Kuntz launches new company with DVD Archive project
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:37 am 
 

Rob Kuntz's new company, Three Line Studio, is going live today with the launch of his El Raja Key Archive DVD: The Collected Maps, Manuscripts & RPG Artifacts of Robert J. Kuntz!

Details @ Lake Geneva Original RPG Campaign: Three Line Studio/Three Little Books line Goes Live @ 11 AM CST! and El Raja Key Archive - Three Line Studio


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Post Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:16 pm 
 

grodog wrote in Kuntz launches new company with DVD Archive project:Rob Kuntz's new company, Three Line Studio, is going live today with the launch of his El Raja Key Archive DVD: The Collected Maps, Manuscripts & RPG Artifacts of Robert J. Kuntz!

Details @ Lake Geneva Original RPG Campaign: Three Line Studio/Three Little Books line Goes Live @ 11 AM CST! and El Raja Key Archive - Three Line Studio


Thanks...and $160 now less in my pocket  :D  :D

  


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Post Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:22 pm 
 

There's a product selector guide @ http://www.tlbgames.com/pages/selection-guide which may help with parsing which version of the Archive you want.  

And it's available in DVD and USB media.


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Post Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:55 pm 
 

An FAQ is being posted to the web site, but here are answers to the first batch of questions:

On Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 7:33 PM, Paul J. Stormberg wrote:
Here are the questions as fielded by Kevin and I.

At 04:26 PM 10/26/2016, you wrote:

Q1: Is the USB able to be added to the DVD purchase for an incremental cost, or is it a full $160 additional?
A1: Yes, it can be added, simply add a Standard Edition to your order selecting the USB Flash Drive variant above the purple "Add to Cart" button. The price will be $89.99.

Your order would look something like this:

El Raja Key Archive Collector's Edition $159.99
DVD
SKU: 1004

El Raja Key Archive Standard Edition             $89.99
USB Flash Drive
SKU: 1002usb

...or

El Raja Key Archive Deluxe Edition               $119.99
DVD
SKU: 1003

El Raja Key Archive Collector's Edition $89.99
USB Flash Drive
SKU: 1002usb


Q2: Is it possible to see the full listing of included files for each version of the archive, or at least to get a count on the number of files for each?
A2: The Standard Edition is organized into 295 subject pages with 1045 scans. The Basic Edition is organized into 108 subject pages with 420 scans. As an example: the Dark Druids subject page includes two levels: a 1st level with 1 map and 6 pages keys and Level 2 with 1 map and 5 pages of keys.
                                                                           
Thus, one subject page has 13 scans. A comparative list of the subject pages for the Basic and Standard Editions can be found at this link. (If that link doesn't work, it should be available in the FAQ (comming soon) on the TLBgames.com website.


Q3: What are the differences between the three printed K1 adventures?
A3: The First Print is 40 pages and is over 18,000 words - that is a little larger than G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King which comes in at 16 pages and 17,000 words. The Deluxe and Collector's Prints include an all new encounter area, Tower of Night! The additional encounter area adding about 1,000 words. Additionally, the Collector's Print is both signed and numbered by Rob Kuntz.


Q4: How big are the K1 module booklets, and do they include the maps and keys?
A4: Physically, the booklets have 40 pages and measure 4 3/4 by 7 1/4 inches. The adventure contains the keys and a diagram but the high resolution scans of Rob's original hand-drawn map and legend that go with it ar only in the the Archive. However, you can purchase K1 Sunken City: First Print without any edition of the Archive and then purchase the Map Pack download. As more an more modules come out it will soon be apparent that the Archive represents  quite the bargain.


Q5: Are there any sample files available to view/read to help know what they look like (and if they are even readable)?
A5: Find below an image snippet of a map.


[image to appear in FAQ]


Q6: Are there any samples available to view/read the historical commentary, to see how much value that adds to the Standard edition of the archive?                       
A6: The Basic Edition contains 50+ maps and and some keys for about 40 adventures and dungeon levels, plus about 20,000 words of historical commentary.                                                                 

The Standard Edition contains all of that... PLUS about 50 more maps (including dozens of regional and area detail maps), dozens of original PCs and NPCs, campaign notes, 100+ magic items, timelines for both Greyhawk and Kalibruhn campaigns, historical documents, memoirs of game play, Rob's resume of work, several beautiful pieces of full-color artwork, plus an additional 20,000 words of historical commentary.

There is no difference in the commentary on the overlapping subject matter between the two editions, i.e., the adventures.


Q7: Are any of the files complete adventures that can be run immediately,  or will they require the DM to do additional work beyond reading the files?
A7: Many of the adventures can be run from what is included on the Archive using Old School DM'ing, as Rob often wrote detailed keys but you won't find 4-page stat blocks for the monsters. An example is included below.

[image to appear in FAQ]

Q8: Do the scans include transcriptions?
A8: No these are Rob's original, 1975, hand-drawn maps and hand-written notes. However, a substantial amount of interesting details are written up in the commentary, and it is this commenetary that is indexed and cross-linked. That is over 3,000 linked entries and 1,700 index entries. (See reply to question 8. for a sample of Rob's hand-written text.)

Q9: What are PC/Mac program/system requirements to use the Archive contents?
A9: The Archive is viewable with any reasonably modern Web Browser on any reasonably modern system (including Tablets, Smart Phones, Etc.). Some of the maps are quite large (76 MB, 7461x9185px, 300dpi) and could strain really old systems.

Q12: How is fulfillment and shipping being managed.
A12: Fulfillment and shipping are being handled by The Collector's Trove in the United States. The Collector's Trove has a very high reputation among collectors and provides quality packaging and quick shipping.

Q13: How much is shipping to non-US destinations?
A13: It would depend upon what was being purchased, but as an example: K1 Sunken City alone or the Basic or Standard Edition would cost $15.00 USD each, and the Deluxe and Collector's Editions would cost $25.00 USD each. The difference is based strictly on weight.


Q15: Can the Archive files be printed?
A15: Yes. The files can be printed, although Rob used color-coding on most of his maps, so printing them off in black and white will makes them difficult to read.

Q16: Can the Archive files be moved off of the DVD/USB and stored on a computer?
A16: Yes and this will actually speed up the performance of the Archive for most users. Instructions on how to do this are included on a technical sheet enclosed with each copy of the Archive.

Q17: At what resolution are the documents scanned?
A17: The original documents have been scanned at 300 dpi. That mean's they have the same resolution as the original.


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:08 am 
 

Some further updates:

- the FAQ is now posted @ Lake Geneva Original RPG Campaign: EL Raja Key Archive Recent FAQ!
- the TOC for the Basic edition (108 titled items) vs. Standard+ editions (295 titles items) is now posted @ http://www.tlbgames.com/pages/archive-subject-page-list
- Paul Stormberg mentioned that he and Kevin Maurice are in the process of building a "Test Drive the Archive" page, which will let you see some content in the .html interface, and get a better idea of what some actual content looks like

Some highlighted items in the archive include:

Expanded Greyhawk Castle Menu
Core Level 02 - Invisible Maze Level
Core Level 02 (Special) - Bottle City Level
Core Level 03 - Gem Room & Crypts
Core Level 05 - Sealed Tomb Level
Core Level 06 - Black Pudding Doorkeeper Level
Core Level 07 - Tsojconth Level
Core Level 07.5 - Black Reservoir
Core Level 11 - Entrance to Oz
Core Level 12 - Boreal Level
Core Level 13 - Entrance to Asgard Melnibone & Dying Earth
Core Level 14 - Orb Scepter & Crown Level
Core Level 18 - Dragon Level
East Level 03 (Split) - Garden & Giant's Pool Hall Level
East Level 08 - Machine Level
West Level 05 - Gallery Level
West Level 07 - Barracks Level
Core Level (Special) - Living Room

Tsojconth Menu
Tsojconth 1973
Tsojconth 1976
Daoud's Other Lanthorn

Castle El Raja Key Menu
Castle El Raja Key - Upper Works
Castle El Raja Key - Level 01
Castle El Raja Key - Level 02
Castle El Raja Key - Level 03
Castle El Raja Key - Level 04
Castle El Raja Key - Level 05
Castle El Raja Key - Level 05.5
Castle El Raja Key - Level 06
Castle El Raja Key - Level 07
Castle El Raja Key - Level 07.5 (Special)
Castle El Raja Key - Level 08
Castle El Raja Key - Level 09
Castle El Raja Key - Level 10
Castle El Raja Key - Level 11

and many more items of possible interest! :D


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Post Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:22 pm 
 

The FAQ is updated again @ http://www.tlbgames.com/pages/faqs:  

FAQs

Q: Is the USB able to be added to the DVD purchase for an incremental cost, or is it a full $160 additional?

A: Yes, it can be added, simply add a Standard Edition to your order selecting the USB Flash Drive variant above the purple "Add to Cart" button. The price will be $89.99.

Your order would look something like this:

El Raja Key Archive Collector's Edition      $159.99
DVD
SKU: 1004

El Raja Key Archive Standard Edition            $89.99
USB Flash Drive
SKU: 1002usb

...or

El Raja Key Archive Deluxe Edition               $119.99
DVD
SKU: 1003

El Raja Key Archive Standard Edition          $89.99
USB Flash Drive
SKU: 1002usb


Q: Is it possible to see the full listing of included files for each version of the Archive, or at least to get a count on the number of files for each?

A: The Standard Edition is organized into 295 subject pages with 1045 scans. The Basic Edition is organized into 108 subject pages with 420 scans. As an example: the Dark Druids subject page includes two levels: a 1st level with 1 map and 6 pages keys and Level 2 with 1 map and 5 pages of keys. Thus, one subject page has 13 scans.

A comparative list of the subject pages for the Basic and Standard Editions can be found at this link.


Q: What are the differences between the three printed K1 adventures?

A: The First Print is 40 pages and over 18,000 words - that is a little larger than G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King which comes in at 16 pages and 17,000 words. The Deluxe and Collector's Prints include an all new encounter area, Tower of Night! The additional encounter area adding about 1,000 words. Additionally, the Collector's Print is both signed and numbered by Rob Kuntz.

Q: How big are the K1 module booklets, and do they include the maps and keys?

A: Physically, the booklets have 40 pages and measure 4 3/4 by 7 1/4 inches. The adventure contains the keys, a diagram, and pre-generated characters but the high resolution scans of Rob's original hand-drawn map and legend that go with it are only in the the Archive. However, you can purchase K1 Sunken City: First Print without any edition of the Archive and then purchase the Map Pack download. As more and more modules come out it will soon be apparent that the Archive represents quite the bargain! So far we have 5 modules in the line-up!


Q: Are there any sample files available to view/read to help know what they look like (and if they are even readable)?

A: Find below an image snippet of a map.
 Sample snippet from a scan of a map

Q: Are there any samples available to view/read the historical commentary, to see how much value that adds to the Standard Edition of the Archive?

A: The Basic Edition contains 50+ maps and some keys for about 40 adventures and dungeon levels, plus about 20,000 words of historical commentary


The Standard Edition contains all of that... PLUS about 50 more maps (including dozens of regional and area detail maps), dozens of original PCs and NPCs, campaign notes, 100+ magic items, timelines for both Greyhawk and Kalibruhn campaigns, historical documents, memoirs of game play, Rob's resume of work, several beautiful pieces of full-color artwork, plus an additional 20,000 words of historical commentary.

There is no difference in the commentary on the overlapping subject matter between the two editions, i.e., the adventures.


Q: Are any of the files complete adventures that can be run immediately,  or will they require the DM to do additional work beyond reading the files?

A: Many of the adventures can be run from what is included on the Archive using Old School DM'ing, as Rob often wrote detailed keys but you won't find stat blocks for most monsters other than hit points. An example is included below.

[]

Q: Do the scans include transcriptions?

A: No these are Rob's original hand-drawn maps and hand-written notes. However, a substantial amount of interesting details are written up in the commentary, and it is this commentary that is indexed and cross-linked. That is over 7,000 linked entries and 1,500 index entries. (See the reply to the above question for a sample of Rob's hand-written text.)


Q: What are PC/Mac program/system requirements to use the Archive contents?

A: The Archive is view-able with any reasonably modern Web Browser on any reasonably modern system (including Tablets, Smart Phones, Etc.). Some of the maps are quite large (76 MB, 7461x9185px, 300dpi) and could strain really old systems.


Q: How is fulfillment and shipping being managed.

A: Fulfillment and shipping are being handled by The Collector's Trove in the United States. The Collector's Trove has a very high reputation among collectors and provides quality packaging and quick shipping.


Q: How much is shipping to non-US destinations?

A: It would depend upon what was being purchased, but as an example: K1 Sunken City alone or the Basic or Standard Edition would cost $15.00 USD each, and the Deluxe and Collector's Editions would cost $25.00 USD each. The difference is based strictly on weight.


Q: Can the Archive files be printed?

A: Yes. The files can be printed, although Rob used color-coding on most of his maps, so printing them off in black and white will makes them difficult to read.


Q: Can the Archive files be moved off of the DVD/USB and stored on a computer?

A: Yes and this will actually speed up the performance of the Archive for most users. Instructions on how to do this are included on a technical sheet enclosed with each copy of the Archive.


Q: At what resolution are the documents scanned?

A: The original documents have been scanned at 300 dpi.


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Post Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 7:34 pm 
 

Legal questions.

On the TLS website, text on the product uses the terms "Dungeons & Dragons", "D&D", and "Greyhawk". It also states "(c) 1971-2016 Robert J. Kuntz & Three Line Studio."

Since the 1971 date precedes WotC's purchase of all company trade marks, copyrights, and other assets, is Mr. Kuntz challenging them for ownership thereof?

If not, do you anticipate legal action from WotC due to the arguably illegal use of those terms?
If Mr. Kuntz's physical location in Corsica might deter such, is the Nebraska fulfillment house subject to a C&D?

  

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Post Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 3:03 am 
 

I was wondering too about the use of the artwork on the extra modules and the DVD sets.

Wouldn't the unused painting artwork for X1 "Isle of Dread" fall under Jim Roslof's "work for hire" agreement since he was on staff at TSR? Meaning, TSR would have automatically owned authorship on it. On top of that, isn't the monster depicted in that artwork the "Kopru"? Wouldn't Hasbro/WotC own the copyright on that as well? Or is the Kopru a generic monster from mythology that they couldn't own?

Artwork that was set aside / "not used" for a particular project would still be fair game for TSR to use later on in other avenues. For example, they used lots of previously-unused illustration work in the "Art of Dragonlance" book. Other stuff I remember showing up in Polyhedron issues that were originally not used. I think some Dragon magazines used artwork that originally didn't "make the cut" as well. I can think of some Spelljammer monsters as an example.

Also, I read on the TLB games website
http://www.tlbgames.com/pages/about-us
about receiving (buying?) the rights to that logo concept Jim Roslof had done from Laura. Are you certain this was a "freelance" submission? That logo artwork was a prelim for this final version (seen on this link below, image on top right) that was presented to TSR management at the time in the fall of 1981 ...
(edit typo, meant 1980)

TSR Logos

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but Jim was staff employed by TSR at the time which I believe (as above with the X1 painting) means his work, including any production designs (prelims), would have the copyright ownership belong to TSR (and now Hasbro/WotC). Was Hasbro/WotC questioned about the ownership of the logo to confirm they didn't have a claim on it? Maybe this is a fuzzy thing if Jim was somehow freelancing while being on staff. Hasbro/WotC may not care, but you never know.

  


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:48 am 
 

Howdy misterspock,


Sorry I haven't chimed in here much as of late - I have been a bit busy! Rob asked me to step in and explain the background on Jim Roslof's artwork, since The Collector's Trove is handling the collection for Laura and is the source of the artwork.

misterspock wrote in Kuntz launches new company with DVD Archive project:I was wondering too about the use of the artwork on the extra modules and the DVD sets.

Wouldn't the unused painting artwork for X1 "Isle of Dread" fall under Jim Roslof's "work for hire" agreement since he was on staff at TSR? Meaning, TSR would have automatically owned authorship on it. On top of that, isn't the monster depicted in that artwork the "Kopru"? Wouldn't Hasbro/WotC own the copyright on that as well? Or is the Kopru a generic monster from mythology that they couldn't own?


No. This was a freelance project for Jim. In Jim's collection, there is an entire file labeled "TSR Freelance", filled with art that Jim did freelance for TSR and the unused X1 art was in there too. Many of the artists did freelance work to make a little extra money on the side - and it was mainly cover art and full color art that they did this for as it earned the biggest commissions. Example: Dave Sutherland III did the DMG cover as freelance work and Laura Roslof did her monster card artwork as freelance work as well.

The logo art was also in Jim's file - marked "TSR Freelance" and then in pencil, "REJECTED" and there is a lot of other really cool logo work in there as well. Note that Darlene was not on staff at TSR and did most of her work freelance including her logos - and they selected her logo over Jim's. Given that provenance and Laura's recollection of these it is pretty clear that these items were freelance work done by Jim and that they were flat-out rejected by TSR. Note Jim didn't even finish the X1 back cover submission, probably because they already went with Willingham's.

Most importantly, Wizard's of the Coast discovered all of Jim's artwork in storage at TSR and returned it all to him free and clear. So it seems pretty clear that Wizard's of the Coast has established that they wanted Jim to have his artwork to keep or sell - which he did in massive amounts through Nobleknight 11 years ago.

Finally, TLB Games has secured full permission from Laura to use both pieces and have another artist finished them and she is delighted to see Jim's artwork still being used and appreciated.

Oh, and a kopru doesn't have claws or legs for that matter... perhaps you will find this new sort of creature in the Sunken City!


Futures Bright,

Paul


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:43 am 
 

FYI the dvd will not play in all DVD players.  This is a problem with certain burners that they make media that won't work in all models.  Luckily I have a bunch of computers around and it worked fine in two of them, just not the first drive I tried out.

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:45 am 
 

Matt---

nesbit37 wrote in Kuntz launches new company with DVD Archive project:FYI the dvd will not play in all DVD players.  This is a problem with certain burners that they make media that won't work in all models.  Luckily I have a bunch of computers around and it worked fine in two of them, just not the first drive I tried out.


Can you please email the specifics about your type of DVD player that didn't work to Rob and Paul at [email protected]?  That way they can add the information to the technical details on the website and FAQ.


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Post Posted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 12:55 pm 
 

Email sent.  It was a LiteOn drive for the curious, though it may be a problem just to the specific model I have and not necessarily all LiteOn drives and whatever burner they are using.

edit: actually, that email was returned as the address was rejected, mailbox unavailable. Is there another contact option?  I don't see one on the website.

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Post Posted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 4:03 pm 
 

nesbit37 wrote in Kuntz launches new company with DVD Archive project:edit: actually, that email was returned as the address was rejected, mailbox unavailable. Is there another contact option?  I don't see one on the website.


Yeah, I just got that too, will see what the scoop is.


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Post Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:45 pm 
 

grodog wrote in Kuntz launches new company with DVD Archive project:
nesbit37 wrote in Kuntz launches new company with DVD Archive project:edit: actually, that email was returned as the address was rejected, mailbox unavailable. Is there another contact option?  I don't see one on the website.


Yeah, I just got that too, will see what the scoop is.


The proper email is [email protected].  Sorry about that!

Here are my first impressions of the archive, which arrived in the mail over the weekend:

The DVD Archive contains 284 lines in the Table of Contents, but several of those are not content-related (legal, using the archive, credits, etc.), and there are several layers in the menu for navigation (some of which have introductory text associated with them, others of which don't).  So, there are ~260 distinct pieces of content (that's an estimate, I haven't counted the individual content titles).  

The Archive content is navigated through an .html interface with a cascading menu, or through the TOC which displays all of the menu levels (as if the cascading menus were all open).  When a piece of content includes multiple pages of scans, the content is navigated through using small thumbnail images broken into paging groups (page 1 of thumbnails displays 4 thumbnail images, pag2 includes next 4, etc.).  All of the pieces of content have at least a minimal text description, and some are quite substantive (8+ paragraphs long).  Most are shorter, with 2-3 short paragraphs of descriptive text about the content.  When a thumbnail is clicked on, the content's scanned image opens below the thumbnails and content introductory text.  You can click on the image to see it full-size as well.  All of the content presented is in scanned form, whether it was originally a map, a handwritten key or notes page, or a typed or printed document.  The Archive does not include any transcripts or OCR'd text.  The content scans are quite good quality, and the .html interface itself is quick and easy to use (unlike the old Dragon Archive CD Archive).

The content itself includes a broad selection of content drawn primarily from Kuntz's Greyhawk and Kalibruhn works, with a few pieces of content from the pre-D&D era (including Kuntz's original write-up of his "City of the Gods" adventure summary from Oerth Journal #7).  Much of the Greyhawk and Kalibruhn content includes maps (sometimes with keys, but more often without especially for the levels of Castle Greyhawk and El Raja Key).   Most map/key content items are 2-4 pages long, but some are substantially longer:  the Lost City of the Elders includes 68 content thumbnails for huge maps, handwritten manuscript keys/notes, typescript pages, and original artwork; the Kalibruhn Blackstar novel draft/notes are 17 pages long; the Greyhawk Pit of Geburah adventure (referenced in the original folio and boxed sets as an evil sleeping beneath the depths of the Drachensgrab Mountains) contains 41 pages of maps, manuscript and types keys/notes, pregen PCs, sketches, etc., in addition to its 2 page historical commentary introduction.  

The K1 Sunken City adventure included with the Standard+ DVD Archive purchases is a short 4.5"x7.5" booklet.  I've flipped through it, but not read it yet.  It has a detached cover, is staple-bound, and is 40 pages long (the Deluxe and Collector printings of the Sunken City include an additional 1000 words or so).  You need to use the maps from the Archive to run the adventure.  

A word of warning/caveat to my impressions above:  I've had access to most of the files and information in the DVD Archive for several years (and in some cases, decades), and I certainly think it's a great trove of information about Greyhawk, Kalibruhn, and Rob's many works over the years, but I don't know that I can really view it through "fresh" eyes.  For example, among the 24 distinct levels/keys of Castle Greyhawk and El Raja Key presented in the archive, the only one that's new to me is Castle Greyhawk's Level 5 Sealed Tomb Level map, along with the CG-ERK levels' mapping relationships (that Castle Greyhawk Core Level 03 Gem Room & Crypts was originally El Raja Key level 4, for example).  

The Archive is indeed a treasure trove of gaming material and lore from the Greyhawk and Kalibruhn campaigns.  There's plenty of material in the Archive that a DM can pick up and run with, and plenty to inspire a DM in his own campaign building efforts (whether using Kalibruhn, Greyhawk, or his own homebrew setting).  There's also great historical context here for someone wanting to read the Archive alongside a book like Jon Peterson's Playing at the World, as well as deep insight into the creative mind of Rob Kuntz, and his lasting (and continuing!) impact on the development of Dungeons & Dragons.

I hope that helps provide some additional context for folks who are interested in the Archive and my thoughts on it.  I'll likely write some more about the Sunken City adventure soon!


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Post Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 12:48 am 
 

Hi guys i bought a copy of the first module "the sunken city": as i am not interested in the dvd,  my only optionwas the standard module... Well i still have to go trough it but i draw a red flag i realized when i got it and flipped throughthe pages the first time: there s no map or ref to the key: encounterd written in the module can t be found within any map present in the module...  Am i right? Or did i miss smtg?
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 10:27 am 
 

aia wrote in Kuntz launches new company with DVD Archive project:Hi guys i bought a copy of the first module "the sunken city": as i am not interested in the dvd,  my only optionwas the standard module... Well i still have to go trough it but i draw a red flag i realized when i got it and flipped throughthe pages the first time: there s no map or ref to the key: encounterd written in the module can t be found within any map present in the module...  Am i right? Or did i miss smtg?


That's right, Axel.  The map is included in the ERK Archive, but if you buy just the adventure, you can download it for free @ http://www.tlbgames.com/collections/pre ... ive-images

That help?

Allan.


Allan Grohe ([email protected])
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Post Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 3:15 am 
 

Thanks Allan, i dont know if thus info is reported in the module as well (i have prb missed it!).
In any case my opinion is that a copy of the map could have been placed in the module...
I will print it and put together with the module now!
Ciaoo
Axel


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