Balboa's "Complete Warlock" & Misc.
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 1 of 1
Author


Active Collector

Posts: 59
Joined: Nov 07, 2005
Last Visit: Jan 22, 2014

Post Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 11:32 am 
 

I managed to get to Titan Games first on this one and picked it up. It's a nice copy - good cover (typical scuffing but no real damage), fine, clean interior with no marks. I just read through it.

Most of it is stuff that had already been done before and after (various spell innovations, over-complex combat rules that IMO add nothing to play, but then I know there are folks that like Aftermath and Phoenix Command, I'm just not one of them), but a couple things stood out.

1) Aesthetic control over classes and multiclassing. They had the 'core four', dwarves, elves, hobbits, paladins, rangers, illusionists, and a few chioce multiclasses each specifically enumerated - nothing else. To me this gets the 'feel' of one kind of D&D about right - a little more integrity than AD&D but a little more variety than basic. Anyway, just another indicator of how class choice can shape impressions of a setting. Leaving out assassins, half-orcs, half-elves but including paladins, rangers, and illusionists seems solid to me.

(Edit later - and yet, I realize that this was something similar to what they did in 2e, and there it struck me as lame! Probably because in 2e it was mixed with getting rid of demons, nerfing spells, and a bunch of other stuff that did and does really bug me.)

2) Their take on the Thief was very nice and something I'm not sure I'd really seen before. Instead of percentile skills, thieves get ability slots which they plug particular abilities into, and there are a LOT of choices at each level (like 20 - all the traditional and other cool ones besides). A 5th level thief might have (I'm making the numbers up, but it'll give you the idea) 5 1st level abilities, 3 2nd level abilities, and 1 3rd level ability. If you trade e.g. your second level Pick Lock 45% for a third level Pick Lock 60%, you re-open the second level slot for something else; but you have to have the lower level ability to take the higher level one, so no adding e.g. Find Trap 90% with your new high level ability unless you had taken it at the level previous. A little like D&D3's feats in that respect actually, but just for thieves. A lot of nifty things like estimating long distances precisely and detecting evil auras on objects too, in addition to the usual stuff. Anyway, I like it.

Over the summer I may sell a lot of this old third party stuff I have/have been buying lately, and I'll let people here know if I do, but it's been very interesting to research up on the period I started gaming in more detail. We used stuff from Wee Warriors, Judges Guild, Arduin, Dragon Tree, EPT, the Spellcaster's Bible, and the Necronomican in various games back in the day, but a lot of the things I'm seeing from Rider or Balboa or Little Soldier I just completely missed the first time around. They're fun to look at.


Looking for your old-school fantasy roleplaying fix? Don't despair...Fight On! Check it out at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/FightOn.

  


Prolific Collector

Posts: 590
Joined: Nov 10, 2002
Last Visit: Oct 15, 2020
Location: NYC

Post Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 6:31 pm 
 

Thanks for the intensive thoughts. I will look through my items this weekend and post a few observations.


"before chuck even gets in the room, you can feel the bad-ness." -Al

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6257
Joined: Jan 03, 2005
Last Visit: May 05, 2021
Location: UK

Post Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 6:58 am 
 

I have a chronology for this book now, thanks to some online help. A manuscript was published in 1975 called Warlock, by four guys in Pasadena, CA, who called it Warlock. They printed it for playtesting, and later that year submitted an abreviated version of the manuscript for publication in a wargames magazine. It was printed in August's issue of Spartan Magazine.

The intention at the time was to publish an alternative RPG to D&D which was just emerging. However, lack of direction and focus left Warlock in playtesting and editing for some 2 years, and in that time TSR established D&D's dominant postion in the market.

Not wanting their work to go to waste, and not wanting to denegrate what they believed to be a superior RPG system, the now formed Balboa Game Company published an expanded manuscripty as The Complete Warlock in 1978. They branded it 'a major D&D variant', landing them in court.

They had amassed so much playtest edits and material that they could follow up with expansions The Warlock Menagerie and Warlock's Tower, although the original intent was to publish a three book set much the same as Arduin, D&D and T&T were doing at the time.


This week I've been mostly eating . . . chicken and wild rice soup.

 WWW  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector

Posts: 6070
Joined: May 03, 2003
Last Visit: Mar 29, 2021
Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Post Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2006 3:17 am 
 

The one thing I like about the original Spartan issue of Warlock is that, like D&D at the time, it makes the references to Hobbits, etc

Do you know if Balboa ever bundled their stuff together?  I recently picked up 2 sets of Complete Warlock, Warlock's Tower, Menagerie and Monkey God's Curse as old stock from a gaming store.  Each set came in an older thick plastic bag that perfectly fits the 4 books.  I was just wondering if Balboa would have put these together or if the gaming store might have.  My feeling from the gaming store is that they received them bundled.

 WWW  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6257
Joined: Jan 03, 2005
Last Visit: May 05, 2021
Location: UK

Post Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2006 5:02 am 
 

I'd be interested to see a photo of that. I'd also really like a cover scan of The Warlock Menagerie if you can manage it (e-mail link on button below).

I wonder why they bundle Monkey God's Curse, and not Instant Bad Guys! The others all belong together though. It would make sence if they needed to shift stock when they were in trouble.


This week I've been mostly eating . . . chicken and wild rice soup.

 WWW  


Prolific Collector

Posts: 186
Joined: Apr 13, 2005
Last Visit: Apr 06, 2006
Location: At the Door of the Colorado National Monument

Post Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2006 2:25 pm 
 

When I first read the thread I thought there might have been a connection to Warlock put out by Future and Fantasy Games, but there isn't.  Hobbits aren't in there, but eagles, wolves, goblins and dragons are, amongst other things.  Tolkien, like Howard and Lovecraft, is the elephant in the room with regard to the genesis of fantasy RPG.

  


Active Collector

Posts: 10
Joined: Apr 16, 2009
Last Visit: Jun 16, 2009
Location: alabama

Post Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:09 pm 
 

is Instant Bad Guys valuable?

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6257
Joined: Jan 03, 2005
Last Visit: May 05, 2021
Location: UK

Post Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:09 am 
 

Not as valuable as NKG think it should be.  :lol:
It's a pretty plain and virtually useless book along the lines of all the other 'instant character' books that came out of that time. For the completest collector, it fills a hole and only comes up occasionally, but does not attract much interest when it does.
I'd suggest it is worth $10-20 in VG/EX condition, but collector's are fickle, and it could sell for $2 or $42.
I'd not be disappointed if I found a copy in a job lot I was buying. My scan is very old and not one of my best (I was just learning), but wouldn't pay international shipping to have one sent to the UK on its own.


This week I've been mostly eating . . . chicken and wild rice soup.

 WWW  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector

Posts: 6070
Joined: May 03, 2003
Last Visit: Mar 29, 2021
Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Post Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:01 am 
 

It isn't the greatest supplement but it is the one that I had the hardest time finding (of the Balboa RPG items).  I think $40 from NK is a reasonable asking price (although their $150 for Complete Warlock is out to lunch).  I probably have an extra copy of this now too.

 WWW  

User avatar

Prolific Collector

Posts: 292
Joined: Oct 27, 2009
Last Visit: Apr 18, 2021

Post Posted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:14 am 
 

The Warlock pdf version seems no longer available on this site:

http://www.fortunecity.com/rivendell/highwayman/783/

please can someone provide me with the pdf version of this?

Some of you who might have downloaded it in the past..

I would be very grateful :D

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector

Posts: 6070
Joined: May 03, 2003
Last Visit: Mar 29, 2021
Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Post Posted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:19 am 
 

I don't recall a "Mike Riley" being one of the original authors so I'm guessing his PDF of the rules was never an official release.  His PDF may just be his updates for them rather than the original rules.

 WWW  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6257
Joined: Jan 03, 2005
Last Visit: May 05, 2021
Location: UK

Post Posted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:16 pm 
 

Would be interesting to see the PFG nonetheless. Strange I never came accross that site in my browsing. Anyone here ever see this before?


This week I've been mostly eating . . . chicken and wild rice soup.

 WWW  


Prolific Collector

Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 22, 2010
Last Visit: Apr 26, 2015
Location: Seattle

Post Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 4:21 pm 
 

Cali--I actually used these rules for a time. The thief rules were cool (sure strike dagger ftw), and I liked the combat system (tentacle different than dagger, etc.), but I just found it a bit cumbersome to teach it, rare to get a book, and quit using it after college. Clark and Bannor/Flail/Speigle/Helman et al lived and died in Rappan Athuk using this combat system, but I eventually just went back to 1d6 damage for everything.

Bill

 WWW  


Grandstanding Collector

Posts: 5623
Joined: Nov 16, 2002
Last Visit: May 05, 2021
Location: Wichita, KS, USA

Post Posted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:08 pm 
 

Vault keeper wrote:The Warlock pdf version seems no longer available on this site:

http://www.fortunecity.com/rivendell/highwayman/783/
please can someone provide me with the pdf version of this?
Some of you who might have downloaded it in the past..


I don't have the .pdf, but it looks like they have a Yahoo Group that's still around and active (in the internet archive, the old defunct URL you had linked to an old egroups URL which was still forwarding to the Yahoo Group, apparently).  

I asked to join the group, will let you guys know if they have anything interesting there :D


Allan Grohe ([email protected])
Greyhawk, grodog Style

Editor and Project Manager, Black Blade Publishing
https://www.facebook.com/BlackBladePublishing/

 WWW  
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 1 of 1