Obscure Collecting Knowledge
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Post Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:08 am 
 

I wanted to celebrate (a little bit, anyway) post 2000 with another topic that I find interesting, and may appeal only to me... but I hope not.

For TSR (A)(O)D&D collecting, there is no doubt that the Acaeum is the best source to learn about the minutiae of collecting - versions, printings, editions, variations, values, etc.  But beyond that scope, the knowledge is held by a few experts.  There isn't a wide base of knowledge for non-TSR D&D related material, and there aren't forums out there dedicated to the collecting of other RPGs, at least certainly not at the same level as we have here.  Want to learn about collecting Ars Magica or GURPS or Chivalry & Sorcery or Vampire?  Everyone has to figure it out for themselves.  Yes, Tome Of Treasures does a very good job, but it doesn't have a lot of activity at this point.  It's about the same story for the Acaeum wiki.  Both rpg.net and rpggeek.com are good indexes, but they simply don't delve into individual items at the level of an obsessive collector.  Do we know anyone like that here?  :D

There is information scattered in topics within the Collecting General - Non TSR category, but it takes some clever searching to unearth what you're looking for, and even then, there is often scattered and conflicting information.  Heck, we don't even have complete information about versions of AD&D 2E items!  I was reminded of this lacking resource when I was asked some Call Of Cthulhu questions this week.  There was nowhere else to just get the information other than asking myself or another expert or doing (redundant) research.  Of course, I was happy to assist, but it still bugged me that even a site as focused on that game as yog-sothoth.com wouldn't have revealed the answers, without digging into some very old posts, and thus repeating the work I had done a couple years ago.

So I thought it might be of use to have one thread to file all the little tidbits.  Sure, it's not as organized as a wiki, but it's a lot easier to contribute to, and having the information in one place, even if it's a little tough to search, might be an acceptable tradeoff if we end up with more contributions.

As usual, there aren't really many rules to what I'm asking for here - if there is some information about a non-TSR RPG item that you've come up with through digging around or first hand research of comparing items, and it's something you think others wouldn't know about, then I think it's fair game to include.  If you can reveal/remember how you learned the information, that's nice, but certainly not required.  It would also be nice if the information were definitive, but obviously that's challenging.  Still, it's less cluttering to have some discussions (no, I think there are four versions, not three!) privately, and then come back and share the results.  I'd start discussing Stormbringer versions, but I'm still not convinced that Géraud and I have it all sorted out yet!

So that's the idea.  Hopefully it's appealing.  A few examples, to get us started, and then I'll have to dig back into my spreadsheets to see what else I can come up with.




The Pendragon supplement Land Of Giants states on the back cover that it includes a separate map.  It doesn't.  Greg Stafford confirmed this.

The Ars Magica 4E core rulebook was first printed as a softcover only.  It wasn't until the 2nd printing that a hardcover was offered.  The very nice folks at Atlas Games did some digging in their records to help me sort out some Ars Magica questions.  In my experience, a 1st print softcover was frustratingly hard to find, but had no value difference.

Similarly, the GURPS Basic Set 3E Revised core book didn't have a hardcover version until the 4th printing.  Digging in the Steve Jackson forums and the Internet Archive helped me figure this out.

I mentioned it, so I should reveal the Call Of Cthulhu tidbit that I was asked about:

For CoC's 25th anniversary in 2006, Chaosium did four special edition hardcovers: Beyond The Mountains Of Madness, Complete Masks Of Nyarlathotep, Malleus Monstrorum, and the core rulebook.  They're all fairly tough to find, and most CoC collectors don't even know about them, because they were on sale for only a few WEEKS.  The first two come up a couple times a year, and sell for $50-60 (Masks) and $80-120 (Mountains).  Masks is less because there are so many versions of it available, including newer ones, and Mountains just always draws a lot, but I think it's actually ends up a little high.

The latter two are much harder to find.  Other than one I bought, there may have been one other Malleus in the last few years; I'd estimate it at $70-90 (should be higher, but when no one knows about something there are fewer bidders).  The core book is a little more common, but not much.  Price is hard to gauge on this one, because it gets lost in the shuffle with the 20th anniversary version (green leather) and the 30th anniversary version (brown leather), and as I said, a lot of people don't even know about it.  Personally, I think it's much nicer and more usable - glossy hardcover with the art from the original box sets.  Maybe $70-80.

MSRP on these originally was $40 for Masks, $60 for Mountains (another reason it probably sells for more), $50 for Malleus, and $45 for the core rules.

This information all come from yog-sothoth.com... if you're willing to dig through the publisher news posts for 2006.  Valuations are based on my experience.


Areas of interest/knowledge: Harn, Pendragon, WFRP, Ars Magica, anything BRP based, CoC, Runequest

Planning: BRP/Harn

  

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Post Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:30 am 
 

Good idea Steve. It is very complicate to find informations about obscure RPGs. Do you suggest to group every discussion in this specific post? This thread would be to post answer or to question as well?


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Post Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:01 pm 
 

I remember years ago before Ebay I was picking up Dragon mags from Michael Cox's Dragonstrove and he would send out a little e-newsletter. In it he described that there were two covers to module B3 and that the orange one was rare. That week I stopped in at my local game shop and they had just bought out Lawrence Schick's collection. On the shelf, for $6 each, were 4 copies of the orange B3 module. That little tid-bit of info was certainly good to know and came at just the right time.

On a more relevant note to this discussion the Ravenloft Tarokka Deck contains 66 cards and not the 68 cards as listed on the back of the box.


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Post Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:38 pm 
 

lokiwookie wrote:Do you suggest to group every discussion in this specific post? This thread would be to post answer or to question as well?


I was thinking this to be one thread to post answers more than questions, but I'm not in charge here.  Do what you want.   :wink:


Areas of interest/knowledge: Harn, Pendragon, WFRP, Ars Magica, anything BRP based, CoC, Runequest

Planning: BRP/Harn

  

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Post Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:11 am 
 

I have an incomplete Ravenloft set that has far less than 66 now. My 2 year old got to it and it seems they either have some nutritional value, or the magic is in the eating.
I don't think I know of anything unusual that hasn't already been discovered. Wait, maybe not. Was it I that figured out there was a 2nd printing version of Chainmail from Bath, ME or something? I remember having multiple copies of a printing of something and realizing it had never come up. Or was it Rahasia's multiples? Those brain cells are long lost to me now...............


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Post Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:53 pm 
 

fwiw:

Bio One
by "Jim Muscala and WAW Productions"
from TSR Rules, (c) 1974 (not the pub. date; see below)

Muscala was a friend of Brian Blume's, very probably local (within 30 miles of Lake Geneva).

Contents: 12 pages; 4 pages typeset (sans-serif), 8 pages typewritten (probably photocopied due to typesetting difficulties in multiple charts/tables)
Of note: References Boot Hill (p2) and "decimal die" (now called percentage)

V1: textured light green paper
V2: plain (flat) light-green paper

Textured cover is similar to OD&D 1st printing booklets, but not as heavy (lighter weight paper)
We believe that the textured is the 1st printing, late 1975/early '76, and the plain paper is the 2nd printing, c. 1977-78
Rationale: TSR had a history of reducing costs after the 1st printing (see OD&D covers and various boardgames). Printer was very probably Graphic Printing (Lake Geneva), using up leftover textured stock (see covers of Tricolor, Cavaliers & Roundheads, et al.)

Review: Being gunpowder-specific, the rules were inapplicable to D&D and other FRP. Extremely detailed and often criticized for that, they are well-constructed, reasonably playtested, and useful -- given a bit of practice.

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Post Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:48 pm 
 

fwiw Department:

The Strategic Preview, Sub-titled TSR Jobbies: Issues 3-6

In-house newsletter from TSR Publications division, 4 pages each (1 sheet folded), photocopied, distribution est. 25-50 copies each
#3 says it's the first (thus no #1 or 2), and #6 seems to be the last. Any dissent?

Contents:

#3
What is this new rag?
Eldritch Wizardry now available
Strategists' Club News
David Megarry, David Megarry (comic strip)
Caricatures (Gygax, Arneson, Blume, Carr, Kask, Megarry, Terry Kuntz)
TSR Rumblings (new: Air Power, FiTS, LBHorn; upcoming: B5A, cons, etc)
Discounts of the Month (Classic Warfare $8, Panzer Warfare $3)
TSR Catalog (back page)

#4
What is Happening at TSR (Courier/Little Wars, GenCon10 @ Playboy Resort, LBHorn ready)
The Day Halley's Comet Struck TSR
David Megarry, David Megarry (comic strip) x2
Sketch of "The Dungeon" (Williams Street house, Lake Geneva)
TSR Rumblings (conventions, including GenCon West, San Jose CA, Sept. 4-6 1976)
Discounts of the Month (Classic Warfare $8, Panzer Warfare $3)
Asst. cartoon sketches
TSR Catalog (back page)

#5
Hot off the Presses (G,D&H & 1066)
Cartoon "Off to Origins II"
Games from File 13 (humor, with cartoon sketches)
David Megarry, David Megarry (comic strip)
Creature Feature: Yeenoghu, Demon Lord of Orcs (OD&D version)
TSR Rumblings (Bio One, Field Regulations, Star Probe, Star Empires, GenCon IX)
Discounts of the Month (July & August: Little Big Horn $8, Star Probe $5)
Caricatures: Ernie Gygax the Barbarian, Rob Kuntz Restocker of the Dungeon, Neil Topolnicki The Mad Wargamer, Shlump Da Orc
Ads for GenCon IX, Tractics, Fight in the Skies, Airpower

#6
Busy Busy Busy at TSR (Lankhmar, Valley Forge, Swords & Spells)
GenCon IX recap
David Megarry, David Megarry (comic strip)
Strategists' Club News
GenCon West
TSR Rumblings (Metamorphosis Alpha, Minifigs Miniatures, etc)
Discounts of the Month (November: 1066 $9.50, Boot Hill + %dice $5.50)
Asst. cartoon sketches
Gift Certificate (art by Dave Trampier)


Comments

Two notable historical points (aside from the overall great look inside TSR of the '70s): #5 Yeenoghu first appears; #6 rarely-seen Tramp art.
fyi, the "Megarry" comic was so named to mimic a popular soap-opera parody television show of the period.

  


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:57 pm 
 

Thanks for the info, Frank. It's always handy to have complete indexes for publications.

Re: Yeenoghu. That's an especially neat tidbit, as I didn't realize there was any game content in these.
Further question: does the write-up reference his magic missile power having a +2 to hit, as in the Monster Manual entry?


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:36 pm 
 

Thanks Frank---lots of good info there!  Can you please tack on dates for the issues, if they're listed?  IIRC they were supposed to have been published between SR#7 (April 1976) and TD#1 (June 1976), but I don't know if we know that for sure?  

And FWIW re: the numbering, I'd always assumed that Strategic Preview started with #3 because SR#7 was Vol 2. #2, and that SP was picking up immediately afterward with (Vol 2.) #3.

edit:  and VERY interesting that Yeenoghu is demon lord of ORCS instead of gnolls!  8O


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:19 pm 
 

grodog wrote:
edit:  and VERY interesting that Yeenoghu is demon lord of ORCS instead of gnolls!  8O


That actually makes some sense as he and Orcus are enemies...or am I mixing that up.


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Post Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:06 pm 
 

grodog wrote:Can you please tack on dates for the issues, if they're listed?


Months are usually mentioned, and we believe they're all from 1976, corroborated by the "Newly Released" citations in articles (key products & conventions referenced above).

Found another historical point of note. #6 mentions that "Under the joint sponsorship of The Outpost shop and TSR Hobbies," GenCon West "was held at the McCabe Hall of the San Jose Civic Auditorium on September 4th, 5th, and 6th." ... with "TSR representatives David Megarry, Brian Blume, and Dave Arneson." ..."Another is planned for '77." (I wonder; why not Gary? I'll ask Tim.)

Zenopus wrote:does the write-up reference his magic missile power having a +2 to hit, as in the Monster Manual entry?


Indeed.

Verbatim text (spacing etc per original):

(Column 1; illo to the right of the narrow text)

YEENOGHU, Demon Lord of Orcs

Height: 12'
Armor Class: -4
Move: 18"
Hit Dice: 10 (12 sided)
Intelligence: high
Magic Resistance: 80%
Hit by: Magical Weapons only
Has Infravision
Regeneration: 1 point/melee rd.

Yeenoghu speaks all of the "giant
class" languages, as well as the
tongue common to all humans and
near humans(elves, dwarves, and
hobbits among others). He can
project his speech telepathically
to any single creature, but he
cannot thereby influence them other
than through words. He has the
following magical powers usable
once per melee round:
Darkness, 10'r.; magic missile
(3/day, 6 missles/cast, 2-8 points
of damage/missile with +2 to hit);
detect magic; read magic; read
languages; detect invisible objects;
invisibility; fly; hold person;
dispel magic; suggestion; polymorph
self; fear(as wand); teleport; telekinesis 10,000 g.p. wt.; transmute rock to mud; mass
charm; gate in Type I demon(80% chance for 2-5). As he receives homage from the King
of Ghouls, he can also summon 4-16 ghouls with a 1 turn delay. Yeenoghu has a flail
of three heads: hits by each have the following effect: 1st-- 3-18 points damage; 2nd--
save vs. wand or be paralyized; 3rd-- save vs. magic or confused.

(Column 2, above illo:)

Description: Yeenoghu resembles a human in
general form, except that his head is a hyena's,
his chest canine in form, his hands paw-like,
and his feet are pawed. He is thin to the point
of being skeletal, and his only body hair is a
mangy crest from head down his back. His skin is
dead gray in color and smooth. His eyes are
glowing yellow and large.


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:13 am 
 

Thanks Frank!


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Post Posted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:24 pm 
 

ExTSR wrote:Indeed.

Verbatim text (spacing etc per original):

(Column 1; illo to the right of the narrow text)



(Column 2, above illo:)



You mention an illustration - is it of Yeenoghu? If so, how does it compare to the one in the MM?

  


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Post Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:48 am 
 

Just wanted to jump in here. The thread is a good idea. I just wanted to comment on the Acaeum Wiki.

When we started the Acaeum Wiki, the whole idea was to have a platform to expand to non-TSR and later D&D editions. It was also to be a site to  which all Acaeum members could contribute. These forums have an incredible amount of information - another key intention was to cross-reference the forums with the wiki so that a lot of the hidden tidbits could be easily found through an organised index.

One of the last things I was working on for example was to start some 'Beholder' pages.  Link - The Beholder  In the description I have linked to the forums here - so you can see what I mean.

The problem I am having over the past year is I have, like many of us I suppose, become phenomenally busy at work. I also moved house, had to put my collection (which is quite a large one) into storage, and am working outside of Australia (half a world away from my collection).

The Wiki is not something I have abandoned. I am hoping when my work life becomes more sane, I can return to it with vigor. I own well over 1000 items I can add to it, and often scan stuff on my trips home, and work on it while away. There remains a small group with a continued interest in developing it - but just about all of us have had work take over our lives to an excessive extent!

But the platform is still there for all to use. Any suggestions on its further development are always welcome.

  
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