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Post Posted: Mon Aug 09, 2004 9:21 pm 
 

New site update, August 9th.



There's still a "surprise" coming, but it will be on hold for a few more days.  I decided to get this update out in the meantime.



And to forestall the grumblings I can hear in the distance: yes, there's still a significant backlog of submissions in my inbox.  In fact, we are only now caught up to roughly November of last year.



For those wondering, here's my subconscious decision-tree when choosing which submissions to work on, listed in order of preference:



1) Easy updates: minor text corrections, new scans of items that already have a scan (or at least a scan placeholder), etc.



2) High-interest items



3) Old submissions (defined by date of submission)



4) Medium-interest new submissions



5) Low-interest new submissions



I attempt to make it at least a good way through step #3 before publishing an update.  By definition, this means that unless your submission is either easy or high-interest, it will probably sit for at least some time in the inbox.  I wish I could satisfy everyone by tackling submissions in a more timely fashion, but unfortunately, that's the way it is at the moment.



Enough rambling.  Enjoy the update.



Foul

  


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Post Posted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 12:05 am 
 

"pre-publication" box... heh, heh... hope /that's/ gonna be difficult to forge.

(what's the historical background then?)



*digs around for other updates*.



Good increase for those "Strategic Previews" over the $5 each on rec.games.frp.marketplace in 1999. Guess no more of 'em turned up, then??

Now that's rare in my book, if so...

(btw. Isn't the obvious answer to the issue numbering (from #3) that they just continued on from Vol. 2 of the "Strategic Review"?)



*yay*... and a link to the forum just gone up on the front page. :)



Thanks Scott.

  


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Post Posted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 12:33 am 
 

Great stuff, Scott, thanks :D



edit #1:



Re: BX1, it's interesting to see that the authors were going to re-release their previously-published books as a D&D campaign---the titles all match those under non-TSR Companions entry on Matthias' site:




# 40101 - The Curse on Hareth - 85 page adventure, comes as a big stack of loose pages with loads of maps. Supposed to be the first part of a campaign spanning items 40101 through 40103.

# 40102 - Plague of Terror - 60 pages of adventure with 25mm scale maps, a few pages of magical items, very small typeset! This adventure seems to have been developed a long time before release, the play testing credits range back to 1977. A subplot of the adventure is credited to Len Lakofka, the guy who wrote the Lendor Isle series of AD&D adventures.

# 40103 - Brotherhood of the Bolt - 40 page book with three adventures, being the last part of the series that started off with the Curse on Hareth. It comes with a color map sheet, plus some huge 25mm scale maps.

# 40201 - Streets of Gems - town adventure of about 60 pages, again with lots of stuff besides.




I imagine that they would also have had to cut down the text a lot, since those four modules total 245-ish pages vs. 128!



edit #2:  



the Strategic Review and ...Preview links both point to the Dragon Magazine page.  I was confused at first, expecting them to be separate pages, but I eventually figured it out.  Would it be worthwhile to put additional headings in the listing, to call out SR, SP, and TD more clearly?


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Post Posted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:25 am 
 

harami2000 wrote:"pre-publication" box... heh, heh... hope /that's/ gonna be difficult to forge.

(what's the historical background then?)




The stickers won't come off the boxes easily.  To get the stickers off without leaving residue / damage / a lighter section of box -- I'd guess impossible.



Historical background?  The "pre-pub" set rumor has been floating around for some time, since even the earliest quotes by Gygax have mentioned that the D&D Set was available in late 1973 at EasterCon.  I ran across a collector who happens to have two or three of the TSR staff's first-print boxes, and all are without stickers (actually, one has a small "D&D" sticker on it, but who knows where that came from).  There's further info (from Gygax) that every box that came from the printers had a matching set of stickers, i.e., 1000 boxes = 1000 stickers, so the logical conclusion is that these boxes without stickers (which were in the possession of TSR staff) were preview copies, run off a few months early for promotional purposes.  We'll never know for certain, of course, because nobody quite remembers what exactly went on back then, but I'm guessing we're pretty close to the truth.  I set the value equal to the First print sets anyway, so nobody can be too upset.  Worst case, they're First print sets without stickers.



harami2000 wrote:(btw. Isn't the obvious answer to the issue numbering (from #3) that they just continued on from Vol. 2 of the "Strategic Review"?)




Nope. SR #7 was already out, or nearly out, before Strategic Preview hit the scene.  The newsletter was intended to be some sort of goofy half-parody / half-advertisement, so who knows what they were thinking with the numbering.  I told you it was strange.



grodog wrote:the Strategic Review and ...Preview links both point to the Dragon Magazine page. I was confused at first, expecting them to be separate pages, but I eventually figured it out. Would it be worthwhile to put additional headings in the listing, to call out SR, SP, and TD more clearly?




That's probably a good idea.  Maybe a darker line, demarcating the difference between SR / SP / Dragon.  Or a line with a separate heading.  I'll see what I can do there.

  


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Post Posted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 9:35 am 
 

Thanks for the responses. Always more questions... Sorry! :)



FoulFoot wrote:
harami2000 wrote:"pre-publication" box... heh, heh... hope /that's/ gonna be difficult to forge.

(what's the historical background then?)


The stickers won't come off the boxes easily.  To get the stickers off without leaving residue / damage / a lighter section of box -- I'd guess impossible.




*g*. Nah, I was meaning sneakier than that...

It's probably much easier to knock up a fake woodgrain box and throw it copies of the original booklets than it is to duplicate the labels as well.

Hence, pricing the "pre-publication" at the same level is very smart...



Even the color of the woodgrain is difficult to tell from that scan (to attempt to confirm genuineness). Is it the same shade, more-or-less; just that the scanner had difficulty adjusting?



FoulFoot wrote:Historical background?  The "pre-pub" set rumor has been floating around for some time, since even the earliest quotes by Gygax have mentioned that the D&D Set was available in late 1973 at EasterCon.  I ran across a collector who happens to have two or three of the TSR staff's first-print boxes, and all are without stickers (actually, one has a small "D&D" sticker on it, but who knows where that came from).  There's further info (from Gygax) that every box that came from the printers had a matching set of stickers, i.e., 1000 boxes = 1000 stickers, so the logical conclusion is that these boxes without stickers (which were in the possession of TSR staff) were preview copies, run off a few months early for promotional purposes.


Ah, that's what I was looking for! Appreciated :)



It's just that the info on your info page now states categorically that this set was released at 1973 Eastercon, rather than being staff copies from a "few months before"

If the set was available then, this still doesn't tally with Gary Gygax's "rush job" comments (other thread, below, that I'm still pondering); nor that the copyright date should have been set as 1974 so long in advance....



Are these valid concerns?



FoulFoot wrote:We'll never know for certain, of course, because nobody quite remembers what exactly went on back then, but I'm guessing we're pretty close to the truth.


*nods*

And certainly seems better to state the current research understanding in public in the hope that  further information/thoughts will be forthcoming as a result.

  


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Post Posted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 9:46 am 
 

FoulFoot wrote:
harami2000 wrote:(btw. Isn't the obvious answer to the issue numbering (from #3) that they just continued on from Vol. 2 of the "Strategic Review"?)




Nope. SR #7 was already out, or nearly out, before Strategic Preview hit the scene.  The newsletter was intended to be some sort of goofy half-parody / half-advertisement, so who knows what they were thinking with the numbering.  I told you it was strange.


Indeed!



Heh, heh... Is that a "definite Nope" or an almost definite "Nope", then? ;)



Does anyone here know the lead time for the Strategic Reviews (actual publication/release date versus cover date) for certain?



And who confirmed that SP#3 was the first issue?

(Knowing that there is a SP#6, even though it doesn't have a sales record is easier...).



=



(an aside from that: why still the question marks on the publication date for SRs #5 & 6 Page Not Found ?

And never noticed your comment 'bout mailed copies "should be worth substantial more", before. I agree, for some strange reason there!)

  

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Post Posted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 3:33 pm 
 

Harami, you're killing me!  :)



Yes, the woodgrain boxes should be the same color/shade as the First print ones.  I haven't checked out the grain direction, per grodog's recent thread, but I will shortly.



I stated that the pre-pub was avail at Eastercon '73 only because that seems to be the general agreement in the stories floating around.  For a fact, several TSR members had these sets.  I'm guessing "available" means there was one or two demonstration copies at Eastercon, probably one of the TSR staff's sets.  I haven't heard from anywhere that they were actually for sale there -- I don't get the impression there was a truckload of 50 of these things lying around.



I don't know the date of Eastercon 73, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was Nov/Dec.  That cuts down the "advance time" to only a couple months, which is certainly reasonable.



The Strategic Reviews could be printed fairly quickly (they're simple affairs), so the difference in printing date / actual distribution was most likely very small.



SP #3 is the first issue because it says so on the front page.  :)  It also talks about TSR's "main" publication as being The Dragon (June 1976), and the eminent release of Eldritch Wizardry (April 1976).  Ergo, I assume it was released May 1976.



The question marks after the publication date on SR #5 and #6 is a case of me outsmarting myself.  I added those with this last update -- I was back-tracking the publication dates from ones that were already posted on there.  It never occurred to me to check the cover scans, duh.



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Post Posted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 4:45 pm 
 

Thanks for the new update. Great additions.

  
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