D20 Collecting
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 15 of 54123 ... 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 ... 525354
Author


Verbose Collector

Posts: 1324
Joined: May 28, 2007
Last Visit: Aug 27, 2011
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada

Post Posted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:06 am 
 

Excellent. :)

I've got a line on a number of them for good prices, and was wondering which ones were worth picking up from a reading/playing perspective.  Now I know.


"Reader, Carthegena was of the mind, that unto thoſe Three Things, which the Ancients held Impoſſible, there ſhould be added this Fourth ; To find a Book Printed without Errata's."

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 7969
Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Last Visit: Dec 01, 2021
Location: DFW TX

Post Posted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:53 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:
Overall, I like the Penumbra line, but it can be a bit uneven in quality.  I can be a tough critic of certain factors in a publication.  My particular pet peeves are bad bad artwork (as opposed to good bad artwork) and useless or non-existent maps.


That's what I have on hand from Atlas and their Penumbra line....except for Nyambe, which deserves its own write-up.  I can't comment on the other modules in the series as I have not gotten my hands on them.  I have noticed that Atlas publications tend to go for somewhat higher than my casual collecting habits will usually reach.

Atlas was one D20 publisher that was willing to take risks, and you have to give them kudos for that even if sometimes you hate the results.  Maiden Voyage was my introduction to Atlas, so I have a high opinion of their company that maybe would have been lacking had I met Splintered Peace in a dark alley.


A few of my own add-ons to Mark's excellent stuff:

Can't wait for the Nyambe writeup.  This is the best attempt at an African style setting in the history of gaming (Frank's Aesheba is also pretty good but not as related to actual game detail as it's a "generic" setting rather than properly D&D). Someone put a lot of work into this one, for a often neglected locale in fantasy roleplaying.  All the times Conan was lost in some overgrown jungle you would have thought more module writers would have ditched the pseudo-medievel locale (Like Dave Cook did for I1) and gone native.

Nothing immediately causes my interest to sag than a crappy map, or a computer generated piece of shit.  I won't even bother reading the text in most cases...it could be the second coming of G1-3 and I'd never know if the map looks like a 10 years old learning graphic skills put it together.

Mike B.


"THE MORE YOU THINK ABOUT WHY i DONE WHAT i DONE THE MORE i LAUGH" Cougar
"The Acaeum hates fun" Sir Allen
"I had a collecting emergency" Nogrod
Co-founder of the North Texas RPG Con
http://www.ntrpgcon.com

 WWW  

User avatar

Long-Winded Collector
JG Valuation Board

Posts: 3828
Joined: Jul 12, 2007
Last Visit: Dec 01, 2021

Post Posted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:35 pm 
 

Mark,

I don't think you've covered these. What is your opinion on the Freeport material?

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6720
Joined: Jul 16, 2005
Last Visit: Feb 02, 2021

Post Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 1:30 am 
 

JasonZavoda wrote:Mark,

I don't think you've covered these. What is your opinion on the Freeport material?


viewtopic.php?t=5172

We talked quite a bit about Freeport on this strand.  The second post in the strand cited above has a review of all the Freeport stuff I had on hand at the time.

I also gave the strand a bump so it would appear on your radar.

If you scroll up to the early pages of this strand you will also find more random chatter about Freeport.

I have been collecting Freeport only slowly in recent months because the price on the newest publications tends to stay high.  There are still some publications in the line that dangle beyond my reach.  (For instance, I don't have Buccaneers of Freeport or any of its morphs.)  There are also duplicate publications in various game versions including Green Ronin's somewhat nebulous system called True 20.

The early modules, including Death in Freeport, Terror in Freeport and Madness in Freeport are often available on Ebay for low prices.  

Black Sails Over Freeport is the heavyweight of the module line...with the somewhat humorous detail that in order to get piratey 95% of the module takes place somewhere other than Freeport.  It's really a pocket fantasy pirate campaign with lots of Island of Dr. Moreau type goodness.  Its sort of like Apocalypse Now among the islands, where each stop is wierder and more perilous.

I think Freeport is an awesome setting and I think it could be a really good basis for an actual campaign.  ("Actual" as opposed to "Would be cool but we're never going to actually do it.")

Freeport is a pirate setting and that makes several problems for the writers:

1)  Pirates are cool but actual pirate scenarios only work well in D&D at lower levels.

2)  Pirate as we meet them in the movies are not medieval characters.  The Freeport setting slips continually into the 16th and 17th centuries in order to get the right flavor...including rules for firearms.  Classic ship actions require cannon at the very least.  You simply cannot do Pirates of the Caribbean without them...although, just as in a good pirate movie, the cannons themselves are mostly just props for the real adventure.

3)  Political intrigue is one of the stock items in a city-based campaign.  You cannot have political intrigue without politics and you cannot have politics without a city government.  Once you have a formal city government, with noble families and the like, you no longer have a pirate setting.  What you have is a former pirate setting.

Within the bounds they set for themselves, a varied cast of writers, including some long-time industry veterans, have made a quite diverse set of adventures.  Anyone needing a city adventure could lift some of the short adventures out of Freeport and put them somewhere else with no problem at all.

Freeport is a strong setting because there are a lot of publications and Green Ronin Publishing has continued to support their creation.  A couple of other companies have even done tie-ins, including Goodman.

I also like the Lovecraftian connections in the Freeport material.  There is a degenerate tribe of snakepersons  :x  living under the city worshipping their Lovecraftian god and using "The Yellow Sign."  Naturally, some humans have been corrupted into this cult.....

(A guy named Kevin Ross posted his version of what The Yellow Sign might look like on his Robert Chambers fan website.  I first saw it there about five years ago.  The website is now gone...but his version of The Yellow Sign has stuck around.  Chambers actually never said what the sign looked like.  The King in Yellow is long in the public domain, but Ross has managed to trademark his version of The Yellow Sign and it has appeared on products sold by Green Ronin and Chaosium, to name just the two I know about.  Give it 10 more years and no one will remember that Ross just made it up out of sheer enthusiasm.  On his website, Ross even put Chamber's poem about Lost Carcosa to music and there was a midi you could listen to. 8O )

Green Ronin Publishing has long sold out of most of their Freeport items.  Some have increased sharply in price, with Freeport: The City of Adventure jumping up five times over from the $5 range to $25+.

There are also pdf files of some other Freeport adventures that never appeared in print.  Adamant Entertainment has a couple/three of these on RPGNow.com.

Long-term, even the common modules in this line are likely to become scarce and increase in value.  Of course, now that we've mentioned them here........

As soon as Green Ronin Publishing gives in and goes 4th Edition, I  expect that Freeport will continue to appear in print.


"But I have watched the dragons come, fire-eyed, across the world."

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6720
Joined: Jul 16, 2005
Last Visit: Feb 02, 2021

Post Posted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:56 am 
 

http://cgi.ebay.com/Dreadmire-Huge-d20- ... 286.c0.m14



Dreadmire currently at $7.99


"But I have watched the dragons come, fire-eyed, across the world."

  

User avatar

Long-Winded Collector
JG Valuation Board

Posts: 3828
Joined: Jul 12, 2007
Last Visit: Dec 01, 2021

Post Posted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 5:01 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:
** expired eBay auction **


Dreadmire currently at $7.99




These are coming up on a regular basis from this seller (is it the author?).

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6494
Joined: Jan 03, 2005
Last Visit: Dec 04, 2021
Location: UK

Post Posted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 5:19 am 
 

'Author' would be a bit of a strong word for that individual's business.


This week I've been mostly eating . . . gummy bears.

 WWW  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6720
Joined: Jul 16, 2005
Last Visit: Feb 02, 2021

Post Posted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 3:59 pm 
 

JasonZavoda wrote:
These are coming up on a regular basis from this seller (is it the author?).


I don't recognize the Ebay handle...which has only four feedback.  The low feedback might indicate that he is selling only this one book, one after the other.

The list of citations and favorable reviews tends to indicate quite a bit more effort for this item than a general Ebay seller might make.

I would say its the author or an agent for him.


"But I have watched the dragons come, fire-eyed, across the world."

  


Prolific Collector

Posts: 283
Joined: Sep 07, 2004
Last Visit: Oct 11, 2021
Location: Well, you guess...

Post Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:11 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:...in various game versions including Green Ronin's somewhat nebulous system called True 20.


So Mark, after explaining the difference between 3.0 and 3.5: what is the True20 system?

  


Prolific Collector

Posts: 295
Joined: Jun 02, 2006
Last Visit: Sep 30, 2021
Location: Rochester, NY

Post Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:29 pm 
 

Dungeon Magazine D20 Adventure Paths...collectible as well?  I've finally tracked down all the back issues of Age of Worms (Wyrms?) from the later D20 Dungeon Mags.  Some of the issues seem to be pretty rare so would they count?


Politician, Tree, Rope...Some Assembly Required

  


Prolific Collector

Posts: 226
Joined: Mar 10, 2009
Last Visit: Jun 06, 2012

Post Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:34 pm 
 

simrion wrote:Dungeon Magazine D20 Adventure Paths...collectible as well?  I've finally tracked down all the back issues of Age of Worms (Wyrms?) from the later D20 Dungeon Mags.  Some of the issues seem to be pretty rare so would they count?


I'm not sure. However, there will never be PDFs of the last 12 Dungeon and Dragon mag issues, because when the last mags were produced, Paizo lost the right to produce more PDFs of them.

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
JG Valuation Board
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 5029
Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Last Visit: Jan 16, 2017
Location: Texas

Post Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:42 pm 
 

ericthecleric wrote:
I'm not sure. However, there will never be PDFs of the last 12 Dungeon and Dragon mag issues, because when the last mags were produced, Paizo lost the right to produce more PDFs of them.


Not Authorized perhaps... :lol:


"Guys, I am starting to think Tegel Manor might be haunted..."
Stated by me as a PC during a run of Tegel Manor DMed by killjoy at NTRPGCon 2010

Charter Member of the ATM

  


Prolific Collector

Posts: 226
Joined: Mar 10, 2009
Last Visit: Jun 06, 2012

Post Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:48 pm 
 

Gnat the Beggar wrote:
Not Authorized perhaps... :lol:


You're right of course, Gnat.  :lol:
I'll rephrase that: there will never be official PDFs of the last twelve magazines!

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6494
Joined: Jan 03, 2005
Last Visit: Dec 04, 2021
Location: UK

Post Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:50 pm 
 

IIRC, all 150 Dungeon magazines are available in a single torrent.
And some 353 issues of Dragon.
Allegedly.


This week I've been mostly eating . . . gummy bears.

 WWW  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6720
Joined: Jul 16, 2005
Last Visit: Feb 02, 2021

Post Posted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 4:46 pm 
 

I am not a good source for Dungeon magazine...since I am a bit late on collecting it.

The used versions are likely to be missing essential items like maps that were shipped in plastic with the magazines.

Anyone have any real knowledge on the adventure paths and how they worked?


"But I have watched the dragons come, fire-eyed, across the world."

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6720
Joined: Jul 16, 2005
Last Visit: Feb 02, 2021

Post Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:56 pm 
 

http://cgi.ebay.com/D-D-D20-The-Tome-of ... 286.c0.m14



Tome of Horrors for $15, from an Acaeum member.


"But I have watched the dragons come, fire-eyed, across the world."

  


Prolific Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 875
Joined: Apr 16, 2007
Last Visit: Dec 04, 2021
Location: Mobile, Alabama

Post Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:38 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:
** expired eBay auction **


Tome of Horrors for $15, from an Acaeum member.




Thanks :)


Hello Mrs. Cleaver, Theodore.

Gee, Mrs. Cleaver ... That certainly is a lovely dress.

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6720
Joined: Jul 16, 2005
Last Visit: Feb 02, 2021

Post Posted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:22 pm 
 

So, there I was…standing in the RPG section of the greatest bookstore on earth.  You've got to know someone is a dedicated collector when his wife has agreed to detour through Portland, Oregon on the way home from their 25th anniversary vacation so he can stop at Powell's City of Books.  Fortunately, my wife also loves Powell's, so we were both enthusiastic.  She's pretty tolerant of the whole collecting thing…and she's really pretty, too.  (Best gaming item in my collection!  I'll wager that my copy of gamer girl is nicer than anyone else's!  Neener, neener!)



Powell's has a good selection of modules and other items, but they aren't Half Price Books.  The guys at Powell's generally know what they're holding and charge what they think they can get for the item.  Sometimes they think too highly of their stock, but Powell's isn't exactly under pressure to sell right away.  There were hundreds of people there when we visited, on a weekday afternoon.  It's the place to snag a book you can't find anywhere else, and sometimes one slips through….



Anyway, there is a D20 point to this post....



I found what I was looking for there, but not at the right price.  I wanted a copy of the 3.0 module, R3 Rappan Athuk The Dungeon of Graves: The Lower Levels.  Known generically as Rappan Athuk III, this is the final module of a series that includes:



R1 Rappan Athuk: The Dungeon of Graves: The Upper Levels

R2 Rappan Athuk: The Dungeon of Graves: The Middle Levels

R3 Rappan Athuk: The Dungeon of Graves: The Lower Levels



Fans of the series know that R1 and R2 are still relatively common on Ebay…although their price is likely to creep up in the near future as supplies dwindle.  R3 is a bit more of a challenge.  There are usually copies around, but the price has crept up as high as the $100 range in recent history.  Copies offered for $35 have been available on Ebay and on Amazon, but I just couldn't pay for that.



The copy I found on the shelf at Powell's City of Books was $40.



I actually considered it for a moment.  $40 was not far off of what I would pay when shipping is figured in and the hassles related to that.  I was almost…ready…to…give in and buy, but my stubborn shopping instincts just forced me to wait.  I bought another Necromancer Games module instead, L1 Demons and Devils, for a pretty good price.



When we got home I decided to check Amazon just one more time.  You never know!  What I immediately hit was a new copy of R3 on Amazon for $15.  I could not hit the instant purchase button fast enough.  



Here's the link for the other copies hiding there.  Go get em!:



http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/ ... ition=used



As I type, there are four other used-like new copies of R3 on Amazon for under $15, one for $18 and others ranging up from $30.  It's a good moment for a D20 Acaeum guy or gal to BIN those babies while they're there!



The $15 R3 arrived yesterday.  I have been gnawing on it for a while.



At this point in D20 history, the Rappan Athuk modules aren't going to sneak up on anybody.  They're pretty well nigh infamous.  Some of the focus has shifted off of the original 3.0 modules because of the hoopla over the Rappan Athuk Reloaded boxed set for the 3.5 Edition.



(While I'm gloating, I must tell you that I got my copy of Rappan Athuk Reloaded at a Vancouver, Washington comic book store in April of this year.  It was cover price.  The comic book buyers didn't know what it was.  When I asked the store guy for a box to put it in he said, "That must be something special."  I said, "Oh YES!" Only thing is, it's in shrink, dang it!)



Rappan Athuk is a dungeon crawl across three modules and 15 levels with a nice encounter with a major demon for the final scene.  (I'm not spoiling the module for you.  Orcus is on the Necromancer Games logo and he's also on the cover of R3.  By the time you get to the 15th level the big guy ain't exactly a surprise.)  



R1 and R2 are stapled, saddle stitched.  There are 48 pages in R1 and 64 pages in R2.  R3 is a perfect bound book of 112 pages.  Even with the obligatory wasted space in every D20 product used to list the OGL rules compliance and advertise other publications, all three modules are still great values because they do not fall into the pit that hampers a lot of other D20 items:  They do not waste dozens of pages with new rules.  There are no new prestige classes, new spells, new blah blah blah crap, etc.  Nope…we get right to the good stuff!  



The technical aspects of the Rappan Athuk modules are outstanding.  When I say "technical" I mean all of the presentation details that make a module memorable and a joy for the DM to use.  The maps are black and white and very clear.  They avoid all of the pitfalls of crappy, computer graphics and the hopeless garble that results when color maps are slugged down to black and white.  The artwork is good (if not exactly Erol Otus or Morno) and there is enough of it to give you the feel of the encounters.  



One caveat about the maps:  3rd Edition demands mapping in 5'x 5' squares.  R1 provides maps that do not have squares at all.  R2 is carefully mapped using squares, but a scale is not given…I think it's 5'x 5'.  R3 is mapped with an excellent grid and is very clear, but the scale is 10'x 10'.  The dungeon levels are huge and will require large graph paper where the DM maps in 5' x 5'.   If you're a DM who cannot overcome these technical details, you probably should stop reading the modules and let someone else DM.



The monster stat blocks are perfectly organized without the major errors that creep into too many publications when the rules are as complicated as 3rd Edition.  There are a lot of monsters, so the beasties do not all get their own sidebar.  There is a handy appendix of monster stats at the end of the module that the DM could just copy or print from PDF and hold in his hand for convenience.  



One common 3rd Edition-ism that the Rappan Athuk modules avoid is the use of grey scale or busy graphics.  Grey scale is a background of grey-to-nearly-black ink behind monster stat blocks or even behind the entire page.  In some 3rd Edition products the background for part of the text is actually black, with the letters in white.  Other 3rd Edition products cannot resist jamming the page with repetitive graphics such as elaborate borders for each page.  Similarly, some of the old TSR 2nd Edition modules were printed on parchment type paper.  My suspicion about most of this is that the intent was to make the modules hard to photocopy.  If so, it worked…but it also makes modules really hard to read and wastes a lot of ink and space.  Aside from a small amount of grey scale behind the maps in R2, the Rappan Athuk modules don't do that crap…nor do they test our eyes with impossibly small type or ludicrous fonts.  (Thanks for listening to that rant, by the way.)



Rappan Athuk set the bar very high for 3rd Edition products way back in 2000.  A number of other companies would have done well to copy them.  Too many did not.



Quality can range widely in 3rd Edition products.  The first 3.0 cock-up of the classic Dark Tower, for instance, demonstrated absolutely no command of the new rules but made up for it by showing no respect to the original Judges Guild module and omitting the name of author Paul Jaquays entirely.  Dark Tower had to wait for a Necromancer Games fix.  (You know a module is good when it gets published in the same edition twice.)



The Rappan Athuk modules are written for anyone to use, but they reflect the philosophy of Bill Webb and Clark Peterson:  "3rd Edition Rules. 1st Edition Feel."  The writers tend to assume that their customer is the usual Acaeum-type RPG veteran.  I love these lines from the introduction:



"Why is the dungeon there?  No one knows.  Why do the monsters usually fight rather than talk?  We aren't really sure.  Why are there 16 trolls in a cave with a jug of alchemy?  No one cares.  What do all the monsters eat?  We don't know that either (although "adventurer" probably tops the menu).  And we don't have to know these things. This isn't an ecology experiment; it's a dungeon -- the quintessential setting for pure sword-and-sorcery adventuring!"



R1 is planned for six characters of 3rd level and the plan is for the party to level-up appropriately as they venture deeper and deeper into the Dungeon of Graves.  Peterson and Webb understand well that experienced players will do better than newbies.  They give notes on where the party should go and what they should avoid.  R3 includes a careful buildup to the final encounter.  Completing the various adventures along the way to meeting the Lord of the Dead gives the party advantages that might help them prevail.  Blundering straight into the final show will probably end badly.



Rappan Athuk is not a "killer dungeon" because it does not have the deathtraps and inescapable situations found in a module like Tomb of Horrors.  However, characters are going to die if the party is careless or unlucky.  That's supposed to be part of the fun.  Remember when it was actually frightening to go down into an imaginary dungeon?  Remember when you didn't know if your character was coming back?  That's Rappan Athuk.



The Rappan Athuk modules are not for children.  It isn't that there's gore or sex or anything really lurid.  It's just that the bad guys in this deep dungeon are doing horrible things to people and the atmosphere is pretty grim.  I could actually smell the fetid aura of Rappan Athuk as I thumbed through the modules earlier this week.  (But that might also have had to do with the septic system repairs we were having done that day…you decide.)



There's a ton more I could say about the three Rappan Athuk modules.  This is already a really long post.  Every time I open up these three books I find something that interests me, a great idea, a scary picture, a story hook, or someone really cool to kill...someone who really really reeeaally has it coming.



So, if you read this far rather than just clicking on the link above, Rappan Athuk 3.0 is worth collecting even though Rappan Athuk Reloaded exists.  My advice is to snap up those modules on Amazon and go get R1 and R2 while people still think they're cheap modules.  I don't know if the three 3.0 modules will be super collectible or not, but I do know that any old-school gamer will enjoy at least reading them.



Your thoughts?


"But I have watched the dragons come, fire-eyed, across the world."

  
PreviousNext
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 15 of 54123 ... 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 ... 525354