EGG / Stephen Marsh manuscript
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Post Posted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 5:30 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:During our discussions Steve said he DM'd Revenault in '78 and '79. He could not recall details of the tourneys or name significant players. It was his opinion that City of the Revenaunt would make a good 1E AD&D module, and its existance on its own little demiplane ties in nicely with his development/exploration of the Planes of Existance.

Ta da...

So much for "This is a tournament DM's copy used for an AD&D tournament in the 1980's"?

thx for that note re. 1978. I do have other manuscript notes on the same paper, but they're undated.
ALL of Steve's other work dated 1978 is on different paper stock, however.

n.b. The auction description states
"Extremely rare tournament module, Steve was developing this and several other adventure modules for TSR with Gary Gygax"
(which I was rather curious about, having noted the dated paper).

If it was first played in 1978, he was definitely out of touch with Gary...

(Or is there any evidence of reworking with Gary, later?).

  

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Post Posted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 5:48 pm 
 

I haven't had time to read the modile thoroughly. Steve did confirm that the notes made on the DM's copy were his notes, and that they were made during gameplay. As if amendments were being made to the manuscipt with a view to revising it later. The PC sheets were collected in at the end, as were the players maps (the ones they had drawn as they went along). I don't know what insight this was to give, but I imagine if the module were to be revised, it would provide relevant data to the Steve to guage PC progression.

Steve indicated that he spent a while exploring the City as part of a regular campaign. I take from this that he had already explored the idea of the City as a regular module as opposed to a tournament module. His time DMing the City in this respect would explain his preference for it to be rewritten as a regular 1E module.

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Post Posted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 6:48 pm 
 

The copy I have of City of the Revenaunt is a photocopy of an original manuscript that Steve used to DM with, and has notes and adjustments to it in a variety of different pens.

Steve indicated that he DM'd this City as a tournament module, and as a feature City within his ongoing campaign during '78 and'79. I believe the original manuscript was passed to Mayfair Games along with a copy of the Planes of Existance manuscript (reworked), just prior to them folding. From there the original works disappear.

Does anyone know of any other existing copies of the City of the Revenaunt or Planes of Existance manusripts, either in whole or in part?

Steve recalls running the City as a tournament module in '78 or '79, but cannot recall where, or any of the players (although I have the PC sheets). Has anyone any recollection of playing or watching this module?

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Post Posted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 7:00 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:Does anyone know of any other existing copies of the City of the Revenaunt or Planes of Existance manusripts, either in whole or in part?

I've got a list of people you could ask. One of the names is mentioned above. (too generous by half... *g*).

You not asking that other question of your's on the board then, Ian, or are you just going to ask Steve? ;)
Might be a good idea to do so, too...

mbassoc2003 wrote:I believe the original manuscript was passed to Mayfair Games along with a copy of the Planes of Existance manuscript (reworked), just prior to them folding.

That tallies with what I posted at the top of the previous page.
Did Steve confirm this?

  


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 12:25 am 
 

Howdy,


harami2000 wrote:
harami2000 wrote:Was waiting for Allan, Mike or Mike to add more, but I do have further dating evidence to support the chronology as well as a "teaser review" (in feedback format) from another person to whom Steve sent a bound (copy) of the "Plane of Fire" in mid-1983.

OK; think this one's worthwhile/somewhat amusing in the current context.
(aside: Mike <invincible>/Paul, did the bound copy tally with the date, above? I didn't bookmark that auction).


Yes I believe there was a 1978 date on the materials but the bound draft copy had a copyright 1983 contrary page.


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 12:38 am 
 

Howdy,


mbassoc2003 wrote:During our discussions Steve said he DM'd Revenault in '78 and '79. He could not recall details of the tourneys or name significant players. It was his opinion that City of the Revenaunt would make a good 1E AD&D module, and its existance on its own little demiplane ties in nicely with his development/exploration of the Planes of Existance.


I believe the tournament was GLASCON in Southern California.


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 1:20 am 
 

stormber wrote:
harami2000 wrote:
OK; think this one's worthwhile/somewhat amusing in the current context.
(aside: Mike <invincible>/Paul, did the bound copy tally with the date, above? I didn't bookmark that auction).


Yes I believe there was a 1978 date on the materials but the bound draft copy had a copyright 1983 contrary page.

Thanks for the confirmation, Paul.

The 1983 copyright is consistent with the manner in which the reworked or enhanced material has been marked; as with the Harpist (/"Bard"/Song Smith) in that auction;
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 5943209100

Were there actually dates on the "Plane of Fire" manuscript materials?

(If it was previously complete to such a degree, then surely it would have been sent to Gunderloy, rather than the (Water,) Air, Earth order which seems apparent?)

===

The whole feel is that Steve created the majority of the materials prior to Gary's reinvolvement late-1979 onwards, (despite the early Blackmoor connection).
(*whistles for "Dragon 32... 35, 37, 67, and 73"*)

Would like to know the date on this item from the collection, since it appears to be the earliest direct contribution from Gary?
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 5943217039
(Picture 2, below) A few TSR interoffice memoranda, two from Gary Gygax to Steve Marsh, a photocopy of one such memorandum by Gary details his definition of the scope of various planes, including "Partial Plane", "Demi-plane", "Semi-plane", "Plane", and "Pocket Universe".
*
And even then, I still can't see that pre-dates Steve's use of "Pocket Universe" in a context which ties in with the Verdigris Testament and directly or indirectly leads to the City of the Revenaunt.
(Still waiting for Ian's question and the answer to my off-board question in response which might answer a few more questions of that ilk...).

=

mbassoc2003 wrote:Steve indicated that he spent a while exploring the City as part of a regular campaign. I take from this that he had already explored the idea of the City as a regular module as opposed to a tournament module. His time DMing the City in this respect would explain his preference for it to be rewritten as a regular 1E module.

:)

  


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 1:44 am 
 

Howdy David,


harami2000 wrote:Actually, I find myself somewhat at odds with Paul's method of stripping out the "commercial" material and dumping the rest into a mis-identified lot. (Basic research would have flagged up that it wasn't just A&E, TWH, etc., material).


Well you can't make everyone happy. My main goal was to make Steve some money for his efforts. I took a jumbled collection of papers from Steve and organized them into categories that would make Steve the most amount of money. Sure, I took the more commercial items out, those are the items that engendered bidding competition.

I knew what was in the lot but it did me no good to make all of those interconnections and suss out the underpinnings. Everything Steve did was interconnected, that was his design rule zero. The only way to keep the idealistic connection between materials would be to sell it as one huge lot. That is undesireable for a couple of reasons I get into below.

In the end, I figured the person who won the "miscellaneous" lot would be someone very passionate about sussing out all the secrets it held. Obviously, I was right.

harami2000 wrote:IMHO, definitely goes against the "Now you have the opportunity to be a curator of a portion of this legacy, care for it well and enjoy!" ethos when the underpinning material has been fragmented, thus.
(Goodbye to all that creation myth stuff, and suchlike).
JMHO, of course...


Does it? Well, I'd say from the dicussion here that the material is alive and well, curated and enjoyed. Further it is being shared, discussed, and brought back to life by the passionate people that bought the materials. Remember this stuff was sitting in a box, mouldering away, and may very well have been thrown out.

If I had sold this as one whole lot, I'd have gotten about $2,500 for everything. Instead, the auction earned over $4,500 and there are still mor items to auction. Now what would have happened if it was bought by a single collector who had no desire to let this stuff see the light of day again? Again, not good for Steve or anybody.

I think the collection is in the right hands, everybody's!

Listen, Steve worked at this thing for many, many years, time after time he was disappointed. Promises were made to him that were never kept. He spent a lot of time and energy on this material. The fact is, Steve has spent enough of his life on this (his words), if somone wants to they can take it up from here. It seems you guys are falling right into line - lets see if you can carry it to completion. Steve tried for over 10 years, will you?


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Paul


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 1:59 am 
 

stormber wrote:In the end, I figured the person who won the "miscellaneous" lot would be someone very passionate about sussing out all the secrets it held. Obviously, I was right.

*looks through the bidding list*
eBay.com Item Bid History

bill77197719, xipehuz, re4321, themattjon, kruch7, guido-the-gypsy...

Nope, I'd say that underpinning material came within an inch of vanishing forever.

=

"sussing out all the secrets" is probably a bit generous, thanks Paul.
A quick browse through yielded most of the "hooks" mentioned and threw up more questions than I could cope with...

stormber wrote:If I had sold this as one whole lot, I'd have gotten about $2,500 for everything. Instead, the auction earned over $4,500 and there are still mor items to auction.

*g*. Well that $ aspect worked, anyhow.
Hopefully makes up a bit for Steve not being paid for his "butchered" Blackmoor and Eldritch contributions :D

Are there any more early materials which would help tie in the gaps?
There is obviously a huge amount missing here...

  


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 2:07 am 
 

Howdy,


harami2000 wrote:Were there actually dates on the "Plane of Fire" manuscript materials?


That bound draft was submitted to the TSR Game Design Department as a way of showing everything to date. Most of the materials were developed as early as 1969 by Steve, regarding Fire, Air, Water. Although the rewrite of this early material was in 1978.

harami2000 wrote:The whole feel is that Steve created the majority of the materials prior to Gary's reinvolvement late-1979 onwards, (despite the early Blackmoor connection).
(*whistles for "Dragon 32... 35, 37, 67, and 73"*)


You see that's it, Gary's involvement has been virtually erased. He lost all of his materials regarding this save his personal letters to Steve and the Plane of Earth materials included in the lot (these he turned over to Steve in 1989). Lorraine Williams ordered Gygax's office sealed and he was never able to recover any of these materials. Including the reworked Starstrands module. Gary and Steve believe the material was simply destroyed. Just like all of that artwork... fools.

Those Dragons will pretty much let you know the extent of Gary's involvement. It peaked in 1980-83 and then diminished until 1986. It picked up again with NIPI but died yet again.

harami2000 wrote:Would like to know the date on this item from the collection, since it appears to be the earliest direct contribution from Gary?


June, 1980

However, I think that is a gross mischarcterization. We have about 40% of the materials involved in this project. The rest are lost, certainly some 80% of Gary's material is gone forever.


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 2:13 am 
 

stormber wrote:Listen, Steve worked at this thing for many, many years, time after time he was disappointed. Promises were made to him that were never kept.

*nods*
Yeah, that I can certainly feel; both from looking through the various comments and notes here (TSR, JG, Mayfair, etc.), and from his online material.

stormber wrote:It seems you guys are falling right into line - lets see if you can carry it to completion. Steve tried for over 10 years, will you?

Which takes me back to my headache on the previous page. And not being able to see a way out of that.

A lot of the material ties back into Steve's own RPG thoughts (system mechanics; creation myths; etc.).

I can see how the most "sensible" course of action would probably be to strip out what can be "saved", in D&D format, and even that is a far from trivial task. (After all, Steve himself eventually threw up his hands at trying to work out the rune-based aspects of his earlier system).
*
Whether any of the back-story content or playing system thoughts/enhancements from the residual unearthed arcana is of any value in that context, I don't know.
Trying to guess what Ian, Mike and Mike have is kinda difficult!

Oh well, so long as someone at least gives Elaikases an honorable mention, somewhere along the line... Heh. I wonder whether Gary still has that 1975/6 manuscript...

  


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 2:42 am 
 

stormber wrote:That bound draft was submitted to the TSR Game Design Department as a way of showing everything to date.

"Everything" (just for the Plane of Fire, no?).
There was, I'm fairly sure, a second copy of that 1983 bound volume floating around Taipei (per the "review notes" I quoted).

stormber wrote:Most of the materials were developed as early as 1969 by Steve, regarding Fire, Air, Water. Although the rewrite of this early material was in 1978.

"Most of the materials were developed" might be a bit generous, IMHO.

The Verdigris Testament note on the previous page would only push back to 1972/3, although that's dealing more with system mechanics rather than back-story material/"universe creation".

That correspondence with Gunderloy and others gives the majority of the "page count" of the mid-late 70s material more of an ongoing development feel, rather than being a "rewrite".

stormber wrote:Including the reworked Starstrands module. Gary and Steve believe the material was simply destroyed. Just like all of that artwork... fools.

Urf.... Yes. :( :(

stormber wrote:
harami2000 wrote:Would like to know the date on this item from the collection, since it appears to be the earliest direct contribution from Gary?
June, 1980

Thanks...
Ah, later than I'd expected; same date as that letter from Jaquet on the reverse of which Steve mentions he was back in touch with Gary, again.
(Plus that note about never being paid for his Blackmoor and Eldritch contributions).

stormber wrote:However, I think that is a gross mischarcterization. We have about 40% of the materials involved in this project. The rest are lost, certainly some 80% of Gary's material is gone forever.

Are those Steve's figures?

  

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Post Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 7:25 am 
 

Which other question?

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Post Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 8:02 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:Which other question?

Sounds like we're dodging each other, here... ;)

Is the city in your tourney module named?

  

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Post Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 8:16 am 
 

harami2000 wrote:Is the city in your tourney module named?


It is called Tarshish. I also have a sheet titled 'Last of the current volume of the Cupric Text' and begins mid sentance 'and there was a vision in the night...' I believe this was taken from earlier works and used as background. From what I've read, I think the City is deeply tied up in Steve vision of the planes and how they work.

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Post Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 8:18 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:
harami2000 wrote:Is the city in your tourney module named?


It is called Tarshish.

*YAY*

Excuse me for a second; I've got to go berate Paul again...

  


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 8:22 am 
 

Paul; why did you advertise the Mystic Rules, thus?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 5943211467

"This is a single original typed sheet of Steve's Mystic class. It is one of three pages, the others are lost to time. This class introduces the concept of psionic disciplines which were used by TSR in their psionics section of Eldritch Wizardry. Gary Gygax had his own psionic class, the Divine which had mental attack and defense modes. Tim Kask edited the two and voila, you have the psionic system for D&D and later AD&D."


The hell the other pages are "lost to time"...

I'm almost certain you've just stripped out the third page from the back of the first installment of Steve's "Cupric Text" (for $ reasons) and left Mike with one page TOTALLY out of any context.

Scan of the second page... How does this compare, Mike? (The paper is white, not yellow, btw!)
The "This page continues until I get to the next for mystic rules" at the bottom of the page is a bit of a give away...

Image

*annoyed*

  

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Post Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 8:23 am 
 

harami2000 wrote:
mbassoc2003 wrote:
It is called Tarshish.

*YAY*

Excuse me for a second; I've got to go berate Paul again...

Why?

You don't appear in the list of users online, do you? You skulk. You sneak about :D like Gollum in LoTR.

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Post Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 8:44 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:Why?

You don't appear in the list of users online, do you? You skulk. You sneak about :D like Gollum in LoTR.

And you are a tad "hasty", my friend!

d.


*points above*

(I presume you spotted your PM, btw. will edit out this message and add in further comments, later - work calls...).

  

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Post Posted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 8:54 am 
 

My 'Background' sheet is practically the same as yours. It begins from the chapter heading Background, and the first two paragraphs are practically identical. Where yours reads 'In the flamings and the tearings which seaded the land, the city of qo5y4839ocl,d (presumably to be entered later) was torn from the land...', mine reads simply, 'In flamings and searings many a section of the city in which they stood wase slain. But some of these city sections passed beyond... End of Paragraph.
My text goes on the give background on Anixmander and the Verdigris Testament, but yours aludes to the percieved mechanics of how this all works, where mine does not.

I imagine the tourney city was the play testing refered to in your text, which I assume predates mine. I would say that in your text there may have been the possibility the 'The City' and 'Tarshish' were two different locales, but that they became one and the same during development of the module.

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