Classic City State of Tarantis Now Available in PDF!
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Post Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:02 pm 
 

Woohoo! Judges Guild has finally released the classic City State of Tarantis in PDF!

This is the 3rd City State from Judges Guild. Two big 96 books detail the City State of Tarantis and the surrounding campaign area with the history, government, customs, religions, and military of Tarantis. They also cover the shops and courts of Tarantis, The Tarantine Palace, Bard or Fighter Citadel, Ho Chi's Castle, The Azurerain Pirates and their stronghold. This scanned 1983 product includes the large Tarantis Area map, but does not contain the maps for Judges or Players. Enjoy this huge chunk of original Judges Guild goodness.

Though designed using the Judges Guild Universal System, it is easily adaptable to Castles & Crusades and other similar systems.

Click here to get Classic Tarantis at DriveThruRPG!

Click here to get Classic Tarantis at RPGNow!


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Post Posted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:44 pm 
 

James,

Do you know if they ever plan to release classic versions of CSIO in PDF? That and my FFC books that I misplaced sometime around college are my two biggest missing treasures from days gone by.

Heck, I'd love ot see FFC also in PDF.

  


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Post Posted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:03 pm 
 

We're looking into getting earlier versions of the CSIO taken care of; it might already have been done, as the Geilmans did some scan work way back when. Bob's dealing with that.

As for FFC, the problem with that sucker is the property rights. I know Bob Sr. was in discussions with Dave before he passed away, and Bob Jr. continued the discussions with Dave, but I don't think they reached any sort of agreement before Dave passed away. I'm not sure it was even possible, as the rights to Blackmoor are quite convoluted, as they are (or rather, were) co-owned by Dave and Wizards/Hasbro. I won't even conjecture where things stand with Dave's end of the rights at this point (too soon, way too soon).

And of course, there's the issue of Code Monkey releasing Blackmoor for 4E, so I dunno what that might entail...

Essentially an FFC PDF is the Holy Grail of the JG collection; it's going to require quite a quest to get it done, if it is even possible!


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:35 pm 
 

The FFC PDF is already available online (all be it unofficially). It's getting the rights to publish that is the holy grail of JG publishing.

As with most things, practically everything ever produced by JG is already in PDF form. The maps seem to be the missing link in the whole spread of things. It would be quite feasable to publish an entire JG Archive if one had the rights. 90% of the work is already out there.


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:32 pm 
 

I was, of course, speaking officially, as in a legally authorized and produced PDF, not some copy pirated by some wanker who will burn in hell.

As noted in this post, however, it is out of Judges Guild's hand. From what Bob II said, Dave had the right to publish FFC as it stood or in revised format, and he preferred to work on a revised edition. Where he stood with that when he passed, I do not know. The ball is now in his heir's court.


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 3:46 pm 
 

That is a shame. We can hope that the project was almost complete and the family with print, but alas, I suspect that is unlikely to be the case. I would have liked to see a decent Arneson rendition of Blackmoor after all the stuff that's been about using the name. Presumably JG published all those PDFs that were made available through online resellers in 2004?


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 8:23 pm 
 

I'm not sure I understand your question...

If it was published originally by Judges Guild back in the day, the only official and legal PDFs are those sold by Judges Guild through DriveThruRPG and RPGNow. During the Necromancer Games era, the Judges Guild section of those sites were under their management, but since the end of that license, the site has been under the control of Judges Guild.

The rights to First Fantasy Campaign were returned to Dave Arneson; the Arneson family can publish the FFC as is or in revised format, it is all up to them. As far as I am aware, no PDF of FFC has ever been legally made available. Perhaps at one point, during the Necro era of control of the site, a PDF might have accidentally been made available for purchase and later taken down, but if so, I am not aware of this.

The rights to the old JG Traveller products reverted to Marc Miller in full; perhaps he has published them himself or through QuikLink, I do not know, and AFAIK, Miller no longer works with JG at all (that was true even when Bob I was alive). JG never made PDFs of those products available.

The rights of a few other products have reverted to their original authors, notably Inferno, however, AFAIK those should not be offered in their original JG format in PDF, as the format and art of the original remained JG property.

And too, I should note, I'm not aware of every deal Bob I may have cut with the various JG properties; my area of concern has primarily been for the Wilderlands, though I do have license to use the non-Wilderlands fantasy properties (anything they did that was for OD&D, AD&D, or Universal, save of course for FFC).

And as for what the Arneson family will do, I do not know, and will not speculate. They have not yet even had a chance to have his memorial, so everyone should just chill out and wait for them to grieve and then take stock of the situation. The man isn't dead for even a month and I've already seen people circling like vultures (not you MBassoc, I'm refering to others elsewhere). Pisses me off to no end, people have no respect.


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Post Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 3:03 am 
 

Just checking that all those original JG PDFs I bought at the beginning of the PDF boom were actually licensed by JG and not 'bootleg'. I note that some are still available, but a lot are no longer available. I imagine they contributed to the 'bad home scan' image that held back PDFs for years. Anyways, I must have 30 or 40 of the things. It was these bad scans that pushed me to collect and scan my own. I knew I could get better results than whoever was peddling those early JG mods.


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Post Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:25 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:Just checking that all those original JG PDFs I bought at the beginning of the PDF boom were actually licensed by JG and not 'bootleg'. I note that some are still available, but a lot are no longer available. I imagine they contributed to the 'bad home scan' image that held back PDFs for years. Anyways, I must have 30 or 40 of the things. It was these bad scans that pushed me to collect and scan my own. I knew I could get better results than whoever was peddling those early JG mods.


Like Ian I have a bunch of these also (including FFC). I don't know where I got them, the quality isn't great, but I've had them for years.  I have a hazy memory of buying some of them online but who knows where. Maybe they are just someone's sloppy homebrew?  They are about the same lackluster quality as the first TSR modules offered on PDF way back when.

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Post Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:39 am 
 

I remember RPGNow and another company selling all the JG mods and maps at $2 a pop. I just bought the lot. I believe FFC was in there but you either had to buy the maps seperately, or they didn't have the maps. Same with Magic Realms etc. I think they were all DRM as well, but not watermarked. Old style Adobe DRM tied to your e-mail address and authorised computers. So at some point FFC has been available digitally. I am fairly certain I can place these in the Fall of 2004. It was my interest in JG that kicked off my collecting habit, and by that December I was into City of the Revenant and got pipped at the post on Planes of Existance. That ties in with me joining Acaeum in Jan 2005. People wondering where Revenant was disappearing to.

In a nutshell - August/September 2004 online digital resellers were offering about 40 titles from JG at around $2 a pop. These were piss poor quality, but included the Wilderlands Campaign, FFC and most of the more well known mods. Don't recall picking up CSIO mind you.


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Post Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:29 pm 
 

Aug/Sep 2004 is well into the Necromancer era.

I was not directly involved with Necromancer's work in putting up the PDFs online; in fact, I vaguely recall it being a surprise to me when I heard that JG PDFs were up. I know from later discussions that Bob was not really involved in the project, at least according to his recollections, and it was all done by someone at Necromancer Games.

I've done some digging at the Necromancer Games site, and found the announcement about Judges Guild PDFs on July 7, 2004, from Clark Peterson:

http://necromancergames.yuku.com/topic/7381

JUDGES GUILD goes digital with pdfs of old products for sale

Yes, thats right. OLD STUFF.

No, I am not talking about the Player's Guide to the Wilderlands. That is already up.

I am talking about PDFs of the old classic JG products.

I am in the process of uploading the classic Book of Treasure Maps Vol I (by Paul Jaquays). It should be available at DTRPG tonite or tomorrow.

If that upload goes off without a hitch, I will start uploading other products with the goal of having pretty close to the whole JG catalog available for sale as a PDF.

Now you can get your hands on the old stuff without having to pay $40 bucks on an ebay auction.

Oh, and did I mention that Treasure Maps I will be only $2.00?

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This was in the day before the merger of DriveThruRPG and RPGNow.

And more from Clark, on July 20th:

Here is a sample of some of the things that will be available:

Ready Ref Sheets
Dark Tower
Modron
Tegel Manor
Citadel of Fire
Thieves of Fortress Badabaskor
Glory Hole Dwarven Mine
All 4 Wilderlands books:
Wilderlands of High Fantasy,
Wilderlands of the Magic Realm,
Wilderlands of the Fantastic Reaches,
Fantastic Wilderlands Beyonde
The 5 Wilderness Series Books:
Mines of Custalcon,
Shield Maidens of Sea Rune,
Pirates of Hagrost,
Witches Court Marshes,
Spies of Lightelf
Castle Book I and II
Village Book I and II
Island Book I
Temple Book I
Under the Storm Giant's Castle
...and more!

Not all 18 original wilderlands maps will be available, since I only have good scans for about 14 of the 18.

Since we wont have all 18 original maps available, we are considering making the maps from the upcoming boxed set available for download before the release of the boxed set.

Clark


Someone does mention having difficulty with the DRM, so I would say that the initial releases, at least, were in DRM format.

Looking further, it seems the first PDFs were finally available for purchase on or around July 27th, 2004.

Here's another large series of posts:

http://necromancergames.yuku.com/topic/7356

Looks like the main issue in that thread was that the disk with the Wilderlands maps got lost on the way, and thus the maps were not up until late October (the 22nd apparently). Still no mention of First Fantasy Campaign, but that does not mean it wasn't there...

Here's a post a year later about the DRM problem:

When JG made their original modules from the WL series available, I quickly gobbled them all up. Here it is a year later, and I can no longer open "my" files. I try and open the modules, and I get this dialog:

"You have Digital Editions from a prior version. Re-activation is required in order to continue accessing these documents."

I'm presented with a couple of options, neither of which ever gets me anywhere but frustrated and angry.

I've heard people complain about DRM before, but I figured as long as I didn't lose the PDFs once I'd activated them, I'd be fine. Boy was I wrong.

Talk about consumer-unfriendly technology. Sheesh. I thought I was going to be preparing for a game this weekend. Instead, I'm Googling around the internet, trying to make sense of Adobe support documentation, and staring at a folder full of dead files.


I'm not finding any reference to a PDF of the book, but again, that doesn't mean that it didn't exist at first and was withdrawn. Entirely possible, and highly likely, considering that Goodman Games released the Third Edition version of Blackmoor around that same time. I would guess that Necromancer released the FFC PDF in late July, and when Goodman noticed this, they had them take it down. I have no way of knowing for sure without asking Clark or Joe Goodman (and of course, Bob has passed on).


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Post Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:04 pm 
 

Unfortunately, most of my PDFs from that era would need intervention now to read them. I still have them backed up, but the e-mail address that activated the Adobe DRM is long extinct. Still, from what I recall, these PDFs were better had as paper copies, as they were very bad quality.


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Post Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:27 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:Unfortunately, most of my PDFs from that era would need intervention now to read them. I still have them backed up, but the e-mail address that activated the Adobe DRM is long extinct. Still, from what I recall, these PDFs were better had as paper copies, as they were very bad quality.


Those sound like exactly what I have. I must have gotten those hot off the PDF presses at the time.  I've also seen a bit torrent floating around that has many of the same titles, they probably all came from the same source.

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Post Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:34 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:Unfortunately, most of my PDFs from that era would need intervention now to read them. I still have them backed up, but the e-mail address that activated the Adobe DRM is long extinct. Still, from what I recall, these PDFs were better had as paper copies, as they were very bad quality.


The original scan are bad quality but if you use the soften (not blur) tool found in many paint programs the quality rise to acceptable levels, especially if you choose to print them.

You can see the difference with this graphic.

http://www.ibiblio.org/mscorbit/beta/csio_retouched.jpg

  


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Post Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:01 am 
 

Do you still have the same account with DTRPG/RPGNow? If so, and they still have the PDF available, you should be able to download the latest iteration, which should not be DRM. Of course, this won't help for FFC, but for the others, the possibility is still there...


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Post Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 3:05 am 
 

No. New acaount with a stable e-mail address.
Besides, I subsequently bought hardcopies, and began scanning myself. So much easier to get a good quality product than leaving it up to some mass copy shop job, or secretary empoyed by the original vendor.


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