Interesting Non-TSR Items Formerly on eBay
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Post Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:43 am 
 

SimperingToad wrote:Aaaannnd...

Yet another one. $1800 BIN. Someone was watching.


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the problem with such an edition is that literally anybody can make it -- the binding, the cover you can get where i live in any copy shop.



correct me if i'm wrong, because i don't collect the "ancestral" rpg modules, but weren't all 1970s / very early 1980s third-party publications effectively photocopies (one master script and the retail copies [bleh, pun] copied from it)?



my point being that you can produce a "mint condition" specimen at very low cost -- i'm not saying that this is the case here, but it would be less of a problem than, say, copy some earky d&d product with color cover art etc. not to mention the possible profit, so caution is advised.


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Post Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:48 am 
 

Well, that's the first time I've seen the cober drawing to Eye of the Dragon.


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Post Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:33 am 
 

cameosis wrote:
the problem with such an edition is that literally anybody can make it -- the binding, the cover you can get where i live in any copy shop.

correct me if i'm wrong, because i don't collect the "ancestral" rpg modules, but weren't all 1970s / very early 1980s third-party publications effectively photocopies (one master script and the retail copies [bleh, pun] copied from it)?

my point being that you can produce a "mint condition" specimen at very low cost -- i'm not saying that this is the case here, but it would be less of a problem than, say, copy some earky d&d product with color cover art etc. not to mention the possible profit, so caution is advised.


There are some past threads here on this topic.  Although it might appear that it is easy to reproduce a duplicate of some of the early modules, the forger would find that they would have very little chance of getting away with it, especially multiple forgeries.  Very few of these modules exist so to pull off a forgery at least the following conditions would need to exist:

1. The would-be crook would have to have access to an original in good enough shape to duplicate.
2. The would-be crook would have to have a fairly extensive knowledge of the module's provenance in order to duplicate.
3. The would-be crook would have to have access to papers and materials which are probably no longer produced or at least are hard to obtain.
4. The would-be crook would have to reproduce a copy using technologies that are not easy to come by today.  A simple photocopy would more than likely be fairly obvious.
5. The would-be crook would need to have some skill at antiquing, since a fresh, spanking new copy would be very suspect, especially if there was more than one.
6. The would-be crook could not easily mass produce, since it would be diffucult to "launder" the resulting goods to a very small, fairly knowledgeable, and skeptical group of people.
7. The would-be crook would probably not make a lot of money on the endeavor and the risk would probably outweigh the effort spent.  Testament to this would be the fact that virtually no *discovered* forgeries have popped up over time for any of the rare items.

That being said, it is always best to purchase a rare collectible off of someone who is known to the community, reputable, and has some provenance on the item.  That will increase the odds that an authentic original has been acquired.  If there is any doubt, or if an individual wants to feel more secure in their purchase, it would be advisable to have the item "authenticated" by experienced role-playing community members, such as those that frequent The Acaeum.

  

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Post Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:28 am 
 

Further more, the would-be crook would need to be willing to destroy the binding on the original $1500 module, and would only be able to shift one or twofakes before the collector community flagged them as such. These things tend to go to the usual suspects and get compared with know items of provenance. A lot of work to go to for at best a 100-200% return on your outlay.

If you're gonna fake something there are far more lucrative prospects with a lower outlay, a greater chance of reselling and non-distructive duplication from the original source. Say loose leaf PoVQ and DG, PoVQ 3rd, any of the Massconfusion modules, the Detroit Metro Gamers stuff, the list is pretty extensive.


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Post Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:18 am 
 

It's a scam best worked with an accessible mid-range collectible like The Phantastical Phantasmagorical Montie Haul Dungeon, from Gamelords, as we have already seen happen.

Even Noble Knight Games was innocently selling these fakes not all that long ago.

There is less initial outlay and it is easier to produce a good number of the fakes.


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Post Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:43 pm 
 

thanks for the insight -- i should have figured, but then again, i'm quite the ignorant, as i said before: i stick to merp and runequest 3rd (avalon hill), for that was what got me into rpg in the first place (along with the wonderful paranoia and fasa shadowrun stuff).


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Post Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:47 pm 
 

Hell, we've even seen fakes in the miniatures market. Remolds of the original RP Battletech mechs have been being knocked out by some guy in the US for years now. They're crap quality in terms of sculpture and the alloy quality, but second hand miniatures are hard to come by, and the new ones from Iron Wind Metals just don't compare to the original Ral Partha sculpts.


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Post Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:58 pm 
 

Somebody also claimed to have reproduced a woodgrain convincingly on some other discussion boards years ago.  David challenged them to post pics, but I can't say whether they ever materialized.


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Post Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:22 am 
 

I actually bought fake minis from Draki-net, or whatever his name was, when I was rebuilding my Battletech collection a few years back. They were really obvious remolds, but the AH always maintained they were RP originals. They came already assembled, unpainted and with the hex bases already cast onto the base of the mini.


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Post Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:49 am 
 

dbartman wrote:

There are some past threads here on this topic.  Although it might appear that it is easy to reproduce a duplicate of some of the early modules, the forger would find that they would have very little chance of getting away with it, especially multiple forgeries.  Very few of these modules exist so to pull off a forgery at least the following conditions would need to exist:

1. The would-be crook would have to have access to an original in good enough shape to duplicate.
2. The would-be crook would have to have a fairly extensive knowledge of the module's provenance in order to duplicate.
3. The would-be crook would have to have access to papers and materials which are probably no longer produced or at least are hard to obtain.
4. The would-be crook would have to reproduce a copy using technologies that are not easy to come by today.  A simple photocopy would more than likely be fairly obvious.
5. The would-be crook would need to have some skill at antiquing, since a fresh, spanking new copy would be very suspect, especially if there was more than one.
6. The would-be crook could not easily mass produce, since it would be diffucult to "launder" the resulting goods to a very small, fairly knowledgeable, and skeptical group of people.
7. The would-be crook would probably not make a lot of money on the endeavor and the risk would probably outweigh the effort spent.  Testament to this would be the fact that virtually no *discovered* forgeries have popped up over time for any of the rare items.

That being said, it is always best to purchase a rare collectible off of someone who is known to the community, reputable, and has some provenance on the item.  That will increase the odds that an authentic original has been acquired.  If there is any doubt, or if an individual wants to feel more secure in their purchase, it would be advisable to have the item "authenticated" by experienced role-playing community members, such as those that frequent The Acaeum.




I think you guys are making it to hard. All the would be forger needs is a copy of the original, a good printing program or a compliant printer, and an unsuspecting buyer.  Chances are most of us haven't seen, in person, something like a Rahasia, POTVQ, or item from that time period.  The forger wouldn't have to antique...there have been items sold in recent years (the many copies of the tournament version of Fazzlewood) that buyers have commented look "brand new").  And if someone who wasn't part of this community, new to collecting, or not very suspicious bought the item it might sit in their collection for years without anyone being the wiser (and having no access to comparing it to a real one).  The riskis really negligible....I'm not saying it's impossible, but I"d have to think it would be hard to sit across a police investigator and explain why you think your copy of POTVQ is a fake and have him keep a straight face...



Actually, I think the opposite. With very little effort and perhaps a small amount of skill a crook could pocket $5k or more with very little chance they would be caught or punished.  Don't forget the classic scam of "I've found this thing in my attic, I don't know what it is, how much would you give me for it?" the counterfeiter could pull with dealers or collectors in  "face to face" deals not on ebay.  I've seen people take chances buying classic Mustangs on ebay for 10K and getting swindled; don't tell me there aren't guys out there in our hobby that wouldn't be willing to drop $500 on a mint copy of "Pharoah" if someone walked up to them at a convention acting like they didn't know what they had, on the off chance it was the real thing!  



I've gone on record at the Acaeum many, many times wondering why this sort of thing isn't more widespread, given the state of some of the older stuff (basically, just photocopies of earlier stuff, like the tournament modules or editions of POTVQ).  We've seen it happen with less expensive items, but really, a smart conman will eventually realize it's much more lucrative to sell two copies of a fake Rahasia than a case load of "Monty's Dungeon".



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Post Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:27 pm 
 

Anyone who buys a minty rare without either knowing its provenance or checking it out before buying it is asking for trouble anyways.
Counterfeiting a module is fraud, since it is replication of documents, and falls under the FBI's jurisdiction. Bring in a counterfeit $1K module to an FBI field office and they'll take it seriously.


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Post Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:37 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:
I've gone on record at the Acaeum many, many times wondering why this sort of thing isn't more widespread, given the state of some of the older stuff (basically, just photocopies of earlier stuff, like the tournament modules or editions of POTVQ).  We've seen it happen with less expensive items, but really, a smart conman will eventually realize it's much more lucrative to sell two copies of a fake Rahasia than a case load of "Monty's Dungeon".

Mike B.

the reason i asked in the first place was exactly what mike wrote -- being a lawyer (sue me!), i always assume the "best" in people. :D

RaisedFromTheDead wrote:Counterfeiting a module is fraud, since it is replication of documents, and falls under the FBI's jurisdiction. Bring in a counterfeit $1K module to an FBI field office and they'll take it seriously.

that's interesting, because in germany (where i'm from), an rpg publication wouldn't qualify as a "document" in its original sense. what you have described would still be fraud, nonetheless. on the other hand, proving that it is fraud would be very difficult if the perpetrator acted as mike described.

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Post Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:29 pm 
 

Copying the Constitution and selling it would be fraud, no? There's no real difference between the Constitution and a Fazzlewood. One outlines tenets and beliefs to live by, one outlines a game scenario. Both are forgery, creating or copying with the intent to commit fraud (deception for gain).


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Post Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:53 pm 
 

I think a lot of it is how serious the investigator decided to take you.  In the scenario where the guy walks up to you at the con and wants to get rid of these "D&D things" he's had in his basement for years and you buy a mint Fazzlewood for $500 cash, there is no docmentation that a sale even  took place.  When you get buyer's remorse later and find out it looks photocopied, I just dont' see much happening except for the local cops taking a statement and saying they'll get back to you.  I guess a lot of it would depend on your willingness to really follow through with a lot of documentaton and evidence.  I have to think of all the types of fraud this could be very lucrative and of low danger to the criminal involved.

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Post Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:00 pm 
 

RaisedFromTheDead wrote:Copying the Constitution and selling it would be fraud, no?

no, it wouldn't.

copying something is not forgery, as you don't alter anything. i am not familiar with the situation in the states and if only government institutions are permitted to sell copies of the constitution -- in germany, anybody can publish the text of the german constitution and sell it -- and many publishing houses do, complete with annotiations and comments. legal professionals rely on these publications.

the u.s. constitution costs between $3.00 and $4.20: http://bookstore.gpo.gov/actions/GetPub ... 02-00540-6

RaisedFromTheDead wrote:There's no real difference between the Constitution and a Fazzlewood. One outlines tenets and beliefs to live by, one outlines a game scenario. Both are forgery, creating or copying with the intent to commit fraud (deception for gain).

forgery of documents and fraud are not one and the same, and a game scenario is still not a document in the legal sense (at least not in germany) -- deed / instrument, if you wish (these would be the technical terms, they more precisely define what i mean than "document").

i would, on the contrary, say that there is a fundamental difference between a legal document (e.g. the constitution) and a work of fiction (e.g. a game scenario). the premises are completely different -- the constitution is a set of rules and rights upon which everything else is based and everyone has to adhere to. an rpg scenario only applies / appeals to those interested and can be altered at will (e.g. house rules).


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Post Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:18 pm 
 

cameosis wrote:forgery of documents and fraud are not one and the same, and a game scenario is still not a document in the legal sense (at least not in germany) -- deed / instrument, if you wish (these would be the technical terms, they more precisely define what i mean than "document").

i would, on the contrary, say that there is a fundamental difference between a legal document (e.g. the constitution) and a work of fiction (e.g. a game scenario). the premises are completely different -- the constitution is a set of rules and rights upon which everything else is based and everyone has to adhere to. an rpg scenario only applies / appeals to those interested and can be altered at will (e.g. house rules).


Selling a copied or forged document(or book in this instance) as being original and authentic is fraud, as well as potentially being a breach in copyright.  Intentional misrepresentation is pretty much the basis for the US fraud laws.  

Proving that the misrepresentation was intentional might be difficult, but regardless that doesn't mean if the buyer can prove it is in fact a fake that he's SOL.  Under those circumstances, the seller would be forced to reimburse the buyer or face legal consequences, if not criminal, then civil.


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Post Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:23 pm 
 

Jolly is selling more early Shadis:




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Post Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:52 pm 
 

if only I could bid and actually win em..

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Post Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:06 pm 
 

beasterbrook wrote:if only I could bid and actually win em..

Brette:)


I know what you mean.  He said the last lot was his last set of all the issues :(

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Post Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:09 pm 
 

they aren't as rare as some, but now everyone seem to be bidding after the first couple slipped through..

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