Monsters! Monsters! Print Info
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Post Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:08 am 
 

So I received this in the mail:




** expired eBay auction **




The seller wasn't embellishing in the description - what I took to be a regular baggy is actually a sealed magazine baggy that you commonly find magazines sold in.  



My question is do we know if this is how Monsters! Monsters! was sold through Metagaming, or was this likely done at the game store where it was sold?



One interesting detail is the price sticker on the bag is $5.95.  I can't remember where I read this discussion but I recall a thread where it was supposed that the $7.00 cover version is actually the 1st print, and the $5.95  cover version is the 2nd print.  Rather than a price increase the price was decreased on the 2nd print in response to having to compete on the shelves with something ....what that something is I can't recall now.   Anyways I wonder if this was bagged specifically so the new price could be applied.  That may suggest these originally did not come bagged.  Or do we know if the $5.95 version was ever sold bagged?



Does anyone else have a bagged copy of this, either printing?


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:24 am 
 

Yes, there are two prints.  On both prints the price is printed on the cover so there is no need to bag them and reprice.  I think it very unlikely that Metagaming bagged them and more unlikely that Metagaming priced them.  
They would leave it to the store to price the item (since stores often charge a different price from the suggested price).  This was probably done at the store and possibly after restocking the item and noticing the price difference.

Does the price tag say anything else?  They often have a store name or date that would be a give away on who priced them.

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Post Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:04 pm 
 

Thanks Mars!  I found where I read about this $7 version being the 1st print - on our very own Acaeum:

viewtopic.php?p=129184#129184

I'll check the price sticker more closely but I am quite sure there is only the price there and nothing else.  I have the other $5.95 version, plus Ken's blue cover reprint, plus the Outlaw Press version, so there is no rush to crack this one out of the bag just yet.  Though eventually I will if I can figure out this is not how Metagaming sold it.  

My thinking here is IF Metagaming ordered a 2nd print with the $5.95 cover price then maybe they bagged the remaining 1st prints at the tail end of the run and repriced them to the same $5.95 before sending them out.  Not sure how this can be shown without more sightings of bagged copies.  OR pickup something else Metagaming sold around the same time that was bagged and compare, if such a something exists.

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Post Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:07 pm 
 

I have the $5.95 and another one (possible a $7 or another $5.95 - I need to dig it out and check), and the blue one also.  As far as I know, the Outlaw Press version is an exact copy of whichever one they "reprinted".  I personally don't count many of the Outlaw items when talking about print runs because I really don't know if they have proper permission to reprint or not.  There have been some cases where I know they do not/did not until after they reprinted - they are currently on my boycott list.

Ak'Ptui wrote:My thinking here is IF Metagaming ordered a 2nd print with the $5.95 cover price then maybe they bagged the remaining 1st prints at the tail end of the run and repriced them to the same $5.95 before sending them out.


If Metagaming did bag them then this would probably be their reasoning but that is also why I think it very unlikely that would have done it.  If Metagaming was selling them direct then perhaps this was done to correct the price at cons etc.  However, for the most part, anything sold to stores was sold at an arranged price but then would have been left for the retailer to reprice and sell it (not likely to have been repriced at the source).

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Post Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:17 pm 
 

Okay, I just checked and my two copies are both $5.95 versions so I can't tell you what the difference between the $5.95 and $7 versions are.

However, if anyone is looking for a $5.95 version send me a PM :)

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Post Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:43 pm 
 

Our friend DavidC is looking for one ...I remember seeing it on his want list. :)


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:23 pm 
 

Ak'Ptui wrote:Our friend DavidC is looking for one ...I remember seeing it on his want list. :)


Okay thanks, I will add it to his stack  and send him a message :)

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Post Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 4:39 pm 
 

I'd be interested if anyone knows more about the history of this book too.  It might be worthwhile to send an email to Ken St Andre or Rick Loomis and ask.

Were the early editions of Tunnels & Trolls self published?

In any case, its interesting that Monsters! Monsters! was first published by Metagaming (Steve Jackson) and then it was published by FBI for Tunnels & Trolls.  In a sense, I see Steve Jackson's Fighting Fantasy books as competition for FBI Tunnels & Trolls solo adventures so its interesting that they share a common product.  I guess it could be at a time before they were really in competition though.

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Post Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:08 pm 
 

The other Steve Jackson, Mark. (Neither did the UK duo come up with FF as an "original idea" under their own steam, from several accounts).


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:12 pm 
 

Thanks for thinking of me, gentlemen  :D

I had found a spiral bound FBI monsters!monsters!... it says second edition, second print 1979... when does the Metagaming version date from?  (I didn't know it was older than the FBI.)

  

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Post Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:14 pm 
 

Ak'Ptui wrote:...so there is no rush to crack this one out of the bag just yet.

Would leave that exactly as it is if I were you and file a copy of the auction record alongside, plus any further confirmation/details from the seller. There are very few "good" reasons not to "deshrink" and you have one of those there. (Outwith those, SW's best consigned to the City of Terrors, IMHO ;))


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:16 pm 
 

davidc wrote:I had found a spiral bound FBI monsters!monsters!... it says second edition, second print 1979... when does the Metagaming version date from?  (I didn't know it was older than the FBI.)

1976 onwards and, agreed, intuitively one might think the FBI releases came first for several reasons. Metagaming's general production standards carried through nicely from Space Gamer in this case.


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:20 pm 
 

All the copies (of which I have seen only 3) of this book have not been in shrinky -- the two that have passed through my hands were not, either. Of course, I prefer to play / read the stuff, so its a non-issue for the most part, except for the things I want to add to the "museum."


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:28 pm 
 

Mars wrote:I'd be interested if anyone knows more about the history of this book too.  It might be worthwhile to send an email to Ken St Andre or Rick Loomis and ask.

Were the early editions of Tunnels & Trolls self published?

In any case, its interesting that Monsters! Monsters! was first published by Metagaming (Steve Jackson) and then it was published by FBI for Tunnels & Trolls.  In a sense, I see Steve Jackson's Fighting Fantasy books as competition for FBI Tunnels & Trolls solo adventures so its interesting that they share a common product.  I guess it could be at a time before they were really in competition though.


According to KStA he started hearing of D&D in Dec 74, and actually laid eyes on a copy in Apr 76.  From there he composed a 20 page draft for his own game and started playing with friends James "Bear" Peters, Stephen MacAllister, Mark Anthony, & Greg Brown.  Nice tidbit is that the first T&T dungeon was Gristlegrim, back then only a two-level complex.  Anyways according to Ken demand for photocopies of his game was increasing so he went back to revise and expand his draft into what would become the first edition.

"It took me a month to put together the first edition of the new Tunnels & Trolls:  The whole thing, a 40-page booklet typed on my 1914 Remington, went to press at the A.S.U. print shop in June of 1975.  I printed 100 copies, which were to be sold to friends for $2 each.  T&T would not hook up with Flying Buffalo until November of that year, when I met Rick Loomis at an SF convention in Tuscon."

In another article he says of the first edition T&T:

"I arranged to have it printed at my own expense (100 copies cost me $60 at the Arizona State University print shop).  I got McAllister and Peters to collect and collate the thing, and I went off for a month's vacation ...

...We sold about 10 copies at WesterCon in '75, and first met Liz Danforth.

When I got home I had about 40 copies of the original 100 that I didn't know what to do with.  Rick Loomis, owner-manager of the infamous Flying Buffalo computer games house, agreed to try and sell them for me.  He sold them very easily and approached me with an offer to manufacture and distribute the game.  The rest is history."


Shortly after this line in the same article he mentions "Monsters! Monsters!":

"Around the end of that year Howard Thompson asked me to do a fantasy role-playing game for Metagaming.  I already had one in hand.  For a couple of months I had been toying with the reverse of the original premise.  Instead of humans raiding and plundering the home territory of monsters, evil wizards, etc., why not play the bad guys in their evil attacks on mankind?  Thus Monsters! Monsters! was born.  At Howard's urging I put together a game manuscript for M!M! as quickly as I could and sent it off to him before the year was over, complete with illustrations, and suggestions on how to print and market it.  Howard didn't really care for my ideas.  First of all he decided it needed a color cover, and then he decided that Steve Jackson should edit it for clarity.  All this took a long time.  It was the middle of 1976 before the game was ready to print, and production costs had risen.  Is it any wonder that T&T which was selling then for $3 a copy greatly outsold M!M! which went for $7, even though M!M! was slick and beautiful by comparison?"

Articles are in White Dwarf #30 & Different Worlds #1.  Interesting that in Different Worlds he confirms that M!M! initially sold for $7, and the game it competed against was his own $3 T&T!  A contemporary source that confirms the earlier Acaeum thread above and not 30 yrs after the fact.

Cheers!


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:35 pm 
 

So ...the interesting question to ask now is how/why did the Metagaming relationship end and Monsters! Monsters! end up with Flying Buffalo in 82?


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:41 pm 
 

faro wrote:The other Steve Jackson, Mark. (Neither did the UK duo come up with FF as an "original idea" under their own steam, from several accounts).


Sorry, to sidetrack this thread a bit.  I don't know if I realized there was 2 Steve Jacksons.

I am guess that American Steve Jackson did Metagaming, Space Gamer, Steve Jackson Games (GURPS, Car Wars, etc).

UK Steve Jackson did Warlock magazine, Fighting Fantasy.  Did he also work for Games Workshop?  If so what did he do there (I am thinking Imagine or White Dwarf)?

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Post Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:46 pm 
 

Ak'Ptui wrote:So ...the interesting question to ask now is how/why did the Metagaming relationship end and Monsters! Monsters! end up with Flying Buffalo in 82?


As a guess, the relationship probably ended because M!M! didn't sell well or well enough so Metagaming dropped it.  Since FBI was doing well with his other items, a more cost effective printing was made through them.

FBI seems like a more natural company to sell M!M! since it is stated as being a streamlined and perverse variant of Tunnels & Trolls.  It seemed a bit strange that two companies where selling the same basic set of rules by the same author.

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Post Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:31 pm 
 

faro wrote:Would leave that exactly as it is if I were you and file a copy of the auction record alongside, plus any further confirmation/details from the seller. There are very few "good" reasons not to "deshrink" and you have one of those there. (Outwith those, SW's best consigned to the City of Terrors, IMHO ;))


This is becoming more interesting ...all the pages lie perfectly flat with one another as you would expect from a book never touched by mortal hands.  Except the front cover at the bottom of the book lies 1-2mm above the pages.  The reason is there is something else in there.  Looks like 4 sheets folded to digest size stuck in there as some sort of insert.  Probably a product offer or small catalog.  Doubtful it is a map or other game related info since this is never been heard of before, but stranger things have happened.  I'll do some more sniffing and email the seller as suggested ...just left them good feedback today so hopefully they'll be willing to answer a few questions about where this might have come from.

Thanks!


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:50 pm 
 

Mars wrote:I have the $5.95 and another one (possible a $7 or another $5.95 - I need to dig it out and check), and the blue one also.  


Hey can you do me a favour and describe your blue version?  Did you get this from Ken first hand in 2002 or pick it up later?  I'm curious if there is anything written on the inside front page or if it is signed.  If so is it signed in pen or does the page itself look photo-copied?  Mine has some personal message and then signed, but the page is obviously a copy and wasn't signed directly.

BTW I didn't know there were two Steve Jacksons either.   ;)


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:25 am 
 

The first page looks like it was taken from the FBI second edition.

It then has "second" crossed out and "photocopy 1998" handwritten in.

There is also an additional line written in under the original copyright that says "copyright 1998 by Ken St. Andre".

This copy is not directly signed but you can see that the original version that was photocopied was signed and numbered.  There are traces of the "#" and bits of a number (although tough to make out which one - maybe 1 or 2) just above the picture below the "Flying Buffalo Inc" line.  And in the top right corner there is a partially faded photocopy of a dedication and signature.  Its tough to make out what it says but it you can see the initial "For" and "Ken St Andre" siganture.

I didn't get this one directly from Ken.  I traded a friend for it and I think he purchased it off of Ebay.

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