was an idea that I played with a lot.

I liked the idea of a city, often Tarkish, that had a ship drift into port as the result of hidden magics by one faction.  Next, you have a group of undead mongering sorcs in a power struggle.  Then they lose control.

Then the city gets blasted "destroyed in order to be saved" and the city fragment is thrown adrift, to come to rest in a wilderness.  A ruined, shifting, haunted city.

In the classic iteration, half of it is covere by fog and half by ruins.  The fog half containes the revenaunt, and the ruined half, aged and decayed magic.

Players can start working in from the corners, and, some day, perhaps, challenge the evil in the fog.

I was asked to speak on a panel on how to design scenarios and settings and I decided to use the City of the Revenaunt for an example.  I spoke on the panel, and then when it was over, we ran the setting, with people supplying their own characters or using pre-prepared characters in a two sided battle.  (The rules on surprise were hand crafted to deal with all the issues and one of the better things).

It ran like clockwork, to the delight of all, then prizes were given up, I collected two of the copies to go with my original and went home.

Later it was suggested that the setting would make a good module for publication.   I sent in a copy and it came back with some editing, but then the time passed for my being publishable.  

Then it sat in a box.  I only thought I had one copy left when I mailed them to Paul.

Which brings up a point.

What I did was take all my boxed notes, some that were in folders or otherwise around, and a collection of envelopes (12x9 inch envelopes that I had used to send copies of the elemental planes around).  I also gave Paul the various copies I had of "proof of concept" drafts.

He arranged it all for auction.

Much of what I had kept were scattered sheets.  One here, one there, that I felt were important if I ever wanted to try to recreate and redraft things.

Guess that can look disorganized -- it was.

In addition, I used different house rules from time to time.  I have to admit that I find it easy to translate between rules sets.  RQ to D&D for example.  Or Cathay to 1E (Cathay is a high powered, but high fatality, OD&D varient.  Fighters, for example, have "spell tables" for various moves.  So do ninja/thieves.  Clerics work with spell points and access to all prayers if they have the holiness left to invoke them.  Mages are actually the weakest class.  Kind of fun, though I did not design much for it, I did write up the Stormwalkers for that format).

I had a series of shapechangers that were tied to various avian races and elements.  Halcyon.  Fire Hawks/Phoenix.  Star Falcons.  etc.  Much of that is lost or scattered.

One thing I did was not keep copies.  If I mailed stuff to Paul, I didn't think it was fair to have a copy so that it might surface later.

I also tried to send him everything (in terms of notes) other than RQ related material.  RQ doesn't really seem to grab anyone on the Acaeum and it bores Paul (he is very polite, but it doesn't stir any passion in him -- not that I blame him.  Otherwise I'd be sending him misc. correspondence and stuff from that era).  

I really appreciate all that he has done and if I find any more things, plan to send them to him.  (No, not my third printing OD&D books or supplements, and not the first printing DMG -- those I'm keeping as a part of my life).

Hope that makes sense.

Now, if I can only get Paul Jacquays and Sandy to send stuff to Paul, then you would see some auctions.


Regards,



Stephen

  


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Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 7:53 pm 
 

Howdy Steve,


Gosh Steve, I only gave you the link here an hour ago. I go to mass and return to find all these good posts! You've been busy!

Glad you came to visit here! Thanks!


Futures Bright,

Paul


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Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 8:06 pm 
 

Howdy,


Ethesis wrote:Last post, then I'm off to the storage unit, I've already missed getting to the post office by responding ;)


You guys!

Ethesis wrote:I also tried to send him everything (in terms of notes) other than RQ related material. RQ doesn't really seem to grab anyone on the Acaeum and it bores Paul (he is very polite, but it doesn't stir any passion in him -- not that I blame him. Otherwise I'd be sending him misc. correspondence and stuff from that era).


What you have RuneQuest stuff? I love RuneQuest stuff. :D

Ethesis wrote:I really appreciate all that he has done and if I find any more things, plan to send them to him. (No, not my third printing OD&D books or supplements, and not the first printing DMG -- those I'm keeping as a part of my life).


Ah, I was wondering which way you'd go on the woodgrain. Good decision. There are plenty of other good things to auction. I too still have my first DMG, that book is somehow very important to me.

Ethesis wrote:Now, if I can only get Paul Jacquays and Sandy to send stuff to Paul, then you would see some auctions.


Yes my conversation with Paul Jacquays made that very clear. It would be another great Collector's Trove Presents... auction!


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Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 8:22 pm 
 

stormber wrote:
Ethesis wrote:I also tried to send him everything (in terms of notes) other than RQ related material. RQ doesn't really seem to grab anyone on the Acaeum and it bores Paul (he is very polite, but it doesn't stir any passion in him -- not that I blame him. Otherwise I'd be sending him misc. correspondence and stuff from that era).


What you have RuneQuest stuff? I love RuneQuest stuff. :D

There's a small stack of it here in the various mss., Paul. ;)
Have been referring to it since the third page of this thread (and not just in the context of what was printed in The Dungeoneer).

More would certainly be much appreciated, though; and in terms of the "mainstream" material, too...
Please just send it direct since I can't possibly outbid the RQers on eBay! 8O *jk*
(that latest mass Wyrm's Footnotes auction was fun...)

===

Heh, heh. I've now got five posts to reply to. Just as well it's nearly 1.30am! [edit: 1.45am and brain did not work first-time, on the above; maybe not second time, either...]

bfn. David :)

  

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Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 8:42 pm 
 

I have a ton of Runequest, the weird stuff like Gateway Bestairy and Balastor's Barracks.


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 2:14 am 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:I have a ton of Runequest, the weird stuff like Gateway Bestairy and Balastor's Barracks.


Cool.  I missed out on RQ the first few times around....


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 3:53 am 
 

Ethesis wrote:Last post, then I'm off to the storage unit, I've already missed getting to the post office by responding ;)

The City of the Revenaunt was an idea that I played with a lot.

I liked the idea of a city, often Tarkish, that had a ship drift into port as the result of hidden magics by one faction. Next, you have a group of undead mongering sorcs in a power struggle. Then they lose control.

Then the city gets blasted "destroyed in order to be saved" and the city fragment is thrown adrift, to come to rest in a wilderness. A ruined, shifting, haunted city.

In the classic iteration, half of it is covere by fog and half by ruins. The fog half containes the revenaunt, and the ruined half, aged and decayed magic.

Very descriptive. Thank-you. It helps me to picture the setting. Later perhaps I'd like to seek descriptions of the various denizens.

Ethesis wrote:Players can start working in from the corners, and, some day, perhaps, challenge the evil in the fog.

So, the scenario concept was one of a mini-campaign (campaign locale as it were), designed to see characters develope over time, and re-visit time and again to take on harder foes? How were the characters moved in and out of the city environ? Were they gated in magically and then returned to the prime material plane until next time as it were?

Ethesis wrote:I was asked to speak on a panel on how to design scenarios and settings and I decided to use the City of the Revenaunt for an example. <snip>

It ran like clockwork, to the delight of all, then prizes were given up, I collected two of the copies to go with my original and went home.

Later it was suggested that the setting would make a good module for publication.  I sent in a copy and it came back with some editing, but then the time passed for my being publishable.

It sounds like I have the copy with the editing. It also sounds like there may be other copies out there, but from what you've said, the copies and original manuscript you had have passed into history and the ravages of time.

To whom was the copy sent, which returned with editing? Was it TSR?

Ethesis wrote:You need to remember that Gary Gygax was a shining star of good grammer, logical construction, proper spelling and intelligent layout.

(Last time I said that someone thought I was being sarcastic.  I"m not.  He was head and shoulders above everyone else in the industry and often working with handwritten notes that were barely legible. ).

That sound suspiciously like the scribbled intricate little scrawlings on the Revenaunt manuscript. Fast little longhand notes (no abreviations), whole complexed sentances complete with punctuation. Increadibly small writing.

Ethesis wrote:I really appreciate all that he has done and if I find any more things, plan to send them to him. <snip>

Now, if I can only get Paul Jacquays and Sandy to send stuff to Paul, then you would see some auctions.

There has been criticism of the choices Paul makes when splitting the materials for auction, and the generous write up and flavour he puts into the descriptions of the items in order to encourage the sale.

I for one am eternally glad Paul brings these items to auction, and that we have an opportunity to read and study these pieces. Some, in time, I have no doubt will be published in one form or another (magazine article/book/internet discussions). Others may be passed around from collector to collector and live out their lives as part of collectable lore.

We await those Jaquets modules and Castle Greyhawk levels with baited breath (and for my part sadly.. woefully empy wallets :( )


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 6:53 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:There has been criticism of the choices Paul makes when splitting the materials for auction, and the generous write up and flavour he puts into the descriptions of the items in order to encourage the sale.
I for one am eternally glad Paul brings these items to auction, and that we have an opportunity to read and study these pieces.

*chuckles*. Quit toadying, Ian ;)

I know Stephen has said he's happier that something should come of all his work rather than it just be shelved or thrown away, but I'm sticking to my guns that the facilitator should have done some research to get the facts right.
There are many better ways to have ensured that the work stayed together with an eye to getting some/much into the public domain, rather than risk the random whirlwind of dollar-based auctions just as effectively dispersing it, never to be seen again (or otherwise losing the interlinking of the core material).

If the whole bundle had been parceled off to someone who cared, for analysis, at least in the first instance, the result should have been more assured.
(In fact, Paul with his stack of A&Es/TWHs from Frank should have been in an ideal position to spend a week or two without his auctioneer hat on).

As it turned out, things could've been worse; but that's more down to chance, IMHO.

Is just my opinion- not speaking for Stephen in any way- and I'm not planning on changing it, from what I've seen...

  


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 8:45 am 
 

As it turned out, things could've been worse; but that's more down to chance, IMHO.

Is just my opinion- not speaking for Stephen in any way- and I'm not planning on changing it, from what I've seen...


Heck, but for Paul, this would all have gone in the trash with the exception of a few small parts.  

I'm very pleased with how he handled it, and enjoyed Gary's comments (yes, Gary and I corresponded a bit, and no, I'm not sharing very much of that) on Paul, who he seems a bit fond of in some ways.

Always glad to get the Col.'s positive encouragement.


Regards,



Stephen

  


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 9:20 am 
 

Ethesis wrote:Heck, but for Paul, this would all have gone in the trash with the exception of a few small parts.

*nods*. Certainly right place, right time, in that scenario/context...
Not denying that :)

...
Ethesis wrote:Always glad to get the Col.'s positive encouragement.

Heh, heh... Have been reading a few of Gary's other comments on the various boards.
Wishing I had more time to delve further into those.

Am still very curious as to how things would've worked out for the Planes material in a TSR context; like I said, before, just felt as though things in their universe creation department had been diverging to an extent through the late 70s (also firming up their ruleset, etc., in that context) and unsure how Gary & co. would/could have pinned your entire work back into the core in that context, rather than borrowing "bits" here-and-there.
(But then, I suppose there's always enough space for another alternate universe, no?)

  


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 9:33 am 
 

Ethesis wrote:I and Gary wrote each other a lot about the planes of reality, unencumbered by other discussions, from about '74 on, resulting in the full blown outer planes system and such. Much of what I did with the elemental planes was fill in gaps.

Thank you.
This was the backstory that was kinda missing....  Was certainly the impression I was getting with the ongoing development of the elemental planes layering over (those earlier discussions) rather than being totally developed from the start. (Was told fully-fledged from 1969, I think, in that context but would have to check back; this however didn't tie in with your material here which revisits your universe development ideas pre-D&D (pre-74 will do, anyhow)).

That earliest material to/from Gary is now missing, I presume.
(Unless he has personal copies somewhere in storage, at home).

Ethesis wrote:Only the PH is signed, and that is an original signature from the 70s. The extra copy stuff is all unsigned, the orange princess is not signed, etc.

I guess one could hit the Col. up for a signature now, or get Paul to sign things or .... (I'm not sure what the question means).

*g*. Was meaning your signature/inscription, Stephen!

Ethesis wrote:There are only about 2-3 "free" (that is for sale) B3s left that I know of. The prices got some attention from old timers, all of whom are divided on whether they should sell them or hold them another ten years. You know how that goes.

Had heard a quotes ~$150 in 1983 from Tim Jiardini; who should've known.
Hasn't gone exponential since then, if so.

Isn't the "highest priority" item on most lists, although a very nice to have (in a Cthulhoid D&DG kinda way, but more so).
The shrinkwrap (which many seem to have) gets in the way, too!

  


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 9:43 am 
 

Ethesis wrote:Paid?! What is that?

I was supposed to get paid when it all promoted my book on the Elemental Planes in '82 or so.

Hrmm....

And no luck on that life-time Dragon sub. either, fwiw?

Ethesis wrote:I wouldn't use the term butchered, they were edited to fit current needs.

Heh, sorry; was quoting you... But then, that was in a 1977, "circulation, 10" context. ;)

Agreed, Gary's ability to direct the ongoing synthesis of ideas appears very impressive; no less in retrospect.
And am sure his team was working within the same remit to do so, with very good results in terms of overall "direction".

Ethesis wrote:You need to remember that Gary Gygax was a shining star of good grammer, logical construction, proper spelling and intelligent layout.

(Last time I said that someone thought I was being sarcastic. I"m not. He was head and shoulders above everyone else in the industry and often working with handwritten notes that were barely legible. ).

*nods to all that*. Glad you gave up on the cursive script, though!

  

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Post Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 3:18 pm 
 

Hi Steve,

"At least an uneasy peace was formed. Uneasy, for then came Anixmander..."

Is Anixmander the Revenaunt referred to in the title, or is it The Hooded Mage? I have no character profile for The Hooded One. Can you clarify?

There is no character specifically labelled either The Hooded Mage, or The Revenaunt, in the scenario write up, as I have it, although I believe Pages 49 and 50 are presently missing. With Anixmander's labours on the 7th copy of the Verdigris Testament, there's a distinct 'one ring' thing going on there. :D



There is a Len Lakofka female magic-user, and a note that the Lakofka rules finally had a use in describing how the witch acts, and her powers. Can anyone elaborate on the Len Lakofka rules for female magic-users? Does anyone have contact info for Len?

There as also a reference to the Midguard Fantasy Rules by Tom Drake, published in 1972. Anyone know of these? Have a copy?



I also have a short story (or description of magical item backstory) 'The Spinning Sword of Seth' and 'The Twin White Swords of The Shattered Norns', along with an appended letter that seems to have two intended recipients; Sepienza and Gunderloy (3 pages total). These were included within this lot, but do not seem to be additional materials or support the backstory.

I do not believe they are part of the scenario package. Are these additional materials that happened to come my way by chance, or are they intended as part of the scenario source?


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 4:30 pm 
 

*posts Cupric Text (#3) fragment referred to a few pages back, which Ian also has in a slightly different form*

Image

Initially, at least, I read those three clauses in the first para as separate backgrounds, but within the same "story" universe; the first of the three leading into the Revenaunt thread.

The Anixmander ref. was fun; presumably a hint back to Anaximander ( http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/a/anaximan.htm ) and your own Mediterranean background, Stephen?
(The other references/allusions later to Plato's "spindle of necessity", etc., tie in with that; as a logical extension beyond such a world view into the elemental context of the Planes material. Seems to tie in neatly with the Greek theme and also your own system development notes (for publication) at one point, a year or two later).

Also, this fragment and other refs. in the Cupric Text material appeared to pull the "specialist mages" (sans Mike Gunderloy's reworking into the background presented in Different Worlds) right back into the core of your "universe development", rather than being a separate entity "on the side".
Indeed, the first specialist mage as a character class follows soon after, in the CT pages; long before the DW publication (which was offered to JG before landing with Chaosium/DW, no?).

  


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 4:40 pm 
 

question, aside: for the Cupric Text PBM campaign (for lack of a better name), did each "player" have a separate character or /party/? And were they allowed to roleplay amongst each other, too, in addition to you acting as central arbiter for the "moves"?

(Running a PBM on any scale with such 1-1 depth always seemed to be a bit problematic to me! Am very glad if this worked).

question 2, aside: I get the feeling there may have been /another/ PBM before the Cupric Text campaign. Your March 1976 letter to Peggy also has a separate list of characters, etc., requiring fill-in details; with a "return by April" date as well as "1976" very faint at the top. Certainly appears to go with the letter, but gives but mere hints as to how you might have managed that one (if it got off the ground); and possibly your CT endevors, later.
(Mycenaean as a race gets a smile and a nod, here, as does Snow Dwarf ; )

  


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 6:13 pm 
 

harami2000 wrote:question, aside: for the Cupric Text PBM campaign (for lack of a better name), did each "player" have a separate character or /party/? And were they allowed to roleplay amongst each other, too, in addition to you acting as central arbiter for the "moves"?

(Running a PBM on any scale with such 1-1 depth always seemed to be a bit problematic to me! Am very glad if this worked).

question 2, aside: I get the feeling there may have been /another/ PBM before the Cupric Text campaign. Your March 1976 letter to Peggy also has a separate list of characters, etc., requiring fill-in details; with a "return by April" date as well as "1976" very faint at the top. Certainly appears to go with the letter, but gives but mere hints as to how you might have managed that one (if it got off the ground); and possibly your CT endevors, later.
(Mycenaean as a race gets a smile and a nod, here, as does Snow Dwarf ; )


|George E. Mylonas is my grandfather.  I'm the son of the disinherited daughter Daphne, in case you are wondering about my Greek roots or how Mycenaeans ended up in the rules.  Snow Dwarves are still one of my favorites too.  (scroll down mid-page at A Quest for my current version).

More responses to come.


Regards,



Stephen

  


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 6:19 pm 
 

harami2000 -- perfect quote there -- you can see how I was tying various characters into the setting.

As I recall, I had a book, the Verdigris Testament that Anixmander was seeking copper to fix, and so needed all the copper pieces any character could bring back.  He provided the staging ground for some PCs.  The Hooded Mage was a wandering encounter quasi-bad guy who fought with Anixmander.

My memories of many details are fuzzy, it has been a lot of years.  Since then I've gone to law school, married, buried three children over a five year period and done a lot of things.

But yes, specialist, elemental themed mages, do go back a long way with me, though the inherent pun in "Acid Based Mages" is why I wrote them up first.

Anyway, glad to be able to answer questions.


Regards,



Stephen

  


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2005 6:45 pm 
 

Ethesis wrote:But yes, specialist, elemental themed mages, do go back a long way with me, though the inherent pun in "Acid Based Mages" is why I wrote them up first.

*GROANS*. I didn't get that one!!

Much appreciated smile, Steve. :D

=

*nods*. Thank you; and for the backstory confirmation/clarification. Was missing that, here.
The trouble is that I have none of the Revenaunt or Planes material. I'm just trying to piece things together from the "miscellaneous materials".
(But rather interesting miscellany, indeed!).

Will try not to clutter the threads on the core materials which may be more readily publishable, although I felt strongly that the underpinning links (even if those, by necessity, had to be timeframed somewhat within your work) were still somewhat key to the bigger picture (/flavor/feel).

=

I have a few pages (only) of the Verdigris Testament mss. (aside from the later typed ruleset stuff) and couldn't put a date to those. Thought they might have been later extracts/re-works but couldn't convince myself of that.
Those mss. appear in episodic form and not obviously tied in directly to the later developments I could find.
Also had great fun trying to "connect" those with your various creation myth/mythos arcs.

Alas, have only spent a few hours, thus far; and is obvious so much is "missing" :(

=

aside: Would it be OK to scan/post any of your other material beyond the Cupric Text pages, as required. Have been following the "free distribution" text on the front page of those for now, although the copyright has clearly not been waived on some of your other material (such as the combat rules! *yay* to those!!).

Best wishes,
David.

  
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