ST1 survival rate??
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Post Posted: Tue Aug 03, 2004 2:21 am 
 

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"Based on the demonstrated rarity of this item, and its original sales history, we doubt more than 300 copies total were distributed, of which probably less than 20-30 survive today".

Is this still the current "best guess"?

Just my 02 cents, anyhow, but personally I'd expect a far higher survivorship than <10% for a modern module (3-5% if the total print run of ~600 is approximately correct).

The module was somewhat better announced than currently noted... a brief mention is actually in White Dwarf #81 (9/86), page 46 as "TSR UK's other major- no, really it is- contribution to gaming in 1986". :)
The other "brief mention" (per the <Acaeum> URL) in WD #82 (10/86) gives further advance notice of its release at Games Day '86 (actually a two-day event, 27-28/9/86), complete with an image (as issued) and statement of the "bargain price" of £2.50.
With regards printing numbers, "very limited edition" is stated (but what that compares with is difficult to know... for example, I think WDs circulation was around 50,000 at that time).

I know that more than one copy was brought back to our university wargaming/roleplaying society in Scotland. (Was discussing this alongside the never-ending joke about Ian Livingstone forever selling the "last copy" of White Dwarf #1).

Don't get me wrong on this: I'm 100% certain that virtually everyone missed a major opportunity to snag a rarity... it's just the estimated survivorship percentage I'm not too keen on given the module's "collector's item status" which was known in advance.

IMHO, there are a few reasons to suspect there are more "hidden" copies around; one of the most important is probably the lack of networking in the UK, especially in the late-80s/early-90s (small ads were withdrawn without notice from WD less than a year later, and the "news column" where ST1 was announced vanished even sooner-- all part of GW's "let's kill a half-decent magazine" policy).
Far from everyone knows about <The Acaeum>, too! ;)

OK. Enough rocking the boat from me...

  

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Post Posted: Tue Aug 03, 2004 3:26 am 
 

Well, I've always maintained that since it seems to show up more often than tourney mods, there were probably far more copies sold/given away than thought.


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Post Posted: Tue Aug 03, 2004 10:32 am 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:Well, I've always maintained that since it seems to show up more often than tourney mods, there were probably far more copies sold/given away than thought.


Really?  This year on eBay there have been a few tourney mods for auction, but I can only recall one ST1 coming up for auction.  And in the mid-late 90's there was only one ST1 up for auction on frp.marketplace during that entire period, but tourney mods were auctioned almost every year.

  


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Post Posted: Tue Aug 03, 2004 5:15 pm 
 

Im sure unsold ST1's were advertised in Imagine magazine.

  


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Post Posted: Tue Aug 03, 2004 5:23 pm 
 

I'd personally estimate the number of surviving copies at over 100, just from circumstantial evidence.  But it was almost exclusively a UK thing - and the UK fans don't seem to have "mothballed" as much as the US players did, or delve into the significance of old items.  (No offense!)

Look how long it took, chronologically speaking, for the UK basic rulebook, the softcover MM and PHB, B/X1, and the Games Workshop pastels to be researched fully.

The real question is how many copies are in the hands of collectors, how many in the original hands of UK readers, and how many are yet to be rediscovered.

  


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Post Posted: Wed Aug 04, 2004 12:19 pm 
 

nn wrote:Im sure unsold ST1's were advertised in Imagine magazine.


Ended 9/85; a year before the module was published.
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Interesting thought, though, as to whether any of the TSR UK publication lists, etc., might have advertised(/remaindered) the module. Has anyone done an exhaustive check on these?

Certainly can't find any mention in other magazines or retailers beyond the area. (And if Esdevium didn't manage to get their hands on any, it's unlikely others did. *jk*).

  


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Post Posted: Wed Aug 04, 2004 1:32 pm 
 

From my own limited experience at the time, I only knew one person with the module.  And that was given to him by a friend who had been working at the National Garden Festival at Stoke on Trent.

There were probably a dozen people at home and another couple of dozen people, maybe 30, at the FRP society at University who I know played D&D.  So, you're looking at 1 in about 40.

But I haven't personally met anyone else since with a copy of ST1.

  


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Post Posted: Wed Aug 04, 2004 4:37 pm 
 

Im misremembering Imagine adverts for old stock, including the 'R' modules.

  


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Post Posted: Wed Aug 04, 2004 10:48 pm 
 

nn wrote:Im misremembering Imagine adverts for old stock, including the 'R' modules.

Thanks for the confirmation. If only... :)

==

John: You said at the National Garden Festival in Stoke-on-Trent. Not at Games Day, itself!
The actual festival ran from May until October in 1986, so the dates do overlap. Interesting...
(Maybe the unsold modules ended up there, even?? Hypothesising, of course...).

==


<darkseraphim>: Yup; gut instinct tells me that's closer the mark, although it's impossible to prove. For the time being, most of the copies appearing seem to be "high-grade"/deliberately "collected".
Only time will tell, I suspect, but I'm sure even in the worst-case scenario the predicated "value" can't suffer anything like as badly as the latest "bubble" craze (whatever's taken over from Beanie Babies, etc., next). If anything, demand might increase with awareness...

With regards the UK printings being "fully researched", I think I'd beg to differ! *jk* ;)
The rarity values require further analysis and even the publication dates are screwy for those editions/printings that are known.
For example, the first two prints of the paperback Monster Manual could just as easily have been released simultaneously in October/November 1978 following an apparent hold up... Certainly, the first UK edn. is not 1977 contrary to the copyright page and previous post in this forum. The cover illo without "TM Reg Applied For" and product catalog should've given the game away, and the WD news columns/sales ads confirm this.

Just my 02 cents as usual, of course :)


p.s. I see <lawrenson>'s old piccies are still on-line. 8)
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Post Posted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 3:54 am 
 

harami2000 wrote:John: You said at the National Garden Festival in Stoke-on-Trent. Not at Games Day, itself!
The actual festival ran from May until October in 1986, so the dates do overlap. Interesting...
(Maybe the unsold modules ended up there, even?? Hypothesising, of course...).


Yes it was definitely picked up at the Garden Festival and it was before Games Day that year.  I remember being on my summer break when I saw the module.  So that would have been June/July/August.  The owner of this module is also a member of this forum.  And we have given this information to Scott since the last update.

  


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 4:30 am 
 

johnhuck wrote:Yes it was definitely picked up at the Garden Festival and it was before Games Day that year.  I remember being on my summer break when I saw the module.  So that would have been June/July/August.  The owner of this module is also a member of this forum.  And we have given this information to Scott since the last update.

:) :)

Given the history in WD (advance notice only in #81, but image of the final product in print in #82 prior to Games Day '86, as noted above), August would make the most sense, I think.

Am trying to wrack my brains to remember exactly how long before the publication date WD was available on the shelves; and can't find any "printers deadline" in the small ads, etc., to help me.

(They could have snuck copies up to the mythical conurbation of S-O-T even earlier without letting the WD team know, but that's more doubtful(?), IMHO).

Thanks for that!

(Now; how many copies might have been released to the non-gaming public there and kept as "interesting souvenirs", if so...??)

  


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 7:14 am 
 

I actually thought that it was acquired before my Summer break.  But it is a long time ago now.  I will ask the owner to comment or quote their reply if they don't want to post themselves.

From the conversation I do remember, there was a large pile available at the Festival.  No idea whose stand it was.  But it was said that they couldn't give them away.  The only reason the person in question ended up with one was because their friend who was working there knew that they collected D&D stuff and didn't think they would have one of these modules.

Just wish they had picked up a handful for the rest of us.  :cry:

I didn't make it to Games Day that year.  But I heard that ST1 wasn't that easy to get hold of.  Don't know how much truth there is to that though.

  


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Post Posted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 12:42 pm 
 

johnhuck wrote:I actually thought that it was acquired before my Summer break.  But it is a long time ago now.  I will ask the owner to comment or quote their reply if they don't want to post themselves.

OK... I've tried re-reading between the lines of the brief ST1 release news items and I can't see anything to deny that it wasn't available right from the start of the S-O-T Garden Festival. (i.e. "read as you will...").

johnhuck wrote:From the conversation I do remember, there was a large pile available at the Festival.  No idea whose stand it was.  But it was said that they couldn't give them away.  The only reason the person in question ended up with one was because their friend who was working there knew that they collected D&D stuff and didn't think they would have one of these modules.

Just wish they had picked up a handful for the rest of us.  :cry:

I didn't make it to Games Day that year.  But I heard that ST1 wasn't that easy to get hold of.  Don't know how much truth there is to that though.

Certainly sounds better to attach "02 cents" to everything than say nothing for fear of being wrong! Much appreciated, John :)

Given that the Garden Festival had a total of 2.18 million visitors ( http://members.fortunecity.com/gbex/garden.html )- albeit this ran until after Games Day '86-  I'd be very surprised if only one copy of ST1 was purchased there.

Reverse my previous guesswork, then, and perhaps there were fewer copies left for TSR to take to Games Day '86 to sell there than they expected. (What happened to those unsold after that is another matter).

So much for just starting a thread querying the ratio of how many copies have survived!

  


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Post Posted: Fri Aug 06, 2004 3:00 pm 
 

Hi there

John Huck and I are cousins - I'm the one that he mentioned has a mint copy copy of ST1.

A friend of mine was working at the Garden Festival that year and (knowing that I was 'into' D&D) he managed to sweet talk himself a free copy from the stand where it was being sold. He let me have it the next time that we met up - for free!!!  Its the best deal I've
ever done.

At the time I remember him saying that it wasn't at all difficult to get a copy as nobody was interested - after all, fantasy gaming stuff wouldn't be an immediate attraction to the gardening fraternity of Britain.  He added that he thought they were just going to destroy the copies that they had left rather than take them back to base.

So - ST1 was definately on sale at the Garden Festival.  It may also have been on sale at the 1986 Games Day - although I can't remember it being available when I went that year.

Hope this helps to clarify matters.....

:D

  

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Post Posted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 10:12 pm 
 

So. . . how many confirmed ST1's are out there anyway?

I have reviewed a bunch of forum posts and done some guessing and here is what I have got so far:

CONFIRMED owners of ST1's:

- Stormberg
- Dathon
- Major Axe
- Lawrenson (2 copies - if it is 3 or more, than let me know)
- Graeme Morris (I am assuming he has at least one copy)
- "Anonymous collector" who bought it from Riftvalleyman (who got it from Lawrenson)

Total confirmed: 7

SUSPECTED copies:

- Rshelley (I am guessing there is a copy to be found that is still unsold)
- Cougarrinard (2 copies?  Does he really have at least two of everything?  Odds are good he has this though since he is in the UK)
-  Nobleknight games (don't know if he has one, but he did win Ralf's Grandmaster contest way back)
- Mike Brunton (how about it?  He was a co-author - I would have kept one if I were him)

Total suspected (by me, that is):  5 copies

Grand total: 12 copies

So, that can't be it - who else has one?  Who knows of someone with one?


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Post Posted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 2:41 am 
 

I don't think Aaron has one, at least anymore, if he ever did.  He sold off his best items a few years back (including the Deities and Demigods cover painting) to drum up funds for his successful e-commerce venture.  

I'd go with Dark Seraphim and guess about 100 or less still floating around.  The one thing about ST1 that makes it particularly rare is that it looks so common.   :wink:
In other words, if someone who hadn't gamed in ages went into their attic/basement/storage and found limited editions of Tamoachan or Inverness they would kind of know it was very rare, and potentially valuable, by the numbering scheme out of 300.  That would tip them off in this day and age to at least give eBay a go for the item.  But ST1 looks rather commonplace and probably gets thrown out by old-time gamers in the UK who just don't realize its value.    Then again, perhaps a box of them are lying around some back room in London just waiting to be discovered..

  


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Post Posted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 4:43 am 
 

dathon wrote:...perhaps a box of them are lying around some back room in London just waiting to be discovered..


Or some old lady picked up a box of discarded papers in Stoke on Trent and has been systematically taking them apart over the last 18 years to line her bird cage  8O

  

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Post Posted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 8:19 am 
 

johnhuck wrote:
dathon wrote:...perhaps a box of them are lying around some back room in London just waiting to be discovered..


Or some old lady picked up a box of discarded papers in Stoke on Trent and has been systematically taking them apart over the last 18 years to line her bird cage  8O


When WOTC took over TSR UK I am pretty certain everything in the warehouse was destroyed (I have made some enquiries in the search for more ST1s).

If there are any stashes of them somewhere then I havent been able to find them.

I currently have 4 copies.

My friend Mark Banfield also has a copy.

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Post Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 5:33 pm 
 

(OT)

nn wrote:Im misremembering Imagine adverts for old stock, including the 'R' modules.

*g*. Good memory, just "those other modules"...

I just found that advert, in passing. Might amuse some people.

Imagine #26 (May 1985)

"SPECIAL MODULES OFFER"
"Now available to all readers of IMAGINE(tm) magazine..." (i.e. old/surplus stock).

R1: £1.50
R2: £2.00
R3: £2.00
R4: £2.50
RPGA1: £2.00
RPGA2: £2.00
RPGA3: £2.50
RPGA4: £2.50

I wonder whether they did discounts for bulk puchases :P

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Post Posted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 7:00 am 
 

Yeah, I read that too when I got my earlier issues of Polyhedron (lots of ads for the R series in there).  Makes me wanna get a time machine...

  
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