Warlock "an alternative to the emerging D&D"
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Post Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 4:16 pm 
 

Does anyone remember this one?

I dug it out of a pile of zines…

Image

above is the only Internet Photo I could find.

Contents:

Spartan  #9    Aug  1975  52p
-------

ARTICLES

Warlock: or How to Play D&D without Playing D&D
  - Fantasy role-play rules system

Game Review
  - Dungeon! (TSR)
  - War of Wizards (TSR)
  - Starship (FGU)
  - Warriors of Mars (TSR)
  - Greyhawk (TSR)

Letters

Battle of the Bulge Replay              - N.Beveridge Jr


I found this info on the Afterglow-

A draft manuscript produced for playtesting Warlock, an alternative to the emerging Dungeons & Dragons ruleset, for fantasy role-playing games. Later published in part, in Spartan Magazine #9 (August 1975), and formally published 3 years later as The Complete Warlock. While Balboa spent 2 years playtesting and editing Warlock, TSR Inc. established a dominant position for Dungeons & Dragons in the RPG market. Balboa's manuscript was finally published as 'a major D&D variant', a decision that landed them in court. Image and information courtesy of Brian Wagner.


http://www.afterglow2.com/Product/Balboa.htm


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 4:33 pm 
 

Mars recently posted info about Spartan #9 in another thread. I can find it right now.

I'll need to update Afterglow2 with the Spartan #9 cover. In the meantime, seeing as you're here, if you have any strange and unusual D&D publications you think could be added to Afterglow2, I could really use cover scans and a few details.


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 6:57 pm 
 

By the way, there are still people playing Warlock at Caltech.  They have a Yahoo group: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/Warlock-D_and_D/

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 7:04 pm 
 

Here is a bigger pic for you:

http://www.cs.uwaterloo.ca/~mdtpetri/spartan9.jpg

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Post Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 11:35 pm 
 

So, oh fanzine experts, are the other issues of Spartan worthwhile/interesting?


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Post Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:07 am 
 

I scored a copy of Warlock on a huge auction, but it just isn't too exciting. Basically some guy's "like D&D but better" system, without the elements that actually make D&D fun, and make reading D&D rulebooks fun. Maybe I just can't get worked up enough for a game with a reworked magic system. OTOH, what I have may be an early version (looks like it, it is basically an old, old photocopy), since it is far less extensive than a proper ruleset would be.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 4:28 am 
 

Melan wrote:I scored a copy of Warlock on a huge auction, but it just isn't too exciting. Basically some guy's "like D&D but better" system, without the elements that actually make D&D fun, and make reading D&D rulebooks fun. Maybe I just can't get worked up enough for a game with a reworked magic system. OTOH, what I have may be an early version (looks like it, it is basically an old, old photocopy), since it is far less extensive than a proper ruleset would be.


If you scored your copy from eBay in a thin card folder about February last year, I think you have a copy of the prepub. It was put up for auction on its own and I tried to contact the winner without success.

And for those sceptics, remember that Warlock's Tower and Warlock Menagerie ware designed to expand on Warlock and fill those gaps. But like Aftergow2 says, TSR served paper to sue and the company ditched Warlock completely.


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Post Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 2:36 am 
 

That's the one. Thank you for the information, mbassoc.

  

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Post Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 5:31 pm 
 

Does Melan mean "hammer" in Hungarian?  Sounds pretty close to the Latin word.


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Post Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 6:28 pm 
 

grodog wrote:So, oh fanzine experts, are the other issues of Spartan worthwhile/interesting?

I won three of them not long ago — issues 12, 13, and 14, off the top of my head, I'm pretty sure — and I'd have to answer "no."

Other than the specific articles I was chasing (which were on Cosmic Encounter), the rest of the magazines seemed dangerously lame to me. Plus, the writing is indifferent and the editing is non-existent, which I find distracting after a while.

YMMV, of course, but I'll never chase another issue of Spartan. In fact, I'm planning on selling the three that I've got ...

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Post Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:25 pm 
 

Thanks for thip, Xaxaxe!


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Post Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 2:42 pm 
 

MShipley88 wrote:Does Melan mean "hammer" in Hungarian?  Sounds pretty close to the Latin word.

No, it is the name of a character in a (pretty good) early Hungarian science-fantasy novel with wyverns, necromancers, tanks, helicopters and ruled by scheming demigods. In Hungarian, "hammer" is translated as "kalapács", or "pöröly" (arch.).

  

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Post Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 7:14 am 
 

"Warlock: or How to Play D&D without Playing D&D"

(contained in Spartan #9 Aug  1975)

is this article available somewhere? I couldn't find Spartan issues on NK website...

  

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Post Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 9:03 am 
 

There is a lonnnnnggg time since I haven't see any copy on ebay.


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Post Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 9:28 am 
 

It is a pre-release of the Complete Warlock ruleset published by Balboa Inc. There was also a 'pre-pub' uncovered that had a different typesetting to both the article published in Spartan, and the release of Complete Warlock. The pre-pub was sold through eBay a few years back but I don't recall who it went to....

http://www.afterglow2.com/Product/Balboa.htm

From what I understand of the timeline, Warlock was originally written and playtested around the same time as Chainmail, pre-woodgrain D&D publication, but probably concurrent with woodie playtesting.


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Post Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 10:11 am 
 

Some alternate printings to other books too.

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Post Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 12:19 pm 
 

From what i understand

"Warlock: or How to Play D&D without Playing D&D "

should be an article about this game and its development history and purposes, not a pre-release of the Complete Warlock ruleset.

This is why i'm interested in reading it. Since i appreciate a lot "The Complete Warlock" as a fantasy rpg i would like to peruse this article because its title intrigues me and to me it sounds like an "academic" article, i need it for "historical" purposes, because essays and articles concerning this rpg by Balboa games are scanty, if not non existant.

  

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Post Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 12:39 pm 
 

There are a couple of people here with Spartan #9. Maybe someone will confirm.


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Post Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 10:05 pm 
 

I have Spartan #9. I bought a copy from Noble Knight last year for $50; it's one of the more expensive collectibles I've bought. I was interested in seeing it b/c J. Eric Holmes mentions in his FRP book that he used the combat system from it when he started playing, because the OD&D combat system was confusing. (The irony here is that I find the Warlock combat system to be overly complicated; it actually says "the numbers involved in our combat system may look a bit frightening").

The Warlock article takes up most of Spartan #9 (pages 4-37 of 50 pages). It's not an article about the creation of the Warlock rules - it's the rules themselves - an earlier version of the same material found in the Complete Warlock. (For comparison, I also have a beat-up copy of the CW I picked up on the cheap in a lot, thanks to lokiwookie here). There is a brief introduction, three paragraphs, that describes the development of the system, but it's found in almost identical form in the CW.

The Spartan Warlock rules are a very early (Aug 1975!) clarification & expansion of Vol I of OD&D - Men & Magic plus the M&M additions from Greyhawk, though there's a lot of (IMO) unneccesary complexity added to the rules, which gets worse in the CW (for example, a quadruple magical-fighting-cleric-thief class). Echoing the change in OD&D, the Spartan Warlock rules refer to hobbits whereas the CW refers to halflings.

By the way the picture shown for the "draft" copy on afterglow2 looks identical to the first page of the magazine article. It's also the same length (34 pages). Is it possible this draft is just a photocopy or cut-out of the article?


Zenopus Archives website & blog: Exploring the Underworld of Holmes Basic D&D. Holmes Ref: Reference Sheets for Holmes Basic Referees, also compatible with OD&D plus the Greyhawk supplement

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Post Posted: Wed May 25, 2011 2:08 am 
 

Thanks a lot Zenopus for these clarifications! :D

  
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