EGG / Stephen Marsh manuscript
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Post Posted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 4:58 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:There are editorial notes and corrections made to City of the Revenaunt, deletion of 'house rules', recommendations that 'passage comments be moved to the back of the module', and other errata.

Steve had his own "house rules" which would have to have been deleted/amended for "official" D&D tourney play.
"Moved to the back of the module" is interesting, although would be just as possible that referred to standardising the tourney "whole" from Steve's work (it is his paper stock, not someone else's...); and not necessarily for any particular publication effort.

I'd still like to know who the (stated/implied?) other "hand" at work is, since this was clearly used before Steve got back in touch with Gary.

mbassoc2003 wrote:I am trying to determine whether the manuscript was playtested and amended with notes (late '78 early '79 from discussion on another board with Steve), and then edited/reviewed by Gary (or another editor) for comment on meeting Dungeons & Dragons module publication criteria (possible during 1980?).

That doesn't tie in with the genesis of the Revenaunt, but there's still that gap and "other hand" I can't figure out; in order to turn it into a proper tourney.

No idea as to Gary's possible interest at a later date. Certainly not impossible since Steve was over there for his "summer job" and wouldn't necessitate screeds of letters to-and-fro.
I could understand why Steve might be somewhat cagey to discuss all that, however.

Am kinda blind on this, for some reason, Ian! ;)

=

Re. previous note:
"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."
(The latter half of that sentence in interesting; don't know whether you can take that totally in the manner you did, above).

  

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Post Posted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 6:24 pm 
 

Hi David,

The mid-'78 through '79 date came from a previous question I asked Steve. I was asking if the hand written DM notes were his, when it was played and if he remembered any of the players (as I have PC sheets and would have liked to put players to them).

Steve said that he used it in his campaigns quite a lot, and that he DM'd it himself as a tournament late in '78 and during '79.



The other notes on the module are clear signs of editing. There is a note to delete 'house rules' as you have surmised, to bring it into line with the D&D system.

'Material for use with D&D must be at least close to the D&D system. Granted, everybody runs things their own way, but those choices should be left up to them....'

Editorial note the put the abreviation 'dm' in caps.

Editorial note to 'Please put all plugs and recommendations at the back of the publication.'

Editorial note 'Further explanation needed.'

Along with numerous clarification on how the D&D rule system would apply to the plot, 'Some form of divine intervention would be required.'

And, 'Note that saving throws are applicable.'



This module would appear to have been developed for Steve's own campaign universe (and house rules/gameplay style) and at some point in this manuscript's history, it has been thoroughly edited with a view to being published as a D&D module (and by someone with good spelling and grammer). At what point I do not know, but it would seem to have occurred after play-testing, as some editorial comments refer to playtest notes.

The date of 'possibly 1980' was a blind stab in the dark by me.

I would like to know more about the life of this module though, and I suspect only Steve has the answers.


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Post Posted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 6:58 pm 
 

(Thanks, Ian)

mbassoc2003 wrote:Steve said that he used it in his campaigns quite a lot, and that he DM'd it himself as a tournament late in '78 and during '79.

Now that is more like it. Yes; a world of difference with that small change in emphasis.
Agreed.

*bangs my head off the wall a few more times, frustrated at the original auction mis-description*. Yup, exactly as expected but the only "catch" was that later paper stock.
Suspect that's a possible re-edit/re-working/re-packaging (??) or enhancement for tourney play, etc. (??) by Steve, although you only have photocopies which is a pain....

Would really need to compare the rest of the "package" as well, but am pretty sure you've got older material in there, too (in fact I could quote you a precise date for the "genesis", but hopefully our research will meet in the middle somewhere along the line, and is useful to have you check with Steve for confirmations to tie those in).

"Plugs and recommendations" sounds like someone (not necessarily Gary) has had their paws on it... I /think/ that would be more likely TSR than Judges Guild, given the date- although it's pretty close.

mbassoc2003 wrote:This module would appear to have been developed for Steve's own campaign universe (and house rules/gameplay style)

"module" is perhaps slightly the wrong word in that "campaign" context perhaps...

*whistles innocently*
Well, would you have put in a high bid if you knew it was nothing to do with Gary Gygax at all?

mbassoc2003 wrote:....and at some point in this manuscript's history, it has been thoroughly edited with a view to being published as a D&D module (and by someone with good spelling and grammer).

*chuckles*. Know exactly what you mean... Grammar and spelling are definitely useful "markers" for authorial purposes, though!

mbassoc2003 wrote:At what point I do not know, but it would seem to have occurred after play-testing, as some editorial comments refer to playtest notes.

(or campaign notes; with further work in the context of the tourneys?)

mbassoc2003 wrote:The date of 'possibly 1980' was a blind stab in the dark by me.

Is as good as any, but is very time-sensitive in the context of JG vs. TSR (check the copies of the Dungeoneer and you'll see what I mean; aside from the correspondence I've got here).

mbassoc2003 wrote:I would like to know more about the life of this module though, and I suspect only Steve has the answers.

Had a fairly good idea and nothing to contradict that, thus far.

You keep saying "module"... ;)
That's kinda like saying "orange spine" in the context of the Planes material! :o
(Although you have slightly more justification, perhaps).

All the above JM 2 cents, of course! :D

  

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Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 2:34 am 
 

harami2000 wrote:You keep saying "module"... ;)
That's kinda like saying "orange spine" in the context of the Planes material! :o
(Although you have slightly more justification, perhaps).

I don't honestly know what to refer to it as. 'Campaign setting' is too ambitious and makes it out to be bigger than it really is. 'Adventure' is a rather generic and demeaning word when referring to someone's work. 'Tourney' implies a specific structure and use which also does not seem to apply.

I would refer to is as 'manuscript', but that becomes repetative, and does not give those who read this tread an idea of what we are discussing.

How would you refer to the content or the manuscript? Suggestions?

harami2000 wrote:Well, would you have put in a high bid if you knew it was nothing to do with Gary Gygax at all?

I think I would have paid what I paid for the manuscript regardless of whether Gary was involved in it's development or editing. It is tied directly to the development of Steve's concepts of the Planes of Existance, and if I had had the opportunity to snipe on that auction, the end price would have been higher. Maybe I wouldn't have won though. Mike gets what Mike wants. :D

Besides, unless Mayfair have the original squirrelled away somewhere, or Paul took photocopies, this manuscript is unique. I think the odds are in my favour. :D


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Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 4:39 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:How would you refer to the content or the manuscript? Suggestions?

"Scenario" sounds fine to me. Is generic enough to cover campaign scenario or adventure scenario.
(Later used/revised/reworked for tourney play(?).... but am still looking for firm evidence that you've got both "old" and "new" material in there beyond the 1977 Cupric Text extract).

"Module" similarly has too many implications in terms of design and intention, IMHO. (Was a useful sales pitch, though).

mbassoc2003 wrote:I think I would have paid what I paid for the manuscript regardless of whether Gary was involved in it's development or editing.

*g*. OK. Suffice to say you'd've had much tougher competition, then...

mbassoc2003 wrote:It is tied directly to the development of Steve's concepts of the Planes of Existance, and if I had had the opportunity to snipe on that auction, the end price would have been higher.

Yes, the Revenaunt is a branch or offshoot of that, via the Cupric Text campaign, and from a critical time period (even if not right back in 1969/72/75/whatever).
Suspect any poor sod who'd just won the auction at "face value" would have had difficulty working that out...

mbassoc2003 wrote:Besides, unless Mayfair have the original squirrelled away somewhere, or Paul took photocopies, this manuscript is unique. I think the odds are in my favour. :D

Don't know whether Mayfair ever received a copy of this in the first place.
(Also don't know whether Steve got his stuff back from them; and if so, would have thought all of it must have come back given the tone of his letter!).

Not sure why Paul would want to take a photocopy of a photocopy... ;)

  

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Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 6:56 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:.... Maybe I wouldn't have won though. Mike gets what Mike wants. :D


Not always ... still working on the world peace thing .... :-)

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Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 10:45 am 
 

improvstone wrote:Not always ... still working on the world peace thing .... :-)

I refer you to the editorial note above... 'Some form of divine intervention would be required.' :D

harami2000 wrote:"Scenario" sounds fine to me. Is generic enough to cover campaign scenario or adventure scenario.
(Later used/revised/reworked for tourney play(?).... but am still looking for firm evidence that you've got both "old" and "new" material in there beyond the 1977 Cupric Text extract).

Scenario it is then. With regard to dating the various elements of the work, I do not have any frame of reference with which to draw comparisons. I also do not know the individuals concerned, or the history of TSR and the other key RPG figures of the time.

I agree. The included extracts of the Cupric Texts appear on the surface to be the oldest elements within the text of the scenario. I doubt there is anything here from before 1977 (assuming that is when the Cupric Texts were written. Can anyone confirm this date?).

harami2000 wrote:*g*. OK. Suffice to say you'd've had much tougher competition, then...

What does *g* mean? It illudes me.

So perhaps I could have had it cheaper? Well, thems the way the dice fell... I am far more contented with my Revenaunt purchase than my PoVQ :D But with such a splendid exchange rate at the moment, I lose no sleap over PoVQ either. :D

harami2000 wrote:Don't know whether Mayfair ever received a copy of this in the first place.
(Also don't know whether Steve got his stuff back from them; and if so, would have thought all of it must have come back given the tone of his letter!).

Steve implied in a similar thread on Dragonsfoot, Pied Piper, wherever, that his manuscripts were not returned to him following Mayfair's colapse. He indicated that he was heartily displeased at this, as he had spent much time re-draughting the Planes of Existance into a more complete and presentable manuscript/package, and that it's loss resulted in much offpissness. This seems to have been the death knell for the book.


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Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 1:01 pm 
 

Elaikases
Master of the Marsh wrote:
Hmm, some of the notes are mine, I'm not sure who else played with that one (Gary did see it at one time, I don't know if he commented on it -- I did not realize I had that copy until Paul sold it -- all for the better, but that left me not quite as ready to comment on it).

Spelling corrections would be an editor's work, not mine and if they are consistent with Gary's handwriting, could well be his.

Gary has always spelled much better than I have (though I'm learning, finally).

Late breaking news. Have asked for further clarification.
Does anyone here have any scribbled notes by Gary? Looks hopefully towards Mike. :)


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Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 1:15 pm 
 

Elaikases
Master of the Marsh wrote:
Hmm, some of the notes are mine, I'm not sure who else played with that one (Gary did see it at one time, I don't know if he commented on it -- I did not realize I had that copy until Paul sold it -- all for the better, but that left me not quite as ready to comment on it).

Spelling corrections would be an editor's work, not mine and if they are consistent with Gary's handwriting, could well be his.

Gary has always spelled much better than I have (though I'm learning, finally).

Awww.... :)

I'm liking the sound of "I'm not sure who else played with that one" and intrigued by "but that left me not quite as ready to comment on it".

Keep researching, Ian... :D

=

*wonders again what Gary did with Steve's Elaikases material from back in 1975/6*

  

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Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 1:24 pm 
 

harami2000 wrote:*wonders again what Gary did with Steve's Elaikases material from back in 1975/6*

I know nothing of the backstory to this discussion. I get the impression that you know more about what I have that I do. Certainly more about the genesis or it, if not the actual text.

Do you have/keep notes on your perceived chronology of those early years (and the interactions between the main players), and would you care to share them?

I've tracked down one of my discussion threads, David. Check it out.
dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t= ... highlight=

I'm still searching for the others.


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Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 1:57 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:I've tracked down one of my discussion threads, David. Check it out.
http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8672

<clip>
"I ran it as a campaign element or part, not as the heart of the campaign, if that makes sense. It made for a great brooding background element.

The backstory is that there was a city of sorcerers, someone brought the revenaunt in, they had a war and the city kicked loose from reality, taking the revenaunt with it. One of those "we had to destroy the city in order to save it" sort of things."
</clip>

*g* (*grins*). That's the one; per the "since you're now referring to material the board hasn't even seen, yet..." note at the top of the previous page.

I wish I had much more backstory to that campaign. :(
Input from Steve and the playtesters would certainly be required for that aspect, but it nestles in very neatly in the context of his ongoing development work on the Planes.

As noted before, Elaikases was Steve's early character who effectively went immortal. Gary certainly didn't approve of that "Monty Haul" (sic.) approach; and given his comments on 3e probably still doesn't!
Anyhow; Elaikases got woven in a bit into the mythology and later (*coughs* 1977) developments... kinda an overlayer on top of his original "universe" design concepts, anyhow.

Rather than old Dragons, you really need old A&Es/TWHs.
Alas, every time I made an offer to Frank for his, Paul upped it.

  


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Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 2:07 pm 
 

Heh, heh... Just read some of Steve's comments on the previous page...

Dragonsfoot • Information
<clip>
Heck, had TSR printed the Elemental Planes and had it done as well as the hardback gods book, it would have been $50k a month for a year or so in royalties ... that would have been real money.
</clip>

Trouble being (IMHO) by the time Steve got back in touch with Gary, the universe had kinda moved on a bit, and was already being firmed up to a somewhat different "design spec".
Was just my "gut feel", anyhow...

The port to his "Shattered Norns"/RQ setting is kinda cute Shifting City -- Scenarios for Runequest Characters destined for Heroquesting .
Still have a very few bits and bobs from that here. (In addition to a few more RQ cults beyond those which were published in the Dungeoneer, I think).

  

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Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 2:07 pm 
 

harami2000 wrote:Rather than old Dragons, you really need old A&Es/TWHs.

I don't know these? Expand please. :?:


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Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 2:16 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:
harami2000 wrote:Rather than old Dragons, you really need old A&Es/TWHs.

I don't know these? Expand please. :?:

A&E = Alarums & Excursions
TWH = The Wild Hunt

Luckily Mike <improvstone> has a few, but am certainly there is more "stuff" to be dug out of those.
(Would still probably be best to timeframe it into Steve's 1976-8 "universe", though; his earlier and later ideas diverge somewhat from those, although he definitely is re-using quite a few earlier classes/"monsters"/etc.).

===

Heh. So would you and others have happily let me use acryonyms in other threads, without clarification? e.g.
NFB = News From Bree
TC = Trollcrusher
UO = Underworld Oracle
O&W = Owl & Weasel
TBH = The Beholder
etc. ;)

  

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Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 5:10 pm 
 

harami2000 wrote:A&E = Alarums & Excursions
TWH = The Wild Hunt
NFB = News From Bree
TC = Trollcrusher
UO = Underworld Oracle
O&W = Owl & Weasel
TBH = The Beholder

From that entire list, 'Owl & Weasel' and 'The Beholder' are the only ones I've ever heard of. I think I've seen issues of 'The Beholder' on eBay once or twice (Are they D&D, Runequest, Cthulhu?). I've never seen an 'Owl & Weasel', although I know it to be the forerunner to White Dwarf, and I've never even heard of the others. :?:


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Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 5:26 pm 
 

stormber wrote:Howdy All,


Ralf Toth wrote:Surely the success of the Sutherland auctions might have raised an eyebrow or two? My wild guess is that Mr Sutherland recommended the "Collectors Trove" to Mr Marsh...

Anyway, it's great to see all these old original manuscripts and stuff on eBay. Good luck with the auctions, Paul!


Thanks Ralf. One TSR alum heard that I was a "Grand Master of Collecting" :wink: and decided to drop me an email! :lol:

Actually, he was talking about the materials online and I emailed him to ask if he'd like me to auction off his collection. I think he was pretty suprised that I was able to organize the collection into so many lots. I think Steve inititally thought the Planes Stuff would all be in one lot.

I have a few other TSR alum that are also calling on me to auction their collections. Hopefully, I'll be able to bring these to you folks after Christmas.


Futures Bright,

Paul


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.


Regards,



Stephen

  


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Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 5:27 pm 
 

invincibleoverlord wrote:Improvstone wrote:

I might just produce a hard back ... Maybe I will even commision the original D&D artists ... I really hate the look and feel of the 3ed stuff. Give me Elmore, Easley, Parkinson any day!


If you're serious Mike and want a partner I'd publish it with you. Credit and royalties would have to go to Steven and other's for sure, anything extra we could spend on more D&D stuff :D . The artists you mentioned are some of my favorites too; maybe we could even find an older unpublished piece of art to go with the "lost manuscript" it would be a nice tie in. Just think a new 1st edition AD&D hardback rulebook with era cover art! 8O  8O  8O


Nothing would make me happier.


Regards,



Stephen

  


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Post Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 5:36 pm 
 

harami2000 wrote:OK; a little assistance from owners of early A&Es and TWHs would be appreciated! 8)
*
I'm fairly sure the various pages from the two zine sets mentioned below in the Steve Marsh auction were not included in one of the above, for the reasons stated (more certain of the first).
If anyone knows otherwise, plz let me know :)

....

aside: is Steve's online quote "Do I plan to start work again:? Probably not, but you are welcome to pick up where I left off." an open invitation to approach re. his other material, too?
*


You know how it is, bury a couple of kids and it can take the wind out of your sails for a while.  Bury a third and ...

I got rid of most of my A&Es and TWHs and saved a page here, a page there.

As a result, much of what I had was scattered.

In addition, I did the Phoenix rules Sean Summers published and the name part of the Star Falcons half that Mike Gunderloy did (he did the high level spells, I did some more context and background for them in response to some comments).


Regards,



Stephen

  
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