What will be 'tomorrows' Woodgrain/ Tsojconth/ Fazzle?
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Post Posted: Wed Nov 17, 2004 10:37 pm 
 

In the midst of all this collecting and speculating, I have to wonder.


If I had bought more modules back in the day (Silly me - I used my own settings and thus didn't buy many modules) I might have been fortunate enough to have picked up some of those rare items.  If I had looked at the books and games as collectables rather than as books to read and games to play (and abuse) the ones I did buy would have been worth a lot more.

So - with that in mind - of the books now in print or at least still available new from gaming stores - what do you see us looking back at 20 (or even 30) years from now and paying huge piles of money to acquire?  About which items will be be saying "I had one of those and I tossed it out  -- too bad for me" in 2034?

Any predictions?

(Speaking for myself - since the Eberron Campaign Setting with the screwed up pages was cheaper than the average cost for a later print/ corrected copy on Ebay I went ahead and bought it.  I can either rationalize it as the frugal way to get the book or a long term investment if it ends up appreciating the same way the screwed up DMG did. )

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Post Posted: Wed Nov 17, 2004 10:45 pm 
 

My prediction: nothing, and I collect 3 and 3.5 edition items (I'm too much of a completist).  

These valuable items today from 30 years ago started this hobby.  There will never be a substitute for them due to nostalgia and sentiment.

  


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Post Posted: Wed Nov 17, 2004 11:02 pm 
 

I'm not so sure about that:  there were certainly enough items published under the d20 banner that had very small print runs that folks may be clambering for copies of releases from Necromancer Games, Goodman Games, Green Ronin, WW, etc.....


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Post Posted: Thu Nov 18, 2004 1:15 am 
 

Haunted Lighthouse, Book of Vile Darkness, maybe even the Book of Erotic Fantasy; Gygax's Castle Greyhawk, possibly RPGA adventures such as Humility, etc.  The problem with future and current releases is that nothing is rare upon release, unless it's from a small press - so things like Haunted Lighthouse with the Otus cover, even after reprint, will be in demand.  Castle Greyhawk has been awaited forever.  Sensationalistic books gain moderate value over time, but not much.  The closest thing we have to "rares" right now are things like the RPGA modules, but even those are painfully easy to get.  The "Grail" of current editions has not yet been released - it will be something limited in production number (to 1,000 or less), possibly autographed, with very high production values and major differences between the limited and unlimited editions.  If Gygax were ever to be accepted back into D&D and produced a World of Greyhawk 2010 that was limited to 500 and signed and leatherbound with full color maps, original maps, and original play transcripts, for example, that would be it.   :P

  

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Post Posted: Thu Nov 18, 2004 2:17 am 
 

It's a different collector's world that we live in now. . . for everthing!  There are no shortages, nobody just "throws" stuff out anymore, and even though many items may become damaged from use, there are plenty of people buying stuff, bagging it and keeping it safely stashed away to preserve the high grade condition.  Small market publishers may have limited print runs, but they need something special to make them desirable.  Look at all the small market items published for D&D in the late 70's/early 80's.  Most of them will only fetch between $5-$25.  

I can think of only three real possiblilites for a new "rare" to appear.  As darkseraphim mentions, they can always issue a "limited" special edition item (or produce a limited variant of an otherwise common item).  However, if this is done, every single one of them will probably be purchased and kept safely in MINT condition - so even 25 years later they will all be Mint when put up for auction.

The second is for an error or recall to occur.  This may well never happen. . . but you never know.  WOTC could issue a politcally incorrect item or something with a glaring error.  If something like this happened, they would probably try to recall the items and issue corrected versions - inevitably, some would remain in circulation.  (Example = Orange B3)

Finally, there is always a chance that they will produce a promotional item for another company or project that has very limited production runs (Example= ST1)

Let me bring up comics once more. . . since the mid-70s there have only been 3 really valuable comics made:  Giant-Size Xmen #1 (1st appearance of the New X-men, X-Men #94 (second appearance of new x-men, first regular series run appearance) and Incredible Hulk #181 (1st apearance of Wolverine).  Possibly you can add on Amazing Spider-Man #129 (1st app. of Punisher)  These are no rarer than others, but they have the only 1st appearance of new characters that are extremely propular and have made a profound impact on the Marvel Universe.  

Nowadays, there are many "rare" comics produced.  Everytime something even marginally exciting is made, they issue a Dynamic Forces "resketched" edition or some such other crap and limit it to 1000 copies (or whatever).  It has been done so many times, that many of these are not even vaulable. . .


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Post Posted: Thu Nov 18, 2004 2:53 am 
 

darkseraphim wrote:The "Grail" of current editions has not yet been released - it will be something limited in production number (to 1,000 or less), possibly autographed


The German "Gruft des Grauens" (Tomb of Horrors) was released in 1999 with a small print run (1,000) and signed by Gygax and is already selling in the range of $40 - $60 each time it pops up on eBay Germany. As was pointed out to me by a major German collector, the version withouth autograph is even much rarer. If there was a real collecting scene in my country, this would be it.


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Post Posted: Thu Nov 18, 2004 7:27 am 
 

Hmm how about the Spartan 300 Castles&Crusades box? Also some of the Goodman Games Dungeon Crawl Classics are already items where people pay more than the retail price. Other things that could perhaps go the same route could be Zeitgeists Arneson publications or the whole Yggsburg/Castle Zagyg stuff from EGG... I am sure there are much more things out there that have the potential to become collectors items in the future.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Nov 18, 2004 8:54 am 
 

This topic is why I like this forum.

It is going to be very difficult to find the hidden rares in today's market. What we have to keep in mind, as several of you have already posted, is that there is no way to predict what will be rare AND popular 20 years from now.

Mass printings make it nearly impossible for anything printed today to be considered rare - even 20 years from now. I will also stipulate that the mere fact that something has a limited print run will be valuable in the future specifically because of its availability is false. There also has to be some sort of nostalgia involved. A piece of crap today will be a piece of crap in 20 years. And before you point to some piece of crap that is valueable today from 20 years ago, remember there are significantly less numbers available AND they are still nostalgic because we all played them and have a connection AND they were produced in the infancy of D&D.

Face it, collecting can simply be dumb luck. I admit that freely. I just happen to live here in Metro Detroit and was active with MDG and during the time peroid when TSR was a heavy supporter and voila out came the MDG tourney rares. I bought them because I like them and there wasn't too much else to buy for AD&D players back then. Nobody had any idea that those modules would be worth $1,000 plus 20 years later.

The only module that had that sort of collectable interest was Orange B3. And that was purely because it was pulled from the shelves and it was mysterious (what was that artwork like?). Even with all that, it was regularly selling at Gencon auction for around $75 for a few years and at least 5+ went every year. Not too many people were gambling it would go for $800 today. Dragon #1 sold at auction for around $150 - 200 max in the mid 80s. That number has not changed to this day.

Admittadedly, I have virtually no idea of the product line for AD&D since mid-second edition. I have bought exactly three new D&D books since around 1996! And those I sold on ebay because they sucked.

My guess is that fringe items - that are also solid products - will be the collector items of tomorrow. These can be mass produced but more limited in popularity - the D&D basic set produced by WoTC is a possibility.

Small publishers that are popular will also be a better shot in the dark. Those Goodman Games modules seem to hold interest.

Convention items...I just saw a Gencon give away set including miniatures and stuff go for $75!

I know that I cannot predict the rares of tomorrow. I just do not have the information to make any sort of judgement. And again, I will be very honest. The only reason I have a bunch of rares today is because I collected 1st edition stuff as it came out for my own personal collection - it had nothing to do with value in the future. Otherwise, I would have certainly bought more than one copy of each module. The only reason I have B10 in mint codition is because I wanted the complete line and bought it when it came out.

That being said, I cannot imagine buying everything published for the game today. Let's face it. TSR only came out with maybe 20 things a year for both AD&D and D&D in the early 80s. It was easy to keep up. Those days are long gone.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

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Post Posted: Thu Nov 18, 2004 10:46 am 
 

Jupp wrote:Hmm how about the Spartan 300 Castles&Crusades box?


Word to the wise:  I have reliable sources who've indicated that the "limited" editon of "300" was more like 1200 at least, and probably more....


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Post Posted: Thu Nov 18, 2004 12:44 pm 
 

20 years from now it will be the 3.5e players whose shopping will be driven by nostalgia. Who knows what they might find to be nostalgic about?

  


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Post Posted: Thu Nov 18, 2004 12:51 pm 
 

If you believe that 3.5 players will become nostalgic for their "own" game, their current loves are Monte Cook, Midnight, advocating a Planescape resurgence, Eberron, and the World's Largest Dungeon.

  


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Post Posted: Thu Nov 18, 2004 1:21 pm 
 

You guys pretty much coved every angle of this topic and had lots of intelligent points, so I'll just throw in a cent or two-

If you're in it for investment dump everything but the rares. Everything else comes and goes too regularly. I know this from Comics to vintage cars. The best collecting advice that was given to me was when I worked in a comic shop during my high school years by the owner. "Forget these one day wonders and buy as many Marvel #1's and key issues, DC's if you can afford them (some in the 10's of thousands at the time, Marvel's tops 3 -4 grand), and save you're money and read your friends copies of the new books or buy the reprints of the old" Here I am twenty-plus years latter 15 boxes of comics strong and while all of those one year glories have faded back to almost cover value (real value from a comic collector with $ who knows the market not a tire kicker using a price guide). All the #1's and keys have consecutively year after year increased in value, some as much as 100% a year if Hollywood decided to produce a movie.

There will never be the like of the top ten rare modules -

Dwarven Glory - 1st ?
Ghost Tower of Inverness - ?
Lost Caverns of Tsojconth - ?
Lost Tamoachan - ?
Palace of the Vampire Queen -all three 1st ?
Pharaoh -- under 20 copies
Quest for the Fazzlewood -- 5 maybe 6 known copies
Rahasia -- under 20 copies
Orange B3 -- at most a few hundred
ST1 -- 20 -- 30 copies

Or the likes of the original rules --

Guidon Chains
Woody's
1st 5 supplements 1st print
MM, PH, DMG 1st print
Basic Set 1st print

These are the Super Man #1's, the Mickey Mantle rookie cards of our hobby. I'm sure if you asked Frank or the Burnt Bro's where the most interest in their sales were, the rares were #1 and probably sold the quickest and made them the most profit or held their value percentage wise.

I'm personally not in it for any kind of profit. I just love the game. It's the one thing that's rung true all my life. I value a Tosj just as much as a plain old S4. Their to quote Paul "The canvas of our youth". But if you're concerned with a finical way out down the road, stick with sure thing, find the rest at used bookstores, lots and the like, and keep a watchful but conservative eye on trinkets that come along the way.

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Post Posted: Thu Nov 18, 2004 1:59 pm 
 

grodog wrote:
Jupp wrote:Hmm how about the Spartan 300 Castles&Crusades box?


Word to the wise:  I have reliable sources who've indicated that the "limited" editon of "300" was more like 1200 at least, and probably more....


Hmm I thought it was more like that the Spartan 300 are those signed boxes...the full print run is around 1200. Means 900 unsigned, 300 signed. At least I thought I've read something along those lines in the Troll forums.

  


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Post Posted: Thu Nov 18, 2004 4:09 pm 
 

OK this one really does not meet the specifications of the questions, but I thought i would toss it out none the less.

If there is still a collectors market 30 years from now, I would suspect the Pre-Pub copies of the 3.0 core books to fetch a good bit of money.  

As for other items, I am sure the well-written popular items will keep their value much as WGA4 and the H series modules have, but the true treasures will be the items by companies that were not financially able to produce large numbers of items.  Look for new popular authors and buy their early stuff, at least that works with books.

Of course, what do I know?  It was 5 years ago that I predicted all of this stuff would have no value in 20 years...

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Post Posted: Thu Nov 18, 2004 4:27 pm 
 

Don't expect 2E or 3.5 players who turn into collectors to pay $1,000 for an old tournament or pre-pub module. If you have no emotional connection to these items, in other words, if you have never played the follow-up modules, you must be a die-hard collector to pay such an amount for an item you have little love for.


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Post Posted: Thu Nov 18, 2004 7:07 pm 
 

grodog wrote:
Jupp wrote:Hmm how about the Spartan 300 Castles&Crusades box?


Word to the wise:  I have reliable sources who've indicated that the "limited" editon of "300" was more like 1200 at least, and probably more....

The "spartan 300" refers to the signed and numbered copies.  The Trolls did in fact have more copies available than just the 300, but all the rest are unsigned.  You can buy one of the unsigned copies now if you desire.



  


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Post Posted: Fri Nov 19, 2004 12:32 am 
 

Jupp wrote:
grodog wrote:
Word to the wise:  I have reliable sources who've indicated that the "limited" editon of "300" was more like 1200 at least, and probably more....


Hmm I thought it was more like that the Spartan 300 are those signed boxes...the full print run is around 1200. Means 900 unsigned, 300 signed. At least I thought I've read something along those lines in the Troll forums.


Aha, you're probably right Jupp---I'd also heard, though, that there were only going to be 300 copies at GenCon, and there were a lot more than that there :D


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Post Posted: Thu Dec 02, 2004 12:22 am 
 

bbarsh wrote:I know that I cannot predict the rares of tomorrow. I just do not have the information to make any sort of judgement. And again, I will be very honest. The only reason I have a bunch of rares today is because I collected 1st edition stuff as it came out for my own personal collection - it had nothing to do with value in the future. Otherwise, I would have certainly bought more than one copy of each module. The only reason I have B10 in mint codition is because I wanted the complete line and bought it when it came out.

That being said, I cannot imagine buying everything published for the game today. Let's face it. TSR only came out with maybe 20 things a year for both AD&D and D&D in the early 80s. It was easy to keep up. Those days are long gone.


All very good points being made.  Luck has a lot to do with it, I have online auction results from the game forum that ran on AOL in 1994 and some of the highest results came from stuff that is common on Ebay today.  

Something you have to take into account is that material is actually easier to find nowadays because of the internet, and that companies will reprint items whereas before virtually nothing was reprinted.  Thus, something like a Haunted Lighthouse is nice, but can so easily be reprinted multiple times if needed that it eliminates that buyer who just wants to see what one looks like.  My money is on items that because of cost, company going out of business, etc, cannot ever be reprinted.  Below I've listed items I think will be valuable, not in the range of a super rare, but perhaps something hard to find that could garner double the orignal price or so, especially if still in mint condition.  I'll throw in my two cents:

1.  Silver Anniversary box set still in the original shrink: How many of these babies were opened and desecrated to get at the L3 Deep Dwarven Delve? Something that won't ever be reprinted, and the original price tag was high enough that most people passed on one when they saw it at the game store.

2.  World's Largest Dungeon unused:  I don't know what the print run was on this, but at $100 it's a bit out of most gamer's price range, so was it short printed?  Will they sell enough of these to justify ever reprinting the entire package? Other variables are the entire stack of maps that comes in a separate package (easy to lose a map or two in twenty years if it is opened), the fact that the dang book is huge and after handling may develop problems (pages falling out, spine bend, etc) after 5 years or so, and if the item is used because of the size it may fall apart or become damaged easily.  Basically someone would have to invest $100 in an item never to be used; heck, I've opened my map package and flipped through the book a few times so my own copy is no longer mint.

3.  Periodicals:  Am I the only one seeing an upsurge in people hunting for periodicals such as Dungeon and Polyhedron magazines?  As each year goes by and they aren't reprinted on a CD rom the way Dragon's first 250 issues were, I think they will get harder to find for those completists out there that want "one of everything". Sure a lot of them are still available online and even from Paizo publishing, but there is a good chance a compilation CD will never be released for these two publications.  In 5-10 years periodical completists will have a hard time hunting down the low print run issues from these two.  Problematic for both periodicals is that many were shipped through the mail and sometimes completists want a "mint" copy; I've never seen mint copies of several issues of Polyhedron for this reason since it was available only through subscription.  Then there are the amount of Polyhedron's missing their mailing covers, completists MUST have these!  I don't know if any of either periodical will command giant prices, but I could see issues of both getting hard to find.

4.  Dragon #274:  Once again, if a compilation CD of Dragons #251-#400 ever comes out, all bets are off.  But this was basically the beginning of 3rd edition.  Not only that, but this issue came with a CD Rom, a map of Sherwood forest, AND Living Greyhawk Journal 0.  I think finding this issue still in the original shrink with all three items above will get more difficult every year.  I still see some pop up in the shrink wrap, but not very often anymore.

Outside sources have a lot of influence....something can be really rare, but if no one is interested in it, then it is overlooked.   It wasnt' many years ago when an Orange B3 was seen as the holy grail of D&D items.  The month after Dungeon 116 came out, I had more than normal traffic in many of the modules featured in the Top 30 lists, including many we would consider commons.  Most interesting was that I completely sold out of Dungeon #37, which contained what was listed as the best module ever published in Dungeon magazine (The Mud Sorceror's Tomb, and they were right, it is tremendous).   Maybe in a few years when the "Ten Best 3rd Edition Adventures" list comes out for the 10th anniversary of 3rd edition, we'll see a lot of traffic in stuff like "Rappan Athuk" or the original Freeport series.
Anyone else have some ideas?

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Post Posted: Thu Dec 02, 2004 2:54 am 
 

I'm sure the present grails will increase, but as to any "new" items entering the list, I just don't see it happening. Let's say Dungeon #274 was as rare as Fazzlewood, for example. Which will go for more? Obviously Fazzle, because it is HISTORY that makes rares worth more.


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Post Posted: Thu Dec 02, 2004 3:55 am 
 

Deadlord is right about the history.  The more I think about it, the more it seems clear that there can NEVER be another Tsojconth or Fazzlewood.  Dungeons & Dragons may stay popular for another century, but there can never be another "beginning".

Same applies to all collectible fields:  Never again will there be "tobacco" baseball cards, never again the beginning of Super-Heroes in Marvel comics, never another first  "Hess tanker truck" or whatever.

Tomorrow's Tsojconth?  Well, it is still out there. . . it just doesn't exist yet (or no one knows it does).  It would have to be something different -- something brand new and unknown that becomes legendary.

Role-playing games already exist -- there can never be another beginning to them.  Another game system would have to be developed -- perhaps somehow related, but it would have to be obscure and not mass produced.   That "new" system would then need to grow into a vastly popular and enduring icon of our culture with fans that continue on and rediscover their affection for it.

A somewhat later example would be Atari 2600 -- video games have endured and we all know how popular/common they are today.  It has created a legacy that traces back (in part) to the Atari 2600 system of the 80's.  Unopened/unused "heavy-sixer" Atari 2600 systems usually fetch around $350.  And there are some very rare, very obscure cartridges that can gather up to $1,000.  These were the "garbage" cartridges -- Atari let just about anyone (it seems) develop and sell games.  A couple oddball, unpopular "junk" games are now the rarest and most valuable of them all. . .  Just because there are enough video game fans who want a complete collection to pay out the ass for them.

So. . . just buy everything that comes down the pipe and keep it all MINT -- you should hit the "jackpot" on something (but not enough to make up for all the cash you spent on the worthless junk  :D  )


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