L4 to be published by Dragonsfoot..
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Post Posted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:18 pm 
 

bbarsh wrote:
Fid,
I think you need to shake that preconcieved notion that all of acaeum guys are looking to horde and hide away everything we can get our hands on. It really is a bit insulting. Most of these members are looking glean information about the roots of our hobby. We are looking to preserve what is still left.

By the way, I was one of those guys who volunteered to help. I currently help edit Footprints - and I even do it for free. And yes, I am an OSR publisher. My offer still stands. The only caveat is that my donated work is actually used and not discarded. Editing by its very nature is offensive to the author. But a little bit of thick skin goes a long way.

Thanks again for your posts,
Bill Barsh


I trust that Ian has a thick skin given the tenor of some of his posts that I have seen in my short time here.  In reality, if he or you can help improve the product - that's great.  I think the best thing that has come out of this thread (besides my education on anti-leaching) is that people seem to have stopped complaining - they're now taking action.

As for those that offered to help in the proofing stage and never heard from me, I tried to address that here and once again, I apologize.  I couldn't manage 100 separate proofers and I tried to pick those that seemed most qualified and committed.


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Post Posted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:30 pm 
 

Fid wrote:you guys lock it up in a vault.


Maybe to keep it safe.  

Consider what happened to Mr. Lakofka's classic gaming notes and papers when he moved.  Those papers are in a far deeper vault than a bag in someone's den.  They are gone.  We are all about keeping that sort of thing from happening.

You won't find much ego here in regard to size of collection.  This site is more about sharing the collecting hobby than trying to top everyone else.

Once in a while a collector posts pictures of his stash.  The response is cheering, not envy.

Even though collectors here bid against each other, there is remarkably little rancor.

This site can be hard on people who come looking for trouble.  But people who come looking for help generally find it right away.

Sites like the Acaeum are why examples of these classic items will be around two generations from now, when interest in the Golden Age flares again.

And Egg, don't give up yet.   The relatively small amount of carping you have read here is really a good sign.  It's not because people feel entitled.  It's because they care about classic items like L4.  

Watch...some of the carpers will pitch in and help fix the editing.


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Post Posted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:46 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:
Maybe to keep it safe.  

Consider what happened to Mr. Lakofka's classic gaming notes and papers when he moved.  Those papers are in a far deeper vault than a bag in someone's den.  They are gone.  We are all about keeping that sort of thing from happening.

You won't find much ego here in regard to size of collection.  This site is more about sharing the collecting hobby than trying to top everyone else.

Once in a while a collector posts pictures of his stash.  The response is cheering, not envy.

Even though collectors here bid against each other, there is remarkably little rancor.

This site can be hard on people who come looking for trouble.  But people who come looking for help generally find it right away.

Sites like the Acaeum are why examples of these classic items will be around two generations from now, when interest in the Golden Age flares again.

And Egg, don't give up yet.   The relatively small amount of carping you have read here is really a good sign.  It's not because people feel entitled.  It's because they care about classic items like L4.  

Watch...some of the carpers will pitch in and help fix the editing.


Amen Mark.

My being upset over the state of L4 upon release is a direct reflection of the historical roots of the project, and feeling that an opportunity slipped through the fingers of those involved.  Not a sense of entitlement (Why, oh why was I 100% certain the fallback argument of "It's free, what do you expect?" would eventually be thrown in our face? Predictible.) or wanting to get something for free (btw it sound like most of the people who worked on the project...the word "work" being very carelessly used in some cases....did it to get a free copy of Len's module).

Mark is correct that one of the main reasons there is such a detailed listing and history of this hobby is because of sites like this and Tome of Treasures and people just nutty enough to buy 21 copies of B2 looking for variations. People like us, and the crazy prices we pay for maps and manuscripts, are a direct reason stuff like Rob Kuntz's Bottle City ever get published.  So we are anal when it comes to sloppiness, in research or work, when it comes to gaming.  Stuff like L4 makes us cringe like an untuned guitar makes a music collector cringe when someone hits the strings.

So far I haven't seen any interest or effort made on the DF boards about fixing up L4...while this thread has already led to several offers in that regard.  I think that speaks of the level of commitment to the hobby here (gee, no one even asked to be paid to do so!). The fact that a mini-con like NTRPG Con exists (Yes, tooting my own horn here) not to make money or get "stuff" but to have fun is a testament to the love we have for the hobby. The fact that such an endeavor was enthusiastically supported by the Acaeum and it's members tells me everything I need to know about the kind of people who hang out here.

Fid, except for the fact Len cannot seem to keep track of his original manuscripts and would probably benefit from an Acaeum member putting his stuff in a vault (rather than be thrown away and lost to history), I really don't see the main motivation here as trying to pull a fast one and "score" Len's stuff  :roll: I've had contact with many old school guys the past three years (including all the guests at NTRPG Con) and haven't ONCE asked for anything.  Haven't offered to buy anything, either.  Most of us here aren't that crass, frankly.

Egg, I respect the helloutta you, but this:
At one point, there was essentially no one left on the DF Production Team.

simply drives me nuts.  Where was the general call to arms when everyone dropped out?  Did you guys post at different venues (like here) for help?  Wouldn't that have been preferable to the months and years that did crawl by with NOTHING being done?  You couldn't approach a SINGLE  publsher in the OSR field and see if they would work pro bono?  Not make a single post over here asking for help?  Enworld? Knights and Knaves? Tome of Treasures? Trolllords? Pied Piper? Who lets a project languish for months upon years without updates, or asking for help?

You guys absolutely dropped the ball, sorry. Maybe I'm totally off base and if so I apologize, but it sounds like egos got more important than actually putting out a product you guys could be proud of.

It's one of the main teasons I've come to to really despise the hobby these days.


:roll:

If you despise the hobby I really feel sorry for you, Egg, and I mean that sincerely.  Maybe that's not the best person to have a hand in produing things for DF, and I also mean that sincerely.

Note that for every project Blll Barsh does for Pacesetter, he posts here for a general call for proofreaders.  It seems to be getting the job done.  Something similar might be considered the next time DF does this sort of undertaking.

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 12:02 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:Even though collectors here bid against each other, there is remarkably little rancor.


At a certain point, it becomes cooperative.  I've had plenty of situations where I was able to work out with someone which of us might really chase an item on ebay, and who would sit out.  If it can't end up in my collection, I'd rather have it end up with someone else here, than be returned to the ether.

We have folks around the world assisting with bidding/searching/shipping of items.

Everyone does something that ruffles feathers on occasion (I'm guilty), but for the people who really want to be here, the "anger" tends to fade pretty quickly.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:23 am 
 

Fid wrote:
OK, just remember that it is Grest not Crest.  If you screw up, you'll be at the mercy of these boards - not to mention every armchair amateur attorney trying to defend Procter & Gamble's IP.

Also, please try to be nice to the people you meet.  One of the things I enjoyed about this project was making new friends.  Sometimes friendships are more important than commas.

I've already had that discussion, and we're not talking about US v. UK spellings or 'stylization' here. I'm purely going to be proofreading in the traditional sense. I only offer suggestions and if the writer choosed to discard them, so be it. Generally I find they get incorporated, and when it's not, it tends to be because they don't want to go through the document and correct it, not because of a difference of opinion. It's a take it or leave it thing, and I don't care about credits or whether my work is implemented. I'm just in it to help improve the quality of the product available to the market.
Fid wrote:And the answer is No, Len probably isn't going to sell you any of his really cool old TSR stuff.  He's more the type to just give it to a bunch of kids to play with than let you guys lock it up in a vault.

I had those discussions with Len long before this project was on the table.


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:33 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:I only offer suggestions and if the writer choosed to discard them, so be it.


I would have "choosed" to disregard them too, for fairly obvious reasons.

I think the lesson here is that you get what you pay for.


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:53 am 
 

Mark and Mike.
NICE posts guys!
Not that we would ever expect anything less from you guys. 8)
Lots of other good posts in this thread too.

And a few that sucked. Like my first one.  :oops:
Which I edited after I posted it.

I find things in many different RPG Books and adventures that are incorrect.
Usage of words, grammar, spelling, punctuation mistakes and some truly BAD stuff is out there.
Should they all be revised, after being produced and published?
Perhaps so; if another edition, or printing comes out at a later time, But just to correct those errors and for no other reason?
Depends on what needs fixing (IMO), but in most cases it is probably not going to happen.

Example:
A book like the first prints of the Deities and Demigods book, wherein copyright issues were involved and additional obvious errors were incorporated in later re-prints.
It took THREE printings to get that book fixed for that issue alone (copyrights) and even so, errors can still be found in later prints of that book and some of those uncorrected errors are painfully obvious to anyone paying any attention at all,
For instance the third printing still indicates that the book includes 17 pantheons (on the rear cover blurb) and there are actually only 15 pantheons in that printing of the book.
The two other pantheons were removed in the second print.
I am no TSR Staff expert, but I suspect that by the time that book was first published, TSR had some Full Time Paid staffers working on it.
I do not know how long the DDG book took to get printed the first time but I would be willing to bet it was not done in a month or two.

There are of course many other examples of glaring flaws in published works over the years that can be talked about.
This site lists many errors and revisions for various RPGs for this hobby.

As for L4, it isn't just the spelling, or grammar, or punctuation.
The whole product seems lost and haphazardly pieced together, as if several different folks were responsible for portions of it and that when it was finally put together, no one tried to piece it all together as a single work.
When you read the work YOU get lost.
From what I have read in this thread; Len was just working on this part time while also earning a real living at a real job.
And NO ONE who worked on his project was full time staff and from what I have read not a single person was paid for what they did.

I am willing to give some leeway to Len and the others who worked on the project, but leeway only goes so far.
The PDF that was finally produced and offered goes beyond simple spelling and grammar mistakes and four years is a very long time, but certainly not forever.
I know of one project that was over 30 years in the making....

You should see the vast amount of discussion that was produced on this site while we waited for a certain adventure to be shipped by another famous game developer.
But the final product had not been on the shelf for four years, it was first introduced 30 years ago and took 30 years to get polished into one nice adventure.
I really like the final product that came out and at the time I was one of the members of this forum who was posting great concerns about the wait we were experiencing.
During that wait (which lasted for about 9 months) we learned that the waiting we were experiencing was just a minor glitch in the real life saga that was going on for that author.
Stuff happens.
BUT HIS final product is awesome (IMO) and he did not have a lot of volunteers editing the work (From what I understand at most a couple of others besides the author had any say in the product itself).
Perhaps that was the main trouble with L4… too many hands and eyes and no one leading the charge and demanding perfection or something close to it?
I do not know.


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:00 am 
 

MetamorphosisSigma wrote:
I would have "choosed" to disregard them too, for fairly obvious reasons.



:roll:   Ok, I think we get your point about any post made to this thread with a spelling mistake, however, whilst I am not criticising the L4 work and its content, that has been been edited and proof-read.

Posts to these forums are typically not and are just written and posted.


Back to the topic, the posts above by Mike & Mark sum it up rather well, I think.  :)


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:12 am 
 

Look guys, we've got an Erol Otus project in the works.  You have to pick a side in this epic feud of old-school giants.  No fence-sitting!

The Acaeum entry on L1 wrote:The working title for L1 Secret of Bone Hill was "The Restenford Mystery".  According to former TSR employee Lawrence Schick, Erol Otus deliberately botched the rear-cover art on L1, because he didn't care for the module.  We'll let you decide.


(We've really got to update that page, particularly the 15% chance that L4 will be done soon...)

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:14 pm 
 

FWIW, Len made this comment/post over at DF:

I'll take the fall on some of the errors since I was the one who typed it. It went from Wordperfect to Word and that alone was a *&$%# hazard. I've been reading myself and I've found a few little things. In retyping all of the stats I'm amazed at how well it came out.

Always remember it's YOURS now so do the fix you feel right and go forward.
I'm sure that at some point there will be L4.1 correcting the little stuff but that is up to Dragonsfoot. Do recall that no one gets paid for all of this.

"Sir Clarence" likely put in 40 or 50 hours on the maps to say nothing of the revisions. (I can be an pain in the ass.) I estimate that it took about one year of real time with about 300 hours in the actual MS. L5 is about double those time inputs. So be nice to the folks at Dragonstooth (sp). They did a great job.

Lenard


Anyone want to volunteer "fixing" up L4, and seeing if DF will accept it?  Is someone wants to give it a shot I'll volunteer to go over it with my "red ink" pen, as I'm sure many others will.  Also if someone wanted to brainstorm how to make the module more usable/compatible/understandable (including a Table of Contents) I'd be game, but I don't even know where to start in that regard (maybe someone else has a better idea).  For beginnings, I'd say make the module a sourcebook along the lines of, say, one of the Forgotten Realms FR series, rather than an adventure module (which it doesn't seem to be, anyway).  
It would be cool to retro-fit it with "blue/white" classic maps also.

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:21 pm 
 

Mike,
I can't believe I am saying this, but I will do it unless someone else has a strong desire.

I would need a few people to help out.

1) Somebody needs to convert that pdf into a word document.

2) Somebody to help with the maps.

3) A shitload of proofreaders and possible playtesters.

I will take care of the rewrite and redesign. In my opinion, it needs a complete redesign so it can be in ready to play format.

I will also work on getting some illustrators on board.

All that and we can turn this puppy around in short order.


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

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:46 pm 
 

bbarsh wrote:Mike,
I can't believe I am saying this, but I will do it unless someone else has a strong desire.

I would need a few people to help out.

1) Somebody needs to convert that pdf into a word document.

2) Somebody to help with the maps.

3) A shitload of proofreaders and possible playtesters.

I will take care of the rewrite and redesign. In my opinion, it needs a complete redesign so it can be in ready to play format.

I will also work on getting some illustrators on board.

All that and we can turn this puppy around in short order.


Can't help with #1 or #2. #3 I'm game on.

I agree about the complete redesign. It's almost unusable as a whole, but parts of it are really nice.  It suffers from not knowing what it really is, and I think it could be fixed if someone was willing to spend the time.

Ian do you have a list of corrections you've already done? You probably cover most of what we would find anyway, that could save some time.

Most of the companion, I figure, can be skipped over.  It's confusing, very campaign specific, and I think it serves more of a historcial perspective of Len's campaign more than anything. For example the "+1 sword +1" business is just unneccessary unless you are specifically gaming in Len's world (someone had a good suggestion about those).  

A couple of things, I'd move the magic item descriptions to a separate section instead of having them at the bottom of the pages...much too confusing.  Little things like that would go  long way to making the item more usable.

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:09 pm 
 

bbarsh wrote:Mike,
I can't believe I am saying this, but I will do it unless someone else has a strong desire.

I would need a few people to help out.

1) Somebody needs to convert that pdf into a word document.

2) Somebody to help with the maps.

3) A shitload of proofreaders and possible playtesters.

I will take care of the rewrite and redesign. In my opinion, it needs a complete redesign so it can be in ready to play format.

I will also work on getting some illustrators on board.

All that and we can turn this puppy around in short order.


Have you considered this ....

The material within this AD&D game resource is Copyright © 2009-2010 Lenard Lakofka and is used under exclusive
permission. You may download, store, redistribute or generally circulate this material within this publication; but you must
 keep all copyright information intact and distribute the files as is. No modification is permitted without express written
permission from Dragonsfoot UK. You may not claim this work as your own unless you are the original author. Enquiries may
                                                        be sent to:


With regard to the PDF we can use a conversion tool, however, you are better off working with Len and getting the source file.


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:14 pm 
 

I've already been asked by Chris on the DF team to proofread the original L4 MS, so I believe they are intent on correcting and republishing.
The original source is an OpenOffice file as opposed to .doc.


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:41 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:I've already been asked by Chris on the DF team to proofread the original L4 MS, so I believe they are intent on correcting and republishing.
The original source is an OpenOffice file as opposed to .doc.


L4 needs more than a proofread, it needs an entire redesign.  Are they going to go that far?  Or only correct the spelling/grammatical errors?

Regardless this looks like good news in that someone must had admitted the finished product had serious problems.  Glad they finally got you aboard, Ian. They should have released what they had years ago, and let interested parties do the proofing and editing for them.

I'd still be interested in a "Bill Barsh" rewrite if you are game, Bill...

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Post Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:42 pm 
 

FWIW, I've converted L4 and the Companion to Word and run a spell & grammar check through it, which took around 90 minutes.
I've read sections that just don't flow correctly, but haven't started re-working sentence structure as such. If anyone wants a Word doc copy to play with, just PM me with your email. Its even kept all the maps and cover the same.
I'll look at my CC3 tomorrow evening to see if I can create old school maps... :)


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:59 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:L4 needs more than a proofread, it needs an entire redesign.  Are they going to go that far?  Or only correct the spelling/grammatical errors?

Just the professional proofread. Editing is DF's remit, and as I understand it, Len has very specific ideas on how he wants his work presented (much like EGG did with CZ).


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:04 pm 
 

Always remember it's YOURS now so do the fix you feel right and go forward.

I believe this is permission to revise as necessary or desired.


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:06 pm 
 

Indeedie.


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:19 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:Just the professional proofread. Editing is DF's remit, and as I understand it, Len has very specific ideas on how he wants his work presented (much like EGG did with CZ).


Aha, so we can still do our own version then, since they wouldn't use our redesign/rewrite anyway. Awesome.

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