Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg - Considering Investment
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 1 of 31, 2, 3
Author

User avatar

Active Collector

Posts: 32
Joined: Jun 21, 2021
Last Visit: Nov 19, 2022
Location: Murfreesboro, TN

Post Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2022 1:57 am 
 

Hello again Acaeum,

I just recently learned of the Secrets of Blackmoor film and bought a copy of that. After that I started learning about the book they did - "Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg" If you don't know it, its supposed to be the reproduction of the second ever mega-dungeon created by by Greg "The Great Svenny" Svenson. He was part of the Twin-Cities group and was a player in Dave Arneson's very first dungeon within the Blackmoor settings. (The only survivor of that first run I learned!) This is kinda proto D&D, predating release of 1st Print OD&D wood grain box by about a year, so Gary and Dave were still at work marrying their rule systems to come up with the manuscript of D&D at this point. Svenson had been given a playtest copy that he used to create Tonisborg and he and Arneson set it in the region around Blackmoor.

The book apparently includes not just the dungeon and the key, but advice on DMing from many of the early masters,  a complete game of historically accurate rules, spells, monsters ... all the things you would expect from an early rule set,

The books are hand made here in the US, and as someone who is trained in book arts as part of my Fine arts degree, this is super cool. This is becoming a lost art. Anyway this thing is super cool and build to LAST. Everything I am told by folks who have one already are that is feels very good in the hand. I have backed the latest kickstarter that is ongoing. (It went live over this past weekend - October 8th I think and runs through November 8th, 2022)

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/se ... -tonisborg  

I sprang for one of the last 4 1st print copies that they had held back. I still have time to possibly back it a second time to get one or more of the 2nd Printing Hard Cover copies at $100 that are being produced this go around and for the first time, they are offering a soft cover version at $60.

MY QUESTION: Any Acaeum members who have picked up on this, and or any who are interested in the topic of this book, what do you see as the collectibility of this piece of very early D&D history? Have you all every seen anything comparable to this and how did the value on those things fare, or is this more unprecedented?

As I work through what kind of further investment I might want to make, I am interested in your opinions around this work.

Thanks much,
Cerulean Rex


Image

And if you read this far, but don't feel it was worth your time, then I will say 'Read me no further, Lord or Lady ... and may the road rise up to meet your face."  :wink:

  

User avatar

Long-Winded Collector
Valuation Board

Posts: 3617
Joined: Nov 23, 2005
Last Visit: Jul 22, 2024
Location: Italy

Post Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2022 2:02 am 
 

I knew about this book when the first print was going out of print. I didnt buy it, don't ask me why... despite the fact this book has been thought and crafted as a high collectible item, it has never convinced me... i feel that my concerns are not related to the quality of the product but to the contents: i don't see this mega dungeon as a piece of rpg history...


Image

 WWW  


Sage Collector

Posts: 2554
Joined: Jul 25, 2007
Last Visit: Jan 06, 2024
Location: Far Harad, Texas

Post Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2022 4:20 am 
 

aia wrote in Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg - Considering Investment: i don't see this mega dungeon as a piece of rpg history...


Okay, but how could it not be?

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 7001
Joined: Jan 03, 2005
Last Visit: Jul 20, 2024
Location: UK

Post Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2022 3:56 pm 
 

Isn’t it just some guy trying to sell his rehashed homebrew megadungeon?
I can see that it’s been done before, after all, that’s what Rappan Athuk was, but RA isn’t a piece of D&D history just cos some guys played it as a campaign forty odd years ago, and RA’s selling point is that it is big and was published. It’s not that great a dungeon.
This one seems like hype and BS-flourish trumpeted to try to encourage sales.
I’ll wait for the PDF, which will come, regardless of what they say not to dampen their selling price.
They always do.


This week I've been mostly eating . . . The white ones with the little red flecks in them.

 WWW  


Prolific Collector

Posts: 112
Joined: Feb 06, 2022
Last Visit: Jul 20, 2024

Post Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2022 5:13 pm 
 

Well, according to the timeline I researched, Tonisborg is the fifth ever dungeon after Blackmoor, Dungeon!, Castle Greyhawk and El Raja Key - predating the publication of the D&D rules (and also predating Minneapolis Dungeon). It was designed by a Blackmoor player with the D&D playtest rules, so contains much of Blackmoor's DNA (such as the mapping style with its diagonal corridors). With Greyhawk still stuck in The Phantom Zone (and El Raja Key's keys being lost), it's the only one of those early dungeons with a keyed map - and even if Greyhawk does get published this would still be a fascinating look at a primarily Blackmoor inspired dungeon.

The book may include a "rehashed" version, along with recreations of early Blackmoor rules, but it does include reproductions of the entire original dungeon map and key - and to me that's the main selling point.

  

User avatar

Long-Winded Collector
Valuation Board

Posts: 3617
Joined: Nov 23, 2005
Last Visit: Jul 22, 2024
Location: Italy

Post Posted: Sun Oct 16, 2022 2:06 am 
 

sauromatian wrote in Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg - Considering Investment:
Okay, but how could it not be?


Because it is not by anyone involved in the d&d foundation... it is by an  unknwon guy who had fun at drawing lines on a paper trying to emulate the founders of this game... with all respect to this guy, i don't see any value in this dungeon...
Then there is a second factor: it is purposedly done only for collectors, no standard editions... this is smtg i don't  like as i feel someone is moking with my ossessive-compulsive deviation...


Image

 WWW  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 7001
Joined: Jan 03, 2005
Last Visit: Jul 20, 2024
Location: UK

Post Posted: Sun Oct 16, 2022 7:10 am 
 

aia wrote in Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg - Considering Investment:
Because it is not by anyone involved in the d&d foundation... it is by an  unknwon guy who had fun at drawing lines on a paper trying to emulate the founders of this game... with all respect to this guy, i don't see any value in this dungeon...
Then there is a second factor: it is purposedly done only for collectors, no standard editions... this is smtg i don't  like as i feel someone is moking with my ossessive-compulsive deviation...

Yeah, but it’s by a guy who (allegedly) knew someone when he was a kid, and they have copied the awful map style from Blackmoor (which anyone can do), and let’s face it, trying to sell to collectors surrogate nostalgia is far easier than having to write something that stands up on its own quality Of writing and artistic merit. I’m guessing that’s the reason they chose that route.

It’s a shame they also chose to Bring it to market after DA was no longer around to voice an opinion and/or corroborate and claimed link, or maybe that was fortuitous. We’ll never know.

I’ll give it a browse when the PDF is released, but I won’t be spending $60 on a hardcopy. They’ll publish digitally when they want more money from the product. They may not think so now, but they will, they won’t protect their digital asset, and then it’ll be freely available to everyone. I’ll wait till then, as I haven’t seen any review or commentary that indicates it’s worth actually reading or playing.

If anyone knows someone who bought the first printing and read it, ran it, whatever, I’d be interested to read their thoughts. So here’s a chance for the author/publisher to plug their product with genuine reviews and/or vlogs.

Better still, send a copy to Questing Beast.


This week I've been mostly eating . . . The white ones with the little red flecks in them.

 WWW  


Prolific Collector

Posts: 112
Joined: Feb 06, 2022
Last Visit: Jul 20, 2024

Post Posted: Sun Oct 16, 2022 11:01 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote in Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg - Considering Investment:Yeah, but it’s by a guy who (allegedly) knew someone when he was a kid,

What are you on about? "Allegedly"? Are you seriously suggesting that Greg Svenson wasn't a player in the first ever descent into Blackmoor dungeon?

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 7001
Joined: Jan 03, 2005
Last Visit: Jul 20, 2024
Location: UK

Post Posted: Sun Oct 16, 2022 3:47 pm 
 

No, I just don’t want to make a statement I cannot prove to be fact, hence the word ‘allegedly’. I cannot speak for either Greg Svenson or Dave Arneson or anyone who lived in that vicinity at that time. I can only go on what Greg Svenson claims to be the historic significance of the product, and we must each assess the importance of such things and assign monetary values to those as we see fit.


This week I've been mostly eating . . . The white ones with the little red flecks in them.

 WWW  


Sage Collector

Posts: 2554
Joined: Jul 25, 2007
Last Visit: Jan 06, 2024
Location: Far Harad, Texas

Post Posted: Sun Oct 16, 2022 5:47 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote in Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg - Considering Investment: Dave Arneson


'Dave Arneson'? Who's Dave Arneson? D&D is the creation of the hard-working stockholders of Hasbro Incorporated, & any attempt to suggest otherwise plays directly into the interest of socialists, free-love nudists, & other useless eaters.

  

User avatar

Sage Collector
Valuation Board

Posts: 2564
Joined: Nov 16, 2002
Last Visit: Jul 22, 2024
Location: Ohio, The land without sun

Post Posted: Sun Oct 16, 2022 10:11 pm 
 

Paul Stormberg posted some additional info on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/paul.stormberg ... d3q7iEq4Sl

Looks pretty good to me.

  

User avatar

Active Collector

Posts: 32
Joined: Jun 21, 2021
Last Visit: Nov 19, 2022
Location: Murfreesboro, TN

Post Posted: Sun Oct 16, 2022 11:30 pm 
 

dbartman wrote in Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg - Considering Investment:Paul Stormberg posted some additional info on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/paul.stormberg ... d3q7iEq4Sl

Looks pretty good to me.


Yeah it looks like he is reposting from David MeGarry, creator of the fore-mentioned "Dungeon!" game if I recall correctly from the film.  (( Had to verify that after post. lol True }}

EDIT: So it was Megarry who lost the dungeon!!! I felt for him in that story. That had to be embarrassing. SMH


Image

And if you read this far, but don't feel it was worth your time, then I will say 'Read me no further, Lord or Lady ... and may the road rise up to meet your face."  :wink:

  

User avatar

Active Collector

Posts: 32
Joined: Jun 21, 2021
Last Visit: Nov 19, 2022
Location: Murfreesboro, TN

Post Posted: Sun Oct 16, 2022 11:54 pm 
 

sauromatian wrote in Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg - Considering Investment:
'Dave Arneson'? Who's Dave Arneson? D&D is the creation of the hard-working stockholders of Hasbro Incorporated, & any attempt to suggest otherwise plays directly into the interest of socialists, free-love nudists, & other useless eaters.


hahaha All hail our corporate masters!!!


Image

And if you read this far, but don't feel it was worth your time, then I will say 'Read me no further, Lord or Lady ... and may the road rise up to meet your face."  :wink:

  

User avatar

Long-Winded Collector
Valuation Board

Posts: 3617
Joined: Nov 23, 2005
Last Visit: Jul 22, 2024
Location: Italy

Post Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2022 12:21 am 
 

Well since i often see Increment (Jon) on these boards, i'd kindly ask him to add info about this megadungeon, its author and the relevance they both call in the rpg history. For me, Jon's opinion is the highest one on this topic.


Image

 WWW  

User avatar

Active Collector

Posts: 32
Joined: Jun 21, 2021
Last Visit: Nov 19, 2022
Location: Murfreesboro, TN

Post Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2022 4:34 am 
 

Thats excellent, aia. I am interested to hear more opinions and thoughts on this work.


Image

And if you read this far, but don't feel it was worth your time, then I will say 'Read me no further, Lord or Lady ... and may the road rise up to meet your face."  :wink:

  


Active Collector

Posts: 11
Joined: Oct 17, 2022
Last Visit: Nov 14, 2023

Post Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2022 12:23 pm 
 

A quick web search to see who is talking about Tonisborg, and where, and here I am.

For starters, it is the 2nd known mega dungeon out of the Twin Cities. Of course on the Kickstarter we call it the 2nd ever, that's just so we can keep things simple for the average gamer. Of course we know there are others.

There is a lot to unpack in the dungeon.

-Correct me if I am wrong, but there is a tiny mention of it in FFC. I know there is a public mention of it somewhere but I am bad with details.

-It was created by Greg Svenson who is to Blackmoor what Robert Kuntz is to the Lake Geneva dungeons. If you call Greg Svenson anything but the first epic RPG persona as the great Svenni you aren't giving him due credit.

-It was created with the help of Dave Arneson.

-It is randomly generated according to a now lost system Arneson shared with Greg Svenson. Lots to discuss there - Is Blackmoor a random dungeon too since they look similar?

-It is nearly as vertical in nature as it is horizontal. Tons of stairs and pit shafts and lava tubes.

-If you have seen David Megarry's Character Matrix sheet you would know that several charatcers on that sheet are listed as having died in Tonisborg, including the Scholaress.

-The Monsters all come from a pre-publication edition of D&D in 1973.

-Within the dungeon you will find the Crowns of Power. This is Greg's own invention and they are mentioned in Monsters and treasure, if I recall correctly.

-The placement of the artifacts on the bottom level is very much a foreshadowing of what one will see later in video games on systems such as PLATO.

-Arneson had the ID monster in his small dungeon to the Temple of ID. And Greg has his Ylth'yl in his dungeon. Are these predecessors to The Invisible Stalker?

-The maps are Xerox Copies and reproduced in full color within the book. The color coding was created by David Megarry.

The book was written with a great deal of concern for new gamers as an introduction to what we call "Traditional Role Playing." Some of it may not be of any use to an old Lich DM. Most people who bought in on the 1st edition say they keep it near their AD&D books, and their copies of Playing at the World and Secrets of Blackmoor DVDs.

Artists include some old school artists. We even include art from the 70's as reproductions. Most notable being the cover by Ken Fletcher, 1979.

About a year ago a Purple copy sold on ebay for $530.00 and someone has been posting 2nd print Cardinal Edition on ebay for $500.00. We decided to sell the remainder stock of purple at 550 and we sold out. One Black cover is on the KS for $3000.00 if someone is willing to invest now for future value.

We are also selling the production maps along with a set of David Megarry hand drawn maps and some artwork.

I think the print runs are as follows:

1st print - 25 Black cover, 30 Teal cover, 170 Purple cover

2nd print thus far is - 200 Cardinal red cover w 80 pound paper, the remainder of hard bound books will be in 70 pound paper.

Covid sourcing problems have ended up making the entire book run different. Not enough purple fabric? make some in another color. No 70 pound paper available? Upgrade people for free to 80 pound paper.

Here is a page by page unboxing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsWi5wY7Tqc&t=1s

Jon Peterson never contacted me about the book. I suspect he is very busy. I did get to hang out with him at GC and chat about all kinds of things while lurking in the outdoor smoking area. If he asked, I would get him a freebie as I value his input.

Griff

  


Sage Collector

Posts: 2554
Joined: Jul 25, 2007
Last Visit: Jan 06, 2024
Location: Far Harad, Texas

Post Posted: Mon Oct 17, 2022 8:53 pm 
 

Secrets of Blackmoor wrote in Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg - Considering Investment:It is randomly generated according to a now lost system Arneson shared with Greg Svenson. Lots to discuss there - Is Blackmoor a random dungeon too since they look similar?


Yes, there is something to discuss. Looking at the old-school corpus of material in general, I've always suspected that random generation played a larger role than is acknowledged. It could have functioned in the game by giving the impression of mystical divination to players. Randomly generated features would go beyond what is in the mind or the notes of the DM, so that what is revealed by it is genuinely unknown & mysterious.

  

User avatar

Long-Winded Collector
Valuation Board

Posts: 3617
Joined: Nov 23, 2005
Last Visit: Jul 22, 2024
Location: Italy

Post Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2022 12:02 am 
 

Secrets of Blackmoor wrote in Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg - Considering Investment:A quick web search to see who is talking about Tonisborg, and where, and here I am.

For starters, it is the 2nd known mega dungeon out of the Twin Cities. Of course on the Kickstarter we call it the 2nd ever, that's just so we can keep things simple for the average gamer. Of course we know there are others.

There is a lot to unpack in the dungeon.

-Correct me if I am wrong, but there is a tiny mention of it in FFC. I know there is a public mention of it somewhere but I am bad with details.

-It was created by Greg Svenson who is to Blackmoor what Robert Kuntz is to the Lake Geneva dungeons. If you call Greg Svenson anything but the first epic RPG persona as the great Svenni you aren't giving him due credit.

-It was created with the help of Dave Arneson.

-It is randomly generated according to a now lost system Arneson shared with Greg Svenson. Lots to discuss there - Is Blackmoor a random dungeon too since they look similar?

-It is nearly as vertical in nature as it is horizontal. Tons of stairs and pit shafts and lava tubes.

-If you have seen David Megarry's Character Matrix sheet you would know that several charatcers on that sheet are listed as having died in Tonisborg, including the Scholaress.

-The Monsters all come from a pre-publication edition of D&D in 1973.

-Within the dungeon you will find the Crowns of Power. This is Greg's own invention and they are mentioned in Monsters and treasure, if I recall correctly.

-The placement of the artifacts on the bottom level is very much a foreshadowing of what one will see later in video games on systems such as PLATO.

-Arneson had the ID monster in his small dungeon to the Temple of ID. And Greg has his Ylth'yl in his dungeon. Are these predecessors to The Invisible Stalker?

-The maps are Xerox Copies and reproduced in full color within the book. The color coding was created by David Megarry.

The book was written with a great deal of concern for new gamers as an introduction to what we call "Traditional Role Playing." Some of it may not be of any use to an old Lich DM. Most people who bought in on the 1st edition say they keep it near their AD&D books, and their copies of Playing at the World and Secrets of Blackmoor DVDs.

Artists include some old school artists. We even include art from the 70's as reproductions. Most notable being the cover by Ken Fletcher, 1979.

About a year ago a Purple copy sold on ebay for $530.00 and someone has been posting 2nd print Cardinal Edition on ebay for $500.00. We decided to sell the remainder stock of purple at 550 and we sold out. One Black cover is on the KS for $3000.00 if someone is willing to invest now for future value.

We are also selling the production maps along with a set of David Megarry hand drawn maps and some artwork.

I think the print runs are as follows:

1st print - 25 Black cover, 30 Teal cover, 170 Purple cover

2nd print thus far is - 200 Cardinal red cover w 80 pound paper, the remainder of hard bound books will be in 70 pound paper.

Covid sourcing problems have ended up making the entire book run different. Not enough purple fabric? make some in another color. No 70 pound paper available? Upgrade people for free to 80 pound paper.

Here is a page by page unboxing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsWi5wY7Tqc&t=1s

Jon Peterson never contacted me about the book. I suspect he is very busy. I did get to hang out with him at GC and chat about all kinds of things while lurking in the outdoor smoking area. If he asked, I would get him a freebie as I value his input.

Griff


Hello, your post confirmed me that i took the right decision in not buying the book for collecting purposes. I have never trusted people selling their books with a value proposition of a future collectible. A collectible item is defined by the market and not by the publisher: you took the example of PatW for instance. Well, Jon wrote and sold that book without mentioning it will be a collectible. Now, after few years it has already that status and this is reflected in the price. The other way round doesn't  work to my eyes. You should not produce a book for a purpose it is not the hands of the publisher.
That is the only concern that i have for this item, nothing against contents (despite it would be interesting to have more details as this story is not known).
Thanks in any case for jumping in the conversation.
No offense intended, ciao


Image

 WWW  
Next
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 1 of 31, 2, 3