Wagoner's & John's Prerolled Dungeon Monster Groups
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2022 11:06 pm 
 

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I picked this item up awhile back and was hoping someone on here might be familiar with it and could shed further details/information.

I'm guessing this was a fan made creation and was sold privately at a convention.

It's 37 dot matrix printed pages and appears like a lot of work and thought was put into it.

Anyone ever see this item before and better yet, saw it for sale at a specific convention? Anyone know of the creators Wagoner and/or John?

Any information would be most welcome.

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Post Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2022 12:15 am 
 

Never seen it beforehand... I love in any case the " limited addition": this helps the sales towards those who have problems with maths!


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Post Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2022 4:32 am 
 

What an cool item. Such fan made creations, especially the early ones, add so much fun to the hobby. No insights to offer. I wonder how many were produced and how many still exist.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2022 10:29 am 
 

aia wrote in Wagoner's & John's Prerolled Dungeon Monster Groups:Never seen it beforehand... I love in any case the " limited addition": this helps the sales towards those who have problems with maths!


Which begs the question how limited is limited? Was it so limited that this was the creator's one and only copy? ;-)

  


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Post Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2022 10:34 am 
 

HermitFromPluto wrote in Wagoner's & John's Prerolled Dungeon Monster Groups:What an cool item. Such fan made creations, especially the early ones, add so much fun to the hobby. No insights to offer. I wonder how many were produced and how many still exist.


Exactly! I love coming across these esoteric items because they truly do show the time and effort devoted in those early days by fans.

I'm guessing this was created by two college students and they used the college's computer lab for free printing :-)  $5 could pay for the beer for a couple gaming sessions!

  

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Post Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2022 10:36 am 
 

It has the look or the early random generated products that were offered for sale through APAs and magazines back in the day. Less sophisticated than, but rather reminiscent of the the likes of Mammoth Dungeons, HUGO, and those other offerings that early computer porgramming made possible. That said, this may well be the only copy remaining. Is there an author/address listed in the product? A back page?

Okay... Here is a helluva stretch, really just guessing and scraping the barrel...

HUGO's are a randomly generated computer printout dungeon put out in 1990 by Better Games. They crop up occassionally on NKG. You get an A3 wrapover photocopied cover with a naff drawing on it, and into this folder you get a dozen or do computer printout sheets explaining what the product is, how its used, and your very own dungeon and maps. Looks like it was printed on a daisywheel and not dot matrix, but then this was 1990 and not 1985 (or whatever). But maybe someone who can write one rudimentary random monster generating program and have the inclination to sell it, can write another sometime later, and be a little more successful at selling it (although admittedly not much more successful seeing as no-one knows or has ever heard of HUGOs either.)

Better Games's published address in 1990 was PO Box 11424, Burbank, CA 91510-1421, and their back catalog is available for purchase on DrivethruRPG.

By absolute coinsodence (and I mean real stretch of the imagination here), there appears to be a retired John L. Wagoner residing in Burbank CA who is probably in his 70's now. Unfortulately the CA authorities see fit to list the guy's address and telephone number, as well as the age, address and telephone numbers of his spouse, children, etc. So I'm not comfortable posting a link to that level of personal information. I'll leave further research to those far more experienced and far more polite than I.

The only anomoly I found was this address that places Better Games in Clifton, TN. But all the DriveThruRPG PDFs of that era list the Burbank, CA address, so this is an oddity.


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Post Posted: Fri Sep 09, 2022 2:59 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote in Wagoner's & John's Prerolled Dungeon Monster Groups:It has the look or the early random generated products that were offered for sale through APAs and magazines back in the day. Less sophisticated than, but rather reminiscent of the the likes of Mammoth Dungeons, HUGO, and those other offerings that early computer porgramming made possible. That said, this may well be the only copy remaining. Is there an author/address listed in the product? A back page?

Okay... Here is a helluva stretch, really just guessing and scraping the barrel...

HUGO's are a randomly generated computer printout dungeon put out in 1990 by Better Games. They crop up occassionally on NKG. You get an A3 wrapover photocopied cover with a naff drawing on it, and into this folder you get a dozen or do computer printout sheets explaining what the product is, how its used, and your very own dungeon and maps. Looks like it was printed on a daisywheel and not dot matrix, but then this was 1990 and not 1985 (or whatever). But maybe someone who can write one rudimentary random monster generating program and have the inclination to sell it, can write another sometime later, and be a little more successful at selling it (although admittedly not much more successful seeing as no-one knows or has ever heard of HUGOs either.)

Better Games's published address in 1990 was PO Box 11424, Burbank, CA 91510-1421, and their back catalog is available for purchase on DrivethruRPG.

By absolute coinsodence (and I mean real stretch of the imagination here), there appears to be a retired John L. Wagoner residing in Burbank CA who is probably in his 70's now. Unfortulately the CA authorities see fit to list the guy's address and telephone number, as well as the age, address and telephone numbers of his spouse, children, etc. So I'm not comfortable posting a link to that level of personal information. I'll leave further research to those far more experienced and far more polite than I.

The only anomoly I found was this address that places Better Games in Clifton, TN. But all the DriveThruRPG PDFs of that era list the Burbank, CA address, so this is an oddity.


Thanks for in-depth response! Unfortunately, there was no author/address listed anywhere in the product.

I believe this was created somewhere in the late's 70's to roughly the mid-80's as daisy wheel dot matrix printers were at their most common then as I recall.

I think the John L. Wagoner you found (as you said, a long-shot, but not discountable) would be a tad too old for the age range of the designer. Judging by the very poor spelling, my theory is that this was a computer program developed by a younger gamer (possibly high school) for assistance in running his campaigns. He probably got some good feedback from his gaming group friends that he decided to try to market it.... evidently, unsuccessfully from the lack of any recognition from the D&D grognards here.

I love the minotaur with the spear drawing on the front. Really reminiscent of old school D&D. Pretty good art by the way, I could have seen it deserving to make its way into some of the old products.

  


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2022 4:58 pm 
 

UPDATE:

I was able to contact the person I purchased this item from and asked him what he knew of its background. Here is the response I received:

"Unfortunately, due to the nature of how I procured this item (estate sale) I have very little info on it. That being said from the evidence I found digging through and buying this person stuff he was an avid fantasy enthusiast. The most likely scenario is that this was purchased at Sci-Fi/Fantasy con. There were many newsletters, programs, etc from such events in Northern Ca. It seemed he may have even had some involvement with such events. Most of the stuff he had seemed to be of this early 80's era."

This sheds a bit more light as it appears quite likely that this item was sold on the convention circuit in California in the early 80's. This makes mbassoc2003's digging up of a retired John L Wagoneer in his post quite intriguing. The geography and age do match up nicely.

Cheers!

  

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Post Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2022 8:22 pm 
 

As usual, Ian is right; a lot of that stuff floated around back then. I have several pieces like that, some dot matrix, some not, that have sat in my "to be identified" pile for a while.


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Post Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2022 10:55 pm 
 

Given the Wagoner name, that this was from an estate sale, the location, and the theorized involvement in game conventions, this could be from/by the deceased Tim Wagoner who posted here as twwii

twwii has passed away


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Post Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2022 12:39 am 
 

Guy Fullerton wrote in Wagoner's & John's Prerolled Dungeon Monster Groups:Given the Wagoner name, that this was from an estate sale, the location, and the theorized involvement in game conventions, this could be from/by the deceased Tim Wagoner who posted here as twwii

twwii has passed away


Thank you for your input. I think this could be very likely judging by all the factors as mentioned as well as his age when he passed. Too bad we will never know for sure but it does bring some satisfation to know that this work lives on in some manner and not necessarily in anonymity.

Rest in peace Tim.

  
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